Posted by: annabanana210 | April 24, 2011

My Daddy

Last Monday was my Daddy’s birthday. I wouldn’t want there to be some favoritism in posting about my Mom’s birthday and not my Dad’s, because there is no favoritism there.  I don’t have a good picture on my computer of me and my Daddy, but that’s okay.  In so many ways I’m not sure that a photo does us justice.  I think music would do us better.  And if I had to pick a musical selection, I’d have to scratch my head and pick three or four because so many compositions come to mind.

First, let me tell you that my relationship with my father is unlike any other relationship I’ll ever have with any other man.  He is the only man on this earth that will love me unconditionally.  He is also the only man who has dedicated a large part of his life to making sure that I’m happy, healthy and well taken care of.  And people wonder why little girls adore their fathers..

As a 33 year-old woman, it’s no stretch of the imagination that I learned the most of how a man should love and treat a woman by watching my father.  It must have been disappointing for him to watch me fail as a woman  and a wife after he set the template for me.  Today, I still look to his example of what to look for in an “other”–be it significant or not.  True to form of Daddy and a man, they just don’t make ’em like they used to.  It’s rare to see a man who is actually married to his best friend, but I’ve witnessed my parents talk for hours and then go out together.  When I graduated from high school, one of the best memories I have of that sunset and that evening is one of my parents walking across Moss Field hand in hand, “one down, one to go.”  Later that night I would shoot baskets with him at the Senior party. When he got inducted into Illinois Coaches Hall of Fame, he reverently thanked my mother for letting him pursue his dream.

There are a lot of aspects about me that come from my mother but I feel as though the “essence” of me comes from my Dad because he made me “me”. He made me the light-brown eyed, procrastinating, sharp-tongued, right-handed, basketball-watching, ice cream-eating, bratabulous woman that I am today.  If I ever wanted or needed a hug or a kiss, I was definitely more inclined to get one from Daddy.  I’m sure that he spent more time than Momma did wondering about my whereabouts.  He never let me borrow his car with a full tank of gas and he’s always been up for a fight (fair or not), which I appreciate.  He is the master strategist, the consummate consigliere.  If you’ve ever looked at me and wondered just what I was thinking at that moment in time, that quiet storm quality of my nature definitely comes from my Dad.

If my mother is my right-brain, my father is my analytical left brain, dissecting information and people into smaller parts.  Every night at our house, we would have ice cream for dessert. Daddy loves Strawberry; Stacey does not.  So, if he had Momma buy Neapolitan, he would yell at me for only scooping out the Chocolate and the Vanilla.  Sorry Daddy….NOT!  He was also annoyed whenever I would add toppings (read: crush Oreo cookies in the ice cream with a metal spoon!! LOL), wondering how I ruin such good ice cream. Ha-ha Daddy!! I loved taking him to Thomas Sweet’s in Georgetown where they make their own flavors of ice cream. That was one way to quiet him 😉 He came out to DC/VA once to help me drive back to St. Louis and it was a great trip.  My father is a wonderfully intellectual, sarcastic, shrewd, rude dude.  But he’s also caring, compassionate and a sucker for a good cookie.  Oh how I adore him. There were many nights that I stayed up watching Basketball with him–me with my pom-pons and him yelling at me to get from in front of the television.

I grew up listening to Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson and countless others.  My sister and I learned early on that music soothed savage beasts (such as ourselves), and I don’t recall many times when there wasn’t music in the background.  My dad also encouraged my love of Jazz.  He also made sure that I knew how to catch (cause face it–girls that can’t catch are WHACK!) and just contributed to my overtly badass-ness that makes me “me”.  Many things in life are replaceable, but my Daddy definitely is not.  I love you, Daddy.

