Parting Shots

I'm partially crippled again. My co-worker and I had a 5 a.m. workout in the newsroom. Sometimes you just have to take a mini break. She brought out the moves from her "10 Minutes to Thin Thighs" video. Oh. My. I couldn't find it on amazon so maybe it's not a real video... but I feel it anyway!! Good thing I won't be going to the gym when I'm in Virginia though I do want to get in some beach walking. You know sand is great for resistance. I don't want to be unable to dance at the reception. Because you know I'm a show off... lolol. Grandmas will be there so I won't break out all the southern moves but I plan on having a ball!!!

So... should I not get a chance to post before I leave. Here are the shoes you begged me for and the purse. Along with the reason I'm always so blah during the winter.

And........ introducing a stereotypical Pittsburgh day. I'm not exaggerating when I say it looks like this from at LEAST November to April.

Come on!!! There are reprieves, but they're few and far between.


Gettin Too Old

I'm not the shopper I used to be. Just over a year ago, I spent 8 or so hours shopping in Columbus. EIGHT. I think that killed the shopper in me. Granted we ate twice and got massages, but I haven't been the same since. It's quite sad.

Yesterday I went to Old Navy which always takes just a quick perusal to figure out if they have what I'm looking for. Today the answer was a most emphatic no. What is up with all the muumuus in the stores?!? I need this trend to go away yesterday. This is not flattering. Nary a shape among them lest a belt step in to do the job. Pathetic. I've seen pregnant people wear better fitting clothing. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Next I headed to the mall on my long list of errands. I actually accomplished a lot yesterday. I went to the grocery store, washed all my clothes so I have plenty to choose from when packing, started packing, took out the trash, finished a good book (The Girls), made my delicious peach lemonade, went to the bank, Target and Chick-Fil-A which is always EXTRA crunk with the lines. I was able to try the strawberry milkshake. Wow. I mean wow... no words. Thanks Organized Noise!!

Once I found the dress I was ready to go and I hadn't even accomplished half of the aformentioned yet. I'd only been in the mall for maybe an hour and a half. Oh yeah, I also bought 2 jackets at Express. One is a short-sleeved black eyelet. The other is beige and very work appropriate. I can always justify work purchases. Must look fantastic at all times.

The trip to Target made me want to claw my eyes out. Remember how I had to shop for one of my co-worker's baby shower? Note to self: thou shalt not shop for that stuff in person!!!! The most convoluted experience ever!! It's so much easier to look at the registry online, say yes, that, then pay and have it sent to said person's house. That's what I did w/Wynel's registry. Most relaxing process ever. Right about now I'm still getting over the shakes from trying to figure out which stuff I was buying and I'd looked at the registry online first. @#$%^&*() horrendous. Please God, never ever again. "That just let me know, she just know what she want outta life." *name it*

X called me out a few posts back and wondered if I'd bumped my head with the excitment over this trip which got me thinking. Why am I so excited? Well 1) because I finally have a friend jumping the broom, 2) I haven't been to the beach in a million years, 3) it just fills me with joy to be near Hampton University again, 4) I NEED TO GET OUT OF PITTSBURGH!! I'm used to blowing this taco stand (I guess that should really be pierogie stand) at least once a month. I haven't been anywhere in more than a month and the last trip was less than satisfying. So a good, relaxing trip is long overdue for the kid.

After that trip, Mommy's coming for the big 2-5 to celebrate with her first born. Then the very next week, I'm off to sunny south Florida to hang with Stace and Dreezy. Miami here I come!!!!!!!


Found It!!!

Here's the dress I'm wearing to Wynel's wedding. Got it at Guess.



Whenever I'm feeling a bit blah, I use shop therapy. Before you groan or try to chide me for being stereotypical, let me say I do not have credit cards and don't get down with severely depleted bank accounts so I never spend money I can't afford. I also have strict rules for what I can buy based on what Oprah once said, "Doubt means don't until you know." Word Oprah. That means if I kind of like something in the store but I have to tilt my head in several directions before the light hits it right, that means I need to kindly return said object to the shelf/rack. Not for me. Because if I don't like it in the store, I'll hate it at home and have to return it and what a pain that is!!

So! Today I'm going to buy some more stuff for the bride. Look, it pays to be my first friend getting married. I'm going a bit crazy. I already bought stuff off of both of her registries. Plus I'm staying with her, per her request, and I just read this article in Allure this month. (Sidenote: There are lots of mags at the gym so I get to read a bunch of different ones while on the bike or walking around the track (yes I'm that girl walking on the track reading). I've learned you have to read them at once because otherwise they'll be gone by the time you get back. I wouldn't have read half of these magazines w/o Bally's so shout out I guess.) It said if you're a house guest, you're saving on a hotel so you can afford to shower the host with gifts. Good tip. You'll always be welcome. My mom taught me I should bring something with me anyway so when I went to Wynel's for Thanksgiving, I got her a Nine West gift card. Who doesn't love that, right AI?

One of my fave co-workers is preggers. Her shower is the same weekend as the wedding so unfortunately I can't go but I'm going to Target to hit up her registry and knock a few things off of it. Can't wait. My old roomie's due in January and already registered. Hilarious. Girl after my own heart. I'm right with ya girl! I'll start registering before I plan a thing. I had to practically threaten the current bride on multiple occasions. Get on it! I wanna spend money I can't possibly regret!!

