Random Thoughts Thursday

Jennifer Hudson's Tragedy. My heart goes out to Jennifer Hudson and her family. To lose her mother, brother, and nephew... I can't imagine losing my mom, brother, and nephew individually, but at the same time? And to hope that her nephew's alive, only to find the body. It's so sad. They are definitely in my prayers.

Plot to Kill Obama. It seems that the FBI has foiled the plot of two young skinheads to kill 88 blacks (decapitate 14 of them) including Barack Obama. My thoughts? #1: There's more where that came from. While Obama is making history, he's also making a lot of racist people angry by getting this far. Those of us who are prayer warriors will have to keep Obama and his family - and this country - in our'll only get worse (the plots) if and when he becomes pres; #2: I've never understood the white supremacist thought of protecting their country...keeping it pure. I mean, really? 'Cause the last time I checked, it ain't their country to claim. Their ancestors, just like most Americans, came to this country from somewhere else. The only difference is, their ancestors came on their own. They weren't here first - the Native Americans had this country first. Is it really the skinheads' country to keep pure?

Dancing With The Stars. I missed this week's DWTS, but I heard that Cloris Leachman was voted off. Finally. I mean, the fact that this 80-something year-old woman was on DWTS dancing was amazing, don't get me wrong. She moved pretty good for her age. BUT she shouldn't have made it this long (at least not longer than Toni Braxton). Who's next? I say Susan Lucci. My final four are Brooke (who'll probably win), Warren, Cody, and Lance.

Family Ties. So, anyone can see how close my family is. Growing up, some friends didn't understand how I could tell my parents everything. Other friends became constant fixtures in the Weakly household to experience that closeness. People used to call us the Huxtables from the Cosby Show, which we took as a compliment, although, clearly, we didn't have the Huxtable money. I wouldn't trade in my childhood, nor my family, for all the money in the world. My mom and sis are 2 of my best friends. The original Weakly kids are grown (I'm 32, my brother is 28, and my sister is 26), but we have others who've become part of the fam and is experiencing the love. I'm blessed to be a Weakly. God's placed me in an awesome family.
Daddy and Mama
My brother, Shawn, and my nephews: Dae (7), Kam (7), and Sydney (4)
My sister, Meechie, and I


Kids Say the Darndest Things

My four year-old nephew, Sydney, loves Disney Channel. One day, he said to my mom, "I want to be on TV with the Jonas Brothers, GiGi." My mom replied, "Baby, if I could get you on TV, I would, but I can't do that." He looked at my mom like she was crazy - like she could do it - and said, "You can, GiGi. Remember Fat Albert. You can break the TV like they did, put me in it, and you can fix the TV back.

"Yesterday, my brother called me. My stubborn nephew (just like my brother) was arguing up and down that the name of the Disney show was not 'Wizards of Waverly Place'. Sydney seems to believe that the name of the show is 'Wizards of Flavorly Flave'. He stands by that name too.

Kids...gotta love 'em.


Family Fun @ the Football Game

This past Sunday, my family and I went to the Texans/Bengals game. We had excellent seats, not far from the field. We were able to see everything - even stuff that happened off the field. Great game, great seats, tons of fun. To make it even better, the Texans won. They did good. And guess what I did that I'm still regretting today? FORGOT MY CAMERA! Actually, we all forgot our cameras. ARGH! I couldn't capture how close we were to the field. I couldn't capture the excitement on my nephews' faces. At one point, when they played music, one of my nephews got up and danced. Hil-ar-i-ous! Sadly, I didn't capture that either. :(

I've always loved football. With my dad a former high school star (could've went further but was injured), and my brother a former high school and college star, I guess I had no other choice. In my younger days, though, it was more about the cuties in uniform than the actual game. Now, in my ripened age of 32, I'm a little wiser. I still look at the cuties (hey, I'm a woman...can't help it), but I actually pay attention to the game...and I pretty much understand what's going on. This makes me love it even more.