Posted by: annabanana210 | January 26, 2011

Pigpen in a Snowstorm

I wouldn’t say that I got up on the wrong side of the bed today, but something is definitely amiss.  I feel like Pigpen with the proverbial cloud of dust hanging over my head, but I feel that dust cloud is covering me from head to toe.  I think some of it has to do with the fact that in 14 days I’ll be 33. I tend to use the time before my birthday to sit back and reflect on what I’ve accomplished and where I’ve fallen short.  The latter seems to be plaguing my mind. However, I do take comfort in knowing that I can only control what I bring to each situation.  Though I’d like to have a say in various relationships of mine especially when it comes to contributions, I’m fairly confident that I can only control what I do.  That fact is just as much bitter as it is sweet.

In lots of ways I feel as though I’m at a standstill.  I feel like my life is suspended in Groundhog Day fashion but I get to watch everyone else play out their lives in realtime HD.  I would like to believe that we contribute to where we are and how we get there.  Don’t we also have an influence on progressing and moving forward on own storylines?

To add insult to injury, it’s snowing outside.  Not just flurrying, snowing with a vengeance.  Snowing like, “You thought you could allude me all winter!!” snowing.  I was prepared for this; I bought orange juice and champagne just for the occasion. Can you just imagine Pigpen in a dust cloud playing in the snow (Ewww)? I just washed a set of sheets and pillowcases and after a steamy shower, I am going to slide between them and let them hug me.  I could use some comfort.


Posted by: annabanana210 | January 19, 2011

Wrong side of bed or wrong side of life?

If your bed isn’t up against a wall, how is it possible to wake up on the wrong side of the bed? I don’t know how it’s possible, but I did it.  Then when I tried to go back to sleep, the trash man came and woke me up and then I laid in bed for an hour, trying to figure out what the people upstairs were throwing on the floor.

My body finally stopped holding me hostage and let me sleep until almost 11.  My body does one thing, but my mind does another.  They do not always work in a harmonious relationship, as I often wish they would.  It’s always good to know that your body isn’t working for you, it’s working against you.

I wish I knew why I felt this way today.  I wonder if I’m in my winter slump or just in a state of pre-birthday depression.  So I will take a shower, get dressed for work, show up and behave myself the time I am supposed to be there.  But right now, even that seems like asking a lot.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Posted by: annabanana210 | January 11, 2011

Today I love the snow

Anyone that knows me well enough to say they know me, knows that I hate snow.

I was born on February 10, in a year long ago, a century before…in the midst of a terrible ice and snowstorm in St. Louis, Missouri.  My parents went to the hospital with the intention of attending a prenatal class. I also attended the class by breaking the water and getting my mother admitted.  Then I began to ponder being born and I decided to hold off for quite a few more hours.

Every year between my birth and 18 years of age, it snowed on my birthday.  I am very bitter.  Lots of calls to say no one is coming to my birthday party (maybe it’s just cause nobody liked me anyway!), and last year’s Snowpocalypse 2010 was by far the worst.

Nevertheless, I’ve had a change of heart and probably just for a few hours.  Nikki Giovanni drove up to DC today to present us with the “100 Greatest African-American Poems” book that she edited.  She spoke on every current topic in the news today, touching on the Arizona shootings, as well as Sarah Palin, Clarence Thomas, rap music and what she feels her legacy is to the younger generation.  She also spoke on how important family is, how much she loves her son (she “thinks he’s pretty okay”), and how hard it was to edit these selections (which is why there are actually 221 poems in the book, if you count the one ahead of the table of contents).

Ms. Giovanni was very gracious and giving of her time.  She was very engaged with everyone she spoke with and she smiled for each picture she took with all of us.  I waited in line and she signed my books for me.  She also took a picture with me.  I think it’s very important to note that not only is she an extraordinary person, she’s done something extraordinary; she made me love the snow again. It was so warm inside Busboys tonight, but that was from the energy that radiated from all of us taken in her words and knowledge.  I’m glad that I went!

As a young African-American woman, there aren’t many positive images out there for us to look to or admire.  Do you remember the first time you read or heard “Ego Trippin'”? It was as though someone finally put into words all the things you felt about yourself, but better.  I felt as though the best kept secret (black women) was let loose on the world, but the world was just going to have to deal with it.  I was very honored and humbled to meet this tremendous spirit in such a small package. 