Countdown: 6 days to VA!


Change Comes Anyway

No matter what you do and how hard you try to fight it and how you plan to brace yourself, it comes. Sometimes it punches you in the face, sometimes it smacks you upside the head (I said oops upside ya head, said oops upside ya head). Sometimes you like it. Right now I'm trying to brace for change because I sense it coming. And I don't know what it is. And that's scary.

I've worked out a lot lately and I'm really enjoying it. One of my co-workers and I trade healthy recipes and workout tips. My new fave is Kelly Ripa's alphabet workout. It's uber fun. And she's funny. I used to love her show "Hope & Faith." My bathing suit came on Friday and it fits!!! Whoooooooo!!

More importantly, I LEAVE FOR VA A WEEK FROM TOMORROW!! YAY!!! And wonderful wedding weekend will commence. I've already been told I will receive an itinerary when I get there. Ooh la la. I'm doing the calligraphy for the place cards. I told her to send them to me along with the guest list so I can start... considering there are a minimum of 125. It doesn't take me that long but call me crazy, I just have no desire to spend hours and hours writing names while I'm there. I'd rather do it leisurely here when I'm bored. But whatever. I'm not going to stalk the bride. I'm sure everyone is driving her batty at this point. BUT if I must write names, then I'll be writing them in my hot new bikini on the beach!! Holla if you hear me!

The last week of college, me and one or more of my friends went to the beach every single day for a solid week. Here you don't have that many consecutive days without rain. It wasn't warm and sexy every day but it wasn't rainy or cold. Hot fiyah! We had a blast. No class because it was over for seniors. There was the pretense of studying. Yeah right. Plus I was a broadcast major so anything other than Media Ethics I may have taken there was no test to study for. The test is with a camera. I used to go to the d.p.'s (drankin patnah) creative writing class even though I wasn't registered for it just because I liked this guy in her class. (Did I tell you my mom says I've been boy crazy since birth? It's true.) Then I ended up having fun and writing some decent stuff. But the dude I liked... wow... he and my line sister are two of the best writers I know. He can take the most mundane topic and make it dream enducing. Yeah. Like that. Made me like him either more. It wasn't reciprocated but that was fine by me. I made sure to keep a stable of crushes.

Anyway I haven't been to the beach since that last week at Hampton 3 YEARS AGO!! I hung out with Wynel and her now fiancee for Thanksgiving but I haven't been back to campus since Homecoming 2005. Unacceptable. So we're supposed to get back to campus so I can get some more alum para but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high. Esp. since her mom gets there on Wednesday, too. I'm sure they'll be uber wedding. I'm bringing at least 5 books including the bible. Speaking of the bible, how about I sent a letter to the webmasters of those churches on the summer Jesus breaks and one of them responded by asking me to pray to God that perhaps I'm called to be the webmaster since they're currently looking for one. Uh... don't think that's my particular calling. I can do blogger because it's essentially point and click. Everything is made super easy for you.

Did anyone see "Victoria Beckham: Coming to America"? I don't do celeb gossip. I just don't care and I think famous people should be allowed to live their lives like the rest of us. But one of my fellow journalists sucked me in. She had to write about the show so apparently everyone else had to watch too. Turned out this show had me on the floor dying. The DMV (the good part starts at 5:06) and the dolphin lady. Wow. Reminded me of Simple Life Goes to Camp. Paris and Nicole crack me up. I don't like to know every detail of their lives but pseudo-scripted comedy I can deal with. It's almost like watching a sitcom. But don't ask me their kids names or how many they have or what they do for a living. I don't care!! I don't even know my co-workers' kids names. I certainly don't care about someone I've never met (unless you're a blogger). Holla!



This will be strange. But I'm sad Tammy Faye Messner died...


I know. But here's why. I used to work at an Express store at a mall outside of Charlotte. She was a regular customer and really, really nice. We used to get moderately rich people in there every once in a while who'd buy up the store, including some wives of Panthers' players. I won't say who but one of the wives was an evil woman. For no reason. Because she was not attractive and her man was rude. Birds of a feather I guess.

But not Tammy Faye. She was one of those people who walked in with a smile and a nice word for everyone. She had a glow about her. Even stranger than my own interaction with her is my aunt's. My favorite aunt, Louise, was getting her second hole and feeling very nervous. (Joy, now see why I was gettin on you about the name Louise? Lol.) Tammy Faye was in the mall and saw my aunt's expression. She walked into the store and held my aunt's hand while she got her ears pierced. Fab, right? So funny. So rest in peace Tammy! You rock!


Top 8

I've been tagged... again. Y'all know I hate these, but it's my weekend so I've decided to be nice. Plus BK and Royce's Daughter don't know I hate tags. I do like research so I researched myself. How else was I to come up with 8 things y'all don't know about me that I would actually tell you?

1) You know that game beer pong that white college students play? If you went to an HBCU, you've probably never even heard of it. I think its the most disgusting game in America. I don't know much about games in other countries so I'll need to just stick with America. I know that's shocking for the exaggerater in me, but no really though. Why would I want to drink a beer that has a had an over molested, floor bounced ping pong ball in it? I like my beer dirt, ebola, and scarlet fever-free, thanks.

