Monday, December 11, 2006

gettn bizzier and bizzier...
you may notice... my aging and tired eyes forced me to resort to using the larger font for this entry and, most likely, those to come.) the lettering looks so much clumsier, large like this. argh! i hope you'll get used to it. (hell, i hope i can get used to it.) anyway...

few weeks have been as busy as this one promises to be. we're just outta monday and i'm taking a deep breath for tuesday. i think i may have said yes too many times this week because, on top of all of the end-of-the-semester holiday celebratory hubub, my project and social calendars are brimming with appointments. (and even the "social" is more work oriented because so much of being a writer/artist-person has to do with being "social." but anyway… don't get me wrong... busy is good. i just pray this ain't the kind of busy that forms ulcers or inspires hair loss.

a couple of things, though, that you, dear reader, should know about...

Tuesday-Wednesday, December 12-13, 8pm. Hyde Park Theatre (511 W. 43rd) will present seven plays – "What Do You See?," "Jaywalking," "Learning English," "Hippy," "1000 S. Kelly," "Probably Not a Play," and "Tree" – with an excellent cast under the direction of Ken Webster. It's a part of 365 DAYS/365 PLAYS. Background: The acclaimed playwright Suzan-Lori Parks wrote a play a day for an entire year, back in 2002. Now, in 2006, every single one of those plays is going to be staged at various venues all across the U.S.: New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and so on. But Austin is where this yearlong cycle will begin, so get set for 10 weeks of theatre – with short plays of only 10 minutes, perhaps, and longer ones of 20 or more – as only Suzan-Lori Parks can write it.

Thursday, December 14th, 10:30am – noon at BookPeople. former President (and my birthdate mate) Jimmy Carter will be signing his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. you have to purchase a voucher, which also buys you the book at $27+ but it am CERTAIN it's worth it.

Thursday, December 14th, 6pm. CARVER BRANCH FREEDOM BOOK CLUB spirits up Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. Carver Library, 1161 Angelina, 472-8954. Led by Austin Project's own Courtney Morris!!!

Saturday, December 16th (Dinner at 6pm; Readings at 7pm) at The Rhizome Collective, 300 allen street t 5th, austin (78702)
Areyto: a gathering of Caribbean artists featuring readings by Ana Maurine Lara, Carole Metellus, Courtney Morris, Leo Guevara, Rebeca Castellanos. Musical performance by Cuban Hip Hop group Las Krudas.

Delicious Caribbean Menu includes: Dominican (vegetarian) Pastel en Hoja, Haitian Chicken, Cuban Rice and Beans and more!

Cost: $5.00 suggested donation (no one turned away) Donation includes copy of program book with work by featured artists! For more information contact MC Wura: or call 512.448.2429

Sunday, December 17th, SLEEP… Oops! Sorry… that was a mental note.

see you all about town!

Love and Truth,

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Am I really in AUSTIN?!?!
pinch me... i must be dreaming...

first, let me say that i know i need to invest in a digital camera. (donations are accepted.) it's hard to capture all of the goings on without pictorial representations but i will beg/bum/borrow/steal what i can, where i can for you, dear reader; so that your journey with me in this recounting of experiences is as technicolor as possible.

so this past week has been a bit of an out-of-austin experience. or maybe it was an absolutely austin experience. i haven't figured it out yet. but there were moments that made me feel like the landscape was shaping itself into something beautiful and amazing and worth staying for, even despite the horrid heat of spring, summer, fall and part of winter. (yes, i still threaten to move when the mercury rises. it's ritual.)

it started last tuesday when i had the privilege to participate in a "poetry circle" with sekou sundiata and several other completely brilliant members of austin's poetry community. (for pics, see this was the second "stage" i've shared with sekou and again i am changed. the man is doing necessary, amazing activism and artistry that i am blessed that the universe finds me worthy to witness and take part in. the conversation was a part of his work "the 51st dream state" which critically examines the poet's post 911 awakenings as... an american.

on friday, my children and i filed and piled into resistencia bookstore with hoards of other folks to hear poet, activist and all-around bad ass writer ana-maurine lara read from her newly released novel, ERZULIE'S SKIRT. she was accompanied by the drumming of tonya lyles who is amazing by all accounts. it is worth mentioning that the art on the cover of the book was done by a wonderfully talented friend/sister artist, wura.

friday was also the release of the inaugural issue of TORCH. check out to view it. TORCH is the brainchild of super-woman amanda johnston. again, i am blessed to bear witness and be a part.

saturday, international singer/theatre artist helga davis gave a free show at the ut. where else in the world could you experience helga davis FOR FREE?!!?!?! she was spellbinding! BREATH TAKING! adequate words fail me, really, so i will simply direct you to krissy's website for a few pics. (they don't show the performance at all but they capture at least some element of the joy in the evening.) Enjoy...

saturday night was a full exhale, complete with a party at "the treehouse" in imani's honor before she leaves us for singapore shortly (sniff, sniff), followed by plenty of kahlua, erica's birthday and red ruffled panties (don't ask), a limo ride, salsa dancing, reggae, telling the village idiot that he was full of shit and beef bacon from katz's. (sounds like a perfect night, right?) needless to say i spent most of today recovering. i'm just glad i have so many pictures to engage the memories.

that's it for now, y'all. i'm tired. i have a feeling it's going to be a busy week.

Friday, November 17, 2006

for those of you who did not know, I recently got seriously into web design (within the last 6-8 months). and...well... these months and 6 websites later, I am ready to officially proclaim myself a capable web designer. check out my site (uploaded just this morning)... some of the links are still misfiring and not all of the links work yet but it should all be worked out shortly.

my formal business site is at check this one out thoroughly to get to know my services.

my most recent client was (obviously all links work on hers. It's just my own site that I am sleeping on.)

anyway, should you find yourself in need of a capable web designer (or graphic designer in general) give me a shout. and don't hesitate to refer clients as well. (i'm carpe dieming!)

mad love and DEEP THANKS to
AMANDA JOHNSTON for mentoring me as a quasi-programmer!