Speaking of football cuties, Will Demps, #47 on the Texans, is guapo...all of the above... I'd seen pictures of him and heard about him when he was on the New York Giants. I'd always wondered if he looks as good in person as he does in his pictures. I'm glad to say he does. We - my sis and I - saw him as he walked off the field after the game. Thank God for close seats, 'cause we saw him nice and clear. Oh, to meet him and have him beam that gorgeous smile at me just once. And to top it all off, I'd read an article about him (Essence Magazine, September 2007 issue) where he said: What I really crave is love, tenderness and understanding-an intimate partnership with a woman who could become my wife. I'm far from perfect and all of this is easier said than done. But if God gives me the strength to ignore my physical urges and temptations, I know I can have that kind of relationship. Sappy? Maybe. Sweet? Definitely. *SIGH* I think I have a new 32, lol! I leave you with a pic of the shirt I wore to the game (the only picture I did get to take) and pics of the gorgeous Will Demps, who happens to model on the side. Who'da thunk it? A modeling football player. *SIGH*



National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) will begin in exactly one week. From November 1st to November 30th, writers from all over will attempt to write a 50,000 word novel. The point isn't really quality (how well you write), but quantity (how much you write). You're declared a winner when you've reached the 50,000 word mark (they have ways to verify).

The 1st year I participated, 2006, I only got half a novel out, which I ended up trashing. My 2nd year, 2007, I didn't really participate. Having 2 doctorate classes and a full-time job kind of squashed my creativity. I started out as a participant, but never really got the ball rolling. This well be my 3rd year with NaNoWriMo. I'm hoping to succeed, despite having a full-time job, and a dissertation to work on.

Now, the hard thing about doing NaNo is actually getting my internal editor to shut up. This year, I'll have to tie up the perfectionist part of me and hide her in my mental closet til NaNo is over. That way, I won't have to hear her say things like: That doesn't make sense at all; More description; Less dialogue; or Are you really leaving that there? She's so loud, it's hard to ignore her. *SIGH* Yeah, she's going deep, deep in my closet. Maybe I can mentally tape her mouth.

You know the novel I worked on for my 1st NaNo? Well, it's back - stronger than ever. It's got a name, Who's Got Tha Moves, and I've got a plan. That's right. This past month, I, in all my anal-ness, managed to plan WGTM. Some people can just write without nothing planned. Though I wish I could do that, I can't. I tried that with my first novel and it took forever. When I wrote an outline (for my 1st novel) and planned, the novel came out easily. So, what did I do to plan?

Novel Notebook - which I actually did this spring, but didn't think about the story until this month. In the notebook, I have sections for subjects like summary/plot, major characters, minor characters, background, etc. I have pics of anything that reminds me of WGTM and of celebs who resemble my characters. I had fun putting this together because I was able to visualize things in the novel. Here's a pic:
The Three Acts: Major Turning Points: I got this idea from The article shows how to put your novel in three acts and describes what happens in each act. Now, I have an idea what's going to happen in the novel.

Plot Board: I looked all around the 'net to see examples of plot boards. I didn't find much, but I did find some (Diana Peterfreund's website is one place). I just added my 'flavor' to it. Each sticky color represents something (goal/motivation; main plot; 3 subplots). This way, I have an idea what'll happen in each chapter. I'm not quite finished with the plot board but it will be done by NaNoWriMo. I have it hanging on my wall. Here's a pic:

So, I'll be ready for NaNo this year. I'm excited about this novel and know I'm going to have fun writing it. During NaNoWriMo, I'll be blogging about my experience and keeping a record of words written. I also plan to post fun stuff like my cast of characters (if my novel became a movie, who would I cast), the soundtrack, and other things from my novel. So, stay tuned!


Random Thoughts Thursday

My Agent Search.

When, oh when, will I get an agent? So far, I've received 22 rejections out of the 35 agents I've sent queries to since May. Five other agents have never responded, so I can add that to my rejections. I'm still waiting on answers from my 2nd round agents (who I sent queries to at the beginning of this month). It's hard not to get discouraged, but I'm not giving up. I know, with no doubt, that God gave me a talent to write. I also know He gave me this talent to share with others. And I have to stand on those beliefs. I will become a published author of children/teen books. It's just that, patience has never been a virtue of mine...

