Reclaiming Joy in Your Life

The Sociological Imagination

I majored in sociology while in college because it made sense after reading the first paragraph of the textbook I had been assigned. I had been a sociologist my entire life but didn’t know it.

When I was a little girl, I used to go to work with my mother during summer vacations and we would take public transportation. I always noticed that everyone would go through the same exact turnstile when we got to the train station, although it would be several that would be empty. That never made any sense to me because why stand in line when it was another turnstile available? Ugh humans but despite of their flaws, humanity is utterly fascinating to me.

Due to sociology, the social media, and aging, unfortunately I’m noticing that people are pathologically unhappy and that makes me sad. Because life is so short and it’s precious. Everyday you wake up is a new opportunity to start over again. Who wants to wake up mad and miserable all the time? Not me.

Childhood memories

For this new year, I’m hoping that everyone claims their right to happiness and joy. I would have thought that living through a pandemic would have awakened some people but it hasn’t. Be happy and love the people in your life. Love them with all your heart and soul. Because at times, life can be rough as hell and you never know when the grim reaper will be knocking on your door. Reclaim your life from misery and have a grand old life.

Bye Bye Miss Betty

My girlies

Today the world was shocked and saddened by the death of actress Betty White who was loved by all. She was an integral part of my childhood experience because I’m a total television junkie and I literally grew up watching her. Her career spanned over 70 years and she was the living definition of The Crone.

I watched her on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mama’s Family, and my favorite comedy of all time, The Golden Girls. The episode when Rose and the crew went on a game show and competed against each other was a study in comic genius.

Back together again❤️❤️❤️

She was funny, talented, and so much more. When I learned of her passing, I broke down and cried like a baby. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t cry on the last day of year because I had cried so many tears this year but I couldn’t help myself. So many people from my childhood have crossed over from relatives to celebrities that I loved and it’s been a bitter pill to swallow. No one told me that the worst aspect of aging is losing people because it forces you to think about your own mortality.

So rest easy Miss Betty. You gave joy to millions of people from one end of the world to the other and you will be missed. Knowing that you really didn’t blow up until you were a Crone gives me hope for the future. You were loved and revered Tee Tee Betty.

Shake it boo

Madonna – My Boo

I’ve loved the musical artist and cultural icon Madonna from the moment she burst upon the scene. It was in 1983 and her song “Holiday” was being played on radio stations everywhere. On January 14, she made her national debut on American Bandstand, a staple in households across the country and she was so cool to me. I had never seen a female singer who dressed like her. And she was confident. Bold. With balls of brass.

“I Want to Rule the World”

After that she was everywhere and I followed her career which was easy because she was in the magazines and tabloids on a weekly basis. When she married the actor Sean Penn, the press went crazy and followed them everywhere. And she didn’t mind because she learned how to manipulate the press in such a slick manner, that they were too stupid to realize it.

During those days, all she had to do was wipe her ass and the media would bug out and accuse her of breaking down the morality of the entire world. The Catholic Church couldn’t stand her, especially in 1989 after she released the video for her song “Like a Prayer” and had the Black actor Leon portraying the role of Black Jesus. They lost their entire minds and showed their asses. Their constant bewailing led to Pepsi canceling an endorsement deal that they had with her but Madonna being Madonna didn’t lose a beat. She kept on rising.

She made several movies, won many awards and is currently the best selling female music artist of all time with 300 million albums sold all over the world. She’s also worth $850 million dollars but those statistics isn’t why Madonna is my boo.

It’s because she’s always lived her life according to her standards and needs. She’s never given a fuck about the opinions of others and I admire women who live their lives on their own terms. It’s hard being a woman in a patriarchal society in which the behavior of women is heavily regulated and most women fall in line for fear of offending the status quo. Not she. She thumbed her nose at these antiquated ideas about womanhood and look her now. Damn near a billionaire. She’s my kind of broad.

The New Dirty Word – Feminism

What Feminism is Really About

Before I joined the social media, I used to read articles from the website Salon.com and debate folks in the now defunct comment section. At one time, Salon had a website named Open Salon for the readers who were writers and yours truly won Editors Choice a few times. But I’m digressing as usual so let me tell this tale.

