wear your dream like ice cream

writing to escape futile apathy

My Heroes

Finally our favorite show is coming on T.V tonight! My kid and I have been waiting on the edge of our seats for weeks, it seems for Heroes to return. Boy does this world need some saving!

So I galloped off to Whole Foods for a nice cut of meat. Thank goodness my favorite meat man was there because I had questions on how to prepare dinner.

I knew that I wanted steak. The weather is prefect for firing up the grill.

We decided that a porterhouse steak is best for the time that I have to spend cooking.

What is a porterhouse steak?

The Meat Man:

It is the best of both worlds because you have the tender fillet and succulent strip steak. The bone increases the flavor.

How long does it take to cook it?

MM:

Depends on how long you like to eat your steak. What you are getting here is 1 and 1/2 inch thick steak.

Get your grill hot. You’re going to be cooking it 8 minutes on one side, and 7 minutes on the other.

Don’t forget to season it first, rub it with olive oil and use our Toranto steak rub and then the grill!

ahh I can’t wait

April 23, 2007 Posted by | Chicago, Heroes, meat, Uncategorized, whole foods | Leave a comment

Ann Ponce- Painter

I had a vivid surprise in the waiting room of Illinois Masonic Advocate on Ravenswood in Chicago.

Ann Ponce has her vibrate beach paintings hung there. I  have to say that her website photos don’t do her paintings justice.

Every summer, I miss the ocean and Long Island. For a moment I slipped back in time and experience the most peaceful calm.

nature coursed through my veins

refreshing my soul

I heard waves crashing against rock

the gentle salt breeze

of evening and a private beach 

thank you Ann Ponce for taking me back to a place in my life where I witnessed Purity.

April 23, 2007 Posted by | art, Chicago, culture, Featured artist, hope, new post, peace | Leave a comment

Car Trouble

I love my beamer but sometimes all those BMW codes get the best of my brain. If I didn’t know a reasonable expert with a knack for finding the cheapest way to get me back on the road, I would have lost that car a long time ago.

Let’s see, I found out the hard way that my battery was located in the trunk and didn’t have a cover over it.

I’d just pulled off from the curb when I smelled something burning. At first I thought it was coming from a nearby construction site. As I was looking around for the source- I saw smoke fogging up my rear window.

Irving Park Road is a parking lot during rush hour so there wasn’t a place to pull over. In a panic, I pulled into the middle of the road. Cars were bumper to bumper going east and west around me. 

The oder and smoke coming from my trunk was tremendous.

Okay you have to understand that the BMW is 1994 but it was brand spankin new to me. It is the newest car that I ever owned and I wasn’t about to run off and let her burn!

So I opened the trunk. There I found flames and acid splattering. Inside the trunk, I had a very cool leather coat that I quickly decided I could sacrifice to save my car. The sparks were covered by the coat. From there I opened and poured as many 8oz. bottles of water as it took to put out the fire. It all happened very fast.

A few people held up their cell phones, asking if I wanted them call for help.

I said no thank you.

After the trunk fire was out I jumped in and drove the car straight to work.

My mechanic’s shop is close to my job. Along the way I phoned him. He asked me a bunch of questions and said that he would meet in the parking lot outside my job. 

The car stunk up the entire parking lot.

Turns out that my superfly leather coat had a enormous belt buckle that had touched the battery heads. The mesh metal belt served as a conduit when I turned the ignition.The sparks started the fire. The interior fed the fire.

Luckily the fire was put out before it reached the gas tank which is also in the back.

The car was originally bought from auction and doesn’t have a manual. So I learn when I brake something where it is.

The date will be annouced when I share my BMW mechanic from Dado Motors with the blog world.

   

April 19, 2007 Posted by | auction cars, BMW, BMW mechanic, car trouble, cars, Chicago, culture, preowned luxury vehicles, storytelling | Leave a comment

Butt Wash vs Lifestyle

istock_000000379978_l1.jpgAre you hip? or Are you one of many Americans wearing a few tires around the waistline or should I say waste line!

