Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “crazy story

And Now I Have Four Sets of Headphones

Maaaaaaan, of course my same day delivery didn’t come on the same day. They didn’t even attempt the delivery. I wasn’t at work for the next couple of days, so it got delivered at some point.

I had originally ordered replacement headphones for my cell phone because the volume buttons on the headphones weren’t working. Then I noticed they were selling them in a two pack and figured that would be a better purchase because it was close to the same price. I don’t really lose headphones, but it couldn’t hurt to have a second pair, right?

Well, I ordered the headphones, then realized I’d chosen free two-day delivery when I meant to choose same day delivery. So I ordered them again for same day delivery.

And now I have four sets of headphones.

And the volume buttons still don’t work.

I figured out it was due to the phone being messed up. One lousy little half-empty travel-size bottle of Listerine and everything goes fuzzy.

Well, not literally. The phone’s functionality has almost completely returned. That makes me very happy because I love my phone and I’ve finally got the settings just right. Fingers crossed that this phone will last until the newest Samsung Note 6 (or Note 7 Edge if the internet rumors are to be trusted) comes out.

So maybe I have to restart my phone to get the microphone on the headphones to work.

And maybe the S Pen is a little temperamental.

And maybe the phone mutes itself for no reason out of nowhere.

And maybe the phone turns itself up to the loudest possible volume for no reason out of nowhere.

But it’s my phone and I love it. And it’s really not in the budget to replace it right now.

That money has to go towards the laptop. Eventually it will stop working because I spilled a glass of red wine on the keyboard.

And Chris was just saying how I’m less clumsy with all the aerial yoga…

I Live in a Sitcom, Not A Romantic Comedy

Did you ever feel like your life was a movie? Hopefully, it’s not a horror movie or even a suspense thriller, but some sort of drama or comedy or romcom?

I used to feel that way sometimes. Things that happened in my life seemed straight out of someone else’s imagination.

Since being with the husband, my life feels very much life a sitcom. It’s like someone presents a premise that appears normal, puts a twist on it, and then hilarity ensues with everyone learning (or not learning) a lesson at the end.

Some of the time, we’re normal. But in between the normal, we careen from one crazy situation to the next.

What has happened recently to further let me know I’m right about this? I’m glad you asked.

I mentioned before that the husband went to Haiti for a weekend for a jazz festival down there. He arrived back in town on a Sunday evening.

I headed to the airport to pick him up, along with a good friend of ours who was visiting NYC for a series of gigs, including the Haitian jazz festival.

I decided that I was going to surprise the husband. At a first glance, it looked like I was wearing jeans, a fleece, boots, and one of my winter coats. Peel down one layer and I was wearing something fun and frisky underneath.

Upon arriving to the airport, I’m immediately stuck in a traffic jam. If you’ve ever driven to pick someone up from an airport, you know that sometimes you have to circle around because airport security won’t let you just idle outside on the curb.

After my second time circling around, the gas light came on. How I managed to avoid noticing the gas was that low escapes me, but it fits into the sitcom, so of course I didn’t notice.

I ended up pulling to the end of a long line of cars standing in an awkward point of not-really-the-entrance-to-the-parking-lot and not-really-the-way-to-circle-back-around-to-arrivals. Just my luck, the tail end of the car was a bit in the way of cars trying to pass us.

Don’t worry, no one hit my car, but a few cars made a huge show of slowing down and creeping past to make sure they had room. One jerk in a while baby SUV did it six times. I mean, come on dude, you should’ve figured out in the first couple of passes that your tiny SUV could fit.

After over a half hour of waiting, the husband calls to say they just made it out of customs and currently en route to baggage claim. Oh, and he got a gig offer that he simply had to take because it was a group he hasn’t played with yet and he’s still new to New York, so he really can’t turn down gigs just yet even though he just landed from an international flight and he’s really sleepy and hungry and in need of a shower but, you know, he really should take this gig.

When he gets on a roll like that, I just smile into the phone, roll my eyes, and say, “sure, sounds good.” Or some other version of that to make it clear that I’m not adding my opinion to the mix.

They finally get out to the curb, and I pick them up. I regale them with stories of the sex museum and tofu roti from the previous day while we try to figure out the quickest way to get from JFK to the Village.

I’ve never driven through Queens before, but I must tell you now. It. Is Horrendous. You know how they say the rats in NYC subways will make your hometown rats look tiny and pitiful? The Queens potholes take after the rats.

I’m from Chicago, land of the poorly-filled pothole. But these were something else. And because my life is a sitcom, I immediately hit several potholes that my only chance of avoiding was smashing into the car beside me or driving into oncoming traffic.

After we kept driving past the horrific potholes, I worried that the car was driving funny. Then went we got on the expressway, I felt even stronger that something was wrong.

Then the tire-issue light came on, further letting me know something was wrong. I even asked the husband if he thought we should pull over to check the car out to make sure it was okay.

The husband told me that he knew much more about cars than I did and I should just keep on driving and get him to his gig. Feeling very much like I wanted to save the husband from digging his own grave, I chose silence and kept driving.

While on the Williamsburg Bridge, things started to feel really weird. Things finally felt weird enough that the husband agreed something was off. After going down a few more awful Chinatown streets, we finally pulled over on Canal not too far from Broadway.

At this point, the whole care is literally rattling every time I press the gas.

Literally, not figuratively.

I’m thinking it’s a broken axle or something, but the husband figured it was just a flat tire that needed changing. So he and our friend decide they’re going to change the tire right at that moment. On Canal. On a Sunday night. On a busy street. While it was dark. With the problem tire being on the driver’s side.

I let him get started on changing the tire. When it became apparent he was literally (not figuratively) standing in the path of oncoming traffic in his attempt to assess the tire and prepare to change it, I had to say something.

“So, what’s the best way to explain to your mother that this is not my fault when I call to tell her you’ve wandered into traffic and got hit?”

A little sarcasm and gallows humor goes a long way people.

He decided against changing the tire and called our insurance company. They said they could send a guy to change our tire in 20 minutes or a guy to tow our car to a desired location in one hour.

With those two options, of course we wanted the tire change guy. But if there was further damage beyond a flat, they weren’t going to send that guy. We didn’t want to wait an hour for the other guy if all we needed was a changed tire.

Classes sitcom dilemma. Ultimately, we decided to get the tow because the tire was rattling just a bit too much for comfort and we didn’t want to risk driving the car until the wheel literally came off.

Show of hands, who thinks the tow truck guy actually arrived in an hour?

No one? You’re all so smart.

After about 80 minutes, we see a tow truck go flying past us on the street where no one is driving under the speed limit. You know, the one where the husband thought it was a good idea to attempt a tire change.

We tried to honk and get his attention, but no luck. When we described our location to dispatch, we gave very specific cross streets. In this area, there were only four cars, two on each side of the street. There were no other cars for at least two blocks in any direction.

So of course the tow truck guy says he couldn’t figure out where we were. When he comes back our way, he’s on the wrong side of the street and performs a very artful 7 point turn to get to our side of the street.

It takes him forever to hitch our car to the truck, and an additional 20 minutes to convince us that he can fit all three of us in the front seat of his truck. None of us are tiny people, and we felt serious doubt, but we squeezed in there.

The driver and the husband spent the next half hour dissecting all the nuances in their difference of opinion of hip hop from the 1990s versus today. I recognized about six names they were mentioning. Must do better as a self-proclaimed lover of 90s music.

I lost the feeling in my legs, got a intercostal muscle cramp that didn’t go away for 2 hours, and get to know our friend really well, but we made it back to the Brooklyn brownstone.

I grabbed my keys out of my purse and let the men know I was heading inside. Their plan was to stay outside and change the tire so the husband could take the car to get fixed the next day.

Fast forward 45 minutes: they come back inside having decided to wait until the next morning to change the tire.

Fast forward to the next morning: they wake up late and have to rush off to a rehearsal for an amazing MLK Day gig at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club (Jazz at the Lincoln Center), and the tire changing will have to wait

Fast forward a few more days: the tire still isn’t changed and now there’s an awful snowstorm that is literally (this time, figuratively) burying cars under piles of snow.

Fast forward to yesterday: the husband finally, after ten days, schedules the car for maintenance. Thanks Geico for giving us low-priced insurance with a freaking $500 deductible.

Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention. The husband hates packing. So on the return trip from Haiti, he packed his box o’ jewelry in his checked bag instead of in his carry-on.

Upon unpacking in Chicago, he discovers his wedding ring is missing. Cuff links, chain, and collar stays were all still present. But his wedding ring and a very nice gold ring his father gave him were both gone. And our insurance at Jared says they don’t cover theft. Renter’s insurance also doesn’t cover something that happened in another country.

Thanks insurance.

But here’s the real kicker. How will our episode end? Was is just a flat tire or is there really something wrong with the axle? I promise I’ll let you all know as soon as I do.

Cause you’re on the edge of your seat, right?

Who doesn’t love a good melodramatic battle-of-the-sexes sitcom cliffhanger?


That Time I Almost Stabbed An Old Man In The Street

Before I talk about that time I almost stabbed an old man in the street, I first want to follow-up on yesterday. It’s like God heard my not-actually-prayed prayers and found a solution to my problems.

