Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Allegory of The Hive

Allegory of the Cave; 1989 freshman year St. John's University, Philosophy 101. Truth, I sat hour upon hour wondering, "When does this start to make sense?" 2003; a bad year, fork in the road of a seemingly good life, age 30, "Oh, so that's what he was talking about". Well, not exactly. The moment was hardly an epiphany, in fact it was only in retrospect that I would realize the moment had actually come and gone. I've been on the previously uncharted road for nearly 5 years now and with that comes a new dilemma; does the student become the teacher?

Sometimes-more often than not, I find myself in the middle of a discourse involving some seemingly cave-like thinking; any and everything from child-rearing practices to work ethic and all local stops in between. I don't know what to do anymore. If I spend any more time writing and talking to my cats, I'll become officially weird, if I spend any more time trying to persuade others to exit the cave of their minds (patterned thinking, behaviors, comfort, ignorance) I worry I'll get sucked in. At some point you begin to wonder if your own wealth of life and happiness is all an illusion. Perhaps, I'm in the cave and everyone else is out dancing on some musical yellow road like pre-weird Michael Jackson and Diana Ross in The Wiz. Doubtful, but you never can tell.

So, I'm going to try something new, I'm going to ask my readers and just for shits and giggles I'm going to put together a package of goodness for the person who feeds me the sweetest morsel on the topic. (Morsels are defined as sweet goodness for your mind body and spirit.) If you're not on blogger, please leave an e-mail contact alongside your comment.

Do I rely upon the depth and breadth of my own teachings to help others close to me or do I depend on the sheer nature of the Universe to show them the way and, why?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Take 5 Tuesday July 29th 2008

It is time for Take 5 Tuesday again. Remember if you join me, please link back to your blog in the comments so I can peruse your musings. Peace.

1. 5 of your favorite things
- art

2. 5 things you wanted to be when you grew up
-a wife
-a mother
-a psychiatrist
-a writer
-a dancer

3. 5 of the best compliments that you have ever received
-"Seeing you as a mother touches me; it really makes me proud"~Grandma
-"They're learning such valuable lessons, thank you..." ~ Favorite Guy
-"What a neck; very, very nice" ~Yoga Joe
-"Thanks for staying on my ass"~ My younger brother
-" You always tell me just what I need to hear" ~ Bonnie

4. 5 songs that you would pick as your theme songs.
-Wonder, Natalie Merchant
-Cloudbusting, Kate Bush
-Feeling Good, Nina Simone
-Umi Says, Mos Def
-Black Money, Culture Club

5. 5 people that inspire(d) you.
-my grandmother (see above: Umi Says)
-Carol Berkley (home instruction tutor)
- Mr. Gomes (English teacher)
-Favorite guy
-my children-seriously, if you've never taken the time to just observe a day in the life of a child-you are missing out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Monday

Oh my, I'm a bad blogger, eh? I've been very busy-I'm not sure what it is I've been busy doing, but it sounds good. Oh! One thing; I've been shopping. Shopping was once my leisure and now I fear it has become hard work. I am apparently in the midst of the naked years. I say this because my options leave me no other recourse. It is either gold lame booty shorts or elastic waist polyester "reverse fit" trousers with the matching beaded caftan. I can joke about this now, but in the thick of it I was livid! Just what are 30 plus women wearing?

My signature style consists of A-line skirts, fitted tees, jeans, brightly colored sneakers and let's not forget the staples; Birkenstocks and the tailored white shirt. I'm not runway ready, but I'm always classically clad. Well not anymore. A-line skirts are ass cheek skimmers. Fitted tees are flowery frocks with frill. Oh, let us not forget rhinestones. Rhinestones and glitter abound, I'm a liberal hippie not Liberace! And jeans-this is when I knew it was time to come home and stare at my sewing machine, my choices in denim are few, the rise is either labia low or larynx high with nothing in between! Please for the love of my very meager sanity tell me what 30 plus women are wearing?

My trip literally and figuratively ended at Mervyn's where-joined by Favorite guy and Talkative gal, I went to retrieve Puberty Man from his four hour stint "servicing" (I've yet to see him in action, hence the quotes.) their customer base for an undisclosed wage. It was there, amidst the elastic waisted, reversed fit polyester pants and matching beaded caftans that I found salvation in a 70% off pair of (some brand I've never heard of before) figure flattering, labia covering, larynx sparing size 6 jeans! Thirteen dollars (Wonderful!) and many expletives later I have one, yes one flipping pair of jeans.

I also trimmed Anju's ass mats, attended OT for the hand, and became addicted to Swapbot. What have you been up to my darlings?

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Take...

