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'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

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.


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

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


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

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall...

Ok ya'll, this is the funniest shit I've seen all year. The only fall that can contend with this is the nasty spill I took in high school on an icy sidewalk, but I won't get into that. 

Fast forward to about 2:30 (the action happens at 2:50) and Enjoy!

Now that you've seen the fall, let me break down what makes it so freaking hilarious...

  1. I don't need to state the obvious, but I know everybody is already thinking it. Big girls have no business on tables unless that sucka is made of marble and bolted to the ground. Back the video up to 2:11 to hear the table cracking under the added stress.
  2. This is actually a 2-part fall. The initial tumble takes place as the table falls forward and she falls on her butt. The second part happens as she goes from the sitting position to falling flat on her back, legs straight in the air. You can't beat 2 falls for the price of 1!
  3. This is what my friends find the funniest. The recovery. She kinda just rolls on the ground like an egg. I can't help but think this is what Humpy Dumpty felt like. Listen closely to the sound affects as she moans, and actually blames the coffee table. "Aww Coffee Table.." like it was the table's fault she decided to dance on it. I aint wanna say it, but I will just cuz everybody else is....Yes: The big girl has fallen and can't get up. Classic comedy.
  4. Lastly, there is the aftermath of this spill. As she rolls on the ground, pay attention to her feet. In all the mayhem, a shoe has been knocked completely off. When she finally regains her composure she also has to fix her glasses. I'm betting those also became displaced. Next look at her hair. No biggie there right? WRONG! Click the beginning of the video to get a good before/after shot. I'll say no more.
There you have it folks!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

21 Siblings & 33 Step Mothers

True enough, my papa was a rolling stone. After my parents divorced when I was 7, I told him he could have any woman in the world. Hot damn if he aint take that to heart! Besides the fly-by-night women he dated who would try to weasel their way into a permanent spot in his life by wooing me, there were the others who bypassed the line. It seemed like if a woman had kids, it was an automatic VIP pass. He'd allow her to move her and all her kids in. Suddenly I'd have a "StepMother" and "Siblings." We were expected to love each other as such. 

While doing my daily random Googling, I stumbled on some recent information on one of my past "brothers." There he was in all his bad ass glory. Orange jumpsuit, Side profile, Front portrait, a list of charges, a life sentence. I wondered if I should do the "sisterly" thing and write him. After all, we were once semi related. That thought led me to another thought. Where are my other "siblings?" 

Just as fast as these women moved in and gave my father the instant family he always wanted, they vanished. Most took some of my clothing with them. Out of all the women he dated, I only got to say goodbye to one. Her two kids and I sat on the floor holding each other while crying like orphans about to be split up in the NYC foster care system. She kissed me on the forehead and told me she loved me but my dad was an asshole. She grabbed her kids, a few trash bags of clothes, and that's pretty much the last time I ever saw them. Suddenly, I was an only child once more. 

Deep down I miss these sisters and brothers I acquired over the years. I secretly wish they would suddenly pop up on a VH1 Special: Where Are They Now? I wonder how they turned out. Do they still think about me? I even think about their mothers. I wonder if they ever found love. I wish I knew if some missed me too. Sometimes I even wish my father knew how these broken relationships affected me. I'd give anything to get a hug from the little girl I raised til she was 4 - her mother was on crack & was more interested in drugs n parties than playing mom. What hurts the most is, I know she won't even recognize me. 

While Sister Paterson has all the child raising skills of a naive white woman (Yes, even timeout), these women were black women with black kids. They taught me how to clean. They showed me what a real ass whoopin was. Some taught me how to be a lady. Others taught me about men and sex. A few even taught me how to cook. I learned just as much from their kids as I did from them, maybe even more. They toughened me up & taught me how to fight. I learned how to play in the street and get into mischief like a regular kid. I learned about music. They took my ballerina ass and turned me into a hip hop dancer. I developed skills like standing my ground in an altercation. I learned about loyalty. I was taught how to keep those boys in line and be a lady pimp haha! 

