Friday, September 30, 2011

Organ and Tissue Donation, What Is It All About?

Since I've had my job, I've learned a lot about donation that I never knew before. I thought I'd take this post and explain the basics of how this process works. I don't mince words in this post, so if you don't want to read about cadaver eyes, skip this post.

I love my job and I love the work I do. The only downside I've seen is when I encounter people who don't understand the process and have really negative things to say that are inaccurate or uninformed.

The first thing you need to know about donation is where to find information about it. Click here for that information. A wonderful website called Donate Life will give you all you need to know.

The basics of donation:
  • It's not just organ donation, there's tissue donation and eye donation.
  • Organs that can be donated aren't donated until you are officially dead (usually brain dead). Those are heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and intestines.
  • Tissues that can be donated aren't donated until you are officially dead. Those are skin, bones, vertebral bodies, juvenile cartilage, heart valves, ribs, veins, eyes, and adipose tissue.
  • For eyes, the donation can be the whole eye or just the corneas.
  • You can donate for transplantation to help others directly, or for research/medical education purposes.
To dispel some myths about donation:
  • If you sign up with your state to be a donor, that is a legally binding document, you have to change it with the registry if you change your mind.
  • No one wants to kill a patient just to get their organs. It's better to save the patient you know and are currently taking care of than doing something to them for another patient you don't even know. Plus, most of what you can do to kill someone would ruin them for donation anyway, defeating the purpose.
  • Donation will not affect a traditional viewing for most funerals.
  • Organs and tissues from someone who has been deceased for a long time is against federal regulations, so the process happens rather quickly (within 24-36 hours past death declaration) for procurement.
  • No donation process will take place without the consent of a close family member/friend.
If you're interested in donation, learn more about it. Sign up to be a donor if you want. Discuss it with your family, sign up to be a volunteer, spread the word. Once you start those conversations, you'd be surprised to find out how many people you may know who's lives have been touched by donation.

Some Statistics:
28,663 Organ Transplants Performed in 2010

14,502 Organ Donors in 2010
As of March 2010,
110,541 Patients Waiting

60,758 Multicultural Patients
1,785 Pediatric Patients

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Camille Goes For Networking, Not Hooking Up

This post is about my friend Camille. I was writing about her love life on one of my old blogs on Wednesdays, and I'm continuing it here because I find it fascinating.

Camille is in law school, so take from that what you will. She an amazing friend and bridesmaid (she's planning my bridal shower thingee). She's also a hopeless romantic/relationship saboteur.

How can you be both a hopeless romantic and a relationship saboteur? It's not easy I'll tell you that. But Camille has it down to a science. She'll meet a guy and start thinking of all the romantic possibilities. We'll chat about possible signs a guy likes her, which happens to be a totally fun chick activity, and then two days later, she's telling me she's completely lost interest.

She loses interest without warning and rather abruptly. I think it helps her weed out the frogs while she's on her way to her prince. But it's certainly amusing, especially when she dropped that guy she met a the wedding of some friends of ours from church. Then she had to figure out if she was going to have to avoid birthday parties and barbecues and the like for a while.

I think you have enough background now for me to launch in to the purpose of today's post. Camille has a networking event coming up. It will have law students, med students, and business students hosted at the University of Chicago. She told her classmates this event was for networking purposes and not for hooking up purposes.

This was of course right before her next sentence asked if she will leave with a date.

I hope she meets someone there. Back when I was in med school, I was convinced that professional people should date other professional people because they understood what it was like and the demands on your life.

Now that I'm marrying a musician who was convinced he'd only end up with another musician, I can understand the need to branch out of your comfort zone. But with Camille's busy schedule, the opportunity to meet so many new men all in one place cannot be passed.

She must be dolled up, looking delectable (yet classy) and being super friendly. I just hope her classmates don't notice she isn't just "networking". If anything interesting happens at the event, I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

How do you meet new men? Should Camille just focus on networking for realsies?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gloria's Rough Patch Smooths Out

On one of my old blogs, I would write about my friends' love lives. I still think they're lives are pretty interesting, so I'll write about them on this new blog occasionally as things develop.

This post is about my friend Gloria. You should click the links in the previous sentence to read her posts in my old blog.

To sum it up for you lazier readers (I'm not judging), Gloria is my girl who has an interesting love life. The main players are two men, who I call Rufus and Gregory in my blogs. Rufus is the father of Gloria's son. He's an asshole. And he's possibly crazy. The best way to sum up what makes him crazy is to tell a short story.

He has another son who was 1 years old at Gloria's son's second birthday party. I'll wait while you do the math. Yeah, he knocked up two chicks back to back. And while the mother of his seond son was still living with him, and pregnant, he's telling Gloria that they need to be a family and together. He's still telling her that he wants to be with her and his son and make a family unit. I question not only his sanity but also his intelligence.

