Aaaaaaaaaaand We're Back.

It's that time again. 2 years ago, almost to the day, I wrote this post. A year later, I touched on it again. Know why? Because it's around this time that it starts getting cold. When it gets cold, we are also nearing the holiday season. This means people bring out their ugly sweaters. And for Halloween, they bring out their hideous pumpkin, witch and ghost-covered vests. I saw more than one today and the only places I went were work (long before dawn cracked), the gym and the gas station. IT'S NOT RIGHT!!

You know I've never done Halloween, and this year it just seemed extra shallow and lame. I can't stand all the ridiculous "take me seriously as a journalist when something explodes or catches fire" but today I'm Elvira and Frankenstein! Sorry Mere and Matt. It had to be done. I also can't stand the lame "last minute costume ideas" segments. They do this every year. I could walk anyone in America through a Halloween segment for a goofy morning show. There has to also be something about dangerous candy, and trick-or-treat safety. ANYONE could produce a Halloween show. Fox News this morning had a triple box on an issue with a woman in an angel costume, one in a devil costume, and a witch in the center. Then one referred to the other two as "a bit sexy." AND YOU WONDER WHY PEOPLE DON'T TREAT YOU LIKE REAL JOURNALISTS!! Ridiculous. I'm just not really a fan of national morning shows, anyway. I don't like the light, dumbed down content. I'm a grown-up. I like some shoot 'em up kill 'em with my breakfast. I've always been a hard news (death and destruction, politics, etc.) and not a soft news (celebrity crap) girl. Shoot me if I'm expected to have anything to do with Entertainment Tonight. There is a place for that. It's just not for me. If I want to watch a segment on style, I'll do it after I have all my news for the day. I don't want it all mixed in.

I really didn't mean for this to become a rant. Lolol. On a ridiculously light note. Apparently I hide money from myself accidentally. I've found money in odd places 3 times in the last month. Today was time number 3. I found $60 in my gym bag. WHOOOOOOO!! I think I put it there before my trip to Hampton for homecoming. The 20s are extra crisp. Whatever the case I celebrated and giggled all the way to the locker room, worked out, came back and looked at the pseudo-windfall and giggled again as I sashayed out into the cold.

Um... I think I've accidentally caught the disease both of my parents have. Stranger-speak-to-me-syndrome. At my gym, it's the old white women who love to approach me. Why? Why do you feel the need to have the strangest conversations with me? "I like your little thingy. Is that an ipod? Did you download all the music yourself?... Well good for you!" "Ooops. I think I piddled. Well, I didn't piddle, but this water was all stuck here in the bottom of my bathing suit and it just came out. I hope no one falls." It's the locker room, and 5 feet from a shower. I think everyone will be okay. It was almost like she was talking to herself, but she kept looking to me for encouragement. You said piddled. How am I to respond? I don't know where this alleged friendliness came from but it's such a strange, strange thing for me. Know why? Because my neutral I'm just sitting here face looks like "I hate you" to people who don't know me. I'M SORRY I DON'T SIT AND SMILE ALL THE TIME!!! Actually, I'm not. I am who I am and I LOVE ME!!


Take It!!

My freshman year Hampton homie Sha-boogie's favorite saying is, "Jesus, take the wheel."

I invoked this the other night when the cops here decided to hold the largest D.U.I. checkpoint in city history ON MY ROUTE TO WORK. They shut down two of the 3 lanes and closed off the only exit to escape. That means it took me an HOUR to drive, count 'em, one-two miles!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right. TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!! And guess how far I was from work. That's right! Two miles. JESUS! Take the wheel. And guess what? It calmed me down. LOVE IT!

Today. I'm headed home on the parkway and the oldest red Ford truck still on the highway is piled to high heaven with stuff. I mean stuff piled so high, he can't even see out of his rearview. Strapped to the top of this pile is a mattress. I guess it's the cherry. He barrels past me doing at least 70 and what happens? Stuff starts flying off his truck. The first thing looks like a piece of particle board, you know like you make those cheap bookshelves with. The car in front of me misses that. The second thing is a BAR STOOL!!!!! A. BAR. STOOL!! I'm on the phone with my line sister and gasp and slam on the breaks to avoid this three-legged monstrosity that barreled toward me. Mind you, it's the highway, there are cars behind me and this is a 55 mph zone, so I'm going 60.

I BARELY avoid it and keep going without a scratch, but I'm breathing HARD! And I'd blacked out. Not literally. In the sense that emotionally I kicked straight into survival mode. I don't even remember what came out of my mouth but my l.s. said it was "all kinds of m.f.-er." That's a direct quote. Sorry Jesus. I sped up, got the license plate, and called the police to report lil crazy who thinks he should move the contents of a room in one trip. Then I reflect on what just happened and think, without my asking, Jesus TOOK the wheel! Holla!!!!


You Are Lying...

If you say you don't find this insanely funny. I laughed, oh did I laugh! I even had a tear in the corner. HUH-LARIOUS!!


Naked Raisins for Everyone!! or Homecoming 2007 to the Nitty Gritty

It started on Thursday, very early in the morning. The only official party we knew everyone would be there was a birthday party for one of our classmates that night at Mc.Fadden's. Of course when you're flying US Airways and you have things to do, your flight will most certainly be delayed.

