W.T.H. !! (What The Hell)

Sir, you are no longer needed. Please deposit your sperm in the cup to your left on your way out the door. Mmmkay? Thank you. Good-bye.

Modern women have relegated and diminished men to mere sperm donors.

Don’t think so? Read the article on The Daily Beast titled “No Dad? No Problem.” To say this article set my teeth on edge would be a slight understatement. In short, this article focuses on the ever growing trend of women who become single mothers by choice (SMBC from here out).

While birth rates for unmarried women age 34 and younger have fallen since 2007, they have actually been rising among women 35 and older. These are women who are more likely to be independent, financially stable, and making an active choice to raise children by themselves.

There’s even an organization, or “support group”, Single Mothers by Choice started by Jane Mattes some 32 years ago.

Today, the group has chapters in roughly 35 cities and a database of 30,000 women who have been or are now members. Many are well off. According to a 2009 survey, 22.4 percent of SMCs, as members call themselves, earn between $100,000 and $149,999, and another 16.2 percent earn more than $150,000.

WOW! Who knew? I certainly did not.

Read Full Article

Social media has killed my creativity.

Before Twitter and Facebook became as popular as they are now, I posted blogs regularly. I even had a small group of readers who subscribed to The Chocl8t Diaries and commented. I was both surprised and humbled that they wanted to read what I wrote. Maybe some of you are reading this now. If so, HI!!!

Twitter-Bird-officiald31850Then, Twitter happened.

It became all to easy for me to post my thoughts in a series of 140-character limited tweets, as opposed to composing a complete blog post. Twenty nine thousand, seven hundred twenty nine (29,729)…well 29,730 after this post is published thanks to that Twitter add-on embedded in WordPress. That is, on average, an estimated 4,162,200 characters I could have used writing thought provoking or inflammatory content on my blog.

My tweet rants have included many of the following topics and then some:

  • Feminism and its detrimental effects on the family unit
  •  How women can’t “have it all” despite their desperate attempts to convince themselves otherwise
  • The battle of the sexes
  • Whores, Hoes, & Heauxs: what defines one and why should we care.
  • Celebrity shenanigans, on Twitter no less
  • Reality TV and my disdain for the genre
  • Male/Female relationships
  • Sex
  • Family

You name it, I’ve probably tweeted about it.

Just earlier today I tweeted a quote from somewhere, I can’t remember where, that “Twitter is a vortex of social mayhem“. No truer words have ever been, well…tweeted…and it’s true of the small circle of those I follow. On any given day, I have been shocked, confused, disgusted, and often time thoroughly amused and entertained by the chatter.

However, recently my interest has waned and I am no longer really entertained but rather saddened and vexed by the non-stop onslaught of unsolicited relationship advice, admonitions, and asinine comments whose only purpose is to annoy. (They call this trolling on the Twittah streets).

It’s funny how people provide so many clues about their “real” lives outside of Twitter and it is all laid out before the masses neatly within the tweets. This, in spite of the individual’s protest that their @identity is just for “entertainment” purposes. But I see you…clearly as I’m sure you’ve seen me.

I have made a concentrated effort to step back. Brief exiles, if you will, to mute the inane mindless, negative chatter and that includes my own. I am making an effort to think before I speak or tweet….eventually to stop tweeting altogether.

Every thought I have should not be shared. Some thoughts should marinate a while so they can develop beyond 140 characters into a thought provoking or inflammatory blog post thereby, hopefully, resurrecting my creativity.

P.S. Are you on Twitter? If so why? If not, why not?

The Phobias

Katsaridaphobia. Also known as the fear of roaches. I suffer from a moderate form of this phobia. It does not keep me from normal activities or disrupt personal relationships but it is very real to me nonetheless.

As with many phobias, mine is rooted in a past traumatic experience which was later exacerbated by another experience years later.

I grew up four houses away from my paternal grandmother, in the same neighborhood in which my dad grew up. One balmy summer night when I was about 7 or 8 years old, my mother gave me the task of walking to Mudda’s house to fetch the daily newspaper. When I arrive, Mudda is standing in the front doorway with the paper in hand.

As I am walking back in the middle of the quiet deserted street, I feel something on the back of my neck. Thinking it was the tag from my t-shirt, I reached back to tuck it back in only to end up with a huge cockroach in my hand. I let out a blood curdling scream as I take off running down the street, dropping the newspaper in the process.

My mother is standing in the door yelling, “What’s wrong?! What’s wrong?!” When I finally make it to where she’s standing, the tears are streaming down my face and in between breathless gasps for air I tell her that a roach was on my neck.

