Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas And See You In The New Year

Hope everyone have a very Merry Christmas and reflect on what it really means - Peace, goodwill towards men and of course, the birth of Jesus Christ. It has less to do with having so much money (or none) and buying gifts but more on celebrating its meaning.

I've had to reflect on that critically especially during this time of a crummy economy and knowing I can't buy the gifts I bought last year. I've had to think about being an American in a foreign land many years past and how other countries celebrated this Holy time. I remember the practice I saw in one African country, they shared food with their neighbors, the less unfortunate and elders in the land. Nobody goes hungry during that week between Christmas and the New Year.

So I'm going to keep such actions in the forefront of my mind while I stand firm on the Promise and Hope of what Christmas brought . . . Have a Merry Christmas!

Tag: Christmas

When Are You Straightening Your Hair?

I dropped the bombshell a couple of months ago that I took the "relaxer" off my hair. The reason behind this had nothing to do with reconnecting with my "roots" just practical reasons of like not dropping $100 everytime I needed to get my hair done or wondering what the heck to do with my hair two to three weeks later - it grows so quickly. And as much as some friends and family think I'm one of the few ladies of color who doesn't give a damn about my hair (I do, I just don't want to spend four to five hours in a salon), I believe folks should let me be on what I want to do with my hair.

Why do folks think just because I'm wearing my hair in its natural state, it means I'm lacking of some sort in the "beauty" department? Granted, for a few weeks after I made the radical choice of chopping most of my hair including any signs of "relaxer", I went through a grieving process - after all, this was a 16-year love affair I just ended. And my senses were more heightened to any sister I saw on TV or on the streets with a fab relaxed look. But then I got over it!

I'm feeling more at home in my coarse (yet soft to the touch), multi-cultural/tribal curly head of hair. Some days are good hair days and some days, let's just say it's a "tangled mess." I recently went to get the ends trimmed. A black lady who was at the barbershop the day I made the bold move (but didn't cut my hair) did the honors of trimming. She just kept feeling my hair and saying "OMG, it is so soft and very curly. . ." What was she expecting! I felt like Akeem in "Coming To America" as she kept palming my head while asking what kind of products I used. Should I tell her I use "tomatoes and berry juice" like Akeem(psyche). Seriously, what's wrong with negroes?

But then she asked me when I'm going to put the relaxer back in my head. What's wrong with what I have I thought to myself. I told her I don't know yet. She was surprised and asked if I considered some texturizer. I told her I don't like it. Here's what I don't get with incessant ways of her (and others) asking me when I'll change my current look.

Do I not fit a certain mode of acceptance? Newsflash: I've never been part of a mode of beauty - I don't seek it. I believe what makes each individual beautiful is his/her uniqueness. But the ironic thing is the folks who really appreciate the "new" do are white ladies. Imagine that? A couple of them who knew me at a corporate building said they liked the look; one said she preferred this new me. Not so with some "sisters" wondering what I'm trying to prove - absolutely nothing to you.

Actually, the only one I prove anything to is the one I see in the mirror. Can I get the hair to be flexible? Sometimes (like I am). But on other days, just like me it wants to do its own thing and no spraying of magic potion (though I'm still seeking one that will be just right for my kind of hair) will change that. And you know what, that's cool too. Perhaps one day I'll go back to my relaxing ways; I never say never. It wouldn't change my philosophy about beauty if I do but I'm getting comfortable (and patient) seeing this side of me. I just wish others will learn to embrace this side too.

Tags: Hair Matters

What Happened To Full Disclosure?

I haven't given my two cents on the world of finance in a while and for good reason; I was waiting to see how the story will unfold. I supported the Wall Street bailout but these days I'm beginning to think why in the world did I support the $700 Billion claim especially when I'm NOT seeing the fruits of the labor. It's like dating a guy and vouching for his character only after the breakup, you wonder "what did I ever see in him?"

In my defense, I wrote that $700 billion must come with some oversight and parameters for benchmark results. Well, what do you know - That didn't happen! The economy has sinked to a new low the past three months, with credit even getting tighter for small businesses which had led to more unemployment.

So checking out the business news (a habit since undergrad), I felt like shouting out when I saw most of these financial institutions can't give a basic accounting of what happened to the tax-payer's funds. Oh I was about to scream! That goes against everything I believe in being a proper steward and do these companies know a certain principle called FULL DISCLOSURE?

I mean a bank executive said this: "We're choosing not to disclose that." Are you freaking kidding me! He-llo you don't have any choice in the matter. First of all, you're not a private company (you're publicly traded) and second of all, YOU GOT BAILED OUT BY TAX PAYERS' MONEY. So you better start giving the fundamental principles of your profession - full disclosure!

I feel we were duped. The government is not giving sanctions on this particular fiasco but they could ask the Detroit Big 3 to show them all kinds of ways they could improve their products (rightfully so) for only $14 billion. There's something very fishy about this . . .

Tags: $700 Billion Bailout

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Flash Is Amazing

(AP Photo / Alan Diaz)

You can have your King James (Lebron James) , but give me Flash (Dwyane Wade) anyday. Whoa! Christmas came early in Miami with the yearly match-up of the Heat and the Lakers and what a game last night.

Speaking of a game, is there something wrong with me as a girl getting frustrated when a guy is texting me in the middle of a tense fourth quarter? I felt like Robin Givens (without the attitude) character in Boomerang when I'd rather be watching the game than responding to your text. But I digress.

Anyhoo, back to the game last night. My (and others in the room) heart was racing so bad in the last two minutes of the game. One of the folks I was watching the game with was saying she couldn't take the game anymore (she was SCARED). Phil Jackson got a technical and the Heat's Udonis Haslem couldn't make a free throw when the game was tied. Then Haslem missed another two free throwes a minute later and a minute to go before the end of the game.

But get the ball to Flash (did you see the shot from 33-footer to close the third quarter?) and you've got a chance. Even with a terrific job of defense from Kobe Bryant, he was still unguardable. He did everything from key block shots to leaping higher than Kobe for a critical jump ball. I guess because of his injury for most part of last season, I almost forgot how good, nay GREAT Flash really is. He willed his team even with urgent missed free throws to win the game and a little help from Kobe's last shot that popped out on its way going in at the buzzer.

And all of us let out a collective sigh of relief!

Tag: Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why The Outrage Over Warren?

I like to think of myself as a progressive - not as the labeled voter per se but as a thinker. On the voting side, I hate labels though my voter's registration card identifies me with a party. But I'm more in the thinking of Chris Rock (can you tell I'm a fan of his comedy?) when he said "there are some things I'm very liberal about, and there are some things I'm very conservative about . . ."

During our recent election, my ballot would have confused any poll taker to figure out what box to label me based on how I voted. So over some months leading to the election, I had my criticism for the ultra-conservative folks but recently, my ire has been towards far-left liberals - THEY ARE BUGGING ME! And they are getting on my nerves with their whining on President-Elect's so-called choices for his cabinet positions and now, his choice for who to do the invocation (opening prayer) at the inauguration, Pastor Rick Warren.

Yes, the "Purpose Driven Life" 30 million plus books sold Pastor is making many on the far left upset with Obama because of Warren's stand on Prop 8 and some controversial sayings about gays. Reportedly, Warren has said some stuff with comparing the gay lifestyle to pedophilia and the like. I find that last statement hard to believe but if it is true, then that is some ignorance on the part of Warren. Statistically, pedophilia is overwhelmingly (over 70 percent) related to heterosexuals. But one dumb quote should not make the whole narrative of one's life.

