Day 18: Hitting the Wall

Pose #9: Trikanasana - Triangle Pose
picture from the www.worldyogafoundation

Day 18 and today I felt like I was training for a marathon and had hit mile 15 of a 20 mile run. I hit the wall. There wasn't anything I could do in class today. My balance was off, my focus was off, I couldn't hold a pose. I had nothing.

If it wasn't for the instructor today, riding me hard and pushing me, I probably would have just layed there on my mat the whole class. I was drained, but I made it through. In the end all I could think was dedication & committment...cause what I really wanted to do was run screaming from the room.

I've got nothing earth shattering for you today. All I can say is that everyone who is doing some serious training eventually hits the wall. You just have to push through and persevere.

Also, don't take with you a Dora the Explora towel. Dora & Boots staring at you the entire time doesn't help. I can't help but think that the idea of looking for a backpack and asking the map how to get through the next 20+ poses was not helping AT ALL. Just a thought.

Pose #10: Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana - Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee

Election Night Watch Party

The TravelDiva household has decided at the last minute to host an Election Night Watch Party. Yes, there will be food, libations and I'm sure a fight or two will break out. My mother already punched me into the fridge tonight (I had to let her...I'm still skerred of her ya know...she hits hard). We are a house divided...will make for a good party..especially with the eclectic group of misfits that I have coming over.

If you are in the DC/Maryland area and have not already made plan, come on by. Fun Fun Fun. Cheering. Yelling. Perhaps a Fight. Lots of wine & martini's...a perfect combo for a party.
Didn't get your Evite? Drop me a line or comment and I'll send you one.

Sissy Cracks Me Up!

The Vet that Did Not Vet....


The Bubble Making Machine

Cara has discovered my mother's jacuzzi bathtub that, when the jets are turned on, make fantastic bubbles. Now Cara comes home and announces she is "stinky" and needs to take a bath at "gram-ma's" in the "bubble maker." Mini-Diva is just too cute.


You Can Vote However You Like

These kids are just too cute...

Day 15: Yoga Etiquette & Why I Need New Friends

Pose #8: Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana
Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
Picture from www.worldyogafoundation.com

Half way through this 31 day challenge - give or take a day - and all I could think about today was how to control the giggles and not violate some of the Yoga Etiquette rules. I was very unsuccessful today, no thanks to CreoleInDC.

Rule 1: Try not to be late as they lock the doors once class begins. I was late but managed to squeeze in before the doors were locked. Why was I late? Reading some craziness on CreoleInDc's site.

Rule 2: If entering class late, enter in between poses so as to not distract others. Yeah, well, I tried. I got in there right before she started but it took me a minute to get my stuff (mat, towel, water) situated. Sorry.

Rule 3: If you come out of a pose early, go directly into Sabasana or stand still - once again, so to not distract others from their focus. Every time I tried, my mind wandered to things like "worser" and why transvestites needed to take off their clothes to comense with a beat down. Giggling was bubbling up and I would fidget trying to stifle my laugh and be quiet. No so much.

Rule 4: Be still in between poses. Don't adjust your clothes, don't wipe, blink...just regain your breathing and relax. Focus & Be Still. Nope, just was not happening today. I couldn't help but wonder about the Mc.Don.ald manager and wonder about the seriousness of his injuries from getting hit by a "Wet Floor" Sign.


Now that you know the rules...here is what I read this morning prior to going to class.
You have to watch the video and read her transcript of the event. I think I need another kidney transplant from laughing so hard. I hate her. D.E.A.D

I not only need new family, I also need new friends.


Pumpkin Decorating Party


The first major event of my son's senior year was Saturday. River Hill Homecoming! Jordan and two of his friends, Tyler & Kevin came over with their dates to take pictures, go to dinner and then to the dance. CUTE. After the dance, Jordan had a little "get-together" at the house in the basement. About 15 teenagers decended on our house. He had 3 Tv's hooked up with a Wii, Xbox360 and DVD player going. These kids killed every soda, a whole plate of brownies, two giant pizza's from Costco's, a platter of sandwich rolls, all of my energy drinks, a super size bag of chips and God knows what else.

What was really impressive was all the boys how stayed over, got up in the morning, pulled out the shop vac and cleaned the basement and took out the trash. Perhaps it was to cover any evidence of foul play. Who will know. I was happy with a clean basement.

And so Senior Year kicks-off.

Day 13: Focus through Distractions

Pose #6: Dandayamana Dhanurasana - Standing Bow Pulling Pose

Since I have been a SAHM/W these past couple of months, I seem to have a lot of time to my self and my own thoughts. Never really realized how much white noise there is rambling around in my head till I had a lot of time to actually listen to it. When I was working outside of the home, I had so much going on (sales calls, contracts to write, teams to manage, dinner to cook, laundry to do, children to raise, husband to love....etc.) and rarely heard or even listened to the voices in my head. So, when the voices get loud in the day and your mind travels wide and far conjuring up all kinds of wild, fantastic, interesting, troubling thoughts & ideas...what do you do to focus/re-focus on the here & now? What do you do to be present in the moment?