My mother’s reaction to my panic was that of a mother’s reaction to a bothersome child. My tears and fear seemingly annoyed her and she demanded I go retrieve the newspaper I’d tossed in the street.

And so it began. And so it remains to this day. You can run me a country mile with a cockroach.

Mellesophobia/Apiphobia. The fear of bees.

About 5 or 6 years ago I was attacked by an angry group of yellow jackets. I was cutting the grass one summer evening when little Anthony from across the street asked if I had seen his pet rottweiller, Paco. I stopped and the mower came to rest next to the mailbox.

As I stand there chatting with my 7 yr old neighbor, there’s this buzzing near my ear and without giving it much thought, I fan it away thinking it was a fly or something equally harmless.

Well, to my horror, moments later I am surrounded by these nefarious little creatures stinging my arms repeatedly and buzzing around my head. In a panic, I take off running down the middle of the street, screaming like a banshee, in an attempt to escape the brutal onslaught. Then…I fall, as if being attached by the yellow jackets wasn’t enough torture, scraping both knees and bumping my forehead on the asphalt.

Had someone been lucky enough to record it, surely they would have won the grand prize on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Unbeknownst to me, the mower noise disturbed the yellow jackets’ nest which was in a hole in the ground next to my mailbox post.

Since that day, I have no love for the pollinating evil creatures. NONE! Only fear.

The Fear

Hands around my neck make me extremely uncomfortable to the point of panic.

One night a girlfriend and I went out to a nightclub in Stone Mountain, GA and I wore the ‘hot as fiyah’ cat suit in the picture to the left. Being in my mid-20s, I had grown accustomed to the visual ogling from men in response to my derrière so much so that I stopped noticing when it occurred.

On this particular night, a young man decided that only looking just wasn’t enough for him and he grabbed my ass, cupping it as if it was a basketball and he was Lebron James trying to make a lay-up. I, not so politely, move his hand away asking him who the fuck he thought he was and telling him to keep his hands off me.

The next think I know, one of his hands (presumably the same one that cupped my ass) is around my neck and he has lifted me off the ground leaving my feet dangling like a rag doll. I do not recall what he said to me, if anything, but I do remember the fear.

This guy lifted me off my feet with on hand wrapped around my neck!!!!! The thought of it still makes me queasy.

I have shared my experience with the last two men I’ve dated, both of whom were initially shocked then proceeded to tease me about it. One would even fake coming at my neck with his hands in a choking fashion. Yeah, dude…not funny. Even in an intimate encounter, if he moves his hands on my neck, I tense up and squirm while moving his hand.

Will I ever get past the phobias? I don’t know. How will I get past the fear? I don’t know. What I do know is they are all very real to me.

Do you have any phobias? If so, what are they?

August 17, 1012 – I have been so hyped about moving but it seems like I am in “hurry up and wait” mode. Time just seems to drag on and on and I feel like I am living in limbo.

With less than two weeks before my move, the A/C has stopped working! Its the middle of August in Georgia!!! Are you kidding me? Seriously?!!!

A close friend of the family came out to the house to diagnose the issue. Guess what? It’s the compressor and the recommendation is to replace the entire unit. I scoffed at the idea. Why would I shell out close to $3,000 on an A/C unit for this house?

You’re right, I wouldn’t. Instead, I took my happy hind parts right to Wal-Mart and purchased a fan to place in the bedroom window. Between it and the oscillating fan I already have, I should be able to survive a couple of weeks. I will just live in my bedroom.

Only a few days into living with no A/C, I come home to find a locksmith in my driveway. As I am pulling into the garage, I stop to ask him what the hell was he doing. In broken English, he asked if this was 5721 Blank-Blank Drive to which I replied, “Yes, it is.” Long story short – The house sold during the foreclosure sale on the courthouse steps on 8/7 and this guy was here to change the locks. He proceeded to ask if I wanted to speak with his boss on the phone and I told him hell no with a rather indignant tone. (This would haunt me hours later.)

Can you say PANIC?!! Freaked the f**k out?!! Especially after receiving misinformation from a friend, who previously worked in the mortgage industry, that the sheriff might show up at the front door the next morning to put me out. Even knowing in my heart of heart that this couldn’t be legal, I panicked.

My plans were in place to move but that was not scheduled for another two weeks. How in the world would I, could I, get my things out by morning? I spent the next several hours on the phone with family lining up contingency plans. I paced the floors in the hot ass hallway of that house for hours – worried. When I finally got in bed, I sat there rocking and literally wringing my hands – panic stricken. Why didn’t I talk to the guy’s boss on the phone? This is the price of indignant pride Chocl8t!!!!

