I. Am. Not. Crazy. Or Am I?

Design and pagination is a passion of mine. By passion, I actually mean an obsession. Lemme explain…

When most people look at the newspaper, they don’t look how the articles are laid out. They don’t notice the huge amounts of white space in the lower left corner that could have easily been filled by changing the size and/or direction of an article or by inserting a business card size advertisement. Most people don’t look at the headlines and count the number of character or let the fact that the color pictures look out of focus. And don’t get me started on magazines.

My non-creative friends get mad at me because I’m a bit of a writing/design nazi. I can’t help myself. My journalism professors at Baylor and my art/yearbook advisor from high school drilled the concepts of smooth flow and perfection into my design/pagination/writing mind. I synonymously equate all bad design and pagination to horrible writing, bad marketing and ineffective advertising. Hence, the reason why I have changed my blog theme more than a hoe changing his or her drawers between fucks. LOL I know that’s a horrible analogy

When I joined the BlogHer NaBloPoMo blog roll yesterday, I immediately started rethinking grand scheme of my blog. Was it visually appealing? Can visitors navigate easily between my posts? Do the titles of the widgets make since? Is the size of the blog title and tag line not too big or too small? How does my blog appear to those reading on their iDevices? All these questions had me CrAzY the entire afternoon, on my way to pick up boo and throughout he night!

I. Must. Be. Owt. My. Damn. Mind! Right?

Of course I am. There is no other excuse for the tendency to have extreme obsessive compulsive behavior when thinking about design/pagination. lol as if i’m some sort of psychologist. just call me Dr. S. Yankee

But am I wrong for wanting to produce a presentable and polished body of work? I mean, okay so I DO make writing mistakes all the time. And my sister has to send me IMs saying um did you mean this? and what about that? and consider rewording to say this this and that! you know i love you guh! But that’s different because I’ve never been able to edit my own work. I’m getting better about self editing but I know when I write my book my sister will HAVE to be my editor. i will NOT take no for an answer sis!

Okay now I’m rambling and not making any sense!

My point is in this quest to boost readership, promote my blog and become a better writer, I ask that you guys be patient with me. I’m extremely anal retentive about the design of my blog because I want something that’ll reflect the words I write and my personality. The last theme did that but it wasn’t as easy to navigate around as I would have liked it to be. But I’m learning and at some point I will be to present a suitable to me blog theme.

in the meantime, thank you soooooo very much for reading…

The Southern Yankee

Writer-Vation: #NaBloPoMo

So today, I joined the BlogHer #NaBloPoMo blogroll. The only premise of this is to blog everyday. Oh you guys thought it was going to be something arduous and stressful? Nope not in the least bit. The only hard aspect about this daily blogging challenge is ya girl getting up the ganas to post everyday. But I’m determined to accomplish this feat because it’ll bring more readers to my little corner of the blogosphere.

But uhhhh did I mention that I’m late to start? No!? Yeah… well… If you know me my favorite saying is better late than never at all. No I don’t always operate on CPT. I really try to be punctual at all times but see what had happened was…. Not believing me are you guys? I didn’t think so. It was worth a try tho! o_O

Hey looooooooooook changing the subject my blog has already been added to the blogroll. I am #1360.

#1360

And be proud of me. With the two posts I published this morning, Chapter VII of The Chronicles of Xavier LD Monroe and Rock Da Vote!!  plus this Writer-Vation which i promise i’ll get to the point of in a few short moments I will have published THREE posts today! THREE!! MEEEEEE!! It’s the little things that excite me about my blog and writing accomplishments.

——

So today’s Writer-Vation is about taking a chance on yourself and your writing.

If you change your mind, I’m the first in line
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down
If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try

Writing is more than a skill I have possessed since I could fully comprehend the many MANY facets and concepts of writing. Writing is more than just something I’m good at or a nazi with when my friends and family ask me to critique their writing samples for school and/or employment.

It’s how I express myself.