I have a question. And I need y'all to be honest with me. If you knew, you'd tell me, right? Do I have a sign on my forehead that says "Get your airport holla on"? Because I think I must. It NEVER FAILS. I get in the airport and the craziest people approach me. This dude who works there who looks about 50 (which in the black don't crack world means he's actually 60) asked if I was in school. I said no. Then he asked if I gave out my number. Of course I said no. Then he asked if I'd take his. No again. (Why take it? I'm not going to call. No need to even waste space in the phone or lie to the brother.) To quote Veronica, "Sir." If you thought I was a college student, your persistence is extra repulsive with a dollop of please stop. I say, "I'm not dating right now." (This was before the revelation but even if it hadn't been, he wouldn't have had a chance. I already have a father.) He says, "I'm not dating right now, either, but can we be friends?" At this point I just laugh and walk away. Too. Much. Gentlemen. This was more than a hint. I was super polite but everything from my body language to my WORDS said, "NOT INTERESTED!!" Geez.

Once I get to my gate and learn that not only is my flight delayed, but I have plenty of time to grab a drink or two since I've talked to my homie Kevin and he's let me know that he's already tipsy. WHAT!? No indeed. I head to Zona Mexicana for a margarita. Quite tasty. But there's some white man next to me at the bar who keeps turning to stare at me for several seconds at a time. Next spot! So I head to Friday's to get the bay breeze (parrot bay, cranberry, pineapple juice) requested by two of my coworkers. Tastes lovely! But on the way, I hear an elderly gentleman (at least 70) say to his youthful companion, "Wait. Stop." Then to me, "Excuse me, You're very beautiful." "Thank you," I reply smiling graciously at the toothless man. Then I look down thinking what am I wearing??? Is it a different perfume? I don't even wear perfume! My outfit is regular enough. I never wear jeans and a t-shirt and certainly don't wear sneakers outside of the gym, but still... I guess my pheremones were hummin comin atcha that day! I DEFINITELY NEED TO GO OUT!! Lolol.

When my flight gets to Norfolk, only about 30 minutes late, I'm ready to go out immediately. My friends say, "But why are you so skinny? Is the rest of you getting off the plane, too?" "And did you shrink? Because I swear you weren't that short either." First we get our hotel room and then, do you know they don't want to go out? Ridiculous!! The don't want to go to McFadden's because we're supposed to be going there Friday night. REALLY!?!? This is the only guaranteed party and you don't want to go??? Ridiculous I say! We did have fun spending the night talking about everyone who wasn't there and their drama, friends and friends of friends and such. Good times. We could've done that over many drinks at the spot while I was being my social butterfly self. No matter.

They'd messed up our room so there was one bed. That meant I got to sleep in the middle of a queen-sized bed sandwiched between my homies. There were most certainly times where I was sleeping on about 3 inches of bed. The next morning we wake up and go get Lady Glancer aka Ash aka China Girl from the airport. Then we head to CRACKER BARREL!! Are you aware of my ridiculous love for this place? I say, "I'm starving!!" CC and Bran, the smart arses say, "Yeah, we know. We already discussed that." "She was on the homecoming starvation diet. One month to homecoming, no food." BIATCHES!!!! So funny. At the barrel, I have 3 strips of bacon, 2 eggs, two helpings of grits, hashbrown casserole, and a biscuit. Yeah. I was gettin it in!! Yummy, yummy food. After that we go back to the hotel so Ashli can get dressed, run a few errands, then its off to the bazaar!!

We see lots of people we know... not lots but more than I expected, anyway. Then I head to the Scripps Howard Open House for Alumni. I meet my homie Kevin there. Afterwards we go back to the union where I see one of the guys I crushed on FOR.EV.ER. Well, at least a year. I used to talk to the ex about him all the time. After that, I walking over to the library to meet back up with Kev when I see a large group of the Ques. Hugs all around and someone called me beautiful. Good times. Then me and Kev went to Chili's to discuss life lol over food and drinks. Good times, good times. He, too, commented on the weight loss. Whooo!! He also said I

Then I met back up with the crew at Target. One person bought her shirt for the game in the maternity section... excellent fodder. The next day we told her we saw a pregnant girl with her shirt on. You should've seen her face drop!!!!! HILARIOUS!! It would've been even funnier if it was true, but alas! Lolol. So funny. We were definitely up to our old shenanigans. It was like we'd never parted. Granted they all see each other more than I do. Working weekends and holidays and not being able to take off for ratings periods in February, May, July or November (yeah... all that) has seriously impeded me attending the girly gatherings.

After Target, we met up with MORGAN!!! YAY!!! We headed to McFaddens and start drinking and mingling. I started with a sex on the beach and it was delicious!! Next was a captain and coke. I know I had another sex on the beach and an apple martini with crown (disgusting, especially since I don't like apple martinis). My bar tab was around $42 but I can't tell you what else I drank other than those drinks. Wait. I think I had 3 SOBs. I remember getting the itemized bill and being like, "I drank all of that!?!" Anyway. I was flitting around, as I've done all my life, inserting myself in conversations, taking pictures, generally enjoying myself. Everywhere I go, I'm stalked by the Steelers.

There are car tags and jerseys and that up there EVERYWHERE around the country. It's insanity. That was my proof. McFadden's in Hampton. COME ON!! Same thing in Miami, Charlotte. Everywhere. It's ridiculous. I realized I can't show you most of my pics because I don't know how these people feel about having their faces on the internet. Also, I'm selective about how much of my face I'm willing to show on the internet! Send me an email or find me on myspace and I might let you check out my pics. I did find out 2 people I knew while I was in school live in Pittsburgh, too!!! Yay!! That's so exciting!

