Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Miss Martin

Bwoy, I wish someone as funny as Martin would get back on primetime TV. Do you all realize through his show and his movies, he's given us so many catch phrases that we still say today? Or characters that we still immitate today. This dude is hilarity personified, often adlibbing the script in his shows and being so hilarious his castmates could hardly keep a straight face.

Yeah, I miss Martin. Here are Tea's top 10 Martin quotes/catch phrases/characters.

10. b-d-b

9. Oh my damn.

8. Pick up the pieces!

7. I said Jerome in the house, watch yo mouth!!!

6. Anything with Shenaynay

5. GTD

4. Get ta steppin'

3. You say you going for a big gulp (Jodeci episode)

2. We >>>>>>>>>>>>Here<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

1. Woo-Sah

Friday, August 28, 2009


Thank God it's Friday, indeed. I should have a little bit of time on Sunday to sit down and write a week's worth of blogs, so I won't have you all hanging like this next week. Why is the world so busy right now?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Today Sucks. That's all.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tea's Business Tips: Part 2

If you're just tuning in, read this first. Here are my top 3 tips and they're ALL about feedback.

3. Ask for feedback - Most companies do yearly feedback, some do not. If your company has a feedback process, you want to ask for unofficial feedback halfway before your official feedback is due. A temperature check, if you will. If you make it to your annual review and you have inadequacies, you're going to miss a raise or promotion because you didn't know what you were doing wrong.

I'll be honest, most people think they're doing phenomenally at work. Some are. Some aren't. Also, because the workplace es un mezcla of cultures, attitudes and backgrounds, something you think is ok, may not be. Or something someone else thinks is ok, may not be. It's CRUCIAL that people have conversations about these things BEFORE the pink slip comes.

It's also important to get feedback from managers AND managees...

2. Managee feedback is important - #fact, While you're making your way to the top, you can't run a company if no one wants to work for you. This doesn't mean you need to be super nice and everyone's buddy, it just means that something about YOU has to be desirable. Your workstyle, your ideas, your management style, your ability to think at an elevated level.

To reiterate, this doesn't mean people have to want to work on clients that you're working on or people want to get close to you to get something from you. What I'm describing is very internal. YOU have to be desirable in some way and getting feedback from your managees will help you find out where you're slacking.

Side note: If your company doesn't have a feedback structure in place, find a neutral third party to filter feedback through: HR, a peer, maybe your supervisor (depending on the company). You don't want to ask someone you manage directly how they feel about you. The answers just won't be honest.

1. Heed feedback - Now, you have all this feedback and you may disagree with some of it, but that doesn't mean it's not accurate. If someone THINKS you're doing a bad job, you are. Because perception is reality. (The PR Diva in me almost just gave a class on changing minds and attitudes, but I pushed her back, LOL!)

SO many people get promoted, hired, bonuses, kudos, accolades, recommendations to a new job or position, etc JUST because people think they're doing well. I'm not advocating BS-ing and making it look good, I'm saying you have to take feedback seriously, you have to NOT take it personal and if you want to stay at that company, you have to attempt to change the negative OR attempt to show people that they're perceptions are off through your actions, not through arguing with HR about what somebody said about you.

You really have to work up your emotional muscles to take criticism.
Before you have a review, call an ex that you're still cool with and ask them what they didn't like about you and don't argue about it first. If you're single call your grandma and ask her why she thinks you're not married yet and don't say anything back. If you have good friends ask them what they hate about you and don't offer a response unless they ask for it. I'm not encouraging you to walk into the Lion's Den for no reason, I'm just saying if you're serious about heeding feedback, but you're sensitive, you have to find a way.

Alright, that's all I have for now, but let me know if you liked this segment and maybe I can do situational posts (Tea's top tips on giving feedback or firing people, lol) or answer your workplace questions... Maybe Ask Tea or something like that... let me know!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tea's Business Tips: Part 1

I'm off work today. I love the irony of giving people tips for the workplace and being off work. LOL! Whatev...

