Friday, September 30, 2005

The New Second Date

So, we were all getting ready for Coldplay and enjoying dinner and discussing all the recent celeb divorces. And one of my dear best friends Deanna (see above) said what I think is the most perfect thing to sum it all up:

"When did getting married become the new second date?"

Really, think about it. There have been the following celebrity divorce/separation announcements this past week alone:

  • Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney (married 4 months; seeking annulment)
  • Jamie-Lynn and A.J. DiScala (married 2 years)
  • Dermot Mulroney and Catherine Keener (married 14 years)
  • Tori Spelling and Charlie Shanian (married 2 years and 2 months)
  • Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush (married 5 months)
  • Kathy Griffin and Matt Moline (married 4 1/2 years)
  • Dean McDermott and Mary Jo Eustace (married 12 years...and yes, I didn't know who he was either, but he's an actor Tori Spelling has apparently started seeing)

I understand that half the marriages today end in divorce, so I wonder if all these celebrity break-ups are just a reflection of the state of marriage today. I would think it would make it harder to stay married if your spouse was a movie actor or a musician due to being gone on location and touring, but why does no one seem to think about this difficulty beforehand? Yes, marriage is hard work sometimes, but I can't help but wonder if the people who have been married a really short time really stayed around to try and work it out. Maybe so; I wasn't there.

Tori Spelling supposedly loves Shanian, but isn't "in love" with him. Now I don't know about you, but if I called my Mama and said that to her, she'd hang up the phone on me. She would've told me I had time to figure that out beforehand, and marriage isn't the equivalent of breaking up. It's much more serious than that. And I am very lucky to be "in love" with Bert, but I really don't have time to sit around dissecting my feelings for him. I just know that I'd be lost without him.

I applaud those men and women who left marriages due to abuse. I applaud those that really gave it all they had, but realized they couldn't stay and left for whatever reason. But, I find it hard to believe there was enough trying in all of these short-lived unions.

I know people make mistakes, but when did marriage become the new second date? Did many of these celebs really stick around long enough to know there was no chance it would work? Did they exhaust every option? Couldn't every marriage fail if no one worked at them?

Ah, well, I guess I shouldn't complain too much since these stories make my Us Weekly all the more fascinating, but I really do wish some of these couples would've had staying power.

I'm glad there are true love stories like Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who have been married for 47 years. And I'm glad I have been able to see other love stories in my own family, as my grandparents have been married for 47 years also. Theirs was an arranged marriage, but they've made it work. And they love each other. And they would be lost without one another.

And I can't help but think things may be different today if everyone had the same respect for marriage as them. I'm not saying every marriage can work; they absolutely can't. Each case is entirely different. But I think just about every marriage is worth sticking around to seeing if there's any shred of why you entered that union in the first place. And how can you do that in four months?

Believe me, after four months of marriage, Bert and I still had growing pains. I sure am glad we stuck around to see the other side.

posted by Anisa @ 10:17 AM | 38 comments

Thursday, September 29, 2005

And It Was All Yellow

I don't even know how to begin to tell you what an amazing experience seeing Coldplay at the Philips Arena in Atlanta was last night. I am still in awe. Coldplay is my absolute favorite band in the whole world, and they do not disappoint in concert! They sound as good live as they do on their CDs. Chris Martin danced around the stage like a monkey and they dropped lots of giant yellow balloons filled with gold glitter during "Yellow." They even did a Johnny Cash tribute and played "Ring of Fire." It was amazing. Every second of it.

They played many songs from their new album, X&Y, as well as songs from their first two albums. I knew every single song and sang along with Chris Martin most of the night. I can't believe I was just there taking this picture, seeing this sight.

They played many of my favorites including "Trouble," "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" and the one I was holding my breath for..."Clocks." You could just feel this energy in the whole place during that song.

For me, it was like I had been sucked into an image that I had seen on television years ago. When I lived in DC, I was lying in my bed one day, tired from being out too late the night before and depressed in the midst of a quarter-life crisis. I was flipping through my four channels, and there was a Coldplay concert on PBS. They were playing "Clocks," a song I had never heard before. I sat there in awe, knowing I needed to hear that song again and again. Shortly thereafter, nearly broke, I headed to Target and purchased A Rush Of Blood To The Head. I tore open the packaging as soon as I got in my car. I went through the songs until I found the one I had heard on television. The purchase had been worth every penny.

That song was my companion on many rides to Virginia to clear my head. It's one of those songs I never grew sick of. In DC, Mississippi and now Georgia, it's always been in the car. And I never change that song when it comes on the radio.

And to hear it in concert, with the lights and in person, I just couldn't believe it. It was exactly as it had been on television years ago. It made me smile, for I never thought that day years ago lying in my bed, I would be where I am today.

And just when I thought things couldn't possibly get any better, Martin talked about how much he loved Atlanta because things turned around for them after they played a show here years back. And he wanted to give something back to Atlanta.

Enter Michael Stipe.

Oh yes, the REM frontman sang while Martin played the piano. It was a moment I will never forget as long as I live. It was all surreal. The whole night was nothing short of spectacular.

