Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Torture and the Sea

As many of you, my family, friends, fans, and stans may know, I’m Catholic. And with this being the season of Lent, there were some sacrifices that Sister Aidan and all the other nuns in my life taught me to make. So in an effort to be an overall healthier me, I gave up meat and hired a personal trainer. The whole give up meat thing wasn’t that much of a sacrifice I must admit. I love seafood so eating various types of fish and other ocean crustaceans almost daily has been quite enjoyable. This has also forced me to cook more. I actually enjoy cooking but never make the time to. Now I’m making pretty flavorful think outside the box I should be cooking on TV kind of dishes. Steamed, grilled, broiled, stuffed, baked, pan seared. You name it. Except fried (hello, I did mention a healthier me….hahahaha). Marinades, salsas, reductions, oh my! I’ve made them all over the past couple of weeks. I thought about doing a recipe blog and share some of my Columbus-esque discoveries (like I know I’m not the first to discover stuffing a snapper with garlic cloves, fresh basil, onions, cilantro, sweet (not really) peppers and slices of mango but my palate discovered something new and in true Christopher Columbus fashion, I’m claiming it…hahahaha). While I contemplated the new direction this culinary creativity could take me in, I was reminded of one impeding factor: I don’t measure shit. Hahahahahhaa I only break out the measuring cups when I bake and that’s only because baking is really like science and even though my dad is a science teacher, I’m not science minded at all. But whenever I cook a meal, I just gather the ingredients I need and make it work. So I could tell you the ingredients I use but never how much. I’m also not methodical in how I put stuff together so my step by step directions may not work for everyone. I don’t need anyone suing me because they burnt down their kitchen following my recipe. Hahahahaah (By the way, I’ve never burned down a kitchen. I just needed to clarify that.)

My second undertaking of this Lenten Season really deserves a blog all by itself. My adventures with Terrorist X. That’s not just a blog name. It’s actually what I call my personal trainer. I used to work out semi-regularly but I had to quit going to that gym. So I recently upgraded and joined a new gym, and needed something to kick my ghetto bootay into high gear. In comes Terrorist X. He and his wife are really good friends of mine and unlike my first trainer, he is actually serious about this ish. During our talks about my fitness goals I told him I never want to be a gym rat where all I do is talk gym, workouts, protein shakes, and more gym. However, I don’t want to be one of those who say “yeah back in my twenties, girrrrrrrl, you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t shaped like Beyonce” but now I’m looking like Madea. Aww hell to da naw! I told him that I still want to look like a girl, meaning I don’t want a hard bodybuilder, muscles for boobs, bench pressing beemers type of body. I want to maintain my womanly curves, my assets if you will. And thus began what I can only describe as torture. He is killing me and not softly either. After a recent workout I updated my Facebook status to say: “whoever said no pain no gain, can kiss my a$$”. Hahahahaha Yeah yeah yeah, I know its all worth it and I will soon have than slamming centerfold body (without the fake boobies sitting up high on my chest) but damn it, this is H.A.R.D W.O.R.K. And usually, I’m all about the lesson in the journey, but sheeeeiiiiiiiit I just want the final destination lesson this time around. Is there anything wrong with that???

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I wept. Openly on the 14th St. platform. I wept. In front of complete strangers. I wept. Maybe my tears ducts were in sync with the clouds above ground creating puddles on the sidewalks. Whatever the case I wept. Maybe the fears and emotions I've been holding back for a while were testing the levees I've built behind my eyes. Or the unvoiced concerns lodged in my larynx were attempting to break free. In spite of or because of, I wept. I read a passage recently about being open to crying because tears are purifying and cleansing, a release. A necessary release. Well right in my seat on the platform, I let the tears fall like raindrops from up above. I didn't release all. But just enough . I think they call it a passing rain. As I heard my train rumble down in the tunnel I wiped away those last few drops that hadn't made it down to the folds of my scarf, gathered my bags, and smiled. Right there on the 14th street platform. I smiled. In front of complete strangers. I smiled. And continued on my journey.