I'm pretty successful in my job (5 promotions in 4 and a half years if you want to be specific), but I'm not trying to toot my own horn here. I want to share what I know in the hopes that it'll help someone else. I have the belief that there is an infinite about of knowledge, goodness, success, love and money in the world. So if others are doing well (or even better than me) in any of those categories, it doesn't make my position any less wonderful.

I've also been to my fair share of conferences, read a lot of books about being successful in the work place and I actually listen to my mentors, so I feel like I have a lot to offer.

So enough of the PSA, but here are Tea's Top business tips.

7. You have options - A lot of people HATE their jobs. I want everyone to stop feeling trapped. So long as your brain is working you are valuable asset to any company, but that doesn't mean every job is going to be a good fit. Even in a recession, there ARE opportunities. I believe everything happens for a reason, so if you absolutely cannot find a job in your field, perhaps God is trying to tell you to switch fields, go back to school, start your own business or to open yourself up to something you would have never even imagined. At the end of the day work is work, but no one should be miserable at the gig.

6. Ask for what you want - If you want more money, more time off, more responsibility, tuition assistance, flex time, to be on a different client/account, to work on new business, to transfer departments... whatever ASK FOR IT. Your job is not master and you are not a slave. The worst thing that could happen is that they tell you no.

Now people, don't be in HR all willy nilly with your indignant selves talking about what you deserve. Present a case. In a VERY professional manner say: this is what I'm worth, here are the successful projects I've completed that show my worth, here's how I contribute to the company above and beyond my required tasks, here's the kudos from my managers AND my managees and here's the offer I have from our top competitor and I'm prepared to BOUNCE if you can't match it.

There's nothing wrong with switching jobs (or attempting to switch jobs) if you have some experience under your belt. You can't expect a promotion every six months, but if you're underpaid and someone else is paying better or another company's perks are better or another company is a better fit, you owe it to yourself to ask for what you want where you are or get what you want elsewhere. SO many people sleep on this.

Your company is only loyal to its bottomline and you should show yourself that same respect.

5.Present Your Ideas - As I said in 6, you ARE a valuable asset. Do you see a process that's inefficient, do you notice a way the company can cut costs, do you have vendor suggestions, do you have new business connects, do you have something from your former company that worked extremely well that you think you can implement at your new workplace?

Your ideas ARE valuable. They're intellectual capital, which your company actually owns while you're with them, so you might as well make them known.

Again, the worst thing that could happen is that they say no. (Side note: why are people so afraid of no... hmm... I feel another post comin g up on that). I think it's better to have dumb ideas than to have no ideas. Doing what's laid out in your job description isn't enough in 2009. Company's want people who will contribute and not just ideas that benefit you, but ideas that benefit the well-being of the company as a whole and ultimately the company's bottomline.

4. Know when to be quiet - I might print this out and put it next to my desk because I've had to learn this lesson over and over again... while your ideas ARE valuable, you don't need to speak up about EVERY thing. Lord, I have this bad. In college on organizational boards, it was my way or the highway. People ended up agreeing with me, not because I'd convinced them, but because they grew weary of arguing with me. Trust me, you do not want to be that person.

Learning when to speak and when to let things go and/or observe is a very important skill that I think I'll be mastering for the rest of my life. Sometimes the client gets exactly what they want, sometimes we need to provide smart pushback. Sometimes your managers get exactly what they want, sometimes you need to ask them if you can complete the tasks a different way and present ideas for why your way could be more efficient, beneficial to the client, the team, the company, etc, etc.

What we have to remember is even though we may think we have a stupidvisor rather than a supervisor is that they're there for a reason. Most times, they have more experience than you and even if they're dumb as a sack of potatoes, they made it far enough to manage you, so you HAVE to respect their position and try not to go against the grain on EVERY SINGLE THING.

This is getting long, so I'll give you the top three tomorrow.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend Recap

This was a good weekend in the Chi despite the 60-degree temps. Had to share my calendar with y'all.

- Dinner Circle with some fabulous ladies at Volare (highly recommend it).
- Partying with Kismet and her little sis who just turned 21 at Funk & Buttafly.
- Ran into (and hugged) Hosea Sanchez (Malik from the Game). He's only about 5'10, but he was really nice.
- Yes, I had to go to work on Friday, but you're only young once and Kismet was only in town for a limited time.

