Thursday, September 27, 2012

When did you first fall in love with...


Black people love them some Taboo. We love Taboo more than macaroni and cheese. We love Taboo more than fried chicken and waffles. We love Taboo more than watermelon on a hot summer day.  But when did this happen?  When did the National Black People Game go from Spades to Taboo?  You can't go to a cookout, a birthday party, or a housewarming without someone breaking out this game.  And since when did everyone become the "best Taboo player you'll ever meet."  

My friends and I were recently walking down my block in Harlem and we heard a woman screaming, a dude shouting, and a whole bunch of commotion.  We got a lil nervous and were about to call the police when we heard a man yell "Give me the damn buzzer!"  Buzzer?  They were doing all that screaming and hollering over Taboo? Yep!  It's THAT serious.

Yep, Number 3 on my "Stuff Black People Like" list is definitely Taboo.  (Followed closely by pot liquor at Number 4.)

Now that I think about it, I guess Taboo isn't just a Black people game.  Four Christmases (a hilariously underrated movie) had a whole scene about it. 

The next time you invite me to a party, make sure there's Taboo.  And if you suck, make sure you're on the other team.

Div (The best Taboo player you'll ever meet.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

My Anti-Club Manifesto

::This is my Anti-Club Manifesto::

It seems to me the club has grown up with my generation. Now we call them lounges or after work happy hours or day parties but the message is still the same: Put on your best, uncomfortable outfit & hope a guy notices you.

Well, I'm kinda over it.  And I should be, I'm 20 freakin 8.  When I was young, fun and 21, I would have cringed at the sight of a 28 year old in the club.  I would have commented on her orthopedic stockings, cane, and whatever else I thought 28 year olds did at the time.  Now that I am that 28 year old in the club, even I realize I shouldn't be there.  I don't like the lines, loud music, and the lyrics of the songs these days are just atrocious.

Yep, I think I've officially aged out of the club.  A backyard cookout? Cool.  Sunday dinner with some close friends? No problem.  Brunch? Well, you can never turn down brunch.  But standing in line, paying $20 to stand around and look awkward? Nah, I think I'm over that.

This is my Anti-Club Manifesto.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Evaluate Me

With the end of the recent teachers strike in Chicago, I wanted to jump in and offer my two cents on one of the issues the union was grappling with: teacher evaluation.  Shh, don't say that too loud, it might get you murked in some circles.

Let's do a quick tour through some of the teacher evaluation highlights:
  • Merit-Based pay, when teachers are given bonuses based on their students exceptional test scores
  • Value-Added, when student's standardized test scores are used to indicate the effectiveness of a teacher
  • The US Department of Ed's Teacher Incentive Fund, a competitive grant to develop the next wave of teacher evaluation systems  

As a former teacher, it's not that I'm against evaluation.  As a matter of fact, I think teachers welcome comments on their job performance and ways they can improve.  I also think that good teachers will do whatever they need to do to make sure their students are successful.  The problem comes when teachers' jobs are tied to student performance or, in the case of California and New York, teachers are publicly lambasted for their test scores.  While I do not advocate for bad or ineffective teachers keeping their jobs, there are too many human capital factors (special education needs, family income, living situation, etc.) that go into students and their test scores.

So, here's my suggestion (in case you were wondering):  A certain percentage should be tied to student growth, not test scores.  Another percentage should be tied to principal and master teacher observations, both formal and informal.  And a final portion should be assessed based on the teacher setting and meeting certain attainable goals.  

In my opinion, a teacher's worth cannot be determined by some stanine score on a standardized test.  We must come up with thoughtful and fair evaluations.  After all, is the purpose of evaluation to help teachers improve or throw them under the bus?  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

All leopard everything

Haven't done one of these in a while so I wanted to give yall a quick outfit post.  So clearly, I'm still loving leopard.  I recently wore this dress to a bridal shower.  It is so gorgeous and so comfortable.  Pardon my hair, my short hair swag wasn't all the way up to par.

Dress: ASOS

Friday, September 14, 2012

My social life vs. My six pack

I'm 28.  I live in New York City. Much of my social life is standing around a bar stool or sitting at a booth stuffing my face.  This gets tricky while I'm on my quest to lose 40 pounds.  Now, am I cool? Absolutely.  Still fat? Yep.

