This Week’s Peanut Update

30 11 2008

In all the excitement of the week, I almost forgot the Peanut Update.

Miss Youdis, as Jackleen calls her, spent Thanksgiving with me at my friend Allissa’s mom’s house. Allissa and her fiance B brought their dogs Buddha and Bison with them. My little kid did just fine, but I think she was excited because Miss Pamela had so much space in her house, plus she had “outside”, i.e. a backyard, and Peanut wouldn’t have to walk around on a leash.

Still, being a visitor didn’t keep the meanie from treating somebody else’s house as her own. She invaded the second floor and tried to jump down from the balcony and into my arms. She also refused to come downstairs on her own (by means of walking down the stairs instead of jumping and breaking her neck), yowled all the way through dinner, and tried to hide a piece of muffin behind one of Miss Pamela’s chairs in the living room.

Buddha tried to hit her once and Bison’s quick and meaty jab connected, which lead to her snarling at him and ultimately leaving the boys alone. She did pretty well, mostly because she was around boys. Lord knows, she can’t stand other girl doggies. Messy thing.


Day Ten: Turkey Lurkey Time

27 11 2008

In commemoration of Turkey Day and the upcoming holiday of holidays, I give you “Turkey Lurkey Time” from the musical Promises, Promises. Seriously, Burt Bacharach made the kind of music I would’ve secretly listened to in between soul and psychedelic platters. Is Ms. Wong of mimeograph getting down or what?

Happy Thanksgiving, kids!


Day Eight: When Acting Older Than You Are Goes Wrong

24 11 2008

It’s always a trip to find out who people think you are. I always say it, but now I know it’s true: most people who know me don’t know me. Case and point, I went to watch the Redskins/Seahawks game by my friend Tiffany’s house yesterday, which was funny in itself ‘cause knowing all the folks I know from Seattle, you would think every Black person from there somehow relocated to the D.C. metro area. Anyway, we were all talking about Bernie Mac and an article that ran in People magazine about his wife and daughter. I told them that his daughter went to Xavier, but I never saw her. Here goes Tiffany:


“You probably wouldn’t have seen her. She’s younger than you.”

“No, she’s older than me,” I said. “How old do you think I am?”



Yes y’all, a whole 34-years-old. I don’t mean this as an affront to any of y’all who are 34 or older, but she gave me an extra seven years and put me six years away from 40. I protested the age increase on the spot and I may have insulted her friends in the process. Still, I’m not taking the L on 34.


“Do I look like I’m 34?”

“No, I’ve always been around you at work and you act older. And I saw your portfolio and all the stuff you’ve accomplished, I thought you were older.”

That part I took as a compliment. Like I told Tiffany, if I were 34, I would really have my $#!+ together. I wouldn’t be so frantic and all over the place like I am now. My age discrimination aside, it felt pretty good to have someone say I’ve accomplished a lot. There are so many days when I wake up thinking I’ve done absolutely nothing with these 27 years. Then feel like a jerk for thinking that way.

If only it were this easy

If only it were this easy




Just as one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist, your everyday, mundane routine that you take for granted could be looked upon as extraordinary accomplishment to someone else. I’m not trying to brag, but not everybody’s first freelance assignment is with Black Enterprise. Most people haven’t written their way to Germany and back. Still fewer others have the cajones to leave the security of a full-time job and benefits to pursue their dreams and have the full support of their family at the same time (call me crazy or foolish or both, but I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done). So, not only should I be mad thankful, but I should give myself permission to say I’ve done a little something-something every once in a while. That’s not an excuse to rest on my laurels, but I can acknowledge that while there’s so much more I want to do, I have accomplished a lot and it shouldn’t take someone else to point that out to me.

Day Seven: Playing Hooky

23 11 2008

My Line Sister LaQuita and I have a standing appointment to go out and do something every Saturday. Whatever the activity, it has to be affordable and it has to force us out of the house if only for a couple of hours. That said, that’s pretty much my excuse as to why I didn’t post yesterday. It’s not like I couldn’t have set aside 30 minutes to write something really quickly. I could have. But my day got away from me quick, fast and in a hurry. What’s really sad is we didn’t get out and about until after two, so I had plenty of time to write something. I know I never have anything pressing to do before twelve o’clock. That’s the reason why I set the noon deadline in the first place. So, now I know for sure that I’ve got to do a better job of sticking with the guidelines. I know me, you know. But for now, I’ll extend a little forgiveness my way. I’ve been at this for a week and the habit hasn’t made itself at home in quite yet.

Forgiveness? Check! Now, back to my weekend excursions.

