Monday Mindspacing Vol. 125

Welcome back! Thanksgiving left me feeling reeeeefreshed!  Despite the non-stop noise of 4 kids at my mother-in-law's house.  This is mostly Thanksgiving with a little bit of extraneous random.
1) Remember that episode of Scrubs where Elliot let Carla live with her while her and Turk figured out their issues?  Remember when Elliot said to J.D. about Carla, "NO ONE IS EXEMPT FROM THAT RULE!!!"?  This happened to me yesterday but with my own rule: STOP TALKING TO ME IN THE MORNING!!
2) My mom's reunion probably deserves its own post.  In 1971, her 10th grade class was the first to be integrated in Jackson, MS.  (Yes, schools were SUPPOSED to be integrated following Brown v. Board in 1954.) All the 10th graders in the city were in one school.  They had their 40th reunion this weekend.  It was segregated.  Only the black kids were invited.  Mom.  SERIOUSLY!?!  She couldn't understand my dismay.  "We didn't like each other."  Well maybe there are more of you that are ready to heal from that. When you know better, you do better. They need to do better. We're gonna have another discussion about this.
3) My mom also has a classmate who has 8 grandchildren and FIVE great-grandchildren.  WAS SHE PREGNANT WHEN YOU LAST SAW HER 40 YEARS AGO!?!?!  Off the chain.
4) It is reconfirmed that I don't know how to deal with sleepy children.  "If you're tired, be quiet and go to sleep." -Thy Good Sir, Christopher of the Bridges Clan
5) I shall never tire of hearing my nieces and nephews (from Rashan) call me Aunt Jameil!!!  Well at least not for a few years. So cute!
6) Speaking of the children, my 14yo niece can take and give verbal jabs and it is AWESOME!  The sparring! I love it! My sister and I played Just Dance with niece and 5yo nephew and yes I did taunt niece every single song I beat her on. LOLOL I do NOT let kids win. Let's go! AND she's never had raw oysters but is willing to try. I can't WAIT to introduce her to them!
7) I finally met Rashan's only aunt and uncle this weekend. This is weird on many levels but let's stick with a. that he has one uncle and through him an aunt seeing as I have 13 blood aunts & uncles and b. that we're just meeting this weekend. Regardless, they loved me! :)  I'd also never met his TWO living first cousins (to my 36...) so I met one of them.  More love.  :)
8) When we left, the kids said, "See you Christmas!" I might have objected a little too vehemently.  Whoops. Rashan and I decided years ago Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas with mine. We deviated last year and I was miserable. I still love you and you can come to my mom's house but Christmas is in Charlotte until we have kids and then it's probably wherever we are.
9) It does make me sad that Rashan's brother and his two kids are all the way in northern Virginia so we don't get to see them much. I miss the munchkins! They are ADORABLE!!
10) Remember how I said after cooking all day on Thanksgiving I just want to lay down and take a nap and eat later? STILL TRUE!! Next year if Thanksgiving is with the in-laws? I'm cooking way less. Dressing, my now famous french onion soup & maybe a turkey. There's plenty of other food and though they are appreciative, it's not worth the work.
11) I was so excited to see Christmas trees at Whole Foods the other day that I tried to hug one... LOLOL!
12) I hate losing. HATE IT!! If I lose to you in anything, I'm coming back to win. I'm never stopping a streak on a loss. If I haven't yet beat you in Words With Friends... and there aren't many... I'm coming for you. I played a 105-point word against Rashan the other night after he set up quark and left a TRIPLE WORD space! He knew his mistake as soon as he hit send. I made QUARKS across and SIZE down then told EVERYBODY I KNOW!!!! :)


2011 Year End Goals

With just a 7 weeks left in the year, I want to review and revise my 2011 goals and see what else I can make happen.  You already know my 2012 goals are being created!  Tis awesome!

