Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!!!

To all the soldiers. We love you! We appreciate you more that words can say. Please know that we're praying for your safe, swift return home.



#bigups to Trey Songz for dedicating this video to the fallen soldiers.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dee's Place

I guess I've been talking about things to do in the Chi all week, so I guess I'll keep that party going.

On T Day (what I call my days off work) I took advantage of spa week and got 50% off a massage, then walked around Bucktown/Wicker Park looking for the cheapest nail salon. This was the day before I did my first wedding, so I was trying to relax, relate, release!!! On my walk, I ran across Dee's Place.

I didn't even know what it was, but I saw a sign that said Live Jazz and I immediately perked up. It's BYOB too. Um... yeah, I'm definitely on that.






Who wants to go?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Event Alert: Randolph Wine Cellars


Checked out the June issue of Essence (Side note: p. 91... yessir!!!). Back to the topic at hand the June calendar in the magazine was poppin'! One thing that piqued my interest was free wine tasting on June 12 at 2 p.m. at Randolph Wine Cellars, 1415 W. Randolph.
Then I called to fact check and it's actually free wine tasting EVERY Saturday at 2 p.m. YES!
I've never had a bad time at a wine tasting, let alone a free one, so this should be a great time. Plus it's a homie's bday weekend, so this should fall right into the weekend of event. Let me know if you want to go on 6/12 or ever.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sex And The City 2


Oh yes, I'm going to the midnight show. I absolutely cannot wait. It'll be busy night for me, I've got a dinner date, then a rooftop party before midnight, but I'm going to Orlando on Friday and I refuse to be the only SATC enthusiast who hasn't seen the movie all weekend.

Plus I don't want any spoilers. I'm not reading US Weekly, I'm going to be easy on Twitter today and I'm disabling comments on this post. Hell I might not even check text messages until after I see the movie. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fork and the Road

I volunteer through Chicago Cares with the Chicago Women's AIDS Project as often as I can. The project I do is cooking a hearty meal (it's lunchtime, but we usually make dinner foods) for the women's support group.

The leader of the project is usually someone who's a foodie. Now, I like to cook, but I'm not chef and I'm no foodie. I actually just like to eat, which is what makes me like to cook. So I thoroughly enjoy learning how to make new dishes and trying things that I would never even imagine thanks to the menus of the team leaders.

I found out that one of the project's team leaders owns Fork and the Road, a Chicago Biking Tour that explores restaurants. You basically bike to a plethora of neighborhoods and restaurants, try a taste portion of food AND get to meet with the head chef at each stop.

Much like Flirty Cupcakes, I think this is a PHENOMENAL idea. (Not to mention the owner has two day jobs and this a a labor of love AND job #3 for her. You know how I feel about someone with a great work ethic. I just HAVE to support).

Check out the Web site (linked above) and let me know if you would like to go. I think it'd be a great summer outing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Miami... Random

Hey beautiful people, below find a random recap of the Miami trip. It was perfect parts, sun, drinking, partying and relaxing with people I love. I've recapped some uh... highlights (LOL!) in a Tea's Top 10.

The Good
10. I'm blue black.

9. I didn't have any hangovers.

8. Larios on the beach has THEE BEST Cuban food in life and it was reasonably priced. I seriously could have went back to the hotel and ended the trip immediately after that meal. Twas beyond phenomenal. I heard they have one in Orlando too. I'm definitely trying to be on that when I'm in Orlando this weekend.

7. Seats 17A and 17B on a 767 are private. If you're taking a couples trip, defintely try to be on that.

6. Someone had on an airbrushed shirt that said. "Sick my duck!" Reminded me of "Much Fighigan!" (This should probably be in the bad or ugly section, but it was funny as hell to me, so I'm leaving it on good).

The Bad
5. You can smoke cigarettes inside in Florida and furthermore because it's a warm weather locale and most things have outside seating there's SO much more smoke than in Chicago. I used to be able to take it, but now it literally makes me sick to my stomach. ICK!

