THE ART OF WAR

Life is to be lived with purpose. Fulfillment of that purpose requires strategy. The strategy I'm using is an Art. The Art of War.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nasty Ain't Cute

My path to be bitter free day 2.

Sometimes I have felt honor bound to respond to attacks, insults, slights, etc. Sometimes I don't respond but I'll bend the ear of someone else about what the person did.

I'm thinking that sometimes the need to respond is sign of personal weakness. Just reading blogs and reading how people go overboard over little to nothing makes me look at myself. Am I that fragile? That weak? That quick to be offended? If I am, Lord please take it away. Renew my spirit and free me of the angst.


It's okay to express your feelings but I think if you do it in a way to hurt, get back or get the upper hand then its a problem. A soft answer does turn away wrath and what is wrong with the person that can't respond with a soft answer.

I'm also realizing that some people think people know not to mess with them, when really people just know you crazy and want to leave you to your craziness.

I won't allow people or things to upset or frustrate me. They are either doing it on purpose or doing it on accident and in both cases being upset is silly. If its on purpose they are crazy because what sane person needs to upset people.

Everything is not worthy of a response and my goal is to not respond.

My life's journey does not include being gratified at having the last word or the nastiest or smartest quip. I don't want that on my headstone.

I want to leave a memory of a good person, one that was forgiving and saw the best and thought the best of others- even if they didn't deserve it. I don't want to leave the story that if you said something to upset me I would set you straight and put you in your place. I want to be the peaceful loving woman.

I realize that if I am an unkind young woman, I will be an unkind old woman. Only I'll be an alone old woman because no one will want to be around the old lady who is unkind and smart mouth.

Both of my grandmothers always had visitors as they got older. That had kind loving spirits and treated people - even strangers- graciously. They did not hold grudges or bitterness. They actually liked people and I'm realizing a lot of people don't really like people.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Warm Weather Plans

I'm fantasizing about warm weather days. I am one of those mammas that believes infants should be indoors on cold winter days.
I realize low and mid 60's may not qualify as cold to some, but I do better when the temps get closer to 70 and above. 98% of this is stuff I want to do with Mr A.

I'll come back to this list as I think of more things

- Visits to both Getty Museums
-Child & Parent Swim Class
-Mommy/Daddy/Baby Yoga
-Walks
-Bike Rides
-Kenneth Hahn park- its actually a dry looking park but it has a couple pretty spots
-Pretty Bay Area Park
-Lunch at Crustaceans- sidewalk
-Lunch at Toast- sidewalk
-Concert in Park at the Grove
- day at Griffith Park- this park is amazing. It's like a small city
-Walks on Beach
-Santa Monica pier
-Outdoor concerts
-Tea at American Girl Place. My mother said she'd take us. I realize this is more for me than TR and I am okay with that.
-Outdoor Book Club
-Winery Hopping
-Spa Day and lunch- the girl cousins do this yearly, I usually skip but this year I'll attend
-Gilroy Garlic Festival
-Greek Festival- in Oakland and L.A.
- graduations for little bro (have I ever blogged about my 10 year old brother?) and h.s. cousins. I would skip the cousins grad but they live way down south away from most family, so I want them to know we haven't forgotten about them.
-My first Mother's Day with the babe occupying her own space
-TR's 1st birthday bash
-Something grand for Mr A's birthday- food, friends and fun!
-

Bitter Free Day 1

It's not yet 10 a.m. The morning is going well. I sent out an email the other day and I think expressing my angst helped a lot.
I also made a phone call to discuss some stuff. I thought the answer was weak and is not what I would have chosen to do, but its valid to them.

Sometimes you are upset with folks and they don't know why or what for.

__________________________________________

It's crazy to me how desperately people want to believe in the wisdom of someone else. I used to think people who earned and maintained real money would have some skill in holding on to it. This Madoff Ponzi Scheme has made me realize that is not the case. People really want to trust that someone has the Midas touch and that they'll give them the golden ticket.

____________________________________________

TR is growing so fast. I am trying to drink up and savor these moments. I love mommyhood. I love watching as my baby wakes up and stretches and smiles and then I move her to my bed and we cuddle. I enjoy watching how she changes, learns and develops.

