Home Again! Part I

(You knew it would have to be at least 2 parts! I was gone a week!)

I know you guys missed me. I missed you too! I am smacking down face first into loser week, you know, the first week back from vacay. You realize your actual life is not nearly as fun as your vacay life. Alas... I shall start recapping my lovely time in the Queeeeeeeen City and only one day after my return!! Aren't you guys excited! This may be a record for me.
I wake up and it is ridiculously cold. I mean 30s cold. So despite the fact I don't plan on needing a coat or gloves, I am forced to take them. HOWSOMEVER (tell me that's not the funniest word in America), I refused to take the earmuffs.

Because its just too much. I mean really people. I'm trying to EMBRACE spring. I'll go with cold ears for a few minutes enterring and exiting buildings just so I don't have to add another thing for me to carry. My bag was HEAVY!! For no reason. In fact, when I got to the airport, I found out it was 68 lbs... that's 18 lbs. over the limit. That means I had to pay a $25 fee. Whatev. Just get me to Charlotte!!! I had a while to wait so I went to Friday's to get a cobb salad. (instead of rocquefort, mine had blue and cheddar cheeses... blue I understand but the cheddar was an odd substitute... still good, but odd). I was feenin for some avacado. I LOVE AVACADO!!! MMMMM. I also had a mojito! LOVE mojitos. Muddle away! Cheers!

I finally get on the plane headed to Cleveland... do you know this is the smallest plane in the world? I know I'm using a lot of absolutes here but deal. I walk out onto the tarmac and this plane seats 15 people! Wait a minute. I work in news. I watch lots of news. America's most frequent plane crashes are with small planes. Granted, they're 2-4 seaters, not commuter planes, but STILL! I don't need to hear the propellers for my entire ride. Geez. I get to Cleveland, then I wait more for my flight to Charlotte. FINALLY!! We are boarding! The pilot says its 72 degrees in Charlotte!!! Wheeeeeee! That's compared to 47 in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. As we approach Charlotte Douglas International Airport, I spot the red clay of my hometown.... WELCOME HOME!! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!! I'm finally back!! 11 months since my last visit, I have returned. All shall rejoice! I didn't bother to contain my excitement and clap excitedly.

I'm fielding phone calls before I even get off the plane good. I mean I have walked 8 steps inside the airport and one of my friends is shrieking in my ear! That's love, folks! Then I talk to my mom and she is still at work! Mommy!! I get my luggage quickly (I wasn't flying US Air) and wait about 15 minutes. I threaten to mug this guy for his Bojangles, but decided not to. Self control people. It's miraculous.
Mom and I head to Wal-Mart so I can buy a digital camera (and subsequently take 1,324 pictures of myself). Then we go home and I talk to Kyle for the 3rd time that day. Joy of joys.

I wake up, read a little bit, my homie MJJ comes to pick me up and I meet the adorable Tristan!! He is the sweetest little 3-month-old butterball in the world. So cute. I was glad too. I didn't have to lie. You know all babies are not cute. M, Tristan, and I head to Showmars!!!!! Wheeeeeee! They're only in NC and SC. I have a gyro with cucumber sauce and fries. MMMMMMMMMMM! So delish.
Then MJJ and I go get our pedicures (I brought nothing but open-toed shoes!) and while she's looking at my pics, her pedi lady asks to see them... are you insane? For what? Do you know these people? So bizarre. Next stop, Southpark Mall... *the heavens just opened and sun beamed down* NORDSTROM!!!!!!!!! I love Nordstrom. Saw the cutest Nanette Lepore jacket... but it was $450 so I left it there. M tried on this cute dress at Bebe, then left it for 20 minutes to think about it, came back and it was GONE! So we had to trudge halfway across the world (or the city, whatever) to Northlake Mall, Charlotte's newest mall to get her size. Then home again. Talked to Kyle 3xs this day. Wheeeeeeeee!

PARTY TIME!! I started off the day with more reading. So far I've read In Style magazine, 4 Blondes (crap, don't waste your time), and started Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. That's actually a good book. It's a series of essays by writer David Sedaris. I bought both books because they were $1 at Borders. The second I bought because I was intrigued by the title and cover. I ALWAYS judge books by their cover. I say its the only way.

