Sunday, December 20, 2009

Underrated yet very Appreciated

If I could be reborn tomorrow as a singer/song writer it would be Lalah Hathaway. There is something about this talented performer that touches me so deeply. I have been a fan since the beginning. I have her first album(which was actually a self titled cassette) to her latest, titled "Self Portrait ". I have met her 3 times and actually got her tape cover signed way back in the day at a show on her promotional tour. I have never been able to get a photo with her which I truly regret. In addition to being talented, she is truly beautiful inside and out to me. A couple of years ago a friend bought me a greatest hits CD of her father Donnie Hathaway, which I had heard growing up as a child, and its amazing how much she sounds like her father in a different kind of way. It is amazing to me that she is not a bigger star than she is since she has more talent in her little finger than many of the mainstream artists out here today. I try my best to support her whenever she comes to town and I have traveled to catch her shows also. Here she performs with another underrated performer, Eric Roberson. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Your Husband is Cheating on Us

I guess I will go ahead and weigh in on the Tiger Woods situation since its all anyone can talk about at the moment. The most interesting thing to me is the delusional idea that many "jumpoffs", "mistresses" or whatever you want to call them have about the cheaters willingness to "cheat" on them. OK, newsflash, a man cannot cheat "on" you when he is cheating "with" you. That is what you call an oxymoron. I took note of the fact that the first girl that came out of the woodwork did nothing but adamantly deny that she and Tiger were anything but friends, that is UNTIL the other mistresses starting coming out for their 15 minutes of fame. I guess her intention was to be loyal to Tiger and show him that she was down for him and had his back, and would not throw him under the bus, but she soon found out the joke was on her. I guess you are OK with being the sideline chick as long as you are the ONLY sideline ? But once you find out that you are not the only one, then all bets are off ? I mean, you expect faithfulness from a man who is cheating on his wife? WTF I mean where does this arrogance come from ?

I know a guy, who is a friend of a friend, he is married for many years, I am sure his wife knows he cheats, there is no way she could not, in my opinion. I honestly think she won't divorce him out of pure spite (or maybe she has her own man on the side). For me, the whole marriage is a sham but thats a story for another blog. Either way, in addition to having produced an outside child during the marriage, he has exactly THREE count 'em, THREE, long-term outside chicks that he has dealt with for YEARS. He spends 1 or 2 days a week with each one of these ladies, including overnight stays. He sees them all consistently enough for them to all be deluded into the idea that they are in a real relationship with him. I have personally met two of the women at social gatherings. He even goes to church pretty consistently (every other Sunday) with one of them ! Many times either one of these women is getting the short end of the time spent, but the most important detail is ,THEY ALL KNOW HE IS MARRIED BUT DO NOT KNOW THE OTHER GIRLFRIENDS EXIST. He has come close to getting busted on many occasions, not by the wife, but by one of the girlfriends & he works hard to keep them unaware of one another. Why ? Because somehow if any of them found out about the other, they might want to end the relationship. WTF? They are cool with the fact he has a wife, but another sideline......Oh Hell no ! LOL How ignorant.

This reminds me of a very unpleasant memory from my past. I am divorced. My ex-husband got caught up infidelity while we were living apart temporarily due to his job transfer. He was in LA & I was in Houston. By the time I figured it out, he was in a full fledged affair, with a women who was convinced that he was going to divorce me and be with her. She knew that he was married. I had just recently found out about her and my ex had expressed to me that he intended to end it with her so that he could try and work things out with me. I was devastated but did not want to divorce and was willing to try and mend the marriage and prayed that he would remove her from the equation to give us a chance. I wasn't very surprised when I got a call from her at 5:00AM one morning from California. She took this opportunity to enlighten me as to all that had gone on between herself and my husband. The most interesting thing about the conversation was what had actually prompted her call to me on this particular day. She admitted that he had tried to break things off with her & told her he wanted to work things out with his wife, she admitted that she was hurt angry & upset, she admitted that she was stalking him, because he was no longer giving her access to him, and on this particular evening that she was calling me, she had followed my husband from his apartment & confronted him with a woman that she had assumed was ME only to be told that it was NOT me ! A whole lot of drama ensued to the point that the police had to be called. It was a mess ! He later actually called me and confirmed this whole event, even admitting that he was on a "date" LOL ! to try and paint her as a "crazy stalker chick". Either way, I found it interesting that she felt the need to call me and tell me that my husband was cheating on us! Because for sure that was her goal, to be sure that I knew all that he was doing to both of us! I. HAVE.NO.WORDS.

As the saying goes, "How you get your man, is how you lose him".

Why don't women understand that, cheaters do what cheaters do.........cheat ?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Breaking the Silence

Yesterday I mentioned a guy that I met about six weeks ago online. I met him on this site called P.lenty of F.ish that Tiffany in Houston told me about. I've been on the site for about 3 months & have met a couple of nice guys just no connection yet. So one day this guy contacts me first by email & the communication begins. We had two or three good phone conversations, got past the basic background info, 41, divorced for a little over a year, a couple of kids back in VA, retired military, no red flags at all. We decided to meet within a week. We met at a nice wine bar(of course) and had great conversation, he wasn't overly touchy or anything, but after a couple of hours of conversation and a couple of glasses of vino, I was feeling comfortable and so was he, and I was feeling a little cozy, but the conversation never really got into weird territory or anything. I thought I was feeling some chemistry & after 4 hours of talking, laughing & him planning our next date, I just knew I would see him again, and soon. He walked me to my car, we shared a nice kiss before departing & even chatted early the next morning to discuss finalizing the plans for our followup date. He was headed to his dads house to watch football & was supposed to call me around 6P. When he didn't call me I called him later that evening around 8P & left a voice mail. I called again the next day but hung up when his voice mail picked up. I was going to leave the ball in his court. I never heard from him again and I never initiated any more contact. That was six weeks ago.

Breaking the Silence

That was what he wrote in the subject line of the email I got yesterday. The rest read as follows :

Dear Beautifully Complex,
I know I'm wrong but hear me out, I did enjoy our night together but I don't think, you were looking for the same thing as me. I'm not looking to settle down right now, I am looking to play a little first. I am kinda heavy into the swingers life style right now and I did not read that from you at all. If I was wrong please let me know !!

Wow ! Just wow! Did I dodge a bullet or what ? I promptly replied :

I appreciate your explanation, because honestly, I was very confused by your disappearing act. But as I explained to you and showed you, I don't pursue men who don't seem interested in me. I know that my profile states that I am looking for "long term" and "children" so I am not sure why you had any indication that I was open to that type of lifestyle, or why you would have approached me from the beginning, but I appreciate you letting me know the deal just the same. I have been divorced for over 3 years and have pretty much played as much as I need to & am trying to be true to who I am as a woman. So, no you did not read me wrong at all ! We are definitely looking for totally different things. I wish you success in your search for your hearts desire.

Beautifully Complex

The truth really is stranger than fiction. I mean I could not make this stuff up ! Initially I told one of my friends that I figured that he must have lied about his status ( i. e, he was either married or separated) and figured out from our conversation on the date that it would not fly with me. Later, I just considered that he is single and dating & just encountered someone he was more interested in than me. But the idea that he is a swin.ger and looking to recruit me ! LOL You could have knocked me over with a feather.

I will never understand why people feel the need to fish in the wrong pond. I mean the internet is full of specialized websites to fit just about any niche that exists. This particular dating site has numerous parameters that you can set to determine whom you would like to date. The categories are almost endless. So why pursue someones profile who is completely opposite of what you are trying to do ? What happened to compatibility as a criteria ?Are men just that caught up in the challenge of changing your mind or trying to chop you down ? I am really curious as to what made him contact me after six weeks. I mean, I clearly moved on & he got absolutely no contact from me to indicate that I was even wondering what was up, I did a vanishing act myself after 2 unanswered calls which is customary for me when there is no reciprocity.

The last line killed me " If I was wrong please let me know " HA ! I guess this was his last ditch effort to pull me into this nonsense. Now that I am thinking about it, this fool probably contacted me again because he is not having any luck recruiting any other unsuspecting victims, so he's decided to use the direct approach, yeah just put it out there & see what she says ! LOL Oh well, at least I got a blog post out of it !

Have you ever met any real life swingers ? Ever been recruited or invited to participate ?