My mom called me last week and randomly said she was very happy that I was able to stay home with TR. I am too, and sometimes I forget to appreciate that. I start thinking I'm depriving my babe of daycare and the opportunity to have daily interaction with other babies. When we hang out with other babies I can see how social she is and how she is intrigued by kids. When the weather gets warm and the germ season ends I'll take her back out and get in the mix with other kids.

_____________

I'm getting better on the money/work front. In the past a nice settlement would see me slow down my work intake. I'm still moving at a good pace and still accepting new work. I think I'm motivated by 1) cost of private schools 2) the realization that with the market tanking it will take less cash to buy a house we a like in location we like 3) a bad economy is a good time to build wealth, this is the time building gets done.

----------------
Those OC Real Housewives are much worse that the Atlanta ones. I do appreciate that the OC wives have real money.

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I have a conference call right now with the court and I am hopeful TR doesn't start talking in the middle of it. She used to be quiet when I was on business but it seems she likes to join in.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bitter Black Woman

I am bitter about some things so I decided to make a list, then I decided to just highlight stuff, then I decided not to make a list. Maybe my lent sacrifice will be to let go of these hurts and be free of the bitterness.

One great thing is about a spouse is having someone that actually cares about my hurts and makes my feel like they matter and I'm not just whining. It is good to have a concerned ear but I have got to let it go. Sometimes my mother doesn't want to hear it and sometimes I'm upset with her and I don't feel like going through that whole mama complaint process.

I think bitterness turns into hate as a defense mechanism. I can't afford to hate anyone because I think hating folks makes you physically and mentally ill. Forgiveness is really the only cure.

I'll have to figure out what I will do each day to release the bitterness. Maybe I'll take time each morning and each afternoon to pray for the other person and for myself. It's hard to pray for folks you feel have wronged you but I hear you become better for that sacrifice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Slideshow

I figured out what I needed to do to upload the slideshow. They are in reverse order and I'll eventually out how to correct that.

I like scenery. Oceans, lakes, rolling green hills, bridegs so we took photos of those things, plus our time share condo. Wine Country is extremely beautiful. I look forward to returning.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Dark Side

I probably should complain more and about more things. I think if I spent more time complaining and being generally miserable people would feel like the sun was shining when I had a good day.

I think trying to stay positive about things has its down side. People keep wanting more.

The prospect of not having more children and TR having to live as an only child makes me sad. If there are no more kids, I'll make sure she is close to my cousins kids. My mom is an only child and I think there are moments in life that only your sibling can appreciate. TR currently has no first cousins either, that makes only child status even worse. For inheritance purposes she'd be cool but money and no family to love you is misery.

Smetimes I feel very inept. Being told that I am inept does not make me feel better. I think my mother and brother were capable of giving me the best pep talks. They didn't get mushy just factual.

My mother starts out with something like 'do not be weary in well doing'.

I feel my mother understands me. She is not sappy but she understands. Perhaps its what happens when someone raises you from birth to adulthood.

My mother has opened accounta for TR and is opening an annuity for TR so she can have retirement funds. I wonder if she does this because TR is the only grand or does she think she has to have a plan for my babe in case I mess up.

I do not have a fear of failure. I have a fear of letting my enemies be happy at my downtime. I think its foolish to stir in the failed in an effort to keep tongues silent. Better to announce the failure and move on to the next project and make it happen.

I don't have any enemies that matter. So

I'm watching The Doctors. The obgyn just said it is known that older sperm produces more deformities. I have been saying this forever. When I used to sub in special ed a lot of those kids had old daddies. Why do people need a study to figure out simple stuff?

I feel like I have a limited time, to have more kids because I don't want complications and I don't want the kid to have issues 'cause their momma has an old womb.

On this Valentine Day Eve, I would like to remind you readers to ignore the "its the thought that counts" line. It's a lie and will get you in trouble and make your boo feel unappreciated. It isn't the thought that counts, it is what the person wants. They don't care that you thought of them, they care if you do what they want.

I leave you with this jam by J. Sullivan- Lions, Tigers and Bears.

Why do we love Love,
When Love seems to hate us?

But if we never try, We'll never know
It's better to have loved then not to loved at all.
Not trying is worse than to stumble and fall
And if we do, I'd rather it be with you
Cause at least there will be sweet memories.
Oh I'm not scared


Are you scared of love?


