Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It All Falls Down

New Years Eve is irrelevant in my life. I could care less that when the clock strikes 12 a new year will be here and everybody can supposedly start fresh. I may have been a Thanksgiving Grinch, but I swear I'm not for this holiday.

December 31, 2005 just happens to be the day I woke up...couldn't feel my knees...collapsed...couldn't walk for a few months...temporarily lost my scholarship...got put on a bunch of meds (with crazy side effects) I didn't need...yada yada ya.

This day has a new significance in my life. On January 1st, 2006 I wasn't celebrating the coming of a new year. I was in Atlanta with swollen joints, scared as hell, worried about the future, and in tons of pain. Not much of a holiday is it?

I've been negatively affected by that day for exactly three years. Today I am putting a stop to it. On the day everything started, I am choosing to end it. Instead of waking up as I did January 1st, 2006, I will wake up refreshed and thankful for everything. I will feel optimistic, I'll know God hasn't forgotten about me, and I'm officially closing that chapter of my life. The dark ages are now over.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Busy Busy Busy!

Good lord I've been busy with this book and my company. There's so much to do and so little time. I think of all types of wonderfully deep and enlightening blog posts to put up, but every time I open my computer...I work!! I've never been happier or felt more fulfilled. I know that I am doing exactly what God intended me to do and it feels great.

This book began as some crazy idea. Hell, I don't even know what I was thinking when I grabbed my 5 Star Lil' Fat Notebook and furiously scribbled random topics having to do with college. I managed to save that notebook for two years until I finally decided to do something with it. Initially, I figured it'd be my hustle. I'd have bragging rights as an author and make some money on the side. It soon turned into a personal mission and is now the final step in my healing.

Once I officially make the book available for sale, my healing will be complete. I will be able to close that chapter of my life and move onto the next. I'm not overwhelmed, but I'm too excited to dedicate my time to just one thing. It's like reading your favorite novel then trying to read as fast as you can once you get to the end. You just want to finish, and you want to see what happens next.

I've been designing a flash website for my company (Noteworthy by Jaz), editing/formatting & promoting the book, and getting ready for my big move back to Atlanta. People tell me they wish they had my drive. I ask them why they feel they don't already have it? I am nothing but a big ol ball of pure passion. My struggle means nothing if I don't pull from it to grow.

I'm going to end this with a short paragraph/story I had to put together durring a training class at my job. I had to use the words: persevere, optimstic, opportunity, curiosity, challenge

"I've been faced wth many life challenges I've had to persevere through. My faith in God keeps me optimistic as I turn setbacks into opportunities. My curiosity keeps m wondering and exploring options of things to come. I am oh so very Flyy!"
-Jaz

Friday, December 26, 2008

Photo Shoot!!!!!



Show your support!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hello My Name Is: Mr. FukyAfeELiNgS!

I'm not sure if it's because I'm sick and my Aunty Patty is visiting, but this weekend Mr. FukyAFeELiNgS! ran rampant in my life. Without going into details, Mr. FukyAFeELiNgS! possessed three pivotal individuals in my life. Usually I can handle Mr. FukyAFeELiNgS! with style and grace, but this visit is different. The book comes with its fair share of stress, and I've worn my body down. Working 40hrs a week then writing at night is starting to take it's toll.

The funny thing about Mr. FukyAFeELiNgS! is, he only seems to appear when you are trying to make moves in life. He targets whatever area in your life, in whatever way he can, to truly leave you feeling fucked. If you don't identify him early on, he can really do some emotional harm.

Mr. FukyAFeELiNgS! is a sneaky critter, and his tactics are always effective. Even when the damage is undone (or actually harmless), the damage he does on your feelings will last for quite a while. Feelings are fragile, and don't easily heal like wounds. They are complicated and never seem to respond to the messages your brain sends them.

Congratulations Mr. FukyAFeELiNgS!, you've won this round, but I'm not down and out yet. I know I'll be seeing you sooner than later, and I have a feeling you'll actually be in town for a while. Your visits only mean that I'm doing something right in life so I'll holla at you boo!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

And the Rapper Says Thank You...

I'm not the one to cry. I'm not even the one to really get choked up over anything. At times I even think it takes an onion just to remind me that my tear ducts actually work. Don't ask me how it happened, but ya girl actually got a bit choked up on my way to work this morning.

While listening to Jazmine Sullivan sing about falling in love with another man, everything just hit me at once. I could suddenly hear Darwin telling me that I needed to get ready to write my autobiography because I was gonna be somebody important. I suddenly felt a sense that I was on the edge overlooking something big that I was about to walk into with all the confidence in the world.

I stated it first in my Dear Hater letter. I am motivated by haters. They are my fuel. The hater fueling my writing career is the very first hater I ever had. It was the asshole at The Call Newspaper who misquoted me when I almost had a children's book published in elementary school. He flipped my words and quoted me as saying that the writing part was hard but the illustrations were fun and easy. Hell, the illustrations were the hard part! I couldn't draw for shit so I used various types of paper and cut out little shapes to piece my drawings together. It took forever!!!!!

Making matters worse, he said that my early success would most likely not lead to anything. Who the hell was he to announce to the world that there was a slim to none chance I'd actually get anywhere where this writing thing?! If I wasn't so upset at being misquoted, I really could have gotten discouraged by his remark. I still have the newspaper clipping and am hell bent on stalking him and sending him a copy of the article along with other articles I've had published writing BY me in a newspaper 100x bigger than the one he wrote for. I also plan to send it with a copy of the book, and an article about my book.

He popped my Hater Cherry!

The feeling I felt in the car was so much deeper than the satisfaction of showing somebody up that worked against me in life. I felt a sense of purpose. Like everything in my life had built up to this very moment. To this book. If I would have never gone through the things I had gone through....If I had never met the people I had met.....If I had never made the decisions I made (good and bad)....this book would have never come to be.

I just really took time to thank God for everything. I finally understood why so many rappers thank God despite their often unruly lyrics. God truly takes you as you are. The more messed up you are, the more he can do with you. God changes you, but he does not change who YOU are. Those rappers realize that they got where they are because of Him even if the general public doesn't know their full story. The same applies with me. I look back over my life, and realized it was nothing but God.

I feel like I'm sitting on a best seller. I stand behind my book 100% and am fully prepared to throw every resource I have into this to see it through. I know if I put in the hard work, God will carry it to where it needs to be. He's gonna open the doors and I just have to have enough stamina to walk through them. I feel like I am beginning to fulfill the prophecy a man told me after praying for me. I just feel it in the very depths of my soul that I am somebody important at this very moment...

....Even if the world doesn't know it yet.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Disappearing Act


Call me Carmen Sandiego, cuz unless you are a super sleuth, you won't find me! I'm somewhere between Kansas or Missouri taking care of business. Don't bother sending me Facebook event invites. Don't ask me to come visit. Don't expect me to sit on the phone with you. I have shit to do! My book, "The Miseducation of an Urban Nerd" is almost complete. Everything is coming down to the wire, and I'm FOCUSED MAN!! I'm making the announcements in this blog before I pass them on to the rest of the world.

December 23rd & 27th - Photoshoot for the book
January 31st - Book will be available for sale on www.lulu.com in both Paperback & Ebook
March 15th - www.noteworthybyjaz.com will be live!
March 31st - Book will be availbe for sale on:
  • Amazon.com
  • BarnesAndNoble.com
  • Bookstores can purchase from Ingram
  • Listed in Bawkers Books in Print
  • NoteworthyByJaz.com
I will also be starting an additional blog! I will be attempting to keep this wonderfly juicy, opinionated, and sexily writen piece of art under wraps for a while. I'm not ashamed of it by any means. Hell, it wouldn't be on the Internet if I was. It's just that the website will be extremely business oriented, and this blog isn't. The second blog will be hosted on WordPress and will be accessable from my website. It will be more motivationally oriented, PG, and will mostly give updates on what's going on with the business and the book.

Make sure and follow that one too, but keep it locked here for all the good stuff! We'll see how long this lasts. Sooner or later, the two blogs will be linked, but I'm not ready for all of that. That blog is work, this blog is play.

