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Friday, October 29, 2010

Vent.


Not having money is frustrating. As hell. I've heard the saying that money can't buy you happiness, but I sure ain't happy being broke. If I ever get the opportunity to have an overabundance of money and I'm STILL not happy, then maybe I can attest to that saying, but until then, the grass certainly does look greener on the other side in this instance. I know rich people have their own issues, but at least they don't have to choose between buying lunch or filling up their gas tank.

I feel like I'm not getting ahead, and I don't know when--or if--I will ever get ahead. Being in debt is like being inside of a never-ending hole. I keep trying to claw my way out, but it's like an invisible force is pinning me down. Every time I look around, there's a new bill to add to the pile. I am constantly kicking myself for dropping out of school for what was intended to be a very short period of time. Now the grace period is over, and Uncle Sam wants his cash. I'm convinced that student loans were created by Satan himself, to ensure that desperate college students around the world will never be able to see a paycheck without paying a portion of it to a loan provider (or several).

I'm losing weight because I'm stressed out; I'm stressed out because I'm losing weight. I regret every frivolous penny that was spent during the days that I had no bills to worry about. I'm still angry that I got fired from my first "good" job the same week my financial situation was beginning to look up, and I wonder if I will ever get back to that point. Will I ever be able to afford to live on my own? Purchase a new car? Repair the car I have, without going even deeper into this hole? Spend $20 at Walgreens without feeling pangs of guilt afterward?

I don't know. I don't know.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

If You Want Me, You Can Find Me in the "A"

This past weekend confirmed that I no longer have any desire to live in Atlanta. I know that I don't want to live in St. Louis, but I definitely don't want to live in Atlanta either. Going back to visit was kind of like going back to an old friend or boyfriend. You remember all the good things when you're gone, but as soon as you get back together, all the annoying shit that they used to do comes right back in your face.

So my friend B wanted me to come down and kick it for her 21st birthday. We partied together all the time before she was legal, and we always got kicked out of clubs because of it, so I knew I couldn't miss the opportunity to come to the "A" and NOT get thrown out of a bar within less than an hour. I buy my plane ticket in September, work ridiculous amounts of overtime so I'll have enough money to do whatever I want, and make plans to go shopping and get my nails done, as if I'm preparing for MY birthday. As the weeks go by, B tells me that her sisters are coming to Atlanta, as well as her best friend and her best friend's boyfriend. Our other friend, and my former roommate, K, will be in attendance as well since she and B are now roommates.

About a week before it's time for me to fly down there, I get a text from K. She mentions that B wants us to play a prank on her for her birthday and says we have to come up with something good. I think of an idea, but it will only work if K picks me up from the airport by herself. I ask if she will be able to come get me, and she says yes.

Fast forward to a couple days before it's time for me to go out of town. B calls me to tell me how excited she is that I'm coming, and she also mentions that she is upset because she's not going to have as much money as she wanted because she didn't get her refund check from school. I assure her that we'll have fun regardless of low funding, since my spending money will be short as well, due to some unforeseen car troubles. I'm scheduled to get to Atlanta Thursday morning, and B tells me she probably won't see me until Thursday night because she has school in the morning and work later in the afternoon. She mentions that K has class Thursday morning too, and at this point I ask, "Well, who the hell is picking me up from the airport?" B says that K will probably skip class to pick me up, but K has been flaky as hell for the two years that I've known her, so I send her a text Wednesday to tell her my plane touches down in Atlanta around 9:45am and ask (again) if she will be able to get me. She replies that she has class until 12pm.

Here we go.

I text back and mention that I asked her last week if she could pick me up and she said yes. She says that we should have confirmed the time, then adds that she's free after 1pm. Really now? Yes, because sitting at the airport for 3 hours is EXACTLY how I want to spend my morning. She sends one more text saying that I can't be mad at her, but "knowing me," I probably am. My first instinct is to text back that I can be whatever the fuck I want, but K is a sensitive soul, and she's pregnant, so I know that even a small dose of my wrath will likely be too much for her to handle. Besides, I don't want shit to get ugly before I even get there, so I tell her that I'm not mad, and that I need another option besides waiting at the airport until 1. I ask for her address so I can take a cab or MARTA, and that's that. I'm annoyed, because now I have to decide whether I should shell out $30 for a cab or deal with demented homeless men on the train.

