Friday, April 30, 2010

So Excited To Be In Chicago!

I have a job fair on Monday I intend to go to. In order to register, I need to upload my resume online.But my resume isn't done yet! One of the deans from school finally got back to me with suggestions for my resume. Bad also had some suggestions. Surprisingly, nothing from Top yet, but maybe she's waiting for me to bring it up.

I was in Bad's office(in Chicago!!), working on my resume. Well, if I had access to internet I would've been blogging too, but luckily, I didn't have that distraction. I got my resume done and it is sooo fabulous! Now, I just have to start applying for jobs. Yay! I'll have a job any day now... or more realistically in the coming months.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Seven Deadly Sins

I know that's an intriguing title, but it's more literal than you'd think (sort of, lol). I saw this awesome post on Jade's page. She got it from Thea. I thought I'd join in!


Gluttony
Q: What can't you get enough of, even though it's bad for you?

A: Stoli Razberi, Patron, and cherry bombs. I will literally drink so many of them I can barely stand up. But thankfully, pretty much never throw up. I love my ability to combine liquor!

Lust
Q: What does it for you?
A: A tall dark-skinned black man with broad shoulders, full lips, and a deep voice. And don't judge me for this, but if he's wearing glasses with an earring in his ear, I'm going, I'm always going.

Wrath
Q: What makes you cranky?
A: My brother. He's so mean to me sometimes and has the ability to ruin my mood like no one else in my entire life. It's to the point that I am turning down his fiance's offer (unless my mother convinces me otherwise) to be one of her bridesmaids.

Envy
Q: What makes you green?
A: My girl Top's body! It's amazing! She had D cup boobs that don't sag, the world's tiniest waist, long legs that go on forever, and the ability to rock any earrings made by man!

Sloth
Q: How do you relax?
A: Example: today I sat on my computer on the blogger website all day long. I literally did nothing else except go to the bathroom and eat.

Pride
Q: What are you inordinately proud of?
A: My ability to be me, no apologies. Well, sometimes apologies, but it's for offending others, not actually feeling bad about being me, lol.

Greed
Q: What do you get greedy for?
A: Other people's time. I never feel like I have enough of it. I try to keep this crazy tendency to myself, but it occasionally bubbles to the surface.
You should play along, you know you want to!

In My 20s Tuesday!!

In My 20s Tuesday is all about things that should matter (maybe) to someone in their 20s. It's about life as we head into real adulthood. It's about laying the groudwork for a life: starting a career, setting up a home, starting a life with someone, etc. It's about things that will affect our lives down the road: politics, current events, pop culture, etc. Well, it's not about all those things at once (that'd be near impossible, lol). But hopefully it will reach someone in their 20s who's looking for someone to feel them and what they're going through. Here goes!


 
This post is about the moment I decided I wasn't going to be a typical black woman and get offended and upset at the sight/idea of an inter-racial couple, specifically a black man with a white woman.
 
I think this is important because the generations are supposed to get better. The social differences that made the races so divided when my parents were my age (the mid 70s) should improve with time, I think. And this was inspired because I just spent a few hours reading the entire archive of snafu's blog, and that girl certainly has a love for my brothas.
 
Possibly-too-much-honesty-warning!! I had a conversation once with the Ex about how inter-racial dating made me sick to my stomach. His last girlfriend before me was white. And the thought of them together literally made me sick to my stomach. I actually told him this, a sign that we were far too comfortable being completely honest with each other. I guess that was a good thing, whatever. I also had a reaction like that while out with Light (another ex who I've mentioned before on my other blog) to a black man and white woman kissing. I really didn't see any problem with my reaction, I was just one of tons of American black women who felt that way. I wasn't particularly upset about it personally because I didn't specifically know any brothas dating a white woman who I wanted for myself, so I never even though to say they were "taking our men from us".
 
But, the year I started medical school this all changed. I started down in Urbana-Champaign (U of I has a weird process for campuses for med school), the apparent Illinois capital of inter-racial relationships. They were everywhere! I saw all types of combinations of inter-racial couples with blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians. And they were all ages, teenagers all the way to old as hell. I was confronted with the reason for my bias. It was because I had subconsciously picked up on an explanation for black men's desires to date white women.
 
This book I love that I can't remember the name of but dealth with race relations in post-riot L.A. One of the black men in the book desired to date black women because of rejection he felt by black women all his life because they found him too dark skinned and ugly throughout his youth. That plus he felt like he was making up for lost time of equality as an African-American male. I think that notion disgusted me more than seeing any inter-racial couple ever could. But I realized that was a fictional character in a book, and hopefully (and likely) not even a small portion of black men who consistently dated white women.
 
And when confronted with the notion that I wasn't against all inter-racial couples, I felt like a hypocritical asshole. And then I saw this family in Wal-Mart. They were adorable. They seemed like such a loving, happy family. I had such an emotional reaction to them, wishing for my future and the family I wanted to have. Then I noticed something. It was a white woman with her black husband, and three tiny mixed race children. That was an afterthought. "An afterthought!" I felt triumphant that I had inadvertently conquered this ridiculous bigoted notion I was feeling. I had stopped having a physical reaction to couples. I was just able to see them as regular people who had no effect on my life or my stomach.
 
I have to agree with snafu that there is something so visually appealing about the contrast of skin close together. I'm sort of a mid tone-skinned black woman. My skin looks dark next to a white person or light-skinned black person. But I look lighter when next to a dark-skinned black person. This would explain why I like my white men to look very white, not tan at all (and hopefully with blonde hair and blue/green eyes. And I like my black men to be dark skinned (and hopefully with full lips and soulful eyes).
 
But the point is that I took a step away from the ignorant inclinations of many black women before me. If this starts spreading, perhaps we can take a step forward in race relations in this country that my parents never dreamed of (because they weren't counting their contribution to it, but I digress). And in times like these, where Arizona is losing it's damn mind, it's good to take steps forward, instead of backwards.

UPDATE: I've seen two other really good posts about what's going on in AZ here and here. And not just the posts, the comments.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Medical Mondays

This blog post is dedicated to Medicine. That may include important medical knowledge and developments. It may just be about my life on the path to medicine. Whatever it entails, I hope it's not too dull, lol. If you have any medical questions or suggestions of what to write about, let me know and I'll do it in an upcoming Medical Mondays posting!


In the week since I withdrew from medical school, I've been very busy. I've been working on my resume and plotting my next move. Ultimately, some of my big life plans still involve medicine. I've always wanted a free clinic, eventually.

But my mother just had the most wonderful idea. She thinks I should start a medical health care center with money the government is giving out from the health care reform bill. I don't think I want to be responsible for an entire clinic with the beaurocracy and paperwork etc. And don't even get me started on insurance companies. But I think it's something worth looking into. It would definitely give some concrete definition to what I'm going to be doing with my life. We shall see. But first, I need to find a website that explains it in better language than the law itself has, lol.

My Little Sister

I don't actually have a little sister. I just have an older brother who I refer to as Louie in my blog posts. But this sister I gained through my relationship with the Ex.

I met his family a few months after we were boyfriend and girlfriend. I knew some of them because they went to my high school or my music coservatory at some point. But his younger sister I didn't know. She was, of course, suspicious of me (an any woman her brothers brought home). But she was in a bit of a crisis seeing as she was growing up and had no young woman in her life to offer mentor-like help in situations.

The Ex suggested that perhaps I could fill that empty big slot for her. Since he and I both figured (at that time) that we'd end up together, I'd just start on that big sister thing early. So, she and I started a tentative relationship that quickly grew into something we both decided was great for us. She was the lovely little sister I always wanted to positively influence and I was the big sister she could share things with she hadn't told anyone else.

Then the Ex and I broke up. But I decided I was keeping his family. He has 9 siblings and about 40 or so first cousins. I had developed really good relationships with about 15 of these people. And I decided I wasn't walking away from them just because he gave me no choice but to be done with him. I kept my little sister. I'm so glad I did. She's lovely. We talk about things that really matter to a girl who's in college (I can't believe she's in college, it seems like just yesterday she was dealing with high school stuff). Things like planning her career, dealing with men now that spending the night is an option, making friends while staying true to herself, and dealing with the changin family dynamic as she grows up.

She's really special to me, and I'm so glad she's still in my life, even if the Ex is not. I think I'm going to talk about her love life on my other blog because it's interesting too. So, I'll call her Melody.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Free Time

I've had a huge amount of free time in the last week. More free time than I've ever had before. Even on break from high school and college, I was always thinking about the things that had to be done once I got back. Down time was always about sanity, never truly relaxing.

But in the hours when I haven't been working on my resume or sleeping I've done so many things. I've spontaneoulsy driven to Chicago for the evening. I've been reading books I bought months ago. I finally finished a song on my keyboard I've been learning since September (September!). I finally learned the Espert version of You Oughta Know on Rock Band 2. I baked a pie. I've been working out for 1 hour plus each day. I've watched countless movies.

