Saturday, February 28, 2009

On The Streets Of Philadelphia (Part 1)

This past weekend, I visited the great city of love and man was it brotherly!


I flew out Friday morning on probably the most derelict flight EVER! My flight was delayed (which was a surprise since I've never taken issue with Delta) so The Voice and I made it into a competition to see who would arrive in Philly first. I think he touched down a few minutes before me.

These three black guys in front of me were busy yakking away and constantly tapping away on their Blackberry's and Sidekicks. But sister-girl attendant wasn't having it. She made the announcement for everyone to shut down their electronic devices but they continued pecking away. So she came back and said,

"You gentlemen need to turn those off now. Thanks!"

But oh no, sister-girl wasn't done. She then went back to the front cabin and stated on the intercom,

"When I make an announcement, it's for the benefit and respect for all on board so when I say to shut off electronic devices, please adhere! Thank you!"

Wow! :: z snap :: "OH NO SHE DIDN'T!"

“Oh yes she did!”

After several more problems with the lavatory, of which she constantly reiterated,

"I don't know what happened but it wasn't me that messed it up! It was like that when I came on!',

we finally departed.

I managed a seat to myself since it wasn't a full flight and then watched the magnificent skyline pf Philadelphia gradually come into focus out the port window. I was extremely enthusiastic to touch down and see my baby!

I deplaned, breathing in the crisp, cold Philadelphia air and then made my way through the crowded terminal to retrieve my bags. By the way, the $40 fee for an extra bag is absolutely outrageous! Never mind the fact I had to spend several hundred for a weekend roundtrip ... and all I got was a half cup of soda and a tiny a** bag of peanuts that wouldn't even stuff an anorexic mouse?! Come on!

Okay, sorry, I that was the Cassandra Fierce personality taking over … where was I? Oh yeah …

The Voice made his way to my terminal via a taxi (yep, you read correctly: a taxi to go from one terminal to the next! "I'mma I'mma a diva, I'mma I'mma a diva") we hopped on the car rental shuttle to pick up our ride. Now why is it that the most OBVIOUSLY SGL guys work in service oriented businesses? And it's quite OBVIOUS that these OBVIOUS guys are hitting on you. Questions like, "Oh do you two work together?" or "Can I just see your license one more time, sir! ... mmmm-kay, thanks!" Yeah, not OBVIOUS at all! And all while my man was in the restroom ... not cute!

"I gotta man!" - Positive K

So we picked out the car and zipped down the highway to the apartment. We cruised past the Philadelphia Eagles stadium and the Citizens Bank Park and then up the east side of the city. After a harrowing ride, we pulled off the highway and I could see Penn's Landing to my right. The apartment was only a few blocks away in a heavily gentrified neighborhood. I walked in to find a two room studio-like loft. High ceilings, old painted brick walls, a modern open kitchen and a flat screen TV were just some of the luxurious features of this quaint place. It was even cooler because it’s owned by a famous musician and his memorabilia adorned the walls. However neither of us paid any attention to that because we had some “things” to take care of!

The Voice and I strolled down the cold, blustery street to a contemporary Mexican restaurant/bar, sampling their veggie chicken wings and burritos. We were starving after a day of anxious travel. We chilled at the loft for a while and then headed out to our 7:30 reservations at Warmdaddy’s, a soul-food entertainment venue that was featuring Carol Riddick, an up-and-coming R&B songstress. I had been to Warmdaddy’s before however, at their old location on Front Street. The new joint was impressive and much more elegant. Black tables with a modern bar and soothing red toned walls made us long for a Boston location. Carol Riddick came on stage with a four piece band and two backup singers and performed sultry jazz numbers under the neon glow of the Warmdaddy’s sign.

The Voice and I sampled finger foods, the drink menu (except me) as well as their salmon entrée and Cajun chicken pasta. We were both still stuffed from the Mexican food but nibbled nonetheless. Carol possessed a bubbly and bright personality, similar to Jill Scott however, was drowned out by her spotlight hogging keyboardist and drummer. The backup singers swayed to the beat but were never really heard. Such a shame since Ms. Riddick had some serious pipes. After the set, The Voice, feeling empowered by several drinks, conversed with her, offering his unique brand of criticism and complement.

