Bloggers Block and Whitney Houston

Lately I’ve been busy and unable to blog as much as I’d preferred. Actually, that’s not true. I just fibbed. I’ve not been any more busy than I normally am, and in fact some truly amazing, mind-boggling, (frightfully) wonderful, socially relevant, blog-worthy things have been happening in my life, the world and the lives of those around me. I’m certain I’ll be inspired to write about those things soon, but of late, I haven’t been moved to write, or at least write something new.

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I realized today that I’m experiencing a bit of self-inflicted bloggers block. As thoughtful, inspiring and up-with-the-times as I try to be, often letting my personal commentary speak about my life personally and shedding light on public matters, I looked around the world, this country, my state of Alabama, even my own life and decided I didn’t want to talk about any of the things going on. Sometimes I just don’t feel like keeping up with the times in a way possibly expected. As a blogger, I’ve got to convince myself that that’s okay. Sometimes it’s okay to simply share what’s on my heart, whether it’s in line with things going on socially, legally, personally, politically or not. It’s okay not to be deep, inspiring, encouraging, transparent, practical or even sensible. Sometimes it’s good just to write. So I am.


What does that have to do with Whitney Houston? Glad you asked. I miss the music and inspiration of Whitney Houston. As a soon-to-be 43-year-old I now get how the droves of Elvis Presley fans fondly remember Elvis and all his imperfect glory through life and death. I get now, how my mother took it so extremely hard the day Marvin Gaye died as we were preparing to head off to school, and how the sweet scent of her White Diamond perfume lingered in my nose all day as I remembered her crying up against the chest of drawers at the sound of WATV’s Shelley the Playboy saying Marvin had been murdered. I get how the loyal allegiance of fans of Pac or Biggie remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard of the untimely and tragic passings of their musical icons. I get how some humans (healthily) affix their affections to those they’ve never known, but whose star power helped shine light on their lives, even in the midst of their utter humanity, and how, during the time leading to the anniversary of their passing that rollercoaster of emotions is revived again. I’m not speaking of the wacky, fanatical men and women who take their appreciation for a another’s gifts far too far. I speak of those who simply appreciate the impact a person’s life has had on their own life through a television, a movie screen, a booming system, on a field, from a ball court, a stage or in an upstairs room shared by a younger sister in Birmingham’s West End Manor as the sounds of I Wanna Dance With Somebody blast from a mini-boom box set to WENN-FM and being recorded simultaneously by a blossoming teen with a love for love, lipgloss, Member’s Only and neon. For me, Whitney Houston is that one.

Whitney Houston

This year, making the anniversary of Whitney Houston’s February 11th death even more poignant is the tragedy recently occurred in the life of her only daughter Bobbi Kristina. It feels like this year, similar to years I’ve lost personal loved ones, I’ve been made even more aware of the beauty of life, the often overbearing pressures of life and the fact that life makes no promises. I’ve been contemplating things like the importance of family (blood or otherwise), understanding the struggles of others, truly living, getting my business in order, celebrating people while they’re present, knowing when to operate in respect of the lives and privacy of others, and simply not being mean. No, those things don’t have anything to do with what might appear to be more newsworthy and pressing matters in the world around us, but they matter, at least to me. #RIPWhitney



One of These Legs is Not Like the Other One

Sunday, September 14, 2014 was a revelatory day for me. While enjoying the fun and food at Birmingham, Alabama’s Trucks by the Track I was reminded by my sister that my bra on the left side was showing over my black and white striped sundress. This dress, in particular, has always been one of my favorites as it’s fashionable and flowly all in one. It’s the perfect frock for a food truck fest. The problem is, regardless of when I wear it and what I wear it with my bra on the left side always seems to inch up to be seen. I’m a lady, in the truest, southern-sense of the word so I don’t delight in having my “secrets” by Victoria or Delta Burke (Google it) seen. Having had that particular maxi-dress in my wardrobe a few years I’ve attempted to overcome the undergarment issue by adjusting the straps all the way to the end. Still, within a few minutes of wearing it, even if I put a jacket on top, I am challenged by an unwanted game of peek-a-boo bra.


Not that this dress is the only one who has given me a run for my money. There have been others, including a beautiful white sundress purchased at the Ross Dress for Less in Destin, Florida that caused me to sew the left side up so that the adjustable strap wouldn’t move. I eventually got rid of it. Never did it occur to me that the placement on the left side strap of a lot of things I own(ed) had to be adjusted higher or tighter than the right, or that my left pant leg would often get caught in my pump, or that my left heel would seldom slip out of my shoe…for most of my life. So, while standing there with a fresh, hot Hooked fish and chips basket in my hand I made a bold declaration, “One of my legs is longer than the other.” As if they had been waiting to hear me say that, my mama nodded with a look of agreement only a loving mother offer and my sister blurted out (as only she could), “And I know which one it is too. It’s that left one that’s shorter. Uuuhhhmmm, that’s the one.”

