Monday, March 30, 2015

Natural Hair: Junk Science or Nah?

Do you ever read natural hair blogs and websites or watch natural hair vlogs and think the dialogue is a bunch of hogwash. Then that conversation spills into brunch and diversity conference conversation, but sounds like fake, yet believable science?

I just want to take phrases like "Is your hair 4a, 4b or 4c" and "define your curl pattern" and throw them in an incinerator with words like "swag" and "fleek" and turn it up to I-never-want-to-hear-this-ever-again heat levels.

So... I'm looking for new hair styles and stumble across a post about hair's porosity. WAIT A MINUTE? What is this science I've never heard of before?

While I could give two damns about how "curly" my hair is, how to "prevent shrinkage" or how to "keep my length," my biggest hair goal in life is to keep my situation consistently moisturized. Meanwhile, since I've moved to Pittsburgh, I've not been able to achieve the moisture I want because the air is SO dry. (Or maybe Chicago's air was just so humid). Nonetheless.

I did the hair porosity test and originally thought it was a bunch of crap (three strands stayed at the top and one dropped to the bottom). But moments later the one at the bottom rose again like Christ on the third day. I'm thinking it was just full of product and therefore deceptive at the first pass.

So I read how best to moisturize "low porosity" hair and guess what, it worked! After weeks, months, years of trial and error with different products in Pittsburgh, I finally figured out that it's not WHAT I moisturize with, so much as how I moisturize. Wash Day torture routine coming up tomorrow.  

Hair follicles on fleek! I'm excited.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Countdown: One Month

It is exactly one month until my birthday. I felt the need to make a notation. Somewhere.

ALSO, I'll be back on social media is 7 days, 6 hours and 9 minutes and oh, what a glorious reunion it will be!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Quotables

"I trust the divine timing of my life" - Tracee Ellis Ross

I love me some her. Maybe it's her big eyes (like mine), or her big hair (like mine), her big sense of goofy humor (not unlike my own) or her big bum (I wish!), but really I think it's her big personality that makes me love Tracee Ellis Ross. Then she graces the cover of the March issue of Essence looking absolutely fabulous and has one of the best interviews I've ever read with what's shaping up to be one of my favorite quotes of all time.



Special shout out to Red Pump Project and all of my friends and associates doing work for that org. They have a two-page spread on page 112. I had a party at my house on Friday and definitely passed the magazine around on page 112 like it was the scripture of the week!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Enter For $100,000 By March 27!

One of the most encouraging things about living in Pittsburgh, is all of then nonprofit work going on in such a small space. A friend of mine works for BMe, an organization giving away $400,000 in grants to Black men in select cities across the United States. He put on one of the best networking events I've ever been to in Pittsburgh and in a few weeks will be disseminating CASH MONEY (yes, I said cash money) to a Black man in the Pittsburgh community to do this work! 

Here's the flyer from the event. If you are that Black man, apply here. If you KNOW a Black man who could use the money, nominate him here.


Since I'm off of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tinder) until Easter, please share this post far and wide for me. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring!

It's the first day of spring and I can only hope single digit temperatures and snow are behind us. When I think about social media I think about live TV and sports updates, to-the-minute news, Twitter beef, celebrity gossip and brand posturing. One thing I'd forgotten about is all the good news and inspiration you can get from social media if you follow the right folks.

Check out this story from BlackDoctor.org (one of my favorite sites), which reports on Instagram. This is a post I would have seen if I was on social media, but have sacrificed for Lent. So happy Black Doctor.org decided to share some good news in my email inbox.

God is still in the miracle business. #LeahStrong

"Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, who has been publicly fighting for his daughter Leah and her rare cancer, took to Instagram on Tuesday to relay what he called the best news he’s ever received.

According to his Instagram post,  based on her latest MIBG scans, she is showing no signs of disease activity. He says:

'That moment you get the best news you’ve ever received and don’t know what to do so you just flex!! We got Leah’s MIBG Scans back tonight and the doctors told us they didn’t see any active disease in her body!!! We still have to wait for her MRI and bone biopsy results later this week. But the doctors feel very optimistic about them because of the results from today. So for now we celebrate!!!  #LeahStrong'" 

Read the rest here:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Donate Your Work Clothes To Help CD One Price Cleaners support The Cara Program!

Can you all help me by sharing this far and wide (especially since I can't get on social media right now).