I've done so many things, it's amazing. I finally feel like a real person. I don't even know how to explain it. It's kind of like always avoiding cheese because it's the stuff they skim off curdled milk, but finally trying it and deciding you love it and wondering where it's been all your life. That's a crazy metaphor, but that's how it is.

I've always avoided a life without pressures and tons of responsibilities because it didn't seem right. And even now, that's not the case, it's just a different pressure. Now I have the pressure to get the perfect resume so I can get a job and start a new career path. But that's so much different that spending over half of each of my days working towards my goal.When I'm done working on my resume, I'm actualy done.

I like this new world with concrete tasks! I may never leave!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Baking and Avoiding Phone Calls

So this is Friends & Family Friday!! This is my day to talk more about my friends and family (aside from sharing waaay too much about their love lives on my other blog, lol). My friends and family are lovely people, that much I know for sure. Have fun getting to know them through my eyes.


This is not a normal Friend & Family Friday post. Well maybe it is since it's the second of two and already I've been posting twice about my reactions to my friends and family. This may sound weird since I've been home all week working on my resume, and not having any other responisbilities. But I felt like today I needed Me Time. I spoke to my girl Top first thing in the morning, damn hour-ahead NYC and her real-life work schedule. But since I was up, I started my day. But in the middle of working out on my Wii, she calls me back. I had a pretty set schedule today, albeit full of things that are not pertinent to my career future.

I worked out, I practiced this song from Wicked on my keyboard, I caught up on all my NYT Opinion pieces. I even took a nap. And the phone kept ringing with texts and phone calls. From Top, from Bad, from my father. It was driving me crazy and I can't figure out why. I don't have better things to do with my time than to sit on the phone all day.

But I didn't want to talk to my father because I'm still not ready to hear his latest reaction to me withdrawing from medical school. Bad just had options about job applicaitons; if he could give me feedback on my resume that would be a better offering. Top just wanted to talk about her job, which is super fascinating by the way, I may do a profile on her company in an upcoming In My 20s Tuesday or Friends & Family Friday. But I just wanted some time to myself. I can be so selfish sometimes, lol.

But now I'm just avoiding phone calls and making pie. I just grabbed a bunch of my fruit I use to make smooties on my magic bullet and got a great pie crust recipe from Food Network Online. I'm making Blueberry pear mango strawberry raspberry pie with lime, lol. Should be good since all those things are good in a smoothie!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TMI Thursday!

***Alright, folks, you know the rules. Join us all in humiliating the crap out of yourself every Thursday by sharing some completely tasteless, wholly unclassy, “how many readers can I estrange THIS week??” TMI story about your life. Or hell, about someone else’s!


So, I've learned my lesson about getting ideas for blogs and then forgetting them by the time I actually sit down to write my blog post. I have started using the notepad on my Blackberry, and it works quite well. Yay for me!
 
Today's post is about a New Year's party I threw back in 2005. It was my first New Year's as a 21 year old. All of my friend from church who were my age were all younger than me. My girl Top is a friend from church, and she is older than me, but she didn't hang out with the church people. But the church people that did hang out with each other decided it would be a good idea to throw a New Year's Eve Party. With alcohol. At a hotel. And since I was the only one who was 21, obviously that meant I was the one who had to rent the 2 (two!) rooms in my name.
 
I didn't invite anyone to this party because I was slightly embarrassed to be the person behind this underage drink-fest. But one of my friends was nearby with a date, and decided to stop through. It didn't take too long for the party to get out of control. People were going back and forth between the two rooms, and making lots of noise in the hallway. Someone had brought weed, and weren't being very discreet about smoking it. Top's younger cousin, who was like 18 at the time showed up. The average age had to be around 19. I was so sure I was going to jail, so of course I got very drunk to make it through the night.
 
Top's cousin got super drunk and then decided she wanted to go home. I tried to stop her from driving home, but did not succeed. So I left a drunken voice mail for Top explaining that I was sorry for possibly being responsible for her younger cousin's death by car accident.
 
Then a much-younger-than-me guy from my church who I rarely saw decided he wanted to mack on me. Again, he was like 18. But he was so cute and very persistent. So, when the clock struck midnight, he gave me a very public, very long, very involved kiss. I didn't stop him. After all, I was drunk and he was cute, and he still goes down in history as the best kisser I've ever kissed. The fact that I was drunk doesn't weigh much because I've kissed other people while drunk. But I really felt bad because I did have a boyfriend at the time who would've had a fit had he ever found out what I'd done.
 
And of course, the party got shut down before it was even 1 AM. One of the girls who helped pay for throwing the party called her cousin because many of us were too drunk to drive. So he rounded up a couple of his friends (still don't know why they weren't drunk. These people gave me my first drink almost 10 years ago...) and came to get us. Did I mention this guy was my pastor's son? Did I add he drove us to his grandmother's house so we could sober up?
 
Do I decided to take the guy who kissed me home (booo for drunk driving) and ended up staying there making out with him on his couch for hours and finally drove home after the sun came up. I didn't sleep with him because of guilt over cheating on the boyfriend. By the way, that new year's was on a Saturday night, so I still got up and went to church. I don't know how much the church people knew about that party, but no one ever said anything to me about it. But still, I took that as an example of what not to do on New Year's. From then on, I partied only with properly aged, non-weed-smoking people and I stopped kissing people who weren't my boyfriend, lol.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Actually Being Spontaneous!

I missed In My 20s Tuesday yesterday because I had a weird schedule. I woke up whenever I woke up, no alarm clock!!! Yes, I used three exclamation marks, that's just how happy I was to not be using an alarm clock on a Tuesday in April for the first time in years. Literally, since high school when Spring Break was in April.

I got up, spent more than 10 minutes working out on my Wii Fit Plus. Then I made myself some nice lunch. I went to the med school to take care of the steps I need to take to withdraw. I worked some more on my resume. Then I was feeling spontaneous. And for once, when feeling spontaneous, I actually got to be spontaneous. I called Bad to see what he was doing after work. He was free, so I drove down to Chicago and we went to this new place called Vintage 338. It's amazing. I found it on metromix.com. We sampled some great wines and got a bottle of the one we liked. I'd never even heard of this wine. It's called Orvieto.  It's so lovely, and it's perfect for someone like me who's favorite wine is Riesling.

While we were there, I told him about my blog. He's the first of my friends I actually told about it, he seemed surprised I had one and flattered that he showed up regularly in it. You can read about Bad (and his girlfriend Jordan) in my other blog. They're mentioned quite often.

Because it was Tuesday, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to get some chicken. We had a lovely evening hanging out, being spontaneous, and then headed to our homes to get some sleep. It was even a nice drive back to Rockford since I was leaving from the north side. If this is what life is going to be like from now on, I feel even more justified for wanting to do backflips at the thought of having withdrawn from medical school. I finally feel like a real person. I finally feel like me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Medical Mondays

This blog post is dedicated to Medicine. That may include important medical knowledge and developments. It may just be about my life on the path to medicine. Whatever it entails, I hope it's not too dull, lol. If you have any medical questions or suggestions of what to write about, let me know and I'll do it in an upcoming Medical Mondays posting!


Today's post is about the big change I've made in my life that I've been referencing the last couple of days. I walked into the Dean of Medical Education's office today and informed her that I wanted to withdraw from medical school. I decided I was definitely going to do this last Thursday. I waited until today because I wanted to give myself time to let the important people in my life know and lt them try and talk me out of it.

I figured if they could come up with something I hadn't considered, I'd still have time to change my mind. Today was a pretty big test, the first in a long line of tests that wouldn't have been done for me until June 14th. I knew now was the time to get out because I didn't want that stress on me if I was sure I was done being a medical student. Also, there was a time crunch financially. They have given us more money for the summer. This money would be a part of my 2009-2010 financial aid package. I had about 8 days left to figure out whether or not to add another $16,000 to my loans. I decided now was the time to move if I was going to really do this.

I love medicine. I have a passion for it. But I no longer want to be a practicing physician. I've been feeling something like this for a while, but I finally admitted to myself what was really going on. The biggest issue was feeling like I was going to let everyone down who was so invested in my success. But I've got to do what's right for me. And the people in my life who care about me will hopefully decide that my happiness is what's most important.

The question is what to do now? I've already come up with a pretty good game plan that's up for negotiation as things develop. I'm going to finish out my lease in Rockford then move to Chicago. I'm looking for jobs doing clinical research in the Chicago area. I have just over 6 months before I have to begin paying back my loans, and I intend to get a loan repayment readjustment to match my income, whatever that will be. I'm also going to look for part time work with a nonprofit that will allow me to run a program, hopefully with children, where I would be using the medical knowledge I've learned so far. I will also be picking back up some of my hobbies. And as soon as I'm back in Chicago, I'm going to look into getting involved with Big Brother Big Sister.