This is just more motivation for me to become wealthy. Once you get money, people start coming out of the wood works. Hopefully some of those people will be my "siblings." I never got a chance to give them a good bye hug and say, Thank You.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Acoustically Basic

I always check for new music on Tuesdays from the iTunes Store. Although I rarely ever buy anything the moment the album drops, I usually end up buying a classic from years past. Today was no exception. I purchased MTV Unplugged No. 2.0: Lauryn Hill. I've always loved acoustic music for it's simple elegance and I commend MTV for their Unplugged series. It's a raw look at the artist where they are forced to prove their talent. As I listen to Lauryn Hill's vocals over the simple guitar riffs, I can't help but notice how beautifully basic it is. She's not depending on anything but her vocals. In my opinion, basic is best.

Basic is best in life also.

After at least 6 years with the same #, I finally worked up the nerves to change it. What a beautiful feeling. Only my inner core group of friends and loved ones have been given the new number. I'm not even posting it on facebook for friends to see. This allowed me to clean shop. Additionally, it stopped me from secretly waiting for certain people to call. I took back my power of communication. I got back to basics.

Although I start my day job on Friday, that's merely a steady paycheck. I finally got back to basics in business and started doing freelance writing for a businessman I believe in. I'm using nothing more than my raw talent to put a lil extra money in my pockets. As we get to know eachother's life stories and as he breaks down his business plans to me, I become loyal. You'd be surprised how successful a business could be if the people making it function had raw talent and loyality. I believe God gives each of us a few natural talents. It's our job to network and fit our talents together like a jigsaw puzzle for a common goal. By using my talent and becoming loyal, I got back to basics.

True enough my credit is fucked like most Black people in America. Suprisingly, I'm not broken up over it. Instead, I'm a bit relieved I don't have to worry about paying credit card bills. I take pride in knowing that I can only spend the money I actually have. Being broke taught me that I can live on less and still be happy. Just like I learned in college about EVERY party being the party of the year, there will be another party and there will be another sale. Currently I don't shop and I only pay my necessary expenses. I got back to basics.

Artists who are still considered brilliant while playing an acoustic set have talent. If you can't do that, what's the point in even being an artist? That's how I feel about life. If you can't be happy with just the basic principles in life, then you were never happy to begin with. True enough, I'm going through my life struggles and it's a well known fact that I hate living with Sister Paterson, but I have an inner happiness. I'm pleased with who I currently am as a person. I'm pleased with the direction my life is headed in. I'm pleased with the unique spiritual relationship I have with my God. I'm acoustically basic, and happy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Bible: I Have Questions

"Hell, if granny doesn't know, do you think I will?!"
Warning: This post may rile your feathers, piss you off, or you may want to stone me, but this is my blog so...

Any true scholar has an open mind. Not so open that your brains fall on the floor, but you are open to learn. Well, this scholar was forced into taking theology classes at Rockhurst University by an atheist. Before you gasp and write angry letters to the university saying how atheists shouldn't be allowed to teach a class on theology, open your mind. In my opinion, atheists are great unbiased teachers. It's not that they are devil worshipers, they just don't believe in anything. They teach facts. I like facts. Before you go getting all bent out of shape, I am also a Christian & I believe in faith (it's even tat'd on my wrist in Arabic).

As a child, I was raised by two parents who met in theology school. I figured they should know everything there is to know. Problem is, they had to much faith and not enough facts. My biggest question was always, how the Bible was written. The answer I always received was: Prophets were inspired by God. Call me cynical, but that answer just simply isn't acceptable to an inquisitive mind. My next question, was how? I imagined prophets sitting in a room lit with a single candle and a quil pen as God spoke to them. At times, I hear the voice of God, but it sure isn't enough to write a whole book about. Maybe I'm just not prophetic enough.

I finally got my answer in 2006.