On Being Black in America

Let me preface this by saying I was looking forward to seeing the report and would have been equally as intrigued had it been White, Hispanic, Asian etc. in America-moreover if it had been Native Americans but you catch my drift. I disagree with many of my peers who stated, "I'm living it." Or, "Been there done that." The feature was meant to be informative and while I didn't necessarily learn anything there were a few nods, sighs and bursts of feel good energy along the way.

A few highlights:

The news is well, sad enough entertainment-so I did expect a certain level of extremism; not necessarily so. Alas I saw Black families that reflected my own as well as others I know intimately. This is refreshing in a TV world that presents us with the option of doctors or derelicts and few choices in between.

I could certainly relate to the Warren children and how it feels to be not quite black enough. The statistics on the grades : popularity polarity were not at all alarming. The number one reason why we homeschool our children. I understand the need to develop a social identity and mesh, meld, assimilate during your pubescent tribe forming years. But, I have no desire to have any grown children living with and/or off of my husband and I-so I did the only thing I felt I could and separated the two. I still encounter folks who frown upon the way I speak or dress, the books I read, films I view-but being self sufficient and self assured because I am intelligent and cultured and aware alleviates the kind of angst that could and would manifest itself in someone who was still trying to formulate themselves and build character.

Aah Spike Lee, I love Spike. I'm not necessarily a Spike film fan, his work doesn't translate well for me on screen, but I give kudos for the concept and sheer initiative to bring issues like black on black hatred and interracial romance (not just sex) to the forefront. Spike touched on a subject that is heard and spoken often in my home when my children are watching television regarding the way blacks portray themselves on TV and the big screen. (Themselves because you do not have to take the role people.) He used the phrase, "Shucking and jiving...coonery buffoonery". Well, my children have never heard these phrases (thankfully) but growing up in a Southern culturally influenced home, I have and I know exactly what he means. For example, college-I was not in a sorority, I do not know how to step, I took ballroom dance, not hip hop. I played soccer not basketball and I studied! As we prepare to shuffle child number one off to college, I have to enforce these things as not only being stereotypically urban Black sub-culture versus the real Black Experience as well as encouraging him to go to college to have an experience not one that is boggled down by racial barriers, expectations and the like.

Lupe Fiasco whom I became familiar with on Jill Scott's collaborations CD took on the role of rap music and videos. I love words which would easily pre-dispose me to an affinity for rap music yes? Well not necessarily true since the most requested, and played songs have as much varied lyrical content as a fortune cookie-I mean really how many words rhyme with lollipop, nigger and bitch? Lupe said it best with Dumb it Down. As for Russell Simmons, meh-look who/what he married, he just talks the talk; Yogi my ass. There are certainly true and valid points made in hip hop, but if 60% of Black men are in prison at one time or another and more and more Black women are opting for non-Black men or single lifestyles, just where are is all of this "Bagging of Bitches" happening?

And lastly, a topic near and dear to me, interracial relationships. I'm never satisfied with the presentation of interracial romance because it is always put out there as some last resort or consolation prize. In all fairness that works both ways, historically it has been said that Black men date white women because they are passive, lascivious, more nurturing et al. Black women date white men for money, status or because Black men have fouled out. I say not true. Of course, there are some relationships that work like the aforementioned, but what about pure attraction, be it physical, or perhaps you happen to find the person intellectually stimulating. I always compare my choices in men to shoe shopping (I don't go through men as often, mind your manners.) I prefer a brown flat shoe and a fat (OK larger framed) white man. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything other than what appeals to me. It is no more or less egregious than liking a partner that is short, tall, blond etc. Is it superficial? Hell yeah, but shit something has got to be simple. Want some more?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

No Random Thoughts Today

I'm not feeling random today. Actually the events of the past couple days have been anything but random. I've started a detoxifying juice fast, Occupational therapy for the mystery that is impacting the functionality of my right hand and, last night I tuned in to CNN's Black in America report. So, um yeah random thoughts aren't exactly abound.

I'm hesitant to make any summation of my opinions on the news feature until I've watched the second half of it tonight. It is certainly a lot to digest, I'll give it that much. I found it important enough to corral the children into the family room for an unprecedented mandatory watching of the tube. But, I don't know-in relation to the way we've chosen to raise our children, if the content of the feature makes a matter at the end of the day. Again, I need to chew on that a bit.

Speaking of chewing, I'm doing alright with the fast. Knowing that I could quit at anytime and eat one of my aging mocha creme cookies yet, not doing so feels pretty amazing. You can see what is keeping the grey matter wrinkled and fully functional here.

One pseudo-scientific finding that has been unveiled amidst all of my toxin-free thinking; a seemingly direct correlation between mastication, aggravation and the ability to thread and load a sewing machine bobbin as it contributes to the makings of a homicidal maniac. I have a tendency to push myself beyond the very fragile brink of sanity by taking on projects that are only practical in my impractical mind's eye. I've done it again and it involves tulle and that damn sewing machine. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Namaste Art Swap is here!

