18 Days ... 18 Wishes

April 18, 2006 will mark my 28th birthday. So in honor of that and to help you in your shopping, I thought I would give you 18 things that are on my wish list:

  1. New levees for New Orleans. The Washington Post reports, "The Bush administration said yesterday that the cost of rebuilding New Orleans's levees to federal standards has nearly tripled to $10 billion and that there may not be enough money to fully protect the entire region." Please keep in mind the cost of the Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction War is set to reach $251 billion today, March 31, 2006.
  2. A signed affidavit preventing future physical, verbal and mental abuse lawsuits for anyone taking employment from Naomi Campbell. AP reports "Naomi Campbell was charged with second-degree assault Thursday after allegedly bashing her housekeeper in the head with a phone in an altercation at her Park Avenue apartment."

  3. For Oprah to come back from hiatus. With the invention of DVR and Tivo... I hate reruns because I have already seen them.
  4. For Delta Airlines to get it together before I move back to Atlanta... or at least before my flight to LA next week. AP reports, "Almost 275 Delta Air Lines pilots marched through the world's busiest airport Thursday to vent their anger over the company's effort to throw out their contract so it can impose up to $325 million in long-term pay and benefit cuts. The pilots have said they will strike if their contract is voided."
  5. For the Washington Post and all DC news reports to stop making that damn baby Panda the cover story.... WE REALLY DO NOT CARE!!!
  6. Another DC thing... can someone explain to me the fascination with these damn Cherry Blossom trees. Must people come from all over the region and country to tie up traffic to see a damn tree blossom some pink flowers that will be all over my car and the road in a few days????
  7. An explanation on why I cry every time I fill up my Montero but yet Exxon Mobil Corp.'s $10.7 billion in earnings - the highest quarterly profit ever for a U.S. company.
  8. For Tyra to take a break from ANTM... Tyra maybe if you weren't trying to crown a new Top Model every season you could actually get a few contestants that may make it. I mean seriously how many people can name 3 of the past winners other than Eva Pigford???
  9. And since I am on reality shows... can someone please get rid of Randy and Paula on American Idol... Randy gives everyone the same critique and Paula... who even listens to her, I swear that ho is on something.
  10. AP reports that, "The city has agreed to pay $1.1 million in legal costs to the family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. because of police errors during a wrongful death case brought against the city and the LAPD." Beyond this on going case and P. Diddy releasing new BIG albums every other year... is just a bit of overkill. Can we let him rest for awhile so in a few years we can come back and be like damn he was HOT!!
  11. For someone to let Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) you can't pull out your weave, take off your congressional pin, and walk up into the US Capitol in a pair of sweatpants and expect a security guard to recognize who the hell you are.


  12. I would also like for the Vice President at my new job to realize I do not officially start until April 3rd... SO STOP FUCKING CALLING AND EMAILING ME!!
  13. I also want people to stop coming to me with their relationship problems. You allow your significant other to do dumb shit... then you want to cry and break up for 2 days... then you are back together only to repeat this nonsense of a circle in a few weeks or months. Stop the nonsense in the beginning... let that person know you are not going to deal with bullshit.
  14. Oh yeah one more DC thing... can someone please just lock Marion Berry up. NBC4 has reported, "A subdued, apologetic D.C. Council member Marion Barry was sentenced yesterday to three years of supervised probation for misdemeanor charges based on his failure to file income tax returns, as well as failing a a court-ordered drug test."
  15. And can someone explain to me why these ignorant people of Ward 8 (the majority black section of DC) keeps voting this ass into office??? And you wonder why they keep pushing the poor and black across the river.
  16. For my move to Atlanta to be over... not that it has been difficult but I just want it over.
  17. Hope for Whitney.
  18. For Bush to admit on his last day in office that he was an incompetent ass, that fooled the world, making him a lot smarter than people give him credit for.

The Last Day

Well yesterday was my official last day at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. While Friday was the last day I even attempted to do any work, yesterday I made an appereance around 10:30am to turn in my keycard (I still have to find and turn in my actual keys to the office which I am always misplacing) and to go to lunch with my girl, Maureen. Tuesday ended just the way I had planned it... very low key with most people out of the office on business travel. However on Monday as the new Director (and one reason why I chose to leave) was leaving the office for a business trip she asked me two questions 1. How could our assistant be used more effectively? and 2. Name one positive thing and negative thing about her performance so far. Well you will read the answer to number one below ... but for her second question I told her to stop pushing off work on other people and that she was a good communicator (mind you it took me at least 3 minutes of silent thinking to come up with that bullshit last part about her communication)... in return she said that I was a good party planner but could work on my thoroughness (mind you I didn't ask her opinion). So in response to that I sent her the following email (Bcc most of the people I like around the office):

After much thinking about our conversation on Monday, I have finally decided that I can not assist you in your requests.

