Thursday, July 31, 2008

Because I love a good sale

Today, because I love a good sale, I wanted to let you all know about a sale I just ran across (literally). Macy's overstock is having a sheet sale in the Avenue Hotel (corner of St. Clair & Huron), 7th floor.

1, 6-piece sheet set - $20
3, 6-pieice sheet sets - $50
(Sets include 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat, 4 pillow cases)

Bath Sheets - 3 for $10
(bath sheets=towels the size of your bed sheets) - 3 for $10

400-thread count
Egyptian Cotton

Th, Fri & Sat 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

I walked out of there with a BIG cheesy smile on my face. Now I have to figure out how to work this extra junk into the budget.

Deal of the year homies!

Do You See What I See: Bus Stop Edition



Do you see what I see?

- Mustard Oversized bag
- Fuschia metallic cropped leggings
- Caramel flat calf leather boots
- Green & white three quarter length sleeve belted plaid shirt

On the same person... at the same time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Have you all heard about this? This was an email forwarded to me. I didn't check it against the hoax Web site, but it's not like a "send to 20 people get 1 million dollars" type thing. Again, these are from an email, not my words, just spreading the message.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"This young woman was raped, murdered, and her body was burned...




...the Army called it suicide.

Please take a moment to help the Johnsons achieve justice.

----- Dear Temple, LaVena Johnson was a 19 year old private in the Army, serving in Iraq, when she was raped, murdered, and her body was burned--by someone from her own military base. Despite overwhelming physical evidence, the Army called her death a suicide and has closed the case.1 For three years, LaVena's parents have been fighting for answers. At almost every turn, they've been met with closed doors or lies. They've appealed to Congress, the one body that can hold the military accountable. But, as in other cases where female soldiers have been raped and murdered and the Army has called it suicide, Congress has failed to act. Will you join Mr. and Mrs. Johnson in calling on Congressman Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, to mount a real investigation into LaVena Johnson's death and the Army's cover-up2? Will you ask your friends and family to do the same?

http://www.colorofchange.org/lavena/?id=1743-367485
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From the beginning, LaVena's death made no sense as a suicide. She was happy and had been talking with friends and family regularly--nothing indicated she could be suicidal. And when the Johnsons received her body, they noticed signs that she had been beaten. That was when they started asking questions.

After two years of being denied answers and hearing explanations that made no sense, the Johnsons received a CD-ROM from someone on the inside. It contained pictures of the crime scene where LaVena died and an autopsy showing that she had suffered bruises, abrasions, a dislocated shoulder, broken teeth, and some type of sexual assault. Her body was partially burned; she had been doused in a flammable liquid, and someone had set her body on fire. A corrosive chemical had been poured in her genital area, perhaps to cover up evidence of rape.

Still the Army sticks by their story. They refuse to explain the overwhelming physical evidence that LaVena was raped and murdered and continue to claim that she killed herself. For many Black youth, and working class young people of every race, the military is seen as an option for securing a better future. LaVena came from a deeply supportive family, and while the military wasn't her only option, she was attracted by its promise to help her pay for a college education and the opportunity to travel around the world.

She also thought that by joining she could continue her lifelong commitment to serving other people in need. She made a decision to serve in the military, with all its risks, and expected respect and dignity in return. LaVena's death is part of a disturbing pattern of cases where female soldiers have been raped and killed, and where the military has hidden the truth and labeled the deaths suicides.6,7 In virtually all cases, Congress has been slow to investigate or hold the military accountable in any way.

Unfortunately, most families simply don't have the resources, time, and psychological strength to push back. We can help the Johnsons, and other families, by holding Congress accountable in the LaVena Johnson case and by demanding it investigate the pattern of cover-ups by the military.

Please take a moment to join those calling on Congressman Waxman to investigate the cover-up of LaVena Johnson's death:
http://www.colorofchange.org/lavena/?id=1743-367485 Thanks and Peace, -- James, Gabriel, Clarissa, Andre, Kai, and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team

July 28th, 2008 References:

"Is There an Army Cover Up of Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers?" CommonDreams.org, April 28, 2008

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/28/8564/

"2 Years After Soldier's Death, Family's Battle Is With Army," New York Times, March 21, 2006.

"Rapists in the Ranks, Los Angeles Times, March 31, 2008


Monday, July 28, 2008

South Side Envy

So I went to a friend's housewarming this weekend and they have a 1500 square foot apartment, 2 br, 2 ba with hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, a huge island counter in the kitchen, walk-in closet in the master br, basically just ballin' out of control.

They're paying about double what I pay for a studio and I'm thinking 1) Do I need to get a roommate and 2) Do I need to move to the south side to get more [space] for my money?

Everyone knows that in Chicago you get space on the south side and location on the north side. A good location for me means a place where you don't necessarily need a car. There's a plethora of Starbucks, bookstores, shops and drug stores. It's close to various methods of public transportation and cabs are plentiful in the neighborhood. It's also safe (enough) to walk solo late at night without really worrying about watching your back.

There's a place on the south side where you can get space AND location for a reasonable price: Hyde Park.

RedEye just reported that a local study named Hyde Park the #3 most diverse neighborhood in the Chi. That's what's up! [Lakeview didn't make the top 20... oh well] I just re-signed my Lakeview lease, but on one hand should I get an offer good enough, I may sublet this piece, so I can walk around my house without knocking stuff over (yeah, it's that small).

On the other hand, I didn't see any Argo Tea Cafes, American Apparel, Bobtail Ice Cream Shop, the one price cleaners, Jewel & Treasure Island within walking distance. LVAC ('cause I refuse to go to club Bally on 48th), I'm sure I could find a new nail shop, but oh how I'd miss Pink Polish.