Lions, Tigers & Bears - Jazmine Sullivan

Thursday, February 12, 2009

That List

Sprinkles. These cakes are worth it. Maybe we can go soon. TR hasn't yet tasted these yummy treats. I want red velvet and perhaps a lemon. The cakes are so rich its hard for me to one whole cupcake. I have never tasted the ones you make yourself, but since a Sprinles is near us, I don't need to make 'em.







White Tea. I haven't had any of this stuff since TR was my passenger. I need it. I got my mom some last Valentine Day. Last year I made baskets and we sent V Day gifts to a select group of friends. This year I didn't even think about it. It tastes the same as tea in Chinese Restaurants. Its hard to drink Celestial Seasonings after this. Lipton tea is not even an option. If it wasn't so pricey I would serve it at my book club. I'm already sharing my wine and a girl has to have limits.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mommy Days

I don't have any approaching deadlines so I've been chillaxing with the work and doing the mommy thing.

Yesterday Mr A had a meeting downtown, so TR and I hit the Grove. We went to story time at Barnes and Noble and then just hung out for a bit. We need to do that more often. She usually doesn't nap much, but I guess the activity of yesterday caused her to need rest. We both took a nap. I was tired too. We are used to being home, going to the park and just taking it easy.

I rearranged the furniture in her day nursery. I call it day because she doesn't sleep in there. It's just light and bright with Winne the Pooh wall appliques, and much of her baby gear. When my mom comes or Mr A's dad, that is their room.

Today was fun as well. I used to be concerned about how I would handle things if Mr A wasn't home but he was gone all day today and things went quite well. We started the morning with breakfast. TR had peach oatmeal banana. TR got a bath and she splashed and kicked and appeared to be quite interested in the water. I feared she might drop her head and try to drink it.

I did her hair. Baby oil and a baby brush. She has a natural mohawk so I brushed the curls and oiled her up. I found time to scrub the kitchen floor and mop the rest. I caught Oprah - thought it was a great segment- and change the sheets on our bed.

TR played on the bed while I changed it. At one point I made her up in the sheets and when I peeked she was under there laughing. We both got a kick out of that. She is not afraid of the dark or falling. I think she's gonna be a daredevil like her daddy.

Mr A does stunts on his snowboard and I envision TR doing them too when she gets out there.

I sat down to eat at one point and TR managed to grab my tray. She flipped it over and the food landed in my dress. I ate it anyway because I was hungry. As soon as the food was in my lap, she left the tray alone.

At this point I think I can handle baby 2. I would like a part time nanny though but it isn't mandatory.

I had a lovely day and managed to handle a little bit of business. Mostly I just did the mommy thing and I enjoyed it.

I have dinner ready so that when Mr. A comes home we can dine. I may not be June Cleaver but I'm getting good at this.

I think I have the balance I need. If I didn't work on something my mind would atrophy but I have the ability to slow it down and be June Cleaver. I think TR will see a balanced mother. I'm not a home body but I know how to enjoy home. I'm not a social butterfly but I enjoy being social.

5 a.m in the morning

I wanted to post pics of our weekend in Wine Country but can't remember how to embed the slide show. I guess it is not meant to be.

Children

I have heard people say children are bad on a marriage. I wonder if their parents felt that way and that is why they think that way. TR has placed within me an extra special feeling for her daddy.

I think parenting can give insight into how God loves us. For example, its hard for me to hear my baby wail but there are things that are not good for her and that she wants but does not need. I know what I am withholding is for her benefit but she is a babe and wants what she wants NOW.

It makes me think how we wail sometimes to God. Maybe others don't- I do. We beseech Him, we wail and He wants to swoop us up and comfort us and give us what we want, but He sees how it will end.

Before being a mommy my prayer was to remain in His perfect Will. Now that I am a mommy its become a bit more clear why that is the best place for me.

The Head

I wonder how the principle of husband as the head of the family became secular? Why folks go stealing religious principles. All they do is jack them up.

Gifts

At church the minister was talking about gifts. He said when someone gives you a gift you don't have to pay for it. He said if a man gives you a car, you won't have a car note. If you are paying the note, it isn't a gift. He went to say how many pastors tell their membership that God blesses them with stuff, like a Bentley, when its the contributions of the congregation making it happen. The members start feeling like they are doing something wrong and aren't being blessed because they don't have similiar things.

