Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008: Year In [abridged] Review

January: Started volunteering for the Obama campaign on the day we observed MLK's bday. (Bishop Smith said MLK's bday is a day on, not a day off and I was obedient.) Emily got married.

February: Cut off the rest of the perm in my hair and rocked a curly fro! I really think I stayed in the house this entire month except for Game Night at B's because it was stupid cold in the Chi.

March: Created Tea & Such. Paid off and closed credit card 1 of 6. Went to Miami and the Bahamas (for work), met Patti LaBelle.

April: There was an earthquake in Illinois. Had the best girls trip EVER to Phoenix (for me and Jenn's bday). Lauren got married.

May: Went to Dallas, Charlotte, Houston and Atlanta for work. Started my second job. SATC movie came out (it was amazing per expectations).

June: I worked my tail off. P's bachelorette party. Barack Obama is elected as the democratic nominee for the presidency of the United States of America.

July: Paid off and closed credit card 2 of 6. Went to the Bahamas for the best Group Trip/Destination Wedding EVER: R&P got married. Family Reunion in Milwaukee.

August: Stepfather's 50th bday surprise party. (I really don't think anything else happened this month)

September: Paid off and closed credit card 3 of 6. Quit my second job. Realized I missed the whole damn summer. Gary got married. AntP got married. Won tix to a Bears game.

October: Went to Michigan and Indiana to campaign for Barack Obama. Went to D.C. for HU homecoming. Murder rate in Chicago is sickening, my girl's ex-bf died on a motorcycle, some other heavy real life ish... called and made peace with a bunch of folks.

November: Went to Indiana to campaign for Barack Obama. Went to Grant Park to participate in history on 11/04/08. Cried like a baby because MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK!!! Bought my plane ticket to inauguration 1/20/09.

December: CAMR holiday party. The IL governor is an embarassing proceeding hairline having dummy. PRSA holiday party. Guth's holiday party. Got sick. BPRS/NABJ holiday party. Day job holiday party. M&B's housewarming/holiday party. R's annual bday party. Got better. D, T, S, K & P's NYE party.

Mentally, physically and financially prepared to let 2009 make 2008 look like a mediocre year (when 2008 was clearly spectacular).

LET'S GO 2009!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

2009 will start this week, so I guess I'm doing some clear my mind type stuff today. Stay tuned for Tea's year in review tomorrow.

People keep asking me and I have NO idea, so I decided to sit down and figure out how many places I've been in the world.

**insert time it took me to figure this out**

Well, I've been to 55 cities, 31 U.S. states and 5 countries on 3 continents.

Now that that monkey's off my back (WHEW!) below find the 19 states I have NOT been to. I'm actually kind of shaky on Mississippi and Arkansas because I may have stopped there on a college tour, but I really can't remember.

Alaska
Arkansas
Delaware
Idaho
Kansas
Maine
Massachussetts
Mississippi
Montana
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Vermont
Washington (state)
West Virginia
Wyoming

Most of the states that I haven't been to pretty much suck (no offense to anyone who's from there), but it is my goal to hit all 50 states sooner rather than later. I also need to step up my international game in general and get to Africa, Asia and Australia specifically. If I don't die young, all these travel goals will DEFINITELY happen. YAY ME!

*Clearing my throat* Ahem, And now for all the haters, I've set this time aside to strongly encourage you to get on my level. The end.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

-- Isaiah 9:6

I hope you enjoy celebrating the birth of Jesus with your family and friends today. From the bottom of my heart, I'm wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

XOXOXO

T

And Happy Birthday Josh. I love you!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Question of the day: Christmas Shopping

Happy Christmas Eve!!!

When did you finish your Christmas shopping this year (or are you out shopping right now).

I finished on Saturday. A whole four days before Christmas. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Support Our Troops

Everyone that knows me knows I have a strong commitment to giving back. Giving back and serving my country had never really been in the same sentence for me before now. Our President-elect called me out in February 2007 when he announced his run for the presidency of the United States of America (I was crying that day too). He said this wasn't about him, but it was about me, about US, giving back to OUR country. He said everyone should get involved in government in some way.

I felt compelled to do something for my country and got involved in his campaign. :)

Now that the campaign is over I'm not exactly about to join the armed forces BUT I do very much appreciate the service our armed forces give. The only reason people aren't dropping bombs on our head (be for real, we're not the most-liked country on the planet) is because our armed forces are out there doing the damn thing. And whether or not we agree with our country's leadership, our troops deserve our support.

So this holiday season, I'm going to do something for our armed forces and here are top 10 Web sites that provide creative opportunities to give back to our troops.

10.Soldiers Angels

9. Give 2 the Troops

8. Troop Support

7. Support The Troops

6. Support the Troops and Veterans

5. Operation Support Our Troops

4. America Supports You

3. Operation Homefront (supporting the folks the soldiers left behind)

2. Any Soldier (this is a heartwarming/tear-jerking organization right here. Bless this soldier's heart!)

1. The United Service Organizations (USO)

If you're apprehensive about giving money all willy nilly to organizations you've never heard of, then call your grandma, ask her who's baby is in the service and send that soilder a card or care package. (You know your grandma knows who's baby is in the service!!!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tea's Top 10: Male First Date Mistakes

According to 4S and TT, I date a ton. Not necessarily true. I date enough. But anyway for the entertainment of the ladies and for the knowledge of the fellas, here are Tea's Top 10 male "first date" mistakes.

10. As of late, hating on Barack Obama after I specifically tell you I do work on the campaign. There's no quicker way to end a date with me.

9. Refusing to pick the restaurant and/or theme of the first date. Grow a backbone and make a decision.

8. Asking me to pay or go dutch. ("forgetting" your wallet is also a big no-no. Did you forget the car keys too? UGH!)

7. Being late to pick me up or if I'm meeting you being late to the central location we've chosen. (You all know I am Madam punctual. I've tried to be late... it just doesn't work for me). I have about 10 GOOD stories on men and punctuality, maybe I'll open up about dating bit more on the blog in 2009. Probably not.

6. Asking to come upstairs at the culmination of the date. If I didn't ask you up, you're not invited.

5. Asking the question "So, what do you like to do?" This mistake requires an explanation, because one would think I'm being unreasonable, but I'm not.

This is a horrible question because there is no good answer. Most busy professionals just like to sleep when they're not at work. This question always leads to... "oh, we should do that together." Well maybe I'd like to go to the movies with you, but I'm not going to say "I like to go the movies." It may also lead to, "so when was the last time you did XYZ?" I could say I like to go to the theater (which I do), but that doesn't mean I've been lately. Just be more specific, say "hey, I have tickets to the Opera or season tickets to the Bears/Cubs/Sox/Bulls. Would you like to go?"

4. Asking the question "So why is a smart, pretty girl like you single?" ARGH!!!!!!! Don't you know wack, ugly and/or dumb people who are in relationships and/or married? Being pretty and/or smart (or any of my other fabulous attributes) are not requirements for being in a relationship. Please stop the madness with this question. How would you like me to answer that question: "I'm single because [insert something negative about all men here]" OR "I'm single because I [insert all of my faults and flaws here]." Um... not going to happen. Please believe I have developed an effective key message for this question.

3. Asking about my last relationship and/or talking about your ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, ex-cut buddy, current cut buddy. Not cool.

2. Talking about sex on the first date. Dude, I don't even know you.

1. Lying and/or omitting information about your marital status. Separated IS NOT divorced. Tell a friend.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tea's Tangents: Winter Weather Edition

I haven't done one of these in a hot minute. Enjoy.

1. It's December in Chicago, but it feels like February. It's non-stop snowing. Wake-up snowing. Go to work snowing. Go home snowing. Go to bed snowing. It was pretty a couple of days ago, but now it's just hurting my feelings.

2. Fluffy snow is better than slushy snow.

3. You will never appreciate a good, warm, waterproof, firm grip boot until you leave them at work and have to wear gym shoes during a snow storm.

4. The new CTA hybrid buses are off the chain. You can fit WAY more people on them due to the design and they're better for the environment too.

5. The CTA gets props for getting me to and from work in about the same amount of time in a snowstorm as it takes when it's sunny outside...