I guess that's it for now. I am blogging and myspacing so if you want to be friends or keep up socially, I'm there. ( and otherwise, I am designing and writing and writing and designing.

always love,
shia shabazz

"We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting." --Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

it's a great weekend to live in austin!!!

write that one down in your records cuz i'm not sure how many times you'll hear me saying that with such enthusiasm. (okay, that's not true. post-summer... for the 3 weeks it's actually below 90 degrees, i DO, in fact, REALLY like austin.)

for me, things have been quite chaotic. many ups, some downs. the ebb and flow of life, i guess. friends seem to be coming and going but love (close and/or distant) remains. (yes, this is cryptic. no need for specifics this time, lovelies. my purpose here is not to vent or lament.) here is info about a few events happening this weekend. the kids and i are going to make the 2 plays (Insha-Allah). and with sweetiebubu's band mates, jubu and carl, playing in town with maze (feat. frankie beverly, of course), GOTTA go!

finally, a thought... (as posted on my myspaceblog... "if you cannot see the beauty in every person you encounter, don't pity them, pity yourself."

wishing you wealth,

(events not on this list are failures of my head, not my heart. let me know what they are.)

On FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17 at 8:00pm, come to THE PFLUGER PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE (corner of Riverside/Lamar) for a very special performance by ZACH artists!!! ZACH artists will perform 7 mini plays on the bridge (approx. 40 min. in length) The event is FREE and open to the public – bring friends and family! (NO RSVP required) Audience talkback with Pulitzer and Tony Award winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks ("Topdog/Underdog") AFTER-PARTY AT ZACH! Enjoy free food, drinks and live music immediately following the performance at ZACH's Kleberg Theatre. (sent to me from wura ogunji)

maze featuring frankie beverly at the frank erwin center
(nuff said!)

Steve Moore's latest play Kneeling Down at Noon makes a pilgrimage to the truth of Islam--a misunderstood faith. The play runs through NOVEMBER 19, Wednesday-Saturday, 7:30pm, at the Mary Moody Northen Theatre on the St. Edward's University campus, 3001 S. Congress. For more information, call 448-8484. (from the austin chronicle)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

a few pix i stole from mandy's blog...

I never upload photos properly. either they are too large for blogger or they are too small to see anything. so i'm attaching these of the beautiful large group, of my roomies (randall, manda and curtis) at "samiya-miya's" house, and of me posing with LL's "round the way girl" song in my head. let me redirect you to manda-manda's and reggie harris's blogs. they have better postings. again, you might also check my myspace. i have better luck uploading there. there are also many, many photos on snapfish. give me a holler and i'll let you view them if you are interested. read the blog below for details on the trip. more soon...
coffee... check. english muffin... check. memories... check!

my flight left new york's jfk airport at 7:55am yesterday, though i had been up, packing and traveling to the airport since 5am. i landed in austin at 11am, give or take. my mother in her usual excitement and worry, waded through passengers and luggage near the baggage claim, waiting to hear every detail of what she KNEW would be an exciting trip. but i hit the ground running because my job didn't have a sub for me and my son's class had their annual music recital immediately after i picked them up from after-school care. after dinner and homework, i got online long enough to read a few emails then returned a couple of phone calls. by about 11:30pm, (which in real-people time is like 8:30pm, give or take), i knocked out.

i've been crafting my to do list since i got back and getting all of these things done, in this week, will be no small fete. unpack. catch up on the graphic design and film projects that have been impatiently awaiting my return. blog. check for new myspace friends. read random poems from the books i purchased this weekend; cave canem's gathering ground (FINALLY) and the cc 10x10 poetry series, tyehimba jess's leadbelly and afaa michael weaver's multitudes. make a go at compiling the poems for "conversations..." return a few more phonecalls. send emails. FINALLY mail the thank you cards from my birthday celebration. and if there is any time/energy left, wash a few loads of clothes. so i promised myself to keep this entry brief, lasting only as long as this mug of my favorite puerto rican coffee and my buttery (not margariney) whole wheat muffin with blackberry jam.

what i will say about the weekend is that seeing all of the beautiful women and men of cave canem again was beyond beautiful. beyond amazing. beyond inspiring. so, rather than writing anymore narrative about the weekend, or trying to name all of the people, places, spaces, i have attempted a (PARTIAL) list of people, places, spaces i am indebted to and grateful for:

hugo, the towncar driver
sushi, like raw delicious exquisitely crafted poems
my little sister devouring sushi like poems she's never read
reunions of self with selves
dante's cravat and velvet smoking jacket
remika and samiya
the cocoon of samiya's bed and down bedding
cheap chinese food
dave chappelle's block party
central park
cuny, st. mark's, the schomburg and the lgbt center
poets piled in bruised and battered lincolns passing for taxis
fierce cc faculty and fellow readings
poets in parks for pictures
pilfered purple and white perennials
conversations over fried spring rolls and coconut soup in chichi restaurants about the poetics of fucking
mandy's matrix
doug kearney and holly bass in the groove of any beyonce or prince song
chocolate and vanilla ice cream cake
corona longnecks and shots of "fingernail polish remover" (LOL)
japanese kanji symbols
the woman from jersey on the subway
meat patties, fried cheese and casava
the woman afraid of black people in the subway station
the man with the afro and white velcro shoes
reggie harris's resume
natives (the restaurant) and plantains
da riddem of any linton kwesi johnson poem
baraka's pointer finger
tara betts, "sweetie bubus" and multi-linguality
reheated meat patties, fried cheese and casava
hugo, the towncar driver
the man who moved me beyond the security line at jfk
jet blue
my momma for the birthday gift of the airline ticket that took me to nyc

my coffee and muffin are long cold and gone, respectively, which means i spent far more time in this space than intended. i am in search of pictures to accompany the memories so if you have any, send them... PLEASE. you might also check out amanda's blog. (my favorite picture is my black girl pose... standing on the stoop of samiya's apartment while thinking, "sittin'-on-a-busstop-suckin'-on-a-lollipop...") i have my own set from a throw-away camera that (with any luck and consciousness) will be put into the shop, developed and uploaded by week's end. (we'll see... check back.)

enuff for now, m'loves. i am trying to regain my footing from this wonderfully beautiful and complex weekend. wish me luck...

always love,

Monday, October 09, 2006

i'm back though a bit out of sorts...

i haven't written a poem in weeks, maybe months by now. (i wanna be ric williams when i grow up. he writes daily.) my horoscope keeps saying something brilliant is supposed to come outta me sometime soon. (fingers drumming on the table of my mind.) i'm trying to be patient. i am happy about getting back to this space, though. it helps. lately, life has been a reel of wonderful and amazing events that i have had no time to translate. i guess the beautiful inevitability, though, is that i preserve that thing that manages to get lost in the telling. so i move through the days with the knowing of these things in my breath, heart and memory.