If you are on Facebook then join the global group: The Miseducation of an Urban Nerd
Show your support!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Hustler's Ambition

It's another one of those nights where my brain won't shut off. One idea gives way to the next, which leads to another, until I get no rest. I have A Hustler's Ambition. The nerdy part of me advocates sleep. Sleep is my body's way of resting and resetting. The hustler in me says, "Hell No!" In a state of temporary unconscious rest, I won't be able to brainstorm. I loose 8 hours of thoughts. Who knows what great thoughts I coulda thunk up.

Is my fear unnatural? Possibly. When I told the docs how my brain works, they put me on meds for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I really thought I was messed up til I got to see Diddy in action. If little sleep will turn me into a mogul, I'm with it. I'm down for the cause. I'm creating imaginary picket signs and directing supporters to man the lines surrounding my pillow.

Picket signs may be a tad too extreme, but you get the point.

A true Hustler's Ambition is to be at the top of your game at all times. For me that means being well rested so I can have a successful day at my 9-5. A successful day there gives me the resources to fund my hustle ("The Miseducation of an Urban Nerd").

In actuality, sleep is my hustle. It's nothing to fear. Usually I say, "I can sleep when I'm dead. If a lack of sleep shortens my life, at least you'll know I lived every minute of it!"

I'm still shoutin it, but my employed ass needs to keep it that way. Time to count sheep. I'm sleep.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Biggest Snitch of Them All


The issue of 'Snitching' is a curious phenomenon. It's like a buncha people took what their mama's told them about Tattle Tellin' and ran with it. See Tattle Tellin' meant you don't go run and tell that your little bro is doing backflips off the bed. It means you don't run and tell your boss that your coworker was on MySpace during company time. Tattle Tellin' is divulging some unnecessary info that doesn't have shit to do with your lil nosy ass! Snitchin' shoulda been the same thing.

Over time, words start to sound dated and get replaced.
  • Solid = I Feel You
  • Groovy = Cool
  • Loose = Hoe
  • Sike! = Gotcha Bitch!
The act of Snitchin' should have been one of these terms. A Tattler Tells, a Snitch Snitches. This should have been an easy transition. I just don't see what went wrong. All of a sudden, telling the police you witnessed a murder is Snitchin'. Family members who saw first hand the death of their loved one are labeled as Snitches if they go to the authorities. That's the dumbest shit I've ever heard of. This whole "Stop Snitchin" movement needs to stop. Hell, this isn't even what I meant to write this post about.
...Now To Expose the Real Snitch!...
Now that I've clearly defined what Snitchin' is...let me inform you of the biggest snitch of them all. Ringtones. Yes, I said it...RINGTONES.

Today at work, I forgot to silence my phone. "Brown Eyes" by Destiny's Child began to play. My business was suddenly all out in the street. My phone snitched on me. Not only was it clear that a man was calling, but also a man who I had some strong feelings for. Slowly my mind drifted onto the other ringtones that could possibly put me on blast. I have reasons for each one, but the world doesn't know the story behind them. Half the time, I don't even want the person to know the meaning.

The list grows weekly, but here's a list of what I have right now & the meanings a stranger could pull from them:
  1. "Brown Eyes" by Destiny's Child - This person loves me
  2. "Cater To You" by Beyonce (ft. Destiny's Child lol) - I want to cater to this person
  3. "Caught Out There" by Kelis - I strongly dislike this person
  4. "Coldest Winter" by Kanye - I'm heartbroken
  5. "Daddy" by Beyonce - I love my daddy
  6. "Hi Hater" by Maino - This person is a hater
  7. "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry - I'm a lesbian/bisexual and have kissed a woman
  8. "Pimp Like Me" by Twista - I feel like a pimp or I am pimpin' this person
  9. "So What" by Pink - Hell if I know....
  10. "Still I Rise" by Nicki Minaj - Hell if I know...
Some of these meanings are true, but others are waaaaay off!!! Not only do ringtones Snitch on you, but they can possibly Snitch and tell the wrong stuff. Nothing is worse than a lyin' Snitch. Fuck it tho...I like to Jam! For now I'll let the biggest Snitch keep Snitchin'. I'm just trying to get the word out.

Ringtones: The Biggest Snitch of Them All

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Prying Eyes


Nothing aggravates me more than a person so bored with their own life that they seek entertainment by closely monitoring yours. One of my good friends has this quote. "If it doesn't stop your paycheck from coming, why are you worried?"

My sentiments exactly.

For my avid blog followers, you know that I don't hold back. My blog is balls-to-the-wall and I allow you to explore my inner most workings as I chronicle my life as a supaflyy lady. If you aren't satisfied with the information I am willing to divulge in my blog, then you are just one nosy, extremely boring, lil' shit wad. I understand your life may be boring, and mine may intrigue you enough to want to know more. Trust me, there's a reason why all facts of my life aren't posted on here.
  1. IT'S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS
  2. IT'S THE INTERNET - SEARCH-ABLE BY ALL
  3. NO REALLY, IT'S NONE OF YOUR GOT DAMN BUSINES!
If your prying ass can't get that through your head & feel you are entitled (for no particular reason) to know every juicy detail about me (such as who I'm sex'N), you need to seek therapy.
  • VH1 has not done a special on me
  • You did not see my face on E!
  • I was not featured on the cover of The National Inquirer
I'm not saying I'm not a big deal, because I am kinda a big deal (haha!...it's a joke, lighten up). All I'm saying is, there are people who live way more interesting lives than me. Your nosy ass needs to subscribe to a tabloid magazine and get the hell outta my face.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The State of the Black Woman pt. 2


I went ahead and posted this piece to You Tube
This is the version I edited for Brittany's time limit & will probably chop on it a bit more
It speaks truth.
Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gotcha Bitch!

I actually thought I found a Perfect Man (PM). His stats were ridiculously amazing. His body was amazing. Hell, he seemed amazing. On the surface, his statistics would have made any human with ovaries cream until they drowned in their own wetness and turned into a pile of horny mush. Once I dug a bit deeper, it seemed like somebody was playing some cruel practical joke on me. Every woman has this list of conflicting characteristics they want their PM to have. Well, this one had nearly all of 'em. I half expected somebody to jump out and say, "Aha! Gotcha Bitch!" This shit was just to good to be true.

Well, "Aha! Gotcha Bitch!"

There is no such thing as a PM. He simply doesn't exist. Everything may seem great, but the deeper you dig, the more likely you are to hit a gas line. Once you realize a gas line is present, you can take precautionary measures and find new land to dig up or you can be a dumb ass and keep digging until shit explodes. I choose to walk away.

I live to dig another day. 

Friday, December 5, 2008

The State of the Black Woman

On account of my Haunted Vagina,
I pretty much quit writing poetry and spoken word pieces
My long time friend (elementary school ya'll) needed help with her talent for the
Miss Black & Gold pageant taking place at the University of Kansas
so I told that ghost to get the hell out!
This is the result...

"The State of Black Women"

Phenomenal
Phenomenal like Maya Angelou phenomenal
I'm Phenomenal

Phenomenal like I'm one of those rare women who recognize that I have generations of ingenuity, persistence, determination, and the resilience of those who've gone before me - running through my veins

I'm Phenomenal

I respect that women have already paved the way and all I have to do is walk straight.
I have sense enough not to deviate.

I'm trying to tell ya'll - I'm Phenomenal

Phenomenal women set the standard

We are the standard
We over achieve the standard
We make the mold of the well-rounded woman then break it so that we ourselves can become the upgraded version

We are the prototype of the desired friend, sister, wife, confidant, scholar, athlete, corporate woman, entrepreneur, entertainer, and leader

We are second to none
Surpassed by none
And by the time anyone comes remotely close to outshining us...
Their bulb has already gone dim

--------

But where are we?

I mean,
I'm phenomenal and I know you see me
But ME aint WE
Where have all the phenomenal women gone?

