Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Art of Enchanting the Soul

Courtesy of Wikipedia:
Rhetoric is the art of harnessing reason, emotions and authority, through language, with a view to persuade an audience and, by persuading, to convince this audience to act, to pass judgment or to identify with given values. According to Plato, rhetoric is the “Art of enchanting the soul.”

Strings of words, long ones, short ones, ubiquitous ones, obscure ones; words, I love you all. Words are my friends and, sometimes foes.

Everyone, and I mean everyone should take an assertiveness course and a communication course. There is nothing more valuable to humans as language and the ability to use it effectively. Aah, tact and diplomacy how I love thee. Listening, you precious gift, without you my words fall upon deaf ears.

I've been in an uphill, feels like I'm not moving battle with communication in my personal life. It has driven me to become more observant and intrigued by the communication styles of others and it is not at all surprising that few people communicate effectively. The most egregious offense; credibility.

Credibility is defined as 1. the quality or power of inspiring belief 2.capacity for belief.

Okay, so typical argument-and I'll give both the ups and downs of word choice when trying to build a credible case.

Person One: I don't like this _______.(insert anything you wish)
Person Two: You never like anything.

Person One: You should read/see _____(insert film/book) I thought it was funny.
Person Two: You think everything is funny.

The first person states a feeling or opinion which is valid. Always, all the time; you do not have to agree but it is their feeling, opinion, thought to state and they own it rightfully. It needs no justification, it simply is just.

The second person while they may feel this way has worded their reply in such a way that lacks credibility as it is impossible that anyone could dislike everything. In short-you lose!

Instead, try: "Oh no? What did you not like about it"? or "What is it you would you have preferred?" Or even, "I can't seem to figure out what you like, perhaps you should tell me some of the things you do like".

No way this can turn into a battle, if you make a valid credible response and acknowledge the preceding statement.

Same with the second example, how is it possible that everything is funny to anyone, yes?

Now, I have had the honour (I'm being facetious.) of presenting valid albeit unattractive figures in business meetings. Think about this for a moment and comment, let me know if you see how we hear what we want to hear and how the right questions will more often than not, get you the most honest answers:

Speaker: "There have been rumors circulating that we are not doing well this quarter as it compares to those previous. I just want to clear any confusion. This month we have shown exponential growth as compared to last month and expect this trend to continue".

Everyone wipes sweat from their brow and returns to their workstations/offices. What I didn't tell you was that last month we made $2 and this month $4 versus last quarter when in the same period we had made $60. It is true, it is credible but it has nothing to do with the issue in question. And to the actual question asked, "Yeah, we kinda suck! Do the math".

How well do you communicate? Have you been in these situations? Similar situations? Take my poll.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Deep breath...

At this very moment I have more thoughts floating through my head than tourists in Times Square. They're tighter than cheap shoes and dying to get out like a 40 week old fetus. Some amazing-like truly all CAPS amazing-epiphanies have found their way to my soul. Perhaps, it's the solar plexus focus, maybe the moon, hormones, Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds...whatever it is, I'm loving it. Please please please, don't let the contents of my grey matter fall on deaf ears. If you agree, post a comment, if you disagree post a comment and spark a flame of thought for another post, another ideology...just don't leave a sister hanging, okay?
I've got some personal responsibilities to attend this evening, my sweet Biju was spayed today, and is most uncomfortable, so I'm gonna snuggle with her and listen to some tunes before bed. I'll be back in the morning, stronger than Ray's coffee (a Bodega on Hudson Street in NYC) and crazier than Mike (Tyson, Jackson, Myers and Douglas in Falling Down...pick one). Peace...

Monday, April 28, 2008

If a tree falls in a forest...

Apparently the second half of this question now reads, "who is to blame." Or, maybe not...

A wise person once said..."When one person fails, it is the failure of all. When one person succeeds, it is the success of all. A bit of an explanation to the propositions: We cannot lay claim to only one or the other. Both, are a package. We as a society create the people who are a part of our society. We as a society are responsible for our creations, whether they are angels or monsters".

As a child when my grandmother would scold and school me on the starving poor, my small serving of Lima beans seemed an inconsequential contribution and she a histrionic fascist "Ma, if you're reading un-purse your lips and continue on before you start, okay?" Along the same time, comments like, "Learn to put your toys away and tend to your belongings, be grateful for all that you have..." seemed equally trivial. Vegetables and toys...well, everyone has those right?

