Monday, April 30, 2012

New Everything

So my Pastor dubbed 2012 the year of never before and boy was he right. I start a new job today. After 7.5 years with the best PR agency in the world, I'm moving to the client side. I'd like to maintain some level of anonymity on the blog, so I'm not going to disclose where I work, but the opportunity presents more opportunity and different challenges and I couldn't be more excited to see what it's like to set strategy and manage a PR agency vs. being a PR agency managing a client's priorities.

Leaving my job after so long was bittersweet. I thought it'd be easier, but there's a reason I've been there so long. It's a phenomenal place to work, with phenomenal resources and awesome perks. So, knowing what you know about me, how much bigger do you think this new opportunity is? IT'S HUGE!

I wouldn't leave greatness for mediocrity. But just like Blogger.com up and changing it's formatting to look more like Wordpress when I log in (and pissing me clean off), change, no matter how difficult is healthy and inevitable. Just like I'll get used to this *shakes fist* blasted new backend set up for Blogger.com, I'll get used to not going to my old job everyday.

So, send me congrats. Send prayers up for my new journey. And get ready for a week of hilarious job search and interviewing tales.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Don't Lie

Recently someone hit me with the "I don't appreciate your threat to do XYZ." In all fairness, said person doesn't know me. So they don't know that I mean what I say. That I'm a woman of my word, etc. etc. I'm reminded that the default posture is that people are full of it and that no one follows through. I'm not full of it. I follow through. I feel kind of bad because when XYZ happens the person is going to be pissed, but they had a choice in the matter. They close not to believe me. I gave them the courtesy of a head's up. I don't know how else to say "the sky is blue" except to say "the sky is blue." Maybe it's just me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DOPE.SAUCE!!!!

My President is AMAZING!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Inside My Head: The New One

This is a conglomeration of a bunch of guys that I've dated and what it felt like when it was new. I'm not in a longterm relationship, so let's be honest, it's always new.

- He nicknamed me "sexy and difficult." It's funny because it's true.
- I love getting on my tippy toes to kiss him. *swirls*
- Why am I so tired? Because I was up on the phone 'til 2 o'clock in the morning with the new guy
- Aw, he's using pet names and I'm not even disgusted. I must really like him.
- Does no one tire of the question "why are you single?" Perhaps, after being asked it SO much I've taken too much time to dissect it, but I believe the question they'd like to ask is "Are you open to not being single?" *sigh* let me hit this boy with a key message
- Oh no, I'm rusty, what are my key messages.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Christian Kickin' It: University Church

Saw this on Facebook.

University Church is excited to announce its 1st community open-mic, bringing together artists within our neighborhoods, schools, and city in celebration of our collective gifts. Join us for an evening of poetry and storytelling as we speak spiritual truths to power while cultivating new relationships.

Artists are invited to share their work in a safe, empowering space.

For more information, and Frequently Asked Questions, visit: www.universitychurchchicago.org

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Passport Stories

I submitted my passport renewal form on 3/21. Regular service. Got it back on 4/11. Exactly three weeks. Not bad, not bad.

WHO'S READY FOR VACATION?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Telling on Myself

Side note: While writing this post, I tried to buy something online and my computer shut down. All of the browsers... #LookatGod. On to the post:

I hate writing posts like this. But transparency is a must and it'll help me act right. This year's goal is to use my credit cards sparingly and pay them off before interest rates can accrue. I'm probably not going to do that this month.

One month can lead into a spiral of a lot of months and then I'm back at square 1. All it takes is one emergency (or two sales at Nordstrom, either way) and boom I'm back under the crushing credit card debt that I've been trying to erase for the past few years. Can someone remind me how far I've come and that no outfit, and no charity donation, and no party I throw "no matter how dope it is" and no pair of shoes feel as good as zero balances on my credit cards.

I mean, I'm typing it, but my recent negligent behavior shows that I don't believe it.

*braces for criticism*

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Diet

The natural reaction when you think you're getting old, is to act like a teenager. So, I decided that I'm wearing my stomach out at my birthday party. O_O Yes, full midriff showing. o_O

I know that it's en vogue to do right now, but I have a #realissue with anyone over the age of 17 showing their stomach outside of a beach. And even then, I think people should invest in one pieces and cover ups. I wasn't raised Southern Baptist for nothing.

So three weeks before my party I decided to go on a little diet. The internet said I should cut out sugar, coffee, salt, alcohol and drink more water. You all know I love a challenge, so fine. Let's do it! I'm already exercising my tail off, but this diet is the extra mile to take me from "she looks amazing in a tank" to "WOW! She has the stomach of a teenager!"

