Trying out this mobile posting...I'm recovering from last night. I am still in the bed at 3 in the afternoon, but will get up long enough to shower and do it all over again. I am back home in the N.O.  And just as I have enough time to be free and somewhat reckless, I have enough time to reflect.

I was going to write another few stories about my dating experiences as of late, but then I thought about it. I exhibit certain patterns and I am attracted to the patterns of a certain type of guy. The ones that I think are one breath shy of being totally invested with little effort on my part are not as attractive/interesting. Maybe it's that I don't feel special...that I could've been any one or any face. But then I wonder if that's the same vibe that I'm giving off to the ones that I DO want to pursue me.

I mentioned before that 2012 has been a great year. I have been blessed abundantly. I have a great life, an awesome son, hilarious friends, and from what I can see, the best job that I've had to date. But when I think about it, I've never really been happy with a single status. Having a man was a part of my mental checklist: Save money, advance in my career, make renovations to the castle, and get married, etc. Maybe I'm not the only one. But when I think about being successful at all but one of those goals on my list, I feel that that is some sort of failure on my part.  Obviously, I have less control over the whole marriage thing and so, at times, it has been more of a frustrating journey than a spiritually progressive one. And not that it shouldn't be a goal for some (I can't speak for anyone else), it dawned on me that it is one of those things that may or may not make my life better. But my thought has always been that it will and, in a sense, I have been in wait...for my life to get better. This diminishes the value of everything else that has happened.  And instead of focusing and being more appreciative of the things that I do have, I have focused on what I don't.

My resolution for 2013...to be happy as a single person. To not lay in wait, but to enjoy myself right now. I had a conversation with one of my guy 'friends'. He said something so absurd and that made me wonder...why in the hell am I giving this dude any more of my time?  Everyone wants to be desired, but at what cost? So every guy that I am even halfway interested in right now will no longer occupy my mind rent free.  I need to address my own emotional needs, go forth, prosper, rinse, and repeat.

I will strive to be satisfied with my singleness and live my life 'right now'.  In the meantime, I have joined a running group, have found another organization to volunteer my time, am finalizing traveling plans, and will get back into my home improvements.

Starting with tonight, I will have more cocktails with the girls.  And if I should meet another handsome gentleman, I will be fun, I will be flirtatious, but I will be free of any and all expectations. I will already be out with the best date ever...me.  That's the only relationship that I need to work on.

natural hair anniversary #3

Since I have this once-a-month updating routine, I have fallen behind the times with this blogger stuff.  I have no idea who's reading me but I can see that the preferred updates are those related to hair.  It appears that many end up on my page for natural hair inspiration of some sort.  The search terms range from a particular hairstyle to some milestone.  So, I apologize for my lack of timeliness when it comes to hair updates.  Unfortunately, I haven't taken very many pics of myself to document the journey as of late, but I have included some pics that were taken of me to give you an idea of where I stand in my now 3 year anniversary mark, as of mid-June.

As seen above, I enjoy the fluffiness of an aged twist out.  Probably to the detriment of my hair, the drier...the more voluminous...the better.  I was once a fierce "re-twister" at night, but the pineapple method tends to elongate and volumize at the same damn time.  (Had a 'hood moment).  Another good volumizer is some old-fashioned "sexy time".  I didn't bother to prep my hair once and just allowed the constant "handling" of my hair.  When it was all said and done, I just made sure that I wasn't laying on my hair when I fell asleep.  Now, I wouldn't recommend this method if you work at a very conservative office.  But I got many looks when I walked in with some man-handled hair the following morning.  Good or bad, I didn't mind.  I loved the wild look.  I find that I now totally embrace frizz and am less impressed with the perfect curl.


