Navigating Indianapolis like a Pro

This is written with the intention of preparing those coming to Indianapolis for the Superbowl 46.  It’s a really great city, and now that I’ve lived here for a couple days over 2 years, I’m pretty much an expert!

1. Nobody can drive.  Like nobody.  Seriously though, many people run red lights around here.  Definitely look both ways before driving through an intersection.  There are lots of impatient drivers that will go in the off-ramp to pass you, that will cross over double-yellow lines to pass you, and go through an intersection although your light is bright and green.

2. Remember how to get to I-465.  That’s one of the things that makes Indy the “Circle City”.  It’s the main freeway that is close to everything, yet close to nothing.  You can get anywhere in the circle in 20 minutes.  If you’re anywhere outside of that, give it 30 minutes.

3. Don’t be fooled by the JW Marriott.  It is gorgeous, a good place to meet up and socialize, and the staff is really great.  However, the food and drinks are awful.  Just really, don’t even risk it unless you are really just going to chill or get a cup of cafe americano (espresso and water) because they don’t have coffee at the bar 🙁  Which leads me to #4. 

4. The private/non-chain restaurants are awesome!  My favs are: Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles (near downtown) – only get the chicken and sweet potato waffle even if it sounds scary.  You can also branch out with the sides of Fried Green Tomatoes and Grits.  Papa Roux (east side/downtown) – I always get the Smoked Sausage Po’Boy.  The east side location has bottomless sides.  I always get the bread pudding and red beans and rice, but you can taste all of them free of charge.  Monon Food Company (north side) – the BEST (strong statement) mac and cheese I’ve EVER had!  You have to get the side of it.  I pair that with the Chipotle Fish tacos.  They also feature Micro brews along with Imports, Domestic Beers and Wine.

5.  Alcohol is not sold in stores on Sunday.  Not a fan of the hard stuff, but I do like a fine wine with my Sunday dinner.  Shoot, you have to plan dinner and all beverages ahead of time so you won’t be stuck out in the cold.  For those that really need that fix, most restaurants do serve liquor, but you just can’t go to the stores or gas stations for your libation.

6. The downtown mall has the best parking, but nothing inside.  I’m not sure why the Circle Centre Mall was designed the way it is, but the aisles are small with a huge opening in the middle where you can see to the floor below.  It’s nice looking, but it is always packed on the weekends.  It’s not because there are that many people, but because there is no space to walk. Event Parking is usually $20, but if you can find $20 of stuff to buy in the mall (mine is usually spent at Chick-Fil-A), they charge you the normal rate of $1.50 for 3 hours.

 

With all of that being said, it is really a great city.  My favorite pastimes include the museums and the parks.  There is so much information and they are beautiful.  Welcome to my new city, have a great time, and come back soon!

Tithing and the Material Conditional

**PSA: Nerd Alert**

Hopefully, you can follow this really advanced Math that I had to understand for my math minor on the material conditional.  If you still have questions about tithing, check out my previous post on Tithing and leave me comments 🙂

 

 p: you Tithe

q: God will bless you 

p. q. “If p, then q”.

1. If you tithe, then God will bless you. True.

2. If you tithe, then God will not bless you.  False

3. If you do not tithe, then God will bless you.  True.  (and undeserved)

4. If you do not tithe, then God will not bless you. TRUE.  (not trying to be there)

 

Note: there is only one False combination.  There is no way that tithing will not bless you.  If this was easy, try to learn the whole chaper.  Please note, this is only the first chapter on Analysis (crazy huh?)

 

My Favorite Book

For real, this is my favorite book!  It has more action than Harry Potter, more drama than The Color Purple, more life lessons than Think and Grow Rich, more comedy than Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man.  I know I talked about reading through the bible in a year with my church in another post, but I didn’t succeed with it.  But now, I’ve found the best way to read it daily and I thought I’d share (so sweet of me, i know).

First, why I didn’t succeed:

1. I am busy don’t like to sit still for a long time.  Being busy is not a good excuse, because what if God was too busy for you?

2. The way that I like to study the bible, it takes me about an hour to read through about 3-5 chapters and take notes.  (see #1) I like to take notes as I read instead of highlighting parts, then going back and taking notes because it felt like I was reading it twice.3. It’s hard for me to read in the morning because I’m trying to rush to work.  It’s hard for me to read before bed because I pass out as soon as I stop moving. (see #1)

4. The one-year plan jumped around to the different areas of the bible everyday: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, Gospels.  I learned quickly that once I start a story, I like to finish because some stuff was getting good!  I first got stuck at Job (very good if you’re going through tough times, Lesson: Stay faithful to God).  Then I got stuck at Joshua (Not only did God part the Red Sea, He also stopped the Jordan River from flowing).

[Side note: my bible is super cute]

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for!

The Method to Reading your Bible everyday

Step 1. As soon as I sit at my computer I go to my favorite bible website www.biblegateway.com (where I search everything I want to find in the bible). 