1) Complete at least 12 30 for 30 goals.  Whoa.  I've done 5... I was going to say I don't forsee making it to 12 but after looking at them again, I'm pretty sure I can.  It's on!  The ones I want to tackle are take a cooking class/take a dance class, watch AFI's top 100 films, read 10 classic books, ride a mechanical bull, make & keep a budget and learn how to hem clothing.
2) Read 40 books this year.  I will crush this goal!  I've already read 38.  I love this and I'm really glad I put this on my list.  From fiction to nonfiction to professional development, I've read some great (and not so great) books!
3) Try at least 100 new recipes.  Passed that late September, early October.
4) Get a full-time teaching position in a great program.  I don't know if this will happen before the end of the year but I'm optimistic it will happen before the end of next summer.  In the meantime I have varied my options. 
5) Work out more.  I can definitely say I've worked out more this year than in the previous year!  Woohoo!!
6) Make sartorial magic.  I didn't find a tailor but I did do some interesting things with the clothes I already own.  Fashion blogs helped A LOT with that!  In this last month or so, I want to continue to make interesting and intriguing fashion choices.  I want to impress myself every time I leave the house!
7) Send Christmas cards.  I'm thinking it might be semi-newslettery since we had a big year! :)
8) Complete two syllabi.
9) Complete two short films.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 124

1) Most hilarious film review I've read in a while: yeah, this movie is literally made of filth. It is absolutely terrible, don't even be curious, if you happen to rent this movie throw it in the garbage when you recieve [sic] it and then request it again and repeat the process until the movie is no longer in stock.  (About a BlairWitch rip-off)
 2) I got a new phone!  I still don't believe in buying phones.  That means I get a new phone every two years when my contract is up.  Well Rashan and I have now merged our phone accounts [& car insurance (I guess this means we're really married now!!)] so I got a new phone and I LOVE IT! Droooooid. I've been Words With Friending (Jameil1922) it up for over a week! I also found and immediately made a recipe from an Allrecipes.com shake-up app. That app is definitely competing with WWF for fave! On a related note, Swype texting is AMAZING!
3) I finished Couch to 5k two weeks ago and I've run 2.5 or more miles 3 times since!!!!!  WOOHOO!!!  I feel magical!!  In December, my running partner and I will start either the Bridge to 10k or a 1/2 marathon training program. I want to run at least one 10k and maybe a half before I turn 30 next year.  Woot!
4) Every couple of years, bloggers fall off of the map which means blogging becomes boring because very few people comment and few still post regularly. It makes me want to post less as well.  Sigh.  I hate having to find new people to interact with.  If I wanted to write and not care if anyone read, I would have a private blog.
5) One of my Hampton friends and two of my cousins are pregnant right now.  Somebody better be left to be my pregnancy buddy in a few years OR ELSE!!!
6) I'm starting my Thanksgiving cooking today and I'm soooo excited!
7) I have a secret... after I cook my face off for Thanksgiving I don't feel like eating when everyone else does.  I want to take a nap then come back later.  Just gimme some fried oysters to tide me over and I'll see y'all in a couple of hours. No one else likes this idea.
8) Don't forget to read The Hunger Games for the blog book club on December 5th!


That Virtue...

God bless my PATIENT husband.  Through all of his jerkiness (some of it shocking in its hilarity), he really has a calming spirit. Even when I'm tense and at my nuttiest, I can relax around him. I am notoriously not a morning person.  If I'm up in the early morning hours (see: any time prior to 9am), I always want it to be because I haven't been to bed yet, not because I'm up starting my day.  But no matter how much sleep I've had or how close to my ideal waking hour I am, please don't talk to me in the first hour.  You can feed me.  As a matter of fact, please do!  But please, please keep talking to a minimum.

