What's up? By now my regular readers realize I completely fell off of doing the "LOL" series where I find five things that make me laugh every week. That's kind of a killjoy because anytime I laugh, I have to remember what amused me. But I still like doing these blogs every week and reminded myself of it when reading the March issue of Ebony
magazine. Their "Spring Clean Your Health
" recommended "Begin a gratitude journal. Keep track of what brings you the most joy." That's pretty much what I've been doing with the 2011 series "Five Things I'm Obsessed With
" renamed "Five Things I'm Digging
" and then the 2012 series "What are you smiling about
?" But there's some stuff that doesn't make me laugh out loud. They just make me want to give somebody a round of applause or a head nod of approval so I'm switching up the flow to incorporate all three -- things that make me laugh, things I recommend reading and things that I proudly co-sign. You know from the right-hand disclaimer that there are still topics I pretty much can't touch publicly (oh do they get a write-up in my print journals!), but these are recommendations (ahem, "head nod of approval") that I think are safe ground.
I missed three LOL weekly series so there will be 15 for this week. Let's nod! 1. Drake "Started from the Bottom":
I couldn't care less what anybody else says about him. He's one of the few rappers of today that I can tolerate. I think he's attractive, but I like his charisma, attitude and skill far more. (It just doesn't hurt that I like seeing him, too.) I cracked up with his friend making a reference to Alicia Keys' video "You Don't Know My Name
" with the "I look way different when I'm not in my work clothes." That cashier skit was entertaining, but I love the entire video and song. But my ultimate favorite line is: "I'm a worry about me, give a f**k about you." HEAD NOD OF APPROVAL!2. HP Envy M6 Notebook PC:
I'm feeling like a cast member on "Bourne Identity
" with the finger pad log-in option (it's going to make me lazy about remembering passwords though), but I am totally in love with my new notebook. I finally had to let my last one go after seven years of replacements, repairs and being loyal to Gateway, but after the letter "o" fell off in my hands, that was enough. I couldn't see putting anymore money into that notebook so I'm on to a new one. And Windows 8 is impressing me, too. I've only had this new computer for two days but I can't see how I could not like anything about it. HEAD NOD OF APPROVAL, Hewlett Packard. 3. LA Times columnist Gerrick D. Kennedy's column "Chris Brown and Rihanna: Let's Move On":
I am beyond tired of hearing slick comments about Chris Brown. He made a terrible mistake at the age of 19, but what he did was no different than what other young men (or women) do when growing up in a household with exposure to abuse. People are acting like what he did was absolutely alien to the planet. Was he wrong? Dead wrong. But I was over it a couple months later. And if Rihanna is over it, I think the rest of look like absolute idiots holding a grudge for her and acting like fortune tellers. Nobody can tell whether he'll repeat his actions but him. I keep hearing females say he didn't apologize to him. What makes you so important that he should? He doesn't know you. Never met you. He owes you nothing. He volunteered with the Jenesse's Center
. That's a huge step in the right direction. I actually asked a columnist where were her stories on Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson. She claimed she wrote columns about them but I never got a link nor do I see even an ounce of anger directed at the latter two celebrities the way I do Breezy. Let it go. HEAD NOD OF APPROVAL to Kennedy for his second article I agree with on the Rihanna and Chris Brown situation. Let them live. It's hypocritical to bully someone who you think is a bully and solves nothing. If anything you both leave pissed off. He's mad people won't let a four-year-old topic go. You're mad that he managed to win awards, sell records and get Rihanna back. And guess what? If you spent even half that amount of energy on your own life, you'd be a much happier person. If her family is still angry, I 100% understand but don't agree with them meddling either (unless there's a second incident of abuse). They have a right to be defensive of her. But the rest of us are here to be fans of the music.
1. Fight on "Vanderpump Rules": When women have beef, the tension lasts for weeks before, during and after the fight (watch any female-dominated reality show to prove this or walk into a random high school). But when men fight (as long as it doesn't end up on the news), the commentary is funny as ever. A fight broke out on this show on one of the cast member's birthdays and one of the guys took off his shirt ready to box.
The next day his friend goes: "My only problem was you should've done a few push-ups before you took your shirt off. You jumped the gun on that, dude."
2. Wyclef Jean "getting respect": People are asking Wyclef about the chapter on Lauryn Hill, but I haven't gotten to that part yet. What I am finding out is "An Immigrant's Story" could've been a comedic memoir. I was repulsed by the Haitian Day issues at his school, but the way he made light of some fights cracked me up. Some guy slapped his brother and Wyclef decided to play into the Haitian stereotypes and came out wearing a fur squirrel accessory (his mother's), a machete on his waist and throwing salt. Imagining a young Wyclef do this made me crack up laughing on my way home from work while reading that part.
I completed a post about this for 2011
so I'll keep it going for this year, too. I started on Saturday night, Dec. 14, and finished at 3:51 a.m. on December 30.
