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2014 resolution – mend that relationship

Unlike a lot of folks, I gladly welcome every new year with open arms. For me it’s time to rejuvenate thoughts and goals. I always look forward to correcting, enhancing or finishing what I started the year before. In the past few years, my outlook has been much brighter; my goals a little more attainable, and it’s only because of reasonable and realistic goals I set.

Maybe the reason folks don’t bother with new year’s resolutions or fail at them is because they put too much pressure on themselves. Why make a resolution knowing it’s too difficult to achieve? So, let’s remove the more popular ones like losing weight, exercising more (which I personally never make because I hate exercising), tithing on the regular, – and replace it with another one that could be considered the forgotten resolution.

Family ties and true friendships are falling apart – let’s face it. It’s senseless what we’re doing or have done to one another. What we must (and I emphasize the word) do is work on mending at least one relationship that’s in need of repair. Everyone, including me, reading these words right now is guilty of doing absolutely nothing when it comes to making amends – no matter who’s at fault. My family is no different from yours. I can think of three jacked up relationships right off the bat – no, make that four… no, five (dang)! Two are not mine, but the rest are. I’m not particularly looking forward to one that’s very challenging because of resistance from the other party, but it’ll be worth the effort for the sake of family.

And what is it that stops me/us from reaching out? Pride – do we feel such an overblown sense of self that it makes us believe we’re too good to reach out? Or is it stubbornness – refusing time after time knowing we should but just don’t? Or how about immaturity where we don’t even consider the depth of destruction? The more I write, the more numbers I can add to my own messed up list – hmm, deep.

So, how ’bout we all make the first move in reaching out? Let’s challenge ourselves and extend that olive branch by making this year better than the last. I’m going to follow my own advice and before the end of the month I will have taken the first step in making good on this New Year’s Resolution.

What about you? How are you gonna mend your relationship?

the sequel

Hey folks! I’ve been MIA for too long now (as a blogger). I’m ashamed (my head is hung low). I apologize and promise to correct my – uh, lack of consistency. I mean, how can I consider myself a writer, if I don’t write?!

Let me begin by sharing my sincerest gratitude with those of you who have been encouraging me to finish the sequel to my first book, Office Antics & Sexual Liaisons.

Going back a couple of weeks, I had a conversation with a co-worker who inquired about the subject. This particular lady has been asking for years, “Til, when are you gonna finish?” “Til, I’m still waiting.” “Til, if you stop blogging, you can write! Til….” Okay, okay, Z! I explained to her that when I wrote the book at age forty-six, I was in a totally different head place than I am now at fifty-one. “The sequel has to be just as good as or better than the first.” With a chuckle, I added, “I have to redeem some of them damned devils I created in the first book.” After all, it’s only fair that my characters grow in fiction just as I have in real life. The interesting thing is while I’ve aged, they haven’t.

Another co-worker asked if I had writer’s block. Nope, not the case at all. Thank God, I’ve never experienced it.

Finally, a third co-worker asked what would be my first writing of the new year? This is it – hope you enjoy it.

I appreciate all the encouragement I receive – be it from verbal conversations, Facebook, texting or whatever – you guys like my scribes and it’s a wonderful feeling knowing I’m interesting enough to keep your attention.

So, why am I not writing then? I’m glad you asked.

First let me mention I’m down seven or eight chapters already (been there for about two years though). I have enough material in my head to finish what I started. I could blame my job for not writing. By the time I get home from work I am mentally drained, which is no exaggeration, but nonetheless the truth. But no more – unh, unh! I will not let anything else come between me and what I love to do! If I had stayed diligent to my craft, I would’ve had the sequel done and published before now! If I am to encourage my readers in pursuing their goals, why stifle my own progress? It’s foolishness on my part and the only honest way to answer the question.

I thank you for inciting excitement in my veins and boosting my writing ego.

I won’t disappoint.

Happy New Year – 2014 style!

my kid’s opinion vs. mine – gay marriage

I have interesting conversations with my kid all the time.

I’ll never forget one in particular when she was 5 yrs. old. We were watching a TV movie about a super hero dude who happened to have long hair.

Out of nowhere she says, “He looks gay.”

Doink! “What does ‘gay’ mean to you?”

“When a boy likes a boy.”

True that.

Present day. She recently did a school project on Same Sex Marriage (got a 95 – at least that’s what she told me) and asked my opinion on the subject.

“I come from a different era than you,” I started. “When I was growing up, I don’t recall seeing same sex partners. On our block just about every household had heterosexual parents – that’s what I grew up with and that’s what I knew – bam, normal!”

