Ifelicious 9 Week “Get In Shape, Girl!” Chronicles- Day 0 (01.26.09)


Oh, how I wish standing on the scale right now gave the result in the picture above.  How does that even qualify as a weight loss image??


As if I had enough of putting myself out there with the Ifelicious Inauguration Chronicles, I’m at it again. What better way to hold myself accountable than to parade my goal on the internet?

No, I am not 300 pounds, but I am back at my starting weight when I kicked myself in the butt 5 years ago and the most inactive that I’ve been in my entire life.  Since I’m not as self confident as Oprah, you will not see me parade my body parts here and I will selectively share my measurements along the way.

My goal?  To be in game ready (maybe not tournament ready) shape for a soccer tournament in Vegas the first weekend in April.  No target weight because I’ve long since learned that weight alone does not give you an accurate measure of your overall health and fitness.  However, if I drop 10 pounds (make 15 pounds the stretch goal) in the process, I will probably be moving in the right direction. It’s just over 9 weeks away, and I think I can do it, but I know it will take some drastic changes from where I am today.  Working nights took its toll on me spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  I’ve kicked that career to the curb, so it’s all about new beginnings.

Today’s goal- do something aerobic for 30 minutes and buy groceries.

I’ll post an update every 2 weeks to let you know how I’m doing and what I’ve been doing.  If you’re in the same situation that I’m in, please join me and add your comments.  We can encourage each other together.

something old, something new…

My fitness program will include testing out my Wii Fit.  I posted that I was curious about buying one several months ago and finally bought one right before the holidays.  Additionally, I will be testing out Wii’s “My Fitness Coach” software that I received for Christmas.  Additional activities will include- walking, stationary bike, hand weights, torturing my body through a season of indoor soccer, and I’m sure a few other activities here and there.  I’ve spent years with personal trainers so I feel like the range of exercises is there for me to do in my knowledge back.  The trick is applying it.  Eating right will also be keyFor the next 30 days, I will eliminate alcohol and sugary snacks from my diet to help kickstart the routine.

Wish me well!

Check back soon!

Advice is always welcome!

p.s.  Are you a personal trainer local to the Columbus, OH area?  Want to exchange your services for me promoting your work in my blog?  Check my “About Me” page and send me an email (ifelicious@gmail.com).

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Ifelicious Inauguration Chronicles- Day 5 (01.22.09)


Wow.  Homeward bound.  I’m so ready to go back this morning.  Prior to arriving, I had considered extending my trip to a full week.  That thought gets bumped quickly in my mind by the overwhelming desire to return to my comforts of home.

We’re up and out early to catch our late morning flight from Reagan National back to Columbus.  The airport is crowded this morning.  Everyone, too, is headed back home.

We arrive in Columbus to packed and aged snow on the ground.  It’s still been very cold here but it doesn’t look like any more snow has fallen since we left.  I call the lady who has been watching my doggie to let her know of our arrival, and hubby and I agree that a trip to one of our favorite haunts, First Watch, for a late breakfast is definitely in order.

When picking up Happy I see that the sitter is in better spirits than when I left and asked how she was doing.  She said her dear friend (that I spoke of in Day 1) had passed away on Sunday.  I extend my condolences and she responds by telling me she’s staying busy.  We don’t dwell on the topic, rather move on to payment and other forms of small talk.  Happy looks lively and was amongst the sea of barking when I entered the grooming salon.  At merely 3 pounds, he still tries to assert himself as alpha dog among the pack.  It’s all talk on his end, because the moment another animal gives him the time of day, he just rolls on his back waiting for them to give him a belly rub.

On the drive back home, we past City Hall on High Street in downtown Columbus.  There’s a pro-life demonstration going on that catches us by surprise.  (several days later, i read that January 22nd is the Roe v. Wade anniversary)

We pull into the garage, unpack our bags, and settle in at home.  Our time in DC not far from memory.  It feels good to be home.


Any event(s) I wish I attended

The concert on Sunday afternoon.  The parade is a distant second only after learning that it lasted so long into the day.  Perhaps I could have snuck (apparently that’s not a word, but for now it is) a spot in the crowd later in the day just to get a peek at the action.

What I miss

Having a chick friend rolling buddy with similar interests and taste for adventure.  My wingwoman of sorts.  I might have ventured out to a few more things had that been the case.  However, I’m content with the way I spent my week.  I gave myself plenty of time to write.

Catching up with many friends and acquaintances as originally planned.  If I lived in DC, or somewhere in the area, I would have just hosted a little dinner or happy hour at a place and invite everyone to come by.  However, that became too last minute of a thought and further complicated by geography.  I’ll definitely have to do something like that in the upcoming months, just to touch base and reunite with friends old and new.  I don’t belong to any cliques so my ranges of friends and acquaintances are as broad as my many interests, but I love them all the same.

Getting some live testaments from passers-by on record, ideally via video footage but just audio and images would have been nice, too.  I probably could have carved out a 2 hr window somewhere along the trip with the purpose of doing just that.

Unsung Hero

My mom’s “Yes, we can” ringtone.  To know my mom is that tech savvy to download a ringtone (or even find someone to do it for her) was cool and I was kind of envying her ringtone.

Bonus Track(s)

Day 2.  Dinner.  Enough negative real estate has been spent on this already.  At this point, I am willing to assume positive intent and put a question mark rather than draw a decisive naysayers conclusion.  The rest is me simply recounting my own personal experience.

