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Re-run Stuff

Instructional Stuff

I went to the office breakroom to get a fresh cup o’ ice (my morning chew treat) and a cup of hot water for my pack of instant oatmeal (regularity has become important to me as I age) and noticed that the beverage vending machine has a pictorial to explain how to use the machine. There’s a little hand putting a little coin into the little slot. The next photo is of a little finger punching the little button. The last photo shows a can of soda in the “pick up your beverage” area of the machine. What’ll we do if the pictures get damaged?

I don’t recall ever learning from pictorial or written instruction how to buy a soda (or any other item) from a vending machine. I’m pretty sure I saw someone else do it at some point and just copied their behavior.

All shampoo bottles list instructions to lather… rinse… repeat. The words aren’t complicated, but one must be able to read the words to understand the instructions. Generally one has had at least a couple of shampoos before learning to read, so I would imagine anyone buying shampoo doesn’t need to be told how to wash their hair.

If we go to a grocery store and look at a photo illustrating any food package the words, “serving suggestion” will be in fine print somewhere near the bottom of the photo. Now, I’m not saying I’m brilliant, but even as a child I didn’t expect the package content to look exactly like the photo on the box. Why do our manufacturers have the need to let us know that the photo is a serving suggestion? Are there hoardes of people ready to initiate lawsuits if the piece of parsley in the photo isn’t included in the box? A can of corned beef hash usually shows a sunny side up egg sitting happily on the plate with it’s partner, corned beef hash. Happy toast with a perfect square of butter sit to the side, opposite to a big ole glass of orange juice. Serving suggestions. Who is the world actually expects the egg, the juice and the toast to all appear after opening the can?

Guys may not be familiar, but most chicks have seen the pages and pages of instructions (usually written in English, Spanish and French) that come with a simple box of tampons. There’s also a detailed drawing included showing a sidecut of a woman’s body and the parts of her anatomy that are involved during a “happy period” (I hate that f***ing commercial). If we follow the drawing the insertion should be simple. Just in case the drawing doesn’t suffice, there are the tri-lingual instructions as backup. If I were the one to write the instuctions the box would say – “plug it up”. That’s it. That’s all.

Times when instructions would be really helpful to me are the times I find that they’re not included in the packaging. My first husband (why oh why god, why!!!?) needed instructions explaining that due to his very short attention span and minimal intelligence he would tend to forget that he had a wife and children, and that he couldn’t be expected to come home on a regular basis. Oh, and his package theme song should have been, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

It would have been great to get directions for evil ex-boyfriend “W” explaining his need to control everyone around him and his crazy jealousy.

Imagine going for a job and reading the instructions for your boss – insecure and tends to take credit for work subordinates do. Would have saved me some heartache in the past. (my current boss is GREAT – he doesn’t need instructions so no one needs to forward this article to anyone)

I would love to see what instructions for handling me might be. Any ideas besides ‘handle with care’?

This is from the old blog. I’m at work trying to figure out how to watch our beloved President. Happy Obama Day!


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My post from SparkPeople (my favorite site on the web)

woke up today before the alarm went off feeling great!


I had no feelings of guilt for “sleepeating” last night.

(Sleepeating is that thing you do in the dark – you usually stub a toe or step on the cat on the way to a stealthy meal. Calories don’t count if everything is done in the dark and if you don’t yell out when toe is stubbed. Oh yeah, the big part – no one can see you. If you yell, turn on a light or if someone busts you, the calories count)

This is what I would tell myself in the middle of the night.

I was jali-san, Ninja Eater (imagine that gong sound, you know what I mean ).

I use to try to eat a balanced dinner and I’d go to bed feeling pretty good about myself.

Almost every night though, I’d sleepeat. While I was enjoying the illicit snack, I talked myself into believing my Ninja fairy tale, but in the morning I felt pitiful.

Logging in my meals and snacks has cancelled out the whole fairy tale deal. I love it here!


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A Rose Is Still A Rose…

I was given the name Jalilah a few years back and my mate affectionately called me Jali. He always introduced me as Jali, so a whole group of new friends knew me this way. Old friends started calling me Jali after they heard the name. Some spell it”Jolly” which I think is cute and goes well with my newfound chubbiness.

My given name is Jil (I always add Li’l Jil of the ghetto) and I don’t love the name. Too many “Rons” say when introduced, “hey baby, my name is Jack” (wink-wink). Too many people will call me Kim or Lynn – any diminutive name seems to suffice and I generally didn’t correct them. I don’t run into the same crap with jali.