6. However, it's inevitable that in a snow storm, your CTA bus WILL break down. This happened to me last year about 3 blocks from the job. Today I got on the bus in the middle of a snowstorm and it smelled like burnt plastic. The bus driver checked it out (after I sat down, of course) and the bus was indeed, on fire. We all promply exited and waited for the next bus.

7. Mayor Daley is on some straight bull-ish with the no overtime pay for snow workers. If it starts snowing at 5:01 p.m. and doesn't stop until 8:59 a.m. there will be no snow removal until 9 a.m. Do you think that's safe, Mayor Daley? This isn't the south. We don't shut down for snow. I wonder how much money they're really saving...

8. Anyone who lives and works in Chicago is a gansta. It takes a different type of drive and perseverance to leave a warm bed, take a warm shower, put on warm clothes and then venture out into the brutal wet cold. And I won't even get started on the hawk.

9. Yes, I will. The hawk is a beast! When it's not snowing it's like 9 or 10 degrees here. Then the wind, affectionately known as the hawk in the Chi, hits you in the face like you stole money from him or something. I've been getting pimped slapped all week. My coat's been disrespected. My earmuffs have been violated. My gloves can't get any love. It's just not right.


10. I haven't been on a plane in over two months and I'm going nuts.

11. I haven't been to a warm vacation locale in over five months and that's driving me insane. I am too light-skinned over here right now. I can see the veins in my hands. I need to be somewhere working on my blue black.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why AK is funeral music as of late

Obama Friday will be back on another Friday. (I'm busy and sick and tired, so I had to just pull something from the drafts for your reading enjoyment).

Disclaimer: I LOVE Alicia Keys. She's mad talented, I just have opinions and such about her latest music (that I've heard). I promised more on her, so here you go.

Superwoman: Love the sentiment, hate the delivery. Superwomen need to be lifted up, this is the type of song you play over a tribute of a fallen soldier or matriarch.

Like You'll Never See Me Again: Again, love the sentiment, but must you be so morbid? I actually used to say this all the time. "Hug me like you'll never see me again." I actually never saw that dude again. I stopped saying it. Enough about me, this is the type of song you play at a pimp and/or ganster's funeral.

No One: This is the type of song you play at an innocent man who was gunned down ferociously by the NYPD for NO EFFING reason's funeral. The lyrics are perfect for a travesty of such epic proportions. For some reason, DJs play this at the club. *insert perplexed expression here* What dance can you do to this? This is a we-just-broke-up-and-I'm-drunk-and-going-to-start-crying-in-public song. Why, AK? Why so sad.

Teenage Love Affair: The type of song you play at a young pimp and/or ganster's funeral. Maybe 15 year olds are feeling it, but it reminds me of an actual teenage love affair. My mom made me break up with him. He joined the army and married a 3W. I don't want to hear this ish.
You all swear AK as of late isn't funeral music, but after hearing these radio tracks I have no desire to hear the rest of the album. This is nothing like "You Don't Know My Name," which was also kinda sad, but HOT to the nth degree. This is nothing like "If I Ain't Got You"...

Wait a minute... this is actually JUST like Diary of Alicia Keys. Dark, dreary and tear-jerking. And I absolutely LOVED that CD. Is that really what's up? Depressing slow songs?

R&B is depressing. I'm about to go listen to some fruit snack rap to make me feel better (LOL!).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And in funnier news look at JL on the Colbert Christmas special



Can we peep Colbert's rabbit fur boots at about 2:11 though. Hilarity at its finest!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tea's Natural Hair Resource Guide

Hey Folks,

These are the sites I use most (or used most when I was transitioning). Contact info for my stylists is at the bottom. As well as links to my natural friends' blogs who I'm sure wouldn't mind answering any of your hair questions.

And this marks the last post of Natural Hair week. I hope you enjoyed it. Per usual, tune in for Obama Friday tomororw. :)

Motown Girl: IMO, the best comprehensive Natural Hair Site: lots of info on products, hair style how-to, natural fly chick of the month, etc, etc,

The "Natural Hair" Group on facebook. (You have to log in to see it)

Miss Jessie's: Funny I've never spent money on a Miss Jessie's product (Got 'em for Christmas), but the photos are pretty to look at.

Carol's Daughter: I have spent money on these products. Go to Sephora and try the smells out before you buy them. Some are really fruity, some are really woodsy. It's all about what you want your head to smell like for weeks at a time.

Naturally Curly: I rarely go here, but they had the hook-up on product reviews when I first started transitioning.

Nappturality: Beware, they are ONLY about the tight nappy curls. If you have loose curls (by nature) or ever dare put heat on your head these sisters get crazy and indignant. I don't kick it over there, but they have some good advice for first timers.

N.A.I.M.A. (Naturally Alluring in Mainstream America) - It's a NING site. You have to be invited (so send me your email if you're interested) and you HAVE to put up a photo otherwise the sitekeeper goes ballistic, but it's some cool peeps in there with some good hair tips.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Main Stylist (who helped me transition and who does my color. She's natural too.)
Cori
Kiva Salon and Spa (Water Tower)
312-335-7622

Back-up stylist (She tamed the naps for Dorian's wedding when I was about half perm and half natural. Cori was on maternity leave and she took good care of me. She's also natural)
Tina
Spring's Place (1503 S. Michigan)
773-494-3375

Braid Stylist (I don't know if she's natural or not, but she can braid her behind off! The shop is out in the boonies, but I have the hardest time finding folks to braid my hair. She's the "it" girl of the moment)
Kandi
The Magic Shop (Skokie, IL)
847-763-1267

Homies with natural hair (who also have blogs and would probably answer further questions)
Kismet, IdentityCrisis and Thummyb

Blogger buddies with natural hair Antithesis, Kay

See, the resources are ENDLESS!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Long Comment: Public Schools

For the Tea & Such readers, Kismet posted this, we had some comments, then Boogie posted this, some more comments. My comment was too long for their comment section, so here's the response.

For the non-Chicagoans, I think that it's only fair to say SOME suburban schools were more like private schools, but the suburb I'm from did not have good public schools. Real talk, a majority of guys I went to grammar school with are in jail or dead. (You heard about the shooting at Door 21 in 2006, homeboy from grammar school.) I digress. I was in the honors program in my "suburban" grammar school, but I still struggled as a freshman at an "inner-city" magnet school to get a 2.8 (yes, I had a horrible G.P.A. freshman year, don't judge me).

I went to a city magnet school because the private schools in my area were either lacking college prep course or were lacking black folks. Either/or. It still baffles me that you could charge $4-5,000 a year and not offer college prep course. They called them life-prep courses. i.e. they're getting you ready to get married and have babies.

Anyway, in that respect the "inner-city" public magnet high school Kismet and I went to was more like a private school than the "suburban" high schools I should have went to. Let's be for real, it's not urban and suburban. It's money and no money. White and black, but I don't even think I'll be able to get into that on this post.

@ Boogie, I feel you so hard on doing your part, but my mother worked for the suburban high school district that I was supposed to go to school in. We lived on the borderline so I had my choice of two subpar schools. One was infested with GDs, the other with Latin Kings. They both had high pregnancy rates and the district was riddled with corruption. I worked there over the summer and it was a shit show to say the least.

My mother would call me crying saying she found out one of her students was homeless or two of her students got shot on the way home from school and the district issued a statement saying "The students were not shot and killed on school property. They were walking home." WTF district?

So yeah, I wasn't allowed to go to school there.

Mom couldn't even make any changes from the inside. In order for our kids' public schools to be good, we have to be in the faces of the administrators now. Now meaning years and years before our kids go to school to promote changes before our kids go there. What usually happens is people don't pay the schools any attention until they are getting ready to have kids go to school there and by that time it's too late.

Since I'm not the biggest proponent of public schools I can't see myself being involved in public education reform right now (years and years before I have shorties) when there are so many other issues that I hold near and dear to my heart that I'm doing work on. So it's like I want to get fired up about it, but I just can't.

I'm also not a big proponent of city living once I have kids. I grew up in the suburbs. They're great for raising families (no knock on the city). I'm all about just moving to a better neighborhood with better schools (city or suburban), lifestyle pending (LOL).

