Sunday, May 31, 2009

Today's Black Male/Female Dynamic: What's really going on?

This entry is in regards to something that I've noticed for a while, but failed to speak on previously. Maybe it was because I didn't want to see a problem, or possibly because I thought it was no big deal & that it wasn't that prevalent. However, recent events and observations have me rethinking that, so I have to talk about it.

IMHO, there seems to be a decline in the level of respect shown to black women by black men. (Now, before I go further, let me say that I am in no way saying that the level of respect for our males is up to par either; however, being that I am not on the receiving end of that, I cannot speak on it as I can this issue.) Some of the comments that I've heard & read from black men concerning black women are truly disconcerting. From crude, degrading and unwanted commentary concerning physical traits and sexuality, to actually assaulting (verbally AND physically) a woman for turning down advances... It makes one wonder what has taken place for so many of our young men to treat "their" women that way?

I question whether we, black women, have had a hand in this depletion of integrity in some of our men by not standing up for ourselves at the first sign of disrespect. And trust, this is not a case of someone pointing fingers. I know there have been times when things were said in my presence, about myself or about other women, that were out of line. I should have said something, let it be known that it wouldn't be tolerated. But I kept silent; even worse, sometimes I laughed just so I wouldn't cause a problem. Maybe I should have. Maybe someone should be willing to cause a problem to show what is and is not acceptable. Perhaps if someone had said, "That's not cool" and explained why, some young black man would think twice about the words he chooses to describe black women. If I'd done it, maybe I could have prevented something from being said or done by my male friends that another female found offensive.

And it could be that they are taking their cues from the way we treat each other. If we constantly tear down and berate each other, should we really be surprised when they do it? If we can't value ourselves, how can we expect them to do it for us? We should be more united than we are, which of course is easier said than done; but it's still necessary.

I am not absolving anyone of anything. Everyone has a decision to make as to their words, actions and attitudes. But the real question now--more important than the why of it all-- is what can we do about it?



There is so much more I want to say, but right now I just can't. There may be a Part II soon. I'd really like to hear feedback on this though.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"A Mile in My Shoes..." Guidelines & Suggestions

Check here if you have no idea what I'm talking about

I know it’s been a few weeks since I first presented the idea for my book, but I have not forgotten it and hopefully neither have you! Thank you to everyone who called, texted, or FaceBooked your ideas. You all have been a big help! I wanted to provide some suggestions for submissions as well as a few basic guidelines that I ask you to follow. First, the guidelines:

1. No copyrighted pictures, please (because I do not have any money for someone to try to sue me!)
2. If you submit a quote that is not original (meaning, you didn’t come up with it yourself) please advise who the quote is from so that we can give them proper credit
3. I don’t really “do” censorship, but you know when something crosses the line. So nothing too inappropriate, por favor.

Seriously, that’s it for the guidelines.


If you already have an idea for what you want to submit, great! I would love to have whatever you want to contribute. However, if you want to contribute but really don’t know what to do/send, here are a few suggestions for you:

1. Shoes that have meaning to you— The shoes you wore on your wedding day? The pair you wore when you shot the winning basket? Your baby’s first shoes? Send pix and tell me about them.
2. The shoes you could buy if money was no object—Which ones and why?
3. Love at first sight—Seeing that “it” pair for the first time
4. Too cute to wear—Those shoes that are gorgeous to look at but a PAIN to wear!
5. If you could only have one pair of shoes for the rest of your life… (pretty self explanatory, I think)
6. Back in the day—Does your mom, grandmother, great-grandmother, etc. have some shoes from way back when? Or have you spotted some elsewhere that you want to share?

Again, these are just suggestions. If you have something else in mind, or only want to contribute pictures or quotes, they are welcome! Also, maybe shoes aren’t your thing but you know someone like me who loves them; please ask for their participation. As I stated before, I am looking for diversity in my participants to get a broad spectrum of submissions.

You can email your submission to me at
shoechic09@yahoo.com. Please have your submissions in no later than Friday, July 31. Thanks again!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tori D. does VA

This time last week, I was nestled under an impossibly soft comforter and sheets at the Doubletree in downtown Richmond, hugged up on the Future Mr. watching Dane Cook.

Last Thursday I left Jackson to go visit Virginia for the first time. It was a combination present to myself for my birthday and visit to see Isaac graduate. For some reason I was really nervous boarding the plan, nervous in the ATL airport (which is HUGE, btw), just nervous period. The main thing I was stressing over was meeting his family. For me, that's a big deal because I don't try to get to know the family unless things are really serious. Anyway, I was a little on edge, but all of that melted away once I got to the Richmond airport.