The Bible was writen over a course of many many MANY years. Each book of the Bible has a specific purpose and an agenda. The scrolls were collected and stored at churches, then the version known as the King James Version was translated during his rule...around 1611. Take a break from reading my blog and Wiki: Authorized King James Version. I'll wait....

I'm not doubting that the men who actually wrote the original words of the Bible aren't holy, but I'm questioning the intent of the 47 scholars that edited this holy book. I quote:
"The king gave the translators instructions designed to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs about an ordained clergy."

If this doesn't raise questions in your mind, I don't know what does. The purpose of this post is NOT to turn people away from God, I'm just raising questions & looking for answers. I'm no historian, but I know for a fact that rulers don't always have the purest intentions in mind. They often use their power to push their own beliefs on others. I also know for a fact that the original Bible consisted of several more books that have mysteriously dissapeared. What information did those books contain? How much of the original content from the surviving books, actually made it into this version that so many Christians hold dear to their hearts? What exactly was the Church of England's "ecclesiology" and "episcopal structure" in 1604 when translation began?

My next concern has to do with the actual translation of the Bible. I'm speaking of the very first step: Translating the books of the Bible from their original languages into English.

I studied Latin for 3 years and Spanish for 3 years. I know how difficult the process of translating things can be. Among the obvious roadblocks and plain 'ol human error, think about the words in other languages that simply don't exist in English. English doesn't even have a direct equivalent word for them. I can give you a few examples:
  1. Waldeinsamkeit (German): the feeling of being alone in the woods
  2. Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time
  3. Esprit de l’escalier (French): a witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs…
I wonder how many words in the original texts of the Bible left scholars searching for ways to explain them in English? How many words were simply mistakenly mistranslated?

My last concern is about the actual content in the Bible. I've heard several conflicting instructions. A few pastors have told me that the Old Testament is the "Old Law" and is no longer followed. You should only follow the New Testament, the "New Law." I don't think all Christians got the memo.

After you figure out weither to pay attention to both testaments or pick just one, you have to then choose which instructions to follow and which to classify as outdated and ignore. One verse in the Bible says you shouldn't play with the skin of a pig. Does that mean football players are comiting a sin? Another part says women should not dress in men's clothing. Pant suits were once considered mens clothing. Do I need to ask God for forgiveness for owning a few? Should protestors be stationed outside of Express, The Limited, and Banana Republic for selling them? It only seems fair since they stand outside of Planned Parenthood and harass pregnant women.

What gives any one the right to choose to ignore these principles but follow principles that deem sex before marriage or same-sex unions a sin? In stating this, I'm not stating any of my personal beliefs. I'm merely asking questions.

Google: Inconsistencis in the Bible

The list is endless. I don't feel the need to elaborate.


I am more spiritual than religious. I beleive in a close and personal relationship with God/Jesus. I believe in prayer or just having a conversation with him. I take the Bible for what it is. I think it contains great stories of how God has worked in people's lives. It's kinda like one big book of testimonies. I believe it can be a great source of wisdom, but I'm not going to follow it to the letter. If that makes me a bad Christian then oh well. God knows my heart. The part I will follow to the letter is the 10 Commandments. They make the most sense to me and I whole-heartidly believe that God wrote them himself. If you notice, they aren't judgemental, they don't condem other people, and most center around the famous Golden Rule. In my opinion, that's what Christianity is all about. God's love.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is Ignorance Bliss or Simply Ign'Nt?

bliss |blis|
perfect happiness; great joy : she gave a sigh of bliss. See note at rapture .
• something providing such happiness : the steam room was bliss.
• a state of spiritual blessedness, typically that reached after death.

Sister Paterson came home today after a day of grocery shopping. Here, we have a discount grocery store called Aldi's. Good quality food, Rock bottom prices. The well off shop there to be economically savvy, and well...everybody else shops there because they are trying to stretch their funds. Whatever the reason, I give it my thumbs up.