The problem is, I feel like I have to make a choice between enjoying myself, my friends and my city or my six pack.  Don't get me wrong, I want that six pack, hell I'll take a two pack, but not at the expense of my social life.  Now, I've made some strides... gym with co-workers instead of bar with co-workers, snacking on carrots instead of chips, but is it enough?

I know, I'm's probably because I'm hungry.  I'm just tryna figure out a way to be cool AND healthy.

How do you balance your social life and your healthy lifestyle? 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baked French Toast ~ Lightened Up

One of my favorite recipes is Paula Deen's Baked French Toast.  It's sweet, it's decadent, it has 2 sticks of butter.  Since I'm tryna get my body back, that's a no go.  So this is the lightened up version.  Baked French Toast is great breakfast cuz you usually have all the ingredients you need in your house.

Brioche bread
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. <<Secret Ingredient>>

1. Dice up your bread in 1-inch pieces and place in your baking dish.

 2. Mix your brown sugar and cinnamon with your bread pieces.
3. Mix together your eggs and milk....and this is where you add the secret ingredient...Disaronno*

4.Push the bread pieces down with a fork until they are covered with your milk mixture.
5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

*Disaronno is an almond liqueur.  You can achieve the same flavor profile using almond extract but using liqueur is funner.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm not a B*tch or a Ho

Ladies, why do we call each other bitch or ho?  Is it really a term of endearment.

Today, ladies have taken these words and openly call themselves "Queen Bitch" or "5-star Bitch" or "Down Ass Bitch."  It's as if women wear these terms with pride.  But why?  Why would you want to be called out of your name?  Recently, Kanye West wrote a song about his (excuse me while I throw up in my mouth) girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, titled Perfect B*tch.  Well, Ms. Kardashian gushed about how flattered she was.  Is it really flattering? He could have titled the song "My Perfect Kim" but instead he called you a bitch and you're cool with it? Ok.

See, I have a couple of problems with Mr. West's (and others) use of this word.  It's derogatory, no woman should ever accept that as being okay, what are we teaching our daughters about respecting themselves, and would you want someone to use that term referring to your mother?  You see, when I was growing up, we had Queen Latifah reminding us we weren't a bitch or a ho; now Nicki Minaj makes songs called "Stupid Ho" about other females.  Seems to me we're going backwards.

So ladies, can we stop referring to each other as bitch?  It's bad enough that men use that term freely, we shouldn't contribute to it as well.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"I'm Coming to Visit"

...the famous last words.

Ever since I came to live in New York, I hear those words often; "I'm coming to visit."  I like people.  I'm nice.  I welcome visitors.  But everyone visiting friends in New York, PLEASE. HAVE. A PLAN.

This infamous conversation usually goes a lil something like this:

Friend: Hey, I'm thinking about coming up to New York next weekend!
Div: Cool.  What do you wanna do?
Friend: I dunno.  I just wanna see everything.

::And scene::

This is where the conversation goes bad.  There are 58908908 + 1 things to do in NYC.  Pick something!  I get that under normal circumstances, one wouldn't require their guest to plan their own trip, but here, it's necessary.  What borough do you wanna go to? What type of pizza do you want?  Do you wanna buy a knock-off purse or a real Louis Vuitton? Cuz we can do it ALL!

So, here's a tip for all of you guys visiting your NYC friends: Know what you wanna do.  Or else we gon do what I usually do here...chill on my couch.

P.S. THIS IS MY 100TH POST!! *fist bump*

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Book Review: Bitch is the New Black

This book, by Helena Andrews, is a memoir similar to my BFF in my head A Belle in Brooklyn.  Andrews also talks about her experiences being a young, professional Black woman trying to figure out relationships and careers.  In the first chapter, Andrews describes a relationship as "more than a working relationship, less than a romantic relationship" (genius!  Who hasn't been there?)  Later, she describes our generation of Black women as "little brown girls--drunk off The Cosby Show, sobered up by life" (hey, that's me!)  OMG, she's talking about me! 

While I think Helena's humor is dryer than Belle (also like me), her writing style is sometimes hard to follow.  But I will say, Helena covers everything, even sensitive subjects like abortion, with humor.  So, definitely add this one to your bookshelves ladies.

Next Up:  Money Can't Buy Love by Connie Brisco
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