Namaste is a respectful greeting, both as a welcome and in saying good-bye. Traditionally, Namaste is said while bringing together both palms of the hands before the heart in prayer position, and lightly bowing the head and shoulders. This gesture is a mudra, a well-recognized symbolic hand position in eastern religions. One hand represents the higher, spiritual nature, while the other represents the worldly self. By combining the two, the person making the gesture is attempting to rise above his differences with others, and connect himself with the person to whom he bows. The bow is symbolic of love and respect.

What a great concept from which to build, learn and share, yes? Well, that's precisely what I intend to do by hosting this here Namaste Art Swap! Laughs. (I'm reading a book set in the Carolinas, I reckon I'm still in character)

The Deal:
If you wish to participate, leave a comment on this post and send an e-mail to with the words Namaste Art Swap in the subject field. Include the following info:
1. Your full name and mailing address
2. Your e-mail address

The Dish:
You have until August 2, 2008 to sign up, I will notify all assigned partners via e-mail on Monday August 4, 2008. Your specially designed/thrifted/altered/recycled any thing but store bought Namaste artwork/s must be postmarked no later than Saturday August 16, 2008.

In the nature of goodness and light, I'm not going to assign monetary value to the swap. I expect all who participate to put forth great effort and thought in creating a reflection of what Namaste or connectivity, respect and love mean to each of you. By teaching, learning and connecting we move closer to understanding, respect and love.

The Doozy:
As I understand it, there are flakes in every swap; life happens. I don't expect you to rewrite destiny. So, if something happens; you can not swap on time or at all at this time, please notify myself and your partner as soon as possible or Kali's got a little something for you!

Let's swap.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Take 5 Tuesday July 22nd 2008

I gotta say, silly as the idea of memes can get after a while, this little breather really helps to cleanse the deep thought palette before my next exciting adventure in writing. So, here we go-Tuesday July 22nd...

5 snacks that you have stashed in your desk drawer.

5 things that people are always surprised to find out about you.
-I wanted to be a wife and mother when I grew up
-I prefer solitude and silence to social situations (But, I throw the best parties)
-I am very sensitive and cry easily
-I have a long lived weird crush on Snoop Dogg
-I don't know what else there is; I rock-'nough said.

5 new inventions you would like to see in the future.
-The manic brain "Off" switch
-The talkative child "Off" switch"
-The middle aged metabolism "On" switch
-The ability to "orb" teens home at curfew
-Lying ass politicians radar

5 of your earliest memories.
-Standing in the center of the circle at my 2nd birthday party and dancing while the kids around me sang
-Learning and using the word "obstinate" ad nauseam (age 6)
-Kicking Carol Hom's ass in the 4th grade Spelling Bee; she was a phenom!
-Singing John Cougar songs out the window of the school library after hours with my BFF Mona Yip (age 10)
-Getting these black patent leather shoes w/suede toes and metallic gold bows on them. They were way too small, but the only size they had left. They hurt like a bitch...I probably said that too. (somewhere between 10 and 12)

5 things you would never do.
-forsake my marriage vows
-abandon my responsibilities as a mother
-deliberately harm another living creature
-forget the road I traveled on to get this far
-stop traveling the road

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fluff for Circumstance

A bit of Monday fluff; it's been a day fraught with occupational therapy and general Mondays' malaise. I did however get some goodies in the mail, so let's dish on one of 'em for shits and giggles.

I often make mention of music and my varied musical tastes. There is so much to be gleaned from a people, a culture, an era through music; it's the story you can dance to. I'm not sure what we'll look back and realize we've learned from Soulja Boy other than to relish the blissful ignorance of our youth if we actually like his

I recently purchased Rhythms Del Mundo Cuba for the Favorite guy and I. Rhythms Del Mundo is a collaborative project which raises money and awareness of global climate and other assorted ecological issues. This is a cause near and dear to me, as a well invested creator of little people I'd like them to have a place to sow their lessons of love and peace.

Rhythms Del Mundo Cuba brings together some exceptionally diverse talent. As you can tell I'm rather passionate about the purchase. Featured on the compilation are contemporary artists such as ColdPlay, Maroon5, Sting and Jack Johnson-but, the musical composition has been produced and arranged by the late great Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo of Buena Vista Social Club and a special appearance from Quincy Jones. It also happens to feature Ibrahim's last performance, As Time Goes By; a duet with Omara Portuondo; talk about going out with strength and grace.

Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Official...

Okay, so it's no secret that I talk to my cats and well, now it's no longer a secret that they talk back. (I'm not sure if I mentioned it previously, but they respond to my high pitched kittie-talk with meows. For all I know they could be saying, "This broad is nuckin' futs", but until they actually say that, we're cool.) Up until this afternoon I kinda had a handle on the fact that they, Anju and Biju are cats and I, Tameka am not a cat. This whole story is exceptionally funny to me because I watch the Dog Whisperer and laugh...chortle even, at folks who engage in near psychotic extremes of anthropomorphism. Well, you read it here first folks, today I called Anju Ike Turner! Actually, I kinda asked him if he thought he was Ike Turner. Yup, sure did.