Over the years, several things my mother has said have raised my brows. Although, my feelings usually get hurt, her comment today was just down right offensive. What did she say?...

With two Aldi's bags in hand she says while smiling, "Look at me, I'm fashionable just like those people on the bus stop." I immediately took offense for several reasons.
  1. Although you may feel cute carrying a Burberrry shopping bag, Plastic grocery bags will never make you fashionable.
  2. Unlike larger cities, public transportation carries a negative connotation in Kansas City. People often assume that those on the bus stops are often poor.
  3. Ignoring the trend of destroyed jeans, saying it is fashionable to look poor is idiotic. Why would anyone aspire to look poor.
  4. Though many white people shop at the "Upscale" Aldi's, the majority don't. The typical Aldi's customer is low-income and qualifies for food stamps. Many people are happy to be on food stamps, but would prefer not to be in a situation where they need them. In other words, most people would prefer to make $100,000/yr even if they have to pay out of pocket for their groceries.
  5. Not realizing the err in her words was even more offensive. She might as well have been a white person dressed in black face declaring she was beautiful just like niggers.
Now maybe, I'm reading to deeply into this but her statement was just plain up mean. As an upper middle class citizen, she needs to watch what she says. Although, I often feel like I am speaking to an alien when talking to her, this time felt like I was speaking to a white person. How she was acting was the same way some white people act when it comes to racist statements. They don't see the harm and when you point it out they still don't see the harm so they go on living their lives unaffected. They are blissfully ignorant. Thinking "Ignorance is Bliss" is just straight up Ign'Nt as far as I'm concerned.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Haunted Vagina

I know this is my 3rd post of they day, but I'm feeling inspired to share my oh so very off the wall thoughts with the world.

Being the "Reality TV Junkie" I am, I decided to catch up on Vh1's The Cho Show. In this episode, a psychic informs her that her va-jay-jay is haunted. Apparently, the haunted vagina causes writers block. It made me wonder if my very own vagina was hosting it's very own phantom as well. Though my creative juices are pumping out blog entries non stop, I haven't been able to write a quality poem in years!

Before my vagina became allegedly haunted, I spoke in rhymes. Even my thoughts rhymed. I could pump out some deep Maya Angelou type shit in less than 5 minutes. Now I'm stuck. Totally stuck. Years ago I vowed to limit my selection of "Scorned Bitch" poems. I don't care about other people's heartbreaks so why should I write about my own? Poems declaring my undying love for a man are plain ol dumb seeing as I haven't managed to stay in a relationship longer than 11 months. I'll leave the "Strong Black Woman/Race" poems to those who choose to perform with a set of bongos on stage. Instead, I wrote about moments of self-discovery. Those days are over.

My view of the world has completely changed.

With age, my thoughts have turned out to be more radical & to the point. Rhyming doesn't come as easily to me anymore. I'd rather spend the time being blunt and just saying whatever the hell I gotta say. Maybe advanced English classes in high school wore me out on analyzing a writer's words. I got tired of people always looking for the deeper meaning in everything artistic. If a painter draws a black dot in the middle of a blank canvas, people are quick to become analytical.

"Maybe the dot represents the Black struggle in a White world."
"Maybe the blackness of the dot symbolizes that an individual person is stronger than a world of people who merely blend into the background."
"Perhaps the rounded edges of the dot are a statement against the sharp edges of the canvas it occupies."

Hell, did anybody take the time to think the famous artist realized that he/she could paint any random thing and idiots would analyze it, therefore driving it's cost up. Mo' Money, Mo' Money, Mo' Money! Rich people buy anything.

I say thank you to the ghost in my vagina. Thank you for blocking the poetry avenue. Thanks to you, I don't have to worry about people overanalyzing my work for years to come. I know you must have been an off the chain old woman who was to old to give a damn about what people thought. I embrace you, and pray that I will be the same when I become elderly.