2) Once I dated a model. I know you know that already but here's the story. Me and the drankin patnah (d.p.) went to 7-11 near campus, you know the one on Settler's Landing near the hole in the wall fish "restaurant" getting some chaser of course. It was senior year and we'd all just gotten back to school before the school year started. It was raining (of course). As we walk up to the door we see this 6'5" (I guess... after 6'4 it's all pretty much just tall to me since I'm 5'1), muscled man with long dreadlocks. He holds the door open for us and once we get inside we start doing that thing people do when they see someone who is quite attractive and they feel like being silly. Hitting each other, giggling and raising their eyebrows, even a little bit of "oh my!" He was behind us in line and asked the cashier for a pen.

We got the chaser (I'm pretty sure it was oj and cranberry), then headed back to the apartment. But of course while I'm trying to look sexy, I can't get the borrowed giant beach size ROCK THE BLUE AND WHITE umbrella down. I mean I worked with that umbrella for at least 60 seconds. You're thinking that's not that long. Yeah right. Time it and mess with an umbrella with someone attractive just a few yards away. HORRENDOUS! Smooth move.

We get back to CC & Ash's apartment and are about to walk up the stairs when we hear someone yell, "Excuse me, can I talk to you for a minute?" We both turn around and it's him. I'm like me? He nods. I shake my head. (Again, smooth). I'm thinking and say to d.p., "WHAT A PSYCHO!! HE FOLLOWED US HERE?!?! Hell no I'm not going down those stairs!! He'll try to kidnap me!" But the d.p. made me. She's like, "I don't care! He is fine!!" So I reluctantly walk down the stairs. He (let's call him W) tells me he was dropping someone off and hadn't followed us. He'd asked the cashier for the pen so he could get my number. He said he liked my hair. And I'd just cut it all off (holla perm!) the week before so that made me extra geeked... but still wary.

W said he was only in town for a few days for the Labor Day weekend and lived in Atlanta but he wanted to take me out. I said let me think about it and we exchanged numbers. I went upstairs and as soon as I get inside I hear "Whooooooooooooo!!" I'm like, "What???" CC says, "D.p. told us you were out there talkin to some fine guy!" Hater!! Clearly there was a dude already in the house who was previously tryin to holla and now less interested. Boooooooooo. Oh well. My friends convince me to go out with W the next day. I told my friends he'd said he was a model and Ash says, "Yeah right. If he's a model, make him come here to pick you up so I can see him." So I do, then we go to the movies.

We saw something horrible I think with Asht0n Kutcher. Maybe "My B0ss's Daughter." Whatever it was it was so bad we just sat and talked. He went to get more salt to drown the popcorn (ew) and I called Ash to ask what she thought... She now believes he's a model and approves; and asked if he could use those muscles to bring her tv inside. Lol. He agreed. When we got back she said she'd already gotten someone to bring up the tv, but bring him up anyway. I say, "Ok..." not understanding why... then I hear the raucous laughter and giggling as we're walking up the stairs. I freeze. WHAT?!?!

I knock and the laughter abruptly stops. The door swings open and there are SEVEN GIRLS sitting there. I just blink and am mortified!!!! This is all stuff out of something called the life of a lame! Introductions all around, then he goes to the bathroom and everyone is like "OH. MY. GAH!!!! YOU MET HIM WHERE?!?!? WERE THERE MORE?!?!" So funny. They all leave for a "party" and won't let me come and we're suddenly alone. He's already tried to make his move (how typical) and I'm not going there but there are drinks so we're relaxing.

The d.p. and another homie come over and see that it's just the two of us and are ready to walk out the door. I'd noticed that the one homie froze when she walked inside which was very odd. Introductions, then she said, "Jameil, can I talk to you for a minute?" I'm like WTH!?? but follow her and she says, "He was in my calendar freshman year. I recognized the tattoos." I start dying laughing. Too funny. They leave and I tell him and he's like "Wow. That's wild. I can't believe she recognized me." So I get curious because yeah he was attractive and he said he's a model but you hear that all the time. The next day I look him up online and see all the magazines and calendars he's been in. Interesting but still not enough of a spark. Oh well.

3) I love when guys do push-ups. I had to force myself not to stop, drool, or stare when this guy was doing them next to the indoor track at the gym the other day. But right now on Regis and Kelly this guy just did 20 and it was fab. Very fun. The first bf, my high school sweetheart, did them at band camp (drummers were always getting push ups) and since I was drum major, I got to stand on the hill and stare. But one of my homies said I was staring mouth open (this was before he was my bf)! Hilarious.

4) (No comments on this one no matter how encouraging you think it is) I changed my speed dial so the ex is no longer on there. I'm proud. He's been on the speed dial of every cell phone I've ever had. No more.

5) I'm terrified of being old and broke. I don't want to be 55 and have no idea how I'll be able to retire. And to feel like I'll have to (not want to) work for 20 more years because I won't be able to afford my life. I've had a 401K for about 2 years now. It was one of the things I made sure to get when I got my job. I also save, but it's not enough. I guess it's better to be concerned about this at 24 than at 54, right? Get that early start.

6) I once deleted someone from my myspace top 8 just because I knew it would piss her off. I really don't care about that stuff and most people I know could care less but I knew she would. So I did it to be spiteful. I know. I'm such a brat. This girl at work is trying to peer pressure me into starting a facebook page but I just don't want to. I'll just keep using Stace and my line sister's pages until they kick me off. And when that happens I'll survive.

