Bulls Eye

So, I'm talkin' to my homeboy Drewski, he's like a brother to me and our conversations are legendary. He plays in one of those "I'm Still Tryin' To Hold On To My Youth" basketball leagues. You know the kind where guys in their mid to late thirties and forties, sacrifice life and limb for a few hours of bragging rights and bravado. Apparently last night during one of these geriatric games, an opponent inadvertently gave him a gash over his eye while going for the ball.

As he recounted the mishap, and all its bloody mess, AND his subsequent dizziness, he initially had me thinking that his cornea had been scratched. Once upon a time, I suffered an eye injury, diagnosed as Hyphema, so I don't take things like this lightly. According to him, this injury required stitches. The cut was in the eyelid area; the cornea was unscathed. That was good for him, but he was still hurt.

At this point, our conversation went something like this:

Maven: "So, did you go to the Emergency room and get stitches?"

Drewski: "I should have, but nah. I took a shower at the gym and rinsed the cut good."

Maven: (Thinking to self, "Okaaaaaay")

Drewski: I put some peroxide on it when I got home. [Daughter] said "Daddy why is your eye red? Why are you bleeding?"

Maven: "What did wifey say?"

Drewski: She didn't say nothin', she's use to me getting hurt."

Our conversation then turned to the possibility of a Lakers - Boston Finals, before it eventually returned to the gash.

Maven: "So at what point are you gonna drive over to Emergency?"

Drewski: "I'm not going. What's the point? So I can sit there all night?" "It takes to long to go to the Emergency Room."

Maven: "So you're just gonna let it heal on it's own and risk a keloid, huh? That's how you do it."

Drewski: "Why you gotta go and jinx me like that?"

Maven: "No jinx. I'm just saying." "You would rather risk walking around for the rest of your life with a big ass scar, than spend a few hours to get stitches and make sure your injury isn't worse than what you think it is."

Drewski: "I'm damn near forty, what difference does it make? No one is going to be on me like that!"

Maven: "Squirrel! You're almost forty, not almost sixty!"

Drewski: "I'm not going."

Maven: "Oh, okay. So, you wanna walk around looking like Mitc.h Gree.n for a few days?" (Laughing)

Dreski: (With a chuckle) "Riiiight!!"

Maven: "You have officially earned yourself a blog post!"

At that point we pretty much got off the phone. I can't wait to see how this turns out, men are stubborn creatures. For this Drewski has earned a big fat "Squirrel Please! This is Toe Jam at its best.


Tears Of........

I am prone to crying. I'm an emotional beast. It seems that my tear ducts are always loaded and the slightest, most tender things set them off. I have three friends in particular who are equally as sensitive, they cry at the drop of a dime, just like Justine on Run's House. You broads know who you are so I won't put you on blast.

Continuing on, I get completely overwhelmed and misty when I see hummingbird's up close or a full, glowing moon. These two phenomena are the most delightful, beautiful and calming things I've ever laid my big brown eyes upon.

As I was growing up, I cried when I got picked on for being a bean pole.

I tear up when I think someone I love or care for is hurting or sad and obviously I can say the same for those times when I am pained or melancholy.

I cry often when I think of loved ones I've lost, especially my grandmothers. There is an inexplicable emptiness without them around.

Sometimes, I still let a tear drop when I remember Hurricane Katrina and how my people's bodies were floating around in that murky water.

I cry when I feel I've disappointed someone.

I cry when I've let myself down, like the time I dropped my cats off at the shelter.

I cry when I am in the midst of PMS.

I cry when I feel a Jones coming on behind some Squirrel I call myself liking.

I cry when I see stories of triumph and major accomplishment on t.v., or when I learn of something wonderful and charitable that has been done to help people in need.

My tears are never spared on some of my favorite flicks like Love Jones, Shakespeare In Love, The Color Purple, The Wiz, and Imitation of Life. I also cried the first time The Boondocks aired their Season One classic episodes, Return Of The King and The Passion Of Reverend Ruckus.

I still cry during A Different World, when in 1992, Dwayne Wayne wedding crashed and rose up to ask of Whitley, "will you?", as she stood at the altar to marry Byron. I have this episode saved on my Tivo.

I cried when Martin proposed to Gina.

I cry sometimes when I'm talking to the Lord.

Lately, I'm always choking back tears whenever I'm around kids. My maternal clock is wreaking havoc on me.

Now don't get me wrong, I certainly cry when I'm happy. Why, just tonight I shed a tear of joy because I finished the first phase of a goal I've set for myself.

