Monday, August 31, 2009

The fat girl says, "Uh... derrrr...."

Half a point if you said "Moo," I guess.

According to a study funded by funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Center for Research Resources, and the American Heart Association,

A new study finds obese people have 8 percent less brain tissue than
normal-weight individuals. Their brains look 16 years older than the brains of
lean individuals, researchers said today... "The brains of obese
people looked 16 years older than the brains of those who were lean, and in
overweight people looked 8 years older," [UCLA professor of neurology Paul]
Thompson said.

(See the article here.)

Now before I start, let me say that I am neither denying that this study is valid, nor am I saying that there is nothing wrong with being at an unhealthy weight. I know that is not true, and although I don't believe the lie that everyone is supposed to be skinny, I do believe that each of us has a healthy weight and we should strive for that. Regardless of if that leaves you wearing a size 6 or 16.

That being said, there are some points that make me believe this study may be flawed. One is the age of the participants. The article says that all participants were over the age of 70. I wonder what the findings would have been had the participants been in their 20s, 30s, 40s... Would the results have been the same, or is it possible that some of the more common causes of dementia and the like in older adults had a hand in the study?

It would also be interesting to know whether or not all of the participants had been smokers, drinkers and/or drug users (prescription or otherwise) at any point in their lives. What effect could these variables have had in the loss of brain tissue? According to various studies, we've been told that drugs and alcohol have a damaging effect on the brain. And from the long list of side effects rattled off at the end of prescription drug commercials-- as well as lawsuits resulting from various illnesses/deaths that have occurred from medicines-- it's not an unreasonable assumption that some medicines can have an adverse effect on the brain. And considering again that these participants were up in age, the chance that they are on at least one sort of medication is pretty high. Was that taken into consideration for this study?

Thirdly, I would like to know whether all of the participants were the same ethnicity. why, you ask? I assume the study used the participants' BMI as the determinant for whether they were obese, overweight, or normal. However, according to this recent article, the Body Mass Index may overestimate obesity in African-Americans. As far as I know, this is still being studied. However, if this is correct and the study used African-Americans in the study as "overweight" or "obese" based on BMI, the results would be skewed. Therefore I think it's important to know the makeup of the group of participants.

As a pretty smart fat girl with no apparent brain impediment, I have to give this new study a skeptical side-eye.

Your thoughts?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Today's Randomness: "Is that a challenge?", Update on the Upgrade and Daddy Issues

"Is that a challenge?"
I've come to realize that I've become a person who likes to prove people wrong. (Ikey Baybee can attest to that, as I prove him wrong on a daily basis LOL) Sometimes I will go to great lengths just to fulfill this compulsive desire to be right and to win. And occasionally I end up doing something good for myself in the process. I was sick of my long boring hair but didn't build up the courage to cut it until I heard this incredibly stupid comment, "You're not gonna be cute without your hair and your boyfriend isn't gonna like you!" *record scratch* WHAAAAT?! Is this second grade? I chopped it soon after that. Now I'm choosing to go natural because people are telling me that either I won't look "right" with natural hair (whatever that means) and that it'll be too hard for me to maintain. So of course that means I gotta do it & have to make sure my lil fro is on point whenever I do the big chop. AND I'm more motivated to get into shape to combat the ridiculous stereotype of all Zetas being fat, black and ugly. (Ugly? Have you seen this face boo? And yes I'm black but I wear my cioccolata amara skin proudly. But fat? Holla at me in a few months...)

Update on The Upgrade
Speaking of making changes, so far The Upgrade is going well! (What upgrade, you say? How dare you not click here and find out what I'm talking about!) Right now I am focusing on two things: organizing and un-cluttering (my space, my mind, my life... lol) and becoming fiscally responsible. I admit that I'm a hoarder and not the neatest person. *hangs head in shame* But even so, I realize that I tend to be calmer and think clearer when there is some form of order and simplicity in my surroundings. The fact that I stay in a relatively crowded, cluttered space can't be good for my psyche, so I'm working to improve that. And as far as the money thing... Well how can I expect to be trusted with a better salary if I can't be a good steward of what I already have? (Yeah, that's Bible; I read occasionally lol) Besides, I can't truly be on my "Grown woman ish" if my bank account looks like I'm still receiving a measly allowance! Not good! lol