Just Me...Randomly

Greetings Blog family ! I know I have been MIA but sometimes when so much is coming your way, you have to unplug from certain aspects of life just a little bit and refocus. I think it is very beneficial and necessary.

My closest friend lost her mother just two weeks ago, this has been a very challenging time. I have been as supportive as possible but still feel so helpless. How do you comfort someone when they lose their mother, when she was the truest essence of that word ?

Speaking of mothers, I saw the movie "Precious" and was reminded of how much in this life so many people take for granted. All of what we have is through his Grace and Mercy. No question, we also have the power to change some things in our lives, but where you have to start from is not in our hands.

One of my high school classmates father passed away yesterday. He had a massive heart attack while jogging. He was one of my favorite teachers and a much loved coach at our school. I feel so numb.

My mother's doctor found some spots on her liver a few weeks ago, after many tests, lots of worry, fear and of course prayers, she has been given positive news. Thank you Lord.

It is really hard to realize that I am moving into the phase of life where my friends begin to lose their parents & mortality in general is in your face. Its the cycle of life, but still shakes me to think of it.

On to a lighter note, I will be home for an extended time for Thanksgiving and looking forward to spending time with my nieces, nephew and the rest of the family, counting my blessings with not enough fingers and toes to do so.

I was able to recruit even more family members to participate in the Turkey Trot again this year. I am trying my best to promote health and fitness & they are fighting me but still coming along although its begrudgingly :)

I met a guy about 6 weeks ago, we had a few really good conversations, a seemingly great first date (it lasted 4 hours), with a promise of another date in short order.........and then he vanished into thin air. No response to my calls or texts. I was puzzled for many days, then let it go. Yesterday he sent me an email with his was interesting. I will blog about it tomorrow.

I have a good friend, whose step-son is gay. He just turned 17. She has known him since he was four years old when she started dating his dad & has been his stepmother for about 10 years. They have a very close relationship. It was obvious to me by the time he was nine or ten. I watch how he interacts with both of them & he is more comfortable around her and less so around his dad. He puts on a different persona when he is around his dad, but its still obvious to me. She says she has known since he was probably six, but it was confirmed for her when she saw some pictures on his m.ys.pace page a couple of years ago. His father is in total denial. He forced him to delete his profile, but still won't acknowledge the obvious. He is a "man's man". He thinks he can change his son by changing his behavior & will never accept it. My friend is in the middle. I feel sorry for each one of them. I wish I could help, but this is such a sensitive matter.

Comments ? Suggestions ? Whats going on random with you ?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wine Enthusiast !

One of the coolest Bloggers on the Planet, Serenity is having a contest over at her spot this week. I am trying to get some bonus points & try to win a little something, plus you might win yourself so be sure to head over there and check her out !

I have been lea.rning more about wine for the last couple of years and have actually learned to enjoy it quite a bit. My favorites are whites, like Pino Grigio, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling. Most of my friends are on the bandwagon now, but I always enjoy taking someone to a new spot. There are numerous Wine Bars popping up all over Houston lately like, Cel.lar 17 and one owned by a young brother called 55 De.greez.

Today I will let you in on a few of my favorites in the Houston area. The first one is called Vinotropolis. Now I really like this place because the staff is extremely helpful and not at all pretentious like some places. I would recommend this place because the owners have tasted EVERY bottle on the shelf and have these little cards attached to the shelves that gives you a very specific & detailed explanation of the flavors and what the wine tastes like. This is very helpful for beginners. You can check their site out here.

Another really nice one is called Crush. Now its located in The Woodlands which is a really nice suburb just north of Houston, but don't that that deter you. This Wine Bar has two levels. My favorite spot is the roof top Patio which overlooks the waterway. Its really cool, especially at night and has lots of draped Gazebo's and reminds me of a place I went to in Miami several years ago. This is a nice place to take a date or a group of friends. Check it out !

Finally, my most favorite place in Houston, and a pretty well kept secret for a little while at least, is Son.oma Wine Bar & Boutique. This place is really cozy and intimate, they have a wonderful fireplace and you feel like you are sitting in someones well appointed living room. The wine of course is great but surprsingly the food is amazing too. They have expanded their menu quite a bit in the year and half I have been hanging out here. I had a wonderful party this past summer to celebrate my 40th Birthday & everyone really enjoyed the Wine and the food. I got so many compliments because so many people never even knew this place existed.You can check there site out too. Be sure to click on the photo gallery to see how they set it out !

I like to think of myself as an up an coming Wine Enthusiast, but my sister just calls me a "Win-o" LOL ! If you are ever in Houston, try to hit up one of these spots and I am sure you will enjoy it tremendously.

What are some cool spots for wine in your city ?

What is your favorite type of wine ?

How many glasses does it take for you to feel mellow ?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chivalry still alive, Right ? Pt. 1

Chivalry; marked by high-minded consideration especially to women, including honor, generosity and courtesy.

There is a line between guys who are master manipulators of women and guys who are just true gentlemen. Of course I have experienced the full spectrum and I have learned how to recognize the signs. The only way I can be affected by either is if I am actually attracted to you or interested in you first. It's easy for me to spot manipulators especially if you are not my type and you just don't pique my interest. I see the game coming from a mile away. It's also easy for me see a gentleman as well even if you don't appeal to me personally. If I am attracted, I am paying close attention to the most minor details and taking note.

Chris Rock has a sketch in one of his shows where he talks about men not being able to go backwards chexually & women not being able to go back in "lifestyle". It's pretty graphic the way he spells it out but if you can get past his crudeness, I think for many people this is true to a de.gree. I think I can handle the lifestyle part. Having gone through some things in my life personally, I have had to adjust to a change in lifestyle, i.e; div.orce equals one inc.ome vs. two and all that comes with that. My ex outearned me significantly, and I recognize that I may not find myself in a similar situation again, and truthfully I am OK with that because I maintain a lifestyle that I am happy with on my own. I do have some standards and expectations for a partner in that area, but clearly they are not necessarily straight in line with what I had before. Not that I wouldn't want that, it's just not a requirement.

What I have learned to focus more on these days is how a man treats me, specifically how chivalrous he is. I have experienced certain levels of treatment that I have come to expect. I will blog about the others later. Several things can set the stage early on for me but today we are going to talk about just one;

Consideration of anothers time.

For the record, I am known to be a little bit late alot of the time, my family and my closest friends know this about me. I am a bit of a procrastinator but I AM working on it & have improved ALOT. My family accepts it because my mother is waaay worse than me & always has been. They know that I really did get it honestly. I have a sister who got the same unfortunate trait & believe it or not, I am better about time than either of them. My close friends except it simply because, despite this trait, I am a pretty awesome friend ! LOL However, I am always prompt when dealing with people that I don't know well, in professional settings, and also in dating. So a guy who is just getting to know me has no idea, that I can have this tendency because afterall he doesn't really know me & has not spent alot of time with me, so it really bothers me when guys don't call me to say they are running late, or give me the opportunity to adjust what I am doing to accomodate the time change. I mean maybe I could have spent another 10 minutes on my hair if I had known right ?

Just yesterday, I was to have a movie date after church with a guy I have been on 3 previous dates with. As I reflect on this now, I am remembering that he was over 20 minutes late to our first date at a pool hall & did not call. I called him after 10 minutes to make sure I was at the right place because there were 2 similar places in the same vicinity & he was "just around the corner". Anyway, back to yesterday. We discussed some possible movies & I was supposed to get a return call from him in a "little bit" to confirm the show and time. What I got was a call over 4 hours later only to say that he had started to feel ill, had laid down to rest, then accidentally fell asleep & was just waking up. He had awakened to then realize he needed to call me to say that he was still "sick" & he would need a raincheck. How inconsiderate ! Of course he apologized profusely, saying he hoped that he didn't ruin my day or any other plans I may have had, blah, blah, blah ! Of course you ruined my day. Any other options I may have had had passed me by because I left Sunday open for you, but I digress. I guess after a couple of hours I realized that I was being stood up, which is why I didn't call him (pride). Anyway, after he made his excuses, me being the passive aggressive person that these men have led me to become, I simply stated, " I hope you feel better, get some rest. We will talk another time". NOT. I will not be making or receiving any more calls from this clown. I can honestly say that I was willing to try to get to know this guy a little bit better, since I am starting to feel like a " serial dater". There were a couple of things on our last date that kind of bothered me a bit, but after discussing with a couple of friends, I decided to just try to spend some more time getting to know him a little bit better, but after yesterday, I am just not sure I am interested anymore simply because of his lack of consideration of my time. Even if he was truly sick (which is doubtful) the presentation was just all wrong. Chivalry is still alive......right?