Whenever my parents come to visit me, I get so excited once I get to the airport, that I cry then too.

I cried when my best friend recently obtained her PhD.

I cry during gut bucket laughter everytime I talk to my homegirl Clark-Crittle. She's the funniest person I know.

I cried at the weddings of two of my girls last summer and fall. They were both gorgeous brides.

Trust and believe that the tears will be joyfully and proudly flowing when Barack is finally our President.

I believe my tears are my fountain of youth; keeps my soul replenished; keeps me youthful and breathtakingly fine! LOL! (I'm serious)

I share all this with you so that you may feel liberated to cry or boo hoo with the ugly face, for whatever reasons move you. Really, it's ok. And, if you have any problems tapping into that part of your emotions, just imagine that I am weeping on your behalf, because as you can see, I am not a tear-phobe. I cry all the time! (Smile)

Have a WONDERFUL day!

The Maven


Who's Idea Was This?

Click here for Born Ready

I'm just sayin'........Episodes????

I find it difficult to give this a nod. I'd like to know who convinced this child and his Momma and Daddy to place themselves under such undue and premature scrutiny. If in fact, he "makes it", they will have all the solicited and unsolicited media attention they can bargain for.

This is a prime example of not having the right folks around, but I could be wrong. Hopefully there will be a shining beam of light when all is said and done.

We'll just wait a few years to see.

Sidenote: Somebody needs to get a hold of that GF. She's gonna need some polish.


It's Raining!

It's raining in Santa Monica! I can't tell you how thrilled and happy I am! My mood just did a 180. It's game time and I'm enjoying a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio with my front door wide open! I just love, love, love the rain. It smells SO DAMN FRESH! I have a fond memory of my grandmother Honey and I dancing in the rain out in front of she and my mom's houses. Classic!

Rain is a luxury here in LA. So imagine my excitement when the sky turned and ominous gray and thunder began to roll!

I'll let Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66 express just how I'm feelin'.........

Game Notes

And then there were four. The Eastern and Western Conference Finals are finally upon us. Boston vs. Detroit and Los Angeles vs. San Antonio. Home court advantage did what it was supposed to do for the Celtics and the Lakers, it delivered a win for each.

The Lakers barely pulled theirs out though. Smooches to KB24 for throwing the dagger in the end as a MVP should. Your first half antics, or lack thereof can be forgiven. I'm catching up on all the highlights on Sportcenter as I write since I was in class for the duration of the game. L.O. blocked The Big Fundamentals twice! I saw Pow Wow getting his block on too! The Spaniard is never scared!

In Tuesdays Celtics - Pistons match up, it was clear that Sugar Ray's mojo had resurfaced. Damn, that man can shoot the rock. Anyway, this will be a hard fought battle, and if Boston can't get on the good foot at The Palace of Auburn Hills (they are 0-6 on the road this playoff season) they are gonna be home pickin' toe jam sooner than they would like. And how about RoDney StuckEy? He could be the X Factor for Detroit. I love an X Factor. I love that the playoffs are an amazing opportunity for a youngster to strut his stuff. Besides, he's learning from Chauncey B., it doesn't get much better than that.

The draft lottery netted my home town team the number one pick in June's Basketball League draft. Go Bulls! Don't screw this up, OK? Your track record on fostering and securing talent has been suspect for many years now. Of course, I will recommend taking the home grown talent in D. Rose. South Side. The Meon. How can you go wrong? However, I'm sure either way you go, Rose or Beasley, it will be a good look. After that's out the way, please go out and get a Big Man! 2008 is the year of new beginnings. Take note.

I think the O.range J.uice and Mayo.nnaise saga is gonna get worse before it gets better. The mere thought of any wrongdoing in this situation screams for the need of regulation and reform. I will get into my thoughts on the bigger picture at a date.

Fine ass Al P.ujols was doing serious damage tonight in San Diego, literally. First he unintentionally hit a pitch on C.hris Young that hit Young in the face, causing blood to gush like a crystal geyser. Prognosis, broken nose. Then, he unintentionally slid into home plate and steam rolled over the ankle of catcher J.osh B.ard. Prognosis, The Cards won the game, but Al seemed very remorseful in the end. They will be in LA for a few days to play my second home team Dodgers. Maybe I'll dip to a game at the stadium for a closer look at his Dominican goodness.