Hel-lo the 30 million people (present company included) who bought the famed book could see there's more to Warren than just gay-bashing. This is a guy who was criticized by some of his faith (i.e. Pat Robinson and the late Jerry Falwell) because of his methods of teaching. He was one of the first preachers to shed light on AIDS, talked about poverty and admonished folks about the state of our environment. And might I add, the guy does "reverse tithing." That is, he gives 90 percent of what he makes away and lives off 10 percent. Tell me which other preacher does that?

Be that as it may, how many of us has agreed to everything the Pastors of our churches preach? I know I haven't. Sometimes, I've been in a church where a statement from the pulpit have gone from one ear and out the next. It doesn't stop me from respecting the Pastor the next day or for him/her not to pray for me during a notable event of my life.

So why would you think the President-Elect of all people choose not to follow the same example? Is he supposed to pick someone to pray (I can't believe folks are fighting over this) who he agrees with on every issue? Well, he did pick Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights pioneer, who's also spoken for gay rights to do the benediction. But I noticed, the so-called base aren't acknowledging such balance - yeah balance; what a unique word!

Seriously liberals, what do you want Obama to do? Tell some (0r most) evangelicals who didn't support him "screw all ya!" Or could he try to live up to the promise he gave on election night that though he didn't get their votes, he hears their voices and will be their President too. In my opinion, I think Obama showed courage in this choice, and a word I don't use for most politicians, character.

Tags: Rick Warren, Inauguration invocation

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jungle Fever, Jungle Love?

Colleague: "So Mo, would you ever date a white guy?"
AAW: "If the guy is as cool as Jon B. or has the soul of Michael McDonald I'll date him. You?"
Colleague: "Do I have to go out (literally) with her?"
AAW: " That's not nice . . ." He shrugged.

That was 10 years ago as a young college student when I first had the conversation about interracial relationships with a colleague struggling to have me "pegged." He was the type of guy who really wanted to figure out my "blackness" and because I said I had no race preference in my dating relationships, he made it known I'll end up with a white guy. Well his bet is still lingering and I still hold the same principles. I'm like Chris Rock on interracial dating: "brothers have been using their equal rights for years, what are sisters waiting on?"

But a certain brother (Joseph Williams) at the Boston Globe still has an issue with catching the jungle fever in a recent piece. Seriously! How long do we need to keep having this discussion? But calculating his age (about 46), he's of a different mindset than many of my peers. On my college campus, interracial dating was so prevalent that a couple of my friends who transferred from another state university told me they've never seen anything like it - a bit of culture shock for them. I digress.

Back to this buzz-generating column, the writer asked these questions: Is an attraction to a white woman a form of racial self-hatred? If I flirt with her, does it mean I've rejected my African-American sisters? Answer: To the former, No; It just means you're not totally free yet to think dating a person of an outside race means you don't like yourself. And to the latter (eye rolling), I say PUH-LEAZE get a grip!

How ridiculous does that (second question) sound? Just because I find "McSteamy" (Eric Dane) drop-dead gorgeous doesn't mean I won't melt if I see the hot chocolate Morris Chesnut - I'm just saying. I appreciate beauty and rugged good looks any form it comes. So if I pick a real-life version of McSteamy, it doesn't mean I reject my African-American brothers. And if I date a prototype of Chesnut, it doesn't mean I'm proving my "blackness."

Could it be I find something in common with a person regardless of race? Perhaps his faith, intelligence, wit or humor? It is quite simple; too bad this writer (Williams) should make it complicated by talking about "echoes of history impossible for him to ignore." I say life is just too short.

Tag: Interracial relationships

Blagosphere and Other Stuff

I've ignored my "political" side for a reason - it's a jungle out there! But I've got a few things on my mind about the whole "Blagosphere" (a pun for all things about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich) and some other things happening in our political world:

Blago's Tangled Web: Oh not to be caught in Blago's (Blagojevich) web. I thought Florida's political world was corrupt but according to a survey, Illinois upped Florida by two spots (number 6 to Florida's number 8). Who would have thunk it? The Land of Lincoln (Honest Abe) himself; gosh he must be rolling over in his grave. Any political figure from Illinois has been denouncing Blago left and right from Rahmbo (Rahm Emmanuel) to our President-Elect, Barack Obama.

But none gave me a kick in the guts than the so-called "Candidate No. 5," Jesse Jackson Jr. Not him! As readers of this blog know, I recommended Jackson for Obama's former senate seat. Now seeing him all entangled in Blago's web, I doubt he will get the seat. It will be better for a special election to be held than Blago appointing him - too much cloud over his head. Well, Jackson gave his press conference but I thought his sit-down interview with CNN's Don Lemon was more revealing:

SNL's Spoof of Gov. David Paterson: Let me be clear, I LOVE New York Gov. Paterson. I love his razor-sharp mind and wit. But most of all I love his honesty. I find his candor refreshing for a politician in an age where most of his counterparts choose to be politically-correct or Clintonesque ("It depends what is, is"). The fact that he's legally blind is just an afterthought. Seriously! Is Stevie Wonder less genius because he's blind?

So imagine my surprise when I saw the SNL spoof Saturday night:

I like SNL and I say nobody is off-limits! After all, Eddie Murphy was brilliant in his spoof of Stevie Wonder on SNL in the eighties. At the time, it was considered edgy and later, Wonder came in to SNL to show he could take a joke by singing along with Murphy.

But I thought SNL went about five minutes too far into joke for it not to be no longer funny. It's like a good movie that forgot to be edited thirty minutes after. Yeah Paterson is blind. SNL couldn't spoof him without that fact but he's no bumbling fool - that's where (I think) SNL crossed the line.

This is more like the Paterson I know on the Colbert Report:

President Bush Gets Shown The Shoes:

What can I say? The President really fulfils the term "lame-duck." I mean excellent reflexes; working out pays off :-)

Tags: Jesse Jackson Jr., SNL Spoof of Gov. David Paterson

Sunday, December 14, 2008

NPR Got It Wrong

Last week I read the heartbreaking news that two (and one of my favorite) NPR shows has been cancelled. The two shows were Day to Day and News and Notes (a fave). NPR's reasoning was due to the crummy economy and like many of their Media counterparts, they had to do some layoffs.

I get the reasoning. Trust me, I get when you have to make major cutbacks; I can read a company's financial statements like no one's business. But what I don't get is that the two shows cut were based in the west coast and save, for "Tell Me More" (another fave) have great diversity programming from all the other NPR shows.

I've been a fan of N&N since college; when it was "The Tavis Smiley Show." To me, it brought some flavor to sometimes NPR's stale delivery - I'm just saying. I love NPR for the most part, but there are some shows I felt I'd rather go to the dentist chair to listen to his drill than another moment hearing the host's voice. I just couldn't relate and it wasn't because of my age then (I still don't like those shows).

Day to Day had financial information from Michelle Singletary (did I mention she's black) when most financial information were given by boring old white guys who've spent too much time on Wall Street but didn't know how to break the Wall Street lingo to folks on Main Street. Singletary brought that to Day to Day; common sense approach to money like "Big Momma" taught her.

Also, Brian Unger brought his humorist take on all things political and pop-culture. It made you take a second look on what our public figures were selling us. Day to Day was able to accomplish all these while tackling the serious news. But now, (come March 20th) that will be gone!

While I had to listen to Day to Day on Mondays and Tuesdays; it was a five-day event for News & Notes. This was the show from an African-American perspective. And can I just say, in the mostly vanilla world of NPR, it was nice to have some chocolate five days a week. The show had think-tanks of color from the world of politics, business, and the media; something rare in the world of television. Also, just because I'm an African-American, it didn't mean I agreed with everything the show broadcasted. I happen to be a friend of the show, and a few times I've used my keystrokes to great use to ask "what was that all about?" (What's up Farai and GB!)

