Saturday, December 31, 2005

Holiday Secrets

The message below is a bit long...well not Marz long, but long enough...*LOL*.

My holiday in Detroit was one to remember, despite being stuck at my parent's house 80% of the time. I had no access to a car, though if push came to shove, I could borrow my Dad's.

My Amtrak experience was overall uneventful (save a meeting that happened on my trip back. I'll get into that later.). One annoying point, though. Why can't the trains ever leave on schedule? My train leaving for Detroit was originally supposed to leave at 7:50 AM but it wound up leaving after 8:10. The one going back to Chicago left 40 minutes late. Other than that and a few annoying passengers, the trip by train was really cool.

So Hemingway my attempts at Secret Santa turned out to be a bust. The minute I arrived home my Mom was already spilling the beans about who she had. Despite my best efforts to keep her quiet, she told me that she picked my Dad's name. Then she told me that my Dad picked her name. She also informed me that since they chose each other, they'd get their gifts later.

I rolled my eyes (not in front of her, of course). So in those moments, I knew by process of elimination that since I was Tasha's Secret Santa, that meant that Tasha was Trina's Secret Santa and Trina was my Secret Santa.

But an amusing thing happened on Christmas evening (that was when Trina & her boyfriend swung by). It seemed that Trina received a letter stating she was Tasha's Secret Santa. I, if you recall, also received a letter stating that I was Tasha's Secret Santa. Tasha herself had Trina as I expected. Two plus two did not add up to four.

It wound up that Tasha wrote her name twice. I think it was accidental. Nonetheless it provided the family with a much needed chuckle. Trina, it just so happened, bought gift cards so she wound up giving them to me instead.

Leave it to the E family to find a new twist to Secret Santa. I'm debating whether I want to do it again next year. If I do, I'll have to remember to do the name picking when I'm in town for Thanksgiving. But I don't know if I can silence my Mom's need to share. Though I think she only shared it with my Dad and me. Sigh.

Speaking of my Mom, she's always had this bit of naiveness about her. (That's where I got mine from growing up...*LOL*) When I say that, I'm not questioning my Mom's intelligence at all. She can definitely hold her own. But she's sometimes clueless about different things. For example, she told me over the holiday that recently somebody cranked the house and asked her if she did "blowjobs". She didn't know what a "blowjob" was and my father had to explain it to her. She then asked me if I knew what a "blowjob" was. (Yeah I think I have an idea...*LOL*.) Luckily I was able to spare her explaining it to me. She then asked if I thought Tasha knew what it was. I chuckled as I told her that I think she does. I'm assuming my Mom knows it as some other term. It's disgusting even thinking of my parents and blowjobs. Moving on...*LOL*.

Another example that happened over the holidays. My Mom, Tasha, and I somehow delved into talking about Star Jones. Of course when you talk about Star Jones, the chat turned to Star's sham of a marriage to Big Gay Al. My Mom of course had no idea folks were thinking Big Gay Al is gay.

Hemingway I love my Mom dearly. She's really the sweetest Mom in the world.

The holiday of course had its sad moments. One of those moments was when my folks were wondering whether Trina was going to make an appearance on Christmas. They haven't seen her much since she's moved out and she didn't come over for Thanksgiving. I believe they did talk to her once in December.

So my Dad asks me if I know whether Trina's coming over or not. I myself hadn't spoken to Trina since I told her about the Secret Santa idea. I made some noise that I'm sure she would. But I didn't really know.

So then the conversation of course turned to regret about the path Trina took in life. Long story short, she didn't graduate college, which especially saddens my Mom. Then there's that whole fling with a married man (her current boyfriend) she had and still has. (He was assumedly going through a divorce.) My Mom reminisced about the time she bought him home to hang out years ago. She swears that Trina was on drugs at the time. She thinks that they even shot up some in the back room. Of course, none of us wanted to believe that. I even asked Trina point blank about at the time when my Mom was so adamant about it and she sweared that she wasn't taking drugs. Trina was a bit on the heavy side during that time period and usually I pictured drug abusers as skinny things. Of course that's probably my naiveness coming out.

So of course rehashing all that put a damper on things. (There's more that I'm leaving out.)

Then when I was helping my parents clear out some junk, my Dad started ranting about his life. Actually I may blog about that separately. He's had a pretty hard life and I wanted to remember everything he told me so that in the off chance I have my own shorty someday, which I'd love to have, I can tell my shorty about his/her grandfather. After his 40 minute rant (literally, I kid you not), I ran into my room and tried to write down as much as I could remember.

I was pretty much holed up in the house almost the entire visit. My Mom did want us to walk to CVS to get some "after Christmas" stuff on Tuesday but she was feeling weak from the Parkinson's Disease she was diagnosed with a few years back. She has her good and bad days. I really hope they find a cure for the disease. It's terrible. She gets so depressed about it. I try to reassure her but nothing I say helps ease her depression.

After my Dad got home from his semi part-time job, I borrowed the car so I could take some gifts over to my godmother, who lives ten minutes from the family. I hung out there and of course heard all their family and Church gossip, including a scandalous birthday party held in the name of our Pastor, who didn't attend. Apparently some genius decided to hire a stripper. (Black people...*LOL*.)

I spent most of my days catching up on the "block of judge shows" on UPN and/or FOX. These include Judge Maybelline, Judge Alex, Judge Marianne, Judge Hatchett, and Judge Judy. A lot of the cases were pretty interesting.

I also slept a lot more than I normally do. I guess when you're holed up, there's not much to do...*LOL*.

