Monthly Archives: September 2012

Today’s Word is… GOODBYE

The last words my mother ever said to me “Love You”.   At my sister’s urging, I had left school to visit her at the hospice, she had been there the day before, she told me I needed to get there ASAP.  I was confused, just three weeks ago she was giving me money for books for the upcoming semester, I knew she wasn’t 100% but she was fine last I seen.  The sight of her was shocking, her once plump frame now frail, color drained from her chocolate skin, her loud, assertive tone replaced by a faint whisper.  It was a lot to take in, I had to excuse myself a few times to cry, I hated seeing her like this, I knew she hated being like this.  My sister called and told me since I was there to get her ID she needed it for some documents.  I brought my mother her purse, she smirked a little, “a man never goes in a woman’s purse” she always told me.  She passed me her wallet, “I don’t have any money for you” she murmurs, same old Ma.  I get her ID out and I see a photo of her, I didn’t have any wallet sized photos of her so I took it.  We sat and watched Judge Judy until I noticed her falling asleep, I told her I was taking off, I kissed her on her forehead and she says “Love You”.  The next morning, I was on my way back and I got my wallet out to pay for the train, I look at her picture and I get a strange feeling.  A few moments later, I get a phone call, she’s gone.

The remainder of that day was almost a blur, I took my first shot at 9 o’clock that morning, I’m in my old neighborhood sitting on the swings waiting for someone to come get me.   Still very intoxicated, I pull out my blackberry and start writing a Facebook note.  Just getting all my feelings out, I was angry at the hospice, angry at myself, angry at her, angry at “Madame” who didn’t come with me, angry at my friends who didn’t reach out, it was a mess.  Luckily, I was too out of it to actually post it, the following day, I still intended to post but I seen a sign that made me start fresh.  Three years ago today, I wrote this:

It’s amazing how one can find solace in the strangest things. As I try to understand why God has chosen to take my mother so soon, I seen a sign that said “Thank You Sen. Kennedy”. And when I think about it I have yet to see an RIP Teddy or We’ll miss You sign always thank you.Instead of mourning people look back on his years of service and are thankful for his commitment. Now my mother wasn’t a senator but her life should be celebrated and those who mourn are also gratituous. In 27 years of motherhood, she raised 3 girls to 3 women, 2 boys to 2 men. She also was a mother to neighbors, friends and classmates. She has had more jobs than I can think of but always a mother and a mentor through and through.But whats ultimately her legacy is ______, _____ , ______, ______ and myself. Her gifts to society, the torch she passes on. we may have lost her but we are not lost without her. Mother, I thank you. Your destiny’s fulfilled

I felt better. It was the first time in a long time writing actually made me feel better.  Even being upset today, I thought writing everything out would make me feel better again at least temporarily.  Mixed results.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… PAST

So I’ve been previewing  the new Lupe Fiasco album. It’s a pretty good album, the one that should’ve came out in 2009 but I digress… A track that stood out early was “Battle Scars”, a powerful track about all the damage left by failed relationships. It was the first track on the album I had to bring back, it struck a chord.  Like anyone else I have my share of battle scars, “Her” really did a number on me.  “She” reopened old wounds, “Madame” might have left a scratch somewhere.  But taking the time to let myself heal, I feel stronger than ever. As a great meerkat said

“You gotta put your past behind ya” -Timon

With the past well behind me, I still look back and reflect.  I look back at these scars (some are actually real, crazy a** females) and while some wounds still healing, I took them all like a man.

Take your scars like a man…

One nagging injury I have after relationships, is doubt.  I’m very particular about who I date casually and who I take things to the next level with so when I pick someone and completely whiff it befuddles me. I hate being wrong.   Every relationship I’ve been in since has been more serious that the last (well “Ms.” kinda killed the streak but calling it a relationship is stretch itself) so in that regard, I’m learning to trust my instincts more, I’m getting better at this dating thing, the key is really knowing when to cut it off early, we tend to settle for less than what we want as time passes #MESSAGE.

Another is trust, I tend to shut people out (or so I’m told) but while I disagree, I’ve learned to filter myself just a bit.  Especially in a social media age I’m very cautious with how much of myself I put out there.  I remember I got into a twitter back and forth (yes I know…smh) with “Her” and we both went IN on each other exposing secrets in the process.  I felt angry, betrayed, it took me a while to eventually open up to “She” when we dated and even then she got the abridged versions, which she also ran her mouth about.  “Maybe it’s just women can’t hold water like men” says the guy with the public intimate blog.

