Gray Tee at The Tabernacle

28 Jun
Getting ready to go see Dave Chappelle

Getting ready to go see Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle stopped doing his show on Comedy Central years ago, I was sad.  My sadness was reminiscent of the disappointment I felt when Robin Harris died.  I loved Robin Harris.  For those who don’t know, he was the creator of the infamous “Bebe’s kids” routine –Harris would talk about babysitting some mischievous children during his comedy act.  It’s hard to explain, but Bebe’s kids were really unruly kids and they would proclaim,”We don’t die, we multiply.”  Harris had many more acts in his repertoire that were really funny, but unfortunately, he died much too young, before he made it “big.”

I experienced a similar disappointment when Bernie Mac died.  As with Robin, Bernie died too soon.  At one point, every week, I had a standing weekly television appointment with my friend Vanessa to watch The Bernie Mac Show.  As you can see, I like my comedy.

Now, Dave Chappelle did not die.  All I knew is that he seemed to have problems and he just exited stage left with no explanation.  So I was excited to hear that he was coming to Atlanta, and I was fortunate enough to be going to his new stand up show – which was part of his recent return to the spotlight.

And that leads me to the Gray Tee challenge from The Fashionista Next Door.  What better place to wear a t-shirt than The Tabernacle, where Chappelle’s Atlanta shows are hosted?  The Tabernacle is a unique, funky, event venue.  Perfect for a somewhat dressed up t-shirt.  It looks like an old, spooky, huge church.  But it’s a concert hall, with creaky stairs that don’t look like they meet “code,” no elevators to the nosebleed seats, shadowy lounges, and bars strategically located throughout, so that patrons can be properly sauced during shows.

We decided to take Uber to The Tabernacle.  With Uber, you “call” a car to pick you up, within minutes, via an app on your phone.  When you order the car (through taps and swipes on your smartphone), Uber shows you how far away the cars are – you actually see them on a map on your phone.  You order your ride and your driver calls you to let you know he’s on the way.  It’s nicer than a typical taxi – as the drivers are pleasant, the cars clean, and you are instructed NOT to tip.  All payments happen via your phone.  It’s a great option if you want the convenience and luxury of a personal driver, without the hassle of a taxi or the expense of a limo.  So we used Uber, and got door-to-door service, avoiding traffic, and the need to find pricy parking.  If you want to learn more about Uber, click here:  Uber  (Full disclosure, if you sign up, I get credit.  Trust me, you’ll love it!)

So as we waited for our Uber driver, we took pictures of how I styled my gray t-shirt.

Who are your favorite comedians?

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Waiting for Uber

Waiting for Uber

I had a jacket in case the air conditioning made it a little chilly at The Tabernacle.

I had a jacket in case the air conditioning made it a little chilly at The Tabernacle.

Gray tee:  Old Navy

Pants:  INC

Shoes:  Qupid, purchased from Cato

Jacket:  Vintabella Boutique

Necklace:  Brighton

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Just Stop

14 Jun

In 2005, I was diagnosed with fibroid tumors.  The tumors were benign, but troublesome, and within 2 years, stretched my uterus to the point where my uterus was the size of a five month pregnancy (but there was no pregnancy).  They are actually quite common in women and even more common in African-American women, but the degree to which they cause symptoms varies widely.  In my case, I had a lot of symptoms.  But I was determined, like many, to avoid having them surgically removed.  So I did what any regular, driven, ambitious woman would do.  I did everything I could.

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I purchased loads of books on fibroids and I of course did the requisite Internet searches.  I knew, with my WebMD degree, I could figure out how to make them shrink without surgery.  I eventually changed my diet, eliminated certain foods, and I ordered tinctures and herbs that I took daily.  Every day, three times a day, while curious co-workers peered over my cubicle, I used a dropper to dispense my tinctures, swirled my herbal extract cocktails, and drank them dutifully.  When it looked like they weren’t working, I consulted with herbalists and tweaked my root mixtures.

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I was very disciplined in the many herbal medicines I took and I was disciplined in how I ate.  I stayed fit and thin, as I had learned that weight gain could make the tumors grow.  Despite my best efforts, my belly began to bulge with these tumors and when surgery appeared unavoidable, I chose to disbelieve my doctor.  I proceeded to seek three more opinions, taking off from work to see if I could find a doctor with an idea different from knocking me out, cutting me open, and removing the tumors.