As an adolescent I heard, "Money doesn't grow on trees, you can't have everything you see on the commercials, you know". "You have nothing to wear? You have a closet full of clothes!" Has this woman gone completely mad, I haven't gone to the mall in like a month! Enter the girl from the next building; her mom died a few years ago of cancer, her father has a wandering eye and a gambling problem, her oldest sister and guardian is a cocaine addict with a heroin addicted husband and a constantly crying child. They are on welfare, and boy do they need it. There are no curtains, no carpets, no pictures on the wall. The baby's eyes, nose and lips have a pinkish tint and are raw from constant discharge. There is a stench of cockroach feces emitting from loose cracks of lead-based paint on the walls where they have taken shelter to breed. Kinda gives me a hankering for a big ol' pot of Lima beans, and maybe there is nothing wrong with last season's styles after all.

A few weeks go by, and the new girl is mistakenly placed in my class in the neighboring school. It is an AP or "bridge" class; combining two grades at once, all who complete the course successfully will skip a grade come next fall. The teacher hands out the assignment, the Korean girl sitting next to me; my arch nemesis and I both take out our Sanrio mechanical pencils and feverishly scribble out our answers, power walk to the front of the class and slam our papers down as we usually do. The new girl sits, eyes welling with tears as she approaches the teacher and says, "I never learn'ded this in my ol' schoo". The teacher has her gather her belongings and escorts her from the classroom. The class starts to whisper and speculate about the stupid girl when I exclaim, "She isn't stupid, okay-she's just really poor"! Huh?! I care?!

The girl is transferred to a different program, we remain friends and spend as much time as we can between my dance classes, Latin lessons, spelling bee prep, student government and more. Oh, why was she not involved in any of these things? Well, her family couldn't afford it. There are no grammar school grants, at this point in the game, money talks. A few years pass, we're still friends, I've been diagnosed "school phobic" and now have a host of private home instruction tutors, she has a host of lipstick wearing girlfriends with boyfriends, she becomes pregnant. I offered to pay for an abortion because, I of course have access to credit cards and even have a fake ID which permits me to work at a job that pays me quite well by the hour since they think I'm 18 and a college student versus my actual 14. She declines because her boyfriend loves her and he buys her nice things and has promised to take her out of her still cocaine addicted sister's house. Only now, the sister has 3 children and her dad? Oh, his wandering eye landed him a big win; a gambling gal with great gams-he's out of there!

I met a nice boy; we want the same things, I left home and the old neighborhood, but the girl and I are still friends. A few months after I left she called and asked me if I'd sit for her newborn while she applied for welfare, love is just not enough to pay the bills. I complied. A few months later she called again, and asked if she could stay with us for a while because things were getting volatile at home. I complied. A few short months after that, she phoned and asked if she could live with me she'd been evicted. And, a few months later her welfare funds were discontinued because you must have an address to qualify. Two students living in NYC, we can hardly afford ourselves let alone a single mother and her child, she soon left. This cycle continued for many many years and I learned more about the system and society than I ever wanted to know.

We're both in our thirties now, with two children each. My children are home schooled by me while my husband works more hours than most to support us on a single income. Her children attend a public school in one of the poorest, low performing school districts in NYC where she also works too many hours, but working there enables her to be close to her children-there is no one else. She is the working poor. Evictions on her credit report keep her from qualifying for student loans to further her education, nor can she pass up the overtime with two children and rent to pay. I'd be here forever if I took the time to jot every time we've been there for each other. I say each other because more than any of my grandmother's harangues , "Waste not want not" and more, knowing, loving and listening to the plight of someone less fortunate than I, has shaped me in insurmountable ways.

Life isn't fair, but each of us together can help to balance the scales just a little bit more. Giving your change to a homeless person in front of Starbucks isn't enabling them. Even if everyone that left gave them their odd coins, they'd likely die of exposure before ever having enough money to secure housing. And, even if they, better yet and so what if they do just go and buy drugs with it-you're probably needing that Starbucks to take the edge off your shitty day, so what really is the difference? Oh, the difference is you work? Is that what you said. Okay fair enough, so the money you cost your company each year by taking sick days when you aren't sick, arriving late and/or surfing the web and probably reading my blog or the insanity that prompted it, you are taking money out of some one's pocket, yes? And what is your thought process...just balancing the scales a little right?

See if a tree falls in the forest, who cares whether it makes a sound. At that point, the truth is the foundation was shaky and there were signs long before it finally collapsed. Signs which were ignored. We're all in this together and for every tree that falls it takes a few others down alongside it, it crushes a few land irrigating, bird feeding worms. The lifeless limbs no longer emit the carbon dioxide necessary for the survival of our carbon based bodies. I'm a city girl, NYC to be exact, but the girl from the next building took me to the forest. If you're still pondering whether or not that tree made a sound, you'll never know. Ask yourself this, what do you call a forest with no trees?

