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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Church 1- The Invite

I don't know when I got so far from God that I began to think that everyone that went to church was some type of a nut. I assume that it happened somewhere between college graduation and everyone that I love dying.
Before this most recent invite to visit someone's church, I took offense to being invited. Receiving a church invite always felt like the person extending the invite was trying to shade me, saying that I looked like my life was such a mess that I obviously needed to go to church. Plus, the few times that I accepted said invite, I found myself walking into some foolishness. Either the church felt like a front for some type of illegal activity, or the minister seemed less like a messenger of God and more like a standup comedian.
My mood has been as such lately that I am really not up for any foolishness. But when my friend Kyndra invited me to her church for their Black History Month service, I said yes without hesitation. Any church that has a Black History Month service is obviously somewhere I would like to be. I wasn't prepared, however, for the changes that have happened in church since the last time I was there.
For one, no one was super dressed up. At the most, everyone looked like they were dressed for a brunch date. And the choir has vanished. I don't know where the quiet has gone, but it wasn't at this church. They have a praise and worship squad consisting of what I assume would have been the best singers in the choir if there was one. There are no hymnals. This church only sings Top 20 Gospel hits with the assistance of a live band. And for the most part, there are no Bibles. Everyone looks up scriptures on their phone. The school has their own social media accounts, and you can give your offering online.
But one thing that hasn't changed that I remember from when I was a kid at church is the sense of community. People still stop and ask you about life and give you hugs. You have no idea how those Sunday hugs have changed my life. I think I will continue to go here, but as with everything else in my life, I am ready to quit and run at a moment's notice if things go wrong.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Loss

I guess I am lucky. When I was growing up, I had a lot of women that dropped bars into my life as to how to conduct myself as a young woman. A teacher in middle school, Ms. Ross, told me to never leave home without a pantyliner in my purse. My grandma told me that clear nail polish stops runs in your stockings. My middle school bus driver told me that hand soap from the soap dispenser in the ladies room can double as a deodorant if you put it under your arms, and my mom told me that table salt gets period blood out of your underwear. One of the editors at Upscale Magazine, where I interned after college, told me that potato chips and sugary snacks will give you parasites. All facts. However, while all these priceless pieces of information were being dished out, no one told me how to deal with loss. Inevitable, random loss. Someone dying in your life is way more plausible then you randomly needing a pantyliner. It is guaranteed! Yet no one said a peep.
Over the past two years, my grandma has died, my mom has died and my ex-boyfriend from high school has died. Most recently, one of my BESTEST friends from college died, and I just feel ill-equipped as to how to deal with all of this loss emotionally. I find myself trying to sleep off the shock and hurt of it all, but how long of a nap do you have to take to get over the fact that there are people you've loved your life that are never coming back?
And it is not just death. I have also been mourning some of my friendships of late. People have friend-dumped me with no explanation, leaving just as big of a hole in my life as those people I loved that are now six feet under.
Perhaps the elders in my life didn't tell me how to deal with loss because it is almost impossible to put into words. Maybe they didn't tell me because they knew that grieving differs for everyone; what worked for them may not work for me. Either way, I don't have tools. Let's just file this under that grownup stuff that no one wants to address like heartbreak or student load debt. Man, if only dealing with loss could be as easy as cleaning period panties.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Birdman Love- The Story of Tatted Face