ACTORS (ALSO HANDSOME MEN ~ "EYE CANDY" SOUNDS SEXIST)
1. Idris Elba
2. Ian Somerhalder
3. Michael Ealy4. Denzel Washington5. Ryan Gosling6. Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def, equally excellent rapper and actor)7. Hugh Laurie8. Omar Epps9. Rick Gonzalez10. Richard Gere (I love those squinty eyes)11. Brad Pitt (without the beard and the bizarre Chanel No. 5 commercial)12. Robert Downey Jr. (I love everything he's in)13. Don Cheadle14. Lance Gross15. Terrence Howard16. Robert Pattinson17. Columbus Short18. Laurence Fishburne (Handsome guy in "Higher Learning" and "School Daze")19. Mekhi Phifer20. Taye Diggs21. Michael B. Jordan (the actor, not the athlete)ACTRESSES
1. Phylicia Rashad2. Nia Long
(I was so happy when she tweeted to me about my lucky day)3. Sanaa Lathan4. Erika Alexander5. Meagan Good6. Gabrielle Union7. Taraji Henson8. Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah)9. Regina King10. Jasmine Guy11. Zoe SaldanaART1.
"Thursday Night Book Club
" (based on original work "A Friend in Need
" by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge [Literary Arts Society])AUTHORS1. Karen Siplin2. Langston HughesBEAUTY 1. Blistex Lip Medex (the only chapstick I use)2. Bonne Bell lipLITES clear gloss3. Cover Girl Professional natural lash mascara4. Fashion Fair
"Dark Brown" lip liner5. Iman
"Brass" lipstick6. Posner Luxe Lids Eyeshadow Chocolate Collection 45001BOOKS (OUTSIDE OF MINE)1.
"Wolves: Capturing the Natural Spirit of these Incredible Animals
" by Shaun Ellis and Monty Sloan2. "Hot Cripple" by Hogan Gorman3. "I Got This" by Jennifer Hudson4. "I Suck at Girls" by Justin Halpern5.
"Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now
" by Toure6. "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
" by Walter MosleyCHICAGO1. Loving Hut restaurant2. The New 400 TheaterCOMEDIAN1. Kevin Hart2. Chris Rock3. Bernie Mac (R.I.P.) 4. Jamie Foxx5. Whitney Cummings
6. Betty White ("Off Their Rockers
" was gold because of her; talk show interviews are always funny, too)FASHION1. Jennifer Lopez purple dress (on homepage slideshow)2. Daisy F
uentes green and blue dress
(on homepage slideshow)3. Camel 4" boots4. Black sweater dress (My mother's old dress that I'm rocking the hell out of at the age she used to wear it)FOOD1. Runaway Potato at Loving Hut2. Spicy BBQ at Loving Hut3. Lemon Tofu at Loving Hut4. California Rolls at Chi Tung5. Thai Fried Rice with tofu at Chi Tung6. Crab Rangoon at Chi Tung 7. Filet o' Fish at McDonald's (Yes, I realize this makes me a pescatarian)8. Market Pantry russet boiled potatos9. Archer Farms salt and vinegar chips10. Archer Farms blue corn with flaxseed chips11. Macaroni & Cheese (Mom's at Thanksgiving)12. Dressing (Mom's at Thanksgiving)13. Collard Greens (vegan version)14. Sweet potato baked potatoes15. Sweet potatoes (Mom's at Thanksgiving)16. Market Pantry baked potatoes with margarine and imitation bacon bits17. The reaction at work to my vegetarian chili (Cooking isn't my favorite thing to do but I totally enjoy it when people like what I make)18. Pittman & Davis lemon squares19. Vegetarian lasagna (I only eat lasagna at Christmas; it's a tradition)20. Chocolate mint tea with soy milk and green or brown tea from Argo Tea21. Garbanzo/chick pea salad from Argo Tea22. Fresh croissants from Argo Tea23. Quaker Snack Mix (Baked Cheddar Flavor)24. Vegetarian platter from Boston Market (mashed potatoes, cornbread, vegetable stuffing, green beans sweet potato casserole)25. Vegetarian bacon strips (MorningStar Farms)26. Vegetarian Chik Patties Original (MorningStar Farms)27.
Vegetarian Original Sausage Patties (MorningStar Farms)28. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sundae (Weight Watchers Smart Ones)FRAGRANCES
1. Fergie's Outspoken 2. Victoria's Secret Heavenly3. Glade's Clean Linen candle4. Glade's Cool Serenity candle5. Glade's Cashmere Woods candle6. Glade's Moonlit Walk candleHAIR1.