In fact, it was so surreal that if I didn't have the ticket stubs to prove I was there, I may not even believe it myself.
posted by Anisa @ 10:26 AM | 18 comments

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A House Divided

Here we are in our t-shirts proclaiming allegiance for opposing teams this past weekend! Being a graduate of Mississippi State, I couldn't imagine cheering for anyone else. But when Leonard Pope scored a touchdown for the University of Georgia, I leapt to my feet and screamed with glee. Fans in red were giving high-fives all around, but they looked at me with confusion on their faces. But I kept right on cheering for both teams.

The final score, 23-10 UGA, was more than just a score to me. It was a reflection of my life.

While my past is important, my present is what's now. And who doesn't want their present to be better than their past?

I think Bert's just happy I don't complain about college football. Baseball - yes. College football - no. And even in the rain with neither of us feeling too hot, we still managed to have fun.

And I will always cheer for both of my Dawgs. As far as I'm concerned, it was a victory all around.
posted by Anisa @ 11:40 AM | 5 comments

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Breakdown Of The Weekend

Beginning Thursday around 9pm, everything's been going wrong. Here's the breakdown:

Number of hours Bert and I spent arguing in the car: 3
Time of the drive to see my parents round-trip: 12 hours
Time spent in the ER: 5 hours
Time spent at Harvey's where the stupid waitress asked us what religion we were, put bacon on our salads anyway and left us with unrefilled drinks: 3 hours
Time spent outside in the pouring rain as UGA beat MSU: 2 hours
Illnesses Bert had while in Mississippi: 2 (threw out his back and caught a bad virus)
Minutes I spent lamenting cutting shorter bangs on my hair after having it professionally done: 30
Rude people I've spoken to on the phone today: 2
Rude people I dealt with in Starkville: 2
Letters of complaint I plan on sending: 2 (Everyone, we hate Harvey's Restaurant now, which was formerly my favorite restaurant.)
Number of times a woman insisted I was a secretary although I repeatedly told her I was an office manager: 4
Number of MSU wedding cookies eaten over the weekend: 6 (they're heavenly)
Minutes it took to scarf down an enchilada, taco and rice from Mi Hacienda: 6
Days Bert has off from school because the governor closed all public schools in Georgia in case of a gas crisis: 2
Number of times I've been called Denisa today: 1
Tries it took me trying to send undeliverable pics from my phone to email until realizing I was going to have to call Cingular (ugh): 5
Minutes it took Cingular to fix internet from my phone: 3 (amazing!)
Time it'll take me to get through this stack of mail from being out: maybe forever
Number of new songs I purchased on iTunes: 3
Minutes I'm freaking out thinking one of my best friends might be engaged due to her cryptic voice mail left on my now-fixed Cingular phone: 15
Number of my mom's brownies I ate: too ashamed to say; possibly in the lower double digits
Hours spent scrubbing my house last night: 2
Knowing everything was worth it because of this:

Priceless. Because I wouldn't have traded spending time with my sweet cousin Sam for the world. He really is that adorable.

posted by Anisa @ 1:03 PM | 5 comments

Monday, September 26, 2005

Before & After

First of all, thanks for all your kind wishes for Bert to have a speedy recovery. He's not quite better yet, but we will be able to head home today.

Above is a "Before & After" of Bert. The picture on the left is him in August 2004, and the picture on the right in August 2005. What a difference sixty pounds makes! I am so proud of Bert for his hard work and dedication to reach new levels of health and fitness. No tricks or gimmicks here...just good old fashioned eating right and exercising. For the first time in his life, he is running...and he's doing that 40 miles per week!

I'm proud to still see him enjoy his favorite foods. He is extremely dedicated, but he hasn't gone overboard. He's inspired me to want to look and feel my best too.

So, Bert, while I do bug you and tell you that you spend too much time at the gym, please know how proud I am of you. You are a happier person now and have so much more energy. I support you in this one hundred percent.

I am proud we are both much healthier now. I am excited to see you so happy and so dedicated. I know if you can do this, you can do anything.

And I'll be right beside you, your biggest cheerleader, through it all.

Congratulations! You deserve it.
posted by Anisa @ 10:00 AM | 12 comments

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Still In Mississippi...

Hey, everyone! I'm still in Mississippi. I have been with Bert in the Emergency Room all day, as he was violently ill late this morning. They put an IV in him to replace lost fluids, and he's asleep right now. We'll probably head home tomorrow.

I'm just playing on the computer while he gets rest! I am so jealous of my parent's wonderful DSL! This is the life! I'm convinced dial-up should be outlawed.

I saw this quiz on Dean's blog, and thought I'd check it out. It really is pretty accurate. It doesn't really ask you the normal questions you'd think when trying to figure out your political beliefs. So, if you're looking to see where you really fit politically, this seems to be a good place to start!

Wish us luck tomorrow! I have a sweet sick man that I need to bring home.

And here's that quiz stuff...

You are a

Social Liberal
(63% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(33% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
posted by Anisa @ 8:10 PM | 13 comments

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Went To See The Dok-ter

"Look-a-here and these them warts on mah hand," the obese redneck practically screamed at the seventy-year old man. "Yeah, that dok-ter, he put me back on that med-sin."

He spoke loudly enough where someone outside of Wal-Mart could hear him carrying on, but I had the misfortune to actually be sitting by him and the old man in the Wal-Mart pharmacy. I was there with a sinus infection, so I had a bad headache and was trying to sit there and stay focused on the In Touch I had grabbed from the magazine rack while waiting. Yes, I use Wal-Mart as a library when I'm waiting on a prescription to be filled.