Just before I was set to leave for the train station going back to Chicago, Tasha's car decides to die near the garage just as she's coming home from work. She wants me to try and help her push it into the garage. I'm not really successful in the venture and wind up attracting some neighbors from the block. (I didn't call for them. They saw me trying to push the car alone and came to assist. Wasn't that nice?) They eventually push her car in front of our house. I was going to offer them some money for their troubles but when I ran inside to get that ready, the helpers had already disappeared. It makes me smile a bit that we actually have neighbors willing to help out at a moment's notice. It restores my faith in the human race somewhat.

So the other highlight was that I finally got to meet Eugene. We decided to take the same train heading back to Chicago. His plans called for meeting an old friend of his in Wisconsin who would pick him up from Kenosha.

So after my adventure with Tasha's car, my Dad drives me to the Amtrak station. He goes to park the car while I walk inside the small station. I had spoken to Eugene earlier and he mentioned that he would be wearing a red jacket. So I walk in the station and scan the crowd for a dude in a red jacket. Noone fits that description, however, from a picture Eugene had sent me months earlier, I soon figured out who he was. Only thing, he was sitting with his sister and nephew. So I obviously wasn't going to walk up and say 'hey' since I didn't know how he'd react. Plus my Dad decided to come and join me. So I parked myself in a nearby seat across from where they were sitting.

I was smiling watching Eugene chat with his family. I wasn't sure if he noticed me or not. I'm sure, though, he looked while I wasn't looking at him.

My Dad soon came in and sat next to me. So my Dad and I were making small talk. For the heck of it, I decide to text a message to Eugene. He didn't respond back.

Forty minutes after our scheduled departure, we finally board the train. I say my goodbyes to my Dad and try to figure out where Eugene was sitting, since he wound up way ahead in the line.

I somehow got diverted from where he was and sat in a different section of the train. I kept looking ahead, hopeful that he would make his way back to my area. But he didn't. And while I had a feeling I knew the guy I thought was Eugene, I decided not to make a scene and try to find him.

So the train took off and I sat in my seat. Moments later, the conductor came and took my ticket. I sighed, wondering if I was going to meet Eugene (yeah, my melodramatic ass could've walked over there...*LOL*). Fortunately Eugene came over to my section and we immediately hit it off. I wound up moving to his section of the train, which was actually business class and had more leg room than the cramped coach section.

Eugene was so playful. He seemed really excited to meet me as was I. We chatted about our respective holidays and our "menses" (that's his terminology...*LOL*). And by "menses", I mean man prospects...*LOL*. Of course, we were discreet about it.

I really got the big brother vibe from him. It was especially true when I made some comment and he punched me in the shoulders. I was like 'what the heck you do that for'. I realized that brothers do that all the time and since I missed out on having a brother, the concept was foreign to me.

We had about six hours (aside from falling asleep and doing our own individual things) to chat with each other. I concluded once we finally arrived in Chicago, that my vibes about Eugene were on the mark. He really is one of the coolest people I've met this year and I'm definitely blessed to have him in my life.

Since the train was late, his friend wound up coming to meet him at the train station directly. Well not really at the train station but at a McDonald's outside of the station. So I never got to see his "straight" friend. We parted ways, vowing to call each other after the New Year to talk about how we spent our New Year's (He's staying at his friend's place until the 5th).

So this will likely be my last post of 2005. I can't believe that a New Year will be rolling in tomorrow. One more day for me to get my goals from Ms. Holiday's challenge in place.

Let me say that I'm also blessed to have gotten to know a lot of you in the blog world via your blogs. Being able to share my thoughts and have folks actually care about what I say has been truly a cool experience. It's also nice reading everyone else's thoughts. I look forward to our continued blog journey in the 06. Happy New Year everyone!


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Only The Facts

Hello. It's me. I'm back. And so is DizYaBoy. Yay!

My holiday week at my family's can best be described by the famous first words of Charles Dickens's Tale of Two Cities. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. A lot of semi-interesting stuff happened that I'll have to blog about another time.

Tonight's post is in response to my being tagged by ProfessorGQ. I have to come up with five fun facts about me. I may have added the word fun. I can't remember. So let me see what I can come up with.

1) I lost my virginity on Halloween after turning 30.

2) I've paid for escort services in my recent past.

3) I was the first person ever to be named Editor & Business Manager of my high school yearbook. (Ironic considering how much I hated high school.)

4) The last time I've been out of the country was in 2002.

5) I have no immediate cousins that I know of living in the United States.

Okay. I hope those were marginally interesting. I now command the next 5 people who comment on my blog and has the letter "K" anywhere in their logon name.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Holiday Well Wishes

Well I'll be leaving really early tomorrow morning for my train trip to Detroit. I've been feeling like listening to some holiday music. I got turned on to this website called Accuradio that plays music. They have a holiday section and you can listen to some randomly selected songs. I'm currently listening to a station that plays different renditions of Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire. I'm awaiting Nat King Cole's version. Nobody tops his. But it better hurry up. My black ass needs to hit the sack.

But anyway I'll be back in Chicago on the 28th.

I have my bowling finals to look forward to next week. My team is currently holding first place. If we win at least two games, we'll win the first half. Keep your fingers crossed. I'm already dealing with jitters.

Hemingway however you celebrate the holidays (or even if you don't), let's all be safe this weekend. See you all next week.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Reach Out And I'll Throttle You

Eugene and I recently had a conversation about his date last weekend. He was basically connecting with this guy that he chatted back and forth with on Yahoo IM. He told me the guy was 6"3 (probably 6"1 1/2...*LOL*...see my earlier post of the day to find out about that rant), 210 pounds of dark chocolate muscle. Needless to say I was intrigued.

Eugene met this guy in a public place to avoid any possibility of having relations. So he was telling me all about the date, which I won't detail since he'll have to get his own blog. However one thing he said peaked my interest and thus motivated me to post this entry (while playing hooky from the job...*LOL*).