(Butterfly note: I composed this all on my beloved phone. I'm so happy she's back. Well at least a newer, improved while not the model I dream of version of herself..hahahhaa)

Monday, March 23, 2009


As I've mentioned before I still flex my teaching muscles for a famous for cookies girls' organization. I've also stated before that this year, my class on manners and lady-like behavior (you know the word that begins with an "e" and ends with "quette") has proven to be most difficult. A few weeks ago I was ready to throw in the towel. After a series of lessons on table manners and proper place settings one of my girls proceeded to share the following story:

"So last week, right. Me and my family were at TGIFridays for my dad's birthday, right. And I was standing up with a rib in my hand, right. And I started laughin' and raised my hand like this when I was laughin', right. And a piece of meat from my rib flew off and went into my cousin's glass of wine and she got mad at me but I ain't do it on purpose."

Excuse me? Scratch the needle allllllllllllllllllllllllll the way across the record on both Side A and Side B. In an effort to get this child to see the error of her ways independently without me telling her specifically I began to ask her questions.

Why were you standing up at the table with a rib in your hand?
Because I was hungry.

Were all the seats taken?
No, I was about to go to the bathroom.

With a rib?
Yeah, cuz I was hungry but I wasn't going to go in there with it.

Were you that hungry that you couldn't wait 3 minutes for you to return from the bathroom and properly complete your meal while sitting at the table?
Umm, yeah.

Jesus take the wheel. I was T-H-R-O-U-G-H. While some of the other girls giggled because they could see the error of her ways (or the indignation written all over my face), I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. We discussed proper table manners, and no where in the manual I gave them did it say that her actions were acceptable. More importantly your parents actually let you stand up at a restaurant with food in your hands??? At the end of this exchange I couldn't even formulate an appropriate response without going off. I told her to think about the mistakes she made in her story and how she could have better handled the situation. I did say " I need you to understand that flinging rib juice at a dinner table is never ever appropriate" and I also recommended that she should send her cousin $10 to cover the cost of her wine with an apology note. She balked. I cringed. Oh and at the end of class, she asked me "what do I get for completing this class? Is there some kind of prize or something" I replied "Yeah. Knowledge." She didn't get it .

Ever since this exchange, I was dreading the final class. The girls were instructed to present something they learned in the class and discuss the importance of said lesson. Their parents were invited to come. With my other 2 classes, I had faith that these classes would far exceed my expectations because the girls in the other classes were just that fabulous. But with stories like the one mentioned coupled with the ghetto mentality, I was prepared for the absolute worst.
Thankfully, I was proven wrong. The girls who actually got up to present brought tears to my eyes more than once. Things that I didn't think they learned were highlighted with such clarity and understanding . I was in awe. While I was slightly disappointed that only 4 girls out of my 20 plus got up and spoke, their sentiments and gratitude more than made up for it (for the record only 13 showed up). With the parents the class turned into a frank discussion about why we want better for them and how they can achieve that. The girls opened up and participated in ways I never thought they would. They shared their fears of being perceived as "acting white". This bothers me on so many levels, primarily because I've heard it all my life. When are we going to stop this??

At the end, one of the parents thanked me for "pulling the weeds out" of her daughter's ears. She said I tended to the soil of their minds and hopefully planted new seeds. And once again, the tears fell. While I've never been a gardener, I got what she was saying. All this time, I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle with these girls, thinking nothing was sinking in. When all along, I was pulling weeds and planting seeds. On Saturday, the flowers began to bloom. Now its up to the people around them to tend to the flower. I've done my part.

Oh I guess I should mention Rib girl didn't show up on Saturday. Some weeds are just too stubborn.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Art of Being Phoneless

Thankfully, I received my phone delivery this weekend. Over 48 hours without mobile communication felt like being lost in a foreign country. I had no clue what to do with myself. When did I become this tech dependent person?? On some level, I did enjoy being off the "grid". I was able to do some things on my time at my leisure without worrying about mobile interruptions. There are some things I learned about me during this time and I wouldn't be me if I didn't share these newfound discoveries.

Things I've Learned While Being Phoneless
* I don’t trust the time on my watch. And no my watch isn’t cheap. I’ve developed a habit where watch time needs to be verified by the celly time.

* I have nothing to do while walking the mean streets of my beloved city but think. Mostly "damn, I miss my cell phone." Or "Crap. I need to call so and so about blah blah blah. " Or "what's the meaning of an unmobile, non-communicative life?"

* Tipsy Texting (or Saucy Sexting; sexting = sex textinghahahaha) is no longer an option. And thinking about what you would say IF you had a phone ain’t cute either.

* I miss my Solitaire Tournaments.

