My mom's birthday surprise was AWESOME!!!  I started planning months ago when my mom kept asking me when I was coming home.  In the last week she asked me at least 4 times.  It was really ridiculous.  Even more so if you know my mom.  Shej is all about people doing things in their own time.  She NEVER talks to me about coming home.  I'm like, "Really mom?  What is your deal??"  In my head, of course, all along I'm making plans.

So Sunday she asked when I'm coming home and I said, "Soon."  Indignantly, she replied, "SOON?!?!? What does that mean??  Soon.  Hmph.  That could mean any time."  I said, "Mom... that's the best I can do."  Ooh chile.  She did not like that!  Hilarious!  When I get on the road or in the car, the first person I think to call is my mom.  It's free to talk to her and I enjoy it.  This time I know I can't do that.  I can't open a bag of chips without her saying, "WHAT'S ALL THAT NOISE???"  It can really work my nerves!!   If she answers the phone and I talk to her and she's on the road, she'll say, "Where are you going?"  This woman hears everything!!! 

But at soon as I get to my destination, she answers the phone and we talk for a while.  I say, "Tomorrow is your birthday!! How excited are you??"  She said, "You're more excited than I am."  I said, "As usual!"  She's never excited about her birthday.  How boring!  Then somehow WetWillie's comes up.  She said, "I should go there tomorrow for my birthday!"  I said, "OOOOH! You should!  I wish I could go with you!"  She said, "Me too!  Why aren't you coming?  You aren't doing anything but sitting around in Atlanta.  You should come."  I just sat there silently then whined, "Mooooom."  She said, "What? You should be here. Don't make me come down to Atlanta."  CRACKING UP!  She says she's going to the movies after work, will probably go straight there.  I start panicking a little.  I get off the phone and go upstairs to enlist my sister in the mayhem.  Fix it!

She calls my mom to ask her to dinner.  My mom says she's going to the movies but she'll come home first to get Elaina and they can go together.  I'm like, "Okay that's much better."  So I drive to the neighborhood pool to hide my car and we wait.  My mom drives up, walks in the house and I pop out and say, "SURPRISE!!!"  She looked so stunned like, "Who's that??"  Then the recognition & the, "Heeeey! Where's your car?"  LOLOL!  That's your first question?  I start cracking up, jumping up and and down and squealing.  Then I say, "And I have a special guest..."  She's looking around when Stace jumps from behind the living room armchair.  "SURPRISE!!"  My mom goes, "Stacey! What are you doing here?!?"  Stace says, "I came for your birthday!"  M says, "Awwwwww!"  She can't stop cheesing!  It's so cute!

She had no idea I was coming!  So funny and cute!  Best birthday surprise ever!!  And tonight I'm making her some fancy dinner from Tyler's Ultimate.  She's gonna love it.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 55

1) FB is doing the most.  You can now like comments on statuses???  Liking statuses, okay, but liking the comments on the statuses???  Extra.
2) Locator updates make me nervous.  Why do people need to know your location when you're mobile?  Creepy.
3) How about there were screens on the plane where you could create playlists from cds.  I made a great list from RiRi, Bey, Gaga and more of their ilk.  Guess when I finished it?  About 3 minutes before the pilot said we were 15 minutes from landing.  Fail.
4) The film festival was SO COOL!!  I can't wait until I can go to them as the filmmaker and hold my own Q&As!  I saw some really great films.  The film updates are coming later in the week seeing as I just needed a day to decompress yesterday!
5) People and their impatience, man.  People were crowded at the plane's gates to board before everyone got off the plane from the previous flight.  Then they stood in the way like they didn't have seats already.  Some were on standby but the vast majority were not.  Let's calm it on down.
6) I have an awesome surprise planned for my mom's birthday on Wednesday.  I CAN'T WAIT!!!  :)
7) Rashan and I are funny.  We speak in unison more and more frequently.  Then he says, "Jinx, owe me a NuGrape."  Yeah, no!  Fail on the hood drinks!  Lolol.
8) I bought a book for a dollar at the dollar store... clearly I should've known better.  Really, 8 f-bombs in the first 5 pages?  Wretched & pass.
9) I tried to get my red lipstick and the guy picked out the most awful hooker red you've ever seen in your life.  I told you I wanted a red that looked good on me.  I said no raisin-colored and this is what you give me?  Is this why you work at U.lta instead of Sephora or Mac?  I tried Lancome and that was only slightly better.  Clearly I need to get myself on to the Mac counter yesterday.  I should ask Rah's sister-in-law.
10) Martin+Osa aka my fave chain clothing store is going out of business.  FAIL.  They have such great clothes for me-- classic with slightly trendy touches.  Ugh.  BUT I can't wait to stock up on clothes when they go even lower!  YESSSSS.  30% off for a store going out of business w/no returns or refunds = not low enough.  I got some things yesterday but I'm gonna need much more.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 54