It's easy to pick up a fallen tree, toss it, mulch it and forget about it. It isn't so easy to nurse it, sturdy the foundation, or simply level the land and keep it from falling. Taking the easy route are you? Hypocritical much?

The whole is more than the sum of its parts~Aristotle
This is one of my more heartfelt posts. There is much happening in the world today that truly shakes my branches. It's hard to think that one day my roots will dry, my tree will wither and the seeds that I've dropped in the forest will have no chance. It isn't for lack of sowing or weak foundation-but an inherent societal blindness for the forest amongst the trees...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Today has been an oatmeal kind of day. Oatmeal being my description for anything that lacks any particular level of interest. Just a neutral day for me today, I guess those are okay, and even good for you sometimes.

Of course I'm multi-crafting again. My thumb is still fairly sensitive, but I'm pushing the envelope so I can finish my lotus collage and move on to the next venture with my NEW! goodies. I've also been spying on a kiln recently...I'll need to cut my Paypal card up and limit myself to shop listing only in order to stash away enough Pretty in Peace profits to buy it for myself, so I added it to my birthday wish list. Yep, you guessed; Mother's Day is already filled.

I did something cool today! I donated a piece of Pretty in Peace jewelry to Project Cat. This Etsian run project to help the aptly titled Itteh Bitteh Kitteh Committeh is of special personal interest to me as the not particularly wealthy mother of two rescue kitties. My children, Anju and Biju are as much a part of my family as Monsieur beau and the children that share my deoxynucleic acid. ( I just felt like being pretentious...bare with me I told you I've been bored all day) Anyway, my gorgeous felines probably would have ended up as feral strays had we not rescued them, fixed them up and taught them some indoor kittiequette. There may not be a home for all of these lovelies, but I'm happy to have a small part in minimizing the homeless pet issue. If you are interested in donating a piece of work, please contact

The Arizona summer is here, not full boiling, bubbling skin throttle yet, but close enough. I went out back to take the recycling and upon opening the door felt that backdraft-esque breeze of hot air! It's definitely time to get a routine work-out schedule going, hair and skin is enough of a burden in this heat without extra butt cheek slowing me down. I downloaded a bunch of songs for my walk, some old, some new; genres are all over the place! Seriously, the song immediately following Talib Kweli and Mos Def's What's Beef on my MP3 is Bubbly by Colbie Caillat...sometimes I have to laugh at myself.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Artists, Activists and Assholes

First let me just say that I know I suck a tiny bit for not posting in a few days, but so much...okay well, I've just been lazy. If I could hire someone just once a week to transcribe what the voices in my head are discussing this blog would be Pulitzer ready!

I tried to incorporate my right thumb into a design with my new pliers and I'm on jewelry making break for a few more days. Subsequently, as the cliche goes, "Idle hands"...have gotten me into some trouble for lack of a better word; trouble implies that I give a shit, and I don't. It seems as the title of this post would indicate that the lines are often blurred amidst this clever A-string alliteration and, while I'd like to specify where I've witnessed the most prevalence it wouldn't be fair since I don't participate in any other on-line art communities.

I've noticed this inherent need for separation and elitism amongst the artistic community and it is not only hypocritical but fairly counterproductive. Art is; no more no less. Who or how are we anymore well versed in the indefinable as the next person. Who are we then to say their product is not art. It's like saying some one's sorrow isn't theirs. I say this because language is often over looked as an art form (although it was one of the first). When you censor an artist's verbiage, you are in essence telling them how to paint their canvas, how to layout their mosaic, where to trim their fabric, you are trying to alter their genius.

Many will cry first amendment rights to this and that in itself works both for and against the artist. Assuming, that it is an artist's government given right to express themselves versus an intrinsic need. Using government to "protect" said rights is separating the art from the artist or the self. I wonder sometimes if I am an artist or a creative intellectual because much of this, my ramblings that is-are free form, there is no draft, no sorting of ideas, it's all just a natural flow of my ideas. The depth of thought would appear to be artistic in nature, but the rationale and logic would lean more left of that, left hemisphere that is. Wherever it comes from, I'm just not myself without it and will protect my right to exist with all that I am.

