Friday, March 30, 2012

The Never Ending Quest

After being broke for months on end, I finally gave in and got a job.  And one of the things that I said I would do after getting my first paycheck was to buy a Wii so I could get the new Zumba 2 game.  (My other thing was to get a colonic . . . I know TMI, lol.  But when you get to a certain age, it's all about digestion, regulation and keeping the body cleansed.)  So any who, the reasons behind these two endeavors was/is that I want to lose weight.  My pants have not been fitting like they should and also, I don't feel as light on my feet as I once did.  So as planned, I got the Wii and bought Zumba 2.  The next day I was jumping around and sweating like crazy, trying to keep up with the dance moves.  It was fun and really effective but the thing about working out - it makes you hungry . . . REALLY hungry.  So the first week that I started doing Zumba, I went out and bought (are you ready?) a cheeseburger with the works on a Krispy kreme bun with chocolate covered bacon.  Someone dared me to eat that burger a couple months ago and I never had the desire but after hours of grueling Zumba dancing and running with my dog at the park, that was the first weird craving to pop into my mind (despite the fact that the girl who challenged me was no where in sight).  The girl was a teenager and very - I don't know how to put this - full of energy and joy for life - in other words, she could give a f--- about a beer gut.  She was talking this burger up to the highest degree and I guess after sweating like a pig, I decided to act like one too.  (And to tell you the truth, after all of those calories, it was still nothing to write home about.  I think the excitement is more about the novelty of the burger than the actual taste.)  Either way, the binge eating continued and with the burger, I had a side of fries and a birthday cake flavored milkshake with a cupcake on top of it.  Not going to lie, that shake was mother-freaking delicious.  The burger joint that I went to is notorious for their strange milkshakes and burgers and it is NOT the place to go if you want to lose weight.

Either way, I've been continuing with the Zumba every day and last week, I checked my weight after months of avoiding scales and I was at a whopping 156 lbs.  Can you believe that???  Nearly 160!!!  I have never EVER been that big in my life.  I don't know if any veteran readers are reading this, but I did a post like a couple years back about how I was upset at being - what? - like 145 or something.  So yeah, I've surpassed the big 150 mark.  After I saw that scale, I've been pumping and jumping around like my life depended on it.  I also went out and got that colonic in a desperate attempt to rid my body of any excess weight that I might be able to drop with some quickness.  (Suffice it to say that was a real soul searching experience, 0_o).  Thank god the lady that worked with me was very "grandmommish." Grandmoms don't mind talking about poop.  I could do a whole post dedicated to that day, but I'll spare you.

Now I am on a journey to drop weight before I visit CA in April.  I have been counting calories and doing Zumba in an attempt to take in less than I put out.  So far I've been super hungry and the small portions that I've been eating don't seem like enough.  As I write this, I think about what healthy snacks I may have sitting around that I could nom on, but I can't think of one thing.  Because everything is like a million calories.  Even the healthy stuff.  It feels like you do 1 hour of Zumba to burn 400 calories and you eat one cracker and it's all down the drain.  Regardless, I am going to stay on this journey.  And I am actively seeking out healthy recipes.  Also, I plan on posting a few recipes myself.

In other words, help a sistah out.  If you know of a great recipe . . . leave it in the comments section or shoot me an email at  Send me good vibes and thanks in advance!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin, Gun Laws and Justice

Yes, it's inevitable that I talk about this case.  Don't worry . . . it will be quick.

First of all, the whole thing is a tragedy.  This young man lost his life, for no reason at all.  Of course, there are a bunch of stories emerging about how Trayvon wasn't the most innocent boy in the world or that maybe he initiated the fight and got a few good hits in on the man that ultimately ended up murdering him.  Regardless, who gives a shit?  Honestly.  The boy paid for it with his life.  And if you want me to get really real, if it came down to blows with Trayvon and Mr. Zimmerman, who's to say that Trayvon wouldn't have been justified?  Who's to say that Mr. Zimmerman didn't look suspicious to Trayvon?  Maybe TM felt he needed to defend himself.  You got some weirdo following you around in a car and then gets out of his car and approaches you . . . what would you do?  You can run or you can fight.  Is there a law in Florida that says you can kill someone that looks intimidating to you but you can't punch them?  At the end of the day, the boy couldn't win.  Regardless, I will leave it to the professionals to do the investigating.  Hopefully the authorities will address this obviously mishandled situation with respect for what's fair, regardless of the boy's race and Zimmerman's connections to the police force AND Florida's idiotic gun law.

