Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dancing With The Stars, Top 11, Again

Their premier this season has two weeks of dancing before there is an elimination. I'm a fan of this because it gives us an extra week to get to know the contestants. DWTS is a huge popularity contest, so we're getting to know the less famous contestants before we vote. Also, they're giving the contestants a chance to have a ballroom and Latin dance and get votes for each before elimination. It's just a more well-rounded competition kick-off and I love it.

And can I just say what the fuck is up with Brooke? Why does she refuse to speak into the mic? I seriously can never hear her. Even when I turn up the volume, the music still drowns her, and only her, out. Sigh. On to my opinions because I know you care so much.

Great, Like I Expected/Hoped
Mark Ballas and Chelsie Kane (The Jive): They say they're doing a risky jive. I was excited for the possibilities because I liked her first dance a lot. I know Len is going to hate it because it isn't a traditional jive, but I loved it from the moment they started. They looked like sexy circus dolls or something like that. She's growing on me and I found her more interesteing than last week. I'm officially a fan. I know the judges hated it, but she will get my vote and hopefully she'll stick around. And can I just say, I'm loving their chemistry? I haven't seen him vibe with someone like that since Sabreenah seasons ago.

Cheryl Burke and Chris Jericho (The Quickstep): I had more hope for this week than last week. He may not be good with the steps in the video, but I figured he could get into the character of the dance a bit easier. And I was right. The dance was amazing. His character wasn't as big or outstanding as I would have liked, but that's my only complaint. I thought it was great.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley (The Quickstep): I loved her last week and even though this dance wasn't a Latin dance, but I expected her to still be great. She's so funny and charming (Winning!), and I wanted to see that for the character of this dance. As soon as they started dancing, I kew she had the character of the dance now. She wasn't as light on her feet as I had hoped, but she was simply amazing. She's by far one of my favorites in the competition because she has the whole package.

Lacey Schwimmer and Mike Catherwood (The Jive): I didn't know what to think, but then seeing the video, that made me really raise my expectations for the jive. Not only is he handsome and funny, I think he may be a great dancer (for some dances). I now have hopes for his long-term potential. I was excited to see the dance, and they were great. I liked his movement, especially since the music seemed os dam fast. I doubt anyone else could have danced to that ridiculously fast music. And I'm loving their chemistry. The judges hated it, but I loved it.

Chelsea Hightower and Romeo (The Quickstep): So fine he is. But he still has a ways to go to understand that doing these dances isn't going to ruin his persona. If that was the case, why even be on the show? But after watching the video I had more hope. And I'm liking their chemistry, they're like the new Shannon and Derek. I had my fingers crossed that he could be a gentleman. He impressed me, but I was more impressed by his frame. He wasn't even a bit slouchy. And of course, so sexy. Still reminds me of Will Smith, but this week I'll be voting for him for more reasons than that. And Len Goodman agreed with me!

Karina Smirnoff and Ralph Macchio (The Jive): He isn't as young as he used to be and he's too much in his head. After watching their video, I was concerned, but I had hope. And his kids are adorable. I bet his wife is gorgeous. As soon as the dance started, I felt better that he would be able to pull off a good energetic jive. I didn't like his lines. He didn't seem to be able ot the moves that fast. But everything else was fantastic. Really fantastic. He's quite the entertainer.

Kym Johnson and Hines Ward (Quickstep): After last week, I felt like he could handle a fast-paced choreography-filled dance with fun and excitement. I was really looking forward to his dancing. And the video was adorable. I love seeing Kym learn more about American pop culture. When they started dancing, I was immediately excited about the song. It's one of my favorite Stevie Wonder songs. His face wasn't into the dance, he seemed to be thinking too much. But the dance was really amazing. I hope he can do better for the next ballroom dance. I can't wait to see him do Latin again because I'm quite sure he won't be going home this weekend.

None Too Shabby, But Do Better Next Time
Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya (The Jive): I had hopes for him to do better with a Latin dance rather than a ballroom dance. But he isn't a young guy, so my hopes were tempered. I liked them putting in boxing moves he was familiar with, but with the jive moves, he didn't really look comfortable unfortunately. It was an enjoyable performance, I just hoped he would be lighter on his feet. He had enough energy to make me less than angry about that though. I don't think I'll be voting for him unfortuately.

Louis van Amstel and Kendra wilkinson (The Quickstep): After seeing her video, my suspicions about her rough side were confirmed. But I just love her personality she seems so down to earth. I wasn't too worried about her ability to do the dance like "a lady". She did seem just a bit uncomfortable in her body language, but her steps were great and she seemed great in the dance. And she certainly wasn't effortless. But I want to give her another chance at ballroom.

Dmitry Chaplin and Petra Nemcova (The Jive): I liked them last week, so I expected to like them this week. I was still scared about her abilities with the injuries she's suffered in the tsunami those years ago. Almost immediately, I was a bit bored, but I found her so cute. She wasn't amazing, but she wasn't terrible. And her jive tricks wer ereally something. She just doesn't look like a natural dancer, which is okay. And I love how sweet she is. She's getting a vote more for personality.

Just Awful, Like I Figured/Feared
Tony Dovolani and Wendy Williams (The Quickstep): I still am not a fan, even less so after last week's crash and burn. I just don't think think she has it in her to really learn these dances. Poor Tony. I hope they pair him up with a better person next season. During the video, I was just frustrated with her. Why is she feeling sad about the criticism? She sucked. But I relaxed and tried to give her a more open shot this week. But I had low hopes for this week, even though Tony had more hope for her. When the dance started, I at least was in love with song selection. It's one of my favorite songs for dancing. It turns out she was a bit better because the dance didn't require her to move more of her body than just her feet. But it was still super boring. How can she have so much ersonality and then get on that floor and be so lackluster? WTF?!

This week, I voted for Kendra and Louis, Chelsie and Mark, Chris and Cheryl, Petra and Dmitry, Kitstie and Maks, Mike and Lacey, Romeo and Chelsea, and Hines and Kym. I think it's pretty obvious who I want to go home. My early prediction is that the final three is Chelsie and Mark, Kirstie and Maks, and Romeo and Chelsea, and Ralph and Karina.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Taking A Break From Blogging

I'm just taking a self-imposed four day break from blogging. I need to focus on my upcoming GRE test and job interview. I'll be back shortly, but maintaining three blogs is a lot of time that could be better spent improving my future, you know?

I may still do the update blogs for the reality TV shows I watch, those don't take a lot of time, but anything about my personal life will have to wait until Thursday night or Friday. See you then!

A Long Weekend, But A Great Weekend

I've been moving and shaking all weekend long. I wasn't even home long enough to sit down and put together a blog. I know my next couple of weekends will be busy as well, so perhaps I'll write blog posts ahead of time so I'm not going days without posting. Here are the highlights from my weekend:

  • I went over to my grandmother's house to do her hair. She needed a touch up to her relaxer. Hilarity ensued. She also asked a million questions about Easy, but I think she ended with a positive opinion of him.
  • Friday afternoon I caught up on missed episodes of TV, specifically Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. Those episodes were really something. I was so sad Addison wasn't pregnant, you know?
  • Friday night, I went bowling for league night. I bowled my Dad's team and they almost beat us. But I managed to pull out an amazing last three frames; and I bowled my first Turkey!! That's three strikes in row. My team ended up getting more points than his, yay!

  • First thing in the morning, my Dad and I got up and headed to Aurora, IL for his very first bowling tournament. He did very well and I'm super proud of him.
  • We went to lunch with his bowling team and those people were funny. One drunk woman, a joke so funny it made a grown man cry, my Dad booby-trapping the ketchup and squirting our waitress, and a whole bunch of bacon. Who wouldn't want that?
  • Saturday afternoon we headed to our church district's mission festival. Soo much blue, and fancy church hats, that's about it.
  • Saturday evening I went out with some friends from church and the bowling league. It was one guy's birthday. I had fun, but having given up alcohol for Lent, it was less fun that it could have been. I felt also kind of old. I'm only 26, but apparently the height of my club days are behind me. I just missed clubbing in college and how much fun I always had with my friends. I'm hoping I can capture some of that when I go visit Florida next month.