What is the proper protocol for cancelling a date ?

How important is the consideration of anothers time in dating ?

Should a gentleman's behavior be contingent on his level of interest or is a true gentleman always a gentleman ?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Babs in Blogland !

Today is the 35th Birthday of one of my most favorite bloggers, Babs.

I always enjoy reading about her daily adventures, shenanigans and fun times. She has truly been an inspiration to me, and is such a helpful, wise and considerate young lady.

Hop on over to her spot & wish her the best !

Love ya Babs !

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday-"Laws of Attraction"

I read alot of blogs, so much so, that I have been neglecting my own. Along with Fa.cebook (which is like micro-blogging and more interactive) has kept me away from here for far too long. I am going to try to do better now that summer is almost over. I am currently on a couple of d.ating too which has also been keeping me occupied. Many of the of blogs I read are dating & relationship oriented & run the gamut from the serious to the hilariously banal. Seems like so many people are in and out of relationships and marriage yet still in "search of satisfaction" as my favorite author J. California Cooper would say. Dating & connecting with people should be fun in my opinion & I know that in the past I have taken a hiatus when it began to feel like a chore to me. I can usually tell when that happens, I get too focused on the search & the failed attempts, which can become exhausting. This then leads to me not being able to muster up much enthusiasm & knowing that this attitude will be what I reflect in my interactions with potential dates, I choose to sit it out for a minute so that I can regroup. I had to do that twice in the last year.
I did decide nearing my milestone birthday this year, that I really wanted to take the focus off of one of my personal goals (to be married again one day) and spend more of my time enjoying the journey. I am trying to be mindful of what I attract based on what I myself project. There was a post this week over at Think Pretty Smart about compatibility. I am in total agreement with this & actually already had something very similar lined out in my dating profiles. I am looking for compatibility in five key areas; spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically & financially. I am continually working to improve myself in these areas but am already standing pretty solid where I am now & feel confident that I can attract what I project. I know it may be challenging though & I actually had a sort of spirited debate with a guy a couple of weeks ago while on a date no less. He basically told me that I was expecting too much. The funny thing is, I never specify to potential dates what my actual expectations are in these categories, because I have learned the hard way that some people will attempt to deceive you and try to stretch the facts of who they are to fit your expectations.I couldn't figure out how he thought that I was expecting too much when he didn't even know what my specific standards were. I suspect he already knew he had fallen short of the proverbial bar. The poor little hardhead didn't have a chance with me anyway primarily because he reeked of desperation (this wasn't obvious the night we initally met while I was at a restaurant with some friends). He's divorced for less than 2 years & hasn't had a relationship in that time & kept talking about how bad he wanted to be in a relationship & how he hates "dating" yet in our discussion, it came out that he hadn't done much dating at all. All of his "woe is me" & "I hate being alone" was driving me mad!! It was a total turn off. Guys who just want to be in a relationship & give me the impression that they can just "plug any willing participant in" turn me on my heels. I know men feel the same way about desperate women. Needless to say that was our first and last date. LOL ! Honestly, I do my best to not project much of the disappointment that I myself sometimes feel about being single. I know that I am single today because I haven't connected with the right one. There are a couple of willing participants that just are not a fit for me, so I can patiently wait. I actually think I do a pretty good job in that I stay positive MOST of the time & feel like I live a pretty full life regardless of my relationship status.
I know I have some issues, as most all people do. However, I don't feel flawed and definitely don't look at those who may have successful relationships and feel like I am less than them or anything like that just because it has not happened for me yet, because I know better than that.I have a healthy dose of self-esteem, but something that I have begun to notice is that too many random folks are overly concerned with my dating life. I am not exactly sure why (possibly because most all of my friends are married or in relationships). In over 3 years of being divorced I have been in a couple of short lived relationships, but the rest were just dates that didn't lead anywhere. When I run into friends, or talk to cousins on the phone, or get calls from people I don't talk to often, after we've covered the issues at hand, then comes the long pause & THEY ALWAYS ask ", are you seeing anybody special ? " I always give a polite reply but honestly all of the collective pressure that I am made to feel by well intentioned folks is starting to irritate me. I am truly trying to live a "single and satisfied life" but I think society questions whether that is truly possible.
How would you react or respond ?
What are you attracted to in a potential mate ?
What do you think you reflect or project from a dating standpoint ?
Do you believe that single people can ever be truly satisfied ?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

40 and Fortunate

Today is my 40th Birthday and I am thankful for all that it represents. Milestones are for reflection and that is something that I have continued to do over the last few years. This past weekend my family and some close friends travelled to Houston to help me celebrate with gusto. I was reminded of how full my life is, despite the disappointments and challenges of the past. I am fortunate and blessed with more than I could ever deserve.
My party was held Saturday night at So.noma Wine Bar and the whole experience truly exceeded my expectations. I absolutely fell in love with this place the first time I went there about a year ago and booked the date about 6 months after that. It is extremely cozy and intimate, not pretentious, yet very classy. I am blessed to have a couple of good friends that went above and beyond to make my ideas of how I wanted it to be become a reality and I won't forget that. Caire & Kim were the perfect Coordinator and Hostess & Brooke took some awesome photos (that for some reason I can't upload to Blogger !) Oh well the ones I took with my camera will have to do for the blog for now. The food was absolutely wonderful and the wine was flowing good and plenty. I still had 6 bottles to take home with me & you know it won't be wasted LOL ! I was on my feet all night, "with the flyest & hottest shoes I own" trying to spend a little time with all of my guests. My calves are still killing me but it was worth it. I do believe that my family and friends enjoyed themselves which was my ultimate goal. Even my blog buddy Tiffany in Houston was in the house to celebrate with me. The staff was very accomodating and the service was excellent !

Prior to the party, I took my family to's for dinner. I wanted to do something special for my nieces, as they were none too happy that they were not able to be in attendance at the "grown up" party ! I decided to surprise them by having a Limosuine pick us up for dinner. The look on their faces when they came outside the house to leave was truly priceless !
After dinner they actually got to see the place where the party was held when the adults got dropped off and then they got to ride back to the house with the babysitter in the Limo by themselves ! I even got them some "Spar.kling A.pple Ci.der" for the ride. Baby let me tell you they really thought they were doing something. I loved it !!!

I really appreciated my family coming in and being so excited for me. I received some lovely gifts that I truly did not expect. Friday night I hosted a Cookout for my family & though I did most of the cooking, my Mom eagerly pitched in to help as she is always willing to do. Man nobody cuts for you like your Mama !!

Sunday Afternoon, I hosted Brunch at my house for my family, and a few friends. My mama's Chicken & Waffles was off the chain ! Kim hooked up the Mimosas, but the funny thing is so many people were hung over from all the wine on Saturday night, only me and my cousin could stand to drink the champagne ! I had specifically had made it a point to not imbibe TOO much Saturday night so as to be able to truly enjoy the festivities. Funny story: Sunday morning my 66 yr old father was slow to get up and move around, when he finally came in the kitchen to get some coffee he told my brother-in-law that he had a "wine headache". We all stopped and looked at him & my brother-in-law said, " Well Dad, I think they call that a hangover ! LOL"
All in all, I feel peace today. I just want to be in His will. I want to be all that He intends for me to be and I want to work at it each and every year.
I am have love and frienship in my grasp.
I am have family that supports me without hesitation.
I am have good health, a home, and a job.
I am fortunate still have a positive spirit.
I am fortunate still have the mindset to seek the desires of my heart.
I am fortunate know that God's love and salvation matter the most.
In what ways are you fortunate ?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just Me... Randomly

Just picked up my parents from the airport. They are here for my " Three Day Birthday Extravaganza". They really can't believe I'm 'bout to be 40 in 5 days !

I am feeling Fortunate to be 40 ! My life looks nothing like I thought it would, but I know many people who tell me the exact same thing, so with that I am going to embrace it for real this year.

My mommy and daddy love me to the ends of the earth. They think I am the end all to be all. I am proud that I make them proud. I know that is a blessing. God loves me even more. I am humbled by that.

Fac.ebook is keeping me from blogging, reading blogs, and keeping up with my regular reading. really is " Crackbook" !!

