Birthday Fun: Year 29

On the first day of birthday (the Friday prior), my sister came down to take me to dinner and a movie!  Dinner was pretty good.  I had fried oysters and fries and margaritas!  The movie I did not enjoy (Tabloid).  But we had a great girls' night!

Then on Monday, my mom took me to Asheville.  I loved this view on our way up!  Mountains in the distance!
For breakfast, we went to Early Girl Eatery.  I had the Early Girl benny with a grit cake base, poached egg, tomato sauce and avocado.  There was way too much tomato sauce.  It was good if a little too acidic but it overwhelmed everything else.  I really enjoyed my first grit cake experience.  Also, I like toast.
Then me and mom walked around the city for a while, going to random museums until I got art saturated.  Did you know art saturation was a possibility?  I almost died from art overboard.  Do you know what that is?  It's when you see so much art (including plenty really bad art) that your eyes start trying to come out of your head.  Here we are exploring the city!
We also went into a bunch of boutique-y shops and sat on benches and people-watched.

Then we hung out at the tourist center for a while trying to figure out what to do next.  Y'all.  I love my mom!!  We had so much fun just wandering the city figuring out where to go next, asking strangers for directions.
We went to a beer and wine shop and got some souvenirs-- beer! and asked for directions to one of Asheville's many breweries.  We said, direct us to the nearest one!  So we ended up at Wedge.  I tried the Witbier which has orange peel and coriander.  Tasty, but I didn't think I wanted a full pint.  I think I might have though.  I decided on the Julian Price Pilsner.
This is the outside of Wedge which is covered in recycled parts.

After Wedge, mom took me to Asheville's Mexican Caribbean restaurant, Salsa's.  May I say LOL @ that combo?? LOL!!  Gotta love America.  She had a pork quesadilla which she loved.
I had the impressive pork relleno!  A giant poblano filled with shredded pork, carrots, sauteed onions and deep fried.  It was served with two salsas, a traditional, spicy one and a pineapple salsa.  I loved the traditional one, not so much with the pineapple.  I just don't really like sweet salsas.  This thing was GREAT!  Even cold 4 hours later!
I also got a cocktail made with blackberries, brown sugar, gin, tequila and muddled lime.  Good... they said it was a new cocktail so that would explain why it was a tad off.  Needed some nuance, better blending of the flavors.
My souvenirs...
The next day, after BIRTHQUAKE OF AUGHT 11, Rashan and I went on the wildest of psycho, anger-inducing wild goose chases looking for Lexington Barbeque, which is supposed to be the best in Lexington and maybe everywhere.  
This is it... we were not impressed.  I thought it was fine, just not anywhere near the best I've ever had.  Rashan was way past that to not liking it.
We followed it up with peach cobbler topped with a slab o' ice cream.  Pretty good.  I LOVED the crust, the peaches were a little too sweet for my taste.
When we came out, we were surrounded.  Really???  THREE state trooper cars???  So this is their spot... LOL
After bbq, we went to a vineyard!!!  I'll post about that Friday... After the vineyard, we went to
River Birch Lodge because I like to eat a new meat every birthday and they have elk burgers!  This is what it looked like....
Yeah.  What the heck???  When you said with provolone and mushrooms, I promise I didn't expect it to look like this.  This is my birthday dinner?  I really hate how the chains here have better food than most of the local restaurants.  I just... I'm so TIRED of eating food that's lackluster.  The mushrooms were delicious.  The burger was just a burger.  I don't ever want to eat just a burger.  And I especially don't want it on my birthday.  Guys, I can't have this next year.  I don't care what I have to do, I cannot eat bad food on my birthday for a 3rd consecutive birthday.  And not just because I'm turning 30, though that doesn't hurt.

Anyway... this is what I wore!  Yay birthday girl!  Minus the food (something I really hope to never have to say again), it was a great day!  Loved spending it with my love!  And having separate days with my mom and sister!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 114

1) If asked to make a decision and I like all options, I always ask, "Can I have both?"  I love to split the difference.  If I don't have to choose, I see no reason to choose.  If at Sonic I could have fries AND tots, I would really be a happy person.  As such, I usually choose tots b/c you can get fries everywhere.
2) My cousin is the most disgruntled pregnant person right now and it is HILARIOUS!!!  She's mad at the whole world because she's uncomfortable but she says it in such a way that all you can do is laugh.  Love her!!
3) Shopping in traditional or easily accessible stores is becoming increasingly difficult for me.  The clothes all look the same and many are too expensive and/or made from poor quality fabric.  So not awesome.  Can I get some unique, well-made, inexpensive clothes??? I'm gonna have to learn how to sew, aren't I?  Or how to recruit design students who will work for food...
4) My fashion blogs are undergoing another upheaval.  If you have ill-fitting clothing, I must unfollow.  If you promote terrible items just to say you had a giveaway?  I must unfollow.  If you basically wear the same thing all the time... SAY IT WITH ME!! I must unfollow.
5) I took a break from "The Office" in favor of "Parks & Rec" and LOLOL.
6) I adore Rashan most when he's sleeping.  I love him tons when he's awake but when he's sleeping?  He's so QUIET!! That dude talks too much.  As evidenced by his thrice daily blogging.  Wait... that's somebody else's husband.  He's not that quiet when he sleeps but he's adorable!  Tis why I adore him.
7) The internet is DETERMINED to make me a bad speller!  Determined!!  And I won't have it!  I just won't!  This is why I'm reading books again.  So I can remember how to spell.  Otherwise I think I have to give back my 3rd grade spelling bee victory.
8) I found a list of baby names from only God knows how long ago when I was home.  This was apparently during my "I hate my name" phase because I wouldn't use a single one now.  Grace Alexandra, Thaddeus Phillippe, Tahara Sarai, Charlotte Ann Elizabeth, Eli David.  Oh and there was also Amari Kani.  Yes.  Like Karl Kani.  But the name of all names and the one none of us will ever forget, Nautica Alexis!  Thank God I wasn't a teenage mother because I clearly had no sense!!
9) We watched "Love Jones" Friday night.  I said, "How does Nia Long look the same age today?" Rashan said, "She doesn't look the same age. She looks two years older.'  LOLOL
10) I hate when people make heaux singular and leave the x.  If you don't know French, don't try to conjugate a fake Franglais verb.  And if you pretend to know French and leave the x, you're the lamest of all.  Toast!
11) It makes me uncomfortable when people call work 'the plantation' or any of its derivatives.  There's no comparison.
12) Let's all applaud Rashan for making a change in his life!  When people sneeze, he now says "Bless you."  Yay!!!  I used to always sneeze and then look at him like, "Cad!"  He's a very polite person so I was confused by this thing.
13) It's official... unless I want to eat 90xs a day, I can't be a vegetarian.  I'm always hungry no more than 4 hours later but usually about 2 when I have a vegetarian meal.  Tis sad.
14) Aaaaand I've been cooking up a storm lately.  If you need some recipes, take yourself on over to The Record Dish.  There's plenty there and plenty more coming this week.


