The reason I liked doing the "Five things I'm digging right now
" was because it forced me to find the "bright side" of something. I need to do that more often and thought that was a cool way of doing it (original idea courtesy of Andy Cohen). So in the same spirit of it and since I'm done with that for 2011, I'm going to do a list of 365 things I've been digging all year. They're not in order, just the first things that pop into my head that I liked the entire year. (I started today as of 2:30 p.m. I finished on 12/31/11 at 10:38 p.m., in between running errands. HAPPY (almost) NEW YEAR!)BOOKS1. "The John Carlos Story
" by John Carlos2. "Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone" by Ralph Richard Banks3. "The Vampire Diaries" (Stefan's Diaries only)4. "There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in The Other America
" by Alex Kotlowitz5. "The Conversation" by Hill Harper6. "Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs" by Deborah Willis and Emily Bernard7. "Change for a Twenty" (I genuinely enjoy my own books)8. "Round Trip" (I've said repeatedly it's better than "Change for a Twenty")9. "Love Your Life" by The Oprah MagazineCHICAGO (SURROUNDING AREA)
1. Looking out the window on the #147 CTA bus at Lake Michigan2. Walking the four-mile trail at Skokie Northshore Channel3. Walking the two-mile trail at Lincolnwood Channel Runne Park4. Quench! restaurant on 79th (Pretty inside with a seating area)5. Chi Tung6. Chicago Public Library7. The New 400 Theater8. RCN (cable)EYE CANDY1. Ian Somerhalder2. Taylor Lautner
(Facial hair compliments him; his athleticism makes him breathtaking)3. Idris Elba
(No matter how many times "Daddy's Little Girls
" comes on, I watch it)4. T.I.5. Chris Brown (He's growing up to be really handsome)6. Morris Chestnut7.
Justin Timberlake8. Brad Paisley (Dated a guy who looked exactly like a light-skinned black version of him; started heavily listening to country music from November to December)9. Paul Walker10. Alex Meraz (very good-looking in person)11. Ian Ziering (Didn't pay much attention to him on "90210" but when I saw him at Comic Con last year I was so surprised at how gorgeous he is. Age has done him well!)12. Trey Songz
(Super friendly and as attractive in person as he is on his videos)13. Joseph Morgan (Klaus from "The Vampire Diaries")14. The guy who lost his balance on the Red Line and fell on me (woke me RIGHT up, and his outfit was impeccable; I couldn't stop checking him out)15. Drake16. Richard Gere (He looks better with age, don't know how he does it)17. Tone Kapone (Don't listen to the radio much but I saw him at the 2012 Real Men Cook and the Sprite StepOff a couple years ago. He's really cute and I never knew what he looked like before.)18. Q-Tip19. Evan Ross20. Obie Trice (He's underrated in the hip-hop game and my gawd, THOSE LIPS! Every video I see with him in it, I look at his lips 75% of the time. He's kiss-worthy.)FASHION1. Multi-colored shell bracelet from
Queen Ka'ahumanu Center in Maui2. Ralph Lauren Polo Jeans Co. orange fleece3. Light yellow zip-up sweater4. Gray suede/sweater heel boots5. Brown suede/sweater heel boots6. Black sweater flat boots7. Black cape with gray lining8. Baby blue top with brown afro woman silhouette9. Multi-brown shades wooden bracelet from Maui10. Black hematite bracelet from The African Store
(located in Ford City)11. Kohl's shopping
(When there's a coupon, I never leave empty handed.)12. NY & CO shopping
(Sale or not, I never leave empty handed.)FOOD1. Archer Farms salt and vinegar chips2. Thai tofu fried rice from China Hut3.