Last, but certainly not least. T will be a career woman OR a housewife who does charity work, but T will not be homeschooling rugrats. And if you homeschool your rugrats, please believe T's Maury Povich time is sacred and she will not be having any field trips for your homeschooled rugrats at her fabulous crib. Just thought I'd put that out there.

Weekly Hair Regimen/More Styles

Weekly Maintenance
I have to comb through my hair at least once weekly (unless it's braided) to prevent tangling and/or locking. Yes, your natural hair will loc up on you if you don't comb it. Don't be alarmed.

Instructions - Saturate hair with Garnier Fructis Strength & Repair Fortifying Deep Conditioner, comb through hair with a strong wide toothed comb one section at a time - add more conditioner as necessary, but the conditioner should be easy to comb through. If not, you need to find another deep conditioner. Rinse conditioner, (optional: clarify with baking soda, rinse baking soda), follow daily wash and style instructions from yesterday.

In the winter time (so far), I just do the weekly maintenance and either put it in a head wrap, get it braided, or wear a towel dryed curly fro. For the winter curly fro, instead of washing/wetting my hair each morning, I just spray it with water (or a liquid moisturizer) and that makes it manageable enough to pick out/finger comb through, but allows it to dry much faster.

My cousin is going to try two-strand twists for me at the end of this week and I'm thinking about flat-ironing it and getting a fly cut of some sort, then going to back to the wet fro in the spring. I dunno.

Headwraps - I love 'em. End of story. I can't really find a picture with one on, but you know what a head wrap is. (Not a doo rag Mike, before you come in here roastin')

Cornrows - Cornrows are a simple go-to for the in-between times. They itch like hell though and I haven't found a good winter moisturizer that I like yet.



Flatironing the naps -
November '07 (the last time I straightened my hair)


There is a such thing as heat damage. If you blow dry or flat-iron your hair, there is the chance that you could permanently relax your hair and/or parts of your hair. There are plenty of people who don't have a perm, but who got the ish blow-dried out of their hair and now it's permanently straight. To each her superfly own.

I haven't gotten my hair straightened since November '07 for a few reasons.
1) If I wanted to wear it straight I would get a perm
2) I am afraid of heat damage
3) There is always too much precipitation in Chicago. Name a season where it doesn't rain or snow here? It's always wet. So I haven't straightened it yet, but I've been thinking about it. Maybe for a vacation. :-)

Dying Hair - Do it! (if you want more color) Dye will loosen your curl, so if you absolutely don't want your curls to get ANY looser, don't dye your hair. Otherwise go crazy with color. Not worrying about overprocessing your hair is one of the fab benefits about not having a perm. Also note: I got regular at the beauty shop, chemical color in my hair. Some natural sisters prefer henna and other natural ways to color hair. I don't know anything about it, but if someone wants to share, knock yourself out. Below is color I got done in June.




Quick recap of today and yesterday: my must-have product list is: Burts Bees Raspberry and Brazil Nut Conditioner, Garnier Fructis Strength & Repair Fortifying Deep Conditioner, Olive Oil (plain old EVOO from the grocery store), Miss Jessies Curly Buttercreme, Baking Soda, Strong Wide Tooth Comb, Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In conditioner (optional, 'cause it doesn't do anything, but smell good) and IC Fantasia Gel (the truth!)

Also, I stay away from anything that contains petroleum or mineral oil (which add unnecessary build-up) and sodium laurel sulfates or sodium laureth sulfates (which strip hair of moisture).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Daily Hair Regimen/Styles

First I guess I'll talk about my daily/weekly hair care regimen, then I'll show you some pics and how-tos of my hair at the bottom. As I haven't even completed a full year of being completely natural, this is a learning experience for me too.

Daily Wash (In the spring/summer/early fall)
Wet hair, saturate with olive oil, (don't rinse the olive oil out) condition with Burts Bees Raspberry & Brazil Nut Conditioner, rinse conditioner.

Daily Styles
Curly fro - wash, then towel dry hair, put a dollup of Miss Jessies Curly buttercreme throughout my hair. Tie back with a head band.




Curly bob (below) - wash, ring water out of hair with hands, then saturate with IC Fantasia Gel, then shake my head like a crazy person (like headbanging Britney Spears crazy), then DON'T TOUCH IT. Yes, it drips all over the place, but I take public transportation (so I'm standing outside with the Chicago wind for about 10 minutes daily) and in the summer it dries up pretty fast.

Beginning of April '08 (below)

End of April '08 (below)

June '08 (below)


July '08 (below, the front was braided. Thanks Mom!)

August '08 (below)

September '08 (below)

This is actually enough for today. I'll put up the weekly regimen and more styles tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Natural Hair and Such

Ok, so Cris has been asking about natural hair posts for a little while. I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll just talk about my journey and I'll link to a bunch of other helpful sites and/or people to ask questions that I can't answer. I'll post a few pics too, to describe what I'm talking about so you all won't have to draw pics in your head. This should be fun. So it's official, it's natural hair week. Hope you enjoy it.

Today we'll discuss transitioning from relaxed/permed hair to natural hair.

I can't talk to you about what anyone else did, so I'll just tell you how I did it. Other folks who are completely natural or transitioning, please feel free to share your journey in the comments.

November '06: Decided I pay too much money every 6 weeks to get a relaxer, only to spend another 3-5 hours getting a roller set and/or straw set (curly/textured styles). I might as well save some dough and wear my natural curly/textured hair style. (Thummyb made the decision right before me in October '06). Also in college someone from Soft-Sheen Carson came to the school and without disparaging her hair care products let us know that African American has is actually the most fragile of all the races and that relaxers make it more fragile (hence, the constant breakage most permed sister have). I'm sure that background knowledge also played a part in my decision.

December '06 to November '07: Wore a lot of cornrows, roller sets and straw sets minus the perm.

November '07: Was feeling Rihanna TOO TOUGH and got a fly little bob. I wore it for about a month.

December '07 - February '08: I have no idea what I did with my hair during this time. I think I wore a TON of head wraps. But I was getting REALLY sick of my hair tangling in the shower when I washed it and fighting with the 2-3 inches of permed tresses left on the bottom of my hair.

February '08: Let those last couple inches go! Got a major WTF from Big Mike.

That's pretty much it for my transition.

A few things to note:

For folks who transitioned using weaves or microbraids, when you take your hair out and it looks a mess, don't be alarmed. It's going to be like that for a lil bit. It hasn't seen the light of day in weeks! Might I suggest taking a Friday off work and letting it breathe all weekend and use the time to experiment (I have photos, how-tos and resources coming up later in the week). You may also want to transition in the summer time when you can leave the house with your hair wet (that way you can try more styles without catching the flu).

Also for folks holding on to the permed and/or texturized ends, so long as you have two or more textures of hair in your head, it's going to be hard to manage. It just is. There's nothing wrong with having more than one texture to transition, clearly I did it. But perms and naps DO NOT get along, so there's always going to be a fight at the line where they meet. I don't know if it's going to be a school girl scuffle or a Rodney King beating, but violence will ensue. (I'm trying to tell you the truth out here). Don't give up on natural hair just because you can't comb through it when you have permed edges.

And as far as combing through it in the first place...[Side note: I'm not talking to people who always wear their natural hair pressed]. If you're trying to comb through natural hair while it's dry... STOP DOING THAT. You're not supposed to do that. Your mom wasn't supposed to do it back in the day before you got a Just For Me kit and it's still not alright. Natural hair is not permed hair. You have to take care of it differently.

Questions/Comments/Concerns? Holla atcha gurl.

Coming up this week:
Tea's Favorite Natural Hair Styles
Tea's Favorite Products (for natural hair)
Natural Hair Resource Page

Friday, December 12, 2008

Obama Friday: House Meeting

Hey folks,

I got this from our boy David Plouffe las week. This campaign is shaping up to be real change. Can you imagine if all his supporters got just 1 person to get involved in community service/activism/action. Can you imagine how we could positively affect our communities? Well, imagine it, it's going down!

T --

Exactly one month ago, you made history by giving all Americans a real opportunity for change.