The cats go at it a few times a week in the morning, my guess is that one of them-Anju, is not a morning per...feline (You almost had me.) Today was no exception, they were going at it something awful as I slurp down my nuclear hot coffee. I did my usual screaming, foot stomping; trying to distract them from eating one another and it worked for a while. Then, this evening while I was in the zone, working on a new piece, humming...well more like 'singing in tongues'-I was listening to 80's tunes, and you know how you think you know the song better than you actually do? Well, yeah-that, "It was a long hot night she made it easy, she made it feel right, ah nananana de diddle deee dee..mana mana, I knew I was wrong." Suddenly, Biju lets out this bile curdling, almost human sounding scream and limps off under the sofa whimpering. I jump up, beads rolling about. "Oh no you did not. What're you crazy or somethin'?" I raise Anju up from the floor holding him at eye level. (I know what you're thinking) I ask, "What's with the Ike Turner shit? Leave. Her. Alone, Anju! Seriously you're really pissin' me off." Now mumbling, "This fuckin' guy is too much". I returned to the piece I was working on; eyebrows still a-wrinkle, sat stoically for a moment before I burst into laughter. Shortly followed by the fear that Anju just went to piss in my Birkenstocks. Aah, it's official, I've arrived, "My name is Tameka and I am a Crazy Cat Lady". Huh?, he didn't respond this time. Peace.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Thursday Banter

I've been working diligently on Joe's anniversary present this evening. I can't post pics for obvious reasons (waves at Favorite Guy) but, I'm pretty excited about the concept. I, with the help of Remy Shand, Ibrahim Ferrer, Sarah McLachlan and Plain White Tees was able to shake the uneasy queasy following my doctor's visit. I just have to trust that the Universe has a method to her madness. Perhaps I need to slow down, relinquish control-whatever it is, I'm holding on. Any and all well wishes, prayers, Reiki, as my amazing grandma says "root"; all are welcome.

Joe and I will be married 17 years in 16 days; that is pretty...never mind pretty-it is amazing. The 17th anniversary gift, based on all of the charts is supposed to be furniture. And, you wonder why folks can't stay married? You just can't celebrate... (hang on let me get a pen) 6,205 days of life together with a couch! Are these people serious?

This year we purchased timeshare while on our annual birthdays' celebration, so our actual gift exchange will be scaled down accordingly. I think my gift is gonna rock his new socks! (Yeah, I'm getting you some of those too.) I'll post pictures-tune in August 2nd.

And for the road, I never do this-but do take a moment to read this post, you can't say I never gave you anything. Peace.

Random Thought: Pain From 1-10

I'll make this quick, I have no choice. Today in half an hour or so I have my first appointment with the hand surgeon. I finally surrendered to the pain, instability and swelling in my right hand. I couldn't let it go any longer, I mean that's my beer holding, bird flipping, drunk night out on the dance floor "woo hoo" hand. It is also my cursive teaching, hair brushing, tiny finger nails polishing, painting, drawing, writing, designing hand. So, yes I'm sore in every sense of the word.

Aside of dreading the outcome, I know he's going to ask me, "On a scale of 1-10 how much pain are you in?"That is the topic of today's random thought; something about pain and figures, pain and logical reasoning just doesn't compute in this mad mind of mine. From broken bones, to childbirth, to the removal of the aforementioned un-needed, uncooperative mechanics; doctors continue to ask that question. I just want to tell him, "It hurts like hell, it hurts like a bitch." Or, better yet, "Come closer let me show you".

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Karma Conundrum

First Rikki Lake gave us self esteem, followed by Oprah's co-dependency (or maybe not, the order escapes me) and, the new millennium brings us the karma conundrum. I vividly recall sitting in front of the idiot box and waiting for the part of Rikki Lake's show where some cretin; equally as adept at psychology as the English language would spew the phrase, "Girl, you need to git' you some self esteems." Shudder. Well much to my chagrin this has now been replaced with, "Karma's gonna git you sucka'"! Laughing. Friends are for sharing so let's talk a bit about wishing harm on others under the guise of karma. Which is also passive aggressive behavior by the way and another one of my philo/psycho-babble pet peeves.

-Sanchita Karma: This is basically all-inclusive karma. It is what we have accumulated from previous lifetimes, and past actions in this lifetime, good and bad. It is everything we need to work out eventually - now or later.

-Prarabdha Karma: This is the karma that we are working off in this lifetime. Since we choose our birthtime, we also choose the planets that are there at the time of our birth, which affects our karma.