Kona Hawaiian Blend Micro-Roasted Coffee (drank it every morning)4. Gardein stuffed turk'y5. Gardein Mandarin orange crispy chick'n6. Chocolate martinis at Olive Garden7. Salad dressing from Olive Garden8. Mushroom ravioli from Olive Garden9. Fresh bread from Olive Garden10. Water with a splash of lemon juice11. Avocado slices with tomato slices12. Tortilla chips13. Granola, fruit and yogurt plate from IHOP14. Hot water cornbread15. Black eyed peas (vegetarian)16. Collard greens (vegetarian)17. Macaroni and cheese (my mother's)18. Dried apricots19. Archer Farms dark chocolate cocoa mix20. Open Nature's Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Heaven (granola mix)21. Green tea22. Brown tea with lemon juice and honey23. Grapefruit juice24. Grapefruits25. Red apples26. Strawberries27. Bananas28. Strawberry banana smoothies29. McDonald's iced coffee (light ice, light sugar)30. McDonald's Filet o' Fish (the only fish I can handle eating for Omega 3)31. Starbucks hot chocolate32. Argo Tea iced coffee33. Corn on the cob34. Mashed potatoes from Ruby Tuesday's35. Simply Asia Spring Noodles bowl36. Watermelon37. Green grapes38. Red grapesFRAGRANCES1. Fergie's "Outspoken"2. Lady Speed Stick "Fresh Infusions"3. Cool Water4. Victoria's Secret "Heavenly"
(original fragrance)HAIR1. Vitale Olive Oil relaxer2. Parnevu leave-in conditioner3. Silk wrap caps4. Pantene shampoo for women of color5. Pantene conditioner for women of color6. Distinctly Basics by Rachel Rose black ponytail holders7. My haircut from Donte's on 9/17/2011 (thanks
Francine!)HEALTH1. Doing Beyonce's "Let's Move" routine for 30 days2. Swimming laps in the Maui Seaside Hotel pool3. Renewing my membership and working out at Bally Total Fitness (now L.A. Fitness)4. The results from my yearly physical (everything is tip-top, minus weight)5. Logging at least four workouts per week on TeamBeachBody
6. Julie's Health Club blogs
7. Chicago Tribune's Health page
8. LA Times Booster Shots
9. Updating @BlackHealthNews
on Twitter10. "Mistletoe may help kiss away some ills
" article (fascinating because I only knot about it for kissing)11. "Muscling past myths" (It forces me to get up more at work)HOME APPLIANCES1.
Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok2. Brother MFC-440CN multi-printer3. Insignia 26" LCD TV 720P4. Full-size bed5. All 18 pillows on my bed6. Labrador Retriever comforter with pillows on my bedHOME DECOR1. Looking at Halloween decorations2. Black couple embracing and kissing (painting above my bed)3. Ebony cover of Marvin Gaye about "black cool"4. N'Digo cover of Pres. Barack Obama (Nov. 13-2008)5. Mos Def photograph of him sticking out his tongue while in a car driver's seat6. Wall photograph jewelry boxMEMORIES
1. Watching my 99-year-old Aunt Marguerite open her Christmas photo calendar
2. Solo travel to Maui to do what I wanted to do 100% of the time
3. Spa day in Maui (pedicure, manicure, head/back/shoulder/foot massage)
4. Going to Chi Tung with Grandad
5. Getting the surprise fruit basket on Christmas Eve delivered from my godfather
6. Having my mother home this Christmas, healthy and happy
7. Posing for photograph on the porch with Faith nuzzling my chin
8. Posing for photograph on the porch with Faith "smiling" and leaning by my face
9. Crying laughing about the health club story with Darcel
10. Kendell calling me up at work to invite me to his high school graduation
11. Watching Kendell walk across the stage for graduation (super proud of him)
12. Hanging with Mom, Dad and Grandad at Real Men Cook for Father's Day
13. Going to the midnight release of "Twilight: Breaking Dawn
" with my mom
14. Walking Faith (I do it 99% of the time when I'm at my parents' house)
15. Cracking jokes and chatting about entertainment with Yonnie and Kendell
16. Seeing what's new and strange in the world of Crosley (sp?)17. Chit-chatting with Mom in Olive Garden18. Hanging with Mom at Ruby Tuesday's and checking out our forgetful waiter19. Photograph of my mother and my godfather trying to look hip-hop (LMAO)20. Close-up photograph of Grandad and I at Real Men Cook21. Photograph of my mother and I on my 29th birthday with her leaning on me22.
Seeing my op/ed tattoo piece
on page 2 of the Chicago Tribune23. Posing for a bunch of family photos with my brother, mother, grandfather and father on Thanksgiving 201124. Getting a 365-day dog calendar from my mother, who knows I really want a dog25. Mild flirting at the health club (may not amount to anything but it was inspiration to work out when I first joined)26. Clearing snow away with a bucket because I don't own a shovel (my grandfather loves this story)27. Working from home for two days after Feb. 2, 2011 snowstorm28. My grandfather and father dancing in front of a crowd at Real Men Cook 201129. Fifth tattoo, fourth cover-up, love my roses (thanks Bobby Sax!)30. Dragging Fernie around to take the holiday photo for the Chicago Tribune31. Xephon adding me as a Facebook friend (very flattered by that)32. Dad calling me up to tell me how he wouldn't participate in Earth Hour33. Me taking Dad's call (#32) as an invitation to bumrush their house and unplug everything; he and I talked for an hour and a half in the dark34. Going through my letter box, reading all the letters and cards I got from family and friends while I was in collegeMOVIES1. "Hachi"2. "Eight Below"3. "No Strings Attached"4. "Friends With Benefits"5. "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned"6. "Tongue Untied" Wanda Sykes comedy7. "Higher Learning"8.