Hot 'N Gold Ionic Soft Jumbo Bonnet Dryer2. Vitale relaxer3. Vitale olive oil hair mayonnaise4. Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque5. Sofn'free Milk, Protein & Olive Oil Strengthening CremeHEALTH1. Weight Watchers program (I lost 31 lbs. I love the Points Plus program. I'm not a member anymore, but once I mastered the nutrition and fitness guidelines I was set!)2. Flirty Girl Fitness complimentary week of fitness classes3. The exercise routine on "The Family Hustle"
with T.I. in the health club4. The exercise routine with Yolanda on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"5. The exercise routine with Shaun T on "Steve Harvey"
(Eventually I'll buy "Insanity
.")6. "Diet and Exercise Diary" Hinkler journal from Barnes & Noble clearance rack7. Shaun T's "Hip-Hop Abs" tapes
(I still enjoy exercising with all of them)8. "The Trainer's Edge: Killer Abs and Back" with Michael Olajide 9. GAIAM "Fit Body Yoga" featuring Gwen Lawrence ("Core Definition" is still the hardest one to do)
10. Weight Watchers Point Plus calculator11. SuperTracker Food Tracker from USDA (I use it almost daily)HISTORIC ICONS1. President Barack Obama2. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.3. Harriet Tubman4. Malcolm X5. Frederick Douglass6. Rosa Parks7. Nat TurnerHOME DECOR
1. My new brown couch
2. Glade electric warmer plug-ins3. Mavea water filterLIQUOR (OTHER DRINKS)
1. Chocolate martini at Olive Garden
2. Godiva chocolate martini at Chi Tung3. Whiskey sour (My favorite go-to drink since college)4. Captain Morgan's red wine5. Arnold Palmer Half & Half iced tea6. Lipton ice tea7. Bigelow green tea8. McDonald's iced coffee (medium, no liquid sugar)MEMORIES (HAPPY ONES ONLY)1. My mom and I going to the NBC studio to see "Steve Harvey Show" live2. Flirty Girl Fitness spa manicure and waxing for my birthday3. Drinking Captain Morgan's red wine with my grandfather in his backyard
(the dogs next door hate me but they behaved as long as he was around)4. Giving up my Loving Hut boycott and going two times over my birthday vacation (still can't believe I talked my meat-loving co-worker Darcel and cousin Hareder into going)5. Olive Garden trips with Mom (always messed up my fitness journal record but any dinner date with my mother is a good time)6. Manicure nights at Aunt Marguerite's apartment
(R.I.P. September was hard
)7. Working late night shifts after moving to the fourth floor and a management change (I love the night shift and would never work a day shift in my life if I could help it. I was very cool with the management change and like my new floor better, too.)8. Visiting the Black Ensemble Theatre for the first time to see "The Marvin Gaye Story: Don't Talk About My Father Because God Is My Friend" for my mother's birthday9. Showing up to work to see a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my co-worker Jenniffer after my great great aunt passed; I was not expecting that at all. 10. Going to my brother's Halloween birthday party; I had a great time, saw a bunch of his in-laws that I hadn't seen in years and enjoyed terrorizing one of my cousins, too.11. Cutting up all of my store and regular credit cards (The Frontline episode about how much credit card companies scam you really woke me up. I have been far more disciplined with my spending and am actually paying off cards instead of increasing balances.)12. Being so loyal to walking Faith anytime I visit my parents' house that I went out with two-inch heels on while it was storming, grabbed my umbrella and a thick coat, and still walked that dog (who stopped at every single tree and pole) on Thanksgiving night13. Getting the birthday card in the mail from my brother with us as kids that said, "I got your back" on the inside. I thought that was pretty cool and I wasn't expecting a card at all because he's not usually a card sender. He sent two. (In my defense, I swear it looked like a stuff monkey!)14. My boss reenacting what it's like to walk a family member's dogs (She's funny regardless but she's even funnier when she tells a story.) 15.
Reading "Keeping the Promise
"; I miss Mr. Ellison. I've worked with a lot of PR reps but he was the most efficient, polite and fascinating to talk to about his own writing history. R.I.P. I'd read everything he ever wrote.16. Making the November page in my mother's 2013 photo calendar.