-Agami Karma: This is the more immediate kind of karma. When we do something and see the effects right then and there.

-Kriyamana Karma: This is how our purposeful actions affect our future karmic return. If we are more aware of the actions we take, and act out of kindness we will be able to improve our future karma.

So there you have it, pretty simple. There is no classification of karma for bad drivers, folks who don't tip, relatives that have wronged us or inconsiderate friends. Karma is neither a bitch or a motherfucker; karma is action. The next time you want to improve on your karmic destiny, rather than exalting your right to cast down the pseudo karmic demons on your unsuspecting brethren, take a breath and think a happy thought with happy little trees and maybe even a flower or two lest you come back as an immortal co-dependent cockroach with low self esteem. Peace.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Take 5 Tuesday

I realize in my quest to remain a consistent blogger, not all posts will be fraught with depth and intellect; I'm okay with that. After a near psychotic break while formatting my Bee's Knees interview, I made the well thought decision to take on one of the memes from a previous post. I guess I'm just not feeling much like an over-achiever today. I made veggie dogs and beans for dinner and Puberty Man reminded me that he needed clean underwear. Hell, I thought he was just staying indoors to spend quality time with mom.

At any rate, here goes my first Take 5 Tuesday courtesy of The Daily Meme If you join me, please leave a comment with a link to your blog, I'm nosey.

I. 5 things I collect:
-Peace related items
-Vintage African American ephemera
-Ghanaian wood sculptures
-Menarche/Crone/Goddess items

II. 5 things about my hair:
-I have cut my own hair for 5 years
-It is naturally medium brown w/hints of red, but I vegetable (clove) dye it dark brown
-I have one patch of hair near the base of my scalp which is a different texture than the rest
-I am going grey
-I have a cowlick at the very front of my hairline which has been passed on to both my children

III. 5 random things about my pets:
-Beau (cavy) is gay
-Anju (male cat) has an eating disorder
-Biju (female cat) is a rogue
-Both my cats are Crazy Cat Lady rescues
-I use Aveda products on my cavy

IV. 5 things in my junk drawer:
Uh-oh...the shame and horror
-A blue plastic 12" ruler
-A spool of red spun polyester thread
-A yellow star-shaped hair slide (Yael)
-A 1988 nickel
-A package of rodent Bark Chews

V. 5 of my favorite summer foods:
-Cherries (haven't had any yet)
-Tossed green Salad
-Grilled seitan satays (NEW! favorite)
-Grilled corn
-Grilled veggie-kabobs

Monday, July 14, 2008

Altered tins, Muffin tins & Tzatziki

I'm on a jewelry making hiatus, when designing feels forced and starts to feel like work, I break. Lately, I just can't find any beads and findings to make me swoon; so, I went paper shopping. If I've never mentioned it previously, I love paper crafting. I guess it ties in well with my love of writing and it's the perfect break from jewelry creating because it is so inexpensive. Beads and metals can get costly especially once you've designed a number of items and are waiting for them to sell.

I spent the afternoon listening to my Pandora station and working on altered tins. Sara Tavares, Nina Simone, Omara Portuondo, Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and The Roots. I came up with 4 designs ironically enough none of which include the papers purchased during my shopping spree. All four designs were created using pre-existing stock; mostly scraps. I'm pretty impressed. Measuring just 3.75 x 2x5" they pack quite an artistic little punch! Once they've been sealed with Liquitex (great stuff) they'll be ready for sale.

And lastly, I did pause to fulfill my Muffin Tin Monday obligation and feed the family. It was Greek night here at the Honey House; we dined on vegetarian gyros complete with fresh fruit and my world (Well, my little world) famous authentic (I grew up in Astoria, NYC) Tzatziki!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One Friend, 2 Friends, e-Friends, True Friends

The party was a lot of fun, the guests all played nicely and I am officially thirty-five years young. And now, the dish. In a beer induced moment of clarity it occurred to me, as I watch everyone frolicking about and behaving humanly-(I love that expression) why I, am not a fan of humans. We're just way too needy. It also occurred to me that there are a handful of humans whom reside in a special place in my heart.

Iva, the CIO (Chief Inspirational Officer) of the committee couldn't make it in from NYC for my birthday. In her absence she sent two beautiful cards which arrived right on time for my day. She was sorely missed. As I stood in the kitchen behind the island (This is where I shield myself from ever being approached at all sides by overzealous drunken humans, have you ever noticed this?) I realized that I needed her here. Iva is the friend that gives me the okay to dance in the kitchen, drink until I pass out and then do it again the next day-of course after we're done pillaging clearance racks. We all need that "Let-your-hair-down, hell-shave-it-off-if-you-wanna" friend, that is her.