my birthday made clear so many wonderful and painful things that age and change always manage to illuminate. but the rays of light shone through in some of the most beautiful spirits i am privileged to know. so my deep, sincere, loving thanks to mommaggievaldeneasarahjathiaclaudiarachelmeregizzyfrancis for bringing and sharing so much of yourselves to the ringing in of my 36th year. and MAD LOVE to firesong for the gift of your hands and the paint that made beautiful faces moreso. i am grateful... i am grateful... (pictures are coming soon.)

our new home (*smile, wipe tear, sniff*) welcomed it's share of guests these past 10 days; in honor of my birthday and because the universe made it so. denea started the propulsion of the revolving door, whipping in and out of austin from houston for my birthday and some sistafriend time. (denea, if you are reading this... we GOTTA make it more than 12 hours next time, girlfriend.) but she's the kinda friend that hours feel like years, so in our case, we feel like we've known each other WAY longer than our meeting at VONA in june. on my actual birthday (October 1st), sweetie bubu arrived just in time to make good things better and turn the flat tire we got on the way back from the airport into an adventure. his visit, this time sunday to wednesday morning, just didn't seem enough time to make up for what's not present the months in between. but i'll take a quick visit over the phone calls any day. so, again, i am grateful. no doubt the quality of our time was great enough to hold me until the next visit. (i'tll have to.) finally, my "bestest" friend since 8th grade (chawa) made her entrance just as bubu left which made bubu's and my departure drier than times prior. "chawa" and i kicked it retro in the 5 days she was here which gave me back pieces of myself that i hadn't realized were lost. she's the friend i went through my first boyfirend and kiss with; debarge and luther; the snatchback/asymmetric hairdo and washington dances. i swear i thought we were the same person until... well... we still lapse into moments of confused identity. (i am she... she is me...)

chawa left on sunday and my world is back to the quiet wonder of what it was. i am FINALLY checking email regularly again and completely and fully (p)re-occupied with my children, my momma and the ever-challenging world of kids at wooten; trying not to be desperate or too needy for all of the people i know here with their own lives to keep them busy (working from home can do that to you); trying not to sit at this computer and work myself into a coma; trying to be present and appreciative of each joint in each finger that clicks each key; trying and trying and so on... and so on...

before i go... i MUST wish a public happy (belated) birthday to my sister, Maisha (September 29th) and my brother, Saleem (September 30th) whose experiences have taken them to georgia and china, respectively. i feel like i have fought for so many years for my actual birthday to be acknowledged (on Oct. 1st, the last in the 3-day shabazz-birthday-palooza) that i realize each year we are not together, how very much i miss them. what i wouldn't have given to have a big cake with all of our names on it. so much love... so little time. shout to the abundance of virgo/libra/scorpios i know who have been/will be celebrating... CHEERS!

always love,

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ramadan Mubarak!
if you have never noticed how much of our lives revolve around what we eat or what we are not eating... fast.

i was sick the first few days of Ramadan so today was my first successful day of fasting. (Allahu-Akbar!) the kids i taught today tried every bit of my patience (could have driven a fasting Muslim to eat) but i made it through with my hunger-breath intact.

my daughter called me 30 minutes before sunset/time to break fast and feared she was too hungry and couldn't make it. she has been beautiful and amazing and so proud of herself. (though only a fraction as proud as i am of her.) so we stayed on the phone until she pushed past the moment. today she made it through her SECOND day of fasting (Al-Humdulillah [sp?]). before we knew it, we were saying a prayer together on the phone--her at her brother's football practice, me at my theatre action project meeting--and broke our fasts over pizza and cheesey goldfish.

i love ramadan. it gives me the time and clarity to fully love moments like these. Allahu Akbar!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

broken wings and pixie dust

so i always thought i'd be the kind of parent who lived in absolute truth with my children. well, obviously protecting them with only age appropriate info. but i mean, no santa claus or Easter rabbity fairy-liciousness (considering we are Muslim), no sand man, boogymen or tooth fairies... until my daughter lost her first tooth. her newly snaggled-toothed smile was too cute not to spend whatever change i could muster on. then her brother some years later, his smile proud and perforated. i've been nickeled and dimed ever sense for the teeth falling into dinner plates and cupped palms; from corn cobs and apples. but last night, when my daughter put one of her last 2 baby teeth under her pillow, her brother, whom i thought was still in the brilliant bliss of childhood tales, whispers, "there is no tooth fairy, hunh mommy? the parents just put the money under the pillow." somewhere not so deep inside, i was kinda sad. somehow his disbelief equated to a loss of some believing part of him. and it would be gone forever.

the next morning, as i shake them into the waking world, my daughter stretches; eases her hand under her pillow to recover the dollar i will surely find later, neglected on a countertop, in a pocket of dirty clothes, crumpled in the bottom of her backpack. her lips purse. "you gave me this." "i don't know what you are talking about," i respond nonchalantly. her brother sits up like her partner in this impromptu interrogation. "mom," her eyes roll into her head as she says, "when we lived in the old apartment, one time i woke up and my tooth was still under my pillow. and i closed my eyes again cuz i didn't want to get up yet and i felt your hand go under my pillow, take my tooth and give me money." they both glare at me, smirks simmering at the corners of their mouths like "we ain't stupid". i threw my hands in the air but admitted to nothing. not to being the tooth fairy. not to the fact that they are older and wiser and no longer believers in my fairy wings and pixie dust.

Friday, September 08, 2006

so i'm writing...

i can't sleep. no reason in particular. (at least not that is present in my mind right now.) just restless. maybe it was the chaos of the day with the kids i teach (which feels a bit more regular now. too many details for my tired hands and heart to type tonight.) maybe it's the surprise of the sleepover happening in my livingroom tonight. the endless giggle of girls crushing on chris brown whom my daughter says she is going to first marry, then divorce so she can marry (for the purposes of this blog) the nameless-faceless boy who sits at the table near hers in the cafeteria at lunchtime. (i fear i have set the wrong example. i try to explain the point of marriage and finding the ONE and lifelong relationships, even though her dad and i didn't have one... but she ain't hearing it. she watches and learns and knows she has options and promises to exercise them, should she have to. astute at nine. i don't think i knew a quarter of what she does, when i was her age. i guess the worries for her and her brother alone can be enough to keep any mother up nights. not to mention the deadlines and rent and writings that aren't happening and a serious lack of dark chocolate. maybe i should just lay down. yes. i'll try that. sleep will come...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

day two: may-day! may-day!