New Orle.ans and Es.sence was great, but I was too tired to even write about it (other than posting pics on that dang crackbook) ! I can't wait to take someone special back to N.OLA to do some things I missed doing.

My parents shipped my birthday gift and it arrived just before I went to pick them up today. It was exactly what I wanted. My daddy hooked it up. Now I can dock my i.pod and get my party on for real Friday night at my old school cook out !

I wish I could beat my momma at spades !!! Maybe she will let me win since it is my birthday we celebrating and all.........NOT !

My sister and brother-in-law and the littles ones are on the road to Houston right now. My nieces are so excited about celebrating my birthday ! I love them so much it makes me ache sometimes :)

A couple of people who I care deeply about hurt my feelings recently. I wish I could just write people off sometimes. It would be easier on me if I could actually.

I am feeling pretty good about the wines I selected for my Party Saturday night at the Wine Bar. The good thing is that if nobody else likes it, I get to bring it home and drink ALL OF IT ! LOL !!! I think I am turing into a "Wino" in my old age.

I have a nice surprise for my nieces since they are disappointed that they can't go to the "adult "party Saturday night. I know they will enjoy it. I can't wait to see their faces.

I lost 8 pounds for my birthday...that is way short of the 15 that I needed to lose. All that drinking in New Orleans did it ! LOL

Why are a couple of "strays" still calling me from Essence. Why is is hard to believe that I don't remember meeting you on Bourbon, after 2 Hurricanes, especially if you didn't call me the rest of the weekend !

I really pray that I can turn the corner this year on some emotional baggage that needs to be put away, for good. I am going to do my part and let Him do the rest.

My BFF is making her famous Mimosa's at my Brunch on Sunday.

My mama is making chicken and waffles. I am glad I can't fry chicken like my mama or I wouldn't have lost a single pound ! LOL

What is going on random with you ?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blogger Meet and Greet

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I had to come out of my self-imposed hiatus to recap the fabulous Houston Blogger Meetup we had last night. There were losts of laughs and the food and drinks were great. We planned to do it again very soon.

I waited for my blog friends at the bar at Pa.ppa.dea.ux enjoying a nice glass of Riesling and struck up a conversation with a very nice, handsome young man. He could not believe that I was actually meeting some women I had never met in person, so I had to break down the whole blogging thing. He was interested. We discussed travelling, online dating, and the Houston social scene. He was very gracious and I enjoyed chatting with him.

For dinner, I sat right across from Tyler who is amazingly even more handsome in person. I let him know that I am holding my nieces for him to mature a little bit more. He was very well mannered and extremely patient with all of the craziness going on around him. I was impressed but not surprised.

I wore my leopard sandals and matching headband in honor of our Hostess, the shoe queen, Serenity. She was wearing a beautful turquoise dress and her hair looked great. She was even more beautiful in person.

Serenity has some very cool friends who provided much comic relief and I have no more worries about our children in the public education system, they are in good hands ! LOL

I was posted up with the Fabulous Blog Wifey of Babs, Tiffany in Houston who is the "realest of the real" . We found out just how small the world is and I know there truly is less than "Si.x De.gree.s of S.eperation" LOL !

Thanks Tiffany for the pep talk and words of encouragement about my "situations and thangs". I just may re-think that 28 yr old we talked about :) I can at least get some blog fodder out of it if nothing else.

An Icey was a pleasant surprise, neither of us were expecting the other but I am so glad she came. She was extremely warm and funny.We are gonna have to try and find a 5k. I am motivated now !

Thanks Ladies for a wonderful time. We must do it again soon.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

International Gospel

I must say I sat speechless for the first minute of this video ! LOL What struck me the most was that I could not understand a word of what they were saying in Korean but I still felt the Spirit, if you know what I mean. Honestly, I am really proud that positive aspects of black culture have such a world wide appeal.

What are your thoughts ?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dating Adventures-Online Edition

I have been actively back on the dating scene via a couple of online dating sites recently. I have only had a few dates despite opening communication via emails and phone calls with several potential suitors. I thought the beauty of this forum is the idea that you get to somewhat "weed out" or screen for the people whom you don't think you would be compatible with. In my opinion, the whole essay about yourself and the questions and answers displayed are an opportunity to present who you really are so that both parties can determine the possibilities of compatibility. See for me, compatibility is what I look at FIRST and foremost in some core areas, then my next expectation relates to chemistry which I don't really think can be determined until you meet in person. One of the guys I met about a month ago, I will call him Mr. Marathon. We chatted a couple of times by phone before meeting at a coffee shop. We spent about 2 hours getting to know one another. He is former military, extremely fit & somewhat handsome. Even though its not the usual type of handsome that I am attracted to, I am trying to break out of my box & broaden my dating pool, so I am trying to consider guys who don't normally look like my "type". We had some things in common like running road races and a love of travel. He seems like a pretty straight laced guy, pretty even-keeled. One thing I noticed was he seems to be pretty self-made & confident in his career and accomplishments and overall place in life. The only thing he feels he is missing is a good wife. He is divorced at 45 with two children in their 20's. His answer to the question of whether he wants more kids on his profile was "not sure". In person during our discussion the answer seemed more like "probably not". The other issue that came up was the fact that he is not an active member of any church despite professing to be a Christian, nor does he attend church other than sporadically. I try to tread lightly in this area when discussing with folks, but I am always interested in why able bodied Christians don't attend worship services. His answer was that 3-4 yrs ago he was a member of a church but that they wanted too much of his time. There was always some event or function that required his service ( time or talent) and it just got to be too much so he quit going to church.
I guess I was wondering why he didn't just find another church and become a "less active" participant and maybe my thoughts were showing on my face, because he then came back with the statement that ".... well, you know, I know some really bad people, living really foul lives that go to church every Sunday...." and " Everybody that goes to church is not a Christian, etc."
***double crickets***
This has to be my all time worst excuse that people give for not going to church ! I mean in all of Houston, you can't find a church to attend that's not full of heathens ? LOL ! Furthermore, how is it that you let the person standing next to you in worship & what they do in their day to day life, dictate whether or not you want to be in the service to receive food for your own spirit ? I guess I was hoping he would just admit to backsliding and indicate that he planned to get back involved but just needed to make the commitment or something along those lines, but to put it on the other people in church ?! I don't get it.

Anyway this was a huge red flag for me for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I expect any man with real potential to be my husband to be in position spiritually to lead our household in this area. I am dating men in their late 30's & early 40's so I expect a certain amount of spiritual maturity at this point in their life, or at least the quest for it. I mean if you call yourself a Christian, what could you be waiting on at this point in life ? Also, I have a really close firsthand example of this issue because I have a very close friend who has been married for about 8 years now. Her husband did not go to church when they met. He was Baptist but hadn't been active since childhood. She is Catholic attends every Sunday, sings in the Choir too. While dating he attended sporadically with her but even then, it was not regular attendance on his part. She has admitted to me that even to this day, it is something that she really resents about him, especially on Sundays when she gets up, cooks breakfast, gets their child ready for church, and they go alone, leaving her husband to sleep in and watch sports, or whatever he has deemed more important than attending church with his family. I know as a Christian, you are supposed to witness and bring others into the body of Christ, but in my friends situation, he claims to be a Christian and to be saved, just makes excuses for not going to church. Every now & then, he will sense her anger about this, go with them for a Sunday or two, until she is not obviously angry about it, but then he just slips back into his normal pattern of not going. In the end, other things just have priority in his mind, in my opinion. That is why I would hope to meet someone who is already committed to their own spiritual position & practicing it in their life. I really don't want someone, specifically a man, to start going to church, just because he is dating me, because then I would think its about me and not his own personal spiritual growth. I really try to live a life of balance, spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally & financially. I have standards and expectations for myself in all of these areas & I look for potential mates that are compatible with ME in these same areas. After being married for 10 years and observing many other marriages, I just don't see how it can last long term when you are not compatible in some key areas.

How important is spirituality to you in dating ? Do you consider attending worship service regularly a part of spiritual growth ?

What are some of your most important areas or of compatibility ?

Have you ever compromised in any of these areas in a relationship ?

