All posts by “Ashlee

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33-YEARS OLD, HAS S*** TOGETHER. HERE’S HOW!

I turned 33 on October 12th and almost instantly, I had my shit together.

Just kidding, clickbait.

Per tradition, I reflect on the previous year and set goals for the next year. Obviously, becoming Baby Gumbeaux’s mom and adjusting to motherhood was the biggest event of the year. To compliment that adjustment, I resigned from every organization and board, with the exemption of PTA . My true calling (Read: 10-Months-Old, Parties Like a Rockstar & Does Not Care If We Get Sleep). As a result, I am spending my time the way I want. Well, with the exception of the time I spend working for the man. Anyway, I have more time to focus on family and my personal goals which include, but are not limited to:

Not complaining. Complaining about being in Jackson, lack of advancement in my career, not being able to find a foundation to match my skin tone, etc. Now, I am only discussing what I want and taking action which often includes balancing a shitload of stuff, because I want to accomplish a shitload of things. To compliment this change, I recite affirmations every morning but then I found out Baby Gumbeaux was slapping her classmates for touching her hair and bib so I started reciting them with her, on the way to school. Naturally, we started including Husband Gumbeaux or should I call him Daddy Gumbeaux? Zaddy Gumbeaux?

Launching my podcast entitled Jxn Transplants. Now, I get to be honest about my struggle to adjust and know there are other transplants who relate. It also gives a ton of recommendations to transplants, Jacksonians, and even people who want to visit Jackson. Apparently, that is a thing.

Taking pictures more often. Not for you weirdos, in general. I detest taking pictures. I don’t know how to pose, my eyes are usually closed, terrible angles; mostly importantly, I don’t like smiling. Thugs don’t smile. I think it’s because I have become increasingly uncomfortable with my body; particularly, after incubation.

Last and least but certainly not least, I have to finish writing my dissertation. I’ve been talking about this for the last few years (I enrolled in the program a year after starting this blog). I have tons of excuses: sick and tired, interested but uninterested, dreams and goals have changed, struggling to find the relevancy of having a PhD, drained, merely thinking about it is exhausting. Actually, I’m going to take a nap.

And, I’m up. Fun fact: I am still paying tuition and have to remain enrolled if I want to finish this very last step. As a result, I will finish. Prayer warriors, reach your hands out to me and help me get through this. I may include you in the acknowledgements. Side note: it’s super annoying when people who have never been enrolled in a doctoral program ask me what’s taking so long. What’s taking so long for you to mind your business? 

Yeah, so… I accept your belated birthday wishes. I am still accepting gifts and money. As stated many times before, my friendship can be bought. Listen to my podcast and tell me I’m doing an awesome job. Read and share my previous post: Fun Facts My Parents (and Grandparents) Don’t Know

Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux.

Ashlee, out.

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FUN FACTS MY PARENTS (AND GRANDPARENTS) DON’T KNOW!

The names and details have been changed to protect the identity of family and friends who can still get their asses whipped. I stay out-of-state and am willing to take one for the team. Plus, I ain’t never scared but mostly because my mom has a bad memory. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While attempting to get through the work day, I decided to listen to artists and groups I was obsessed with but hadn’t listened to in a while. I started with Dru Hill which resulted in a series of posts:

So if you could not tell by the title, there may be several a few things my parents and grandparents are unaware of.

As a super Christian, my mother didn’t allow me to listen to secular music. Not only did my grandparents buy me Dru Hill’s album but I had Ginuwine (which often included a series of photos; notably, shirtless Ginuwine). What they didn’t buy me (yet I somehow had access to) was Juvenile’s 400 Degreez (which is the ideal temperature for frozen pizza because I like a little crisp). Anyway, this album features what should be the national anthem: Back That Azz Up. Hey Mom, did you know Sister Jennie popped me with a rolled up piece of newspaper for throwing it in a circle at one of my middle school dances? In my defense, I was not the only one twerking but got caught. Typical.

Speaking of throwing it in a circle, I learned to twerk at a very young age from someone who shall remain nameless. Very controversial outside of New Orleans but pretty much the norm there because… Bounce Music. Instructions: Arch your back and pop your butt up and down slowly but forcefully. You will gain speed over time and with practice you may become an expert, middle-aged rump shaker like me. Most of you will never achieve this level of excellence because you don’t have heart. Stay stiff.