That idea seems to pervade so much. Everything is a blessing and if you don't get it you aren't blessed or you are broken or gasp cursed and maybe even cursed in generation. Some stuff requires work. I do think people forget the amount of work they put into stuff.

Some of the women I know who had to put up with so much or do so much manuervering to get their spouse are the main ones saying "I just sat back and waited because I knew God would bless me." They won't tell you how they showed up at his house on a regular basis with gifts of food, etc. I recently settled a case and while I am tempted to feel like that was some pure blessing, I have to remember it took 3 years for it to end. My blessing was the ability and strength to work.

Life is interesting when you have the patience to observe it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Thought for the Morning

A marriage of love.

A marriage based in love is not entered into and does not survive and flourish because the parties are perfectly synced on every issue or on every major issue.

The marriage of love is built upon a commitment and a promise that we will work out each issue because we know what we share is something spectacular and will grow because of the effort we put into it. Its about honor, not greed.

The beauty of love is a well-earned gift.

Love does not proclaim- "oh well, do you." Love thinks of 'us', 'we', 'ours'.

Any questions?

Monday, February 02, 2009

so.....

Mr A and I got lower rent. Joy!! It feels good. We didn't want to move and unless we find something we adore or buy in L.A. we'll be here chilling.

Earlier today the realtor we'd sorta worked with - in 2007- called us.

I answered the phone and he had the nerve to tell me that we should buy now even if it was something we didn't like. He said we were at the bottom of the market and we would quadruple our money in a few years. Then we could sell and get what we wanted with the profit.

I'm not the math person but unless the increase in value is grand, the cost of the loan including interest, commissionsm property tax and other ownership expenses would eat into the gain. A home is not a savings account and if the rent paid is providing shelter the money isn't wasted.

I guess he doesn't care to remember but investment was not our purpose. We want location as well as a house we want to stay in. If investment had been our goal we would have bought back when we could have gotten the house for $1.5 million, with 0 down, and an adjustable rate. If we love the home then we won't be annoyed with price fluctuations.

These realtors are as nutty as some of the buyers were.

THE WEEKEND

The A family had a lovely weekend. I am still recuperating from it. It involved Disney and enjoying the superbowl with friends. TR attacked a one year old baby and made the baby cry. I think the two girls later made up because they were playing with each other later in the evening.

Debt is not Money

Debt is not money. Using OPM ( other people's money) to gain things makes you a slave to that other person. If I lend you money, even at a low interest rate, it is because I have the money to lend.

Money is power. If your life is based on debt (good debt or bad debt) then you are controlled by the one with the power to give you money to pay the debt and stay in the debt.

Anyway, I need to be a part of one of these 420 conversations. I sometimes feel like people have bought in. I'm glad everyone hasn't.

This recession is making people wake up. The U.S. doesn't have the power because we have the debt.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hardwood Floors & HGTV

I have nothing against laminate flooring. I do dislike most multi-planned new build homes. I have something against presswood furniture.

I was watching HGTV and a cute family in NYC was disturbed because the designer stripped their hardwood floors, added a different gloss and the pattern of the wood wasn't uniform.

It might have just been me but I think I saw a little 'help me hold my muel' flash quickly upon the designers face. Maybe it was Genevieve. She explained to the wife that her home had real hardwood floors, and like real wood the patterns would never be identical. She told the wife that she was thinking of laminate flooring, which is made with the same pattern because it is manufactured. She informed her that real hardwood is more expensive. I think I saw a slice of pride run across the wife's face.

She also explained to her that you can strip real hardwood and change the color. Not so with the laminate.

Mr A has explained to me that most furniture is made of presswood these days because it is cheaper to ship. I adore real wood. I am disappointed by furniture that has wood face, but the back is that weird stuff that is hollow.

When I was looking for TR's crib, I realized that much of the stuff at stores like Babies R Us and Baby Depot was the stuff with a wood face and presswood body. I know babies have made it but if you shake it, it just rattles. I spent quite a while investigating cribs and realized I had to go to the boutique shops to get real furniture. I ended up getting a round crib which I love.

This is why Mr A and I need to be rich. When I consider a home purchase, I consider items like furniture. I don't think it all needs to happen immediately but I can't afford the house if I can't afford the matching furniture.

I can't fathom spending hundreds of thousands on a home and then furnishing it with furniture that arrives flat in a box and that has to be to put together. I want heavy stuff, real wood, stuff that complements the character of the architecture.