What fascinated me the most about Salon is that whenever articles from prominent feminists were posted, the men would be foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs in the comments, writing barely coherent paragraphs filled with rage against them stanking ass feminists and spewing how the world was a much better place when women knew their “place.”

The mantra of feminists everywhere

And the vast majority of these men were white men. It wasn’t a lot of Black folks in the comments during that time period and I was just amazed at the anger from these men who are on the top of the economic and social totem pole in America. Even with all this power, they felt threatened by women having autonomy over their lives.

I’m really not surprised. Feminism which can defined as women being able to have the same rights as men drives normally sane people batshit crazy. Because you know women are supposed to stay in their place, cooking and cleaning, having babies, and shutting the fuck up. Women are supposed to walk in the shadows, never basking in the glory of their own sun. How dare these bitches think they have the right to control their own destinies and bodies without male interference? Shame on them!

But I hadn’t seen nothing yet until I joined Facebook and saw the venom that so many Black men have for the ideology called feminism. These men blame feminism for kicking Black men out of their homes by giving poor Black women access to welfare. For allowing Black women to become educated and have careers. For breathing. For weave. Makeup. Everything that’s wrong in the Black community has been placed at the feet of feminism. And it’s the most pathetic shit in the world.

Feminism makes the world a better place because it gives women options. The option of not having children or ten children. The option of being a career woman or a stay at home mother. And the option of doing absolutely nothing at all. Freedom to live without a ton of societal rules, expectations, and regulations just because you were born female. It’s nothing wrong with women being free to control their lives. Nothing at all.

Death – The Final Frontier

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been both terrified and fascinated by the specter of death. I became obsessed with death after spending the summer with my grandmother in 1980. She had moved to Wichita, Kansas to reside with her daughter, Aunt Annabel, and we spent hot summer days together with her telling me tales from her youth.

She was a Southern Baptist and believed that the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ was going to happen in the year 2000. So I analyzed the situation, well as much as a nine year old girl can analyze and decided that it would be cool for everyone to die together at one time. Although I would only be 30 at the time, at least I would die in the company of my family and friends. The thoughts that children have.

In the years that have passed, I’ve learned a lot about death unfortunately. I’ve lost so many friends and family in the past five years that it’s surreal. Especially the deaths of my original family, the family I was born into. My brother Randy died in 1994, my mother Gertrude in 2006, and Larry in 2020. My father wasn’t a part of my life so it was just myself, my brothers, and my mother. Now it’s just me and it’s been one of the most difficult journeys I’ve taken. Although I have children, a grandson and a new grandchild due in the spring, and a ton of cousins and friends who love me, I still feel so alone at times. I’ve come to the realization that this feeling of loneliness and despair will never go away but it will always be a lingering bitterness.

Now I’m obsessed with dying these days. Worried about leaving my children motherless. Worried about what would happen to them if I should die. Wondering who’s going to love my babies like I do. My mother had three children and I’m the only one who is left. What kind of shit is that? Why am I still here? And how does it feel to be dead. Is there really an afterlife and a place where souls go when their journey on Earth is over? Will I see my dead loved ones again? Totally morbid as fuck and unhealthy but it is what it is.

An Ode to Donny Hathaway

Mr. Donny Hathaway

I’m a big fan of the singer Donny Hathaway. No matter how many times I listen to his music, I’m in constant awe of his voice. The soulfulness, the emotion, the passion. That is why he is the greatest Black male singer of all time in any genre of music. And let me explain why.

If you’re Black and from a certain generation or older, Donny Hathaway’s music has been a part of your life since childhood. Especially his song “This Christmas” which is played on Black radio stations all over America during the Christmas season every year.

I grew up to his music but I didn’t really get into it until I was in my late 30s and really listened to his voice. The smoothness, the urgency, the pain, the passion. His music has made me weep in joy and sadness because his voice is so beautifully unique.

His music ranged from gospel to soul and no matter what he sang, you felt it. His music generates all types of emotions, from extreme joy to complete despair and you don’t care because of that beautiful voice that draws in you in. It fulfills a need that’s so primal that it’s scary.

