Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best Sideeye to Date

I wasn't able to watch the Allstar festivities this year due to my Lent sacrifice (and I literally don't know anyone who went to Orlando for it... ah well).

Howsoever, one of my homegirls posted this to Facebook on Sunday night. I laughed for something like 3 minutes straight. I seriously started crying. Everything negative that I ever had to say about Lebron and his antics were summed up with no atall, but the league MVP. Derrick Rose, Chitown's finest, Englewood to be exact. He's probably been giving those sideeyes since birth AND.I.LOVE.IT!!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Channeling Busboys and Poets

A lot of times I think, I want to go do my reading, writing or praying at a coffee shop. Generally, I think about how long it's going to take me to walk there and decide to just watch TV instead. Since TV is no longer and option, I'm going to try to get to some new coffee shops.

Life would be perfect if there was just a busboys and poets in Chicago (and/or if I lived in D.C.), but it's not so...

Here are some of my faves in my neighborhood:

  • Panera (Clark and Diversey) - I love the atmosphere and they have a lot of comfy chairs, but the more I go here, the more I realize how it's a homeless people hangout. Unfortunately, that's not really a good look.

  • Starbucks (Clark and Deming) - This is the most comfortable Starbucks in the area, but they close at 9 p.m. - like seriously?

  • Argo Tea Cafe (Briar and Broadway) - I love this place, but the seating isn't very comfortable. They're like either come here to work or go home. LOL!

  • Caribou Coffee (Clark and Wellington) - This place wins on atmosphere, clientele, seating. I just love it!
Here are some coffee shops I want to try:

  • Uncommon Ground (Clark and Grace) - This may be the winner here. They have late hours and I've been past here and the atmosphere appears to be phenomenal. I worry that it may be too many people in here, but I'm going to give it a shot.

  • Metropolis (Granville and Sheridan) - If I want to get my morning coffee shop swerve on this is likely the place to go. They close at 8 p.m.

  • Robust (63rd and University) - I'd have to have a good reason to be this far south at a coffee shop, but... here's to trying new things. They also close early, 7 p.m. on the weekends and 8 p.m. on weekdays.

  • Overflow (15th and State) - If I move to this neighborhood, this'll be a good morning coffee spot. It closes on 7 on weekdays and around 5 on the weekends, so not really the best "do work" spot. BUT, this coffee shop is a non-profit... um, I love that concept. Doing good in the hood is always worth my dollars!!!

  • So what are your favorite coffee shops in the Chi? #PutMeOn

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Missing Out...

    It hasn't even been a week of Lent and I've already missed:

    - All of the Allstar festivities (on TV). I didn't go this year because NO ONE went this year. It's kind of sad. Anywho.
    - The Oscars and the red carpet. :-(
    - SNL (and I was JUST getting back into loving this show)
    - The Real Housewives of Atlanta

    I'm sure I've missed random episodes of Hoarders, Tabitha Takes Over and most of all I miss my sitcoms on TVland: Hot In Cleveland, The Exes, Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens...

    However, my house is spic and span and I got SOOOOOO much done this weekend. Since I pretty much pray daily already, I can't say that my prayer life has been strengthened by turning off the tube, but I am happy for the opportunity to sacrifice in the name of Jesus.

    How's Lent going for you? No one responded last time. Does that mean I'm not only person who gave up something for Lent? Let me know!!!

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    Put That On My Calendar

    So you all know I'm extremely organized. I'm punctual. My life is scheduled to a T... no pun intended. It's who I am. I embrace it.

    I mentioned scheduling sex on the blog once and it threw everyone for a loop. (Sidenote: I don't really do this, but if it makes sense for my husband and I to do, I WILL do this).

    So I scheduled a phone call with a girlfriend this weekend and while it was funny to have to do that, it was absolutely necessary for us to be able to talk and it really helped to guide my day. I actually had to reschedule the call because something came up, but it was so much better to reschedule than to miss a call from a friend and not be able to catch her for another month trying to return it. I know I'm not the only busy person this has happened to.

    So I was just thinking, why don't I schedule more things that are important to me? My family and friends are head and tails more important to me than work and pretty much everything else, so why wouldn't I schedule more calls with girlfriends and more appointments with my nieces?

    Scheduling has worked so well in my professional and extra-curricular activities, if people are open to it, I may start scheduling things as random as phone calls on a regular basis.

    What "regular" random things have you scheduled lately?