I will have time to wash my clothes before I have to wear more awful clothing combinations to work. I was sitting at work when one of the other shift leaders asks me if I want to go home, take a nap, then come back that night.

I did a quick thinking process and decided I was in. I gathered my things and left. I got home and took a nice long nap until it was time to get up to go do my volunteer thing. I definitely went the wrong way once or twice on the way (anyone want to teach me the difference between north and south?), but I finally got to the place.

The woman I’m working with has her final next week. So when I go back on Monday, we’re going to work hard to make sure she’s as prepared as possible for the final. Then the following weekend, we will celebrate her doing well by taking an excursion somewhere. We haven’t figured out where yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.

I’m glad this is going well because I know sometimes volunteer work can be unfulfilling and boring. This work is anything but. She even showed me her latest sonogram today! My personal opinion happens to be that sonograms look weird and pretty icky, but I was just happy for her that she wanted to show the pictures off.

I’m sure the husband will want to pat me on the back for keeping my strong ass opinions to myself for once. Thank God I have this blog to let it out on you people. I figure you’re asking for my opinions because you bother to read my words.

I’ll probably be one of the few ladies who shuns her own sonograms while she’s pregnant. The doctor will be all, “hey, want a picture of your baby? Isn’t it grand?” And I’ll be all, “um, no that alien looking thing belongs in my womb, not floating around in my purse or on my refrigerator blown up 100x. No thank you.” Then the husband will shake his head at me and request the picture anyway.

Back on topic now. After I was done with the tutoring, I headed to work. I worked until the morning at which point I went home. Now I’m not due back until Friday, so I actually have time to, you guessed it, wash my clothes!

Because I worked last night, I could wear causal clothes, which I haven’t run out of yet. And on casual Friday, I can also wear the jeans instead of the slacks. That gives me four whole days to manage to wash some clothes for work on Monday. Of course, I’ll be quite tired from flipping back and forth from day sleep to night sleep, so I still may not get it done. I’m not gonna worry about that just yet though.

On to the point of this post. In the course of getting ready for my trip out of town last weekend, I decided to take a trip down to Greenwich Village in Manhattan rather than to the Laundromat, you know, to wash clothes.

Down in Greenwich Village, I was reminded yet again of why I love that neighborhood. It just feels neighborhood-y and community-ish. The people all seem to carry the sense of belonging and lack of judgment with them everywhere they go.

My destination when I got there was this lovely little shop that sells essential oils. I’ll explain in a later post why I needed essential oils, but there I was, making some purchases, feeling very Village-like. I left the shop and noticed there was a vegan grocery store, a yoga studio, a sushi bar, and a LGBT community center all within the same half a block.

Even though I’m heterosexual and such a carnivore (pun intended), I felt so at home. That type of acceptance of any lifestyle put a big smile on my face. I don’t know how much time you people have spent around others who aren’t like yourself. I’ve encountered communities that are so supportive of vegans that they judge meat-eaters. I’ve also been around homosexuals and bisexuals that shun heterosexuals.

But nobody was eye-ing my I heart bacon sweatshirt with ire. I fit right in and happily so.

Just as I was reveling in my daydreams about moving into this building that looked like a fancy version of my current brownstone, my thoughts were interrupted by this man. He was leaning forward, swaying unsteadily on his feet. For some reason, he was holding a 7-Eleven big gulp cup partially in front of his eyes in a very I-can-see-you-but-you-can’t-see-me kind of way.

He swayed into my path and began lumbering toward me. When I stepped to the side to go around him, he stepped to the side to stay in my way. Then he started talking. I don’t recall exactly what he said, but he kept calling me Lady and laughing each time he said it.

When he got closer, I stopped walking forward and actually started taking steps back. As I stepped back, he stepped forward. This was officially an awful moment. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I ran through the options.

1)      Mace his ass.

2)      Cut his ass.

3)      Run away.

4)      See if he needed help.

The first option was a good one since I had an adorable pink bottle of pepper spray in my purse. The second option was the most attractive, but I didn’t have a box cutter with me because the husband refused to buy me one. I’m pretty sure it was out of pure laziness that he didn’t buy it for me. And I’m pretty sure it was out of pure laziness that I didn’t buy it for myself.

The third option just isn’t my style. I prefer fight over flight. The last option didn’t feel very safe. I’m alone in New York, so I can’t afford the risk to my safety by reaching out to strangers like that. I just got here, and I’d like to keep myself safe.

Based on those options, I began reaching for my pepper spray, cursing both myself and my husband that I didn’t have a box cutter. I’m not against cutting an old man who’s starting to scare me. But before I could pull out the pepper spray, another man on the street told the man to leave me alone because he was clearly scaring me.

They argued back and forth a bit over whether or not he was scaring me. Ultimately the creepy old man with the big gulp cup gave up and crossed the street, muttering to himself.

I left my pepper spray in my purse and thanked the man for his intervention.

Then I called the husband and fussed at him for not buying me a box cutter. I clearly needed to cut an old man, but wasn’t able to because he was being lazy.

The husband, who is saner than I am, immediately let me know that it wasn’t a bad thing that I got through the afternoon without cutting an old man.

Agree to disagree.

On my agenda while I have some time at the Laundromat: heading to the nearby hardware store to purchase a box cutter.

That old man may have been harmless, but I don’t want to be naïve enough to think everybody who walks up on me in this city will be. I’ve got plans for my life, and they don’t include becoming a statistic to senseless violence. Yeah, that just got real.

I Just Paid Someone $100 To Torture Me

The last time I got my hair done before leaving Chicago was July 2nd. That’s not crazy by standards for those of us with locs, but it was getting rough for me. I try to get my hair done every four weeks.

That meant one of my top tasks after arriving in New York was to find a place to get my hair done. I wanted to stay close to home if possible.

All the places I looked up charged way more than my hair lady in Chicago. But there were several options close by. The first place I sought out was the very closest. It is literally right around the corner from my brownstone.

You can surmise by the title of this post that this trip to the new hair place didn’t exactly go well. So here’s what happened last Saturday.

My appointment was for 10AM. I arrived at 9:56, there was no one there. I rang the bell a few times, but no one answered. Finally, around 9:02, I called the lady I made the appointment with. She answered almost immediately to let me know that she was pulling up.

She looked out her window and me and smiled apologetically as she parked. I let them know it was no problem, and that in the future, it would probably be me that was running late.

We got inside and they offered me juice and fruit and water. I took the juice and settled down while they cleaned up. I’d never been to a shop before that cleaned up first thing in the morning as opposed to last thing the night before, but there’s a first time for everything, right?

After a while, they asked me to sit in the chair. They let me know they got a strawberry red color to dye my hair and also a honey blonde color. I had previously told them that I needed a strawberry blonde color for my hair to turn out the color it currently was.

I don’t know how much you know about dying hair, but it’s probably two more things than I know. I could barely describe what my hair lady in Chicago did, so I went with it. When they were describing to me what the different hair dye components do, I tried to let them know that all of that mean nothing for my hair.

My hair doesn’t take color easily and it never turns out the color expected. Even a trained colorist has to pull out all the tricks when it comes to my hair.

They have me all the “OK”s and “No problem”s, so I thought we’d be fine. That much confidence needs to be backed up with something right? I mean, how many people walk into a shop swearing their hair reacts unexpectedly to color and have verified this with every person who’s ever done their hair?

So anyway, she starts with the strawberry color. She applies it and I looked in the mirror and said, “this looks very very red.” She said, “I know, but when I rinse it out, it will tone down.”

When she rinsed it out, it didn’t tone down.

I sat in the chair, looking at a mirror, assessing my options.

Option #1: Slap her and then slap the other lady who vouched for her.

Option #2: Cry and run screaming from the shop straight to small claims court.

Option #3: Make the best of it because I live right by here and she is just hard-headed as hell.

Of course, I chose option #3. I assessed the color they dyed my hair. I had these red ass roots and the rest of my hair looked super blonde next to it. My hair is not even a little blonde, but that’s how it looked in comparison.

As red as this hair was, it was pretty flattering next to my face. So I said, “take note of this color because the next time I decide to go red, this is the color!”

The girl laughed and looked relieved that I didn’t choose option #1.

Because I doubted whether or not I’d actually be back to this shop, I grabbed one of the empty bottles of color so I could find it again.

So after dyeing my hair and awesome yet mismatching shade of red, she decides she’s going to put the honey blonde on top of it. So she does.

Show of hands, who thinks it worked?



You’re all right. It didn’t work.

After she rinses it off, only the baby hairs at the very edges of my scalp look like they might be the right color. All the rest of my roots just looked—no not orange. My roots still looked the same damn red.

At this point, she looks concerned. Her concern increased after I told her she had two options.

Option #1: Figure out a way to fix my hair because I wasn’t leaving the shop with my hair looking like that.

Option #2: Dye all the rest of my hair this awesome red and I’d just be a redhead from now on.

She considered her options and knew that she’d have to eat a lot of profit to cover the cost of coloring my whole head red. So she decided that she could definitely fix the color.

Her first step was to bleach the hair she’d just processed two times.

I’m telling y’all, I was watching my hair like a hawk, prepared to backhand any and everybody at the first sign of my hair falling out.

I’m lucky I have strong hair, but I won’t be repeating this assault on my hair ever again.

