Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's My Birthday!

I've been 22 for the past hour and 7 minutes . . . it feels good!

I am so thankful for another year!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Black is the New President

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.
--Langston Hughes, "I, too, sing America"
Happy dance provided by "Ain't No Stoppin Us Now" by Luther Vandross

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Greenlight! (MFA Update)

So, I asked 4 professors for recommendations a few weeks ago. 3 responded immediately (w/ a yes!). A couple of a weeks later I got a response from the fourth and she said

Huh? Say what now? As I read the email my heart started racing, anxiety started creeping, and my eyes started welling. I thought I was about to have a freaking panic attack.

Am I in the Twighlight Zone?

Yes, ya'll . . . she said no! Well, actually she said to ask someone else. But, hey, I know a "no" when I see a "no," lol.

I had to let this marinate for a few days.

I knew that it would be in my best interest not to respond to her immediately. I also knew that I had to respond. I went through a myriad of emotions- kind of like a break up. Outrage, denial, fear, hurt. Then, finally, acceptance. Her reasons for saying no were understandable- she has a criteria for recommending folks and, unfortunately, the last time I had her I fallen short. But, since I'd had her many times over the years and she knew me at my best and worst,

so even if you she couldn't rave about me as a student she could atleast mention my potential.


I sent her a reply as honest as her "no" because I had nothing to lose at this point. I admitted that I was not and probably will never be the best student. Told her what had been going on with my last year of undergrad, conceded that in the end I was just trying to graduate. But, I wanted her to understand that I love writing more than anything and that's why I'm pursuing the MFA. Thanked her and said I'd see her the next time I was around my alma mater.

A couple of hours later I had a "yes" w/ conditions.

She agreed to do a couple of my recs, but only those that didn't require a form. She didn't want to have to fudge any details about me as a student; just play up my strengths. Fine with me! lol.

So, all 4 were asked and all 4 said yes. This morning I sent out emails with basic info about myself and soon they will each reieve a package from me (Thanks to advice over at the MFA Blog, I decided to make this rec process as easy as posible for them by providing postage, envelopes, and forms).

Let the happy dancing commence, courtesy of John Legend's "Greenlight"

Oh, also, I was thinking about ways to thank them for helping me . . . what should I do? A thank you note doesn't seem personal enough. I saw mention on the MFA Blog about somebody sending their recommendors a copy of their favorite book. Well, I don't really have a fave book. I do, however, have a book that may have singlehandedly inspired me to write poetry in the first place. It's obscure and out of print. To amazon I go!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Love Loc'down!

I forgot to mention in my last post that October 11th was also my

2 month LOCaversary!

as usual, join me in my happy dance

Yes, ladies and lads . . . this will be my 3rd month in my journey to loc'dom. How exciting?! Here's a comparison shot of my progress since my 1st retwist on 8/17 and my 5th retwist on 10/15.

Isn't nappy hair amazing? I mean, seriously. Something is happening atop this head of mine that is special and powerful!

I decided to adopt the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy for my hair though. If people don't ask me if I'm loc'ing then I don't tell em- simple as that. I'm just not in the mood for any long conversations about it or any questions.

I've basically been natural all of my life (more about that on my fotki "About Me" page, check it out) but I was getting my hair pressed from age 6 until last March. Rocking a fro this summer, I encountered jokes, questions, and just a few drippings of disdain about my hair. Everybody pretty much accepted this new nappy-all-the-time Bsquared but I know that a few of them are waiting for me to get over this phase and press this wilderness out, lol. Mostly because they're just used to me having (kinda) long, straight hair. (Click here to see the old me.)

Anyway, I always knew that I wanted to loc my hair one day and, just how I woke up one day and decided to stop pressing my hair, I decided to start loc'ing my hair. I am a DIYer-- I started my own fingercoils and I do all maintenance myself. For the first time I have total control over my hair. If I want to wake up tomorrow and comb these suckas out, I will. No money lost and nobody's time but my own.

Back to this "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. A week or so ago, a lady stopped us in a parking lot and asked who maintained my locs, offering me her card. I panicked for a minute, thinking "Damn, lady, you just outted me in front of my mom!" but when my mother didn't mention anything I thought that either she didn't hear the lady clearly or didn't care. Anyway, today, we saw S. Epatha Merkerson (the black supervisor on Law & Order) on a commercial with her oft-hidden-under-a-wig locs showing. And my mom said, "Look, she's rocking her locs!" and I said "Me, too!" and pulled at a few of mine. Apparently, my mom had concluded that their were two types of locs- the kind you can take out (really coils) and the kind that you can't (actual locs). Eventually, I ended up telling her that, yes, I had coils but now I'm loc'ing.

