Monday, December 2, 2013

"Crystal Blake" has Moved!

Yep. That's right! My new site: www.crystal-blake.com is up and running folks.

Feeling giddy!

We've truly enjoyed our stay at Blogger, (Blogger luv!) but it's time to say goodbye Sound of Music style: 

So long, farewell...
I...uh..something, something
To you and you and you.
Goodbye!

Okay, so maybe I should've looked up the lyrics. Oh, wait, how about a little George and Weezie?

We're moving on up!
To a deluxe apartment in the skyyyy!


I unsuccessfully tried to do the redirect thing and until I can do that without cursing at the screen this blog will be around for a little while. So, if you want to catch up on the "re-runs" for a bit, go for it.

BUT, take note:

Going forward, all new content and blog posts will be posted on the new site:

www.crystal-blake.com


See you over at the new place!


*takes one more look around, smiles, and closes the door*




Friday, November 29, 2013

Pretty Inside is Here!

...well, not here on this blog literally. But, it's over at Amazon TODAY, y'all!!!

(Click here for PRETTY INSIDE)

So, excited!!

First time I've felt like I accomplished something. Yes, I graduated from college, but my degree (Finance...don't even ask what I was thinking) doesn't suit me. It's always felt like something I needed to do versus something I was meant to do.

It's like I was looking for something to fit me, something to be proud of, something that screamed, "THIS is what you're supposed to be doing!"

I was searching for my purpose. And that's tough to do when you have no clues to help you.

Did I like writing when I was in school? Eh. Iffy. But, I did get an "A" on my college English research paper.
Did I write poetry and stories when I was a kid? Nope.
Did I make up stories or recreate them and share them with my stuffed animals? Again, no.
Did I say, "When I grow up I want to be a writer!" No.

And yet, somehow,writing feels like home. It's part of my being. It's my purpose. It's me.

Listen to those clues that keep screaming at you, they won't leave you alone for a reason. And if they're not bugging you just yet, don't worry, they will.

Thank you to all who stop by this blog! PRETTY INSIDE is just my beginning.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Friday meets Pretty Inside


Crystal Blake's PRETTY INSIDE will be available:

Where: Amazon.com

When: THIS Black Friday, November 29, 2013!!

PRETTY INSIDE is the girlfriend intervention you need. Written with a slice of no-nonsense, a splash of humor, and a sprig of inspiration, it is the "tell it like it is" guide to a better you.



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Just Zip It

I'm walking into Walgreen's at the same time another lady is coming out. I notice her zipper is down. I know I'd want someone to tell me, wouldn't you? Walking around, looking cute-to-def, flashing your polka-dotted undies...it's downright embarrassing.

I'm about to be her new BF. She's going to marvel at my courtesy and thank me for saving her hoo-hoo. I stop her by lightly touching her on the arm and say quietly, "Um, your zipper is down." 

"What?" she asks, a little louder than I wanted her to. Dang it! I'm trying to tell you on the QT your underwear is smiling at everyone...shhh!!!! It wasn't going exactly like I thought it would.

I say a little louder, "Your zipper is down." I look down. She looks down.

Her zipper is NOT down.

Countdown to awkwardness...3, 2, 1...

...there it is.

"Oh, gurrrl!" I say and wave my hand around as I beg my feet to move faster. "I thought your zipper was down. Ha, ha, ha!" And I take off.

I steal a glance and see her staring and laughing. I knew she was laughing at me. The look of "What just happened?" on her face totally backs it up.

In my defense, her jeans were giving off some strong unzippy vibes. They had that golden-brown stitching on BOTH sides of the zipper. What kind of sewing trickery is this?

It's weird, right? I thought it was so odd that I zoomed my eyeballs in on my own zipper area. Yep, just like I thought--one sided.

What designer thinks this is wise? You just can't be throwing random stitching around in that area! I've never paid attention to this before, but now I'm curious. Have you seen this before? Please let me know.

In the meantime...this chick ain't saving no more hoo-hoo's!!!


Can't get enough of my craziness? Check out this bonus read!!



“Ma’am…ma’am! You left your Bag ‘o Crazy in the cart!”

A quick trip to the market after work...

Hmm, what’s on the list? A box of Frazzled.

I thought I was in for some smooth shopping when I saw one of those car-carts The Baby loves waiting near the door as we walked in. Even though maneuvering those suckers makes me feel like I need a CDL, I’m cool with ‘em. I’ll search all over the store and parking lot and don’t care how many carts I have to pull out to get to one. If it allows me to shop in peace, I’ll push that Ford Focus all around the store!

“Mommy, go baff-room.”

“You have to go to the bathroom?” She nodded. She’s potty-training, so this could be a hit or miss.

I whipped around pallets and display stands (what IS all of this stuff?) and down-shifted my 18-wheeler to a rolling stop. I ran in the restroom, yanked off her coat, grabbed the seat liner, and plopped her down…

…she hopped right back off. “Don’t have to.” Miss.

I’ve never had the chance to catch a chicken or pig, but scurrying around behind The Baby (in 3-inch-heels!) to get her to wash her hands had to be close. I finally caught her and after some bumping and scrambling, stuffed her back into the cart.

Frazzled…check. Let’s see…a ½ gallon of Wacky.

I almost had everything when I just happened to look down. Do you know that scene from Marley & Me when Marley is hanging out of the car window and running on the street with his front paws while the car is moving?

My kid was Marley. Jeez, really? I don’t even know how long she’d been doing it or how she managed to not topple out. I repositioned her back into the car and we were off again.

Would you mind bagging that Craziness separately? Thank you!

We checked out and since I only had two light bags I decided to leave the cart where we found it.

“Looks like you need more hands,” a lady says to me as I lifted the bags out of the cart. What? Pfft. Lady, don’t let the bewildered look on this face fool you. I’m a pro-Mommer. I’ve got this.

Bags in right hand, purse slung over my shoulder, The Baby’s hand in my left. This is where I would redeem myself. At Mommy U I majored in carrying multiple things at one time. Chin up. Watch and be amazed people, I thought to myself as I strutted through the parking lot.

Then, the belt around my waist unhooked, leaving me looking all shades of crazy as I scooted, half-ran, and tugged The Baby along with my elbows glued to my side. I was going for the “Oh, we're just having fun!” look, but I don’t think it worked. I wanted to tell the other shoppers who encountered this befuddled person to not judge my mom skills by this incident alone.

Later that night, I carried a pair of boots, a pair of shoes, two coats, my purse, and The Baby up the stairs...at the same time.

