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Archive for the month “June, 2012”

When Exes Get Married, But Not to You

I think we are selfish, delusional creatures.

We often like to believe the people we’ve shared romantic relationships with join monasteries, convents, or the circus, or move to small towns, eat organic food they’ve learned to grow themselves and grow dreads or shave off all their hair after your relationship has ended.

Because we were the best thing to show up in their lackluster lives, prior to our arrival.


Your exes date other people. Some who look better or look worse, but cook better or just share more of the same interests, and then it happens.

They get married.

Now if you get married first, it doesn’t seem so bad.

You’re in the glow of all that you’ve got going on and you only have eyes for your betrothed.

But when your exes get hitched there’s an odd feeling of jealousy and a whole lot of going down memory lane.

So far one ex did get married several years ago. Now he’s divorced. We have discussed this in a couple of strange posts about his odd return.

Another ex, who I actually still consider a friend and a person I want to be happy is on his way down the aisle in about another month.

We didn’t split because we didn’t love each other anymore or that we even had problems. We split because long distance was too difficult and our career paths at the time gave us no choice but to be a part for what seemed to be an indefinite period of time. It was too soon in both of our careers for one person to say, no problem I’ll stay with you, or I’ll move wherever you go, because a year later, someone was probably going to have to move again to chase the dream.

I thought of this ex recently, because I did get to see him briefly last year. During our encounter we talked about the things we’d gone through and I was proud of him. He turned out to be the man I knew he was going to be.

I had satisfaction in being right.

But it did sting a bit that someone else was going to take the apples, make apple sauce, launch an apple sauce blog, and become the biggest apple farm in the United States, when I simply had a seed and some water.

I will totally not take the credit for his success, but I was and still am a big supporter. The point is, this is the one time I saw potential in someone and years later, I was totally correct.

Our relationship was fun. We were friends. We could crack jokes and be silly and being with him was like wearing my favorite college sweatshirt. Comfortable. He understood me in a way that most didn’t especially because we shared the same profession. We liked the same music and television shows and would spend entire evenings quoting lines from our favorite comedians.

He came from a good, solid family. With good, solid values.  He knew how to navigate barbeques in the hood, and be the only black guy with a bunch of friends at a hockey game. He did both comfortably. Yet he was always himself. He didn’t change the way he talked or acted, or dressed to fit in with any of the groups. He was just himself.

I think that’s what I appreciated about him most. He was a realistic dreamer, a hard worker and he did not complain much. He was passionate and it showed through his work. His friends and family adored him and we had great chemistry.

I didn’t cry until about three months after our breakup. And laying looking at the ceiling, I repeated to myself, “It just wasn’t our time.”

The more I said it, the more my chest would heave and the harder the tears would flow.

Cheers to my friend and his bride. I hope they make it. I want him to be happy and I’ve told him that. You can’t bottle lightening, and I wouldn’t dare try.

But I do still sincerely love him for what he brought to my life. Besides, his star is too bright and he is far too rowdy to join a monastery.

More Bees With Honey: Getting Your Guy to Go to the Theatre

Apple’s Eyes Studio/freedigitalphotos.net

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I love the theatre. I love dramas, musicals, comedies, improv, it just doesn’t matter. Seeing talented people perform live is just the absolute best.

So I invited my new, much older suitor (17 year gap) to join me to see a Broadway musical at one of my favorite venues ever, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It is a beautiful, beautiful place to enjoy the best performances in the nation. It’s a treasure. On top of that it’s just visually stunning with its grand hall of nations and the terrace with the awesome panoramic view of DC.

You feel important when you are there.

That’s why I dress up every time I go.

The Kennedy Center is also one of my favorite venues because they are truly about making the arts accessible to the people by offering a free show every evening at 6. Very, very cool.

Back to my original thought here.

Because I enjoy going to see shows and plays, I obviously want whatever man im interested in to join me from time to time. But sometimes, men can be a tough sell when it comes to the arts.

So here are my suggestions:

Pay for the tickets yourself. If he isn’t a fan of the theatre or seems hesitant about seeing the show with you, and you really want him to go, shell out the $80 + for orchestra seats yourself. Some people may say that’s ridiculous, but I think it’s only right and it will show that person that you really wanted to go, and you really wanted to go with them. They literally have nothing to lose. He just needs to put on a clean shirt, slacks, some decent shoes and just roll out.