So it was 9:30 and we weren’t ready to call it a night so we braved the massive, crushing crowds at the movie theater adjacent to Warmdaddy’s to check out Madea Goes To Jail. After standing in the LONGEST line of my life (I think President Obama’s first year in office passed by!) just to get some drinks and Twizzlers, we scoped out two seats and kicked back. Now, this movie theater was definitely black owned because we initially stood in line for 30 minutes for snacks. Secondly, the movie advertisements didn’t start until almost 11:05 (supposed to be 10:50) and lastly, following the movie (of which most people were talking through), a fight nearly broke out because someone in the back threw an item in the midst of a group of ghetto girls up front. Yeah, you do the math …

(Item Thrown + Crowded Theater) x Ghetto Girls2 = I’M A KICK YO A**!!!!

After the movie, we hurried back to our car and made a dash for the apartment. However, we arrived to find someone parked in our assigned space in the lot. So while I was ready to leave the wheels on the street, The Voice decided to hunt down the culprits and draw and quarter them! Nah, he just wanted to get their car towed. So I suggested the Irish bar across the street and lo and behold, he stalked in their to seek and destroy. I half expected the cops to show up a few minutes later but he eventually emerged with the guy who apologized profusely and we obtained our space.

After short make-out session on our way into the apartment, we crashed in bed and I drifted into a peaceful slumber …

… what would my second day in Philly be like?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Sickly Valentine (Part 2)

So did we manage to save V-Day weekend?


I was up and down all night, my stomach giving me the ultimate run for my money. The Voice rebounded from his toothache however, my ailments just wouldn't disappear. Gradually, I developed a fever and felt like I was in Shubuta, Mississippi! Every joint in my body ached and my muscles were leaden as though I was in the supergravity of a gas giant. We lay in bed nearly all of Sunday and I fitfully slept in between the gory sounds of Friday The 13th playing On Demand (he's a huge horror fan and I'm not, so I lay facing the wall).

And did he take care of me? Without a doubt! After the release of nearly all my stomach contents, I was feeling extremely dehydrated. I recalled my Nutrition course professor's lesson, that the body needs electrolytes following such an extreme loss of fluid. So I sent my man across the street to 7-Eleven to buy me several bottles of Gatorade. Additionally, he brought me some Zantac to help relieve my stomach as well as break my fever and alleviate my throbbing muscles. He even texted my bro and mom to tell them what was going on!

Later that afternoon, my fever broke and I began feeling extremely restless. So we ended up playing checkers on my phone and he kept me entertained with all sorts of stories from his past. We also watched a really lame made-for-TV horror flick called The Breed. The plot involved a group of "killer dogs" who terrorize a bunch of partying college kids vacationing on an island. Needless to say, it was downright stupid and the effects were lame but I only watched because my sexy baby Hill Harper was in it ("why Hill, why? You're a Harvard law school grad! You're sooo much better than that!") It was more laughable than anything.

This lazy day was exactly what the doctor ordered! You've no idea how great it felt to simply lounge with my boyfriend. And even though I felt like the bottom of my shoe, he stuck by me when I wasn't at my best.

Now, I think I'm beginning to understand this concept called love a lot better. Nevermind that I puked all over the place and had bed hair. Nevermind that I was funky. Nevermind that I basically looked like s****! (T.M.I. maybe?) He was with me.

I think I'm digging this love thing a whole lot! :: huge grin ::

That evening, we left the house and stopped by a Border's Bookstore and picked up some food for him at P.F. Chang's. When we got home, I was beginning to feel crummy again and simply wanted real food (I'd been eating only yogurt and Gatorade) and rest. I entered his room and to my surprise he had heated up a bowl of chicken soup with a glass of Gatorade and some aspirin to relieve my sore arms! While my baby isn't exactly a Le Cordon Bleu graduate, he can hold his own so that really made my night.

The next morning he accompanied me to my primary physician and even went along to the pharmacy. I'm telling you, it

"Don't get much better than this!"

