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Showing posts from June, 2008

Nothing Has Ever Felt Quite Like This

I am an enormously blessed person. I don’t say that to brag. I say that to glorify Him.

Today I learned that my great-nephew was admitted to PS 7 Middle School, a charter school that is part of the St. HOPE charter schools in Sacramento. This is an enormous opportunity. Huge! PS 7 is a feeder school for St. HOPE’s Sacramento High Charter School, which recently had 81% of its graduating class admitted to four-year colleges. How many public schools – inner city public schools, to boot – do you know of that can say the same?

PS 7 doesn’t have state-of-the-art digs, but it has state-of-the-art thinking: A longer school year, longer school days, individualized education programs so that students can work at their pace no matter how advanced, and inculcation that, from day one, students are not just preparing to graduate high school, but to graduate college. So much so that the signs outside each class’ door don’t read “Second Grade” or “Third Grade,” but Class of 2021” or “Class of 2…

It Ain't Summer Until . . .

It Ain’t Summer Until . . .

. . . .you’ve worn flip-flops

. . . . you’ve grilled something in your own backyard, especially for family and friends

. . . .your feet are as dark as your forearms

. . . you’ve had a homemade glass of sparkling limeade (Thanks, Martha Stewart! Recipe to follow . . . )

. . . you’ve spent time talking over the backyard fence to your neighbor about your respective backyard gardens

. . . .you’ve taken a child swimming

. . . . you’ve eaten a grilled burger that would put fast-food chain burgers to shame (Thanks, BMNB, and thanks to Memphis Minnie’s Rib Rub)

. . . . you’ve had to wait to walk your dog in the evening because it wouldn't cooling down

. . . . you’re looking for recipes for Southwest Corn and Black Bean salad (lost mine!)

. . . you’ve had Tiramisu ice cream at Baskin-Robbins

. . . you’ve made peace with your body and worn that swimsuit/tank top/summer dress anyway, perfection be damned.

Happy Summer, Y’all.

Martha Stewart’s Sparkling Limeade

1 cu…

Close The Door, Baby

Close the door, baby
And let me know you're mine
. . .

from "Close The Door" by Teddy Pendergrass

Those enticing words from 70’s singer Teddy Pendergrass were alluring to even those who had no hopes whatsoever of garnering the attention of the sexy crooner, including a middle-aged mother of six in the Sacramento suburbs (that would be my mom). But those words also have an application outside of the fantasies of middle-aged women from the 70's: They apply to situations where you have to let go of what once was and close the door on that which could be harmful to you.

For example, last week I ran into an old friend, a former friend to whom I haven’t spoken in more than ten years. Why we ceased being friends is still a mystery to me. All I know is that I wouldn’t go to Las Vegas with her after she broke up with her most recent beau (these break-ups were pretty common back then) because I had just started a new job, was assigned to a make-or-break-my-future case (or so …

Now I Know I'll Need Therapy: My Hair Stylist Retired

After nineteen years of relaxing, dying, conditioning, cutting, setting, and blow drying my hair in addition to dispensing tons of good ol' Mother wit and blunt truths, my hair stylist has decided to retire. To leave behind what I imagine are now exorbitant rents in the now-yuppified but formerly ghettofabulous area that was Hayes Valley in San Francisco where she has had her shop. To finally get off her feet and kick up her heels. To be with family.

Now I know I'm going to need a therapist.

Although I'm ecstatic for her -- her retirement reminds me that not every black woman has prepared for or has the means to retire -- I'm saddened to lose someone to whom I entrusted my joys, fears, man issues, and family issues. To lose someone who bluntly and necessarily told me when I was being stupid -- with men, with my money, with my family. Given that my mother's ability to do so waned with the early onset of her Alzheimer's, this blunt truth and Mother wit that only a …

Obama Victorious

Despite all the mud that was slung, despite trite little debate zingers such as “change we can Xerox,” despite facing the might and heft of a decades-old political machine, Senator Barack Obama claimed victory and the mantle of leadership for the Democratic Party going into this year’s presidential election.

Now I won’t have to vote for McCain, despite the fact that the Michigan and Florida delegations were partially seated -- seated despite the fact that both states’ delegations were to be sanctioned because their state parties moved up their primaries. Ooh wee, when the Democratic Party leadership threatens sanctions, we now know that even the sanctions are negotiable.

It would be too easy to do a victory dance, to laugh off Bill Clinton’s latest efforts to lay blame for a post-presidential bimbo eruption at the feet of the Obama campaign, and to dismiss Hillary in search of a much more likeable female vice presidential candidate – Janet Napolitano, anyone?

But I have to admit – I thi…


It hit me when I was in KB Toys in a nearby mall shopping for kites for my great-nephews and great-nieces. I promised them that BMNB and I would hold a kite-flying picnic for them in a park near our home that they’ve become quite fond of. I saw Transformer kites, Finding Nemo kites, Buzz Lightyear kites, and then when I looked for something a bit girl-friendly, all I found were . . . you guessed it: Barbie kites.

Although many of my great-nieces are bi-racial or multi-racial, none of them are blond with blue eyes. I refuse to buy them Barbie kites.

Which lead me to think: Why aren’t there any black female super heroines? I started asking around, and the only one anyone could think of was Storm from the X-Men. And as my niece pointed out, “She was only black in the movies. In the comic book, she’s mostly gray.”

That’s it. We need our own Black Female Super Heroine. I’ve already put my friend and artist Sheila in Denver to work on drawing her. She will be unequivocally black – w…