Shorty after starting high school, I became a bibliophile overnight. No one questioned it because reading was a constructive habit. It started when a friend suggested I read the Coldest Winter Ever (which I read in 2 days or less). Then, I asked my grandfather if he could start buying me books. He accompanied me to the book store and bought me two books a week from 10th grade to college. What he didn’t know is he wasn’t just paying for teen drama and fantasy. There were some gangsta novels and erotica. I always had Zane’s newest books.

Last but certainly not least is what I like to call “Bible Study and Chill.” In high school, Thursday was bible study night. First, children then adults (I am not sure who came up with such a inconvenient schedule for parents). Anyway, my grandmother stayed near so we (people who shall remain nameless and me) would walk to her house once we were done. Once there, we would invite friends over. Those friends usually included boys we liked. Once adult bible study was done, “the lookout” would call to let us know the adults were on their way. We never got caught.

What’s funny is my uncle was always upstairs but we knew it was unlikely that he would come downstairs, move or even breath. Most of the time, we would be outside talking (which we could’ve done at church) but you know, we wanted to be sneaky and badass (we as in people I won’t mention and me). Since my mom is the only one who reads this blog, I would like to apologize and ask that you wait until after my birthday to snitch. I don’t want this to effect my gifts and your mom making me a sweet potato pie. We all we got.

If you guys liked this post, you’ll be excited about what I reveal in another 15 years! Read and share my previous post: 10-Months-Old, Parties Like a Broke Rockstar & Does Not Care If We Get Sleep. Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux

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10-MONTHS-OLD, PARTIES LIKE A BROKE ROCKSTAR & DOES NOT CARE IF WE GET SLEEP

I have an awesome idea for Baby Gumbeaux’s first birthday. I am going to throw myself a party! I think surviving a year of motherhood should be rewarded.

BG is still a bat out of hell in a walker, only crawls on carpet (will freeze and have a meltdown if you put her on the floor), now stands in her playpen (often holding on to the rail, dancing, dropping it low then picking it up slow), and can say three words: heeeeey (hey), mama, and dada. Side note: She said mama first. Why? I have been practicing it with her for the last two months, behind Husband’s back. 

One thing I find interesting is when we are all together, she goes back and forth between Husband and me. It’s like she wants to give us equal attention. Thanks for your consideration baby Iyanla Vanzant.

Home girl thinks she is supposed to eat everything we eat and for the most part, she does. We have even split a bottle of wine. And, no. No, she has not secured employment and does not financially contribute to the household. At the least, she should be washing her own clothes and changing her diaper.

At this moment, I want you to brace yourselves for the most important news ever announced on Pink Gumbeaux, more important than my 32 years on earth, and probably more important than the combined accomplishments of all my readers!

Are you sitting?

OK.

Are you sure you are ready?

Fine.

I’m trying to make sure you’re good.

A month or so ago, I attended a parent-teacher conference where they informed us of the parent association and asked if anyone was interested in being a board member. I lit up, Husband shook his head. I have a shitload of stuff on my plate and have been working for the last year to get rid of it but none of that mattered, I raised my hand. At that moment, a bright light appeared over me. Actually, that didn’t happen. I don’t think that particular room has windows… Anyway, I spent the next few weeks obsessing over “the email” announcing the meetings and officers. I told everyone that I was running for office and planned to win the election.

The day of elections (last Thursday), I overdressed the baby and dressed as if I was being named CEO of a Fortune 500. I had even memorized a small speech regarding my experience and platform. Yes, I did this in real life. Once there, only 2 (including me) of the 5 parents who volunteered to be officers showed up. When the daycare’s director asked about officers, I volunteered to be president and was elected. The other parent was unsure and I am not sure if the others have picked positions but that didn’t stop me from telling family and friends that I won by a landslide. I am even demanding they address me as President, bragged about being a public official, and may change this blog to President Gumbeaux.

 

Yeah so, I’ve had an awakening. Life experiences, getting married and having a baby has led me to become President of the Parent’s Association. This is my purpose. Hello public office, I am here and I am going to change the world!