I made one side super silly photos of us and the other pretty photos, but the silly photos are the best ones (IMO). My favorites: Her puckering her lips out and me hiding in a box.17. Surprise visit from my brother-from-another-mother Shuntal at Christmas. I haven't seen him in person in at least eight or nine years. It was very good to see him although he came for other circumstances. 18. Hanging out with my cousin Yolanda on Christmas Eve. I never see her on Christmas, only Thanksgiving, and I really had a good time catching up with her.19. Catching up with my old girl scout leader Lela (won't include last name) is always fun. I was a girl scout from the age of 9-14 but I have made a point of staying in contact with her. She's hilarious and always a pleasure to be around. 20. My grandfather accusing me of biting my dog on a calendar photo. I told him Faith nuzzled up to my face. His response? "Well, somebody's got to initiate the kiss." 21. Surprising Aunt Marguerite with a visit from my grandfather for her second 100th birthday party
(Doesn't a centenarian deserve two parties? I think so!) Click here
to see the video of some friends and family singing to her.22. Setting up my cousin Hareder's website for a pageant (I learned a lot more about her and enjoyed reading her responses to FAQs. It was educational and far more enjoyable to create than I expected.)23. The look of shock when I saw the guy who came to pick up my old couch from a Craigslist posting. Man, he was cute. I never told him that, but I was equally impressed seeing him in a suit the second time around when he came to get the throw pillows that I didn't need.24. The look of appreciation from the mother and daughter who picked up the Taylor Lautner umbrella and blanket I gave away on Craigslist.25. Seeing Al Green live at Ravinia (I'd never been to that concert before; it was cool even on the lawn)26. Christmas card from Georgia B. every year (I'll always enjoy hearing from the family, and it makes me think of grandmother every time)27. Getting a call from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois as the first Go Red Fan of the Week winner for the "It's Heart Awareness Month" competition; It was for my photo with Faith (with me wearing a red sweater) and I won a gift card
.MOVIES1. "Think Like a Man"2. "Marley"3. "Breaking Dawn (Part 2)"4. "The Notebook"5. "Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story"6. "Crazy, Stupid, Love"7. "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned"8. "Justin Timberlake: Futuresex/Loveshow"9. "Friends With Benefits"10. "Higher Learning" (my favorite movie for two decades)11. "Love Jones" (timeless movie)12. "Something New" (Made me a Sanaa Lathan fan for the first time)13. "Iron Man"14. "Iron Man 2"15. "Losers"16. "Lincoln"17. "Flight"
cstatic to see John Goodman in a recent film)MUSIC (singles and artists)
1. Afroflow "Call Us By Name
"2. Afroflow "Ethiopia (Everything Will Be All Right)"3. Afroflow "It Makes You Feel Good"
4. Afroflow "My Element
"5. Afroflow "Warrior's Rhythm"6. Akon "I Wanna Love You"7. Akon "Mama Africa"8. Akon feat. T-Pain "I Can't Wait"9. Akon "Rain"10. Al Green and Queen Latifah "Simply Beautiful"
11. Andre 3000's verse on T.I.'s "Sorry
"12. Beyonce "4"
13. Bob Marley "Waiting in Vain
14. Bob Marley "One Love
15. Bob Marley "Three Little Birds
16. Bob Marley "Redemption Song
17. Bob Marley "Satisfy My Soul
18. Bob Marley "Turn the Lights Down Low
19. Bob Marley "Jammin
20. Brad Paisley "Alcohol
21. Brad Paisley "Ticks
22. Brad Paisley "Waitin' On a Woman
23. Brad Paisley "Oh Yeah, You're Gone
24. Brad Paisley "The Pants
25. Brad Paisley "I'm Still a Guy
26. Brandy "Two Eleven
27. Brandy "Afrodisiac
28. Brandy and Monica "It All Belongs to Me
"29. Bruno Mars "The Lazy Song"
30. Chris Brown "Fortune
31. Chris Brown "Marvin's Room
" on "Boy in Detention
32. Damian Marley "Move
33. Damian Marley "Mr. Marley
34. David Banner "Malcolm X (A Song to Me)
35. David Banner "Swag Remix
" from "Sex, Drugs & Video Games
"36. David Essex "Rock On"
37. Drake "Comeback Season
"38. Drake "Take Care" (the single)
39. Elle Varner's "Perfectly Imperfect
40. Finatticz "Don't Drop That Thun Thun
"41. Fugees "Killing Me Softly"
42. Frank Ocean "Thinking About You
"43. Game feat. Meek Mills "Scared Now" (Sometimes it's hard to shake a ratchet song.)44. Herbie Hancock "Chameleon"45. Herbie Hancock "St. Louis Blues"46. Herbie Hancock "Watermelon Man"47. Ice Cube's verse on "You Gotta Lotta That"48. Ice Cube "Hood Mentality"49. J. Cole "Can't Get Enough"50. J. Cole and Drake "In the Morning"51. Jay-Z "Dig a Hole"52. John Legend "Green Light"53. John Legend feat. Pusha T on "Tonight"
54. Jerrod Niemann "What Do You Want
55. Justin Bieber feature on "Ladies Love Me
" from Chris Brown's "Boy in Detention
"56. Luther Vandross "I'm Only Human"57. Maino "That Could Be Us"58. Marcus Canty "Won't Make a Fool Out of You"
59. Marvin Gaye -- anything by him
60. Mary J. Blige "Someone to Love Me
61. Mary J. Blige "Just Fine
"62. Michael Jackson "Butterflies"63. Michael Jackson "Stranger in Moscow"64. Miguel "Adorn"
65. Nas "Life Is Good
" (album)66. RaVaughn "Same ol BS"
67. Rihanna "Unapologetic
68. Sade "Love Is Stronger than Pride
"69. T-Pain "Five o' Clock"70. T.I. feat. Cee
"71. T.I. "Wonderful Life"72. T.I. "Hallelujah"73. Timbaland feat. Drake "Say Something"74. The Game "Scared Now" (Every blue moon I grow attached to a ratchet song.)
