Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Meal to Die For

So it had been six long weeks since I'd seen Al. We've been trying to save for Costa Rica so it hasn't been economically feasible for us to do both, as the we will have a relaxing weekend usually ends in 200/300 dollar weekends easily. It got to the point where neither of us could take it anymore. Our next best prospect is for Joyce's wedding in a couple of weeks, which would have been two months, yikes.

Now Al had mentioned that she planned on making me dinner. She's a pretty good cook so I was looking forward to it. I'm sitting down watching the US Open routing for Tiger Woods--in vain--even dosed off while she was cooking the mystery meal.

She really pampered me.

Course 1: Toasted Italian Bread w/ Cheddar Cheese and Apple
Course 2: Tossed Salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette and goat cheese served with a mango martini cocktail.
Course 3: Stuffed Cornish Hen w/ Wild Rice, Maple Glazed Carrots, and Green Beans served with a fantastic white wine.
Course 4: Chocolate Covered Strawberries with yet another wine selection
Course 5: Homemade Sorbet (which I never got around to--as I was quite full at this point and it needed some time in the fridge).

I'm cooking a little dinner my ass, LOL, this was a meal fit for a king. It was very unexpected, delicious, and showed me that she'll pull out all the stops for me.

Thanks again Chef!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Prefontaine Classic

I watched the Prefontaine Classic, the last major meet before the United States Track and Field Championships in the next couple of weeks. Steve Prefontaine was one gutsy middle distance runner that tried to bring the United States back to the forefront of middle distance racing. He had a style where he pushed the pace and hoped to take the sting out of other runner's kicks.

Well the meet in Eugene, Oregon, is one of the finest track and field meets in the world. It will actually be the location for next year's Olympic Trials.

This time of year is so amazing to me. You have the NCAA athletes coming off of the NCAA Championships, usually having some of the fastest times in the world. You have the pros rounding into shape, some just starting their outdoor season, others running different events to either build speed or endurance.

You know what's funny is I didn't think about any of the athletes using performance enhancing drugs. The times weren't out of the ordinary. Some were quick, a few really slow. There were mostly a lot of close races. This included Lui Xang of China, the defending Olympic Champion at the 110 meter hurdles and world record holder (who nipped Anwar Moore at the tape), Xavier Carter nipping Wallace Spearmon at the tape in the 200 meters--both leaving World Record Holder Asafa Powell in their wake. You saw Allison Felix trying to work on her sprint speed after running a blistering 11.01 in New York (finishing third behind Veronica Campbell and this week's winner Tory Edwards).

You had so many people trying to round into form. It makes me once again optimistic that track and field can get clean again, and that the next generation of athletes can have their Olympic glory without being suspected of using performance enhancing drugs instead of training and god given talent.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Prison Issued Jumpsuit

I think the whole country has been caught up in the Paris Hilton drama, even if you didn't want to be. I guess the whole fiasco about her being let out of prison after a few days by a popularly elected sheriff has been quite the fuel for water cooler talk.

The whole situation has been a farce. You had people begging the Governor to give her a pardon. Then you had her getting a reduction in sentence for good behavior, I believe cutting the sentence from 45 days to 23 days--if she was well behaved. She was at the MTV Movie Awards and she was poised to go into prison. She even said let this be a lesson to people to follow the rules, tough inspirational talk.

Then after a few days a sudden health issue and then she's on house arrest. Give me a break. The reality is I don't know if she should even be in a prison. She's not a hardcore criminal. What I would've suggested is to put her in a prison issued jumpsuit and let her pickup trash off of the highway, paint houses in low income neighborhoods, or even help plant a community garden.

Her celebrity punishment should of been to do acts within a community that could benefit from the media displaying the deplorable conditions people live in. Then they could juxtapose that with the trivial things she surrounds herself with. All the jewelry, all of the cars, all of the excess, where some of her money could be going to great causes. I don't care if she threw big parties and donated money to charities or whatever.

Somehow I predict you'll have quite a few celebrities sentenced to prison in the next few years. However, they'll wear it like a badge of courage, after they get out of prison. Real people that have a record can't get jobs. Their consequences live with them for the rest of their lives. Celebrities have more lives than a cat.

So sorry you had a meltdown Paris, maybe you'll think about following the rules next time around.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Nightmare Night

Okay so last night there's pounding on my door at 12:30 in the morning. I can hear all the bells in my private apartment building ringing. I was in a deep sleep so I wasn't very responsive. Ultimately I did find out that there was a gas smell in the hallway. They were checking to make sure our ovens weren't on.

The smell wasn't in any of the apartments. The carbon-monoxide detector wasn't going off either. So I decided everything was okay. I turned to News 12 to get the local Brooklyn news, figuring maybe there was a leak somewhere in the neighborhood. I couldn't find anything. So I start to go back to sleep and then I hear this loud noise outside of my window.

I seriously thought a plane was on the verge of crashing, Rockaway Beach style. I was wondering if there was fuel leak or something along those lines. Then I realize that it was a surveillance helicopter. Well it sounded like more than one, and it sounded (based on the loudness) that the helicopters were really low.

Somehow I fall asleep. I later hear that not too far from me, though on the other side of the mystical tracks that divide my neighborhood from a not so good one, that there had been a shooting. Three teens were murdered as they sat on their stoop. Family members thought it was a case of mistaken identity. I suspect that it might have something to do with drugs.