At the start of every practice, the instructor tells you to become present in the moment...to commit to your practice, look yourself in the eyes and focus on yourself and your body. Somtimes (most times) this is hard to do. There are other people in the class, I can see them in the mirror - in my periphery. That ta-do list is being checked off or added to. And then there is always that one person who just thinks they know oh, so much more than the instructor and wants to march to their own beat. That one person who SIMPLY WILL NOT BE STILL in between poses, that one person who always does the poses the way THEY feel like doing them, that one person who ALWAYS does all of this in my line of sight...

That one person/thing/thought that distracts you from focusing on the task/moment at hand.

What do I do? BREATH.

Breath...look into your eyes or a central focal point and....breath. No matter how fast your heart and mind are racing...BREATH...clear your mind, relax and....BREATH. It sounds very simplistic, like it wouldn't work, but it does. DistractaGirl...ignored. I stopped even glancing at her, looked into my eyes on every pose (never took my eyes off myself) and BREATHED. The last couple of practices - I have been able to focus through the distractions of other people and my own mind and they have been the best sessions ever.

To focus through or in the midst of distractions...just BREATH and find your focal point.

Pose#7: Tuladandasana - Balancing Stick Pose

Happy Hair

Cara love's putting on this wig which she affectionately calls "Happy Hair"


Day 9: Duty, Honor, Country

Pose #5: Dandayamana JanuShirasana - Standing Head to Knee Pose
The past 2 days, the only thing that has been running through my mind constantly is something I had to memorize while a cadet at West Point. It is something that we had to memorize, but over time at the academy, it goes from memorization to internalization...to a point of view of life, work, and character that sustains me. In the a little under 24 hours, I have done 4 1/2 hours of Bikram. Why, you ask? Well, I committed to 31 days/classes. If you miss one day, you have to make it up by doing a double. Yeah Baby! 2x in one day. Yup.
I missed class last Friday, so I scheduled to do a double on Tuesday (630am & 430pm). When the clock went off Tuesday morning, the first thing that entered my mind was:
Duty, Honor Country....
Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to
be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.
...They build your basic character...they make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid. They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for actions, not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge;...
Gen. Douglas MacArthur
When I was a cadet at West Point, I had a good portion of Gen MacArthur's speech memorized, but on Tuesday morning, knowing what was ahead of me, the only part I keep saying to myself was Duty, Honor, Country....get your butt outta the bed....Duty, Honor, Country....you made a commitment....Duty, Honor,Country...soldiers never quit....Duty, Honor, Country...those three words reverently dictate....Duty, Honor, Country.

At day 7/8, I was doubting whether I could actually do a full 30+ days - non-stop. But just when those whispers of doubt entered my head; just when I was ready to come up with some kind of excuse to stop, the words of Gen. MacArthur reverberated in my mind....Duty, Honor, Country...and what those words meant to me. Quiting would have reflected on my character and that just isn't me.

Duty, Honor, Country...(those words) create in your heart the sense of wonder, the unfailing hope of what next, and the joy and inspiration of life.

And that is just what I am getting out of my Bikram Yoga Challenge Experience.


Day 7: Do Not Fear

Pose #4: Garurasana - Eagle Pose

You know, every time I post a picture of a pose, I always look at it and say - "Wow, that sure does look like a piece of cake." If you are thinking the same thing too. Just try one of these poses and make it look just like the picture. Hurts don't it? If it doesn't challenge you at all, you are either not doing it right or you are a practicing yogi - for years.

So what thought struck me today during my meditation?

Fear. I have got to learn how to let go and work through/past my fears.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."

While Eagle Pose is not one of the postures that bothers me, there are a couple that are a serious challenge to me. Today, when we got to posture #20 (Fixed Firm), the instructor came said to me, "Lisa, you CAN lay back in that pose - exhale, let go of the fear I see and go back. Now."
I was afraid. Afraid it would hurt, afraid that I wouldn't be able to get myself back up, afraid that I would pull or rip something. I was afraid, but with the instructors encouragement and the realization that I will never get better & stronger unless I breakthrough - I exhaled, released my fear, relaxed and layed back. Now you are supposed to hold for 30 seconds - I gave em about 15 and then came back up. BREAKTHROUGH. I did the thing that I thought I could not do.
Fear and success can not reside in the same body... success can not be acheived if you are harboring fear in your mind. Exhale and let go of the fear.


The Pumpkin Princess

Day 5: How Winning is Done

Pose # 3: Utkatasana - Awkward Pose

This pose (the picture above is the last and most difficult of 3 parts to this pose) is a lot more difficult to get into and out of than it looks. Stand up with you feet approx. 6# apart (the width of both of your fists). Put your arms out in front of you, just like the picture. Press you knees together without moving your feet and slowly lower (to the count of 10) your body down till you are in the position above - you should lower yourself as if you are sliding your back down a wall - no leaning forward - SLOWLY. Keep your knees pressed together. Hold - back straight. Take a deep breath, press your knees together, and slowly bring yourself back up the same way you came down - as if your are sliding your back up the wall.

Uh Huh.

