29 June 2012

Those were the days...

Note to self- Lowered Expectations

Don't blame people for disappointing you, but blame yourself for expecting too much from them.
                                                            --author unknown



Question of the day

Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte

What does it mean to you to allow another person to fully love you?

28 June 2012

Yeah, they mad

Thank you, Supreme Court, I get to keep my job

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling upholding the health care law championed by President Barack Obama reignited an intense debate, with Democrats celebrating millions of Americans getting access to insurance while Republicans railed against what they contend is a dangerous expansion of government.
Thursday's narrow 5-4 ruling was a victory for Obama, causing elation at the White House, according to an administration official.
"Today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives are more secure because of this law," Obama said in a televised White House statement.
 Emotions high after Supreme Court upholds health care law

 As a medical underwriter  for small companies, I get to keep my job!  I'm glad about that!

Question of the day

This morning when I  got on the train it was already packed. Since my job is  waaaaaay  on the other side of town, about 7 stops from mine the  crowd begins to thin out and by the time I get to work there might be about 2 other people on the train. 
Anyway, like I said, the train was packed. Because I might see maybe 5 black people in a typical week in Portland, I'm always glad to see a black person besides myself. When the door of the train opened it was standing room only, as expected.  The first person  I saw was this black boy, about maybe 6, sitting down eating a sandwich,  next to a white male in suit. He looked to be maybe in his  30s.  The boy's  father, a tall black man in what looks like a mechanic's uniform, is standing next to him. At the next stop, more people entered the train. There was an older  asian  woman who looked to be in her late 60s , walking in. She was hunched over. She stood in front of the suited white male who was closest to the door.  Assuming he would do the right thing, I watched and was surprised but what he did, or I should say, by what he didn't do;  he looked at her and then he looked away and then he began to read his newspaper. No, he didn't get up. For a minute I forgot the boy was sitting there until less than a minute later he stood up immediately, stood next to his father and  held his hand, and offered his seat to the lady. My guess is that he was waiting for the suited man next to him to do the right thing. I loved how the boy knew what to do without his father having to ask him to get up. 
The woman said - "No, please young man,sit back down. I just have 3 stops."
The boy said -  "I don't mind standing. Please have my seat. Please."
The woman smiled at him and then at  his father. She said -"It's obvious you're raising him well."
The father smiled at her- "Thank you mam."

It had me thinking, what is the most important thing to teach a child? 

My answer:  I taught my son alot of lessons, but if I had to guess what was the most important, I would say, it's to treat people as he'd like to be treated. And, to respect the elderly. And to always be a gentlemen. And to treat women the way he would  want someone to treat his mom. He succeeded in every way. 

What is your answer?

27 June 2012

20 June 2012

The Summer's Solstice

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
-- author unknown


If you want to work for the kingdom of God, and to bring it, and enter into it, there is just one condition to be first accepted. You must enter into it as children, or not at all.
                             --John Ruskin

19 June 2012

You know you got me

when everything changed, i had you. when my life was rearranged, i had you. when i hit rock bottom, i had you. when i thought id been forgotten, i had you.

Bone Appetit

I would say that cooking and baking came naturally. My grandfather was a chef in the military, and when my mother grew up she never learned to cook. And when I was growing up I learned to cook from watching my grandfather. 
The Panty Dropper
Mostly I've baked alot of cakes over the years and all without recipes, so when women at my job beg me for recipes, I can honestly say that the recipes are all in my head. When I shop for ingredients for cakes, I get whatever I have a taste for.  To reiterate, I've baked alot of cakes over the years, but this one here, I've baked for a party the Sales Dept had for Cinco De Mayo.    It's a White Chocolate Kahlua Cake  with a Rum Tequila Buttercreme frosting. The Tequila because it's Mexican. To say that it was a hit was an understatement; the department took to it like a bunch of pirahna to a piece of raw meat. It was great for my ego. I'm shy about alot of things, but not when it comes to cooking and baking.  I love baking so much that I would do it for free. Anyway,  I received the best compliment of all when someone asked me about the cake:

 woman:  Alieux, I bet your girlfriend loves when you cook, especially when you bake.
 me:         I'm single, unfortunately.
 woman : I don't see why. The next time you have a date, be sure to bake this cake. This cake here is a guaranted panty- dropper, for real.

I couldn't believe she said that. 

She said this loud enough for everyone to hear.  I was very flattered, but I didn't know how to respond , so I just smiled and said thanks.  She did have me thinking about making this cake again, and having a slice or two in the fridge available for future dates. The woman with the compliments was attractive, but married.  Then rumour had spread about me and this particular cake. Women  at work who normally  have treated me like I was invisible  began talking to me, and asking about this panty dropper they've heard so much about.  Anyway, I'm bringing this up now because 3 hours ago someone from the Sales department called, begging for a slice of this cake. Yes, I  just got done icing it and am waiting for her to come pick it up. I charged her $55 for it since it was so last minute and she offered to pay $25 for it. I knew I could ask for more.
I think I'm going to bake another, just to be prepared.

