Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Back in October, I wrote a post about why you should go to the beach then.

Six months later and I was back at the beach.  But I won't be writing a post about why you should go in April.  Because you shouldn't.  Unless you want to freeze your chi-chi's off.

We headed to Tybee Island last Thursday, full of enthuisasm and optimism.  The forecast didn't look great but, come ON, it was the BEACH!  We'd be fun, right?


Wrong, wrong, wrong.

We stayed long enough for me to drink - and by drink I mean guzzle - ONE beer.  Just ONE!  And that was too long.


It rained the next two days.

Cleared up and was bright and sunny for Easter Sunday.  The temperatures were still only in the 60's but we had to go back anyway.  This will probably be the only beach trip my kids and I get this year so we wanted some sun and sand.

It was still chilly but that didn't phase the kids AT ALL.  They ran straight for the water, splashed around, and had a good time.  Never mind that Mom over here was yelling, "don't get more than your feet in!"

They had fun, though, and that's all that reall matters.  I won't mention the fact that both Jaidan and Karis have been coughing and "snotting" since Monday morning . . .

Worth it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


So I wrote a seriously boring entry about what's been going on in our lives lately (synopsis: J had an MRI done last week; Karis turned four a week and a half ago; Kyan graduates from kindergarten one month from today; we're leaving this afternoon: east coast bound) but it was so boring that I practically put myself to sleep while writing it.

Instead, I thought I'd share a few interesting things you would've overheard if you had been at my house any time lately.

Kyan: "My birthday is May 9th.  And yours is May 19th."
Me: "Yup."
Kyan: "And I'll be six and you'll be . . . THIRTY FOUR."
Me: "Jesus, I can't believe I'm going to be that old."
Kyan: "That's not super old.  I mean, it's old but it's not like Gigi old."
Jaidan: "It IS old!  She lived in the 90's!"

** I want to preface this one by saying I don't really stress race to my kids but I hope they'll identify more with being biracial than either "just" black or "just" white.**
Kyan: "Why don't we celebrate April Fool's Day?  Is it because we're not black?"
Me: *Dying*
** And I'll footnote it by saying we don't "celebrate" April Fool's Day because I have seven and five year old boys and I'd rather staple my tongue or step on a rusty nail than hear "Hey, someone's standing behind you!  APRIL FOOL!" 28343829 times per day.

Karis: "NO!"
Me: "Don't tell me 'no!' Remember I'm going to pop you every time you say no!"
Karis: "Nuh-uh!  NEVER!"

Me: "Just so you guys know, it's not supposed to be THAT warm on Thursday.  We'll still go to the beach but we probably won't be able to get in the water."
Jaidan: "I'm getting in the water unless I see penguins."

Kyan: "Who is the McDonald's guy?  Oh wait.  It's Barack O'Donald, right?"

Me: "You're a silly goose!"

Neighbor Kid: "Jaidan cursed at me!"
Me: "What did he say?"
Neighbor Kid: "The F-word!"
Me: "What the? How do you even KNOW the F-word?"
Jaidan: "I learned it from her!" *Points at my friend*
Neighbor Kid: "Nuh-uh!  He learned it from ME!"
** Needless to say, we're no longer hanging around that cretin.

Me: "OHMYGOSH, Jaidan!  You left your jacket laying in the yard?  Good grief.  We may be white trash hillbillies but our yard doesn't have to LOOK like it!"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

RP Tracks

Another midtown Memphis bar food review!

A friend and I headed over to RP Tracks a few weeks ago to have a couple drinks, eat some good food, and watch the Florida/ Dayton game (interestingly, the game was going on in Memphis which is a big reason why we decided to stay far away from downtown and FedEx Forum.  Figured the crowds would be CRAY CRAY.)  It was my first visit to Tracks but my friend had been several times.

So this place is "famous" for their bar-b-q tofu.  And I thought about it.  I really, really thought about it.

I thought hard about it.

But I just couldn't.

