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Monday, December 12, 2011

Stress Never Outweighs Peace (Or So I'm Told).

I've been stressed for a while about my living situation, and I guess I'm ready to "write it out," as DBB would say.

I think I mentioned before that I have been staying on the barge since I moved to Virginia. It's supposed to be a temporary living arrangement until I get assigned to barracks, but to my disappointment, I've discovered that it's not as temporary as I thought. When I first got here, people from my ship told me I would stay on the barge for "a few days," which turned into "a couple weeks," and now it's going on two months and I've been told that I may be here as long as 6-9 months, due to a ridiculously long waiting list for military housing.

A few people who arrived in Virginia before me advised that I should go to the housing office on base and ask about getting a room assignment, which is what they did. Last week, I went with a friend of mine to make the request and I was told that they're "not allowed" to give any more rooms to people from my ship because those rooms are reserved for sailors coming off a previously deployed ship.

I had been looking at the possibility of getting an apartment. I planned to move in with the girl I knew from "A" school, but after her Friday night shenanigans, that's out of the question. So now I'm considering a one bedroom apartment, but the cost of living here is way more than what I anticipated and the decent apartments are starting at $600 for a one bedroom (and I definitely don't have an extra $600 laying around in my bank account). Anything less than that is.....hood. As hell. And I can't do hood, no matter how bad my living situation is at the barge. The barge is shitty, but at least I'm not paying rent there. I'll be damned if I pay money to live in a shit hole.

After I left the housing office with my friend, my boyfriend called and he could tell from my tone that I was irritated. I've complained to him and my family about my dissatisfaction with where I'm living, so I didn't want to get into it again. He asked if I was okay and I said no, but I didn't want to talk about it. I was driving and I got lost so I told him I would call him back. Then he sent a text saying he wished he could make me feel better. I told him there wasn't anything he could do and that I might just be depressed. He kept saying he was "concerned," as if he thought I was on my way to jump off the nearest bridge, which I told him I wasn't (yet). I finally broke down and said I was tired of having to jump through hoops before I could go to school or live somewhere decent. He told me to be patient and everything would come to me. I've lost count of how many times I've heard that, whether it's from him, my mother, or my friends, and I told him that's why I didn't want to talk about it, because everyone says the same shit.

Then his panties got all in a bunch and he told me I didn't have to "come at him" like that. He said he was trying to uplift me, but he was sorry for trying. Poor thing. He has no idea that there's no uplifting in the world that can help when I get in one of my "fuck the world" moods. He said he didn't want me to be stressed out, and I told him stress is a part of life and he can't stop it. Then he hit me with this quote: "Stress never outweighs peace."

Hmmmm. That may be true for some, but in my experience, I've never been good at being at peace when I'm under a lot of stress. Besides, isn't it easy for him to preach about peace and all that bullshit when he's going home to a warm, spacious house? He doesn't have to practically live out of his car because there's not enough room for his shit in a tiny ass berthing. He doesn't have gnats flying around because people leave bags of trash sitting in the hallway for days. He doesn't have to sleep in a less-than-twin sized bed that kills his back every night.

I know. This is what I signed up for right? I'm being a diva, huh? Ehhh...whatever. That's how I feel right now.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Deja Vu.

Do you ever find yourself attracting the exact same kind of friends no matter how many times you say you won't? It makes you have to look at yourself and ask what could be wrong with you if you end up in the same situations time and time again. With that being said....self, what the hell is wrong with you???




Let me back up a little. A few years ago when I lived in Atlanta, I became "friends" with a girl that was going to the same school. Initially she seemed pretty stuck up to me, but due to a mutual hatred of the institution we went to, we hung out more and more often, to the point where we were together every day. This girl was the complete opposite of me: loud and outgoing, heavy set, never seen without a sew-in weave, very flirtatious. Somehow though, we managed to get along for a significant amount of time. Eventually, I began to realize that she used her outspoken nature as a way to manipulate others, myself included. Although I'm a quiet person, I don't do well with being manipulated, so I cut the friendship off. This led to her writing me a lengthy and nasty Facebook message about how honored I should have been to be in her presence, which led to me blocking her and moving on with my life.





Fast forward to now. I don't know too many people here in Virginia, except a girl I used to be roommates with in "A" school. This girl is also the total opposite of me: loud and outgoing, heavy set, religiously wears a sew-in weave, very flirty (seeing the pattern here?). And again, we've managed to get along for a significant amount of time.





Until...............................





This past Friday, we make plans to go to her friend's apartment and have a few drinks before going to a club in town. We go to the club and it's okay, not a horrible place but nothing to write home about. We're there for an hour and a half to two hours tops, when my friend tells me she's been texting back and forth with her fuck buddy and he told her his roommate wants me to come over. I had gone over to her friend's place once before and his roommate barely talked to me, which didn't bother me much since I already have a boyfriend. However, this night at the club is a prime example of why liquor should never be mixed with decision making, because I agree to go over there with her again.





We drop her other friend off at home, then head to the dude's apartment. We get inside to find her friend, his roommate, and two other guys I've never seen before. I'm getting a feeling this isn't going to go the way my friend thought it would. I sit down and wait as she and the friend engage in the flirtatious bantering that seems to be a prerequisite to them going off to his room and getting it in. The shots of Hennessy I had earlier are making me drowsy, then I hear her friend call me to hang out with everyone in the kitchen. When I hesitate, he invites me out the balcony to have a "chat." Bad decision #2.





We get outside and he starts asking which of his friends I "want." I stare at him in confusion, and tell him I don't "want" either one of them. First of all, I have a boyfriend, second, neither of the guys are attractive or interesting to me, and third, I'm not in the business of fucking random niggas for the hell of it. Then his roommate comes out, saying he wouldn't mind being the chosen one but he has a crazy baby's mama. They go on for a while, asking if I'm shy and trying to convince me that it's "just sex." The roommate leaves, then the other dude goes into some other shit, implying that even though he's been sleeping with my friend, he wouldn't mind taking a shot at me. Then he says something about an orgy and I tell him to go talk to my friend because I'm done with this whole conversation. He asks if she's down, does that mean I am too? Again, I tell him to go talk to her.





She comes out to the balcony moments later and asks if I said I wanted to have an orgy. I tell her hell no, and she asks if I want to leave. I say yes, and we start to head out. As we're leaving, her friend says something to her that I don't hear then tells her he's going to have his sister fight her, which makes her go crazy. She's trying to fight him and his friend, while the rest of us are trying to break them up. We finally get her downstairs and to my car, then I realize that I left my phone upstairs in the whole frenzy. She's more than happy to go get my phone, as this will give her another opportunity to swing on some niggas. By the time she gets my phone, the police are pulling up.





