I Am Thankful For…

No one likes to complain more than me. I channel my strength and power from complaining. However, a friend told me that I should be more positive. He said if I become more grateful about the things that I do have then I will have a better life or something like that. When he was talking to me about this, I could not have rolled my eyes any harder. But, what do I have to lose by being grateful, right? Sometimes I like to consider my ungratefulness as ambition because there is nothing wrong with wanting more. I do know that I am very fortunate and blessed to have the things I have. So, below is a list of things I am thankful for.

  1. For Great Parents: Shout to Momma and Daddy for always being there for me. They will do anything for me. The best example of this is when I locked my keys in my car when I was in graduate school at UVA. My parents had a spare key to my car so they drove an hour and a half to my school, rolled down the window to their car, unlocked my car without leaving their car, and drove back home. That’s love y’all.

2. For Being the Youngest Child: Thank goodness I am the youngest child. I never had to babysit and I am so thankful for that. My parents were also probably more relaxed with me than my brothers when it came to discipline. I am also thankful for having two chill older brothers.  I learned from their laid back demeanor even though I am considered to be the loudest and most opinionated person in the family. Yes y’all. I am the most talkative person in my family. Crazy, right?

3. For Growing Up in King William: King William taught me where I don’t want to live.

4. For Friends/Cousins: I am fortunate to have friends I have known since kindergarten, friends I met in college, and friends I met at work. Also, I am fortunate to have over 100 cousins, and I am close with a good chunk of them.

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5. For UVA: I almost didn’t go to UVA because I didn’t think I would fit in. Well guess what? I didn’t fit in, but I made a ton of friends and I was able to do cool stuff like go to concerts, shoot t-shirts out of a t-shirt gun, watch Obama speak, join a ton of clubs (breakdancing, ski/snowboarding, gymnastics, hip hop, volunteer), and watch D1 sports for free.

Also, at UVA I did this Red Bull competition with two other people for a chance to win a trip to Rio. We called ourselves Blazian Fusion for obvious reasons. For the competition, we had to make an original song with school supplies. We were the winning team at UVA, but didn’t get very far after that. We thought our song was great until we heard songs from other schools. It was obvious the other schools had percussionists competing (the girl in the video did play drums in high school). I did find our video, which you can watch below. I also included Ohio State’s video. I think they went pretty far in the competition and you can definitely tell the difference in skill level.

 

 

6. For a Job: Without a job, I would still be living at home with my parents. So, thanks RKG/RKG, a Merkle Company/Merkle|RKG/Merkle for hiring me. I couldn’t ask for a better work environment. The people are great and I love the casual dress code. Also, I have been able to travel all across the world because I now have money and the job offers unlimited PTO.

The only picture I have at my job was when my desk was decorated for my birthday. They wouldn’t let me grow old unnoticed.

 

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New Fall TV Shows Review

A ton of new shows have come out this fall and I want to give a review of the new shows I have seen so far. Here is my rating system:

Gave Me Life: Fantastic show
It’s Aight: Not great, but I will keep watching
Hanging By A Thread: I will give it one more shot
Have Several Seats: This show is wack

The Good Place

This show is about a woman named Eleanor played by Kristen Bell who is mistakenly accepted into ‘The Good Place’. This show will probably not last more than one season because I don’t know how they can stretch out the story. I like the show though and I will probably keep watching as long as it is on. Plus, I am a fan of Kristen Bell so I do hope that this show isn’t a one (season) and done.

Rating: It’s Aight

 

Pitch

This show is about Ginny who becomes the first female pitcher in the MLB. The first episode was pretty predictable, but I think it has a lot of potential and I like the concept. Also, Ginny’s relationship with her dad reminds me of how my dad was when I played sports. For softball, my dad made me practice at home after already having 2.5 hours of practice with my team. Also,  Mark-Paul Gosselaar who played Zack Morris in Saved by the Bell is in it, but is barely recognizable, which is good. I don’t want to see Zack every time I watch the show.

Rating: Gave Me Life

 

This Is Us

This show is about four people turning 36. Jack is a new father, Randall is looking for his father, Kate is dealing with weight issues, and Kevin is tired of his acting job. The show is both funny and serious. I didn’t watch that many episodes of Parenthood, but This Is Us has the same vibes as it. Honestly, the show had me at Milo Ventiglimia. Milo played Jess on Gilmore Girls and Jess is one of my favorite TV characters. Also, Mandy Moore is in this show, but I had no idea it was her until I looked at the cast list. And you know who else is in this show? Justin Hartley from Passions. Passions is probably the most ridiculous soap opera ever and of course I used to watch it.
Rating: Gave Me Life

 

Speechless

This was a show that I didn’t plan on watching, but I did and it was pretty funny. It is about a family that has a teenager with cerebral palsy, a middle kid who acts older than he is, a daughter that is super athletic, a mom who is unapologetically aggressive, and a dad who is just a dad. It was surprisingly good. Like The Good Place, I don’t think it will last past season one, but I hope it does.