Here's what I need you to do in the morning.
  1. Please leave or do your thing as quietly as possible. This is to ensure you don't disturb me. I probably need two more hours of rest than you do.  And unless I'm really tired, I am a light sleeper.  
  2. Don't say my name.  No matter how asleep I am, I always hear my name and answer to it.  My friends discovered this in undergrad.  It makes me laugh!  Unless I'm sleeping...
  3. When you hear me stirring (or more likely see me on twitter/fb), begin to prepare or gather my preferred breakfast.  Yes I did.  I rarely stray from the classics when not dining at a restaurant.  For fast food I either want a bacon, egg & cheese or a sausage egg mcmuffin with cheese.  With hash browns.  I don't trust fast food grits.  Even in the south.  If you're going to Chick-fil-a or Bojangles, I want a spicy chicken biscuit.  Again, hash browns.  If you have never had a Chick-fil-a buttery biscuit, fix your life immediately.  At home I want eggs (over medium), grits & bacon or sausage.  I can really have either bacon or sausage depending on the day and/or my mood.  Sometimes I don't care.  Sometimes I want a piece of each.  It's weird to me that some days I can't decide.  I like them both quite equally.  Unless it's turkey bacon.  I like all kinds of sausage (chicken, turkey, pork, veggie) but bacon shall only be pork.  It was written.* Side note: I made cooked (my mom hates when I cook and say make) an egg last night and Rashan was jumping when I flipped the egg in the pan. Sir... please take a seat if you're going to flinch at me using a pan to flip a single egg.
  4. Feed me said breakfast.  Silently.
  5. Check the clock.  If one hour has passed since you heard the stirring or read the tweets, proceed with the day.  But SLOWLY.  You are never sure whether the sleeping bear has fully awakened.
My fave roomie in college was the exact same way.  It plays a huge role in why she was my favorite roommate.  The first thing we need to say when getting ready in the morning is good-bye as we walk out the door.  I truly loved this about her.  It makes me happy all over again reminiscing about it!

On my wedding day, BFF Stace was SOO excited for me!  I was, too.  But I wasn't awake yet.  So I wanted her to calm down and keep it quiet.  I feel like when I first wake up I can hear EVERYTHING. If we've not yet passed the hour mark and I'm chatting and seem almost like myself, it is still not time for loudness. I already hear quite well (everything if you ask my dad!) and have an outrageous sense of smell but when I first wake up?  The slightest sound is magnified.  Do I have a tumor?  Please tell me that doesn't mean I have a tumor. Because I know it's not a hangover.

Fast forward to today and how this all relates back to my patient husband.  He's not quite as stringent on his rules but he does need a little time to fully awaken before he's ready to interact with me.  This is fine except on those days like today when I have been awake for hours.  By the time he's up, I'm ready to have a party!  And I've been waiting for HOURS to talk to him!  He always fights valiantly to participate in these chats before asking me to turn it from 11 to 5.5.  And he's so polite about it.  If I have to ask you to turn down your enthusiasm... tisn't pretty.  So bless him!  LOL

*If you are surprised that the most detailed portion of this post was about food, welcome.  This must be your first time here!  LOLOL Peruse The Record Dish for my food craziness and later today... MY 2011 THANKSGIVING MENU!!!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 123