I smiled just about the whole way home, in the snow.

Posted by: annabanana210 | December 30, 2010

Warm Christmas Fuzzies **giggle-giggle**

Remember when we were younger? The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed like a semester itself! Now that we’re out in the working world, paying bills, taking care of business, Christmas sneaks up on us.

This year was no different.  For my festivities, I got up, took a shower and got ready.  Wrapped a couple of presents and spoke with my younger sister (hence why I had to do surgery on some of the gifts I wrapped).  I had to make that last-minute run on Christmas Eve around 5:30 before the stores closed.  Then for some gift exchanging 🙂 I was on the receiving end of some wonderful gifts.  At this point in my life, it’s not important to have toys.  I’m more impressed when someone is thoughtful and gets me something I will enjoy. **Sprays new DKNY Pure perfume on wrists**

After exchanging gifts and socializing, I was treated to a lovely dinner at Busboys and Poets.  I even had a glass of sparkling Shiraz.  Hey, it’s Christmas Eve right? It was a clear, crisp, dark winter night.  But I managed to keep warm by rubbing hands and hearts.

I love Christmas only to watch us become kids again, because once we get back on the Metro Monday morning, it’s back to being a grown-up.

Posted by: annabanana210 | December 29, 2010


It seems as though last year, my personal life was in shambles, but I had a great job.  Now those two aspects of my life have switched on me.  My personal life has surpassed my expectations but my career is lagging in the distance.  I have spent a lot of time worrying about it and even more time trying to improve it, but alas–it’s still a mess. I’ve come to realize that it will get fixed but not by my design.

Usually, when I get to feeling a certain way about something I withdraw.  I haven’t spent any real-time at home since Easter.  When I went home for Family Reunion, I was only there for twelve hours before we left for the Magnolia State and from Mississippi I went back to DC.  I stayed here for Thanksgiving, and I did work the weekend after.  I was hesitant to plan to travel home for Christmas because my work schedule could be just as variable.  But my Daddy said he’d get me a ticket, and I looked into it.  We decided not to tell Momma.  I found a ticket on Expedia for two direct flights (nice!) and booked that bad boy!

The week went fairly well and Christmas Eve arrived.  I called my Dad and asked him to charge his phone so I could talk with him as I made progress in my flight.  We discussed where and when he would pick me up.  All systems were a-go.  It was very hard to keep it from my Mom.  We speak on the phone two or three times a day.  It was especially hard when she went to the post office to mail a package for me and me and my Dad didn’t want to stop her for fear that she would suspect something.

Christmas came and there was light snow at home, but sparse flurries here.  Got on the plane and departed.  Landed a little late, but Daddy was there when I walked outside.  It was awesome to see him! So many times in my adult life I am transported back to being a small child, enamored with my parents, missing them so.  I got in the car and we wasted no time discussing the plan of action.  He’d told Mom that he went to Walgreens and then when it took longer than he thought, he said he gave one of my classmate’s brother a ride home.  I was impressed by that scenario but freaked out as I we got on 64 from the Innerbelt.  My mother texted me (which she never does), asking where I was!!!!! Hoping that no one had ruined the surprise, I said that I was with two friends in DC.  She texted back and said, ‘Okay’ and that ‘texting was fun’.  Sure it is, when you’re not trying to pull off a surprise! Nervewracked!!

We pulled onto our street, and the blinds were mostly closed.  It was dark anyway.  I went inside first.  Momma just turned her head slightly to the left and said, “So how is it outside?”.  I walked closer and then she turned around in her chair.  “OH MY GOD!! OH MY GOD!!” I walked over to her and hugged her and she whispered, “This is the best present!” and she hugged me tightly and we both started to cry.

It was the best gift I’ve ever given, and it was totally priceless.