And I know there's a huge race element to this whole situation.  As I've read and heard all over the place, it's forcing folks to revisit the topic of race relations in America.  I honestly don't even want to go there.  I think any time Black people talk about race, it gives everyone the opportunity to play the "'using the race card' card."  And I don't want to give anyone that kind of power.  I don't want to argue with anyone about whether racism exists or not.  I think that the focus needs to be on the gun law.  Nobody should have the right to kill people on the sole basis of feeling intimidated.  Here's a quick story - the other day my boyfriend and I watched as a suspicious, hooded figure proceeded to walk up the stairs to our front door and just stand there for a while before he bent over and began tying his shoes.  Mind you, we were right behind him wondering what the f*** he was doing (and I was dialing 9-1-1) while peering over the boyfriend's shoulders like a scared housewife.  The boyfriend addressed the guy, asked him what he was doing.  Dude told him that he was just tying his shoes before going over to his garage (the apartment garages happen to be next to our apartment.)  My boyfriend gave him the "okay, just keep it moving then" vibes and we watched the guy wobble away.  (He was super drunk by the way).  But the whole point to this story is that the guy looked scary as shit.  (Again, I'm just being real).  Not only did he have a hood on and we couldn't see his face, but he literally walked up to our apartment and stood at our door.  Did that give my boyfriend the right to shoot him and end his life?  What if the Florida gun law applied in PA?  If my boyfriend shot and killed that man, then and there, and then after the fact it was proven that dude was just a discombobulated drunkard who was lost . . . then what?  In reality, the whole situation worked out very nicely.  Dude took his hood down, looked us dead in the eye and apologized, the boyfriend and our huge American Bulldog walked out and watched him make it to his garage safely - which he was not lying, he really did have a garage - and the night ended with no loss of life.  I understand that not all things work out that way but at the end of the day, we can't resort to shooting people.  If you have a gun, that gives you even more reason to be thorough before you pull a trigger.

I've always believed that guns are for cowards and every day that goes by, I believe it even more.  I always joke around (not really joking) and tell the boyfriend that if it came down to it and the world became an apocalyptic war torn country where everyone carried guns, I will be the first one shot dead because I refuse to walk around like Quick-Draw McGraw, living in fear with a coward's weapon trembling in my hand.  I wouldn't want to live like that.  I already grew up in the hood.  Rather than relive that nightmare, I'd rather just get it all over with and meet Jesus in the new kingdom. After living in a country like Japan where it's illegal for people to carry handguns, I cannot stress enough how peace of mind is priceless.  At 27 years old, I experienced for the first time, being able to walk down a street alone at night without any fear of being shot.  I don't know that I'll ever have that feeling in this country, but I think that after experiencing it that one time - I will NEVER EVER support any law that lets regular people walk around with a machine that allows you to take someone's life away from them.  Life is too precious to be given such a dishonorable, cheap and cowardly end.  And I think if anyone is willing to recklessly pull a trigger and make a HUGE decision that takes someone's life and changes the lives of that person's family and friends forever, they should be willing to face some consequences that will change their life as well.

Okay, that's all.  Sorry I wrote more than I planned.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Religion and Everything Else

Today is one of those days where I feel like popping one of these . . .

In other words, I may say some things that I don't mean.  Or who knows?  Maybe I'm going to be realer than I've ever been.  Either way, it's not all bad news.  Actually, my life is coming together okay.  My money came through and I ordered a couple GRE books so I can start studying.  Also, I shot an episode of my web series last week and I even bought a ticket to visit one of my best friends in California.  On top of this, I just landed a part time job and it'll be nice to get a little paycheck coming in.