today started with a group of supremely attitudinal 4th and 5th graders; a different group than the ones i had yesterday. (there are 6 groups total. each day we spend 2 sessions with 2 different groups. some we will have once or twice a week. others, 2-3 times.) the first hour (with these kids) was an hour of finger pointing and just plain unruliness. so, instead of playing games and doing activities, i had them write. since you are having a problem with respect, for yourself and others, write 5 things you like about yourself. LOAD GROANS. "okay miss," they plead. "we'll play." (you'd think i'd asked them to lick the floor. at that age, i guess anything would be better than saying what they actually like about themselves, right?) after being FORCED to recite one of the "likes" in a circle, i gave them the excruciating task of picking a classmate's name from a bag and saying one nice thing about the person they chose. DOUBLE GROAN. but after each student said what they liked about the person they picked, i said what i liked about the student as well. but time was up and, by then, we had worked ourselves into something that actually looked productive.

maybe it is because by the 2nd hour, the kids are just too damn tired to be interested but somehow 2nd and 3rd graders were the most challenging. they were my 2nd session of the afternoon. at this age, they aren't quite as manageable as older kids and they aren't as easily captivated as younger kids. i had to actually order one child to a desk to put his head down. several others would talk almost IMMEDIATELY after i tell them to stop. Oy vay!!! i finally gave up and took them to the playground.

i am REALLY going to sit down this weekend and to plan next week's activities. no more white flags for me. (but plenty of PRAYER, man. prayer.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

i'm try-lingual!

today was a complex mix of fun and frustrating futility. it was the first day of my theater action project (TAP) artist's residency and it had very little to do with my well-crafted syllabi. my 4th and 5th graders were cool, save the prebubescent outbursts and clique-ishness. we at least made it through a couple of games which inspired dialogue. the real challenge was my K-1 class where a good 4 or 5 students spoke less english than i do spanish. (for those who know my EXTREMELY limited spanish vocabulary, you KNOW today was painful at times. i am grateful, though, that we did all make attempts which should fair much better by semester's end.) but to add to the chaos, try having 10 interpreters, at once! i am really grateful for their enthusiasm but i needed a nap afterwards. (maybe i'll catch up tomorrow.)

so one little girl and i just ended up staring at each other. each time, some kind of stand off. she said her name before and after i did. (so we ended up saying it over and over again because i was APPARENTLY saying something wrong). she'd say a speedy sentence and I'd repeat it in slow, broken spanglish to try and make sense of it. i kept getting it wrong and it kept getting worse because i couldn't hear the difference between what she was saying and what i had said the first and third times. (cue the 10 interpreters!) i'd roll my R's. i made "la" into "ya." but my last syllable always ended raised. a question. hers ended in emollient giggles. i finally understood what all of those school teachers felt like over the years as they mangled my not-so-common-name through their lips behind Susans and Jennys and Cindys.

anyway... we survived. and i can't wait to see them all again tomorrow once i sort through the crayon bits and uncapped markers (what is left of my supply basket). yep... i can't wait. chaos and all. (God help us!)


Monday, September 04, 2006

one last thing...

...before i go to bed. i have an early start to my day tomorrow so i'll be brief. i am recovering from quite a long weekend of bowling and entertaining and belly dancing. (THANK YOU CAMILLE! i am definitely going to purchase a coin-heavy hip scarf when i can afford it!) plus, there is a mosquito annoying the hell outta me. i'm not sure if my spastic jerk-and-scratch are paranoid fits or real mosquito landings. i guess i'll find out in the morning.) after i get the kids off to school, i am participating in a commercial shoot AND it is my first day teaching in the afternoon. most of the children in my classes will be ESL to my understanding. (¿Cómo se dice, "oh shit!"?) but i am sure (and assured) that we'll all not only survive but be so much wiser because of the experiences to come.

anyway, i am on my way to bed but i had to post these things first. i hope to see you all at flo's show. she's amazing. (for those of you who complain about not hearing about good community performances, etc, now's your chance to support local art(ists).) also, check out d'lo at she's the bald sri lankan pointing at you in the flash features. she's in and out of austin throughout the year, when we are lucky. off tha chain.

good night, loves...

HALF-BREED southern fried Check One
An In shop worked production
Directed by Laurie Carlos
Written by Florinda Bryant
Friday, September 8th, 2006 at 8:00 pm
CAAAS Reception Immediately Following Performance
Friday, September 15th, 2006 at 8:00 pm
ProArts Collective Reception Immediately Following Performance

Additional Performances September 9th, 10th, 16th, & 17th. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays will begin at 8:00 pm. Sunday performances will begin at 2:00 pm.

All performances will be held at The Oscar G. Brockett Theatre (inside the Winship Drama Building on the UT Austin Campus located at 23rd & San Jacinto)

$5 Suggested Donation to Defray Production Costs

This production is part of the Performing Blackness Series sponsored by the Center for African & African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

For more information, call 471-1784 or visit us on-line at

Thursday, August 31, 2006

the weather is changing

yesterday afternoon, when it was still sweltering, unlike this morning's jacket worthy cool, my children and i talked about our days. one of the questions that lingers in my heart from training for my new [artist-in-residence] job is [essentially] "why did you choose this job?" i watch my children drool over the things i report to them that i've learned and want to share with my groups of kids when i am with them. "it's A LOT of fun," i tell them. they look more excited with each detail. "can we come?" "tomorrow," i tell them. my son reports that math is SO easy and that he got a green today so i can calculate that [.50] into his good behavior allowance for the week. my daughter quickly and competitively remembers that she got a green as well. then she remembers...

(maybe someday in her own blog, my daughter will tell you the real names of the girls involved. until then...)

"...oh, so mommy, ally said she wasn't going to be my friend anymore because i gave jen a jolly rancher and not her. then she said if she ever saw kay do something she didn't like, she was gonna beat her to the ground. she thinks because she's bigger than everybody else, she can just be mean and bully people. THEN," (my daughter takes a break to crunch another funyun. "mena and aliyah were talking about starting a prayer club and they asked me to join and then i asked ally if she wanted to join. well, mena says, in a REAL nice way, mommy, that ally can't really join because if any non-Muslims pray with us then our prayers will be unpure." she crunches another funyun. "and then ALLY says, 'i'don't care. i'm going to have my own club anyway. and anyway, do you believe Jesus dies for your sins?' and mena says, 'no,' and ally says, 'well then you can't go to heaven anyway and you are going to h-e-double-hockey-sticks.' then she looks at me and says, 'um, i'm not going to be your friend if you are going to be their friend because they aren't going to heaven." then i ask, "well, sweetie, did you tell her you are a Muslim?" still crunching funyuns, she says, exasperated, "YES, mommy. she KNOWS i'm a Muslim. but aliyah was starting to cry and i got mad and i told the teacher and ally got in BIG trouble." "well, sweetie, you know lots of people believe a lot of things. and that's okay." more exasperated, she throws her hands in the air. "I KNOW! that's why i can be her friend even if she's a Christian. but i knew wasn't going to be her friend anyway. because that's dumb. she was going to not be my friend because i gave jen my jolly rancher." she rolls her eyes and turns to the window. "yeah, that's dumb," my son chimes in shaking his head.

