Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Q2 Update (June)

June - I skipped:
Yeah, I didn't skip anything in June. Womp.

June unbudgeted expenditures were:
f. An impromptu day of shopping (one really cheap outfit, I swear) and drinking (one reasonably priced bottle as a host gift for a party). (stop judging me)
g. A full gas tank for the new college grad
h. tapas with the boos
i. brunch with some other boos
j. groceries and spending cash for a weekend getaway
i. first month's rent on a new apartment

I really have nothing to say for myself. As you can see, I am weak when it comes to the summer months. I have a very hard time saying no to awesome happenings when the weather is over 60 degrees. What can I say, I'm a Chicagoan. Perhaps it will be a chilly fall and I'll have the same resolve to save that I did during this chilly April.

This month I also took money out of my savings to cover D.I.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Q2 Update (May)

May - I skipped:
7. My little cousin's 7th bday party
8. Taking an impromptu trip to Atlanta to visit my cousin who was working there
9. Shopping for my Miami & Orlando vacations. I literally did not buy any new clothes for these trips.
10. All forms of kickin' it two weekends in a row in the Chi, so I could have spending money in Miami and Orlando

May's unbudgeted expenditures were:
b. A Mother's Day Gift (which turned into an all day spending extravaganza, but it's all good. Big T is worth it).
c. Happy Hour with a homie (again, worth it)
d. Dinner with a co-worker
e. SATC2

I think - actually I know - May's problem was that ALL of my entertainment budget went to Miami & Orlando, so I didn't have money to do anything else. This would have been fine if it was cold like it usually is in the Chi in May, but it was hotter than that thang and I waste NO summer days.

I didn't save at all and actually had to take some money out of savings to cover my unexpected expenditures. YIKES!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Goodbye Q2!!! (April Q2 Update)

I'm a couple of days early, but it's going to be Goodbye Q2 week because I'm long-winded...

Ok, so after scolding myself about Q1 savings "fails," I decided to buckle down and make some sacrifices in order to reach my goals.

The first step was to put the money into my savings account the day I get paid. That way if other expenses come up, I have to make a very literal decision to take the money out of my savings, which I'm not usually willing to do. (yes, yes, this is common sense, but I wasn't doing it before, so I'm making a note of it now.)

Here's a look at my sacrifices and my "unbudgeted expenditures" in Q2 (in practicing being nicer to myself, I'm trying to remove the word "fail" from my vocabulary as it pertains to anything I do. So I'll be saying "unbudgeted expenditures" instead because that's what they were).

April - I skipped:
1. Going out with my cousin after her going away party AND going to Vertigo with the homies (rooftop party on the 1st warm weekend in the Chi).
2. Going to Laura W's birthday party.
3. Going to CQ's bar crawl.
4. Going to Ms. Jackson's baby celebration.
5. Going to J's housewarming.
6. Going to Laura C's bridal shower.

April's unbudgeted expenditures were:
a. Buying my niece a bday present. I know when her bday is, but I forgot to work it into my budget. This reminded me, however, to work gifts into May & August's budgets for my other two nieces.

Friday, June 25, 2010

R.I.P. MJ


Man, we really, really, really, really, really miss you and I hope J has an MJ mix so we can tribute to you this weekend.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ma'am? Ma'am?

I love the receptionist at my dentist office. We'll call her Ms. Green. She is extremely professional (calls everyone Ms. and Mr.), but when her boss (the dentist) is out, she is always VERY down to Earth. She's always showing me pics of her grandbabies and whatnot and, most importantly, she KNOWS I travel a ton and work like a crazy person, so she calls to remind me that I have an appointment.

She calls me with such notice, that I rarely, if ever, write down when I have a dentist appointment because I know she'll call me. It's one less thing for me to have to do.

Well, in February... maybe March, I missed a follow-up dentist appointment. Ms. Green did not call me. It is now June and it's time for my second cleaning of the year. I call and someone who introduced herself by first name answered the phone, we'll call her Kate.

I politely asked Kate if Ms. Green still worked there and do you know what Kate said: "No she's been out for some time now on leave. She has some family issues that she's attending to."