After she bleached it, then it was orange. So off to the beauty supply store, for the third time that day, she went.

She returned with a color that she said had a swatch that was closest to my desired hair color. At this, I was even more frustrated. I had already explained that my hair doesn’t take color well.

That means whatever the swatch of hair is colored in the store, my hair won’t look anything like that when we’re done.

The actual color was this coppery color that was pretty. Just not pretty on me. You try to put a reddish-blonde color on my hair with golden undertones and it turns copper. Good to know.

After she was done with that, she said, “I see what you mean now about how strawberry blonde was probably the best color to use.”

If I were even 1% more violent that I am in my natural state, I definitely would’ve slapped her. It’s just so frustrating that she didn’t listen to me once in this whole process. That coppery color looks crazy next to my scalp line. It’s just too orange for my complexion. I can’t wait until it grows out and I can fix it.

So after I resign myself to having these coppery roots, We get down to the business of rolling my locs so they look fresher.

This part was lovely. I remember being so apprehensive because my scalp was sore by this point. All the color processing had made me quite sensitive and I was concerned I was going to be in a lot of pain.

But there was no pain. She moved quickly and efficiently. I found myself thinking I actually preferred the way she palm rolled my locs over what my Chicago hair lady did.

She put me under the dryer and then oiled my scalp before I left. I like the way my hair looked, if I ignored the roots.

I paid her the cost for rolling the locs and dyeing the roots and left. At this point, it was ten hours after I’d arrived to the shop in the first place. Ten freaking hours.

On a normal day, even with hair color, it shouldn’t take more than four hours from start to finish.

Because I’m crazy (remember my response to the virgin sacrifice apartment?), I actually thought about returning to the shop. It’s just so close to my house and I really liked the way she rolled my hair.

Then two days passed. And I realized the rolled my hair the wrong way. I’m not sure how to fully explain this. When locs are palm rolled, they are rolled between the palms. As the hair grows out, you roll the roots in the same direction while it’s wet. Then you put a hair clip in to hold it until you can dry the hair. Once the hair is dry, it stays rolled in that direction and the hair continues to lock on the same pattern.

This chick rolled my damn hair in the opposite direction!

My hair hangs to my shoulder blades. So I’ve got almost a foot of hair that is quite obviously rolled in one direction.

But she didn’t care.

All she wanted was to stick with what she knew.

She rolled my hair in the direction I assume she rolls everyone’s hair.

So now my hair is starting to look a little funky at the point where the locked hair meets the newly rolled hair.

So that settles it.

I’m not going back to that shop.

And I’ll give them the side eye when I walk past on the way to another shop to get my hair done.


I left my umbrella there.

So I’ll go back, but just for that.

As It Turns Out, You Can Cut Yourself With A Plastic Picnic Knife

Can I just say, things have been so crazy at work that I’ve been trying to write this post for a month? I never have time to finish it and just click publish. If only I had more time to post at home.

I know I’m overdue to post my pictures of my progress. To be honest, I just don’t see much progress. Maybe it’s because my eating habits haven’t improved as much as they should. I’ve cut out carbs that come from flour and white potatoes, but that’s about it.

I’ve been doing a pretty good job of eating mostly home cooked food. It’s when I don’t have time to cook that things go awry. Vending machine food is the enemy!

Sometimes, I run to Wal-Mart and grab some groceries to make myself some easy lunch or breakfast. This usually means salad fixings. And that leads to the point of this post.

After doing Tracy Anderson cardio one day, I was starving. I felt weak and knew I needed to eat something, like NOW. I rushed to put together a good salad, with bacon of course. Because I purchased all the good salad fixings, I needed a good salad.

That involved heating up the bacon slices and making my own fresh bacon bits, getting shredded cheese, shredded carrots, and dried cranberries. And it also involved cutting up an apple for which I neglected to bring an appropriate knife. So I grabbed one in the employee lounge.

Next thing I know, I slipped and cut myself.

With a plastic knife.

I didn’t even know they were sharp enough to do that. I guess it was because I was eating a Fiji apple. those things are quite firm and required a lot of applied pressure to cut. As I watched my finger begin to bleed, I contemplated stopping the salad preparation.

But I was just so damn hungry.

So I grabbed a napkin to press against the cut and kept slicing the apple. I have to tell you, it was so worth it because that salad was delicious. And I had the whole time I was eating to contemplate how in the hell I managed to cut myself with a plastic knife.

Eventually, my hunger subsided enough so that I could properly clean and bandage my finger. The problem is that I do a ton of typing at work, and not just my never-ending attempts to put out a new blog post.

Imagine trying to type with a hurt and bandaged finger, feeling all the worse because your dumb ass cut yourself with a plastic knife.

Because I like to learn from my mistakes, this led to better meal planning so I’m not so ravenous when I finish working out. I’m still super hungry, but not so much that I will literally let myself bleed just so I can eat some food.

It’s different working out at work compared to at home. At home, I can just turn on the shower, throw off my clothes, go grab some food. I can do all that in any order. At work it’s a very clear order. I can’t exactly walk around the building in my workout gear so I can grab a pre-shower snack.

So now I try to eat and apple or banana 30 min before I work out. And I have something for lunch that I can start to munch on while whatever else I’m preparing the rest of my food. And so far, I haven’t cut myself again yet.

With a plastic knife.

Evil Ass Chocolate Cake

Do you like chocolate? I happen to love chocolate. When I got a sweet tooth last Sunday night after making dinner for the husband and his parents, I decided to make a chocolate cake. I figured it would be a good time to use another recipe from my Bon Appétit cookbook for my cooking blog, and I always make cookies, so I wanted to make something different.

The last time I attempted a cake, it was for the husband’s birthday in 2011. I don’t think he even knows I tried to make this cake because it ended so horrible. The inside was raw, the outside got overcooked, it was just atrocious. I dropped that crap in the garbage and headed to the grocery store to buy a cake baked by someone who knew what they were doing.

Back to the evil ass chocolate cake. I was flipping through recipes and saw that everything I wanted to bake needed eggs. We were out of eggs, but the husband was nice enough to run out at like 10 pm to go buy eggs for me to bake. I settle on the chocolate cake recipe and right when the husband got back with the eggs, I realized this recipe didn’t even need eggs. I figured since I’m confessing things, now would be a good time to apologize for the errand request that was completely unwarranted. Sorry husband.

Now that I’m done with the spouse confessional part of this blog post, let me say that the eggs were actually quite useful in the recipe. I made up the batter and threw in one egg to make it more moist. You know how some in-a-box brownie recipes give you the option to use 2 or 3 eggs depending on your moistness preference? I know baking is so precise, but I figured it might work the same way. I have already ruined several cakes over the years, so I was no longer afraid of the shame.

It turned out that the evil ass chocolate cake was super delicious! The recipe called for a three layer round cake, but I don’t have any round cake pans. Instead, I made 12 cupcakes and a sheet cake I cut in half a turned into a two layer cake. There was a thin slice of cake left over after I made the layer cake, so I put some super delicious frosting on it and the husband and I had a tasty late night snack.

I noticed that the cake was a bit crunchy right on the edge. I figured the cooking time must’ve been off when I converted it to cupcakes. I intended to take the cupcakes to my parents’ house for Labor Day the next day, but didn’t want to take over-cooked cupcakes if they would all be a little crispy on the edges. Who wants crispy cupcakes? No one, that’s who.

Those evil ass cupcakes still got packed up in an airtight container and taken to my parents’ house on Monday. I warned everyone that the inside would taste super delicious, but the outside may or may not have some crunch. My daddy cracked jokes and no one touched the cupcakes. After dinner, my brave uncle decided he’d try one. The only other dessert was store-bough apple pie, and he didn’t want any of that.

He grabbed a cupcake and I left the room. When I came right back, he was finishing the cupcake and told me it was really good and I was a better baker than I thought I was. I walked over to the container to grab a cupcake for myself and saw that in that short time period, he had actually inhaled two cupcakes and I saw him finishing the second one. I figured they really must taste good. I took a bite and they were so moist and tasty, not at all crispy.

I realized they tasted like Hostess cupcakes, except without that extra ingredient that tastes like it could survive longer than humans could. Just sweet home-made goodness. I let my mom have a bite and she loved it too. I was so proud of myself. I figured the frosting and the air-tight container had something to do with softening the cupcakes. They were a hit and they didn’t make it til the end of the night. No leftovers is always a good sign.

I went home proud of my cupcake adventures, and glad I had a whole 9 square inch layer cake to eat. And eat it I did. The husband and I have eaten 1-3 servings of chocolate cake every day this week. The cake was so good. And it keeps so well. We go through a lot of milk, but we used even more this week with the super delicious cake.

What was the result of the super delicious cake? We’ve been so sluggish. We aren’t eating balanced meals, we’re just eating cake and things-that-taste-good-right-before-cake. We sleep more. We exercise less. It’s been such a struggle to get through my exercises and I’ve been half-assing the cardio. Friday I decided the cake was an evil ass cake and had to go.