Today's class was not a big deal. It was crowded as hell, but otherwise uneventful. I had a check up at the doctors office after the class and one of the things I had to do was get weighed. I HATE weighing myself. HATE IT...and nearly had a nervous breakdown when the results were not what I had expected. I had only lost a 1 lb since last week and was freakin' pissed. I had kept the diary like the doc asked, I had worked my azz off in the gym this whole freakin week, I had done this and done that - I was rambling - having a hizzy fit....all the while my doc was telling me how great I was doing. She was happy with my diary, nothing she wanted to change and 1 lb was fantastic to her. She said it takes time. Keep up the good work, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. I was pointing fingers, I wanted to blame something, someone. I wanted to quit - quit even bothering to try.

I left the doctors with my lip poked out, feeling sorry for myself. I planted myself on the couch, turned on the TV and started watching the latest Rocky movie (Rocky Balboa). When Rocky gave this speech to his son, Robert, I felt like he was talking to me. He reminded me how winning (in anything, any goal) is done. And I'm going to keep moving forward.

Rocky: I'd hold you up to say to your mother, "this kid's gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid's gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew." And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching you, every day was like a privilige. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did.

But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.

That's how winning is done!

Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna bebecause of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!

I'm always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain't gonna have a life.

Super Lisa

Karen sent me a thank you card for making a video slide show for her party last weekend.

I need new friends.


Day 3: Not Everything is a Competition

Posture #2: Ardha Chandrasana - Half Moon Pose

I walk into class this morning and checked the Challenge sign up list to see how many people had signed up. Hmmmm. That's a lot, wonder how many will really finish. I went back to the locker room, put away my stuff and then went to set up my mat & towel. Whew, MY spot is still open (front row, to the right of the instructor stand) - I hate it when someone is in MY spot.

Class starts. Your supposed to look at yourself in the mirror, focus on yourself, your body, the pose - 90 minutes of moving meditation. "You are your best teacher." Uh Huh.

Lisa was NOT focusing on herself, she was competing with others in the room, unbeknown to them. Yep. I was kinda looking beyond myself in the mirror at spaghetti body chick or at the mother from the Incredibles and saying....DAMN, why can't I do that? I was, through sheer determination, trying to twist, stretch and bend my body just like SuperStretch who not only has been doing this for years but also probably weighs about as much as one of my thighs. Suddenly, my body decided to jack slap me back into reality (FOCUS ON YOU!, YOU STOOPIT AZZ) by delivering a sharp pain up the back of my leg. Gotch your attention now, don't I?

It was at that moment that I realized that NOT EVERYTHING IS A DAMN COMPETITION WITH SOMEONE ELSE. This is about focusing on me, listening to my body, and training my mind and my body to go further, deeper, be stronger. The only person I am competing with during this challenge is my own ego.

My ego. My thoughts. The white noise of my mind.

I could either spend this time competing with other people, hurting myself, not getting stronger or better. Or I could become "My Best Teacher", listen to my body, focus my mind and shame the devil.

By the way, I've pretty much got the left side/first part of Half Moon, the right side/second part - Not So Much.

A Celebration of You

Last weekend, I went down to Atlanta to attend an event hosted by my girlfriend Karen. She hosted a weekend party honoring her friends and family; paying tribute to the people that had an impact in her life. I was honored and truly blessed to have been included as one of her friends invited.

Karen sure does know how to throw a party. Every detail was just perfect. The weekend started with a reception on Friday night. All the invited guests could bring their family/friends/significant other to the reception for a meet and greet. Some of Karen's friends that owned businesses donated freebies...a fight ensued amongst the women over this Bra Clip thingy that, when you clipped it to your straps in the back, not only turned the bra into a t-strap but also gave you a significant "boost" in the upward direction. The fight was on and for a minute I thought someone might lose a piece of weave.

I was given the duty of making pitchers of my special "Kool-aid" - aka - HOOTCH. This is the menu of what I served up:

  • Hyp.tno-Ritas
  • Ali.ze Cozmo's
  • P.am.a Margarita's
  • Apple Martini's

I had to make 2 package good store runs. Make no mistake...TravelDiva can not only mix em up, she'll put em away with ya. Remember...I'm a Professional Drinker.

There was a candy bar (that was fun) and the food was great, except those turkey meatballs. I don't care what nobody says...I don't care that its "healthy"...there are just some things that simply are not meant to be made "healthy". Those turkey balls were, umm, yucky. Tasted like a cross between cardboard & tofu with sauce. Mmmmm, I'll pass. Sorry girl. The caterer tried, really he did, but on those suckers, he failed miserably. I was not the only one who thought so - as was evidenced by the swine orders the next morning at breakfast. LOL.

There had to be about 20+ people staying in Karen's house that weekend, mostly family. In Karen's master suite alone, there were 7 women. It looked like a homeless camp in there with luggage, blankets, air mattresses everywhere. It was one of the best slumber parties that I have ever been to. Saturday morning arrives and Karen has all of us up at the crack of dawn barking orders about getting ready to go to Spin. Da Hell. There was a lot of grumbling, but we all got up, put on our gear (why did I even bring my workout stuff?), and headed to the gym. Four of us did the spin class, the rest piddled around in the gym watching us and laughing...I just couldn't imagine why.