Daddy Issues
Something else that's not so good: my relationship with my father. It's no real shock that we aren't close, but I am slightly surprised that it's affected my subconscious the way it has. Over the last several years, I've had a recurring dream, but only recently realized that it was the same dream with changes in minor details. The main elements are always the same: My mom, dad & I are at our old house (the one I grew up in as a kid). Something random and minute sets my dad off and he and I get into it. During our argument, he turns his anger towards my mom as she tries to mediate. We usually get in each others' face, sometimes actually throwing blows. I always warn my mom that she needs to get out and leave him while she can, that she doesn't need to be with him. She never listens. I always wake up as he raises his hand to hit her. I don't know what the hell these dreams mean or why I keep having them. As much as I can't stand my father, he's never been physically abusive, so why would I dream that? I had the dream again last night and woke up in tears. I really don't even know who to talk to about it.

Okay, I think that's enough random rambling from me tonight. I need some rest. Deuces.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The BET Buyback Project

*Note: This is not something that I've actually put into motion... yet. I don't even know if it would be possible, but if someone knew how to get the ball rolling, I'd definitely be down. For now, though, it's wishful thinking.*

Over the years, I've heard various comments concerning the state of BET. Comments of disgust, disappointment and frustration over the fact that an entity that claims to represent an entire segment of people would do so in such a poor fashion. I've read articles, blog posts, message boards, etc. that reflect many Black people are just tired of the overwhelmingly negative images that are being portrayed. (Need proof? How bout this. Or this. Or try this, this, or this for starters.)

So this past Sunday I got to thinking: what if a group of young black people who were tired of what BET has become decided to do something about it? What if we (whoever and however many people "we" would entail) pooled our money, time, talents and resources to buy BET back from Viacom? What if we decided to make it "ours" again, revitalize and rebrand it to show the world that there is more to African-Americans than the limited, stereotypical characters that they are used to seeing. After all, other media outlets show enough of that.

Now, being that I am not a television exec, nor have I studied the television industry or researched it, I couldn't tell you how we would go about this or how it would be structured once "we" bought it back. But I do know what Tori D. would like to see on the new and improved BET: (BTW, I know you liked the rhyme I threw in there!)

  • Playing a wide variety of music that reflects our diverse culture while "pressuring" (for lack of a better word right now) artists to create more positive/non-degrading music
  • another Teen Summit-like show where teens & young adults are given creative freedom & control
  • shows that highlight successful Black people without being fake or pretentious (I'm looking at you, Harlem Heights)
  • more highlights of our history, beyond slavery all the way up to today's history-makers
  • (if they just must be included) preachers who are actually concerned with spreading the gospel and reaching out to people, not hawking their goods to make a quick buck
  • quality original movies (use the channel as a platform for producers, writers, actors, etc. who may get shut out of traditional Hollywood studios. besides, how many times can you show Baby Boy every month? sheesh!)
  • a decent awards show
  • regular dialog on the state of Black America, race relations, etc.
  • a news program that highlighted current events and economic/financial matters
  • a focus on healthy living and health issues that disproportionately affect Blacks
  • community involvement and promoting viewers to get involved
  • programming designed to help build the character, intellect and self-esteem of our youth
Maybe all this sounds old & boring to current BET fans. However, there is a way to be entertaining without being ignorant or --dare I say-- coonish. Shouldn't BET portray us as we really are?

What do you all think, am I crazy? Do you think something like that would not only be possible, but successful? If not this, what do we do? Or do we just let BET sink lower and lower with no intervention?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quarter Life Crisis: Take Two

I think I'm ready to talk about it now. When I tried previously, it basically just came out as this random, frustrated jumble of a temper tantrum. I think I'm able to do a little better now.

I have three main issues that are f'in with my head right now. They are actually all kinda related in a way, so I have a feeling that once I resolve one, the others will work themselves out.

