Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ten Thursday Thoughts

More thoughts...

More thoughts...

1. I have been feeling left of center the past few days. I think I ate something crazy. Or maybe I'm just dehydrated.

2. This is how I feel right now.

I have the heavy teardrop, just like Lady Liberty. Sigh. It is all emotionally exhausting, and I could use a hug.

3. This particular cartoon is especially... skeevy.

I don't feel that way about my president. But I do understand. Every woman has woke up wide eyed- like that... with much going though her mind. Much. Much much much much... much.

4. I read the most interesting article on "gaslighting", and here's the link if you would like to read it. I won't comment on it. Just let it marinate in your mind for a moment, a day... for the next 4 to 8 years, even.

5. So my pastor said on Sunday that we should pray for the president, like we have prayed for the other presidents. I wholly agree with this. My president need all the prayer he can get.

6. But I saw this cartoon that explains how I think most people feel...

7. My sister Kentucky is home from the UAE! But she is only here for a week. I hope I get to see her. If not, I am just glad she made home safely.

8. I am still cringing from that long flight to the UAE. It took a full 24 hours to get from point A (my house) to Point B (her house). So I know she must be dog tired right now.

9. I am REALLY enjoying the New Edition biopic. There is nothing like dancing in front of the television to their songs!

10. I am in desperate need of a haircut. I like my head "skint". When I can pull a comb through my hair, it is much too long. Sigh.

That's it for 10 Thursday Thoughts.

I can't wait for the weekend! Woo-hoo!! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday Words: The Importance of Signs

 I saw plenty of signs while vacationing in the UAE.

And of course, these signs were important.

For example, here's a typical stop sign, one at a corner in my sister's apartment complex.

I got the bright idea that, "Yes, I am smart. I can learn to read arabic while I'm here."

Yes. Bright idea.

I later thought of how hard this would be once we went to the pork store.

The arabic writing is beautiful. But it was a jumble in my head.

The street signs at the roundabouts were especially confusing. 

Luckily my sister knew where we were going.

There was much advertisement.
I could read the phone numbers, but that was still too much.

(Let's not even talk about me trying to read the license plates on the cars). 

More signs...

(Notice how nice the streets were. I don't remember hitting not one pothole. NOT ONE!!)

(There were a lot of twin buildings - two buildings side by side that were exactly alike. That was a trip!)

I must've driven my sister crazy with my trying to figure out all the signs.

After a week, I figured that was what the english translation on the signs was for: for people like me who can't read that arabic!  And that's good enough for me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ten Tuesday Thoughts

 Yes yes ya'll!

Ten thoughts for your TUESDAY. Let's get at it!

1. I arrived to work late today. I was moving slow this morning. Sometimes it be that way. I didn't feel all that great last night, and had restless sleep. Thank goodness for these 915 hours of sick leave. Gotta use 2 hours of that now. Humph.

2. My best friend has been coming across some white people who are waaaay upset about the election of Trump. We both find this wailing VERY confusing. We don't understand.  Afterall, you're... white. What the world are you crying about? You will be just fine.

3. I told one of my white female coworkers, "You around here acting like you are a Hispanic Native American Muslim Transgender Woman who work at the local Planned Parenthood."

(We laughed hard at this. But it is true).

4. The weather is trippy. 15 degrees one day, 70 degrees another. Sunshine one day, crazy rain the next. I am totally confused.

5. I am looking forward to the New Edition biopic tonight. Makes me nervous that it is on BET, but hopefully it will be good.

6.  Speaking of good movies, I watched the Beaches remake on Lifetime on Saturday night. It was good, but not as good as the original. No one can sang like Bette Midler. Nope.

7.  Go Falcons! We're going to the Super Bowl! Go Falcons.

8. Ya'll gonna lose, though. Sorry Falcons, but it is what it is. Get your speech together... "It is an honor to be nominated". LOL

And New England can't go too long without some odd cheating scandal. I'm just saying. Hmm... 

9. Speaking of nominations, the Oscar nominations came out this morning. I stood close to the television and watched with much attention. My favorite movie from last year was nominated for best picture. 

That movie made me PROUD to be a black woman with a STEM PhD degree. DAMN PROUD to tears. Sooooo good. If you haven't seen it, GO SEE IT. Go see it, just for me. And when you see it, you will understand me better! I understood myself better after seeing it. How often does a movie
make you cry? How often do you see yourself and your struggles on film?

The  answer is rarely. RARELY.

10. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post on the strange scarcity of ice over in the UAE. Every since coming back from Christmas vacation in Dubai, I have a new appreciation of ice.

