Tuesday, August 30, 2005

babbling blues

day two and now my daughter is sick. eyes pink. throat soar. body feverish. to her chagrin, to my son's delight, we dragged ourselves to the doctor this morning for eye drops, tyenol, a throat swab to test for strep and the ultimate feel-better meds... stickers! the real prize is that MY head is beginning to congest and my temples are pulsing. i can't wait until my children are old enough to make me some chicken soup. no rest for the weary. (but at least we have cable.)

sick of feeling sick...

Monday, August 29, 2005

red eyes, pink eyes, and the different world

i have been on and off of the phone with my mother, who lives in new orleans, all night. for those worried/wondering, she left for baton rouge on saturday. she is humbled and grateful to be gone but sends (and asks that i/we all send) prayers for those in new orleans who, for whatever reason, couldn't make it out. so, if you are reading this, take a moment with me... right now... and while you're at it, pray for the world, for the days...

i am also adding to my prayers one for blogger "jameri" who was headed to jamaica with her fiance this last saturday to be married. so excuse me while i take another moment...

i am home with my sniffling son whose eyes are only slightly less red than the eye of katrina. he's suffering with pink eye and home from school today. my children are hilarious. i assured my skeptic of a son that the doctor said he didn't need to come in. but he who trusts my mothering skill but questions my judgement in this case, is still begging to go, but i am almost certain it's mostly for the post-visit sticker reward. he finally resolved that the best alternative medicine would be for me to print out shark pictures from the internet for him. not love. not kisses. not chicken soup, cough syrup, candy-tasting throat drops or echinechea, but shark pictures. hmmm...

as much as i want to blog all day, my body longs for the sleep it wasn't able to get last night. i had better catch as many naps as i can today while the raccoon trapped in the attic is sleeping. it's like having a newborn only not cute at all and not worth the hours its nocturnal ass spends interrupting my nightly sleep.

ok, i'm hooked... i'll sleep after this episode of "a different world." i had forgotten how good that show was. right now, freddie is consoling a little orphan boy who, once again, wasn't considered at the adoption fair. I LOVE CABLE! they don't make sitcoms like this anymore.

so, for now, i'm hoping professor randolf and his wife really get to adopt alex, that whitley and duane get together and that some show like this shows up again in my lifetime. fat chance though... it's a different world than when it was on before.

my son if huffing. on to the shark pictures...


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

who do i look like to you?

good question. what does anything look like to anyone? i was recently in an agree-to-disagree conversation with a friend about perception. the following is very rough but it came out so i thought i'd post it since poems are so few and far between for me these days, considering the raccoons et al.

vast rippling waters
or the brilliance of sky
star-speckled azure
or a pastel sheath blooming with bouquets of cotton
the balm of basics
or the ecstatic energy of electric
it is all perception
this blue
like alabama backwater bass
and guttural hum
this blue
like dreams in bedroom eyes
this blue
like salt streaks and tissue lint on cheeks
cuz love done left again
this blue
like dizzying blue whales
blue suede shoes
it is all perception
this blue
what we see
what we get
what we think we have
this beautiful
beautiful blue

we are all in process. the people watching will call our blues the shade of their own perception. gives new thought to the phrase "call it like you see it" right? where is your head when you are looking? do you wear glasses and are you wearing them when you are looking? what color are the lenses? are they shades? rose colored? are your eyes even open? are you color-blind? whatever the answers, my point is that it's all evidence that we are alive and beautiful and thinking, feeling, growing, learning, healing, wonderful beings.

life is succulent in every shade.

Monday, August 22, 2005


i've been gone a minute but now i'm back in it. miles to go 'fore i sleep though. raccoon drama (that's a whole different blog) and i'm still moving into my new digs. consider this my open invitation to you, dear reader, to the "don't-stop-get-it-get-it-up-all-night-til-the-morning-light unpacking party." it's byob so come packin. (LOL)

we survived the first week of school. my children love their teachers (phew!) and are settling in and doing well. my son lost his second tooth of the week yesterday morning and was scared to look under his pillow for the dollar bill and the 2 half dollar coins the tooth fairy (*wink, wink*) left for him. (i imagine the thought of some figment of a lilliputian person sneaking money under your pillow in exchange for your teeth MUST be weird for a six-year-old.) when i handed him the money, he smiled wide, sans the teeth necessary to fill the grin.

