What It’s Like: Working With a Muslim Family

I want to start off this post by saying that I am very grateful for my life and the series of choices and happenstances that have put me in this exact spot, in this very moment. I am very, very fortunate and I am practicing being more grateful and observant of my good fortune.

One of the things that I am most thankful for is the many opportunities I have had to meet different people. And by different, I mean people who are of a different race, religion, background, nationality, gender, and experience than I am. You know, all of the typical things that humans use to segregate themselves and to judge the ones not in their special little circle.

Sometimes the opportunity to meet different people come because of me reaching out or because of some other self-directed involvement or effort. Most of the times, however, I find that opportunity comes simply by being open to it coming.

A few months ago, I started tutoring two children from an Eastern block country, near Russia. I will provide as few details as I can about this family, in an effort to protect their identities and keep the focus on the story and my experience, and the religion of Islam, which I am in no way qualified to even begin to discuss.

The first time I went to their house for a tutoring session, there was no answer on the phone for 15 minutes. Tardiness angers me, and over time, I have had to learn to manage my anger when people are late. But, this time, anger kind of got the best of me. I’d driven almost 50 minutes in hellish Houston traffic, just to be on time. And there I was, still on time, even after navigating around a big wreck, and the people were not answering the phone.

I looked at the clock on my dashboard and said to myself, “I’m only waiting 15 minutes; then, I’m leaving.”

I also had a bunch of other bad thoughts about these people BEFORE I even met them. Perhaps they were sharpening their saws, so they could cut me up into little bits? Is there such a thing as the “Tutor Strangler” in any popular movies? They must be absolutely terrible people; how dare they be so late?

I worked myself up into an almost seething frenzy when my phone rang at exactly 14 minutes past the hour. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

The frenzied sounding father apologized profusely and asked me to please excuse them and come up to tutor the children. Not wanting to break the rule I’d set for myself, I reluctantly went up to meet them.

I immediately thanked myself for the decision to try, the decision to trust the universe, which is absolutely not something that I usually do.

Upon entering, the entire family came to warmly greet me, one by one. The father told me that he appreciated me tutoring his children and that he trusted my abilities as a teacher. Having taught public school in rough areas for several years, hearing the words “appreciation” and “trust” the first time I interacted with a parent was a rarity, to say the least.

After the session was over, the mother meekly came up to me, and handed me a warm, paper towel wrapped bundle. I said thank you as graciously as I could, not knowing at all what was customary or rude to them, realizing I knew nothing about the culture of their home country, and also realizing that my “American guilt” is still pretty strong.

I left the apartment and walked to the elevator and opened the napkin. She had given me two freshly baked rolls of bread, the steam gently greeting my grinning face as I pinched off a piece and ate it.

At that moment, I realized that something really beautiful had happened. A shared experience between people who are seemingly nothing alike, joined together by the universe’s pull and their own collective abilities to extend a bit of trust to another human being.

For the family, they had trusted a strange American to enter their home, the first time they met them. Given the media and hatred and negative messaging about Muslims in America, if I were them, I do not think I would have had the courage to invite a strange American into my home. But, they did.

For me, I had continued with the tutoring appointment, even though I was angry that they were late and a little afraid of going into a strange home. I also greedily ate home made bread from a stranger, something that I am pretty sure children are taught not to do, and there I was, as an adult, eating a stranger’s food, in an elevator, no less.

By the time I reached the first floor, I loved those people. I loved the children. I loved their kindness. I loved the open and loving energy that you can feel in their house. I texted my mother and told her I was all right and that everything went well and I even told her, “I love them already.”

I continue to work with the children and the family continues to treat me better than any parents have in all my years of teaching. They have invited me to stay after the session to have dinner with them. They have given me other food gifts. They’ve taken the time to share things about their culture and food with me. They’ve even let me hold their infant child, which for a woman who is terrified of small children, was a big feat for me to even agree to do such a thing.

Somehow, the fact that I know almost nothing about Islam, or their home country, or their language, yet I am still able to share very human experiences with the family makes me feel incredibly fortunate.

