Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: Year In Review

January - Brought in the New Year in Memphis with my bff (3 days). Went to what seemed like countless birthday events for #CapricornSeason. I don't know why I'm friends with so many of them. LOL! Got laid off from my job [womp].

February - Phoenix to meet my youngest niece and hang with my brother's family (5 days). Chicago (10 days). 

March - Job interview in NYC (1 day).

April - Job interviews in NYC (7 days). Lesley's bachelorette weekend in NOLA (3 days). Job interviews in NYC (2 days).

May - New York to look for an apartment (3 days). I MOVED TO NEW YORK! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Lesley's wedding in Chicago (3 days)

June - Went to Ohio for work (2 days)

July -Went to Pittsburgh for Joy's baby shower (3 days).

August -Went to Ohio for work (1 day)

September - Lesley visited from Memphis (3 days)

October -Went to Ohio for work (2 days), Went to St. Louis for work (2 days)

November - Went to Chicago for Cam's wedding & family visits (7 days), Mom came to visit me in New York for Thanksgiving (5 days). I hosted my first Thanksgiving in my little NY apartment! 

December -Went to Chicago for Christmas (8 days)

And somewhere in there I found out I'd be giving birth to twins [WHOA!] in 2016. What a year of twists and turns! What was your best memory from 2015? Or, if you did a 2015 roundup on your blog, please drop the link the comments.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year! XOXO

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Back of the Plane

I made a lot of decisions methodically. I'm robotic even, but it works for me. I rather enjoy sitting on the back of the plane. Here's why:

10. Quicker access to the bathroom on the plane.
9. When you have a carryon, there's usually more overhead bin space in the back.
8. When you have checked luggage, by the time you get off the plane your luggage waiting for you. 
7. You're closer to the flight attendants, so if you need help/extra goodies you are more likely to catch them.
6. People don't stare at you when they get on the plane (if you're in a middle or window seat).
5. People don't put their behinds on your shoulder when they get on the plane (if you're in an aisle seat).
4. The likelihood of their being an open seat next to you is WAY higher, so you can stretch out more times than not.
3. Somehow you avoid the long bathroom lines when you get OFF the plane. Probably the people in the middle opted out of going to the bathroom on the plane and by the time you get off, they're long gone.

2. People in the back of the plane are more chill. They're less likely to have a plane to catch or some important something to do, so they're not knocking you over to get off the plane. It makes for an overall better flying experience. 
1.  When the plane lanes you have time to check your email (if you're on a work trip) and your social media (when you're on a personal trip) BEFORE getting off the plane, so you don't have to walk through the airport with your head in your phone like all the other idiots.

Do you have an weird travel preferences? Where do you like to sit on planes?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Black Owned Businesses in Pittsburgh

One thing I appreciated about Pittsburgh is the people who have committed to stay in the city are committed to its improvements from a civic, economic and even social standpoint. I really appreciate their commitment and this year, as Black Lives Matter encouraged us to Buy Black this holiday season, I wanted to provide a guide to where to go in Pittsburgh to keep your dollars in the neighborhood.

(Also this has been in my drafts FOREVER and I just need to get it published, so...)

Here are the top 10 black owned businesses in entertainment, food, beauty and shopping to support and frequent in Pittsburgh.


  1.  The Hub Pgh - Website that keeps you up-to-date on the latest food and entertainment for young professionals in the 'Burgh. They're on Instagram too.
  2. Savoy- Restaurant during the day. Lounge during happy hour. Club at night. Pretty much the only reputable place to party in Pittsburgh.  
  3. Carmi Soul Food- People call it Carmi's because you know black people can't just say Jewel or Nordstrom. It's Jewel's or Nordstrom's. But I heard the food is good. Sad I never made it here while I lived there.
  4.  Dream Cream Ice Cream - I think I've talked about this before, but for every scoop you get, 25% of the proceeds goes to someone's dreams. I raised money for the Children's Sickle Cell Foundation here. And the ice cream is good! 
  5. Jerome Bettis' Grille 36 - It wouldn't be Pittsburgh without memories of the bus all over the city. This is close to PNC park and has good, reasonably priced (but not cheap), bar eats. Definitely a great before or after the game spot.
  6. Ultimate Beauty Spa - I never made it here, but made a note to add it to my list.
  7. Ambiance- Nice hair and nail salon on the northside. I went to JJ for a cut and blowout.
  8. Mark Anthony Salon - This is a family owned salon and everything in here is sweet as pie. They have a student discount day on Tuesdays and they are experts at cut and color. Get ready for prices that mirror salons in much larger markets, but you get what you pay for so I highly recommend them. Anyone there is good, but I went to Chardae.
  9. Society Men's Grooming Lounge - Upscale Barber Shop that actually opened since I left. I love to see black folks doing big things in the 'Burgh.
  10. Windy's Boutique - Ok, this is a bit of a stretch. The owner of this salon is Winter Ramos of LHHNY fame (I never saw the show when she was on it though). I happened upon it on the way to happy hour and came up on some great finds. It's in southside and worth the trip. I don't know if she's black or not, but she's a person of color and I needed to get this list to 10, so go support her. 
Also, not listed, is a bed and breakfast in pgh that's black owned. I wrote it down somewhere, but lost it. If anyone knows that place or finds that place, please let me know. I would like to support them on one of my trips back to the 'Burgh.

Monday, December 28, 2015

5 Months Pregnant

I'm 5 months pregnant today. Ooh wee, I'm freakin' out. In 3-4 months I will be responsible for not one, but two lives.

I'm so grateful for people who say things like: you're going to be a great mom. I wonder if they know I eat dessert before dinner. That I'm super messy... like I NEVER make up my bed and that I'm clumsy as all get out. I'm deathly afraid that I'm going to forget where I put a baby in the house or I'm going to drop them or something...

Seriously, I can never find my keys. And I break glass mugs all the time.

Also, where will they sleep?  And will I ever sleep again?

AND what if I snap on the nanny and/or daycare provider? Are they going to abuse my kids.

Lawd, there's always so much on my mind.

Seriously though. I know these thoughts are illogical and I have a lot more in place than I thought I would have at this point. A couple of baby showers, nursery decorating and a hospital bag to pack and I'm good to go. And a pediatrician. They need a pediatrician. So much to do.

Oh, and then I need to research how to raise future leaders, scholars and champions. There's that.




Saturday, December 26, 2015

September 26: Three Months Later

Around mid-September a Mesothelioma advocate emailed and asked if I would share some info with my readers about this rare cancer. I said yes, then life happened.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day was September 26th. I am two months late with the info, but I wanted to keep my work and better late than never.

Here are some facts you should know: 

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a carcinogen that was used widespread until with 1970's, but is still not banned in the U.S. and Canada today. Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, most patients are given about 10-15 months to live.
 
According to nyc.gov, asbestos can be found in:
  • building materials such as fireproofing products, pipe and boiler insulation, roofing materials, ceiling and floor tiles, and asbestos cement products
  • automobile brakes and clutches, and other friction products
  • heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant fabrics and materials.

The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to have any asbestos abatement carried out by a licensed professional. Note that abatement doesn't always remove the asbestos, it just makes it such that it can't emit fibers that could be harmful.

It's pretty scary to think that the air outside of my home is polluted, but the air inside of my home could be polluted as well. But licensed professionals can help to make sure the air we all breathe is safe.

Click on the infographic below for more details or for more info and resources visit www.mesothelioma.com or nyc.gov. 


Thursday, December 24, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It's Christmas Eve! I don't have to work for four straight days. I'm at home with my family and the weather is not blistery cold. Life is good.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends and lots of hugs (the best gifts) this holiday season.

Be back on Friday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Surviving a Spirit Airlines Flight

More on Spirit

My ticket was $121 one-way, which included all the "extras" I paid for including: 1 checked bag, zone 2 priority seating and choosing my own seat. I opted out of gate check in ($10) and a carry on ($55) and the big seat in the front ($40).

Here are my top 10 ways to survive a spirit flight:

10. Print your boarding pass BEFORE you get to the airport. Even if you check in online, if you use Spirit's printers to print your boarding pass, it will cost you $10

I checked in online only to find out they don't have electronic boarding passes. (Why would I play myself and think they would employ any technology whatsoever?) I don't have a printer at home and the flight was late on Saturday night, so 24 hours ahead of time I wasn't at work to print it out. I ended up going to my girl's house in the Bronx to print it out, which took like 45 minutes. But it was well worth it because when I got to the airport with maybe 5 people in line in front of me, I was accosted like a criminal by TWO employees talmbout: DO YOU HAVE YOUR BOARDING PASS?

I can only imagine how much less smoothly my evening would have went if the answer would have been no.

9. Get there early - My ticket said boarding time was 9:14 p.m. for a 9:59 p.m. departure. I figured it would board about about 9:30 p.m. and I was right. I was at the gate at about 8:30 p.m. and that eased some of my concern.

8. Sit in the adjacent seats while waiting to board - Spirit likely only has one gate that all of their flights go out of. (Why waste money on more than one gate?), so folks are packed into the seats like sardines. More reputable airlines have more space and you can stretch out.

7. Be nice to the flight staff. It's only one person who checks your bags, and checks you onto the plane and that person is probably the pilot, too. Be nice to them. They have been dealing with people who are either poor (and likely disgruntled) or cheap (and likely disgruntled) all day long.

6. Expect for folks ON THE PLANE to NOT know how to act. Refer to yesterday's posts about the woman who doesn't know D from F, the woman who sat RIGHT next to me despite there being an extra seat in our row and the men who couldn't wait their turn to get off of the plane. Just expect that foolishness.

5. Bring your own snacks and water - I don't think a snack or drink cart came around while I was on the plane. Maybe because it was a night flight, maybe because they're a janky airline, maybe I was sleep. I've heard hat they say Cup 'O' noodles on the plane, but I didn't see that. In any case, don't even expect to BUY sustenance. Just bring it with you.