*poses at the top of the stairs like a champ...snaps...and walks off*




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Save the Date...

November 29, 2013
Black Friday…

Pretty Inside is coming to Amazon!!

*woot woot*

The team is in the middle, the coach is at the head
They all got together and this is what they said
Don’t stop, get it, get it,
Don’t stop, get it, get it
Don’t stop, rock with it
All you fans shake those stands!

*doing the Wop* Go me, go me. *woot woot* Go me…

…and pose!

Okay, pom-poms down. Whew...gasping…for air.

I drew the line in the sand and circled the calendar. This date is going to stick if I have to drag my tired, turkey-stuffed “WHY did I pick that date” behind across the finish line at 11:59 pm the night before.

Take it from someone who majored in Procrastination, sometimes you just have to go for it. Everything may not be lined up at that exact moment the way you want and it might not be aligned when the deadline comes, but “don’t stop, get it, get it!”

How will my book be received?
Will anyone actually read it?
Will it get good/bad reviews?
Will it be a winner or a flop?

Don’t know…don’t care (says the person who’s never published a book…ever!)

All I can do is “do me” and keep doing me.

All I can do is represent myself, my work, my gift, and passion to the best of my ability with an “All In” frame of mind.

All I can do is believe in me.

What about you? Do you believe in yourself? Are you “All In”, too?

Go ahead, tell Procrastination to sit down somewhere and circle that calendar like a boss! Don’t worry about what anyone else says or thinks, you’ve got one Wopping cheerleader routing for you right here.

Go you, go you…go, go, go you!

...and pose!




      

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mixing-up Happiness

Tis the season to be baking…fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la

That’s right, break out those mixing bowls and aprons…its baking time! Wait, wait! It’s not that kind of baking. Sheesh, you sure can sprint in those heels.

We’ve unofficially/officially entered the holiday season. To some it means baking and resolutions. Why not combine the two?

What in the world is she talking about?

This year, instead of making a list of things or goals we’d like to accomplish in 2014, create a recipe that will bring happiness.

*singing “I’m bringing Happy back…

Here, I’ll show you what’s been working for me:

2 Tbs: You get what you put out there
I know this has been said/heard a bajillion times, but ‘old school’ some times gets the best results. Treat people funky, then you get “the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk” in your life. Nice begets nice. Blessings bring blessings. You know God don’t like ugly. And he can handle ugliness in a way I personally don’t want to find out about.

1 cup: Don’t invite the Negatives over
Ah, Drama, Dysfunction, and their kid Negativity are all around. But, it doesn’t mean you have to invite them in. All three are like stray cats, feed them and they become yours.

2 cups: Let it go
Some things—whether its people or situations—that are stressful and not productive in your life…let ‘em go. Some times, this may be the only thing you need to do to bring happiness. They are major happy blockers.

3 tsp: Finding Giddy
Remember Christmas mornings as a kid...giddy, right? I firmly believe in Finding Giddy. Find something that makes you feel like Christmas morning, everyday. For me, it’s writing.

So, those are some of the ingredients in my mixing bowl. Like all recipes you have to season and tweak to taste. 

What's your recipe?



      

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Excuuuuse Me?

Does anyone know who Maria Kang is? Honestly, I didn't know either until I saw "Good Morning America" this morning.

Here's the "skinny":

Maria, a mom of 3 little ones, posted a pic on her Facebook page last year of her post-baby body with the caption, "What's Your Excuse?"

This was supposed to be inspirational. Meaning, she whipped her azz back into shape. Some of us have 0 kids and the only thing we're whipping is the car into a Krispy Kreme drive-thru.

Is that her fault? Heck to the no.

But, for some they want it to be. Cue the March of the Haters. They've labeled her a bully (ha!) and said she's fat-shaming. Fat-shaming!

Excuuuuse me?

How in the *bleep* is it her fault she didn't make excuses for herself?
How in the *bleep* is it her fault she posted a pic on HER Facebook page and the people crying, "Bully!" got offended?
How in the *bleep* is it her fault her kick-azz physique made YOU feel inferior?

Excuuuuse me?

Ladies, ladies, LADIES! This is a girlfriend moment...

We make excuses about a lot of things:

The kiddies take up a lot of my time. There are only so many hours in the day. Everyone in the house (even the gosh-darn goldfish!) is staring up in my eyeballs waiting for me to do the Magic Mommy bit. I work long hours. Finding time for me is like finding a metallic pink unicorn.

All of the above is very, very true. But, you need to draw the line at hatin' on others who find a way to get what they want. And quit making excuses for why you're hatin'!

When you look for excuses, you find 'em. When you look for solutions, guess what? You find 'em.

I don't care what it is, a new job (I'm not qualified). A better man (I don't want to be alone). A new purse (It costs too much). Or, a fit body like Maria (I don't have the time). For the love of Jimmy Choo, stop making up any and every excuse you can think of for not:

Getting what you want
Having what you want
Being what you want

Ain't nobody's fault you're using your couch as Free Parking, but yours.

Ditch the excuses and GO GET IT!!!!!!!!!!





Wednesday, October 9, 2013

X-Mom vs Homework

Editing "Pretty Inside"
Working on website
Blogging

Were these the things I accomplished over the past week...uh, two weeks? Was it two weeks? Sheesh time is flying.

I wish I could say I was diligently working on the above list, but...

Ain't gonna happen. Daily household madness trumped my writing time.

One in particular: Helping The Kid with homework. Uh, hello? I was not aware in the blissful Pre-Homework years that I'd have to go to school again.

X-Mom: "I already went to school one time! I did my time! It's not fair! Why, WHY in the H do I have to do homework again!"

Or, at least that's what it feels like when you're feverishly working on a gazillion math problems until 11 pm. How did that come about? Well, someone decided to wait and do all of her unfinished classwork since the beginning of the school year in one night. I'm not even sure if that's an exaggeration.

X-Mom: Um, excuuuse me. But, haven't you been asking her if she had homework, like, every night? And she said no?!

Clearly homework doesn't apply to unfinished classwork.

So, why did I have the honor of witnessing this mass of homework? The teacher was grading ten pages of it the next day. Ten pages! Yeah.

X-Mom: ...got me up in here adding up all of this stuff like a friggin' Excel spreadsheet! This kid right here...ugh! 

After dismissing the idea of putting her outside with a For Sale sign around her neck and a plate of cookies, I told her she better not EVER come home with that foolishness again!!

X-Mom: Ever, eva-eva-evah! Or, it's going to be Armageddon up in here!