I know Monday Mindspacing is gonna have a great week when I start putting in new things on Monday! 

1) Cursing cartoon kids is the worst for me. I'll pass on the shows that have them.
2) I saw the Berenstain Bears somewhere and had an urge to read all of them again!  It was one of my favorite series in elementary school before I was put on the Babysitters Club.  I liked Nancy Drew just okay.  Same with the Boxcar Kids.  I really liked Sweet Valley High.  Judy Blume, WHAT!?!?  I read 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret' when I go to my mom's house every other year or so.  Love it!  I will definitely pick that one up again this summer!
3) I'm so glad I put a reading goal on my 30 Before 30 list!  I love reading and I really missed it when I was shoving in incessant films last year.  I have totally given up on watching 365 films this year.  I really don't care enough to do that.  I'll be fine with 300.  That means I'm still less than halfway there.
4) I won't say I'm already following EVERYBODY I want to follow on twitter.  Who knows what great tweeter may pop out the woodwork (I think Nerd Girl would be great on twitter!) but when I see people say they're on now, 9/10xs I think, "Ew. Your  fb statuses are horrendous, why would I want additional torture?"
5) I'm sitting in the car while Rashan pumps my gas when I hear this outrageously loud singing along to a horribly produced song.  I look over (shocked it wasn't him LOLOL) and it's old boy pumping his gas... I just know it's his song and this is his idea of marketing.  Mess.
6) I love driving in Atlanta when there are plenty of people on the road and you can go 75 in a 55 because you're going with the flow of traffic and people STILL pass you.  Once a cop passed me going AT LEAST 90.
7) My zip code at Hampton was 23608, it was 32608 in Gainesville.  I realized this when I couldn't remember my Gainesville zip code a few weeks ago!  Lol!  Nutty.
8) I love being able to say my highest completed education is graduate degree when filling out surveys!! :)
9) You sound dumb when you say game 7 is do or die.  Really?  So wait, if you lose this game... it's over????????
10) I don't like swimsuit ads with chicks laid out on the beach.  Are you selling sexy or a swimsuit?  Because I can see sexy & congrats and all but I need to see the swimsuit.  Thank you ever so much.
11) I'm a cartoon character.  I sneeze when I spill pepper.  LOL!! Mess!!
12) I don't like when people use twitter to be cruel.  It's so unnecessary.
13) And for the people using Father's Day as an excuse to release all of their bitterness, I hope you get the help you need.  No, really.  Despite the fact that some almost all of you should've known from day one he was going to only be a donor. #realitycheck


Movies 2010, Weeks 20-22

Finally!  I watched enough movies to justify a post!