I still have the ultimate goals of starting my scholarship and starting my free clinic. The difference will be how I'll be working within them now. I'm excited about the possibilities ahead, but also kind of terrified. I've just changed a path for my life that I set out on 10 years ago that had me covered for the next 10 years. But things are different now. What I'm doing takes courage, and a little bit of screw-the-world-ness. But I'm doing it. And since I've made this decision, I've felt lighter and more like me.

I sometimes wish I were one of those people who could talk about things before they're already settled in my mind. It would've helped the people in my life not feel blindsided. But I couldn't do that. I would've felt weak if they knew what I was considering and then changed my mind and decided to stay. That's just the way I work. I had to work it all out in my head first. So, it is what it is. I've made this decision to enter a job market that's unstable at best, but now was the time. I had to do it. Here's looking to the future!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Totally Atypical Sunday

Usually my Sundays start off with me waking up later than I intended. I hardly ever make it to Sunday School. That applies whether I'm in Chicago or Rockford. I just am not a morning person, and nothing about the words Sunday or School do enough to rouse me out of my rest. I feel especially bad about in Chicago since my mother is the Superintendent of our church's Sunday School. But here in Rockford, I feel less bad because their Sunday School is sooooo long. For those who don't know what Sunday School is, it's basically a time for churches to teach doctrine and Bible knowledge to those who attend.

But, I usually make it to church in Rockford right on time. In Chicago, I tend to be a little late. But I enjoy church. I'm Baptist and both churches I attend are predominantly African-American (don't even get me started on how churches are one of the few strongly segregated places in America). That means the music is always doing something extra. I love the music, I love the preaching at both churches. I even like the fellowship afterwards where people are just talking and catching up with each other.

But today, that was not my Sunday. I watched some of Shrek on tv, then went to the grocery store. I just wasn't in the mood for it today. My parents really rained on my Courageous-Step-Forward-In-Life-Parade. They did a complete 180 on their supposed support for my decision and that kind of ruined the rest of my weekend. At least Top, Bad, and PT were able to make me feel better by letting me talk out my frustrations.

I'm not sure how familiar people are with the Cosby Show, but I grew up watching it, as did most everyone in my life. And one of the Huxtable kids, Sandra was supposed to be going to law school while her husband was supposed to be going to medical school. Or something like that. The point is they changed their minds right at a very critical point. And then they decided to open a wilderness store. PT has been making jokes that now that I've decided to disappoint my parents, am I now going to open a wilderness store? Top made the same joke, and so did Bad come to think of it. They have had me cracking up about that. It's good to laugh when things aren't the best, you know?

Well, I bought a nice bottle of wine from the grocery store. It's my favorite wine in all the world (lol, that's a big statement) for now and I'm gonna enjoy drinking that wine. I haven't even had a drink since the orange juice (Sunny D, he called Sunny D orange juice!) and rum PT made me last time I was in Chicago. So I feel like it's okay for me to drink an entire bottle of wine by myself on this fine Sunday afternoon. I deserve it after the end of the week I've had. And with my schedule, it's not like I'll have time to drink for a while again anyway. There, now that I have my justification out of the way, where's my corkscrew?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

This the first Stream of Consciousness I'm actually writing on a Saturday. If you've looked at my other blogs with Stream of Consciousness tags, you know there's no rhyme or reason, I just write as things come to mind. There's no particular order to the blog posting.


Something I left out of my blog yesterday because I wanted to talk about it today has been weighing heavily on my heart. In the middle of my talk with Top, trying to explain to her the big decision I've recently made, she abruptly got off the phone with me to deal with an emergency her roommate was having. When she called me back to tell me what happened with him, I was ashamed to be an American.

Her roommate, whom we'll call Lee, had just returned from a trip to Canada. He is Lebanese. Apparently to some people, that is synonymous with Muslim extremist terrorist type (even though no Lebanese person has ever been responsible for any attacks on America). He often gets stopped at airports because of his name, and so he's used to that. But this time, they checked his ticket, saw he was headed to NYC, and freaked out. They searched him, his bags, and began interrogating him, for hours. He was travelling with a friend, as classmate of his from grad school. She missed her plane waiting for him. They sent her a fake letter that was supposed to be from him saying it was fine to get on the plane and head back to America.

While they were interrogating him, they went to his parents' house and his father's store. They interrogated both his parents about their money, their phone calls, and their possibly terrorist son. I know his family and they are such sweet nice people. They are not terrorists. They speak to their family back home because they're close. In case you're wondering, yes the Canadian officials at the airport called the FBI, who was more than happy to start interrogating those family members who are stateside.

They managed to pull up information about phone records, bank records, travel records and say it all points to support for terrorism. They played back recorded phone conversations to the father. What was on these recordings? Things like family members discussing the health of the elders, making plans to visit each other, and updates of performance in school by their children. All of this phone tapping is illegal currently without a warrant, by the way.

They harrassed this entire family for hours because one family member took a trip to Canada to be a part of a perfomance art piece. Being African-American, I'm very familiar with the way this country profiles and discriminates against people who look like me. The classic example is the young black man pulled over on the side of the road because he "fits the description" of a perp for a crime recently committed in the area.

But I have no frame of reference to let me understand why, for any reason, the FBI thinks it's okay to rip someone's phone out of the wall when they try to call their lawyer because they feel that their home has been entered unlawfully and they do not wish to answer any questions because they are being intimidated and threatened.

When Lee walked into his house, he broke down into tears. He was distressed and stressed and sad about what happened. All because he has a name that sounds Muslim. Of all the ignorant things that can happen, this is truly a new low. If they did it to him, they're doing it to other people. This country (and Canada) is fucked up. It just doesn't even make sense. If someone really were a terrorist, would they break down and confess everything because someone stopped them in an airport? Seriously? It just doesn't even make sense that the people in charge truly think these methods have any effect except reducing immigration of entrepreneurs who are contributing quite a bit of money to America (Lee's family is very well off). It makes no sense, and it makes me want to cry to think there's ever a justification for treating people like this.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friends & Family Fridays

This is my first Friends & Family Fridays. Hopefully it will go well. I'm liking my themed days so far, but I do feel bad when I miss a day of blogging on a themed day. For instance, I missed TMI Thursday yesterday. But, that happens, so I guess I shouldn't mind too much.

So this is Friends & Family Friday!! This is my day to talk more about my friends and family (aside from sharing waaay too much about their love lives on my other blog, lol). My friends and family are lovely people, that much I know for sure. Have fun getting to know them through my eyes.



So, this friends and family isn't about their lives so much as what each person means to me. I have recently made a huge change in my life (I'll talk more about that in a future blog), and it was interesting talking about it with the important people in my life and going through this with them.

Usually when something big happens with me, there isn't a lot of involvement with my people. I may seek opinions about things, but by the time I do that, I've got my mind made up. This time wasn't really very different. I was just so nervous to hear people's reactions, especially my parents. I knew I would hear shock, I didn't know if I would hear disappointment or what else, so it was quite serious.

I was talking to my mother yesterday morning, trying to figure out how I was going to tell her. I couldn't bring myself to do it, so then I had to call Lion and do a test run. But it wasn't a test run to tell her, the test run was telling him and deal with his reaction. I knew that out of everyone, he would have the largest level of honest upfront disappointment. And he was disappointed. One thing that I've cherished about my friendship with Lion moreso than anyone else in my life is our ability to be brutally honest with each other all the time, no apology. Part of that is self-indulgence that we can engage in finally not censoring ourselves. This isn't something I'd even want from my other friends because it's nice to have people who have a sense of self-censoring. For me and Lion, that just works. I made my case with him, and he gave me an honest response that I was glad to hear. After our talk, I felt more confident about the reasons I had to support what was going on in my head and my heart. I was ready to move on to my mother.

I called her back and told her what I had just talk to Lion about. Her initial response was "okay." I was taken aback and sort of just rushed through the rest of my explanation. But that's my mom. I so rarely have possibly disappointing news to share with her that I forgot what I expected her reaction to be. But my mom's great like that. She is very accepting of decisions I make. She knows I don't make decisions lightly and by the time I'm telling her, it's pretty much what it is. She is my mom, so that meant her response was framed through the lens of her religion. She talked a lot about God and the Bible and making sure my decision was really about what God wanted for me. She encouraged me to pray and read my Bible and make sure I was following God's will with this change I want to make. That wasn't a surprise for me. She wasn't too concerned about the details, just that I was doing something that would make me and God happy. She told me to call my dad. He was next on the list anyway, so I called him.