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Under the Radar Dudes

    I'm going to change the name of my blog to God, Men, Money and Exercise because apparently that's all I have to talk about. I guess I talk about food and philanthropy too. Actually, Tea and Such is still quite fitting. I digress.

    So much to say on this topic

    When I'm out, I identify all the single men in the room. Then I identify all of the single men in the room that I'd like to put my bid in on. I've been doing the house party circuit lately, so it's usually not enough people there for me to talk to multiple folks. Don't judge me, I swear I do not have #TheThirst

    So I've been to a couple of parties, met a dude [read: introduced my damn self to a dude] and he's met me before. In fact, he's met me before in a setting with the same group of people that we're currently with. I never saw him. This is embarrassing for both of us and just a tad bit baffling to me that I let a cutie slip through the cracks.

    What am I looking for that I'm not seeing when I meet these guys the first time around. What did they do to make me notice them. Is this ACTUALLY a problem or am I just trippin'. I've been thinking about this and have come up with some of the reasons why this might be happening.

    1. When I look a mess, I typically am not on the prowl. So I may miss a cutie pie, not paying attention.
    2. If there are too cuties in any one room, sometimes I can't pick.
    3. Sometimes I do pick and the guy I pick isn't interested and I've therefore lost out on the guy I didn't pick. How was I supposed to know who to pick?
    4. Sometimes people just look better. I know it's not just me.

    What else could it be? Am I looking for the "it" factor when I should be looking for the under the radar factor. Should I be more like men who talk to me at the gas station when I have sweats on thinking about the potential that the man could bring? (Women's brains don't work like that, but maybe I could train mine to... since I'm a [dating] anthropologist and all.)

    Has this ever happened to you? Or to my married/engaged readers, when you were single were there people who you missed not paying attention?

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Happy Lenten Season

    This year for Lent, I'm giving up TV. 40 days and 40 nights with no housewives, no sitcoms, no SNL, no Bulls games, no March Madness, no awards shows, no HGTV, no Say Yes to the Dress. *wails*

    When I first started writing this blog I don't think I watched very much TV. I really don't even think I had cable, but that was before all of the drama-laden reality shows and Twitter entered my lifespace. Oh, how I love to talk crazy on Twitter about people with problems that are faker than their eyelashes and hair weaves.

    Their fake problems take me away from my #realissues for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. But, that TV addiction, if you will, is taking away from time I could be using to enrich my life (prayer, meditation, reading, catching up with friends, going to cultural events, sometimes sleeping). The list goes on an on.

    So except for news programming, my TV will not come on during Lent and I'm going to make the commitment to pray daily (which I pretty much do already, but it helps to be accountable) and to take the time out to pray especially when I want to turn on the television.

    I think it's going to be a phenomenal 40 days and nights and I hope to come out a better person when it's all over.

    What are you giving up for Lent this year? Let's encourage each other in the Lord!

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    It's Time to Live It Up

    So in this post: I said something about how I'm tired of being frugal, it's time to live it up. Man, what was I thinking? I feel like someone on a popular weight loss show who's had a goal (losing weight/paying off cc debt) for so long that now that I've met it, I don't know what to do with myself.

    I'm so scared of old habits. They petrify me. When I wrote this post I had just gotten paid and I wouldn't buy stuff if it wasn't on sale. I made myself wait days before making "want" purchases, even thought they were in my budget. I damn near felt guilty for spending money and not paying a some debt and/or putting it my EF.

    As I get ready to move, I started thinking, I can't get a nice apartment, with cherrywood floor, stainless steel appliances and in-unit washer and dryer and keep my same TV. I have to upgrade my electronics... Then I'm like if I get a new TV then I'm going to need to get better cable: HD, Tivo, DVR all the premium channels and then I have to beef up my DVD collection. AH!!!

    Do you see where I'm going with this? I either go hard or go home. I either run my credit cards up or don't use them at all. I either am going to watch no shows or watch ALL of the shows.

    In order to be a big girl... or better yet money savvy women... I HAVE to move my simple mind away from the dichotomy of good and evil. I MUST find balance. I can't be afraid of spending my own money. *It's mine. I save it... wait. what?*

    I think I'm doing fine, but I think self-awareness [that it's a mental struggle] is a gift from God. If you see me at the grocery store staring at cans this is what's going on in my head (Tomato paste is tomato paste. But you CAN afford name brand. But does that really make sense to buy name brand if it's the same quality. But it's not really the same quality, that's why it's a name brand. But I could build my emergency fund up better if I get the cheap stuff. But my food could taste better. But it's TEN DAMN CENTS... but that's ten cents I could be investing into my uncertain future).