  • I got home super late (like 4 am), so I was very sleepy. I didn't wake up to go with my Dad for the second day of the bowling tournament. But I maintain he didn't try hard enough to wake me.
  • I also missed church. It's happened before and it will happen again. It's hard to get up without help sometimes. I'm just not a morning person.
  • My grandmother's 70th birthday was today. All her children and grandchildren and great-grandchild(except two) were there. We brought dinner and cake and hung out with her all day. We laughed and talked and played with the baby and had some great family time. I really love my mom's side of the family and it had been so long since we all hung out.

Anything exciting or interesting happen in anyone else's weekend?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trying To Have "A Small Wedding"

First, let me explain what's up with the multiple wedding-themed posts. I don't think I come off as a particularly crazy person. I'm not engaged yet, but I will be sooner rather than later (at least that's what Easy keeps telling me).

Since the thought of being engaged and wed and married came up and had such a concrete timeline, I began looking at wedding blogs. I may be fanciful and hopeful and a dreamer, but I'm also a planner and somewhat realistic. Easy and I want a short engagement. That's not a lot of time to sort out all the details required to plan a wedding.

Also, I love blogging. It's my new thing that keeps me sane. One of my favorite wedding blogs, http://www.weddingbee.com/, has bloggers. They choose women that are on their way to getting married and have them post blogs about the process. This is something that I would love to do and therefore am writing on my personal blog with the types of posts I would put on that website, should I be chosen to be a Bee. I am submitting an application at once I get engaged because we will be within the timeline of approaching a wedding they want when selecting new Bees.

I think I have a unique take on the idea of planning a wedding. I certainly don't see a lot of Bees that look like me (I mean African-American). Also, I'm doing wedding planning, with the help of the man I'll be marrying, before we're even engaged. I have a lot of great ideas I'd love to explore and so cross your fingers that they'll choose me! If they do, I'll let you all know how to read everything I post there, in addition to all the other great content on the website.

Something I would definitely discuss is wedding guest number. I have always wanted a small wedding. Some people describe small as 30-50 people. That's not even close to what I mean by small. Easy and I both have a lot of friends, so we're looking at 24 people including us, our wedding party, and our two pastors. Add in immediate family and we're talking another 50. Then close friends and extended family, you know people who hop on planes across state lines to watch you graduate from college, and we're adding another 50 people. This is between the two of us.

Ideally, I'd like a "small" wedding with no more than 120 people. Easy thinks this is feasible, but we're already expanding the list. We talked a lot about who our wedding party would include and since our first conversation about it a week and half ago, we've added two more people each. His family is way bigger than mine and I wanted to use my extra number to invite more friends, but that's a difficult decision too because he'll want his close friends there too.

When it's finally time to sit down and make a firm (ha, I dream of final decisions that stay final) decision of who will receive invites, I already know we'll go above 120. And that will still be our "small wedding." It sounds more reasonable to me when I think of my brother. He and his fiancee were planning a wedding for this August, and they were looking at a couple hundred people. Also, a friend of ours got married last June and their reception had 350 people. They're ceremony had hundreds more. So in the world I come from, 120 is small.

But wedding size a big detail. The number of people will directly affect our overall budget. I'm excited and also a bit afraid to see how it will turn out. I don't want a big wedding budget and the number of people will blow that budget right out into the stratosphere if we're not lucky. Easy and I aren't very private people, so we've shared with our family and close friends (and even not-so-close friends) the situation.

The main reaction has been, "wow, that's a lot to have planned out to that much detail already!" I think they think we're completely crazy. But Easy and I don't listen. Being engaged for less than a year doesn't leave much time to sort out all those issues, so we're starting now. My mother recently told me that she and my father did the same thing. They were planning out the details of their wedding and marriage before they were officially engaged.

I know it's a leap of logic to make this assumption, but they've been married 32 years, so they must have done something right. And in just a couple more posts, I'll be used to discussing our discussions about this eventual wedding and will stop apologizing for it. Probably.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Idol, Top 11

American Idol was so amazing tonight. I just wanted to say that before I say anything else. But before I get to the singers, what was up with J-Lo's clown face? Too much makeup, yuck. Now onto to my reactions for the night.

Yeah! You Rocked!
Casey Abrams: so great. He looks more like Zach Galfanakis (sp?) than Seth Rogan this week, but he sounded amazing. Telling him to use more voice control was perfect advice. Perfect song choice too.
Jacob Lusk: seeing him sing with control was amazing! His voice is something soooo beautiful. I just love his voice. Tingles and goose bumps baby.
Lauren Alaina: love her voice and her look. Great take on the song. She should train Thia on stage presence.
Stefano Langone: wow, he got me with that "I love you" at the end. I wanted him to connect more to the audience and he didn't do it. He was really sounding good, but I paid more attention to those closed eyes! But he got me at the end.
Scotty McCreery: I had low low hopes for him this week. But he was fantastic. A country version of Stevie Wonder's version of that song? Who knew? But it was amazing! Not his strongest performance, but if this is as bad as it gets, I hope he's around to the end.
Pia Toscano: looked and sounded amazing as usual. This chick knows how to grow the story of a song. Usually a song that slow leaves me bored, but Pia is nothing if not interesting.
Paul McDonald: I finally get him! He was soo great tonight. Putting his own spin on one of my fave oldies songs did the trick. Wow!
Naima Adedapo: finally a song selection that fits her and the type of song that will get her votes. And she got that dancing/singing combo right finally! So great. And it was the type of ethnicity not seen before out in the mainstream too often.

I Loved It, But I'm Not In Love With It
Thia Megia: she finally wasn't boring, at least for the verses. I wanted to like it more than I did. How can someone that smiley and bouncy bore me? I dunno, whatever. Her voice is absolutely amazing to my ears though.
Haley Reinhart: Her lack of voice control stood out compared to all those before her, but she sounded really good to me. I don't know what she could have done better, it just wasn't my favorite.
James Durbin: I think he missed the soul of the song. But he did sound goo. Really good.

Thia was better than boring this week. So no one is in this category.

So Bad
They're all so good. No one did poorly. Maybe next week I'll get rid of the "bad" category. They're down to few enough people where no one is bad.

I voted for Casey, Jacob, Lauren, Stefano, Scotty, Pia, Paul, Naima. I'm listening to clown-face J. Lo and only voting for my favorites. Just the people I really want to keep around.

America's Next Top Model, Top 9

I talk about American Idol and Dancing With The Stars, and I want to talk about America's Next Top Model too. So I am. They're down to nine contestants. Here's my reactions to each girl.

Kasia: got the top pic last week. She isn't impressive enough to be the second plus size model winner. At least not yet. I'm underwhelmed. And she's um...not an animal person. Poor girl. But her photo looked amazing. Much better than her photo shoot showed.

Dalya: has modelling experience, but I'm not blown away by her yet. She's just...blank. No expression. They should have written a script for her in that commercial. I hated the photo, and I don't know that she would get better. So I'm not sad to see her gone.

Alexandria: Ms. Bossy. Shut up and model! And none of the girls like her. I know editing adds to it, but she's not likable. Hearing about her background makes her more bearable, but she's gotta draw a line between strong and bitchy. I liked her photo, but it wasn't amazing.

Molly: a trooper dealing with that horrible weave! And then she had to work with Alexandria's jerky self. I'm not sure I like her for long-term. Her photo wasn't so good either. I'm glad they're giving her another chance.

Monique: I just love her. She's not too sexy. And I love her personality. And she handles Alexandria the best I think. Her photo is amazing. I would be happy with her winning.

Mikaela: at first, I'm like who? I apparently had blocked her because of the eyebrows. Gotta love the potty mouth. Her photo was drag-queen-ish. Maybe it's just those darn eyebrows!

Brittani: love the haircut, hate her voice. But if she gets her confidence up, she'll be amazing. The best photo I think was hers. Her face, the animal, the clothes.