Now, through March 24 all 33 Chicagoland CD One Price Cleaners is collecting interview attire for the Cara Program. I don't have to tell you I love [and miss] CD One Price Cleaners, but any company giving back to the community, is a company I can get down with for a long time.

Full message from them below:

CD One Price Cleaners is partnering with The Cara Program to help motivated individuals transform their lives!
Now through March 24th, all 33 Chicagoland CD One Price Cleaners will be accepting donated interview attire. The clothes will then be cleaned free of charge and prepared for The Cara Program, where they will be used by individuals who are interviewing for jobs that could change their lives!

The Cara Program, a Chicago-based workforce and leadership development agency, prepares motivated adults affected by homelessness and poverty for successful careers. The Cara Program provides job training, placement, retention and advancement services, and launches businesses that create training opportunities and quality jobs for the men and women they serve. Since their founding in 1991, The Cara Program has placed more than 4,800 individuals into more than 6,600 quality jobs, at one-year retention rates of 75% or better! To learn more, please visit www.thecaraprogram.org.

Help support your local communities by bringing in your interview attire today!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Take Action for AIDS In Illinois

The new Illinois Governor is messing things up and fast. I didn't follow the campaign too much because I just expected folks to vote Democratically and therefore this anti-union, anti-social services gubernatorial candidate would be ignored. Boy, was I wrong. I should have come come and encouraged more people to vote. Anywho, I got the following letter from John Peller, President/CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and wanted to share.

Please:

1. Write or call the governor and tell him not to make the cuts to the AIDS services in the budget and
2. Donate to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (or other AIDS organization) for the great work they're doing in Chicago and beyond.
3. Mark your calendar for all of the advocacy days below  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear T, 


Last month, Governor Bruce Rauner proposed the most destructive budget that the HIV community has seen in years. His budget contains a $1.6 billion cut to Medicaid, a $6 million slash (which is a 25% cut) to the state’s HIV funding line and a reduction in funding for the African American AIDS Response Act Fund by 66% to $500,000.

This budget is unacceptable and we must push back.

Will you contribute to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and our skilled team of health policy experts who are advocating to ensure adequate funding for HIV services?  Your donation funds our advocacy efforts as we fight these budget cuts to retain crucial HIV funding.
Donate online at www.aidschicago.org/donate.

Stand with Illinois’ HIV community so that legislators understand that our state’s fiscal burdens cannot be placed on the backs of individuals living with or vulnerable to HIV.
John Peller
President/CEO

P.S. You can join our fight against budget cuts! Sign up for AFC’s advocacy alerts, join our Virtual Advocacy Day on Wednesday, March 18, or come with us to Springfield on Wednesday, April 15 or Wednesday, May 13.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Event Alert: Rock The Red!


THIS WEEKEND! Chicagoans, have your face in the place. Ladies in your red pumps, fellas in your red ties (and or Yeezy's, whatevs.) Full Invite below!
 


The Red Pump Project invites you to the 6th annual Rock the RED fashion show, to be held on Saturday, March 21, 2015 in Chicago, IL. Rock the RED brings together our passion for social justice and our love of fashion, while commemorating National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. During Rock the RED, we will showcase fashions by designers from around the city of Chicago and honor a local HIV/AIDS activist with our Ultimate Red Pump Rocker award.

Purchase your tickets at: rockthered6.eventbrite.com!

Monday, March 16, 2015

They Got MO-NAY!!!!

Network TV is rolling in the dough. CBS to be exact. I'm not only impressed with the writing and plot twists on the Good Wife... I'm finally caught up to the final season and after Easter will be able to live tweet with folk on Sunday night (if it's even still coming on after Easter).

But I'm a SO impressed with the talent they've been able to book for the show.

10. Audra McDonald
9. Anika Noni Rose
8. Michael J. Fox
7. Michael Ealy
6. Taye Diggs
5. Joe Morton
4. Amanda Peet
3. America Ferrera
2. Matthew Perry
1. Romany Malco

Donna Brazile, Valerie Jarrett, Chris Michaels... And Renee Elise Pine, whose name I didn't know before I Googled it, but I swear she is in everything. Talk about having a successful acting career fly under the radar. And she hasn't aged a day in 20 years.

Man, err'body.