I called him and didn't get a chance to tell him what I wanted to talk to him about, just that I wanted to talk to him about something serious. He had to switch from his cell phone to his office phone. He calls me back and immediately is like, "please tell me you don't have a secret husband." I'm like, whoa! I mean, his sister did do that, but that's not really my style. "Dad, believe me, if I had a secret husband, you'd know because I'd have asked you to do our taxes." That made him laugh and then calmed him down. He freaked out again when I told him what it really was. But unlike my mother, he was all about understanding my thought process. He wanted to know when, why, where, how, and why again. He agreed with Lion that I should take more time with my decision. But he also knew that I tend to make pretty solid decisions and he was kind enough to remind me that no matter what choices I make in life, he's got my back. But then he had to go. My daddy has a very demanding job and his phone was ringing off the hook the entire time we were talking. So I moved on to the next conversation.

I sent Top a message on Yahoo! to tell her that I needed to talk to her, but she could just call me when she got off work.

Then I called Bad. He was at work, but I got a chance to tell him a little bit. He said my voice sounded scary and had him worried so he wanted to see what the basic problem was and then he'd call me back. "I just had to make sure you weren't dying." It was then that it occured to me the serious dread I was feeling in telling these people my situation. But I only had time to tell him the basics, allow him to express his shock and move on to the next person.

I am currently avoiding telling Noni my situation because the change means I can't hop on a plane and go to her baby shower next month.

I texted PT to see if he was available. My text said, "hey, i really need to talk to you about something. we didn't get to talk about it yesterday. can you call me when you leave work please?" Apparently, not the best way to get someone's attention. I know he's usually free Thursday right after work. We usually talk while he's on his way to a meeting at his school's other campues. He calls me and I launch into my story. He interrupts me. "CeCe, you're not pregnant are you?" I was like, again, whoa!!! No, not pregnant I tell him. I take this moment to message Top again to tell her whatever horrible thing she's thinkin I have to say, I'm not pregnant, married, or dying. So back to PT. I figured he'd be a good person to talk to because I trust his judgement and think he has a pretty good grip on who I am. But he hasn't known me for even six months yet, so he doesn't have the emotional investment that the rest of the important people in my life have. We talked and he did a good job of getting my explanation and offering support for my decision. He didn't even seemed fazed about the way the change would affect us. I was actually very glad about that. He focused on my and what this change meant for me. I'm sure the talk about us will come up eventually, but for now it's all good. He just let me know that as long as I was following my heart, I'd be okay because I was a smart driven woman and I'd be okay.

Bad called me back and I explained it to him. He was surprised and expressed his shock but also support. He wanted a full emotional and logical explanation. Before I knew it we had moved from me explaining myself to discussing what comes next. That's why I'm so glad I have Bad for my friend. He's my logistics guy. He's the one who's like "meet me at the drawing board" and we sort out the details/big picture. He's great for that since we see most everything in the same way. Talking things out with him is like talking things out with myself. He's proven that over and over again. This time in particular he impressed me with his ability to do that even when blindsided by my news. He told me that he was proud of me for being brave and he supported me.

I spoke to Top when she got off work and she was also taken aback by my news. She was surprised and expressed her concern that I might be acting rashly seeing as how my news surprised everyone. But after I explained the way I make these kinds of decisions, she got it. That's why I love Top, she gets my reasoning better than most. She understands certain aspects of what I feel and why I feel. We're very different people, but because we're so close, we're able to step into each other's shoes and understand the rationale even when we would've reached a different conclusion. She said as long as I was happy, she was happy.

I feel so lucky that I have these people in my life. Lord knows, having seven people to talk things over with certainly helps cement a decision in a girl's head. And I'm so glad they all went out of their way to express their support. That certainly makes huge life changes easier when I have the support of the people who matter most to me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How I See My Future

For an update on some stuff about PT, check out my other blog. But on to today's topic.

I'm glad I've left a couple of days open on my blog with all my new themed days. I am not gonna do Where in the World Wednesday because I don't go anywhere. I'm just always in Rockford. But my life won't always be this way. I look forward to the day when I can travel. I'm going to talk about the life I see for myself. I think I see it at about 10-15 years from now. Or rather, the life I'd like to have by the time I turn 40.

I want to be married. I want children, 3 or 4, at least one adopted. That would make me very happy. I want to be living in Chicago, hopefully in a large house with a nice large lawn. This is such an odd preference for a city girl, but I want a wrap-around porch on my house. I want to still be a member of the church I grew up in with my husband and children being active members too.

I want to have a nice private group practice (who knows if that'll be possible in the new medical world we'll be in a few years from now) kind of the like one on Private Practice on ABC. I also want a free clinic that the hospital I work with when doing deliveries helps to pay for. That free clinic would allow me to help people who's insurance doesn't cover all their medical needs, and the uninsured who fall through the cracks with the insurance exemption because of super low salaries. And I'll do house calls like the doctor on Royal Pains on USA.

But I'll still magically have time to be an active parent and a good wife. And of course to travel. In fact, I imagine (PT is the template for this particular ideal since he's in education) that I'll travel with my family to a different country for about 2 months each summer to practice medicine internationally and immerse myself in the country and culture. Each year it'll be somewhere different. My kids will be well aware of the world around them. And my husband will come with me. We'll have adventures and keep things interesting because there will always be new experiences.

I'll be able to keep myself in the lifestyle to which I'd like to become accustomed. Think weekends in the south of France that I didn't decide on until the previous Tuesday. Think Jimmy Choo shoes bought on a whim. Think housekeeper cause we'll all be far too busy to try and keep up with the housework.

And my friends will all be doing well. Even though we'll be living all over, we'll still be close and our kids will be frieds. Top will prob be in NYC. Bad will probably be in Atlanta. Lion will probably be in DC or Dallas. Noni will probably be in Miami. At least they're all great places to visit and vacation.

And I'll have an active life with hobbies and volunteering. I want to get involved with Big Brother Big Sister as soon as I'm stable. I also want to do Habitat for Humanity. And when something happens like what happened to Haiti, I want to be able to go and volunteer my services to the community. As far as hobbies, I want to actually learn more about ballroom dancing, maybe even compete in the amateur competitions. I also want to take some classes, such as yoga or hula dancing or tae kwon do, or whatever catches my fancy. Top's mother is the inspiration for this. She does so many things and has learned so many skills over the years through her hobbies: baking, sewing, marathon running, etc.

Oh, and pets! I want pets. I hope to have enough property/land to have horses. I also want cats, dogs, birds, fish. And I have to have plants and a garden. Lord only knows how I'll have all these things I want. But it starts with a dream. Next, is planning. The first step is to get through school and find a man who wants to marry me (who I also want to marry).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In My 20s Tuesday!!

So, today is the first one of my In My 20s Tuesday posts! I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out as I test my new idea of having themed days.

In My 20s Tuesday is all about things that should matter (maybe) to someone in their 20s. It's about life as we head into real adulthood. It's about laying the groudwork for a life: starting a career, setting up a home, starting a life with someone, etc. It's about things that will affect our lives down the road: politics, current events, pop culture, etc. Well, it's not about all those things at once (that'd be near impossible, lol). But hopefully it will reach someone in their 20s who's looking for someone to feel them and what they're going through. Here goes!


I didn't want today to be like yesterday when I thought of a lovely topic to write about and then forgot and had to basically type my way into remembering it, lol. There's actually two things I want to talk about. The first is what's going on with China and their treatment of people who fight for human rights. The other is my friend Bad and his issues at work.

First, China is not a democracy, and their leaders have made it clear that they are not interested in becoming a democracy. Whatever one's feelings about America's need to spread democracy everywhere, most Americans will say they are glad we are in a democracy. Well, that probably excludes some Republicans and Tea Partiers who don't like the direction the people they didn't vote for are taking this country in, but I digress. So China has a lawyer named Gao Zhisheng. He has become well-known internationally (please Google him) for his bringing cases to court that fight for Human Rights. China decided he was subverting state power and took action. His wife and children are now residing in America. They just released him after 3 years. People hadn't heard anything from him and thought he might be dead, but couldn't do anything about it. He is trying to fight now for his right to go join his family. He has given up being a lawyer, and has apologized to the people he feels like he is letting down, citing he isn't strong enough to still carry on this fight and wants to be with his family. I hope no one feels like he has let anyone down. I wonder how some of us would react if the Chinese government basically kidnapped us and tortured us for three years (I'm talking electric shocks to the genitals).

But this is important to people in their 20s because the world we live in is changing. America isn't alone is being this super power that runs the globe. China is making headway. It won't be long before their standing right next to us in influence over global policy. I know America has comparable behavior with the whole Guantanamo Bay thing, but we don't have these types of reactions to our own citizens who are fighting for rights (at least not in recent American history). And as much as China has a government that suppresses some human rights, they also have a rich culture and lovely ethnic variability. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks in China in undergrad. It is still one of my favorite experiences in life that I wouldn't trade for almost anything. I did a lot of sightseeing, food tasting, partying, and visiting medical clinics and hospitals. But I'd hate to think what would've happened had I upset some government official with my love for democracy.

