Monday, October 29, 2012

House PAR-TAY!

I found a new apartment in Pittsburgh, more on that later.

Then I had two days in Chicago before I flew to D.C. for a conference (Thursday through Sunday), more on that later. 

I get back to the Chi and I have a housewarming/going away party for family from 3-6 p.m. We invited 20 people.

Then I have a party from 6 p.m. until for friends. I invited 100 people.

I live in a one bedroom loft. It's probably about 650 sq ft. I mean, there's not even a DOOR on the bedroom and I invited 100 people over.

If you're reading this... I survived and we didn't get shut down by the police it just means I scheduled this blog post.

The point is... I'll check in with y'all tomorrow or later. I'm sure these parties have written about two weeks worth of blog posts.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Split Ends.. No Really.

I'm having the best year ever, but my hair... my hair is struggling. It started getting ratty about a month ago, which means I need my ends clipped. The problem is that I hadn't had them clipped since New Year's Eve. 10 months?

Yeah, I did the dummy and inches of hair are gone in the back to prove it. I faded back to dark as well.

Well, I can't have it all, now can I?

January on the left, October on the right. Let's shed a tear for the strands we lost.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dealbreakers... but not really

Sometimes I have thoughts when dating new guys that make no sense. If they look like Idris Elba or Dwight Howard the thought will disappear, but that's not always the case. It's petty, I know. Judge me.

A peak inside my [dating] brain:
  • Is that Tommy Sport? He probably has bad credit if he wears Tommy Sport.
  • I would sleep with him if he stopped texting me in all caps.
  • How can I ask him what he has against good spelling and punctuation in text messages without sounding like a raging bitch.
  • He was so much more attractive when he lived out of town.

Friday, October 19, 2012

6 a.m. Service

So Fellowship has a 6 a.m. church service every Friday. I don't know if it's for the summer or what [sidenote: This post has been in my drafts since summer 2011], but it's pretty dope.

Q: T, do you go to Fellowship?
A: No.

Q: T, have you ever BEEN to 6 a.m. service at Fellowship?
A: No

But, I have awesome friends that run their sermon notes to me and how can we be better lest we share info with our friends (and blog readers). ,strike> a couple of Fridays
a long time ago Pastor Jenkins preached on the three Ps that you need for a new opportunity to come your way.
Be Prepared
Be Prayerful
Be Patient

If I was a better listener, I would have had more notes on each of these. And if I was a better blogger I would have written said notes immediately so as not to forget them and share with you. But I'm me, so that's it. ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tale of Two Grandmas

T: Grandma, I'm moving to Pittsburgh.

Grandma: Well baby you got to do what you got to do to better yourself. And you don't got no babies and no husband and now is the time to do that type of thing...

Baby, don't cry. Naw, don't do that. You're doing the right thing. You come by and see me before you leave.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

T: Grandma, I'm moving to Pittsburgh.

Grandma: What? Pittsburgh? Now baby, why would you do that? Well... you come by and see me before you leave.

I love these two old ladies. They give me the support and slap in the face that I need to face reality.

Answering Opportunity

My Pastor has deemed this the year of never before and even though I already had a new job and just moved to a new apartment and moved to the south side for the first time there was STILL more "never before" for me.

So yep, I'm leaving my new job for a better job opportunity and it's in Pittsburgh of all places. It was not on my top 5 places that I would live in the United States, but the opportunity is so strong and the offer was so solid, I just couldn't refuse.

I cried a lot because I'm going to miss Chicago and everyone in it. Ultimately, I had to take a courageous step to do something different and I'm hoping it will open up a new world of opportunity and featlessness for me.

I'm going to be working in the PR department of an ad agency. You all know I'm not one for giving my longitude and latitude on social media, but trust me, it's a great move.

I'm asking for your prayers and well wishes. Even though I'll be in a different zip code, I imagine that I will still be home for all of the ethings (Holidays, Super Bowl, Virgo Bash, etc.)

And most people don't even see me but once a year, but feel good about knowing that they COULD see me if they wanted to see me. To that I say... imagine that I moved to Naperville and THAT'S why you can't see me AS often. Feel better? Great.

