Times are a Changing...

When I decided to return to Washington, I knew there was only one area that I truly wanted to live in and that was the Southwest quadrant. If you know anything about DC, you know that the city is only 61 sq miles and is divided into 4 quadrants. Southwest is the smallest of the 4, and sits right on the Potomac River. If I walk out of my door and walk 7 or 8 blocks north or east, I would be in another quadrant. One block south I am at the Potomac.

It amazes me that I was gone a little less than 2 years, because the city has developed and gentrified beyond belief.
This was the National's New Stadium right after I left.

Less than 2 years later this is the National's Stadium at 11:25am yesterday. Almost ready for the new baseball season and the Papal visit next spring.

Do any of you remember partying in the early 2000s in that hole in the wall Jenny's? Well... And when the wrecking ball makes it way to the otherside of the mall and destroys this raggedy, shit hole of a Safeway I am going to be out their rejoicing. This Safeway is literally 2 blocks from me but never has shit on its shelves and never has pulp free OJ, which forces me to drive 10 minutes to another store.

Memorable Movie Quotes...

Lately I have been having conversations with friends and certain moving quotes that fit the situation have been popping in my mind so today here are just a few of my most memorable movie quotes that I have quoted in the past two weeks.

"It's a trip, you know? When you're a kid, you-you see the life you want, and it never crosses your mind that it's not gonna turn out that way." - Monica Wright, Love & Basketball (2000)

"Romance is dead, is what they said while sittin around cheating at pool the very last frame of this nine ball game, the cat who had the date on the top of the empire state is the one who got hustled like a fool" - Darius Lovehall, Love Jones (1997)

"Ain't many women allow they husband's ho to lay up in they house." - Old Mr., The Color Purple (1985)

"Boy, you goin' let this ol' nappy-headed girl cuss you out like that? You sittin' at the head of your own dinner table and actin' like a waiter." - Old Mr., The Color Purple (1985)

"You're so resourceful, darling, I ought to go to you for plots. " - Nancy Blake, The Women (1939)

"Yes, trick. As in slut, whore, tramp. You don't know your name?" - Angela, Why Did I Get Married? (2007)

Holidays in Atlanta

So with so much time on my hand and not as much money in my pocket I decided to drive down to Atlanta, instead of flying and renting a car once there. I couldn't find a flight for uner $350 and renting a car would have been at least another $120 for the week. So seeing I spent less than $200 on gas I think I came out ahead.

I spent a lot of time with my mom and extended family, Wednesday and Thursday. While the dinner wasn't all that great, talking to my grandfather's brother and sister and learning more about their parents and childhood was worth the 8.5 hour drive. I am not all that close to my family but it is so funny to sit back and watch how they share so many of the same characteristics and habits.

Thursday night was spent working and schmoozing at the Ryan Cameron Foundation's 16th Celebrity Bowling Challenge. So many of Atlanta's music and entertainment community came out to support and raise money for the foundation, I only wished I would have watched a good week of Rap City before going. The event went from 8pm until 3 in the morning... and as soon as I thought I was going to cut out early to meet my friends at the bar in comes ubersexy, music producer Polow the Don... which prompted me to stay a little longer. The YoungBloodz were there, as well as many others including Young Joc or Young Dro or some youngin. I really miss my RCF fam, we always have a good time when we are actually working the event.

On my way back to my cousin's house, I stopped by to visit with my boy, Mr. Valentino of ATL. Definitely good seeing him, even if I was forced to watch the Beyonce Experience (just joking). He is definitely one of the few friends I miss in Atlanta.

Friday, I totally avoided any store, mall, or shopping experience. Watching the madness on TV and experiencing it last year was more than enough for me. Besides the only thing I need is a new TV for my living room and I can't afford the 42" LCD right now so that will have to wait. Friday night my crew reunited for food, drinks and a lot of partying at the Palace. Aaaah fun times for sure... can't wait until the rest of the fam from Jersey and Baghdad reunite MLK weekend.

Saturday I hit it back up 85/95 north to avoid the traffic and get home to my own bed. I love visiting and traveling but there is nothing like going home... all in all good times.

Thanks for Faith...

Today, I am heading down 95 to 85 to spend Thankgsiving in Atlanta with my mom and other family members. I hope everyone has a great holiday... I will be back in the District on Saturday night.

One tradition we have is to tell everyone what we are most thankful for. And this year, I am most thankful for my faith. It has been a rough 2 years, but I am thankful for the lessons learned and the belief that this is making me stronger and preparing me for something bigger. What are you most thankful for this holiday?

My Favorite Things...

Well today is my girl Oprah's Favorite Thing show. So like the past two years I have decided to post some of my favorite things aka my Xmas wish list...

  • I hate cooking. Well maybe hate is a harsh word, I dislike cooking. But when I do cook I like to use gadgets and my favorite new gadget is the Cuisinart' Griddler. While I do not own this I have used it and I love it... a grill, griddle and panini press all in one!!

