devonly randomonium

Sugar-coated effery and shenanigans.

Here I Go Again

Heyooooooo, Internet friends!

Yes, I’m back. Now I know what you’re thinking. Probably something along the lines of, “Where the hell have you been for two years, Devon?”

Welp, it’s simple.

I’ve been making new friends. I’ve been working, not working and working again.

I’ve been gaining weight, losing weight, plateauing and getting back on my fitness grind.

Ahhhhhnnnnd, I’m still trying to figure out:

  • men
  • ways to get rich
  • why my uterus hates me
  • why I can’t find Homemade brand Cookies ‘n’ Cream ice cream at Acme anymore

It’s been an interesting two years. So I thought that it was time to start sharing some of my experiences and venting about my frustrations. Hey, it’s probably cheaper than therapy, and you might learn something along the way!

I started this blog after I lost my job a few years ago. I wanted to prove that I could write even though corporate America tried to dull my shine.

Keyword tried

At the time, I was angry, frustrated and mad at everyone. I was scraping to get by and it sucked. But I was fortunate because I had a good support system around me. My parents, friends and even my sister shared their hard-earned shillings so I could pay my car note, keep my phone on and do the basic things that I took for granted. When you’re not working, you long for a bit of normalcy. Even though I hated my job, I missed some of the folks who I had grown to love. I missed a regular paycheck. I hated not being able to go out. I missed shopping for crap I really didn’t need. I even missed going to Icky Sleaze(Mickey D’s) for a janky cheeseburger. I cried a lot. I blamed myself for my hardships, and I didn’t think that I would ever recover.

Fast forward to now, and I’m in a much better place.

I’m still learning. I’m still growing, but the one thing that remains the same is my shine. By shine, I mean my personality. I realized that no matter how tough things get, you can’t give up, and you can’t allow yourself to become defeated. You gotta keep pushing. You gotta keep knocking down doors. You gotta keep smiling even though you want to scream, junk punch and kick those dickwads who are trying to throw you off track. And you can’t stay in that dark place. If you do, it will kill your spirit. And at that point, you have allowed all of the negativity to destroy one of the most unique things about you.

So remember:

You live.

You learn.

You learn how to live—better.

Nothing is set in stone. Every day truly is a fresh start. Keep evolving, keep moving forward and keep being the very best you can be.

 

So there’s my serious post.

Now, on with the shenanigans! 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Pretty/Ugly

Hey guys and gals! Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been a little busy…and a whole lotta lazy. Not that you care. But if you do, I missed you too boo boo. I promise to get “write” back on track….bah dump, dump!

Anyway, (dodging your side eyes) I wanted to chime in on Hurgate 2012. What is that? The hur (hair) scandal that shook up the Olympics. I’m not going to lie. When I saw little Gabby Douglas, I did give her hair situation the side eye. But, I gave the side eye to all of the gymnasts’ hur situations. Their poor edges! (Girls, stop pulling those ponytails so tight!) But not once did I think Gabby’s hair was unmanageable, nor did I judge her on her hair alone. I knew she was a tiny dynamo, and I’m glad she did her thing.

Here’s my beef. The girl won two gold medals. She accomplished more in her 16 years on this planet than any of us every will. So I don’t understand why some of your cousins felt the need to attack her about her hair. Actually, I do. One word, eight letters.

J-E-A-L-O-U-S-Y

Unlike most of us who would cut a trick for talking about our hur, Gabby shook off the haters and proved she was a true class act. I admire her enthusiasm and positivity. I also appreciate the fact that she didn’t act all stank this week when she didn’t get a medal. I think she is a great role model to young girls, and I pray she doesn’t end up in one of those random big booty trollop magazines you see at the gas station.

So where am I going with this?

As I drove to work yesterday, I caught the end of Jacque Reid’s TJMS interview with Sophia Nelson, author of Black Women Redefined. Ms. Nelson said something that grabbed my attention. She mentioned that a scientific study found black women to be the most unattractive of all ethnic groups. What the French, toast? How terrible is that! And why someone felt the need to even do that study boggles my mind. It was really unbelievable to hear that. Ms. Nelson went on to explain that because we’re hearing stuff like this from the media, we’re basically repeating these things within the black community. You can listen to the full interview here.

