Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Year in [abridged] review

January: Brought the new year in at BBC first and later with homies. January 20th brought the New World Order in in D.C. at the inauguration of the first African-American President of the United States of America!!! Oh yes, we got it in.

February: All-Star weekend in Phoenix. Actually went to the games this year.

March: Went to OKC for work.

April: Welcomed my newest niece, Samantha Lee, into the world. Went to Philly for work. Cut my hair for my birthday. :)

May: Went to France for play, memories to last a lifetime. Went to Cincinnati for work.

June: Got a promotion at the gig!!! Went to NOLA for play. Went to B-more for Tiff's wedding (She was Carrie Bradshaw fly!!!). Missed Rachel's wedding while I was at Tiff's wedding (but she knows I love her too!) On the 25th, the King of Pop died. No words can describe the loss the world is feeling right now.


July: KICKED IT in Chi-town for the 4th. For some strange reason black folks were extremely patriotic this year. LOL! Celebrated the promotion with co-workers and friends at District. Went to Lily's second baby shower.

August: Re-signed my lease. Gave myself a break on the condo purchasing talk. I am not superwoman. (P.S. It was unseasonably cold all summer in the Chi. Womp.)

September: Went to NYC and D.C. for work. (P.S. It was unseasonably warm all month in the Chi). Went to my aunt's 50th bday bash.

October: Signed up for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Hoping to be the change I wish to see in the world.

November: Went to Jersey for work. Left my laptop in the airport. :P Got it back. YAY! Celebrated 5 years with the gig. (WOW!)

December: Finally got a raise for the June promotion. The economy is turning around (well, I don't know about the whole economy, but my personal economics are much better now). Woo Sah! Went to Dr. Smith's 60th bday celebration. Had a good time despite the lack of bootential. Took the last week of the year off (per usual) and enjoyed every minute of it.

God is truly amazing. Every year I live gets better and better no matter what else is going on in the world. Hope you had an phenomenal year. Here's to reaching new heights in 2010!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Land of the Lost

My life is full of funny stories and most of them are due to the fact that I forget things. When me & thummyb were roommates in college she noticed a pattern. So much so, that she told her boyfriend not to get to comfortable when I left because I'd be back 3 or 4 more times for stuff I forgot. This particular time, I came back in the house 3 times.

Anywho, I'm getting better. I make a note of where I put my keys and I have specific places for my bus card and anything else I use on a regular basis. Umbrellas, scarves, gloves, things that I don't use EVERY day are still hard to find.

Here's some stuff I've lost or forgotten lately.

Laptop: In November I went to Jersey for ONE day for work. I left my laptop in the security checkpoint at the Newark airport. I got it back. Praise God!

I was doing laundry the other day. There are three washers. I had four loads. I went downstairs to move clothes from the washer to the dryer and forgot the fourth load. I went back down (third time to the laundry room) and had the 4th load, but forgot the quarters. I was ir.ri.ta.ted and I couldn't be mad at anyone but me.

I got a Zipcar one day and forgot my cell phone. I dropped the car off at 5. It was cold as... well, cold as Chicago winter outside. At about 6, I walked the three blocks to the car after I'd settled myself in my cozy apartment. The car was gone. So I had to walk back to the house, order the Zipcar for the next time it was available: 10:30 p.m. I got it back, but dang. That was doing a whole lot.

So I came up with a proverb to make me feel better about myself:

It is not she who loses things, but she who cannot find what she lost, who is truly assed out.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Book of the Week: Mistaken Identity

Hopefully you all took some time off work and are using it to unwind, relax and prepare for the start of a new decade. If you have some time to read, check out Mistaken Identity by Lisa Scottoline. I'm pretty sure I bought this book for the low at an unexpected streetside book sale summer '07. (I love the north side)

If you like Law & Order, CSI, Matlock (lol) or any cop-mystery type shows, you'll love this book. I read it in France and on the plane home. I was dead tired, but it's a serious page turner. Check it out.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Twitter Files: Food & Such

So on Twitter people make a great habit of telling others what they're eating, what they wish they were eating, what they're cooking and best of all Twitpic-ing photos of food.

I feel like most people eat every meal or at least twice a day. An oven and/or stove is probably used at least once a day or if you don't cook maybe 3 or 4 times a week. But we don't see the Tweets about cooking every day. We only see Tweets when people are cooking soul food or something gourment-sounding.

Peeps will be like: I'm making fried chicken, mac & cheese, greens and cornbread OR I'm making 3-cheese risotto with homemade alfredo sauce. Double-buttered garlic bread and a luscious white wine.

It's hilarious because no one ever says Peanut butter & jelly on deck. Or Chicken and rice: FTW! I know good and hell well I'm not the only person who enjoys kids foods like PB&J, grilled cheese, chicken fingers and other stuff that requires no knowledge of cooking whatsoever.

So last night I went to a pot luck and I was tweeting all the food making it sound gourmet.

3-cheese baked pasta=mac & cheese
salsa-infused whole-wheat chicken wraps=chicken taquitos
decadent broiled peach torte=peach cobbler
chocolate fudge flattened pastries=brownies

Oh yeah, I was wildin' yesterday. So what you cooking? LOL!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!



And happy 21st birthday Josh!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The 90s ARE BACK!!!

Finally.

10. Name plates are back
9. Shoulder pads are back (early 90s)
8. Kids are wearing colorful jeans (they're skinny & not baggy, but colorful nonetheless)
7. Stonewashed jeans are back. Well, Rihanna's the only one wearing these, but she's a trendsetter, so we'll see.
6. K-Ci, Jo-Jo & Htown just dropped a song.
5. Juvenile has music out
4. Ja Rule has music out
3. Montell Jordan said here on Twitter that he might be dropping an album in 2010.
2. The Bears are losing consistently
1. We have a President in office that we voted for

I friggin' love the 90s. I'm glad they're back. I just want Jodeci boots to make a comeback then my life will be complete. Who's throwing the next 90s party? What'd I miss?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tea's Giving Back Challenge!!!

I don't know about where you live, but it's cold as all get out in Chicago. I'm very fortunate to live in a studio where my heat is included in my rent. At the end of a day, no matter how stressful or trying, I know that I'll come home to a toasty apartment.

Some aren't so fortunate.

As the temperatures drop, I am reminded of people who spend most of their days outside in the cold. Last year I said every time I go into Subway in the winter to get a sandwich for me, I would buy soup for a homeless person. The soup is like $1...

The problem is I forgot to do it a bunch of times. This year, I'm all about spreading the warmth. If I see someone on the street (and I remember), I buy them a coffee, tea or hot chocolate. I put up facebook & Twitter statuses encouraging peeps to do the same, but I don't know if they did or not. If they're anything like me, they probably forgot.

All of that to say: WELCOME TO TEA'S SPREAD THE WARMTH CHALLENGE!!!

Here's how it works: Throughout this winter season, when you see a homeless person in the cold, buy them a hot drink or soup. Come back and tell me in the comments once you've done it. In case you forget to post, I'll call for entries via e-mail on March 19th. Then on March 20th, I'll annouce the winner and award a $100 gift card. (March 20th is the first day of Spring, even though it'll be cold in the Chi until June. Womp.)

You can also count previous hot drinks or soup you've bought for the homeless this winter (so if you've already done this, leave it in the comments today).

Also, this is the Republic of Tea (pure dictatorship), so I don't know what kind of gift card I want to get yet. It might be an AmEx gift card. Might be to Amazon.com. Might be to Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Intelligentsia or Argo Tea. Hell it might be to an airline on which I think you should travel. I don't know yet, but someone going to get PAID for doing good.

*Trey Songz voice* Is it you? Is it you? Is it you?

LOL!

Quote of the Night

So last night we were at Monday Night Football with the fellas and per usual, debauchery ensued. Amongst other things, we played Uno at the bar, but not just any Uno... Hanna Montana Uno. Oh yes, don't hate on our good time.

So I'm sitting at the booth and one of the fellas comes back with a story:

Man voice: "Yeah, she can GTFOHWTBS. She said her girls wanted to play Uno. So I said do they have big booties. Then she looked at me with the pissy face and pointed her girls out. Have you SEEN her girls. She should've been like hell yeah, they got big booties... and they go."

LMAO! Now, I understand you probably had to be there, but this ish is funny to me, so I'm posting it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Love Jones & Such

*OMG, I just looked at this post after I posted it and it looks long as hell. It's really not that bad though, I swear.*

Today I'm going to talk about Love Jones. I'm not going to really do it in any order, but here it is.
Love Jones used to be my favorite movie. It came out when I was in HS and we LOVED the hell out of that movie. We watched it at sleepovers, we watched it with our parents, with our boyfriends, it was awesome. A girlfriend joked that when a guy called and said "You want to watch Love Jones?" he was really saying, let's have sex. (She used more colorful language, but I'll let you all use your imagination on that one).