May 30- June 5, 2010
Moving week means 1 movie!  Wow!
126) Jennifer's Body. Diabolo Cody's second turn as a writer starring Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox as teenage girls-- oddly matched best friends-- one of whom is turned into a demon, the other who has to protect the boys in her town.  It's supposed to be more clever than it actually is... unbelievable and because of that sometimes really really boring.  2.8 stars

June 6-12, 2010
127) Finding Neverland.  Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet & Dustin Hoffman star in the after story about the creator/creation of/insiration for Peter Pan.  The film is set in 1904 England and based on a true story.  SO cool.  In telling the creation of the classic play, the director manages to keep a lot of the magic.  I really enjoyed this film.  4.4 stars

June 13- 19, 2010
128) A P.lace of Our Own.  A personal documentary about upper middle class black families who vacationed on Martha's Vineyard on the summers.  Some really great archival footage right at the open.   Maybe it's a little too personal.  It was very difficult to watch at times because you felt intrusive.  The 1950s sequence was fantastic.  This was a snapshot of the black section of the Vineyard.  I was looking for more.  I think I wanted to get more personal stories from each of the people he interviewed.  3.5 stars
129) Swimming with Sharks.  Film starring Kevin Spacey about a guy trying to work his way up while working for a super jerk.  Unnecessary voiceover open.  Endlessly boring after the first 45 minutes.  Let down of an end.  2 stars
130) Swing Time. Classic musical starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  I'm gonna guess no one told me Fred Astaire was in black face because I would've never seen this film.   Complete and utter crap.  Instead of actually hiring Bojangles to do the act, put Fred in blackface.  FAIL.  I'm heated.  Other than that I suppose it was pretty good.  3.7 stars
131) 36 Hours. 1964 film about an American soldier captured and made the target of a German plot to gain military information.  Interesting but some of the scenes were overly long unnecessarily.  Still, I was very engaged once the real action started.  The ending was a bit of a let down.  4 stars


Kids? Who Needs Those?

Rashan's niece and nephew are 15 months apart... 11 months (girl A) and 2.5 years old (boy J).  We kept them for what was supposed to be an hour and a half... and turned into 5 hours today.  WORD!?!?!?  (That's Rashan playing 'Betcha can't grab the gum out my mouth.')

Have I told you guys lately that I don't know any babies?  And never have?  Oh I know PLENTY of babies on blogs and am aware that my friends have had babies but my sister and I are the youngest cousins on my dad's side.  I babysat ONCE for 2 hours when I was 14 and was shocked by it.  Not awesome.

This was amazing.  "Take that out of your mouth."  "No."  "How did you get over there so fast?"  "What do you want?"  I don't even know how to cut right-sized food for children.  I got a 'too big' from the oldest one.  SO FUNNY.  Thank God for 'Yo Gabba Gabba.'  I love you for holding their attention for 30 minutes.  J is already ready to eat us out of house and home.  There were raisins but my favorite was when I peeled an orange, cut it into microscopic pieces and had him hand the chewed bits back to me-- by surprise!  I was so shocked by that the first time he did it.  You spit that into my hand!??!?!  I'M NOT A MOM!!!!  I'M NOT READY!!!

I was standing in the kitchen cutting banana & hot dog and thinking, "I definitely am not ready to be anybody's momma... but could someone at least have taught me how to be an aunt??????  Anybody???  Bueller???  Bueller???  Jemima???"  5 hours is definitely the longest I've EVER been responsible for another human who needed me to do stuff constantly.  I was tired after 2.5 hours.  By 4 I was looking like it.  I finally just got up to go cook.  Wow... Oh yeah and I used to want 3 kids... I'm clearly currently amending that until further notice.  Kids are hard.  Y'all have fun with that.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 53