Movies 2011, Week 33

August 21-27, 2011
Birthday week!!!  I'm gonna call this a good week for movies!
139) Every Girl Should Be Married. Betsy Drake stars as a store clerk who sets out to convince a local pediatrician (my beloved Cary Grant) he should marry her.  So nutty!  This girl was a straight stalker!  Entertaining when I wasn't gasping in shock at her antics.  3.8 stars
140) Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Morgan Spurlock film about product placement in film and television.  I could have done with a lot less exposition.  I didn't need to know all of the background of getting this film off the ground.  I really enjoyed the meetings with the company executives.  Very amusing.  It does make you think about how far you could go with advertising and still feel okay with yourself.  He did some really interesting things.  But did it need to be 90 minutes?  Definitely not.  It became incredibly redundant.  I'm quite sure I could've gotten everything he wanted me to know in 60 minutes or less.  2.4 stars
141) Room for One Moore. Cute Cary Grant and Betsy Drake film about a couple that always finds room for one more child... or pet.  Awwww!  I so liked it!  It's not on Netflix so try to catch it on TCM again.  4 stars
142) Crazy, Stupid, Love.  Steve Carrell & Julianne Moore (I can't get into her) star as a couple headed for divorce when Ryan Gosling steps in to turn his life around and make him studly... you know... like an older version of him.  I don't get the appeal of Gosling and yes I liked "The Notebook."  But I really liked this movie and I the twist was AWESOME!!  Neither of us saw it coming and as it was happening, I was still confused!  Love that!  Cute and sweet.  4 stars
143) Limitless. Bradley Cooper stars in this film about a man who takes drugs that give him limitless intelligence and all the trouble that comes as a result of that limitlessness.  The end made me hate it.  Some of the effects made me dislike it long before the end.  I did not like this movie.  I didn't hate it.  But I didn't like it.  3 stars
144) The Wild Bunch. Please make it stop.  The longest Western of my life about aging outlaws who hook up with a crooked Mexican general.  I did not enjoy it.  2 stars



There's no doubt that even if you were residing under a rock, you noticed there was an earthquake on the East Coast on Tuesday.  If you had any contact with me on that day, you're aware that since it was indeed my birthday, I deemed it...


That's right, folks.  The world shook because I was born.  And on the east coast!  For the first time in more than 50 years!  (All Californians who want to act superior, please exit stage left.)  Before I get into my birthquake experience, let's talk about how another one hit Denver, then one hit the Bay area!  LOVE IT!!  *chants*  BIRTHQUAKE, BIRTHQUAKE, BIRTHQUAKE!!!

So it was my first earthquake birthquake and to say I was confused would be a bit of an understatement.  I was sitting on my bed listening to Luke (HAHAHAHA! Who else among you can say that???) when the bed started shaking.  I was like, "Now I know Luke is exciting but listening to it shouldn't be making the bed shake like that."  I was so confused I started looking around for something that could be manually shaking the bed.  Then I stopped the music like I was so excited about my birthday that I was imagining it.

Rashan was in the bathroom 10 feet away and I was like, "Rashan! Why is the bed shaking??"  "What?"  "WHY IS THE BED SHAKING??? Come here!"  "What are you talking about? I don't see anything."  "COME FEEL THE BED! IT'S SHAKING!"  He's staring at me like I have 8 heads and just one nose.  He walks over and touches the bed and doesn't feel anything.  Then I'm REALLY confused.  Now I think I might have discovered I have the palsy on my 29th birthday.  IS THIS WHAT IT'S LIKE GETTING OLDER?!?!  "Well touch me. Maybe it's just me shaking & I think it's the bed."  He touches me, still nothin.  By this point I glance at twitter and MrsCount, her sister & another DCer had all almost simultaneously said, "EARTHQUAKE!"

Y'all.  I still didn't get it.  It was my first earthquake!  I THOUGHT I WAS CLAIRVOYANT!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! I'm cracking up at this now!!  I tell Rashan they said an earthquake in D.C. and he's still staring at me like I'm touched in the head.  I was like, "I DON'T WANNA BE CLAIRVOYANT!!!"  While actually thinking... well maybe sometimes.  But I don't wanna SHAKE from it!!  Then the tweets start coming in from a Charlotte station I follow (Winston stations were USELESS but this is no shock) that it was felt down there, too.  That's when he finally started to believe me.  This dude said, "I thought it was all an elaborate ruse."  LOLOL!!  I said, "Why would I do that??? .... But it would be hilarious..."  "I know! That's why I thought you were doing it. I can't believe you felt it and I didn't! I'm jealous!"  LOLOL  So basically, I loved the quake!