Choose wisely: Pick a show where there are strong male leads, or a storyline that may be appealing in terms of something that’s relatable to everyone.

Don’t make him your theatre date every time. If it’s not his thing, you shouldn’t force it on him. But every now and then, when you are a theatre head, you do want to enjoy it with someone who is special to you. Have some other friends to do this with, so you can avoid burnout with him, unless you have converted him into being a theatre head too. Remember, his primary reason for going is because he likes you. Don’t take advantage.

I’m taking my new friend to see the musical Memphis. Now, this is kind of risky because a lot of people get annoyed with folks breaking out in song. If I had met him sooner, I would have broken him in with Fela. It’s a musical with amazing music, a captivating real life story and a strong, charismatic male lead. Oh and Fela had like 18 wives, all of them gorgeous, with amazing bodies, dancing and gyrating throughout the whole show. No man is going to be bored with that. In fact, he’ll probably be taking notes.

I also thought Memphis was a good fit, because he’s from Tennessee. I think it should be an interesting choice because it’s about soul music, racial tensions, love and it’s centered around music, so singing is going to be necessary.

Dress to impress. Look appropriately hot. I plan on wearing a gorgeous white dress that I haven’t worn since a party on a boat last summer. I really want to wear it again. Reward your date by being ridiculously fine. If he is bored by the musical, he won’t be bored looking at you enjoying yourself.

Thank him for joining you. Get your minds out of the gutter. Literally say thank you. Now if you are at a certain stage in your relationship, then hey, thank the man accordingly for being a lovely date especially if it is something he may not have originally been interested in.

Anything but opera. If your man has an axe to grind against opera, don’t even do it. Even if you paid for the tickets yourself, do not try to convince, trick, or lie to get him up in there. Opera is tough. Don’t push it even if you planned a surprise burlesque thank you show after.

No musical revivals. Save this for your fellow theatre heads so you can ooh and ahh and trade notes. If he doesn’t like the theatre he’s going to be lost, bored and ready to leave at intermission. This is the equivalent of watching ESPN classic and not liking sports. If you aren’t a fan, you aren’t going to appreciate the magic that is unfolding and how it lays the foundation for what’s happening today.

The next thing he wants to do that you may not be that into, do it with no complaints and a smile. It’s only fair. Especially if he was a good sport at your event. Reciprocity and compromise is essential in every relationship.

Prelude to a Kiss

Heather Ernest/Flickr

Hey folks,

It’s been a minute. I’ve been on my staycation, catching up on some rest, actually getting to see the Wendy Williams Show and watching as many Baby Daddy DNA trash shows as possible.

I hate the Baby Daddy DNA shows, but I love them just as much, and then I contemplate a career in medical billing and coding or becoming a culinary artist, because those commercials running non stop surely make it look good.

The thing about staycations is, you can do things like see a matinee in the middle of the day, get waxed, plucked and pummaced, and do whatever you please and the next day you can do it all over.

I actually didn’t realize how much I rush, until I was in the grocery store on Monday. It was like, slow down, you’ve no place to go and when you get home, you still aren’t going to finish writing your novel or clean. So. Just. Chill.

Being on a staycation also makes you realize how much working is a big part of your life and how you can’t stay in the house all day and watch T.V. because you will lose your mind. My heart goes out to unemployed people who feel the way I do. It has to be a very difficult thing.  So I totally appreciate having a job. I appreciate having a job and vacation time even more, because I sincerely needed a break and a recharge.

Back to the thought of this post.

As I mentioned previously, there is an older man in the mix with intentions to gain my affection. By older, I mean a good 15 years, as I stated before in another post.

To make myself feel better, I think that Carrie and Big (of Sex and the City, duh) had an age gap, but maybe the gap I have is more Natasha and Big and in the end it didn’t work.

Ok, I’m going to stop thinking about it.

But it’s not so much the age. I really don’t think about it when I’m with him. We have great conversations and a lot of fun.

He’s courteous and kind and a hard worker and has streaks of mischief. He’s also handsome. He becomes more handsome to me the more I see him and the more I like someone, the more attractive they become. I think he looks a good six years younger than what he really is.

