Saturday, July 19, 2008

81 - Increase my credit score by at least 10 %

July 19th - Score increased by 15 points last quarter. Not the 70 point that T got, but it's getting there.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What's Good in the Hood? (July 18, 2008)

Today's temperature in the Chi reached the low 90s and, taking advantage of my flexible work schedule, I found myself on 87th & Cottage. No, I wasn't at the Foot Locker where eh'body in the hood gets their white tees, Ones, and Jordans. No, I wasn't at the Rainbow where all the hood chicks get their flip flops, fashion belts, leggings, and low rise jeans (see T's Top Ten on fashion trends). No, I wasn't at Rothschild, one of Chi-towns few chain liquor stores. I was at Target (my fav). The same Target where I saw a women trying to return a Chrismas tree that she had CLEARLY used because it was still decorated with lights and garland. I was waiting to do a baby registry at the customer service counter, and what do I see? Booty shorts (see T's Top Ten on booty shorts). Not only do I see booty shorts, but I also very clearly see booty cheeks. The killer part is that the chick was so pregnant, I darn near saw the baby's head peaking from under her booty shorts. As I get ready to shake my head in disgust, I turn to the pregnant teenager I had accompanying me, and she too has committed a fashion faux pas - wearing jeans that were too small for her 8 month belly, and her shirt wasn't large enough to hide the very visably unbuttoned button-fly. Yes, this is the same girl who just got 2 brand new maternity outfits from me 3 days ago. Apparently, in her hood (shout out to Roseland), faux pas is wearing the same pair of pants 2 days in a row, although I was careful to give her plain black maternity pants and plain denim maternity pants so that she COULD wear them mutilple times with out being too obvious. Because I love her so dearly, I waited until we left the store (less than 5 min later because the baby registry was out of order) before I explained to her that open fly jeans in public is not acceptable. What's REALLY good in the hood?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

City Slickers

Chicago city stickers are officially expired as of today. Good thing I don't live in Chicago anymore, right? WRONG! Apparently, the city officials of my city decided not to send out that little reminder that says, "Hey registered vehicle owner, your city sticker is about to expire. Hurry up and get a new one before your car is ticketed." It wasn't until I saw the Chicago frenzy to get new stickers that I realized, "Last year, I had to purchase my city sticker by May 31st." I stopped my car at that very moment, exited my vehicle, walked around to the passenger's side of the front windshield, and was overwhelmed with mental explitives. My sticker expired April 30th and I had no clue until mid-July, now my city vehicle tax doubles for the year. Slick move. Thanks City Slickers!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Squatter for life!

I have an 18 year old expecting mom. She's 8 months pregnant and is just the cutest little thing (please note that I find nothing "cute" about teen pregnancy), but I got tired of seeing her lovely baby bump peeking from under her shirts so I gave her a couple of outfits from Target's maternity section, and sent her to the bathroom to try them on. A few minutes later, I joined her in the public bathroom, but just as we were getting ready to leave, I heard the bathroom door open, followed by the sound of a woman's grunt, and as I was walking past the last stall, I glanced to my right and saw this woman (an employee) PLOPPING her behind down on the toilet seat with the door as open as Karrine Steffans' jaws. I mean she barely got her pants down and plopped down on that seat like she'd just gotten home from a long day's work and had been holding it in the whole ride home. I'm telling you she plopped and got comfortable too! I may as well had offered her a Snickers Candy Bar because she looked like she planned on being there for a while. "Oh I'm sorry, I didn't know anyone was in here." I walk away very disgusted, but before I could reach the door, I heard another grunt, and then a sigh, personal sounds not to be shared with others. I don't ever remember being TAUGHT not to do those things in public, but some things you just dont do in public! Anyway, once I got over the unsightly thought of the plopping incident, I thought about it, and I NEVER sit on an unknown toilet seat. I've gone to relatives houses and have opted to cop a squat so I most DEFINATELY aint sitting my tail on a PUBLIC toilet seat. Am I alone on this one?