Issue #1: I still do not know what I want to do with my life.
I am getting my MBA, should be finished next December. Why I'm getting it, I'm not entirely sure, except for the fact that I was told once I get it I'll be able to get more money if I continue working for the state. (However, that has been suspended until God knows when due to this lackluster economy, so I have to ask again, why am I doing this?) Thing is, I don't plan on working for the state for long. I never planned to. So now what? My professor from last semester put the PhD but in my ear. Do I pursue that? Do I really want to be in academia? Do I want to do research? (Hell no.) I'd love the breaks that would come with being a professor and assuming I got hired by a pretty good school, I'm sure I'd love the salary that goes along with it as well. But is that me? About as me as sitting in that cramped, windowless cubicle at my current job I guess. And what about real estate? I'm still interested in that, but... I'm hesitant. What if I suck at it? I already know that I'm not the greatest salesperson if I'm just trying to push something on a person, but maybe it would be different with real estate since buyers usually have some idea about what they want. But what if it's not different? What if I really just don't have what it takes? Or what if I start that and then realize that I hate it? Then what? There's only so much starting over one can do, right?

I'll let you in on something. My baby is making moves. He knows what he wants to do and is getting his ish together. Every time we talk he's talking about it. He's excited. He's following his passion. And I'm very happy for him... But I'll be honest, I am a bit jealous. (Don't judge me!) It makes the stark contrast of me not knowing what the hell I'm doing even more of an issue to me...

The other thing about what he's doing: if he's successful (which I'm sure/hopeful he will be) he'll be in VA indefinitely. So
Issue #2: I don't know how long this long distance relationship is going to be long distance.
We had a plan. A plan that essentially stuck me in MS for several more years while under the impression that he would be moving somewhere a bit closer and soon our LDR would be a medium-distance relationship, or maybe just a regular damn relationship. I stuck to my end of the deal and stayed my ass in MS at this job and in this MBA program when I really wanted to just pack up and go somewhere. Now it looks like I may have just trapped myself here alone. Like I said, I'm happy he's doing his thing, but now it's like, where does that leave me, and us? After almost two years I am still not feeling this whole "see you when i can" thing. I don't like seeing him a total of MAYBE two weeks out of the year. I hate not being able to really be there for him and have him be here for me like I want. I need something definitive to look forward to and I don't have that. If love had a purgatory, this would have to be it.

Although my friends and family have always said "Don't go running after a man," I still want to pick up and move. Just sell the little bit of stuff I've got and go. Find a place up there and look for a job once I get there. One problem though.
Issue #3: I don't make enough money.
Not enough to pick up and go. Not enough to get out of my parents' house and into my own spot. Not enough to pay bills and still have enough money to eat by the end of the month. Ever heard that term "broke as a joke?" HARDY-FREAKIN-HAR BABY!! I've just gotten to the point where I could save a little bit of money about two months ago. Second month of saving: had to dig into the savings account. So how am I gonna pick up and go across country when I can't even go across town? I have been applying to some better paying jobs around here. So far, no callbacks. Today I applied for a position at my current job. Not the increase I was looking for. Still not sure if I'd be able to afford an apartment, utilities, car note & other bills if I took it, but a little increase is better than nothing I guess. Here's hoping that something comes through...

I just feel like if I could get something going on just one end maybe the other puzzle pieces will fall into place. I've been praying for direction, but either I don't speak God or God don't speak to me, cuz so far I got nothin'. Trying to remain patient though, because I don't want to make the wrong move. However, I keep thinking of this quote:
"Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice."

So am I cautious or am I cowardly?

IDK, I just need this QLC to be over quickly... I'd hate to have it spill over into my MLC :-/

Midday Randomness: QOTD

“Even the wisest woman you talk to is ignorant of something you may know, but an elegant woman never forgets her elegance."

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blacks & HBCUs (Pt. II: Is it the institutions, or is it us?)

Last week I pointed out some of the misconceptions about HBCUs that I have heard purported by blacks. Maybe these ideas were put in their heads by someone who was "guiding" them, perhaps they come from their own experiences or observed experiences or others. More than likely, however, they are steeped in the negative stereotypes that we as Blacks have endured for years.