Elsewhere in my family, my brother drives a truck so for him the ground is always moving.  He felt nothing.  My sister was in Raleigh at work and BAFFLED as to why it sounded like someone rolling a boulder outside.  She was like, "They are really doing the most out there right now."  LOLOL!!  When the building started shaking and she was on the second floor, she was not pleased!  They evacuated and went home early.  And now that Irene is heading for the coast, she's off work today.  Let me go call her to make sure she's leaving the area.  She has the worst travel lust so I'm sure she is.  (She did but went to DC for the King memorial as planned... side eye.)

My mom was also on the second floor of a building but in Charlotte.  She was on the phone and felt the need to act like nothing was happening even though she was extremely confused.  LOL!!  Especially since there has been a lot of construction near her building in the last few years.  She thought it was related to that but there was no one nearby to give her a look or anything.  Then she got an email from her boss saying, "No, you did not imagine that. Yes, it was an earthquake."  Oh man.  What a fun day!  More birthday updates coming over the next week!  Want a preview picture?  Us at the vineyard!


When You Know...

Back in September, I wrote this but decided to save it until we got married.

On September 8, 2010, I had a life-altering epiphany.  I knew I wanted to marry Rashan, but for the first time it was crystal clear why.  That probably sounds crazy to somebody (and kind of to me) but it's true.  I was watching a clip of a documentary called "Ahead of Time."  A man was showing an old friend a picture of his now-deceased wife.  The friend said, "She's very beautiful."  He said (to his wife), "Good night Irene! I'll see you in my dreams" and tears sprang to my eyes.  I was instantly sad that one day (since he's so incredibly old, you know?) I'll be saying the same thing.  Far into our future... 70 years from now.  I missed him already.  I had told him before I guess it was okay if he died at 105.  I'd only be 90 then but... lolol.  I never stop digging him about his advanced years.  But he's gonna be MINE!  Til death do us part!

The tears almost come again just thinking about that moment.  We'll have beautiful children, none of them named Aaliyah, much to his chagrin, and grandchildren and maybe we'll even get to meet our great-grandchildren!  But in that moment, I thought, I can't wait to get started on our time.  When I told one of my friends I want to get married this year, she said, "What's the rush?"  (As though we haven't been together for 2 years and this man hasn't been trying to marry me for 20 months...)  I finally got to use one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies, "When Harry Met Sally." "When you know you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."  I can use another of my favorite lines from that film, "When you know, you know.  Like you know a good melon!"  Hopefully cantaloupe... his favorite.


Hey! You There!


And I won't say 29 scares me but that number sounds weird attached to me.  Also... I got carded several times in the last week.  And yesterday someone asked me if I was a student.  So I'm gonna go ahead and say I don't look 29.  Let's just hope I don't get glared at like a teenage mother when I am finally with child.  LOL  With child.  Have I ever told you guys I don't like euphemisms?  Whoever can present the best birthday euphemism wins a hearty laugh FREE from me!!! 



Monday Mindspacing Vol. 113

2) Netflix doesn't even know me anymore.  It's been flat out wrong on multiple ratings after something like a 100-film streak.  SMH  Oh and my main issue with the Netflix thing is that it was ALL OVER Twitter for a good 2 hours before they sent an announcement to customers.  Fail.
3) As you're reading this, my mommy and I are en route to or in Asheville for my birthday!!!  YAY!!!  Did I mention it's tomorrow???  I'm so excited!!!!  She wanted to spend a whole day with just me since "it was just the two of us that day."  I said, "And daddy. You want me to invite him?"  LOLOL  She declined.  I could cry about being a child of divorce (their 30th anniversary would've been today!) and ask her to reconsider.  Really bewilder her!  :)  In case you're worried, I've been okay with my parents divorce since before it was finalized more than 10 years ago.
4) Please make Rashan stop "talking" to me in his half sleep.  He's really mumbling about nothing and can't remember what he said the second after it leaves his mouth.  Sir...
5) I was thinking the other day I just can't imagine Brad Pitt still being a sexsymbol when he's old and gray.  I'm not saying it won't happen but I would be equally unsurprised either way.  I could see him just looking old.  Now George Clooney?  That man will be delicious till he dies!  I can't call no nother man delicious... (7:35)
6) You know the most shocking thing about meeting people in person you've known on the blog?  Height.  Unless they talk about it all the time or you happen to see an 8 foot tall brother, you never know.  Because I will forget in a minute!  What I'm trying to say is K. Rock, how tall are you?  You look short.  & I don't want to get shocked.  LOL
7) Since the pregnancy post, Rashan has asked me like 4xs if I'm pregnant.  -_-  I'm going to ban him, too.
8) I've been watching 'The Office' reruns on Netflix nightly or near nightly for like a month.  I can't stop.  The wedding episode nearly makes me cry every time!  But Dwayne & Whitley was the best tv wedding of all time!!!!!  I don't nearly cry, I bawl!!  Simp.
9) I have been doing terribly with my teaching progress in the last week but don't you worry your pretty little head!  Even though it's my birthday week, I'm going to gift myself with a great job search and some achievements!
10) I'm a psycho with an active imagination looking for disaster around every corner.  Son... why do I prefer to listen to Rashan snore breathe loudly b/c at least that way I know he's alive?  If he's quiet, I watch his back to make sure it's rising & falling or touch him.  It's so crazy and I really want to stop.  But now it's become a habit.  Ugh.
11) Did I mention tomorrow is my birthday??? To celebrate, I'm going to have ELK for the first time!  How exciting!!!! :) 


