Friday, September 14, 2018

Story time: Give me two pair. I need two pair.

Other than a fly pair of mint green mesh and suede pumas, a meh leather pair of pink and brown pumas and a random pair of white Reebok Classics, I’ve never really bought and worn sneakers.

I figured I don’t really need them, although there have been periods where I tried to be athletic and walk the 0.8 miles around my apartment complex. Thank God for the footwear I happened to have. But for the most part I’ve always been a heels and boots, sandals and flip-flops type of woman because I’m usually not that casual.

So this past Saturday was an Old Navy flip-flop day. It was also a sporadically rainy day, partly a precursor to Hurricane Florence, I suppose. I rode with my cousin to our little rural hometown so she could pick up her mom and drive her to Richmond for a weeklong staycation. It was also a little road trip and outing for us, too.

Her mom’s house is situated in the middle of a huge family plot flanked by the woods, some flowery bushes with occasional roses, peonies and figs, tall pine trees and three other homes. On any given day, it isn’t unusual to find any of us crossing backyards to and fro from one house to the next and back again. On any given day except this past Saturday, that is.

-isms

I recently had a revelation surrounding the job-seeking experience within corporate America. Perhaps I was spoiled, having known the hiring managers and most of the team members already at the last four companies where I worked. But there was still a search, albeit informal, and interview process. I still needed to know my shit and sell it, too. Either I forgot how to play that game or I was oblivious to how ruthless and calculated it really is. Other than the time when an HR representative mailed me an actual certified letter (back in the late 90’s) to tell me that I was unqualified – to which my immediate reaction was, “Bitch, you petty” – I had never encountered such blatant dismissal.

A few years ago, I applied for a math teacher position at a private school that was advertised in the tiny newspaper back in my hometown. A very eager and polite woman called me within an hour of receiving my emailed resume and scheduled an interview for the following week. She called me back less than 30 minutes later to change the date to a few days after that so that she could accommodate the acting head of the school’s schedule. The meeting sounded promising.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Story time: 5:08 p.m.

(A variation of this post was originally published in 2013 as part of a 21-day meditation challenge. Like most daily challenges, I didn’t complete it.)


5:08 p.m.

I’m finally trying to meditate. Unlike my former yoga peers who occasionally drifted into light slumber during final relaxation, I’ve yet to master meditation. My mind becomes disobedient because it refuses to silence and my body involuntarily moves because I subconsciously feel a random mosquito grazing on my left elbow, which indirectly causes my nape to itch and my right calf to spasm. Three years later I’ll watch an episode of The Haunting and listen to a woman recount how she went so deeply within that she resurfaced with something dark and dangerous.

I wasn’t trying to end up tormented and traumatized. However as I journey along this intersectional path of purpose and passion, I understand that meditation and prayer are maps to confirmation and clarity.

But fortunately for that particular day’s challenge, my task is to only reflect on my inner dialogue. Deepak Chopra stated that he meditates for two hours but obviously realizing he was talking to mind-control virgins, he quickly added that 15-20 minutes should suffice.

I lay down on my side, my left arm crooked at my not-itchy-in-real-life elbow, my left hand is numb by my heavy head. My heart races. I attribute it to the fact that I’ve just carried an overfilled laundry basket of clean clothes.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday musing: The evolution of Pencil and Chalk

  1. I can’t believe I launched this blog a little over five years ago. 
  2. I’m glad I bought this domain because .blogspot.com didn’t introduce me as a boss bish. I’m also glad I didn’t leave it as The Skinny DC Writer because somewhere along the way, I outgrew DC and longed to live in a new city. 
  3. I’m mad that I didn’t actively defend this space, consequently reinforcing outside opinions that my blog is a mere hobby. I never fully articulated that these words construct my writing portfolio, and this writing portfolio is the lifeline to some semblance of a livelihood. 
  4. I’ve accepted that a majority of my fans will be strangers, at least in the formative years, and that many who know me could never fathom that this “little blog” will ever become a serious space or at least one to rival a larger platform. But I’m learning to not internalize it as rejection or discouragement or see it as a reflection of my true talent because in reality, I’m the shit.
    That time Aunt Dee from Moesha retweeted my essay.
  5. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t in a position to remain consistent. But I stretched myself too thin, opened myself up too wide to even more outside opinions of what else I could do rather than fully immersing myself into what I want to do.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A bout of Bell's palsy



“Are you okay?”

