Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quotables

"Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don't expect it from cheap people." - The 3rd Richest Man in the World

I stole this from a friend on Facebook. I don't know who the third richest man in the world is, but I know he has some tshirt-worthy quotes. I know that.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weigh In!!!

Ok, I've seen this video circulate a few times and finally got a chance to watch it.



It's only about 10 people that read this blog and I seriously want to hear from all of you, what is your reaction to this video? I have so many.

Disclaimers: I don't have kids, I'm not meant to be a teacher, my opinions are my own and not that of my company, my church, my mother or the Lord Jesus himself and finally, just because I find something funny doesn't mean I'm making fun of a serious situation.

Ok, ready.

1. The big student breaking up the fight must be on the basketball team because you hear another student say "don't get injured before basketball season starts." I feel him so hard. Look, this ain't your fight. You need to stay healthy to do your job. *cough* Carlos Boozer *cough*
2. There is definitely a Chris Tucker-Ice Cube "DAYUM" in there. Actually, quite a few. I don't care what you say, that's funny.
3. The student must have done something to get kicked out of the room because at the time the video starts the teacher is ALREADY out of her shoes.
4. If she had on flat shoes, what about taking your shoes off, makes you more able to fight? She looks like a cavewoman.
5. If she had on heels, nevermind trying to answer #4.
6. Everyone's not supposed to be a teacher. If you know you will f*** a student up, maybe just work at the post office or DMV or something.
7. At the same time, if these kids don't know they could get f***** up, they might not respect the teachers.
8. Did you see the student's grandma's lacefront on the Fox clip (not pictured here)? All on the evening news. smh.
9. The Fox clip had a typo in it. I expect better from my journalist friends.
10. I'm so glad I'm not a parent yet. I have so many things to be concerned about. This type of foolishness isn't one of them. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Can I Bill My Weekends?

If you work in client services, you may know a thing or two about billing hours. Sometimes, I don't feel like I'm done anything unless I've billed the hour. Sometimes when I do personal work (nonprofit, blogging, personal branding) on the weekends, I feel like I should have somewhere to bill it.

Well, this weekend was a bunch of hours that belonged to other people and that has got to stop. I'm also coming down with a cold and that's a direct result of not taking a break, which is what the weekend should be a break.

If you figure the weekend is 60 hours from the time you leave work on Friday at 6 p.m. until the time you wake up at 6 a.m. on Monday morning to go back towork, here's how I spent my weekend:

26 hours - Sleeping
10 hours - Volunteering
7 hours - At work
4 hours - Church and dinner with the Church fam
3 hours - Watching Bey& Jay
2 hours - On the phone with State Farm.
8 hours - I have no idea where 8 of my hours went. I would assume getting to and from all of the places I went and maybe showering.

Next weekend I want it to look like this.

30 hours - Sleeping
30 hours - Chillin'

#WillNeverHappen, but I'ma try.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Let's Talk About Shackin'

Check out my thoughts on why I'm not down with shacking on Eat. Pray. F*ck. Despite the title of the blog, the blog entry is called "Being Single is a Blessing."

Gotta love it!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

About Ray Rice...

So Alex asked me on Facebook, how I would "spin" the "Ray Rice Situation." First, a bit of education.

I'm a public relations professional. As such, I am entrusted with the reputation management of my clients. I, am not, however, a liar. Most PR people are not liars, like most accountants are not liars, or most doctors are not liars, but some are... not because they work in PR, but because they are not ethical human being. Unethical human beings exist in every profession.

Generally, I have a client who is good at their craft, their art, their profession, but not so good at telling the world about their specialty. If they make floor tiles, they truly believe their floor tiles are the best and it's my job to show passion to the world. If there is a floor tile recall, it's my job to make sure all sides of the story are told - positive AND negative. PR people are diplomats, really. Because most people want to believe that the world is black OR white. That people are good OR bad. It's our job to proactively showcase all the good you don't know and in times of crisis, reactively show all sides of the story.

Now, that you don't think I'm a total scumbag, let me share one of my favorite quotes with you: "If you want people to respect your brand, HAVE A RESPECTABLE BRAND."

As a PR person, I stand on this philosophy. I cannot "spin" the "Ray Rice situation" because from what I can tell, he doesn't have a respectable brand. I can't make him look any better, because the facts are STARING in your face. There's nothing else to say. He messed up. He needs to move to Montana, finish his college degree and get a regular job like a regular person.

