BronxPearl v2.0

Confessions, ramblings, musings, and opinions from a BBW as she embraces 30 31 Years and Life (or at least tries to).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Fact Is...

Originally posted Wednesday, June 15, 2005, 9:19:00 PM on BronxPearl v1.0

I could be a congresswoman or a garbage woman, a police officer or carpenter. I could be a doctor and a lawyer and a mother and a 'good-god woman, what you done to me' kind of lover I can be. I could be a computer analyst, the queen with the nappy hair, raising the fist, or I could be much more and and a myriad of this. Hot as the summer, sweet as the first kiss. And even though I can do all these things, I need you. And even though I can do all these things, we need you. We need you, we need you. And even though I can do all these things, by my damn self, I need you. I do, I do, I do, I do. And even though I can do all these here things, I need you. We need you. We do. We need you, yeah. We need you.
--Jill Scott "The Fact Is (I Need You)"

Listening to Michael Baisden's show, as you might have caught on, is one of my favorite parts of the day. Besides the fact that it makes being at the ring of hell that is my job bearable, he actually has some great topics and discussions with his listeners. Today's show really brought to light something I've been thinking about a lot lately, especially with the recent departure of the Cool Breeze.

The topic was "Sick of Being Strong" and the discussion revolved around the idea that most women out here would rather meet a good man who would allow them to be them while taking the leadership role in the relationship. Long story short: there ARE women who are ready to let the man take care of them. Let the man BE the man and handle his bizness. The whole idea of submission was also discussed. Not from freaky deaky submission, folks. Submission as in trusting your man enough to know that he is going to do what is in the best interest for the BOTH of you, not just himself. That old fashioned type of love where even when the wife was working, doing her thing, being the best woman SHE could be, she had a man that she could rely on to be there and be the man.

I know women who are ready to be married. Ready to be that wife who will take care of the household, have a wonderful Food Network worthy dinner on the table when their man comes home. She will have the house immaculate, will have written a few chapters in her book in between doing the laundry. If children are in their future, she will be the soccer mom, the PTA mom, the community activist, whatever will make her happy, knowing that her job is to make her man happy and keep him happy. Maybe she will work part time, just to be able to not have to give the career woman spirit within her completely up. Maybe she will start a work-from-home business that will keep her completely content. Men want a woman who will cater to them, their wants, their needs, their dreams, their desires. I know women who are completely ready to step into that role and be that woman.

Herein lies the problem: I'm not that woman.

Do I think that I would be able to run a household, cook a Food Network worthy dinner and have it on the table for when my man comes home, keep the house immaculate, and cater to my man? Sure! But here's the thing, right...who says I WANT to? I don't see my wanting to be a career woman as my being "too strong" for men. Admittedly, I've had MANY of my guy friends tell me just that. My moose takes great joy in calling me "Madame CEO" and "Oprah Jr." Shoot...Oprah has her man. But see, that is where it gets tricky too. Cuz Ms. O is quite happy living in sin with Steadman (sorry Ms. Winfrey but let's call a spade a spade...that's what it is). I do not want to shack up with anyone. I *want* to be married. I want to be Mrs. Aja Stubbs-insertnamehere. Some folks say that is a problem too, the whole hyphenated name thing. Star was way too eager to become Mrs. Reynolds. If I have made a name for myself being the daughter of Mr and Mrs. Stubbs, then dangit, the world is gonna know that is the stock that I came from here on out.

I'm digressing....let me get back on track.

Mike played the Jill Scott song that I took a piece from this afternoon. And it struck me as funny because it seemingly is exactly the OPPOSITE of what Mike was advocating today. Jill is saying, to me, that yes, she can be any and everything she wants to be in the world and more, but she STILL needs a man there to be by her side. It makes the ride all the more sweet when you have that person that you can come home to at the end of the day and just be with. Do I have to completely lose ME in order to have a good man in my life?

I *am* the careerwoman. I *am* a woman who wants to own her own business, make a name for herself in the Media and Publishing world. But I also am a woman who has lots of love to give her man. I am the woman that wants to be able to leave her work at the workplace and be all about my family, my man when I set foot in the house. So maybe I won't be able to cook everyday--but that doesn't mean that there won't be food in the refrigerator for you to warm up that I have put my foot in over the weekend just so you can have a homecooked meal. I have no issue with my man being the man of the house. He's SUPPOSED to be. You want to handle the bills, be my guest (I was never good at math anyway! LOL)! There is a descion to be made, I can let you make it IF you are that good and worthy man. I'm not one for arguing. If I am the HNIC in the boardroom, I have no issue with you being the HNIC of our household.

