Friday, August 13, 2010

I have been busy Ramblings

This last month has been a busy one for me. You know I went to Atlanta for a book club conference, but I have been going like the energizer bunny for a minute now so let me ramble along with some thoughts and the goings on with me. Get you a cup of coffee and let’s get to it!

• Ever have a toothache that only hurts at 10:30 at night? That was me. You can shoot me in the leg, pinch or stick your finger in my eye and I could stand the pain, but a toothache? Oh no, I cannot on any level take that pain. I can’t tell you how many nights that sucker reduced me to tears and strong pain medicine. Thing was, it didn’t hurt during the daytime unless it encountered cold air. After 2 weeks, enough was enough and I called my former dentist office (my dentist retired) for some relief. And $700 poorer, I got a root canal and a crown. Thank you very much. The root canal was easy, compared to suffering with that toothache.

• If you have high blood pressure, what do you take? You see when my pressure started to elevate about 10 years ago, I was put on a diuretic and that worked until I started packing on the pounds. Well in October, which was before I started my weight loss regiment, I was put on a med that by February had me ready to kill somebody because my hair started thinning and locks started dropping. So they changed the med to This worked a bit, but not as good as the previous med, but I developed this cough, which I attributed to allergies. However, with the cough came gagging and I’ll spare you further details. So I had to change. We went to Dio.van low dosage. First 2 weeks, no real problem except it wasn’t taking my numbers down. So they upped the dosage with a diuretic. I promise you in 5 days I thought I was having a heart attack. Shortness of breath, extreme muscle fatigue, inability to work out to my normal routine, racing heart and fatigue. So I took myself off that and went back to a smaller dosage of the med from October. When I went in for follow-up, my pressure was down to normal, but of course I can’t take the med because I am technically allergic to it. So this places me with the fact there are only 5 classes of bp meds and I have significant problems with 3 of the classes. So they started me on Tek.turna and I started while in Atlanta. Well on the 5th day, I noticed a shortness of breath, but I attributed it to me making myself sick. I will do that subconsciously when I know side-effects of things. Well on the next day the shortness of breath was back and didn’t really dissipate the entire day and while at my second job, my heart started to hurt. So you know I took myself off of that med. So we will see what happens next. Here’s my thing, why do doctors prescribe drugs that haven’t been on the market long enough to really categorize their side effects? So not only am I wary of another med, but I am scared that the usage of the drugs that have made me sick will have a longer effect on me in the long run, even though I didn’t take any of them very long. Like I told the nurse, I will not continue to take something which makes me feel worse than before.  (Just found out I am officially allergic to all BP meds.)

• My aunt was in the hospital for two nights and I stayed with her one night. Imagine my surprise to see that there was already a resident in the room. Yep, a spider. You can kinda make out his form from the picture. He had been there a while and you know I told the nurse they need to handle that real quick. Ugh!

• I like when I have curls in my hair, but with this heat and my workouts that ain’t really working out too well.

• Have you ever had a muscle spasm in your calf? Unbelievably painful. Imagine standing up and hearing a pop from that muscle, yep pulled that muscle and it hurt, bad. However, I took some meds and put some of that turn hot cream on it and soaked in Epsom salt and almost back to new in less than a week.

• Sears is the devil. Our air conditioner is still not fixed yet. Will they really come on August 11th and fix it finally just in time for fall? (They didn't!)