The average adult human has about 23 feet of small intestine all curled up inside and has a large intestine as long as they are tall. How many burgers with cheese and fried spicy hot wings have entered your mouth this week? Where is that meal sitting now?

If you don’t eat enough raw green salad, fresh apples or what we healthy freaks call LIVE FOOD- don’t expect to see all that junk in the toilet anytime soon!

How much salad have you eaten this week? It is smart to have a large salad everyday. Remember the saying, ‘a apple a day keeps the doctor away’?

amen. Perhaps maybe more than one. Every body is different. Put some effort into learning what is best for yours.  

How much water do you drink? Soda isn’t the same as water! Bottled juice isn’t the same as fresh filtered water either! Add the juice of a half of lemon of or lime, if plain old water ain’t tasty enough for you.  Now don’t go all coo coo and drown yourself like that poor woman from the radio contest. Just drink your 8- 10 glasses a day to start. Make an appointment with a professional.

Most people aren’t drinking any water. Since I’m just suggesting the already recommended amount, I won’t get in any trouble. I would just like to see a world where people start their day with a fresh juiced drink instead of coffee. 

Personally I love the taste of coffee, twice a month I might take a treat of a decaf, mocha americano. I’m not a saint and I’m not pretending to be.

If you are thinking of getting a colonic and you are in Chicago or a planning on visit to Chicago and can’t decide who you can trust from all the ads in Conscious Choice Magazine, there are 3 places I would recommend.

1. Healing Quest Center 312.664.7979 www.healingquestcenter.com

2. Chandler’s Health Emporium 312.225.5353  www.chandlershealth.com

3. Karyn’s Inner Beauty 312.255.1590 www.karynraw.com

These Centers are very clean and the therapist are very knowledgeable.

To prepare for your session and get the most from it

Don’t: eat dairy, or red meat, drink alcohol, or coffee for a week prior

Do: Drink your 8-10 glasses of water per day, eat your dark leafy green salads 

April 14, 2007 Posted by | African American, Chicago, Colonics, health and fitness, how to prepare for colonic, juicing, milk allergies, new post, Sarcoidoisis | Leave a comment

Milk Allergies and Chicago Energy

istock_000000440939_l1.jpgEnergy. Everyone wants it, the cost is doing nothing but going up. Who is in control and what the Sam Hill is Peak Oil?

I hate that milk ad where the black celebrity is wearing a milk mustache because many African Americans suffer from lactose intolerance. When you eat something that you are intolerant to, one of your symptoms of malaise might be fatigue. No wonder so many black folks are dragging around town at the age of 15 talkin about ‘they tired’!

 So how else to get your calcium? You may not like the sound of this suggestion but I can’t imagine anything tasting worse than straight cow’s milk.

Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, chard and beet greens are rich in calcium. It is best to have them raw inorder to get the vitamins from the veggie.

 Energy. Everyone wants it, the cost is doing nothing but going up. Who is in control and what is Peak Oil?

Peak oil is the coming global oil crisis. Learn more at www.hubbertpeak.com

A freshly made juice from dark leafy greens and apple can replace that cup of Joe in the morning. After about two weeks wondering and moaning you might notice a sincere pick up of energy. That is if you get a attack plan tailored to your specific needs.

What are your daily energy requirements? How tall are you? How heavy? How many of your selves can fly in one aircraft? Where do you need to go?

There are places to get help.

Food is about culture. Take a little time to learn the facts.
If you want start taking better care of your body that is your temple check out Karyn’s Inner Beauty www.karynraw.com and Chandler’s Health Emporium www.chandlershealth.com both have locations in Chicago.

Perhaps once you get your mind and body right, you will have the energy to spend some time outside yourself to learn about the world’s energy crisis.

What does America need in terms of crude oil? Many of us are not in any shape to ride our bikes to do our daily errands.

Look outside. It is freezing and snowing after being 80 degrees last week. Texas had ice storms. Alaska isn’t cold enough. Finally I moved my phone charger to the kitchen counter where I may unplug it after my phone is charged. I need to conserve energy and so do you.