But that was the great thing about N&N, it was interactive with its listeners/bloggers. A few months ago when I got too busy with my personal life to give my "piece," I was called out on the website by a producer (GB) to ask where in the world I was. I never expected the "shout out" but at least it showed they paid attention than most media outlets who operate in a vacuum.

So NPR I'm asking you to take a second look. It is appalling in a multi-racial and multi-ethnic America, only one show (Tell Me More) in your lineup after March 20th will truly reflect the great diversity of our society.

Tags: NPR, NPR Cuts Two Shows, News & Notes, Day to Day

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oprah's Weighty Confession

Photo: Matthew Rolston
If I didn't love Oprah before, I absolutely do now. Wow! That was big (no pun intended) of Oprah to admit she put on 40 pounds in the year. A writer once said something about honesty I'm trying to aspire to: With others do it with care but with yourself, be ruthless. (Paraphrased)

I think most folks take that advise in its reverse form - they are ruthless with others (OMG, what is she wearing?) but are so careful with themselves (I've just put on a few pounds). I remember I was at a party last March when a lady at my table said she was a size 6, a member of her family (I think her Mom or Aunt) asked "which size 6?" All of us at the table busted out laughing because we knew she was NO SIZE 6 (more like a healthy 10) but we were more diplomatic than the one who voiced our thoughts.

But I'm glad Oprah took the right approach and got ruthless with the truth that was apparent to many viewers; she had put on some weight and it wasn't the proverbial 10 pounds the TV inflates. In so doing, she shows she was just as vulnerable and susceptible to the battle of the bulge millions are waging everyday. This, I believe is why the said millions have loved Oprah for over two decades regardless of her mounting wealth and indifference to the shifts of her waistline - the woman is REAL!

When I first heard this story on Wednesday morning, I won't lie it gave the motivation I needed to change into my workout clothes and get my butt off the couch when excuses were already being formed in my head why I didn't need to do any exercise that day. And as I read the "O" Issue delivered to my mailbox last night, I was not only forced to look at Oprah's journey in the love/hate (more on the latter) relationship she had with her body but more of how I treated my own.

I felt for her especially when she talked about the fateful day the legendary Tina Turner and Cher graced her stage. I watched that show and I had no idea Oprah felt so awkward to be in these ladies presence; she felt she was the oldest among the women when the opposite is true. At the end, she has come to accept the fact that her goal now isn't to be thin but for her body to be healthy and strong. And I say isn't that great advice for us all?

Tag: Oprah admits weight gain

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Hate Shopping for Makeup

I want to get something off my chest and it's the auduous task of shopping for makeup. Granted, I started the act of makeup wearing much later in life than many of my peers but that's not the main reason I hate shopping for cosmetics. It all has to do with being a person of color and choosing makeup that enhance my natural skin tone rather than mask it.

What is wrong with the cosmetics industry when it comes to marketing to women of color. Hey, we are not all four or six shades. Some of us have backgrounds of various ethnicities. Even my sisters and I don't wear the same shade. So why does the makeup counter lady feel I would be just perfect with a shade another person wore only to get home and see I have been duped.

For example, the best makeup experience I've had was with a certain makeup company which catered to my belief about makeup - IT SHOULDN'T FEEL OR LOOK AS IF I'M WEARING ANY. So for about two years I was in skin heaven. Once, I went for a facial and the facialist was surprised when she started washing my face that I had makeup on. She said it matched my face to a "T" and better, it was great for my skin.

I even smiled to myself when one of the guys I worked with said to another guy convincingly "Mo- doesn't wear makeup." It amazes me what guys fill their time with talking about women. Why let them in on my little secret that I do, my shade for this company was "true honey."

But then I went back to makeup purgatory when the company decided to discontinue the line. WHAT! Yeah that's what I said to the makeup counter lady when I heard the devastating news. She said there was not much request for that shade. HE-LLO, you're looking at the one who requests it. And she told me she doubts if they are bringing the line back since it's been in the works (for discontinuation) in a while. Just my luck but she told me to move to "true amber" which is close. It wasn't. I could see the difference. On to another makeup line. . .

My search still continues for that match. I've wasted money or just gave the makeup to friends who liked the shade. I'll give most of these makeup product ladies some props; they agree that I have yellow undertones to my skin; thus I have a warm skin tone. So why in God's green earth would you sell me a makeup that is geared towards "Neutral skin tone?" IT DOESN'T MATCH!

So I want to say something the multi-billion industry we call the cosmetics industry. Do a better job with creating and marketing to women of color and PLEASE don't stick with Tan, Caramel, Dark, and Deep. We are way more than those four categories. Also, do your research! America is changing so fast to a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country and I (and others like me) don't have the patience till 2042 when we become the majority.

Recently, I went to a bookstore to find a solution to this nagging problem. One book that kind of made me understand my plight was one by Bobby Brown (the famed makeup artist, who perfected the natural look). She had a chapter for "global beauty" - those of us mixed with parents from other parts of the world. Finally! She said this is the section (of our society) the beauty industry is still having a problem to perfect. Bummer! I decided to look at the back of the page to see the copyright notes - it was in 1997. OMG, that's over a decade and I'm still seeing the problem in makeup counters.

So beauty industry get to work. I don't want to mix two or three shades as one makeup person suggested last week; I've got work to do. And do you know the kind of person I am? It takes me five minutes to do hair and makeup and I'm out the door. I hate all the primping but I still want to look quite polished. Think "effortlessly chic." Ok, I'm begging you to look at this opportunity. It could be a very rewarding and profitable venture.

Tag: Makeup

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Adios Boston Legal

One of my favorite shows closed its curtains last night, the fictional law firm of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt. Gosh, I'll miss my crazy gang.

Yeah I know it's on reruns somewhere but it won't be same. I'm not going to see the brilliant Alan Shore going after a rogue judge on topical issues ripped from the headlines nor am I going to see the crazy Crane, Denny Crane with his antics for closing a case while battling the mad cow (Alzheimers).

So yes I'll miss Boston Legal but I'll always remember the words of Alan Shore to Denny Crane after the devastating news he had mad cow, "in the meantime my friend, live big, live big."

Tags: Boston Legal Series Finale

Say It Ain't So Blagojevich

I can't believe this but yet I'm not surprised. If what happened today is totally true (which the mounting allegations with wire tap evidence seem to prove), then Illinois Governor is really STUPID. In another language, El Stupido!!!

The adage "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" has just been proven once again. How do you explain a Governor (Rod Blagojevich) who got in his position because his predecessor (George Ryan) was going to jail for racketeering (among other crimes) get trapped for other unethical and illegal acts? I wrote a post last month asking Blagojevich to pick Jesse Jackson Jr, for President-Elect Barack Obama's former senate seat; only to hear this morning this Governor wanted to get paid on the side for a job he's entitled to do.

Can you be confounded and yet think this act is the statusquo? I know there are a few good men (and women) out there in politics but ten years ago I got out of being selected as a juror for a political corruption case because I told the judge I wasn't surprised when I heard the news because I've heard others like his since I became a resident and I'm not that impressed by politians. Yes you could hear the pin drop in the court room by my admission. Isn't it a shame a decade later, another politician is still letting history repeat itself by going to the bighouse?

Tags: Rod Blagojevich, Illinois Governor goes to jail

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm Out Still Next Week

Gotta take some time off to take care of some personal stuff. Hope to be back mid-next week to my blogging ways. Ciao!

Lebron In A New York State of Mind

Lebron: Start spreading the news, I'm leaving in two years, I've had enough of Cavs to New York, New York. Okay, I'm having a bit of fun with the loud rumors surrounding "King James" (Lebron James) desire to be with the New York Knicks. The problem is he is STILL a Cleveland Cavalier.