There has been much activism surrounding artistic expression lately, from the above language choices right on down to the controversy surrounding Guillermo Vargas Habacuc and Eres Lo Que Lees. Rings bell. (I have now replaced, "This is where I piss people off" with the ringing of the bell-same premise, basically it means prepare to assume your position in the center of the ring, I'll meet you there eventually I suppose). I personally, would never use another creature in my work because I respect the planet. I hope I have their support when my children write tawdry novels about how they never got to go to the circus or eat hamburgers! But, as a society we have been resin casting beetles and scorpions, capturing and pinning butterflies, honeybees et al for centuries. You had to think in the natural order of artistic progression that someone, some heavily wrinkled right hemisphere would think, "Hey why don't I capture and torture a __________."(insert name of any animal perceived to be of greater importance and less socially acceptable to maim than the aforementioned). Every living creature has equal right to propitious existence folks; beetles, butterflies, dogs and dog abusing artists.

And here is where I reheat my coffee and commence to lose my mind. We'll call this,"Bells rings and smoke emits from ears". Wink. Assholes, yes assholes, not anuses-in fact anuses are far more valuable than the assholes I speak of today, ask any woman who has ever had an episiotomy. I am a writer, an artist, a mom, a human, a free-thinker and a pacifist. I do not support the second amendment for all of those reasons and more. Just for good measure I shall add that I am a black woman and the right to bear arms is tantamount in my mind as the governments right to murder my children and the children of others who do not look, speak, think or worship as they do. That, as I have been recently told makes me "crazy and ignorant". (I also contribute to the decline of the American dollar by shopping at Walmart so we can afford to be a one-income family and actually raise my own children.) So, because I do not support fighting for a country, oil, and other assorted propaganda, I'm "crazy and ignorant". I'll take it! Bows and waits for tomatoes. See, as I would like to believe in my stupidity laden limited scope of reality, natural resources do not belong to anyone, rather they are on the planet to be utilized for the survival of all living creatures. When you start training your children to fight for their country and their oil and their right to express themselves you purport that these things are not already theirs to enjoy. This is learned behavior, indoctrination. Babies know one thing, how to survive on the resources of the womb and later the woman. They are free to scream when they are hungry and smile when they are sated. All other survival instincts as they are called, like tensing up when certain people walk too close or purchasing a gun to protect yourself are taught and learned, they are scare tactics and hate speak. If that belief system makes me "ignorant and crazy", so be it but note; believing that teaching and supporting violence as a means to subvert violence makes you an asshole.

Upon finishing this post and carrying on with my day, I heard the news of the verdict in the Sean Bell case. I hadn't thought about the case in a while, and it certainly was not the catalyst behind this post, but upon reading it and witnessing the level of pain the 'powers that be' have cast down, kinda makes you wonder,"If humans are incapable of self-control and sound personal judgment-why do we campaign,vote and exalt them to control and cast fair judgment on an entire nation?"

I am NOT bashing anyone, I am stating my opinion so before you start harassing me about how I should feel privileged that people are fighting for my rights, I ask that you respect my wishes that you NOT claim to fight for any reason other than your personal choices and beliefs as I have not summoned you nor have you have been drafted. Peace, thanks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Every Wednesday I groom my favorite guy, it's the end of our extended weekend and his Monday for his away from home work. Now, Monday like actual, real Monday was my day to get all of my Aveda potions and beautify myself, because that's our Saturday. Laughs. I guess by now you can tell this is one of those days. Getting to the topic at hand, today I'm shaving the boy and I notice lots of platinum stubbies and the reality of our existence hits. It's just for a spell, but for that short period of time it was a moment of clarity. I felt the sheer magnitude of what it means to share my life with a complete stranger.

Of course 20 years into our relationship Joe is hardly a stranger, but when it comes down to it of all of the animals we are the only species that dates, mates and procreates with a deliberate stranger. I don't know why I thought of this today but I find it mesmerizing that at this point in my 34 year existence, I have spent 20 of those years with Joe. Joe, the guy from the club that night. Laughs. Am I insane or does anyone else have moments when you question a given and realize that you just accept it for what it is because everyone else does or because you just never thought about it until now?

Now, not like why is the sky blue, but like what exactly is blue? If you say it enough times it's a totally preposterous sounding word. I happen to love muted hues of blue and when I look at them the only thing that seems to tie the name of the color and the actual color is curvy lines. Blue feels like it looks written in cursive in french, but the french bleu is even more of an injustice to the lovely color, "bleu" should totally represent the color brown. Grimaces and is actually beginning to really think perhaps I'm a little off today, but I'm going to post anyway because I'm trying to ginger my creative palate every evening before I retire.