I catch my flight the next morning, arrive in Atlanta, and I decide to go with the cab and head outside the airport to the curbside pickup. When I give the cab driver the address, he looks confused as hell and asks me if I know where that is. Again, here we go. One thing I never understood when I lived in Atlanta is why cab drivers always expected ME to help them navigate. I'm not a fucking GPS, and besides, isn't that why I'm paying you? I tell him the apartment is near the Georgia Dome. He doesn't speak English very well, but I'm pretty sure he asks me if it would be okay for him to drop me off in that general area. I give him the deadliest side eye ever, and he consults with another cab driver to find out where the address is. This whole ordeal takes about 10 minutes, then he gets back in the car and proceeds to pull out a GPS. What the hell? Why didn't you just do that in the first place? We finally get to my friends' apartment, and the driver has the nerve to look salty when I give him $3 for a tip. Little does he know, I had contemplated not giving him shit, due to his poor navigation skills AND the fact that it was hot as hell in the car, but I just don't have it in my heart to do that.

K told me the night before that she would leave their key under the mat, so I grab it and let myself in. I look around the apartment, then open one of the bedroom doors and lo and behold......there's K, laying in her bed. Yes, you read that right. She gave me all that drama, I paid $30 for a cab, and this bitch is at home. She claims that she got sick during one of her classes and had to leave early. Then she mentions that B wants snacks for a party that she's throwing on Sunday, so we head to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. When we get there, K tells me she has $200 on her EBT card, then proceeds to walk around the store and put every item imaginable in her damn shopping cart. Since living on my own, I have become a budgeting queen, and even without a physical calculator, I can tell all the shit in this cart is going to be way more than $200. K disagrees, but when we get to the checkout lane, she changes her tune and starts giving items to the cashier to put back. This is another one of my pet peeves, FYI. I can't STAND it when people get more shit than they can afford, then start putting it back. I stand by, gritting my teeth while she completes her transaction, then we head back to the apartment.

B comes home later, and her sister and cousins come over to visit her before we get ready to go to a strip club. Her family decides they don't feel like going anywhere tonight, so B, K, and I end up going. We get there after midnight and show our IDs to the bouncer. She informs B that even though her birthday is today, she won't be allowed to get in until 24 hours AFTER her birthday. Say what? That's the dumbest shit I've ever heard, but it sounds like one of the typical ass-backward Atlanta club policies, so B and I start to leave. However, K is the negotiator of the group, and asks another bouncer to get a manager. The manager comes outside and asks what the problem is. The female bouncer tells him she was told by some higher-ups that she couldn't let people in until the day after their birthday; he gives the okay for us to go in anyway. So we go in to show our IDs again, and this time the bouncer tells us that we "got her in trouble," and now she's going to have to explain herself to her boss. Not our problem bitch. We pay admission, then go to the bar for drinks. The bartender is standing against the wall, and when I ask for a Long Island Iced Tea, she gives me a "look" as if I'm bothering her and hollers, "What?" I repeat myself, then she makes my drink, and if it weren't for the loud music, I'm pretty sure I would be able to hear her sighing heavily. Because of her nasty attitude, I decide not to tip. I know those of you who are bartenders and waitresses are probably cringing, but I feel like this: if you have to live off tips, then you need to act like it. It makes no sense to provide bad customer service then expect to be rewarded for it. I'm not asking anyone to kiss my ass, but if I'm not coming to you in a disrespectful or rude manner, I would appreciate it if you do the same for me.

