Friday, September 28, 2012


Being the President of a nonprofit. It's more than a notion. I'm doing a [self-proclaimed] good job, but I want to be great, motivate others and prevent burnout. Who has tips? Books? Articles? Links?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It was the worst day EVER

When something bothers me and I tell you about it, you would think that it was the worst possible thing that has ever happened to any human being on the face of the planet. Hell, in the entire universe. Perhaps, it’s the inflection of my voice or the animation of my facial expressions. Maybe it’s the size of my already-large eyes or the colloquialisms that I use to describe sophisticated situations or the eloquence with which I state the most hood interactions, but PASSION oozes out of me when I’m even slightly perturbed.

Me: Mom, it was the worst day EVER.

Big T: Girl, I know. My day was the worst day ever too, let’s talk about me now.


Me: BFF, it was the worst day EVER.

BFF (either of them): OH NO! GUUUUUURRRRRRRLLLLLL, tell me ALL about it.


Me: Honey, it was the worst day EVER.

Honey: I’ma let you finish, but was it the worst day ever or are you exaggerating?

Thank God for someone to balance my Chi, Amen! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Can You Hear Me Now...

Nope, not yet.

The hospital my Dr. referred me to wouldn't answer the phone, so I just went to Northwestern. They answer the phone and I know how to get there. #WinWin

I FINALLY got a hearing test and I have been diagnosed with permanent sensorineural high frequency hearing loss in my right ear and some minimal hearing loss in my left ear.

The common causes are:

- Ear Trauma, explosions, etc (not my issue)
- Age (not my issue)
- Heredity (could be, not sure) What does that mean

I had to take that diagnosis to my Doctor, who then gave me a referral to an ear, nose and throat doctor. Now I could have just gone to the ENT without a referral because my insurance is not a hater, but that's frowned upon in medical establishments. 

This brings me to the topic at hand. I sat in my primary physician's office from 3:50 p.m. to about 5:45 p.m. when I actually saw her, she wrote a referral, spending maybe 5 minutes with me, most of which were her typing exactly what I was saying onto her laptop.

Um... the last time I went to the dentist I was there for about two hours too. My doctors' offices are like the new hair salons. WHY does it take so long? Do they double book? Are people REALLY sick every time I just have routine check up? Is it just me? Maybe it is.

On the bright side, with my new iPhone and my young Mophie charger, I was able to fully catch up on my blog reading. I haven't had four straight hours of free time (hour to get there, 2 hours in the office, hour to get home) in a long time.

Thanks Doc. I guess.

I will also send you all an update after I see the otologist. Hopefully, I won't have to have surgery (if that's even an option). Pray for healing!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ftiness Update

If you follow me on Twitter you know a few ladies and I try to keep each other motivated. #TeamFit In the throws of the winter we were really going hard with #30for30 or working out 4-5 times per week. As I prepped to go bare midriff for my birthday followed by a vacation, I was completely committed.

Enter the summer. Bbq food, cupcakes (like summer is an excuse) and lots 'o' drinkin' and I fell completely off. Well, not completely. I've had some two week stretches where I didn't work out and I didn't even try to work out. But lately, I've been saying I'm going to work out three times this week on Twitter (therefore it is true), but not living up to my goals.

As a woman of my word this hurt my heart. So this week I just flat out said: I'm not working out at all and I don't know when I will. This eliminates any pressure...

One would think. However, since I'm not working out, I joined a gym. Yeah, read that again. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I can't get out of the bed to workout in the mornings, so I joined the gym in my work building. Now that's an option that's available to me should the mood ever hit me to workout.

In other news, all of my clothes still fit, so no news is good news, I guess.

More on this later.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Getting my life together

And by my life I mean appliances and electronics. Random updates for you all.

My computer is fixed. It costs $157 to buy the parts myself and give my homeboy a thank you gift vs. the $300 I was going to pay to Dell. The best part about it is I didn't have to ship my computer away for a week or longer and I didn't lose any files. Hooray!

My luggage is fixed. I dropped it off on June 28 and didn't get it back until September 14. I just happened to be in the building where the shoe repair shoe is and I asked if the part finally came in for my luggage. They're like yeah, we fixed it. Bruh, can I get a phone call. My luggage was in that place so long it had dust on it. Whatever. All's well that ends well.

I've also had my oven, cable and air conditioning fixed in the last two months AND am currently waiting to schedule a maintenance appointment for the microwave which started going bonkers beeping uncontrollably and waking me up out of my good sleep.