1. Create a list of 101 wannados

If you don't understand this post see my 101 in 1001.

Creating this list was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be, not because of the length, but because I took extra care in choosing 101 tasks. Each task on my list is something I genuinely want to do, and something that will make my life more enjoyable. Some tasks will be more challenging than others, but all tasks, no matter the level of diffuculty, will contribute to the womanhood I am embracing...the wife and mother I am preparing to be.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

101 in 1001

Being a single, childless, independent woman, I've come to find that if I'm not busy, then I'm just not me. I honestly believe that I keep busy in order to keep my sanity. In addition to my regular full-time job, and my part-time graduate studies, I've taken on a number of additional responsibilities which include church leadership, independent meeting planning, graphic design, and most recently, videography. Well, in the midst of a hectic schedule, there have been a number of wannados that keep getting swept under the carpet. I wanna do this. I wanna do that. But I never do any of it. So, I'm compiling a list of 101 things I wanna do and I'm giving myself 1001 days to do them (as seen at Day Zero).

The Mission : Complete 101 pre-set tasks in 1001 days.

The Criteria: The task must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable, or clearly defined; tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. must represent some kind of effort).

Start Date: July 15, 2008
End Date: April 12, 2011
Tasks completed: bold blue
Tasks in progress: italicized pink
No longer valid: red

Please see the side bar for an updated list of
tasks completed and tasks in progress.
  1. Create a list of 101 wannados (07/15/08)
  2. Blog about each wannado
  3. Cook 7 meals I've never cooked before
  4. Learn to bake a cake from scratch
  5. Learn to make peach cobbler
  6. Re-arrange my bedroom
  7. Call 5 people I don't typically talk to
  8. Make and keep a dentist appointments
  9. Buy a new bed
  10. Clean out my closet
  11. Give away at least 10 pair of shoes
  12. Join an organization
  13. Open a bank account for my business
  14. Get a full spa treatment (shampoo, blow-dry, facial, massage, mani, pedi)
  15. Get up-to-date on my scrapbooking
  16. Buy my dad 3 car washes
  17. Buy a bag I really like and give it to my mom
  18. Take my sis somewhere she's never been
  19. Lose 7 pounds
  20. Lose 13 pounds
  21. Wear the bikini I bought a year ago and never wore
  22. Get a wax treatment
  23. Go to bed by 10:30 for 5 consecutive days (Sunday-Thursday)
  24. Wake up with the sun for 6 consecutive days (Sunday-Friday)
  25. Watch a movie in the park
  26. Complete my graduate degree program
  27. Apply for a PhD program
  28. See a Broadway Show
  29. Go on 3 dates with the same guy
  30. Date 5 new guys while I'm single
  31. Write and copywrite a song (lyrics and music)
  32. Record the song
  33. Dine at 10 new restaurants
  34. Clean out my work email
  35. Watch every episode of ER
  36. Own every season and movie of Sex and the City
  37. Contact and have lunch with my most influential teachers (Sharpe and Madison)
  38. Get a passport
  39. Save up for a trip to Europe
  40. Take a trip to Europe
  41. Play paintball
  42. Get a tattoo
  43. Finish 2 books I started and never finished
  44. Apply for 25 industry positions
  45. Secure an industry position
  46. Close on a piece of real estate
  47. Take a dance class (Ballroom, Salsa, and/or Step)
  48. Go to lunch with Spears
  49. Get a dog
  50. Be a tourist in my home town (Chicago) for a weekend
  51. Get my car fixed (dent) and painted
  52. Further my music education (piano, guitar, or vocal)
  53. Increase my bowling average to 165 or better
  54. Join an organized sports league
  55. Get car detailed
  56. Learn to drive a stick shift
  57. Take vitamins everyday for a month
  58. Audition for "Too Hot to Handel" (A production of Handel's Messiah with world renown Tenors Rod Dixon and Victor Trent Cook and Soprano Alfreda Burke)
  59. Take motorcycle lessons
  60. Buy a motorcyle
  61. Cut my relaxed hair and go natural (whew!)
  62. Test drive a BMW
  63. Go horse back riding
  64. Indoor rock climbing
  65. Create a list of 10 people I love and invite them to church
  66. Pray that at least 1 of them gives their life back to Christ
  67. Write and perform something at an open mic
  68. Watch 25 classic movies
  69. Go jet skiing
  70. Attend Sunday School every Sunday for 3 months.
  71. Celebrate something in Vegas
  72. Do a midnight champaign cruise
  73. Start a family tradition
  74. Watch a firework show with a date
  75. Start 4 class assignments the day they are given
  76. Complete at least 2 class papers 3 days before they are due
  77. Learn to use and perfect all fuctions of Photoshop Elements (Changed to Photoshop CS4)
  78. Go 6 months without withdrawing from my savings account
  79. Tell some one about Jesus everyday for 2 weeks
  80. Tell some one about Jesus everyday for a month (hopefully this becomes a habit)
  81. Increase my credit score by at least 10 %
  82. Visit my friend in NJ
  83. Lay out tomorrow's clothes the night before for 1 week
  84. Buy those 5 book I've been meaning to get
  85. Convince some one to do a 101 in 1001
  86. Get an mp3 player
  87. Create a list of my all-time favorite music artists
  88. Sync all of their albums to the mp3 player
  89. Complete a 26 Things Project
  90. Get a fire-safe box and keep important documents in it
  91. Learn more about wine
  92. Learn more about champaign
  93. Get to work by 8 every morning for a week
  94. Go to a warm climate with a beach during the heart of a Chicago winter
  95. Host a family holiday dinner (Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas)
  96. Go fishing
  97. Write AW and SW at least 6 times each
  98. Buy make-up
  99. Wear make-up everyday for a week
  100. Make that one dream come true
  101. For each incomplete task, donate $5 to my church's Christian Education Department