They ask what we were doing, and she refuses to tell them anything. All she keeps saying is that she was going to get my phone off the charger and we were about to leave. I'm a sheltered child and I've never had many dealings with the cops, but I decide not to incriminate myself, avoiding the cop's questions when he asks what was going on. They take our IDs and head upstairs to talk to the guys. Moments later, the cops come downstairs and tell us we can go. On the way to the car, I tell her it was stupid for her to get into it with them, knowing we could have gotten in trouble for it. Her response: "Okay, but we didn't!"





Then she starts talking shit about how she was just trying to get my phone and I could have gotten it myself, and from now on she's not going anywhere, she's just going to stay posted in her room, blah, blah, blah. I'm tired of her dramatic bullshit and don't say anything else to her on the drive back to base. She gets out of the car without a word and storms off. I'm confused on how I was trying to stop her from doing dumb shit and now she's mad. I already know that will be the last time it ever happens. We're in the military now, so if we get taken in by the police, that will open up a whole world of trouble, but I guess that doesn't mean anything to someone who's intoxicated and angry that they missed out on some Friday night dick.





Anyway, I feel like this always happens to me. I get caught up with some Bad Girls Club wannabe and end up right in the middle of her drama. Then when I cut her off, it leaves me all by myself because she was so manipulative that she made sure no one else hung out with us. I don't want to befriend anyone else like that, but I don't know how I will stop it, since I thought I had learned my lesson after the girl I kicked it with in Atlanta.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Can't Get Away From It.

Boredom, that is. I have lived in four different cities and I find myself being equally bored as fuck in all four cities. I know that I really only have myself to blame. I tell myself that I will go out and do new things and meet new people....and then I end up kicking it solo all the time anyway. I think I have a fear of rejection. I don't want to invite anyone to hang out only to be disappointed by their flakiness.

I have (had?) one friend here in Norfolk that I went to A school with. We went to Busch Gardens the first weekend I was here and that was fun. Then last weekend we went to Washington, D.C. and Cleveland for her birthday and that was fun too. But this past weekend...I guess she was on some other shit because she's depressed over this dude that's been playing her to the left since she had sex with him. I know it sucks to have a guy you like diss you so I'm not going to bother her, but then of course that leaves me being bored again. And of course I'm too lazy/fearful to try to make any new friends. There's only one other female at my job and I don't feel like I'm at the point where it would be cool for me to suggest hanging out with her. I can't quite put my finger on it. You know how people are friendly to you, but they still give off the vibe that they already have their circle of friends and you're not allowed to be in that circle? Yeah, that's how I feel about her. I'm still being treated like the new kid on the block so that's no fun.

When I first got here, everyone told me I needed to have a car or I would be bored out of my mind. Well, I got a car (that's another post) and I'm still bored. Now I'm just bored with a retarded ass car payment. Sorry, I'm complaining. Let me talk about something good (or kinda good).

My boyfriend told me he loved me for the first time the other day. It was through text, so I don't know if that counts??? And it was something like, "You treat me like a person, and I love you for that." So....yeah. I asked him how long he's been feeling like that and he said ever since I was going to A school in Chicago. Yikes. He's been saying that he wants to make me his wife, and he's talking about moving down to Virginia for us to be together.

On one hand, I wouldn't mind seeing him more often. At the same time, without putting his business on blast, I think there are some things (financially) that he would need to get together before coming here. I'm just now starting to get my shit together and it would be super frustrating to take on even more financial responsibility that I'm not ready for. Also, he hinted that if he moved here, he would want us to live TOGETHER and ummm....I don't know about all that. Call me old-fashioned, but I always had it in my head that I wouldn't live with anyone until we got married. The whole idea of "playing house" doesn't sit well with me. (I hope that doesn't offend anyone; if you live with your significant other that's totally cool, I just don't know if that's the right situation for me.) The idea of getting married scares me too though. When you're younger you always say, "When I get married..." but now that that shit could possibly be right around the corner, I'm freaking out. I don't know how to be anyone's wife! I'm selfish as hell, and sarcastic as hell, and moody as hell, and I never consult with anyone before I make a decision. To have to be somewhat dependent on another person gives me the chills.

As that old cliche goes, only time will tell....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Need Some Help.

I made it here to Norfolk this past Thursday. It's kind of dull so far. That's probably due to the fact that I'm staying in what's called the "barge." That's basically a tiny, cramped ass compartment with coffin-sized bed spaces and equally small showers and bathrooms. There's no one else in there with me, except a girl who's on restricted duty and is getting kicked out of the military for coming into work hungover. This housing is supposed to be temporary until I get assigned to barracks or off-base housing, but it's still low-key depressing, especially since I don't know anyone here yet.

Which brings me to my next point. Everyone has been telling me that I NEED a car. I had already planned on getting one, but I wanted to wait it out a couple months until I had money saved up for a decent down payment and such. The thing is, being here, I don't think I can make it for a couple months with no transportation (the "shuttles" I was told about seemingly don't exist). I can apply through my credit union for a car loan but I'm hesitant to do that. I don't have too many bills except for a couple credit cards and my phone bill but I know a car means a car payment, gas, insurance, etc, etc. And I'm afraid. I've been super, duper, ridiculously broke before and I don't ever want to go back there.

I need some advice. My mom and my friends are telling me to just go for it. But I don't want to "just go for it" and end up in a bigger hole than what I already am. If there are any finance/car savvy folks out in the blogger world, a little advice would be most appreciated.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Uhhh....Err....Ummm....

Sooooo......I think I'm in a relationship. This shit is weird, to say the least. I've known him for about six years, but we're just now "talking" so it's going to take a minute to make the transition from friends to boyfriend/girlfriend.

The thing is, I don't really know how to be anyone's girlfriend. I'll admit, I'm 24 years old and I have never been in a long-term relationship, so I'm used to doing things on my own. I never consult with anyone on what I'm going to do; I just do it. Now I have to think about what I do and how it will affect someone else. Like me being in the military. I don't think he's crazy about the idea of me serving....but there are times when I've contemplated staying in for 20 years. I mean, how awesome would it be to retire at 44? At the same time, I don't want to do it if it will cause tension between us.

The other thing is, I HATE talking about my feelings, so I probably come off as a bitch to him sometimes. He told me he had always wanted to kiss me but never did, because he thought I would karate chop him. I'm just not used to being affectionate. I don't know how to change that. Saying how I feel, telling someone my innermost thoughts, makes me feel extremely awkward, and awkward is not how I like to be. I'm pretty much in control at all times, so not being in control is strange...

Yeah. That's all I can say for now. Even blogging about this is awkward.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bored Black Female in Norfolk???

Soooo....I got orders to go to Norfolk, Virginia. Not sure how I feel about it. I mean, it WAS on my "dream sheet" but it was my THIRD choice! Oh well.

It's something new so hopefully it will give me some interesting things to talk about, because as of now, I have nothing. Anyway, I gotta run to class but I'll be back. Later blogger peeps.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Told Y'all.