1) I like reading the New International Version of the Bible... but I like memorizing the King James Version.  It just sounds more Bible-y to me.  Reminds me of my childhood.
2) Georgia is in a really aggressive anti-meth phase right now... the commercials-- radio & television-- and billboards are omnipresent.  Somebody rich apparently has a momma, son or daughter who was obliterated by meth.  I'd just like to know the appeal of a drug that's a bunch of household cleaners boiled together.  I'm gonna have to pass on that.
3) What is wrong with my boyfriend?  This dude has exposed more of his ridiculous rap stuff in the last week than in the previous year.  This is exactly why I excuse myself from the room or the phone when he starts going.  I DON'T CARE!!  He critiqued a rap using the term, 'non-sequitur.'  For real?  And still can't stop listening to the hood rat rap on ATL stations.
4) I made the Ultimate Sunday Meat & Potatoes dinner with steamed asparagus in a paper bag from Tyler's Ultimate per my 30 Before 30 goal.  OMG!!!  That was one of the most delicious, most impressive-looking dinners I've ever made!  I was so excited & proud of myself!  :)
5) I can't watch soccer.  One goal in 90 minutes?  I'm gonna have to pass.  Show me the highlights.
6) I don't get the becoming a UniversalLife minister for your friend's wedding thing.  I mean I do and I don't.  I don't personally want it at all.  So that's what I mean.  I can kind of understand why people do it.  It just seems so hippie-ish.
7) Rashan's mom is way more physically affectionate than my mom.  It's an adjustment being around her.  Lol.
8) I frequently think there's someone who doesn't believe I cook as much as I have in the last few weeks.  I make myself crazy with something I have no proof of.  I DO like posting failures, though because who believes EVERYTHING you make tastes awesome?  Nobody.
9) Once again, I watched ONE movie last week... wow...  I blame car issues & 3 days at Rashan's mom's house.
10) Rashan left me alone in his mom's house... several times.  The most okay times were when I was in the kitchen.  Lol.  His 2nd youngest nephew now treats me like an expected addition.  He ran to me and gave me a hug before he went to sleep the other night.  Too cute.
11) I don't know why all the newspaper websites now have this giant ad that covers the screen and you HAVE to x out of to read the site but it's really really annoying.
12) Why didn't any of you guys tell me about KindleForMac??? I can read free books on my computer w/o needing to own a Kindle!!  You people care nothing about me.  Why is this?


How We Met

For weeks my newest readers have been asking how Rashan and I met.  The black bloggers world is very small.  There are no 6 degrees of separation among us.  It's probably one, at most 2.  There is no way there's any black blogger with more than 10 readers outside of their family members who is more than 2 degrees removed.  You like that certainty, huh?  So knowing this, it's no surprise Rashan & I separately read and dismissed each other's blogs about 3.5 years ago. 

We were each in that building our readers phase where we were constantly on the lookout for new blogs.  He was probably trolling the internet for easy women which is why I was dismissed.  Lol.  He says it's because I had a boyfriend at the time... which may or may not be true.  I dismissed him because he was old.  LOL!!  I also didn't find him particularly funny or interesting.  And it turns out, he found me obnoxious.

But for some reason in September 2007, we started reading and commenting on each other's blogs regularly.  When I decided to do NaBloPoMo in November, blogging every day that month, I challenged my blog la familia to join me.  I was very excited about all of the people who said they would join.  IT WAS SO HARD!!!  But with Rashan talking junk, I couldn't stop.  Sound familiar?  Harken back lo 3 months ago when we did it again.  Lolol.  But I digress.

At the end of November, Rashan said, "I bet you can't keep going."  For real, dude?  CHALLENGE!!!!  So I turned it back around on him, "Oh I can DEFINITELY keep going longer than you!!"  (That's what she said.)  We kept going for several months, raggin on each other, trying to goad the other into quitting first.  It was hilarious and fun.  As a result of this goading we started emailing every once in a while.  After a cute post where he said there was a blogger whose number he wanted to ask for but he wasn't sure if he should, he asked for my number but I think I actually was the first to call.

We started talking a few days a week on the phone in addition to our daily or near daily email chats.  By March we were emailing every single day.  By May, we were talking on the phone for hours every day.  More than 2 years later, we haven't missed a day since.  That June we started secretly making plans to meet.  Y'all bloggers are nosy.  You knew something was going on but we weren't telling.  I wanted to meet him but he was in Atlanta, I was in Pittsburgh... and it was... THE INTERNET!!!  AHHHHH!!!  Lol.  He thinks everyone on the internet is crazy... and had plenty of well-documented reasons to think that.  I was apprehensive.  Stace convinced me I should go.  Rashan sent me a copy of his license to send to whoever I wanted, warning me that he looks like a serial killer in that picture-- TRUE.  He just wanted me to be comfortable enough to come.