The cherry on top? The next day, she said the teacher told her she wasn't supposed to do some of the pages, yet.

X-Mom: No this little chick didn't! Give me a marker, I've got some sign-making to do!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Scheduled Affair

Shh...please don't tell. If you had told me a few months ago I was about to cross that line with someone new...well...

*pss...pss...whisper...an affair? she's so tawdry! ...whisper...pss*

I'm gettin' it on with a Schedule.

Yeah, I strung you along. Sheesh, y'all sure do like some dirt around here! Hmph. *looking at you sideways*

As I was saying. Girls, when you marry an Uber Planner his pen will ultimately feel up your calendar. But, his frisky pen can't take all of the credit. Officially wrapping up Crazy New Momma: The Sequel (that first year and a half packs a wallop doesn't it?) played a part, too.

Since I had my sanity back, I figured it was time for me to stop fakin' like I was makin' it and really get it together.

Enter the dinner schedule.

Sunday
I cook two meals. Dinner 1 is for Sunday. It's usually fancier than the rest and if I'm really feeling spunky I throw in a dessert, too. Yeah, all the other dinners are probably jealous of her hotness and awesomeness.

Dinner 2 is for Thursday and gets guarded. Seriously. I'm thinking of adopting a Pit Bull. They always want to eat that for Sunday's dinner. I guess she's not so hot afterall, huh? To keep their hungry fingers away from Thursday's dinner I wrap that sucker up tighter than a Christmas present and toss it in the freezer before they see it.

*blows off spatula*

Monday
Leftovers from Dinner 1.

Tuesday
A quickie. As in 30 minutes, tops. (Totally ignoring your guttery minds) Example: Sloppy Joes, Pigs in a Blanket, cheesesteaks. And for the Healthy Brigade pointing their carrot sticks at me, I'm not worried about you being all up in our cholesterol. This is Survival of the Mommiest, I'm on a mission.

Wednesday
Leftovers from Tuesday.

Thursday
Dinner 2 from Sunday gets all hot and bothered in the oven while I ignore that bottle of wine singing, "...blurred lines! You know you want it."

Friday
Leftovers from Thursday.

Saturday
"You better go in the fridge and see what's left," in my Momma Ain't Playin' Voice.

Sunday
9, 10...let's do it again!

*tosses apron and exits Stage Left*

Fess up, girl! Are you having a scheduled tawdry affair? I'd love to hear about it. (I'm nosy like that)



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

X-Mom Adventures: Jump! Jump!

One morning, I don’t know where my head was. But, I knew where it wasn’t—on my feet! I went to step down off of the porch, felt myself wobbling and falling, and something said, “Jump!”

And so I did…over 3 steep steps, down to the sidewalk…in 3-inch heels.  

Host: Judges? What score do you give for that remarkable interpretation of a 35-year-old woman making a fool out of herself?

Judge 1: *clapping* Oh, that was awesome! I give her an 8. *still clapping"
Judge 2: *standing up/whistling* The best move we've seen this morning. 9!!
Judge 3: *looks up from her manicure, bored* I've seen better...5.

Host: That's a grand total of 22 out of 30...good job! Oh, wait. She just fell over. What a shame. *crowd awws* Judges deduct 5 points for not sticking the landing. 

Yep, I was on my “heels” for about 2 seconds before crashing to the sidewalk, legs and arms in opposite directions. Coffee still in hand (didn’t spill a drop! *woot woot*) and purse still hitched up on my shoulder. I’m sure I resembled a baby giraffe the way I scrambled to get up.

Hubs: “I’m busy making sure The Baby doesn’t drop your phone on the cement and I look down to find you scrambling around my ankles!” FYI: I did NOT know she had my phone…phone snatcher!

The Kid: “Mommy! What are you doing?!” 
Uhh...besides trying to avoid the ER? Oh, I'm just sidewalk diving because I'm having a childhood flashback! 
Then, she says, “Mommy! You were in the air! Nice job!” Great to know the show was Kid Approved.

No broken bones, no scraped elbows. No stained, dirty, or ripped clothing. And best of all my favorite shoes (Aldo Raspberry Peep-Toes) were unscathed. That’s how you fall—er, jump—in style. Give me back my 5 points!

Later that day

I’m walking behind this lady towards the parking deck. She opens the door for herself, doesn’t hold it for me (Heffa...she saw me), which left me shuffling to reach the door before it closed. She goes up the stairs to the upper levels as I head for the lower-level stairs. I'm mentally justifying her rudeness by wondering if she actually saw me (don’t know how she missed me, I was so close I could’ve counted her hair follicles) when I heard stumbling and thudding above my head.

I assume she tripped up the steps. Hmph! I guess she DID do it on purpose and that's what she gets for being an A-Hole!

I told Hubs my superpower is the ability to make people fall. He, in return, asks, “Well, why did you fall then?”

Without missing a beat I answered, “Because that’s how I got it. You know how Spiderman had to get bitten by the spider to become Spiderman? Well…I had to fall to make people fall.”

Don’t believe me? Watch your step…



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Guess Who Moved In?

"Hey, we need a girlfriend moment," my brain says to me in her "I Mean Business" tone.

I groan inwardly. No telling where this is going.

"Chris is moving in."

"Who in the heck is Chris?" I mentally do a head count of all the tenants in the Creative Condo. Chris wasn't one of them.

It was her turn to roll her eyes. "Your blog!" She sucked her teeth at me. "I swear--."

"Waaiit a second," I say, cutting her off. "What do you mean she's moving in? You mean like permanently? Heck no! She signed a 31-day lease. As a matter of fact, she didn't even have a lease before."

"Nope, not anymore. Thanks to you accepting that challenge she says she's not leaving."

"She's not leaving! Who told her--."

"I told her she could stay," she interrupts.

"You told her? All of that grief you gave me for taking the challenge and now you want her to stay? Like, indefinitely?"

"Yup. Funny how the mind works," she says and cracks up laughing.

"Ha, HA," I say sarcastically and roll my eyes so far back in my head I can see Chris pulling out paint swatches.

"Besides, you know you can't lie to me. You know you've been going through Blogger Withdrawal for 4 days now." She chuckles and shakes her head. "I don't know why you thought you'd be able to stop like that."

She's right. She's always right.

"Fine, she can stay, but I'm telling you now--I'm NOT blogging everyday." I defiantly cross my arms. Hmph, take that!

Disregarding me, she continues on. "Oh, and she wants to talk about making changes to the blog."

My eyebrows shoot up to my hairline. "Changes!"