Sigh.

I told y'all these new roommates were going to be a problem. One of them tried me already.

Let me back up and introduce them. There's one who's tiny and petite, so I'll call her Tiny. The other is from Chicago and her name from this point will be Yeezy. The other one...I haven't thought of a name for her yet, but she's not a part of this story so it doesn't matter.

So. Tiny is pretty young and seems to be concerned with having a man to call her own. She had a boyfriend back home, but he started acting up so they broke things off and now she is spending time with a couple guys on base. One of the guys that she's digging has been here since back when I reported to "A" school, and seems to be a player (or at least wants to be one). As a matter of fact, he was kicking it hard with my LAST roommate that moved out a couple months before Tiny and my other roommates got here.

Apparently Mr. Player saw Tiny studying with another guy and got tight about it. This led to an exchange of text messages with him accusing Tiny of acting "funny" towards him. Tiny insisted that she wasn't acting funny and told him she didn't want to be bothered if he was going to act like that with her. I assured her he wasn't worth the headache and gave her the scoop on his reputation.

As we're talking, Yeezy walks in the room and catches the end of our conversation. She asks if the boy that we're talking about lives in the same building as we do. Tiny says yes, then Yeezy wants to know who it is. Tiny hesitates a bit, then says she will tell Yeezy later. We finish talking, then Tiny leaves the room.

Immediately, Yeezy asks me, "Who were y'all talking about?" By now, I'm engaged in a game of "Words with Friends" and I'm more concerned about getting a double word score than indulging Yeezy's appetite for gossip. I tell her to hold on a minute. Suddenly she snaps, "If it's a secret, you don't have to tell me."

Pause.

I look up and tell her, "It's not a secret, but that's Tiny's business, and if she wants you to know, she can tell you."

That's not good enough though. Yeezy then repeats, "Yeah, but you don't have to tell me if it's a secret."

Double pause.

Since we're playing that game, I repeat myself AGAIN and tell her that Tiny can tell her if she wants her to know. Then Yeezy shuts the fuck up and goes to sleep. I can't say I'm surprised that she went there. In the couple weeks that she's been here, Yeezy has told me about a couple incidents where she "went in" on people for not doing what she wanted, and she seems like the type of person that gets impatient when people don't do what she wants WHEN she wants, but I'm not the one for that bullshit. I had planned to tell her who we were talking about, but since she couldn't be bothered with waiting for five seconds, I decided to let her ask Tiny if she really wanted to know. The way Tiny hesitated, it didn't sound like she wanted Yeezy in her business anyway.

Which brings me to today. Yeezy hasn't said a word to me. Hmm. Ask me if I give a fuck. No, really...ask me.

Blogger Fam: "Hey UCB, do you give a fuck if petty girls don't talk to you after getting shut down when they try you?"

UCB: "FUCK NO I don't!"

If things go smoothly, I should be done with the high school bullshit atmosphere in a little over two weeks. Hopefully no one gets too out of pocket before then.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Too Deep.

Where to begin....

Okay, so I rejoined Twitter out of boredom and decided to follow a few random people. A guy I follow had some funny/interesting tweets and a website with some insightful posts. As I was looking through my timeline last night, I noticed he put up a new blog post. I went to the site, only to see that the post was actually written by a guest blogger, because the website moderator occasionally likes to show love to fellow bloggers. Cool. Nothing wrong with that.

The post was titled "Idris Elba Doesn't Know You." I should have known things could only go downhill from there. The author is addressing Twitter "heaux" (a fancy term for hoes....I guess) who tweet about all the sinful things they would do if they met Idris Elba, Trey Songz, or any other male sex symbol. He states that women can't go crazy over these celebs and expect to still be considered "wife material." Apparently finding a celebrity attractive makes one's "pussy value" go down and less worthy of being respected by "regular niggas."

The author goes on to say that men have celebrity crushes too, but it's not the same as women, because guys realize that they will never meet the celebrity in real life, whereas women usually refer to a celeb as their "boo." In conclusion, he lets women know not to expect a wedding ring if they are willing to have a one-night stand with their favorite celeb.

Oh...and then he posts a music video...or mixtape track...or something. I didn't bother pressing play.

Of course I had to voice my opinion. I commented, saying it's ludicrous to accuse a woman of being a "heaux" just because she has a crush on a celebrity. Moments later, the website moderator commented back, telling me that I was reading "too deep" into it and that the post was meant to be humorous; that it was up to me whether I laughed or not. Well...I didn't laugh because 1. The shit wasn't funny, and 2. It never ceases to annoy me when someone exhibits blatant misogyny/hatred and when they're called out on it, their defense is that the person calling them out didn't "get" the joke. No sir, I don't "get" it, because there's nothing to "get."

I'm often accused of looking too deeply into things and maybe sometimes I do, but I would rather do that than take everything for face value when it's obvious that someone is trying to insult me on the low. Anyone who has followed this blog long enough knows that my celebrity eye candy of choice is Michael Ealy, and when/if I ever meet him, if he's as charming as he is in his movies, hell yeah I would holla. But somehow that makes me a whore?? Meanwhile, average Joe over here can go on for hours about how bad he would "beat it up" if he ever met Rihanna, but it's cool because he knows he won't REALLY meet her.

Fuck outta here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm Alive.....Barely.

This is my "Hey I know I haven't posted in over a month so I'll try to condense the past month in a few short paragraphs" post.

At the moment, school rules my life. Mathematics/electrical troubleshooting is my master, and I am it's bitch. Yeah. Sounds sadistic, because it is. I go to class from 7:30 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon then turn around and go right back to school at 4:30 for open learning. Hopefully the long hours will pay off. Supposedly if I finish my course by September 6th, I will be able to advance to my job-specific training and be done with all this two weeks later.....unless I get put on some ridiculous medical hold or something. Let me not jinx myself though.

I am anxiously awaiting the day when I can kiss Great Lakes good-bye. I never thought I would say this, but it's even more boring here than back home. Like literally, all I do is go to school, eat, and sleep. I haven't been out in weeks. I guess that's my own fault for not reaching out and attempting to socialize with my shipmates, but at this point, I'm too jaded to be very sociable. Maybe I'll try a little harder in the "making friends" department when I get to my next duty station. I probably won't, but it never hurts to be faux-optimistic.

I'm planning on taking a trip back home for Labor Day weekend, so perhaps that will break up some of the monotony. Oh, and I have not one, not two, but three brand new roommates! Joy. I've met two out of three and they're tolerable so far, but that's only more motivation for me to hustle as hard as my brain will allow so I can get the hell up outta here.

I'll keep it short, because guess what? I'm getting up bright and early on a Saturday morning for more open learning. Til next time blogger world.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Silly Rabbit....BS Games are for Kids.