How did that work out ?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

European Vacation-Part Two " Time Travelling"

It is really enjoyable to travel somewhere that is truly different than what you normally experience and this is definitely one of those trips. Everything here is smaller, especially the vehicles. The roadways are so narrow, the living spaces are small and quaint. It is really a reminder of how much Americans do in excess and how much more of everything we use and consume. All of the shopping areas, pubs, restaurants, are just on a smaller scale. Nothing here is supersized. Coming from Texas where we do everything big, this place just puts into perspective how differently so many people actually live. It is like I am travelling back in time somewhat to a simpler less complicated era. I have really begun to ponder on some ways that I can simplify my life when I return home. On Sunday, I went to church with my family and we rode the bikes to and from the service ! Picture me in a skirt and some boots on a bike it was fun and kind of surreal. It is a small church primarily for the Expat Community. It is a Protestant Church filled with people of all nationalities from numerous countries. It was a bit different from my normal worship experience but enjoyable just the same. It seemed very similar to Catholic services that I have attended with friends without all of the kneeling ! LOL. After church, I rode seperately to the market with my cousins daughter so that we could pick up some things to prepare dinner for her Mom for Mother's Day. She is only 9 years old, but very precocious and knows her way around this place like nobody's business ! Everything is very close though. You have everything you need in biking distance. Everything in the stores are obviously labeled in Dutch or sometimes French, but occasionally you will encounter people who speak a little English who can help you out. We were making Parmesean Chicken so we needed to locate grated cheese and of course breadcrumbs, now that was an experience, but we finally figured out what we needed after almost buying cornmeal ! LOL We left there and rode to the bakery and picked up a nice dessert and we were on our way. We came home and prepared a wonderful dinner that turned out pretty good. I let her do most of the actual work. I just supervised. Later that afternoon, we all rode the bikes to the beach of the North Sea. The weather was beautiful, there is a lovely boardwalk and then below there are several resturants and small bars on the beach with beach seating so you have an awesome view of the water. It was a little cool with the sea breeze but we warmed up after a few nice cocktails and just enjoyed the people watching. I really feel like I have travelled back in time to a simpler place. It is so relaxing here and things seems to not be as rushed or urgent. Everyone is so nonchalant about everything. The fashion sense is something else that is a bit different. No one seems overly concerned about what they have on or whether or not its coordinated or not. It's like just put on whatever. There is not alot of pretention here. Thats pretty cool for the moment. Every time I think about the fact that I am 7 hours ahead of everyone back in Texas it hits me that I really am in a different time and space.

Do you ever long for a simpler, less complicated life ? Do you believe it can be accomplished despite your surroundings ?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Real Deal- Belgium Waffles

This morning I took a train ride to Brussels and went to the city of Belgium. I thought that it was a lovely city and immediately noticed how neat and clean it appears despite the fact the the buildings are obviously historic and have been around for a long time(since the 10th Century). It was lovely weather today with sun and a slight breeze. We did some shopping and I bought the cutest silk tank top. It's green with other colors mixed into the pattern and will be a lovely addition to my Spring wardrobe. I did lots of walking (miles and miles) which at the end of the day, made me feel much better and less guilty about all of the chocolate and waffles that I consumed. When I think of waffles I think of a sit down experience with plenty of syrup and butter on a plate. However, in Belgium they are served to you wrapped in waxed paper hot off the waffle iron to hold in your hand. You can get them drizzled in jam, caramel, chocolate, white chocolate, with powdered sugar, or strawberries and cream. My personal favorite was sprinkled with cinnamon. They are just right amount of soft, yet chewey, warm and oh so delicious !!!. I think I found my new foodcrack obsession ! The other interesting sights is a tourist draw called the Man.neken Pis which in Dutch means " little man urinating". I actually remember seeing this statute in some past history class I am sure. I was surprised about how small the statue actually is. It is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a little naked boy urinating into the fountain. There are several different legends as to the origins of the sculpture which is I guess why it draws so many spectators. There was actually a small 10 person parade including a band that walked the block when we were there. It was a nice day trip to Brussels and we returned at the end of the day again by train. We arrived at the central station in The Hague (Den Haag) and then had to walk approximately a mile to get to the house. I continued to marvel at how quiet, peaceful, laid back and relaxed this place seems to be. As we were approximately 3 blocks away, I noticed a little girl coming in our direction. She looked 3 yrs old, no more than 4 for sure. We approached on the path and she smiled and made eye contact. I was looking for a parent or somebody accompanying her and saw no one. I looked to the corner where she came from and then as she passed, I looked back to where she was headed and again saw no one waiting for her or watching for her. She was all by herself ! I was remarking to my cousin how unbelievable it was to me that children can just walk around on the street freely and safely with no concern of their parents. It was truly an odd sight as I am just not used to seeing small children just aimlessly walking about the neighborhood. The just explained how low crime is here, especially assaults and personal attacks and say the only thing that seems to ever happen here is an occasional bike theft. Wow what a peaceful existence ! I could get used to this.

Have you ever fallen in love with something you ate on a trip?

What are some of the most peaceful and safe travel destinations ?

Friday, May 8, 2009

European Vacation- Part One " First Impressions"

The flight to Amsterdam was a little less than 10 hours. With the time difference I basically flew into the next day which resulted in one long day. On the flight I was so excited the first couple of hours, then after dinner I watched a movie and then fell a sleep for a few hours. I was pretty comfortable, I woke up later and watched a few episodes of "E.ver.body Hates Chris" and "" and read a couple of magazines. The plane was full of alot of Dutch people and I was listening in one some of the conversations (as if I could understand LOL !) The flight was not bad at all & seemed to go quicker than I expected. This was the longest flight I have ever taken and they had this little monitor that you can select to view your travel status. It shows you where you are on the route, the time of day of where you came from and where you are going, the speed of the plane, ect. I have always loved Continental, but I must say I was pretty impressed with them on this trip. For breakfast they served me a nice warm croissant with some fruit & knew this day was going to be great ! I arrived at the airport, got my bags, made it through Customs, went to the bank for some Euros and went to the designated coffee shop to meet my cousin's wife. I had to ask for a few directions here and there but managed to get where I needed to go. I immediately noticed that English is only spoken if absolutely necessary. I made sure to be my standard polite self, but some of the Europeans seem very ....shall I say, not very warm. It's wierd to me to make eye contact with someone, offer a smile and get a blank stare, I mean who does that ? When I mentioned it to my cousin, he described them as being very "glib" which I thought pretty much summed it up. It's not that they are mean, they just come across as unconcerned LOL! The other thing that I noticed almost immediately at the airport and then on the train was how thin or fit everyone seems to be. I mean there are hardly any people here who look overweight at all. I am a" juicy size 10" which means that depending on the cut of the pants due to my thighs and "ba dunk a dunk" I might need a 12 but I am very tall (5"10") so I don't usually feel self conscious about my size but everyone here made me take notice. After my first 24 hours here I think I understand why no one is very heavy. The life style here is very pedestrian and promotes daily movement. Everyone has a bike and rides it everywhere. I mean you see people of all ages riding bikes. The city is set up to encourage it, there are bike paths everywhere, and the drivers have to concede to the bikers. My counsin told me there are stiff fines and penalties against the drivers if there is an accident. The other thing that I have noticed is the simplicity of this place. Everything here is alot smaller and the pace here seems slower. What I am reminded of is how Americans do everything in excess. I had the most lovely pink Tulips in my room and my cousin's wife has fresh flowers throughout the house. She told me that I will be amazed at how inexpensive flowers are here and there is a flower stand everytime you turn a corner. I can say that my first day here has been very enjoyable and peaceful. I really feel like I am far away from home and that is definitely a good thing.

Where did you go on your last vacation ? Have you ever been to Europe ? What kind of cultural differences have you encountered when travelling ? What is the best thing about travelling ?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No Worries

"......Just because you had yourself a couple bad days, don't mean its gonna be this way always !"

I am so feeling this song. I have had a few down days recently, but this always seems to lift my spirits. Evidently this guy was in a group back in the 90's called "Men at Large" I actually remember the group but can't recall what song they sang. I read a couple of reviews of his new album online and I think I am going to check it out. He has some heavy hitting gospel producers so it might be worth it.