Movies 2011, Week 32

August 14-20, 2011
This was a great week for movie watching!  I tried to average a movie per day since I'm not working at the moment and yay!!!
131) The Lottery. Documentary film about parents trying to get their young children into one of Harlem's best charter schools via the lottery and the disappointments that come with that process.  It also encompassed the fight for and against charter schools.  So sad to think about how many children don't get into a great school and are saddled with poor education that can't be supplemented by their parents because they also had a poor education.  I don't know what I wanted from this film but I felt disappointed at the end.  4 stars
132) You Again. Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis star in this film about a woman who has to break up her brother's engagement to her h.s. nemesis.  Then her mom realizes HER h.s. nemesis is also resurfacing.  Very over the top acting and ridiculous story line.  Cameos from Betty White and Kristen Chenowith were amusing.  It was just okay.  2.9 stars
133) Gloria: In Her Own Words. Documentary on HBO about the face of the women's lib movement, Gloria Steinem.  Riveting from the start!  It's so easy to forget the types of things that were de rigeur for women just 30 to 40 years ago.  It had my mind racing.  I definitely identify more with my race than my gender.  It definitely addressed some of the reasons I balked at changing my name but couldn't articulate.  She'd probably hate that I say this but she looks AWESOME for 76!!  Awesome!  Great weaving of interview segments and archival footage at times.  Quotes were overused as a transition between scenes.  There were stories included that really added nothing to the narrative but overall, I really enjoyed it. 4 stars
134) Arthur.  Remake of the 1980s comedy, this one starring Russell Brand, Jennifer Garner & Helen Mirren.  Surprisingly funny.  I really came into this one with lowered expectations.  Definitely longer than it needed to be at 1 hour 50.  I stand by my belief that comedies should cap at 90 minutes.  There were at least 4 unnecessary montages.  3.7 stars
135) Man in the Moon. Reese Witherspoon stars as a little girl who falls in love for the first time and finds herself betrayed.  I'm pretty sure I would've liked this at another point in my life.  At this point, though?  Meh.  2.9 stars
136) Love Chronicles: Secrets Revealed.  Rashan saw fit to torture me with this bad black movie about dysfunctional relationships filled with misinterpretations of love.  It was terrible.  The script and the acting.  1.3 stars  (Don't ask about the .3... Usually it means something, today it does not.)
137) The Best and the Brightest. Neil Patrick Harris is the star of this film about a couple trying to get their daughter into an exclusive private school despite cutthroat competition.  Really quite awful with some funny moments that were way too few and far between.  2.8 stars
138) Tabloid. Errol Morris documentary about a woman accused of kidnappingAndRapingAM.ormon man.  Cuh.razy.  Because of the charges, she became a tabloid star.  I cannot say I really enjoyed this movie.  It seemed like the film started in the middle of the story and wanted us to just catch up and best of luck in that goal because there won't be enough clues for quite some time.  It didn't help that I was distracted by the chick laughing at inappropriate times in 10 second intervals for the first 20 minutes.  Seriously.  But back to the movie, after I recovered from my disorientation, I found myself repeatedly saying, "So what?"  I couldn't figure out why I was supposed to care about this woman.  The cinematography, graphics and music all fit.  There were great techniques but I just didn't care about this chick for the length of the film.  3 stars


Budget Conversation: Groceries

Y'all already know I love food.  I also love going to the grocery store!!  It brings me great delicious joy!  I could wander the aisles for hours!  Especially when I have... COUPONS!!!  So Rashan and I are constantly trying to spend the least amount of money possible at the grocery store.  Between in-store deals and coupons, I'd really like to one day walk out frequently paying less than 1/3 of our bill.  I know Rashan would love that, too.  We usually end up paying about half.  But sometimes... that dude is crazy.  A conversation from Monday, if you will.

Rashan: Here's my debit card. How much are you going to spend?
Me: (knowing I'm going to at least 3 stores including Whole Foods) Uhhh... how much do you want me to spend?
Rashan: $40.
Me: (Thinking: I was thinking more like $50 but that's reasonable.) Okay. I can do that.
Rashan: Or less.
Me: Don't push it.


The day when I have an unlimited budget and a personal chef to cook them all when I just don't feel like it?  It shall be a happy day indeed.


*Sigh* Another Announcement

Yes, I intentionally did that title to trick you.  Because you're waiting for a trick around every corner.  Saying you're expecting it makes me want to do it even more.  You're only making it worse for yourself by asking.  You won't be able to predict it when it comes.  That announcement is gonna come like a thief in the night.

Not like this one.

No this one you KNEW was coming.

Y'all. I have GOT to be able to talk about babies without you getting crazy.  You're ruining my safe space!!  Yes, I'm married.  No, I don't want children right now.  As I've said multiple times.  The greatest offenders are the people who already know this.  Yes, I'm talking about you.  I need my blog to be somewhere where I can talk about people WHO ARE NOT MY HUSBAND trying to get me knocked up without you actually thinking I am.  I don't want to have to say EVERY single time I mention baby or pregnant, "I'm not pregnant."  Just assume I'm not until I tell you I am.  I'm not putting a timeline on it, though I really had ideas that I would share with you guys from the beginning.   Who knows.  I mean real talk, there are things I want to just chatter about now but don't feel like the "Are you pregnant?" hassle.  I mean heck!  I shut down people who offer me their children for a few days.  I'm straight, champ.  Remember, I don't even know how to be an aunt.

It's like when you're single and people are always asking you why you're single or when you're getting married.  NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  And it's extremely rude to ask about it.  It makes me want to do ridiculous things like post pictures of myself in a bikini holding a newspaper.  And we really don't need that.  I'm trying to get a job.  Why are y'all trying to get me fired before I even get hired (:55)?  Gucci!  That's really mean.  You're putting a financial strain on my 6-week-old marriage (awwww!) by not letting me get a job.  Way to not be there guys.  I KNOW I can't do anything about people in life asking me about it, but you guys are supposed to be my blog la familia!  You're supposed to have my back on this, if nothing else!

Let's make a deal.  I won't make assumptions about your womb if you won't make assumptions about mine.