While giving my response, I was thinking really hard on whether I had actually seen and recognized gay couples back then. I couldn’t come up with anything. I searched my brain for neighborhood folks (is that word already plural sans the s? Can never decide), classmates and their families, relatives – nothing involving same sex couples. Maybe one of my siblings can jog my memory or maybe there just isn’t a situation to recall. I even mentioned to the kid that folks were not so open with being gay then – “it was like taboo or something.” Then she wanted to know what “taboo” meant (I sighed). But to bring it back home, I let the kid know that I have never been around a same sex couple who lived together. Gosh, this is really trippin’ me out (I’m jogging my own memory) because I remember now that there were two older women on our block who lived in the same house – but they were “sisters” – at least that’s what everybody said….

Even now I am not closely related to a same sex couple at all; sure I know of some but not on a personal level. However, I do have gay family members near and far, and if they decided to take that step toward marriage, I’d be right there to celebrate with no ill feelings, but (and I strongly emphasize the word) I still believe a man should be married to a woman and a woman to a man. My kid asked if that was being racist – I told her it’s not racist – “might be sexist, but not racist.” I told her I would never disrespect a gay couple and even went into my work relationships with gay people. I worked with a female who married another female. She referred to her spouse the same way my husband referred to me – “my wife.” I’ve never treated her differently because of who she was married to… “however, I still stick to my opinion though.”

And don’t get me wrong folks, I know this is a controversial topic – I even thought twice about blogging on it, but I believe it’s worth the blog. I’m constantly learning about life (on many subjects) through the vision of a 15 yr. old in today’s screwed up society – she keeps me fresh and makes me delve deep into my thoughts, beliefs, and how much I really know (or don’t know) about life. Like I explained to her, “your generation have no boundaries – anything goes (figured I’d explain hedonism for another conversation). I told her, “Heck, even the solar system has boundaries” – no collisions involving planet Earth. “You guys want to try and experiment with anything and you do anything.” I’ve never seen so many “gay” and “bi-sexual” teenagers in my life! That’s not being judgmental, it’s a factual observation.

She even told me she got into a debate with a male classmate who had opposite views on same sex marriage – said she got a little heated, and I told her that’s a great debate subject, “but you can’t get upset when someone has different views than yours.”

Then she drops this on me, “How would you feel if I brought home a girlfriend?”

“What do you mean – like a girl who’s a friend or a girlfriend?” I knew what she meant, I just needed a lil’ response time. “I’d accept it because I love you.” Shrugging my shoulders, what else would I say? She’s my kid.

Then she says, “What if I dated someone other than Black?”

Who was talking about that?

“As long as they or their family and friends don’t call you ‘nigger’ I’m cool.” Real talk, y’all – told her I was serious. “Don’t let nobody you’re dating call you that – even in jest.”

So, there you have it folks – her opine versus mine. The conversation was actually a lot more detailed, but I’d be writing all night if I included everything. She feels very strongly that gay couples deserves to be happy and adopt kids the same as heterosexuals. I applaud her strong beliefs; however, she has to keep in mind that people can have opposing opinions as long as respect remains intact. I will never make her feel as though she has to share my beliefs or agree with me on every subject just because I’m her mother; however, on this subject we respectfully agreed to disagree.

Where do you fit in this debate?

Did you just feed your dog with that fork?

Yes, you did, and I saw you.

I was driving along East Girard Avenue in Fishtown with the kid and two friends when I stopped at a red light. To my right was an outdoor restaurant, which is now a common sight in the Philadelphia area – not my thang, but more power to the people who don’t mind outdoor eating while public transportation (trolleys & buses) and regular traffic seasons their meals with dust and fumes.

As I’m waiting, I see a woman sitting at a table with a gentleman and a dog. I then see the woman feed the dog with the fork that the restaurant loaned her for her meal. After feeding the dog, she poked the food in her plate and proceeded to eat – off the same fork she just fed the dog with! Now, I love animals just as much as the next human being, but I’ll be doggone if I knowingly eat with the same utensil I just fed my dog with!

“Oh my god! Did y’all see that?” I asked my passengers.

“Yup, I saw it,” says my gal pal, Jules.

Now, there were two things that crossed my mind as I watched the woman continue to eat as if it were a normal thing: 1) “Eew, that’s nasty” and 2) Even though the dog-fed-utensil will be washed and cleaned, some unsuspecting patron will use that same fork.

As a result, that particular restaurant lost a car full of potential customers because of what two had witnessed.

