Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Always Tired

It's 12:55 a.m. and I'm about to stop working. I'm not done, but I'm stopping. Last week, I only worked 41.75 hours, but I was just as tired as if I worked my regular 50 hours. And if I work 60 hours, still tired. 70 hours, still tired.

I had something to do after work every day last week. Doctor's appointment, volunteering, a play that my company gave me free tickets too, a team outing and restaurant week dinner with my friends.

My weekend was like this Sat: pay bills, volunteer at Family House, grocery shop, Steelers game with one of my mentees. Sun: Grocery shop for church picnic (Pastor called me while I was at the game, talmbout, can you bring a meat dish.) Cook for the church picnic, laundry, church picnic, work, Pittsburgh Black Media Federation "Still Feel Like Going On" teen boys photo exhibit, work.

This reminds me, I probably still have a load in the washer from yesterday.

Tomorrow I have to take a client's best friend's underage child to dinner after work. Wednesday, I'm double booked. I'm supposed to presenting to the Children's Sickle Cell Foundation and mentoring with Gwen's Girls. (My mentee told me she doesn't like it when I switch my days. I hope I taught her that being flexible does not mean that I don't care and that she can trust me to be there, but I don't know that the message came through. It did, however, make me feel guilty for not coming some Wednesdays. I love and miss those girls!)

Thursday, happy hour for a coworker that's leaving and I actually like her, so I'm going. Friday morning at 8 a.m. I'm driving to Chicago for a church choir reunion. 2 rehearsals, a meet and greet, 2 Sunday services THEN I'm driving back to the 'Burgh on Monday, which will be followed by another grueling 50-hour work week.

I'm declaring next Saturday (the Saturday before Labor Day) is Tea Day. I'm not doing A THING! (Unless a friend has a party, in which case, I'm going, but hopefully that will be Friday night and I can just chill Saturday).

I still need to send out an invite for the Black Marketers Network I'm creating and do nonprofit work for a board I joined. When am I going to do this, Lord?

I've said no to a lot of stuff [a ton of stuff] in Pittsburgh already, but I think I may, possibly, probably, kind of... be overextended. What y'all think?

Also have to be at work at 7 a.m., so this "nap" I'm about to take will be delicious.

Good night.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Asking For Help

So I have a problem with asking for help. Like most problems, I didn't know I had that problem until someone pointed it out. I had a recipe fiasco and my homeboy says, why didn't you just ask me, I love to cook. And I was thinking, well... I didn't know I couldn't make that recipe until I failed. In my head, why would I ask for help before I knew I needed it.

So yesterday, I couldn't come up with something to cook for the church picnic and I hit my cousin, culinary artist extraordinaire up and she helped me come up with some ideas.

The most exciting part about this is that I didn't have any heartburn whatsoever about asking. I just realized I had a deficit. I found someone with a surplus and I asked for what I needed.

I wonder sometimes, if people reading this blog, go DUH all the time, but I swear the simplest things are the easiest ways to stop me from progressing. And things may seem simple to everyone else, but this is a breakthrough for me.

So here's to asking for help whether I think I need it or not and here's to all the people in my corner and in my circle who are willing to provide it!

Happy Sunday y'all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Corporate News

Lots of good stuff coming out of the east coast today: 

A local ad firm reaches out to high school students. Is it any wonder they now want to work in PR. *thinking of a master plan*

How to Choose Social Tools to Fit Your Business (written by my colleague). Many brands/agencies struggle with this, so she has some tips for ya!

Women in PR and Chicagoans especially, check out the Women in PR Summit

D.C., Philly, NYC folks check out this GOALS Conference coming up in Philly in October.


PR people all over the world, check out the details of the National Black Public Relations Society Conference and Career Fair, November 6-9 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

I think that's enough for the day. Adds to my to-do list:

1. Create website for yourself
2. Host a professional blog on said website.
3. Just finish Tuesday. LAWD, I have so much to do!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fascinating Article...

About a Christian doctor who performs abortions in Mississippi.

It's long.
It's good.
It made me question some things I think.
It made me want to subscribe to Esquire.
It made me disable my comments to this post.