So with all of this said, I was doing everything in the book at the end of the night to not kiss him.

I’ve had good, bad and downright ugly goodnight kisses.

I don’t think he’d be a bad kisser, but I can tell he’s into me and if I kiss him and like it, down the bunny hole we go.

Will this mean I’m officially ready to move on? Am I ready to build something with someone again?

I complained about being lonely.

Here he is. Gift horse. All up in his grillpiece with a flashlight…

In a twist of irony, my ex-fiance texted me during dinner with good news that he landed his dream job.

Now if you read deeper into this, you could say, oh. He got his dream job. He’s finally getting himself together. I mean isn’t that why your engagement dissolved, because he said he was afraid that he couldn’t be a good husband and he didn’t have it all together yet?

But I’m way past reading deeper into that text and hoping for a happy reunion. For that, I am proud and thankful. Six months ago, that may not have been the case.

I told a friend, there must have been a tingling in his testicles just when I laughed at my date’s joke or started flirting. Little sirens went off in his balls. “She’s about to forget about you! She’s about to forget about you. Really!”

So back to me.

At the end of the night, I did everything in the book. The long hugs, the burying my face in his chest, the patented head turn away from his face, the cheek brush.

But I couldn’t kiss him.

I love this new getting to know you, innocent phase before emotions and hormones get out of hand. I know it can’t last forever, but we are only on the second date anyway. Is it wrong for me to drag it out?

If I kissed him, I knew I’d see stars and fireworks. We got along too well for him to have clam mouth. I could see a slight hint of disappointment in his eyes, but being the respectful, charming man he is, he quickly shrugged it off and told me what a wonderful time he had, and that I gave the best hugs.

Besides. I was drunk. I broke the early dating rule. I didn’t eat enough, stupid, stupid. But we didn’t want to leave the restaurant and stop talking, so we figured we should order, just one more and drink it slow. I barely got through four sips and I knew I was done. I told him I’m so sorry for wasting the drink. Being the sweetheart he is, he simply said, well you only had that one crab cake and it’s great that you know when to just stop.

Awwww. He should be a politician.

I don’t think it’s fair to kiss someone for the first time when you are drunk.

I distinctly remember my first kisses from the men I loved the most and usually they just couldn’t take waiting on me anymore and they snatched me up and I was done.

One of my most favorite first (early in the relationship) kisses came from one of my shortest beaus (5″8). I was walking out of a restaurant with a friend to our car and he trailed behind us and just as I was going to hop in the car, he looped his finger in my belt, pulled me into him and went for it. Our first, first kiss we were in a club. And actually it was ladies night, in the south. Long Island Iced teas were a dollar, and all of a sudden he grabbed me on the dance floor and planted one on me so wonderful, I couldn’t hear the pulsating music around me. It was like being submerged under water and then splashing to the surface when it was over, trying to catch my breath. To this day, he will say, “I thought you were either going to slap me, or get with it. Either way, I knew I just had to go for it.”

Damn I’m a liar. My best kisses involve me being inebriated. LOL. Too funny.

I’m thinking of my other favorite first kiss. This one involved my ex-fiance and we were watching the holy grail of love movies for educated black people, “Love Jones.” He offered to get up and pour us another drink, started making his way to the kitchen, stopping instantly. He made and about-face, marched over to me, grabbed my face and laid one on me. “Love Jones” turned into “Meet the Adults of Charlie Brown.” Whomp, whomp, whaaa, whaaa, whaaa.

When I hugged that man last night, I swear, my right leg shot up like I was welcoming him home from war in an iconic photograph. Old school. I even caught myself and put it down. But it shot right back up like a reflex exam.

So my friends.

Am I a nut job? Am I not really over my ex? Do I have a right to be scared of actually liking this man? I need some help.

Something tells me I need to apply my staycation philosophy of not rushing and taking the long way, to my love life.  What’s that? Do I have a love life? Gee whiz!

The Simpsons Test: Hints, Hoops and Bread Crumbs

I had a falling out with my Kyle Barker the other day.

He had me so mad and discombubulated that when he asked me genuinely to explain my feelings, I had to tell him I needed a day or so to step back, collect the thoughts, dewomanize myself so I can give him something solid.

