Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Looking Good while Working to Look Better -- Reebok

This year has been the year of the closet clean-out. I've been accused of holding on to clothes well past their expiration date. No where in my closet is this more true than with my gym clothes. Until about 2 months ago, I had tank tops and shorts from high school. Yes, HIGH SCHOOL. As in, *cough cough choke cough cough* years ago. I also had workout pants from college, and sports bras from law school. In a word? My shithangs were OLD.

Shopping is a great motivator, and so for the winter months, my carrot for going to the gym was shopping for new clothes. But since I didn't want to buy clothes which wouldn't fit in just a couple weeks (assuming I stick to diet and exercise plans), my only real option was to purchase workout clothes. Fine by me, because workout clothes have a tendency to be full of bright happy colors, and often comfy materials. Given that I haven't really bought any new clothes in eons* I wasn't sure which brands to start with. By now, everyone has some form of dri-fit** fabric, so I could leave the confines of Nike. And then, there is the often-imitated, often-hated brand Lululemon. Known the world over for their butt-enhancing pants. What's a girl to do?

I'll tell you what this girl did. I headed straight to TJMaxx and Macy's (during a "one-day"/"lowest-prices-of-the-season" sale). And then I went to Lululemon to see what all the fuss was about. And then I posted on Facebook to get feedback from my friends. This? Is my attempt at product review.***

The first pair I tried was Reebok. Now, if I had to guess, I would say they were the Reebok Yoga Capri. But given that this was a TJMaxx purchase, the specific style wasn't readily apparent. Pros? They are purple. I get so tired of wearing black and grey every darn day. Second? They have a wide waistband which is part of what gives Lululemon pants the illusion of bestowing booty-less women everywhere with bubble butts (more on that in a different post). Last, they stay put around the calf.

However, the Reeboks get an overall fail from the kid. I wore them through both a low-impact cardio workout and a weightlifting workout. Through both, the waistband rolled down and refused to stay put. Kinda like Spanx, only less likely to cut off your air supply. And, despite being a pain in the neck to put on because they are so tight, they failed to hug my pear-shaped curves for the duration of the workout. I'm pretty sure that at least 10% of the calories I burned were from continuously trying to avoid indecent exposure.

Now, if you're not pear shaped, or just doing an arm day, then these pants may work for you. For the price, they're workable -- but definitely not the hardest working pants out there.

The verdict? Pretty, but dumb.

*To be fair, I did get an awesome-sauce birthday present from the Youngblood which included all kinds of tops and bottoms for the gym. I wasn't a total failure

**Dri-fit is Nike; Climacool is Adidas; PlayDry is Reebok, and some just call it like it is: "moisture wicking".

***Notice I didn't say it was a triumphant return to blogging. Because I need my life to get a LOT more interesting before any return can be deemed triumphant.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Charming Charlie

I have a special knack for meeting gentlemen (and asshats) in random places. As a result, I have never met anyone on Match.com. Nor have I ever bothered paying for eHarmony.com (In fact, I've never been a member for longer than the five free days.)*

Anyway, like most of my (chick) friends over 30, I found myself running into these random men less and less often. Unlike my friends, I didn't blame it on my age. I blamed it on my newly claimed relationship status. I'm still cute, so clearly the Youngblood sent out a bat signal...cockblocking me everywhere for a 90 mile radius. Natch. Admittedly, his signal was totally lost on bums and skeezy guys. But those are the sorts of guys that will hit on anything in a skirt.

This morning was like any other. I woke up, got my cardio on at the gym, and then came back and took a quick cat nap. That cat nap was TOTALLY worth running late to work. Who knows, maybe it was karma that I took that nap, which led me to get on a later train. Okay, let's not be all dramatic about it. I was running late, I got on a train, I sat next to a nondescript guy.