so, i have been meaning to write about my recent trip to cali. (august 11-15). it was amazing. there is nothing like cali weather to soothe the beasts that grow in you when you are away from it. my hair always acts right. my skin feels clearer, breathes better. (must be the smog.) my overall disposition is sunnier. ahhh, to be home again!

my flight landed in san diego just after 10pm on thursday (8/11). i went immediately to the rental car company then got on the road to la by 11:30pm. the whole way there, a half of me was thinking, what the heck am i doing? the other half was thinking, “i’m grown” and it was liberating and i was on a mission. find an agent or die trying. well, not die, but you know what i mean…

a terrycloth robe and slipper clad stephanie, groggy but glad to see me, helped me find a parking space on the street near her hollywood apartment. we circled blocks with swarms of other cars to finally squeeze into a spot occupiable only thru 8am that morning as not to interrupt the path for the weekly friday street sweeping.

steph’s the kind of friend every person wishes they had. we settled into her apartment and got right to work, going through the list of agents i would target for representation; steph offering information she knew of this company or that, and simultaneously catching each other up on life since the last time we saw each other. by the time we finally passed out, it was 4am.

later, at more tolerable waking hour of that day, i’d drag myself up to move the car and begin at least a dozen fruitless calls to agencies who don’t accept unsolicited materials. conundrum: how can you try to get representation from an agency who won’t look at your work because… get this… it’s not represented. how does that work? and when i did get the attention of an agency, i didn’t have technology working on my side. i had nowhere to fax or email a submission and none of them were game for my spontaneous drop in. (so i didn’t get to share my wonderfully composed “shia’s shameless self-promotion packet”.) i did make an invaluable connection with a sista who seemed to be doing great things with her own script, despite any hollywood generated roadblocks (shout out to jhyacinthxa [lavender flower] and “trestle glen”… check out
www.blackswanentertainment.com). i also made contact with two of the production companies i am thirsty for and armed, now, with tactical approaches on getting my scripts to the right people. when one of those contacts works out (and i did say when, not if), don’t trip, my lovelies, you will know.

after a long day, a robust ration of steph’s kick ass ground turkey nachos and a much needed nap, i bid my old high school buddy adieu and headed to i-5, southbound for san diego to turn in the car that i would later discover i left my new anthony hamilton cd in. (of course the car company has no idea where it went.) anyway, my mother, auntie “mishero” and uncle ronnie picked me up, greeting me between their usual sibling rebukings and banter; my mother backseat-driving the entire way as we haphazardly found our way through the streets of san diego, back to nana and grandpas longstanding gem on the street of my childhood, jewell drive.

the rest of the weekend was a basking in the love of my maternal family and my grandparents, who only seem to get better with age. they are both slightly shorter than i remember and now don porcelains that soak in buzzing blue cleaning containers overnight than in their mouths. everything else, though, is fully intact, both still fully “well” and gorgeous. still connected, brilliant and intelligent. she’s still charming and graceful. he’s still witty and playful. they are still full of memories and a need to remind us of who we are. they are still magical.

i got to spend time with cousins i hadn’t seen in forever. it’s always interesting to reacquaint ourselves after so many years. all of us are parents now. the children and the younger cousins looked at us like we were our parents. hard to believe i am not in that generation anymore. not only can i sit at the big table but i am helping prepare the space now too. (food preparation in the williams family is reserved for my uncles who take after grandpa, a navy chef extraordinaire! he’s the resident title holder for best hotcakes and sweet potato pie with my uncles kenny and mike following his legendary status quite well. needless to say, at williams gatherings, you can always expect to eat well.!)

i think the most telling moment for me, watching them dance. there was a moment in the celebration where the floor belonged to them. it was an amalgamation reminiscent of swing, salsa, and the chicago strut that was all charles and clarina. fully in sync in a way that i have seen few other marriages these days.

before i left, i took my obligatory seat in the corner next to the same console that i used to smack dead into every time my grandfather chased our before bath naked butts through the house. ("charles... cut it out... someone's going to get hurt, charles," my nana would call after him in her voice that i have never heard above the level of a sternly dignified command. but grandpa never listened and time and time again i'd greet the console, head first.) from their home in the cubby next to the fireplace, i poured the large sack of pictures out around me and revisited my childhood on jewel drive and all of the years of "the before" and "the after" i came. it is interesting how many of the pictures of me then, look like my children now. the next time i go, i am taking salihah and naim. and i have to remind myself to take at least a handful of pictures to add to the swell so they will always know where to come to find themselves, just like i do.

abrazos y besos...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Been tagged by 13....