But what about the numbers? Men lie, women lie, numbers don't, right? *snicker, eye roll*

So do we do worse at our own schools? Well according to some statistics, such as the one from this USA Today article, the percentage of blacks who graduate from HBCUs within six years averages about 37%. Yes, this is a dismal figure. (I won't go into how I don't believe this is a fair or accurate number, since this does not give consideration for students who transfer, whose education takes longer than 6 years for whatever reason, deaths, etc. We'll just roll with the numbers we've got.) However, our counterparts at PWIs don't fair much better. The national graduation rate is only 41%.

So that brings me to another issue: Is it really the institution we attend, or is it us? The "us" that I speak of is the black community as a whole. Those of "us" who have graduated, HBCU or PWI, do we encourage our classmates and those that come after us to continue working towards their degree? Those of "us" who have dropped out or for whatever reason did not graduate, are we planning on pursuing that degree at some point or have we already found gainful (legal) employment? Those of "us" who are in any sort of leadership capacity: are we extolling the importance of higher education and stressing that their are many possibilities and opportunities that become available through education?

How do we encourage young blacks to stay in school? The Root has an... interesting article on "Making School Cool." Is it enough? Is it effective? What more can be done?

And what, if anything, are we doing for our institutions? Many suffer from lack of funding which leads to a myriad of other issues (of which I am honestly just too lazy/sleepy to get into right now). What contributions are we making?

Trip Down Memory Lane

Although I would never wish to go back to high school, there is one thing that I have missed since the day I walked across that stage: the choir. Yes, I'm still in the choir at church, but it's just not the same. There was nothing like giving an amazing performance that moves people even when they don't understand the language! And the feeling of getting up in front of other groups--mostly white groups who assumed that this almost all-black choir wasn't really 'bout nothin--and not only blowing them away but taking EVERYTHING at competitions? Nothing like it!!

So since I'm feeling a bit nostalgic, I pulled out some of my old music and threw a mini concert at Casa de Tori D. Since I'm not brave enough to put my own singing up on here, I found some videos of my fav choral and madrigal pieces. I really wish I had video of our choir (Murrah High School '00-'03, I can't vouch for the rest of yall! lol). We had the BEST choir director in the history of directors, IMO. Mr. Browning put his SOUL into teaching and directing us, and you could see it in his movements & facial expressions as well as the collective movements and expressions of the choir as we followed his lead. Good times man, good times...

Oh yeah, the videos!

" Die Nacht ist kommen" Petrus Herbert, 1566

"Vita De La Mia Vita" Chanticleer (first song that ever made me seriously want to sing something other than gospel/r&b)

"Paratum Cor Ejus" A. Vivaldi (to 2:10)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I think I was almost had...

by a pair of knockoffs! *cues dramatic music and the blood-curdling scream*

To be honest, I am not sure if these shoes are a knockoff or authentic Christian Louboutin. I have seen this shoe before in black, and I am certain that those are indeed Louboutin.
However, the blue ones? Never ever seen before. I want to believe they are real... God, I wanna believe! I mean, they're freakin' blue & white, so of course I need them in my life! But something about these still don't seem right. Maybe it's because they are from a site I've never heard of and the fact that they are selling it for only $224 ( is getting the serious side-eye from me right now). And there is the fact that I've never seen this particular shoe in any color but black. And the more I look at that bow from the back, the more I'm convinced that someone may have just painted the bottom and tacked a ribbon onto the back of a regular old shoe...

Stop perping, people. For the love of Louboutins, don't do it!

I'm off to find some verified designer shoes to fawn over.

Tori D. Edit: after seeing the back of the real Louboutin and looking a bit more closely at the top pic to see the not-so-great MS Paint job that was done on the sole of the shoe, I feel like a fool -_- But at least I'm not a fool who bought Loubooties.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Eight-year-old Entrepreneur and Candy Sushi Chef

Read the story here

Maybe it's the fact that I'm kinda warming up to kids and getting a little mushy when I see cute stories like this.

Maybe it's my pride in such a young little guy being responsible and creative enough to start this business.

Maybe it's my own muted entrepreneurial spirit living vicariously.

