Category Archives: Work. Life. Money.

Dirty-Five Years Young

Today is my 35th Birthday.

Maybe if I say or type that enough times it’ll sink in.

Today is my thirty-fifth birthday.

Nope. It’s still surreal. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I am 15 years from 20 years old and 15 years from being 50 years old. I’m closer to middle-age than to my teenage years, and I only get carded for alcohol purchases if someone is feeling rather cheeky.

I am so blessed and excited to see what the next year brings. Last year I was on a ship, sailing around the world at 20mph with 900 people that I came to adore. A year later, I’m in a tiny hamlet, an ivy-league world away from the sights and sounds of India. No less happy, no less content and no less loved.

I am not scared or anxious about growing older, and in fact have enjoyed the journey so much that you couldn’t pay me to be 30, 25, 17…none of it, again. I will admit though, that I had a mini age-related crisis a few weeks ago. I was in New York for work, hanging out with a bunch of friends late one Saturday night and it was 2 or 3 in the morning and I had a moment of “what am I doing hanging out this late?

I’m almost 35 years old, I should be settled down, with a family and a house. This is no lifestyle for someone in their 30’s!” and I shook it off and toasted my friends, but I remember the moment so clearly that I can smell the air, I remember the quality of the post-midnight light.

“Where are you?” is the question most of my friends ask me when we connect via phone. And the last few days, that is the metaphysical and existential question I’ve been asking myself. And as cheesy as it sounds, I am here.

I am no closer to answers about what my life will LOOK like in the next 3 months, 6 months or year. But I AM closer to what my life should BE about in that time frame. And it is no different than it has been since I started this blog 2+ years ago. I want to live a life less ordinary. I want to inspire others to pursue their dreams and craft and construct the reality, duality, and lifestyle that they desire. I want to consistently choose divinity over devilishness, humanity over self, laughter over gossip, delicious over good.

I want to be good to myself and those around me, to drive fast with the top down, to travel thailand and europe, take a cooking class in italy, fall in love with spinning, learn how to fix my motorcycle, to golf so much my elbows hurt, to make love until we laugh, to lay stretched out in summer grass gazing at stars with white wine coursing through my veins, to cookout with my family in the only backyard that contains a shared history, to watch my nephew grow from boy-to-teen-to-man, to welcome new nieces and nephews, and surround myself with people of substance, my books, my art, my music and the fragrances I adore.

I want, most of all, to be healthy, to stay healthy and remain physically able to move under my own steam. To laugh and play, jump and run, tumble and skip. To be fully functional in body and mind, fit to handle the tasks of daily life and the pleasures in between. Because no matter how old I get, I don’t ever want to grow up. More specifically, I don’t want to grow out. I don’t want to grow out of optimism or pure joy, naps or frenetic movement, dreaming big and day dreams, learning new things and teaching little people, standing up for something or sitting down for cocktails.

I want, most of all, to be vital and vibrant enough to continue to build, maintain and sustain all the wonderful relationships that have enriched 35 years on earth, because without them, I’d just be getting older, but with them, I’m also getting better.






Why I Love My Gig(s) / Clients / Job..Whatever

One of the BEST gifts I’ve gotten recently is a Harry & David’s gift box! The box was too much for me to consume on my own and it came at the PERFECT time. I brought the box into the office of my New England client, and shared it during a recent all day staff meeting. AND, we polished the goodies off with a champagne toast (don’t tell anybody!) from a bottle I had been riding around with for weeks (yeah, let’s not analyze why I’m rollin’ around with champagne in my car…lol).

Seriously yall, if you ever need to send the perfect gift, check them out. And if you ever need to send ME the perfect gift, look no further.

Oh, and as I mentioned before, this is why I love my OTHER client too…


*Photo of fridge at NY Client HQ

I am in NY frequently for this client, and last month we had a few days of strategy sessions, and friday night the office-based team hosted us for a happy hour. With.Homemade.IceCream.And.Cookies.And.Beer. There are only 3 other things in the world that I think about aside from tasty beverages and food….so I was darn near in heaven. And no, I will not tell you what the other three things are…but you can guess in the comments!

Oh, and as a Thank You to the NY office for the Happy Hour…We (the virtual team) sent a Harry & David’s gift box. Coincidence or Genius? You decide.