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's Good in the Hood? (July 10, 2008)

It's 88 degrees in the Chi today so I take advantage of my flexible work schedule and decide to do some field work. Well today's field work took me to 79th & Cottage. The heart of the hood known as Grand Crossing. Before I head back to the office, I decide to stop and get some hood food and while I'm waiting for my Harold's 4 piece, extra mild sauce, I make a number of observations.

Observastion #1: Hood nigga. Fresh braids. Facial hair lined up. Rockin his hood uniform - fresh white tee with the "ghetto line" (a crease down the front of his tee), baggy saggin shorts (with creases) that touch the top of his socks, and clean white ones. I mean this dude is hood...or so I thought. Because he came at sat at a table across from where I was sitting, put one thumb in his mouth and use the other hand to play with his ear lobe. Is THIS what's good in the hood?

Observation #2: Black Males, of all ages, on the street just standing. There were absolutely too many Black men standing around doing nothing. And I begin to wonder how many of them are uneducated? How many of them are ex-cons and sex offenders? How many of them are unemployable? How many of them are disable? How many of them have warrents out for their arrest? How many have multiple BMs and owe years and years of child support? The only question that I could possibly answer, which, I must admit, I was afraid to answer is, How many of them are there, here on the street, at 1:00 on a hot Thursday afternoon in the Chi? Standing on the street. Is THIS what's good in the hood?

Observation #3: There was ONE man on the street whose appearance was eye-catching. Not that he was neccessarily attractive, but because he looked as out of place as Hillary Clinton addressing Father Pfleger's congregation. He wore slacks, a collared shirt, and a tie. And not only did his appearance stand out, but so did his actions. He was very well-mannered, and had a genuine desire to make his sales for the day (He was selling educational books and games for children). But none of this made his appearance eye-catching. His appearance was eye catching because he was a WHITE man taking BLACK folks money, in a BLACK hood. A hood that he probably wouldn't dare live in. Do a job that would be looked down upon if the roles were switched (Have you ever known a Black independent salesman to be successful in a white hood?). I will admit, I didn't give him the time of day, and I can't say for sure that it wasn't because he was white. Is THIS what's good in the hood?

What's REALLY good in the hood?