One of Eugene's pet peeves is when a date answers their cell phone in the middle of their outing. He was even peeved at me when I picked up my cell phone to answer his call during the middle of my summer date with That Asshole That Shall Not Be Named (even if it is a fake name...*LOL*). His thought process is that if you're taking the time to get to know a person, it's rude to be carrying a conversation with someone else.

So Hemingway his date's cell phone was ringing during lunch. Eugene told me that he gave his date the 'I dare you to pick up that phone look'. And his date didn't. That had me rolling.

As we talked some more, I realized that I could actually see Eugene's point. (Then again seeing things from different perspectives has been my forte. It's a curse sometimes too.) I remember when TATSNBN was chatting on his cell phone making plans for the next day with someone while out with me, how peeved I was. The only thing is I had little ground to complain because I unfortunately picked up my cell earlier on him. I hate to say it too but I think I saw a glimmer of anger in TATSNBN's eyes when I did that. Who knows, maybe that's what led to his actions later.

The truth is, I normally don't pick up my cell phone if I'm hanging out with someone. The only time I would is if I was bored with the date and needed a breakaway. But I guess I saw it was Eugene and broke that rule.

I too have had situations where I was in the middle of something intense with someone and that person chose to answer their phone. That killed the mood instantly and I usually would end things there.

The thing is, do people always have to be available for someone when they call? Nine times out of ten the caller on the other end has trivial shit to talk about anyway. Voice mail was created for a reason. Right?

I recently had a coffee date (literally at Starbuck's) with a guy and my work pager was going off. I kept trying to ignore it (it was on vibrate) because I was having a great conversation with him. Finally after the fourth page, I realized that I needed to pick it up. So I regrettably told him I had to check my pager and he decided to check on his email. I wound up having to call the office. Sigh. Luckily the date ended coolly but I couldn't help thinking how much easier it would be if we didn't have gadgets interrupting all the time.

It's amazing how cell phones have changed people's lives. I mean, what the hell did people do before the popularity of cell phones? If someone wanted to reach you and you were out, they left a message and if you need to call them later, you do.

So my new rule, if I'm on support that month, I mention it to any dates I may have so that I won't be totally rude. A date I had a year ago also told me ahead of time that he would need to be on a 30 minute conference call while we were out. We were playing phone tag a lot previously so despite that, I went through with the date. But it was cool that he told me ahead of time so that I wouldn't be too upset. I made the choice to deal with it as opposed to having it made for me.

On the bright side, I know when Eugene and I have lunch after the holidays, it'll be interruption free on both ends. That's so refreshing.

I guess I better drive my ass to work. Later.

Coming Up Short

I made an appointment last Thursday to have my heart scored. Truth is, I'm not sure why I made it. My dog-gone blood pressure has still been driving me batty with its mood swings and I basically wanted to make sure that my heart was still okay. I mean I'd hate it to be enlarged or something. By process of elimination, I ruled out liver and lung problems, which I'm told could cause secondary hbp. My cholesterol and trig levels, with the exception of my low HDL, have been normal.

So my appointed day was Tuesday morning at 8AM. I had to fast 14 hours prior. But let's be real. I work until 6:30 PM most nights so there's no way my last meal of the day could be before 6PM. The only other appointments were 6AM, which would be a 4PM meal cut-off (right...*LOL*) and 10PM, which would be an 8PM cut-off but would cut into work. So I did fast but only for 12 hours. I doubt two hours would make that much of a difference either way.

I was supposed to come in fifteen minutes early to fill out paperwork. But I woke up a bit late and wound up arriving two minutes after 8AM. Luckily there wasn't a big crowd at the facility, which seemed to be a rehabilitation center for seniors.

A nice older lady named Ann (that's her real name...*LOL*) gave me the paperwork information and then proceeded to draw blood from me. The results from that would be sent to me in 3 weeks. She then measured my body fat percentage, which was at a stunning 12.5%. (Nice.) She then took my height and weight. She said my weight was 173, which I knew probably translated to 164 on my scale at home. For some reason, they always weigh you heavier at the doctor's office. But then I got the shock of my life when she measured my height. She had me take off my shoes and stand tall. Despite doing that, she told me I was 5 foot 8 and a half. I was like...what? Well, to myself I was like...what? All my adult life, I thought I was 5"10. I mean I remember when they measured us for caps and gowns in high school, I measured at that height. As I thought about it, though, I think I wore my hair longer back in the day and maybe whoever measured me, included my hair.

She later took an EKG. That was fine. My blood pressure was already elevated at 142/98 but whatever. 5 foot 8 and a half? How can that be? Maybe that's why I never had much game in the dating department? *LOL*

I paid my $65 for the tests and made small talk with an older gentleman. After finishing chatting with him and wishing him a happy holiday, I left the hospital. As soon as I got in my car, I called Eugene, hoping for a sympathetic ear. Of course he teased me the whole time about my height difference. He's freaking 5"9 and now he realizes that he's taller than me. I emphasized that I have the half inch, which means we were probably the same height. That was all for naught, of course. He found it hard to believe nobody in all my years ever challenged my 5"10 assertion. I couldn't really recall. Then he said that he'd of course would've figured it out had we met. I almost wish I had kept my mouth shut since we actually will be meeting for the first time in a few days when we're both in Detroit. I so can't wait to finally meet Eugene. He's like the big brother I wish I had growing up. I guess we'll have something else to debate about...*LOL*.

Remember when I said I wished I were two inches taller? Let's add two and a half inches to that wish. Sigh.

Hemingway at least I had a great meal to make up for the lack of eating Monday. Our holiday lunch was at Cheesecake Factory. The decision for the restaurant was a bit of a controversy since the person who picked it lived just minutes from it. But nonetheless the food was the bomb. I'm gonna have a time detailing what I had on my food blog...*LOL*.

