Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hide your kids, Hide your wife

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and there were two robbers in your apartment?
  1. Hide
  2. Confront/Fight Robbers
  3. Yell for Help
I think most women would hide, most men would also hide and some brave reckless douche-bags would confront the thieves. I really have no idea what I would do. Probably have a heart attack from the fear of being killed and then die in the bed. One less thing the robbers have to worry about.

My friend Mario told me that after coming home late at night and being held at gunpoint twice, he will never give up his wallet to muggers in the future.

I know what you’re saying, “Held up at gunpoint twice? Dang hommie!” But he lives in Englewood: home of Jennifer Hudson, Derrick Rose and the 47 shootings you saw reported on the evening news last night. It’s the most dangerous neighborhood in Chicago so going to the grocery store at 10 in the morning is the wrong place, wrong time. And not to question his manhood but he’s like 5’7, 140lbs. so there are probably more than a few thugs that think they can take him.

His argument was that most guys in the hood are not expert marksmen. If you zigzag, duck and roll you can dodge their bullets. 

Ummm, good luck with that. Afterwards maybe you can audition for the UniverSOUL circus too.

Then he said, “And don’t come at me with a knife.”

Well I would prefer to sit down and talk things out rationally too, but that’s not always an option. Unless you can go all Ryu on their ass and do some flying bicycle kicks, I say let them take what they want.
Ryu from Street Fighter

I started wondering if I should I take self-defense classes and would they really be useful in this situation? Maybe, but I think ninja stars would come in more handy or at the very least some pepper spray. This is why I can’t watch movies like Taken before I go to sleep at night.

It’s always good to be prepared but I probably don’t have to worry much about robberies. I’m basing this on two facts:
  1. I don’t keep my blinds open at night, so people can’t see what I have and where it is. Why do people do that? You can literally drive by some people’s houses and make a diorama of their home.
  2. I live on the third floor and the college girls that live on the basement level are probably going to get “got” before I do.

If you’re going to rob me you better be in pretty good shape because carrying a TV down 3 flights of stairs is no joke. And for your sake you’re going to want to be able to repel off a building or possibly have Spiderman web shooting powers. Next time I move, I’m going to hire movers with these capabilities for sure.

I did see an article from The University of Louisville’s Department of Safety (a highly respected source no doubt) on What NOT To Do During A Robbery that said:

Don’t chase or follow the robber. You could be mistaken for the robber in a pursuit by police.

And I agree, mainly because I’m black. Take from that what you will.

But God forbid I did get robbed. I would want the thieves to take whatever they wanted - just not my cell phone or my virginity. That 2008 edition MacBook? It doesn’t go into sleep mode when you close it but be my guest. The PS3? Sometimes the game freezes and you have to start the whole thing over again, but sure. My teapot collection? Not interested? Fair enough.

Obviously I have thought about keeping a butterfly knife handy in case I need to stab an intruder and then scream for help but I paid good money for this rug in Korea-town and I don’t want any bloodstains on it. And I don’t have a gun but in Illinois you can shoot an intruder and not get sued for it. That’s a step up from Florida where if you shoot and kill a crook they give you free coupons for pizza hut. Gross.

Hot dog stuffed crust Pizza Hut pizza. Only in America, home of the brave

I should probably be more worried about apartment fires since I have bad short-term memory and I like to light candles for ambiance. All viable reason's to get renter's insurance.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Birth Control and Viagra

My mom told me that my personality hasn’t really changed much since I was little. My brother wasn’t born until I was 9 and there weren’t many kids in my neighborhood so I had to keep myself entertained.

I would happily doodle in coloring books, religiously watch Ghostwriter and when I was an infant I would chew the nipples off all of my baby bottles. To this day, I still like to chew on things. Pen caps, straws, those little t-shaped plastic pieces that attach the price tag to your clothes. I’m basically the same person I was at 2 years old, except with boobies.

According to my mom I would always sit back and scope people out before I would decide if I wanted to be bothered with them or not. She didn’t have to worry about me talking to random people in the grocery store or taking candy from strangers. She probably worried more about baby bottle plastic poisoning since I clearly had an addiction.

Pumping gas on a family trip circa '89. Pretty sure this was illegal

Fast forward 20 years and I’m not as wary of strangers anymore. Mostly because I work in an industry where I talk to people I don’t know for a living. I occasionally emcee events, do live cooking shows with chefs and demonstrations for hundreds of people at state fairs. I once told a man at the airport that I hoped I wasn’t being inappropriate but he had some gorgeously muscular calves.

And while I still can’t bring myself to sing karaoke in front of a room full of strangers, I’m always the one nominated by friends to ask people for directions.

But alas the stranger danger I’m talking about in this post is state legislation. I like to keep my blog topics light but its pretty worrisome that a lot people have no idea what their state laws are and many can’t even name their own governor.