4. Bring entertainment, and especially headphones - Despite it being a night flight it was unusually loud. Some in part to the

3. Pack your seabands, Dramamine, rosary beads and/or prayer journal - Chile, the flight was shaky from wheels up to feels down. Fortunately for me, I fly ALL THEE TIME, so turbulence doesn't bother me. Fortunately for everyone on the plane around me, I'm in my second trimester and these babies have settled down a bit. It could have been bad all around.

2. READ THE FINE PRINT. Everything costs extra on Spirit. If you don't want to sit in a middle seat, pay for it. If you want to check in at the gate, pay for it. If you want anything that's normal on another airline, pay for it. But don't get there are be surprised that it costs money. You will be mad!

1. Lower your expectations - Seriously. Across the board, if you expect 0 and they show up at 80, you will be pleasantly surprised. And that's better than expecting 100 and getting 80, which is a C, which is average, which is basic. And being basic and average is virtually failing.

Bonus Tip: Get up and walk around. My flight was only two hours, but if you play yourself with a true cross-country flight on Spirit, you're going to be rickety sitting in those made-for-toddler seats. Get up and walk around. Your body will thank you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Spirit Airlines... An Entire Mess

I'm a New Yorker now. I'm an expectant mother. I don't have extra funds to trick off on niceties, but I MUST be home for Christmas. I missed Thanksgiving in the Chi and while hosting my first Thanksgiving in my little New York apartment gave me all the feels, there is truly no place like home.

Holiday travel is expensive, so I've been sewing together airline points and miles trying to get home without it costing the sacrifice of one of my unborn children. I have a credit on Delta Airlines (in theory) and wanted to cash in that credit for my departure to Chicago. I ended up getting a Wanna Get Away fare on Southwest for the flight back. There's a break in communique between the Delta refund office and the Delta ticketing office which resulting in them saying something like:

"We see the credit, but we can't issue it. Can you ask refund for XYZ info." Of course, I can only email the refund department and their turnaround time is too long for me to be waiting to get a flight... This was weeks before I was set to travel.

So I broke down and got a Spirit Airlines flight. Despite reading Luvvie's first post and Luvvie's second post (and all the comments) and seeing this YouTube video (it's seriously worth all eight minutes of watching), I still broke down and did it.

As you can see from reading this post, I'm still alive. Tomorrow, I'll tell you how to survive. Since my expectations were so low and I had a cauldron of folks praying for me it wasn't THAT bad, but today, I'll tell you all the things that annoyed me about this flight.

  • There's no handicapped seating or priority boarding. As a pregnant woman this is paramount to me having a good flight. When I got to the gate, there were three flights going out before mine and people were just EVERY WHERE. It looks like a sleep in at a college campus. I took my bougie behind to sit in the Southwest seats adjacent to Spirit, so I wouldn't have to stare at people who looked down an out for an hour. 
  • Not only do the seats NOT recline, but they seem to be more upright than regular seats that don't recline. They really pack you onto the plane. I could feel the knees of the woman behind me in my back the whole flight and she didn't seem that tall. I was in an aisle seat and when she bent over to pick up her bag, I could feel her head graze my shoulder. Really Spirit? 
  • The flight attendants don't have anything to do. Since we're not getting drinks or snacks on this flight, they ensure your safety, then sit the hell down the entire rest of the flight. The ones on my plane TALKED THE ENTIRE TIME FROM NEW YORK TO CHICAGO. Yep, 2 hours of unprofessional folks yapping. They could have been swapping cookie recipes for all I know, but this is a night flight (took off at 10 p.m.) can you have SOME respect for customers. Read a book. 
  • And more about unprofessional flight attendants. I hate sitting in the aisle, but that's what happens when you're pregnant. If I need to make frequent bathroom trips I need access! I was woken up from my sleep so many times from someone's ass grazing my shoulder and I'm thinking "wow, a lot of people are using the bathroom on this flight." But no, it's unprofessional flight attendants on itty bitty planes who have no sense of their own body weight and no care for the "comfort" of their passengers. Note, comfort is different from safety. 
  • International passengers. I think when you're on a trip going a lot of different places your priority is on the cheapest form of travel. I live in New York, so I'm used to hearing different languages being spoken, but not so used to people not knowing or speaking English. OR knowing American customs. So I'm in the aisle. One foreign Asian girl in the middle seat. One presumably (from the accent) American woman in the window. 
  • FIRST, window chick walks up and assesses that I'm in the wrong seat. *clutches pearls* EVERYBODY KNOWS "F" is the window seat. Don't roll up on my with an F ticket talmbout you're supposed to be in the aisle. Like, is this your first flight ever? Might be. 
  • SECOND, window seat chick asked for an aisle elsewhere if one becomes available and it does. So I have to get my pregnant ass up, yet again to let her out. 
  • THIRD, Asian foreign chick does NOT move to the window seat. I wait for the plane door to close. Lights come down. I say "I don't think she's coming back." She says "I don't know." Then just stays in the middle seat. I fall asleep, wake up to her ass shifting in the seat TOUCHING ME UNNECESSARILY and I say "you don't want the window seat? She goes "no she might come back. Do you want the window seat?" I'm like no, because your ass is going to stay in the middle seat, still touching me and then when I have to get up and go pee, you're STILL going to be on my got damn nerves. I can't believe we sat on that two-hour flight right next to each other like we were married with NO ONE in the window seat. Complete waste of space.
  • Rude Passengers - And finally, this cooks my grits like you would not believe. I'm in aisle 28. Aisle 30 is the last row. As soon as the plane lands (11:23 p.m.), some dude from the last row walks his monkey ass up to the front of the plane like it's not 30 rows of people getting off in front of him. At this hour, there's no way there's a connecting flight. You're just rude. And just because you don't know better (first flight, international passenger) doesn't make you any less rude. About 5 more grown men did this to the point that people who DON'T know better thought they were supposed to. Your ride, your family, your business is not any more important than my ride, my family, my business. By going out of order, you eff of the flow in general, just wait your damn turn. 

So yeah, I didn't have the plane delays, cut up seats, mean flight attendants (they were unprofessional, but friendly as hell) or unplanned overage fees that other people complain about (mostly due to the corporate prayer I called for before I took off), but the issued I had on this flight are specific to the types of people who choose to fly this raggedy airline. I made it safely. I was just plain annoyed.


Monday, December 21, 2015

I'm SO SORRY!

I am terribly sorry for all of the things I said to or thought about pregnant women while I was not pregnant. Here are a few of them:

  • Sleep when the baby sleeps. This is dumb and I'm sorry I said it. I heard someone else give that advice... Probably a grandmother. Grandmothers are great, except for the fact that they haven't had newborns in um... 20-30 YEARS! They romance so much stuff. I have no business as a younger woman spewing that trash. 
  • She's not on maternity leave YET. This is something I said to myself...in my head when a manager would tell me they were letting up the workload on a coworker because she expecting. I always felt like the single, unmarried person has to pick up the slack for everyone who has life events. Just because I wasn't planning a wedding or planning a new life, didn't mean I deserved to be in the office all night either. I thought carrying a baby was like growing hair. Like it just happens... and outside of your belly getting bigger (or hair growing longer) there's no physical toll on the body. Boy, was I wrong. Expecting mothers actually need to rest and need stress-free lives. I know that now and I'm sorry for thinking these mean things before.
  • I wish I had a husband and/or kids, so I could leave at 5 p.m. too - This is me being selfish and self-centered FOR SURE (And it's my own time management issue of not respecting my single, no kids activities enough to let them take precedence over my work). Because when you have to care for a new life (or align your life to another human's in marriage) there are SO MANY more important things than work and deadlines. And I'd rather give 85% at work, so I can show up for my family, than to give 110% at work and be raggedy as hell at home. When I drop these shorties, I can't see myself staying past 5 p.m. at work ever. 1, because daycare has late fees, but 2. Because I just would rather be with them than at the office. I never fully grasped that concept before.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Manners: Get Some!

When I had the idea to start a mommy blog (it's still an idea), I was just going to write one post every day about my adventures of riding the MTA while pregnant. IT SUCKS!

During the first trimester when I knew I was pregnant, but there were no visible signs, it was the worst.
  • I would squeeze into any train car like I did before. Moving fast was my priority. 
  • I would stand up the entire time from 135th to 23rd St. 
  • I would walk two Avenues from the 1 to 5th Avenue, so I wouldn't have to change platforms - you know, to move faster.
  • And every day I would spend the first 20 minutes of the day in the bathroom at work as a result. Just sick as hell because my body wasn't supposed to be producing two babies AND commuting like an on-the-go New Yorker.  

As I noticed my morning getting harder and harder, I changed my priorities.
  •  Now I go to the front or back of the car (most likely to get a seat there).
  • I'll let three trains pass before getting on (I'm not about to be arguing with people for bumping into my belly). 
  • I cross over to the train that includes the least amount of walking from the last stop to my destination. This adds 10 minutes to my commute, but makes sure I don't have to smell the smells of NY before going into the office. And yes, it is cleaner air in the subway than above ground. New York is disgusting. 
  • And most boldly, I just ask people to let me sit down. This, is by far, the most upsetting part of my day every day. For every person who lets me sit down when I politely ask to sit down, followed up by: I'm XX months pregnant with twins, there are between 3 and 10 people who just do not care. They do not BLINK when I say I'm pregnant. They do not shift their seats. They do not ACT like they're about to get up. They just look at me like "you're pregnant and I'm sitting down. Now that we've established facts, wtf do you want me to do about it?"
New Yorkers are so rude, when I use phrases like "Do you mind if I sit down?" they don't even know what "do you mind" means. I wish I was making this up.