Why do folks do certain things – and in public? Did the woman not care who would use that fork after her and the dog? Suppose the dog just licked his butt? Or sniffed a cigarette butt with nasty saliva on it thrown away by some degenerate (gonna end up “butt” anyway). Did it not faze her on how others viewed her actions? I doubt she gave a damn for real. Isn’t feeding your animal with human utensils something you do in the privacy of your home? Is that similar to breast feeding in public – folks look at you like you’re crazy? Did the thought cross her mind that the restaurant could (and did) lose potential customers and revenue? Aren’t we a selfish society? I don’t care what anyone thinks, it’s my dog and I’ll feed him when and where I please! Eff y’all!

So, listen here, lady – do not feed your pet in public with utensils intended for human usage! Whether you did (I highly doubt it) or did not take your own fork to the restaurant, do not assume that everybody else did the same. I saw you feed your dog with that fork! I don’t know if you took it from your home, but I know what I saw, and it turned me off from ever visiting that establishment. Everyone is not as comfortable as you are with your style of dog feeding, which brings something else to mind – it doesn’t matter if you dine in fine high end establishments, air polluted sidewalk cafes, or even the reasonably priced buffets, we’re all susceptible to the dangers and bad habits of others. We take chances on the food we consume if we didn’t prepare it ourselves, the dishes our food are placed on and the utensils we put in our mouths.

I enjoy eating out and look forward to doing so. I try to take the kid to a different restaurant every time I get paid, so with that in mind, I should feel at ease with the service I’m paying for. My thoughts shouldn’t be consumed with wondering if the family pet ate off my plate or licked my fork.

That’s my food for thought – what’s yours?

Take your own plastic ware when dining out….

my website!

For those unfamiliar, please check out the website to my book by clicking on the above tab “Office Antics & Sexual Liaisons” and share with everyone you know! You’ll be able to read an exciting sample as well!

have no fear, I’m still here

Hi everyone!

I haven’t abandoned you. I am working on something I believe you will enjoy or at least will take you back down memory lane.

I’ll be busy this weekend, but I plan to get some writing done too.

In the meantime, be safe and have a wonderful weekend!

See you on the other side!

I’m feeling some kinda way

I watched Good Morning America this morning and was told a blogger got over a million views just by blogging about Miley Cyrus’s performance at the Video Music Awards earlier this week.

I’m like, “Now, how did she get that many views? Who is she?” And of course, “How can I do that?”

I’m feeling some kinda way, y’all. I don’t know how long she’s been blogging, but how in the world can one person get a million views on any given day? Okay, if you are the Pope, I can see it (didn’t he just start tweeting?), but the thought is just unbelievable to me. I’m going to research this lady to find out who she is and how she managed to get those results – probably knows someone who knows someone else.

And while I’m on the subject, I got a bone to pick with every celebrity I’ve ever supported so forgive my Ebonics. If I’ve paid money to see you in concert just about every time you came to Philly (Prince), bought your books (Danielle Steele, Terry McMillan and Sidney Sheldon – oh, he died in 2007, and you too, Steve Harvey), supported your movies (Tyler Perry, Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg), supported your television series (David E. Kelly – loved Ally McBeal, Boston Legal & Boston Public), watched your talk shows for years (ladies of The View, Phil Donahue, and of course, Miss Oprah), and Hillary Clinton – I got your book too, then you oughta return the favor and support me. You are not exempt either, Donald Trump, because I faithfully watch Celebrity Apprentice. You can have the next group of apprentices take on “How to Sell Enough of T. Anthony-Horton’s Book in an Hour to Make The Best Seller’s List” or you can at least tell a sistah in sixty seconds (crying sounds) how to market her product….

To continue, if I bought your designer clothes (there’s a name on every label; don’t have to be well known), paid to see you play ball & bought “For The Love of the Game My Story” (Michael Jordan), which I would like to have autographed, and watched American Idol, Simon, because of your nutty British azz, insulting folks, then surely you can purchase my book.

Y’all see where I’m going with this? Wouldn’t it be fair, not just for me, but for any struggling person who has supported someone else that they support you too, no matter what their celebrity?

I have to be honest though – when I hear someone’s book has been on the #1 Best Seller list for weeks, namely because of who they are, I get a little perturbed. If Steve Harvey wasn’t who he is, would anyone have paid attention to his book? Nope; not as much! And I’m using Steve as an example because a second movie is coming out from that one particular book he wrote.