I've come across many flaky/unreliable/tacky people in my life, but I'm always just as annoyed when I come across a new one. Nothing irks me more than my time being wasted. Even if I had nothing else to do, the fact that I put forth effort to kick it with someone only for them to bullshit and back out of it is enough for me to pretend like that person no longer exists.

Which brings me to last night's tale. My class just finished one of the hardest tests in our course and one of my shipmates suggests we go to the on-base club for a couple drinks to celebrate. I had exchanged numbers with him a while back and we hung out in a group before. He's one of those people that I refer to as a "group friend." They're cool, but there's something about them you can't quite put your finger on, that deters you from chilling with them one-on-one. The thing is, my roommate that usually served as a "buffer friend" (the friend who you stick with when the group friends go their separate ways), left a couple weeks ago to go to her duty station, so there was no one else to accompany me in the proposed celebration.

Against my better judgement, I agree to it. That night, I send a text asking what time he's going. He says after he eats at the galley (cafeteria for the civilian folks). A couple more hours pass, and I decide to do a little shopping at the store on base. I see him while I'm out, and he informs me he will be going around 9:30 or 10. Cool. I go back to my room and chill out for a couple hours. 9:30 passes, then 10, and still no text. Around 11, I start to change clothes for bed and put my hair up when I get a text saying he's at the spot.

I debate with myself for a few minutes about whether I should go check it out or just take my ass to bed. I am super relieved I passed that damn test, and if my other friends were still here, I would want to go out. On the other hand, I know this dude is uber-flaky. Like....short attention span doesn't even begin to describe it. And he's drinking? Shiiiit.

Again, I decide to head over to the spot against my better judgement. It's only about two seconds from my ship (building for the civilians) anyway. I get inside, get a drink, then text to see where he's at. No reply. I finish my drink and walk around a little, still don't see him. At this point, I decide I'm not searching anymore and I go back to my ship.

Now....maybe I'm just being a drama queen but....what the hell? Why are people so fucking flaky? Is it that hard to send a text message? Am I asking too much? Mind you, this is the same guy that is always boasting about how girls chase after him and blow up his phone because he's so fly. I never had any intentions of getting with him, because he has claimed that I'm his "little homie," but I've learned my lesson. I refuse to chase a nigga, "homie" or not. The fact that he dissed a so-called friend shows that he ain't shit anyway.

When people ask why I always fly solo, I will refer them to this post. I don't have time for the games.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Random Midnight Thoughts.

I miss blogging. I miss being able to wake up at noon. I miss my family and friends, even though they worked my last nerve when I was around them.

I've been in this "A" school for over a month, and as usual, I don't fit in. There's a few associates I have, but no real "friends." Girls in the military are just as petty as girls in the civilian world....if not more. Dudes are only concerned with smashing as many chicks as possible. School days are long and boring. I try not to complain, because, as everyone loves to point out, I am getting paid to deal with all the BS, but it's still just that--BS.

I see the favoritism and politics that go on. I get told what to do by people who have no business being anywhere near a leadership position. I don't know if I can deal with this for 20 years. Maybe I'll just do my 4 years and be done with it. It's still early in the game.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm Baaaaaaaack!

It's been so long since I posted on this thing that I don't really even know what to say.

I guess I should start with the obvious. I conquered the beast better known as boot camp. It was a long, bumpy ride, but I'm done with it and that's what matters. The experience was so complicated that I don't have enough time to write about it all right now, but it was worth it. I used to sort of poke fun at people who went on and on about how proud they were to wear their Navy (or other military) uniform, but now I am one of those people, so I have to take my jokes back.

Now I'm going to what they call "A" school, where I will be trained for my actual job in the Navy. I've only been here for a little over a week, but I can already tell this is going to be another interesting experience. Let's just say young kids with more money than they've ever had and nothing but time on their hands is a dangerous combination. I know it will be a challenge to keep my nose clean amidst all the craziness, but I'm going to try my damnedest. It would be a sad thing to miss out on the whole Navy experience over some stupidity.

I have more to say, but I'm still getting used to being back in civilization, so sitting at a computer for more than a couple hours makes me antsy. I missed my blog fam. I hope all is well with everyone!

Monday, March 21, 2011

An Uglycleanbroke Review of "Lasers."



First, I'd like to give a shout out to Target and Best Buy for not even bothering to have the Lasers album in stock. As a matter of fact, when I approached a sales associate at Best Buy and asked if they had it anywhere, he gave me a "look" as if I was annoying the fuck out of him, and simply said, "NO." I didn't get a "We don't have it in stock, but would you like to order a copy?" Nothing. Therefore, I took my money elsewhere and bought the album from Amazon. So yeah. Fuck Target AND Best Buy.

Moving on. I've had Lasers on repeat for the past few days so I could give an honest and fair opinion of each track. I know everyone interprets music different ways, so if mine seems "off," it's only because I may have interpreted it differently than another listener.

1. Letting Go (featuring Sarah Green): The opening track on Lasers takes me back to the overall tone of Lupe's The Cool album. He raps about the battle between his old and new self. Judging by the fact that it took forever for his record label to release Lasers, I'm sure this track was Lupe's way of venting about the frustrations that came along with it. I can definitely relate to this song, and it's one of my favorites so far. The words "Things are getting out of control...feels like I'm running out of soul" sum up how I feel about life sometimes. I have always enjoyed Sarah Green's voice on other tracks with Lupe, so I'm glad to hear her being featured again.

2. Words I Never Said (featuring Skylar Grey): Another one of my favorites. I love the beat, and Lupe raps about issues including the war, foreclosure, and the media's tendency to report more on celebrities than pressing matters that actually affect society. I didn't realize Skylar Grey is the same person who sang the hook on Dr. Dre's "I Need A Doctor" but I am feeling her singing style, and it fits on this track nicely.

3. Till I Get There: It's a simple song, it gives me some "Kick, Push" vibes. I don't love it, but I may have to give it a few more listens.

4. I Don't Wanna Care Right Now (featuring MDMA): Eh, not really feeling this one. The beat is decent, but I could have gone my whole life without the overly-autotuned chorus. I guess this is Lupe's way of trying to have a more upbeat, club-friendly track but.......no.

5. Out Of My Head (featuring Trey Songz): I had my reservations when I saw Trey Songz' name listed as one of the featured artists on Lasers, and for good reason. I enjoy a lot of Trey Songz' music, but I realize that most of it is oversexed bullshit. And that's okay, because sometimes you need some oversexed bullshit in your life. With that being said, I had the feeling that Trey's bullshit vibes would influence this track. And I was right. Lupe said he wanted to make a song "for the ladies," but I struggled not to skip this song when giving the whole album a listen, simply because it is just that bad.

6. The Show Goes On: Another inspirational track from Lupe, mostly targeted towards kids "in the ghetto," to keep their heads up in spite of the less-than-ideal conditions of their surroundings. Maybe I can't relate to this song too much because I didn't grow up in the ghetto, so it's just okay to me.

7. Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways) (featuring MDMA): More autotune. Lupe's bars are pretty haunting on this track. In the second verse he reveals detailed thoughts of committing suicide, which I could also relate to, having had some down moments in my life as well. The lyrics are deep, but the autotune throws me off. I don't know who this MDMA guy is (or guys?), but I wish he wasn't featured on this album so much.

8. Coming Up (featuring MDMA): Sigh. You probably already know what I have to say about this one. Enough. Of. The. Fucking. AUTOTUNE. This seems like an album filler to me, so I don't have much to say about it.

9. State Run Radio (featuring Matt Mahafey): This track features Lupe's thoughts about the media's monopoly on what songs get airplay on the radio. He echoes thoughts I've had myself on the repetitive, unimaginative playlists that local radio stations shove down our throats every day. The hook is catchy; at this point I'm relieved that MDMA is not being featured yet again.

10. Break The Chain (featuring Eric Turner and Sway): Another track that will take a few more listens before I "get" it. That's all I've got for this one.

11. All Black Everything: I got a flash back to the old Lupe on this track. This is a "concept" song reminiscent of "The Die" from The Cool and "He Say She Say" from Food & Liquor, and I love it. Lupe reflects on how the world would have turned out if it was "all black." It's another song with deep lyrics, but the beat still makes you want to ride around and vibe to it. This is another of my favorites.

12. Never Forget You (featuring John Legend): Ummm.....I must be a cold bitch because I am not feeling this track either, and I'm sure this is meant to be another "uplifting" song. I've never really cared much for John Legend, so his hook annoyed me a little, and I haven't yet paid a lot of attention to Lupe's lyrics either. I suppose they needed something mellow to end the album with, but I could have done without this one too.

Overall, the album was decent. I know a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into it, on Lupe's part as well as his fans. However, the random club tracks and features of the current "hot" artists turned me off a bit. The main reason I've always loved Lupe's style is because he was below the radar, and therefore didn't seem to be too affected by mainstream influences. Lasers seems to be the album meant to please the masses, with a few vintage Lupe tracks thrown in for long-time fans. I'll always support Lupe and I know he has to do what he has to do to stay afloat in the industry, but in my opinion, I would still vibe out to The Cool over Lasers any day.

Uglycleanbroke Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★★

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why?




I've stared at this photo much longer than I probably should have, and I still can't think of ONE good reason why Jesus would allow this to happen. Not one.

Red Bottoms.



This post probably should have gone on my fashion blog. I try to keep it professional over there, but this is my uncensored opinion on a fashion related topic, so here it goes.

Recently, video model Dollicia Bryan did an interview where she threw shade at fellow video model Rosa Acosta, regarding comments Rosa made last year about choosing to feed her family and pay for education, rather than spending crazy amounts of cash on Christian Louboutins, better known as "red bottoms."

If you don't feel like watching the video, I don't blame you, because Dollicia was saying a bunch of nothing. I mean, she "speaks well," but her opinion was a bit incoherent and overall silly. Basically she was mad because Rosa made those comments, then turned around and rocked a pair of Louboutins in a couple photos she posted on Twitter. Dollicia made it clear that she spends her OWN money to buy red bottoms and she doesn't really respect another girl who can only get the shoes as a gift or hand-me-down.

Girl.

Stop.

I'll start off by saying this: anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE me some expensive shit. I knew all the top fashion designers before I even knew my multiplication tables. My mom has no idea where I got my expensive taste from, because she could care less about name-brand clothes. Before brokeass-ness came into my life, it didn't bother me at all to spend $300+ on a handbag. I still like designer clothes, and when I have the means to buy a pair of Louboutins, I'm sure I will. Some call it materialistic, but I disagree. There are people out in the world who spend thousands of dollars "collecting" vintage cars. That's how I am with shoes and bags. I could give a damn if anyone knows how much money I spent on a purse, but I just feel better knowing I have it in my possession.

I can appreciate a pair of Louboutins, or Jimmy Choos, or Gucci heels, or whatever. At the same time, I'll snatch up a pair of Jessica Simpson or Bakers heels in a heartbeat. For Dollicia to act like owning Louboutins is the final destination in life, was a little absurd to me. On top of that, who the hell does she think she is that she can call out all the girls who don't wear expensive shoes to events, or who don't purchase those shoes on their own? If you've "arrived" at some holy fashion peak, why do you care about what shoes someone else can or cannot afford?

I think there is a difference between having an appreciation for the "finer things," and being a label whore. Dollicia is clearly the latter. To sit and make a damn near 7-minute video about "red bottoms" makes that painfully obvious. Once red bottoms are no longer in style, she's going to be the same dumb bitch with thousands of dollars worth of shoes wasting away in her closet, while she makes another long ass video, telling everyone they ain't shit if they don't own a plethora of "yellow bottoms," or whatever shoes the fashion industry tells her are "in" at the moment.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tired.

I'm too frustrated to write a lot. I'm just exhausted. I took a week off from work, did absolutely NOTHING, and I'm still tired.

I spent about $300 to get my car fixed and now it won't start at all. I want to sue the auto shop that "fixed" it....or get a refund or something. But lawsuits/complaints take time and energy that I don't have. Now I have to go through the same bullshit that I was trying NOT to go through by paying to get my car fixed. Do I shell out even more money to get a rental? Beg one of my family members for a ride? FUCK! I'm tired of doing this shit.

I put in my two weeks notice at work, but I feel like just quitting now...especially since getting to work is going to be such a hassle again. But of course I need money to pay my bills. I find it amusing that with all the instability and change that comes in life, the only thing that's consistent is the monthly bill for insurance, credit cards, etc.

Tears are falling on the keyboard as I type. Maybe the shitty situations that come up wouldn't be so hard to deal with if I had someone to talk to. I know some people would advise me to talk to God but I don't really like to; He never talks back. There's more I could say, but I can't right now. I'm too blinded by hurt and anger to go on.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Heterosexual Man.............




..............Should ever dye his hair. At least that's the comment that I saw on another blog after Chris Brown posted a pic of his new platinum blonde 'do.

Reading that comment amused and annoyed me all at the same time. I have a brother who dyes his hair frequently (as a matter of fact, he just dyed his hair blonde this past week for the 60,000th time). He's a heterosexual, although his sexuality has been called into question before, based on superficial "guidelines" people have for straight men. Quite often in the media, and in everyday life, there seems to be a double standard on what each gender can get away with. Women are pretty liberated with the style choices they make, but for men, apparently there is some unofficial rulebook on what straight men can and cannot wear, and can and cannot do.