Then after college, when I was still living with my mom, my stepfather's mom came to live with us due to illness. I lived in the basement and she lived in the den (family room). She watched Love Jones on repeat EVERY night. I know all the words to the movie, so most nights I couldn't sleep. She passed away not shortly after and I swore off the movie because 1) I know all the words and was quite sick of it 2) it just reminded me of a sad time.

Fast forward to this weekend, I got it on Netflix. I don't know why I wanted to see it. I just did. Do you know I watched it SO much that the Netflix copy started to skip. It was like having a phone conversation with an old boyfriend from high school (that you're still on good terms with). It was flirty, familiar, nostalgic and just plain good.

Watching the movie as an adult and with so many advances in technology I noticed a few things.

1. It was pretty low budget... not tacky or classless, just not a big budget
2. The artistic references in the movie (music, photography, poetry, etc) are rare in movies today and I think that's what made us fall in love with it the first time.
3. Larenz Tate looks young as hell. So much so, that I feel like I'm watching the story of two young kids vs. two people who I could turn into when I grow up.
3a. I did some research and Larenz Tate was 22 when that movie came out (1997). Nia Long was 27. The movie jacket calls them "hip twenty-somethings." I think his young age (and the fact that my little brother looks just like him) is what made me so uncomfortable watching the movie this time around. It was damn near kiddie porn. LOL!
4. Nia Long's character was more confused than I remember. She was all in his face flirting and whatnot, then talking about "it's bad timing." When you're grown you stop playing games with the opposite sex. I could see how we thought that was cute in HS. Right now, today, if you want him to come up, invite him come up. If you don't want to come up, send his ass home. There's no in between. LOL!
5. I remember relating to Nina at one point. Now I relate to her single, extremely attractive, insightful girlfriend, Josie (LOL!). Except as you get older you discuss your relationships less & less. Won't be any "girl, let me tell you what he did to me" talks. It's either good, bad or needs work, but no specifics.
6. Did you all notice neither Nina or Darius had jobs. It never mattered before, but I was looking like, of course your dates are low budget. Neither of you have a job. (I'm horrible, I know).
6a. The movie also shows that if you follow your passions you'll succeed (Nina and her photography & Darius & his book). I dig that.
7. "You people running, hopping, skipping, falling, diving in love. Somebody, please, tell me how to stay there" is still my favorite quote. If we had the answer to that question, the divorce rate would drop significantly.
8. Larenz Tate could still get it. 22, 34... whatever. He could get it.

Um... I think that's all I have for now. What are your observations about the movie, favorite parts, quotes, etc.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ruined - NSFW

There are a few words in the English language that are ruined for me do to comedians and youtube videos. I thought I'd share a few with you. These are hilarious and NSFW (unless you have headphones or a door)...

Snacks

Hustlin'

Security - I really can't remember which Martin episode or movie this is from, but he says security in a high-pitched female voice. Now EVERY time I say security, I say it like that. The word is ruined.

SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDDD

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do You See What I See: Twitter Edition

This is my girl's Twitter profile pic and I absolutely love this quote. I guess this is quote of the day too.



And some other random funny [to me] quotes...

"Shawty you ain't got no change for us"

This was said in passing by two black teenage males walking down Michigan Ave. coatless while I was walking to work (so yeah at 8 in the morning). Um... are you peddling, cat calling or something else... I was confused.

"Your legs look really nice in those heels. Wear them until you can't anymore. See me, I have big legs & they just don't look as good in heels."

- Old lady who asked me to ride the CTA elevator with her on the way to church because she was scared. (Don't get me wrong, I love a jazzy old lady, but I also love the fact that this old lady is modest and understands what's age and weight appropriate and what's not. That made me smile.)

"When asked what she'd like to have most in the world, her reply: Donald Trump's baby"

- WGN newscaster talking about a Hooters girl who was on the show. (Gotta love the morning news).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tea's Top 10: Chicago Winter Edition

These are the top 10 things that Chicagoans did or vowed to do on Thursday when the high was 9 degrees Farenheit (for all you metric system readers 32 is freezing, 9 is some other shit!)

10. Plan a warm weather vacation

9. Get a ski mask

8. Buy an automatic car starter

7. Install the automatic car starter they got for Christmas LAST winter

6. Use the indoor cafeteria instead of going out for lunch.

5. Check the 10-day forecast and reschedule all appointments (dentist, Dr., optometrist) for the days of the week where the temperature would be closer to 40 than

4. Check the weather daily. (Don't know what dummies weren't doing this to start. This is Chicago. It could be 60 and sunny and 10 and snowy in the same damn day)

3. Buy hand and foot warmers with NO intentions whatsoever of skiing or going to a Bears game.
2. Buy a full snow suit... like a 3-yr old and not be embarassed to wear that jawn as a grown ass man or woman

1. Update your resume, send it to companies you don't even like in warm states, get hired and move the hell out of Chicago (most of us never make good on that promise, but it sure does sound good when your tears are frozen to your face)

What'd I miss?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brandon Harper

On August 20, 2009 an innocent young man was shot and killed by the Riverdale police (Chicago suburb). He was 22, his name was Brandon Harper, he was the son of a member of my church.

Did you hear about it on the news? I didn't, but maybe I wasn't paying attention because clearly, here's the breaking news story and there's a newsclip about the lawsuit against the police below.







I made a note in my drafts to talk about it here, so I wanted to share it with you all. Don't mean to bring anyone down, I just hope that if I'm killed by the police or because of domestic violence or at all for any reason, that someone will take the time to remember me and pray for my family.

Tea & Such readers, please pray for Brandon Harper's family this holiday season.

THANK YOU!

I just wanted to say thanks to each and every person who reads my blog: those who "follow" me, those who comment, even the lurkers. (and my wonderful friends who text, email and/or send me facebook notes about the blog instead of commenting... I love y'all too).

This blog is SUCH a blessing to me and I can't thank you enough. So, thanks for rockin' with me. It can only get better from here. :)

MUAH!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Damn! Damn! Damn!

I'm sad today.

I'm sad today because my credit score went down.

I'm sad today because my credit score went down and I can't see any way to have prevented it from happening.

It's no secret that CC companies are going for blood out here, but I got a letter in the mail that my very high credit limit on my *insert name of company* card would be decreased by a significant amount due to gross negligence or some other crap like that. (yes, I said the name of the card. I hope they're monitoring an I hope they know I think they can kick rocks!)

I called and very calmly asked what they meant by "gross negligence." Come to find out a loan I co-signed for my dearly beloved sister was paid late TWICE. *side note: the heavy emphasis on twice indicates two things. 1) I'm pissed at my sister for messing up two times, once maybe, but two. #CmonSon. 2) Twice also emphasizes that I think it's ludicrous for CC companies to have the ability to lower my credit limit for paying late twice [not non-payment, paying late] thereby a)making my total amount available lower, which simultaneously lowers my credit score AND b) making it appear like I went over my credit limits. [i.e. if my limit was $1,000 and my high balance was $987, then they drop my limit to $750, then my high balance will still be $987 and I look like I make a habit or going over credit limits, which I don't.])

I don't necessarily feel helpless, but I can't think of a better word. The last time I talked to you all about my credit score here it'd jumped up 70 points (from decent to good). Well from there, it's gone down 85 points (from good to bad). So I'm not even back to sqaure 1. I'm on square -1.

And I'm going to tell on myself. It's not ALL my sister's fault. Remember that CC I paid off in this post. I um... well um... I ran it back up within three or four months, buying this and some other stuff. :-/ Having maxed out cards (even if you're paying the bill on time no-lookie-good).

Well, the good news is:

1) I make more money than I did the last time I talked about my credit, but my expenses are the same, so debt payment can really take center stage in 2010. (Making sure I eat regularly took center stage up until now).
2) It usually only takes about 6 months to a year get your credit score up and I don't have any major purchases on the horizon, so I have yet another opportunity to practice patience, diligence, restraint & responsibility. (Dear God, what are you preparing me for? Oh boy!)
3) I actually do eat well everyday, so while I'm sad about this minor setback, I see the bigger picture and it looks good (and tasty).

**P.S. I was sad on the day that I wrote this, but I'm fine now. (For all of you all that worry about me.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bridezilla!!!

So Bridezillas is On Demand and I must admit, I watch it often. It BLOWS me how these women have convinced men propose to them. Even moreover, I cannot believe some of the background stories about how the couples met.

(Ok, it's not 10, but you get the point)

7. More than once the woman started off as a friend of her now-fiance's ex-girlfriend and "stole" him away from his ex. What the hell kind of union is going with withstand that kind of shaky foundation?

6. Brides are always calling their bridesmaids fat. You knew how fat your friends were when you asked them to be in the damn wedding. Fall back.