I sit down, sip on my drink, listen to the DJ talk shit about any guys that aren't throwing ones at the strippers, and watch the dancers who look like they would rather light themselves on fire than be on stage. B comments that I don't seem to be enjoying myself.....which I'm not. Watching nude women dance is not my thing. If I want to see a woman dance naked, I can just look in the mirror, and I don't have to pay $20 for it. But this is what B wanted to do, so I'm not going to make a fuss. She asks if I need another drink, so we head to the bar again. I don't have anymore cash on me so B buys the drinks, and this time the bartender says, and I quote, "The next time y'all come over here for a drink, I'ma need y'all to leave a tip." B apologizes and hands her a couple dollars, then we head back to our seats. Once I sit down, I think, "Wait a minute! Did this bitch just TELL us to give her a tip? After she was rude as hell? Where they do that at?" I must be more tipsy than I thought, because in my sober state of mind I would have been more than happy to tell the bartender what she needed to do if she wanted a tip from me. I guess it wasn't meant to be. Tonight is "Amateur Night" at the strip club, so we watch wannabe strippers shake what their mamas gave them, then we leave.

The next day, B has class until 12. Weeks before I came to Atlanta, we both mentioned that we wanted to get tattoos this weekend, so B says that her sister is going to do her hair, then we'll go to the tattoo shop around 2. 2:00 goes by, then 3, then 4, then 5, then 6. B's sister doesn't show up until around 6:30 to do her hair, and even though I've never had a sew-in, I know that shit takes AT LEAST an hour to finish. B wants to get tattoos, go to a haunted house, and go to a club later, but I have a feeling that's not going to happen. Her hair is done around 8:30, and we go to the haunted house first. There is what appears to be a never-ending line around the building, and we find out the wait is more than an hour. Nobody is trying to wait that long, so we head to the tattoo shop. Although I was under the impression that only B and I would be getting tattoos, I soon realize that her sister, two cousins, and their friend all want tattoos as well. And not just simple tattoos. One of B's cousins announces that she wants three pitbulls tattooed on her thigh, with each of her kids' names on them. That's just to give you an idea of the hoodratted-ness that occurred. It's almost 11pm and there are only three artists in the shop; I know we're going to be here until around 1 in the morning. The excitement I had about getting a tattoo has passed, and I tell B I'm not going to get mine tonight. Instead, I sit and drink and talk shit with B's best friend and her boyfriend, who arrived earlier this afternoon.

After everyone is tatted, we go back to the apartment to get ready for the club. By this time, B announces that she's too drunk to go anywhere so we stay in. We get up the next day and try to figure out if we should still get a rental car. That whole story is too complicated to write about, but to make a long story short, we don't get one. B decides she will just have K drive us around where we need to go and give her gas money. We go shopping at Atlantic Station, then have dinner at the Geisha House. The whole time, I am getting annoyed by B and her best friend, who I will call "BM" since she and B's pet name for each other is "Baby Mama." Ever since BM and her boyfriend came into town, B has been almost exclusively talking to them, as if she doesn't really give a damn that I visited for her birthday. They even left me in H&M to walk to the Geisha House, and B didn't bother to text or call me to let me know where they were. That, on top of the fact that they play with each other's hair and address each other with "Baby Mama" every five seconds, is working my nerves. I'm also picking up on some "diva" vibes from B that I never noticed before. She's upset that her family is refusing to go out with her tonight, because B wants to go to Club Opera, a racially diverse downtown club, and her sister and cousins "don't want to party with white people." Because of that, when B is not caressing her baby mama, she's on the phone telling everyone she knows how upset she is, and asking for confirmation about whether her family is wrong or not. I understand that it's shitty for her family to come to town specifically for her birthday, then back out of partying with her, but I could have told her that would happen and I just met them. They are all in their 30s, and they don't seem interested in the same things as B. Besides, even if they're not participating, I, along with her BFF and her BFF's boyfriend, flew into town and we've done everything she's wanted to do without complaining. As far as I'm concerned, fuck her sister and her cousins. But that's just me.