i look at them and remember ally and understand, more clearly in that very moment, why i took the job.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

rush hour (the daily routine)

kiss sleeping faces pressed into my ribs. (stowaways) shake them gently. whisper the time. prod them into the bathroom. zombies. i flip on the light. eyes/bodies wince. want to drag themselves back to covers and dreams. clap hands to enliven limp, swaying limbs. squeeze toothpaste from tubes onto bristles. hug cold body, kiss forehead. clap to recover son sleeping on toilet. wipe sleeping face with warm washcloth; clear crust from corners of sleepy eyes and mouths. come, come now. listen to whines and whimpers of not enough sleep and how her brother is looking at her. raise voice a bit. this is taking too long. remind them of time. they brush. i prepare clothes and overstuffed backpacks. return just in time to defuse angst about who's going faster. it's not a race. i clap twice. remind them to focus. stomps out of bathroom. put clothes on. "remember when we were..." he picks up his gameboy as he talks. focus sweetie. we gotta get outta here. he puts his game down, finds his socks. complains that they are too big. the sock bag is too big and full with orphans so we fold the sock to a perfect fit. by now, she is waiting on the steps like we are taking long. she waits with a snack for her brother and one for herself. i make whole wheat english muffins. half with butter only. half with butter and black raspberry jelly. our favorite. they share a cup of juice and we scramble for the door as i realize the time. we hug, kiss, wish each other a good day. my son combs his hair all the way across the street. (i will later look for the comb for at least a solid 7 minutes before i remember it in his school bag.) they wave a final goodbye. I kiss the wind and they disappear into the school.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

thank God for cell phones!

i dialed his old boston cell number because he said he'd keep it even after their move to china. my youngest brother and his wife (for whom i performed the wedding ceremony last year, if you remember from a previous blog) moved to beijing in late july (early august, maybe). when i heard his voice, a wave of relief and love kept me from saying all of the things i meant to say. i was glad to hear that they landed safely, settled in and were untouched by the storms that ravaged [some parts] of beijing. he laughed and we offered our usual sighs of love and longing for less distance. i suddenly regret all of the drives we didn't take to houston when he lived there and appreciate all of the ones we did.

i last saw him at his going away party in san diego in late june. he sounds well, very well... nearly euphoric in fact, in a way that colors is usual monotonality into various octaves. he tells me the community he lives and works in there doesn't feel much different than his job as a teacher in other parts of this country or the world he'd lived in or visited for internships. (the stints in mexico and the netherlands.) the teachers are from all over the world. (none, save him, are black of course.) ok... rewind... there was one MAJOR difference... the vast difference and pay and respect he enjoys in as a teacher for children of the diplomatic community in china versus his former Teach for America or the boston unified school district teaching positions. there seems very little that he, his wife, or the children they teach, want for. the house they live in is bigger than the two of them need and the house keeper, he says, feels a bit excessive. he says he's been there too short a time, thus far, to accept of reject any of it as it is all still a bit surreal.

he goes on the tell me that beijing has about 3 times the number of people in it, within the same land mass as an overcrowded american city like new york or l.a. twice the number of skyscrapers. an exponetially higher number of bike riders. (he said he circled the shopping mall parking lot for a space to park his bike. REALLY!) and the street vendors... well, i was reminded of trips to tijuana in his telling of it. everything is negotiated/negotiable. people are peddling their wares for whatever they can get. you need a bootleg of maimi vice (yes, the jamie foxx version)? $1! a coach purse? $12! shoes, clothes, watches, purfumes, YOU NAME IT YOU BUY IT CHEAP! as a filmmaker, my political sensibilities want to scold him for even CONSIDERING the purchase of bootleg videos. how am i supposed to survive in an industry where even my family is buying bootleg? but, because television is censored there, they only get 3 channels. (HBO is somehow a lot less interesting with no curse words or partially nude scenes, ya know?) after the first 3 days of "friday the thirteenth" (which apparently is suitable for all audiences at all times of day), how could i blame him?

he finally told me that he also enjoys a bit of celebrity there as a nearly 6 foot tall black man with a large wavy afro. a man recently handed my brother his baby (which would have freaked my brother out) then held up his camera. he and his wife smiled and obliged the man but wondered what international star they might mistake him for. or maybe it was just a marvel to see him walking among them. in some spaces, he says kids smile and point only to have their hands swatted for the disrespect of acknowledging my brother's spectacle. in others, mostly in spaces with jaded by american culture, there are many smiles, secret glances and a quiet reverence for the possibility of celebrity.

i devour each morsel of his new life like popcorn and a bootleg flick. when he runs out of things to say, i update him on my life in this part of america. he likes hearing about the kids and how much they've grown since he saw them last. i really need to send him pictures.

i chop it up with his wife a bit. we laugh lots and agree that shopping helps bridge language barriers and quell homesickness. she has learned more mandarin taxi instructions than my brother has so far and she's proud of that. in the states, he learned spanish faster. (i realize how many languages i take for granted and find myself looking for my "learn spanish" cd. perhaps i will call my haitian friend who forces the french i refuse to speak, out of me. i should be a better equipped global citizen.)

i don't want either of them to stop talking because i realize, as the conversation hems and haws toward its end, how much i miss them. but they are tired and off to be. i am starting my day. we are worlds away. but, thank GOD for cell phones!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I's FREE!!! I's FREE!!!

it's been far too long since i've written here. (anywhere for that matter.) i know this mostly because i have a-thousand-and-one things my hands and eyes are too tired to report at this late hour. so i am certain to short change all of the wonderfully fantastic happenings of the recent past (like "nationals" where i got to hang with old and new friends like rogerandwammoandtracyandgeoffandcharlaandderrickandneosouldiers--who showed up and did the dang thang, along with denver, who won; nyc louder arts; detroit; and miami teams-- and all of my new myspace friends).