I wandered around aimlessly for a minute, just following the crowd. Then I saw him standing there waiting for me. :) We hugged & kissed... did the playful/naughty touching thing in the baggage claim... Waited forever for a cab and finally split one with a really weird dude... "canoodled" in the backseat (really I just wanted to use that word LOL)...

By the time we got to his apartment, it was already Friday, May 15 and I was a year older. We talked and watched tv for a few minutes, and then... went to bed, cuz I was sleepy :) (There may or may not have been something going on before going to bed. Whatever you would do after not seeing your SO for months, that's what we did, kay?)

Friday morning we woke up and he made me his "famous" cinnamon pancakes. OMG they were delish!! And freakin huge! I couldn't finish both of mine, even though I wanted to. We both ended up with the itis and fell asleep again on the couch. When we did finally get up and decide to stop being lazy bums, we went out to tour VCU's campus and downtown Richmond. I loved the fact that there wasn't an actual campus per se, but the school is integrated into the city itself. It was a beautiful little area. I could see myself living somewhere like that. And if I did I'd probably lose a couple pounds (limited parking means walking almost everywhere). We thought we'd get to Maymont on Friday, but since it looked like it was about to rain, we headed back. After going grocery shopping and discussing the virtues of getting a puppy with the lady in front of us in the checkout line, my baby cooked me a salmon & rice dinner. It was delish. We had wine... but didn't have it. We forgot to get a corksrew so we tried to attack the bottle with a knife. Ummm, that didn't work. Then boo remembered that he had a corkscrew on his swiss army knife... But all it did was take a plug out of the center of the cork. I seriously considered breaking the neck of the bottle, but I thought that might seem slightly alcoholic of me. LOL We ate Italian frozen ice and these wonderful caramel macciato truffles for desert, then I fell asleep on the couch, lying in his lap while he watched TV. It was perfect :)

The next day we woke up pretty early because it was his graduation! Got up, showered, dressed; thought I would have time to straighten up before his folks arrived, but no! Before 8:30 they called saying they were outside. (Graduation was not until 10:00) Fortunately only his brother came in while we finished getting ready. I start sweating like I'm in a sauna, I'm so nervous. Meanwhile, he's laughing like he actually thinks it's funny. We get to the car & we do a brief introduction, not too bad... He and I catch a cab to get to the graduation venue (the coliseum or something?) and I wait around for his folks while he went to wherever the graduates were. When I finally met up with his family again, I was still a little nervous, but tried to hide it (dunno if I really did though). His mom asked a couple questions while we waited for the ceremony to begin, but it wasn't nearly the interrogation I anticipated. The graduation was nice. It took 40 minutes for all of them to walk in and be seated. The commencement speaker was short and pretty interesting. He did a little song at the end called "There Way" that was freakin awesome. LOL After the graduation we all piled into their car & went to eat at Famous ____ (Bob's? Dave's? Bill's? Something like that). Food was decent. It was fun listening to them talk, go in on each other, and watch them interact with each other. (I was slightly jealous of how they all joked around together; me & my mom do somewhat, but we could never do that with my dad... SMH).

We went back to his place for a brief moment until it was time for me and them to check into our respective hotels. My hotel, the Doubletree, was right around the corner from Ikey Baybee's place. Talk about niiiice! (And he got a good deal on it; W00t for online booking). We sat around for a while, then ordered room service. Frat was supposed to do something for his graduation, but when we arrived over there, nothing was going on and the liquor was GONE -_- We ended up going to another frat's house and watched a couple of them and some chick clusterfuck around in the kitchen to make spaghetti. Some other females came over; weren't Sorors so it didn't really matter much to me. (I know that sounds bad, but I'm actually a little antisocial) Eventually we dipped, went back to the hotel and called it a night.

Sunday we woke up later than planned. So late, in fact, that we barely caught his family before they returned home. But fortunately we did catch up with them (after they'd already eating a wonderful breakfast that they told us about all day LOL) and went to a mall. Didn't really do a whole lot of shopping. Got one pair of shoes at Macy's. (Pair of white Jessica Simpson pumps. They are freaking torture devices, but they are so cute! Too bad we don't have a Macy's here, because I would SO return them! They may be on eBay soon!) Grabbed a little lunch in the food court and that was that. They dropped us back off at my hotel and his brother, father & mother hugged me goodbye (his sister waved from the trunk LOL). We sat around for a while then decided to go to the bar while we waited for a cab to go to Priscilla's. After perusing the goodies there, we came back and grabbed some food, then just kinda laid around and chilled until Dane Cook came on. (I'm a really big DC fan, so I already knew that whatever we were doing would have to cease to watch him. I was slightly disappointed though. Funny, but not OMG, WTF?!?! funny like usual.)