July 16, 2008 we met in the middle, also known as Nowhereville, Va.  It was one of the most awkward moments of my life.  This person I'd been talking to for months was suddenly face to face.  We were both a bit robotish and nervous.  You know how people say they met for the first time and it was so wonderful and there was no awkwardness?  That it was like they'd always known each other?  They're lying.  I don't believe that.  Lol.  That might happen for somebody (no it doesn't) but it definitely took us hours to warm up to each other in person.  We left each other on July 18th and he asked me to marry him.  SIKE!  Lololol.  He asked me to be his girlfriend and I said, "Sure!"  When we returned, we told bloggers we met via a picture on my blog with the description on his page.

When I went to Charlotte to visit my mom a few weeks later, he'd never been to Charlotte so he came to visit, met my mom, which was planned but then my dad and brother were accidentally in town.  They came over for dinner and he met them, too.  Really weird and funny but it went fine.  He helped me move into my new place in Gainesvillle a couple of weeks later.  I would've been all alone without him.  Then he came back the next week for my birthday and met Stace for the first time.  The three of us are trouble & fun together!!  It was great.  So that's our story.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 52

One year of Monday Mindspacing!!  How excited are you???  VERY, I KNOW!!

1) All of you must pat me on the back.  7 of the 30 Before 30 books I haven't read yet are on a promotion.  They totaled $72.76 before the coupons I found online... which saved me $43.20.  So even though they were $50.72 for 7 books with free shipping, I did not buy them, opting instead to save my money.  Begin patting.
2) Can someone tell me where I thought I was going that I needed 7 outfits for 4 days in Florida when I need to spend the majority of those days packing?  Help her (me), Lawd!!
3) Have I told you how excited I am about 30 Before 30??  I'M SO EXCITED!!  I'm already underway with 3 of my goals and can't wait to give you a proper update when I've completed one!  Yay me!!!  I finished a book-- Pride and Prejudice and I LOVED IT!!  9 more to go!
4) When you spend a full page of tweets on follow backs... you gotta go.
5) My hair is the longest it's ever been and continually scares me when my shoulders are bare.  I'm constantly convinced there's something crawling on me.
6) No movies to post this week because with moving and driving many more miles than I planned and a series of unfortunate events... I saw one movie.  Le sigh.
7) Why did Victoria'sSecret send me a birthday gift card... that expires June 30th... my birthday is August 23rd...
8) I knew my boyfriend was a music snob but it came to a head when we were driving to Atlanta this weekend.  I realized he liked ZERO fun songs.  Every song that comes on that sounds like something you would currently hear at a party, "I HATED this song."  Of course you did... wet blanket.  Lol.  I was really irritated by this when I was sleepy.  Now it's amusing.  I want to go put on "Bust a Move."
9) I'm on week 2 of my 3 workouts a week for a year!  Raise your hand if you're excited! *hands in the air!!*
10) Life is working my nerves a bit right now.  I spent hundreds of dollars on my car then Rashan's car broke down and we had to leave it and half of my stuff in Gainesville.  FAIL.  We have to go back there again later this week.  Now I REALLY can't wait for that part of my life to be over.  Peace out Gainesville.


Monthly Goals: June

Normally this is to update you on the previous month's goals and get into the next month's goals.  They are versions of my yearly goals.  This time I will do that AND update you on the relevant 30 Before 30 progress.   AND I actually posted these goals in a timely fashion!!  AMEN!!