Karen, Nicole, Erin and I mount up on our bikes and the instructor takes us through a workout of hills & sprints. Byatch. At the 45 min mark, I simply stop spinning and start wiping off the sweat I'm drenched in.

Karen: What are you doing?
Me: We're done, right? It's time for breakfast.
Karen: You got 15 more min, get back to peddling.
Me: I hate you.
Nicole: Keep going Lisa, when we are done we will get some bacon.
Me: *peddling again, picking up speed* OH YEAH! Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
Nicole: Pancakes
Karen: Waffles & turkey bacon
Me: AND Swine!

After the class, we all headed over to a really nice restaurant (I forgot the name...J something) and the southern hospitality and food (including my order of real bacon) was fantastic. We made a stop at the Wor.ld of Liq.our to replenish and headed back to Karen's. One of Karen's sisters-in-law was making homemade sushi (restaurant quality) & spring rolls. Babs called to say she was 20 minutes away - AW HELL - I got about 30 minutes of beauty to do. I managed to pull it together, make a pitcher of apple martini's (damn I'm good) and entertain my "axe murder" friend (see How Babs Got Krunched). After our visit, it was time to get dressed for the Main Event...The Celebration of You Dinner Party.

You couldn't help but feel special, loved & appreciated at the party. It started with your arrival, where you entered the club house by walking down the red carpet where a photographer was there taking your picture. To find your seat you had to look for the beautiful picture frame with your picture. Each place setting had a necklace, bracelet or other bling (even for the men) holding your napkin. Karen made a presentation about why she had invited us all there and what we meant to her. She made a special presentation to every member of her family in attendance (she is the baby of 10 brothers & sisters). Not a dry eye in the house. Everybody was given a gift at the end...but the party was not over. After all the crying & hugging was done, we went back to Karen's for the AFTER PARTY. We were partying so hard that we apparently blew a transformer that knocked the electricity out throughout the neighborhood. Did that stop us? NO! We partied till after 3am (at least I did...and then my forehead almost hit the bar -that would have left a mark)

I had such a wonderful time. It was so moving to see how many people and from how far everyone came to attend this event. I laughed so hard that I need a kidney transplant. I cried, but they were tears of joy and wonderment.

When You've Been Blessed, It Feels Like Heaven.


Updating a Diva Rule

One of my personal rules is that I NEVER leave the house without my hair brushed, at least my foundation & a little lipstick and a halfway decent, clean outfit on. You just never know who you might run into. Invariably you run into someone you haven't seen in forever. Since I hate it when I see women out in public in hair curlers, jacked hair, frumpy clothes - looking just plain tragic - I don't want anyone to see me in the same state.

During the day, I'm usually at work & dressed, so the above rule only applied on weekends and such. Now that I've been a SAHM for a few months, I got a tad lazy about getting myself together - who's gonna see me and 99.9% of the time I know when someone is coming over and can get myself prepared. Not today.

I am sitting on the couch catching up on some stuff I had on TI.VO when the fire alarm goes off. What da hell? I run all over this monstrosity and no fire, no smoke. I turn off the alarm which triggered the phone line to lock up, triggering the fire company to show up. Ron calls me to say that the alarm company was on the phone with him, conferenced me in and informed us that they can't recall the fire department. Okay. I caught a glance of myself in the mirror and SH&T - I looked like hell warmed over. I had on a nice sweatsuit, but I had ran my fingers thru my hair, pulled it back into a bun (scraggly lookin to say the least) and had on no makeup at all. Four fireman that looked like they had just stepped out of the Sexiest Firemen Calendar walked up to my door. DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. DAMN. DAMN.

All was well, although the alarm company has to come out tomorrow to check for faulty units. Imma be dressed for that appointment.

Updated Rule: Whether at home or going out in the street - GET YOURSELF TOGETHER. Don't ever be caught looking like death warmed over or a ghetto hotMESS. EVER!

Palin Speaks

I found this over at CreoleInDC's site. An absolute SCREAM! I just couldn't resist.


Don't forget to open the door 3x for a real thrill. Click on everything possible. A HOOT!


DAY 1: 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge

Pranayama - Standing Deep Breathing

From WorldYogaFoundation.com

I started the 30 days of Bikram Yoga Challenge today. In case you didn't know, there are 26 poses in the series. I thought I would cover all of the poses for you over the course of the event and share with you what is happening with me/to me during this challenge. I was talking to CreoleInDC today and she asked me what I wanted to get out of doing this challenge. Well, I certainly wanted the physical benefits from doing Bikram Yoga:

  • Flexibility

  • Strength - Many yoga poses require you to support the weight of your own body in new ways, including balancing on one leg or supporting yourself with your core. Some exercises require you to move slowly in and out of poses, which also increases strength.

  • Muscle Tone

  • Weight Loss

However, there is some other things that I want to achieve from this:

  • Mental Calmness - Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing a calmness to the mind. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind. My mind is always going a mile a minute, and 90 minutes of moving meditation is just what this sister need to slow down and smell the daisies.

  • Stress Reduction -Because of the concentration required, your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are doing yoga. This provides a much-needed break from your stressors, as well as helping put things into perspective. There is a lot going on in my life right now. Proper perspective and an ability to relax, relate, release is welcome.