The next day, we woke up fairly early (or, I woke up early and then moved around to wake him up), checked out, dropped my stuff off at his place and went to Aunt Sarah's (i think?) Pancake House. Oooh, the catfish & eggs was delish! (I'm such a fat girl lol) Left there and went by one of the bookstores to buy a long-sleeve VCU shirt since I was so ill-prepared for the sudden drop in temperature. Went back to his apartment where I preceded to cry like a baby because it was time to go. I was so tempted to not call the cab, to "accidentally" miss my flight so I could stay a little longer, but I knew I couldn't do that. He walked me out to the cab, put my bags up for me, and kissed me goodbye. I cried all the way to the airport.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We could've sat around all weekend doing nothing & I would've been happy because I was with him. This long distance thing is so hard, but it definitely makes you appreciate the time you have together. I cannot wait to see him again, and I'm certainly looking forward to doing VA again. :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Less Gut, More Butt Challenge Finale

Soooo, this is a carry over from one of my old blogs, Less Gut More Butt. I was supposed to lose 30 pounds By May 15 (my birthday).

Uuuhhhh, I failed on that. Miserably. I am STILL at the same weight I was when I started in January. Yup, after all this time I neither gained nor lost anything.

I'm not about to stop trying though. I'm thinking about getting a trainer to figure out a workout plan custom fitted for me. And even though I've fallen off as far as watching my carbs and fried food intake, I gotta start back monitoring that again.

In the mean time, I am gonna get chewed out when I go back to the doctor. My appointment is in a little over a week; there's no way I will lose the 20 lbs. I've gained since I saw her last year. She will definitely fuss, but it is what it is.

Off topic, but not really: Today I realized I have something against skinny folks. LOL Not the ones who work out to stay skinny, but the ones who eat more than me & eat all the "wrong" things but still don't wear anything bigger than a size 8. I know it's completely irrational, but I almost feel like they're keeping some closely guarded secret to their skinniness. They know something I don't! AAARRRGGHHH! LOL Of course I know they can't help their genetic disposition to be skinny, just like I can't help mine to be fat. But dang it, that's how I feel!
J/K my skinty friends :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

No, We Don't All Shuck & Jive

Today was the second time in about three weeks that I have been approached by a middle-aged white woman inquiring if I would do the Stanky Leg for them.

I wish I were joking, but I am not.

I think I may be hypersensitive to racial issues and tension, being that I grew up here in Mississippi and have seen a lot, even in today's "progressive" stage. I work with many people who are openly hostile towards Black coworkers. I have heard disparaging remarks from people who did not know that a "nigger" was in earshot. I have been told to my face that I was a lesser, inferior being and that I was useless in the grand scheme of things (unless, of course, I was fortunate enough that a white man wanted me to lay on my back for him). So yes, I am a little defensive when it comes to what I perceive as even subtle racism.

I really wanted to ask, "Why are you asking us [I was with two other black women] to do it?" There was a group of similarly aged white coworkers sitting near us. They were spouting off all the hip-hop they knew, showing their "cool." They have heard the song and seen this dance, even said this themselves. So why turn to us for your little song and dance? I mean, did they think I was there to put on some kind of minstrel show for them? Was I supposed to jump up and say, "Why sho boss ma'am, lemme show ya this here stanky leg," and proceed to shuck and jive, ending with flourishing jazz hands and a flashing a grin that showed all my teeth?

Of course, it may have just been an innocent request. She may have just ASSumed that since we were young and black we were more likely to know the song and therefore know the dance. And I guess some part of me can understand that. At the same time, why not assume the others knew it too, considering she said that her 11-year-old daughter listens to the same music?

Anyway, I denied knowing the dance (I do actually know it, but I'm a horrible dancer) and went back to my conversation. And as I stated, it may not have even been meant like that. But still, I stand firm in my affirmation that I am an uppity negro who will not shuck and jive for anyone.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"10 reasons why 'America's Next Top Model' is bad for women, humans"

by Jennifer Romolini, Shine staff, on Fri May 15, 2009 7:05am PDT

As anyone who reads this blog is aware, I am a massive America's Next Top Model fan. Through the years, my love for this show has known no bounds-- I've followed ANTM the way some folks watch a favorite sports team, even once suggesting we start an ANTM fantasy league (but then I realized just how little I understand about sports when someone--cough! my husband! cough!--pointed out that this would be impossible). I've been right there with Tyra through all 12 cycles, through the makeover tragedies (white girls with weaves!), the bizarro judges' skits (Temple of Tyra, anyone?), the increasingly far-fetched photo shoots, the cruel and unusual panel judging, the inevitable "hot tub with boys" scandals, the flesh-eating viruses, the in-yo-face catfights, and even the sitting on elephants while suffering from the flu.