She laughs at me. "Girl, quit playing. I'm going to see if she needs help unpacking."

I yell after her. "Hey...hey! I'm NOT blogging everyday!" I huff. "Coming up in here, being all bossy. Changes? They've lost their minds..." I mumble.

"Less mumbling, more typing," she calls to me.

I ignore her and pull out my notes.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Not "The End"

Yes! Yes! It's done. It's over. It's finally over! YES!!!

*pumps fist in the air...and collapses*

"Wha..." I groggily raise my head to see who's talking. It's her. My brain. What does she want? She's supposed to be face down in the dirt, too. Did she forget we just wobbled across the finish line?

"You know we have to keep going, right?" She says to me. Okay, I know this chick must have forgotten how she was just cursing me out a few days ago for accepting this crazy challenge.

I prop my heavy head up on my elbows to keep it from rolling to the ground. "Did you just say keep going?" She shakes her head in agreement.

"Hold up, have you been sipping Cosmos with Denial again? You know we have a restraining order against her."

She looks at me sideways. "Whatever. I've worked my rump off for you and it's time to get this thing going."

"What are you talking about? It was a 31-day challenge and it's Day 31. Hello? We're done," I say and lay my head back down. Hmph. What have you been smoking? I think to myself.

"Heard that."

"Wasn't trying to hide it," I say, matching her sarcasm.

"The book isn't going to finish itself," she says in that irritating sing-song voice that people use just to annoy you because they know you know that they know they're right.

I get in one good eye roll and sit down at my computer. I'll thank her later.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Just Keep Going


A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.
--Richard Bach

I like this quote because you can take the word writer out and it still applies to just about anything.

People who have "made it" are people who just kept going. Regardless of what people told them they couldn't do. Whether or not they felt the love and support because a lot of times I'm sure they didn't.

People who do nothing don't understand people who do something. They just don't get it. They don't understand what all the fuss is about. They feel you're wasting your time. They'll tell you it will never amount to anything, or roll their eyes and suck their teeth when someone tries to praise you.

But, it's okay. What's for you is for you. Everybody can't go where you're going.

Just keep going.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

I (Can't)Quit

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
--Thomas Edison

I have nothing brewing and stewing in my brain for today's post. But, 29 days in and I just can't allow myself to skip and write nothing. It feels like quitting.

Sure, I could easily say, "Pfft, who cares? It's just one day." Afterall, there's no prize to be won on Day 31. No trophy, no gold medal, no monetary award, no publicity, no free tickets, not even a "31-Day Blogger Challenge Winner" badge for my blog. Nothing.

But, isn't that what writing is about? Think about it. If you're a newbie writer with nothing writerly on your resume other than a sticky note, you're unknown to the writing world.

There is no prize after "The End". There are no agents/publishers beating down your door and blowing up your inbox. There isn't a fanbase camping outside of bookstores. There aren't people hovering over the "Buy" button waiting for your e-book to hit the internet.

You know after "The End" it's just you. And yet, you keep going. You don't quit. Something inside you pushes you to keep pushing. To keep going. To not give up. Just one more word, one more line.   

Day 29 for me feels like I've been running the 1600m and I'm dragging my exhausted body down the final stretch. My brain is coasting on her last bit of creative fumes. She's drained, I'm tired, and yet, we just can't give up.

I didn't go in to this challenge with quitting as an option. Today is no different.

One more word, one more line, "...try just one more time."


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Occupational Gossiper

Gossiping is not cute. Just because you want to know everything there is to know about people's lives doesn't mean everyone else feels the same way. They don't.

For those of us who say no to gossip, we don't want to know what kind of medicine your church member's husband is taking or the ailment. We don't want to know what type of laundry detergent your neighbor uses (or that they buy it in bulk at Sam's Club). We don't want to know the Treasurer of the women's committee you belong to met her boyfriend on-line.

We don't know these people!

We don't want to know the neighbor of your sister is having marital problems. Or, their son is flunking math. We don't have to know the brother-in-law of a distant cousin is having surgery and will be on medical leave for six weeks.

All of that time you spend spreading dirt, what are you doing for yourself? I know the answer--nothing. Running your mouth takes up a lot of time. Oh, yes. It does. One gossipy phone call can last for hours. Seriously. And usually, it's like eating candy. You just can't stop at one. Nope. You have to make the usual rounds until everyone in the Gossip Crew is thoroughly covered in someone else's dirt.

Word Problem:
Tina has 3 friends she always calls when she has something juicy to spill. If one conversation lasts 2 hours, how many hours total does Tina spend gossiping with all three friends?

Answer: 6 hours.

Now, add 1 hour for lunch (meaning you're sharing the biz in between bites of your sandwich) and 2 fifteen minute breaks (texting the biz while doing your biz in the bathroom). That's 7 hours and 30 minutes. Add another 30 minutes for not "working" as soon as you get to your desk.

See what I mean? Add up everything and you get 8 hours. That's your entire work day.

So, what did you accomplish? Nothing. Other than telling everyone your neighbor two streets over just painted her front door blue (she got the paint on sale at Lowe's).

Girl, do some work!

Monday, August 26, 2013

What Am I Watching?!

Oooo-kay. It's been a looooong time since I've watched the VMA Awards. So maybe this is outside of my demographic. However. Uhhh...

Miley Cyrus!!! Oh. My-lanta! What in the H did I watch?!

Can someone puh-lease (seriously, I'm begging you) explain to me what in the world that was?! Okay, I expected some randomness to be on display (it is MTV and that's cool), but come on! I felt like I was watching some weird Carnival infused Dance of the Teddy Bear Picnic/ "somebody was high when they thought of this nonsense" kind of thing.

And just when I thought my jaw couldn't drop any further, she starts dry-humping a foam finger! (Wait, did you hear that crashing sound? That was all the moms whoever bought anything Hannah Montana for their daughter simultaneously fainting) At that point, my eyeballs screamed and fled from the room, shouting they weren't coming back until I turned the channel. But, I couldn't. I was frozen.

And the whole Twerking thing? *shaking my head* We've been on the "Save the Twerkers" campaign for awhile now and she's on stage acting like she's the Original Twerker. (Not!) And she was PROUD!! Strutting across the stage in some ill-fitting fur mess that looked like she cut up an abused teddy bear and sewed it to her body.

(Sidenote: Still confused why Robin Thicke needed to be involved)

Surely, if she wanted to announce "Hannah Montana is dead!" she could've done it some other kind of way. It wasn't Sensory Overload, it was Sensory Harassment.