    Yeah, it takes me forever to buy tomato paste.

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    SNL Nailed It!

    One of the phenomenal benefits of being retired from the club is that I'm home on Saturday nights to see SNL.

    This past Saturday Maya Rudolph was the guest and she absolutely snapped. There was an Obama Family showed modeled after the Cosby show, a crazy hilarious Price Is Right type segment and the video below about Jay-Z and Beyonce's Blue Ivy.

    I can't stop laughing at this foolishness. Happy President's Day!

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Hairy Situation

    Why is it so hard to do normal things. When I first get my eyebrows arched I'm crazy about plucking every new hair that comes along, but one day... I don't know if it's a drunken night or a late night at work or a day where I have to pick between breakfast and make-up, but ONE DAY will go by that I don't pay attention to upkeep and then it's all downhill from there.

    I'm writing thing because I'm currently in these streets looking like a wilderbeast about the eyebrows and it's unacceptable. This weekend I had to work and it was colder outside that it's ever been, so I just wanted to go home and drown in my I-had-to-work-on-the-weekend sorrows under a snuggly cover. I didn't want to trek across time, wait an hour to get my brows threaded KNOWING I could have been taking a nap.

    Now it's a work-late week and so I can't leave work and get to the threading place before 7 p.m. when they close and I'm not about to just let anyone thread my brows. And I'm not about to attempt to do it myself and mess up the shape, it's too far gone.

    So, now I must prioritize brow-threading over everything else that happens this weekend (including going to work again). Like nope, I didn't do laundry, but my brows are done. I'm extra late for church, but my brows are done. Nap... who needs naps? But my brows are done.

    Do you find that random, but necessary activities completely throw off your weekly routine? Is it just me?

    If you see me in these streets looking a monkey (literally) about the face, just let it pass. I'm a busy gal.

    UPDATE: Can we discuss how this entire post is null & void because I left work 15 minutes early, made it to the shop by 6 and was home cooking dinner by 7. Leaving work at a decent hour really frees up some time. Still posting this because I already wrote it and I don't have anything else to write about.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Happy Valentine's Day

    Dating in Multiples

    Homegirl: What happened to that guy you were dating?
    T: Which one?
    HG: In the summer time?
    T: Again... you must be more specific
    HG: You said you really liked him, but you didn't want to get too excited.
    T: Let me cut this little exercise short. I don't know who you're talking about, but it didn't work out.

    Narrowing it Down

    T: They're all gone now
    Other Homegirl: I thought you had picked the one you liked?
    T: I did, but he was getting on my nerves, so I'm back to none.
    OHG: You have all these guys, then you narrow it down to one, then you get bored with him.
    T: Wow, one gchat message and you've summarized my entire dating life

    Happy Valentine's Day to those who have been able to narrow it down to one and not get bored/unbearably irritated. You all are my inspiration! And #bigups to the serial daters... it's just not our time yet.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    CKI: New Beginnings

    I received this information from a U of I classmate (Calvin) on Facebook.

    It's billed as a "Real Talk Session aimed towards Relational Wellness for ALL adults (singles and couples)."

    Sounds like fun.

    New Beginnings Church of Chicago
    After the candy, cuddles and cards... I still don't like you
    Friday, February 24th
    6620 S. King Drive
    Chicago, IL 60637
    7-9:30 p.m.

    I could be wrong, but it appears to be FREE!!! Who's going?

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Events: Rock Away Racism

    The YWCA Future Leaders Council presents:

    Through Rock Away Racism, the YWCA honors Black History Month and those who worked toward racial and social justice, while also spotlighting an issue that continues to impact our society today.

    The concert event celebrates Chicago's diversity through music and will feature a variety of artists, including Jess Godwin, Endiskize, Jamiah "On Fire" & The Red Machine, and DJ Madrid Event proceeds benefit YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.

    Thursday, February 23rd
    Hard Rock Hotel
    230 N Michigan Ave
    Chicago, IL 60601
    (312) 345-1000
    General Admission (cash bar/standing) - $35
    VIP - (open bar/seating) - $85

    Buy tickets here. See you all there!!!

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Reality Check

    Me: I paid off all of my credit cards.
    Big T: Wow. All of them?
    Me: Yep, I have zero balances on every single one.
    Big T: When will that show up on your credit report.
    Me: They report numbers on the 15th, so it probably won't show up until February 15th.
    Big T: Dang, by that time you could have ran your cards back up.
    Me: Silence.
    Big T: Not you, I'm saying any person in general. A month is a long time.