But let me be ME. Let me have my career. Let me follow my dream. Let me make it a reality. Be by my side as I do, just as I will be by your side and have your back no matter where you are or what you are doing. Be you corporate raider or 9 to 5'er, it's all gravy, baby. Let's be that couple that everyone wants to be, but can't because they can't figure out the secret that we figured out long ago.

Is that too much to ask?

According to Mike on his show today, I'm not going to find that Good Man because the Good Men want their women to be at home. Submissive. Playing Ozzie & Harriet or sumthin'.
The fact is...whether we want to be the stay-at-home wife/mother or we want to be President of the United States, fellas, we need you. And to quote Jill, you need us too.
[Note: Artwork from ]

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Get 'Em Girls Snow Day

I know it is still February, but I really was hoping that NYC has been blessed and would miss a significant snow fall this winter. I'm sitting home and the snow is steadily falling. So much for that wish.

So since I am once again sans folks in the house and they will be gone for two weeks this time around, and knowing that the snow was coming, on Wednesday night, I whipped out my copy of The Official Get 'Em Girls Guide to Unlocking the Power of Cuisine to see what I could cook up with the ground sirloin and chicken breasts that were in the freezer.

Now, I am the daughter of two pretty good cooks. My mom, who openly admits that she couldn't cook at ALL when she married my dad, can make anything from a cookbook or a Food Network recipe and make it look just like the picture. Sometimes the results are better than others, but I give her the A for effort in trying. Lately, because of her diabetes, she has been springing a lot of diabetic recipes on me and dad. With mixed results. My dad, however, the youngest of six and the only boy, can cook his BEHIND OFF! I have really learned a lot from him in just watching him work his magic in the kitchen. He loves to cook and the proof is in every dish.

While most of my male friends fail to believe it, I CAN cook. My repertoire might not be as big as Rachael Ray's (LOVE her!), but a sistah can throw down. I have made BBQ chicken, lasagna and collard greens (not all at the same time) for different get togethers and they have all gone over with rave results! I initally purchased the Get Em Girls cookbook because I was going to interview them for the website. One I purchased it and got it home, I was really impressed with all of the different recipes and was truly inspired to start working on some when the opportiunity arose. Back then I was thinking a get together, but since I'm not running in that circle anymore, this next couple of weeks alone offered the perfect opportunity.

After picking up some essential items at Stop N Shop last night, I woke up this morning ready to take on the cookbook's Black Bean Chili. While their recipe uses ground turkey, I used 80% lean ground sirloin. The recipe really wasn't daunting (it is in fact in their one pot "hot plate" chapter). And as it simmers on the stove right now, I can't wait to tear into it. The only thing I am trying to decide now is whether I am going to just cook a pot of rice for it or if I am going to also try their cheddar garlic biscuit recipe (I purchased the ingredients for that last night too).

While I would strongly recommend that you go out and purchase the book not now, but RIGHT now if you want to learn to cook, be it for that special someone in your life or just for yourself (cooking for yourself is a much healthier way of eating, yanno?), you can get a jumpstart on practicing for date night with the recipes on their website and get a new recipe each week in their Get 'Em Girls Newsletter. It's sent out every Wednesday, plenty of time to hit the supermarket and get those goodies ready for Friday or Saturday night.

Sunday or Monday night will be a ginger chicken stir fry. Although I am thinking about surfing Food Network to see what I can find...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Almost...But Not Quite...There (A Ramble)

I'm not sure how I first came across Clutch Magazine, but from the second I laid my eyes on it, I completely fell head over heels in love with it. Every piece of it, from the fresh and sassy layout to the topics being covered, and everything in between, is exactly what I'd like to be. One day. So I took it upon myself to send an email to its Founder and Editorial Director, Deanna Sutton, in hopes of maybe learning something--anything--from the woman behind the new website that I adored. To my great glee, she wrote back! She offered up so many wonderful suggestions and tips. What impressed me the most was that she is only 28! Not only that, but Clutch was at one time a PRINT magazine that she decided to move to an online mag.

One of the suggestions that she made was to research, research and do more research. I have been researching several of the online mags and blogs out here for women of Color. Another site that I have also grown to love, if only for layout, is I am just getting into the whole "girlie" thing, but I do happen to love what Amber is all about.