This cuffing season has been dry as a bone for your girl Holls.
Like an idiot, I erased the numbers of all my old, unlovable losers, so I have had no options. This was liberating at first, now I am kind of seeing this as the biggest mistake of my winter. I know it was what was best, but I'm cold and lonely. Can a sister get a text?!
I haven't even heard from Sickles. Old dependable Sickles. He has missed his quarterly text to me, which leads me to believe that he has a real girlfriend or is in jail. Both have been the case in the past.
An old man told me I was beautiful at the customer service counter at the grocery store, and he was a cute old guy who could still walk, so I would have totally given him my number, but I was turned off by the number of lottery tickets he was purchasing.
Only one guy has tried to talk to me this winter, and I have seen him twice, which may be a sign that he is the love of my life. The first time I saw him was at Wal-Mart. I accidentally looked in his direction while trying to navigate my cart around a potato chip display. I swerved into the snack aisle and bent down to get a box of Little Debbie cakes. When I looked up, he was right beside me, smiling. And his teeth were actually pretty nice for a man that had tattooed the whole left side of his face.
"Hey Ms. Lady," he said in the sweet, deep, southern drawl of a Georgia boy who has just finished smoking a blunt.
"Hello," I said, completely enthralled by the numerous symbols tattoed on his face. There was a heart and a knife and a dollar sign and a whole bunch of other stuff. I walked with him long enough to find out that he had tatted the tattoos on his face himself. He wants to be a tattoo artist and needed the practice. That's when I lied, told him I had a boyfriend, and made my exit.
Not long after the elderly man called me pretty at the grocery store, I ran into Tatted Face in the lunch meat section. I told him he looked familiar, and he said, "Yeah, we met a Wal-Mart."
"Oh yeah," I said, hightailing it out of there. I could feel him staring at me all the way to the dry bean aisle. There were even more tats on his face than last time, but all still on the same side.
Now I am wondering if I was being silly. I just had a conversation with Tortilla about dropping her standards now that she is 30, and I here I am running from men just because their face is tatted. Tatted Face may be my future.This Valentine's Day, I could be out and about with Tatted Face instead of at home with my brother watching reruns of iCarly, which, by the way, is a HILARIOUS show! I mean, Toni Braxton is dating Birdman. If a scary tat face is good enough for an R&B superstar, it should be enough for me.
I am due for another Wal-Mart run. I will let you know if I run into him again. Fingers crossed, I want to be married by 35.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Dana's Bakery

Flowers and candy can be so cliche! Get your beau these adorable (and tasty) macaroons from Dana's Bakery for Valentine's Day.  

Dana's Bakery Sweetheart Box, $12 (Box of 12 Macaroons)

Dana's Bakery Love Box, $36 (Box of 12 Macaroons)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Valentine's Day with Purity Vodka, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, and Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé

The Rosemary Hound
INGREDIENTS
2 Parts Purity Vodka
1 Part Simple Syrup
4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
½ Part Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
2 Slices Ruby Red Grapefruit, for Garnish
DIRECTIONS
Place the grapefruit juice, vodka and 1 ounce rosemary simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well to mix. Serve on the rocks, garnished with a grapefruit slide.

Flor Adora 
Recipe Credit: Bruce Cost Ginger Ale
Ingredients 
  • 0.75 oz lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz Small Hand Foods raspberry gum syrup
  • 1.5 oz Plymouth gin
  • 4 oz Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Original
Directions
  • Combine all ingredients in a glass with ice, garnish as desired
Rose Petal Rosé
INGREDIENTS
Pink rose petals
DIRECTIONS
Pour glass of Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé. Place a pink rose petal on top and serve.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Keeping It Real With Lisinopril 2