Posted by: annabanana210 | December 7, 2010

Bittersweet dark Tuesdays

I’m not a huge fan of December.  I feel as though it gets dark at 3pm and stays that way until March sometime.  It got a little darker earlier today as it was announced that Elizabeth Edwards had passed away.  That feeling of dread landed in my stomach like rotten-ass McDonald’s french fries (since they don’t biodegrade), and I had a moment of silence for Mrs. Edwards and her three children.  She seemed like she was a woman who was in the business of doing things rather than just talking about them.  She was in the business of getting things done.  And that’s a quality I admire in anyone.

Meanwhile, in viral cyberland (aka Facebook), the game of the day was the “number” game.  So let’s say Annie B (because we love her best), inboxes me the number 36.  I then post #36 as my status and a comment regarding my “true” feelings about her follows. **Anyone who knows me well enough to read this blog has to know I’m rolling my eyes right now**.  If the good Lord allows it, I’ll be 33 in February.  I’m pretty sure at this point in my life that I don’t need a secret number to tell anyone how whack they are  **smiles**. Subsequently, I don’t need a secret number to tell someone I had a crush on them in second grade.  Those two losers both know I had a crush on them in the second grade, and everyone that I don’t like already knows that I don’t like them.  The people that I love should know I love them (if they listen), and anyone that’s confused about where they fall should just ask. As I’m typing this, I can only think of one person that should even be confused about that…

What’s most polarizing about life to me is the fact that at one point on this day you can be here among the “living”, and in the next, you are a part of history.  Time doesn’t stop when you depart this world, the universe continues to move along as it always has; the music keeps’ve just left the party.  “When you’ve seen beyond yourself than you may find peace of mind is waiting there, And the time will come when you see we’re all one and life flows on within you and without you,”(Harrison). For the longest time, it was hard for me to not be offended by that statement.  Now it brings me comfort, knowing that I will one day go on through everyone and everything else.

So, I’m challenging you to stop talking about what you’re gonna do, and get in the business of doing it. And if there’s someone in your life that doesn’t know exactly how you feel about them, tell them.  You’d be surprised to know just how much we all assume…


Posted by: annabanana210 | November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Mom

Today is my mother’s birthday.  She is truly a remarkable being, and yes, I am extremely biased. So much of what I do and who I am comes from her.

My mother showed me how to change a diaper, she read me countless stories.  She even wrote a tune to accompany a song that my sister and I still know!  When I was in high school and we didn’t really “care” for each other, she used to slow the car down to a roll so I could jump out and then she’d speed down Selma, anxious to have the beast out of her car! Then later in the afternoon, when she picked me up, she’d make me jog along side the car before letting me in–in front of EVERYONE! All of my friends love her and most people are better able to understand me better after meeting her.

Even though I sucked, she went to all of my Cross Country meets and every piano lesson.  To this day, no one can wash my hair the way that she does.  She showed me how to make meatloaf, macaroni and cheese (baked), apple butter, pizza and countless other things, but she won’t show me how to make the fried apples she makes for breakfast.

When I was younger, she smoked, but I don’t ever remember her smelling like smoke.  Nope, my Momma always smelled like Anne Klein or Gloria Vanderbilt in the early days.  As I got older she smelled like Sun Moon Stars or DKNY Be Delicious.  She’s under the impression that Chance by Chanel is her “scent for life”, but her actual scent is something that can’t be bottled or sold.  It’s as distinctive as the sound of her jingling her keys, beautiful as her voice singing with her sister, and as underrated as her cold hugs and kisses that warm you up all over.

She is one of only two reasons I ever wanted to have kids.

So I could be a “cool Mom”–like her.

Posted by: annabanana210 | November 8, 2010

A topic that sparked my curiosity..

**Rose Royce plays in the background**

Lately, I’ve had way too much time on my hands to think.  I’ve thought about everything I wanted to think about and everything I didn’t want to think about. Sometimes my thoughts stem from random places, like twitter, Facebook and NPR.

Today Twitter is the winner.  The trending topic #whatdowomenwant.  I cringed when I saw it but I couldn’t NOT look at it.  Besides, as the biggest hater known to men in the Midwest and now the Eastern Seaboard, I just have to know what people think that women want so I can tell them how wrong they are.