Hearing that really made me think. I have my battles with self-image. One day, I might think I look just as good as one of those video chicks. Another day, I might think I look like Miss Sophia(as in “You told Harpo to beat me” Miss Sophia.) But I try to reserve my shade for those who really deserve it.  To me, those who deserve it are those broads who shellac on MAC, eat a grape for lunch, sew in Barbie hair and then turn their noses up at you because they think they are the coldest. I’ve come across them from time to time, and I find it to be extremely sad. You can buy every product at the MAC counter, get every dimple lasered off your ass, bathe in the blood of virgins and wear chinchilla lashes, but if your attitude is horrible, you’re not a bombshell. You’re just a straight up bitch.

Ok, what was all that about?

I’m getting to it.

I feel like we put emphasis on the wrong things sometimes. Because of it, we now have a generation of women who go to the gym in full hair and makeup, and get breast implants at 18. We have women who feel like they need to be flawless to be seen. And if they’re flawless and seen, everyone else is irrelevant. To me, they’re pretty/ugly.  It seems like more and more, I’m seeing that with black women. I could be wrong. But I feel like we have to do much better. Our young girls need us to do better. They need to see there is more to life than a good weave and a phat ass. They need to see us support each other and celebrate our differences. And that’s why I’m glad Hurgate happened. Hopefully it will open our eyes and teach us to treat each other with respect.

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Do They Make Invisible Fence for Creepers?

Image

Source: Urlesque

I would love to start dating again, but I’m very afraid to do so.

Why? One word, eight letters.

C-R-E-E-P-E-R-S.

I was talking to a lady in Zumba class yesterday and this subject came up. It seems like many weirdos have crossed both of our paths over the years. We even admitted that we no longer make eye contact with certain guys because once you do, you’ve got a full-blown, code red clinger situation.

Guys, there’s nothing wrong with having a little confidence. But a woman saying “hello,” or “thank you” does not mean they think you’re the sexiest thing in the world, and that they want to have your baby right there on the spot. (Well, it might if you meet a rat, but for normal women it doesn’t.) Be a gentleman. Give the right response and keep it moving.

This brings me to Chief Hungry Eyes. Chief Hungry Eyes is the Chris Hansen-caliber predator in our Zumba class. Do I care if he reads this? No. It might help him get his weak game in check, and possibly avoid potential restraining orders. (So Chief if your reading, take notes. There will be a quiz.) Anywho, Chief Hungry Eyes always strolls into class late. And instead of walking in and finding a spot in the back of the gym, the Chief likes to make his presence known. He leisurely walks in and stares everyone down as if he’s at the world’s largest buffet. Then he selects his victim for that class and tortures them for an hour.

Now I’m pretty sure the Chief is harmless, but his creeper habits make me want to buy some dog mace and a whistle. But I’m sure that in his mind he’s smooth as silk, and he’s slaying hoes from coast to coast.

Wrong, wrong.

Guys like the Chief and all the random dudes I’ve encountered online and in real life have convinced me that I’m going to be alone for some time until I buy my pug. Me and Tommy the pug will live together and wear matching outfits. And when he dies, I’ll have him cloned so he can live forever.

Just kidding.

Dudes, don’t be creepers. It’s not hot. You telling me I look sexy in a pig costume (true story), or staring a woman down like a lunch buffet is not cool. Be charming, be witty and be a gentleman. Do this and you will be slaying the ladies from coast to coast.

In the meantime, I’m going to see if they can develop an Invisible Fence for creepers. I have to protect myself from further trauma.

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Do They Make Invisible Fence for Creepers?

Image

Source: Urlesque

I would love to start dating again, but I’m very afraid to do so.

Why? One word, eight letters.

C-R-E-E-P-E-R-S.

I was talking to a lady in Zumba class yesterday and this subject came up. It seems like many weirdos have crossed both of our paths over the years. We even admitted that we no longer make eye contact with certain guys because once you do, you’ve got a full-blown, code red clinger situation.

Guys, there’s nothing wrong with having a little confidence. But a woman saying “hello,” or “thank you” does not mean they think you’re the sexiest thing in the world, and that they want to have your baby right there on the spot. (Well, it might if you meet a rat, but for normal women it doesn’t.) Be a gentleman. Give the right response and keep it moving.

This brings me to Chief Hungry Eyes. Chief Hungry Eyes is the Chris Hansen-caliber predator in our Zumba class. Do I care if he reads this? No. It might help him get his weak game in check, and possibly avoid potential restraining orders. (So Chief if your reading, take notes. There will be a quiz.) Anywho, Chief Hungry Eyes always strolls into class late. And instead of walking in and finding a spot in the back of the gym, the Chief likes to make his presence known. He leisurely walks in and stares everyone down as if he’s at the world’s largest buffet. Then he selects his victim for that class and tortures them for an hour.