If I continued on with the convo in my highly emotional state, I would have only gotten angrier and less coherent. I own the fact that I am female and that we can fly off the hinges.

I finally sent him a lengthy response this morning which included something that has stuck with me and that I wanted to discuss today.

“As a fellow Aquarian, I believe the things we say, do and not say are subtle bread crumbs we pray people we actually like will be smart or intuitive enough to pick up on and when they do, we know they are worthy, and in turn, that person will give us a knowing nod.”

I thought about the secret, subtle tests of intelligence, charm, wit, honesty and manliness I consciously and subconsciously give men.

I describe it like this.

I love the Simpsons.

Loved them as a child, a teen and as an adult.

My sense of humor and tastes naturally matured and expanded, but the Simpsons appealed to my humor successfully on every level.

Basic- for kids. Fart jokes, physical comedy.

Mid range- Pop culture references, common man and people living life.Work sucks, school sucks, wife, husband and kids are crazy.

High level- Politics, social commentary, references to music, history, high intellectual circles.

The Harvard-trained writers skillfully wrote this program that appealed to everyone, yet spoke directly to each of these groups like it was their own little secret.

Kids: Adults and authority figures are stupid.

Mid: Your bosses and the government are stupid.

High: Society is flawed. Life’s ironies vascilate between being extremely funny and horribly sad. People can be mindless, easily manipulated lambs. People in power are just as misguided and clueless and human and flawed as everyone else. Your media, your religion, your ideals can often be misguided and wrong and needs constant reevaluation. We are arrogant. We really know nothing.

I think this three tiered concept is my approach to dealing with men.

The further along you go with me, I figure out on which level you are most comfortable and where you live.

If you can’t go beyond basic, well we just can’t go further. You won’t stimulate me enough and you’ll claim words like “egregious” are just too large for your vocabulary.

I want the high level, intellectual insidery well-read person. They excite me.

I’ll say things, I’ll make references and I guess I’m judging, I’m scrutinizing if you are indeed worthy. But if I like you, I’m rooting for you to get it. If you get it, without me having to explain, I’m doing the Snoopy dance inside.

It may be elitist, and even cruel. Who can live up to secret, unwritten standards that only live in my head? But as I once tweeted. I believe in applying natural selection to my love life. Only the fittest and strongest will survive.

It’s wrong to want someone to read your mind and do everything right.

It’s impossible.

But yes, I throw out intellectual bread crumbs and I pray you pick them up and you honestly get it.

Those rare creatures who figure it out, they even turn around, wink at me and say, “That’s all you’ve got?”


A Loaded Compliment

I got a text tonight.

“You’re too pretty and fun to be single. Next time we’re face to face, you have to come clean. What are you hiding? :)”

And I said:

“Hmm. I told you I can be moody. I’m type A. I’m hard on myself. I’m sensitive. I hold things in. I often want to keep the peace to my own detriment. I’m non confrontational. I have high expectations for people I’m certain can live up to them and I take it hard when they disappoint me. I can blow up a bathroom after a hearty meal. If we order two fries to go, I’m going to steal some of your fries and act like I didn’t.”

He replies: “I would draw the line with fries. The other stuff I could deal with. :)”

Summer Bucket List

I have been searching frantically for the blog post that inspired my post today. If you are reading this and you recently wrote a post about a summer bucket list, please announce yourself so I can link it and give you proper credit!

I’ve decided it is a good idea to create a summer bucket list so without a whole lot of jibber jabber, let’s just get to it.

1. Visit my apartment complex pool at least twice. I hardly ever take advantage and it’s a shame. Now if only they’d give me my passes. (Changed my mind. See this post.)

2. Go to the beach more. Be it a local beach or someplace else, I need a few more trips in the sand and surf.

3. Read at least two books. I’ve got a long list of things I’m itching to read.  Bossypants and Hunger Games! I’m going to read two more now.

4. Have a water fight. This is old school, but I think it is necessary to have some sort of water fight from time to time no matter how old you are.

5. Spend more time on my balcony. Although it faces a parking lot, the one time I went out in the evening to read, it was actually pleasant.

6. Hula hoop. I see people doing it more at outdoor festivals and concerts and it just looks like loads of fun. So simple.