5. On the complete opposite, I saw a bride kick a girl out of her wedding because the bridesmaid lost weight and the bride didn't want her "to be prettier than me."

4. It's clear that some of these people are just acting out for the show. This one bride called her bridesmaid bitches EVERY time she addressed them. I know good and hell well 7 black women are not going for that. In real life one of them would have cussed her out. I could hear myself now *Fred Sanford in Harlem Nights voice* "I'm not gone be too many more bitches up in here today."

3. People act like it's some big privilege to be in their wedding. Newsflash: no one wants to pay to be mistreated.

2. A bride was looking for a white horse to ride into the church on and she called all the stables too late (like 2 weeks before her wedding). She asked the man on the phone if he'd ever been on all fours and if she could pay them to ride in on her back. I was furious when I watched that episode. I wanted to jump through the TV and fight her. Getting married does not give you a pass to be ridiculous.

1. The announcer is HILARIOUS! She has a sugary sweet voice, but treats people on the regular. Basically saying stuff like "a short 8 years after they met, with two kids and a house already, these two lovebirds are ready to jump the broom" that ish is funny to me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hair Update

For my new and new-ish readers, feel free to learn about natural hair journey here.
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Side note: I found that the twist-out looks much better if I leave my hair twisted for 24 hours or more before taking out. You could also try a hooded dryer to speed up the drying process, but I'm not really on that.

So at the end of April, I cut my hair to look like this:


Below is what a wash 'n' go looks like with the assymetrical cut


And finally below is what the twist-out I wrote about here AND here looks like:


Sorry about the blurry pics (had to steal them from Facebook). Anyway, I don't know if you can tell because of all the different textures, but my hair has grown a ton since April. I don't have any reason to straighten it, so I probably won't and you'll just have to take my word for it.

I LOVE the twist-out though and just like the wash 'n' go it starts doing it's own thing after a while, which is so much fun to me (y'all know I'm easily amused).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Weight Gain

For my new and new-ish readers, read my former quests to lose weight at one time and gain weight at another here.
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So one of my super smart friends told me that our bodies hold more weight in the winter time. We pick up the weight in preparation for the cold. Now, this makes perfect sense, but you all know I struggle with my weight every November. (Not seriously struggle, but hit the gym a bit harder because my pants are fitting snugly - or like the case in 2004, didn't fit AT ALL).

This has been going on since I left college (and could therefore no longer wear sweatpants and booty shorts everyday). But it makes me feel SO good to know that this is God's way of keeping me warm and not an eating or exercise fail on my part. (Thanks God!)

In case anyone cares (I'm sure no one does), I've done a pretty good job of going to the gym regularly this year. I must admit I had a little summer hiatus where I only went to the gym to partake in the rooftop pool [oh yeah, my gym is off the chain!], but as soon as cold temps hit, I was back at it. I aim to go every day and fall short every week, making it about three times a week, which is good.

(If I aimed to go three times a week, I'd never go).

Anyway, it's December, in January, we were all talking a great game when it came to fitness. How'd you do?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Martyrs

I had a great holiday and didn't want to put a damper on it by posting this the Monday after Thanksgiving, so it's a little dated, but I think you all can keep up.
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It's 7:10 on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I have a slight attitude. My mom decided to do a potluck at her house this year rather than slaving over all the food, which I thought it was an excellent idea. We're in a recession and she and her husband shouldn't have all that leftover food anyway.

I had to remind her THREE times to tell people about it. She claimed that the Saturday before Thanksgiving was too late. I said no, get the e-mails/texts out today and it'll be fine. She forgot. Then I reminded her two more times on Sunday and she finally sent it out.

The thing is people didn't really step up to do the big stuff. So my mom is still cooking Turkey, dressing, ham & greens. I'm making mac & cheese (which I always do at her house, but I'm buying the supplies which is new) and my grandma is making potato salad (which she always does and I'm sure my mom is paying for ingredients) and my aunt is bringing yams (new development right here) and everyone else is bringing dessert or pop (which they always do).

I bet when I come back to make edits to this post my mom will have made a peach cobbler and banana pudding too... **back to make edits** she actually made a peach cobbler, cornbread, gravy for the turkey and two pies.

It upsets me that she doesn't put her foot down and do what she says she's going to do. I feel like the family takes advantage of her. But at the same time, what's really cooking my grits is that I think she likes it. **back to edit** ok, saying she likes it is harsh. I think she feels obligated in the way that so many women, mothers and black women especially, do to give back to their families. It shouldn't hurt you to help others though. I just want to help her put herself first on holidays, but she's not trying to hear me. I'm going to leave what I originally wrote at the bottom though, so keep reading.

I really don't think she can do things easily and have a carefree holiday. It's like she WANTS to be overworked and underappreciated.

The reason I know this is because I said I was going to make the mac & cheese in the morning and she was like, no I'm making dressing in the morning. I'm like aren't there two racks in the oven. AND don't we have ALL morning to cook. From the time I get up (9am-ish) to the time we eat 2pm-ish. Why in God's name can't we both just cook in the morning.

Nope, she's not having it. Taking the practical road is too much like right. T, you know my oven doesn't cook evenly, blah, blah, blah and so she's going to STAY UP tonight cooking greens and dressing and preparing the turkeys for the deep fryer.

I tried to help, I really did.

Women, it doesn't have to be this hard. You can cook meals that don't require loss of sleep and still be appreciated. When I start doing Thanksgiving at my house (will probably never happen because my mom can't ever just go sat down), but when I do, please remind me that stressing over holiday meals is for the birds (unless my mother-in-law is coming over for the first time - that's pretty much the only time I'll be stressed).

P.S. I missed my darn bus Wednesday night writing this post, so I hope y'all comment. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Design Help

Ok, look to the left and the right. You see that white space at the edge of my blog? How do I put a photo or a background or something there? I've seen people's blogspot blogs where that space is filled in. It's ABSOLUTELY driving me nuts.

I'm going to google it later, but if you have any design help, please comment (or send me an email).

Love you guys! Have a great weekend!

T

Baby Showers

I was recently on Target.com going through my girl's baby shower registry. I was going to call her and ask her something about it, but then it occured to me that I didn't want to tempt her to look at it. Side note: She's probably reading this which negates the whole point of not calling her, but whatever. Maybe she skipped a day of reading this blog.

So question of the day is for the mommies who have had gift registries (or even people who have done wedding registries): what keeps you from looking at your gift registry online? Or do you just say eff it and check it all day everyday like Twitter.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Do You See What I See: Newstand Edition

I usually don't buy magazines on the newsstand. I look at them, might even flip through them, but look at my first lady looking A.MA.ZING! on the cover of Glamour for the December 2009 issue. (Side note: They have covers with Rihanna and Serena too and I saw those on the blogs. I didn't even know about Mrs. Obama though).

I literally could not resist buying it. Every woman everywhere needs to go buy this. What an awesome, awesome rolemodel she is for women and girls in America and around the world. I'm gushing right now. LOVE. HER!!!



And darn my wack editing skills because it's so blurry, but trust me, she looks phenomenal.

So What You Do?



Yes, I have a blurry photo of the homewrecker on my page. Remember in the "You Don't Know My Name Video" she said "So What You Do" to Mos Def. And it didn't sound like a horrible grammar mistake... it just sounded sexy...

Whatever, you still listen to Chris Brown too... sue me.

Now, on to the topic at hand. I hate the question "What Do You Do?" Not because it's a bad question, but because I don't have a good answer.

Him: So what do you do?
Me: I work in consumer marketing public relations.
Him: Word, what does that job consist of?
Me: Getting my clients in the media positively.
Him: So, essentially, you put people on.
Me: Companies, not people, but essentially, yes.

Him #2: So what do you do?
Me: I work in consumer marketing public relations.
Him #2: So what do you do every day?
Me: Make sure my clients are respresented in the media positively.
Him #2 : So who do you work for.
Me: I work for an agency. I have a lot of clients.
Him #2: Silence
Me: My clients are: company you know #1, company you know #2 and company you know #3
Him: So you basically do marketing for large corporations.
Me: Yeah, basically.

Do you see what just happened Tea & Such readers. I said the same thing to two different people and they both broke it down into bite-sized pieces of communication that they could better understand. One said "you put people on" the other said "you do marketing for large corporations." While true, neither of those statements, represent an accurate depiction of what I do if I utter them in isolation of my other comments.

I can't predict what someone does or doesn't know about my field of work and asking a pre-question doesn't help either. EVERY time I ask someone if they know what PR is, they say yes, because they don 't want me to think they're stupid. When in fact only about 20% of people have any idea what it is and half of those people work in the field. Womp.

It's just frustrating as hell because if you're an accountant no one really knows what you do. They know you deal with money and balance sheets and bottom lines, but they are no more aware of your day-to-day activity or deliverables than they are of mine. However, when YOU say I'm an accountant, they say ok and go about their business.