A few stops in, this nondescript guy drops the illest line on me ever in life. Out of the corner of my eye, I see him shifting and looking at me. And I am assuming he's the only person on the planet to get off at a stop prior to downtown. But no, he says to me...wait for it... "I'm sorry, but I have to ask. What perfume are you wearing? It's amazing and it's just so subtle. It's great." I don't have the heart to tell him that he isn't smelling my perfume that's buried under a sweater, coat, and scarf. Rather, the "subtle" sent he's smelling is Jergens Original Scent. Who doesn't love Cherry Almond? Instead, I tell him the name of the perfume that I did spray on before I got dressed.**

This, my dear readers, was his in. He used this to start an entire conversation. Over the course of the next three stops, I found myself staring into his baby blues, and watching him lick his lips, as he waxed poetic about how good it smells inside of Bath and Body Works. And that he's a philosophy major at a local university. And he wants to go to law school. Because he wants to use a law degree to be able to make a peaceful difference in a lot of causes he cares about. (Ugh. Pre-law students. Gag me with a spoon). Of course, I discouraged him from going to law school. And then I told him that if he truly thought he wanted to go, he should meet with lawyers and learn about their experience. To which he asked for my card. STOP. This is the part where we note that I am not attracted to this guy, at all. He's too young, too short, and doesn't appear to get enough sun. Fortunately, I don't have any cards on me. And I got to say the greatest line ever "google me, and you'll be able to find me."

So, I get off the train, and walk with a little bit of pep in my step. This small act reminded me that I still got it. But, more importantly, it showed me that there are men out there who still have the smooooveness that was so epically personified by Billy Dee Williams. This guy, even though he wasn't my type, completely succeeded in getting my attention, engaged me in actual conversation, and wasn't totally skeezy about it. This philosophy major may need to re-think law school, and open up a charm school.

*And what is up with the "flex matches"?!? Look here, Neil Clark Warren, if I wanted to be forced to settle then why do I need to pay you to set me up with men that I wouldn't normally be attracted to? All I need to do to find those guys is go outside and throw a rock. Your whole point is to find my perfect match, isn't it? Ok then.

**Bath and Body Works Forever Midnight, for those keeping track.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Well, it's pre-season. That special time of year when teams test out their first-round draft picks, players feel out the extent of their injuries, and teams everywhere convince themselves that *this* is the year. It's also the time when the anticipation of football season begins to build. Pre-season is to football what August 1st is to the first day of school. I find myself mourning the end of summer but eagerly awaiting the first play of the first game.

Just like going to school, each football season I learn something new about the game. This year, my goal is to once and for all understand a read-option play. I've got the gist -- and I know that the Packers defense have yet to really be able to stop it -- but I want to be able to explain it to other people.

So, how did I get to where I am? Well, first, let me tell you how it didn't happen. Daddy wasn't a coach -- this was not a real life Remember the Titans, ok? Also, I am not a reporter for ESPN. (These are real questions I've been asked). Finally, I am not, nor have I ever been, a jersey chaser.* When I decided to learn the game, the way I went about it was to watch the game. Every Sunday after church, I'd turn on the game. I quickly figured out that Madden rarely actually talked about the game. To be fair, it is difficult to discuss the game when your lips have been sewn to Brett Favre's ass. When he could tear himself away from his bro-crush on Favre, he'd generally regale Al Michaels with tales of his tour bus and the year's turducken.** All of this was incredibly interesting (and by that I mean, irrelevant and useless), so I needed to find a different way. Lightbulb moment, I figured it out -- I would turn on the TV with the sound off and turn to the Packers Radio Network and listen to Jim Irwin and Max McGee (and later, Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren) explain the action in painstaking detail. Those details, helped me figure out what was really happening in the game. And you know what? The more I understood it, the more awesome it got.

Presumably, if you're reading this blog, you already have a basic understanding of the game. You know the difference between offense and defense, and you get the scoring. So I won't bore you with the easy stuff. Instead, when I'm not complaining or celebrating about particular games or plays, I'll spend a little time explaining more complicated things. (Like seriously, what IS a screen pass?!!? And why do I care what a YAC stat is?).

Any special requests? Drop a shout out in the comments.

It's almost time!!

*Jersey chasers: ho's that chase professional ball players so that they can trick him into marriage and never have to work again; at least until they become eligible to be a character on Has-Been TV. See: Basketball Wives, or Love and Basketball.

**The man is a legend but thank goodness he retired. Am I right?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back That Pass Up -- an Introduction

Last week, I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in a study, learning about how women interact with football. This led to a desire to create a blog for women...because that's the natural progression of things. Uh huh. Right.

So first, a little about me. I've been watching football since high school. It all started with the captain calling out:

First and ten!
Do it again!
Go Raiders Go!