75. Usher "Looking 4 Myself
" (album)76. Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos) -- anything by him77. Young Jeezy "I Do"NEWS1.
"Adam Lanza, and others who committed mass shootings, were white males
" 2. President Obama speaking up about gun control3. Clarence Page's Page
from the Tribune4. "The Rachel Maddow Show"5. "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell6. Anderson Cooper
and his "Ridiculist
"7. BET's "Don't Sleep" with T.J. HolmesPOEMS1. "Harlem Sweeties" by Langston HughesPOLITICS1. Election night 2012
in the Tribune's newsroom2. Pres. Obama crying while thanking his campaign team in Chicago3. Chicago Tribune's Election Center updates on Election night4. Chicago Tribune's Local Election updates on Election night5. Bill Clinton's "brass" speech during Obama's campaign (I was too young to realize how fascinating and intelligent a speaker he was when he was president; I get it now)QUOTES1. "Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." -Samuel Johnson2. "Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is not." -Henry Van Dyke3. "A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." -Author Unknown4. "Your eyes tell more than your mouth can maneuver." -Shamontiel (I made it up in college)5. "Home is where the beach is." -Author Unknown6. "Keep smiling. It makes everyone wonder what you have been up to." (Sign I took from my grandmother's home when she passed away)RADIO SHOWS1. Power 105's The Breakfast Club
(interviews ONLY, DJ Envy is the only cool one) 2. Big Boy's Neighborhood3. Herb Kent on V1034. Boolu Master
mixesSKIN CARE1. Up & Up cocoa butter lotion (deep conditioning)2. Caress' Endless Kiss (Creamy Vanilla & Sandalwood) soap3.
Caress' Evenly Gorgeous soap4. Caress' Sheer Twilight soap5. Nadinola's
cocoa butter cream6. Tropic Sun Aloe Vera Gel7. Suave Cocoa Butter with Shea lotionTECHNOLOGY1. Shopkick app (The Smartphone coupons really do work; just scan at checkout)2. T-Mobile® myTouch® Q - Black 3. Instagram phone appTELEVISION1. "The Vampire Diaries" (only after Damon allegedly sired Elena and every scene with Klaus and Rebekah)2. "Whitney" 3. "Love You Mean It" 4. "Joan & Melissa" (I cry laughing at the medical marijuana episode when they jumped in fully clothed.)5. Luther on "Key & Peele"6. Tyler Perry's "For Better or Worse"7. "Luther"8. "Sleeper Cell"9. "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"
(The other season extras
are entertaining)10. "Common Law"11. "Boss"12. "Frontline"13. "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (favorite episode is Jimmy [Drake] on the roof with Hazel when he gave her the necklace)14. "Friends" (The turkey "I love you" episode with Monica)15. "Ally McBeal" 16. "The New Adventures of Old Christine"17. "Daria"18. "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell"
(I was ecstatic to see Yasiin Bey on the episode about Superstorm Sandy)19. Jamie Foxx on "Ellen" with the horse/black woman impersonation and talking about black women holding back while dancing20.
"The Steve Harvey Show
" (The microphone boy is my favorite episode!)21. Gloria for calling out Bambi on a wolf ticket on "Basketball Wives LA" and for staying on her work hustle and out of the cattiness that is that show
(I can't tolerate the Miami version at all even though Jennifer is cool)22. "House"
(I laugh every time House dances with that beatbox and his cane)23. "Roseanne"
(I tear up every time Darlene does that poem for her class)24. "The Golden Girls" (Fav episode: Dorothy and the Secret Service agent with the jewelry thiefs)25. "The Cosby Show"
(I own all eight seasons)26. "A Different World" (When will they release the other seasons?)TURN-ONS (physical)1. Men who wear their pants at a regular size (no extra sagging baggy jeans and absolutely no sagging skinny jeans)2. Men who keep their haircut neat (Even if you're rocking dreadlocks, keep them neat)3. Men who keep their facial hair neat (Still a big fan of short goatees)4. Tall men (I wish I could shake this one because it's so superficial, but I've always been a magnet for tall guys. I don't know what's up with 5'11" to 6"5 men but that's who I end up dating at least 95% of the time.) 5. Men with smooth, full lips (I still laugh out loud remembering the time my godmother Sheila yelled out, "I can't take it! Give him some chapstick!" at the screen when Wood Harris was on "Not Easily Broken.")6. Men who like to smell nice (body oil, cologne, whatever, just a nice fragrance)7. Smooth skin (I don't have a complexion preference. I've dated guys who were Bizzy Bone's complexion and then went straight to Morris Chestnut's complexion, but a smooth shave is sexy.)8. Men who enjoy smiling and have nice teeth (ex. Morris Chestnut, Idris Elba, Taye Diggs)TURN-ONS (mental)1. Men with full-time steady employment (I have no interest in grown-up dependents. I have been supporting me for a decade, but can you support yourself?)2.
