Monday, July 27, 2015

Rest In Peace Michael Lee Thomas, Jr. aka Louis Keyz

Keylos Santana aka Lenny Keyvitz aka Goldfangas lol
On July 5, 2015, my brother, Michael Lee Thomas, Jr., was murdered. He was 33 years old.

He was a poet.
He was a musician.
He was a chef.
He was a confidant.
He was a father.
He was a son.
He was a brother.
He was an uncle.
He was a friend.

He mattered.

He was gentle.
He was kind.
He was logical.
He was a dreamer.
He was generous.
He was thoughtful.
He was a genius.

He mattered.

I loved that man with all of my heart.
He was special.
He was a friend to those who didn’t have any.
He was an anchor for 3 sisters who were known to fly off the deep end.
He was a comedian.
He was a peacekeeper.

He mattered.

He mattered.

His life mattered, but he was still taken away.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get over the pain that I feel. I don’t know if this hole in my heart will heal. I don’t know about much of anything these days.

But what you should know is that when you post #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter they aren’t just cool hashtags to put up on your social media sites for shits and giggles.

There are names behind those hashtags. There are LIVES behind those hashtags. There are families and friends who are hurting behind those hashtags. Those hashtags mean something.

One of those names is Michael Lee Thomas, Jr.

Born on July 25, 1981, taken from us on July 5, 2015.

He mattered.

He still matters.
He will always matter to me.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I took The Kid to go see Selma today. I was extremely apprehensive about viewing it. Not because I thought he was too young or because I thought it would be too graphic. I think children, especially black children should learn about the history of our country and the struggle of our people as early as possible. 

Anyway, I was apprehensive because of Oprah. Me and Oprah ain't friends. I won't get into a long, drawn out story about why we fell out, just know that all of my reasons are valid. 

So we go to the theater. First perk is that The Kid got in free. I thought that was pretty awesome. I asked the young lady at the counter how long this awesomeness would last. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Free? Say what? How long will this be going on?
Girl at Counter: Oh, until January 16th.
The Kid: But...
Me: *side-eye* *whisper in harsh tones* Shut. Your. Mouth.
Me: Well, that's great. How much will my total be?
Girl at Counter: $6.95
Me: Many thanks. Have a blessed and wonderful day.
*we walk away quickly*
The Kid: Mama, I really don't feel right about this. The 16th was a week ago.
Me: Look Kid, if that heffa decided she wanted to go back in time to provide us a service who are we to stop her shine? You want popcorn don't you? An Icee? Well that ticket money can get you some gobstoppers or something.
The Kid: Oh? Okay. Never mind then.

Nothing like the promise of snacks to shatter a young child's moral code.

I'm going stop right here and tell you that if you haven't seen this movie there will be tears.

And not regular tears either. Honey, there will be some ugly crying. Super ugly. So, if you are trying to go on a first date to see it please reconsider and go with your girlfriends. They understand your ugly and new guy might not be so forgiving. 

I don't want to talk about the exact things that happened in the movie because I really want everyone to go see it and experience it themselves. It really is a must see despite Oprah.

What I will talk about are the emotions that I felt while viewing it. 

I felt outrage at the sheer ignorance and stupidity of some of the white people involved.

I felt confusion at the fact that people were so peaceful. I wanted to yell and scream and tell someone to mollywhop the entire fuck outta somebody. 

I felt regret that I haven't done more to further the goals and dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr.

I felt happiness that my child was interested in seeing this movie and could actually identify some of the major characters of the Civil Rights Movement.

But mostly and most intensely, I felt sadness.


Because I could see and feel how much things have not changed. 

Blacks have the right to vote, but we don't use that right like we are supposed to. If we did we'd have far less of George Wallace's interns in office.

Police officers still use their badges as an excuse to exert unyielding authority on the unarmed and not so dangerous. 

The government still would rather spend our tax dollars on wars and unrest overseas before dealing with the major problems at home in our country.

We are still segregated. Yes, we all have friends different races and ethnicities. We can eat at the same restaurants and drink from the same fountains. But honestly, when you go home what do you see? Is there a vast racial mix in your neighborhood? Your church? The places you go for fun?