Day 3.  The 2 guys who jumped the old man on 8th street just hours after Obama took the oath of office and in front of a traffic jam, police, military, and pedestrians galore.  It just makes me sick to my stomach.

Favorite moment(s)

Day 1.  Sunday afternoon at the Mediterranean restaurant on G Street with my hubby.  Good food, great front and center view of the 30-something or 40-something inch plasma in hi def of the concert, and just the excitement and energy that I felt having just arrived in DC in anticipation of the things and days to come.

Day 3-4.  Visiting with my family.

Day 4.  “The Last Supper” with my hubby and cousin in Falls Church, VA on the eve before our departure.

Day 2.  The trip to U Street.

Day 3.  Watching Barack and Michelle having their first dances at the inaugural balls.

Day 2.  The comments of support and encouragement for me as a writer brought me to tears.  Thanks to all of you who declared your support either privately or publicly or both.  Your words touched my heart and will definitely sit in my back pocket for the rainy days to come.  Virtual hugs and kisses!

Green with envy

The pictures that I’ve seen from some of you who had great seats at the inauguration or at balls you attended.  That’s how I’d like to roll someday!


That’s it my friends.  I think, I’ll leave this series up here for a few more days and then probably move it offline to save for my archives.  It was a unique undertaking to put my own life front and center when I prefer to do that for others instead, but I enjoyed the process and collecting memories.

Initially, my hope was that you, too, would share your stories- day by day along the way, but I can’t seem to figure out how to direct and motivate an online audience.  Perhaps it’s too soon in this effort and would be easier to orchestrate as my base of readers and commenters grows.  In the end, I was happy to see how much interest my journaling these few days generated, and might do it again for some other snippet in time.  I do hope that many of you did something similar in your own ways to capture memories of these few days that you were a witness to history.  It’s nice to go back years later and see where you were and how you felt in the moment- through pictures, words, video, newspaper clippings, etc…  It’s also nice to share and hand down to future generations.

Thanks for reading along!

# # #


Filed under ** 01_Inauguration Chronicles **, ifelicious events, Ifelicious politics, ifelicious trips

Ifelicious Inauguration Chronicles- Day 4 (01.21.09)


Just as I felt anxious for Obama yesterday, I feel relief today.  The day after one of most anticipated days in history.  Time to just spring into action.  After days and months of being glued to the television set, no one in our apartment seems as motivated today.

The hermit in me feels like today’s my day to get out and enjoy the world.  My family is here for a few more hours.  Another sibling who is still local makes a drive down to visit.  Throughout most of the day all of us or some combination of us are gathered in the kitchen.  My quiet space is bustling with excitement.  I come from a family of mostly chiefs and no indians, so to speak.  We all need our 2 cents in whatever conversation is taking place and the volume is usually a little louder than average.  We talk, fuss, and psychoanalyze most of the same things we talk about every time we get together, but it’s fun and normal and comforting because we’re a family.

I solidified plans for my hubby and I to have dinner with my cousin after she got off work.  I’m excited to see her because she’s like the big sister I never had since I’m the oldest in my family.  We drop the family off to the airport later in the afternoon and head straight to Falls Church to meet for dinner.  The traffic is not so bad today.  Not nearly what you’d expect during rush hour in the DMV.

We all meet up and have a great time.  This is the day I’ve been waiting to have on this trip but knew it would be saved for Wednesday.  The locals can come out of their cubby holes now and return to business as usual.

Dinner is cool and we’re headed back to DC to drop some things off to my hubby’s parents that we borrowed and say our goodbyes.  En route, I noticed a missed call.  I heard it and my heart instantly went to my throat after hearing it.  I had angered an extended family member in writing these chronicles, something that was nowhere near my intention but perhaps inevitable.


Did I know it was possible that some of the people I interacted with over the past few days would read my blog?  Of course, and I tried to be sensitive to that without dishonoring my own experience.  Was it possible that I misinterpreted the discussions during my dinner conversation on Day 2?  Of course.  I’m happy to accept that and would be elated to know that was the case.  That takes open dialog in the context of love and understanding from both sides.  Unfortunately, that isn’t happening right now and my facebook page was graffitied in angry sentiments accompanied by a similar phone call and voicemail.  I’m not angry at all.  More surprised than anything else.  I’m sure this is not the last, especially down the path that I’m pursuing.

Instead, I carry forward making lemonade from lemons.  My heart and friendship always open for reconsideration.

Tomorrow, we go home.


Filed under ** 01_Inauguration Chronicles **, ifelicious events, Ifelicious politics, ifelicious trips

Ifelicious Inauguration Day Chronicles- Day 3 (01.20.09)


The day we were all waiting for is finally here!!!  Even I am feeling the pressure/anxiety, probably from the sense that I hope that Barack Obama lives up to all of our elevated expectations followed by what will I/we do if he doesn’t?

There wasn’t much sleep last night.  Our post dinner time was followed by a few rounds of picking people up who were going to the inauguration.  Our apartment is walking distance (long walk, especially in the cold but doable nonetheless) to the National Mall and the Capitol building giving them the option to do just that if they wanted to.  As we all know, this required getting up and out of the house around 4am, if not sooner, in order to have a chance at a spot.  By the time the lights went off and everyone laid their heads wherever they found room last night, it was definitely after 1am.