* It’s too conspicuous to take reading material with you into the bathroom. A phone provides so much more entertainment if you’re gonna be in there for a while (like Solitaire Tournaments).

* I have no where to jot down my random mobile thoughts. By the time I pull my notebook and pen out of my purse the thought has passed me by.

My purse is lighter without my cell phone accoutrement - charger, phone, holder(which I never use but carry just in case I may want to use it).

* I can’t fake like I’m on the phone when some random not phone number worthy dude starts licking his chops when he sees me walking down the street.

* While I have a really good memory (most days), I only know the area code and last 4 digits of a person’s telephone number.

*My FB status updates are quite creatively hilarious. Updating my friends on my status of being phoneless (like a penny with a hole in it. yeah yeah yeah) has provided some comic relief in these non-communicative times.

* Payphones absolutely disgust me. Not even in an emergency do I want to use one. I think I broke out in hives at the thought of having to use one. So I didn't. I couldn't remember the person's number anyway.

So now I'm back to Solitaire tournaments and updating my FB status mobiley (is that a word?!). I'm tipsy texting with a vengeance and not even trying to remember any one's phone number. Happy days are here again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Have you ever had one of those days that from the moment you leave the house you look back lovingly at your abode like "are you sure I can go back in and curl under the covers"???? I think today is that day for me.
Once again I had bank issues. I ordered something online for a project I'm working on and I was charged not once, not twice but three times for my order. Yes, three times. I called the bank on Monday. The situation was rectified in a matter of 10 minutes. About 5 minutes later my money is back in my account, waving at me on the computer screen like "Heyyyyyy girl! We're baaaaaaaaack! Whatcha got planned?" I check my account this morning to balance my checkbook and I see some serious ducats casting absentee ballots in my checking account. Upon further inspection, the previously removed charges have made an reappearance. What the hell??? I silently scream to my computer screen and scowl with my best "I'm gonna get you sucka" screw face. I don't even know who holds fault this time around because I've spoken to the merchant ("oh that's on the bank. we only have one charge for you") and I've spoken to the bank ("there's nothing we can do ma'am while the charges are pending, please speak with the merchant".) I admit I got a lil boughetto with the telebanking personnel. But lemme say this: when you say things like "Listen sweetie. Lemme speak to someone who makes more than you because they're paid to resolve this" in the nicest sweetest, most polite voice, it works. Two minutes later a supervisor was on the phone and after a couple of minutes my lootchie was back where it belonged - waving from the computer screen once again right next to the beautiful phrase "available balance".

No sooner did I have that issue resolved my cell phone starts blinking on and off like its sending a message in Morse Code. Okay those you really know me know I need a new cell phone badly. It's no longer pretty (has more boo-boos than I did from my accident a couple of weeks ago). And about 1/2 of the cool functions I love about it don't even work anymore. So why do I keep it??? Because a newer waaay cooler version is due out this year and I want it. But damn Sprint keeps pushing back the release date. The technological soon to be love of my not that tech savvy life won Best in Show at the tech convention back in January. And no, I'm not linking any links here UNTIL I get the phone. FIRST. hahahahaa But I digress. I take my beloved dinosaur in the cell phone world to Sprint. And they keep it. They need to verify that it doesn't work. Ummmm, if have to hold the battery down (with force) into the battery cavity while I simultaneously glide the battery cover over it (*with force) with the other hand to maintain enough power for it to turn on, what do you need to verify???? FIX IT!!!! Oh and I think I annoyed the hell out of the chick helping me because I needed to verify that I wouldn't lose my loyal customer money towards my new I refuse to mention here phone. I asked her 3 times in three different ways. hahahahaha Look, I'm a lady on a mission.

So here I am, money in the bank but no one to call because I'm phoneless. It's so sad. When did I become this person??? I have been going through phone withdrawal all day. I can't see my Barack Screen Saver. I can't send text messages. Sigh. Is there a 12 step program???

Today was just stellar. (if you can't read the sarcasm dripping from that 4 word statement, click the lil red x. Yeah that one, up there!!! hahahahaha)

Monday, March 09, 2009

All that I can say...

....is just when I thought I didn't know what was missing from my birthday my friends walked in and made everything as close to perfection as God allows.

...is my friends are truly sent from heaven.

......is Brunch should be a national pastime.

