>Josue’s Jeremiad

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So, Tuesday evening after running a few errands and settling in, favorite guy and I head over to Safeway to pamper ourselves with a treat from their stellar selection of lagers. We pick up a six-pack of Skinny Dip and head back home to chill.

It’s an easy evening, Joe is doing his notorious renditions of popular rap songs remixed a la Frank Sinatra (although his T-Pain, Buy You a Drank was a little more Tom Jones than Frankie) I’m on the phone engaging in virtual happy hour with Lisa who is back home in New York City, 3,000 miles away. Lisa and I chat for a while as Joe works on next dimension music stuff. It’s a couple hours later now, I’d say about 10:00 GMT and I’m wrapping up my blog entry for the evening. The phone rings and while I’m inclined not to answer it, I’m just about done and perhaps it’s an emergency-so I answer.

I’m going to set the stage for you here just a bit for those of you who are not familiar with the belligerent blurtings of my dear brother-in-law. I answer, “Hello…hello…” I hear his voice and while it isn’t always a total disaster his tone tonight says disaster in a way that brings Chernobyl to mind! Hey Josh, how goes it…I look over at Joe’s raised eyebrows and shaking head. Josh wastes no time, “Nothing man what the fuck, where’s my brother how come he never calls me?” I sigh and take a deep breath (as well as one for the team) when I say, “Oh he’s at work is everything ok?” Now sounding more somber than belligerent he says, “Whenever anyone needs someone to talk to I’m there even when I don’t wanna hear their bullshit, this shit is hard man…I need to talk man…” So, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I inquire further. He erratically leaps into an almost exuberant tone and says, “Meka you know I fuckin’ love you right, even though you…ah forget it I’m not even gonna talk about that I just love you…” I say,” And I love you-but what’s up?”-To which he says, “Don’t patronize me, I’ve always shown you respect even when you went against the grain on my moms”. I say to him that I’m not trying to patronize him and he responds with, “What are you doing over there on The West Coast? When are you gonna do something with yourself you’re a brilliant woman you could’ve been a doctor, how old are you now 34, 35…get off that hippie vegetarian, homeschooling shit! You know I keep it real Meka-you’re a failure, you let your life go to waste…for real a total waste.”

Act One ends as my buzz exits stage left…

Now there are two roads I can take with this last comment, but with my yoga practice deepening and self-discovery increasing (yes my hippie shit), I opt the high road and say only, “that’s not true, I am successful, it’s just that”…Well what I wanted to say was that my priorities and ambitions have changed before he interrupted and began sharing his recent success in real estate and haranguing me about how he had a city job and a pension and a rather impressive net worth. Alas, we return to my failures, in addition to my fear of success and ultimately ending with me inhibiting the success of my children because I don’t want them to surpass Joe and I! So now I’m feeling there isn’t enough Tadasana in all of the Western Hemisphere to keep me from launching an all out, neck-rolling, full on, F-word riddled verbal assault. Yet, I remain calm but remind him that the dreams, ambitions and aspirations he speaks of were during a very different time in all of our lives.

Yes, I wanted to be a doctor at 15 when I started college, I also wanted to be president of the United States just a few years before that. I thought I’d seduce a much older Phil if I could only learn to put my lipstick on with my boobs the way Molly Ringwald did in The Breakfast Club. Well, I didn’t become a doctor partly because what intrigues me is the human mind and not necessarily the encumbent human-how’s that for bedside manner? I didn’t become president and I probably just said that shit because some other nerdy kid in one of my AP classes said it. Truth is, I could care less about the governing rulers, and I’m not all that proud to be an American. Phil committed suicide years before I lost my virginity, we did kiss a few times and share some very deep conversations about addiction. And,well I never grew enough boobage to do the lipstick trick but I did marry a man that thinks I’m beautiful. We have two children who I’ve managed to keep alive, well-adjusted and sane without that medical degree in psychiatry. I support my children’s dreams by loving them even when I’m not in love with their ideas. My 15 year old son wants to be a rapper. He’s a talented wordsmith, perhaps that dream will come to fruition or he may coach one of his children to the Scripps Nationals, or he may do something completely unrelated and write me a hearftfelt letter thanking me for loving him and his sister with all that I am.

Josue, kudos on your real estate business, civil service employment and pension, but if the purpose of your jeremiad was to convince me that I am a failure, let it be the first strike against you. Thanks for reminding me of just how far I’ve come; success is a journey not a destination.

Act Two ends as the villain is slain.

>Fruit for Thought

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I’m so thoroughly eager and anxious and crazed and excited to be doing this. Hoping that I won’t rev, spin, crash and burn as I often do. All of my Pitta energy up in a fast and furious blaze. I’ve been walking, talking (to myself) throwing ideas around in my head, trying to come up with a concept, a plan, an intention…that’s my left-brain talking. And, at the same time coming up with a big ol’ stew pot of ideas that don’t quite fit together, but just might…that’s my right-brain talking. It’s puzzling, like the concept of Chocolate Zucchini cake-“Uh, who puts that together”? Me.