Anyway, the redneck proceeded to talk and talk and talk for what seemed like hours. In actuality, it was about 20 minutes, but it was his monologue. Poor seventy-year old man didn't get a word in edgewise...I'm sure he wanted to tell him to shut up too. I really came thisclose to telling him no one cared to see his warts. No one cared about his $400 prescription he refused to get filled.

"That dok-ter said that he thought I had me a too-mer, but he cain't find it jes yet."

While the way he spoke made me want to scream, I kept my mouth shut. I guess I really shouldn't judge another person until I've walked in their shoes. Who knows how I'd act if the doctor thought I had a tumor. I'd stay freaked out all the time.

I wanted to take out all my aggressions on that man...from waiting over an hour to see the doctor to being mad at the girl in the waiting room who kept playing with her talking stuffed panda to the man in the waiting room who wanted to get his Nexium and was talking excessively loud about it to someone on his cell phone. My head hurt and somebody was going to get it.

So, I decided that I had already taken out my aggression on the fact I let myself have dessert with lunch. And I didn't say anything. And while I have often regretted saying things in anger, I have never regretted keeping my mouth shut.

And what better way to keep it shut with a mouthful of peanut butter pie?

Note: I'm going to Mississippi tonight, so there won't be a post tomorrow. I'll be back Monday. Have a great weekend!
posted by Anisa @ 3:40 PM | 7 comments

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Turn The Page

So, here we are. The last day of summer. I always think endings and beginnings are a time for reflection. As I sit at my desk, I notice that FINALLY, I am tan. It came from the football game this past weekend. Oh well, it stays warm for a while down here in the Deep South. I just didn't expect my nose to be peeling as I approach autumn!

I already am surrounded by many of my new favorite fall trends...a bronze purse, bronze heels and my new OPI nail polish in "Cabernet for the Lady" (note: there's a free coupon for this gorgeous color in the current "Marie Claire"). It's still hot outside, but when I turn the page in my day calendar, I know tomorrow will be different.

This was a great summer for me. I went to Savannah and fell in love with the candy there, I turned 25, I became a newspaper columnist, I spent two solid weeks with my stepdaughter and I started reading novels again. I celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary, I dropped a few pounds, I spent time with my family and I made new friends. And even though deep down in my heart I may be a pessimist, I'm desperately trying to change that. I'm looking at all the good things that happened this summer.

Who knows what's right around the corner? I hope Bert and I will drive to the mountains and see the leaves change color. I hope I'll spend more time outside, as the heat won't be unbearable. I hope for many good things to happen.

So as I bid adieu to my favorite season, I look back with fondness. Besides being devastated over Brad and Jen's break-up all summer, it was a good one.
posted by Anisa @ 10:55 AM | 14 comments

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Needing To Vent

I am so mad at the stupid alarm man who has come to supposedly update the alarm system at my work. He keeps getting lost going to the one stairway that goes to the bottom floor.

The alarm he came to update has been going off for 25 35 45 minutes!!

FORTY-FIVE MINUTES OF A LOUD AND BLARING ALARM!!! Did I mention it's my lunch hour?

I already had a bad headache.

He has been here for over an hour.

I am so mad I could scream, but he wouldn't even hear me over the stupid alarm.

Update: The alarm man just set off the fire alarm too, making it doubly loud in here. WTF?
Final Update: Two hours later and the insanity is over. Whew.
posted by Anisa @ 12:40 PM | 8 comments

Just Another Manic Monday

Well, Mondays in general are the worst day of the week. Yesterday I did something especially stupid and made a fool of myself in front of a large group of people I was trying to make a good impression on.

It involved thank-you notes, a one-way street and a cop.

As I left my Junior League meeting, I had a stack of loose thank-you notes to put in my car. I'm in charge of writing thank-you notes, and I put the stack of them on the passenger's seat and pulled out of the parking lot. I don't know where my mind was, but I looked up, saw a red light, put on my brakes, looked down and saw the thank-you notes fall all over the floorboard, saw that a cop was at the light and quickly took a right on red onto a one-way street. I knew that I couldn't stop in time for the light. It was all happening too fast.

My heart rate didn't even rise.

I just thought to myself, this'll all be over in ten minutes. I knew I'd make it home in time for "Laguna Beach" and I just tried to stay calm. Very unlike me. Really, I just thought to myself that this would all pass soon. Mondays are bad enough without me being upset all night. I saw people look at me in awe of my stupidity, but I pretended not to see them. It was either ignore what was going on or cry. And I'm against wasted tears.

I pulled over on the one-way street, trying to stay out of the way of other cars. I knew all my new friends would see me make a fool of myself, but I thought, best they know now that I'm not the most coordinated person in the world!

I looked in my rearview mirror, saw the blue lights and realized I didn't even have my seatbelt on. I just kept picking up the thank-you notes out of the floor and rolled down my window.

"Sir, I'm sorry. Everything fell down in my car and I just got sidetracked," I said flustered.

He looked shocked at my stupidity, and I knew he and his police friends would all be laughing at my expense later. I wanted to explain further as to prove I was not some college girl ditz, but I decided to keep my mouth shut.

Mr. Policeman STOPPED TRAFFIC on the one-way street to help me turn around. He just let me go home. I couldn't believe it.