Start on the inside and make yourself strong. However if you would like to stick your head in the sand, there will probably be lots more of it when more of the Earth turns to desert.

I’m a little pissy today.

April 11, 2007 Posted by | African American, crude oil, culture, global warming, juicing, milk allergies, new post, peak oil, politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Practice What You Preach

practice.jpgI hate liter bugs but my car looks like I’m part of a plastic water bottle collection drive. There is no way that I will toss my trash out onto the curb. So I wait and wait until I remember to throw it out. It would be nice to have a clean sporty car at all times but I have children and dogs. It takes extra effort to keep the inside of the car as clean as the outside.

Before I had my daughter I thought nothing of having my car detailed,  now that seems expensive. $25 dollars is a nice trip to the second hand store. So I’ve been taking the short cut and going to the $3.00 automatic drive- thru wash. Then I take the $22.00 to the second store for trendy Spring fashions that someone else had the discipline to get rid of.

Things are going to really get tight around here now that my little family is expanding even more. We have a new member aside from my newborn, Oseh. 

Introducing BUTTER, I must be either hormonal or crazy to take this pooch in! He seems a bit soft in the head. The story is that he was hit with brooms and moved around from home to home. The lady that gave him to me said that he was more than she bargained for and not much fun for her children.

Poor little guy, the first thing I did was get his balls chopped off because I didn’t want him humping Ruby (my other little troublesome mutt).

Both of these dogs have special needs. Ruby is super allergic to fish, eggs, peanuts and chicken. Butter won’t walk on a leash and shakes like a fall leaf if he thinks it is time to go outside. 

Butter has become quite the conversation among the neighbors. Everyone is curious about his not so doggy behavior. For starters he won’t walk down stairs. I hurt my insides (which aren’t healed from having Oseh) carrying Butter up and down three flights of stairs.

Onlookers shake their heads and offer their advice as I struggle to keep Ruby from pulling me down the street and Butter to walk on the leash.

On guy said that I was being too nice and that I should just drag Butter. Eventually he said that Butter will get tired of me pulling and he will start to follow. Someone else said that Butter will learn from Ruby. Another guy said that I had my hands full and should just leave the poop.

He probably intended on leaving his trash from his lunch. Or maybe not, but someone is leaving their trash. The park is full of blowing trash from the cars that park curbside to do whatever it is people do when they sit in parked cars alongside of a park.

I will admit that I have not picked up all of Ruby’s poop. Before my belly got big, it wasn’t a big deal to scoop or bend down. After my 7th month, I decided that Ruby’s poop was the best thing litering the park. 

She is disease free and only eats Lamaderm by NaturalLife 800-367-2391 www.nipp.com . She throws up every other dog food!

The park is full of broken glass, 40 ounces full of pee, food wrappers, goose poop and chicken bones. Streets and Sanitation does come by to empty the trash cans that line the park. However, some of the liter comes from the garbage containers in the alley that get tipped over every night. That debris is what blows amongst the trees. 

Now that I have two dogs, I am making way too much poop. Butter doesn’t help by pooping on the sidewalk.There is a police camera nearby, I keep expecting squad cars to surround me and give me a ticket. 

I figured that after 4 months of giving birth that it would not be such a big deal to squat and curb the dogs. Wellllllll I figured wrong! Squatting had lasting effects on my rightside. Inside. Feels like a pulled muscle + rug burn.

Regardless Butter is part of my family now. He follows me from room to room. I’m not getting rid of him. He has had it rough and needs stability. Not many people can handle a dog that has special needs- no telling what would happen if I gave him away.  

Ruby and Butter are the lucky dogs in the hood. Yesterday I meant a pit bull that wasn’t so lucky. His owner had recently thrown him in the ring to fight. The dog was walking with a limp and was withdrawn.

The 21 year old kid opened up when I asked what happen to his dog. It went something like this:

me: He’s limping. What happened?

