The System is Against You, But It Ain’t

My little brother is in jail. Not the baby because he has been playing Jail Monopoly since he was fourteen and I shouldn’t say that I wrote him off but *shrugs* I kinda did. This brother though, I just knew that he was going to make it. He was/is this close -> <- to making it  and I’ve done something that I don’t do; recommended him for a job with a friend who has pretty much guaranteed him a career with benefits including paying for him to get a trade where he would/could be set for life. Which he would be starting the second he graduates from high school in May.

I normally don’t do that because honestly, my brothers be tripping. Anger/inconsistency/Laziness/ etc etc. Things too often associated with the job habits of dudes from the hood. Even though my mom took us out of the hood a long ass time ago. But, Not this brother. This one is goofy. Drives you crazy with talking way too damn much, knowing everything in typical teenage fashion, and being a follower. I’ve told my mom in the past that she should send him somewhere. He could make it if he went somewhere far away from bad influences. Especially my other brothers who do things with him that he can’t handle. He might occasionally act like he’s from Newark but this child is straight up Drake in Degrassi corny. Hell he was born in Woodbine NJ. As small town country as one can get.

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Of course, she didn’t. What mom really wants to send her child far away? Especially when he’s a follower who could get into all sorts of things without proper supervision. So this weekend to my utter shock this lame has landed himself in jail with multiple charges of breaking and entering. Except this loser really didn’t do any of those things. This idiot is only guilty of the last two charges, pawning other people’s shit and lying on a pawn form.

His “friends” did the crime and ol lame o is more than likely going to do the time. Even if he doesn’t go to jail he’s probably not hire-able for that nice job, probably won’t be able to go to college, which was his other option, probably now on the same track as the rest of my brothers. I know that that whole sentence is a slippery slope BUT it is also what happens in my experience. Now, I could talk about how if he were a white kid and we had money these charges would go away pretty easily. He’s getting ready to graduate from high school for christ’s sake. He’s a teenage idiot doing stupid teenage things. BUT again in my experience this isn’t what is destined to happen for him. No one really cares about messing up the rest of teens from the hood’s lives.

I’m feeling all of the emotions right now- anger, grief, frustration, sadness, and mostly annoyance. Because while the system IS setup in a way where brown boys are more likely to do prison time for petty crimes, my loser of a brother has no real reason to even be in this situation.

Why wasn’t he at home doing his homework or something? Were there no football games happening at his school for him to go and be cute at while drinking Gatorade, eating cheese fries, and macking on girls his age?

He didn’t need to pawn other people’s crap. My parents provide very handsomely for this idiot including letting him drive my mom’s shiny black pathfinder as if it’s his own. He has a nice house with two parents with a fully stocked fridge and all of the electronics that one would want. He has multiple adult siblings who want to see him thrive so they give him money for suede shoes for his prom, homecoming and anything else he could want AND if he could just go to work with my dad and not get on his last damn nerve he could have a job that pays too well for a barely trained worker. But ALAS B-Rad would rather hang with the wrong people and do the wrong things so now my mom is yet again crying over another idiotic ass black boy guilty of doing things that he shouldn’t do for no other reason than

1: He’s lame.

2: He wants to.

3: He thinks that the system is against him and he has nothing to lose and I want to tell him that yes it is, but also No it ain’t.

 

 

I’m So Judgmental: Movie Review- The Shallows.

I don’t know why I watch movies or read books where people put themselves at risk, I’m so judgmental. My empathy ends where the character’s stupidity begins. I feel like I need to conquer this in order to be a better writer. Without risk the story is boring. The same can be said for the opposite, if there is too much risk, or the character never wins, the story becomes overwhelming and boring.

SO ANYWAY, This post is about the stupidness that is The Shallows. I live blogged this so bare with me as I type my thoughts.

