Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Last Post On This Blog

For a number of reasons, time mostly, this is my last post on this blog. I write a number of blogs on a variety of topics. I've decided to try and meld all those into one blog that hopefuly won't be too disjointed. I invite you to join me there as I will continue to talk about all the things I've been talking about on this blog.

Come play with me
Y'all know by now I have an odd sense of humor. Moving on.

I hope to see you over at my new blogging home! It's called My World In Reflection.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Internet Shy Best Friend

Usually if I'm using the word "internet" with the phrase "best friend", I'm referring to my good old pal Google.
Google certainly isn't internet shy, so I'm not talking about this best friend.
This time, I'm talking about one of my best friends, Top. We grew up together in the same church in Chicago, and we even attended the same college. She moved to New York City in 2009, and it's been a while since she's spent any real time in Chicago.

But she's in town and she'll be here for the whole weekend. I'm really excited. Like this excited.
Definitely at least this excited
Of course, this is the weekend I work every day except Sunday. I literally work Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. I have a very limited window in which to enjoy the Labor Day weekend. I guess what better way to celebrate than to work, right? Nah, that's just more like the definition of irony.
Definitely at least this ironic
So I do at least have Sunday off. I will be spending a good chunk of that day with Top. She's having a going away party that day. It's more of a she-moved-away-two-years-ago-but-now-she's-definitely-staying-there-and-not-here-so-let's-send-her-off-properly party. I've been asked to tend the bar, which is awesome, so I'll be there helping people tie bells on!

I'm sure by now you're wondering why I call Top internet shy. Well, she's not on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media. I do have an entire day dedicated to her love life on my other blog, but I keep it all very vague. And she doesn't like her picture up. I can't even use her picture in my wedding blog. Yeah, I have a lot of blogs; get over it and get back on topic.

My one photo pass for her is I can put up photos with her in them from the actual wedding day. So how is she depicted in my blogs til then?
Tip Top Tuesday icon

It shows Top, how her hair was when I first started the blog, on top of the world and about her business in NYC. I love this pic and I took a lot of time to make it playing with the Microsoft clipart and Paint.

How do you handle friends that are internet shy? Do you just leave entire sections of photos out of your Facebook albums?

Are you missing any great friends you don't get to see that often?

Friday, September 2, 2011

This Is The Training That Never Ends...

It could go on and on my friends. Please tell me if you're interested enough in what I write, you're born before 1990 and get my Lamb Chops reference!

Image of Lamb Chops and Shari via Puppetville
If not, Wikipedia it, then come back here for more reading. Now that there are only people reading this post who understand who Lamb Chops is, I'll move on never to mention it again.

This post is about my work. I've been in training for one thing or another since I started working. There's always something new to learn. In the world of organ and tissue donation, things are real intricate around here.

I'm training right now to be in charge of placing organs with recipients according to the national donor list. This is an amazing responsibility and I feel so blessed that they've chosen me to undertake this.

The only thing is this training is taking forever!! We're understaffed right now (if you want to work in donation, Google will direct you to how to apply for my company without me having to publish that info on this blog. I won't do it!), so most of my shifts are spent answering phone calls from hospitals, coroners, and funeral homes. When I'm not doing that, there's the occasional talking to the families of donors.

Time to learn who to send a kidney to is few and far in between. They've come up with a solution. They want to put me on call. Visions of my life as a harried resident fresh out of med school flash in mind. But this is different than that. I'll still work 40 hour weeks, I just won't know weeks ahead of time which days I'll be working.

If I agree to it, I get a pager in the form of a blackberry. So I'll have two blackberrys I'll have to carry with me everywhere I go. It will be like I'm a drug dealer. A fancy schmancy Blackberry-carrying drug dealer.

Imagine him black, female, and wearing fancy schmancy Blackberry owning clothes.
Once I go on-call, my training should be completed rather quickly. And then once I get that done, I can start training to place the other organs. Soooo much to learn.

But it's worth it. I love that I save lives without having to stick my finger up anyone's butt. I love that I make a difference. I love my job and when I get up to go to work, I'm happy. Well, except when I have to leave Easy, we've barely seen each other during the week since he started working.

So I'm training. And training. And saving lives. And training.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Home Is My Castle

I don't strut around as if I'm running things in the place, but I do feel like royalty in my home. Taking steps to make our new apartment special and cozy is becoming a fun and accidentally long-term project. I thought it would be like when I've moved into previous apartments; I'd have everything unpacked in one weekend.

