Thursday, December 30, 2004

Watch Night Service

I've always wondered about Watch Night Service. Why it was called "Watch Night Service"? why did black people participate and not others? A friend sent me this message and it all became clear.
Many of you who live or grew up in Black communities in the United States have probably heard of "Watch Night Services," the gathering of the faithful in church on New Year's Eve. The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year.Some folks come to church first, before going out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Year's Eve event. Like many others, I always assumed that Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious service -- made a bit more Afro centric because that's what happens when elements of Christianity become linked with the Black Church. Still, it seemed that predominately White Christian churches did not include Watch Night services on their calendars, but focused instead on Christmas Eve programs. In fact, there were instances where clergy in mainline denominations wondered aloud about the propriety of linking religious services with a secular holiday like New Year's Eve.

However, there is a reason for the importance of New Year's Eve services in African American congregations.The Watch Night Services in Black communities that we celebrate today can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as "Freedom's Eve." On that night, Blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law. Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863, and all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were p! rayers, shouts and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God. Black folks have gathered in churches annually on New Year's Eve ever since, praising God for bringing us safely through another year.

It's been 142 years since that first Freedom's Eve and many of us were never taught the African American history of Watch Night, but tradition still brings us together at this time every year to celebrate "how we got over".

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Get Your Free Credit Report

As found in the Everyday Cheapskate daily newsletter. Please consider yourself in the know now.

It's been a year since the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) became law. The law, packed with new protections for consumers, provides that every person in the United States is entitled to receive one free personal credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion -- through a centralized source. Due to the enormity of this national giveaway, the bureaus were granted permission to rollout free credit reports by region.

Here's when you can look forward to getting your free credit report:

-- Dec. 1, 2004: Western states
-- March 1, 2005: Midwestern states
-- June 1, 2005: Southern states
-- Sept. 1, 2005: Eastern states.

Until your region becomes active, unless you live in the handful of states that already offer free credit reports (Colorado, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland or Vermont), you'll need to pay as much as $9 to look at your credit record. There are three ways you can gain access to your free reports:

ON THE INTERNET: (the only service the bureaus have authorized for requesting your free annual report) will allow you to request, view and print one, two or all three of your free credit reports quickly via this secure Internet site. I live in the West and can report that this site works well. The process is quick and efficient. I had one of my free credit reports printed within 7 minutes of arriving at the site.

CALL TOLL-FREE: (877) 322-8228

VIA MAIL: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

Allow 15 days to process phone and mail requests.

Credit bureaus are for-profit corporations raking in billions of dollars each year by selling consumer data. They sell your information for marketing purposes. That explains many of the unsolicited offers and piles of junk in your mailbox. These bureaus also gather credit and other data on all adults in the United States, occasionally even a child or pet from time to time, which always make for a funny story. They compete with one another to sell copies of our reports to us. At a minimum cost of $9 a pop, you can imagine the loss of revenue they are facing as free reports become available region by region.

But they sell more than just credit reports. They sell credit monitoring, credit scores, 3-in-1 credit profiles and on it goes. This will not change. The FTC has given the bureaus permission to "up-sell" us when we request a free credit report. Unless you are refinancing or applying for credit you need to view your credit score only occasionally (once a year at the most). You can monitor your own credit report. My advice is to just take your three free reports (stagger them so you get one every 4 months) and to not fall for offers of add-ons.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Fine Black Men Are Everywhere!

I know I blogged about the calendars, but this is even better. Talk about a way to heat up Christmas!

Take a break from the ordinary with a sneak video peak of the first national commercial of the award-winning RUNDU MEN erotic (yet classy) calendars and book, Wetdreams.

You are invited to see some of the sexiest, most handsome Black Men on the planet. Tell your friends. They'll be glad you did. Click

The above link is to our "G" Version commercial. If you can handle it, click the link below to access the Hot Version. Fair Warning: Not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Christmas Spirit

For those of you who, like myself, still haven't gotten into the Christmas Spirit. I present this. If nothing else, elf tossing is good for a laugh.

Monday, December 20, 2004

What Kind of Soul Are You?

If you aren't supposed to think on Monday, then you REALLY shouldn't be exerting to much brain effort on Wednesdays. I found this at Yolanda's .