I say I'm a PR practitioner and everyone - no matter who it is - feels the need to ask for more information and the condescending tones in which they do so (as if to say PR? WTF is that?) is enough to make even the mildest PR diva irate. And I'm not mild.

*Duracell commercial voice* Consider this: Unless you're looking into a job change does it really matter what the person you're talking to does? I mean, you're never going to understand my job unless you work here or in a like environment. When someone tells you they do something you don't recognize, know or understand, consider saying ok and googling it later. #imjustsayin

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don't Count My Money!!!

Chris Chase of Yahoo! Sports said the following in this article: "Forbes said Serena made $14 million through prize money, appearance fees and endorsements. For her, having to cut a check for $82,500 is more an annoyance than anything."

I hate when people count my money and I bet celebrities do too. Now yes, Serena is ballin', but who is this author to say what's an annoyance and what's not. $82,500 is 1.6% of her 14MM salary.

The average salary of a Chicagoan is $38,625 (according to Wikipedia, so I'm sure it's not accurate, but work with me). 1.6% of that is $618. I'm not going to say if I make more or less than the average Chicagoan (get out my pocket, homie), but I'm not trying to pay ANYONE $618 and get nothing in return. Ya' feel me. Sorry, Chris Chase, that's a bit more than an annoyance.

I guess Serena gets to keep playing in tournaments in return for that lofty fee, but I just wish people would stop counting other people's money (including mine). It aggravates me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day. Just want to remind everyone who doesn't have AIDS or HIV, to wrap it up, get tested often and educate yourselves about the facts. (Oh yes, plenty of people are still ignorant about the disease).

Just want to remind those living with HIV and/or AIDS to wrap it up, follow your doctor's orders and educate yourselves about the facts. HIV is not an immediate death sentence. New developments are being made everyday and you can live your best life [(c) Oprah] even with this disease. Keep your head up. T's in your corner. AIDS IS the bad guy. You are NOT.

With that, everyone come out tomorrow to the Red Pump Project's
"Say Red... Cocktails & Conversation"
Wednesday, December 2nd
6-9 p.m.
AI Sushi Restaurant & Lounge
358 W. Ontario

I will be there rocking my red pumps. Tell a friend!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Morning After


I don't know what the next morning after a drunken party night is like for you, but for me it's pure hilarity. It's actually just as much fun as the night before. I run through my drunk tweets, my drunk texts and try to remember what the other nonsense I got into that wasn't documented.

I woke up with the biggest bag of Harold's chicken you've ever seen on my countertop. I found a chicken bone on the floor and there are random pieces of chicken skin in random places: on the bed, on the couch, in my linen drawer. (Side note: my girls pre-gamed at my house and came back to my house afterwards to partake in the deep fried goodness that is several 4-pieces with salt, pepper and mild sauce. I didn't eat all that chicken by myself).

Last night I hugged a girl I really don't know too well, super hard because I thought she was her friend. Then when I actually saw her friend I REALLY hugged the hell outta her. I know they were probably like... this drunk broad (Hopefully they were drunk too, that typically cancels out any weirdness).

I vaguely recall the bouncers screaming at everyone to leave the club (you know we like to loiter), but it sounded like a faint whisper and surprisingly it wasn't as irritating as it usually is. Thank you vodka.

I gave my number to a guy from OK at Harolds because my best friend lives there. I think I said something like "my best friend lives there, take my number." (I really don't know though, LMAO).

I told my girl she could park in front of my house for about an hour without getting a ticket or getting towed. There is a loading dock in front on my place, but you have to go up onto a low curb to get to it. She sat there for like 5 minutes asking me over & over if it was ok to go on the curb. I just remember getting yes out between teary, shoulder-jerking laughs. At one point I just started nodding my head - I couldn't make any words out laughing so hard.

And last, but not least, for some reason, the sound didn't work on my cable when we got back from the club Friday night. On Saturday morning I vaguely remembered that from Friday night, but I thought it was just because I was drunk and incoherent. It's not the TV, because the sound works fine on DVDs. I'm convinced that his has something to do with being in a house full of drunk & hot girls at 3 o'clock in the morning, but I have no proof.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

I'm taking a little holiday break, so no more (planned) posts until next week. Not because I don't have anything to say, but mainly because you all will be too busy comment (rightfully so) and my feelings get hurt when folks don't comment. (I'm lowkey sensitive.)

I get off work at 3 p.m. Wednesday and will be heading to my mom's with [tupperware and] ingredients for my famous mac & cheese in tow. I'll stay the night, maybe go to church on Thursday morning and spend all Thanksgiving day with family before devising a plan to get back to the city without taking public transportation. LOL!

Friday, I'm chillin' all day (might hit the gym), then clubbing with the HS homies for the first time in a LONG time. (They don't like to club, but made a special request this year to party. Who am I to deny that request).

Question of the day: What are your thankgiving plans?

And last, but not least: from me and mine to you and yours I hope your Thanksgiving is truly fabolous and wonderful!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Put It Away

Ok, saying I'm obsessed with concealing clutter lately is like the understatement of the year. After assembling my bookcase, I realized that I have a lot of bookmarks that are just lying on the bookshelf all willy nilly. It looks horrible [to me].

So like I do for all my problems, I went to Google to figure out what to do with them and NO one had any blogs about organizing bookmarks. Well, one person did. She said go on a search, which is exactly what I did.

I found the following at Equinox on the Corner of Broadway and Roscoe in East Lakeview. It's good for window shopping because just like the woman in this Metromix review, they treated me like crap... maybe they only like boys. Hmph! Darn shame too, because I wanted to buy some stuff.

Below: This was the first thing I saw. I like the wide opening, but at $95 it actually costs more than I paid for my new bookshelf. That's doing the most for bookmark storage if you ask me.



Below: I really liked candle holder. It's green (trying to throw some green accents around the studio) and at $6 it would get the job done).


Below: This was one of my faves. It's $12 and I like the black& white (and the butterflies). It was long enought to hold my longer bookmarks.


Below: This reminded me of the one above. At $12.50 it's in the same price family, but with a different color and patten scheme. Oh, decisions, decisions.



Below: This is my absolute fave. It's so classy and bookmarks would look like works of art housed in here. However, it's $32.50, again doing the most for bookmark storage. It also wasn't long enough for some of my odd shaped bookmarks. It IS pretty though.


These next finds were at the Brown Elephant, my favorite high-end resale shop supporting the Howard Brown Health Centers.
Below: This is basic basket was $1. I didn't get it because it was too open for my tastes. It actually would have looked like like I just threw the bookmarks in there and didn't put any thought into it. I should have picked it up for bathroom storage though. I'll go back...

And last but not least on my shopping, I considered getting this $2 teacup to house my bookmarks. I wanted to put some art on it that said something like "Serving up a good read." Then I thought about the fact that I don't have any paint, brushes, nor a steady hand nor legible handwriting, so I left this beautiful little teacup there.
I also thought about buying a small version of Kay's monkey, but it's so white and my house accents are so dark and $22 + S&H is say it with me now "doing the most for bookmark storage."

All of that to say, I didn't buy anything, but I have my eyes peeled for the perfect little bookmark holder.

Are you all looking for anything odd that you can't find? Maybe I'll do a segment where I go through Lakeview shopping (maybe, maybe not). I really do enjoy looking even if I'm not buying anything.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Riddle Me This...

Questions I want to know the answer to always occur to me when I'm buy myself. (I live alone, so I'm by myself pretty often). After I put Billy up, I had a bunch of boxes to take to the trash and I did so with no bra on. Everytime I leave my apartment bra-less (usually when taking out the trash), I'm reminded how men in my life have been completely against me leaving house sans bra.

I'm not typically in a relationship, but at any given time where I called someone my boyfriend he always did a cautious doubletake when I got ready to leave the comfort of the apartment without a bra. (I'm guessing cautious because my fuse can be short - I'm doing much better in that area though.)

I digress.

The question of the day is: Why do men not want me to leave the house bra-less? Do they feel they should have exclusivity to my nipples? Are they scared for my safety? Are they worried that men are going to think I'm a slut? Are women who don't wear bras sluts?

I really want to hear from the fellas on this, but ladies if a man has given you some insight into their line of thinking on the bra piece, please let me know.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gimme Dat Billy!!!

I have today off (Yes, I get a lot of days off work, don't hate). This morning, I'll drop my mom off at work, then take her car to Ikea to get this lovely piece of cheap furniture (Billy bookshelf from Ikea).



I don't know why it's taken me so long to buy a simple bookshelf, but I've wanted it forever. Thummyb said Ikea stuff is VERY easy to put together and I'll be using my stepfather's dolly to get it up to my apartment.

I expect everything to be easy breezy, but I'll probably have a story for you all on Monday. HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tea's Tangents

1. I got something in the mail from my mom. No kidding, she put "yo mamma" with her address in the return address area. I can't make this ish up.