Like his song “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know.” It’s about a man pouring out his heart to the woman he loves and it’s so damn sexy. If I found a man who loved me like that, I would take his ass to City Hall on Monday and marry him so quickly his head would be spinning. Cherish his love and feed him everyday.

The reason why I decided to write this blog was to give Mr. Hathaway some special flowers from me because I love him so much. His music makes my soul sing, my heart melt. Continue to rest peacefully Boo. My crush who’s no longer here in spirit but who’s music is still alive and standing the test of time.

The Real Reason Why Men Hate & Fear Perfectly Content Single Women

Single Women Dancing With Pride

Men lose their minds at thought of a woman perfectly content with her own company. Because that means that they can’t hold a relationship and a possible marriage over her head along with a passel of brats.

They can’t constantly chant “that’s why you’re single!” to a woman who truly doesn’t give a fuck. Those types of scare tactics doesn’t work on a woman who’s secure in herself and knows that her womanhood doesn’t hinge upon saddling herself with a man not worth two dead flies and children with his fucked up DNA.

For centuries, women have been socialized to believe that their only purpose in life is to get married and spit out the next generation of dysfunctional, unhappy people but after three waves of feminism, women have been taking off the patriarchal blinders and seeing American culture for what it is: a system that hates women and children so many are opting out.

A culture that respected and revered women and children would make it easier for them to exist. It would have a better healthcare system so that women wouldn’t be still dying in childbirth in the year 2021.

A culture that respected and revered women and children would have a national and generous maternity leave for expectant mothers that would allow them to rest and bond with their babies.

A culture that respected and revered women and children would have a nationally funded childcare program in which families wouldn’t be charged college tuition for daycare.

And most importantly, a culture that respected and revered women and children wouldn’t be still trying to force women into having children that they do not want. It’s almost 2022 and certain states in this country are trying to reverse Roe versus Wade, Supreme Court decision that gave women the right to abortion. It’s mind boggling that women who live in a supposedly enlightened, so called superior country are still fighting for autonomy over their own bodies.

So that’s why men fear and despise a happy single woman. They know that these women are free and can’t be subjugated into taking on trash so they try through violence or legislation to keep them in their place as walking wombs.

My Favorite Authors & Their Books

Books Are Fabulous!!!!

I’ve been reading books since I was a little girl. Before I was born, my mother had purchased a set of encyclopedias for my brothers that they never touched according to her. So they sat, unused and collecting dust until I was born.

Book of Knowledge Encyclopedias

Now I wasn’t born a genius and started reading at five months old but I was totally fascinated by those books. I would draw and scribble scrabble in the encyclopedias but when I finally learned how to read and comprehend, they became my friends,

My favorite two encyclopedias were the letter C and F. C because of the article on the cat species and F because of the article on the First Ladies. I love cats and I will always remember the first words of the article on cats: “cats remember those who were good to them and they remember those who were not.” Or something like that because it’s been over 30 years since I actually saw this passage and I’m not a spring chicken at all.

The article on the First Ladies was intriguing to me too because the set my mother owned was published when Lyndon B. Johnson was president so the article only discussed the ladies up until his presidency and she was the last one. Miss Lady Bird was her nickname and I thought that was so cool.

That set of encyclopedias purchased by my mother for my older brothers set off a thirst for knowledge that I’ve been trying to appease for almost 40 years and I’ve come to the realization that I will be always be searching for answers. Which is not a problem in a culture where the vast majority of people are dumb as a box of hair.

But I’m digressing as usual and let’s talk about my favorite books. Realistically, it’s too many to list because I will be writing until Juvember but what I’m going to do is list some of my favorite authors along with the books that they wrote that touched my soul.

These authors and their books aren’t going to be listed categorically but from memory because my mind is like a noodle these days and I will periodically update this blog when I think of more authors who impacted my life.

Margaret Mitchell and her novel Gone With the Wind. I read this book for the first time back in 1981 when I was almost 11 years old and it changed my life and taught me a lot about the Southern states. They ain’t going to change y’all.

Rhett Butler

Jackie Collins and all her books about the lives of the rich and famous. One of her most infamous characters is Lucky Santangelo, the daughter of a gangster and a bad ass chick in her own right.

