Brunch Bowl — Vol 24
J the scammer, Downtown Locker Room, and Backstage
I haven’t dropped a recipe in a minute, so let’s start with my famous brunch bowl that I make at least once every weekend. You ever have a meal you love so much that you will always order it or make it no matter what. And it never gets old. That is how I feel about this breakfast bowl.
The ingredients are super simple, and I am sure you have most of these items already in your kitchen. Here’s what you need:
Potatoes, preferably yellow gold potatoes
Bacon (turkey bacon will also work or your favorite breakfast meat)
Cut potatoes into 1/4 pieces. Use olive oil and your favorite seasonings. Add a little red pepper flake for a kick. Drop it in a non-stick skillet on medium heat and let this cook, occasionally flipping the potatoes.
Cook your bacon or choice of breakfast meat.
Once the potatoes are done cooking, toss the uncooked spinach on top and put the lid back on. The spinach will cook down on its own. No seasonings are needed because the flavor from the potatoes will infuse it.
Make sure the potatoes and bacon are done before starting the eggs.
The final step is cooking the eggs. Cook them to your liking. I like them over medium or easy with this meal.
It’s all about plating for this dish. First, layer the potatoes, including spinach (in this image I used arugula, which can also work, but if you use the arugula, do not cook it, put it raw at the bottom and the warm potatoes on top). Next, criss-cross your bacon or lay your choice of meat. Or maybe you don’t use meat; up to you. Lay your eggs on top. Now it’s time for garnishing. Use a spoonful of the tomatillo salsa, sprinkle some grated cheese on top (goat cheese is also yummy), and then squirt everything aioli around the edges of the bowl.
And voila! You have a delicious brunch bowl. Oh, and if you are feeling extra fancy, top it off with some lump crab meat. We’ve done that a few times; it’s delicious! Grab a bottle of champagne and some OJ, and you have yourself an at-home brunch that would probably cost you at least $25 at your local restaurant.
Hungry? Let’s get today’s topics!
Stores of the 90s
It’s OK not to have your shit together
In Vol 14, I mentioned online chat rooms. I casually dropped a story about how at the age of 13, I was able to get my hands on an AOL internet CD and a credit card so I could get internet access when my mom would take my internet privileges away.
Well, let’s say I am sure I was committing several crimes with this story I am about to tell. So no one rat me out, OK. I’m trusting y’all.
My second job ever was working at Domino’s Pizza. I was probably 15 at this time, now that I think about it. I was 13 when I had my first job at an ice cream shop. One day I got in trouble for something, and my mom uninstalled the internet from my computer in my room as part of my punishment.
During the 90s, you could pick up an internet CD basically anywhere for free. What you needed to connect was a credit card number. Of course I wasn’t going to steal my mother’s cards; I was way too scared for that. But for some reason, I wasn’t scared to steal complete strangers’ credits card numbers while I was at work.
Back then, there was no online ordering for pizzas. You paid by cash or credit card over the phone. I worked the phones at dominoes, taking orders and payments over the phone. I would keep a pen and napkin in my apron. And when I needed to get access to the internet, I would write down the credit card number of a customer, go home and use that number to get the two free week trial of AOL internet. Then cancel it 3-4 days before the two weeks were over and repeat it all over again until I got my internet privileges back on my computer.
This was before the days of authorizations and holds on credit cards too. AOL didn’t do any of that; they just needed a working credit card number. So while I was committing a white-collar crime, no one ever got charged for my internet use. I surfed the internet every day after school and acted like I was 16 or 17 in online chat rooms. Because let’s be honest, there is a BIG difference between 15 and 16 years old to an 18-year-old boy, which is crazy because it’s still a child, lol.
Thankfully my identity theft days only lasted a few months. I discovered prepaid Visa cards and started using those. Who knows what would have happened to me if I kept that up. Ahhh, to be young and dumb.
Favorite stores of the 90s
The 90s were filled with some of the best stores that shaped my childhood and early teen years. Here are some of my favorites:
This store had my heart. This is where I bought all my platform shoes. I could not go into the mall without going into Wild Pair. This store was right on time, especially in the era of the Spice Girls. Apparently, Bakers bought Wild Pair, and then Steve Madden bought Bakers and the Wild Pair trademark. And if I think about it, I can totally see the Wild Pair inspo in early Baker days.
You could always find something inside Rave. Rave was a teenage girl’s dreamland for clothes. I remember I would take my little check from the mall and spend half of it on new clothes from Rave. It was cheap and fashionable. Kinda like Fashionnova and SHEIN, lol.
Downtown Locker Room
Now this place is still around, but it got its biggest hype in the 90s. DTLR started in 1982 in Baltimore and expanded all over the DMV area. As a pre-teen, I would love to go in here on weekends because all the cute neighborhood boys would either work there or shop there. The DTLR in southern Maryland was one of my favorites because they would sell mixtape CDs. My grandfather would let me go in there by myself while he went grocery shopping a few doors down. I mean, all the hotties frequented DTLR. It was like a mini-mall.