Then, there is Amy who I called today just to thank her for being easy. Amy is like a substitute favorite guy, I'd call her favorite gal, but Iva would beat her up. Laughs. She's the "Mellow-laid back, as-long-as-the-beer-is-cold, everything-is-irie" friend, I love her much. Welcome to the committee McDonough.

Lisa called at 10:01, up until about oh I'd say a week ago, Lisa was banished to "Status Invisible" for being a bad friend, but the good yogi that I am turned the other cheek again (I said good yogi, nothing about being above laying on a guilt trip) and have since had her reinstated. She's alright with me especially since she remembered my birthday! Welcome back Wench.

There were others, but they managed to extract enough of my negative attention yesterday, so no special mention for them. Blows raspberry.

And, last but certainly not least-I logged into my Etsy account and had a bunch of very sweet birthday wishes from my e-Friends. You guys are so incredibly sweet, thank you all so much. I almost cried when I logged on and saw my Etsy birthday wish but the personal messages truly made my day. It really doesn't take much to make someone smile and there's a special name for people who do it without an agenda; true friends.

If I am nothing, what I am is a loyal faithful awesome friend and not the least bit humble or modest about it, as you can tell. That being said, I am also a pretty good judge of character and a real stickler for conviction, so when I let you in, that privilege comes with great expectations and rewards. Sadly, I have had to remove certain people from my good graces, and while it may suck for them-trust, it has been quite the character building experience for me. Onward and upward.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The List

So I want to make a list, like all the "cool kids". Here's the thing, I get really wound up when I don't complete stuff. In fact, I have been known to tire myself out and never get past the thought process which precedes the making of said To do: list. So, bear with me, if you will.

I looked at the 100 things in 1001 days meme-too much shit. I want something simple, like 35 things to do before my 36th birthday. This is roughly 3 things per month giving me enough time to plan, procrastinate, plan some more, procrastinate some more, execute, botch it, wallow in self-pity and try, try again. These are in no particular order as I'm in no particular hurry to do some of them.

1. Obtain a driver's license
2. Declutter my work space and maintain it
3. Paint something
4. Expand my yoga practice beyond breath and posture
5. Become better acquainted with my sewing machine, I.e. make something
6. Grow something besides body fat, grey hair and children
7. Make a new friend (I'm painfully introverted, this is BIG)
8. Minimize my wardrobe and donate donate donate!
9. Work on communication with Favorite guy
10. Promote Jordan from the dining room table to college
11. Hear 10 Etsians voices (Everyone I interact with has a NYC accent because it's all online, I want to hear voices and accents and affect and tone and cadence; it intrigues me.)
12. Take one short trip each season and explore Arizona
13. Visit the Georgia O'Keefe Museum
14. Own 100 pieces of original art
15. Read at least one book per month
16. Blog consistently
17. Adopt a pet
18. Help a child (other than my own)
19. Take my grandma to see Sedona (She met a woman on her flight back to SC from visiting us last year and the woman, also a senior citizen urged her to add Sedona to her Bucket List.)
20. Get dressed every day for 10 days and take photos
21. A 7 day Juice fast
22. Fix my bike and ride it
23. Go rollerskating
24. Go dancing
25. Teach my daughter to jump Double Dutch
26. Construct a menarche treasure trove
27. Smell my niece's feet
28. Sculpt something
29. Put away 10% of my earnings
30. Get something published
31. Host my own jewelry party
32. Take a professional family portrait
33. Go to the theatre
34. See a live musical performance
35. Organize and execute a Peace art swap

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mabith is a superstar! And, so am I...

I haven't been playing in the Etsy fora much lately. I may have posted a random comment here and there but nowhere near my prior frequency. After my vacation, I guess I detoxed and am pretty content without my daily dose of fora madness. It's a shame really because without and even amidst the drama I've met some talented artists and all around great people. I have engaged and engrossed myself in many new and exciting endeavors as a result of the Etsy fora.

No, this is not a farewell sympathy post. No, I'm not copying someone else's ingenious idea for a traffic driving farewell sympathy post. I am just reflecting before segueing into the fantasticabulousness which is this artist's interpretation of me! Mabith, fellow Etsian and all around superstar sent a Flickr mail notifying me of the existence of this wonderful piece. Love it? Check out Mabith's shop on Etsy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lo and behold

First the Lo; produce prices are through the roof! It kinda makes being a vegetarian hard. I'd assume carnivores are suffering too since their dinner eats my dinner for dinner. Either way, I've been trying to come up with creative ways to conserve my beer and art supplies budget. Some of those ways are meal-planning, cooking ahead/in bulk and mixing it up. We buy locally and whenever possible we buy reduced priced produce; reduced because it is coming upon its Sell-by date. It's still edible and tasty, just lacking in hang time.