    And THIS is why I need prayer. My mom is right. I could potentially be back in debt before my credit score even increases. Someone asked me how I stay so disciplined in paying debt AND what I plan to do to change my habits/behavior when it comes to credit card.

    My answer is that I have to remember that just because I'm out of credit card debt doesn't mean that I'm above it. I can't start using the cards all willy nilly and acting like old patterns won't creep up on me. I have to be vigilant in sticking to my budget, using cash whenever possible and using my credit cards responsibly. Responsibly to me means only using them for things like flights and paying the bill before the interest rates kick in... so right away.

    How are you doing sticking to your healthy habits for 2012?

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    The Bus and Such

    This post will prove that I can talk myself into or out of a bad situation at any time, since it's the exact OPPOSITE of yesterday's post. Beware of people who studied persuasion in college and change minds for a living. I'm just saying...

    Here are Tea's Top 10 reasons that I should probably just buy a car.

    10. I have to leave my house pretty much an hour before any event's start time, no matter where it is in the city or suburbs.
    9. Express buses don't run on the weekends. This is a #realissue.
    8. I can't go to the south side nearly as much as I'd like without a car and I generally miss out on most of the impromptu gatherings.
    7. Similar, but not identical to #8... I don't participate in ministry at any church including my own because I'm always concerned with how I'm going to get home from 43rd and hood or 78th and ratchet when the meetings are over. I actually just signed up for the marketing ministry for the Temple Project. YAY for ministry.
    6. I don't spend as much time with my family in the 'burbs because, while it's doable, it can be a hassle to get to and from. I'd also go pick my nieces up more if I had a whip.
    5. I am generally just always ready to go, but most of the time I have to wait on my ride.
    4. I could repay the favor by taking my friends home for all the times they've taken me home. (Clearly it's not a favor though. I haven't had a car in years, I could never catch up).
    3. It would give Marques a better understanding of my life. He doesn't understand how I take the CTA everywhere.
    2. How I'm getting to the airport for personal trip would be a problem solved
    1. Lowkey all the money I spend on Avis, Zipcar and cabs could EASILY be parlayed into a low monthly car payment given my good credit rating and all. MM HM.

    I wish someone would just hurry up and figure out teleporting.

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Cars and Such

    Here are the top 10 reasons I'm probably not going to buy a car anytime soon.

    10. It's bad for the environment (I could probably get a hybrid or electric car though and get that young tax deduction... whatever - I need 10 - this is staying)
    9. Gas prices
    8. There's nowhere to park for free on the northside
    7. The garage prices on the northside are extra dumb stupid expensive (given my frugal lifestyle)
    6. A car note would probably make me cry
    5. Saving up enough money to buy a car without a car note and NOT using that money to pay my student loans and/or put a down payment on a condo would ALSO make me cry
    4. I spent more money on parking and speeding tickets when I had a car than I did on gas and maintenance combined.
    3. Shoveling snow off my car and warming it up in the wintertime is not my idea of a good time especially when bus tracker lets me know EXACTLY when I need to get on the already-warmed-up bus each day.
    2. The CTA goes everywhere I want to be (or Pace to my mama's house)
    1. I actually hate driving.

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Fasting and Such

    I did a similar post exactly one year ago. If you can't call me anything else, you can at least call me consistent. Here's a refresher on what last month's fast was. I really enjoyed fasting this year. The most challenging fast was the 3-day liquid diet. I chose to do Tu-Th, because I had to do a Zumba class on Monday and there are free blueberry muffins in the office on Friday.

    Tuesday was difficult, but not horrible. Wednesday was the worst. I was *this close* to being dizzy all day and it's not like my workload decreased because I was fasting. It was the first 5-day work week, so it was crazy busy.

    I think my favorite part about fasting this time around is that I was uber-aware of how there was nothing I could do to strengthen myself. I had to fully rely on God. I'm sure if I looked up fasting, I would find out that that's what it's all about, but I don't feel like Googling Bible verses right now, just speaking from the heart.

    On the days that I felt the weakest, I prayed short prayers SO often and I couldn't wait to leave work so that I could run home and pray. When have I ever RAN somewhere, just to pray. And I didn't faint, I didn't get sick while I was on the fast (I had the BGs on Friday when I started eating food again, but that's neither here nor there) and I didn't skip a beat at work.

    I'm happy that I was able to be obedient to my Pastor - a man that God has called to lead and who I have decided to follow - and I know that my year will be better because of it.

    How'd your January fast go?