And tell us in the comments how you feel about your work, profession, job or 9-5! Are you doin’ it for love or for money?

Things That Sound Lascivious, But Aren’t

1. We got 6-8 more inches last night. Of snow, you pervs! I basically just gave up and went into the office an hour late in jeans and a sweatshirt.

2. I pulled a muscle in my thigh/groin. Unfortunately, not via any activity that would make such pain worth it.

3. I’m going to the home of someone I don’t know for dinner and wine. I know yall know me enough to know that it’s the “wine” part that tipped the scales.

It’s Getting Hot in Here…NYC edition

I’m just back from New York. The plan was to go see the Kara Walker exhibit at the Whitney, catch up with a friend or two and enjoy restaurant week, maybe watch a little hotel t.v. and get some work done.

Who was I kidding?

Friday started off great with a special delivery (yes, that’s cryptic, I know. lol). Unfortunately, the weather turned all The Day After Tomorrow on us. Snowflakes as big as tissues on an already snowpacked tundra-looking land was just one more reason KJ and I were ready to get outta dodge. Through snow, sleet and rain (really) we made it into Brooklyn by 8:30pm and into Manhattan by 9:30, just enough time to check-in, stash the car and hit Caroline’s Comedy Club to see Sheryl Underwood’s late set. There was no question that it was going to be hella-funny, and she didn’t disappoint, we laughed our way through 3 martinis each and had to explain some of the more “urban” jokes to the unsuspecting folks of the non-brown variety. After the set, at the bar (waiting for KJ) Sheryl walked up with several people in tow and uttered the most beautiful phrase in the human language: “Hey cutie, come hang out and let me buy you a drink.”

How could I say “No” to that? Yeah, of course I didn’t. Thus began a night that I can barely put into words here (to protect the innocent AND the guilty). KJ and I hung out with Sheryl and her friends, at the bar and acted up until the wee hours of the morning. Sheryl is razor sharp smart, kind and talented.  It was one of those nights, that was magic, where you don’t want to be anywhere other than where you are in that moment in time. It was not the last we’d see of the crew though.

Saturday, we hit the Whitney where KJ hustled a student discount and the exhibit was worth the journey. It wasn’t easy to get through either physically (so many people) and emotionally (antebellum south images of race/sex/brutality, etc.) kind of like my reactions to Frida Khalo’s work…Good art makes you feel, and not always good. My favorites where “Creme in your Coffee and Chocolate in your Milk” sketches from the 90’s and one of the video pieces from 2004. The exhibit moves out to UCLA’s Hammer Museum for the rest of the spring, so catch it if you can. Amazing. Here’s a brief, but good, everyman’s synopsis of the exhibit “My Enemy, My Complement, My Oppressor, My Love.”

We scooped up a couple bottles of wine to meet KC and the crew at his pad in Chelsea to whoop it up before heading back uptown to see The Color Purple on Broadway. Thanks to S for the hookup on a 1/2 price tickets link! The show was phenomenal. Chaka Khan was funny and fierce. I’ve seen her live before and she didn’t disappoint, she was so obviously born for the stage.

After the show we met up with Sheryl and the crew. again. until the wee hours. again. And she wouldn’t let us pick up the tab. again. KC and his crew met back up with us, toasts were made, friends were hugged and my favorite quote of the night was: “That’s why they put me in jail last Thursday!” As uttered by an arrogant “D” list rap personality who shall remain unnamed (hey, I ain’t crazy!).

We metro’d downtown for more club hopping KC and Kirk, but not before I got into a rather delightful conversation with a housing-challenged gentleman who regaled me with tales of his walk from Richmond (Virginia) to Atlanta (Georgia). Before we hopped off the train, we promised each other we’d meet up in Palermo, Italy one day.

The rest of the night gets sketch, Rated R/x, NSFW, TMI, WTF? and OMG! So, I’ll just let you fill in whatever story you’d like, I am generous enough to fill in the details like: Pork fried rice at 5am?