I went home, ate supper and watched "Laguna Beach." Everything really was OK; there really was nothing to stress over this time.

So while there were no consequences yesterday, most of the time there are. I'll count myself lucky for yesterday's Manic Monday, but I know that I won't always have a free pass.

But every once in a while, they sure are nice.
posted by Anisa @ 10:16 AM | 8 comments

Monday, September 19, 2005

Go Dawgs!

Yay! My University of Georgia Bulldogs AND my Mississippi State Bulldogs won this past weekend. What a great weekend for all my Dawgs. I know I'll be torn next weekend when I see my two favorite teams play each other, but I know that my loyalties lie with my alma mater, MSU.

This picture was taken around 12:40 pm on Saturday. At 3:40 pm, we more closely resembled lobsters. I literally have a red neck today...lovely.

There's just something about sitting in those stands and chugging bottles of water and giant glasses of Diet Coke and yelling until your throat hurts. I enjoy watching the game itself (even though there's LOTS I don't understand), people-watching and getting a tan. I like making fun of the girls who dress to the nines for the games...silly girls. I used to be one of them, and no, it wasn't worth it to have blisters on my feet from three inch heels. Some of them have wised up, though, and are wearing flip flops with their strapless dresses. Flip flops are a godsend.

I know it's silly, but I am grateful each and every game that I attend that I'm not dateless. It was this huge ordeal in college to have dates for games and it was extremely stressful. I don't take having someone to share games with for granted.

But ask me again next week after Bert and I have recovered from our fight after cheering for opposing teams!

posted by Anisa @ 11:00 AM | 13 comments

Friday, September 16, 2005

You're Like My Don Mattingly Rookie Card

I'm a hopeless romantic. I am a fool for flowers, chocolate and compliments. I'm insecure, and I admit it. However, something that I thought would be the most unromantic thing in the world turned out to be anything but.

Last night moments before I drifted into a deep sleep, Bert and I were just teasing each other and kidding around.

"So, Bert, are you going to trade up from me one day?" I asked jokingly.
"No're like my Don Mattingly rookie card. I'd never trade it or you," he replied.

It made me realize that compliments don't have to be forced, and people express themselves in different ways. And for me to be compared to who Bert believes is the greatest baseball player and Yankee of all time...well, it put a smile on my face.

So here's hoping everyone has a weekend like a Don Mattingly rookie that would never, ever be traded for anything else.
posted by Anisa @ 9:15 AM | 16 comments

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ginger the Great

So, somehow I managed to mess up my blog's template this morning and sweet Ginger came to my rescue. In fact, I was thinking how excited I was as I went to my hotmail account and literally accidentally typed the word "savior" as my password because I was thinking of Ginger!

People, if you are even CONSIDERING getting your blog personalized, contact Ginger at her design site ASAP.

Thanks a million!!!
posted by Anisa @ 11:31 AM | 10 comments

In Sevens

I have seen these fun lists recently on the blogs of Kellie, Ginger, S.C. and Shaima, so I thought I'd do it too!

And the very cool Theresa tagged me for it also! :)

7 things I plan to do before I die:

  1. Go to Paris and speak to a native in French (Hey, I spoke French in NYC once to a French guy and he totally thought I was from France!)
  2. Write a book, even if it's not published
  3. Lose these last 10 pounds...OK, maybe 15...
  4. Have some kids so I can name them the perfect baby names I have already chosen
  5. Sing karaoke (besides "Crocodile Rock" in Julie's living room when we were kids!)
  6. Learn to read Arabic better
  7. Be the best wife, daughter, mother and friend that I can be

7 things I can do:

  1. Work out on the Elliptical machine for 45 minutes straight
  2. Cook, bake, etc.
  3. Write newspaper columns
  4. Play with kids...I still love to color!
  5. Write thank-you notes...I am always sending one for something!
  6. Work under deadlines (I hate letting people down)
  7. Speak in front of a large crowd

7 things I cannot do:

  1. Be on time (I've come to terms with it...Indian people are never on time)
  2. Pack lightly
  3. Wear white after Labor Day (except "winter white"), which luckily enabled me to buy a new bronze purse and put my white one in the closet!
  4. Relax when the house is a mess
  5. Let go of grudges
  6. Not take things personally...I am entirely too sensitive
  7. Not read Us Weekly every week as soon as I get it...all of a sudden, everything else can wait!

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex/another person:

  1. Kind eyes
  2. Genuine smile
  3. Brown hair that isn't messy and isn't perfect all at the same time
  4. A 5 o'clock shadow
  5. Someone strong, yet gentle
  6. Well-dressed
  7. Strong arms

7 things that I say most often:

  1. WTF
  2. OMG
  3. Tell me a story (PMS makes me force Bert to tell me stories of why he loves me so much...poor thing)
  4. I love you
  5. Holy shiraz/Holy shiz
  6. Bellig
  7. Do we have any chocolate?

7 celebrity crushes:

  1. Clive Owen
  2. Matthew McConaughey
  3. Patrick Kennedy (because I am obsessed with the Kennedy family!)
  4. Johnny Damon
  5. Ben Affleck
  6. Joaquin Phoenix...I think he looks kinda like Bert
  7. Owen Wilson

posted by Anisa @ 10:10 AM | 11 comments

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Like Buttah

OK, so we all know I love clean sheet day, but last night was doubly good as it was NEW CLEAN SHEET DAY! Bert and I finally found the perfect thread count for us - 300- and we bought the set on closeout at Macy's. We had like 600 as a wedding present and we HATED them. They were too hot and we couldn't breathe. I truly would prefer 200 thread count sheets to 1000 becuase 1000 feels like a blanket to me. But 300 is soft and breatheable and I love them so much. They were on a huge sale because Macy's is getting rid of these 300 ones in favor of 400 ones. Ha! I think I got a better product!