The next morning me and Brandi were up early (630 or so. Friday and Saturday am, she got up at 7 to do her hair, then went back to sleep for an hour. So funny. I called it her 7am ritual.) and woke everyone else up. Then went back to sleep. Morgan and I went to Tommy's for breakfast (diner with ridiculously cheap, good food) while everyone else was showering. We came back, got dressed, then it was GAME TIME!! As we were waiting in the line of cars headed to the stadium, everyone but me was eating raisinettes. I don't do those things. They look nasty and the flavor has never been up to par for me. I like raisins, chocolate is okay, but the combo? No. Ash says, "Did you know if you put a naked raisin in a glass of champagne that's gone flat, it brings the bubbles back?" We were all like, "A what?" She's like, "Ooops... hahahaha. A raisin without chocolate on it, a regular raisin." HUHLARIOUS!! Naked raisins for everyone!!!

Side note: Look at these fabulous shoes, would you?

My crew doesn't pay $25 to go to the game. We now go to the tailgate parties which last the entire game, and hang out in the union. We chilled on the steps of Holland (the gym) next to the Alpha tailgate, got some oil and blue juice from the Que and Sigma tailgates, respectively, and barbeque chicken from a variety of places. We also got funnel cakes and non-alcoholic daiquiris. And someone was handing out beers at some tent. Regardless it was yummy and fun. In the 7 years since I officially joined the Hampton family I'd never been to a homecoming tailgate. TRAVESTY, I know!!!

I think this post is long enough and I'm tired of writing it. Plus I'm entering a burger contest for Rachael Ray's magazine and I told my dad I'd try out one of my recipes on him today. He gets home at noon for lunch so that means I need to start cooking in the next 14 minutes. More later loves.


12 Hours

12 blissful hours is all it took.

I've been going through the last three weeks with an attitude. A big one. And a chip on my shoulder that said, "I'M PISSED!!" And everyone had to take note of it. If you didn't, I was kind enough to point it out. The last several months, I've been in a funk. Oh, it hasn't been a continual funk. There were periods of joy. Some days I was happy. Some days I was excited. Some days I was genuinely having a good time.

But today. Today I was overjoyed. And all because I had this sense of contentment and peace. I've been reading (and am still reading) Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book. I'd heard about it, of course, because she's been on Oprah, and who can forget a title like that one? But I'd thought it was fiction.

I like fiction. I've always liked fiction. I'm the queen of novels. Have been since I could read. Once we got past the "see Jane run" nonsense, I was off and running. You know how you were supposed to read up to a certain point and stop? Or your teacher would assign a book and you had to only do one chapter each week? I always read the book in the first week, maybe even the first day if it was captivating enough. Why would I stop? So I can forget what's in the beginning? Don't you know I'm reading 4 other books right now? I can't be bothered to be on the slow reader track. And oddly enough, I liked most of the books we had to read. If the beginning moved slowly, I'd still ordinarily give a book at least 100 pages to get it together. Two books I couldn't stand: Siddhartha and Anna Karenina. I really liked "All Quiet on the Western Front" and "Don Quixote." Surprisingly. I really didn't expect to like the former. I mean, hello??? Western? No. I'm soo girly and I like it. Plus my father used to force us to watch Westerns with him when he was home (he traveled a lot when my sister and I were little).

It turns out Eat Pray Love is decidedly non-fiction. And had me thinking from the first chapter. Who gives up their life to go travel for a year? So bizarre and out of my realm of thought. Of course I was skeptical, but one of my favorite co-workers was only about halfway through and already recommending it. Hmm.... that sounds quite promising. You know how there are some books that are so well-written they make you want to write yourself? They provoke such thought in you that suddenly you can no longer keep pen from paper or your fingers from flying across the keys? That's where I am right now. Thought-provoked beyond measure. And I like it. I want to just sit here at this computer and write and write and write until I can't any longer. And then what shall I do? I guess write some more.

Last week, en route to homecoming, I missed Grey's Anatomy. I was certainly miffed about this prospect!! As was Brandi. She told me they wouldn't be able to get me from the airport because it would mean missing Grey's. Brat. (More often we use another name, same first letter.) We got Grey's recaps from everyone who'd seen it, though: Brandi's mom, her cousin, and Ashli. So many regurgitations of the show that I'd forgotten I hadn't seen it until V was talking about seeing Samantha Who. I said to myself, "Self, what is wrong with you!??! You missed Grey's and have taken almost a week to catch up?!?! Unconscionable!! Get the to the internet viewing immediately!!" So today I watched it.

It was about forgiveness.

I just stopped.

That's a real topic. It's one that has been following me around for the last couple of months. In church, bible study, books, magazines, newspaper articles, quotes from friends, conversations with my parents. When you refuse to forgive someone, the person it eats at is you. I know you've heard that before, but it's true. When you hold on to that hate, you can't grab at the love in front of you. Whether it's love of life or of other people. While you are so intent and focused, primed for hate, you negate the positive things in your realm.

So I forgave him.

I know. Bizarre, right? And so strange considering it took Grey's Anatomy to get me there. It wasn't just Grey's. It's a combination of things, but today it started with the 12 hours of sleep. There have been a plethora of sleep studies in the last few years. They tell us all sorts of things like a lack of it makes you overreact to emotional stimuli, even more than they thought you did; that it makes you irrational, and unhappy; that it can even have an impact on your physical health, make you gain weight; and doesn't allow you to recharge. It was the first part of that, the part about our reactions to emotional stimuli, that really hit home to me. When I'm sleepy, I'm a basket case. These aren't groundbreaking, necessarily, they just make sense. We all know how most people operate when sleep-deprived. Now there's concrete, evidentiary, statistical support. As if your grumpy counterparts weren't enough, right?