I am coming to realize that sometimes I just need to take my moments and push through it by myself. I do my best to keep to myself when I am feeling blue, cause then I don't have to try & explain to friends how I am feeling. I am a hopeful and faithful person and I know how & what He has brought me through, yet sometimes, the negativity creeps in. The ghosts of past hurts and disappointment. I don't want to stay in that place too long, so somehow, some way, I have to find the will in myself to pull myself up and out of the blues. No one can do it for me. When I begin to count my blessings I realize I can't total it all up. Yesterday my cousin called me. We don't talk on a daily basis usually once or twice a month . This was her 3rd time calling me in the last 5 days. I suddenly realized that I had been distracted in our last few conversations. Something made me really listen to what she was saying. She finally relayed the situation, which is not uncommon these days. She works in real estate....not enough closings in the last few months...she and her husband are behind on their mortgage....she is trying to get some assistance with the mortgage company... but she is in a bind....she didn't want to ask... I was the only person she felt could help. She felt embarrassed and ashamed to come to me...but was at the end of her rope. I heard the fear, the worry in her voice. It gave me perspective, on my life. Suddenly I could see my way out of the blues. I may not be where I think I should be, but I am exactly where He needs me to be. I am blessed to be able to help her and told her that I would go to the bank today and I did, with joy and peace in my heart. I have a good life. I have my health. I have my family. I have true friends. I am loved... and I am thankful.

How do you handle the blues ? Do you believe helping others helps your self ? What music or favorite song lifts your spirits ?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

S.ex and the Kiddies

Over the last week or so Op.rah has had a couple of shows with Dr. La.ura Be.rman discussing how parents should be talking to their kids about sex. It's interesting how strongly and differently some parents feel about this subject. It's the age old argument about whether or not a parent is condoning the act or not when they provide their kids with information and/or access to protection from disease or pregnancy. I think the big issue is that some parents are just not really ready to address these issues with younger (pre-teens) as if they are exposing them to new information that will encourage their behavior. Many parents, in my opinion, seem hugely uninformed about what some of the youngest of kids are really talking about with their friends. I know its a sign of getting older when you start to recall the past as being so much more different( i.e better) than the situation today, but I truly believe with the internet, you tube, se.xting, etc, at their fingertips, these kids have way more opportunites to get exposed to alot well before they should have to lose their innocence. Even if you are a parent that limits your childs exposure to such, you can't insulate them from their friends, and the hours upon hours that they spend at school with their friends & thus getting information from their friends about s.ex. I'm on the team of "more information is better" school of thought. I know that children are precious, and we all love that innocence that kids possess, but the reality is that life is complicated. Kids are going to be naturally curious about taboo subjects, especially if they sense that parents are reluctant to discuss things with them. I think keeping it a mystery to them, makes it that much more intriguing. My mother was pretty open with me & I was a very inquisitive child. I do recall her seeming embarrassed and uncomfortable about some of my questions, which is only natural, but I do remember her allowing me to ask her whatever question I wanted & this built alot of trust between us over time. I read a lot as a child which is how I obtained alot of information but sometimes I needed her to fill in the gaps. She tells this story all the time about one day when I was about 13 or 14 years old, sitting in the kitchen with her and my grandmother. I actually remember this too. I could usually tell when my mother was in the right mindframe and mood to approach her about certain subjects. My grandmother was telling my mother, " go ahead, answer the child's questions, she needs to learn everything from you and not in the streets". So my mother was like, "Ok what is it ? what else do you want to know ?". So I looked them both square in the eye and said " OK, so I've been reading about this and I just don't really understand, what is an Or.gasm ?" LOL! My grandmother spit out her orange juice ! My mom's mouth just fell open for a moment & then they both just burst out laughing! My mother was saying " see Mama I told you this child can come up with some questions !" My grandmother was outdone ! After they collected themselves, they were able to explain it to me in a way that I could somewhat understand it. Although it is definitely awkward, I think its important to have these discussions as early as is needed because kids of all ages are being exposed to misinformation and confusion is being spread from their peers.
What age is appropriate to open the discussions with kids ?

What do you think about how parents should approach the subject of s.ex with their children ?

Were your parents or other relatives open with you about it ?

How/where did you learn what you needed to know ?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dating Adventures

It's been a minute since I posted about any dating scenarious so I guess I will present one. I have been talking on the phone to a guy who lives in a different city. I will call him Distant One. I met this guy at a party about two years ago evidently we spoke briefly, but according to him, he was "too shy" to approach me. I have zero recollection of this meeting. In December I hosted a Christmas party at my house and a young lady I know brought Distant Ones friend to my house. Evidently there was some discussion via cell phone as to where they were & they put me on the phone. Distant One advised that he had met me previously & inquired as to whether he could get my phone number & call me the next week. We began talking on the phone a few times per week. He seemed like a nice guy. He began to inquire about me sending pictures & I agreed to email him some to his cell phone. He forwarded me a few cell phone pics as he does not have a computer nor a digital camera. The photos were all pretty dark but from what I could tell he looked decent. January was a busy month for me. He had couple of deaths in his family in February and in the first half of March I was busy preparing for my nieces & nephew to visit for Spring Break ! We finally managed to meet this past weekend because he invited me to a Crawfish Boil being hosted by some relatives and friends that live in my city.

Now we have been talking consistently but not as much as I am accustomed to. He is an early bird and I am a night owl. I have more flexibility in my work schedule, so this limited some of our interactions and ability to have longer conversations. One of the things that I look for in conversation is what path a man is on in his life. Distant One made it clear early on that he is looking for a wife, which is fine, but what seemed to bother me was his futuristic talk well before we had even met face to face ! I made my ultimate desire to be married again someday known, but I tend to approach this pretty openly & definitely don't get into that type of talk too deeply until I have determined whether there is a sincere mutual interest between both parties.

This guy is a Christian & has been in church for about 3 years now. He is solidly blue collar, yet he is a home owner. He is family oriented. His went to college for about a year. He is not dumb, but honestly the conversations have been limited because it does not appear that he has any real interests beyond sports. One of the things about him is that he is a jokester. He is always making a joke & sometimes its hard to know when he is "kidding" or serious. Sometimes I have to say, "OK can you be serious for just a second". He asked me well over a month ago to commit to another family event over Easter Weekend. I tried to stall him because I wanted to wait until we had at least met first. This event will involve some travel but I ultimately agreed to attend with him. Last week we agreed that even if after we met if there was no connection, we would still proceed with the event& go our seperate ways after that. It seems to me that he wants to save face with his family. I was OK with that plan initially.

So we met this past weekend. Friday was supposed to be the night that we spent together & then Saturday I was to be at the Crawfish Boil/Domino Turnament with his family & friends. He insisted after picking me up for dinner an HOUR late that we go by his brothers house so that I could meet him and his sister-in-law. First thing I noticed was that he had lied about his height. I am 5'10 ( which means 6' in heels). He made it obvious by calling me "shorty" after the first few minutes in my home. I called him on it & told him there was no way he was 6'. The other thing that I immediately noticed was his teeth. I will attempt to be respectful and just say they were not very appealing to me. What I realized instantly was that in none of the four pictures that he sent me was he smiling. I had no way of knowing. I was a bit dissappointed but trying to be open minded, after all I had been talking with this person for a few months.

The men were in the garage & the women were in the house. They guys were drinking and a bit rowdy, there were some unneccesary comments about my appearance that Distant One should not have subjected me to, as it was very uncomfortable. I realized that I was being paraded for their approval. This was waaaay to premature. We went in to meet the sister-in-law and her friends whom were all very nice. They greeted me very warmly and were very hospitable.The problem I had was when they insisted that we stay there at the house with them because they had "plenty of food if you guys are hungry". I'm thinking," do you people not realize this is our first time meeting and our first date ? "I was gracious and polite but was going to let him handle it. I think for a moment he considered that we would just stay but at some point he got the message.

We went to a restaurant of my choice since we were in my stomping grounds. I should also point out that he does not seem to be much of a restaurant person & his diet consists of bar food, etc. He said that he enjoyed the seafood at Goode Company in Katy. When we walked into the restaurant & were waiting to be seated, he walked away from me to the bar to check the score on the game. I was seated alone & then he looked up to realize that I was already seated. The food was wonderful but the conversation just OK. I think he may use jokes, to alleviate him of nervousness or to hide his limited social skills. During dinner both his sister in law & brother called to find out when we were coming back. I decided to say nothing. I was just going to see how far he would take it. He did ask if I minded if we went back over to their house. He made a comment about them wanting to get to know me. We returned after dinner & basically just sat around watching TV & talking. It was a bit akward for me because again, this is my first time being in the prescence of this person & I am with family members too ? There were alot of inside jokes. I was able to be somewhat involved in the conversation but still this was not what I had expected, especially since the following day there was a scheduled event with these same people. We finally left so that he could take me home. He tried to make it seem as if he was waiting for me to say I was ready to go. I could not understand how he would put me in that position & did not understand why we needed to go back to their house since I had already met them earlier in the evening. We should have taken this time to get better acquainted.