I didn't see all the outdoor seating at my favorite restaurants, but maybe I wasn't looking too hard. I know Rainbow Beach or 63rd street beach is within walking distance of Hyde Park (right, southsiders?) and I'd always have a ride home because it seems everyone else lives on the south side. I dunno what I'm going to do. I LOVE my neighborhood, but I'm also longing for more space in my abode. I guess we'll find out where I really keep my treasure (space or location) when I make that purchase next fall.

So what's the most important for you? When choosing a place to live, if you had to choose between a lot of space or a more walker-friendly location, what'd you choose? And don't say you'd choose both, you have to pick!

Tea's Top 10: Kids & Strollers

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

Side note: I survived the jam-packed weekend. Thanks for your prayers, I definitely felt them. AND Batman was worth all the sleep I lost watching it.

Now... today, in honor of all the ginormous kids I see every weekend in strollers, we're going to go over the top 10 reasons your kid should not be in a stroller:

10. If your child has a beard, he should not be in a stroller.

9. Once your child loses his or her virginity, you should stop pushing them in a stroller.

8. If your child is in high school, believe me, they're not lying when they say the stroller embarrasses them.

7. If your child is taller than you, no matter how tall you are, you should not be pushing them in a stroller.

6. If your son keeps getting out of the stroller and insisting that you let him walk, he should have never been in the stroller in the first place.

5. If your daughter knows how to compact the stroller better than you, does it when you all go from one place to another, can pick it up and walk away, then she shouldn't be in the stroller ever again.

4. If your son's knees are hitting his chin while sitting straight up in the stroller, guess what, he shouldn't be in the stroller. Let that grown man walk!

3. If your daughter has blisters on her ankles where the stroller wheels keep hitting them, then she should be able to walk on her own. Give that stroller to someone who's kids are NOT in high school.

2. If your older child in the stroller can change the younger child's diaper, then one of them needs to be walking with you. Let that double stroller go.

1. If your son, gets out of the stroller and pushes it himself with toys or your shopping bags in it, then you know you're wrong for making them sit in the stroller in the first place. Get a granny cart for bags and stop pimping the stroller.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Crash and Burn

That's what I'm hoping I do not do this weekend. Pray for me. Here's the line-up:

Friday night - I'm trying to do NOTHING... BUT the UNITY conference is this weekend (NABJ stand up!), so I'll PROBABLY be cajoled into a party or several.

Saturday
10:45am - 3pm Work
3 - 8 pm Going away bbq
6pm - until Houswarming
1am - Dark Knight with my ex and some married folks

Sunday
8:30 - 5:15 Work
7 pm - Mentor Dinner

GEEZ.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vegas vs. Miami

For today's question of the day, let's lighten it up a bit. I got into a friendly argument with someone about which locale was the better party spot.

So what's it going to be... In your opinion, where's the better place to party Vegas or Miami (South Beach)? Make sure to back up your answer. I'll post an update later in the day with my choice. I don't want to bias anyone's opinions. :)

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

I think Miami South Beach is the better party spot:
- The party spots on South Beach are all within short walking distances of each other, so you don't really need a car
- In Vegas all the walking makes me tired and cranky, hence not party-appropriate. By the time you get to the clubs inside of the casinos, you've already walked off 5 pounds.
- It's ALWAYS hot in Miami, whereas in Vegas it gets chilly at night in the winter
- I don't gamble (so that's not really a partying activity)
- There's a Zara in Miami (my favorite place to shop and we all know, shopping is THEE biggest party EVER)
- You can eat and drink well for the low
- Women typically get into all the clubs free on South Beach (not the case in Vegas)
- The crowds are young and pretty (as opposed to folks' old aunties and grandmas who show up trying to get it in in Vegas)
- You can get closer to the celebrities (you know they're going to be getting pizza after the club as opposed to retiring to their Las Vegas penthouses)
- I'd rather party on the beach than in the desert, any day of the week.

Now, I'm a fair person, so based on my friend's argument and you all's comments, I know I lost this one. So, in general, Vegas is a better party spot, but as far as "how" Tea likes to party it's Miami (South Beach) all the way!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

OPB

Today we're going to discuss other people's boyfriends. Other people's boyfriends piss me off.

This is a long one, but worth the read, in my humble opinion.

Background: Families are the foundation of everything. No matter your religion, race, country of origin or even your language, the thing that equalizes all of us is a family. (This is loosely based on my observations working at Chicago's #1 attraction, which attracts people from all over the world daily). Everyone, no matter how dysfunctional, has a family. In order to be alive you HAVE to have mother and a father. Despite the black community's obvious problem with stand-up fathers, biologicallly speaking, at the very base of human life we're all the same.

In American culture in order to procreate, to start a family, you have to start way further back with a *sigh* relationship. We'll speak in perfect terms first... So in perfect terms boy meets girl, girl and boy "fall in love" with each other, girl and boy get married, have unprotected sex, have a baby, love it very much and groom it to follow the same pattern. This is the stuff families are made of and families are the lifeblood of our nation.

Now in real terms girl meets boy, girl stops calling all her girlfriends because said boy is now THEE single most important thing in girl's life and she must spend every waking moment with him. Boy breaks girl's heart (not to mention her hymen, self-confidence, bank account, etc, etc). Girl leans on her girlfriends during this tough time... "Do they still serve chicken at KFC? Yes, of course. You should go... OH you wanna go with me? Well... we haven't gone together in the past two years because there wasn't enough space for me, you AND your boyfriend, but since I'm notoriously and eternally single, sure I'll go with you. I'm here for YOU and don't you forget it."