You Are an Old Soul

You are an experience soul who appreciates tradition.
Mellow and wise, you like to be with others but also to be alone.
Down to earth, you are sensible and impatient.
A creature of habit, it takes you a while to warm up to new people.

You hate injustice, and you're very protective of family and friends
A bit demanding, you expect proper behavior from others.
Extremely independent you don't mind living or being alone.
But when you find love, you tend to want marriage right away.

Souls you are most compatible with: Warrior Soul and Visionary Soul

Are You a True Chicagoan?

Saw this at Keidra's and decided to give it a try. I'm not really surprised by the results considering I've lived her almost my entire life.

True Chicagoan
You are a true Chicagoan! You've probably lived
here for a long time, or are thoroughly
obsessed with the city and its history.
Congratulations! Maybe you should run for

Are You a True Chicagoan?
brought to you by Quizilla

Winter Holiday Fun

Translate these encoded holiday song titles into their more familiar form.
  1. The lad is a diminutive percussionist.
  2. Stepping on the pad cover.
  3. The red suited PA is due in this burg.
  4. Cup-shaped sounding instruments fashioned of a white metallic element.
  5. The apartment of two psychiatrists.
  6. Decorate the entryways.
  7. Sir Lancelot with laryngitis.
  8. Far back in the hay bin.
  9. Tiny little Alan, Martin, and Nat.
  10. Uncouth Dolf has his beezer in the booze and thinks he is a dark cloud's boyfriend.
  11. Duodecimal enumeration of the passage of the Yuletide season.
  12. Leave and do an elevated broadcast.
  13. Our fervent hope is that you thoroughly enjoy your Yuletide Season.
  14. Small Israeli urban center.
  15. Listen, the winged heavenly messengers are proclaiming tunefully.
  16. As the guardians of little woolly animals protected their charges in the shadows of the night.
  17. Behold I envisioned a trio of nautical vessels.
  18. A parent was observed osculating a red-coated unshaven teamster.
  20. I'm fantasizing concerned a blanched Yuletide.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Picture Day Part 2

So I got Munchkin's pictures back today. They are gorgeous. Eva the Diva has nothing on her. Now we just have to decide which ones to keep. Essentially they give you all the sheets and you keep and pay for what you want and send back the rest. Who make this up? These people aren't slick. Sucker the parents in with the pictures in their hands and then say decide. Plus with the problems from day 1, we are getting a 10% discount on any package we choose. Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Tag - You're It!

I've been enjoying reading these little get-to-know me's but I never planned to do one until Yolanda tagged me. I thought she was my friend but a smartass remark about jell-o has apparently come back to haunt me. Anyway, I AM a smartass so take these with a grain of salt.

Three names you go by:
Ayaba (ok, ok Mommy)

Three screennames you have:

Three things you like about yourself:
I'm too stubborn to let life overwhelm me
I'm hot and I know it (MD knows it too)
I'm mean - it'makes my ability to deal with bullshit better

Three things you hate/dislike about yourself:
I’m *gulp* a procrastinator.
It took me a long to too realize that I'm hot - talk about waste of time
That I can't seem to lose the weight I want to

Three parts of your heritage:
American Indian (no I don't know which ones but these red undertones come from somewhere)

Three things that scare you:
Losing my identity (become just know as Munchkin's/Squirm's mommy, MD's girlfriend, etc.)
Going to hell - as if I needed a reason to know Jesus, this just makes sure I stay on track
Not teaching my girls everything they need to know to be truly independent women

Three of your everyday essentials:
Baby kisses from my girls

Three things you are wearing right now:
Tank top
No drawz (it's bedtime OK)

Three of your favorite bands/artists (at the moment):
Jill Scott

Three of your favorite songs at present:
The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
Ring Around the Rosy - Squirm has been singing this, just figured out what she was saying
Any house music - love those Friday ride home mixes as I try not to crash my car

Three new things you want to try in the next 12 months:
Being a mother of 3 (yes I'm expecting)
Starting a new job (I've had a few nibbles)
Buy a house (this house)

Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):
Good sex/Affection (how do you think MD and I have all these chilluns)
Spiritual connection

Two truths and a lie:
I’m ambidextrous
I hate cheesecake
I love fruit

Three physical things about the opposite sex (or same) that appeal to you:
Nice legs - ending in a
Nice ass - housing a
Big d*ck - all attached to a man who knows how to work all 3