HOWEVER, as a PR person, I can't help but point out some facts that MAY make you think about the situation differently. And if Ray Rice WAS my client, here would be some of my key points to share with the media and the general public.

DISCLAIMER: These are not my thoughts. These are how I would counsel a client in talking points, IF I had a publicity client in the NFL who made a mistake, which I do not. 

1. It is ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE for the media to play the Ray Rice video in its entirety over and over again. Imagine the worst thing that ever happened to you, in your life, now imagine CNN had that footage and showed it on a 24-hour loop, back-to-back? 

As a victim of domestic violence, there is no reason for Janay Rice to have to relive day-in and day-out the media's scrutiny of her decision to keep her family together OR witness the violence that endured firsthand on her TV screens. If news stations won't show injuries of sports players, due to their graphic nature, the women of America should be given the same respect. Our society should be ashamed of how it treats victims of domestic violence and impedes their ability to heal.

2. Ray Rice has admitted fault, he has apologized, he has served the sentence that was given to him by a United States court of law and he is seeking to reform himself and put his family back together, privately. Opening the wounds that he inflicted on his family more than three months ago will not help him, nor will it help any other domestic violence victims or families trying to heal from similar ordeals. 

3. The American justice system and governing bodies in sports (NFL, NBA, MLB) are extremely inconsistent in their punishment of players and that is what the public should be upset about. When a top quarterback in the NFL has settled a lawsuit of sexual abuse neither admitting or denying fault, one wonders if these bodies really hold their players to the high standard they claim to or if they, instead, take every opportunity possible to eliminate lesser-paid, lower-value scapegoats to change the conversation about what is and isn't acceptable in professional sports leagues. While Ray Rice has admitted his mistakes and paid for them with his job, the NFL and other professional sports leagues carry on like they haven't ignored player transgressions in the past. This culture of cover-ups must change. Our professional athletes must be excellent on- and off the field. This is what Americans should care about.

So... would you hire me?    

Monday, September 1, 2014

Tea's Tangents: Labor Day Edition

I am currently writing this blog post in order to procrastinate from doing the work that I have due at 9 p.m. What's worse, my coworker who's collaborating on this presentation with me just texted like: hey, I'll call you in 45 minutes to an hour. I'm like what can I do that takes about that long.

  • I just balanced my checkbook and I missed an entire trip to Chicago's worth of expenses. Sprinkles, Sweet Maple Cafe, Harold's, Gas for a rental car (or my car or my mama's car, I can't remember). Just a mess.
  • I stayed in Pittsburgh for Labor Day and it was a good time. Not a "I put up with this because I live here" good time. But legitimate fun was had. I went to two bbqs (free food for the win!), a wine bar in a hipster neighborhood (to kick it with my student boos who can never go out because they're always in the library) 2 club parties (at the same 2 clubs I always go to, but there were out of town people, so it was a better time) and a boat party (with a pregame with free food and drank). 
  • Except for two event, most of what I went to was for the Ques weekend. Shout out to my connect for the free tickets. He put me and four of my girls on. AND this was the most drama-free set of Greek events I have ever experienced. It was like going to a family reunion and all your cousins or uncles are Ques. If you want to visit me, Labor Day would be a good time to do it. 
  • Separate, but related, it's so cheap here. Went to the bar with a bootential and he bought two drinks and the bartender's like: $13. He's not from here, he was like wait... for real? LOL! Now that I know people come in from out of town, I may spend more holidays here. It's cheaper and more relaxing. 
  • This weather is disrespectful. It's ALWAYS raining in Pittsburgh. Now, I know you all think I exaggerate, so I have some numbers. *Phaedra Parks voice* Everybody knows it rains a lot in Portland, Oregon, Right? Well, on average, Portland gets 153 days of rain per year. Pittsburgh gets 152. This weather doesn't believe in seasons. It's like yeah, I'm going to rain every month, no matter what the season. 
  • Speaking of weather, I had a pumpkin spice latte today. On September 1, the unofficial last day of summer. I'm disrespectful too. 
  • Speaking of disrespectful, why are people wearing leather calf and knee high boots already? I swear, I JUST put my boots up. I'm trying to flip flop it out until it's less than 50 degrees outside. Oh, how I love summer.
  • Off to do work now... How was your Labor Day Weekend? Anyone do Made in America in Philly? Yacht week (wherever that was)? Concerts? Clubs? BBQs? Family Reunions? I know I'm not the only one who spent a better part of today working and checking email to make sure I'm not behind tomorrow. I can't be the only one living this life.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Story Behind the Neurosis

My [Chicago] friends know that I'm extremely punctual. I'm always early to the party, such that I'm helping with cooking and decorations. I'm not ashamed of it. It's who I am.