By the time I realized my doctor was right – I needed to just have the surgery, I was exhausted.  Literally.  I was anemic, pale, and fatigued.  I was tired of hauling bottles, droppers, and herbs to work.  I had 11 tumors by then, one the size of a softball, and the tumors caused the anemia.  I was chronically cold and even when I had 8 solid hours of sleep, I was so tired.  And I had spent a ton of money and time trying to figure out how to do things my way.  And really, I did all of that because I was afraid of the operating table.

 “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Cease striving.  When I had the fibroid tumors initially, there was probably a point where I needed to stop what I was doing and just trust God.  But, like many, I am a doer.  I strive.  I like to be in control.  I also like to say,”I did this… and I was able to…”  I wanted to be able to tell people that I took action, and cured my fibroids on my own.  But instead, I used a great deal of money and time, and I did everything I could do.  I was really disappointed to have to go through with the surgery.  But the growth of the tumors was spiraling outside of the realm of my control.  And really, I had never been in control.  They had always been out of my control.  I had bought all those herbs in vain.

But it taught me a lesson (that I still wrestle with).  Sometimes, I just do too much.  I just need to sit still.  Wait.  Stand by.  It’s so counterintuitive.  But sometimes, you should just wait.  I’m not saying to be lazy.  But there are times when God is telling you to just watch Him do the work and trust that He will do it.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

    I will be exalted among the nations,

    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10, New International Version (NIV)

Are there ever times when you might be doing too much?

Style Me Friday – Black & White (with a little pink & green)

7 Jun
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The inspiration for this week’s Style Me Friday was “Black & White” – and who doesn’t have a lot of black and white?  Even though I have a lot of black and white items – shorts, pants, jeans, skirts, tops, dresses, you name it – it still took me a couple of attempts to find something that I actually didn’t mind taking a picture in.

I ended up pairing an old shirt from White House Black Market with another years old piece – a skirt from Macy’s.  I normally wouldn’t pair these, as the shirt is what I consider a “work” shirt.  And the last time I wore the skirt, I went salsa dancing at Loca Luna (so it’s not a “work” skirt).  But, I thought they went well together on a nice, not too humid June evening in Atlanta.  To finish off my own theme of “old” black & white items, I am wearing a pair of “Me Too” patent leather slip ons that I purchased a couple of years ago.

These pictures were taken at one of my favorite restaurants – Urban pL8.  Unfortunately, most of my friends don’t love it as much as I do.  I probably would go at least every other day, but I can’t find someone that frequently to go with me.  So if you want to meet me at Urban pL8, please let me know!

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On another, non-black & white note, I saw the cutest pink and green bracelet on instagram.  I would buy it, but I at least need to pretend I’m watching my budget right now.  It’s pink with a “Sprinkle of Mint.”  If you like it, check out the creator on instagram at fabulinadesigns (by the way, I have no connection fabulina other than that I like their bracelets!).

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Don’t Start None, Won’t Be None

5 Jun

il_570xN.268086628I am intrigued by a recent news item – one in which a group of high school students was removed from a flight headed to Atlanta.

Some high school students from New York were taking their senior trip – heading to Atlanta, GA, for fun at The World of Coke and Six Flags.  The story was that they disobeyed instructions from the flight crew to turn off their phones and settle down.  Apparently several students had to be told multiple times to turn off their phones.  Further, they were not seated at the appropriate time – they were swapping seats to sit next to their friends.  The school is pretty upset at the airline for kicking them off the plane.  And that is odd to me.  Because in this case, the kids were not blameless.  And these are big kids who knew better – seniors.  And apparently, their adult chaperones were not on the job.

I’m not sure if they were treated fairly or not, but they do admit – they started it.  And the flight crew finished it.  One thing I have learned over many years now of flying, is to respect flight attendants.  I treat them like police officers.  What they say to do, I do.  They are up there in the air much more than I am and further, they have a lot of power.  And those kids learned that.  And I hope the students can see the lesson in this.  Whether the kids and the adult chaperones agree or not, if they hadn’t started it, they would not have had their trip interrupted by being kicked off the plane.

Don’t start none.  Won’t be none.

I don’t know the origin of this saying, but I remember saying it a lot when I was little.  I would say it’s an urban proverb with universal application.  Don’t start none, won’t be none.  In other words, if you do start it, there will be some consequences.

There are many instances in life where we sometimes think we don’t need to listen, or perhaps where we don’t always think we have to show a certain level of respect.  But I will tell anyone, respect those ladies (and men) in skirts (and pants) on that plane.  Because they will put you off.  And they will finish what you started.

So watch what you start.  Cause you might not be able to finish it.