You asked me how can Aiyana be used more effectively. I think the most effective and efficient way to get an true answer to this question is to ask Aiyana herself. While the Training Department has usually functioned as a team, we all had specific and separate duties to accomplish each day that made the team function. I know that Aiyana is consistently busy in her role and seeing the seniority she has in the department, only she would know what more she could possibly do.

You asked me to let you know exactly what work that you have passed off onto other staff members that have been the work of the Training Director and department. Well I do not feel that it is my position or responsibility to inform you of what your duties are. I believe that since Chuck and Jo Ann hired you, they or HR should inform you of your role and responsibilities. It is unfortunate that Aiyana or myself were never shown the new job description in its draft stages for our input on exactly what the Director did on a daily basis, but that decision was made higher up and now it is their issue. I encourage you to talk to your colleagues that have been complaining, I am sure they would more than happy to let you know as well. I would just remember that no one at NLADA has a secretary except Jo Ann... so your attitude towards doing certain things, like sending that box Monday to EJC, is not above you.

Your last statement to me was that I plan great parties but I could work on my thoroughness. I find your immature and unnecessary jab to be unfounded and misguided. In the entire time I have been at NLADA every conference I have produced has been complete from beginning to end. Even when other staff members and consultants have unprofessionally missed unexpected expenses such as a shuttle for participants staying at the overflow hotel and the increasing costs of AV. It was my decisions and professional advice that made the shuttle service and purchase of LCD projectors as well as other creative spending that led the conference to still make its budgetary numbers even though our registrations numbers were far below where they needed to be. And for future reference it is quite offensive to tell any meetings and event professional, that they plan great parties. But your lack of knowledge in this industry and role do not surprise me that something that rude would come out of your mouth.

Because I hate to see anyone fail, I sincerely wish you good luck in this position, because with your performance so far and how staff feels you will definitely need it.

Charles O. Williams, II

Training & Education, Meetings Manager
National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)

1140 Connecticut Avenue NWSuite 900
Washington, DC 20036
E-mail: c.williams@nlada.org
Phone: (202) 452-0620, ext. 214
Fax: (202) 872-1031

I Wrote This Song.... a book review

Well although it is taking me forever to get to posting this... it only took me 2 days to read Dayne Avery's first novel, I Wrote This Song. From the very first chapter Dayne pulls you in with a vivid and gripping scene of abuse, which sets the tone of dramatic and colorfully written chapters to come. It is quite hard for me to go into detail of the novel without giving the juicy details of the book. However the novel covers a new and first love from the beginning to the very end. If you have ever been in and out of love you will definitely feel and understand the emotions and trials, Jayson, the main character, experiences throughout the story.

Most of the time I find the storyline of novels, especially gay novels, to be a bit extreme and out there. However this book definitely struck a chord with me. I too experienced the same beginning and a similar end with my first love. (again not trying to give the storyline away) I do not recommend every book I read, however this book would definitely get my stamp of approval. Check out the novel and author's website http://www.iwrotethissong.net and read an excerpt of the first chapter.

Dayne Wrote this Song...

So everyone knows that I am constantly reading a book, so the other day Mr. Valentino asks me if I have read fellow blogger and Atlanta resident, Dayne Avery's first novel, "I Wrote This Song". I hadn't read it and really didn't know much about it. So i hopped on Amazon as we were talking and bought the book and fellow DC resident Rashid Darden's Lazarus.

I can say now after only reading the first chapter, Dayne has pulled me in and has me curious what the next few chapters have in store... so in between packing and hanging out with my friends this weekend I will be checking out the rest of this book and of course like the other books I have reviewed posting my thoughts about the book.

Icy Blue or Chocolate Brown... You Decide??

Well actually you are just helping me decide... so if you have been paying attention, you know I am moving next month. You should also know the 3 moving quotes I have received so far have been off the chain ($1900 - $3400). So today I decided to rent a Uhaul trailer attach to the back of my truck pack up my new bedroom furniture I bought last summer and sale the rest of this shit. But know I need to order new living room furniture. So I have been debating between two couches... now the chocolate brown (option #1) I currently have in a light tan color (and the only reason I am reconsidering it in another color is cause everyone who has sat on it loves it and it is soooo comfortable and I would be taking the one I have now if it wasn't so expensive).... and the icy blue (option #2) me and my bestfriend saw in a store while I was in Atlanta last week and were like damn that is hot!! So I already have been polling some of my friends, and my Dizyaboy told me to blog about it... so here it is... please vote and let me know your opinion on the couches....

