You’re Turning Me…Off

We all have turn-offs.  There are things that the opposite sex does, no matter how cute, fine, or pretty they are, that grates our nerves.  In the past few weeks, my turn-offs, some known and some brought to light, have come center stage while engaging with men.  Some turn-offs have manifested themselves during my dating activity with 2 guys over the past 2 weeks.  

A huge turn-off is tardiness.  If we made plans for a first date, you are not making a good first impression.  Both guys were late (by at least 20 minutes) to our first date.  Needless to say, that was Strike 1 for both of them.   I will admit Guy 1 called me (at the time we were supposed to meet) to let me know he was running a little late.  Guy 2 only let me know that he was running late after I told him I was running behind schedule (which was only by 3 minutes, thank you very much).   The next thing that is a huge turn-off is when I get asked the question, “So, why are you single?”.  To be perfectly honest my first time getting asked that question was last week by Guy 2, but that made me realize I don’t like it.  And it was more like, “So, what’s wrong with you?  Why are you single?”  Really, dude??? I proceeded to answer, “Actually nothing’s wrong with me; I just haven’t met a man that wants the same things I want.  So what’s wrong with you?  Why are you single?”  You want to play with matches, you will get burned…

Another turn-off on a date is when dudes talk about what they want to do in the future with me, but don’t follow through.  One of my disastorous internet dates did this and so did Guy 2; actually I may be a bit immature with Guy 2-it hasn’t been that long since our date.   If you’re not interested, don’t try to butter me up to let me down.  Let’s just enjoy the meal and go our separate ways once the check is paid.  Don’t try to fill my head with “outlandish flights of fancy” and think that’s cool; I bet you’d be mad if some chick did that to you…ok, let me get back on topic…

The last thing that I have discovered that I really turns me off is giving me a back-handed compliment.  Don’t know what a back-handed compliment is?  It’s when someone says something nice to you, but somewhere in the middle of the niceness they say something crazy/ugly/slightly mean.  Case in point, at dinner, Guy 2 proceeds to tell me that he’s used to dating model type women who are crazy and slightly spoiled.  The back-handed compliment I received was, “You’re not model-beautiful, but I think you’re beautiful or otherwise I would not have talked to you.” WHAT?!?!?! Who does that???  Lucky for him, I was still trying to make a good first impression, so I held back my comments, but I did give him the crazy look that said, “Did you really just say that to me?!”  *Some advice to you men, don’t say everything that comes to your mind; some things are better left unsaid.*  Despite his little rude comment, we had a nice dinner.  But that comment will always, well at least for awhile if we continue to date, be in the back of my mind.

What are your turn-offs?  What’s the one thing that a man or woman can do that gets under your skin in the worst way?  Please share, because I’m sure you’ll name some things that I need to look out for.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Summer Spirits

We all have them…a favorite summer drink, and I’m not talking kool-aid.  Everyone has a favorite drink that they enjoy during the summer, whether it’s by the pool, at a bbq, or at a happy hour.   Today we will discuss a few drinks that will keep you cool and happy during those hot summer days and nights!

First, the Mojito.  This has to be the ultimate summer drink.  A Mojito made the right way is one of the best things since sliced bread.  This Cuban drink has five main ingredients:  white rum, sugar, lime, sparkling water, and mint.  When you have a sugar cane and fresh mint in a Mojito, you know  you have the real thing.  My favorite place to get this drink is at a restaurant in DC, Ceiba.  A friend took me there when I first moved to DC, and I must admit one of the tastiest things is chewing on that sugar cane!

Pina Coladas have been a favorite of mine for a while.  And the good thing is you can have this drink shaken or frozen. When mixed in the blender, I get the combination of a milkshake with a little bit of a kick!   Rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice are the ingredients in this tasty drink.  Pina coladas are traditionally Spanish, but are enjoyed stateside and in the Caribbean.

A tall cool glass of lemonade is perfect on a hot summer day, and an Electric Lemonade is great for a summer night.  With a little vodka, curacao (add blue curacao for an Electric Blue Lemonade), sweet and sour mix, and Sprite you have some lemonade with a little extra.  Just make sure you don’t mix your drink with Grandma’s at the family BBQ!