In other news, I finished my Secret Santa shopping for Tasha. I chose to focus on physical fitness for her since she says she works out six times a week. I bought her a new gym bag and a yoga set. I hope she enjoys them since stupid ass SportsMart doesn't offer gift receipts.

My train trip to Detroit is Friday morning. I have to get up before the crack of dawn to get to the local Metra to whisk me to Union Station. Here's to a new adventure.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I Remember Once Upon A Time When, When I....

...would never ever...

"...not be married by 30."

"...consider writing a novel."

" for the man."

"...own a home."

Heh...were you expecting my title to be Diagnosis E: Cubed? I thought I'd incorporate some lyrics I actually understood from Toni B (shut up Jamal...and who is ILead...*LOL*) onto my title. Cute, huh?

I know you're all like...whatever!

Hemingway I'm a bit late posting my Diagnosis E: Cubed post. As I mentioned before, Ms. Holiday posted a 30-day challenge on her blog 19 days ago. The idea was to come up with a few goals to acheive before the first of the year. So how have I been progressing?

Goal #1: Finish two chapters of my elusive novel. I've gotten a bit further. That's all I'm saying on that one.

Goal #2: Try and jog at a minimum of 15 minutes every morning God graces me to wake. Well I haven't been doing that much but I have started another blog to track my food and exercise intake. I'm hoping seeing what I eat I can correlate to managing my BP. Some things I'm noticing. If I take a 30 minute power nap (hmmm, didn't I suggest that as my winning idea and heh...I know I said 20 minutes but it was the weekend, I gave myself 10 extra minutes. Sue me...*LOL*), that my BP is at normal levels immediately after waking. It also goes down after a hot shower and if I wake normally as opposed to my personal daily alarm clock in Eugene...*LOL*.

Goal #3. Understand one or two basic tools to choosing better investments. That one's going pretty good too. Actually if any of you guys are into stocks, check out PBLS. It's a post-Katrina play that's looking to get out of the pink sheets before Q2 2006. It really seems promising despite it falling in price currently. But note...this isn't a recommendation. I don't want anyone shooting me if it goes below a penny...*LOL*.

Goal #4. Clean up at least two rooms in my house. Exceeded!!!!!!

That's all for today. Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Pussy Footing Around!

I've been spending today "pussy footing" around. I had intentions but those never materialized. I wound up playing several rounds of spades at the Hoo! I lead the exciting life, huh?

I saw the most hilarious commercial for Trust condoms. The commercial is shot in some part of Africa but I swear it sounds like musical artist Joe (who's Joe, right?...*LOL*) is singing the theme song. Once you see it, you'll know why it cracked me up today.

So continuing the pussy theme, why the hell is that Pussycat Dolls song Don't Cha so damn addictive to me? I can't seem to get it out of my head. I remember it playing several times while I was in Seattle's Muckleshoot Casino. It was an awkward selection considering all the songs they played before and after it were 80's staples like Object of My Desire (that song by Starpoint was on, umm, point..*LOL*) and I Can't Wait (another 80s jam by Nu Shooz). Then again, one review I've read about their album describes the group's attire as "six stripper girls trapped in the 80's." So maybe the song placement was appropriate after all. The girls remind me of my embarassing secret love I once had for the Spice Girls. Anyway a link to their video is on MusicJesus.

And here's that link. It should start playing automagically.

I admit to dancing to it in the privacy of my home. Trust me, it's not a pretty sight...*LOL*.

Hmmm. For some reason, this post put me in the mood for watching Boomerang. Any guesses why? *LOL*.

P.S. I'm Tasha's Secret Santa.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Secret Santa

Another holiday is buzzing its way through. In the E family, Christmas time has been a bit anti-climatic. I mean, the excitement that I once had for the holiday is gone (as it's been for everyone else in the family). Long gone.

Don't get me wrong. I definitely enjoy spending time with the family (minor dramas and all...*LOL*). It's just that the whole gift thing hasn't been that exciting in general.

For years now, my friend Sally has this tradition called "Secret Santa". There's various versions of this but Sally's version is that her two sisters, her mom, her aunt, and Sally put their names in a hat and they each have to pick a name from the hat. The rule is that a person can't pick their own name. If any of them chooses their own name, the whole process of picking names has to happen again. The idea is that nobody should know who anyone else has. There's also a set amount each should spent. The amount they set is $50.

I recently found out that Eugene has been doing the exact same tradition with his family.

It was then that the bells were ringing in my ear. "Secret Santa" would bring a bit of excitement back into the E holidays for all involved. So I explained the concept to my sisters first. They both were in. I figured my toughest sale would be on my Mom. I know she likes to get a little something for everyone. In fact, I think when Sally first told me about her family tradition a few years back, I may have mentioned it to my Mom, who poopooed the idea. I had a feeling with recent events (my younger sis Trina moving out, etc. ) that the time for "Secret Santa" was perfect. So I pitched it to both my parents, who both decided to go for it.

I sorta told my sisters about the limit amount but didn't mention anything about that to my parents. I figured just getting them to agree to the name picking was exciting enough. I may spring it on them next year.

So tonight Trina was supposed to come over so that the four of them could pick names and mail me the 5th (assuming a co-worker of Tasha's didn't pick my name, in which case, the whole process would have to happen again). But Trina was a no-show. So Tasha co-ordinated the event with my parents. Other than a minor issue my Mom had with a stranger picking for Trina and myself, which I was able to resolve, the name picking went without a hitch. So tomorrow Tasha will have a co-worker draw for Trina and myself. I'm hoping said co-worker picks different names so we don't have to do the process again...*LOL*. I have this image of the remaining names being Trina and myself and they choose in that order. I'll keep my fingers crossed that isn't the case.