My experience with the family is truly a testament to what great things can happen when, even if you are scared or emotional, you can summon up the courage to trust others and the universe.

You just might not be disappointed.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

 

Ice Pack and Chill

You know what I hate?

I hate it when I have to use an ice pack for something. Do you know why?

I’ve never been an athlete. No part of me is even remotely athletic. The most physical thing I regularly do is splash around the bubbles in my nightly soak bath.

So, when I actually have to use an ice pack, I feel like such a poser! How dare I, a chubby writer with no athletic abilities, use the swelling reducing remedies of the athletic gods? How dare I do something that surely Michael Jordan has done!

I’m not worthy!

Well, whatever insect that bit me decided I was worthy of having to use an ice pack tonight, so here I am, all propped up in bed, about to read until the pain relievers kick in and perhaps my foot has become numb.

Needless to say, a doctor’s appointment is in my near future and I could also buy stock in itch medicines at this point.

At least my new book came in the mail today…

I hope your day was more exciting and MUCH less painful and inconvenient than mine has been, my dear reader.

Stay out of harm’s way. May the force be with you.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

Cheat Day Writings

Is everyone and their momma still posting about the Super Bowl? Is that why my Internet is so slow?

Ha!

Congratulations, Philadelphia Eagles. I did not watch the game. I did laundry and washed my hair. But I read online that it was riveting and I do love it when an underdog wins.

I washed my hair and clothes for a little too long and had a late dinner. So, here’s a cheat day writing from almost 10 years ago. I wrote this little thought piece back on July 7, 2008.

Until tomorrow, my friends….

 

Fighting Cynicism

Lately, I’ve been fighting with feelings of cynicism.  Some people fight with obesity, depression, self-hatred, hatred for others.  For myself, my internal fight, at least at this stage in my life, is definitely with cynicism.

I can remember back to when I first became familiar with the idea of cynicism, even before I knew that it had a name.  I was perhaps in sixth or seventh grade, and we were learning about the life of Anne Frank.  I remember being immediately infatuated with her life, her letters, and her struggle.  But the thing that fascinated me most was her seemingly unwavering belief in the goodness of human beings.

Thinking about Anne Frank and my first associations with her life makes me feel hopeful, yet ashamed.  I feel hopeful because if Anne Frank could maintain her positive outlook on human beings, then I know it is entirely possible.  I feel hugely ashamed because my own life hasn’t been nearly as eventful, trying, or terrifying as Anne Frank’s, yet I still find myself battling daily to maintain my love for people.

In all honesty, I’ve never been much of a “people person.”  I have never used that term to describe myself.  I’ve never been that bubbly, personable person with whom others fall in love quickly.  I’ve never been a great salesperson, or even terribly interested in the mundane, everyday activities of other people.  I’ve always found it weird and uncomfortable if anyone ever showed any interest in my everyday activities.  Not to say that I am heartless; I strive to be very kind.  Contrarily, I have found that general “niceness” is overrated for the most part, unless it’s used to talk one’s way out of a speeding ticket.

Kindness, on the other hand, has always been hugely underrated to me.  It seems that as humans, we put greater  value on how we are perceived (as nice or not) rather than what we really are (kind or totally unconcerned about the welfare of others).  I, rather it happened purposefully or not, have always been more concerned with trying to actually be kind.  I learned at a very young age that I am unable to pretend to be nice, but I’ve never found it hard to be kind, even to assholes who are totally undeserving.

Cheat Day

The past two weeks have been so busy. My candle wick has been burned down to a tiny little nub.

Here’s to a cheat day!

This is a poem that I wrote on January 8, 2018. Not that long ago!

Have a great weekend and as usual, see ya tomorrow, friends…

What’s in the sun’s rays?