1) Work on my relationship with God.  I was on a roll toward the end of the month and since I've added read the entire Bible to my 30 Before 30 list, I have 9 chapters of the Bible down, 1180 to go!  I'm already enjoying it and very glad I decided to undertake this goal.  I figured out yesterday that if I read 2 chapters each day I can finish in a little more than a year and a half.  I know the Bible is achievable in one year but I need to make it an experience I enjoy and get something out of rather than do just to say I did it.  I know how I operate.  So my goal for the end of the month is to have read at least 51 more books to bring my total for the end of June up to 60.

2) Finish my film.  We completed our slightly shorter cut for film festivals so we fit into the shorts category.  We also completed our trailer so we're in great shape!  I'm very excited!  This month, this goal is to apply to at least 7 more festivals.  (We've already applied to 3.)

3) Take the next step in my career.  Film festival applications sent out, as mentioned.  This month I'm going to pitch my film (present it to a panel of executives from various television stations) at a film festival-- HUGE STEP!!  I'm also going to use that time to learn, see films & network.  CAN'T WAIT!!  I'm crazy excited as this is my first film festival.

4) Try new restaurants.  Of course I did well with this.  I always do.  I want to cut back on this but also by virtue of the amount of traveling I'll be doing surrounding this trip to the film festival in Maryland, I'm going to be trying lots of new restaurants.

5) Cook at least 3xs a week, 2 of those new recipes.  I really got back into the swing of things in the last 2 weeks of May and feel quite comfortable proclaiming to have my cooking & baking mojo back!!!  Recipes and reviews mostly with pictures are up on my food blog, The Record Dish, including cardamom rhubarb muffins with a lemon glaze, vanilla pancakes, lamb meatballs with honey-rosemary polenta & tangy red onion & fire roasted tomato sauce, super easy blue cheese penne and lamb burgers with feta sauce.

6) Watch more movies.  I had a goal of getting down to just 11 behind before the end of the month... yeah... about that...  I'm still working on it.  I'm still 27 behind my goal of 365 films this year but the film festival will help.  Plus... I'm not really too worried about this particular goal.  I have a lot of things I need to accomplish in the next few weeks.

7) Workout more. I was shooting for 3xs a week and that didn't happen... again.  Once a week would STILL be an improvement over my current lack of activity.  I CAN DO BETTER!!  I added this to 30 Before 30 as well and am getting underway TODAY.  I can't afford to procrastinate any longer.

8) Statecations.  I managed to go to St. Augustine yesterday!!  That was June but I'm so excited that I did it that I'll forgive May for being disappointing on this front!  :)  When I move to NC I'm going to carry over the statecations goal and make it double up on some of my 30 Before 30.  (Yes, I talk about that list right now as much in life as I have in this post!!!)

9) Contact my grandma once a month.  She got 2 cards-- birthday & Mother's Day and a birthday phone call.  This month I'll finally send her a package of my stuff from graduation & screening that she'll love.  Very cool & exciting! :)

10) Do FAFSA.  *Hangs head in shame*


Can I Braid It?

When Rashan and I were in the talking to each other way too much (and loving every minute) phase before we started dating, one of his old coworkers decided it was time to force him to take their platonic relationship to the next level.  He told her he wasn't interested because he was kind of talking to someone and she was like, "Is she your girl?"  He said, "No."  She said, "Then so what?"  He continued to (allegedly) deny her overtures.  One night in her sexiest entreaty she sent him a text...

I don't think you're ready for this jelly....

No, that's not what she said.  I really don't think you're ready for her sexy text....

Say what?

You are? 

Well okay...

"Is your back hairy?" 

ROTFL!!!!  Did she think he would say, "Come over here and find out *insert bedroom eyes*"?  So now it's one of our favorite jokes!  "Hey, hairy-backed wonder."  "What's up chubacka?"  "So... you never answered my question about your back, taco meat or good hair like the hair on your head?"  "Bald?"  "Do you shave it?"  "Do you need to?"  "Can I give you a hand?"  Hahahahahahahaha.  I'm making up every single one of those last quotations but ladies, gentlemen, people of all ages, inquiring about back hair is not the way to get a person to let you have your way with them.  Sorry.  But it's better you hear it from me.