Thursday, February 26, 2009

Financial Orgasm

“I’m living on less but I’m living more” - Dr. Phil subway ad

I read those words while I was traveling on the uptown B train one Tuesday night. And I totally identified with the statement. I’ve never been money-hungry or the gold-digging type. What is important is that I’m able to afford the necessities; that my fridge and cupboards are never bare, that I can treat myself to the occasional splurge and just be able to enjoy this rather expensive city of New York, without spending a lot. Simply put, comfort is always my goal.

My financial situation changed drastically in 2006, for the worse. It is so important for women to have money of their own that only they have access to and to manage it. And please stop giving your money to men (been watching Judge Judy and my man Judge Joe Brown)! A friend and I recently spoke about the all too important Fuck-you fund. That’s the stash of money you got for when shit go down and you gotta be on your own overnight. I’m
finally rebuilding mine. My Fuck-you fund disappeared when the dude I was done fucking and was gonna fucking leave fucked me over and ran off with my fucking money. I’ve been playing catch up ever since. 2007 and most of 2008 I held back. That’s not Abigail.

Aside from building that fund, I’m saving in an ING account. I didn’t need a minimum amount to open with and in less than a month I saved $300. That’s $3600 by the end of the year. That’s a huge deal considering I was recently laid off. I am liv
ING not just existING. It’s amazing how much more confident you feel when you know you have money to “fall back on.” I’m putting my travel wings back on, got my comfy shoes ready for my walks. I’m even considering looking into a career in advertising, PR or event planning because apparently my ability to persuade, sell, and bring people together has only merely been tapped into, and as you can see, I’m not above shameless plugs.

I also make wise “investments” and take smart “risks” (I haven’t tackled the stock market yet) Money spent on professional organization memberships will pay off. I still have two 401Ks from two of my past jobs that are slowly growing. The most clever and powerful statement I heard recently was from Suze Orman during a show I happened to come across airing on PBS. One of the mottos women need to live by is:
I am not on sale.

Aside for these random essays and social commentaries I can’t help but write my writing is not free. Pay me what I’m worth. I do take the occasional free assignment only if it’s going to pay off big in the long run. If I don’t receive any monetary compensation the barter must be appropriate. I also create art with my body. That comes at a price as well. Once you start asking for what you’re worth and not accepting any less the money (in whatever form) will start rolling in.

Living on less but living more… and getting off on it every time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Death of Casual Sex

In the 10 or so years I’ve had a sex life, I’ve been with a fair number of dudes. Ya’ll don’t need an actual number but it’s less than 100 and enough to learn from. And as a yougin, it was always fun, carefree and casual. But in this day and age,
is sex really casual anymore? Do people actually want casual sex?

I genuinely liked a few of the guys along the way, so I let them in. And that’s the way it should be. Get to know him. Make sure he respects me and doesn’t treat me like a game. We can play all the games and use all the toys we want when the time is right, but to get to that level of intimacy and comfort you have to like someone, know someone or just click

I’m getting up in years. I still have the supple, taut body of a 28 year old, but I think my spirit is 62. Experiences and past lives. I’ve been lucky and survived all my sexual adventures; the goal being to let them in without them leaving anything behind. But I’ve learned from every experience. I was cool with the idea of "friends with benefits", but you gotta be friends, duh. I was fine with never calling someone again and sometimes got annoyed if they called me (don’t dare
text me the morning after). If I did talk to them or see them again and they start spewing phrases like, “When can I see you again?”, “You bring me joy”, “I really like you”, I would question whether this guy ever had sex before!

For me, the time between each romp has grown. I still twitch and get irritable if I enter states of celibacy longer than 2 weeks but it’s more important for me to actually want to be with him instead of just being horny. It all boils down to having a connection. All this damn texting limits connecting and people use it as a buffer; they hide behind it. Then they get upset or hurt when all they get in return is a text after having sex, or what they thought was a
connection, with someone. Folks jump from partner to partner because they want to connect with someone. The further we get from each other and only rely on text messages or IM to communicate, the more we crave true human interaction. We end up in bed together at super speed, with an orgasm (hopefully), yet still left unsatisfied.