It’s the boyish grin of a fella on a first date,

It’s the warm smile that a balding father gives to his kids,

It’s the delight of children who know that they picked the right day to play sick,

It’s the lonely eyes of the writer, the observer, who watches it all

What It’s Like: Teaching Kids

Some contents of my purse serve as the muse for tonight’s post. Inside my purse are some meat-pie looking pastries, carefully wrapped in a napkin, a gift from an Azerbaijani grandmother.

I tutor two great kids a couple nights a week. I tutor them in English: reading, writing, and speaking. Their grandmother is in town, visiting from their home country, Azerbaijan, a place I’d barely heard of before meeting these children a few months ago.

About 12 years ago or so, I started a career as a school teacher. I taught elementary aged kids. After I did that for a few years, I transitioned to a job in corporate America, and taught at the collegiate level (freshmen and juniors) on the side for a few years.

Now, I am tutoring two kids and two adults. I’ll write about the adults in another post, perhaps.

When I changed from teaching kids to college adults, many of whom were older than me, everybody and their momma asked me the same question: How is it different? My go-to, cheeky answer was always, “You don’t have to take adults to the bathroom.” Karma laughed at me and once sent me an adult student who did ask, on several occasions, if she could go to the bathroom.

Teaching is kind of “old hat” to me now; even when I meet new students, I have now done it long enough that I can at least PRETEND to know what I am doing. It takes a lot of practice to even get the confidence to be able to pretend to be a confident teacher, unless you’re kind of a pompous, know it all asshole, which in that case, please do  us all a favor and stay out of the classroom. What I’m trying to say is, teaching should have a sense of respect and humility, both for your students and for your profession.

Teaching kids is challenging in its own way. Children are PAYING ATTENTION. Don’t believe the horseshit you hear on the news about how six in one children have ADHD. They might, be even then, they’re still closely paying attention to everything you do. EVERYTHING. Understand the difference between paying attention and judging you. The kids are attentive; the adults are probably judgmental.

Children aren’t thinking about bills or if they took the chicken out to unthaw. Depending on their age, they may not have a good sense of embarrassment or self awareness. They’re doing their thing and watching you do yours.

With kids, it’s a lot of work to exemplify an excellent role model, pretty much at all times. When I taught elementary school, I did not cuss, not even on the weekends. I just recently started to feel comfortable saying the word “stupid”, even though I’ve taught for years. Working in the oilfield helped me develop a hearty potty mouth, which I thoroughly enjoy, but you’d never know that when I am around young and impressionable ears.

Kids are also way smarter than most adults give them credit for. Children pick up on and absorb energy better than adults, too. If you let your child know your burdens, they will help you carry them, regardless if you have asked them to or not. I once worked with a kindergartner who came to school looking very concerned. He eventually began to cry. When I pried an answer from him, he told me that he was worried because his mom and dad “were down to their last $5,000.” He had overheard them fighting about money and even though he couldn’t even count to 500 or 5,000, his little mind could clearly interpret that something big and scary was wrong, so he worried about it. He internalized it.

I have dozens of stories like that; stories of children truly being sponges, and not always soaking up the good stuff.

Teaching a child also has a weight to it, at least it does for me. Since children have much less life experience, I find it to be so important to do two things: 1) be present with them while you are around them because 2) that affects their perception of the world.

A child that experiences an angry parent can grow up to be worrisome and fearful. A child that experiences a neglectful (physically or emotionally) parent will fight the demons of inadequacy for the rest of his life.

It is really an honor to be able to be a teacher. The job REALLY SUCKS, but it’s still an honorable one. Between utterly ridiculous parents, pushy school districts, and insane principals, I have no idea how I survived with even a shred of sanity in tact. Oh, and don’t forget the year that I had strep throat three times and my vocal chords became infected, which irrevocably changed the sound of my voice. Almost no one that I know now actually know what I used to sound like. Ah, that was fun. Good times.

Kudos to you if you’re a teacher. The job can be so damn thankless, but from one former teacher to another, I THANK YOU.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

What It’s Like: Being an Entrepreneur

It’s horrible. The END.

