Thinking Thanksgiving!

I'm so excited about Thanksgiving!  I can't wait to eat yummy food and cook it and spend time with my mom and my Rashan and my sister.  If I could get Stace up here, it would be the perfect Thanksgiving!  I love having all of my favorite people in one place.  Preferably all at arms reach.  You didn't know I was spoiled?  I'm SO spoiled!!  It's great.  I've been planning my menu for weeks.  That part is Aretha's fault.  She's been planning hers for MONTHS.  Yeah... ol psycho self!  Lol.

Okay it's raining really hard right now as I write this at 1:30 in the morning.  It's crazy.  I don't feel like focusing.  I'm trying to clear off the DVR and I saw this shiny gold glitter nail polish by OPISephora.  I tested it out on my thumb nails and I adore it!  I am looking for any excuse to buy... not it but a cheaper version of it.  The glitter is in assorted sizes and so cute!  it almost looks like paint splotches.  So cool!  My friend suggested WetNWild.... Honey... that is NO sub for OPI.  And it's really not okay for you to suggest it.  I'm a SallyHansen girl myself.  Cheap but effective!

I went a little crazy on makeup the other day.  The ELF makeup array?  HORRID.  It DOES.NOT show up on even moderately dark skin.  Seriously?  Who does that work for?  The colors look incredibly vibrant in the palette... and they're NOT.  Fail.  And I want my money back.

Dear Life, Can I get back to cooking?  And learn to say no when people ask me to hang out?  Please?  Love, Jameil

I need furniture.

I want some chicken...


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 71

1) Last Monday: I have reached the, "This sucks portion of the semester."  I hate everything right now.  This Monday: EVERYTHING doesn't suck... but some things do... a lot.
2) Post of the week: What's in the freezer?  Probably not for the faint of heart.
3) Tevrow & Chase ... found the brand on a fashion blog and now want to marry it....  It was from this post.  LOOK AT THAT SKIRT!!!  And included the best phrase ever (she was working in the church nursery unexpectedly): They may just be toddlers but it's not too early for them to learn about fabulous.  Indeed.
4) Guess who got engaged last weekend??? My bff Adei!!  Yay!!!  Everybody congratulate her!!
5) Is it bad that I very soon afterward started wondering what I'll be wearing to her wedding? LOL
6) The Record Dish would be growing cobwebs if not for Stace finally posting over there.  I have two computers right now and to keep myself from going nuts I do the majority of stuff on the work computer and end up doing almost everything here.  But I put pics on The Record Dish which requires me to use my personal computer.  Too much hassle and I never get around to it.  I'm at least 3 recipes and 3 outfit posts behind.  Oops.  I have posts scheduled for the week, though!
7) My friends retweet an ex and it makes me SO glad we parted ways.  It was a toxic relationship and he has NOT evolved.  If he has, he hasn't evolved enough.
8) I hate when people misuse the word "well."  "What would look well."  You mean good.
9) Can someone make it possible for me to cook more?  Please??  Thanks.
10) I need to start researching my paper due in a few weeks.  Let me get that together.  Mk?  :)
11) I've seen so many episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" in the last two weeks that I don't know if I need to see another.  I will... but I won't like it... all.
12) There's also NOT A CHANCE my future husband will see me in my dress before I walk down the aisle on our wedding day.  Roll out.


Movies 2010, Weeks 39 & 40

October 10-16, 2010
191) Godfather II.  I know, I know.  You can't believe I'd never seen it.  Really good movie!  4.1 stars

October 17-23, 2010
I really wonder how many movies I'll watch this year at this rate but who has time to watch movies?  A lot of people, I'm sure but if I'm ever going to watch tv or leave the house or cook, not me.
192) Summer Stock. Judy Garland and Gene Kelly's last film together about a theater troupe that arrives at a farm to practice for a play.  Weak start, decent middle, kind of odd abrupt end.  I liked hearing "Get Happy."  3.6 stars
193) City Island.  Indie film about a family full of secrets.  Quite amusing with some good acting on multiple fronts.  The end had some dissatisfaction, but mostly I liked it.  4 stars
194) In the Loop.  Amusing British satire about the start of a war.  Silly and ridiculous but in a smart way.  3.8 stars
195) No End in Sight.  Documentary about the botching of the reconstruction of Iraq .  Y'all know I have a sensitive propaganda meter and read a lot anyway so I didn't feel like this covered any new ground and it made the "opposition" look foolish or evil.  That's always annoying to me.  It also felt repetitive.  It would make a point, then continue to make that point some more.  Why?  3 stars


Friday? Again? Already?