Now I’m pretty sure the Chief is harmless, but his creeper habits make me want to buy some dog mace and a whistle. But I’m sure that in his mind he’s smooth as silk, and he’s slaying hoes from coast to coast.

Wrong, wrong.

Guys like the Chief and all the random dudes I’ve encountered online and in real life have convinced me that I’m going to be alone for some time until I buy my pug. Me and Tommy the pug will live together and wear matching outfits. And when he dies, I’ll have him cloned so he can live forever.

Just kidding.

Dudes, don’t be creepers. It’s not hot. You telling me I look sexy in a pig costume (true story), or staring a woman down like a lunch buffet is not cool. Be charming, be witty and be a gentleman. Do this and you will be slaying the ladies from coast to coast.

In the meantime, I’m going to see if they can develop an Invisible Fence for creepers. I have to protect myself from further trauma.

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Off the Grid

Hello there.

Boy have I been a terrible blogger! I know, I know. I’ve been missing in action for a minute, but I did not forget about my blog. I’m back and you can expect more randomonium in the weeks to come. Nationwide was not lying when they said, “Life comes at you fast.” I’m not going to give you the laundry list of what went down, but let’s just say I’m back on track for now. Sayonara March! Bring on my birfday month!

While I was off the grid hunting animals, knitting scarves and building a log cabin….not really, I thought about one thing. No matter what I’m going through, I have to keep it moving and I have to keep it positive. This really hit home last month when my aunt died. The day before she passed, I was very frustrated and borderline bummed out. I was stressing because I’m still trying to recover from the events of last year, and I’m barely keeping my head above water. I was angry and all I could do was have a pity party of one.

The next morning, my phone rang at 7 a.m. It was my Mom and she was sobbing. I answered with a groggy, “Hello?” My Mom’s voice cracked as she said, “Call Papa. He said Aunt Vivian is dead. I’m not sure if he’s confused or not.” She started crying again and said, “I don’t want to wake your father up to tell him since he just had surgery. Please call Papa.” I reassured her that I would check on my grandpa, and hung up. I was shocked, but I remained calm and composed.

Calling Papa that day was pretty hard. On a regular day, Papa’s always cracking jokes or telling us what’s wrong with the world. But to hearing him cry that morning broke my heart. I told him I loved him. I also told him that despite the circumstances, God would bring him through. As I hung up, I felt like a complete jerk for being so consumed with my own stuff. My cousins lost their mom. Papa lost his daughter, and my uncle lost his wife. To me, that trumped whatever I was going through.

It’s funny how life teaches you so many lessons even when you’re not in a learning mood. When everything happened, it opened my eyes. It’s easy for us to get so caught up in our own stuff that we don’t often realize that people are out there fighting much tougher battles.  And sometimes it’s hard to understand life’s trials and tribulations. But once you make it through them, you become a little tougher and wiser.

So I might be scratching and surviving right now, but I have faith that I will get back on my feet eventually. In the meantime I’m just going to keep it moving and keep it positive. I encourage you to do the same no matter what you’re going through. And if you need to talk, yell or have a good come to Jesus moment, you know how to reach me. 🙂

 

 

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Tip Drill

Source: Cupcakes Take The Cake

I received some very nice gifts for Christmas. The majority of the gifts were cash…great for a broke biznatch like moi.  But the one gift that stood out was the big brown bag of baking goodies from my cousin Terea. The average person would not get excited about 31 decorating tips, icing bags, a cupcake corer and a filled cupcake baking pan. When I pulled each of these items out of that beautiful bag with the royal purple ribbon handles, I cried. My Mom couldn’t understand why I was crying. My sister teased me for being über emotional. But it really touched me that my cousin actually listened when I told her about my love of baking. She even gave me a card with words of encouragement. It was also a reminder to not give up on my dream. It gave me hope, and it felt good to know that someone believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

The other day, I had a conversation with my sister from another mother…and father, Amanda. Actually, it was more like an encouragement smack down. You see, I have a bad habit of being slightly irrational. Other people get an idea and they run with it. I get an idea and I always find reasons why it won’t work. I realize that I sabotage myself when I do this. I also know that’s something I have to change. So Amanda fussed me out for about 15 minutes, addressing that in the process. She said, “I think you need to fucking do what you love and stop being so humble! You’re good and you need to believe that.” And she’s right.

