Coffee in my left hand, 16 things in my right.

Here is a list of 16 things Chicago officials should actually be outraged about:

The missing postal worker who is in fact still missing

A reported 52 girls still listed as missing in the Chicago area

The lack of repercussions for officers who have murdered men and women in the street.

The light sentencing of an officer who murdered a young man on the street with 16 bullets

Millions of dollars that have been paid out by the city to settle police brutality cases

Property taxes that continue to soar

Schools that are poorly funded by said property taxes in poorer neighborhoods, but magically make their way safely to schools in higher property tax brackets

Underfunded teacher pensions

Those 50 schools that closed in black in brown neighborhoods

Aldermen who make lots of money and do the bare minimum for their wards

TIFs in neighborhoods that do not need TIF funding

Potholes big enough to damage your suspension

Letters sent to residents suggesting we should test our water for lead.

The ever-increasing taxes placed on phone and cable TV service

The extra taxes Chicagoans have to pay on gasoline, in addition to the Illinois taxes.

That even though you have had your 15 mins of national TV time, no amount of outrage will cover up that the investigation was leaked and botched to the highest degrees. You prioritized it over some of Chicago’s most pressing cases and were embarrassed by the outcome.

In the words of the great young prophet Kendrick Lamar; it’s time to be humble and sit down.

Coffee in my Left Hand, ‘same blog, who dis?’ in my Right.

Okay, I know it’s been a long (very long) time and I owe a few apologies.  First, to the friends and fellow bloggers who gently asked where was my pen; I’m sorry.  I always felt your words as encouraging and not a scolding, but nothing could flow until it flowed, ya know?  Second, to the readers who asked; God knows I appreciate you and I’m sorry. Thank you for letting Coffee In My Left Hand even cross your mind at all!  Lastly, I owe myself an apology; I’m sorry Vonn. I let the world throw us off our square, and we know better than to do that. Lesson Learned.

Heeeyyy!  Hopefully you knew to read that in a Cardi B voice and give it a little extra ‘I missed y’all so much’ vibe. If not, we’re both rusty and we’ll find our groove again in no time. It’s been over a year since I’ve written anything and it feels good to sit with you.  And I know you’ve got questions and deserve answers so let’s get into it:

Where have you been, Vonn?

I’ve been dealing with a personal issue that, off and on, took me off my creative lane.  I let worry, anxiety and boat loads of anger stifle my voice and no one is more upset about it than me.  A writer is to write no matter what, but when you write a humor blog, it’s hard to do that over a cloud of negativity.  I’m generally a positive person, so to live with that kind of anger, much less write within it, was difficult to say the least.  There’s a saying “what’s inside of you, comes out of you” and I couldn’t let what was inside of me spill out onto the page.

You alright now?

I’m good, better than ever.  Into everyone’s life some rain must fall. On a subconscious level we all know that, but when the rain is an undeserved tsunami, designed to intentionally hurt you, it can feel like the attack is never ending and only raining on your side of the street.  One thing I do know, is that all things work together for my good, and that I’m left better and wiser for having come out on top (insert Diddy’s ‘Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down’ here, and do the Diddy dance while you’re at it).

So are you back for good?

Yep.  Ghosting is not in my character, and I hate that I did. Part of the lesson was supposed to be “write no matter what” and I failed that test.  Fortunately, life only requires that we get back up, shake off the dust and continue with living. For me, living includes writing. Can’t promise I won’t stumble, but I won’t quit again.  

So, hopefully you’ll accept my apologies, and give me another chance to be a part of your weekly routine.  Between the anti-president and this banana republic we live in, the life and antics of my Mother, Chicago’s 215 mayoral candidates, Cardi’s Grammy win, J Cole’s new single and the world in general, I have lots to say. And, in the immortal words of Diddy, “can’t nobody hold me down”.

Vonn–

Coffee in my Left Hand, Angst in my Right 

Coffee in my Left hand, Angst in my Right

Hey Fam, I want to ask your indulgence for a quick sec; there may not be much funny in this post.  

I stay in these Twitter streets, and I’m seeing a lot of praise being heaped upon NBC for their “swift and decisive firing” of Matt Lauer.  For those of you disgusted with Twitter given the current Golfer in Chief and refuse to follow it, Ole Matt is the latest celebrity brought down in sexual assault allegations. He has taken the garden variety harassment up a notch and added toys and office dungeons to the mix. Way to lower the already disgusting bar, Matt.