And  I have a fond appreciation of the ice machine in the break room.

Notice that I brought in a big heavy glass from home. No plastic cups for me. And I get a couple of big glasses of ice per day.

Long live ICE!!!

That is it for me! Have a good evening!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Good Monday Evening

Good Monday Evening to you all...

The First Monday Evening in this new... regime, era, kingdom, Land of Oz.

I don't know what to call it... I just know my eyes are burning and my head is spinning trying to figure out what is going on.

All I know is that I was watching television this weekend with this look on my face.

Now listen. I didn't mean to get caught up in the news, but you have to understand, terrible storms moved through my area. I needed to be informed as to what was going on. I had stuff to do, but I decided not to leave the house because trees were falling all over the place, it was raining cats, dogs and frogs, and the wind...

Let's not talk about the wind.

There were a couple of times that I stood still and spoke to myself in a soft voice, whispering,

"LadyLee, do you need to go get in a closet in the middle of the house?"


In the midst of all that, I watched the news. All the news, which hasn't been my habit as of late.

Alternate facts. That's a new phrase I learned this weekend. I am crunching a large data set at work right now. There are a couple of sketchy figures in there. I thought about going to my boss with these "alternate facts".  I didn't want my boss to give me the MLK face in the above picture.

Luckily I reworked my data set and came up with actual facts. Because I am sure the alternate facts spin will not work for me. Nerp.

What a plethora of issues went on in the last 3 or 4 days. Large marches. Inaugaration.

And me, trying to take it all in.

Much of it I just don't understand.

If the last 4 days are a snapshot of what is going down for the next 4-8 years, then we are in for one helluva ride.

Man listen... ya'll better run out and marry your partners, get you contraceptives, get your health care, get your abortions, and anything else you can think of because it is ALL about to be outlawed.


I guess this is what they call "Make America Great Again."

For real.

Nothing wrong with that.

I just think I need to be a white straight male over 50 to understand it all.  That's the problem. . 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Very Last Day....

Yes, yes ya'll...

'Tis the very last day of the Obama Presidency.

I must admit, I have gotten a bit teary-eyed here and there.

Then I read a few posts on Facebook and I broke out crying.  Ugh.

Sometimes, I just think I have to get it all out.

This has been a good eight years for me. There were ups and downs, as there have been all my life.

But it meant something to see, on a daily basis, something I didn't think I would ever see in my lifetime: someone who had skin the color of mine as the most powerful man in the world and leader of this nation. That might sound trivial, I suppose. But I wish I would've had that example when I was younger. I am in my mid-40's, approaching late 40s, but when I was a child, I wish that I could've seen that. Maybe I would have done more with my life. I don't know.

But all I know... he was there and he did his term. And he lives to tell about it. He has been disgraced over and over, and he handled it with grace. That in itself is a fitting example, for me at least. I am more likely to shrug off bad treatment than I use to be, that's for sure. And it is because I have seen him and our First Lady do the same.

Job well done, President Obama. I have no complaints.

I look at my life over the last eight years. I have no complaints. I make more money, I have been promoted, on the job. I save more money. I have grown mentally. So much more has gone on. Like I said, ups and downs, basically, the joy of life.

And that will continue.

I now have something burned into my subconscious mind.

No one will EVER be able to tell me that I won't be able to accomplish something because I am black. Sorry. Not gonna happen.

I have had a black president, who accomplished some great things.

This means I can accomplish great things.

Never mind me though...

One of my favorite photographs from the past 8 years:

You, me or no one else will be able to tell that little boy that he is less than because of the color of his skin.  No one will ever be able to tell him that he cannot be or do whatever he wants to do in life. No one.

You can NOT put the genie back into the bottle.


With that said, thank you Mr. President.

Job well done.

You will have your place in history.

And oh what a great place it will be. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Different Kind of Chip

During my visit with my sister in the UAE, I would get so excited when we need to stop for gas.

(Well, once I got past the fact that you don't pump your own gas. They have attendants who do it for you and wash your windows).

She would always end up going inside the gas station store for a soda or cappuccino, and I would run right in there behind her.

I was so fascinated with the foreign snacks. I always heard how they are different from here in the USA. And there I was, seeing it for myself.

Some of my favorites:

Those were good. And hot. I think we have something similar in the USA.

This chip was odd, though.
What in the world is "french cheese"?

Still good. But I think the equivalent at home is the cheddar sour cream chips (Does Lays make that?)

Hot and Spicy Pringles!

They were good. Not super hot, though. I haven't seen these in the USA. (And I haven't had Pringles in years, so hot pringles may exist).

