Just Another Day in Chocolate City

"Just my thoughts man - right or wrong, Just what I was feeling at the time" Courtesy Jay-Z, The Ruler's Back

My Photo
Location: Washington, D.C., United States

Thoughts of a married, 30-something woman, living in Washington, D.C. (yes, in the actual city *lol*)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Change of Scenery

I'm out folks! Follow me here:



Monday, March 30, 2009

Young, Stupid and Greedy AKA “Locked Up Abroad”

“I was an honors student who had never been in any trouble”. So far, after watching over a dozen episodes of the show, “Locked Up Abroad” on the National Geographic Channel, that’s my favorite line.

In case you’re never seen the show, let me break it down for you. There are two different types of stories covered – young, stupid, greedy American’s who get caught in foreign countries doing illegal mess; and innocent, naive aka stupid people (mostly American’s) who get caught up in the midst of civil unrest, crime and cases of mistaken identity. I tend to watch the young, stupid and greedy episodes because they’re funnier. If you get a chance, check it out for the sheer comedy. The new season of stupidity begins this Wednesday night at 10pm EST.

The episodes that I watch feature young, stupid and greedy American’s (typically white folks – hmmm…..) that are convinced, lured and/or romanced into traveling to foreign countries with the intention of smuggling drugs back to the U.S. Huh? Come again. Unh huh, innocent, pure white bread folks that take trips to 2nd and 3rd world countries and attempt to smuggle drugs out of said country. We’re not talking about Paris, London, Prague, or Milan. No, no, no, drug smuggling is too difficult in countries like that. These idiots are going to places like Cuzco (that’s in Peru in case you didn’t know – even this geography nerd had to look that one up), Bangladesh, Ecuador, Pakistan, the Philippines and the list goes on and on.

Folks are agreeing to an all expense paid “vacation” to these places for 5-14 days, receiving spending money and the promise of a payday between 5K-25K when they return to the States. While in country, they are either told to hang out and enjoy themselves; or stay sequestered in their hotel room waiting for "the call". There are SO many things wrong with this scenario that I can't believe their are enough idiots to have a tv series.

Drug smuggling? Seriously? Most of these people are vulnerable and idiotic college students, so you can imagine that the lure of 25 grand is enough to make them think that going to a foreign country to smuggle drugs is a brilliant idea. They’ve got a better chance of safely selling drugs in their own neighborhoods or college campuses. Nope, why start small? Let’s just jump right into international smuggling. Rrriiiggghhhttt!

25 Grand? Or even worse, the ones that agree to 5 Grand. For real? That’s enough to risk going to prison or worse? Dude, prisons in the U.S. are bad enough. Trust me, I've visited a few. Are you really interested in a long term stay at 3rd world prison? Can you imagine the conditions of the cells, the bathroom facilities and the unspeakable ghoulash? Yick. I’ll pass.

Let’s discuss “foreign justice”. The phrase itself is an oxymoron. The laws in some countries are so archaic that you might get arrested for making eye contact with a chicken. So, in a place where even the most mundane activity could potentially be illegal, these silly rabbits decide to jump all the way up the criminal code and attempt to smuggle drugs out? Brilliant. But, like all idiots, these folks think that their plan is that much better than the rest. Rrriiiggghhhttt!

And lest we forget that we’re speaking of countries where most of the population doesn’t speak English. Unh huh, another remarkably intelligent facet of the plan. If something happens, would you even understand what is happening around you? Are you allowed to have a lawyer in this country? If you get one, can you communicate with each other? Rrriiiggghhhttt!

An episode that I saw over the weekend featured a chick named Lia McCord from Texas. Lia was 18 years old, estranged from family, living with friends, enticed by 20K to smuggle heroin from Bangladesh to Switzerland aka STUPID!

Can you guess how the story ends? She spends 2 weeks in Bangladesh before her contact gives her the drugs. She changes her mind but it’s too late and she’s “scared of what he’ll do to me”. Remember the brilliant plan? Not so brilliant because during a strip search at the airport, the authorities discover the 7 lbs of heroin that she is trying to conceal using 2 girdles and electrical tape. SHOCKING!