Black women like to complain about Black men not being men

Let's see...
Jail
Gay
Down Low
Dead before twenty-three

Sounds like an endangered species to me

Do these over analyzing women ever take the time to evaluate their own diminished numbers of phenomenalisim?

I think not.

They strip themselves of the title every time they drop it like it's hot to a jam that refers to them as...Well...I don't need to go there
My message is typical.

But if it's so typical, why is it that there has only been one nationally publicized stand?

It took place when Spelman banned Nelly

Did you even hear about it?
Did you even care?

(We Failed)

By not recognizing our beauty and self-worth, we've allowed outside sources to define it for us.
Instead of building each other up - we knock each other down
Instead of getting love from our sistahs - We choose to self-destruct as we seek to fill voids

We become groupies or waste deep in debt as we search for solace in material possessions.
We ditch our pinstripe suits for outfits so skimpy we make hairless chihuahuas look furry.
All in an attempt to attract a man to fill the void of an absent father.

We've got to do better

We let 'em Raw Dawg and end up with babies.
"It's No Fun If His Friend Can't Have Sum!"
So we end up on Maury
Got five men on stage, convinced the sixth just gotta be it
"Yea, I know he's it."

Baby got the same curve in the pinky toe
And if you squint your right eye
And stand on one leg
And lean to the left
I'd be DAMMED if they don't look the same!

I'm sayin...

Where have all the phenomenal women gone?
Where are the women of the 90s who were so independent, they refused to support a man who couldn't do the same?
When did women stop learning how to be women and think just cuz they got that good good and can throw down on a box of Hamburger Helper, they deserve to be wifey?

What qualified these underqualiied women to insist there are no good men worthy of marrying, when they didn't check themselves in the mirror?

What are you bringing to the table?

What happened to class and elegance?

When did we become so jaded that issues like domestic violence failed to evoke emotions and a deep desire within us to change?

It's not the Black man that's endangered.
It's us.
This is the State of the Black Woman
This is what we have come to be
As for me...
I'm phenomenal
Phenomenally.

-Jasmine D. Taylor (Jaz)
12/5/08

For my sis Brittany Ersery. Love you girl!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Find A Way or Make One

I've been knocked on my ass for the last time. As I expected, my body has readjusted its settings to transition into a mindset of a fighter. It's well into the wee hours in the morning and I managed to pull myself off of the computer, only to pick up my phone to write this post. One of Clark Atlanta University's motto is "Find A Way or Make One." I used to live by that. When you need a solid solution to a problem, you'll find yourself digging into the inner depths of you just to figure out every possible option. I remember watching this Whoopi Goldberg movie, where she kept a box of ideas her boss rejected. In a clutch she pulled them out when she was running her own business and didn't need the approval of her boss. I'm in a clutch, and damn right I'm taking it there.

VIA Sister Paterson's request, I'll soon be finding an alternative place to live. I found the perfect studio apartment, but events leading up to the eventual foreclosure of my home have left me with less than desirable credit. I want this place, and I will try hard to get it even if my cosigner doesn't get approved. 

My first taste of making my own way was when I realized that if I could drop $2,000 to pay the lease in full, I wouldn't need a cosigner. I don't know how the hell that's gonna happen, but it got the ball rolling. I immediately updated my craigslist ads selling my stove and advertising my writing/editing services. Then I priced other things to sell. From there, I got proactive and brushed the cobwebs from my Elance profile and submitted proposals for a few projects. Elance limits me to 3 free proposals/mo so I began exploring other options. I checked the "writing gigs" in Kansas City's craigslist. After realizing that I provide virtual services, I moved on to Atlanta's craigslist, then Austin's, and on down the list until I pulled myself off of the computer.

Her Royal Flyyness is back!

I remember when one of my big sisters taught me how to properly fight in school while getting in as little trouble as possible. She told me never hit first. If you hit first then you started the fight, and you would be the one to get in the most trouble. I later learned that if you don't hit first, you run the possibility of getting knocked the fuck out of giving that bitch the upper-hand. You also have to show moxy to be that first hitter. You are officially writing a check that your ass better be able to cash. That takes guts. Hell, even if you loose, at least you had the balls to try.

That's how I'm feeling now. My balls are full grown and I'm hitting life first before it can get me. I've adopted this new game plan and my body knows it. That's why I'm still awake at 4am. If I sleep, I'll dream. I don't feel like dreaming. I already have a dream. Right now it's time to brainstorm and act so I can achieve my dream.

God forbid I don't get this apartment, I'll be fine. I have a plan B, C & D. Yet and still, I have life by the balls...fingernails gripped in...twisting. Life's a bitch. Treat her as such and run that shit!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We Wear the Mask

Sister Paterson really went and did it this time. She delivered that final knife in my chest and proceeded to twist it, but I didn't cry out in pain. I've learned to carefully disguise my emotions. She'll see just enough to think something is going on, but will never know the true extent. I won't give her the satisfaction.
As Paul Laurence Dunbar says, I Wear The Mask.

We Wear the Mask
by Paul Laurence Dunbar


We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,­-
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream other-wise,
We wear the mask!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

How the Grinch Stole Thanksgiving

I'm not gonna lie, this Thanksgiving, I'm a straight up Grinch. I will wear that title proudly. On a holiday where people all over the nation are giving thanks and acknowledging everything they are thankful for, all I can think about is the fucked up situation I'm in. The best way to try and explain it is by giving an example. Ain't it funny how you never truly realize how dark it is until somebody turns on a light? That's how I feel. As I dined with the devil in silence, I listened in to the conversations around me. The families were so happy. Their conversations were the light that shone into my darkness. Damn if this room ain't dark!

Now that I'm back in my room, it feels like I'm shrinking more and more into myself by the minute. This is what I feared would happen. Like a wild animal senses a natural disaster, I sensed the worse was coming and I tried to get out. I moved up my "Atlanta or Bust!" date by 4 months. I even tried waiting out the rest of the week in a hotel room just so I could get my head together and just breathe. From the looks of it, the storm came and I'm now struggling to keep my head above water.

I feel trapped.

Although my entrapment may feel like hell now, I know it's a good thing. The more trapped an animal feels, the more they will fight to get free. Animals have this raw and uncut survivor instinct. I'm a survivor and have no choice but to survive. Failure is not an option. Right now I'm pinned in that corner, and this trapped feeling only angers and scares me enough to fight even harder to get free.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

10 Rules For Thanksgiving At Jaz's House

I stole this from somebody's MySpace Bulletin...Hilarious but I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself
Happy Turkey Day!!!!

1. Don't get in line asking questions about the food. "Who made the potato salad? Is there egg in it? Are the greens fresh? Is the meat in the greens turkey or pork? Who made the macaroni and cheese? What kind of pie is that? Who made it? Ask one more question and I will punch you in your mouth, knocking out all your fronts so you won't be able to eat anything.

2. If you can't walk or are missing any limbs, sit your ass down until someone makes your plate for you. Dinner time is not the time for you to be independent. Nibble on them damn pecans and walnuts to hold you over until someone makes you a plate.

3. If you have kids under the age of twelve, I will escort their little asses to the basement and bring their food down to them. They are not going to tear my damn house up this year. Tell them that they are not allowed upstairs until it's time for Uncle Butchie to start telling family stories about their mommas and papas.

If they come upstairs for any reason except for that they are bleeding to death, I will break a foot off in their asses!

4. There is going to be one prayer for Thanksgiving dinner! JUST ONE! We do not care that you are thankful that your 13 year old daughter gave birth to a healthy baby or your nephew just got out of jail. Save that talk for somebody who gives a damn. The time limit for the prayer is one minute. If you are still talking after that one minute is up, you will feel something hard come across your lips and they will be swollen for approximately 20 minutes.

5. Finish everything on your plate before you go up for seconds! If you don't, you will be cursed out and asked to stay your greedy ass home next year!

6. BRING YOUR OWN TUPPERWARE!! Don't let me catch you fixing yourself a plate in my good Tupperware knowing damn well that I will never see it again! Furthermore, if you didn't bring anything over, don't let me catch you making a plate period or it will be a
misunderstanding.