"You're going to loc your hair?"

"I am loc'ing my hair. See?" pulling a couple out so she can see

"So, you know that if you don't want those anymore, you have to cut all ya hair off!"

"No, I don't. I can just take my time and comb them out. I mean, I can cut my hair off but all that doesn't matter b/c I plan on having these for a long time."

I gave her a quick explanation about how not all of the hair locs at once and how I just retwist the bases, etc. She looked a little confused but not bothered. YAY! One parent down, one parent to go. She was the most important one for this particular change, though. My dad is bald . . . hair issues aren't his area. But, my mom-- I care about what she thinks. My whole plan was to just get them used to my hair like this. I started rocking coils back in July, I'd coil my hair and after a week I'd rock a coil out. And they both like it, I even coiled my moms hair one day. I just wanted them to be comfortable with my hair like this-- I wanted them to approach it like just another hairstyle without clouding their judgement with their preconcieved notions about locs like thinking they're nasty or unruly or smelly or ugly or _________. And, I think it went well.

One small step for loc'dom, one leap for nappiness everywhere! Ok, that was corny . . . sorry.

See more pics of my hair journey- from a press'n'curl to a fro to locs- at public.fotki.com/bsquared86.

Oh . . . wait . . . don't leave! COME BACK!

You can thank the great Yeezy for the post title. "Love Lockdown" is his first single from his upcoming album. Peep the video below. It's kind of wierd to me. I expected something a la Glow In the Dark Tour.

Do ya'll like it? Let me know in the comments.

Stay tuned for an MFA update/post soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Finding My Happy Place + Manuscript Madness

Friday marked the 9th anniversary of my maternal grandmother's passing but I can still remember October 11, 1999 like it was yesterday. When I think of my life and my family, I tend to regard it as "Before she died" and "After she died" because so much changed with that single event, including my writing. Honestly, I didn’t even know that I was that close to my grandmother—I lived in Cali and she lived down south. I’d been traveling down there to visit her and other members of my family since I was about 2 months old and then, while I slept, she was gone.

I don’t know what to call what I went into when she died. A depression? Sounds way too harsh. I’ll just say I slipped into a little bit of darkness. Yeah, that’s it, darkness. I have a habit (that I’m trying to –scratch that- will break!) of slipping into darkness when bad things happen. I put on a smiley face and go through life looking unscathed but inside it’s all dark.

Anyway, when my grandmother died, poetry became such a release. I was able to pour out my feelings about her death. Things I couldn't say because I was supposed to be "strong" for everybody else. But, at 12, I wasn't strong enough . . . not at 13, not at 14 . . . hell, sometimes not at 21. Soon, I redirected that pain into other topics but they were all so sad and angry. And that’s what my poetry was, for a long time—sad and angry.

I kind of feel like Mary J. Blige—I do sad and angry so well that when I try to write about something else it feels foreign. Heart break, death, anxiety, abuse, deception, rejection—I reworked and twisted those things a million different ways. Didn’t help that I had a lot of hurt come my way to feed that fire—but that’s another blog, lol.

So, what does this have to do with applying to MFAs?

When I look back at the 300+ poems I’ve written since 1999, I feel like I’ve outgrown them. Okay, clearly, I’ve outgrown the really early ones, lol. But, even the more recent work doesn’t feel right. I don’t think they represent my potential and I don’t really want to include any of it in my manuscript (for applications).

In my CW classes this fall, I’ve written a variety of poems. None of them really give off warm and fuzzy feelings but I don’t necessarily want to write “warm and fuzzy” poems—I just want to be able to show that I’m versatile. Like, MJB, I want to show the people (including the MFA readers) that I can do nice and happy just as well as I do sad and angry, lol. I’ve tried, ya’ll, I mean really tried to write poetry that didn’t possess just a tinge of darkness. I can count those poems on just a few fingers and half of them were written about things that glittered like gold but ended up worth no more than a tin can, lol.