But this season the show started to lose me. Suddenly everything that was once campy, offbeat, and fun, felt cheap, depressing, and a little embarrassing too. Once it was over (the finale was Wednesday night) and I really sat down and thought about it (which perhaps one should never do with a reality show, but--oops--the damage is done), I knew that I can't look the other way/smile with my eyes at the following 10 problems anymore.

1. Let's just say it: The show humiliates and degrades young women
I was going to search the deep recesses of my Top Model archive for the perfect example of a belittling challenge, but lo! ANTM gave me one just last night. Did anyone catch the fashion show? Can anyone tell me why a made-for-TV fashion event (ie not real) has to involve the models writhing around, on the ground, in what looked motor oil? In addition to this creepily sexual mud fight, the final two contestants, Allison and Teyona, were made to wear bikinis so skimpy that the producers had to blur out Allison's butt cheeks. When it came time for judging, this year's winner Teyona--still clad in that itty bitty bathing suit, though mercifully wiped clean of the black muck--was commended for taking her weave in her hand and whipping it around on the runway like a sexy feather boa. Tyra called this "fierce," I call it "insane-person-looking." Thing is, I understand that humiliation is part of the reality show game, my real problem is how the hosts are always espousing empowerment and female strength and then forcing the contestants into embarrassing scenarios far outside the realm of real-life modeling. It's lame.

2. Let's stop already with the big Top Model lies
There's very little chance that a severely burned person, a fat woman, a girl with a penis, a non-Amazon, or someone older than 22 is going to break into the modeling industry. Period. Let's stop blaming these poor girls for "not wanting it bad enough" or "getting in their own way" and admit that they're on the show because it's more interesting to say "Tonight on America's Next Top Model: A woman who's a man!" than "Here's another girl who's pretty!" No one is fooled by this stunt casting. In fact, it seems like it hurts people.

3. The show promotes clich├ęd, outdated stereotypes of gay men
Has anyone else noticed this? The homosexuals on this program range from flaming to...INFERNO! Seriously, consider for a second Mister Jay's over-tanned, over-groomed, Queer-Eye-from-another-planet persona. On the other side, we have Miss Jay's over-the-top queenie, circus show antics. They're like the gays you'd pick to put on Noah's Ark. This is what gay people look and act like (say in robot voice). Sigh.

4. And it promotes racial division
Yes, it is possible, like some kind of reality TV version of West Side Story, that all of the black contestants on ANTM only want to hang out with other people of color and that the white girls only choose to stick together, too. And it's possible that, without producer prompting, nearly every season there's at least one mega-ugly argument in the house about race and who is or isn't a racist. But it seems awfully fishy to me. More likely, the producers exacerbate these conflicts, edit them so they seem more heated, and promote the heck out of them in sound bites, teasers, and clip shows all season long.

5. Dear ANTM: You have yourselves a socioeconomic problem
You know how in judging Tyra often critiques one girl's clothes and then praises another's? You know how the critique is always really cruel and cringe-inducing, like watching high school mean girls, except on stage? Well, this is big problem that has nothing to do with personal style: Some of those girls can afford nice clothes and some of them can't, and, unless the ANTM producers are willing to dress them or provide each of the contestants with the same clothing allowance, the quality of what they wear to judging just can't be a factor. It's prejudiced against people who don't have money and it's not OK. Take Teyona, for example. After weeks of having her outfits lambasted, once she received a new wardrobe during the go-see challenge, she was praised for looking like a "real model." This may have helped her win the competition. Not cool.

6. ...And perhaps cultural sensitivity issues, as well!
Where to start here? With the fact that Tyra announced the contestants' trip to Brazil by having a half-naked PORTUGUESE man (it's just the same language, lady, not the same country) present her with Brazil nuts? Or that, upon arrival in Brazil, the girls headed to a busted shanty town and posed as the Chiquita Banana woman while flanked by stray dogs and poor kids?

7. What a "Top Model is"=total BS
There is a fundamental problem with this show: It lies about what a model needs to be. Most successful models don't talk much. They don't have to act, they don't all have to shill for American beauty brands, and they don't have to be in commercials. I get that part of the ANTM brand is this CoverGirl contract, but every time a judge tells a perfectly good model that she's not Top Model material, I die a little inside. It's also a bad lesson to teach to the world: You have to be good at everything or you're useless.