However, a few times, I ventured back to the wash n' go.  I celebrated my bday, in the polka dot dress, with an updo that was simply a ponytail that I placed on the top and side of my head and left some hair out in the front to frame my face.  Pinned the hell out of it everywhere.  I just wet my hair that morning and used aloe vera gel to define my curls.  Aloe vera gel is great at elongating and defining at the same damn time, lol.  (Had another 'hood moment).  As for the pic in the purple sundress, I think that I just used goo gobs of the Sh.ea Moi.sture Thick.ening Growth M.ilk while in the shower to add weight to my hair while it was soaked.  I used aloe vera around my edges and twisted the front to look as it were a natural headband.  I was at a rather "earthy" event that day for lack of a better term and fit right on in.

OK, honestly, there is nothing special about this hairstyle.  I just wanted to show what Spec.ial Ed looks like now.  I ran into him at a festival here and had no idea who he was.  I mean, a group of us were just standing around and talking so he seemed like a regular dude to me.  But when I asked (b/c people kept stopping him for photos) and he said that he was the Mag.nificent, himself, I HAD to take a pic.  I went on and on about that episode of The Cos.by Show that he was on.  Yep, it was one of those moments that if I could rewind, I would have spit a couple bars from "I Got It Ma.de".  OK, back to our natural hair special...

If you're anything like me, you DO NOT look forward to wash day.  You want to extend the period between washes as long as possible, but you don't want to look as if you had a fight with the pillow and the pillow won.  I experimented with my steadily growing bushy hair one night and put some Hell.o Hydra.tion conditioner in a spray bottle and diluted it with water.  I only sprayed my ends.  I did not touch my roots.   I retwisted and just hoped for the best.  When I woke up, it was only slightly damp, but it dried like this.  I got a lot of compliments on it, but it's not often that I want my hair to be this perfectly curled.  But ok, that was my tip of the week.  Although, I think it's better to use a natural conditioner b/c over time, my ends started to feel dry.

Here is the comparison from last year to this year.  Honestly, I didn't think that I retained that much b/c I have been slacking.  The pic in the black is after I took down my pineapple.  Yes, I still had some eye boogie b/c I was half-asleep.  And yes, I could clean my mirror...

It's probably hard to tell the difference between the contorted monster claw and the more relaxed hand, but I have reached the bottom of my bra strap.

So, earlier this year I was having issues with my hair trying to lock.  My twistouts looked like ratty twigs.  Finger detangling and just combing with my wide tooth shower comb were no longer the business.  I am pretty late to the game, but I purchased a Den.man brush and have been pretty pleased with the detangling process ever since.  I don't think that the Den.man is supposed to be what's hot either, but I just didn't have that kind of time to be picking hairs apart ever-so-gently.  So there...I have sinned.  And I will probably keep sinning until it doesn't work for me anymore. 

And there it is.  Now that I am working remotely, I would like to believe that I'll spend more time nurturing my hair but I won't make any promises.  Life takes over but I WILL have fun with my hair along the way!

best week ever

I had been a ball of nerves for weeks.  And then  FINALLY, I got good news.  I sat at work on a Friday afternoon, wondering why I was still there at 3pm when it was waaayyyy too sunny outside to be couped up and behind a computer.  And especially now that I wasn't too fond of my current job, I looked for any reason to leave...headache, hangnail, bad breath, whatever! 

As I started packing up, I got a congratulatory email stating that I passed my exam!  It only took them 7 WEEKS to score a computer-administered exam.  But oh well..since I passed, I forgave them.  I happily marched over to my Dept. Head to gloat but, more importantly, be reimbursed for my efforts.  As I held the printed email up, I hoped that he could read what I was thinking.  Something along the lines of "Look at me now, look at me now...ohhhhhh...I'm getting paper...I'm fresher than a mug."  He seemed rather impressed, especially considering how one of his team leaders couldn't pass the exam to save his life.  I left him to marinate on that, bcuz Happy Hour was definitely necessary.