Men who care about their health (If you think HIV/AIDS isn't real, have never been tested and randomly have unsafe sex, please keep your suicidal body away from me. When a guy doesn't care about his own health, there's 100% chance he couldn't care less about yours, ladies.) 3.
Men who know there's a time and place (and a level) for PDA (If you're grabbing a woman's butt in public, stick to chickenheads.) 4.
Men with positive role models in their lives (You can tell a lot about a man by how his father treats his mother [or stepmother] and how often his father was in his life. And just because a woman gave birth to you doesn't make her a great human being. Watch how he treats his mother and
men. You'll learn how he feels women should treat men from that, too.) 5. Men with their names on their leases (I'm too grown to deal with somebody's roommate and I haven't dated a guy who lives with his Mom since I was 20.)6. Men who like to be active/eat healthy (I've never dated a vegetarian [although I am one] but because I'm so adamant about regular exercise and eating healthy, it's cool to meet guys with equal mindsets. Guys I've dated have always been either athletic or into health.)7.
Men who own their own cars (Men with no cars think everyone is their taxicab, love to tell you where to go and never pay for parking. I tried being open-minded about this with two guys who had suspended licenses. It got old very quickly. It still boggles my mind at the guys I meet with no cars who are offended by public transportation. Buy a CTA pass and stop freeloading on everybody else's gas.)8. Men who understand and follow the motto that the words "woman" or "lady" are not synonymous with "bitch" or "ho."
They're two different groups of people. Listen to Jay-Z's song "Bitches versus Women." I agree with it. 9. Men who spend wisely (If you want to splurge, that's your business but please do something else with your money besides budget for strippers, weed, jewelry and video games. Savings accounts, 401(k) and CDs help you create a future.)10.
Men who like to read for fun (Newspapers [besides the sports section], books, magazines [something other than just entertainment articles])11. Men who
respect individuality (I applaud the Drakes of the world who will look at an industry and still be themselves instead of the carbon copy of what they think other people want them to be. Just be you. Somebody will appreciate it sooner or later.)12.
Men who realize a date means going to a place where neither of us are looking at our own furniture, our own food or our own porch. You're a grown up. Leave the couch.13. Men with manners ("Please," "thank you," "excuse me" and "after you" never hurt anyone.)14. Men who believe in monogamy (I've never caught any guy I was dating cheating, but I've heard too many horror stories. If you plan on having sex with multiple women, save her the waste of time and energy. Date; don't be in a relationship. And don't even bother to ask me to date you if you have a girlfriend or wife. It'll never happen.) 15. Men who do not use the word "nigger" or "nigga" like it's a compliment. (It will never be and both men and women sound absolutely disrespectful every time they say it. The meaning has not changed. Expand your vocabulary. And I say this from the perspective of someone who used to argue about how it was okay to use it. NMU changed that.)16. Men who
can fix things, especially mechanics or appliance repair people (I swear blue collar jobs like this are so underrated. I totally respect white collar jobs, but men who can fix things are great
people.)17. Men who
are laid-back (I'm not the most nonchalant person in the world so I tend to shy away from other people who are glued to drama. The best relationships I've been in were with guys who preferred peace over looking for beef, and we parted on good terms and occasionally stayed in touch over the years.)18. Men who know who the hip-hop pioneers are and actually respect them19. Men who can beatbox (Maybe it's because I'm a fan of old school but my eyes bug out every time I hear a guy start beatboxing.)20. Men who like to dance (Whether you're a natural like Chris Brown, groove like 2 Chainz or just two-stepping like Jay-Z, as long as you can keep the rhythm, we're good to go. I like to see a guy let down his guard and just snap on the dance floor though.)21. Men who aren't the jealous type (Protective does not mean paranoid, and "platonic friendship" actually does happen. Don't let negativity overpower you.)22. Men who have a sense of humor (If you are funny, you will always be a step above any other guy I'm looking at. And if you make faces just to make me laugh, I will adore you even more.)WEBSITES1. SlicethePie.com2. Twitter.com3. Ada's Student Etsy store (also on my Mom's website)4. GrooveShark.com5. DatPiff.com6. iHeart Comedy Radio7. TIVO8. AOL Listening Party9. AOL Online Radio10. Project Playlist11. BarackObama.com12. WhiteHouse.gov13. Chicago Tribune's Health page (Yes, I update it therefore I am 100% biased)14. Chicago Tribune's Travel page (Yes, I update it therefore I am 100% biased)15. McDonald's Full Menu Food Tracker (Easier to eat healthy and know what you eat)16. The Good Men Project17. Shutterfly18. DreamMoods.comYOUTUBE (OTHER) VIDEOS1. Drake's interview with Katie Couric2. DMX sings "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"3. President Obama sheds a tear after being reelected4. Brandy's "Put It Down" video with Chris Brown5. Obama's Kiss Cam video6. "The Unexpected" sorority step routine on "Awkward Black Girl" (start at 2:28)7. "Think Like a Man" cast talks about battle with the sexes8. "Think Like a Man" cast with Regina Hall acting a fool9. Tijuana Jackson interviews "Think Like a Man" cast10. Jamie Foxx on Saturday Night Live as a Ding Dong
I should've written this blog when I turned 30 instead of 31, but last year at this time I was sleeping in LAX airport and missed my flight to Maui. Then I spent five days in Hawaii
so you already know I was preoccupied. This year, I was supposed to be in St. Louis sometime tonight but since those plans fell through, I'm in Chicago hanging out for my 31st birthday (on Sunday, Veteran's Day) so I have a bit of time on my hands. I started reflecting on my 20s and how they made me into the woman I am today. Here are the top five moments in my 20s that prepared me for my 30s.