To be honest, I've been guilty of seeing a guy do something that I found to be questionable, and I found myself thinking, "This dude is gay....." For example, just the other day, I was unfortunate enough to come across a leaked semi-nude pic of the rapper Young Berg. Go here to check out the NSFW photo if you dare. I don't know....something about his pose, the way he pursed his lips just so, the Blackberry Pearl, all gave me some serious gay-dar vibes. In this situation, I think my suspicions are valid, but I digress. My point is, what is it that's wired into us to automatically think hair color, or wearing certain jeans, or anything else, is not acceptable if a man is straight? Yet, I never hear anyone make comments like, "No heterosexual woman should shave her head bald" or "No heterosexual woman should wear sagging pants."

There have been more than enough publicized instances, in which the stereotypically masculine man turned out to be on the DL, so I really don't understand why people still make such generalized comments as the one mentioned above. The comment was made by a woman, which makes it all the more ridiculous to me, because women are the main ones that will reject a man for a stupid reason like "He dyed his hair blonde, and no heterosexual man should do that." These same women turn around and get sprung on a "manly man," then are heartbroken when it turns out the same dude is creeping with one of his homies.

I guess I have to start with myself though, and be more conscious of not immediately throwing up "He's gay" flags, the moment a guy does or wears something that society says is unacceptable for a heterosexual man.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just Stop.



For all the Twitterers out there, you may have caught the latest celebrity beef on the social networking site, brought to us by none other than Little Miss Sunshine aka Rihanna, and "Goodies" singer Ciara.

I'm sure a lot of you have seen or heard about the beef by now, so I'll just give a quick rundown of how it started. Ciara made an appearance on E!'s "Fashion Police," where Rihanna was listed as a fashion offender. (If you haven't seen the clip, you can check it out here.) After the other panelists on the show gave their commentary, Ciara mentioned that Rihanna wasn't the "nicest" when the two singers ran into each other at an event. The show's host Joan Rivers chimed in with more blatant terms and exclaimed, "A bitch.....next!"

Of course, Rihanna stans got wind of the alleged "diss" and started going in on Ciara
. Rihanna decided to get in on the action herself and tweeted some cutting remarks in reference to Ciara's lukewarm career. The two went back and forth shortly, before Rihanna's publicist gave an apology. The whole thing probably lasted about an hour, but everyone is still talking about it, and of course, the Rihanna "Navy" is praising their queen for publicly shitting on a fellow artist.




I honestly just want to know when these celebs will grow up. From what I saw in the "Fashion Police" clip, Ciara didn't seem like she was being malicious toward Rihanna. As a matter of fact, it appears to have been edited, as if someone had asked her a question about Rihanna not related to her fashion choice, and Ciara was simply answering the question. For Rihanna to come back the way she did was extremely catty, and only seemed to further illustrate the point Ciara previously made. I've seen comments that Rihanna had "every right to be upset" about what was said, but I've heard people say far worse about Rihanna and she never retaliated. She didn't take shots at Donald Trump for his claims about her skipping out on that charity event, or David LaChapelle for his allegations that she carbon-copied his artwork in her "S&M" video. But the chick who sang "1, 2 Step" says she's not nice, and all hell breaks loose? C'mon son.

In the event that Ciara's remark was not the product of editing magic, and was indeed intended to throw unnecessary shade, she gets a supreme side eye. I'd rather she focus on giving us some of that good ol' Crunk 'n B she was known for back in the day. As for Rih....hmph. Her antics since the "Chrianna" situation have been questionable to say the least, in my opinion. Her team has done a commendable job of keeping her in the spotlight thus far, but I don't know how long the "Rihanna reign" will last with all that strained-ass singing and stiff dancing she does. My personal recommendation for Rih is that she stays off Twitter, takes vocal lessons, and learns some dance moves that involve more than winding her pussy, before she finds herself struggling to book performances.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This Can't Be Life.

The customers who call my job are hilarious. They don't realize that they're hilarious, but they are. These people are so petty, and so negative, and so unequipped to handle life's mishaps that sometimes I think I'm being Punk'd when I answer the phone. *Some* people have legitimate complaints, and most of the time those are the ones that DON'T request to speak with upper management. But the others.....boy. I've had callers complain about "dropped calls" when they live in the middle of Buttfuck, Wyoming, people who demand to be sent a phone free of charge because theirs was dropped and now has a huge crack in the screen, just a little of everything.

Anyway, the "Asshole of the Day" award during today's shift goes to a man who called and immediately sounded annoyed when I asked him to verify his account and social security number. When I asked how I could be of assistance, he told me a phone had been shipped to him and he received a packing slip at his door that said "Delivery Attempted." He demanded to know what that meant. I paused for several seconds, trying to figure out how in the hell I could explain that; it seemed pretty self-explanatory. I repeated his question to make sure I understood what he was asking, and he scoffed as if I was an idiot. I explained to him that we always make customers aware that when a package is being delivered, it is at the driver's discretion whether or not to leave that package at the mailing address, or to leave a slip stating that a delivery was attempted. He continued demanding to know why the driver didn't just leave the package at his address. Apparently my explanations weren't good enough, so he then exclaimed, "You're useless!" and hung up.

BLANK. FUCKING. STARE.

You mean to tell me you took the time out of your day to call ME, had the nerve to act like you were perturbed over verifying your information, then expected ME to explain why the damn USPS driver didn't leave your package at your house? Hey genius.....how about you call USPS?!? Shit, all the time you spent complaining about it, you could have taken your lazy ass to the post office and picked it up. The next time somebody calls asking me some dumb shit, I'm going to tell them I have to place them on a 1-hour hold while I look in my crystal ball.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's Me Again.

Yes, it's been a minute since I posted anything. I would apologize but........why? I've been working like a modern day slave, and besides that, I just haven't been motivated to write anything lately. That's pretty fucked up, considering the fact that writing is (or was?) my passion.

It's about that time for another emo post, so here we go. I'm pretty sure that I am currently in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. Or maybe a pre-quarter-life crisis? I dunno...but whatever it is, that's what I'm in the middle of. It's kind of like an out-of-body experience, where the "real" me is watching a shell of myself living mundane day-to-day life. This shell only seems to be capable of doing things it's obligated to do, rather than things that it wants to do. The shell goes to work every day and puts up with bullshit from rude, selfish, petty customers not because the shell wants to, but because the shell knows that if it doesn't, bills will pile up, and Sallie Mae, Commerce Bank, Mohela, and everyone else will have the shell on speed dial to find out where their money is. In between work, the shell buys groceries and gas, because those items are needed to survive. The shell jogs on the treadmill 2-3 times a week, not because the shell wants to, but because the shell doesn't want to be weak and out of shape for boot camp. In between work, running errands, and working out, the shell tries to get as much sleep as possible, and accompanies family members to the birthday parties of family friends. Not because the shell wants to, but because the shell doesn't want to be seen as a non-socializing bitch.