  • Body Awareness -Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence. I always feel taller & more lean after class. Perhaps my stride will get even more fierce.

So, how was Day1? Let me tell you...Giiiiirrrrrlllll...it was hot as a mofo today. We had a male instructor lead us through the poses and it was like having Gengis Khan teaching. No fans, no occassional opening of the doors. Just cracking the whip, moving it along. DAMN. Although I am definitly improving on my poses and ability to focus, concentrate and hold, I thought I was gonna die. Then there was this chick in the back row that just wanted to do her own ish. WTF? Do you know how distracting it is when you are doing something totally different and moving all around. Get control of yourself. Finally, the instructor had to tell her to "be still" in between poses. Thank you!

Something happened to me today after the standing series that the instructors are always saying might happen, but of course, I thought it was malarky. I know about the gettting dizzy part, but what I didn't buy was that you might get all emotional after some of the poses due to the release of toxins, stress or whatever else you might be holding on to. Humph. Yeah right. Well, after the standing series, I started to feel sick - for real. I felt like my skin was on fire, my heart beat was not returning to normal - constantly racing and like a weight was on my chest. I tries to work it out by relaxing in Savasana (Dead Body Pose), but it was just getting worse. The instructors always recommend that you stay in the room and try to work though it, but I just couldn't. I thought I was gonna blow chunks or explode in flames if I didn't get outta there. I went into the bathroom, and burst in to tears. Nope, I do not know why. All I know is that after my short boo hoo, I felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my sholders, went back into class and knocked out the final poses without a hitch.

I don't know what that was all about, but whatever it was - it was cathartic. Amazing. I'm going back tomorrow for Day2.

Hope Will Prevail

Once again, I simply couldn't have said it better than my friend, Greg. Well written, well done.

Hope Will Prevail: Making the case for an Obama Presidency

By, Greg Hutchins

As the country prepares to elect its 44th President amidst a calamitous credit crunch & a heavily-scrutinized war, Americans find themselves facing several issues before heading to the polls. Racism, age discrimination, class wars, mounting frustration between Main Street & Wall Street and the philosophical divide between red states and blue states have all come into play as Senators Obama & McCain make their case for the presidency.

Never in my wildest imagination could I have envisioned the day where America in 2008 would draw comparisons to 1929. With 9 trillion in losses resulting from a collapsing stock market and another 5 trillion lost in housing values, Americans increasingly find themselves looking to Washington for answers and direction. As consumer confidence falls to record lows, the Bush administration has done little to explain the financial quandary we’re in and continues to advocate a war that cost taxpayers approximately $10B a month. Supporters of President Bush’s policies are pleased to know Senator McCain’s position is virtually identical. Thankfully, Senator Obama offers an alternative that is refreshing and sorely needed.

On the issues alone, Senator Obama has proven he is the superior choice for President. Unfortunately there are some - including registered Democrats - who will not vote for him because of racial prejudice. As Senator McCain & his running mate Governor Palin host Town Hall sessions across the country spewing red-meat rhetoric, some of their supporters have voiced inappropriate remarks that have no place in today’s political arena. Senator Obama’s ethnicity has also become the topic of tasteless imagery that’s been pawned off as satire. It’s rather sad to think that 2008 also bears a resemblance to 1968 where overt racism was commonplace. In that same year, Robert F. Kennedy famously said “ in the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has.” He went on to say that “ prejudice exists and probably will continue to, but we have tried to make progress and we are making progress. We are not going to accept the status quo.” It’s amazing to imagine that RFK’s premonition four decades ago may come to fruition.

Senator McCain and his supporters continue to take aim at Senator Obama’s age & experience, despite the fact he’s been an elected official in the great state of Illinois since 1997 and has a strong legislative track record. At 47, Obama would be older than Presidents Clinton, Kennedy, Roosevelt & Grant if elected. Despite all the attacks heaped upon Senator Obama by his rival, he remains a class act focused on restoring America’s greatness and respect around the globe.

As election day approaches, Americans must search themselves and ask which candidate will steer this country in the right direction. While one campaign offers “Change We Can Believe In” the other’s message of “Country First” is drowned out by increasing vitriol and consistently negative attacks. Never in the history of politics has one candidate referred to his opponent as “that one” in a televised debate. It’s that level of disrespect that leads many to believe Senator McCain does not have the temperament to serve as Commander & Chief. After 8 years of President Bush’s failed policies and cowboy diplomacy, it’s time we Americans choose a candidate who has the intelligence, disposition & judgment to lead the United States in tumultuous times.

My support for Senator Obama is not because of historical importance, but because his plan for the country is far superior to the alternative. On topics ranging from the economy, war, healthcare, foreign policy, education & civil rights, Obama’s solutions are realistic and sustainable. He is also the greatest orator of this generation and like Martin Luther King Jr. before him, has inspired millions to achieve dreams that were once viewed as impossible.

Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.
- Senator Barack Obama


How Babs Got Krunched

Babs is my kinda gal...

