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

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

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

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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

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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!!!

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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.