My Baseball League heart belongs to The Chi White Sox and they are killin' it right now with the seven game dub streak. Much love to J.ermaine D.ye (my girl A. Renee J. adores you) for coming up big in Cleveland with the two homers.
South Side forever!

Note to Football Leaguers............the owners are gonna bend you over in 2011. Stand tall. Stay strong in the struggle. Demand your worth. Most importantly, send Eugene packin' as soon as possible! I don't think he's your friend.

The Maven


Hold It Down for Wifey 101

What I really wanted him to say was........"back up off my broad before I bust that ass". This will do, though. (Smiles)

A Monday Mind

Natural disasters have taken the lives of THOUSANDS of people in Myanmar and China's Sichuan province. Pray for our Asian brethren. Please recall how you felt when we watched our own folks helplessly suffering and dying in Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005. Though it may not seem the same...........it really is. Heartbreak and despair doesn't feel any different just because its on another continent.

Do worldly occurrences seem so bad because we have unlimited access to information and the media is now able to report from every little crack and crevice on the globe? Or, as my friend Stella wonders, are we approaching the return of Christ?

Historically black Morehouse College had its first White valedictorian this year. Some folks are trippin' and have there tightee whiteez all in a bunch. I say get the F over it, we're about to have our first Black president. Morons!

I'm a bit concerned about the future of our nation because our children aren't measuring up academically (especially in math and science) to some of our global counterparts. As adults, we are asleep at the wheel. You can continue to allow the gap between class and economic status widen if you want to........I'm just sayin'.

FYI, Best Buy has a product replacement plan, so the next time you shop there, ask about it. If I'd agreed to take it when I purchased my last camera, I'd be able to return this P.O.S. for another one. Note to self: get what you really want, the first go 'round!

The Celts eked out a win against Bron Bron and his boyz, now they have to go toe to toe with C Billz and the D Trois crew. As much as I'd like to see Jesus Shuttlesworth, The Big Ticket and The Truth get a chance to get smacked by The Lake Show, I say.........good luck against the Pistons. You're gonna need it.

Speaking of the Lakers, who will they play? The Hornets or the Spurs? Personally, I would prefer to see them play the youngsters of N.O., but tonight we'll get our answer. Plus, we also get to laugh with Ernie, Kenny and Charles. Halftime at its

Back to the subject of LB James.......Yo, Cleveland! Get that boy some help! We Capricorns are dynamic and phenomenal human beings, but even the most genius among us need a lil' assistance at times.

Barack and the fam were in Oregon yesterday. Did you see that sea of folks that came out to support them? I'll be damned if I didn't wish to be a documentarian or photo journalist right about now. Can you imagine what it would be like to follow him around on this journey?

Speaking of the Senator, I am collecting his magazine covers for my future babies. They deserve to share in these historical moments as best as possible.

Also, Sean Damn-ity on Fo.x News needs to back up off Michelle Obama. He has seen no wrath like that of millions of black women coming down on his candy ass if he doesn't raise up.

Dear Man and Woman of My Image, here is another ridiculous example of the undervaluing of your chocolate life.

It's Monday y'all. Be easy.

The Maven


Grow Out Blow Out: Part Deux

Baby, its a heatwave! The weather here in LA has been delightfully scorching, if that makes sense. It's only mid-May, so I'm a bit concerned as to what the summer will hold, but what can a Squirrel Woman do?

One thing I can do is braid this bird's nest back up! LOL! That's right y'all, I am still in the process of growing my hair out. Almost two weeks ago, I took my braids down, and I must say, I am happy with the progress. I've been washing and conditioning my naturalness, and the 'fro is beautiful for a day or two, then it starts to look all "woe is me".

I've held out long enough, especially considering the heat. I don't want to spend my time, indoors, tending my "crop", when I could be out having an afternoon cocktail and a delectable appetizer.

Granted, I don't mind looking like Jesus' sister, all woolen and bronze, but I've got to remedy this, so..........after I catch this Celtics-Cavs Game 7, I'm headed to the braid chair at 3 o'clock. Compton, here I come!

I'll holla at you Squirrels later.

The Maven


It's Chess Not Checkers!

Personally, I AM LOVING THIS!

They are standing there lookin' like money, baby!

It is yet to be seen how pivotal this moment will be for the Obama campaign, but DAMN if it didn't send chills down my spine! There is no question, that as individuals, these cats are like gold and sunshine. But together, their swagger quotient is blinding! Barack already had my unwavering support and of course, my vote. If he adds John Edwards to his ticket (I know I'm jumping ahead), IT'S A WRAP! The White House will instantly be GQ!