I mean, I go to a bar for, you know, BAR FOOD.  I do not go to eat tofu

I decided to try the buffalo chicken quesadilla.  I mean, I love buffalo sauce and chicken and quesadillas and where there is buffalo sauce there is ranch dressing.  And where there is ranch dressing there is Brandi going, "WOO HOO!  OVAH HEEEE-UH RANCH DRESSING!"  The quesadilla was, first off, HUGE.  I have a big appetite and was a couple beers in but could only eat half of what was on my plate.  I had no intention on taking the leftovers home -- not because it wasn't absolutely delish -- but because it WAS super yummy and I knew I would be in my kitchen at 3:00 in the morning licking buffalo sauce off my fingers and, HELLO, not what my thighs need!  I told the waiter I would pass on taking it to go and he was, like, offended.  For the first time ever, I had a waiter INSIST I take my leftovers home with me.  "Oh no, you have to take it.  I'm bringing you a to go box anyway."  Um, okay?

My friend went for the steakhouse burger (#because GOUDA) and fries.  I had a bite of the burger and a few fries -- both delicious.  And, for the record, this friend also claimed to have tried the BBQ tofu and proclaimed it to be, "well, there's nothing BAD at this place at all."  I'm guessing that's a ringing endorsement?

We also split an order of the meat and cheese dip for an appetizer.  It was pretty good though nothing just absolutely amazing.  Pretty much your standard bar queso.  It WAS super good when we dipped the fries in it though (#becauseFAT.)

As far as drinks go, I went with a Blue Moon (duh!)  They didn't have it on tap but they did bring a glass garnished with an orange slice along with my bottle.  My friend initially ordered an IPA that was on the drink menu.  The waiter urged him to sample it first ("it's not your standard IPA.") He ended up going with something else and, after trying the sample myself, I don't blame him.  I'm not your biggest IPA fan anyway but that stuff was just . . . no.

The place is a total dive.  You don't go into any bar called "Tracks" and expect fine dining though, right?  Plus, I'm a total fan of dives.  If I had any complaint at all it would be our waiter.  I can't believe I'm saying this but he was overattentitve.  To the point that he was plain annoying.  Granted, we were there at around 5:00 on a Saturday and the place was pretty much d-e-a-d.  We were his only table and, therefore, his only source of entertainment I suppose.  And I can concede that I'd rather have a waiter constantly in my face than one who never refills drinks or brings out cold food.

All in all, I plan on making it back to Tracks in the future.  Will I try the BBQ Tofu?  Ummmm . . . But I can't wait to check them out for brunch one of these days.  (What the heck is a Man-mosa???)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Clap Along if You Know What Happiness is to You . . .

Truth: I feel like the past couple weeks have kicked my ass.

Doctor's appointments, job interviews that don't end in an actual J-O-B, dealing with kid issues, the end of the school year approaching.  BUH-LEIVE me, I could sit here and write a super negative post.  But, I don't wanna.  Instead I'm going to share some things that make me happy.

Local news stations are reporting that the royal couple ALONG WITH PRINCE HARRY will be in Memphis next month for a wedding. 
Um, say whaaaaa?  PRINCE HARRY IS COMING TO MEMPHIS? I HAVE A SECOND CHANCE TO GET NAKED WITH HIM? The article I originally read mentioned them going to eat at BB King's on Beale Street.  OMG NO.  I will never get naked with Harry if they head over to that tourist trap rather than the bajillion other great places in Memphis.

Heading to the beach this week!
No explanation needed really.  I'm looking forward to seeing my family and indulging in some sand, salt, and sun therapy.  The weather is supposed to be in the 60's and 70's but you know what?  I NO CURRRR.  My ass will be firmly planted in the sand.

The weather over the weekend.

It's been windy but warm.  And Saturday was absolutely the kind of beautiful that you have no excuse for sitting in the house.

This song.

I wish there was a better video for it because I'm totally in love with it.  Totally.

And, also, this one.

Like, for real, I need to find friends who are river/ lake people.  I have tentative plans to float the Buffalo with some friends this summer and I'm hoping it pans out because floating down a river with a cooler behind us sounds like pretty much the ideal summer day.  I'm just sayin'.