The Civil Rights Movement was not even a lifetime ago. In fact, parents were about my son's age when all of this was going on. Maybe some of your parents were too. 

Knowing that my parents experienced some of the things that we were seeing on screen bothered my spirit in such a major way. Because what they struggled for, what they saw friends and neighbors get beaten for or die for... 

We are still fighting for.

That breaks my heart. 

So, I'm urging everyone who reads this; black, white and otherwise, to go see Selma. View the movie with an open mind and an open heart. Learn something. Whatever you learn, when you leave the theater, teach that to someone else.

We don't have the exact same fights that Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other members of SCLC and beyond had to battle, but we still have reasons to stand together and try to make a difference in our world. 

I have no idea what I'm going to do, but I know that I'm going to do something. I HAVE to do something. 

Watching Selma reminded me of that.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Worst Date

Today we are supposed to talk about our worst date.

However, I've never had a bad date. 

I know, I know. Lucky Tee. 

I mean, what can I say? I'm amazing and everyone that I've ever been on a date with makes sure that our activities reflect my awesomeness. 

There's also an outside chance that I warned people of possible suplexes and throat chops if they presented me with some low budget Dixie Dozen/Waffle House combo. 

I have standards people. I'll make sure they are met. By any means necessary. 

So anyway, there have been no bad dates. But I have had some really odd outings with men who were not my man. These usually occurred when I was out with girlfriends. Also, they were back in the days before I went straightedge, so keep that in mind when you judge me. 

Picture it. Louisville. 1997. The Elk's Lodge.

I was home from school for the weekend and my friend, Mahogany suggested that we go to the Elk's for some fun. Now I was all about this because whenever we went epic fuckery always ensued. How was I to know that on that night, I would be feeling the brunt of it all?

So we get dressed. I'm wearing a halter top and a long black skirt with splits on both sides. It was 1997. That was the hotness, try not to judge.

I'm on the dance floor amaretto sour in one hand, other hand caressing my Halle Berry cut like I'm super fine, and getting my life to this little ditty.

Now, I don't know if you know this about me or not, but I don't like folks in my personal space. There were two people next to me and I knew them both. Imagine my surprise when a large shadow covers us all and I feel the flesh of a stranger on my shoulders. It was covered by clothing...but still.

I froze. 

I'm talking mid-move. You would have thought we were playing Simon Says in that bitch.

I look to my right and Mahogany is looking up. And not just regular up. She's a tall girl and her neck was bent back 90 degrees.

That's when I knew that I was about to be accosted by Goliath. I went into fight or flight mode. Really, just flight because I ran off that floor so damn fast you would have thought that my ass was on fire.

Never dropped that drink though.

I found a seat at a table and finished off my drink. After a few minutes my homegirls walked up to the table laughing.

"He wants to meet you," they said.
"Who wants to meet me?" I ask with disdain.

And there was the shadow again. This time it covered two tables and scared a white lady into not liking black guys anymore.

I said the Lord's Prayer and looked up.

Wanna know what I saw?

Yep. That guy.

His name is Mark Henry. He's a wrestler. I didn't know that. I thought he was a University of Louisville football player, or at the very least a giant murderer. I was about 98.658% certain that he wanted to take me home, lock me in the basement, and boil me in a pot of Le Petite Black Girl Stew.

I didn't say a word. I got up and walked away.

He followed.

I'm certain this is what we looked like to everyone.
I couldn't get rid of him. 

After a while, I talked to him. We had what might go down in history as the shadiest conversation I've ever had with another human being.

Him: I'm Mark Henry.
Me: That's nice. 
Him: What's your name, beautiful?
Me: That will do.
Him: What? Beautiful?
Me: Yep.
Him: So Beautiful, what are you drinking on?
Me: Water from this point on.
Him: Gotta keep that body right huh?
Me: Some of us care about that kind of thing.
*He rubs his belly.*
Him: You don't like it?
Me: No sir. I don't.
Him: Can I take you out?
Me: Why?
Him: I like you. I can tell we would have a good time.

At this point I'm afraid. Why? Because I'm certain he's a serial killer and he wants to use my skin for an arm brace.