I’ve just completed my weeklong “shift” of hostess duties: drafting and emailing a wedding announcement for the local newspaper, ironing crisp white tablecloths and chair covers, and decorating a spacious venue, to be exact. This is in addition to pulling frequent all-nighters for a daily entertainment writer gig and defaulting to a 24-hour nanny role that I never signed up for. So after the nuptials, I sit quietly, observant near the dance floor in figurative retirement.

If I danced, I would’ve sashayed to the dance floor. But that’s not my thing. I don’t like to be watched and scrutinized, and as the tallest person on the dance floor, I’m almost guaranteed to attract more attention that I can ignore. However, being a wallflower was more noticeable, eliciting a countless “Come on!” with each motion of a curved finger elevating my blood pressure five millimeters of mercury at a time. I remain at the front table with the purses, fuming, while everyone else shimmies, shakes, shuffles, slides, and steps across the dance floor. It sways my response.

“If one more person asks me…” I say before I exhale. “Yes!”

No one else inquires about my well-being, not even the next day during brunch when my physical features literally relax.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Story time: A bully dog and a drug bust

“Is he tied up?” my cousin asks me as we stand behind her friend’s car to remove my bags from the trunk.

It’s late. We had left Northern VA less than three hours earlier, enjoying the last official holiday of the summer along with the smoked ribs, brisket, broccoli salad, and spirits that normally complement it every Labor Day weekend. I had asked her to drop me off at another relative’s house. She’s tired, having to travel another hour or so, but she becomes alert to the gruff bark that belongs to the large golden dog next door.

My cousin has a small dog. Gizmo is his name. He’s an oftentimes shaggy, dirty-blonde Shih Tzu, who occasionally tries to get snippy with a select few of her guests. He yaps at those who cross the back yard because he knows visitors normally approach the door from the opposite side. And he senses the inherent fear or dislike that other guests carry with them toward dogs. As those visitors turn to leave, Gizmo jumps up from his rested position and runs them out the door faster than they intend to walk.

“Gizmo, stop it!” my cousin commands. “Come back here!”

But this owner watches us from a plastic chair on his front stoop at 11 p.m. His golden retriever – I think, because I really don’t know my dogs – is tied to a post with a thin, red, maybe plastic cord.

“Yeah, he’s tied,” I reply. “See the strap?”

But inside I’m a little jittery, too, because this dog is huge, much bigger than Gizmo. If he gets loose, we’ll all be severely injured, including the two passengers in the car. But we’re not going out as punks.

Friday, March 18, 2016

[xoNecole] Go get him! Study shows women who make the first move have better dating success


I’m sitting at the bar enjoying sushi and my second $9 cocktail when one of my friends taps the shoulder of the guy sitting next to me.

“Hi!” she says to him. “What’s your name?”

He tells her.

“Have you met my friend, Tee?” she replies, as she turns her back to us to continue conversing with the group behind us, as if she has just accomplished a major task.

It’s an awkward introduction. He’s confused and annoyed – mainly, I presume, because dude is already engrossed in a conversation with a young woman on the other side of him. So I’m initially horrified because all my friend has done is inadvertently let him know that I’m possibly 1) a relationship reject; 2) incapable of meeting men on my own; or 3) a homewrecker. Then I grow angry because I’m none of the above, and she’s placed me in a humiliating position all because I’m not flirting and mingling to her satisfaction. I’m left seething in my seat, mumbling under my breath that if I wanted to meet dude, I would’ve introduced mydamnself.