I got stood up for a date tonight. It's the second time this has happened in two months. Getting stood up in 2014 isn't like I'm sitting at a restaurant waiting for a date and no one shows up (though that has happened. Shout out to dating. It's so fun.) Getting stood up in 2014, is like we talked on Friday and said we'd meet on Saturday at 7, then you didn't call or text to say WHERE to meet... or answer my calls or text to answer that question.

This sucks. It sucks for anyone, but it sucks for me because it opens up historical wounds. My biological father has a substance abuse problem. If you ever know anyone with that problem, you know that they make promises they can't keep and they lie a lot.

When I was a little girl, he used to say he was coming a lot and never did. He would tell me things he was going to buy me for Christmas or my birthday and he, of course, never delivered.

My mom's first husband (my "dad" who passed away when I was nine) would talk to me like an adult when I couldn't have been more than 6 or 7 and say things like "Do you really think he's coming?" I was an intelligent, precocious child, but my cognitive abilities weren't that sharp yet. OF COURSE, he's coming. He said he was coming. Why would anyone say they were going to do something they're not going to do?

So, as an adult, I work to be upfront and honest (sometimes bluntly honest, sorry, y'all.) If I say I'm coming to your birthday party, I'll be there. If I have a deadline at work, I'll meet it. And to make sure no one is ever waiting for me to show up for hours on end and feeling abandoned like I did as a toddler, I arrive to things early.

So, yes, arriving to social events is crazy. Living my life by my calendar is crazy. Expecting people to do what they say they're going to do is crazy (or is it really). And maybe cutting a guy off who could produce a perfectly good story about how/why he couldn't make an appointment that we scheduled is harsh, but one never quite heals from being lied to as a child and I would rather not deal with all of the feelings that come up each and evey time this happens to me as an adult.

So the moral of this story is, when people seem strange, odd or even crazy to you, know that they are that way for a reason and try to empathize with the fact that you don't know their story. BUT, ALSO don't stand people up. :-)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Working On My Day Off...

I'm in the office today and everyone else got the day off as an incentive for doing something. I technically have the day off too, but stuff is due at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, so instead of wasting Monday night doing work, I just came into the office today.

Also, I do not like working from home. I do not have a home office. My job activities are stressful. I do not like stress or drama in my home. Once you cross my door step it's like a spa, a shrine, a sanctuary, a playhouse (on Fridays, LOL!), but it not an office. It feels like everything work is not. Just peaceful and wonderful and I don't want anything not peaceful and not wonderful in my home.

Here's the problem with working on your day off. There is no accountability. No meetings to make you get the work done before you go into another meeting. No responses from coworkers to questions you have with the answers you need to get to the next step.

There is also the "save for later" stuff you have been meaning to do that is work-related and billable, but really has nothing to do with what you ACTUALLY came into the office to do in the first place.

I'm getting ready to watch an hour-long video that is mandatory for me to watch that someone sent me in March because my time doing so will be uninterrupted.

Then after that, I will get tired, not do what I came in here to do, and go home and take a nap. Well, that's what USUALLY happens, but I'm not claiming that today. Today, I WILL finish the deck I came in here to work on (it's always a deck... planning takes way more time than doing.)

I will get it done. Meanwhile, I'm hyping myself up while writing a blog post... which is not what I came in here to do. Let me go see if my latest Facebook photo album has any more likes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Always Tired

It's 12:55 a.m. and I'm about to stop working. I'm not done, but I'm stopping. Last week, I only worked 41.75 hours, but I was just as tired as if I worked my regular 50 hours. And if I work 60 hours, still tired. 70 hours, still tired.

I had something to do after work every day last week. Doctor's appointment, volunteering, a play that my company gave me free tickets too, a team outing and restaurant week dinner with my friends.

My weekend was like this Sat: pay bills, volunteer at Family House, grocery shop, Steelers game with one of my mentees. Sun: Grocery shop for church picnic (Pastor called me while I was at the game, talmbout, can you bring a meat dish.) Cook for the church picnic, laundry, church picnic, work, Pittsburgh Black Media Federation "Still Feel Like Going On" teen boys photo exhibit, work.