Three things you just can't do:
Do a backflip - 3 years in cheerleading and I still land on my head
Drive a stickshift - my stepdad taught Brothaman but not me
Get through the days on less than 6 hours of sleep (well I can but no one would like me very much)

Three of your favorite hobbies:
Counted cross-stitch
Sleeping - this is a hobby, if done well it provides much personal satisfaction

Three things you want to do really badly right now:
Pay off all my bills
Get in my bed and not get out for a while

Three careers you're considering:
College career counselor
College Recruiter
College student - I want my MBA

Three places you want to go on vacation:
Tom Joyner's Fantastic Voyage

Three kids names:
Nunya - I already told you I wasn't going to reveal my children's identities

Three things you want to do before you die:
See Munchkin on the big screen (she is a drama queen)
Get married before my grandma dies (with all these great-grandkids we keep giving her, she deserves to see one of her grandkids get married)
Win the lottery so I can travel and pursue those other careers I talked about

Three people who have to take this quiz now or die painfully:

A Letter From Santa Claus

A new contract for Santa has been negotiated...Please read the following carefully.

I regret to inform you that, effective immediately, I will no longer be able to serve the Southern United States on Christmas Eve. Due to the overwhelming current population of the Earth, my contract was re-negotiated by North American Fairies and Elves Local 209. I now only serve certain areas of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. I also get longer breaks for milk and cookies, so keep that in mind.

However, I am certain that your children will be in good hands with your local replacement that happens to be my third cousin, Bubba Claus. His side of the family is from the South Pole. He shares my goal of delivering toys to all good boys and girls; however, there are a few differences between us. They are as follows:

  1. There is no danger of a Grinch stealing your presents from Bubba. He has a gun rack on his sleigh and a bumper sticker that reads "This sleigh insured by Smith & Wesson".
  2. Instead of milk and cookies, Bubba Claus prefers children to leave RC cola and pork rinds (or a moon pie) on the fireplace. And Bubba doesn't smoke a pipe. He dips a little snuff, though, so please have an empty spit can handy.
  3. Bubba's sleigh is pulled by floppy-eared, flying coon dogs instead of reindeer. I made the mistake of loaning him a couple of my reindeer one time and Blitzen's head now overlooks Bubba's fireplace.
  4. You won't hear "On Comet, on Cupid..." when Bubba Claus arrives. Instead you will hear "On Earnhardt, on Wallace, on Martin and Labonte. On Rudd, on Jarrett, on Elliot and Petty."
  5. "Ho, Ho, Ho!" has been replaced by "Yee Haw!" And you also are likely to hear Bubba's elves respond "I hear'd dat!"
  6. As required by Southern highway laws, Bubba Claus' sleigh does have Yosemite Sam mud flaps with the words "Back Off". The last I heard, it has other decorations as well. One is a Chevy logo with lights that race through the letters and the other is a caricature of me (Santa Claus) going wee-wee on the Tooth Fairy.
  7. The usual Christmas movie classics such as "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life" will not be shown in your viewing area. Instead you will see "Ernest Saves Christmas" and "Smoky and the Bandit IV" featuring Burt Reynolds as Bubba Claus and dozens of state patrol cars crashing into each other.
  8. Bubba Claus doesn't wear a belt. If I were you, I'd make sure that you, the wife and the kids turn the other way when he bends over to put the presents under the tree.
  9. Don't look for the traditional stocking items this year either. Instead of chocolates and candy canes, children in the South can expect to find beef jerky, Vienna sausages and a can of Spam.
  10. Toys will be assembled by Bubba Claus's elves in his Freedom Homes doublewide workshop.
  11. And finally, lovely Christmas songs such as Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" will be replaced. "Bubba Shot the Jukebox" and "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" will be played repeatedly on radio stations all over the South.

Sincerely yours,

Santa Claus

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Template Woes

(whiny voice) I'm tired of my template. I want something new. I need some advice on some tools I can use to create a new template. The ones blogger has are OK but I want to take that and then add my own embellishments. All suggestions are welcome. Thank you! (/whiny voice)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Fun with Quizzes

Seen at Shasta's and duplicated here.

