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The art of buying a drink or what not to do

I must admit I love bar protocol and one of the wonderful things about bars and being a woman is that men will, from time to time, buy you a drink. For me, like a catcall, it’s a sign that somehow as old as I am I still got it, whatever it is. LOL. My husband, however, hates this. He has even asked his brothers how they feel about men buying their wives drinks. His brothers are fun and told him that they don’t care because if some fool wants to buy them drinks then they not only don’t they have to buy the drinks but often drink the drinks also. Love those guys, but their input hasn’t changed my husband’s belief. But at least he’s heard from the male perspective that it is really no big deal as his brothers didn’t feel disrespected or that their wives were opening up the door to anything. I maintain that a free drink is a gift, a small gesture of chivalry and kindness. You toast your benefactor and acknowledge the gift prior to drinking and continue on with your life. From time to time, the buyer will come over and begin a conversation but more often than not, no conversation is exchanged.

But there are unfortunate exceptions. Okay so then there are the men that buy you at drink at the club; it’s been a while since I’ve been to the club but I doubt it’s changed. They want to buy you that $8 drink and then talk to you all night and basically block from you from everybody the entire evening. Can I basically just give you the $8 back so you can go away so I can be free?

There is a protocol to everything and there are things not to do when buying a woman a drink at the bar. Now, I’ve had some friends complain that they go some places expecting and nobody has bought them a drink. I explain how it was told to me years ago from a wise and generous drink buyer. First of all, men don’t want to buy a broke girl the first drink. I respect that a man doesn’t want to buy you your first drink. But if you are so inclined to buy the second drink, here’s my thinking. The best is while you are still drinking your first, the bartender comes over and tell you that so and so is buying you a drink. How fantastic! Particularly, if all you had is money for one drink. But if you don’t do it ahead of time and I’ve ordered my second, there’s ways to do it. You can pay for my second. Cheers and thank you!

Recently, a girlfriend and I were out celebrating the holiday season. This guy was sitting next to us and I admit he was a bit bizarre. I could see he was ear hustling our conversation but whatever. We bought our martinis, laughed and against our better judgment, ordered a second round before we hit BART and Muni. Thoroughly toasted and on our way home, the bartender comes over and tells us that the strange man as he was leaving bought us a drink. Now mind you we had paid for our second drink while he was still there. So now I’ve got to get (more) drunk accepting the third drink, insult you by refusing the drink, or just waste charity. Really, the third drink? Are you waiting for me to pass out? The third drink is suicide. Thank you, kind stranger but under no circumstances should you buy me or anyone else their third drink.

Protests – What’s next

We know that justice isn’t being served but it is not a new thing, so what are we going to do about it? Injustice goes back to Angela Davis, Assata, the leaders of black nationalists’ organizations back in the sixties and seventies and the concerted effort from the government to subvert these groups and bring them down because they were advocating for change that those in power did not want even though it was just. So now, it continues, it continues, it continues.

What I say is we need to stop killing ourselves. Build our strength, develop our troops. If this is a war, we are killing ourselves from within, that’s the old Willie Lynch model. Let’s strengthen our base, educate our children, and create our own businesses. I’m not saying be separatists or black nationalists, what I am saying is be smart in the economy that we have, with the situation we are in and start take care of ourselves and each other.

Let’s make a stink about everything that happens in our communities. We get blamed for everything anyway. So we need to just start focusing on being better to ourselves, and build ourselves up so we can get out there and be better from the bottom to the top and be about it. And be about it means being the best and taking care of people. And not getting five cents and deciding that I can’t give you the penny I owe you that you gave me when I didn’t have anything last week. So that’s my prescription.

If we’re going to protest, let’s be focused. What wrong with the system? The problem is with the police and the courts so let’s address that and not stop BART and block the freeways; people are trying to go to work and school. Destroying businesses is not the answer. Some people have businesses. We talk about don’t work for the “man” and as a business owner you are looking forward to Black Friday and then we say let’s boycott Black Friday. A Black Friday boycott is not going to hurt the police or the criminal justice system. We need to figure out how we’re going to positively impact the police and criminal justice.

And I say if you did not vote in the last election, you don’t get to be out in the streets protesting. So let me see your “I voted” sticker or some proof that you voted and then you can go out here and protest. I don’t think that people who voted are out here tearing stuff up, I just don’t think that’s the mindset but if you are a voter and tearing stuff up, I’d like to interview you.