Now for some chips indigenous to that area...

Lebanese mix Baked Lays

Those were good. There's some odd spice called "zaatar" that I absolutely loved. I wanted to bring some home, but it looked too much like weed, and this Oldgirl was not trying to be held up in custom. (Amazon has it, so I will order it. Really). But zaatar is made up of sumac, thyme and a few other spices. Odd flavor, but I was all over it. It was good on these chips, too.

Another baked Lays: Labneh and Mint.

Labneh (which is also an ingredient in the lebanese mix above) is basically yogurt. My sister said that it is drinkable yogurt (so I guess that is like "keifer" at home?)  I was skeptical about the mint, though. Mint on potato chips? Ick. But it was... okay. I couldn't taste the mint, so I guess that is a good thing. But it tasted like a sour cream potato chip. Interesting. Let's just say, I didn't buy it again.

I was all over those chili and french cheese chips, though! Those were good!

Monday, January 09, 2017

For the Love of ICE

There is one thing that I thought I'd NEVER ever take for granted in life.


Big beautiful bags of ice, readily available at every grocery store and gas station in my city.

Why do I say this? And who cares?

Because something interesting happened, and it was funny when I think about it (after the fact).

I should've known I was in for some problems when I was on my 13 hour flight to visit my sister Kentucky in the UAE when I would stop a stewardess on my Qatar airlines flight and and ask for something simple.

"Can I have a cup of ice?"

"Why?" the stewardess would ask each and every time.

I'd blink and hesitate before answering. "I just want a cup of ice. I want to chew some ice."

And that would be followed by a deer-in-the-headlights look from the stewardesses.

One even asked me... "Are you sick? Is something wrong?"

"No. I just want some ice."

Listen... the way they were looking at me, you would've thought I asked for a cigarette...

...while pointing up at the no smoking symbol up on the ceiling of the airplane.

Man. I just needed something cold. They kept bringing around water every 2-3 hours. But I was hot. Or anemic. Who knows. I just wanted some ice. I think part of it was just me wanting to entertain myself on such a LONG flight. Ugh.

They would eventually bring a cup of ice. But it would be in a 4 ounce plastic cup. I wanted to ask if they had in 20 ounce Solo cups in the back of the airplane, but that would be asking too much.

So when I finally made it to my sister's place, and she said we needed to go grocery shopping, I was happy about that. We could get a bag of ice.

Well let's just say I didn't see any bags of ice.

On our second grocery shopping trip, I did see We were passing a freezer section and I spotted it out the corner of my eye.

A box of ice.

A BOX of ice.

"There go some ice," I said to my sister as I snatched up the box and threw it in the shopping cart.

I could understand why the ice was available in such a small quantity. My sister's fridge is about half the size of a regular sized fridge at home. I have a huge fridge that has french doors and a freezer at the bottom. My sister's fridge is about as tall, but half the width.

So I wasn't surprised at the idea of "boxed ice".

But when I opened the box, there it was, my ice.

Individually wrapped ice cubes, that is.


A closer look revealed how individual these cubes of ice were.

"Betchu won't chew on that," my sister said as she watched me examine the neatly packed cubes of ice.

She laughed. I wasn't amused.

"Whatever, man," I said as I fought to open the package. "I can let it melt down and then I can chew it."

And that's what I did. It was a fight, though. Opening the packs wasn't that bad. Popping them out the package took a bit of finesse. But I worked it out.

And my sister heard me holler a few times when I saw her headed for the kitchen, "Hey, brang me a package of ice from the freezer!"


The ice thing went on the whole time I was there. Let's just say they aren't big on ice in the UAE. Not like we are here in the USA. The only time I could get a substantial amount of ice was when I would order it at a fast food spot. Beverages were served cold at sit down restaurants, but I had to still ask for cups of ice.

"But the drink is cold already," one waiter said.

"I know," I said, already familiar with this scenario. "I just want a cup of ice."

Now the boxed ice worked out well for my sister, as it fit perfectly in my sister's tall slender fridge. It was definitely a space saver.

The scenario was the same on the 15 HOUR flight back home, me asking for cups of ice, them looking at me like I'm crazy.

You best believe once I got back home I picked up a bag of my FAVORITE ice from the Whole Foods.

Bags of ice made from spring water. SOOOOO GOOD.

YES. All I could do was just stare at the open freezer of ice in Whole Foods. I even took a picture.

Never again will I take simple ice for granted. I was even happy to see the dry ice container at my local grocery store.

I have NO idea what I would do with a block of dry ice.

No idea.

I was just glad it was available.

And I know I will not take ice for granted ever again.