  • I talked about my absolute favorite Bond No. 9 the Hamptons last year but my next favorites are Prada, I love the clean scent. And Bond No. 9 Saks Fith Avenue. I am always accepting new bottles.

  • My favorite new show on TV is Big Shots which comes on ABC, I think, anyway I love Nia Long and Dylan McDermott but the rest of the cast does a good job as well.

  • A pair of nice shades always compliments the right outfit. Especially a pair of D&G Aviators. (less the rhinestones... nothing worse than seeing some dude with rhinestones on his sunglasses)

  • My jean selection for this year are the Antik Denim Western Bootcut Jeans. Maybe the Kevin at Saks knows how to compliment me to make the sale over the years but when he says, "damn", when I walk out the dressing room I know the jeans are a sale. Na seriously he tells me when I look a mess in shit too LOL

  • Seeing that I am back in DC, I will have to pull out my winter coats for more than a few weeks. With that said I have always wanted but for some reason never bought a stylish pea coat. So this one by Michael Kors would definitely be on my list. I love pea and military cut coats.

  • Since 2002, Warren Brown has been tantalizing the sweet tooth of DC at Cake Love and on of his cakes that I always buy for Christmas parties is the Strawberry and Creme cake... Juris Doctorate and Masters in Public Health aside, this brother knows how to bake. I hear he even has a show on the Food Network now. A lot of hard work and a mention on Oprah goes a long way.

  • Usually when I go to NYC, I like staying near Madison or the Park but after my last trip to NY I think one of my new favorite hotels is the Ritz Carlton, Battery Park. Our room had a view of the Statue of Liberty from the tub and the bedroom... and the service was phenomenal.

  • And of course Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. Not that I need a day to give thanks but the fact that this is a day to spend with family and friends giving thanks together.

Random Thoughs for this Monday Morning...

I had a whole other post for today, but sitting here watching the AMAs got my mind running with a few Random Thoughts...

  • I am so tired of DJs and Artists playing and sampling the same damn 3 reggae songs. PLEASE know there are so many more and even hotter songs out there.
  • I love Beyonce like the next but damn what could possibly be next? I mean we all know the girl is quite talented but what else is there for her to accomplish, if she is getting these lifetime achievement type awards so soon in her career. I guess this means MTV will bring back their Icon award soon for her too?
  • I find it offensive when people go on music award shows and lip sync. The key word there is music not dance... do better Chris Brown!!
  • Queen Latifah... rapper vs songstress? Now that could be an interesting 2 disc album.
  • Will music award shows ever become extinct like beauty pageants?

  • Columbus Short, Laz Alonzo, Idris Elba, and Keith Robinson.... I am already in the Christmas spirit.

  • Since 10 people have died from this new cold strain going around... there will be no more shaking hands and very little hugging going on for awhile.

  • I think I mentioned that I joined a newly formed book club here in DC last month... well the October book was My Man, My Boys by Dwayne Vernon and I couldn't get pass the second chapter... has anyone read this? Was it just me?

  • Why won't Valentino let me take him to the grocery store???

  • Seeing MJB on the cover of the Advocate, will make me buy that magazine for the first time in years.

  • While I was looking forward to my return to ATL this week... I am thinking 2 days with my family may be enough and I may need to come back to the solitude of the Waterfront on Saturday.

  • This $1000 ticket to St. Kitts is going to make me have to change my Holiday plans.

  • Oh and last but definitely not least... The Ritz Carlton Battery Park, you gave me everything I needed for that spur of the moment Saturday jaunt to a party in Harlem. Life of a socialite is hard work!! EZPass, gas money, 3 hours and 15 minutes and a place to crash what more do u need, I could be in NY all the time.

Alicia Keys - Like You'll Never See Me Again

Alicia is killing these hos with this album...

And Common... ooo

I just know Alicia and Kerry need to back up.

Shit Your Mother Should Have Taught You #2

It is so funny that just the other day I was reading http://gettingmyselftogether.blogspot.com/ and commented on him being on a date and the person having three conversations on the phone during that date.

Well I was recently asked out for a long lunch by this guy I met at Halo. Me never turning down a free meal, especially with an attractive man with a personality and a career. He asked me to meet him at Acadiana, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots in DC. As soon as I ordered the smoked chicken and andouille sausage gumbo and he ordered his apetizer, his cell went off. He didn't end the purely casual conversation call until the server was removing my bowl.

We had a boring conversation while I waited for my blackened talapia to arrive mostly about his job, his BMW and his condo in the city (yawn). During the moment of silence which was me enjoying my talapia (lord knows they can blacken' one ole piece of fish).. his cell went off again, he apologized and said this is the only time of day he can talk to his friends since he is busy at work and said he wouldn't be long. Five minutes later as he continued to talk and I continued to be more annoyed. So usually I wouldn't order dessert at lunch ( you know trying to watch the waistline) but I quickly ordered the brown sugar rum creme brulee (thank you lord!!) and whispered to the waiter to make it quick I needed to make an exit. He hung up the phone to finally ask me something about myself... to think it only took till dessert. And in the midst of me talking about growing up in Houston he began texting. As he texted I stopped talking and luckily my creme brulee was delivered for me to enjoy. While I was planning to just quietly leave after the dessert, he proceeded to ask me was I enjoying myself.

