The Extremes List

If you have not figured it out yet, I love making lists.  I decided to compile a “tiny” list of the things that piss me off and the things I adore.  And just so you know, this is not by all means an exhaustive list, I could do this for hours.

Things that Piss me off

  1. People who talk to me in the morning before I’ve had a sip of coffee Unfortunately for me, hubs is a morning person so I’ve had to learn to be nice in the mornings.  Seriously, I cannot deal with people who want to have full-blown conversations before I have had my first sip. Life is so much sweeter with coffee.
  2. Men who push past women to get seats on the train AND men who conveniently look away when a pregnant or elderly woman boards the train. If I was still in the game, this is how I would determine who I would date because its says a lot about a man’s character. This morning, a man offered his seat to a young woman who was none of the above and I did a double take because that almost never happens.
  3. Men who think it is a good idea to speak to me on the street. I suffer from resting bitchy face so I almost never look approachable and I have learned not to leave the house without my headphones. What part of that encourages you to speak to me?
  4. Successive phone calls in a row. I hate the phone and multiple missed calls from you will not make these fingers move faster.
  5. People who make sly comments about my natural hair. It has taken me too long to appreciate the kinks and coils growing on my head and I do not need any negativity.

Things I adore:

  1. Cake on my birthday. I will never stop talking about that one birthday where I was forced to cancel my birthday plans and no one bought me a cake. Cake on my birthday is necessary.
  2. Hanging out with my siblings. We don’t hang as much as we probably should and I am really enjoying the individuals they are growing up to be.
  3. Reading books, having books delivered, buying books.
  4. Watching trash television shows with my husband. He is the funniest person I know and the endless commentary kills me. He needs to be on that Bravo show, The People’s Couch.
  5. Brunches with my girls followed by window-shopping. There is nothing like a good girlfriend, no matter how long it has been since we’ve last seen each other.
  6. Dance  parties. You never realize how much you needed a sweaty all out dance session until you are in the midst of one. Ugh, I need one in my life.

Tell me what pisses you off and what you adore below!

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Book Review: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

image courtesy of amazon.com

 

I do not know how many times I have said this before or how many times I will say this again but Roxane Gay is my new favorite.

I picked up An Untamed State because my new favorite author wrote it, however I was unprepared for how much it would affect me.

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay is romantic, endearing, disturbing, and painfully raw all at once. Yes, all of those things. If you do not believe me, read the book.

Born in the US to Haitian immigrants, Mireille hears the stories of poverty and hard work from her parents. They describe a Haiti filled with poverty, sickness, and hardships. Mireille learns to love a Haiti filled with sunshine, beaches, and good times.

Brought up under the critical eye of her father, Mireille excels at everything, desperate to meet his impossible standards. She meets Michael and they fall in love despite the differences in their upbringings and culture. They live a fairy tale life in Miami, oblivious to everything but their love.

Mireille is kidnapped, snatched from the arms of her husband and family. She is plunged into a dark underworld where morality ceases to exist.  Mireille is introduced to a part of herself she never needed before, a part that will stop at nothing to survive.

She learns what happens when the have-nots have had enough.

An Untamed State is not always a pretty story and there are demons unearthed that are unable to crawl back into the closet. I had to put the back down multiple times, disgusted by what I was reading but also transfixed.

Intertwined with the horror are pieces of a love story, the coming together of two imperfect people struggling to make it work. You begin to fall in love with this couple, you want to root for them.  Then Roxane Gay plunges you back into Mireille’s nightmare. She has a gift not many possess, this ability to conjure a myriad of emotions within just a few pages. The glimpse into the mind of someone who is slowly going insane.

Mireille’s survival became my own and I had to remind myself to breathe. I love how Roxane Gay does not tie this story with a pretty bow, the characters stripped raw and left exposed.

It makes you wonder, what would you do?

Have you read this book, what did you think?

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Red Lipstick, natural hair, and self love

I thought turning thirty meant waking up possessing all the answers and regularly bending over for the world to kiss my ass because I was a Grown Woman.

I thought turning thirty meant finally releasing the demons plaguing me since childhood or outgrowing those pesky self-image issues.

Shit, I thought I would wake up one day and loving my natural hair would be as easy as loving anything with bacon…or avocado.

I still struggle with saying, “No.”

I still struggle with my self-image.

I definitely still struggle with these kinks and coils that refuse to behave. Continue reading

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Triple 7 Challenge

After reading Dara’s post here, I pretty much forced her to invite me in the challenge. Lol.

The Triple 7 Challenge is a fun challenge encouraging writers to share 7 lines of a Work in Progress from the 7th page, 7 lines down.

This excerpt is from a more recent WIP, something I have been playing around with.

I called my boyfriend, scarily calm. He was incredulous. “She told you via text message?”