This reminds me, I probably still have a load in the washer from yesterday.

Tomorrow I have to take a client's best friend's underage child to dinner after work. Wednesday, I'm double booked. I'm supposed to presenting to the Children's Sickle Cell Foundation and mentoring with Gwen's Girls. (My mentee told me she doesn't like it when I switch my days. I hope I taught her that being flexible does not mean that I don't care and that she can trust me to be there, but I don't know that the message came through. It did, however, make me feel guilty for not coming some Wednesdays. I love and miss those girls!)

Thursday, happy hour for a coworker that's leaving and I actually like her, so I'm going. Friday morning at 8 a.m. I'm driving to Chicago for a church choir reunion. 2 rehearsals, a meet and greet, 2 Sunday services THEN I'm driving back to the 'Burgh on Monday, which will be followed by another grueling 50-hour work week.

I'm declaring next Saturday (the Saturday before Labor Day) is Tea Day. I'm not doing A THING! (Unless a friend has a party, in which case, I'm going, but hopefully that will be Friday night and I can just chill Saturday).

I still need to send out an invite for the Black Marketers Network I'm creating and do nonprofit work for a board I joined. When am I going to do this, Lord?

I've said no to a lot of stuff [a ton of stuff] in Pittsburgh already, but I think I may, possibly, probably, kind of... be overextended. What y'all think?

Also have to be at work at 7 a.m., so this "nap" I'm about to take will be delicious.

Good night.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Asking For Help

So I have a problem with asking for help. Like most problems, I didn't know I had that problem until someone pointed it out. I had a recipe fiasco and my homeboy says, why didn't you just ask me, I love to cook. And I was thinking, well... I didn't know I couldn't make that recipe until I failed. In my head, why would I ask for help before I knew I needed it.

So yesterday, I couldn't come up with something to cook for the church picnic and I hit my cousin, culinary artist extraordinaire up and she helped me come up with some ideas.

The most exciting part about this is that I didn't have any heartburn whatsoever about asking. I just realized I had a deficit. I found someone with a surplus and I asked for what I needed.

I wonder sometimes, if people reading this blog, go DUH all the time, but I swear the simplest things are the easiest ways to stop me from progressing. And things may seem simple to everyone else, but this is a breakthrough for me.

So here's to asking for help whether I think I need it or not and here's to all the people in my corner and in my circle who are willing to provide it!

Happy Sunday y'all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Corporate News

Lots of good stuff coming out of the east coast today: 

A local ad firm reaches out to high school students. Is it any wonder they now want to work in PR. *thinking of a master plan*

How to Choose Social Tools to Fit Your Business (written by my colleague). Many brands/agencies struggle with this, so she has some tips for ya!

Women in PR and Chicagoans especially, check out the Women in PR Summit

D.C., Philly, NYC folks check out this GOALS Conference coming up in Philly in October.


PR people all over the world, check out the details of the National Black Public Relations Society Conference and Career Fair, November 6-9 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

I think that's enough for the day. Adds to my to-do list:

1. Create website for yourself
2. Host a professional blog on said website.
3. Just finish Tuesday. LAWD, I have so much to do!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fascinating Article...

About a Christian doctor who performs abortions in Mississippi.

It's long.
It's good.
It made me question some things I think.
It made me want to subscribe to Esquire.
It made me disable my comments to this post.

Enjoy.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Bloom Where You're Planted

I saw someone post that to Instagram and it really inspired me. It's truly how I live my life. I live in weak sauce Pittsburgh, but people swear I love it here because they see my photos and I'm happy and I'm out SEVERAL nights a week, despite folks swearing that there's nothing to do here. You can take an extrovert out of Chicago, but you can't take the extrovert out of her. Here are things I've either done and/or am looking forward to in Pittsburgh.

What I've done already 
10. Rooftops. I have found some rooftops worthy of visiting. Namely, Uptown across from the Consol Center. I.LOVE.IT.THERE! Also, Six Penn is awesome and Tavern 245.

9. Family Reunion - My Pastor's blood family had a family reunion last weekend and they invited me to a couple of the festivities. My heart is swelling with gratitude. I couldn't have experienced that if I was at Ovio living it up.