Of course at this point, she’s scared silly. *lol* Ya think? Yes chicky, now is a good time to get scared.
Lia confesses and gives up her contact. She’s held to await trail, the U.S. Embassy says there’s nothing they can do to help. Eight months later, she’s convicted of possessing narcotics and smuggling and sentenced to LIFE IN PRISON? Say that again? Yep, ya heard me, LIFE IN PRISON. The judge could have given her the death penalty, but since she didn’t seem like a “habitual smuggler”, he let her off. Her family and friends back home start writing and calling their congressional reps. Finally, Congressman Bill Richardson intervenes on her behalf and after serving 4.5 years, she is released.

Oh, and she never got her 20 grand. Dumb ass!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Love Blogging!!

Bet’cha can’t tell by all the recent posts, huh? *lol* Seriously, hey blogland! How have ya’ll been? I’ve been excellent. So much going on and so little time to write about it. I’ve got about 20 half written entries that I hope to complete in the near future. In the meantime, here are a few things that are on my mind:

  • Motherhood is a beautiful, exciting, exhausting experience. The little guy and I are 10 weeks in to the “experiment”. So far, he’s surviving the instincts of a bumbling first time mom. Thank God for my mother, the wisest person I’ve ever known.
  • My maternity leave ends in one week and I am dreading returning to work.
  • There clearly needs to be a support group for Facebook addiction. Or more specifically, Mafia Wars addiction. As Monnie has said, “I can’t leave the house without moving all my money to the bank and using all my energy.” Ri-damn-diculous! But, the thrill isn’t as great anymore now that I’m level 50, have about 300 million in the bank and it takes FOREVER to refill energy.
  • My current favorite tv shows are “Fringe” on Fox, “Eastbound and Down” on HBO, “Cash Cab” on Discovery and “Deserving Design” on HGTV. “Criminal Minds” on CBS
  • I get the idea that the current administration wanted to open up The White House Easter Egg Roll to more people outside the DC area, but the online ticket distribution system is NOT WORKING OUT. I’ve been trying all day on behalf of my hubby’s goddaughter. Boo hiss!
  • I’ve been writing so much over the last 3 months and I’m very, very close to having the first draft of my novel complete. YEAH ME! I am nervous about taking the next step.
  • I refuse to listen to the radio anymore. I have no interest in any of the syndicated talk shows and the music that the local djs play is horrible. My radio stays on Sirius satellite radio or a CD.
  • Bolthouse Farms has a drink called Perfectly Protein that gets my day started in the absolute right way. It comes in three flavors - Vanilla Chai Tea, Mocha Cappuccino and my favorite, Hazelnut Latte. In the words of Rachel Ray, they are "Yumm-O"!
  • My cell phone is a piece of crap, but I’m not interested in upgrading as long as I can still make calls and send text messages.
  • Two of my brilliant nieces have been accepted to their first choice colleges – Howard University and University of New Haven. I’m so proud of them both.
  • My grandmother has been providing me with extremely blog worthy material
  • I'm challenging myself to blog at least once every two weeks. Hmm, wonder how that will turn out.

Friday, September 05, 2008

When Did We Become Cool Like That?

Was it moment that the word made it’s way through the building and you heard that I was pregnant?

Was it the first time you saw me in the hallway and noticed my “baby bump”?

Was it when you got the email from my assistant about my “surprise” office shower?
Or was it simply the moment that you acknowledged our united “womanhood”?

No matter the second that the notion struck you, I’m here to tell you that WE’RE NOT COOL LIKE THAT. Make note, I’m not referring to family, friends or even those in the cyber world who I call buddies. I’m specifically referring to co-workers. Not office friends, buddies or even lunch pals. Rather the co-workers that simply work in the same facility, building or department. The ones who pronounce my first name wrong after working with me for over 4 years. The ones that normally don’t speak and avoid eye contact. You know the ones?

