Dreamy Wings

I am one of those people. Yes, I am the person who tells you about their dreams. When I was a kid (and teen, and sometimes as an adult), I would wake up and HAVE to tell my mom what I dreamt. She would listen but let me know (in that Southern motherly way) that talking about dreams is pointless. I have always been fascinated with dreams regardless of the times my family would role their eyes when I started, “Last night, I had the weirdest dream…”

Two years ago I found the therapist of my dreams. She is a dream person too! We both share the belief that dreams not only a way to process what you experience in your waking hours but they are our subconscious speaking to us. There have been many discussed dreams that felt so significant and she helped me to understanding their impact in my waking life. I dream virtually every night and occasionally dream about reoccurring places. Seriously, I dream of a mall where I know where all of my favorite stores are, just in case you want to go back in time to Claire’s and get some bff earrings.

A few nights ago, I dreamed about wings! No joke, for the first time in my wing slinging life I pined for wings in my slumber. In my dream, I was at a counter about to order a 10 count and my so-called friend told me I only needed 5. Needless to say, I need new dream friends.

It’s a challenge for me not to go too deep into the meaning behind the symbols in my dreams. Often, I find myself searching websites and analyzing how and why certain objects show up in my subconscious slumber. My assumption is that I am selling myself short and I have to keep standing up for myself, to myself. I wanted wings in my dream but my dream friend put a limitation on how much. Wings could represent my goals and dreams, who knows…

I am choosing to focus on going back up to that wing counter and getting what I want and not let others put their expectations on me.



When I was a kid  in the 90’s there were several meals that were staples in our family’s diet: Hamburger Helper, some sort of meal of a protein, a roll, and a canned or frozen veggie, or casseroles. Now, my parents and I cook more like Barefoot Contessa than the Hamburger Helper Glove. This is fitting of current food trends: less boxed kits and freeze-dried mashed potatoes and more artisanal ingredients and organic produce.

When I graduated from college, my mom thoughtfully assembled our families favorite recipes in a cute recipe box so that I could make some of home wherever I was. One of my favorites include Grandpa’s Party Potatoes, which my grandpa did not make but some cute Grandpa somewhere in America did and sent it into Southern Living for my mom to then adopt. I also love other recipes that my mom gives credit to people that mean a lot to our family; My Aunt Pat’s yeast rolls are in there along with my Great Grandmother’s sour cream pound cake.

I love getting to make food that has a history behind it. Whenever I have a friend who has lost a loved one or going through a challenging time, I want to make them something that they can start having a history with and that kind of thing is a casserole. I think something warm, gooey, and “safe” can be such a comfort.

I think I may be one of the few people who buys the Cream of Chicken soup at my hipster neighborhood Kroger. Solely because casseroles are responsible for the rare occasion for Cream of Chicken soup. Like, when was the last time you wanted a bowl of warm Cream of Chicken soup?

Friday night, my boyfriend and I were both tired from the week and not in the mood to go out to dinner so I pulled up trusty ‘ol Pinterest for some inspiration. To be frank, there is a lot of garbage on Pinterest. Sometimes, I will pull up a recipe and it looks like it’s just cream cheese, butter, salt, and 1/2 of a clove of garlic. I was looking for something easy, yummy, and in the vein of what I was craving (buffalo wings, natch).

I found “Buffalo Chicken Tater-tot Casserole” on PlainChicken.com

Here’s the link to the recipe

It filled all of my cravings: warm, gooey, carb filled, and buffalo slathered. I personally omitted the celery that they said to bake on top and I swapped one of the cups of sour cream for a cup of ranch dressing. Next time I make it, I will add bleu cheese crumbles.

After I pulled the casserole out of the oven and took a big bite, I felt calm. I could finally unwind with my kind, supportive significant other and watch Haunting at Hill House. (Which the show is like a really spooky “This is Us.) This is the new memory of home I’m glad I can now associate to a new casserole recipe. Buffalo Chicken Tater-tot Casserole is a great new addition to my comfort food repertoire.




I am that person who tells you about their dreams. When I was a kid (and teen), I would wake up and HAVE to tell my mom what I dreamt. She would listen but let me know (in that Southern motherly way) that talking about dreams is pointless. I have always been fascinated with dreams regardless of the times my family would role their eyes when I started, “Last night, I had the weirdest dream…”

A year and a half ago I found the therapist of my dreams. She is a dream person too! We both share the belief that dreams not only a way to process what you experience in your waking hours but they are our subconscious speaking to us. There have been many discussed dreams that felt so significant and she helped me to understanding their impact in my waking life. I dream virtually every night and occasionally dream about reoccurring places. Seriously, I dream of a mall where I know where all of my favorite stores are, just in case you want to go back in time to Claire’s and get some bff earrings.