Back to Joe, so I'm just looking at this guy and thinking wow, you're just a any other guy walking down the street. It just boggles the mind how simple but complex life can be. The thought of how much effort goes into sustaining a marriage and building a family and a life together with random dude from the club. I wonder if he ever looks at me and thinks the same thing. Of course someone is reading and thinking, "Well, it's love"..I understand this and I'm not denying that I love this person with all that I am, but then I ask what is love but yet another weird sounding word. I certainly wouldn't have named the immense joy I feel everyday that is spent with dude from the club "love" it's so flat, love should end in a vowel, something sweet. Say, "I love you very much". And, then say, "Je t'aime beaucoup". Not "bO-koop" for the love of tumbled rocks, "bO-koo". See, hold it right there...Yes! With your lips slightly pursed. Now, that is how I feel about dude from the club. Laughs.

More breaking news, I completed my shadow box collage, I think I'm going to go with numbers for titles since I'm already getting cerebral cramping from naming my jewelry. Anyway, here goes. Everything in this piece is from existing stash or this week's trash.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm still working on my collage, it looks like I can wrap up the layout tonight and the technical stuff, like sealing and gluing everything in place. I already have another project lined up because the technical part of it feels too much like work, it'll interrupt the flow of my mojo. Winks.

Business has been slower than usual, it's kind of refreshing, for now. I have no desire to package and fact I'm all ideas and very little energy. Eh, it happens to the best of us I suppose.

I'm feeling very sensitive lately, not depressed, just aware and in touch. It's an interesting place to be. I feel most myself when I'm where I am right now. Funny how it involves a great deal of solitude and silence. There are times when I feel disconnected and it is during those times that I am most out-going and accessible, but when I'm here, I just want to be left alone to think and observe, to create. Joe burst from the bath yesterday, and informed me of a message he'd received about my writing. He suggested I write a book. Not as in the great publishing giants, the insane pressures of categorising and shelving your musings, but more at the independent level. It's such a beautiful thought, and I'm most grateful that I've found someone who believes in me beyond my own field of vision.

I'm giving it a mental go, and tossing some ideas about internally...writing comes from a place that I'm not always willing or able to visit. It gets tricky between these ears at times. On the flip, I can't possibly be the only one. If I can touch a handful of others with the sometimes obscure randomness that is me, I... "Yeah me." I just might make a difference. Ultimately, it is what creating is about, you know? Just making a difference; a ring for a finger, a painting for a wall, an outlet for the words you cannot speak, the realization of a dream.

Thinks for a moment. For the right now though, my change lies in this shadow box collage. I've taken some creative risks here. Yeah man, I'm leaping from tall buildings without my cape with this one. I haven't named it yet, but oh about 90% of this project is trash. I've got a few pages from this season's Urban Outfitters catalog, a Leinenkugel's cap (that's the brew on my Tea List) some scrap wire and the remains of some faux fall foliage. The case itself is new, well old, unfinished-project-kinda new and, the papers used for decoupage are leftover from last year's scrapped Father's Day cards project! Yes, I'm generally a bit of an unfocused mess, so this digging in the crates project is both an artistic and a personal growth venture. Well, back to work. Winks.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Paper time!

Mentally raises the roof and sings, "Oh oh oh oh oh... Paper time!" I'm sitting here listening to Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child and discussing the potential dangers surrounding our gene pool with the favorite guy. Yes, Puberty Man is commiserating again. I can't say she's actually a danger to the gene pool, I haven't met her yet. I'll stay Swiss on the topic until further observation. Favorite guy-while he knows I am the cat's meow isn't necessarily always the best judge of character or genetics. Laughs.

I'm working on a collage and wallowing in all of my paper crafting goodness; along with Biju kitten. I gotta say, there is nothing like cleansing the artistic palate with a bit of change. I've posted a few pictures of my work in progress-how BIG is that?! I can't speak on the outcome, I honestly don't know where it's going. I can however, say that it is a collage. As left hemisphere-like as it is to train the right hemisphere, it is what I'm trying to do whilst I grow as an "artiste".Laughs.

I'm feeling rather proud this evening as I blog and post pictures of an unfinished project. Friends and followers on the journey can recall a lifelong bout with "Perfection Paralysis". Perfection! Perfection-to the extent of shielding incomplete machinations and musings from my children during their infancy! I've come a long way baby and it feels good!