This pattern continues for years and years (or relationships and relationships) until girl meets a boy who doesn't break her heart and inevitably wants to spend the rest of his life with her. [In case you hadn't noticed the whole life partner thing is the boy's choice. Girls don't get to pick who they want to spend their lives with. They just confirm or deny requests.] Girl then proceeds to ignore her single girlfriends, because they're in different places in life and/or because her husband is now her best friend and thus she's outlived the need for a #1 homegirl. She's also cleared out the mental capacity for girlfriend activity and replaced it with baby factory dreams. ***eye roll***

Now to the topic at hand: As the notoriously single friend who is extremely loyal and just a bit too honest, I'm always leaned on to help pick up the pieces of arguments, break-ups, basically bullshit in its most general AND rarest forms. No girl ever takes into consideration the hurt I may have felt when they dropped me like last year's beat down flip flops in order to entertain the boy in their life. No girl ever considers that in order for her boy to be her best friend, he's got to take the place of the best friend she already has.

And so today, I'm pissed at people's boyfriends not because I miss QT with my boo-ed up girlfriends (though I do), not because every new relationship with a boy is a quiet search to replace a girl (which it is). TODAY I'm pissed because these boyfriends, with their attractive faces, hard bodies and ability to procreate with a woman DO NOT have my girlfriends' best interests at heart. No these pretty muthasuckas are in it to win it... breaking hearts and taking names. They piss me off because any attempt to point out ish that just ain't right, request more QT girl time, or even make three company results in me (and many other well-intentioned women) seem bitter, jealous or lonely. I'm pissed at them because my girls are like family to me and to hurt family is a figurative death wish.

I have to wonder who created this model? Who said "Spend your entire life building same sex relationships, then completely disregard them for opposite sex relationships in order to create a family." Don't most people, by way of friendships already have all the family they need? I could look up the research on nuclear families, but just based on my personal observations, there has to be more to life. There's a reason that 60% of marriages in this country fail. I don't know what it is exactly, but I'd take an educated guess that a large part of the problem is people putting all their time and energy into marriages, resulting in disintegrated friendships and other famial relationships. It's probably not normal, natural, healthy nor God-intended for relationships nor marriage to take that sort of beastly charge over people's lives, but somewhere along the way we've gotten it mixed up.

A married girlfriend told me to remember that being married is just one PART of the sum of things that make her whole. I'm certain she'll be in the 40% that gets it right.

Tea's Top 10: Co-Worker Profiles

10. Your favorite manager (who always quits right after you start to love him/her) - You love this person. He or she understands your work style and let's you thrive in it. This person is a mentor and a coach and always has your back when sitting in circles you're not privy to. This person is usually your manager for three to six months, then they decide they want to go back to school, be a house wife, travel the Amazon or some other thing that's much cooler than working a 9 to 5.

9. The Dummy - No matter how competent this person is with ACTUAL work, they're dumb as a ton a bricks when it comes to everything else. This person will look for tissue in the kitchen and fruit in the bathroom. This person insists on asking anyone who can hear questions that your three year old brother could answer and are oblivious to the dirty looks they get, because, let's face it, they're too dumb for subtlety.

8. The Referral - This person could double as the dummy, but everyone in the office is always confused as to how this person is sitting in the same room with them. While you're trying to figure out how a seven year old can balance a 50 million dollar budget or how anyone could be effective only working on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 to 10 a.m., they're having coffee with the big whigs, completely skipping the chain of command and inevitably getting you or someone you know in a world of trouble.

7. The Nice Guy - This guy is an enabler to the aforementioned Dummy. He is SO nice. He's a pleasure to work with, knows everyone's name and knows EVERYTHING about the office. The Dummy often stands in the hallway and asks him if there's fruit in the kitchen and the Nice Guy will walk into the kitchen with the Dummy and say, let's have a look shall we (whereas I would've said something like... take your dumb behind in the kitchen and see...)

6. The Party Girl - This person could be at any level, a colleague, a manager, someone you manage, but this chick STAYS at a bar, club or any person's house with a full liquor cabinet seven nights a week. Matter of fact she's just coming to work in between parties. Her hair is often matted together, it's not unusual to smell liquor seeping through her pores at a meeting and more than once you've seen her eating McDonald's fries and drinking Gatorade in her office at 9:30 a.m. She always just barely gets her work done and get her alone and she'll tell you why she doesn't think it's ever unprofessional to make out with bartenders, let alone when we're on a work-sponsored trip.

5. The Off-Color Receptionist - This woman is hilarious. Like the Nice Guy, she knows everything and knows everyone's name, but she's anything but nice. She's just professional enough to not get fired. When big brother's not looking, she'll cuss you out, be mean to the new delivery guy, snap on the people who've made their way to the wrong floor and tell The Dummy, like no one else can, "You know you're a Dummy, right?" She makes inappropriate jokes, tells people not to talk to her while she's on the phone, ignores phone calls coming in, hangs up on people. She basically says everything you want to say, but are afraid to for the fear of getting fired. If you didn't know better, you'd think she was The Silver Spoon, since she's so careless with her job security, but given her need to leave work early to go the Currency Exchange every pay day, you know better.

4. The Workaholic - This loser is upset when you tell him no, you can't meet a 9 p.m. deadline... you get off at 5 p.m. He's mad that the interns eat, let alone take a full hour to do it. He's pissed that other people are enjoying the light of day while he's working on his eight projects he volunteered for. He orders dinner so much at work that the delivery people start bringing him food without him even ordering. He's wifeless, womanless, dateless, hopeless and just a general pain in the backside.

3. Eternal Entry Level Dude - This dude has been working at the job for forever and is still in the same position. HR is too chicken to fire him because technically there's nothing wrong with being mediocre. The intern he recruited at his alma mater is his boss now and he doesn't even seem to care. He's been here FOREVER... there are rules, and he knows them. This dude is not phased by his lack of growth, but just make sure you don't move his red stapler.

2. The Silver Spoon - This dude works for fun. It's evident of the fact when he makes what you make, but lives in a 1 million condo right beneath Oprah. He's determined to pay everytime you all go out. He's always talking about taking a holiday... a sabbatical, he just doesn't know what he wants to do. He basically works on your team, screws everything up and then leaves to go pursue her dream of handpainting skis for Arizona's homeless. He's a total wack job, but fun to be around 'cause He basically doesn't give a... what?

