Indoor Wing Fest

I am so over September. Last weekend, I was in a friends wedding up in the mountains after a week full of shows. I had my “public” face on for a whole month it seemed like. If you’re not sure what I mean by public face, I mean that alert, self-aware, poised, polite self that you are when you are in public situations. Either working retail, being a comic, or being a bridesmaid: you gotta be on your best behavior. I was ready to let my hair down.

The day after the wedding, my man, B and I decided to take a long motorcycle ride which is exactly what I needed to unwind. I never understood the appeal of motorcycles until I started riding with B. It’s very freeing and helps clear your mind like meditation does in an odd way. The rumble of the motor, the wind on your face, and the silence of your thoughts inside the helmet really is so relaxing.

As we were riding around, we saw signs for the “Atlanta Wing Festival sponsored by Chicken”. We rolled up to the Puritan Mill on the Westside and were surprised to see a massive line forming at the entrance of the event space. It didn’t look like a wing fest. It looked like a cook book signing.

We get inside and hear that it’s sold out. I have been to a few food and music events in my day and usually food events have tickets reserved for walk up sales. So I was a little peeved. Maybe I didn’t have the right to be, but I was assume that they would consider how many signs they put up that didn’t say it was sold out.

Just as B and I started to walk a way, a friendly photographer offered up her two tickets that she claimed she didn’t need. We tried to pay her for them but she refused. Holy chicken nuggets! VIP for free!?!?!

We walk in and it looks way way too fancy for a wing fest. It looked like someone took a leopard mini skirt and tried to dress it up for a cocktail party. Essentially, taking all of the fun out of wings.

Georgia heat can be unbearable so I can totally understand the appeal of having it inside but with the black table cloths and white swag hanging from the ceiling, they should have been serving samples of she crab soup. We saunter over to the “Very Important Persons” section for our complimentary cocktails and small leather couch section for even more important people. It was odd. I practically never have cocktails with my wings, and the event had two cocktail sponsors and Goose Island as a beer sponsor. Where is the local beer? I do not want a fruity vodka drink with spicy wings. I want a delicious pilsner or hoppy IPA.

We finally get to the wing stations each chef and/or restaurant has set up. You could tell how much the event coordinators liked certain wing slingers based on their location. The middle sections had the best wings and the wings on the perimeter, were on the perimeter of adequate.

We tried practically every wing that was to be had. Their system of wing accumulation was a free for all. You could get as many as you wanted from as many or as few stations as you would like, which seems like a good  value but ended up pretty wasteful. I would take one bite and if I didn’t like it, I would toss it.

Out of all the wings we sampled, NONE OF THEM were traditional buffalo or even BBQ. (A few Nashville Hot Chicken contenders showed out, thankfully.) If you wanted fusion wings, this was your joint. Too many wing slingers focused on being different and fancy over being good. (See the wing above covered in cilantro and sesame seeds.) To me, a really great wing is simple: well seasoned and tender chicken with a crispy outer layer, covered in a well crafted sauce. NO ONE DID THAT! By the end of the second recon, I was really over Asian inspired wings (and really tired of trying to balance wing trays and a drink with few tables). I was really over average wings with below average sauces.

I truly appreciate that Taste of Atlanta had a wing-centric food fest but there was no fun spirit. It felt stuffy, pretentious, and serious. Most people there seemed to enjoy the acoustic guitar music and eating pickled watermelon compote atop a sesame and chili glazed wing, but there was no fun.

Fortunately, B and I hopped on the Harley and went antiquing like most millennials after a wing fest would do.



Lately, I have been repeating the same theme over and over, ” Once this month is over…”

Once May is over… Once June is over…Once July is over… Once August is over… Once September is over…

I am trying to get though this challenging time by looking forward to things easing up. My life feels like I ordered really hot wings and as soon as I am done with one, I pick up another, trying to finish the basket as efficiently as possible.

I keep feeling like I can handle the hottest sauce but I get in the middle of the pack of wings and question if I can get through it. I want to be tough but I also really get tired of my eyes watering.

