A Monday Mind

What goes through an opponents mind when they are staring at Venus or Serena or Venus and Serena (doubles matches) from across the net?

How do you know the difference between being in love with "the one" and being tested in preparation for "the one"?

Pets and children don't have bills. Can I return in my next life as one or the other?

Baseball season is really holding it down for me right now. The Windy City Series did not disappoint. Its a little strange living in a city far from the hometown and watching said hometown teams wallop on each other for six games. I wanted to be there. Go White Sox!

Football season is coming! That means my Fantasy League begins, Season 8!

I'm just gonna put it out there.........if for some reason I end up dating outside the race, and it becomes serious, and my future in-laws disapprove of my chocolate goodness, then I'm bailing on dude before things get out of hand. I love my life. How insane is it that a grown arse man would concieve of having his daughter-in-law, the mother of his granchild, ICED? Predjudice and racism is a muthaskunna. To my Indian brethren, your skin is brown. Get over it. Besides, black folks are that deal!

Sleep is underrated.

I can't say this enough. Ladies and Gentlemen, mani-pedi's are your friend.

Warning.....hold off on going to a new restaurant within its first few weeks of opening. They're still working out the kinks and you're probably gonna be irritated and turned off by the ambiance, food, and/or service. Trust me on this one. I've worked in a new retaurant and I've patronized them too. Good things come to those who wait.

Speaking of restaurants. As a hostes, why would you wear stripper shoes to work, knowing that you have to seat people all night? Hostess Girl, you were a great source of entertainment, as I was sure that you would eventually fall and bust your butt while tippin' across that slick floor.

Its probably a good idea to learn Spanish and/or Mandarin, and teach your children too.

How did we become so desensitized to human suffering?

I know its Monday, but hang in there!

The Maven


Green Day

This is about golf. I don't know how to play, but after spending my work-related day at a lovely course in Malibu the other day, I am convinced that I must learn. First off, this is Southern Cali, so the weather is usually "boss".

It was an absolutely beautiful day, the tournament was charity driven and the participants were all accomplished and very pleasant urban professionals. One of the best elements of the day for me was the peacefulness. Ladies, if you're trippin' about the hours upon hours that your Squirrel spends on the links - just STOP. I completely understand why he's out there.....its relaxing and serene and he gets to chill with his boys, drink brew, compete and talk BIG shtt for an ENTIRE day. Trust me on this, for a man, this is major. They love us, but a day without "lip" or "mouth" is priceless.

I can speak on this because, although its a mans world, I can navigate it. I don't intrude, I blend in. Chameleon style. So perhaps you can join me for those lessons and get your weight up too. Plenty of our female counterparts already know this (shouts to my BFF, Dr. Dill) and they are playing and playing well. Plus, the networking, socially and professionally, is priceless.

Now, I will sit up and watch T Woods, but I have never been a golf "fan". I'm just convinced that all that beauty and quiet I felt whilst driving my cart around the course all day, has to be good for my mind, soul and spirit.

Be good,

The Maven


Sugar To Shht

Is there beauty in the uncertanties of life? If you view every experience, good or bad, as a lesson, then I suppose so. I am making concerted efforts to maintain this mindset.

Friday, my day began with a smile. Granted, its been hot enough here to fry some stank bologna on the ground, but I'm not complainin'; I just slap on some sunscreen (yes, Squirrels, we need to wear it too) and drink enough water to swim inside myself. Anyway, I was having a good day. My hormones were in check, so I wasn't my sometimes moody Capricorn self, and I was going about my day,productively. I was completing a project for a client at her place of business, when one of her employees received some upsetting news via cell phone. Apparently, there was disharmony in here household amongst her children, and the drama had this poor lady all twisted. There are moments when the Spirit urges you to witness, and this was definitely one of those times for me, so I asked her if she wanted to pray. She obliged, we embraced and I spoke to Jesus. Afterward, she let loose some of what she was feeling through tears and I too felt lighter, having shared in that moment with a stranger.

Fast forward to later in the day, and I get home to find a few things out of order in my own life. My how things change in the blink of an eye. Now it was my turn to worry and cry. I did what I had to do....I dropped to my knees and had a talk with The Father. I called my girl Dan Belle and vented to her as well, then I did my best to pull it together and continue on with my day. There were no instant solutions to my issues, but there were great lessons to be learned, and so I stand humbled.

Saturday, I got up and began the day with a smile, again. I did some work, then spent time with my friends (like twelve hours), eating and drinking, in the hot arse California sun. Fools gold, I'll call it, because Sunday morning, I was beat down! I spent the afternoon with my lil' cousins (see Who Moved My Chucky Cheese's), and we had a pretty chill day. They swam and I watched.