You’re thinking of someone right now. Call them. Schedule a hug.

The African Silver Screen

Back in 2006, I did a Masala Bhangra workout taught by Sarina Jain. It was great! Loved the dance moves and I got to shake my head and roll my neck as much as I wanted. I was so ready to go to an Indian wedding. Sometimes I still break out some of the moves when I’m watching the Punjabi Playboy make his way to the ring. Now after the great showing Slumdog Millionaire had at the Oscars, folks are decreeing “Hollywood goes Bollywood!”
Next stop, Nollywood?

For those that aren’t aware, Nollywood is the term coined to describe the Nigerian movie industry (one of my homelands). They’re known for producing movies on very limited budgets in record time. Quality 
can suffer in some of the films, but the stories are always full of drama, twists and turns and comedy. And it’s a $250 million dollar industry. In the US, we have “Black Cinema” so to speak, Tyler Perry being the most recent addition. And in most movies we have the same cast of characters played by the same actors. Let’s list them together, shall we (past & present): Sanaa Latham, Taye Diggs, Boris Kudjoe, Angela Bassett, Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union, Omar Epps, Blair Underwood, Kimberly Elise, Larenz Tate, Nia Long etc. plus the musician/singer/rapper turned actor.

What made 
Slumdog Millionaire a household name? Hollywood was willing to take a chance and spend money on it. Distributors had to pay to get it on screens across the US. Would Hollywood invest in Africa the same way? Does Nollywood want Hollywood’s help?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Damn Black People

I find humor in 
SOME stereotypes. So, I’m walking around Greenwich Village on this very bright, brisk day, Afro blowing in the wind and had a hankering for some fish (I’m known to get cravings that sometimes turn into month-long binges). I end up in Little Britain at A Salt and Battery. I order Fish and Chips and the guy working on this particular day asked if I wanted any particular condiments. He said he had already put the tartar sauce in the bag. And I knew I didn’t have to ask for the vinegar, so I said no and took a seat to wait for my order. Not long after he called me when my cod and chips were fried to a crisp. 

“Here you go, love. Where are you?” he asked in his hackney accent. 

I hopped off my stool and went to the counter. Then he asked again if I wanted any condiments. He probably forgot he asked me already. I shook my head 
‘no’. Then he asked if I wanted any hot sauce. Again, I said no and left the shop. I thought that was strange. I’m walking down the block and wondering, “Who the hell puts hot sauce on fish and chips?”

Black people.

I smiled. I couldn’t even get mad at him. As I’m approaching the subway entrance, I see a woman who is confused, getting directions from a man who is confused. People often ask me for navigation tips when I’m walking around so I prepped myself. Next to that man and woman, there was a homeless guy (one of those got-better-clothes-than-you-on homeless guys) sitting there shaking his cup at me. I shook my head at him and turned back to the couple trying to figure which way they should go.

“What you worried ‘bout her for? I’m the one that needs help!”

My man begging for money and gonna get rude! Maybe the cold and hunger made him irritable, but I’m supposed to go in 
my pocket to help him after he’s being demanding and belligerent? 

Yup, he was Black.

I should’ve reached in my bag and started eating my fish and chips right in front of him.

Black People.

Random Musings on Life and Chimps

I woke up this morning and before getting out the bed, I usually reach over and turn on the radio. Newsradio 88. Love it. Anyway, I heard the story about the victim of Travis the Chimp and how her brother wants to gain custody of his sister and her child. That way he could make medical decisions that, right now, she obviously can’t make. She’s still sedated and I wonder how much of her face they’ve put back on. Who would you want in charge of you in that situation? Personally, I would choose a blood relative even if I’m married. So that “honor” would go to a sibling or child. Anyone who chooses a parent has to be realistic; will your parent still be alive? And you have to consider,who from your family would be most objective and not make decisions of the heart? So yeah, I wouldn’t want my husband in charge of my end-of-life or any critically important decisions but he must know CPR. He gotta be able to save my life the same way I could save his. 

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