So here’s the thing…

Hello Lovebugs!

Long time to post.

I would apologize for my absence but… I am damn near 40 (as in next week). Life happens… and life happened.

Short story shorter, I am at a stage in life where a lot of things I thought were non-negotiable… were negotiated. People I thought I would know the rest of my life… I won’t. And there a myriad of other life lessons I got the hard way.

But yes I am still around, still black and still gay. I am just in a new tax bracket, a new dress size, and with a whole new list of grown folks issues. So I said hell… why don’t I blog about it. It will keep me honest… even when I lie (mostly to myself).

And so The Kword becomes… Hello40s.

Oh and feel free to read all the irrerevent stuff I wrote back in my 20s… on here. I was a whole freaking wave.

And heck no I am not going to update/change all my old things to say Hello40s because…. a) I wasn’t 40 then, and b) my 40th self now doesn’t have the bandwidth or desire for that much needless work. *peaceful sigh*

Dear Reader whose ancestors are watching – or how sometimes you have to show them better than you can tell them

Good morning Lovebugs,

Long time no see… I have been out here trying to mind my business, remodel my home and drink my water.

But of course, whenever you reach a higher plane, someone tries to bring you back down. No no, this isn’t a breakup post, I have done my share of those. It is not about family dysfunction or friends’ betrayal.

This is the story of a no-name, non-factor who decided that today was the day they wanted to knock me off my square. And as a result, he got himself knocked off the block.

*Warning: No one was physically harmed in this situation, but if there had been I wouldn’t have been wrong.*


So before we go into the “incident”, I want to be very clear about a few things. I have been Black all my life. I have been in corporate America, about half of that life. As a woman, specfically a Black woman, I am not naive to microaggressions either due to my race or my gender (and usually both). I have dealt with tone policing, oppurtunity shaming, assumptions of my seniority, and have had several occassions where I have been requested to be the “voice of Black America” in conversations.

There have been many times that I have allowed things to be done and said around me. Originally due to my youth and fear of hurting my future, I accepted it. And as time went on, and bills piled up, I told myself to ignore it. I said it wasn’t worth the fight. I was wrong.

I don’t know whether it is my age or my re-attachment to my ancestors, but I am not that girl anymore.

Yesterday started off amazing. I found out my contractor was coming back to work after a surgery. I went to bed smiling after an amazing conversation. I was preparing for my mom to come in town for my neice’s wedding. I was happy. Like very happy. I put on a simple graphic tee highlighting my happiness. Yep… this is a story about a t-shirt.


I decide to grab a cup of coffee from the catering service in the corporate cafeteria. I smile to greet Mr. Coffee (I don’t actually know his name) and order my Cuban toast and cortadito.

“Why are you wearing a racist shirt?”

I was so caught off guard that I turned around to see who he was speaking to. After a second of confusion, I turned and looked back at him. He was talking to me.

“Why not wear a White is my happy color?”

Oh he is serious serious. I tried to de escalate (because that is what we are taught to do) and say “Well if Pink was my happy color or Yellow was my happy color I would wear that shirt too”. I thought that would stop him but it didn’t.

“Well I guess you can be happy all the time then” with a laugh.

At that point, I knew he was not going to stop. I knew any response would feed into it, so I paid and walked to the other side of the counter while I waited for my food.

I sat there. I replayed the conversation in my head. I sat there some more. I initially tried to blame myself for wearing the shirt. I gaslit my damn self and was going to sweep it under the rug. He had several oppurtunities not to be harmful and he just didn’t care. He doubled down at every turn. He wanted to make my blackness to be something he could target for his enjoyment. This was not about the words on the shirt, it was the black body wearing it.

The whispers in my heart and head, said “Nah Kristi not today”. I couldn’t be complicit. I couldn’t rationalize that he was just the guy in the cafeteria. There are too many young black interns at this company that I would be giving him permission to make uncomfortable. I would have made it ok for him to say something out of the way to the young sister I used to be. It is not just about me.

I never want anyone to lose their job. I never want someone to be banned from their workplace. But I will choose me and mine… everytime.

Dear Reader who doesn’t want everything to be a hustle — or how I spent my MLK Day

First I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that as I write this, President Elect Biden and VP Elect Harris are preparing for their inauguration. I know I keep saying this isn’t going to be a political blog but hey that’s what happening right now. It is amazing to be able to see the first Black woman to reach the heights of Vice President. I didn’t wear my pearls or my Chucks because I overslept but just know I am standing in solidarity with this new administration.

Off topic on topic, I didn’t realize until today (Don’t blame my public school education!) that I have been incorrectly thinking that VP Elect Harris is the first non white person to hold that office. Charles Curtis, member of the Kaw Nation, was inaugurated as America’s first (and only) Native American vice president in 1928. I will say there are definitely mixed feelings about the effects of his vice presidency on indigenous people and America at large. However, that my dear reader is another post and deserves a different voice than mine.