I imagine that I'm going to be too busy to blog every single day over the next couple of weeks, but brace yourself for Pittsburgh stories. A new environment means new content. Who's ready?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hello Dallas!

It's clean out my drafts week. I started writing this post in April 2012 right after I'd returned from a work trip to Dallas. I stayed at the Joule, which was a "luxury" hotel in downtown Dallas. I say luxury because it was fabulous, but it was only $199/night and that wasn't a discuss. A full-priced luxury hotel in the Chi will run you about half a month's rent per night, so I was pleasantly surprised at the amenities.

- Located in the heart of downtown (it's near my favorite Dallas Tex-Mex restaurant, Iron Cactus)
- Rooftop pool
- ShiShi FruFru breakfast/brunch situation
- Beautifully dressed staff
- Amazingly helpful staff
- Great decor

I could go on and on. If you're in Dallas and you want that sexy stuff for lower prices, go here. Or just put on your bathing suit and sneak to the rooftop pool and go back home. Either way. LOL!


The photo above is the lobby. I don't know what those big things are, but aren't they beautiful? LOL!

What are your favorite places in Dallas?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sandbar

A long time ago, I went to Philly for work and we came upon this non-assuming little restaurant that and it was open and we were hungry.

My two coworkers and I soon found out that no fish in the restaurant was more than 48 hours from sea. Now this meant that at the end of the night a lot of the stuff that we wanted wasn't on the menu, but it also meant that what we ended up eating was off the charts.

I don't really remember what I was doing in Philly for work or who I was even with (yeah, I travel that much). But I came across the business card for this restaurant while I was cleaning to move into my new apartment and I promised I'd share it with my blog readers.

Best part is that I asked for key lime pie and I'm expecting some pre-made pie to come out. Or perhaps they got the pie from somewhere else and it was frozen and they cut me a piece. Um... no. They mixed the pie filling right in front of my face and when I tell you it was the best key lime pie I have ever tasted... in Philly. They snapped.

The sad part about this post is that when I Googled the restaurant to give you the address it gave me some place in New Hope, PA (that ain't it) and like a lot of restaurants, I'm assuming it went out of business.

If you live in Philly or go to Philly and see it, let me know. If not, I wish I could have done their PR for them. I hate to see a perfectly good key lime pie recipe go to waste.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Panera Cares




This has been in my drafts since June, but the Panera on the Corner of Diversey and Broadway (right next to Walgreens) has changed into a Panera Cares. It's basically the same restaurant, same food, but instead of cash registers, they have donation boxes. So you can pay what you can to eat. I learned about it when I was still a northsider. The model addresses a ton of things:

Hunger, Homelessness, Job Training, Community Service and Giving.

If you frequent Panera like I do, you know that there are always a ton of homeless people in there. And most people are just trying to get out of the cold and get something to eat. This Panera Cares concepts allows them to do just that, but it doesn't isolate them. Instead people who can afford to pay more, do. And people who can't afford to pay much, pay what they can. It's basically how government would operate if everyone was a good person. I digress.

What's also awesome, is that Panera Cares is using the space to do job training for the unemployed.

I love this concept. Kudos to Panera and the legislators in the area that made it happen.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Make It Work

I have a female mentor who's knocking on 50, not married and no kids. She loves her life, but regrets not stopping when she was closer to my age to get married and procreate.

She told me I need to be married in the next five years. (Like marriage is a city I can just buy a plane ticket to and be there in 5 years, smh).

Every once in a while she checks in with me and is like "If you like him, just make it work and get married and have a baby." Again, like I can just propose and have a husband. She figures marriage is hard, so make it work with whoever has most of the parts and is willing.

I don't subscribe to the gospel she's preaching, BUT I appreciate people who are candid about the choices they've made in their lives. I appreciate people who care enough about me to tell me where they feel unfulfilled, then do their best to make sure I'm filled in those areas. What a blessing to have that honesty in my life.