I wasn’t attending the inauguration ceremony (had long since opted out of that), and I was on the fence about the parade.  The thought of hanging out in the freezing cold for hours with no promises other than to just be around other hopefuls was just not appealing to me.  I get moody, and standing in line for hours uncomfortable trying not to have to pee would certainly have sent me into Mood City.  I love you Obama and would so be there if inauguration day were like in June and not January.  My plan was to stay in and watch the action where I could nap, pee, eat, and write freely and in my most preferable setting…alone.

Everyone managed to get up and out by 4:30am.  My husband was going so I was excited to see the pictures and hear his reaction when he returned.  At the same time, I was a little blue going into the day between the lack of sleep and the not so fun dinner, so I was excited for the house to clear and return to sleep.  No parade for me today, I decided at that moment.  I watched some local news and eventually nodded off.

I awoke to oaths of office being taken (and periodically prior to that time but not for long).  Perfect timing in my books.  I sipped on tea, opened my laptop, checked to see who might have called or sent texts over the hours and let myself awaken slowly.  I was actually typing out the previous day’s journal entry in between which made me feel a lot better and back in my stride.  Time to paaaartay!!!

Around 2pm, my hubby calls asking if I could pick them up.  I was naive in saying yes.  In the end, I feel like I experienced enough of the inauguration by car to last me for a long time and even made me rethink my desire to live here.  :-)  They were somewhere on 6th Street, SW and advised me to take 8th Street across town.  Easy breezy, right?  Oh hellz to the NO!

I would bore you to tears with a block by block replay of mission impossible, but it was not without it’s memorable moments nonetheless.  Besides a near miss from a U-turning taxi and loads of traffic and caravans of police, ambulances, fire trucks, black sedans and SUVs rolling by frequently and often like 5-10 deep, I got to bear witness to a crime.  Yes, indeedy.  On the corner of 8th and some letter within the blocks that were full of people, slow moving traffic, police, and military, 2 young men thought nothing of it when they jumped an elderly man just feet from my car and a bus stop.  I looked in astonishment as the elderly man hit his head on the ground pretty hard.  In a kind of weird way, I kept fishing for a logical explanation; however, there wasn’t.  Fortunately some cars around me reacted quicker than I and began honking their horns.  Seemingly, out of nowhere was an unmarked late 80s, early 90s beat up tan sedan that turned out to be filled with unmarked officers.  They parked on an angle at the corner and jumped out staring in one of those “I’m important” kind of ways and started yelling for the men to break it off.  One of the 2 young men got up and started holding back his partner in crime (literally) who seemed willing to continue the fight no matter who was watching.  Eventually, the second young man conceded and they took off back down the block in the direction that they came from.  I saw one guy muscle a pair of sunglasses out of the old man’s hands before taking off.

The officers helped the old man up and all of his belongings fell around him.  I won’t assume he was homeless, but he definitely didn’t look like a tourist either.  He got up and started yelling that “ya, what ya gonna do now?” kind of banter and eventually disappeared.

I was stunned and kept replaying in my mind what could I have done to help this man.  I always inherit people’s circumstances without even asking and am learning to look react differently.  When chatting with my hubby in a quiet moment later this eve, he told me he would not have wanted me to do anything.  Like what was I going to do?  Jump the curb with my car and try to literally drive them away?  Jump out of the car with my intimidating 5 feet 2 inchesof mean suburban girl face and say something?  It makes me laugh now as I think of all of the scenarios that went through my head.  Of course, my hubby brought up the point that I did not even know if they were armed.  So, the best I could have done is like any of the onlookers from their cars and honk their horn to draw attention to the military presence literally feet away.  How bold of those guys!

Not to mention…  that I was mad at those 2 young men!!!  Here we are in traffic as the result of the nomination of the nation’s first black President and it didn’t even phase them.  I mean, I don’t know what led to the chase down the street, but either way, I was ashamed of what I saw.  It was also a very sobering moment that I had been feeling so secure with all of the police and military presence around, but even they can’t prevent everything.

Eventually, I was lost in DC with a GPS that had no idea of all of the road blocks.  I wanted to turn it off after that lady’s voice kept saying “recalculting” at every block, but I kept it on just so I could try to see where I was.  My hubby and the folks that he traveled to inauguration with had long given up on my ability to navigate to them, and I later learned they had similar issues as pedestrians.  After all was said and done, I had a 2 and a half tour around DC, and we literally landed back at our apartment at the very same time.  I was frustrated, even with my hubby being very kind in his texts knowing that I’d be shaken by this unnerving drive through a city I don’t know that well.  I must say, eventually I turned off my Columbus friendly driver and channeled the aggressive mid-atlantic driving skills of yesteryear just to get through the city.  There was definitely a lot of confusion disguised as order by way of uniform, and you had to assume some of your own to get through many of the intersections.

I started to pick a fight in frustration and quickly realized that there was no winning on either side.  They clearly had a long day and everyone looked ready to go home to bed.  Our guests left and my hubby fell out on the couch within minutes of reaching home.  During my lost in DC tour, one of my sisters called letting me know that she and her boyfriend and my mom had indeed made it into town earlier that day and were winding down from watching the parade.  They were staying with us for the night which sometimes puts me on edge as much as it makes me excited.  And what a harrowing day this was in the course of just a few short hours.  I had gotten to the point where my dream of living in DC had faded and became replaced by the readiness to go home soon.