I’m the kind of poet that just lets the poem flow and go where it needs to go and say what it needs to say—I don’t force anything on it or start with any real plans. But, sometimes, if I’m writing and I feel myself slipping into a sour tone, I just stop. I know, I know . . . I should just let it flow. But, damn, it gets boring! And, I don’t always want to relive the pain it takes to make the voice real. You know what I mean?


I just wrote a poem about “Autumn.” Easy, right? It starts off nice—pretty colors of sunsets, football games, leaves falling. But, WHAM, suddenly it slips into not so nice stuff—poverty and decay. So, I stopped . . . I bumped that part to the bottom of my word doc and tried to begin that section again. But, nothing worked. So, I conceded and picked up where I left off. My prof and some classmates liked it. For me, it was bittersweet. I was proud of it but mad at it at the same time. I wish I could have written something else, but I don't know what else I could have written.

Oh, the passion of poetry!

It’s not that I am not a happy person because I am. I'm always laughing, smiling, joking around. But, I guess, it’s difficult for me to pull from those good things and inject more positive images into my poetry.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Similar issues?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Yah Trick . . . Yah! (Politican Rant #2)

What has me in such a cantankerous mood that I'd quote that terrible Soulja Boy chorus, you ask?

"Say It Ain't So" Sarah!

I can't help but think that people inside the McCain camp are having some Homer Simpson moments!

Disclaimer:This is a rant. Love it or leave it. I am not a political analyst and I don't claim to know a whole lot about politics (I guess that's what me and SP have in common huh?). With that said, take nothing that you read in this post as "fact," other than the "fact" that it is my opinion. Want to know the facts? Research, like I did. My particular brand of humor and sarcasm may not be pleasing to everyone's pallette and that's okay-- I laugh at my own jokes, anyway. Enjoy!

McCain what were you thinking? I'll tell you what you were thinking . . . you saw a bunch of jaded Hillocrats running around trying to find somebody, hell anybody, to support instead of Obama and you decided to toss out some lipstick wearing bait to reel them in. You had them fooled at first, too! But you forgot that Sarah was going to have to open her mouth without a teleprompter in front of her. Well, I hope she gets regular pedicures because she's been tasting her toes ever since the RNC!

Did you think that the Hillocrats (read:Fanatic Hillary supporters. Friendly jibe, Scouts Honor!) were that stupid? Sen. Clinton and "Pitbull in Lipstick" Palin are nothing alike! Do you think all of these liberal Hillocrats were going to buy into Palin's conservatism? No one said it better than Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton during one of the now infamous SNL skits!

Or better yet, did you think that women were stupid? You assumed that we'd vote for ya'll just because Sarah Palin is a woman? Why not pick a better woman for the job, if that was your aim? What about the other female governors? What about one of the women in the Senate? One of the women in the House of Representatives? What about Condeleeza Rice? (Well, I have a theory about why ya'll didn't tap Condi, but I'll save that for later). No, you picked Polar Bear Poachin' Palin, sight unseen, and it's just your luck that lemon laws don't cover political running mates. If you're going to be sexist atleast do it right!

All jokes aside, though, I am honestly offended by this. How dare you mar the history of women in the US by picking Piss Poor Palin? From this point on, no matter which way the election goes, she's going to be popping up in my children's history books as the first woman to be a vice presidential candidate for a major political party! As a woman, she embarasses me. That ol' "Don't mind me, I'm just a hockey mom . . . I don't know how you all work over there in Washington" routine is nothing short of being the "Damsel in Distress." Since when is it okay to not know anything? Since when is it a good debate tactic to avoid giving straight answers to questions during a debate (if you even answer at all)? Since when is it okay to shout out 3rd graders at a major political debate? Since when is it okay to be interviewed two respected journalists and not even be prepared with answers to simple, softball questions like "What newspapers and magazines do you read?" If she can't handle an interview, how is she going to handle meetings with foreign leaders? How do I trust the economy in her hands when she refers to the average american as Joe Six Pack? I'm sorry but she's going to need more than "folksy" sayings and rosey cheeks to get me to take anything she says seriously.

And since I mentioned the debate, let me say this. That thing was a masacre of epic proportions. Biden handled it like the skilled politician that he is. The winner was clear. Smokin Joe Biden was a clearly the victor! My favorite jab of the night? "Now That's What I call a bridge to nowhere."