Anyway, NBC claims he was fired after a 1 day investigation into these allegations; that they have a zero policy on harassment and assault.  This. Is. Bull Shiggedy. People are lauding NBC for taking such fast action in letting him go late at night, then announcing it first thing in the morning. Also. Caca. Del. Toro.

Two of the women brought this behavior to management and nothing happened.  Now, I know that H.R.’s job is to protect the company not the employee (if you didn’t know that; you’re welcome), but these allegations were strong enough to be acted upon. In recent months, both the New York Times and Variety magazine had been conducting investigations, including asking questions of former and current NBC staff to corroborate or dismiss the stories of Matt and his toys.

Are we really to believe that the network hadn’t heard of this investigation? Of their star? Really?

They knew, and they only acted swiftly once they had no choice; they were getting ahead of the story. No praise for them, no soup for them, no diggity no doubt for them either.

Variety also reported that there were games played around the office of a sexual, degrading nature; particularly “f*ck, marry, kill” within earshot of staff and crew. Special shout out to the anchors making the announcement yesterday morning looking so shocked and forlorn, like they haven’t known who he is from jump. The daytime Emmy goes to…

All of these men (there may be some women down the road, but for now it’s men) have one thing in common; power. There are no mailroom staff, or production runners or interns out here harassing people two paygrades above themselves. These crimes are being committed by, and being protected by, people in power situations.  There’s no job in the world where you could possibly think it is okay to expose yourself at work, and get away with it, unless you are sure there are no repercussions for ‘you’. It happens in fast food, corporate America and retail too, but the (filthy) common denominator is the power. The assurance that you are important enough to whatever company that they value you over the safety of the employee.  And that is the cusp of the problem; not valuing all human life the same. It’s a problem we’ve had here in America for a long time.

Coffee in my Left hand, Angst (more like pissed off) in my Right. 

Coffee in my Left Hand, Can I just enjoy the holidays in my Right?

Coffee in my Left Hand, Can I just enjoy the holidays in my Right?

Hey Family!

Popping in to say a quick Hey and to get something off my chest before the most wonderful time of the year gets going.  

All year, but especially during this time of the year, the woke/hotep people gather around the hearth of anti-everything and proclaim all that is wrong with Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We’ll get extra SM videos and quips about the death of the Indians (100% true) and how we shouldn’t celebrate the socio-capitalist, man-made holiday of Christmas, and some who even used to go to church before discovering (fill in the blank __________), will tout that Christ wasn’t even born on December 25th so what is you doing Baby?

On behalf of the few remaining of us who in fact look forward to gathering our families around tables full of butter and copious amounts of liquor at Thanksgiving, we bid you a heartfelt “Fall Back Yo”. We know the history, we know the hypocrisy of this nation. For better or worse, we still live here, and the nation still takes the 4th Thursday of November to mark a gathering of family, friends and food.  I gets down with all of the aforementioned Fs, and intend to do so every one God sends.  You can espouse and disparage the day all you want, but eat we will.  So, if you intend to criticize and educate on that day, please just stay home.  No sense in ruining it for the rest of us. That includes all the new vegans, pescutarians and clean eaters. No dogging out Grandma’s turkey basted in real butter and love. No pointing out the sodium in the ham and whining that the greens were cooked in meat.  Of course they were! Did you wake up in another family?  Remember who you are (were) Simba, and leave Auntie’s collards outta of your endeavors.  And no, we are not saving you a plate.  Go to the anti-everything hearth and see what quinoa they got going on for you over there.

As for Christmas. Oh Holy Night, with your stars shining brightly, how we do love you so.  The lights, the sounds, the gifts and the butter and copious amounts of alcohol shared amongst families and friends.  It’s actually my favorite holiday and my favorite time of year.  My birthday falls just days before, and my Father’s birthday (heavenly shout out to Daddy!) just after, so perhaps that’s why I’m an emotional ball of flutter for weeks on end during this time. But I’m not alone.  All ages, ethnicities, and levels of ‘understanding’ enjoy this time of year.  People are nicer on the street, Starbucks puts out new cups for us to debate, retailers use their best lures to get us to buy more of next year’s white elephant gifts (you’ll catch that later); it is in fact the most wonderful time of the year!  Why are our dear woke/hopteps determined to suck the life clean outta the holiday? As a life-long Christian, I know that tax time in Jerusalem was not likely in what we know to be December.  Does that mean I can’t stand in line at Tiffany’s for 2 hours to get somebody a bracelet if I want to?  Should Madea go without new slippers? Will all the TV’s have no new home because someone posted another article dismissing Christmas and pointing to scriptures about trees? Nay, I say; nay! Side note, I’m willing to debate you if you want, don’t let the jokes fool you; I know my bible. Gloray!  Instead of ranting and trying to draw us in, let us welcome you into the season with our merriment, ham, red velvet cakes and tangled lights for prickly trees.  Will it kill you to hold it all in until, say MLK day? No it wouldn’t.