I dedicate this blog
(well at least for the month of October 2008)

to the grouchy - outspoken - "I don't give a damn" - old woman's ghost
Hauting my Vagina.
Thank You.

U Know U Go To a HBCU When..

I saw this list on a friend's Facebook page. I didn't know what half of it was talking about, but I could definitely relate to the items I listed here. All of these items I have seen first hand. Though they may seem off the wall to you, I have seen them with my very own eyeballs at Clark Atlanta University.
  • You had homeade frats/sororities. (I was in Phi-Hi-Psi)
  • You knew exactly how many miles your car could go on E (Mine goes 30)
  • Popcorn, french fries, Hot Pockets & Ramen Noodles were special gourmet items in your dorm room (I sold fully seasoned Ramen Noodles & delivered them to your room for $1.75)
  • People showed up at the football games just to see the halftime show & left
  • The Sigmas were cooking out somewhere (I think you have to know how to BBQ to gain entrance to this frat)
  • The library was known as a gathering place (Club Woody!)
  • You stole utensils, cups, bowls & condiments from the cafe'
  • You had a "monitor" watching you walk OUT of the cafetaria searching for stolen goods (Damn if this aint the truest thing on this list lol)
  • You knew the physical plant people or janitors by first name
  • If the food/menu changed and was suddenly edible and delicious during parents weekend or when the board members met. (steak night and w/real silver, luau nite etc.)
  • The best b-ball players refused to play for the school
  • Everybody skipped class on the first hot day of spring

Sisterhood of the Naturally Nappy

So I gave a random guy my number....hell, he seemed nice enough and I was bored. He told me had a facebook page and said he wanted to add me as a friend, so being the Social Networking diva I am, I went to his page and added him. If you ever want to legally stalk someone, Social Networking is the way to do it! Facebook will tell all ya business if you let it.

After peeping the pictures I read the 'Info' page. Name, Birthday, Religion, Yada Yada Ya...., Relationship Status....[slam on the breaks!]. I was on the phone with him so I smoothly asked, "So u gotta girl?" Like most men, he tried dodging the question. See, I don't know why men tend to get that "deer caught in headlights" reaction even when they haven't done anything wrong...yet. I finally got the truth out of him and through further investigation, found out she lives a few blocks away from me. The beauty of Facebook is, people often take great pride in their relationships. Facebook makes investigations quite easy. You just click: In a Relationship with John Doe, and you usually see the person's profile.

Ya'll know I'm nosey, so I got to clickin.

Black women get like bully breed dogs when we meet eachother. To the naked eye we are polite to one another. Using a finely tuned instrument of vision, you can actually see us circling and sizing eachother up like two pit bulls ready to fight. I am in no way conceited, however, I am knowing flyy. There's a difference. I sized her up from everything from pics to her favorite movie choices, quotes and books. I am the winner.

Stealing a woman's man is so 1999 (dunno why i picked that year, but dammit it's outdated and tacky!)....but if a man chooses to take me on dates after your relationship has ended, that's another story.

Even though I was the clear cut winner of the imaginary battle, I simply walked away from the battlefield. Why, you ask? Because she belongs to the Sisterhood of the Naturally Nappy. She's naturally nappy and rockin' her look with all the confidence in the world. I can't help but respect that and retract my claws.

I'm not saying all naturally nappyheads are off the hook.
I'm also not saying that all members of the Sisterhood are cool in my book...a bitch is still a bitch no matter how she wears her hair.
I'm just sayin, this one is alright in my book.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MTV: Dr. Drew's Teen Sex Show

Oh how I envy the teens on this show. I wish I would have been afforded this opportunity when I became sexually active. I wish Sister Paterson would have taught me about protection and STDs. She just preached no sex before marriage, which I think is a dumb way to go about it in this day n age. Our only talk consisted of her waving a hot dog in the air, and waving a banana in my face to demonstrate the difference between a hard/soft penis. I could have figured that much out myself!