My voice faltered a bit. There was a chance my mother might die, no matter how small the chance; it hovered over me like a black cloud..>. Continue reading

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When people pleasing goes wrong

I almost gave myself a mild panic attack over absolutely nothing.

I am a perpetual people pleaser and yesterday it reached new levels.

After a conversation that pretty much ruined my evening, I slept fitfully. I woke up exhausted with a persistent knot in the pit of my stomach. The familiar feeling of dread draped over my shoulders like an unwanted hand.

It refused to budge even after I arrived in my office and prayed silently.

I felt sick all day. The knot remained but was now accompanied with lightheartedness and nausea. I was literally sick to my stomach.

I wanted to talk about it. I wanted someone to tell me what do, tell me that I was not a bad person for wanting something for me..>. Continue reading

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What she sees in the night

I was very young when I first watched Nightmare on Elm Street.

I was asleep in the room I shared with my younger sister when I woke up screaming from a nightmare. I always yelled for my mother, but she didn’t always come.

This time she showed up, fatigued etched in her face and she snuggled with me in my bed. Before I settled in her warmth, I searched the room and I heard my mother’s voice,

“Don’t look for him.”

I saw him anyway, illuminated in the shape of a tiny doll on the dresser. I fell sleep as fast as I could, my only defense mechanism, a prayer in my throat.

I woke up screaming again, he was pulling my feet, dragging me away from my family into his personal hell.

I opened my eyes and he was standing menacingly at the foot of my bed. I screamed so loud my father stumbled in and then he disappeared while I was left crying and flailing my arms..>. Continue reading

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Overcoming my fear of public speaking

They forced me to take Speech class in high school, some nonsense about needing it to graduate.

Back then, I did not know my voice mattered. I tried to blend into the walls, so I could slip in and out unnoticed, unbothered.

Public speaking forced me in the limelight, under the watchful eyes of people who could not see past the exterior. They did not know that I could be funny and silly when I was completely at ease. Or that I loved to write stories about my dream life.  Or that I wanted big things to happen in my future.

All they saw was the tall, awkward girl who was painfully shy with the thick glasses and braces.

I saw in my usual seat, closest to the door, my heart pounding as I waited for the inevitable. I wiped my sweaty palms on my skirt and felt the first trickle of perspiration under my arms.>. Continue reading

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Black-ish and my struggle with being Haitian-ish

I watched the Season Premiere of Tracee Ellis Ross’ new show Black-ish on ABC and at first; I was not really feeling it.

It seemed a bit much. Too much obvious Black-centric jokes (grape soda, fried chicken—haven’t we heard all this before?).  I’m still getting used to  Anthony Anderson as the main character and how in 2014 a Black man can still question his bi-racial wife’s Blackness.

But.

Once you look past all that, I think Black-ish is onto something and because I love Tracee Ellis Ross, I will continue to watch. Just like, I watched her show with Malcolm Jamal Warner, Reed between the Lines before it disappeared.

I also realized I can actually relate because even though I grew up in a majority Black neighborhood, I was raised by Haitian parents.>. Continue reading

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Book Review: Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

Image courtesy of amazon.com

 

Set in the fictional town of Ville Rose, the story opens on the morning of Claire Limye Lanme Faustin’s seventh birthday, also the anniversary of the death of her mother. This is also the same morning a local fisherman dies at sea, reminding the townspeople how thin the line between life and death really is.

Dressed in her customary pink muslin birthday dress, Claire and her father visit her late mother’s grave, their annual tradition, only this year Claire feels something different in the air.

Since the death of Claire’s mother, Nozias Faustin was well aware of his inability and lack of connections to properly raise a girl child into the world. He told his daughter countless times he was leaving pou cheche lavi (look for a better life) and to give her better opportunities than he had.>. Continue reading

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Back to the basics…

Skinny Black Girl posted something today that resonated with me.

I am not new to this blogging thing. After I was engaged in 2008, I started a blog on Blogger detailing the details of planning a wedding while a fulltime graduate student. I did not do it to gain followers and I was surprised when I amassed a few loyals. Around the same time, I joined the now defunct PNN site because they posted an advertisement for a writing opportunity and our interviews were our posts. PNN quickly became a tight knit community, rather than a hostile group of competitors. We posted daily, commented on each other’s posts etc. I cross-posted a few times and shared my wedding journey with my new friends. We even organized a small meet up in Philadelphia and I met these dynamic, encouraging women in the flesh. I am proud to say, we are all still cyber friends today.

When I started blogging at cakeandeggs, I did it initially because I wanted to build an audience. I wanted to throw my voice in the mix because my ultimate goal was to be a published author. I thought I could be transparent and write instead of going to therapy.>. Continue reading

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