- I survived the workday.
- PyT's homie from Ohio came into town. It was cold and raining, but we go hard for Chi-town guests, so we kicked it.
- Tried to go to Underground. (They weren't even honoring tables. How you get so exclusive that you turn down hundreds of dollars is a mystery to me.)
- Went to Vain, started the night on the dance floor, ended the night in the VIP. YESSIR! Ran into Hosea again, you can never have too much of him.

- Volunteered with Chicago Cares at CWAPChicago
- Attended the Black Harvest Film Festival
- Club hopped with PyT and her girl. We hit the Wit, The W Lakeshore, The W City Center (Chicago NBA All-star party), Cagney's and Filthy Libertine (Garrett Wolfe's bday party). Save for the Wit, everything was pretty wack.

- Church at AFC
- Birthday cook-out for a homie's 30th

Yeah, this weekend was off the chain! I kind of unofficially just gave you all a summer weekend guide to the Chi. Keep that in your back pocket.

Coming up this week:
Tea's Tips for the workplace: Parts 1 and 2
GAP Born to Fit Party Recap

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's been a long time...

I shouldn't of left you,
Without a dope beat to step to...

I'm gone do better on the blog posts y'all. In the meantime, sprint down memory lane with me...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

"You only get to keep what you give away."

Wow, I don't know who said it, but I'm trying to live like this. It's so true.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Remember That?

I remember how good music used to make me feel. Hungry... like I just wanted to hear more and more of it. I wanted to know who it was and who they were and when they were coming out with their next tape (yes, I said tape).

I remember the first time I heard Just One of Them Days by Monica... and finding out she was only 14. I was probably 10 or 11 and she seemed SO grown to me. Or do you remember the first time you heard I wanna sex you up by Color Me Bad or What Have You Done For Me Lately by Janet or I Wanna Be Down By Brandi or Back, Back, Forth and Forth by Aaliyah (miss her in the worst way).

Hell, the first time I heard All Falls Down by Kanye I was intrigued. Man, I miss that feeling. What song gave you butterflies the first time you heard it?

P.S. Someone needs to throw a 90s party. I'm feelling real nostalgic right now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Whatever Lola Wants

I used to work in retail and anyone who's ever worked in retail knows that there is one CD they play all month. It probably has about 2 hours of songs on it, which means you will know every word to every song on the CD, love it or hate it.

I was in Starbucks the other day... (Big ups to starbucks in Forest Park for stellar customer service) Anyway I was there and one of my favorite songs that used to come on at the Limited all the time came on. Boy it took me back.

It's the perfect mix of naughty, sexy and weird. Apparently it was written for the musical "Damn Yankees." I've never heard of that either. So... adding it to my Netflix. This one is by Sarah Vaughan, but it has been done over and over again.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Good Customer Service: Asurion

I just want to give big ups to Asurion, the cell phone insurance company for coming with fabulous service a couple months back. I'm late, but I spend so much time talking about companies that are wack or inefficient that I thought it was worth noting that they had a phone to me in less that 24 hours after I called.

If you don't have insurance on your phone, you should definitely consider it. Provides a lot of piece of mind for absent minded folks like me and since phones are so cheap nowadays anyway, it helps when something breaks, cracks or just stops working.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't Miss Your Blessing

I was at church a couple of weeks ago and heard one of the dumbest things I've ever heard in my life in the women's bathroom.

Lady: I've been really blessed... I have a couple of job interviews coming up... I just feel like one of these are going to work out... I've turned down three job offers since I was laid off because they interfered with my church schedule.


Pump yo brakes, old lady. What kind of church schedule do you keep? Most churches have an early morning service, a mid-day service and an afternoon and/or evening service. You mean to tell me you couldn't pick a service that fits your schedule or God forbid, go to another church that offers a service that fits into your schedule, so you can take a job offer. Are there no Saturday services anywhere? A Wednesday night prayer meeting or something, so you can get your praise on AND go to work.

Look, I'm all about keeping commitments, but God didn't call Christians to be dummies. If he's throwing jobs in your lap TAKE THEM!!!