A few nights ago, I dreamed about wings! No joke, for the first time in my wing slinging life I pined for wings in my slumber. In my dream, I was at a restaurant counter about to order a 10 count wing special and my so-called friend told me I only needed 5. Needless to say, I need new dream friends.

It’s not surprising that I dreamed about wings because I generally crave wings on a weekly basis. I think there is more to my poultry desires. To me it represents limitations, especially the ones that others put on us. Ideally, I would like to think the wings in my dream represent the things I love and am passionate about it. The “friend” telling to order less represents people in my life putting limitations on what I’m capable of.

A few months ago, I was asked to speak on a Women in Film panel at Dragon Con and I told my employers about this exciting opportunity. I was met with a jaw-dropping response. I was told that I was not capable of speaking on the subject and that they want me replaced. I was stunned, shocked, and immediately began questioning my abilities. Were these people right? Am I not experienced enough to speak on my time in production, my time as a writer, my time as a show producer, my time as a stand-up comedian, my time as a junior agent, my bachelors degree, and everything I have done in the Atlanta entertainment industry? It took a few days for me to finally say to myself…

Why the fuck are you letting these people define you and question your abilities?

I got the courage to stand up for myself and I told them, “This was a personal invitation based on my experience and eduction.” They dropped it until it was brought up again to the company president in an effort to create unnecessary hurdles.

I was done and it inspired me to rip off the restrains of others insecurities and definitions of me.

It was the toughest, scariest, and best decision of my life to take control and say, “I want ten wings, I am going to order 10 wings even if you think I cannot handle it.”



Inspiration is such a bitch. I hate her.  This blog started because I felt overwhelmed with everything I wanted to say about wings and life. It all went away so fast and there would be moments that I would think, ” Damn, I should get back to writing about chicken.” After that, I would try and think of exactly what I wanted to say then I would be worn out and not do it.

Wings Across Atlanta started when I was working at a desk job where my bosses openly told me that I would not be busy every day and to feel free to do what I want as long as the work got done. Obviously, I still have a tinge of my former rule follower, goody two-shoes nature so my tasks were accomplished and I would embark on my writing.

I lucky got to then transition into an entertainment industry where my job was non-stop, no off time unless I was on stage or dead. I would have loved to say that I was super motivated during this time and that I was thriving by being around entertainment 24/7 but that just wasn’t the case. I would force times to be open to inspiration during lunch or right before going on stage but it felt like I was trying to speak a language that I wasn’t fluent in.

I had to make a change and frankly, I do not need to explain it to anyone which is an incredibly new feeling for me. Now, I am have put myself in a place where I cannot make any excuses for what I truly want to do and working towards inspiration to write and create. My choices now lead me to sit down every day and write. Writing now feels like the biggest gift (and I am incredibly fortunate to have those closest to me undoubtably support my decisions).

All of this to say, I am so delighted to feel that spark again. I need to be here and my desire is so deep.

I’m back

I really want to start this post with a witty and insightful quip about why I haven’t had something to say about wings in my life lately.

“Life has it’s way of making itself a public toilet that continues to over flow and you keep plunging it and sometimes the Easter Bunny pops out and hands you a basket of Reese’s Eggs but some are unwrapped and you don’t know if they are turds or not.”

You know, deep life, toilet thoughts.

I have been neglecting my wing pursuit in lieu of catching up on life.

The start of any calendar year, I get really introspective and the worst part is, it gets worse over a month later when I have a birthday.

Each birthday, I reflect on my previous year and my aspirations for the year ahead. It’s a great calorie burner.  This year, my intention was deeply set on reflecting on how far I have come since the start of 2017.

Last year, I was in the worst pain of my life and finally reached a diagnosis for my IIH. The thoughts I had 340 odd days or so ago I had were along the lines of, “Am I ever going to be able to do comedy the way I want to? Will this invisible pain keep me from having a challenging career? How will this wear on relationship with my boyfriend?”

I felt defeated this time last year. I felt alone in my pain and felt the tides of my pain sweeping me out further to sea, and further away from comedy and everything I love.

I’m so grateful to be on the other side of pain, not to say my IIH couldn’t possible resurface; like some kind of ex-boyfriend that you’re always afraid will show up everywhere you go.