Jaclyn: soooo cute. She's like a cute little chipmunk with the voice and the eyes. And that girl can pull off a red or hot pink lip like no one else can! Her photo was amazing. I don't know that I want her to win, but I hope she sticks around for a few more weeks.

Hannah: I love her natural funkiness. It's better because she's so sweet. The animal looked like clothes on her. Great photo. I'd be happy if she won.

Baby-sitting An Entire Family

I've got a number of posts that are just sitting in drafts waiting to be finished and posted. It has been an eventful last seven days. But Easy requested I finally finish and post this one, so I'm skipping a few and getting right to this one. The other's can wait.

There's only one kid in my family that needs baby sitting. It's my younger cousin's baby son, whom I haven't actually met yet. So it's safe to say I'm not referring to him when I say I baby-sat an entire family. Of course, I'm talking about Easy's family. Last weekend, Easy was out of town, but most of the women in his family weren't. That mean someone had to take care of their children.

The oldest of Easy's nieces who live in the Chicago area is 19 years old. She's in college, but was home for that weekend. She agreed to watch the kids. That included an 11 year old, two 4 year olds, and a 1 year old. I had only met the 11 and 4 years olds, so I was glad to be around for a bit to spend some time with them. I expected to see them for a bit before Easy and I headed out, but that's not at all what happened.

I got there last Friday afternoon to spend some time with Easy before we headed up to Hyde Park (one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago) to meet one of his friends and that friend's girlfriend for an early dinner. Then we were supposed to head to the bowling alley for my league bowling night. Then we were either gonna go out again or just hang out the two of us. I was gonna head back home and get up the next day to have a girls' day with my mom. None of it happened as expected.

Almost right after I got to Easy's parent's house, the oldest niece shows up with the smallest three. Then she had to go pick up the 11 year old which left the bottom three with us. But then Easy had to get in the shower, so it was just me. The two 4 year olds (who are twins) were fascinated with the baby and interested in playing with her with no concept of how not to be too rough on the baby. All of them are friendly and patient so it was fun, if nerve wracking. Easy gets out of the shower and starts to get dressed.

I was so glad to see him because I figured he could help me split up the kids so I didn't have to watch the 1 year old while trying to make sure the 4 years olds were being safe and not about to crush the 1 year old. He was setting up the gate on the steps and the four year old decided to watch television in the back room. They demanded that the 1 year old join them. She followed them back there but quickly got bored and left the room. One of the 4 year olds chased her to get her to come back, but quickly over took her. The 1 year old tripped and long story short, the 1 year old ended up sliding face first into the side of a china cabinet and bleeding out of her nose.

The doctor training in me came out and I checked  her over. No broken bones, no excessive bleeding, no mouth trauma, just a hurt face and feelings. We cleaned the area, hugged her, warned the 4 year olds about chasing the not-yet-toddler, and resumed our day. The 1 year old decided it was piano time. I sat her down on Easy's parents' piano and this baby was a GENIUS on the piano. One years old and able to do things that most people can't do at any point in their lives. She was playing individual notes and singing them back perfectly on pitch. When I noticed what she was doing, I started playing notes, and she would play the same note in a different octave and sing it. Easy began playing songs that he plays for his kids (he's an elementary school music teacher) and she was singing along. Not real words, she's too young to talk, but she can mumble along in the right key. And she can clap and play in a rhythm that matches what you just did.

I was amazed. I've only ever seen one small child do anything close to that and that kid was almost 3! Easy called his sister (the 1 year old's grandmother) and some other family members and had them listen on the phone to what she was doing. That baby is a virtuoso! So amazing.

We finally left when the two older nieces returned and were late to dinner. When we go to the restaurant, without my bowling ball, we were in the middle of an argument, and the friend wasn't there. We didn't have time to eat barely as it was and the friend was at a freaking car wash. We had to take a rain check and headed back south to get my bowling ball. The argument didn't get any better so we took a break from each other and I went bowling by myself.

While I was bowling, we working out the argument via text messaging. I love that he and I can't argue for long. We're both solutions people, so we spend more time working out a solution than we do arguing back and forth for the sake of arguing. But after bowling, I headed back to Easy's parents' house. The kids were all down and Easy and I talked and finished out our solution to whatever the argument was about.

But then the 1 year old woke up. She wasn't happy about spending the night in a strange house and Easy went and got her out of the bed. I was helping him get her to calm down. We walked, we rocked in the rocking chair, we spoke in soothing voices. And because he's practically a narcoleptic after 11 pm, I took over when he fell asleep. I ended up falling asleep cuddling her in Easy's bed while he slept in the rocking chair in the basement. When I awoke the next morning, she was sleeping peacefully. I do like a baby that can sleep a whole night as long as she's comfortable.

Easy was talking a lot about how nurturing I was with the baby on Friday afternoon, night and Saturday morning. I really enjoyed spending time with the kids and it was funny to me after that because kept touching my stomach. I would push his hand away and say, "stop plotting on my uterus!" It made him laugh and made me chuckle. I'm glad that we're on the same page when it comes to our future. We're sure we want to get married and start a family together. But we agree that kids are at least three to four years away. So no plotting on my uterus!

I would say more about the kids, like watching the 11 year old roller blade, and trying to help the 19 year old mature and get around the city without a GPS, but this post is getting too long. I will just end with this statement. I'm so glad the1 year old is Easy's god daughter. I am so looking forward to being a big part of her life and helping her hone her piano skills. I promise that girl is a natural! She's gonna be great.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Can't Connect To The Internet

I'm sending this from my cell. I can't connect to the internet. I don't know if my brother is eating the internet or simultaneously downloading eight videos, but for some reason, whenever he is home, there is limited internet access. Stupid XBox 360 and iPad.

But I will be back hopefully later today to blog today's posts.
CeCe Savage

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The GRE Is Approaching Fast

I'm a good test taker, so I figured I wouldn't need a whole bunch of time to prep for the GRE. I took a practice test and wasn't too freaked out, so I went ahead and registered for the test. But now that it's next Wednesday, it seems so soon.

I'm not exactly freaking out, but I do wish I had more time. It feels like a lot of things are happening. When I spent the last year sort of floating out there not knowing which direction was the best to go, now things are feeling two steps under overwhelming. They're just whelming I guess.

But I am looking forward to having that step done. The types of grad programs I'm interested in do take MCAT scores, but mine are so freaking old, I have to take the GRE. I am just glad I'll have this step done next week.

I'll walk out of the testing center with a good score (hopefully!) and one less thing to worry about next year when it's time to apply for grad school. Easy feels very strongly that New York is where he wants to go get his Master's Degree. I feel very strongly that I will be there with him.

It's time to dream. Imagine if in Fall 2012, He's getting a Master's in Jazz Studies from Julliard (did I spell that right?) and I'm getting a Master's in Public Health from NYU. Who knows if we'd even get into those schools or could even afford them, but it's nice to dream. Nothing is set in concrete yet, but it's nice to dream. And the dreaming is a nice escape from the reality of preparing a job interview on Friday and the GRE next Wednesday. Yikes!

Dancing With The Stars, The First 11

I didn't actually get to watch this live tonight because I was out with my mom. We were making up for her double booking me and my father on Saturday. I'll explain that in another post, so on to DWTS!

Thank God for the internet because if I had to wait to watch it online, I wouldn't be able to vote. And by the time we got home, my dad was watching the tv we DVR on, so it was on to sidereel.com to watch the show.
Before I get to my reactions, can I express how sad I am that there's no Corky Ballas on this season? I love him. Couldn't they haven't gotten anyone older than 60 year old Kirstie Alley? Well, nothing can be done about it now. Here are my reactions.