Christians, am I wrong? Blasphemous? How would YOU respond if someone said this to you?

Oh, and this FURTHER lets me know that the unemployment insurance in Illinois is too lenient. I've heard this before, but apparently it's so lovely that people turn down jobs to get it. (Clearly I'm assuming she gets unemployment when she could have gotten a nice severance package and/or saved up really well to cover her expenses in the event of an emergency.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

French Bulletin Boards

I'm staying in my apartment another year, so I decided it's time I start enjoying my cozy little place. I'm trying to make little adjustments here and there that store and conceal clutter. I was on and fell in love with the French bulletin board in this studio apartment.

Isn't it just delicious?

I decided I'm going to put one in my kitchen that will be the catch-all for cards, bills and other paper that's always on my countertop. Problem is... these bad boys are expensive. And the ones that aren't expensive are wack or aren't the size I need. I'm also not a big fan of DIY for me. Yeah, for other people it's great, but my accuracy isn't always the greatest and I don't want an art project in my house looking like a 3-year old created it.

So question of the day is

1) Do you know any places that carry French bulletin boards for the low?
1a) Would you or anyone you who enjoys arts and crafts like to make one for me? (I'll take a free one, but I'll also pay for one if it's pretty enough) You might think I'm joking, but I'm SO serious.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You Know You're From Chicago If

I logged on to Twitter last night after an awesome nap (had the day off) and the trending topic was #uknowufromChicago. Oh boy. I was dying laughing at first, but then I started Tweeting too. I seriously put up about 100 Tweets last night.

We all basically reminisced about high school and grammar school, hood delicacies and the Chicago music industry (R. Kelly, Twista, Do or Die, Crucial Conflict). We also touched on our corrupt local government, high school rivalries, neighborhood rivalres and of course, Chicago slang (with a few gang references mixed in their for good measure).

I cannot even describe to you the hilarity that ensued, but here are some of my favorite Tweets from last night.


- If you ever had to steal off somebody
- If you know who Eagle Man and Peter Francis Geraci are
- If you ever worked at the Plaza (or North Riverside, out west)
- If your grandma lives in a Bungalow, Georgian or 2 Flat in the hood
- If you use the term Express way (what the hell is a freeway?)
- If you know where to get a pizza puff, fries and a pop (Orange, Grape or RC) for $3 in 2009
- If you think the proper word for "Finna" is Fin To
- If you're a soutsider who only goes to the West side for MacArthurs
- If you can finish this "5-8-8"
- If you had that $1.00 lipgloss with the roller ball in cherry, grape, or strawberry
- If you've ever had to switch from "HEAT" to "A/C" in the same day
- If you consider Ghetto Queen a love song
- If you can't help but get low when you hear "HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE"
- If u say 'i'm fr the 100's' and erybody in the room yell out WILDWILD!

And my absolute favorite
#uknowufromChicago when u sing along with the car alarm "do do do do reer reer reer reer uur-oop uurr-oop uur-oop ur-opp ehh ehh ehh ehh"


Ok, that's all I can do. But this was the #3 trending topic last night, so 1000s of Tweets were sent. Hilarious!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Event Alert: Black Harvest Film Festival

I've had this in my draft FOREVER and still forgot to put it up before opening night. So sorry folks. Anyway, the 15th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival is going on now at the Gene Siskel Film Center on State Street.

Make sure to support at least one of the films (and if you're out of town, please forward this to your Chi-town peeps.)

More info here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

If I Could Be Like Mike

I wanna be, I wanna be like MIKE!!!! Or some of you know him as Southside Superstar (4s for short). This is one of my boys and I knew he liked to shop, but I didn't know he had it like that.

For some strange reason around May his regularly budgeted expenditures decreased (I got jokes, I know).

So he decided to go summer shopping. This TYPE of shopping experience was new to me. I've been to boutiques before and I've had good customer service before, but I've never been to a place where they pick out entire outfits and shoes and you just say yeah, I'll take ALL that. I've seen it on TV. I've heard about people that do it at Saks, but they're all in a different tax bracket from me.