Pregnancy is a condition that unfortunately, becomes visibly obvious to anyone of average intelligence at some point during the months preceding the little one’s arrival.
However, visible evidence aside, it is still a personal decision and I strongly feel that the details are not public information unless you decide to share. Is TDJ just a sourpuss? I think not. I simply think that some of questions I’ve been asked over the last week border on noisy and intrusive, while the rest fall the hell into the “damn, I can’t believe you asked me that” zone.

Examples include:
Wow, that weight fell off and hubby couldn’t keep his hands to himself huh?
But you lost so much weight! Are you going to be able to get it back off after the baby?
Are you planning a natural childbirth or a c-section?
Are you going to breast feed? I really think you should.
You’re 32, have you had the baby tested for Down’s syndrome and stuff?
Were you guys trying or was this a slip-up?

What the hell is wrong with people? When did it become ok to simply say anything to anyone? Simple questions like, is this your first or do you know what you’re having don’t irritate me. That’s just curiosity and although I wouldn’t ask a virtual stranger, I understand those that do. But, the questions that I’ve been getting? Inappropriate in my book. So you know what, my cranky ass have developed a list of equally inappropriate responses. Here they go:

Wow, that weight fell off and hubby couldn’t keep his hands to himself huh?
How do you know it’s my husband’s baby?
Were you guys trying or was this a slip-up?
Damn those dollar store condoms!
But you lost so much weight! Are you going to be able to get it back off after the baby?
I hope so, if not I’m not opposed to trying crack-cocaine.
Are you planning a natural childbirth or a c-section?
Not sure, but I’ll call you from Labor and Delivery for your opinion.
Are you going to breast feed? I really think you should.
I think you shouldn’t ask such nosey questions.
You’re 32, have you had the baby tested for Down’s syndrome and stuff?
Why - do you have a cure?

Rude is rude no matter how you frame it. I get the fact that most people, especially women, like babies. I get the fact that most people are excited with the possibility of a baby being anywhere in the vicinity. I get it! But, does that green light the rudeness?

Perhaps I’m extra sensitive during my 2nd trimester, but I think not. I am extra cranky, so I pity the co-worker that approaches me on a real bad day. They’re gonna catch hell!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Never Without My Wedding Rings

Hey Blog World! What's the haps in your neck of the woods? All is well around these parts. So much on my mind and no clear direction, so I'll drop a few short posts with some things that I've been thinking.

In July 2007, I underwent gastric bypass surgery and since that time I have lost over 150 pounds. I am happy with my decision to undergo surgery and my life has been better in the last year than I could ever have imagined. That’s not the point of this post though. *lol* So, since I lost so much weight, my engagement and wedding rings are much too big now. However, every time that I've take them in to get sized, my fingers are at least 1/4 size smaller than they were the last time. The jeweler asked how much weight I’d be losing and if it was more than 50 pounds, then I should wait to get then cut down then.

So, since about February of this year, I’ve been wearing both rings on my necklace. Not my preferred location, but I felt that this was better than nothing. Well, now that I’m pregnant (and showing), I feel a very strong need to wear them on my hand. This is not a rant or judgment against people who choose to have children out of wedlock. Everyone makes a choice for their life, but I chose to wait until I was married to have a child. I’m married and pregnant, and I’d like the world to see both. I was raised by strong parents who showed me through example that within the bounds of a healthy marraige, raising children together could be a fantastic experience. My husband and I are approaching our 4th wedding anniversary in September and I’m excited about it.

My grandmother made a statement a few weeks after learning that I was having a child. She said to me, "I love all my great grands, Lord knows I do. But, there is something really special about the child that you and Mr. TDJ are having cause ya'll done it the right way. You got married, ya'll bought a house and now you're having a baby. Yes Lord, there is certainly something special about that."