Hillary is officially somewhere shredding her pantsuits and cussin' Bubba.


We Now Break for an Important Message from our Supermodel

Pure comedy from Andy Borowitz at Huffington Post!

Hump Day Music - Steveland Morris Edition

Stevie Wonder was born May 13, 1950, one week after my momma. I was raised on Stevie. His vinyl was a mainstay in our household and I spent many hours in the basement listening to him, not always understanding what he was saying, but feeling something deep and meaningful nonetheless.

During the holidays, I used to play his Christmas album religiously. I was a lonely teardrop (only child) so the song "One Little Christmas Tree" was my jam. Choked me up every time. :)

When I was in grammar school, eighth grade to be exact, I distinctly remember listening to Journey through the Secret Life of Plants. The song "Black Orchid" haunted me in such a way that I used to play it over and over, crying, because it reassured me that black was amazingly beautiful, special and kind. I imagined that my entire graduating class sang it together at our commencement ceremony (yes, I'm a cornball). To this day, I zone sometimes zone out to Stevie just to clear my head. I could listen to him for days.

The timeless classic album, Songs in the Key of Life STAYS on my Ipod, and through the years, I've collected just about all of his offerings. The beauty of Stevie Wonder is somewhat indescribable. How do you define a man who has contributed and dedicated so much love to his craft? Have you ever checked his resume? It's one thing for him to create crown jewels for himself, but he has laced some of our favorite classic artists with unforgettable hits. He co-wrote or wrote "Tears of a Clown" with Smokey Robinson, "Perfect Angel" for Minnie Riperton, "Tell Me Something Good" for Rufus and Chaka Khan , "I Can't Help It" for Michael Jackson, and produced "Try Jah Love" for Third World (just to name a few). He loved Syreeta Wright so much that he did an entire album for her, titled Stevie Wonder presents Syreeta Wright! Any Stevie purist should own it. You would be amazed at the number of songs we love and cherish that were touched by the genius of this man.

People who know me really well, understand and share my appreciation for Stevie's music. I didn't dig in the crates too deeply, but in honor of his birthday, I share with you some of my favorites. Indulge.......

Ummmmmmm.....I may have gotten a little carried away, but you understand! LOL!!!!


In Honor of The Lady

There is a scene in the movie The Joy Luck Club, where the main character, June, tells a story to a little girl about a feather and a mother's good intentions. The story speaks to the core of a mother's love for her child. I've seen this movie countless times, and each time I watch it this scene sticks out as one that touches me deeply. Although I've yet to cross the threshold of motherhood, I am certain that when God's blessing pours upon me in that way, I will be more than ready. I say this so boldly because I have the greatest mother in the world, a shining example of womanhood and humanity.

I call her Ladyjane and here on the blog, I always refer to her as "The Lady". My mother and I have become great friends over the years, which is one of the greatest points in a mother-daughter relationship. She celebrates my victories, gives me a shoulder to cry on when I'm hurt, shares in my secrets, and laughs along with me when I'm in a silly mood. She taught me to accept and love myself in spite of what others had to say. You see, I used to catch the blues as a child. I was a late bloomer in every sense of the phrase. The Lady made sure I knew that it was okay to look like Olive Oyl, have nappy hair, and brown skin.

I want to thank her for her many sacrifices throughout the years. As I become older, I understand the magnitude of those sacrifices more and more. My parents married at a young age, and my mom gave birth to me at a young age. I realize that all the things she allowed and encouraged me to do as I was growing up, are perhaps things she didn't get to experience because I was hanging off her ta ta's. She afforded me dance lessons, AWANA Club, summer camps, road trips, enhanced educational experiences and tools, braces, my first car.....I could go on, but you get the point.

Our mother's want nothing but the best for us, but most of all, I believe, they want us to avoid their pitfalls, mistakes, heartaches, and disappointments. They often wish they could take our places, to shield us from life's harshness. Over the years they fed us, clothed us, disciplined us, educated us, and loved our dirty "draws", all in the hopes that we'd turn out to be respectable and productive.

I'd like to let The Lady know that she prepared me well, I'm proud that she is my mom and I do my best not to embarrass her when I'm out in the streets!

Happy Mother's Day, girl!

The Maven


A Monday Mind

.....it's was rough last week y'all.......

We Wear the Mask

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 otherwise,
We wear the mask!

-Paul Lawrence Dunbar