Thursday, June 30, 2011

As Told on Twitter... Part 2

  • Back to the car, find the 2011 registration. Do a jig, still expect the worst. Get inside. Another mean broad processes my paperwork.
  • She asks if my cousin is my mother. I reply no, she's my cousin. Mean broad says "You can't take this car" I smile & say
  • I have a notarized letter. She takes a 2nd look @ the paperwork & says "oh". Continues to process my ish. She finishes THEN I have 2 wait...
  • In the cashier line. 4 ppl processing towed cars, 1 cashier. The epitome of inefficient. I wait patiently. I smile @ the cashier...
  • She apologizes that it's so much paperwork. I hate being there, she hates working there. I leave. The shower started 30 minutes ago.
  • 45 minutes later I get to the shower, I'm the only black person there (that was expected). I'm an hour & 15 minutes late. People stare.
  • My friend and her mom hug me. Ask if I want a stiff drink. I decline & catch up, they were on the dessert @ this pt.
  • By the time the coffee comes, it's like I've been there the whole time. The bride loved my gift & w my pockets $200 lighter all's well.
  • This concludes storytime. I'm home & despite the pandemonium that is the Pride parade going on RIGHT outside my apt, my unit is peaceful.
  • I think I handled myself well on 3 hours of sleep. And now, I will get the rest of those hours back. Once again, it's #NapTime!!!
  • Also, very important lesson I learned last wk that I applied 2day, hourly workers act like hourly workers. Never expect any more.
  • If I walk around expecting ppl do act right/do right, then I set myself up for the go-off-age at all times. Now I expect ratchetness.
  • If someone hits me with helpfulness or kindness, it's a pleasant surprise like my homeboy Dave 2day. And that's that. G'nite.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

As Told On Twitter...

  • Who wants to hear about my day? You know the routine, if not, now would be a good time to mute or unfollow me.
  • Had my cousin's car last night so I could go 2 a bridal shower in the 'burbs. Parked it RIGHT in front of the crib. @ 8 went 2 pay the meter
  • Yeah, so my crib's on the Pride parade route. Cuzzo's car was definitely @ Chicago Pould #6. It's time out 4 panicking, so I get dressed...
  • Get a zip car in Lincoln Park, go grab cuz in Bronzeville, get a notarized letter releasing the car (didn't want 2 mess up her day).
  • Take the Zipcar back to Lincoln Park. Take the bus to Humboldt Park 2 get the car. All while carrying a punchbowl w 10-glasses set
  • Doesn't really matter if my car got towed or not. There's no excuse 4 showing up to a shower giftless. I digress.
  • Get to the pound, greeting by a sea of angry faces on both sides of the counter. I pull out my notarized letter, ID, & credit card. BAM!
  • They then tell me 1. B/c it's not MY car, I have 2 pay cash. I didn't ask why they didn't tell me this over the phone b/c
  • B/c experience has taught me that no1 is going to help me, even if their very job description is to help customers. Gotta help myself.
  • So 1. I gotta go get $160, but 2. They don't have an ATM. So now I gotta walk from Sacramento to Kedzie w a big ass punchbowl from Crate &
  • Barrel. I ask if I can leave it behind the counter. They confer & decide to let me put it in the car. Also, I need the registration.
  • I pray that it's in the car b/c all that I have is the insurance. A nice guy named Dave takes me to the car. I drop the gift off...
  • Dave offers to take me to the ATM so I don't have 2 walk. He was the 1st helpful person I'd encountered. Gives me driving directions too.
  • He wouldn't let me tip him. I apologized if it was offensive. I'm just not used to people being nice for no reason. He was my angel 2day.
  • I take the registration inside w cash, notarized letter. BAM! I'm rets 2 go. The registration however was from every year BUT 2011.
This is getting long. The saga continues tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Life is a Sitcom...

I couldn't figure out what to name tomorrow's post, so I came up with 10 things that it could be named. The actual title of today's post is #10.