Having nice sheets is wonderful; I mean, you spend hours upon hours in your bed! I'm not for spending bajillions of dollars on sheets, but I think it's nice to have something that you really do enjoy. Nothing worse than a bad night's sleep on a lumpy pillow and hot sheets.

And although I dreamed Bert tried to kill me because I had seen the "Nip/Tuck" commercial about The Carver and he dreamed we were trying to rob a bank, at least the sheets were as soft as butter.

In fact, I do believe the last thing I said before I drifted into crazydreamland was "These sheets are like buttah!" And that they were. Now, if only they could put me into a dreamless sleep, that would be just perfect.
posted by Anisa @ 11:26 AM | 16 comments

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Coco or Sugar

Do people scream for effect, or is it really just a reaction?

If you've ever wondered if people have responses for "show" or if they're real, I have the answer. At least for me, I know for a fact they're real.

Yesterday, I was minding my own business at work. I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and I let out a blood-curdling scream.

It was a lizard.

How do I know my scream wasn't for show? I was alone. No one was here to hear me yell.

I jumped on my chair, afraid of the small creature with the blue tail. I called a secretary in another building to see if she could send someone up to handle "the situation." I IMed friends in desperation.

I attempted to trap the little nasty scoundrel under a box top, but he escaped! I saw him leap across the office, and I called again to see where the people were that were supposed to come and save me.

I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't focus.

It reminded me of when I worked at an orthodontist's office and I opened a drawer, only to have a mouse leap out at me. I ran out of the office and didn't even scream because I knew my boss wouldn't be very happy with me if I were to upset patients. I really thought I was going to have a heart attack. The very next day, the little rascal was caught and I have never since seen a mouse.

I am really not an "animal person." In theory, I adore little dogs like cute Maltipoos, Yorkies, etc. But in reality, I know I'd get tired of catering to their every whim and cleaning up their poop. Once I realized my sweet puppy wasn't a toy, I think I'd regret the commitment I had made. And I have no tolerance for people who aren't sweet to their animals; no one FORCED you to own a pet, so if you do, love it and take care of it!

I will say that when I was a little girl I did have a pet that I loved dearly. His name was Thor and he was a Pit Bull. Now, I know you're wondering why I'm afraid of lizards and I loved this pit bull, but really he was amazing. I used to ride him like a pony around the yard when I was little. Oh, how I adored him! He never barked or jumped on anyone.

We had to give Thor away because our neighbors constantly complained about him. I think Thor might've been a Ladies Man.

Anyway, years later, a dog chased me in our neighborhood. My daddy saved me, but I think that fear always stuck with me. I am afraid of even the tiniest dog, but there are pictures of me ate age one holding our doggie, Dilly. I used to love animals, but now I am afraid of them. I tell my husband that cats are tigers and dogs are wolves.

Maybe one day I'll get over my fear and own a dog or cat. Cats are independent, which would be a great characteristic in a pet. They don't require near the upkeep of a dog. But those little dogs that never look bigger than a puppy sure are cute...

And as for the lizard? A staffer came and freed him. Even through my fear, I knew he was a beautiful and special creature with his striking blue tail. Maybe one day I'll find something special in an animal and have one of my own.

But for now, I'm content to visit my parent's dogs, Maggie and Shadow. Shadow is a Golden Retriever and the laziest dog in the world. He doesn't even budge if he sees a snake. Maggie is a Labrador mix, and she is definitely the protective one. Another case of the woman doing all the work. ;)

While I have respect for animals and would never hurt one, I know I have to get over my fear before I could ever own one. I'll have to know that it's a big commitment and be ready for that. Right now, I'm too scared and too lazy. But just maybe one day, I'll be one of those ladies answering the door with freshly painted toe nails and a fluffy furball in my arms. Coco is a perfect name for a brown dog and Sugar for a white one. Especially a fluffy one. I don't have potential cat names picked out just yet. Or maybe I should name them after celebrities...

And while I do have possible names picked out for my tiny dog, I know that's still a long way away for me. If ever. For now, I'm content to run scared from the neighbor's tiger cat.
posted by Anisa @ 11:26 AM | 12 comments

Monday, September 12, 2005


Sometimes we all need a break from reality. This weekend, I stayed away from storm coverage, and focused my time on college football, "Million Dollar Baby" and "Monster-In-Law" for my viewing pleasure. I spent time shopping, working out, and going out to eat. It was just what I needed. I don't know about you, but I can't stay immersed in Katrina 24-7. I try to keep up with what's going on, but I think there just comes a point when you can't stay so focused on tragedy. My dad is on the Mississippi coast right now helping get the power back on. I admire his efforts and am proud that he's going above and beyond to help out.

This weekend brought that lovely time of year when seasonal allergies attack me in full force, but it wasn't anything that a little shopping therapy couldn't fix. I picked up a few items to spruce up my fall wardrobe, and nothing makes me feel better quicker than that!

