1. Friends/family/co-workers who read my e-mails: I type 81 wpm so it's nothing for me to send a long e-mail. I've heard complaints, compliments and jokes about it. One guy I used to talk to said he'd slip into a bubble bath with a glass of wine and read my e-mails. An old friend/past co-worker used to tell me she'd read my "Bible" messages (meaning as long as the Bible). My mother cracks jokes about printing the e-mails out. Some folks complain about them, and so I try to keep my messages shorter for them (because if there's one thing I know how to do, it's to ignore people as quickly as they want to ignore me -- and when you start getting one word/sentence long responses from me, I truly just don't like you). But back to my brighter note: I asked a couple of buddies of mine about a guy situation in a three-part e-mail. Yes, those e-mails were lengthy, as in a page or two. Not only did they read them within 24-36 hours, I got long messages back. I love it when people are as interested in my life as I am theirs and make time to hear what's going through my mind. It takes me a long time to open up to people about my personal life (trust me, nothing on this blog is something I wouldn't say to a ballroom full of people), so if I share something with you and ask for your advice, I really want it. And I appreciate that they took time out of their busy days to see what was going on in mine. At the risk of being cliche and quoting rap music, *in my Jay-Z voice* "You could've been anywhere in the world, but you're here with me." And you better believe it's mutual. I read every single e-mail, Amazon comment, Tweet, letter, card and anything else that's sent my way. Hell, I even go through press releases from publicists who don't bother to make sure I'm the right person to send them to and reply back. If you sent it to me, you obviously felt like I should want to know so I'll respect that wish every time.
2) Behind the Music (Nas): I am relentlessly critical about his persistence with using the n-word, but I am still very much a fan. I remember seeing him perform live at DePaul University, and it only cost me $5. I have owned all of his CDs minus the untitled one (you already know what the name of it originally was). I had the beat for "Dr. Knockboot" as my voicemail in college for a couple months and used to rap that song (and Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" all the time). While watching "Behind the Music" last night (twice), I looked at him and Kelis and thought how friggin' cute they were together. I wish those two would've worked out because it was cool seeing how happy they looked, and I cracked up about him saying "gold tooth for no reason." I remember going back and forth with a high school friend about whether "Ether" was necessary and him blasting "One Mic" while we were headed to a party. Plus I still love and respect that song "Bridging the Gap." There are so few hip-hop songs dedicated to fatherhood, and I liked seeing him and his father showing off their talents. Okay, and yes, he's gorgeous (with and without the chipped tooth).
3) Vegetarian chili compliments: A co-worker cracked a joke about what was I going to make him for lunch. I said something smart and started naming off vegetarian dishes (recently made vegetarian chili with soy beef and quinoa) knowing he doesn't like vegetarian food. He called me on it and said he'd taste it. I ignored him. I brought it in for lunch for me one day and he called me on it again. I happened to bring it a third time but didn't feel like taking a lunch so I called his bluff to see if he'd eat it. I left for the night and didn't stick around to see whether he liked it or not. Not only did he eat it, but I got a post-it note when I came in for work two days later saying it was "delish." That lead to him recommending it to another co-worker who wanted to try it. I brought it in, those two cheered and had bread ready. I ran an errand, came back and they'd eaten both bowls entirely and shared it with a third co-worker. They all enjoyed it and the guys suggested I bring anymore food that I cooked too much of in for them to taste. I hate cooking, but I grew up in a family of natural hosts and caterers. So I can cook. And I'll be damned if I don't like the compliments that come from cooking regardless of me not liking to do it. I was really happy that they enjoyed the chili.
4) "Talk to Me": I remember trying to watch this film while I was on a bus headed to Jena, Louisiana to stand up for the Jena 6. But there was so much talking going on and people telling their opinions on the trial so I never got to hear a word of the entire movie. I don't know why it took me so long to finally try to watch it again because that bus ride was in 2007, but I watched it tonight via Netflix and loved it. Don Cheadle did a phenomenal job and Petey Greene said whatever the hell he felt like. The way he talked to that receptionist and the "free p---y day" jokes had me on the floor, but his Dr. King night made me sniffle a little. I'm definitely going to get a copy of this movie.
5) Craiglist free postings: After going through at least 10 calls to the Salvation Army and realizing how unbearably picky they are about furniture donations, being disappointed that Goodwill, veteran organizations and a couple Catholic organizations couldn't pick the couch up, I was about to give up on donating my couch. I didn't want to pay one of these expensive dumpster companies $120+ to get rid of one couch, especially one that's still in good condition but it looked like I had no choice. Then I happened to glance on Craiglist and saw the free posting options. Their ads for free stuff comes in handy for anyone who is looking for a deal. I still love selling stuff on Half.com and Amazon.com, and I think I could make use of Craigslist more often than I have in the past to get rid of stuff I no longer want. Might be good side change, plus I got five responses for the couch. Hooray! Now I don't have to pay for it to be removed.
6) Ebony Empowerment: These Ebony Empowerment quick workouts are high impact, handy and quick to do. I've taken advantage of them on the days I go crazy on the junk food and days I work too late to want to do a full workout. Click here for new workout ideas. At this point, I do Day One and Day Two together.
7) Shoe shopping: After checking out this book from the Amazon Vine program, I had the itch to go shoe shopping. I intended to buy one pair of dark brown boots and a purse since mine was in shambles. I left with a purse, a wallet and seven pairs of shoes (returned one though). I'm super excited to wear the camel 4" boots. They're surprisingly comfortable.
8. Few songs from "Think Like a Man" soundtrack: I love the singing part of John Legend's "Tonight," can relate to Ravaughn's "Same ol BS" but I love Marcus Canty's "Won't Make a Fool Out of You." Those are the three songs I blast when listening to this CD.
9. Belson Gold 'N Hot Ionic Soft Jumbo Bonnet Dryer Hair Dryers: I keep reading all of these bad reviews about this product, but as far as I'm concerned, it's great. Cheaper than going to a beauty salon, more relaxing to sit on my own furniture and read, and my hair dries just fine underneath it. Plus I'm a loyal fan of Gold 'N Hot products for as long as I can remember. Sitting under this dryer reminds me of every-other-Saturdays hitting up beauty salons with my paternal grandmother. I liked the results of the beauty shop visits far more than hanging there far too long listening to gossip, but it was nice to see my grandmother, eat chicken pot pies she always made, and play cards or pool with my grandfather when we left. I couldn't get enough of hanging with Grandad!
10. "Ship of Souls" by Zetta Elliott: I can't remember ever reading an African-American fantasy teen book with history included. This book was the best of all of those worlds. It had interesting youth, magical birds and dead soldiers, a fictional location to discover, and the book even touched on the issues Muslims face in America. I think Elliott did a great job of covering all of her bases without sounding preachy or too technical. I'd recommend the book to parents for children and adults alike.