So, if you know one, or are one, can you just resolve to let us enjoy the remaining 2017 Holidays without all the anti-everything?  Given the year we’ve all had here in America, haven’t we suffered enough?

Vonn

Coffee In My Left hand, Computer Love In My Right

Coffee in my Left Hand, Computer Love in my Right

Hey Coffee lovers!  It’s been a minute; I miss you when you’re not here.  

Sooo, I promised you that I’d be trying some computer dating (Shooby-doo-bop, shoo-doo-bop, I wanna love you), given that love seems to be elusive for so many lately.  Here’s where we stand. I say ‘we’ because you’re so kind to go on these journeys with me; I ship all of you. No, not you Fat Jesus; slide it on back!  Now, you should have gotten both of those references; if not, see the usher in the lobby for further instructions.

I tried out Bumble. For those of you worse off than me (and you can’t possibly be more unaware than me, trust) Bumble is a dating/networking (yeah right) sight that is geared toward the woman doing the initiating.  No strange men in your DM, which is the reason I agreed to try it. Women scan, pass or select the men, and then where there is a match, the woman initiates the contact.   Now those who know me best would tell you, “Vonn is not going to reach out to a man first, we’ve been telling her to do this for years.” Ok, no lies told.  I have decided however, that this is preferred (so far) to some other sites.  About 5 years ago, a certain Baby Sister of mine who shall be left nameless suggested I get on a site that rhymes with Denty of Bish.  Chile, there were folks pinging me and DMing me all day and it was just all the grimy sludge you can imagine! I deleted it after a week, and haven’t indulged in another site until this one.  A professional woman who I respect said she met her boyfriend on Bumble so I felt if there was ever a site to try, this might be it.

So, flash forward to the present.  I did some viewing (within 30 miles of my house, age 45-57) and here’s what went on in my head as I swiped:

Swipe 1 Handsome, white, Harvard; probably arrogant

Swipe 2 Not bad, white, U of I; I don’t like boats

Swipe 3-7 Cute, white, I don’t like pets, sweater vests or skinny mustaches and what’s up with all the boats?

Swipe 8 Cute, Hispanic, seems short in the picture

Swipe 9 Not bad, Black, I can’t do Steve Harvey suits

Swipe 10 Cute, Black, throwing up hooks in the pic can’t be a good sign

Swipe 11 YIKES! I know him, that’s probably a whole blog in and unto itself

Swipe 12 Handsome, white, artsy fartsy, another doggone boat

Swipe 13- until they cut me off, I found something that was just not pow! enough to select any

So, for my Caucasian Sisters from another Mister, this is the site for you!  The men were handsome (vast majority), educated, LOVED BOATS, liked Petdren (as my friend calls them) and seemed not too serial killer-ish. I almost pulled the trigger on a couple myself. Then I started imagining all the boat loving, 45 lovers, or the Peta loving fur haters and couldn’t do it.  Did they like greens?  Would they understand my blog or my poetry? Can they play Bid and Taboo? My mind had questions.

Now, you might be thinking “Vonn, you discounted some men for stupid reasons. What do you have against boats and pets, and what did Steve Harvey ever do to you to make you cringe at the sight of his suits? What’s up the Ques?”  Those are all good questions.  After swiping myself into Bumble time out, I had to ask myself the same thing. Am I not open enough?  Could it be that no matter how safe the option, the Vonn of 2 paragraphs ago simply does not want to do the choosing (well, not initially anyway). Do I walk away too quickly? Am I the epitome of the woman described as too picky?  Will Cam Newton make the Steve Harvey suit fly one day?  Was my trigger finger too lazy? What should I try next? Comment and tell me what you think; this might take a village and a whole carafe of French pressed coffee for this one.  

Coffee in my Left Hand, Computer Love in my Right…
@coffeeinmyleft  

Coffee In My Left hand, Rest in My Right…

Coffee in my Left Hand, Rest in my Right. 

There is something intriguing about the night. Teenagers long to stay up through it, the best parties seem to happen in it, international flights begin in it, songs are written about it; Gimme the Night, & You Know the Night Time, is the Right Time come to mind. New York and Las Vegas are branded in being two exciting cities that eschew sleep on principle! It seems the world is afraid it’s going to miss something incredible during the night.