Here's What I Think Of The Partners Before The Dancing Has Begun:
Mark Ballas and Chelsea Kane: haven't bothered to look up into on her cause I just don't care yet. He always gets the quiet fire chick, so I'm hoping she just skips the part where she starts off boring.
Tony Dovolani and Wendy Williams: Poor Tony, why does he keep getting these chicks. You think they'd do better for him after the fiasco with Kate from Kate Plus Eight. I think Wendy would be better with Margaret Cho's partner from last season, Louis van Amstel.
Kym Johnson and Hines Ward; she's great with big teddy bear type guys, so I have hopes that that's how he'll be.
Dmitry Chaplan and Petra Nemcova: He's sweet and I think she is too. Perhaps they'll just be the sweet couple, like Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas were.
Chelsie Hightower and Romeo: They probably won't have the chemistry Lacey had with Kyle last season, but they will be young and fun.
Anna Trebunskaya (sp?) and Sugar Ray Leonard: she always gets the men firecrackers and does well with athletes. I'm looking forward to this pairing, since I now expect him to be a firecracker.
Louis van Amstel and Kendra Wilkinson: I don't know much about her, but he always has extra fun with his women, so hopefully she'll be more fun than the last bunny on the show.
Karina Smirnoff and Ralph Macchio: she always brings out the sexy in her partners who are actors, not as much as some other women, but she will definitely utilize his acting skills and it will be nice to get to see if he can pull off sexy.
Cheryl Burke and Chris Jericho: Um... this could work. I now wish I had paid more attention when being forced to watch wrestling by an old flame. But from what I know about her, if they do have chemistry, it'll be great for their dancing, really great.
Lacey Schwimmer and Mike Catherwood: She always gets the rock and roll guys. I'm guessing he's wild and crazy, but sweet at heart. Showing his softer, sexier side, will be her mission for the season.
Maksim Schmerkovsky (seriously, sp?) and Kirstie Alley: I can't wait to see if he makes her cry. And we know for sure that he'll get her down to a sexy diet-commercial size like four episodes into the show.

And Now For the Dances
Great, As Expected/Hoped
Kym Johnson and Hines Ward (The Cha-Cha): They seem fun together. I had hope from watching the video before the dance began. And they were fun! And he was pretty good, and sooo sexy. I definitely had hope that he'd match up to the other football players, and so far, he's right on target.
Karina Smirnoff and Ralph Macchio (The Foxtrot): He's funny and they have a pretty good chemistry. I just know that with the chemistry, and if his natural talent isn't completely lacking, I figured they would be fine. And I was right, except they were better than fine. So charming, so enjoyable, so great. Not technically perfect, but with his over-analyzing, it will get better sooner rather than later.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley (The Cha-Cha): I already just knew I would be amazed at her wit and the craziness sure to come out of Kirstie's mouth. I knew Maks would work her and get her in shape. But I didn't know what to expect from the first night of dancing. All I knew is I was anticipating it sooo much. If the dances suck, at least I know their pre-dance video will be my highlight of each episode. But. She. Was. Amazing. 60 years old, say what? Overweight, shut yo mouth! Kirstie has amazing timing and musicality. And still great legs. She's getting my extra votes for sure!

Who Knew You Could Dance
Mark Ballas and Chelsea Kane (The Foxtrot): can I first say that I love her personality! I've been bitching about not having any idea who this chick was, but I don't care. And I love her with Mark. I wish I could put her under the Great category, but it certainly wasn't expected. I didn't care til I saw her dance. A Foxtrot is the perfect opening dance for a Disney star, they're used to being that needfully exuberant. The dance was fun and sexy and not too bad on the technical stuff. I hope she lasts in this season.
Dmitry Chaplin and Petra Nemcova (The Foxtrot): With her injuries, I didn't really expect her to be able to do much. Add in the emotional pain because of the tsunami, and I'd be genuinely surprised if she looked great dancing. She ended up being waay better than I expected. She had no problem acting out the character of the dance and being very elegant. I would like a better connection between her and Dmitry, but that may come with time.

Louis van Amstel and Kendra Wilkinson (The Cha-Cha): She has more soul than I expected. And I always love him. I think they might be a better match than I originally anticipated.I definitely like her personality more than I expected. She's fun! The dance was fun, but I wonder if the orchestra was playing it too fast; it seemed...ready to fly off the rails. But I definitely want to see what else she can do.

Lacey Schwimmer and Mike Catherwood (The Foxtrot): I feel like I learned so much about him in this one video. I don't know about the chemistry between him and Lacey, but she never has chemistry right away. And I know they'll be hilarious together in about four weeks. But I had no expectations for the dancing. She smartly limited his moves, but the ones he did I actually really enjoyed watching. He will the one who, if he sticks around, becomes this magically amazing dancer by week eight. I see now why they put these two together. He's the funny diamond in the rough, just like Kyle and Steve-O. Well, more Kyle, but you get my point.

Just Okay, Like I Figured/Feared
Chelsie Hightower and Romeo (The Cha-Cha): I so wanted him to make up for his dad's dancing back in Season 2. He reminds me of Will Smith, which basically guarantees him a vote. But damn, if I was voting on skills, he would be gone! It was painful to watch right from the beginning. He's too cool for school. I expected better from someone who is a football player, but then again maybe not. The only thing he had right was the placement of his feet.

Anna Trebunskaya and Sugar Ray Leonard (The Foxtrot): He should be light on his feet and intense. That's what I expect from her too. But the man wasn't a natural in the video. His darn shoulders were God-awful. The dancing wasn't terrible. I didn't feel lit-up like I should have. Whatever.
Cheryl Burke and Chris Jericho (The Cha-Cha): I doubted he could dance, and I didn't care if he would prove me wrong. After the video, I still didn't care, but my hopes were raised that he wouldn't suck. And I was right, he didn't suck. He's definitely a performer. What can I say? I still don't care about his dancing, but his personality is growing on me.

Not Good, Who Knows If You'll Improve
Tony Dovolani and Wendy Williams (The Cha-Cha): They definitely started off picking dances that are perfect for the contestants. I expected her to be too over-the-top, but I was so wrong. She was underwhelming. She looked timid and unsure. I would have preferred over-the-top. Won't be voting for her.

You Sucked, Why Did You Agree To Do This Show:
The closest anyone came to sucking was Romeo, but he has such performance skills, that his dancing skills were overshadowed and didn't bring it down.

I gotta say, I was completely in agreement with the judges votes once they started off giving Chelsea and Mark three 7s. I truly enjoyed this premiere. I voted for Chelsea and Mark, Hines and Kym, Petra and Dmitry, Romeo and Chelsie, Kendra and Louis, Ralph and Karina, Mike and Lacey, Kirstie and Maks

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Job Interview That I'm Truly Looking Forward To

I got a call from a woman back in December about a job I applied for that sounded like a perfect use of my skills. I don't want to go into too many details, but when it comes to dealing with death, empathy is the preferred course of action, not apathy. Seeing as how that was one of the reasons I left medical school, it sounded perfect.

But I didn't get the message. I have since vowed to check my messages as soon as I get them. I'm still working on that. I currently have 4 unheard voicemails... But anyway, when I finally called her back, I heard no response. I figured I had missed the boat and the job had gone to someone else. This frustrated me, but I kept it moving and continued applying for every job that sounded close to a good idea.

But I got an e-mail from the woman earlier today. She said they'd had a hiring freeze before and now were looking to fill that same position I had previously applied for. I was over the moon. She asked if she could set up a telephone interview and I let her know we should do it right then. We talked and she seemed to like me and think I was good enough to go to the next step of the interview process.

So now I have an in-person interview this Friday. I'm not saying more because I don't want to jinx it. But I'm so excited because this is the first opportunity I've really had at a job that strikes my fancy. I'd be doing work that uses some of the skills I learned while in medical school and college. And I'd be making a real difference in the world around me.

Can you tell I'm excited? Even if this doesn't pan out like I want it to, it's the fact that I finally got an interview that is for a job I'd really really want. Yay!

The First Step Towards Some Form Of Income

I've decided that being a stripper just isn't for me. I would always feel self-conscious about my small frame. So I had to decide something else to make money. I decided I would try and see if I could scare up some paid business online doing tutoring.

I already tutor for free at my church. But it would be a good livelihood if I could get paid to do it too. It's really driving me crazy that I have no income to speak of. I took some steps and that makes me happy. I have found several companies online that match families and tutors. I hope to hear something back in the next couple of days, but if I don't, I will be back on the grind looking for another option.