If I had to rank the easiest to hardest to shop for, it'd be Trina, Dad, Tasha, and Mom. My Mom is a challenge because my options on things to get her are limited. She's very finicky about clothes, plus I wouldn't know what size to get. My Mom's not really technical so electronics are out. So she would be a challenge indeed. But I think I'd be up to it. After all, she's my Mom and I love her.

I look forward to starting this "new tradition" with the family. I'll keep you all posted.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Diagnosis E Squared

It's day 13 (yeah I'm over an hour late...*LOL*) of Ms. Holiday's thirty day challenge. It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun. Chicago weather proved to be sucky as usual. But I did get the opportunity to meet fellow bloggers Wade, Tim, and Marlon. It was an interesting afternoon where I learned some spades tips that I previously didn't learn. I may be ready for next time.

So Hemingway, how have I been doing with the goals I set. Let's review.

Goal #1: Finish two chapters of my elusive novel. This goal is a work in progress. However, I do have some of it done. I'll give my readers an exclusive taste of some of it. It is a rough draft so I know it's rough around the edges. All advice is definitely welcome.

Preface: My novel focuses on the lives of four late teens/early 20's black men living in the mid-90's and their life experiences thus far with each other and away from each other. A basic coming of age novel. The four main characters are Maurice, Sidney, Hakeem, and Thomas. The excerpt I'm giving below is Maurice's.

Chapter 1 - Untitled

Maurice Johnson was currently content. He was spending this Saturday at Fairlane Mall with his girlfriend Ginger. He started daydreaming as he held Ginger's hand. Could life get any better than this, he wondered.

Maurice had on baggy Pelle Pelle gray jeans, a white football jersey, and some gray Nikes. He kept his hair tapered short.

"So where to next?" Maurice asked. He felt Ginger pulling him in a different direction.

"Here," Ginger answered as they walked inside a designer shoe store place.

"Why am I not surprised?"

Maurice chuckled as Ginger shot him a dirty look. He started thinking back to when they first met three years ago. Maurice had transferred to a new high school his sophomore year. His parents felt that his old school was riddled with too much gang activity and would be a bad influence on him. He remembered being resentful since he lost contact with a lot of his friends.

Holy Redeemer High School proved to be a good choice in time. Maurice quickly joined the football and basketball teams. It didn't take him long to make friends, including making his acquientance with cheerleader Ginger.

The two of them hit it off instantly. They were chatting after one of the tournament basketball games. What attracted him to her was that she seemed to be watching his every move on the field.

"I loved the way you blocked #17's 3 point attempt," she said.

"Really? That was nothing." Maurice bragged back.

"Don't let it go to your head. You still have some things that need improving."

Maurice was dumbfounded. "Hey. Why don't we get back to what you like about me?"

"Sure, well I do..." Ginger started before turning around.

Maurice watched as a couple girls came up towards them.

"Hey Ginger, you need to go now if you want a ride with my folks," one of the girls said.

Ginger gave her girls a dirty look. "Give me a couple seconds okay." She quickly smiled at Maurice as she pulled out a piece of paper in her purse. "You got a pen?"

Maurice was still in his uniform and didn't have one. It didn't take him long to find someone that did. "Ok give me your number."

"How about you write your number on here and I'll call you," Ginger replied as she handed him her slip of paper.

Maurice smiled as he took her paper and wrote his information. He quickly handed it back to her. "Here you go."


"So are you going to call me?"

"Yeah I'll call you tomorrow night," Ginger said. "Well I have to go. See you around."

"That I will," Maurice said as he watched her run off with her girls.

About a month after that meeting, the two became an item. They were instant high school sweethearts. It was a rare moment when they were apart from each other. There were some rough patches but they managed to stick it out.

It was two hours later when the couple finally left Fairlane and was walking towards the parking lot. They were still holding hands as they walked.

"Hey girl," Maurice heard a female voice shout behind them.

Maurice turned around and took note of the voluptuous young siren that was greeting Ginger. He instantly recognized the girl as Aurora, an on and off again girlfriend of Ginger's. Ginger returned Aurora's greeting.

Maurice remembered that Aurora was also a member of the cheerleading squad. Rumor had it she slept with half the football squad because in her words, 'you never knew who would be making it to the NFL'. Aurora and Ginger were friends by default due to the AKA affiliation of their mothers.

"So you're still with this fine piece of chocolate," Aurora said as she seductively sized Maurice up with her eyes. "Where have you been hiding him?"

Ginger sassed back. "Wouldn't you like to know? Look Aurora, we've had a long day and the two of us were just about to head out to dinner."

"It was, umm, nice seeing you again," Maurice added. He grabbed Ginger's hand and started walking away.

"Hey. We all have to get together and hang out sometime," Aurora shouted out.

Maurice noted Ginger's sour look as they continued down the lot. He knew whenever Ginger got into her moods that it was best to let the mood take its course and not intervene.

"You know she borrowed my favorite red pumps and never gave them back to me," Ginger said as they finally reached Maurice's Pontiac Grand AM.

"Oh yeah. You were, umm, missing those."

Ginger laughed suddenly. "I had to get away from her because I was afraid she'd want to borrow something else from me."

Or someone else, Maurice thought to himself. He remembered...

That's all I got so far.

Goal #2: Try and jog at a minimum of 15 minutes every morning God graces me to wake. Let's just say this has been a bad week working out wise...*LOL*.

Goal #3. Understand one or two basic tools to choosing better investments. I'm still working on this one. So all's good.

Goal #4. Clean up at least two rooms in my house. I actually cleaned practically the whole house minus one room. Now you know why #2 was neglected...*LOL*.

Until Day 18..