Life has been flowing lately, ideas and relationships, communications and, creative processes have taken on a natural acquiescence. I'm in touch and it feels great. Now, let's just hope nothing 'bad' happens while the floodgate is open. I've even ventured into a couple of NEW! relationships. "Tina, Kiandra; welcome aboard and, moreover thank you for joining me". Anyone who has ever been buried under the darkest layers of depression can understand the immense pleasure that results from these sunshiney days. I'm riding the wave, and I'm elated. Part of my new perspective, stems from an old ideology. Laughs. I compare it to my NYC subway riding days-standing at the edge of the platform, as the stifling heat and funky ass, crowded train approaches, I'm thinking, "I have two choices, just two-I can stand here indefinitely, waiting for a comfortable ride or... I can make do with the chance I have. In the end, I'll arrive at the same destination, it's just a matter of when". Well I'm here, and you're reading about it-so needless to say, I caught my train and haven't missed my stop. Winks and smiles.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Is it Sunday already?! I guess it is, huh? I'm not quite ready to start another week, I think I'll need a do-over. Thinks which day of this past week I'd like to repeat...

I've opted to teach throughout the entire year, so the 'end of school' pressure is off. It just doesn't seem sensible to me that I'd allow the kids to vacation for an entire Arizona summer. What are they going to do besides damage their skin and perhaps suffer a heat stroke. I never quite understood summer vacations. Don't throw rocks teachers, of course you all probably need a few months to gather your senses before the next group of ornery children arrive, but since agriculture is not a big part of most families lives these days I think the idea should be revisited. I'm not quite certain what we'd do if we had Monday to Friday 9-5 type jobs. What do other families do? Day Camp? Babysitters? Honestly, I'd like to hear what others do.

Speaking of...well now what do I want to segue into ornery children and the F word documentary Joe and I watched last night or ornery children and childhood memories? Eh, we'll go with Fuck-I like that word. So, we watched Fuck last night. It is a documentary about the history, uses and attempts to censor the ubiquitous F bomb. As a staunch proponent of the F word, I had to wonder if my favorite guy was prompted to add this flick to his queue after one of my many tirades. Joe isn't much of a profanities hurler, I guess we complement each other there. Snicker.

Myths dispelled, it is not an acronym for anything pertaining to the king and fornication. I'm relieved since I had never heard such nonsense. From what I could glean from the innumerable figures interviewed, ranging from Pat Boone to Chuck D with the likes of Bill Maher and Janeane Garofalo in between-most agree that it is cathartic. I for one, upon discovering just how wonderful it feels to say-must agree. And, well even the grammatically challenged can get away with it since it fits neatly into so many parts of speech. No, I will not list examples although I know you'd like that.

The irony, Here is where I piss off theologians conservatives and other tightly wound individuals. I found was in the perceptions and prejudice something as simple as language invokes. Raised, well maybe not raised but groomed by liberals, the use of the F word doesn't necessarily shape my opinion of one's level of education, class or culture. It is more the way they use the surrounding language. In fact, I find it awful ignorant to suppress any form of expression, it'll just give you a stomach ache in the end. Who are you really kidding when you say "flippin'"? And, if you're really passionate about the topic-"flippin'" is hardly colorful enough to drive your point. But, that's just my opinion.
When used properly, profanity can be as entertaining, eloquent and inspirational as any other host of SAT prep-like language. I don't vote, but I might have to slip my flip flops on and head down to the local high school if I heard any electoral candidates say, "Fuck the war!" Or, upon reading yet another educational funding cutback proposal-exclaim, "You have got to be fucking kidding me" How about, "Are you fucking insane?" See, now that would get my attention and maybe even my vote as opposed to all of the frilly, frou-frou bullshit talk. And well, I haven't a clue what Bush is talking about without the use of expletives, so that's a whole other rant.

All in all we enjoyed the film, we glared over at each other occasionally as familiar views were expressed by commentators; mine reflecting more of a Bill Maher perspective while Joe's leaned a little right of that-not directly with Mr. Boone, but closer than I'll ever get! I took one poignant thought from it, and I take the US Constitution with a Utah sized grain of salt. I must say, all in all, to the thought of amending and revoking constitutional rights, "Start with the second one people, fuck you has never killed anyone." Peace.

Oops, probably not a good Sunday topic, huh? Oh well, I guess we're off to an awesome fucking week. Winks.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My 100th Post!

My 100th post! Fireworks glare, throws confetti and dances like little old dude on the Six Flags commercial. Granted, as long as I've been at this I should have twice as many posts, but hey-100 is an admirable number!