I hit that "I hate life" portion of the semester this week.  I walked out of class on Monday hating the world and everybody in it.  I hated all the work I had already done, all the work I was in the middle of, and all the work still to come.  Yeah... that bad.  I've since recovered...  That was quick...  While I love teaching, it makes me impatient about being a student.  I'm just ready to get that part over with so I can get on with the rest of my life.

Now I'm like where the heck did the week go?  I seriously feel like I looked up last night and was like, "Tomorrow's Friday???"  I go all week long non-stop, come home and watch tv and work then work some more.  It's such a ridiculous pattern but I think I can handle it and thankfully, now I know the rest of this year will go ahead and get itself behind me.  Yippee for that!  Peace out, loser!


Fitness Update

As you remember, I started working with a trainer on campus a few weeks ago.  Things got off to a rough start when the kid front desk didn't know whether or not they took debit cards, then I had to run all over campus to get cash.  What on earth?  Why don't you know basic info???  So I was late and my trainer had an attitude.  I have enough attitude for the both of us, I don't need yours.  She rushed through the appointment.  It was a very unpleasant experience.  So unpleasant that I voiced my displeasure to the trainer coordinator.  Apologies all around.  Next time, I still don't really like my trainer's personality.  She's too abrupt and almost manically energetic.  Not in a good trainer way, in a please sit down somewhere way.  Scattered.  Yes.  Perfect word.  I also never felt like we were really working toward my goals.  If we were, she never really mentioned my goals unless I asked and then it was like ehhh...  I want to lose 7 lbs. (I know that's odd but it will make my clothes fit better), to be more toned and to be able to run a 5k without stopping.

The other thing is I was beyond the good sore after each session.  I couldn't walk, sit or stand for days.  Yes, I know I'm supposed to feel sore and learn new muscles but I also know we were moving too quickly.  And I didn't feel like she was listening when I told her it wasn't really a good sore.  I know a good workout sore and that ain't it.  I was wondering if it was me or if personal training wasn't for me.  I had gotten to the point where I didn't want to go workout.  That's never good.  So I looked up things about what to expect from a trainer (should be certified, ask you about injuries, etc.) and she had all the makings of a good trainer or paper.  I also looked up how to break up with your trainer.

Finally, after pushing through my dislike for 6 sessions, I called it quits with my trainer.  The trainer coordinator set me up with a woman who's run marathons and done triathlons for 18 years.  She thought she would be a good fit but she said that about the last one so I was still skittish.  I don't want to be in a situation where I hate working out and feel like I can't ever get personalized instruction.  I also don't want to waste the 6 sessions remaining that I paid for.  I enter the gym cautiously optimistic.  I meet my trainer and right away feel much better about her personality.  Then she starts talking and she's friendly and knowledgeable.  We do some really cool exercises and at the end I feel 10xs happier than I felt after the best session with the other trainer.  I also felt like I should have listened to my gut.  I knew it wasn't working out but I kept going.  After our first session, I felt moderately sore.  I can go further than I went and work harder.  I'd rather know that than feel like I may have injured myself.  We're back on track!  Yay!!!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 70

1) Rashan hates that I listen to the intro to "A Different World" every single time the show comes on even if it's been recorded.  What?  I like the intro.  I do the same thing with "30 Rock."  That intro is brilliant!
2) Please don't ever type "Happy Birthday."  Why would you end a joyous declaration with a period?  It's so final.  Like this is yo LAST birthday.  Enjoy.  Sucka.
3) Tweet of the week goes to Tim Siedell, "Full of peace and calm this morning. Googled my symptoms and found out I died in my sleep."  LOLOL!  I convinced myself I had a torn rotator cuff the other week!  All because of the Google!
4) I want to get Rashan a JustinBieber calendar for Christmas.
5) My fave roomie is nuts!  She called to ask for my blog address then went back to comment on 6 or 7 posts....... lol
6) Why am I so popular?
7) Why did I have a student contact me during fall break, less than 24 hours after the mid-term, to ask when I would be posting the grades?  Girl, go play!!
8) I feel good about my mid-term because I gave them a list of things I would ask about and didn't stray from that.  They didn't all get the same questions wrong so I know the things they missed weren't my fault!  Yippee!!!
9) There's nothing worse than giving a disgruntled baby mama a facebook page.  Wait.  A CURRENTLY PREGNANT disgruntled baby mama....
10) I'm in the midst of a situation requiring tact (not number 9... lolol) and I really don't feel like having tact... at all.
11) I'm tired of being a student.  My last class ends April 27th.  6 months (not including the fact that I'm off December 10th- January 12th).  I can do it.  And I know it'll pass in the blink of an eye.
12) It's weird to not be making plans to go home for Christmas break...  I have an apartment, I'm already an hour and a half from home, I've seen my mom more in the last 2 months than I ever have during a school semester.  Hmm...