Sam Goody’s & Tower Records
I don’t know which one I liked better, but I loved them both, from posters for my teenage bedroom walls to graphic tees to the latest tapes and CDs. I couldn’t visit the mall without spending at least an hour listening to the latest albums at the record store. Sometimes I wouldn’t have any money to buy new music, but I post up in the store using the listening stations so I could go to school the next day singing the latest jams—the things you would do to stay hip as a kid.
Another favorite store of mine. DEB was not as young in style as Rave, so I felt like an adult when I shopped here. I could always find something cute and classy and DEB. Plus, DEB had a great solid color collection. While other stores were focusing on patterns and prints, DEB would keep it neutral with solid pieces.
For half the 90s, I was a kid that loved toys. Everyone loved Toys “R” Us, but I was a KB Toys kid. KB always had cheaper toys which meant my parents could buy me more than one item. And it was always something going on in the store. Plus, it never required an extra trip because every mall had KB Toys. You had to go out of your way, at least in Baltimore, to go to a Toys “R” Us. They were also the first toy store to get the super soakers! If you didn’t have a super soaker on my block in Baltimore, you might as well stay inside during the summer months.
Another store that is still around, but in the 90s this was my go-to spot to buy jellies. I had jellies in almost every single color, and they came from Rainbow. When the jelly heels came out…oooooh you couldn’t tell me NOTHING.
Of course I couldn’t leave out everyone’s favorite video store. Blockbuster was the ultimate weekend event. If your weekend plans didn’t consist of you going to Blockbuster to rent the latest movies, you might as well forget about telling your friends what you did over the weekend or inviting your friends over for a sleepover. During summers with my grandparents, I would have to beg my grandfather to take me to Blockbuster. He would always say, “we have tapes at home,” which were the same five VHS’s. I’ve probably seen Kevin Coster’s ’95 Waterworld at least 100 times.
Some honorable mentions to Metro Food Store, 579, Radio Shack, Circuit City, Virgin Megastore, Anchor Blue, Delia’s, and Warner Bros. Studio Store.
What was your favorite store of the 90s?
It’s ok not to have your shit together
Just because we are all adults doesn’t mean we have to have all of our shit together. It is OK not to have all the connecting puzzle pieces or mess up the puzzle and start over again.
I’ve been in a standstill mode with all of my side projects lately. I’ve felt “bad” for not being super active on @BlackWifeLife IG and underdelivering on my social media weekly newsletter. I took a step back and said, “if it’s not currently bringing me joy, pause until it does again.” That’s what I’ve been leaning into.
I’ve absolutely enjoyed being disconnected and not concerned with what is happening on social media. During my annual girls’ trip last week, I decided to stay in the moment versus pull out my phone. I had 6 other babes who captured the joy and excitement for me.
I still absolutely LOVE curating BWL, but it's still such a major demand even with me not being the focal point. You know folks will DM me and say, “I sent you my picture, and I don’t see it posted.” I used to respond to those folks with a half-hearted apology, but now I delete them. Because what you will NOT do is come at me on MY page, OKAY—post ya own picture.
I feel yet another pivot coming, but I am sitting still before I make this next move. That way, I don’t make the wrong decision because of the season I am currently in. I’m used to running full steam ahead when I have an idea. This time I am going against my natural behavior and sitting still for as long as it takes. Gotta try something different to get a different result, right?
We don’t have to have it all together all the time. There are moments for you to be on point with every aspect of your life, and there will be other moments where you sit down and enjoy the flowers. I’m currently enjoying the latter.
Backstage (Paramount+): a 2000 American documentary chronicling the 1999 Hard Knock Life Tour that featured several of hip hop’s top acts, including Jay-Z, DMX, Method Man, and Redman. I haven’t watched this in years—such a good concert with crazy talent.
American Dream/American Knightmare (Showtime): a 2018 documentary directed by Antoine Fuqua that interviewed Suge Knight between Dec 2011 - Nov 2012. During one part of this film, he takes Fuqua down Las Vegas Blvd and gives a play-by-play the night of Tupac’s murder. Just listening to what happen gave me chills.
The Mysterious Death of Eazy-E (WeTV): The series, which launches on August 12 at 10pm, will feature never-before-seen footage and interviews and will follow Eazy-E’s daughter, Ebie, on a personal journey to examine the unexplained circumstances surrounding her father’s death 26 years ago. If you ask me, Suge did it.
Well friend, it’s been fun! I hope you enjoyed lunch with me today. Have a beautiful week and the rest of July! I’ll see you for our next lunch date on August 2nd!