Ma'am? Ma'am? Ms. Green's family issues are none of my business and they're not YOUR business to tell me. Can you just say she's on leave and leave it at that. DANG!

Needless to say I have a dentist appointment coming up that I INKED in my calendar since I won't get a reminder call and I'm missing Ms. Green.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In Defense of Ugly

Ok, not really, but Big Mike (well, he's schmedium sized Mike now, but that's neither here nor there).

Big Mike said that if you put 20 women and 5 men in a room. 2 fine men, 2 regular dudes and one butt-ugly, then ask the 20 women to pick their top 2 choices, the butt-ugly dude would never get chosen.

I mean I understand where he's coming from, but SO many times butt-ugly dudes have other stuff going for them. They're funny, rich, caring, connected, happen to live in your building or some other characteristic that turns a Jay-Z looking dude into Will Smith or Flava Flav into Idris Elba.

I KNOW I'm not the only one who sees gorgeous women with cartoon character looking dudes (and vice versa). You can't convince me that there is an amount of ugly on the planet that would preclude someone from finding love. An amount of jerk may hamper his success, perhaps. But I see so many examples of ugly working for people that I just can't believe that with all the eligible women (I'm talking numbers, not quality) that every man on the face of the planet who WANTS to be in a relationship isn't.

I'm sorry, but if you have a penis, it doesn't matter what your face looks like in today's society. You are already winning.

What do you all think? Am I wrong. Is this post misogynistic? Is there a level of ugly that no man can come back from?

Enlighten a sister.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Key Messages

So in this post I let you all know that I have a key message for the question "Why is someone smart and pretty like you single." I kept my cards pretty close to my chest in that post, but almost everyone asked me what the key message was.

Well first, here's a quick lesson in PR. A key message should be

1. True
2. Representative of the brand
3. Clear and succinct
4. Memorable

My key message for the question above is "I just haven't found the right person yet." This is true, doesn't denigrate my brand personality, short and sweet and not only do I remember to say it, but the person asking the question should be able to quickly recall it.

This weekend I saw an aunt I haven't seen in about 4 years. Side note: You know you're grown when your aunties start talking to you like you're a girlfriend instead of like you're a 13 year old who just broght home an honor roll report card. I digress.

Auntie said "So, are you thinking about settling down and having babies?" It didn't upset me at all, which leads me to believe I'm in a much better mental space than I was when I wrote this post about the same topic. I said something to the tune of "hell no." (Side note: auntie also said I have about 3 years to figure it out. Wow, really am I going to die in 3 years if I'm not carrying life in my womb...) The point is I need a better key message for this dreadful question.

What I want to say is: Um... let's start with the phrase "settling down." I am not open to it and I don't like it. I actually think I'm pretty "settled" right now you know, with my bills paid on time and all. And if you think me having a baby and / or getting married is going to change my extroverted personality, my desire to travel, my boss-lady attitude at work or my party girl spirit, then you really don't know me very well at all.

But back to the baby piece, first I need to find a husband and what I mean by that is that according to the bible, first said husband needs to find me. Then imagine we'd have at least a 2 year courtship, then if he wants to get married, he'll propose and I'd like to have a year long (or longer) engagement. Then I'd like to spend 1-2 years, just me and him, then after we get our finances together, I'd like to have one child and if that doesn't kill me then yeah, I'd consider one, maybe two more. So yes, I've thought about having babies, thanks for asking.

And yes, I'm "looking," for someone to share my phenomenal life with (I believe you call it settling down), but every time I ask people if they have a friend for me, they shake their head like I'm playing some sort of game. I'm serious as a heart attack auntie. This is not a game. I actually tried Match.com and if it weren't for the lames and liars I met on there, maybe I'd be well on this path to baby making that you speak about. But PUH LEEZE don't bother telling people that I'm "looking" because I don't want them to assume I'm lonely, bitter or desperate, you know the conclusion people always draw when you tell them you're a happy, single Black woman who's open to having a man, but not killing herself to find one.