The Ugly
4. We saw a fight at Pizza Rustica. A full out brawl: two 40+ men knocking people out of the restaurant and beating each other over the back with chairs. It was scary and we ran fast as hell to the next block like some true Chicagoans. In Chicago if I fight breaks out folks are liable to die.

3. Quote: Girl, you remind me of Diana Ross. DIANA!!!! Side note: I'm surprised he didn't bust out with his rendition of this song.

2. Quote: Y'all look like the black Charlie's angels. Well, my name is Charlie

1. Quote: I would like to impregnate ALL O' Y'ALL! (to me and my three homies who went. Really sir? Really?)

How was your weekend?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'M ON VACATION!!!!


You see this picture right chere? I have been staring at it in my office with a post-it note that says "Coming Soon" for the past three months. Well, soon has arrived. Your girl is in MIAMI for VACATION... not for work. Yeah, this'll be the last post this week. That is all.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just a Good Idea

Has anyone ever done something that was such a good idea that you kicked yourself for not thinkin of it first.

You KNOW how I feel about baked goods. I present to you Flirty Cupcakes: Cupcakes on Wheels in the Chi!!!



Tweet them (@flirtycupcakes) to tell them where to come and they'll just post up and sell cupcakes ($3.25). GENIUS!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In Search of Gum

Ok, this Sunday morning I wasted time like never before. I don't really understand, but let's try, shall we.

8 a.m. - Wake up, need to leave by 9 to get to New Covenant by 10
8:?? - Check e-mail, get reminder to make donation to a friend's walk for Cancer
8:?? - Remember I need to put other transactions in my checkbook
8:?? - Eat, Read my bible
9:00 a.m. - Remember I was supposed to be leaving at this time. Decide to go to 11:30 a.m. service at AFC instead
9:?? - Shower, get dressed
10:30 a.m. - Start trying to flatiron my hair
11:00 a.m - I have no idea what I was doing
11:15 a.m. - Made it to the bus stop
11:30 a.m. - Bus actually comes
noon - Get downtown. Determine that my breath is tart and I need gum
??:?? - walk around the loop looking for a Chase to get cash (Side note: the loop is pretty dead on the weekends and I should have gotten off on Michigan Avenue, but I didn't realize I didn't have any gum or mints until I got to the loop)
??:?? - walk around the loop looking for an open Walgreens or CVS that's not on State Street or Michigan Avenue. Ending up walking from LaSalle to Michigan for friggin' gum.
12:30 p.m. decide it's too late to go to AFC. I'm going to get to New Covenant early
1:00 p.m. Get to the UIC Forum where New Covenant usually has church. It's graduation day. They're not having church at the UIC Forum.

I successfully missed every possible opportunity to go to church. It's ok though. Jesus still loves me.

The rest of the day was Sunday lazy as it should be, but if you ever want to know how to effectively waste time, refer to this post.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Conversation

Hey y'all. I got my hair straightened yesterday and it's quite fly if I do say so myself.

Straight - Pre-cut Cut, curled (excuse the blurry bb photo, but you see it)


Howsoever, I tried to do it again this morning and here's the conversation I had.

T: Good Morning!
Tea's Hair: mm hm
T: You're looking really good today, but you just need a little frizz relief. Do you remember the flat iron? We're going to get reacquainted with him this morning.
TH: Fuck the flat iron
T: Dang, why you gotta cuss like that on the Lord's day
TH: That's just how the fuck I'm feeling
T: Ok, let's just try it

Silence... *15 minutes later*

T: You look a poufy mess. I'm putting you in a ponytail
TH: I'll be glad when you quit bullshittin' and reintroduce me to water and conditioner. I wanna curl up. I wanna be FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Days of Rest

I'm taking Thursday and Friday off (on the blog) this week. Read AND comment on Monday through Wednesdays posts. I wrote enough for a week's worth of discourse. :)

Enjoy your weekends!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More on this Wretched Topic

As a follow up to Tuesday's post I realized that I have more to say (rather than recapping what Big T had to say). I guess I haven't really touched this topic on the blog... really at all. So, let me go in right quick.