I wish I knew about her sexual history. All I know was she says she was promiscuous and more experienced than my pops. Pops is way different! Our sex talk was him telling me, "If you ever get that OOOOOOhhhh feeling, then use a condom." I remember when I was in my wheelchair back in 2006, he said nothing was wrong with me...I just needed some sex. He said I wouldn't be depressed anymore and I'd be floating like a butterfly. He actually clicked his heels and said "Yit-Ta-Dee!" Rumaging through Pops' drawers looking for spare change taught me about condoms, the various types & dental dams.

On my child's 13th birthday, we are having "the talk." I want my kids to be able to come to me and talk openly and honestly. I don't want to encourage sex, but I want them to be smart about it. I'd rather them learn about it from their parents then go pick up stuff off the streets like I did.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Shady Business Practices

It amazes me how people swear they are doing big things in business, but simply aren't. I've always been about my business. Noteworthy by Jaz is my brand. If my business practices aint quite right, then that reflects directly on me. Do people not value their brands? Let me explain. I've done work for three people. I haven't been compensated one cent.
  • One has assured me that he is a business man and takes care of his people. He has placed me on a payment timeline that is convenient for him. I wish I had the luxury of paying my bills when it was convenient for me.
  • The second swore he didn't have a ride to send me payment. Funny how people seem to disappear off the face of the Earth when they owe you. If you ever want to get a person out of your face, loan them $20.
  • The third tried to back out of the deal. I compromised with him. He has also fallen off a cliff.
When I provide services for a person I have a fast turn around time. You send me something to be written/edited or you put in an order for jewelry and you'll have it within 12 hours. No exceptions. That's how I work. I wish you could check people's history of keeping their word in the same manner businesses check your credit.

What amazes me most is, 2/3 people I've done work for have known me for years. Not only am I not fuckin' with their business, I'm no longer fuckin' with them. It's amusing how compensation makes people show their asses. That's not a good look.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Self Sabatoge

My worst enemy is myself. I control my destiny even if I choose to let go. Any and all of my decisions guide my life. Where is all this coming from? None of your damn business! Call me late, but for the first time in my life I'm realizing that I am in direct control. Christians are guilty of "Spiritual Blaming." You kno what I'm talkin bout....they trip over a crack in the sidewalk and blame it on Satan. They show up for work late every day for 2 weeks, get fired, then proclaim that God has something bigger planned for their life. The truth is you are clumsy & you fucked up.

Right now I'm feeling the effects of a dumb ass decision I made at the age of 17, and recovering from reckless behavior in my 20's. While I went through 2 yrs of depression and 2 yrs of internal bodily abuse, I felt out of control. I felt like I was out of control of my life. I couldn't have been more wrong. The awful truth is, I was being my own worst enemy by not being my own biggest supporter. Others cared more about my life then I did. Fuck it, I was tired.

True enough, I believe in a source of pure good (God) and a source of pure evil (Satan), I have learned that they are not responsible for everything that goes on in my life. A spirit can't force you to self-destruct. A spirit can't force your hand into great achievements. I like to think of God as the tour guide who goes before you in the jungle with the Machetti. He'll clear a way, but he's not going to physically pick up your feet and make you walk down the path. The same goes for Satan. He may clear a path that makes self-destruction a more obtainable goal, but he's not going to physically cause you to harm yourself (mentally or physically).

I am my own worst enemy. I fear nothing but myself. That's a bold statement concidering I'll face morbid enemies like death, but I don't fear dying. I'm Christian and I'm Saved. You can end my life on Earth, but I know I'll still live in heaven someday. Therefore, death is not an enemy and I have no reason to fear it. I, however, can fuck myself up like no one else can. Although I wish I could blame my life's journey on outside factors, I can't. That means I hold a lot of power.