the biggest news of the day, which is a week old now (outdated by blog standards) is that i've finally found the right passage to FREEDOM FROM THE CORPORATE STRUCTURE! WooooHoooo! i thought the entire week of my new found freedom would be spent at a slower pace... you know... go back to sleep after i get the kids off to school, wake up when i feel like it, blog, write some more, do some freelance work and... NEVER HAPPENED! apparently, when you's free from "corporate," you's become a slave to a zillion other things. word. and not that i didn't LOVE my old job at that nameless, faceless corporate machine... okay, well i didn't love the job (so liberating to say that now) but i DEFINITELY loved the people. and i am certainly grateful for the many, many the moments that my mind still sucks and dissolves like lemon heads. (i will especially miss the gourmet coffee from the machine, the clunk and churn of the AC and the stench of cigarette smoke, perrenials and fertilizer.) NOT! but seriously, when asked what i am doing now, i lovingly answered that i landed in a job where i can say "mercury's in retrograde" without a heckle in return. kisses in the wind to my old coworkers and friends! until we meet again... at jazzercise... ;-)

i am currently in training for my new job as a teaching artist-in-residence for the theater action project (the other TAP in my life). it really is an amazing group of artists, all committed to creating a better learning experience for kids through art. but how could we not be amazing? we are under the fearless leadership of karen lashelle who hides her cape well. MAD LOVE TO TAP!!! but just when we thought we'd escaped THE MAN... that's a-whole-nother blog...
the other time in my days has already filled up with freelance graphic design work. yes, yes... i am FINALLY open for business. check out my new website for (of course) Groovenbuttafly Design. ( it's amazing because AS SOON AS i made space in my life for them, the jobs came. i am grateful. truly grateful. Allahu Akbar!

simultaneously, among other things, director extraordinaire laurie carlos is back in town to work on flo's "half breed: a southern fried tail (check one)" performance. (full details to come, y'all.) i am shadowing the lovingly fierce omi olomo oshun and performing a few small parts. flo is brilliant, which i already knew, and just to be back in the same universe with sharon (my other beloved mentor) and krissy and jacqueline (my sisters fro the other TAP in my life... the austin project) fills me up. LOTS of work but so much love. so much love.

PS--BIG LOVE to zell who's show i missed because my overheating car made travel this weekend impossible. but i KNOW there is always more to come from him so until the next one...

on the home front, we finally MOVED into a house where my mother, children and i can finally spread out, fart and scratch in our own spaces enough that we won't offend each other. the woman who used to live here is an artist and she painted each room a different color. it really is a lovely space that my mother and i are cultivating beautifully into our new home.

so creatively, i've been spending most of my time designing, less writing, though i did make my submission deadline for the month. (TORCH Magazine y'all! the deadline is August 31st. SUBSCRIBE and SUBMIT!!! i am hoping to come up with some kind of schedule that actually gives me time to get it all in. if any of you have suggestions/advice/wisdom/sayings from your grandmama you'd like to offer, holla. i need it all.

so, i think that's about all i can manage for now. i have to get up early and take my car to the shop, finally get my last name changed on my driver's license and work on one of the 2 design assignments i have currently going. SEE! but at least now i am doing what i'm doing out of SERIOUS love. the beautiful thing is... it all actually pays!


Monday, July 24, 2006

maybe now? if not... when?
may the worriers become warriors

maybe when there are no more trees for shade or hammock
maybe when our skin has finally broiled into cancer under midday sun
maybe when north and south poles vaporize or are bottled and sold for consumption
maybe when more booms go bust and haves become have-nots
(maybe when we realize the haves were have-nots all along)
maybe when all of the deer/dears have been killed and sliced
for supper and wall-mountings
maybe when gas prices put all of the dealerships of the cool gas guzzlers out of business
maybe when hunger becomes something we feel in the belly of our very beings
maybe when mothers again have villages
maybe when “father” presupposes fathering
maybe when more men flourish than flounder
maybe when women matter beyond those moments between life and death
maybe when we regard children as evidences of God
maybe when our arms rest from casting stones
maybe when we feel the pain of our brothers’ wounds
maybe when we become “We”
maybe when we stop taking it easy and making it hard
maybe when war stops being the answer…
(interpersonally, locally, nationally, globally, spiritually, religiously...)

maybe then
we will actually use our lives
and do something


that was inspired by a friend who sent me information (thanks monica!) about the nobelity project and film showing this weekend. if you live in austin, check it out. i am going to the 1:00pm show on july 30th. (you can buy tickets online. previous showings, I am told, sold out quickly.

Finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!! (my father, Naim Shabazz, turns 60 today!) the man who first taught me purpose and love, whether he knows it or not. i love you...

always love,

“The sea is actually made up of drops of water. What you do, where you are, is of significance.” --Desmond Tutu

Monday, July 17, 2006

i have not my hair!
For Nicole, who DIDN’T have a choice

my mother now vacillates between cutting her locks and continuing to let them grow. my children just stare and smile. my hair is an unintentional hit.

Blogger, for some reason, isn't letting me upload to the body of this post so you'll have to click the profile picture to see the new me, sans my usual fro.


the saturday before last, Nicole called me. a few sentences into the conversation, i realized she was sobbing. she explained that she had been on a new, more powerful chemo medication; one they’d hoped would kill the disease in her kidney this time. her new kidney is failing and the chances of getting (yet) another one are bleak for the very near future. so right now, as i understand it, chemo is the only option.

i immediately regretted not returning a message i hadn’t even realized she’d left the night before.

she has handled A LOT over the years of dealing with her condition but THIS, she espouses, is more than she can take. the shedding of her full, natural head of hair had fiercely progressed to falling fist-fulls until her sides were nearly bald. the last few years of growing out her hair while on the lower dosages seemed for naught.

what do you do for someone
when there is nothing you can really do for them?

the only thing i could think to offer, in support, was that i would shave my own head; (at the very least) hoping that she wouldn’t feel like she was alone in this universe, though her world of chemo and kidney disease might imply otherwise.

i told myself that since she didn’t have a choice, neither did i. it was that simple. and with the universe’s infinite wisdom and divine timing, i sent her India.Arie’s latest cut, “i am not my hair” with the promise that i’d drive to Houston soon so that we could discover our newly shorn heads/newly freed selves together. It all seemed so simple in the first moments of encouragement and planning. but mercury and money and… i never made it to Houston.

so, since I couldn’t make it there, i am here… dedicating this time and this space to Nicole who, in the process of fighting this disease, happened upon this new journey of self-discovery. And to the journey that I, myself, discovered in the mix of feelings that happened as a result. my hair, like many, if not most, if not all Black women, has been significant in the conveyance and interpretation of who I am at different stages in my life. What comes through most prominently for me in all of this is that this haircut, for me, is a luxury. it still happened in the realm of a healthy body and the privilege that comes with it.