This is where it is going folks, by way of chocolate and zucchini. I’ll be leftist, I’ll be lobbyist, I’ll be witty, wise, wanton…hopefully I’ll be doing this shit for as long as it’s been an idea-how’s that for starts?

Yesterday, I was deep…

Do you ever have those moments of complete awareness? An in the moment realization of your existence and subsequent co-existees? I’ve had this going on for two days, starting with Joe and segueing into something even I…oh, never mind.

I, from time to time will just gaze over at my husband in awe of him and moreover in awe of us. (I don’t know how to spell the sound, so think; oeuvre, minus the v and followed by eesh, okay? Got it? Good.) We have been together nearly two decades and we have been through some shit! Through the years, I have been known to have the patience of Mother Theresa and the temper of a mother#$%*, so longevity in itself is an admirable feat.

Well, yesterday we are watching television (a rare occurrence) and I look over at him while he doesn’t know that I’m looking and this is what I think…Joe is like a tree and I am like a fruit. He could surely exist without me although not quite as appealing (winks and blows kiss) and I, without him but only for a short spell. The beauty of it? Through the years, we’ve each grown interdependently of one another and in perfect distance. We’ve been pruned, we’ve endured chills. We’ve ripened, at times all on our own, without nurturing- falling to the earth in solitude. Yet, we’ve always returned from whence we came, on time and in season.

Joe is like a tree and I am like a fruit, so why is the rest of the world in which we live in this segregated, compartmentalized state of unforgiving. We’re riding each others’ backs and stepping on toes, trying to rise above-only to fall to the earth in solitude and return from whence came? Our planet is suspended in a perpetual state of misunderstanding and misery.

Though my fears and anxiety about human nature build as my awareness increases, there is always that shimmer of hope. Yesterday, I found it within; within the confines of my livingroom, within the concept of commitment, within me. I hope that others who are potentially grappling with the state of their existence and ability to co-exist peaceably will find the quiet, place and space for such an in the moment realization. Namaste.

>Le Premier

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Well, it is Sunday and it’s the first of July…a seemingly uneventful day for some, but for the Looneybird it means the start of something…anything- and, this Sunday, this first day of July, something is a blog. Now, Tea & Honey Bread started to take shape just over a year ago, sitting opposite my favorite guy in our home office. (I’ll introduce you to him a little later) Anyway, we were having one of our usual “Cancerian-moody-creative-types” conversations and I mentioned writing a book of essays that I would title “T” and Honey Bread. T, well for Tameka and Honey Bread was a tribute to African American women particularly those previously enslaved in the South who gathered on Sundays after church for honey-dipped hard bread and “girl-talk”. This collection of essays would encompass personal musings, life lessons and hardships; sweet goodness for the mind, body and spirit. Joe, (my favorite guy) was supportive and even excited at the prospect. I wrote a few entries, referenced some quotes to further discussion..but alas, the timing was off.

I have an ongoing snit-I’d hardly call it a battle, with anxiety/depression that makes planning creative endeavors ahead nearly impossible. If I have the passion and intensity to create, I’m too “low” to orchestrate it effectively. For lack of a better way to put this, the “smart button” is greyed out but the “creative button” is lit or it’s the other way around and the project goes all left-brain!

So, skip ahead to this morning- we’re just about to settle in for breakfast and Joe mentions that today is the first of July. Quickly, I recall devoting myself to the discipline of veganism on Sunday, April 1st and how that has been a success! I started thinking today felt alot like that day. The creative juices are a tad stagnate, but my “smart button” is lit and I feel confident and disciplined.

A few changes have taken place since the initial concept was birthed, the T has been changed to “Tea” as in freshly brewed and poured over and over, shared in good company. Only, with this tea, as the ice melts, the topics refresh themselves. Where there are good friends, there is always good topic! I don’t have many good friends, but the group I belong to is an elite group of smart, beautiful, creative, hardworking women and “Honey Bread” is representative of their sweet goodness.

>Roasted Eggplant w/Greek yoghurt Sauce

>You will need:

1 large eggplant
1 egg
8oz container of Greek yoghurt (If you use the American stuff, you’ll need to strain it in cheesecloth over night to drain the liquid)
Parmesan cheese
Greek oregano
Olive oil
salt and pepper

a mid sized casserole dish w/lid

Slice eggplant in .5″ slices and lightly season with salt pepper and Greek oregano allow eggplant to marinate a while in the seasonings (30 minutes or so)
Lightly coat slices with Olive oil (Toss or use Olive oil cooking spray)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Layer slices in casserole dish, cover and bake for 20 minutes
While the eggplant is baking mix 6oz of Greek yoghurt, 6tbs grated Parmesan, a dash of black pepper, Greek oregano and the egg together to form your sauce
Remove sliced eggplant from oven pour yoghurt sauce atop and return to oven lowering temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 40 minutes.

The top will be bubbly when you remove it, allow it to cool and thicken before you slice and serve.