My Dissertation.

I am SO ready to be done with my doctorate program! July 25, 2009 can't come soon enough for me! Enough said.

Sarah Palin. and I mean, really?

Medicine Side Effects.

Don't you just love hearing/reading the about the side effects of the same medicine that's supposed to help you? The medicine commercials are hilarious to me. It'll help you sleep at night. Oh, and there's the little issue of it causing a stroke. So, because I have HBP, I have to take a pill everday. It's basically a water pill whose name I won't even attempt to say. Anyway, it helps lower my blood pressure BUT, the side effects are: dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, blurred vision, loss of appetitite, stomach upset, diarrhea, or constipation. I may also experience: decreased sexual activity or sensitivity to the sun. This medication may cause dehydration, dry mouth, thirst, muscle cramps, weakness, fast/irregular heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, severe dizziness, unusual drowsiness, unusual decrease in the amount of urine, fainting, confusion, seizures. These are unlikely, but serious side effects: numbness/tingling of the arms/legs, and joint pain. These are rare, but serious side effects: signs of infection (like fever, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, unusual/persistent tiredness, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, unusual change in the amount of urine. They were nice enough to warn: This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Are you serious? Thankfully, I'm not experiencing many of the side effects, except sensitivity to the sun (and I've always been sensitive to the sun). One annoying side effect I've been experiencing is, after I take my pill, I seem to have to go to the bathroom EVERY HOUR. I'm told that's a normal side effect (it's a water pill and supposed to help your body get rid of excess water, blah blah). Whatever. I feel like a little kid who can't hold her water.

The DDR Phenomenon.

In my previous post, I mentioned that my sis and I have been working out. One of our workouts include playing Dance Dance Revolution (something we became addicted to while working at our church summer camp 3 years ago). Now, don't laugh...DDR ain't no joke! There are 4 levels: Beginner, Basic, Expert, and Challenge. We're only on the Basic level - Expert and Challenge are too scary...all those arrows *shudder*. We only do slower songs for warmup/cooldown, which means, most of the time, we're jumping up and down and moving our feet to songs in the 170 - 225 range (225 is the highest).Yesterday, we did DDR for an hour. Can we say, "workout"? Today, my legs are feeling my efforts. It was a MAJOR workout, but we had fun. I wonder what we're doing tomorrow (today is strength training). Oh, by the way, I lost 2 more pounds. So, I have 13 pounds down and 17 to go. Yay, me! In honor of DDR, I'm posting a vid of my 4 year-old nephew playing DDR this summer. Too cute!


My Health

Last week, I went to the doctor for my physical and well-woman exam (VERY uncomfortable, btw). I'd scheduled the appointment because both sides of my family have a history of cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. I wanted to make sure that all was right in my health world. The last time I went to the doctor, I was told that I had borderline high blood pressure. This summer, I came to the conclusion that I might've gone from borderline to actual high blood pressure. I'd been experiencing some of the same problems that my parents (who both have HPB) have: constant headaches (I don't just get headaches...I get migraines), swollen feet, etc.

It turns out that, unfortunately, I was right. I have HPB now. ARGH! So, now, I have medicine, thankfully just one, that I have to take everyday, which sucks 'cause I'm horrible at taking medicine. I had to write a note to myself on my dry erase board (yeah, I'm a nerd...I have a "to do" board in my room) to remind me to take the medicine. I've never liked taking medicine.

The good thing is, with exercise and good eating habits, I can lower my blood pressure. I've been exercising pretty faithfully since June. I've been watching what I eat since August. I have fallen off the wagon, so to speak, every once in a while, but I've gotten back on. Overall, I've lost 11 pounds. Yay me! My sister and I have really buckled down this month and have been doing well. We've either walked 2+ miles, played volleyball in front of the house, or had 45 minutes to an hour of Dance Dance Revolution, which, btw, is an awesome form of cardio. We've added strength training in between our workout days. My original goal was to lose a few pounds for our Puerto Rico trip, but, now I've added lower my blood pressure. As far as eating in concerned, the problem isn't that I eat too much, it's that I don't eat enough. I usually only eat dinner because I don't make the time to eat breakfast or lunch. This is bad because I usually get cravings and end up eating junk food. So, now, I'm working on eating 5 times a day - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snack times in between.