There’s also good scars, like accountability, honesty, and communication which I needed to get.  Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way, I needed plenty of maturing but it’s hard to tell someone who’s having success their doing it wrong, it’s why Tim Tebow can’t throw and most dudes act up and see no incentive to change #MESSAGEII.

All of my scars, good and bad, made me who I am.  I could let them dominate my life, assume all woman are the same, settle for less, do just enough to get some, and leave it at that. In fact I know plenty of men and women who let their past scars turn them off from love altogether.  Love is brutal, but there is no retreat, no surrender, This is Sparta n sh*t.

-Stan-

 

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Today’s Word is… FITNESS

2012 will be remembered as the year of health.  This year I dedicated myself to just being healthy, physically, mentally, spiritually.  I’ve already touched on my spiritual journey, today the physical.  I was blessed with nice hair and skin (dark dont mark) so that was the easy part, I never had too many bad bouts with acne, and my father beat it into my brain to never ever ever ever ever ever ever put a razor on my face.  My body itself left little to be desired so I sought to change that.  Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down…

I was always an active child, especially compared to this iphone toting, soda for breakfast kids the FLOTUS Flower Bomb been trying to save. That active child became a nerdy teenager with average athletic ability, that nerdy teenager became lazy undergrad who actually took the shuttle to classes, that lazy u-grad became a lethargic 23 year old man.  I actually joined a gym in late February 2012 as a way to relieve stress, wasn’t remotely worried about my weight.  The gym had a scale so I figured why not weigh in…Three Hundred Two pounds.  (O.O).  I was an area code, not even a known one like 212.  I was Delaware -__-. Things had to change, and what a coincidence I was in a gym…

That first workout was horrible.  I wasn’t exactly a stranger to gyms, I went to one on campus for a little bit but I just looked awkward.  I went home and hit google hard, how to lose weight, beginner workouts, searched my height and weight to see if anyone out there knew my plight.  I stumbled across one blog, I don’t even remember the name so no plug, he talked about how Xenadrine helped him.  I decided to try it, YOLO, as one would say.  My first workout on it, 65 minutes on the elliptical, 45 weight lifting, I didn’t feel tired at all.  Then I got home and got ready for bed, I didn’t feel tired at all.  The weight was coming off 5-6 lbs a week but then I lost my pills (well it wasn’t just that, it was the one day i forgot a lock, i got cleaned out they stole some headbands, socks I bought, luckily i keep my wallet and phone on me,  and I live in a predominantly white neighborhood, had it been anyone else I would’ve been the only suspect).

Not there yet but getting warmer…

Before I went to re-up I decided to just try to workout without it for a week see how it works, 3 workouts: 65 minute elliptical, 30 minute weight lifting, 3.4 lbs lost.  I blew $30 on a damn placebo, I had this.  Along the way I added supporters, initially it was pretty much a secret that I was even trying, if I failed I didn’t want to be eating at the cookout and people asking me “how’s that diet you was working on” in their best Stewie Griffin voice.  I’m 238, I’m not sure if I’m still an area code, but I came a long way from the guy that took out his earrings like that was going to make the scale budge.  What I do know is I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been and i’m only 65% to where I aim to be.  I do miss some of my clothes, but I guess I’ll lock them in a china cabinet and put a “Break in Case of Fat” sign up for now.

 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… BORROW

I have a mild case of writers block so i resorted to a word generator…it’s the perfect resource considering the concept of the blog *shrug*

image

A few weeks ago I met a girl, not relevant enough to assign a nickname as this will likely be her only appearance.  So we hit it off initially, had quite a few things in common but not too much.  We went out on a date, a poetry slam she suggested.  While I’m not a big fan of spoken word, I didn’t have much else to do that night why not?  It was okay, I enjoyed some poets and kept sarcastic remarks to myself while she damn near caught the holy ghost next to me.  She wasn’t pleased with my lack of enthusiasm, and the date went south from there.  I didn’t hear from her for a week, didn’t phase me too much, I had lost interest after some other things she had told me.  She randomly hit me up asking to borrow money, I declined, I haven’t heard from her since. Beaches be tripping.


Dramatization. Her after every damn poem

She doesn’t work so that was reason enough to decline, but aside from that I simply don’t like lending money.  I’ll give it away before I loan it, I don’t like owing people already I couldn’t put someone else in that position.   I have mental logs of who owes me what (about $1400 from 6 people) but it wouldn’t even be worth my time or effort to pull the tab, maybe this is how China feels.   Charge it to the game, I suppose.