Let me be clear: I believe Lebron James will be a knickerboker (playing for the New York Knicks) come the fall of 2010. This guy has said he wants to be a "global icon" and a billionaire. For the latter, he has a great mentor, the Oracle himself, Warren Buffett. But the former in his mind, will involve him being in a major market and where else but the biggest market of them all, New York.

If you don't believe me. Then why is he given hints with wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap during the MLB playoffs over a year ago when the Yankees was playing against a Cleveland team (not a baseball fan; can't remember the moniker)? That was a WRONG PR MOVE.

I'm a Miami Heat fan and during their championship run against Dallas Mavericks in 2006, I said to a friend Terrell Owens deserved to be booed by the Dallas fans. Owens was wearing a Shaq Miami Heat jersey in DALLAS when he was just traded to the Dallas Cowboys just a few months prior to June. He's defense was he was Shaq's friend and was wearing a Maverick's hat (turned backwards that you couldn't see the logo). I don't know what goes on these athletes' heads? But I digress.

Then a few weeks ago, Lebron played in Madison Square Garden (MSG) wearing some New York pinstripes. Okay, if you insist you're a Cavalier, why keep milking this rumor? And this is where Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley (who I love) got upset. Barkley said if it was him, he will "shut the hell up." Then Lebron responded to Barkley calling him "stupid." Oh no he didn't! Oh yes he did.

Here's where I don't get if some folks (like Lebron) have home training. You're not only referring to someone who's old enough to be your father but he's a Hall-of-famer! Show some respect! And you know what, most folks (as I am) are on the side of Sir Charles in this feud.

Tags: Lebron James, Charles Barkley, New York Knicks Rumors

Plaxico Burress Mess

Hi folks, it's time for another edition of I.N.N (Ignorant Negro News). Unless you've chosen not to watch the news these past few days, then there's no way you missed this ridiculous story of a one-time Super Bowl hero, Plaxico Buress.

Why the drastic shift? If you asked me, it all started after he got the fat contract in the summer. Someone once said, "money doesn't change you, it just exaggerates what you already are." So if you were a disciplined person before a major hike in your net worth, you'll remain the same afterwards and vice-versa if you were not.

First of all, who wears sweatpants into a nightclub? At one time, I lived 10 minutes away from South Beach - the nightclub capital of the country (even New York doesn't top it). And though I don't partake of the lifestyle. I know you're supposed to have a dress code. But I guess since he was a multi-millionaire the bouncers gave him a pass. That was a dumb move on the bouncers' part and the guy wearing the sweatpants.

The gun Buress accidently shot himself was sliding down from where he thought he secured it in his sweatpants when it went off. Why, why, why was he wearing such outfit when he was carrying a gun? Have you heard of jeans or just some decent pants?

Second, he had no registration on the gun in New York which has made the city's Mayor really irate and saying he will see to it that Buress gets prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (three years in the big house).

And oh there is more! Anthony Pierce, his teammate is in deep (you know what) for trying to cover for him. Psss Pierce, let me hip you to something called "obstruction of justice." I know you don't want to be called a "snitch" but if it gets to affecting your family and livelihood; I say start "snitching." Or you could call it TELLING THE TRUTH.

The plot thickens with this drama. Now the doctor who treated Buress for the gunshot wound but lied about the name of who he was treating (for cover) is suspended. Hmmm Doc, what happened to your oath of ethics?

Anyway, now these ignorant negroes (Buress and Pierce) are facing charges that could sideline their careers. I wonder if these guys just operate in some sort of bubble and think laws don't apply to them and guess what, you guys are black - the more reason you should law-abiding citizens. (Read into that last sentence what you want but you know it's the truth).

Tags: Plaxico Burress, Gun laws, New York Giants

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Meet The Team Of Rivals

It finally happened after all the rumblings about President-Elect's National Security Team, with Sen. Hillary Clinton (Sec. of State) being the loudest one of them all. The positions included Attorney General (Eric Holder), Homeland Security (Janet Napolitano), Defense(Robert Gates), National Security Advisor (Gen. Jim Jones) and U.N. Ambassador (Susan Rice).

I've said it before (over a week ago) that I admire the positions though I was surprised with Clinton for Secretary of State (even though I believe she'll do a great job).

But my post today is really geared to the far-left liberals and there own rumblings about the way Obama is loading up his cabinet. Psss, liberals: How about we have a little conversation. You guys are beginning to bug me just like the ultra-conservative folks during the campaigning season.

There is a difference between how you campaign and how you govern. Some of you (liberals) still expect Obama to be doing the former instead of the latter. Say this after me: YOU GOVERN FROM THE CENTER!!! (One more time)

I'll give you a state example: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican. But sometimes you may not know he is really a Republican by the way he governs. He is a green (not in experience but with the environment) Governor. He extended the hours of the early voting registration to the angst of his Republican colleagues who felt he would benefit the other party (it turned out to be true), and he's fighting for felons to have their right restored to vote. You wonder why he has a high approval rating?

So you may not like that he picked Gates (from the Bush administration), but Gates has shown he is not an idealogue like his boss and have actually talked about diplomacy and brought a voice of reason since he was hired in 2006.

The other person you're up in arms about is Clinton. For that, I just say "get over it." Politics make strange bed fellows. And just like John F. Kennedy needed Lyndon B.Johnson after a contentious primaries, Obama needs Clinton. Like her or not, the woman is brilliant and there are 18 million voices to prove that. Also, she's a global brand name and don't you think Obama could use someone like that while he concentrates on the domestic debacle we call the economy?

So to the guys who are really left of me, I say have patience. Yes you voted for change and change you got. He is the only President-Elect facing mind-boggling challenges in over 70 years. Why fault him for bringing the most experienced hands to help him guide the ship?

Tags: Obama's National Security Team

Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day

I live in a state that ranks third in new HIV cases and around a tri-county area in the top-five new cases. The alarming thing about this statistics is 70% of these new cases are with African-American and the Hispanic, a distant 13%.

One of the good news is the stigma is not as strong as it was in the 90s and far better than the 80s. The bad news is that most people still refuse to get tested. In their eyes, what they don't know can't kill them; but it sure can. Also, another good news is that they could live quite normal lives if the disease is diagnosed early. So please get tested and practice safe sex (I think that should go without saying).

Tags: World AIDS Day

NBA Refs: Three Blind Mice

NBA refs have got into a few controversies in the past couple of years and watching a late night game between the Heat and the Clippers on Saturday that went into early Sunday morning made me realize fans frustration with the Zebras (Referees) who really showed they could be the proverbial three blind mice on the basketball court.

Here it was, seven seconds left in the game with the Heat down one and Dwyane Wade stole the ball from a Clipper and tipped it out to one of his teammates (Udonis Haslem) who was ready at the basket for a layup when the Zebras started whistling.

This viewer (as well as the commentators) was wondering what happened. A few minutes ticked on then we found out they said Wade stepped out of the court when he stole the ball. Huh! So they called the ball to go to the Clippers. Are you freaking kidding me? Well, the commentators shared my exact sentiments since they had an instant replay. Yes, Instant Replay - whatever happened to that technologically advance device? The Zebras seem to have forgotten about that.

Wade had every right to be ticked off! One of the few times I've seen him that livid. Then one of the Zebras told him he didn't make the call and the Heat coaches got involved. Meanwhile, I'm thinking this is wasting time and breaking the flow of the game. After about ten minutes went by, the refs called it for the Heat which made the Clippers VERY UPSET. I guess they couldn't see the game from the overhead monitors.

After a time-out, it was time to get into the game. Wade was fouled (as usual) but I guess the Heat was not over the limit so no foul shots (free throws) needed to be made. But the three blind mice did the unthinkable - they took off a second by mistake, which the commentators saw. Seriously, what's up with these Zebras! Anyway, the Heat lost because the shot missed the basket. But I will say this, they have EVERY right to be upset. Not only were there some controversial calls favoring the home team (Clippers) before the seven-second call but they broke the flow of the game. That's my rant . . .