Option 1 (less the white chick)
Option 2

Weekday Wrapup

What a busy work week it has been... but it is now Friday evening and all that shit is over. Just thought I wrap up the week a few thoughts on my mind....

  • Why when I resigned on Tuesday... the first thing my Director said after she picked her face off the floor was.... "Is this effective today?" At first I was like does this bitch think I am really that unprofessional and uncouth? Do I need to go dust off the three degrees that hang on my wall? But then I was like... a hit dog will bark... she must be feeling guilty about something....
  • Why did the HR Director overlook my request for a going away party and hold one today? Better yet why did I stay for 15 minutes before leaving?
  • Why did I answer Trent's Friday Phone tap... knowing I hate my voice and I knew it would stir up a few questionable emails to my mailbox??
  • To answer the questions from those emails.... read the post below... I am moving to ATL for a job opportunity not to be shacked up. My friends and family are just an added bonus.
  • Why are these moving companies trying to hem a brother up with these $1700 quotes?? Anyone know any good day labourors?
  • Why does Darryl Wilson think I am going to pay $25 to see Remy Ma and Eva at the Edge nightclub tonight? I don't even know who Remy Ma is and what exactly is Eva 'the Diva' Pigford going to do?
  • Giving up red meat has been harder than giving up alcohol for Lent. 17 days without a drink has been like hunh but no hamburgers or steaks isn't really working.
  • Have you all heard the news? BooBooRed is moving to Atlanta. Yay!!
  • I'm gonna stop here.

On that Midnight Train to Georgia...

He's leavin On that midnight train to Georgia...
Said he's goin' back to find...
A simpler place and time.

this is an audio post - click to play

Yes it is true... after a little over 6 years in DC, I am relocating back to Atlanta. What a whirlwind week it has been for me. It all started on Wednesday, when I got a call and impromptu phone interview from the second largest association management company in the US. That led to me meeting the Executive Director and one of the Vice Presidents in the DC office on Thursday afternoon. Friday morning I got a call inviting me down to Atlanta to meet the team and talk with the Vice President of the Division. A few parties here in DC on Saturday... a little apartment hunting and hanging with my bestfriend in Atlanta on Sunday... meeting on Monday... and the official offer phone call as I was boarding the plane back to DC this afternoon.

While I always had plans on moving back to Atlanta, I never imagined it would be so soon. I love DC... always have, always will. DC has been really good to me... however I will do a post about all of that later. But there are things in my life I want and people I want to be near. Besides I am young and who knows after another 6 years, I may be relocating somewhere else.

So much to do and so little time to do it.... I still have to finish up projects I have at my current job which includes yet another week in Philly at the end of March.... and then I head out to Anaheim for the first week in April, and lest we not forget my birthday is quickly approaching (April 18... I do accept gifts and money).

And to my special friend Mr. Valentino ..... suprise!

In the Background: Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips

Farewell.... Gordon Parks

All I can say is simply amazing.

Often correctly described as the pre-eminent African-American photojournalist. In 1948 Parks became the first African American photographer for Life magazine, where he worked for 20 years. Although most recognizably known for his photojournalism, Parks also shot high fashion as well as earned considerable distinction as a writer, poet, novelist, composer, and filmmaker. The second of his films, the blaxploitation movie Shaft (1971), achieved success at the box office and made him the first African-American to direct a major Hollywood film.

Parks was the true essence of a Renaissance Man.

"I chose my camera as a weapon against all the things I dislike about America -
poverty, racism, discrimination."
- from Gordon Parks' 1966 autobiography "A Choice of Weapons."

On the Road Again....

After a pretty dormant December, the new year has kicked off and I am now on my 5th business trip of the new year. A week in Philly... followed by a week in Chicago, both in January.... a week long tour of Texas included stops in Dallas , Houston and Midland.

Now I am wrapping up a week back in Philadelphia. If Philly gives you nothing else there are some really amazing restaurants. Buddakan, Bluzette, Tangerine and Washington Square are all on my recommendation list. It has been quite some time that I have had a chance to check out so many different restaurants in such a short period of time.

Always good to be going home however... the 2:15pm Amtrak back to Washington's Union Station can't come quick enough.

Why Are You Still Single???

Over the past few months, I have been on a few dates and have talked to a few more people online or on the phone, and there is always one question always asked... "So why are you single?"... I have my own answer but I happened to reading articles online and came across this one.....