I relay all of this to say that the daily occurrences, the twists and turns, the Sugars and Shhts of life, are simply that. Hill Clint knows this firsthand. Seldom do we have great control over life, and its best to be faithful and kind, while doing the best you can do, when you can. Oh, and don't forget to smile!

The Maven


In Honor of Papa

Today is Father's Day. By the grace of God, I happen to have the coolest Cat Daddy on EARTH, for a father. Unfortunately, we are not able to spend the day together, as I am home in Cali and he is in Florida for a work-related conference.

In honor of my Papa, I am enjoying his favorite work of art - Jazz music. He is especially fond of John Coltrane, thus my very own affinity for all things "Trane". As I am writing now, Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk are playing "I Want To Be Happy"; so apropos.

My Dad and I represent the epitome of a father-daughter relationship. Our initials are the same, with my first name being a derivative of his, and my middle name is that of the daughter of a well known jazz musician. Papa is by all accounts, my first love, most certainly one of my best friends and definitely along with The Lady, my staunchest supporter.

I could not imagine what type of woman I would be, were it not for his guidance, love and lessons. Papa is a Virgo, and if you know Virgo's then you're aware of how determined and direct they can be. Papa is King of the lecture (he once lectured one of my boyfriend's on our front step about bringing me home after curfew). I've been getting lectured for as long as I can remember, and although I sometimes tire of them, I appreciate them nonetheless, especially since they are highlighted by his distinct, silky smooth dialect. The Lady (Mom) laughs at me because no one is better at imitating him than I. I can never repeat something he has said without using "the voice", it wouldn't have the same effect. For those of you that know Papa, now is your time chuckle.

When I was a little girl, we were attached at the hip. We used to share lots of laughs and junk food (i.e. Twinkies and Suzy Q's). One of my fondest memories is riding in the car with him, listening to, you guessed it.....JAZZ!
We would take a ride to River Oaks (a mall) or spin on Lake Shore Drive, windows down, music blaring with sweet, warm Chicago breezes kissing our faces. On the weekends, when I might sleep in, I would awake to the sound of Papa's music outside because he played it while washing his car. When I got to H.S., I would often stop by his downtown office on my way home, and hear him fuss for "coming up on my jooobbbb"! Secretly, I know he was happy to see me! Sometimes, we would ride the train home or if he had driven, we might stop by Granny Helen's house on the way to the crib, to say hello.

Papa is set to retire this fall and I know he is a bit anxious. He speaks about moving to California, but only time will tell. I want to let him know that I am so proud to have him as my Dad and I am so grateful for all the sacrifices he made along with The Lady, in order for me to have an amazing childhood. Thank you, for continuing to be there for me, even now. You always offer encouragement and wise words. I also want to take this time to apologize for blowing your hard earned cash while away at college. My bad (Smiles).

With Love,

The Maven


Before My Very Eyes

Have you ever watched someone you love and admire blossom and excel into the very thing you always knew they could be?

That's how I feel about my little brother. Granted, he's a grown man now, but to me he will always be the one I doted over and kept my girls away from (or tried to, at least).

Seeing this video, made by Sam's high school classmate, brings back great memories of his college games when the family would trek to Normal, Illinois and sit out in the brutal, midwest cold or the scorching heat to watch the games. Just so you know, he is a shut down Corner! What a special and magical time! It was a pleasure watching Sam and his teammates, some of which he is still cool with (what up Mondo, what up Wayne!), play their hearts out and battle for each other on that turf week after week.

What I love most about my little brother is that he is not a quitter. Yes, he had his brief stints in the NFL, but he never gave up and has made a place for himself in the CFL (I've since grown to adore Vancouver). He plays in Winnepeg now, on the same team as his college roomie, the then and now team QB, Kevin Glenn. They have grown to become remarkable and upstanding gentlemen and for that I am very grateful. They're in camp now, working hard and preparing for the coming season, and I can't wait to watch their games. Go Blue Bombers!

As always, Sister loves ya!

Hold it down!

The Maven


Hump Day Music - Ride With Obama

Blissful. That's how the moment felt for me. To hear Barack declare himself the Democratic nominee was bittersweet. To see he and Michelle standing strong together......there are no words. I am SO very proud!

Now, the real journey begins. If ever the Obama's needed our support, they really do now. I implore you to pray with conviction, encourage others to involve themselves in this historic political process, stand tall, donate to the campaign, and take all of this VERY seriously. You have witnessed history! Black History! American History!Be proud and express to your children, your relatives and friends, the importance and relevance of this time, just as our parents did for us in terms of The Civil Rights Movement, Malcolm, Martin, Shirley Chisholm, The Kennedy's, Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, Jesse Jackson, Motown, etc......

Ride With Me - Emily King