Listening to...

A Combination Question of the day and Rant

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

--Author unknown.


Let me rephrase that, in my words-  It's best to be quiet than to open your mouth and speak of which you don't know what the f**k you're talking about (because you don't know the whole story), proving your stupidity.

 The problem with this is that stupid people don't know they're stupid. 

 I know someone who I thought was intelligent, initially. The things he used to say seemed intelligent and well-thought out. I used to heed his advice, but recently the things coming out of his mouth  have been so asinine that it leaves me completely speechless. He knows maybe 10% of the story and believes it to be 100% of the story. I now find myself questioning his comments all the time, filling him in on the parts of the story about which he knew nothing. This gets very old. Now I just roll my eyes every time he opens his mouth. 

So, my question to you is, do you correct the people in your life who says stupid s**t, or do you quietly think of them as stupid?

 (there...got that off my chest)

17 June 2012

There's a crack in the pavement

When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.
  --  Barbara Bloom

The Effects of Him


don't forget the bottles
of muscatel clanking

in yards of broken champagne flute glasses
and lost memories of celebratory toasts;
slobbering stammering and stuttering a language;
the C' word.
in a pitch low enough that only other alcoholics can interpret.
in a pitch high enough that only other dogs can hear.

brought into this world in handcuffs,
still I stutter;
a life in restraints.
shy by history.

(begins with a C')

This giant of a man. At five feet seven.

Back in the 50's
who has been found drunk,
in ditches in Memphis)

Don't bother mom;
She's busy doing twice what you're too drunk to do once.
work. love.
And he may hurt me even more when she ain't around.
I'm no fool.
I'll be quiet

(no, not me. Him. Begins with a C')
You see,
there is history in these handcuffs.
There is pain.
the truth.
there is blood,
but there are no screams-
that's for sissies.

let's not forget the small green bottles hidden in pockets of suits and winter coats at Deliverence Evangelical Church, New York, New York:
the back turned slightly.
the contents quickly swallowed while mom obliviously praise God.
but I'm praising God too,
with one eye
and I see everything
he did.
But God is omnipotent.
Praise Him!

the clapping which was not for support. ( God,
please get me out of the audience )

The "C word.
We laugh
We cry
We're in the audience
But sis has a different interpretation of what we're both observing.
/ I must have done something wrong.
apparently I must have asked to be born
to whom I was born/
before I was born
(God, remove my restraints)
Learning everything by
Listening to big bunches of nothing
From enemies who are close friends of each other
In time of need going their separate ways after bartime,
But sister, playing with dolls in the living room says 'leave my daddy alone.'
while the back of my neck is pressed down to keep my back bent over the ironing board
as the other hand holds a thick black leather belt to slam against my naked ass
while the supremes song, 'where did our love go?' is playing on the radio,
the beat-down is only shortly interrupted by the announcement that Martin Luther King Jr was just shot..

The effects of him.
of him and those damn bottles...

if he stood still for a minute and listened
& watched
& cared,
he could have heard the slow seeping out of what ever volume of love my little heart contained.
I petitioned.
I begged for compassion.
In between slaps and scalding hot baths.
In between humiliation, emasculation and degradation.
Cirrhosis; that's it.
The effects of him.
slap 1 across the face back hand
2 across the face slap
3 a bath in scalding water. Steam rising off the ankles.
4 slap
5 you fucking sissy slap
6 damn mama's boy slap
7 stop that crying slap
8 Shut up! Don't be a sissy! Slap
9 back hand slap Be a man!
10 years old.... Applause.
End scene...

I was brought into this world in handcuffs
1962 1972 1982 1992 1996 may he rest in peace 2000 2001 2002 2003
handcuffs still on
(where's the key?)
handcuffs off



14 June 2012

Sunny Side Up

I'm going to pretend 
you never existed,
because if you never existed,
then you never broke my heart.
and I can go through life 
feeling hopeful,
knowing that somewhere
God has a love 
with my name on it.