Five songs I'll always love:
1. a song for you - donny hathaway
2. when you call my name - frank mccomb
3. any luther song
4. diamonds and pearls - prince
5. all in love is fair - stevie wonder
*bonus Whatever, Whatever, Whatever - Jill Scott and Say Yes - Floetry..

Now - what was I doing ....10 years ago:
i was living in corvallis, oregon where the land scape was beautiful but i swear me and my (then) husband increased the black population by at least 20%. i worked for osu. i had written tens of poems but hadn't claimed "poet" at that time. so, i obviously, didn't know who i was then.

5 years ago: i was turning 30 and waking up! still married and had 2 kids by then. (so much changes in 5 years... wow!) i had a three-year-old and a one-year-old. i was overwhelmed. livin' pretty large but, like most corp. folks, creating big debt and unhappy. on one side of life, i had published a book, was on the writers league of texas board of directors, and was running several writing programs and projects/becoming "shia" again. on the other side, selling my daytime soul to my day job and living to pay bills. my marriage lost it's way. i cut my signature, VERY LONG at the time, hair all the way off and wore a fade for the first time ever. SO liberating! i remember that being a very painful/confusing/excitingly scary time because i knew change was going to come. i just wasn't sure when or how. but i knew it was necessary.

1 year ago: separated... moved out. i was empowered but scared. but i LOVED our new living (me and my children). wrote more. realized what was missing... loving ME! realized fun again. became the owner of "writer". oh! by now had written 4 screenplays, produced several short films and developed a gazillion treatments and film ideas. became screenwriter shia. owned the cave canem fellow and widely published poet shia. (shameless self promo) learned to love and nurture both. found passion. kept passion.

Yesterday: felt the pangs of merc in retrograde. tried to get settled into my new apartment but the raccoons wouldn't let me. drama, drama all day long. but i found breath in a bath and the return of my phone service. (what's a girl to do without a phone?)

Today: so far... caught up on my blog reading. managed urgent work issues. listened to thunder. wondered about how my children are. said a prayer for their safety. accepted a lunch date with my girl. sent a headshot to the printer for my L.A. trip tomorrow. got a note that my late time sheet may not get me paid til the 18th. (wha' ha' happent was... mymanagerisonvacationandmynextlevelmanagerwasoutyesterday
toprocess...whew! i hope the rest of the day is better...
ok, before i finished this, they told me i'll get paid on friday... phew! (relief). now i am contemplating neo tonight. i need it.

Tomorrow: make sure all my stuff is together for my cali trip. exhale...

5 snacks I enjoy: dark chocolate, birthday cake, chocolate or yogurt covered pretzels, bon bons, almonds with some kind of salted seasoning or unsalted whole cashews.

5 bands I know the lyrics of most of their songs: stevie wonder, luther vandross, frank mccomb, old school new edition, all michael jackson up thru thriller

5 things I would do with $100,000,000:
1. donate 5% to charity preferably a cause for feeding children, AIDS, and all activists causes relating to black people.
2. whatever my children want and set up account to grow money for them
3. invest for myself
4. buy a home with hardwood floors, aa fire place, a courtyard, maybe a pool, and a custom writing room.
5. plan and pay for vacations for me and my children for the next 10 years

5 locations to run away to: bay area (cali); anywhere caribbean and black; paris; harlem, new york; and canada

5 things I wish I could wear: a bikini (confidently); my bare skin (confidently); a belly ring without being "skerred"; dread locs (some day); and long nails, cuz i like 'em.

5 Movies: momento; mahogany; monsoon wedding; sparkle; and boomarang.

5 biggest joys at the moment: my children; feeling connected to good people and good things which, for me, equals knowing there is a God; writing (any genre, including blogging); good food, good drinks, and good conversation with those aforementioned good people; and love... gotta have love.

5 toys: blog; words; my children; my laptop; and anything in my top bedroom drawer (oops)... ok, i'm kidding... i think...