Maybe its my sweet tooth that starting to kick in...

Either way, I absolutely love stories like this! I want to see and hear more stories like this, highlighting black kids who are doing something positive for themselves (especially in business and the arts, cuz I happen to have a soft spot for those areas). And one day my non-profit will produce these types of success stories on the regular. This youngun has realized early in life that he doesn't have to spend his life making money for someone else; he can do it for himself. I wish I'd had the initiative to make my own dreams of working for myself come true as a youth. (Still gonna happen, but the head start would've been nice) Do your thing, Mr. Louison, I ain't mad atcha!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

'Biggest Loser' Wedding -- Let Them Eat Cake

'Biggest Loser' Wedding -- Let Them Eat Cake

Posted Aug 17th 2009 3:00PM by TMZ Staff

They lost a combined 264 pounds since being on "The Biggest Loser" --
but this weekend, Nicole Brewer and Damien Gurganious decided their wedding was
the perfect chance to let their diet slide a little bit!
TMZ got a copy of the menu for their big day in Long Island this past
Sunday, where they did a pretty good job of serving healthy low-fat meals --
with the exception of the super-delicious cake! Not that we blame them one

Appetizers: miniature meat rolls, spring rolls and crab cakes

Entrees: fish, sauteed chicken and grilled beef

Cake: sweet potato-praline/vanilla, Bourbon-butterscotch layered cake
filled with bourbon infused candied sweet potato and hazelnut buttercream

Sidenote: Jillian Michaels did not jump out of the cake and force everyone
who had a piece to run up a mountainside until they puked.

This is a beautiful story to me! I love that they were able to take off & keep off the weight. I should try to get on the show... *lol* But I guess until then, I need to get serious (again) about my diet & exercise. This is just more inspiration to do that!

BTW, that menu sounds delish.... *drool*

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blacks & HBCUs (Pt. I: Decrying Our Own)

This past weekend I was out with some friends & the conversation turns to someone's boyfriend going to school. The comment was made that her mom "had a fit" when she found out that he originally planned to go to Jackson State. Noses were turned up, comments were made about it being "hood" and "ghetto." (Somehow, I was able to refrain from yelling "Who da f*kk you callin' GHETTO?!?! We're Mississippi's urban university BIIIIITCH!")

Although I basically tried to ignore the comments as ignorance posing as urbanity, I realized that I was somewhat bothered by these comments. No, not just because I happen to be a proud alumni (Go Tigers!!). But because 1) this was not the first time I've heard these particular associates make these comments, and 2) I've noticed quite a few Blacks putting down HBCUs and discouraging young people from attending them. Now, this blog is not to argue the current relevance of HBCUs (maybe another time), but rather to address some of the "reasons" I've heard for the criticism HBCUs.

LOCATION. Yes, many HBCUs are in the "hood." Why? Because they were originally placed in locations where they would be easily accessible to the people who they aimed at educating and assisting. As blacks began to prosper, they moved away, while those who struggled with poverty and the vices that go along with it were left behind. So yes, the neighborhood may be less than desirable. That doesn't make it a scary place. (I wasn't surprised when white coworkers asked me if I was afraid to walk around campus at night; I was surprised when I got the same question from folks who were there on campus whenever there was some big event.) That doesn't even make it a bad place. And if there was really concern about the neighborhood in which these schools are located, why not join in the efforts to revitalize our communities? Oh, it's not your community you say? Your community is gated, huh? Well please note, to some of your neighbors in your gated community, you are still just a nigga with money. Class still has yet to trump race in this country. But I digress.

QUALITY OF EDUCATION. I will admit that some HBCUs do not have the diverse course offerings as PWIs. Shoot, I just made mention of that yesterday when comparing the MBA programs of schools in the Metro Jackson area. However, there is nothing to definitively say that the quality of the classes offered is any better than the comparable classes offered at Black institutions. Where this grossly ignorant statement comes from is beyond me.