I wonder if there is some way for me to set up my own thing, but I don't have the resources to do the necessary advertising to attract clients. But I can dream about the possibilities. I'm a great tutor. I see real results. It would be nice to have that job option until all the applications I've been filling out for research positions net something other than thanks-but-no-thanks e-mails.

Here's hoping I don't have to learn to pole dance. I'm too clumsy for that shit.

Dancing With The Stars, The Premiere

I did a post on my ranty blog about Dancing With the Stars. I wasn't sure at the time if I was going to cover it on that blog or this one. But seeing as how I've been talking about American Idol here, DWTS gets the main blog treatment as well.

If you look at that post, I've already covered the main points about the cast of Season 12. But it starts tonight and I'm super excited. Because I'm in Chicago, I have no live music show to go to and therefore will be completely uninterrupted in my enjoyment of the premier. My parents won't even be home because they have their weekly Weight Watchers meeting.

The people I'm looking forward to seeing most is:
Romeo. Not only is he adorably sexy (I think that's a thing, haha), I'm really looking forward to his dancing. I hope he can dance. After the crap his father pulled on the show with not even trying ten seasons ago, I'd hope he wouldn't be on the show unless he intended to actually try to win.
Ralph Macchio. I just like him. And I'm dying to see if he can really dance.
Kirstie Alley. I can't wait to see how much weight she loses and I know she's going to have hilarious things to say.

The people I'm looking forward to seeing least is:
Wendy Williams. I'm an anti-fan. It's not just indifference, I really don't like having to watch or listen to this lady. I hope she doesn't last long. She would have to be an amazing dancer and surprisingly sweet for me to even consider voting for her.
Mike Catherwood. I'm still like, who is this guy? I've googled and wikipediad him. I'm feeling a strong sense of "meh".
Chelsea Kane. I don't know her. She's the first Disney star on the show who I've never heard of or seen before. Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe she's just not that fantastic. Either way, I think they could have picked a better, more-well-known choice for their Disney star. Not looking forward to this. I'm sure she can dance. I'm sure she's surprisingly sexy. Whatever.

If you might watch this show, don't forget to vote. I'm still not over what happened to Sabrina Bryan all those years ago.

The Things I Know For Sure About My Wedding

I know I'm not engaged yet. So what. Easy and I have been making our own rules up to this point, so why stop now? I am at this moment giving myself permission to dream about, and plan for, the future which will be here shortly.

We have discussed what we want in terms of wedding party and guest list. But I have a confession to make. Ever since his comment about Mardi Gras, I've been paying more attention to wedding blogs. I can't quite bring myself to purchase a wedding magazine yet, so blogs are my way of looking into this without (hopefully) going completely wedding crazy. The following is what I know so far about my preferences for a wedding.

I don't want to get married in a church though I do want my pastor to do the wedding. And Easy's pastor should be there too. I've seen ceremonies that are interfaith that have two people officiating a wedding. I think it's not that odd to have two people over a wedding even though they don't come from different faiths.


I want all my bridemaids' dresses to be different, but not so different that they blend in with the rest of the wedding dresses. I love all the dresses I've seen on different websites, but the ones that are too different just look like they're doing too much to me. I want all my brides to have the same color dress, but with different patterns that flatter their body type and a length appropriate for the weather of the season of the wedding.

I don't want a traditional dress for me or tux for Easy. He has amazing taste in suits, so I know he'll come up with something great for the men in the wedding party. We saw this great suit idea at the mall one day, and he loved it, and I knew whatever he came up with would be fantastic. I wish I could have found it online, but I found something that conveyed the same sense of style. For me, a traditional white gown just wouldn't do. I need some pattern or color. I'll hold off on too much description until I start dress shopping and am able to determine that what I want is available.

Source #1 Source #2
 I don't want to be bullied into inviting people to my wedding that I haven't already decided I want there. I think that's self-explanatory. Expanding a guest list for people that have to come is fine, but going way over budget so someone's feelings won't get hurt is not something I can even begin to care about.

I want a feeling of nature at my wedding. I'm talking tons of flowers, and maybe leaves and branches too. I love the feeling of being outside. And if we are going to get married in the winter, I have to have that sense of outside brought indoors.


I want the music and food to be amazing. Seriously, food, music, and flowers will be the bulk of the wedding planning and cost. I have been to so many weddings where the meal was banquet roast chicken with mashed potatoes and string beans and a choice of water or iced tea. That's fine for some people, but I care waaaay too much about food to let that happen at my own wedding. Also, since Easy is a musician, getting amazing music from a live band/DJ will be no problem.

That's pretty much it for the wedding planning up til now. I have a lot of great ideas, and for me, keeping track of my preferences is the only way to not go completely crazy and forget my ability to make concrete decisions I won't regret later.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Bad Part About Chicago

I forget sometimes about the downside of being in this city I've been here less than 2 days and I feel it again already. Living in Chicago means living with my parents, having no good reason to get out of bed in the morning (or afternoon).

Sure there is the time with friends and family, but not anything I really need. Everywhere there are reminders of the life I gave up plus the life I said I was switching to but haven't yet achieved.
It sucks, but I gotta figure out a way to be happy in Chicago. It reminds me of what my friend Top went through right before she moved to NYC.

Being close to my friends and family is very important to me. But feeling like I have a purpose is important too. Not having a source of income sucks. But I've got a new idea for what to do in the meantime.
I can tutor and I'm damn good at it. I really could never be a teacher, but maybe I could be a tutor and coach for things like college and scholarship applications. I already do those things for free, but I could probably find a way to get paid doing it. So that is what I'll be working on while I'm here in Chicago. I'm sick of feeling helpless to make a way for myself. There's something I can do and damnit, I'm at least going to try.

What "trying" entails exactly is something I haven't decided. But once I know, I'll explain it here on this blog first.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weirdness In My Blog

I deleted almost everything from my blog's side panels. I don't know what I recently added that made it not load, but I have fixed the problem so that it does load now. I just have to figure out how many add-ons I can have and still have my blog the way we like it. Thanks to the people who pointed out that it wasn't just my computer having trouble loading it. Hopefully the technical difficulties are over.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

American Idol Top 12

This week, I was looking forward to American Idol because of the theme. Each week, they have a specific theme or artist for the contestants to focus on. This week, the focus was music from the year you were born. Most of the contestants are pretty young so most of the music came from the late 80s and early 90s. Two people even attempted Whitney Houston songs. Here are my rankings: Super, Good, Shoulda Been Better, Yuck, and Meh. I have each person in a category as well as why I put them there.

Super: Stefano Langone (what can I say? I loved the song, his voice, the arrangement, everything! I love him);
Pia Toscano (she really has grown on me. She sounds great, way better than Haley's ass, and she looked great and moved great. So great);
Scotty McCreery (so wonderful, as usual. Always a favorite);
Karen Rodriguez (I thought she might be boring, but she wasn't. I love that song from my early childhood and she sang it beautifully);
Casey Abrams (I'm loving, as usual, the risks he takes. He makes me wish I was a teenager with kelly bundy and zach morris);
Lauren Alaina (totally made up for last week. Great. Just great);
Jacob Lusk (what?! Rock? I loved it!)

Good: Paul McDonald (eh, I'm still not a fan, but he sounded food. Whatever);
James Durbin (again, not a huge fan, but I can't deny the man has skills, and he get mad points for personality)

Shoulda Been Better: Naima Adedapo (they were right about her being uncomfortable with moving while singing. I say give her a chance to build up the resistance and jump And sing);
Haley Reinhart (I love whitney, and Haley's version didn't suck. But it sounded karaoke)

Yuck: nobody, so many were great. And no one was yucky.

Meh: Thia Megia (again boring. Whatever)

This week, I'm voting for Pia, Jacob, Lauren, Karen, Stefano, Casey, Scotty. Naima gets another chance to get her freaking song selection right. I've given up on Thia. Too boring.