You all know I don't rock with the south, but never more in my life have I desired to be in a place where people have manners. I could just imagine the men and boys tripping over themselves to make sure I don't have to carry anything or open any doors, and that I always have a place to sit.

If you want to be more independent, move to New York. You will swiftly find out that you don't matter, no one cares about you and even if they do, you are never exempt from the hustle. You don't get any special treatment for being a pregnant woman. You're out here just like everyone else, tryna make a dollar outta 15 cents: a dime and a nickel. (echoes: a dime and a nickel.) LOL!

This city is hard, folks. I can't see a long-term future here, but I'm here now, so I'll make it work. If I can give birth to twins in New York, I'm going to be basically invincible. There won't be a task you present me with that I cannot conquer. Of this much, I am convinced.

Where have you given birth? Were the people nice and accommodating or self-centered and obnoxious like New Yorkers?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Elastic and Such

Side Note: I've been replying to your pregnancy post comments via blog comments (Go figure). I haven't replied to blog comments in years, but I figured you all might not want to get a text every single time I have a response or thought about YOUR response to this blog. 

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When I look at my clothes, there's elastic in a lot of things. I almost want to invest in elastic, that's how much there is. I never noticed it before I was pregnant. They just seemed like regular clothes.

Now, I don't like any clothing item hugging my belly. Loose, flowy shirts are awesome. I see lots of moms to be in tank tops, man hell naw. I've also heard of these things called belly bands that help you wear your pants for longer. Essentially, the zipper and button is wide open and the band holds them up discretely under your clothes. Again, the idea of a zipper, button, rivet, string, belt, anything pressing up against my belly all day sounds torturous.

My uniform is long shirt, leggings. Or dress or tunic (That is now just a long shirt) and leggings. If it's warm enough, I'll wear a maxi skirt and cotton shirt or flowy shirt. I have rules about them too. If they have elastic on the waistband, they gotta go.

When I get home, it's all about the moo moo. Wide enough to hold me. Short enough to make bathroom trips. Modest enough that all of my neighbors aren't getting crotch shots regularly.

What I found is that some of the things I need to wear still have too much elastic. I have become an expert in cutting it out. So far here's a list of what works and what doesn't when it comes to cutting out elastic

I can cut the elastic - No problem 
- Leggings
- Mini skirts (worn over leggings under shirts that are too short)
- Boy shorts from H&M

I cannot cut the elastic. I'd played myself. 
- Tights - OMG, you should have seen me hiking these things up towards the end of the day on the train. They were around my knees. Ass all out.
- Basketball shorts - It seems they stitch the elastic throughout the entire pair of shorts, so it's not worth it to try to cut it off.
- Well made yoga or workout pants - They have the super stitching too like basketball.

I just took a pair of scissors into the bathroom at work and did a DIY job on a skirt. I'll buy more clothes when I'm not pregnant. I'm not about to be uncomfortable all day long. (These are cheap things anyway: tights, leggings, boyshorts... I'm not going Martha Stewart on any quality gear.)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Sleepless Nights

It's 2:22 a.m. in Harlem. That's not true. It's 3:08 a.m. When I had the idea to write this blog, it was 2:22 a.m. I've been up since 1:35 a.m. I can't sleep.

There aren't any sirens blazing. Although there are two cops who have stopped someone downstairs, which explains the flashing lights in my building.

There aren't any radios blasting.

There aren't any couples fighting.

There aren't any bums screaming.

There aren't any low lives rapping at the top of their lungs and interrupting my sleep.

Those are the things that usually wake me up at night.

No, tonight, I'm just pregnant. And after I got up to go to the bathroom for the second time tonight, dehydrated as all hell because I can't actually drink water in my sleep, I couldn't go back to sleep.

Harlem is the quietest that I've ever heard it and I can't sleep.

This will hurt in the morning, when I have to get up and go to work. When I'll be more nauseated than usual because I didn't get a full night's sleep. It will hurt at noon when I'm at work and need to take a nap and can't. It will hurt at 3 p.m. when I'm at work and need to go home, but can't. It will hurt at 6 p.m. when I have to announce that I'm pregnant on a crowded NYC subway to get a seat. It will hurt even worse at 7 p.m. when I get home and inevitably puke everything I ate that day because I couldn't get to sleep the night before.

It seems like having a baby is like Men In Black. You see their little smiling faces and forget about all of this. I've seen it happen. Friends who have complained in confidence to me for 9 months on end about how hard pregnancy is will have toddlers and tell our friends who have never been pregnant that it's not that bad.

I hope with twins I get a double MIB erasure because this process is miserable. I don't want to remember it. I don't want to think about it ever again.

Everyone always says "sleep now because when the babies come, you won't get any rest." I just want to punch people in their faces when they give me advice like that. How could they not remember that pregnant nights are sleepless too.

Welp, Quiet time in Harlem is over. I just heard a bum screaming about nothing. Maybe I'll be able to get some rest now.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dancing Helps

My belly is heavy! If I sit for too long, my legs lock up. If I stand for two long, my legs lock up. If I don't have a pillow under my butt, my belly digs into my pubic area and it hurts like hell, like I got punched. Gravity is a MF.

Another thing my doctor pointed out to me when I told him I attempted to [gasp!] exercise in my first trimester is that as a mom of twins, I don't have to exercise. Actually, I should stop immediately. (By that time, I had already canceled my membership and gotten my money back). Just breathing is hard work. When I wake up in the morning, I'm pumping blood for three people. And it's bad now (walking up one flight of stairs on the train has me winded, virtually in tears), but he said at about 30 weeks it's going to be insane. That's why you see so many twin moms on bed rest. This ish is no joke.

So I'm learning how to walk and move and just be in this new awkwardly shaped (and ever growing) body.

Do you know what helps, juking? Yep, bending it over and backing it up. I can't exactly go to the club pregnant. I can't even stay up past 8:30 p.m. at night, so I dance by myself. I don't even let my boyfriend see me doing it.

But most days when I get home from work, I take off my clothes (I effing hate clothes now), put on a moo moo (I need my crouch covered and no seams touching my body. Yes, I have moo moo requirements) and throw dat azz in a circle.

I imagine it's the funniest thing anyone would ever see, if I ever let anyone see it. But I won't. Like my shoe parties, you just have to take my word for it. 

Oh, the moments. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This Christmas

If you've been reading my blog for some time, you know that I get stressed out around Christmas time. Trying to figure out if I should be superwoman and give the best gifts or be super frugal and do what I can.

I was so stressed one year, one of my Jewish friends told me I should just convert. She goes "Hannukah isn't that big of a deal. You could save money." I love my friends so much.

I would like to shout out the city of New York and my two impending deliveries for helping me make the decisions this year.

I am completely done with my shopping because no one's getting anything.

That's not entirely true. I have a bag of stuff that I've either won or been gifted and those will go to nieces, aunts, folks who are probably expecting something (but don't really need anything).

My mom knows I'm saving up for two little ones. And my siblings can make due with a hug. Honestly, I want to ask everyone to pitch in and put 5 on my plane ticket. (I can't believe I haven't [at the time I wrote this post] booked it yet. I'm crazy, I know).

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Are you cutting back this year due to funds, principles [#BlackLivesMatter]? Or are you rolling in the dough and singlehandedly helping the economy one loved one's gift at at a time? 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

More on this excited business

This is how I explained pregnancy to a few friends of mine. I think it's a good analogy.

Being pregnant is like waiting to file your taxes when you know you're going to get a return.

  • You have to get all the receipts together 
  • You have to pay someone (or several people) to do it for you or weigh the stress and benefits of doing it yourself
  • You have to figure out what you're doing to do with the money when you get it... Some people say save, some say invest, some say spend. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but whatever you decide will have an impact for years to come. 
So you know there's something to look forward to (even though you don't yet know how big or small it will be), but the prep for it is exhausting and the decisions you have to make about it are overwhelming and even though everyone acts like you should be thrilled about preparing and filing taxes, you just don't have the same warm, fuzzy feeling about April 15.
I think that will help some folks understand how women who aren't exactly excited about being  pregnant feel.

And I'm so happy for the women who are thrilled about pregnancy (they clearly exist). They got this extra does of glitter that I never received.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Are You Excited?

Sometimes I think I'm too pragmatic to be pregnant. People CONSTANTLY ask me if I'm excited. And I'm not angry with them for the question. It's the EXACT question I would ask a person about pregnancy before I got pregnant. When I talk to other pregnant people (who are honest), they are not excited either. It's just not a feeling you can fake. I hope I get excited. I am not excited right now.

Side note: If you know someone who's pregnant, be sure to ask her how she's feeling (and be prepared for an honest answer). She will totally appreciate the concern for her health and well being. I certainly would. 

If a friend asks, I tell the truth. No, I'm not excited, I'm concerned.

If it's a coworker or an associate (or a family member), I just lie. It's so much easier to do so.

Here are the top 10 responses I WANT to give but, don't, when folks ask me if I'm excited about being pregnant.

10. Yep, the hemmorhoids, especially, are a highlight of my days and night.

9. Yeah, two heads are going to come out of something, that I've tried for 32 years to keep tight. Apparently, it will tear so badly that they'll have to stitch it back up. And if for some reason that can't happen, they'll slice my belly open to the white meat and pick out weird-face children and I'll be in pain recovering for me. I absolutely cannot wait.

8. Yep, I haven't been up past 8:30 p.m. in four months. Seeing as how my favorite things to do include networking, drinking, partying and hanging with friends, nothing makes me happier than being unable to do so now.

7. I am. I'm most looking forward to tuition costs for two children at a time. I really think my budget can handle it.

6. Yep, more than anything, I'm looking forward to unsolicited questions and advice from strangers. You know me, I LOVE small talk. 

5.  Hell yeah. Waddling around like a penguin with two humans sitting on my bladder is AWESOME!

4.  Yes, I moved to the biggest, fastest, most expensive city in America to slow down. It was exactly what I had in mind.