On my way to get a margarita about the size of my head, I get a call.  After 7 WEEKS of interviewing I was offered the job in DC!  I tried to play it cool as the guy was running down the salary and list of benefits.  PRAISE HIM!  When God shows up, He shows out!  I have been so unhappy with my job.  I just got to the point where I didn't want to design anymore.  When you have to sit in your car in the morning before you enter the building and at lunch to give yourself a pep talk, it is definitely time to move on.  Feeling unappreciated, wronged, replaceable, etc. is not a good look.  NOW, I will be getting paid more money to work from home (heading to DC occasionally) doing the function, which I loved the most on my current job, full-time.  I can also potentially move back to the N.O. anytime I want to.  It gets no sweeter.  They gave me the weekend to think about it, but my mind was made up during the conversation.  This job was better than any job that I could've possibly found in the N.O.

I already had plans to celebrate my birthday early with my girlfriends last weekend, but this was cause for an EXTRA toast.  We went to a tasting at a local winery.  We always start out so diginified, but by the end of the night, our shoes were off, dancing in the grass and on the stage with the band.  We followed it up with a champagne brunch on Sunday.  I couldn't think of a better way to bring in 34.

After a fabulous weekend celebration, I handed in my two weeks notice, first thing Monday morning.  I thought that after all I had been through the past few months that their reaction would've been "Ok, bye."  I never got the feeling that I was valued until the company attempted to counter my offer.  It's funny how I have been begging for more money that they could never find for almost 3 years.  The increase was comparable to the new job, but the stress was certainly not worth it.  The reaction that I have been getting from my peers and VPs alike is that I'll be missed but they understand how great an opportunity this new job is for me.  I will still see most during meetings for the professional organizations we belong to.  Others...well, bye!  

My dad, my stepmom, and my baby nephew came up on my bday.  I was spoiled!  J's dad came up on Thursday and my friends came down from northern VA to attend my baby's graduation from elementary school on Friday.  It has been a long time coming!  I am SO proud of my lil man!  We are both embarking on new beginnings and it couldn't be more exciting. 

Here it is...it's my last week at the current job and I have SOOOOO much stuff to do.  Let's see, I'll be checking FB, all my email accounts...oh, I think that it's my turn in Draw Something, gotta catch up on my forums...and maybe somewhere amidst all that busy-ness, I MAY do SOME work.

I encourage YOU to have the best week ever!

still doing me

It's funny that S23 would harp on the timeliness of my updates when SHE has been ghost for ages!  Just saying, but then again, that sounds like her, lol.

I am actually off today, so now I can finally focus.  So, everything is going on.  My baby has chosen a boy scout troop and is about to have his crossover ceremony the end of this month.  We're also gearing up for his 5th grade graduation from elementary school.  And now, it is once again, baseball season...yay, I suppose.  So, he is having the time of his life.

So, what about me?  **Deep breath**  Well, in January, I was informed that my company was having financial issues.  One would think that this is due to the economy, but I feel that some decisions made by upper management could be more to blame.  At any rate, as a result, we had a few la.yoffs.  I'm no virgin to this and my blog tracks that.  Those of us that survived (which is about 95% of us) have to take 3 weeks of furlou.gh time before the end of June (along with other perks being suspended).  Today is the beginning of my first week.  Technically, my first week was supposed to be during Mar.di Gra.s but I was asked to come in, if I could...so I did.  Yes, I went back home to celebrate with fam and friends for MG.  No, I did not leave early.  This trip was a result of my summer cruise in June getting cancelled b/c of schedulling conflicts.  So, I took the money from that and back to New Orl.eans, J and I went (we seem to be averaging every other month).  Once I returned, I worked 9 days straight, so today I have elected to not do a damn thing. 

And bcuz all of this is going on, I made sure that I partied hard while at home.  I got my hair flat ironed for the second time, so that I could be ready for the Zu.lu ball.  However, I did get caught in the rain on the way to the airport so I put some flexi rods in my hair the night before to reverse the frizziness.  When I say that my dress and shoes came together at the last minute, I mean just that!  I didn't want to look as if I were going to prom, but I didn't want to look as if I were a bridesmaid either.  