Mahogany comes and saves me. We leave.

As we are walking across the parking lot. He shows up. If you didn't know, Mark Henry moves like a damn ninja. Never seen a big be so damn stealthy.

He asks for my number and a date again.

Mahogany turns around and yells "NO! Shit!"

And then we went home and saw on the television that he had recently signed a contract with the WWF for like $20 million dollars. 

The moral of this story? Never go to the Elk's Lodge. 

Swear this is what he looked like once that Yack took hold of 'em
Next time I'll tell you about a crush who went all Hulk smash when another man (a friend) touched my arm in a way that he deemed unacceptable. If ole boy was trying to get my attention, he got it. Dude was fine as frog hair too. Too bad he was a lunatic.

Moral of that story? Never go to the Elk's Lodge. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Best Friends

I don't have a lot of friends. I never have. I've just never been the I have to have a lot of friends type.

Wanna know something else? Every friend I have made me be their friend. I tried as hard as I could to be antisocial, unfriendly, and pretty much an all around jerk to make them go away. 

Turns out, that kind of stuff is what makes real friends stay. Every single one of them saw through that tough outer shell that I have and got to know the real me. (See also, yesterday's post)

For that reason, I feel like it's disrespectful to pick out one and say that he or she is the "best." They all show me their best self and I do my best to show them the same. 

Every single one of my friends is awesome and special to me. I know I don't tell them as often as I should that I love them and admire them. But I do. 

I don't tell them enough I'm proud of them. But I am. 

I don't talk to them as much as I should. I always say that I'm going to get rid of them. Some of them I even threaten with murder. But they take all terroristic threats with love so don't be calling the people on me. 

So instead of me talking about my best friend. I've decided to tell you why my friends are the best. I made a list. Because that's what I do. 


Reasons Why My Friends Are The Best
  1. They get me. The weird sense of humor, sarcasm, wit, shadiness. They get all of it. And they entertain it. 
  2. They know what I've been through and they don't judge me for it.
  3. They always know the right moment to call or send a text to check on me or make me laugh.
  4. They don't let me disappear.
  5. They bail me out of jail.
  6. They will always throw the first punch in a fight for my honor. 
  7. They make me smile.
  8. They have cute kids that don't act like heathens and make me want to punt them out of the room.
  9. They believe in me. Even when I don't believe in myself.
  10. They know I'm not as hard I try to make folks believe, but they never call me on it.
  11. They send me snacks because they know my options here in the frozen tundra are slim.
So there. Ten reasons plus a bonus on why my friends are better than your friends. 

You mad?

Monday, February 10, 2014


So today I'm supposed to talk about how people see me vs. how I see myself.

This one is going to be a little difficult for me because I'm actually going to have use my brain a little. I don't know about you, but I try not to use the lobes of my brain outside of 9-11 am Monday-Wednesday. 

So here goes.

I'm about 83.847% sure that most of the world sees me like this:
He's a lunatic.
That's right. I know what you all think of me. Y'all think I'm nuts. It's fine. I know I'm not. 

What I am is honest. I'm upfront about most things. And sometimes I can get loud about it. But that's only when I'm passionate. And there are very few things that I'm passionate about. Usually, I'm chilling. Not giving very many damns about life in general.

That doesn't make me crazy though.

That makes me stress free. Well, mostly stress free. 

I am human. 

Some people may see me as very outgoing. Like I don't mind dealing with people to get things done or make things happen.

Not even.

I'm the most unoutgoing person in the world. I'm probably the shyest person you'll ever meet. I don't talk. Hell, I hardly move around if there's a crowd of people. And by crowd I mean more than 3. 

Crowds make me shutdown. I just can't handle being around people.

It's not because I'm evil. I know that's how some people see me.
Not me. I promise.
I've been told more than once that a person didn't approach me because they thought I would rip their head off and eat it praying mantis style.

Not sure where that bad rep came from. I'm not evil. I'm just not friendly. 

There's a difference.

I'm definitely not going to be the life of any party, when the party is over I'll be able to give a full run down of everybody in attendance. I believe most people appreciate my knack for spotting fuckery in a crowded room. I really believe that's why I get invited anywhere. I know it's not for my sunny disposition. 