Feel free to take a guess as to what tomorrow's post is going to be about:

9. Praise Him Anyhow
8. When Keepin' it Frugal Goes Wrong
7. How the Pride parade ruined a well-planned Sunday morning
6. 5 demons and an angel
5. Problem Solving 101 - A true story
4. The most expensive bridal shower gift EVER
3. 3 hours of sleep 11 pieces of glass and $188.29 later
1. Murphy's Law in Action
1. Hustlin' Backwards

Monday, June 27, 2011

Holiday Weekend Schedule

** I will update this during the week as plans change. Not 'cause y'all care, but so I can remember what to do**

I WILL NOT go out and get wasted, lest I have to take a nap and leave antithesis watching a movie like I did last time.

I should probably also cook like bbq stuff in case the food is wack anywhere so we have something to eat when we get home. On the menu is baked beans, pasta salad, mac & cheese, cabbage and some pre-made ribs from Jewel (please don't sleep on these). Or maybe Carson's ribs, since I'll have a car. Yeah, Carson's is the move.

- Pick her up from the airport
- Shop on Michigan Avenue
- Happy Hour at Bar Louie with @DiJones82
- Pre-game/Dinner @ my house
- @jakiliwedding Shindig at Red Kiva. It's gonna be true Chicago talent search in there
- DJ Battle at the Joynt OR
- Shrine (or somewhere else, not sure)

- TGIFresh Fridays at Tantrik. This will definitely crack.


- Sears Tower
- Brunch (P is coordinating)
- Barbecue at the Point (wherever the bbq's at)
- Possible Pool Party
- Party (wherever the party's at) - Don't get your heart set on going out Saturday night. If it's grooving at the bbq OR if someone has a dope house party after the bbq, we're gonna stay.

- Brunch at Wishbone (or should we go to Duffy's? Hmm...)
OR should we go to 10 a.m. service at church, then Yolk or Bongo room?

- The Taste of Chicago

At some point we have to go to Chi bakery for the red velvet shake and if folks want to go to the beach, we might go to the beach.

We don't really have time for too much sightseeing, but she has a list of stuff to do from some psuedo-Chicagoans. I guess I'll consider that too. LOL!

Do you see how hard it is putting together a Chicago itinerary? The options are endless. We'll probably only do 3 things on this astronomical list. Either way, it's about to go down!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Akwaaba - Brooklyn

I'm so flippin' happy to see the weekend. I'm going to be in Chicago (HOORAY!) and it's going to CRACK!!!

Anywho, the final NYC place I want to tell you about is Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast in Brooklyn. I had the pleasure of going to a post-wedding potluck bbq here. It was so intimate and the love was thick in the air. This black-owned B&B was also so homey, comfortable and the owner was extremely professional. You know how I feel about good customer service. I HAVE to support.

Best part about this place is that they have them in NJ, DC and LA too. Get your cross-country B&B on.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Extra Virgin - West Village

I LOVED this place. We went here for brunch and it took 20 minutes to figure out what we wanted. They have fresh juice, fresh ingredients, fresh recipes and to-die-for banana French Toast. I've actually never been to this part of NYC. There are so many neighborhoods in NYC. I don't know that I could possibly visit them all, but I'm going to try.

Only disclaimer, this place was a tad pricey for brunch, but I'd go again.

What's your favorite brunch place (include the city)?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Red Rooster - Harlem

This is Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant. I went not even knowing where I was going. They had communal seating and while I scoffed at the thought at first I ended up meeting a Champagne brand ambassador and an older couple who looked about 40 and 45, but were 53 and 67. They gave me such great tips on life and staying young. It was truly a great night.

Oh, and the food. Orgasmic. Best part, it was affordable. Please go here when you're in New York.

What's your favorite soul food restaurant (and what city)?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dos Caminos - Midtown

I had the best time a few weekends in New York AND People have been asking me to do restaurant reviews. The thing is, I'm not a food critic. LOL! But I'm going to put up some of my favorite places and new places I've tried lately in NYC and maybe a couple of pics of the entrees I've had. I hope you enjoy it.

First up is Dos Caminos. I prefer the one in midtown. They seriously have the best guacamole I've ever had. Their drink list is pretty dope too.