And the chick who wrote about that greyness and its many shades had thee entire country talking (and she ain’t even from here!) – even the ladies on The View quizzed President Obama on it! Why can’t they talk about my book? It’s gray and has three shaded ladies on the cover.

See, it's shaded and gray!

See, it’s shaded and gray!


And how is it that unknown folks get the chance of a lifetime? Can’t think of any right now, but they’re out there!

Shonda Rhimes is my girl – a TRUE inspiration – Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal! Please. Pick up my book, Shonda – google T. Anthony-Horton and Office Antics & Sexual Liaisons. I salivate at the thought of writing a show or a pilot episode of something – anything!

What does it take to get a little noticeability… Tyler?

I’m feeling some kinda way, followers.

You all know I’m aiming for the stratosphere in reaching my goal of getting 100,000 views or more per day. When you all help me see the end result, we’re gonna celebrate!

Thanks for indulging a sistah while she vented.

She just dropped the mike!

Follow Up to “51 with braces”

“51 with braces” – I wrote that blog on July 7, 2013.

What? Did you guys think I wouldn’t give an update? 🙂

Last week, I went for my first consultation. I was asked what my expectations were.

“To have all the spaces in my teeth closed except for the front gap.”

“How much of the gap do you want to keep?”

“Huh?” I wasn’t quite sure how to answer because I had never considered the thought of ever having it closed. “What do you mean?” Basically, if I wanted a lot or a little closed. I responded “as little as possible.”

“That’s possible.”

“Cool!”

The two things that make me special in my own head is my left-handedness and my gapped tooth smile.

My teeth will only be imprisoned for 18 months because the time it would take to completely close my gap is not needed (isn’t that great?). Another plus is no obvious problems other than the need to push back and pull together (wisdom teeth still intact). I must admit it warmed my heart to hear that although my teeth are spaced, I have taken pret-ty good care of ’em. That’s always a good thing to hear from your dental provider, right? Anyhoo, I chose Invisalign (clear aligners) which lessens my visits compared to having the metal mouth look. I’ll get a supply of (I don’t know how many) and will have to change them bi-weekly. They will be installed by my third visit. The second visit covers the teeth impressions, x-ray images of my face – that was amazing how the contraption swirls around your head and you see the images right before your eyes! They also took still photos, which are not going to be a pretty sight, given the way my mouth was stretched.

One more thing and I’ll let you go.

I’m leaned back in the chair, mouth open wide enough to swallow a large snow globe, upper teeth covered with gooey guck for impressions when the kid notices another kid choosing a bright and colorful retainer case.

“My dentist doesn’t have those colors,” she says.

“Oh, would you like one?” asks the assistant who was timing my impression.

“Ooh, yes, can I?!” So The Kid goes over and starts rummaging through the retainer cases. “Oooh, what pretty colors!” She’s enthralled.

At this point, air is going down my throat; I can’t swallow, and I’m listening to her go on and on about the freakin’ colors when I wanted to yell, “Choose one already, will you!”

“Oooh, can I have the pink one?!”

“She said, ‘take one!'” I thought in my head. I literally gagged. Never try to speak when your mouth is forced open and your top teeth are covered with molding!

“Oh, I’m sorry, mom!”

Double doink!

Bottom line – I’m getting my mouth taken care of and taking you along for the ride, and for those of you who mentioned you’re interested in Invisalign too, I’ll keep you updated and with photos to boot!

Please feel free to share your own dental stories (horror or not).

Thank you for following!

watch your kid cause I shouldn’t have to and why you gotta speak to them that way

I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. We’ve all been unnerved, angered, surprised, and left with our mouths left wide open from the way some folks treat their kids – especially at “the mall.”

Yesterday, a girlfriend and I went on a Megabus trip to the Harrisburg Mall (which is very nice, by the way) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – if you guys haven’t taken advantage of their cheap trips, you really should. For both of us, it cost $4.50 roundtrip, but I digress once again.

Being the observer that I am, I was people watching on a bench while waiting for my girl to come out of a store. I happened to be near two of those little rides that the kids can ride a minute or so for fifty cents. A few kids had already taken their turns when a little girl ran excitedly to get on. There were two older girls with her, but the mother never came near the ride – she went directly into one of the stores. After a time, the two older girls left the area and went to join the mother. The toddler who was no more than three years old stayed where she was, running around, enjoying freedom as a child her age should. Only problem was, I shouldn’t have been the one to watch her actions and make sure she didn’t hurt herself. This went on for a few minutes. From where I sat, I could see inside the store and not once did the mother come to check on the toddler. One of the older girls would peek from the store’s window, but never left to check on the kid either.