Back In Chicago

I drove toward Chicago Wednesday around noon, and made a two hour stop in East St. Louis to hang out a bit with Lion and then I was on the road. When I finally got on the road, I felt good. I wasn't too tired to drive. I hate driving tired. I spent half the drive on the phone with Easy and half the drive listening to Michael Jackson music on my Kindle.

I love that I can listen to music on my Kindle in my car. I just play it the same way I'd play an iPod. Yay for technology. Anyway, I was hoping to get back in time to catch American Idol on television live, but then Michelle asked if we could hang out tonight. I hadn't hung out with my girls in Chicago in what felt like forever, so I was willing to forgo watching American Idol live just to hang out with them.

But luckily, Camille was still at the library studying. So I got to watch American Idol, America's Next Top Model, and Chopped All Stars before it was time to head out. Camille, Michelle, two of our other friends, and I headed out to Hooters to get some chicken wings. We had a very good time while we were out. Laughing and joking and catching up. I feel very lucky to have a great group of women to hang out with.

And these women are the type of women I can grow with. We were definitely having a good time, and we were discussing what our friendship would be like as we aged. We were talking about trading in nights out at Hooters for dinner parties. If that was mentioned a few years ago, I'm sure the conversation wouldn't have ended so well, but it was an idea everyone was open to, at least in theory. So it's good to know as I get older and have different preferences, I won't have to replace my friends with more age-appropriate ones.

After we ate, we headed to Gloria's house to hang out with her. She couldn't come out with us because she has a two year old son and can't make spontaneous plans like that. But we brought her chicken and we hung out and caught up.

The whole time I was out, I was texting Easy back and forth. We even made plans to try and get our friends to all hang out together to celebrate St. Patrick's day up on the north side of Chicago. I think it will be fun, and I'm definitely interested to see how our friends will all get along. I'm extra interested in seeing if the pairings I thought my work between his guys and my girls will be cool. I hope our plans don't fall through. But as long as I'm spending time with Easy and my girls, I know it will be fun.

I definitely love that Easy is a solutions guy. I talked about feeling like I wasn't paying as much attention to various parts of my life that I should, and he comes up with a plan to combine them. So I get to hang out with my girls, spend time with him, and get to know his friends better. And I thought he was a terrible multi-tasker, haha.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Last Of My Dream Dates... And Back To Chicago

Date #3: Tuesday Afternoon. I thought we were going to spend the whole day inside, just hanging out when we first woke up. But then Easy announced he had some errands to run. He invited me along, but oil changes and hair cuts aren't exactly couples' activities unless they truly can't stand to be apart. I hope we're not that far gone yet.

And while I was waiting on him to return, I figured I'd get my day's blogging done. And then I have no choice because I was scared to leave the bedroom. I think Easy had booby trapped the door, possibly on accident. When I grabbed the handle to go to the bathroom, it came off in my hand. Door handles don't just come off. They are weakened over time before they give in. And I'm not the one always unaware of my own strength. I'm just saying.

Now back to the date. Easy got back from his errands and we got ready to go. We were off driving, headed towards the park that's right near Barnes Jewish Hospital. I always forget the name of that park. We stopped at the skating park section. We walked up to the door. And there was a sign on it that said "Skating Season Over." We looked over at the outdoor rink and it was melted, filled with remnants of the previous day's rain and snow.

Easy was so upset that for the second time, our attempt at ice skating had fallen through. I think he really is very good at surprising me with something that will delight me, just not when it comes to ice skating. I tried to make him feel better because he really tried and the thought did count. We tried to figure out an alternative plan and ended up going to the Galleria mall that wasn't that far away.

We went shopping where I discovered this new store that honestly makes me think of Forever 21 on an LSD trip. I'm not exaggerating. That was one of the most over-stimulated experiences I've ever had in a store. I had fun with Easy in the mall. I learned a bit more about his style, and felt like I got a better grasp on what I wanted my own style to be through trying to explain it to him. I think I'll write a blog post just about that.

Easy ended up purchasing for me a really cute shirt/dress thingee. I'm going to wear it as a dress cause I'm super short. It was basically the money he would have spent for us to go ice skating. We had fun walking around the mall laughing and holding hands and it felt like something you'd see in a montage in a romantic comedy, but it didn't feel staged or contrived. It felt natural and I liked it.

He did good with his three dates. A great plan, some kick ass backup plans, and a good sense of humor can make any moment feel perfect. And I'm extra glad I have this blog so I'm not that girl when I get around my girls in Chicago and unable to talk about anything except how wonderful Easy is. I will not be that girl!

So today I head back to Chicago. It will be the first time, I think, that Easy and I are both headed to Chicago and not going there together. But we both have plans and activities, so we are going our separate ways when we get to the city. But I know we'll spend waaay more time together the rest of the week than we should considering we've been together for over a week straight, and we haven't really spent time with anyone else. I am glad to be heading back to my city. Sweet home Chicago.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Break! Whoo! And A Couple Of Dream Dates

Easy is on Spring Break right now, which is great because we've had more time together. I just wrote a post about us spending so much time together and me not being sure how that worked with my desire to have "me time".

But I also just wrote a post about us fixing a problem with only doing his things and not doing our things that often and hardly ever doing my things. But Easy came up with a solution to this all on his own. He said he would use the first part of his Spring Break to give me three dates that are not things we always do, but things that I have said I wanted to try. So today is the day I describe those dates.

Date #1: Sunday Afternoon. We headed to the zoo. This may not seem huge, but for people who know me well, it is. I love animals, I love being outside, and I love spending time doing what amounts to a whole bunch of nothing with the man I love. We got there pretty late because we were... distracted... and then we got a chance to look at some animals. This is gonna sound cheesy, but I don't care.

At the St. Louis Zoo, they have this butterfly/moth observing room thing. The weather and garden in there is always like early summer and those things are flying around in there just happy and enjoying the flowers. We walked around and watched them fly and land and fly and land. Easy took a couple of pictures. And it was all very romantic We had a moment where we stopped on the path and smooched. Luckily, we weren't the only couple in there, so I didn't feel to ashamed of our in-your-face PDA moment.

After the zoo, we went to this Thai restaurant in town I've been dying to try. Easy let me pick our food and even agreed to try some new tea without sugar. I'm just more familiar with Thai food than he is, so he was totally fine with me choosing the path of our meal. The food was great and now we have our favorite Thai restaurant in St. Louis. We laughed and shared food and jokes and it was just so much fun, like hanging out with one of my best friends.

Then we went bowling. I've been wanting to go bowling in St. Louis for while, and Easy finally made it happen. He was right when he said he wasn't a very good bowler, but he got better with a few tips. I'm not the world's best bowler yet, but I know a lot more about what good bowling is supposed to be than my skills yet show. But bowling was fun and cute because he gave me kisses for every pin above my average that I bowled.

Date #2: Monday Early Afternoon and Late Night. We woke up pretty early and started watching movies. I love going to the movies, but this past year (except during the summer when I was dating up a storm), I didn't go to nearly as many movies as I would have liked to. So Sunday night, we rented like six movies from Blockbuster, most of which had come out in the last year, and only one that I'd seen before.

We began watching the movies and they were good choices. Except for when I cooked us lunch and started preparing dinner, we just chilled in the living room, liking the fact that we both talk all during the movie, and glad that could pause and rewind when we had especially long comments to make. We watched Mega Mind, She's Out of My League, and The Expendables throughout the day.

Easy had a gig Monday night, so we went to that, but then came back home and got back to our date. I made us a delicious dinner (that was also healthy, yay!) and we spent the night talking and laughing. We don't do that much at night cause Easy is a morning person. I'm a night owl, so pretty much from 9:30 pm to 11:00 am, we don't get in much quality bonding time. I think he had plans for us to be out and doing stuff, but it snowed, in March, in St. Louis. Stupid snow. I figured maybe he'd just push the activities to the next day.

These dates were great and something we could have only done because he was on Spring Break. And not once did I wish I had some alone time. I think that's because I know we're headed to Chicago on Wednesday, and we're both taking our own cars, so we will be spending time apart very soon.