This morning as I was stepping out of the shower, ridiculously refreshed, and feeling nicely recovered from homecoming, it hit me. While I was there, at the place where we met and became incredibly close friends, I hadn't been angry. Or sad. I hadn't even really thought about him that much. Of course he came to my mind, but it wasn't like when I was in Norfolk back in August where nearly every waking moment was another reminder of what we had. This time, I was really, really enjoying where I was, and what I was doing, and who I was with. I was having fun. And when that came to me this morning, it was like a lightning bolt of clarity. I'm going to be okay.

And... I also feel ready to date. That made me pause. That thought popped up, also as I was climbing out of the shower. Ready? Already? How long has it been? Oh... a little over 5 months... hmmm... is that long enough? Then I thought, well, it's almost 6. In the grand scheme of things, another month isn't long at all. So maybe I wait another month. 6 months is a nice round number. I'm not saying I'm ready to dive in, but maybe it's time to stick my baby toe in the water. Maybe even the long second toe. Isn't it somehow related to survival? What I do know is that I'm ready to take on the world.


Not Loser Week

More like recovery week. I partied so hard this weekend. My pictures... are insane. I uploaded them all because Ashli gave me a close of business Monday deadline. I'M NOT SCARED OF YOU CHINA GIRL!! Anyway... they're all up on myspace. I'll be selectively adding them here in the next day or so. Catching up on blogs. Shout out to X for leaving me lots of things to read!!! Whoooooooo!!! I had a delightful lunch from Panera today-- turkey artichoke panini & black bean soup with chips and a piece of baguette. Yum!!!!! Have I toooooold you lately that I love food??? (Get to work on a new song with that one Chris!!) Man oh man. Love on a plate.

Also here's the only pic of James Earl Jones that looked like anything. I really was tempted to use my work i.d. to get closer and start passing out business cards. What else am I going to do?

You can't see the screaming children, but I promise they're there. My sister is only 19 months younger than me and all of our nearby cousins growing up were at least 3 years older than me except one and he was maybe 10 months younger than my sister. That means I know very little about children and have spent very little time around them.... and subsequently have very little patience for the ones who feel the need to be mouthy. These weren't necessarily mouthy, I just had so much other stuff to do that sitting around straining to hear the homie talk wasn't really in the cards that day... or any day.


That Different?

I showed my license this morning and the woman I showed it to said, "This doesn't even look like you anymore."
I said, "Oh. I lost weight."
She said, "I can see that. That's amazing. What did you do?"
"I've just been working out 3 times a week for almost a year."
"Wow! Well you look great!"
Sheepishly, and mumbling a bit because she's kind of making a scene in this small office, "Thanks."

Then she shows my i.d. to another woman and says, "Look at that. She doesn't even look like the same person."
"Wow! What did you do?!"
So I repeat myself and she has the same incredulous response and starts to tell me how she lost 22 lbs. but has lost the motivation, but hasn't gained any back.

Ummm... ok... first, do I really look that different??? Because if I do, when I go to homecoming I might not be recognized! Lol. People usually have to stare to notice that I lost weight and only after I mention it. Then they say, "Wow... you have." I only bring it up because they usually make some smart comment about my booty. Everybody's a comedian.

Also, what am I supposed to say in response to your lack of motivation? Hang in there? Don't give up? Don't stop til you get enough? Keep hope alive? I don't know how to encourage people about weight loss. I can't motivate you, you have to motivate yourself. It definitely never works when people try to motivate me, except my one work friend. We push each other.

My line sister definitely noticed the weight loss when she came down here. My mom noticed... and asked me not to lose another ounce, coupled with a very concerned look. Really mom, all that? So dramatic. It's not like I'm eating right all the time. I just have a smaller appetite and work out regularly. I did realize, though, that I sounded really nonchalant about working out 3xs a week for the last year. That's dedication!! Too bad the last 3 weeks I've been terrible! This week was just too much running around. Oh I forgot to tell you guys I heard James Earl Jones reading a children's book at a library near my job yesterday. It was pretty cool. Except I couldn't hear him that well because I was kind of toward the back and there were all these screaming children (go figure), so I left after about 15 minutes.

I'll post the best picture(s) when I get back from homecoming. Naptime, packing, hair and nails, then Hampton or bust!! Maybe I can find some cute shoes at the Nine West at the airport since they always have a great selection. I have 8 shoes laid out to pack. What's one more pair? Too bad the only decent clothing store (i.e. not Coldwat.er Creek or something) at the airport is the Gap. Bah. I feel like I need one more dress or something to really set off my attire for the weekend. I'll miss you guys. I know it's just a few days, but please try to post so I can have something to catch up on!!



And yet, so much to do. Even when my dad is at the house when I go out of town, I like to clean the kitchen and the bathroom and leave everything in order before I go. Granted I don't leave until 8:30 tomorrow night, but STILL!! I have to pack and I have some things on my agenda before I bounce tomorrow including hair and nails. I wanted to come up with a playlist, but I just don't care enough to do that. Bran and CC will be getting me from the airport, Ash and Mor get in Friday!!! PARTY TIME!! Man I can't wait!