I decided to walk to a local restaurant and order some carry out.  The police were still everywhere and many streets were still blocked even as the sun went down.  As I crossed Pennsylvania Ave, I looked up at the Capitol Building.  It looked so beautiful illuminated in the night sky.  I’m not super patriotic but moments like that make me want to put my hand on my heart or salute or sing the national anthem or just something to honor the moment.

As I start operation walk and stalk for food, I found some places were packed with people and some were empty.  The traffic was still heavy, and there were still lots of people scurrying about even as the cold began to remind me of Ohio.  When I returned to the apartment, my hubby awakened.  I think we were both a little cranky for our own reasons.  So he headed to his mom’s nearby and I prepared for my next incoming set of visitors.


I sent my “rescue flair” voicemail to my cousin who lives locally letting her know that I’d be ready to get away and bond with her tomorrow.  After a lot of calling and guiding, my family finally arrived.  They, too, were exhausted.  Silly me had been conserving energy anticipating everyone to be on a high from the day and want to party all night long.  No one seemed even remotely in the mood.

We had good times.  It was comforting.  Chicken soup for my soul.  We gathered around the kitchen table and in the living room enjoying each other’s company.  We watched parts of the inaugural ball visits that Barack and Michelle were making throughout the night.  What a long day it was for them!  I hope Michelle gets a spa day after all of that time on her feet, smiling and waving.  We marveled at how beautiful they appeared as a couple.  They look so in love with each other, in a way that we aren’t used to seeing with politicians.  The whole family is just beautiful.  They have definitely become the new face of the quintessential black family that was once a fictitious one, in my opinion, the Huxtables.  Even the news outlets were starting to use that reference.

I called my hubby after my spirits picked up a bit and we were both ready to just chill together.  He came home shortly after our phone conversation and the rest of the night he and all of my family visiting were up just enjoying time as family.  It was fun.  I was surprised that we had all stayed up until around 2am considering the long days that they all had.  I think being in a warm space and around familiar faces perked up everyone’s spirits.  It was nice hearing their stories from the day and looking through photos and video taken of the inauguration ceremony and the parade.  I wonder if Barack really knows the extent to which people came and stood out in the cold for hours and endured mixed messages from people with authority and were still determined to be there and experience their own piece of the inauguration, however large or small the actual moment may have lasted.  Of all the people in my immediate sphere of knowledge, my mom in particular comes to mind.  She would not miss this for the world.  She and many of my family traveled to several states canvassing for Obama through the Fall.  Not to mention that she (and my father) were in DC attending college during the Civil Rights Movement.  My brother, a budding politician at heart, took a semester off to intern for Barack Obama’s campaign.  For me, as someone who is not typically super into politics found myself watching shows that I do not normally watch, learning, and doing my homework more than any other candidate in my lifetime.  What a testament to how much leadership, influence, and inspiration Barack Obama has and how far reaching it has been.  I mean there were celebrations all over the world.  How amazing!

Yes, today was a good day.

Welcome, Mr. President!!!

I’d love to hear your experiences from Inauguration Day.  Did you watch on tv?  Were you here in DC?


Filed under ** 01_Inauguration Chronicles **, ifelicious events, Ifelicious politics, ifelicious trips

Ifelicious Inauguration Chronicles- Day 2 (01.19.09)


Today was interesting with highs and lows that honestly made me pause before writing this post.  However, in being true to myself, true my experience, and true to the moment, I am documenting my day.  Trust me when I say that I was truly challenged with my editing skills as I pieced this day together.

Initially, the plan was to participate in the Day of Service in honor of MLK’s birthday, however, the volunteer event of collecting canned goods at a school turned out to be terribly disorganized as we were alerted by phone.  It’s a shame to see a moment like this in the Nation’s Capital fall to pieces for lack of organization.  Oh well..

As a result, the early part of the day for me was spent reading, listening, and writing for various projects that I have undertaken while Justin and his mom decided to walk around the National Mall downtown.  He was on a search for his long lost “girlfriend” Soledad O’Brien.  He came back happy to share that he was able to take some very nice photos of the surrounding Mall area…including finding his long lost love Soledad.  :-)  He said downtown was already crowded with people doing much of the same thing that he and his mom did, just walking around and looking to see what’s going on.

Together, we watched The Oprah Winfrey Show.  Man!  Oprah has so much influence.  Her show was a star studded event complete with the Vice President elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden (who’s faux pas about her husband’s options of Secretary of State or Vice President leaked to the world in a moment of honesty…lol).  It’s so great to see so many people of so many colors and walks of life feel so inspired.  Three simple words “Yes, We Can” has so powerfully resonated through the fabric of every soul around.  It feels good to be here and feel that.

With no real agenda, I suggested we head down to U Street figuring that would be a place I’d like to see on the eve of the inauguration.  U Street has carried so much historical significance to the black community through the Civil Rights Movement and has been revitalized as a mecca for people to gather, especially in celebration of Barack Obama, our soon to be President.  We took the Metro which my native DC hubby had not been on in decades, having grown weary of the subway and other forms of public transportation after his early years in DC of having no choice.   I don’t know for sure, but I figure it’s something that many of us do when we tell ourselves as soon as I get to a certain place in life, I’m not looking back.  It’s a shedding of old and in with the new.  I understand on some level, even though I think he is stubborn about it at times.  ;-)

The Metro is busy but not more than I would have expected for rush hour.  Talk about great people watching!  Just like I observed at the airport in Columbus but on a larger scale.  The array of people and outfits were beautiful.  Some headed to inauguration eve balls and formals.  Fur coats to fleece.  Well to do along with those that have no choice.  The Obama fever is in the air and everyone is on the same page.  I almost want to push a pause button and freeze this moment because I know eventually this overwhelming feeling of unity will fade and perhaps divide.