2. Someone posted up an article about the economics of being a call girl. I wanted to read it, but it was super long, so I saved it to my favorites as "hoe article" to remind me to read it later.

3. Lately I've been having dreams about people I'm NOT supposed to be having dreams about. (Don't ask me, b/c I'm not gonna say who). But it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between how I feel in real life and how I feel when I go to sleep.

4. I have dry skin and it really makes me mad. In the summer I can wear baby oil gel, but in the winter I have to use expensive lotions. I prefer Johnson & Johnson w Shea Butter, but the stores I shop at never have it, so I've been using Curel (works just as good) or Oil of Olay Quench (does a pretty good job too). I wish I could just use generic lotion. Do you know how much I would save every winter? Ah well.

5. I was in church on Sunday and spotted a good looking, suited-up, wedding-ringless brother sitting in the general vicinity of where I sit every Sunday. Needless to say I was exited, but as always, at church, I was focused on God. THEN Bishop asked everyone who needed a job to stand up. We prayed for these folks in Jesus' name that God would bless him.

You all know what happened right? This brother stood up and went from a bootential who I should try to talk to after church to "I should wait until God handles his employment situation THEN I'll talk to him after church."

I don't feel bad about it, but it IS funny. What can I say, I'm honest.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment

Product: Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment
Price: $55 for 4.6 oz jar


I originally saw this deep conditioning treatment on one of Essence's beauty pages for dry hair. I bought it when I had a perm and if you've seen good hair (or happen to be a black woman), you know we spare no expense when it comes to having beautiful tresses.

It's a lumpy mixture (think fluffy pancakes) that you warm up in the palm of your hand to liquify then apply from root to tip. When I had a relaxer, it didn't work so well for me. It has a strong, sweet smell. Almost like the smell of cigars (if you're into cigars). I used a good chunk of it, but my hair still seemed thirsty after I washed and blow dried it.

You all know from using Miss Jessies to soften my feet that I don't throw products away just because they don't work. Especially not $55 worth of product. So this jar has traveled with me for nearly 4 years from apartment to apartment and recently I found out that it works really well on my natural hair. *tiger fist* YES!

I've been doing 2-strand twists and the first time I tried them my hair was super dry & brittle, the second time I did a homemade conditioner of olive oil, honey & tea tree oil. The homemade conditioner was ok, but I think I went overboard with the tea tree oil because my hair smelled like antiseptic & I think it actually stripped my hair's moisture.

The third time, I was scouring through my cabinets and found the Ojon. I figured it was worth another try. Having fabulous hair is all about trial and error. I'm happy to report that after using it my hair appeared softer and more moisturized. I highly recommend it (and follow the instructions people). Though I haven't used it regularly, it has lasted 4 years, so I think it's worth the $55 investment. If you can't do that ask for it for Christmas (that's how I got my first Miss Jessie's products).

So what are your favorite hair moisturizers? (If I don't know you or eKnow you let me know if you're natural or relaxed).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trading Club Nights for Meals

Side note: This is not a club-bashing post. If you take this opportunity to bash clubs or clubgoers or complain about clubs, I will delete your comments. My loyal readers know I can't stand club complainers. This ain't that.

I looked up in the beginning of November and noticed I hadn't been out since Labor Day weekend AND I think only went out one day that weekend. You all know I like to party, so it's surprising, even to me. But I didn't feel anything missing. Something must clearly be wrong.

Then it dawned on me that I've been going on A LOT of lunch, brunch and dinner dates with friends. Oh boy, I think I have a new pasttime. I don't have to wear tight clothes or shoes that hurt or buy a lot of drinks or have a hangover or deal with thirsty dudes or deal with an 11 to 1 female to male ratio or deal with hating women or loud, ignorant bouncers or DJs who don't play the chorus of my favorite songs. YAY!

I can actually enjoy good food while simultaneously strengthening friendships and creating new memories. Scheduling meals is like my new favorite thing to do. If I had a bigger place, I'd throw dinner parties, but baby steps people, baby steps.

Anyone who knows me knows maintaining relationships is very important to me.

Laugh all you want, but going to the club with my girls has been a way to keep relationships strong for a while. The thing people don't realize is that the club is virtually free for women. If I have a ride and we find a free parking spot and the club is free and it's someone's birthday (so they bought a bottle) or men are plentiful and buying drinks, then all I have to do is get dressed and put on make-up and I don't even really need to buy new clothes. (Family, I can remix the hell out of an outfit.)

So generally, if I wanted to spend time with my girls, I could always say meet me at the club for such & such's birthday and then we wouldn't have to spend any money. We make memories, meet new friends, roast people, it's an all around good, inexpensive time. This isolated some people though, because everyone doesn't like to party the same way and inevitably you're going to run into someone who's just not going to come.

But meals cost money. And I know you think, yeah, but you gotta eat, but let's be serious. Cooking a meal at home is far less expensive than going out to eat even once a week at a reasonably priced restaurant. But as my net worth increases, the way I spend my time is changing because it's a sound investment for me to go to lunch with a friend and the time is more intimate than the club and while we don't have any "I can't believe he said that to you moments" we do get to catch up on life and I really really enjoy that.

Also, from time to time the club is unexpectedly expensive. If I have to take a cab there, there's a cover charge, I have to buy my own drinks, buy a meal after the club and then take a cab home, that could be a $100 night. And I'll say 50% of the time, the fun of the night isn't worth all that. I've never shared a meal with a friend that wasn't worth the cost of the meal or even 10X it.

So yeah, as random as this post is, planning meals is my new favorite thing. It's so simple, yet so fulfilling. How do you maintain and nurture your relationships with friends?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Joys of Friday Night Laundry

There's an older gentleman in my building who lives on my floor that I see occasionally. Every time we cross paths he complains. "There's oil dripping from the elevator ceiling, the antique elevator doors aren't working, the new washing machine doesn't shake the clothes as vigorously as the old washing machine did." I'm not making this up. He never has anything positive to say and it gets kind of old. I usually just smile and nod or nervous laugh and pray that the slow elevator will go faster.

I noticed that he ALWAYS does his laundry on Friday night. I sometimes do laundry on Friday nights. But whenever I do I ALWAYS see him. So today, our paths met in the laundry room (and the elevator) and I was trying to think of something to say to brighten up what must have been a dismal day for him because today he was complaining about all the water that was on the floor after washing.

Side note: our rent is cheap for this neighborhood, so some stuff is not up to par. I don't really give a damn, but I just keep thinking if you don't like it here, leave. I'm here by chooice to save money and I live in a fabulous neighborhood, so my apartment doesn't have to be all that and a bag of chips. I'm happy to have a semi-functioning elevator and in-building laundry, but I guess everyone doesn't share my sunny outlook.

So in my third or fourth run up and down the elevator to check on my clothes, I pass grandpa in the hallway and get to the laundry room only to find out he's taken my damp clothes out of the dryer. (One dry doesn't usually do it, so I was coming back down to add some more quarters). Besides being furious and totally weirded out that a stranger had touched my personables, I was offended. He sees me at least twice a week and his ass KNEW those were my clothes and he couldn't wait the 60 seconds it took for me to come back down to take the clothes out myself.

I was going to wait in the laundry room and give him a piece of my mind, but it occurred to me that just him being his negative self is consequence enough. I just put my clothes in the other dryer and added more quarters to THAT dryer and I'm still having a happy positive night... while he's not.

P.S. Looks like I've got this positivity thing on lock this year y'all. YAY ME AND YAY GOD!

Event Alert: Step Afrika!


Support the Chicago Women's AIDS Project by seeing a great performance of Step Afrika at the Harris Theater.

Code: CHRP-CWAP will give you a discount on tickets AND 50% of the proceeds from the tickets will go directly to the CWAP!!!

About Step Afrika!
Step Afrika! is the first company in the United States to transform African-American "Stepping" into a theatrical spectacle. Making their Chicago debut as a a part of their 15th Anniversary Season, Step Afrika creates and "ocean of sound" with contemporary Stepping and Hip Hop alongside ancient Zulu dances, South African gumboot dancing and more!

November 19-21, 2009
Tickets Available Now! $15-$55
312-334-7777
http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/

About CWAP
The mission of the Chicago Women's AIDS Project (CWAP) is to address the disparities in health care, prevention and support services for women, youth and communities of color through innovative programs, advocacy and collaboration. CWAP is the only organization in Chicago solely dedicated to providing gender-specific HIV prevention and care services to women at risk.
Direct care services are available at two full-service sites; the original site in the Edgewater area and our south side location in the South Shore community.
P.S. I'm getting a group together to go on Friday or Saturday, so if you want to roll, holla at me.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Feeling These

I listen to the radio. I know all you cool kids are too grown or too ballin' or too irritated (by the commercials and top 40 songs) to listen to the radio, but I do. I don't have time to steal music and I don't have money to buy music, so I listen to the radio.