  1. Why are you going to a place where you don’t speak the language heading off of the beaten path and barely letting anyone know where you’re going.
  2. Anywhere that someone takes you which is considered a secret and local territory is NOT FOR YOU.
  3. When the guide advises you that it will be getting late soon, why do you continue to place yourself at risk by doing dangerous activities when it’s late?
  4. UBER is not available in secret remote locations. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Especially with something as basic as transportation. This is where I knew this movie was gonna get on my last damn nerve.
  5. Why do people do dangerous activities with their hair flailing around their face. Ever hear of hair ties?
  6. Big ass dead ass animal means get the fuck out of there. Curiosity is said to have killed the cat, I’m pretty sure that the cat was a damn human. If a dangerous animal didn’t kill whatever you’re looking at then chances are that the area that you’re in is probably toxic, either way, Get your ass out of that area, STAT.
  7. Credit for utilizing your brains and medical skills to patch yourself up.
  8. God or The Universe or Karma do not like ugly. Whatever you do will always come back to you.
  9. I’m not going to speak on the impossibility of the battle but kudos to you for winning.
  10. So, you saved yourself as we suspected you would and this taught me that risk makes for a story. No risk, no story. I’m still not heading out to any remote locations to surf without letting anyone know any time soon.

Overall I appreciated a few things about this movie but for me the premise is weak. I don’t see any good reason for her to have been out there in the first place but then again, I don’t have the privilege of being that willy nilly with my life. I’d give it 3 Stars.

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Truth Is: You Don’t Do It All

 

Frequently I’m asked how I do it all and usually I spout of a myriad of people, things, and skills that I utilize to get ALL of the things done. I don’t intentionally lie but I don’t think I ever really say that you don’t get it ALL done. It’s not possible. All of the money in all of the world will not ever buy you the ability (I should mention here that AB just interrupted me to find out where the money from my book sales is. This is my life.) to be able to get ALL of the things done.

You can Shipt your groceries, Amazon your household goods, Mango your Laundry, Hire Nick to train you, hire the other Nick to clean your house twice a month, hire Aaron to fix your lunch, subscribe to TWO calendars to keep you on track, use lists to help you maintain your daily tasks… you could even have Jesus himself come down on more than one occasion to help you submit things on time for your writing career, and you still won’t get it all done. b99a87795377f13fc3d5dd3d5cb2994e.jpg

There will still be text messages on your phone from friends waiting for responses that you swore you sent out weeks ago. There will be flagged emails in your inbox with important tasks that you may or may not have completed. There will even be a few family game nights that you let fall to the wayside because, even though you weren’t that busy, you were too tired. That’s a cop out but it’s true.

The trick is to realize that you’re not getting it all done, to do your absolute best to use your resources to get the most important things done, to never starve your family or run out of toilet paper, to forgive yourself and to keep moving forward.

Pic via Pinterest.

I Can’t Do It All: Just venting

Today was an interesting day. So interesting that my car is still (prayerfully) parked in a parking space in Downtown Tampa. I only minimally freaked out, after I couldn’t find my keys. For a back story, I went to a coffee shop in downtown Tampa to work and kill time in between meetings. After leaving and going to my car I realized that my keys were not in my purse. No big deal. I walk back into the coffee shop thinking that I must’ve simply left them on the table. Nope. No such luck. Not on the table. Not by the cash register. Not in my bag which I emptied out in a corner very calmly. Not anywhere on the street. Possibly in the pocket of the homeless guy who asks for change everyday only for me to tell him my stock excuse “I never have cash.”Anyways long story short, my keys weren’t anywhere to be found, Ashley showed up out of some weird stroke of luck, and the vehicle that we’ve been having outfitted for my new business just so happened to be ready for pickup. So I took her car and she ubered over to pick the other one up.

But, back to the weird day or more appropriately, the day that I started saying that I can’t do it all. Without my car which contains all of my work data I could only work on following up on things that I needed to and getting a much needed filling.

Protip: when you decide that you want to be a real live girl and get your nails done with acrylic, you are signing up for upkeep. With what time? IDK either you will 1: Pull it out of your butt. OR 2: Use the new time you’ve been given since you can’t hold onto your car keys like a proper adult. 