When I was in high school, I was a cashier at a Popeye's in a very shady part of town. It has since been regentrified, but when I worked there, it was an outdoor crack house. So often drug addicts would lock themselves in the men's room to sleep or use drugs. But them I could deal with. It was one of my co-workers, Janiesha, that I couldn't stand! She had a horrible attitude and was known to curse out managers and customers alike, so I was not surprised when she was fired because of a bad interaction with mystery shopper.
A few days after she got fired, she showed back up at the job in a loud sweater dress that cut up her butt cheeks and tried to coerce my manager, Phil, into the bathroom. I thought that she wanted to talk to him privately, but my co-workers informed me that she was probably trying to give Phil a blowjob to get her job back. I remembered wondering why it was that serious for her? Atlanta was full of low-paying, dead-end jobs that don't care if you have ever been fired.
I have to say that I felt like Janiesha as I slinked into the pharmacy to ask for some emergency blood pressure meds. The doctor at the drugstore clinic told me that she couldn't give me any meds and that I needed a primary care doctor. Duh! But then she told me that I could go to where I usually get my prescription filled and ask for some emergency pills.
"Wait, is that a thing?" I had to make sure, because it sounded like something that wasn't completely on the up and up and I needed to know if I was could possibly be risking jail time.
"Yes, but they will only give you a few pills to hold you over until your primary care doctor calls them with a real  prescription."
UGH with the primary care doctor!
But I didn't have a choice. It was either there or the same ER that has killed three people that I know.
"Hi!" I said in a happy, fun, unnecessarily slutty, girl at a frat party voice to the pharmacist behind the counter at the pharmacy. He did us both a favor and pretended that I didn't sound ridiculous. The sound of my voice was making me sick. But I kept a tight smile on my face, happy that the pharmacist wasn't someone that I went to school with.
"Hello!" he said kindly. I was the first customer, showing up right as he flipped over his open sign.
"Listen, I need some emergency blood pressure medicine as I am looking for a new doctor," I said, trying to hypnotize him with my eyes, which I was once told were hypnotizing.
My heart was beating out of my chest. There was no way that he was going to give them to me. If people could just walk up and ask for free drugs then pharmacies wouldn't get robbed.
He asked me my name and date of birth, then began to type in his little computer. I kept a nervous, creepy smile on my face as he did so, then he vanished out of my view.
He's going to get security or call the police, I thought. My instincts told me to run but I couldn't. Yet again I was unable to flee the scene of a crime because of my cheap shoes.
"Damn it!" I said to myself as he reemerged with a bag with two prescription bottles in it. He handed me the small bag of meds and I immediately felt stupid for acting like such a tramp.
"How much?" I asked.
"Nothing," he said, looking over my shoulder. He was ready for the next person in line.
"Thank you," I said, slinking out of the pharmacy as pathetic as I had slinked in. I felt like such a Janiesha, but was grateful that I wasn't on my way to the ER.
Now begins my search for the primary care doctor. I'm not excited. Stay tuned.

Keeping It Real With Lisinopril- The Untold Story

Sunday, I woke up at the crack of dawn for a doctor's appointment at a drugstore clinic. However, the story really started Friday when I was declined a Lisinopril medication refill from my favorite Urgent Care. Needlesstosay, I broke into tears at the reception desk on my way out because, as I think I have shared with you, I am an emotional basket case these days. Plus, the fear of having to go to the ER was giving me a panic attack. I will say though that the receptionist was really nice. She told me a  story about how she used to be uninsured and was also a healthcare pariah because she had had a surgery out of the country. Even though the story was a real thriller, I felt like Mary being turned away from the inn, but instead of looking for a cheap Holiday Inn on Groupon, I turned to the next best thing: an appointment at one of those drugstore clinics. #uninsuredgirlproblems
I woke up very optimistic about my visit to the drugstore clinic. This was hard for me because I am becoming increasingly more negative by the day. But this visit had to go as planned or I was going to be looking at yet another 14-hour, credit damaging visit to the ER. I prayed, I watched a crystal healing video on Youtube, and I got dressed up really cute. I feel that when I am looking my cutest, things go my way. So I put on a cute top and a skirt that shows off my back porch, just in case I got a man doctor that could be easily swayed.
Why all the theatrics for blood pressure meds? I hadn't had my meds in three days, and I was starting to get worried. I am convinced that this sweet combo of Lisinopril and Hydrochlorothiazide is the only thing keeping me alive. It is NOT a good idea for me to go without it for even the shortest period of time. Because I am uninsured, I don't have a primary care doctor. So I have to whore around to ERs, Urgent Cares, and drugstore clinics to get medical attention. This is not ideal. The doctors I have seen want me to get a primary care doctor, and to ensure that I do, they are beginning to squeeze me on refills. See the issue?
Still dripping with optimism, I showed up at the drugstore for my appointment and surprise! My doctor was an African lady. This was not good. In my experience as a healthcare bouncer, I have found African doctors to be no-nonsense rule sticklers that are not here for the razzle-dazzle BS. My ability to produce entertaining razzle-dazzle BS is the only reason that anything ever goes my way!
"If your blood pressure is high, I can not give you a refill," the doctor said, stone-faced. Of course, I started balling next to a stand of band-aids and she just watched me, unphased. "It may not be high," she said flatly.
Spoiler alert: it was high. However, she said that it may have been because I was crying. What happened next was unexpected, but a temporary life saver.