We received this great service at male sneaker boutiques. These are places that have exclusive gym shoes (who even knew you could get an exclusive gym shoe). We went to Succezz and Self-Conscious in Chicago. (Google 'em)

It really opened my mind to the male shopping experience. They still don't try stuff on. They still don't spend a lot of time. There were leather couches and gaming systems and flat screen TVs everywhere and cold beverages. It was pretty frickin' awesome. (Yes, I just said frickin' awesome).

He spent some serious bread that day in a very short time. Anyway, the damage looks like this (This pic is just the shoes, there's an outfit to go with every pair)...

If I could be like Mike. I wanna be, I wanna be like MIKE!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Facebook Down, Twitter Down, Man Down!!!

Why are Facebook and Twitter not working on my computer today? It's like IT pulled some sort of cruel joke on me. I cannot be productive unless I take frequent meaningless breaks.

I guess I'll be spending my time on

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quote of the Day: Baby Brother Edition

"I'm going to call you back because I don't feel like talking to you anymore."

- My 20-year old brother to a little girl he was talking to on the phone. For the sake of the female gender I hope she stops talking to him. But for the sake of comedy, this ish had my DYING laughing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Neck Lips

Yes, I just said neck lips. Say it fast like like it's one word.

I would like to know what in the name of all that is red and fruity and delicious are men thinking putting women's lips on their necks. What kind of tangylicious foolishness is going on in the year 2009?

That is not what's hot in the streets. You look like the biggest trick on the face of the planet and to make matters worst whoever's lips those are is not going to be your girl forever. I guarantee it. (Except for Souljah boy because those are probably his mama's lips, but I digress).

Fellas, keep tats off your neck in general, but specifically, please stop with the neck lips.

Exhibit A: Trina's lips on Kenyon Martin's neck. What's the next tat Kenyon? Her lazy eye on your cheek?

Exhibit B: Diddy's back-up singer's lips on Diddy's paycheck's neck. OOPS, I meant to say Dawn on Que. You know what I meant.

Exhibit C: Souljah Boy's mama's lips on his neck. I love my mama too, but that's just wrong.

Exhibit D: Some dude who apparently raps named "Tyga" that Southside Superstar put me up on. I don't know who's lips they are. Probably someone like Trora from the Tinah and Trora show since he's apparently close to lil Wayne.

And for the love of the English language, young rappers, please learn how to spell. From yung, to souljah to tyga, I can't really keep up right now.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Don't Even Know What to Call This

So, I was debating whether or not to post about this because my dating life is super private and really none of anyone's business (not even all the lovely tea & such readers), but I feel like there might be someone who's dealing with the same or similar nonsense, so I feel obligated to speak on it.

About a year ago I met a divorced guy. Went on a couple of dates, started to catch feelings, then he told me he was separated. He was one of many lying men that I've increasingly encountered that inspired this post? SEPARATED IS NOT DIVORCED. I immediately cut things off with him. I didn't want to start a relationship based on lies and I truly believe in the sanctity of marriage, so until the ink is dry on those papers I want no part of it.

Ran into said dude at a bbq of a family friend. It's been well over a year, so I gave him a hug and asked if he'd moved to the Chi permanantly. We did the small talk and he went about his business.

For the sake of story telling let's say this dude's name is Will Smith. I'm standing in line for the bathroom and little kids have been cutting in front of me all night because when children have to go, they have to go. A woman and her son walk up and she says "Will, don't cut the lady." I say, "Do you have to go bad?" He says "Yes." Then I say "Go ahead."

Little Will's making googly eyes at me and when I look back at him he blushes and looks down at his shoes. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree... I say "Will, how old are you?" He gives me the are you a magical fairy look and says "How do you know my name?" I say "I just heard your mom call you Will." Then I turn toward the lady and say "You are his mom right?" The woman sporting both engagement and wedding bands says "Yes, now Will answer the woman." Will tells me he's five.

Now the Will Smith I know had a one-year old that he went to a different state to visit every weekend while he was on an assigment for his job in Chicago...

I go to the washroom, come out and find the Will Smith I know and the married woman together scolding little Will for something or other. Big Will wasn't wearing a wedding ring. I've actually never seen him wear a wedding ring. I catch the eye of big Will Smith and he stops in his tracks. Almost as if he had seen a ghost and I will my eyes to burn through him so deeply that his wife could see the hole in his heart.