Enjoy.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Bloom Where You're Planted

I saw someone post that to Instagram and it really inspired me. It's truly how I live my life. I live in weak sauce Pittsburgh, but people swear I love it here because they see my photos and I'm happy and I'm out SEVERAL nights a week, despite folks swearing that there's nothing to do here. You can take an extrovert out of Chicago, but you can't take the extrovert out of her. Here are things I've either done and/or am looking forward to in Pittsburgh.

What I've done already 
10. Rooftops. I have found some rooftops worthy of visiting. Namely, Uptown across from the Consol Center. I.LOVE.IT.THERE! Also, Six Penn is awesome and Tavern 245.

9. Family Reunion - My Pastor's blood family had a family reunion last weekend and they invited me to a couple of the festivities. My heart is swelling with gratitude. I couldn't have experienced that if I was at Ovio living it up.

8.  Family House - I only volunteer there on weekends and hadn't been since the first weekend in June. I'm volunteering twice in August, which gets me back up to my commitment of once a month. I may do more if my schedule allows. Giving back keeps me whole.

7. Pittsburgh Culture - I always score free tickets to things and last week I got free tickets to the Pirates game and Spamalot. You can't beat free with a stick AND most of this stuff is walking distance from my apartment.

6. Bar hopping - Every time I leave the house in Pittsburgh, I spend $0-$40 and still have a great time. I miss the cheapness of this city when I leave it.

What's coming up
5. Hosting get togethers. I'm throwing a pre-game shindig for a new friend at my house this evening and nothing makes me happier. I love entertaining.

4. Hot dog day at church. I'm on the Women's Day committee at church and we have some money to raise, but I haven't been here all Sunday. I'll finally be home to contribute and as lame as it may sound, I'm excited to get my grill on.

3. Dream Cream - It's Ice Cream that Makes a Difference. Can't beat that with a stick!

2. Hanging with new friends - This article states it best, but moving to a new place gives you an opportunity to hang with people you would have NEVER hung out with in your hometown. Did I say NEVER... no diss. I disagree fundamentally with so many people I spend time with in this city, but I'll be damned if I'm not building character.

1. No Line, No waiting! I can get into everything here for free... all the time. I did, however, stand in line to go to Art's last week, while two "VIP" dudes walked in front of me. It was one of the more humbling things that's ever happened in muh life.

FOMO

I have the worst case of FOMO in life. Not only am I missing Chicago like crazy today, but I feel like every weekend that I'm in Pittsburgh I'm missing out on something going on somewhere else.

Por ejemplo:

Over the past couple of weeks, here are the things I have not done.

1. Go to the Posh Paris Party in Chicago
2. Go to the Greatest Day Ever Party in NYC
3. Go to Caribana or Ovio in Toronto.
4. Go to the Beyonce concert anywhere (Going to regret this for years to come)
5. Lollapalooza

This weekend, here's what I'm missing in Chicago.
6. Luvvie's Blogiversary Party
7. The Red Pump Project's 5th Anniversary concert with Chaka Khan (I mean, come on!)
8. Thursday nights at Nouveau Tavern (I haven't partied on Thursdays in YEARS, but for some reason, I feel like I would enjoy this.)
9. Glenn's Bday. I know there were festivities.
10. The Bears/Eagles game at Soldier Field tonight (And I don't even like preseason).

Want to hear the good news, at least one of my friends made it to all of these events, so I live vicariously through them. I don't know if this is good or bad for my fomo. #KanyeShrug 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Blessing of Friendship



This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend my grandmother's surprise 75th birthday party. My mom and her six siblings put together a wonderful program where people from different parts of my grandma's life all spoke. We heard from her senior club, that she's been a member of for five years and never misses a Thursday fellowship meeting. We heard from one of the drivers from the church who picks her up for first Sunday service.

We heard from a school administrator who talked about her volunteer work as the "book store" lady at my mom, aunts and uncle's grammar school. Side note: Even as a woman with no college degree, she knew the value of education. When she wasn't working she was IN THE SCHOOL volunteering, watching over her kids and contributing to the lives of others' children.