1. MIA - Madam Missing in Action. This chick is always on vacation. The Hamptons, the Poconos, The Bahamas, The French Riviera. Basically everywhere she goes has the word "The" in front of it. She gets non-stop promotions without ever really doing any work. She justs starts the work, then goes on vacation. She could be The Silver Spoon undercover, but it's hard to tell 'cause she's never in the office for more than three days at a time, so it's difficult to build a relationship and extract these finer details from her.

1. The GE - The Gansta Executive. This person is just rude enough that clients and other big whigs don't notice. You've never seen her smile and would be scared if you did. She doesn't book conference rooms. She just goes into them and if you're there when she gets there, you'll need to leave. "Oh sure, I can have my meeting in the bathroom stalls... no problem whatsoever." She follows no protocol, but is the person you're sent to when you break them. She is loved and feared equally and has this to-die for wardrobe. She is singlehandedly responsible for bringing in half of the company's revenue and thus takes everything personally. When you're on her good side you're sitting pretty. If you get on her bad side, you can pretty much guarantee you'll be black-balled in the entire industry. Give or take a few qualities, I'm trying to her her in six, maybe seven years.

I had two #1s, but did I miss any profiles? Let me know...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Do You See What I See?

Happy Birthday Mom!!!



Now... Ladies and Gentleman. This is a fellow at the all-white boat party my girls and I attended on July 5th. Do you see what I see? Yes family, a hot burning mess, indeed. What I would like to know is why in the Sam Hill hell he decided to wear his picnic table jacket to the ALL WHITE PARTY. I know folks really try to be different and "freak" the white, as one of my boys would say. But uh... that jacket is wack arnolds.

That is all.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We travel too!!!

Attention hair cair companies. BLACK PEOPLE TRAVEL! It occurred to me to bring this up while in my bathroom scooping hair gel into a 3 ounce container with a butter knife.

I frequent Target, Wal-mart, Walgreens and the like and NEVER do I see hair care products for Black people in those $1.00 travel sections. NEVER!!! We spend more money on hair care than any other ethnicities. We probably spend more on hair care as a race in the United States than most countries spend in any given year. WHY WHY WHY WHY... do I have to scoop hair gel into a 3 oz. container when my White, Asian and even Latina sisters can just go into a store of their choosing and pick up whatever they like?

It's not racist... it just comes down to money. Companies see that Black people take up a smaller part of the pie, so assume our products won't sell. (Another problem may be that there are no Black people in those rooms making the decision, but that's a whole 'nother post). Back to the story at hand... if Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Loreal (i.e. Soft Sheen Carson) and the Pink Oil Moisturizer folks are afraid travel size Black hair care products won't sell (trust me, in Lakeview they wont) then put them online. When orders come in assess where they're coming from and begin to sell in the stores in that area. Too high tech for you? Then add the traditional advertising in Essence, Ebony and on TVOne alerting folks that you now have travel stuff available online. Better yet, advertise with the Jamaican board of tourism (you all know Black people LOVE to go to Jamaica). Do you need me to write you a business plan... 'cause I'll do it for a nominal fee.

If Barack Obama gets voted President we BETTER get some travel size Black hair care products. Matter of fact, I want to see Sasha and Malia on the size of a PCJ box or something. If that doesn't happen I'm going to write Michelle and ask her to casually mention that the country doesn't pay attention to people with a smaller percentage of the voice. "For example," says Michelle "I can't even find hair styling products for me and my daughters in discount stores. I have to scoop gel into 3 oz. bottles with a butter knife when we fly."

I know I'm crazy... but a girl can dream right. I'm sayin... if the President of the United States can be a Black man, then I think I can at least get some hair gel or Miss Jessies in a travel size.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tea's Top 10 - Fashion Trends

Below find the top 10 fashions that I think should

A) be banished from existence

or

B) require an application to wear

10. Flip-Flops (Ban) - Now flip-flops are both the best and worst thing to happen to feet since pumice stones. They are versatile, cheap and amazing looking. However, they are also responsible for filth and crust on the bottom of feet and mass exposure to plenty of horrible looking feet (thummyb think about dude on the boat on the way to Nassau. EW!) Not only do flip-flops brush every bit of dirt from the concrete onto your feet leaving your heels looking like you've been walking through tar, they also provide zero support for your arches. Worst of all by the end of the summer they begin to disinegrate and you end up with whatever color your flip-flop is on the balls of your feet. Horrible. If they were banned we couldn't wear them, hence keeping the dawgs in MUCH better shape.

9. Platforms (Ban) - Platforms are just ugly. Period. Yes, I own a pair. They're happen to be in style. But they keep going away and coming back. They were fab in the the 70s, 90s, it's not even 2010 and here they are again. I just want someone to ban them, then I wouldn't be compelled to buy ugly (but in style and fab) shoes.

8. Gladiator Sandals (Ban) - Given my hate of the aestetics of feet, you can reasonably understand why I loathe gladiator sandals. They took one ugly thing and dresses it up with another ugly thing. It's absolutely ludicrous. I mean these things click, buckle and strap up the leg and around the feet as if they're adorning something beautiful. Not only do you look like Julius Ceasar, but there's no way to pair this shoe with anything and look nice. Dresses... still ugly. Shorts... still ugly. Pants... ugly as in creeping out of the bottom of your hem... ugly. Bathing suits... hideous. I mean seriously, who watches 300 and goes, you know... let's put that on a runway. Whoever you are STOP IT!

7. Fashion Belts (Apply) - Now I know belts are all the rage, but I believe wide belts were made in partnership with the fashion faux paus association. Where should the darn thing go on your body? On your waist, your hips, just below your breasts, smack dab in the middle of your gut? People will put on a wack outfit and throw a belt on with it and really thing they're doing it big. Then they start being country and matching their belts to their flip-flops to their purse to their fake jewels to their headband and it's like high school fashion is alive or something. I can't WAIT until big belts go out of style, so I can stop trying to figure out if people are pregnant or just constipated.