7) I've wanted more than just a bachelor's degree for a long, long time. When I was in college a professor said master's degrees weren't necessary unless you planned to teach. Teaching has always been in the back of my mind, but in journalism they impress upon you how important it is to have experience. It's very true, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't have an extra degree. Never hurts! But after that point sophomore year, I didn't work too, too hard grades-wise because I was like well if I'm not going to grad school, as long as I stay above 3.0 I'm cool. Ridiculous, but that's how it was for me. Now I'm counting on it not biting me in the butt when I go back.

8) I see dead people. Not really. But as long as they didn't look disgusting like they did in 6th Sense or follow me around and make me do stuff for them, I don't think I'd mind. Someone to talk to. I've always liked fiction about magic and witchcraft but believeable magic. NOT Harry Potter. It's hard for me to get on the bandwagon for anything. I tried to read that book but I just had to stop. It felt too much like what everybody else was doing. No thanks. I value my individuality.


Ya Girl is HOT!!!

And not in a good way. But why am I fightin mad though? Like FIGHTING MAD!! It was one of those days at work but I left and today's my Friday. Can I get an Amen! I'd already planned to go to noon bible study at an unnamed church whose website I visited. I didn't know exactly where it was so I wandered a bit until I found it, then turned around to find some food. I stopped at Anthony's in East Liberty to get breakfast. It was ok but then it turned out they didn't take debit cards. The lady let me leave to go get money and since she was so nice about it, I gave her $10 for a $6.25 meal. Pay it forward. Holla!

I head around the corner to the church and THEY DON'T HAVE NOON BIBLE STUDY IN THE SUMMER EITHER!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok first, WHAT?!?! Who does this??? The whole city of Pittsburgh doesn't believe you need Jesus during the day in the summer?!?! Second, but why is this the 2nd church I've learned of their noon bible study online which had NO MENTION OF SUMMER JESUS BREAKS?!?!!? Lord, please holla at these web folk. Third, conspiracy. It's gotta be. This shows me I just don't need to go to bible study. Ever. I must need to do this my way.

Last Sunday I headed to another unnamed church (let's not hurt nobody's feelings). NO AIR!! Or open windows!!!??? The choir was off key. And worst of all, the woman they let speak for women's day in the pastor's place was beyond off topic and confusing. I still don't know what I was supposed to get out of Zachariah 5:5-11. I looked at this but still have the huh????? face on so (even though that blurb held more understanding for me than all 20+ minutes of her "speech") if you read it and you know, please spread the word.

I tiptoed out before the baptisms so I could go to the gym and realized I parked right next to Winslow Street. So I wanted to see the scene of the tragedy I'd been writing about for more than a month. I can't get this story out of my head. It breaks my heart that two mothers reportedly admitted to leaving their combined 7 children home alone in the middle of the night. They were 3 to 8 years old. The two 8-year-olds were the only ones to make it out alive. Now the burned shell is boarded up and the sidewalk is covered with stuffed animals and flowers. I said a prayer as I drove past.

As I drove around the corner, I saw a church I'd been looking for 2 months earlier but couldn't find. Then another church I saw during the first Jesus break debacle was letting out as I drove past. Turns out this one is also a black church so I may hit them up as well. There go the next two Sundays. So I've decided that was the purpose of going to the service I did not enjoy. After church I headed to the gym, the grocery store, then the bed!!

The point! Why is your girl so hot??? Let me tell you why ya girl is burning up but trying to calm down. Because on June 12th, the same day these children died, I was heading to work and was sideswiped on the highway by some kid who was not paying attention. We have the same insurance company. He ended up lying and saying he wasn't at fault. The people handling both ends of the claim are in Erie. A minimum of 2 hours away. Please let me know how you can investigate a claim when you don't even know what the highway looks like or where the accident happened. So when they said it would be a 50-50 claim, I said no thanks. I kept going up the chain until I got to the regional manager. He re-opened the claim. I went to the gym today to work off some of my frustration and actually felt way better.

Then as I pull up to my house, do you know one of his lackeys called me to let me know they came to the same conclusion WITHOUT COMING TO SEE MY CAR OR CALLING ME AGAIN?!? That is NOT an adequate investigation if you use all the same information!! No. Unacceptable.

I took my mother's advice and called an attorney. They said because of the amount of damage (a huge scrape but still driveable) it would cost more for them to get involved. That is oooooooooooook. Know why? Because I was captain of the debate team and have had several people try to convince me to go to law school because of my analytical mind and love of research and debate. I'll pass. But here's what I've done so far. First, the guy who hit me is in the Navy. Since he lied, I researched a little about his branch of the military. My great uncle served in the Navy for DECADES. Retired from the Navy. My father was in the Air Force. 2 uncles were in the Army. One went to Vietnam. My grandfather did two tours of duty in France during World War II. I know a little something about military honor. DON'T try me. So I looked up their Core Values. Take a look at the section on HONOR which is to apply "aship and ashore" as they say. If there is a problem, report it to the Inspector General. Trust and believe that's my next step.

I also researched and found I should not sign ANYTHING lest they try to hold me to it. My mom said they didn't conduct a further investigation because they want me to give up. Yeah right. He hit the wrong one. THIS IS NOT OVER!!

On a brighter note.