3. Yes, I cannot wait to go from being upper middle class to poor. It's really what I've worked all these 60-hour weeks for leading up to now, it's great. 

2. Yep, I really enjoy begging New Yorkers to let me sit down on the train. Since I'm naturally slim I have to prove that my belly isn't just a pastrami sandwich every day and it really makes my commute awesome.

1. I am. I think we've done all that we need to do as a society to equalize things and my children will definitely NOT be gunned down by police or hung in their jail cells because of the color of their skin. It's a phenomenal feeling.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Eating For Three

I always thought it would be fun to eat constantly as a pregnant woman and gain as much weight as you like. What I didn't know (or realize) is that if I DON'T, I'm going to be sick. Here's a list of foods I can eat (this list is MUCH shorter than the list of food I cannot eat).

10. Fruit
9. MOST veggies, I'm especially fond of avocado right now.
8. Chicken
7. Ground or roasted turkey (I can't have an deli meats)
6. Bread and Baked goods (this actually makes me happy since I didn't used to keep bread in my house). Now I eat Hawaiian bread to stave off nausea and these children haven't taken donuts from me. For that I am grateful.
5. Cheese... sometimes and usually with something mac & cheese, cheese and crackers, grilled cheese (but no soft cheeses, those are not good for the babies). Cheese pizza. Can you believe this. I think cheese pizza is sacrilegious. PIZZA NEEDS MEAT... but not while I'm pregnant 
4. Oatmeal and cereal. I have to drink soymilk now though because I need the calcium, but these kids ARE NOT GOING when it comes to cow's milk. Y'all know I stan for cow's milk, ah well.
3. Bacon and breakfast sausage. Sausage on pizza will have me in the bathroom all night.
2. SIMPLE, SIMPLE, SIMPLE pasta dishes. Limited meat. Limited spices. I went to Cheesecake Factory and asked for pasta and marinara sauce and that's it. They put basil in my joint... I thought I was going to die. Give me BLAND or give me death.
1. Eggs. I really enjoy eggs during this pregnancy.

I'm lowkey shocked that I got to 10 foods that I can actually stomach.

For the 10 minutes I'm stuffing my face every hour, I am very happy because it's the only time where my body isn't spazzing out against me. As soon as I get to the last bite of a sandwich, I'm like watching and waiting. Shit might go well, might not.

What was your go-to food when you were pregnant?


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Daniel Holtzclaw

What Pleases Me
- That a jury made up of all white people, still saw fit to convict a former police officer of wrongdoing.
- The the OKC police department wrote a statement saying they are happy with outcome. This whole "above the law" attitude has to stop and they took a giant leap towards treating humans like humans instead of black people like animals and cops (and/or white men) like saints. 
- That there is some hope for a fair trial in America. After Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, I was starting to think there wasn't. Jordan Dunn's case shows a beacon of light in the justice system as well.


What Angers Me/Scares Me To Death
- That this happened in the first place. His victims ranged from females ages 17 to a grandmother. Reports said he grabbed the grandmother's breast and made her perform oral sex on him. Think about your grandmother, living or alive. Think about if someone did this to her. How angry are you right now? There aren't enough jail cells in the world to contain that anger.
- That he was charged in raping 13 women and only 8 of them got guilty charges. This doesn't mean he didn't rape the other 5. This means there wasn't enough evidence to show that he raped the other five. This scares me senseless because if they'd brought a case with just those 5 women, he would be walking free right now. And people would be screaming about how justice was served and how women (in these cases, poor black women) should stop lying on men for attention.
- THAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA DID NOT COVER THIS CASE - They had cameras in the courtroom with OJ. They are giving us 24 hour coverage on the bigoted, racist, Donald Trump. But they only wrote about this story AFTER there was a guilty verdict. I got all of my news about this case from alternative sources. Shame on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, hell CSPAN for not covering this case.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fibroids: Here's What I Know

I probably should have wrote a whole post on this, but need to explicitly state, I'm not a big fan of people finding out I'm pregnant from other people. Like if my auntie tells my cousin, that's ok. But I don't like folks making mass announcements on my behalf. (I didn't let my mother tell my grandma - her mama - I was pregnant, that's how serious I am about this). 

That's a big part of why you won't see any baby bumps on Facebook, Twitter or Insta. And I won't be sharing my woes with more open networks or linking this blog to every social channel known to man. 

This blog is so limited (I'm not really trying to go viral), so I hope you all can refrain the mass social media congrats on platforms outside of this blog. Or you can always text me :) 

And my bad for not saying so earlier. I know this is a tricky subject. 