I now introduce myself as jali to friends and use Jill (the nuns added the second el for some Catholic school reason) for business and official stuff.

I never thought to make up a name to use online. “jalicook” is part of all my email addys and the name I use almost everywhere on the ‘net. I like the look of the lower case better than one capital and I don’t need to use the stupid shift key when signing in.

I’ve considered interesting names like “grouchyblackmenopausalpoet” or “toolazytogetangryaboutmuchthesedays” or “formerrevolutionarywhoneedsanap” or “hellyeahi’mhungry” but the names would probably get on my nerves before long. I’ll stick with jali.

I’ll be posting soon (I know) about my recent trip to Dallas and my hang out with DD.


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Tina Fey As Sarah Palin: Katie Couric SNL Skit (VIDEO)

Vodpod videos no longer available.


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Here’s a letter I received that I feel the need to share:

Dear Jali,

The Bush administration is finally paying attention to the disastrous state of our economy. They didn’t act as many of us lost jobs, health insurance, and even our homes–with historic levels of middle-class Black wealth being devastated in the process.1 Now that Wall Street is wobbling, they’re ready to come to the rescue, at our expense–to the tune of $700 billion.2

Bold steps are clearly needed, but the Bush plan is plain wrong:

  1. It prioritizes protecting the corporations that got us into this mess, their executives and shareholders–while doing nothing to protect everyday Americans who’ve been overwhelmed with debt, which is the root of the problem.
  2. It provides no accountability–giving the Treasury Secretary unlimited power to spend our money with no oversight from Congress.
  3. There’s a good chance it won’t actually work. And when it doesn’t, they’ll be back looking for more money from taxpayers.

There are alternatives to Bush’s plan, but he’s pushing it through like it’s the only choice. Democrats control Congress, which means they, not the Bush administration, can set the terms for this bailout. At this point, stopping the plan might come down to the Senate. Your senators need to know that we’re paying attention, that we’re not buying Bush’s scare tactics, and that they shouldn’t either.

Senators are meeting today trying to decide what to do. Can you call Senators Chambliss and Isakson today?

     Senator Saxby Chambliss

     Senator Johnny Isakson

Here’s a brief script you can use (or make up your own):

“Congress needs to slow down and think about what it’s doing before it gives huge amounts of taxpayer money to Wall Street, with no strings attached. Any economic bailout needs to help struggling homeowners. It can’t be on the backs of those who can least afford it. And it must include accountability for the administration and the industry. Don’t let the Bush administration panic you into supporting another huge mistake.”

Then, please let us know you called by clicking here:

There are several ways to get the economy back on track that will do a better job of stabilizing the economy over the long-haul and go further in helping those hit the hardest.

A plan that makes common and economic sense would start by giving people on the verge of losing everything new terms for servicing their debts. Such an approach would spawn a recovery for everyone, including the banking sector, from the bottom up.3 Two industry and policy experts have put this idea forward and some politicians have mentioned the concept. But it hasn’t gained traction because the banks have controlled the conversation from the start. Here’s Thomas Ferguson & Robert Johnson, former Chief Economist of the Senate Banking Committee. They say a first step would be

reviving something like the Home Owners Loan Corporation that worked so well in the New Deal. That bought mortgages from people who were in danger of losing their houses and converted them into obligations that they could afford to repay. This sort of bailout has the wonderful property of directing public money to the public, rather than Wall Street. But it would still bail out Wall Street, since reviving housing and stopping mortgage defaults feeds directly through to mortgage bonds values and derivatives based on them.

Instead, Bush wants taxpayers to give his administration a $700 billion check with no strings attached, which they’ll then hand over to the Wall Street firms that got us into this mess in the first place and with no congressional or court oversight. That amounts to $2,000 for every single American.4

The plan is a failure on so many levels. It does nothing for families struggling to keep their homes. Tax payers get zero shares of the firms we’re bailing out, meaning when these companies eventually do turn a profit we get nothing. And the firms we’re bailing out can continue to pay their executives multimillion-dollar salaries funded by us. MoveOn called it a “pure giveaway of epic proportions” and they’re right.

Even some Republicans can see that the plan makes no sense. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) asked, “Just how long can the poor beleaguered taxpayer be expected to bear all the losses and bear all the risk?”6 Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) said, “I’m getting a lot of calls from my district, with people saying, why are you bailing out the big guys and not us?”7

There are many in Congress who want to do the right thing, but they need to know the public has their back. Please call your senators at the numbers above.