Step 2.  In the Search bar, type the chapter where you left off and scroll to the Bible Version of your choice.   I love the English Standard Version

Step 3. *Most Important*  Click the Sound Icon

I have the Narrator (Max McLean) read the bible to me as I read along with the passage!  Now, I don’t have to think too hard about the dialouge, then analyze the content (Problem 1), I can take notes and still “continue reading” (Problem 2), I’m already fully awake (Problem 3), and I can read 3 chapters in 15 minutes or whatever I have time for that morning (Problem 4).

But there is no substitute for having your sword and all of your armor with you at Bible Study, Sunday School, or in your leisure time.  I usually have mine in my everyday purse since my bible and little notebook are so compact.

Twin’s 25th Birthday

This is an interesting year for birthdays.  All of my really close friends (and me) are turning 25!!  Of course, I’m the last since my birthday is in December.  June started the festivities with my best friend Philip.  I call him my Twin because he’s the male version of me.  His girlfriend thought of the idea to have a Surprise Party and teamed up with his two other best friends and me.  The planning for it started all the way back in March.  The best part was we had contacts from his high school days, his college days, and at his current job.

We finally decided on doing at a bowling alley.  Everybody hid in the bar until he walked in.  As shown in the video, he was really shocked!  Following a game of bowling and libations, we surprised him with a party bus outside of a nearby bar, The Post.  We then rode to his favorite bar, Woody’s and partied the night away.  It was a bit complicated getting everyone back to the bus, but we didn’t have to leave anyone 😉  We got back to The Post in time to shake it for the last hour.  The night was a complete success and I can’t wait until the next party!



Does Happiness End?

Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time!  I’ve been having a steady string of favor and blessings that have come my way.

Work:  I was worried for a little while because some of my team members have been going out of their way to sabatoge my progress.  Not explicitly telling my manager of the situation, I simply stated that I need to focus my knowledge and experience on another program.  Last week, we planned an exit strategy from that project and directing me towards my official engineering assignments!

Church:  I am really loving my church and my pastor.  He recently celebrated his 15 Pastoral Anniversary and it has been such a blessing to see what he has done with families, ministry, and the community.  The way that I got involved with the church was through their tutoring ministry, T.O.Y.S (Tutoring Our Youth for Success).  Since joining in December, I’ve been a lot more involved with Bible Study, meeting more members, and even sang in the Women’s Choir for Mother’s Day!

NSBE:  I’m officially the Programs Chair on the Region 4 Alumni Executive Board for the National Society of Black Engineers!  I am the lead of the Programs Zone.  My Program focus will be mainly on NSBEpreneur, Chapter Development, and Leadership and Personal Development.  My Personal focus will be on unemployed Alumni support.  I have a personal interest in that area and want to create an want the Alumni to serve as support for those going through recent graduation, layoffs, or entrepreneurship.

Toastmasters:  I am really enjoying my local chapter at work.  Toastmasters is a speaking organization to improve communication and leadership development.  I am still pursuing my first certification for Competent Communication, but I was asked to be on the leadership board as the Vice President Education.  It is the second highest ranking officer in the club, where my purpose is to get others excited and involved in the club.  Personally, the best way to do that is by illustrating what made me come to my first meeting and stay!

Relationships:  I’m finally out of an incredibly hurtful situation, and taking it slow towards the future.  If nothing else, that gives me something to shout about everyday!  I am very happy with my current situation.  I believe that I have already experienced many of the characteristics that I like (and don’t like).  The #1 must have is someone with a compatible personality – someone to rejoice in my happy times, and cheer me up when I’m feeling low.  The #1 dislike is trying to convince someone else that your plan is correct with no room to compromise or have a friendly debate.

Everything is on the up-and-up and I’m really enjoying my life right now.  BUT for every action, there is an equal and OPPOSITE reaction, which I am not excited about (Thanks Ike).

New Joints

This year, I didn’t have a New Year Resolution, but I guess I’ve stumbled upon four ‘New Joints’.  I have joined my Indy church, joined my local gym, joined the local Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. chapter, and joined the National Society of Black Engineers – Indianapolis Alumni Extension.

I’ve been tutoring at my church since early 2009.  Once a week, after work, I tutor the kids in math (and read and play learning games with the 3 year olds!)  Around Easter, the pastor had a 3 part bible study immediately following the tutoring hours and I was encouraged to stay.  After staying for those, I was encouraged to come to Sunday service.  Almost 9 months later, I walked that aisle.  I’m really excited about my new members’ classes and reading the bible completely through in 1 year with this plan.  The main thing I love about my church is that we are trying to encourage and uplift the community while sharing the joy of Jesus.

zumba fitness

I also kinda fell into my gym.  The girls and I love Zumbathere!  I went to the competitor gym across the street and the Zumba was whack!!  There was this old lady with no spirit and didn’t really show her love of instructing.  Weeks later, I tried it out at my  gym and it was AMAZING!  Initially, we would only go about once a month.  Then, after putting a greater focus on health, we started going more often.  When proposed to join for about the 10th time, I had to do the math; each class is $10 and a monthly membership is $30.  Also with the membership, I had full access to the gym, and all the classes they offer.  Since, I joined, I have been going about 3 times a week and it’s been great!