And did you happen to notice the audience? Not the fans jumping up and down around the stage, but the celebrities sitting in the crowd. They appeared to be just as stunned and frozen as I was. Even Rihanna, who is known for being risqué, looked confused.

I'm all for artistic expression and originality, but if they had a Moon Man for the "Go Sit Down Somewhere, You Look Goofy as Hell!" category...she'd win.

Some ideas just need to stay ideas.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Spell-Check Baby?

Most parents believe to their cores their kids are special, extraordinary, and magnificent. I'm no exception. When The Baby was 16-months-old she appeared to be weighing in on the smart side. Based on what? Well, nothing actually. It's not like we were going around asking random parents, "Hey! Is your kid counting past 13? Our's is."

At the time, Hubs thought it would be a great idea to introduce her to Your Baby Can Read. Twice a day, for months, she'd watch the 15 minute DVD. There are some flashcards involved in the process, but I don't know what we were supposed to do with them. I guess we needed to look at the DVD Mommy and Daddy Need to Re-Read the Instructions. *ahem* One of us needed to read them for the first time. (Yeah, it was me)

Of course, we thought the DVDs were going to confirm what we already knew (she's super smart) and heighten her intelligence so much she'd be reading Tolstoy by the age of 2. Ok, Tolstoy was going too far, maybe Junie B. Jones was more of a reasonable goal?

Imagine my delight when she picked up a pencil and marked on a piece of paper shortly after watching the DVD. I just knew she was going to write out "baby" or "hi" because after constantly being repeated on the DVDs, something must have stuck. Instead, she proceeded to create some rather amazing artwork. (I know there's a market somewhere for awesome baby scribbles).

I offered some encouragement by holding her little hand and writing out her name.

"M," I said, and she responded with, "I." Had she said what I thought she said? I pressed on.
I said, "L," and she followed with, "A."
I said, "N," but she said nothing. I finished with, "I."
I drew a line under her name while speaking slowly, "Milani."

I was excited. How had she known the letters in her name? At that point, we'd never spelled her name out to her and I don't think anyone else had. I had to see if it was a fluke. I held her little hand and started over again.

"M," I said and she said, "I." My mom-o-meter shot up to Yes, my kid rocks! "L," I continued, but she said nothing. Probably because she was concentrating.
I sang, "A."
She said loud and clear with pride, "9!"

Upon hearing this, my mom-o-meter cracked up laughing, pointed to me and said, "You're an idiot!"

*shrugs* It's Your Baby Can Read not Your Baby Can Spell.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

No Do-Overs

If I could do it all over again, we sometimes say. Here's my list...

...I'd stay at Norfolk State University instead of dropping out after my freshman year to live in San Diego...with Boyfriend #1. (Looonnng story)

...I'd not let Boyfriend #2 convince me to major in Business Management instead of Fashion Design when I finally went back to school at Virginia Commonwealth University (also his idea). Who incidentally was doing nothing with his degree. Go figure.

...I'd not switch from Business Management to Finance the following year. What was I thinking? I hated math. *rolling my eyes* If I wanted to switch, I should've went back to Fashion Design. Probably would've had a clearer goal and plan on what I wanted to do with myself.

Why these? Because all 3 snowballed into situations I wish I could've avoided. Hindsight and all that jazz. But, if I hadn't walked down those paths, know what I would have missed out on?

in order:

1) Meeting one of my besties at VCU
2) Meeting my daughter
3) Valuable lessons about people and life (boy did I!)
4) Meeting my hubby
5) Meeting my second daughter
and...

6) Discovering writing was my talent and passion. (Had to get my material from somewhere *wink*)

If I could do it all over again...nah, no thanks.



Friday, August 23, 2013

Rover Tales

*based on a true story

Ah, our pal Rover. You will not buh-lieve what he's been up to...

Rover and his girl (we'll call her Lauren) have been in a relationship for more than a decade. Rover's never had a job, no car, no place to live, and has been in jail for years at a time. She spends her last so he can have whatever he wants. This behavior led to her losing a lot of residences in the past and yet, when she would find a place, she'd seek his approval. And yes, they do have a child together. She's put him out so many times that he's probably been "out" longer than he's been in. Sounds like the usual, right?

Here's where it gets crazy. You may be thinking, What! That's already crazy! Nope. Keep reading.

During one of their "off" moments, Rover started (yeah, right!) seeing another lady. For months straight, Lauren didn't hear from him, giving her just enough wiggle room to start thinking she could do without him. Then bam! He pops up with the same old tired lines that worked before. Done and done. He's back in.

But, he's not alone. He had the other lady secretly living with them in an unused part of the house. Yes, you read that right. Lauren would go to work and Rover and his boo roamed free. (Told you it got crazier.) Did Lauren put them both out? Yes.

I wish I could say she learned her lesson. I wish I could say that was her last straw. I wish I could say she was finally done.

I wish I could say he didn't try that stunt with the other lady again. But, I can't. Yup...he pulled this crap, not once, but twice!

Of course, Lauren goes ballistic (again!) and says to Rover, "You must think I'm a fool!" And she puts him out (again!).

Does anyone know what's wrong with Lauren's statement?

Girlfriend talk? Lauren, you ARE a fool (again!). See, that closing argument in the Court of Rover voids itself after the first time. Once you repeat the same actions over, and over, and over, you can't use it anymore. You can't play the victim card, you can't blame Rover. It's all on you honey.

My grandma used to say, "Don't ever let anyone make a fool out of you twice. The first time it's on them, the second time it's on you because you knew what they did the first time."

As pitifully sad and hella wrong it was for him to pull that stunt (twice!) It's your fault. You let him get away with his crap for years on end and you keep letting him come back. So, whatever he does when you let him back in, even something as low as shacking up with his girlfriend in your home, is YOUR fault.

Yes, Lauren, you are a fool for Rover.




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day-cation!

Yay! After 21 Days of blogging I finally gave my brain a well-deserved day-cation.

We're at the beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day 22? Don't think I forgot about you...we'll be ready for you.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pick-up Lines to Put Down - The Reply

Yesterday, I talked about lousy pick-up lines and girls don't you wish you could give them a taste of their own medicine? Well, not all of them. Some of them really don't mean any disrespect, they just don't know what to say.

No. I'm talking about the ones who know better. Yeah, the cheaters, the manipulators, the plain old good for nothing kinda guys. They know their throwing crap out there in hopes someone will bite.