I wanted to do it big, you know an over dramatized centennial event, but if I lollipop too long, I'll never get it done. Oh the pressure! So...deep breath, since much of my life is centered around well... self-centered, I've decided much like that other self-centered, albeit much wealthier Black woman- to highlight some of my favorite things.

I'm going to call it, The Tea List. Original, yes? If you've been paying attention, you know that I am "Tea". If you are privileged enough to be featured, you know to expect great things. As I understand it, all quasi-Kool-Aid connoisseurs buy whatever that other Black woman recommends. So, let's see. Winks.


The Tea List


Disclaimer: I have yet to attain "Queen of the Kool-Aid Clan" status, so some of the items featured here have yet to be purchased, but only because I haven't read The Secret and focused on plentiful Paypal funds. I do however trust my gut and well, you should too...

The Purse

This grey tote with navy/white striped interior is a Spring/Summer staple large enough for cell phones, atomisers... and, whatever other random gadgets folks that actually leave the house would carry. This design by fellow Etsian Emma Pardos of Barcelona is available on Etsy for under $40.00 USD.

The Read

Okay, I haven't read this poetry chapbook yet but, who can't relate to The Animal Husband? Besides, who carries cool bags and reads Danielle Steele?! C'est vrai ?! So go check your Paypal balance and head to Etsy where you can purchase this ZNE by Christine Hamm for less than the price of an "Irregular" poly cotton blend t-shirt! Limited Editions available from Wicked Pen.

The Drink

Favorite guy and I ventured into the forbidden land of BevMo last week when unbridled inebriation was possible as Puberty Man was on Spring holiday in NYC. We canvassed the aisles for a bit, I won. We left with the ultimate; Leinenkugel's Explorer Pack. There is a taste in here for just about everyone...or at least everyone that drinks beer, like no not for the kids, mmk? Good. Joe's fave is the Summer Shandy it has hints of lemony goodness, and...I like all the others, but I'm partial to the Honey Wheat. See my Flickr! for the full review.

For The Home

A bit confusing, but try and follow. I love party planning. I don't necessarily love party go-ers or even parties, but all of the planning, cooking, decorating and independent creative work that goes into it makes me high! This July 12th, I'll be 35 and yes, I'm already planning...these coasters by Etsy artist Briana Taylor are a true conversation piece (I just hope they talk amongst themselves and leave me out of it) Laughs. I bought them all, but have a look in her shop for equally awesome housewares.

For The Body

As many of you are aware, I'm a 'not so dirty hippie'. Patchouli is a big part of my daily routine, for its mood lifting properties, woodsy musk and, overall symbol of the official leftist liberal scum status quo. Dennis Anderson (yeah, he's on Etsy too) makes a great Patchouli soap. I don't have a pic because I used it all, it was just that good!

The Philosophy

It's been nearly a year since I left the Evil Blue Octagon to simplify my life and regain my sanity. It's been over a year since I swore off the purchase and usage of leather goods or any animal 'by products'. Pretty In Peace was born of a desire to simplify my life and purify my thoughts. Corporate America can make for many an impure thought and action. Well here I am, in all of my self employed Indie goodness. I purchased this piece of jewelry from yet another Etsian to celebrate this milestone on my journey. This Pure and Simple anatomically correct heart pendant is available at in limited quantities.

The Tchatchke -As a Native NYer (Queens) I reserve the right to define tchatchkes as object d'arts.

I'm all about aesthetics. I am happiest when surrounded by items that please my senses. That said, I try not to overdo it. "Shut up Joe!" He compares me to his aunt that lives in Tchatchke land with crochet throws everywhere. But, every now and then I'm struck by just the right addition to my cozy little biome called home. Bonnie B. Pottery makes such an item. A cupcake consuming turtle-have you ever?! And, she bakes some decadent looking kick your ass chocolate chip cookies too!

The Discovery

ACEOs Art cards editions and originals. I'm hooked. Over all else, my dad stressed the importance of education; specifically art and literature.I've done pretty well in the literary department, but until I found the ACEO it seemed highly unlikely I'd have an art collection anywhere near the size of my library. Not anymore. I started collecting these 3.5x2.5 works at the beginning of the year and every new piece and artist has been as exciting as the first. I'm currently hooked on Etsy artist Justin Potts. There's an innocence, a depth and, a whimsical feel in his work that elevates me, like a visit with a childhood friend. Here is a pic of my latest purchase, it is my 3rd piece by Justin.