The lesson here is: Things fall apart.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Obligatory Hair Post

So now for a completely boring, but absolutely necessary post, have you all tried Kinky Curly, Knot Today. My bff called and was like "I know we have different hair textures, but girl, it's magic".

She is a truth teller if I've ever met one. I used this stuff as leave it before I put the IC Fantasia Gel on my wash and go. No tangles, no knots and when it dries my hair just feels better.

This post is probably a smidget late since it's not chilly in the Chi and I need to stop wearing my hair wet outside, but I love it.
Have you all used this? Any other leave-ins I need to know about?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Girls Night Quandary

Remember in this post I talked about how I wanted to move so I can entertain. Surprisingly, I moved from one studio I couldn't entertain in to another that I could only entertain one or two people at a time in, but hey, baby steps worked for me.

I am finally on my grown woman and I can have, oh I don't know, 10 people plus me at a time in my crib. I've been doing this a lot and during a girls' night potluck an interesting question came up that I wanted to pose to my blog readers.

This is just for fun and because I want to know y'all's opinions, so I don't want anyone getting touched and personal in my comments, okay? Okay.

Is there a difference between dating exclusively and being boyfri end and girlfriend? Why or why not?

I'll tell y'all how I feel in the comments (or in a subsequent post).

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

So on Radical, Revolutionary and other Crap...

I am a feminist. In that I believe a woman can do everything a man can do and deserves everything that a man deserves (like equal pay for equal work). I am a chauvanist in that I believe even though a woman CAN do everything a man can do, she probably should NOT.

Let me explain.

Michelle Obama, the flyest first lady of the United States EVER, gave a phenomenal speech at the DNC. She said she was the mom-in-chief above all else. Feminists took to Twitter saying that it's a shame that she had to mask all of her personal accomplishments to just be a mom and play the normal gender role of a woman to further the campaign. Days later a blog post surfaced saying that this is actually "white" feminist rhetoric (not true, black feminists on my timeline said the EXACT same thing).

But that blog said that Michelle Obama, is indeed revolutionary because as a BLACK first lady of the United States, she CHOOSES to stay at home with the kids vs. working and that's a choice that many black women don't have.

I feel like an atheist who says "If something good happens, it's God. If something bad happens, it's God. You Christians are nuts." As a Christian, I understand that faith isn't always logical, but this FLOTUS conversation has nothing to do with faith and everything to do with logic.

Why does she have to revolutionary? People are saying just by her being a black woman in her role, it's revolutionary. Others are saying her choosing that role (over another) is revolutionary.

Can I ask y'all something. Is there something wrong with being a wife and mother? What exactly is wrong with gender roles? Does anyone disagree that marriage is a sexist institution? If it wasn't, we wouldn't be husband and wife, we'd be husband and husband (in heterosexual marriages). Stop. Think about it. Why can't you all just let her be WHAT SHE IS?

Why does she have to be "revolutionary" for us to respect her? Why have we come up with all these different ways to make her bigger than what she is and she's already HUGE!

I'm tired of people acting like wife and mother is something to be scoffed at. No Mrs. Romney has never worked outside of the home, but how do any of us have the right to talk about that?

My point is as an American adult you can choose to do whatever you want to do so long as it doesn't hurt the freedom or liberty of another. So if Michelle Obama thinks her kids are the most important thing in the world to her (news flash: most moms do), can we just call that good parenting and not a revolution.

And if Ann Romney has the luxury of not working (which most moms WISH they had) then why can't we just let her be great.

The fact that we are defining womanhood for other women and breaking it down and re-constructing it to fit whatever our ideal of womanhood is (to fit our own personal beliefs) is perhaps the least-revolutionary thing any of us could be doing.

Let these women be great. However they choose to be.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicago Sushi Roundup

This has been in my drafts so long that one of these places isn't even open anymore. Ah well, here goes:

Tsunami (dead and gone) - They kicked off their opening with free sushi and champagne and my girl did the PR for it. This is literally the place that made me decide to stop partying on weekdays. Thursdays maybe, but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nope. Sad they went out of business.

Japonais - The oft forgotten cute and trendy spot on the river. We've done bday parties, client and celeb dinners and just drinks before the club here. I can't really remember what the sushi tastes like.

Ra - All the cool kids go here. The sushi is yummy, but not the best in the Chi.

Rise - This is a great first date spot on the northside. LOVE it!

Sushi Taiyo - I love this place. Great atmosphere, great location. Great for a girls' night out. They also have an event space upstairs that I've had professional and personal events at. They're awesome to work with. Go here often.