Tags: Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA Referees

Cyber Monday Overload

I'm back! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I know I did and I'm in a "Turkey Haze" and too much sweet potato pie consumption. But hey, I found out a great tidbit of info today not to make me feel guilty about the latter consumption; Sweet Potato is one of the most nutritious food you can have. So I'm not thinking about all the sugar and other fattening elements which make up a delicious sweet potato pie. But the foundation of the theory is it's HEALTHY and I'm sticking to that story :-)

Now today is Cyber Monday (did you shop on Black Friday?) and I'm having the opposite of a writer's block - I have an overload of "issues" I'd like to blog about. Before today, I had my rant against NBA refs made up in my mind and Lebron's New York drama. But then today is World AIDS Day, Obama rolled out his National Security Team, and the senseless Mumbai tragedy (my condolences to the victims).

I guess that's a good problem to have and I agree. However, there is this issue called time and weighing the best post to actually write . . .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm Grateful

In my father's dialect, there's a response to the greeting to "how are you?" which is "I'm grateful." I got to thinking about this yesterday about the measure of such greeting as we look forward to tomorrow's Thanksgiving.

My thoughts were no wonder statistics have showed that particular country in Africa comprise of some of the happiest people in the world. They are not happy because everything is oh so rosy. Far from it; they have chosen to define happiness for themselves. It has less to do with the material things and more in the simple things of life like family, friends and a sense of purpose of being.

I'm also reminded of the scripture, "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God concerning you." So just because we're living in a crummy economy and some unexplained times, shouldn't stop us from giving thanks and being grateful just to still experience this world called Life.

Tags: Thanksgiving

Awkward Conversations

I look forward to the start of a new holiday season. What I'm not looking forward to is the awkward conversations and settings I'd rather not be in with some family and friends. You know those awkward conversations: "You're not married yet?" "I'm waiting for the day you bring a guy here." Or conversations which lead me to count to 10 or higher from some archaic thinking.

Once, there was a guy I was meeting for the first time but was known to the others in the family. This knucklehead decided get in testy assessments of me. I was like (in my mind) "Negro, I don't know you." Well I did tell him in no uncertain terms he was bucking on the wrong tree. Come to think of it, that was the last time I saw him. And he got uncomfortable a little while later and left (Thank God for the small miracles).

So this year, I've been going through the settings and timing schemes in my mind I could avoid those oh so awkward moments with some family's houses. When all or most of the coupledom would have left and me sashaying in there (alone) is still cool and those who are progressive couples - those who know it's okay to enjoy being single and then being married is just cherry on top will be in place for some enlightened conversations. Wouldn't that be grand?

Tags: Social Settings, Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2008

Introducing Tim Geithner

Just a quick note: I absolutely LOVE this pick (Tim Geithner for Treasury Secretary) from President-Elect, Barack Obama. In case you're new to this blog, my day passion is numbers (all things Finance). Great to see someone who's proven in the time of crisis to handle this mess we call the economy.

Tag: Tim Geithner

Ed Young's 7 Days of Sex Challenge

I've wanted to give my two cents on the hoopla on Rev. Ed Young's sex challenge but other stuff was more in the forefront of my mind until this morning when I saw Young and his wife on TV (again)about what they gained since Young issued the mandate to the married congregants in his church. Newsflash: They could only hold up to six days of the challenge (so to speak).

If you've been a consistent reader of this blog, you can peep I'm a person of faith even though I don't wear my faith on my sleeves. And besides, this is not a "faith" blog but all (or most) things I have an opinion about. So when I heard Young's mandate last week, I imagined myself in Ed Young's church and what would have been my reaction to this juicy news.

Well, in my current stage in life (single), my first reaction would have been "why do marriage folks get to have all the fun!" Then I would have thought why couldn't Young tell the married folks this piece of news at a marriage seminar somewhere. Lastly, I wondered how the singles in the congregation must have felt; what did Young say to them while their married counterparts are planning to go on this "sexcapade" - keep hope alive, your prince/queen is coming. I'm just saying . . .

But I digress. The secular (mainstream) world found this piece of news "shocking" as one to be taught from the so-called pulpit. So Young and a few others Ministers of various faiths (I saw a Rabbi talking about this over the weekend) have had their say. Here's my take: I'm all for the idea. Sometimes, the subject of sex and sensuality have been seen as taboo subjects when the Bible CLEARLY talks about them. Anybody read Songs of Solomon lately? You'll have to do a double-take and check the back of your "Bible" just to be sure it's still the Bible and not an Harlequin novel.

Besides, it's great for Young to open up the minds of folks to see sex is not just for procreation (as I had a heated debate with some "deep" folks some years ago) but also (first) for pleasure. And that's my take . . . what's yours? (love to see your comments)

Tags: Ed Young, 7 Day Sex Challenge

Friday, November 21, 2008

Few Musings For The Week

It's been a while since I did the "rundown" of a few things buzzing in my mind and in our world, so why not now:

ObamaMANIA: Is it only me who's getting fed up of all things Obama 24/7 especially when it comes to merchandising? I get it! This is a historical time but a few days ago when I saw GQ named Barack Obama as one of its Men of the Year, I exclaimed "aaarh!" Faithful readers of this blog know I've said I made a decision a few years ago (after Obama's 2004 DNC keynote speech) to buy most magazines he graced. But I find that decision to be fiscally irresponsible these days. Then a couple of days ago, Lewis Black of The Daily Show was along the lines of my train of thoughts . . .

Cabinet-Proof Selections: Okay I know I said I'm getting tired of the Obama-Mania. But hey, the cabinet positions weren't part of that. So I agreed with the Eric Holder pick for Attorney General. The man is a brother and if confirmed, he'll become the first African American AG (he served as deputy for Janet Reno in the Clinton years). But I'm confounded with the Hillary Clinton pick for the Secretary of State. I thought she will be GREAT at Health but Tom Dashle (who's equally qualified) got that position. I don't know . . .

By the way, Obama needs to start picking a few Latinos (there are rumblings) for his cabinet. Two-thirds of Latinos went for Obama, so they are justified in wondering when their turn in seeing a visible cabinet member who represents them.

Hugh Jackman is Sexiest Man Alive: Well-deserved! Jackman is not really my type, Psyche, he's exactly my type with the rugged good looks, "nice guy" character and OMG, the British accent - what can I say . . .But I will say this to People Magazine, it's been a long while since you had a brother on the cover as "sexiest man alive." Only Denzel (excellent choice) has had that honor. I believe you could find more guys of color.

To All The Single Ladies - Have A Good Laugh with this (Justin Timberlake is sick):

Tags: President-Elect Cabinet Positions, Justin Timberlake, SNL, Single Ladies, Beyonce

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Joe

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite guys in politics, Joe Biden. He turns 66 today and I wish the Vice-President Elect many happy returns.

Tag: Joe Biden's Birthday

Florida Early Voters

My kudos today goes to Early Voters in Florida. As I was driving today, I heard on the radio that the final tally of votes casted on November 4th showed John McCain beat Barack Obama by five points. But the great thing was Barack Obama had banked more votes from the absentee and early voters which brought the final results as Obama beating McCain by three points.

So thanks early voters for turning the purple (which some pundits call red) state blue. You showed the truth in the adage that the early birds do get the worms.

Tags: Florida Early Voters

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

PLEASE Pick Jesse

Now that Barack Obama is our President-Elect, we have no black person in the U.S Senate. Think about that for a minute, out of 100 Senate members, there is no African American. It's now left to the Governor of Illinois to make a critical decision to choose who will take Obama's former seat.