On to the subject at hand.

~~~~~

I have fibroids. I have four of them and from what I understand they're about the size of golf balls. Right now, they are not in the way of my babies. It's my prayer that they will stay out of the way for the duration of my pregnancy and throughout delivery.

WHAT ARE FIBROIDS: Fibroids are benign growths in your uterus.

WHAT WERE [MY] PRE-PREGNANCY FIBROID SYMPTOMS Before I got pregnant, the worst they did was make me have bad cramps and heavy bleeding. At it's worst, I'd just have to change my tampon frequently and keep a tight ibuprofen regimen.

At their best, I forgot I even got fibroids.

WHAT ARE OTHER FIBROID SYMPTOMS: If you watch RHOA, you saw Cynthia deal with a growth in her stomach, increased pain, decreased libido. None of that happened to me

WHAT MY DOCTORS TOLD ME ABOUT FIBROIDS: No healthcare professional EVER told me I should do something about them because they might cause pregnancy complications. Perhaps [like my aunts and grandmother], they thought I was too much of a career woman to be worried about having kids [yes, people really say this stuff to me], and didn't see the need to talk to me about it. What flawed logic.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN NOW THAT I'M PREGNANT: Now, BOOM! I'm pregnant and I find out that fibroids cause pregnancy complications and there's nothing I can do about them. They might take blood from my babies. My babies may take blood from them. They may die and cause pain. They may get in the way of my babies' air supply, they may cause vaginal deliver issues.

They may do nothing.

WHAT I SUGGEST YOU DO: Stop NOT talking about your vaginal and uterine issues. We have to share information (and apparently when you're pregnant people love to talk about vaginas.) If you have fibroids and you've never had children, ask your doctor what your options are. AND if your doctor is all "Don't worry about it" go to another doctor. There are some folks who specialize in removing them via surgery or laser and from what I understand the risks of removing them are way fewer than the risks involved with having them AND a life (on in my case, two lives) in your uterus.

Also BlackDoctor.org, just sent a newsletter about how Chrisette Michele suffers from fibroids too and how she manages them. Way more info from them than I had to give. They are such a timely and relevant resource for black folks.

That's my soapbox for the day. I wish you all happy, healthy vaginas.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Silver Linings

Thanks folks for the congrats! 

Ok, so pregnancy sucks, but there are some amazing moments that I've experienced while being pregnant. Don't want to leave those out under the guise "keeping it real."

  • Bringing Joy - Life's hard and people need stuff to be excited about and look forward to. A bunch of my family members broke out into tears when I told them I was pregnant. They said it was like a breath of fresh air. To see them so happy for me was really touching. And when I dug a bit deeper I found out they each were *Kanye voice* dealing with some problems that you cain't believe. So me being knocked up made their problems seem smaller, if only for a moment and that's wonderful.
  • Connecting with Bae - I have these amazingly tender moments with my boyfriend about our hopes and dreams and fears for our children. I always think about how a baby (or two) would make me feel and didn't think about the fact that their father would have these strong feelings as well. It's fun to share that with another person. 
  • Bonding with twin moms - Did you know only 3% of all pregnancies in America are twins? So, when we meet each other, there's this built in support that you just can't find anywhere else. There are hugs and real advice (you don't ACTUALLY need two of everything) and free stuff and a general willingness to help. There aren't enough articles in the world to make others understand what it feels like to carry, and later give birth to, and later raise two kids #AtTheSameDamnTime. Twin moms get it. Happy to be in this super supportive club.
  • Letting Someone Else Handle It - From picking up boxes, to cooking, to planning baby showers, there are some things that I just don't have to do any more right now. For someone who bust out of the womb as an independent woman, it's nice to sit back and let other folks do things.   
  • Gifts and Such - People [mostly coworkers] randomly bring me baby stuff and food. It's so lovely to think that someone who you haven't even ever shared a meal with, thinks enough about your unborn children to shower you with goodies. Babies really turn folks into mush.  
  • Heartbeats - I heard my babies heartbeats on the first ultrasound. I think it was somewhere between 8-12 weeks. (As a twin mommy, I get ultrasounds every two weeks. I go to the doctor the way most folks go to the club. #AllTheTime). Anywho, those heartbeats melted me. I was like OSS, there are three hearts beating in my body. *Pastor Hannah voice* WOW!
  • BELLY RUBS! - Unlike most pregnant women, I love it when people rub my belly. Yep, even strangers. I'm usually in pain and human touch makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER. Seriously, get in there and make an impact! Since I've been preggers, I went home for about a week and my mom came to New York for about a week and both weeks, we start every day with her rubbing my belly for at least 10 minutes. SERIOUSLY, THE BEST FEELING EVER!
Twins or singleton, what was your favorite part about pregnancy? OR what are you most looking forward to if you plan to carry a child in the future? 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pregnancy Sucks!

I'm 19 weeks pregnant today. The three of you that read this blog should know that already. Now that I've done most of my in-person announcements, I'm ready to start blogging about it.

I was going to start another blog, but overestimated my energy levels. I am capital T, Tired. But there's so much to tell you.

Starting with all of the things NO ONE TELLS YOU, about pregnancy. This post is gross, as is pregnancy.

Here's what I've experienced so far, and I'll try to go in order of arrival.

Nausea - Feels like I'm going to throw up every minute that I'm not force feeding myself with food.
Diarrhea - Nothing like the shits.
Constipation - Sometime in the same day as diarrhea, which is just wrong.
Fatigue -  This is not the same as "I'm sleepy." This is "I'm minding my own business in the middle of a conference call and BOOM! I can't keep my eyes open" I've never been this tired before (and apparently this is just the beginning)
Gas - From all ends. It's especially embarrassing, when I think I have to go number 2 in the bathroom at work, but really it's an orchestra of farts. I just don't even care anymore. What can I do...
Bloating - This is different from gas.
Indigestion - I seriously have to eat like a child. PB&J, grilled cheese, mac & cheese. Don't put more than three seasonings on my meat. The food is coming back up... better a cheese sandwich coming up than a curry dish. 
Vomiting - Unlike all the happy-go-lucky mom magazines and websites that tell you the second trimester will be SO MUCH BETTER, I actually have thrown up more in my 2nd trimester than in my first. 
Hemmorhoids - Yep. 
Sharting - yep.
Bacne (Back acne) - can I be honest and just say I'm glad it's not on my face
Swollen toes - My feet are so skinny, the whole foot hasn't swollen yet, but my poor little toothpick toes look like vienna sausages now. 
Increased sense of smell - This is NOT a benefit in the city of New York. Often leads to nausea, vomiting, sometimes diarrhea

Smelly urine - Actually, I can't tell if it stinks more or if my senses are just like "urine has never smelled nice"
Peeing a little bit when you laugh, cough, sneeze - It has begun
PAIN - Oh, the pain. I have fibroids. They hurt. My belly growing hurts. My hips spreading hurts. It hurts to wear clothes. Bras hurts. It all hurts.
Sleep Deprivation - Fortunately for me, I got a Leachco pregnancy pillow. These things are AMAZING!
Dehydration - I have to drink a gallon of water a day to feel even remotely human. I rarely make the goal. 
Decreased bladder capacity - The bathroom is my second home, folks. For 3-5 of the reasons I've mentioned above, but getting up 3-5x in the middle of the night, when it's already hard to get to sleep because of this big ass belly is the WORST.
Anxiety - My mother told me this would happen, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about some new concern to get this world ready (and my life together) for these babies. This is the most important thing I've ever done and it's on my mind constantly.

Being pregnant [for me] is like getting off a 12-hour flight, immediately running a marathon, all while having food poisoning and two tumors in my stomach. Seriously, IT'S THAT BAD!

I'm so happy I'm having twins because I am never doing this again. My body is angry with me. 

Get ready for a bunch of posts that give you the real about what it's like to be pregnant. I'm trying to inform the masses.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Working... When No One Else Is.

I'm at the office today. 82% of my coworkers are not. Rather than complain, let's list some of the benefits to being in the office so close to a holiday.


10. The commute is easier. Seats on the train. No one pushing (not really, anyway). You can put your hand out in front of you and not

9. The entire office is my office. I could take a conference call on speaker phone. And it's 11:16 a.m. and I've had 4 calls/meetings already today, so SOMEBODY is working.

8. Friendly coworkers. The people who are here either don't have enough time off to get a day off due to getting married and using all their vaca time, having a baby and using all their vaca time or being new and having no time (or like me, they know there are benefits)

7. Treats and goodies. Folks have been cooking already and are bringing in their spoils to share. I am not mad at it.


6. List checkoff time. All of the stuff that was giving you anxiety, you can do at this time because no one's stopping by your desk with emergencies.

5. Fewer calls/emails. Even if you're in the office, folks assuming you're not in the office and therefore leave you alone. This includes coworkers and vendors. My clients know EXACTLY where I am and have been on my line all morning. LOL!

4. You don't have to waste a vacation day (or a sick day). We all know how precious those are.

3. Homemade treats and goodies. Folks have been cooking for the holiday already and are bring

2. Free pizza because they don't want our lazy asses taking a lunch hour AND getting off four hours early.

1. You can MAYBE make it to the grocery store before all the people who had to work all day. (We'll see if this is really true in about an hour)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Benefits to "Insomnia"

I'm on "vacation" in Chicago this week, but my body is on East Coast time. I woke up at 5:45 a.m. CT (6:45 a.m. in NYC) and could not go back to sleep.

It's currently 9:09 a.m. and I've...

- Balanced my checkbook
- Shared a volunteer opp with my [professional] mentee
- Reviewed a website for a nonprofit
- Joined an org I've been meaning to register for, but just haven't had the time 
- Called a company for refund on a service I don't want
- Eaten breakfast
- Chatted with my mom
- Called my healthcare spending account to get reimbursed for a claim
- Made my 2016 benefits elections (I read that whole 54 page guide, too!)
- Confirmed plans with four folks during my Chicago stay 
- Bought a couple of domain names 

If I can't sleep, I might as well get things done.

Now, on to Pinterest!

I hope you have a productive day and week!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Why It's Cheaper to Pay The 5

Today I went to Target. I'm not feeling so hot, so I took a cab there and back. It's too far to walk feeling sick and the train is STILL a long walk.

So my total including coupons and my 5% Redcard discount is $101.65. Add my two $10 cab rides, and my Target total is $121.65.

I go on Soap.com, which has astronomical prices for SOME things and ok prices for everything else. They lack generic brands too, which is tough. Total for the same items and then adjusted for the couple of grocery items I bought at Target, free shipping and my total at Soap.com is $111.04.

ALSO, I wouldn't have picked up a couple of items that I didn't really need that I grabbed at Target (how could you not).

I got Peapod AND Fresh Direct deliveries today (they have different inventory). Might as well add Soap.com to the every other week deliveries.

We all do that though, don't we? For example driving across town for gas makes NO sense. You might save an entire 45 cents per tank, but burn up more gas than we need. Or saving a nominal amount for a flight, but then have a 4-hour layover. Then spend that nominal amount on (or more) in the airport.

Like why do we do this to ourselves to "save money?"


Monday, October 12, 2015

Sick!

Social media is such a drain on my mood right now. I go back and forth from deleting Instagram and Twitter off of my phone. I just don't know what's going to come up and put me in a bad mood, so I'd rather not look at any of it.