7. Visit Luray Caverns. It’s a short trip to some very cool massive caverns in the Shenadoah valley.

8. Go to an outdoor concert. They are so much fun. I can dress like I’m going to Coachella or something. Chrisette Michele, Eric Benet and Ledisi at Pier Six!

9. Ride a bicycle. I already did this, but it was so much fun, I’m going to have to do it again.

10. Turn off the t.v. and just play music. It’s really soothing and relaxing.

11. Eat a funnel cake (already did this, but it’s a great summer thing to do).

12. Make my own lemonade and sweet tea.

13. Eat something from a charcoal grill (Been there done that. It’s so awesome).

14. Take walks.

15. Storyboard, plan and shoot the photo shoot for the t-shirt brand… ooh it’s going to be hot!

16. Work toward finishing my novel.

17. Visit places I’ve never been whether near or far (thankfully, I’ve done that already. Don’t want to stop).

18. Check out my favorite museums and find new ones.

* In other news, I had a wonderful time on my date! We shut down the restaurant. That’s really good. No awkward pauses, laughter, the exchange of relationship and dating disaster stories. It was good. Nice long hug but no good night kiss. Just not ready. Got to work up to this sort of thing. But it was just in the right speed for the first date.

Whoo I’m Back and Random California Flashbacks

I’m back from vacation from sunny California!

I had a ball folks. It was great. It was more than I had even expected and I got to relax.

So much went down this past week, that I’m going to try to keep this simple.

Where do I even begin?

First of all, I got a date tonight. I’m even wearing cute heels to work in anticipation of it. He’s nice. He’s charming. Good looking, well-traveled, employed, but he’s a good 15 years older than me.

Oh. Boy.

All of this is a big deal, well because I don’t know when was the last time I was actually excited about going on a date.

You all recall the last time I had to cancel a date, because the man wanted to take me to 50-cent wing night.

But I’ll talk more about this new guy after tonight’s date. Let’s get back to California.

Well, first off Catalina is beautiful and other worldly. I had a blast and am insanely happy for my cousin, who in turn seems to be jumping out of his skin in love with his beautiful bride (there is an actual video of him doing a happy dance), who also seems to adore him.

They rented a gorg beach house where most of us tended to gather and hang out over the course of the week. It was relaxing and basically in the heart of the town so we could see everything. We rode electric bikes and had great food (there’s no fast food anywhere on the island).

Everyone drove golf carts in this town (gas was like $4.75 a gallon) and it was the most adorable thing ever. We rented two carts and drove all around the island, the twisting, winding roads through and up the mountains. Everything also shuts down by 9 p.m. save for three bars. You could see dolphins and even buffalo. If you were a nature freak, it’s a great place to explore the land and sea.

I managed to also get a great massage. I was determined to do that, if nothing else.

Now for the party. It was great. Great food, interesting people, including a certain international musician/actor (who is a perennial favorite on Saturday Night Live) and his beautiful actress girlfriend. He wasn’t down for taking photos, which I can understand, but I couldn’t help but be a little excited being next to him doing the electric slide on a large balcony, facing the ocean. It was also loads of fun teaching the actress how to cupid shuffle and giving her a high five of approval once she got it. Both were very low-key, and honestly I wouldn’t have noticed them walking down the street. I’m the worst at celebrity spotting.

I was glad to spend time with my older and younger cousins, who have grown up to be wonderful young men. It was just a lot of fun.

Thanks to another cousin who lives in LA that I met only a few years ago at a reunion, she gave me my quick L.A. tour. Yes, your girl was in Beverly Hills and managed to make it to the world-famous Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, and yes, it is worth all of the hype. Really yummy.

The only downside was the patron at our table before us, broke soul food etiquette and didn’t screw the top back onto the hot sauce. I went to shake it up, as you are supposed to and blam, hot sauce volcano. I was wearing white, and by some miracle, didn’t get any on my blouse. Amazing!

I mean who does that?

I thought Beverly Hills was ok, but it was hard to get excited about it because all of the stores there are in NYC and also in the DC area in Chevy Chase. But it was still cool nonetheless. The one thing in Bev Hills that did excite me was seeing the TMZ tour bus, because I always said, if I ever get to L.A., I’m all about taking the TMZ tour. And as they advertise in the commercial, they were indeed in “fancy schmancy Beverly Hills.” I friggin love that show. I was too slow in getting my camera out to take a photo of it. Darn.