Ladies, what if we said stuff like this in return:

Do you have a boyfriend? (Yes) So. You can't have friends?
Oh. My. God. *clap excitingly* I'm sooo glad you said that. Me and Big Daddy have been looking for some new friends. *look him up and down like he's a Snickers* And I think he'd like you! *Whip out your phone* I'll call him right now. Don't worry you can use the safeword if the lube stops working for you.

Damn you fine! You need a real man to show you how a woman should be treated.
Yay, I hope that's you. The doctor just released me yesterday and said I'd be fine as long as I stay on my medication. *Then turn your head as if speaking to someone* Didn't he, Casey? Oh, I'm sorry. Casey this is....I'm sorry what's your name?

Hey! Yo! Come here and let me holla atcha.
Just repeat what he says: Hey! Yo! Come here and let me holla atcha. What's your name, girl? Haha, cute. Funny! Seriously, what's your name? Why are you doing that? Why are you repeating what I say? Yo, what's wrong with you?

If only, right ladies?












Monday, August 19, 2013

Pick-up Lines to Put Down

Okay, ladies. I know I’ve been talking a lot about you lately, so let’s turn the tables. I’m an equal opportunity kind of blogger. Guys, this is for you. The following pick-up lines need to be put down.
                                                  
Hey, HEY! *Beep Beep*
Guys if you see a fine specimen walking down the sidewalk, do not—that’s NOT—blow the friggin’ horn at her. I’m not sure what is trying to be accomplished by doing this and why you feel a complimentary beep is needed to do it. But, she’s not going to appreciate being scared out of her pumps by some fool blasting the horn at her.

Psst…Psst…Yo!  Let Me Holla at You Real Quick
Because this has different variations it's the Baskin Robbins of pick-up lines--31 Flavors of Foolishness. I’m not even going to dignify this nonsense. The answer is no.

Um, Excuse Me. I Hope You Don’t Think I’m Being Bold, But What is Your Name?
AGGHHHHH! Run!!!!!! Wait, that only happened to me. Sorry. Blast from my past. Moving on.

Are You Married? (Yes) Happily?
Okay, this started off respectful and slid down the slippery slope of BS after that. And I’ve always wondered about that one. If she wasn't happily married, does that mean you'd still try and date her? Wouldn’t that make her a cheater? So, you’re okay with cheaters? Hmm…

Sidenote: You must've never had a husband show up at your house like the Tooth Fairy, waiting to collect your teeth with his fist. If you did, you'd bury this line--quickly.

Do you have a boyfriend? (Yes) So. I've Got a Girl, Too. But She Ain't Acting Right.
Way, to rack up brownie points buddy. *giant eye roll* How does you complaining (wait, let's just call it what it is--lying) about your girlfriend help your sorry case? 

Feel that breeze? It's from all of the red flags waving. Let's count them shall we? (1) You're disrespectful to your girlfriend (2) You're a cheater (3) You're a liar (4) You're stupid (5) You think the girl you're trying to pull is stupid (6) See all of the above. 

Smile. You’re Too Pretty to Frown
If this pops into your head...let it stay there. All this gets is a “What in the hell are you talking about?” look. And by the way, what person do you know walks around all day with a grin plastered on her face? If she did, I assure you she’d look just as crazy as you did when you said that line.

I know there are others and these are probably a few of the cleanest ones girls have heard.

Guys, if she's worth your time don't use a lame pick-up line.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

X-Mom Adventures: Attack of the Mac and Cheese

The Kid decided she’d fix some microwaveable macaroni and cheese for her lunch yesterday. There I was nosing around the ‘net and blissfully tuning out whatever convo was going on behind me (if you’re a parent you know this is a much needed sanity-saving skill) when I suddenly smelled smoke.

Before I could even get the words out, Hubs dashed to the microwave and said, “It’s on fire!” He flung open the door and black smoke tumbled out. I rushed over to find a pitifully melted Kraft container with charred mac and cheese inside.

The Kid had some sense and stayed in the den…far away from the crime. I asked her did she add water to it. *crickets* “No,” she said slowly, “I forgot.” Clearly.

While Hubs was seconds away from throwing furniture, I was calm. I figured ish like that happens when you have kids. As a matter of fact, we adults do stuff like that, too. I know I’m good for a screw-up about twice a week!

What I’m not thrilled about is the lingering smell of smoke. Oh boy. The house went from smelling like a 5-Alarm Fire, to burnt trash, to a campfire, to burnt popcorn, to a cigarette buffet. I half expected kids to show up at our house with marshmallows on sticks asking where the campfire was.

Now, the air smells...burnt. Everywhere. No area in the house was spared. Thumbs up, Kid. Let’s not just smoke up the kitchen, but let’s perfume the entire house with Eau de Smoke. Way to get a job done.

Jeez. I hope Febreze can handle it because I'm going to need it...lots of it.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

What 17 Days of Blogging Has Showed Me

I can’t believe it—17 days of blogging! Whew, this chick’s brain is ready to pack up and go on vacation. I keep telling her, “We’re almost there.” Eh, she’s the brains of this operation, she knows better.

Okay, yeah. It’s official. I’m cracking. But, before I go completely loco, check out some things I've found out since accepting the 31-Day Blogger Challenge.

(In no particular order)

I will NOT be partaking in any Extreme Blogger challenges such as this one again.
Ahh, the satisfaction of pushing yourself to accomplish something. Special moments. But, not special enough for me to do it again. Been there done that! I don’t need to prove anything to myself (again) in this department.

Insanity is not just for Shaun T.
The closest I’ve come to an Insanity video is watching someone else do it. But, I see the similarities between physical sweating and exhaustion and mental sweating and exhaustion. Both leave you drained and wondering, “What in the world did I just get myself into?”

Reposts are my besties.
At first, I had this silly notion that reposting would be equivalent to cheating. Now? Pfft, whatever. Blogging fresh stuff every day is NOT as easy as it sounds. At some point your brain starts shouting, “I didn’t sign up for this!” Like Hubs told me yesterday, “You made it halfway without needing to repost, I think it’s okay to use a lifeline now.”

I’d like to list more, but my brain is threatening to evict my skull if I list anything else. And since I kind of need her, I think Day 17 is done.

**P.S.—I don’t hate the challenge. Quite the opposite. I was just venting. Day 18…I’ll be waiting for you.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Marcus, Darling...I Don't Have Any Panties On..."

…yes we see that. Because you have everything but your uterus on display.

Why, WHY, are grown women walking around and letting everything they own hang out for all to see? “Sharing the wealth” should not apply to body parts—well, I guess it depends on who you’re talking to.