A woman I know regularly posts celebrity gossip and entertainment news on FaceBook. Based on one of her status updates I asked her about her feelings on religious propaganda in the media and she had no intelligent response. She actually told me that politics are boring and she just reads the comment sections of yahoo news sites and bases who she votes for on the responses. 

What the what?

Fair enough you may not be aware of every breaking news story. I’m no political scholar myself, but I do try to keep up with the laws of land. At the very least I like to watch CNN for Anderson Cooper’s silver fox good looks.

Maybe we only care about things that we think affect us?

Well just because it doesn't affect you, doesn't mean that it doesn't affect someone that you know. Did you know that in Illinois, based on their religious views, a pharmacist can deny Plan B (the morning after pill) to a patient? Or that doctors can make women look at an ultrasound of their womb before getting an abortion?

Would it be fair to make a guy that wanted a prescription for Viagra get a colonoscopy first? I should take a poll (no pun intended). And I would never want a friend (or an enemy) of mine to be unable to get birth control because someone who passively read a Yahoo forum voted against it.

Look, I totally understand. What Kimye is naming their baby is super important. But it's equally important that we educate ourselves and a bit selfish not to. Maybe you don't know anyone that needs viagra, but secretly, maybe your dad does. And do you really want the government controlling his erections?! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Don't Call it V-Day

I really don't like the term "V-Day". It sounds like:

1. Everyone pretend to be a lesbian day!
2. Let's go to the gynecologist day!
3. Angry militant vaginas marching in solidarity to stage a hostile take over.

So for the one day of winter that I feel obligated to shave both my legs, (I'll shave 1 leg for a boyfriend and none for a husband...It's cold outside!) Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you’re spending this day with the one you love and if you’re one of those people who detest February the 14th, at least do something that you love. Try not to be disgusted with all the red and pink d├ęcor and heart shaped balloons you have to push through to find the register at CVS. Just buy your Redbull in peace, knowing that tomorrow everything will be a mix of glittery gold and shamrock green for St. Patrick’s day. Yep, I already coped my Shamrock shake™from McDonald's!

I definitely had a little trouble deciding on what to write about for this hallmark holiday. Through my blog I’m desperately trying to impress you with my witty anecdotes and my uncanny storytelling ability but as far as the holiday of love goes I’ve got no good stories to tell.

No one has ever taken me on a romantic hot air balloon ride, showered me with diamonds or a proposed to me via jumbo-tron at a basketball game. The best I’ve gotten gift wise were some homemade chocolate covered strawberries. 

Two years in a row. 

From the same guy. 

You may be thinking, “Aww how sweet, he cooked for you,” and at first I thought the same thing. But after giving me the same high calorie, semi healthy treat for a second time, he could have at least paired it with an Ikea flute of moscato (yeah, I’m classy) and used Godiva chocolate instead of the supermarket brand chocolate chips.

Honestly I haven’t had a Valentine’s day that has been memorable. Le sigh. But don’t cry for me. I haven't had any horrible ones either. This year I would like to dedicate Valentine's day 2013 to my faithful love: Chicago.

I moved to Chicago from Charlotte, NC 4 years ago after watching the movie What Women Want. You know the movie where Mel Gibson is a womanizer that has some freaky Friday shit happen and he can hear what women are thinking. The movie is based in Chicago and makes the city look really glamourous. I desperately wanted to move out of the south, the west coast was too far away and since I  was born in New York/have family there NYC was a no go. 

After saving up some cash, securing a freelance gig and finding an apartment online I made the move! More accurately after moving back home with my parents and wanting to poison them everyday, I became frugal and determined to live on my own again.

I heart Chicago even in the winter because of population control. Its so cold here that my family won't come visit me for 5 months out of the year. I can't say that I like when it's -356° outside and I fear my eyeballs freezing/falling out or encountering a cold blast of soul-reaping air on the way to the train. The good part about the cold however, is that I have time to stay inside and learn how to bake things. Additionally in the spring/fall when it rains nobody carries umbrellas because the wind turns them inside out so obviously I've saved tons on not having to buy umbrellas over the past 4 years. 

Chicago also has street festivals every day of the summer from the Armenian knife throwing competition to Polish Sausage fest. There's also a strong warm breeze in the summer that will either blow throw you into oncoming traffic or blow your skirt up. You live, you learn, you start wearing biker shorts under skirts. And during the summer everyone knows they have a limited amount of time to enjoy the weather so they all flock to Lake Michigan to hang out at "the beach" half naked.

My friend Tosh (Left) and I at a street festival this summer

I love Chicago because its the perfect blend of southern hospitality, big city charm and bad accents. It's amazing how every neighborhood has a different personality. Where I live in Rogers Park, you've got everything from college students, a large Jewish population, lots of Hispanics, middle class white families and fresh off the boat Indians. Plus Tina Fey used to live here and take the same train that I take! Thats how I know i'm going to be famous one day.