So last week I did a jamba juice fruit and veggie smoothie each morning (That's three servings of fruits and veggies and it's not even lunch time). Salad for lunch and a sensible dinner. I'm trying to not do pasta, rice, bread... basically anything that can puff up my belly. I was going to do a cleanse, but I read up on it and I can't be in the bathrooom like that. I have a day job.

UPDATE: No sugar lasted three days, no coffee lasted four and no bread lasted five. All in all I did a good job, but I backslid to the candy bowl once, maybe twice.

This week (M-F, at least) I'm on the Special K diet, except I'm doing it with Fiber One for Breakfast and Total Raisin Bran for lunch.

Next week, who knows what kind of diet I'll think up, but I'm doing better at resisting sweets, snacks, coffee and bread than I ever have in life. It's crazy what a goal will do for weight loss.

Now I know you're thinking "when are you going to stop dieting and make healthy eating a lifestyle" and to that I say: "As soon as cupcakes stop being delicious." Please believe I'll be fattening back up for the winter. I can taste the cupcakes now...

Speaking of which, I haven't had a cupcake in a while. I've been substituting Greek yogurt and cheese sticks when I want candy and sweets. We shall see how long this lasts. If my stomach looks a mess, I may just break down and wear a whole shirt to my party. Maybe. Probably not.

Monday, April 16, 2012

About These Fees...

Dear Ticketmaster and the City of Chicago:

The fact that I just paid $50 for a ticket that was supposed to cost $32 because I had to pay a service fee and Chicago taxes on my cultural excursions is pure malarkey.

I'd almost rather pay higher income taxes than to be taxed so heavily for going to a show. Between that and the liquor tax, it's like they just want you to sit in the house and watch TV.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Click The Cause

In the spirit of supporting the homies and their homies, I received this note and wanted to share:

I am thrilled to announce the beta launch of www.clickthecause.org, a 501(c)(3) organization my brother and I started in 2011. After an intense debate about personal responsibility and community involvement, we wanted to create a way for people to experience philanthropy. I personally became frustrated with negative news articles, statistics, and the feeling that there was nothing I could do about it. In particular, I did not know what organizations were in my community and how my dollars could help.

I wanted to find projects that were impactful and particularly meaningful to me, like after school tennis programs or college readiness mentoring. That is when we created ClickTheCause. I am proud to share with you www.clickthecause.org, an organization that will initially serve to promote community building in the Chicago and Detroit areas.

Find out exactly how ClickTheCause will work, SIGN UP, and stay updated on our progress at www.clickthecause.org. Please share this message with your friends and colleagues; any retweet, forwarded email, conversation is SO APPRECIATED. ClickTheCause operates on this very concept, community participation.

Not only does ClickTheCause serve the community but it is a platform for wonderful nonprofits to raise funds for their important causes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Random Notes to Self




  • To keep from catching cold, cover your breasts.

  • You have the option to spellcheck your blog entries. Four years later, who knew?

  • When you purchase and item, they will take it out of your account, weekday or weekend, day or night IMMEDIATELY. When you return said item it will take 5 business days to get your money back. The swindle is real.

  • If you pick up the wrong size of free drawls from VS, your life will be in shambles. Pay attention next time.

  • If you forget your earrings, your entire social life will be ruined. Never rush out of the house again.

  • The weatherman is almost always wrong and even more than that in Chicago. Stop believing the hype.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MARKT NYC



Check this place out in Chelsea in NYC. I found out this is a Belgium restaurant. (Would have been nice to know before I went, but whatever). They have the food in English at the bottom and crab salad brioche is off the meter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ti's Matchmaker



So last summer I did my third speed dating event, but this was was catered to the black community and put together by matchmaker, Paul Carrick Brunson - the Modern Day Matchmaker.

I was first introduced to him through Twitter. He does these Modern Day Matchmaker Wednesdays #MDMW where there's a bachelor or bachelorette that picks a match from Twitter followers that ask questions. It's super fun.

So when he told me he was having an event at the Mid in Chicago, you know I had to be there. I also paid for the tickets that included the "speed dating conference call." Anyone who knows me KNOWS that a conference call to discuss HOW to date is right up my alley. I friggin' loved it.

So a couple of things.

1. Contrary to [my own] popular belief, I do NOT know every black man in the Chi. There were at least 50 eligible brothers at this event and I only knew one. #Winning

2. One day, I'll tell you all what happened with all the men I met. I may or may not still be dating one or more of them.

But right now, I just want to tell you how to get in touch with Paul. He's a phenomenal husband and father, genuinely studies his matchmaking craft, a mogul in the making and just a nice guy to boot. If I hit him up on Twitter with a dating question, he hits me right back. He totally doesn't have to do that.