I love them and it's that time of year again when it just feels RIGHT to drink one or five.  I like to make my own at home (shot of tequila, Crystal Light margarita, Bud Light Lime or Coronoa Light.)  They make me the happiest.

Baseball and Derek Jeter.
My friend Brittney bought our tickets last week: we have a date with Jeter on Memorial Day in the Lou!  We have a hotel booked also and plan to spend Sunday night checking out the bar scene and all the fun to be had in downtown St. Louis.  I pretty much cannot wait. 

Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee
I'm not sure when I became a coffee drinker but I'm pretty sure DD is to blame for this development.  They no longer have the Irish creme flavor (SADDEST DAY EVER) but they do have butter pecan and it is the stuff dreams are made of.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I'm the Biggest UCONN Bandwagon Fan in All of Tennessee.

And that says A LOT. They hate Kentucky here. 

So why am I all the sudden this huge UCONN fan and over here yelling, "GO HUSKIES!"

It all goes back to my addiction to/ love for Coke Zero. 

That stuff. It's like crack running through my veins. 

I buy a 24- pack every other week when I do my grocery shopping, might pick up a 20-ounce bottle here and there. All Coke products have codes on them that you can enter on their website for points. Once you have enough points, you can redeem them for prizes. They also have various promotions depending on the type of Coke code you're entering. 

Coke Zero recently did a March Madness bracket challenge. Every time I entered a Coke Zero code, I had a chance to play the challenge and be awarded a regional seed in the tournament (this was before the teams were even announced.) I had several regional seeds. One of those being seventh seed in the East. A seed that would become those glorious, wonderful, beautiful boys who made up the University of Connecticut basketball team. 

Every time one of my teams progressed in the tournament, I won a prize. 

UCONN won the first round, I won a bottle of Coke Zero. 
When they made it past the 32 into the Sweet 16, I won music downloads. 
Victory in the Sweet 16 meant a Burger King gift card for me. 
Once they passed the Elite Eight, movie tickets. 
Saturday night when they beat Florida and made it into the finals, I won a $50 gift card. 

Then last night. 

The finals. 

They were playing Kentucky. People in Tennessee HATE Kentucky. More specifically, you want find anyone in Memphis who doesn't want to punch coach John Calipari in the face. But no one in a Memphis - in Tennessee even - was cheering more for UCONN than I was last night. 

Because, you see, UCONN won. And therefore I won. 


I am going to the Final Four! This pleases my college sports fan heart more than anyone could ever know. 

I love you, UCONN. Go Huskies! You've made me a fan for life. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ermagerd! Somebody on the Internet Hurt My Feelings!

Last Wednesday was a Very Bad Day. 

I got a speeding ticket. Got to where I was going and realized I'd started my period (totally TMI, yes, but since I'm sure 99.9% of my readership is female then, well, you ladies know why I had to include that. A speeding ticket AND my period?!? On the same damn day?) I went to Walmart and they wouldn't accept my debit card before I even entered the pin so I knew something was wrong with their machine. Yet the cashier still proceeded to argue with me. Dude! I just want my tampons and chocolate covered marshmallow eggs, mmmkay?  I took Jaidan to the doctor that afternoon and waited 45 minutes, with Karis the aspiring gymnasts attempting to perform on the exam table, for the doctor to give him three minutes of her time. I arrived home and realized Kyan's "sitter" for the afternoon had taken my absence as a free for all and they had proceeded to attempt to eat me out of house and home in the name of snack time. 

It wasn't the worst day ever. It was a total first world bad day. But it was enough to want to send me to my closet with a bottle of vodka to keep me company. Instead, I made a status on Facebook about my upcoming trip to my mom's and how, after the day I had, the sun and salt were much needed. Then it happened. A comment. 

Something along the lines of implying that I have "more days off than a senator." Only it didn't imply so much as it actually said that.  I'm pretty sure the person behind the comment didn't mean anything more then joking - hey, this chick just got back from New Orleans and now she's heading off again? - but it stung. Then someone "liked" the comment and it actually HURT. 