This cultural melting pot makes for some great restaurants which of course leads to weight gain. 
I also feel pressure to frequent all of these ethnic eateries because if I didn't someone might call me a racist. I've got a samosa spot, a matzoh ball soup shop and a enchilada stand that has the best horchata. I like the mixed ethnicity of the area, but truthfully there are some ugly people in Rogers Park. I'm probably one of the  prettiest  people in my neighborhood. 

If you want to find the cuties you gotta go to Lakeview, West town or Ravenswood and if you're a retired homosexual you'll want to put down roots in Andersonville. Generally speaking you have your rich hipsters in Wicker Park, true hipsters in Logan Square, buppies in Hyde Park and Blacks/Hispanics on the Southside and Westside. 

Even though I lived in a big city in the South, I never could have imagined how segregated Chicago would be. On the Northside (mostly in Lincoln Park) I often get looks like, Are you lost? Or if I'm eating at an open air pub with some friends, How nice, I'm glad someone is feeding that poor black girl. Of course when I work on the Westside or Southside everyone is so helpful and accepting of me. By accepting I mean I get hollered at by Mexicans. 

Despite this I still love Chi-Town. Sometimes I want to set it on fire when I get an unavoidable parking ticket. Oh today it's raining, you can't park here. Enjoy this $150 ticket. When I recently got a parking ticket for $10 in another city I was like, damn, give me two more. I can actually afford these! 

Anyway, I know I’m going to see tons of Valentine’s inspired twitter and instagram posts today and that’s okay because it’s only one day of saccharin social sharing. I don’t mind the occasional kissy face pictures and photos of fancy food from your date night. But I honestly want to gag every time I see a FaceBook couple make status updates to each other like,

Her: “My husband cleared the snow off the car this morning. Love you babe XOXOXOXOXO.”

Him: “I love you   T       H         I         S    much sugar foot.”

Can’t you send a text message? I mean I guess I would be impressed if SNOWmageddon had just dumped 15ft of snow on your Cavalier and your dude blow torched the snow off your whip and heated up the seats in the process. Otherwise your over share just makes me want to throw snowballs at you. Heart shaped ones of course.

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Monday, February 4, 2013


*Just a word of caution, this post is a little racy*
A couple of nights ago I was in Uptown, a Chicago neighborhood with reasonable rents, a few good restaurants and nice people if you stay away from the Lawrence red line stop. While there I met up with some friends at Bar on Buena. Actually “friends” is probably a strong word. I should say that that I met up with a group people that I occasionally work with and don’t hate enough to not go out with. After a few drinks the conversation turned to relationships.

There are certain topics of discussion that are either fair game or off limits depending on if it’s a gang of guys, a harem of girls or co-ed frat party. Honestly I don’t know what guys talk about when they get together. Perhaps it's Beyonce, interior decorating and 401K's or if it's a group of straight guys I would assume it's a combination of sports, SNL and T and A? I'm pretty sure both gay and straight guys talk about Men's Health magazine.

Usually when I’m hanging out with my girl friends we talk about guys (who we’re doing, who we want to be doing, who we did) or bitches we hate. Most often though we talk about random everyday stuff, like recipes, skin care and in my case how long it took me to conquer the last level of Super Mario Galaxy 2. Let me tell you, that shit is hard. Those Japanese game developers deserve a Nobel Peace prize for their imagination and engineering. Who else could have thought up two mushroom eating Italian brothers with connections to royalty (Princess Peach) whose best friend is a dinosaur? Unless I had some mushrooms too, not this girl. 

Anyway, I know some ladies like to be the center of attention and I get it, I want to be noticed too. But there is a line that you’re not supposed to cross if both ladies and gents are present. I’m not even talking about openly discussing cramping, breast tenderness and discharge. That’s common sense.  But I cannot stand when I’m in a mixed group of men and woman and a chick just has to mention how much she loves to give blow jobs. What kind of childhood did you have?

Really, I think I've heard it all. From statements like “I always swallow because semen tastes so good” Was your mom a bad cook? 

To “It’s cold in here and my nipples are so hard right now, does anybody have any lotion?” Did your parents only let you watch TV shows on Cinemax? 

The women will sit there looking disgusted while the guys are like, “Is that so?”

What I want to know is, "Who are you trying to impress?" Skank.

Obviously not the women at the table because we are all horrified that you would say something like that. Maybe you’re trying to entice a guy or flirt with someone’s boyfriend? I’m not sure how guys feel when girls say things like, “I never need lube because I’m always so moist and ready to go,” but I am really hoping some guy will read this and give me some insight. In my mind:

A decent guy would respond like this

A not so decent guy might respond like this 

Maybe I'm an old fashioned prude. If guys do dig us talking about our lady parts, the next time we go out I’ll mention that my pores are sooooo small whenever I get out of the shower. Not enough?

But you should know, the girls in the group will all hate you forever, probably talk about you behind your back and make sure not to invite you out to things if their boyfriends are going to be around. You will probably marry some guy that fell in love with you when you told him the color of your areolas on the first date and you’re going to end up with no bridesmaids and you deserve it. 

I’m not trying to tell people how to live, I’m just saying don’t be that girl.