I've already taken drink requests from my coworkers- what they want me to drink on their behalf. Here's what's on the list: a margarita, a key lime martini w/a graham cracker rim, 2 bay breezes, johnny walker, bacardi 151. A manager who shall remain nameless, "Lots of anything. And through one of those funnels." LOVE IT!! Any others? I have 3 days to get it all in.

Oh also, I am not complaining about the weather. I'm only saying I was mentally unprepared to create summer-esque outfits. I was thinking fall so there is definitely some rearrangement needed on my part. BUT, that means I can wear the purple trench that is so fab. WHOOOOOOOO!

Also... I've been using Facebook to do much of my homecoming festivities investigations. One of my classmates (QTV REPRESENT!!) is having a gathering at a bar on Thursday. But why are there people RSVPing who graduate (notice no d) in 2011. 2011?!?!?! I will be partying with someone's child! I'm praying this will be an "Oh... so sorry kids!" type thing. Like when they get to the door, someone will say, 21+ only. I don't mind partying with younger alum, and even seniors, but freshmen? No indeed. Regardless, I like the RSVP list already for the most part. There are several old flings/crushes on there. Not a problem. When you have a team in college, this is likely to happen.

Do I need to explain the team? I was the coach. I had a starting five and a few benchwarmers. The former were the ones who were acting right. The latter included some who had the opportunity to move up. Try to monopolize on my time too much or don't pay enough attention? Get to the bench, rotated OUT of the line up, or even cut from the team. You can be replaced at any time. Particularly since some of them were no more than phone folk trying to get some PT (playing time for you non-sports folk). I had so much fun in college!!! This. Is. The remix!

Want some music that reminds me of college?

Soggy cornflake? Hilarious. I was such a pretend hoodrat in college. Any Lil Jon I was all over.

Also... my fave roomie LOVED this song.

So ridiculous with it.



You know how the week before vacay makes you want to become a cutter? La knows.


It's my Monday and I'm already starting with the mantra to get me through.

"hampton hampton cute shoes homecoming fly hat sexy beast i betcha can't do it like me nope."



The best thing about life is that it ebbs and flows. That means no matter how bad things seem right now, at this very moment, eventually it will all be behind you. The plans for homecoming are coming together... finally. I'm determined to have fun because at the very least, I'll be reuniting with my girls who I LOVE!!, dressed fabulously and seeing a few familiar faces. PLUS I have my business cards finally which means I'M AN ADULT!! So I'll be handing those out just to prove it. I'm thinking of making it rain with them. It'll be great.

For Daddy-Daughter night last night, Dad & I went to Olive Garden. Great idea since I'd been wanting an Italian margarita ALL DAY! So fab. It comes with a sidecar of amaretto liqueur. You pour it in and it completely transforms the flavor. Delicious. Excuse me, delicioso! Maybe that's Spanish. I also had zuppa tuscana (soup with sausage and cabbage) and prosciutto-stuffed chicken with orecchiette (ear-shaped) pasta. The pasta was a bit dry but the chicken was good as was the soup.

I also talked to our class dictator, I mean president, from Hampton on instant messenger yesterday. He was president all four years and had everyone brainwashed to spell his first and last name every time he got up to speak. Oh the hilarity. Graduation weekend, he got us spelling at the banquet. Everyone there was already up to speed and spelled at commencement. His speech was better, and more memorable, than the president's, who was our graduation speaker that year. Let it be known that there really isn't much anyone can say to hold my attention at a graduation ceremony. They bore me. No one is here to listen to your speech, no matter how riveting, unless you're Oprah. We are here to get those pieces of paper which somehow give us credibility.

That was the biggest let down for me. I got my degree on May 9th, 2004 (at football games, me and my friend JoEllen used to yell out a la Lil John, "MAY 9TH!! IT'S ON THE MAP!!" It was so funny.) and it was like, "Now what? I spent the last 4 years of my life working for this. A piece of paper." I didn't have a job and was about to be ripped from the family I'd created at my home by the sea. I didn't cry, though. I'd gotten all of that out of my system the night before when we ran across Ogden Circle.

(For non-Hamptonians, there is a large grass-covered circle in front of Ogden Hall surrounded by a thin cement border. When you arrive, you are told if you cross that circle (which is actually an Indian burial ground), you won't graduate on time. My mother, also a Hamptonian, told me about it and the people she knew who crossed it and did not graduate on time. When I got there, I helped perpetuate it and took note of all the people I knew who crossed it. None of them graduated from Hampton on time, if they graduated at all. Explain it how you wish.)

Traditionally, the night before graduation, or the Friday before, I can't remember, regardless, all the graduating seniors meet at Ogden Circle and at midnight run across screaming and yelling. We congregate and take pictures... and drink. My mom said the drinking was not a part of it and the older alumni were not too happy about that. Ah well. Then all who want to participate gather on the steps of Ogden, where it all began with our freshman induction, join hands, and sing the Alma Mater. My mother was a music major and is active in the Charlotte Chapter of the Hampton Alumni Association, so I've been singing this song in all its parts for the majority of my life. I LOVE THIS SONG!! Me and my mom sing it in harmony in the car whenever we're headed back. It's fab. That night, the 7th or the 8th, after we sang the alma mater, as me, my sister and the drankin patnah headed back to the d.p.'s room to refill our cups, I started bawling. It was so pitiful. Lol.