It was only weeks ago I removed my medication from my purse and my nightstand. Since mid-summer, I have held that life preserver in case that tide of pain comes back. Oddly, that fear drove me to appreciate life and expect more out of it. In return, my attitude is a bullshit intolerance. I have felt the side effects of pain: mostly not being booked on shows because I wasn’t able to be who I truly am.  Now I am beyond grateful to get to be on stage. I am grateful for the clarity my therapist has been able to guide me to. My “new found lease on life” (Trademark every make-over TV show) has revealed how little time I want to waste on bullshit or things that cause me pain. Also, I’m now really into roasting the shit out of people. So watch yourself if you plan on interrupting me or just being an annoying man. I cannot tell you how empowered this healing has been to my attitude. If I had video clips of all of the moments I felt in control enough to tell off a man talking down to me or negging me, it would be a Ken Burns documentary. I would have never done this pre-IIH.

Of course, this clarity about my healing is only a new reveal. It’s odd how we, humans, have rare moments of true self-awareness. The most challenging part is when you have positive self-awareness: I am funny, I am good at my job, I am a hard worker. Southern upbringing teaches that you downplay your own good things to appear humble and “uplift” whomever you are speaking with. “Annie, great job tonight!” “Stop, I should have done x,y,z. You’re so much funnier than me.” We all have to help ourselves and stop doing this. We have to choose to revel in moments of true, positive self-awareness. We are all critical and aware of our downfalls and issues.

Since I moved to my hipster neighborhood, I have gotten really in to the woo-woo new -age-y stuff. I now drink Kombucha, I bought stupid crystals, I do cupping, and I’m actively doing hypnosis and dream studies with my therapist. Dear Lord, I’m like a pair of Birkenstocks and 3 reusable shopping bags away from starting an organic urban, community garden.  Since opening myself up to hypnosis (not what you have seen at the County Fair main stage), my subconscious is open to creativity and my dreams are becoming oddly revealing. Dreams of me doing exactly what I desire to do on stage. Dreams of what I aspire in my relationship. Dreams of creativity that  never had before. I completely credit the pain I endured with this new opening in my life.

In summation, I  know I’m doing a lot of hipster weird crap and I have yet to mention wings… so I know what you’re thinking… No, I have not gone vegan. I don’t plan on it. Life feels good, open, creative, and hopeful.

I can’t wait to recommit myself to my love of wings and pursuit of a meaningful life.



Happy Moments

Last weekend was one of those weekends where we had something fun to do the entire weekend. This weekend was our first East Atlanta Strut as residents. I had been several times but this was B’s first time at the strut. Getting to be around my neighbors and people who care about our community made me really proud that I’m an EAV dweller. It was rows of artisans booths, food, music, beer, and comedy! Getting to watch the parade was so delightful; seeing elementary schoolers, drag queens, politicians, and marching bands does the soul good. We walked around before my set at the comedy tent and started getting hungry. The rows of temporary vendors was appealing but wings were calling our name. B made the wise call, to go to Wing Bar.

I have had countless people recommend Wing Bar to me but I just hadn’t made it there yet for a number of illegitimate reasons. For one, the window clings on Wing Bar make it so that its hard to determine whether or not they are open. My own fault indeed for not just walking up to the door and trying to open it.

I had to check in at the comedy tent and so left it up to B to pick the right sauce. He passed with flying colors. He settled on Mild which is not my typical go to but once I got them, I was glad he did. As you all may know, I usually order medium wings because its hard for restaurants to get a medium heat on a wing. It’s not hard to make something fiery hot and its not hard to melt butter and put a few drops of hot sauce so make a typical mild. These mild wings I would classify as a medium, a wimp may describe them as hot. The sauce was beautiful and creamy and clung to the wings really well. The chicken was on the smaller side but I’d rather them be small than packed full of steroids. The skin had a nice crispness that wasn’t over fried or not crunchy enough and a flavor that came through the sauce nicely.


Writing this, I want them for dinner tonight. My mouth is salivating thinking about those wings. They are hands down some of the best I have ever had.

I rarely eat before I get on stage but after being in the hot sun with a few refreshing beers, I really needed to eat them before performing. We ate them out of the Styrofoam box behind the stage, ohhing and ahhing over how good the wings were. It doesn’t seem like much but moments like that are special to me. Just the energy of the Strut, eating wings with B, and getting to perform, created this little window of time where things are just good. Lately, I have had a hard time finding those moments, where things are just good and happy. Where everything else that had been bothering me was absent from my mind.