I'm feeling these two radio cuts SO TOUGH right now and the videos are HOT, HOT, HOT. What music are you feeling right now? Radio or otherwise.





THIS VIDEO IS NSFW (NOT SAFE FOR WORK)... not really

I loved this song since Kismet put me up on it. AND because you all know I love me, I sing the song like thi: "Boy you gone think, you gone Ti invented sex."



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Zara: Michigan Avenue

I announced it here 13 months ago, but it finally happened. On October 30th, 2009 Zara Michigan Avenue opened. YAY!

I was in Jersey for work and missed the opening party (10/29) and I've been either too busy or too tired to go after work for about a week. I finally made it there last Thursday. I must admit, I've had stage fright because I love the store so much out of town that I was afraid the Chicago installation wouldn't live up to my expectations. I also read a blog review and saw some Tweets and they weren't favorable, so I sort of just gritted my teeth and dealt with it.

Presentation: The store's presentation was awesome. It looked good from the outside and inside everything was very polished. They have a lot of black, whites and grays going on right now. I don't know if that's how they feel the store should be represented overall or if that's just the colors of the season, but I reallly wish there would have been more color. I remember bright, fun colors at Zara in Spain, Miami and New York. France's Zara was pretty blah on the color palette too.

Price: The prices were reasonable. It's important to note that Zara is NOT a discount store. While the clothes are categorized as trendy, the prices are more Banana Republic and Club Monaco than H&M and Forever 21. The problem is that we're in the middle of a recession and in order for clothes to sell at a full, reasonable price, they need to be off the chain, which brings me to the style...

Style: As I walked into the store I was reminded of how traditional Spain is. In Spain, adults don't wear shorts or jeans or sweats AT ALL. Nannies, Au Pairs and grandmothers wear St. John's suits and sensible leather pumps to the parks while pushing baby strollers. As an undergrad, I wore black or gray slacks most days trying my damndest to fit in and not look so American like my classmates with their ripped jeans, Vans sneakers and Gap t-shirts.

Spainards are people who would balk at the casual nature of Americans with our mommy-fit khaki capris, Juicy Couture velvet jogging suits, Air Force Ones and super casual ballet flats.

It was only after I was reminded of the nature of Spain, that I truly appreciated the offerings at the Zara on Michigan Ave, which had a twist on all the classics (black blazer, LBD, white button-down shirt, pencil skirt, bubble skirt, women's suiting, etc), but also provides some trendy pieces.

Zara is definitely for the working professional. Their casual section was nothing to write home about. The real problem for me is that my job is casual, so i'm not dying to pay full price even for well-fitting, well-made work clothes. AND we're in the middle of a recession, so no one's willing to pay full price for anything. AND I've gotten so used to discount shopping (DSW, Target, H&M, Forever 21, Nordstrom Rack), that I don't even know how much stuff is supposed to cost in the first place because I never pay full price. They definitely have a niche market and for some reason, I just don't fit it anymore.

Lastly, on the style piece, much like Zara in France, I LOVED the shoes. Their shoe game is sick. Sick. Sick. Sick! All the true fashionistas definitely need to start here to get shoe inspiration, then you might want to move somewhere else with more reasonable prices. Booties were reasonable here, but sandals and boots were doing the most on the price tip. I would definitely stalk their sales for shoes.

Fit: Most of the clothes come in S (26) M (28) L (30) and some come in XL (32) and XS (24). Anyone who wears jeans with the waist size knows this is problem. I'm a 29 in the waist, which means I'm a large at Zara. I'ma let you right now, I'm not shopping anywhere that has my small behind categorized as a large.

I also found that the clothes are super tight. Even when I try mediums and larges I struggled to get in and out of the clothes. Now maybe I was bloated, but I'm going to need them to add some spandex, side zippers, something. Also, I know I've seen size runs (2-12) in Zaras in the states, so it's baffling to me that most of them in Chicago would only have S-M-L. Attn: ZARA: AMERICAN WOMEN ARE FAT. Change those sizes to make us feel better about ourselves (and/or to get our money, either way). mmkay. Thanks!

Needless to say I took 10 things into the dressing room with me and not one item fit properly. I was pretty disappointed, but none of the pieces were must-haves either, so I'll be ok.

Service: Last, but not least, let's talk about the customer service. They had only been open 7 days when I went in there, so they do deserve a break, but they need some serious training for the sales associates. Of the 10 or so people I interacted with, I'll say 3 were helpful and knowledgeable. The other 7 were either shy, overwhelmed or uninformed. Everyone was VERY nice, but if I'm in a store where I could POTENTIALLY spend $250 + Chicago tax (highest in the country) on some boots, I'm going to need to get some top-notch customer service.

Now, the biggest customer service problem I had was in the dressing room. I took the maximum 6 things in the room and they held 4 for me. The associate in the dressing room didn't know which 4 were mine and I had to saunter out of the dressing room in socks and an ill-fitting dresss to point them out. Actually, another customer's clothes got taken back on the floor without her trying them on. Unnacceptable. This is a communication problem that's an easy solve. Even Forever 21 knows which clothes are mine and you can get a shirt in there for $2.50...

The other problem was associates not knowing the merchandise, which can probably be attributed to the fact that the store just opened. I can be understanding, but I just need them to be more confident and say "Hey, I'm not sure, but let's find out together." Rather than sort of shrugging and pointing me in what MIGHT be the right direction.

Being the awesome customer and brand advocate that I am, I took the time to talk to the manager about the customer service problems that I encountered. It wouldn't make sense to talk to her about pricing or merchandise because even as a manager there's only so much she can do. She genuinely appreciated my feedback and I'm pretty sure anyone who hasn't been to Zara yet, won't have the same problems I had with the dressing room or shy associates. (See how I help y'all out? LOL!)

Anyway, overall, I give it a C- for now, but I'm not giving up on it and I encourage everyone to stop by and make your own determinations. I sincerely hope it'll be a B by Christmas (or just after). If it goes down from here, I'll be crushed like a kid who overheard a grownup conversation saying the tooth fairy really doesn't exist.

P.S. I really hope I win the new blog layout from kay, because my blogs seem so long in this format. I swear, I'm not saying THAT much.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Match.com Final Stats

I almost had a third date, but dude called to re-schedule on me the day of because he "didn't want me to have to wait for him after I got off work" (I got off 45 minutes before him and it must've been too much pressure for him... LOSER!) I didn't return his scheduling calls. He just didn't seem that into going on a date with me. I won't go into the whole story, but it's like shit or get off the pot. I don't have time for the back and forth.

I'm sad to say this is the end of my Match.com journey (not that the journey itself was ACTUALLY that much fun, but the blog comments and phone calls and texts I've gotten about it have been so entertaining. Thank you all for that.)

In closing, my Match stats are:

28 days on Match.com

My profile was viewed 549 times by 271 people.

17 people winked at me.

I e-mailed back and forth with 9 of the people who winked at me

Out of those nine people I went on 2 dates and had 3 conversations with 1 extremely lame dude that never materialized into a date (see above). He was so weird, I just KNEW he would have given me blog material for a week, but oh well.

So... was it worth it? Sure... I guess. It kept you all entertained for a couple of posts, right? and if I ever want to throw a pity party, the SLIM offerings on Match.com will give me plenty of material to work with, but I had fun... so yes, I guess it was worth it. Next time I have $34.99 to spare though, I'm going to buy a cardigan at H&M.

Also, if I ever get serious about online dating, I'm going to try e-harmony. Let them analyze the hell outta me and give me someone's who actually fits (though I've recently heard horror stories about that site too... womp).

Hope you all enjoyed the series.

P.S. Let me know if you want me to do a Tea's top 10 tips for online dating. If one person wants it, I'll do it, but if no one's interested, no need in writing it out. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Match.com Date #2

I'll be happy to report that the second date was MUCH better. We went to lunch (I learned my lesson about giving up a Friday night to someone I don't know). Another great thing about lunch is that is has a start and end time.

The guy was 35, divorced, lives in the city. He worked in finance for a non-profit goverment agency more or less and had a lot to talk about.

And since Match.com seems to be all about firsts (I paid for my first meal on a date last time. Womp.) I'll admit this was my first date with a White guy.

He paid for lunch. The conversation was great. He told me a lot about his job and the housing and banking industry that I didn't know. (I love learning new stuff and I appreciate men who have more formal knowledge than me. Makes me feel safe.)

The only problem is there were no butterflies. Now, we only had an hour, so I'm not sure how many sparks can fly over a salad and a baguette, but I didn't get sparks and anyone who knows me knows I need sparks. He IS attractive. Not my type at all. Not because he's white, but because I just like guys that look like they should be in music videos. Model/athlete types. He just didn't fit that. He's more Matthew Broderick, less Justin Timberlake.