After dinner, we get ready for Club Opera. We head inside and at first I'm not feeling it, then I get a couple drinks and I'm good. Eventually some guy walks up and starts talking to me. I ask where he's from, and he says Italy. This is funny as hell to me, because my mother will swear on a stack of Bibles that I am going to marry either a Hispanic or Italian man. We start dancing and he's whispering in my ear about how much he loves Black women. Then I notice that everyone I came to the club with decided to move elsewhere. I kiss and hug my Italian boy goodbye and walk around the club to find my friends. I circle the club once but still don't see them; I tell myself to sober up and walk around once more. Still no luck, so I text and call K. I don't get a response, but I just so happen to wander toward the back of the club, where B is dancing around a stripper pole while BM is frantically snapping pictures as if this is a professional photo shoot. K, BM's boyfriend, and B's other friend (we call her the "Shy One") are standing nearby. By now, the alcohol has worn off and my feet are killing me, so I'm ready to call it a night. K goes out to her car, and the Shy One and I go outside moments later. We sit and wait for B and her other friends to come out, while the Shy One vomits outside of the car. I finally hear the DJ announcing that he's playing the last song, and B and her friends walk to the car looking and acting a drunken hot mess. We're subjected to their babbling all the way home, and once we get into the apartment, I get cleaned up, change clothes, and go to bed.

My flight leaves early the next afternoon, so I wake up and start packing. Once I'm done, I ask K if she will drive me to the airport. The Shy One is ready to go home, and asks us if K will be able to give her a ride too. Suddenly K shouts from her room, "I didn't sign up to be a taxi service!" Oh boy. Then she and B get into a brief argument about why K agreed to drive everyone around if she was going to be tight about it. In spite of K's outburst, she drives the Shy One back to her house, then takes me to the airport. On the way, K says she's not upset with me; she's just annoyed because she feels used and unappreciated by B. She mentions that B complained about the groceries she bought, and never thanked her for anything she did this weekend. I tell her I sensed a diva attitude as well, so I can understand where she's coming from. She drops me off and I rush to check in, since this is the second time I have been running late for my flight.

Whew. I told y'all it would be a long one. Looking back, there wasn't as much fuckery as I claimed, but I'm dramatic, and I don't get out much. Don't judge me. The trip was okay, but like I said, I don't think I could see myself moving back to Atlanta, at least not any time soon. Even though I've only been gone for a few months, I'm getting too old for the pettiness, and I have the feeling I would always be right smack in the middle of B and K's drama if I were still there.

Now I have to figure out where to take my next trip.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FYI.

I WILL be posting about my trip to Atlanta this past weekend. I got back to work immediately upon returning home so I haven't had time to get all my thoughts together about everything that occurred. Trust, there was plenty of fuckery worth blogging about, and I have a feeling it's going to be a long-ass post. Or maybe I'll break it up into several posts. I don't know.

Anyway, I hope everyone in the Blogger world is doing lovely! Deuces.


Big Chop.

I made the decision several weeks ago to go natural. Not because I'm jumping on any bandwagon, but because relaxers are fucking expensive and time-consuming, and also because I have secretly always wanted to have a big beautiful ass Afro. I don't know why, but I just want it. Most of my hair is still relaxed, but now I have the texture of my new growth as well so I'm in between textures. (In other words, I'm in the "transitional" stage. That's some of the fancy lingo I've picked up from browsing natural hair websites.) It's kind of annoying having to deal with both textures, so the next logical step would be to do the "Big Chop," or "BC."

I cut my hair about a year ago and have been wearing a style similar to Rihanna's pixie cut back in 2009, so you'd think I would be over the whole "looking like a boy" fear, but for some reason chopping my hair down to a couple inches freaks me out. I think I have a masculine face, and I'm skinny as hell so.....yeah. As if I don't already have a hard enough time getting noticed by guys, I can only imagine how it will be once I'm nearly bald.