DROP OUT RATES. Although I do not have the statistics on this at the moment (but trust, Pt. II with that info is coming soon), I have heard this reason being given as to why students should not attend HBCUs. The whys and hows for this vary, from classes being too hard, to being too easy, to "too many distractions." I don't particularly put too much credence in statistics anyway (because really, you can find stats to support almost any claim you want to make), but I do have a startling statistic for you: 100% of people who don't apply themselves and let themselves get involved in distracting bs DON'T MAKE IT, regardless if the school is predominantly Black, White, Asian or inhabited by some superior alien intelligence. You don't have to be a statistic! What about the thousands of students who graduate from HBCUs each year?

My point is this: Are we so desperate for acceptance and assimilation that we are willing to tear down the very institutions that were established to help build Black people up? In the words of my pastor, "It's a mighty poor frog who can't praise his own pond."


Monday, August 17, 2009

PSA: I am Black.

Apparently the skin, hair, DNA & fact that I have ancestors who did in fact come over from Africa is not enough to prove this to some people.

No, it's not evident because I straighten my hair chemically.

And listen to more than rap/r&b/gospel.

And don't speak slang all the time.

And because I don't like watermelon or greens.
And because I'm not completely militant and all "get whitey."

In being who I am, some people seem to think I am trying to deny... who I am.

But trust me, I am Black. Not only that, but I'm PROUD of that fact. Even prouder of the fact that I can be multi-faceted & not pigeon-holed into one lifestyle, yet appreciate my heritage.

You may want to try it sometimes. I promise the Black won't rub off of you if you try something that "Black folks don't do." Who knows, you may even like it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Midday Randomness: Five things that would make me happy right now...

Shoe shopping, of course. That always makes me happy (unless I can't find a 10... ol' sizeists!)

Boris (yeah, we're on a first name basis like that) and his yummy delicious abs, sexy lips... Oh, what's that? Of course I was just playing baby! You know I mean YOU!

A massage (from Boris).

I tend to be a lil nicer & more mellow with some libations in me. To quote Homer Simpson (um, yes, you read that correctly) "Here’s to alcohol, the cause of — and solution to — all life’s problems."

This is probably what I need the most. A nice, looong nap.

Okay, I've looked & imagined (fantasized for you, Boris.... um, I mean Baby). Maybe now I can get through the rest of the day & do something... I dunno, productive.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Long Distance Relationships Suck.

Trust me. I'm a (pseudo) expert, having been in one for nearly two years. Wow, has it been that long already? Definitely entering record-setting territory...

Anyway, here's what prompted this sentiment again today: My dad was going to the doctor this morning, so Momma decided to play hooky from work as well. Around 9:30 I get a call from them talking about "We just wanted to let you know that we're out eating breakfast. Ha ha ha." Yeah, hardy-freakin-har, callin me while I'm starving and stuck at work. Real funny... It made me think about the Fridays that I'm off. I spend those days at the beauty shop & running errands for Big Momma. I would love to do the movies or stay home and cook for someone or just go for a scenic drive... And yeah, I'm well aware that I could do all of these things by myself, but that's not what I want! Occasionally I get tired of doing things solo, tired of being with family all the time, even tired of being with my sorors/girlfriends/friends from church. There is a space that only he fills. Mind out of the gutter, pervs. lol But instead of getting the necessary attention and "boo-luvin" on the regular, its done in 3- or 4-day spurts, spread out over months at a time, almost haphazardly. After all, those 1000 or so miles aren't ideal for a road trip every other week, IMO...

So I'd be lying if I said I didn't think LDRs suck. They do. Like Superhead in a black hole. *rimshot*

As much as I love him, I am frustrated, lonely, tired... And on top of that, I feel guilty for being frustrated, lonely & tired.

But all is not lost! I think I have a solution. I'm off to draw up applications for a platonic boo-friend (to go on non-date dates and such) and stock up on batteries...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Don't Let This Be You!

Word to the wise (or in this case, not-so-wise): If you're going to rant & rave about your job, boss, coworkers, etc. on Facebook, Twitter and the like, you may want to check your friends list every now and then. Yanno, just as a precaution against things like this:

I'm cutting this short; I need to go back and double-check my privacy settings...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Today's Word: Watch What You Say!