My cousin who is fabulous in her own right, insisted on treating me to a lip gloss from  Chanel.  I mean, who turns down Chanel? I thought that was nice of her.

So there are a few things besides the hot sauce incident that got me a little riled or taught me a lesson.

One. Excessive drinking on a ferry in choppy waters… not so good.

Two. Black people do get sunburn! I got sunburn for the first time ever and I’m shocked about it and was in denial until the peeling occurred (especially on my forehead). The black Californians saw it coming, and they were like, no, really, you are burning. Someone get her some sunscreen! Aloe vera!

Three. Please white man in the aisle seat don’t assume the black guy next to me in the middle seat on the plane is my man. We didn’t even get to the seat at the same time or talk to each other. He is a total stranger that I’ve never seen in my life. He’s black too and I DON’T KNOW HIM! Shocker.

Four. Middle school students are annoying. They are the worst when hopped up on Starbucks and joining you on your red-eye flight. I had not one, but two middle school trips. The second group wasn’t as bad, in fact they were tired. I saw them just get off of another plane.

Five. Starbucks, you shouldn’t be allowed to serve minors coffee products after 8 p.m. in an airport. Period.

Six. I never made it in the water or on the beach. Catalina was too damn cold. There were only four solid hours of warm weather, but apparently hot enough to scorch my lovely skin and give this black girl her first bout with sunburn.

Seven. The time zone, 3-hour thing is real. I was exhausted by 10 p.m. and wide awake at 5 a.m. Like just looking up at the ceiling, saying, “Seriously? Seriously?”

Eight. At this one Mexican restaurant, I had the best damn refried beans ever, and I feel like that’s an accomplishment. Not everyone can get those right.

Nine. At the same restaurant, I also managed to get a bowl of liquor. Yes, a bowl.

Ten. I didn’t knowingly meet any gang bangers. I did want to try an In and Out Burger. Next time.

Pardon Me, Miss. You’re New York Is Showing

I’m leaving for California tomorrow and I’m thrilled.

Beyond thrilled. My suitcase is filled with bright colors, floral prints and easy breezy outfits, that I believe are “California-inspired.” I’ve even been stalking pinterest boards for inspiration.

However, I’m playing all my favorite NY-rap songs, getting pumped up for it.

I like when people ask me where I’m from. I’m not even from NYC or the five boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island), but my chest sticks out.

New York is a special place. People are excited about it everywhere you go. There’s a certain swagger NY people have, that most outsiders mistake for arrogance, over confidence and overall jerkiness.

It’s ok. New Yorkers have a tough skin. We are fighters. Especially in the city it’s a tough, strange place, full of equally tough, strange people. And more droves of people show up on a daily basis to chase their dreams permanently, or even just during a vacation from someplace halfway across the globe.

Because we know this, there is a pride that’s just hard to describe and New Yorkers start thinking we are more awesome than everyone else at an early age.

I remember my southern cousins always being impressed and excited when we came to town because we talked differently and dressed differently and we just seemed unfazed or unimpressed, too cool for school.

Even on an eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. I remember being in the bathroom at the Air and Space Museum, and some girls from some other school someplace else muttering, “Those girls think they are all that because they are from New York.”

While washing her hands, one of my classmates yelled out, “We do!”

Damn cocky New Yorkers.

Even to this day, although I reside in Maryland, I always preface it with, “I’m from New York.” Can’t help it. I can’t bring myself to say, “I’m from Maryland.”

It’s not really the truth. I do live in Maryland and I love it. But I’m not from here.

In my adult life, when I lived other places, I always said. I am from New York. It seems men who are not from New York, LOVE New York women, or either have stories about New York women ruining their lives. Either way. They all agree, there is something about us.

But there is something in particular about New Yorkers and California. (I’m going to watch Sex and the City when the girls go to LA for more inspiration. Carrie Bradshaw also mentions the New York Vs. Cali conundrum).

For some reason, I feel the need to be extra New York while I’m there. No, I will not thicken my accent, or wear Yankess caps everywhere I go, but, my New York soul is going to be turned up to the max. Oh, the swagger.