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Bookworm Wednesday – Madeline’s Protector

29 May

imagesI am really, really excited to finally be reading Madeline’s Protector by my friend (more like a big sister), Vanessa Riley.  I love reading books, but unfortunately, right now it’s rare for me to pick up one and actually finish it.  I’d like to blame Facebook, Instagram, email, etc. for that.  But really, I can only blame myself.  But still, perhaps there will be a social networking fast in my near future, who knows?

At any rate, the long weekend has afforded me the time to dig into Madeline’s Protector.  I always knew that my friend Vanessa is gifted.  But, I’m about a quarter of the way through and this book is way better than I imagined (don’t get me wrong, I knew it would be good, but it’s actually really good).  The main characters, Madeline, Justain, and Aunt Tiffany would be familiar to many.  They are at times stubborn, faithful, faithless, afraid, courageous and manipulative.  If you have a pushy aunt, who you love despite her pushiness, you will connect with Aunt Tiffany.  If you’ve ever had guilt that you couldn’t (or still can’t) shake, you’ll understand Justain.  I was surprised at how much I could understand the characters, despite the setting of this novel being in 19th century England.

This is a Christian Regency romance, so if you like a little romance, history and Christian fiction, you should check it out!  I’m loving the terms I’m learning about from that time in history.  My favorite is “abigail” – which I’ve learned is a personal maid of sorts.  I’m now looking around my house, looking for my abigail.  But, alas, I don’t actually have one.  I’ve got to chase these dust bunnies on my own and lace up my own corset.  I’m off to continue reading…

What are you reading right now?

Style Me Friday – Double Denim

26 May
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I’ve been wanting to participate in The Fashionista Next Door’s Style Me Friday for some time – so I’m excited to finally have a chance to do it.  The theme this week was “Double Denim” – so my task was to pull together my own version of double denim.  This kind of task is good for someone like me, who is not a “fashionista next door.”  So, in a way, it’s comforting for someone to “tell” me what to wear.  I normally rely on the kindness of friends to provide some inspiration for my wardrobe, otherwise, I would buy and wear the same kinds of pieces over and over again.

To accomplish “double denim,” I decided to wear my Nissi jeans, purchased a few years ago from Bare Feet Shoes in Chicago (I bought them because my sister had them on and I liked them).  They kind of look like “pajama jeans” but they are real denim jeans.  I struggled with the top a bit, as I didn’t own a denim or denim-like top.  But I found this one courtesy of Cato in Mableton, GA.  The shoes are also from Cato.  I purchased the necklace when I was in New Mexico several years ago – I was either in Santo Domingo Pueblo or Cochiti.  And finally, the earrings were made by my friend Kayla.  Check out the Style Me Friday Link below, after my pictures, to see the inspiration picture from The Fashionista Next Door.

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What do I do?

24 May

I found a challenge online to blog every day in the month of May.  Of course, I’m really late to the table for this, but I thought I’d jump in at the end.   I also thought I’d cheat, and skip today’s prompt and go to one that looked interesting.  So here’s the one I’ve landed on:

Day 6, Monday: If you couldn’t answer with your job, how would you answer the question, ‘what do you do’?

This is totally cheating, because this one is pretty easy for me to answer, as someone recently asked me this question, and well, I can’t answer with a job since I don’t really have one right now.

I was at the post office a couple of weeks ago – right after I hopped out of my car (literally hopped since I’m little and I have an SUV), a man sitting in a truck said hello to me.  I returned the hello and he then quickly asked me,”So what do you do?”  I was trying to get into the post office quick since I didn’t want to talk to this man, but he stopped me in my tracks with that question.

What do I do?  Honestly, I’ve been so defined by my job and my field the past several years, that in that moment, I didn’t know how to answer that question.

He quickly followed up his question by saying that he works at a funeral home and I look like one of his colleagues.

Really?  This is a new pick up line for me.  And, unless there are some big Fortune 500 funeral homes out there, I’m assuming that you know everyone who works at the funeral home you work at.  So he could not have thought that I was her.

He was waiting expectantly for me to answer about what I do and, puzzled myself; I quickly tried to come up with a witty answer.  Seeing none (in my head), I looked down at my pink Asics, and remembering that I was dressed for the gym, I told him,”I work out.  A lot.”  I said it like it was my career.  And I promise you, as I said,”I work out,” the lyrics from “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO played in my head.

(Ahhh) Girl look at that body (x3)

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Fpr the evidence that I work out, see if you can find me here.  This is pretty old, and thankully I’ve learned the routines (and you’ll see I’m thicker than a snicker).

So, that’s what I do.  For now.  But that will all change very soon.

So if you couldn’t answer with your job, how would you answer the question,”what do you do”?

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