I’m really a medium sauce kind of girl. I can take heat but it has to be consistent. I never back down from a challenge and it’s that hope of a refreshing blue cheese finish that is keeping me a float.

I feel fortunate that I have people in my life that are eating those hotter than hell wings with me and are continuously supportive. If I had known, years ago when I was taking the hottest heat, that I would one day have someone to help take the heat off, I would have felt more assured and optimistic.

It is challenging when you want to taste the flavors of that hot sauce but only get a burn that hits your sinuses. I can see the blue cheese at the end of the tunnel and I hope I can utilize that rejuvenation and revitalization to help my friends and loved ones get through their hottest sauce. Taking time to text or call someone can ease the burn, and I am so appreciative of people in my life who have done so. I’m going to return the flavor! You may not can taste or smell what sauce people are dealing with but it may be hotter and stings more than they may let on.

Mushy Wings

As most of you have read on here, or heard my stand up, or happen to be my friend, or hopefully all three, I have a long trail of men I have left bloody and heartbroken. I think I have dated most archetypes of guys and had some really horrible dates that typically ended in me saying, “ugh. I need some wings.”

Last night, I had my fifth installment of Comedy on Draught at Three Taverns Brewery and the theme was dating, relationships and heartbreak. It really got me thinking about all of my dating experiences and relationships and what they have taught me.  Since 2014, I have worked really hard to develop my craft as a stand up comic and it completely shifted my thinking.

Most of my teen and young adult life, all I wanted was to be liked by boys. I wanted to like what they liked, I wanted to be pretty enough, and I wanted to be fun enough. I thought I was independent and I thought I was in control. My dating body count was getting high from having relationships/ “continuous-monogamous dating with no label” consistently shorter than 6 months. I had my fill of first and only dates. But after taking some time away from dating and taking more time to focus on stand up, I finally began to know I was independent, know I was in control and that if some dumb guy didn’t like me for me, he could kiss my grits.

The more time and energy I put into stand up, the less time I had outside of it and work and I was pretty happy about it… most of the time. Anytime I felt down about not having a date to a wedding or wishing I would get cast on the Bachelor (yes, I did audition), I remembered that there was someone even better than I could imagine out there for me. I reminded myself that I needed to take RuPaul’s advice:



I still have work to do but I felt ready this past winter. I dated a cool, fun, ADVENTURE DUDE! But I was an accessory to his social life, I was his award show audience filler. I did my usual routine of 2 months of realizing he wasn’t right for me, and ended it.

I got back on Bumble, the dating app that requires women to initiate contact within 24 hours or else the match was deleted forever. I was hopeful but not invested.

Almost 7 months ago, I matched with a really handsome guy, we had really good conversation and subsequently went to sushi. It was so nice and easy but I didn’t know what I was in for.

I didn’t know he would take me to Fox Brother’s for my birthday wings.

I didn’t know he would be there for me during my highs and supporting me at my lows.

I didn’t know how I could feel this way about someone.

To many, 6 months is a very short about of time and this all seems silly. To me, being with this caring man over six months means that my years of pickiness and years of dealing with the “game”, brought me to this point.

To celebrate our 6 months together, this caring gentleman planned a dinner (and rock climbing the next day) for us.

I had no idea where we were going for dinner because he and I have always been culinary curious. He kept dropping hints and I asked, “Are we going to Fogo De Chao?” (based on previous conversations about how I had never been.)

“Yes. You guessed it.” I was  little taken a back about his prompted answer and mad that we had a late lunch but I was ready to hop aboard the meat train when our Uber arrived. He made sure our driver didn’t spill the beans about exactly where we were going. The driver takes us a way I hadn’t been before but I knew we were near Little 5 Points. This isn’t near Fogo De Chao… We pull down a residential street and we get out of the car to walk.

We walk up to Fox Brothers BBQ where he took me for my birthday. Where he told me he knew he wanted to be with me. Where he found out that I was special. That he thought about taking me to a foodie place but he wanted to take me somewhere special to him.