To the news and randoms and even sometimes friends and family being enthralled in my and other successful black women's singleness, I say

1. Perception is reality, which is why I want you to shut up about this topic. No one knew that their arms were cold until Snuggies came out, then all of a sudden, they need to go buy a backwards robe. To that same end, this heightened awareness of singleness will cause men to act a plum fool because now Nightline is telling them they have more options and because men are just ept to act a plum fool. I don't need that.

2. When you lack support, experience and wisdom, you do stupid things. This is why I think a lot of women settle for being second or third OR are scared to say what they want with a man [marriage, kids, to move in together, more sex, less sex, etc]. To piggyback off #1, they get their info from people with skewed perceptions, then they don't have anyone in their corner telling them otherwise and they adjust their behaviors to obtain a desired result, usually to their detriment. (For example, never in the history of relationships has being the other woman worked out well in the end. Why would you do that if your desire is to be a wife?)

3. I'm going to say this one time, so listen well. The single most prevalent reason a lot of black women are single SIMPLE: there are not enough men. I'm not talking GOOD men, I'm talking men period. It's supply and demand out here. Did NO ONE learn ANYTHING in ecomomics? GEESH!

Let me elaborate. I'm sick of people trying to make it out like married people are perfect and they found each other because of their perfectness. No, no, no. They are fortunate (if they want to be married, they're fortunate, if not, they're poor, unfortuntae souls). That's all. Two people who are compatible enough to think they want to spend the rest of their lives together are two fortunate people. Can we just keep it at that? Can we stop doing microdocumentaries on a concept that is SO inherently simple.

4. To be married is not to be happy and to be single is not to be sad and/or lonely. Whatever your problems are you're going to bring them into the marriage with you. You're going to bring stuff you didn't even know was a problem and your spouse is going to hunt it out like a German Sheppherd.

*Old Spice dude on a horse voice*
Now think about your "issues." (You're an adult, you must know by now that you have some issues.) Think about your WORST issue. Think about how effed up another person has to be to want to spend the rest of their lives with you and just that ONE issue. Now think about how many issues this person MUST have. Now think about how y'all are going to join those issues together in holy matrimony?

The problems are going to escalate. They are going to drive your light bill sky high. Does that sound like happiness to you?

Not advocating for not getting married. I'm just illustrating that it's not a pill you take to heal all your wounds. It's quite the opposite.

5. Marriage is a JOB. It's 24/7 baby. All day, err'day. Work. Work. Work. Much like the Presidency, you spend years campaigning for it, then you get the job and surprise, surprise, it's hard work. The hardest work you've ever done, the hardest work you'll ever do... if you want to stay married that is.

6. Enjoy your singlehood. I can't say this enough. God gave it to you for a reason. Live it up! Quit fantasizing about the future. I'm sick of hearing about how unhappy you are. OR I'm sick of hearing about other people trying to convince me that I'm unhappy because I'm single. You're crazy if you think that. Seriously, you should be admitted.

I don't care if you're in your 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s. Enjoy right now whatever your marital status is. Enjoy today. Enjoy this very moment. How much time have you wasted fantasizing about what's coming? Worrying about it as if you could control the future. Did you miss what you have right now gazing lovingly into some future that may or may not exist the way you envision it?

We can't take time back, so I'm begging you to embrace and LOVE this single time. You'll never get it back.

And I think that's all I have to say about this single woman stuff. I dare you to get wreckless with me in the comments. The gloves are off. If you feeling froggy, jump. LOL!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Talks with an Old Head

LOL! Yes, I did just call my mama also known as big T, an Old Head. You, however, are not allowed to do any such thing. In real life it's Mrs. her surname. On the blog you can call her T's mom or some other respectable name, but I'm tickling myself pink over here.

I digress.

I had a talk with my mom on Mother's Day over a delightful dinner at Cafe Bionda (thanks to thummyb for the reco) about the overwhelmingly alarming & mainstream rhetoric on the Single Black Female. I wondered what she thought about Nightline, Steve Harvey, Essence and Finesse Williams and random 24 year old single black men on Facebook and Twitter being so enthralled in my singleness.