As the toddler continued to play by herself, a lone man came on the scene and stood by the railing, looking down on the shoppers below. The toy ride was the only thing separating him from me. I couldn’t see the kid anymore. I got up and walked around the ride to where “happy girl” was. There she stood right next to this male stranger, trying to mimic him as he leaned over the railing. I held my hand out and said, “C’mere, Sweetie.”

Sidebar folks – this is why I don’t believe in and have never taught my kid to “never speak to strangers” – a stranger can save your life or at the very least help. I never taught her to just go and talk to strangers either, but I think you guys feel where I’m coming from.

But, the little girl happily took my hand as I led her into the store that was more important to mom than the whereabouts of her kid. As I handed the babe off, I simply said, “She was running around by herself.” The mother angrily stared at the older child and said, “thank you” to me. As I walked away, I wondered what kind of trouble awaited the older kid. I shook my head.

Now, I was willing to watch the kid free of charge, but the babysitting fee would have raised drastically if I had to run after the child who was snatched by a pervert. Thank God it didn’t end that way, but you never know the intentions of others.

This is an actual photo of the mall I got from the internet. This is what the little girl saw as she was peering down.

This is an actual photo of the mall I got from the internet. This is what the little girl saw as she was peering down.

Story #2: I was in the fitting room, trying on jeans that didn’t completely cover my little ass (why do designers think everyone wants their cracks showing? How much material does it take to cover a butt as small as mine?) when from another room, someone was berating her child. She was yelling at the kid about how she couldn’t take her anywhere and why she “gotta touch that” and my all time favorite, “I’mma punch you in the face. You took all the beads off my bracelet.” I mean, every sentence was followed by another degrading one.

And my girl heard even more than I did – she said the girl told the little one, “That’s why I’mma leave your ass home next time” and “…always touching something.”

As I exited the fitting room, the bad parent did too – a young girl (not surprising), with the kid who was knee high to the door knob and younger than the one in the first story. I just shook my head. What kid no taller than your knee caps can keep their fidgety hands by their sides and not touch anything? You must have patience to have children, children!

I’m sure you all have seen some of the same mannerisms or worse. How does it make you feel when you witness that type of behavior and have you ever intervened?

Thanks for your feedback.

my appreciation to you

You know, when I write something – anything, that other folks read, I must make sure it’s interesting, thought provoking, entertaining, and a conversation piece. The more I write (blog), the more I learn about this whole blogging thing.

When I first signed up in June of this year, I didn’t know what my expectations were – I just knew I wanted to write and I’d have a forum with a listening audience. Upon learning about the different themes (what my page looks like) I could use and how much I’d want to enhance my page, it seemed I had a long way to go. I must admit that WordPress is chock full of information – so much so that I would need to take a few weeks from work in order to learn everything about the site. You read about this, it’ll take you to another place and then another and another… it’s all so interesting that you could possibly be clicking on different links all day long! This is the most comprehensive tool I’ve ever come across in learning anything.

I’ve also learned about advertising. I’ve heard so much about how you can get paid for blogging. Well, who wouldn’t want to get paid for something they love to do. I applied, and because of the package I chose, I was already entered into an ad program. Okay, so when can a sistah get paid, right?! I got in contact with WordPress to ask since I hadn’t heard anything from them about my application. I was told they monitor each account and if I do not get six digits of views per day, I’m not eligible! In case you can’t fathom, that’s a tremendous amount of traffic. Even though you guys visit my site EVERY single day (thank you), I need to add four more digits at the end of my daily views! So, I need you all to tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, teachers, preachers, doctors, lawyers, their assistants, their friends, family, co-workers, neighbors… you feel me?! It’s a vicious circle cycle (I don’t know if that makes sense, but I like the flow of it).

So, now that you know I’m on a mission – my 12 ft., will you help me? This is a personal goal that I am setting for myself, but I’m putting it out there in the universe – your universe. I’m clueless as to how long this will take, but I am going to work toward it and I have no doubt I can do it. I’ll continue to write interesting topics and will respond to every comment. It’s only fair that I do. If you take time to read my writings and hopefully, pass my site on to others, then I can surely acknowledge you. I have to keep you interested. I want you to tell your people about me. I want them to follow me. I have a goal to meet and I plan on reaching it.

I’m going to take this blogging thing to another level. I have no idea what the outcome will be, but in the meantime, I’m gonna ride this wave for as long as I can.

I’d appreciate if you rode along with me.