For some reason, there’s a geographic Hatfields and McCoys kind of rivalry that’s gone on for further back than I can remember. Both coasts being really proud and claiming its better than the other. Usually it’s playful, but yes, it eventually got serious among rappers, several years ago.

Here’s the list of ridiculous things I was trained to believe about NY and California. I’m so serious.

New Yorkers are supposed to hate California.

Even if you go for a visit, and you actually think it’s cool, you still have to point out everything you don’t like and explain why the East Coast is better.

You actually have to say, “This was cool, but…”

Yes, we know. We are professional haters. We are so friggin good at it. We take our hating seriously.

New Yorkers are supposed to be more cosmopolitan, and fast.

Californians are supposed to be laid back and slow and say things like “dude” and “gnarly.” All of the white people can surf and all of the black people are some how affiliated with a gang. Offensive? Totally.

New Yorkers have this ideal sense of culture and are serious and intellectual.

While Californians (particularly L.A.) are supposed to be vain and vapid.

All Californians are vegetarians.

California Pizza Kitchen is an oxymoron.

There is no bad sushi or Mexican food in California.

God hates California because of all of the earthquakes, fires and mudslides.

Don’t wear significant amounts of red or blue (The Bloods and Crips will kill you. Twice. Because neither group can be outdone in killing.).

Here are some of the songs in my mix:

NY Sh^& by Busta Rhymes

Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)

Blahzay Blahzay Danger (When the East Is in the House)

And let’s throw in my favorite California hip hop songs… California Love. Tupac

And let’s do “Going Back to Cali” with the Notorious B.I.G.

I love, love, love this song. I was going real hard with the Hip Hop.  “It Never Rains In Southern California” by Tony, Toni, Tone!

I Don’t Care If It’s A Deal, Keep The Extra Food/Sugar

Sugary devil, it’s all your fault.

I call it “movie food syndrome”. You know, where you order the large drink or tub of popcorn because well, there’s only a four cent difference between that and the small versions.

Movie food has trained us to say yes to the upgrade so we can feel like we are getting full value, and well, marketing folks in our restaurants peeped game and have followed suit.

As I’ve been trying to eat better more often and make better decisions (I’ve become a Mediterranean food junkie lately, but it’s paying off.), I’ve been having to politely say no, when these restaurant employees attempt to sell me on the upgrades for “just a few cents more” for extra food and drinks I just don’t need.

Have you seen the coupons in the mail for the fast food restaurants? You can get really excited off of the buy one sandwich get one free or buy one value meal get another for $1 coupons really quick. Then I realize, it’s just me and I won’t want to eat the second sandwich later, because we all know if you don’t consume your fast food within five minutes of ordering it, it tastes gross.

That is quite telling. If you can’t heat it up later and enjoy it, it’s not worth eating. I think that’s going to be my new rule. I can always heat up my Mediterranean leftovers, and it tastes just as good as when I got it.

Whenever I go to Dunkin Donuts, I like ordering an iced vanilla coffee or a sweet tea. But I always get the small.

Every time, the person taking my order will say, but you can get a large tea for the same price 99 cents. And I say, “No thanks, I want the small.” They look at me like I’m crazy for passing up such a deal of the century.

I already know the small sweet tea has more than enough sugar and when I need my fix, I need it. Unsweetened ain’t gonna do. The medium is huge, and large is just stupid. I stick to the small. I don’t care if I can get 4 times the amount for the same price. I like fitting into my short, shorts.

When I go to 711 to have my one glazed donut, the woman at the register always reminds me I can get a second donut for the price of one. I smile and I say, “No, no thanks. One is enough.” She smiles, and she should know me by now, because I’m probably the only person who sticks to getting just one, but she still reminds me I’m missing out on a free donut anyway.

Really, there’s nothing wrong with me people!!! Dang.

When I do breakdown and get fast food, I get grilled chicken sandwiches. Or burgers with no cheese and I don’t order fries (unless it’s the waffle fries at Chick-fil-a. I can’t resist.). I’ve even started to order water with my food, or just have a bottle of my own. I tried the diet lemonade at Chick-fil-a yesterday and I refuse to believe it’s diet, so I’m going to stay away until I get confirmation that I wasn’t slipped the sweet stuff.