So the day of graduation, I was more disappointed, lost, and maybe even disenfranchised than sad. I knew it was the beginning of something else, but I didn't know where I was supposed to start. This reminds me of a strange memory of Homecoming 2001. Me, the d.p. and her crazy roommate were walking around after the game. At Hampton, you're indoctrinated with a love for your class. All of the classes have names which the senior class passes down to the freshmen. Quintessence (aka QT, the purest, most concentrated essence under the sun), and lesser classes, Onyx and Ogre. The seniors when we arrived were QTIV, we were QTV. Q-U-I-N-T-E-S-S-E-N-C-E, QUINTESSENCE FIVE! Q-T-V!! Even people who don't think they will get all into the class stuff. It's like gang wars. We have colors and everything.

So anyway, we're walking around and these guys see one of us has on a quintessence shirt. They start chatting us up and we find out they're in QTI. HOTNESS!! They have a bucket of chicken so we ask for some. They oblige and then we're off. SO BIZARRE!! And hilarious.

Yesterday I started planning my outfits. I had to get excited before I could get my outfits together. I will be breaking out one of my fabulous hats, either for the game or for the bazaar. I haven't decided yet. Hopefully it won't be raining because I'm wearing the black one with the feather. It's wool and you know how wool smells when it's wet... disgusting. Blasted sheep. But sheep I love you though. While I was planning the outfits, I realized I still needed to try on all of my jeans. I have this thing about jeans. I don't ever give any away. My friends gave me tons of jeans in college so I have about 20 pairs in various sizes. The smallest ones made me take a deep breath before sliding them on, only to find out THEY ALL FIT!! YEAH GYM!!! Man I'm so glad I've been working out. Hotness! I have lots of stuff to wear on the bottom. Now whatever shall I wear on top? Decisions, decisions. I love trips.


State of Black America Part X: Noosely Speaking

If you haven't been watching television lately, you should be aware. Nooses are once again popping up all over America. Here in Pittsburgh, in less than one week, nooses have been found in three different locations where black people work.

Let's set the scene. You're already having a bad day. You woke up on the wrong side of the bed after 3 hours of sleep, you got pulled over for speeding on the way to work and strolled in with just one minute to spare and you're greeted by a noose. Let's say you're an Ivy League professor. Imagine how this could effect your day. Maybe there were no nooses but the family of your ex-boyfriend or just some guy you knew decided they wanted to torture and sexually assault you, spit racial slurs at you, and make you eat dog and rat feces for a week. Or perhaps you're a black student who just wanted to sit under a tree. After seeing things like this (thanks dp), how could you attest to the ambivalence of the appearance of a noose?

As has been noted by several journalists, this is a sort of a resurgence for the dastardly rope. All of these events seem shocking to witness in 2007, but it's nothing new. It's a reminder. Don't get out of place. When white children or teenagers re-introduce this symbol of hatred and oppression, it's somehow not prosecutable as a hate crime, and is sometimes even dismissed as a joke. Let's not forget the ghetto parties. Just google that one for 10 pages of information. Even law students are doing it. Great. That's just who I want as public defenders and future politicians. Deciding my fate and the fate of my children and grandchildren. A bunch of people who find it amusing to mock the conditions some people are born into and others embrace.

But let's blame hip hop. This is such an old, tired, pathetic argument. Nooses have been around hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years longer than hip hop. Believe it or not, racial slurs have, too. This may shock you, but yes, it's true. A black person was not the first person to use the word nigger. The people who come under fire for their speech, Imus and Bill O'Reilly and on and on, and their supporters like to use hip hop as their scapegoats. Interesting considering both men are older than the art form and are no strangers to controversy dating back to before hip hop was mainstream.

Aside from that semi-unrelated tangent, allow me to examine the history of nooses a bit further. Back when black people were forced into subservience, i.e. slavery and it's by product, Jim Crow, nooses were as symbolic as burning crosses and confederate flags. When you saw these, often coupled with a band of sheet-covered men and boys, you knew they were a warning of what you could face should you choose to continue to get out of line; doing crazy things like trying to register people to vote or de-segregate schools. Grown men were yanked from their beds or off of their porches and strung up from trees in front of their families to hang until their deaths. And this is the time you'd like to hearken? I'll pass. There are enough issues today, poverty, racism, the residual effects of Katrina, hunger, the lack of health insurance for many Americans, THE WAR IN IRAQ, pick any presidential platform and you'll find a pet project. I'd rather not have to deal with your nooses as well.

*Is anyone else perplexed as to WHY wikipedia has a tutorial on its noose page about how to tie one?*

State of Black America:
Part IX: Let Someone In
Part VIII: Nappy-Headed Hos
Part VII: "I'm A Conservative"
Part VI: Education
Part V: Names
Part IV: Rapists and Child Molesters
Part III: Hair
Part II: Katrina
Part I: The Athlete

It's Friday (Updated)

For me anyway. That means all of y'all who worked my nerves this week are sooooo in my rearview. Not caring. Someone tell me something good and fun and happy and what you love about me. Go.

While I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to love me and tell me why, I realized I like to hear about your lives even more. Tell me why you're happy and why you love your life.


I Can't Breathe

This day started bad and just got progressively worse.

I went to Arby's to order my food and didn't get what I ordered because I ordered it at the window because the drive-thru box was down. I was like, I didn't get my drink (I ordered a combo). She's, "I didn't know you wanted one." I'm, "It's fine." Ready to drive off but she's like I can just give it to you. Ok.. so whatev. BUT I go to grab the drink about 3 mins later and the top isn't firmly on and I spill it all over me. GOOD THING I'M WEARING DARK JEANS AND ALL BLACK!!!