And me noticing that it was 3rd and 7 (for the other team). I was fairly certain that 1st and 10 was different than 3rd and 7...but I wasn't entirely certain how. I was absolutely certain that we shouldn't be cheering for the other team to get 1st and 10. Because I assumed that it didn't mean be the first to lose 10 points. But what did it mean? Well, I was a pretty clever gal in high school, and I decided I could figure it out. Because how hard could it be? Seriously. No one's ever accused the jocks of being rocket scientists, right?

Fast forward a few (*ahem*, yes, a few) years later, and here I am. On any given Sunday during football season, you'll catch me on the couch or at a bar watching the game and checking my fantasy football stats. I'm screaming at the wide receiver for dropped passes, and wondering out loud if the defensive coordinator is ever going to successfully call a 3rd down conversion. And it's a pretty great way to spend my nipples-freezing-off winters in the cold Midwest. I've also discovered that there are a ton of women who, like me, can succinctly tell you the difference between a quarterback and a corner back. And we don't watch just to function as our man's arm candy.* What I've noticed, however, is that we don't get to hang with the fellas...the "true sports fans" (eyeroll). No, we're mostly pushed to the corner. Like the kids to the card table on Thanksgiving. That is, unless the girl is a total tomboy, dressed in Tims and flannel. Then she's, you know, "one of the guys". Pfft.

Well, eff that noise. A girl can be a girl and still watch the game. I can talk about which receivers have the best YAC stats while I'm rocking my leopard print stilettos and swinging my Kate Spade bag. And I am here to speak for all of us. Ladies? It's time to stand up. To boldly discuss defensive strategy, the best response to a read-option play, QBs who scramble out of the pocket, shoes, mixing prints, and chocolate martinis in the same breath. And for f**k's sake...we don't give a shitake mushroom what the hell Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari had for dinner last night. We DO care that he threw an interception on the first play of the pre-season game last night...and yo, is Tim Tebow really going to be running routes now? REALLY?!

My name is pheebee...let's get to the grid iron.

*To the contrary, we make fun of those cheerleaders while we're gathered around our table watching the game. Side note? Some of my best memories of my first few years in the city were the Sundays that my girls and I would get together at the bar to watch games and drink. We started staying in on Saturday nights so we could be up in time to get a table for the All-U-Can-Drink Mimosas specials. Yes, mimosas. Because we like football...but we're still (frugal) gals.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What's Wrong with Americans

So, yesterday, I saw Jesse Jackson. (!). I was sitting on the train, headed to work, when the young thundercat next to me nudged me and showed me a text on his phone which said:

"U see Jesse Jakson?"

With a raised eyebrow and a healthy dose of skepticism, I shook my head. He pointed his chin straight ahead, but I couldn't see anything but the guy standing in front of the door. But, the young thundercat promised it was Jesse "Jakson" so I was inclined to peek around the other riders until I could see for myself.

Well, it took a few stops, but eventually I did get to see for myself that "Holy crap! It *is* Jesse Jackson!!" The young thundercat exited the train, with a self-satisfied-I-told-you-so smile. And I proceeded to marvel at my 2nd political celebrity sighting. And then...

I saw a tall, FIONE bald-headed chocolatey brother who'd been leaning casually against the back door. As he straightened, I noticed he was built like the statue of David. He was wearing a casual t-shirt and jeans that hung low on his hips just so. Naturally, his half smile was enough to make me completely forget any sights of the Reverend -- my excitement easily tempered by the prospect of catching Mr. Chocolate's eye.

Sadly, we reached my stop before Mr. Chocolate could make his move (you know, the one that was totally coming if he'd just had enough time to work up the courage to make his move). So I exited the train with one last longing look over my shoulder.

And that's when I realized...this is what's wrong with America. First, the young (African American) thundercat either didn't know how to spell -- or was too lazy to spell out a former icon's name. Second, any awe I should have felt about seeing someone of Rev. Jackson's (former) stature was easily pushed aside for one look at Mr. Chocolate. Ain't that about nothin'?

Well, fortunately, it was a fleeting moment that I felt patriotic guilt for the American public. Lazy and oversexed may be accurate descriptions, but fortunately, we aren't a one-dimensional people. We just have a certain, magpie syndrome. And really, what's wrong with being so easily amused? Sometimes, pretty shiny keeps our excessive cheeriness alive. And I mean, c'mon! It's ok to look at...Ooooh! Lookit! Something sparkly....*trails off*

Monday, July 09, 2012


***WARNING: The following contains language that may not be suitable for all audiences. Use caution if you have a nosy boss or co-worker that doesn't appreciate foul language.