What's your favorite Mexican restaurant?

Giving Back

Ok, I mentioned feeling guilty about not volunteering as much and South Loop Social Light mentioned that I could be charitable in other ways and you know what I AM!!! Here's 10 things that are such a regular part of my routine that I forgot that they were charitable.

10. I tithe (miss me with the philosophical discussion about whether this is charitable or obligatory. The church does all kind of service with this money and the government thinks it's a charitable donation.)
9. I buy Streetwise
8. I buy hot chocolate and soup for the homeless in the winter and meals for people who ask for them when I have cash on me.
7. I help people find jobs (either directly or though connections I make)
6. I do the AIDS walk every year
5. I write checks, pretty much every time a friend is doing anything charitable (Walks, runs, benefits)
4. I volunteer with Chicago Cares as often as my schedule allows. I WANT it to be once a month, but it's looking like it'll round out to once a quarter this year.

Ah, I feel better now. How do you live a life of service when you aren't racking up volunteer hours?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nothing Really Matters

Sometimes putting complete trust in God lends itself to Don't-give-a-damn-ness. Couple that with absentmindedness and layer on heavy travel and I have a tendency to lose my cell phone. Here are the top 10 reasons why losing my cell phone doesn't really matter.

10. You won't believe this, but pay phones still exist and it's free to call 9-1-1
9. Everyone else has a cell phone if I REALLY need to make a call
8. People have been living without cell phones for hundreds of years, I can get by in like a day (or so)
7. No one talks on the phone anymore any damn way
6. I have insurance on my phone
5. The insurance folks are 24-7 and the turnaround is 1-day to get a new phone
4. I can afford the deductible and the monthly insurance fee (small prices to pay for peace of mind)
3. I have wireless internet at home (keeping me connected to Twitter and Facebook)
2. I have a landline in my office
1. All 500+ of the numbers in my cell phone are backed up online

Have you ever lost your cell phone? Did you freak out completely? Is my nonchalance disturbing to you? Please share your most memorable lost or stolen cell phone moments in the comments.

Friday, June 17, 2011

And We're Off

Another summer weekend in the Chi and I'm carrying my tail to Tallahassee to visit my baby bro. I love his little ignant life though, so no regrets.

Here's a list of the stuff I'm missing this weekend (that I know about, nevermind the impromptu kickin' it):

BYOB pedicures with P
Grad School Graduation party (Also known as a Chicago talent search, smdh)
Ash and Brit's bday brunch

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sad... but Funny

You've probably heard me say this before, but most things in life are equally sad and funny.

E-mail from the receptionist: If you're missing a ring, please let me know.
Tea's response: ooh me, ooh me, pick me. I need a ring, ooh pick me. Oh wait, you mean a ring I already owned... *shoulders drop*

How sad (and funny) is that?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Speed Dating Update

So I went to speed dating #2. It was a consolation speed dating because the first one sucked so bad. Read about that here.

This time I took a friend and we did "Tall Men Speed Dating". I'm not making this up, this is how they marketed it. The men had to be 6ft or taller. Apparently it was in high demand by the ladies.

Long story short, this one sucked too. There were 11 women and 7 men. The men weren't particularly thrilling in height or otherwise. I checked yes for 3 guys. One was an Obama fan, so I figured we'd have a lot to talk about. Another was a business man, so I figured we'd have a lot to talk about. The third was black... so I figured we'd have a lot to talk about.

The next day, no matches. So I guess they didn't feel like they'd have anything to talk about with me.

I know my lane and speed dating is not it. I was cute, I was conversational, I had a wingman (wingwoman, whatever) and yeah, nothing.

I had a strategy to check yes to every guy, so I could see who picked me, but the remaining four guys were so bad that I couldn't even check yes. There was a guy there who was like 45+ (clearly over the limit of 37 for men) and you could tell that a therapist put him up to the job. He said pretty much the same thing to every woman and it was like he was practicing for a real date. What a mess.

Anyone ever done speed dating? Did it suck for you too?