7. What you came with is what you should leave with!! Do not leave my house with anything that doesn't belong to you.

EVERYBODY WILL BE SUBJECTED TO A BODY SEARCH COMING AND GOING OUT OF MY DOMAIN!!!

8. Do not leave your kids so you can go hopping from house to house. This is not a DAYCARECENTER! There will be a kid-parent roll call every ten minutes. Any parent that is not present at the time of roll call, your child will be put outside until you come and get him or her.

After 24 hours, I will call DHS on your ignorant ass!!

9. BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM BEFORE YOU COME INTO TOWN!! There will be no sleeping over at my house! You are to come and eat dinner and take your ass home or to your hotel room. EVERYBODY GETS KICKED THE HELL OUT AT 11:00 pm. You will get a 15 minute warning bell ring.

10. Last but not least! ONE PLATE PER PERSON!! This is not a soup kitchen. I am not trying to feed your family until Christmas dinner! You will be supervised when you fix your plate. Anything over the appropriate amount will be charged to you before you leave. There will be a cash register at the door. Thanks to Cousin Alfred and his greedy ass family, we now have a credit card machine! So VISA and MASTERCARD are now being accepted.

NO FOOD STAMPS OR ACCESS CARDS YET

Dear My Beloved Hater

I hate writing about such traditional themes such as love, heartbreak, and haters...but hell...I gotta make an exception for you. First I want to let you know that I love you. You are what motivates me more than I could ever motivate myself. Call it vain, but there's something about the vision of my success as you only move horizontally through life that gives me a kick. You are the foot up my ass that I need to keep me moving vertically. One of you succeeded in getting me fired. I saw the joy on your face. I laughed, because I knew I was moving onto bigger and better things...and I did. Now I make more money than you! Funny how that all worked out.

Oh yea, we can't forget that time I allowed you to live with me and you robbed me blind. Yea, I get pissed off when I slow down my thoughts enough to remember that you also stole the shoes my best friend got me right before he died (RIP DeMarco). In spite of that, I pity you more than anything. If it brings you joy to wear my (now out of date) clothing & shoes, use my gadgets that you can now only buy exclusively refurbished from the online Apple Store, and hold onto other miscellaneous nick knacks...by all means, go ahead! You clearly loved my style enough to jock it. I am flattered. Also, I'm proud that you take time to think about me each and every day as you tell mutual friends that I lost my house. Child, that's nothin' new and as of 11/26/08..it's not even true. Check my blog (which you may be doing anyway), I've already said I was facing foreclosure in Dear Mr. Bill Collector. Look it up on KCMO.org and type in my name...the property is still mine. Your stupidity makes me laugh. Have a virtual hug...I appreciate when someone can put a smile on my face no matter the circumstances.

I'm racking my brain to think of other hater moves I need to thank you for, but I can't think of any I haven't already randomly addressed or alluded to in other posts. I hate repeating myself. I guess, you're just not as significant to me as I am to you. I think that's how the whole "Hater-Successful" relationship is supposed to work so I'm not worried.

It feels like this year, you've gone and gotten your buddies. 2008 has truly been a trip. You've been multiplying like crazy! I'm loving every minute of it. That means I must be doing something right. I haven't had time to count how many beloved haters I have, nor do I care, but if all goes right...I forecast that this number should be doubled by next year this time. By then I'll truly be doing it big! The cycle is simple: I strive for excellence, you hate, I get encouraged and reach even further, you hate more, yada yada ya. My Success is inversely related to your Hate. According to my calculations, the more you hate, the more I succeed. Damn, if the odds aren't in my favor!

My Beloved Hater, I simply love you. Like Kel loved orange soda: "I do, I do, I dooo"

Iight I gotta go now. Can't go dedicating all my time to you. If I did, you would have nothing to hate on! Then I wouldn't be upholding my part of the contract. So to you, I'll throw the deuces and flash a smile. See ya after a little while!

The Object of Your Envy,
-Jaz

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Live Through Pain


That drawing is an initial sketch of my next tattoo. I was told that pain lets you know you aren't dead yet. It's no secret that I've had a lot of physical pain in my life, but it's the emotional pain that has formed me into the person I have grown to become. Those "Dear" letters you read are examples of my most effective way of understanding my emotions, my pain, and growing from it. I use physical pain to fully move on from it. I used to do it in a very unhealthy way...self-mutilation. Please, nobody go that route. Luckily, I reached out for help before it got extremely serious (love you Lamarr & Emily Kemp)

I marked the place in my skin where I attempted to make my final cut with a tattoo of "Faith" written in Arabic. Having faith that God would bring me through he situations I was faced with at the time saved my life. Because of faith, I never saw the darkness in the tunnel...only the light at the end. Note: The tat on my back has no deep meaning, I really just got it for the hell of it

I have an ear of death. every time someone close to me dies, I add another hole. My other ear (with the scaffold) came about because I was hurting bad inside. You can't say "ouch" to emotions, but you can say "ouch" to physical pain. I took all that emotional pain and channeled it to that ear.

After each piercing or tat, I feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. It's like having a good cry. I suck at crying a significant amount of tears, but tats and piercings get the job done. In my world, pain doesn't mean I'm dying. Pain is life. If you can still hurt emotionally or physically, you are still alive.

Dear Sister Paterson pt.2

You must hate yourself.
Trying to make me feel lower than dirt must make you feel great.

I held back in the first letter. The truth is, I wasn't able to come to grips with how I truly feel about you. In the first letter I focused on what you've done to me. Every bone in my body wanted to call you out of your name and say I hated you, but I resisted. How could you hate someone that always kept a roof over your head, food in your belly, and clothes on your back? The real question should have been, how could you not hate someone for putting me through everything I have endured on account of you. The fact is, I hate you. I hate everything you stand for. I hate your thoughts. Your voice makes my skin crawl. Your footsteps make my fist want to put a hole in the wall to match the one I made back in high school.

Ending up in the hospital was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. I was kept away from you and I finally had proof I wasn't crazy like you would like people to believe. You never physically abused me, but I learned that there's a such thing as mental abuse. Somehow it was clear to the doctors that I was a victim.

All that glitters isn't gold. You did just enough for me so the state would never take me away. I'll go ahead and say it. You are an unfit parent. You should have never been allowed to give birth. You treat me like you scraped up enough money for an abortion, got to the clinic, and the doctor told you it was to late. My mentor actually asked me if I was an "Oops Baby."

At times I actually sit and try to figure it out. I wonder what I did to you. I wonder what I did to make you hate me. Then I realize, it's not me...it's you. If it was me then everyone around me would also treat me like shit. No one would love me. No one would find me beautiful or smart. No one would want me as a daughter. The fact of the matter is, I'm loved by everyone but you. Countless parents have "adopted" me. Countless wise and highly respected adults have seen something in me that they have fallen in love with. That's how I know the love you give me isn't love at all. It's not healthy, and you don't have the heart of a parent.

For once, I'm going to be honest with myself. I envy my friend who is a child of the state. I know he's had it rough, but he made it through and doesn't have to have contact with his mother if he doesn't want to. I wish that were me. I finally realized that it can be me. Enjoy these last days of putting me through hell. I'm done. I don't want you in my life, and for the first time in my life, I'm realizing that you don't have to be there. Let me outline this for you:
  • I don't have to give you my address.
  • I don't have to give you my phone number.
  • I can block your email address or label it as spam.
  • I can make it so the only way you'll even know I'm still alive is if you were to search for me on myspace.
  • I can delete you from my life.
I'm enduring these last days with you. When you belittle me, I laugh. You should see yourself. You look so dumb with all your corporate parenting n shit. This isn't a business meeting, I'm your daughter in case you forgot. It's like you sense the end is near so you are trying to milk this situation for every drop of satisfaction you get. At the beginning of this letter I was crying. Now I'm smiling. I'm that crazy competitor that gets beaten shitless but still manages to talk shit as you walk away. That's a sign of a person who is just crazy enough to be a survivor. I'm a fuckin survivor. Thanks for making me stronger.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Get Well Faith

video

Last night I found my dog, Faith, curled up in the bathroom shaking/shivering. I picked her up and she yelped out in pain. I carried her to my bed and put a sweater on her then put her under the covers and prayed for her. It was the scariest night of my life.