I'm like, "THIS WILL NOT!!! DETERMINE THE REST OF MY DAY!!" Oh. But it did. Work was horrid. I went to church and felt better for a few minutes. Then I got home and was in a bad mood all over again. My line sister calmed me down a bit both times but still. May or may not be going to homecoming even though I have a ticket. Don't ask me. I really, really don't want to talk about it. Unless your name is X, La, V, Stace or Wise. Sorry.


Let's Talk About Nothing

I worked 60 hours last week. Since last Saturday as in September, I've only had one day off. One. That's also why I haven't blogged in a couple of days. Sorry guys. I worked more than 12 hours yesterday. I've skipped the gym multiple days.

Hey Fat Arms!!
This guy at work said guys don't care about that skin under your arms, only women care about that. He said you will never hear a man talking about that part of a woman's body. Hmmmmmmmm. I never thought about that. Men... is this true? I will TOTALLY never lift a barbell or free weight or ANYTHING again if 5 of you confirm. GO! LOLOLOL. GOOD THING I SKIPPED THE GYM!!

I'm drinking a beer. Yep. At 11:30am. But I've been up since midnight so for me it's happy hour. Like some people have a glass of wine, I'll have a beer or two. Today it's Amber Bock. Yum. I used to start at 10:30 or 1, right when I got home from work. When I first started working there I was sooooooooo extra stressed. The last 3 days have been extra crazy, too. I didn't get drunk, though.

Homecoming. It's in 10 days!! Geez. Well, that's when I leave. I'll be reunited with the homies!! If we don't do anything but go to a couple of bars we'll have a blast!! Especially since I've put J-rod in charge of our entertainment and he's agreed. Should he flake I'll hunt him down and will feel a-ok about it. It'll be great!

I love my mom. She's so great. AND she just cut off her hair and went natural! Get it girl! Can't wait to see it. Her hair is extra soft and curly anyway (ol' 1/8 white self) so I don't know what she was waiting on. But she loves it.

OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB!!! This month's book is Love in the Time of Cholera. I loooooooove that book! It's fab. Go read it. It's long. Be warned.

Rock of Lov.e R.eunion. I'm watching it now. Da.llas said she doesn't date black guys. Sigh. The self-hate is soooooooo un-cute. There is no reason for you to be black and not date black guys. You can listen to rock and date black guys. There are black guys who like rock. I promise. So wack. Get that together girl. Please. That might be the reason you have the extra straight weave pulled over one shoulder and the extra nappy bang pulled to the same side. You know I love the nattys (naturals) but you have to rock it right. Get it together honey!

And He.ather looks sooo drunk and botoxed. But I like her. She's fun. Now I'm about to watch America's Mo.st Smarte.st Mode.l. Hahahahaha. Can't wait. So funny. This one girl looks frighteningly thin. Yikes. For Daddy Daughter day me and dad had wings, pizza, beer and watched Ugly Betty and Grey's. I let him talk through the former but quickly shushed him all through Grey's. He was a bit miffed by that but it had to be done. Sorry D! Still love you mucho. Promise! Lol.


Sexy, Sexy!

I kid you not. This was my theme song my senior year at Hampton. And not because the song was hot at that time (it was). Because this dude sang it to me every single day when I walked into my psych class. He would also sing it if he saw me on campus. If I was a bit late (still before the teacher got there), he'd just sing, "Sexy, sexy, ha ha!" One day I was early and the teacher was late. He sat near the door, and as I walked across to the other side of the room he let it go, "Sexy, sexy, ha ha! Change clothes and go. Let's exchange those" and on and on. It was soooo funny! My then homie was so jealous I had a theme song. Hilarious.

Don't let them play this at Homecoming. Done.


Late Registration

You know how in college if you register on time, you're fine, but if you're late, then you may or may not get all the classes you need? I was in the honors program so we always got to register early. Holla! At least I claimed the honors program even though I stopped participating when it became too time consuming. I don't have the patience for all that. Well, I didn't then. It made me realize even more that I have to be interested in a topic to really commit to it. It's helped me hone in on what I really love.

The point: have you been watching Essence's online reality show 30 Dates in 30 Days? I watch it every day. I've been hooked since day one. Sherlon has, too. The current woman, Jahmeliah, is gorgeous. Dudes are slippin on their pimpin. How is it that she's made it to 33? I bet NOT be rocking the fly on the solo that long!! Her headshot doesn't do her justice.

Watching her 2nd date, with twins, both guys showed up late. Huh??? This is the second woman to have to wait for her date. Sherlon got on me about giving the dude a hard time for being late. Here's why. People are on their best behavior at the beginning. You make sure you wear your most flattering clothes, have your hair just right, coordinate your accessories, don't say anything TOO offense, don't curse people out, whatever. That means if you're late, you're really not trying that hard. I understand things happen, but come on. You put effort into things you care about. You don't know me to care about me yet, but if you're not making an effort NOW... I'd really hate to see what happens when you let your guard down. Part of it's the newswoman in me. Part of it's the impatient, type A personality in me. I do NOT like to be kept waiting. That is so rude to me.

Just like registering late for class, if you're late for the date, especially the first date, you're taking the risk of missing out. It's on you, playa!

*on an unrelated note, if you are a mother, you should totally read this blog. esp. the ones about her daughter's months like month 44 etc. if you're not, you may like it, too. i do.