Last night we had Mexican with broccoli and ripe plantains as sides. The green plantains are ripening for next weeks' recipes, but the bell peppers, onions and broccoli needed a new look. They got just the look they needed in my Leftover Vegetables Lo Mein, this recipe is simple (Providing you don't start a minor grease fire that has to be put out with your most comfortable fat girl shorts as I did.) and delicious!

Leftover Vegetables Lo Mein

5 tbs Hoisin Sauce
2.5 tbs honey
5 tbs Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice seasoning w/o MSG
1/2 cup warm water

Leftover fresh vegetables (whatever you have, we had matchstick carrots and broccoli)
2 eggs, scrambled or Tofu
1/4 large onion julienned
1/2 large bell pepper julienned
4 tbs bean sprouts (I used canned)
4 tbs bamboo shoots ( I forgot to add them amidst the fire)
4 tbs Sesame oil (I hate it, I used vegetable oil)

Spaghetti No. 9 (We had Spaghetti Rigati; same shit but ribbed)

Prepare pasta al dente (4-6 minutes at a rolling boil) drain (or is it strain) add to large bowl and drizzle w/2 tbs vegetable/sesame oil. Toss to coat. Add remaining oil to wok (or frying pan if you're practical-which I'm not.) saute raw vegetables just until coated in oil, but still crisp. Push vegetables to sides of wok or remove from pan and add eggs/tofu until cooked. Remove wok and veggies/eggs from heat/pan. Mix sauce ingredients thoroughly, pour over pasta and veggies, eggs/tofu and return to heat until warm. Serve with chopsticks, (It isn't spaghetti anymore!) fortune cookies and chilled Tsingtao (I settled for Kirin Ichiban because the Chinese brews were warm, and after the fire incident, I needed a cold one!)

Okay and now for the Behold! I have bangs damn it. I like them, really I do. Have a look; I totally could've used some Hello Crafty Honey Lip Balm in that first pic...ewww Ashy Ashy McNasty! So, yeah bangs...(for those of you who missed the dilemma of the decade, see here.) Now what I didn't mention is that I don't have a forehead. It's more of a threehead as I have lots of fine hairs which outline my face right down to the brows. This means my bangs have to be uber short (2.5") to sit above my brows. This works though, as my little...scratch that, younger (18) and taller sister Siobhan has informed me that I have a "Chinese bang" and, "That's what's up!" Lo and behold, my Chinese food and bangs are all about it! Go me! Wink, smile.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Monday (The Update)

Not too shabby! The party menu has been finalized, place mats purchased, non-perishables (or is it imperishables) purchased. Pesticide for the succulents and replacement succulents for the departed purchased. Moment of silence. I have bangs (I like them, more about them later.) I designed the perfect pair of earrings for my dress and favorite guy snagged a complementing tee. The cats have new toys, Beau has alfalfa, I met my Thrift Swap partner Beth and, we swapped thrifty goodness (pics to follow). I uploaded a couple of designs and one delicious meal to The Creativity 365 Project! Muffin Tin Monday went over without incident although my blood sugar was plummeting as I struggled to prepare. I assure you my soft vegetarian tacos tasted so much better than the ingredients look divvied up into a muffin tin, except for the store bought guacamole; it had the consistency of well, you can see the consistency. That's a never again. Unseen sides include sweet plantains baked with a bit of olive oil and fresh broccoli. Had I taken the time to include everything I would have been bordering on hypoglycemic hysterics, so I erred on the side of sanity. Pauses to breathe.

More, the skeleton of my Bee's Knees Tuesday featured artist interview is complete. If you haven't been following look over there to your left, see the cool bee hanging out there under the words The Buzz Art Blog? Yeah her, click on the pic and you're there. I'll put the finishing touches on tomorrow before yoga which I cannot miss lest I turn to stone. No, seriously the tightening of the muscles is a fate worse than death, so Downward Dog it is. On the social front, although I haven't been doing much socializing since I have to smile and play nice on Saturday-one of my NYC committee members, in a bizarre turn of events has fairly recently befriended the friend of a long lost cousin of mine; a first cousin no less. It has been ages, literally; we were children when we last saw one another or spoke. I'm really looking forward to hearing and comparing! And...I think that's it, right-like that wasn't enough! Faints.

Monday Monday

Nestles into chair and tries to sort the infinite to do list in my mind. Today is Monday and I have a million things to do. The party menu is still not finalized; we're short a few hot appetizers. It is Muffin Tin Monday and the Peace family fridge and cupboards are full of lone items. Together, the only certainty with the ingredients handy, is four upset stomachs. My succulents need replanting after suffering a vicious organic soil gnat attack. I have new jewelry designs to list and new projects to photograph for The Creativity 365 Project. Can I do it all without going insane? Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Another Year of Boring Hair?