Now back to the point of the post (you all are used to me by now I hope), I DON’T WANT TO SELL FREAKING MASKS ON ETSY. Dramatic much? Maybe but I’m serious. I just want to sew up some masks and send them out to my friends and loved ones without feeling guilty or lacking of hustle.

I never thought I would learn to sew. My mother has sewn my whole entire life. I have seen her even make suits for my brother and dresses for myself. Eight years I begged her for a sewing machine. I just knew I was going to make masterpieces,I ended up making… not a damn thing.

Enter Miss Rona + a few hours on Youtube + several trips to Joann Fabric. I am officially a sewing machine. I went from not being able to even wind the bobbin to making about 200+ reversible cloth masks.

I have loved the experience. I have made masks for almost everyone I know (and quite a few I didn’t know). From the family members I have known my whole life to the folks I have only chatted with via DM, I have sent out dozens and dozens of postal stamp adhered, colorful envelopes with a mask and a note inside. For my 38th birthday, I made 38 bags of masks and hand sanitizers as part of my celebration. I was able to drop them off at nearby bus stops for those who hopefully needed them the most.

I’m not saying I am a needle wielding Mother Teresa.

I have greatly benefitted personally from the experience. I love learning new things, and sewing is definitely challenging. Though raggedy at first, as I got better at it, my confidence increased tremendously. Every time someone posted a picture or sent me a note of thanks it felt amazing. There was even a calming effect of thinking that I was doing something to fight the virus for myself and the people I loved. It led me to create new and reignite old connections with people. It is therapeutic. It has definitely helped me create peace during this extremely troubling time.

And then came the “Girl you need to sell those masks”, “You know how much you could be making with masks?”, “My cousin’s sister’s coworker wants to buy one”, “I need 5 like the one who had on for my Christmas presents.”

Now my spirit said, No Kristi. You are already blessed. You have learned a new skill that brings you joy. You were able to keep your job. You have not lost anyone close to you due to Covid. You don’t “need” the money.

The narcissist on the left shoulder grinned “Everybody loves your masks because they are so great and unique.” The hustler on my shoulder whispered “You like nice things… and money requires them”.

So I made 5.

Then I made 10.

Each time them selling out almost immediately. It was great. The money bought some more perfume bottles for my collection. But it didn’t give me the feelings anymore. I found myself not as excited to rush home and stitch and sew. It was a business. I found myself falling down into the whole of my closed on hiatus journal making business. I had no interest in making masks at all, not even for myself. I would set out to make them, and then lose the desire. Until Monday. For years, every MLK day I have participated in the MLK day of service. From picking up trash to painting school, it has always been a designated day for me to give me. Since the traditional events were canceled, I had an idea. I cranked up the music and again made 21 masks to distribute in the community for MLK 2021. And just like that I had the feeling again that I missed. The feeling that money just could not buy.

So for the baker, who likes to make red velvet cakes, you don’t have to want to be the next Julia Child. There is still joy in linking the spoon.

For the poet, who speaks your truth and take up your space, you don’t have to make a CD to be worth listening to.

Hobbies don’t always have to be hustles. Hobbies can just be that. BUT if you decide to make it your love your livelihood, I’m here for it. Just don’t forget to send me a link because I will support all of the things!

XOXO, Kristi

And one more thing, JUSTICE *clap* SONIA *clap* SOTOMAYOR *clap*, sis you just couldn’t get her damn name right could you? There were whole national discourses on how to pronounce her name. There were freaking shirts on how to pronounce her name. Are you serious? Girl, I can not.

Oh and the first 5 people that comment on this post, just shoot me your postal address and I will make you a mask… for fun.

Dear Reader Who Wants a Hero — or a magical negro trope movie in the making

The Green Mile. Ghost. The Legend of Bagger Vance. Driving Miss Daisy. THE DAMN GREEN MILE. Yes I had to say it twice.

All four movies have two things in common, they were critically acclaimed and they were contrived almost fully using the device of the magical negro trope. Well actually they have a third thing in common, in that I have seen them all (except Bagger Vance) multiple times.

What is the magical negro trope exactly? While definitions vary slightly, the universal understanding of the magical negro is how movies use wise, valiant, otherworldly Black characters in movies as devices to help and often teach the white protagonist to be a better person. Spike Lee started the academic conversation about this back in 2001, but even without his heralding, we all know it when we see it.

Still from The Imitation of Life starting Juanita Moore, who doesn’t even make it on the DVD cover… but that’s a whole other conversation.

The concept of the magical negro has stepped off the silver screen in public discourse before too. President Barack Hussein Obama was often the target of the magical negro discussion. To the point that that pill popping Rush Limbaugh had the nerve… the unmitigated gall… to sing a song “Barack the magic negro” to the tune of Puff the magic damn dragon. You think I am kidding? Google it. There is a whole bootleg video on Youtube. I refuse to link it here though.