I guess if I blog about my journey, it'll hold me accountable. I'm supposed to have a checkup in November to see if my blood pressure has gone down. So, my BP was 155 over 113 (I know...horribly high). My prayer is that I can lower it some by my next appointment. Also, my goal in June was to lose at least 30 pounds by the end of this year (I'm not even going to say how much I weigh). I'm now at 11 pounds down and 19 to go. Can I do it? Will keep you updated!


Good Feelings

Today's post is clearly dripping with sarcasm. Did I really experience "good feelings" when these things happened? More like horror, embarrassment, get the idea. It's just, I believe that laughter really is the best medicine and I happen to have a sarcastic sense of humor - which, by the way, explains why I enjoy working with and writing for tweens/teens (if you hang with them long enough, you'll see what I mean). Anyway, instead of screaming in frustration, running away in embarrassment, or bawling like a baby, I decided to laugh and make fun.

Good feelings are what you get when a child comes up to you and asks if you remember them (your answer is yes), then asks you to say their name...and you can't. Is it my fault I'm better with faces than names? And, come on, do you know how many kids I've worked with?

Good feelings are what you get when you find out that the beautiful city of Morelia, a city you visited back in July, is one of the Mexican cities experiencing problems with drug wars, gang shootings, and killings of innocent people. I guess that explains why we saw a whole bunch of police directing traffic the night we went clubbing.

Good feelings are what you get when you've found out that you got robbed by an old, bent over lady with more wrinkles than a balled-up shirt.

Good feelings are what you get when you get out of you car (hands full of bags), close the door, and realize, right at the sound of the door shutting, that your keys are still in the ignition. Thank God for that second set of keys!

Good feelings are what you get when you realize that your little sister has mas tetas than you. Aren't big sisters supposed to have more boobage than little sisters?

Good feelings are what you get when one of your first graders come up to you, with a smile on her angelic face, and say, "Miss Weakly, you look pretty today" and in the same breath, with the same enthusiasm, point to your butt and say, "Wow, you're big right there." Kids...gotta love 'em.

Good feelings are what you get when you're walking around the classroom and trip over a mat and you fall...all the way down.

Good feelings are what you get when you get to work - you happen to be substituting at a junior high school this day - and realize, too late, that you have 2 different shoes on. Did I mention that the school's in the rich part of the school district? And junior high students are unmerciful when it comes to things like this? So, what do you do? Make fun of yourself before they can...and, boy do they have a wonderful time laughing at your expense.

Good feelings are what you get when you realize that you have a nephew who's part of the class of 2019, one who's class of 2020, one who's class of 2022, and a godson who's class of 2025. Not to mention the fact that any children you have will be class of 2028 or beyond.

Well, these are only a few of my "good feelings". I don't think I'll ever stop experiencing them. In fact, I'm sure I won't. And, really, after all is said and done, they make life more interesting!


Random Thoughts Thursday

In a moment of pure brilliance, I decided that Thursdays will be the days I post my 'random thoughts' blog. Why? Alliteration. Thoughts. Thursday. I know. Brilliant. Way to play on words, Rae.

Vibe's Best Rapper Alive

Vibe Magazine held a 'Best Rapper Alive' contest for its November issue ( The winner was Eminem. I will say Eminem is definitely in my top 5, but the best? I know this is a matter of opinion. Personally, I think Jay Z (who came in 2nd place) is the best, but, whatever. My problem with the contest came more with some of the other nominees. To me - and this is my opinion, which I'm entitled to - some of the rappers named shouldn't have even been on the list. Soulja Boy? Flo Rida? I mean, having Soulja Boy on the list with the likes of Jay Z and Eminem would be like...let's see...having a 'best basketball player alive' contest and having some junior high/middle school players on the same list as NBA players. Some of these 'rappers' aren't even in the same league.

