Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Now Usually I Don't Do This, But Um. . .

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That's how it always starts. (Or some variation thereof)

You're on the phone with someone. Often times someone dependable and reliable. Or has been in your recent past. And they want to let you 'in' on something. Something that 'the man' doesn't want you to know about. And you start to listen, with equal hope and dread. The hope that somehow, someway, this is NOT leading down the road you expect it to. And the dread that in your gut, you know that 'tis. So you just wait for the closer, the climax, the piece de resistance, the entrance of the 'big deal'.

"I want you to come to a meeting with me"
"What kind of meeting?"
"I mean, it's hard to explain, you just have to be there. Plus the VP is going to make a special appearance".
"But WHAT is it? Where is it?"
"At the Marriott in Long Beach. I'll come pick you up"
"What kind of meeting is it?"
"It's a business opportunity. You do want to make money, don't you? I thought about you when I went to the meeting, I said, 'Who would be SMART enough to take advantage of something like this?"

Somewhere in the middle of that, the person that is conversing (read: holding you hostage), is tugging at your heartstring/ego, but so far, no DICE.

- "You're a smart woman, P, I thought you would want to know about this"
- "When you have kids/get married, don't you want the flexibility to do things?"

The script is the same, but the cast of characters change.

Sound familiar? Maybe you didn't go to that meeting, but the variation of the meeting/selling point lurks in your mind. I know it does. There is always some bankruptcy, sob story of a guy that wanted to get out of the grind and show his son how to ride bikes, OR some chick who tugs on the heartstings of the mother's in the audience, OR a guy who tells you how much property/money/cash flow he has every month and that he is really busy but that he HAD to stop in and talk to US, but he has to be on his way, now. He fails to mention that they want to get you started on some 'starter kit' for the low, low price of 299.00, and of course, that's really a steal if in fact the 'kit' will pay you back in no time, and you're become a member of the gold, platinum, titanium, etc. VP club and by the way can we take a postdated check from you?

As previously stated, Even though you are NOW immune to the meetings that can either be overly spectacular or creepily clandestine, at some point in your life, some trickery occured where you either (a) showed up at one of the meetings, only to realize that it was THAT kind of meeting, or (b) you were tortured by your neighbor, hairdresser, co-worker, friend (that you haven't heard from in three months) to sell or be interesting in buying:

- Long Distance
- Amway
- Herbalife, Noni Juice, et al.
- World's Greatest Vitamin
- Internet Mall

- To a DEGREE: Cookie Lee, Primerica, Mary Kay.

Sidebar: Every woman in the US of A has either bought a Mary Kay product at some time in her life, went to a Mary Kay makeup party, or was stalked over the phone by a Mary Kay consultant.

Anyway, back to the lecture at hand. The biggest problem with Network Marketing is not the marketing concept per se. But those same things that make it attractive are the very things that those who have never managed any level of business, big, or small, are not prepared to invest their time in. Usually, for the most part, there are exceptions to the rule; however, exceptions PROVE the rule.

According to Scott Allen, author of "The Real Problem With Network Marketing"

Most of these folks (Can be one or more of the below)

  • have not done well in their business or profession and have little money saved up to invest
  • have no previous experience owning or running a business
  • have no previous experience in sales
  • have little or no experience developing business relationships other than that of employer/employee/co-worker
  • are not satisfied with their current level of income
  • have unrealistic expectations of the amount of work involved compared to the revenue realized.

Again, there are exceptions to the rule; but the exceptions PROVE THE RULE.

So friends and family, please don't call my cell phone number so that I can review some antiquated flyer of yours, or you can email me a link to your internet mall to get toilet paper that I can buy at target, or tell me about the weight loss shake that worked for you (not to mention you are now working out three days a week). I'll pass.

And no, I don't want to buy the World's Greatest Vitamin.

What has been your experience(s) with folks interested in Network Marketing and/or the first (and probably only) time you were duped into a meeting?

Friday, August 25, 2006

(Still) One In a Million - Five Years Later

Aaliyah Dana Haughton January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001

It took me MONTHS to watch this one in it's entirety: Still evokes a degree of sadness.

This one, I like because she is a straight RYDA in this one!!

The Song that Made Me Love Her. . .

And this song that sounds DAYUM good in a car with some sounds!!

Official Aaliyah Website

What is (are) Your Favorite Aaliyah's songs?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Trapped in the Closet Chronicles

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My first experience with this was with SupaStar Nic. Boy, after I finished reading THIS POST, I was floored with all of the information that was anonymously posted. I'm sure MOST of her regular readers abstained. . .Right. RIGHT!

Then Sangin Diva brought it to the table. The information that was revealed on THIS POST was equally salacious. Man, I couldn't believe some of the information that was submitted. Mind, you, surely her regular readers ALSO probably missed these postings and refrained from commenting, right. . .RIGHT!