I wrote a post recently about settling into my new apartment.

Since then, we've been slowly but surely turning it into home. Our big bedroom still isn't unpacked. And it seems to be getting worse not better. So now our thing is to figure out how to prioritize our home. Things as simple as vacuuming don't happen like they should. We're not home enough for it to matter, but our shedding cat makes it more important.

If I'm only home sleeping between shifts and Easy is only home taking a nap between his day job and his night gigs, when it is supposed to get done?

Here are our options:

I Could Become A Housewife
I do have a penchant for wearing A-line skirts that have a lot o' fabric. And I bake a mean casserole. Perhaps I could give up my job and stay home like the little lady I could be. I would pick up after my man and have a piping hot dinner and a perfectly chilled martini waiting for him when he got home from work.

Wait, our collective annual salary is just over 100K. I'm not giving that up just so our one area rug gets vacuumed.
Image via Photobucket

We Could Get A Maid
A Maid who we paid to come in a clean the blinds, mop the floors, wash the clothes, and of course vacuum would be lovely!

We would give her bonuses at Christmas. And I feel very strongly about this, so we'd give her something toward medical insurance. It's be great. Maybe she'd be very traditional, wearing one of those maid outfits. Oh wait. Hell no.
Image via Fun House Theatrical
We Could Get Rid Of ALL Our Stuff
Why finish unpacking? We can't take all our stuff to New York anyway. Plus, we're registering for more stuff for the wedding. We need to downsize. I wouldn't want to do a yard sale because there's no way to make that happen realistically out of an apartment in crowded Hyde Park in Chicago.

There is another way...

Image via WizBangBlog
Eh, that might get us in trouble with the law. I'm pretty sure Chicago's fire code doesn't allow that...

So what shall we do? I guess we'll have to grow the hell up and make time to keep our home feeling like the castle it could be.

Image via
 Or maybe I'll just keep repeating, "my home is my castle" until it magically comes true. Where is a fairy godmother when you need one?

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Big Big Day At Work

In the world of organ and tissue donation, there are some big stories, like the time we ended up on ESPN. That was big for us because it generated a lot of goodwill for donation. But on a regular day, it's the little victories that add up and make the work worthwhile.

I'm in training, so every day there are new things to learn and do. Early this morning, I took a giant step forward. This morning was the first time I called the family of a potential donor to request they go through the donation process.

It was very hard for me to do this. Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I don't like asking anyone for anything. It's literally the one part of my job I've been dreading since I got hired.

Luckily, the family I approached was pleasant. I can't go into too many details, but it was relatively painless on my end to get the paperwork completed. I really sympathize with this family and I pray they get peace for their situation.

Even though my hands were freezing as all the blood in my body ran screaming from my extremities, I got through it. Now that I'm on the other side, I can only think about the good that family's gift can do. I was so appreciative of the choice they made in such a difficult time.

It takes a big person to think about someone outside themselves even when they're hurting and grieving. I'm truly blessed to have the job I do.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bonding With Co-Workers

Last night was a kind of busy night at work, but there was still time to chit and chat at work. There was an organ placer working who I'd never met and we hit it off.

We bonded over pets and sports.

She and her husband take care of rescue cats and dogs and she shared some amazing stories about that. I've since decided I really have to go ahead and spend the money to get an automatic litter box cleaner. I shared with her some of my favorite recent pics of our cat Belle.

And the bonding over sports was really great. We're both baseball nuts and have had the pleasure of getting amazing seats at US Cellular Field to see a Sox game. In my post about the best weekend ever, I talked about us going to the game. She and her husband are going this weekend. We had 4th row seats on the first base line. They're getting 3rd row behind the plate. Good times. So I showed her more pics.

Read the scoreboard on this one. It's from when their pitcher got taken out in the 4th inning. Priceless.

I love bonding with co-workers. That is, when they are worth bonding with. 'Nuff said.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Craziness At The Hair Salon

Anyone who knows anything about black culture in America (or who has seen Barber Shop or Beauty
Shop) knows that the buildings in which folks get their hair done is always full of shenanigans.

Barber Shop 01Beauty Shop

 The last time I was at the beauty shop, something unexpectedly ridiculous happened. Well maybe it was expected.

