Friday, April 24, 2009

Stop The Bullying

There is a disturbing trend going on in our schools and that is bullying students for looking, acting or being gay which has caused death in the hands of the perpertrators or the victims themselves by committing suicides.

I just don't get it, in both cases shown here the parents sought help but nothing was done. It seems the schools even with their "anti-bullying laws" don't have a strict way of dealing with bullies. Think about it, if a victim was been bullied for his race, there will be a serious "hate" outcry against the bullies but what about for those of a different sexual orientation.

Or they are not even gays, but these bullies just terrorize their victims for being "different" like the African-American kid Carl Walker was a boy scout, helped out at his church and dreamt of being President some day. All that snuffed out when the 11-year old boy couldn't take the bullying anymore.

The story was no different for Jaheem Herrara - a U.S. Virgin Islands native in school in Tennesse who was tormented daily with anti-gay slurs even though he wasn't gay (but so what if he was). His Mom complained to CNN's Anderson Cooper last night that the school did nothing. Now the mother has pulled her other children from U.S. Schools to relocate to her native home in St. Croix.

Something needs to be done. There's a great website dedicated to this issue called "Stop The Bulling Now." But all of us share a responsibility to break this silence because that could be our nephew, cousin, brother, or son. Let's kick these bullies out - lives are dependent on it.

Tags: Bullying

So We DO Torture; What a Surprise (NOT!)

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. Why are folks acting all shocked when the "torture memos" were released or how the Bush admistration concorted stories of keeping us safe.

Oh sorry, they didn't use the word "torture" as Dubya infamously said "we don't torture," no they use "enhanced interrogation techniques."

That euphemistic term really gets my blood boiled up as initial readers of this blog have found out. It is wrong, wrong, wrong to use torture. Don't call it enhanced interrogation techniques when there is waterboarding, walling, stripping with shock plugs to some private parts, sleep deprivation among other deplorable acts - that is TORTURE!

You know during the Democratic Convention in August, former President Bill Clinton (don't you love him) made this profound statement about how we deal with our National Security: that we are not to show the world the example of our power, but the power of our example. I doubt Darth Vader (I mean Dick Cheney) knows what that means when he's had some secretive stuff while in office like how in the world he could be the only one to remove his place of residence out of Google Earth. I'm just saying . . . and can he just disappear already instead of doing the undignified thing of criticizing the current administration left and right to anyone who will put a microphone in front of him.

So like I previously said, many Americans are so shocked and expressing their various "outrage" over these memos - whether for or against the release. And who better than to show these views than two of my fave guys on TV - Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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Don't you just love Shephard Smith (a former South Florida News Anchor)? Smith and Chris Matthews are the glimmer of hope for Fox News (I actually watch that network just to laugh, like after Pres. Obama clinched the win for Presidency - I know I need help)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
We Don't Torture
Daily Show
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Tags: Torture Memos

Be Right Back With My Post

Hi Everybody,

I'm working on my posts for this week; let's just say it's gonna be some "tortured" logic. I've had more than enough sleep for the day and I'm ready to unleash. Anyway . . . check with you later with my musings.

Monday, April 20, 2009

South Florida Musings

I want to talk about this region I've lived over the past decade - South Florida. It's been on my mind for a while to blog about the misconceptions, perception and perhaps some truth about the region which goes from Miami, Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach.

Up till a couple of days ago, anytime I have to do a transaction in other parts of the country and I give my address, the rep would like to engage in a little chit-chat about what it's like to live here. Even once when I was buying a computer for my Aunt who was just getting into the information highway, and gave the address. The rep was like "oh you're close to South Beach?" with awe in his voice. "Not anymore. I used to live ten minutes away from it though" I replied. "What was that like . . ." I laughed and told him SoBe (as we locals say for South Beach) doesn't have the same effect to us as it does to tourists.

Misconception 1: Not all Miami is South Beach. I want to scream everytime I'm watching a Heat game and the team is playing at home and one TV Commentator says "We're coming to you live from South Beach." No they're not! They're coming to you live from Bayside! Or from the Downtown Miami area. There's still a 15-minute to 20-minute drive (if no traffic - that will be answered prayer) to get to South Beach from the Arena. But I get the point; it makes it sound more glitzy to say South Beach than Bayside.

South Beach is only a few streets that connect together that make a whole bunch of guys lose their minds when they visit. You got Lincoln Road, Ocean Drive, what else Alton Road is not far off but folks actually live there than the bars, boutiques, night clubs and hotels.