 

Wait, sorry, please come back, and I’ll tell you what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. And, before you stop reading, this is not some post trying to sell you a class on entrepreneurship. This is just an honest, one woman account of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.

First, a little bit of my backstory.

I guess I could say that entrepreneurship is in my blood and my nature. My father was an entrepreneur for as long as there are stories about him, at least the ones that I have heard. I did not grow up around him, but I know some things about his entrepreneurial adventures.

My father owned a nightclub, neighborhood grocery store, and a mechanic / tire shop. My mother told me that she had no idea why he owned a nightclub; he did not like people and he especially did not like drunk ones. I suppose that I get my misanthropy and dislike for alcohol through my father’s blood line.

All of his businesses were successful and he was successful. He lived well and drove nice cars and had a nice house. I never saw the inside of the houses or the car, at least in my memory, but I have heard about them.

My elderly uncle once told me a story about how my father was also kind of a shrewd / asshole / rule following kind of guy. My uncle said that once, a guy went into my father’s grocery store and practically begged him to let him buy beer on a Sunday. My father told him no, and didn’t budge.

I am starting to see a theme here: I look like my mother, but the inside of my head and the darkness of my soul are thanks to my father. I would have done the same thing, if it were me. Get out of here with your Sunday beer money, sir. Come back when the laws change, duh!

I’ve never had much interest in rule or law breaking unless it’s speeding while driving. I just cannot stand to go 35 mph. I simply must go 38 mph. Call me a rebel.

My own foray into entrepreneurship began in middle school. In between the bell rings for us to change classes, I sold cookies to the greedy and hungry kids. I even sold them after I was caught with “contraband” and sent to the principal’s office. I retract my previous statement about not breaking rules. Those rules would have negatively impacted my business. So, perhaps, I would have sold that guy a beer on Sunday.

I majored in Business and Entrepreneurship in college. Then, one day, years after graduating from college the first time and the second time, I had a dream of opening a bakery.

Over the years, I have toyed with the idea of opening a bakery. The idea of it is crystal clear in my head. I even recruited a friend to help me figure out numbers, costs, all this stuff. It’s a somewhat secret dream of mine (as in everyone I know knows about it), and I would like to make it happen one day, hopefully soon.

But for now, my life as an entrepreneur is based on the reality of needing money and paying bills, you know the unsexy stuff. Right now, I am loosely a writer (kind of) and I work for clients. It is terribly unsexy, but it is a good way to put my pinky toe into the world of being a bonafied business owner, a self employed guru in the making.

So, what’s it like?

IT IS TERRIFYING.

I do not have the finger strength to write all the things I could write about the fear I have experienced and continue to experience as an entrepreneur. When you’re first starting out, the learning curve is so steep, that you just have to commit to feeling like you’re drowning. You might feel like that for the foreseeable future. So, commit to being uncomfortable and get on with it.

YOU ARE NOT SLEEPING ALL DAY.

This past week, I have worked so much that I couldn’t even turn my brain off. So, even when I was asleep, I was still having some weird dreams about due dates and such. I barely took lunch breaks and I certainly was  not napping!

YOU WORK NO MATTER WHAT.

Sick days? GTFOH. Pain? Work anyway. Tummy aches? Work anyway. Sick and tired? Get your ass to the desk.

THERE IS ALWAYS WORK TO DO.

As a service based entrepreneur, it’s kind of like feast or famine. You either have so much work that you want to run away or there’s no work and you consider becoming a street beggar or gypsy.

YOUR BRAIN IS RARELY OFF.

See above explanation.

IT IS REWARDING.

Yay! The “man” is YOU. You get to boss yourself around and make yourself miserable! It’s great.

YOU HAVE SOME FREEDOM.

Unless you’re farther down the entrepreneurial road than I am, then there’s not a shit ton of freedom. You have to find your own customers, please the customers, deliver the product or service. Basically, you might be able to work from 9:48 am – 7:02 pm, but you’re still bound by your need to make your business successful.

YOU HAVE ALL OF THE RESPONSIBILITY.