I have been practicing with my makeup lately, adding a few products to my arsenal.  So, I had a game plan.  I was being rushed while I was getting ready, but altogether, I think that it came together nicely.  I felt really good about myself and that was reflected in the way that I pranced around the ballroom.  But while sitting at the table, people watching, I decided to text Darius to see if he were there.  Within 5 minutes, we were eye to eye.  It was good seeing him again...and yes, I was "tested" that night.  I passed!  I failed on another night though, lol.  I don't think that it's really fair to call it a test bcuz I was not fighting with myself.  You know what..I'm a grown ass woman.  I made my mind up and that's what I wanted to do, so I did it.  I had a good time.  The end.

I went to the Bac.chus parade on Sunday but I have to say that this was the first time that I didn't see not "nare one" float.  I was hanging with my girl, who's hubby is a part of some new social club so we basically sat around, ate, drank, wobbled, talked, and obnoxiously listened to music with the group (until the So.ul Re.bels rolled up and did an impromptu performance...one of the reasons why I love my hometown so much) as the parade rolled behind us.  I saw this one guy who was right up my alley...he was pretty, lol, but I couldn't work up the nerve to say anything to him.  I felt like a schoolgirl.  But his boy, of course, wouldn't get out of my face.  I took the latter one's card b/c I refuse to pass up a good networking opportunity and so far, it has been.  But eh, such is life. 

We were all over the place on Mar.di Gr.as day.    We went from the stands, to get a good view of the Zu.lu King and Queen toasts, to a balcony (no shirts were lifted for beads and trinkets).  j even made some new little friends and ran off with them.

We closed the day by walking amongst the India.ns.  After spending 12 hours on my feet, I was too tired to do anything else.  We had an amazing trip.  J got to spend time with his cousins and I got to act as if I were a teenager with no responsibilities for a week.  And then we came back here.  **crickets**

So, this week I plan to clean, job hunt, rest and study for another set of initials that I want behind my name.  This test shouldn't be as hard as the PE was, so I hope that I don't go in with the overconfident mindset and bomb it.  If I pass it, I will make even more enemies than those the PE created.  Something about that makes me smile, lol.  I would like to believe that the next time that I go home will be for good but who knows what will happen.  If not, my next visit may be in June.  J seems to think that I should take the whole summer off so that I could be with him in the N.O.  We'll see how that goes as well.


Wow!  It has been almost 4 months since I last blogged.  Of course, much has happened, 15 year HS reunion, my son's father got married, Christmas/New Year's in N.O. during which I met his new wife and his new mother-in-law (talk about ambushed), my son's uncle/godfather passed away (heart attack at 35 y/o), girl meets new boy, girl stops talking to said new boy, girl has a wonderful "run-in" with an old boy from the past (read between the lines on that one), and now girl decides to avoid all those topics to talk about hair, lol.  I may get to them later, but just note that I have high hopes for 2012 and brought this New Year in smiling...aaaaaannnnd dancing barefoot on a couch in a club with a champagne flute in hand.  Buuutttt, back to the point of this blog...

I have to admit that I have not been as good with taking care of my hair as I was in the beginning of last year.  I am trying to get back in the groove but my schedule doesn't allow for all-day spa sessions.  But what I have noticed is...I don't have to sacrifice "life" for my hair.  And what I mean is, I would continuously watch youtube vids and follow the do's and don'ts of growing out my hair but it's really not THAT serious.  I have done all the wrong things like not sleeping with a satin bonnet, using un-natural products, used heat, not protective styling, and plain ole not really giving a sh*t to a certain extent.  So here's my progress...

January 2011

You couldn't tell me that my hair wasn't banging then!

October 2011

November 2011

Used a blow-dryer to stretch

December 2011

First time that I've had my hair professionally flat-ironed in the past 2 and a half years.

Got countless comments on whether or not this was all of my hair...nothing against weave, I just simply can't afford it.

And back again!

So, my new hair goals for 2012...have fun with it!