"Daddy's Little Girls
"9. "Something New"10. "10 Things I Hate About You"11. "New Moon"12. "Twilight"13: "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"14. "Sleepers"15. "The Client"16. "Runaway Bride"17. "Iron Man"18. "Iron Man 2"19. "Transformers"20. "Jumping the Broom"21. "Never Say Never" (The shoveling scene is my favorite; Justin Bieber is eye candy but I just felt too much like a cougar putting him there until he's legal)22. "Happy New Year, Charlie Brown"23. "Losers"24. "Gran Torino"25. "Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
(singles and artists
" by Andre 3000
" by Rihanna
3. Rihanna's "Loud
4. "The Noose
" by Tech N9Ne
5. The "99 Problems
" remix in the movie "No Strings Attached
6. Mos Def (everything)
7. "In the Morning
" by Drake and J. Cole
8. "Can't Get Enough
" by J. Cole
9. "5 o' clock
" by T-Pain
'" by T-Pain
11. "Default Picture
" by T-Pain
12. "Momma Told Me
" by Crystal Waters13. "Pretty Little Heart" by Robin Thicke14. "Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO15. "Birthday Cake" by Rihanna16. "Take Care" by Drake17. "Stay" by Tyrese18. "Syllables" by Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent19. Obie Trice
(everything)20. Crystal Waters
(everything)21. Chris Brown
(everything)23. "Love Calls" by Kem24. "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Kem25. "I Like It" by Debarge
family26. "Perfect Day" by Jim Jones27. "Should've Kissed You" by Chris Brown28. "Dancing in the Dark" by Dev29. "Otis" by Jay-Z and Kanye West30. "Marry You" by Bruno Mars31. "Someone to Love Me" by Mary J. Blige, Diddy32. "All This Love" by Debarge33. "Love Me in a Special Way" by Debarge34. "Say Something" by Timbaland35. Drake (everything)36. "Complicated" by Robin Thicke37. "Lost Without You" by Robin Thicke38. "Pretty Young Thing" by Michael Jackson39. "Strangers in Moscow" by Michael Jackson40. "I'm Only Human" by Luther Vandross41. "Love Her Like She's Leavin'" by Brad Paisley42. "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" by Kip Moore43. Afroflow (everything)44. "Woo" by Erykah Badu45. "Bag Lady" by Erykah Badu (Dr. Dre remix)46. Big Daddy Kane
(everything)47. "Got My Country On
" by Chris Cagle48. "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin49. "Like We Never Said Goodbye" by Clay Walker50. "Better Than I Used to Be" by Tim McGraw51. "Radio" by Musiq Soulchild52. "Smack That
" by Akon53. "Back to Life" by Andrea Lewis54. "Run the World" by Beyonce55. "Motivation" by Kelly Rowland56. "Deuces" by Chris Brown57. "Look at Me Now" by Chris Brown58. "Fallin' Down" by Chris Brown59. "Cruisin'" by D'Angelo60. "Sergeant Louise" by Donnell Jones61. "Marvin's Room" by Drake62. "Doing it Wrong" by Drake63. "Show Me a Good Time" by Drake64. "Find Your Love" by Drake65. "Mahogany" by Eric B. and Rakim66. "Head to Toe" by Eric Roberson67. "Softest Lips" by Eric Roberson68. "U R the One" by Mos Def69. "The Panties" by Mos Def70. "Kiss Me on My Neck" by Erykah Badu71. "I Want You" by Erykah Badu72. "Collard Greens and Cornbread" by Fantasia73. "1, 2, 3" by Field Mob74. "Best Night of My Life" by Jamie Foxx75. "Yep Dat's Me" by Jamie Foxx76. "She Got Her Own" by Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo77. Andre 3000 (everything)78. "Raindrops" by Jeremih79. "Leavin'" by Jesse McCartney80. "Ordinary People" by John Legend81. "I Ain't Going Out" by Jon B.82. "Pretty Girl" by Jon B.83. "What Goes Around Comes Around" by Justin Timberlake84. "Runaway" by Kanye West85. "Where Would I Be" by Kindred Family86. "Paris Tokyo" by Lupe Fiasco87. "The Show Goes On" by Lupe Fiasco88. "Human Nature" by Michael Jackson89. "Butterflies" by Michael Jackson90. "Smile" by Justin BieberNEWS1. Reading Clarence Page's column
"2. Reading Jon Yates' "What's Your Problem?"OBJECTS1. My birthday card from Dad, who wrote his own entries on the inside about the truth and myths of being 302. Mumble stuffed penguin (from "Happy Feet 2")3. Charlie Brown musical stuffed decoration4. E
lementary school graduation photos of Xakir (super handsome nephew!)PEOPLE
/MANNERISMS1. People who hold doors for the people behind them2. Women who think nothing of complimenting other women (no cattiness)3. Men who know "hello/how are you?" go much further than pick-up lines4. People who try to learn how to pronounce my name and don't give me unsolicited nicknames 5. People who say "let's go to lunch" and follow through with their plans to do soPOLITICS1. The troops coming home from Iraq2. First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign3. The Obamas' new family photoSKIN CARE1. Aloe vera (everything from first-aid products to lotion)2. Cocoa butter (everything from lotion to soap)3. Vaseline cocoa butter lotion4. Vaseline cocoa butter petroleum jelly5. Suave cocoa butter with shea6. Palmer's cocoa butter formula with Vitamin ETECHNOLOGY1.