The following day we only had about an hour 1/2 together before going to the event. Conversation was ok, but he made one too many comments about my appearance in my jeans. I was flattered the first time. After that, it seemed juvenile. We arrived at the event. He participated in and won the Domino tournament with a friend of his. I was able to make conversation with the ladies there at the park and later, a friend of mine showed up with her boyfriend. Aftewards we went back to his sisters house & he invited my friend and her boyfriend to come. Distant One was busy playing cards with his relatives and did not really engage me or my friends. My friend attempted to talk with him and her summation to her boyfriend was "BC is not going to like him he doesn't have enough conversation".

He took me home later that night. We were both tired. I invited him in & we sat on the sofa, both falling asleep, limited conversation. I was feeling like I had spent a weekend and did not really know this person any more than before he came & he was leaving first thing in the morning. He stayed for about 30 minutes. When he got back to his brothers house, he called me to let me know that his family was clowning him saying " BC must really not like you, she didn't let you stay at her house not one night!" I had no comment. Now I am trying to figure out if I want to suffer through the event in two weeks or not. I am inclined to try to give him another shot and also keep my word since we did discuss what would happen if we didn't really connect this weekend.

What would you do ? How long should you wait before introducing dating partners to family and friends ?

Monday, March 9, 2009

All That Jazz

This past weekend I had the wonderful experience of hearing a couple of my favorite musicians perform live. On Saturday night I went to see Joe Carmouche a popular Jazz Guitarist. He has a very nice and intimate place in downtown Houston called Le.gends Jazz Cafe. I went to listen to him and his trio play on a first date with a new guy that I actually met last week at of all places. (Details in another blog post). I really enjoyed it. The have some really nice artwork everywhere. It's very simple and cozy spot and the music was amazing ! I was able to talk with him personally after the set as he seemed to be quite familiar with my date. I have seen him perform opening for lots of Jazz artists that come through Houston. In person he was very gracious and made me feel really welcome. They also serve some very good Cajun Cuisine too. We shared an appetizer platter which consisted of some Boudain Balls, some type of Seafood Egg Rolls, Chicken Wings and some Seafood Beignets that were really good. Since I gave up alcohol for Lent, and my date does not imbibe, I'm not sure about whether or not the drinks are good. This is definitely a very nice place to take a date or even friends. The crowd was extremely diverse and really responsive to the music. I will definitely return.

On Friday night, a girlfriend and I went to one of my favorite spots in Houston, The R.ed Cat Ja.zz Cafe to hear Frank McComb who is more like a Jazz vocalist. He plays keyboard and has a voice as smooth as silk. I should also mention he is fine as wine ! My mom is a huge fan so I managed to get a photo with him after the show. She was so excited to open up her email. Frank sounds like a cross between Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder and has smile that lights up the room. The Red Cat is a larger venue that the other place and has quite a bit of local talent like Kyle Turner a saxophone player that plays pretty regularly. This is a great place for people who really appreciate real music and is not even close to being a meat market or pickup spot. Now the food at the Red Cat is not recommended. I have been disappointed many times so I try to always come after dinner. I make a point to get out to this place at least every other month or whenever a national artist comes through.

I love to go and hear artists that I know perform well live. Some of my absolute favorites are Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Jill Scott, Mint Condition, Anthony Hamilton and Kem.

Who are some of your favorite live performers ? Where in your city can you go to hear truly talented artists and musicians ?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Remember When

Yesterday I spoke to a friend that I have not seen in a while. This person and I don't talk on a regular basis like we did at one point before I moved away to a different part of Texas, but we have a connection that will always be. I am 39 she is 42. About 7 years ago she and I found out that we were dealing with the same challenge: Infertility. This was during a "baby boom" amoung our seperate peer groups of friends, families and co-workers. She and I stood alone, or so we thought, until we were connected through a mutual friend of ours whom we both had confided in separately and privately. It was good to talk with her then and even now. There are so many things that don't have to be said or explained it just comes easy. Since that time, I have divorced. Neither of us were able to conceive after multiple surgeries and procedures and life has continued on. However, I know that there is an undercurrent of sadness that persists in both of us, even though we continue to be immensely blessed in our lives. Yesterday over at CreoleinDC she coincidentally posted about her challenges in this area. I wanted her to be encouraged by the blessings in her life so I posted this:
"Wow. This was so real. My heart is with you. I know how this can hit you hard from time to time.I have been there. I believe that my infertility has allowed me to become closer to my two nieces and nephew. That is the true blessing. But I know it can hurt just the same. Be encouraged. Your love and commitment to you nephews really does matter. He sees and knows all. Believe that."
I have one sister and we are 14 months apart. We are extremely close. We were both married 14 months apart. She was the first to discover that she had a fertility issue which is actually how I discovered that I had one. Although our specific issues were not the same, the result was that we both had this problem to try and overcome. She was able to conceive with fertility procedures and has 3 beautiful children: Savannah, Olivia & KJ(Kevin Jr). They have been an absolute blessing in my life ! I moved about 8 hours away from my family after I got married and decided to stay in Houston after my divorce 10 years later. Despite the distance, my sister and I made a commitment that her children would have a relationship with me. My nieces are eight and six. My nephew is two. When Savannah was two she came to stay with me & my ex-husband after Olivia was born. Since that time, without fail, they come to visit me in the spring and for 2 weeks in the summer. These times when they come it is without their parents and we have been able to bond and build a relationship that I treasure. This uninterrupted time has given us a special opportunity to become closer that I would not trade for anything. I so look forward to cooking for them, planning activities and adventures, shopping for them, spending time with them and just building them into my life. They have developed relationships with my friends and their children here in Texas. I believe that this has been the blessing that came with my infertility. I know that they are not a replacement for the children that I still hope to have, but I know that their love for me and my love for them has saved me during some of my darkest moments. I have personally come a long way in this infertility challenge but I remember when it was not so easy...
I remember when seeing a woman in the store with an infant made my heart hurt.
I remember when people asking me "what was I waiting on ?" brought tears to my eyes.
I remember when admitting that I was infertile actually embarrassed me.
I remember when going to a baby shower was more than a challenge.
I remember when I couldn't even talk about it without crying.
I remember the pain after each failed fertility procedure.
I remember being angry with God.
I remember the depths of despair.
But I also remember when God began to heal my heart and grow me from the inside out and I am so thankful for it. He continues to bless me in spite of me. There is the occasional pang that I feel, but it comes and goes faster than before. I know that is HIS healing power.
The little ones will be here in two weeks for Spring Break. I am so looking forward to the love they give me that fills these holes in my heart. I remember when I didn't think that was possible.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

40 Days to a Better Life

I am so looking forward to this season of Lent. It seems like this year is some what of a transitional year for me as I am really attempting to show some growth and prove some things to myself. I took a look at my 2009 Resolutions in my journal. I'm not too far off the mark, but the timing of Lent is perfect to rejuvinate me. I feel like I have been doing pretty good with some internal challenges, but also recognize that its time to put some things to rest for good and I know that I have to do better. I am fully committed this year, where as in the past I start off making sacrifices for Him but fail somewhere along the way. I know he knows my heart and forgives me but I want to do better for Him & to try my best to be all that He intends for me to be. Babs recently posted about being a grudge holder and it hit me square on the head. I consider myself to be a very giving and thoughtful person, especially when it comes to my family and those closest to me. But I am a very sensitive person at times and have truly realized how difficult it is for me to let go of resentment and unforgiveness when people hurt me or disappoint me. This has been a huge challenge for me. I put it down. I pick it up. We are starting a 40 days of fasting, praying, scripture reading at church. Additionally, I have laid out a few things that I plan to eliminate from my life during this time, to help with my focus and to show my commitment.

Things I plan to eliminate:
1. Alcohol
2. Bread
3. Sugar
4. Listening to negativity

Things I plan to increase:
1. Daily scripture reading & prayer
2. Exercise
3. Reading
4. Journaling & Blogging

I am on the road to turning 40 this summer and am feeling quite positive about it. Because I have had a few major setbacks these last few years I am trying my best to boost myself up as much as possible. The danger in this is becoming too self-absorbed. I want to maintain a balance of being encouraged with lots of humility. I have faith that He will direct my path, as long as I am listening to Him and praying for discernment.