Bangs, highlights, what to do? This is the insanity that ensues around every monumental birth year. Last year I was perfectly gorgeous and content. This year just because I'll be 35, I have to reinvent the wheel! Ugh. I spent half an hour posing in the mirror yesterday and imagining myself with bangs. I just keep going back to the fact that bangs to me, symbolize lightheartedness and jubilance; Tameka is anything but-I, am serious business. Makes very serious face while raising one brow.
Highlights: The cons of highlights are of course the damage from stripping the color but moreover, I'm a natural naked faced gal. You kinda have to have a little, "Mmph"! If you're sporting highlights. Bah! What does one do in a situation like this? Favorite guy, bless his well trained heart will only say, "You always look pretty." So, back to square one it is.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Super quick post, no pictures-I just cannot contain myself. I.have.a.birthday.dress! Squeal! Pant, pant, happy dance, cheer! It gets better, I have had this dress for 5 years, and never worn it! It's a gorgeous, way too expensive Diesel dress that I purchased thinking I'd have it altered to my then size 2 frame. Every place I took it said the dress would lose all of its character if they took away that much. Well, like all of my other clothes, it shrunk! (We know this is not true, but it is my way of dealing with the extra poundage and this is my blog so I can lie if I want to) I tried it on today, I am blue (color of the runner in my family room) carpet ready baby! Squeal!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A New Moon, Old Music & Mainstream Movies

It's a new moon tonight, I'll be 35 in 10 days; what to do? What to do?! I had this whole 'De-clutter Your Space, De-clutter Your Mind' idea going on. In true Tameka form, the process of planning the de-cluttering exacerbated the current state of mental clutter, setting me back indefinitely. I'm left wondering if I should perhaps, embrace the clutter or first, de-clutter by streamlining the planning of the de-cluttering process. (I'll wait while you re-read that, take your time.)

So yeah, that's pretty much what I'm wrestling with, that and listening to Cold Case. I'm indifferent about the show, but the soundtrack from the initial crime scene is always the best. I seem to constantly discover and rediscover great oldies from the show's score. Oh! This is big- I may, at 35 be forced to hand over my self-appointed Film Snob title. Yes, not one, but two mainstream (Shudder at the thought.) films have me thoroughly intrigued. First, on July 25th Mulder and Scully return, The X-Files Movie baby. It's as close as I'll ever get to seeing a UFO unless I lose my teeth or end up residing on an abandoned farm with scattered junk cars and a chicken or two. And, in October The Secret Life of Bees. If you have not read this book please do, it is one of my favorite reads. Sue Monk Kidd scribes a most beautiful portrait of humanity, humility and good ol' Southern hospitality. I've preserved a copy for gifting my daughter at her menarche ritual. I hope the film accurately captures the magic of the book; it'd be a crime not to.

I guess you now have a glimpse of the after effects of Operation De-clutter in my hodge-podge of a post. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

One of My Favorite Quotes

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.

-Mother Theresa.

This is one of my favorite quotes and I still remember when and where I discovered it; a little card shop I used to pass daily on my way to work while living in NYC. I'd never gone into the card shop before; it was just part of the bustle. This day with a sorrow-filled stomach the short visit would replace my lunch. Who could've known that an empty stomach would so satiate my hunger for emotional peace.

I meditated this morning, read a few blogs, engaged in a few internal monologues, created and, read some more. I came across a blog entry from MoonBeam Arts on the details of a bad day. Without a moment's thought I jumped into the comments box and shared the Mother Theresa quote. When I finished, still feeling the burn of her account, I had a moment of clarity (I really like the word epiphany but it can be overused, you know. Finding a great Dooney & Burke on clearance when you have an additional 25% off coupon is not an epiphany people, get outta my word bank.) I'd like to share.

In the depths of my despair the year I purchased the quote bearing card (Yeah I bought it, I still have it) I was way too downtrodden to love even myself. Spent, I had no offering to give the person(s) who hurt me; I was in autonomous drone mode. Work, home, work, home repeat. It seemed to me that I had sworn off love, I was numb. I wasn't feeling loved and I certainly wasn't doling any.

I continued to spend my lunch hours in the card shop and somewhere between reaching a US size 2 and 0 I purchased another card. This one read: For one human being to love another is the most difficult of all our tasks...-R.M. Rilke I felt almost relieved that someone else out there knew, with certainty, the travails of loving and being loved. So comforted by those two strings of words, I started to write again. It was loving something, anything that led me through this insane labyrinth of pain and betrayal. It was my love of writing.

Writing has never steered me wrong yet (Talking and cussing though, are a whole other diatribe for another day). Today, after reading and re-reading and ultimately commenting on MoonBeam Arts blog I took a second look at my own relationships; a checks and balances system if you will. I'm famous for saying, "Inspect what you expect". Today, Tuesday-I'm doing quite alright but, I will send some Reiki and my personal offering of gratitude to all who love through the hurt because, this shit is hard work indeed. Write it, read it, paint it, dream it but don't give up. Peace.

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