I'd feel cheated paying for laminate flooring that was advertised as hardwood. If this lady on HGTV didn't know the difference I wonder if others don't either. Even our apt has real hardwood floors, so I wouldn't want less in the spot I'm carrying total burden for.

I need a older home or I need to have enough cash to build my own.

I guess what I wonder is do people not expect real wood, do they not care, or do they not know. It seems to me the cost for a lot of the fake stuff is not much lower than the real stuff, so it seems like people don't know.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Planning

This planning is going pretty well.

Meal Planning: On Saturday I picked up the items I needed for this weeks menu. I still need to refine my plan so that I use all the veggies I buy. This weeks menu had items like curry coconut chicken, cumin chicken, burritos, snappy cajun shrimp, (one of Fergie's recipes) and pork chops.

On Sunday I was pondering the sparkling white grape juice I purchased a few weeks ago. I asked Mr A what would go well with it and he suggested shrimp. I didn't want
to do the bell peppers and I had a taste for coconut so I found a recipe for coconut curry shrimp with apples. It was very tasty and happened to require stuff I had purchased for my other meals. Stuff like cilantro, which I usually only use once and have to figure out what else to do with it and end up throwing a bunch away. Mr A mixes it with avocado and it makes an amazing dip.

When I am done refining my meal plans, I will have the shopping list prepared by week and make use of all ingredients. I am pleased with my mission to domesticate myself.

Getaway planning
I was looking at the post I did on goals. One of them was a weekend getaway to wine country. I didn't even connect that I had written it down and did it. My cousin offered us use of her time share a couple of years ago. At Christmas Mr A asked her and she made the arrangement the next day. She lives in Oakland and makes regular trips to the valley to relax. I guess she purchased a huge chunk of time because she let us use an extended weekend free of charge and she spent a few days there before we went.

That was a really great weekend. TR got to spend time with her granny and Mr A and I got to taste lots of wine, eat and enjoy.

My other goal was a get away to Vegas. Mr A and I originally thought we were going for a wedding during Valentine weekend but that turned out to be just a couples trip. I guess its just me, but if a man I wasn't married to tried to take me to Vegas I'd be expecting a proposal and a wedding. Once we learned it was not a wedding we decided to stay home.

This weekend Mr A's cousin called and told us to be in Vegas in February. Mr A told him if it was a family event we could make it. His cousin informed him he was getting married. So our Vegas trip has landed in our lap.

Moving

I've been keeping my eye open for places to move. Things have gotten a lot cheaper since we moved here in 2006. One of our neighbors moved and her 1bd/1bth is being rented at $1200. Another neighbor that moved into the adjacent one bedroom/1bth a month or so after us is paying @$1500. The neighbors (actually me) are writing a letter requesting a deduction.

We adore and enjoy our neighborhood, I love our unit which is a large split wing but we decided to rent so we wouldn't be stuck when prices fell and so we could move cities easily. Now that prices have fallen we have to make some choices.

We really don't want to move. We had decided to keep the apt. if we bought in Oakland. I don't want to pack all the stuff we accumulated. Mr A doesn't want to move all the stuff we've accumulated. We moved in with just the bedroom set and some dishes and now we acquired so much that I've been getting rid of stuff.

Both of us do our best to give everything away when we move. I like starting over but we've acquired some stuff that we like.

Now that we have TR I have an entirely new set of requirements for where we live. Random stuff like the positioning of windows and the distance the kids room will be from us.

It turned out warm today, I think TR and I might hit a baby class tomorrow if its still nice. I'm looking forward to summer so we can teach her to swim. She loves the adult bath tub, so I'm sure she will have a blast in the pool.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Not that type of mother

I had assured myself that I would not become the mother that thought I had to send my child to private school or move around the world trying to get into certain school districts.

If my grandmother could receive a good education in a one-room school house in Oklahoma, with 8 grades, than what's up that my kids could not learn in a classroom with 20 kids. My grandmother was able to help my brother do high school alegebra, she had excellent handwriting, spoke great English and wrote it well. She knew history, geography and had a breadth of knowledge of many disciplines.

I don't know the answer to that but I have been investigating schools and its causing me a bit of stress. I feel like I should have started looking years ago.