Now behave!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 112

1) I used to be a stan for 112.  I've seen them in concert at least 3 times.  I think maybe 4 but I'm not sure.  (Former stan fail.)  I waited outside the student center when they were at Hampton to take a picture with them and got one w/my fave, Mike! :)))))  I also got Room 112 autographed on another occasion!  I've bought or had 112 (the first album) bought for me multiple times.  Stan.
2) I want a brooch for every occasion.  Love 'em.  I own 8 or 9 now. MORE MORE!!
3) While we're talking about much-neglected accessories... can hats pleeeeeeeeease be worn more???  I'm going to start wearing mine regularly.  They're mostly winter fabrics so I have a bit of a wait but IT'S COMING!!!  As you can imagine from numbers 2 & 3, my grandma and I are on one accord when it comes to accessories.  Last time I was there, she stole my hat!  She probably doesn't remember it's mine so I'm going to have to steal it back.
4) I really want to go to Mississippi so my mom's side of the fam can meet Rashan.  From grandma, to aunts & uncles to cousins, NOBODY on that side has met him.  FAIL.
5) My sister says she knows I'm not preg b/c she wants it too bad and she never gets anything she wants... ROTFL!!!  My father's on again off again gf says my dad can't stop talking about grandchildren.  Please go sit down.  If HE knew not to tell me that, you should do better and not spread that around.
6) Y'all know I don't know anything about hip hop and Rashan is Mr. Hip Hop, right?  Well I've been diligently researching when the Tribe doc will be in a theater near us b/c that's his favorite group.  We saw a trailer this weekend and I now want to see it more than ever!  Because we live in a one doc a month town (okay it's not QUITE that bad...), we have to wait until September.  Sigh.
7) I'm trying to get Rashan down with us going to the movies every week.  HELP!
8) This man saved a corner of tequila in a 750ml bottle.  I don't even think it's enough for a shot.  It's been there for more than a month.  You, sir, are a failure.
9) I am apparently officially an old lady and I'm still not even 29.  8 DAYS TIL MY BIRTHDAY!!!  I slept wrong on my hip in some crazy position and it hurt to walk for two days!  This cannot be.
10) Speaking of my birthday, I bought myself those spoon straws (and a silicone whisk)!  Love 'em!  I have also decided I would like to see 4 or 5 movies in the theater for my birthday.  I found more shoes, too in 7.5 -- black or brownThese in black.
11) Why did we try to go to a 'seafood fest' here and there was NO MORE THAN 10 yards of street blocked off, a 'band' of two people with one person (their brother?) taking a photograph and no one else paying attention, and 15 people max there for the 'fest.'  -_-  Oh!  And they were charging $5 per person to attend.  That is not a festival and you are out of your mind.
12) We would've gone to beer fest down the street but it was $35pp.  Ummm.... Rashan definitely doesn't like beer enough to go for that.  Per person though??  It would've been nice if it was cheaper because it was walking distance from the house.
13) OMG I looooove Whole Foods!  Every time I go there I find something that's cheaper than it is at Harris Teeter or cooler.  They have a wine/large beer bottle chiller that chills your beer to ice cold in 7 mins.   AWESOME!!  Goat cheese, blue cheese crumbles, feta crumbles, fresh herbs, baguettes, frozen cranberries = all cheaper at WF than Harris Teeter. #win #win #win Also doesn't that list sound like the start to an awesome wine and cheese??????


Movies 2011, Weeks 29-31

July 24-30, 2011
119) Midnight in Paris.  I really, really enjoyed this Woody Allen film about a couple (Rachel McAdams & Owen Wilson) who begins rethinking life after traveling together in Paris.  Great writing and great acting all around.  If this is playing near you, definitely go see it!  If not, put it on your queue!  4.4 stars
120) The French Connection.  Gene Hackman & Roy Scheider star as two NYC cops who stumble upon a drug deal with a French Connection.  For the first 20 minutes, I tried to figure out why this was lowly rated for me on Netflix.  I never figured out why.  This was an awesome movie!  It had intrigue, some confusion, high-speed chases.  "Move calmly, move cautiously and you'll never be sorry." Awesome quote.  Great music.  4.4 stars
121) There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane. HBO doc about the wrong-way driver with a .19 blood alcohol content who in 2009 who killed herself, her daughter, 3 nieces and three other men.  Good family access, graphic crime scene photographs.  I felt like the story moved a bit slowly and redundantly.  Rashan liked it more than I did.  A good movie for doc ethics classes.  3.5 stars

July 31- August 6, 2011
122) Lincoln Lawyer. My old boo Matthew McConaughey stars as the titular character in this film about a lawyer who has to defend a rich playboy (Ryan Phillippe).  The lawyer finds himself and his family at risk when he learns the truth about his latest case.  Lots of awesome twists.  Really enjoyed it!  I'm shocked it hasn't gotten more buzz!  4 stars
123) Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Amusing 1957 film starring Tony Randall & Jayne Mansfield about an ad man who accidentally finds himself the object of affection of a Hollywood star to the chagrin of himself and his fiancĂ©e.  That annoying squeal they made blondes do back then (see: Monroe, Marilyn) was supremely annoying but not enough to get rid of the charm of the film.  3.5 stars
124) Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.  The first Star Wars movie.  I intentionally avoided it for more than a decade.  I don't know that there's a point in my life that I would enjoy it but... this ain't it.  Just not my cup of tea.  Rashan even liked it less than he did as a kid which of course made him a bit sad.  3.2 stars

August 7-13, 2011
125) Shane. Western about tyrants in the west trying to run farmers and their families off of their claims... until Shane comes along.  I really liked it!  I was wide-eyed throughout and wanted to call my dad AKA Mr. Western and tell him I watched it!  LOL  4 stars
126) Steam of Life.  Finnish film about men who take steam baths and the stories that pour out of them in the humid air.  I enjoyed it but found it a bit sad.  I met the filmmaker at a festival last year and he was very cool.  3.7 stars
127) Modern Times. Cute Charlie Chaplin mostly silent film about a poor man who can't catch a break until he falls in love.  Awww!  I liked it!  He really was a great filmmaker!  4 stars
128) Midnight Cowboy. Dustin Hoffman and John Voight star as a scheming cripple and his fake cowboy stud companion.  Most ineffective filmwhore ever.  LOL  I expected to hate this since Rashan had long ago expressed his disgust for it.  I didn't.  It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen but it certainly held my attention which is more than I can say for many many films.  3.7 stars
129) Page One: Inside the New York Times.  Documentary about the New York Times.  Cool inside look at a newsroom.  Problems in story line arose when the directors tried to weave in too many disparate points of views and story lines.  It was still riveting.  It raised so many questions and issues, I felt like I could teach an entire course using pieces of this film.  My mind was RACING!  And full of ideas!  I enjoyed it.  3.9 stars
130) Harper. Paul Newman and Lauren Bacall star in this film about a detective hired to find a missing rich man.  I liked many of the twists and turns but I didn't love some of the details and drawn out scenes.  Still, a decent watch.  3.4 stars


Orbs of Joy

My husband broke a very important covenant last week.  And I'm reasonably certain he may have broken a vow.  I learned something about him that really hurt my heart.  I found out...



know how to....

boil eggs....