I'm sitting in the chair getting my locs twisted.
This isn't me, but that's what we all looked like in the shop.
There was a woman there getting her hair dyed. She was under the dryer when a young man walks in and hands her a piece of paper. She looks at it.

"What the hell?" she asks.

"The cops gave it to me," he replies calmly.

"They gave this to you?! I got a ticket?! Why didn't you stop them?"

"I was just sitting there and they gave it to me. Do you want it?"

"Nah, take that shit and go back to the car. Damn, boy, why you let me get a ticket?!?!"

After he walks out the shop, she turns toward all of us and says, "why let me get a damn ticket? Him and his cousin sitting in the car and they gon' let me get a ticket. And the boy run track!"

We all began cracking up. Things quickly turned back to discussion of my wedding and the wedding of another one of the stylists who's getting married the same day as me (yay wedding twins).

Shortly after that, no more than 20 minutes, the young man comes back into the shop. This time, he's accompanied by the cops.

"What's going on?" the woman asks.

"Is this young man with you?" asks the cops.

"What did he do now?" asks the woman.

"I didn't do nothing. They just wanted to tell you how to not get another ticket," responds the boy.

"Wait, you brought them in here because I was about to get another ticket? Why didn't you tell me that the first time?"

You could see how mad she was getting. The cops then explained she was parked in a zone that was no parking from 4p-6p (dumb Chicago laws) and she had to move her car or she could get tickets every 15 min until 6 pm.

She hopped out her seat and went to go move her car. The cops and the boy walked out before her. Before she left, she turned back to say, "I thought he was in trouble. I was about to tell those cops he wasn't with me. Lol, good thing I asked questions first!"

We again cracked up laughing. Ah good times. Even though I'm at the shop for hours once a month, the entertainment value is certainly there, even without me keeping my nose stuck in my Kindle. It's like reality tv but less megalomania.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back On The Exercise Bandwagon

I've been getting back in shape, y'all. Cue pleasantly surprised applause. Crickets? Darn.

Well, I haven't been doing it for very long, so there's a chance I'll fall right back off again, but I have hope. The other bride bloggers on have inspired me to not neglect my fitness just because I've got more demands on my time right now. Here's what I've been up to:

I haven't been eating the best diet, but I haven't been eating too badly and I certainly haven't gained any weight. I do have the lucky (I think?) benefit of the opposite of stress eating. When I'm stressed, like I've been with planning this wedding, I don't eat. I will go all day and night and then it occurs to me to eat. It's not that I even get hungry, it's that it crosses my mind that it's been 15+ hours since I've eaten.
I've also been staying away from junk food and fast food for the most part. It's just that pesky home-made baked goods that get to me. I can't help it, I like baking for my man. Easy appreciates it, so I'll keep doing it, just maybe a little less.

Exercise @ Home
My Wii Fit Plus is my best friend. I want to keep it up, but it's hard to find the time when there's so many other things I could be doing at home. But I took some time out of my day yesterday to exercise, and I hope to keep it up the on my next day off. Wish me luck!

Exercise on a Date
Easy and I took a long walk after dinner the other night. It was romantic and sweet. And it was a good exercise. I felt great after that walk. I wasn't tired like I usually am after a big dinner. I'd love to make that a routine to get in some exercise on date nights. At least while it's still warm. I'm not going for a one hour walk in Chicago past October. Maybe by then we'll go jogging instead.

Exercise Away From Home
Starting today, I'm going back to yoga classes. I figure if I go right when I get off work to the early morning class, I should be able to work it into my schedule without losing sleep or anything else. I'm going to try it out this weekend since I work three days and see how it goes. If it goes well, it will be my new plan. Toned thighs, I will welcome you back to my world shortly.

Future Hobby/Plans
I miss rock climbing and ballroom dancing. They were great ways to exercise and have fun. I'll work them into my schedule at some point. Sooner rather than later, I hope.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not Accepting That The Honeymoon Could Be Over

Easy and I have been having some issues lately. I don't want to go into detail, but let's just say they've been big enough where he's questioned more than once whether I would leave him over it.

I think we learned a lot about love and trust and communication in this past week. We learned the actions that match our feelings and words. I was confronted, for the first time, with the depths of my emotion and just what that meant for us as a couple.

After spending years as an emotional dwarf, I've been opening up to Easy about things more and more. Feeling betrayal wasn't something I was prepared to handle. Now that I've been forced to, I honestly feel stronger coming out on the other side of it.