I wonder if the folks in the media feel as ridiculous as they sound when they say that Palin won? lol. Sure, she did better than I expected but that's not saying much. I expected her to stare into the camera like a deer in headlights when asked to defend her positions but she didn't. Instead, she chose to ignore the debate all together and just read from her script just like her grandpa--oops, I mean McCain-- taught her. I wonder if they took her out to icecream when she was done? I think her performance was worth two scoops of sherbert!

Also, why is it okay for people to openly admit to supporting Palin because she is a woman, when if a black person even breathes the word Obama we're accused of only voting for him because he's black? There's black people out there right now that want to vote for Obama for sound reasons but won't because they're afraid of being labeled as an "Obamabot" that is voting based on color and not character. But, they can unapologetically target disgruntled Hillocrats and undecided women with their psuedo feminist Palin propganda and no one bats an eye? What gives?

The cout de grace for me, though, is how much everybody sqawked about Obama not being experienced enough yet they push this blaringly obvious inexperienced governor into the spotlight and call her a maverick! A MAVERICK? Give me a freakin break. If Obama acted the way that she does they'd laugh him out of town. Both parties would be screaming from the mountaintops that he needed to be pulled from the ticket.
But, no, Sweet Lil' Sarah is becoming the nation's sweetheart and they're letting her off easy . . . why? Because she's a woman. Yeah, I said it. If she was a man, they would never, in a million years, suggest that Biden use a soft approach with her during the debates. If she was a man, they would never have accepted her "folksy" quotes and winky wit. If Biden had ignored her like she had ignored Biden's brief emotional moment (as he recalled the accident that took his wife and daughter) he'd have a scarlet S (for sexist) on his chest right now . They're handling her with kid gloves because she is a woman. How patronizing and sexist of them!

Watching her is like watching a female soldier do "girl pushups"-- if you want to fight with boys then you need to flex like them, too!

Ok . . . i'm done . . . this concludes my second political rant. it really was fun . . . I laughed, I cried, I cranked that Soulja Boy on that [OH!] . . . lol.

Please keep your comments respectful. If your ideas differ from my own, that's fine. I welcome discussion and opposition.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

All the Cool People are doing it!

Back in 2004, I was super excited to vote Bush out of office until I realised that I was born after the election date and would only be 17 when the day rolled around. Bummer! But, now, at the ripe old age of 21, I will be able to cast my very first vote for US President. I've always tried to keep myself abreast of political issues and for the past year and a half I have fallen head first into politics, lol. My days are filled with the Cafferty File, Situation Room, Anderson Cooper 360, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Countdown with Keith Oldermann, and every other political show (except for those on FOX, way too conservative for my tastes). I will admit that sometimes the things they say fly over my head but when that happens, I go online and google what they said or I ask my dad (who is eating, drinking, and breathing politics these days, lol). I want my vote to be informed, not just because I like or dislike one of the candidates for reasons unrelated to leading the country (that's another blog in itself). I am a recnt college grad trying to enter the work force, go to grad school, and hopefully start a family within the next 8 years-- what happens in November matters to me!

Usually, I just stay out of political discussions because I know that (1)I'm still learning and I'd rather observe than argue, (2)I have a big mouth and (3) this election means alot to me and I may get carried away, lol. Then I thought, "Hey! I have a blog . . . isn't that what blogs are for?" and VOILA! my first blog on politics! Today's subject: Voting.

Vote or -- wait, why wouldn't you vote?

I must say that I am very disappointed in the amount of "political apathy" (in regards to voting) I've been seeing, reading, and hearing lately. Especially from young people and especially since it's been said time and time again that this election is in our hands as young people. It's not that I don't think people should have the right to be apathetic if they want to-- you don't have to give a damn about politics. But, please, be indifferent for a reason . . . and, please, let that reason make sense!

I present to you, a few very generalized reasons to not vote that I've run across And my very generalized responses.

  • "America's going to hell in a handbasket anyway so why vote?" WTF are you talking about? Seriously. lol
  • "It doesn't matter if we vote, they're going to elect who they want anyway" Who is this mysterious "they"? Are "they" the same as the ever ominous "the Man" from back in the 80s and 90s? lol. Let me help you put the conspiracy theories to rest-- "they" = "us", if you vote.
  • "I don't like the government-- so I'm not going to Vote." Don't like the government? Change it.Vote.