New Toyko - Another north side gem: best sushi in the Chi. Period (or so I've heard. LOL!) I lived so close to it for years, but never went in. The lines were long.

See my note about South Coast Sushi here.

Did I miss any?

Monday, September 17, 2012

When was the last time we talked about brunch? Here are some new places to consider:

I got 10-5 from this Red Eye article, but the sentiment is my own.

10. Grandma J’s Local Kitchen* - I'm down for trying anything with Grandma in the title. It's also in a less than safe neighborhood, but if I can go to the west side for MacArthurs...  

9. Nellcote(833 W. Randolph St. 312-432-0500) - It's kind of fancy, but features a prix fixe menu. Can't ever go wrong with fixed costs. LOL! 
8. Bar Toma(110 E. Pearson St. 312-266-3110) - I've been by this place a million times and still haven't gone in. Mainly because I'm pissed that it took over Bistro 110. Man they had the best french onion soup on the continent. Yes, it was amazing. Beware, it's a tourist magnet, but if Red Eye says I should check out brunch, then I shall. 
7. G.E.B.(841 W. Randolph St. 312-888-2258) This is a Graham Elliot restaurant without the crazy prices. I've actually been to Graham Elliot (word to my uncle), but I bet their drinks are AMAZING. I can't wait to go here. 
6. The Peasantry* (2723 N. Clark St. 773-868-4888) The best part about this place is I know exactly how to get there. A quick Google search indicates that it is NOT in the Kanela Breakfast Club space (that's 3231 N. Clark) and so I am still intrigued. 
5. Tavernita(151 W. Erie St. 312-274-1111) this place took over from Martini Park. Man, they had the best martinis in life, but horrid customer service. If you don't treat your customers right, you will fail. *cough* Blockbuster *cough* I want to go here, if for nothing else, than to see what they did with the space. 
4. Social 25* - The cool kids go here. It's over at 2 a.m. as well, so make sure to hit early service at church to get to the good eats. 

3. Ja'Grill - I've been here for dinner, but just heard it's great for brunch. I know that rum punch is off the meter. I know that.

2.  Hash Hash a Go-Go - Everything here is bigger than your head. Bring your appetite and a car to take food home. ;-) Also, they have an app that texts you when your table is ready. Um #LovesIt

1. Elate - I swear I talked about this place on the blog before, but I couldn't find it in a quick search. The steak is amazing. The bottomless mimosas are awesome. The service is great and the atmosphere is swaggerific. Also, no one goes here ever, so it's easy to get a seat. Yep, love it. (P.S. It's in the Felix hotel)

*Denotes places I have not yet tried.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Speak On It

There are so many hot topics in the news right now. Speak your peace on whichever you choose. I'm curious...

10. The iPhone5. It's smaller, faster, sleeker, longer battery life and a 28 megapixel camera. Will you be rushing to the Apple store to get one.

9. Love and Hip Hop ATL. I know I'm not the only one that watched. Will you be tuning in next season?

8. Gun violence in Chicago. What is the solution. How are you contributing to it?

7. The teacher strike in Chicago? Are you with the administration (Rahm Emanual and CPS) or the teachers (CTU). Do you believe that both sides really want what's best for the children.

6. The United States ambassador to Libya being killed. What does this mean for foreign relations?

5. The RNC - Did you watch? Thoughts?

4. The DNC - Did you watch? Thoughts?

3. Volunteering for the Obama campaign. Are you giving more this year? Less? Are you volunteering?

2. The campaign in general. Do you live in a battleground state? Are the ads horrible? (I have literally not seen one ad. I love that I live in Illinois. We're going blue and Obama. Every.Rip.)

1. Michelle Obama and feminism? Is she truly revolutionary as a black woman in the white house or does her mom-in-chief title solidy sexist gender roles. (I have an entire post about this coming up tomorrow or soon).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Interesting Perspective

I got VERBATIM from Your Black (YBB)

Title (from YBB): Chandra Gill: Open Letter to Interscope Records about Chicago’s Violence – Chief Keef

Editor's Note (from YBB): The letter below is written by Chandra Gill, Ph.D., to Jimmie Lovine of Interscope Records. In the letter, Dr. Gill discusses the violence and murders of young men and rappers.

Dr. Gill is questioning why Interscope Records is not taking any responsibility for the men that they sign to work under their label.

Interscope Records
2220 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 865-1000

Re: Chicago’s Violence – Chief Keef

To: Jimmie Lovine:
(Founder of Interscope Records)

“The African-American is not a bestial race”

“Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so.” – Ida B. Wells

What are we to say about the recent murder of yet another teenager here in Chicago? What can be said about this alleged rap “beef” amongst those young African-American men here in our communities; communities that inhale hopelessness and helplessness, as it smells of poverty, mis-education and unemployment?