Yeah, yeah. Call the wahhhhmbulance. Someone on the internet hurt my sensitive little feelers! And now I'm turning to my blog and getting all defensive about it!

But, thing is ... actually there are three things. 

First off, I do not travel expensively. I travel extremely low key. For this upcoming trip to my mom's, gas will be the biggest expense. We will stay with my family. We will eat one or two meals on the road and prepare the rest of our meals in my mom's kitchen. I even buy road trip snacks before I leave so I'm not dropping an extra $15 on drinks and Doritos for everyone at evey pit stop or gas up. Our entertainment will be the beach where our only fee is parking and that's generally less than $10 per day. I do not travel expensively. 

On top of that, travel is my "thing." I do not get my nails done. Ever. "Getting my hair done" consist of having my ends trimmed. I buy drugstore makeup, no MAC, no Urban Decay. My clothes are either second hand or heavily clearanced. The only thing I spend regularly on "me maintenance" is my $20 monthly gym membership. I would rather travel than have those other things. I would rather paint my own nails and stand in the water off the east coast a few times a year. I'd rather keep my natural hair color and be able to afford a trip to see family. 

And then there's my final point: I have not hashed out the drama in my life with hourly status updates. There's no need. But, you never know what someone's life looks like when you're simply on the outside peering in. I'm not going to lie. I AM STRESSED. Trying to find a full time job IS a full time job and I've been at it for months now. Even though things between us are civil, my marriage is over and divorce in any form is stressful. It sucks! And it sucks for my kids. Just because I don't splash it around on Facebook, doesn't mean my life is this perfect never ending merry-go-round of beach trips and girls' weekends with OMG HAVING TO BE A MOM in between. My life isn't as hard as a lot of peoples. I'm blessed. I know it. I acknowledge it. But, damn, if I'm not stressed out too!

And one more thing! (Did I say "final point" up there? Oops. Totally lied.) I am going back to work full time. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Trips like this aren't going to be able to happen very often. I'm assuming, with anywhere I'll go to work, it will take around a year to build up paid vacation days. Which means I'll have one year of no or very little travel. Why not take advantage now while I still can? Especially when it means getting to see my mom and my brother and finally meet me nephew? It just makes sense. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I'm over sensitive and let a dumb comment on Facebook get me all kinds of "wtf!" That's a given. But what I also want to make clear is that you just never know. You never know what someone's life is like just by reading their status updates. You don't always know the stress and drama people having going on in their lives. And, damn it, if someone prefers a beach trip a few times a year as opposed to dropping cash on nail and hair appointments and expensive purses and designer clothes -- let 'em have that!

Friday, April 4, 2014


"Do you want to build a snowman?" 
is how Karis woke me up the other morning, "or ride bikes down the hall?"

She will be four tomorrow. 

At four, she's 100% little girl. She loves princesses and Barbies, wants to watch Frozen eight times a day, wants to wear pink all the time, loves painting her nails, and is a fan of anything sparkly and glittery. 

I love who she is. 

She sings in the car with me. She likes to sing "Highway Don't Care" with her taking the Taylor Swift part and me singing Tim McGraw's. She always wants a sip of my iced coffee even though she knows she doesn't like it. She would eat macaroni and cheese for very single meal. She loves going in the locker room at the gym. She wants a puppy named Triangle. Or maybe Mike Wazowski. She's the only four-year-old I know with a signature hairstyle ("two ponies!" she demands.) She is a creature of habit and doesn't like change. 

Sometimes I wish I could bottle her up at four -- pull out that bottle ten years from now when she's surly and thinks she hates me (and, sometimes, even now when she's telling me, "it's all you fault, Brandi!") I wish I could bottle up the way she hugs my legs and says "you-tee-ful" and how she says, "I want to pick you up!" I wish I could bottle up how excited she gets about seeing anything the color pink or finding a sparkly purse at Target or realizing that McDonald's has My Little Pony toys. 

Four! My baby!

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