8.  Family House - I only volunteer there on weekends and hadn't been since the first weekend in June. I'm volunteering twice in August, which gets me back up to my commitment of once a month. I may do more if my schedule allows. Giving back keeps me whole.

7. Pittsburgh Culture - I always score free tickets to things and last week I got free tickets to the Pirates game and Spamalot. You can't beat free with a stick AND most of this stuff is walking distance from my apartment.

6. Bar hopping - Every time I leave the house in Pittsburgh, I spend $0-$40 and still have a great time. I miss the cheapness of this city when I leave it.

What's coming up
5. Hosting get togethers. I'm throwing a pre-game shindig for a new friend at my house this evening and nothing makes me happier. I love entertaining.

4. Hot dog day at church. I'm on the Women's Day committee at church and we have some money to raise, but I haven't been here all Sunday. I'll finally be home to contribute and as lame as it may sound, I'm excited to get my grill on.

3. Dream Cream - It's Ice Cream that Makes a Difference. Can't beat that with a stick!

2. Hanging with new friends - This article states it best, but moving to a new place gives you an opportunity to hang with people you would have NEVER hung out with in your hometown. Did I say NEVER... no diss. I disagree fundamentally with so many people I spend time with in this city, but I'll be damned if I'm not building character.

1. No Line, No waiting! I can get into everything here for free... all the time. I did, however, stand in line to go to Art's last week, while two "VIP" dudes walked in front of me. It was one of the more humbling things that's ever happened in muh life.

FOMO

I have the worst case of FOMO in life. Not only am I missing Chicago like crazy today, but I feel like every weekend that I'm in Pittsburgh I'm missing out on something going on somewhere else.

Por ejemplo:

Over the past couple of weeks, here are the things I have not done.

1. Go to the Posh Paris Party in Chicago
2. Go to the Greatest Day Ever Party in NYC
3. Go to Caribana or Ovio in Toronto.
4. Go to the Beyonce concert anywhere (Going to regret this for years to come)
5. Lollapalooza

This weekend, here's what I'm missing in Chicago.
6. Luvvie's Blogiversary Party
7. The Red Pump Project's 5th Anniversary concert with Chaka Khan (I mean, come on!)
8. Thursday nights at Nouveau Tavern (I haven't partied on Thursdays in YEARS, but for some reason, I feel like I would enjoy this.)
9. Glenn's Bday. I know there were festivities.
10. The Bears/Eagles game at Soldier Field tonight (And I don't even like preseason).

Want to hear the good news, at least one of my friends made it to all of these events, so I live vicariously through them. I don't know if this is good or bad for my fomo. #KanyeShrug 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Blessing of Friendship



This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend my grandmother's surprise 75th birthday party. My mom and her six siblings put together a wonderful program where people from different parts of my grandma's life all spoke. We heard from her senior club, that she's been a member of for five years and never misses a Thursday fellowship meeting. We heard from one of the drivers from the church who picks her up for first Sunday service.

We heard from a school administrator who talked about her volunteer work as the "book store" lady at my mom, aunts and uncle's grammar school. Side note: Even as a woman with no college degree, she knew the value of education. When she wasn't working she was IN THE SCHOOL volunteering, watching over her kids and contributing to the lives of others' children.

The speech that really touched me the most was from her girlfriend of 60+ years. Ms. Lee Bertha. She noted how all it takes is a conversation with my grandma to make everything better. First, that's 'cause my grandma is awesome, but can you imagine what's it's like to share a problem with someone who's known you for 60 years? Ms. Lee Bertha and others noted how grandma is the epitome of grace and calm under fire and how when you tell her a secret, she will take it to the grave with her.

Speaking of graves, my grandfather passed in 1996. May he rest in peace. But now, 18 years later, who's still in my grandma's corner? Who's still her right hand? Her shoulder to lean and cry on? Her hand to hold, her arms to embrace, her ears to listen: her girlfriends.

I'm so happy that I have strong relationships with my girlfriends and can't wait to see how that dynamic is enhanced as I add family members (husband, children, grandchildren). If history is an indicator of the future, I can say with certainty that my relationships with my girlfriends will be the longest lasting [and possibly most fulfilling] relationships of my life. I'm so blessed to have a head start on 40+ years of friendship with so many women and even more blessed to have experienced grandma and Ms. Lee Bertha's relationship dynamic yesterday.

Wishing you all lifetimes of wonderful friendships!