*Update: I stopped in the middle of number 10 but I finished it! Oops!
1) You know the game Boggle? I LOVE IT!! And I haven't played in years. I want it for Christmas. I will play by myself if I have to!
2) Speaking of Christmas, I haven't gotten heavy into the music yet but I promise it's coming!! I finish the Couch to 5k program TOMORROW!!! I'll be moving to Christmas music on Thursday.  :)  And my Christmas list will be coming later this month as well!
3) My least favorite running encouragement, "If I can do it, anyone can." I think it minimizes what you did.
4) Old people on fb crack me up!  "Hey Rashan! I sent you message when you got married. But I think I sent it to myself."  What?!?!  How would you send yourself a message you thought you sent to someone else??? OMG!  I hope I'm telling this right.  We laughed for like 15 minutes over this!!
5) It's daylight saving time, not daylight savingS time. No S.  Yep.  I'll say this yearly until I stop seeing it on fb & twitter.  Educate the masses.
6) I wanna make cheese...
7) Are you guys ready for my Thanksgiving menu!?!?  I am!!  It's super time for me to share!  This week!  I shan't ... SHALL NOT... keep you in suspense much longer!  I have a secret... I don't like cranberry sauce that much and I certainly don't see the point in making it.  Did I tell you my sister-in-law is trying to go vegan?  But she never ate that much so I don't really have to go crazy veganizing everything.
8) Every time I go to Rashan's mom's house, I always have free reign of her kitchen. (It's so nice to not have in-law drama.) I make mental lists of the gadgets I need to add to my arsenal when I get a bigger kitchen!  It.is.AMAZING.
9) I asked Rashan if he had a pet rock. He said, "No. I'm not that old." LOLOL But close. Pet rocks started in '75.  He was born in '74.
10) I love comedies and romantic comedies.  I almost never care about the romance in dramas! OMG shut up and blow up something!!!
11) I watched the Voltaggio Thanksgiving special.  I wanted it to be more than it was... I was most appalled when.... one of them BASTED a turkey with MAYONNAISE!!!  Y'all.  I don't like mayo anyway but you want me to baste a turkey with it?!?!?!?! I just... *drops mic*
12) You know what's ridiculous? How much better Quaker Oatmeal Squares are dry than in their intended purpose.  They're awesome dry and disgusting in milk.
13) I think I'm gonna give Seinfeld another try. For the12th time. I might start at the beginning.
14) After watching this, I want Rashan to thank me for regularly attacking his eyebrows.  I don't want him to have to go on television in defense of them.  Oh Andy!  LOL


Movies 2011, Weeks 41-43

October 16-22, 2011
182) Little Fockers. Awful AWFUL film.  The 10th (?) in this series that started out as a good one and has since veered horribly off track.  1 star
183) Bad Teacher. Cameron Diaz stars as a terrible teacher who will do anything to make the money for a boob job.  Better than Little Fockers.  That's something.  Crude humor.  Sad, predictable writing.  Not worth your time.  2 stars.
184) Intolerance. D.W. Griffith's follow-up to the much-maligned "Birth of A Nation" about intolerance through the ages.  Incredibly slow-moving 3 hour 17 minute silent film that  intercuts four tales.  I promise you I wanted this film to end before it even started.  That's not fair but I felt justified by the incredibly long shots with little to no action in the first 10 minutes alone.  It picked up toward the end and I even liked one of the story lines but that wasn't enough to make this film worth watching. 2 stars

October 23-29, 2011
185) Lawrence of Arabia. This epic film is based on the true story of a British soldier's conflicted loyalties during World War I as he helped Arabs unite against the Turks.  Interesting but you know how I feel about long films.  3.3 stars
186) BrotherNumberOne. Foreign documentary about a NewZealander who traces the steps of his boating brother killed by Cambodia's KhmerRouge.  The film follows the surviving brother as he testifies at the trial of a murderer.  It was a take on one family's struggle to get justice for a murdered family member.
187) Brother's Keeper. A documentary about four reclusive brothers thrust into the spotlight when one brother is accused of killing another brother in the bed they shared.  This was one of the few times I understood and even needed the inclusion of the filmmakers.  You got the impression the Wards would never have spoken in more than a few words if the filmmakers hadn't spoken up to ask questions.  With the ever-changing facial hair, often similar facial hair, it was very difficult for me to tell the brothers apart for much of the film.  If not for bacon and burgers, the pig slaughter scene might have made me a vegetarian.  The access to the brothers as well as the courtroom was magnificent!  Really intriguing, well-crafted film.  4.4 stars
188) Facing Ali. A documentary about 10 men who faced Muhammad Ali, including his most famous fights.  Pretty awesome weaving of the interviews and Ali footage.  Great usage of fonts.  There were times where the story got off track as the filmmaker looked at non-Ali moments in the boxers' lives.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes not.  But you know what I hate?  When the wrap-up has a sad portion (Ali's Parkinsons) and there's emotional music that completely changes the tone of the film.  This film would've been even better without that to detract.  3.7 stars