In the morning I took her to the vet and found out she had a slipped disc in her back and she was running a fever. She received shots and the doc sent me home with some meds. I'm so thankful that he only charged me 1/2 the price.

This is the first time in my life I've felt totally helpless and emotional for someone/something other than myself. Faith is my best friend and my love. She's my daughter. For the first time I understand how my mother felt when she saw me in the hospital totally unable to walk or even stand up. I feel helpless. I should be able to protect Faith and I don't want her to ever hurt. I don't know what to do. She won't eat, she walks slow, her personality has even lost its zing. This really hurts me.

Mixed in with my emotions for my dog is a bit of anger. When I was unable to stand after I mysteriously collapsed, my mother put me on a flight back to Atlanta that very same morning. I was hurt and angry she would make such a poor decision, but now those emotions are intensified. I couldn't imagine leaving Faith's side even for a moment. It hurt me to even go to the grocery store so I could cook her some ground turkey. I refuse to let her our of my sight.

I've posted a video of Faith playing with her favorite toy when she was a puppy (almost 1yrs old), now she's just about 3. This is Faith in all her playful and feisty glory. If I never see this Faith again, I'll be sad, but I'll love her just the same. She's my special love. My hope, my joy, my everything. She's always been there for me in my darkest days. Nobody can lick a forehead or sleep on your hair like she can! (lol)

Get Well Soon
Miss. Faith Nicole Taylor

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thug'N Love

There's something magical about the love a down female shares for her "thug." It's that unspoken bond that lets each partner know that what they share is completely special and secret. It's a bond not to be understood by the outside world. That's love in its purest form...at least that's what I believe.

To the untrained and unknowing eye, it makes no sense - especially when everything comes crashing down. Why would any desirable woman hold still hold it down for her man when he gets caught up. Why wouldn't she just leave him alone and move on? Why dedicate your time and emotional energies to someone you'd be lucky to touch twice a year? Most just don't understand. At the basis of any meaningful "Thug'N Love" relationship is a friendship. The question I ask you is, "Would you turn your back on a friend?"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ayo Technology

For over a year I've been putting up with this Cingular 3125 that Nielsen Media Research provided free phone service for as a thank you for participating in one of their panels. The panel ended and it's time for Her Royal Flyyness to get back on her ding! Thanks to my BFF, I was able to get the new T-Mobile G1. So far: I love it.

Yea it's ugly, bulky, and heavy. The Android software fully makes up for it. Besides its appearance, flat keys, and quickness to time out when you are on a call, it's a hit!

I'm not sure what I love most about it. Maybe it's the touch screen that makes me curious as to how I ever lived without it. Perhaps it's the loud speaker system that blasts the streaming radio, my songs, and my ring tones. I must say, this phone has knock. I'm not sure if it's the wonderfully clear camera, the free applications, or the incorporation of Google. Whatever it is, I'm in love.

This phone will not only come in handy during times of boredom where I can play games, watch youtube videos, IM, listen to music, or just surf the net. This phone is also going to save me time. The biggest advantage is the fact that I can use google maps and get directions. If my phone ever gets lost/stolen I can use the GPS to locate it. Best of all, I can finally find my car in a parking lot after a day of shopping!

I anticipate big things from the G1. The Android operating system is a true game changer. I put this in the category of the Sidekick Color. This is a great start that I fully expect T-mobile to improve upon in years coming. I'm looking forward to seeing the applications that developers are going to add to the Marketplace.

My iPod Touch comes in the mail next week so I'll be able to compare the two seeing as the iPod Touch and iPhone are very similar. I already know the iPhone is slimmer, sexier, and the touch screen does more. We'll see what the other differences are. I have the strange feeling that it's going to be like comparing apples to oranges. I also don't know how good of a comparison it will be seing as I am fully in love with Apple products. Only time will tell..

Real Vs. Fake

It's been a while, but I don't like writing publicly without carefully gathering my thoughts. What I'm about to talk about is a principle that we've been discussing since I was in middle school. The issue of fakeness. Back then we called it "2-faced." Speaking badly about a person behind their back then acting like everything was fine and dandy when you are in their face. Therefore creating 2 faces. Now that I'm in my adulthood, I never thought I would still be dealing with this.

I cringed everyday at work from being a fly on the wall and listening to all the fakeness that surrounded me. Girls did all but declare war against each other but then smiled, spoke as if they were the best of friends, and even went as far as to offer to share cheesecake. All I'm saying is, if you don't like a person, why are you offering them expensive chocolate cheesecake?

Fakeness got me fired.

One woman who is over a decade older than me decide to rudely confront me while on the floor but when I went to clear up whatever drama she had going on and was accusing me of, she wouln't own up to hers. That's not being a woman. That's not being real about yours. Passing yourself off as a woman who is strong enough to accuse but can't handle it when it comes back to you is superficial and weak. I pity her not just because she's weak, but also because she's putting up a front. Her eloquence is often mistaken for intelligence. I haven't been in the habit of putting people on blast in a blog for years now, but I'm going to make an exception just to demonstrate to all of you what fakeness is. Her are the stats:
  • 34 years of age
  • Feels that earning an associates degree from a community college in Buisness Management will get her somewhere
  • No Kids
  • Makes a little over $10.50/hr
  • Can't hold a job and was fired from a recent job after complaints of her lack of leadership in her position
  • Is eloquent, but it is a well known fact, she doesn't know a damn thang
  • Will speak badly about people (even management), but won't own up to it when it gets back to the person
  • Actually got in her feelings about what she THOUGHT a person 12 years younger than her had to say about her. (just for some perspective, that's like me caring about what a 10 yr old has to say...)
Again, I'm not trying to put this pitiful excuse of a woman on blast. Her stats do that for me. I'm just trying to illustrate a point. Being fake may get you somewhere temporarily (i.e. her recent promotion), but it's only temporary. Soon your world will crumble around you. The real always land on their feet. Less than 3 hours after I was escorted out of the building, I landed an interview with another company paying significantly higher than my last position.

Real recognizes Real
Real spots Fake
Fake doesn't see Real

"How Can I Appear Real Through Fake Eyes"
-Paul Washington

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Black Woman & Her Hair


This weekend I fully intended on posting up some deep or insightful shit. I mean we have a Black President-Elect....It's only right. Unfortunately, all I can focus on is my throbbing head. I'm convinced that nothing awakes the spirit like a fresh hairstyle and an eyebrow wax. While I wasn't feelin' the $15 for my wax, I did get my locks tightened and styled. Whew honey! My head hurts like nobody's business.

Last night as I debated whether to deal with the pain of these braids or just say fuck it and take the chance on getting in contact with my loctician to have her redo them...I thought, I must be stupid. A white woman would never endure such pain for a hairstyle. But then again, I'm not white.

While feeling the wrinkles in my scalp caused by a determined stylist, I thought about what Black women go through for our hair. Here's a list of nutty things we do:
  • We get burned and singed by pressing combs
  • Every Black women who has ever used a curling iron has sported the forehead burn complete with swooped bang to cover
  • That sensational burning feeling only a relaxer can give
  • Trying to comb out your hair after braids is no fun & quite painful
  • Braids...I need not say more
  • Ponytails so tight our eyes turn chinky
  • Those metal clips used when re twisting locks provide a less than desirable feeling
  • Pretty Sleeping
  • Avoid rain like cats and run from it like roaches
  • Plastic grocery sacks under swim caps for extra protection
  • Tight sew-ins, yanking to get that needle through the braid
  • Cricks/Knots in our necks from holding them at angels as we get styled
If you can't identify with at least 5 things in this list, then honey, you just don't have the stuff Ethnic hair is made of! We go through all this pain and struggle just for a flyy hairstyle that others marvel at. Our hair is as much of a work of art as any painting by Picasso. There's nothing like the satisfaction of hearing another woman say, "Your stylist got down on your hair girl!" or having a White woman marvel at the genius that is Ethnic Hair.