We arrive at the U Street station and at least half of the Metro subway passengers exit.  From the underground of DC we arose to life, music, and sounds of joy.  On the corner of 14th & U, the epicenter of U Street, were drummers who had assembled and played nonstop in celebration to a crowd of onlookers.  We got a decent photo that I will post soon.

We walked up and down U Street looking for a place to have a drink and maybe eat, recounting memories of our college years coming out to Republic Gardens to party and various other spots we’ve gone to over more recent years that are still there.  We stopped in at Creme and lucked upon a table for two, just before the place got crowded and were seated almost immediately.  I had my classic pomegranate martini (although this one did not even taste like a pomegranate martini) and my hubby ordered a beer and a shot to commemorate the occasion.  We were vibing and having a good time.  He’s so great at keeping me encouraged no matter what I take on, and as I recount stories of yesteryear, making me pause to recognize moments that were a job well done.  I gloss over them so naturally.

Our forming plan was to meet up with a couple for dinner, but it was a bit compromised/sandwiched by our trip to U Street and a 9pm conference call he had to make (so my hubby, talk about work hard play hard).  I could see time conflict red flags, but I let it be for the moment.  We all soon agree to meet on U Street and they were on their way by car.  We grab the check and leave our prime real estate behind.

To pass the time, my hubby stopped for Maggie Moo’s ice cream.  For me, that always conjures up memories of Baltimore and being in Fells Point.  We sat and enjoyed each others company as he had ice cream.  Eventually we got up and decided to walk some more.  Times a ticking and the traffic is fierce, but we’re enjoying ourselves so much that I don’t think we were worried at that time.  We traveled towards 14th and U and stopped to watch the crowd that I mentioned earlier who had gathered to watch the drummers’ perform.  No, they weren’t black kids from the hood (I know some people had to be wondering), rather they were white and a mix of men and women.  In fact, a few women scurried passed us at the intersection to join their friends in the drummer’s jam session.  They had a jacket or t-shirt wrapped around their waist that said “Brazil.”  Perhaps it was a gathering of Brazilian drummers.  I don’t know, and it didn’t matter.

After enjoying that for a while, we turned up 14th Street to walk.  Just a few steps away from the drumming at 14th & U, we both stopped at a window with various Barack Obama photos, posters, portraits.  They were nice.  I did forget to mention that there were vendors galore along U Street selling t-shirts, hats, buttons, just about anything you could sell with the name Obama somewhere on it.

Again, time is ticking, but I’m having a good time although my spidey senses started to see time conflict looming and my head rolling, finger waving black girl self not far behind.  LOL  I noticed that we were looking into the window of an art gallery and the sign said “Open”.  We poked our head in and they ushered us down to this basement level gallery.  My hubby looks at me recognizing that we had stumbled upon an “Ifelicious” moment for the night, something he knew I’d enjoy and was happy.  We had a great time looking through various historical photos, articles, artwork, and chatting with staff working that night (not sure if any were owners).  We did the whole where we are from and all that small talk.  I found a few pieces that I like but settled on a poster commemorating the occasion.

Time is still ticking and I’ve begun to feel a bit annoyed and hungry.  It’s one of those overcommitment scenarios that takes a whole lot to end pretty.  In my mind, we were perfectly happy on U Street and gave up a prime table for two where we could have had dinner amongst ourselves and avoided this scenario.  I’ll spare the details, but the couple ended up meeting us shortly after we left the art gallery.  Now, we were on an impossible quest along U Street to find a place to eat (you know what I’m thinking at this point).  So we jump in their car and drive to a few other sections of town that might be less crowded and landed at Chef Geoff’s over near American University.

We arrived just a few minutes before the now infamous 9 o’clock call so my hubby stayed in the car to take the call while we were seated.  I’m not the happiest but willing to just go with the flow.

Folks, this was one of those silent dinners.  You know when you remove one person out of the equation and realize that the only thing that binds you together as collective unit is the one person who wasn’t there, my hubby.  I’m a chatter box and would engage in any conversation but they didn’t look happy nor willing to meet me in the middle from a conversation perspective.  It seemed that way even when we met.  The difficulties of relationships at times, I guess.  We talk about default things like what we’re doing for tomorrow and work.  Work.  A four letter word.  I will tread lightly here because…well…I just will.

They turn their attention to me.  One even asked if I was interested in a position with their firm in Columbus.  I engaged a bit, but my heart really isn’t there anymore.  I love this notion of taking my writing as far as I can and can’t see myself returning to Corporate America in the near future.  I shared my 6 month plan of trying to see where I could go and take it from there.

Silence.  Awkward silence.  Followed by a joint eyebrow raising, interrogation, judgmental type follow up questions like “so you’re going to keep this blog thing going?”

And, “stick a fork in it, we’re done” I’m thinking to myself.  The minute I turn my life to follow a more creative, expressive route that still qualifies as a job, I should have been prepared for these moments.  The naysayers.  I was really starting to look at the time on my cell phone frequently now.  I went back and forth between whether or not to play nice or just be silent.  I just opted for silence.  Let them squirm because my direction is unwavering.