Her words made me stop, think and agree with her. So, sure, you can call me conservative, traditional, self-righteous or any other adjective that you feel applies. I’ll just call myself, Mrs. TDJ, the married, smiling, pregnant woman.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Pork Chops and Gravy Coming in Janaury 2009

Hey blogworld! What it be like folks? All is well here and I hope the same is true for all of you. I’ll be in the house all weekend this weekend, so I’m hoping to catch up on all of your blogs. Let me share a brief conversation that my husband and I had with my grandmother this past weekend.

Hubby: Hey Grandma! How are you?
LuLu: Hey baby. I'm just fine. How ya feeling?
Hubby: I’m good. Guess what? We’ve got some news.
LuLu: Something new? What?
Hubby: We’re having a baby!
LuLu: Ya’ll are making gravy?
Hubby: No, Grandma, a baby.
LuLu: What kind of gravy?
Hubby: No, Grandma, listen. TDJ is pregnant and we’re having a baby.
LuLu: Pork chops and gravy? I don’t make so much no more.

A frustrated TDJ grabs the phone from hubby.

TDJ: LuLu, listen.
LuLu: I’m listening to Mr. TDJ talk about ya’lls dinner.
TDJ: LuLu, no really, really listen and pay attention.
LuLu: **sighing** Ok, go ‘head.
TDJ: I’m pregnant and we are having a baby.
LuLu: A baby? Oh my word. So why is Mr. TDJ wasting time talking about gravy?

That woman keeps me laughing. She’s never trying to be funny, but I think that’s why I get such a kick out of her comedy. And of course, my husband's new nickname for our little blessing is "Pork Chop".

Friday, May 02, 2008

Comedy Hour with LuLu The Great

Hey ya’ll! If you’re a regular reader (do I still have any after my long hiatus? *lol*), you’ve heard me talk about my grandmother, who I call LuLu. She and are great friends, and she is one of the funniest people I know. And of course, she’s not even trying to be funny. A few of our other conversations can be found here and here. I called her last night to tell her that I would be coming to New York next weekend. My wonderful god-daughter will be graduating from Seton Hall University on May 12th, so I figured I would spend the weekend in NY with the fam, attend graduation on Monday and come on back home after the party. After doing some quick calculations on gas, tolls and the wear & tear on my trusty set of wheels, I decided to take the bus. Attention East Coaster’s, check out the Bolt Bus. It’s a new service launched by Greyhound to compete with the cheap, quick (and a touch dangerous!) Chinese busses that were killing the transport game between NY and DC. So, your girl booked a roundtrip ticket from DC to NYC for $15.50. Add that to the $12.50 roundtrip train fare between Penn Station and Long Island and my whole trip will only cost me $28.00. YES!!

Anyways, I called my grandmother to tell her that I was coming and here’s how our conversation went:

Me: Hey LuLu!
LuLu: Hey baby! Ain’t your goddaughter graduating from college soon, up here in New Jersey? You coming to see me?
Me: I sure am. Next weekend.
LuLu: This weekend?
Me: No, Grandma. Next weekend.
LuLu: Oh, for Mother’s Day. How nice. You driving by yourself?
Me: I was, but I decided to take the bus.


Me: Grandma?
LuLu: I’m here, I was just thinking about them buses. You be careful. Take and pin your money in your bra so them pickpockets won’t get you.
Me: Uh, ok, I’ll be sure to do that.
LuLu: And don’t be wearing no cute clothes. You know them pedophiles hang out at the bus stations looking for women to mess with.
Me: Pedophiles? LuLu, I’m 31, so I’m pretty sure I don’t have to worry about pedophiles.
LuLu: What did I just tell you? I watch Dateline girl and they be catching them predatoring women everywhere! There are pedophiles hiding everywhere and you better watch out of that there bus.
Me: Um, yes ma’am, I heard you and I'll be careful.
LuLu: You better. I don't want to have to kill me one of those nasty men for hurting my baby.
Me: Yes ma'am.

So, next weekend, I’ll be the only 31 year old woman, with her money pinned inside her bra, wearing the homeliest, most unflattering outfit she could find. I can’t no listen to LuLu’s law!