• On my second job, I hired a young lady as a cashier. She came with impeccable references and seemed eager to work. Yet she turned into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde within a week of employment. She came in smiling, but was frowning after such a short while. I just started observing her. She didn’t seem to get along with the other workers and she had one of those attitudes I so detest. Things started to go left when I had a customer at the counter, my other cashier was handling our drive thru window and my cook was bagging orders and her azz when sitting at both with her feet propped up, eating her catfish and talking on her cell phone. Oh hell no! I made her get up, get off her phone and handle customers. Oh she gave me some song and dance about her mother had been sick and she was checking on her. I didn’t care, because I have written folks up for cell phones many times before and let’s just say that is quick way out the door. Then on another day with another manager she cussed in front of a customer. So that Saturday we had a meeting with her and she said she understood she needed to be more positive and such. Well that night she tried to steal food, which pissed me off. Are you serious? The next the manager who has issues, I wrote about her before on here, told me she was scared to tell her to get off the clock. Now that is a problem because lil’ bit ain’t scared of nobody seeing she has written up damn near all the employees. So I decided to see if her disposition had improved so I watched and shadowed her most of the night, um I had to tell her to do things, but I had already concluded she was just plain lazy. Her attitude was funky. When the owner’s wife asked what was wrong with her and why was she just standing and not helping closed all I could do was shrug my shoulders. At that point, I decided to think about the situation and come up with a solution. I mean she hadn’t been there a month yet. So on the next day I worked, I had planned to tell the managers that I had cut her down to 3 days and to not let her work anyone else’s shift and when I return from Atlanta, I would fire her. Well, they met me at the door and asked me to do some investigating because something about her was fishy. And, we had three customers call or come in and say their credit card numbers had been stolen and one of the last places they used it was at our store. OMG! One guy said that he had to ask for his credit card back because the cashier, the young one with the glasses, had kept it too long. Lil bit, said she saw her with a credit card on the drive thru and she had her cell phone out but she didn’t think nothing of it. She told her to hurry up and give the customer back their credit card. Our machines do not show on any printed slip the credit card number or the customer’s name. So cell phone + credit card = thief. I decided to let her go before my mini vacation. I called her to come in the night I worked but she had no transportation, so we set an appointment for the following afternoon. You know she didn’t show up, but I did a memo and outlined why she was being let go. When she went in to pick up her check, she was given the memo to read. I understand she got mad and stormed out, well before the detective she had taken his credit card number could get to the story to take her down for questioning. Then this child posted this mess: "TELL DEM FUCK DEM ALL DA MANAGERS CAN KISS MI ASS ESPECIALLY MRS SEAL ADN NATASSI DOWSWELL HOW EVA U SPELL IT WIT THEY LYIN ASS I DN'T GIVE A FUCK BUT IT GONNA BE PAYBACK"

She forgot I work for a law enforcement agency in the Legal Unit and some of my good friends are police officers, troopers and sheriff’s deputies. I am waiting for her pending arrest because it was 6 credit cards totally well over $1200. Lesson: Be real careful using your credit/debit cards and always get your card back immediately.

• You tired of reading yet?

• Men love your daughters. That means be there for them and insure they know you love them because otherwise they will end up like Fishb.urne aka Chippy D. Yeah, seriously men do that for me.

• When I saw the pictures of Latifah and Jeannette, I sent it to my sister and told her I was feeling some kinda way about it. I knew, but didn’t know, but now I know. She wasn’t careful about the PDA or she didn’t realize the paparazzi cared.

• Why is Fantasia’s name all up in someone’s divorce complaint? Seriously. The wife is coming at Fantasia, but more like trying to get attention or dare I say money? Damn, right after I write this Tasia done tried to hurt herself. Dear Sista, it ain’t worth it.

• Sometimes when people are saying something stupid to me I look at them with concern in my eyes.

• I realize stupid is what stupid does.

• I wish folks would understand that Maia’s problems with drugs stem from her mental illness because in order to quiet the mental illness she self-medicates by using drugs. I hate they have posted the videos and mug shots because this young lady is really ill. With her mom gone, I am sure her support system isn’t as strong as it was.

• Go flight attendant. Seriously, I don’t fly a lot, but when I do there are moments I truly feel sorry for the Flight Attendants because my fellow human beings act like animals or idiots.

• Happy Birthday to my cousin, Kay. She turned 50 on August 13th.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

See What Had Happen Was…

Gardening = MAJOR FAIL!

You all remember my post about my green thumb? Well, from the picture you know that went out the window without so much of whimper. Yep, my green thumb turn black, but not without justification.

I don’t know about where you live, but here we have reached record breaking temperatures. Our summer actually began in May instead of June. It has been on Hell here for months. Plus, we have not had the kind of rainfall we usually experience during what I call dog days of summer. This for an amateur gardener means watering my mini garden at least twice a day. That happened all but two days of the week and usually they would do fine. However, things started to go downhill when someone plucked my first, biggest and almost ready to ripen tomato off my plant. Don’t know who did it but they may as well have plucked my heart along with my first tomato. Someone had them a nice plate of fried green tomato at my expense. If you could have seen my face once I noticed it was gone, you would have felt my anguish. Hell, I worked hard to get the plant to produce and I wanted the bounty from my hard work. Let me move on because I feel my dark place coming.

So even with that disappointment I was determined to grow my tomatoes and continue with my harvest of basil, cilantro and mint. My basil was sweet smelling and delicious and my cilantro made my food muy caliente! I didn’t use the mint, but I loved smelling it every day. Now my tomatoes on the other hand started to give me problems. I found another of those damn worms on the plant and about beat that plant to its death trying to knock it off. Then I started spraying with a supposedly safe spray in order to protect the rest of the plant. However, as the days wore on and thinking I had won the battle; I realize I actually had lost the war. The damn worm was eating my buds, taking a bit at all my damn          tomatoes and living behind devastation. Well, me looking incredulous at what had happened to my tomatoes. The look on my face as I was watering and noticing every damn tomato had been bit out of was priceless. Needless to say that was the last time I watered that plant and I just let it die. While I was in Atlanta for the NBCC, the other four plants (I also was growing a cucumber plant), they died from not being watered. However, if you look closely at my basil plant some damn animal was eating it too. Ugh! I am glad I got to enjoy it for a little while though.