I tag jameri, kelli, steph, natasha and ... can i tag amanda too?

abrazors y besos... shia
big love to the move crew...
your time/love/support made ALL the difference.
mucho abrazos y besos!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

cable conspiracies and banana bread...

so the whole idea of having cable, i now realize, is not a choice... it's a conspiracy! how about this... in my new apartment, i can't get a single channel! not even the 5 local ones in used to get with rabbit ears. so i have to pay, at the very least $39.95 for access to local channels whether i like it or not! what the...?

on another note, aside from the fact that i must have lost 20 pounds during the move, going up and down stairs, load after load, my move went very well. (i assure you that i have had little trouble gaining every pound back in these last to sedentary days at work, though.) anyhoo, various friends came over to help out when their schedules could manage. the main crew came out on saturday, late day, after the fierceness of texas heat calmed itself a bit. i made a turkey lasagna the night before and fed folks which always goes over well. or maybe it's just that when you work people hard before you feed them, they think your cooking is the best they've ever tasted. either way, folks left exhausted and full. and we devoured my version of patti labelle's best-ever banana bread, which has quickly become a staple of my household. my kids' think i should open a banana bread shop. so hard to admit it isn't my recipe. maybe i'll tell them when they're older. maybe...

it's bananas... b-a-n-a-n-a-s... Oooo... that's my sh... that's my sh...

so unfortunately, we still don't have cable. i ordered direct tv but canceled when i realized that my complex wouldn't allow them to drill a hole to hold the dish. so the only place they could plant the gaudy contraption was on an imposing tripod right in the middle of my stairwell... is there intelligent life in their universe? don't they know i have an 8 year old and a six year old who argue on their journeys up and down those stairs daily? that's an accident waiting to happen.

i hope to be fully moved in before i leave for cali on thursday. but with merc still in retro, i won't count on it.

cuz it's bananas b-a-n-a-n-a-s...

Friday, August 05, 2005

mercury in retrograde...

...and chaos is the word of the day. the phone company switched over my phone service 2 days early so while my new place has phone service, my old place, where I AM STILL LIVING, is phoneless. for those who know me well... what's a girl to do without a phone?

as if that isn't enough, it's raining cats and dogs, thunder storm theatrics and all. i pray it stops before the crew of friends i begged/invited over to help me move arrives. rain and hauling heavy stuff that ain't yours down... then up flights of stairs isn't nutritious OR delicious!

the good thing, that i am SO looking forward to, is being in the new apartment. after 5pm this evening, the kids will have their own floor (the 2nd floor is their room and bathroom) and the rest of the living area, including my room, is downstairs. and i LOVE my 2 accent walls (one RED in the dining area [which falls in my love and relationships bagua] and the one in my bedroom, pale green [which spralls across my skills& knowledge, career, and the other green-empowered bagua] ). yes, yes, i am creating a feng shui environment to promote success by all means necessary, man! so that even when mercury is retro, in my home, i can find peace.

prayer, y'all. prayer and umbrellas...
abrazos y besos,

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

step away from the light

so after long deliberation, i decided when we move into our new apartment this weekend, we are going to finally get… cable. i have been, thus far, committed to keeping my children from over-indulgence and bad habits learned from the smart-mouthed, wise-cracking, too-grown-for-their-own-good kids of disney and nickelodeon tv. don't get it twisted, they have begged for it on a regular basis because, save reading rainbow, between the lions and seinfeld, “regular” tv these days has little to offer children. they finally wore thin the skin on their knees and, over about the last 4 months, they started answering themselves for me. they ask no one in particular as they flip the 5 channels that come in clearly thanks to rabbit ears, "mommy, are we gonna get cable soon?" then, in a mimicking mommy voice, they lament, "not this month, sweetie. maybe before you're a teenager.")

they’ve lost their tolerance for toddler-tuned programming on PBS. in that last hour before bed, I admit what a treat it would be for them to watch a half hour of something THEY choose. (if they can survive the dramas of divorce, they can intellectually persevere over one episode of “that's so raven,” senses fully intact.) so, while i hope we get our money's worth, i hope the time we do spend on the couch, mind-controlled by the tube doesn't stifle the creativity we've found in all of these months without it.

i also asked myself, as i push myself forward into my next screenplay, how can an aspiring screenwriter NOT HAVE CABLE? chalk it up to the economy, being broke and my still relatively new status as head of household, trying to wisely stretch my tiny pay check over the most appropriate bills (like rent, childcare, insurance, utilities, and my monthly massage).