i keep trying not to parade the point of my buzz to passers-by because the frustratingly beautiful part of it all is that the cut is actually gorgeous. (thank you “gifted queen,” for the pre-cut prayer, and the amazing transformation of my coif.) with a nod and a “thank you,” i try to blindly accept the compliments because it feels cheapening to tell of Nicole’s call and my response with every “why’d you do it?” But for those who are STILL in mourning, longing for the mane they remember me wrestling into bun after bun, or the mass of coils that swelled into soft cotton at every sign of sweat and heat, i assure you… it’s just hair. it will grow back. maybe into a flowering long enough to save and donate as material for wigging. maybe for me to enjoy and appreciate in the push and pull of stylings. who knows? and if it doesn’t... well, i realize now that I am not, and never was, my hair; that i am now, and always have been, my hair.

when i walked into work today, there were plenty of double takes but most people said nothing. so the struggle with my vanity continues as does my commitment to equally understanding the discomfort and joy i feel every time i get a glimpse my reflection. Nicole had no choice so, in my mind, neither did i. it wasn’t brave. it’s just what friends do, right? It doesn’t change who i am. or maybe, in fact, it does.

always love,

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

mercury... i submit!!!

mercury has gone retro(grade) again, y’all, so i will be brief. that coupled with the full moon last night made for loads of dysfunctional behavior. so be merciful and gentle with yourselves; be loving and brief with others. if you take no other advice, my friends, take that. you’ll thank me later.

i wish my kids had had the knowledge of mercury’s retro and all of the shit that happens with energy and the universe that influences discourse. then in those pivotal moments, they could have offered, “mommy and daddy, please don’t fight. mercury’s in retrograde!”

i am grateful for times like Ramadan and retrograde to remind me to acknowledge that there is something greater than me in the universe. (not that waking up isn’t enough.)

for those not in touch with the possibilities/limitations of this time, click the link below. it’s a good thorough laypersons approach to understanding the effects of the merc in retro.

always love,

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I’m baaack… re-entry is a mutha-fu—
shut yo’ mouth!

Yesterday, after flight delay (due to “mechanical issues”) and further flight delay (and all of the prayer that comes with it), i finally landed two and a half hours later than scheduled from my 10 day sojourn. re-entry, from bliss to banality, is a mutha. and, on top of that, not having regular access to email… oy vay! t’was like a glimpse of hell, i tell ya. but i'm sure hell is hotter than the mid-to-upper 70’s of oakland and san fran, which is a far cooler cry from the same perspiration-inspiring temps in austin.

[seriously, though…] the week was nothing short of wonderful. i flew into oakland on monday morning (6/26) and spent most of the day with sweetiebubu, who is still beautiful and amazing. his new work schedule intruded on most of our intentions but we managed to create bliss with every available moment... in conversation, in transit, in every gesture. we caught up with my daddy (who i resemble more now than ever... scary) and stepmother monday night. i hadn't realized how long it had been since i'd seen them; her, still quietly stirring steaming pots; him, still talking politics, breaking only for periodic prepaid legal conference calls and breaking sports news on espn.

tuesday i went by barnes and noble in jack london square to pick up a copy of walter mosley's book, life out of context. (GET IT!) it's a really quick read but IMPERATIVE for those of us perpetually in search of "deeper" meaning. while at jack london, i perused world plus market for a few things for bubu's meeting later that night, then spent the rest of the day preparing VONA.

daddy picked me up early wednesday morning for our commute into the san francisco. on our way to the bay bridge, we picked up a commuter, which is a neat (but kinda scary) system to take advantage of the car pool lane and help save on the bridge’s perpetually rising toll. so, at a designated location, commuters wait for perfect strangers to pull up. they get in (with a “good morning” or less, according to commuter etiquette) and are taken to a central drop-off point across the bay bridge in the city. what a trusting interchange in a non-trusting world. while the experience was really fascinating, our participation made me 10 minutes late. so i was late and disoriented when i arrived to VONA's orientation which was reminiscent of my first cave canem welcome circle. there i finally met VONA director, diem jones (a towering gentle man) and elmaz abinader (whose smiling, disarming eyes feel like home). the room was warm and aglow with anticipation. writers of all disciplines and desires.

our first day of the three-day master's suite series was spent with the coolest man of mystery, walter mosley. he primarily read from a manuscript of his forthcoming book on how to commit yourself to completing that first manuscript draft. the talk inspired writing activities lead by elmaz who invited me into spaces of brilliance i didn't realize i was capable of occupying. after two long and lovingly yet purposefully intense days of work and writing, our effort culminated in a friday night performance that, for me, was completely transformative. like i really had to SHOW UP! all of the groups, ours and those held in the genres from monday, were SERIOUS! i mean, some serious work was created and i felt blessed just to witness it all. it was the kind of experience that happens the way it does as a result of the love and synergy of everyone involved in the process... with ours in particular, from the voices of the "suitemates" to the direction of the final performance (a collaboration mostly between our fearless leader, elmaz, and my group 1 sister, erika, who was [willingly] drafted into the role). it was, by all accounts... amazing. not only my brief but invaluable moments of presence with VONA staff (elizabeth and mai) and faculty (suheir hammad, ruth foreman and willie perdomo), but i found moments of crazy love to my VONA (week 1) master’s suite brethren & sistren…



okay, so in all of this recap i failed to mention that on wednesday after the first VONA workshop, my father invited me to speak to the young adults who routinely/apprehensively drag themselves to the infamous hunter’s point district of san fran for job/life skills work. wednesday’s group of 12 ranged in age from 12 to 17. i am told they choose to come to this space but i can only imagine (by their collectively unenthusiastic slump) that it was more to foray and flirt with adulthood in a protected space than it was for the job skills and life work offered by my dad and the Renaissance administration. in case they hadn’t been told lately—or ever—my talk with them was essentially about the gift of choice. that there were still so many possibilities for them and their lives. that… i know it seems bleak on the dodge and shuffle from base to base, and often like there aren’t many other choices. but that they are brilliant and that their brilliance is one thing no one can ever take it away from them. (you know that one real thing you KNOW is beautiful about yourself. at least you knew it before some hater-spirit in the form of an underloved / underappreciated parent / teacher / sibling / quasi-friend / racist / coach / struggling-child-of-God made you believe otherwise? THAT thing.) i tried to inspire them to get back in touch with that thing. by the end of the class, they seemed, at the very least, engaged... at most, inspired. my prayer is to get back to them sometime soon. i saw so much of myself in that room; walking the line between here and gone forever, wondering whether anyone was listening. i hope they know, i hear their whispers… loud and clear.