Misconception 2: Miami is quite different from Miami Vice or CSI: Miami - A few times those TV shows got it right but there's still much more those shows don't show you. Like actual quiet places with real families and not models and actors. But the Bad Boys movie with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence was close to fact; they actually shot both movies in South Florida.

Misconception 3: It never gets cold in South Florida. Ok so we don't get brutal winters like Boston, Chicago or New York. But the weather can dip to less than 40 to 50 degrees from what you start with during the day. And as much as my friends up north say not to talk about our version of cold weather. Look, at least they get a season. It is so erratic down here during the winter that it sends a shock to your toasted system. That's why folks are always getting the sniffles.

Misconception 4: Only fun you can have is at South Beach. Then I'll say how limited. Like I said, South Beach is just a few streets. Why don't you go to Hollywood - Hollywood, Florida that is. Check out the huge Seminole Hard Rock Live and Hotel. You could almost get lost in there. Go there for a concert, improv, gambling (if that's your thing) or shopping.

And if that's not your thing, go to the Grove - Coconut Grove. It's like South Beach Lite; less rowdy.

Want more? You have to visit Las Olas -that is the upscale version for us locals who don't want to deal with the noise of South Beach but leave it to tourists to enjoy but now tourists are getting in on the secret. Yes, midnight is just like midday. If you're a small town person, please bring a person with you not to feel overwhelmed. You might be leaving at 2am and you see a throng of people just getting in trying to get your spot to park.

Then you have to go to City Walk in Palm Beach. It's a drive but so worth it. I spent a b-day a year and half ago one night and I will not confess when I got home. All I'll say is there was dinner, movie, a bit of shopping, site seeing and listening to local musicians

Misconception 5: Other than partying, there is no sophisticated "culture." - This is one of the things that get on my nerves when I visit other parts of the country and they ask where I'm from. I tend to dispel a lot of perceptions folks might have about me when they see me. There is an "enlightened" crowd, dare I say, "intellectual" crowd here also. We have one of the world's biggest book fairs - Miami International Book Fair, you have got to check out the "Design District" in Miami, or the Furniture district in Fort Lauderdale and DCOTA in Griffin.

Also, there's a politically active crowd in South Florida. How did you think President Obama won Florida? He and many Democrat Politicians spent A LOT OF TIME DOWN HERE LAST YEAR. There are great exhibits to check out, plays to see and South Florida has a thriving Native American community. Visiting the Indian Village would be an eye-opening experience about some history lessons you may not have read about this great people.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Disastrous Game

We (my family and friends) just finished watching the Heat and Hawks Game 1 and we are in the slumps right now. Gosh! What was that? So here I was planning the rest of my evening around this game at 8pm because this was supposed to be the GAME! A number four seed (Hawks) and the number five seed (Heat) team who are both evenly matched and the series could go either way. But what we got was a blowout (by almost thirty points). Did I mention this was the PLAYOFFS?

You know people are depressed because normally my cell phone would be ringing with some funny texts about some play or even after the win of the game. None came during or after the game and I didn't send any - why bother? This game was a dud!

I can't believe the Heat. I can't believe this is a Pat Riley orchestrated defense (none tonight) minded team. I can't believe this was a game by one of the superstars (D-Wade) in the league who might I add is one of the contenders of the MVP award. It was a sorry sight for all our eyes. The Heat was just lethagic, couldn't buy a basket and pretty much defeated long before the fourth quarter. I thought they might have been partying last night but one of the folks in the living room told me they had a curfew. So what was the problem?

I could count many . . . but I just want to forget this game ever existed and I hope the Heat team do the same and make a statement come Wednesday (I hope).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Propose To You . . . With A Fake Ring

Every now and then I come up on a story that makes me think of how I'll react in the same situation and blog about it here. One such story I read was: In this time of recession, more men are proposing with (gasp) Cubic Zirconia. Ok hold up! Has it got that bad now, that one of the most poignant parts of one's life - being proposed to has to be signaled with a fake (ok, imitation) ring?

Most friends of mine will tell you I'm not impressed by flash. I admit it takes a lot more to impress me. And I don't think you need to bankrupt yourself with an engagement or wedding when you need to think more about the marriage. But come on! This is hard to stomach; if you truly love someone, you will sacrifice and get a proper engagement ring. I don't care if it is a half or one carat you can afford. Get the real thing dammit!

I'm just saying . . .it reminded me of a peculiar family situation over a year ago. Somebody I know well proposed to a girl he's been seeing. So when I ask him, how was the ring? He told me he didn't give her a ring right then but wanted her to know she's the one. You know I took a semester of "Logics" in college and I think for an already extremely "logical" person like me, it makes me really confused when someone doesn't make sense.