Tomorrow, I'll talk about how the third date went.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Solving Problems Almost Before We Know They Exist

Saturday night, Easy, Lion, and one of Lion's frat brothers, and I all went out. We went to the bar that Lion's family owns and then we went to a club. We had a pretty good time and shared a lot of laughs.

While we were out, somehow the conversation between Easy and me turned towards how we spend our time outside of the home either in St. Louis or Chicago. I realized at that moment that we hardly ever do the type of things I would do for fun if I were by myself. We spend most of our time out listening to live music (Easy may or may not be playing), or hanging out with his or my friends (there's also music involved usually there too).

Then it occurred to me, that I'd never spoken up about doing more things that I want. My girl Top has suggested things that she knows are coming up in Chicago that I might like to go with Easy too and I didn't even really consider the possibilities because I figured we'd be busy doing something else, like listening to live music somewhere.

This realization really hit me because I hadn't even considered it before. I love listening to live music, all types of music (except bad music). So spending almost all our time outside doing that wasn't, and isn't, an issue. But it is rather one-sided. So how did we fix it? Well, before I even truly came to the realization, Easy was working on a plan to do more stuff I like. Last night, he asked me what I like to do so we could work it into the equation.

I told him I'd already told him and wondered why I, yet again, would have to repeat myself. He left it alone and we didn't really talk about it again for the rest of the night. But this morning, when I woke up, he informed me that he had planned three dates for today and the next two days that would be centered around things I've mentioned to him over the months that I like to do.

After promising that the dates weren't extravagant or expensive, I agreed to the plan. I'm kind of excited because I can't imagine what things I said I like that he actually remembered and plan on taking me to do. I have expensive taste in some respects, but I also like simple things. I hope at least one of the dates takes advantage of the warming weather here in St. Louis. It still isn't as warm as I'd like (and as the weather keeps predicting), but it's getting there.

So, after I update Rants About The Real World, and Easy finishes working on this song he's writing, we'll be off on Date #1. Well, also after we go running. Easy went running by himself yesterday. I can't leave him hanging by himself, especially when it was my idea to go running in the first place.

I promise, I'll blog about it. I'm just so happy this is how we solve conflicts. Before the problem gets fully realized, it's fixed. I don't expect us to forever do things I like and would be doing if I were alone. He still has his music and I still love life music. But it's nice to know my stuff will now be put into rotation.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Know My Driver's License Says Illinois...

But I feel like a damn resident of Missouri. Thank God I'm not, I've got issues with some of their legislation, but I digress. It's just that a number of things have happened in the last day or two that really make me feel like I'm losing my inner Chicagoan.

First, I missed league bowling, and my team only won one game. That mostly only happens when I'm not there. I knew not contributing those extra 20-30 pins would make a difference. Also, my girls in Chicago were talking about having a girls' night Saturday night. What were my plans for Saturday night? Kicking it with Easy and Lion in East St. Louis. East St. Louis. Seriously. But I guess it's okay cause I'm spending time with two of my favorite people in the whole wide world.

And then there's the feeling of all this time I've been spending in St. Louis and what it's doing to Easy and me. When we're apart, we miss each other terribly, so it just makes sense to spend as much time together as we can. But there's also the fear of what's going to happen when our honeymoon phase ends. We've decided we're just going to stay in the honeymoon phase forever. We know it's unrealistic, but we're gonna try it anyway.

Easy and I definitely don't see the world through the same lens, but it's really not an issue because we're so good at communicating and making sure we develop a common language to bridge those differences. But when we're discussing something for the thirtieth time, there's bound to be some frustration adding into the equation. That's when I get scared because it feels like maybe the end of the honeymoon phase. But then things gets resolved and everything feels deliriously happy again. And it's not like we didn't have disagreements almost from the moment we got together. I think what makes us feel honeymoon-stage-ish still is the strong desire to resolve conflicts so we can get back to the lovey dovey happiness.

But with all this time spent in St. Louis, there's not much time for just me. At least it's starting to feel that way. I had kind of forgotten that I like to have a lot of alone time. I didn't think much of it when I was younger because my parents kept me sheltered and going out wasn't really an option, so I just hung out by myself at home. But then in college, I was hardly ever alone at any point within a given 24 hour period, but that didn't seem odd because the people I was around were so much like me, I didn't feel like I was surrounded by people, I was surrounded by versions of myself.

So now, in the new world that includes Easy, there isn't much room for me being me, in my own space. We're working on it though. For instance, early Saturday evening, Easy had a gig. This is a gig I've never gone with him to even though I've been in town for it. But this time, I didn't even ride there with him. I didn't drop him off at the church and then head to the mall. I just stayed at his place and spent some time by myself. And it made me happy. And it made me miss him. I was looking forward to him coming back and telling me about his gig and how it went.

Hopefully, a few small changes here and there can solve the problem. For most people, who they are and what they prefer fundamentally is up for negotiation in the context of a relationship, and there are growing pains. I'm prepared to handle it (I think), and I'm looking forward to a time when solving this problem of me having "me time" is a thing of the past. And I suppose I'll wait til the not-having-time-for-my-friends-in-Chicago thing becomes more of a problem before we tackle that.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Staying On The Exercise Bandwagon

Easy and I didn't get up and go running yesterday morning, but we did go when he got home from work. He only had a half day today because of parent/teacher conferences. And to kick off his Spring Break, we went running. We ran ever farther than we'd run up to this point, so that was a nice expansion of working out. And when we got back, we had a great chicken Caesar salad for lunch and watched Jet Li in Fearless. I think it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

I used to hate running, and I'm not sure I'm still too far from that, but I do enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I get from it. and it might be in my head, but I swear I've had more energy the last couple of days. What I do like it feeling the muscles in my thighs get more firm and knowing that I'm getting my heart rate up, which is great for healthy living.

I'm excited too because of time spent with Lion. He's been super busy with his rotations, so even though I spend so much time in St. Louis, I don't get to spend a lot of time with him. But he has just finished his shelf exam for family medicine and he has the weekend free before he starts OB/GYN on Monday, so I'm hoping we can get some good quality time in this weekend.

One of the only things that sucks about spending so much time down here in St. Louis is that I'm not doing my Chicago stuff. For instance, my bowling league meets on Fridays and I won't be there. My team should be alright without me, but I just wish I was there. I bowl at least 20 pins over my average almost every game, so I'm worth more there than not. But that will something to work out after this season. There are only another ten weeks or so left in the season anyway, if that many.

On another note, I saw a slight increase in the number of followers to my blog. That makes me happy! Looks like reaching out on BlogFrog and 20-something Bloggers has had a pretty nice initial payoff. I would like to say you all should check out my other two blogs too! They're great, and they sound mostly non-narcissistic because they're not about my life.

The first is My Life's Love Medley. It's a blog about the love lives of my closest friends. Each friend gets a day, except Camille and Lion share Wednesday. So there are eight friends in total. I talk about them a bit on this blog, but The Medley is where they get most of their coverage. It's like a soap opera if you look at the different stories each person has told about them. Also, on days when there's nothing to update, I link to another blog or website that talks about something very relevant to my friend's current romantic status.

The second is Rants About The Real World. It's a blog where I share my (usually rant-y) thoughts about what's happening in the world around me. Right now, I'm doing a series of posts on all the protests going on in the Middle East/Africa. Based on the coverage these stories are getting in America, these protests are of interest, some more than others. But I'm covering them all, in chronological order based on when they started. Also, I talk about things that go on in American politics, local politics, pop culture, and the media. If you like current events and general rantiness, check it out.

There are links to both blogs on the right hand sidebar of the blog, usually around the level of the end of the most recent post. Read them, and let me know what you think. I love feedback!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Being You In All Situations

Easy and I get into a fight every time I meet one of his friends. It's become a disturbing trend that bothers each of us. After the first Sunday in March, I now know that's something that happens with his friends, not with mine. I'll explain. Saturday night, Easy and I were having an argument in front of one of his friends before the rest of our people arrived at the restaurant. The argument was because of a joke that he made that I felt was disrespectful. It was something I'd never heard him say before and seemed to be a joke between him and this friend. The joke was fine between the two of them, but I didn't appreciate it being directed at me. I accused him of, yet again, becoming this person I couldn't recognize once one of his friends were around.