She feels like work was her priority and she just forgot to stop and have kids. It's good to hear someone give me that perspective to make sure (since I "DO" want munchkins) that they same thing doesn't purposely happen to me.

Have your mentors ever given you some well-meaning, but far-reaching (and hilarious to boot) advice?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Practical Tips for Being a Disciple

I love when a sermon has a pratical application. I believe that all the Bible stories happened, but sometimes I don't know what they have to do with me. A visiting Pastor at Broadview Baptist Church gave a great lesson and I wanted to share.

Pastor Bill Smith
Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20, II Chronicles 16:9
Title: The Disciple's Mandate

1. Evangelism - Sharing the good news and what God has done for me. I should look for every opportunity to share God's love. Pastor Smith mentioned your server when you go to a restaurant. Do you treat waiters and waitresses with the love of God. And if they're having a hard time ask them if there's anything you can pray for them for. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm so much better with customer service than I was a young lad, but the last thing on my mind is sharing God's love with them. I'm like "are they going to do their job right or what" and that's the wrong attitude to have. I learned so much from Pastor Smith on this night.

2. Education - Are you willing to do what God has asked you to do. EVERY CHRISTIAN MUST HAVE A PASSPORT. This was an interesting message to me because my own Pastor, Pastor Hannah, has been saying this as well. My church is less traditional though and I thought the idea was pretty cutting edge. Growing up in a "missionary" Baptist Church though, Pastor Smith, underscored that if we are truly missionary as Christians, then we must get off U.S. soil and share God's love. I really enjoyed that.

3. Teaching - Every Christian should be a part of the teaching ministry. This is not a task I'm willing to take on right now. I go to church regularly, but I'm not involved in ministry. I do have a passion for youth, but I'm not exactly "living right" all the time, so I feel horrible teaching "rules and regulations" to the kids, then not living up to those standards myself. I think once I'm married (and having church-sanctioned sex), I may start getting more involved. This is something I'll continue to pray about.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dresses!!!

I am in love with dresses now that I have to dress business casual for work. I found this site www.dorothyperkins.com while on Pinterest. The prices are extremely reasonable. I hope they fit well. I haven't bought anything yet, but this is my reminder that when I put dresses into my budget, I need to go here first.



Have you bought anything from here? Where's your favorite place for dresses?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flowers and... Cufflinks?

I send so many flowers to my girlfriends that FTD thinks I’m a man. I tweeted this and then it occurred to me that I never send flowers to my guy friends. If it’s a man’s birthday, bereavement, promotion, new job, new baby… I don’t know what to send that’s in the $30-60 range that would get the same reaction as flowers would get from a woman.


So I asked the men of Twitter and though they started with all the vulgar sex things a woman could do in thanks, I reeled it in to remind folks that sex is necessity not a gift. You don’t bring people bottled water talmbout “Happy Birthday.” Goofs.

Anywho, here are the gifts they told me. I’m writing this more as a reference for myself when I want to send a little gift.

10. Jordans (Someone didn’t see my $30-60 price point)

9. Clothes (specifically, someone said $60 of white tees says “congrats” or “job well done”)

8. Groceries

7. Food gift cards (Harolds, Chipotle, Starbucks, Endless Shrimp)

6. A nice card and a trinket for his desk (this came from an older happily married preacher)

5. Music

4. Cologne

3. A round of golf

2. Nice cigars

1. Game Day Tickets (Got to be for the Bulls and not the Bears though because Bears tickets start at $140 a pop)

Overall the response is that men are specific. They want what they want and most men with jobs already have everything they want, so just buy him more of what he already has. Let me reiterate that while these could be caking gifts, this is NOT a caking post. I have male friends that need congrats and encouragement too. I give y’all a head’s up when I’m caking, don’t I? LOL!



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Online...

I was supposed to be doing nonprofit work, but I got wisked away by shoe shopping online

Zappos.com - The best part about Zappos (besides the free shipping for preferred members) is that they let you pick every detail to narrow your options. So after clicking, heels, 7.5, pumps, 4-inch (I checked 3-4 inches too), leather, I had 88 choices. They had a Pour la victoire shoe ($230), but that's not a brand I know or trust. They had an Ivanka Trump ($130), but I support nothing Trump related, if I can help it. Damn my moral convictions getting in the way of my shoe purchaes. They had a Steve by Steve Madden, Steve is not the homie when it comes to your feet not hurting.