Wings mean a lot to me. But what means the most to me is someone truly cares about me and would rather eat wings with me than be at a ~hot~ restaurant.

I didn’t know that I could be so overwhelmed by eating smoked chicken wings with someone.

I truly believe what I have said before about eating wings with someone is really personal, and I feel incredibly fortunate that I have someone to eat them with.



Down the Street

This past weekend was one of the most relaxing ones I have had in a long time. Friday night, my comedy buddy Ian and I met up for wings. His husband was out of town and my boyfriend was as well so it was a great excuse for wings and comedy.

We went to World of Beer down the street from the Laughing Skull. I rarely spend time at the restaurants and bars around the Skull and I have been to the usual “cool” sports bars to the left of the entrance like Fado’s, Taco Mac, and ~bleh~ Hudson Grill but rarely go to the right of the Skull. I honestly forgot it was there, I usually come from the other direction so this was a nice change.

Ian and I both got the beer special, Evil Twin’s Femme Fatale Kabosu. A true IPA brewed with Japanese citrus fruit Kabosu which tasted amazing.

One thing I really appreciated about WOB’s food menu was the suggestion of  beer pairings next to the food. So the IPA was a great suggestion for their Medium Buffalo Wings. They came out hot, shiny, and promising. I love a wing’s color being this deep red/orange/brown.


I appreciated the blue cheese cups where wide enough for the width of the wing to be dunked, if need be.

They had a nice flavor and a kick that give the buffalo flavor a nice dimension. The meat was tender but my only draw back was the skin was not very crispy. It would have been a home run if it has a little crunch. Overall, these wings were satisfying and made my dinner with Ian very enjoyable.

We then headed over to the Laughing Skull to catch the late show. Usually when I’m there I’m not sitting in the audience, but Ian suggested it. I’m so gad we did!

Sometimes, as many comics do, we get into routines and only see what we do on stage from a comics perspective. It was so refreshing to be in the audience and watch a show as a spectator. It was a weekend that encouraged me to look at things with a different lens, to come from the other side of the street. I could have missed out on some tasty wings if Ian hadn’t suggested WOB. I could have missed out on some comedy education if we hadn’t sat in the audience. I am terrified of being stuck in my ways and not growing. Us comics do this thing where we tell jokes that we like so much that we can’t stop telling them even if audiences aren’t big fans. I have to remind myself that behavior like that spills over into our personal lives whether its eating wings the same way at the same place or repeating the same behaviors over and over.

It’s time to see and taste things from another perspective before I miss out.



Gratitude has been hard to find lately. People expressing their gratitude feels like it rarely happens. In stand up comedy, you are an island. Your drive, your willingness to push comes from inside. You cannot rely on others (except for applause and laughter from a crowd) to lift you up. So when someone does encourage you or show gratitude for the show your hosting/running, it feels like heaven: washing your hands with warm water after being in a cold office. There is also that self doubt that happens where someone tells you that your show is great but you question whether or not they really “mean” it. So you learn to be desensitized and learn to continue to look internally.

Gratitude in all aspects of life is important. I think it doesn’t happen at work as much as it should. Bosses forget that their employees need little nuggets of praise to continue doing well. I worked for a woman about a year ago who never told me I did a good job. I was early or on time every day. I went above and beyond what my job required to help grow profits. I DID grow sales for the business. But she was a dragon mother: breathing fire and did not believe in positive reinforcement. All I wanted was for her to say that she was appreciative of the 17 day week I worked, and that worked my ass off.

When I go the job I am currently at, I felt like a new person. I felt like my hard work mattered. Crazy enough, my bosses show gratification! Yesterday, my boss took me to TacoMac for lunch. He knows I love wings and this is the closest wing place that isn’t Hudson Grill (barf.) I devoured those wings and enjoyed talking to him about work and movies. He told me I was doing good work and I deserved the wings for being a great employee. It was so needed. Buying me wings was enough but the verbal affirmation that my work is being noted makes a huge difference.