It's important to be aware of the world around us and how it changes. These changes will be happening within our lifetime, and that can affect us and our children educationally, economically, and politically.

The second thing I want to talk about is my friend Bad's job. He works for a non-profit and his job has him in charge of a couple of other people and a couple of programs. He is currently looking to hire someone to head up a new nutritional program they're implementing (which incidentally was developed by the medical students at Harvard medical school, where I have two good friends there!). He is interviewing people for the job and hasn't yet found someone he likes. He either has people with the right personality for the job or the right skills for the job, or some combination of the two that isn't about 80% for either one. He's upset because he feels like there should be a better applicant pool seeing as how so many people are unemployed. He's also reminded how glad he is that he has a job that can become a career. It's nice to have job security when people are beefing up their standards based on a presumed availability of qualified applicants. This particular job is at a center that's on the South Side of Chicago, which means the kids the hiree will be looking for a certain swagger to deal with these school age south-siders. They're pretty hard core (and I'm not talking about violence for anyone jumping to conclusions). By the way, if anyone knows someone with nutrition knowledge who's looking for work in the afternoon who can get to the south side of the Chicago, look for the job offering on http://www.careerbuilder.com/.

But this type of life experience should matter to 20-something people, especially those looking to start their careers fresh out of school. People who actually have the means to hire new employees seem to be raising their standards. Their doing this out of an assumption that the applicant base has improved because of increased unemployment. Make sure your resumes are completely on point. Make sure your interview skills are above par. And make sure that when your interview begins, you don't start with "wasssssuuuuuup." Seriously, Bad told me someone did that today. Sigh. My people, my people.

Downsizing my Blogs

I currently have four. They're all relatively new. I decided to downsize my blogs. One I made just to make reviews, but I can easily put that on here so I don't feel the obligation to constantly review things if I don't try anything new (or new to my current experience, lol). The other I called Stream of Consciousness. It was just whatever I wanted to talk about in a Stream of Consciousness. I've decided to have Stream of Consciousness Sunday so I can keep that as well. Yay.

But, it's just too much work trying to keep up four blogs that hardly anyone reads yet anyway, lol. So if you were reading my other blogs, http://reviewsbycece.blogspot.com/ and http://socbycece.blogspot.com/, they're gone. Everything is now on this site. Of course, I still have a separate blog dedicated solely to My Love Life, and the love life of my closest friends and family. They're lightly protected by code names. But it's so easy to know who's who if you know me, lol. Sorry about putting peoples' business out there, but it's just so interesting, I feel the need to share it with the blogosphere. Moving on to my first Tuesday blog, trying out the themed days still, so far so good. I think Medical Mondays went well yesterday...

Netflix

Okay, I am ridiculously happy for a new development. Netflix now allows you to get instant view movies on your TV through your Wii!!! This makes me so ecstatic. I've always been envious of my friends with PS3s who could get it. Especially since there were extra movies available that I couldn't get just on my PC. I'm super excited. Can you tell?

I love love love movies. Seriously I love them. I don't love all movies, but I do like what I like. Currently, I'm all about most everything Disney makes (go The Princess and the Frog), heists (Ocean's Eleven, Italian Job), romantic comedies (He's Just Not That Into You, Sleepless in Seattle), musicals (Guys and Dolls, Hairspray), epics (Lord of the Rings, Star Trek), some suspense (Sixth Sense, Memento), action flicks (The One, Iron Man), comedies (Blades of Glory, Bringing Down The House), concerts (Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson), and some dramas (Black Snake Moan, We Own The Night).

That's a lot of movie types, I know. But I left out foreign films, film noir, classic old films, kung fu movies, and movies made just to win Oscars (like The Aviator). Oh, and emotional chick flicks like Nights in Rodathe make me hurl. If you're gonna make a movie emotional, I need some action, like The Blind Side or Remember the Titans. For every sad scene, someone got knocked down on a football field!

I'm just so excited at the new possibilities. I like to put in a movie before I go to bed. My options will be extended now if I decide I don't want to watch one of my DVDs. That will be interesting if PT ever makes his way up here and spends the night. He likes to watch TV when he goes to bed too. But at his place, it's usually Sportscenter. That's totally fine with me, but it'll be different at my place, lol.

I'm so excited to get my disc I need to use Netflix (they could've just given us a download from the Wii store, but I'll let that pass). I'm supposed to get in 1 business day and I hope that still applies even though I didn't request it until after close of business today. I have a really nice television (32" HD something or another, my daddy picked it out, lol) and I'm looking forward to the picture quality as compared to my laptop. But it's about more than just my laptop. It's also about my internet speed, but my Wii pulls up the weather and new pretty quickly, so I've got my fingers crossed!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Sims 3 Can Be So Dramatic

When I can't sleep, sometimes I'll load up my Sims 3 game on my PC. I don't normally have time to play very often, but I did play last night. And oh what drama ensued. It's a quite good life plot, so I thought I'd share it with the blogosphere.

Some basic background for those who have no exposure to the world of the Sims. The Sims 3 allows you to create people/avatars and life out their lives. They have a major life goal, characteristics, body types, families, friends, careers, hopes, dreams etc. It's all pretty awesome. They live in a town and live and grow and die. There's even a graveyard you can visit and meet some ghosts. If you create the Sim, you can pick out all their traits or randomize them. If you pick an existing one, you'll take what you get. You get rewards points for fulfilling a goal. There are rewards you can get with those points. For example, if you pick out a sim but don't like their personality, you can pick out new traits that influence their personality once you get 20,000 points. These Sims get married, have sex, get fired from work, go out on the town, make BFFs (literally it's called BFF), plant gardens, become best-selling novelists, whatever you'd like. They can even die tragic deaths from drowning and stuff. Moving on...

The family I started is the Goodwins. It started out with just one man, Tyler Goodwin. He got started, got a nice little house and decided he wanted to be a farmer. It's honest work and can be quite lucrative once you get good at it. The average wage for someone at the top of their career is $1,000 a day, but only like 3-4 days a week. A farmer with a large garden (including money trees) can make $3,500+ a day, seven days a week. To Tyler, it was a no-brainer. Tyler meets Lisa. They immediately hit it off and quickly get married. Tyler and Lisa decide they want to have children, but Lisa is all about her career at a professional criminal (her life's goal is to get to the top of that career track), so they decide to have one baby and adopt a male child. This male child they name Taylor. The boy they have biologically is named Kyle. They grow up like any normal family.

I'm gonna fast forward here because my main story that's so interesting to me is about Taylor's son he decides to name Tyler. Kyle moved out of the house as soon as he got married because he felt the place was too crowded. Taylor had already gotten married. He and his wife had adopted a son and were pregnant with their other child. Plus, Kyle didn't want to live in the house with all those memories. His father, Tyler died in the house (of natural causes) the night before his wedding. He and his wife, Tina haven't had children yet. Tina neve had a good relationship with her own father, and barely talks to him and her two toddler age half brothers who she didn't even know he had until she ran into them out at the park.

Taylor and his wife end up having 5 children. They adopt two boys, about age 8 when they were each adopted. They have two girls and one boy through normal pregnancy. Lisa still lives with them and does a good job of contributing to the household with her money (and art) from heists and from her fishing prowess. The oldest son, Tyler is the first to move out. He was a loner his whole childhood. He never really got close to his parents, his grandmother, or any of his four siblings. He preferred to sit and his computer and write books or to stand in front of his canvas and paint. He never even had a girlfriend. Although, a girl did eventually catch his eye. A family friend named Iliana went to high school with him and two of his younger siblings. She was his first kiss and his first "romantic interest." That night they kissed, it was obvious she wanted him to ask her to go steady, but he was far too nervous to do that. So he decided he'd wait until next time they were alone to ask her.

But they were hardly alone. He spent a lot of time working on his books. He even began to sell them. One bcame a hit!! He was an official author who was making real money. He began to improve his skills at painting. Young Tyler decided his  life's aspiration should be to learn the max skills for painting and for writing. Selling his novels and his paintings would be a good way to earn a living without going the traditional career route. Before he knew it, it was time for graduation. His parents didn't force him to leave, but he knew that when mom delivered baby number 5 the night he graduated from high school, maybe he could give them some more room in the house. After all, Grandma Lisa was still around to help out. She had been much younger than Grandpa Tyler when they got married, so she still had lots of time left in her life.

Tyler decided to move out on his own. His family did what they always did when one of the kids left the nest, they helped bankroll the purchase of a new house so the kids could start off a little better than the first generation of Goodwins in town did. They bought Tyler a nice little 2 bed 2 bath house with anticipation he would fill it with a family of his own. His love interest Iliana was still in high school, but he kept in touch with her hoping they could resume their working towards a relationship once she graduated too.