Wait wait wait. I have to include one of my favorite movies in this conversation “The Imitation of Life”… I am still mad about ALL OF THAT DAMN MOVIE. And yes you did kill your mother Sarah Jane. You killed her!!

Deep sigh. Keep it together Kristi. It was just a movie.

Enter Eugene Goodman.

Eugene Goodman is a hero. Period.

For those who are not aware, he is the capitol police officer who distracted a mob of angry, violent rioters from the Senate Chambers. There is a video floating around that shows him blocking the hallway that led to the chambers, then going as far as shoving one of the rioters to bait the mob into chasing him in a different direction. His swift decision to put himself in harms’ way most surely saved countless lives and injuries.

Now let me be very clear, Eugene Goodman is a hero. He deserves all of the accolades available from the Congressional medal of honor to the… moon. I will sign any petition necessary. I will champion any discussion. I am here for all of it.

What he doesn’t deserve is a movie where after saving the seat of democracy, he feels the need to reach out to the horn wearing, organic food only eating criminal to help him see the error of his ways. He doesn’t deserve to take the kids of the MAGA hat wearing seditious Becky under his wings as she languishes for her court date. He doesn’t deserve to be the affable partner to the newly created white character that really saved the day. That is not the answer. THAT CAN NOT BE THE ANSWER.

Morgan Freeman, while a national treasure, is tired, let him rest. Will Smith is chilling with Jada across the room from the red table top. Cuba Gooding Jr… is doing something. Matthew McCoughney is busy… probably filming another white savior movie. It’s almost MLKs birthday. Hell it’s a pandemic. I will start naming completely unrelated reasons why this shouldn’t happen if necessary. Sigh.

XOXO, Kristi

Dear Reader who doesn’t care what the charge is but they better go to jail — or the difference between treason and sedition.

So… 2020 was raggedy. That’s a hard fact, but I tell you 2021 is giving us very “wait hold me beer”. In the first week of 2021, the Capitol building was stormed by Confederate flag waving, MAGA hat donning rioters. I won’t go more into this act of sedition because that is a conversation that is being had over and over again.

Well actually I might take a second to reiterate some additional things.

*This is the point dear reader where I changed the complete focus of this post, and changed the title. My original post will be coming down the pike in a bit*

William Bruce Mumford, who was convicted of treason and hanged in 1862 for tearing down a United States flag during the American Civil War.

I see a lot of well meaning folks calling for those people to be charged with treason. Now while I think they need to be locked all the way up, treason is not what they committed (based on what we know right now). Treason is when an American citizen levies war against the U.S. or gives aid to foreign enemies. That’s really rare to see prosecuted and convicted, mostly because the penalty can be death. I think the last time was in the 50s.

What those wall climbing (and falling), horn wearing, election losing CRIMINALS did do was sedition. Sedition is right up there with treason. Sedition is any conspiracy to overthrow, put down or to destroy by force the government of the United States.

Examples of seditious acts are attempts to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the US (which they did), or seize, take, or posses any property of the United States (which they damn well did). It is also a federal felony offense but the penalty is less severe than death, it is a max of 20 years.

Adam Johnson, 36, has been charged after he was allegedly caught was stupid enough and believed privileged enough to skin and grin on camera carrying the House speaker’s lectern.

Now that we have that a little straighter, let’s talk about how things are going right now. So as of yesterday, Michael Sherwin, US Attorney for the District of Columbia, said it looks like more than 160 case files have been opened and 70 people charged so far. We have seen the videos of people being arrested all over the country.

Most of the charges I have seen are ones of curfew violation and unlawful entry. I, like most people, at first glance gave a major side eye. I was ready and waiting to shake my head in disgust. Sherwin said Aht Aht Aht. For many of those arrested, these petty ass misdemeanor charges are “just the beginning”. The quick charges/arrests of the smaller crimes were so they could get these folks identified and put on ice. It is easy to get an arrest warrant for unlawful entry, especially when there is photo evidence and often self-incriminating live streams.

When being a criminal + antimasker + social media junkie collide…

DC and the FBI are still looking to pursue significant felony charges of first degree murder (remember people died during the commission of the felonies), sedition and conspiracy. I don’t even think the power of white women’s tears is going to be able to work this time. So yeah… lots of those folks are going to jail jail.

Well… they should be going to jail jail *shrugs* Because… you know this is still America.

XOXO, Kristi

Dear Reader who needs to unf*ck some stuff — or a book review of “Unfuck Your Boundaries” by @theintimacydr

re·set/rēˈset/verb

set again or differently.

I am not going to pretend this is a New Year/New Me 2021. I am happy to have gotten out of 2020 unscathed and I am content with that. I do want to work on different parts of myself through the next 12 months. Each month I will focus on different words, and use them to guide that journey.