There is an all girl school that we are going to check out. My cousin went there and I'm still amazed by the wonderful exposure she had. The school is currently about $30k a year, plus activity fees, etc. I'm sure by the time TR gets to 7th grade it will be more. We could end up spending upwards of $200k to educate one child. Can you see why I am stressed? I want to be able to offer such an opportunity to all my kids and I want quite a few kids.

Mr A is a veteran, so like me TR can go to college free unless the fed'l gov't goes broke or something. I think free college gives us a little leeway in funding a pricey primary education.

I need to figure out how I turned into that mother. I'll probably call my mother and ask her opinion. The other reason I don't want to be that mother is because al the children of those type of parents seem to graduate high school and not live up to the grand potential the parents seemed to think they possessed.

I want to be the "do your best" type of parent. I want to encourage my kids to reach their personal potential. I want them to feel education is about gaining a personal benefit.

My other option is to find or build a home school network. My cousin told me about how some parents are getting together hiring skilled teachers and developing programs that provide great exposure to the kids.

I'm opposed to how schools now teach to tests. There is so much missing from education these days because districts and schools are punished when curriculum isn't tailored to the test. I'd be a bored kid if I had to spend a school day doing nothing but math and reading/writing.

I hope this makes sense. I don't feel like rereading.

Not that type of mother

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things and Other things

Book Club

I followed the advice of S-30 for organizing a book club and we will have our first meeting next month. I'm super excited. Mr A and I spent our weekend vineyard hopping in wine country and I picked up a Muscat to serve at the book club. I don't really drink wine but Muscat is a desert wine and its very tasty. Hopefully the group will enjoy it. I also learned to pronounce Gewurztraminer and say the nickname. The vintner said people often call it Ger-vert.

Mommy friends

Last week, the A family went to the park and I saw a cute little girl in pink and green. We don't usually see black mommies and babies at the park, so I was excited. Its usually only TR and one babygirl that comes with her nanny. When I saw this baby dressed in pink and green, and her mommy dressed like she cared, I was excited. It's very easy to turn into the SAHM who looks like a SAHM. I struggle with this myself. I was moving slow talking to the woman and Mr A knowing I look for such mommies, sorta got to the point of it. He said he'd been ready to leave the park long before that but was giving us the opportunity to chat. Anyway I got her contact info and invited her to the book club. This mommy recently moved to our neighborhood. Her hubby's job transferred him to L.A. She's actually from the Bay and my age so we have friends in common.

Mr A said if that had been a man, and they discovered a common interest they would have exchanged contact info in a few moments. I guess this is why our cookouts are well attended by the neighborhood men. The men aren't slow about befriending each other.

Anniversary

MLK holiday weekend marks the 5 year anniversary of Mr A and I meeting. I liked his character and strength when I first met him. I knew he was worthy of my trust. My first impressions were right on, only he turned out better for me and to me than I could know. At 2 1/2 years of marriage, we've only just begun. We're still newlyweds. I look forward to spending my eternity with him. I enjoy and love him even when he gets on my nerves.

I thinks its pretty cool that I can look and mark the events that have directed my life, my life with Mr A and leading to TR. Meeting Mr A changed my world. A spur of the moment ski trip to Tahoe changed my life for the good.

I think our paths were destined to cross. We kept just missing each other. It was just a matter of timing. We met at a time that was right for the both of us. We didn't have to make the time right, it was right.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

When do we learn?

It's odd to me that people are surprised that Dellums is a horrible, do nothing mayor. He was the same type of Congressperson. I remember being at a party and educated older people said a prayer that Dellums win. I had worked on the other guys campaign and did not join that prayer. How did they forget what a terrible job he did to the Bay Area during his first reign.

the below was written June 2006. link

Oakland/ Detroit | # | Love, Real Life — call2arms @ 4:06 pm
We may have a new black mayor. I am hopeful this is not so. If it is so, we will become like Detroit, perhaps New Orleans. Crooked congressperson and crooked mayor. What is a city to do with local, state and federal, crooks?

His blackness is not the problem. But the history of black leadership in Oakland makes me suspect that we will be victims of decline, neglect, declining property values, skyrocketing crime and theft of public funds for the reasonable near future. His past performance as a Congressman makes me know he will be awful.

There is going to be much corruption, I’ll have plenty to blog about.

The regentrification of Oakland was unsuccessful. The middle class blacks left for a lower cost of living, but we were left with the poor, who apparently can survive anywhere. I guess Section 8 subsidies make the difference.