Maybe that's why Sister Paterson pisses me off so badly. She tries to control my life. In essence, she tries to diminish my power. She clearly has no respect for the power I hold within. That's why judgemental people piss me off. They think they have the right to challenge a person's personal choices. Only God can judge me. I have the right to be my own worst enemy & as long as I embrace that fact, I can walk through life fearless.

(Please excuse this post if the thoughts feel a bit random, but I'm having a new epiphany with each sentence I write)

Financially In Control, At Last

I am one big statistic when it comes to financial woes. In my opinion, you should have to be at least 21 to obtain credit. That's the age where I finally got some sense. By then it was to late. I'm kicking myself for falling victim to credit cards, but rejoicing that I fucked up at a young age. Before my 30th birthday, the slate will be wiped clean (THANK GOD!).

At this point in my life, I distrust credit cards & banks. True enough, I've held 2 banking positions, but I still don't trust their practices. Any institution that uses ChexSystems can kiss my ass. My recommendations are as follows:
  • Get a prepaid credit card. I recommend Russel Simmons' Rush Card. I have both a Rush Card & BabyPhat Card. I use the Rush Card for bills, income, and business purposes. I use the BabyPhat Card for play. The biggest benefit is all the spending power a Visa gives you, without interest rates or overdraft fees. A definite plus!
  • Open an account with a Credit Union. Credit Unions have "members" instead of customers. You often have to keep a small amount in your savings account to claim your share. Members are treated like investors & are even given dividends. They are also smaller so if a problem arises, it's easier to get it taken care of without dialing a bunch of 1-800 #s. I use this account to save money.
With my new system and a new job, I finally feel like I can get ahead on my finances. I'm happy I'm smart enough to learn from my mistakes so I won't make them again. Happy Spending!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Infectious Riddims

As my head pounds for several cups of Jamaican Rum n Coke, I can't help but feel that I had a good time last night. Reggae music just does something to me. Half the time I can't understand the words unless I'm really paying attention, but the riddims speak to my soul in a way that no other form of music can. I remember getting to the Royal Peacock in ATL early so me n my girls could get in free. We didn't give a damn if the floor was empty, the music beckoned us to dance. Same for the Bashment last night. With reggae you can damn near do whatever. I have an old soul so I choose to slow wine or other low impact moves.

I ran into a young lady who was a freshman in high school when I was a senior. She reminded me of myself at that age. Real energetic twerker. When I was her age, my competitive dance spirit would have tried to challenge her just so everyone knew I was the best. Not anymore. I let her have her shine. I shine in a more mature way.

When it comes to reggae, you don't have to try hard to be sexy. The majority of women wore locks in their head, with jeans, sporty shoes, and a shirt expressing their individual style. We laughed at the women who had us wondering if they were the strippers. One girl wore a 4-inch black skirt that was clearly wider than it was long. Her size 12 butt cheeks hung out, while her un toned belly hung over. The top didn't have much more fabric either. It displayed her A cup boobies in all their horendous glory. In the light you could see that her legs were untoned and contained various dimples and rolls. I comend her for having the self confidence to walk out the house naked, but it was clear that she tried to hard. Her and her friend got the male attention at first, but not for the right reasons. They soon lost interest after they felt her up.

I sported a pair of destroyed jeans (all important hole in the knee), with a silver halter top & rhinestone business tie. Funny how I seemed to get most of the compliments. Men were captivated as me and the girl from my high school danced. One guy was excellent and took turns rockin his hips against both of us. Energetic with her, Slow and sensual with me. You could tell the true reggae heads. We are more laid back.

Reggae has a funny thing of making my problems from the previous day feel less important. Reggae is my medicine. No matter what mood I'm in, the music still touches me. It's a weird feeling...almost primal. My body recognizes the sound and just reacts. The feeling is very similar to whatever tells the birds to fly South for the winter. I was born with it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Super Ugly

Even the most confident among us have bad days. Today is mine. I feel fat and ugly. I'm bloated, my eyebrows are bushy and my locs need to be tightened. On top of that, my job called and said training will be pushed back from Monday to October 17th. Lastly, I feel cluttered. At my house I had three closets & a bedroom devoted to my clothing. Now that I'm living with Sister Paterson, I have a tiny closet. I'm overwhelmed. What is Her Royal Flyness supposed to do?