Those wings filled me up with more than spicy sauce. It filled me up with gratitude for my bosses and my job. It gave me the encouragement to show more gratitude to people in my life. I know I don’t take enough time to tell people that I’m grateful to have them in my life.

Comedy has conditions you to not be as sensitive but there are times we all desire someone to say, “Hey, thanks for being in my life.” I have been bogged down with stress from feeling like what I am giving isn’t enough. ( I also am aware I need to put more into other friendships.) I think in any friendship, it’s rarely 50/50… sometimes its 30/70 and sometimes its 49/51. I have no problem with it, I do have an issue with feeling like the 100% I’m putting in is quickly a vapor. Wanting gratitude feels so selfish to talk about…“Why can’t I do things for people in my life and not care if I get a sincere thank you?”  I know, we are all human and we will never get it perfect and never be the BEST person but I sure as hell want to try my best.I want to put those feelings of desire for appreciation aside but it’s hard to when your well of wing sauce feels like its running dry and other people need to sauce their wings.

I am challenging myself to do better with telling people what I like about them and what I am grateful for. I know how much it sucks when someone in your life: a boss, a friend, or significant other, doesn’t acknowledge your percentage. I want to make sure that when I can, I will make time to get wings with someone or dip them in my well of wing sauce.


Wings for President!

Now that most of my friends know about my affinity wings and desire to eat them ALL, I get a lot of recommendations for new wing spots.

I love it! I always want to find the underrated and delicious wings the city of Atlanta has to offer. I try to give every spot a chance. When I hear, “Annie, you HAVE to go to X-TREME BUFFALO MAYHEM WAREHOUSE! They have the best wings!” I give the recommendation the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they know something I don’t.

It is rough when I go to a recommended wing spot and they are shoddy and I get asked,” Wuddya think!?!?!” and I don’t want to tell them, “Those wings might as well been from a pigeon and I could have just used Frank’s and had a better experience.”

I have to remember, people may believe that those wings are the best because that is all they had ever experienced. Maybe they like those wings because the venue and the people are more meaningful. There are too many emotional and conditional factors that make wings a favorite. Maybe their parents loved those wings and that was their family’s favorite Friday night tradition.

I know that there are times that going to my closest wing spot with my coworkers satisfies my craving and I enjoy the experience because of the conditions surrounding the poultry consumption.

I have been trying to take this same approach with the election season. I know people’s life experiences and conditions shape their political opinion and the only thing I can do is listen and take a bite of their political chicken wing. It’s okay if I don’t like it. It’s okay if it’s not from my neighborhood joint. I just don’t want people to give me a platter of their wings, tie my arms behind my back, shove wings in my piehole, and berate me for not enjoying them. I definitely do not want to be scared into eating wings because if I don’t eat those wings the whole buffalo sauce industry will collapse and terrorists will take our wings away. There are also wings that will unintentionally make you sick and never want to put a wing near your face.

I will never understand why some people choose the political wings they do but I hope that people listen to others and try as many wing spots as possible.

As for me, I know what wings are my favorite and I hope people respect me for researching and seeking out the best.

So respect others wings but remember that there are some that will give you food poisoning.


This past weekend my man and I completed the television series, Twin Peaks. He had never seen the show, and it is frankly one of my favorites. To commemorate the occasion, we went to Bookhouse on Ponce de Leon. Bookhouse is a loose Twin Peaks theme bar. More Twin Peaks than the restaurant named Twin Peaks. My man and I sat down and immediately our server was not hearing us and we were having trouble understanding  each other. It was frustrating because there wasn’t loud music.

Luckily, my man likes wings almost as much as I do so we ordered some to share. I ask our server about the hot wings and it feels like I am speaking another language. I feel I must be speaking like Laura Palmer in the Black Lodge. He tells me it’s a Texas Pete base. Sure. Fine. Just give me some yummy wings.

The wings are meh.


When he meant Texas Pete base, he meant that they didn’t make a sauce, they just poured Texas Pete and a little cracked pepper on some cooked chicken wings and put them in a basket.