Then there's Gregory. Gregory is lovely. He's a sweetheart and definitely my favorite of my friends' significant others. He also has a son, but he has considerably less baby mama drama. He and Gloria have been together slightly longer than Easy and I have. They make a fabulous couple. They are so sweet together, and if they could just get over their competitive streak, everything would be fine.

They hit a rough patch recently because Gloria was feeling like a very low priority on Gregory's list of importance in life. I was worried they were going to break up and I begged her to reconsider. She really loves that man, so she didn't need me to tell her to keep her relationship. I did give her a suggestion of a more productive and constructive way to have what-do-we-do-now-that-we've-hit-a-wall discussions.

They're still together, and she seems happier when his name comes up now than she did a couple weeks ago. Even if you work on your problems as a couple, you'll never be perfect, but when you love someone and the relationship is healthy, you keep making it work.

I'm trying to be very supportive because I am campaigning to be godmother for their first child together. I'd make a great godmother! I bake cookies and I take field trips to museums, and I throw a mean slumber party. I'm just saying.

When Gloria was with Easy and I last weekend, we really had a great time. Any time someone is out with a couple and isn't even a bit bitter, that's a good sign.

Now if we can only get Gregory to have some free time, we'd love to go on a double date with them. Gregory is kind of quiet, but Easy had him talking. He brings out the extrovert in everyone. And Gregory is hilarious, so I know it would be a good time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Planning The Perfect Tuesday

Tuesdays are special days for Easy and me. I don't know when exactly that happened, but I remember it most vividly starting right after we moved in together at the end of June. We don't do something every single Tuesday, but we try. It's our unofficial date night.

Sometimes it's just as simple as hanging out on the couch talking. Other times, it involves full nights out being all romantic and coupley. My favorite Tuesdays are the ones that involve flowers! I love flowers. Hint hint, ahem.

Last Tuesday didn't quite work with our schedule, so we had our "Tuesday" on the weekend. But this week, it's my turn to plan something that's just-for-us-and-doesn't-involve-our-families-or-our-careers. I was really looking forward to the planning.

Now the planning is all done and I'm excited to put it into action. I was trying to figure out what Easy is interested in that wasn't music. For a while, I just didn't know. But we've talked about it more recently, and I took notes from that and have planned a wonderful date for him.

I would tell you all what I have planned, but Easy reads my blog, and I don't want to ruin the surprise. But when I'm back at work (and therefore have internet) on Thursday, I'll tell you how today goes.

I'm just glad we have these days. I think of years from now when we've got kids and long commutes (knock on wood) and have to schedule Date Night, but then are too tired to really enjoy it.

Image via IMDb
Right now, we're just enjoying being engaged. We're enjoying being D.I.N.K.s, and life is good. Even when we have disagreements, it's pretty easy to settle it quickly because we don't have a lot of distractions.

I'll be looking back on this time in 10 years. I hope I won't envy this time. My life will hopefully be the life I'm working now to build and I'll be satisfied with it. I imagine that instead of envy, it will be more like nostalgia because I'm making the most of these moments.

How do you make the most of everyday moments?

Monday, September 26, 2011

America's Next Top Model Episode 2

First, does anyone miss Brittany? No? I didn't think so.

The thing that stood out to me was their lesson that started 3 min into the episode. They discussed branding, led by Martin Lindstrom. Each girl had an idea of who she was and each was confronted with what people actually thought about them. I found it quite fascinating, and so I'll share it here.

I was worried for poor Alexandria, just like she was worried for herself. She's very polarizing, and though I love her, everyone doesn't. I just hoped her word wasn't Bitchy. Keep reading to find out.

Name: Lisa D'Amato
Thinks of Herself: trustworthy, rule breaker
Memorable Title: Daring (not trustworthy though)

Name: Sheena Sakai
Thinks of Herself: annoying, sexy, smart
Memorable Title: Unexpected (not smart though)

Name: Kayla Ferrel
Thinks of Herself: lesbian
Memorable Title: Free (lesbian is 5 years ago)

Name: Shannon Stewart
Thinks of Herself: virgin (was before marriage), don't drink, don't smoke, NOT boring
Memorable Title: Trustworthy (could be boring)

Name: Dominique Reighard
Thinks of Herself: *
Memorable Title: Survivor

Name: Allison Harvard
Thinks of Herself: annoying
Memorable Title: Unique

Name: Angelea Preston
Thinks of Herself:  *
Memorable Title: Persistence (also cheap shoes)

Name: Bre Scullark
Thinks of Herself: *
Memorable Title: Girlfriend

Name: Camille McDonald
Thinks of Herself: *
Memorable Title: Proud

Name: Isis King
Thinks of Herself: *
Memorable Title: Inspiration

Name: Laura Kirkpatrick
Thinks of Herself: *
Memorable Title: Loveable

Name: Alexandria Everett
Thinks of Herself: possibly bitchy, annoying
Memorable Title: Tough (and also annoying)

Name: Bianca Golden
Thinks of Herself: *
Memorable Title: Candid

After their lesson, (and some Bianca-Camille drama) it was time for the makeovers. I'm glad they're doing it this early. I must admit I was hoping for at least one breakdown with hair. Sheena had a pre-meltdown at the though of repeating her previous hair drama. I was really surprised when Bre lost it because she got her hair cut.