October 30- November 5, 2011
189) Beats, Rhymes & Live: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. Michael Rapaport follows the famous group with communications issues.  Though it was filmed during a 2008 reunion tour, most of the time spent in the film has no obvious connection to the journey the film's title implies.  The conflicts between Phife and Tip were sloppily handled and given high credence in the film with a perplexing wrap-up.  This film probably would have been better if it was not directed by a fan.  Fandom got in the way of a story line.  As someone unfamiliar with ATCQ music (Yes, I'm young), I enjoyed the music but that wasn't enough to propel me through the bizarrely loose "plot" points.  I was frustrated and confused trying to piece together a narrative where none existed.  Rashan is a HUGE Tribe fan; but through his musical excitement, he was still able to see the flaws in this movie.  If you're a Tribe fan, I'm sure you'll want to see it, but if you are a student of film, you will find it lacking. 3 stars
190) Sing Your Song. A documentary film about the actor, singer & humanitarian Harry Belafonte.  The access to the actor was magnificent as the film takes a look at his career and more interestingly for me, his activism in America, the Caribbean and Africa.  It also explored his role as a husband and father.  I have immense respect for what he and the people around him did.  Amazing.  4 stars
191) A Little Help. Jenna Elfman stars as a recent widow who reaches out to an old boyfriend for support... but he's her sister's husband.  It's actually quietly funnier and slightly less drama-filled than the description implies.  What's that?  Oh it's an indie film that's not trying too hard.  Interesting.  3.8 stars
192) Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin. This documentary explores the life of a civil rights organizer at times marginalized because he was an openly gay black man in the 1960s.  Fascinating subject I wish I'd heard about before reading Marable's Malcolm X biography.  As for the film, scattered storytelling but some amazing footage and sound that allowed Rustin to tell his own story even though he'd been dead more than a decade before the film was made.  Very abrupt ending.  3.5 stars


Thursday Thirteen: How's Married Life?

I don't even see that many people that often.  But everyone I see loves to ask me "How's married life?"  -_- Y'all stop asking people that.  What could you possibly want to hear other than "Wonderful!"?  I think I have an idea...

1) "You can't be askin me no questions, yo." -The Mad Rapper
2) *whispers* "Have you ever seen the show 'Who the Bleep Did I Marry?' This is my life."
3) "It'd be better if he was a better person."
4) "It's cheaper to keep her."
5) "It's fine. How's bitter, single life?"*
6) "We're thinking of starting a cult."
7) "Every bit as excruciating as it was when we were dating."
8) "I've already applied to Wife Swap."
9) "It gets better... right? Please tell me it gets better."
10) "I want our long-distance relationship back. The longer the distance, the happier I'll be. Abu Dhabi, anyone?? Am I right??"
11) "If he knew as much about me as he knows about hip hop, we might make it."
12) "I started running to get away from him."
13) Fab Five Freddie told me everybody's fly/DJ's spinning I said my, my Flash is fast, Flash is cool/Francois sais pas, Flashe no deuxAnd you don't stop, sure shot/Go out to the parking lotAnd you get in your car and you drive real farAnd you drive all night and then you see a light/And it comes right down and lands on the ground/And out comes a man from Mars/And you try to run but he's got a gun/And he shoots you dead and he eats your headAnd then you're in the man from Mars/You go out at night, eatin' cars/You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too/Mercuries and Subarus/And you don't stop, you keep on eatin' cars/Then, when there's no more cars/You go out at night and eat up bars where the people meetFace to face, dance cheek to cheekOne to one, man to manDance toe to toe/Don't move too slow, 'cause the man from MarsIs through with cars, he's eatin' barsYeah, wall to wall, door to door, hall to hall/He's gonna eat 'em allRapture, be pure/Take a tour, through the sewer/Don't strain your brain, paint a train/You'll be singin' in the rain/I said don't stop, do punk rock

*One of my friends said some of her married friends acts like you're automatically bitter if you're single. I said, "Well... you kind of are."  She looked at me like, "Wow. You, too. Already."  I looked at her like, "Really? That's me? Girl please! Who would say that to somebody??"  Don't worry.  She still loves me!  We're going to dinner tonight!