I know tons of people who love a good pitcher of Sangria.  And it’s great that you don’t have to wait until the summer to enjoy this drink.   A few people have pitchers available for guests at house parties year round.   There seems to be various recipes for Sangrias, but the essential ingredients are red wine, fruit slices, sweetener, a small amount of another spirit, ice, and soda.  Most people have the fruit soak in the Sangria for hours on end before it’s served, thus ensuring that when the fruit is eaten, those who partake will have the ultimate Sangria experience.

As an avid wine drinker, I would be remiss if I did not mention Muscadine wine.  As a little girl in the South, my cousins, friends, and I could not wait until the Muscadines were in season.   A grape-like fruit, Muscadines were the essential for a complete summertime experience.  If you find the right batch, you could eat these all day.  They are so good that I requested my mother freeze some for me last summer when she bought some!  Muscadine wine captures the delicious taste of this fruit with the tastiness of wine.  Winemakers traditionally add sugar to make this a dessert wine, but in my humble opinion, this drink can be consumed during any meal.

So what is your favorite drink?  Do you have any yummy summer cocktail recipes?  If so, please share! Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

BET Awards Recap

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I must say I am thoroughly impressed with BET. I, along with some more of my friends, were happy with what we saw last night on the BET Awards.  Chris Brown is back,  Prince is still fine, and Nia and Larenz took me back to “Love Jones”.  Despite the lows of the evening (believe me, they were there), the highs were great and plentiful so I was a happy camper.  (Warning:  There may be some spoilers mentioned, but you should still watch the show if you haven’t already.)

I had the pleasure of watching the awards show with one of my sorority sisters, and as the night went on, I was able to share with her some Twitter commentary and put some of our lively conversation on my Twitter feed.  The first thing that I felt BET should have kept under wrap was Queen Latifah’s singing.  Now I’m sure her jazz album was great (haven’t heard it), but her opening number left a lot to be desired.  Another thing I didn’t like was Queen Latifah’s changing into all of the characters she has played…uhhhh…#notagoodlook.  I was too through when she came out as Cleo and T.I., aka my baby daddy, kept calling her “Chloe”!!  When she FINALLY came out in her elegant black dress close to the end of the show I was thinking, “Now why didn’t she look like THIS the whole night?!?!”   Another low was all these performances during the pre-show, especially Souljah Boy and Roscoe Dash, aka Sisqo’s little brother.  I didn’t see all of the pre-show, but the little I saw didn’t need to be seen.   Nicki Minaj…Darling Nicki needed to sit down somewhere.   My first thought when I saw her on the red carpet was she looked like a hood bride.  Other colorful anecdotes I heard were “she looks like Carrot Top and Lil’ Kim’s love child”, “she looks like Wilma Flintstone”, and other little comments that were extremely hilarious.  Another fail, as we all know, is Jermaine Jackson’s hair…need I say more?  I don’t think I do.

Now, the highs…there are so many that I don’t know where to begin.  Maybe we should start with the opener, Mr. Kanye West.  I don’t know what it is about him, but he is one of my favorite rappers.  His new single is great and his performance was great.  Kudos to BET for selecting him as the opening act.   Chris Brown, Chris Brown, Chris Brown…first off, that boy is talented; I don’t care what anybody says.  I hate the fact that he wasn’t able to partake in the tribute to MJ last year, but his performance last night was ELECTRIFYING!!!  That is the tribute that is due to a true superstar performer.  (I told my sorority sister that Chris has been practicing since last year getting ready for this moment!)  I was so happy to see Chris back on stage.  I don’t condone violence of any kind, but the man paid his debt, he admitted that he was wrong, and if the world can forgive R. Kelly then they should certainly forgive Chris Breezy.  With the crying on “Man in the Mirror”, I think that was genuine, more so for him realizing what he did wrong and growing up.  The ultimate surprise of the night was El DeBarge!!!  I was NOT ready!  He was great, and it’s good to see that those drugs did not affect his singing ability, unlike another singer who shall remain nameless…He sang some classics, and let everybody know that the light skinned brothers are coming back! (But for me they were never out.)  Nia Long and Larenz Tate…need I say more?!?!?  They both look like they stepped out of the 90’s (meaning they have not aged one day), and didn’t miss a beat with their renditions of Nina’s Poem and Darius’ Poem.  I want to watch “Love Jones” right now…The Prince tribute was great.  Janelle Monae killed her performance of “Let’s Go Crazy”.  If you don’t know her as a performer then you would have looked at her like, “Who is this chick with the bouffant and WTH is she doing?!?!”  But I was thoroughly impressed.  I don’t know about you all, but I was not ready for Ms. Alicia Keys to climb on the piano in all of her preggo glory, minus her shoes.  (Yes, she was gorgeous and glowing).  She did a bang up job on “Adore”, and as she ended her performance Prince was looking around for Swizz making sure it was ok for Alicia to be all over the piano!   And Patti LaBelle tore up “Purple Rain”.  She brought Prince (and almost everyone else) to his feet and almost made him cry.   When Patti kicked off her shoe, Prince ran up and got it! I loved it!!! And Prince is still one of the sexiest men alive.  I don’t know what it is about him, but he’s great in my book. 