So, to some of you I guess that really makes me:
Pick one.
There are very, very few people who know the true me. 

If they did, they would totally see me like I see myself:
Cute. Small. Wonderful.
If you got to know me you would know that I'm one of the kindest, gentlest souls ever. I love to have fun (within reason). My laugh is epic. Awkward dancing and people watching are my faves.

It's really sad that most of you will never get to see that side of me. 

Sucks to be you.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Let's Make a Deal

The Warden gave me an assignment to talk about deal breakers in my relationship. I don't want to hear her mouth because I don't have any razor blades left in my stash so I'm just gonna do this to keep her trap on shutdown.

Before I begin the discussion you should know that I have been with my husband since right before I turned 16. On June 22nd, we will have been together for 20 years. This means that I have been with him for over half my life. In fact, if I do the math, I'm pretty sure it's close to 2/3. 

Just keep that lovely factoid in the back of your mind while I go through this, okay?

Back in the day, I kept a deal breaker on tap. I mean why not? I had to have something to put the fear of God and me not dealing with him in him right? A dealbreaker, to me, was a training tool. Something written down in the "Big Book of Shit That Girlfriends Do". I had to make sure I was being the proper kind of boo... so I set some ground rules.

If he didn't call me right back? We breaking up.

If he didn't remember to open doors for me or just be an all around gentleman? We breaking up.

If he didn't get my order right at Wendy's? Oh hell no! We. Breaking.The entire.Fuck.Up.

And I was serious about that foolishness. I'm really not sure why he dealt with it. Well, if you've seen me you know why he dealt with it but... I'm just saying. I'm not sure many other men would have. 

Then again... you've seen me. They probably would have.

As we got older, we made more deals. We broke more deals. And then we made the most major deal that any two people can make. 


We said vows. Those are like the ultimate in contractual agreements. 

And wouldn't you know it, we broke some of those promises too.

Things that I said I would never tolerate, the things that I said would be the reason for me to call it quits, none of it mattered when push came to shove and I had to make a real life decision. 

Maybe I'm a punk. 

It's possible. 

Maybe I'm a sucker. 

That's Likely. 

More than anything though I think the answer would be that I am ridiculously, deeply, wholeheartedly in love with the man that I literally grew up with. 

I can't just up and leave him because he broke some arbitrary rule that I made up for my happiness and comfort. 

That's not true. I totally have a list. 

Tee's Big List of Deal Breakers
  1. Ruin my credit. I've already done that once. I won't be living that less than stellar credit life again, especially not because of something somebody else did. I'll drop him like a bad habit if Experian and Equifax tell me to.
  2. Limit my time with the people I love. And by people I love I mean Justin Timberlake, Robert Downey, Jr., Idris Elba, Willie Geist, Bryan Williams, or Joe Biden. He ever tells me that I have to choose between him and one of my boos? Sayonara sweetie, it's been really real.
  3. Take my handbags away. Just know that if it happens you will see me on the news. 
  4. Dishonesty. Not really down for lies in any way, shape, form, or fashion. I'm too old for that kind of stress. I don't have time to be playing Inch High Private Eye on your ass and trying to figure out what you really meant or what you've been doing. Just tell me the truth and let me figure out what I want to do with it. Unless you're telling me I look better than Beyonce', then I'm with it.
He hasn't even tried to break any of these rules. He knows better. 

Seriously, in the 20 years that we've been together we've been through just about every trial that a couple can go through. If I had stuck to the rules that I set when I was 16 I know I wouldn't be with him.

I'm not saying that I'd be alone. You've seen me right?

I'm just saying that I wouldn't be with the person that I know God made for me. 

After writing all of that, I'm not sure that I made a point. Actually, I'm pretty sure I didn't. Whatever. I hope whoever is reading this got something out of it. Good night. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye - R.I.P. Derek Fulson

The world lost someone that I consider a friend today. 

In his 33 years he touched a LOT of lives. You would have never met a more genuine, all around delightful person. If you needed prayer he prayed for you. If you fell he found a way to lift you up.