I'm about to continue my nice reality break. The latest issues of Us Weekly and Marie Claire just arrived, and I plan on submersing myself in the cover article of Us Weekly that's proclaiming: PLANNING TO MARRY! I've just gotta know if Brad and Angelina are really headed to the altar.

I know I have to be a responsible adult and stay focused on what's going on in the world with Katrina and the anniversary of 9/11, but for today, it's going to be all about fashion and celebrities. I don't think of it as garbage; I think of it as candy. And no one should be deprived of candy. I would just prefer to read mine than eat it!

OK, I do wish there was some chocolate here, but for now I'm content in my new, glossy magazines. After praying and donating and crying, I have to step back and be grateful for what I have, while continuing to give to the less fortunate. I can't stay sad about it. I have to find a balance.

But for today...candy, anyone?
posted by Anisa @ 3:00 PM | 9 comments

Friday, September 09, 2005

Hold The Pork

So, today I was invited to this luncheon in the reception area of my work. It was all white tablecloths and millionaires (millionaires that left toilet paper all over the bathroom floor and made fun of me for calling something 'rare,' but that's another story...) and they had enough food left over for the staff. I love going to receptions and breaking up the day, so I eagerly accepted the invitation.

I be-bopped on downstairs in my new gold jacket and had a seat, eager to try the delicacies in store. I took my seat and unfolded the neatly folded napkin on my lap. A Fellow Staff Member came over and announceed that it was pork tenderloin for lunch.


I asked him, "Did you say pork tenderloin?"
"Yes," he replied.
"OK, well I think I'm going to go upstairs and eat the lunch I brought because I don't eat pork."
Other Staff Member: "Oh, we wish you'd stay and eat salad, asparagus and dessert."
"No, that's OK. I don't eat pork for religious reasons," I said, hoping to re-iterate the fact that I.don' I don't eat anything that touches pork. And I'm not asparagus' #1 fan. While that was sweet of my fellow staff member to try and get me to stay, I have had many experiences where people were not-so-nice and looked at me like I was missing out on the world's greatest food.

First of all, normally, I don't say "religious reasons" about not eating pork, but I've had it. In this day and age, I can't fathom pork being the only meat served at a function. I mean, many people don't eat pork for religious reasons...Jews and Muslims...and I know at least for Muslims that means anything that TOUCHES pork a.k.a. no, I can't just pick pepperonis off pizza and eat it. (Yes, I've been questioned on that before, oddly enough by a strange little girl whose father was Muslim, but that's also another story.)

Lots of people don't eat pork or any red meat for health reasons. Some people don't like pork. I just think pork is the last thing that should be the ONLY meal option. There should've been at least a vegetarian meal available. Oh well, this is the Deep South.

I know I'm ranting, but I just don't understand why people look at me like, "Poor her. She doesn't eat pork. She's missed out on ribs and pepperoni pizza all her life!"

Well, I accidentally tasted sausage once and it was gross. I do admit to knowingly eating an Oreo at age seven when they still had lard in them. I still feel guilty to this day. I truly do not "miss" pork, even though people like to say how sad they'd have been if they never had this or that.

And I really want to give props to the Jewish kosher people.

Without you, kosher people, I'd never have been able to have a hot dog at a hot dog stand in DC! I had the quintessential American experience because of the kosher dogs...all because of y'all!

Well, thank goodness for the Lean Cuisine in the freezer. And thanks to my fellow staffer who just brought me up a piece of cake. Yes, I dropped some on the floor, and yes I still ate it. Why? Because I'm hungry and my Lean Cuisine is still in the microwave.

And because I pick and choose what to get upset about. Pork as my only option at a meal? Yes. Cake on the floor? No way. I'm gonna eat my whole piece of cake...and nothing's going to stop me.

Special shout-outs to Amber and Lindsay who listened to me rant about this earlier today! Y'all are the best! :)
posted by Anisa @ 2:15 PM | 14 comments

Thursday, September 08, 2005

An Original

You remember that scene in "Good Will Hunting" where Matt Damon is in the bar with Minnie Driver and that blonde-haired dude in the ponytail is trying to make Ben Affleck look like a dumbass? I absolutely love it when Matt calls out Ponytail Boy from regurgitating what he has read in books. He has no thoughts of his own, but tries to use other people's studies to "sound cool."

I so can't stand that.

Isn't it annoying when people throw all these facts and figures at you to prove their point? It's like "is there an original thought in there?" Just like with Katrina.

Here are my thoughts...minus fancy shmancy facts and figures and statistics. For me, it makes me ill when people blame the evacuees. It makes me sick when people act like everyone left behind is a looter. Our country is as unorganized as a hard-partying C student who got into college on his daddy's name. Really, where was everybody on every level? And please, God, don't make me watch Richard Simmons reunite with his brother on "Entertainment Tonight" ever again. It was too painful to watch a grown man in a bedazzled heart tank top and short shorts sobbing like that. I know it's a tragedy in Louisiana, but there's no need for Richard to sport sequins.

So there you have it. No big statistics. No dates to prove this and that. No nothing. Just what I think.

Debate is a wonderful thing, and people should enter a debate wisely, knowing facts and statistics, but making their own determination. There is no reason anyone should blanketly agree with a journalist or a politician or a commentator on everything. Think, people, think! I can't remember who, but someone once said they're not afraid of the leaders...but of the masses blanketly following. That was so well put.