I have become so fed up with people in my general vicinty that the bitterness was starting to permeate through my veins. I have reached my limit with today's society. People are just out and about, mouth-breathers who lack common sense – roaming free like it's their God-given right to simply exist and do as they please without any regard for society at large. Well, I'm tired of it. Tired, Tired, Tired, Tired, TIRED. But, since I cannot school each and every person that pisses me off each and every day, I decided to take it out on my blog by putting up a little post of instructions. Call it "pheebee's guide to being a decent human being." Before you even read it, I will confess that I am guilty of at least couple of these. The thing is, temporary violations are fine. It's permanent flagrant disregard of these that pisses me off. And with that little preamble, let's begin*.

1. Use a little common damn sense. It's free, and it makes the world a better place. If it would bother you – or a reasonable human being, then it's probably not something you should be doing. Mkay, pumpkin?

2. If you say you're going to call someone back, CALL THEM THE HELL BACK. It's quite simple really. That person is expecting your phone call because YOU said you'd call them back. Now, pick up your phone that I know is always on you, find that person's name, and hit dial/send/call.

3. Don't make up words when you're sending a text. I understand that there are certain abbreviations that are in today's lexicon that everyone understands (“u”, “c”, “ur”, “txt”, “thx” and so on.) But “dis sum bs. Wen r we goin 2 da park?” Is NOT an appropriate text to send if you have some general sense of spelling. I shouldn't have to sound out a damn text message to figure out what in the hell you're saying.

4. Pull up your pants. The 90s have ended. Sagging is out. And while I'm on the subject, stop holding your pants when you walk or run. And dumb chicks? Stop accepting this from the men you're dating. And don't tell me “if you don't like it, don't look at it.” Bitch, I wouldn't have to look at your raggedy ass boxer shorts if they weren't on display. Buy your own damn size pants and belt.

5. Yes you should follow the 90 day rule. Or at least the 9 day rule, damn. Sex is not that serious (But pheebee, you just haven't been doing it right). Shut the hell up. I said it's not that damn serious. Maybe if you weren't giving it up so damn easily men wouldn't be acting a fool now. And boys? That goes for you too. Yeah, we know you're SUCH a stud. Congratulations, you got a bunch of ho's to sleep with you. Oh wait, I'm not that impressed.

6. And while I'm on the subject of ho's. Stop being one. This goes for men AND women. No one likes an STD. And the more roulette you play, the more risk you're putting out there. But moreover to that, the spiritual karma that's being put into this world based on ill-advised sexual conquests are simply leading to unnecessary heartache, pain, and general confusion on the difference between lust and love. I don't give a damn what Jersey Shore (or any other media darling) says...sex is NOT a recreational sport.

7. If you are in the mood to get it on. WEAR A FUCKING CONDOM. You know what? Only about 1% of so-called unplanned pregnancies are unplanned. The rest of them? You planned that shit when you didn't take proper birth control precautions. So you know what? Sucks to be you. Maybe next time you'll wrap it up.

8. If you do run about making babies, then guess what? Raise your damn kids. It's not cute when they're screaming their heads off, running amok, and generally being annoying to the rest of the public. I don't care how tired you are. You brought that little brat into the world, and turned him into a brat because you let him do whatever he wants. So now you have to deal with him. You know who didn't have a hand in that? Me. So do something about it.

9. Furthermore, if you were big and bad enough to bring kids into the world, then pay your damn child support. That is all.

10. If you drive a car. Get insurance. This is not difficult. If you can't afford the car note and the insurance payment, then you can't afford the damn car. Take that Escalade back and get a used Volvo from 1999. Because guess what. I already was unimpressed with your LEASED Escalade and I'm even less impressed when I have to expend the time, money and energy to sue your broke ass and garnish your wages when you hit my car.

11. Grow the hell up and try to do better than your parents. Can someone please explain to me why this isn't a given? I'm not saying pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, because only the ignorant privileged say silly shit like that. I am saying try. For example...when you're in school? Go to class. You have shit else to do. Or, how about this. When you have a job, go to work. Pay your bills – ON TIME. Don't spend your check at the casino. Send it to your landlord because you know what's more important than the slots? A fucking roof over your head.