8. This is best evidenced by Top Models In Action/My life as a Cover Girl
True fact: None of Tyra's Top Model picks has gone on to any kind of significant success as a model. One of them (Naima), actually worked at a coffee shop near my Brooklyn apartment. Have you been watching poor McKee's "My life as a Cover Girl" series? Not to be mean, but it looks more like "My three hours as a Cover Girl." The Girl is in one fashion show! Even Whitney had a better "life"!

9. And the reason for all of this is: They seldom choose the girl who looks like a real model and actually has a shot in the world of real modeling. Which makes the show kind of a sham.
Here are just three examples:
Anya over Whitney (Cycle 10)
Mercedes over Yoanna (Cycle 2)
Yaya over Eva (Cycle 3)
Each of these non-winners had a better chance at being models than the ones who were ultimately chosen. Judges like Janice Dickinson understood this. Which leads us to...

10. Last, the Tyra butt-kissing is bad for everyone
Imagine how cool it could be if the judges were ever allowed to disagree, if there was actual dialogue about each model's performance and actual insider information about the industry that didn't solely come from Tyra's point of view. A more diverse dynamic might create an interesting program about modeling, the way Project Runway is a fascinating program about fashion design. What we have now is a massive diva/demigod and a bunch of puppets who laugh at all of her jokes, jibe with all of her bad decisions, and go along with each of her increasingly weird and degrading shenanigans. The only two people I have ever seen challenge Tyra--Janice and Paulina--were both fired. So there's that.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/10-reasons-why-americas-next-top-model-is-bad-for-women-humans-462488/

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No Wedding After Bedding?

This post is prompted by the lecture that my parents have been regurgitating repeatedly over the course of my teen years, and especially leading up to my trip to Virginia tomorrow. (It's a little scattered but bear with me; I'm trying to write, pack, do another facial & make sure I got all my ish together for tomorrow.)

They are thoroughly convinced that no man will ever marry someone who he's already had sex with. to me, this is absolutely preposterous, but they really believe that. Now, considering their ages, maybe that was true back when they were looking for someone. Of course I know people were getting it in back then without getting married. Recently I've been finding out that many of my uncles have children outside of marriage that I've never even heard of. These baby mommas were put away, never to be heard of, while they married other women who they may or may not have been with before they said "I do."

But nowadays? I mean, think about it. I won't lie and say "everyone's doing it," because I have good friends that are holding out (and KUDOS to them!). However, many many people are indeed sexually active with their partner before getting married. Notice I said BEFORE, meaning that the marriage did come. And if no one is marrying after they get the draws, how come I keep getting wedding invitations from folks I KNOW were sexually active? Can't fool me!

Now I know there are other "reasons" for not having premarital sex. Fornication's forbidden, prevent STDs, no unwanted pregnancy, yadda yadda yadda. However, to present this archaic idea as a reason that someone should abstain? Not working, at all.

So what do you think? Is there more of a chance that a guy will marry the girl he's never had? Would guys prefer virgins? How many women would want a "pure" husband (or one that she's never taken for a test drive)? I'd love to hear your answers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

E-xhibitionist

A lil something I wrote a few months ago... I'm sure I was supposed to be doing some homework or something...

I’m an e-xhibitionist
But i need my privacy
Got my whole life on the internet
But good luck finding me
I’m on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter
Message boards and Blogspot
And I’ve registered for various sites
That I easily forgot
But everything’s set to private
What’s behind the screen name is just a guess
You’ll only see the pseudonym
Unless I get a friend request
You gotta tell me my real name, favorite color,
How old I was when my dog died,
And even after all that
You still may get denied.
I want to share my world with everyone
“Everyone” being just a few
I’m an e-xhibitionist
But who the hell are you?

Quote(s) of the Day

This morning I was trolling ThinkExist.com for an inspirational quote to place on Twitter when I came across several quotes by Morrie Schwartz. I was so impressed with these quotes that I had to find out who this person was. Turns out, this was the guy that Tuesdays with Morrie was based on. (I guess I'm late in finding that little bit of info out, huh?) He was an educator (taught Sociology at Brandeis University) and apparently had a great impact on many of his students and colleagues.

Anyway, here are a few of the quotes I came across that I just had to share:

The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.


The little things, I can obey. But the big things - how we think, what we value -
those you must choose yourself. You can't let anyone - or any society - determine those for you.


So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even
when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're
chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote
yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and
devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.