We shall see how this one plays out. Since I'm all of a sudden an open book, I might keep you all posted. ;P

***UPDATE*** He never called after our lunch date. I didn't call him either, but I tend to let men take the reigns, so if he didn't call, I'm assuming he wasn't interested. Sad.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Match Date # 1

The one you've all been waiting for: My first match date

So the first guy I went out on a date with from Match.com seemed cool enough. He was 32, lived on the south side, willing to meet me up north for a date and cute. He had a black & white professional photo as his photo and I didn't think anything of it because there are a lot of aspiring actors and such who have photos like that on Match.

He said he liked live music, but he didn't want to go to the Sprite Green event which was basically a free concert with free food and drinks. You all know I'm loyal to my commitments, so since my date was already planned, I went out with him instead of hanging out with my people at the Sprite event.

This fool was not 32, he was 42. And the worst part about it is that I talked to so many dudes on Match.com that I'd gotten his profile mixed up with someone elses and had convinced myself he was 29. When he sat down across from me, I'm like this is neither the face, nor the body of a 29 year old. He had on a muted yellow polo, jeans and black Nikes. But not Air Force Ones, granddaddy Nikes. You know the kind of shoes you're wearing when you're actually working out.

Anyway, the conversation was dry. He was an angry black man, going on about the broken school system, segregated city of Chicago, etc, etc. He always had to have the last word when we were talking (he's a man, so I gave it to him, but damn). He would repeat stuff I already said like he was telling it to me for the first time.

Fake Example:
T: The American flag is red, white and blue
Old dude: And it's red

Real Example:
T: I have 45 days before my lease it up to let my landlord know if I'm moving or not
Old dude: Legally, it's only 30 days.
T: Oh ok, well when I signed my lease, it said 45 days.
Old dude: Oh ok, well, if you waited 30 days it wouldn't be a problem it's the law.
Thank you old dude, for telling me what I signed. UGH!

He complained about how dirty New York was... but he's never been. **eyeroll** Sidenote: Attn Chicago Men: Step Your travel game up. Thanks, Tea.

**Back to the wackness**

So I'm tired of talking about this wackness already. I'm going to attempt to give an abridged version. We met at Borders. Talked. Walked a bit. Found out he was 42. Was a little scared because I didn't want to end the date abruptly and have him follow me home (if he lied about his age, what else was he lying about). As we walked, he started inquiring about dinner. Didn't want noodles, sushi, red meat or pork. That left Chicken, but he didn't want American fare. Ended up at an Italian spot that he suggested. He complained about the menu. He ordered an appetizer with no drink. I order an entree with a soft drink. He fidgeted when the bill came. Asked the waitress if they took Discover. They didn't. Asked me if I had cash. I did. We split the bill.

Yep, you read that right. Your girl, for the first time EVER on a first date, paid for her own meal.
THIS. WAS. THE. WORST. DATE. OF. MY. ENTIRE. LIFE.

Not ONLY was he a liar, dry, boring and lame, but I spent $34.99 (Match.com fee) + $18 on my food just to have the experience. Oh yeah, you read that correctly too his 42 year old ass couldn't (or wouldn't) cover a $31 food bill.

Let's hope Date #2 is better... (and cheaper.)

Side note: to compound how wack he was at one point he asked why I went natural and when I told him it was just a practical decision, he sort of rolled his eyes and said "Oh. I thought you did it because you wanted to be more natural."

I was thinking "Why the fuck would you think that?" But I composed myself. 2 points for anger management. 0 points for the male gender. (Yes, I'm blaming this date on the whole gender)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Match.com and (gasp) RACE

The Race Question


I already know for sure I don't want to date anyone who isn't a Christian. Some people can do cross-religional marriages. I just can't. (Side note: Did I just make the word religional up?). Back to the story: I don't, however, know if I'd like to date outside of my race or not. In general, I'm not attracted to every race. Chris Rock said it best. Black women will give a Jude Law looking white guy a chance, but George from friends is not going to get any action from sistas.

Nevermind Chris Rock, I'd like to think that I'm evolved. That I don't think that love only comes in one color, but another part of me is like are you trying to force yourself to date outside of your race by not picking African-American on the ethnicity chart in your preferences?

Then, of course, I ran into some white dudes on Match who seem to be infatuated with sisters. Love is great. Infatuation with one race over another is not.

I also got SO offended when guys were looking for everything but black women. Or when they just had one race of woman (no matter what it was).

I actually told a guy (via Match e-mail) that I couldn't wink back at him because even though he'd winked at me he didn't have Black/African descent checked on what he's looking for and I'm definitely black. (You can call me an asshole if you want to, but WTH I look like dating a guy who literally said he was interested in every race of women except Black women).

Digressing, back to the point. When people only checked one race at first I thought, wow, how close-minded can you be? But I can't judge them. I actually don't think it's wrong. If they were out at a bar/club/church/picnic/Borders/the grocery store, chances are they'd only see the race of people they were looking for, so why should I hold people to any other standards just because it's online.

It's sad though, 'cause there were some Jude Law looking homies on there could've come up on an open-minded sista. *sigh*

Please tune in tomorrow as I give line-by-line details of my first Match.com date. Trust me, it's a must-read.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Match.com: The Men

Just like in real life, there are types of men on Match. Here are some that I came across on Match:

Old[er] Men
You all know I like an older man. A little grey in the beard (good GAWD, that's sexy). Don't get me wrong a Chris Brown look-alike could still get it, but I have a pretty well defined range of who's ok and who's not. My age parameters were displayed PROMINENTLY on my Match.com profile, but guys damn near twice my age were still trying to get up. Um... seriously. If you might show up at my mom's class reunion Iaintgonebeabletodoit!!!

Short Men
There's a lot of short men on Match.com. I know Joe Castro's about to be mad at me, but if I have my pick, I want a tall man. Two of my three brothers (2 by nature, 1 by nurture) are not that tall and one of them is an excellent husband and one is an excellent father. They're both attractive. They have outgoing personalities. They're awesome, BUT, If I get to sit at a computer and pick who I'm going to fall in love with it's not going to be a dude who's 5'6 (Side note: My brothers are not THAT short, just making a point).

I also have some friends who are on j-date and they let me know upfront that if a guy says 5'8, he's barely 5'6. The point is if I marry a short man, it won't be because I met him on Match.com.

Gay Men
Let's just say that there are men on Match.com that claim they are looking for women, but there is no way in hell that's the case.

The Playboys
These fools have headlines like "Ready for Whatever," or usernames like "MagicStick"they either wear sunglasses in the dark on photos or they don't have photos because they're probably married or in serious relationships. They claim that they make a lot of money and are just looking to wine and dine someone... RIGHT...

The Cheesepuffs
"Looking for Love" "Look No Further" "The One and Only" "Could You Be Mrs. Right" GETYOBIG Jodeci "Come & Talk To Me" face the phuck outta here!!! Um... you all know how anti-caking I am in real life. I'll be damned if I start caking on the internets. That's just not me... not really. ;) LOL!

Question of the Day: Did I miss any online dating types? (can be from your experience or what you've heard from friends)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Match.com: Judgment Time

The best part about Match.com is that for a small fee you can judge people on your computer. Seriously, you just sit at your computer and judge people. And you know me I judge just like in real life.

For example:

He can have kids if he's extremely fine.
He can be divorced if he's wildly successful.
If he's average looking, he'd better be ove 5'10
Actually, he'd better be tall period. (Sorry shorter fellas reading)

He's perfect, but DANG he's the wrong religion
He's who I want, but he's only looking for Latinas (or another race of women that I am not)
He's awesome, but lives in New York or VA. (Match.com fail for bringing him up in my search in the first damn place).
He has all the right stats, but can't put a damn sentence together. Dude, did you really graduate from college?
He's 30-something, never been married, no kids, loves the north side, loves to travel... but he's an Iota. DAMN!

He doesn't ever want kids...
He has the perfect job, but he wants someone who's in love with animals (Do I look like the crocodile hunter to you?)
He takes photos of himself with his shirt off and he's not at the beach
He has the camera phone photo in the bathroom. (Really dude? Really?)
Oh snap, I winked at someone that only has a HS education. Damn, how do I go back on this thing? He is fine though...

I could go on and on, but that's how it is. The crazy thing is that you can see who's viewed your profile and they're just as picky. A ton of guys who looked at my profile that I thought should have winked at me or sent me an e-mail, didn't. They must've seen something they didn't like, which is awesome. It's like, hey, don't waste my time if you're not into Christians. Or if you want a girl who's an introvert, you can clearly see from my profile that she's not me.