So yea, my shit is throbbing. So far I've had 4 Tylenols, 2 Asprins, and countless spritzes of Braid Spray. You gotta do what you gotta do to maintain a certain level of flyyness. I'm willing to pay my dues just like the Black Women before me did. I know that when I walk through that door at work tommorow all eyes will be on me. Haters eat your hearts out!!!...(that post is coming very soon)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama Ya'll


I'm emotionally frozen. My President of the United States of America is Black. I really don't know what to say, but we made it. After being brought over to a country against our will. Being strategically separated by language. Enduring over 300 years of slavery. Living through racist Jim Crow. Being seen as the lowest version of humans...we weren't even seen as actual people. For years we were just property or allowed to be counted as half a person. Now, one of our own...a Black American....holds the highest office in the country. I don't know what else to say, but we made it.

As I see the tears of our Black leaders and Black journalists in broadcast media, I know why they are crying. White Obama supporters may be happy, but Black Americans are emotional. We have been through so much and all I can say is we made it. This event is so historic that even John McCain was forced to recognize it in his speech. True enough the true highlight of my evening was the announcement that Obama had won, but there was another. When the camera panned over to McCain's headquarters, after the announcement had been made, McCain supporters were totally oblivious. They were low in spirits, but not yet made aware that they had lost. I loved every minute of watching their complete oblivion. Furthermore, they panned the crowd and I saw not one Black face. How can you lead America if your supporters don't even look like America? Perhaps Spongebob & Patrick Star said it best in the Spongebob Movie: IN YOUR FACE!

The reason I am frozen is because this is a moment I never imagined in my wildest dreams I'd ever see. I never dreamed of seeing a Black Presidential candidate. I never dreamed I'd see a Black Presidential candidate's name on the ballot. I never dreamed I'd see a Black Presidential elect give a victory speech. I never dreamed a Black President would be inaugurated. I never dreamed a Black President would live in the white house. This isn't a dream come true, because I never dared to dream that big. Anything is possible. All dreams are possible.

Everything our ancestors went through in this country were worth it. Through their struggles, blood, tears, sweat, etc.... they turned us into survivors. They gave us the strength to endure. They taught us to never give up hope.

WE MADE IT!

Ps: Black people, this is NOT a national holiday. Take your ass to work tomorrow!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Flyyness Has No Occasion


Flyyness is as simple as black & white
Either you're flyy or you aren't
-Her Royal Flyyness

I finally have rock solid proof that I simply don't fit in up here. People think I want to fit in, but they are dead wrong. I grabbed this picture off of a facebook album from UMKC's Sigma Week. It was taken on Tuesday, October 25, 2008. As you can see, I was totally unaware the picture was being taken. In case you are blind, I'm the one in the front row in black & white. Even a kindergardner would be able to pick out the person that doesn't belong.

It's not about being the most colorful or having the most accessories. I have on a simple black and white outfit with a red belt. You can't get more simple than that. I was actually playing homage to the old school newspaper that day. My legs are crossed at the ankle (right over left) and not at the knee.

I'm not posting this picture to brag or to talk bad about these other young adults. I simply want to make a point. Flyyness truly has no occasion. If you only get flyy when you are going out to the club, you aren't really flyy at all. They call me Her Royal Flyyness because I stay dipped everyday (even on weeknights) no matter the occasion. Maybe that's the Atlanta coming out in me....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Baracked the Vote


I am Miss Black America. Today I voted for my first Black president. I'm not really the type to get emotional over stuff you are actually supposed to get emotional over, but this was different.

The whole process took 2.5 hours, and honestly it didn't feel too historic at first. I waited for hours next to an elderly woman who smelled like pee and had no regard for personal space. By the time I made it into the polling room, I was just relieved to get the hell away from her.

I got emotional once I saw Barack's name on the little electronic machine. There it was in black and white. Barack Obama/Joe Biden - DEM. When history books write about the first African American presidential candidate, I can say I was there to vote for him. I took it upon myself to find early voting. I stood in line for hours to vote. I voted for the first Black President. I served my duty as an American and a citizen of Black America. I couldn't help but feel emotional at this very historic moment.

After voting, I couldn't help but think about the responsibility Obama will carry if he wins. He will not only have to be 20x greater than Bill Clinton just to be viewed as equal. He will be under close scrutiny. Barack will also carry with him an unspoken burden to be the Messiah for Black America. Only the most radical among us expect him to enact reparations for slavery, but we do expect something. We expect him to somehow right some of the wrongs that are seen in CNN Presents: Black in America. We expect him to not only run the free world, but act as a Black leader. We expect him to encourage us, to somehow make things better, to fund projects that will uplift our torn communities. Barack Obama holds the fragile ecosystem that is Black America in his hands.

God forbid, Obama looses. Black America will be crushed. It may be decades until we see another one of our citizens in that position. Morale in Black America will be lower than ever. I'll be shocked if I don't see riots. Fuck the reasons Republicans state for why Obama is unqualified. We know the truth. If Obama looses it is because he is Black.

While standing in line with the elderly church women, it became even more clear to me that loosing is not an option. They quoted Bible verses that clearly had nothing to do with this 2008 election. The verse said something about, "Those on top will go to the bottom." Hell, if they like it - I love it. Black Americans view Obama as the man who holds the key to freedom. He is the gatekeeper to the America, White America has been enjoying for centuries. Once he is elected, Black America will slowly be able to fade and blend into one America. He represents all minorities. People are clinging to every ounce of hope or sign that victory is ours.

For the first time in decades, Black America is coming together. Like the instinct birds are born with that tells them to fly south for the winter, Black Americans sense it's time to focus and fight for our freedom. The hoards of people waiting to vote in that community center gymnasium, all knew they had to be there. This election voting is not a choice just as breathing is not a choice. It is something that must be done to survive.

If you haven't voted yet, vote on November 1st. If early voting is not an option vote on November 2nd with everyone else. If the lines are long, don't leave. Bring your state identification, bring your voter card, bring whatever you need to prove your identity. Leave your Obama paraphernalia at home. Emotions are running high so do whatever it takes to stay peaceful. Don't give them any reason to turn you away. Know that your right to vote was made sacred by your ancestors who fought for it. You are creating history. You represent Black America.

I am Miss Black America.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Down Goes Frazier!

"Kick Rocks Lil' Dude, It's Nuttin'"

So I won my second great victory in the war which is my education. The first victory was getting word that I could get my full ride back to Clark Atlanta University. The second battle began when I tried to get my transcript from The University of Missouri Kansas City but was told I had a hold on my account due to some unpaid fees. Apparently, they charged me three semesters instead of just one. It was emotional, but I fought the fees. I made an appeal which got turned down. I didn't give up though. I filed another one with a higher committee and just got word today that all charges were removed.

Thank God!

This was truly God showing his favor on me. That committee could have very easily demanded that UMKC get their money. The weak proof I provided paired with some divine intervention was enough to make this happen. When you have a strong willpower and a strong spiritual backing, road blocks in your life look as small as the kangaroo does in that picture. Coincidentally, the Kangaroo is UMKC's mascot (thank goodness I'm a PANTHER).

Today I went and paid off my campus parking tickets to get all holds removed from my account and got my transcript sent to CAU. I'm not gonna lie, it almost didn't happen. The ATM wouldn't give me my money but still debited the amount from my account. There goes God lookin out again. I had cashed a check from a client (I'm a freelance writer - digital portfolio available) and had enough cash to cover it.

Through this whole process, I have learned that problems may seem big at the time. They aren't. I just have to have faith and keep believing in my dreams. I know I can achieve my goals. Roadblocks are nuttin'. If David could knock Goliath the hell out with a rock, I can have victory over my obsticles. Perhaps Howard Cosell said it best during the Joe Frazier v. George Foreman fight:

Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Plight of the Molded/Educated/Trained Negro

Honestly, I hesitated before writing this post. It's been on my mind for days and in my heart for years. Despite coming off as a pompous jerk, it must be written. I see this phenomenon all to often and can't stay silent anymore. If this offends you, then oh well. It must be said.