All in all, I am very proud of BET for the production of last night’s show.  Yes, there was some coonery and buffoonery in some parts, but that’s bound to happen at any award show.  And for those of you that missed it, don’t worry.  I didn’t mention EVERYTHING that happened, and BET is sure to replay it about 50 times this week, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see it and make your own assessment.  So what was your favorite part?  Who looked great?  Who needed a mirror?  What was the most memorable part, good or bad, of the evening?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Can Men and Women Just Be Friends?

It’s an age old question-can men and women just be friends, without being attracted to one another, without being intimate, and without being jealous when one or both are in a relationship?   Men and women, experts and non-experts have disagreed on this very topic for years.   Through my own experiences, I say “Yes”.  Do I have male friends? Yes.  Have I ever been attracted to one or more of my male friends? Yes.  Have any of my male friends been attracted to me?  Not sure, but I’d venture to say yes, even though no one has said so.   Two of my best friends are men.   These are two guys who I feel that will be there for me no matter what, I can go to them for anything, and I’ve already told one of them that he’s going to be in my wedding. 

Now, some people seem to think that men and women can’t be friends because one person is always going to be attracted to the other.  As one of my friends told me, when he first met me (actually when he first meets any woman), he assesses if he wants to sleep with her. (I know, a little barbaric and male typical, right?)  If he decides he doesn’t, then he may continue to talk to her, but there’s no action on his part to pursue her sexually.  Now, if he does decide he wants to have sex with her, his actions will attempt to put him in a “positive light” so that he can impress her and do what he can to get on her good side so that he can sleep with her.   He may try to develop a monogamous/boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with the woman or he may just try to hit it and that be that.   Another setback to this dilemma may be if one person is in a relationship, let’s say the woman, and her homeboy is attracted to her.  It sucks for him if she’s devoted to her boyfriend and really isn’t thinking about her friend that way.   It also can get sticky if someone’s significant other is jealous of the friendship.  Case in point, my friend was dating a girl, whom I never met but we knew of each other.  She was jealous of our friendship, until she realized that I wasn’t a threat and wouldn’t do anything to jeopordize their relationship. 

On the other hand, what if the woman likes the man?  I was in a situation where I was friends with a really nice guy and had been attracted to him for YEARS! (#dontjudgeme!)  I never said anything to him for a number of reasons-1.  I felt if I told him it would mess up our friendship, and I didn’t want to risk that-2.  We lived in different cities-and 3.  I didn’t think I was his type.  It came to a point where I finally had to tell myself, “Look, you need to get this off your chest and just tell him.  If things work out, great.  If not, oh well, at least you told him and it’s not hanging over your head anymore and the ball will be in his court.”  So I did it-I told him how I felt, knowing that at the time he didn’t want a relationship, but I told him for me-to make me feel better.  It came to a point where I felt like I had nothing to lose, plus I didn’t want to disillusion myself if he was not attracted to me.   When I told him, he was cool, as was I, and said we’ll talk about it later.  Needless to say, later has not come yet, and our sporadic conversations are now pretty much non-existent.   Do I regret telling him how I felt? No.  But I do miss my friend.  I’m a big girl and can handle rejection, but maybe he couldn’t handle being around a woman whom he considers just a friend but she wants more.   I may have been a little selfish in telling him how I felt, but this is something that had been on my mind since we were in undergrad, so to clear my mind, I needed to let it out. 