Bertrice Small and all her romance novels, especially the World of Hetar series which is foreshadowing of what’s going to happen in this country if women don’t get off their asses and rebel.

All the celebrity biographies written by Kitty Kelley except the one about the Bush family because it’s dull as hell. But the books about Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, Oprah and House of Windsor?? Fire!!!

And lastly for now, all the books written by Candace Bushnell, including Sex and the City which was turned into a television series on HBO and became a cultural phenomenon. Any writer who can come up with a character name “Lord Skanky-Poo” is alright with me.

Carrie and Friends

Middle Age Angst of a Black Generation X Around the Way Girl

I’m currently watching BET Soul and they played Mary J. Blige’s video “Love No Limit” and lord it brought back memories of being young and carefree. Then it occurred to me that this album will be 30 years old next year. The same age as my son and now I feel old as mummy dirt. So I’m sitting here wondering where the time go.

So much have changed in my life since 1992. I’ve lost so many people that I loved with all my soul including my original birth family, aunts, cousins and friends.

When I look in the mirror, I see traces of the younger woman I used to be but I mostly see sadness. Sadness for my lost loved ones and the state of a culture that is selfish and trifling. I remember that idealistic girl I used to be and wonder where she went and what happened to her. Who is this cynical broad staring back at me in the mirror daily?

But I know who she is. It was easy for her to turn into a cynic considering what generation she’s from. Generation X, the forgotten generation stuck between the Boomers and Millennials who battle daily on the social media.

The original latchkey children who were left to their own devices and learned to be satisfied with eating ravioli straight out the can because their mothers refused to buy a microwave and threatened them with violence if they turned on the stove.

The generation who saw a spaceship blow up in the air back in 1986 and if they were Black, saw the destruction of their community when the crack era started. It’s no wonder why so many of us are drunks. We’ve seen it all and still somehow manage to get up in the morning with a semi straight face despite the pain of yesteryear.

But despite the pain, considering what I have been through during these last almost 30 years, I’m eternally grateful to be still alive and in one piece. Fatter with laugh lines but still here. So this little story is for my Generation X folks. My middle age Around the Way gals and homeboys. We go make it y’all. Yes we are.

A Hip-Hop Mystery: Whatever Happened to Choice the First Raunchy Female Rapper?

Way back in ancient times, an unknown female rapper burst upon the rap scene like a fiery comet and disappeared just as quickly. Her name is Choice and she released two albums in 1990 and 1992 but since then, nothing has been heard from her. Which is a shame because she was dope as hell.

While cruising these Google streets looking for information about her, I was excited to learn that someone created a Wikipedia page for her but the information is very scant. Her name is Kim Jones but her birth date is unknown. She’s from San Antonio, Texas but nothing else is known about her. It is almost like she never existed.

But she did exist and gloriously. I remember when I first heard her tape (yes, I am that old). It was the summer of 1990 and my girls and I would ride around listening to lyrics such as “I sucked his dick and all that shit. Rode the motherfucker like a pongo stick. We fell off the bed onto the floor. I grabbed the motherfucker and sucked it some more. That was raunchy as hell for 1990 and me and my friends giggled our asses off. Thank god it was no Internet and no Black men whining and complaining like a bunch of old ass cats about loose women while their own dicks have more mileage than a 1970 Camero.

She also made a diss track that dragged every big male rapper during that era to hell and back called “Payback” and it was a doozy. From Ice Cube to Too Short, she let their asses have it. Talked about their sexual skills, their looks, their pockets, their rhymes. Everything. Its a feat that has not been achieved by another female rapper as of 2020.

Unfortunately, she was ahead of her time and too much for the male dominated rap industry. She’s seemingly disappeared into the mists, never to be seen again and that is a crime against music history. And that is why I decided to write this article. To give this marvelous, bold woman her flowers while she’s still here. I hope she’s alive, happy and thriving, living her best life. Long before Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Megan the Stallion, and Cardi B come on the scene, a gal named Choice existed. These ladies wouldn’t exist without her. So bow down to this sister.

PS: Both of her albums are on ITUNES. Enjoy❤️❤️❤️❤️