Some people I’m sure would pay me back if they could, others I’m convinced just made a quick come up at my expense (pun intended). Myself I’m reluctant to borrow anything, I did enough of that from Sallie Mae and Stafford. Back in the day, I would steal borrow my father’s albums copy them and give it right back, I don’t like to have anybody’s anything too long. Then not too long ago I used a friends truck to pick up a couch I bought, he said I could have it overnight, I got it back to him within the next 2 hours. I don’t like having other people’s things, or feeling indebted to someone else. I’m weird like that. The other part is pride, I don’t like to borrow because I don’t like to humble myself to ask. There’s only 2-3 people I would honestly go to if needed, and even technically they owe me already. Speaking of borrowing, my neighbor still has my The Wire DVDs, -__- I hate lending.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… FAITH

Perhaps the most personal/emo post I’ll ever write, but I must warn you:

I know religion is a touchy subject…apologies if I offend

My grandfather is an ordained minister, my grandmother was raised in the south with deep Christian roots, they raised my father to be a strong, God-fearing man.  My mother was also a devout Christian and she and my father raised us the same.  Over time, our church attending waned, to the point that I honestly don’t remember the last time I attended a church service (actually I do but it was so long ago it’s better to say I don’t remember).  My personal relationship with God is…different.  I believe in God, yet my faith isn’t what it was.  I feel my analytic side hinders my spiritual growth, I question, I doubt, yet I’m humble enough to know I do not fully understand.  I understand the purpose of church and religion, I respect its role especially in creating the moral fabric of a family.  However, I simply lack that connection that others have, I wish I could say I had a deep personal and spiritual connection with God but I do not.  I honestly envy those that do, I used to feel that way, what happened? We were so close before…

As a child I had a deep connection with God, I prayed every night, attended bible camps at the park, never even so much said a curse word.  It made me feel secure, no matter what happened I knew he was there.  Things got rocky, divorce, my older brother leaves with my father, who then proceeds to have two more sons, I’m suddenly the man of the house.  I told you before, about my growing identity crisis trying to balance being book smart and street smart, I’m more lost and confused as ever, but He was there.  I pushed through.

High school, rough but I made it through, the hood even rougher same results.  I’m an adult now and for the first time I’m introduced to debt,  I have no idea how to pay for school, take care of myself. Socially I’m losing friends and girlfriends I’m feeling dark feelings I never experienced before, I reach out to Him, I no longer feel that same security.  I feel more alone than ever, but I accept the adversity but things continue to pile on.  Forced to take a break from school, can’t find any employment, my mother is diagnosed with cancer, she can’t take care of me she needs someone to care for her.  I have to be the man again.  I need help, I need guidance, I reach out to Him, I no longer feel the security.  She passes, and now I feel anger towards him, I understand that everything happens for a reason but I struggle to find any justification.  Time passes, I try to re-establish relationship,  I pray, I read, it doesn’t feel the same.

So here I am.  I’m not as cynical as I may have been 2-3 years ago but I’m not as blindly secure as I once was.  I think in a way it’s what works for me, I look at someone like “Miss” who has an admirable personal relationship with enormous faith and that’s great, but then I look at others who never set foot in a church outside of a wedding/funeral and they have their own faith.  Even writing this post I feel much better about myself and my faith .  Maybe I’m simply too strong willed, inquisitive and emotional to ever have the connection “Miss” or other family members have? Maybe I still have have some work to do? He knows, I don’t, I guess that’s just his plan…or is it?

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… BROKE

This can’t be life

OG(original geek) Count von Count

I’m a numbers geek.  I flirted with comics, got cozy with computers, had a nice fling with RPGs but overall I’m about the numbers.  On dates I total the bill in my head with the 10% gratuity, I have a very strict budget, hell I even count calories now. The Count taught me well. I do well, I’m very fiscally responsible yet week after week the realization is there; I’m broke as hell.  Broke Phi Broke alumnus, dollarnaire, it’s no mula baby.  Where does my money go?  All my bills are on auto pay, I don’t pay for movies or music, I commute to work via train, I’ll take a crisp walking shoe over some Jordans any day and I don’t smoke and only drink socially (free). However, reviewing my budget, I’ve determined the things I ought to spend less on…

 

 

5. Art: Art is my second love next to writing, I love to sketch, paint and publish a graphic novel is somewhere on my bucket list.  But art materials are ridiculous, the more you hone your craft the more you understand the need for quality materials.  I used to get a no. 2 pencil and some printer paper and could go to work but it doesn’t blend well.  I used to kill those little watercolor sets you could get from like a CVS or something but I’ve fell in love with acrylic.