But its the poor who always get forgotten especially when we have leadership that only focuses on the finances of self and a few friends. At least when we have leadership that works to develop the area, and steal a little, there is economic growth and the fall out benefits everyone including the poor.

Once they start stealing, we’ll see cuts to services. The poor use and need those services most. Here we go again, decline and poverty for at least 4 years

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Domestic Diva

One morning my mother and I were out and about. We had to stop back by home for a brief moment. She told me she would be in and out and I told her I would just wait in the car. I needed to change TR so I went inside. When I was done changing the baby and powedering my own nose, I walked into the kitchen to find my mother seasoning meat for dinner.

My jaw dropped because our brief stop home turneed into a bit more. I called Mr A and in shock gave him the details about a brief stop home and asked him to guess the rest. He got the answer on the first try. I asked him how he knew and he said 'because your mom is a domestic diva'.

Well, I'm diva in training. I think wifedom and mommyhood are enhanced when women have that love of things domestic. I grew up never washing a dish or turning the dishwasher on. Never sweeping, mopping or cleaning. I did dust and polish furniture at my grandmothers. We didn't have chores. My mother stayed at home, and she took care of our home well. She's an over achiever in eveything she does. My sister became very domestic but I just enjoyed the fruits of other folks domestic labor. When I lived alone I had a housekeeper who had her own key. I ate dinner at my mothers.

I think I got taken care of because I was the youngest. My brother used to keep my stuff organized so I really had nothing to do but play.

I've developed my own domestic training institute. I've created our breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack menu for the next 7 weeks. Dinner doesn't repeat for those 7 weeks. When I moved in with Mr A, he found us a housekeeper. She was fantastic. Since we moved, we have not been able to find one who doesn't come with a list of what they won't do. Plus even though our apt is smaller than his house was, the people want to charge more because of the area we live in. I think we paid $100 to get the entire house, plus laundry. Here its like $50 per room.

Cleaning is a part of being domestic and I want my baby to have the same nice environment I had. I might ask our neighbor about her housekeeper. In Mr A's eyes, arranging for a housekeeper is also domestic.

Anyway, I read the blog fullbellies and we will be attempting to make butter soon. I say we because we will all have to shake the jar. I'll even let TR have a turn. She can roll it around in her play pen.

I do enjoy the feeling I have when I take care of my familly and home, so my training academy should go well.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

For Your Love

Mr A likes my hair long, so I keep it long. I do plan to cut it in a few years. I think long hair is for younger women. I want to embrace my advancing years and look good in them. I think 30 is a time to have fashions that sizzle and announce that you are in your 30's and living them well.

Mr A is opposed to fake hair. He doesn't like hair weaves, extensions, wigs, etc. Fortunately for him I haven't worn fake hair in years and more years. If I braid my hair, I braid the hair that grows on my head. He thinks fake hair signifies the fakeness of the person. I think fake hair on women is about fashion but I can see why a man might think that. I'd question a man with a toupe or fake mustache.

I like my man clean cut, but everynow and again I ask Mr. A to let his hair grow a bit. He does and gets it shaped. Then I like to see him with a fresh hair cut. I love that too. I have a photo of him the day we met and he was wearing his hair a little longer. Not long as in long enough to braid but long as in, you can't see the scalp.

I think its pretty cool to consider someone enough that you want to look good for them and have someone who consider you enough that they want to look good for you.

In other things I've picked up some holiday weight. When I told Mr A I was fat he told me that I was not and that I looked good.

A little bit after that conversation I saw a woman who had an almost 2 year old. I saw her early last year and she was a bit more plump. When I saw her that night she was so thin I was frightened. Mr A said she was skinny in high school. Anyway I want to be trim not skinny and thanks to that visual I will know when to stop with the weight loss.

It's nice that Mr A loves me regardless of size but I don't want to fat or thick, or skinny. I just want to stick with my atheletic yet juicy build. I have to get to work. I want to look good when I'm on the parent committee at TR and my future childrens' high school.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Money

I like money but I enjoy my work not because of the potential cash prizes but because I'm a defender by nature. People do dumb stuff but I don't often think they should suffer a lifetime of penalty for it by someone with a cruel cold heart. It's bad to have a person do you wrong but its a different type of feeling when an entity is behind the wrong. It can make a person feel more defenseless. I think its like having a baby sitter beat you while your parents are gone. You were led to believe you could trust, you let your guard down and were abused.