It’s how I convey my inner most darkest emotions and thoughts without having to talk to a real live person.

I use this very beautiful mode of communication to keep me sane.

To prevent me from doing something stupid.

To ensure I actually think before I speak or in this case type.

But unfortunately, I’ve never had a lot of confidence in my writing. I troll my WordPress Dashboard to see if anyone has stumbled upon my blog. I aimlessly click refresh five or six or maybe a hundred times to see if anyone has left a comment on one of my posts. It’s like I need some sort of validation in order for me to actually believe I’m actually a good writer.

Friends and family tell me that I’m a good writer but they are bias because they love me. Don’t get me wrong I know they would tell me um yo.. you need to try something else. like yesterday! And I love them for their brutal tough love honesty. But there is something about a complete stranger or a fellow writer telling me hey, you know what you wrote really got me to thinking… 

I suppose that is why I joined the BlogHer #NaBloPoMo challenge. To put myself out there. To expose a whole new world literally to all thangs that is my SouthernYankee style.

Plus, I’ll be treinta y seis años next month. Ejole! I’m not getting any younger and it’s about time I started doing what I should have when I was twenty-something. Not sure exactly what all that entails but I hope you guys will come along for the ride. It should be interesting.

As always… Thanks for reading…

 

The Southern Yankee

The Chronicles of Xavier LD Monroe: Chapter VII

I can’t wait to hear more of this novella. One of these days I’m need you to write a book about your ahehe heh heh “adventures”.

LOL!

Seriously Phoenix. They’re so sporadic and crazy. Definitely worth a shot!

Perhaps…

So CT was cute huh?

Oooh yaaaah!

Phoenix! Come back to me! LOL Phoenix!

Huh what? What happened? LOL

By this time, I was laughing so hard my tummy hurt because Phoenix and I are the same person at times. So I already know the level of trouble this could potentially turn into.

For Phoenix’s sake I hope it’s E P I C.

Phoenix and I continue to talk about random things as well usually do.

As I’m talking to Phoenix, a message from Sam pops up.

Mcfly alert! Mcfly alert!

Good gawd what could she have done now.

Waddup dawg?! What that triflin ass hoe do NOW?

What didn’t that bitch do?

True. True…

So check it.. how bout she tried pinning yet another one of her fuck up’s on me. And how bout the fuck up she made was due to the project management group two weeks ago.

Hold up dawg! Two weeks ago?!

Oh no this shit gets better…

it can’t get better.. this shit has cluster fuck written all over it.

How bout she asked me to lead another bullshit conference call about some shit I have no background on that prolly could have been easily talked about in the last bullshit conference call at 09:45 this morning.

Um #chokeamuthafuqnhoe! When da fuck you gettin out from under that hoe. (no pun intended)

Xa, you know I’ve been applying for shit left and right and hoein myself out to companies more than I do for sex.

Yeah dawg I know. I know. Speaking of… have you heard from that one company you were really excited about?

Fuck nah! I even sent that damn inquiry you red marked pillaged me about.

LMAO! I dun told you I’m a writing nazi.

You sho da fuck are asshole!

I’m just tryna make you look good dawg! What about that restaurant chain you interviewed with? The one your non-sexual sugarboo hooked you up with?

Oh shit dawg I didn’t tell you. So the hiring manager was more hype than red bull giving a n***a wings.

LMMFAO nu uh dawg shut up.

Nah fa realz dawg… She talked so fuckin fast I didn’t know what was up from down left from right.

Perhaps Red Bull should lay off the sauce mayne. That or get on some hard liquor.

Nah dawg she ain’t on red bull. She gots meds to take.

Oh well fuck! You went from a crazy clueless airhead bitch who dunno shit to a psycho! That’s just greeeeeeat!

Shut up Xa Red Bull seems chill. Far better than Mcfly.

Sam! C’mon nah! You know ain’t nobody is worse than Mcfly. Well except that drug dealer loving always wanna be on a random piece of chocolate hoe in the desert office.