Part of me knows that God has blessed me with some talents. But I often downplay them because I don’t want to seem cocky, or like I’m fishing for compliments. I do what I do because I truly enjoy it. And now I just have to learn how to work it and own it.

I’m sure I’ll get there soon. I know it just takes time and a ton of positivity. In the meantime, I can’t wait to use all of my new tools. Watch out now. I’ve got 31 icing tips and I’m not afraid to use ’em!

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Mother Flunker

Baby with Weave

Source: Best Week Ever

There’s one thing that scares me to death. Ok, there are actually two things that scare me to death. One of those things is Deadly Women on I.D. The other thing is parenthood.

No, I’m not preggers and I don’t plan on getting preggers any time soon.

But I look at all of my friends’ Facebook posts of their cute kids doing adorable things and I can’t imagine myself being a mom. Don’t get me wrong. I love kids, but the thought of raising my own scares me to death. Sure, I’ve cared for dogs, fish, a hamster and plants. I even help take care of senior citizens. But keeping a miniature version of yourself alive and thriving for a lifetime is a huge task. You parents out there are probably thinking, “If we can do it, you can too.” I’m glad you have the faith that I don’t. Seriously, a couple of weeks ago, I ran over my cell phone. I can only imagine leaving my kid strapped in a car seat on the roof of my car because I’m in a hurry to get to ___(insert bakery, ice cream or fro-yo place here)__.

I’m just being silly. I don’t think I would be a terrible parent. A terrible parent is someone who lets their kids make twerking videos and post them on YouTube. A terrible parent is someone who has a kiddie fight club in their basement. A terrible parent is also someone who sends their starving kids to your house so you can feed them, and they can save their money for da club. So if I can automatically avoid those things, I’ll be off to a great start!

I guess my hopes are that I raise awesome kids who can handle whatever life throws at them. I don’t want them to wear helmets. I don’t want them to be pyros like their mother was. I also don’t want them to be afraid to try new things or to fail. But I guess my hopes and fears are the same as any new parent’s. But I still have time to brace myself for parenthood. And maybe when my feet are in the stirrups and I’m cussing my husband out because a small watermelon is coming out of my Virginia, it will all make sense.

 

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No Gift Receipt Necessary

As I sat at my ‘rents’ house on Christmas night recovering from my food coma, I started to think about the gifts that weren’t under the tree. No, I don’t mean seasons one and two of Dhani Tackles the Globe, a box of cash or a membership to the cheesecake of the month club. (So if you  still need gift ideas for me, there you go!)  Instead, I thought about the good friends that have helped me through a very trying year.

I lost my job in February. I’m not going to get into the hows or whys, but it happened. And now I’m glad it did.

What was cool about the whole experience was that it opened my eyes and allowed me to discover some universal truths. If you truly know me, you know that I am fairly easy to get along with. You also know that I don’t do phony, and I enjoy being the life of the party. I realized that in life, there are a lot of people who love to show up for your “parties.” These “parties” are basically the fun, silly and sometimes random times of life. But when stuff goes down and the good times are over,  these same people have no problem losing your number and finding a new life of the party.

On the other hand, there were a lot of people who stepped up to the plate, and encouraged me throughout the whole experience. They were always there with kind words, new professional opportunities, good food and a drank…or two…or three. They kept me smiling. They kept me dancing. Most importantly, these people helped get me get back on track. Unlike the fair-weather party goers of the past, these people proved that they were my true friends. And because of them, my life is even richer than it was before.

To my true friends and family, thank you for being in my corner from day one. Thank you for listening to me rant, and thank you for talking me through the numerous come to Jesus moments of this year. I love all of you, and if you need me to bake you cookies, give you a hug, crack you up with one of my standup routines or hide a body for you, just let me know. On second thought, I can help you with everything except the last one. I’m not hood enough to go to prison, and I don’t want to be Diabla’s girlfriend. But you know what I mean. You were there for me and I’ll always be there for you.

Hugs and high fives. Smooches and snaps.

Love,

devon

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Slightly Chrissy

Reality television is awesome to me, so it’s no surprise that I watch a little show on VH1 called Love & Hip Hop. If you don’t watch it, Love & Hip Hop basically follows six women who are somewhat involved in the music industry. Some of the ladies are arm pieces, some of the ladies are musicians and some…let’s just say they’re trying to find a way to be relevant. (Honestly, all of them are trying to be relevant, but that’s cool. That means more drama for me to watch!)