He's definitely helped my dating "career," if you will. I can only hope he and Jill will accept an invite to my [future] wedding.

Anywho, enough gushing about one of my faves. Have dating questions?

Facebook: paulbrunson
Twitter: @PaulCBrunson
Website: OneDegreeFrom.me
E-mail: paul@onedegreefrom.me
Essence: http://www.essence.com/point-of-view/modern-day-matchmaker/

AND THIS JUST IN, Oprah's tapped him to host a new show on OWN: Lovetown, USA

Get in touch with him!

Monday, April 9, 2012

846

That's my Experian credit score chief. It's up 107 points since I last checked in. Man, what a long road it's been to this point.


My goal credit score was 760 because that's what someone (can't remember sources for all the stuff I read) said my score would have to be to get the lowest possible mortgage interest rates. Now, I don't even want a mortgage.


Also, am I on crack or did the bar for credit used to be 900 and now it's 990? Perhaps my credit didn't really go up, but the bar got raised. They're saying I have a B and am in the 65th percentile. I could have sworn 800-900 was A range.


Nonetheless, please excuse me, I'm going to go get this number printed on a t-shirt. Maybe it'll help me find a husband. Probably not.


Also, let me go cancel this free trial (They got your girl for $29.95 to see all three of my credit scores. Wompers) of "look at your credit score at any time." I ain't cheap for nothing.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Champagne Paul Goerg

I went to NYC last year for work. I met up with Candisse and she suggested we go to Red Rooster in Harlem. I was down.

We got there and the wait was astronomical for a table. The cute waiter (who I found out was gay RIGHT before I put my bid in...ugh, why do I keep doing that. I digress.) The cute waiter said we could do communal seating. I wanted nothing to do with that. I came to see my girl. I hadn't seen or talked to her in months. I didn't want strangers in our mix. Then hunger set in. Communal seating it was.

They sat us at a 6-top and 2 men were already eating. Then I realized they didn't know each other. One had on a suit and asked if he could move to the middle to sit next to us, sure why not? The other had on a hoodie and headphones, the ultimate leave-me-alone outfit. He left soon after we sat down.

Come to find out our suited friend is an older [like at least 50] black French gentleman and a marketer of high end Champagne. Champagne Paul Goerg actually. He told us of the places that it's sold in Chicago and discussed how he came to the country, why he loves New York, why he's never been married or had kids and how Marcus was his good friend.

At this point, it occurs to me that I'm at THEE Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant in Harlem and I kind of freak out a little bit, but then I'm pleasantly surprised that it's so down-to-earth and homey and reasonably priced and overall phenomenal.

So a couple sits down next to us. She's probably about 40 and he's probably about 50. They're the cutest couple. He's talk, dark and handsome with a full beard, a roaring voice and has on a polo with the collar popped. And she had a medium complexion, with a tank top, capris and sandals on.

My friend noticed how ripped she was and says to me "Wow, she's probably about 40, but look how ripped she is at that age." She then asked the woman about her exercise routine. We're all at dinner "together" might as well get some fitness tips. The woman said something about more reps with larger weights and somehow mentioned that it's important to stay in shape after you turn 50.

WAYMENT. We both nearly choked on our Champagne and told her we were JUST saying how she looked about 40. She goes no, I'm 54 and my husband is 67. O_O So at this point, she buys a round of champagne for the table because we put here in a whole 'nother younger generation and we inquire about what they do to stay so young looking. There must be a secret.

I don't remember her exact words, but she said something about seizing the day. Don't stop going out because you're getting older. Don't take jobs you don't want to do and enjoy your life. The older French gentleman in the suit replied to that same thread, if you will. His entire family in France is made up of couples with children, they think he's nuts, but that wasn't the path that he wanted for his life. Coming to NYC and being the marketing arm of the business suited him perfectly. [It's at this point that I realize that having a sugar daddy isn't the worst possible path in life and immediately thought about how Carrie met Big... that's not my life though, but it crossed my mind.]

This entire conversation with strangers, their lives, their perspectives, their hour at dinner with me is part of the reason that I love traveling and I absolutely adore the energy and diversity of New York. I'm not saying that dinner changed my life, but hunger took over in more ways that one that night.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fitness Update

#30for30 2011
I finished #30for#30 on Christmas 2011. It was great. I don't know if I've mentioned it on here or not, but I didn't really gain any weight over the holiday and it was a direct result of working out every single day.

When you work out like that you think twice about eating burgers or cupcakes because they make you feel queasy on the exercise machine. So I was eating protein-packed food with just enough calories to fuel me vs. indulging.



