it’s been five years…

if by chance you’ve been sticking with me since the very beginning then i thank you for giving me a chance to entertain you a bit. and if you’re new, then welcome!! 🙂

here are a few links to some of my all-time fave posts:

apparently i’dda been on the bus

my son is a spelling genius!

big brother/little brother

they just want our money

now he knows he’s black

g.o.s.p.e.l.

fire dances…

 

 

 

alexandria king street arts festival

i miss it every daggone year, but this year i am determined to make it out to the 10th annual alexandria king street arts festival in alexandria, virginia. september 8th-9th king street is transformed into a huge outdoor art gallery. although i haven’t had the opportunity to stop through yet, i did ride by it one year and it was brimming with goodies…that i spotted as i drove by.

festival scene by alexandria daily photo.

the festival is six blocks of awesomeness featuring over 200 artists from all around the country and abroad.

saturday, september 8th from 10am to 7pm

sunday, september 9th from 10am to 5pm

 

i almost got got, son!!

let me just preface this post by asking, can you believe that concrete man stood me up for my interview? it’s not even like i submitted my resume to work for said concrete man. he was a friend of a friend who needed some assistance in his ol’ raggedy office ’cause some lady who’s been there a kazillion years has decided to up and leave. yep, stood.me.up.

where they do that at?

but onward and forward, honey, ’cause ain’t nobody got time for that. (shout out to sweet brown. i use that phrase quite often now.)

but i digress… what i’m really here to talk about is how i almost got got, son!

see, i was on the phone with my brother carl who’s not really my brother like for real, for real but i’m an only child i like to have pretend siblings and since he was willing to go along with it i’ve been calling him my brother for 10 years or so now. so anyway, i was talking to carl when i got this text message from an unknown number.

let me first explain why i was excited when i saw this so you won’t just assume i’m the most green ullible, gullible person in the dmv. (that’s dc/maryland/virginia for all you non-local folks. not the department of motor vehicles. i’m all about keepin’ y’all hip here.) see, one day recently i was going through the receipts in my wallet and since, you know, i’ve got all this free time on my hands i said to myself, “niki, you need to just go ahead and get online and fill out all those wacky surveys they’re always pushing in stores to see if you can win yourself a lil’ something, something. i mean, you got like 10 receipts, surely you’ll win something!” and that’s just what i did.

so see, there for a second i really, really thought i won a thousand freakin’ dollar target gift card, you know, until carl said, “ummmmm…well, i don’t know…” and that’s when reality set in.

i noticed that there was a typo in the text msg and since when does the retail giant tah-jay send out a typo? “last months” instead of “last month’s”? uh-huh…see, i caught that with my ol’ editorial eye and i smelled something mighty fishy.

but let me just say, first of all, those scammer folks shouldn’t even be playing with the jobless like that. i mean, it’s so daggone unfair.

and cruel.

evil, even. i’ll even go as far to say that the devil himself is maneuvering the steering wheels of their lives.

here i am imagining all the toilet paper i can buy and detergent and coconut oil ’cause that ish is expensive. oh, and birthday gifts for my son and hey, Christmas is right around the corner!! and we could really use a new comforter. maybe a new lamp and a few new plates.

child, my mind was just going there with the possibilities! i mean, having a straight up field day. my thought cloud had an image of me pushing the cart saying, “i’ll take that and that and that and one in blue, please. oh, and orange too ’cause i could really use that in orange,” and then my thought cloud had a scene of me wearing brightly patterned clothing running with the cart down the aisles and twirling and leaping around in song with well-choreographed back up dancers singing and dancing along with me…she’s got a thousand dollarssssss!!!!

yeah, i’m very visual.

and then that thought cloud just popped like a bubble hitting the hot, summer pavement. all splat and wet yet ready to dry up like it never existed.

 

sharing the Word

Psalm 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

unemployment entertainment

the early part of my typical day goes a lil’ something like this:

get up, wake the child up, iron his clothes, make his lunch, walk the dog, take the child to summer camp, come home and get online to get it crackalackin’ with the job search (this can take as little as 30mins to a couple hours depending on what’s poppin’), clean a little, write/read/make earrings/take photos/dance around to videos on vh1 soul/etc., clean whatever needs to be cleaned…or not, then there’s this space (a small space, but still a space) of nothingness.

here’s how i fill it. i entertain myself by polishing my toes in funky colors and sometimes snapping a pic and posting it on instagram.

see, the key to keeping your sanity during unemployment is to keep busy. and keeping busy is my thing. and trust, there’s always something for me to do.