13 June 2012

Some of my favorite things

  • Black people graduating from high school and college.
  • Black couples holding hands.
  • Black men loving their women.
  • Black fathers playing with their kids.
  • An hourglass shape
  • The sound of kids laughing
  • A call in the middle of the night from her, telling me she's got a taste for one of my cakes
  • Books of  poetry by June Jordan,Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, e.e. cummings
  • The Bible
  • My Motorola Xoom 4G lte tablet
  • My Iphone
  • Blue skies and the sun on my face
  • Pics of me holding my nephew when he was first born
  • A kiss on the back of my neck
  • A fridge and kitchen cabinets stocked with food and ingredients for my cakes and other foods.
  • Black fathers spending time with their sons ( I can't say that enough).
  • Watching people enjoy what I've baked or cooked.
  • Halle Berry's face
  • Pics of me holding my son when he was first born
  • When any black person from my job that I have never seen before, acknowledges me and nods hello
  • Any music by Miles Davis, Prince, John Coltrane & Igor Stravinsky.
  • A nice well-fitted Alexander McQueen suit, white shirt, matching ties, shoes and fedora.
  • Summerfest
  • The African American, Arab,  Persian an ethnic and Gospel festivals on the Summerfest grounds
  • Classy women.

on today

In 1868,

Oscar J. Dunn becomes lieutenant governor of Louisiana. It is the highest executive office held by an African American to date.  

He was an ex-slave.

Like Janet said in the commercial below for Black History Month (which to me is every month) when she mentions him;  'Now What Can't You Do?'


12 June 2012

everywhere she turns is Trouble

Black up

this is for some of you.
You forgot what it was like to remember
what your parents said.             what
                                       it was like

to grow up in the 40s and 50s;
some of you
you act as if we’ve always had the right to swim in the same pools
to drink out the same fountains
to love their men and their women.
to shit in their toilets

get together folks:

our parents were only qualified to clean those toilets

black yourselves up
or it will be done for you.

on a lower scale.



07 June 2012

Prince is 54 today!

"New coat, huh?
That's nice
Did u buy it?
Yeah, right
U seeing that rich motherfucker again
U know who I'm talking about
That slicked back paddy with all the gold in his mouth
Don't try to play me 4 yesterday's fool
Cuz I'll slap your ass into the middle of next week
I'm sorry baby, that's the rules..."

Bob George, by Prince


I remember the day I first heard his debut single Soft & Wet when it was first playing on the radio, I went and bought the 8 track tape of the album as soon it was released and i played it until the tape snapped, and I had to buy another....
Prince is good at making sure his songs aren't on youtube. Here is that single, but performed by  N'Dambi

and some of my favorites I was lucky enough to find on youtube today (that might not be available for long, as he finds uploads and asks people to take them down) :

and the male voice in this song:

06 June 2012

My take on the Walker Recall results.

I was really sad to hear of  Wisconsin's Walker Recall results. Those that say the results give Walker a clear boost may not be seeing the forest for the trees. First, Walker won with 53.1% of the vote and that is a good enough margin for the candidate to prove that the people did not see the recall as the solution to the state's issues. It is not a glowing endorsement of Gov. Walker. Tom Barrett earned 46.3% of the vote. That's 162,785 votes or almost half of the citizens in a heavy turn out election that have a problem with Walker's governance. Second, those that voted opted for a balance or, in reallity, a counter-balance to Walker's autocratic rule by giving the Democrat's in the Senate a majority, albeit a slim one. It seems to me that they are giving the Govenor a chance to prove himself as a govenor of all the people, but aren't completely convinced he can do it so they gave the other party a majority in the Senate. Looks like a balancing act and not outright endorsement of one party or the other. Sound similar? That's what the American voter often does in the national elections. I offer congratulations to Govenor Walker and encourage him to try to work with the other side. He was almost ejected from his seat and has polarized his state more so than before his first election. Good luck!

My heart and prayers go to all the leadership in these trying times.......they all face terrible choices.

Happy 53rd birthday, Jimmy Jam!

He was half of one of the most prolific song writing duos of the 80s.

After releasing  albums produced  by Renee & Angela and Leon F Sylvers ( Janet Jackson), and her brother Marlon Jackson, Jesse Johnson, Giorgio Moroder & Pete Belotte  (Dreamstreet)  that failed,   Joe Jackson was convinced that his daughter wasn't taking music seriously. Working with Bryon Loren, her labelmate Shanice Wilson's executive producer, and being a huge Prince fan, she wanted to work with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis instead.  The rest is history.
Along with Terry Lewis ( & Monte Moir),  Jimmy Jam  proved to Janet Jackson that all she needed  was the right producers behind her. They were the right ones.

Here are some of my favorite Jimmy Jam collaborations:

04 June 2012

Speechless SMDH moment

A friend of mine, who lives in Nebraska,  posted this on his facebook page today, based on the plane crash in Lagos Nigeria , click here:


He received a couple 'likes'.   And a few LOLs .

Yes, I tore into him verbally after informing him that more than 150 people died.  I hadn't removed him yet as a 'friend' because I want to see his response. I want to check to see if he has an ounce of remorse, before I remove him as facebook friend, an as an actual friend off of facebook.

My caucasian friends have accused me from time to time of being  'sensitive.'    Am I, in this regard?