I wanted these wings to be the saving grace of the evening but they weren’t.

Our server then disappeared for about 30min. We just wanted some cocktails and so did the other tables around us. When he finally came back, he didn’t apologize or give an explanation. Aloof and disinterested. Sometimes all you want is someone to apologize and move on.

That whole day was full of miscommunication. I am a fan of talking and writing. Obviously.

It can be challenging being someone who has to talk things out and express everything verbally. I am not good about being coy with my emotions or thoughts.

My mouth ran away from me before we went to Bookhouse. I didn’t communicate well. And once I realized what I did, I did like that server did… I hid. I clammed up. It didn’t help at all. While I had talked too much, I should have thought about my words and explained where I was coming from. I hate thinking that a wag of the tongue, a vibration of vocal chords, and a movement of lips can cause damage to someone that means so much to me.

I have never been in a relationship this long before. (I am not counting my freshman year of high school boyfriend who was super crazy. Crazy as in, he bought me a promise ring and wanted to get married after high school.) I don’t know what I am doing. I haven’t been in a relationship like this. I am having a hard time getting used to what’s happening in my heart and all the adjustments I am making to make sure I am the best friend and girlfriend I can be.

Just like with wings, there will be baskets of wings that aren’t the best but you learn where to go, what to avoid, and what to order. And that motorcycle rides really do help clear your head.

On This Day…

I have a love/ hate relationship with the Facebook “Time Hop”/ “On This Day” feature. I have been reminded of dead pets and of ex- boyfriends but lately it has brought up a lot of other feelings and memories I had honestly forgotten about.

About two weeks ago, my anxiety started creeping back into my life… it feels like a dark fog slowly moving though my mind and heart. I have been hesitant to share about my battle with anxiety because it doesn’t make me look cute. Back in the beginning of 2013, I started to blog about my challenge with losing weight, getting off antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication, and the painful changes. My mom said I shouldn’t share that kind of information. I listened to her and felt embarrassed that I opened myself up in that way.

Since my journey to a medication free strategy to handle my anxiety began, I faced a multitude of challenges and a multitude of growth. I was doing it! I was living a life where I was doing life well! I was working towards my dreams and not getting caught up in the things that didn’t matter!

Lately, I started feeling that insecurity, that feeling of a clinched fist inside my chest. I hate it. I have been trying to overcome! With wings! After Skull Fest ended, my man took me to Bantam for wings and mules to relax. I had a blast being surrounded by comedy, but I was ready to unwind.

I was pleasantly surprised by the presentation: sauce. on. the side.what!?!?!IMG_6311  The wings were dry rubbed

and quite tasty even without one of the three sauces to choose from: traditional hot sauce, a tangy BBQ sauce, and ranch. Each sauce was delightful. I have to put moments like this in place so that I can be present.

I was happy to have a moment like this, even in the midst of an anxiety induced time in my life.

Even though I am not happy with how I am right now, I am thankful for the progress I have made. I opened up Facebook’s “On This Day” and what popped up was a reminder of a time, much like now, where creative energy felt like it was pouring out of me but I felt that tightness in my chest and desire to pull a Kate Chopin, “Awakening” style escape. This watercolor I did in high school AP art came up. I forgot about this piece.


I instantly reconnected with this poorly painted depiction of the pain I was feeling. I wanted to float away but my shoelaces kept me tied down. It was weird seeing it after so many years. Most of the art I made in AP 2D Design was trashed, so it truly was out of sight, out of mind.

It makes me sad to think about the 17/18 year old who painted this but it makes me so hopeful. It makes me glad that while my anxiety has come back, I have grown since this and I am going to keep eating wings and keep working on staying present and loosening the grip in my chest.

So Cool, So Different

Earlier this week, I was on Star Bar in Little 5 Points. It’s frankly one of the best rooms in Atlanta, and likely, the country. Beforehand, a comedy buddy and I decided to grab dinner… as 90% of my posts start. He suggested Euclid Avene Yacht Club. I had only been once before for beers but I had heard good things about their wings and was excited to try.

