baltimore habit: nodding off

“Baltimore leads the nation in per-capita heroin use” –DEA

Although I moved to Baltimore city almost 5 years ago, it wasn’t until I read Donald Goines’ “Dopefiend” that I could even conceptualize the epidemic that i come in contact with every single day. i knew that heroin is a drug that people shoot up their arms with needles and i knew that most cities have methodone treatment programs which essentially get patients addicted to a substance that only the program dishes out, but that’s about it. once i moved to baltimore i became familiar with the term “nodding off”, the habit of heroin addicts to fall asleep on their feet and strangely, although while standing asleep, their knees buckle under them, and they make a steady decline to the ground, its a well known fact that they neither 1)fall, 2) hit the ground, or 3) actually wake up.

this lady was on the subway when i boarded at the first stop of the line. she nooded the entire time she was on the train, about 2 stops. finally, the automatic annoucement voice jarred her awake and she literally jumped from the train as soon as the doors opened. i wonder if that was her stop.

this man was apparently standing at the bus stop near our apartment and was attempting to eat the remainder of a bag of chips. however, each time he dug in the bag to get the last of the cumbs in the bottom, he would “nodd off” before he actually get chips into his mouth. the little crumbs would fall on the ground and the man would wake up just enough to start the process over. although i didn’t watch him after i passed him on the sidewalk, i guarantee that he never fell. eventually, he probably sat on the bench and got a good nod on, until his high wore off. then i’m guessing that he got somehow mobile and went in search of the next hit.

Tif has written about nodding off quite a few times.

baltimore transies: starting young

i’ve been taking pictures on the subway for months now, and never actually doing anything with them. these pictures in particular, i don’t know what to say really. in them, there are 4 or 5 young boys, no older than 16, some dressed like girls. 2 of the the boys lapped up in the seat next to me and i couldn’t really process what or how i felt about it. so i surreptitiously took pictures of them. there’s one in the background, you can barely see him, in a brown and blonde wig. i guess the thing that gets to me most is that they’re soooo young. *sigh*

The attack of the little jacket

what’s the deal with this season’s hottest new hot item/accessory/outerwear/inner outerwear – the little jacket?

most women reading this blog will immediately recognize not only what i’m typing about, but will note that they have 1 or 2 hanging in their closet right now. to men: you had to have noticed the phenom. chicks have been sporting jackets this season, but not the same as in previous years. this year, instead of a sleek leather shirt jacket, or a little leather blazer, the new style is some variation of brown, courdouroy, khaki, velvet, pink,stretch, olive green, ribbon belted, and/or “burgundy wine”. its either “shrunken” or “cropped”. its worn with a silky camisole shirt or maybe a sexy tube top. some women wear another jacket on top of it while economical chicks leave the big coat in the car and wear the little jacket inside the club to avoid the $2 coat check (i personally love coat check and appreciate clubs and bars that have it). but check it: its JANUARY! you’re allowed to wear a coat. even moreso, you SHOULD wear a coat. its fricking cold outside. but even more than that here’s the thing: i was walking thru the club last evening, from the bar to the back lounge area when i noticed that every women within my line of sight had on a little jacket. the chick coming out of the restroom, the one heading for the bar, the chick hugged up with that dude from the wire, the one over to the right looking like she was trying to escape from a dragon breath dude, etc. i noted to myself that at least the 2 ladies coming from the dance floor laughing, presumably good old friends out having a good time, had conversed enough beforehand so as not to inadvertently coordinate the little jackets that they were both wearing. but it dawned on me that, shit, dancing in a jacket is hot, little or not, and considering that just as much time was spent picking out the little shirt to go under the little jacket, it really should be acceptible to take off the little jacket once inside the club, or at least once you have a couple of drinks and loosen up. i mean, what’s the point in putting on a cute top and then sitting all night with it covered up by your equally cute but somehow more important little bitty jacket? yes, its January, but i haven’t ever had a good time in a club that’s cold probably because it would most likely also be empty.

anyway, this is just a plea to my sistas. Ladies: let’s rethink the use of the little jacket as inner-outerwear. as a people, let’s resolve to let *the twins* out to breathe every now and again. hell, it was 50 degrees the other night and i therefore couldn’t resist wearing open toed shoes. i’m sure that at least a couple of brothas have been trying to figure out why we’re all sitting up at the bar bundled up in jackets all the damned time now. no wonder so many of our male friends have on their winter weight. they’ve been sitting in the house instead of going out – nothing to see out there.

here i am…

i bet you thought that since i got engaged i had sworn off this blog, surrounded myself with those huge Modern Bride books, and started planning THE EVENT of 2007. Or, at the very least that i had even started the planning process. Or, in a complete twist, that i had decided to dedicate this blog completely to the subject of wedding planning. HA! little did you know that i’ve only been missing because i’ve been lazy. and if you really wanna know how wedding plans are going, i’ll tell ya – they’re great! but i’m not gonna suck you in right now. now is the time for catching up.
Last monday , 1/09 Tif scored tickets to the opening night of CATS. since I’ve been attempting to absorb as many classic movies, theater, and music as possible, i was utterly excited. unfortunately, i was in the middle of my second cold in 3 weeks, so i sneezed and snotted my way thru the…lackluster performance. all in all, i’m glad i finally got to see it – for the experience.

last wednesday, 1/11, i conned both tif and my girl from atlanta into going out clubbing with me. i had spent so much time in the house being sick that i couldn’t wait to get moving to some speaker thumping music. little did they know that although we left the house at 9pm, and they were ready to turn in about 10:30, i wasn’t letting up until last call. the next day -hungover – i dragged myself to work and wrote apologizing emails to both tif and my friend. seems that i’m not as young as i used to be and apparently, they read the memo. i must’ve thrown it in the recycle bin.

