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