So with that said, tell me your secrets. Get those bones out the closet, you know they're trying to break free. Don't be left trapped in the closet.

I would guess that MOST of MY regular readers ALSO will not be responding to this post, just some random ANONYMOUS folks, right? RIGHT. Other than the resident "I don't have anything trapped in MY closet TAM.I.AM interjection of the salacious-ness of everything, I would expect a full on expose of what's burning deep within your psyche.

Sshhhh! We won't tell.

Of course, all posts are anonymous (Unless you want us to know who you are).

Readers: What's been Trapped
in YOUR closet?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Family Ties - or the Ties That Bind?

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What would we do baby, without Us? And there ain’t no nothing we can’t love each other through. What would we do baby, without Us? Sha la la la.
- Theme from "Family Ties" -

Family - The connotation of it. Iconic, loving, everlasting. Generations both young and old, coming together. Blended heritages meeting at the middle. Births. Deaths. Marriages. Divorce. Remarriage. Losing and gaining is a daily occurrence in extended and immediate families. Fragmented. Dysfunctional. Flawed. Fabricated. The strength of a family can go a long way. Innumerable movies about the power of a family (Soul Food, Crooklyn, Claudine, Steel Magnolias) are what bring us warm fuzzies. As they should.

But there are ALSO family structures that are intrusive, overbearing, overprotective, and smothering. Those structures are equally dysfunctional, (generational) and are downright nosey. Not nosey in the concerned perspective, but in a way where it's intrusive to the immediate 'nucleus' family.

I know people that have families that are extremely close. They go on vacations together, shopping together, and anything in between. They sincerely care for each other and would rather be in the company of their family more than anyone else.

Then there's the two opposite ends of the spectrum.

The family that doesn't give, but pulls. The begging, complaining, never getting anywhere family. A history of violence, abuse (verbal, physical, sexual), where folks either flee and have NOTHING to do with them, or continue the cycle.


The family that is way too close for comfort. The ones that get in your business like NOBODY's business. The family the pries, pokes, and interferes at a moment's whim. The daddy's girl, mama's boy, nosey sister, overprotective brother, bossy auntie, rich uncle, and 'just like my sister' cousin who can't seem to stay out of the affairs even upon request.

OR any combination thereof.

I've seen all of these. And my family is one of them.

Before We delve into our topic, I must say this however; A family is NOT just the bloodline. Ever. There are those who touch your life and are in your life that have moved and touched your lives more than any bloodline ever could or would. Particularly if you come from a fragmented family; these are your family and you should treat them as such. Also, there is an element of dysfunction in all families. No family is perfect; that's not the directive of this piece.

With that said, we will turn it over to the readers:

Do you think there is a such thing as "Too Close" OR "Not Close Enough". Is your family "Love Filled" or "Drama Filled?" Any friends with families like the aforementioned?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Don't Shit Where You Eat(?)

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This is the running mantra for office romances. Don't Shit Where You Eat. Corporate Executives and Secretaries be dayumed, office romances have taken that concept and shot it into a time capsules. Workplace Romances, as they are called, have eclipsed into a totally different concept these days.


Most of the time when you are in a location where you are spending the majority of time with a group of individuals. Sparks will fly; attractions run amok. There are innumerable relationships that have started by hooking up from movies (Brangelina, Cruise/Kidman, I could go on an on). Late Night Meetings, traveling, Working Together on Projects that are either extremely stressful or equally rewarding, can trigger feelings, that, acted upon, turn into a steamy, passionate fling.

How many of us have seen, heard, and smelled the stench of an office/job romance from a mile away. Everytime you turn around these folks are either in each other's faces too much, or act like they don't know each other at all (a dead giveaway). They appear to be engrossed in work, but are indulging in Instant, Text, and Email Messaging, that becomes increasingly more passionate.

In the interest of fairness, I believe that many powerful relationships between John and Jane Doe progress to serious commitments up to and including marriage as a result of meeting on the job.


Dr. Shirley Glass, author of Not “Just Friends” states "The new infidelity is between people who unwittingly form deep, passionate connections before realizing that they’ve crossed the line from platonic friendship into romantic love. From an infidelity standpoint, Shirley Glass discovered in her practice that 50 percent of the unfaithful women and about 62 percent of unfaithful men she treated were involved with someone from work who was "Just a Friend" at first. And it happens to the best of them. Even those that help us fly the friendly skies. But It's NOT just physical affairs. Often times emotional adutery causes the most appeal, attraction, affection, and connections. That is extremely powerful (least that's what somebody told me).


How many of those relationships are the exception, rather than the rule. Are there more successes than failures? More makings for Reality TV? More Fairy Tales than Kissing Frogs? More room for Liars - (er, I mean LAWYERS), to get their hands on something that Georgie Porgy did to kiss the girl(s) (OR BOY) and make her cry? Does it produce a blossoming working environment, or does it call Psycho Betty to come out ot the closet?

