Monday, December 31, 2007

And on to 2008....

It's about time to in a new year and I'm happy about that. Not that 2007 has been bad year. It wasn't the greatest, but it definitely wasn't the most. Like most folks, I've spent the last 365 days going through my share of ups and downs. But I'm looking forward to ushering in 2008 and all the challenges that lie ahead, good and bad.

I'm not really big on new year's resolutions, but I do have a few goals that I want to accomplish in the big 08. I'm going to try to be better organized and I'm also going to try to have a better handle on my money. I'm not a big spender by any means, but I'm looking at ways to invest my money and get a better return on it. Recently, I opened a savings account with EmigrantDirect. Similar to ING, these banks give a higher annual percentage yield than banks or credit unions. I also need to figure out what I'm doing with Sharebuilder. My account there allows me to invest in stocks and bonds, but I put it on hold a while back, mainly because I don't know what the heck I'm doing when it comes to the stock market. But I'll figure it out. (However, I am always open for advice).

At the end of last year, I did a post called Ordinary People, where I did my roundup of folks who may not have got the credit that they deserved last year. I can't think of anyone who fits that category this year, so I'll flip it a bit. Now that I have cable again, I'm finding a number of shows that I hadn't heard of back when I had nothing but four snowy channels. So instead of listing underrated people, I'm going to list the most underrated shows. (Or shows that I like and I think you should too!) Here goes:

Journeyman: At first, I didn't want to watch this show because it seemed like such a rip off of Quantum Leap. But because it came on after Heroes, I found myself watching it every week and finding it to be even better than the Sam Beckett show. There are twists and turns at the end of every episode as this reporter is pulled through time along with his girlfriend, who is being pulled into the future. Yeah, it seems confusing, but trust me, it all makes sense when you watch it. I had heard that they were going to cancel it, but I'm not so sure that's the case anymore. I'm hoping for the best.

The Salt N Pepa Show: Salt N Pepa's here and we're in effect/1 2 3 Push it, Babe! Sorry, I couldn't resist. I guess you can tell that I was an S-N-P fan back in the day. It's good to be able to tune in occasionally and see what they're up to. The show isn't without it's faults -- no Spinderella, sometimes they're obviously acting, can Salt really be that prudish and Pepa that over the top? Regardless, every time that I see that this show is on, I stop in my tracks.

Prison Break: I'm late to discovering this show, but I'm glad I did. Back when I was sick, a friend loaned me the first season on DVD and I was hooked. It was a serious adrenalin rush, kinda like 24 was back when it first got started. I'm glad I watched it on DVD, though. I don't know how I could take those constant changes in my blood pressure week to week.

The Game: Seriously, who can watch this show and not develop a crush on Derwin? This show just makes me laugh at every turn. Everything they do is pure comedy -- from the way they handle seemingly serious topics, like groupies, gold diggers and interracial dating. Good stuff.

Battlestar Galactica: I am sad that I have to wait until fracking March for them to start airing the final season of one of my favorite shows. But whatever, I'll hang in there. I could say that it is the best show on television, but non fans wouldn't believe me. Instead, I'll just sit back and count the days till I can see Starbuck and crew again. So say we all.

Honorable mention: Recently, I was treated to a marathon of Jon & Kate Plus 8, a reality show based on this couple that has eight kids, thanks to fertility drugs. They already had a set of twin girls when they decided to try for another baby, but that resulted in sextuplets. Yikes! The twins are six and the younger kids are three. The kids are sooo cute -- my favorite is Collin , the bully of the group. However, this show is a walking safe sex commercial. I think I'd have a nervous breakdown if I took eight screaming kids to an amusement park. I cringe at the thought! (And wait till you see what her stomach looks like after the births. Not pretty.)

As you can see by now, my list has gone out the window. Ah well. Happy 2008 everybody!

(Photo from

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Meatballs. Sneezes. Toes.

There is nothing worse than being sick on a holiday. Believe me, I know. The one other time I can remember being sick on a holiday was when I was a young girl and it was Thanksgiving. I think I had the mumps or measles or something that starts with an M. Anyway, I was sitting around feeling so miserable as I watched my Grandma stuff the turkey and everyone around me having fun as I was curled up in my blankets. Young Strength was not a happy camper.