I got medium wings, swimming. If it’s offered in a pool, I’ll take a dip. They were so dang good. Super tangy! They were what exactly what I needed.I need more!                     IMG_6296 I have noticed that every cool/unique/hipster/ whatever neighborhood has a place that the neighbors go to for wings and EAYC is that place for L5P.

I am always hesitant about edgy/cool neighborhood spots because there’s a level of pretension and the wings probably won’t be that good. Crimson Ghost tattoos on the arms of the servers doling out bar food.

I have been talking about this on stage lately but there are so many scenes centered around music and culture that are not receptive to people who are different.

I’m different but I will judge people who are different from my brand of different.

EAYC has that kind of crowd: I like a certain type of music, I have a particular type of vehicle, I dress a certain way, and I make lasting changes to my body for everyone to see.

I am on the fringe of these cultures. I love a bunch of different types of music and culture and have refused to pick just one. I also have trouble with authority, in the way that I respect it.

One time, a buddy of mine (who has cool tattoos, dresses a cool way, does cool things, and listens to the same music as I do) pointed out when we went to see The Adicts that the guys there who didn’t have tattoos weren’t dedicated enough to the music.

Why does punk music or any other genre or neighborhood joint have to have an unspoken code of conduct?

As a teenager, I felt perpetually uncool. I was a well-behaved kid who didn’t look like the music I liked. I also liked music that was “uncool” and somehow that gives people an automatic judgment on if I will receive entry to the “alternative, cool” club.

You don’t look like the rest of us= dumb

You like anything but what I like= dumb

It took me too damn long to say… screw you… I don’t care if you have something shitty to say about Saves The Day. I don’t care if you think I don’t have enough tattoos to be at this show/this part of town.

I got tired of being insecure about what people I thought were “cool” were going to think. It’s a adolescent trait that many of us still hold on to, no matter how much we deny it aloud. Even though, I really don’t like that feeling of being at a bar or a show and getting looks for not looking the part but no one can take away the feeling I get when I am singing along with a band at a show or having delicious wings at a dive joint.


The Long Wait Is Over

It’s been over a month since I have had wings or written about them. Why is it that life can get in the way of the things we love? I loathe the feeling of being spread thin and only meeting obligations. The month of May should have just been called MAYhem… Okay, I got my bad joke out of the way.

It’s odd how June began and my focus has shifted back to things I love: writing, performing, focusing on relationships, and dedication to finding new wings. I am back to my optimistic, hopeful self.

May challenged me in ways I couldn’t imagine: a constant stream of bridal showers, my sister’s college graduation, a bachelorette trip, shows, and family in town.

So much of it went well, so much of it I enjoyed but there were some moments that I had to reflect on and decide if I wanted to keep investing my time, money, energy, and heart into certain people and my experiences with them.

So many times you hold on to an idea of someone for so long, hoping that you both are the person that you both once were. It’s like finding a restaurant with tasty wings and going back over and over then one day it changes ownership and they don’t make their wings the same. The wings go from sauce made with love to sauce from a jar.

Then you start thinking, did these wings always suck but I chose to find the good? Was I dumb to believe these wings would be consistent? I mean, chefs make mistakes or they may have changed an ingredient because it was cost effective.

Maybe once you get wings in your life that knock your sock off, you start to see other wings as sub-par. Then I get to thinking that I am over analyzing these wings…maybe I need to accept these wings as they are but not go out of my way for them. I don’t know, but I have been sad about it, and disappointed.

Wings and relationships are important to me. (Don’t worry, different levels of importance. I do not pick wings over people unless it comes to what’s on my plate.) I hate thinking I have not focused enough on my relationships or I have put energy into ones that are not reciprocating. I hate thinking that I am eating wings that cost too much when there are ones that are delicious and a value.

I have to keep my June intentions in focus: positive relationships, comedy, and wings. That’s how it should be.