Bulldog Bootcamp

My job started an eight week bootcamp with fitness classes in the building, healthy lunch fitness presentations and stickers. I was supposed to work out 5x each week in bootcamp. I averaged about 3x. I'm happy with this, but working out 3x a week and eating like a fat person means you can run if you're being chased, but the muffin top is still inevitable.

LA Fitness

I joined LA Fitness during Bulldog Bootcamp. I was trying to get 5 stickers one week and left work too late to go to the gym in our building (it closes at 8 p.m.). So I tried to use a guest pass and they got me with the sales presentation. I really just wanted to get out of this slimy sales guy's office. I pretty much hate it because it's not a real LA Fitness. It's a Bally's that got bought out. They updated some of the machines and all of the TVs, but the locker room and customer service needs serious help. The best benefit is that I can go to other locations AND my friends have LA Fitness memberships, so I can work out with them.

#30for30 2012

Without a challenge and with a sub-par gym, I'm not really motivated to workout, so I'm put myself back on the #30for30 program. I started 30 days before my bday so that I can be fly on that day and you know to offset oldness and fatness and disease and all that. Three of my Twitter homies are doing it with me and that's phenomenal motivation. I probably need to lose about 7lbs for the summer too and an upcoming vacation in May.



Let me know if you're down for #30for30 this go round. If not, at least check in and let me know how your 2012 fitness routine is coming along.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Support the Prez!



In case you haven't seen the Obama 2012 'Runway to Win' collection:

This shop has exclusive campaign merchandise designed by the likes of Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, Beyonce & Tina Knowles, Vera Wang and many more! If you planned on donating anyway, why not get something stylish in return!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Laundry Chronicles

Ok, for all of you who read my blog. 1. Continued thanks, but 2. I made a decision to move, but my lease isn't up until August. I'll be slumming it for a bit longer. Folks have been seeing me IRL like "how's your new place," then I hit them with the perplexed face and realize I mentioned moving on the blog.

Anywho, we've discussed this at length, but it keeps coming up. I hate doing laundry. I hate the laundromat, which is why I have never lived in a place without on-site laundry, but I also hate the laundry room. I hate walking up and down the stairs to do laundry. I hate having to wait for others to get done with their laundry. I hate people waiting on me to do my laundry. I hate getting quarters. I hate the whole thing. My next domicile WILL have in-unit laundry. It's a dealbreaker from henceforth and forever more.

So one Saturday, instead of getting up at the crack of dawn to do laundry, I go in the afternoon big mistake. Way too many people down there in the middle of the day. I had 4 loads to do. I had 2 in the washer and when I get downstairs with my next 2 a woman is down there waiting for my washers to stop, so she can put her loads in. She has on blue and gold University of Michigan slippers. So I already wasn't feeling her.

She goes "do you have more to do?" I say "yep, 2 loads." She goes "oh." I was like it's going to be at least 80 minutes because these two loads have to go in the [40 minute] dryer and my next two loads do as well.

She goes "Maybe I could put a load in the wash and you could too." Have I mentioned that I hate laundry? I pretty much wait until the last possible moment to do it every single time and now she wants to prolong my torture by 65 minutes and several trips up and down the stairs?

I was trying to fix my face in such a way that didn't make her feel like I was about to punch her in the nose while simultaneously coming up with a key message that said "In what world does that make sense?" I ended up with some sort of weird one-eye squint and no words coming out of my mouth. She decided to just go across the street to our connected building which has 5 washers and dryers vs. 2.

Have I mentioned that I don't like leaving my building to do laundry? Doesn't matter if it's connected by a courtyard. That's outside.

I can't wait to get a washer and dryer in my apartment. CANNOT.WAIT!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dear College Students

Dear College Students & Potential College Students,

This entire conversation is written in love. I swear.

You CAN afford college and here's how. Get scholarships, be an R.A. (free housing, free food), work 20 hours a week and PAY FOR IT YOURSELF. Do not take ANY student loans.

The amount of money that they put on your FAFSA saying "the cost of living" is the "suggested" amount of money that you should spend while you're in college. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SPEND THAT MUCH MONEY. In fact, just call and ask how much tuition is. Work to pay tuition. Do not take out loans for room and board.

It may take you five years. It may take you six years, but do you realize how long it's going to take to pay off credit cards and students loans just to be able to say you finished college in four years and lived in a nice off-campus apartment.

If I knew then, what I know now about money, savings, loans, credit and debt I'd be SO rich right now. I'd be making it rain all over the club the stock market.

There's not one salary for graduates with debt and another salary for graduates without debt. Essentially, if you graduate with debt, you're already behind [net worth] the curve.

I wish someone had this conversation with me before I went down to Urbana/Champaign. So if you're in college or have a friend, cousin, sibling, child going to college, please share this with them. Their bottom line will thank you.