On Sunday, Easy came with me to church and he got to meet a lot of my people. I think he saw that I'm pretty much me in all situations. There isn't this different version of me that comes out. We spent a lot of time with my people on Sunday. We even had dinner at a friends house with whom I have a love/hate relationship. All of the barbs we trade came out. And none got directed at Easy because I didn't just lump him in with those people. Whether or not I act different, I'm not sure. But I feel pretty confident I was just me.

That got me to thinking about whether it's fair to expect someone to be the same all the time. Easy and I are still new, so we're still learning all the facets of each other. Changing over time is fine, but looking like a completely different person in the presence of some third person is odd, right? Or maybe I'm odd for thinking it's odd.

Easy and I have discussed it. He thinks that there are lots of sides to his personality that I have seen glimpses of or don't know yet. Those different sides come out depending on who he's around. I wonder if he's possibly DID (google it) or just not self-aware or some other horrifying personality flaw that makes me want to run for the hills. I'm not actually going anywhere, but I wonder if it's reasonable that he gets to be this whole other person when around a certain friend.

And why does that person get to say things to me that the Easy I know would never say? I'm still mulling this one over in my head. And I'll definitely be combating feelings of wariness and apprehension the next time it's time to meet one of his friends.

In fact, I was feeling that way when we hung out with a friend of his I'd already met. He was still being this person I didn't recognize. Gotta figure out what that's all about. It's not something I'm okay with, but perhaps I'm over-reacting and I just need to spend more time around him with his friends so I can assess the similarities and convince myself he's not changing fundamental parts of who he is as a person.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

American Idol, Top 13

Everyone performed on one night this week.

First, let me say how surprised I was by the fact that they got rid of 11 people last week. This is my first year really following the show all season, except when Lee Dewyze won, and I was totally unprepared for that elimination.

I was sad to see Brett, Jovany, and Jordan go. But everyone else I really really loved stuck around. I love you Stefano and Naima!

My reactions
Awesome!: Casey Abrams (I found him to be as wonderful and sexy as always, plus the choir didn't have on damn robes!);
Pia Toscano (I haven't been too impressed, except by how pretty she is, but damn, she sang and won me over!);
Jacob Lusk (those damn choir robes!!! But he's so amazing, it didn't even matter. Take me to church every time man, I love it!);
Stefano Langone (I love what he did with that Stevie Wonder song. simply amazing!);
Karen Rodriguez (I love Selena and she did really great things with that song);
Scotty McCreery (I still can't believe that voice is coming out of a 16 year old. Voices like his are why I like country music);
Naima Adedapo (who knew this chick could dance like that? And she made me like a Rhianna song, yet she still sounded like the her that sang last week. Amazing)

Not bad: Lauren Alaina (I loved her as usual, and the song, but she needs more stage presence);
James Durbin (I love his voice and song selection, but I've never really connected with him as an artist);
Haley Reinhart (She has an amazing voice to be sure, and she sang the hell out of that song, but she wasn't amazing compared to Lauren)

You Suck: Paul McDonald (I would have sworn I loved him before this week, but I no longer care about his uniqueness or vision as an artist. And I have super mixed feelings about his clothing choices)

I'm feel a strong sense of "meh": Ashthon Jones (girl can sing and I love her voice, but I felt so uninspired. I almost felt something when she hit that highest note, but then it went away again.);
Thia Megia (she sang well and all that, but seriously, that's the song she picked? Seriously? Whatever)

Okay, so this is who I voted for this week. Casey, Pia, Jacob, Stefano, Karen, Scotty, Naima, Lauren, Ashthon, and Pia. Giving Ashton and Pia another chance. I have my fingers crossed for tonight.

Today Is A Day To Accomplish A Lot

This morning, I woke up pretty early for me. It was in the 6 o'clock hour. If only I could go to bed at a reasonable hour every night, like last night, I could wake up early without an alarm clock. I didn't actually go running this morning, but it wasn't my fault. But there will be running tomorrow morning. I guess it's not the end of the world to run every other day when it's just starting to become a part of the routine.

This morning I was doing lots of activities though, so I stayed up instead of falling back asleep, which is prolly what would happen were I in Chicago. This afternoon, I get to bake lots and lots o' cookies. I really liked the recipe I made last time, so I'll be making chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies. Homemade cookies are always the best don't you think?

It is Lent season and I have decided to give up alcohol. Not just wine, not just vodka and tequila, but all of it. I won't even use it for cooking purposes. I don't drink that much. I don't really do anything except in moderation, but I had to pick something, and so alcohol got chosen. But I'm glad to be observing Lent this year. It makes sense to me. I celebrated Mardi Gras, my church observes it, and I should be a part of it too.

I'm off now to do more research for the series of posts I'm doing on my rant-y blog. The protests in the Middle East and Africa are of serious interest to me right now, so it's worth the time spent to look up all the info. And I should have just enough time between that research and baking cookies time to apply for some jobs. I love days where I feel productive (even though I didn't go running).

My First Blogger Award!

Today, I received my first ever blog award!


Because I have won this award, I now have to tell you 8 things about myself that you may or may not know, depending on how long you've read my blog.

1. I used to be a medical student, but I left because I didn't want to be a doctor. People don't just leave medical school, so I made a huge splash with my people when I did that.

2. My first real adult relationship ended because my boyfriend died in a car crash.

3. My current relationship is amazing. I'm so in love in a way I always hoped I'd be, but never really thought possible for me.

4. My favorite colors are orange, pink, and periwinkle. My favorite colors also change, except orange, which has stuck around for well over a decade.

5.  I keep grocery bags. They just pile up in a kitchen cabinet, and never get thrown away.

6. I don't recycle. It's actually really hard to recycle in Chicago.

7. I am kind of obsessed with being healthy. Actually, I'm obsessed with doing things in moderation and not getting diabetes or high blood pressure or gout or arthritis or heart disease or kidney disease or lung disease when I"m older.

8. I love men's ties. I wish menswear would never go out of style. I own like five or six ties that I bought from the men's department at Macy's over the years. I buy a new one every time the style cycles back into trendiness.

I received this award from Kirsty over at Kirsty Girl. It was her first ever award too. I'm including one of her first paragraphs from one of her first posts to help you get to know her and her nesting blog.
This is my place to tell you all a little something of my ideas for my soon to be home! My style, my ideas, my thoughts, my projects, my way! And hopefully it can be a place to find inspiration off my readers too!
So, in my style of shameless promotion, check her out. Her blog is great. And she has a sign-up for a linky party too, where you can find new and interesting blogs.

Speaking of shameless promotion, I also have to pick 8 people to give the award to. Eight seems like a lot. But I'm going to do it. Disclaimer: I'm not checking to make sure these people haven't already won this award, I'm just giving them to bloggers whose style of blogging or actual style I love.

#1 P at *Insert My Blog Name Here*. I love her blog's design and she's always writing things that make me smile, laugh, or commiserate.

#2 Erin at 24 and Married - In The Midwest. Her posts are great and a mix of married life, plus interesting tidbits about health, life and family.

#3 Celebrations at Home. This blog has more than one contributor, so this award goes to all of you. This blog has great style. Seriously, almost any theme you can think of for any at-home party, they've got you covered with great suggestions.

#4 Pam at For The Love Of Cooking. She always has great recipes and the pictures look so yummy, you will be dying to try the recipes out.

#5 McKenna at Kissing Frogs. Her blog design is fabulous and you're bound to get caught up in her stories of navigating the frogs to find her prince.

#6 Whitney at Live In The Harvey Household. Her blog is cute, plus she's decorating her house room by room. Trust me, this girl has style.

#7 Rachel at The Thoughts and Travels of Rachel Cotterill. She travels a lot and then she always posts great photos of where she goes. Plus she's a writer, so the blog posts in between travels are always great too.

#8 SilverNeurotic at The Quarter Life Crisis. I love her blog. If you're in your mid-20s, this blog will feel like she's writing about all the things that happen in your life.

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