For whatever reason, a host of family and friends think the daycare and parents should be afraid. Something about me being Type A, bossy, and “extra”. Right, Ercilla? Isn’t that the word you used? Of course, I disagree. I’m more of an ambitious, sometimes aggressive, bossy, impatient and extra person.

Anyway, this concludes my 10-month update. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

Read and share my previous post: National Read a Damn Book Day. Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux

 

 

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NATIONAL READ A DAMN BOOK DAY

Today is National Read a Damn Book Day and I did a lot of reading (and listening via Audible and hibooks) this summer. Below, is my list of past, current and future reads.

Past Reads

  1. The Hate U Give (awesome book, Jackson native and premieres as a movie in October)
  2. Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (the author is fine AF, finished this book in a day or so, this needs to be a movie)
  3. The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir (more of the aunty of black Hollywood, very insightful but should’ve been a shorter book)
  4. Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” (must read, left me depressed for a couple of days)
  5. An American Marriage: A Novel (awesome book, hated the narration)
  6. Their Eyes Were Watching God (classic)
  7. In the County We Love: My Family Divided (timely read)
  8. The Power of Positive Thinking (I mailed copies to all my negative family members)
  9. Think and Grow Rich (meh)
  10. Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House (I wanted the tea, she delivered but her narration was horrendous)
  11. The Power of Now: A Guide of Spiritual Enlightenment (double meh)
  12. I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Race and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé (this book reflects my thoughts on religion)
  13. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth (half meh)

Current Reads

  1. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative (I need to finish this book)
  2. Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires (must read or listen)
  3. House of Leaves (this book is over 700 pages, don’t rush me)
  4. The Alchemist (I’ve been reading this book for like 5 years, don’t care if it’s your fav, I am bored)

Future Reads

  1. Crazy Rich Asians
  2. How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life
  3. Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House
  4. Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry (Women in American History)
  5. Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist
  6. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha) (do not buy audio, narration is terrible, and I returned it for a paperback)
  7. Dread Nation

You’re welcome.

Read any of these? What are your favs? Read and share my last post: Fake Gumbeaux Series: The Workplace Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux

You’re welcome again.

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FAKE GUMBEAUX SERIES: THE WORKPLACE

As an O.G., it’s natural for me to want to keep it real (or as the millennials like to say, one hundred); however, I am somewhat very certain I could’ve avoided a lot of issues if I was fake. If I would’ve remained quiet or minded my business instead of telling coworkers and management they were incompetent, should consult subject-matter experts, or take courses to become more familiar with their jobs. If as an intern, I would’ve checked emails, opened mailed and made copies instead of telling the women I worked with that I did not go to undergrad and acquire student loans to become a secretary. That upon graduation, I was going to secure a job paying six figures. Note: A lot of them were secretaries that were not college-educated, with little to no chance of advancement and salaries that barely paid a living wage. 

Show of hands, are you surprised a lot of people hated me? Anyone? Anyone? Fun fact: the hate came with a host of awesome rumors. My favorite is the one where I screwed my way into an entry-level job (that had an embarrassingly low salary). But if I could do it all again, what advice would I give myself? I, am glad you asked.

Tip #1: Engage in small talk, learn small facts about coworkers (family and hobbies), and “bond.”

Tip #2: Be a “team player.” Have bland lunch with coworkers, celebrate their birthdays and other accomplishments. Buy them cheap gifts.

Tip #3: Don’t say it, think it. You can still call your coworker a punk-ass bitch, just do it in your head. Not out loud.

Tip #4: Hold doors open. Break room, conference room, and elevator doors. Apparently, it’s polite.

Tip #5: Smile. It disarms people and makes them think you are nice. Once, someone told me I had kind eyes. My family and I laughed about that for days.

A “director” introduced me as one who could insult people in a way they wouldn’t know they were insulted until days later. It’s still one of the most memorable descriptions of me. I wonder if he is still acting like he’s qualified to be director of anything besides a used-car dealership with an inventory of only 4 cars.

Just remember, you’re only at work because they pay you to be there. If you’re really having a tough time, throw a tantrum in the nearest bathroom stall or cry in your car then get back to work and slap that award-winning fake smile on your face. You’re welcome.

Read my last post: Am I Shitty Friend? Follow me most places @pinkgumbeaux.