You see, logics tell you, "if this condition, then that result." If you propose based on the love you have for her (the condition), the result should be a ring. And oh I made my point clear to this family culprit I love dearly . I was like "scuse me."He repeated what he said (I heard him the first time just wanted to be sure) Then I ask, why he proposed. "Because I love her" he said. "Will the love change in six months or more to save to buy a ring?" I asked. He got testy -"You know what Mo, not every girl is like you" (strike one). "That is for damn certain " I retorted (I can give it just as I take it.)

I've thought about that exchange after I read this article and though I may not agree (all the way) with the way my family member handled his proposal, I hold him in high regard because at least he chose to wait to give his fiancee the real thing instead of a replica.

I propose this question to the readers: Is it okay to propose with a fake ring (and may be wait for the real thing later) or wait and buy the real thing then propose?

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

Unless you're living under a rock, you have heard of Susan Boyle. The 47-year old unemployed (not anymore) who just because life killed a dream, still dreamed a dream even if she doesn't looked the part. OMG! That is a voice in that woman, who has become a global sensation in less than a week.

I recommend you watch the full-version (about seven minutes) video on You Tube. It makes you see this unlikely candidate and the audience's cynical reaction when she came out on stage, told the Judges (including the guy you love-to-hate Simon Cowell - though I love him) that she is 47 and would like to be a great singer like Elaine Page but she came from a village.

And while they laughed at her, she didn't care. What came to this blogger's mind was a scriptural phrase of "making herself of no reputation." So what they were snickering, in her mind (and before the performance she knew) she was going to rock their world. And oh she did! And not just the thousands in front of her but millions around the world (including yours truly) days later and counting.

The look on Simon's face was priceless! You don't see Simon really shocked by most things. He was just dumb-founded. Wake-up call people and the music industry that keeps reproducing the same tired images with little to no depth (drop a hit single and they are gone). Judge the talent, and the image will take care of itself.

And though I'm not in the music industry, life will teach you that you are judged by how you look sooner or later. But perhaps, Susan Boyle could give us another lesson to give folks a second look sometimes; you may find the best stories yet untold.

Tags: Susan Boyle

Friday, April 17, 2009

One of Those "Hairy" Weeks . . .

Noticed a trend here? Fridays I crash (figuratively speaking). But literally speaking, there's a small plane crash around my neighborhood just a few hours ago which made driving difficult (that is not a surprise in South Florida) but more difficult because of the smoky haze on the streets. My thoughts and prayers to the victims involved and the Fire Fighters who are doing the best they can at this time.

Well Happy Friday and it's been one of those weeks - extremely busy. Can I just say this? I'm so glad to be off high-heels for the weekend or the stylistic professional clothes and just kicking it in sneaks and tees. I'll peek into the office for a few hours later this evening but no one will look at me twice when I come in there in a more casual get up because I'm not supposed to be "on."

Now I understand why some folks are "shocked" when they get to know what I do for a living because I'm very comfortable being casual. I'm equally comfortable being "the fashionista" as some folks call me or the "recessionista" these days.

Speaking of being the recessionista, I showed my face in a hair salon after about 10 months three Fridays ago because this "accessory" called hair was bugging the living daylights out of me. So I needed to tame the beast. My hair stylist recommended a major hair cut instead of a trim and some heat that I wanted. After some give and take on why I needed this hair cut, I gave but told the Brother "don't make me look like a boy." "Mo-, you can never look like a boy."

I must say he did a great job, I wish he could show me how he used that flat iron (I'm yet to figure out that appliance). The hair was lighter and flowed even though it was much shorter. And I prefer my hair straightened. I think it fits my "edgy" persona and the hair held up in this crazy humid climate in South Florida. That is one thing I miss about living up north. When I go there for holidays, the hair rocks.

But then add stress on the job and unexpected events late last week into this week, the hair went back "curly" that when I showed up one morning into the office, one lady (black) was surprised how I could go from one extreme to the next and asked how I got my hair this way, my response: Water. She looked surprised and I was already being pulled about some situation.

Hours later she saw me in the ladies room and asked me to be serious with her about the hair because she knew there was no way I could see a professional in less than 12 hours of being in the office the previous night. I told her I was serious, it's water and conditioner with no heat (let it air dry), and oh "shea butter" so it goes back this way. My hair shows different textures depending on the climate, product or appliance.

