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Showing posts from April, 2008

Maintaining in the Midst of Adversity...

If things don't look up soon, I might have to change the name of this blog from Excerpts from the Diary of a Diva to Excerpts from My Crappy California Chronicles. It's getting harder and harder to maintain my diva-tude while I sleep on my homegirl's couch.

Maybe it's just me, but doesn't it seem like when you're at what you presume to be your lowest point, something happens to push you further down? Case in point: my homegirl went to the beauty shop yesterday. Since I don't have a key to her house, I'm at her mercy as to when I can come home. Okay, I'm not mad at that because she didn't offer and I didn't ask. Anyway, I decided to go shopping for clothes to kill time. Besides, like I said before, they're scattered everywhere and I need some solid outfits. I went and picked up a couple of pieces and headed to my second job. I didn't want to stay too late because I'm trying to respect the fact that my homegirl and her man both have…

Living on the Run

I'm living with a friend while I wait for my apartment to get ready. I don't know if you've ever been forced into this kind of situation, but I can honestly say that it's not cool. Don't get me wrong -- my homegirl is being extra gracious, and I appreciate her generosity. However, who wants to impose on someone indefinitely? I certainly don't.

It's hard to get my thoughts in order when everything else is all over the place. For example, I have stuff in the storage space at my new place, my neighbor's van, and my car. Is it any wonder that I don't know where anything is? Let's not get it twisted -- I'm not exactly organized on a regular basis -- but at least everything was in one place. I'm trying to figure out where my clothes are. I have some with me, but I don't have any complete outfits because I was just trying to get the stuff out of my house. In fact, I'm getting ready to bathe and go pick up something to wear. I'm going…

Another Life Transition...

Well, I can safely say that I'm finally out of my apartment. It was hard, but that chapter of my life is over. Now I'm looking forward to my next residence. Unfortunately, it won't be ready for a few days. That means I'm officially homeless.

Where will I go, you ask? I'm wondering, too. One of my friends has offered her roll-away bed, while a neighbor offered to either pay for a hotel room or let me sleep on one of his four couches. My wonderful cousin lives with boyfriend in his house, so the thought of staying with them is completely out. He's trying to put me up with his family members, but that's not an option because I don't believe in staying with strangers.

So far, I'm staying with my friend. This will be my first night on a roll-away bed. I'm at her house now, watching TV and contemplating my next move. I have a car full of stuff that I'd like to take to my new place, but I can't reach my new landlord. That means I'l…

Moving...An Update

Those of you who read this blog regularly have probably noticed that I haven't be posting as often as before. Let me catch you up on what's been happening in my life...

I was supposed to move into my new apartment tomorrow. When I asked the guy when the place would be ready, he assured me the work that needed to be done -- cleaning carpet, replacing baseboards, painting, etc. -- would be finished by the time I was ready to move in. Even though the place isn't exactly what I wanted, I thought it would be a good idea because a) he's the brother of a friend of mine, and b) he agreed to work with my lack of funds. When we shook hands on the deal last week, I thought all would be well in the land.

I got my first whiff of BS when I brought him a partial deposit on Tuesday. He said that although he hadn't started on the apartment, I would still be able to move my stuff in starting on Saturday. When I pressed him about whether I could start moving earlier than that, he hemme…

An Open Letter to Tavis Smiley

Dear Tavis,

I heard about your imminent departure from The Tom Joyner Morning Show. You apparently couldn't take the heat generated by your comments about Barack Obama. While I don't have the pleasure of listening to you on a daily basis, I know you're commentary will be missed by some -- especially your soon-to-be former boss, Mr. Joyner.

I'd like to say that I'm shocked by your decision, but I'm not. Most people who've deemed themselves to be all-knowing have a hard time dealing with dissension. You've always portrayed yourself as a man who speaks for the people. My question is and has always been, which ones? You've never really spoken for me or any of my friends.

Your State of the Black Union address usually brings up some very good points. However, it's never marketed to the people who actually need the information. If you're so concerned about "the people," why would you broadcast it on CSPAN, the one station most folks …

The Politics of Self-Disclosure

Now that I've decided to make blogging a way of life, do I still have a right to privacy? After all, it's my choice to allow you a glimpse into the inner workings of me. Do I therefore have the right to restrict that choice?

One could argue that if I don't want you to know, I shouldn't write about it. This is true. However, since I'm using this forum to exorcise my demons, it would stand to reason that I'd have to expose some uncomfortable truths about myself. Furthermore, my demons may directly -- or indirectly -- affect people some of the people who choose to read what I've written.

The question then becomes, "How much is too much?" Where am I to draw the line in this situation? For the most part, I've chosen not to use my name or the names of anyone involved. Is that enough? If you can recognize yourself in the details, are you then exposed like I am?