So this is it, I guess. At the age of 23, I feel like I'm in my mid-40s. I don't know when--or if--it will get better. I've made my decision to go to the military and if that goes as planned, I'm pretty sure I'll be going through the same cycle of not doing what I want to do, but doing what I'm obligated to do. The Navy will decide where I'm stationed, whether I can switch my job, whether I can live on my own or not, blah, blah, blah. If I were straight out of high school, maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal, but I've been "on my own" for 5 years, and still have yet to attain the freedom that I so desperately craved as a teenager. I know the benefits of my decision, but I can't ignore the nagging feeling that taking orders from others is just going to stifle the freedom that I want even more.

I've said this several times, but I need a vacation. I don't know where yet, but I have to get out of town. Last year I didn't do shit as far as traveling. I went to Charlotte for my birthday and Atlanta for my friend's birthday and that was it. I've got to do better. One of my friends is currently studying abroad in Paris, and I just found out some of my other friends went to Norway for Christmas and New Year's. Yes, I'm jealous. I need to be doing some shit like that. Even if I can't go out of the country right now, I at least need to get out of St. Louis. I thought about driving to Chicago to visit with my dad and his side of the family since I haven't seen them in years....but the more I think about it, the more I'm like, "Ehhh...err...no." I don't feel like spending my money and gas just to be bombarded with dumb-ass comments like "Girl, you still so skinny!" or "You ain't got a boyfriend?!" I don't have time for the petty shit. I want to enjoy my time off. Hell, I'm even contemplating visiting my "frenemies" from Atlanta.

So....yeah, that's what's going on in my neck of the woods. I'll try to think of some less depressing shit to blog about later.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Some People Never Change.

Don't you hate when an old friend and/or acquaintance sends you a friend request on Facebook? If you're like me, you don't want to add that person because you don't want them seeing what you're up to, and you really don't care to see what has been going on in their lives either. But then there is the small part inside you that feels a twinge of guilt if you ignore the request.

I had this minor dilemma when the daughter of my mom's old friend sent a friend request yesterday. I accepted it, only because I knew she was probably just adding me for the hell of it and I wouldn't have to worry about that fake-ass "catching up" bullshit that people do when they haven't talked in years.

After accepting the request, I take a look at her profile and notice that not a damn thing about her has changed. She has married her high school boyfriend and now has two small children, but personality-wise, nothing has changed. Back when I knew her, this girl was one of the "holy rollers" who does nothing but talk about how sinful everyone else in the world is. This girl believed there were two sins that would give you a first-class ticket to hell: fornication and homosexuality. She prided herself on the fact that she was a virgin and was "saving" herself for marriage, and she had made it her life's goal to marry her boyfriend before she turned 18. Being the non-holy roller that I am, I thought she was completely insane. Even though I never said a word to her about her beliefs, I'm pretty sure she could tell I didn't agree. I've been told that my facial expressions give me away, and I distinctly remember that my side eye was in full effect whenever she would go off on her tirades about gay people and anyone that has sex before they get married.

Anyway, fast forward to some of her recent status updates. She's still writing paragraphs on how wrong homosexuality is, and chastising girls who have sex before marriage, because of "all the STDs out there." The names "Jesus," "God," or "Lord" are used in just about every post. Meanwhile, she also posts about how good her husband is in the bedroom, while threatening to cut any girl that tries to take him away from her. o_O

Most of the shit on her page is pure comedy to me, due to all the grammatical errors and her borderline-schizophrenic thought process. At the same time.....it's just sad. It takes everything in me not to write on her wall, "GROW THE FUCK UP!!!!!" After all these years, you mean to tell me you're still caught up in this juvenile drama of a girl trying to "take your man"? If he's as wonderful as you claim in all of your other status updates, why is that even an issue worth writing about? If you're not gay, why the hell are you concerned about what other people are doing with their lives? Why don't you stop ranting on Facebook, telling everybody they're going to hell, and worry about getting your education and taking care of your little boys?

Ugh. I know I just went on a little rant myself, but holier-than-thou folks who are constantly throwing stones really grind my gears. I may not always agree with the way other people live their lives, but I have never taken it upon myself to determine where they're going in the "afterlife" because of it. That shit is just nutty.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update.

I didn't get disqualified from the Navy. I suppose I was being my usual paranoid and melodramatic self. :-/

I took my mom with me for moral support in case I had a nervous breakdown. My recruiter was there, but I didn't see the chief around anywhere. My recruiter informed us that the chief had to go downtown to assist another Navy recruit and would be back soon. He told me about how the chief had "spazzed" when he spoke with him on the phone the night before about my tattoo, and mentioned that that would qualify me to be discharged. My recruiter told him it wouldn't, since I didn't get a tattoo on my face or hands, so it was still within regulations. For some reason, the chief still wanted to have a chat with me anyway. We sat down to wait, and my mom and recruiter gabbed about parenting issues while I twiddled my thumbs in nervousness.

11:00 came and went, and the chief still hadn't shown up. Eventually he called my recruiter, who told him we had been waiting in the office for a while and asked if he wanted to talk to me on the phone. A few minutes later, my recruiter got off the phone and told me that the chief was still downtown and all I needed to do was write yet ANOTHER statement about why I got my tattoo. I filled out the form, we finished chatting, and that was it.

*Wipes sweat from forehead*

That scare made me realize that I really am serious about going to the military. Honestly, I wasn't feeling it in the beginning, but I know that I don't want to be in St. Louis forever and this is the best way I know of to move toward my career and life goals. So no more impulsive, stupid decisions. I will not be getting any more tattoos......at least not until after boot camp.

Anxiety.

I don't know if I ever mentioned this on the blog before, but I got my second tattoo back in October. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal; however......I got the tattoo while I was in Navy DEP. (I still am in DEP by the way, at least for the time being, but I'll get to that later.)

Some of you may laugh at what I got. After starting my fashion blog, I became semi-obsessed with that "Moda Ribelle" phrase, so I searched far and wide for the perfect font to get the words tattooed on my shoulder. Once I decided on the font, I dragged my brother along with me to the tattoo shop. It only cost 40 bucks and took the guy about 10 minutes to complete. I loved it.....and then it hit me. I kinda sorta wasn't supposed to get any body art and/or piercings before going to boot camp. Oops.

I told my recruiter about it, and he didn't seem to think much of it. He had me fill out some form explaining the who, where, when, why, and how of my tattoo placement and that was about it. That was three months ago, but my decision may have come back to bite me in the ass.

I got a call from my recruiter's chief last week, asking me if "anything had changed" and he went on to ask if I was having second thoughts about going to the Navy. I told him no, I've actually been trying to get in shape for boot camp. He told me they have too many people waiting to ship out, and they are canceling DEP contracts for people that don't want to go. I'm not sure if that was meant to be a scare tactic to see who is really serious about joining the military, but I assured him that I didn't have plans of flaking out at the last minute.