I see it time and time again. It's like women agreeing with everything their husband thinks or believing everything they're taught in school. For example, the high school I went to taught elementary students that humans aren't mammals. (We had grades K-12 there.) Huh? And I'm glad Bert and I don't agree on everything. We're going to cheer for different teams when go to the Mississippi State University/University of Georgia football game. And yes, I was angry at first, but you know what? Good for us! We are individuals.

You don't have to agree with me on everything, but my thoughts and opinions are my own. It's like Matt Damon says in "Good Will Hunting" when Ponytail Boy tells him he'll be working in a fast food place and serving Ponytail Boy's kids: "At least I'll be original."

Yep, original I am. And damn proud of it.
posted by Anisa @ 2:00 PM | 11 comments

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fall is in the Air

It's actually 64 degrees in Georgia today. I never thought I'd actually see a break in the sweltering heat! What a welcome change.

Along with the change in temperature comes a whole new season filled with its own unique activities. I can't wait to go to lots of college football games and spend more time outside now that I can stand the temperature. I love it when the leaves change color. I love's an excuse to engorge yourself and not even feel bad about it! Halloween is wonderful too; when else can you eat jack-o-lanterns full of candy and not be looked at like a lunatic?

Sweater season is coming soon, and I'm glad I'll get to cover up these 10 pounds I still haven't managed to lose. I still can't stand the thought of actually trying on sweaters just yet. It's got to be really cold outside before I'll do that!

I'll miss the flip flops and days at the beach, but I don't think I've ever been more ready for a seasonal change. I'm ready to put away ice cream and start my hot chocolate ritual again. I'm ready to be able to stand walks in the evening, and not just work out at the gym.

Season premieres are beginning and new movies are coming out. I think autumn gives us the chance to turn over a new leaf. Even thought it's still technically summer, fall is certainly in the air. And it's a welcome change.
posted by Anisa @ 10:30 AM | 19 comments

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Bob Denver, of "Gilligan's Island" fame just died at age 70. I don't know about you, but I used to watch "Gilligan's Island" every day before school when I was like 7 years old. I have seen every single episode. I have seen the movie.

I did NOT watch the reality show on TBS. Don't butcher my childhood, people.

"Now sit right back and you'll hear a tale/A tale of a fateful trip..."

I remember hearing that song and knowing that the beginning credits to some of the shows were different. I have a memory like an elephant! On some of them, the Professor, Mary Ann and Ginger were all credited on one screen. On another intro, they each had their own screen.

I could never make up my mind if I wanted to be Mary Ann or Ginger. I think I wanted to be a combination...glamorous, yet approachable. Sexy, yet cute. I loved those characters. And having the money of The Howells would've been nice too!

Although I wasn't born when that show originally aired, it still feels like it was a part of my childhood. And maybe it's not true, but it does seem like things were simpler then. At age 7, my life consisted of going to school (my mom made the bed, fixed my hair and picked out all my clothes), eating Toaster Strudels, playing with my sister, watching non-vulgar TV and begging my mom to make spaghetti for supper. At age 7, I used to pretend I was being interviewed by Barbara Walters, so there was definitely some Ginger to me!

I guess there's some of every character in all of us. We can all be a little slow to catch on like Skipper's lil' buddy, Gilligan. But I only hope to be as loved as he was - on and off the show. I admire people who leave a legacy behind, but you don't have to be famous to do so. We each choose what we leave behind.

I also want to say that sadly, the past mayor of my hometown recently passed away. This Mississippi man was an open-minded and kind person. I was fortunate enough to call him my friend. He will be missed.

I can only hope to leave a legacy like these men left behind. Although they leave behind completely different legacies, they both brought joy in the lives of those that they touched. I hope that's the kind of mark I leave too.
posted by Anisa @ 3:20 PM | 12 comments

Monday, September 05, 2005

Happy Labor Day!

I know it's blurry (camera phone), but this is me before seeing "The Phantom of the Opera" this weekend! The costumes and scenery were absolutely gorgeous. I think I just don't "get" musicals, though! But I shall try again! It was a fun experience nonetheless...

I hope everyone's having a great day off from work! I think every weekend should consist of three days, don't you?
posted by Anisa @ 3:53 PM | 17 comments

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ten Years Later...

It's been ten years, and I'm still mad at her.

Let's all go back in time to September 2, 1995. I doubt anyone else remembers that day with quite the clarity that I do. Each September 2, I pause and renew my grudge to "Marie." (No, that's not her real name.)

Let's see. I was a ninth grader, sitting in Mrs. Bentley's English class. The bell rang as the last class of the day came to an end, and I looked at the side chalkboard. We had free time at the end of class, and Marie had been playing on the board.

I saw what she had done, and I saw the way she looked at me. I knew it was going to be bad. She had drawn a square with a line horizontally through the center, and a diagonal line going from the upper left corner to the lower right corner.

"This is who Anisa has a crush on," she said in front of the entire class.

It was SO obvious that her "cryptic" symbol spelled out one name only: BEN.

I looked at the board in shock, and I was sure I could feel my face turning bright red. I wondered if anyone else knew. Please, God, let it just be obvious to me!!

"Ben?" asked my friend David. Shite. I knew that my "secret" would soon spread like wildfire. Marie smiled. Her work had been done.