Tyler's dad gave him 15 money bags from the money trees in the garden to get him started until his paintings and books began to make real money. When Tyler first moved, he was happy because he was a loner and he didn't mind waiting on Iliana. He worked on his craft and wrote two more books that earned him good money. His paitings began to sell for hundreds of dollars each. He felt he could easily reach his life's goals. But then he started to notice he was always alone. He looked at his rewards points and decided to spend them on switching from a loner to a great kisser!

He called Iliana to catch up and see how it was going as she was finishing school. He found out she was dating his younger brother who still went to high school with her!! The girl he thought he'd marry someday was dating his brother!! He didn't know how to feel about that.

So he went out on the town to try and meet new women. He noticed that a lot of the women seemed to be grossly overweight, and he didn't want those genes! He didn't know what secrets lurked in his DNA since he was adopted. He didn't want to take any chances. He went out days in a row and still didn't meet anyone desirable. This was going to be harder than he thought. He started going door to door, literally meeting all his neighbors in the hopes that someone would have an attractive young daughter. So far, no luck. He can't take too much time away from his work, but he doesn't know what to do. And he really misses Iliana...

That's where I am now. How crazy is that? Just from 4 hours of playing the Sims, lol.

Medical Mondays

This is my first ever Medical Mondays post so I hope it goes well!!

This blog post is dedicated to Medicine. That may include important medical knowledge and developments. It may just be about my life on the path to medicine. Whatever it entails, I hope it's not too dull, lol. If you have any medical questions or suggestions of what to write about, let me know and I'll do it in an upcoming Medical Mondays posting!




So, today's post is about outreach to minorities in medicine. There are so few minorities in medicine. The only minority who seems to be accounting for more than their population percentage is Asians, and that's only because they lump all Asians in together. But I think it's really a shame that when the M4s (fourth year medical students) graduate from U of I Rockford this year, there will only be 2.5 black people left as students in the school. And no black males. I know those dismal statistics don't apply everywhere. The Chicago campus actually has a nice number of black people. But it's a problem that occurs more often than people notice.

Americans are really good at setting up confirmation biases in their heads. They see Isaiah Washington on Grey's Anatomy, Omar Epps on House, and Hill Harper on CSI: NY, and all of a sudden people think black doctors are everywhere, especially black males. It's just not true. Think about it. How many black doctors do you personally know? Unless you work in a hospital in an urban area, I'm guessing less than 3. Probably closer to zero.

This problem doesn't affect just black people. That's just my focus cause I'm black. It's really a problem. But the bigger problem is there are no easy solutions. Affirmative Action can't fix this one. Even if we magically got more minorities into med school, there's no guarantee they even have the tools to get through. So what can be done? I wish I knew. If I had the answer to that, I'd be getting an MPH (Master's in Public Health) or and MHA (Master's in Hospital Administration) instead of an MD. But it'sjust a problem that I feel should have attention drawn to it.

Maybe someone out there somewhere has the tools to come up with a solution, but they weren't aware there was a problem. I look forward to the days when the makeup of the medical profession is actually comparable to makeup of this country.

Forgetting What I Wanted to Blog About

I was driving to class today and I had the most awesome idea for today's blog. In fact, I had two awesome ideas... The problem is I don't remember them now... Sigh. This has happened to me before. My life isn't particularly eventful, but stuff happens in the world around me, to my friends and family, and even sometimes to me. I like to blog about it. But sometimes, the inspiration hits me when Im not sitting right in front of my laptop and the inspiration floats away like Tim Burton's Cheshire Cat ( I know he didn't create the cat, but he is responsible for its latest incarnation). So then I'm stuck with trying to remember what witty wonderful thing I wanted to share with the blogosphere.

It's not like I couldn't have taken note of it in some way. I am a text-while-driving kind of girl. I'm an everything while driving kind of girl: eating, talking ont he phone, adjusting the radio, sexual physical activity, but I digress. But I was too busy e-mailing Top about why she is truly for real done with Jack.  They had a talk and he felt they might be too different to work things out. She took that as he wasn't as serious about her and he had led her to believe and she told him he shouldn't be throwing around the word love if he wasn't going to back it up. So, while I was thinking about my lovely blog idea, I neglected to use any of the tools at my disposal to make a note of it.

And I have a lot of tools. My Blackberry has a voice recorder, a note pad, SMS, MMS, and e-mail capabilities. I could've e-mailed myself the idea. But I didn't. I -- it just hit me!!! I knew it would if I was self-deprecating enough to lambaste myself for not remembering. Well, I've remembered one idea. Some of my favorite blogs to read are the ones that have themes for some of the days, like TMI Thursdays. I was thinking I could have that for my blog too, at least my main one. But I need some good ideas for what to do.

Here's what I have so far. Medical Monday. Medicine is a big part of my life and I don't talk about it that much on my blog (lol, so not true). But I could have a day where I showcase it or talk about important things in medicine. I don't know how many people would actually care about that, but I care...

Friends & Family Fridays. I talk a lot about my friends and family. I've even given most of them blogosphere names. But there is more to share and if I had a themed day, I'd probably share more.

But how many themed days are too many? I dunno.

In My 20s Tuesday is another idea. I like talking about things that should matter to people in their twenties. Things about establishing adulthood and starting adult lives, stuff like that. Oh and political and current events things that have a profound effect on our future.

Looks like I've talked my way into some themed days. I'll try them out and see if I like them. But I don't think I need any more than four themed days, it'd be nice to leave some time open just whatever comes to mind. So, I have: Medical Mondays. In My 20s Tuesdays. TMI Thursdays. Friends & Family Fridays. Nice! I think I like this idea!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Potbelly Sandwich Works

This is one of my favorite sandwich places. For anyone who likes sandwiches but has never been to Potbelly's, you should really go.

Compared to the sandwich place most people have been to, Subway, Potbelly's doesn't have nearly as many options. They have far fewer meat options, far fewer toppings options. And they only have two bread options. But what they have is just so good! And unlike Jimmy Johns, they'll never put those horribly sprouts on your sandwich.

They have some unique options like Peanut Butter and Jelly. They are also trying out new sandwiches all the time, the latest being three cheese tomato melt. I haven't tried that one yet cause I really don't like tomato sandwiches, but I bet it's awesome. The main good thing about Potbelly's is the large amount of meat on the sandwiches. There's an option for extra meat, but you don't need it. If you got extra meat, there'd be more meat than bread!

They have sandwiches that they send through a broiler kind of like Quizno's. They add topping and condiments (mayo and mustard are your options), and wrap up your sandwich. They have cute local chips at each place. So the chips you see in Chicago are different from the ones you'll see in Rockford. In Chicago, they have local yummy Vitner's chips and in Rockford you'll find locally produced Kettle Chips.

There are other options too. They have hand-packed ice cream and they always have a flavor of the week. They use those ice creams to make shakes on request. Those shakes always have adorable little Salerno butter cookies on the straw. Potbelly's is the only place left on the planet where you can still find those cookies, stupid recession. They also always have chili. And they have two other soups all seven days of the week. They vary, but they're all good.

If you go to Potbelly's for the first time, I would recommend getting one of the menu sandiches made the way it's described on the menu. I would also recommend getting a cup of chili, with the cheese and onions only if you like those toppings. And get a shake in your favorite flavor. It'll be worth it.

My Favorite Things About Potbelly Sandwich Works: 1) The lovely crunch the soft bread gets after going through the salamander. 2) The mustard. I'm a mustard person and they kind they serve there is just so good. 3) The employees. They are always always in a good mood.
My Least Favorite Things About Potbelly Sandwich Works: 1) Um..... I don't really like they're roast beef, but I don't like Jimmy John's or Subway's either, just Quizno's.
Final Rank: 4/5 The only problem I have is with their cost. Compared with the other sandwich places, they're a little pricey. The only people who can beat them is Quizno's.

Why I Prefer To Be In The Minority (In Most Aspects of My Life)

I'm a minority in most aspects of my life. By minority, I mean either in numbers or in power structure. I'm African-American. I'm a woman. I'm in my 20s. I'm 5'0". My income bracket is non-existent. I'm a student. I'm a cat lover. I'm an independent woman who thinks a man should be the head of the household. About the only thing I am that isn't a minority is that I'm Christian, Baptist to be specific. I know I'm Protestant, but still, I'm Christian. That and I'm a proclaimed Democrat (though I do love my guns, but that's more than balanced out by my support for taxes).

But I think I prefer it that way. It seems that the majority and/or the people in charge with all the power are always fucking up. That is kind of strong language but it expresses my point. Look at our government, our financial system, our Catholics. Everyone is fucking up. They so rarely get it right, I'm glad to not be associated with being male, or Catholic, or rich, or in charge.

That John Mayer song "Waiting on the World to Change" is one of my all-time favorites. Literally, it's Top Ten. But that's how I feel sometimes. The people in control are always screwing things up with their extreme views and skews. But I know I can't count on things gettin better as those people die off. There's always some new young hot blonde thing reporting on Fox News to remind me there is no dearth of supply of youngsters to take on crappy opinions and carry them into the future.