As I sat there I had a lucid moment when I decided to turn on my laptop and go to Google. Having been a landlord before, I was vaguely familiar with Georgia eviction laws as they related to landlord/tenants but how that applied to mortgage foreclosures was foreign to me.

After some digging and researching the internet in the wee house of the morning, I found out that when a home is foreclosed, the individual owner becomes a tenant and the mortgage company, or property buyer, becomes the landlord. The landlord must abide by and follow Georgia laws and follow the eviction process. Considering the fact that I had not been served with an eviction notice, the sheriff would not be knocking on my door in the next few hours. That at least allowed me to sleep for about three hours.

I was on the phone by 9:00 am making calls to the attorney’s office that handled the foreclosure. As it turned out, a property management company purchased the house. It took several calls but I was able to reach the point of contact, Mr. Goldstein, located here in the Atlanta area. After explaining to him what happened the night before, he apologized profusely stating he had information the property was vacant. Oh yeah, the locksmith had already drilled out the lock on the back door!

I informed Mr. Goldstein of my plans to move but not before he asked if I wanted to stay and rent the place. Apparently, this is the new trend in the metro Atlanta area. Investment companies and property management companies are buying foreclosed properties and renting the homes, in many instances, to the previous owner. Experts point to this as one reason for the recent up-tick in home prices here in Atlanta. It has its pros and cons. You can read about it HERE.

Although the crisis was averted I changed my moved date to 7 days earlier. Lucky for me the tenants at the new place moved sooner than expected and had it clean and ready to move in!

Yeah…time to get the hell out of Dodge!!

The decision to walk away proved easier than finding another place to live where this foreclosure would not be an issue.

It all started with me firing my real estate agent, Mona B, of 2 1/2 years. I should have cut ties with her last winter when she pushed me off on her “assistant” so she could cater to one of her investment clients. To call the assistant inept is a compliment. We will call her “Kay” simply because I can’t remember her real name.

Kay was tasked with removing the lockbox from my front door because the heat between the glass storm door and the metal front door caused it to malfunction. We agreed on a day and time that she was to come to the house. I made it perfectly clear that I would not be available until after noon so we settled on 12:30 pm. So why did she call me at 10:00 am to inform me she was on her way to my house?

Kay: This is Kay. I’m on my way to your house to remove the lockbox.
Me: Uhm, No. You’re not on you way to my house. I’m not at home. Didn’t we agree on 12:30?
Kay: Well I got out of church early. How long do you thin you’ll be because I’m just 20 minutes away.
Me: I won’t be back until 12:30.
Kay: Oh.
*Long pause. Deafening silence*
Me: Okay. See you then.
*I hang up*

There were several other “incidents” with Kay that left my blood boiling. I could never reach her boss, Mona B, on the phone. I would leave messages and she would have Kay call me back. Frustrating and infuriating to say the least.

When I finally spoke to Mona B she admitted putting, not only me but other clients also, on the back burner to attend to her investment client who was spending a crap load of money. Even though she apologized, I should have fired her then, but I didn’t.

It took for this to happen again that I cut all ties with her. The second incident is just as bizarre and left me feeling like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.

I met an agent on one of my previous visits to see a rental property. Kristy gave me her card and said if there was anything I needed to call and she would help. Well, I called and explained my situation. (House in foreclosure, employed, need a rental.) She basically called me a “disgruntled” homeowner, let it be known that agents make little to no money on rentals, and she could send me a few listings but that was about it.

Well, alrighty then. Her honesty hit me between the eyes like a brick. Ol’ bitch.

But as fate, or luck, would have it, I met another R/E agent who was more than happy to help me find a new place to call home. We met when I called to inquire about a property listed by the broker who employed him. It took me and Jimmy B about 2 1/2 weeks to find the perfect spot in Midtown. But not before I was turned down and turned away by two other prospective landlords.

I was upfront abut my situation, the impending foreclosure, because I thought it better they knew going in and before pulling my credit. After providing all of my personal and financial information, which included pay stubs, one landlord wanted to know why I take “married” deductions but stated I was “single” on the rental application. How did he think that was any of his business or how it related to me paying rent was beyond my understanding. My application was denied.

The other property management company for another property would not even take my rental application after I disclosed the foreclosure. As common as foreclosures are these days and the staggering number of people in similar situation to mine, this left me stupefied…not to mention discouraged.

However, all was not lost. The listing agent of my new place welcomed my application knowing the situation. Her words to me, “Their loss is my gain.”

Midtown, here I come!! My commute will be cut in half! HALF EDDIE!! From 50 miles and 1 hour 15 minutes (on a good day, which is rare in Atlanta traffic) to 26 miles and 40 minutes!!!

I am beyond excited nor can I wait to move!!!