Is that what it's really about though? Probably not, but I just have to be honest about my concerns. I never thought hair texture/length was that big of a deal, but it becomes pretty obvious that it is when women will quickly throw on a silky wig or put in weave to make themselves look more attractive when going out. I suppose I'm still affected by it since I can already hear the comments and see the looks I will get once I do the BC. I already had plenty of people try to convince me NOT to cut my hair last year, although none of them could give me a good reason why. *rolls eyes*

Fuck it. I'ma do it. It's just hair. If I hate it, I can always just put a paper bag over my head, right?

In the meantime, here are some photos of my "natural" inspirations:















Monday, October 11, 2010

I Hate It When.................

..........I "like" someone's status on Facebook and get a notification that so-and-so commented on that status afterward. I go look at the status and it turns out some asshole has added an insignificant-ass comment such as "LMAO!" or "Co-sign!" or "Amen!" Why? If you don't have anything funny or thought-provoking to add, why are you commenting? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the "like" option added to indicate that you agree, or "co-sign" with what someone else said? Why are you wasting time typing, and wasting 12 seconds of my life to read your boring, unnecessary, one-word comment?

..........I'm craving a particular food item/snack that I have stashed at home, and I fantasize about said food item/snack all day while I'm at work. Then I go home, search through the refrigerator or pantry.......and my shit is gone.

..........I work my ass off to save money for a specific reason, i.e. I want to go on a trip or buy a new pair of shoes. As soon as I have some cash "saved," my car decides to go wacky, and I have to come out of pocket with a couple hundred bucks, because we all know car repairs ain't cheap. So much for saving.

..........People nearly collide with me coming out of the door at work and go on about their business without so much as saying "Excuse me" or even blinking an eye. It's like.....damn, no manners though?

..........I go to a store to try on a pair of shoes or a dress, and the sales rep either (a) knocks on the dressing room door every 5 seconds asking if I'm doing okay, or (b) watches me while trying on the shoes and makes fake-ass comments like, "Oh my gosh, those look sooooooooooo cute on you!" as if I don't know she's just saying that so I can buy them. I understand showing good customer service, but that over-the-top shit is disturbing.

..........I watch Lifetime and every movie has the EXACT SAME story line: Girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl finds out boy is really a psychopathic con artist who escaped from a psychiatric ward/prison, girl confronts boy about his secret past rather than going to the police like a normal person, girl pretends she is going to shoot boy but allows him to get within two inches of her and boy takes gun, girl suddenly gets a burst of superhuman strength and knocks boy over a balcony, police cars race to the scene 30 seconds later, yet boy has somehow managed to run away after falling 20 feet to the ground. Fast forward to the last scene and boy is now living on some tropical island in perfect health, preparing to lure another unsuspecting girl into a trap that is only possible in made-for-TV films.

While we're talking about movies, I also hate it when sequels come out, and the original film was no good to begin with. Take for example, "Paranormal Activity." In my opinion, that movie sucked. The whole movie was full of non-scary bullshit, like curtains moving, lamps flickering, and doors slamming shut on their own. It didn't get scary--or at least uncomfortable--until the last 5 minutes, and I was ultimately pissed that I spent $10 for 5 minutes of scariness. Why then, is there a "Paranormal Activity 2"? I'm assuming from the last movie that the only two characters died (apologies to anyone who didn't see the first "PA"), so what is the second one about? Is it supposed to be scarier because there is a dog and a baby involved now?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Obstacles.

I was speaking to my mother the other day about a class she recently began teaching at a local university. Her students were introducing themselves to the rest of the class, and several of them made reference to the fact that they are continuing their education, "in spite of" having one or two kids. Their mindset, I'm assuming, is that they are setting themselves apart from young single mothers who quit school after having children.

This isn't the first time I have heard about and/or witnessed women my age testify about "fighting against the odds," and it is another one of my pet peeves. I try not to judge anyone who got "caught up" back in high school and had a baby or two or three, or four, but I get pissed off when these same women turn around and act as if they are supposed to receive a gold star for a decision THEY made. They moan and groan about how hard it is to juggle having kids, working full-time, AND going to school, as if someone put a gun to their heads and made them pop those babies out.