Outside of all this, I have been pondering some of life's mysteries.  Religion for instance.  Most days I can do the church thing, but lately . . . I don't have the mind for it.  Reading the bible and applying its principles is fine but everything else gives me a headache.  Going to church.  Having to talk to people.  It just feels like a waste of time to me.  I'd rather be at home getting work done.  I don't imagine that I'll be penalized for it.  I don't see God striking me down for not following religion and maybe that's my problem.  Religion is pretty much built on the idea that God will strike you down if you don't actually follow it.  And that's what I don't believe. Yet I still go.  And it's days like this that I ask myself . . . "why?"  Regardless, I will wake up and drag myself to church and no doubt get inspired.  It's just everything else that gets on my nerves.  The guilt.  The feeling that I'm required to do more.  There's no such thing as a free lunch, I guess.

Speaking of religion...I talked to a friend a couple days.  The guy from this post.  We haven't talked in months.  He hit me up a little after I returned from Japan but after that we kind of lost track.  To be honest, I let it happen because the boyfriend was feeling uncomfortable with my talking with him.  Either way, I was hanging out with my New Jersey family and ran into my friend.  We talked a little about my web series and being that my friend is very funny, I told him that I'd love for him to be in an episode.  He invited me to his place because he and his roommates were having a party.  So . . . I went.  (Sorry boyfriend!)  The place was very "frat-housey" complete with beer, bongs, really loud "white people music" (heavy metal and I mean really HEAVY) and a bunch of weirdos.  The only thing was, everybody was like thirty, forty years old.  So me and my friend walk in, my friend is obviously high as a kite.  His eyes are red and he's really laid back.  He also looked really skinny and that made me realize that it'd really been a long time since I last talked to him.  So, he invited me up to his room and I had to measure whether I felt safer listening to the loud Satanic music pumping from the basement or whether I should just risk getting raped upstairs in his room. After a while, his room felt like the better option.  So we go to his room, where it's quiet and we can talk.  I drank a beer and laid back on a futon chair, feeling super relaxed.

Until he starts telling me stories about his life since I was in Japan.  At first it started with him telling me that he predicted the earthquake, amongst a bunch of other predictions that he said he'd made about me including my taking up knitting, to my getting back to America a week before the tsunami hit.  (Which he was wrong, because I got back like almost a month before it hit . . . but I've been telling everyone a week, because, honestly, it sounds better.)  Either way, he was essentially telling me that he was a prophet.  Fine.  Plenty of religious people think they're prophets.  Everybody wants to be important.  I gave him that.  Life is short.  He goes on to tell me about how his grandmother passed away, which was really sad.  I told him that I was sorry to hear that.  But then he goes on to tell me that he went up to heaven with her.  Mmmkay . . . 0_o  So from the heaven story he went into his "breaking into" WWE story which, from the way he told it, meant that he drove his car there at night and got a back stage pass.  Also, he feels he was reincarnated from someone in the bible and that he is spoken about in Revelations and that Satan himself is going to murder him.  It was creepy, weird and at the end of the day sad.  I'm hearing this guy go on and on while hearing all kinds of crazy Marilyn Manson music being shouted from the floors beneath us (live band, by the way) and listening to my friend tell me about how he is going to be murdered by the devil and that he is a prophet of God and can control the weather and that essentially the apocalypse and the fate of the world depends on him.  But honestly, the only thing I could feel was overwhelming sadness for him.  Because it seemed like he was in a place that was so dark, that I couldn't begin to imagine how he got there or if he could get out.  My heart really hurt for this guy.  And throughout his stories, he kept making references to my being in Japan.  He was telling me that he was on a journey, just like I went on my journey.  And I wanted to tell him, "Our journeys have nothing to do with each other."  I don't know how to explain it but it felt like he was affected by my trip more than I ever knew.  He told me that God gave him a bunch of wisdom and he's consciously chosen not to live a life where he gets married, has children or does certain things (I'm guessing career-wise) because he chose wisdom and nothing else.  He then asked me what my goals/plans are.  I told him that I planned to move to CA and get my Master's.  Suddenly, he got a little somber.  He asked me when I was leaving.  I told him.  A quick moment of silence.  We talked some more and then I left.  A couple days later he sent me a text, asking when I was going to be shooting the next episode of my web series.  I told him, in a couple weeks.  I guess this wasn't soon enough because he replied, "I want to see you.  If you're going to CA, I want us in a better place than before when you left for Japan."  Sadly, I can't say that I was thinking about the guy before I left for Japan.  I really wasn't.  As for why he feels it's important for us to "be in a better place" I have absolutely no idea on earth.  But if he needs a friend, I can be that.  I just hope that whatever this is - depression, insanity, whatever - he gets the help that he needs because I doubt being a listening ear can be the solution to whatever demons he seems to be fighting.  He told me that he's alienated from his family now and after talking to him for 2 hours, I totally understand why.  It's just crazy how things happen in life.