 I plan to try again next year, but I will start earlier with my planting like in March or early April. I plan to have the proper deterrents I place and ways to keep them watered when I am not around. Hopefully, I’ll get to really taste a tomato I actually grew. I hope whoever plucked my tomato enjoyed it!

*Hornworm picture from taken by Sara Moize
All other pictures are from my personal collection.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

What I Took From NBCC 2010

The National Book Club Conference has been around for 8 years and I have attended 6 of the conferences. I missed the first one because I thought the price tag was too much for a conference billed as the “biggest book club conference in the world”. At the time, conferences were running about $100 - $175. And I was attending a conference several times a year. However, looking back and thinking about what is happening today, NBCC is one that has outlasted many of those other conferences.

This year some of the really big names were not in attendance, so I wasn’t expecting much, except some sleep and rest. What? When I can take a nap, baby, I will and I did. However, even with a smaller attendance it was a pretty good event. I mean how often do you have camera opts with an author as elusive as Zane. I didn’t take a picture with her, but I did take a picture where she was one of the subjects. How many of you have seen Drucilla aka Victoria Rowell up close? I have managed to see her several times. And let me tell you, she has good skin and a body a 20 year old would be jealous of and she is 51 years old. Although they failed to take an author group picture, there were several well-known authors in attendance. I would name them, but um just go to the website at for the listing. There were self-publish and small press authors in attendance as well.

Last year, I remember rushing to get to the dining room because folks would save whole tables for their book club and if you didn’t get their early, you were SOL. This year we didn’t have that problem. I hate standing in line and I hate rushing. I know the small press and self-publish found that the room they were in was less profitable and less visible than the previous years. So I heard a few rumblings about that. However, as an attendee last year, I am glad I didn’t have to walk through numerous author booths because frankly it is intimidating. Most folks come with a limited budget and they surely cannot buy everyone’s book and sometimes the aggressiveness of the sellers was a bit much. I personally support self-published authors, but I am still finicky when it comes to spending my money so the book has to be of interest, have something appealing about it such as its cover or title and sometimes I take my time before I purchase anything. So not having to deal with the sometimes pushy sellers, was good for me and from what I hear several other folks as well. Folks didn’t like that we had only two meals. Frankly, it was okay with me. I got to eat when I was ready and what I wanted. Read my previous review of the Awards menu. Curtis and I are not on the same wavelength when it comes to food choices. But I know some attendees felt slighted. We got great bags this year, which didn’t seem as flimsy as last year. Sorry, but the last few years I was scared to really carry the tote because I thought it would break. This year’s was sturdy and better looking. Now we didn’t get as many free books as in previous years’, but we did get about 5 free books, who can resist “free” books. Um, dare I say that one book was the same as last years’? :::kanyeshrug::: The bookstore was Barnes and Nobles and they had a good supply of books, but when I saw several folks with Kindles I felt a little sad because many books weren’t going to be purchased. If you wanted books signed, it wasn’t as organized as in previous years because a lot of signings were being done impromptu. I don’t do lines, but I did want to talk to Pearl Cleage about the play and what book clubs could garner from it. I know more than a few folks were not happy with the hotel. Now as far as breakout sessions, it wasn’t ideal. I was in Karyn Nolan’s meeting and either next door or across the hall the folks were so loud we could barely hear ourselves think. And folks standing in the hallway of the breakout sessions weren’t considerate of those of us in the sessions because, although they were told to hang out in the area near the escalators, folks didn’t heed the directions so every time the doors opened the loudness of the hallway was incredible. I had a good room with a view. As mentioned already, the did a f-effort for the bathrooms, but my bed and room were comfortable. I do appreciate the free internet, because I used it faithfully. I wished more people had done like me and read the reviews because it would have given them a point of reference so they could have better rooms. I mean, serious, Curtis was put in the Radius tower. Now as the conference founder, I would have raised hell. LOL! There were plenty of places to get a quick bite to eat, even healthy items during the conference. There were a number of restaurants in walking distance as well. And no panhandlers. Yes! Thank you baby Jesus! Panhandlers are a scary bunch and can make anyone uncomfortable and fearful of going out at night.