Now, to those of you that have best friends of the opposite sex who are in relationships, its your duty to not interfere.  Don’t request to hang out with your buddy without their significant other.   That’s a recipe for disaster and unnecessary drama.  Also, don’t call your friend all hours of the night, unless it’s an absolute emergency and you’ve exhausted all of your other resources.  That’s also a sure fire way to bring chaos to an unchaotic situation.   I also strongly advise that you make nice with the boyfriend or girlfriend.   Let them know that you have no intention of messing with their relationship…and you may even want to invite them with you and your friends so they feel comfortable around you.

To answer my own question, I say yes, men and women can be friends.  I have male friends that I hang out with, that I talk to, and we both know neither of us is attracted to the other and never will be.  Do you guys disagree?  Can men and women just be friends or will someone always try to date the other?  Do you have a story where a friend shared with the other that he/she was attracted to the other?   Please share your stories.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

This Week in the News

It seems as if my vacation has lasted a little longer than expected!  Well, what better day to get on track than Friday so I can update you guys on what’s been happening this week! 

I must first mention that today is the 1 year anniversary of the death of the King of Pop.  I prefer celebrating people on their birthdays rather than on the day of their death (see my post regarding Tupac), but as all radio stations are playing MJ all day, I must make mention of him as well.  Despite what you may think about him as a person, Michael Jackson was one of the greatest entertainers of our lifetime.   He had an uncanny ability to bring  joy and life to all of his fans and was able to make people fall in love with him like no other.   It’s so sad when I think of how his life has been cut short; he had so much more to give.   In any event, I hope you take a moment to recognize Michael today.  One of favorite songs by him, “Off the Wall”, is playing right now!   I urge you to not be sad today, but be glad-be glad about Michael’s life, the music he brought to us, and the memories that will live on!

Now the only way you could have missed this is if you are living under a rock-the ousting of General Stanley McChrytal.  Gen. McChrystal provided the President of the United States with his letter of resignation after an interview he had with Rolling Stone and made disparaging comments regarding civilian leaders regarding the current War on Terror, amongst other uncomplimentary comments.  So, President Obama, being the man that he is, requested the general’s presence in DC, and less than 48 hours later, the world heard of General McChrystal’s resignation, much to the delight of both Republicans, who didn’t think the President would do anything, and Democrats.   As General McChrystal is heading out the door, in comes General David Petraeus to take over our armed forces in the Middle East.  I don’t think General Petraeus will have a problem getting confirmed next week as both parties support him in this new position.

Welp, my girl has done it again.  Kim Kardashian has snagged another football player. (Yes, I realize YOU may not think this is news, but as a reality tv junkie and a fan of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” this is noteworthy to me.)  While they are not officially a couple, Kim has been on a few dates with Dallas Cowboys Miles Austin.  The pair met in LA a few months back and have been going strong ever since.  For Kim’s sake, I hope this works out for her. (Reggie, call me! 😉 )

The DMV International Film Festival begins today in DC.  As someone who LOVES a good movie, I’m pretty excited about this event.  I signed up to attend a few of the outings, so if you see me, say “Hi!”  There are film viewings, workshops, and parties going on this week, so make sure you check out a few.  This is sure to be an event that you don’t want to miss! 

I realize that there are TONS of things I missed!   Why don’t you share with everyone?!  And what are your thoughts on the topics I discussed-will you attend the film festival (if you’re in DC)-what are some of your favorite MJ songs/memories?   Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city.

Family Reunions

There’s nothing like family, and I’ve come to realize this now more than I ever have before this weekend.  I have had the pleasure of hanging out with “both” sides, maternal and paternal, of my family.   Every Father’s Day weekend, my dad’s family has a reunion.  It started out 50 years ago with my great-grandfather’s children honoring him and having a potluck during the first Father’s Day after my great-grandmother died.  I actually found out this weekend that the potluck was my grandmother’s idea.  In February of this year, my cousin sent a mass text to all of the grandchildren and requested our presence at the reunion, which is held in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.  After my grandmother passed last month, I knew that I had to come back to South Carolina and attend the events of the weekend.  I was able to see my aunts, uncles, cousins, and was able to meet some new family members.  (I’m sure we’ll connect on Facebook soon!)  I had a great time; Friday was the fish fry on the family property, Saturday was the banquet, and Sunday was church and the Lowcountry boil and cookout under the tent on the family land.  Needless to say I got some good eating done, as only we Southerners can do!  I even got to hang out a little with my firstcousins, which is always fun in and of itself!