Open Letter to Ann Taylor Loft

I love the clothing in your stores.  But I hate the service.  I have been in Ann Taylor Loft stores up and down the eastern seaboard and have been continually ignored.  From Coconut Grove, FL to Gainesville, FL to Winston-Salem, NC.  Every time I walked into your stores I saw people joyously greeted, asked if they needed help.  Conversely, I was ignored or followed like a criminal.  On the off chance I asked for assistance, I was given a cold response, then further ignored.  You have lost hundreds of dollars at a minimum from poor service from which I can put two and two together: my kind isn't wanted in your stores.  I have continued going into stores to test my treatment and have been continually disappointed.  I WILL NOT spend my money where I am not wanted.  I am tired of being ignored in Ann Taylor Loft stores.  If black customers are not welcome, put it on the front door.  But for me?  That sign isn't needed any more.  Your response to my annoyance was insufficient (We're sorry, we'll tell the district managers to fix that, please give us another chance).  After 6+ visits in different cities with the same outcome, I'm done.  Boycott of Loft?  ON.


#26: Go To An Opera

Since I'd never been to an opera, for my 30 Before 30 list, I decided the time is NOW!  I thought I would be going to one in Charlotte but I found an opera right here in Winston.  Then I saw a Groupon for a show and it was kismet.  Rashan and I went to see "Il Trovatore" about a girl torn between the rich man who loves her (in whom she has no interest) and the poor man she loves.

Verdict?  Really not that great.  My mom says I need to go to a show with a big name.  I'm willing to give opera another shot... but not in the next week... maybe not in the next month or few months.  Know what I want next?  Salsa lessons, then "The Nutcracker"!!!!  Yay!!!  Here are a few more pics of us on our adventure.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 69

1) How do chefs look so collected when chopping onions on tv?  I am RARELY (see: maybe twice in my whole cooking life) without tears and sometimes I have tears and snot to fill the Seine.  You're welcome for that visual.  Delicious ain't it?
2) Why do I think in such vulgarities now?  it's the fact that everyone in my whole life curses up and down a blue, red and yellow streak.
3) Don't ask me to do nothin between 3pm Friday and 11am Sunday.  Not one single thing.  I got sick sometimes between Wednesday and Thursday but had a full day Thursday.  I was on campus for 12 full hours.  NOT FUN.  I got home and refused to leave when I woke up feeling worse Friday.  So 9pm Thursday to 11am Sunday = mine. :P
4) I don't ever want to smell another cigarette.  Ever.
5) Can I have Project Runway babies?  I will name them Michael Kors, Heidi, Nina Garcia, Christian Siriano and Mondo.  They will design, critique and model for me.
6) Please make people stop saying "Sorry for your lost."  I can't take you seriously when you don't speak properly.  Yep, I'm a cold-hearted snake.
7) I think it's been long enough. Pandora can stop calling itself a "new form of radio."
8) I pulled out the Christmas music this week!  Yep!  Show did!  Lolol
9) Facebook post of the week: "Why are you at Disney on Ice eating cotton candy, wearing Toy Story hats, buying up souveniers, and getting all excited if you ain't got no ---- kids with you?"  LOLOLOL
10) Guess who's giving her first mid-term this week???  That'd be me!  Can't wait!  I think they'll do well.  I'm doing a review tomorrow.


Movies 2010, Week 38

October 3-9, 2010
I'd better speed up if I'm going to watch 15 more movies this month!
188) American Hollow. HBO doc by Rory Kennedy about poor people in Appalachian Kentucky.  Pretty interesting but I can see how people saw it as exploitive.  If it was about poor black people, I would've been irritated.  4 stars
189) Dumbstruck.  Ventriloquist documentary about the people behind the dummies... and the dummies.  Funny at times, also sad at times.  The story moved nicely at the beginning then slowed a bit toward the end.  Still, worth watching.  3.7 stars
190) Elvis and Annabelle.  Indie film about a girl who dies and is brought back to life by the undertaker's kiss.  Blake Lively stars.  I was intrigued by the fact that this was like one of the best shows ever cancelled, "Pushing Daisies" and in some respects I wasn't disappointed.  It took some unnecessarily predictable turns, but took some sweet and/or surprising turns.  The end was not nearly as strong as the beginning.  3.5 stars


Peeves of the Pet

Hello children!  I know you wanted to know all about my many pet peeves... Here are just a few...