After the filling I went to the grocery store to try my new favorite thing that my family hates: Buy precooked food to doctor up at home. Once home with food doctored up and placed in the oven DJ informed me that he didn’t have time to watch the food because he had to take a shower. In my head I saw a very clear image of Homer Simpson choking Bart

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Honestly I’m too busy and too tired to entertain certain things. My idiotic teenager making stupid comments about time and food that he is going to eat? Nah. Not a battle I wanted to win today.

Of course, he ate before AB and I could get into the kitchen and of course, he didn’t like the chicken.  Since I let he and AB in on my little Greenwise Publix Precooked food doctoring up secret they’ve complained about the taste of the food. Neither of them realize that for months at least once a week they’ve been eating this food with zero complaints. Nor do they realize just how fucking hard it is to write, sell books, run the shops, do all of my admin work, build a new business, run the house, cook, spend hours a week working for my BNI chapter, and and and. But when I finally said the thing that I have been thinking for months, that I can’t do it all and still cook, AB tells me that she doesn’t want me to totally stop cooking. She likes my cooking and can’t I at least do it once a week. To which I do not respond with the first thing that pops in to my head which is, How Sway?

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The Thing I’m Obsessed With.

Friday was the Book Release Party for my new Poetry Book Brownish Green Female  Sheep. It was my first book release so I have nothing to compare it to but to me it was the most amazing Book Release ever. The venue, Ybor City Barbering Company Barbershop and Bar, was beyond perfect. The atmosphere was ELECTRIC. My best friend since 7th grade snuck in the night before which made the night even more special and I was surrounded by friends, family, and associates, the majority of whom all bought the book!!

I was on cloud nine the entire time. Electric from my frazzled nerves and the endless supply of Mimosas the fabulous bartender kept sending my way. My wife, in true AB fashion ensured that the guests were having a great time, my best friend managed me and the book purchases, Sheree L. Greer my mentor/dear dear friend/cohost along with the ridiculously talented Samira Obied hosted the show in epic fashion. So when I tell you that it was the dope show, I mean that in all caps. DOPE SHOW!

I don’t know that I would’ve asked for anything more… Except while taking pictures with my family one of my brothers said to me, “you’re fat you need to work out.” To which I replied “I work out at least twice a week”. To which another sibling replied “you need to work out more than that.” I’m not going to go into anything about how I don’t need their help to lose weight, how I’m struggling with candida, or how neither of them is an authority on weight loss. I’m just not.

For some background, I’m the oldest child and my siblings don’t really know about my eating disorder. They don’t even really know me like that. So I’m not even mad at them  for saying what they said. They don’t know how I hate my body most days. How I work out with my trainer and feel super happy with my progress until I stand in front of the mirror naked. They hadn’t read the book so while they knew that the book was about love, they don’t know that the longest poem in the book is dedicated to Anna. One of my most secret friends. Or she was, I haven’t seen her in years, though I’d be lying if I said I don’t think about her daily.

They don’t know. They couldn’t know. So I don’t fault them for taking one of the best days of my life and dampening it a little by talking about my weight, they’re humans, and one thing that humans are good at is offering criticisms and critiques as if we would die without doing so. But, If I had one wish, it would be that  we as a society  stopped commenting on things like weight. We have no idea what the other person is truly struggling with.

If you or someone you know is struggling with food obsession you can speak with someone in your local community or at Eating Disorder Hope.

To read Anna You can purchase Brownish Green Female Sheep from my publisher Vital Narrative Press or from Amazon.

On Parenting: Go To Bed or Else

Parenting ProTip: if your child won’t go to sleep just start asking them to do things. 

Child of mine who thinks that sleep is an option and would rather read than rest, Please:  
Bring me the remote. (It’s next to me but so what. 

Pass me that towel. (I really don’t need it but whatevs)

Get me a glass of water.

Go to the car, look in the backseat and bring me my bag.

Oh it’s not in there? Check the office. 

Not there either? Look in my closet. I appreciate your help.