of course, i could sleep the day away because i really could use the sleep, and that’s another post, but i can count on one hand how many times i’ve indulged in taking a nap since i’ve been home. and even in those times the snooze didn’t last long ’cause our daggone dog with his super sonic hearing likes to bark whenever a blade of grass blows in the wind.

okay, that was an exaggeration but he does bark a lot.

so no time (or silence) for naps. i have things to do and toes to polish!

he’s so sporty

dutch is not quite seven years old yet, his birthday is next month, but he’s had an active little sports life so far.

first we had him take a swim lesson when he was about three. it was a mommy & me kinda class and every week we’d get in the pool and play games and try to execute the little lessons the instructor planned. but ultimately, dutch failed swim class. the teacher was all apologetic and whatnot, but geesh, can you really fail a three-year-old in swim class? well, i guess you can if the end result means your child could drown all because you thought he deserved a swim certificate when really he just flopped around in the pool during each class and barely wanted to put his face in the water.

so anyway, then we moved onto to tennis…and soccer. pretty much at the same time. don’t ask me why. child, i was just so eager to have dutch in something ’cause isn’t that what parents do these days? put their kids in stuff?

in tennis dutch wasn’t the most focused kid on the court and at one point the coach said, “you just want to do your own thing, do you think this is dutch.com?” which i’m sure totally confused my child since he didn’t know what the heck a .com was at the time.

then onto soccer where at least dutch got to get his forrest gump on and run like a nut, only a couple times he didn’t quite know when to stop. probably because it was british soccer and the coaches’ accents totally threw his little three-year-old brain for a loop. he hardly understood what they asking him to do half the time.

silly mommy.

things changed when we signed him up for t-ball though. my boy would get out on the field and put on his serious game face. he hit the ball and ran the bases like a five-year-old pro. he got the first team ball and his coach felt that he was such a strong player that he should play the next year.

but t-ball was too slow of a sport for dutch, you know, with all that standing around in the outfield. he needed action! so onto basketball it was. first we signed him up for a basketball primer to learn the basics and then it was time to play for a team. let me tell you something, my child may not have been the star player, but as the youngest kid on the team he proved he had heart. when other kids would fall or get frustrated and cry, dutch kept his game face on throughout the entire game. he never let them see him sweat. we were so proud every time he even got his hands on the ball. making the shot was the icing on the cake.

and now it’s football season. he’s had his heart set on playing for the past two years after seeing his older cousin play. i wasn’t too happy about his excitement to play to be completely honest because i didn’t want to see my baby get hurt. and to be really, really, really honest i quietly hoped that his enthusiasm would wane. but nope! all he talked about (literally) day and night before camp was football.

he’s already completed two weeks of football camp where for 2 hours a day, five days he week he exercised and learned a bit about the game and now it’s preseason. for about a month, 2 hours a day, five days a week more we hit the hot football field and sweat like…well, people sitting in the direct sun on a hot field.

but dutch has been beyond stoked! he’s rockin’ his full football gear now, adjusting to the tightness of the helmet, buckling his own shoulder pads, double knotting his own cleats. thankfully he’s finally over the newness of his cup and is no longer asking if he can wear it around the house so that when our dog charlie jumps on his lap it won’t hurt because, well, that would just be weird.

out on the field and in his uniform he’s looking like a pro. well, a mini one anyway. tackling (a bit reluctantly ’cause it’s still new to him) his buddies and not complaining a bit about running laps with all that heavy equipment on in the summer heat.

i’m impressed by his tenacity. his willingness to keep playing even after complaining one evening that i should’ve signed him for flag football instead. when i told him he couldn’t give up, he said, “okay, but i’m just playing this year and then never again.” i’m sure he’ll change his mind though. after basketball ended he said he retired, but yet he’s eager to play in the upcoming season.

i have a feeling we’re going to be on a court, field or track for many years to come with this one.

my husband and the accidental drop

a very interesting thing happened yesterday evening during dutch‘s football practice. i was gathering my things to leave, you know, folding my little chair (’cause it’s a must have if your child is in sports), telling my husband i’d see him when they got home because we drove separately, dug around in my purse for my keys, pulled them out and then…

i looked to find my husband scrambling on the ground and mumbling rather low, “oh God!!!!!” for a split second i wasn’t sure what was going on. was he trying to save me from a rabid skunk that was attempting to tear at my ankles and spray me with stankiness? did one of those massive dragonflies that seem to love swarming a little too close for my liking finally break into my personal space box? just what exactly was going on?