Finally, I think it's also important to note that I am happily single right now and loving and enjoying my life as is. I appreciate the single time because, God willing, after marriage, I'll never have it again. I'm also doing some work on myself in hopes of being the type of wife that God would call me to be, so it's quite possible that while the idea of marriage and babies may seem right TO you FOR someone my age RIGHT NOW, it's also possible that God is not finished prepping me for that major responsibility.

So that leads me to the question of the day: Can y'all help me out with a short, pithy, non-attitudinal answer to my auntie's question instead of the 4 paragraphs it took above. I think when I said "hell no" she probably thought I was a ball-busting lesbian. I'm not. LOL!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Apartment Shopping

I guess I decided I'm moving. Maybe. Apartment shopping is awesome and it's horrible.

Here's what I want that I have now:
- A cheap studio (pretty much the same price I'm paying now)
- to live within a 5-block radius of where I live now
- In-bldg laundry
- Elevator if it's more than 2 floors

Here's what I want that I do not have now:
- A real oven (I have a toy oven now. Seriously, it could fit into Barbie's playhouse)
- A bldg where the elevator works... every day

Here's how they're hooking me:
- Free 1st month's rent
- No security deposit
- Stainless steel appliances (*does church juke*)
- Free heat, internet and/or cable
- Rehab, gut rehab (and word to signify it's somehow new)
- Walk-In Closets

Here's what I want in real life, but cannot afford:
- In-Unit Laundry
- A whole bedroom in an apartment in this neighborhood

Womp. Womp.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Undergarments

Antithesis asked me to write about appropriate dress for everyone. I'm so glad she asked because I've had a post about this in my drafts for about 6 months.

I really think our grandmothers had it right. We thought they wore slips to be modest, but really they were wearing them so that their dresses wouldn't stick to their rolls and cellulite.

Oh, how I wish the world would get back to that. Nowadays you'll see a woman with a thong on under a skin tight dress because panty lines are a no-no, but she has no problem showcasing her fat. It's just wrong.

Anyway, enough ranting. Here are some ways to keep all your imperfections locked up and tied down with a new millenium twist.

Stockings - To hide cellulite, varicose vains or unsightly scars, use fashion stockings and tights. Here's how to wear fishnets and textured tights.

Girdles - If you're NOT smooth, but you want a smooth look, girdles are a must under... well everything. Nowadays Spanx are all the rage. Celebs aren't that damn perfect, they just know where to buy power panties.

Slips - Slips are for fine garments made with fine threads... basiscally all your clothes that you can see right through. I hate slips. I remember when I stopped wearing them. I was like 14 or 15. They were ALWAYS longer than my dresses or skirts and I felt like they made me look a tacky mess. My mom made me wear them with everything and I didn't realize they were only for flimsy dresses.

As an adult with more to show than I had when I was 14 (but not too much more), I really don't want all my goodies (or my rolls) visible every time the sun shines. Unfortunately, slips aren't as popular as Spanx, so my advice is don't buy clothes you can see through. LOL!
I did, however, find this site which sells full slips and has a cute history of slips at the bottom.
What's your favorite get-it-right, get-it-tight and keep-it-modest undergarment?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Allergies

Allergies suck. I have mild allergies, so most of the time I don't even recognize them. I'm just like oh, I'm having a sneeze attack every morning, no big.

Also according to something I read or heard (you like my accuracy dontcha?), this allergy season has more pollen than usual all over the country. Like I said... sucks!

Tea's here to help. For pointers on how to survice allergy season, read these ALL 10 tips from experts at Consumer Reports here. While their list is actually helpful, for YOUR reading pleasure (and in good fun), I've added commentary as to why 5 of the tips are stupid. Enjoy!

1. Try to stay indoors during peak pollen times, between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. (Nevermind the money you need to make at your job) If you can’t, it might help to wear sunglasses outdoors to block some of the pollen from getting into your eyes. (They should have just said this and erase the stay indoors part. DOH!)

3. Keep outdoor activities to a minimum when the pollen count is high. If you can, have someone else mow the lawn and wash the car. (e.g. continue to be fat, sit on the couch and watch TV and pay someone to do your housework in the middle of a recession.)