Tell me that's not a drawer full of joy. And it's heavy as all get out, too. I know he wants to get EVERY SINGLE beer in, but D... come on.

Still need something to wear to the wedding and it grows closer every day. This is a possibility. I asked her if there were any colors she didn't want at the wedding. She thought and thought and said hot pink. I got quiet and then started to describe the skirt. She quickly interjected, "JAMEIL I DON'T CARE!!! Wear what you want." So this is a contender.

And let's end on the gorgeous view I get to look at 5 days a week. If I weren't always running around like a crazy person, I would enjoy it a lot more but c'est la vie.


"I'm Fat"

"My momma said this just baby fat."
"No, that's just fat baby."
-- "Moesha" episode

Every day I hear someone lament about their size. Some of them are a size 8 or a size 6 or 4, and yes, even a size 2. 2!!! I've never had a body image problem. I saw what I was and just accepted it. Even when I wasn't this small. There is nothing like hearing a skinny person say they're fat. It bothers me when anyone calls themself fat. Look, you are who you are. Self-hatred and self-deprecation will never help whether you like your weight or want to change it.

You know that "does this make me look fat" thing that stereotypically women say and stereotypically men hate? It's just as annoying to me. Because rarely does the person want the truth and I'm going to tell you. I don't ask that question because I'm gonna hit you in the mouth if you say I look fat. No matter what size I am! :)

It's no secret I work out a lot. At least 3 times a week. It's only Monday and I've already been twice! Holla! If I ate better my body would respond even better to exercise. But many days, I'd rather sleep, blog, talk on the phone or read than stand over a stove. Especially after working and going to the gym and running whatever errands I need to run. Of course there are days when I rock out, but sometimes I just don't feel like it!!! Which means fast food. Whatever.

Going to the gym makes me far more body concious than I was a year ago. That does NOT mean I think I'm fat. It DOES mean I look in the mirror (or any reflective surface) too much (lmao! me and my Hampton friends would say "As if!!" you can't look in the mirror too much ever!!) with my stomach exposed or just looking at the overall effect and talk about the gym a lot. I like having people at work I can talk about my borderline gym fanaticism. I CAN'T STAND people who are smaller than me talking about their bitterness about their bodies. It's unnecessary.

I bought a bikini for my upcoming trips! And it is TOO cute! Like its new owner! :) One person I showed it to told me she wouldn't be wearing a bikini any time soon. WHY praytell not after you worked so hard to regain your shape after pregnancy???? Own your body!!!!! And I mean that for everyone. You are not fat, but I'm not going to spend any more time telling you that. If you don't believe you're beautiful, no one else will.


(BTW I was a guest blogger on The Beach Chair. He's not slick. I know he just wanted me to tease to his website but yay anyway!!!)


This is Life

Sometimes it's really, really boring. But some interesting things have happened to me this week. First, well, I guess this is really from last week, since it was Saturday. Remember that last post about me getting lost because they shut down portions of the highway YES ALL LANES (?!?!) EVERY weekend? Well because they shut down the same portions or similar portions, every weekend, in either direction, I've become quite accustomed to my detour and started to smell myself a little. I'm like HEY! I know where I'm going! I'm gonna learn this city if it kills me!!

Yeah... not so much. Last weekend they shut down an additional exit. WHAT!?!? And not only was the exit shut down, but the detour signs were trash. That meant I drove in a big circle and found myself in the same place I was 30 MINUTES PREVIOUS!! I just had to get out of the car before I started hollerin. Not yelling, not screaming. HOLLERIN!! So I stopped at a restaurant in Squirrel Hill (can't escape this place with the detours) called The Bagel Factory... but I don't like bagels. But it was around 7:30am so there wasn't much open. And I'd told myself before I left if I got lost, I would stop somewhere for breakfast that I'd never been before and that is unique to Pittsburgh.

I liked their menu even without the bagels. I got a Greek omelette with carmelized onions, tomatoes, spinach and feta cheese. It came with potato wedges. SO YUMMY!! And I had to leave some on the plate because it was HUGE!! 3 egg omelettes are the norm now. I forgot I have to ask for my omelettes with 2 eggs. I cannot eat all that egg especially when there's other deliciousness on my plate. (Do not assail me for not eating a bagel and at the Bagel Factory!! I don't need all that bread in my life! Lol) See what the joy of discovery and adventure does for you?

Sunday, I took a different route, this time along Route 28. I took it out for years and years and WITHOUT so much as a YES THIS IS THE RIGHT WAY from PENNdot (I need to file a complaint. It should not be this hard to find my way home), or a single wrong turn, I MADE IT HOME!!! May I tell you I don't think I've ever been so proud of myself?? It was fantastic! I had grand plans to go to church... but once I got home, I sat down and ate and didn't want to move. I turned on Dr. Charles Stanley, though and he HOOKED ME UP!! He's very down to earth and gives it to you straight. I love it.

Monday was cookie day at work, but most people were just bringing desserts. I really wish I'd taken a picture of my handiwork because it was GORGEOUS!! I took the angel food cake dessert shells you get at the grocery store, filled them with whipped cream, topped them with blueberries and a slice of strawberry. My coworkers were all in awe and I heard they were delicious. Another thing I don't eat... blueberries. What? I bought them because they were blue and I was doing a red, white and blue thing. Color is very big for me. My friend Mor used to laugh at me because when I would go out at night (minimum 2xs a week, sometimes up to 4xs in college), I would have color schemes for my outfits. Once she pointed it out, I noticed and it cracked me up! So funny. One thing I really like to do is have a pop of color.