Then I went to my recruiter's office earlier today to fill out some paperwork. The tattoo subject came up again, but once again, my recruiter didn't say much about it. After I got off work, I got a call from him saying I need to come into his office tomorrow because the chief wants to "talk" to me about my tattoo.

Oh shit.

It may not sound like a big deal to anyone else, but any time someone wants to "have a talk" with me, it never turns out well. I've come to expect the worst in most situations because in my life, the worst thing that can happen always does happen.

Now my throat is dry, my chest hurts, and my stomach is in knots. Every minute that goes by seems to last an hour. How embarrassing is it going to be to tell everyone that I got disqualified from the Navy because of a $40 tattoo of my fucking blog name? I told my mom about it and she laughed at me. Nice.

I know if the worst case scenario does manifest, I can't be mad at anyone but myself. I knew the rules but like my usual hard-headed self, I did what I wanted anyway. Which is another reason why I wanted to go to the Navy, to hopefully break me of that habit. I have to stop writing about this now. I'm getting depressed just thinking about what's going to happen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Spare The Rod.

*Disclaimer: This post is in regards to MY beliefs on spanking and interacting with children. I am well aware that I am not a parent and have no plans of being one in the near future. However, I cannot be bothered with the people who love to say, "You can't talk about parenting issues if you don't have kids." I talk about whatever I want. If you don't like it, you've been warned. :)

While blog-cruising the other night, I came across a World Star Hip-Hop video of an uncle who had apparently caught his teenage nephew "faking his gangsta" on Facebook. The uncle was obviously pissed, as he explained to viewers that their family isn't about that "gangsta" shit, and proceeded to pull out a belt and whip his nephew several times for his indiscretion. You can check the video out here.

I went on to read through the comment section as I normally do, and reactions to the video ranged from kudos to the uncle for his actions, to amusement at how completely humiliated the young boy must have been. I was not amused by the video at all. To be honest, I found it to be contradictory that this man was chastising his nephew for pretending to be "gangsta," and chose to teach him a lesson by spewing profanity and using violence. In my opinion, that seems pretty fucking gangsta.

Of course, I felt the need to speak my piece on the video. I mentioned that I had been spanked just a few times as a child, but my parents decided to stop spanking me and my two younger siblings. I stated that I have no plans to spank when/if I have any children, and that there are alternative methods to discipline children.

I got an immediate rebuttal from another poster whose argument is that there are just some bad-ass kids out in the world that "need" to be spanked. She mentioned that she was a bad kid, and had come in contact with other bad kids in her lifetime who would have benefited from a beating or several. She then told me that I was condemning other people's beliefs, and went on to say that it was "asinine" to say that no children should be spanked.

I countered by using myself and my siblings as an example again. My sister and I have always had fairly laid-back personalities and never required much supervision, but my brother was one of those "bad" kids that most people think "needed" to be spanked. He got into everything imaginable, and I'm pretty sure he drove our parents up the wall when we were younger. However, my mother still found different ways to discipline him when he acted out. She found different ways to discipline ALL of us when we acted out. I remember being in the 2nd grade and giving her attitude about whatever it is that 2nd graders get attitudes about. At the time, I was obsessed with reading Goosebumps and The Babysitters Club novels. Because of my attitude, my mother decided to take away my books. In a desperate attempt to negotiate with her, I requested a spanking rather than being stripped of my favorite reading materials. That was a no-go, and the books were taken until I got my act together.

As I got older, the punishment for misbehavior intensified. And I'm not talking about the bullshit punishment that a lot of kids get nowadays, where they sit on the couch for about an hour mean-mugging everyone until Mom and Dad get annoyed and send them off to play. I'm talking about 24-hour lockdown, where I would do nothing but sit in a room staring at the walls. There was no TV, games, music, Internet, books, NOTHING. If I mouthed off about said punishment, that got me an additional day tagged onto my sentence. Yes, that's what it felt like. A prison sentence. Once again, I would have preferred a swift slap to the face or a couple belt whippings, but those were not options in my house.

There ARE other ways to discipline children; you just have to be creative about it. I think most people choose to resort to the "tried and true" method of spanking because it's simple. Little Kayla takes a toy from her younger brother, he starts crying, you pop her on the butt a few times, and she sits in a corner whimpering for the next half hour. But what is that teaching her? It's teaching her that any time someone does something you don't like, you hit them. And we wonder why there is such an issue with domestic violence, and violence in general, in the community--especially in the African-American community. Most people's opinions seem to lie on extreme sides of the spectrum: you either spank your kids, or you let them do as they please with no repercussions. I don't believe in either one. Too many times I've seen parents who spank their kids, then send them off to play video games, hang out with their friends, and get on their cell phones. It has gotten to the point where spanking is simply a formality; kids know the drill, so they take that whooping, then go about their business. Spanking is a quick fix that is all but forgotten once the sting of the belt fades.

I could say even more, but I'll stop there. Let the blog attacks begin.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

There Goes Another One.


One of my favorite female R&B artists, Jazmine Sullivan, announced earlier this week that she will be taking a break from the music industry. The announcement was made via (where else?) Twitter, and subsequently deleted (surprise). Basically, she was saying that being in the industry is no longer something she enjoys and she needs time to find herself.

As a Jazmine Sullivan mini-stan, I must say I was disappointed to hear this. I think she has a beautiful voice, and she is one of the few artists in the music industry with real talent. I also copped a little attitude due to the fact that several bloggers, including one that I LOVE, decided to post on Jazmine only after she announced that she will be taking a break from music. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like there has to be just a TEENY bit of shade that is being thrown when these same bloggers never bothered to post any entries on Jazmine's album release or anything. But as soon as she seems to be throwing in the towel, everyone wants to give her some recognition? Typical.

I have to wonder if this "break" she is taking has anything to do with not-so-stellar album sales from her "Love Me Back" album, which was released less than two months ago. I bought the album and there are a few tracks that I like, but ultimately I prefer her first album. I did a little Googling and found that she sold about 57,000 copies of her second album in the first week. I'm not a Billboard charts buff, but I'm assuming those numbers were not pleasing to the powers-that-be at her record label, and we all know what happens when record label execs are not pleased.

So there goes yet another artist who made the silly mistake of relying on talent rather than gimmicks when creating her music. Another artist that seems to be pushed to the background along with the likes of Janelle Monae, Lupe Fiasco, and Melanie Fiona. That pisses me off. Why can't Soulja Boy, or Wacka Flocka, or Nicki Minaj, take a break from music? Oh that's right, because if any of these artists recorded themselves taking a shit, the world would gasp in amazement and claim that those are the best bars they've ever heard. Because the masses would rather "do it with no hands" and pretend that they're Barbies, than support music with substance.

That's just the world we live in. Maybe I should join the crowd and cop me a pink wig, some false eyelashes, and make distorted, semi-retarded facial expressions while rapping along with nursery rhyme lyrics.