4. Keep a diary to help track when and where your allergy symptoms occur. Then take steps to limit your exposure. (I did this. I sneeze like hell everytime I sit down at my desk at work. Again, consumer reports is trying to eff with my money.)

8. Take a vacation away from ragweed. If you live in Eastern states or the Midwest, it may be a good time for you to take some time off and get some relief by going out West. Rocky Mountains, anyone? (Vacation? Can you go look recession up in the dictionary. You are constantly missing the point.)

9. Keep your windows closed at night to keep the pollen count down. If possible, use air conditioning, which cleans, cools, and dries the air. (Ok so, I can't go outside, can't go to work, can't afford a vacation and now I have to stay in the house, with the A/C on driving up my bills? This is a list for rich people with allergies. What about the rest of us!?!?!?!)

This post brought to you by b.goody.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicago Recycling

Former Earth Doctor reporting, here to tell you about HOW to recycle in Chicago. I'm not going to lie, it's tricky and ridiculous.

Side note. Of course we didn't get the Olympics. We can't even roll out a sound environmental plan. I'm actually sort of disgusted. However, my disgust with the killings on the streets and the subpar public education and health systems for the underprivileged take precedence over my disgust with the lack of recycling. I digress.

Here's how to recycle in my beloved city.

Single Family Home (building with 4 or fewer units) WITH a blue cart (approximately 240,000 homes in the Chi) - You can set the cart outside your crib every other week chock full of recyclables. More info about WHAT you can recycle here.

Single Family Home (bldg with 4 or fewer units units) WITHOUT a blue cart (approximately 360,000 home in the Chi) - You can drop off your recycling at one of the 30 drops off in the city. Find the list here.

Multiunit homes - (bldg with 5 or more units) - According to law, your building's private garbage hauler should offer recycling. The blue bag system is null, so unless they've told you they recycle, they don't. Here's a toolkit from the city on how to get your building to recycle. You basically have to organize just to get recycling happening.

So um... basically we apartment and condo dwellers have to use the drop off sites too. SUCKS!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The History of Greatness

Now b.goody asked me to write about Dunkin' Donuts and I felt like why stop there. I figured I'd discuss the history of the donut. But then I did some quick internet research and realized that the donut has a disputed history.

This is a blog, not a dissertation, so allow me to provide commentary on the three best places to get donuts in Chicago.

3. Dunkin Donuts - Find them everywhere. They're quick. *Kanye Interlude voice* VERYFAST. If you're from the south, don't be offended by how they bark "Can I help you." They are trying to get you in and out in the morning, in the afternoon, in the wee hours of the night. If you are fortunate, they will be connected to a Baskin Robbins and all of your sweet dreams can come true in one place.

2. Krispy Kreme - Find this southern delicacy on 44th and Pulaski, Union Station and at select Jewel store in the bakery section. Yes, unfortunately my fat-minded behind knows exactly how far away I am from a Krispy Kreme at all times. When we lived in the West suburbs my sister and her boyfriend would drive to 75th and Harlem to get a dozen of these gooey delicious treats. For non-Chicagoans, that's akin to taking a plane ride for sex. While it is, indeed, extreme it's usually worth the ride.

1. Dat Donut - Find this spelling challenged hot spot at 82nd and Cottage Grove - A donut from here will change your life. I actually don't think I've ever had one. I've just seen them AND heard about them. I'm going to work on dat. <------ see what I did there. LOL! In other news, the BIG DAT is the size of a small child and if you plan to eat it by yourself please put me on notice so I can reserve a Zipcar to drive you to the hospital.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dating Whilst in College

This goes out to RB and she asked for my advice so I'm giving it. Being the single lady that I am I'm not a big fan of giving unsolicited dating advice, cuz folks be like "wait... aren't you single?" And then I feel bad.

I also suggest reading my posts on Dating and Relationships. There's so good (and hilarious) info in there.

Here are Tea's Top 10 tips for dating whilst in collge.