If Bianca is her girl like they say they are "sisters", you'd think Bianca would've shared with her how to get through having your crowning glory chopped off. I was really surprised that she let a haircut take her confidence. She started off explaining a previous haircut as being required. Silly girl.

They moved on to the photo shoot. The photographer was Ricky Middlesworth. They had to embody their new brands, along with making an advertisement for Pink's hotdog. Sounds intricate, but not too complicated. These girls are working models after all.

Laura was adorable. Camille looked like she was performing the most uncomfortable blowjob ever. Mr. Jay called Laura back to show her how to eat a hot dog like you are eating food and not some bust down snob. Well, he didn't say that, but that's certainly how it looked to me.

Then Angelea came out and O.M.G.! She looked amazing. She still ghetto as ever underneath, but that outer shell is looking glamorous and refined. I think she's so beautiful and I'm glad to see how she's become a chameleon because that means she'll always be able to get work.

Allison, Kayla, and Bre didn't do so well. You never know what the judges will think of the best picture. The top pictures were:
1) Lisa D'Amato; 2) Bianca Golden; 3) Alexandria Everett; 4) Laura Kirkpatrick; 5) Angelea Preston; 6) Dominique Reighard; 7) Shannon Stewart; 8) Allison Harvard; 9) Isis King; 10) Bre Scullark; 11) Camille McDonald.

The bottom two were Sheena Sakai and Kayla Ferrel. I looked at these two and thought Kayla looked the most lost in terms of her brand in person and on photos. Sheena is very unexpected and Andre really likes her. I think he'll push for her to get another chance.

But I was wrong! They kept Kayla. Tyra really believes in Kayla, so she gave her another chance to get it together. Sheena is leaving and she will be missed. That girl had flava!

* They didn't actually show on camera this information.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How's Your Life? Mine's Awesome

I'm feeling pretty awesome today. Have you ever heard of the term D.I.N.K.?

I'd never heard of it before a couple weeks ago. Easy's mother introduced us to the term.

It means Double Income, No Kids. It is pretty nice to live this life where our only responsibility is making sure each other is as happy as possible.

We go to work-- and luckily we both love our jobs-- then we come home and we pretend to be nesting.

We're not actually nesting. Our house is still incredibly unsettled. It's the product of a busy schedule and an odd set of priorities. But Easy and I are incredibly happy almost all the time. It feels like a dream, but still also very realistic.

The last couple days have not felt like a typical weekend. We actually had time to just live life. I love that man because I told him all of five days ago that I wanted to do something with our time that didn't include a restaurant, my parents' house, his parents' house, or live jazz music.

And he made it happen in just a couple days. Friday, I hung out with my girl, Gloria, who I wrote about in one of my old blogs. We went shopping. Women be shopping! I got two pairs of shoes for me, two pairs for Easy, a great new dress, a new scarf, and the piece de resistance was this:
Image via Express Online
 I saw a belted cape coat somewhere online and I fell in love. I dragged poor Gloria into every store on Michigan Avenue looking for one! I returned the favor by being dragged into every store in Water Tower Place after that to find her the perfect boots. It was a very successful day.

Then, we went to go see The Lion King in 3D. I love Disney (with their parent-killing, stereotype reinforcing asses), and so I was super excited to have the chance to go see that movie. 

Some people were in that theater reacting to the movie like they'd never seen it. And this was not 10 years old and under kids, this was mostly grown-ups falling out over the floor laughing when the hyena voiced by Whoopi Goldberg says, "Make mine a cub sandwich!" Easy, Gloria, and I were in there shaking our heads.

I understand that everyone else isn't as big a Disney fan as me and they aren't at home watching the Special Edition DVD once a a month, but come up on people. It hasn't been that long, has it?

Saturday, we hung out at home for most of the day. There was listening to music and dancing. We break into dance a lot. And I cooked dinner for Easy to eat right then and for me to take to work. Pork chops, collard greens, rice, and corn bread. Delish!

Just like that picture at the top, this weekend was a great blend of a good number of all the components of my personal life I like to juggle. I look forward to the next time I'll be able to do this, which is... probably at least 2 months away.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Being Proud Of Who You Are

There was an article in the Sunday Review of this week's New York Times by Maureen Dowd. I've been down on her in my mind lately because she just seems to be bashing Obama and giving example after example of how weak a leader he's turning out to be. I don't want to read or hear that shit.

In her most recent article, she actually came up with something I was glad to read. The article, titled "Egghead and Blockheads" highlights something that's been bothering me about Republicans specifically for years and people in general my whole life.

Read her opinion piece, it's eye opening if it covers a topic you've never considered before. She points out examples of the most prominent Republicans these days (Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry) and how they seem proud of their lack of knowledge about the world around them.