It could be coincidental but I've noticed a lot of attention paid to dreams coming true and life goals lately. While watching Ne-Yo's "Behind the Music" on Sunday, he said, "Every dream that I've had has been realized. How many people can say that? Not very many."
Then I bought an Android phone and my horoscope for Wednesday was: "What do you want to be when you grow up, Scorpio? Whether you're eighteen or eighty-eight, this question may apply to you today. You've been thinking about your life and whether you are fulfilling your purpose here on Earth. If you haven't found your path yet, you may be wondering what direction to take. If you've made some major life choices and you're established, you may be thinking about changing your direction. Either way, the stars say this is an excellent time to embark on a journey of discovery to figure it all out."
To top that off, I was reading Gordon Livingston, M.D.'s "And Never Stop Dancing: Thirty More True Things You Need to Know Now," and there were lines about the future: "It turns out that few of us are living the lives we imagined for ourselves when we were young."
Now I'm seeing this stuff on my phone and in my book and on television, and I kept coming to the same conclusion: "I've accomplished every single goal I wanted as a kid." I used to get so agonizingly bored and the only way I found to regularly entertain myself was to read or to write. My goals as a kid all had something to do with reading or writing. That's it. I have never had any desire for children, was indifferent about marriage and never really thought much about where I'd live outside of wanting to visit New York. But overall I've accomplished all of the goals Little Shamontiel set out to do. So with that said, those are my five things I'm smiling about.
These are five goals I had as a kid that I can check off the list:
This week was rough. A couple other issues happened, but the third and most important issue was seeing my great great aunt in a nursing home on Saturday. Whenever you see a loved one in a nursing home who you know despises nursing homes and doesn't look as phenomenal as she usually does, that can tear your heart apart. It temporarily makes me rethink about my stubborn attitude when it comes to having zero interest in motherhood. You kinda want someone to be around to take care of you, but then I rethink that and think of all of the relatives who came around to see this family member who aren't her children. You don't have to have kids to have someone take care of you when you're older. Then again, a couple of things I smiled about this week wouldn't have happened had my parents not had me so...um, yeah, no plans for children but it's making my arms fold a little looser on the topic. And through it all, I still found things to smile about.1. Hanging out in Grandad's backyard: For over 60 years, my grandfather was a smoker. I didn't know much about second-hand smoke, but I did know that every time he went outside to smoke on the back porch, I'd run under his heels and balance myself on the porch rail so I could be right next to him. He hasn't smoked in a couple of decades now. This time around I spent the weekend at his house just to clear my mind. Some people get massages. Some get manicures and pedicures. Some have girls' nights out. Me? I go to Grandad's. It is the best place to clear my mind. On Friday, we hung around, ate watermelon, laughed at episodes of "Roseanne," went to our favorite Asian food restaurant for dinner. I spent the night and, on Saturday afternoon (after visiting my great great aunt with my mother), my grandfather and I got two lawn chairs and sat in his backyard drinking Mogen David Classic American Wine Concord and talked about politics, relationships, family and how weeds are tearing up his backyard. I even left with a big bag full of collard greens, tomatoes and banana peppers from his garden. He's better than the grocery store!2. Angela Davis autobiography recognition: A guy walked by me last week while I was reading Angela Davis' autobiography. He stopped to ask how far I'd gotten into the book and gushed about how much he enjoyed it. Now normally this wouldn't be something that would've caught my attention so much, but the guy was white. Yes, that may sound close-minded, but I just wasn't ready for all of the compliments and the look of admiration he had for her. It made me want to dig through this book that much quicker because from what I've read, she's had quite a few problems with dealing with people being racist to her so I wondered if other cultures would relate the same. I know far too many people who are too close-minded to read "The Autobiograpy of Malcolm X" to find out where Malcolm X was coming from so I expected the attitude to be the same way about Angela Davis. It is not. I couldn't be happier to hear that. I haven't finished the book yet, but it's due this week so I better hurry up.