Anybody who can drink a pitcher of apple martini's at 1 in the afternoon and not miss a beat is my kinda people. No, we are not alcoholics, we are Professional Drinkers. As a side note: Alcoholics act a fool and lose control; Professional Drinkers can put 'em away and never let you see us sweat. Babs and I...PROFESSIONAL.

I was in Atlanta for the weekend to attend a weekend soiree my girlfriend Karen was throwing to honor her friends and family (I'll talk about the AWESOME party later). I knew that if I showed up in HotLanta, blogged about it and didn't say a word to Usual Suspect Atlanta member Babs...I was gonna be in HotTrouble. I facebook stalked Babs and dropped her a line and we made plans.

Babs came over Karen's about 1pm and I greeted her with a glass of Apple Martini's and fixed her a plate of home made egg rolls and sushi. We were getting our eat on at Karen's. Her family can THROW DROWN. We hung out, chit-chatted and tried to explain to some of Karen's other guests how we knew each other. Everyone was amazed that this was the first time we had ever really met and yet knew so much about each other. Ron still says I hang out with stalkers and axe murders. When I told some of the other guests that Babs was my InnerNet Axe Murderer friend, they roared but one lady told me later (in jest) that she really wanted to look in Babs purse to see if she had an axe or Ginsu knife. Stop the madness.

In the midst of all the excitement, Krunch, Karen's nephew & DJ extraordinaire, (yeah, that is his family nickname - cause when he was little, he ate so much that they said he was always crunching on something) came out to get the video slide show DVD I put together for the party and was immediately distracted by the presence of Babs. He was in love. In a matter of seconds, Babs had him pouring her another martini, explaining his name & why, in God's name, did he have 3 cell phones. Krunch then began to admire Babs' pedicure and giving her a foot massage. Babs has got it going on! THE HOTNESS.
He tried his damnedest to get Babs' number, but he opted to give her his card...for DJ'ing purposes only, Babs explained. Recently, Babs had put up a picture of a pimp-mobile that is in her neighborhood and I told Babs that she just HAD to see Krunch's ride. Krunch also does "car improvements"...aka..."pimp my ride" kinda stuff. So, as Babs was leaving to meet her friends for lunch, I took her to see "the ride."

As we "admired" his car, Babs noticed that M.O.B was stenciled on each of the rims.

Babs: So, Krunch, what does MOB stand for?
Krunch: *looking at us like we should know*...Money Over B&tches

It was the way he said it, all like easygoing and ish - as if - what else would it mean, that had Babs and I doubled over in the driveway roaring. I think I burst a blood vessel laughing so hard. I watched Babs gingerly make her way down the steep driveway...and so didn't Krunch...he was admiring her backside (Watch me as I walk away). His last words...Niiiiiiiiiiiice.

At the celebration that evening, Krunch badgered me to give him Babs' number so he could invite her to the after party at Karens. Ummmm....not so fast cowboy...I don't give out my girls number without permission. After nagging me on an off for 2 hours, I told him I would text her with his proposal. Let's just say we did not see Babs again that evening (she did miss a great party though).

I don't know about anybody else out here in blog land, but Imma have to tell ya that the women bloggers & usual suspects that I have met in real life are just as fabulous and wonderful as they are in cyberspace. Thus far, it has been an absolute pleasure.

My Motto

A fellow West Pointer sent this to me and reminded me of a question that CreoleInDC asked recently...I loved it. Yep, that about sums it up for me.


In A Time of War



I went to a craft festival on Saturday morning and while there were a ton of "artisans" there, I was generally unimpressed. A lot of stone jewelry (yawn), handbags made outta fabric (you want me to pay what for that?), metal sculptures (ho hum & over priced), etc. etc. Well, after wandering around for about an hour, I came upon a booth that made hand carved wooden flowers. I haven't seen them in years. On a trip to Vegas with my Handy HotNESS friend Pattey, I bought a vase and a bunch of wooden flowers to go in it. That was like 10 years ago and the arrangement was starting to look a HotMESS. Some of the flowers were were broken, the dust unbelieveable, and it was no longer "arranged.

The Before HotMESS

I decided to buy a bunch of new flowers from this booth and redo my arrangement.

The new flowers

I think I did a pretty good job of redo-ing the vase & arrangement. It certainly look a whole lot better now that they are cleaned, dusted, fixed and arranged properly vs. hodge podge like.


Yep, I think I've got my "A" game back.

Stepping Up Lisa's "A" Game

Ever since I got laid off, I think I've let my "A" game slip a little. Ron told me to relax and take some time to just enjoy myself and stop working so hard. Well, I didn't take that advice...I didn't listen...and started doing some projects around the house...
  • Put up gutter covers on the sunroom
  • Washed & cleaned the sunroom windows - Yes, all by myself
  • Cleaned out the garage
  • Put up shelving and peg board in the garage & bought shades for the garage windows (which are still sitting in the garage)
  • Organized clothing, shoes and put all the old/too small stuff into 6 bags to go to the "Mission Trip" sale at my mothers church
  • Cleaned out my office (but the boxes are still sitting outside of my office)
  • Built a website for our company
  • Designed business cards & stationary
  • Visited my bestest friends who don't live near me (NY, KY, ATL this weekend)
  • Went to two conferences & interviewed a dozen times
  • Started doing my own housework (MY GAWD - now I know why I should pay someone to do it)
  • 4 Loads of Laundry a day (HOW IN GOD'S NAME DO WE HAVE THIS MUCH LAUNDRY)
  • Cooking, like for real meals (My family still looks at me like I got some kinda fever)