The true star of Love & Hip Hop is this woman:

The "Psychotic Bitch" is not amused.

Source: VH1 Blog

That woman spawned Mr. We Fly High, AKA Jim Jones.

 

The other star of the show is Mama Jones’ nemesis and Mr. We Fly High’s boo, Chrissy Lampkin.

Look at her go!

Source: VH1.com

I like Chrissy for a number of reasons. She has a pretty tight hair game. She loves big jewelry. She fights with her underwear on and she does not hold her tongue. Chrissy has no problem telling the other ladies when they’re dead wrong. She also has no problem giving them advice. But for the life of me, I cannot understand why she continues to wait around for her Jimmy. Last season, she proposed to Jim and went toe-to-toe with Mama Jones. This season, she’s still waiting for Jim to give her a ring, and hoping that he doesn’t lose his again. Chrissy is street smart and I’m pretty sure she has common sense. So why would a smart girl keep setting herself up for failure?

I thought about it and I came to the conclusion that a lot of us are like Chrissy. We’re smart and we have no problem analyzing the situations that our friends or family members are in. But some of us refuse to deal with our own issues. We all have a Jim Jones or two in our lives. That Jim Jones could be a partner who won’t commit, a super-needy friend, a carton of cigarettes, that roll of cookie dough in the fridge or a dead-end job. Our Jims are crutches. Behind closed doors they might make us feel good or make us feel validated, but we know that we’re better off without them. In order for us to be at our best, we need to cast those crutches aside and head in a more positive direction.

Wow, I had no idea reality television could be so deep!

Anyhoo, I can’t be mad at Chrissy. I might not understand why she does what she does, but I’ll keep tuning in so I won’t miss her next brawl!

 

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Weekend Dementia

I started working at an assisted living facility on the weekends and boy has it been an interesting experience. Going into the job, I thought I would go in for a few hours, serve dinner, crack jokes, do some light housekeeping, crack jokes, play rummy and leave. And I probably would be doing those things on the assisted living side of the building. But instead, I ended up in the Alzheimer’s and dementia wing.

I didn’t want to work on that side of the building.

On the assisted living side, the seniors are playing cards, watching movies, eating popcorn and ice cream, and listening to the oldies on the jukebox. It’s like they’re up in da club…except they wear more clothes and take frequent naps. In assisted living, they’re still bopping around and having fun. But as you approach the Alzheimer’s and dementia wing, or Reminiscence neighborhood, the mood changes.

I remember when our group first approached the doors of Reminiscence during orientation. I had done a lot of research in the past about Alzheimer’s and dementia, so I thought I would be prepared for what was on the other side of those doors. When I saw the Reminiscence supervisor entering an access code to open the doors, I was instantly concerned. As the doors opened, I heard people yelling out random phrases or whimpering like frightened children. I saw people drooling and staring into space.  And I saw people being fed like babies. It was so overwhelming and I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it emotionally.

As we left the wing that day, the supervisor told us to let her know right away if we didn’t feel comfortable working in Reminiscence. I felt bad because I was the only one who said anything. But I didn’t want to be uneasy around the residents. The supervisor understood and said she appreciated my honesty.

During the next week of training, a number of call offs put us right back in Reminiscence for a few hours. Even though I was on edge, I plastered a smile on my face and helped out wherever I could. When all of the other trainees were afraid to talk to the residents, I stepped up to give hugs, hold hands and chat about days gone by. I even volunteered to feed one of the residents.

But that’s when I fell apart.

I sat down and said hello, but I doubted that the woman I would be feeding could even understand me. She just blinked and made noises. So I picked up a spoon, and slowly started feeding her. And every time I scooped up more food, I blinked back tears. It was heartbreaking to see, but I kept on going. I kept talking to her and encouraging her. Halfway though, a regular care manager stepped in to finish since we had to go back to training. I said goodbye to the woman, and made a beeline to the bathroom to fix my face. I later had a come to Jesus moment in my car.

As I look back, I’m glad that moment happened. I think that once I got over the initial shock of seeing people in different stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, I felt a little more comfortable working with the residents in Reminiscence.  Now, I can’t get enough of them. They all are unique and endearing in every way. They make me laugh. They make me cry. I even find myself worrying about them on my days off. But I’m always glad to see them on the weekends. I tend to forget all about my problems and social calendar when I’m working. So in a way, I guess I’ve developed a case of weekend dementia.

 

 

 

 

 

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