This one is a doozie. It is both liberating and misery inducing. You are the king of the castle and it’s great until you realize that all of the knights and peasants are looking at you to direct the show.

 

With all of those things in mind, I am still incredibly fortunate to even have the opportunity to be an entrepreneur. My route to entrepreneurship was convoluted and almost terrifying (to say the least), but I am happy to be on this road.

Enough talking to you; I’ve got to get back to alternating between working and crying in the corner.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

PS! Are you an entrepreneur? If so, what’s your business? Leave me a comment below!

What It’s Like: PERIODS!

I’ve decided to do a few posts where I describe, in a humorous, yet truthful way something that I am experiencing or have experienced in the near past. I don’t know how many of these I will do, but I am already really entertained by this idea, so I might do quite a few of them.

These will give me fodder into the new month, which is only today and tomorrow, but, well, let’s hope for the best.

Let’s start off with an explanation of what it’s like to have a period, aka menstruation cycle.

If you’re a man, do NOT stop reading right now. I will not give you any of the more moist details. Instead, I will regale you with anecdotes about the monthly visitor with which you have no experience. Men, be thankful for that! Oh, you already are? Oh, great.

Without further ado, I will “femsplain” my experience with periods.

Symptom One: Everyone Else is Awake

Welcome to the special hell that is the emotional roller coaster period town! The most awful part of having a period is really not the pain or the inconvenience. The worst part is OTHER PEOPLE. Other people will constantly walk around you, awake, alert, and existing, all while you sleepily look at them and wonder how you can make them all disappear.

This symptom is my favorite one, and it decided to come later in life, which is entirely, and utterly bullshit, in my opinion. Once, I was so tired, that I had to close the door to my office. I told myself that familiar lie: “I’ll just put my head down for a moment.” Of course, I immediately fell asleep and the next thing I knew, a co-worker was knocking on my door because it was time to go to Panera Bread for lunch. I’d been asleep for 30 minutes. Don’t tell my former boss.

Symptom Two: Everyone Drives So F*cking Badly and Even More F*cking Slowly

I don’t know if this happens to other people, but when I have my monthly marauder, the rest of the town somehow finds out. I think it might be the FBI tapping into my phone and then publishing the news in the local newspaper. I am sure of it.

The drivers of my town obviously read the newspaper and then simultaneously get in their cars and use the GPS on my phone to find my location. Then, all of the drivers in town proceed to follow me around, consistently driving at least 5 mph below the speed limit. This synchronized driving hell happens for the duration of my ailment, and then miraculously, everyone drives like the regular assholes I’ve come to expect on the road. It’s strange. Should I call Snowden and report this? Everyone is plotting against me.

Symptom Three: My Refrigerator Becomes Small

For those few days a month, my refrigerator shrinks. There’s simply not enough space in there to keep all of the food that I need to consume. I need space for sparkling water, yogurt, donuts, sweet tea, pie, cake, steak, baked potatoes, salad, salad dressing, avocados, etc. No matter what size refrigerator it is, there’s simply not enough food inside. It’s strange. The thing works fine the rest of the month.

Symptom Four: Dogs are the Best and Children Can’t be Quiet Enough

I am a cat person. I could also be a dog person. But, a period makes me want to adopt every dog on television. I hide my credit cards during period time so I don’t end up adopting every dog that comes on those “save the pets” infomercials late at night. The insomnia, which also comes with this time of the month, ensures that I am awake to watch infomercials, so it is very important that I do not have a credit card handy. I need to keep all that money to buy food that won’t fit in my refrigerator.

And speaking of small, living things, children become extra noisy during this time of the month. Even if a child is sleeping peacefully, and snoring quietly, I still secretly want to yell SOMEONE SHUT THAT DAMN BABY UP when it’s that time of the month. I don’t know; I guess I get something like super sonic hearing.

Symptom Five: Morphine Drip Bags are a Necessity 

Midol? Ha ha ha, get that shit out of here. Give those to your infants when they have a fever. Pamprin? Ha ha ha, pink sugar pills with no use other than to drop in your tea for sweetener. Morphine? Yes, please pass the drip bags and the needles. Thank you, very much.