I had a few memorable moments from the event including Marc Lacy trying to bully me into another event this year, Ntzoke Shange saying Madea wasn’t going to be in this one and Pearl Cleage’s stories about Bebe Moore Campbell. Eating crab legs watching Law & Order, working out while everyone else is getting ready to go out and looking out onto downtown Atlanta in wonderment and thinking, I wish we had this type of skyline at home. I am looking forward to next year with my book club members and all the good friends I have met at the conference.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Walter Mosley Author of Distinction Award Dinner

Okay, the Red Carpet portion of this event was to start at 8:15 pm, why did they start before that time and at 8:15 pm, we were walking in for dinner. Yeah, I missed the Red Carpet which is great for picture taking, but I wasn't late, just not early enough. LOL!

Let me say this, Curtis really tries to make everything wonderful for us, but for some reason he always falls short with the meals. Geez, let a woman do it next time, please. I knew there was going to be a problem when the waitress looked perplexed when my dinner companions wanted their bread. Well the bread was corn bread. Even though I am from the south, I do not eat corn bread and when I saw that I was like, "Please, don't tell me we are having collard greens and fried chicken." Thank goodness there was no collard greens, but there sure was fried chicken. I haven't eaten fried chicken in months and wasn't sure I needed to eat any now. Not my favorite by any means. We had fried chicken, mash potatoes and green beans and for dessert some damn peach pie. By the way, I went to Hoot.ers for crab legs later that evening. I was not going to bed hungry. Seriously, why that menu? Ugh, but I suffered along with my dining companions during the meal and talked with Moses Miller about his books and being an author in this market.

The Award of Distinction went to Victoria Rowell, Drucilla of Young & the Restless. She gave a nice speech and a wonderful rap at the end, which you can see on her website. During this dinner, book clubs are honored for community service and their dedication to their group. Curtis' daughter performed for us prior to dinner her own compilations. She has a brilliant career ahead of her. Once the awards were done and Curtis was able to cry, as usual the event for me was over. I rarely stay long enough to participate in the Sunday events, because I contract this thing my family calls Johnitis after my late uncle. When we ready to go, we ready to go. After meeting one of my fellow reviewers from TRR, I headed back to my room to change and hit the streets, because my stomach was talking. Loud.

Next, what I took from the event.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Day 2 of the National Book Club Conference

I began the morning rested and ready to attend the Sharing Ourselves panel to begin my day. The panel included a psychologist, Sybil Wilkes, Wes Moore, Ntzoke Shange, Bernice McFadden and another gentleman who has worked in the prison system. All of the panel shared their story of depression and seeking mental health counseling as an African-American. Terri Williams headed the panel and kept the sharing going.

Bernice McFadden shared how the depression was crimpling to her even as she was awash in the her book deal. Sybil Wilkes shared how the death of her father and the death of her mother caused an unexplained feeling of loss within her and how she had to talk it out to move forward. Wes Moore talked about the death of his father and its affect and the other Wes Moore. Ntzoke Shange talked about her two strokes and several suicide attempts. She said she just wasn't good at it. The psychologist talked about losing her son, who was stillborn and the other gentleman talked about seeing so much in the prison system and how even at an early age he always felt like crying and how he didn't tell his family when he sought help. Terri Williams shared her depression story and the fact that on that very day she was depressed and even with the two rolls of tissue she learned to wear the mask and soldier on, but she knew where her depression came from and she knew rest was in order. Very powerful panel.

Then I purchased a t-shirt and books and walked through the self-published area. Took a picture with Tina McKinney and reminded her of who I was and my sister. Then it was on to my next panel of Souls of My Sisters. This panel was interesting because of the series of books and the stories these ladies tell of life and things that we have all experienced.

Then you know me. It was time for a nap and nap I did. LOL!

I then went to session with Karyn Nolan, whose book Don't Bring Home a White Boy. I wanted to get a perspective on her book and her life being married to a white man. What I garnered was she fell in love with a man who was her equal and everyone may not agree with crossing the color lines, one should be open to the possibilities of doing so. She acknowledge the issues her biracial child will endure and the difficulties of her teenage daughter is facing due to the union. She was frank and open.

Finally, I attended the What Makes Black Books Go in this Economy Panel. Let's just say it was interesting to hear the varying view points from those who have been published for a while, the newbies and the best sellers. Noting the electronic age is affecting the book industry, how we aren't sure yet. The topics ranged from getting our black guys to read to using the social networking sites in marketing. I enjoyed that panel as well.

I hung out with Tee of Rawsistaz for a bit and took pictures with and for Troy Johnson of Check them out. Then it was time to rest before the nights festivities. The Walter Mosley Author of Distinction Awards Dinner. Wait until I tell you about that one.


Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.