We spent the weekend before the King holiday in Ft. Washington with The Newlyweds and friends. Over the course of the weekend I learned quite a few things.

For example, no one is feeling my plans for a classic Black & White wedding. apparently its essential that I have some type of accent color. now i’m threatening to throw in some strategically placed leopard print and snakeskin!! listen man, Black and White. its formal, its classy, you can’t mess it up. Black and White. get used to it. plus, i’m black and tif is …..light. so really, its a manifestation of our ebony and khaki love. *smile*

I also learned that even tho I tell people that I’m just learning how to play spades, that doesn’t mean they’re going to take even a second of pity on me. plus, although there are about 80,000 variations of the game, somehow all of them include the number one rule “Black folks must talk shit at all times.” here i am trying to remember the order of the jokers and the 2′s and all that crap and this lady is berating me about the head. i had to escape to the restroom to have a good cry and reevaluate my color, fortunately, my girl was able to take my seat. — most of this account isn’t true, but it could have been.

I also learned how to play Texas Holdem that weekend and learned that until someone associates those little plastic chips with actual money in my wallet, it means nothing to me. I also learned that I’m overly fond of the term “All In”.

Thursday the 19th I really wanted to go “urban socializing”, meaning that I didn’t want to have to get jiggy fly to go out. i really wanted to get in touch with my hood roots and hang in a cut rate bar or something. or at least that’s what i thought. even tho i gave both tif and ATL girl ample heads up that this was going to be an urban outing, they seemed somewhat taken aback when we actually arrived at the bar. i was pretty aware that the evening was going to be a short one when an 8 foot tall, 7 foot wide chick patted us down at the door. it was later brought to my attention that my new homie from the ATL aka Miss Priss (*L*) got a much more thorough groping than i did, but what can i say, i’m sure it was for her own safety. *L* .
we walked in and watched one of the staff rehanging the lights above the pool table that had apparently been knocked down by a recently ended fight. quaint. but see,here’s the thing, i really wan’t messed up about it. i’m OF the hood and sometimes i find a craving to reimmerse myself so that i can really appreciate just how far i’ve come. don’t let the ivy league degree fool you, although i didn’t grow up *in* the projects, i did grow up around the corner. LOL. so really, i wasn’t ready leave, i was all good, but i can understand that other folks may not be as comfortable in *the element* as i am. tif had taken off to the restroom and i turned to Miss Missy and asked “so you wanna leave now?” she, boring holes thru my brain with the “how-could-you-bring-me-here” ill grill reasoned “well, i don’t want to cause a scene by coming in and walking right back out, so let’s just get one drink and then we’ll leave”. cool.

Queen Suburbia and i stand at the bar, waiting on the bartender to notice how out of place we look and approach us, when suddenly this….person sitting in front of us turns around and gives me a more-than-once over. now, i’m not self conscious, and lawd knows that i’m usually pretty confrontational, but as soon as me and this chick made eye contact, i knew i was waaaay too out of practice to throw down with the likes of …it. tell me why this chick had on opaque gray tights, wool bootie shorts, and a red sateen camisole. the whole time that we had been standing behind her she had been gyrating in her seat to some unheard beat. ATL girl had already brought my attention to it, and i remembered that i should have warned her that this place was not only above a carry out, but there was a grungy strip club next door. i immediately saw her write my name on her shit list in her head, but she only nodded and suggested that we move further down the bar to wait for the bartender. great idea. we got our abso-cranberries,gulped them and we were out of there within 12 minutes of the time we walked in the door, off to Eden’s Lounge with “Our Kind of People”.

“Forever, For Always, For Love” by Luther Vandross

I sing this song to remind myself
There was a time when I didn’t have no one
Didn’t have no love

Do you remember
The love that we once had
Well if I had the chance to love you again I would
Make your heart forget
I was ever there, oh no
If we forget the past I know this time love will last

Forever, For Always, For Love, Yeah

I’m not coming home anymore
Does it matter?
Well if I had the chance to hold you again
I would fill your heart with joy
Make you remember
I’m the only one for you, yes I would
Let’s throw the bad memories out
And make this the first day of our

Forever, For Always, For Love

I’d be a Fool…To…Ever…Change

If she says she Loves…The…Way…I…Am

I’d be a Fool…To…Ever…Change

If She Says she Loves…The…Way…I…Am

It’s gonna be
Starting Here, Starting Now, yeah yeah yeah
Forever, For Always, For Love [x 5 (ad lib between)]

And they said it could’t happen

Expect nothing at all and accept as a joyful surprise whatever good you find in matrimony.–Frank Leslie

i really have no idea what that quote means, but it has all of the right elements for this blog post 1. surprise 2. matrimony. In case you’re quote slow unquote, let me spell it out for you: Nestled in the Poconos, at the foot of the Shawnee mountain, surrounded by 10 of our best friends, New Year’s Eve, 2 minutes til midnight, Tif proposed to me. 8 minutes later, when I regained consciousness, I accepted. That’s right. I’ve got a FINANCER!! Um, I mean FIANCE’. Then again, judging by this rock on my hand, maybe the former is correct. To say the least, I’m elated! I’ll post a picture of the hardware when I get a chance. Tif has pictures of me crying and shaking and being generally ugly. No date set, but we’ll keep you posted. Bring on the congratulatory drinks!!