We still had a good 3″ of cake left, but it had to go. I threw it out. The husband hates wasting food, but I had to do it. That cake was taking over our lives. It’s not like when I make cookies. I cut the recipe down and only make like 12 cookies. It wasn’t so easy to cut down the cake recipe, so I made the whole thing. And our diet and exercise plan fell off a cliff. So now I know to just make the entire batter into cupcakes and leave that shit at my parents’ house. Maybe we’ll keep six cupcakes for our house.

Knowing I have an amazing chocolate cake recipe feels good to my soul because I loves me some chocolate. But that evil ass cake isn’t welcome in my house for at least three more months from now. I’m thinking I’ll make some more maybe for Christmas, and not a day sooner.

Do you know any good evil ass recipes? I’d love a great pie recipe!

You’re Not On The Side Of The Road If You’re Standing In The Road

With that title, I feel like this post could be a metaphor for relationships, or career paths, or self-love. But it’s not. It’s just a story about these people who gambled with their life when their car stalled on the expressway.

The husband and I were driving somewhere on one of the expressways in Chicago. It was raining pretty badly, but not so bad that you have low visibility. I think visibility was just the right level that you might not notice a man standing in the road until it was too late.

If you aren’t familiar with the expressways in Chicago, the exit and on-ramps don’t give a lot of space. There’s usually only about 50-100 feet of merging. That’s not a lot if everyone is driving super fast. But it is a lot if your car stalls out and you need to pull over.

For some reason, this man has his car pulled over not on the shoulder, but in that gray area right where the lane splits off for an off-ramp. The back of the car barely fits into the space, and he decides it’s a good idea to stand next to the back of the car. Yes, ladies and gentleman, this man was standing partially in the expressway.

And it wasn’t just him. There were two other people with him. At least the other two had the good sense to stand on the side of the car where the traffic wasn’t. So let me paint this picture for you. It’s raining. A car is stalled right where the expressway splits off into an off-ramp. The car barely fits into that space. Three people are gathered around said car, one on the side where he’s got one leg out in the road like he’s trying to catch a cab in Abu Dhabi or some 1940s movie. And it’s raining. Oh yes, and the hood is up.

People are flying past at 55-75 MPH because it is Chicago after all. I began imagining all sorts of horrible things. I’m talking Final Destination type things. What if the tail end of the car was hit by someone who was going to exit the expressway but changed their mind at the last-minute? It happens all the time in Chicago, and with the rain, they might misjudge the space they have between them and this stalled car. They could hit that car and all three people near it. With the open hood, a spark could ignite and BOOM, now there’s a fiery crash that shuts down three lanes of expressway.

Or maybe he just hits the guy’s leg that’s sticking into the road like a poorly positioned scarecrow who hasn’t yet learned to ease on down the road. Then you end up in jail because this dumb ass didn’t think to utilize the large number of people in the stranded car to push the shit 200 feet. You know what was 200 feet away from him? An underpass that would protect him from the rain and allow them to be fully on the should and out-of-the-way of cars flying by.

I wish I could’ve sent the man a message to let him know to move. That he literally had body parts just hanging in the road waiting for someone to swoop by and amputate one of his limbs. After discussing and agreeing that this man was a complete idiot, the husband and I began contemplating if his friends were complete idiots too. Why didn’t one of them say, “hey, dumb ass, stop standing in the road like a deer with a wish to become jerky and wall art.” Nope, I think the woman was fishing for something in the backseat and the other guy was just standing there looking rather forlorn.

I’d be forlorn too if it was raining and I was in a danger zone and shelter and relative safety was 200 feet away. I’d be making plans for smarter friend recruitment. And I’d be walking my ass to the gas station that was just up the off-ramp at the next corner. I mean it’s Chicago. This death-defying situation did not have to happen.

I was feeling a bit ranty, but now I feel better. Thanks for listening.

Getting Home To The Husband From Arizona

I just got back from Tempe. I went for a work conference, all expenses paid. Technically, all expenses paid/reimbursed, but close enough. I was looking forward to coming home to my husband. He’s usually the one leaving for his music, and I’m usually the one waiting.

This is the first out of town trip I’ve taken without him since we got engaged. I missed him and couldn’t wait for the wine, candles, etc. promised me upon my return home. But all hell broke loose at work. On a really terrible night, we’ll have 4 or 5 organ cases going at once. We get lots of people transplants, but it a heavy workload for whoever works that night.

This night, there was only one organ person on plus our supervisor. She asked if anyone could come in. My flight didn’t get in until midnight, but I still said I’d come in. I guess I’m more committed to my job than I thought. The super-understanding, raincheck-cashing, chauffeur-impersonating husband drove me straight to work from the airport.

Because it was so late at night, there was no traffic. I was glad to spend at least a little bit of time with him. I was also glad for the air conditioning in the car. I may love Tempe for the Southwest cuisine and the amazing integrated diversity, but I hate their lack of air conditioning. Everywhere is air conditioned, but it never gets cool enough. My hotel room was set on 69 degrees.

If my house was set to that low temperature, I’d be bundled up in sweats (as if I own real sweats!) and a blanket. But in Tempe, that was barely enough. So I will focus on how Latinos, black, whites, and Asians of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds fill up the same spaces. Being a born and raised Chicagoan, integration stands out to me. I need to make sure I change that so I don’t pass the expectation of segregation on to my children.

Back to the air conditioning in the car. It felt great! The air conditioning on the plane was a joke. It was so warm in Chicago last night, that it didn’t get any cooler as we arrived over Midwestern airspace. Something about the air on the plane was messing with me.

I began experiencing a series of symptoms that possibly made me think I might die if I didn’t lie down immediately. I felt nauseous. I felt lightheaded. My respiration rate slowed way down and I had to force myself to breathe in and out. At the same time, my heart rate went way up, so I felt on edge. The light was low, but I still had to close my eyes to shut out the light. The only thing not wrong with me was I didn’t have a headache. I felt similarly on the plane on the way to Tempe, but I chalked it up to not having drunk enough water.

I don’t know what happened on the plane, but I’m not interested in re-living it. Warm climates are apparently not for me, at least if I ever want to arrive or leave by plane. Making matters even more disconcerting was the woman next to me on the plane.

I don’t know many of you talk to people on planes, but I’m not one of those people. There were two boys in front of me who were travelling alone. They were maybe 9 and 10. I think the woman thought I was also a kid travelling alone. She kept asking me all these questions, and finally she asked my age. When I responded “27,” she asked me four more times, repeating, “no, I’m asking you your age.”

When I finally got her to understand that I was truly saying I was 27, she told me she thought I was 13. I know I look young for my age, and even younger when I have all my hair off my face, but really?! 13?!? I swear that only black women over 45 ever come at me with that “you look like a baby” shit. If I were a worse person than I am, I would inform them that they’re husband/boyfriends/sons/brothers would all recognize I was a grown ass woman and just because I haven’t aged my skin with too much drug, alcohol, cigarette, or sun exposure doesn’t make me a child.

But I’m a better person than that. So I just smiled and pretended to be asleep while thinking about how excited I was to see the husband.

A Crazy Call From The Police

No one wants to get a call from the police department at work. You think: “have I committed some felony and not realized it?” “Is someone dead?”

All sorts of things go through your mind. To ease your concern, this call was not about a felony or a death. A co-worker answered the phone and the police asked to speak with my father. Luckily, she recognized the last name and my maiden name and handed the phone call to me.

The police confirmed that the car in the parking lot was the one I drove to work and it was under my father’s name. Then they explained that a man called the police to say he had been driving while drinking and hit a car. He didn’t remember exactly when or where, just a general area, so the police took a look around the business park where my office building is located.

They saw my car and called to make sure that I was aware I may have had my car hit. I let them know the car had recently been in an accident and the damage on the back was likely from that. Side note: my father was driving when and got rear ended; I had nothing to do with the accident.

I went outside to confirm there was no new damage and moved on with my night. Then I thought about the situation some more. I was born and raised in Chicago. Police don’t go searching for car damage and then call people just to warn them just in case in Chicago. This is craziness.

It’s actually quite wonderful that the police in the area around my job are so diligent. It’s not so amazing when they set up alcohol check points and delay my staff on nights when I’m shift lead a half hour while out on break. But it is amazing in case there’s ever a crime committed.

One time, while at home, I called 911 to report gunfire outside my apartment building. The police barely took the information. They never came by to follow-up. And that was actual confirmed gunfire. Let’s just hope if a crime is committed against my car ever again, I’m at work and not at home, okay?

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“Rejected!” Says the IRS

Stupid tax returns. So I took it upon myself to file my own taxes this year. Each year, my daddy does everyone’s taxes. Like everyone. Me, my brother, him and my mom, my grandmother, extended relatives like great aunts. Everyone!

I only have the one W-2 from work. I figured I could use H&R Block or TurboTax, do it online for free. Boom, band, done in 15 min. So naive I was.

I filled out the forms and submitted online. Then I get an e-mail saying my return was rejected. I suddenly wish my daddy was the one filing for me. But ultimately, I was quite lucky I decided to pretend to be an independent grown-up this year. My dad always waits until the last minute to file and had he found out a 2:00 am right after returns were due that mine was rejected, I’d be screwed.

Since I was ahead of the deadline, I found a way out. I called around to the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. Turns out, someone filed tax returns in another state using my SSN.