Learn how to live, and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll learn how to live.



Monday, May 11, 2009

I'll Always Love My Momma

She's my favorite girl...

(So I'm a day late. Big whoop; wanna fight about it?)


This is a pic of me and my mom taken last year (she's not big on taking pictures). Over the years she has become one of my closest friends. We joke around, shop together, talk about (almost) everything. Earlier in my life, I wouldn't have thought that out of all my sorors, friends, cousins who are around my age, etc., that she would be the one I'd always turn to. Of course it makes perfect sense now, but when you're younger, you don't really think of your mom that way. Or at least, I didn't.


I am really grateful that I have such a strong, smart, sweet woman to model myself after. This is the one woman (well, one out of two; the other being my Big Momma) that I will go to war for without a second thought. Whenever I make it big, I'm going to make sure she has whatever she desires and some, because that is what she has always done and continues to do for me.


Okay, time for me to go. I'm getting emotional.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Did you know?

I love finding random bits of info like this. Enjoy!


"Not All Women Hate Their Bodies"

Ran across this article while killing time at work on ModernMinority.com. I can't say that I am surprised at the findings, considering that I know I underestimate my size sometimes and would prefer being thick to being skinny or small. It was just an interesting little bit of info:

Overweight and obese women being treated at an inner-city family-planning
clinic apparently don’t assess their physical characteristics in quite the same
way that medical professionals do. They tend to like their bodies.

In a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of
Obstetrics and Gynecology, most overweight and obese women underestimated their
body size when comparing silhouettes of body shapes — and some of them chose
heavy silhouettes as their personal ideal.

Previous research had found ethnic differences in whether or not people
see themselves as overweight or obese. And this study confirms that African
American and Hispanic women are especially likely to underestimate their body
size. (The few white women in the study overestimated their body size.)

The researchers, from Temple University, are understandably chagrined
by all of this. They point out that the health risks of being overweight mean
women ignore reality at their own peril. And they say the findings show the need
for more education about the negative effects of “excessive body size.”

It’s true. Of course it is, but …

Physical self-appreciation among women is so very rare. Here’s hoping
that the education doesn’t actually do damage.

– Tami DennisSource: l
atimesblogs.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Imagine Me



I heard Kirk Franklin's "Imagine Me" on the radio while driving momma to lunch today and started boo-hooing out of nowhere. (Granted, it doesn't take much to get me teary-eyed.)


I've been so stressed lately with school & work, trying to figure out what's next with all of that, plus issues with family and my own personal issues... It takes a toll. Then I hear this song... and I cry because I imagine that I didn't have to deal with any of this... then because I wonder if I will ever get to the point that the song is about, where I do feel free and not hurting or depressed or anxious...

*sigh* Maybe one day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quick Vent

At first I decided that I would not get too personal on here. With the exception of this post and very few others in the future, I probably won't. But I'm upset and need to vent.

Tonight my father gave me the "No one will ever love you enough to not cheat on you" speech. Not the first time I've received such loving encouraging words from him either. (That was sarcasm, by the way) I try really hard not to let the BS he spews get to me, but stuff like that does. Like, in what remote section of his brain does he think that that's an acceptable thing to say to someone? And to say that to your own daughter, REALLY?!

And it's true, I've had some really fucked up relationships in the past, and a lot of them did involve infidelity. However, how could I have a positive relationship when I had a fucked up male figure in my life? The one that's supposed to help shape me and build me was and is constantly trying to break me down. And when I go against what I know and finally found someone who is great for me, I still feel impaired because I've internalized this garbage from my father without even knowing it.

Anyway, I know that I need to cut him out of my life for good. He brings nothing but negativity in my life and I'll be damned if I spend my entire adult life suffering through the same things I've been through as a child. Fuck that.

A Mile in My Shoes... And Her Shoes, Too

This is a re-post of a note I wrote on Facebook. It's concerning a project that I am getting underway. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback on the idea and some folks seem to be as excited as I am about it! But of course I could always use more. More details on this coming very soon!

Anyone that knows me knows there are two things I will spend my last dollar on: books and shoes. Well now I want to combine my love of the two by producing a book about the wonderful world of shoes. *grin* But I need your help!

In order to make this a success, I am asking for contributions from my friends and yall's friends too! Submit pix of your favorite shoes, shoes you would buy if you could afford them, quotes about shoes, a short paragraph on what makes a hot shoe in your opinion, ANYTHING shoe related! Heels, flip flops, ballet slippers, cleats, whatever YOUR style is, share it!