There are many viable candidates being passed around but my pick along with Chicago Defender's is Jesse Jackson, Jr. He is 43 years old, if selected he'll become the youngest member in the U.S Senate - wouldn't that be grand! And not only because he'll bring a fresh face to the Senate, he is qualified. He's spent 13 years in Congress, he was once named among the "Top 50 Lawmakers" in the Congress.

I know another name being tossed around is Emil Jones, who is also an African American, the President of the Illinois Senate and the "GodFather" who groomed Obama in Chicago politics. But here's the deal: Jones is 73 years old! We just elected our fifth youngest President EVER! Can't we start showing holding high public office is not just for the chronologically gifted? I'm just saying . . .

Tags: Jesse Jackson, Jr. for Senate, Emil Jones, Jr., U.S Senate Seat for Illinois

Friday, November 14, 2008

Daniel Craig Returns As Bond

Time to get shaken not stirred with the new installment of Bond, James Bond. I'm looking forward to the Quantum of Solace played by the hunky Daniel Craig.

Now I've got to be honest, I was a bit apprehensive when I heard Craig was taking over the illustrous franchise a couple of years ago. He was blond (well, so was Roger Moore and I liked him) and wasn't well known (save for the independent film scene). So I went into the movie theatres to see "Casino Royale" with my guards up wondering if he could deliver. Oh yeah! He did so with pizzazz. This was not your Grandpa's bond (all due respect to the great Sean Connery).

Loved the movie! As soon as I left the theatre I text a family member saying "best action movie of the year!" as my review. It seems this bond will pick up from where the last one finished; Bond losing the love of his life. So expect some revenge masking as "duty" from 007, all kinds of out-of-this world action scenes, and for the guys, the Bond girls.

So enjoy yourself at the movies (as I will). I believe there will be some blockbuster record-breaking profits to get folks' minds off this recession. Also, as a PSA, enjoy your martinis respoinsibly.

Tags: Quantum of Solace

First Female Four Star General

Normally, I give my "kudos" label to the accomplishments of African Americans but I make an exception for today's newstory since I'm a woman also. Today's kudos goes to Gen. Ann Dunwoody of Englewood, Florida who became the first female four star general.

I salute this General for breaking through the "brass" ceiling.

Tags: Ann Dunwoody, First Female Four Star General

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Palin-ed Out

I've had it with Sarah Palin's media blitz! Where was the woman who no one could get for an interview for a month after she was announced as John McCain's running mate? Only to go back in hiding after the Katie Couric interview debacle? Well, that woman has been unleashed!

She is giving interviews to anyone who would sit down and listen or watch her cook, or hike the snow-piled mountains. GIVE ME A BREAK! It must be a slow news week. My TV has been subjected to all things Palin - a great reason to get out of the house last night to see something different, watch a basketball game.

Then she's speaking in my neck of the woods with other Republican Governors. And where are some members of the media? In Miami to get another expose to Palin as if we haven't heard enough already. Even an Aunt told me last night she's thinking of sending Larry King an e-mail to stop the "all things Palin on CNN."

Also, one of my favorite guys on TV, Jon Stewart took issue with this - check out the video:

The video is over seven minutes long - that's dog years in the fast-paced media world. So please Palin, I have defended you that it was wrong for the McCain camp to throw you under the bus. But always defending yourself in the eyes of the Media reminds me of a law adage - "He who defends himself has a fool for a client." So cut it out!

Tags: Sarah Palin, Republican Governors in Miami, The Daily Show

Dear Pat Riley

I was at the Miami Heat game last night against the Portland Trailblazers. It was my first game at the AAA in over a year. For me, last season was a disaster and I just didn't have any desire to put myself through the misery of seeing the game upclose when I couldn't stand it via my TV screen.

But it's a new season and may I say with the draft picks of Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, "the Heat is on." And last night, I took a break from the state of our country and her many states of crisis to cheer my favorite team. I wasn't disappointed but in the last 17 seconds of the game, with the deadly shot from Blazers' Rudy Fernandez (could we get that guy?), I stood up to leave - I (along with a companion) knew the Heat couldn't come back.

Here's the deal with what I observed last night: WE NEED SOME BIG MEN!!! Seriously, did you see those Blazers? I even took the time to go through my program book to know my eyes were not deceiving me from the nineth row and got some confirmation about their heights and sizes. Next to them, the Heat guys from 6-2 to 6-9 (and one seven footer) looked like mere mortals. Boy, last night really made me miss Shaq; and where is Zo?

Riles, there is NO person in the middle. What does that give you? A donut! All sweetness, no nutritional value. And using Udonis Haslem (a power forward) as a center won't cut it. Did you see how the limited seven-footer Greg Oden was swatting the ball away like child's play? And what about the 6-11 David Aldridge? OMG! The Heat NEEDS a true center. Those Blazers looked like pillars and they forced many of the Heat guys to take unnecessary shots instead of driving the ball to the basket; thus the reason for the close game loss.

Please, please, please Riles do something bold this season before the trade deadline in February. I REALLY want to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes this year but more importantly, with my home team. Is that too much to ask?

Tags: Pat Riley, Miami Heat, Portland Trailblazers, Greg Oden

Monday, November 10, 2008

On My Mind - The Historic Week

I'm still reeling from last week's election. But I haven't reflected on my love/hate relationship with a particular subject (politics) in a while. So here goes my musings of some things that took place since last week:

Worldwide Celebration For the President-Elect:

For anyone who says election doesn't matter, the proof is in the embedded video. OMG! It's been a while (well since Barack Obama gave that speech in Berlin) to see such goodwill towards America around the world. Think about it, our current president (counting down the days) is greeted with burning flags among other profanities when he visits most countries but with Obama's win, people were literally dancing in the streets.

A House Divided: Oh the Republican party specifically John McCain's camp. Ok, I'm not surprised there was trouble in the camp before the election. I've made a number of observations on this blog about McCain lurching from one position to the next but I didn't expect the mudslinging from the camp against one another especially to one target - Sarah Palin.

Here's where I've got to come to the Hockey Mom's defense. Anybody with a brain could see Palin wasn't ready to be Vice President or President (in case something happens). I have shown my concern a couple of months ago when the Governor of Alaska wasn't vetted. Seriously, one interview that lasted an hour plus another 15 minutes conversation for the second highest position in the land? I've had more interviews than that for one position as a civilian.

But you know what? I don't blame her. If she didn't know Africa was a continent, not a country was unfortunate but it's not her fault (yeah, I typed that with a straight face). If she couldn't name the countries in North America (USA, Canada, and Mexico) as countries in NAFTA doesn't make her stupid. But it shows bad judgment on the person who chose to pick her as a running mate - John McCain.

And do you notice the person not saying a word while this woman is being thrown under the docked straight talk express bus? Ding, ding, ding, the Maverick! Nobody should make Palin a scapegoat for the campaign's demise; it was a very poor-ran campaign regardless if it was in the way of history.

The McCain's camp wanted to make a history of its own; have the first female VP. But that would have been fine if you picked a person very qualified for the position. Perhaps it would have even been fine if the country wasn't in such a mess - Two wars, Economic downturn since the depression, Climate crisis, etc.

Remember twenty years ago, George HW Bush picked Dan Quayle who couldn't spell P-O-T-A-T-O. It didn't affect him from being elected. Then you have a President who's butchered the English Language so much which makes this writer cringe when she's subjected to listen to a so called "speech." But America said not this time! And John McCain should look in the mirror to see who's fault that was.

Obama draws first blood by picking "Rahmbo": I LOVED this pick. Rahm Emanuel is the right guy as Obama's chief of staff. The guy who's known in Washington as "Rahmbo" a take off the movie character "Rambo" for his volatile temper at times - he's not afraid to use all sorts of bleeps in talking to Washington insiders or his infamous dead fish incident sent to a pollster whose work he disliked. Did I say I love this guy?