P.S. This would be really fun for a birthday or bachelorette party kick-off. You would have brunch fodder for days.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

25 Causes

So @thefabgiver asked... if you had 50 million dollars to donate to charity, how would you do it. My response was that I'd give to 25-50 different orgs.

She asked if I meant 25-50 orgs or causes because she didn't know if I could think of 50 causes. I took that as a CHALLENGE. Here are 25 I can think of.

1. AID/HIV Awareness/Prevention/Support
2. Rape, Incest, Sexual Abuse
3. Domestic Violence Victims
4. Cancer
5. Multiple Sclerosis
6. Juvenile Diabetes
7. Child Hunger
8. Homelessness
9. Alcoholism/Drug Abuse
10. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
11. Alzheimer's Research
12. Teen Violence (or hell just violence period)
13. Mentoring
14. Bullying (The buzzword of 2011)
15. Post-incarceration help/support
16. Child trafficking
17. Human trafficking
18. Cerebral Palsy
19. Down Syndrome
20. Orphans
21. Female mutilation
22. Cleft Palate
23. Disaster Help
24. Scholarship Fund (or some sort)
25. Helping T find a husband. Real talk, I should start a 501c3 solely for this purpose.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Volunteering Guilt

I'm starting to feel guilty for not volunteering at least once a month. As trips and personal commitments pile up, I'm finding less time to actually be of service on my weekends. I'm not about to use my paid time off to volunteer either.

I think I've only done one volunteer project with Chicago Cares this year. I just signed up for another one at the end of the month and can hopefully do two more this year. That will make my volunteering quarterly vs. monthly.

I guess I can live with that.

How often do you volunteer? If you haven't found the time, how do you deal with the guilt?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Weekends

Someone remind me not to go out of town on summer weekends. I'm in NYC right now at a leadership conference. Definitely catching up with some homies (and keeping my eyes peeled for my husband), but look at all the stuff I'm missing this weekend in the Chi:

Justin's bday kick-off
Scott's Summer kick-off
Yalon's Summer kick-off
Chicago Cares Servathon w Mel

Sad. Sad. Sad.

NYC loves me though and I love it back. Happy weekend!!! (and take lots of pictures.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: Ember Room, NYC

I had a bunch of stuff at a family style dinner with co-workers, partner agencies and clients. Their drink list is off the chain and by far my favorite dish was the short ribs with bok choy and sweet potatoes. LAWD, it was good.

Eat here. Thank me later.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Promotion Celebration

So an update to this post.

My mentor and a few of my coworkers threw me a bash at my mentor's crib. Food, drinks, people who love me and good music. It was everything a promotion celebration should be.

That's the only way I celebrated. I've actually been living a different lifestyle, if you will, since the promotion. I get my nails done more, I eat out for lunch more and when I want something I just typically buy it.

I'm so used to be frugal because I either didn't have the money or because I'm trying to save for something or pay something off.

Having the money sitting there is definitely a catalyst to spending it. I think indulging myself regularly ($10 lunches when I'm hungry, As many Groupons as I want, bottle-poppin' when I feel like it), is the best way to celebrate my accomplishments at work (and in life). I think I'm starting to live a lifestyle of celebration vs. celebrating an occasion.

I think I like that. I keep saying I think because I'm not sure if I want to be frugal for frugal's sake or if I want to spend lavishly, but within my budget. Not sure yet. Stay tuned for money updates to see how my bank account and credit card debt feels about this new lifestyle. LOL!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Studio Decorating: Part 2

Despite yesterday's disclaimer about me not being a phenomenal decorator, most people like what I've done with the space, so here are Tea's tips for decorating a studio.

  1. Steal ideas from hotel rooms: They do a lot with a little bit of space and I'm really inspired every time I go into a new hotel.

  2. Conceal clutter: I have lots of wicker and canvas baskets to make up for the fact that I don't have a ton of storage or cabinet space.

  3. Be creative with space: I have my bookshelf in my kitchen with a tiny Ikea table. It really is a phenomenal reading nook. If I didn't think of that the bookshelf would be concealing a window and that's #NoBueno.

  4. Throw crap away: There's no space for junk in a studio. It will make you angry. So I find myself hitting the salvation army and consignment stores often.