So that's all for now.  There's more, but I'm tired.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man

Taking a little break from the web series stuff this week and wanted to talk about something that makes me chuckle to myself.  I'm sure everyone's heard about the Steve Harvey book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.  And then there's the movie that's coming out with the same name.  Now there's a J-hud, Neo Rick Ross song called Think Like a Man.

Now the book, song and movie all have the same thing in common.  They're pretty-much telling women that they should think like men.  That's the main focus.  Okay, whatever.  I get it.  But what about the "Act Like a Lady" part?  I think that's where I'm having trouble, lol.  I was raised in a family with all women.  1 Single parent mom, 2 aunts, 2 sisters, a half sister and 1 step sister.  You would have thought that with all of this estrogen, I would have gotten at least one feminine trait.  The boyfriend argues with that...thank god!  (He's one of the few guys that can overlook my weirdness).

Either way, I could use some Act Like a Lady lessons in these 3 areas . . . 
1.  Clothing - I know that mixing and matching clothing and styles is "in" now, but I don't think that the clothes I wear is what fashionistas have in mind.  Kid you not, my every day, lounging around the house "go to" style is an oversized red, Coca-cola T-shirt tucked into a faded, black, chiffon skirt with long, white socks.  It looks HORRIBLE.  The only reason the boyfriend likes this outfit is because I only wear it when I don't feel like wearing underwear which is like everyday.  Ladylike?  I didn't think so.  And when I leave the privacy of my own home, it's no better.  My version of getting dressed up is putting on jeans.  And I can't wear high heels for longer than a half hour.
2.  Getting Out the Car - Can't do it.  Correction, can't do it without looking like a dude.  And if I'm wearing heels...just leave me in the damned thing.  The struggling and grunting that accompanies my getting out of a car is laughable and then a little sad.  Yeah, lessons please.
3.  Chit-chat - I SUCK at "lady-like" chit chat.  I snort when I laugh and like to talk about things that are gross.  For example, pooping.  That is like my favorite subject . . . pooping and movies.

So yeah, any help would be appreciated.  How about somebody focusing on the "Act Like a Lady" part of the book for a change?

Just a thought.  :-)

On another note...

I'm planning on applying to grad school.  Yes, you heard me.  All of those worries about being in debt for the rest of my life have taken a back seat to my worries about letting life pass me by.  I can't take another year of sitting in this living room applying to a bunch of low level jobs because I don't have the skills necessary to land something better.  I went to college so I wouldn't have to worry about that.  It's obvious that our country has shifted and now you need more than a 4 year degree to get the big normal, middle-class dollars.  Apparently, the only person that didn't know that was me.   So it's time to get my ish together.  When you know better . . . (sigh)  Either way, my plan is to move to California. My timeline is August of this year.  I have to take my GRE's and start doing research.  The thought of all of the work I have to do is a little scary, but exciting.  It's time to take another big chance.  I don't know if this is the direction God wants me to go in, but I'm getting tired of guessing what's going on with the Big Guy's plans for me.  He's a little hard to read these days, so I'm just going to go for it and regret (or celebrate) it later, like I've done my whole life.  I think it's safe to say that I suck at reading the "signs."

This plan kind of gives me the same feelings that I felt when I was about to leave for Japan.  Doubts, fears, excitement, adventure, confusion, worry, happiness, everything.  I'm just a big mixture of feelings.  Am I really going to go through with this?  Ahhh.  But it's coming.  Something's definitely coming, I can feel it.  So, as I've been telling everybody these days . . .

Send me good vibes people!