Sitting in this two week training class is like going back to middle school. People are just fuckin immature. It's like combining a class of college seniors with 7th graders. The differences in maturity levels and mannerisms is a contrast that can only be described as black and white. When grown women came dressed to work (for a business casual dress code) in jeans, ill-fitting slacks, tennis shoes that were obviously to small (or narrow), and ragedy hairstyles.....I said, "They are just hood." When these same grown women say immature/ignorant comments loudly to get noticed, pop their gum, argue with the supervisor, and get attitudes with their coworkers....I said, "They are just ghetto." When I reflected on my life, and where I grew up....I realized, "I'm both from the hood & have been called ghetto. I act nothing like them."

The fact is, the school I went to was in a district so fucked up that, as a whole, it wasn't accredited. A person just got shot in the front yard of a house I lived in while attending middle school and half of high school. While in college, a serial killer was stashing dead bodies in abandoned homes all around the house I lived in while in high school. The only real advantage I see, is that my mother holds a Masters Degree. Other than her advanced degree, I had the same advantages, in the same city, these women had.

Those who know me, have realized that I'm an extrovert. This means I think as I speak. I think as I type. After editing the title of this post a few times I've realized the key factor: CHANGE

In the title of this post I use three verbs which all involve change:
  • To Mold is to give shape to OR influence the formation or development of
  • To Educate is to give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to
  • To Train is to teach a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time
Clark Atlanta University is known to be the hood school of the Atlanta University Center. CAU takes students who usually attended very urban high schools, and molds them into functioning adults. Our thought process changes, our mannerisms change, our attire changes....Our swaggers receive a complete overhaul. After two years at CAU, you are molded, educated, and trained to take over the world. I have to shout out Morehouse & Spelman for doing the same (even though the raw materials they are working with aren't quite as raw as Clark's).

The truth is, I started my process of change long before I even attended Clark. CAU just put the finishing touches on me. They buffed out the rough edges and gave me a spit shine.

My mother, as horrible as she may be at times, began molding/educating/training me at birth. I learned how to thrive in any and every environment by watching her. When I was younger I didn't understand it. I called it "acting White." Now I call it, being a well rounded individual. Just because I had a corporate mother doesn't necessarily give me the edge. I could have chosen to be completely unreceptive to it. At the same time, people without college educated parents could have been more receptive to sources of molding/education/training around them. For the most part, life is an even playing field.

So what's the difference between me and those select coworkers that make me cringe with embarrassment, the willingness and receptiveness to change.

The title of the post contains the word "Plight." I'm getting to that now.

For Black people who are receptive to this process of molding/educating/training, we aren't necessarily received with open arms back to the communities we came from.

We are called: Pompous, Arrogant, Sadity.
We are told we: Act White, Are Sell Outs, Think We Are the Shit

I think that's all bullshit. True enough, you have those people out there, but just because you know how to carry yourself and speak proper english when the time comes does not put you in any of those categories. Why are Black people like this? My mother always told me Black people were like crabs in a bucket. When one tries to escape, the others pull it back down. She forgot to tell me that when one finally does escape, the same ones who tried to pull it down ask for a handout so they can escape too. Now aint that some shit?!

I silently laugh at the fact that Black people far and wide support Obama. They wear T-shirts proclaiming "Me and My Mama Vote For Obama." When he comes to cities, they flock to him like he is the Messiah. I love the support. What I'm laughing at is the fact that if he went to their high school or was just that "mixed niggga" at their job, they'd be saying that he acts white or is a sell out. They'd call him arrogant, sadity, and find some reason why he thinks he's the shit. If he wasn't about to run the free world, he'd be in the same category as all the other Black people who managed to embrace the phenomenon of change.

Black people crack me up.

I started looking up words, as I so often like to do just to make sure I'm using them correctly. I looked up the word "Plight" and was surprised to learn there are actually two definitions. The first is a noun meaning a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation. The second was one I didn't know about. Plight can also be used as a verb to indicate a pledge or a solemn promise. Let me take this opportunity to Plight my troth.

"The Plight of the Molded/Educated/Trained Negro"
I make a solemn pledge of loyalty to change.
I pledge to always embrace it.
Never be afraid of it.
I hereby, solemly pledge to be a student of change.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why I'm More Confident than Many & Flyyer than Most



While watching tonight's episode of "Real Chance at Love," I really internalized the meaning of 'branding.' Suddenly I saw all the teachings of Kevin Liles & Diddy in a small scale, real world example. Real, Chance & their younger brother are working hard to create a brand for themselves. Besides their interesting clothing choices, any normal person automatically focuses on their hair. Chance can't exactly pick a style. In the first episode he had a mohawk with several parts and what seems to be an S-Curl. Real rocks his trademark gorgeous long flowy hair. Their youngest brother wears his hair cut in a style that makes you do a double take. At first I thought he was wearing a short woman's wig. Upon closer examination, I realized it was growing straight out of his scalp and had been cut and styled into some sort of traditional black woman's hairstyle. Strange...

Although the way these men choose to wear their hair may raise some eyebrows, I can respect them. They are achieving a brand. They are just fuckin doin them. That's what bein Jaz is all about.

I'm known for dressing straight up corporate. A nice pair of slacks makes me feel like I'm on top of the world. Tennis shoes only slow me down. By the time I finish tying those heavy things, I could have slipped my feet into a nice pair of pointy toed shoes and started handling my business! I'm also known for being corporate. I'll write a contract up for any and everything just to say that I dotted all i's & crossed all t's. I want to be ready to take your ass to court at a moment's notice haha.

I also love the hints of "alternative culture" in my style. I love my dreadlocks in all their multi-colored glory. I love the industrial bar through my ear that always makes people take a second look. Nothing brings me more joy than to look at my favorite tattoo on my wrist written in Arabic. People are really going to flip when they see the surface piercing on the back of my neck I plan to get. I like my little interesting mix of alternative choices juxtaposed with corporate America.

My writing style, as you have seen, is pretty raw. Not as cruel as Miss. W. Williams, but just as blunt and off the chain. As a journalist, I take pride in watching people squirm. I like asking the questions that cause others to punk out. I guess I just have big balls like that. I take pride in taking on challenging writing assignments and writing about content that's often ignored. I'm proud of my business, Noteworthy by Jaz. Despite people fucking me over, it's growing/expanding like crazy! These past few weeks have been simply amazing. Hit me up for my supaflyy portfolio!

As for names go, I only go by Jaz. I'll look at you dumb if you call me by my government. Hell, I hardly even respond to it. Everything about my style is Jazzy baby! The most recent alias I've FINALLY chosen to embrace is "The Urban Nerd." I fought it for so long only because my moms called me that, but hell.....it's me. I truly am The Urban Nerd. Soon I'll have a book out to prove it.

When it's all said and done, I am my own brand. Knowing who I am and embracing myself (flaws n all) makes me confident. Even in my errors I achieve perfection. That may seem pompas and arrogant, but it's really not. Unlike most people, I study from my errors and learn. When this guy spoke out of the side of his mouth about my refusal to do a business plan for a measly $200 and stiffed me on payment for past projects, I got my shit together. I drafted a 30 page portfolio that is flawless. It contains everything from services, price lists, payment options & writing samples. I created invoices, payment policies, and a strategy of sending PDF files to make people work hard if they want to rip me off. I achieve perfection by constantly stepping my game up.

Aside from the way I dress, my confidence makes me flyy. I'll never look like one of those BET Video Vixens. I can't even stay in heels long enough to master the supermodel strut. I choose classic items over trendy ones and when I do finally decide to embrace a trend, It's when its finally been turned into a classic. I'm flyy because I don't apologize for being myself and I don't care to change myself just to please you. I am Jaz. Fuck whatever you're talking, I'm simply Jaz. I'm not conceited, I'm just knowingly flyy. I'm flyy because I believe in my brand. I'm flyyer than most because most don't even have a brand.

