The Jackson-Sow Nature Reserve: A Vignette

Baby B and YLS sit down so that Baby B can teach Sr. how to play chess. And by that, we mean Baby B creates the rules as he goes along, with the only static rule being “Baby B always wins.”

Baby B extended the invitation to me some weeks ago, but I was working on job application #5 then, and am working on application #479 now, with Real Beards (sorry, Porsha) of Atlanta playing in the background. Marley Jackson is curled up comfortably on the ottoman, head to tail, natch, because his nemesis is running around in the backyard, allowing the cold air to whip between her whiskers while she searches for day old poo (her own) that she can snack on, while wishing it belonged to the cats.

Baby B sets the board up beautifully. He has learned how to play (read: win, illicitly) chess in latchkey, after all. His father is amused, and impressed by the fact that his motormouthed blur of energy had the discipline to sit down and learn a game like . Let the games begin. Within 20 seconds, they are semi-playfully insulting each other because Baby B has informed YLS that he has decided that they will play by a special set of rules. Marley stretches, both his legs and his mouth, before recoiling again, making it obvious to everyone that someone really should order him more chicken-flavored toothpaste as his catlitosis breezes through the room.

Or perhaps Aimee has simply returned from her poo binge, wearing the scent of her hunting expedition.

She promptly runs down the stairs, tail wagging, unfazed by Marley’s pre-emptive hissing. She tramples the chessboard before circling back, snatching a couple pawns and a bishop in her mouth and taking her captives to her crate. Game over.

Baby B screams. Had he not been interrupted, he would have surely won.

Anthony Bourdain and Post-post-post-racial Detroit (the latter does not exist).

Dear Anthony Bourdain, 60 Minutes, et al.,


How is it that all the white people who do stories on Detroit manage to portray the city as if it’s 85% white and not 85% black?


Is that some sort of ploy to justify a white mayor-elect who lives in Livonia?

Or is it some literal grasp of “name it and claim it” Pentecostalism? Like, portray the truth you wish existed?

Or is it just extreme white privilege….not noticing the 600,000 black faces and wondering where everyone went?

Like, seriously, how is THAT possible? It’s racist, it’s rude, it’s false, and I’m OVER it.


And I won’t even start in on gender. A whole conversation about if there are any young male lawyers who can run for mayor? Women don’t go to law school? WOW.



Angry and invisible black woman in Detroit



Baby B, on Halloween


On school festivities: 

“Le pizza! Le candy! Le chips! Even juice! Everything! Everything!!!!!”


On greedy teenage trick-or-treaters:

“You coming my house….you not wearing le Halloween….you big… you asking candy?! C’est PAS BIEN, ca! You getting out! Out my house! You not getting my Halloween! SORT!”


The vote of thanks, before bed:

“Et Dieu, meme today you give me Halloween! Halloween, c’est trop neex! I say Hallelujah! Candy, pizza, chips, et pizza encore! Meme beaucoup de fete. Vraiment, mach’allah!  On te remercie pour le Halloween in cheese’s name. Amine waye.”



“Je vais porter quel costume pour le Thanksgiving? Je peux m’habiller comme le Spiderman!?”