A few days ago the b.art po.lice shot and killed a 23 year old man. The 23 year old was on his back with 3 officers on top of him. http://www.ktvu.com/video/18406962/index.html This clip is super sad, don't watch if you aren't a soldier. I've been in front of a victim as he was chased by a man with a big black and aimed oozy, I've seen folks shot but that wasn't like seeing someone being held down and shot by(hey I'm from east oak.land and these incidents happened on my way to church where I ran into laid on the ground and called the police and then played the drums and sang in the choir) cops.

These kids were fighting at B.Art, which they should not have done but it was a fist fight. The fight was over and all were down.

The action of this single officer just breaks my heart and such behavior is why I do the work that I do. If you watch the video you can tell the officer had no cause to fear for his safety. The abuses people suffer at the hands of groups we should be able to trust is frightening.

Last summer I handled a criminal case and as we got into it we discovered the police were engaging in illegal activity.

This above scene is what I envisioned when I considered my clients having their homes raided by countless police because of some crooked cops. Imagine hearing the boom of your door being battered open and men yelling and running inside, guns drawn. All you see are guns. You will be nervous and your nervous reaction could get you killed. My client told me how 3 different officers were yelling 3 different sets of instructions at the SAME time.

LAY DOWN, HANDS UP, DON'T MOVE, AGAINST THE WALL, SPREAD YOUR LEGS, BE STILL, HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD ............

The police report says my client tried to run into the kitchen but he was most likely flailing about in confusion.

One of my cases has been getting some press and in Oct some person called me to complain about b.art police. I didn't have the resources to handle the matter but I wonder what would have happened if the those b.art officers had known the department was under scrutiny.

Heck what would that officer have done had he known he was being filmed. Darn, idiot!

I know an officer who was a part of a raid. He said the city police found drug paraphenilia but because they wanted to charge the guy with intent to sell, they threw it away. His dilemna is if he tells he can't ever need back up because they won't come. He said he won't lie under oath so if it goes to trial he is in trouble.

I'm more afraid of the police than I am of the criminals. I have given this advice before but if the police get you, get your lawyer involved before talking. Ask for a public defender. I have no advice for when they gang on you. Try to be still and don't try to explain anything. They are scared, some have other stuff going on and a lot of them want to utilize their license to kill.

An-ty-way I'm sad and might go laydown.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Goals

My goal is to be more organized in business. I am super slow to do the tedious stuff like sending mail but the tedious stuff is necessary.

My next settlement I will hire an assistant. I've had one before, a college student, and I was able to email her work and she would do the stuff I didn't like.

I have been successful at not procrastinating but there is something about a deadline that gets my blood pumping and makes me enthused to work.

Hold grudges openly. Why should I pretend or work to get past stuff. I don't have to be mean and nasty but I don't have to be cordial.

Stop trying to budget. I tried to write the numbers down but that isn't the way for me. I'll just save a percentage, pay all expenses, use the rest how I want. What's the point of saving up for an item if we can buy it. I won't buy it to our detriment but why save up for stuff just to say I did. Our money doesn't come in installments like salaried people and so budgeting like they do is useless.

Write in TR's journal at least once a month, say the 18th. I've been slacking.

Don't get comfortable, always want more. I can't achieve if I get satisfied, I need to want more.

Call my loved ones more often.

Check my voicemail and return calls each day.

Be boldly nosey.

Be bold.

Enjoy TR because she is growing more independent by the day. Her infancy is more than 1/2 over. I might be absent from the blog because I'm playing with my daughter.

Make sure Mr A knows, without my telling him, that he is appreciated at least once a week.

Pay attention to the person I'm talking to on the phone.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy HAPPY

Mr and I are at our New Year Eve destination. We are about a quarter tank of gas from L.A. but the home is lovely. TR was invited and most everyone here has their youngun in tow. TR is out of town with my mom. I'm sure she would enjoy this party. There is an almost 12 month old here but she almost took TR down last time they played together. TR was 3 or 4 months then and the other baby was about 7 months. TR moves around better so they might be able to intereact.
I"m already sleepy. We are spending the night here but I don't want to poop the party by turning in early. Mr A and I made gumbo so that is on for tomorrow. Have a blessed 2009 and be safe.