on friday immediately following the VONA performance, daddy, the oldest of my 2 younger brothers (malik), his son/my completely adorable nephew khairi and i made the excruciating drive to san diego. there, my “other mother” (malik’s mom/daddy’s 2nd wife… did you get all that?) jameelah hosted a going-away party for our youngest brother, saleem, on saturday, in her gorgeous home. saleem and his wife, beth--who was simultaneously visiting her sister in Arizona--are moving to china on the 27th. (time to find the grant money for travel, y’all!) we got to talk to her via video-chat on my brother’s super snazzy MacBook. (just when i thought i was hip to all of the cool technology…) my younger sister, baheejah, is fully grown and gorgeous and managed to commandeer the kitchen which, under her leadership, produced a full spread fit for our departing vegetarian prince and his carnivorous family. this pseudo-reunion gave me a chance to reconnect with family like “niecey,” who i hadn’t seen since somewhere around the summer of my 8th or 9th year when she would tirelessly braid my hair into intricate plaits and/or foiled and bead-tipped cornrows; and friends like robbie who lived next door who i SWEAR i remember most toddling to and fro shoeless with little more than sagging training pants on... until now. (he’s 26 and fully-clothed, i’m happy to report.) i also met other people of their lives like this lovely young sister named sherehe. (thank you, saleem.) her spirit reminds me so much of mine. her artistic experiences nearly mirrored mine. i am so grateful. so grateful.

the party went late into the night on saturday. sunday, while malik took khairi to disneyland, daddy and i surprised my maternal grandparents, nana and grandpa. daddy laughed that neither their address nor phone number had changed in 40 years, since he dated my mother; which, in my mind means that getting lost in this world is never an option. i think i should sew their contact info to the tags of all of my clothes, just in case i get lost again.

it was a bit surreal to get this much, this beautiful a loving experience on the heels of VONA and bubu. daddy and i picked up grandma mary (his mother) and joined my grandparents, my mother’s brother/my uncle kenny and his wife/my aunt tonya for dinner at grandpa’s favorite spot, red lobster. (have you have the seafood feast lately! it’s INSANE!) bellies and hearts full, daddy and i retired to aunt pat’s in prep of our long trek back to the bay.

at some god-forsaken hour, we managed ourselves into the cab of my brother’s pickup and made it back to the bay by noon. bubu and i did our last bits of running around for his son who was also leaving in the morning for the summer trip out east. we all siphoned what we could from our last moments and …

here i am. back in austin, longing for bliss and poems and bubu.

WHEW! that was a lot. i am feeling much better today than yesterday. the depression has subsided a bit more. blood is circulating again. i had lunch with salihah and naim, which was great though they acted nonchalant my return. (i’ll catch up in stories and kisses tonight, i’m sure.)

so i am working toward my october 1st deadline of completing my first draft of my second collection, thanks for elmaz and my VONA group 1. i will likely not make it to the american black film festival later this month unless a philanthropist happens into my life in the next week or so… right… so i am also i am trying to devise my other plan of attack for these screenplays. any suggestions?

Ok, I’m sick of typing. I am grateful that you hung in with me this long, dear reader. Now that this is outta my system, maybe I can get back to shorter more timely blogs. (haven’t I said that before?)

Always love,
Shia SHABAZZ (fa-evah-evah)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

before i get pulled back into my day...

this is me tiptoeing into this entry. trying not to wake my daughter, disturb my mother or make my son aware of the fact that i am actually taking a moment to myself. got no time for fancy coloring and fonts (save the title) or cool linkage so bear with me. i'm just happy to be here.

Allahu-Akbar... God is SO good! so many amazing things going on in my life and in the world, how am i supposed to keep up? i mean, not like i won the lottery (which i don't play anyway) or got nominated for an academy award (at least not yet) or anything. but i feel very present and i am enjoying the highs and lows of living and it is just a blessing. i can't believe it's only been a month--feels like a year--since we were last here. let's see, an update... where do i start?

*inhale* (here we go...)

my time with austin project officially ended (wiping tears from my cheeks)... i wrote 14 poems in the month of april for gibbous moon's "poem-a-day" challenge (a triumph considering that's more than i've written in the last year, give or take)... went to an AMAZING spa party (thank you krissy, camille, wura, analise et al for the serious love and care)... my son scored several touchdowns before their last loss (who cares... they all got the same trophy anyway)... my daughter did her first cheerleading dance in a halftime show (too cute!)... i did a reading at bookwoman... submitted 6 (yes, count 'em 6) screenplays to screenwriting contests... saw anna devere smith at zach scott (inspired!)... mourned one contest rejection so far... submitted a grant proposal... lost 4 pounds... cut my hair down and let it grow back to a twistable fro... accepted a position as co-producer on a film (more on that later)... had a live reading for that screenplay... designed my own fabulous website... gained 4 pounds... saw the roots (slow-heat-exausted-yawn...) and anthony hamilton (yay!) in concert... saw the movie water (a MUST see!)... and saw the oldest of my two younger brothers who was in Houston on business... and not necessarily in that order.


phew! funny thing is, as you can see i have had a million and one blog ideas, just never the time to write them all down. i also started a myspace account (groovenbuttafly, of course) which i have even less time to maintain. but everyone else was doing it and... i can be such a follower sometimes. call it the second-child syndrome.

i'm headed to cali shortly for a bit of bliss with sweetiebubu. i'm actually going to attend the vona voices master suite workshop at the university of san francisco, called The Writer-of-Color and Political Responsibility, with walter mosley and elmaz abinader. how great is that? after that, my prayer is that in july, i'll take the kids to san antonio for a weekend so they'll have something to write about that first week of school. (not that camp and the unforgiving-100-degree heat aren't subject enough.) i also hope to make it to the american black film festival ( in miami. but we'll see. summer is so short. so many things to do, so little time and moolah.


time to bid you adieu. it is saturday and the fact that i have managed any time on the computer is worthy of documenting. my son scoots nearer and nearer, half-playing with a headless bionicle, halfway vying for my attention. my daughter is slowly stretching out of sleep, out from a fetal position on top of my good pillow like a long, lethargic kitten; the braids she begged for spread in all directions above her head like subway train tracks from a main station. i am typing as quickly as my pecking fingers will allow. like getting a last kiss in before your parents come home.

so my beautilicious friends, i want to say i am "back," but i guess we'll see won't we? thank you tasha for the word "parallax." that's my next blog. stay tuned y'all...

GRATEFUL for this moment...

besos y abrazos... (fa evah, evah...)