*Moment of silence*

*use it to reflect on the gravity of this broken covenant and to pray for our marital bonds*

Y'all... it's time to talk about a subject very close to my heart.  I know I told y'all I love eggs but no, I REALLY love eggs.  I love almost everything egg.  So much so that I could really eat eggs 6xs a week.  I mean that. 

Do you know how I found out he couldn't boil eggs?  I asked him to boil one for me b/c I was on my way home.  He asked how, I told him but do you know he said, "I cracked one of the eggs when I put it in the water."  I was like HOW DID YOU DO THAT???  Did you drop it in from 5 feet??  He said "No, the water was boiling and it cracked."  What????  You're supposed to put it on from the beginning.  Lawd.  I thought he ACTUALLY knew how to boil an egg and needed a refresher, not up to the minute instructions.  Can you use the internet please???  I just... this is unacceptable.  And then I find out it's a familial problem.  His sister learned a couple of years ago.  AND SHE'S ALMOST 40!?!   Who the Bleep Did I Marry?? (Great show BTW)

Over medium is my absolute favorite egg.  ABSOLUTE FAVE!!  Poached as in eggs benedict is my 2nd.  Boiled is number three.  Boiled eggs go in my tuna salad, potato salad and you can't forget the standard deviled eggs!  I can get with scrambled every once in a blue moon but they need to have something scrambled with them to strike my fancy.  Smoked salmon scrambled?  Ahhh yep!  Hold the dill.  My line sister introduced me to boiled egg, bacon & cheese sandwiches in undergrad and I'm so down!!  Delish!

You know what egg product I can't get with?  Mayonnaise.  I've never liked it very much but it's gotten progressively worse in the last year.  I now like it less and less with every passing week.  A little as a binder in the aforementioned salads and maybe coleslaw but that's it.  Sometimes the thought of it makes me shudder.

When I told my mom I didn't like mayo anymore, she said, "What's wrong with you?!"  19 months pregnant pause.  Sigh.  She doesn't say it but sometimes I hear in her silence, "Are you pregnant?"  YOUR MOM'S PREGNANT!  LOL  That's how pregnant I am.  Your mom and I are equally pregnant.  She claims she was so not thinking that but I don't believe her.

Speaking of eggs... I really want a quail egg.  This Asian market around the street from my place in Gainesville (I never walked to stores there b/c the streets were so busy but it was definitely walking distance) had quail eggs on the cheap but I was afraid to buy them because I was living alone and I didn't have a recipe off the top of my head.  WELL I HAVE SEVERAL NOW!!  I just need to go to my local Asian purveyor and get me some quail eggs!

**If you were skimming this and saw pregnant and got excited, READ.  I am not pregnant.  Just want to clear that up for you.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 111

1) I like the number 111.
2) There is not a single company I want to hear from daily. They have got to get their email subscriptions under control.
3) I hate those days where I wake up in a bad mood. It's like, "Really? Who hurt you in your sleep last night?"
4) I never iron.  It just seems like an extra unnecessary step.  But once I deem something unwearable without ironing and actually iron, I am suddenly in the mood to iron.  And it has a calming, almost therapeutic effect.  Repetitive motion or something.
5) I know it's supposed to be hot in the summer but this unrelenting heat over 95 degrees every day is evil.  I want it to stop.
6) Me & Rashan are going to Atlanta for a wedding in September and WE'RE SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!
7) Next on my unsub list: Groupon & Living Social.  I NEVER see anything I like on there.  Going on a year w/groupon I've bought ONE.  The deals of even remote interest come less than once a month.  In months, I've never seen a deal on Living Social that I wanted.  That was short-lived...
8) I don't really like soy sauce.  I eat eel sauce with my sushi if anything other than wasabi.  And I almost never eat Chinese food but when I do, duck sauce.
9) Facebook status of the week: Just watched inception... I'm now highly concerned I'm currently asleep and don't realize it.
10) The worst hashtag attempts?  Things like #move it or lose it sister.  Sigh.  The point of a hashtag is to put an entire phrase as one word.  It's #moveitorloseitsister.  (We won't discuss the ill-advised usage of that particular phraseology in 2011.)  Surely you realize that.  You HAVE to have seen it enough places.  If you can't comply, just don't use hashtags.  Merci
11) Can everybody do me another favor?  Don't post anymore blurry photos on fb.  On your camera phone they probably look a "little" bad but blown up on my screen, my eyes try to compensate.  Make that stop.
12) I went to M.adewell this weekend and got a pair of jeans...  They were originally $115.  I got them for $19.99.  And it was tax-free weekend.  And I had a $25 gift card. *pats back*


How to Plan a Wedding in 30 Days (OR LESS)!

From the time Rashan and I decided to get married to our wedding day, there were 29 days.  We had known for over a year that we wanted to be married but were waiting to have money for a ring and a large-ish wedding.  And quite frankly, enough was enough.  We did not want to spend a year's salary on one day.  It was hectic and I will not delude you that it was stress-free but in the end, I'm quite glad we did it like that!  If you're just joining, here are the basic details.  We got married in a church by a preacher with about 25 people in attendance.  I wore a traditional dress (other than the fact that it was strapless).  Rashan wore a tux that he bought at a great price.  We love Mexican food so our reception was at a Mexican restaurant with copious margaritas.