**”Wishing on a Star” goes off, “I’m Going Down” storms in**

I carefully read through the results and find that this trend can be traced back to Usher.  I’m sure he can speak on the behalf of all women near and far of what it is that we want.  I texted five men, asking them to weigh in the topic.  Only ONE responded.  And I’m sure that the one that responded just picked one or two words out of a veil of thin air.  “Women want attention”.  I guess that’s because I chose to text this in the midst of Sunday Night Football…it’s not like the Cowboys were winning anyway. I have full faith and confidence that it’s never a good time to address what women want.  “Security.” Hmmm. Do men not want security too? So I asked what security entailed and I got, “safe, accountable, faith in the future”.  However, I have to give this subject credit; he answered and no one else has.  Nevertheless, being Anastacia, I think he looked at the phone, sighed and came up with the answer that he thought would occupy my time the best.  Anyway.

**Alicia Keys comes on, singing “Like You’ll Never See Me Again”**

The only word I like in the aforementioned answer is “accountable”.  If you’re unfamiliar with the term “accountable” or the concept of ‘being accountable’, please read up on it. Chances are, if you don’t know what accountable means, you probably aren’t.  I think of all of the words in his answer, it’s the hardest one for people to do on a consistent basis. I don’t think being accountable is easy for either sex.  Neither is being reliable.  I still have no other answers from ‘real men’.

**”Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)” plays now**

Yawning, I go back to Twitter to see what the trend is.  It’s not pretty.  Seems as though a third of the responses are sexual.  Sex?! Please. Next, one-third is men saying, “hell if I know,” which is a great yet accurate answer.  The rest of the responses are men and women saying that women just wanna be loved, cherished and respected.  To be honest, it’s a topic that trends quickly.  The top tweets are ” just to be loved and respected by that right man”, and “to feel like they’re the only woman in the world”.  The next tweet says, “I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it’s not Mel Gibson.” Wow.  That last one is true.

I’m thinking that all of the answers are correct and incorrect.  How could I expect someone to nail it on the head for me? I’m just one woman.  If you want to know what a particular woman wants, please ask her.  I’m sure she won’t hesitate to answer.  Like all things Anastacia, my answer varies from minute to minute, day-to-day.  But today, right now, all I can tell you is that this woman wants everything and nothing and someone to know the difference between the two.  Good night.  Happy early Monday.  The trash man awaits me in the morning.


Posted by: annabanana210 | October 27, 2010

Dazed and Confused

I’m confused.  That’s not new for me.  I spend a lot of my time confused and I’m sure there are plenty of people who would agree with me.  Anyway,  I really like Willow Smith’s “Whip my Hair Back and Forth”.

Then today I saw a link, and I just laid my head back and let my eyes roll around in there for a while.

I sighed.

I need further clarification, what exactly was the hard work? Was recording the song the hard work? She is just nine.  She doesn’t wear a training bra and hasn’t had a cramp or a zit yet.  What does she know about hard work?  When you’re nine, hard work is learning to divide fractions by multiplying the first fraction by the reciprocal of the second. Can a nine-year old spell reciprocal? By Piaget’s standards, she’s only in the midst of the Concrete Operational Stage, not yet able to use abstract reasoning to solve problems efficiently as teenagers and adults do in the Formal Operational Stage.  By Erikson’s standards and theories, she’s only at Industry versus Inferiority…she really has so far to go! And on top of that, she wants to be “famous like her parents”.  What about making your own way in the world and making it that much different before you leave it? What about long division?  Just asking.

I just find it annoying that everyone is “whipping their hair back and forth” like we haven’t been doing that all along.  Similar to when Justin Timberlake “bringing sexy back”.  I’d had plenty of sexiness in my life before and after sexyback.  People are constantly inventing and discovering things that have already been discovered.  Why are we so amazed and impressed by this Christopher Columbus behavior and not just in October?

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