The speech that really touched me the most was from her girlfriend of 60+ years. Ms. Lee Bertha. She noted how all it takes is a conversation with my grandma to make everything better. First, that's 'cause my grandma is awesome, but can you imagine what's it's like to share a problem with someone who's known you for 60 years? Ms. Lee Bertha and others noted how grandma is the epitome of grace and calm under fire and how when you tell her a secret, she will take it to the grave with her.

Speaking of graves, my grandfather passed in 1996. May he rest in peace. But now, 18 years later, who's still in my grandma's corner? Who's still her right hand? Her shoulder to lean and cry on? Her hand to hold, her arms to embrace, her ears to listen: her girlfriends.

I'm so happy that I have strong relationships with my girlfriends and can't wait to see how that dynamic is enhanced as I add family members (husband, children, grandchildren). If history is an indicator of the future, I can say with certainty that my relationships with my girlfriends will be the longest lasting [and possibly most fulfilling] relationships of my life. I'm so blessed to have a head start on 40+ years of friendship with so many women and even more blessed to have experienced grandma and Ms. Lee Bertha's relationship dynamic yesterday.

Wishing you all lifetimes of wonderful friendships!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Over It

I'm so over dating. It's like bills to me. I'm not going to stop paying my bills (or dating), but sometimes you just look at the money going out and you're like, you know what, I'm over this.

I'm sick of the getting to know you phase. I want to skip straight to cuddling on the couch after dinner. Let me humor you with some of my recent shenanigans.

  • I'm talking to a dude and he apologizes for not keeping in touch. He's "going through some stuff" with his ex. #Ew #DoNotWant 
  • I am so sick of asking dudes what they do for a living. It's like pulling teeth to get an honest answer. If I hear business administration, retail, I'm in the medical field or some other mask for a high- or low-paying job, I may scream.
  • A text conversation with a dude fron Tinder:

Him: What are you up to
Me: I just left church and dinner?
Him (WITHOUT ME ASKING): I just got in from the dealership... I want to drive to Pittsburgh to come see you.
Me: That's a long drive. Do you like road trips.
Him: Love them. Plus, I just got a new car.
Me: That's cool.
Him: proceeds to send me 3 pictures of his new Benz, complete with the jail pose in front of the car.

Something about my profile must scream: BASIC, 'cause he thought I cared.

  • And finally, I HATE repeating myself. It's one of my biggest pet peeves. New dude (but not THAT new) hits me up. Wants to know how my day was. It's 9 p.m. I'm still at work. I say: I'm still at work. He goes "Wow, Long day?" We've literally had this same exact conversation before. I work long hours. I try to keep them in perspective. Yes, I worked 12 hours today, but I could have also spent 12 hours LOOKING for a job. I'm blessed. I spent my entire weekend NOT working. It's OK. 
  • Unless you're inviting me somewhere other than work (which he is not), then I'm not really going to commiserate with you about how hard life is and how many hours I work. I can't with miserable dudes. (He's not just miserable because he asked me about a long day. He's miserable because he's never happy when I talk to him. He tries to bring me down with him. I ain't going fam.) 
I wish I was one of those people who wanted to take a dating/relationship hiatus. Those people are truly free. No partner bogging them down. No potentials wasting their time. I'm not them though. I like to keep my options open.

Thus, I deal with f*ckery daily.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tea's Tangents: Part 3

Ok, a couple more things from when I was unpacking last week. My who time flies.

1. I left my headphones in the pocket of the shirt I wore on the plane to Barcelona and then washed said shirt in our convenient washer/drying in our AirBNB apartment. Now the left side works only. On the bright side, at least the left side works!!!

2. Forget squats. If you want a booty move into a walk-up. My friend in NYC lived in a 4th floor walk-up and our apartment in Barcelona was a 4th floor walk-up and for some reason you had to walk DOWN two flights of stairs to every club in Barcelona, so at the end of the night, we were walking up 2 more flights of stairs. By the end of the trip, my little bump was sitting up nicely... or maybe it was all those tapas. LOL!

I really am going to try to use the stairs more at work and at home. Ask me about it if you see me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Can You Hear Me Now?