4. Produce: I know why the country is obese, fresh food is expensive.  Grapes cost more than gas, I gotta eat a pound as I shop just to save me $4 #thuglife.  I’ve been focusing on eating better these days but Whole Foods be hurting my pockets, I need to start shopping in one of them grocery stores in the hood where they charge you 10 cents per bag and they only sell the off brand products like they have on TV shows

Same Difference.

3. Gym and etc:  I go to two gyms #atthesamedamntime, the easy solution would be to drop one but they have different purposes: my Planet Fitness has convenient locations and has nicer equipment (and eye candy) while my local gym with a basketball court and a pool.  Then of course there’s gym clothes which need to be washed frequently, factor in water and drinks, headphones that never last it costs me way more than I ever expected.  It’s cheaper to be fat.

2. Home Decor: I moved into my apartment with nothing but my clothes.  I was always bouncing around staying with fam and girlfriends that I didn’t have much of my own.  So when I finally had a space of my own I decked it out, and 2 years later I’m still buying stuff for my place. New curtains, rugs, trinkets, I’m the guy that goes into Wal-Mart for one thing and leave with a cart.

*Sigh*

1. WOMEN- Yes, women.  By no means am I whipped (anymore) but just in general women are expensive, gifts, dates, keeping myself fly, it’s daunting.  According to my numbers, I cannot afford to go out until next Tuesday or I can make her pay but that doesn’t always go over too well.  “She” alone cost me (won’t even post amount it’s that bad) and I was out of work for part of the relationship.

This doesn’t even count personal emergencies, family/friend emergencies, vacations, new car, moving and Mitt Romney winning in November.  Maybe I should get started on that book, graphic novel, business prospectus, or investment portfolio I was working on.  Or woo me a rich woman. I’m trying to do better than good enough.  *Broke Phi Broke stomp out*

The only frat I’d ever belong to…

-Stan-

 

 

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Today’s Word is… FRIENDS

Breauxs.

I was a very gifted child in school,  perhaps the most gifted in the entire school except this one girl who was just as smart as I.  An unspoken rivalry formed, where one would try to one up the other and our teacher recommended us both for this Saturday program at Milton Academy, a prestigious local private school.  My parents jumped at the opportunity (although they were way too broke for me to transfer full time) and my Saturdays went from cartoons and Sega Genesis to algebra, chemistry and art history courses.  I felt out of place there instantly, while I was just as smart as the other students I was still a 10 year old kid from the hood, it was a culture shock.  I made plenty friends there but it was still awkward, I was talking about the Bulls game, they couldn’t relate, they was talking about clubs, vacations and organizations, I couldn’t relate.  However, it was just as awkward spending the early part of my Saturday with kids who were prospective CEOs and then coming home and playing Manhunt with prospective dropouts (well out of the 7 of us, 4 graduated HS so perhaps I was too hard on them).

Word.

Fast forward to now, my circle is considerably smaller and I still feel that awkward lack of balance.  I’m a nerd, but I’m not a sit at home play video games, hack every electronic device I own, draw out budgets of the month type of nerd all the time.  I love my team, but I’m not a post on the block, drink, smoke, go through our respective phones hitting up any and all females like “Honey check it, tell your friends, to get with my friends, and we could be friends”, type of guy neither.  In either event, I get bored and usually the one that takes off early, or I’m simply a one man wolf pack.  Perhaps I need to hang in new circles, I should network more.

I have plenty of female friends and the issue there is I’m a overly flirtatious, curious man.  Most of my female friends I slept with, want to sleep with or I could if I gave the word.  I’m trying to establish more platonic female relationships even if the last one didn’t work out as planned and if I evvv ever fall in love again I will be sure to run in the other direction but thats another post entirely.  I appreciate the women in my circle, even the bit of drama they provide.  But you can’t be with women all the time, it’s just different.  Where my dawgs at? (Note: Gold star for whoever read the respective Puffy, Shai and DMX voices)

Male friends: For when exes come to steal your bride

Essentially, I have a bunch of associates but not friends.  If I were to get engaged tomorrow, would any of them be a best man, ready to throw together a bachelor party and gut check another man if he tried to Dwayne Wayne my wedding? If one of them called me from jail would I run out to get them?  Would our kids be pretend cousins?  Actually, two people come to mind.  And of course there’s always family.  I’ll be iight, it’s 2012 people barely log out of the Matrix these days.

-Stan-

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