Rating: It’s Aight, but potential to Give Me Life

 

Notorious

It is show about a news producer that shapes public opinion with the help from a criminal lawyer friend. I don’t know about this show. I feel like it tried too hard to be sexy, serious, and funny. But, I am intrigued enough to watch another episode.

Rating: Hanging By A Thread

 

Designated Survivor

When the president and other cabinet members are in one place, a Designated Survivor, usually a cabinet member, is off in an undisclosed place just in case something goes down. Well, this show is about something going down and the Designated Survivor becoming the president. I don’t typically like political dramas, and that is the only reason why I am meh about it.

Rating: Hanging By A Thread

Top 5 Trips

Below is a list of my top 5 trips. All the pictures are in slideshow format.

5. Seoul, Korea

In graduate school, there was a travel abroad component and I got to go to East Asia. I went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. I may have been the only one on my trip that loved Seoul. Seoul wasn’t the prettiest city we visited, but the food gave me so much life. Everything was spicy and good. I had the best chicken wings ever in Korea. I didn’t get to eat as much Korean BBQ as I wanted to, which I regret so much.

I also visited the DMZ. I watched several Netflix documentaries about North Korea before my trip so I just found the whole thing fascinating. We went through tunnels that North Koreans dug underneath South Korea. And, there are probably tunnels that have yet to be discovered. Crazy!

We also went to Samsung and got free Samsung Level headphones and did a ton of cool interactive things.

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4. New York City (Part 2)

I went to New York City a few months ago with my cousin and her mom. I talked about it in an earlier post so I am just going to list some highlights.

  • Fell in love with the play Hamilton without seeing the play.
  • Saw the Color Purple. Discovered that I love Broadway
  • Beyonce!!!!! I got in formation best believe.
  • Cousin time

I never thought I wanted to live in NYC, but after that trip I am more open to it.

In the video, please excuse my cousin’s singing. She sang at the top of her lungs the whole entire Beyonce concert. If you want to see more videos of the Beyonce concert, you will have to check out my Twitter page.

3. Venice, Italy

I went to Venice with my friend that I have known since Kindergarten, and Venice was one of the most unique cities I have ever been to. You can only get through the city by either boating or walking, and the food was fantastic. I was already a big pizza and pasta person so I was in heaven. Also, you can skip the gondola ride because it isn’t worth the money in my personal opinion.

I highly recommend doing a food and wine tour. You get a little tipsy, you get a full belly, you explore the city, and you meet new people.

Going to San Marco and seeing Dodge’s Palace is a must. Breathtaking architecture.

I don’t know if I would go back to Venice because I feel like I saw everything I needed to see, but it has definitely motivated me to see more of Italy.

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2. Chicago, IL

This trip was very close to being my favorite trip of all time. I went to Chicago with a group of my college friends and it was awesome. When we got to Chicago, the first thing we smelled were hot dogs. So, we followed the smell and found a huge hot dog place called Portillo shown below. I would say eating a Chicago hot dog is more important than eating a deep dish pizza.

The highlight of the trip was going to The Second City. They do improv and sketch comedy and it was very funny. Some well known folks that did The Second City include Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Keegan Michael-Key,Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and so on. Since we had such a great experience with that improv show we decided to go to another. We read reviews for this improv show about Disney princesses all living in one house like the Real World and it was located in the underbelly of Chicago. The reviews said it was terrible and guess what? It was God-awful. I rarely use the Lord’s name in vain, but it was that bad. I never felt so awkward, yet I didn’t regret seeing it.

We also went on an architecture boat tour. Now, that is all fun and good until you realize you are on a boat tour in March in Chicago. Cold, cold, cold.

Here is a list of other stuff we did in Chicago because we did a lot:

  • Chicago Zoo- Free!!!
  • Cloud Gate or The Bean
  • Navy Pier
  • Deep Dish Pizza and UVA March Madness basketball

And to top it all off, I got stuck in the Chicago airport for five hours because it decided to snow the day I had to go back home.

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1. Paris, France

I went to Paris with the friend I also went to Venice with. We went on a European excursion to Mykonos, Venice, Barcelona, and Paris, which I probably should have explained earlier. Anyway, there was so much to see in Paris and it was just a gorgeous city. I would go back in a heartbeat. Also, shout out to the Air BnB lady who let me eat her soup and helped me use the microwave.

The highlight of the trip for me was doing a food and wine tour called Paris by Mouth. We walked to different stores to pick up food at each spot and then we ate and drank wine together with other people on the tour. All the food was good. Even the cheese and I don’t like cheese really.