But at least me, in the minority, is somewhat free to form my own opinions and take my own stances on issues and make my own decisions when it comes to how I see this world. I will never be forced to stand with the majority for sake of avoiding pissing of my standard bearers.

Even when white Americans are no longer the numerical majority in this country, I'll still be in the minority. Let's see how Latinos will do with the job of being the majority. I think it'll be quite interesting. I bet all those anti-abortion racists will be regretting that they fought so hard against the government paying for any sort of birth control. They want "their country" back, but they keep doing things that are counter-productive to that initiative.

Minority or not, I long for the day when cognitive dissonance will hurt again. It doesn't seem to hurt some people. I want people to be able to disagree without it becoming an issue of fisticuffs (literally or metaphorically). I have strong views, being an American gives me that right. But it'd be nice to not be demonized for disagreeing with the majority. If I impeach someone else's views, it's the logic or the hypocrisy or the insanity that went into that decision. Not their right to have that opinion. I wish more of the majority would do the same.

I Want Someone Who's Going to Notice When I'm Sick

So, me being me, I have a list in my head of things I want in a man and deal breakers. Deal breakers are those qualities/tendencies that when you find them, you run for the hills out of a sense of self-preservation. My list includes things like: chewing with one's mouth open; sinus issues that involve snorting in for 30 minutes in the morning (Lion used to do this all through college, I hated spending the night at his place leading up to a test); having a poor relationship with one's mother; complacency; the list goes on and on. Bad tells me that one of my downfalls is judging someone who has one of my dealbreakers before I know for sure whether I can deal with them having that flaw. Whatever, I say. I know what I can deal with. And thanks to PT, I have added another to the list.

I want someone who's going to notice when I'm sick. PT lives a very busy life. I knew that when I decided I wanted to take the time to get to know him better. He has a very demanding job and a daughter and lots of other things that take up his time. Consequently, there are times when we don't speak as often as I'd like. He keeps leaving me under then impression that this is happening occasionally and once he gets past some point in his life that is super busy, it will get better. But it just keeps getting worse. Each passing moment seems to be him having less and less time to bother trying to get to know me.

I think it really hit me when I woke up Monday with a sore throat. By Tuesday, I was really sick. I speak to PT so rarely that he had no idea I was sick. I'm still kinda sick. He only knows because I mentioned it in passing. I want someone who notices when I'm sick, gets concerned and brings me chicken soup. PT is not in a place to do that. I get that his life is busy, but damn. I can't be with someone who has no place in their life for me. I'm not going through that again. I just went through that with the Ex. I just don't yet know how to handle the situation. I don't know if I should be trying to talk to him in hopes of seeing a change or if I should just give up and walk away. I just really don't think I have the strength to go through this again with a guy...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Confederacy History Month

So, this is one topic about which I cannot even pretend to be objective. As and African-American woman with no living relatives who lived through slavery or its immediate aftermath, I cannot understand why anyone would want a Confederate History Month.

Well, that's not entirely true. I can understand how they get caught up in the romance of it all. Brothers battling on opposite sides of the same battelfield. People standing up for what they believed in. It's all very typical war story stuff. But when put into context of why the Civil War happened and how different this world would be for me had it ended differently, I can't even fathom taking it beyond a romantic memory.

Yet, some governors of states in this country have declared April Confederate History Month. These are the same governors who are supporting the filing of suits to bat down healthcare reform. These are the same governors who are against immigration. These are the same governors who shunned the stimulus money then took credit for the money when the ceremonies were had to celebrate its arrival. These are the people who are showing themselves to be not patriots, but enemies of the good of this country.

They keep saying things like "remember who we are" and "take our country back". They speak in terms like we and our and us. Yet somehow, I don't think they mean me. Me, both my parents, all four of my grandparents, all 8 of my great-grandparents, and at least 10 of my great-grandparents were all born and raised in this country. Most of the deceased died here too. The point is, we're super Americans. But because of the color of my skin, someone I'm not one of "us." And no one can tell my why that is.

Is it because I think taxes are a good idea? What can I say, I like roads and tunnels and bridges. I like public school (I've been in public schools my entire like besides pre-school). I like police men and firefighters. I like Medicaid and Medicare. I like government workers (when they don't have me on hold). I like that they send our veterans to college when they return from service. I like the things our government does with its money. I don't want to take any of that away. But hey, that's just crazy thinking I've got going, right?

I'm also against rewriting history. Slavery happened, there's no avoiding that. Reagan's de-regulation is the main cause of the muck we're in now. Catholic priests have abused thousands of minors over the decades, but that's not a problem of homosexuality, that's a problem of pedophilia. America used to have a problem of leaving a country without cleaning up the mess we made (time will shortly tell if we still have that problem). I thought being American meant having my opinions and being expected to respect others' rights to have a different opinion.

That America I think I live in means it's okay for there to be a Confederacy History Month. But I thinks it's highly irresponsible to try and rewrite history all while exposing your ulterior motive. Virginia's governor is just trying to piss off the black president of this country by exploiting either the romantic or racist (they can be mutually exclusive) notions of his constituents. I wonder if he truly realizes what he's done.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

First, let me say that I have to keep my nails incredibly short for the purpose of practicing medicine. I'm sure most people want their healthcare provider to have short nails, and not just for sanitation purposes. Does anyone want a rectal or pelvic exam from Edward Scissorhands? I think not.

And when I'm in the hospital, my nails have to be clean and clear of polish. But the rest of the time, I like to keep them neatly filed and painted. The new polish I have picked up is from the Complete Salon Manicure Line by Sally Hansen. I got #130 "Sheer Me Now" because I like the nude look. I am a dark skinned African-American woman, so nude colors look particularly pale on me. I like that look as a change-up because I usually have nails that are a very very dark red, blue, or purple.

The nail polish took me three coats to get an even look across the whole nail. It also took a long time to set. I would recommend using a top coat to get the shine and to get the drying jump started. It lasts about 3 days of dish washer loading and showering before chipping. And it will got about 10 days on the toes before it needs to be re-done. Not bad. I've seen this polish at Wal-greens, Wal-Mart, CVS, and a couple of grocery stores.

My Favorite Things About Sheer Me Now: 1) The color is oh-so-delicious! 2) It works for the office, for daytime, for nighttime. 3) It doesn't turn my nail polish removal sponge weird colors.
My Least Favorite Things About Sheer Me Now: 1) I had to use three coats. 2) I had to use a top coat. 3) The design of the brush makes it too easy to drip and paint outside the lines.
Final Rank: 4/5 The product is everything except environmentally friendly. The fun-factor isn't exactly true for women with lighter skin, but for the change of pace in color is frisky!

TMI Thursday!!

This is my first TMI Thursday. I have lots of embarrassing moments to share, but I have to figure out the best...

***Alright, folks, you know the rules. Join us all in humiliating the crap out of yourself every Thursday by sharing some completely tasteless, wholly unclassy, “how many readers can I estrange THIS week??” TMI story about your life. Or hell, about someone else’s!


Turns out the creator of this day has declared this her last TMI Thursday. Seeing as how it's my first, it may not also be my last, we'll see. Speaking of firsts, that gives me an idea for my TMI story.

So, my first real love was the guy I was dating my freshman year of college. We'll call him Adam. He and I both came to college with a relationship intact and all intentions of maintaining those relationships. Anyone who's gone to college trying to hold onto their high school sweetheart can comiserate. Anyway, we met, quickly became part of the same group of friends and then started hanging out. We lived the closest together of all our friends so we spent the most time together, but we didn't take the relationship any further than friendship until both of us were out of our previous relationships. I'm still very proud of that fact. After we both endured very painful breakups, we turned to each other for comfort. This guy became one of my best friends before he was ever anything else.

Where's the TMI part, you wonder? The things I had to go through to get and keep this guy now make me cringe with embarrassment. I consider myself an independent woman, but I more than bent over backwards to prove to him that I was right for him and he was right for me.

First, there was another girl in our group of friends who liked him. She wasn't in a relationship when she got to college. During one of our sleepover (imagine 13 eighteen year olds crammed onto the living room floor of a tiny tiny apartment, she made her move. I was laying near him and had to listen to them making out. Turns out they actually had sex the next week, but only the once (that's the story being stuck to til this day). I basically told him I knew it and then let it go for the sake of us. Yup, I should've been like, if you want her and she'll help you cheat on your girlfriend, I don't want any part of that, but I stayed and worked on our friendship.

Second, there was a girl in our pep team who like him. One trip we took to an away football game, she and I went and he didn't. I spent the night at his house the night before because I was sick. He made me soup and let me sleep in his bed so I could feel better. I woke up at about 10 pm to hear voices talking in his living room. She was there! I called him into the room to ask why she was there. He said they were friends and she just came over to hang out and I was sick and couldn't keep him company so I shouldn't mind. I was flabbergasted. When I re-read my diary from that year, I was feeling and thinking some pretty toxic things in that time period. But what did I do? I still fell asleep talking to him on the phone every night that weekend and he was the first person I went to see when I got back from the trip.