Remember when I got sick in January? Of course you don't. No one remembers when someone else was sick, but I remember it. It was a miserable month. I had a cold, followed by a sinus infection and leftover Eustacian Tube Dsyfunction.

I got to the ENT and they give me steroids to take off the pressure. The pressure was removed, but my ear was still clogged when the meds were done.

I go to my primary care physician for my annual exam and physical and she sees something in my ear and is like: you need to go back to the ENT.

Go back and they said my hearing was actually BETTER than it was the first time I went in. Makes no sense.

The thing is pressure in your ear doesn't affect your hearing as much as you think it was. The point is there was crazy pressure. It SEEMED like I couldn't hear and I was sick of it.

Short of surgery and waiting there was really nothing that I could do.

The doc removed some ear wax and looks at me and says: does that make it better? Naw dude. Some ear wax is not stopping my ear from unclogging. Then he says something that gets to the bottom on the conversation.

He said there was something strange about how my jaw was clenched. Hmm... well, I grind my teeth at night. It's mostly due to stress and I have a mouthguard, but I hate to wear it. I've gotten it sized and resized and it stills bruises the inside of my cheeks. So I can either have grinded down teeth or bruised cheeks. I guess at the end of the day, I can replace my teeth. My jaws are irreplaceable.

I also just feel like a 13 year old with a retainer. And I've never worn braces or a retainer so going to bed with something in my mouth just seems crazy.

Anywho, I tell the ENT I grind my teeth. He suggests I wear my mouthguard. He then says: Do you chew gum. I'm like hell yeah, every day.

Side note: from the ages of about 9-12 (or something like that) I had tonsilitis. I didn't get frequent strep throat like the lucky kids. Nope, I had a growth in the back of my throat that smelled like death and dismemberment, so people who know me from that error probably think my breath stinks.

As such, I have a complex about stinky breath and you'd be hard pressed to find me more than 2 feet away from gum, mints or mouthwash at any given moment.

I digress.

The ENT doctor told me: stop chewing gum.

And just like that, I'm cured.

Let me run this back. I get stressed out. Grind my teeth. It locks my jaw and/or something connected to my ear drum. I can't hear. I chew gum and it makes it worse.

So if I stop chewing gum, I can hear.

This is the dumbest diagnosis on the face of the planet, except it was free and it worked.

Further, I still have high frequency sensorineural hearing loss and that will just get worse over the course of my life time. So when you ask: Can you hear me now, the answer is likely a strong maybe.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Keep the Party Going

Missing a flight is not the worst thing that can happen. For starters, I didn't even know where I was going to be staying Friday night. I could always go to my mom's house by default, but sometimes it's fun to stay with friends AND that's the only way I can ensure that I'll see them.

Here's what I did since I missed my flight.

1. Canceled Comcast (Usual bill $137.45. Final bill: $19.33). I have no cable, but I still feel like I'm winning.
2. Tried to cancel my Beyonce tickets to Houston. I got a presale, so they're not going. I think I'm going to donate them to charity. 
3. Set up my new internet. I wasn't going to get to do that until Monday.
4. Got my name on the list for a new club opening in Pittsburgh today.
5. Ate a sensible dinner.
6. Wrote two blogs

7. Painted my nails 
8. Caught up with Pittsburgh friends I haven't seen in at least three weeks
9. Got fly
10. Hit the streets

Worst things could have happened than missing a flight. The car could have blown up and my coworker and I could have died and/or had third degree burns.

I'm so happy I just missed my flight instead.

P.S. I totally forgot to call yellow cab and cancel that second cab. The cabbie yelled at me and told me to call dispatch to cancel. I forgot. It's about 3 hours later now. I think they get the point. That inconsiderate karma will come back to me (or maybe I already got it. I mean, I do frequent the Unitepost office). Ah well.   


Friday, July 11, 2014

A Day In The Life: Today, I missed My Flight

This is only the second time in life that I've missed a flight. I got to work at 6:45 a.m. this morning. I asked a coworker who lives near the airport to take me to the airport. We were supposed to leave at 4:30 p.m. She got a client email, then we were supposed to leave at 4:45 p.m. I had something to do and we weren't in the car and rolling until 5 p.m.