Now that I’m the dinner oddity, things are just flat out uncomfortable.  At one point, one of them makes a comment that they thought of me when they read about an inauguration ball tailored to artists that they thought I would like.  It was either Artomatic or Art of Change.  I wish that they had told me about it because it sounded right up my alley.  The information was quickly countered by the other expressing/clarifying/confirming with their mate that they had no intentions of going to that ball, correct?  Like why did this person even share that info?  I’m thinking, “great!  thanks.  i wish i knew sooner because it indeed sounded interesting.”

I wasn’t a fan of the quick counter/exchange of glances across the table and at that point.  Finally, they got to me.  Why am I such a sensitive creature, I will never know.  Here I am, again, the odd one out in a conversation and I began to question my current path.  After all, this is fairly fresh so even I am not 100% sold.  I also noticed that they must have blocked out my big fat blogger t-shirt that I was wearing with my site on the back even though I had mentioned it earlier in the eve as I referred to myself as a one woman street team.

And, yes, my hubby is still on the phone.  He entered after we had appetizers, dinner, and the last stretch of uncomfortable silence.  The room almost instantly picked up and we were on to jovial dialogue that I normally recall.  I smile and laugh, but it’s overshadowed by a sadness and regret that we hadn’t just stayed at that prime real estate table for two on U Street.

In the midst of joy and festivity, I am now a bit saddened.

Don’t let them steal my sunshine…


Filed under ** 01_Inauguration Chronicles **, ifelicious events, Ifelicious politics, ifelicious trips

Urban Mystic’s rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Gonna Come”

Urban Mystic is the son of a preacher man hailing from Florida and he definitely brings you his soulful gospel influence in his rendition of “A Change Gonna Come” originally released back in 2006 on his album entitled “Ghetto Revelations: 2.”  In light of our new president elect Barack Obama, it’s one of those songs that I’ve heard a lot but just can’t get enough.  Urban Mystic‘s take certainly does it justice.  Urban Mystic has updated and re-released this single just for you and as a tribute to Barack Obama.

* * * * * * *  Yes, we can!!! * * * * * * *

* * * * * * *  Yes, we can!!! * * * * * * *

Can you tell I’m feeling the spirit down here??

Urban Mystic on myspacemyspace.com/urbanmystic

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Ifelicious Inauguration Chronicles- Day 1 (01.18.09)

Everyone is going to experience the next few days in their own unique way.  I wanted to share with you my experience and hope that you share comments along the way.  What a beautiful mosaic it would create.  I will post pictures, stories, etc. as I get time to put them online.  In the end, we will have walked through one of the most historic inaugurations that we may see in our lifetime and undoubtedly one for the history books.

If you have pictures to share, send them to ifelicious@gmail.com and I will get them posted (or hit me up on facebook/myspace).  Same for events that you may want to promote…even better if you put me on the guestlist (wink-wink!).


I woke up to a wonderful 4 degrees farenheit and a pretty steady snowfall in Columbus this morning.  I kind of miss my doggie, Happy, too.  His 3 tiny pounds of poodle fluff are usually nestled at my feet or sandwiched somewhere between my hubby and I.  This round, I decided to leave him with our regular sitter and dropped him off last night.  She’s not in the best of spirits right now, and I hoped one more doggie addition to her house (she has 2 of her own) might bring her some comfort.  Happy is a true snuggler and is always aiming for your lap regardless of what’s on it (Happy is often between me and the keyboard as I type).  He gets extra spoiled from her because she bought one of those doggie holders, kind of like a backpack in reverse or like what you use for babies, and he sits in there while she works at the shop.  Ridiculous, but that’s why I trust her with Happy.  Her spirits were low because a friend of hers that she’s spoken of ever since I’ve known her (about 3 years now) is in his final moments of life.  She was not sure she’d even be able to watch Happy because she was deciding whether or not to stay in Texas through the weekend.  In the end, however, she came back.  It was sad talking to her yesterday, both on the phone and in the pet grooming boutique she owns.  Her voice shaking as she struggled to keep her composure.  A dear friend of hers is dying of pancreatic cancer, and it has spread through his body.  He requested not to have a funeral so her return to Columbus came with a realization that she’d never see him again.

Back to my morning…

With the snow falling pretty steadily, my initial thought was that we’d be delayed so I was obsessively checking the USAirways website for our flight status.  We had a late morning flight out of Columbus direct to DC.  My hubby is a fanatic on travel days and I’m usually a basket case so there’s always a high chance of a little rumble breaking out between us.  However, I think the excitement of going to DC had us both, in our own ways, ready to pack up and go.  I’m here with one pair of shoes and no fancy outfits, so whatever I do needs to be come as I am.

The Columbus International (I love that it says “international” because I’m still wondering what international flight they must have.  Maybe it’s to Canada.) Airport which was extremely empty.  One of the few perks of living in these midsized towns.  I stopped by Starbucks and got the “Calm” tea and a piece of lemon cake to share with my hubby.  We got to our gate and after several times looking around the empty seating area, I asked my hubby to double check our flight time.  Oops!  That is so me.  I was off by about an hour so we were extra early at the gate.  For my hubby, he was pleased as punch because he prides himself on being the first one to everything (I am the polar opposite in that regard).  Thank God for free WiFi at Columbus’s airport.  He went into work mode, and I did, too, reviewing the audio from my interview with Sally Anthony and starting to compose a story.