I was so perplexed. I checked my bank accounts, credit accounts, etc. and no other hinky activity had taken place. Just some asshole in some other state tried to get over on the IRS. Well, they’ve got that asshole. They stopped their return.

I only have like 20 steps to go through and 25 forms to file, but I’ll be able to file my returns this year. And the processing time will be up to 8 weeks for my return. I am honestly just thankful that this problem was able to be sorted out.

I’ve known people who had their identity stolen for credit purposes. That sometimes takes months and years to sort out. I’ll take my 8 weeks and thank my lucky star it wasn’t worse.

Ladies who read this blog who are getting married, take my advice. Don’t get married around tax time. The person I spoke to at the IRS seems to think my information was vulnerable to this because of so many changes going on recently with my name, address, etc.

Apparently people try crap like this all the time, but it can slip through the cracks if there is uncertainty with your information. Occasional checks on your credit information to be sure everything is kosher is a great idea.

So, for now I’m rejected, but in 8 weeks, I won’t be anymore!

April Fools Blows When You’re An Adult

So, I know April Fools Day was yesterday, but I simply had to write a post about it.

When I was younger, April Fools jokes consisted of whoopee cushions and jokes of having to move away suddenly. You know, kid stuff.

But apparently, as one grows up, the jokes must become more grown-up. And so they’re harder to discern as immediate jokes.

Here are the stories the husband and I heard. You tell me, truth or April Fools?

1) “The girlfriend gave me a marriage ultimatum.”

2) “I’m engaged to someone you didn’t know I was dating.”

3) “I can’t go the birthday dinner because I’m in Boston for the weekend.”

4) “I got my new girlfriend pregnant.”

5) “I can’t go to the birthday dinner because I just don’t wanna go.”

Grocery Shopping At Walmart

In an effort to make sure I was sleep deprived this past weekend, my father and the husband conspired. I took care of Friday because I was on a day schedule because I was off. So I only had a couple hours of sleep before work. Saturday my father needed to borrow my car to go buy a 10′ ladder, and it turned into a 3 hr trip which meant 3 less hours of sleep for me.

Sunday, the husband requested that I go grocery shopping. I knew if I got on the road after work at 7:00 am, I wasn’t getting off the expressway to go get groceries. So I went to the Wal-Mart right up the street from my job and right next to the expressway.

I was prepared, y’all. I had a fancy looking list template I had made on Microsoft Word. I had planned out a week’s menu based on my work schedule and the husband’s gig/rehearsal schedule. I was feeling all home-maker-ish.

Upon walking into Wal-Mart, I immediately picked the worst cart. Of course, by the time I noticed that it didn’t want to move backward or turn left, I was so far from the cart locations. I decided I had gone too far and would just suffer while only making right turns through the grocery section.

I made a stop-off in the toiletry section to buy the add-ons the husband requested and made my way to the groceries. My list was in perfect order for my menu. But it was not in perfect order for the organization of a grocery section. It took me almost til the end of my trip to realize that I should have just walked up and down the aisle, marking off my list as I came across items. Going on by one meant I visited Aisle 8 three times. So inefficient.

Then the husband called because he was missing me and wondering when I would be home. I reminded him that he sent me shopping and therefore couldn’t complain. He reminded me he’s the only emotional grown-up in our relationship and it was totally okay that he was actually looking forward to seeing me in the near future. All of this conversation happened while I was trying to navigate the store with this ridiculous cart.

My mood improved once I saw my favorite brand of affordable Riesling for the cheapest price I’d ever seen outside of Binny’s Beverage Depot. I grabbed two bottles, and realized I only had one more thing on my list. I got that and headed for the checkout counter.

Then it hit me, it was barely 8:00 am on a Sunday in a Wal-Mart in the suburbs. That meant a special kind of hell known as Only One Checkout Counter Open. So I rolled up with no less than 40 items in my cart, feeling terrible. While the lady was scanning my items, people came up, saw my cart, looked depressed, and walked away. I felt especially bad for the woman with only a big ass box of Huggies who had no experience using the self checkout. I’m sure she hates me.

The checkout lady put my wine to the side and finished everything else. Then she called over the manager. The manager got my ID to scan the wine. The computer gave an ominous beep. Then they informed me that I would not be purchasing wine. It was before 10:00 am on a Sunday and so I would have to wait.

I uttered, “what the hell?!” and just took my other bags and left. I hate alcohol rules. What is the point of reducing the times people can buy alcohol? Do they really think it’s making people drink less? Instead, I’ll just buy my wine elsewhere. I really did love that price though.

So I headed home with groceries enough for four people (we like to eat) for the week but no wine. All in all, not a terrible trip. Not to self: Do not go shopping on a Sunday next time.

Trying To Make A Dime

If you’re not familiar with the term dime. It refers to a woman who is a 10 on a scale of 1-10. This can be just about looks or about the total package. A quick Google search shows us:

Urban Dictionary defines a dime as a very beautiful and flawless woman.

This is not a dime.

This is a dime.

Now, on to the point of this post. The husband was having a conversation with one of his cousins about the cousin’s new chick. The husband asked why he felt the need to add a new chick to the flock when he already had his sons’ mother he was still dealing with.

The cousin replied that the husband didn’t understand. He said, “you already have a 10. In order to have what you have, I’ve got to have 5 twos.”

When the husband relayed this to me, I has several reactions. 1) I was super flattered that his cousin thought so highly of me. 2) I felt bad for his main chick because he thought she was a two. 3) I wondered how terrible the new chick was because she only got him up to a net total of four. 4) I was amused because he still needed three more chicks. 5) I wondered why his standards weren’t higher.

When a man, for whatever reasons, finds himself without a dime, how does he achieve it? Ah, the complicated philosophical ponderings…

I think that it depends on what a man thinks a dime is. If it’s looks, that’s not so hard to achieve as long as he doesn’t also want personality and intelligence. I wonder if there’s a book out there called How To Catch A Dime. Sounds like a financial self-help book.

So, here’s how to make a dime:

1) Get a girl who’s already a ten and be thankful she wants you too.

2) Get two girls who total a ten. This can be 2 fives, 5 twos, or a four and a six. There are so many combinations.

3) Realize you either can’t get a girl out your league (á la “She’s Out of My League) or don’t feel like putting in the work a girl like that requires, and just go with as many low-ranking girls as possible.

4) Give up and start dating freshly minted 18 year olds who don’t know any better.

5) Really give up and stop dating women period.

And with that ridiculous notion, this post is now complete.

The Mystery of the Missing Contact Lens

I’ve got a story for you that starts in a strip club, and ends with haikus written in the emergency room.

The husband and I pride ourselves on not turing into some mutant married couple. At least not yet. Sure we break into song and dance and have ridiculous inside jokes, but we’ve been like that since the day we met, so it doesn’t count. But the things guys do with their friends, like go to strip clubs, stayed on the list of activities. We pat ourselves on the back for our behavior. Go us.

So the other night, the husband goes out with a couple of his boys to a strip club. The other participants shall remain nameless because some of their significant others think strip clubs only exist for bachelor parties and not random Friday nights out. But they were there and they were enjoying the show and having some drinks.

The husband decided to spend the night at his parents’ house in the suburbs rather than make the drive all the way back to the city to our apt. When he awoke the next morning, he noticed he only had one contact in his eye. Since he was drunk, he wasn’t sure what happened to the other contact. Undeterred, he cleans the still in place contact and puts in a new one on the naked eye and moves on with his day.

Later, while I’m at work that night, I get a call. It’s the husband. His eye is swollen. The eye that was missing a contact earlier. I immediately suspect, as you likely have by now, that he didn’t lose the other contact, it just moved out of place. Luckily, I was in medical school and his mother is a nurse practitioner. Between the two of us, we explain how he can work the contact down and out of his eye.

It doesn’t work. I told him to give it 2-3 hours and if he can’t get it out himself to go to the ER nearest to our house. His mother suggested an urgent care clinic would be quicker. So it’s either a long ass wait at the ER up street, or a long ass drive to the only 24 hr urgent care clinic we know of. With only one fully functioning eye, he heads to the ER.

The husband tell me that even though his eye is uncomfortable and he’s lost a huge chunk of his night, it was worth it. To have a great time out with his guys was worth it. I think part of it was dispelling myths that he’s married an unavailable for fun. His friends that know me are aware that’s not true, but guys just can’t believe it til they see it apparently.

After first falling asleep on the couch because he’s possibly narcoleptic the husband finally gets to the ER. After waiting for quite a while, the husband decides he will amuse himself. They tell him it’s a 2-3 hour wait, and he still doesn’t feel like driving out to the suburbs. In hindsight, he’s almost certain to regret this decision. I worry that someone about to deliver, or bleeding to death, or with an arm hanging off will jump in front of him in line. I share this worry with him.

But since he’s in the ER, what does he do to amuse himself? He starts texting me haikus to chronicle his experience at the ER. This is after a gunshot wound comes in, guaranteeing his time will be extended even further. I figured I’d share these with you because I found them hilarious. The husband is so creative!