I told him with roots from New Orleans and the Caribbean I love the food at Acadiana but the conversation was one sided and rather dull. I told him it is one thing to mention your accomplishments but to brag about them makes him very common. I told him the continuous phone calls and texts were quite rude but thanked him for lunch and told him to enjoy the rest of his work day.

So in case your mother never told you before, when you are out with a friend, a family member, or a date, put the phone on vibrate. I mean the meal is only an hour and half maybe two... you aren't the Secretary of Defense, so whatever it is can wait and if it can't maybe it isn't a good day for you to be out to lunch.

When Ministers Make Too Much...

Growing up the grandchild of a minster, I always saw the issues that came along with being a minister and money. My grandfather rarely bought brand new luxury cars, never wore designer suits, and never bought a lavish estate... instead he chose to accept a modest stipend from the church and hold a full time job. As did my grandmother. I will never forget when my grandmother got her new Honda Accord, the Amen corner had comments about church spending.

It wasn't until I got older and went into the world that I saw ministers with extravagant estates and new model extreme luxury cars. I always wondered how they justified these lifestyles. I personally think ministers should get a full salary and depending on the needs of their ministry a car as well. But when people within your flock are struggling to keep their lights on there has to be some form of consideration.

Well it seems as if Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has the same questions. He recently sent letters requesting detailed financial documents to metro Atlanta preachers, Eddie Long and Creflo Dollar, and four other ministries nationwide whose leaders are known for opulent, or as the ministers would say, blessed, lifestyles. In 2005 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a story that looked into Eddie Long's founding of a charity that paid the minister more than $3 million over a 3-year period, bought him a $1.4 million house and paid for the use of a $350,000 Bentley car. Long plans to fully comply with the Senate's request, and has stated his church has "several safeguards'' to ensure transactions comply with laws governing churches.

Grassley's letter to Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga. asks for records on private planes, board makeup, compensation and donations and "love offerings'' to visiting ministers. In a statement, Dollar called his ministry an "open book'' and said he would cooperate. He also questioned whether the investigation could ``affect the privacy of every community church in America.''

It will definitely be interesting to see where this goes. Will churches begin questioning the lifestyles of their ministers and decisions of their elders and trustees?

This Weekend...

What a weekend it was. My ace from California is in town for work and two conferences, since he left DC to go to Grad School I have really come to appreciate our friendship that we have shared for the past decade. While he has been here since Tuesday, Friday was the first night we decided to go out. Pitchfork or Halo?

We took our pitchforks to Halo. Halo is a bar in the Dupont/Logan Circle area which tends to cater to the Caucasian gay scene. And Halo totally epitomizes the separation of the races. On any Friday night when you walk into the bar, the first floor is filled with African-Americans and if you even decide to ascend the steps you see the second floor is filled with Caucasians... with just a few on each floor attempting to desegregate the bar. I typically do not drink Rail/Well drinks... however I was persuaded just to have one... that led to two. I then had a Cadillac Margarita (Patron and Grand Marnier... what a combo). And that my friend is the last thing I remember. There are a few sporadic memories of the evening but it wouldn't be until Saturday and Sunday that I would learn of my antics that evening. While an irresponsible person would blame it on the alcohol... I own up to everything I said to everyone, but ask them to just look at it as my opinion. I am sorry that someone took offense to me saying they had gained a lot of weight over the past year. But in all honesty they did... so own it or loose it. Hell its just my opinion and if it affects you that deeply... you have too high of a regard for me. But I must say I do not like being unaware of my actions... and I never intend to drink to that level or plan to do so in the future.

So the weekend continued Saturday with a lunch date with a rather interesting person that definitely keeps me on my toes. And ended with a house party at the house of an.... thinking of the right term to describe our history.... friend. The small and intimate party led me to have some interesting conversations with people that I have known for awhile. As well as getting eye daggers from their boyfriends and dates from across the room. Insecure homos drain me

Sunday became a lot more than what I expected. Me and my ace went to the 8am service at our church, Metropolitan and then to an early brunch at Creme. Two friends joined us and that began a very long but enjoyable day together. From brunch we went to the new Bloomingdale's and Barneys... then to my favorite latin restaurant Lauriol Plaza for margaritas and more food. One friend kept insisting that it was 2pm and we weren't cocktailed yet... of course none of us objected. But to me the highlight of the day was hanging out with two people I have known for awhile but never really spent a lot of time with and the conversations of life, love, and sex. At 830 when I finally laid across my couch exhausted and amazed that I had been out and about over 12 hours. But I laid there with a smile because I really had a great weekend.

Human Tetris II