So while our romantic V-Day weekend didn't go precisely as planned, I got to see a more caring, more nurturing side to The Voice. His kindness and patience have left a deep impression on me. In the months that I've known him, The Voice has proven time and time again his loyalty and dedication to his friends. But I often wondered where did I stand? He's opened up tenfold since we met however, feeling that unconditional love when I'm at a low point is truly indescribable and soul-warming ...

... and it's probably the best Valentine's gift I ever received!


Addendum: To answer Sean Stone's question, it was a stomach virus that seemed to go through the entire family, two of which were on antibiotics (Java-Mama and Rugrat). My doc didn't prescribe any for me as the virus had run it's course by the time I went to see him. The craziest part? We all the same symptoms but weren't even around each other (my folks were out of town of the weekend). While I'm all better, it seems that the virus went after The Voice but more on my weekend in Philadelphia in the next post!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Sickly Valentine (Part 1)

I never understood the meaning of 'lovesick' and now I think I do! But it's not in quite the way you'd imagine ...

I was in high anticipation Friday night and after rushing through my work, I jetted to my baby's crib to hold him tighter than ever before. We curled up and snored the night away, I woke up on Valentine's Day to his grinning face and sparkling eyes. Talk about a great way to begin my special day!

The Voice and I spent most of the day lying in bed, laughing, joking, talking and simply relaxing. After a few hours of laziness, we went out to pick up a few V-Day gifts for his friends and family. We stopped to grab a bite of food and then made our rounds like Santa on Christmas Eve. We swung by Ladybug's crib and met her sister who was visiting from out of town. J-Dub was by and after a shot or two, everyone was feeling nice (except me).

As we left, I was bit annoyed because the day hadn't gone as I had planned and I didn't get all my V-Day stuff together for The Voice. So we headed on to Hollywood Video and picked up Love Jones with Larenz Tate and Nia Long and then proceeded to the Build-A-Bear Workshop where he let me design my own Valentine bear!

Above: Kindred

Some of his friends remarked that this idea was a childish but we tuned them out. Subsequently, we observed a guy and his girlfriend picking out and designing a bear so I felt less awkward.

We then made our way back to his crib and I whipped up dinner. Needless to say, it all went downhill.

How you may ask?

"Well ... " (said like Samantha Stevens from Bewitched)

I whipped up some shrimp alfredo and some fish patties for The Voice. His wisdom tooth started aching so he laid down while I popped in Love Jones. I was really getting into the movie and he presented my other gifts. He gave me a card, the Noah's Arc: Jumping The Broom DVD, and a framed picture of himself with his original poem (and my favorite) titled The Voice. The most amazing part? On the frame was a quote I had texted him while I was Christmas shopping a few months ago which I thought he had forgotten all about! It read:

"I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you."
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Above: The Voice's gift (he's shy so I had to block out his face!)

So after the movie ended, my stomach started rumbling.

"It's just a little indigestion," I thought.

Well I drifted off to sleep and sometime around 2 AM, I dashed into the bathroom for some one-on-one face time with the toilet bowl. I don't think there's anything worse than puking your guts up on Valentine's night and then having to clean it all up. And of course The Voice couldn't really take care of me because he was still hurting. But my body wasn't finished. I ended up back in there several more times throughout the night. My stomach felt like someone had gut punched me and was twisting my organs inside out ...

Was there any way to save the rest of our wanna-be-romantic weekend?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stop The World ... I Wanna Get Off!

First of all, I want to apologize for my absence and lack of commentary on other blogs but so far this semester has been extremely overwhelming!

I am taking five courses, the most I've taken since resuming my educational studies in 2007. Additionally, I’m working full-time and in a relationship so my head is spinning. Nevertheless, this is what I wanted and I don't have any regrets. Overall, I'd much rather remain occupied than idle similar to my month-long winter hiatus.

Therefore, in short paragraphs, these are the latest happenings in my life:

Psychology 270 (Statistics) isn't as hard as everyone made it out to be. So far I'm getting the formulas, doing the homework and keeping pace. If I begin averaging low marks, I'll take the class as Pass/Fail option. Furthermore, I think I aced the first exam today!