1) Open cabinets and drawers.  This includes drawers to the cd players.  Close it IMMEDIATELY after you finish using it!!
2) Standing with the refrigerator door open.
3) Cooking in a dirty kitchen.  Gross.
4) Peeking through the blinds by pulling them apart rather than lifting a slat.
5) Smoking neighbors.  OMG!!  Get me my own house STAT.  My next city I am TOTALLY renting a house rather than an apartment.  I thought having 2 neighbors wouldn't be a problem but with the heat on, their smoke CIRCULATES through my house.  OH  HECK NO!!  All kinds of ventilation options are under consideration.  Something's happening STAT.
6) Monopolizers on my time.  Y'all bought to have to miss me, shawty!  I know you don't have anything to really occupy your time but, I'm about to start opting out of things.  I need people breaks.  I have been doing stuff non-stop for a few weeks now and everybody's about to get cut off.  I also hate that I feel so compelled to particpate.
7) Leaving the refrigerator door open.
8) Leaving water running.
9) Leaving lights on when no one's in the room.
10) Conversely, sitting in the dark for no apparent reason.
11) Eating the components of my meals separately.  I'll eat this but this isn't ready so I'll go ahead and eat what's ready and take the rest as it arrives.
12) Food that's supposed to be cold being left out for more than the exact amount of time it's in use (milk, butter, cheese).
13) Improperly wrapped food.

Yes, I know I'm a psycho.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 68

1) When it's rainy for 2 days... I don't feel gloomy or depressed... because I've survived YEARS of that in Pittsburgh.  I know MONTHS of sunless skies.  Outside of Pittsburgh?  I know it'll be sunny and beautiful in a few minutes by comparison.  Lol.  I sound noncommittal and vaguely disinterested when people mention it to me... because I am.
2) Google instant isn't fast enough to me.  I'm so serious, too.
3) I LOVE NEW TWITTER!!  Can you make people stop automatically hating things just b/c they're new?  I was immediately drawn to the sleekness of the new look.  Please find a real reason not to like something.  "It's not like it used to be" is not enough.  P.S. I seriously cannot explain twitter to people who don't get it because I don't "get" what they don't "get."
4) When I'm creating my PowerPoints for class, it takes me almost as long to choose the design and font as it did to write the rest of the stuff.  Creativity can be such a curse.  But not so much that I want it gone.  Lol
5) I have 7 million pet peeves and things that make me crazy.  They have all become more apparent since I've been in Winston-Salem.
6) Somebody make me eat better.  What's the point in working out if your food is all of the fast variety.  Ok not all just some, you know who you are.  Bojangles, Cookout (with your dumb delicious strawberry cheesecake shake that tastes EXACTLY like GOOD strawberry cheesecake), both of you are just shameful in your taunting.
7) Son.  Did you really just schedule something for a Sunday morning?  I don't care if you go to church, you have to be here instead.  Fail.
8) Remember last week when we talked about going NOWHERE on the weekends?  Didn't happen this weekend and I have an idea it'll bite me in the booty this week.  That picture?  That would be my schedule for the month of October SO FAR.  But I'm still very happy about my life. :)
9) I'm going to the opera tomorrow!!!!  I'm so excited!!  I love getting all fancy!  And crossing stuff off of my 30 Before 30 list!  Wheeeee!!!
10) I'm horrible at blog tags.  I can never remember to add them.  I do it for 3 posts then forget again.  It's a little more intuitive on my food blog for some reason.  Can you imagine how many tags I would have if I had been tagging for 5 years?  You would never have to wonder where "that post" was.  You'd just go to the tag and it'd take you to 90 related posts.  LOLOL.  For the record, they didn't have tags when I started blogging lo these many years ago.  LOL.  I think future-dating posts was also impossible or really complicated.
11) My neighbors on either side both smoke (which I can smell through the walls... GROSS) & have at least one small, yippy dog.  How?  How did this happen to me?  I don't like either of those things!!  And snarl at both of them!  Yep, I snarl at small, yippy dogs.  If that thing's gonna bark, it should bark like a man. 
12) I did these exercises that are supposed to help runners with their hips... and now my hip hurts... FAIL, ExerciseTV.  FAIL.
13) Not riding the bus is really murdering my magazine-reading schedule.  I just can't convince myself to give myself time to do that.  I'm two months behind in BOTH of my food mags.  Uhhh... oops.  Also, don't tell anyone, but I just bought two more cookbooks because they were on sale at Borders.... (after I told Aretha not to buy anymore books until she read what she had.......... *waves at kettle*)


Movies 2010, Weeks 36 & 37

My goal is to watch 20 films this month so I'd better get a move on!