To that end, I've been sick for about a week now. It went from a stomach flu to a fever (not the flu, I checked... twice) to a head cold. I'm now stopped up to the point that it's emotionally painful to talk because I sound so stopped up. People are just looking at me with the "Girl, are you ok, face."

But I don't want all of the notifications I get when I announce anything on Facebook, so I'm just saying over here that I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Remember when I was sick for the entire month of January 2014? Of course you don't remember. You weren't sick, I was. That ended up being a cold that turned into a sinus infection. It was never the flu, but it was miserable the whole time.

I'm just hoping, praying, falling on the altar that this ain't that. I think being in New York has a lot to do with it. I cross thousands of people every day. Touching subway handles and seats and elevators and no matter how much I was my hands some of those germs probably end up on my phone, in my headphones, in my food... in my home.

Definitely on the bottom of my shoes, and therefore, my hardwood floors and probably on the bottom of my feet and on my couch and in my bed and in my lungs and good Lord, I'm gonna die.

Anywho, if you can breathe through your nose and don't sound like a three year old on conference calls you have won at life. I am out here losing.

Please pray for me. Being sick is a miserable existence.

P.S. I definitely turned into my mother this weekend spraying every damn thing down with Lysol disinfectant spray. Febreeze smells good, but it ain't killing influenza on hard surfaces. I know I'm right about it.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Yay Me!

I think I've been preaching for a while now about how being yourself is the only way to win at life. Myself is honest and excellent. I just am.

So my new manager (bruh's been here two weeks) just got back from an agency review with my client and their feedback was:

1. T pushes us creatively. We'd like to see more people on the team do that.
2. T is more upfront with us than other team members. We'd like to see more people on the team do that.

Now, this is not about comparison. I work on a team. But me being added to the team is showcasing a new way to do things. I'm not about this pussyfooting around when it comes to delivering good or bad news to clients. I'm also not about this "let's just do it because it's in the plan" POV. It's it's not going to work or if it could be doper, let's take a few extra days or hours and make it doper.

Anywho, sometimes [often] I forget how I got here. I think I was magically delivered into my position by some unicorn job-offering saint. But nah, I'm here because I bring my whole self to everything that I do.

And that's better than any representative I could bring anywhere else.

Hope you're having a good work day, folks!

(And sorry I don't post more often. New York is taking up all of my free time.)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Top 10 Benefits of Exercising in NYC

I have been struggling to commit to a workout routine since April. With all of the life changes, losing my job, looking for a job LIKE it was my job, moving to NY and all of the travel in between, I gave myself lots of [well deserved] breaks.

Now that I've been a New York resident for almost four months it's time to get back in the swing of things. I'm currently doing a #30for30. The benefits of exercise are the same every time, but you never remember or appreciate it until you're back on the grind.

Below are the top 10 benefits of working out in New York.

10. I'm more efficient at work. Since I know I have to leave to make a class or in time to workout and still have some evening less, I somehow get the same amount of work done in fewer hours.

9. It's a social activity. I've already seen a couple of coworkers at the gym and I'm thinking about taking classes with friends, which is nice.

8. I have more energy.

7. Mood booster. It makes me happy (afterwards, not during.) Shout out to endorphins.

6. Self-esteem. I feel better about myself when I know I am actively contributing to making me better.

5. Eating habits. You all know I eat what I want, but when I'm exercising my body craves healthier food. AND I know that if I eat a burger and fries that it's going to feel like death on the elliptical. I'm all about these fruits, veggies and lean meats lately.

4. NYC warmup. I do SO MUCH walking in NYC. I can't describe to you how big this city is and how folks will just walk 1 or 2 miles like it's nothing to get to the next destination. All of my gym workouts are really just warmups for days and nights in NYC, which is great.

3. Exploring my hood. Before I broke down and got a gym membership, I ran a couple of time (like 2) and found Marcus Garvey park. Yes, it smells like urine and there's trash and homeless folks everywhere, but there are also steps, a track and shaded areas, so perfect for a city run.

2. Support. Our #TeamFit Facebook group has turned into a GroupMe and it's awesome. People share photos, running maps, fitness routine and most of all we cheer each other on in real time. So now I'm an active participant instead of a bystander and it feels good.

1. Cuties at the gym. Yes, sir. Please do pull-ups in front of me. I'll just be sitting here swooning!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tea Afficionados

I was at the Cincinnati airport about a week ago and was FREEZING coming off of my flight. I was already hyped up on coffee, so I asked the independent distributor at the gate if they had any tea. As fate would have it, they actually had Inca Tea made with real purple corn.

Fam, I didn't even know purple corn was a thing.

I've been into peach flavors a lot lately. May be my body wanting summer to never end, but I got the peach tea, it was only $3.25 AT THE AIRPORT... that's like 67% off of what I pay for anything in New York or at any other airport.

So anyway, follow them on Twitter and Insta @incatea on FB @incateallc and if you're so inclined, buy me some... oops, I mean buy a bag for yourself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Managers Be Like...

Tuesday: This is a new process for you. I'm excited to teach you how to do it. Please ask me anything. There are no dumb questions. 

Wednesday (after asking a question): I want you to feel comfortable that you can make some logical deductions based on the information that's available.

I'm sure she thinks I asked a dumb question and she's tired of answering them, but don't tell me I can ask you anything, then shut me down when I double check something.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Most Comfortable Ballet Flats

Writing this post for three reasons.

- Krystal asked on her Facebook wall and this post wrote itself.
- It'll be a nice reference when I need some ballet flats, which is like: all the time.
- I haven't posted in almost three weeks. People probably thought I quit.

Anywho, here's a list of the most comfortable ballet flats.

10. Ollio
9. Kenneth Cole Reaction
8. Call It Spring
7. Croc
6. Aerosoles (Can sometimes find at Ross for $7)
5. Me Too
4. Sam & Libby
3. Tieks

2. Indigo by Clark's
1. Pumas

Bonus B Selections
- Born
- Bjorn
- Bloch (because they make actual ballet flats)
- Banana Republic (Wait for the 40% coupon)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

They Said WHAT?

So I chose to go to Joy's baby shower and I made the right decision. A trip to Pittsburgh on the weekend, also FURTHER lets me know I made the right decision to move to New York, but that's a whole 'nother post.

Joy's baby shower was ghetto. And I don't mean ghetto as in "In Living Color" funny ghetto. I mean I represented the height of poverty and it was one of the saddest things I've ever experienced.

When I arrived she was squatting in the back yard and one of her [17] siblings was putting on her eyelashes. Why is a woman/teen/child who is eight months pregnant squatting while someone who is clearly NOT pregnant is sitting down. Further, older family members were smoking cigarettes, weed and drinking 40s. Did I show up to a family bbq or a baby shower. I can't tell.

There were kids everywhere. You know how I feel about kids at baby showers. No.

One of her brothers and his wayward friends came in, ate all of the sandwiches and left. So by the time I got there, there was only crudite and some chicken on the grill. I was going to dinner later, so I didn't eat, but I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't looking forward to some deviled eggs. There weren't any.

There was no air conditioning in the house. Now, I have family members who are not well-to-do. But typically the baby shower is at a family member's house who has more. This led me to believe that this was the most anyone in their family has and again, that made me sad.

There was also one fan in the house that was strategically positioned onto Joy, except when it wasn't. Like, how do you take a fan off of a pregnant woman/teen/child because you're hot. I was so angry.

So, we played some games. Watched the kids dance (that's always super fun) and then she opened gifts. She wasn't registered anywhere. No one bought anything of substance outside of bottles. There were clothes, baby Jordans, about a million pacifiers and then I bought a stroller. No car seat. No pack-n-play. No high chair. No crib. No crib mat. No towels. Nothing I've ever seen at a baby shower. And it just goes to show how blessed I am to have been at all these showers where people had truckloads of things to take home.

Also, no one wrote down the gifts, so I handled that. I also sent her cards and stamps and told her the proper things to do after a shower, so she's doing it. 

Then I go to a baby shower of someone who NEEDS truckloads of things and she didn't get what she needed.

I could let ALL of what I just told you go. So people don't have a lot of money to buy fancy gifts. They have family and they love each other and that's ok. Fine. So people haven't read the Emily Post book of etiquette and don't know what to do at weddings and showers. I can stop being stuck-up for 24 hours and let that go. No problem. So I didn't get any deviled eggs. No big. Fine.

But here's when things went south for me. Joy read all of her cards out loud. She's sort of glazed over this fact in the past because I could tell she's embarrassed about it, but she can't read cursive. That's right folks, they don't teach kids cursive in schools and so some kids can't read it. I wrote my card in cursive because I forgot, so I had to read it to her aloud in front of a room of people.

It was very inspirational. I know she's not a saint or a scholar, but I treat her like she's both because I expect her to act like she's both. She lives up to my expectations when she's with me. Somewhere in the card I said:

"To be a good example for your daughter, I know you'll get good grades, finish high school AND college and be there for her no matter what."

While I'm reading the card, two or three family members are adding their horribly negative commentary. "College?" "Really?" "Hmph. I don't know about all that." 

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? Can you keep your negative ass , basic ass , mediocre ass comments to yourself? [I really need to stop cursing.]

It was at this moment that I realized that I was exactly where I was supposed to be that weekend. Because even though her "family" showed up for her shower (most of them bearing no gifts or contributions or even a positive attitude to the festivities), they're really not THERE for her. They didn't know I existed. They don't know anything about her or what's important to her or what she wants to do with her life. And this is not a judgement on her family. I didn't meet her at church camp, so I should have expected some of this, but I just didn't know what to expect. Sometimes you can't give what you don't have. If folks don't have ambition, they can't instill it in her. If folks don't have etiquette, they can't teach it to her. If folks don't have a positive outlook on life, they can't share it with her.

When I first arrived, I thought I'd made a mistake. Like maybe I was intruding on a personal, family affair. But, like I've always known, bloodlines don't dictate who your family is.

I'm happy I could be there for her and add some positivity at a special time in her life.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Pray for a successful [scholarship-receiving] college graduate. Our prayers and service are going to help break some barriers! Or at least I'll do everything in my power to make breaking barriers possible. Joy has to do the rest.

Monday, August 10, 2015

I Won Today

Today a coworker who is always dressed super cute (Think country club fly on the daily) told me I looked cute. And then she goes, "you ALWAYS dress so cute. I feel like I wear the same things over and over again."

So then I gush "But YOU always looks so cute and I feel like 'I' wear the same things over again"

You all already know I feel like a slob in NYC. I get up every day and look at my closet thinking "Don't be wack. Don't be wack." and like 2 days out of 7, I "feel like" I succeed. This just goes to show that no matter how down you get on yourself, you never know how other people see you.