This is what I wore for 4th of July when I went to lunch with a co-worker and a former co-worker at Claddaugh Irish Pub. I just topped it with a black shirt. Get it? Pop of color. The red shoes. It works with neutral outfits. For lunch I had a meatloaf sandwich and a Sam Adams Summer Ale. Very yummy beer.

Back to this week. Sunday afternoon I also made whole wheat spaghetti with a ground turkey meat sauce... muy yumm-o!!! And I just made up the recipe based on your average spaghetti recipe. A few weeks ago I made chiptole turkey burgers and gave the recipe to one of my coworkers. She made them and LOVED them. I got it from my home girl Rachael Ray. Monday was very uneventful. Tuesday I went to the gym after work, then tried to go to a noon bible study. I get there and see hearses out front but there are still various and sundry people milling about outside. I ask a woman out front but she doesn't know anything about bible study so I ask a woman in the kitchen. She tells me there's no bible study because of the summer. WHAT?!?!? Let me find out we get summer Jesus breaks. Nonsense. I was more annoyed because I'd driven over there for no reason since I'd been on the website that morning and since and saw nothing about noon bible study being cancelled that day or any other. You know I'll be making a phone call to the chu'ch to find out why. That was my one chance to go this month. The rest of the month I'm producing the noon show on Tuesdays.

Oh well. I decide that day I'm going to find the Christian bookstore because obviously it will be a struggle for me to get to a church. I'm not going to stop trying but I see I'm going to have to take some of my instruction into my own hands. Wednesday after work I find the bookstore (again having to make too many phone calls because there are no signs from the road). I need Pittsburgh to work with me. For real. Right now they are TRIPPIN!! There are no signs anywhere or they are the most confusing things ever if they exist. Yesterday I saw 2 signs for the parkway right next to each other. One pointed up and left, the other pointed down and left. Right next to each other. Why? One sign will suffice if you're going in the same direction, right?!?! Why confuse people? Foolishness!!

So at the bookstore I bought Tye Tribbet's latest. There was a shout-out to Kenny on one of the songs, so that's really cool. I also bought a mixed cd and 4 books. I went a bit mad. But I figure since I do that when I go to the regular bookstore and Target, no need to stop now! Lol. One of the books is the Women's Devotional Guide to the Bible. I talked to my mom this morning about my purchases and where I am in my life. She is so helpful to me. It's great to have a mom who can help you and who is there for you. With her help and Wynel, I'm growing every day.

Yesterday the new Chick-Fil-A opened just a few miles from my house!!! Yay!! There are free-standing Chick-Fil-As everywhere at home. Here they were mostly at the mall until the last year or so. Now they're starting to pop up everywhere. Hurray! So I went there for breakfast. I got a chicken biscuit, oj, and hash rounds. Then I headed to the park to walk. I was really enjoying being in the sun because it wasn't too hot. I attacked some of those hills, too. I made sure not to run down them backwards!!! Then I came home, read some more, took a nap. My dad and I went to Uno's for Daddy-Daughter night. We got a half pepperoni pizza with half mushroom and spinach pizza. Yummy. My only beef was that the mushrooms weren't at all cut. Just giant mushrooms sitting atop the cheese. It made them a bit unwieldly as they bobbled all over creation. Can I get that cut in half if you don't do the slice thing? Just a thought.

Then we went to see Transformers. Not my kind of movie. It was kind of interesting and could bring out the kid in you. I was annoyed by the length. I really don't think any movie should be 2 hours long. 2 hours is dragging and dragging. Just get to it. Especially because if you watch enough movies, you can guess the end about 20 to 30 minutes in. So just get to it. Comedies are the worst past 90 minutes. You just sit there like ENOUGH!! Plus I get annoyed with action movies that have to have some sort of love story. The love interest in this movie is not a good actress. And I was irritated by her breasts pushed up to the heavens in every scene. Is that really necessary for us to understand she's supposed to be the "hot" girl everyone wants? I wondered while watching the movie if she was annoyed by her costuming. This is why you don't want to go to a movie with me. I'm analyzing things totally unrelated to the plot in addition to the plot. Thinking too much? Maybe. But it's who I am. I won't ruin your movie experience unless you want me to, but if you ask, trust, I'll let you know!


Losin' It

*I wrote this several weeks ago and waited to post it until I stopped being lazy and took some pics. That day has come since Honey decided to blog about what she liked about my blog. I haven't talked about fashion in beyond forever, right? Overdue. Now watch me work... in a roundabout way.*

I get lost almost every weekend with all the construction on my route to and from work. PennDOT and the parkway east are conspiring to make sure I explore this city. I've been to the Market District Giant Eagle which is way better than the regular grocery store, with more specialty foods, Whole Foods and Trader Joes. All stores I've wanted to test out. Surprisingly, I'm not the biggest Trader Joes fan (too small), but Whole Foods really peaked my interest. I did NOT like the potato chips in either store. What really struck me is the fact that everything is going back to the old days. Farmer's market, green growing and living, clean and efficient living. I don't need that in a potato chip. Thanks guys, but your hard little, break my tooth chips aren't cuttin' it for me.