The Cheryl Burke Weight Gain Issue

Apparently, Cheryl Burke, a professional dancer on Dancing With The Stars, has gained some weight since last season (;_ylt=AoBZxP6lBGrQFQjiiDorqKvWn414) This is Cheryl last year: and this is a pic of her this year:
This is fat? My goodness, I guess I'm elephantine then! What is is with America and its obsession over weight? A celeb gains a few pounds and, OMG! Call the fat police! They're starting to resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy (or girl)! I mean, really? And we wonder why so many young girls (and guys) have eating disorders. So, what...Paris Hilton, in all her boniness, is the epitome of beauty? I think not! I think Cheryl looks good. Can I look that good in a bikini, Lord? Please? And she's an awesome dancer too? I think I've found a new role model. You know what I say? Leave her the h*ll alone! She looks good. And she feels good about her body...and she should. She should be a role model to both women and girls. I love the fact that her and Lacey Schwimmer are on DWTS, representing the more curvier women (although there are women with more curves than them both). When will we ever stop letting society dictate what real beauty is?

Barack and Michelle Obama

I noticed something last night at the end of last night's debate. When the wives were on stage, there was a difference in body language between the couples. While the audience was clapping, the McCains stood apart. Every once in a while, Cindy would reach over and touch John. The Obamas, on the other hand, stood close together. Barack had an arm around Michelle and she had an arm around him. Every once in a while, they'd whisper something to each other. I've been observing them throughout his campaign and, I must say, I love what I see. There's nothing like seeing a couple show so much love and admiration for each other. I see that in my own parents who have been married for 31 years and together for even longer. My parents are high school sweethearts. I love seeing them hold hands. Every morning, they call each other (Daddy works at home, but Mama doesn't) to say 'I love you' and 'Have a good day'. I LOVE that! When I get married, I want that myself. And I love the way Barack protects his family. Earlier in the campaign, when people tried to get on Michelle, he immediately squashed it, basically saying, 'You can talk about me, but leave my wife and daughters alone.' My dad's like that. He's protective of his whole family, but he's more protective of his girls (Mama, my sis, Meechie, and I). All the males in the family (extended family as well) know not to mess with the Weakly women. Growing up, my brother was not allowed to hit my sis or I. If a male were to disrespect Daddy's girls... well, let's just say the guilty one wouldn't be happy. So, yeah, my future husband (whoever he may be) will have a lot to live up to. Anyway, on youtube, there's a wonderful vid of Michelle and Barack:


Puerto Rico

So, if you've read my "Rae's List" blog post, you know that visit Puerto Rico is on my list of things to do before - or by the time - I turn 35 (in, like, 3 years). I've wanted to go to PR since high school, when I saw a Puerto Rican cutie pie (don't remember his name or where I saw him, I just remember that he was fine). Then I actually saw pics and heard from others how gorgeous it is and instantly fell in love.

I'd made plans to go after graduating from college, 10 years ago, but money (or lack thereof) put a stop to it. Well, next year, I'll be graduating with my doctorate degree and I figured, what better way to celebrate becoming Dr. Rae Weakly, EdD, than taking a trip to Puerto Rico.

So, next year, during spring break, my sister, cousin, and I will be spending 10 glorious days in Puerto Rico. I have 5 months til we board that airplane. 5 months to save money for mucho spending dinero. 5 months to lose any weight I've put my mind to losing. 5 months to practice my espanol. 5 months!

Our trip is still in the planning stage, but, you can believe we'll be there come March 12th. My sis and I are determined to see this trip through. Nothing's going to stop us, not even a failing economy, unless, of course, God decides it ain't happening (and we've already prayed on that). I cannot wait. I think I deserve the trip. I have pics of PR plastered on my bedroom wall as inspiration and incentive to keep persevering. This doctorate thing is driving me insane, oh, but when I'm chilling on some beach, relaxing and having fun, the hard work will be worth it!


2008 Presidential Campaign

I missed the presidential debate last night - I chose to go to church to help my pastor celebrate his 21st preaching anniverary and receive some good preaching instead. I already know who I'm voting for, anyway. The other candidate is only showing me that I'm making a good choice. I'm disappointed in those who are choosing not to vote just because the candidate they want isn't a contender for the presidency. What does that say about our country?