It's Official + A Dash of Figure It Out

I'm going to Homecoming. I bought the ticket despite the fact that nothing like this exists this year and no one seems to know where the parties are other than something called a Flav.or of Lov.e party f/a woman who still allows herself to be called and spelled something like De.lishis. Vomit. Let's look at the details, shall we?

I don't feel like going to find it but it's supposedly a celeb bash. INVITED guests include A.I. and Marcus Vi.ck. Him? Him??? That's who you consider a celeb? The only reason anyone knows his name is because of his brother. I know he played for Tech, too, but still. Get out of here. Come party with a criminal! Yay! Please. They call us bougie for a reason. I've (unintentionally) partied with criminals before. That is not what I go back to my home by the sea to go to.

The same party says shuttles will pick you up from Hampton, NSU & ODU. 18 to party, 21 to party harder. LMAO!! We didn't go to 18+ events senior year unless it was a frat party. You KNOW that's outta the question at 25 baby!! AHHHHH yeah!! We're about to have a blast no matter what we do. I'ma get get get it poppin! 21 and over only, and please let's not be partying with the parents. Well, unless it's Ash, Bran & CC's parents. I rolled with them senior year at Homecoming and got toasted! So fun. But they won't be there so I have no intentions of partying with anyone else's parents! And finally, the shuttle. Awww. Boo, boo. No. Just no. Someone find me a party! J-rod! Where are the hot spots? It's your job to keep me entertained!


Squirrel Away Stuff Repellent

Can I have some? I realized the other day as I was pulling out of the parking lot at work that I have a HUGE aversion to squirrels. I used to love them. I wanted to pet them. Until I went to Mississippi. They're red down there. In some places anyway. Tell me that doesn't look like the devil's pet. Oh. This is the American red squirrel... looks less psycho and is therefore less suitable to my point. Whatever. After that it was a wrap. I decided if they didn't want me to pet them, there must be something wrong with them!! Hmph. I'll show you squirrel.

Plus once a squirrel fell down our chimney. My dad trapped it in my hamster's old cage to release it and that sucker was EVIL!! I guess he was just a tad pissed to be in a tiny wire cage. But whatever. I was young and I didn't appreciate his lack of benevolence. I WANTED A PET SQUIRREL!! Hater (the squirrel).

When I saw the squirrel at work, I stared it down and said, "I dare you to run under my car. I'm not going to intentionally hit one of God's creatures, but I won't swerve to miss you or cry about it if you die." Maybe that sentiment was just as bad as actually hitting it...

Stuff is attacking me again!! Today I was making up things to do before I went to noon Bible Study. It was quite ridiculous. I get to the church and OF COURSE THERE'S NO BIBLE STUDY. Soooooooooo trying to make me through with them!! Drives me to drink I tell you!! I have other things to do with my life than to make up things to do in the 2 hours between me getting off work and noon bible study!! DID I DO ANY OF THEM?!?! THAT'D BE A NO!!!

Breathe in Jesus.
Breathe out peace.

After I left there, I mentally re-grouped by listening to Maw.on, dropped off more clothes to give away, then came home and cooked. Oh. I went to Trader Joe's and wrecked shop on Sunday after church. I've already eaten the pesto, plum tomato, sundried tomato and mozzarella pizza. I cooked the chipotle chicken sausage. I had some of the fresh salsa and for lunch the last two days, I've made myself wraps. Rosemary ham, ranch dressing, smoked turkey breast, and champs elysee blend lettuce (radicchio, frisse, green leaf lettuce & carrots) on chili flour tortillas. BANGIN!!

Today I cooked ground beef with green peppers, onions, garlic, diced tomato, corn, cumin, salt & pepper, one chipotle pepper with adobo sauce, topped with hot red pepper cheddar cheese. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... So now I'm calm again, but after I get out of rehearsals tomorrow I'm sooooo done with "stuff". No "stuff" tomorrow. Especially since this week it's NOT my Friday. Booooooooo. I have more work after my regular work day, then go home and sleep. I may or may not go to another lesson in the series. I don't think so, though. I've gotta get some sleep at some point. OOH! I'm not going. I can go to the one on Saturday since I don't have to work this Saturday. SCORE! HOWEVER. I'M MISSING THE TOP CHEF SEASON FINALE!!!! SON OF A!!!

Jesus. Peace. (Sometimes you have to condense it to get the most important parts).
Hopefully no one ***1969 ARE YOU LISTENING?!?!*** will send me any notes until I can see it. Maybe I need to stay off the internet so I don't get angry! Too bad I have to watch tv at work all day on Thursday. Sigh. The 2-parter does rerun early early in the am when I could catch it, though! If I miss it then, it doesn't rerun until 330 on Thursday!! I will be STRRRRRUGGGGGGGGGLIN to keep my eyes open. I'll have to take a nap and set the alarm! Yes, it's that serious. Holla!

*Listening to Trey Songz for free on AOL Music... he opened with Bun B... DONE!!!!! But why is this cd 51 minutes?? I'm really, really over artists releasing cds with songs shorter than 3 minutes, really 3:30 should be your minimum, unless you're 50 or Ja.Rule or Ash.anti.... VOMIT!! Please don't let any of them release another track.... and not talkin about anything anyway. If you don't fall in that category, YOUR CD SHOULD NOT BE SHORTER THAN AN HOUR!! GET IT TOGETHER FOLK!! I'MA START LEAVIN Y'ALL'S CDS IN THE STORE. ITUNES AND BEST BUY.*