Man enter the room / He is pacing back and forth / This person is weird

Grimacing in pain / He has not registered yet / The man walks around

He just spit on floor / Security yells at him / He still has not sat

He has disappeared / Girl who got shot just rolled in / She has not bled though

The girl is waiting / The girl says she saw no blood / Where she got shot at

I just switched my chair / Irritating that seat was / Because of the squeaks

I’m sure she is drunk / And has no clue what she says / That girl in the chair

The man has come back / In the emergency room / Finally sat down

Second man smelly / He is bothering my nose / Sitting behind me

First man is talking / Says his arm is killing him / He is hurting bad

Second man switched seats / The man who sat behind me / My nose feels better

Third man has come in / He screams out loudly in pain / I don’t want to look

His leg is broken / Or maybe his foot, can’t tell / He is also drunk

New person sits down / Tells me she has been here once / Waited 6 hours

I no longer feel / The the contact that is stuck / Was worth my good time

Everyone just sits / Waits for help that does not come / I am not happy

I had told the husband that it’s hard for me to feel sympathy for self-inflicted troubles. After all these haikus, I was feeling sympathetic, and I told him so.

This you say is true / I am having no fun here / In this hospital

Only few are left / There is not many people / Who came before me

First man left again / I think he went outside to smoke / With another man

I am so sad now / I realized I messed up / With the last haiku

Many syllables / I had eight in middle line / Instead of seven

I metion to my little haiku master that he must be sleepy. Honestly at this point, I’m surprised he’s even still awake, even in an uncomfortable waiting room chair.

Sleepy indeed yes / As I sit in this room here / Waiting for some help

Second man sleeps hard / Ear is touching shoulder blade / He is in dream world

Snoring he is not / But I am sure that his smell / Would wake a village

 I sit all alone / People here but we don’t talk / My eye feels much worse

He doesn’t text me for a while and I figure he’s fallen asleep. Or maybe even better, they’ve called him to the back Then the haikus resume.

First man is in gown / Asking if I have a light / I tell him no quick

It is almost 5 / I still have not heard my name / Everyone else is sleep

Second man was called / James Hunter is his real name / Should be stinky pot

I am still here / So I will talk in haiku / Until I am called

I have seen one show / And a movie since I came / Both were not that great

Guy who checkec me in / Said “almost dude” right to me / Hope has been restored

All I respond is ,”yay!”

Look waht you have done / A pregnant girl just rolled in / See what words can do?

I responded confused, all I said was yay!

Two girls just walk in / One girl is drunk and says she / Has to go to church

Pregnant, shot, shattered / One of each have come in here / You said that they would

All I think is Oops…

Third guy is next door / He snores like the alking dead / He yells out in pain

His leg is broken / Doctors seem apathetic / Third guy gets a splint

Drops are in my eye / No scratch on the cornea / Might be infected

At this point the haikus stop. I don’t get the whole story until I get home from work. They give him antibiotics for a periorbital infection. Somehow, there was a tear in the skin around his eye and it got infected at some point in the last 24 hours. His eye wasn’t infected, just the skin around it. He’ll be on antibiotic pills for 14 days.

I mentioned before that my friends and I like to spread rumors about each other only to each other for our own amusement. Terrible things you can only say to someone you’ve known for 20 years. With this whole story, of course I can come up with many terrible rumors to share with our friends about what happened to the husband’s eye. But I also want to share it with the 2.5 people who read my blog.

I think he was motorboating a stripper at that club, and she gave him some sort of eye infection. Could be pink eye, herpes, who knows? And as to that contact, I think it’s lodged somewhere is the sequins of a large-breasted stripper’s bra. Did I mention that the rumors my friends and I make up are just horrible? Well… they are.

What do you think happened to the husband’s contact lens?

Back To Being A Working Girl

The husband and I are back from the honeymoon and back to work. I was looking forward to coming back to work. In a magical world, an alternative universe, I’d be able to alternate between this job I love and the time spent on my honeymoon. Maybe every two weeks I’d switch back and forth.

But in reality, that’s not possible. So I’ll just relive our honeymoon in my head. Lots of good food. In Chicago, we ate everything. The best seafood, the best steaks, the best brunch. We ate dinner twice a couple nights that week. In New Orleans, we ate gumbo for most meals, and po’ boys for the others. So much food. I gained more than 10 pounds. I weighed myself, so I know.

Starting next week, I’ll get back on the bandwagon with my New Year’s Resolutions. I told the husband I would keep gaining weight, but he responded that I was too much a fan of my body to let that happen. I guess we’ll see if he’s right in a couple weeks.

On my to do list right now is to file the paperwork to change my name. New ID, new passport, new SSN card, new checkbook, new credit cards. It’s just so much! Thank God all our bills are in his name, that would be a huge hassle. It was nice to come back to work and see they’re already using my new name. Luckily I have direct deposit so I don’t have to try and cash a check made out to new me with old me’s ID.

To finish, I will tell a great story from our honeymoon. No, it’s not about all the sex we were having. Now that I’m married, I feel no shame to discuss my sex life. Yeah, buddy!

Down in New Orleans, on Mardi Gras, we left Bourbon Street to go to Frenchman’s Street. There were a lot of bars there with great live music. One of the husband’s friends was playing a gig there and we stopped through. He had his saxophone with him and the friend called him on stage to join in and play.

While the husband was on stage, a very sexy Italian looking man comes up to me and starts giving me something like a lap dance. While they were playing pretty standard, if funky, blues, the crowd was dancing. They were dancing like they had strobe lights and glow sticks, which was almost as amusing as this man giving me a lap dance.

After he spent several minutes in my lap, I was worried that it might bother the husband. When the man started doing a salsa-like dance, I commented that he looked like he could dance salsa pretty well and that my new husband was Honduran and so I was learning Latin dances too. He commented that he was Dominican and that’s why he had so much flava. Interesting info about him, but I was just patting myself on the back for squeezing so much into a sentence. Nothing like a half-truth to saw “scram”.

He decided to give me some space after removing the world’s largest Mardi Gras beads from around his neck and placing them around mine. A girl who was dancing very procovatively came over to him. She was wearing standard Mardi Gras clothing: a feather covered bra and panty set with matching headdress. She was giving the full court press and he wasn’t going.

I was confused as to why he wasn’t more interested in her after I just said I was married. Shortly after that, the husband finished and we dashed off to catch a cab to get back to Bourbon street before midnight when the cops would push everyone off the street.

As we left the bar, we saw the man making out with someone, but we couldn’t see who. As we got closer to the door, we saw. He was making out with a very attractive 20-something, well-dressed man. I was so surprised to see him sticking his tongue down another man’s throat.

When I think about the last time I saw two men making out in public in the south, I realize I’ve never seen that. I kind of always thought of the south as so oppressive to cultures that weren’t churchgoing white folk. Perhaps there’s some sort of live music Mardi Gras exception. I don’t know. But I was both surprised and pleased by what I saw. And on a selfish note, I was happy there was no reason for the husband to be jealous, not that he ever really gets jealous anyway.

At that moment, I wanted to call Rick Santorum and tell him he was losing. But I figured he’d find out soon enough.

My Wedding Dress Isn’t My Friend

I mentioned in my last post about how I had a harrowing experience with my wedding dress. I’m here to tell you the story. Just let me turn off the lights and shine a flashlight up under my face as if I were telling a Goosebumps tale.

I wasn’t kidding when I said I was picking health over beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be hot even if I lose 15 pounds (possible overconfidence alert!), I just won’t be as thick. I think both the fiancé and I can live with that. So yes, I picked health over beauty, but I also picked vanity over beauty.

How can vanity and beauty collide and not be on the same side? Well, go order a wedding dress, gain 10 pounds, try on that dress, and you’ll know the answer.

My wedding dress is beautiful. My grandmother will kill me for doing this, but I don’t care. Here it is.

Isn’t it lovely? The best part about it is that it isn’t white. I didn’t feel like me and a bride in the all-white dresses. But in this beauty? Oh yeah, I was feeling it.

My mother and I went to pick up me dress right before Christmas. We had ordered the size that fit my boob, not my ass, because it is an A-line ball gown and I figured we’d be fine. Wrong!

After I gained some weight, things… fit differently.

I get into the backroom with my wedding dress consultant. She has me step into the dress, then she pulls it up and starts putting it together.

There are these things kind of like the back of a bra that go across my back and hold the dress into place. There were two of them. She got those hooked, but nearly knocked me off my feet multiple times trying to get it.

When she went for the zipper, things only got worse. It was literally my worst nightmare concerning this wedding. The dress wouldn’t zip up. She said it almost zipped and called another consultant back to help. One woman held the dress together while the other pulled. After several painful tugs, they got it zipped.

But wait, there’s more! The dress has buttons. I hate those stupid little buttons that you need a special hook to even get all buttoned up. They couldn’t get those either. They had to do the one-hold-one-fasten thing again. Then, they had to adjust my back fat so I didn’t have “back-ass” coming out of the top of my dress. She actually said that. Back Ass.

After what felt like hours, I emerged from the room and got a look in the mirror. I couldn’t breathe, but I looked amazing! Even with all the bits of fat poking out everywhere, it looked great. I had my mother take a picture of me and I didn’t have too much side boob or Oprah arm going on, thank God!

Then my mother wanted me to walk, sit, stand, and dance in the dress to see how it worked for the wedding day. Did I mention I couldn’t really breathe very well in this tight dress? I did learn the importance of those stretchy bra strap things though. That dress doesn’t move up or down, it stays right in place.