Are you making any sacrifices during Lent ?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Raising the Bar

I just finished reading St.eve Ha.rvey's new book, " A.ct Like a La.dy, Thi.nk Lik.e A". It was a very quick read-less than 230 pages and pretty straightforward with the information, much like his comedic delivery. I have read a lot of self-help relationship books in the past so there was not a lot of new information here for me, but it was good to hear some things reinforced from a man's point of view. Evidently he appeared on El.len's show last week and the book debuted at #1 on somebodies publishing list. Now I can definitely see how there are a lot of women who can benefit from reading this book and applying the principles to their dating escapades. Much of it is just common sense. But I guess it seems that it's just not common enough ! LOL One of the recurring themes is basically that you show men how to treat you by what you are willing to accept. He states that women are the ones with the power in male female relationships but we just don't know how to use it. I thought about this and have to agree. I believe that more than anything a lot of women have lost their power in the form of a loss of self esteem. In a round about way this effects other women because it colors the way that men view women collectively and I believe affects the way that men approach women and attempt to deal with some of them in general. I say ATTEMPT because this foolishness does not always work, but it works enough for some guys to continue to try certain things. My friends and I discuss this all the time and we call it "lowering the bar". It seems that so many women have bought into this "man shortage" theory, as well as lowering their expectations in general, that the game has been changed. Men don't have a problem approaching you with nonsense, because it works or has worked for one of his boys. In the book, Steve talks about the various reasons that men cheat. He stated that the biggest reason of all is "There is always a woman out their willing to cheat with him". And this is done knowingly. He explains, "Men can cheat because there are so many women willing to give themselves to a man who doesn't belong to them. He talks about how so many relationships and marriages could be saved if more women refused to participate in these situations because they thought they deserved better. He says "Men Respect Standards-Get Some". I guess after reading this book, I kind of felt a bit of sadness, because honestly this book is targeted towards basically grown women who should have learned these concepts after a couple of heartbreaks. It is sad that we as women ( in general) have lowered the bar to the point that there is a real audience for this type of book. I don't know what the solution is, but I guess we just have to Raise the Bar one woman at a time.

Have you read this book ? What did you learn ?

Why do you think there is an audience for it ? What are your thoughts ?

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Funny Valentine

I heard the statement yesterday while flipping through the channels that "Valentine's Day can make or break a relationship". I was called away to something more important but later continued to ponder on whether or not that was true or not. In my estimation, most times, people know whether or not they are in a relationship that is working or not. At least ONE person knows for sure. Now whether they are truly communicating that or not is another thing. I have a close friend who is having a few challenges in her new relationship of less than a year. Some fundamental issues of what it means to be in a relationship have come up & it does not appear that there is going to be a compromise. Each person feels how they feel about it. I could see this collision in advance because she and I talk regularly and I know her better than most. The funny thing, is that it's going to take this "make or break" holiday for a decision to have to be made. I wonder why that is ?

I am definitely a lover of Valentine's Day. Even though I am currently single, I still fully support this holiday. I consider all the V- Day bashing that is going on in blog land just ol' fashioned Hatin ! When Christmas comes around each year, Christians don't say " Oh I go to church every Sunday & read my bible everyday, I don't need to celebrate the birth of Jesus on some holiday, I celebrate it everyday in prayer !" LOL ! When you are in love there is nothing wrong with celebrating that love on a special day, regardless of the fact that you should celebrate it every day, there is nothing wrong with a designated holiday. Like Babs said over on her spot, the majority of haters are single. I am not in that club. Do I wish I had a special someone to celebrate with ? Of course. Will I hate on those who do? Not ! Just yearning for my own that has yet to come, but I know is definitely on the way in due time. I think it's funny that some people have to pretend not to care to cover up their disappointment. I am so beyond that. I am honest about ALL aspects of being single, the good, the bad & the ugly. My closest friends will tell you that.

I plan to fully enjoy my Valentine's Day Weekend. I am going out tonight for a pre-Valentine's Day Celebration with some single friends. I am going to wear a flamin' hot red dress & I am surprising my friends with some lovely roses that I have purchased for them, to celebrate the love I have for them and our friendship. We are going to a cool little wine bar and then on to another spot for some live music & dancing. I plan to get up on Saturday & make myself some heart shaped pancakes & turkey bacon and then head out to support my close friend who has recently published his 7th novel titled " Sticks & Stones". I love Eric, he is a true gentleman and a great friend, so I am coming to his book signing and bringing him some roses too ! That evening I am going to the movies with a guy who is just a friend and I plan for us to see something funny to make my heart smile. On Sunday I am going to celebrate with the love of my life Jesus :) and spend the day celebrating our love affair & all the wonderful Valentine's gifts that he has given me. I am going to cook a nice dinner & enjoy some wine under my gazebo in the lovely backyard of the beautiful home that He has blessed me to own, with mortgage payments that I can easily afford. I am going to prepare for the next week to go to the wonderful job that He has provided me with that allows me to provide for myself and assist others despite this recession. I am going to exercise with the healthy body that He has given me to celebrate the blessing that is Life!

What are your plans for celebrating love in your life this weekend ?
What do you find funny about Valentines Day ?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Married Living Single

Yesterday over at CreoleinDC the question was asked about whether or not you would be ok with dating someone who was legally seperated while waiting to file for divorce and whether or not you considered people in this situation still married or not. The vast majority of responses were in the vein of "seperated does not equal divorce". At the end of the day, a person will do what they want to do & what they can live with. The question becomes can you live with the consequences of your choices if you put yourself in a situation such as this ? Because from what I have seen, things can become complicated and confusing & lots of people can get hurt when you bring outside parties into the equation. The outcomes can vary quite a bit. I meet lots of guys all the time who claim to be "seperated" and trust me, there is always a backstory of some sort, with the sole purpose of justifying to me why they should actually be considered "available" for me to date. I believe a fraction of what they tell me. I always pass on these dating options & am amazed at the energy & effort that these men put into the pursuit of dating & living single while married & wonder if the same effort was put into saving their marriage ? Having survived a very painful divorce & having to go through alot of grief, loneliness & much therapy I realize that the time in your life when you marriage is being dissolved is very precarious. When you meet someone who is seperated you have no true idea if they have dealt with the issues & problems that lead to the divorce & trust me, that can become your problem if you are not careful. I know for a fact that seperation does not always end in divorce. It is my opinion that seperation should be time spent being sure that divorce is what is best & if so making sure that the legal aspects are settled & complete. That is all you need to be focused on while you are seperated. What some people fail to realize is that bringing in a third party can only complicate this process. Sometimes people are not prepared for the emotions that they come to feel when they realize that divorce is actually going to happen. You mix in children and the plot thickens. I know men who have been seperated from their wives, flaunting their mistress all around town, among family, friends, and then wonder why they get screwed in the custody arrangements, child support issues & property division. Would it kill a person, to put all romantic relationships on hold until your business is handled ? Is it that crucial ? Another scenario for the third party is that they get used and abused after they have become emotionally invested. Ask my ex-husbands mistress. She deluded herself into believing all that he was telling her. For one thing, some people who are seperated still continue to be sexually intimate, after all, they are still married. I sometimes regret some of my choices , but my mind was in a bad place, I did not want the divorce & the truth is up until our final court date when it was finalized, I would have been willing to reconcile on the courthouse steps. Long story short, after divorcing me, my ex realized that he had no intention of leaving a 10 year marriage (16 year relationship total) to walk right into another serious situation with the mistress. He had to deal with some of his own issues that he was able to avoid while being with her. It took him about a year to get rid of the mistress because she just could not accept it & turned into a psycho-stalker LOL ! ( Imagine that coming from the same chick who called me at my home & couldn't understand why I wouldn't just accept the divorce & let her have him !) He then spent about a year playing the scene and as I understand it, is now dating a woman 15 years younger than him. I don't have an ounce of pity for her. Karma is a B ! Although many situations my end differently, it just makes sense to wait and finish one chapter before you begin another.

Do you know anyone who ended up happy after dating a "married but seperated" man ?

Why are so many people willing to begin dating & even start full blown relationships before they have handled their business ?