I take a walk around the neighborhood. With the hills and valleys, its a great workout. Especially since only half the neighborhood is a 2 mile walk. So I did half the neighborhood, and that's mostly because it was HOT! The high was 78 or 80 and it was near that by the time I took my walk. Heat wears you out... So I took a nap. Hurray naps! M came to pick me up so we could head Uptown... interesting thing about Charlotte... what everyone else in the world would consider downtown, we call uptown. Wikipedia just told me why! Center City (Trade and Tryon) is the highest point of elevation. You're going UP to town. How interesting. Looky there. Learning is key people! M and our other homie T are going to the Jamie Foxx concert. Tickets were $70 and he was the only performer... I'll pass. So I took a walk around uptown instead to reacclimate myself with my homeland. I was wearing cigarette pants, a polka dot shirt, and these shoes...

Too cute.

I LOVE partying in downtown (hush. yes I interchange the names). I head to the Graduate to watch the games (college bball) and have a few drinks. First drink: Patron Rita (lime juice, Patron, Grand Marnier) mmmmm, 2nd drink: Imagination (3 Olives Grape Vodka, Absolut Citron, pineapple juice, cranberry juice)... no thanks. Not tasty. Then my mom came downtown for dinner. We ate at Zink's. Mom had the cuban sliders, I had a chicken panini with these fantastic fries flavored with salt, pepper and oregano. Yum.

Guess what? It was also my Sigmaversary! I've been in my sorority for FIVE years now. That's insane. I feel old and young at the same time. My chapter just brought in 10 girls. So congrats to Spring '07.

My mom dropped me off near Bobcats Arena to meet up with my crew. I saw one of my Hampton homies I didn't even know lived in the area! and one of my Hampton little brothers (almost everyone at Hampton had a little bro or sis, I always picked ones from Charlotte except the year I was a student leader).

We head down to Menage for the official afterparty. I hate this club. First I stopped going because there were some allegations of the managment firing the Power 98 d.j. because they didn't like the increasingly Black crowd. It was starting to become a hot spot for the young black professionals. I don't know why that would be a problem but whatever. So this was my first time back there since those allegations. We go in and it's all right. I had a sex on the beach, a blue motorcycle (essentially a blue long island ice tea minus the coke), a tanqueray and tonic, then a Michelob. We were there from 11 until about 2:30. It didn't get fun until the end, though I did here some good music from my homeland!! Whooo!! I saw this guy I grew up with. Some guy asked me if my boyfriend was there with me. What? Such an odd question. Does it matter if he's here? If I'm going to give you some attention, any boyfriend is irrelevant. Unfortunately for you, I'm NOT going to give you any attention. Sorry about that.

Then we went upstairs to the "VIP" area. Yeah right. I saw Emeka Okafor and thanked him for playing for the Bobcats (hilarious), then I tapped him on the shoulder again, he bent waaaaaay down and I said, "And no matter what happens, Duke is still better than UConn." He laughed. So fun. He's cuter in person. I need him to stop getting injured!!!! Afterward M and I got up with one of her friends to eat at Waffle House. Vomit. I hate that place. They are so dirty. But at 3 in the morning, breakfast is fantastic. I got home at 4, talked to Kyle (again) for 1/2 an hour. He said he said to me, "I was going to eat something quick like a sandwich, but maybe I'll just go to sleep." I said, "I'm sleepy too, bye! *click*" Hilarious. I do not recall that but if you say so!

Anyhow, I have a headache right now from all these links and pics. Part II to come soon! You'd like a preview? Ok. Hanging with cousins, more cute shoes, ribs, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, potato salad, sweet potato pie, transformating (sic)!, oh my! Prepare yourselves.



I gave up on working out today because I mean really. I don't want to. I'm going walking with my mom at home. I went on Sunday in case I didn't get to go again this week. I need to wash my hair, finish packing (amazed that I actually started yesterday. I'm so proud of that. I NEVER pack early.), my last load of clothes is in the washing machine.