And just like that my 40+ years of standing tall and proud (not always proud, but now super proud) as a 5 foot 9 inch woman was cut short(er). “What the world?!?!?!?”, was my first thought. Then the questions started popping off in my mind and thankfully being answered, as if straight from Heaven, at the same time.

  • You mean to tell me I’m even far less perfect than I already thought? (Yes, you are and God will make sure you don’t ever forget it.)
  • Why hadn’t I known this sooner? (So that it wouldn’t get stuck in your mind and hinder my movement spiritually more than physically.)
  • My left leg is actually a few inches shorter? (Yes, it is. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s quite common. Plus it matters not and won’t hinder your motion.)
  • What would a shorter left leg mean for me? (It will mean what it’s meant all of these years…absolutely nothing, other than beefing up your sewing skills when needed, and monitoring your “southern girl switching” when necessary.)
  • What would the world think? (They’d think what they have always thought, or likely wouldn’t be thinking of you at all, boo.)
  • How would I go on? (Just like I have all along one leg at a time. Now get to steppin’!!!)


The moral of this message is: You can still keep it moving, even if things come up short.



Things I Miss

There was a trend going on called “I’m So” where people share memories of people, places or things familiar to their city, neighborhood or school. I must say, I was tickled pink reading and reminiscing on memories of old. It reminded me of this post originally posted some time ago. Today, in honor of #TBT and to go with my #bloglikecrazy theme of Making Memories I’ve remixed this post again. What are your favorite memories?


Riding into work recently I took a mental trip down memory lane compliments of Pandora. The music of old made me think of people, places and things I’d enjoyed in the past. It made me realize just how much our past really shapes who we become.


I Miss…

  • Quincy’s Yeast Rolls from the Midfield Quincy’s down from the Cobb Midfield Six Theater and across from Wendy’s
  • Baskin Robbins in Birmingham
  • The Alabama State Fair at Fairpark
  • Practicing for my Easter speech at Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church (where we also listed to Shirley Murdock’s “As We Lay” on the church van just before going to visit the elderly)
  • Palmetto Jeans from Parisian and ribbons from Hancock Fabric in Five Points West
  • Sundays in my overalls with one strap down at George Ward Park (before the fights and killings, of course)
  • Giggling (and being scared at the same time) because I knew what B.A.Q. meant
  • Pulling the cardboard box out of the middle of the street when cars came by interrupting a serious breakdance street session
  • Learning how to drive in Arrington Middle School’s parking lot
  • Waiting on “Batman” to ride down the street in his car
  • Ice Cream from the Ice Cream man that only costs $.50, and rode by just before the mosquito spray man
  • Gas that was under $1
  • Three-piece, plastic, birthstone jewelry sets from Woolworth in Western Hills Mall
  • Size 2 (and her cousin Size 0)
  • MTV when the “M” actually stood for music and Duran Duran was in heavy rotation
  • Having friends in West End (where I lived) and Homewood (where I went to school)
  • Having a serious crush on Cosmo Flex
  • Going to the teen dance at Showbiz
  • Going to Piggly Wiggly off of Jefferson Ave (just down from the African American golf course)
  • ANYTHING from Marsh Bakery
  • First day of school outfits from Parisian, JC Penney’s, New Ideal, The Pants Store or Yielding matched with Bass, Mootsie Tootsie or Sam & Libby shoes
  • Parties at the LR Hall, Highlands Racket Club, Masonic Temple, Rime Garden Inn or anywhere else people would let wild teenagers go
  • GIORGIOcotillions
  • Free movies at the Cobb Midfield Six Theater (minus the people fighting, or the occasional boyfriend drama)
  • Walking to get my hair straightened from 19th Street to 18th Place with Royal Crown, enjoying a “burnt” bologna sandwich or biscuits with Alaga Syrup when I arrived
  • Riding in the back of my family’s green station wagon, passing women on Birmingham’s 4th Avenue and getting a valuable lesson in life on how not to end up a “woman of the night”
  • Magic City Classics when everyone wore leather, pleather and fur and my bestie and I walked the entire game
  • The Flintstones and The Jetsons in heavy rotation
  • Cassette Tapes and answering machines with my “sultry voice” and music from the Quiet Storm in the background
  • Saturdays at the Five Points or Bessemer Flea Market, Sundays at Fair Park and summers at City Stages or The Southern Heritage Festival
  • Having a “boyfriend” in KTU (for all of one month mind you) and thinking I was something
  • Sick days out of school when I wasn’t actually sick
  • Soap Operas when Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless and All My Children were about as bad as television would get
  • Shelly the Playboy, Tall Paul and anybody from WENN, and hearing “Go to Churrrrccchhhh” on Sundays on WATV
  • Skipping school to go to Magnolia’s for a brownie or Subway on Southside for a meatball sub then coming back to eat in Ramsay’s courtyard
  • Boys who actually dressed up to impress girls because the girls demanded it


Not at all ungrateful for the present or lacking in hope for the future, sometimes a gentle reminder of good things from the past proves to be just the boost needed. One thing I’ve learned is when you’re on your way somewhere, it’s good to remember the great places you’ve already been knowing that even better days are always on the horizon. Here’s to many more amazing memories!