And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. You now know what it’s exactly like to have a period! It’s not so bad, is it?

Gentlemen: did you read until the end? Give yourself a big ole pat on the back. Go treat yourself to a Snickers bar.

Ladies: What’s your favorite symptom? You, too, deserve a Snickers bar!

Thanks for reading and being weird with me.

Until next time, my friends…

Polite Fighter

The idea to write about this just came to me, as I was stepping out of the bathtub, after a long, hot soak.

As I was stepping out of the tub, I had a mindful moment, where I acknowledged how thankful I am to have a bathtub and warm water and epsom salts. And through those things, I was able to find relief from menstrual cramps, right before bed. Ah, how nice it is to give yourself some self care sometimes.

Then I thought, self care is not really just about bubble baths and beauty products. Self care is also about knowing when to stand up for yourself, too. Self care is like self guardianship.

Here’s a story from my life that demonstrates my idea of self guardianship:

About 8 months ago, I bought a new computer. Seems like a pretty uneventful thing, except I HATE BUYING ELECTRONICS. I have never bought a television; each one I have ever had has been a hand me down.

The first computer I owned, I gave a Dell salesman my meager budget and he picked it out for me. The second computer I owned, I did pretty much the same thing, except I had about an extra $500 I could spend. The third computer I owned, I let my then-boyfriend pick out all of the components. He enjoyed building the computer; I enjoyed not having to make the decision. That was almost 10 years ago, and I’m using that same computer to write this on, right now.

I bought a new computer because my current one works well, but it is HUGE and heavy and was starting to run out of space. I wanted a light, sexy little number that I could take to coffee shops. I also needed something that had a dedicated graphics card (don’t ask).

So, I went to Best Buy in my hometown, and some bright eyed, golden haired lad helped me pick the computer. I gleefully paid for the protection plan, and skipped out of Best Buy, sure that I wouldn’t have to go back into that awful place for another 10 years.

Three months into owning the computer, it froze and wouldn’t do anything. Not turn on, not a damn thing. It was a very expensive, brand new BRICK.

I went back to Best Buy and figured, oh, they’ll fix it, no problem. Trouble is, they couldn’t fix it, either. After several weeks of phone calls and emails, they told me that they couldn’t fix it and that particular model was out of stock.

I went back to the store to get my refund (thank goodness for the protection plan). As the gentleman was helping me, I had a thought:

WAIT A GOT DAMN MINUTE! I WANT EVERY GOT DAMN CENT OF MY GOT DAMN MONEY BACK! I WANT THE PRICE, TAX, AND PROTECTION PLAN MONEY BACK!

I’d basically spent a lot of money to “rent” a computer for less than 90 days. As the slow, rusty math gears in my mind started to churn, I turned to the guy and said, “Wait, I want ALLLLLLLL OF MY MONEY BACK.” Realizing I was maybe a bit terse, I added, “Please.”

He started to hem and haw about what “the system” was going to “give me” back. I listened, politely, making mental notes of all of his pre-excuses, and then used them back on him as I made the argument, politely, that they’d sold me a faulty device AND  a protection plan on a faulty device. Even they couldn’t fix their faulty device and it was ridiculous that I suffer the cost of a protection plan on a faulty device that they sold me less than 90 days ago and that they couldn’t fix. COUGH COUGH, AHEM, SIR.

He again assured me that he would give me back everything that the system would allow. I again, slowly, calmly, with almost comically patience, assured him that his system, and his logic, could both go take a got damn hike and frankly, he better get me my got damn money.

I said all of these things politely, of course.

I stood there politely.

I smiled politely.

I re-iterated my point politely.

I suggested he call a manager, politely.

At the end, he did not have to call the manager and he gave me every red penny of my money back. My polite and repetitive requests were met. Months later, I returned to Best Buy and bought another got damn computer. The new one seems to be working just fine.