Speaking of which, AMAZING!! I realized I have too many clothes. I know, I know! I, too, say there's no such thing!! But I had 6 loads and still had clothes to choose from. That's too many clothes. And yet... still nothing to wear! Hahahaha. I also counted the shoes I bought and know I want to take back and haven't been to Charlotte and I only counted 6. There may be more but those are the ones I'm sure of. One pair I bought at the end of the season for $20 at my fave store, Nine West (my mom says she goes in sometimes to see what I've bought recently. How cute is that?), and I FORGOT I HAD THEM! I left them in the box for the season and had never worn them. SO excited. Can't wait to wear them.

Anywho. I'm going home tomorrow. I'm sure I'll get to post again in the next week but I'm not sure when so this may have to hold you for the next week! Browse through the archives. Pick a topic, any topic. I'm sure you'll find something you like. I'm soooooooo interesting. :) Lolol. I'll miss you all mucho!



See definitions 1-4.

Is it hilarious to anyone else that there is an urban online dictionary and you can just submit your definitions? That cracks me up.

Let's talk about a few problems. One: Tuesday it was 74 degrees. That night the low was 61!!! Ok. I'm not crazy. I know this is Pittsburgh. I don't expect that to happen everyday. Maybe in August. Summer is about 2 weeks here. That's from a Pittsburgher. I LOVE summer here. It's not oppressive like it is at home. But winter? And "spring"? Keep it. TODAY, March 16th, it is SNOWING (2-4" expected) and 27 degrees. MAKE IT STOP!! (btw I think there should be a degree on the keyboard and a cent key.)

Two: iTunes hates thugs. I will tell you how I know this. I went about researching for my trip by looking at radio website countdowns in Atlanta, DC, Houston and Dallas (Charlotte's Power 98 was not at all helpful which made me very unhappy!!!) Also remember all the help I asked my favorite hoodrats for (some of my favorites did not help at all! hmph!)? Well, I went looking for some of those things, particularly the Heizman (thanks V!!!!) because that dance and song CRACK. ME UP!!!!!! and I love that video, but guess what? Unavailable. I was also not able to find DJ Khaled's song with Baby and Lil Wayne, Da Shop Boyz or Huey's Pop Lock and Drop It. That one was on there but there was some odd version of it. IT'S NOT RIGHT!! So. I have no other choice but to conclude iTunes hates thugs. This is a problem when I'm trying not to be the wack one in the club.

I WAS able to add a few Unk songs. And not 2 Step or Walk it Out. I think both of those are stupid. I also got Mike Jones song Mr. Jones which cracks me up, Break 'Em Off by Paul Wall, though I normally don't like him, I like this song. The remix to Throw Some D's On It. Rock Yo Hips (Chris is celebrating, probably throwing up gang signs), and the Make it Rain Remix. That will have to do for now.

Three: I just realized on Wednesday that not only have I not been home in almost a year, I have not taken a week long trip since I came home for spring break in 2004. Do you know how many clothes and shoes and purses that is? I have to bring home every single pair of shoes I've bought in the last 11 months. I mean it's only 12 pairs or so but in addition to the normal shoes, COME ON!!!! Lol. Someone just looked at the screen like this girl is crazy.

I haven't bought anything in several weeks to prep to buy things at home which means I will also need to save room in my suitcase to bring back the spoils. NORDSTROM!!! There isn't one in Pittsburgh and I LOVE their shoe department in Charlotte. DIVINE. I'm gonna have a blast. AND one of my Hamptonians is having a wine and cheese the Sunday I'm home. Oooh la la! That's the same day my mom is cooking for everyone. I will have to dip out after a few hours. That's ok. I know I'm the guest of honor, but HELLO! I'm the social butterfly, this is how life is for me. Hang on for the ride or jump off! I can't wait y'all! Even if I just see my cousins, my friends, the beautiful Tristan Joshua and my mom, I will be overjoyed. I know we will go out at least one night which means I will have a BALL!! T minus 5 days!!

Guess what Chris? I'm listening to it RIGHT NOW!!!! Lol.


This is Why

I love him...

He calms me.

I was on 10. I mean really, really angry around 11:15 this morning. I saw my whole day disentegrating. I was more than an hour behind schedule. I needed to go to the gym, go eat, go to the DMV, wash my hair, wash clothes, blog, talk to my mom and maybe Kyle. I might have worn him out yesterday. We hadn't talked, talked in days because he was so busy putting together the Gym Gems of the Year... (did anyone see them? They were magnificent!! And I don't just say that because I love him. I'm not that kind of girl. I can be blunt and slightly harsh... I'm sure you hadn't noticed that about me) We'd talked about his progress on them and various random other things, but it was usually a quick and dirty conversation (not that kind of dirty you pervs), 15-20 minutes and done. I NEED SOME SUBSTANCE!!