Friday, December 09, 2005

Zee Art Of Staring

Why am I living in Chicago again? I couldn't believe the nightmare I had trying to leave work with the incliment weather. Traffic was horrible. Unfortunately it was bowling night. Of course my team members deserted me and I knew the ones that weren't on schedule wouldn't step up. I left at 4:30 in the afternoon and arrived at the alley at 6:15 PM, over 45 minutes late. The other team had two players and they already were almost done with Game 1, so our team had to forfeit that one. But I came back strong and singlehandedly won the last two games with the scores 188 and 153. Our team is currently tied for 1st.

Then it was hell getting home. But I'm definitely grateful for not being anywhere near Midway. That was a tragic situation indeed.

So Hemingway earlier yesterday before the winter mess I was having lunch with a co-employee friend. We were actually meeting to discuss coming up with training materials for the daycare/training center that I volunteered my time for back in early October. Yeah it looks like I may be a teacher. That's scary. I sorta got pushed into it. Said co-employee friend, let's call him Smooth (yeah real smooth...*LOL*), chirped during an afternoon conference call that 'E teached Junior Acheivement' (uhhh, four years ago and that doesn't mean I'm an expert). So of course I'm put on the spot. I guess at least Smooth volunteered himself too.

So we pretty much went over what we need to come up with. I have to do training slides for Microsoft Word and Excel. I guess it's cool.

Hemingway during our lunch at Steak N' Shake, Smooth's like check out that cute girl over there, she'd be perfect for you. Double life situation aside, I'm thinking we're sitting across from each other. The cute girl is sitting in a way that it's easy for him to view her. I, on the other hand, would have to turn around and make it obvious. That annoys my shit. Especially since I don't want her seeing me staring. That's not the first time that's happened either. Even the few times I hang out with gay guys, they're like check him out. Of course I have to make an effort to turn around and look. It's so irritating.

So Hemingway I kinda look but wind up looking at the wrong girl and I'm thinking wow, Smooth's taste sucks. But I'm nodding and smiling going 'oh ok'. I mean, it's not like I was gonna chat with her anyway. So then we get up to pay the bill and fortunately you can pretty much look where you want to look from the front of the restaurant. So I finally see the girl he was talking about. She did look better than the one I thought he was talking about.

So is there an art to staring without looking like you're staring, especially if you're not at an optimal vantage point? I'd like to know.

In other news, I got emailed on A4A this week by Vince. You remember, that bowling jerk I had two dates with earlier in the year. His exact words, I kid you not. "Sup, guy? How you felin'?" Aside from the fact that moron still can't remember my name, I'm wondering what possessed him to use the pictures he has now. He looks ugly as hell in his primary. I guess he was on a manhunt and thought I was desperate enough to jump on it. I didn't respond. I'm almost tempted to give away his username so you guys can check for yourselves, but I won't...:-)

I so want to play hooky from work today. But I won't. Besides I'm off Monday and Tuesday of next week. I can play hooky then...:-)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Memory Lane Revisited

I was reading some more of my old journal entries and came across an interesting one I thought I'd share. I talk primarily about a couple crushes I had some encounters with, including that male friend in college that I never admitted to having a crush on. I alluded to him in a previous post but the post I shared at the time didn't mention him. There's also some mention of classes and interestingly a gay incident involving my Dad. Intrigued yet? I thought so.

Forgive some of the grammar in advance. (Heh.)

Saturday, January 15, 1994

Dear Journal,

A whole week has passed in school. I'm still trying to get used to it. My classes are pretty straight, though. I do see several potential problems, though. Bankrowshi is teaching Differential Equations instead of Lane. I've heard things about her -- like she gets stuck doing problems and that she can't teach. From my impressions, I tend to agree. Discrete Structures professor Fr. O'Connor is senile. He seems to have an attitude everytime you ask a question. Plus he doesn't really explain what he's doing at all. The only bright spot in the class is a cute girl named Myra Johnston. (Crush #1...*LOL*)

I've actually seen Myra on and off for the past year. In fact, I had Economics with her but we never really talked. Events began turning on the 1st of December that would eventually lead us together. On that day, Brian (My male college crush...the things I wrote about him...*LOL*) and I were in the lobby of the library chilling. We were talking when suddently Myra walked in. She swung past us and was talking to two guys working there. Brian was smitten and told me he wished he could get to know her better. He said that he always saw her walking towards the bus stop and would offer her a ride if given the chance.

I told him that I had a class with her once. He couldn't believe I didn't get to know her better. I couldn't though. Some other guy kept hogging her. We did talk once but it was about some trite subject. Getting back to the subject at hand, Myra walked towards the exit. I looked towards her, hoping she'd recognize me. She didn't.

So anyway, I saw Myra almost every day the following week. She was in the lab working on a computer problem the day I was there. About three or four guys surrounded her. The following day I was walking in the basement of C&F and saw her getting pop (soda...*LOL*). She was actually by herself without anybody hogging her. She seemed to finally notice I was alive. We talked. We exchanged numbers. The rest was history.

Here's her stats. Peat this! (Look at me trying to sound hip...oy...*LOL*) She's a mathematics major who's been attending [ALMA MATER] since 1991. She graduated from Highland Park High School (not my alma mater...*LOL*). Myra's 20 years old and sadly, she has a boyfriend in [ANOTHER STATE]. From the conversation, I get the impression that it's a long-term relationship. Despite this, she's easy to talk with on the phone. She's almost as easy to talk with as Brian. In fact, we talked for nearly an hour on the phone. I think that's the longest I've ever talked with a girl on the phone.

In other news, Dad thinks that Mr. Trudeau is gay. I'm not sure how Dad concluded that . Mom told me that Dad was disturbed by conversations he had with Mr. Trudeau. He mentioned to Mom that Mr. Trudeau was angry at him because Dad didn't call him when was on vacation. Dad said that many of his conversations with Trudeau didn't make sense. Then he was adamant that he's not interested in Trudeau that way. (I didn't mention it but my Dad told me at the time that Trudeau wanted to invite him to see some porn...*LOL*.)