Sunday, we sent Sheryl a gift bag over to her hotel before heading to brunch at Junior’s over in Brooklyn off Flatbush. We decided to stay in Brooklyn and watched the game. I was down for the Pats the whole way, and I couldn’t be mad that they lost because the Giant’s defense really won that game. I lost a dollar to Charles who flip-flopped at half-time. Argghh! It was in the 40’s in NY and I guess that is like The Day After Tomorrow to them, Ella had the heat on in her apartment and when I woke up from my nap, I was convinced that I was in hell (and after the weekend, who could be surprised?). But then I realized I had on my hoodie and was too close to the radiator.

Whew. That was close.

I have to be back in NY on Wednesday. Who else is scared?


Signs of Friendship

A five hour dinner followed by a 2 hour breakfast the next day. Random You-tube clips of the Chapelle Show and a 3 way conversation on race, religion and relationships. Pinot Noir and a toast to new loves, prolific careers, “dufflebag dogs”, and how if we put all of our travels together, we would have covered most of 6 continents, and how none of us could ever live in Atlanta.

A Heart for Service















Marian Wright Edelman

One of the many benefits of working in and around institutions of higher education, is the general plethora of socio-cultural programming available at most schools. Couple that with an Ivy-League nametag and you’ve got out of this world speakers, performers, artists and events. Everything from seeing Barrack Obama on the treadmill at the gym, to hearing Marian Wright Edelman’s MLK day keynote address.

As a contemporary/mentee of Dr. King’s, she pushed for the Poor People’s Movement, though Dr. King (and Bobby Kennedy) were both assasinated before the event (a march and “tent-in” on Washington, DC), Mrs. Edelman still saw fit to gather the troops, personal safety-be-damned, and mounted the attack on poverty which, of course, still continues today.

She spoke for an hour and a half, and if she’d kept on for another hour and a half, we would have all remained, rapt, inspired and called to duty.  She pointed out that King’s words still ring true. That injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice/freedom everywhere.” I loved her point that the gauge of a society’s morals is how it treats it’s children.

I forget sometimes what an honor it is to be an educator, maybe not in the traditional sense, but as someone who fights for higher education for populations who have not long had access and still face barriers, as a mentor, program director and coach. My heart beat warm in my chest, because I’m not alot of things, but I care, and I have a heart for service.

Check out the work Mrs. Edelman and her crew are doing over at the Children’s Defense Fund (which she founded and where she coined the phrase “No child left behind”). Whatever you stand for, whatever you fight for, whatever you’re passionate about. You count. Everyday there are people who can’t do, counting on those of us who can.

Maple Leaf Madness

Hallo from Canada!

[1] I’m pre-sick. You know that feeling where your head is fuzzy, feels like a 50 lb bowling ball, kind of head-achey and all you want to do is lean your head against a cool pane of glass and sleep? yeah, that is how I feel.

[2] On the way to Montreal I sat in front of a guy who, no lie, was either drunk or coming down off of something. He kept moving around, changing seats, coughing & sneezing and as we neared the end of the trip he started spouting profanities. Not to anyone in particular, but just in general. In the end I ended up touching him, to wake him up and let him know we’d arrived. Don’t worry, the only thing I could bring myself to touch was his shoe.

[3] At the Canadian border:

Immigration/Border Guy (IBG): You sure do pack light lady.

Me: I try, makes the travel more fun.

IBG: (inspecting my passport) When was the last time you were in Canada?

Me: Uh, I’m kind of ashamed but I’ve been about everywhere except Canada

IBG: (poking through the stamps in my passport) Yeah, I can see that…

[4] I love the Hotel Intercontinental so much that I want to take it out behind a middle school and get it pregnant* I thought the one in Montreal was nice, but the one in Toronto…class-ay! I also got a free upgrade to the executive level wherein I strolled around and got my free drink, hoity-toity finger sandwiches and some hot tea for my anti-pre-sick campaign. Then I had to go to work, because this afro ain’t gonna oil itself!

[5] When I left Montreal to head to Toronto…it was snowing. God help me, I don’t know if I’m going to make it. I haven’t spent a winter in the US in TWO YEARS!! Now I remember WHY!

[6] In response to all the frenchy-frenchness of Canada I have adopted an almost sociopathic southern drawl, insisting upon replying to the “Bonjour Madame!” with “Howdy, Howdy!” Yes, yes I am that brand of ridiculous. 

*30 Rock reference