We also saw the Eiffel Tower (we went all the way to the top), Notre Dame, the garden at Versailles, and the Chanel store.

I regret not going to Musée d’Orsay and the inside of the Louvre. Maybe next time.

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You Know What Grinds My Gears

I got this idea from Family Guy where Peter Griffin does a news segment saying what really grinds his gears. Here is a clip of it below:

 

I don’t get annoyed by a ton of things, but I am human so there are things that grinds my gears or gets my goat. This is in no particular order.

1. Chewing With Your Mouth Open

When someone chews with their mouth open, it is like nails on a chalkboard. I can’t take it, but so many people do it that it is just something I have live with.

2. Double Standards

I grew up with two older brothers and I went through my whole life saying that is not fair because my parents gave me a different set of rules because of my gender. Don’t ever start a sentence with me saying “It’s different for….”

3. Saying I’m Not Black

Please, please, please don’t tell I am not Black because I don’t act the way you think Black people should act. I am very proud of who I am so don’t deny me my culture. I think it is extremely disrespectful. Also, it is 2016 and we should be over stereotypes by now.

4. Saying I’m Not Religious

Just because I am liberal doesn’t mean I am not a religious person.

5. Saying You Don’t Like Something And You Haven’t Even Tried It

Don’t say you don’t like a certain area or a certain restaurant if you have never been to it.

6. Intolerance

If you are against a certain race, sexual orientation, religion, and so on don’t even talk to me. Facebook has become an intolerant space so I will quickly unfriend someone because of their intolerant views.

7. Saying That You Are Not A Feminist

This is the definition of feminism:

 the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

The word is not taboo. If you believe that women should have the same rights as men, then guess what? You are a feminist.

8. When Apartments Don’t Allow “Aggressive” Breeds

I do believe dogs act a certain because of their owners. I would love to own a pitbull some day, but a lot of apartments don’t allow pitbulls. I have yet to meet a pitbull that wasn’t sweet.

9. Saying That Everyone Has The Same Opportunities

Not everyone starts with the same opportunities. People who grew up in a certain family or neighborhood don’t have access to the same opportunities. The picture below explains it all.

Well I hate to end with 9, but I couldn’t think of a 10th annoyance. Luckily, ending things on a weird number doesn’t bother me.

California Love

I visited the LA area a few days ago and I had a really great time. A lot of people were saying that LA isn’t that great and blah blah blah, but it was one of my favorite trips and I have been all over the world. Anyway, I would give LA an 8 our of 10. I think it had a lot to do with us not spending a ton of time in tourist-y places.

Here are the top 3 lows and highs of the trip.

Top 3 Lows

3. The Griffith Observatory

This was a low only because it was just really crowded and we couldn’t enjoy it as much as we wanted to. Too many people can really ruin an experience.

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2. The Incident

So, coming back from Joshua Tree a huge piece of wood flew into our rental car and scratched the windshield and popped out the one of the side mirrors. I was in the backseat gazing out of my window in Lala Land so I didn’t see it happen, but it made the loudest thump. It is surprising that such a heavy item blew in the middle of the road like that, but it was extremely windy. Luckily, my friend got insurance on the rental and all was well once we switched it out with another car.

1. Hollywood

Hollywood was awful and cool at the same time. It was awful because it was just so crowded and not the prettiest place to be. Also, when I was walking on the crosswalk I almost got hit by a really expensive car. I couldn’t stop laughing afterwards because I kept thinking that I almost died in Hollywood and I found that funny for some reason.

However, I did love the Chinese Theatre and I got to put my hands in Meryl Streep’s hand prints. Two thumps up for the Chinese Theatre.

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Top 3 Highs

3. Good Girl Cinnamon

When we arrived at our Air BnB, there was a beware of dog sign and I was like oh no. However, when that light brown pitbull came around the corner I was in love. I wish I saved a picture of her from my Snapchat because she was so pretty. The instructions at the Air BnB said that Cinnamon was a good dog, but she was also a guard dog so it was important for us to say “Good Girl Cinnamon”. So, the whole time I kept telling my friends that I deactivated Cinnamon by saying the code phrase. It wasn’t really necessary to say it all the time, but we found it funny.

2. Channel Islands

Channel Islands National Park was beautiful. I have never seen anything so breathtaking. I saw seals, dolphins, and foxes. The water was so clear and the color of the landscape was amazing. The pictures below don’t capture the beauty of it all whatsoever.

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1. Venice Beach

Venice Beach was very cool. It wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be and the beach was pretty clean.  There was just so much going on (skate park, street performers, people doing handstands on the beach) and I loved it. It was my favorite part of the trip.

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Also, shout out to Nathan and April for just being awesome.

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