and then i noticed that he picked something up quickly from the ground and stuffed it rather aggressively into my purse.

it was this…

yep, a harmless ol’ pad aka sanitary napkin aka the thing that all men fear. well, most anyway.

i said to him, “geesh, it’s not like it’s used!!” okay, that was gross. but that’s what i said and he responded, “so?!?! nobody wants to see that!”

wait, was that embarrassment that i saw flash across his face? could it be that he was worried that the dad sitting next to me who we had become chummy with had actually witnessed the accidental drop of the pad?!

you would’ve thought that i mooned the entire ankle biter football league and their mamas.

get outta here! it’s a pad! i guarantee you that he would’ve never reacted that way to me dropping say…a diaper!

so what exactly is it with men that makes them totally cringe at unused pads and tampons? is it that they’re imagining them already soiled? i don’t get it, it’s just paper and plastic. i think.

okay, forget its contents. i have no clue what those things are made of, but you get where i’m going with this, right? pad and tampons are absolutely harmless, but men would rather forget their very existence. in fact, most men would prefer to never have to purchase them and i’m sure they look away quickly as if they’d turn to stone upon spotting one in the bathroom.

it’s kinda funny when you think about it. men. they love their shoot ’em up action and horror films. they watch boxers beat each other to a pulp. gut fish and stand over a vat hot grease to deep fry them. some shoot ducks and other harmless little animals. a large majority will roll around in funky mud during an outdoor game of paintball fighting or football. they get tatted up and branded all over their bodies…but pads? they’re the real kryptonite.

almost a year of housewifin’…

i never intended on being a housewife. not really too fond of the idea for myself actually. but so it goes, i was laid off from my job last october and since the job market absolutely sux here i am… unintentionally housewifin’.

yes, i just made that a verb.

washing and folding clothes all day. cleaning spots on the carpet. washing dishes that always seem to pile up in the sink. and in the dishwasher. cooking dinner midday. running errands. making sure my son’s practice football pants have pads in them and that his water bottle is filled and placed in the freezer for practice in the evenings.

it’s all making me just a wee bit crazy. can’t you tell?

actually, i just told a bit of a fib up there. you would think that since i’m home all day long that my home would be spotless, right? that dinner would be pipin’ hot when my little family comes busting through the door in the evenings. everything would be all neat and tidy and there wouldn’t be loads of clothes left on the couch that need folding. that beds would be made and the dog would be walked way before it was time for me to head out to pick my son up from summer camp (and yes, he’s in camp while i’m home and that’s a whole ‘nother story.) and honey, it was…in those first few months after i lost my job.

oh, i was on top of my game in the beginning! but now, i’ve lost steam. i’ve lost a little motivation. i’m frustrated. sometimes a little pissed off about my current state of joblessness.

see, when i first lost my job, i thought, wow! i get a break from the daily grind. the crazy, sometimes 2-hour commute that would give me anxieties ’cause i just don’t have the patience for all that nonsense. the endless meetings about meetings. the trying to figure out what to eat for lunch because i got tired of going to chipotle every day and whenever i packed my own lunch it was never that filling so i’d just blow my dough on fast food.

since i’d be home i figured, hey, i can catch up on some daytime tv. get my creative juices flowing and bang out some projects that i had rolling around in my mind for a while, but never had the time to finish. you know, like that book i started ten years ago, and all the paint projects i wanted to do. make some jewerly. sew some pillows for the couch. i could blog like every day! i thought, yeah, a couple months of some time off and i’ll be good!

but errrrrrr…it’s been a lil’ bit more than a couple months and it ain’t fun no more. who would’ve thunk that it would take this long to find a job? little naive ol’ me sure didn’t! and i’m not talking about finding my dream job. i’m talking about really, you’re not calling me back to answer your phones for you for a few dollars an hour ’cause that’s about where i am with it right now.

i mean, yeah, i’m applying for jobs in my editorial/social media/media & communications field but after all this time a sista is applying to all kinds of stuff. shoot, i’m looking to start painting automobiles in a minute. or learning how to lay some tile. drive a truck. walk a dog. something! and just how much are you paying over there at world market?

so until i find a gig, just about any gig, i’m here…housewifin’. as a matter of fact, i have an interview with a concrete company at 6pm so let me go so i can make up mind whether or not i should wear my timbs to this meeting.

ha! just kidding. about the timbs. not about the interview with the concrete company.

*sigh*