Please note: I could not tag everyone, but your contribution is welcome as well! AND guys, you can get your girlfriend/wife/sister/mother/aunt/grandma involved too! I want to include a wide spectrum of women in this book, so age and race are not important.

I will be posting some guidelines and suggestions soon.

First I wanted to get a general idea of who would be interested in participating in this project. I'm also open to suggestions, as this is my first time undergoing something like this. Thanks in advance to everyone who will make this publication a success!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Who Knew?!


http://www.modernminority.com/index.php/2009/04/26/who-knew-black-female-navy-admiral-thwarts-pirates/

While we were so focused on the captain of the U.S. cargo ship that was rescued from the Somali pirates, our attention was diverted from the very person that lead the charge to get him back to his family.

The Navy Times ran a story on Rear Admiral Michelle Howard who took command of the Navy’s counterpiracy task force only three days before the pirates attacked the U.S. cargo ship Maersk Alabama and snagged the captain as a hostage.
The U.S. Navy hadn’t seen this type of action in a very long time and piracy hasn’t been something the Navy has had to counter attack in over 100 years. Howard’s expertise and illustrious Navy career showed her to be the perfect person for this mission. She is the first female graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy to be promoted to Rear Admiral.

In the article, she said, ““Right now, the policy is, fight piracy, and I am all about that policy … We are quite capable of staying out here and doing this mission.”

Source: eurthisnthat.com

Friday, May 1, 2009

Repost from Myspace

Since apparently I cannot import my blog from Myspace, I'll be reposting some of those when I feel the need to add something but really have nothing to day. Tonight is one of those nights, so here ya go!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Current mood: content
Category: Life
Written by: Dana Orr


10. BE SELECTIVE IN FRIENDSHIPS.

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Friendship is not charity, it's a give-and-take relationship. Your friends should be people you love, admire and respect. Don't be afraid to expand, or change your circle of friends. As you get older, you may head in a different direction than those you once considered your 'best friends forever'. As you evolve and mature, you may grow apart from friends who no longer fulfill you - it's ok! Hold this person in your heart, but be true to yourself when devoting time, energy and emotion to anyone you seriously consider a 'friend'.


9. RE-INVENT YOURSELF WHEN NECESSARY.

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Self-reinvention is a way to constantly reflect and assess your goals and priorities in your personal, academic and professional life. The concept of self-reinvention allows you to reconsider your lifestyle and, at any given moment, change a particular course of action. The beauty of this process is that you don't have to beat yourself up about behaviour you consider undesirable. You should actually feel great that you have enough sense to realize the error of your ways (whatever they may be), and can spontaneously commit to change. Congratulations - you just solved a problem!


8. PROTECT YOURSELF.

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HIV/AIDS is the 1 killer of black women ages 19-27 in America . You are not corny or lame if you insist on an HIV test before having sex with someone. In fact, you're stupid to give up responsibility for your health and put your life in someone else's hands. Please DO NOT FALL FOR the age-old trick: 'Look at me - what am I supposed to do now?!' All men masturbate. Politely tell your partner that he should focus on 'self- love' until you're certain that he deserves to enter your temple.


7. JEALOUSY IS A WASTED EMOTION.

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People who love themselves and recognize their worth are unable to be jealous of others. Why? You should be so preoccupied with loving yourself and changing what you don't like, you have no time to worry about what others are doing. Being jealous of someone is a waste of energy. You cannot control other people and the choices they make, or the luck they have. Weak people let other's circumstances affect their self-love and/or self-worth. Resist the temptation to be envious, as it will get you nowhere. If anything, let other people motivate you to achieve certain goals for yourself.


6. CARRY YOURSELF LIKE A LADY.

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Embrace that which makes you a woman, and by all means, take advantage of the privileges that we have. Force men around you to treat you with the respect they would their mother, aunt or sister. Insist that your doors be opened for you, order your food first in a restaurant, and sit in the front seat if you are the only female in the car. There is nothing wrong with being 'pleasantly demanding'. Along with the privilege of womanhood comes a certain responsibility. Being a true 'lady' means you exhibit manners that would make your grandmother proud, your clothes are tasteful and appropriate for your age, and your hair and nails are always clean. These little things make a big difference in n how you are viewed by outsiders, and the quality of men that you attract.


5. KEEP UP WITH CURRENT EVENTS.

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Staying in touch with what's going on in the world is very important. Not only is it important to be aware of national and global issues, it makes you a lot more interesting to others because you always have something to talk about. It doesn't take much to watch the news, read the newspaper online, or buy an issue of TIME magazine or Newsweek. Don't forget - parents and teachers are a great source of information on current events, and would love to have a conversation with you about something 'serious'.


