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Showing posts from May, 2011

A Prayer for Gil Scott-Heron to be Free

I recently heard of the passing of Gil Scott-Heron. His passing is truly a loss to African Americans and free-thinking people around the world.

My introduction to Gil Scott-Heron was through my oldest brother, who is eight years older than I am. Growing up in the '70's, I always felt my brother had "radical" tastes -- he had the kinds of records -- and I mean "records," not tapes or CDs -- that my Pentecostal father would have probably broken had he known what was being sung or said on them. My brother didn't have the time or patience for fluffy, insignificant music like disco or arena rock. His tastes included Santana, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Tower of Power, Parliament/Funkadelic, Richard Pryor's comedy albums ("Bicentennial Nigger," anyone?), and, of course, Gil Scott-Heron. It seemed that, in order to make the cut to be included in his musical collection, your music had to have a message or a vibe that resonated with a young black …

97,123 Words . . . and I'm Skurred

About a week ago, I turned in a manuscript of a book based on this blog to my sister, The Writing Diva, to edit. To put it in the parlance of the young folks, "I'm skurred."

Other than God, there is no one more powerful over a writer than an editor. Handing over a manuscript you've worked on to an editor is like preparing for death by a thousand red editing symbols. And when it comes to editing, nobody does it better than The Writing Diva.

TWD has been editing my work since I was a child. She's always been the better writer, the better thinker, you name it. Even my dad once reminded me of this in a not-too-kind manner: "You're smart, but Carol's smarter."

What makes handing my work over to her worse is that, as a personal rule, I never spend more than 30 minutes writing any blog entry. It was my attempt at keeping my writing "fresh" and "raw." Well, an editor takes your "raw" writing and makes it "well done,"…

I Guess I Was Left Behind

Well, it's past 9 pm on May 21, and I'm still here. I guess I was left behind.

Despite having accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, I wasn't swept up to heaven. Well, I kinda get that. I've done a lot that might stand between me and eternal salvation, much of it in the '90's, although there are a few commandments in particular I've been having an awfully difficult time with over the last few years.

But BMNB is still here, too, downstairs watching what's left of the Dallas/OKC playoff game. He doesn't seem to be the least concerned that he's still here, too. What's that about? He's done a whole lot less sinning than I have, and he's been a devout Baptist all his life. I can understand me still sitting here waiting to be vaporized, but not him.

Well, Lord, let me just say thank you for at least letting my niece graduate from Sacramento State University today before 6 p.m. Pacific time so she could at least get swept up or vaporized WITH a B…

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria's?

Arnold Schwarzenegger cheated on his wife Maria Shriver, fathered a child outside of their marriage as a result of said cheating, and referred to this mistake in his press release as an "event" that took place over ten years ago.

Event?

An event is something that happens and ends. Producing a child outside of your marriage is far more than an "event." When your "event" walks, talks, and attends school, it ain't an "event."

Maria Shriver has joined the Sisterhood of the Philandering Husbands. That club includes presidents' wives, congressmen's wives, and a pretty significant percentage of wives around the world. I wouldn't wish that on any woman. And unlike a mistress, whom you can choose to have nothing to do with after the "event," Arnold had to take it one step further and have a "baby mama." That makes Arnold more than just a father or ex-governor: He's a "baby daddy," as in that janky song, &quo…

Back in the Day: The Used Baby Clothes Economy

Seems like May is graduation season and baby shower season. I went to a baby shower for a new mom in my family a week ago and it seems like many others are going to baby showers this month. This reminded me of a conversation I had with my older sisters a while back in which it was revealed that I probably did not have many, if any, new baby clothes as an infant. I was not offended, but I was surprised.

I am the youngest of my parents' children. I have over fifty first cousins. And I was born near the end of the Baby Boom. Back then, a woman got one baby shower -- for your first child. After that, you were on your own. Thus begat the "used baby clothes" economy in my family: Whenever my mom (referred to in this blog as "She Who Is Exalted" or "SWIE") or one of her sisters got pregnant, the others reached into their closets, pulled out their boxes of used baby clothes, washed the used baby clothes in bleach, and shipped them off to the newly pregnant sis…

"Flight" of the Geminis

Imagine a workplace retirement luncheon where the guest of honor is being congratulated on thirty years of service with the same employer. Imagine that, during this luncheon, there's a person in the back of the room who is saying under her breath, "Shoot, if you look up thirty years from now and I'm still here, just shoot me."

That person is a Gemini.

I'm a Gemini, and this is my birth month. In celebration of my birth month, I'd like to take this opportunity to clear up a few things about Geminis. We're terribly misunderstood.

Most Geminis, including myself, are accused of being "flighty" -- that we move from job, career, spouse, etc. fleetingly, as if we are incapable of doing anything for a sustained period of time. The term "flighty" is used derisively when applied to us.

That's because people don't understand Geminis. What they don't understand about us is that we have a deep appreciation of life and how fleeting it is. If…

"If You Didn't Want Me To Kill Him . . . . ": Problem Solved

"If you didn't want me to kill him, why'd you leave me alone with him?"

-- Mouse (portrayed brilliantly by Don Cheadle) to Easy Rawlins (portrayed by Denzel Washington), from Devil in a Blue Dress

I so relate to that quote. I definitely suffer from "Mouse Syndrome" -- if you present me with a problem, I'm apt to solve it in my fashion, whether you like it or not. It's one of my character flaws that clearly still needs work.

A friend of mine called recently to vent anger and frustration about a problem. The problem then made me angry and frustrated, and I approached solving it in a manner far different from the more reasoned and diplomatic manner my friend would have employed, upsetting my friend. We go back over twenty years. I haven't changed. I guess I need to.

You see, I'm not the kind of person who can simply listen and commiserate when you tell me about a problem that is upsetting you. My instinct is to solve the freakin' problem. In my…

Can We Get Back To The Issues, America?

Sometimes, when yours truly reads controversial stories about politics and/or race, I don't write anything. When Donald Trump starting poppin' all that yang about the President's birth certificate and his qualifications to get into Harvard Law, something told me to wait. Wiser minds than mine would bring a more pointed and erudite response to the stupidity circus that is Donald Trump.

But I never imagined that Trump and the Birthers would be silenced by the assassination of Osama bin Laden, a hit ordered by no other than the Leader of the Free World, President Obama.

And while the President was responding to the Birther Circus and putting The Donald in his place at the White House Correspondents Dinner, he had already given the go ahead to take bin Laden out, and not a single soul leaked the order. Impressive.

Somehow it made talk about long form birth certificates and college grades seem so insignificant. Because it was. And it is.

So, Donald Trump and the Birthers, shut your…