No, I'm not switching up on ya & making this into a religious blog. In fact, you don't even have to take this from a religious stance; think of it more as self-help. :) Since I didn't go to church today (I'se sick *cough* *cough* sniff*) I decided to do a little reading on my own.

2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
James 3:2-12

Basically, watch what you say. I know there are many things in my life that probably could have been avoided if I'd either kept my mouth closed or chosen my words a little more carefully. And that's something that I still have to work on to this day. This week my goal is to not say anything with malicious intent (shouldn't be hard for a sweetheart like me LOL), not involve myself in gossip, and try to be wise in whatever I say.

What will YOU do to watch what you say?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Black Barbie in Vogue Italia's Black Issue

I've probably mentioned this somewhere on here before, but I've never been a doll person. As a little girl I was much more interested in getting the latest cool little techy gadget that no one else had than another Barbie. The few I had were unsolicited (except for the black Barbie with the ridiculously long hair... which I promptly cut) and unattended.

However, the little girly girl that never really came out during childhood squealed with delight when I read an article saying that as a followup to Vogue Italia's extremely successful Black Issue (featuring Toccara Jones, among other iconic Black models, in last year's issue), Vogue would be paying homage to one of the first fashion icons a young girl is introduced to: Barbie.

I absolutely love the concept of this issue as well as the previews of the images in this issue. My favs:

My absolute fav, for obvious reasons!
I like that they use Barbies of various shades, and love that the very dark doll stands out wonderfully!

The extremely varied looks, representative of our varied styles and beauty. Brilliant!

Read Vogue's article on their second Black Issue here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Things My Future Husband Should Know: We're Gonna Be Like...

Yes yes, it's another MySpace transplant! A while back I started this series of entries with tips for the man who gets stuck... errrr, I mean, who is LUCKY enough to get me for life! Really it's just kinda random, but hey, just play along! lol Anyway, they'll be popping up here from time to time, as well as some new goodies. Soooo, yeah...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Current mood: wanted
Category: Romance and Relationships

So everyone sees couples that they think "awwww I wanna have a relationship like that!"(or is that just me? well imma assume its everyone) These are some examples of the IRL couples (none of that Cliff & Claire Huxtable stuff) that I have "seen" that I would love to be like.

1. Will & Jada Pinkett Smith
No, I'm not saying this because they swing. (but hey, if you're down... lol) Instead, it's because they are making a marriage work in the midst of busy schedules and public scrutiny. This little article that I came across helped me understand how they did it, and gave me something to model our relationship after:

Will Smith might want to brace himself for a performance review and PowerPoint presentation on how he is and isn't measuring up as a spouse. "I'm doing what you might call a business plan in my marriage right now," Jada Pinkett Smith explains to Cookie magazine. "I don't know why, but we all think these things are supposed to be in sync. You know, when you're in business, you figure out what your goals are and how you're going to get all that achieved, right?" According to the pragmatic actress, "The point is to clear out a lot of unnecessary stuff so we can find ways of being better together, because your relationship is either moving forward or it's dying."

2. Pat & Gina Neely
I chose this couple because they are just cute together! I love watching them cook & flirt with each other while doing so. I always imagine having someone that I could be like that with, so that menial, everyday tasks are a little more exciting and special because I have someone great to share that time with. If you've never watched their show, you should. You'll see exactly what I'm talking about.

Better yet: check check it!

3. Barack & Michelle Obama

Okay so this one is obvious right?! A strong example of the beauty of Black Love. I absolutely adore how Michelle is a powerful woman who can still uplift, support and stand beside her man, and how Barack shows that he can be a leader and still appreciate the good woman that he has. *sigh* So much I wanna say on this one, but I'll do it later, seeing as how right now I'm in ADHD mode.

Note after the fact: so I know I didn't go in-depth with this before, and I'm too sleepy to do it now. But something a lil deeper will be coming... eventually.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Looking Back

For the past couple of days I've been thinking about something that was said on Sunday in my class. The lesson was about complaining and talked about the children of Israel leaving Egypt and complaining about the food. They disregarded the fact that they were slaves while in Egypt; they said (in her paraphrased words) "We had meat! We had onions!" Although they now had their freedom, they were hung up on the little things and letting those things blind them to what their real situation was.