AND if you don't tell people how you see them, they may never know. (Not that she needed my validation, but I was so flattered to get a compliment from such a put-together New Yorker!) 

I'm going to come back to this post when I need some encouragement. Nothing is ever as bad as my brain has convinced me that it is.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Miss Modesty

I'm learning in New York fashion trumps modesty. People look like whatever on the streets. On the one hand, it's empowering. It's like listen, be yourself and just rock out with whatever makes you happy. On the other hand when this "do what you want" shit shows up in my conference room, it bothers me. And the biggest issue is people don't KNOW they're wrong.

If you're in the south and you go to church without stocking on, you KNOW you're wrong. In New York, mogs will just have their skin showing at work and no one will bat an eyelash. It's driving me batty! Here are the top 10 things I sometimes love, but REALLY hate at work in New York

10. Women not wearing bras.
9. Women letting their bras show.
8. Halters, tanks, Racerback tanks (why am I looking at your back and side boob at work?)
7. Spaghetti straps tanks, spaghetti strap dresses, spaghetti strap jumpers.
6. Short jumpers at work
5. Short shorts at work.
4. Miniskirts and minidresses AT WORK!
3. Cutouts. How in the hell is it ok for me to be looking at your midriff, back, thigh, etc. at work... in meetings.
2. Club dresses at work. (This is just one chick in accounting and I just don't understand how she is still employed)
1. Bodycon dresses at work (not to be confused with shift minidresses (#4 on my list or short, but not fitted dresses #2 on my list)

Do you push the envelope with the "work" dress code? Do you have any pet peeves about how people dress at work? Am I being to uptight with my Southern Baptist upbringing and need to just let my bras and knee-length dresses go now that I'm a New Yorker.

And don't trip, on the weekend, I prefer to not wear bras (I really don't need them) and show a little thigh, but there's a time and a place and I just don't think M-F in a corporate environment is it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sneaking In Pools

Summertime Chi is really about that rooftop, boat and beach life, but if you want to keep it a indoors, you COULD sneak into a hotel pool.

Thrillist came up with a dope list of how to do so.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Cherish These Moments

I decided to go to Joy's shower as I think she needed me more than anyone else on the list and when I write about what happened there, you'll see that I made the right decision. My grandma's actual 76th birthday was on Tuesday, July 28. And I'm a New York asshole now and forgot to call her. So I spent 20 minutes out of my work day to catch up with her on Wednesday. Here's why that's a big deal.

1. I never do personal stuff during the work day. THERE'S NO TIME.
2. My grandma doesn't sit on the phone with anyone for 20 minutes. I think she's from the old school when people used to be charged by the minute on HOME phones. So she's like get to the point and get the hell off the phone. Funniest thing I ever experienced. You'll be like "so how..." and she'll cut you off like "alright, bye now."

So here's the top 10 things I learned on the phone with my grandma yesterday:

10. She's getting all of her teeth pulled. She only has 8 left and a partial denture. She told the dentist to keep her gap. She's gone 76 years with a gap and she doesn't want to go anymore without one.

9. The man in the photo with her that my mom sent to ME is named Walter. Walter is an old "friend" of my Aunt L, but he's become a son to her. He's ALSO an old friend of  Aunt P. And Aunt P is mad at his continued friendship with Aunt L. #ButThatsNoneOfMyBusiness

8. All seven of her kids showed up for this birthday. This is rare. It's usually 5-6 of them that come at any given time. Never all 7 together.

7. She wasn't cooking NO food for her bday party and neither was anyone else in her hot kitchen. Just ice cream and cake, but Uncle J insisted that there be food, so he got hot dogs. Uncle J is most like granddaddy and granddaddy used to love to eat and COOK! 

6. My big sister has a new phone number. (Yes, my grandma has my sister's number in a notebook that looks like something detectives use on cases and gave it to me and I don't even have it.)

5. Everyone who she invited that DIDN'T come. She named them off to me one by one. (She's old and forgets things, but if she invites you to a party and you don't come, please believe she'll remember.)

4. She asked my mom if I was in town because even though I TOLD her I wasn't going to be able to make it this year, I sometimes sneak into town. But my mom told her I wasn't there, so she wasn't expecting me.

3. She went to VBS on her actual bday (the party was on the weekend). She sat on the usher board float in the VBS parade the week prior. (She wanted to know if I saw her in the pic my mother texted me. If you wonder why I'm always taking photos, you should meet my grandmother.)

2. She's still doing crafts for VBS (probably been doing that for 50 years by now). This year everyone is decorating their own [Jesus] tshirts and my cousin Chelsee has "outdone" herself. Her shirt has fringes that she tied and a very cute design on the front.

And finally, the #1 thing I learned from my grandmother on the phone yesterday. This one took me under y'all:

1. She understands that I couldn't come home and that I can't always come home and that's ok. She said I'm doing what I'm SUPPOSED to be doing. She said I'm not supposed to be laid up under my parents all the time, I should get out and see the world, like I'm doing and she's proud of me.

Traveling and seeing the world and following my dreams seems spectacular, but I have so many hard choices to make about what I can participate in and what I can't when it comes to family and relationships. It's nice to hear about things on the phone, but I would have preferred to have been there in person. Those are the tradeoffs. Adult decisions. Adult realities. What a blessing for me to have family that supports my decisions instead of making me feel bad about them.

If you have living grandparents, when is the last time you talked to them?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sway Has No Answers

Hit publish and blogger told me this is my 1500th post. I figured I should note that.

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

I live in Harlem. It's a black neighborhood. I don't want to come out of my face and says goods and services are subpar to a more diverse or mostly white neighborhood. I don't want to say that.

What I will say is that I am having a hard time finding a laundry delivery service. Yelp only yielded one place with good reviews that picks up in my zip code. I used them. They're ok. They are not punctual with the dropoff and deliveries and some of my clothes come back dirty.

They're better than doing laundry myself.

Or, they were.

Until this week. I called on Friday and asked for a Saturday 9-10 a.m. delivery. They came at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and only after I called to figure out why they weren't there between 9 and 10.

I ordered a Monday 6 - 7 a.m. delivery. At exactly 7 a.m. I call and they don't have me in the system AT ALL. I go "this concerns me. You have all of my clothes." They call me back and they apologized, but my clothes weren't ready. They will schedule me for 6-7 a.m. Tuesday. Fine.

Tuesday at exactly 7 a.m. still no clothes. I call. The lady says the OTHER lady didn't schedule it. So I say, ok, schedule it and can I get a discount.

She then tells me that they already gave me a discount because they're SUPPOSED to charge me $1 for every hang to dry item and they didn't. And pretty soon, they're going to start enforcing the rules. AND the girls who work at the wash n fold center are not responsible for hanging my clothes to dry and so it's problematic. And no, I can't have a discount.

Oh.

I get my clothes back and I sent them 4 bags of clothes with 4 sets of instructions. Only 3 bags came back (I can't find my whites) AND they hung two entire bags of clothes to dry vs. the 4 pieces is a teeny tiny bag that I instructed them to. So all of these clothes come back stinky and mildew-y. And I essentially need to do laundry all over again.

The reason this concerns me SO much is:

1. The inconsistency. I sent similar instructions 2 weeks ago. No issues.
2. The lack of accountability. I entrusted you with MY CLOTHES and you give me a dissertation about how the "wash n fold" girls don't have time to "pay attention" to my instructions and/or wet clothes. Nah.
3. The overall unprofessionalism. The cost for my time is money. If you can't see that and are instead going to just trip about how I asked for too much, when it is your job to do a service, I can't rock with you.
4. The lack of critical thinking. If it seems odd that I wanted um 20-25 pieces of clothes that say tumble dry on the tag hung to dry, why wouldn't someone call me to ask me that.

I think it's safe to say, I'll just waste four hours every weekend doing my own damn laundry. If I ever move out of Harlem, I'll give it another try, but New York has disappointed me on this front. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Is this Balance?

Forgive me my thoughts are all over the place on this post. Going to attempt to be coherent.

I feel a bit off kilter in life right now, but surprisingly on balance.

Physically, my hair is NOT RIGHT, right now. I cut a bunch of split ends off myself and the shape is just raggedy. I've been doing wash-n-go's since the weather cracked 60 degrees in Pittsburgh, but I'm waiting for it to grow out, so I can get a proper cut and this in between is not my best look.

My face had broken out HORRIBLY when I didn't have a job. My aesthetician said it was stress. Then I'd wear make up to cover up the breakouts, then sleep in it, then breakout more. To the point where I wouldn't go out of the house without a full face of makeup on. If you know me personally, you know that's not my style.

Now that I'm in NYC (and gainfully employed, Praise the Lord!), the "unemployment" stress has gone down, but my job stress has gone up. So my face clears up, then breaks out. It's the most irritating thing in the world because there's not a facewash on the planet that can regulate a stress breakout.

I've been going out without foundation and concealer, but I rarely leave the house without a liner and mascara. That's also a bit disconcerting because when people catch me without it, I get the "oh, you look tired" feedback and that blows. I'm like no, this is my unadulterated regular face and it's still cute. LOL!

ALSO, I weigh more than I've ever weighed. I [think I] look crazy in photos. I have a double chin. I look like the homely friend in every photo with my fabolously gorgeous girlfriends. I don't think I'm unhealthy and I'm not trying to lose weight (there are benefits to a few extra pounds! AYE!), but I also know I'm not the ab-bearing twenty-something I used to be and flowy shirts aren't as sexy as crop tops.

As such, I sometimes have a hard time getting dressed. Nothing quite hits the mark and even though I seem to shop a lot, my looks are falling flat. Couple that with being in New York, when everyone steps out of their house fly. And people are just individuals... Completely self-absorbed. They don't care about the latest trends or styles or whatever. They just wear what they're comfortable in and what they can wear ALL day from event to event.

I have so few ALL day looks in my closet. I have a bbq outfit or a party outfit or a church outfit. I have like three looks that are multifunctional, but I'm working on being more comfortable in my skin, wearing whatever and rocking it because I'm awesome. Like working the look, not letting the look work me. I'm not there yet. Especially not in NYC.

Ok, and the last sort of off-balance thing is that I work a lot and I relax a lot and I don't ACTUALLY mind, but I do have a bit of FOMO. It's a beautiful summer day in NYC and I feel like I'm supposed to be at a park or a brunch or outside, but I'm in my home alternating between napping and doing work. (I'm working on a Saturday because I took Friday off and DIDN'T work. This work isn't going to do itself before Monday.)

So I teeter totter between being ok with things as they are: [hey, you knew moving to NYC was going to pick up the pace professionally and you are older now and like to relax and that's ok] to thinking I need to achieve better work-life balance and take advantage of every possible thing NYC has to offer me VERY FAST/RIGHT NOW (like it's going away or something, lol.)

The weird feeling I'm getting is that even though I acknowledge all of these feelings about not being up to par in so many areas (my weight, my style, my physical appearance and my work) I am still somehow completely happy with myself and other people notice it. The types of people I'm attracting (new girlfriends and bootentials alike) constantly mention my happy vibe and lowkey nature. They say I'm low maintenance (Meanwhile I feel like I'm extremely high maintenance) and say that my spirit is welcoming, inviting, comforting.