What is it about black women and their hair that they are constantly over worrying about this thing called hair - no wonder it's a multi-billion business. The lady looked at the hair with a kind of longing look and just said (as if she's resigned to the hair she had)"it fits you." I laughed it off (I guess to put her at peace with hers) and told her this was my "lazy hair," I prefer it straight but it takes a lot of work.

And another thing about the curly look as my Aunt has said to me, I need to put some effort with putting on some makeup so I don't look too young in the workplace. Don't you just love family! They'll give it to you straight. Black women, find your (own) hair PEACE, I'm still working on mine but for the most part, I have a "whatever" approach to it (for the most part) . . . I just try to keep it healthy. Don't follow what the media says, a lot of those white girls have major extensions in their hair and you're breaking yours just to fit a certain image. Just do you and screw what anyone thinks of it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Good Friday!

Hi Everyone, and happy Good Friday. Though I'm not sure everything going on in our world really foster "happy" thoughts. But as some say, happiness is a choice. So here is one thing on my mind I want to hit on during this holy week.

Jesus, Interrupted: That title is that of a book by Bart Ehrman who was on the "Colbert Report" last night to promote his book. And I'm so glad Stephen Colbert gave him some grind about this book which conveniently gets released and promoted during a critical time for both Christians and Jews.

For those of you who didn't know, Colbert with all his brilliant satirical character is a real life Sunday school teacher. So he could hold his own in this complicated book we call the Bible and its central figure Jesus Christ. Well here's a clip of last night's episode:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bart Ehrman
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Ehrman's theory was that the Bible is a big fat lie and why it contradict itself. Granted, many folks use the Bible to fulfil their own lusts or selfishness. But just don't go ahead and say it is a lie when millions have placed their faith consciously on the teachings of the book for thousands of years.

Anyhoo, I'll get out of the way, the video was an intelligent conversation between two brilliant minds but I agree with Colbert. Erhman may get muddled up with the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and each of those disciples account of Jesus. But here's the thing, each of those guys related the story of Jesus according to the way each of them saw HIM. It doesn't mean they contradicted each other - they just focused on different parts. And that is my faith talk for a while . . .

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What Ever Happened To Calling?

I've wanted to blog about this particular musing for a couple of weeks and it is directed to our male counterparts. So here I was stumbling out of my place of work late one night to get home and crash. I flipped open my cell phone to turn on my usual silent ringer while at work when I noticed I had a text message.

The number from the text message was blocked but it was from some guy I don't know who said he got my number from somebody I knew and saying "I bet you can't guess who I am . . ." (No Negro or whoever you are, because you have your number blocked and this is not the first way to communicate with me if I DON'T KNOW YOU). Then this guy had the audacity to say on text to check him out online with his profile address.

"What the . . ." That's how I felt and I thought to myself what makes this joker think I'll be interested in him and he's starting on a bad note when he is telling me to check him out - BOY! And I use the term "boy" intentionally because though through this nameless guy profile address, I could see the guy was IN HIS 30s due to the smarty pants putting his birth year in the address. Seriously, when do you grow up to be a man and put away childish things?

It shouldn't surprise anyone that I never checked the profile - I AM NOT INTERESTED! But if I ever was, this guy would never get such intrigue from a person like me. You don't text a girl you want to get to know, you use text messaging as an extra incentive (not the MAIN SOURCE) for communication.

For example guys: Using a text to set a date (especially in the first stage of a getting to know you) - WRONG! Using a text after you've been on a date and just to drop a quick note you had a good time - CUTE! THUMBS UP!

Gosh! Whatever happened to chivalry. You know being the gentleman, doing something in a proper way like opening the door and not letting it slam in a girl's face as she walks behind you, oh this word called "etiquette." You are smart for doing so.

And going back to the "texting boy," as it ever occured to him there is an appeal when a girl hears a guy's voice. Perhaps I might think does he have an aversion to the phone because he has oh let's see a "Michael Jackson" type of voice - thumbs down unless you're singing. And I'm not saying you need to have a "Barry White" type of voice - though kudos if you do. Then I'll have to ask myself if he has that kind of voice because he has a face for radio. I'm just saying . . . But let me figure that out for myself.

In the meantime guys, go back to a simpler time. Understand that though we are modern girls, a lot of us still have vintage souls. Rediscover this genius invention by Alexander Graham Bell called the phone, it is still a very cool tool. Then from the phone, we can decide if we want to see you face to face, better yet, that's when you use this extra tool called the text - send us your picture so we don't get rude awakening. After the meeting, then you can text with a cute thought - we get to see another side of you. Now it's that so hard . . .