It's mystifying to my why people would prefer not knowing things over knowing things. I've experienced conversations with people where they literally appear in pain when something I've said or asked requests that they really use their brain and think and think hard. They look like their stomachs and backs and brains and hearts hurt.

Signing up to govern people should take you beyond that desire to be a complete idiot. It's your job to think things through. It's your job to care about how stuff affects others. But apparently, it's become preferable to not think. I'm assuming their high poll numbers are only confirming to these idiots that being an idiot is a good thing. Sigh, I only hope a majority of voters can figured out that being an idiot is not preferable over someone who actually likes to think.

While I'm on the subject of my disdain for preferred ignorance, I'd like to talk about all the things that bother me about people.

1. I can't stand it when a person forgets someone else's humanity. People are all people. All of them. Even the ones who don't look like you or talk like you or live like you. I think if more people got this, it's be a lot harder to demonize others and be so xenophobic.

2. I dislike when someone is really unattractive. God didn't bless everyone with perfectly symmetrical, visually appealing features. But everyone has something about their appearance they can play up. Taking good care of your outside tends to reflect on the inside as well. I'm referring to both personality and health. If you look like you haven't bothered to enhance your features or play up your positive attributes, I'm turned off very strongly.

3. I don't like people who have terrible personalities and/or senses of humor. I think that taking yourself seriously is fine, but you have to be able to relax and let your hair down. You don't have to share my sense of humor or sensibility, but you certainly should have some personality to speak of. My memory for unremarkable people is non-existent.

4. I don't like people who are mean. I'm one of the most blunt (bluntest??) people I know and my parents, fiance, and best friends constantly refer to me as an asshole. It's almost become a term of endearment because I don't mince words or shield people from the truth to protect egos or feelings. But I'm not mean. My brother is mean, he does things simply to try and hurt other peoples' feelings, without regard of the destructive (as opposed to constructive) nature of his words/actions. I will never understand that impulse.

5. I really hate when someone isn't self aware. Be your own person! You can't live your own life to please others. You will be very unhappy if you wait until you can't take it anymore and have a mid-life crisis and then finally turn into the real you. Might as well just start today. And know your attributes and flaws. Don't embrace the flaws as if they're attributes, but be aware of who you are so you know who you should be. Just be real!

Okay, that last bit wasn't at all about politics, but I really felt like it needed to be said. To sum this whole post up: care! Please care about the world around you and yourself! And demand that your leaders do the same.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

America's Next Top Model Premiere

With my work schedule, I hardly ever get to watch a television show right when it first airs. That's why God made DVR. I constantly have the television at my parents' house filled with recorded episodes of everything under the sun.

I don't even have time to keep up with premieres, so I have the settings already done from last season. Imagine my surprise when I was at the house washing clothes only to see the premiere for the new cycle of ANTM. I had no idea it was happening so soon. I didn't know it was going to be an All-Star cycle either. I was so excited.

In case you missed it, I'm here to tell you how lovely the episode was! I'm aware that this is a week late, I'm sorry. All I can say is that perhaps next week's episode won't be as late, ha ha.

This is Cycle #17. These girls are all working models who were fan favorites from previous cycles. They were popular (for whatever reason) personalities and Tyra is looking to make one of them a star and a celebrity, not just a model. The prizes, which I'll go into later, are the best ever prizes.

The 14 girls arrived to their new top model mansion in this order:
Name: Angelea Preston
Cycle: 14
Remembered for: Girl From The Hood

Name: Laura Kirkpatrick
Cycle: 13 (the petite cycle)
Remembered for: Country Cutie

Bianca Golden - Domenico Vacca - Runway - Fall 09 MBFWName: Bianca Golden
Cycle: 9
Remembered for: Loud and sassy

Name: Lisa D'Amato
Cycle: 5
Remembered for: Wild Child; peeing in her diaper

Name: Bre Scullark
Cycle: 5
Remembered for: Ghetto Fabulous

Name: Brittany Brower
Cycle: 4
Remembered for: Party Girl

Name: Dominique Reighard
Cycle: 10
Remembered for: Masculine/Feminine

Name: Sheena Sakai
Cycle: 11
Remembered for: Harlem But Not Hoochie

Name: Isi King
Cycle: 11
Remembered for: Confidence

Name: Kayla Ferrel
Cycle: 15
Remembered for: Proud Lesbian

Name: Allison Harvard
Cycle: 12
Remembered for: Quirky Doll

Name: Camille McDonald
Cycle: 2
Remembered for: Diva

Name: Shannon Stewart
Cycle: 1
Remembered for: Angelic; Not posing nude

Name: Alexandria Everett
Cycle: 16
Remembered for: Tough California Girl

Some of these girls already knew each other from working as models and from being on the show. There are already some interesting personality clashes. Bre and Bianca lived together in Chicago, but they have a love/hate thing going on. And the girl Lisa seems to have grossed a lot of people out when she peed in the diaper waaay back when.