...but then I started to slack off. I've been sleeping in later & later. I got sick and stopped exercising. I started watching WAAAAAY too much TV during the day and the day would just get away from me. Yesterday, it took my over an hour to get myself together to go to a job fair and when I got there, I WAS FREAKIN PISSED. They advertised that over 30 companies would be there and when I walked into the room there were only 7 - none of which I had any interest in working for - and they were only offering entry level positions. Ummm. Not so much. I left. I was angry, I was upset and for some reason, I started feeling sorry for myself...like all of a sudden, because I was laid off, I had become a loser. When did that happen? When did my job all of a sudden start defining who I was? When did I stop playing my "A" game? I got home and texted my friend Sissy and she managed to talk me off the ledge...more like snapped my head back with a "are you stupid or somethin' response". Just what I needed.

Well, right there and then I decided that I can play my "A" game whether it is on the fields of friendly strife (at work) or at my humble abode. I will get up outta the damn bed and get my family started on their day. I will take and finish the 30 day Yoga challenge to strengthen my mind and my body. I will make it my mission in life to help Jordan get a scholarship and get accepted to college - if that means that I have to fill out the applications for him (I WILL NOT write the essays, but I will fill in the rest of the blanks). I will ease off my merciless attacks on the cleanliness of his room and help him myself, if he can continue with his borderline genius status this year with grades, work, and play lacrosse. I can do that. I will still post for jobs and then walk away, putting it in God's hands. I will handle the tedious details of our lives & our home with flair that only a TravelDiva can, making what Ron does every day a piece of cake & stress free.

The TravelDiva has got her "A" Game back. Watch out and watch me roar.

Ron's 25th High School Reunion

This past Saturday, I went with Ron to his 25th High School Reunion held at St. John College High School; a private, military, Christian Brothers high school. Back in Ron's day, it was an all boy private school. So, 99% of the women in attendance were wives. Now it is co-ed and the military portion is optional. Times have changed.

I agonized all day about what to wear and settled on a St. John Denim Skirt Suit with a pair of matching denim Guess shoes with 3 in heels. (Ron said they made my legs look great, so they were a must - uh, huh - but whose gotta stand there lookin' cute for hours). I ended up the royal photographer and followed Ron around while he caught up with his classmates.

I did get bored during several conversations and ended up finding a seat (remember 3in heels). These guys started spraying testosterone around the room in the midst of "catching up" and I just found it amusing. What was very striking to me was that almost all of Ron's white classmates owned their own company, were consultants, or were some kind of financial guru/venture capitalist/hedge fund manager AND almost all of Ron's black classmates worked for somebody/some corporation (only 2 of the approx. 10 in attendance were self-employed - Ron & Chip). We still got a long way to go...but YES WE CAN!

I will admit that I find watching Ron "talk business" is pretty damn sexy to me. He's just so....um, so...HOT... when he's got his Alpha Male "A" Game on, I just have to fan myself. My RonnieBear just ROCKS! He introduced me to all of his classmates as "his better half" & "isn't she a beauty", making standing in my HotNESS shoes worth it.

Next up, my 25th High School Reunion from Oakland Mills High on November 1st. Should be a hoot.

I Simply Couldn't Have Said it Better


What's Good for the Goose...

is Good for the Gander.

If the McCain campaign is going to "turn the page" on the campaign and now resort to more direct, personal attacks on the Obama campaign by trying to call the man a terrorist because he is the neighbor of a terrorist...if they are going to say that he is guilty, hates this country, and is unfit by association...then let's all call the kettle black and remind everyone of McCain's past associations...namely The Keating 5. Uh huh...and McCain is in touch with the economy...really. So, while your sitting around, all in shock and awe, about how horrible it would be to have a terrorist lover as a President, take a moment to reflect and remember how McCain and his buddies are the destroyers of the economy as we know it. Let's just be fair about it, mmmmkay.

In the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, they want to change the subject from the central question of this election.

Perhaps because the policies McCain supported these past eight years and wants to continue are pretty hard to defend. But it's not just McCain's role in the current crisis that they're avoiding. The backward economic philosophy and culture of corruption that helped create the current crisis are looking more and more like the other major financial crisis of our time. During the savings and loan crisis of the late '80s and early '90s, McCain's political favors and aggressive support for deregulation put him at the center of the fall of Lincoln Savings and Loan, one of the largest in the country. More than 23,000 investors lost their savings. Overall, the savings and loan crisis required the federal government to bail out the savings of hundreds of thousands of families and ultimately cost American taxpayers $124 billion. Sound familiar?

In that crisis, John McCain and his political patron, Charles Keating, played central roles that ultimately landed Keating in jail for fraud and McCain in front of the Senate Ethics Committee.