This month my word to hone in on is “Reset”. I am trying to reconfigure some of the habits (physical and mental) that were causing me harm and reignite some of them that I had let fall to the wayside.

I’m back to counting points on my weight watcher app (which helped be lose 37 lbs, of which I gained back 15 since Covid), I unfroze my subscription with Club Pilates (which helped me tone my body), and am getting back to running virtual 5Ks. The physical game plan was easy because I have seen it work and know its results. The mental game plan… is a work in progress.

One thing that I always loved to do was read. Now granted everything I read wasn’t Hemingway or Morrison. Sometimes I would devour 20 books with titles like “The Thug who stole my heart” and the “The Kingpin’s boss lady”. I have no shame in this at all. Did they teach me the concept of metaphysics, no. But they did teach me what huaraches are… which is something… right? *shrugs*

So I decided that I want to read one book a week. One of them will be specifically about the word of the month. The others will be a mix of everything from memoirs to pure unapologetic trash.

The first book I have selected is… (I would do a drumroll but it is in the title of the post) “Unfuck Your Boundaries: Build Better Relationships through Consent, Communication, and Expressing Your Needs” by Faith Harper.

So you have probably heard about this book or the many iterations of her “Unf*ck” books. She has about half a dozen. She is here to help if you want to unf*ck your brain, your intimacy, or your anger. I probably could gain from most of these topics but right now I wanted to work on boundaries.

On to the book. I will say this was an easy read. Easy in that there wasn’t any complicated clinical language. There was a good amount of cussing (which shouldn’t surprise anyone based on the title) and a couple of hashtags. It was simple in its delivery but I found myself highlighting several parts for re-reading.

This is definitely a book that can help just about everyone. I went into it thinking that I wanted to work on my boundaries and staying firm to them. And while I got information on that, in the end I found myself reevaluating how I treat other’s boundaries as well. It created an environment of introspection that I needed… and appreciated.

In addition to boundary work, there was a good amount of insight on communication, especially through conflict. There have been so many times where I thought a quick apology would defuse a situation and it instead became ammunition use against me. Or times where I thought I was giving helpful advice, but it wasn’t healthy, wanted or warranted. I am going to make a conscious effort to use the BIFF technique going forward. I don’t want to give too much of the book away but BIFF stands for brief, informative, friendly and firm. This book is full of simple pieces of information that I can’t wait to use for more full communication.

I would definitely recommend this to any reader who wants to improve their communication and/or navigate a world with boundaries (either their own or others). Have you read it? What did you think? Tell you more.

XOXO, Kristi

Dear Reader who is back in the office — or the reason I have a dozen Starbucks tumblers.

I know a lot of you are working from home (or searching from home) due to Miss Rona.

Yes, I will call her Miss Rona because I don’t want her catching an attitude and showing more of her tail in 2021.

I have, however, been in the office full time for a few months. My 9 to 5 is in fashion photography, and that can’t be done by zoom. Well… maybe it could be, but it damn sure wasn’t. So, since April (maybe May), I have been masking up and sanitizing down to make sure you can buy that cool tee or dope sweatshirt online.

I am not going to go into a workplace rant. I want to but I just can’t do it. It is weird how this all works. For those without a job, there is the anxiety of being unable to take care of yourself and your loved ones. For those with a job, there is the anxiety of wondering when you will be furloughed next. Normal conversations you would have with your friends about how much you are overloaded with work or wish you could take a long weekend seem painfully insensitive. You are the lucky one. Right? It is the least you can suffer to have a job. Right? Only a selfish horrible person would complain. Right? I know survivor’s guilt is usually saved for those who have escaped catastrophic calamity or traumatic event. But hell after 10 months of this pandemic, increased awareness by people who usually don’t care fear of police brutality, and the economic fragility, my mind and body are tired.

Deep sigh…

My first letter to you my dear reader was not supposed to go like this. It was to be about my joy over adding two tumblers to my new, but exponentially growing collection.

I was going to introduce you to the outrageous community of people that buy Starbucks cups/tumblers from all over the world for upwards to 10x the retail cost.

I was going to hang my head in shame telling you how I fell prey to the frenzy for my Pride tumbler. Well a little shame because I am a lesbian… and I deserved that tumbler.

I was going to share with you the group of women that look just like me where we chat and celebrate our newest conquest.

I wasn’t going to tell you how they bring me small (even if ridiculous) slivers of joy, after braving public transportation and enduring temperature scans to get through the door of work.

Or how I take big gulps of water from them, every time an email goes out that another coworker has tested positive.

Or about how I wondered how much I could get for them, if my furlough was next.

This was supposed to be a different letter all together…. maybe next time.

XOXO, Kristi

Black Lesbian Blog | Lesbian Lifestyle Blog

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