Personally I don't think Mr. Trudeau is gay. (I'm not so sure now...he was the Church organist after all and you know the stereotype about organists...*LOL*) Sometimes people say stuff that can be misconstrued. For example, when he was 'angry' Dad hadn't called, he probably meant that he missed him. Dad and Trudeau practically do everything together. They eat lunch together, go to different stores, etc., etc. They've helped each other out whenever one was in a jam....

...Society doesn't permit men to express their feelings like women can. Men aren't supposed to cry or risk being called gay. We're raised to be the aggressors. However, men do have have feelings. And like it or not, we do feel hurt. I think Mr. Trudeau was just expressing his feelings. After all, other than Dad, he doesn't really bother with other people....

Hemingway I hoped you guys enjoyed that entry. This actually is my 100th post! I guess I have been posting like crazy these last few days and they quickly added up. Thanks everyone for reading my ramblings. Hopefully I'll still be around for 100 more posts. Until next time.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Diagnosis E

It's been a few days since I've first announced my goals for the month culminating to the best New Year's Day ever. Maybe...*LOL*.

I wanted to update you on how far I've come on each.

Goal #1: Finish two chapters of my elusive novel. Sadly I haven't even sat down to pen a few words yet. But not to worry, I'll get cracking soon. It's just a lot of other things have taken precedence.

Goal #2: Try and jog at a minimum of 15 minutes every morning God graces me to wake. Errr, I haven't quite done that one either. The morning I set those goals I did run 30 minutes. But I've just haven't felt that inclination. And tomorrow morning isn't likely to happen because Wednesday is the one day a week I have to go to work early. There's always Thursday.

Goal #3. Understand one or two basic tools to choosing better investments. I have been trying to keep up with the stock chart school whenever I can. I have a better understanding of resistance and support level. A support level is basically the lowest possible price a stock can drop before plunging. A resistance level is the highest possible price a stock can rise before exploding higher. Folks recommend having three levels of resistance and three levels of support. If the price falls below the first and second level of support, it may be time to cut your losses. On the contrast, if a stock goes past the first or second level of resistance, it may be time to add more to it. The logic seems a bit backwards I suppose. But the theory is higher rising stocks have room to rise further where as falling stocks you never really know the bottom.

So I'm getting there with that goal..*LOL*.

Goal #4. To not let people's attitudes and moods bring me down. DROPPED!!!

Goal #5. Clean up at least two rooms in my house. I completed cleaning my master bedroom two days ago. I've not seen a more fabolous looking room. It's worthy of showing off. Of course I'd have to blindfold you upon entering my house and then guide you to my room. Then I'd have to blindfold you back as I kick you out. :-) My next project. The kitchen. And I've made some good headway there too. I'm hoping to get that knocked out tomorrow.

So I guess I'm not doing to bad. I'll need to get on the ball with the first two goals. I'll have another Diagnosis E episode on December 12th.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Baby, It's Warm Inside

That title sounds so nasty. But maybe it's just my nasty mind in operation. (Heh.)


As I went about my day heading to and from work, I couldn't help noticing how cold it was. It was especially apparent when sitting in the car while waiting for it to warm up. I swear, my next car, which I'm hoping to get late next year will definitely have a starter installed. It would just be nice to enter a comfortable car for once. To go from one warm place to a brief cold spell and quickly enter a warm car.

At first I thought it was a frivolous luxury, but go through enough winters (33 and counting..*LOL*) and you'll realize it's a godsend.

I imagine too the technology has gotten better regarding these. I think I've heard in the past how automatic starters sometimes interferred with car operation. But that I'm hoping is a thing of the past. Besides the thought of spending one more winter suffering in a freezing car leaves little to be desired.

So how about that other Half of mine? Now that we're through the first batch of new episodes, though is teasing that a new episode may air next Monday. I do hope so but since UPN only ordered 22 episodes, it's doubtful.

Hemingway I'm loving this fourth season of the show. The writing seems tighter this year. In case you haven't been watching (and if you haven't...for shame...*LOL*), here's a recap of the main happenings of the first ten episodes.

LDD's plush existence was rocked when her father cut off her funds and told her she needed to make it on her own. LDD immediately struggled to make ends meet and thought the only way to stay afloat was to sell her numerous items. Mona enjoyed the torment but finally suggested LDD get a job. Much to the horror of BDD, LDD got a job at the shoe shop. To make matters worse for BDD, Phyllis and LDD became tighter with Phyllis teaching LDD how to stretch her dollars. BDD was helplessly watching her daughter morph into Phyllis. Things turned around for LDD when she helped an athlete friend of hers get a better contract. That led to her job at a sports agency where LDD quickly learned she had to change her tactics in a male dominated industry.

Mona meanwhile made goo-goo eyes with sexy neighbor Lorenzo, much to the chagrin of BDD who was plotting to hook him up with LDD. The new relationship quickly went south when Mona doubted herself and Lorenzo got tired of her doubts. Phyllis tried to help Mona out by pairing her up with a hot fireman named Glen that recently rescued the ladies from a house fire. Things quickly fell apart in that arena when Glen took a liking to Phyllis. Mona at first plotted to keep them apart but with LDD's prodding later helped Phyllis and Glen hook up, even later offering her Mom sex advice.