Rahmbo is full of complexities (as most of us). After all, this was a guy who got college scholarship from being a classically-trained ballet dancer. But he also joined the Isreali Military to defend the nation. Hmm, a guy who can dance and fight at the same time - my kind of guy :-)

Anyway, some folks on the right feel like this move from Obama doesn't fit the "no drama Obama" motto but I (and Obama) say, you need someone who gets the work done. Other folks both on the right and left have praised this pick. And say what you want about Rahmbo, you can't say he's not brilliant. He, along with Howard Dean was responsible for getting the House back to the Democrats in 2006 and keeping it that way now.

And give it up for Obama for being so secure in who he is that he doesn't care about the candidate's baggage as long as he or she has the brilliance to do the job. Besides, just like I begged on this blog for Joe Biden before he was picked for VP, I'm so glad for the Emanuel pick. You can talk "change" all you want, but you need some insiders who know the game to bring about the change we all need.

Tags: Sarah Palin as scapegoat, Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff, President-elect worldwide celebration

I Wish I Had a Guest Blogger

Hello Readers! As you might have noticed, I'm not blogging as frequently (again). As usual, life happens. But I've been thinking that this blog will go on as usual if only I have a "guest blogger" for those times I need to take time off. Yes I have a penchant to control my work because in the end, it reflects me. This was one of the reasons I didn't consider a guest blogger from the start.

However, I thought to myself what if I could trust (a feat hard for me to come by) this guest blogger to give provocative, informative and yet entertaining posts every now and then. That way I can "unplug" to focus on other aspects of life and come back with some new juice.

I'm picky; the blogger got to have decent writing skills and be well read or informed. I've seen some blogs out there and they can't hold my attention to the next paragraph (I'm just saying). So until I find this blogger, please bear with me not seeing the quantity of posts but rest assured, the quality of posts will remain.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lighter Musings on President-Elect Obama

Can I just say this? I couldn't find any available newspaper yesterday as a momento for Obama's historic victory. I went to six different places and there were no (nada) papers. Even a box for the local papers was empty.

Now I've got to rely on Time, Newsweek magazines for my keepsakes. Also, did anyone notice folks have been nicer these past two days? I mean people literally smiled and said "hello." I felt I was in Disney World.

How about Michelle Obama's dress that night?

The dress is generating a lot of buzz. Some folks didn't care for the Narcisco Rodriguez dress for the oh-so stylish future first lady. For me, I must say I had a lukewarm attitude towards the dress. That's because I don't care for prints as much even though I've been thinking of one day taking the leap especially for my height (just like Michelle's who's about a couple of inches taller) who could take the risk.

So I admire Michelle taking the fashion risk in both wearing a different designer and style; that's what really makes you a style icon.

Tags: Red and Black Dress on Michelle Obama

Musings on Obama’s Victory

I’ve been in a surreal state for the past two days. Barack Obama as the President-Elect had to take some time for such feat to sink in my psyche even though I told a relative a couple of days prior to November 4th, that an African-American President for me, was not a far-fetched idea.

But I stayed on even-keel temperament after I cast my vote last week – my thoughts were I didn’t want to raise my hopes too high so I don’t become disappointed. I told an Aunt my young brain couldn’t take another presidential defeat for my said candidate that I’ve been subjected to for eight years.

After Obama’s victory, I thought to myself about my temperament in the past week and my average expectations. I wondered if people like me, especially African-Americans are so used to disappointments that they try not to dream big.

Don’t get me wrong; I had a quiet hope that Americans would really make the intelligent decision and stop trying to have a President they would like to have a beer with but someone who will inspire and perhaps, aspire them to their best selves. This was one of the reasons I was encouraging folks to vote and making the case for Barack Obama to one of my Latino friends who was still undecided on the eve of the election.

Since that fateful election night, I knew America made the right choice. The last time I saw people dancing in the streets in my neighborhood was after the Miami Heat’s NBA championship in 2006. So to see such jubilant expression for a presidential candidate was truly overwhelming.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Give It Up For Hope

America has lived up to her promise! All men are created equal and we showed that by electing the first African American President - Barack Obama. I'm at a loss for words right now to justify how I feel about this seminal moment.

I just want to say thank you to the American people. Thank you for choosing hope over fear.

Tags: Barack Obama Elected President

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Musings About My Hair

Two Saturdays ago, I did something I've not done in 16 years - I stopped putting relaxer in my hair. Now I know I have readers who aren't black but oblige me for a few minutes. Only another sister knows what a black woman goes through with her hair. And since I've had some torturous experiences with my hair from a little girl whether through hot comb from my Mom when they took me to the Motherland - their country which made her out of sorts with what to do with with my hair.

Then we found a way to get it done right but based on my Dad's job, we moved a lot, which made me have adventures not just in culture shocks but in hair-raising experiences. I remembered when I was ten years old, a woman braided my long locs so hard I couldn't sleep during the weekend. I was more than willing when my mom decided to cut the whole thing off. That began my scissors-happy adventure with my hair any time I got in a bind.

But I didn't cut the hair only as rebellion but when most folks don't know how to handle your "unique" head of hair, you lose faith. I can go on about various adventures. I remember one of five years ago when my hair stylist wasn't available but told one of his colleagues to take care of me when I showed up for the appointment. I knew something was wrong when the guy kept going inside to find yet another product to tame my hair. Then I looked in the mirror and this brother kept putting more oil on the already greasy-laden hair but with no gloss. My oily face was showing signs of not my internal oil glands but the one coming from a can.

I was so mad when I left the "chic" salon, I didn't give the guy the regular generous tip I leave for my stylist. So we've gone five years and I still have ups and downs with the way I want my hair to look. I thought to myself over that weekend - why not natural? What! I put relaxer in my hair in the first place because of all the stuff I've gone through; thinking it will be a better manageability.

After debating with myself, I finally had the gots to take the leap. I went to a "hair cuttery" salon and asked for a black stylist. When the stylist came, I took off my hat and told her what I wanted done by cutting my hair way short and taking off the hair color experimentation I did in April. It was an emotional experience as the layers of hair kept falling off. Afterwards, I looked like a different girl in the mirror - one ten years younger and the lady smiled and said "to new adventures." "Thanks" I replied.

But I've had to do some crash training on maintaining this new (natural) head of hair. I spoke with a friend of mine over the weekend about my new look and I was so happy when she sent this link called "urbancurlz" via e-mail. Paul McCartney was right - "I get by with a little help from my friends." I've devoured the website for 15 minutes and I will be a frequent visitor as I face the new adventures with my hair.

Tags: Black women's hair

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cholera Outbreak In Zimbabwe

I know we (Americans) are so focused on this election that sometimes we might get insular, forgetting what's going on in other parts of the world. But I would like to divert your attention just a bit in an effort of joining some other folks in the blogosphere to shed light on some human condition once a month (it might be more on this site). The issue I'm shedding light on is that of cholera which is claiming lives in Zimbabwe.

Many might have known of the country earlier this year through the country's contested elections from the regime of Robert Mugabe (the dictator). But what I find appauling is the disease taking the lives of people is not getting the same attention. According to some doctors in the area, cholera has already taken 120 lives and the number keeps growing. Zimbabwe authorities claim they've treated 500 people.

But to this writer, I say you cannot just focus on the cure when major steps in prevention by fixing the collapsing sewage system would save more lives. This is a domino effect since the water shortages will lead to starvation and later, death.

I hope with this little spotlight, more officials will take heed and lend a helping hand to the country of Zimbabwe.