AmazonBasics 3-Button USB Wired Mouse2. Smoke Silicone Skin case for my mp3 player3. Insignia Pilot mp3 player4. Kevin Hart's YouTube Channel5. Following @OchoCinco on Twitter 6. TiVo7. TiVo's website to record stuff when I'm not at homeTELEVISION1.
"2. "The Vampire Diaries"3. Timbaland special on E! Entertainment4. Kathy Griffin's reenactment of her dog eating a used condom (hilarious!)5. BET Hip Hop performance with Heavy D doing "Nuttin' But Love"6. Somaya and X.O. scenes on "Love & Hip-Hop"7. Open mic night with Kyle doing scat music on "Living Single"8. Rudy meeting Stanley on "The Cosby Show"9. "The New Adventures of Old Christine"10. The "you lost to a girl" scene in "The New Adventures of Old Christine"TRAVEL1. Maui Mall
(walked over there every day for five days)2.
Maui Seaside Hotel3. West Maui Mountains4. Riding the Sugar Cane Train in Maui5. Writing for Chicago Tribune's Taking Off blog6. O'Hare Airport (never appreciated how great it is until I compared it to LAX)7. Maroon blankets that American Airlines give you for flying to Hawaii8. American Airlines for giving me an extra 2 days free of charge after late flight9. Yotel's Times Square in-airport cabins for overnight sleeping (cool idea, haven't used them but would have that time I had to sleep overnight in LAX, click here for more)10. Celebrity travel with Sinbad11. Celebrity travel with Larenz Tate12. Updating the Trib's Hawaii travel story galleryTURN-ONS (physical)1.
Goatees2. Caesar haircuts3. Khakis/jeans that are loose but sit on the waist4. Shades of smooth brown complexions (from buttercup to dark chocolate)5. Clean fingernails6. Direct eye contact7. Carefree, white teeth smiles8. Slim-to-medium muscular build9. Tall in height (although I've dated guys between 5'8 and 5'11 who were just as attractive)11. Holding a bookTURN-ONS (mental)
1. Bookworms2. Voters
(in all elections, not just presidential)3.
Direct requests for dates (no b.s.-ing around)4. Making money only in a legal way5. Paying bills on time6. Having your own place, with your name on the lease/mortgageWEBSITES:1. SoulVegFolk.com2. BlackMusicTube.com3. TeamBeachBody.com4. AOL's Listening Party5. AOL Radio6. Chicago Tribune7. Luis Gomez's "About Last Night"8. Twitter9. Jaehakim.comWORK1. Meeting the MoD team (some of the Breaking News team are very entertaining to work with)2. Working with Colin (He's one of the coolest bosses I've ever had; he means business but he "gets" my personality)3. Keeping in touch with my old bosses Sonja and Ruth (two other bosses I have nothing but good things to say about and still touch bases with to this day)
4. Going to lunch with Darcel (great person to vent and laugh with)
5. Going to lunch with Fernie (she's always got jokes)6. Argo Tea Iced Coffee from Charlie to thank me for training him (nice surprise)7. Training Charlie and Lauren when they were new (MoD team members both really cool people)8. Trading dog stories with Molly (both of us are hardcore dog lovers)9. Working with Danielle G. (She's always helpful since the day I started)10. Working with Mike Z. (If I need a photo, he's got it. One of my favorite folks at the Trib for being so easy to work with.)11. Chatting with Pam (Easy to work with, even easier to chat about everything from family to why we hate pants with words on the butt)12. Creating and updating the "Relationship & Sex News Gallery" (Interesting and educational topic that people need to be informed about, especially STIs/STDs)13. Working with Gilda Squire of Gilda Squire Media Relations again. She is one of the most professional publicists I've met, and I've worked with quite a few publicists.YOUTUBE VIDEOS1. "Puppy Christmas
"2. The last two boys on "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy"3. Halloween light show to "Party Rock"4. "Rethink Breast Cancer presents 'Your Man Reminder'"5. Ian Somerhalder with Aisha Tyler on "The Late Late Show"6. Tahj Mowry singing John Legend's "Ordinary People"7. Tahj Mowry singing Michael Jackson's "Human Nature"