4. Travel.

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Do you have a passport? If not, get one. Before you are saddled with the responsibilities of a job and a family, take advantage of your freedom and travel. Instead of buying a new outfit, buy a plane ticket. See other parts of the world and observe other cultures. More importantly, have fun! Plan a trip with a friend to a social event in another city, a beach on an island, or a city in a foreign country. Capture your memories with photos or in a diary (or a blog). You will cherish them forever.


3. Be Proud To Be Black.

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Black culture and heritage is based on strength, perseverance, and rich talents. You should have an overwhelming sense of cultural pride - as black people, we are so very special. Don't EVER feel as if you aren't equal to another person simply because you're black. If you have any question as to the importance of black people to our society, or how smart, beautiful, talented, funny and fascinating we are, start reading. Watch old movies. Read plays. Go see plays. Buy tickets for dance and musical performances. Seek opportunities to study academic topics involving, or related to, black people. Talk to your relatives that lived through some of the historical events you've heard about. Get on the Internet and study people with whom you're familiar. Keep in mind, black pride doesn't mean exclusion of others. It is most impressive when you seek to educate other cultures about the beauty and greatness of being black.


2. Have a Cause.

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As long as you're here, it is your duty as a human being to help make the world a better place. Let your natural talents and passion lead you to an issue that keeps your attention, and to which you can commit your time and money. Get involved with groups that already exist. If your particular cause is new or unique, start your own group and make your friends join. Helping others is an easy way to feel good about yourself, and invest in the future of your community.


1. Love Yourself.

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This is 1 and most important, yet challenging, mission to accomplish. Self-love is critical to survival at any age, and may be quite a personal journey. Loving yourself means recognizing, developing and honouring a sense of self-worth. Loving yourself means you have zero tolerance for anyone or anything that doesn't love you and respect you. Loving yourself also means you must treat yourself well, simply because no one else will do it for you.

Quote of the Day

"Its never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot.

This is what I tell others; now I'm trying to make myself believe it!

What I Learned from My "Seven Habits.." Training

Gosh, that sounds so elementary! lol

Yesterday and today, instead of going to work, I was in a mandatory seminar on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I was pleasantly surprised as to how much insight was provided in those couple of hours. Of course I've heard of the book, but never bothered to read it because I assumed it was about time management or something along those lines. And although I could probably use help in that area, that really wasn't something I was actively trying to improve. So, I ignored it.

Fortunately, it was not about that. Instead, it was more about developing attitudes that facilitate success. But really, the main things that affected me were related, but didn't actually fall under the 7 habits teaching.

1. Getting out of our comfort zone. Jan, our trainer, was talking about how we chose how our day will be because we chose our reactions to the things that happen to/around us. She went on to talk about people who hate their jobs but stay there because they "have to" when, in actuality, they do have other options that they just refuse to take. She said that a lot of times people stay in a comfort zone (which is really quite miserable, not comfortable) because they know what to expect. Whereas, if they step outside of that into the unknown, they could be rewarded, but fear keeps them paralyzed. When I heard this, I was like "Wooow, this is exactly what I've been dealing with!" I thought, "Maybe I should just continue to work towards my MBA, even though I don't want to do anything related to business, since I got my Bachelor's in Business and I've already started by this path." But really that is fear talking. Fear that I may never figure out what I truly want to do, or that I may try it and either not be successful or not be as happy as I thought I would be.

2. Change your paradigm. I love the quote that she used (this course was full of wonderful quotes, which I love): "We do not see the world as it is, but rather we see the world as we are." Basically we relate to the world by our own experiences, so no two people will ever see things exactly the same because we have not shared the exact same experiences. So it pays to open up and be willing to see things from a different perspective in order to be successful in this life, and especially in relationships.

3. The five love languages. This is a different book that was mentioned in her teaching about interdependence. She was talking about personal relationships and how we relate to our loved ones when she brought this up. The five love languages basically talk about how different people interpret things as "love" or "I love you." Where one person just needs to hear it, another needs gifts to prove it. Another person needs physical touch to confirm that. Another person wants to be shown love by spending time together, and a different person by little things like helping around the house or washing the car. It was so interesting because even though we haven't done the little assessment, I could pretty much tell the categories in which my boyfriend and I fell. It was like a lightbulb: So that's why he...! Very insightful stuff.

There was actually a lot more that stood out to me from this training. Overall, I am glad that I had to attend. It gave me a lot to think about and pointed out a lot I need to work on. Hopefully this will be the start of some lasting improvements; time will tell.