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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.

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AM I A SHITTY FRIEND?

About a decade ago, I met someone I had a lot in common with so I wasn’t surprised when we became friends but then, something super weird happened. She wanted to talk to me every single day. We were classmates so I talked to her before and after class, hung out a few times during the week, texted and talked on the phone, every day. Yes, it was that horrific! I was so overwhelmed that I confided in my mother.

Me: Mom, she wants to talk to me every single day, I am so confused.

Mom: Girl, it’s because you are friends!

I was bewildered and to be quite honest, reliving this moment is triggering. Also, I am 72 percent sure this story has nothing to do with this post.

Leave it to Facebook to ignite a spiral of internal thoughts (but mostly overthinking) that led me to ask myself: Why don’t I have lasting friendships? For the last 50 years (actually, I’m only 32), I blamed everyone else but I think I’ve reached a point in my very mature life that I can confirm that I may share some of the blame but probably not.

The older I get, the more I am attracted to people who share the same award-winning traits as me. Not surprisingly, I don’t see the purpose of establishing close bonds with people who don’t share those same traits, “values,” lifestyle and even political beliefs. What’s worse, I often hold people to the same standards I hold myself which my cousin (hey Karen) and I deem unfair but guess what? Life is not fair.

I have tons of seasonal friendships, the kind when one is super close then not but this isn’t necessarily my fault or a bad thing. Life happens but I am attempting to do better. For example, I list people I need to check in with via call (the horror) or text, in my planner. Side Note: Aprill, Jessica, Chariece and Ashley, I am texting you right after I publish this post.

I often lack empathy and hold grudges. I am sure that I have been a grudge-holder since birth. If your name is Ashley and you are light skin and went to Saint John Berchman for pre-school in 1989, I am still mad at your punkass for pinching me on several occasions. I am fairly certain that you have grown to be a terror to your community. So yeah, that basically illustrates I have never been a forgiving person. I will hate you for the remainder of your life, my life, future lives, past lives, bloodlines and pets. I am revisiting this cardinal rule because in most instances, it’s not that serious (except for Ashley). I am chipping at this and think I should be ready to turn a new leaf in about 56 to 82 years.

I do want to note that I do have several friends I talk to daily, and occasionally we see each other! We talk about politics and pop culture, family and friends behind their backs, we give each other terrible advice, and complain about our coworkers and jobs well, all except me. I just started my job and obviously I love it just in case anyone from my job cyberstalked me and found my blog. So, where do I go from here? Obviously, I am accepting applications for additional friends and yes there is an application fee. Anyway, have you been a shitty friend and why? Do you plan on changing or will you remain shitty like the friends I tried to talk about this with. Now that I think about it, maybe it’s not me. Yeah, it’s totally everyone else.

I am such a good noodle.

Side note: No, I’m no longer friends with the girl I talked about earlier in the post, we got into a Facebook fight. If you’re reading this, I just want to say I accept your apology. And to Ashley, f*** you!

Read and share this post, follow me on most platforms @pinkgumbeaux, and read my last (and very old post) Everything But Essence

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DANIEL CAESAR APPRECIATION POST

It would be totally neglectful if I did not mention Daniel Caesar before the year ended. I know you guys live for my opinion on everything. Right? *stares*

As stated numerous times, Insecure has the best soundtrack of any show or movie, past present and future (Read: How Insecure Made Me Obsessed with Nick Hakim). In that post, I forgot to mention a song I liked, forgot it existed then it showed up on YouTube. Shout out to YouTube for being hella stalkerish but always giving me the best recommendations. Anyway, the song I’m referring to is “Blessed” (Season 2, Episode 8).

Daniel Caesar is a Canadian singer-songwriter who built his popularity online through several singles and EPs and dude is just 22. In August, he dropped Freudian (his debut album) to rave reviews. I literally listen to this album every day and Husband is highly annoyed by it. My favorites:

Who else is listening to this? If you’re not, you probably have sucky taste in music *stares at Husband* Anyway, Read and share my previous post: Baby Gumbeaux Turns 1 Month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @pinkgumbeaux and @babygumbeaux

Oh and Happy New Year. Ashlee, out!

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BABY GUMBEAUX TURNS 1 MONTH OLD

Most importantly, I survived a month of motherhood. By the way, the word “motherhood” is super aggressive, is there an alternative?

About Baby Gumbeaux

In 1 month, I’ve changed numerous poop- and pee-filled diapers; although, sitting in dirty diapers and onesies is one of her favorite pastimes. By the way, she has already pooped and peed on me and vomited down my boobs which clearly demonstrates the level of respect she has for me.

She sounds like she’s having a panic attack when her pacifier isn’t in or near her mouth and screams like a banshee when we take too long to get her bottle.

She falls asleep when I play Diana Ross’s greatest hits, thinks “Tummy Time” is for chumps, and prefers listening to “5 Minute Minnie Tales” over all other books including the Bible which leads me to believe she’s probably Muslim.

The most challenging thing is the lack of sleep. She seems to be most alert when we are sleepy and spends the wee hours staring at us and probably hoping we turn into stone. Note: I have not received a full night of sleep since I was 19 weeks pregnant which means I’ve been deprived of sleep for nearly a f***ing year!

Update: Husband read this post and told me “don’t act like I don’t keep the baby overnight so you can sleep a few hours.”

Postpartum Depression

I prayed, meditated, spent my Ibotta cash on an album full of pregnancy and parenting affirmations and think I have a pretty good support system so I was well-prepared to bypass Postpartum Depression; however, it’s inevitable.

I cried more in the short period after having the baby then I did in the entire pregnancy and suffered from high blood pressure the first time in my life which resulted in a visit to my doctor’s office and the emergency room. To make matters worse, I still mull over the C-Section and not being able to produce a sufficient amount of breastmilk (although I am now working with a lactation doctor to change things).

I’m doing a lot better than my first few weeks but will chat with my OBGYN at my appointment to determine if I need additional help aka drugs!

Postpartum Body

I spent my entire pregnancy nauseous, with heartburn and acid reflux, and suffering from food aversion; as a result, I only gained 8 pounds. Sounds cool, right? Less weight to lose; however, it was something that could’ve put Baby at risk so it was not something I did intentionally.

Right before I started my 3rd Trimester, my OBGYN wanted me to gain 7 pounds. I gained 5, got sick, lost 5 then lost a few pounds prior to giving birth (which means I basically gained no weight).

What I do have is a weird stomach. When I left the hospital, I looked 6 months pregnant. I was told it takes time for swelling to go down and for everything to retract. The area immediately surrounding my belly button shakes like jello and the area below that is painful and the area below that area is still numb (probably from the C-Section). Last but not least, the stretch marks seem to have grown out of nowhere so I’ve increased the amount of times I exfoliate and am basically sliding around my apartment from all of the Cocoa Butter I’m wearing.

Well, you guys are uber nosy. Read and share my previous post: The Illuminati Created Fall Finales Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @pinkgumbeaux and @babygumbeaux