  • "I don't want anyone to blame me when the candidate I vote for becomes the next pisspoor president-- so I'm not going to vote." Not voting to avoid accountability is such BS. Please believe that you, probably more than anyone else, will be held accountable if you don't do anything to stop us from getting another piss poor president. Sure, there are a few Bush supporters that regret their decision but being wrong is the risk you take when you form an opinion about something, lol. So, if you don't avoid forming an opinion on things in everyday life then why are you doing that in regards to the election? Vote and stop BSing.

  • "I don't like McCain or Obama-- so I'm not going to Vote." I respect that. But don't forget that there are tickets other than Republicans and Democrats out there. Check out the myriad of other folks with thei hats in the ring for president. Don't lke them either? See how your state feels about write-ins and write in a candidates name that you like or, hell, write your own damn name, lol. And remember, on Nov 4th you'll be voting for more than just a president-- there will be props, senate seats, and other things up for grabs on this ballot that you should take a look at and consider.

  • "I just don't want to/don't care/don't feel like it." Fine. But before you sit home on November 4, think about all of the children, excons, mentally disable, immagrants, and other folks in your life that can't vote but are affected nonetheless by whats on those ballots and the administration to come. Do you care about them? Do you want what's best for them? Do you ever get into debates about abortion, education, reform, taxes, religion in schools, gay marriage, and other heavy topics? Well, get into this big debate and cast you vote on these issues and for people who think like you do. For minorities and women, I'm sure that the folks that faught for our right to vote didn't feel like protesting and fighting either but they did. Now, all you have to do is vote. Painless.

If you have a reason for not voting that makes sense, then by all means-- don't vote. I have stumbled across a few folks in blogs, on youtube, and other forums that have had some pretty good reasons for not voting. Their decision is a very informed one. And that's all I ask. Unfotunately, more times than not I see people saying they're not voting for variations of the above reasons and it just makes no sense to me.

But, I must be honest with everyone-- If you don't vote, then I can't hear you. I have turned a deaf ear to nonvoters. I don't want to hear you complaining about the government, taxes, schools, roads, buildings, wages, racism, sexism, ageism, etc. if you don't excercise your right to vote. I am establishing a "Did you vote?" policy whenever somebody brings these things up. And if your answer doesn't suit my pallette then the discussion is done, lol.

Seriously, though, please understand that . . .

Your VOTE is your VOICE and if you don't use it, no one can hear you.

I don't care who you vote for or what you vote for. . . . just vote. It's such a simple act. It's free, it's painless, you even get a pretty sticker when you're done! Don't want to waste the gas? Sign up for an absentee ballot before it's too late. Don't mind going to the polls but don't want to encounter the long lines and/or rush? A few states have early voting polls set up. Haven't registered? You can do so online.Click the following banner!

Register to Vote at Rock the Vote

Ok, ya'll, that ends my political rant for today . . . hope I didn't offend anybody and if I did, I have to ask, "Are you voting?" LOL.

Note: These are the political ramblings of Bsquared86 and the sole opinion of Bsquared86. They are not and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else. Bsquared86 could quite frankly give a damn about whether you agree or disagree and will not be swayed from her stance. But, a little discussion ain't never hurt nobody, lol, so if you would lke to comment, please keep your comments respectful or they will be deleted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Overprotective + Enough is Enough

First, thank you to everyone that has commented on my blog (all 4 of you!). You all have truly inspired me and kept me motivated! Sometimes I just come here and read your words and I feel better, honestly. Not many people understand what I'm trying to do here and it feels good to see that you do! I have become a major blog surfer these days and, of course, I read the blogs of those that comment here and I try to comment where I can. Special thanks to Blu, my most recent commenter, because one of her posts has inspired this one!


Okay, so . . . my UCLA ext. course starts on Wednesday . . . how exciting?! And nerve wracking!

My issue can basically be summed up to be STAGE FRIGHT . . . despite the lack of stage, lol. I have never liked exposing my poetry to the world. They're like my babies and I don't like the feeling of sending them out there, defenseless into this cruel and critical world! It took me a while to even post my poetry in my myspace blog (which has all but dried up over the past year or so) and I've only got one (count it- 1) poetry reading/spoken word experience under my belt. My only real experience with a workshop like setting was my creative writing class last fall, we would write in class and go around the room and share or write away from class and bring it in to share. All of the experiences ended up being pleasurable in the end (my prof was a tough critic but also a free spirit and no one in the class wanted to breathe a bad word about another's work for fear of retaliation when their turn rolled around). I got an A and wrote some pretty good stuff in the class. I thought I had gotten over my anxiety about sharing my work with others on such a large scale (if you can consider 30 people large) but it's all coming back to me now. This online class where I can't see any faces or hear any whispers and giggles, worried me more than that class ever did!