This reminds me of the height of black TV when everyone from Biggie to Jodeci was on Martin. Back in the day!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Random Musings

1. I bought* CBS All Access pass to finish watching the Good Wife (I'm up to Season 6 now) and there are so many damn commercials.

I know that Verizon has the largest 4G LTE Network in the community.
I know that today could be my day to save with Geico.
I know that Buick has five expectation shattering models

And most importantly, I know that Lobsterfest is on now at Red Lobster.

If they're going to inundate me with commercials, they could do me the favor of having more than four sponsors.

2. Hulu Plus has too many commercials too, BUT Hulu Plus, let's you tell them if the commercial is relevant to you or not. So I can tell them that any commercial about me being a mom and making a lunch or cleaning a bathroom for some damn kids is irrelevant, despite my age and tax bracket, that would indicate that I could possibly be a mom by now.

3. I don't like Alicia Florrick. I think she's a Godless, shiftless woman without a moral center and I don't understand why I can never see her part. No one's hair is that thick. Her and her husband deserve each other and I wish she went on a vacation, so they could focus on Diane Lockhart and her husband more. I find that relationship fascinating.

4. Everyone once in a while, you should watch a back movie on Netflix. Today, I chose N-Secure. Oh, what straight-to-DVD trash this was. If I had been drinking, I would have laughed hysterically and uncontrollably.

5. Naps are awesome.

*When I say bought I mean I got the free week, so I could binge watch Season 6 this weekend, cancel and then watch it on Sunday nights like a regular person. Free weeks make the world go round. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

I have #$%^ to say out here

I have so much to say. I've been texting and GroupChatting my friends nonstop. I don't know if they think I really like them (I do) or if they know I just need an outlet for my random thoughts and have turned to them to do it. Here are the top 10 things I'd like to talk about on Twitter or Facebook, but can't.

10. Empire - Derek Luke got in them guts. Oops, I mean, it's good to see Cookie diversifying her portfolio.
9. The Weather - It's been absolutely gorgeous lately and I'd like to shout from the rooftops how happy I am to see the sun.
8. Restaurant recommendations - I went to Gauchos last weekend, this Argentinian spot in the Strip District. Um, amazing!
7. Concert News - So Pete Rock was here and Rakim was coming. I'm not a hip hop head at all, but it would have been nice to ask if anyone else was going and maybe form a squad.
6. Fitness updates. I've been texting #TeamFit. A different woman each week, but it's not nearly as effective as telling 10-15 women your fitness goals each day. I also miss the opportunity to encourage the other ladies.
5. Condolences - I heard that Mr. Gully passed away. I would have liked to have seen one of the nostalgic high school stories about him and contributed my personal account. Sad to say, but by the time I get back on Facebook, people will have moved on. You have to mourn in the moment.
4. The Good Wife - I'm catching up on Hulu Plus after never watching the show and IT'S GOOD! I want to just tweet random things about it, six seasons after the fact and
3. Downton Abbey - I only know like 3 people that watch Downton Abbey and two of them, I only talk to on
2. Airport Stories - I've been to Phoenix, Chicago and New York and I haven't checked in on FourSquare or complained about the TSA or told any funny stories about other passengers. Travel is quite solitary without Twitter.
1. The news. Everyday there's at least 5 news stories I want to share with other people. Whether it's about pork prices being low, Ferguson's police chief stepping down or the best day to find low fare flights.

I feel very disconnected from the masses right now, which I hope is drawing me closer to God. (That and prayer and meditation).

Any updates on your Lenten season?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It Fought A Good Fight

My vacuum cleaner is probably old. I have no idea when I bought it. Maybe 2006... Maybe 2000... It's broken and I blame natural hair. It's not ALL the way broken, which would have been nice. At least that wouldn't have given me false hope. It's essentially brushing all the dirt into one location (under the vacuum), but not picking it up.

Do other people have this problem? Or am I the last sane adult who doesn't have hardwood floors? 

So what do you think I did? 

A) Kept vacuuming since it IS brushing the dirt...and then picked the rest up by hand.
B) Swept the rug like it's a hardwood floor.
C) Bent down and picked the dirt up with my hands, which is essentially like cutting grass with scissors.
D) A mix of A,B and C

OR

E) Lived in filth and squalor until the vacuum was repaired?

If anyone comments with a guess (or texts me or something, I'll post an update).

P.S. I'm going to ask Google, but does anyone know how much vacuum cleaner repairs are? Or should I just buy a new one?

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?