They started off with the basic photo shoot. The photographer was Celeste Canino. They had to do amplified versions of the personality they had on their cycle which made them memorable. The shoot went well and only a couple of the girls got negative critiques from the photographer or Mr. Jay. Angelic girl, ?, is really confused. I just don't get the idea of wearing tiny ass bikini bottoms, but not wearing lacy boy short underwear. Whatever.

The judging was live with guest judge Nicki Minaj. That girl is a trip. And I can only imagine what Andre Leon Talley was thinking about what she was wearing. And if you got a chance to actually watch the episode, did you like Nigel's hair? What was up with that mess?

The live judging was great for some girls to get to feel the love for the audience, but it was way harsh for poor Alexandria. I really loved her last cycle, but I felt like I was the only one sometimes.

The prizes are: a spread in Italian Vogue, a cover of Beauty in Vogue, a spread in Beauty in Vogue, a special blog on Italian Vogue's website, a celebrity guest correspondent gig for Extra, a national campaign with Express, and a $100,000 contract with Cover Girl cosmetics. Goodness that's a lot o' prizes

After the live judging, they debated in private. The top photos were: 1) Isis; 2) Allison; 3) Camille; 4) Lisa; 5) Angelique; 6) Laura; 7) Bre; 8) Bianca; 9) Shannon; 10) Dominique; 11) Sheena; 12) Kayla

The bottom two were: Brittany and Alexandria. Brittany's problem was that her photo wasn't super strong. Plus, the crowd didn't have anything negative or positive to say about her. Alexandria was booed by the crowd and it made the judges wonder if they made a mistake bringing her back.

They said because of her polarity, having people love her and hate her was okay. She just had to get more love than hate. Brittany had indifference, the true opposite of love.

I was glad to see her go because I never watched her cycle, so I wasn't invested in her. Plus, they were right, she wasn't memorable.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Introducing... A Variety of Blog Topics!

The exclamation mark indicates some sort of fanfare. Yay!!!

I'm pretending that people will actually care enough about my blog to want to know what they're reading about before they read it. In my last post, I came up with the idea to separate out the different things I want to talk about into different memes in the (counter-intuitive) idea that it will make this blog feel more seamless.

These are not in order of importance, they're just in the order that I figured out the jpeg. So, without further ado, my blog topics.

Up first is one that I pretty self-explanatory.

A Love Life Review
This one will be for when I discuss my friends' love lives. Pink means love right? And the word love is pretty damn obvious. Mostly, it's just pretty...

Next is the one of the ones I designed for talking about my life.

All Growed Up
 That's not my hair, but everything else about the clip art With this meme, I'll be talking about career, finance, grad school, and all the general grown-up stuff that's coming at me full force. It's coming almost as fast as my 30th birthday feels like it's approaching. Okay, I"m being dramatic as 30 is still over 3 years away.

Up next is one I had a lot of fun making.

Living My Life

I may or may not be completely self-centered. Well, 80% self-centered. But I love this one and I'm looking forward to having this jpeg identify when I'm waxing poetic (except I hate poetry) about my life with Easy or my hobbies or my family or whatever else goes on in my personal life.

After I did this one, I figured that could cover all I had to talk about my friends and myself. That left politics and television.

Let's Talk About Politics

On The Small Screen
 So perhaps the phrasing isn't so clever. But I love these and I'm looking forward to having a more clearly defined topic list from which to choose. Coming up with the jpegs helped me further refine what I'm going to talk about. I love movies, but I don't have much to say about them besides whether or not I liked them.

So you can pretty much be guaranteed that if you read my post you'll read about: 1) my personal life, 2) my career and other grown-up topics, 3) my friends' love lives, 4) politics, 5) television. It feels good to have some focus!

Musings on My Blog Topics

As this new blog is evolving, it's occurring to me that in order for my blog to be exactly what I want it to be, I shouldn't be writing about anything except things I have an interesting take on. No one will want to read what I'm bored to even write about myself. But I don't want my blog to be this random jumble of whatever comes to my mind.

Don't get me wrong, I love reading "musing" blogs. My favorite is Unscripted Musings by an awesome ATL mommy named Monique. Check her out for cute stories about her son, her life, her finances, and her nail polish (I love her taste in nail polish!).

For myself, I envision more of a conversational tone that recounts things that happen in the world around me, with hopefully a bit of humor, wit, or other traits that I like to occasionally pretend I possess. But what to write about in the world around me?

I like current events.

I like pop culture.

I like music.

I like politics.

I like television and movies.

I like my life.

I like my friends' lives.

But ultimately, I can't write about all that. I honestly don't care enough about all that to write consistently enough to not seem scatterbrained. I was finally, finally, honest with myself and I realized what I truly enjoy writing about.

I love writing about: random goings-on in my life, my fiance Easy, my friends' love lives, television & movies, and politics. I just have to figure out how to make it all gel. I tried for a couple posts to find a way to connect stuff in my life to stuff in politics, but it was too much work to find the connection, and it seemed a bit... trite.