  5. Make your closet functional: I only have one closet here. It's a walk-in closet, but it's just the one. My stepfather came in and put a second rack in it and some overhead shelving. That really helped a lot.

  6. Make it your own: I like comfort. Given my busy lifestyle, I really need my home to be a place where I can get away from it all, if I choose. This is why I have big comfy furniture and a dark wood theme throughout. I still need my space to reflect me no matter how big or small it is.

  7. Don't be overwhelmed: The first week I was here I had stuff on top of stuff and literally cried because I thought I'd made a bad decision to move because my furniture wasn't fitting right. After a few days of taking the space in and rearranging things, I am truly happy with the flow of it. I can't have more than one person in here at a time or it'll spontaneously combust, but I do love my little space.

Do you have any additional tips for decorating a studio? (or decorating in general). I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Studio Decorating: Part 1

South Loop Social Light asked how do I decorate a studio. I'm not going to put up pics because my home is my zen space and while I love y'all, I can't just have the interwebs in my zen space.

I "decorated" when I moved in by making sure my furniture matched and buying a couple of pieces from Ikea.

I'll be honest, decorating isn't really my forte. My bff in Oklahoma is a genius at it. I'm just not that imaginative when it comes to home spaces. I think mainly because I don't own it.

A few of things about my home style:
  • I never paint walls in apartments.
  • I like big, comfortable furniture.
  • I'm in love with the furniture I own, which was purchased for a one bedroom apartment, but I refuse to sell it or give it away even though I've been living in studios for like four years.
I feel like most furniture that looks good in a studio will also look good in a child's room or a college dorm. And so even though I live in the space of a college dorm I like big furniture. This is just background, but since I'm struggling with what to write about lately, I'll break it up into two posts.

Tea's Tips on studio decorating coming up tomorrow.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Epic Thursday Night

So apparently everytime I leave the house, it's going to be epic. Last night was no exception. I won't get into specifics, but my party family goes hard. Yes, we party together so much that we're now family. (We also support each other's professional endeavors and volunteer together and go to church together, but that's neither here nor there).

Here's a quick Q&A that we typically get and that I definitely heard last night based on our high level of kickin' it.

Question: So... is it someone's birthday?
T's Answer: Naw, it's just Thursday.

Q: Do y'all have tomorrow off
T: No.

Q: Who bought that second bottle?
T: Me.

Q: Who are you here with
T: Points to the livest chics in the club
Q: You're with THEM?
T: Yep, those are my girls.

Let me elaborate just a bit. All of my girls are pretty and fly. I know all girls say this, but I'm not making it up. When I see guys that I know from grammar school they're always shocked that my crew is so fly. Maybe I used to be ugly and wack. I dunno.

Alright, alright. I feel like this posts makes me sound like I'm bragging. I'm not. I'm just out of things to talk about and these questions seemed like good content.

Also, don't let this bottle-poppin' confuse you. I still love Jesus and he still loves me (as evidenced by me making it home in one piece last night with all my money, phone and both pairs of shoes).

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Epic Holiday Weekend

Blame it on the 90 degree weather in the Chi and the fact that my liquor-food ratio was 2:1. (Sidenote: what does a sister have to do to get a hotdog at a bbq), but her are some random things I did this weekend.

10. Worked (the weekend was epic despite running into the office for a few hours)
9. Smoked a cigar
8. Sold drinks for $5 out of my bag of tricks - I didn't even own the liquor. I was just holding it because my bag was so big.
7. Felt up at least two of my girls.
6. Went to the bathroom at a woman's house who was on the path from the beach back to the car (better th
5. Apologized profusely for my hair being ratchet (the wind sucked this weekend)
4. Shot my (drunk) shot at a cutie in front @thewholehood
3. Fell asleep in the backseat of a homie's car on the way to Bellwood
2. Fell asleep on a homie's couch in Bellwood, blanket and all.
1. Not remembering most of what happened on Monday... it's a blur.

Remind me to factor more sleep into the 4th of July weekend. I'm gonna need it.