6. Booty Shorts/Shorts in General (Apply) - Name the only civilized country in the world where adult women wear shorts in public: The United States of America. Shorts are for children. (Tea... don't you wear shorts... yes, but I'm making a point here). If you go to Europe people dress like they have business, whether they do or not. People actually care what they look like. Over here we're all about freedom and rights. "I have the right to look a mess" is what most people are thinking when they take a look in the mirror, then leave the house every morning. Must we exercise all our rights, America? Can we wear some flattering clothes? PUH-LEEZE?

5. Short Puffy Jackets with the fur trimmed sleeves and hood (Apply) (hat tip to thummyb for this one). Is this look ever really ok? I'll let teenagers slide, but for adults, I have one letter for you: Y? If you live in Chicago your butt is inevitably cold all winter long with that mess on. The hood isn't really big enough to cover your head when it snows. Matching the faux fur in your snow boots to the faux fur in your hood is not really ballin'... I could go on and on. Kimora... I beg of you, please have Baby Phat stop manufacturing this nonsense.

4. Bikini Bathing Suits (Apply) - (Tea... don't you wear bikinis. Yes and thanks to Operation Get It Right I had a roll of back fat the last time I wore one too.) My back fat, however, PALED in comparison to the ridiculousness we saw in the Bahamas: 200, 250 and 300 pound women wearing bikinis. Really dude? Is that really ok? I mean, have you NO respect for the eyes of the masses, the stomachs of the people? There are kids on the beach for Christ's sake? I don't want to be familiar with your c-section scar. I don't want to be exposed to that tat you got on your stomach when you were 19 and planned to never have kids. That thing is running amuck all over your belly now. Listen to me. IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE SEXY IN A ONE PIECE. I saw a bunch of ladies do it on the beach. Tyra specializes in it. Take note. You are not losing your sexy or your youth by wearing a one piece. In contrast, you have already lost your figure and now thanks to you wearing a bikini in public I've also lost my lunch.

3. Skinny Jeans (Ban) - These atrocities were ugly in the 80s. They're ugly now. Stuff Black People Hate did a fabulous recap on these. But allow me to add, the absolute worst thing about these jeans is that Essence magazine - via their what to wear in your size which never has any size smaller than an 8 section - has convinced people that anyone can wear anything. ARGH!!!! Skinny Jeans are not for people with cankles. I'm sorry... they're just not. I'm own a pair and I'm never quite happy with the result when I put them on (Yet again... I succombed to fashion trends, just because.), so you can imagine what I think about people 2, 3 and 4 times my size in them. These jeans are horrible on everyone! Just like skinny girls shouldn't be running around in tunics or peasant tops (seriously!) big girls, especially, need to leave skinny jeans alone.

2. Stretch Pants/Leggings (BAN!!!) (Hat tip to Paris) - Mary, Mother of Jesus... WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY did stretchpants and leggings come back into style. I'm sorry, I just can't get with this one. I own ZERO pairs of these bad boys and I think everyone should donate the ones they own to the doo rag foundation. NOT only do these pants look painted on, but most people are working with canvasses that a paint by numbers water color couldn't even do justice. Though, I've seen some people rock the hell out of these, I'd still prefer for them to be banned. This would prevent the cottage cheese hoarding, muffin top having, baseball bat leg sporting women from getting to them and would hence, make the world a better place for all.

1. Low Rise Jeans (Apply) - What loser went to the drawing board like "you know what I think is hot... ass crack. Yes... yes... I think I'll create a pant that no matter how big or small you are when you sit down, your ass crack will show." This fashion design genius must've also thought the muffin top was S-E-X-Y! I mean who wouldn't want to see a bunch of women with their stomachs spilling out of their low rise jeans, then buckled down in the middle with a wide belt. Yes, family, yes I do own low rise jeans. I started buying them when I was too young to think about how unappealing my butt crack may be to anyone who's not in the process of taking my pants off. Now when making a purchase I just focus on jeans that button up without me having to suck it in.

So contribute to the topic folks... What fashion trends would you like to see go away?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Wedded Bliss Expenditure List

Bachelorette Party - $200.00
Jewelry - $Free.99 Thanks P!
Hair - $FREE.99 Thanks MOM!
Bridemaid Dress - $100.00
Alterations - $45.00
Shoes - $21.80
Hotel Accomodations - $681.00
Flight - $388.80
Nails - $35.00
Resort Wear/Accessories - $351.23 (Now I realize this is a lot of shopping for a 4-day trip, but I tend to use vacays as an excuse to shop, so it's included in the trip costs)
Food/Airport Transport/Incidentals on Paradise Island/in Nassau (i.e. more shopping) - $200

A drunken festival, er... um I mean...

Wedded bliss in the Bahamas - $2022.83
Helping R&P usher in the next chapter of their lives - Priceless.

Some things money can't buy. For everything else, I work that second job on the weekends!



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Going for the cheap

Side notes:
- Check out thummyb's commentary on the New Yorker (scroll down). She said it so well that I don't have to.
- I have about 30 bahamian mosquito bites. This SUCKS!!!

Now on to the topic at hand.

So there are several places in life I go for the cheap and most times I get what I pay for. For example:

- I pay $1.99 per clothing item at the cleaners and they often neglect to follow my jean-creasing instructions.
- I paid $388.80 for a round trip plane ticket to Nassau (the cheapest flight I could find) that included a 4-hour layover, which ended up being an 8-hour layover. As a bit more background on that flight, I was planning to use my American Airlines frequent flyer miles to go for FREE and was crushed when I found out I'd waited too late and would now have to purchase a ticket. $388.80 was the cheapest I could find, but cost SO much more than free that it was hard to even book that flight. Considering $500, $600 and even $1,000 direct flights or even flights with shorter layovers was not even an option for me because I was so blindsided by the fact that I had to make any purchase at all.