I get it that some men zero in on the skin display like a cheetah on a gazelle. (FYI: Not all men are like that, nor do they find your sense of revealment attractive) And some women feel this is the only way they’ll get attention. I don’t care what any woman says, females like attention. (Stop looking sideways…you know you do.)

Attention makes you feel desirable, wanted…sexy. And a drooling man will do a lot for a woman’s ego.

Buuuttt, ladies? Come on. Does your skirt have to hit barely below your cheeks—standing up?! Your skirt is not that short you say? Honey, please. Your hiney and the seat could make an X-Rated movie when you sit down.

And we know the lovely Eartha Kitt said that famous line above in the movie Boomerang to Eddie Murphy's character, Marcus, after they spent a questionable night together.

But, she let him know something he didn't want to know. His face clearly read, "And why did I need to know that?" Same thing women are doing when they're sashaying around in crotch-skimmers. We don't want to know.
 

And for those who have their stomach, side flab, and back skin rolling out like the red carpet, you look like the letter "S" in a dress. Know what "S" stands for? Spanx. Get some.

I don’t care if you have to wear 2 or 3 layers at one time there is no reason whatsoever for your extra-ness to be in the spotlight. If you're going to wear body-hugging clothes, rolls and bulges are not to be seen. Ain’t no shame in spreading the Girdle Love. If you can suffer through 4-inch-heels declaring war on your feet because you want to “be cute”, then you can suffer the same fate and suck all of your extra bits in.

You can breathe when you get home.

**Sharelle D. Lowery over at www.classyblackgirl.com inspired me to steal, uh--I mean borrow, from her post. Check out what inspired my Day 13 by reading what she has to say on staying classy in your 30's in her post:
http://classyblackgirl.com/30-plus-party-girl/
                            

Monday, August 12, 2013

User Losers

Let me ask this…what is up with the guys who play games suddenly blaming you for not falling for their crap anymore?

Seriously, really? Major WTF move. Where in the world did they pull that game piece from? Oh, wait. I know where. They pulled it right out of there—nevermind.

I just shake my head when I hear this stuff. If you’ve gotten up the nerve to tell a User Loser, “Game Over,” don’t let them make you doubt your decision. I’m pretty sure you have a whole bag of miserable reasons why you decided and needed to cut him loose.

Example:                                                                         
Your live-in boyfriend has no job, no car, and no apartment/home of his own. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t even have a shoebox to claim because you buy all of his clothes. He takes you to work in your car, drops you off, and picks you up every day—late. (And what is he late for? Being lazy doesn’t require overtime.)

You’ve been dealing with this for years when you find out…duh, duh, duh! He’s cheating. The kicker? You knew about it. It wasn’t the first, second, or third time but this time was enough. You kick him out, but not before he says the infamous, “How you gone do me like that?”

Excuse me as I roll my eyes.

Puh-lease. If and when you ever get to the point of sending him and his raggedy game packing, know this. That’s the best move you’ve made since he walked into your life.

Keep on keeping on and remember the game because, sadly, all the User Losers read from the same tired game book. You’ll recognize it when you see it; it’ll have Jackass written on it.

If you find it lying around…run.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

X-Mom Adventures: Not Two Much for X-Mom

I should've KNOWN the way The Baby entered this world that she would be a hot mess! (If you don't know, check out the two links below to catch up).

http://crystal-blake.blogspot.com/2012/01/x-mom-vs-baby.html
http://crystal-blake.blogspot.com/2012/05/baby-is-winning.html

But, we moms are good at blocking out the havoc our kids create in the past.

The Beast, uh-I mean, The Baby turned two last month and still has birthday cake crumbs behind her ears. And boy is she gettin her Terrible Two's in! This little chick is walking around like she's up for an Oscar nomination for the role of The Brat.

Whining about everything, telling people, "No!" and "It's mine!", and acting like hard-headed is a sport. Got me thinking like 2 Chainz, "This one's different...yeah, this one's different." (I don't even listen to 2 Chainz...see what kids will make you do!)

Not in my house! I've got to step up my Mommy Game.

It's not extreme, yet, but this kid...wooo wee! We need an intervention and fast. And of course, my mom says, "Well, she just turned two."  

By the way...what is it with grandparents and their "Leave that baby alone" thinking? Did they not raise us? Our kids aren't new mystical beings to be ooh-ed and ahh-ed at with a look-but-don't-touch kind of thinking. They are not that cute! And like someone once told me: "Yeah, keep on thinking 'Aw, they're just being kids.' When she steals your car out of your yard, don't come calling me."

Sorry...tangent. Back to what I was saying...

We went to Red Lobster and The Baby was that kid in the restaurant. Banging the salt and pepper shakers on the table. Drumming forks on the plate like she mixing beats for Timberland. Whining and crying. Sugar packets all on the floor. Sliding out of the booster seat. Trying to climb out of the booth while saying, "I weady to go."

And The Kid didn't miss a beat. She whipped out her iPod and hit the shutter button like the Paparazzi, capturing the embarassment. 

X-Mom was shooting telepathic covered fireballs through her eyes saying, "Sitting over there acting like you ain't got no home training--you don't--but these people don't know that!"

She wanted to fly across the table with her hand raised, like Rickey Smiley talking about Precious and her grandma, saying, "Shut yo aaassss up!"

Oh, okay. We showing off like that? A few minutes ago, you sitting up there, all prim and proper, eating pieces of biscuit with a fork; baiting us in. Ten seconds later you morph into Lil Miss 'Bout to Get Her Head Taken Slam Off!'

She set us up.

Ten very, very deep breaths later X-Mom returned to her home and put Mommy back in charge. On a scale of 1-10: 1 being 'My Kid Makes Angels Jealous' and 10 being 'This Kid Gone Send Me to Jail' she was about a 4. So, it actually wasn't that bad. It could've been worse. 

Hold up. She's over there all snuggled up under Hubs and trying to erase his memory of the restaurant with her cuteness. He's weak! I've gotta go. 

X-Mom just showed up with an Anti-Cuteness Shield. Hmph...The Baby reign is over.





Saturday, August 10, 2013

When Effort is the Result

We always tell our ten-year-old if you know you've put everything within your being into something and all you get is average, then hey, that's good. It's better to give your all and get average, then half-ass and be subpar. (At least in my book, it is)

Only because you know you went "all in". If you half-ass, then you don't know what results you really could've had. 

But, everyday can't and won't be an A-game day. As my hubby eloquently put it this morning, "You can't paint a Rembrandt everyday."