Yes, my God, I did have a crush on Ben. No, I didn't want the entire school to know, but they did. I have never been so embarrassed in my life. I was so angry at Marie, shocked at her betrayal. I don't really care that we were only fifteen at the time. Fifteen is old enough to know you're not supposed to tell who one of your supposed best friends has a crush on.

Amazingly enough, Ben handled himself with more dignity than most 25-year old men. He didn't have a crush on me, but he knew my embarrassment. He was nicer to me than ever, asked me to dance at the school dance and always said hello to me in the hallway, even if no one else was around. We had a knowing look between each other. We knew we were just friends, and he knew I would never say anything to his face about me having a crush on him. And I didn't.

My dear friend Deanna had to listen to hours upon hours of me talk about Ben. Bless her heart, she listened to each and every encounter. She analyzed everything, but she and I both knew deep down he didn't have a crush on me back.

But you know what? That's OK. My 9th grade crush treated me better than most other guys I developed an infatuation for. Well of course, except for Bert. But that's another story. As for Ben, that was a lifetime ago. I still haven't forgiven Marie. She did it with a mean spirit. She looked at me with her piercing eyes and had a sinister grin on her face that afternoon in English class. Mistakes are one things and betrayals are another. Yes, we were still friends afterwards, but I never fully trusted her again.

But I'll always appreciate that Ben didn't make me feel like anymore of a fool than I already felt. While the betrayal will never be forgotten, neither will the kindness. He'll never know how grateful I was to him for not making me a laughingstock in the murky waters of high school.

So here I am, a decade later. I'm married and I live hours away from the scene of the embarrassment. I'll never have to worry about anyone telling the world that I have a crush ever again. I'll go ahead and do it right now: "WORLD, I HAVE A CRUSH ON BERT."

And this time, my crush has a crush on me back.
posted by Anisa @ 4:00 PM | 13 comments

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Little Bit of Magic

Sad day, huh?

Katrina seems to become more and more devastating as the days go by. The living conditions, if you can call it that, in the Superdome are supposedly awful. People are getting raped and trying to kill themselves, according to some reports. Could it really be the same Superdome where I watched a pro football game? It saddens my heart.

I can't believe the way some people take advantage of this situation. Fine, you're poor and your children are starving. I can somewhat understand those stealing food out of desperation. But what in God's name are you doing stealing a TV? And why do you need firearms? People have completely lost their minds. I wish people would pull together in this time of need. It's as if America all of a sudden became a third-world country. What's sad is that we're the ones that step in and help other countries in their time of need. Why do we seem to be having such a hard time helping ourselves?

Seems everyone's reflecting on visits past to New Orleans. Hurricanes at Pat O'Briens and Mardi Gras beads color many people's memories. It was just this feeling of festivity that swept through the city. That's all been replaced by total devastation. I can remember getting powdered sugar all over my lap from eating beignets at Cafe du Monde. I remember shopping at the mall at Canal Place and pretending to the sales clerks that I could afford the items in Saks and Gucci. I remember my honeymoon there, and walking the streets hand-in-hand knowing that I'd only been a Mrs. for 24 hours. The mouth-watering food at Emeril's...oh the food!

And Dennis Quaid.

I went to New Orleans when I was in college to visit a friend. We were eating at this place called Cafe Rani (which I remember because that's my mom's name) and we saw in a paper that Dennis Quaid & The Sharks would be performing at the House of Blues. Of course I had to go for the chance to have a glimpse at a celebrity!

I changed outfits at least five times, and I still think I picked the wrong thing to wear. Anyway, my friends and I danced our hearts out in the second row behind this woman with "poodle hair." After the show, I informed my non-believing friends that I was going to meet DQ. Of course I called him DQ at this point in the night because I knew we would be fast friends. Hector, the security guard, was as sweet as could be, but wouldn't let me go upstairs to meet DQ. Finally, after being really sweet to Hector and pouring on the Southern charm, he looked away. This was my chance. I sped up the stairs, leaving my friends behind. They were standing across the bar, thinking I was just being silly.

The next thing they knew, they looked up and saw me up on the second floor, chatting with Dennis Quaid himself. I marched right up to him.

"Hello. I'm Anisa," I said amazingly calmly.
"Nice to meet you, Anisa."
"I know this is an odd question, but do you have a pen?"
"Does anyone have a pen?" Dennis shouted.

Dennis Quaid got me a pen so he could give me an autograph. We chatted, and he was so gracious. Wrinkly, but gracious. My friends, of course, appeared behind me moments later.

"Girls, I'd like you to meet Dennis," I said.

Hey, it was a once in a lifetime chance to do that. It was fabulous introducing Dennis to my girlfriends as if he and I were best friends.

We all walked home to my friend's French Quarter apartment, smiles on our faces.

Looking back, it wasn't simply the elation from meeting a celebrity. It was the fact that anything's possible in New Orleans. Underneath the twinkling stars in that city, I too, felt like a celebrity for a moment. It was almost magical.

And I have to believe that "anything is possible" spirit will prevail. I have to believe the citizens will pull themselves together and relief will come. I have to believe America will help one of her crown jewels out of this disaster.

Because I believe that I will once again stand under that same starry night sky and know that in New Orleans, a little bit of magic really is possible.
posted by Anisa @ 3:55 PM | 10 comments