The moral of the story is, don’t forget to be your own best advocate; your own guardian. Whether it’s the guardian of your feelings, your money, your time, or your energy, it is your job, and only your job, to be the guardian of the things that will affect you. Don’t leave that job to someone else. You will only get what THEY think you deserve and you can see from my story, it’s likely that it will be less than you actually deserve.

Sometimes it’s easy to do when it comes to money, but it’s probably even more important to do when it comes to bad friends, bad relationships, time wasting bullshit, etc.

How do you practice self guardianship?

And when was the last time you bought a computer?

Until tomorrow, my friends…

A Visit to the Houston Tea Festival

Have you ever been to a tea festival? Have you ever heard of a tea festival?

Well, neither had I until today. Thanks to one of my very best friends, I had the opportunity to travel a little bit south of Houston today and attend the Houston tea Festival.

The tea Festival was held at a hotel near the Johnson Space Center. I have never been to the Johnson Space Center either, but I now have a reason to go back to this part of Texas.

There were a lot of people there, including the driver of this car and owner of this bumper sticker.

Based on all of the dirty Subarus in the parking lot, I was eager to get inside and check out all of the funny free spirits lurking about. I joked that the tea festival might just be a cover up for some kind of fun illegal drug operation, but turns out I was wrong. It was a seriously legit festival of tea.

Our wait in line for tickets was both long and lively. We chatted up a couple of ladies behind us. We talked about the perils of growing up in organized religion and the humor of Sunday school, bible study, and priests who were too hot to be priests. Turns out, female parishioners from every religion have eyeballs, and occasionally, there exists a religious leader who could easily put down his Bible and pick up a leather vest to make serious money entertaining the ladies, if you catch my drift.

However, I realize that you might not catch my drift, so to be clear, we talked about preachers who were handsome enough to do things other than preach, you know, like modeling or stripping. My friend and the ladies behind me had personal knowledge of such gentlemen. I have to admit that there were no such gentlemen at the church where I grew up.

I always have the most odd conversations with strangers; I swear.

Back to the tea…

The first stop was the matcha tasting experience. I call it an experience because we also had the chance to make origami pinwheels. We were given a choice of several different origami projects and the pinwheel was supposedly the least difficult. I asked for something lower than level 1, but the instructor either didn’t hear me or thought I was joking. I wasn’t joking. My pinwheel was cute but completely non functioning.

My friend’s turned out cute and it worked better.

Next, we got to sit down and try the matcha. The instructor showed me how to use the bamboo whisk to make foam. I was decent at it and she enthusiastically said GOOD twice.

The tea came with a tiny cookie, which I arranged to photograph with my pinwheel and another piece of origami, a hat, that a delightful young instructor gave me.

Next, we went to the main area where there were tea purveyors and a terribly unfunny comedian / yo-yo dude. We found out that the poor guy works for free and was reprimanded once for taking off his shirt during a performance. I felt kind of sorry for him after learning that he is both unpaid and must remained fully clothed.

I bought this magical tea, because who can resist magic?

On the way to lunch afterwards, I got this video of the aircraft outside of the NASA area .

What a nice day!

And I didn’t have to write about soap again today!

Until tomorrow my friends…

It’s a Slow News Day

The problem with writing every day is you quickly discover that most of your life is pretty mundane.

I already knew this, at least intellectually, but it is really apparent some days, like today.

Today, I’m writing about soap. Kirk’s Castile Soap.

We used this soap when I was a kid. This soap could “scrub the black off yo ass” , according to many elders. And, it was cheap.

Nowadays, the manufacturers have gotten hip to the fact that more than poor Blacks are buying it and it’s actually kind of pricey.

I recently bought a bar at Whole Foods and was almost appalled to have paid the better part of three dollars for a single bar of this soap. That’s more than Dove prices, for crying out loud. I bought it anyway because I’m a sucker and a goober, apparently.

Is there anything from your childhood that you now think is super expensive?

Let me know in the comments below.

Until tomorrow, my friends…