The point I made when talking to my mother is that I don't understand people who talk about having kids, as if the kids are an obstacle they have had to overcome. When I think of an obstacle, I think of something that you had no control over, something that came into your life unexpectedly. Overcoming an obstacle would be someone that was hit by a drunk driver and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their lives, yet they went on to win a gold medal in the Special Olympics. Unless you were raped and got pregnant, you consciously made the decision to conceive that child, and you made the decision to carry that child for nine months and bring it into the world. In other words, it's no one's fault other than your own that you have to get up at 6am every day to get Lil' Ray Ray ready for daycare.

Maybe I sound bitter.....and that's because I am. Fuck it. I just don't see why the baby mamas of the world feel they should get more kudos than those that have not had children yet. It's like they've taken over, to the point where people look at me strange because I DON'T have any kids. I've had friends and family tell me I should be proud that I don't fit into the crowd of young women with kids. I don't know why though. Once upon a time, having kids in high school was something frowned upon; nowadays it seems to be glorified. It's almost as if society wants young girls to have kids, so Hollywood producers can make biopics about how these girls "beat the odds." Take Fantasia, for example. Do you think America would have been as fascinated with her, had she not been a young single mother/high school dropout? Would the movie "Precious" have been as popular if the lead character had not been an illiterate young woman with two small children? When was the last time you saw a documentary about a woman going to school and trying to make ends meet, without the extra load of having a child?

Bottom line: To the young mothers out there, you do NOT deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for changing diapers during the day, and studying College Algebra at night. If this offended anyone, you're welcome.

Monday, October 4, 2010

On Second Thought.......


I know I wrote this post a while back about my take on the Bad Girls Club reality show, where I professed my minor obsession with the ability to take a walk on the wild side through the cameras that follow the girls around Miami. After watching the past few episodes of BGC, I won't completely recant my previous statement; this is more of an addition to my thoughts since that post.

Now that BGC is nearing the end of the season, I am often left wondering if I just finished viewing a reality show episode, or an edition of "Girls Gone Wild." I don't think there has been one episode where the girls have NOT made out with each other and/or stripped down and jumped in the pool or shower for some group action. Their "fights" mostly consist of arguing with themselves in an empty room (but loud enough for their other roommates to hear), and throwing one another's clothes on the front lawn. Scary right?

*Cue not-so-Bad Girl talking shit to her equally not-so-Bad minion: "That bitch wants to mess with me?! I'll show her! Come on girl, we're going to throw ALL her panties out on the driveway! DONE!"*

*Not-so-Bad minion's response: "Hell yeah, that'll show her! You're soooo bad!" (while puffing on a cigarette)*

Whereas previous seasons of BGC seemed to have a mixture of catfights, drunken shenanigans, and sex, this particular season is just.......sex. Not just any sex; LESBIAN sex. Because somehow, being a lesbian = bad. Who decided that? I have no idea, but that's the message I get from watching. One girl even stated that she is a lesbian because "being straight is boring." So I suppose everyone in the world only has to start dating the same sex if they want a little spice in their lives. To say I'm offended is an understatement. I'm sure the producers think they're being "edgy." I think they're only showing just how archaic and small-minded they really are. Like many people's views on homosexuality, it is making the assumption that same-sex relations are a deviation that only "bad" people can participate in. Lesbians can't just be normal people who are capable of maintaining monogamous relationships; they only have the ability to make out with three other girls in a hot tub after too many shots of Patron.

I know that I shouldn't be looking for reality television to show an accurate depiction of lesbians, but I think it's pretty sad that this is the selling point for the season. I don't know how great of a strategy it was for them to go this route; I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that I can only take so much of seeing overly-airbrushed girls swapping spit in a limo. That ain't my idea of bad.