The syllabus requires that we not only post our own assignments for class critique and comments but that we comment and critique everyone else's work too! YIKES! I know that some of you are reading this and thinking, "Okay, girl . . . that's what MFAs are all about! That's what writing is all about!" and I know that, but can't a sista have her reservations? lol. Anyway, I went to the course roster and facebook'd a few (ok, all) of my classmates-- I thought it would make me feel better to put faces to names and personalize the experience. I only had a few hits which leads me to believe that the majority of them are older students. I googled my professor, listened to her reading some poetry online and read her list of accolades and impressive bio. These tasks didn't really make me feel any better, lol. But, we'll see.

Enough is Enough

Somebody once told me that if you love reading then being an english major will spoil that for you, because you'll read so much and spend so much time analyzing text that you'll forget how to love literature. Fortunately, for me, I didn't lose my love for reading (though I did slack off on my leisure reading while in school) and I was a pretty good english student. Anyway, I'm a little afraid that trying to get into these writing programs will ruin my love of writing--- I'll spend so much time critiquing and worrying about whether my poems are good enough that I'll turn against writing just because of the stress!

I don't want to compete, I want to write!

The idea of being "good enough" for an MFA program enters my mind daily, sometimes hourly depending on my stress level. After reading about other people's journeys to MFAs and MFA graduates and I start to feel second best-- I don't have the experience in workshops and writing or publishing record that some of them mention. Very many of them are older, perhaps wiser than I am-- they woke up one day and found themselves in a career that they hated and realised that their love was writing and took steps towards getting an MFA. Not very many fresh out of college folks like me with such limited exposure to the writing world-- or at least not that I've found. Have I lived enough to write good stuff? Am I dedicated enough? Well-read enough? Smart enough? Confident, creative, or cunning enough?

I am so tired of worrying!

I used to be a much more confident person (academically) before college entered my life, lol. No worries about not passing a class or doing well on an assignment-- especially when it came to writing! But, college brought on tough professors and excellent writers as my peers. And pressure, pressure, pressure!

I keep telling myself that enough is enough, it's time to take the reins of this thing-- I need to stop questioning my right to be in an MFA program or be a writer! I know what I love to do and all I'm trying to do is hone my craft like everybody else out there-- I'm not second best, I'm just different! My experiences are unique to those around me but make me no less qualified.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Parental Control

Quick Update:

I am officially enrolled in an online course through the UCLA Extension! Yay!

When I told my mom about it, she just said, "Okay, tell your dad about it when he gets home." Well, clearly, I've been away from home too long and I forgot the old "ask your father" trick, lol, because I approached my dad rather randomly when he got home. Knowing my Pops, I should have approached with more caution. I told him about the class and then I tried to approach the money issue with a with a tinge of humor

Me:"So, I was wondering if you could give me a scholarship for it?" *smiling*
Him: "Huh . . .What?"

and when that didn't work I tried to lay out my spiel about recs and manuscripts (but, I fear that I was being overshadowed by the Raiders game). Then, when I tried to explain the price difference between the Non-Credit and Credit versions of the course, he basically cut me off every time,

Him: "Is it transferable?"
Me: "It can be. But, it depends on the--"
Him: "Get to the point . . . it CAN be transferred to your masters program?"
Me: "Yes, it can be transferred but--"
Him:"I'm not asking all of that . . . It makes no sense to take a class that can't be transferred. I'm not paying for anything so you can have something to do for fun . . . You can go read a book."

For fun? Writing maybe fun (as is spending money) but nothing is fun about the stress I'm under! I wish I could just read a book and have all I need to get into an MFA but unfortunately that is not the case, Pops! But, for my safety and future in academia, I kept those clever quips to myself and just said yes to everything he asked me until I had secured payment, lol. And that wasn't my dad being mean . . . that was just my dad being my dad and that's why I love him.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Here We Go Again!

quick note on abbr: Master of Fine Arts (MFA); Community College (CC); Creative Writing (CW)
After 4 years of high school and 4 years in college, I think it's time to finally admit something to myself that others (namely folks that were close to me during my senior years at the prep and hu) have known all along . . .