The consultant then suggested we take the dress out a bit throughout the bodice. My mother refused. She said all I had to do was a bit of yoga and the dress would fit fine. After a brief look of horror passed over the consultant’s face, she agreed. Well, half-agreed. She suggested we make an appointment for Jan 14th. She said if I fit the dress, then they’d just steam it. And if not, then we still had time to get alterations done.

After that whole ordeal, I left with lots of pressure to lose weight (for the first time in my whole entire life!), bruise ribs (that dress was tight, and I was dancing), and a slightly deflated mood.

I’ve been having trouble finding the motivation to get on the health bandwagon. I didn’t eat healthier during the holidays, and didn’t get back to yoga til the new year. But I’m crossing my fingers that what’s left of my 20s provides the metabolism to kick start the weight loss in just 10 days. Wishful thinking?


“I Know Who I Am”

After many months of procrastinating, the fiancé finally called Comcast and got us some internet. We debated whether or not we were going to get cable as well, but ultimately decided against it. I really wanted a land line, so we got that too.

The day the Comcast guy comes to set up the internet and phone line was a morning after I had to work. I have the only laptop between the two of us which is the only computer in the apartment. They needed me to get home from work so the internet could be properly set up.

There was only one problem. I got a flat tire three blocks from my job, which is 30 miles from my apartment. When I called the fiancé, he didn’t answer the phone. I can change my own tire, but it was freezing cold and the tire jack broke. So I called my daddy who came to the rescue.

Turns out, the fiancé dropped his phone in the toilet. I wrote a post back in mid December that had this quote:

I feel I should take the moment to say, “baby, I’m not buying you a iPhone. Buy your own damn iPhone.”

I now feel very wise. Had I purchased a new iPhone to replace the one he’d broken three different ways, that one would also be ruined be being dropped into a toilet. A toilet he had to have been peeing it at the time it dropped in. I’m just saying, I would be feeling some kind of way if he accidentally peed on my Christmas gift.

He could still accidentally pee on my Christmas gift now that I think about it. Baby, please don’t use the gift I bought you near the toilet!

So back to what I was talking about before. I was late getting home because it took an hour to get my tire changed. When I got there, I handed them the laptop and got in the bed. When I awoke several hours later, the computer was hooked up to an ethernet cord and the phone was coming out from behind the living room TV. After having a WTF moment about the ethernet cord, I turned my attention on the phone.

I was so confused as to why the phone was behind the TV. The fiancé said the Comcast guy had no choice because that was the only phone jack. For him and anyone else who may not know, buildings are not built with all the phone jacks they’ll ever have. Especially not buildings that were built before there were phones in every home. They can add new phone jacks on other walls.

Also, Comcast is mailing us a wireless router so we don’t have to have the laptop tethered to the wall like it’s 1999. Side note: doesn’t that Prince song take on totally new meaning now that it’s 13 years past 1999?

The fiancé doesn’t mind the phone being behind the tv because it’s a very bright pink color. He said he’d rather replace it with some old phone from his parents’ house. I told him there was no need for that because I had a cordless phone with caller ID and an answering machine we could replace it with.

Well, I didn’t tell him that at first. First, I ridiculed him for being against the phone simply because it’s pink. That’s a little too “I’m-6-year-old-and-girls-are-stupid” for my tastes. But then the fiancé realized he was a grown man and said, “I know who I am. It’s fine if we have a pink phone.”

I chuckled at him for needing to remind himself that he was a man and therefore need not be threatened by a pink phone. Then I finally told him about the cordless phone, which happened to be black and grey. I also told him that this day would turn into a blog post because it made quite a ridiculous story.

Also, it just occurred to me that I didn’t ever say what I actually got the fiancé for Christmas. Just know that it was electrical, useful for his career, portable, in a manly color of dark grey, and able to be ruined by being peed on. Please don’t pee on my gift!


I Think I Watch Too Much TV

As evidenced by the post I wrote on Christmas Eve, I watch a lot of TV. In the days between Christmas and New Year’s, I think I watched even more than usual. With almost all the shows on holiday hiatus, the fiancé took care of my TV fix by buying me two seasons of Leverage as one of my Christmas gifts.

We’ve been holed up in the house watching episodes. You get hooked on each plotline. How each new person adds to the team’s identity and how each case fits in with the season’s arc. And then you start to see similarities between the show and your life.

Oh wait, is that just me? Yeah, I think I’ve officially watched too many episodes of Leverage in a row.

I was a work and a man I’ve never seen before happened to be in one of the kitchenette areas where I go to get water. He’s steeping his tea and looking very into it. He looks pretty unassuming. Nice smile, slightly askew glasses, even has an ID badge prominently displayed proving he works here.

But I do work at night. There’s a finite number of people that come through here during evening hours and this man just didn’t look familiar. He strikes up a conversation asking about some information that’s pretty crucial to the entire company and our bonus payments in the new year.

Without going into too much detail, based on the way I was dressed, anyone in the building would know that I’d be in the know about specific cases. I had the answer to his questions. And before I even knew what I was doing, I answered his questions. In detail.

I felt like calling the fiancé immediately to tell him what happened. With each episode we watched, he was confused as to how the team could gather so much information from and about their marks. Why would people just volunteer the info? Well apparently, all you need is an employee badge and an unassuming smile, and you’re in.

I’m not saying that guy is a con man who gathered intel from me to bring down someone in my company. I’m not saying he was there, ready to pounce on his prey an extract all he needed to make the job go down.

Nah, I’m just saying I watch too much TV.

“The Wrath of…”

The fiancé told me the funniest story today. But before I can tell you the story, you need a bit of background.

1) The fiancé was in a relationship for 5 years that ended about 4 months before we met. He ended up writing a song about her called the Wrath of Kneecoal. It’s a very good song, one of the best of the 10 he’s putting on his jazz CD he’s about to put out.

2) I’ve only met her once. It was at one of his gigs down in St. Louis, near where she lives. I didn’t make a good impression (not that I cared). He played her song and introduced it as “being influenced by a friend of his that can be quite scary when she’s angry or fussing.” A friend at the next table leans over and asks was the song about me. She was sitting at the table behind me so I throw a thumb over my shoulder in her direction and say, “Hell naw! The song is about her.” She didn’t appreciate that. I was all, whatevs, the song is about you and your anger.

3) The fiancé and his ex are trying to be friends. I think this is okay because I believe she doesn’t want him anymore and he certainly doesn’t want her anymore, so if they think friendship is a good idea, go for it. They’re also friends on Facebook. Part of the reason this friendship is only mildly successful is that almost every time they talk, she says something that upsets the fiancé and reminds him why they aren’t together anymore.

So on to the story.

The fiancé puts up a Facebook status that says something to the effect of: “It really grinds my gears when random musicians advertise their music/gigs/albums on my Facebook page without asking first.” A couple of his friends agreed. After all, who wants unwanted crap from random folks on their Facebook wall? Nobody, that’s who.

Of course, most people loved the Family Guy reference to gear-grinding. If you don’t know what I mean, Google “Grind My Gears”.

The fiancé’s ex put a comment on his page that said, “Grind my gears. Lame.”

Another friend of the fiancé puts a comment beneath hers that said, “The Wrath of…”

When the fiancé told me that story, I was dying laughing. This friend of his that wrote that comment is bass player on the recording of the song. When the guys were first practicing the songs, they didn’t really know the story behind all the songs. The fiancé explained this particular song to them, so they have several examples of how she can be and how she tends to treat the fiancé.

Having someone come back at you on Facebook quoting a song title written about how horrible you are is a bit cruel, but goodness it’s funny!

“You Available?”

As I’m writing this post, I’m at the library. I’m here to help out my friend. I mentioned in a previous post that she was starting an etiquette class and that I’d offered to help. I rode with her down here and helped bring everything upstairs.

We had to take several escalators up to the level where the room she reserved was located. On the way up the last escalator, there was a man coming down the other side.

He looks at my friend and goes, “you available?”. She didn’t understand him at first so he had to repeat himself. As he spoke louder, his voice reverberated off the tile on the really high ceiling.

She responded, “No. I’m married.” He said okay and we all kept going on our escalators.

I was flabbergasted. I’ve never had anyone approach me in that way. When I said that, she was surprised. I told her that there was only one explanation as to why he talked to her like that.

It was her fault.

She asked was it wrong to smile at strangers. Now my friend is not a smiler by nature. She’s a happy person, but people have told her throughout her life that she doesn’t smile enough. So my question is why is she smiling at random leery strangers?

We had a good laugh about the whole thing because she isn’t married or even close to it but telling an inappropriate stranger that you’re married really is the easiest way to get rid of them.

And yes, she could smile at strangers less and that might help. But even if she fixes her part in it, it probably wouldn’t keep it from ever happening again because guys like that dude run amongst the rest of us normal people. I really think that man should know better.

I mean, has he ever gotten a response other than rejection when he approaches someone that way? How lazy and noncommittal can one get?

Ugh, if you want to approach a complete stranger, and you feel compelled to do it at a library, don’t do it in passing. Approach someone who’s already there. That way you can do some research.

Do they look approachable? When you do a drive-by approach, you don’t even consider that. Do they look available? Looking for a ring saves you a lot of time.