Ain’t that the damn mutha fucking truth. That nasty dumbass is a piece of fucking work and I’m NOT looking forward to seeing that hoe when I go see the homies in a couple of days.

Make sure to take some Lysol when you go dawg. Disinfect E’RYTHANG that hoe touches.

You sho mutha fuckin right! Let me add that shit to the list nah!

LOL so back to the restaurant interview. What’s next in the process? This was the second interview right?

Yeah dawg it was the second and the HR person is supposed to call today to lemme know where I stand. Everyone on the interview panel seemed impressed with me and the mock ups I presented during the first interview.

My dawg! Gettin’ the fuck off the plantation.

Well, I’m still the only darkie in the bunch but they seem to love a n***a so who am I to say no right?

You sho right dawg especially if there’s a chance to make more and have more creative freedom.

Fuck yea there’s more everything where this job is concerned. And the best part….

NO MUTHA FUCKIN MCFLY!!!

You daaaaaaamn right!

Well keep me posted homie.

Will do dawg… Oh. Well. Fuck. Mcfly alert. I can never get a break from this bitch. Lemme go handle her ass and I’ll message you when hear something.

Aight…

Rock Da Vote!!

The sun is rising.

The air is cool and not too humid.

And there are probably dozens of folks already lining up at their perspective polling stations.

I’m not going to use this post to preach about politics or the candidates currently on the ballot for the mid-year elections. That’s not who I am nor has it ever been.

I’m using this post to motivate people to go out and exercise your constitutional right to vote and make your voice heard. You have to be the change you would like to see in the world we live in. If you aren’t happy with how your city, county, district, state and/or country is run then please get off your ass and go vote.

It doesn’t cost anything to vote. And you don’t have to sign your life away like you’re signing up for a newsletter or credit card. You’re taking the time to at least mildly care about who run your government. You’re expressing your concern about how the law affect you and yours. You are taking a stand for justice and how that justice is extended to the John and Jane Q Publics of the world.

——–

This election, especially in Texas, is probably one of the most important elections since the presidential election in 2012. Today’s election result will determine the new governor of Texas. Finally Rick Perry will no longer be the governor of Texas. FINALLY!!!! You know there’s stupid and then there’s Rick Perry. Of all the homophobic women hating holier than thou governors to have in office Texans repeatedly elected this dumb fuck.

And I get it. The majority of Texans are Republican, conservative and devout Christian. Unfortunately, Rick Perry knows how to play into those things. Fortunately, when he attempted to run for president, his vocabulary and his inability to make an easily to comprehend sentence turned the American people and even his party off. FORTUNATELY!

Where was I? Oh right! Today’s election. Sorry I really dislike Rick Perry.

Today eligible voting age Texans will be voting for a new governor. Greg Abbott (R) and Wendy Davis (D). Honestly, I really hope Wendy Davis wins. Not so much solely for the fact that she’s a democrat and not of the closed-minded thinking of the Republican Party but because I am hoping she will offer new ideas as well as promote and elevate programs that have been falling by the wayside.

I’m so tired of every debate and election being about same-sex marriage or about how to legally and openly discriminate against the LGBTIQ community. I’m tired of the government, men and religious conservatives telling me and other females what we can and cannot with OUR bodies. I’m tired of election platforms catering primarily to the wealthy Anglo-Saxon Protestants of the United States. I’m only Protestant. And not a good one at that.

The voices of the lower class are not always heard. The needs of the lower class are not always met. The reality of some American citizens is that we don’t come from the 0.01 percent of those who have money. Some of us live paycheck to paycheck. Some of us like many of the strong women I know raised children on their own, while holding down multiple arduous jobs. Some of us don’t have the luxury of walking around with Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton or Tiffany & Co. But sigh unfortunately those are the folks that donate the most money to election campaigns. Their voices are heard through their pocket books and again I get it. I get that money talks in all facets of life. I. Get. It.