12. Fellas: do some research on what a date is. And then do some discovery about what courtship is. And then engage in both. If one more dude asks me if I want to “kick it at his crib” when I just met him I am going to scream. And then I am going to say yes. When I get there, I am going to kick HIM in his nuts. I'm pretty sure that will be the last time I get asked that question.

13. Strive to be a part of and expand the Talented Tenth, rather than cutting your eyes at me because I made it into what I'm quickly becoming convinced is the Talented Twenty-Fifth. I'm not saying it was easy to get here, but damn. Try.

14. Manners cost nothing. Use them liberally.

15. Take your narrow behind to your place of worship. Yeah, I said it. Worship. I don't trust your sense of values and moral compass. Go somewhere where the ground rules have already been set. And don't give me this bullshit about “organized religion is out to get you.” You know what? Then find a different house of worship. No one is asking you to follow every single tenet from every single leader. I'm asking you to go somewhere where you'll feel accountable for your actions.

16. Read a damn book. Get a Kindle, a Nook, or how about this – A FUCKING LIBRARY CARD and read something. Anything. Expand your vocabulary. Hey, I didn't say you had to read Jane Eyre. Hell, you can read 50 Shades of Grey for all I care. Just read something.

17. Take your fat ass to the gym and stop eating all that crap. Or don't. Whatever you choose, stop complaining about the body you have and do the work to get the body you want. Most of us are in the same boat. We believe that people who are twitterpeated about living a “healthy lifestyle” are full of shit. You know what? They are. But they feel and look better than the rest of us so do what you can to get as close to that nonsense as possible. Or don't. But whatever you do, make sure it's a conscious decision.

18. If you are in a bitter or bitchy mood, that is totally acceptable. Sometimes you just have a day where you're pissed at the world. But do this...make sure it's not the same shit over and over again ad nauseum. Get the hell over it. A couple weeks, hell a couple months is fine. We all go through some things. But a couple years? Decades? You don't even remember what set you off at that point, and I sure as hell don't because it didn't happen to me. So get the hell over it and move on. Your ignorant silliness is starting to make everyone else miserable.

19. Don't piss on the person trying to help you and be nice to you. Yo. I get it. Sometimes cheeriness and helpfulness and positivity is just making a bad situation worse because you're in that place. But if you are constantly dicksmacking the person who is just trying to be nice, don't be surprised when that shit comes back to bite you. And yes, I meant every single bit of the double entendre there.

20. Don't litter and pick up after yourself. Guess what. “Lawn,” “sidewalk,” and “trash can” all have separate words and meanings because they are different things. Learn to put trash in a damn trash can and not just drop it out of your hand.

21. Control your damn dog. Not everyone thinks Fido is cute. I don't want your dogs paws all over me, and I damn sure don't want to hear all that barking. Turns out, not everyone is a dog person.

22. There are so many more, but I have to wrap it up with this one. Be grateful for the helping hand you get. But do NOT expect a handout just because you asked. You need to put in the work, just like the person you're begging. That person worked hard so they can enjoy their own shit. They didn't work their ass off to help you out.

Is that all? Hell no. But a rant can only go for so long in one post. Spread around at will. The more people that get these messages, the better off we all are.

*These are in no particular order, as they are all equally important.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

And now, for some updating on the #101in1001:

41. Visit the Shedd Aquarium

43. Visit the Museum of History & Sue

45. Attend gospel brunch

46. Complete physical therapy

47. Play tennis

97. Go to Skydeck at the Sears Tower

I actually need to give a shout-out to the Youngblood for wanting to do #41, #43, and #97. #45 is courtesy of my Ma, since she's been asking to go to the gospel brunch for about 4 years. I finally took her for her birthday this month. The Skydeck was pretty awesome. The Museum of History and Sue were just like every other museum ever built ever. I hate to admit this, but frankly, if I never see another museum for the rest of my life I'll be fine. No matter what country I'm in, they are all the same. Middle Ages, Golden Age, Modern Age, blah blah blah, whatever.

The gospel brunch was pretty awesome. It was culturally disjointed. The music was classic southern Negro spiritual, but the audience was mostly white. Odd. That said, one of the audience participants who really got down with the get down was a tall lankly white guy in his early twenties or so. It was fantastic.

Sure, I'm getting all of the easy ones out of the way first -- but that just leaves me 2 years to get moving on the difficult stunts. (Buying a car?! What was I thinking?!!?!)