Third, when I went with him to visit his hometown around Easter, he confessed that he had cheated on me with his ex-girlfriend who he had sworn he hadn't spoken to since they broke up. We promised each other to cut off contact with our exes to give us a real chance. I had stuck to the promise, he had broken it in the worst way. What did I do? I thought about it for about 20 minutes and chose to forgive him as long as he promised not to do it again.

Don't get me wrong, I did my fair share of horrible things. They were mostly confined to sulking and starting arguments about things other than why I was really mad. But, I bent over backwards for a man I loved before I even loved him. I did things I'm ashamed of even now. 20 minutes!! Who forgives someone who apologizes about something they swore they'd never do in 20 minutes?! And I meant it too. I never brought it up to him again after that point. I'm prouf of my ability to truly forgive, but embarrassed by the depths I would go to for a man who didn't truly deserve it at the time.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bounty Hunter

I know this movie has been out for a while, but I just saw it Thursday, so here it goes.

Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler are both good looking people. A lot of times a movie will just throw two good looking people together and hope the chemistry pans out. This isn't what happened this time. They had a real chemistry that I enjoyed watching develop.

At the point when the New Jersey and New York cops were looking for the couple, they got off the road. They had done such a good job of convincing me they were a truly hateful ex-couple, I didn't believe they could turn it around.

The best romantic comedies are the ones that build up believable conflict and then resolve with a happily-ever-afer scenario. This movie diverges from the expected because you never get that intro to set the stage that things were ever good for them. Also, their happily-ever-after scene was quite unexpectd. I thought they weren't even going to have a real one. Jennifer made me lose my faith in happy endings for her movies after The Break-Up. But I liked this movie. I'd watch it again.

I could've done without the whole premise of the movie. Jennifer Aniston's character had a warrant out in a really crazy scenario. She hit a police horse and skipped court and jumped bail all to chase a story? I get that some people are committed to their jobs, but seriously??

An interesting character that is superfluous but made the movie more enjoyable is Jennifer Aniston's mother, played by Christine Baranski. She was delightly funny and raunchy. Her scenes with Jennifer and Gerard were lovely.

My Favorite Things About Bounty Hunter: 1) That scene where he chases her down after she escapes the trunk, awesome! 2) Jason Sudeikis' character. He's so cute and he is probably the first person in history to play the character he did without over doing it on the skeevy perv level.
My Least Favorite Things About Bounty Hunter: 1) It's kinda unrealistic that they would send someone after his own ex-wife. I guess it might be different with bounty hunters, but it was a bit far-fetched. 2) Too much violence. For a romantic comedy that avoided any mention that it was part action movie, I thought they had quite a bit of violence in the movie.
Final Rank: 3/5 the setting and the storyline were not my favorite. I thought they were a little un-realistic. But I loved the acting, the movie was enjoyable and the characters were all interesting.

Having A Pet

When I came to visit my parents for the weekend for the Easter holiday, I left my beloved kitten (she's barely still a kitten) Belle at home in my apartment. She doesn't like travelling. She literlly spend the entire hour and a half drive yowling and meowing in protest. It's not fun for either of us. Oh, and she also spend part of that time escaping from her super cute travel bag and prowling around the car and my lap. Yup, all while I'm trying to drive on the expressway.

But having her is usually a joy. I live alone and I love living alone. I'm a fan of being naked. It makes me happy to be alone in my house and not worry about imposing my nakedness on someone. Oh, and it's super-wonderful to walk into the kitchen and know that the cereal bowl in the sink is there cause I put it there. I never walk into the bathroom to find someone has used the last of the toilet paper and didn't replace the roll. It's just lovely for so many reasons. But it can get lonely too. That's where Belle comes in.

She likes to climb in my lap and lay on my chest and go to sleep. We have a comfortable pattern of living together and she makes it better to live alone. As long as I keep her food bowl full, we don't have too many problems.

She is always very demanding for attention when I'm gone for a while, like going home for the weekend. She seemed to like when I came home on Saturday and even curled up next to me when I took a nap. And she was less crazy-acting when I got home Sunday. And my house is never ruined when I return after days away, which lets me know she is the perfect pet for me. And I thought I'd do better with goldfish while in med school. What I know is she's way better. Lots of personality, but way less maintenance than a puppy, lol.

I Really Love My Kindle

So, I made the mistake of leaving my lights on in my car. Of course the battery went dead. I did this two days after getting the battery replaced because it was old and I left the lights on and the battery went dead, lol. In my defense, my car used to make a noise if I turned the car off and the lights were still on. But, my car has some electrical issues (I flipped it over the first weekend after I bought it, long story that ends with why I'm so close to Bad now) that isn't worth being fixed for the money it costs. I don't always remember.

Back to the point, my car does an interesting thing when the battery goes dead. After I get a jump, the radio won't turn on. The car's computer or whatever needs to be reset. Well, I haven't gotten around to going to the Honda dealership to get it fixed. So, I have no clock, no radio, no CD, no iPod. I love music, a lot. And I defnitely need to listen to music when I'm driving. When I went home this weekend, I of course drove to Chicago. I left something important here in Rockford, so I had to drive back here Saturday morning when I left PT's house, and then of course drove back to Chicago. Then I drove back to Rockford on Sunday. That's hours upon hours of driving. I would've been up a creek without a paddle were it not for my Kindle.

It has an experimental MP3 player!!! Oh yeah! So, I was jamming to MidSummer's Night Dream (Maxwell), Essential Michael Jackson, Gems (Patti Labelle), and some more music. I was so happy I had that music on my Kindle that I take everywhere with me. I would have been so sad to do all that driving in silence. My Kindle altered the fate of my whole weekend. I'm not exaggerating, I'm so serious.

I really should get my radio re-programmed or whatever. But it's nice to know that it's not the end of the world if I have to take a road trip.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend With My Family

I just got back from being at home with my family for Easter. It was a pretty enjoyable time. I got to spend some time with PT, I got to hang out with my grandmother, I even had time to head downtown for the banquet for the SNMA conference. I will not bore anyone with all the details, but I will give the summary.

Friday, I get home with plans to go bowling with my parents when they were finished listening to my brother Louie preach at the Seven Last Words Program at his church. But the program ran long and they neglected to tell me. My own parents stood me up! So when PT called to ask what I was doing, I got in my car and went to his place. We had a lovely evening. His daughter has finally moved from Princess and the Frog onto the Squeakuel. I hadn't seen it, but I did see (and like) the first movie. I took the girl I mentor to see it in theaters. So when he told me his daughter has him watch it multiple times in a day, I figured he wouldn't mind watching it again. He didnt.

Saturday was cool. I helped my mom in the kitchen preparing dinner for Sunday. Then I headed downtown to the SNMA conference. I wasn't actually registered for the conference, but my friend got me an extra ticket to the banquet. My alma mater, FAMU, was up for MAPS Chapter of the Year. I was so sad they didn't win.

If you're from Chicago,  you know about Harold's Chicken Shack. I took some FAMU girls there so they could get this famous fried chicken. Then I drove them around the city so they could see the neighborhoods and the skyline. Chicago is such a beautiful city. When I'm looking at how gorgeous and diverse this city is, I really forget my ability to understand how anyone would ever want to live anywhere else.

I'm gonna skip Saturday late night because it ended with police, an ambulance, and a half-naked bleeding girl. Maybe I'll tell the story on TMI Thursday.

Sunday was great. Louie brought Keisha to dinner and our family got to spend some real time with her. It's the first time we've been all together. I think my grandmother shares my opinion of her. She is a perfect match for my brother.

All in all, it was the perfect weekend at home. Lol, not really, but at least it was varied/eventful.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Friend Is Applying for Biggest Loser 10

Last week, I agreed to help my friend do something. She wouldn't tell me what it was; she just said it would be awesome. I showed up as promised and was surprised to find she wanted my help in making an audition video for her application to the next season of Biggest Loser.

She wants to lose 100+ pounds and she came up with a very fascinating idea for an audition tape. She's creative and an A-typer personality, so there is no way she would make a tape of herself standing there talking for six minutes straight. She decided to make her video partly her talking straight on to camera and party narrating the scenes.

Yes, there are scenes. I'm in them. Anyone who knows me well would know that I do not like the idea of being a YouTube video. Or any video that has the potential to become public. But, I did this because it means a lot to her. The video was fun to make, and in my down time I got to play with one of the M4's daughter. She is a great little kid with a big imagination and I loved refreshing mine. Seriously, if you have little people to entertain, let me know so I can share the new games I've learned.

If you click the title of the article, I've linked the YouTube video. Check it out and see how awesome my friend is!!
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