1) MAKE PRIORITIES.  Decide what you ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE TO MARRY!!  Budget the majority of your money there and try to get everything else free or cheap.  For us, that was a fabulous dress, awesome food and alcohol.  There was not a chance I was having bad food or a dry wedding.  Or not wearing a fabulous dress.  A week before we "got engaged" (we really just decided to get married), I dreamt we got married and I didn't have a nice dress and was so sad.  LOL

2) Use online tools for budgeting and guest lists.  I used Martha Stewart Weddings.  The budget tool has lists for just about everything you need.  I think it had left off license.  Duh!  Of course the license will cost!  GA is really cheap if you get pre-marital counseling.  $60 w/o counseling, $16 with. WHAT!?  It was $70 regardless in NC.

3) Speaking of budgets... have a savings or people who will help you pay for things.  Between my godmother and dad, my dress (including veil and alterations was $704 total), our reception and our mini-moon (day of and day after wedding) dinner were covered.  They took care of more than half of our budget.  I know you're dying to know... we spent less than $2,800 on our day including our hotel for Friday and Saturday nights.  And really, I think we could've spent even less.

4) Dress drama is SO manufactured.  You do not have to buy into that.  Look, as we just discussed, the dress was one of my non-negotiables.  I wasn't sure how typically bridal I wanted my dress to be but I knew I needed an awesome dress!  I tried on about 12 dresses in 4 stores but didn't really feel stressed.  I certainly didn't want to cry.  I was extremely excited and felt beautiful!  I couldn't stop smiling!  I have talked to two other brides who felt the exact same way.  Don't let tv make you crazy!  Go with whatever emotions you have that day.  You don't have to feel anything but love for your dress.  The rest of the outward emotions can be whatever you want!  Oh and it really helps if you can quickly decide what you want and be definitive.  Since I wanted a white dress, that narrows down choices considerably, which I found to be a huge help.

My bouquet
5) Be creative.  One of my non-negotiables was live flowers.  I knew I didn't need many.  And I just don't like the kind of flowers that are even passable when fake.  Whole Foods and Trader Joes both have BEAUTIFUL flowers for very cheap.  If you have a wholesale flower dealer open to the public in your area (there's one in Norfolk, VA), flowers will be an EXCELLENT price!  I got mine at a grocery store and the farmer's market and I was quite pleased despite what wedding shows tell you!  You'll save a ton of money not going to the florist.  You or one of your people will have to assemble them, though, so take that into account.  For you is it more worth the peace of mind to have someone else do it?

There are SO many resources out there!!  TV, print, online.  EVERYWHERE!!  If you haven't already been planning for a while before you decided to jump in and do it, it can be SO OVERWHELMING!!  Pick ONE site suggested from a friend whose wedding vision you trust (Martha Stewart Weddings is a personal fave but I on the flip side, I also really liked Offbeat Bride).

And don't forget to use your friends and family!  Including blog family!  Everyone has a friend who is wedding, party or DIY savvy.  Or maybe is just a spendthrift.  Pick their brains! A lot of people will offer to help.  Ask them to be specific.  Especially if you're not sure what you need. 

5) Eliminate or minimize your bridal party.  I created my party in my head my whole life and then I didn't have one.  It's a good thing I didn't since two of the people who would've been bridesmaids couldn't come.  Bridal parties are one more thing to wrangle.  Dresses, flowers, shoes, accessories, getting everyone to the right place at the right time.  You don't have the time.  UNLESS you want to give them guidelines and can trust them to make it happen.  But know that everyone won't prioritize your wedding like you prioritize your wedding, no matter how much they love you.

6) If when you budgeted, you didn't have a planner in there, consider at least a day of planner.  If not, you need to have a point-person who knows EXACTLY how you envision everything should unfold and will execute it.  That was the most annoying part of my day.  People were asking me too many doggone questions.  (Most of it was about stuff I really didn't care about.)  I did know how I wanted things to go but by the day of I didn't want to be bothered with any of it.  More of previous days could have been spent outlining everything and getting everyone in place.

Mom, me, Dad, My Sister
7) Accessorize with your guests.  “There’s nothing that dresses a room like a crowd,” said Ian Parms, an owner of the Mulberry Project in a recent NY Times article.  I so agree!  I hate when people tell me what color to wear.  And yet... it was the most cost-effective way to decorate our space.  And gorgeous!  I really wanted to spend next to nothing on decorations considering my priorities.  I told our guests: pink, purple, magenta & peacock.  So many options!  And they likely already had it in their closet.  (Yes, some people gave me the gas face when I said peacock! LOL)  Essentially I wanted BRIGHT colors.  Most people did a great job.  Others?  Let's just say I knew there would be some stragglers.  Several people when they saw all the bright colors said, "I see your vision and it looks awesome!"  Yessssss!!

8) You already know marrying on a day other than Saturday can save you money, and that marrying earlier in the day can save you money but let's talk about just how much money.  Our reception was at a restaurant.  The minimum spending on a Saturday was $1,000... at lunch.  A Friday for lunch?  $300.  That, my friends, is why we had a Friday at 2:30 lunch instead of even a Friday at 6 dinner (still a savings of hundreds of dollars).  We are absolutely night people and would have loved a dinner party but we love a $700 difference more.  A three-course dinner with margaritas came to $856.

9) Understand that no matter how many people you do or do not invite, SOMEBODY will say to you, "I can't believe I wasn't invited."  Even if you head them off saying, "It's small" or "We will have a big shindig later," somebody is going to be pissed and somebody is going to say something.  These people may be one in the same.  Someone on the guest list might be supremely irritated that they can't bring a guest.  All of these people will have to get over it.  But prepare yourself.