She likened their situation to addiction, how many people struggle with staying clean and end up relapsing. I compared it to my own bad habit of looking back on past situations perhaps a bit more fondly than I should. Old jobs, being in school, past relationships, dead friendships... While I can usually attest to the not so great parts, the good times seem to just stand out.

Sure I used to leave work with a headache every night and didn't get paid squat, but remember how they used to always have food and the fun convos on IM? That was great...

No, I couldn't stand most of my teachers, hated going to class, and was a little miserable because didn't go into the major I wanted (it wasn't "safe"), but man, I miss the freedom of undergrad...

Yeah, our friendship has definitely waned as we've grown up & apart, but we used to kick it hard (back in elementary, middle and high school)!

I've got it bad when it comes to doing this with past relationships, one in particular. Although I have a great boyfriend now, there are aspects of that relationship I still look back on in a bit of a better light than I should. The fun times we had doing crazy stuff like street racing, him cooking me breakfast after my early class, bills being paid, having someone to go out with (even if it was on the low). Forget that I couldn't really see him whenever I wanted. Disregard the secrets and lies. Don't count the fact that it ended HORRIBLY. Never mind the fact that he wasn't MINE. I can't deny the awful aspects, but why do the good things stand out so much?

I'm trying to take her advice: be thankful for what once was (the growth that resulted & the deliverance from it) and look forward to something better.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Randonmess: Because I'm just in that kinda mood

I was somewhat in the mood to write earlier, but now... not so much. But I figured I'd share a bit of my random side since I feel compelled to write something.

Grades were finally posted today for my summer class. I could not believe I ended up with an A in my Microeconomic Theory course! So now I'm sitting at a nice 3.67 GPA for grad school. Man, I wish I would've done this well and been this focused in undergrad! But then again, there were a lot of distractions in undergrad.... Whole lotta distractions.... lol

I'm supposed to be singing in a wedding next Friday. Guess who still doesn't really know the song? THIS CHICK. I'm singing "That's What Friends Are For" as a solo (and just for the record, I do not care for this song) and then some Donnie McClurkin song with a group that I have yet to meet. This will be... interesting. But I'll definitely have my song together by then... hopefully.

Real Estate Agent or Professor at a university? I'm trying to decide which one is right for me. Momma broke it down like this: I could finish up my MBA and get my real estate license, but then I'll actually have to put in work to make the sales I need to make to live like I wanna live. On the other hand, I could bust my butt in school a few more years, go on and get that young Ph.D. behind my name, and find a job at a university. Then I don't have to do much but show up for classes and go by the syllabus I set. So basically: work hard now or work hard later (even though it definitely is two different forms of "working hard" so I guess that's not truly comparable). I'm still weighing my options.

Anyone planning on seeing Good Hair? I am! If you haven't seen the trailer, here ya go:

I need something to go see now though... Maybe I'll take myself to see The Ugly Truth on Friday. We'll see.

Aright, it's definitely time for me to lay it down. Hopefully next time I'll actually have something to write about instead of writing out of boredom :)


I usually don't post my poetry on here... Most of that is intensely personal. This piece is no different, but I felt like it needed to be shared. Wrote this a couple days ago when I was deep in my funk.

i wonder if other people feel themselves
going crazy

guess everything crumbles over time
just like the great ancient structures succumb
so, apparently, has my mind

that's what happens when shit crumbles
a fragment here,
fragment there
you may glue them back
but there are still cracks
still holes
still tiny bits of me that will never be complete

sanity isnt finite

i laugh to keep from crying
but i end up doing both
and looking crazier than i really am


i am a jagged edge of emotion
ready to jab, cut, kill

i'm something like crazy
crazy bitch
and perhaps i deserve it
i've done some trifling shit

guilt is a heavy weight
i'm weak.
i can't handle it
not when i have other shit to deal with
other burdens to carry
i can only take so much before i.....

i just want to escape

i am full of venom...
i consume others as it paralyzes me

i am falling apart
pieces are everywhere
no one cares
enough to pick them up

i've come undone,

i'm cr
bl i