September 19- 25, 2010
182) The Town.  Ben Affleck directs and stars in a film about a Boston criminal gang.  Some of his monologue scenes had me rolling my eyes but the action sequences were amazing!  3.6 stars
183) Monkey Business. Cary Grant (swoon) and Ginger Rogers star in a film about a chemist looking for a potion for youth.  When he stumbles upon it, him and his wife take some and insanity ensues.  Marilyn Monroe makes a few appearances as the ditzy (of course) secretary.  Quite funny at times.  3.8 stars

September 26- October 2, 2010
184) Now Voyager.  Bette Davis stars in a film about an unloved woman who has to get from beneath her mother's thumb to find herself.  2hrs 14mins felt like 2 or 3 movies.  You saw what seemed like several lifetimes, but not in a bad way.  A bit soap opera-y.  Entertaining and pretty well-written.  4 stars
185) Leap Year.  Cute enough film starring Amy Adams about a girl determined to propose to her longtime boyfriend on leap day in Ireland.  What you would think it would be with a few unexpected moments.  Not bad at all.  3.5 stars
186) Iron Man 2.  Second installment of the Robert Downey Jr.-starred film, this time with an appearance from ScarJo.  Yes, there were some good action sequences, but Downey's character was annoying, and the story line was bad and boring.   I kept waiting for it to end.  3 stars
187) Calendar Girls. Helen Mirren stars in a film about old ladies posing n.ude in a calender to raise money for a leukemia fund and the backlash that comes along with it.  Nice, low key enjoyable film.  3.6 stars


October Goals

1) Work on my relationship with God.  I finished II Samuel (I wrote I Samuel but I had already completed it.  I meant II Samuel), the first book of Psalms (which contains 5 books to divide its 150 chapters) and Zechariah.  I hit my goal of 335.  On the nose!  Whoohoo!!  My October goal is to reach 415 total chapters, an increase of 80.  I'm not sure about my book goals just yet.

I did not make it to any churches AGAIN but I want to go to 2 this month so I'll work on that again this month.  I have such a mental block with churches.  I don't want to be disappointed again.  This is my third search in my third city in less than 5 years.  I'm tired of finding a church!!! And considering I probably won't be in Winston-Salem next year... there we go again.  But there's one right down the street from me that comes highly recommended so there's really no excuse!!  I'm going to make this happen!!

2) Start my next film.  Woohoo!!!  Check!

3) Take the next step in my career.  I did some networking and training, a conference and there is more networking and training to come this month! So exciting!  I want to send out job applications by the 15th.

4) Try new restaurants.  I actually found a few places I liked this month! WHEEEE!! One Mexican, one Latin.  LOLOL.  I love it.  I'd like to find one or 2 more this month.  LET'S DO IT!

5) Cook at least 3xs a week, 2 of those new recipes.  I started posting again!  I am going for one meatless meal a week and cooking at least 3xs a week.  I'm trying to get my mojo back again.  You know a busy semester wreaks havoc on my cooking!

6) Watch more movies.  My goal was 15.  LOLOL.  I am such a mess.  I watched 11.5.  Fail.  My goal for October... is 20.  Whoa...  LOLOL

7) Workout more.  I was shooting for 3xs a week.  That didn't happen again but I did a weight loss challenge for September.  I lost my goal of 6 pounds AND started working with a trainer!  I'm in injury-recovery mode right now though. :(  Hurt shoulder.  I decided I want to lose about 5 more pounds.

8) Statecations.  This month I wanted to go wine tasting... didn't happen.  AGAIN.  Enter sadness.  :(  Somebody please take me wine tasting... PLEASE!!  And can we go look at the leaves in the mountain before Thanksgiving?? :(

9) Contact my grandma once a month.  I was supposed to finally send her a package of my stuff from graduation & screening.... I didn't do that.  Lol.  I am so wack.  But I called her!  And she loved it as usual!   Another call due in to her in the next week or so.