Our parents were GREAT.  They didn't insist on adding a single person to the guest list or that we have any events or do anything other than get married the way we wanted to.  That doesn't mean your pre-school babysitter that you haven't spoken to in 15 years isn't going to be miffed she wasn't invited.  I guess count it as a compliment that so many people want to be included in your special day.  I didn't quite make it to accepting it as a compliment in 30 days but you can!  And regardless, what?  These people will NOT ruin your day!

10) Realize things will not go your way AND THAT'S FINE.  That doesn't mean there won't be things that stress you out.  That doesn't mean there won't be people who show their entire backside, but always come back to one thing: YOU ARE MARRYING THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE!!!  So all of those other things?  They really don't matter.



August Goals

BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!!  But first, let's review July!

July Goals
1) Read 65 more books of the Bible to reach 1020.  I'm including the completion of the books of II Chronicles & Lamentations.  How did I manage to be one short??  And write the goal wrong?  It was supposed to be 120. Ah well.  I completed the books and got quite far into Isaiah.
2) Continue getting at least 3 workouts per week.  Let's get it!  My word! I did the worst on this one that I've done in quite a while.
3) Make and keep a budget.  Guess how I'm already fixing this?  By actually writing a budget.  Boom.  The budget struggle is REAL, y'all!  Le sigh.
4) Finish my films.  I'm working on several right now and I need to be freed from a rut.  If making this goal makes it happen, so shall it be done.   I was freed from a rut but I didn't finish everything. I am very close to being finished with one.  Hmm... I shall continue this goal.
5) Read at least 3 books.  I'm reducing the goal this month because the books are much longer and/or more difficult.  Done!  And one of the teaching books was AWESOME!  OMG!  I started this free think thing based on what I read.  So every morning where I just sit and think with pen and paper in hand and let the ideas come.  LOVE IT so far!
6) Watch at least 4 movies on the AFI list.  The movies are much longer now as well but at this rate I'll be done before the end of the year!!!  WHEEEEEE!!  Yay!  Done!
7) Complete at least two 30 Before 30 goals.  I.AM.RID.ING.A.ME.CHA.NI.CAL BULL THIS MONTH!!!  It's driving me NUTS that I haven't done it yet.  Okay I did one and it wasn't the bull. LOL.  I entered a recipe contest!  Cross your fingers!
8) Challenge myself sartorially.  One of Kendi's 30 for 30 modifications is a 15 for 15, which I think will make me so much less crazy!  The one 30 for 30 I did nearly killed me!  I'm already not shopping other than gift cards I'm itching to spend.  Yay!!  I'm at least 10 outfits behind on posting... whoa but I have limited my closet to myself with clothes only, wearing as many of the shoes in my closet as possible and it's brought me great joy!  I've put so many outfits together I NEVER would've paired
9) Cook at least 3 new recipes each week.  It's been a while since I had a goal like this one so it's time!  Considering we're halfway through the month already, I may be a tad behind but as long as I get in 12 recipes this month, I'll be happy! Yay!!  12 done!!  I enjoyed this goal, too.

August Goals
1) Read 3 books.  At least one teaching book and make progress on a film and/or journalism book.
2) Read an additional 60 books of the bible to reach 1081.  I'll have just over 100 left!!  I also want to finish Isaiah and read all of Jeremiah.
3) Watch at least 4 AFI movies.  I know "Modern Times" will be one.  We'll see about the rest. 
4) Cook at least 12 new recipes.  Love this goal.
5) Complete at least two 30 before 30 goals.  I have 6 completed, 6 in progress and 18 outstanding... in a little over a year.  Whoa.  I need to get some stuff done before I turn 29 in three weeks!

6) Work out at least three times per week.  Time to get back into the swing of things.
7) Make progress on the job search daily.  This includes searching, writing letters and resumes and CVs, etc.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 110

1) There's this girl I went to middle school with who was held back once, her older sister was held back twice when she had each of her babies... in middle school.  Both very nice girls.  Just rough around the edges.  The younger sister has made such open-minded strides!!  I love watching her evolution and her beautiful family on facebook!  I know there's no way to tell her I'm really glad she's progressed beyond middle school without sounding condescending so I'll say it here and continue to tell her how cute her kids are!
2) How excited am I that "Clarissa Explains It All" is back??  VERY!!  I even enjoyed a little "All That."  Can I please get some "Salute Your Shorts" and "The Secret Life of Alex Mack"!!??
3) Fb is not LinkedIn.  It should used to build professional contacts.  If we don't really know each other?  What would be the point?
4) You know how there are people who would NEVER leave the house w/o earrings w/o feeling naked? I am not of this ilk.  I never have been but now that I have hair long enough to cover my ears?  Psssssh.  Chile please.  Now part of this is definitely that I don't have enough everyday earrings but the other part is I don't care that much.
5) I started a new page on the blog called 'Thankful' to try to help me out of my tendency to complain far too much.
6) I continued stretching my teaching muscle with some stimulating reading this week and it was awesome!!
7) Have you seen the Animal Planet show "Too Cute"???  IT'S TOO CUTE!!  Me & Rah were all up in those cute kitties!!
8) I got a free Martha Stewart Living subscription, right?  Why did I get three in one week???  Umm... June, July AND August... in July???  Where do they participate in that activity?  Behind the preposition at?
9) I'm trying to cook up a storm this week.  I'm aiming for at least 5 meals.  One down!  Wish me luck!
10) My brain tells me I'm fat sometimes.  It's not even predictable.  It happened the other day and I started telling Rashan I need to change my diet and pinching my sides.  He blank stared at me.  Then I looked in the mirror and said, "Oh... it doesn't look that bad."  More blank stares.  More Jameil chatter.  Another look in the mirror, "What is wrong with me? I'm not fat!" Rashan, "I've learned not to get in the middle of your crazy."  LOL I've married a smart man!
11) Speaking of which, Rashan and I have been married one month today!!!! :)  What a joyous month!  One of the girls in my program sent a note wishing us "eternal marital bliss."  Beautiful!!