Past to Present

B (my boyfriend) and I have fallen into the time honored relationship trap: the where do you want to go? I don’t know. What are you hungry for? I don’t know…

This past weekend that dubious conversation arose; both of us too tired to make a decision but both wanted wings and a patio. We live in a neighborhood brimming with wings. Each restaurant in East Atlanta Village has wings on the menu and several fast food spots with choice wings too. But when you live in a poultry paradise, you don’t want to burn out on the obvious options. We got so desperate to not to have to pick a spot that we settled on Taco Mac… faithful readers, I know. Out of all the places in Atlanta, why did we decide to settle on the regional Baron of chain wings? We just talked ourselves out of trying to find a new place or one with a wait or one with tons of Friday traffic surrounding it.

As we hit the road, I get the bright idea for us to (literally) shift gears and go to Augustine’s on Memorial. I hadn’t been in over 2 years and knew they had wings and a patio! It was such a nice departure from what were were planning on having: a blah meal for the sake of eating outside.

My previous trips to Augustine’s have been with guys that I no longer speak to: a former friend who had a dramatic break-up with stand-up and his friends, a former guy I dated, and a tinder match that Augustine’s held the entirety of our interaction. So I had a flash of old memories of men long gone by when we arrived, and then a feeling of gratitude that I’m there with someone who is there for the long haul. The new memory I made at Augustine’s wiped away the dreadful ones of years gone by.

Augustine’s offers two types of wings: traditional and smoked. I let B pick and he chose smoked (I know how to pick ’em!) The came out piping hot and very pretty. Pretty doesn’t sound like the appropriate word but they truly are!

They came out with their house hot sauce on the side along with some blue cheese.


They were fine. They didn’t have that crispiness that other smoked wings around town have. The smoke taste wasn’t as prevalent as my Fox Brother’s favorite smokies or even the Local’s smoked wings.

Side note: I went to the Local for a friend’s birthday on Tuesday and they ran out of smoked wings. I haven’t been that disappointed since I found out since  Luann (of Real Housewives of New York) and Tom (of “It’s about Tom.” and Page 6 fame) filed for divorce.

The tenderness of the chicken outweighed the disappointment of the lack of smoke flavor. I felt less guilty eating those wings than others because it was like I was having a flavorful tender,  grilled wing. Which, I perceive as probably less unhealthy than the fried ones I love so dearly.

After we split those wings, we went in on a hot dog combo. I went for the chili variety. Damn. That hotdog made me want to write a whole ‘nother blog about that frank. The chili on the plump Kosher dog in a warm, toasted poppy seed bun, dripping in yellow mustard  and covered with a blanket of cheese was what weenie dreams are made of. I didn’t even think to take a picture of it.

As I write this, I feel like I cheated on wings. I’m a wing woman… not a weenie woman. I never would pick a dog over a bird wing! But something about that hotdog and the delight of spending a nice evening on the patio with my man was just what the end of summer should be. New memories replacing old ones is even better with a solid hotdog and wings.

The Ideal Girl

There is this ideal of women in our culture: a petite, gorgeous woman who is naturally beautiful, barely looks like she has make up yet glows like a ray of sunshine, but can drink beer and wings while talking about football with the guys. This picture pops up a lot on Instagram: a woman with a waist so small that an onion ring can fit around it, noshing on a fat slice of pizza or wings with the caption: “OMG I love food! I’m so bad!”


This image of a girl next door is one that I grapple with. I am a wing lover by and large and I have a really hard time coping this this distorted reality of how, we as a culture, look at a woman’s appearance and what they eat.  There have been time in my life where I thought being this ultra-likable Instagram girl in a “I look like I didn’t try but I tried” outfit scarfing down wings and still being a waif, would get me what I wanted in life and relationships. I thought that playing into a trope of sexy contradictions would mystify that I could being so gorgeous but eat wings.

Why should there be a “gorgeous but eats wings”? It should be and.

We all know, intellectually, that what we see on social media and every other facet of media is not reality. But, I especially, sometimes lose track of reality and fantasize about being borderline frail with a basket full of wings and fries, hoping people will think…she’s so lucky to be so petite and can eat whatever she wants. I bet guys love that she’s so ladylike but “doesn’t care!”
I know these holograms of women probably work out all of the time, never eat anything besides avocados and chia power bowls, and took two bites of their wings and resisted eating the fries. Even imagining that kind of discipline makes my mind do advanced calculus to figure out how to balance working out, work, comedy, social life, a relationship, and resisting eating wings as often as I want. While looking like a hunky guy could just toss me over his shoulder and run a marathon.

In an ideal world, I could stop thinking about the hot Instagram girl I could be if I didn’t eat wings. In an ideal world, I wouldn’t compare myself to overly filtered images or absorb this love affair with hot girls who eat junk food.

Honestly, I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t have an idealized image of who they would like to be in their heads. It’s my greatest struggle to get out of my head and love the present and just eat wings. I want to truly not care, not just pretend like it.