Tags: Cholera in Zimbabwe

I'm Having Election Fatigue

It’s eight days before the election and in biblical terms, eight signifies the number of new beginnings. Well, I hope our nation will really have such new beginning by voting for the right man for the job (in my opinion, Barack Obama) but in the meantime, it seems like dog years to get to November 4th.

I’m getting restless with this election and maybe because it also falls around my birthday and I would like to spend my time on what to do in the next phase of my life than listen to another “I approve this message” and other clich├ęd election terms. So I reflect on the longest election season I’ve ever been a part of, I would like to say things about it I will not miss:

CNN’s John King’s psychedelic election map: I thought I was the only person paying attention to John King’s fascination with his electronic toy called the map but I busted laughing last Thursday when I saw SNL spoofing what I’ve been thinking for months – Enough with the hypnotizing red, blue, pink, grey colored map!

Shouting Pundits: In all my years (though light years) of observing politics, I have never seen such passion or feistiness from pundits that resulted in shouting matches. OMG! I felt like telling some of these pundits “we are not deaf but your shouting matches made us wish we were.” Honorable mentions with the eardrums splitting are most folks at Fox News i.e. Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

Buzz-Killing Words: Oh there are so many but let me oblige you with those words: battleground states (Florida, Nevada, etc), Bradley effect, hockey moms, soccer moms, Wal-Mart moms, working-class, and middle-class.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck of The View: Now I think it is necessary to have a “conservative” voice on the view but my God, Hasselbeck has ignited some unnecessary sparks in her defense for the Republican party and her dislike for the Democratic party. It is okay to criticize your party every now and then but not so with Hasselbeck; she will find the good for a Republican but not so much for a Democrat.

Keith Olbermann and his “special comments:” I’m an equal opportunity girl and just like I had a problem with the conservative Hasselbeck; I have a problem with the liberal Olbermann. Now I like Olberman and I get he’s trying to channel the late great Edward Murrow by his “good night, good luck” sign off but come on, you’ve got to be balanced. Olbermann has made it mission to go against Fox News, or as he calls the network “Fox Noise,” or “Fix News.” And his viewers know his on-going feud with “Billo” (Bill O’Reilly) but this viewer would like a day when I don’t have to hear Fix News or Billo, or another “special comment.” The news will be just fine – well, I can only hope.

Race in the race: Yeah you read that right. It’s the issue of race in the race to the white house. I feel in almost two years of watching this election I’ve had to listen to questions like “is he black enough?” “Will race affect this race?” and the like. Just last weekend I said to myself if I find another “race roundtable” discussions, I’m gonna scream.

What I found funny is that most of these questions were coming from white pundits. Seriously, how could four white people gather around an oak table on some of these political shows (i.e. Meet The Press) and they are talking about race? Where is a person of color? I understand you can’t get the go-to black pundit (Donna Brazille) all the time but there are others. I wish Tim Russett was still alive. If those race discussions were going to be brought up, there will be PBS Gwen Ifill or NPR Michelle Norris to balance the table. I’m just saying.

Pandering from the candidates: Have there been another election season that had this much pandering? Examples: Hillary Clinton taking shots of whiskey showing is “one of the boys,” Obama going bowling (note to Barack: stick with basketball), or McCain with his incessant “Joe the plumber” to show he relates to the middle-class (in what world?)

Preachers in politics: Now I get preachers are citizens too and they have freedom of speech. But there is something called separation of church and state. This election season has brought about preachers who almost derailed a candidate’s presidential campaign. In Obama’s corner: Rev. Wright, Father Pfleger, and Rev. Jesse Jackson. In McCain’s corner: Arnold Conrad, John Hagee and Rod Parsley.

So the aforementioned are just some things I will not miss as this election season comes to a close. But it was a fun ride and I must say by channeling one of an old times variety show signoff: I’m so glad we had this time together.

Tags: SNL, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Keith Olbermann, John King

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Misery At Florida Polls

To "early vote" or not to early vote, that is the question? For the past few days I've been trying to do something I've never done when it comes to voting; do it early. But doing so, I've found comes at a huge price. Am I able to wait for four hours to do my civic duty? I get it more than most Americans since I've been to other countries where citizens spent a whole day or two to cast a historic vote from a military regime to a civilian one.

But when you have only an hour of free time to cast this significant vote, it becomes a problem. So for four days I've been checking out the early voting locations close to me and as usual it's long lines across the building. This afternoon, after meeting with some friends for breakfast, I decided to take a trip to the closest early voting site. OMG! I couldn't find a place to park, NONE! There were cars on the grass, across the streets, over three buildings parking lots and across other people homes. To get through the fleet of cars was an experience.

So I decided to go further to another public building, about a 20 minutes drive and I thought it was better. Well it was, I found a place to park but when I walked further, I saw the lines. There's no way I'll be done voting in an hour.

It's amazing this was a subject of discussion at breakfast this morning. Florida 2000 recount is still VERY fresh in our minds and we're hoping we don't experience the same thing with all the trickery at the polls. Voters have been delayed more than usual in the past week for faulty equipment (which was fixed). And I have a problem with using the third different kind of voting system in eight years.

But I believe in the democracy we have in voting and living in this great country we call America, I hope there is a better and more efficient way of keeping our democratic system relevant.

Tags: Early Voting,Florida Voting System

Condolences to the Hudson Family

There are no words for the horrific actions that befell Academy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson and her family. Hudson lost both her mother and brother in a senseless crime due to an apparent home invasion. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Tags: Jennifer Hudson, Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Elitism Debunked

I would like to say I like elitism. If I get in trouble, I would want an elite lawyer like the late Johnnie Cochran (RIP) or the fictional, Alan Shore (of Boston Legal fame). If it is a brain surgery that's needed, get the elite surgeon of them all, get Dr. Ben Carson. The same goes for the Navy Seals; you don't hear them being called "mediocre" seals but the "elite" seals. What about our Marines? They are "A Few Good Men" or "The Few, The Proud, The Marines." That sounds quite elite.

So imagine my surprise this election season when Sen. Barack Obama referred to as elite because he drinks lattes or tries to eat healthy. Seriously, a guy raised by a single mother who at one time depended on food stamps go on to Harvard and became the school's law review first Black President. When he was criticized about a car he drove being a gas-guzzler, he changed it to a more efficient-mileage one. And did I mention he has but one house.

Now compare him to Sen. John McCain, who is called "NOT elite." He came from a family with a good pedigree, married a heiress, who wore a $300K thousand outfit to the RNC convention (but told folks not to criticize her wealth) has seven (or more) houses and 13 cars but the black guy is the one who's "elite?" Is there something I'm missing here?

What brought this post up you might ask? Sarah Palin! Palin and the $150K she and her family were endowed for wardrobe choices in the past seven weeks. Who's elite now? Can I just say, Michelle Obama wore $148 black and white dress on the View that became a fashion sensation, a GAP dress on the campaign trails that got a shoutout from Vogue and for her speech at the DNC convention, the dress was about $700 NOT $300K (Three hundred thousand Dollars) as Cindy McCain.

It's nice to look good but as a fashionista myself, I can tell you it is OUTRAGEOUS to spend $150K for fashion in this economic downturn especially when you call yourself just your "average hockey mom." You gotta be kidding me! Part of the $150K was used for hair and makeup consultations. Seriously, what's the big deal with putting your hair in a "beehive" or letting it down that cost almost $5K?

This is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong! Just like I had a problem with Sen. John Edwards with his two haircuts costing $400 each while he preached he was just a son of a steelworker, who loved eating at Wendys, and wanted to see poverty abolished, this action from the RNC camp doesn't live up to the narrative.

Tags: RNC Shells $150K for Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin fashion, Elitism

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vote In The Box

My lighter side - Check it out:

Tags: Vote In The Box, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel