Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I MISS PINTEREST!

Since I recently did some spring cleaning, I got into the mood to organize my clutter. Specifically papers that don't have a home and are just chilling on my counter and the atrocity that in the cabinet under the sink in my bathroom.

The perfect place to get low-cost and/or DIY ideas like this: Pinterest.

Lord, what did we do before Pinterest. I found out this weekend and it's horrible. I had to Google search what I  was looking for. SKIP all the Pinterest boards (top 5 on any decorating idea search) and then click through websites for people trying to sell maybe ONE storage solution or ONE under cabinet drawer vs. having a bevy of pretty photos and designs available to me.

What's worse it that I had to go to the Better, Homes and Garden's website and they have all of these galleries where you have to click 22 times to get to the next one, then to get back to your Google search, you have to click back 22 times. Horrible user experience.

I've found Solace in Apartment Therapy. When I was reading blogs more regularly, I visited them often. Their user experience is awesome. They'll have 10 pics on the page, but you just click the thumbnail and it becomes the key image vs. having to scroll through pics you may or may not want to see.

I feel like I'm living in 2003 without access to my favorite social networks. Even with the internet, 2003 must've been rough.

LOL! Send me your Lent updates! Or just send me the latest update on Twitter beef. Who's got it?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring Cleaning

I did some spring cleaning this weekend. Yes, I know it's snowing like it's the middle of January, but I'm thinking spring thoughts.

Here's a list of useless information that I found out while cleaning.

1. Goodwill closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday. If I want to get this stuff out of my house, I need to get on the good foot EARLY in the morning.

2. You can recycle batteries at the City County building, 414 Grant Street.

3. A paste of baking soda and water gets stubborn, stuck-on food off of electric stove burners.

4. Easy Off works just as well on stuck on stove top food as does on ovens, but there's no substitute for an S.O.S. pad and some elbow grease!

5. Tenants in my building ARE allowed to smoke in their apartments, just not in the common areas. Pinterest should have a solution to stop by house from smelling like a bar due to my new neighbor's habits.

6. Banks don't have change machines anymore. The banker told me "we have dollar" machines so as to say my change ain't shit. So keeping a bag of change on my countertop to take to the bank won't work anymore in 2015. I guess I'll be paying in exact change and/or using Coinstar. ALSO, I think Coinstar is ludicrous. Why would I give you money to exchange MY money. That's like getting my check cashed at the currency exchange when direct deposit is available to me. It's just nuts.

Paper 
7. You should keep documents related to your taxes for up to seven years. Then you can destroy them.

8. You should keep bills for three months or until they are settled. Settled = you said you paid and your creditor/utility agrees.

9. At home paper shredders suck.

10. There are free paper shredding community events that either charge nothing or charge a donation to charity to shred all your papers for you. If your paper shredder is wack like mine and/or you don't want to be hauling stacks of crap into work to shred, consider timing your spring cleaning to one of these events in your area.

Are you doing any spring cleaning this year?

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Random Thoughts in Vegas...

"My camera died on the High Roller, so I'm writing my thoughts on a napkin to blog later:

  • The ferris wheel is the largest observation deck in the world. I'm on it... by myself.
  • I want people to stop saying "JUST" in front of the word one or you. Yes, it's just me. 
  • When we first kicked off I had the most glorious view of Sprinkles.
  • This is some George Jetson of the future shit. It's been her 8 months. 
  • I haven't been to Vegas in 13 months. 
  • I can't believe it's November. 
  • So I just had to sit here and remember what I saw. 
  • When you get really high up it feels like you're not moving, but I'm at 342 ft, and counting. 
  • It's weird to walk around. 
  • I can see my hotel from here.
  • I think I'm almost at the top. I just got scared. 
  • 550 ft in the air.
  • While I was looking for a plug in the floor, I noticed a handle that said "Emergency Supplies" 
  • All of the Lights just came on. I feel like I'm at home when this comes on. 
  • The Bellagio Light Show is happening. I'm so happy! 
  • They expect more traffic than they're getting. 
  • Also, it's unseasonably warm here. Like 80, when it's usually 50. 
  • Cosmopolitan is the tallest hotel here. 
  • Coming down is not as exciting as going up. Womp womp. 
  • I'm glad they told us it was 30 minutes.
  • You go in like a roller coaster. 
  • Now, they're playing Pharrell, Lucky. 
  • 'Watch this timelapse video or keep staring out the window reevaluating your life' 
  • Now they're playing Baby Give Me One More Chance - Jackson 5 
  • Yardhouse. 180 beers on tap. 
  • Doors open.
  • 1 in, 1 out."

Friday, February 27, 2015

It's Blue and Black!

The dress is blue and black and if you can't see that, I don't know what's wrong with you. This explains why there are so many car accidents on the road. People don't go to the eye doctor.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're even further behind me and I don't have access to social media right now. Just walk away slowly and don't tell anyone you're out of the loop. LOL!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Missing Out...

Is Twitter ablaze that the Department of Justice didn't bring any Civil Rights charges against George Zimmerman? Someone emailed me that news. I've been checking CNN and local news in Chicago and Pittsburgh, but it's not the same as Twitter. Twitter brought ALL the news right to my timeline. As well as the radical thought around it. I miss that immensely. That and Amber/Khloe-ish beef.

ALSO, I miss the realtime TV updates. I missed Empire two weeks in a row and I missed the Oscars. I literally saw the "this is what you missed at the Oscars" headline when I went to open my email and had to click it. I thought, I'm officially somebody's grandma, getting my news 12 hours after it happened.

How's Lent going for you? What have you missed about what you gave up? Has your prayer life increased? What about your scripture reading?

Happy Lenten Season all!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

*Kevin Hart Voice* REALLY?

Only a pastor of an African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church would call a fast during Lent. We're supposed to fast for 18 hours (From Midnight to 6 p.m.) on Wednesdays. So now I'm bored (no social media) AND hungry (no food).

I had a lunch planned. Canceled.
Was going to work out. Nah.

I'm basically going to exert as little energy as humanly possible until 5:30 p.m. when I start cooking my 6 p.m. meal. I've prayed twice already today and it's not even noon.

On a serious note though, the fast is for myself, my church (Wesley Center A.M.E. Zion Church) and my Pastor (Rev. Glenn Grayson). If you don't mind, please lift us up in prayer today as well.

Another funny side note: I didn't even go to church this week. But the problem with being close to your church family is that they will text you the fast. Talmbout: Here's what you missed sister.

This is all good stuff though. Let us pray.

Monday, February 23, 2015

For the Homies Who've Left Us...

I'd like to pour out some liquor, an airline sized bottle, of course, for all the airlines that didn't make it. I was cleaning out my wallet and there are some airlines that couldn't cut it.


- ATA - I missed my first flight on your airline. Kicked it at Midway airport for 8 hours waiting to go standby because you had lines out of the door. It was traumatic, but it's the reason I arrive 2 hours beforehand (1 hour in Pittsburgh's one terminal airport) because I don't like dealing with that trauma. You taught me a lot, may you rest in peace.

- Air Tran - You were one of my faves. You got swallowed up by Southwest and now I can fly internationally for the low, low. I wish I could say you'll be missed. You won't.

- Continental - You got swallowed up by United. This is true malarkey. Your seats were bigger, your service was better, your people were friendlier. When it comes time for customer service training, can you ask United to use yours instead of theirs?

- America West Airlines - You were one step up from Spirit Airlines, which really isn't saying too much. You had the smallest seats and the meanest flight attendants and the cheapest pop. You got bought out by US Airways and then...

- US Airways - Or as I like to call you, useless airways. Your flight attendants told me I had to check my carry-on bag to my final destination, when there was actually room in the overhead bins, simply because I was in Group 5. I made the plane, my bags did not. You're liars and you're cheats and I hope American teaches you a few things.

I pray my favorite airline, Southwest keeps being awesome. I don't want to have to lay them to rest. What's your favorite airline in 2015? 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Lenten Season!

It's maybe my 5th year participating in Lent and I'm excited about it. I'm giving up social media, within reason. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tinder or Swarm. I'm still going to use LinkedIn and YouTube because they're not social media for real. And they don't drain my energy the way the other networks do.

It'll be interesting to wake up in the morning and not check my phone for the latest photos on IG or the latest news stories on Twitter. I guess I should download CNN.com or Washington Post or Al Jezerra or something like that, so I'm not completely disconnected.

Whenever you have a craving to do what you're not doing for Lent, you're supposed to pray. I don't think that's possible. Since I would have social media open 24/7, doing it while I was doing other things, I can't exactly pray 24/7.

I can whisper a quick, Help Me, Lord or Thank You, Lord or maybe I find a scripture to quote every time I want to say something on social media and can't.

My big brother said I'm going to die. I think I'll be ok, but it will be an interesting 40 days and 40 nights.

What are you giving up for Lent this year?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pay What You Owe, Santa!


I was feeling very much how Riley Freeman feels about Santa when it came to my eHarmony subscription. I have been trying to get my money back from them since October 28, 2014. We went three rounds with the Better Business Bureau and nope, no refund. So I submitted my complaint to the California Attorney General's office. Shortly, thereafter, a refund was issued.

I really wish I didn't have to spend all this extra time tracking down refunds for services I don't want, but shoutout to the government for advocating on my behalf and eHarmony for giving up on trying to keep my money.

Now, onto ChristianMingle.com...


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Thank You President Obama!

Remember in 2008 when I was [unnecessarily] angry and posted here  about their being no travel size black hair care products? Well, someone was listening. We elected a black President and look what I found in Target.


I'm feeling pretty satisfied with myself and my President #OnToday. Um hm.

Monday, February 16, 2015

We Are The Leadership We've Been Waiting For

As a person who gets more news from social media than cable TV news, I realize that I have access to info that a lot of people don't. In the wake of the publicizing of police brutality and the corresponding racial unrest and uprising that it's caused, people are looking for leaders everywhere. They're looking for coordinated efforts.

Well, if you want to be involved in a movement, look no further.

  1. C.A.R.E.S.http://centerthatcares.org/about-us/* - Children/Adult Recreational and Education Services - an afterschool program in Pittsburgh's Hill District that focuses on exposing students to places and opportunities outside of their comfort zone to keep them away from gun violence and better their futures.
  2. Millennial Activists United - MAU is a grassroots organization that demand accountability for victims of social injustice in Ferguson, across America and the world.
  3. Black Youth Project 100 - BYP 100 is an org of Black 18-35 year olds, that has built a collective focused on transformative leadership development, non-violent direct action organizing, advocacy and education
  4. Dream Defenders - This is a group of young folks, mostly students in Florida who were very active following the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Their website isn't as up-to-date now, but they're heavy on Twitter. I definitely support their efforts. 
  5. The Trayvon Martin Foundation - This foundation was established to share awareness of how violent crimes affects families, not just the victims.
  6. National Action Network - Say what you want about Al Sharpton, but when a black person is killed, wrongfully or otherwise, have you hopped on a plane and hugged his or her mother. Rev. Sharpton does. I imagine if Dr. King was still alive people would treat him the same way they treat Al and it's pretty disgusting. I respect the work he does and I hope he can come to some respect and understanding with the younger generations doing work too.
  7. NAACP - This can be a polarizing organization, because even the name says it's for COLORED people. Its very name makes people uncomfortable. Let's not let new activism make us forget all that this organization has done and continue to support their efforts and usher them into the future.
  8. ACLU - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
  9. Rainbow P.U.S.H. Coalition - Yep, Rev. Jackson and 'nem still do a breakfast and press conference EVERY Saturday in Chicago. While everyone's looking around for the next big thing, they are in the community working on a lot of little things and they haven't stopped because being black has become unpopular.
  10. CeaseFire Illinois - CeaseFire Illinois is the Illinois arm of Cure Violence. I heard that this organization was losing funding and it breaks my heart. They work with criminals. Yes, the people who are doing the killing and shooting (because they are people too) to STOP doing killing and shooting. Prison is not reformative and once someone's in prison, someone else is already dead.
*Full disclosure, I'm on the board of this organization and I think you should donate to it right now.

Monday, January 26, 2015

What's Missing?

The State of the Union speech by the President was wonderful. Complete with the type of hope and togetherness and liberal politics we expect from President Obama and even a few quips. #iWonBOFAThem

Unfortunately, he was missing a few topics that I think are significantly important to the union.

Gun Violence - It's like Sandy Hook never happened and/or he realized he was powerless over the NRA. It's sad that people fight for the right to take others lives. (Likely the same folks that are vehemently against abortion, but let me not go there today).

Social Security - Now I don't too much care about this. I've determined that there's no way that I'm going to get social security and am lining up my retirement funds accordingly. Some people don't have that privilege and will just be assed out when they retire. Surely, the government hasn't forgot about this and they don't think a bunch of child care credits (#iAintGotNoKids) is going to make up for this deficiency.

Infrastructure - Now maybe he mentioned this OR maybe some of the past credits that the government has given is already taking care of this, but I just saw THIS story about an Ohio overpass being closed due to scheduled maintenance. The picture scared me to death (originally I thought it collapsed, which is why reading is fundamental). I'm pretty sure nothing in the world matters if we can't get from place to place to work, eat, go home or pick up kids from child care because we died on an structurally unsound overpass.

What about you? Did you love the #SOTU? Were there any topics you missed? Do I have any 100% Republican readers? (I'm 49% Republican myself). Do you all have harsher criticism of my President?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Shrinking Net Worth

If you've been here for a while, you know that I'm extremely proud of my high credit score. To the point, that some of y'all were like are you using Experian, Equifax, TransUnion or something else because who even knew credit scores went that high.

I was super into it while I was paying my credit card debt down. Now I don't even check it regularly. I don't care.

With student loans up next at bat, I'm on this journey to becoming debt free. At the end of 2015, I won't own anything and I won't owe anything. It'll be just me and the clothes on my back. LOL!

Well, I kind started following a few radical, debt-free folks on Twitter. I haven't fully committed to their lifestyle of not being in debt ever again or not buying things that require payments in installments. I am, however, open to new and different ways of thinking about money and wealth and my newest obsession is understanding net worth. 

Put simply, net worth is what is owned minus what is owed. Your assets minus your liabilities and man, as Americans, we are doing it wrong.

According to the Russell Sage Foundation, the median network for Americans is about $56,000, which is down a third from 10 years ago.


Other reports says it's as low as $45,000. What's worse is that the AVERAGE for the U.S. is $300,000. So what that's saying is a few families: the Trumps, the Hiltons, The Gates and the Obamas got it... and the rest of us don't.

New goal is to get my net worth above the median in the short term. Get above the average in my 5-year plan and figure out how to get my family in top 1% before I die. I think this is a solid plan. Who's with me? 

P.S. I realized I'm more interested in personal finance than most when I got all excited about a Suze Orman money calculator at work and no one shared my enthusiasm. I sucked at econ, but money is so fascinating to me. Can't wait to learn more!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thank You Dove!

Dove gets it right so much. Here's another one:


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SMILE!

So smile.amazon.com, let's you give to your favorite organization just by purchasing things you already purchase. How amazing is that?

Check it out and let me know who you're donating to? Mine are going to the Chicago Women's AIDS Project. ;-)