This letter seeks no theoretical framework regarding the varying complexities and debatably learned behaviors of said populace. It’s not a letter of rage with potentially combative elements. This letter is “simple’ and begets this question:

- What foreseen responsibility will your record label have as you continually sign young troubled African-American men to record deals?

Let me be clear (full disclosure): I’m an educator born and raised on Chicago’s south side. I understand the constant dialogue involving parental responsibility, as my parents were present in my life; they raise me and were my first teachers. So I get it. Parents have to be more responsibly involved. However, as I teach, we must as a society soon abandon the either/or position and embrace the both/and philosophy. In that, I insist on individual responsibility and institutional accountability. By example, sure, parents are responsible for what their children wear (ie. 9 year-olds in low-cut shorts with “Sexy Booty” on the back). Yet, we must connect this conversation too to companies that manufacture and produce such items for 9 year-old girls to wear. (Heck, McDonalds is opening up a vegetarian restaurant in India because the market demands it. India’s not known for the consumption of cows and pigs). Corporations can change. Companies can adjust. As people, we must do the same.

Mr. Lovine, I understand business. I’ve debated the, “it’s the American way” mantra often in my quest to be successful, professionally. I know at some point soon we must create a compass of consciousness, as a society of adults. I don’t have all of the answers. But I do know it’s time for us to ask some critical questions. One of which I’ve posed here to you.

When I consider the surge in violence here in my hometown, I can no longer act as if there are no solutions for our children. Just this year, I’ve spoken to over 20,000 students and parents here in Chicago. I believe in our youth. Not na├»ve or blindly, I too believe in their future, notwithstanding their current realities and conditions.

In reaching beyond a culture of complaining, as if there’s nothing we can do, I suggest the following:

As a concerned Chicago resident and US citizen, I believe Interscope Records should investigate its current policies (and explore more innovative ways) in signing teenaged artists to its label. In step with the NFL and NBA professional leagues, record labels should consider a possible age requirement, entry-level contingencies, etc. for your artist of interest. To place millions of dollars in the hands of troubled teens, thereby creating optimal exposure for youth to glorify America’s biggest failures socially is unacceptable. If high school attendance and graduation is a bottom-line requirement for athletes, why not record labels? Educating our youth to excel beyond one platinum record album is critical to their life as a whole. To think otherwise is to benefit in the moment, monetarily at the expense of our full existence, culturally and globally.

In closing, I side with Ida B. Wells and her words. I write to you with hopes of a timely response. I’m on the side of producing solutions for the sake of our youth in peril. It is my hope that your company will consider the above mentioned and other innovative measures in helping rescue the hearts and minds of our children, our future. I can be reached at 866-496-5667.


Chandra Gill, Ph.D.
CEO-Blackademically Speaking Enterprises


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Black Pumps

So some years back I went on the search for the perfect pair of black pants. I found said pair of pants and still own (and wear) them to this day.

It's time to turn to my social networks again to inquire about the perfect pair of black pumps. Every year I buy THIS pair of Nine West pumps:
I think they're $69.99 or perhaps $79.99. I know that after a year of wear, they're popped... every year.

In this the year of never before, I've updated everything from my calendar to my cable and now it's time to wrench around and get my closet right. Ladies, do you have a favorite pair of classic black pumps? What brand are they and when'd you get them? I need a shoes that's going to last longer than a year.

I want a 4-inch heel pointed toe, no platform, stiletto heel. (Basically EXACTLY the shoe above, but higher quality).

Essence says I need to buckle down and get a $600 pair. What say ye, blog readers? Help a sister out.

Monday, September 10, 2012

#ThatAwkwardMomentWhen realize that you're too old for all of your dresses to be tunic length go to get your clothes out of the dryer and realized you forgot to turn it on. realize your box fan is dirty as hell

... your "I hope it works out with him one day" dude shows up to a wedding as a former classmate's date're seated at the table with said dude and his "date" for the wedding reception (maybe it's just me)


Meanwhile, have you all seen Season to of Awkward Black Girl? Thoughts so far?