10% of flyness is Style, the other 90% is Confidence. I'm going to get dressed for this reggae party tonight and loose myself in the music. Whatever is lacking in your life, sow seeds in that area to get it. I need a confidence boost so tonight I am giving out compliments. Tonight I'll enjoy my alcohol & stuff my face with delicious West Indian food. Tomorrow I'll stop cheating on my lifestyle change and say good bye to fast food. I'll use those extra two weeks I have off to try and make sense of my clothing. Right now I'm just praying that the host of this party got the two hotel rooms cuz I'm seriously not trying to come back into Sister Paterson's evil domain after a night of merryment.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Commentary: VP Debates

I should have done this for the Presidential debates, but I figure with Palin's inexperience, this should be more fun. Here are my play by play off the wall comments/observations:
  • Debate hasn't been on for 10minutes yet and Palin has already used the word "maverick" twice. I hate that word. This aint a country western.
  • Palin is out of touch with reality. She's talking about $300,000 houses being foreclosed on. People who can get into a $300,000 house aren't facing foreclosure! It's the people living in $150,00 and less.
  • Palin is already lying on Obama and we are 14min. in. Obama didn't vote to raise taxes for middle class America.
  • Did Palin just tell the moderator she's not going to answer the questions in the way she wants? Palin is going to push her track record. HAHA! The moderator just cut her off.
  • Funny how she thinks national health care is a bad idea...
  • Is she not allowed to wear colors? Why is it that everytime i see Palin she has on all black from head to toe with the same hair style? Sweetie you can wear a nice blouse or cami underneath that suit.
  • Biden is right on the money with his statistics. All Palin is going on is her year and a 1/2 track record. Seems like she doesn't know much about anything else.
  • 27minutes in and she's already restaiting the exact same points she's already said. Exact same words in the exact same order.
  • Does Palin not know how a debate works? She gets asked a question then states what SHE wants to talk about it instead. Palin, you aren't the moderator, the Black woman sitting in front of you is...SHUT UP ALREADY!
  • I like Biden, he's all about the facts & that's all I care about. I don't care about asking a soccer mom (as Palin suggests we all do), I want facts and he's giving them to me.
  • Funny how the subject of gay marriage makes Palin so uncomfortable.
  • I can't help but notice (there goes that word "maverick" again) how presidential Biden sounds and how motherly Palin seems. She reminds me of the mother off of "Bobby's World" - don't cha know
  • "Maverick" count: 4
  • Palin quotes: "Say it ain't so Joe," "Average Joe 6-Pack" & "Darnnit"
  • Did Palin just send a shout out to a 3rd grade class during a VP Presidential Debate!? Hell nah
  • Unlike McCain's flimsy comb over, Biden's bald spot is in the back. Good shit. The camera can't see it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Slave to the Cash

I ended up getting that job I interviewed for in the post "Lackluster Job Searcher." Today was supposed to be my first day, and I'm already a slave to the cash. After driving 25minutes to Kansas, I was turned away. They said the training class was full. Wasting my time it one thing. Do they not realize the price of gas these days!? I couldn't get a courtesy call? Why would they even fill a training class to the point where five of us end up getting turned away? That's that bullshit.

I need the money so I have to put up with this mess. Now I have to wait until Monday to start work. I can't wait to own my own business so I won't have to be anyone's slave but my own. I wanted to curse them out, but because I needed the job I had to bite my tongue. Don't you just hate having to do that? I do.

On the upside, my Cease & Desist letter to those pesky bill collectors worked. I was notified today that my number was taken out of the system, and I would no longer be receiving calls. Never underestimate the power of the P-E-N!