I want to remind you, however, to rest. Unless you work shift differential, you should be getting some rest at night. This adulting thing is hard as hell.  Bills, jobs, spouses, kids, parents. Then add to it the ever looming possibility of 45 tweeting us into WWIII, ironicly in the middle of the night, and it’s hard to turn off our brains long enough to sleep.

I was sick not too long ago (I’m fine now), and one way I knew I wasn’t well yet is because I couldn’t sleep. My sleep returning to normal was how I knew I was feeling better. The human body is designed to heal and restore itself during periods of rest. 

Lack of sleep promotes weight gain, cell degeneration, memory and cognitive impairment, ADD, injury from accidents, stroke, and a general poor quality of life. Dang. 

I said all that to say sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.  At some point we need to stop glamorizing the night (at least until the weekend…heeey!) and make sleep a priority.  Do whatever you have to do to get sleepy (yep, even that), and then make time to rest as essential as drinking more water and eating more veggies because it is. Give your body what it needs to repair the damage we cause it all day, or if you’re super healthy from jump, to reward it with the rest it needs to sustain all that fit bit nonsense you put it through. Either way, get some rest. Please.

Coffee In My Left hand,  get these Zzzzs in my Right. 

Coffee In My Left hand,  Where is the love in My Right? 

Coffee in my Left Hand, Where is the love in my right?

Heeey! It’s me again. Yes, I know I’ve been missing in action lately, but don’t call it a comeback, I never left you.   Life came at your girl real fast and knocked me around a bit.  But if you know any Black women, it’s hard to keep us down.  We are the most bounce back creature God created!

I’ve been thinking about the state of love around me. The series Black Love, featured on the OWN network (check it out, it’s great), profiled several couples and their triumphs, struggles and endearing thoughts on love.  I looked around me, and didn’t see many couples in love.  I was relieved to know a few, but given my age and the ages around me, you’d just assume there’d be anniversaries popping off everywhere all the time. Nope.  I asked some single friends this question “when was the last time you were in love?” and received some surprising and not so surprising answers. Names and identifying details have been hidden, but many had given me permission to use their info.  

  • Male-1991, not since undergrad, I won’t let myself

  • Female -2011, last real boyfriend

  • Male-2007, it’s been 10 years, the time flies by real fast

  • Female-2000, just don’t trust these dudes with my heart, you know

  • Male-1993, I still compare women to her

  • Female-Never, I’ve said it but looking back I didn’t mean it

  • Male- 2015, I was in love with her, but the feeling wasn’t mutual

  • Female-1998, I barely remember what it feels like

  • Male—2016, made love to this one woman and was in love

  • Female-2003, haven’t met anyone worth falling for like ‘him’

  • Male- 2002, I thought I had found ‘the one’

I listed the gender because both sexes tend to feel that the other side has it so much easier.  I’m guilty of that all the time.  Also, we stereotype men as just looking for sex, or saying “I love you” to get sex. Again, this isn’t a scientific study but I promise you, none of the men I spoke to were cavalier in their answers. There was sincerity, and longing and fondness of the loves lost in their responses.  Maybe I just know dope men, but still.

Women also get a bad rap about falling in and out of love with every dude they give their number to. The world would have you think we doodle guys names on the back of the cell phone bill just because he made an actual phone call.  These women didn’t sound bitter, or angry; just still looking for someone to love (hopefully you sang a little Mint Condition while reading that. Yeah, we still do that here ☺ ). And weren’t we surprised that the one person to admit they’ve never even been in love was a woman?  She knows what she wants and is willing to wait on it. Now, she’s not sitting in the house with her 15 cats, but she’s not throwing her heart to the wind, either.

Both women and men are romantic, are open to love (well two were not willing to risk it) and yet still not finding it.  What the heezy is going on, people?!  We’re out here going without romantic love in our lives.  Now, no one said they were going without sex, just acknowledging they aren’t falling in or staying in love.  Why can’t we find love? Everyone is dating, and boning (are y’all old enough to remember that’s what we used to call it?) but relationships aren’t being formed, marriages aren’t lasting, and anniversary bottles are not being popped.  How we do get from DM’s to I do’s? From swipes to snuggles? Do we even believe in relationships anymore?  Have our hurts and disappointments kept us from surrendering to it? Not one single person said they didn’t believe in love, but it seems to be escaping us. Hit me in the comments on why you think it’s escaping us and we’ll make this a twofer. I know I owe you a lot of entries and since that in love thing has escaped me too for the moment, I have plenty of time.  

Coffee in my Left Hand, looking for love in my Right.