I was initiated into my AKA chapter in 2007 and have been financially active since then.  There are two chapters in Indy usually know as the big chapter and the little chapter.  I went to the little chapter’s meeting early 2009 and I enjoyed that they were small, young, and ready to expand and help the city.  I went to a meeting with the big chapter toward the end of 2009 and personally, they seemed older and had a greater focus on improving the chapter and organization.  I went to the recent retreat for the little chapter where big things were proposed for this year and I wanted to be a part of it!

Of course, I have continued to be involved in NSBE, and was on the Fall Regional Conference Planning Committee, but I was not active in the local chapter.  I planned my life and weekend around the chapter meeting to make sure that I could attend.  At the meeting, we spoke about self-image and goals: what are they now, and how to improve them.  My plan was centered around my expectation to tutor, teach, and assist others in mathematics.  My full goals are still being finalized, but this was a great beginning.  Also, I volunteered with the chapter at a Women In Engineering breakfast for 8th grade girls where I gave them insight on the true meaning of an engineer and how they can focus their high school and college careers on that path.

All of these New Joints have thus far been a great addition to my life.  They attracted me because of their concern with people and the community.  The plan now is to continue to grow, meet new people, and enhance my Indy experience.

Xbox Kinect and Its Friends

 

Friday, we had a game night with my ‘twin’ Philip and my girls Aja and Courtney.  Philip has every single video game system and every component for them all.  He even has the Playstation Move, which I never heard of <but that’s not saying much because I didn’t hear about Xbox Kinect until he told me>.

The Move didn’t seem too different from the concept of the Wii, but of course according to them, it shalt not compare.  The Move just seems to require a lot more precision the the Wii, which really depends on the user if you like that or not.  It had a really cool archery game on the Sports Champions game.  We also had a BLAST with Def Jam Rap Star, which really does have it’s own online community.  The video below describes the exact experience, although you may not quickly grab you a honey dip just cuz you think you rap well on the game.  Of course, the game blanks out all of the “non-PC” curse words, but surprisingly, you get extra points if you actually say the words where they are supposed to go.  Kanye’s Gold Digger was a personal fav!  They also play the entire video for all of the songs while you rap.

We spent about 4 straight hours playing the Kinect!  The system even reminded us that we may need to take a break lol.  I can honestly say Dance Central is the best game EVER invented!  They do indeed have ethnic songs like “Push It“, the old Rihanna “Pon da Replay“, the Delta theme “Drop It Like It’s Hot“, and a classic ethnic favorite “Poison“!  My favorites to watch were Corbin cranking that Soulja Boy, and Courtney and Aja battling it out to “Dip It Low” <–the choreographer KILLS it on this link.

We played Kinect Adventures just to get warmed up, but it wasn’t anything too fantastic.  We also played Fighters Uncaged, but we got bored doing the training before they put you in a real fight.  It was extra tiring and all 5 of us had to rotate shifts just to get through it.  We tried to set up Motion Sports to do football, but it took too long just trying to recognize Philip’s face in the dim light.  That game got the quick eject and back to Dance Central.  That was the only downside other than its ability to get hacked to use the motion technology on your computer or other systems. 

DJ Hero will always have a special place in my heart, but Dance Central is THE ONE.

Halloween scares me

The way I see it, you aren’t taking full advantage of the glorious holiday if it doesn’t scare you.  I actually love Halloween and love being scared.  My friends and I went to three different parties in Indy.  I was Elvis, duh! The first party was a fundraiser for the Fight for Life Foundation established by Wolverine and former Colts player Marlin Jackson.  It was a lot of fun.  They had a silent auction and a real auction where a Colts helmet autographed by Peyton Manning went for $2,200!  The other two parties were downtown at the usual clubs.  Not much was different from the norm, but there were some really great costumes that were there like Quailman and Patty Mayonaise, and the Green Monkeys from Legends of the Hidden Temple (equipped with pendants of life).  Another night, we went to Necroplis Haunted House.  It was really good and even had some of their actors coming to haunt you while you waited in the freezing cold.  One downside was that the building was a warehouse that obviously never gets cleaned, so allergies were demolished!

The thing I was most excited about was going to see Saw VII aka Saw 3D: The Final Chapter!!!  There were a lot of mixed reviews on the movie, but I think the negative opinions were from people that haven’t seen the entire series.  Most folks that I know stopped watching after Saw II or Saw III.  Higher into the series, the movie made for non-fans is Saw VI, the one that came out last Halloween.  This one didn’t involve junkies or adulterers, but real life people that do real work, and have real lives.  There is a side plot going on dealing with the detectives and police station trying to discover Jigsaw and his accomplices.  That plot really ramps up after Saw III.  That same plot comes full circle in Saw 3D, which is why fans LOVE it.  This one had a bit more gore than others and I was really squirming in my seat.  The 3D aspect was not overwhelming and not really needed, but it makes you feel like you are in the same room with the people, which I think is really the point (similar to Avatar).  I love Halloween and like being scared, but I like to control my settings and when it happens.  Don’t get too scared Halloweenies!