Been tested by fire and emerged stronger. Maybe that means the honeymoon phase is over. Isn't that usually what happens? Reality sets in and suddenly all your fantasies about how things could always be happy float away, like so many hot air balloons.

But I refuse to accept it. Easy certainly wants us to stay in our honeymoon phase forever. I think we can. Knowing that any and every blow to our happiness won't keep us from finding that place again makes me even more confident. Nothing will stop us from looking like this for at least part of every day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Engagement Party For The Ages

Our engagement party was amazing!!!!

There were all these little details there that I can't imagine how my mother pulled off. It was this fantastic party that brought together all the people Easy and I love all into one place.

It alleviated my fears of how well our two families would mix. It also set the stage for a rocking party come February.

I definitely want my wedding to be a big party. Now I really believe that's a possibility.

Up next is writing all the thank you notes for the party. I hate writing thank you notes, but I'm really so grateful to everyone for coming, I will just suck it up and go for it.

Although the party went well, I'm really glad the next event isn't until December. I'm interested to see how that will play out with so many women from my family and Easy's will fit together into one event.

Trying to keep down the stress in life isn't as easy as it usually it. Wedding planning stress, plus short-handed-at-work-whilst-also-training stress, plus settling into life with the fiance stress is a lot. We're trying to stay grounded, and so far it's working.

What should I do to deal with the stress that doesn't involve alcohol or something reckless?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Best Weekend Ever!!!

This weekend should one of the best ever for Easy and I. We had a great week last week between me finishing a huge section of training at work and Easy getting job offers plus finishing recording his CD. And now we have an amazing weekend!

Our engagement party on Saturday. A baseball game on the 4th row on Sunday. I just know it's completely fitting that we should enjoy the hell out of this weekend.

I hope to have lots of great pics to share when the weekend is over.

What are you doing this weekend?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Like A Baby

Not like a baby like that. Well, actually kind of like that. Jake was noisy and uncoordinated. I'm like a baby, at least according to Easy. Just not quite that way.

I am like a baby in that once my basic needs are met, I'm good. I need to be fed, not sleepy, and not cold.

He laughs when he sees that I have a huge attitude and then I eat a sandwich and turn back into Glinda the Good Witch, instead of the alternative.

I never noticed that about myself til he pointed it out. But it's definitely helped me assess my moods and what I need to do to be a more pleasant person more consistently.

I know some people are really even keel and even-tempered. That's never been me and now I know why. All I need is a nap, a sandwich, and a sweater to go through life almost permanently happy.

Anyone ever find out interesting things about their quirk through another person?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Finally Had My Girls' Night Out...

...And it kind of made me feel old. This was actually a while ago, but I"m just now getting around to blogging about it.

My girls came and scooped me up and we headed to Navy Pier. <a href="">Michelle</a> wanted to go to Margaritaville, so we were all down to try it.

I haven't been able to drink tequila since an over-indulgent experience years ago. I can put away tequila shots with the best of them, but it couldn't touch my tongue.

I don't know what the Margaritaville people put in their drinks, but I'm all over a good margarita now since that night. I had a very tasty drink and I've been back on the tequila bandwagon since. I still love you tequila shots, but you're no longer my only agave option. Winning!

There was only one bad thing about the night. My girls brought a new chick to the party. She was sweet and I liked her a lot. After the night, Michelle called to tell me the girls who brought her (her cousins who I call Thing 1 and Thing 2 in my blogs) wanted to apologize for the new chick because she's normally not like that.

"Not like what?" I asked. I found her to be funny and sweet and cool. Apparently, Thing 1 and Thing 2 neglected to tell me their friends was recently un-engaged. They say she's usually more talkative than that and they're sorry she was a wet blanket.

I'd love to see this girl when she's her normal self 'cause I really liked her. But I definitely added Thing 1 and Thing 2 to my list of people who make bad decisions. We spent a good portion of the night talking about my fiance Easy. I was recently engaged at that time.

I didn't bring him up, the twins did. They wanted to congratulate me and then proceeded to ask a ton of questions about him and us and being engaged. Had I known what their friend had been through, I wouldn't have even encouraged that line of convo. I love talking about Easy, 'cause he's wonderful, but not in front of a recently un-engaged girl. Sheesh.