Now it's time to start preparing and working for change in our communities.

On December 13th and 14th, supporters are coming together in every part of the country to reflect on what we've accomplished and plan the future of this movement. Your ideas and feedback will be collected and used to guide this movement in the months and years ahead.

Join your friends and neighbors -- sign up to host or attend a Change is Coming house meeting near you.

Since the election, the challenges we face -- and our responsibility to take action -- have only gotten more urgent.

You can connect with fellow supporters, make progress on the issues you care about, and help shape the future of your community and our country.

Learn what you can do now to support President-elect Obama's agenda for change and continue to make a difference in your community.

Take the first important step by hosting or attending a Change is Coming house meeting. Sign up right now:

http://my.barackobama.com/changeiscoming

To get our country back on track, it will take all of us working together.

Barack and Joe have a clear agenda and an unprecedented opportunity for change. But they can't do it alone.

Will you join us at a house meeting and help plan the next steps for this movement?

Thanks,

David

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America


Question of the Day: Are you throwing or going to an Obama supporter house meeting?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lil' Break

Hey folks,

I'm taking a little break today. Check out Monday and Tuesday's posts and holler at my blogroll on the right. I have some pretty fabulous bloggers (and friends) over there.

Not to worry, I'll be back with Obama Friday tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hi Hater

I must say, I'm a little disheartened by what I'm about to say. The past 11 months I was so busy volunteering for the Obama campaign and being nervous and praying and donating and talking and convincing and persuading and registering voters and getting out the vote that I thought the negative rhetoric I heard about Obama's chances of being the President from one specific source was out of true concern, both for Obama and the state of our great Nation.

Now that he's won the Presidency, this one specific source, has become a voice of dissention. And not a normal, let's watch the President type of dissention, a he-doesn't-deserve-it type of dissention. An unreasonably and unnecessarily negative pre-assessment of someone who hasn't even completely picked a cabinet yet. To someone who's official first day doesn't start until 1/20/09.

Guess what folks, so called INTELLIGENT and so called POWERFUL and so called POLITICALLY MINDED BLACK MEN are dry hating on Barack Obama.

Now, BLACK MEN LOVE to talk about how catty women are in general and especially black women. They think the cattiness of women puts them a cut above our gender. Well, lookie-here, lookie-here. The tables have turned and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disgusted.

BLACK MEN: I'm baffled at your feeble attempts to appear to be concerned with the state of the Union by skeptically, negatively and dare I say jealously engaging in and putting forth unwarranted rhetoric and criticism about the nations DULY elected President elect... MY President... The American-born, college-educated, black-wife-having, wait let me repeat that BLACK-WIFE-HAVING, basketball-playin, Nike-wearin, hyde park-living-in, Italian Fiesta-eating President of these here United States.

I cannot effing believe you, BLACK MEN. You've been racially profiled, you've struggled in the system, against the system, some of you work for the system. You've watched your neighborhoods ruined, buried your cousins, brothers and friends after drive-bys and some of your have even made a decision to mentor or give back to your failing communities in other ways. You've watched as other races have blamed you for your own demise, conveniently forgetting how you got to where you are (or in some cases where you aren't).

You knocked, banged, poked, prodded and sometimes busted bricks through glass ceilings. You've come as far as you've gone back and you've been negatively and unfairly targeted and treated time after time after got damn time.

AND now, as the leadership of the very nation in which you live, sleep, eat and breathe and have been oppressed in [whether or not you pledge your allegiance to it] is about to turn to a man who has more in common with you than any other President has EVER had and NOW your job is to question him? Now, your job is to remind ME and all the "awed" supporters that he's not our savior. It's now your job to ask all the political questions? It's now your job doubt a Black man who won by a landslide in a racist nation? *insert seriously perplexed face* Now, after all these years and all the injustice you've endured alongside this black man, he achieves greatly and RIGHT HERE? NOW? TODAY? NOW you've got shit to say?

**Tapping BLACK MEN on their shoulders** Could we be dealing with some SERIOUS self-esteem issues?

All these years, you've hypocritically looked down on sistahs for lacking unity. But now, given your stank ass attitude it's leading me to believe that perhaps, you're EXACTLY the same way [which is a bad thing]. Perhaps, women have achieved faster, so the negative effects of achievement [jealously and envy] sprung up quicker. While sisters have been wearing our negative self-esteem on our shoulders, you've been keeping it hidden waiting for a black man to come along and do better that you're doing. And now that this black man has achieved you're starting to let your self-esteem issues come to the forefront.

And now that this Black man has dreamed, hoped, achieved (and, oh yeah, got a helluva lot of votes), maybe you're feeling like he's taking away from the fact that you've yet to achieve what you've wanted to achieve. Or his achievements outweigh your own. Or maybe even you feel like his acheivements diminish yours.

It seems that your self-hate of what slavery and racism has done to you [not your fault, btw] has made you so bitter that you don't want any one black man to achieve lest we all forget this country's history.

Well, BLACK MEN, I've got interesting news for you. Black women are still going to hold you down, despite your misogyny and disloyalty to us. The legal system is not going to give you fewer years, the white women are not going to stop clutching their purses on the elevators and cops are not going to stop pulling you over. NO ONE WITH ANY SENSE IS SAYING THAT. And if you think by holding Barack Obama up, we somehow think he has a magic wand to singlehandedly change the world, you're wrong.

All that we are saying is that Barack Obama has achieved a wonderful accomplishment. Can you put your selfish feelings of inadequacy to the side for a moment to congratulate the brother (Jimi Izrael et al)? Can you see the good in this situation before you go around trying to educate me on what I should and shouldn't be posting in my blog (Torrance et al)? Can you keep your ignorant ass comments to yourself [especially while miked up on FOX news] long enough to give the man a chance to stand up or fall down (Jesse Jackson, Sr et al)? Can you acknowledge that he did something that you can't do (or even if you can do it, something you haven't done yet)? (All the rest of you haters)

All I'm saying is give props where props are due... DAMN!

Monday, December 8, 2008

All Falls Down

I've been wanting to do this forever. Reese posted it to facebook and I got inspired again.

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag 10 friends who might enjoy doing the game as well as the person you got the game from. (I'm not doing that, but if you want to play, knock yourself out)

1. IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
"Truth Hurts" - Usher AHAHAHA I can't make this ish up

2. WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
"I Like" Guy YEP!

3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
"I wonder" Kanye This is the same song Reese had... I see the iPod shuffle has jokes

4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
"Intro" - Kanye West (College Dropout) I guess...

5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
"No Other Love" - John Legend feat. Estelle Interesting

6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
"Without You" - Lucy Pearl This is so not my motto

7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
"She Ought to Know" Eric Roberson Um... maybe my guys friends, but I don't get down with girls like that.

8.WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
"Wish You Were Here" Jamie Foxx This could be true. I do miss daddy and all my out of town peeps!

9. WHAT IS 2 + 2?
"Get Me Bodied" Beyonce LOL! Loves it!

10 WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
"Bowtie (Postlude)" Big Boi (Speakboxx) I had to go back and listen to this, but it works...

11.WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
"Chi-City" - Common (Be) All day baby

12. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
"Trippin'" - Lucy Pearl HAHAHAHA. Loves it!

13. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
"Slow Dance"- John Legend I don't want to be a "slow dance," but I would like to be able to slow dance with my man like JL says, so this works.

14. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
"Superstar" - Usher (Confessions) I really know how to pick 'em, don't I?

15. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
"Save Room" - John Legend This is more like what I have to tell my mom when I come over since she doesnt miss me.

16. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
"It's too soon to say I love you" Eric Roberson LOLOLOL!!!

17 What will they play at your funeral?
"Good Morning (Intro)" - John Legend Um... ok.

18. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
"What's Good For the Evening" - Eric Roberson Perfect... this is SO me

19. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
"C.R.U.S.H." Ciara Talk about sync... I have a few crushes, but they know who they are so it's not really a secret.

20. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
"P.D.A." - John Legend This is ALL wrong

21. WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
"Stronger" Kanye West Perfect... Loves it!

22. HOW WILL YOU DIE?
"Wall to Wall" Chris Brown Surrounded by adoring fans? Um... I can dig that.

23. WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
"Introduction by J. Ivy" John Legend (Solo Sessions: Live at the Knitting Factory) Again, all wrong.

24. WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
"School Spirit Skit 1" Kanye West (College Dropout) This is some funny ish...

25. WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
"Track 05" Project Fr3sh (The Get Fr3sh Show)

26. WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
"School Spirit Skit 2" Kanye West (College Dropout) "When I die buddy, you know what's going to keep me warm... that's right, those degrees." LMAO, I disagree, iPod, I disagree!

27. DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
"This Little Game We Play" Subway/702 I guess a couple people do like me. LOL!

28. IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
"Track 16" Project Fr3sh (The Get Fr3sh Show)

29. WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
"Ordinary People" John Legend Yep, average people, ugly people... you get the drift.

30. WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
"All Falls Down" John Legend feat. Kanye West (Solo Sessions: Live at the Knitting Factory) You all have to hear this CD. It's crazy to hear them introduce Kanye on the East coast because at the time everyone was there to see JL and Kanye was on the track with JL...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Obama Friday

Thanks for all the love on the Obama Friday posts. I'll keep 'em coming.

So I know you already know cause YBF, Bossip and Essence.com reported it, but check out the new double cover of Essence. If you look regal up in the dictionary, you might find Michelle Obama FOLLOWED by MY President, ya heard me!!!



Barack announced his defense team, naming Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Watch it below.



What you say, Mr. President? Keep your friends close and your enemies... ah nevermind. I am disappointed that she said she would stay in the senate and NOT be involved in Obama's cabinet the day after he was elected. (You ain't got to lie to kick it!)

BUT I'm all about this display of unity and if Mrs. Clinton was qualifed to run the country, she should be able to handle this post. PLUS a bunch of her supporters supported Obama so hopefully this will shut them up, so they can get to work and stop blowing steam about MY President!

My President's got jokes.



Some chick I've never heard of from Florida also thought he had jokes, but he wasn't playing this time.

And now... prepare yourself for cuteness!!! (I dare you not to cry)

Malia Obama Gallery

Sasha Obama Gallery

P.S. I took a half day every Friday in December, so I'm too happy today. After 12:31 p.m. CST you can find me at the crib (or a fine retail location on Michigan Avenue)!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Compilation of Quotes

These have been building up in my drafts. Enjoy.

Yes, We Can
- Democrat to her republican co-workers anytime they asked if something could be done on November 5th. (true story)

Example:
Republican Boss: Can we see the TQS reports by 3 p.m. today
Democrat homie on November 5th: Yes, we can.

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA

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

CQ doesn't care about your "essence." Use some deodorant.
- CQ, via facebook status

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

After seeing your avatar you strike me as they type of girl who'd get a tattoo of yourself.
- TattooTuesday

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

I didn't know educated girls got down like that. I thought you all just got dressed up to go over each other's houses and discuss the paper. Me and my friends just read the comics and cut out the "Love Is" section. You all actually read the newspaper articles.
- Big Sis, surprised on how cool my friends are

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

Me: Hello
Big Sis: Where you at today?
Me: Philly
Big Sis: Oh. I thought you were in the Bahamas
Me: That was last week
Big Sis: DANG!
Me: Don't hate
Big Sis: I'm trying little sis, but you make it real difficult not to hate. I'm just sayin'


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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Obama is President because...

Obama is the President elect of the United States of America because his mother is a white woman.

Aw man... before you get indignant and leave an angry text or facebook message or even email me, (or stop reading) just hear me out.

Me and thummyb have a raising kids conversation that comes up from time to time that I don't think either of us has come to a conclusion on. It's a we'll cross that bridge when we have kids thing (for me: A LONG TIME FROM NOW). So the question is should I raise:

1) Perfect respectful kids who don't act out in the grocery store, who say please and thank you and who are quiet and reserved in public

OR

2) Loud, opinionated rambuctious rude children who want what they want at the check out, don't speak to adults, fall out all of the got damn place and tell you how they feel without fear of getting the crap knocked out of them.

Now, if you've ever seen me with my nieces (or any child really), you know just like homie the clown... "Tea don't play that." Children will RESPECT me. They will SAT down somewhere and shut the hell up unless I ask them a question. Don't get me wrong, I'm not mean to the kids (LOL!), I actually love [well-behaved] children. I just think children need to understand that there are children and there are adults and I am the latter and expect to be treated as such. Given my stance on how children "should" act you'd think I'd pick #1 right...

Well, kids who fall out all over the place and get put in timeout (rather than spankings or whoopings) are kids who think they can do anything. Anything can mean acting out in the grocery store, talking back to their parents and running amuck all over the friggin' place. These kids grow up, however, and think they can run the world.

You've seen these kids. They walk in front of your car when you have the green light thinking they won't get hit. They bump into you in the lunch line thinking you won't demand an "excuse me." They come into the dorm room drunk late at night while you're sleeping and think you won't ask them to stay at a friend's if they're going to make that much effing noise while you're getting your beauty rest on.

I'm not going to assign a race to these "kids," but you all know who I'm talking about. (LOL!) Actually, yes I will... it's mainly white kids. At the end of the day, they are willing to take risks, with their lives, their money, their jobs and even their interpersonal relationships. (talking to me, sometimes with their personal safety, but I digress).

Black parents and usually mothers, have not been able to allow their children to take risks for a very long time. Simple things like dating whoever they want to, watching a movie where they want to watch it, eating where they want to eat and even going to whatever school they want to go to have, in the past, been the cause of extreme distress, torture or even death. I can comfortably say that our generation may be the first generation who as parents will encourage our black children to take risks because we are the first generation to see risks being taken without racist backlash. (Correct me on the history, if necessary).

To be clear, this is not a knock on black mothers or parents.

This is also not saying that black mothers and parents don't encourage high achievement. They do. But it's been my experience that they encourage achievement by following the rules. Go to school, get a good education, get a good job, get married, work, have kids and die. Not "be a community organizer, get married, have kids, get involved in state government and become the President of the United States."

This is merely an observation I have about risk-taking. What would you do as parent, BUT protect your children, if you felt doing the contrary would land them in prison, or dead. If you felt your children acting up with you would lead them to act up with other authorities, which again could lead them to devastating consequences, you'd do whatever you could to train them to act right at all times.

People are awed and baffled at the success of Barack Obama, mainly because he's a black man. They're overwhelmed at the margin of the win on election night. People, are, of course, baffled that this racist country voted the way it did, but they just don't get how it happened for him [as a black man] and happened so fast [i.e. just 40 years after they signed the Civil Rights Act].

Seriously, go back and read all the rhetoric from the pundits and naysayers about why it wouldn't happen, how it couldn't happen and how to this day no one believes it happened and is happening.

Well, besides God covering Barack Obama, it also happened because he was raised by white people. The only hindrance in the way of [most] white people is themselves. Otherwise the world is their oyster. They teach their kids that they can do ANYTHING. For blacks our hindrances our ourselves, [some] white people and social, legal and economic systems that don't benefit blacks that white people created before they considered blacks people. We teach our children that there are limitations because of the color of their skin. We teach them that it's not right and we don't agree with it, but that's the way it is.

This presidency was won in the mind of Barack Obama WAY before any of us knew who he was because he was taught and rightly believed he could do ANYTHING. (I bet you he fell out acting a got damn fool on a grocery store floor or two asking for a Snicker or a G.I. Joe). I wish we could go back and reprogram a bunch of children of color to believe they can do ANYTHING despite the road blocks in front of them. Hell, I wish someone could reprogram me.

So, does that mean I've changed my mind? Will I be the mom who tell's Johnny to "simmer down," rather than smack him in the head? Well, I'll let you be the judge of that (in 10 or 15 years when I pop some babies out). In the meantime... I look forward to your comments on the topic at hand.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Girls Don't Do That

Side note: Happy Birthday Nita!!!

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

So I went to the 8 a.m. service at church one Sunday. I had something to do for Sis. Elrod at 11 a.m., so I went to Sunday School and then had breakfast before helping Sis. Elrod out and running to R&P's for the Bears game at noon.