Friday, September 7, 2012

These Are My Confessions

I have some pop culture (and/or Chicago African-American) confessions:

- I've never seen Green Mile, Godfather or any of the Rocky movies
- I've never eaten at Valois, Home of the Hoagie (or plenty of other south side eateries that folks rave about)
- This year was my first at the Bud Billiken Parade
- I didn't see New Jack City or Dirty Dancing until I was an adult
- I've never had a Bloody Mary and I'm not sure that I ever will.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Let me upgrade you

I broke down and paid got more channels on cable. I was really holding on to the most basic of basic cable channels, but then I found out the Bears/Packers game is going to be on the NFL Network.

I have this awesome TV, I figured out how to go to the HD channels, my honey hooked up my wireless speakers and I still have to leave the house for a Packers game? Naw, I cain't go.

I'm excited about getting TVOne, Centric, OWN, Oxygen, the Style Network and the NFL Network. Raise your hand if you think my productivity level will stay high on nights and weekends. I'll wait.

Party at my crib. No, but for real... but not really... unless you got the text... ok bye.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

South Loop Exploration

So here are all of the places that I have not yet tried in my new neighborhood that I need to get on top of.

Tamarind - Sushi spot that caught my eye.
Thai Spoon - Thai spot that caught my eye.
Opart Thai House - I have actually heard TOO much about this place to not have gone yet. I'ma go.
City Tavern - This is a place for carnivores. They have outdoor seating and I only ever see men there. This FURTHER lets me know that I need to make that trip. 
Acadia - You probably need reservations to go here, but the bar looks like open seating. When I first encountered it, I thought it was a wedding reception hall because the people going into it were dressed SO nicely. I'll keep you posted.
South Coast Sushi - This is where uppity African-American go to eat sushi. I kid. I kid. Maybe.
Eleven - a spot that South Loop Social Light recommended yesterday. Go here to get your sandwich on.
Waffles - I've heard good things. I've heard bad things. I need to just stop in and decide for myself.
Tapas Valencia - If you blink, you'll miss this place, but people who LOVE tapas know about it and keep asking me if I've been. I haven't. I will go though and report back.

One that didn't make the list is Scout. We tried to throw a going away party there and it took them 2 weeks to call us back. There's no reward for bad customer service, so they're on my No Thank You list like La Cantina.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

South Loop Eats

Let me take you all on a food tour of my new neighborhood. I like some of these places better than others.

Weather Mark - This is one of my favorite south loop spots. We threw my bff's surprise going away party here and they were so easy to work with. Their prices are reasonable and their food is good. On Monday's they have Burger, fries and beer for $6 and Tuesday is trivia night. If you ever want to go here, let me know. I'm down.

Zapatista - The margaritas here are good. The food is good, but make sure to get the tacos, burritos, small plates or something simple. I tried to get the carne asada one night and it wasn't right.

Gioco - This is good authentic, Italian food. It's a bit more authentic that I'd like sometimes and kind of pricey, but definitely a good date night spot.

Cafe Bionda - This is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the city. And I LOVE Italian food. It's my favorite. The best part about this place is that it looks like an deli from the outside, but when you get inside, it's white tablecloths and gourmet food. Prices are reasonable too and I've never had to wait for a table. Definitely a gem of the sloop.

La Cantina - I hate this place. It made the list because I've been there. But the food is subpar, the drinks are big, but not strong enough and the service is HORRIBLE. I literally had to go tell the waitress we were ready to order. You know if you look up like where is out waitress that the place is seriously lacking. Don't go here.

Ma & I - Good Thai food. It's also really spacious in here, which is odd to me. Most of the restaurants this close to the loop lack

Yolk - This is for the purpose of people who live out of town, because I don't know one Chicagoan who hasn't been to Yolk. Their menu is extensive and their food is good. Not extraordinary, just good. You may wait up to 45 minutes for a table on any day of the week, but it's centrally located, so a good place to meet friends for breakfast/brunch.

South Loop Market - This little overpriced grocery store warms my heart. They have everything you might forget (paprika, pickle relish, spaghetti sauce), but an extensive list of wines and Skinny Girl Vodka. Headed to the beach, stop here first. On the way to a friend's and need a bottle, stop here first. Can't think of anywhere to eat except La Cantina... stop here first.

Kroll's - This is the place to be on Game Day. They have big screens and projector screens and their bar food is good. There's dark leather furniture and dark polished wood, so the fellas are very comfortable here. You're also guaranteed to run into someone you know. Fun times.

Dunkin' Donuts - Ok, this is blasphemy, but I needed to get to 10. Don't go to this DD if you have somewhere to be on a schedule. They're small and they've got nothing on my fave DD (Ohio and St. Clair or my 2nd fave DD on Lake & LaSalle), but it's good to have them in the 'hood.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Day Off