LDD invites Mona to a girls weekend at a new spa. Little does Mona know that LDD really invited her to a singles mixer. Mona's upset upon discovering this but perks up when meeting the mysteriously sexy Chase. (Sidebar: I normally don't get overly excited about hot guys I see on TV but Chase was setting me on fire like I couldn't believe. He had me at hello. The pictures I found online do him no justice. I suppose the make-up people at Half & Half do agree with him..*LOL*. He's fucking hot!) Mona's hooked despite LDD's attempts to break up the pair due to her assumptions that Chase is broke. LDD instead tries to pair Mona off with some so called cultured guy while she snags another one. Chase almost gets away when thinking Mona's playing him until LDD realizes the error of her ways and patches things up for the pair. To make things potentially complicated, Lorenzo acts like he's interested in Mona again.

Real brief on Spencer and Adam. Spencer gets promoted to V.P. of Marketing by Kai after she sees something in him. He goes through some personal changes this season. Adam feels miserable about his existence and resorts to selling Delicious merchandise on EBay to stay afloat.

Can I say that I'm loving this season? I can't wait to see where they go with things. One idea I liked....perhaps BDD can accidentally find out something about Glen that's unsavory and she must decide whether to tell Phyllis or not. That would make an interesting episode.

I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Am I Guilty Of Murder?

I made my three month appointment to give blood today at my local blood bank. The country always seems to be in some kind of blood shortage crisis and I being one to want to do my part (plus maybe temporarily help my blood pressure...though that's debatable...*LOL*), decided to once again, donate some of mine.

One of the questions that is asked on the form is if since 1977 I have ever engaged in a sexual act with another male, even once? I always answer this question with a no, even though obviously I have engaged in sexual acts with men.

Part of the reason I answer that question with a no is because I know not doing so would lead to more questions and likely I would be rejected as a blood donor. I doubt that only happens in South Africa.

It's obvious that the concern is if you've engaged in homosexual activitiy, that the odds of your blood being infected with HIV or any other STD increases.

I inadvertently mentioned to Eugene that I always answered no to the "sex with men" question. After calling me a liar (which I am in this case), he flat out called me a murderer. He pointed out that if I couldn't be honest enough to answer a question correctly, then I shouldn't be giving blood.

What pushed his buttons was a recent CNN newstory he saw on the fastest segment of new HIV patients being black women who has a black male partner (husband, boyfriend, etc) that engages in sex with men. The 'DL' phenomenon is obviously nothing new. Even when Oprah had J.L. King pimp his book on living on the 'DL', the problem had been known for a while. As tragic as these cases are, the majority of these women received HIV from their unfaithful partners, not a blood transfusion.

He also mentioned that people like me who lie about that question but may have HIV, risk infecting the population. According to this article, however, the odds of that happening is less than one in a million. Also all blood from my understanding is screened and checked for numerous diseases, including HIV.

Eugene actually bought up yet another point that I really couldn't refute. Yet. (Heh.)

There is usually a two to three month period of time where the HIV antibody is undetectable in blood. What if someone who doesn't want to share his sexual activities decides to give blood less than three months after having risky behavior. It is possible that the virus could in fact be in the blood yet remain undetected. There are several cases where that's been said to have happened.

I don't know. Maybe I am a murderer. Three times over since one transfusion can potentially be used on up to three patients.

Either way, maybe I'll go back to my hiatus on giving blood. Besides it's not like it's a medical fact that giving blood helps with high blood pressure.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

My Idea For 100,000

Remember when I asked if you could use 100,000 grand? Well the deadline to submit an idea almost snuck by me. Luckily I was able to submit my idea online.

Here's the idea I submitted just now. And damn it, I saw a typo right in my first word. Sigh. Hemingway, what do you think?

I was taking a break from house cleaning (As Toni Braxton moaned in Talking In His Sleep, me...*LOL*) and thought I'd share my idea. If you haven't submitted your idea yet, you have until this Monday.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Reaching For The Goal Two

December 1st - World AIDS Day

Heh...when I posted my short and sweet post, it was pure coincidence that fellow blog Stone decided to chat about long ass posts. I suppose I may have been guilty from time to time but I figured mine were entertaining...:-) And sometimes you do need more than 1500 words to get your point across.

Today's post will be brief, though.

TeeBee, you'll be happy to know I started goal #5 earlier this evening. I was working on the master bedroom. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes just to clean up one section. I guess that tells you how bad it was. I confess to wasting time reading old mails and magazines, which probably contributed to the time. I continue the quest tomorrow.

I did goal #2 yesterday, though I wasn't able to today since I was awoken from my beauty sleep by my work pager. Repeatedly. Grrrr! But it's all good.

As a reward for sticking to cleaning my room for the time I allotted to do, I treated myself to seeing Saw II. Well technically I was trying to see it a couple weekends ago but circumstances stopped me from viewing it. Let me just say, the twist was something I should've saw coming but nonetheless shocked me when it was revealed. I recommend seeing Saw I first, though.

So I've just come back from the movies and thought I'd post a brief post. Oh, and thanks Ms. Holiday for clarifying the # of goals. I think I do have enough, though I'm thinking #4 isn't that realistic as I'll always have some kind of reaction to negativity so let's drop that one.

I think I've about reached my limit, so till next time. :-)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Reaching For The Goal

Wow today is the start of another month. The last month of 2005. Groovy.

Today's post is going to be short and sweet. (I hear the sighs of relief from Mashaun.)

The lovely, always fashionably hip, and satirically witty Ms. Holiday presented to her readers a 30-day challenge just in time for the, heh, Holidays...:-) The purpose of this challenge is to have us within two days come up with 5-10 goals that we'd like to accomplish or get closer to accomplishing before 2006. I thought I'd post on here 5 of my goals today and come up with 5 more tomorrow.

My five goals I'm setting today:

  1. Finish two chapters of my elusive novel.
  2. Try and jog at a minimum of 15 minutes every morning God graces me to wake.
  3. Understand one or two basic tools to choosing better investments.
  4. To not let people's attitudes and moods bring me down.
  5. Clean up at least two rooms in my house.
That's it.