Because he was just a nice guy.

I don't know what kind of hard times he lived through, because he showed nothing but positivity. I don't know what kind of pain he endured, because it was rare that he wasn't smiling.

I'll never forget that smile. It could warm the coldest hearts. And trust me when I tell you it did. He was the only stranger at the University of Kentucky that made me talk. And he did it with that smile. 

That smile and words of encouragement got me through some rough days during undergrad.

And a few years ago, when I was experiencing some of my darkest days he sent me smiles through text messages and inboxes.

Because that's the kind of guy he is. He was about happiness, love, and friendship. 

I just know he made a difference in my life. And I didn't even realize how big it was until I found out he was gone. 

I usually say that I live my life without regret. But I do have one now.

I never got to say thank you to my friend.

So now I say, thank you Derek Fulson. 

Thank you for being a friend to me when I needed one. Thank you for laughing with me. Thank you for laughing at me. Thank you for people watching with me in the Student Center. Thank you for keeping me from getting arrested that one time in front of Memorial Hall. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for listening when I tried to encourage you. Thank you for praying for me. Thank you for your smile. Thank you for your art. Thank you for baking me a cake full of sunshine when everything in my life was cloudy. Thank you for your drive. Thank you for being you.

I will never, ever forget you. 

I know right now you and St. Peter are probably laughing at my cry face, but I'm not even gonna side-eye you for it. Rest easy bruh. 

- Cheeks

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Diary of an Unemployed American: Federal Freebie Edition NSFW

I've been doing my best to perfect my ability to do nothing.  Things are actually going pretty well.  Yesterday, I actually slept until 6:45 am.  #thuglife

Because I have no job and therefore have no money, I've also been spending a lot of time looking for people who will give me shit for free.  Hey, I'm pretty sure you're judging me right now, chile I ain't got no worries.  As much as I pay in taxes when I am earning money leads me to believe that I deserve as much free stuff as these two arms can carry.  Hell, if they let me toss some stuff in the hatchback of my Hyundai I'll be doing that too. 

 Picture me rollin'.

So, anyway I was talking about free stuff for federal employees.  It's pretty much everywhere if you beg correctly.  I've gotten burgers, pizza, popcorn... there's a theme here.  I probably should be requesting... oh I don't know... free rent or free cable... but husky girls gotta live to. Don't judge.

People are really trying to do their part to make life a little easier for the unemployed federal workers.  In fact, there's one company that is trying to make life super sweet for some of us that have too much time on our hands.

Imagine my surprise when this landed in my inbox.  

Company offers free vibrators to federal employees furloughed in the government shutdown says it is prepared to ship up to 200 vibrators per day to federal workers who, due to the shutdown, may "have a little too much time" on their hands.

A Michigan company is offering free vibrators to government employees furloughed in the current government shutdown.

 For as long as the government is closed, is offering 200 free vibrators per day to furloughed government employees.

VIBRATORS.COM is offering free vibrators to furloughed federal employees for the duration of the current government shutdown. Never has a government shutdown proven so sexually arousing. recently announced the promotion, which the company says will last as long as the impasse between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama drags on.
“Are you a federal employee that has been deemed non-essential?” an ad for the giveaway states. “Do you have a little too much time on your hands and nothing to do? Is the recent government shutdown to blame?” founder Tom Nardone came up with the publicity stunt, which has so far been warmly received by federal employees left out in the cold.
“We are going to fill as many orders as we can,” Nardone said in a comment thread of an article in Cosmopolitan announcing the promotion. “We figure we can ship out 200 or so a day without slowing down the shipments of other customers.”
With an estimated 800,000 federal employees currently waiting out the government shutdown and no clear end for the standoff in sight, may yet find itself hard put to fill all of the orders it receives. That prospect doesn’t seem to be deterring the company, however. 
“As vibrator enthusiasts, we want everyone to experience the pleasure that a nice vibrator can bring to partners and individuals,” said in its ad. “Besides, we know you have some free time, why not try something new?”

Read more:


Folks are out of work.  Some people don't know how they are going to feed their kids or pay their bills... and y'all think a pocket rocket will help? Because we have more "time on our hands"?