Then, please let us know you called by clicking here:

Thanks and Peace,

— James, Van, Gabriel, Clarissa, Andre, Kai, and the rest of the team

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Bumper Sticker Stuff


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Vacation Over Stuff

I took a very long vacation from this page.  (Captain Obvious is at it again.) I simply was tired of jalishouse.

I considered deleting this blog a couple of times but I held off, hoping that I’d find inspiration and want to share with you guys. I’m glad I didn’t end it since getting to know all of you (some of you intimately) and having this means of communication really is important to me. (doesn’t seem so, but it’s true)

Back in March of this year, an actual tornado struck downtown Atlanta. I was struck too, on the same day, but by something more powerful than a mere tornado. I met Sam.

I left the afterwork party at Club Taboo, declining the offer of a ride home “…if I’d hang out until the party was over”. “Bah”, I thought, “I’ll make my own way home.”

I sauntered down Roswell Road humming a tune and tapping out the beat in my bright red heels, the gin in my system leading me to believe that was on the catwalk and I posed at the light (after reminding myself that red means STOP!) I realized that I had no change for the bus, so I headed for the gas station a couple of blocks ahead.

As I passed a driveway to my left, a cutie pie smiled and said hello from his car. I responded with a smile and kept on my way. I could tell that he was young but man – what a charming smile.

As I left the gas station victorious – with change in my hand, I stepped back out into the night to find the scene transformed: rain, howling wind – (whew -I must have had much more gin in my system than I realized huh?) I had no umbrella and the bus stop across the street had no shelter.

Like a knight in shining armor, cutie pie in shining car pulled up and offered to take me wherever I needed to go. I got in immediately – no hesitation at all and I remember staring at him as he stared at me for a few moments before we even spoke.

He took me to the indoor parking lot for the train, and then decided that the night seemed too dangerous for me to leave just then. We agreed to wait out the storm at his place and he promised to take me home as soon as the weather changed.

He was sweet and considerate and the perfect gentleman and host that night.

I slept on the couch in his bedroom – when I finally fell asleep – first we watched the weather warnings on TV and watched the storm churning from his bedroom window.

We were shocked and amazed to learn that an actual tornado hit our city and that Sam was my actual hero.

He drove me home early the next morning and we hugged goodbye, promising to get together again someday. (I didn’t expect to actually hear from him again – he was shocked when I told him how old I am)

He called me on his way home.

We spoke again that day a couple of times and we made arrangements to meet again.

I’ve been seeing this beautiful man since March but because of the difference in our ages, I didn’t think it would be going anywhere (some of you might remember my broken heart after life with Adrian was over) and I didn’t want to repeat it, so I promised myself to keep it casual this time.

I was determined to hold my feelings in check despite the great times we had together, but that’s all been squashed. (throwing in old school lingo just for the hell of it.)

Sam. Yup, that’s his name. (I smile each time I say it.) Sam.

Remember that butterfly stomach, can’t hang up the phone, grinning all the time, humming to yourself, can’t wait to see him, need just one more hug feeling? That’s where I am today. (I know, I know – I’m getting a bit old for these Jr. High School feelings but DAMN! it feels good.)

I spent the weekend at Sam’s place and it felt like a real vacation. He lives on the 23rd floor, so sitting on his terrace and enjoying what felt like tropical breezes blowing was amazing.

His parents came for the holiday and I nervously awaited “the talk” with Sam’s mother Sybil. I figured his Dad would be cool, but I’m a mother too and I was a bit worried about how she’d feel about her precious baby dating an old chick.

Sybil is a sweetheart who went out of her way to assure me that she has no problem with our age difference and we had a very good time together. We shopped, cooked, laughed and talked. Good stuff.

When Sybil and Charles learned that I play Spades, they challenged the “winning couple” to a match which of course resulted in a Sam and jali victory on Saturday night, so I had my opportunity to talk big smack for the rest of the evening.

Sam dropped me off at my office this morning and I still wasn’t ready to say goodbye. He used the L-word in a sentence to me so I’ve been grinning like a kid all day.


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Summer Theme Stuff

Found this today and I had to post! Loooove Lucy Pearl.



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Travel To Cali Stuff

In my previous post, I talked about my time in California with my sister Lynda. Now I’ll talk about my trip there and back.

The Atlanta Airport is pwned by Delta Airlines and AirTran. Certain discount airlines don’t fly to ATL, so some of the internet specials available to many aren’t available to Atlantans.