10. You're rarely if ever going to go on a proper date. This is ok. He's broke, you're broke. It is what it is.

9. Date a lot. Don't sleep with all those dudes, but if a man wants to hang out and you enjoy his company, do it. Don't be so quick to turn dudes down. Some of these fellas will turn into great friends. Others will be dudes who you could date if you and your current man don't work out. College is the last place in your life where single men will be (or appear to be) available in mass quantities. Take advantage.

8. Before going off to college women tell young women, "You might meet your husband in college." Before going off to college men tell young men "Have lots of sex." Keep that in mind while making decisions.

7. If the guy says he doesn't want a girlfriend, he means it. It doesn't matter that he TREATS you like his gf. He meant what he said. He's not going to change his mind. Either be happy NOT being his gf or move on to a guy who's looking for a gf.

6. Follow your instincts and intution - If you get the feeling he's sleeping with the girl who's on his futon when you walk in his dorm room, he is.

5. Other women are not the enemy. Nothing good can come from hating on chics that are dating guys you want to date. Being mean to hoes and Kappa sweethearts is unnecessary. Everyone's finding themselves so to each her own so don't waste your energy being mad at other women. We're sisters.

4. Everyone talks to everyone in the microcosm that is a college campus. Don't do anything (especially sex or relationship wise) that you're not proud of doing.

3. Turn off the TV. Don't let the conversation about there not being enough men in the world to marry let you make bad decisions. If you want to clean a man's apartment, knock yourself out, but don't let the Steve Harvey's of the world convince you that the you HAVE to do it "get a man." Any man you end up with should be more concerned with getting you.

2. GO TO THE GYM!!! If and when you have a boyfriend, don't just be in his apartment or dorm room eating Doritos and Domino's Pizza all damn day while he plays video games. LOL! If you make a habit of taking care of yourself while you're in a relationship in college, it'll be much easier to keep those good habits out of college.

1. HAVE FUN!!!! See #9. A lot of people find husbands and wives in college. A lot of other people don't. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be all super serious about dating in college. (I REALLY wish someone would have told me this.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Do Ya Bad

Was listening to my Gucci station and this came on. I actually listened to the words and BOY am I feeling this song right now. Especially the chorus minus the n-word.

*start corporate voice* Now, I'm no gangster *end corporate voice* but uh... some folks have me confused. #imjustsayin



Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tea's Tangents: Twitter-Free Edition

I promised myself I wouldn't get on Twitter while at work yesterday, so I could be productive. That lasted about 4 hours.

So here's all the random stuff that I would have Tweeted yesterday morning, but didn't.

- I think a certain person is always here because his or her home life sucks. Otherwise there is no good reason (not even money) to be putting in 15 hour days in the summer.

- Man, when people are advocates for you, they go hard. I coordinated one wedding in April and to-date have three referrals so far. Thanks homies [and the big homie, God... always looking out]!

- Someone keeps replying to my blog in Chinese. I translate that junk online. It's usually nonsensical. I said, what do you want me to write about. Person replies in Chinese with a proverb of sorts: to die is sad, but a life without joy is worst. WTF are you on Chinese person? 讲英语

- Dear summer calendar, you're JUKING and I love it! Keep up the good work.

- Perfectionism is a problem. I have a LONG list of work stuff to do and I need to leave at 5:30 and today of all days I decide I can't start work until personal business (oxymoron) is handled. Womp.

- I miss Twitter. When writing and creating sometimes you need a distraction that has NOTHING to do with the task at hand. I guess I'll go to Facebook. Womp.

- I'm starving! Side note: My Jill Scott, Janelle Monae pandora is going so hard right now. Perfect work music. #backtothegrind

-I really should have been born a man. Have a male mgr who curses in e-mail. No one thinks he's a bitch. Let me try that shit.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You Can Have Whatever You Like

Hey readers,

I'm not down or anything, but I'm a bit uninspired. I've done this before, but I'm doing it again. What do you want me to write about?

I'll do my best write about everything you ask.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Raging Waves

The good folks at Raging Waves reached out to see if I'd be interested in their VIP day for media and bloggers. Um... yes. LOL! Full disclosure: The park and their lovely PR people provided my family (little bro, gf & youngest niece) and I lunch and a free admission.

Basics stats for those of you that don't like to won't read my long posts.