Perhaps this is what balance feels like. The acknowledgement that things are not perfect and they never will be and yet, still finding joy in every imperfect moment. And being at peace with my decisions whether they be to sleep for three hours on an errands day or work for six hours on a Saturday.

Thank you for reading my random life observations. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

About Working Out in New York...

I don't wanna!

Everything is harder in New York. It's hard to breathe. It's hard to walk without getting stepped on. It's hard to get ahead without working like a Hebrew slave. It's hard to schedule a meal with people you've known for years because everyone is scheduled to death. It's hard to get an apartment. It's hard to pay the rent to the apartment that you got.

This is just a hard city.

And while I love New York and all of its harshness, I relish every SINGLE moment I get to relax. This brings me to working out. I have to do it. My mental and physical state requires it, but after long days and nights, I just don't have the same desire to workout as I once did.

You walk 20 New York blocks because you don't REALLY know where you're going or because the East/West buses are slow or because you're with a native New Yorker and they think a 20 block walk is nothing... do that, then tell me do you want to see an inside of anyone's gym or run anywhere? I just want to eat and sleep.

BUT... I'm committed to working out. The most I've done lately is 2 or 3 a week. Oh, another challenge. There's no gym within walking distance of my house. There's one a train stop away, but I'm not doing that. THEN there's a boot camp near my home, but it costs $150 for 3 classes a week. That doesn't add up for me. If I'm paying that much I want to be able to come and go to a gym as I please and I've just never paid that much to work out.

AND, did I mention how expensive rent is...

The point is, I'm exercising, but I don't get joy out of it anymore. It's like another to-do on my long to-do list and I didn't know New York would have that affect on my fitness.

I'm going to keep looking for "convenient" fitness options that make me happy.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Adult Decisions

This month marks the first month since January, that I'll be able to aggressively pay down my students loans. But then life happened. Mogs are pregnant. I have three choices:

  1. Pay some on the loan, but go to Pittsburgh for Joy's baby shower & send a gift for B's baby shower on the same day at the same time in Chicago.
  2. Pay some on the loan, but go to Chicago for B's baby shower and send a gift for Joy's baby shower on the same day at the same time in Pittsburgh. It should be noted that my grandmother's 76th birthday celebration (ice cream, cake and bbq at her newly renovated home) is that same weekend. As is the New Life Singles cruise (but I'm probably not going to that because I live in New York). ALSO, P. Diddy is pregnant and I could see her and/or her newborn this weekend because she opted NOT to have a shower.
  3. Realize that I live in New York and I can't just be popping up in Pittsburgh and Chicago because people I love have things going on there. Stay in New York for the weekend and pay what I said I was going to pay on the loan. Send a gift to both B & Joy and a card to my grandmother, but be closer to my financial goals.  
 There are pros and cons to each choice. Being an adult is wack arnold's sometimes. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Why Sway... Continued

Today is July 7th.

After getting what I wanted this morning from a Pittsburgh bank, I decided, let's keep the party going this afternoon and call and get things working.

Here's the situation.

After moving out of my Pittsburgh apartment and having all of my ducks in a row, I am getting bills for the new tenant's water service. The building is the ONLY entity that can change the name on the water service. I cannot change it. The water company cannot change it. The building manager told me via email that he would change on 5/27. The notarized letter I had to transfer the lease ALSO stated what I would handle. What the new tenant would handle. And what the building manager would handle, effective June 1, 2015.

Knowing all of this detail, after receiving the bill in NYC, I call the water company to see if it had been changed. The entry level worker on the phone proceeded to tell me that there's nothing that can be done and tried to shoo me off the phone.

Meanwhile, I didn't ask her to DO anything. I asked her for information. So I say ma'am, can you put your manager on the phone. Manager gets on the phone and starts talking. Doesn't ask me anything.

That's what you're NOT going to do. Please allow me repeat my question. Second hand inquiries never yield correct results.

After LISTENING to me, she goes on to tell me, she can't change it (I knew that), I can't change it (I knew that) and that the apartment manager HAS NOT called to change. Bingo. That's wtf I called to ask. Why it took 15 minutes and two grown adults to answer that baffles me.

I digress.


THEN when I inquired of the building manager on 7/1 about the change, he proceeded change it THAT day, then told me I would have to work with the new tenant to get my prorated money.

That's what I'm NOT gone do.

So that bring us to today.

Today I call and ask for the manager's manager, Kelly. The nosey receptionist hears my name and wants to know WHAT I'm calling Kelly about. (Kelly does not have voicemail.) I say it's regarding the water bill. She goes "Well the manager already changed your name on the water bill, what else do you want."

Woman, your message taking ass better just take this fucking message THE WAY I GAVE IT TO YOU and get it to the right mfer at your establishment before I come through this phone and slap the shit outta you.

I responded "She'll know what I need." and we got off the phone.

Kelly hits me back. We do the obligatory small talk. (I effing hate small talk) and then I explain the situation. Kelly proceeds to tell me that money changing hands is between me and the new tenant. I disagree. I remind her that: 

1. The water bill does not work that way. The building is responsible for changing the name on the water bill.  
2. I have an email from her employee saying he would change it. 
3. I have a notarized letter stating what I would do, what the new tenant would do and what the building would do.
4. Finally, as of 5/31/15, my name is not on the lease. I am not responsible for anything in that building, which is why I'm not receiving my security deposit. It's going to the new tenant and I have to PRAY that he'll give me my money back. Said water bill would constitute something in that building THAT I AM NO LONGER RESPONSIBLE FOR. 

She asks if I can send her the email. (This WOMAN is copied on my last correspondence that I sent on July 1, but they are so done with me for having the unmitigated gall to *gasp* lose my job and move to New York, that I'm sure she erased my email the moment she saw it.)

I am currently waiting for a response, but if it's anything less than favorable, I may pay the water bill and take them to small claims court. Yes, I will go all the way to Pittsburgh to do this because my brain does not wrap around why people don't want to do their own jobs. This is your job. Putting the water bill in the new tenant's name by June 1, 2015 is what you are SUPPOSED to do. I don't call you and ask you to pitch the New York Times on behalf of my clients. Why would you email me and tell me to get payment for a bill from YOUR tenant in my old apartment.

People like to say that I'm difficult, but back to yesterday's point. I think my combination of intelligence and work ethic make it difficult for me to empathize with others who don't share the same. WHY WOULDN'T YOU FIX YOUR MISTAKE? WHY DO I HAVE TO TALK TO 12 PARTIES OVER THE COURSE OF 7 DAYS FOR SOMETHING YOU FORGOT TO DO.

No.

Jerks.

UPDATE: The person who's able to make decisions (the manager's manager) fixed this for me. She sent me a total of what I owe and what the new tenant owes. I'm going to pay my balance now. This wasted hundreds of dollars in billable time for my company, but at the end of the day I'm not paying for someone else's utilities. 

Also going to be at work all damn night now because these hours aren't going to bill themselves. Jerks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why Sway?

Why do I have to argue about things with people? I think having a certain level of intelligence coupled with a high work ethic puts me at odds with the rest of the country. Like 80% of the people in this world do not meet my mark and most of them are providing goods and services to me.

This morning
Pittsburgh Bank charges me for a fee they've NEVER charged me for before. I call and say

  1. T: hey, what is this and ALSO have the terms changed. 
  2. Entry Level Worker says: you didn't meet "XYZ requirement" and that's why you were charged.
  3. T: I'm never met that requirement and yet, I've never been charged. Can you tell me what changed. 
  4. ELW: Well, here are the requirements. 
  5. T: I'm not disputing the requirements. I'm asking you what changed this month that prompted the charge. 
  6. ELW: Here are the requirements. 
  7. T: Ma'am. Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth. Please do not repeat to me what you've told me three times on this phone call already. Can you look into my account history and tell me what changed. 
  8. ELW: I cannot.
  9. T: Can you locate someone at your establishment who can tell me these things. 
  10. ELW: Please hold... T, I have "Person Who Makes Decisions" on the phone. She can help. 

In my opinion steps 2-9 above are UNNECESSARY. Do not tell me no if you do not have the ability to tell me yes. Just say "I'm unable" and put the right person on the phone.

THEN...

Actually, I'll save this story for tomorrow.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Free Workouts in My Hood!

Monday 8-9 a.m.
Zumba Fitness 
La Marqueta Pavillion
115th and Park
(212) 534-4900

Monday 6-7 p.m.
Dance Fitness
Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue
212.939.1000

Monday 7-8 p.m.
Bootcamp

Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue
212.939.1000


Monday 7-8 p.m.
Low Impact Fitness
King Towers Cornerstone Community Center
2 West 115th Street
(212) 348-5721

Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Cardio Conditioning
32 W. 118th Street 
(212)725-0939

Tuesdays 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Zumba
Jackie Robinson Community Center
110 E. 129th Street (and Lexington)
212.348.7900

Tuesday 7-8 p.m.
Dance Fusion
Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue
212.939.1000

Wednesday 6-7 p.m.
Kickboxing
Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue
212.939.1000

Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Fun/Fit Cardio
Family Health Center of Harlem
1824 Madison Ave (at 119th)
212-423-4796

Wednesdays 7-8 p.m.
Cardio Bootcamp
Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue
212.939.1000

Thursdays 6-7 p.m.
Flexible Sculpting
Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue
212.939.1000

Thursdays 6-7 p.m.
Dance Fitness
Jackie Robinson Community Center
110 E. 129th Street (and Lexington)
212.348.7900

Thursdays 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Afro Cardio Dance 
Dunleavy Milbank Center
32 W. 118th Street 
(212)725-0939

Thursdays 7-8 p.m.
BODCON
Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue
212.939.1000


Thursdays 7-8 p.m.
Dance Fitness
Jackie Robinson Community Center
110 E. 129th Street (and Lexington)
212.348.7900

Friday 6-7 p.m.
Body Toning
Hansborough Recreation Center
35 W. 134th Street (b/t 5th and Lenox)

Saturdays 9-10 a.m.
Yoga Outdoors
MLK Playground
113th to 114th and Lenox


Saturday 10-11 a.m.
Afro-Pop Dance Fitness
Family Health Center of Harlem
1824 Madison Ave (at 119th)
212-423-4796

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dating Positives

So none of these dudes have made it to the finish line, but they have all left me with some positives habits as it relates to eating right and exercising.

People always say that your partner will help you be your best self. (Others also say you fall off/gain weight after getting married or coupling up. Let that not be my testimony. I digress.) If recent suitors are any indication, I can't wait to see what positive changes the guy who makes the final cut helps me make.

Bachelor Number 1 - Doesn't eat after the sun goes down. He feels like it's doing away with all the work he did during the day [at the gym, eating right, etc]. This means when I'm with him, I don't eat after dark. I'm usually not really hungry, just bored, so this is a good habit.

Bachelor Number 2 - Only eats organic foods. No hormones in the chicken. Free range brown eggs. Shit like that. This means if we share a meal, I'm eating all organic everything and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I do notice a difference in my energy levels when

Bachelor Number 3 - Is a runner and a yogi. This means when we have "active" dates, you may find me running and/or doing yoga in New York (and looking very cute doing so, if I do say so myself). Y'all know I hate running, but hey, whatever works.

Has your partner and/or your dating life inspired any positive changes in your health and fitness?