This man was neither divorced nor separated and he didn't have a newborn he was tending to every weekend like he told me. His child was approximately 4 years old when I met him. I'm sure he was by all stretches of the imagination "happily married."

It's at this point that I'm sick to my stomach about being a single female in today's morally deficient male-saturated society. It is 30 seconds later that I find myself paralyzed by the fact that while I was able to use my intuition to figure out that his very scent oozed pillage even before I had proof, his wife may have been none the wiser.

**Sidenote: Please always follow your intuition. If you feel that something is wrong, it is. These feelings don't come from nowhere. There is a higher power guiding you. Trust that power even if it means making difficult decisions. You don't want to regret ignoring it.**

So then I was left with the decision as to whether or not I should do my sisterly duty and tell her that her husband was a worthless use of bodily functions, that the words out of the mouth of the father of her child were neither honest, nor trustworthy and that she had pledged to spend the rest of her life to someone who amongst other lacking character traits, lies to God. (assuming their vows were taken in front of God and everyone else in their lives that they love and that loves them.)

I initiallly decided against it. Moreso than not having the energy to ruin someone's life (or end his had I told my jailbait uncles in attendance what had happened), I was afraid that 1) She may already know and I didn't want to add my face to her mental picture of his indiscretion 2) She may blame me and/or think I'm lying 3) perhaps the lying sack of nothingness had turned over a new leaf and we weren't intimate during our brief dating stint, so better to leave well enough alone.

As I went back in forth in my mind as to what I would even say to her if she crossed my path again, I noticed that he'd taken her and the 5-year old home and had the audacity to come back to the bbq. Even worse than that, he felt the need to talk to me. (I told you I gave him the burn look right? You KNOW after that look to not even attempt to breathe the same air I breathe.)

Will Smith: So, you having a good time?
T: Little Will is so cute.
Will Smith: Yeah, you saw a pic of him right?
T: Um Hm.
Will Smith: You know he gets his good looks from his daddy
T: Interesting. I thought he looked just like his mom. *As soon as the words left my mouth I proceed to look in the other direction, so as to say you don't even exist to me right now*
T's Cousin: **Looks directly at Will Smith and laughs hysterically**
**Will Smith departs my presence.**

Later on my cousin shares with me that her baby's daddy is married and she found out 11 weeks before her child's due date. This lying waste of breath, life and flesh sat up at the baby shower of her first born child as the love of her life making googly eyes and taking photos and he had a wife at home.

All of this to say, I am deeply saddened by the state of relationships right now, the lying married men that I've repeatedly encountered, the broken relationships that I've unwillingly become a part of and the overall disrespect of marriage as a union.

I'm pissed that men won't work to do the difficult task of sleeping with the same woman, forsaking all others. I'm pissed that men feel like they have the right to make me #2 without my consent. I'm pissed that the pure ratio of men to women makes mediocre men think they are the Don and makes mediocre AND stellar men think they are exempt from doing what's right. I'm pissed at the amount of mental and emotional work that I'm going to have to do to force myself to believe anything that any man tells me right now (like I don't have enough work to do already). I'm basically just at my wit's end with liars, and ironically, they're so plentiful.

I'll end by saying, I'm discouraged, but my spirit isn't broken. When you're open, you allow good to come to you, but you're just as susceptible to bad. I can't just close myself up. Nope, I refuse to let the misdeeds and moral deficiencies of others make me an angry, bitter, closed woman. Right now, I reallly do not think marriage holds any power, fortunately I do believe in the power of God.

And if it's written, that I'm supposed to have a husband at some point, I wholeheartedly trust that God will provide someone who's relationship with honesty (be it his vows to me or his everyday interactions with other women) is stronger than his willingness to lie in pursuit of a nut.

P.S. I'm disabling comments. If you have something positive to say that you absolutely cannot hold back, e-mail me. Otherwise, I'm not really in the mood to deal with people's opinions on the state of the relationships, the decision I made or their overall philosophies on singlehood, marriage, cheating, religion, whatever. Not tonight.