The Future

Meh... perhaps, the masses aren't running fervently to purchase my list of coveted keepsakes, I can live with that. I don't know that I possess all of the chameleonesque "qualities" needed to secure a spot in the world of Kool Aid dreams, but I will keep doing what makes me happy and keeps me sane, and if you're still reading-I'm not doing too bad. Smiles. Peace!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Day Three and some of 4 and 5...

I have certainly gotten used to this. I can't believe how much of a time warp the fora were. I still haven't fully maximized my free time, but I actually have free time-which is a start.

I've gotten much of my current inventory up on my Flickr! account and will slowly begin integrating the older designs-just for shits and giggles really, because I have no intentions on duplicating them...not even the more popular items. I'm feeling a jewelry designing hiatus coming on. My initial thought was that I'd make a few paper goods, but now I'm not so sure. I may just need some brooding intellectual time. Winks. Did you know that dolphins aren't all that flippin' friendly? Good stuff to read about, you'll rethink that trip to Seaworld!
Who knows, but I'm certainly staying out of the public (fora) eye for a while. I'm looking at a 30 day reprieve, perhaps. I've got to get a handle on some internal stuff before I head back out there in the word wide webs.
It's been a gradual process. While I've been present, there've been a few topics that I've put on my mental list without sharing my thoughts publicly-namely activism and altruism. They are definitely stirring up much thought, not enough to write about just yet...but I feel it percolating.
Other random happenings...Nate was here! Right here in AZ. Joe, Yael and I met with my friend Nathan for a short spell on Monday. It was bittersweet...I connect with so few people that leaving him there at his hotel felt so final and somber. Blows raspberry. I have a handful of super duper people in my life...they are a handful and they are like my right hand. We're all at that weird phase now, with child-rearing and careers there isn't a whole lot of time for folly. It was really nice to see him again, nevertheless. It has prompted me to focus on doing little things that make me smile, like taking photos of my favorite shoes or tees or foods! Yes, be afraid, be very afraid!

Monday, April 7, 2008

A random musing...

Seven whole nights
I'm just about thru
I can't take it, won't take it
Can't take it no more
I had about enough of you
I'd rather be on my own

Yes on my own~ Toni Braxton

Day One of my 7 Day Fora Silence:

It's early yet, 7:30 to be exact. I've answered a few customer inquiries ordered some supplies and I'm feeling good. I've probably mentioned in previous posts that I worked for the Evil Blue Octagon before emancipating myself and reclaiming my sanity. I confess, much of it is my inability to play nice with others, but the others must also assume responsibility for a general lack of good sense. More and more, Etsy has been feeling like work as opposed to business. I knew it was time to tighten the reigns.

I find it has been too easy to sort and batch some community members into stereotypical co-workers and, that is last thing I need in the comforts of my dining room in torn yoga pants. Joe is so great about being the disciplined business man, none of our label contacts or partners have ever annoyed him to the point of rapid keystrokes, I on the other hand have been quite ruffled on more than one occasion.

Just as well, I have some NEW! designs floating around, letters to write and I can definitely stand a more comprehensive Flickr account. No, I haven't forgotten solar plexus lovin', so that too. Until later...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


It's April already! I try to take on something new every April. Why? Well, because everyone else does it in January and has flopped by April! Seriously, no more no less. I'd been giving it much thought as March was drawing to a close and also listening to my inner voice and taking queues from the universe. It looks like I will focus on my 3rd chakra this year.

My core is weak, my stomach is soft I'm nervous and a bit depressed. Funny how not too long ago on a whim I decided to reupholster the dining room chairs in yellow! My spirit is screaming for balance!

In a moment of housewife driven insanity, I made one of those (in rote TV salesperson tone)"If you purchase within the next 10 minutes we'll give you 100 FREE! items for just the cost of shipping a car overseas" deals. This is not my first purchase, I also have a Cat see-saw also known as a Lateral Thigh Trainer. But this I just may use. It's 10 minutes that I can spare before yoga and hitting the Etsy fora with my piping hot cup of Joe.

I've come to the realization that I am most diligent in my yoga practice and overall exercise routine if I begin before I am lucid enough to indulge in a donut and e-mail. And well...after, as my muscles are shaking, I am reminded that it is the fault of e-mail, Etsy and the donuts that I must exercise and I forgo the donut part of it, at least until the afternoon!

Well there you have it, my April Pledge "I shall strengthen my solar plexus daily before I engage in carbs and cantankery" (That is Tameka for cantankerous behaviour) . I shall post my progress. I can't promise any regularity of the postings. I may work on becoming a more consistent blogger next April. I don't want to outdo myself ya dig? Smiles

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