My flight to Chicago was at 6:35 p.m. I had a conference call for some nonprofit work I'm doing at 5 p.m., so I hop on that. They don't hop on the phone to 5:10 p.m. Go figure.

So then at about mm... 5:20 p.m. my coworker says "I don't know what to do." She pulls over to the side of the road and I think we're getting pulled over by the cops. I'm like what's happening. She says the car's dash said her car was overheating and to pull over.

Lucky for her, I've been in hoopties before (Her has is only 2 years old, though). I'm like roll down the windows and turn on the heat. But she didn't REALLY believe me and turned it on 2 instead of 4 and it still overheated.

So she called roadside assistance. I called the cab company. The cab company can't come pick you up on the side of the road. They need an address.

So she blasts the heat and we post up at Giant Eagle Market District in Robinson. I call the cab company, tell them I'm at Giant Eagle by Ridge Road. They rattle off some address on Centre Avenue and I think to myself, I didn't know Centre ran through the suburbs, but I confirm. They send the guy.

I spend 10 smooth minutes on the phone with this dude talking about he doesn't know where the drive through pharmacy is and he can't find me. Come to find out, the Giant Eagle I was at was NOT on Centre Avenue. This is what happens when local companies outsource their dispatch. Someone from Pittsburgh would have know that Ridge Road and Robinson have nothing to do with Centre. I didn't even know and I've been here for a year and a half.

Anywho, I call another cab. The lady on the phone goes: think positive thoughts. I crack up laughing.

My coworker's bf told her to put water in the antifreeze thing, so she buys some distilled water and we roll to the airport. We get back in the car and my coworker's gas tank is on E. She's on edge and I'm coolin'. She gets gas and we head to the airport. I get there at about 6:15 p.m. When I check in the flight attendant's like "I should be able to get you to Chicago tonight through a late night in Baltimore." I was down.

I have work to do. I have blogs to write. I have news and blogs to catch up on. I could use a night in the airport.

No such fortune. So I have a flight to Chicago tomorrow at 7:20 a.m., arriving in the Chi at 7:55 a.m. (or something like that).

I hopped on the bus and came back home. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Maybe It's Just Me...

Have you ever had a positive phone experience with a telephone, internet or cable service provider? There MUST be some happy stories of being on the phone with Comcast or Verizon. I just don't have any. Although, I'm excited to be canceling my cable, when I called Verizon to add internet to my phone service, we were on the phone for 30 minutes with them explaining my options to me. Then they transfer me to third party verifiers (required by the FCC) and the call disconnects. I call back and after another 30 minutes, the man on the phone completes my order and confirms that I don't need a third party verifier.

This is on Tuesday. A full hour of my life gone.

It's now Thursday and I get a voicemail at 8 a.m. saying I need to call them back to third party verify. Then I call and it disconnects the call. THEN I call back and I need my home phone number to finish the transaction. Fam. Who knows their home number in 2014?

This is why I decided to do this on my day off. Now, I'm at work wasting billable hours on the phone with Verizon because they FCC has extra rules.

Further, I don't think my internet box is going to come on time because I didn't verify until Thursday, therefore making me spend more money on cable when the point is to SAVE money. Chile.

Also, why do all people who work on the phone talk slow as hell. It's like all call centers are located at senior homes in the south.

P.S. I've been writing about Comcast and their customer care hit my comments. I wish their service was as good as their social media outreach. It's like companies with good marketing and bad products. You gotta meet in the middle somewhere and they just don't.

Anywho, please share you good phone and cable company stories. I'll wait.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tea's Tangents: Part 2

1. You all know I'm goofy. These kermit and Daquan memes have me in tears daily.

2. I'm not really jet lagged. Spain is 6 hours ahead of the east coast. Most nights we got in somewhere between 3 a.m. (if it was a chill night) and 6 a.m. (if it was a regular night), so it was like going to bed between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. on the east coast. I woke up at 7 a.m. (1 p.m. in Spain) like LET'S GET IT CRACKIN'!!! LOL!