And there's no way I will be doing recaps of shows I like to watch just so I can find a way to compare it something that happened to me.

So now, I will try doing memes. They will likely not qualify as memes because they likely will not catch on and it will just be me doing it. But I don't care. Having a theme for posts will let the 1.75 people who read my blog know what to expect when they show up to have a gander.

And it will make me feel more focused. I like to have a purpose in mind when I write blog posts. Well, not this blog post. This post is purposefully rambling. If you're still reading, you must really like the way my mind works, which doesn't reflect well on you by the way.

I must now come up with a clever phrasing and jpeg for these different memes. I'll need one for television, one for movies, one for my friends' love lives, one for my life. I have to figure out if I want just one for my life or if I should further split it into talks about engaged life, talks about career, and talks about friends/family.

I also love talking about my hobbies. Sigh, I'm starting to feel scatterbrained again. Okay, okay. Maybe I'll do one for grown-up talk stuff, like career and finance. Another for life with Easy which will likely cover romance, wedding planning, nesting, and some friends and family stuff. And I'll do another for just about me. That will be my hobby, random musings (they will happen again, be prepared).

Having worked all that out, now I will figure out what to call each of these memes and a jpeg to go along. That will be my next post.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Inadvertent And Random Funnies

You ever have those moments where the most random things happen? All you can really do is laugh about it and hope it's funny in the re-telling because you've simply got to tell someone what craziness just went down.

Luckily, I have a blog, so I can subject the 3.5 people who read this thing to hearing my ridiculously random stories.

Story #1: Giving Out Hair Advice At A Busy Intersection
If you live in Chicago and drive around a lot, chances are you've gone past 35th & King Drive. That's pretty busy and large intersection. King Drive is a boulevard at 35th Street which means there's actually three separate streets separated by grassy medians that make it a very long intersection.

Image via Google Maps
So I'm sitting at this intersection on the western 3rd of 35th street heading west. I'm waiting for the light to turn green. I see this guy in the next car trying to get my attention. I make a point to be nice to strangers and not assume a guy trying to get my attention is full of shit, so I turned down my radio to see what he wanted.

He complimented my hair and then asked where I get it done. I told him where and he asked if my hairstylist takes walk-ins. I told him she did and he asked for her number. At this point the light turned green. So I'm yelling her cell number out of my car into his while we're both slow rolling into a green intersection. He got the number and thanked me and we both drove off to continue our lives.

I'm quite sure we broke several traffic rules about cell phone use while driving. Whatever, I love my hairstylist, and if she gets more business (plus no cops saw us), I'm happy it happened. I'll definitely be checking with her during my next appointment to see if he called her about getting his hair done.

Story #2: Trying To Reach A Florist Who Doesn't Return Phone Calls Right Away

I will be mostly talking about the whole wedding planning thing on my other blog which I maintain purely for Weddingbee. But I will say here that our first florist appointment to check out potential florists was originally scheduled for a day that didn't work for my mother or Easy's mother.

I called the florist a couple times to try and push the appointment back one day. But they never called back. Finally it was the day of the original appointment. I had just gotten home from work and really needed to get sleep since I had to be back at work the next day.  I still hadn't heard from the florist and I didn't want them to think I'd stood them up for an appointment. Not when they do work like this:
The FTD® Champagne Dreams™ Bouquet
Image via South Loop Floral and Events Gallery
I called them again and left yet another voice mail. I basically decided that I was going to have to postpone my much-needed sleep in order to drive up to the florist to make sure they were okay with changing the appointment. On my way to the florist is when #1 above happened. I finally get about 9 blocks from the florist only to have my phone ring. It wasn't my hairstylist complaining that I gave her number to a crazy man on the street. It was the florist saying moving the appointment to the next day was no problem.

Sigh, so I trekked back home and finally went to bed a couple hours later than intended. I was not happy to miss out on that sleep. I hate when being lazy would've paid off better than being proactive. But it happens.

Story #3: Directing Attention To An Ex To Take It Off Myself

This last story is about Easy's ex. I mentioned in my last post that something ridiculous happened when I met her. She came out to Easy's last gig that was in St. Louis at this club called Robbie's House of Jazz.
Image via Robbie's House of Jazz
This was my first time meeting her. Easy introduced us and I shook her hand. Then she pulled me in for a hug. I think she was determined that we would be friendly and she would give me no reason not to like her. But she miscalculated because I AM NOT A HUGGER!!

Easy said he was worried when she hugged me, but then it was over so we all moved on. She seems nice enough, but I definitely wasn't trying to get to know her and hang out. She's an ex and I'm basically just counting down the time until she's no longer a part of our lives.

This crazy thing that happened actually came up when Easy introduced one of his original compositions. It's a song called The Wrath of Knee-coal. It's a lovely song and one of my favorite's he's written. His friend we just went on the double date with actually played with him on the recorded track and it sounds amazing! This song was written about his ex who was at the show.