......is that 5 inch heels make me feel like a supermodel. (and I like it...hahahaha)

...is mimosas are the truth.

...is telling your friends exactly how you feel about each and everyone of them warms your soul.

...is seeing old and new friends together is like sitting back and reading your own biography in blissful awe.

....is my friends really know me as evidenced by the thoughtful gifts that I've received.

...is I need to download the pictures. Especially the ones of my shoes. hahahaaa

....is doo-da-doo-da-doo-da-doooo. (my inspiration for this post.)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Quiet Dawn

Yesterday was my birthday. I wrote a blog, all introspective and reflective but didn't hit publish. Can't really say why. I wanted to commemorate the day and explore this whole "dawning of a new day" thing but at the end, I didn't want to explore it publicly, I guess. Overall, the day was quiet. The bouquets of flowers were(are) beautiful. The birthday wishes on Facebook and Crackspace were heartfelt. The plethora of text messages and phone calls from midnight until 11:59 were so much appreciated. The shoes I purchased are seriously to die for. HOTTTTT

But for some reason, something was missing. I can't put my finger on it. I don't know. Even sitting here, writing this, I thought whatever "it" was would come to me since that's usually how this works. But not so much today. Today that "it" remains illusive. And maybe that's the point. Like maybe I'm not supposed to figure it out just yet. Maybe I'm supposed to just be aware that the lesson is coming soon. I know this is so not like me. And I kinda sorta apologize. Birthday posts should be celebratory. Maybe I'm not in too much of a celebratory mood because the actual celebrations have yet to begin. The begin tonight (a date) and continue through next week. While I can't outline all the events just yet, I can tell you that I will be wearing these for at least one birthday event:

One of my birthday presents to myself, courtesy of Stuart Weitzman. Told you they were HOTTTTT! lol

Monday, March 02, 2009


Here I am. In the Memphis airport. Me, my carry on bags and Carrie B. Stuck.

Lets see. At last count I've had 2 flight delays and 4 cancellations in the past 24 hours. My initial plan was to leave yesterday afternoon. However Mother Nature had other plans. Her ass dumped a foot of snow Saturday right after my grandfather's funeral. As soon as I upload the pictures I will post them. Of the snow, not the funeral. (LOL) I was first in denial that it would snow in Tennessee. Especially since I only packed my red round toe pumps to wear to the funeral and my yellow suede loafers. Can we say ill-equipped?? "Come on. You're not going to get any real snow here in Tennessee" said like a typical New Yorker like whatever they get pales in comparison to anything I've seen. Then waves of shock and awe covered me like the snow enveloped the town my father lives in. Tree limbs fell under the weight of the snow. Power was off on a few streets (thankfully not my dad's). Liquor stores closed early (which apparently was a blow to the party going on at my aunt's house later that night.(..that's another blog for another day. hahahahhaha).
Sure I said I wish I had more time to spend with my family. But did I really need a snow storm???

While it was sad that a funeral brought me here, I really am grateful for the time I got to spend with this side of my family. I almost got up during the family remarks portion of the funeral. My heart wanted to say something about while I may not have had a relationship with my grandfather, he must be proud of the sea of descendants sitting before his coffin to pay his respects. But my booty stayed planted in the pew as my mouth punked out and kept quiet. I met soooo many cousins I can't even keep names straight. Everyone was described by an article of clothing and where they sat. LOL Most of all, i got to spend time with my immediate family and most importantly, my brothers. I have 2 brothers, 12 and 13 years younger than me. While I am tight with my sisters, I've never felt that close of a bond with my brothers until this weekend. Blame it on the large age gap or blame it on the "you're a boy what the hell do I talk to you about?" Whatever it is, beyond courteous greetings, we had nothing to talk about. This weekend I was granted the opportunity to really chat with my brothers. We shared jokes, swapped stories, learned new things about each other. My baby brother even offered to carry me when my shoes got stuck in the mud when we were leaving the burial. It was sooo sweet to experience this relationship with my brothers. Like Sally Field, I was stoked that "they like me. they reallllly like me."

So here I sit. Stuck in the airport with another freaking delay but comforted that I am firmly planted in the fabric of my Tennessee family. And I guess I have Mother Nature to thank.

Sidebar: With my bday being tomorrow I am plagued with fear that I will spend my birthday in an airport. Now THAT would be a story to tell but one I pray I won't have to write. LOL