  • It's located about 45 minutes west of Chicago in Yorkvile (here).
  • It costs $26.99 for anyone over 48 inches. $18.99 for the shorties and they have special rates if you come after 3 p.m.
  • I suggest going when it's blazing hot to have the best experience
  • See my pics below via Picasa. I'm new at it, don't laugh at me
  • Question of the Day: What's your favorite childhood family vacation memory?

Now... without further ado here's Tea's Top 10 reasons to visit Raging Waves this summer:

10. Opening this park is the realization of a lifelong dream of the owner to do something fun and positive to bring families together. So many of us are trying to find our purpose AND a career that speaks to that purpose to help impact the world. Finding someone who has realized his or hers makes me want to support the business even more.

9. It's affordable, free for kids under 2, cheap eats, and you can even bring a lunch and eat it at special tables outside of the park (if you want to be even more frugal).

8. They pride themselves on having GOOD food at affordable prices. Actually, the only other place you can get their hotdogs is Wrigley Field. (**Sox fans, don't leave, LOL!**) Most items are $4.99 or less minus the icky Chicago city taxes. (**Diddy voice** take that! take that!)

7. You can be entertained however you like! There's a wave pool, countless slides, kid areas, little kid areas, a wave pool, sandy areas, grassy areas and most importantly beach chairs (to lay out, my favorite) are EVERYwhere. So to all the hip moms and aunties, you won't be bored, trust me.

Side note: This is so fickle, but their beach chairs are fye. You know when you sit on the front of a cheap beach chair and the whole thing falls over? Theirs don't do that.

6. They are ALL about safety. I'm pretty sure I saw more lifeguards than trashcans (and you know it's a whole HEAP of trashcans at an amusement park)

5. You can "ball out" if you so choose. If you don't want to be bothered with the masses, buy a private cabana for $75, seats up to 10 and comes complete with waitstaff service. Oh yes, you can get it in Vegas or LA style... in Yorkville.

4. It's clean... like spotless. I shouldn't even need to elaborate here.

3. They listen. Since opening in 2008, they got feedback from guests saying they want a place to buy just drinks (so guests won't have to stand in line behind the funnel cake peeps just for water). SO... they implemented a stand for... wait for it... just drinks. LOL!

2. They have funnel cakes. (This should have been the whole post right here. I love sweets!!!)

1. The staff is super nice. Like genuinely nice people who were raised in wholesome families work there. LOL! Everyone we walked by smiled or waved at us. You all KNOW how I feel about good customer service. Can't beat it with a stick.





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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yeah... So...

Ok, so the bottom didn't fall out, but it is a wrap. I have grown. He has not.

He possesses three of my dealbreakers. Wompity Womp Womp.

#OnToTheNextOne

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bliss Is...


Molly's Cupcakes. Here are 10 reasons why:

Obligatory 10-6
10.They have free water (this is pretty weak, but it gets better)
9. It's on the north side (close to Five Guys AND Akira if you want to make a day out of it)
8. It looks like a kindergarten classroom in there (but in a good way)
7. They have tree swings suspended from the walls
6. Everyone who works there is uber-nice

Ok, the actual good stuff
5. They have homemade ice cream
4. They let you pick your own icing *fatgirldance*
3. You get to add sprinkles!!! *faints*
2. They have flavors like Thin Mint and Peach Cobbler IN A CUPCAKE!
1. A percentage of all proceeds goes to charity. (That's really all I needed to say)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Prudists vs. Exhibitionists

This weekend's family vacation reminded me something that I knew, but haven't experienced in a while.

Women, no matter their age, that grew up in a patriarchal household are much more modest when it comes to being naked in front of others.

Women who grew up in a matriarchal household (no males present at all) are much more free with walking around bucket naked, in the nude.

Since I've been three years old, I never lived in a house where a male wasn't present (either my stepfather or my brothers) and I just can't imagine throwing caution to the wind and having my goodies out in front on my mom and grandmom.

No judgment whatsoever, just a difference in comfort level. So uh, how does/did your family roll. Were/are robes plentiful or when different generations get together do y'all just be washing dishes in the buff? (I'm so curious)