In these two instances, though I was heavily inconvenieced, I still think going for the cheap was the better choice. So what, I have to ask 82 times for a crease in my jeans. I still save over 50% of what I would pay at a regular cleaners and I think it's worth it. Yes, being in the D.C. airport for 8 hours sucked, but like antithesis and thummyb said yesterday 1) I still had a fabulous trip in the Bahamas 2) I made it home on the day I wanted to be home and 3) I made it safely. (For the record American Airlines cancelled most of their flights going out of D.C. as opposed to post-poning them the way USAirways did. If I'd decided to pay $600+ for an AA flight, I would have had to stay the night in D.C. and arranged for food, transport and accomodations there, which would have cost me more than the $200+ I saved flying USAirways).

So all of that to say when it comes to goods and services sometimes going for the cheap works out, if you can muster up enough patience.

My point of the day, however, is that "going" for the cheap with people, is a bad decision. Sure Reggie Bush, Mos Def and Ice Tea did it, (made a hoe into a housewife...) but given our regular salaries and non-celebrity reputations, can we, as normal civilians afford to go for the cheap when it comes to the opposite sex? My vote is no and I bet everyone that comments is going to agree. However, for those lurking, comment-free, before your next "go," please consider what it'd be like to be as inconvenieced as I was at the airport with someone who's last name you don't even know or who's list of partners is longer than T.I.'s wrap sheet.

So where do you go/have you gone for "the cheap"? Is it/was it worth it?

Monday, July 14, 2008

A [travel] day in the life of

7:00 a.m. (EST) - Hotel wake up call in the Bahamas
7:23 a.m. - Actually get up, shower, pack, etc
8:10 a.m. - Breakfast (Omelette, fresh fruit and freshly squeezed melon juice... heavenly)
8something - Listen to the Ocean
8:53 a.m. - Return to room, grab bags and go wait for shuttle bus
9something - Bus arrives, leave the Riu
9:15 - listen to two Canadian broads argue about who's more mature and why they got on a 9 a.m. bus for a 10:30 a.m. flight. (Dummies)
9:45 a.m. - Arrive at the Nassau Airport
9:50 a.m. - Check in
10:00 a.m. - Spot Malik Yoba in the passport checkpoint line. And for the record yes, he is every bit of yummy chocolatey deliciousness in person as he is on TV, in movies and in those Tyler Perry-esque plays.
10:09 a.m. - Notice that Malik Yoba's with a 3W, return to reading my book.
10:45 a.m. - Successfully make it through 3 security checkpoints and go sit at my gate
11:00 a.m. - Am informed since I'm flying to D.C. I have one more security checkpoint and head over to the H gate to sit and wait. Was told they don't want D.C. passengers mingling with the other passengers. Great.
11:15 a.m. - Am starving... bought a Tortuga Pineapple Rum Cake.
11:30 a.m. - Board the plane. Killed that Rum cake.
12 noon - flight leaves on time
2:30 p.m. - Arrive in DC, find out I have to take a bus to the other terminal. Turn around to purchase a Cinnabon.
2:40 p.m. Killed that Cinnabon.
2:45 p.m. - Take bus to other terminal
3:00 p.m. - Read book
4:30 p.m. - Go grab some lunch/dinner before 6:50 flight. Run into a friend. Hi friend.
5:00 p.m. - Find out my 6:50 flight is moved to 7:20
5:30 p.m. - Flight moved to 7:43
6:00 p.m. - Flight moved to 8:34
6:30 p.m. - Flight moved to 9:13 (wondering if the flight changes will ever hit equilibrium)
7:00 p.m. - Flight moved to 9:32
7:30 p.m. - Flight stayed at 9:32 (Success)
8:00 p.m. - Flight moved to 9:40 (text Kismet. I may need to stay in DC)
8:30 p.m. - Flight moved to 10:15
9:00 p.m. - Flight stayed at 10:15 (Potential Success)
9something - My friend's flight is cancelled. Goodbye friend.
10:11 p.m. - Board plane
10something - plane takes off
11:25 p.m. CST (12:25 EST) - arrive in Chicago. It's chilly. 68 degrees actually. Find out thummyb is already home, despite the fact that she left the Bahamas more than 5 hours after I did.
11:30 p.m. - Go to baggage claim. Retrieve my bag that quite possibly could have been waiting for me since 7:49 (the original time my flight was supposed to arrive in the Chi).
11:35 p.m. - Get a cab
11:48 p.m. - Realize we're still in airport traffic. Great.
12:18 a.m. - Get home.
12:20 a.m. - Figure out the elevator is missing. Walk up each floor until I find it. Ride the elevator from the third floor back down to one to get my bag.
12:27 a.m. - Arrive home sweet home. Smile at my bed.
12:28 a.m. - Thank God that he blessed me with the good sense to take tomorrow off as well and enough vacation time to do it.
12:29 a.m. log on to T & Such to tell you all about the second longest travel day in my entire life.

See the moral of this story in "Going for the cheap" tomorrow and check out my other upcoming posts:

Wedded Bliss Expenditure List
Tea's Top 10
and a new segment "Do You See What I see"

Friday, July 11, 2008

Real Quick/Question of the Day

So I recently found out via a popular social networking site that one of [insert descriptor here]'s finest is married. Not boo-ed up, not engaged, ALL THE WAY MARRIED. It was a sad day when I got that information. He was one of those dudes who everyone just agreed is fine. There was no argument about it, no discussion, just plain accordance with his general fineness and sexiness overall.

This is the dude that though you never even put a bid in, you were hoping he'd stay single forever and casually cross your path at a Walgreens or Target and elect to stay in touch. This is the dude who no MATTER what his wife looks/acts/talks or thinks like, you're convinced, she'll never be good enough. This dude is like the local Denzel of my generation.