Music Theory II and Ear Training are much more difficult. I received a C+ on a homework assignment (I was a straight A student last semester) so I'm going to have to step up my game. However, Wednesday's homework came back with an A on it – yeah, I’m back!

Additionally, Jazz Band is looking much different than last semester. New singers, a slim mocha cutie on the keys (hey, I can window-shop as long as I don't whip out the charge card!), an accordion player (don't ask!), and I'm on the real concert grand for now. No horns and we're actually going to be tested on improv skills around mid-term. Ugh!

Private lessons with Professor Hand Killer are killing me ... loudly! I’m working on a nine page (yes, you heard correctly!) Beethoven sonata for my jury (click here for previous post - Crazy For Classical). I'm struggling so can someone just shoot me now? Ready! Aim! Fire!

My sobriety crusade continues. Nearly two months! More about that in a subsequent post.

I finally saw Noah's Arc: Jumping The Broom. It was far better than the series (great cinematography, writing, acting, etc.). However, it wrapped up too neatly but hey, that's Hollywood for ya! I’d love to comment more but I don’t want to ruin it for my readers who haven’t seen it. So definitely check it out!

Pops bought a new car. A dark blue Ford Explorer. Yep, he's finally moved into the 21st century! The funny thing is that I didn't even know they purchased a car! I came home at 2:30 AM to find a strange vehicle parked in the drive. I haven't even sat in it, let alone rode in it!

Speaking of cars, I'm planning to trade mine in (yet another problem with it - over $3,000 in repairs last year) and I've got my eye on the Ford Edge. I'm looking at getting leather interior (Limited or Sport edition). Rugrat is already dissing it. "It looks like a car that a white woman would drive! Like Cameron Diaz or something... "

I sent my boyfriend flowers for V-Day. I know it's stereotypical but after seeing that Super Bowl Teleflora commercial, "flowers in a box," I just had to try it out. I know, I know, I'm easy! Nevertheless, I still have a few sweet ideas for V-Day so I'll let you know how it turns out!

We're officially booked on the Caribbean cruise! I soooooo can't wait!

I found out yesterday that The Voice and I were invited to a June wedding in Jamaica! Talk about “compound excitement” (inside joke relating to Music Theory class!)

I jailbroke my iPhone and while I was extremely hesitant to do it, I’m glad I went through with it. It took a few tries but wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve already got a Star Trek theme going (you’ve gotta love the geek in me!) and even found a way to wirelessly connect it to my desktop. The Voice had his jailbroken within a few days of receiving it. Yes, we’re that nauseating couple who has matching phones … go ahead and say something! I dare ya! Ha ha!

I'm headed to Philadelphia next weekend. Any bloggers from that area have some recommendations of things to check out? Where can a Beantown brotha get a good Philly cheesesteak? I've been to Philly before (loved it!) yet never with the man I love ... this should be fun!

The Jaybirds (The Voice's roommates) got a small puppy. Yeah, I'm oozing with excitement! Seriously though, I think she's exceedingly cute but a ton of work. I only hope she's not neglected as he and his roomies work full-time. Either way, she's already "marked" The Voice's room. So if puppies love him, I guess that's a fantastic sign! LOL

I went bowling this week for the first time since Thanksgiving 2007 (Atlanta). Man, I missed that sport! For those of you that don't know, I was on a bowling league for several years when I was a pre-teen. Java-Mama was also on a league and has a ton of trophies to prove it. However, neither of us really broke 100 in the two games so we're thinking about making this a weekly thing to get our skills back up.

I won over $300 in corporate gift cards for the past two months! Can you guess how I’ve been paying for gas?

Speaking of work, I passed my three month probation. While it took a while to adjust, I’m settled for the most part. I’m not getting too chummy with the other employees as I don’t want to develop any attachments like I did at The Fund. The work sucks (I’m glad I chose healthcare since the job market is unbelievably bad!), the pay is “okay” but what do I care? It’s paying for my education and once I snatch that degree, I’m bouncing!

Okay, my break is over (I'm typing this at 1 AM so forgive my rambling!) and I'm going to get back to work ...

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day/Presidents’ Day Weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Favorite Super Bowl XLIII Ads

Anyone noticing the theme centers around work and the office ... huh?! go figure!