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Showing posts from December, 2009

Black-eyed Peas for Luck, CitiMortgage for Money

Unlike many black women across the U.S., I am not tasked with making black-eyed peas for luck and greens for money to celebrate the new year. My one and only task to prepare for the coming year is quite simple:

Make a mortgage payment on December 31.

This is no small feat. Banks close early. Call centers are swamped. I can't set up my online bill pay function to do it because the bill pay function starts before my paycheck is deposited. My mission is simple: Pay the mortgage over the phone before CitiMortgage closes for the day on December 31.

You see, BMNB and I have been in income tax hell for the past three or four years. When we moved to California and were waiting out the overpriced housing market, we no longer had a primary residence for purposes of mortgage interest and property tax deductions. As a double-income, no kids professional (albeit civil service professional) couple with few tax deductions, we were getting taxed out of the behind and coming up short every ye…

Tidings of Comfort Food and Joy

I hope you had as wonderful a Christmas as I did. My Christmas wasn't about expensive gifts or overworked hostesses bearing overladen platters of food, but about gathering with family and exchanging small but meaningful gifts -- a photo of a departed, beloved pet; recipes from my late mom, SWIE; books to inspire travel; even a book of Sudoku puzzles. It wasn't the price but the thought put into the gifts that counted. And it was nice to have just about everyone gathered around without there being a funeral as the reason.

Indeed, one gift I treasured greatly was a book of my mom's recipes given to me by my sister. You see, I had been hankerin' for some good ol' chili beans like my mom used to make, but I had long forgotten how she made them. Luckily, my sister had it all written down. The gift of that recipe means that my mom's comfort food -- my comfort food -- will still live on.

If you're nice, perhaps I'll share the recipe with you, along with so…

Merry Christmas!

I can't take credit for my neighbors' outdoor Christmas decorations, but I thought I'd share a photo or two of them just to same. Merry Christmas to all! Black Woman Blogging

Let Those Old Republican SOB's Fillibuster

It looks like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has locked up the 60 votes he needs to end a Republican filibuster.

I say, let those old Republican SOB's filibuster. Just for the hell of it.

I'm not saying give up the 60 votes. I'm not saying that we shouldn't move forward with what's left of the health care bill. I'm less than thrilled that the public option will probably disappear from whatever bill emerges from the conference committee. But I'd rather see health care legislation enacted and possibly amended in the future than no health care legislation at all. I guess I'm a realist.

But I think this whole filibuster threat is one that is beyond the physical means of the Republican senators to carry out. Just look at their ages -- most of those old farts are in their 60's and 70's. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm in my 40's and my eyesight, back, and bladder aren't nearly what they used to be twenty years ago. I don't eve…

Why I'm Having A Merry Christmas

In the words of Maya Angelou, I'm singin' and swingin' and gettin' Merry like Christmas. I'm having a wonderful holiday season, and here's why:

I'm not doing anything I don't want to do.

First, let's talk about all the things I'm NOT doing or didn't do:

Drama. If something even vaguely hints at drama, I'm not going near it, no sirreee Bob. I've passed up some events and will continue to pass up events because the potential for drama is high.

Spending lots of money. I've focused on a few gifts for a few people -- my godchildren, my husband, BMNB, and a few others. My siblings and I drew names for a "Beg, Borrow or Steal Yankee Swap" for Christmas in which we're not allowed to spend money (more on that below). I bought office gifts on sale or at the Dollar Tree and stayed within my budget, which was very low. I have only one more gift to buy, and I will not have spent more than $100 on gifts when I'm done. I&#…

Copenhatin', Or When The Polar Bears Eat Sarah Palin's Pets

The poorer nations at the Copenhagen Summit (Is the term "lesser developed countries" considered politically incorrect?) want the richer nations to not only accelerate their decrease of greenhouse gas emissions, but to pay the poorer nations for having to adjust to climate change. The U.S. wants China to reduce its emissions more, and China is waiting for the U.S. to take greater steps, to wit, some form of legislation from the U.S. Senate. Good luck with that. I'm sure Joe Lieberman would be opposed to that, too. And Sarah Palin, the Britney Spears of politics, is dismissing climate change and the "politicized science" behind it (Is that similar to "politicized memoir-writing?") while taking swipes at California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is, well the Arnold Schwarzenegger of politics.

And while all this Copenhatin' is going on, some polar bear is swimming a marathon trying to get to an ice floe. Trust me, evolution is on the bear'…

Hey Sixteen

Way back when in '87
I wore a size eight
In dresses and suits
Now time has passed
I’m fat and sagging
Wearing plus sizes
What the hell am I?

Hey sixteen
No you can’t weary skinny jeans
No True Religion for you
Please slap that eggnog
Right out of my hand

(with apologies to Steely Dan)

Yesterday, I finally accepted an unfortunate milestone I've reached: I can now shop freely in the plus sized women's department. I am officially a size sixteen.

Talk about payback being a mother. When I was interning for a state agency as a graduate student in my twenties, I laughed at all the women in their 40's and 50's complaining about saddlebag thighs, sagging boobs, dragging asses, weight gains, and turkey necks, all of them dreading swimsuit season. I swore that I would never let myself go like that. I promised myself that I would never, EVER, wear a double-digit size, that I would never have back fat sticking out of a backless dress or a one-piece swimsuit.

If you held up a swimsuit to …

The Greatest Golfer, But Not The Greatest Player

So it looks like my favorite Cablasian got caught cheating on his wife, confirming what I’ve believed all along: Women are smarter than men. Tiger may be one of the world’s best golfers, but he’s a lousy player, if you get what I mean.

Think about it: If politicians, NBA stars, rock stars, and even the President of the United States got caught cheating on their wives, what made Tiger Woods think he wouldn’t get caught?

Here’s where I think women are smarter than men: Women think of cheating in terms of relationships; men think of it as transactional. Let me explain.

For example, married women would find a way to use relationships to shield their husbands from their extramarital relationships. A married woman would be smart enough to assume that the person she’s cheating with is as low-down as she is and has nothing to lose from outing her, so she would choose a cheating partner who had some “skin in the game,” so to speak – someone with something to lose by going public with their cheati…

Today, This Seat Is Reserved

During my husband's morning bus commute, he noted a placard reserving a seat in the front of the bus for Rosa Parks on what is the 54th anniversary of her refusal to give up her seat in the front of the bus. May she rest in peace.