Two things to note:

1) She hadn't noticed it (which FURTHER lets me know it doesn't matter)
2) After I told her about it (of course from my "this is a bunch of bullshit" biased point of view), she thought it was ludicrous.

Mom went on to say:

A) T, you have options - She reminded me that I have more options than my grandma did, than she did and if she had it to do all over again she'd make some decisions differently. While she loves being married, marriage ain't for everyone. AND running into marriage is what most people do because they haven't considered all their other options and this is why most people are divorced.

B) You know what marriage is and what it ain't - She said folks are in love with the idea of marriage and most don't have a blueprint for a healthy marriage. They just think they know what it should be like and so they try to mimic that... and fail.

C) Your standards are both warranted and reasonable - She suggested I continue to have "high standards" and know a dealbreaker from something I could live with. i.e. I hate when he chews his food with his mouth open, but I can live with it. LOL!

D) Your lifestyle is AWESOME!!! - She also suggested that I continue to LIVE my life as opposed to stopping it in the hopes that "settling down" will get me a husband. "Work hard, go on trips, party with your girls and trust, none of that has to stop when you get married."

Tea & Such readers, if you're single and your mom is anything less than supportive of your choices, you can borrow Big T. She pretty much affirmed everything I already knew, but she actually has the wisdom and experience to back up what she's talking about. (Unlike the Facebook philosophers under 30 and newlyweds - at any age - who know little to NOTHING about marriage, but try to school you on how to have a successful one.)

Word to mother, literally.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Who You Talkin' To?

I went to New Life Covenant Church with Pastor John Hannah a couple of weeks ago. He preached his tush off. Wanna here it? Here it go"

Title: Who You Talking To/The Spirit of Offense
Text: Galations 5:15; James 4:1-3; 1 Samuel 25
Speaker: Pastor John Hannah (PH)

He started off by saying "I know you all love Jesus, but let someone say something to you. You about ready to fight in the church parking lot. Saved and angry... those don't even go together"

Example 1:
In Numbers 12 & 13 Miriam spoke negatively of Moses. God cursed her and sent her away, but she was gone 7 days and came back. PH said you might think you need to get rid of people, but if they are a part of the church, your family, your team, etc and they made a mistake, you need to work on helping them get back to their rightful place, not shun them.

Key Takeaways: Don't talk crazy about God's people like Miriam, be forgiving like Moses (who asked God to forgive her), don't be so quick to cut people out. People make mistake and God will give them their consequences, you need to be ready to accept them back into the fold.

Example 2:
In 1 Samuel 25 Abigail who was beautiful and smart was married to Nabel, who's name means foolish. The bible said he was mean. PH asked how a beautiful, smart woman ended up with a rich, mean man... then the music dropped and he was like "I need a roughneck, gotta get a roughneck" LOL!

Abigail ended up having to throw herself in front of David because her husband was talking crazy and about to get the whole family killed.

Key Takeaways: Don't be with someone that doesn't match you (i.e. mean) because they have something you think you want (i.e. money). Sometimes you have to be humble on the behalf of your spouse... in this case to save your life.

Example 3
In Luke 10:41 Mary was washing Jesus' feet with the expensive perfume and Martha was in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning and complaining. So Martha asks Jesus to scold Mary and he turns to her and says "Martha, Martha you are mad about many things." Now I've heard this story many times. I thought the point was when Jesus comes to your house you act right.

PH said to pay attention to how Jesus said Martha was mad about many things. She was basically walking around with an attitude. She would have been mad at ANYTHING that Mary was doing. She still loved Jesus, but she was so worried about doing what was right, she was letting her anger overtake everything.

Lastly, after giving such poignant, down-to-Earth examples PH gave us three steps to "keep us on our square" i.e. don't get unnecessarily angry and don't act a fool when you are angry.