When people hear me say "Get Like Me!" I don't mean that literally. I mean step ya damn game up and figure out what the hell your brand is because ya ass is generic!

I don't give a fuck what you think about me, I know the truth:

I'm More Confident than Many & Flyyer than Most!

-Jaz, Jazzy, The Urban Nerd & Her Royal Flyyness

Ps: Yes ya'll, I'm still in love with Smiley Faces and have a secret infatuation with the color Yellow.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hopes, Dreams & Faith

Note:
I could give a hott damn if anyone reads this post
I am writing for myself.
Why not write in a journal?
Honestly, it's easier to type and I need it in a medium that can't be destroyed
Plus I have that small glimmer of hope that someone will learn/understand/be inspired by my pain.

HOPES, DREAMS & FAITH I'M WRITING THIS TO YOU:

Everything that I put up with right now is for you. God says you aren't supposed to hate, and I don't. I don't hate anyone, but I hate what certain people put me through. I hate what I have to endure. I hate that I feel helpless and am to scared to jump out on faith. Hopes, Dreams & Faith, you've kept me going. You are the reason why I'm still alive. You exist in my head and will only die once I take my last breath. Until then, nothing can harm you.

Hopes, Dreams & Faith, you know my inner thoughts and you never judge me. You don't judge me because I envy orphans. You don't find it strange when I wish that I had no parents and no blood relations. You understand what I've been through and why I wouldn't cry if my mother was to die. It's you alone that keeps me going.

When I hold my tongue from what I really want to say when my mother starts fucking with me, you know that I'm only able to do that because of you. My Hopes, Dreams & Faith let me escape to a place far away when I'm financially independent and can say whatever the fuck I want to say without becoming homeless. I cling to my Hopes & Dreams, believing that if I make the right moves they'll come true. My Hopes & Dreams will get me far away from this hell that I currently live in and far away to Atlanta where I can simply breathe and enjoy living instead of cringing through every minute of it.

Hopes, Dreams & Faith: I know you'll set me free.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dear Best Friend

A Final Goodbye
DeMarco James Harvey
1985-2006

I know it was you last night. I never really believed in ghosts or spirits, but I know you came to my room last night to let me know you loved me and to say a final goodbye. In my dream you protected me and let me know that even in passing your earthly body, you still had my back. Before last night, I was filled with so many regrets.

I knew you secretly had a crush on me since the day we met in church in the 8th grade, but knew I wasn't interested so you called me "Best Friend" instead. If no one in the world ever cared that I existed, I knew you did. You know I never tend to regret things, but when it came to you I was left with nothing but regret. I'm sorry I wasn't the best friend to you that you were to me. I was so busy taking Sister Paterson's advice of making it clear I was uninterested, that I failed to be your friend.

Remember when I was in the psychiatric hospital? You were the only person to come visit me. You let me know that I was doing fine and I'd get through this. At that time, you were the face I didn't expect to see, but you showed up as if deciding to come really wasn't a decision at all. When I went off to college and really didn't call, you lectured me but still embraced me as soon as I got home. You gave the best bear hugs. Remember that time at TGI-Friday's when they accidentally gave us real strawberry daiquiris instead of virgins? I ran over a cement block and we all got silent then laughed. From that day on we were "Bonnie & Clyde."

We can't forget about our missionary trip to Dallas. That was the first time you were about to fight for me. I don't even remember what happened. I think some dumb boys sprayed water on me, but you didn't care. All that mattered was somebody was fuckin' with your friend. I love you for that. You taught me about loyalty.

We had so many good times, but all I can remember clearly is our last. We sat on my back deck and listened to my drunk Pops preach about life. You stayed til it got dark then asked to come in, but instead I sent you home via Sister Paterson's advice. It was late and I didn't want you to get the wrong idea. Looking back, that was so stupid! You really just wanted to hang out and relations were the furthest thing from your mind. Damn, I regreted that. That was my last time ever seeing you.

I hope your not mad at me for not singing at your funeral. Maybe it was selfish, but I didn't want to see you in a casket. I wanted to remember you as you were, full of life. I'm still pissed at how it happend and at one point I almost became obsessed with solving the crime. So many witnesses and people refuse to "snitch." That's some bullshit. At least you died being a friend. I know you were only there to give your friend a ride home because he was drunk. I heard you got shot protecting a girl. I don't know if it's true, but I like to believe it. I remember that party when we were getting shot at and you threw me over a fence before jumping it yourself. You were just that kinda guy. You'd put yourself in danger to save someone else. I love you for that.

Even in death you managed to save a lot of people by becoming an organ donator. I was so proud to see you on the national website. Sometimes I sit and wonder how many people are running around with your parts. I wish I could meet them and give them a hug and pretend it's from you.

Best Friend I miss you. I learned that when a person passes on you never really get over it, you just learn how to live with the pain. I know you'd want me to go back to church, but it's hard. I catch myself constantly looking for you to sneak up beside me like you so loved to do. When I walk in late (as always), I find myself looking at the alter for a tall black guy in a basketball jersey. When I listen to Pastor George, sometimes I find myself staring aimlessly at the middle of the alter where your casket sat. I have flash backs to when they wheeled you down the isle and all I could do was cry and say "That's my friend, That's my friend."

Thank you for leaving me with a gift. I sleep with the DeMarco HarTay everynight now. I remember when we went to Build-A-Bear together. You replaced that bear my lousy ex gave me. I remember wishing you would build him like I wanted him to be, but you did it your own way. You dressed him in a basketball jersey and matching shorts just as you would dress. I remember when you kissed his heart right before they stitched him up. To this day I wonder what you were thinking. I wish I knew what that wish was. Now only the teddy bear carries that secret. I kinda like it that way.

Best Friend, you visited me last night to say your final goodbyes and now I've written mine. Thanks for looking out for me all these years. Thanks for teaching me how to be a friend. You'll be happy to know that I met a new friend I now call best. He'll never replace you, but he's not supposed to. You both hold special places in my heart. I love you Best Friend. This is my final goodbye.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Dream of F.I.L.A


"Forever.I.Love.Atlanta"

With the wheels well in motion for my move back to ATL in July 2009, I've been having these wonderful dreams of my return. I was born and raised in Kansas City but my heart resides in Atlanta. It always has. For 17 years I never really felt like I belonged in KC. The people never got me, I was often misunderstood, and nobody's vision was fuckin' with mine. I wanted out. As soon as the plane touched down in Atlanta for my childhood bestfriend's graduation, I knew I was home.

I can't say I've been to a huge amount of cities, but I have been to tons of airports. If you ever wanna know what a city is about just look there and you'll find your answer. KC has a really sleepy and slow airport but it's high tech. People in the inner city like to think this is a diverse city, but one trip to the airport will set you straight. ATL's airport employees are 90% Black. Travelers are about 65-70% Black. As soon as you step foot in this airport, it's clear you've entered the Black Mecca. ATL's airport is busy yet somehow laid back, consists of more stores than some small town malls, and everybody looks like they have some interesting story to tell. It felt like home to me.

I don't call Kansas City my hometown because it never really felt like home. It's not like I have aunts, uncles and cousins here. My own parents are transplants. Instead, I look at it as my springboard. Gymnasts use a springboard to get a lil extra umph to make their performances look super-human. Kansas City gave me a great education, street sense, and is now allowing me to get my money for my permenant move to Atlanta. If home is really where the heart is, Atlanta is my hometown.

For a person that often dodges sleep, I now run to the bed with hopes of being able to escape my current reality. I know that most of my friends have graduated and possibly left the city, but I don't care. Darwin & Crystal are still there so that's all that matters. In my dreams I go back to school and I get hugs from everybody. All I can really do is just thank them for being there for me through all these years. I'm so appreciative, I just really don't know how to express it and tear up every time. As much as I love dreaming, these dreams force me to embrace my reality and go to work. Most people work hard to survive and provide for their families. I'm working like my life depends on it. I can't afford to spend a second longer in this city then I have to. In Kansas City I merely exist. In Atlanta I live. F.I.L.A