Now it's time to turn it over to the readers:

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How do you feel about office dalliances?
Have you done them? Seen them? Any horror stories?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Three Years Probation and a $100.00 Dollar Fine

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And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
Together One sweet day
Eventually I'll see you in heaven

(One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey y Boyz II Men)

May 21, 1990, 6:30 A.M.

((RIIINGG)) - P picks up the phone "Hello"


"What's wrong?"

"I just called to tell you. . .I just called because. . "

I braced myself. Adrianne's grandmother had been in the hospital for quite some time. She wasn't expected to live. Her and her cousin, my best friend Lynn, had been going back and forth to the hospital to see her. So I closed my eyes, waiting to give the spiel sympathetic speech regarding her grandmother.

Adrainne starts crying.

"Adrianne, what happened"

"I just wanted to let you know that Lynn passed away last night".

Okay, now I know her grandmother's name is Hessie. She didn't say Lynn. She meant Hessie, right, RIGHT! She's upset. That should be expected.


More Silence from me.

"Lynn was on her way to go see our grandmother, and someone broadsided her, she died instantly."

"Lynn had to work yesterday, what are you talking about, Adrianne?"

"She got off of work early because my granny wasn't expected to live".

Adrianne Starts crying again.

Silence. More silence.

"P, are you okay?"

"Yes. Thank you for calling".

I put the phone on the hook and laid back down. I had a little more time before I had to go to school. My mother came in my room and looked at me. She was getting dressed for work.

"What's wrong? Are you okay?"


She looked at me some more with a heavy look of uncertainty.

I laid back down. Right before my mother left the house, she asked me was I okay again, and I told her I was fine. I decided to go into the living room. I carried the phone with me (this was pre-cordless phone days and when you had the 100 mile cord in your house), because I didn't want to miss Lynn's call when she called me. Maybe I SHOULD have went to the movies with her on Friday, May 18th. We were talking about Sammy Davis Jr, recent passing, and she mentioned that she wanted to go see Three Men and a Little Lady. I opted out, because I just didn't feel like going. Anyway, I'll wait for her call.

My mother looked in at me with a peculiar expression. Wondered why at 6:45 am I was in the living room holding the phone in my lap.

"Are you SURE you are okay, P?".


I looked at the phone. Maybe I should call. WHY WON'T THE FUCKING PHONE RING?!?!

My mother left. The door made a loud slamming noise when she closed it.

Then the floodgates opened.

I cried, and then I cried louder, and then I started screaming. I dropped the phone and I subsequently went to my knees. WHAT DID ADRIANNE TELL ME? The only friend that NEVER judged me, who understood me, who told me she felt more comfortable in our two bedroom apartment then she did in her big a$$ house? The one whose mother died when she was eight?

Oh GOD! Where was Jazz, her daughter? Was she in the car?? Who told Nathan, her fiance and the father of her child?

I ran to the bathroom to throw up. Nothing came out. I picked up the phone. But who was I going to call.

Wake, up, P, wake up. This is NOT happening.

But it did happen. On Sunday, May 20th, at approximately three PM, Lynn was going eastbound Los Angeles. In the meantime, Julio X had hit a woman on the freeway and was trying to get away from her. She chased him in her car off the freeway and through the streets. Trying to get away from Kim X, Julio runs a redlight travelling Southbound and slams right into her. We had to delay her funeral because an autopsy was conducted to determine the exact cause of death. They wanted to know whether or not she died from a broken neck or her chest being crushed, considering they happened simultaneously.

Jazz was not in the car. But Jazz was in the house when Nathan was notified, who, was so distraught, he was given a valium - that was AFTER he broke every window in his house. I went to school that day. I don't know why. On the way to school (I rode with a friend), we went down 120th street - and we got to 120th Street and Broadway, there were glass shards and all kinds of debris on the street. I told my girlfriend "That's where the accident happened." No one told me where it happened. But I knew.

Funeral and other things notwithstanding, this was a pivotal event in my life. It was significant in that I could remember everything being surreal, yet remember every single incident, yet not remembering a thing. But what I do remember is. . . The verdict.

Three years probation and a hundred dollar fine. And subsequently, I went into X-Chromosome Factor Mode. Although, one month after that, I saw "Ghost", and I KNEW that she was with me, and I would see her again, One Sweet Day. To this day, there are songs, that I absolutely love/mourn when I think of her. . .

"Home" by THIS blogger's favorite singer, Stephanie Mills. - That was HER favorite song.
"Spread My Wings" - Troop/They played this at her Funeral.
"Old Friend", Phyllis Hyman - She LOVED this song and would sing it all the time.

PS: Yes, the accident DID happen on 120th and Broadway.

So now, readers, I turn it over to you. . .

What events (divorce, death, birth, foreclosures, fights, religious transformations) have influenced YOUR Lives? Things that have sent you barreling (good or bad) in another direction? Any songs that remind you of particular events.