Easy told her he had written the song and what the title was. But he didn't exactly rehearse what he was going to say to introduce the songs, so the intro came out like this: "I wrote this song. It was inspired by a friend of mine. When she gets angry, it really isn't pleasant. It's not fun. That inspired this song. I hope you like it." Or something like that.

There was a woman at the next table who always goes to Easy's shows in St. Louis with her husband. We haven't seen her since before we were engaged, so she didn't know the background of the songs. She leans over to my table where I'm sitting with one of my best friends, Lion, who's the best man at our wedding. She asks, "is he talking about you?" with a laugh.

I turned to her and threw a thumb over my shoulder in Easy's ex's direction. "Nah! He's talking about her!" The woman turned to look at her like, "Oh..." And didn't ask any follow-up questions. I told Lion what happened and I admit I had amused myself for a bit. Easy found the story pretty funny. I didn't turn to see her reaction, but I know she heard what happened. That should make sure she doesn't try to hug me again.

I'm not going to be friends with her. I feel like it's fine if she and Easy are friendly, but she and I are not about to be friends. Who wants to be friends with their spouse's ex? Certainly not me.
Having your ex officiate your wedding? That's a big hell no!

And a very random late addition: I listen to Pandora while at work. The song Candy by Cameo came on. I love that song as it shows up in several places that I have fond thoughts of, such as the second-to-last scene in the movie The Best Man. I googled it to see what year it came out. It came out in 1987. And it's about cocaine. Cocaine! WTF? I feel like I did when I first learned what the song Mary Jane was about. And the song Brown Sugar. Stupid drug-addled amazing artists.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

One Of The Best First Dates Ever

In my last post, I talked about double dating and some things I've learned in my time double dating with my fiance Easy. I gave some tips and talked about a date we had earlier today. I mentioned I was hoping we'd go rock climbing.

After I got home Saturday morning, I knew I'd only have a few hours of sleep before it was time to get up and get ready for the date. And knowing Easy's friend's girlfriend had gone rock climbing four times this week, I pretty quickly gave up on the idea.

Easy woke me up and we got ready to go. We were running behind schedule, as usual, but we got there in due time. We got there and they had a great date planned for us. Since they asked us out, in true first date fashion, they planned the date. We were to go to this fantastic sushi restaurant with some of the best sushi any of us have ever tasted and then we were going to the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair.
Image via Naperville Art League
A sign that a first date will go well is the ability to roll with the punches. When we got to the sushi restaurant, they told us they didn't open until 4:30 pm. That was still at least 90 min away I think, so we had to go waste some time. Finding parking wasn't easy, so we decided to forgo the Fair and just get ice cream cause Easy and I really wanted a snack.

We went back to the sushi restaurant. And it was absolutely amazing! Seriously some of the best sushi I've ever had. Easy doesn't even like sushi, but he was trying it. If it had just had a bit less avocado in everything, I think he would've really been happy.

Image via Sushi Haccp
Another good sign of a great first date is when you talk about things you probably shouldn't be talking about on a first date. For a couples' date, that means exes. We talked, more than once, about Easy's ex and his friend's girlfriend's ex. They all went to college together and I've met Easy's ex, which reminds me of a funny random story, but that's for another post.

After we had late lunch, we all wanted dessert. But we were running out of time and I had to get to work. Yet another sign your date is going well is that you find ways to keep spending time together even though you have every excuse in the world to cut the time short. We decided that we would go back to Häagen-Dazs® and get more ice cream and then our dates would drive me to work since it was only a 20 min drive from where they lived.

Image via Food and Drink Blog
We all got ice cream and high tailed it back to the car. We got on the road and laughed and joked on the way to my job like we'd been doing the whole day. Easy was going with them back to their place so he and his friend could play video games. I was so thankful they drove me to work since they saved me from being too late and we got to spend more time together.

I know the date went well because we never ran out of things to talk about. We could have gone default to the guys discussing college and music and education (they're both jazz musicians who attended the same college and both teach music at the elementary school level) and the girls discussing wedding invitations, but that was only a small part of the day's discussions.

As far as first dates go, this was one of the best. I really didn't think that once I found myself all settled down, ready to only be with one person, that I'd still be in the dating game. I actually find it kind of amusing. I'm looking forward to our second date. They know of this great chocolate cafe we simple have to go to. I guess for our third date, it'll be time to cook them dinner at our place.

I don't wanna get ahead of myself. But I'd like to fast forward to like 5 years from now when both of us couples are living in Europe. Easy and I will be in London and they'll be in Spain. It would be fun to go on holiday and meet in Venice or something.

Image via Destination 360
Yeah, it was definitely a great first date if I'm planing out our long futures together.

Double Dating

So if you read any of my old blogs, you know I'm engaged. You probably have gathered that by now if you're new to this new consolidated blog cause I talk about Easy all the time. I love that man with an undying passion. That will be the how I start I wedding vows. "First of all, I love you with an undying passion." Except it will be said matter-of-factly, not romantically. It will be legend-waitforit-dary.