1. VH1's "40 Greatest R&B Songs of the '90s":
I checked this out and it made me so happy to be an '80s baby. Bel Biv Devoe. Montell Jordan. Whitney Houston. Brandy. Color Me Badd. Jodeci. R. Kelly. Blackstreet. There were countless great songs in the '90s. It made me temporarily miss my elementary school and high school years (and that never happens), but I reminisced on where I was when I first heard all of these songs. And my first boyfriend favored Montell Jordan. High-five for me! (Click Shamontiel's Favorites
for a juicy story about a couple of these songs.)2. The photos inside of Stephen Krensky's "Biography: Barack Obama: A photographic story of a life": There were some really good shots in this book that I'd never seen before. I didn't know Sasha's real name was Natasha either.
I read "Dreams from My Father" years ago, but this book dusted off my memory bank about our president.
I was able to get today off to celebrate Juneteenth (thanks to my co-workers who were willing to switch days with me) and kept trying to find something to do. I couldn't find anything as exciting as the IMAN concert with Mos Def (click here
for article, click here
for photo gallery, click here
for video) but I wanted to do something to honor June 19, 1865 -- the day when slavery ended in the United States (two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation when slaveowners actually had
to let go of their slaves). The U.S. still has a long way to go on racism but there have been many many steps in the right direction. However, it's all part of our history (whether some want to admit it or live in naivete/denial and remove African-American history from history textbooks -- I see you Tennessee!). But anyway, I hadn't been to the DuSable Museum in awhile so I went there to check out what was new since the last time I visited to see the Freedom Sisters exhibit.
There was a gospel exhibit today and of course I hit up my favorite spots -- Mayor Harold Washington (I never turn the button on that life-sized version of him; it creeps me out to hear it talk and move its head and body around); the military/navy/Air Force exhibit; and there's a statue of a few kids who survived the Middle Passage downstairs. I don't remember seeing that before, but I was so impressed with the artwork and annoyed about children having to survive those circumstances at the same time. The artwork was made from current day kids posing. I would've liked to have seen the kids mimicking the originals.
1. Al Green at Ravinia: I'd never been to Ravinia although I'd heard about it. A co-worker had a ticket she didn't want. I thought to myself, "Hell, I'm already off on Fridays and haven't been to a concert in a couple of years. Go!" And so I found someone to go with me and off we went. It was great. I could barely see Al Green from the lawn seats, but I enjoyed watching couples, friends and even kids dancing around to songs like "Love and Happiness" and "Let's Stay Together." Although I enjoy "Tired of Being Alone," my all-time favorite song of Al Green's "Simply Beautiful." (By default, I'm pretty crazy about "Their Eyes Were Watching God" for the song and Halle Berry and Michael Ealy together. Whoa! That kiss!) Pat Quinn pronounced Friday Al Green Day and I have no qualms about it.
2) Justin Halpern's "I Suck at Girls": I thought "Sh*t My Dad Says" was funny as ever and the television show was pretty good. Like the first book, I'm laughing out loud while reading this one, too. His experiences with women are so awkward at times, and the advice he gets from not only his father but his boss is beyond crazy. My favorite lines so far: "Why did you chase after her like a rapist?" Dan asked. "I just chased her. I didn't do it like a rapist," I snapped. (A girl he asked out took off running, broke left and he just kept running after her like a lost soul.)
I've missed four weeks of these entries so I'll do 20 that randomly made me smile, mainly because I'm smiling right now. (Started on Thursday, finished Sunday afternoon)1. Babysitters Club books: I was reading RedEye's Ernest Wilkins "Facebook posts that never were" and it made me wonder what would I have said as a pre-teen on Facebook. The first stat that popped into my head was talking about "The Babysitters Club" books. I was a superfan. I owned the movie. I went to the audition to try to be in the movie. I owned all of the mysteries, super special books and the entire regular series. My parents found two mini-series movies in the attic and gave them to me and I sat on my living room floor and watched them like I was a kid. Reading this Wikipedia entry made me smile all over again about how much I loved Ann M. Martin's books, and I used to have a fan letter she wrote to me. No clue if I still have it.2. Twilight giveaway on Craigslist: I'm still Team Jacob, still own the "Twilight" books and movies and a few magazines, too. But I've outgrown some of the other fan stuff I had like my Taylor Lautner umbrella and blanket. I didn't want to just dump them in a charity bin though. I wanted to give them to a fan who would appreciate it. I posted an entry on Craigslist for free stuff and after three weeks of posting it in different spots to nothing but spam, I posted it under "free stuff" and got 45 e-mails in about 12 hours. I couldn't believe the response. Lucky #5 was the one who was able to pick them up, and this mom was so serious about getting these items that she sent me e-mails counting down how long it would take for her to get to our meeting location. She wanted the umbrella and her daughter jumped up and down and snuggled against the blanket. To see a mother and daughter that happy to get those items was better than my reaction to getting them as gifts a few years back. The little girl was so adorable, too. I was happy to see her grinning like that, but Taylor Lautner is pretty damn cute. Can you blame her?