(sidenote: we ordinarily talk a minimum of 25 minutes a day with 2-3 days of 90 minute plus conversations. Once a month (maybe less), we talk 3 or more hours. Yes I know its insane. Usually by the end, even we have no idea how we talked that long and about what. It was the same way when we were just friends).


I called him to vent but he didn't answer so I just yelled at his answering machine for about 4 minutes. I felt slightly better but still not as good as talking to him. I was talking to one of my work homies sitting outside the gym when he called back so he left a message.

I had a half smile at the start of the message, a dreamy look in the middle, then a full on cheese, giant smile at the end. The message was only about 3 minutes but I was ready to go have a productive work-out and just relax.

One of my father's best traits is the ability to listen without judgement when you really need it, then give stellar, calming advice. I'm so grateful to have found that in the man I love.


Help a Sista Out

I NEED NEW MUSIC!! My ipod is begging me AND I'm getting bored of my workout (ahem, Madam, WHERE is this new site?). I am just 9 days from going home and am terrified at how wack I will be in the club. Soon as I figure out what dance it is all the kids are doing around me, the song is off never to be heard again. DAMNDAMNDAMNJames!!!!!! Sigh. So I need all of you, especially the Southerners (this includes you La, my favorite hoodrat) and Southern transplants. WHAT is going on down there??????

Can I tell you how much I love food? I can't wait to go to Showmars and Bojangles. MMMMMMM. Oooh! And Lupie's. And MY MOMMA'S!! Oh buddy. If you're gonna be in Charlotte March 21st-28th, holla at me. March 25th? Food party!!!!!!!! Oh yeah. Ridiculous. I'm gonna lose my mind when I go home. I'm already on the verge.

*Side note: someone PLEASE tell Justin Timberlake to sit down. You can NEVER be bad enough to come at Prince. EVER. You are out of your mind. Makes me want to throw away your cd because you have no respect. LIL' BOY YOU ARE TRYING TO STEAL HIS STEEZE AND THAT OF EVERY OTHER BLACK SINGING ICON!! SIT. DOWN!!


Jameil and Kyle

Wednesday I see Kyle has called me 2 additional times since the first 3 calls to let me know he'd actually gotten out of Hartford this time (gasp!) I got worried. Was there some snow on his layover I'd forgotten to ask the weather people about? (It's so convenient to work somewhere where there are meteorologists on site who can tell you these things. Even more convenient when they like you enough to look it up! Hurray!) I call back because I'm sure he'll only be on the ground a few more minutes. He prefers when I listen to his messages, THEN call him back (annoying).

He answers, then asks if I listened to his message. Sigh. I explain the above. He says, "Please go listen." ARGH!!!!!! I listen... "blah blah blah... cancelled flight (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!)... blah blah blah, but transferred to earlier flight, blah blah blah, I'm here. " Huh? YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! There's also one talking about how he can't even think straight because he needs something to sleep! Hilarious. Po sleepy baby. But I'm WIDE awake.

I head to the airport. Scoop my darling, then head to Robinson Towne Center, eat some Chick-Fil-A. I buy a speaker for my iPOD so we can have something to listen to in the hotel room. Then we head to the hotel. He falls asleep within minutes and stays knocked out for 4 hours. BORING. I nap, then read some of In An Instant. He finally wakes up, remember when I said I hope he can tell I've been working out and Epsi said he wasn't going to mention it? He did mention it! He said he could tell I was smaller all around. Knew it. I had already told him he better notice, but I could tell he wasn't just talking.

We get dressed and head to South Side Works and McCormick and Schmick's for dinner. He had pecan encrusted tilapia with mashed potatoes. I had salmon penne with asparagus and mushrooms. Both delicious.

I'd called my work homie Lauren to meet us on the South Side to hit a couple of bars. I was the d.d. so I had one beer the whole night. Aren't you proud?! :) Our first stop was Fat Head's. We watched another dismal Duke loss... sigh. They are so pitiful this year. But I still love them. We also watched another one of Kevin Durant's insane games. Acie Law lost his mind as well. Double OT. Fab game.