I probably should have told y'all that I'm picky. But you should already know that.

So I hit up Norstrom online - They MUST have a shoe without embellishments. They must. Shoes-pumps-classic pumps-black and then boom. This beautiful Charles David ($185) black pump appears. These jerks don't have it in 7.5. The search continues. Vince Camuto Kain Pump ($89.99 on sale) Boom. It's only in 9.5... unboom.

Michael Kors site - Only have short heels

BCBG Max Azria site - Nothing unfancy

Charles David site has a variation on the Sway pump I saw at Nordstrom, but the heel is snakeskin. Hmm...

In going back to get links for this post I found this Enzo shoe on sale. Another consideration.

So which one do you think I bought? Or do you think I'm still on the hunt? Which would you have bought and why?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Update on an Update

I finally made it to the hearing doctor. The net net is that I don't need to do anything. (Don't you love when this happens?), but let me explain.

- There is nothing structurally wrong with my ears, so surgery is not an option so there's nothing to fix.
- I can't hear very high pitches of words or sounds. Some words have very high pitches. Over the years to cope with this, my brain has just filled in when necessary. Sometimes, my brain fills in the wrong words.
- Additionally, my hearing is worse when background noise is involved. So concerts, trains, parties, football games, movies, etc. In a face-to-face conversation, not so bad, but face-to-face at any of the above mentioned places I'm like what? huh? Say it again?
- Hearing AIDS would be an expensive problem and they're not smart, so they would bring in all the background noise that I probably don't want to hear (folks whispering in a movie theater, creepy sounds at a bbq, etc.)

So the net, net is that assuming that my hearing hasn't gotten worse since I first noticed the loss, my original doctor was right in telling me there's nothing I could do about it. Perhaps, like most things, this is semantics. There's PLENTY I can do about it, but there's nothing that would be worth my time or money given how well I've done with the hearing loss to date. The cost-benefit analysis doesn't add up to take action. Perhaps that was too much information for a teen, but I think I could have handled it. I digress.

It took me four doctor's appointments to come to the conclusion that nothing needs to be done. All these copays later, I'm happy to have peace of mind. Now when I ask you to repeat yourself, you'll know why. Don't hate me. ;-)

Additionally, the doctor (who's 80) said to come back and see him in 3-4 years and we'll see if it's changed. I love elderly people who love their jobs.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Who Knew?

I have grown weary in my search for a black, pointed toe, leather, 4-inch pump. The most basic of all basic work shoes. Let me take you on my journey.

DSW - They had a Nine West (59.99) pump. Same that I always get. #DoNotWant. They had a Guess pump that I would have considered except it only came in black patent and black suede.

Macy's - They have Nine West ($69.99), which I already know I don't want and INC ($79.99), which is Macy's store brand and the same price point as Nine West, which leads me to believe, it will also tear up after one year of wear.

Nordstrom - They have a 2 1/2 inch Michael Kors pump, which is perfect, except for the fact that I don't wear kitten heels. They hurt my ankles. We're wearing heels or flats in 2012. None of these grandma shoes (#NoDiss). They also had a Prada ($650), but the damn shoe said PRADA accross the front. I don't wear labels on my clothes. It's not my thing.

Bloomingdales - This is the first time I've ever shopped at Bloomingdale's. I used to think I couldn't afford it, but they have some reasonably priced stuff in there. They had no 4 inch heels, but a 3 1/2 in Coach (129.99 I think) and B by Brian Atwood ($345). I was ABOUT to buy the coach shoe when I realized that it had a Coach tag on the back. No thank you. Then the B by Brian Atwood shoes pinched my toes. It's never smart to buy a shoe that hurts in the store, especially at that price point.

So I go home, empty handed and deflated, but determined to find what I'm looking for online.
More on this tomorrow.