aside from the movies, i recently missed my younger sister on her debut as a contestant on the TLC reality show to find their 3rd member. (brandy has always been the child who takes on adventure and will try anything once. her first week in nyc at nyu, she got signed to do a billboard ad for nike. that's how her universe works. can i be brandy for a day?) anyway, i plan not to miss the rerun of the show. or another season of def poets. i can't front... i am most excited about the return of UPN (been missing "girlfriends") and bravo (inside the actor's studio is "tha bomb!") in my life. hgtv. bet. lifetime. doesn't oprah have her own channel now? documentaries and videos and movies, oh my...!

so if you don't hear from me in more than a week, send over an exorcist to cut to cable cord and tell us to step away from the light. i don't think my new apartment building is built atop a graveyard so the likelihood is that we would have become possessed by the spirits of time warner cable.

Monday, August 01, 2005

i wanna be rich

another week has gone by and i only have one new poem to speak of. so hard to share my writings lately. I think I am still entangled in some bitterness that is all too apparent in my current work. and in that sick way, still trying to protect the guilty, but also not let myself stand too naked or hemorrhage from my still open wounds on my new blog carpet.

on an inspired note… i hit the NeoSoul open mike last wednesday, for the 3rd time. my intention each visit was to come home and write about how kick ass it is but sleep always happens first. (considering it doesn’t let out til ‘round midnight.) it, like most open mikes, has a WIDE range of voices. What I LOVE about this mostly black/people of color weekly event is that it is like a family reunion… you know… all of your family comes together in love and is excited to share the joy, pain and dysfunction of our lives through word. NeoSoldier Love exquisitely described several representations of poets (“type-a-poets”) in a poem. (i want a “cotton picker” shirt.) the usual, charismatic host, brian, took a week off to perform in a montage with the rest of the NeoSouldiers. (off the chain. felt much like interactive theater.) notorious 13 hosted fabulously, threatening to take off her signature headscarf because it was hot up in there! she’s a natural. mahogany (mo) brown, in from the east coast, was the feature. i think i am the only one of most of the poets i know who hadn’t crossed paths with her prior. and to have heard so many great things about her (which she surpassed), i appreciated that she wasn’t just a “persona.” she was all “girlfriend” and completely accessible. a beautiful mix of politics and reality and song. hopefully we can coax her to move here. austin could use her voice among the chorus.

speaking of song, there was also a singer kevin sandbloom, in the house. i don’t think we realized what we really had going in there that night. i bought the (white) brotha’s cd “from a bird” and i haven’t taken it out of my player yet. (ok, not true. but only cuz my player only plays one at a time and only cuz i NEEDED to hear raul midon again. RECOMMENDATION, y’all! he’s an acoustic guitar playing throwback to real music like stevie and donnie. the brotha creates a trumpet accompaniment with his mouth! the brotha is bad! check him out at www.raulmidon.com.)
in his song "State of Mind," he sings...
"i wanna be rich
i wanna be happy
and live
inside a love that shines
bright enough to last a lifetime
i wanna be rich
more than a fantasy
ride the winds and climb
cuz it's all a state of mind..."

BAD i tell ya!

i hope sandbloom, who sang the shit outta sade’s “is it a crime,” croons his way to the kind of visibility his music deserves. (www.kevinsandbloom.com)

so i left that night with all of the merchandise any of the features had to sell. even the brotha whose name escapes m, probably because he bore a striking resemblance (even in mannerisms) to my ex. YIKES! anyway, i hadn’t been going to open mikes for a while but i have been making time for neo. LOVE them.

so this weekend, i spent most of my time packing. oh! i did catch hustle and flo and MAN! it was brilliantly acted. i appreciate craig brewer’s writing and direction of the film but terrance dashon howard unarguably MADE the film. i also bought a wind chime for my new apartment. one of the mahogany and chrome ones with the deeper chime. i wanted the bigger one that sounded more like a gong but i think i’ll get that one later, when my finances can handle the weight of it. i’ve always wanted one; something to listen to at every whisper or gust of wind. it’s gorgeous.

hopefully, from now on, i’ll be more timely. my paternal grandparents’ 60th, yes i said 60th, wedding anniversary is coming up on the 16th. we are having a celebration on the 13th in san diego. i am looking forward to it cuz i haven’t seen them since my children, who are now 6 and 8, were 3 and 5. the experience is sure to write itself into a poem or screenplay. that poem, i would most definitely share.