About 45 minutes later the rest of the passengers for our flight began to arrive.  I looked around just trying to feel out who like us was headed for DC for the inauguration.  It was quite the mixed bag on this flight.  Some ladies decked out in their fur coats and even some regretting that they didn’t bring theirs since they heard the weather in DC would be dry.  Some in business attire, others in the range of casual customary for travelers…except ATL…y’all folks down there are always dressed to the hilt when I walk through there.  There were some delegates and a group of some sort and a few couples like myself.  I turned to my hubby at one point and whispered that this is the most integrated trip I have ever taken from the Columbus airport.

As I’m sure everyone was to some degree, flying anywhere on USAirways is a little unsettling after that dip in the Hudson River just a few days ago.  To top it off, this was a 68 seater not the 160ish seater of the Airbus A320, AND we’re landlocked.  I began to play out what our crash landing would look like in my head.  The best we’d be able to do would be to eenie meenie miney mo some flat farmland and hope the accumulated snowfall would cushion the blow.  The thought was not as pretty so I quickly dismissed it.

On the plane, we sat behind a father and son, Caucasian, and I wondered if the dad was taking his kid to experience inauguration.  How cute!  I almost wanted to take a photo, but I later overheard he was en route to Florida.  Oh well…  Behind us was a couple.  The lady had the whooping cough…or at least a hell of a “lungy” cough.  Elderly couple.  Later in the flight, the flight attendant announced the gentleman in 4c behind Justin’s seat as Corporal something-or-the-other.  He was attending is 15th consecutive inauguration and is being awarded some kind of medal of honor for his service to the country over the years.  The flight attendant went on to read what was on the award, but she didn’t have it in her hand.  I wonder if one of the politician people on the plane slipped her some info to read because it sounded planned.  The plane clapped while his wife continued the whooping cough into my back seat to the point where I was starting to pray that I didn’t get sick and even began to worry about her, after learning of her husband’s high honor and the fact that they would be seated behind congress at the inauguration ceremony…outside in cold weather.  Man!  I hope she got some serious antibiotics to ward off her illness because her wig and American flag bandanna/head scarf was not going to save her from the cold.


We arrived in DC earlier this afternoon.  Despite my husband’s disapproval, I rented a 1 bedroom in Capitol Hill (not the overpriced kind, this came last minute).  We have plenty of family and friends in the area, but I like having my own space to retreat to, and I wanted to be within walking distance of all the action.  We are 6 blocks from the Capitol and 2 blocks from a Metro stop so this last minute email I got from some random guy about his apartment being available at a reduced rate was a blessing in disguise.  At the same time, despite my disapproval, my husband rented a car.  I have to laugh at us sometimes and how we get so particular about things.

The drive into DC from Reagan National wasn’t bad.  Looking out at the Potomac River, it’s muddy and icy but the weather feels relatively warm compared to the 4 degrees we had going on in Ohio.  We both felt relieved that we might not have to risk loss of limb due to frost bite in order to enjoy any outdoor festivities.  It’s a little chuckley funny now to see that I have become conditioned to cold weather again.  This is honestly the first winter since moving to Ohio that I feel like I’ve surrendered to midwest gloominess that settles in from October through April.

As we got closer into town, the traffic went to a dead stop for those bearing left towards downtown DC and luckily seemed to be moving for us on the right side getting onto 395.  The concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial was just starting so we presumed the traffic was tied to that event (see, I was wise to put us downtown.  us women always have it on the ball…lol).  As we near our apartment, we went through the wonderment that we do every time we come to DC.  The “I remember whens.”  This neighborhood now has white people walking carefree down the streets which were lined with various expensive cars.  It was not long ago when some of these parts right by the Capitol building were not the best…to say the least.  I also noticed the police presence was very high with cop cars frequently circling the area and parked at key intersections.  In a way, it made me feel more safe than simply seeing the white people and expensive cars.  It was clear that we were within the radius that would be well monitored over the next few days.  Oh, and I forgot to mention the military helicopters constantly circling around the White House and surrounding landmarks.

The place we’re staying in is cute.  It’s an old rowhouse that has been converted into several apartments.  I have loved rowhouses ever since I was a little kid.  I always dreamed of living in one and, hopefully, I will one day.  Even the place we live in now in Columbus is reminiscent of a rowhouse.  We punched the code to get our keys from the lockbox and entered through 3 different doors (literally 3 doors…crazy to suburban me), one right after the other, before we were actually in our unit.  It’s a 1 bedroom with a 1 flight walk up to get to it.  Clean, but old, with very few updates besides paint, furniture, and some modest remodeling in the bathroom and kitchen.  We have Direct TV and wireless internet which is enough to make us both happy, and there is one dedicated parking spot.  I’m enjoying the smell of the old pine hardwood floors.  Something about it makes me smile, like being at Grandma’s house, although I never had a grandma that had pine hardwood floors.  I guess it’s something about the smells and the age and the architecture all combined that draws me in, makes me feel at home, and has my mind wondering about all of the history in this one rowhouse.