So what would we say if those in power said to the protesters, “Okay, enough already, what do you want?” How would the protesters respond? Is there a spokesperson, is there a leader? Is there a common theme? Is there a common goal, so that every protester would articulate the same objective? To be pondered or are we just protesting to have anarchy or to just have a tantrum and be mad. A protest without a purpose is a waste of time, money, and effort. If it’s all about just getting on the news, getting arrested, or stopping traffic then we are not going to change what we are protesting against which should be the objective.

Inspire Me Today – REPOST

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What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Life and Men (via inspiremetoday.com)

We gravitate towards what we contemplate, so believe the best about everyone. Constantly extend grace, kindness and forgiveness to all mankind. Until we know who we are and why we were created, we risk the temptation of allowing other things and other…


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Gratitude – c/o Langston Hughes

I was chatting with one of my favorite people about my journey and prepping for a meeting and she mentioned – just tell them “Life ain’t been no crystal stair”. I knew I had heard that phrase and poem before, so of course I googled and below is the source of the “crystal stair” courtesy of Langston Hughes.

Well son, I’ll tell you
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
and boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor –
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s
and turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’ you set down on the steps
Cause you finds its kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now –
For I’se still goin’ honey,
I’se still climbin’
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair

Langston Hughes

POTUS and other acronyms

When did we start us the acronym POTUS for the President of the United States?  People love using shorthand or acronyms for many things.  One of the toughest  things in starting a new job is adapting to and understanding the culture and jargon.  I have learned to simply ask if I don’t know what an acronym stands for.

After a cursory research on the internet, William Safire writes in a 1997 article in the NY Times[1] detailing the origin back to the Nixon years and prior for operational designation for White House staff as far back as Kennedy.  As for FLOTUS, Safire’s article claims that Mary Todd Lincoln holds the first distinction for being called the FLOTUS.  I guess the primary question is – when you speak of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama do you use the terms POTUS and FLOTUS?  If not why not?

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

Most of us know the story about Jack and the beanstalk.  In consideration of our current economic times, Jack’s story is timely and you might even have a Jack in your family or household.  Here’s the story of Jack and the beanstalk, it is a cautionary tale.  Jack and his family were struggling and desperate to do better, Jack was instructed to take the family’s cow into town and trade the cow for more provisions.  On the way to town, Jack is greeted by a traveler who tells him that he will trade his cow for these magic beans.  For anybody who has lost their money playing three card monty – you are Jack.  So Jack trades the cow for the beans and returns home excited that he has made a good trade.  Well no surprise when he shares with his family that he only has a few beans to share for the cow, his family member disgusted throws the beans out the window.

The story goes on that overnight, the beans grow up to the sky where a giant lives.  Jack on successive trips climbs the beanstalk and steal valuable items from the giant including a singing harp that arouses the giant who chases Jack and dies when Jack is able to cut down the beanstalk while the giant descends.  So okay somewhat of a good news story for Jack although I’m not sure how they handled the dead giant in their yard.  But back to present times.  Some of us in these economic times can really bargain and stretch what we have for maximum benefit.  Others don’t read labels or are still caught up in better times and shop at Whole Foods or Andronico’s and wonder why their dollar doesn’t go far.

Then you have people who seek  to gamble in its various forms because after all Jack’s trade was a huge gamble.  Do you buy lottery tickets, go to the track, go to the casino, play tunk or craps with your friends in an attempt to make a little extra money?  If this description is you, you are Jack.  Sometimes it works out and sometimes you come home with some magic beans when your family is expecting you to negotiate a decent trade.  I have no advice because for a lot of people gambling pays off, but for me just not enough.

BACK TO SCHOOL

As much as I love summer, my birthday and summer vacation, there is something about going back to school that I have always enjoyed.  I think it is the newness of back to school.  New school clothes, new school supplies, new teachers all make for an exciting time as I remember my school years.  I’m not sure if students still cover their books but I remember that was a big deal the first week.  You got your books and then you have to cover them.  I remember the old Pee-Chee and for those who don’t know what that is – just think a folder.  We would add an Afro to the cheerleader and modify the Pee Chee while we sat in class.

Seems these days like everybody is doing a back pack drive, which is a great thing because those donations help level the playing field.  Going back to school can be expensive and school culture is rough if you don’t have the right clothes and right backpack.  Most kids have started school by now and having their back to school nights.  That night when you meet your child’s teachers, see the classes, ask questions, all while sitting in those little desks.

Best wishes for a successful school year to students, their parents, teachers, and administrators.  It will be the holidays before we know it and good luck to all the seniors applying to college.

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