‘Marquis de Sade’: He got in a fight! He alright.

me: A fight? He has always been so mild mannered, he doesn’t look like the kinda guy to start a fight…

‘ Marquis de Sade’: I thought he wanted to fight.

me: Not him, he wants to be your friend. You’re a hustler, you might do better having him by yourside as your friend than putting him in a fight! Please don’t fight him anymore.

‘Marquis de Sade’: yeah, I know. This my best friend right here. What’s up? Are these your kids? Are you married.

me: yeah, these my kids and my dogs and I’m straight on husbands. How old are you?

Marquis de Sade: 21.

me: my oldest son is away at school, he’s 15.

Marquis de Sade isn’t his real name. I’m just calling him that to be a smarty pants. I have no idea if I got through to the boy but I tried with caution from behind the wrought iron gate.

The fence isn’t the only thing that separated us.      

April 7, 2007 Posted by | African American, animal rescue, Chicago, culture, dog fights, dogs, new mom, new post, peace, pit bull, trash, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dinner and a Show

Monday March 19Th

The weather in Chicago is so fantastic today. Spring is definitely in the air. It is the perfect day to plan the garden- and get those seeds started indoors.

This year I am doing window boxes. Hopefully the colorful plants will block the view outside which is a bit dirty. This neighborhood is full of stately mansions which have been turned into 2,4, and 6 apartments! To actually own one and have a single family, 6 bedroom home, would be a dream. 

For now I am attempting to make friends with the guys  hanging out on the front porches with their 40 ounces in hand. My children have never lived in the hood so this is brand new to them.

We are lucky enough to not have cockroaches in our building but we have been inside someone’s  home around here that does have them. My son was shocked. 

” they are like pets, mom! People are just sitting around talking while roaches are walking right in front of them.”

I had to hush him out the door that day. Hopefully we didn’t pick up any hitchhiking cock roaches!

I am super big on nature, birds, trees and insects are cool with me but not bugs in the house. No rats either. I ain’t even big on hamsters.

Bad things happen to hamsters around me. Rabbits aren’t safe either. Dogs can share my bed. I’m strange like that.

Well that’s enough. I am so sorry about the hamsters that I killed by accident.

Crybaby escaped from his cage. I was running into a dark room to catch the phone when the heel of my right foot slammed down on something soft. Crybaby didn’t cry much longer … just spun around in circles until he expired.

I was nine when I killed Crybaby. Although my mother tried to console me by telling me that I probably put Crybaby out of his misery. We had suspected something was wrong with that hamster. He had gotten the name due to him moaning and squeaking if another hamster came near him or if we picked him up. He was inbred and of the third litter.

We had started out with 3 hamsters and ended up with about 20. The original 3 were all suppose to have been boys. At any rate, the entire experience left a sore spot. After stepping on Crybaby I felt the need to punish myself. I hopped around on one leg for two weeks, refusing to let my right heel touch the ground. My mother only asked me how long I planned on punishing myself when she noticed what I was doing.

Some children are very sensitive. Perhaps the professionals would agree that it all depends on what they are exposed to and how. I try very hard to have the patience to explain the world around us to my children. Sometimes I find that big things are easier than little things to explain.

Anybody can teach my kids how to tie their shoes, so why spend energy figuring out how to talk about that? I concentrate on heavier topics.

According to my eldest son, his friends aren’t so lucky. He has noticed that most of his friends don’t talk to their parents. It is just HI and BYE. Everybody is in such a rush to get to school, work etc. There is no time for chit chat in the morning.

I make a lesson out of whatever I feel needs talking about. Years ago, I didn’t know when to shut up. People and my children would get very annoyed. Last year I started to time myself as if I were doing a monologue for the stage.

As a parent it is always a word choice game anyway. The challenge is to use the most colorful words to communicate your theory as quick as possible. Leaving time for feedback.

Why go through all of this? Because… children don’t think, feel and do what we say strictly because we say so. 

We are always running late around my house. I am sorry to all the schools, jobs, dinners and people who like to start on time, but I need to say my monologue when I feel it is necessary. Some things can’t wait until evening. Especially with children. 

Last week one of my nieces tried to commit suicide.

If she had of been successful I would have blamed myself because I knew that she was depressed.