Which John Hughes Movie Character Are You?

How White Trash Are You?

Which Marvel(tm) Superheroine Are You?

Which Movie Hero Are You?

What Michael Jackson Are You?

The Bitch Quiz

How Gangsta Are You?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Picture Day but No Pictures

Yesterday was supposed to be picture day at Munchkin's school. What does this mean, dear friends? It means that I got up at 6:00 to get ready, get Squirm ready (who woke up at 4:00 because she went to bed early) and get Munchkin up. Munchkin was excited because she knew that picture day meant she would get to wear her hair down.

Sidebar: Munchkin has hair - A LOT of hair. A LOT of thick hair.

Anyway, we get up and I get Munchkin in the bathroom as soon as possible to "do hair". Because Munchkin has a healthy head of it, I have to press her hair for her to wear it down. There is no way around this. She has a good grade of hair and it's healthy so there is no reason for me to put perm in it just to make my life easier. Although I'm sure she would love for it to happen so she could wear it down more often. It's not going to happen anytime soon. We'll just keep her hair braided like we've been doing.

Anyway, I digress. It took me 1 hour - yes 1 hour to press her hair. She has that much hair people. And I used the electric pressing comb. For all the black women like me who used to be little black girls this is a big deal. The electric pressing comb is a new development. We had to sit still in a hot kitchen with the hot from the fire pressing comb put in our hair. Many a chocolate "kiss" rested on our ears after that ordeal. Munchkin doesn't have to go through this. She doesn't know how lucky she is. She didn't get burned once - yay Mommy with the steady hand. I don't know how she didn't get burned since she moved around so much in the chair I about lost it. I threatened to send her to school with her hair half done. Her vanity got the best of her and she settled down. After pressing her hair I was going to curl it for her. She didn't want it curled. She wanted the ponytail in the front, down in the back and that's it. Well Thank God for small favors.

I bundled up the girls and get them out the door only to be met by a torrential downpour. WHAT THE FARK!!! Screw it. It was a WHAT THE FUCK! moment. Pressed hair and rain DO NOT go together. In fact they are natural enemies. The first thing a mother tells her daughter once the hair is pressed is don't get it wet. Don't run around because you will sweat. Don't get in the pool. Nothing that will cause the hair to revert to it's natural state after all that work. Luckily I had an umbrella - a large one but my mood was already dark. Munchkin didn't have her umbrella so now I have Munchkin, me and Squirm in her stroller all under one umbrella trying not to get wet. Praying that her hair doesn't get wet or even pull moisture from the air.

We got to the car OK, got in the car OK, got to school OK. Thank God again for small favors. Hair is intact and looks good. She is very pretty in her picture dress. Kisses all around, have a good day and don't give the fake smile.

I get home from work and ask MD how pictures went. His reply was they didn't. Excuse me? What do you mean they didn't? Apparently the picture man plugged in his equipment and blew a fuse. Half the school was without power. Once power was back up his equipment did not work. Picture day has been rescheduled to Thursday. But we get 10% off any package we pick. You have to be shitting me. 10% does not make up for what we went through that morning. But you know what, I will be doing it all again tomorrow so Munchkin can wear her hair down for pictures.

They need to put these little lessons in the mommy manual.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Friday Funny

Today's funny is courtesy of Gommie. Enjoy!

What Gender is it ?

You may not know that many non-living things have a gender. For example:

  1. Ziploc bags - Male
    They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.
  2. Copiers - Female
    They are female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm them up again. It's an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.
  3. Tire - Male
    It is male because it goes bald and it's often over-inflated.
  4. Hot Air Balloon - Male
    Itis maile because to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it, and of course, there's the hot air part.
  5. Sponges - Female
    They are female because they're soft, squeezable and retain water.
  6. Web Page - Female
    It is female because it's always getting hit on.
  7. Subway - Male
    It is male because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.
  8. Hourglass - Female
    It is female because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.
  9. Hammer - Male
    It is male because it hasn't changed much over the last 5000 years, but it's handy to have around.
  10. Remote Control - Female.
    Yeah, you thought it'd be male. But consider this -- it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Julia has a classic post about massage posted on her website, tequila mockingbird. I always enjoy her writing but this particular post had me CRYING at work while I tried to hold back the howls. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.