Stace's boyfriend was overjoyed that I tried a vegetarian lasagna. It actually wasn't bad. He's stolen my meat-eating friend and replaced her with a pseudo-vegetarian! She eats Morningstar Farms and stuff like that. Replaces ground beef with soy. Granted, I often use ground turkey and had forgotten what it was like to cook with ground beef, but still. I am trying to be open-minded, but I am still southern and ground soy is a bit much for me. I will let them try to convert me to some things when I go down there, but I still love my meat!

This weekend, I saw the cutest neighborhood (Greenfield, with all the families walking, and groups jogging and Frick Park), took a turn and was suddenly back where I should've been all along. Since I was playing hooky from church this week, I stopped at this flea market-type set-up in a parking lot I've been wanting to stop at but have never had time. One lady had the cutest hats EVER!! Some of them were too small for my head (thanks Dad). They were all 30s, 40s, 50s style. Let me tell you how the hats are so fly I just HAVE to go to church next week. I wanted to go this week but I thought the 2nd service started at 9:45, not 9:30 which meant I needed to leave by the time I was about to start getting dressed. Not cute. So! That just means I have more time to plan these miraculous fits.

The hats. Did I tell y'all I've always wanted to be the hat lady at church???

2 have feathers... one has a net with rhinestones. FIERCE!! Slow down, son, you killin 'em.


Just Drink

Sometimes when you're feeling a bit melancholy, or even a bit jolly, that's the best thing to do. Just drink. That was always the plan back in college when I was a lush. (Alcoholics go to meetings and I'm no quitter). I had a drinking partner. We don't talk anymore, haven't in 2 and a half years... and for no reason, but she was my closest friend in college after Stace left.

Here was the plan. If we had a bad day, one of us would walk in and say, "I had a bad day, I need a drink." If it was a good day, one of us would walk in and say, "I had a good day, I need a drink!" Oh my. It was such fun. I had a ball in college. I wouldn't trade those years for millions of dollars. I really wouldn't. I wouldn't know Stace or Ash or Wynel or Sha Boogie and on and on I could go. So many of the best people I know I met at Hampton.

Today was a good day. Then I came home and watched the rest of "Spanglish." I'd never seen it before and it is FANTASTIC. But it really makes you think. Hence the need for the drink. Life goes and goes and goes and sometimes you just need to stop...

and just drink.


Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I hate hair. It's such a ridiculous point of contention, particularly for women. I'm very adamant in my belief that hair is a personal choice. That means I do not invite your opinions when it comes to mine, nor will I join your condemnation against someone else when it comes to theirs. Of course I mean style. If your hair is looking a bit raggedy, and you ask, I'll gladly give you my opinion, regardless of the style.

When I "went natural" or "broke free of the evil clutches of the perm," it was my choice. There was no judgement or grand statement about my strength or a lack of strength on the part of women who choose to perm. I did it because I was sick of perming my hair and bored with it. The upkeep was driving me insane. Plus I had no idea what my natural texture feels like. That's the only depressing thing to me about our perm culture. Before I cut my hair, on August 17, 2003, I was 20 years old and couldn't remember what my perm-free hair felt like. It had been that long. My friend who'd cut her hair years earlier told me it would feel nothing like your "new growth." True indeed. My hair was much softer and curlier than whatever that was sprouting from my scalp. Sometimes it's annoyingly soft and throws temper tantrums "I WILL NOT STAY IN THAT STYLE AND YOU CANNOT MAKE ME," it says. Whatever.

One time a guy said to me, after I cut my hair, "I love your hair like that. You're just so deep and listen to Jill Scott and stuff like that." I stopped in my tracks like wow... is he really this slow? Have you learned nothing from India Arie?

I definitely won't be shaving my hair because I have no desire to at any point be mistaken for a man, but I understand the frustration that could lead up to it. When people were getting on Britney, I kind of understood where she was coming from. Sometimes you just get to a point where it's like, "So what? It's just hair." And it is. It grows back. The dude who swore out I was so deep, I quickly put him in place, "Umm... no. Don't get it twisted. Yeah I like Jill, but I always have. And I still like UGK and 36." (I was going through my "YES I AM SOUTHERN HEAR ME ROOOOOOAR" phase). Hair doesn't make us who we are, but it can shape how we feel about ourselves.

I've been thinking about getting a perm. I know, I know. QUEL HORREUR!! One woman at work acted like I told her I was going to commit suicide. Relax. It's just hair. If I don't like it, I can just cut it short and start over again. I'll miss my hair, of course. Any kind of change has the potential to breed a sadness or sorts. I want to try something different. I love Rihanna (that song is annoying, she can't sing or dance) and Kelis' haircuts. I've always loved Nia Long's haircuts. So I figure I can try a few of those or just one and then come back to what I like but right now I'm just BORED!! Something's gotta give.

I would also like to try some color. A red maybe, since if I'm in the sun enough in the summer (which I nearly never am) it turns red anyway. One thing I really like about my hair is the type of guys I attract. I don't want to stop attracting guys with dreds because I LOVE them. It's not like guys with dreds are only attracted to girls w/natural hair, but it certainly doesn't hurt! The one time I dated a model my friends all drooled over (he wasn't my type but I went out with him because my friends thought he was gorgeous... that's a fantastic story... I'll relay that one soon), he said he loved my hair. It was about a week after I cut it, so that was really cool. I was apprehensive about how guys would react to my hair, but I got some really good feedback. Ultimately, though, it won't impact what I decide.