The last time I saw her, we were all at my uncles. I had brought beets, carrots, apples, dark lettuce, cup cakes, and roasted chicken- all from Whole Foods Market. Everything was organic and crisp with freshness. 

All of the children gathered around the aromatic herbs and were curious to taste the raw vegetables. Making the salad was great but there just wasn’t time to talk to my troubled niece alone. 

After dinner I stretched out on my Aunt’s bed to nurse my baby girl. Before I knew it I was over powered by sleep. When I woke up my nieces had gone home.  

It took two days for me to be able to write about teen suicide. I still have not spoken directly to my niece- she in a facility and participating in group therapy.

The thought of my world without her was too painful to put into words. When she able to speak on the phone I want to be comfortable that I can communicate my love helpfully. I’ve done some online research and found these websites to be helpful. www.GirlsAndBoystown.org. They also have a hotline 1 800- 448- 3000. I tested the number and my call was answered quickly.

The other site is www.kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/suicide.html

Aside from seeking help, I’ve found that learning how to ask questions and listen to our children is very helpful while trying to rear them.

I don’t think of myself as my children’s boss. There is not a power trip between me and them. I am not shy of my weaknesses and I’m not afraid to fight for their needs and rights. This has not been easy. Actually I’ve sacrificed in many ways for them to be able to experience a better life than I had growing up.

Art has always been one of my tools of self counsel and I encourage young people to write and draw to express themselves. Find a hobby that you enjoy that helps time go by. Reading is a marvelous escape from your environment.

Life can be beautiful. Call someone before you give up.   

           

March 19, 2007 Posted by | African American, Chicago, culture, hope, new post, Teen Suicide, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Broken Meters

Every city has it’s own flavor. In Chicago broken parking meters are dressed in Jewel plastic bags. Sometimes you may see a parking meter wearing a black plastic bag.  I have never seen a parking meter covered with plastic Whole Foods Market bag.

The other day I was lucky enough to catch up with a meter maid in Pilsen as she searched for unfed meters. I did not tell her my questions were for my blog.

I appealed to her like a concerned citizen who just wants to do the right thing. After all, I was struggling to keep her pace, talk, and at the same time balance the pop out car baby carrier.

” What’s the deal with broken parking meters? Can we park there?” I asked.

” You can park but look under the bag to make sure that the meter says FAIL. Some people try and be slick and stick a bag over their meter. The meter maid will check to make sure that the meter is actually broken.

If you happen to get a ticket on a meter that is broken, write down the meter number and the city will have a technician come out to verify that it was broken at the time of your ticket.”

 Gosh, I never knew that parking meters had numbers! Now that the numbered tiny plate has been pointed out, I can’t help but wonder how long it has been since the meters got their numbers.

March 18, 2007 Posted by | Chicago, pilsen, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Focus and Curious George

Perhaps the reason I am not rich and famous is because my mind is an invisible acrobat. When my six year old flips around the living room it reflects the energy blasts that I need to harness under my own hat.

As the saying goes, apples don’t fall far from the tree. I enroll my little monkey in gymnastics whenever I can afford a session.

Chicago is full of places to experience positive sportsmanship and get challenged. Real classes teach technique. It is worth the financial sacrifice and time commitment.

My stepfather is a math teacher, he tutored some of the children for Jesse White Tumblers. He thought Raj could make the team if he tried out. Try explaining (to a six year old) how priceless learning to become a team player is.

Auditions are held only twice a year. We went in January. After about a week of preparation, I decided to make the drive out south to Ada Park for the tryout. If you think that this may be for you check out www.jessewhitetumblingteam.com !

The weather was unseasonably warm for late January. I recall being grateful that the ice was melting on the sidewalks. My body was still sore from birthing 7lbs and 13 ounces of girgling joy. Falling down would have really sucked! 

Driving was a big production with a newborn. By the grace of God, we made it. There wasn’t anyone available to ride co pilot so I was stuck lugging the baby carrier and diaper bag full of juices. There were extra juices packed because my body was just getting use to milk production. If I let myself get thirsty, I noticed that my energy level took a nose dive. Not pretty. 