Once settling into our apartment, we were on the fence about going to the concert at the Lincoln Memorial.  The details we had were very sketchy.  We just knew it started at 2pm and had no idea how organized or disorganized it would be.  I expected that it would be an afternoon outside listening to various artists until the last artist standing performed probably later that night.  After a little back and forth, we decide to give it a whirl as long as I could eat first.  A hungry Ifelicious is not a very fun Ifelicious, and you know these flights don’t give you shizz these days…not even an ice cube.  So we take a short walk over to a stretch of various shops and restaurants.  En route, I noticed that we could see the Capitol building from the end of our street and made a mental note that I wanted to take some photos on the way back.  We stopped in a Mediterranean restaurant and plopped ourselves down at the bar which had the concert in hi def on one plasma and another plasma above it with the football game.  How my husband successfully attends to both at once, I’ll never know.

After realizing that this concert was clearly well orchestrated and on HBO with a timeline, I began to kick myself because by the time we ate, it wouldn’t be worth taking the trek over to the Lincoln Memorial.  At least we got to watch it front and center of the bar in high definition.  The food was authentic Mediterranean in look and flavor, another fond memory of visiting larger cities.  I ordered tea (surprise) with my meal and asked for honey.  The bartender/server brought over this square waxy chunk, and I was wondering what it was.  She explained it was a honeycomb.  This is the first time that I had honey literally from a honeycomb.  She instructed me to just scoop some out, ignoring the fact that some of the honeycomb came out with the honey into my cup of tea.  I was cool with it as a tea and honey connoisseur of sorts.  The honey wasn’t as sweet as store bought honey and the honeycomb bits were literally like drinking/chewing on wax (I don’t even want to know what bees do to make a honeycomb).  As I type this post, hours later, my tummy still seems to be in the process of digestion of that waxy honeycomb (I just want to reach in my throat with a spoon and scoop it out, but I’ll opt for a more sane route of drinking lots of green tea tonight).  I’m not sure I’d go for honey scooped out of the honeycomb again, but it was nice to try it out.

The concert was amazing!  Hopefully, it will air again so that we can tape it and watch it from the comfort of our couch and a remote to pause and play when needed.  I had no idea that Barack Obama and Joe Biden would be there with their families as well as many dignitaries and notable guests.  I was having a perfect time…except 2 things.  The first was that we were the only black people in this restaurant bar area among a group of drunk white guys that were likely republican and certainly lacking cultural sensitivity.  I was reminded of how DC can be so diverse and so conservative at the same time (and the fact that we’re staying in Capitol Hill).  It took me back to my days as a high falootin consultant on K Street.  The guys at the bar just kept talking and throwing out annoying comments like “why is Obama so special” and how Cheryl Crow needed to eat more because she looked wafer thin.  I wish I could remember all of the comments (especially the most annoying ones), but trust me, they were nonstop chatterboxes particularly one guy who tried to get to know us but in a oddly condescending way.  He also insisted that the bar erupt into sing-a-long mode throughout the concert which did finally happen once or twice.  The second distraction, if you will, was my husband’s frequent teary outbursts that have become the custom since this past November.  He has done more crying in the past 3 months than I’ve ever seen him do in the 15 years or so of knowing him.  Under normal circumstances, this guy will not shed a tear, except at a funeral of someone where he is close to the deceased…which has been exceedingly rare.  If you know him, he’s very calculated and always in control.  This historic moment has touched the very core of his soul in a way that I could never in a million years have imagined.  Throughout every song, every speech, he’s breaking down (quietly, he would bow his head and pick at his food or take another swig of beer…especially with the ignoramuses around spewing annoying and distracting comments).  For those of you who can’t identify with what it means to see a black man become president especially with all of the negative stereotypes that plague that particular demographic need to stop and talk to my husband or someone like him.  Obama not only won presidential election, but he also overcame so many seemingly impossible barriers on so many levels for African-American men, women and anyone who has ever dreamed to do something just beyond their reach.  For me, my normal response of detach and observe was in full effect leaving me unable to identify with my husband’s reaction in a way that I’d like to.  I typically enjoy observing everything around me, all of the facial expressions, people watching and wondering where they came from.  Were they from out of town?  What were their plans for the week?  Would they be among the hundreds of thousands that will get up to catch the Metro at 3am on Tuesday morning to hopefully get a reasonable spot on the Mall for the inauguration ceremony or the parade (apparently, they’re saying it’s logistically impossible to do both)?  Were they going to a ball?  I like to absorb all of that in and then write about it as I am tonight.  I’m actually conflicted about how I want to juggle writing and experiencing events.  The bar scene earlier today reminded me of how that can get distracting if you’re really trying to watch what’s happening, even among supporters.  I dunno.  I guess I feel it’s kinda my job to record my little piece of history in this mosaic, as I said in the beginning.

Tonight, no fancy parties for me.  I’ve opted out of a round of visiting with the in-laws to get some silence and time to write this post along with some other projects.  I made it to the Safeway earlier to buy some basic food and cleaning supplies (I’m obsessive about cleanliness, especially when I’m staying in these rented places.  It just makes me feel better to have done a round of cleaning things off with my sponge and my cleaning agents as confirmation that it has been done.  I’ll even wash the sheets and towels…yes, we have a washer/dryer- sweet!…if I feel they aren’t to my “standards.”).

How about you?

What did you do today?

Are you in DC?

What did you think of the concert?

Poopies!  I forgot to write about the specifics of the concert.  Maybe I’ll throw it in a separate post at another time.  I will say that Usher and Jamie Foxx were lookin’ super fly!  And my man, Stevie Wonder, was off the hook!


Filed under ** 01_Inauguration Chronicles **, ifelicious events, Ifelicious politics, ifelicious trips