I mean, I got emails, phone calls, social networking site messages and some face to face updates on the sadness equals this brother being off the market. Like I said, it was a sad day.

Don't get me wrong, marriage and family get one point. But the female gender in general is in a serious deficit. Big ups to his wife, you are indeed a blessed woman.

Which brings me to the question of the day. [now, this can be a rhetorical question as well, so don't go putting all your business out there in my comment section]. Did you ever find out someone (who you don't even really know or talk to) was married and your heart just dropped? For example, even though Nicole Ari Parker is SO pretty and deserving, I still can't help but be sad that Boris Kodjoe is off the market.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tea's Tangents: The Cutest Stuff

Ok, so lately I've come across the cutest stuff. Some of it is downright neat, but I can't really put "neat" in the name of a post if I want people to continue reading...



Designhergals
This ultra cute Web site let's you design your own stationary with a picture of a woman who looks like you on it. You all have seen virtual shopping right? It's just like this, except it's on the side of post-it notes and other cute stationary stuff. I LOVE it.

On the Go Kits


I was looking for something (legitimate) for work and came across these handy dandy things. Now, they probably serve no real purpose whatsoever, but for someone who travels a lot this would be a great gift/stocking stuffer.

Catalog Choice
This Web site is also uber cute, because who doesn't want to save the environment? You know all the pesky catalogs you get, well now you can go to one Web site to get them all to go away. You put in your info, the name of the mag, then the Web site contacts then AND gives you status updates on the progress. i.e. did they contact the catalogue, did the catalogue accept/refuse your request. It's so cool! YAY less paper waste!!!


Oldie, but Goodie

Pokey Sticks


Ok, pokey sticks are the CUTEST. This warm gooey cheesy deliciousness can be found on a college campus near you. It's not pizza, it's not breadsticks, it's pizza and breadsticks in one. LAWD, what I wouldn't do for a pokey stick on a drunken night in the Chi. Gumby's used to really come through at U of I. Oh and the dipping sauces. WONDERFULNESS... I'm trying to tell you.

I know what you're thinking... you're thinking T, did you used to be a big girl? NOPE, I just have big girl tendencies (when it comes to my grub). :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Final Get it Right Report

What's up folks. We ship off to the Bahamas for Operation Wedded Bliss tomorrow and Operation Get it Right is in full effect! I've been having extra donuts with breakfast and fries with every meal. Yesterday I even took a nap after lunch. :)

Anyway, check out the photo. The before pic is me in August 2007 at my best friend's wedding. The after photo is this past weekend at the white party on the Spirit of Chicago. Now before you say something like, I don't see the weight gain or the pictures are different sizes, look at my nose and collar bone. In the before picture my bones are more profound. The after photos are um... meatier. LMAO!

So anyway, I'll be happy at any size (please believe that!), but my goal was to pick up a "little" weight for the wedding and the goal's been reached. I hope I don't lose it on the plane with those friggin' crackers they bring by like it's a meal or something.

P.S. I won't leave you all hanging while I'm on vacay. I learned how to set up automatic posts (thanks BGG!), so I'll be posting to teaandsuch like I'm still here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Taste of Chicago

You all know I work too much, so I've been missing out on a bunch of social activities this summer. So I made plans to go to the Taste of Chicago on Sunday and found out it was the absolute last day. Not only was it the last day, but I had to work, so we didn't get there until 5, they stopped selling tickets at 5:30 and stopped serving food at 6 (or so they say). Man, I had to get it in though.

I had:
- A boneless rib sandwich from Sweet Baby Ray's
- Mustard fried catfish from BJ's
- A chicken burrito from Los Dos Laredos and
- A slice of key lime pie from JR Dessert Bakery

Big ups to cousin Derrick for hooking me up with two tickets when I realized I was a lil' short for the key lime pie. In retrospect, it wasn't worth 7 whole tickets. I should have gotten some Eli's cheesecake like I always do, but whatever.

And in honor of the Taste in the best city in the world (and people grinding everywhere), check out my girl from college with a report on the Taste.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Question of the Day

So you all know Operation Wedded Bliss is a few days away. In my quest to save money, I've booked connecting flights (EW!) and returning I have a long layover (ICK!). Your girl's gonna need some good books to read.

I'm looking for page-turning fiction, nothing serious at all.

Suggestions?

P.S. If you read a good book that you don't want anyone to know you read email it to me (LOL!)

Sorry babe... had to do it

So my boy hits me up and is like we should do a tandem blog. And I get SO excited. I'm like yes, we absolutely should. So I'm like what's a hot topic that people are going to comment on: Politics? No.
Sports? No.
Wackness on the CTA? Maybe... but no.
Relationships? DING DING DING DING.

So we came up with the HOTTEST two relationship topics. He's going to put his POV on my blog and I'm going to put my POV on his. We weren't going to tell anyone about this either. Just post up something in my voice on his blog and vice versa and BAM controversy, hilarity... straight nonsense for your reading enjoyment.

Man... my boy got busy with work and all kinds of stuff and left me hanging. I've had my post in my outbox, saved and ready to go for at least a month and trust me... it's a hot one and I'm NOT posting it until he posts his.

So REESE, quit BS-ing and send me your post. People, let him know how much you're dying to read these posts. I'll even give you a hint on the topics:

I'm single
My boy's taken
Hoes are lookin'
Tea is waitin'

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tea's Top 10

Side note: I tried really hard not to exercise, but it was tough. I just did 10 minutes of Pilates ab work and that woman on the video is a beast. I feel great though!

Anyway... Today, you all are in for a real treat. I'm going to try to make Tea's Top 10 a new segment on the blog and today's is a hot one. Today we're going to discuss the top 10 reasons you (or someone you know) should not wear booty shorts... you know shorts that cut RIGHT under the booty. This list includes things that I have witnessed since short shorts are back in style. Feel free to forward to anyone who would enjoy the post (HINT).