Roller Coaster

June has been the biggest month of change in my life in a long time. It has manifested itself as a roller coaster. Here has what has transpired in June: moved into a new (to me) house, had some job adjustment, my father had surgery,  had a few incredible shows, changed medication a few times, had some serious IIH lows, and had another lumbar puncture this week.

And I’m still on the ride with my seat belt on and my hands up.

I could not have predicted the ride I have been on this month. The moments of uncertainty have been met with 20/20 clarity and the moments of sheer frustration have been met with encouragement.

The scary and wonderful thing about being on a roller coaster is that when you’re climbing up the hill, unsure if there’s a cork screw after the drop, you have to let go and let the roller coaster do it’s thing. You can’t stop the car. You can’t choose what happens next. You can’t change the pace.

Putting my hands up is the opposite of how I would choose to operate. Usually, I am in the car of the roller coaster trying to change the tracks and frantically calling the operator to make changes I see fit for my ride.

There were set backs this month, being on Prednisone for two plus weeks was like having a kid sitting behind me barfing on the back of my head making everything terrible. I hate that kid for barfing on me but things got better once that bend in the track was over.

Luckily, I’m feeling better, post lumbar puncture, though I still have a lot of unanswered questions. Looking forward, I’m making conscious efforts to just put my hands up and go along for the ride. I’m ordering the wings I’ve never had. I’m traveling to places I have never been. And I’m finally excited and about to get back on the train.



Skin Deep

I can make a lot of excuses and all of them are very valid as to why my well of thoughtful meanderings has run dry. The progress I have made on my IIH road has been wrought with twists and turns and peaks and valleys. The hard part about it, is it is not visible to the naked eye. There are days where I can be present and perform and throw down some wings but they now come at a price.

A few weeks ago, my medicine was giving me the most distasteful side effect: rage and anger. Every single inconvenience and annoyance added to the weight on my shoulders and pain in my head. My doctor had prescribed me a  different medicine but my pharmacy had run out of it on the day I asked my boss to leave early to pick it up before their 5PM close time. (Yes, my pharmacy closes at 5PM because I am on an affordable plan that I chose from the Healthcare Marketplace, part of the Affordable Care Act, and it’s the only way I could get my prescription without having to pay, because I met my deductible in February.) After a dump truck full of inconveniences, men asking about my shirt, and the frustration of feeling desperate to have medicine that would ease my pain; I drove straight to Sephora.

I may be in pain but I am still vain. I was so unhappy with how everything was going in my life and to make everything even worse in my world, my make up was smeary and gross. All I wanted to do was dunk my head in a tub of make up remover and vodka.  I am thankful for my crippling make up addiction which affords me to be a “V.ery I.mportant B.eautyInsider Rouge” so I had a 20% off coupon that was burning a hole in my pocket. My favorite person at Sephora was there and I swatch make up all over my hands and neck and we talked about the newest pallets and about sun protection. I felt like I went to therapy. The radiant beams from the make up displays and smell of designer fragrances transported me away from my reality. I didn’t feel aggressive and angry. I felt pretty and like a better version of myself, even if I was to wash it off at the end of the day.

The following weekend, my new medicine is kicked in and I sensed the tension loosen up. I do an 8PM show then B (my boyfriend) and I grab a late dinner at Holeman & Finch before the 1AM Secret Show. We both were having trouble focusing on our meal with neighbors inches away from our shoulders but we enjoy the moment. We ordered a few plates that were fine and B suggested we order the buffalo chicken skins. So, is it like a pork rind but with chicken? Or more like the skin from a chicken wing? It was the latter, and the irony was not lost on me that we were just eating the surface of a chicken wing with buffalo sauce. We paid for just chicken skin with wing sauce. They were good, don’t get me wrong. But it felt fake, it felt like Ulta to me. If you have not been, Ulta is a large make-up and hair care chain of stores usually in shopping centers. They carry a lot of the same brands as Sephora but with the glamour and sophistication of a Khol’s. They also carry a lot of drug store brands. The experience is inferior to Sephora; like eating chicken skin when you could go somewhere else and have the MEAT AND BONE INSIDE OF THE CHICKEN. Sure, Ulta is great when you happen to be in a shopping center with one in it and you want just a NYX matte lipstick but you are missing out on the best parts of shopping for make up.

We left Holeman & Finch, happy to get time together but not raving about coming back. It’s definitely a place to say you have been but I have been to better places with a better overall experience. I guess what I am getting at is, just bring me some wings to a Sephora and I will be in heaven.