No sir!!!

I guess it's the thought that counts. 

Somebody call me when Five Guys starts giving away cheeseburgers.  Because that's the only kind of freebie I care to take seriously. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Diary of An Unemployed American: Day.... 3, I Think But Don't Quote Me On That...

I'm not sure how long I've been unemployed.  It feels like forever.  All of the days are beginning to run to together.  I haven't been this out of it since that one time in undergrad when I thought it would be a good idea to mix NoDoz and Pepsi.  

I don't understand how people live this aintshit lifestyle.  Doing nothing is hard damn work.  

Right now I my head is half full of twists... I look like a strange hybrid of Gary Coleman and Coolio.  And let me tell you honey... that picture you see in your head ain't nowhere near how unacceptable I'm looking right now. 

I blame John Boehner.  His coif is always perfection.  But I'm walking these streets looking like depression and dastardly deeds. 

My nails look like I've been walking on my hands through broken glass and lava rock.  If it wasn't for this shutdown, I'd be sitting in Holly's chair getting my hands and feet dipped in hot wax and getting the leg massage of life. But let me tell you something my friend, cheese and crackers ain't cheap.  So since I don't have a job I have to sacrifice that awesomeness for food and water. 

That's all Nancy Pelosi's fault.  I bet my paycheck... well if I had one, that she has her nails done.  Ole well put together heffa.

I woke up this morning and I had bruises and scratches on my knee and it was swollen.  I'm pretty sure I walked into a wall or something last night.  If I had a job I would only have a reason to want to drink... but no time to act on it.  Therefore, I wouldn't play full contact sports with shit that don't move.  And my knee wouldn't look like it has it's own heartbeat.  

That's all Mitch McConnell's fault.  His old hateful ass probably put a arthritic root on me so I'd  walk around all frail like him.  Ole geriatric jerk.

Well, I guess I'll go to sleep or something.  Maybe when I wake up this nightmare will be over.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Questions for an Unemployed American

Somebody with a job asked: How do you think America ended up here... Polarized? Who should we blame for this shutdown debauchery?!?!

Simply put, we are in this place because people are stupid. 

Republicans are out of touch with what the people of America really need.  Democrats are too giving.  And the Tea Party is just crazy.  I can't really say much about Libertarians and other parties.  Mainly because they don't say much either.

I don't know who we should blame.  But I'm doing my damndest to blame everybody! 

I blame the President. 
I blame John Boehner.
I blame Harry Reid.
I blame every member of the House. 
I blame every member of the Senate.  
I blame the Speaker of the House. 
I blame the Minority Whip. 
I blame the pages.
I blame the interns.  
I blame Bo the Dog.  

I blame ALL of em.  

Instead of getting into pissing contests and trying to figure out whose balls are bigger they should do the damn jobs that they were elected for.  But every day they do dumb shit that convinces me that they aren't even sure what that is.

I think it's ridiculous that I'm unemployed and eating Top Ramen and scraping the bottom of Dinty Moore soup cans and these fools can't get their shit together. 

They don't even know WHY the shutdown happened.

For example, this genius out of Indiana, Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) said, "We're not going to be disrespected.  We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."


Are you serious? I'm over here slapping my veins like a damn heroin addict so Nurse Nellie can get this plasma and you don't even!!

Sir. Get you entire life and have a stadium full of uncomfy ass seats!

And on top of not knowing why it happened, the dumbass dummies don't even know WHAT is happening! 

For example, apparently Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and em didn't realize that when you shut down the federal government shit like, oh I don't know, federal parks get shut down too

*big ass blank stare*

Sooooo.... they ain't even know how far reaching this would be? Just shutting down the government all willy nilly thinking that the only people affected would be people who sit at desks all day? 

I can't.

So anyway, to answer your question. I blame stupidity. Apparently, stupidity is running rampant in the Congressional streets.  I don't know how to fix it other than voting all of these assclowns out and starting over. 

Since that won't be happening for a while, perhaps we all can contact our Congressional representatives and let them know exactly how we feel about the shutdown and the piss poor decisions they have made.