What I don’t get is people not going to vote because they don’t believe their voices will be heard. We may be individuals but if enough of us have the same views towards politics and the politicians running for office, we can and will make a difference. Educate yourselves people. Know what’s happening in your corner of the world because you never know when an issue on the ballot will affect how you and yours live your everyday lives.

Thanks for reading and please make YOUR voice heard…

The Southern Yankee

Uncle Bigfoot and I

My heart is heavy.

Two weeks ago today, I received an email from my mother saying that my Uncle Bigfoot dude he has massive feet was admitted into the VA Hospital in Houston. She said his blood pressure was over 200 and heart rate was in the hundreds. I wanted to cry because Uncle Bigfoot was more like my older brother than my uncle. we’re literally twelve years and months apart

When my mother and I moved to Texas in 1981, my uncle was fifteen years old and a freshman in high school. We moved into my grandparents house into the small room across the hall from his room where we stayed until I was ten which was around 1988. By 1988, my uncle graduated high school, I started school and he joined the service. Now if I remember right, he joined the U.S. Air Force after Laine (my aunt and mother’s first sister) and Uncle Mike got married in ’86. Or did he just come home for the wedding. I don’t remember much of the eighties.

Either which way, I remember asking to listen the music he liked because “someone had to listen to his music while he was gone.” That’s when I discovered Aretha Franklin the R&B singer, Patti LaBelle, the Gap Band, Kool and the Gang, and The Time. so old skool

I can’t remember when or how old I was when he came back from the service, but it must have been before Papa got sick. I’ve blocked a large part of my life in Podunkville USA out of my mind. When Papa passed away in 1991, everything changed between everyone including between my uncle and I.

During my high school years, my uncle started cooking more. When I say that man can cook the hell out of anything it’s a great understatement. Uncle Bigfoot, Laine and the old battle axe (grandmother) are the main reasons I love food and to cook so much. Uncle Bigfoot is partly responsible for my #phatgurlworldproblems with cheesecake. Have you ever had cheesecake that closely resembles ice cream?

Imagine a thick heavy cheesecake topped with blueberries and frozen to just the right texture and consistency. Did I mention every inch of these 12″ in diameter cheesecakes is homemade from scratch? No? Are you imagining it now? Ain’t it goooood?

¡Ay Dios mío! ¡’tan muy delicioso y riquísimo!!!

Oh sorry. I can smell the graham cracker crust baking in the oven.

Must.

Stop.

Now.

UGH!

——

Fast forward to my sophomore year of Baylor when I became pregnant by my then boyfriend. I remember everyone being so very disappointed in me, especially my uncle. Again, we were more like brother and sister than uncle and niece. But when the news spread about me being pregnant while at a very Southern Baptist school, he became my uncle. No longer did it feel like he was my Mel’s Diner and I was his Ursula which hurt more than anything.

When baby girl was born, my relationship with everyone in my mother’s family became volatile and beyond emotional. Some time after she was born, Uncle Bigfoot was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My heart was broken because even though it wasn’t the same cancer that took Papa away from me, I thought the worst. He didn’t attend my mother and step dad’s wedding. He was too sick. I remember visiting him in the hospital and once at home.

When I graduated from Baylor, I didn’t tell anyone in my mother’s family. The only family I told were my sisters and Granny. Long story short, we just weren’t seeing eye to eye. In fact, shortly after graduation, I stopped talking and visiting my mother’s family. It wasn’t a healthy environment for anyone and I had to protect baby girl from the drama that was guaranteed to ensue if I stuck around.

That was in late 2002 early 2003.

——

It’s been at least eleven years since I’ve heard my uncle’s voice. Fifteen or sixteen years since we got into our usual Ursula/Mel’s Diner argument. Too long since I actually had a decent conversation with anyone in my family.

Too long…. Since we actually acted like a family. Too long since a decent thanksgiving or Christmas.

Perhaps it’s been long enough…

We shall see..

Thanks for reading…

The Southern Yankee