Next stop, Casey's. Sigh. This bar is known for something referred to as Midget Madness. An excerpted description from BarSmart, "When someone buys the bar a shot for ten dollars, Man Boy comes out of his box at the end of the bar and poors a shot into everyone's mouth!" Man Boy is a midget... they keep him in a CURTAINED BOX?!?!!?!?!?! Foolishness. He was not in the box this night, just walking around. But there were all kinds of other uncomfortable things in there including a GIANT CONFEDERATE FLAG. Interestingly enough, I haven't discussed my feelings about the confederate flag. In an nutshell, it's a symbol of racism in that it was proudly waved when fighting to keep Black people enslaved, burn and bomb Black homes and crosses in Black yards as intimidation and during the lynchings of Black men. It is also currently used by skinheads and members of the KKK. If that's the "history" you want to remember and the legacy you want to uphold, please allow me to distance myself from you. Thanks. Only good thing: $1.50 Yuenglings. Not enough to entice me back.

Final stop, Tiki Lounge. By the time we were headed back to our hotel in Greentree around 2 a.m., the bf was quite tipsy. Another time asleep within minutes. Wow... YOU ARE BORING!! Lol. I tried to wake him up at 8. What? I was awake. I was not successful. I tried again at 9. No dice. 10 am!!! HEY!! Finally awake. THANKS!! We lay around for hours and hours and hours until both of us are so hungry we are eating each others' arms. (too strange to eat your own, right?)

We finally make it to my fave breakfast/trip place, Cracker Barrel, yay!! We both got breakfast, of course. Then we headed to Mt. Washington to ride the incline and see the view. Uhh.... we did NOT have that view. It was a typical Pittsburgh day... cloudy and overcast. It was still fab-o looking at the city from that high up (he was not the fan, too high for his taste, which is odd since I consider myself afraid of heights). He also said, "Ehh... it would be prettier if the water wasn't brown." LMAO!!! This ain't Cabo, baby. Speaking of lovely water, anyone else need a Bahamavention? I love those commercials and that website. Paroxysms of joy I tell you, paroxysms!!!

Anywho... then we went to the South Side again to attempt to see a movie but nothing good was playing. So we left, went back to the telly to watch... telly... and giggle and be silly. It was inordinately fun. Quite possibly my fave part of the trip. I LOVE hanging with him. He is fantasmirawesomlous. It's great. We watched most of Just Friends, mildly amusing and laugh out loud funny at times, and Prime featuring Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman. It was amusing. The only reason we didn't finish "Prime" is because SOMEBODY could not take the hunger 5 minutes longer. WHAT fresh hell? So we went to Subway. Guess what he asked me the next day. "What happened at the end of the movie?" You are joking right? Hilarious! Who does this?

We ate our sandwiches at the telly, then went to sleep for a few hours, woke up at 3:30 a.m., ate breakfast together, then I took him to the airport. Lovely trip. Can't wait to see him again.


Guess Who's Back?

Ahhhh yeah! So the weather is doing its best to beat the crap out of any residual joy I may have over those days in the 40s and one or two in the 50s over the last week. Today? Wind chills in the single digits and teens with snow! PASS!!! Sick of it. Ready for spring like yesterday.

Kyle and I had a great time! I'll touch on that when I have more time. I will say the last couple of hours before he leaves are uber depressing. Like smother me with a cornhusk pillow then kick me in the spleen depressing. Sigh.

I just finished ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff's book with his wife, Lee, called In An Instant. It was really good. Did you know he was in a coma for 36 days after he was injured by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq? That's insane. He also had traumatic brain injury and had to re-learn much of his vocabulary. His recovery is ongoing as it is for all traumatic brain injuries. Another good biographical TBI book is Where is the Mango Princess? It was my first TBI book and I loved it. It was fascinating. I pick all books by their titles which explains why I even picked that one up in the first place. The Woodruff's book also made me look at my own journalistic aspirations. Very good book. I consider it a must read for all journalists and aspiring journalists.

16 days until I go home!!!!!!!!! Can't wait. I'm about to lose my mind. Vacay is great.