Where is all this coming from, you might ask? After careful deliberation on my part…

Observations of Bereavement

Now that I've been in bereavement mode for over a month, here are a few things I've observed...

I've been hinting at this before, but now it's official -- the bereaved mind is completely delusional. Think about it. No matter how a raggedy a person is in life, everyone celebrates them when they die. Pookie could have sold drugs, had 15 kids by 13 baby mamas, and the day he gets shot, he becomes St. Pookie the Divine in the eyes of those who love him. Maybe not quite divine, but you get the picture.

Grieving can really work up an appetite. It's hard work being sad. Even though I'm not crying as much as I did at first, the sadness can creep up on you at any given time. That's very draining, which makes it necessary to eat. Coupled with the fact that I just returned to the gym yesterday, I've gained at least 10 pounds this month. Of course, keeping up the figure is really hard when you consider my next point...

Black people believe that fried chicken …

The Last Action Verb

It's hard to believe that Granny's been dead a month. I can't believe how slow time is moving. It feels like I'm fighting against a slow current, yet the water is rushing all around me. As I reflected on the somber anniversary, I realized that "die" is the last action verb. No matter what you've done or will do in your life, once you die, that's it. Every other verb used about you will be in the past tense.

I called my uncle to check on him. I worry about him now that Granny's gone. He said he was okay, but he misses her. I do, too. We talked about this process of grieving, and he gave me some helpful insight. He lost his 41-year-old wife of two years to cancer 14 years ago. He told me that it's the finality of the situation that hurts the most. When it finally dawns on you that the person you love won't ever be back, it can be a devastating experience.

My uncle also described my grandmother's final days. He said she was in …

My Own Private Hell

Writing for public consumption is something new for me; however, I've been writing for myself for a while. This poem is was written a few years ago when I was going through a particularly rough time...

Will you ever find me?
I'm hiding rather well.
Behind the smiles, the laughter,
I'm living in a private hell.

A dark place of my own making,
But real just the same.
I'm all alone in my stupidity,
And want to forget my name.

You think I'm always happy,
Always cheerful on the shell,
But it's thin and cracking, this covering
Of my own private hell.

I want to come out and run and play
And find what I'm after
I want the smiles to be real
With joy behind the laughter.

Maybe one day I'll get the nerve
To stop and share my tale,
Until then I'll suffer alone inside
My own private hell.

Testosterone -- The Wonder Drug

I want to be a man in my next life. Not that I don't love being a woman, but there's got to be something about having an abundance of testosterone that makes a person confident beyond belief. Case in point: I was approached by a man as I left work yesterday. I'll paint the picture...

I had just pulled out of the parking lot of my job and was driving through the neighborhood when I came to a stop sign. Since it wasn't a four-way stop, I looked both ways before proceeding. When I got ready to go, I noticed a man on a bicycle. Since I know that a car is much bigger than a bike, I decided to let him pass in front of me. What happened next can only be explained by testosterone-induced fortitude.

This brother had to be at least 50-years-old. I'm hoping that he's seen better days because his present state didn't appeal to me at all. He was sweaty and appeared to homeless, helpless, hapless, and hopeless. However, he still thought enough of himself to roll up to my w…

Taking Another Break...

If you've been with me thus far, you know that I'm knee-deep in grief over Granny (June 7, 1911-March 5, 2008). Even though I'm sharing my journey with you, I don't want you to get depressed along the way. That's why I'm giving you a little something from my archives. This particular set of situations happened in 2007 before I started blogging for public consumption. FYI, some of the language in the following post may not be suitable for young eyes...

Thursday, August 1st
Do love and happiness ever exist together? I honestly don't remember the last time they did for me. The young man who's been occupying my thoughts lately is an interesting distraction to me. He's a cutie with a good heart, but being with him makes me face some uncomfortable facts about myself.

Anyone who's known me for any length of time knows how I feel about people who work in my industry. I don't like to fool with them because they're so insecure. So imagine my chagrin …

Excerpts from My Bereaved Mind...

Today, I can’t shake the thought that Granny died alone. I hope she knew how much we loved her. My uncle, who visited Granny everyday, hadn’t been able to get to the nursing home because he was recovering from knee surgery. My mom was in Dallas recovering from the seizure she’d had in December. Meanwhile, I was in California struggling to keep it together. I don’t know how long it had been since she’d had visitors. And I know how much Granny liked seeing her family. I just keep thinking that maybe Granny thought we were too busy for her and that we’d be better off if she were dead. Even though my rational mind is aware that our days are numbered and we don’t have any control of our deaths, this is the delusion of my bereaved mind.

I remember when we first put Granny in the nursing home. She was 95, and had been in the hospital for potassium poisoning. The doctors released her directly into Heritage Plaza because she was too weak and sick to go home. If you’ve never had to commit someon…