We ended the night early, but we still had fun. We just came back to my apartment and cracked open some wine and beer. It's definitely not the same list of activities (or order) we'd do for a night just a couple years ago, but it was really enjoyable. Getting older isn't the worst thing in the world.

Flaky friends, only Gloria has excuse.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back From The Dead!

My phone is back! Oh yeah!!

<iframe width="425" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I'm feeling very happy because I don't have to shell out unexpected money to get a new Blackberry. I already had to do that last month for my car breaks. Goodness, this being an adult thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I knew that, but I prefer to focus on the positive. And I'm positively happy my phone decided to just start working again.

I miss my friends. I need to catch up with them. I've barely updated <a href="">my other blog</a> with info on their love lives.

And my parents would normally be concerned I'd fallen off the face of the earth. But their new son, Easy is waaay better at keeping in touch than I am. So they know I'm alive 'cause they both talk to him a couple times a week. I think it's pretty sweet actually.

Even though there's so much going on all the time with friends, family, work, romance, and wedding, I finally feel like I can breathe. Maybe it's because I"m getting in a groove. Maybe it's cause Easy and I finally settled an issue that's been hanging out in the background for a while. I'm not sure entirely, but I feel good.

I'm tired as hell cause I only got 3 hours of sleep last night, but I feel good.

I have a very busy weekend coming up with this engagement party, but I feel good.

My apartment still isn't completely unpacked, but I feel good.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Used To Be Something of a Rover

That video is from Guys and Dolls, it's one of my favorite musicals. You should really watch the whole thing, but this scene in particular took on a new meaning for me the other day.

I was watching the movie in my new apartment, and Easy came and joined me about halfway through. When that scene in the video came up, I cracked up laughing. Since the first time I watched this movie, I wanted to be seated next to my significant other so I could be amused by that line.

They really point right at the camera. I still chuckle when I think about it. This happened back when we first moved in together, so that was the end of June.

This sparked a conversation about the changes expected and unexpected about living together. We expected that we'd enjoy each other's company. But we didn't expect to be so happy about it. Even after we spend an entire 24 hour period together, once we separate, one of us calls or texts the other to say, "I miss you already."

We also expected we'd make a good team in the house. We mostly do because of our ability to divide up housework and responsibilities. The hardest thing for me to get used to is how much stuff he uses. Toilet paper, toothpaste, floss, milk, you name it. Easy uses it in ridiculously comically large quantities.

But we're working on better utilization and other solutions. He's trying to use less floss. I agreed not to get upset about his use of toilet paper considering the alternative (yuck!), and now we buy milk two gallons at a time.

An unexpected change was how we consult on our schedules. I wouldn't call either of us fiercely independent, but we also are our own people. An unexpected change was that we both sort of naturally started checking with each other before we make or change plans.

I wonder what other changes we'll begin to notice as more time passes.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Reunion Concert And Phone Woes

It wasn't a reunion for me that I'm talking about. It was for Easy. His friends from high school started a group in which they each played an instrument. Saturday night, they had a reunion concert.

It was at Easy's church. It was really enjoyable. It was gospel music with a jazz flair. I was glad to go with Easy to this concert. I got to spend more time with his friends and bond with them. I also got to chat wedding planning with the sister of Easy's best man.

Here are some photos from the event:

They had a wonderful video that played before and after the show. That is their symbol for MV8.

They started playing and I was immediately enjoying the show. Good times.

Oh yeah, Easy doesn't just play alto sax. He also plays the flute.

And he raps. Well, he hasn't really done it since high school, but he's good at it. He could win a cipher still I bet.

This is the group members who were there for the concert, plus all their friends from high school who came to the show.

This is the five who played in the concert. There are three more who couldn't make the show. I'm hoping they'll play the next one.
They are currently planning on having another show around Christmas. I think it will be even bigger and better and I can't wait.

I love that I'm marrying a musician who's actually talented and undertakes ventures that are easy to support! It would be hard to support an artist who wasn't that good at what they did...

Moving on the phone woes. My Blackberry is acting up. The keyboard is functioning improperly. I really only turn it on to try and check my voicemail. Each time I put in the battery, I have about 3-8 minutes of proper functioning before it goes hay wire.

I'm not due for a phone upgrade until October, so I'm contemplating what to do about the phone. I'm definitely sticking with BB, and I want the flip phone, but I just don't know if I can shell out that extra money right now. Le sigh.

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