Why are You Still Single?
By Jerusha Stewart

Do you really and truly want to be in a relationship but find yourself singing solo in the shower? Do you know you're a great catch but can't figure out why you're not paired up like most of your pals? Unwittingly, you could be engaging in a little self-sabotage when it comes to finding your special someone. With a little digging you can uncover the silent saboteurs preventing you from achieving "I'm taken" status -- and learn how to overcome them.

Silent saboteur No. 1: You're ignoring your relationship needs.
Often people with a lot on their plate may say that they're open to a relationship and are willing to make room for one. But in reality they're not. Some tell-tale signs: Every time your co-workers or friends extend an invitation to join them for a little after-work socializing, some unfinished project on your desk convinces you to say "Not tonight, but once my workload lightens up" (as in, never). Or, you find yourself saying things like "I'll start really looking for someone once I get my promotion/graduate degree/finances in order" (which, alas, may not be any time soon).

Solution: Put yourself first. Have an honest chat with yourself: Do you really want a romantic relationship in your life right now? If the answer is yes, make at least one step toward carving out some space for it, whether that's signing up for online dating, telling all your friends and family you're open to a set-up, or establishing a once-a-week night out with your single friends. And don't let a few bad dates drive you back to your workaholic way -- once you have a good one and see what you've been missing, you'll understand what all the hubbub is about.

Silent saboteur No. 2: You're too quick to decide whether you're interested.
In today's fast-paced culture, it seems natural to decide whether someone's right for you in, oh, about three seconds. Alanna Rayford of San Francisco often cuts flattering male attention short. "In the first five seconds I know whether or not I'm going to continue to have a conversation," she confesses. But think about it: Most of us aren't great at making a killer first impression. "It sure could explain why I haven't had a date in a year," Alanna continues. "I don't give men a chance to show me who they are. A little patience would probably help."

Solution: Avoid making snap judgments. If you find yourself making snap judgments like Alanna, adopt these two new rules to end your dating drought. Rule one: Promise yourself to withhold any dateability decisions about someone until after a cup of coffee (the whole thing, not the first two sips). You should be able to talk to anyone for as long it takes to drink a latte. Rule two: Adopt a second-date rule. If you like the person, even just a little bit, make plans to see them again. At that point, you two should both be more relaxed and ready to reveal your true selves.

Silent saboteur No. 3: You've got options but none are "good enough."
We're not saying you shouldn't have standards. But see what your friends (especially the single ones) think of your prospects. If none of them get why you didn't follow up with that person you thought was, oh, an inch too short, or too tall, or a freak because he wore a bolo tie, then you could be guilty of having too many must-have traits on your list.

Solution: Re-evaluate what's really important. We all have our best-case scenario in terms of height, weight, hair color, and so forth in a partner. But how many relationships do you know where two people in a couple fit that wish list to a tee? None or not many, most likely -- which is all the more reason why should you probably take a closer look at the qualities you deem ideal, or deal-breakers, on a date. A solid relationship is more often based on shared values and common interests -- so make sure you keep those things in mind on your next date rather than obsessing about his too-short trousers.

Silent saboteur No. 4: You're not entirely over your ex.
You and your ex are history ... so what's up with the long, warm-and-fuzzy phone conversations to "check in" with each other? Sure it seems harmless. But if you find yourself comparing every new potential love interest to this former flame (or if you conveniently "forget" to tell your ex about the people you're dating), then it could mean you're still harboring some feelings for the one who got away, which makes it difficult to really focus on someone new.

Solution: Give yourself permission to meet someone new. You could be holding on to your past because you haven't been building your post-breakup support network -- a mix of friends and family members you can comfortably dial for no reason at all. Weaning yourself off your ex can be hard, but it largely comes down to re-directing those impulse calls. The next time you're tempted to call your ex to vent about something awful that happened at work or just something funny that happened that you're dying to share, resist the urge and call someone else, like your mom. Over time, you'll stop thinking about your ex so much, leaving you more open to meeting your next one-and-only.

Silent saboteur No. 5: Your attitude leaves a bad taste in the hearts and minds of others.
When you're out on a date, do you find the conversation generally veering toward your dimwit boss, dysfunctional relatives, dating horror stories, or some other "poor me" tale? You may think these stories are funny (and they very well may be) but after a while, anyone listening is going to wonder: "Why would I want to join this pity party?" and steer clear.

Solution: Get an attitude adjustment. Hey, we've all got problems. And while the blues are fine in stereo, very few people want a personal serenade. Putting your best foot forward all wrapped up in positive packaging makes you a much more attractive companion. Just because someone's agreed to spend time with you doesn't mean they've agreed to spend it as your therapist, so accept the dating process for what it is: a chance to get to know someone better, not vent. Stick to more positive stories, and see if you don’t find yourself in a more positive place, dating-wise.