Really, I'm ready for the election to come and go so we can vote our next pres in. I'm ready for a change. Am I the only one?


Rae's List

About 2 weeks ago, I finished reading a book called, Lilah's List, by Robyn Amos - a good (romance) book, by the way. The main character, Lilah, made a list of things she wanted to do by the time she was 30. She started the list at 16, forgot it after college, and came across it again 3 weeks before her 30th b-day. Lilah only had about half her list crossed off, so, she decided - or rather, her bff decided for her - to attempt to cross off what's left in 3 weeks.

This novel has inspired me to create my own list. Obviously, I can't do a "Before I turn 30" list because I've already past that monumental birthday. My next "big" b-day is 35. Actually, I was going to make it a "Before I turn 40" list, but my parents and sister are of the opinion that I need to change the age to 35. The fact that this only gives me 3 years to cross of my list items didn't matter to them. So, my list is "Rae's List of Things to do Before 35" or "Rae's List" for short. *NOTE: list is not in any order of importance.

  • Become Dr. Rae Weakly, EdD
  • Get counseling license
  • Go sky diving
  • Go para sailing
  • Go jet skiing
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Go bungee jumping
  • Go cliff diving
  • Stay in a hotel (or beach house) on the beach
  • Stay in a resort
  • Stay in an expensive hotel for at least one night without worrying about price
  • Learn Spanish - be able to hold conversation with native speakers & my sister
  • Learn a 3rd language (Portuguese, Italian, French, or Japanese)
  • Learn to play acoustic guitar
  • Shake hands with a celebrity
  • Become a published author
  • Fall in love
  • Get married
  • Have a child
  • Travel to other countries/cities/states - Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Brazil, Holy Land, St. Thomas Virgin Islands, Italy, Spain, Japan, Cuba, Columbia, Tahiti, Philippines, Virginia, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Phoenix, Jamaica
  • Become owner of THRIVING business, AYM Enrichment Center
  • Learn to belly dance
  • Learn to Salsa
  • Learn to dance Hip Hop
  • Get a professional makeover
  • Go to a spa
  • Get 3rd tattoo (I even know what and where, just not too fond of pain)
  • Ride a motorcycle
  • Learn kickboxing
  • Fly first class
  • Have at least one of my novels optioned for film
  • Wear shorts in public (I'm self-conscious about my legs...haven't worn shorts in about 12 years)
  • Wear a daring (yet tasteful) dress
  • Start research on what makes other countries' educational system work & what America can do to catch up
  • Comfortably wear a swimsuit without cover (no shirt over beach pants to cover my legs, etc)
  • Participate in a walkathon
  • Run a mile
  • Go white-water rafting
  • Go skiing
  • Try a fruity alcoholic drink
  • Sing at a karaoke bar
  • Learn sign language
  • Become debt free
  • Buy first house
  • Buy my Escalade EXT
  • Approach an attractive guy (if only for conversation. Even @ 32 I clam up around cute guys)
  • Attend a Superbowl game
  • Go to an awards show
  • Get nose pierced
  • Climb the Statue of Liberty
  • Eat @ an expensive restaurant
  • Set up a foundation for kids (still thinking of what it'll be for)
  • Become a motivational speak/mentor for young girls/teen girls
  • Play basketball without dying
  • Buy my parents their dream house
  • Spend a whole day doing absolutely nothing (take a me-day)
  • Donate a substantial amount of $ for a worthy cause
  • Learn how to play piano
  • Plan a camp for girls and/or creative kids
  • Experience Las Vegas (or Atlantic City) gambling once
  • Research both sides of my family. We have a whole side of French and Native American (my great great grandparents on both sides)ancestors that I know nothing about. I also want to research our ancestors who were slaves.
  • Read the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation

So, that's far, at least. Long list, right? Now that I think about it, it'll probably be more interesting, more exciting, to try to accomplish these things in 3 years as oppose to 8. I created this list on my 32nd birthday (last Sunday - September 28th). How fitting! Every once in a while, I'll update my list, crossing off things that I've accomplished. Let's see how many I can cross off in 3 years. Ready. Set. GO!