Cheap-jali refused to be foiled by these evil corporate entities in my quest to save money so I devised a plan. I decided to book a round trip flight that fell within the terms I dictated (meaning really cheap tickets).

Before making my decision, I checked a few travel sites and found that the fares from Atlanta on the days I wanted to fly to Oakland were waaaaay beyond my means. Priceline wouldn’t accept any of my offers. Expedia needed more flexibility. Orbit couldn’t help me.

Ah, Southwest. I checked the dates on their website and found an internet special that I was happy with. I was excited and I entered my acceptance of their nonrefundable tickets. I was “on my way” to California!

Oh, yeah. Southwest doesn’t fly to Atlanta so my flight left and returned from and to Birmingham, Alabama.

I’ve been to Birmingham, and the ride isn’t that long so I thought that one or the other of my friends here would be able to drop me off there when the time came, or that I would be able to take a shuttle, airport to airport. No big deal.

(Sound of record scratch to a halt). BIG deal.

Big, big deal.

I watched the cost of gasoline soar in the weeks following my purchase. Having a friend drop me off as a favor wouldn’t be feasible. I checked for shuttle service between airports and found that there is a very limited and very expensive service available. I sent an email message to the company and heard nothing at all in reply.


Airline tickets with no way to get to the airport. Cheap-jali has done it again!

Ooooh. Inspiration! Trailways!

I clicked to their website, expecting a few simple steps in booking bus tickets to Birmingham. I clicked and found myself on the Trailways Charter page. Not good – not helpful. I clicked my back button to try again. No matter what I tried, the system wouldn’t allow me to buy tickets, see schedules or see prices. I think I was sweating by this time – frustration, annoyance and my old stand by: menopause, all joined forces to make me feel…um… “not so fresh”.

Finally I remembered that I wanted Greyhound NOT Trailways (not my fault that I couldn’t remember – I’m old as shit!) and I was able to navigate the Greyhound site easily and buy my nonrefundable (seems like I never learn) tickets right away. I allowed ample time between bus and train travel to guarantee that I’d make each leg of my trip comfortably without having to stress while on vacation. ( cue maniacal laughter in the background).

Have any of you ridden a bus lately?


coming up next: Part Deux.


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Cali Stuff

I’ve been to California to visit my sister Lynda (does this sound like the old, ‘my dog ate my homework” line to you guys?).

Lynnie lives in a small town, Livermore , which sort of reminds me of the town in the movie Doc Hollywood, but with much higher property values and a more diverse population.

Livermore is in a canyon and from her backyard bridge (her husband Mark is a good builder, one of his many talents) I watched unbelievable sunsets over the distant mountains. I didn’t capture the view with my camera (duh) so I’ll have to ask her to send my some photos so that I can post them.

Lynnie and Mark have 2 children, the lovely Lorraine (named after the writer Hansbury) and Mark, Jr., who showed me cool-Cali teen mode for most of my visit. Rainie is outspoken and straightforward but also very sweet and funny. Mark, Jr. doesn’t break character too often but once and a while he drops the cool and he’s a sweetheart too.

Mark’s mother Christine lives with the family and she and I hit it off immediately. We share the love of coffee and ciggies first thing in the morning so it became our routine for the week I was there. It’s great to make a new friend!

My sister and I look alike (so we’ve been told) and we love each other, but we are very different. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years and wasn’t sure how a whole week together would work out.

Lynnie is settled and mature and plans things. I’m immature and spontaneous. Lynda has been married once and is determined to make it last forever and she’s very happy. I’ve been divorced twice so far, lived with others, and dated a few more and I’m very happy. She goes to Bible study – I go to Open Mic nights. She goes to church every Sunday – I roller skate religiously. 

We both love to read and Lynda told me that she’s joined a writers group at her church so there are things we have in common. We also share memories of our family vacations and family arguments. We spent quite a bit of time saying, “…remember the time Grandma said…” or “…remember the time you snuck out and got busted…” and laughing or crying at those memories. We pulled out her VOLUMES (maybe 8 or 9) of photos and sat together laughing and crying again, reliving days that touched us both.

We are orphans now  (we both say this). My dad died in 1982 and my mom in 2000. Our elder sister, Jackie has been gone since 2003. We are all that are left of our immediate family and I’m glad that, despite our differences, we were able to enjoy each other for a whole week.

I’ll tell you about my travel next – being a cheapskate is tough on the bootie!


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