Sometimes "all in" still doesn't give you the warm and fuzzies that comes with producing something beyond great. And it's okay. There are times where your effort trumps the result. 

Last night, my brain searched feverishly inside my writer's box for something to post for Day 10, while my computer mocked and harassed me with it's blank screen. But, here we are, words on the page...another day done.

It may not be a Rembrandt kinda day, but even he wasn't Rembrandt everyday.








Friday, August 9, 2013

What's Behind Door Number 1 - Fear

You're making steps towards wherever it is you want to be in life and feeling pretty darn good about it, too. You get a knock on the door and you're so busy grinning all over yourself you fling the door wide open without hesitation.

There on your doorstep...smirking...is Fear.

It sucks up all of your confidence, swag, and ambition and replaces it with a full blown panic attack, that leaves you muttering to yourself: WTF am I doing? I can't handle this. It's too much!

Yeah, Fear is good at what it does. It almost got me today. Almost.

Then, I remembered one of my favorite quotes from Iyanla Vanzant:

"Don't give up five minutes before your miracle."

Whenever I feel Fear creeping up like a parasitic vine, I remember those words. I don't know where the writing world is going to lead me, but I don't want to give up before I find out either.

Imagine the biggest opportunity of your dreams lining itself up for you right this minute and its scheduled to get to you on Tuesday, but you never receive it because you gave up on Monday.

I'm not saying Fear won't be back, it's sneaky like that. But, when it's on your doorstep sneering and asking, "What the eff are you doing?"

Say, "I'll tell you when my miracle comes in." And slam the door.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

X-Mom Adventures: Strep Throat vs. The Blog

One lesson I've quickly learned from this Blogger Challenge (Day 6-High Five, girl!) is don't put things off. You never know what the next day will bring.

I wrote yesterday's post Tiny Speck the night before trying to get ahead. That was the idea, but if you're a parent you know sometimes the kids don't play fair.

Both of my girls woke up sick yesterday morning. The Kid had a pounding headache to the point she was crying. And The Baby was running a fever, but you wouldn't have known it the way she was bouncing around. About an hour later, they reversed roles. The Kid was feeling better after a nap and The Baby crashed.

This is the first time both of them have been sick at the same time--well, The Baby's only 2, so I guess I need to wait a few years before I get that Mommy Sticker.

Different symptoms, same diagnosis. Which ailment got the spotlight? Strep Throat. 

Between running to the pharmacy with two sick kids (twice, because the first time it wasn't ready), administering two different antibiotics because The Baby is allergic to the one The Kid has (the one that goes in the fridge is twice a day, the one that doesn't go in the fridge is once a day), snuggling with a human furnace all day (Mommy hugs are the other antibiotic)...whew! I'm glad I wrote Tiny Speck the night before. If I hadn't, this Mommy would've been huddled in the closet sucking her thumb, refusing to come out until either my blog had some ink on it or the kids were better--whichever one came first.

From now on, I'm blogging ahead. 

And that Strep Throat better not even THINK about getting on me. You don't want none of this X-Mom!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

To Delete or Not to Delete?

Have you ever blogged about something/someone that would hit a nerve, forcing you to ask yourself: Delete or not delete?

Yes, I'm the blogger who takes stuff that I see and/or hear and spins it into my own creative web. I loooove good material and my fingers get itchy as my brain says, "Oh, that's good stuff!" 

Well a nugget presented itself and like the good little blogger I am I couldn't resist. However, if someone read it they'd immediately, without a doubt, would know what and who I was talking about. They'd say, "That's me!" And probably would get offended or upset. People don't give a rat's behind about me "expressing my creativity" if they feel it's at their expense.

Even now I'm skirting around how I really, really want to describe the way it went down (and it's such a good one, ugghh!!!).

Imagine, a location where phone reception goes to die, phone battery on E, and a "Sign in" button nowhere to be found, making signing onto my blog impossible. Let's just say this chick was scrambling, sweating, and cursing trying to get the darn post down before it could be seen.

And I'm not too sure the attempt was successful. Eek!

Oh well. Next time, I won't be so descriptive.

Maybe...

*insert evil laugh*


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Acts of Kindness

For the past few months, a portion of the street I take to the babysitter has merged into one lane due to construction. You know how it goes, people block the intersection of side streets, won't let anyone get in front of them. The usual traffic nonsense.

As cars inched forward I saw an empty school bus trying to pull onto the street and you know no one was going to let the guy in. I stopped and let him get in front of me and probably irritated quite a few people in the process.

But come on. Traffic was already moving at turtle-speed, what was the harm in letting the bus in? He was simply trying to get to wherever he had to go just like the rest of us. He just happened to be doing it in a vehicle the size of a building.

He gave me the "Thank you" wave and eased in front of me. He crawled along, waving his hand out of the window until I realized he was signaling for me to go around him. I was a bit confused and thought: Why would he pull out just to let me in front of him? 

I shrugged and pulled around, thanking him as I passed. I thought maybe it was something wrong with the bus or maybe he just wanted to pull over and let people pass. The stream of cars stretched pretty far back.

I looked in the rear view mirror to see if he had let anyone else get in front of him (answer: no) when I saw the infamous blinking red lights and Stop sign swinging out. I looked over and there waiting on the sidewalk of the neighborhood elementary school was a line of kids, maybe about 20 or so.

I zoomed on my way as the loooong line of drivers behind him waited for the loooong line of eager, bouncy kids to board. Wow, I thought to myself, thanks Mr. Bus Driver!
  
I guess a little act of kindness does go a long way.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Going After Different

If you want something different, you have to do something different. You've heard that, right? I finally accepted I needed to branch outside of my usual group of readers (I have like 3 faithful--I think--readers) and really work on getting my stuff out there. Don't get me wrong I love my small reader posse, but that's the problem; thinking small.  

I could wish and imagine that people will magically come to my site and love it so much they'll spread the word like the flu and wham--agents are scrambling to sign me and publishing houses are throwing contracts at me because they all think I've got "it". 

Pfft! I know you never know, but really? Time to change it up.

I joined this wonderfully, fantabulous site for bloggers: www.blackbloggersconnect.com and I'm soooo glad i did. It feels so good to have people you've never met read your work AND like it. Within 8 hours of me joining, I had 58 views of my profile, several fellow bloggers visit this site and comment either here or at BBC, and 1 person is even following this blog now. 

58 people may not be astronomical numbers for some blogs, but 58 people now know me and my blog exist. 1 more person thought enough of my blog to follow it. All because I chose to jump into a larger pool than the one I'd been doggy-paddling in.

All because I did something different.