Raj was so nervous that he was quiet for the entire ride and brisk walk to the Ada Park field-house. I didn’t ask him to carry anything except his water bottle.

I won’t pretend to know anything about gymnastics. ( I can’t even do a handstand) The sport looks like it takes a very weightless mind frame,  loose spirit yet extreme focus and control over every muscle.

When watching gymnastics my belief structure is arrested in a happy sort of way. The aerial dancer seem to have made friends with the wind and gravity.

If Raj ever becomes a gymnasts, he would be the first on my side of the family. We are creating history and attempting to document it along the way. 

After everything that I put into it, Raj did not make the team. He could not do a flip flop. It turns out that his fearlessness goes only as far as he can see. Thankfully he wasn’t born with eyes in the back of his head.

Poor little guy was dazed when he returned from doing his thing in front of the Jesse White Tumbers. I could tell by the look on his face and by the fact that he came out so quickly that things didn’t go as he expected.

“They only gave me one chance and then they said that I could go.” Raj said as his eyes darted from side to ceiling. He fought back the tears. I wanted to hung him but my arms were full of new baby. So I tried to embrace him with my words.

“It will be alright. It is okay if you didn’t make it. You’ll do better the next time.” I said.

“The next time? I’m never coming back to this place again.” He mumbled. 

” I don’t want to be around people that only give a guy one chance, that’s it, one little chance! Why?” He stammered. 

Sportmanship Communication should be a high school elective. As far as the pros go some are learning to be better communicators. Media coverage is everywhere from the locker room to the field. Heaven help you if there is personal trouble. The media is right there. I know I would be if someone gave me a press pass!

So when does this ‘training’ begin? Not how to kick the ball, or when to swing, but what to say when a microphone is shoved in your face. 

Raj stood before me face to face, his big brown eyes searching my soul and waiting for an explanation. I was unprepared for his question and emotional due to our joint disappointment.

” There are probably more than one hundred children trying out for the team and there is only one day to see them all. So everyone only gets one chance to do there best. You did your best and I am proud of you.”

That is probably the hardest comeback I ever needed to dream up. In retrospect it sounds simple and like the only thing to say but, at that moment, there seemed to be so much riding on my response. 

Raj wasn’t quite a happy go lucky little monkey around the house for weeks after not making the team. We encouraged him to talk about his experience. With every recount the story got bigger and better. It wasn’t long before he began to add his charm to the chain of events to get more laughs. 

Maybe this kid won’t be in the Olympics 2016 but he will be able to tell a heck of a story.     

March 17, 2007 Posted by | African American, Chicago, culture, family, gymnastics, health and fitness, hope, kids, new mom, performance, storytelling, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stuck on Blogging

Whew! That was really dreadful. My internet explorer is out. I have not been able to connect for a week. I didn’t realize that Blogging had become such an outlet until it was gone.  I went through all of the grief stages:Shock, Denial, Anger, Saddness. 

Everything seemed so incredible in the world around me. There was a story that was escaping my blog commentary in every event, meal, verbal exchange and dream

Tech support was a merry- go- round. I had a very difficult time understanding the very thick Indian accent of the support geek . The session took over an hour and afterwards I only had a case number. I had to hang up before being transferred to the highest level of support. My ‘me’ morning time had been burnt away- it was time to take my son to school.  

What emptiness. The void was like quicksand. At an emotional lost, I hoped that I could at least get out of the house in time to catch Tom Joyner’s Morning show- It’s Your World. 

My son is learning Black phrases and praise songs on our 20 minute drive to his school. 

Instead of racing home to blog after dropping my son at school, I stopped off at Bite Cafe on Western Ave. for some one on one time with my favorite waiter and his breakfast club of sound guys, travelers and teachers.

I always feel smarter and closer to the cutting edge after chowing down besides a bunch of dusty intellectuals.

It was cozy  

March 16, 2007 Posted by | African American, blogging, Chicago, culture, family | Leave a comment

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