Do Us All A Favor

And GO BACK TO WORK!!! I am a firm believer in the importance of vacations and their restorative powers. Far be it from me to begrudge anyone the joys of sleeping in on a Thursday, rolling around in the warm sand, frolicking in the surf, cooking out on the grill or any other way you choose to push aside your everyday cares.

HOWEVER, can y'all please spread it out? We know I don't get holidays. I work in the media. I resigned myself to that before I graduated from college and am quite okay with it. We usually console each other with delicious food and/or gifts. Since it is a fluke for me to actually get a holiday off (meaning the holiday falls on my regularly scheduled off days), I block them out. Every day is the same.

So when it's suddenly the 4th of July and there is no beer in my house and the BEER DISTRIBUTOR IS CLOSED (!!); or I just want to go into the mall at 11 a.m. without being surrounded by people; or I want to go to a restaurant which is closed for the holiday (WHAT HOLIDAY?!?!), forgive me if I get a tad bit incensed. Look, I've become very used to my schedule. I get off at 10 or 10:30 a.m. everyday. That means I'm accustomed to being to walk into just about any store or restaurant and get immediate, fast service. I've gotten to the point where I get annoyed if I'm forced to SHARE a salesperson. The horror!! It's one of the few good things about the schedule and you have to enjoy them when they appear.

Now the place where this whole holiday thing becomes the most annoying is gym. WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!? I really, really enjoy being able to walk in and pick which elliptical machine and always get my favorite (the last one in the 2nd row, directly in front of the fan (which isn't why I like it) because it is equidistant between the 6 televisions and I can see all of the tvs, like at work, and swivel my head between ESPN, CBS, CNN, and Fox News. I wish 4 of the tvs weren't on the same 2 channels (ESPN & CBS) because then I'd be able to watch even more, but that's neither here nor there) or my second favorite (the one to the left of that, not quite equidistant, but still allows me to see all 6 televisions).

Yesterday (like most other holidays), I walked in and was accosted by the sight of EVERY SINGLE ELLIPTICAL BEING OCCUPIED BY A SWEATY OR FUTURELY SWEATY BODY!! Son of a!!! Since 4th of July is smack in the middle of the week this year, I found a similar situation on Monday, except one of my least favorite machines (at the end of the 2nd row, where you're passed by every single person walking to the treadmills AND can only clearly see 3 tvs, I mean WHAT IS THE POINT?!?!). I got on, then became so annoyed that before even starting a single revolution, got off, walked to the other side to the bikes and found not a single good magazine. I walked upstairs to the indoor track and began walking. Both days there were too many bodies. I decide to use the weight machines and free weights because I just don't have the patience. It was like going on a Saturday morning. Ugh.

I didn't even get to the full enjoyment of my new playlist! (Speaking of which, I'm always down for new music to workout to, so give me some suggestions!!) If you must go to the gym on your vacation, GO AT YOUR REGULAR TIME so as not to disturb me. Is that so much to ask?


I Go to Work!!!

That's the name of my new playlist. I got kind of sidetracked because I've added so much stuff to my ipod that I'd forgotten half of the stuff on there!! Geez! I really have to get the car adapter. It's all pointless without it. I bet that will keep me off the phone in the car! Lol. I keep buying cds. I should introduce myself to my current stuff!!! One of my fave new finds thanks to Ace is Alice Smith. That girl is nice. "Dreams" is a bangin song. "Woodstock" is good, too. Look, I just like the cd.

Here's what I'll be working out to next time I head to the gym (my pre-requisite are that the song be fast-paced, almost crackishly so):
1- "The New Workout Plan" Kanye West (b/c it CRACKS ME UP!! and I get crunk and MOVE!)
2- "Hey Lil Mama" Young C (one of the hood songs my girl hooked me up with when I went home)
3- "Get Me Bodied" Beyonce (I could not stand this song until I got back from home and that's just because my friend wore it out and it made me think of her. I like the video because she does all these dances that are very DJ Jubilee and New Orleans bounce of her. My fave is definitely "snap for the kids." TOO funny.)
4- "That's Right" Ciara f/Lil John (very hyper)
5- "Bang it Up" Ciara (more hyper)
6- "One Minute" Kelly Clarkson
7- "Lose My Breath" Destiny's Child
8- "Anything" Jay-Z f/Usher & Pharrell (not that fast, I just like the song)
9- "Never Again" Kelly Clarkson
10- "I'm A DBoy" Lil Wayne f/Birdman
11- "I'm Hot" Missy Elliot (always makes me think of Ash and the rest of my HU crew)
12- "B.O.B." OutKast
13- "Skew It on the Bar-B" OutKast f/Raekwon
14- "Fever" Rhymefest
15- "Pass the Popcorn (Revisited)" The Roots
16- "Oh Timbaland" Timbaland
17- "Let Me See It" UGK (just cause I like it it gets me crunk.. another song that reminds me of HU)

BTW it took me a full WEEK to recover from my injuries. Wow... Went to the gym yesterday. Today's pain is all minor muscular aches that show you actually did something!! :) I wanted to go today but I didn't pack and gym clothes. Oh bother.