The week before last, Quita and I went to the XU Club 5 meeting that took forever and a day to get to because Suzie, my GPS, sent us down all these crazy streets and so-called short cuts instead of routing us to New York Avenue to Florida and some other state street that would’ve taken us directly to the library where the meeting was being held. This week, we went out to Arundel Mills to have lunch and see the Samuel L. Jackson-Bernie Mac flick Soul Men.

While I don’t know if I’ll ever venture to Arundel Mills until after the holiday shopping season is over, say in March 2009, because it was so crunk, we still had a good time. I had a ridiculously large fajita chicken salad that I picked at (what can I say, I don’t like a lot of fat or connective tissue and junk in my chicken and it takes work to eat around those things) and Quita put a significant dent in the burrito platter that she said kept her full until about ten that night. During our meal, we talked about what’s going on in the lives of our fellow Xavier alums—well, Quita talked and I mostly listened. I don’t know where I was during those four years, but half the people my friends from XU talk about I can barely remember, if at all. I guess if I didn’t see you on a half-way regular basis in a class or in the Herald office, you gets no love from my memory bank. And I finally got to hear how she and her fiancé Hank got together, which was funny in that ‘one-day-you-looked-one-way-and-the-next-you-looked-thatway’ kind of way that some hook up stories are funny.

After lunch, we walked around the mall a bit and tried my best to not buy a bunch of scarves and blue and purple versions of a shirt I already have hanging in my closet. I’m a baller on a budget and every dime of my money needs to go toward networking, marketing and bills. I did a pretty good job until we stopped in The Icing after the show and I bought an orange knit cap and some Elasta QP mango butter from this beauty supply store. Twenty-three dollars isn’t bad compared to the $70 I probably would’ve spent if left to my gainfully employed devices a few months back. The best part of the whole day was this Dubble Bubble kiosk outside Chevy’s that had my favorite original Pepto Bismol-flavored Dubble Bubble gum balls. I may have bought six of those before we left. Each of them was rock hard, but delicious.

OK, I gotta get back to this alumni magazine and my Sunday morning slow jams set before the Redskins/Seahawks game.


Day Five: Peanut and the Big Fish

21 11 2008
Peanut in her red and black lumberjack (no hat to match)

Peanut in her red and black lumberjack (no hat to match)

I think I’m going to start a weekly Peanut update. For the uninitated, Peanut is the geriatric and oh, so spoiled Pekingese-Yorkie ball of fluff and noise that trolls my apartment for trespassers in between bouts of snoring. She’s incredibly possessive of all the blankets in the house and has even taken over the zabuton my mother made for me a few years ago. At least somebody’s meditating on it, though.

Right now, Peanut smells like corn chips because she won’t let me give her a bath. Yes, let. This chick is stubborn. If there’s something she doesn’t want you to do, like giving her medication or cleaning her ears, she’s not going to let you. One thing she has been letting me get away with, which I’m pleasantly surprised about, is brushing her teeth. I guess everyone, including dogs, can appreciate fresh breath. Now if only she’d let me clean the rest of her up.

Oh, I almost left out the best part. She yowls constantly. If you didn’t know, a yowl is like a meow only it’s coming from a dog. Don’t let me put on shoes or pick up my keys or make any indication that I’m going outside–it’s over. And I really feel for my neighbors because I know they can hear her. If she annoys the hell out of me, imagine how they feel.

Enough about Miss Pea, as my mom calls her. What I’ve really been thinking about is month eight when I have to produce my four-part series. Yes, I’m jumping the gun by seven months, but I can’t help it. As I was folding clothes the other day, I kept thinking about who my dream interviews would include. You know, my Big Fish. Off the top of my head I came up with Janis Gaye, Minnie Riperton’s widower Dick Rudolph, Stevie Wonder, and Leon Ware. I don’t know if I’ll do Stevie, though. What can I write about him that hasn’t been written already? Dick Rudolph and Leon Ware would be fantastic ’cause people know them but they really don’t. The same is true about Janis Gaye, and other than her getting with then-married Marvin Gaye when she was 17-years-old, what does anyone really know about who she is? I may also want to talk to Ludie Montgomery, the sister of Thomasina Montgomery, better known as Tammi Terrell. Ludie Montgomery’s book about Tammi just came out and I hear that Janis Gaye has a book coming out soon, too. And so what all of these artists and their relatives are interconnected in one way or another. That might make the series that much more interesting. In fact, their connections could be the focus of the story. Anyway, I’ve got time to figure out what I’m going to do and how I’m going to get in touch with folks. Still, I’m really excited about it.

Well, it’s time to wake Peanut up to go outside so she won’t pee in my carpet. I’ll check you all tomorrow and be sure to stay tuned for next week’s Peanut Update.

Peanut sleeping in her post office sweater

Peanut sleeping in her post office sweater