However, this year I had the pleasure of being sick once again. This time it wasn’t anything majorly serious, just a cold. But a cold that came with a fever, chills, sweats and severe loss of appetite. It pissed me off to the high heavens. But the fact that I have an idea where I contracted this cold makes it even worse.

See, we had an office party last week. This was not the traditional party my job normally throws – instead of going to restaurant and eating and drinking to our heart’s content, the cheap powers that be decided to have an alcohol-free office party. My colleagues and I weren’t too happy about it, but we endured.

There was a ton of food there and I was particularly interested in the crockpot of meatballs. I suspected that my coworker, Jane, a master chef, fixed the meatballs since I saw her lugging in a similar crockpot earlier in the day. I fixed myself a meatball sandwich and devoured it until my heart’s content. Good times. It wasn’t until much later did I learn that Daisy, my sniffling, sneezing, hygienically challenged coworker, cooked the meatballs. Already, I could just picture her blowing her nose over the crockpot, filling it with all of her germs. But it was too late – I already ate her meal.

It took three days for my cold -- The Meatball Virus -- to fully incapacitate me. I blew my nose so many times that my nostrils turned red. My eyes watered so much, people thought I was touched by the Holy Ghost. My voice got so deep and raspy that I sounded a bit like Tone Loc must sound first thing in the morning. I infected others, too. People who were brave enough to come near me came down with fevers, sore throats and laryngitis. My illness is the gift that just keeps on giving.

I was supposed to work on Christmas Eve, but because of my condition, I was more than happy to call out sick. I spent the entire day in bed, wishing I could taste my food. The only thing that kept me sane was watching the first season of ‘Prison Break’ on dvd. The main guy, Wentworth Miller, really didn’t do anything for me until I started watching the show. They have this one episode where they cut off two of my boys’ toes. The doctor stitches him up and asks him if he is okay and he says, “toes are overrated.” That is the kind of man I need in my life. What dedication! Now I just have to move on to season 2 and see what other surprises he has for me.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a happy holiday! I’m still recovering, but I’m back at work and I hope to be able to breathe through my nose sometime soon. Hooray!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


In case anyone was wondering, Ultra Palmolive Oxy Plus dishwashing liquid certainly does the job. However, it does not taste good.

Recently, I learned this the hard way. I packed some yummy chicken noodle soup to eat with my lunch at work. It was so good, I ate it to the last drop. When I was finished, I dumped some dishwashing liquid in there, so I could take it to the sink and wash it. You can imagine where this goes.

I must've gotten sidetracked at work, because a few minutes later, I looked at my bowl and got excited about what looked like tiny droplets of leftover soup. I dipped my spoon in and gobbled it up. All I can say is, thank God I didn't swallow. I can't even describe what lingered on my tongue as I raced to the ladies' room to rinse it out. It tasted like a combination of Pine Sol mixed with coal mixed with Sour Patch Kids candy mixed with Nyquil. It's safe to say that I won't be returning for seconds.

My own dishwashing taste test led me to a memory, this one going back to high school. I had this media arts class and we met in the library. I think the goal of the class was to produce and edit video, but most of the time, all we did was sit back and wait for an easy A. This was a small class, with a combo of football players, cheerleaders, druggies, geeks, student gov folks and losers. I was none of the above. I guess I probably fell into the loser category back then, but I didn't know it.

Anywho, there was this kid in my class named Aaron. He was in special ed classes and the teachers said he was mentally slow. Of course, he was constantly teased about that. The worse part was that he didn't seem to know he was being teased. He thought he was friends with these two football players in our class -- guys that pushed him in the hallways and constantly played tricks on him.

Once, because class was so dull, Aaron fell asleep. With his mouth open. One of the football players found a bottle of dishwashing liquid and poured some into his mouth. He woke up with this shocked look on his face because there was something terrible in his mouth and he didn't know why. Everyone laughed -- including me. I felt bad for him, but I didn't think there was anything I could do so I joined in the crowd.

Aaron told the teacher and she investigated. Come to find out, the genius pranksters poured the dishwashing liquid in his mouth all in front of a videocamera that recorded their every move. They were suspended, the local paper and TV news stations did stories about it. I think Aaron was pulled out of that class or something, but I can't remember.