While partaking in the fluffiest (and most inexpensive) pancakes I'd ever had, I witnessed something that just made my heart drop.

There were two older ladies at the table with me in the church kitchen/eating area/fellowship hall/dining room/whatever. I'd say late 40s, early 50s, but they were sistas, so it's hard to tell their real age. There were two young girls with them. These girls were probably 5 and 6, 6 and 7, something like that.

The children finished eating and cleared their trays, threw their paperware in the trash, put the trays back and came back to the table like it was a cleanup relay race. Then they high-fived each other, up high and down low, so as to say good job.

I thought it was the cutest thing EVER. But then one of the old ladies said "What was that?" *insert old lady stank face here* The children, not knowing what they did wrong, looked at their shoes and said "I don't know." To which the old lady said, "you don't do that (referencing the high fives). You're little gurls. Gurls don't do that."

I'm sitting at the table indulging in some perfectly crispy bacon thinking WTH, old lady? What is it about clearing your own plate and congratulating your sister/friend for doing the same with a high five that is, indeed, unladylike? Kismet, I automatically thought about you and what you would have to say about this negative [and quite confusing] gender role that was assigned to these little girls.

It reminded me of how in my house (and many other Baptist homes in my area) girls couldn't "date" until they were 16, but boys could "date" at 14. If every parent had the same rules, then who exactly do these parents think their 14-year old male children are dating... each other? Then when parents find out about these teenage love affairs the 14-year old girls get in trouble for being "fast," "hot," "loose," or whatever other term you can come up with to mean female child slut. But the boys are free to continue trying to play hide and go freak and the like because they're "just being boys."

Oh, this cooks my grits in an Al Green kinda way. I am not open enough to think that men and women are equal, were created equal or will ever be equal. (Sorry activists, I just don't agree with that). What I am, though, is logical enough to think that the rules governing girls and boys and men and women should at least make sense.

Older women, and maybe even black women in particular are so protective of younger women that when they try to do what's best for young girls, they are usually setting them back, stifling their creativity, putting fear in their imaginations and ultimately setting them up for a fall.

I know my grandmas had fits when I didn't wear earrings and it's not ladylike to swear and I should always make sure the men have something to eat before I make my own plate and I should wear lipstick everytime I leave the house and chipped nail polish or biting your nails is tantamount to a federal felony and I shouldn't sit on boys laps (hehe), etc, etc. But, seriously, can someone please tell me what is wrong with girls high-fiving each other?

I suppose they should have done a curtsy when they got back to the table, huh?

P.S. Tomorrow I have another topic about black mothers (which you aren't going to like at all, so please stay tuned).

Monday, December 1, 2008

She get it from her mama!

Side note: Killing Wal-mart workers for sales on cheap merchandise is no way to celebrate the birth of Jesus. This is a disgusting infuriating mess.

Side side note: I got my clothes back!!! It only took 30+ days and formal complaints to the Better Business Bureau, the East Lakeview Chamber of Commerce and Chicago's Tribune's What's Your Problem column. Minor details so long as I got my jeans back. I am so happy. I missed my clothes!!!

On to the topic at hand.

So you all know how I [generally] say what I feel without regard for people's feelings?

And you know how unless it's my intention, I USUALLY I don't even know I've hurt someone's feelings until someone points it out to me.

Well...

This little conversation will explain where I got that from:

Mom: My girlfriend is old school. Her son came home from college and she's talking about he should spend ALL his time with her. That's crazy.

Me: My friends parents are like that. It's hard to get together with people from out of town 'cause their parents won't let them out when they come home.

Mom: Y'all are grown. Go where you want to go, I don't care.

Me: It's not about being grown. Their parents feel like they owe the time to them. You never demanded our time like that, you were always the cool mom on the block.

Mom: *stops to think for a second* Nah, I don't think that's it. The difference is your friends parents probably miss them.

***Crickets***

Me: Ma? You don't miss me?

Mom: I mean, I love you.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Obama Friday

Happy Black Friday Boos! I hope you were able to spend time with family or close friends yesterday. And may that turkey taste just as good today as it did yesterday. Amen!

And here's your weekly dose of Obama goodness!!!

1. This was posted on the MSN homepage on Sunday night. Whether you like it or not, I give MSN two snaps for putting a Web site I read all the time into the homes, minds and spirits of mainstream America.

YAY Mom-In-Chief. She's so fly!!!

2. Desiree Rogers - the new white house social secretary. (Oooh, I cant wait for all the photos to show up on YBF and Bossip)

3. Check out the Essence Obama photo gallery

4. Obamas on Thanksgiving (over at YBF)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

YAY! It's Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday... well, be for real, my birthday is my favorite holiday, but Thanksgiving is my favorite NATIONAL holiday. Even though everyone celebrates in their own way, I love that it's not "necessarily" connected to one religion or another and that no matter your situation, you always have something to be thankful for.

So, here are the top 10 things I'm thanking God for today (this could be a never-ending list, of course, but I'll just give 10 today).

10. That I have a GOOD job and great benefits in these volatile economic times.

9. A much-needed break from my wonderful job. :)

8. A reliable public transportation system (Yes, I'm talking about the CTA. Have you ever been to a city without public trans... a mess).

7. That my heat is included in my rent cost. Amen somebody!

6. My homemade baked macaroni and cheese. (What? You thought I was going to leave food off of this list). If you know me, you know I'm not about to just be cooking for no reason, but Thanksgiving gives me an excuse to throw down. Trust me, it's fire.

5. My loyal Tea & Such readers. Love you all. XOXOXO!!!

4. Barack Obama, his beautiful family and everything his presidency means to my grandmother, my mother, me and all the future generations of Americans.

3. All of my girlfriends [and some of my guys] coming home to the Chi (ready to party). YAY!!!

2. My extended family gathering at my moms house. (I went to the club with my little brother last night. YAY!!!)

1. The love, prayers and undying support of family, friends and mentors.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tristan Wilds

Hey, lil cutie!

I love this little 19 year old boy!

In case you haven't seen him, he was in The Wire, now he's on 90210 and he had a significant role in Secret Life of Bees (Please go see that if you haven't already).









P.S. I see everyone from The Wire is doing the damn thing! I see you, HBO, putting black folks on the MAP!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Get Your Donate On: Minds Matter

Even though you've stopped giving $7 and $8 donations to the Obama campaign, you can still put that money to good use. (Honestly, I can't believe David Plouffe is still hitting my e-mail inbox up for donations. I'm like dude, we won... be easy. LOL! j/k... sort of)

My girl Mo, volunteers with the organization and she's pledged to raise $500 this season. Here's what she has to say:

"I am writing to tell you about a truly rewarding experience I've had with Minds Matter, a not-for-profit mentoring organization with chapters in Boston, Chicago, Denver, New York City, and Portland. Every week, I mentor a high school student with the the potential and ambition to pursue a college education, but who might lack the resources to achieve that dream.

Why did I choose to join this organization you ask? Honestly, I was inspired to get out and volunteer after hearing Michelle Obama speak at the Democratic National Convention and, within a week, I was signed up to be a mentor. I've actually adopted a 2nd mentee as a fluke, so things are getting extra busy.

Minds Matter helps send bright and motivated low-income youth to summer college programs or to four-year, colleges/universities by providing financial assistance to defray the costs of tuition, travel and/or books. Minds Matter helps students to realize their potential and achieve their academic dreams.

Some of the programs are sponsored by Ivy League universities. There is even one program that would allow the students to do an internship in Washington, DC for a federal agency. They would have the opportunity to intern on Capitol Hill. How great is that considering that this is such an exciting time to work on Capitol Hill!!!

As a volunteer-driven organization, we rely on generous donors like you to provide these rewarding opportunities to our deserving students. I hope you will consider personally helping our students achieve their academic dreams by clicking on the link below and making a donation.
On behalf of the Minds Matter family, I thank you in advance for your donation. If you have any questions about Minds Matter please feel free to contact me. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.mindsmatter.org.

Thank you!!

~Monique"

Can you find $5, $2.57 or even $1 to help Mind Matter?