As I walked to the train station this morning, about 10 minutes into my 15 minute trek, I see the police tape, about a block away. I knew it was close.

Anyway both of these events didn't leave me in the greatest mood, as anyone knows that has their sleep broken.

I'll leave you with something positive, however. It's 2 quote from my calendar, that I just noticed has quotes:

June: Life is a journey: In the end, each of us will be judged by our standard of life, not by our standard of living.

May: (WHICH I MIGHT GET MADE INTO A BOOKMARK) Attitude: A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive outcomes. It is a catalyst...a spark that creates extraordinary results

My attitude is that a positive result will be getting a full night's sleep tonight will make me an easier to deal with tomorrow morning, LOL.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Random Post
Today's post has absolutely no direction. I was trying to think of something clever or silly to say, but nothing has really come to mind as of yet. Perhaps something will come to mind.

For some reason I'm thinking of the Mona Lisa right now. It's reminding me of a conversation that I've had with several people, often who criticize several of their physical features. I tell them about the Mona Lisa, about it being a masterpiece. I tell them if you take each of the feature's apart there's truly nothing special about any of them. However, when you bring them all together you have a masterpiece. You're drawn to the character, as the sum of all the imperfections, truly creates something you can't take your eyes off of.

So many people are caught up in this world of conventional beauty that they forget it's often the unconventional features (traits) that make someone beautiful.

And if you don't believe me watch Angelina's True Life Story on E. She was never considered beautiful. Kids made fun of her, because of her lips.

This is obviously not a post about Angelina or the Mona Lisa. It's a call to realize that your unconventional features, your quirky ways, and your random insights that make you--you are--things to be cherished. Otherwise we'd have a world full of uninteresting or ordinary people. If you've seen American Beauty perhaps that line will remind you of the worse accustation made to Mia Sorvino's character, I think you're ordinary. It was her friend, the "freak," that was beautiful.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Meme Response

Judy tagged me with having to participate in this phenomenon. Although I don't have others to tag (at the moment), I will not be the weak link, by not responding.

So, there you have it - now for the rules:

1: Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2: People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own eight random things, and post these rules.
3: At the end of your post you need to tag eight people and include their names.
4: Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are my eight random things:

1. I have been accused of not being black because I don't eat Macaroni and Cheese.
2. I was so tiny that during my first year in college I was asked to give blood, and I was afraid to because I was at the cusp of 110 lbs, LOL.
3. I have more female friends than male friends.
4. My bite is abnormally small. I have difficulties opening my mouth at the dentist office wide enough and biting down on a snorkel mouthpiece.
5. I am a kick-ass Spades player (slightly obsessed).
6. I was forced to take modern dance class in high school (the torture that they imposed on freshman boys). Bonus I had no rhythm until a little before the class.
7. I barbecued for the first time last year in Blue Hills, Maine. It looked good on the outside and required for me to go back outside in the pitch dark with the june bugs keeping me company.
8. I eat half the amount of fast food as I used to at the beginning of the year.

Okay these were about as random as I could get.

Monday, June 04, 2007

On Roller Coaster Days
Today was a good day for me. Emotionally I think I was happy, angry, and then happy again. I thanked my sister and brother for the sacrifices that they made that helped me to get to where I am currently at.

We were on the phone for about three hours today. We obviously have a strong connection, we were brought up in the same household, experiencing the same highs and lows. We carry the same tempers, and love of life. There's communal pain, happiness, and understanding.

Tonight's conversation was very much like a therapy session. We talked about things that we've suppressed for years. It wasn't a pity party. It was the feeling that it was okay to talk about what ever our subconscious decided it was ripe to speak of.

We all talked, probably for an hour each, interrupting each other at times, listening at times, counseling at times. At the very end of it we felt so good, as if some unknown force had been taken from our shoulders.

I realize that I'm a very strong individual at the core, very fragile in some places, but very strong for the most part, as are my siblings. We are a product of our environment. The tough skin is what allowed us to escape our surroundings. It's that edge and the ability to smell bullshit from a mile away that kept us safe.

It was a good conversation. I'm very thankful for my siblings. We may argue at times, what family doesn't, but at the end of the day I know they all have my back, and they'll come out swinging--as would I--if it were necessary.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Terrific Threesome

Ha, ha, that title certainly sounds dirty. If you're looking for a sex laced conversation, you are going to be quite disappointed to what you're about to read. This post is about me and two of my closest female friends. We all went to A. Philip Randolph H.S. Actually me and Maddie went to the same junior high as well, though we barely knew each other.

So basically Maddie and I became really close in the eleventh grade. Femi and Maddie were friends since the 9th grade. I ran across Femi's path quite a few times, but we didn't really get close until after we graduated from high school.

The three of us became such great friends. I actually had to miss Femi's graduation because of something at work. Luckily, I was able to meet her and her family for dinner afterwards, at Frankie and Johnny's in the Bronx.

The three of us are such a force. Femi just finished up her Masters. Maddie started her program this Fall, and I'll start the upcoming Fall semester. I remember us talking on Friday about how proud our teachers would be of the three of us. We are truly a strong support system. One of the most memorable parts of the evening was me telling Femi I was proud of her. She then said, "thank you Jammie." She thanked me yesterday for pushing her hard when she needed a gentle shove towards the end of her program. I told her you'd do the same for me, and I expect that she will.

There are good things ahead for all of us, and we've been able to maintain such close relationships, and catch the most important moments of each other's lives.