Also as a disclaimer, if one of these applies to you and you live alone or with a significant other, by all means, make it do what it do IN THE HOUSE! But when you go outside, please don't subject the rest of us to the nonsense I'm about to discuss.

Here we go...

10. Parents: If your 12-year is thicka than a snicka, you can't have her wearing booty shorts. R. Kelly and the like will be sitting around talking about "it wasn't me" or "I thought she was 18." Please... stop the madness and get your baby some loose capris.

9. If you are over a certain age, booty shorts are not the way to go. I have an age in mind, but I don't want to offend anyone, so I'm just saying, do a figurative gut check (well hell, do a literal one too). If you think you're too old for booty shorts, you're probably right.

8. If you have cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, jello or any other food like substance bka cellulite on your thighs, under your behind, around your knees... please let the booty shorts go.

7. If that dark part under your behind is showing when you're standing straight up, BOOTY SHORTS ARE NOT FOR YOU.

6. If you have so many stretchmarks that it looks like you've had a bowel accident on the back of your legs, booty shorts are not the way to go.

5. If you used to be a GD, folk, traveler, new breed, vicelord and/or black stone and your bullet wounds are SHOWING... GET SOME PANTS ALREADY!!! We're glad you've gotten your life together, but booty shorts are for someone else.

4. If you do not agree with what your real size is and are determined to wear booty shorts that ride up in the middle exposing all of the Chi to a place no man has gone before (or somewhere where everybody knows your name... whatever). If your shorts are riding up and looking like panties, you need to get a bigger size OR LEAVE THE BOOTY SHORTS ALONE.

3. If you don't believe in waxing, shaving, threading, plucking or otherwise removing the hair from your private parts and it's hanging out of the shorts like Miranda on the SATC movie (Disgusting!) then you really need to be stoned. LEAVE THE BOOTY SHORTS ON THE RACK!

2. If you sweat profusely and there is generally a ring of sweat around your booty, drawing attention to your booty by wearing booty shorts is probably not the best tactic for deferring attention from your little problem. Use some powder or get some breathable biking gear or something. GEEZ!

And now the # 1 reason you SHOULD NOT WEAR BOOTY SHORTS

If you are 8 and a half months pregnant, walking through Old Navy on State and Washington with a two-piece Baby Phat green velour booty short jogging suit, white regular sized t-shirt and some white Air Force Ones on, WEAR MATERNITY CLOTHES! Booty shorts are NOT for those with child. UGH!

UPDATE: I can't believe I missed forgot these..

11. If you are man. It doesn't matter how flamboyant you are or who you're sleeping with BOOTY SHORTS ARE FOR WOMEN.

12. If your camel toe is showing when you put your booty shorts on, take them off, turn on the stove BURN THOSE BOOTY SHORTS, then get back to life.

Real Quick

Side Note: I see you Donatella

Now Real Quick: I wonder what it's like to leave work on time everyday and with a feeling of accomplishment. Like you finished everything you set out to do and are proud of the quality of work you produced (i.e. you weren't rushed).

Does anyone know what that feels like? It must be nice... like a Klondike bar or something.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Question of the Day

So they have a computer purchase program at the job. You get $500 towards a computer and they claim that everyone at a certain level who applies will get it (I don't understand why you have to apply if everyone will get it). The problem is, they don't do reimbursement and the program won't be open until October. Now you saw how two posts ago I was super excited about getting a computer, now they're telling me to hold on four months and IF I'm approved I'll get the dough after the approval process. (So, it'll be more like Thanksgiving or maybe even Christmas before I get my new notebook).

So I think a wealthy person would wait on the money. I'm trying to be wealthy, so I might want to start acting like it now.

*whining* BUT I really want a computer NOW!

What should I do? (back your answer up with some convincing words, please. This is a tough one.)

As a follow-up to Tea's Tangents: Can folks tell me how MACs do with Microsoft programs? Like if I need to open docs for work? Have you all had problems? I checked in with the IT people, and they said as long as it's new, I should be good to go.

East Lakeview Campaign #4

To recap, these are the reasons you should move to East Lakeview:
#1 LVAC
#2 North Avenue Beach
#3 Fall-off-ability

Now the newest reason to move to East Lakeview is:

Pink Polish

Located on Belmont just west of N. Sheridan, Pink Polish is a premier nail salon. The atmosphere is clean (and pink, of course) and they have a big screen TV that was playing Mean Girls while I was there, so I expect it'll be chick flicks on every go 'round. (LOVE IT!)

My pedicure was off-the-chain, complete with super buffing, a salt scrub and a hot towel treatment. It was followed by a shoulder massage while my toes dried AND to top it all off, they have a customer appreciation program. For every 10 visits you get a free manicure. Now that may seem like a lot of visits, but I'm a sucker for customer appreciation. How many nail salons have you been to with customer appreciation cards? I've been getting my nails done since 8th grade and this would be my first.

First time visitors also get a free bottle of scented cuticle softener as a parting gift and the women are SO NICE! I was trying to put my shoes back on and you should have seen the woman sprint over to make sure I didn't touch my own feet, messing up the flawless polish job.

To top it all off my pedicure was only $30! Now, for college students and folks in the south, that may seem like a lot of money, but I typically get my pedicures downtown Chicago, so anything under $40 makes me feel like I got away with armed robbery. (They also didn't give me a hard time about having a credit card, which so many shops do. I mean, the money's coming RIGHT from my bank account, I wish people would just get their credit card game up and stop huffing and puffing when I pull it out... I digress).

Fellas, forward this to your girl. You know she'll appreciate a good nail salon in the neighborhood. I will definitely be a regular customer here and I hope to see you all there soon... since you'll be moving. :)

What are you waiting for... PACK YOUR BAGS AND MOVE TO EAST LAKEVIEW!!!