So it seems I’m not completely crazy about downsizing in the food area.

In my home state of New York, in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on large, sugary beverages larger than 16 fluid ounces. He’s opened up a can of worms, but I have a feeling other cities and states are going to take notice and follow suit.

I personally think it’s a good move. While some folks are up in arms, saying the government shouldn’t tell us what we can and can’t have. I happily say goodbye to the large, or impose a higher tax on those super-sized drinks if you want it that badly.

I’m sorry, but it’s a serious health issue and obesity, diabetes and heart disease are reeking havoc on people of all ages in this country, coupled with a horrible medical system where everyone runs to the emergency room. Folks who are against this, YOU ARE PAYING MORE OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS TO TREAT ALL OF THIS SICK PEOPLE (A staggering number of which are uninsured). It is all connected. Fast food restaurants are always in areas where poor people live. Not saying they don’t have a brain to make their own choices, but they are more inclined to feel like they need to get the maximum bang for their buck.

And if you are that pressed, or you feel your rights are being infringed upon because large isn’t an option anymore, just buy two medium drinks! No one is saying you can’t have it, but really think about it.

No one is going to want to buy two medium drinks because, oops, you look like a glutton. Large allows you to lull yourself into a sense of complacency and think nothing is wrong with it. Buying two drinks will remind you that you just might be out of control and we all for know folks with food problems, or any addiction, denial is the cornerstone.

I think the government has a right to make these kinds of regulations. They regulate our food (sometimes poorly) anyway, and if you don’t like it, you can always grow or make your own food. You have a right to do that. Just ask any farmer or person with a garden.

When I was a kid, going to a fast food restaurant was a treat. Not an every day, regular event. When I was a kid, people had birthday parties at McDonald’s like they now do at Chuckie Cheese.

We are so lazy, that seriously there will be lines and lines of cars waiting for the drive thru, when no one is inside (and the service can actually be faster). My dad has always hated drive thrus and now I totally get where he’s coming from.

To your deal, thanks, but no thanks. Team moderation all the way.

Go get em Bloomie!

My Funny Valentine: I’m Max, He’s Kyle

I had an interesting conversation today with a good friend.

I was talking to her about the guy friend who I always argue with slash and am ridiculously attracted to.  You all know I’ve mentioned him before.

She simply said. “I like it.”

I asked her why.

In her opinion, this strange friendship was good for me. The back and forth, the sniping, the exchange of barbs and even honest, heated debates about our own shortcomings, and the undeniable attraction, she said is exactly what I need right now.

She said it was one of those things that you just go with the flow with. I told her that he told me he “sucks at relationships.” He also claims to use my healing and fully getting over my last relationship as my stumbling block.

I said I told him we’d either crash and burn or be insane enough to actually work.

Either way, I don’t think anything serious between us would happen anytime soon.

This, my friend believes is actually a good thing. What we have, she said seems to be sexy and fun and why not just sit back and enjoy it.

He still manages to stick around even after our most intense battles.

We even have nicknames for each other.

We argue. We flirt. Then argue some more.

We recommend books to read and places to eat and travel.

He’s handsome and reminds me of one of my favorite musicians.

When I think of him, and us, I think of one of the most difficult, sexually tense couples in the history of sitcoms, Kyle and Max of “Living Single.”

Whenever I describe our “relationship” I say Kyle and Max, and my friends give a knowing smile and just laugh.

But after the discussion, I thought to myself, OMG! This situation is helpful, because I’m feeling things I thought would take forever to feel again. I know I can grow something with someone else. Someone else can make me feel a little giddy, and sexy. Someone else makes me want to go out of my way to do something nice to make that person smile.

Even if nothing did come out of this situation romantically or permanently, my funny valentine showed me, I can feel these feelings again for someone besides my ex. That is a gift. A real gift. Oh that bastard( I call him that to his face, usually preceded with these interchangeable adjectives: egotistical, arrogant or pompous.)! I didn’t see it. He just might be an evil genius.

I will now share with you their official first date of Max and Kyle. Watch the whole thing (it’s only 9 mins and hilarious), it’s really funny and man they did a mean tango.

And I’ll throw in a bonus. Love this too, and Kyle is singing… “My Funny Valentine.” Please watch Max as she looses it as the song goes on…

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