Seriously, I still can’t believe he did that. I find it hilarious and disturbing, disrespectful and odd, and absurd and inappropriate all at once.

Did I mention that he was carrying a box of snickers bars? You know, the kind you carry when you’re selling them for a fundraiser? Perhaps for your kids? That doesn’t make someone more likely to want to talk to you.

Have you ever been approached by a creeper? What’s the worst pickup line you’ve ever heard?

Men Who Don’t Stand A Chance

The fiancé and I were recently discussing people we used to date. Quite frankly, everyone says that’s something better left un-discussed. But we overshare, and we do what we want. It helps that in each of our eyes, our current partner far outweighs all the merits of anyone we’ve ever dated. So, we talk. One thing that we haven’t discussed much though is new people who pop up.

The fiancé meets more people than I do on a regular basis. He’s a teacher and a musician, and I talk on the phone all day. If someone is going to get fuck-me eyes, it’s going to be him, not me. But I forget that occasionally I do meet people who are in my life for about 2 min tops and yet leave a lasting impression. Remember the post about the police officer?

His lasting impression lasted long enough for a blog post and a laugh with the fiancé. But there have been others. These other men I meet are at work. There are a couple co-workers who give me the eye, but they’re not worth mentioning. What is worth mentioning are these ridiculous delivery guys. I know what you’re thinking. My late-night Chinese food delivery guy is hitting on me. Well, you’d be wrong.

The men who come to pick up organs and tissues that we ship all over the country for transplant and research are the ones hitting on me. I don’t know if it’s my naturally friendly smile, pretty face, or the fact that it’s late as hell at night when we cross paths, but these men are a trip. They flirt with no shame, with their smiles growing ever bigger regardless of how I respond to them.

There was “Nah, You’re Not Black” Guy. He was some sort of Middle Eastern man. I couldn’t place the accent. He told me I was very beautiful and asked for my phone number. I told him I was engaged and he told me that didn’t make me definitely off the market yet. He made a comment about “our” culture, and I told him I was black. I could’ve sworn the dreadlocks would give it away. When I wore my hair straightened, it was a mistake Arab men often made with me, but now? Seriously? His response was to give me a compliment that I didn’t look black, so at least I had that going for me. WTF?!

There was also “You’re So Sparkly and Shiny” Guy. This was a nice-looking white man in his late 40s I would guess. Looked like he could have had a daughter around my age. I was wearing a sparkly top and a headset (because I answer phone and make a lot of phone calls on my job). He watched me walk up to him with this growing smile on his face. Once I was in earshot, he said, “wow you look like Brittany Spears with that shirt and headset.” Maybe his daughter was years older than me and not living with him in years. Maybe that’s why he didn’t know that’s not a compliment to tell someone they remind you of pre-freak out Britney Spears. I don’t know if he expected me to start dancing with a snake, but I was glad to see him go.

Then there was “I Like To Watch You Breathe” Guy. When he arrived to get his package, there were several ready to go out. We weren’t sure which one was his because he had no identifying info for the package. He didn’t know where it was going or what tissue type it was. So while he called dispatch to figure it out, he stood there and stared at me. For four full minutes. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a stranger stare at you for four full minutes. But it’s quite awkward. I tried to look away or inspect the packages as if they held the answer to some mystery. But it was just… creepy.

Every couple of shifts (darn night shift), I run across one of these types of men. They seem mostly harmless, looking to encourage any friendly face they’re lucky to see in their line of work. But they are still woefully uninformed for how to talk to a nice stranger they find attractive.

The good news is I got a good blog post out of it. And who knows, this may become a series of blogs if these guys keep it up.

Causing Havoc at Akira

Anyone ever shopped at Akira? Please say yes. This store has some great finds (if you don’t mind leaving behind a voucher for your firstborn). They have clothing for men and women plus shoes. I recently visited an Akira store and caused a bit of havoc there. On accident, of course.

The fiancé and I were on our way to a new gig of his (more about that later) and he happened to park right outside of the Akira store. He was running late, so I told him I’d put the money on the meter and he should just go on. After walking down the street to find the pay box, I got a good chance to see all the wonderful-ness on display in the store. I thought I’d hop in to see what they had to offer.

They had some great pieces that were priced way higher than what I wanted to pay. But then a great bag caught my eye. I picked it up and decided it would make a great gift for my MOH for my wedding. I was browsing for other bags in case a better one caught my eye when this amazing white dress caught my eye. It looked very bridal, like just the thing to wear at my pre-wedding dinner the day before my wedding.

I headed to a fitting room to try it on. It worked pretty well, so I decided to buy both the dress and the bag. They’re ringing me up no problems, and then suddenly– problem.

They can’t get the sensor off the dress. The sensor was stuck in the sensor machine and wouldn’t come out. More and more employees from the store came over to help. That’s when it occurred to me there were like 10 employees on shift in this store that only had 2.5 patrons. And it took 6 employees to free the dress.

I offered for them to just cut it free. After all, I’m only 5’0″. I’m going to have to shorten the dress by at least 6 inches. They didn’t like the idea of cutting my dress, so the manager decided to turn off the machine. But he couldn’t reach the off button without pulling out a piece of the counter. So he reached under the counter and his hand emerged with a piece of wood from the counter in it.

But it turned the machine off and they were able to free my dress of the sensor. They rang me up and I left the store. I headed down the street to the fiancé’s gig. He is playing with a group that will be hosting a jam session for the next several weeks. When I arrived, I found out he had the wrong start date. Or rather, they told him the wrong start date.

It starts next Monday. So, I will be there next Monday, likely dressed in a Halloween costume, cheering him on. Since we were there, we decided to have a drink and hang out. The bar was called Lokal. It’s a lovely place with great ambiance. And the best thing is they have brunch on the weekends. Do you know what that means? Do you?

 It means… drumroll please… bottomless mimosas and bloody marys!!! So the fiancé and I checked with some our favorite couples and invited them for brunch this Sunday. I will gladly report back with how yummy it was!

Not bad for one evening, breaking counters and amusing bored employees, plus finding a fabulous place for brunch.

Why Do Police Officers Make Bad Flirts?

I don’t think a lot about police officers. As a black person in America, most of my thoughts of them tend to lean towards, please stop harassing people for DWB (driving while black). But occasionally, I”m forced to think of them in other lights.

One such situation arose yesterday when I was on my way for our third potential DOC meeting. It’s wedding lingo that you shouldn’t be concerned with if you’re lucky enough to not know what it means. So, I’m on my way to this meeting, and I leave my apartment building to walk to my car to drive to the meeting. And there was a cop there who decided to flirt with me. I noticed that he made a rather poor flirt. And here’s why:

1. They spend all their time around other cops. The Chicago Police Department (CPD from here on out) is not known for their sense of humor. So when he cracked a joke, it didn’t make me laugh. They pulled up rather suddenly while I was nearing the corner. He hopped out of the car and rushed toward me, pulling out his handcuffs. Then he puts them away and says jokingly, “nah, we’re not here for you.”

I gave him a half-smile and say, “I know, I’m just walking toward my car.” In what world does being almost arrested make a girl blush or smile or think happy thoughts? I know what you’re thinking. He did pull out handcuffs. Aren’t handcuffs supposed to be sexy? Um, no. Not when being wielded by a member of CPD.

2. He had to choose between doing his job and paying attention to me. The cops were actually there for a reason. A man came out of another apartment right on the corner and walked towards the police. I didn’t hear or care what he was talking about because I just needed to get to my car and get to my meeting. But the flirty cop, saw what car I was getting into and felt the need to continue our conversation. “I’ve got a CR-V. Great car. Mine has 20 inch rims on it?” Um, seriously?

I know I’m black, but does that automatically mean I’m impressed by someone having rims? I’m not! I think rims on cars are cop magnets and a good way to get pulled over while DWB in Chicago. But I guess a cop would be exempt from that, wouldn’t he? I smiled and said, “that’s great.” I got in my car, and he decided to finally join his partner in listening to what the man was saying. In an effort to show that I intended to take full advantage of his misplaced interest in me (and since I was parked right on the corner), I did a full U-turn in the intersection (VERY illegal) and drove off in the direction of my meeting.

3.They don’t know when to quit. I think it was just coincidence that the cop showed up at the cafeteria where our meeting was set. There’s no way he could’ve known where I was heading, I parked on a side street, and that cafe is a cop hang-out anyway. But when I saw him and his partner walk in, I was really tickled. I got a better look at him and saw he wasn’t bad looking and he was around my age and he didn’t have on a ring. So he gets points for not being totally skeevy. And he was giving me the eye.

You know, the eye one person gives another they find attractive. Eventually, he took a look at the people around me. There were my parents, who looked like a couple and looked like me. Then there was another guy who was leaning on my and all in my personal space. I reached up and rubbed his face and I think it occurred to the cop that I had on a ring at that point. From that point on, he only snuck looks at me until he and his partner left the cafe. He’s a cop, he should have noticed that ring waaaaay sooner, you know?

Later that night, I filled the fiancé in on what happened and we had a good chuckle. I hope that cop decides to be a good guy and not a bad guy. Finding a girl is off the market can anger some people. But he seemed nice enough, so maybe he’ll be the type to look out for us. Cross your fingers for me!