It's not any different from what we do in real life, but it really puts you in touch with your preferences, biases, likes and dislikes. Seriously... WTH I look like dating, let alone marrying an Iota. C'mon now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Match.com: The Basics

So your girl tried Match.com. Not to worry, my membership ended long enough ago for you nosey people not to be able to find my profile. The entire experience was absolutely hilarious and I'd totally [read: maybe] do it again.

My next few posts will be dedicated to the experience. (Haven't you all been asking me to do dating entries for the longest?) Anyway, here are some Match.com basics:

Cost - It costs $16.99 per month if you do 6-months. They charge you for all of it upfront instead of month-to-month. If you just want to do one month, it's $34.99.

Winks - Match starts with a 3-day free trial at which point you can wink at people for free (you have to be a paid member to send e-mails). It's just like a facebook poke. It's total flirting and it keeps your feelings in tact instead of having to send a full e-mail and risk someone rejecting you. I love winks, but a lot of people on Match hated them. I figured no harm, no foul...

E-mails - This works just like you Facebook e-mail inbox. You can also have it set up so a notice comes to your personal e-mail account when someone sends you a Match e-mail, but for obvious safety reasons, you won't just e-mail people from your personal account.

Profile - Ah... the profile. The top is a short headline (Think: How you doin'), followed by your basic stats (age, height, hair color, eye color, religion, city, St). There are some canned questions on the left hand side (Where do you work, what do you like to do, etc). Then on the right side there's an open-ended 4000 character description of yourself. All of this has to be approved by Match, so nothing pornographic and no personal info can be distributed.

Profile Pics - Your main pic is just to the left of your basic stats. You can add up to 25 pics. It's a good idea to have pics hanging out in different settings, so people won't think your vampy going to the club look or your suited up going to church/work/a funeral look is how you look every day.

Match is like the Lottery, you gotta play to win and it's like Twitter the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. I'm not going to lie after those first couple of weeks (when my profile stopped being advertised as NEW), the winks and e-mails slowed down and I actually forgot to log-in sometimes because it got a little boring.

So, those are the basics. Hope you're ready for a journey. I have some stories to tell!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

See... What Had Happened Was...

(This post ended up being stupid long, but trust me, it's worth it.)

I had an 8:25 a.m. flight to New Jersey. My alarm clock was hating and even though I set it for 5 a.m., it didn't go off and I woke up at 7:26, WAY too late to make that flight. So I showered quickly and packed. Oh yeah, the one time I decide I'm going to pack in the morning is the time I oversleep.

So in miracle fashion, I'm out house by 8:00 on the head. I call a cab, it'll be there at 8:07. I flag one down at 8:04, call back to cancel my 8:07 flag. I put on make-up. (The only thing worst than a stressed woman is an ugly stressed woman).

I call American Airlines to see if the flight is on time. It is. I ask what time the next flight is. 11:15 and it's wide open. Great. It gets into Newark at 2:40. Not Great. My destination is 45 minutes away from Newark and I need to be there at 2:30 p.m.

I call my company's travel service to see what time the next United flight leaves. It departs at 10 and gets in 1 or something like that. Great. It costs $354 plus the $45 ticketing fee. Not great. How the hell am I going to expense a $400 flight because I woke up late. Accounting would kill me.

I look up. 8:35 I'm still in traffic on the same street I live on. Damnit!!!

So I'm thinking... I cannot be late for this. Thinking... there has to be another option. Thinking how am I going to explain this to my managers, the talent, the camera crew, thinking, thinking, thinking. Well, people going to NYC sometimes fly to Newark, since I'm going to Newark, perhaps I'll fly to NYC.

I called the travel hotline back. There's a flight out to LaGuardia at 9:35 getting there at 12:45. Perfect. $150 change fee plus $45 ticketing fee. Not perfect. I'll just wait until I get to the airport to change the flight.

I dial my office because I now need to cancel my rental car and get car service from NYC to NJ. I don't have an admin [anymore. effing cutbacks]. Only admins book car service. I ask the receptionist if she can book it. No, I have to e-mail the admin pool. I'm in a cab and on a short deadline, don't have the resources to do that. She transfers me into the admin supervisor. This broad's voicemail comes up. GRRRRR!!!!

I call the receptionist back, ask for the Car Service number. She gives it to me. I dial it. It doesn't work. I call back (this is the third time I've talked to her in 2 minutes). She gives me the correct number.

I call. I book the service. Car Service Lady (CSL): What's your company's account number? T: I don't know.
CSL: What's the job number to bill this to? T: I don't know.
CSL: What's the purchase order number? T: I don't know.
CSL: What's your flight number? T: I'm not even sure if I'm going to be able to get on the flight to LaGuardia. I'm sorry that I'm basically no help at all, but I don't have an admin anymore due to cutbacks and admins have all this information and no one is available to help me and my flight leaves in 45 minutes and I don't even know if I'm going to make it and I'm really sorry, but I don't know the answer to your question. Is there anything you can do? Can I call you back with the information?
CSL: Ma'am if I don't have a purchase order number, the car won't be there to pick you up.
T: *sigh and smile* (because you sound calmer and prettier when you smile) Can. I. Call You Back. With That Information?
CSL: Yes ma'am.

8:50 Call a team member and ask her to do a purchase order and send to me quickly. Pay the Cab Driver. Stand in a relatively short line at the airport to change my ticket. Change my ticket to LaGuardia. No change fee at all. Do the stanky legg in my head. 8:58 a.m. Flight attendant says your plane will be boarding in 5 minutes. Great.

The brother in the first class line called me over, to bypass the other security line. YES! Get violated also known as security checkpoint. 9:03 Get a bagel sandwich. (No need to be stressed AND hungry).

Check my blackberry and the co-worker wants to know what account she should charge the purchase order to. Get slightly peeved because I only work on one account with her. WHAT ACCOUNT DO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD CHARGE IT TO?(I say this in my head, not outloud or to her)

E-mail her back, ask her to hurry because my plane was leaving in minutes. Look down at my phone. 9:12. I have 3 voicemails. My phone was on silent. GREAT just GREAT. I have to listen to 3 old voicemails and let Verizon know if I want to erase them or not. ARGH!!!! VM1. Limo service wants to know the PO number. Erase. VM2. Limo service says I gave them the wrong flight number (of course I did, how else was I going to get them to process the car service.) Erase. VM3. Co-worker asking what account to charge the purchase order to. Erase. My phone rang while I was checking voicemail, couldn't answer it.

Group 4 now boarding. I'm group 2. Dangit! Hustle, hustle.

Board my flight, 9:15. Call the limo service back on the tarmac. She wants to know my confirmation number. It's on the back of the cab receipt in my wallet in the bowels of my purse. T: Hold on ma'am. Please don't hang up on me.

Board the plane, I'm all the way in the back. Awesome. Now she wants to know what flight I'm on. T: I don't know, let me find my ticket that I just put away in order to get the confirmation number for you. T: I think I'm on XXX flight. She wants to know if I'm sure. T: No, I'm on the plane. I know where it's going, I know where's it's leaving from, but there are millions of numbers on an airline ticket and I think XXX is my flight, but no ma'am. I am not sure. She says I have to be sure to get a car service. (A lesser person would have cried at this point)

I say ok, let me ask a flight attendant. Shout to a flight attendant, is this flight XXX. A woman near me answered with vigor, yes this is flight number XXX. (Thank you mystery woman). T: Attention, lady on the phone. Yes, this is flight number XXX and I am sure.

CSL: Great. Now, do you have the purchase order number. T: I have to put my luggage in an overhead bin now, can you hold. Please don't hang up on me.
Flight attendant: Can you put that on the left. (As I tried to put a roller board on the right).
T: Laughs (because, seriously, why not laugh at this point) Sure. Whatever you want.
Flight attendant: *cooing voice* Oh, your shirt matches your luggage. I've never seen that before. That's so cute.
T: *Looking down at my black polka-dot shirt* Oh wow. I didn't do that on purpose because that would be tacky.
Everyone seated near me: *erupts in laughter*
Flight attendant: I'm so sorry, I don't know why I said that.
T: Gives the flight attendant a "it's no problem at all face*
T: Hello, lady on the phone yes, the PO# is XXXXXX.
T: Excuse me Sir, I'm sitting in the window seat. Thanks.
T: Lady on the phone, are we all set?
CSL: Well, I need to call dispatch to make sure this number is right, but you sound like you can't hold.
T: *Seated* Exhales. I can hold. *Hold...*
CSL: You're all set.

Great. 9:20

Look down at my phone. Got another voicemail. Great. It's the limo service telling me for the third time that my flight is wrong and to call them back. Erase. 9:21

Call the travel hotline to cancel my rental car in Newark, lest I be charged some fees. 9:22

9:30 please turn off all electronic devices. The doors are closed and we are ready for takeoff.

Thank God for his divine power, my problem-solving skills and my new anger and stress management techniques. Woo Sah and Praise the Lord!

So... how was your morning?