1. Don't over react (So my bill was $5 higher than it should have been, does that mean I need to curse out the customer service rep? Probably not.)
2. Remember your assignment and your destiny. (God probably didn't put me on Earth to be angry, to curse people out, to snap at every opportunity and to show people their place. How does doing those things keep me further away from what God has for me and moreover how do they take my eyes off the prize.)
3. Get to a voice of reason (PH mentioned this is usually not your girl or guy who likes to set it off. He said when you're angry find someone with some sense to talk to)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Best Drunk Breakfast Spots

Ok, I realize that three of my five posts this week have been about breakfast. What can I say, eggs and buttery biscuits are on my mind. LOL!

Unfortunately, we don't have Waffle Houses in the Chi. What we do have are spots that are used to dealing with clientele that's all the way turnt up. Chances are if you roll with me on Friday night, you will end up at one of these spots in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

10. Clark's (anywhere on the north side)
9. White Castle... no more to say about that.
8. Bijon's (this isn't exactly a breakfast spot, but it's 24 hrs and it jukes at 3 am or so)
7. Ihop in Boystown
6. Golden Nugget (North side's best 24 hour waffle spot)
5. White Palace Grill (guaranteed to see at least one real Chicago pimp and two hoes)
4. Hollywood Grill (they shoot in this neighborhood, probably won't go back here ever)
3. Eggsperience (I haven't been, but I heard this is the coked out crowd. Stories for days!)
2. Tempo (Pretty sure I went here after my junior prom... still going strong in the wee hours of the night.)
1. Rock N Roll McDonald's (Oh yes, leave the children at home. At 2:30 in the a.m. you're likely to find R. Kelly preying on 17 year olds here. I wish I was making this up)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rooftops in Chicago

It's summertime Chi (i.e. temps 60 degrees and above), so I thought it fitting to put up the best rooftops in Chicago.

Ok, let's be honest, these are the ONLY non-sportsbar rooftops in the city. We have better basements than rooftops in the Chi. LOL!

Also, I've only been to the top 4. My goal this summer is to hit all the rest.

11. Plymouth Bar (honorable mention b/c the view pretty much sucks, but it's a rooftop)
10. Rock Bottom (22 W. Hubbard)
9. Vertigo at the Dana Hotel (but be forewarned this is not a real rooftop. It doesn't retract. So it's swanky, but...)
8. Shanghai Terrace (at the Peninsula... WAY too expensive for words)
7. Nomi - Super Swanky, but CRAZY expensive
6. Conrad (hotel at Nordstrom... also expensive)
5. NV Penthouse
4. Market
3. Zed 451
2. C-View at the Affinia Hotel
1. The Wit

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Brunch Continued

Ok, while putting together yesterday's post, I realized there are a couple of brunch spots I haven't hit. Based on friends and coworkers reviews, I definitely need to go to the following. So much good food, so few Sundays. Ahhhh....

10. Dodo's they closed before I could try them.
9. Hash Browns I heard this place was pure trash. Ah well.
8. Over Easy
7. Eve (in the Gold Coast) Went there, they've also since closed.
6. Sweets & Savories It's a little bourgeois for my tastes, but the risotto is to die for. Make a reservation #TheyFancy
5.
Orange(Went there since writing this post, it was AWESOME!)
4. Luxbar
3. Gibson's
2. Duffy's
1. The Bongo Room (the original in Wicker Park, not the South Loop one)

What'd I miss?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ladies Who... Brunch

Hey folks,

Here are some of my favorite... well, maybe not my not favorite, but places I've been. C'mon family, I haven't been to ALL the brunch spots in the Chi.

10. Park 52 (Get fresh fruit with your order... it's actually fresh)
9. Lou Mitchell's (try the French Toast)
8. Kitschn (try the green eggs & ham *featured on Rachael Ray*)
7. Nookies (Just plain good breakfast)
6. Toast (everything here is phenomenal)
5. Yolk (go here often, their menu is extensive)
4. Ann Sather (get the cinnamon rolls. CHILE!!!)
3. Feast (def get the homefries)
2. Bistro 110 (the best Prix Fixe menu in the Chi)
1. Sweet Maple Cafe (def get a biscuit. Trust me this isn't a regular biscuit)