Well, now I've become a form of Aaron all on my own. Except for me, no one saw me feed myself the dishwashing liquid, there was no camera in sight and no laughter, other than my own, a few days later. I guess the one thing I learned from all this is that I should watch where I toss my laughter. Because in the end, we all eat the soap.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas in Hollis

I realized the other day that the holidays are not coming, but they are here.

This may not be news to most people, who have already sent out their holiday cards, done their shopping and decorated the house. But it is news to me. See, I’m that person who refuses to believe that the holidays are here until one of two things happen. I hear Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” on the radio or the local networks start playing “Shaka Zulu.” Well, imagine my surprise when I turned on the radio the other day and heard Rev. Run rapping about chicken and collard greens. (Side note: One day during the holidays, I’m going to go up to New York’s Hollis Avenue and eat chicken and collard greens, just to make things interesting. Anybody with me?).

Most people consider films like “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “A Christmas Story” as true holiday flicks. But growing up, my holiday movie was “Shaka Zulu.” (And I’m talking about the original, not the remake with Grace Jones) Every December, the local networks would air the gazillion part miniseries detailing the life of the Zulu chief. I watched every year, even though I didn’t understand what was happening and the Witch Doctor gave me severe nightmares. It wasn’t until much later that I understood everything that was going on in this movie, from Shaka’s rise to power to his subsequent downfall. Unfortunately, the networks stopped airing it years ago. I’m tempted to get it on DVD, just to reminisce about old times. RIP to Henry Cele, who gave an amazing performance as Shaka.

Anyway, I decided to bust out with the holiday decorations the other night. This is a big deal for me, since I haven’t decorated in years. Back in the day, I used to distribute Christmas cards, trim my little fake Charlie Brown Christmas tree and have a miniature tree at my desk at work. But that was before I added my cat, Simba, into my life. He was so hyper that I was reluctant to put up anything that he might destroy. He has mellowed out in his old age, so I figured I’d bring the Christmas spirit into my home.

The decorations took me all of five minutes. Do you know what they consist of? My black Santa Claus, that gyrates his hips to “Jingle Bell Rock,” and an 18-inch faux tree that sits near my coffee table. Awwww yeah.
I guess phase 2 of ringing in the holidays would be to buy some gifts and Christmas cards. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll wait to do all that when they start airing “Shaka Zulu” again. Hah!

Merry Christmahanukwanzakah everybody!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going

Yes, I’ve been gone for quite a while and I apologize. This little thing called school reared its ugly head on me at the end of the semester and it required all of my attention. I’m proud to say that classes ended last night, so I am putting my brain on a vacation until February 2008. Until then, I will only read chick lit and Cosmo and I will watch as much trash tv as possible. Oh yes. I can’t wait.

But school isn’t the only reason I’ve been absent from the blogosphere. Another thing called laziness also set in, but I think I've overcome it. Anyway, here's a brief rundown as to what's been going on with me lately:

-I've decided that I need a part-time job. I make decent money, but I live in an expensive area and if I want to become a homeowner, I need some extra dough. However, there is nothing as humbling as going to my favorite drugstore and asking the 16-year-old cashier for a job application.

-In light of the writers strike, I've decided to go on a little strike of my own -- from men. Because I've done this before, I know that this is the time when the dudes want to crawl out of the woodwork and jump into my lives. These days, the most interesting are The Ex, who is once again showing his stalkerish ass and a married friend of a friend, who is now separated from his crazy wife, and is asking around about my relationship status and how he can get in touch with me. Obviously, these fools didn't read my picket sign -- "NEVER TRUST ANYONE WITH AN XY CHROMOSOME." But I'm always open to negotiations ...

-Once again, I procrastinated on doing my Christmas shopping. I started just the other day, but now I can only think of what my grand gift to myself will be this year. I'm thinking either new iPod, new guitar or laptop. I'm leaning toward the iPod, but I would literally sell my soul for a red guitar.

-I really want to see 'Sweeney Todd.' Seriously, I love Johnny Depp. I always forget that I love him, and then he'll come out with a movie, and I'll remember that I love him all over again. Now there's a man that would make me drop my picket sign.

-I'm really hurt that the networks are canceling 'Journeyman.' That just hurts. And I need Battlestar back in my life. Immediately.

Ah well. That's about it. Thanks to all of you who missed me on the blogosphere and inquired as to where I've been. I'm back, baby!