Grab me that ice pack out of the kitchen.

By the time you get to the third or forth ask their bed is looking mighty nice.

#ThankMeLater 

Bonus Points if you get them to do things that actually need to be done like laundry, dusting, or washing dishes. 

Randomosity 1.15.17

My right hand is itching. According to my grandma that means that I’m going to get some unexpected money. I’m all about that life.

Last night  I gave the Mohegan Sun 6 x more money than I’d budgeted. I’d do it all over again to sit next to my grandma, listen to her throw shade, and laugh at the world. Operation come to CT at least every other month is shaping up to be the best money and time I’ve ever spent.

I’ve worked most of the time that I’ve been in CT. At my grandma’s dining room table while watching her shows and laughing at her antics. As difficult as it is being an entrepreneur, being in charge of my time is worth all of the stress and early mornings.

Yesterday was my publisher’s monthly conference call. I leave those calls knowing that I chose the right publishing house and grateful that they chose me.

The next book that I publish I’m hiring a social media manager. I know that I am in my own way as far as promoting my book is concerned. The nerves that come with the creation of each post are worse than the ones I felt when I used to slam in competitions.

Decisions are made by those who show up.

Every time I’m around a bunch of children I remember that one is enough. I have no idea how people have more than one. I give people with a bunch of kids all of the kudos. And wine subscriptions. I’m sure they need wine more than they need diapers.

2017 is shaping up to be the best year of my life. #ClaimingIt
My book is being released on January 27th. That’s legit less than two weeks away. You can preorder it here: Vital Narrative Press

Travel Chronicles 1.12.16: Tip Your Waiter 

Eric at the airport bar isn’t here for your shit. He is fancy and efficient and he will serve you but if you’re looking for all of that flowery language look elsewhere.

What is it that you want? How can he help you? If you wanna be walking all around the bar like there aren’t perfectly good and sturdy chairs all up and around this bar he’s going to need you to start a tab. “If your butt’s not in the seat I’m going to need a card.” I’m paraphrasing but you get his drift.

The check you asked for 13 minutes ago, it’s there in front of you. Pay it and leave or don’t, but next time don’t be so demanding for things that aren’t an immediate need. He has things to do. Like upsell people half price shots with their beers. Everyone loves a good drunk plane rider. Right? Or at least it’ll help chill everyone’s frazzled nerves. Cause nerves are frazzled. People are shooting up Airport baggage claims and stuff like they have nothing better to do. I mean most people do. I mean Chris does. And he’s good at it. Efficient. Fancy. Just not flowery. So don’t forget to tip your waiter. 

Looking For Alaska: Quick Book Review

I’ve been reading Looking For Alaska by John Green for a few weeks. It took me longer than usual because it wasn’t one of those books where you just can’t put it down. For most of the story the characters were likable enough but I just didn’t really care about them. Until tragedy struck. For that reason I gave it 3 Stars.
 The story is good. Not extraordinary… Just good. Like a cup of cool water on a hot summer’s day. It’ll do. It just doesn’t knock your socks off.
Looking for Alaska has great writing, a good story line, and funny dialogue between a group of teens trying to find themselves at a boarding school. 
 
I read YA novels frequently but for a moment while reading this book I was annoyed and began judging  these teenagers for being teenagers until I remembered that when I was a teenager I did most of the same things that they did in this book when I lived on Campus at my school. *shrugs* #NoJudging
 
#SpoilerAlert John Green is going to make you cry in this book. Not as bad as The Fault in Our Stars but you’ll definitely shed a few tears.
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She says.

She says that she has the best wife in the world and I won’t call her a liar. She’s speaking from her own experience. Her wife is graceful and difficult and thoughtful. She’s beautiful and funny in a snarky depressed writer kind of way. She’s supportive and she’s great but she’s not better than my wife. Nope.

My wife is the best wife. She’s funny and smart and driven. She’s supportive and encouraging and most of all she tries. She does things that are out of her comfort zone just to see me smile. That makes her the best wife.