I'm talking at drop of a hat, in a snap, in a flash, before you can blink, faster than a speeding bullet, from 0-60 in .5 seconds, "it's a bird, it's a plane . . . no, it's Bsquared86 screaming through the halls" quickly.

But, somehow, I've always performed relatively well through the stress, no matter the source. Be it family, friends, loves, professors, employers, extracurriculars, or academia- I do what I need to do to get through it. That is until grad school started looming on the horizon of my college career-- that's when I realized that, though I may perform well under stress, it just wasn't worth it at the time. Piling the stress of trying to decide what I would do after I graduated on top of the already daunting task of ensuring that I did, indeed, graduate was just too much. So, on one fateful day in late winter (February 19, 2008 to be exact), I decided that I would take a year off between undergrad and grad school. TA DA! Stress gone. I felt freer than a blue bird, I swear! I figured that by the time application season rolled around again I'd be able to handle the stress of applications, recommendations, portfolios, manuscripts, essays, and such because I'd be at home in LA with the hassle of graduating behind me. It would be a breeze . . .


It's about 5 am here in LA and I haven't been asleep yet. For folks that know me, you're probably thinking, "And? This is what you do." and you're right. Not sleeping like a regular human being IS what I do, unfortunately, I am not up simply because I am not sleepy-- I am up and

Granted, not as stressed as I was back in late 07 and early 08 . . . but stressed all the same. Why?
  • I need to get on my recommendation game, I only have 2 professors that I would like to ask for recs and I need 3 for most programs. Also, I need somebody familiar with my creative writing . . . why not just ask the only CW professor at my Alma mater, you say? Well, because he is intimidating as hell and already turned me away once for not having a good manuscript together or a substantial list of poets that I read (and I can't blame him, but DAMN!).
  • I don't think that my "manuscript" or "portfolio" or "whatevertheadmissionpacketwantstocallit" are up to par. I mean, some of these MFA programs only accept 2,3, maybe 4 new poetry students a year so our "samples" have to be superb to say the least. They need to see both potential and promise- potential meaning that they feel that you will do well in the program and promise meaning that they feel that you will do well after the program. And, I don't know if my little amateur poems can do all that . . . YET.

Thanks to the MFA Blog, Poets & Writers, and a host of other online resources, I have learned that I can remedy this lack of recs as well as beef up my creative sample by enrolling in Creative Writing Workshops/Courses! GREAT! The course that I really want to get into hosted by UCLA is freakin expensive for just one course so I'm enrolling in an online CW course @ a community college around my way-- it's only like 20 bucks a credit/unit so it wouldn't hurt. So, I have clearly identified my stressors and a solution, right? So, all should be well.

BUT (isn't there always a but?)

Something in my heart is telling me to beg, borrow, and steal my way into this UCLA course-- mainly because it actually focuses on poetry but also because it comes highly recommended and is widely recognized while my course at the CC is a general CW and in the end is just a course at a CC (not that I think it will be easy, b/c I am sure it will not). It costs damn near 10x the amount of the CC course and I'm nervous about asking my folks for the dough (I have to pay upfront, so no time to wait until after I get a job and can pay myself as I have planned to do with the CC class). I know that they're probably already struggling with what exactly an MFA is and why on earth I am even wasting time on becoming a writer (though I have that ambition hidden under the cleverly orchestrated guise of becoming an English professor) and now, this? An expensive writing course that doesn't really guarantee anything?

my mom gets back from Louisiana tonight, so I'm going to ask them while we munch on a tasty welcome home dinner . . . let's pray that they don't laugh in my face, lol.

::au revoir::

Friday, August 29, 2008


I'm not really a narcissist . . honestly, i'm not . . . I promise *crossing fingers behind back but realizes that you can't see me and it's harder to type that way*

Okay . . . so, two of my favorite pass-times, aside from general lollygagging and random instances of tomfoolery, are fooling around with hair and makeup. I dedicate alot of time and energy into taking care of my hair and i waste-er um- invest alot of money in makeup.