Donate here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

House Negroes

I guess I'm in an argumentative mood, 'cause I can't stop talking about things people typically argue about. So Al Queda had this to say about MY President.

Now, I really do think Barack Obama has the intelligence or will get the intelligence to find and kill Bin Laden 'nem. The first BLACK President? Yeah, it's a wrap for the terrorists.

But nevermind that. What I want to know is, in this post-slavery, post-Jim Crow error, why do black people, especially, insult each other by calling some folks "house negroes."

I'm not saying why do it, I'm saying why is "HOUSE negro" an insult. Were not all of our people enslaved? Do people really think that the slaves in the house wanted to be away from their own kids nursing white women's kids. Do people really think the slaves in the house enjoyed being raped by the old white men who's kids they were birthing and raising as bastards? Do people think the slaves in the house enjoyed explaining to their kids that their father was a white man, but that they aren't entitled to any of his white money because they're JUST negroes.

Are you effing kidding me, black people? Are we that divided that we can't look at slavery as a collective experience? Are we that full of self-hatred that we like to think that ALL of our ancestors worked in the field? Do we think that we're light-skinned for no reason?

Seriously. We've given this self-hatred and denigration such power that it's allowed a terrorist to use it against our President elect. It's disgusting to me. It was disgusting when Malcolx X [God, rest his soul] introduced (or perhaps reintroduced) the notion and it's still disgusting now. And don't take my angry word for it, Dr. Melissa Harris-Lacewell clarifies in paragraph 8 of this post. [H/T: Kismet][Side note: I really love and respect Malcolm X, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything he said]

I know there were slaves that betrayed their own for personal gain, but not EVERY house negro betrayed their people and not every field negro was loyal. Can we seriously chill with the nonsense?

If you think field negroes were better... somehow more noble or more "down for the cause" than house negroes, I dare you to think differently. I dare you to go cook somebody else's food, sew somebody else's clothes, clean somebody else's toilets, raise somebodys else's kids; and THEN be raped by somebody's... anybody's husband who claims to hate you in public, then claims he loves you in private. After your do all that come back and show me how you can deny any group of enslaved people the memory of the injustice that they endured.

How can enslaved people with shared histories be viewed as different by us based on where the oppression happened to them?

If we choose to asign one a noble tag and another a traitor tag, then we are actively and consciously doing the work of Willie B. Lynch.

Let's not do that.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Question of the Weekend: Bears Games

Why are there so many noon games on the Bears schedule this year? Is it coincidence? Is it based on last year's rankings? Is it how FOX or CBS or whoever else feels at any given moment?

This schedule sucks! I have to get up and go to 8 a.m. service at church every Sunday in order to watch these games. It's too cold out here for this nonsense. Can we bring the mostly 3 p.m. schedule back.

P.S. @ TT, don't come in here hating on my Bears (unless you answer the question a seriously first).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama Friday

It's that time again, Obama Friday!!!

This news clip is a must-see. ABC 7 Chicago is doing big things with Michelle Obama.

TOO. MUCH. CUTENESS! I'm gonna explode.



Did you miss the Obamas on 60 minutes? Watch it here.


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Have a fab weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Swirl

Interracial Dating: Let's talk about it.

Essence recently sent out a photo gallery showing African American women in interracial relationships.

When I first got it in my inbox I was infuriated because I thought it was about Black MEN in interracial relationships. Now, Essence is supposed to be for Black women, but every since TimeWarner took over, they've been pissing me off. Profiling dudes with white wives (no disrespect, but it's supposed to be a magazine for and about BLACK WOMEN), putting Mariah Carey on the cover WAY too much (You know she only identifies with her Black side now that her husband is Black... womp.), and giving WAY to much love to the big girls. I'm sorry, shapely women are sexy, but heart attacks are not and Essence acts like every big girl is healthy. Even Mo'Nique and Queen Latifah are losing weight to be healthier, please recognize, the gym is your friend.

So anyway, I was pretty surprised by the reactions that came up when I saw that article. When I thought it was black men with other races of women, I was mad, but when I realized it was black women with other races of men, I had a you-go-girl type of attitude. I really thought I had a more forward-thinking attitude than that, but I can't control my feelings, only the actions I take regarding those feelings.

I actually have no problem with interracial relationships (or at least I don't think I do). I did at one time. (Sam & Josh would be surprised to hear me say that, because I've threatened them about bringing white girls home. [Don't judge me] They don't listen to me though. Truth be told, if they really love someone and she treats them well, I really don't care, but they don't need to know that right now. I need them to at least attempt to marry a sista).

I do, however, have a problem with identity crises and denying your race (i.e. I know a sister with a blonde weave who only dates white men and wants to adopt a white child. She asked a black friend of mine if she could babysit her pale light-skinned daughter, but didn't want to babysit her caramel colored son. Really?)

I could go on and on on this topic, but if you've given up on any race of people based on the few negative experiences you've had in your short life, you're a lost cause and I hope whoever you end up with is as twisted as you are, so you two can deserve each other.

Personally, I'd date outside of my race without a second thought, but for the most part, I haven't found any non-black men [in real life] that I'm extremely attracted to who are also attracted to me. It's usually a one-sided type of deal. i.e. I like Jude-Law-esque white boys and they like tall blondes OR Zero-swag white boys like me... I can't go. OR they're attracted to some negative image of a black women that they think I'm going to play out (I'm not a video hoe dude, get your life together).

I'll add more of my thoughts in the comments, but like Malik on The Game would say, how do you feel about the swirl?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Unanswered Questions [to myself]

This is a response to this blog post. It got ridiculously long for a blog comment.

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Alright, I'll bite. I'm not a lurker either... I comment. :)

The question is what say I on Prop 8. Well...

1) I didn't know anything about it until election day.

2) I didn't care anything about it until people got really upset at black folks coming out in mass numbers to vote for Obama AND Prop 8 which makes homosexual marriage constitutionally illegal. (Correct me if I'm wrong on that)

3) I wonder why it was put on the ballot. Who was behind it and what was their purpose? (Southern Baptists Convention probably, the same folks who took a mag cover with women clergy off it's stands and the same church into which I made a decision to be baptized into the Christian faith-I was a genius of a five years old, I'm trying to tell you-And the same church in which I still hold the foundation of my religious beliefs.)

4) The people in California spoke when they voted to legalize gay marriage and the people in California spoke again to make gay marriage unconstitutional. (this terrifies me about the people who are going to vote for and against Obama in his second term, but whatever) I know you may say I'm simplifying the issue, but legally, besides another proposition, what can be done to undo this? Can you argue that its unconstitutional? Possibly. (I'm no law buff, so I'm not sure).

5) I saw a sign that says "Marriage is a human right not a heterosexual privilege." Is that true? Is this a legal matter? Is this a religious matter? Is this a moral matter? As a person who has a different moral and/or religious belief than another person what is my legal obligation to that person as a citizen of the United States and a human being? What is my legal obligation to vote for or against something that is in contra to my religious and/or moral obligations?

6) If my moral and/or religious beliefs are in contra to yours, does that mean I hate you? If we disagree does it mean I hate you? If I vote for something that you don't agree with, does that make me a hateful creature?

7) Stacyann Chin said [yeah, I watched that long youtube clip) all oppression is related. If that's true then, as a heterosexual, whether I want to or not, I'm oppressing gays. As a Christian in the U.S.A., whether I want to or not, I'm oppressing other religions. White people get angry, I mean downright furious when you tell them that they are racist by nature because they are the majority race living in a racist society (Looked what I picked up at all those CoInTel meetings). Some men [just a few of 'em really] get mad when you say they are sexist just because they are the majority gender in a sexist society. Now, I can say of sort of understand the sentiment. It sucks to think that just because I'm one religions or one sexual preference or one [insert descriptive adjective here] that I'm oppressing everyone who isn't like me.

Given the definitions of oppression and the -isms, how does one in any majority group stop being a [blank]-ist, without actively advocating for the minority group? Is that a possibility?

8. As you can see by my questions [to myself] I'm torn on the issue. I know EXACTLY what my religious obligations are, but I'm not sure on my moral and legal obligations. I can say I'm happy this ballot didn't come up in Illinois because then I would have had to make a choice. Right now, I can comfortably sit on the sidelines and watch it all unfold. I don't need to form an opinion, because it doesn't directly affect me right now.