Once the paternal side activities were done, I travelled to Georgia where my mom’s family rented a house for the week.  A few years back, my family decided to travel every other year for a week and rent a house in a different location.  In addition to seeing my mom, grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins that live in my hometown, I was also able to see my aunt that lives in Nebraska, who brought her two grandsons, and my aunt that lives in New York!  And I met my new 2 month old cousin, who is absolutely adorable!  And he is spoiled rotten!  It seems like I came on the right day because one of my uncles cooked out on the grill and I went to the beach with my mom and had some bonding time.  What was supposed to be a day trip turned into an overnighter as I went with them into the city and came back way too late to drive back to South Carolina.  So, as luck would have it, my mom had some extra PJ’s, which I’m tempted to take back with me to DC, and I had a scarf in the trunk, so I slept in one of the many rooms in this house.   We got up and had breakfast together, which was really nice and I knew was going to be good as EVERYBODY in my family can cook!  I’m so tempted to stay another day, but duty calls, so travel back to the city I must.  I’ve never been on the family vacation with my mom’s family, so this was a great experience for me.

This trip has been a nice change of pace for me and very refreshing.  My families are loving, supportive, and everyone has hearts of gold.  Now, I’m not saying that my families are perfect, but when we need each other, we are always there, and that’s what matters most.   Are there any traditions that your family has?  Do you participate?  What’s your favorite family memory?  Please feel free to share.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Digital Capital Week: Tech Cocktail Party

As I went on vacation with mi familia (and having a blast I might add), my last DC Week event was the Tech Cocktail Party on Thursday, June 17.  I had a great time, was able to get reacquianted with some old friends, and make some new contacts.  The event was sponsored by Bingham Law Firm, who has offices across the country, and Zenzi Communications, which handles various levels of media marketing and was held at Lux Lounge, a premiere location in DC.

Attendees enjoyed complimentary appetizers and received a ticket to receive a drink.  To identify what sector in which you work, attendees were given nametags and stickers; choices included Developer/Designer/Engineer, Recruiter/Human Resources, Entreprenuer, Marketing/PR/Social Media, and Other.  The stickers (and the key) helped you identify who does what and helped in starting conversations with complete strangers.  The first person I met was Renee Turrell of GRT Corporation, based in Atlanta, GA.  With Renee, I came across a first for me, an electronic business card; needless to say I was impressed.  GRT specializes in logos, branding, and marketing for various small businesses and start-up companies.  A friend referred her to the events of DC Week and she was hoping to make some new connections.   Renee even gave me some tips on how I can help build my business; I will definitely be in contact with her to gain some more knowledge!  I also had the pleasure of running into Marcus Finley of Live Liberty, which handles non-profit and social action work.  Live Liberty also works on creating campaigns. Marcus hopes to work begin work on the tech start-up part of his full-time.  He heard about DC Week through a fellow tech start-up “rival”, Mike Romero.  Marcus and Mike, along with some others have a network of small tech start-ups that meet on a regular basis to network and share ideas and events that are taking place that pertain to their industry.  Marcus says there is a little friendly competition among them, but he learns some valuable information.  The second floor was where the Startup Showcase was taking place.  Approximately nine companies were highlighting the things they can do in the tech world for various investors.  (Prior to the event, attendees could complete a sign-up sheet that identified them as a business owner or an investor.)  This was another way that people could network and dialogue on ways to assist each other in the tech world.

I would have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the events of Digital Capital Week that I attended!  I was able to meet some great people, see where I fit in the tech world, and find out where I can help.  I hope you guys were able to attend some of the events, especially the events on Friday and Saturday.   If you attended any of the events during DC Week, please share your experiences.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city!