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For some reason, I thought about my first trip outside of Georgia as the basis of today’s What I Learned Sundays. Now granted…yearly trips to New York don’t count, because all my family is from New York, therefore that’s home, not a trip. New Jersey, I lived there…that’s not a trip. Okay, how about Connecticut for school…Tri-State area, that’s basically home. And Florida…yeah, that really doesn’t count. Well in 1999 I had the opportunity to go out to the Dream state…California on my first, and currently last, road trip. That experience, 1) to see the country, and that fabled state, 2) to do research for my manuscript. It was amazing, therefore prior to what I learned this week, I present roadtrip.

I remember landing in Minneapolis.
I remember the Red Dragon, and the Chinese server Tony who we spoke to as if he was Italian.
I remember with dancing with the tattooed girl (mind you 1999) to Sir Mix-A-Lots “Baby Got Back.”
I remember staying at D’s Mom’s and her sounding like the mother from “Bobby’s World.”
I remember thinking the off ramps and gas stations in Minneapolis reminded of Queens, NY.
I remember that breakfast at Perkins…never again at that glorified IHOP (I don’t like their food either).
I remember Fargo, ND…wanting to see a city because of one of your favorite movies…OK, boy that place is ugh.
I remember the seeing a white buffalo.
I remember the Badlands.
I remember becoming a vegetarian before the trip, and eating Power Bars and drinking Sobe drinks.
I remember having my comp Starbucks coupons and drinking Frappucinos.
I remember noting but open sky and road in Montana.
I remember the Rockies.
I remember Idaho, and seeing that small historic town Wallace, in Idaho and walking through newly constructed mansions in Coeur d’Alene Idaho.
I remember Spokane, and the desert before we got to Seattle.
I remember the two guys of Asian decent wearing Braves and Yankees caps by the Seattle SuperSonics Key Arena, and how we thought it was funny being that we were two Braves (me) and Yankees (you) fans.
I remember listening to Bjork’s Joga on your cassette…and listening, and listening, and listening…you got sick of it, but I wrote a good chapters amount of material because of that song.
I remember the Rocky Mountains.
I remember Starbucks in Seattle.
I remember JJP getting lost going on a North-South road in Seattle.
I remember my “cellular” phone being disconnected, then reconnected, then disconnected again.
I remember seeing Mt St Helen that went off when I was born.
I remember Portland, and how cool it was.
I remember Portland, and ordering an Espresso Frappucino and looking at that girl.
I remember driving to San Francisco at night, and the redwoods hiding the moon.
I remember Walnut Creek, California.
I remember that restaurant for JJP’s aunt’s fine ass coworkers going away party…the Hispanic department (I’m not joking). And, us taking her home which looked like the gated condos/apartments down the street from Coney Island in Brooklyn.
I remember recording my MTV’s Real World entry video in JJP’s aunt’s downstairs bathroom with pics of YOU, talking about taking her, and talking about Blue Lines, and taking my cornrows out, under the red lights downstairs.
I remember Berkeley.
I remember meeting that girl at Berkeley who I simply had to say, “we have the same shoes,” and that was enough game to get it.
I remember you not being able to find your way back to Berkeley…therefore I didn’t get it.
I remember driving down the 5 to Los Angeles, because I wasn’t confident going down the PCH.
I remember I remember smelling the smog on the descent into L.A.
I remember how Silver Lake was the bomb.
I remember missing meeting La La, aka Atlanta’s La La la Latina at Venice Beach because someone couldn’t navigate LA (I had my game trump tight for one reason)…now she’s with that douchebag Carmelo…but, honestly after dealing with the Melo version of her…I’m not hating, have at it brother.
I remember how meeting the HOT advisor at UCLA!!!
I remember that unbelievable campus.
I remember meeting those three black girls at UCLA…yum (California women…winning!!!).
I remember having Jack Daniels for the first time, a b**g for the first time (Silver Lake), and that debilitating headache due to dehydration (Los Angeles).
I remember wanting to fly home (i.e. not driving from CA to GA) on my open ticket.
I remember my homegirl wiring my money, because I ran out.
I remember hearing Mary J. Blige’s “Sincerity,” with DMX and Nas, and writing some new Blue Lines material while on the I-10 headed back to Atlanta.
I remember ordering Pizza from Dominoes in Blythe, AZ and having to eat it on the bench in front.
I remember you getting tired an me driving virtually to San Antonio, then to Atlanta by myself.
I remember those lights…well, maybe I don’t.
I remember customs searching the car in El Paso, and us telling them to pack that “ish” back in there…they didn’t.
I remember how hot it was in Texas…we drove with the air conditioning at full blast, and the windows open.
I remember waiting on my cousin, and within 15 minutes sweating down to my stomach because it was soooo hot.
I remember Texas and driving there after James Byrd was dragged (the red highways scared me), up to Austin and to I-20 through Waco (David Koresh), I was soo ready to get out of that state.
I remember kinda…dislike that state, along with Alabama.
I remember getting that ticket in Alabama while almost in Georgia…but the officer gave me great advice, “don’t get mad, there are more troopers before you get home.”
I remember seeing the Atlanta skyline and taking the long way home just to see it.
I remember going out that night Milan, his girl, her cousin, and JJP, and finally driving MY car.