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why I Don't Facebook or Twitter

Just about a couple of months ago, I was engaged in a family discussion about "Facebook" and why most of them in the room were on it but I'm yet to join. Simple: I don't like showing my face! To which a person now like a brother (joined to the family by marriage) said - "Oh please, I bet if someone searches the Internet, they could find your picture." "Then they have nothing better to do with their time." I responded.

Besides, I only gave my picture for an article on the Internet because it was required. And what do I care, as some folks have said, my face changes depending on the hairstyle. I remember when a friend of my sister's said once the first time he met me "you look different from your pictures." I asked him after that question "was that a good or bad thing?" "Good thing" he responded. "Good answer" I thought and smart guy.

And I don't have much time to "update my status" as Facebook users seem to do. Since then Twitter has taken off and I have problems with that too because I DON'T LIKE BEING TRACKED! I was the person as a teenager who said if a guy gives me a beeper to track me, I'll drop him. That's how I see Twitter, "Right now I'm going to lunch at . . ." Who freaking cares?

Anyhoo, I never say never. I might join the Facebook craze soon (if I feel the need for it). But it will be at my own time . . . like I do everything else in life.

My "Summit" Musings

It's FRIDAY! And you didn't think I'll go away from this without my international musings about my comrades across the pond. So here are my thoughts about about the historical trip of the Obamas:
That is one telegenic couple if I must say so myself: Oh admit it! You were thinking the same thing when you saw that picture our first couple landing in London. That picture looked like something that could be in Vogue. Shucks! Too late . . .they've already been in Vogue.

As the British said: "They look like they could be in a toothpaste commercial." And you know some of the British should recognize folks in a "toothpaste commercial" because dental hygiene is not something they excel at - I'm just saying . . . have you seen their teeth? Cigarettes and liquor have done a number on those former baby pearly whites.

But I digress, about the Obamas - what a way to make an entrance. Let's here it for the first couple of cool!

The First Lady of J.Crew: J.Crew needs to kiss the ground Michelle Obama walks on for making their store one of the only ones relevant in this deep recession. Even a family member asked me last night if I've ever shopped at J.Crew because of the publicity this company is getting.

Checked out that cardigan on my left, that's from you guessed it - J.Crew, which made the site crash hours later and sold out in hours on the site along with the $158 skirt (also by J.Crew) worn with the cardigan.

This is not the first time J.Crew has been getting this kind of frenzy. It started way back in October (during the whole Sarah Palin $150K fashion-gate) and Michelle appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno where her whole ensemble was J.Crew for about $350.

According to reports, the outfit she wore that night in October saw over 400 percent hits on the Web than previously before Michelle wore the clothes and the company's stock (literally) has shot up over 10 percent. Did I mention we were in an economic downturn?

The Obamas Meet the Queen (and the Prince): Was it only me who got fed up of all the "etiquette" tips for the Obamas for meeting the Queen? "Don't extend a hand until she does." "Don't speak unless you're spoken to" "Don't hold her hand too longer than usual." Oh shut up! (that's how I felt).

Then the meeting FINALLY happened and it seemed to go well but then all hell broke loose about some PDA (Public Display of Affection for those of you not hip to the lingo) between Michelle and the Queen. What's wrong with embracing someone or just extending an arm as a form of compassion? It was as if the first lady committed the unpardonable sin. Oh Gosh! The news kept spinning until Buckingham Palace had to release a statement. Read that again, they released a statement about a PDA. You've gotta be kidding me!

Has it ever dawned on these "etiquette" police people that perhaps the Queen liked that someone showed her some PDA and not put her in this bubble she's been living in for over 50 years. That she could actually be a REAL PERSON! And according to reports, she extended arms first towards Michelle - the HORROR!

Now to some serious stuff, what was up with those PROTESTERS? I guess they've never heard the term "civil disobedience" by Henry David Thoreau which motivated folks like Gandhi and Dr. King. You can protest without being a nuisance like destroying everything in sight.

And another thing about these protesters, they all had different agenda why they were protesting. Some wanted to "eat the bankers," others were for "Palestines" and some were just there for show. Hel-lo, you guys need to get schooled on the act of protesting from one group - black people.
You fight for one common goal at a time: the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Education, Voting Rights, etc. Get the picture? So new rules to the act of protesting: New rules, unless y'all can agree on ONE THING to protest about so folks could hear you clearly, GET SOME REST OR GO TO A MEETING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU'RE PROTESTING ABOUT.