To keep up with my journey in both realms I have a fotki photo album thingamajiggy
that can be found

Basically, I have seperated my hair Journey into two parts

One section that depicts my hair trials and triumphs during college, aptly titled
It Really Was A Different World in honor of my other favorite pass time and (obsessively watching A Different World). It culminates, of course, with a series finale featuring my graduation but not before I throw in a "Very Special Episode" dedicated solely to me big chopping (hair lingo for cutting) my pressed ends off and deciding to wear my natural, glorious, amazing, nappy hair exclusively!

The next section is in the beginning stages, because it chronicles my journey to LOCDOM! Yes, friends, I am loc'ing my hair and I'm very excited. To keep with the trend of having albums related to my obsessions, I have titled this part
iLoc in honor of my love of music (get it, iLoc . . . iPod? corny I know). I begin with a "Prelude" and move into my first track "I decided (That You Are The One For Me)" in honor of the hot Solange track.

The makeup looks I choose to keep neatly stored in an album entitled,
I Lay my MAC down. There, I display the few looks that I actually capture in a decent picture. I'm getting a little better about taking pics and giving specs though.

There are a couple of other goodies in my fotki too-- like
True Life:I'm A Product Junkie, where I list most of my hair products and tools, and Who is Bsquared86?, where I display some non-hair or makeup pics that just showcase both my digital manipulation (low level graphic design)and my muse (me).

Well, that was just a little look into some stuff that I like to do in my free time . . . which is usually ALL of my time these days, lol. Hope you enjoyed it!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm back + Adventures in Lazytown

Okay . . . I know . . . I know . . . I totally suck at this . . . but after a 5 month absence, I'm back! Mostly I'm back because I stumbled across a few blogs that fancied my interested and I've been posting comments on them and reading them regularly so I figured . . . why couldn't this be me?

So, if anybody is reading this . . . please thank . . .

  • Those That Can't Do by my good friend, Ms. Brown. She's a newbie in the blog world too, chronicling her first year as a teacher and, in my honest opinion, she's funny as hell.

  • mFA Weblog by a few good folks. Where, oh where was this blog when I was slowly losing my mind trying to understand Master's of Fine Arts Programs in Creative Writing last year? I'm so happy I found it.

  • Afrobella by a beautiful sista that loves hair, makeup, skin care, shopping, and entertainment. She's an incredible writer and apparently a force to be reckoned with in the blog world!

I read a grip (read:"a lot") of other blogs as well, but that list would take forever. These are my current faves and major inspiration right now.

Adventures in Lazytown

As I mentioned in my first post, I'm taking a year off between undergrad and grad school and though I am very happy about that decision I am starting to suffer from "busy envy." Most of my friends are doing things with their lives even if it's the same thing they've been doing for years. The point is that for the first time in my life, I'm not doing a dag on thing but living. I knew that the moment would come that I'd be watching my friends go to grad school and I'd think, "Man, I should have just went on ahead and went to whatever school accepted me!"-- I just didn't know that it would be this hard to fight these feelings of "loserdom." I have been utterly and unapologetically lazy this summer . . . but, my folks haven't complained (yet). I want to get a job but I need some wheels first (long story).

But, anyway, I did what was best for me . . . I honestly can say that I know more about where I want to go to school and what kind of MFA program I want to get into than I did back in the winter when application season was ending and deadlines were taunting me. So, I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting starting grad school in Fall 09 (or Summer 09). The only thing between me and grad school is these dag on applications! Arggh . . . essays and samples and recommendations, oh no! As a matter of fact, I need to be sending out very flattering and sincere emails to old professors now to beg them to write a few (or 15) glowing recommendations . . . *crosses fingers*

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I loved to read, I really do! But after almost 4 years of being an english major I think I've read more than most human beings. I also love to write, something that hasn't always been easy to do over the past few years due to my classworkload.
So, I'm taking a year off between undergrad and grad school (scary, I know) to figure out just what it is I want to do with my life and, most importantly, write to my hearts content. In an effort to assist in getting my writing out there I've started this blog.
This is about my 3rd time trying to blog publicly (outside of myspace). Everytime I start one, I chicken out and erase it, afraid that people won't like what they read or even care for that matter. But, as they say, 3rd times a charm.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention what I write. Let's see, um, I write everything and anything. I'll pretty much give every genre a shot but during this year (or so) of time before grad school I hope to explore my poetry more.
Wish Me Luck!