OK now, what I learned last week.
Some people don’t know what appreciation is (which really doesn’t make sense).
I am too much to people (fam, friends, etc.) but not enough for me…that needs to change.
I need balance.
I’m too plugged in.
I’m neglecting YOU in some ways, I hope I gave something.
When I’m on, I’m on…I amazed and was proud of myself last Friday.
I’m realizing that New York is truly in my blood, and mine by birthright…I hope the right people are listening.
I hope for the best for my friend.
Having fine female friends doesn’t mean you want to “touch” them. And it shouldn’t hinder any relationship I have.
I have goals and dreams, and wants, and needs…are you them.
Only one person ruined me, I wonder if she knows it’s her…I wonder whether I ruined her.
Again, I hope the best for my friend, WE put too much work into this weekend…if she succeeds, I know I still have it…which makes YOU soooooo lucky!!!
The Weekend is not my typical music, but I LOVE this “ish” right now.
In my line of work, there are very few on the outside that you can talk about it with…I have way too many “experts” who have “advice” or “knowledge” on what I do, but it is funny that the only non industry person that can have an intelligent conversation with me, is female.
I dreamt of a beetle last night and this morning, and it means that something is at work that is not positive in my life…I have two ideas on what that is. Dreams…
I’m not letting YOU go, unless you try to tell me, “no,” then if you do that you’re gonna have to give me a real reason.
That e-mail I’ve been waiting on, I need the official version before I give up…you’ll never have anything better than me!!!
I hate when I go to get things for my nieces and they don’t have their sizes…that’s why my gifts are surprises. Yeah adidas originals!!!
My cuzzo’s QOTD don’t pop as hard when its her friend and I posting…jus saying.
I’m doing…a lil bit good for lent.
Again, I hope the best for my friend, WE put too much work into this weekend…if she succeeds, I know I still have it…and I hope I can do all this and more for YOU!!!
I feel extremely positive that I’ve given my all, but I feel negative at failure as the result.
I love the Atlanta Hawks…sorry this silly sorry city doesn’t. I love and cheered although my team is the Chicago Bulls…I was still a fan when they SUCKED bad…Atlanta fans, can you say that??? NO!!!
I like building new things, franchises, teams, etc. but maybe it’s time to just perfect them.
I hate…can’t say that yet.
I need more coffee.
I got asked the strangest question about my future children.
I dreamt of a beetle, that means something destructive is at work in my life, I need to sort that out.
I’m VERY good at one thing so I do it, I want/need to be good at the things I love.

The manuscript Blue Lines is the fictional coming of age narrative of a young California woman Key Yemaya Walker, and her 2 year growing journey through school, love, and life period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., taking place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998. Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.