I'd be mad if a white person had said something like that at the height of the civil rights movement, but it's the truth.

I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tea's Top 10: Club Cliches

There are a bunch of people who are anti-The Club. Some of them are always at the club though, talking about how much they hate it. Go the hell home then. Sorry, I digress, more on that later.

So you've got anti-The Club folks and what's happened is that they've had SO many bad club experiences, that they've given up on the club (Or maybe just one, whatever). Like my boy would say, I'm no quitter. LOL! But due to my club going tenacity I am sometimes subject to cliche club behavior.

Now we usually pick the classy spots, that avoid this behavior, but every once in a while, it pops up. Here are the top 10 cliche things that happened at the club this Friday (not the classy club we went to Saturday night that inspired yesterday's hilarious quote).

For my new readers, you might want to check these out, just for backgroud.

Enjoy.

10. Hoes - Now there are hoes everywhere (and I may share my perspective on the different levels of hoes in another post), but these women were DRESSED like prostitutes. It was maybe 20, 25 degrees outside. They had on short tight dresses with strappy sandals... Miami gear... in the Chi. And not just regular strappy sandals, the I've-been-drinking-so-much-I-don't-know-my-toes-are-hanging-over-the-front-of-my-shoes-like-vienna-sausages-strappy-sandals [all together now: EW!!!]

9. Hood Representatives - You know the dudes that wear their short leathers or short furs or worse: short faux furs in the club. You can tell these dudes JUST left from getting hay in the middle of the barn and they look like trouble. These are the dudes the bouncers call the police and patty wagon for before they even get a chance to act a fool. These dudes are a little too touchy feely, but you're afraid to snap on them 'cause you can't tell if they're strapped or not and the security at the door didn't do anything to stop these fools from coming in, so as a female, you're on your own.

8. Police cars and patty wagons - Yep, right outside the club. Circling the block, stopping only in front of the club that Black folks are standing in front of (and understandably so, given #9 on this list). One cop had jokes though. He opened the door of the patty wagon and said "Does anyone want to go for a ride." Yes, it was wrong, but before you get indignantly upset, he wasn't arrogant of throwing his weight around, he was seriously joking with us. His other cop pals were none to happy about that. And Scott replied "HEY. My President is Black." LMAO!!!

7. Persistent losers:
Loser: "Why won't you take my number? So what you have a boyfriend, if it doesn't work out, you can just give me a call."
My girl (who doesn't have a man, btw): "How would you feel if you were my man and I gave some other dude my number?"
Loser: "I'm saying though, that's why I'm going to give you MY number."
*SIGH*

6. Gym Shoes and/or Sketchers - Really, in 2008 as adults over the age of 25, we're still wearing gym shoes and/or Sketchers "dress shoes" to the club? Really, in 2008, you're going to let these fools in the club with this gear on? Really? In fairness, I think some of guys had on gym shoes too, but they were fresh. There are two types of gym shoe wearers. Those that CHOOSE to wear gym shoes and those who try to get around the fact that you can't wear gym shoes to the club. Most of the guys on Friday [excluding our boys] were #2. A mess.

Oh yeah, we don't say "sneakers" in the Chi, just FYI.

5. Hood Chicago Mixes - I'm talking HOLD UP... WAIT A MINUTE... at. the. club. These were hot in like 8th grade and freshman year in high school, but not since then has it been ok to JACK. JACK. JACK. JACK Your Body at the club. And people who aren't from Chicago, don't even understand the nostalgia. They just think we're hood.

4. White skinny bouncers trying to jump hard - This bouncer took money from the fellas in #9, THEN requested they get in a line. These dudes were ri-di-cu-lous. "Ay man, we in line." "Look, you said get in line, we in line, you betta make something happen quick" "It's cold out here, I ain't gone ask you, but one more time to let us in." Needless to say everyone got in and in a semi-orderly fashion.

3. Early dismissal - Did the club lights come on 1:07 a.m. No, you must mean We're not even going to discuss how I didn't get there until 12:30 or so AND I paid to get in (We left our first stop that night to go get some food, before going to this club. LOL!)

2. Fighting in the Club - I can you hear you now, saying T, you START most of the fights at the club. I know, I know, but there's usually somewhere there to hold me back. It rarely materializes into a fight. Just a good story to tell my grandkids (Granny wasn't on that with him, LOL!). But there were grown men fighting in the club. So much so that the DJ stopped the music and was like "TAKE IT OUTSIDE." A mess.

1. Trying too hard - This is from Saturday. Family, I wish I could've taken a photo, but I'll just try to paint a picture. Dude was AT LEAST 6'2, 6'3, so he's already standing out in the crowd.
Khaki pants (I know, a mess already).
Caramel Square Toe Dress Shoes.
Red Sweater.
Pitch Black Sunglasses. (the sun goes down at 4:40 p.m. daily in the Chi)
Multi-Colored Jamaican inspired skull cap. (that he wore all night)
Black leather coat.

I'm putting my hands together in a cheerleading pose right now asking Y?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

This quote requires set-up.

The Scene:
- A Classy [but tiny] Club Atmosphere...
- The VIP Section
- Fine Brother + The Birthday Boy
- The Fine Brother's invited female guests (Us) + The birthday boys invited female guests (Them)
- Unnecessary, but inevitable female animosity
- Their body language was saying - "Who are these girls who don't even know the birthday boy in the VIP section?"
- Our body language was responding - "We don't need to know the birthday boy because we're drinking out of the same bottles you are, so apparently that's not a prerequisite... be easy."
- One of them was 6'3. I hang with some tall women and she was hovering over my girls. I should say she was AT LEAST 6'3.

The Climax: She starts dancing like she's 4'11 (please scroll up and notice I said we were in a classy, but TINY club atmosphere).

The quote (accompanied by the shit face):
"Um... I'm gone need her to understand she's a big bitch."
My girl, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Obama Friday

What? You thought I was going to stop talking about Obama? You crazy!!! I can't get enough. Here's a hodge podge of this week's Obama goodness...

Obama Pics on flickr

Political Cartoons

Chi-town Obama Video (You'll see some folks you recognize in here too)





Diddy is a fool, but those twins are adorable!!! Favorite quote at 2:45 "Are y'all fronting on me on national internet?" LOL! Love it!



And one of the pics I took at the rally last week. I love that never ending sea of Obama supporters!!! YAY!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Move to the Country

- I was watching HGTV last week. Property Virgins and some other homeownership shows. They were in St. Paul, MN and Cincinnati, OH and Dallas, TX and folks were getting 3BR, 2.5 Baths homes for 150,000, 125,000 and one dude got the same for 119,900.

- I was in PG County about a month ago and 4 chicken nuggets were $1.00. I went to Navy Pier last week and 4 chicken nuggets are $4.60 (I'm not making this up)


- On the Obama campaign trail in Indiana, I saw gas for $2.30 or something like that.

- Then my little brother sends me a text pix message (Got that Verizon family share plan) and gas in Jacksonville, IL (the country folks) is $2.09. TWO OH NINE!?!

What is this, 2002?

Yeah, it's official. I need to move to the country. I'd be BALLIN'!!!!

Gas in the NAP


Prices dropping daily in Jacksonville



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Identify that W



So in Chicago Walgreens is King. We don't have Rite Aid and CVS is trying to do their thing, but they can't really touch Walgreens. The Walgreens headquarters are in Chicago's suburbs, so it's not uncommon to see folks rockin' Walgreens gear on the weekends because everyone works there. So I'm in DC and I see a dude with a hat with Walgreens W on it. Everyone tries to be different, so I was thinking, ok, that's cool.



Then I start seeing EVERYBODY with a Walgreens W on their hats. So I ask someone...

Is there a Walgreens factory around here or something?

T, that's a Washington Wizards hat...
Oh.

LOL!
***UPDATE***UPDATE***UPDATE***... This is Washington NATIONALS hat. Nationals, Wizards, NBA, MLB... if it's not football, I'm pretty clueless. Sorry TT.