The McCain campaign has tried to avoid talking about the scandal, but with so many parallels to the current crisis, McCain's Keating history is relevant and voters deserve to know the facts -- and see for themselves the pattern of poor judgment by John McCain. So at noon Eastern on Monday, October 6th, we're releasing a 13-minute documentary about the scandal called "Keating Economics: John McCain and the Making of a Financial Crisis" -- it will be available at KeatingEconomics.com, along with background information that every voter should know.

The point of the film and the web site is that John McCain still hasn't learned his lesson. And this time, McCain's bankrupt economic philosophy has put our economy at the brink of collapse and put millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes. Watch the video to see why John McCain's failed philosophy and poor judgment is a recipe for deepening the crisis:

It's no wonder John McCain would rather spend the last month of this election smearing Barack's character instead of talking about the top priority issue for voters.

Full Moon to Full Moon 30 day Challenge

Are you up for a challenge? Are you ready to transform you spirit as well as your body? Well, join me for the Full Moon to Full Moon 30 Day Challenge at Bikram Yoga Columbia. Starting on October 14th, I will be participating in the 30 days of Bikram Yoga Challenge. You have to have 30 days to do 30 sessions...and I'm going to do it.

As YogaKat says...30 days will change your spirit, change your body, change your life...and get your prepared for holiday feasting. I'm gonna take her word for it.

I'll keep you posted on my progress, my thoughts, triumphs & challenges during this adventure and let you know any changes/outcomes as a result.

I hope to see you there. Don't just sit there...do something. What are you gonna do to transform your body & your mind?


HILARIOUS! Explains it All...



"Congratulations on winning Hu.man.a's give-away of a Nintendo Wii and a Wii Fit at the 2008 National Black MBA Association Conference in Washington, DC."

WOO HOO! The Steptoe's got a Wii coming! I'm so damn excited, but I think my son is even more so. He wants to "take me" shopping for games. He is soooo funny.

Random & Restless Thoughts

  • WTF!!!! What makes you think that I'm going to pay you/your company to do some ish that I could do myself with my eyes closed. One month of my mortgage to negotiate on my behalf with a bank to refinance and/or restructure my mortgage. CRACKHEAD. I can negotiate with the bank my damned self for free - especially if they want me to pay the damn mortgage. Hell. Pay a fee up front to help me find a job. CRACKHEAD. How bout I pay for performance. You get me an offer that is acceptable to me and I'll reward your stoopit azz for that performance and not a moment before.Pay you to fill out some government contracting forms? DA HALL. My pen and computer works just like yours.

  • Needless Markup just thinks they da ish. They only accept their store credit card, Am.ex, or cash. My Vi.sa debit card isn't good enough unless I use it to get cash out of the ATM. Keep your ish then. Now that is elitist.

  • Customer Service ain't ish these days

  • I'm so sick & damn tired of seeing people in ill fitting clothes, especially undergarments. If you have 6 boobs instead of 2, your bra is too effin small. If your drawers only cover the crack of your azz, are not thongs, and you have 3 butts instead of 1 - your drawers are too small and your pants are too tight. LOOK IN THE FREAKIN MIRROR before you go out. DAMN.

  • I worry that my crackberry trackball will fly off cause I'm always scrolling.

  • Yesterday was my best Bikram Yoga practice ever! Go me.

  • I think my sister sees an ATM machine when she looks at me.

  • I may not be able to speak Spanish well, but I do understand most of what your are saying. So, when you are here landscaping or delivering my mother's new fridge, I know what you are saying about me. Thank you for the admiration, but it is NOT gonna happen. Yes, I know my boobs are big. Yes, I live here. No, I'm not the servant. Geeze.

  • I refuse to argue with my friends anymore about the election. I'm tired of this shit. NO, I am not voting for Obama just cause he is black. DAMMIT - are you voting for McCain just cause he is white? NO, I am not pinning my "hopes" on any one man. NO, I am not going to stoop to name calling & character assassinations to make my point. (...well, one last dig...It just amuses the heck out of me that people watch Palin make an azz outta herself over and over all by her lonesome and then justify it by saying the media is mean & sexist - NO - she is just plain intellectually challenged BUT she can see Russia from her house). All you have to do is watch, listen, and see the candidates eff up and contradict themselves on a regular. You need to make your decision for yourself - the less of two evils as I see it. You don't need help from me. I simply am not going to get into it with anybody anymore. You wanna rant and rave to make a point, fine. You gonna be doing it by yourself. I'm not the one.

  • I love the fact that I'm a foot shorter than my husband. cause when he hugs me, I'm engulfed in his arms; surrounded by the warmth and smell of him. I instantly feel safe & loved. I try to get me in 2-3 hugs a day.

  • I knows de is a Gawd, cause after 25 years of sans ropas with the same man, he still makes me yearn for more. Yes, Lawd...exhaling. And on top of that, I love the way he looks at me when he thinks I don't know. Gives me goosebumps. I thank God that I feel this way still.

  • Cara is slicker than snot. If it gets quiet, look for the scissors.

  • You definitely can't live off of unemployment, but I'm still gonna get my benefits while I can. I wish my sister would apply for the benefits I've (we all have) been paying into so she could stop living hand to mouth in that hovel of a motel she is staying in.

Gotta go, time to watch my programs...