Image via
Something new that Easy has brought into my life besides constantly saying things like "undying passion" is the double date. We met at the wedding of his friend to a girl I grew up with. We've been on a couple double dates with them which has been fun. We hang out with a couple down in St. Louis when we're there. Most couples we meet and get along well with have invited us out for a couples' only thing, it's just a matter of finding the time to make it happen. We've even got a double date later today with a friend of his and his girlfriend (who is designing our wedding invitations). I'm hoping we go rock climbing, but we'll see what happens.

I'm surprised that I haven't done more double dating or even hanging out with other couple in a just-couples kind of way before. With the exception of an 18th birthday celebration and prom in high school, most of the time I spent with my significant other and other couples was in a bigger group setting.

There are all sorts of ways a double date could go.

Image via Cartoon Stock
Image via Cartoon Stock
Our double dates have mostly been just hanging out like we would if all our friends were there, but with less concern about PDA. Oh yeah, if you didn't know, the PDA gets pretty serious on a double date.

Image via Cartoon Stock. It's like this but times 2!
If you're going to double date, here are some things you should think about that I've learned in my time double dating:

1. If You're Going To Dinner, Talk About Prices Ahead of Time!
Seriously, Easy and I have been embarrassed to be out with a couple and have them ask 100 times how much something costs. I get that people are on a budget, but we would've chosen a different restaurant if we'd known it was that big of a deal. Also, they were terrible tippers and we can't stand not leaving a tip so we came up out the pocket more than expected to make up for their mess.

2. Plan And End-Time Ahead of Time
There's nothing worse than wearing out your welcome. Oh wait, yes there is. Wearing out your welcome times two! Even if you're hanging out with friends you always hang out with, if it's an official "double date", set an official end time so you don't have to have an awkward, we'd-like-to-have-sex-can-you-leave-now, conversation.

3. Know Your Audience
Don't assume that all your normal date behavior is acceptable on a double date. I know you're on a date with your sweetie, but you have a very captive audience in front of you. Remember not to make jokes they've never heard before that they may find appropriate. You know, stuff about group sex, dead bodies, liposuction, politics, and religion. Typically taboo stuff may ruin someone else's good date and then you become "that weird couple they double dated with once".

4. Don't Assume There Will Be A Second Date
Dating couples is like dating a new person. You have to match personalities and see if there is real compatibility there. I know it sounds crazy, but you have to treat the double date like a real date, it's just your couple dating their couple. Even if these are your best friends and y'all hang out in big groups all the time, don't assume there will be a second double date. Have a conversation about it afterwards that has no pressure. You wouldn't want the fact that you and your SO might not be dating-compatible with your good friends to ruin your friendship outside of activities like rom-coms, brunch, and couples-only camping trips, now would you?

And now, I'm taking a turn in this post. I like to talk about politics, so I will find the thinnest of connections to talk about it here. I'm going to matchup people who I think would make either good or terrible double daters.

Barack & Michelle Obama with Joe & Jill Biden: Good Date Both Jill and Michelle have a background in education/health while Joe and Barack can discuss politics and crack jokes. I think they'd be down for a second date.

Rick & Anita Perry with George W. & Laura Bush: Terrible Date These two camps do not get along! Laura is very active in politics, whereas Anita cares more about nursing. And there's no love between W. and Richard. This date would be terse and un-fun.

Donald & Melania Trump with Todd &a Sarah Palin: Awkward How many people can you put in a room who care so little about making sense before critical mass is reached? I think a double date with these four would find out. They could bond over their general hatred for people who don't get how great they are. But they'd spend a lot of time pretending to understand each other without actually communicating.

Okay, enough faux politics.

Do you double date? What types of couples do you and your significant other spend time around?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Choosing Your Company

There are times when you can choose who you spend time around. That would be your choice of friends, and hopefully, your choice of mate. I feel pretty lucky in this regard. My fiance, Easy, is absolutely amazing and I figure in 50 years I'll still want to choose him like I do today. We'll see.

Image via How To Do Things
There are times when you can't choose your company. You can't choose your family. Well, there is adoption.

Image via Brad Pitt - Information
But usually, you have no say over whether your mother is overbearing or your brother a no-show at family events or your child decides to be a stripper (hopefully not while still an actual under-18-years-old child).

I started thinking about these things while reading the live blogging of the CNN/Tea Party debate that happened last night. Seriously?! CNN and the Tea Party co-hosting the Republican debate? Talk about odd bedfellows.

Image via CNN
I found myself palpably feeling Rick Perry descending from his high regard amongst Tea Party members. It was bound to happen. The man supported Al Gore for president. He was a Democrat for quite a while in his political career. But I know he wished he could be anywhere else than on that stage with all those other Republicans ready to tear him down as the current front runner.

I can't think of any situations right now I'd like to escape from. I like all the company I currently choose/have to spend time around. Lucky me.

Do you like the company you keep? Would you escape from anyone if you could?