The one similarity that I noticed in both Deanna and Amber's founder, Marcia Cole, is that both women have an extensive history in the media and marketing industries respectively. In other words, they definitely put in some time and work before branching out on their own. Ms. Cole worked with the now defunct Suede Magazine, the Essence magazine offspring that was supposed to be all about fashion and glam. Both of these women seemed very focused on what they wanted and armed themselves with the tools they needed to succeed.

This made the fact that I need to go back to grad school all the more prevalent in my eyes. Admittedly, when some of my peers were focusing on internships in their intended industries, I was eager to just get out of college with my degree. So admittedly, I didn't take advantage of a lot of the opportunities I could have (read: discipline...I'm thinking that maybe I might have to rename this blog....hmmm....).

Sometimes it is hard to face facts when it comes to mistakes that you know you have made that have obviously had an affect on where you are right now in life. I have been letting it slap me in the face for awhile now, but I have been trying to redeem myself slowly and surely. In actuality, Phat Poetry was a huge accomplishment for me, because if you let some associates of mine tell it, I was crazy for not taking months to go to different poetry readings, poetry slams and the various poetry cafes in NYC to see exactly "how a poetry night is done". Call it stubborness or foolishness, but I never really believed in doing things like everyone else does. I didn't really WANT to see how other people host a poetry night. I had my own idea in my head about it and wanted to go with it. So while there are items that I'm sure taking sometime at Neuyorican Poets Cafe would have clarified for me, the mistakes made will only make my take on a poetry night even better next time around. has been in a constant state of growth since its inception. There have been so many other sites and magazines that I have wanted to position BN next to in terms of style and content. But at the end of the day, I know that I can only do what I feel is best for her. There are some areas I will have to brush up on professionally. But I know it can happen. I just have to be more disciplined (there's that word again!) and put my nose to the grindstone.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My American Dream

A couple of Sundays ago, before I settled in to watch what would be my Giants “stomping out” the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, I came in from church and flipped on the TV. For some reason, my TV was on channel 4 (NBC) and a show called Open House New York was on. I usually don’t pay attention to house-hunter reality shows like this, because it is always some young Caucasian couple looking to purchase property in a hot part of NYC. What made me stop and watch this Sunday was the fact that the house hunter was a black man. The real estate agent took him to two properties. One was on Central Park West at 69th Street. The other was the Ellison Condominium building on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard & 133rd Street in Harlem.

One of my co-workers and I always have the discussion of “who is making all of this money to be able to afford the hefty price tags on these NYC condos that are going up all over the place the way Starbucks, Subways and Dunkin Donuts seem to be doing?” Whether naively or out of just plain ol’ ignorance, we assumed that it was largely white folks trying to get a piece of the Big Apple in any way, shape, or form. Seeing a black man who had to be no more than 35 years old being chauffeured between the two properties that he was seriously ready to purchase made me stop and watch closely.

I agreed with the young man that while the CPW’s location was ideal for him as a runner, and a stone’s throw from midtown and all other NYC nightlife, the Ellison building was where it was at. Among the several amenities discussed on the program and listed on the property’s website, each apartment has its own washer and dryer. The kitchens opened onto the living room, with an island in the center, ideal for some great get-togethers. Most of the apartments also have at minimum a balcony, while most have full fledged terraces perfect for summertime cocktail parties and cook-outs. I immediately fell in love with the apartment just looking at it on the show. The young man selected that one as well.

I realize even more, now than ever before, that where I am is NOT where I want to be. I want to one day be able to afford to live in an Ellison type of building. Most of them offer 90% financing, which means you have to come up with 10% of the asking price at signing. Now, the young man was a personal trainer and “part time jazz singer”. He wasn’t by any means a Wall Street tycoon or an MBA working at a financial company. But for him to be able to afford the Ellison, where a one bedroom starts at $625,000 (note: the 1 bedroom that the young man was looking at started at $725,000 but went down to $675,000), he must be making a nice amount of money. That is still $67,500 that he had in order to close on the apartment. Mind you, the young man’s HIGH price was $800,000.


In the last two years at my current 9-to-5 I don’t think that I even made the 10% for the signing price in my NET salary. I know a few people who make a good living by blogging. Some do consultant work on the side to keep the income flowing, but I know some who pay the bills by blogging. So I know it is definitely a concept that is not foreign. The gentleman who runs supposedly makes six figures a year with his different blogs.

The argument is, why can’t I? Certainly I do not want to simply blog for my supper. I actually have other ideas for other projects, events, etc. That would all bring in some revenue if done correctly.

It is becoming increasing difficult to be a 30 year old young woman who has not staked her claim in the world as of yet. Yes, BN is thriving and will be growing even more as of March 1st. But on a financial front? I am far behind where I feel I should be. I want to be that person on Open House NYC, looking for a hot condo in Harlem to invest in. I have a new male friend that is a homeowner at age 28. I tell him all the time that I want to be like him, because he owns property. He says he wants to be like me because I am starting my own company. So perhaps it is all about perspective. To me, he is already living the American Dream a la George & Weeze (sans a Weeze though, as far as I know). To him, I am making my mark on having the American Dream by creating what will be my legacy.

In the end, it all goes back to discipline...

I *will* have that apartment. I am going to add it to my long term goal list. I'm going to aim for age 33, but will be happy if it is by age 35.

You can check out the show and see the new property that has the apple of my eye here: Open House NYC.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Phat Night of Poetry

One of my newest hats is that of Event Producer. This was my first time producing an event with the name attached to it. It was called Phat Poetry, and it was an evening dedicated to Big Beautiful Women, Big Handsome Men, and those that love them. There was supposed to be a mix of men and women poets, but the men all seemed to have reservations about performing. But my lovely plus size sisters came through and set the stage on FIRE!

I am so proud of them. It was wonderful to have my family--both blood related, church family, work family, etc.--in the house to witness my first event. It went smoothly, although I see plenty of room for improvement. I am very excited to start working on the next one.

That was the best of times for me. The worst of times came from this lady on MySpace. But even that is not breaking my spirit.

To my family, Miss Gale, Denise, Tiffany, Tanisha, Tyrone, all of those who were in attendance, and to my lovely ladies: Raqui, Lara Frater, LaShawnda Jones, Corinna Makris, LaToya Bosworth, Renee Jennings, Lynx Garcia, and our MC for the evening Erica Watson: THANK YOU for believing in me and the idea of Phat Poetry.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Back In A New York Mood....

My Space codes

Hosted by

My NY Giants shook up the world by beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII! I have never been more excited to see a team from New York win a major championship like this before. Well, to be truthful, since my Mets won the World Series back in 1986 (I was all of nine years old back then) I haven't really celebrated any New York teams. Obviously, I don't root for that other NY baseball team. Basketball? I was a lady in the court of His Airness MJ and took great pride in not being a Knicks fan in the 90's.

But football? *happy sigh* Football I am all NY. Although the die-hards would not look kindly on my rooting for both NY-based NFL teams, even Jets fans were happy with this win, if only because of our absolute loathing of every dealing with the Patriots.

To Bill Belichick and the rest of the Brady Bunch...this should be a lesson to everyone from here on out:

Cheaters never prosper.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


My first sponsored event is now one week away. Up until maybe two days ago, I was very scared. Ticket sales hadn't been wonderful and I was suffereing from some serious self-doubt. Wednesday saw a huge change in the tides. Ticket sales picked up literally overnight.

Now the only thing that has been on my mind are my friends and their support, and in some cases their lack thereof. I'm not one who is going to beg someone to do something. If you are, you are because you want to. My mome, God bless her, sent flyers to all of her friends and grew kind of indignant with those friends of hers whom she didn't hear from or who said they couldn't come.

"Mom, it's okay," I told her yesterday. "Ticket sales are better."

"That's not the point," she said,"I have been supportive of other people's children, buying candy or whatever, for years now. They need to support my kid too."

"I get that,"I told her,"But it isn't that crucial. People do what they want to do. It doesn't mean they aren't any less your friend."

"I know that," she said as she turned back to her computer to finish her online shopping,"it's the principal, though."

For awhile, I thought the same thing. It's the principal of it all. If you are a friend, whether you like poetry or not, on the strength of my having been there for you, you need to come out and show love. But now, I'm not so stressed over it. I have more people supporting me in this venture that I have never met than people whom I have known for years on end. And I know that it isn't that they don't believe in me. Most don't get the point of what I am doing because they haven't had to walk in my shoes as a Black Woman or a plus size woman. So I can't knock them. I can only be thankful to God for those who understand, or even if they don't, love me enough to support me.