3. I just finished cooking dinner. I think if I didn't have nonstick pans, I may not be able to cook. I didn't learn how to cook in nonstick pans. When I cook for Thanksgiving at my mom's, I don't use nonstick pans. But I have the irrational thought that my food will taste like crap if I use real pots and pans. Welcome to the crazy part of my head. This is what happens when you spend hours by yourself. Crazy run amok.

4. I am beasting my to-do list. However, I came to a swift halt when I tried to cancel my cable. Every two weeks, I try to cancel my cable. Pretty much every 15 days, when I sit down and look at my budget and realize that I'm paying way too much for cable and I'm not even in the house that much.

So my bill right now is $137.45 for Cable, Internet and phone through Comcast. I don't even use the phone, but it's cheaper to have it than to have cable and internet by themselves. Every time I try to downgrade or cancel it eliminates the bundle discount and so I'd essentially save $20-$30 to get SIGNIFICANTLY fewer channels and service and that's silly.

So I think about it and don't go through with it. Today, on the heels of a Euro-trip, two pending trips to Chicago and not being able to sell my damn On The Run Tour tickets, I'm like I MUST cancel my cable.

Internet at the same speed would be $74.95 plus tax. Fam... I'm not mathematician, but that just doesn't make sense.

So I started researching where I could get cheaper internet and I flip over my Verizon home phone service bill (inadvertently) and lo and behold I can get both home phone (which I have to have to buzz people into my building, so irritating) and high speed internet for $59.99. After calling, it's going to end up being $64 or something like that BUT that's still a savings of $100 a month, which is what I was going for.

Now the kicker is will I remember to call and cancel Comcast on Friday when the Verizon modem gets here. I'm actually going to Chicago after work on Friday, so I won't even know if it's there or not until Sunday. Wasting money by the day, but I can't go without internet for even a day. I would go mad. I'm going to send myself a calendar alert to call and cancel.

5. I'm about to workout, finish my laundry, eat this dinner that I cooked (YAY ME!), check my work email for the first time in 10 days and binge on cable TV since I only have it for another week or so.

Happy Monday y'all. 

Coming Up (So I don't forget to write it)
- European Observations
- Places to go in Spain
- Lala's Book review
- Can You Hear Me Now

Tea's Tangents: Part 1

Hey Guys!

I've missed you. I've missed blogging and your comments, but I haven't found the time I need to do it consistently. I just got back from Barcelona and Ibiza, Spain. I took another day off work to get my mind and body right before hopping right back into the grind.

As I unpack, I have all of these random thoughts. I'm just going to pause and right them as a blog and when I get to 10, I'll write another blog.

1. I just found 2 Euros in my purse, which is $3.50. I'm pissed. When you switch your money back, they don't take any change less than 1 Euro. I'm like, but I have .67 cents (Euro cents). LOL! Who's going to Europe soon? I want to mail you this 2 Euro coin. I'm only half joking.

2. The nipple covers I ordered didn't come in before I went out of town. They're coffee colored. I'm more of a peanut butter color. So they don't really work either. Chichi, your idea to DIY is great. I'm going to do that next.

3. I don't really need nipple covers in Europe. They don't even wear tops on the beach, so who cares if my nipples are showing at the club.

4. I completely overpacked. I even grabbed my mom's bigger luggage when I was in Chicago (which is really my little brother's... it's family luggage, really.) It was probably like 52 pounds. Mostly... hair products, but I packed options. You don't need options on vacation. You need to repeat outfits on vacation.

5. It wouldn't have been THAT big of a deal that I overpacked if the luggage wasn't broken. One wheel on the bottom was worn, so the luggage was dragging the ground. So I was basically lugging 52 extra pounds while traveling. Ouch.

6. In Europe the carts are free. Got back to the states $5 for a cart. Really?

7. Unpacking and there's sand EVERYWHERE

8. I'm unpacking, washing and repacking because I'm going to Chicago on Friday.

9. I'm trying to sell Bey and Jay tickets for Houston on Friday 7/18. No one wantst them. I guess all the fans already have their tickets. I want to go in an irresponsible way. But responsibibly, I really hope I don't have to use these tickets myself. I need my bank account to re-up

10. Listening to the new Trigga. I haven't heard any bad reviews. The lyrics are messy, per usual. I can't turn it off. LOL!