Thursday, December 30, 2010

Setting Goals for the New Year

I'm sad to see 2010 go! It was a phenomenal year for me. Not without its difficulties, but a truly great year. I only have one small do-over wish, and considering the fact that it's about a guy who clearly had no business in my life, I'll chalk that up as a learning experience. Besides, the accomplishments of this year far outweigh that!

One major difference between 2010 and other years is that I set goals and created a plan to achieve them. (Remember Planning, Preparation, Payoff?) No new year's resolutions, though. And I've learned that if something works for you, don't change--build upon it! So here are some of my goals for this new year:

Professional
1. Get at least 60 hours towards my pre-Broker education. Ninety hours are required before you can take the test... And actually I could get all 90 in if it wasn't for the money. (Didn't y'all read my last post? I'm broke!) Approximately $400 every 30 hours is a bit steep for me to say I can do it all this year. Plus, there are other conferences, classes, etc. that will also require some funds. I'd love to go ahead and get that license this year, but I'll be happy if I can get 2/3 of the way there.
2. Make at least three sales. My new broker (I'm moving--possibly more on that to come) only asks for two, but I need at least three. There are so many fees associated with being a real estate agent it's not even funny. I went back and calculated how much I spent this year... Even after my sale, I'm in the hole, and not by a small amount. I think having at least three good sales will allow me to break even and possibly provide for those additional classes I was talking about.

Personal
1. I've got to buy a house! My folks want me to stay with them... I told them if by some miracle a house comes on the market with a completely separate apartment and within their price range, I'd consider buying it with them. But there's no way I'm doing this whole sharing my living space thing. NO WAY! And realistically, I don't believe there is a house with that feature in the range they're looking for. I'm setting my goal for the end of May.
2. Read 10 books within the year, at least 2 fiction. That sounds backwards doesn't it? Well I've got 9 books sitting on my dresser waiting to be read. I've started on 8. Out of those 9, 4 are career-related, 3 are self-improvement, and 2 are just miscellaneous non-fiction. I need an escape! I'm thinking about picking up The Other Boleyn Girl. I may have to sign up for a library card again so I can get books without feeling like I'm spending money frivolously...
3. Find a creative outlet. Now that I'm done with school, I want to do something simply because it makes me happy. I'm not sure what just yet, but I'm leaning towards painting. Another choice was voice lessons, but I've pretty much given up on the dream of being a singer. *shrugs* We'll see, though.

So that's my little short list of goals for 2011. If you haven't set yours, you still have time but the clock is ticking!

Happy New Year y'all! 

Reshaping My Relationship with Money (or: Tori D. is broke!)


There was a crucial learning step that I missed as a child. I never really was taught about using money wisely or balancing a checkbook. I think it was taken for granted that these things were simple enough, and with me being a pretty bright child, there was no reason for me not to grasp that concept. And that thinking was correct to an extent; I can balance my checkbook... It may take a while, after hunting down receipts and stuff, I can do it. The thing is, I'm prone to not doing it. My lack of focus, coupled with personality traits such as disorganization and tendency to find tasks like this uninteresting (I'm an INFP for those of you familiar with the Meyers-Briggs personality types) means that it just does not get done. This has lead to some less than desirable consequences for my bank account.

The thing that most recently sent me into shock occurred on Tuesday. I got a call from my mom saying she figured I needed some money for lunch so she transferred some funds into my account. Blow #1: I felt like a middle school kid again, getting lunch money from mommy. I said thanks, but didn't think I actually needed it. The last time I checked my account, it said there was $30-something dollars in there. I'm good! I go to check how much she put in... I see that she put in over $100 but my account was less than $100. How could this be? It turns out, (blow #2) I was in overdraft. Blow #3: Two transactions that totaled less than $10 caused me to get hit with $70 in NSF fees. Y'all, I cried. Like literally boohooed at work. I felt like such a failure! Here I am trying to prove that I'm a responsible adult and ready to be on my own. And my mom had to come save my butt. Again.

I'm not even sure that she knew I was in that position or not. Usually when she does, she'll say something about it but this time she didn't.

That situation has made me determined to do better with my money. I'm going to have to do something drastic. I'm going to start carrying cash.

I never have cash y'all. Ever. The debit card is just sooo much easier for me. But that ease means it's way too easy to overspend, especially when you don't have to actually see the money. It's like you're not really spending it (at the time). I figure if I only carry cash (no debit OR credit cards unless I'm going to get gas) it will cause me to do several things:

1. force me into seriously thinking about what I'm purchasing and how much I spend
2. create a loose budget for the week/month
3. keep me from buying non-necessities--I have enough stuff in my tiny little space as it is
4. cause me to save more

So on payday, I'll take out a small, pre-determined amount and make it last for the month. If I run out by week two, yanno what that means? I can't buy A THING for two weeks. If I have money left over at next payday (a laughable thought, but I guess it's possible) then that amount goes towards the amount I can spend, which means less coming out of my account.
This is a modified version of something a financial planner presented to us while I was an employee at Blue Cross Blue Shield. In his version, you have a separate envelop for each thing. A cash envelop for bills, cash envelop for clothes, cash envelop for food, etc. That doesn't work for me because there's no way I'm sending cash for my credit card bills, car note, all of that. So my bills are paid at the beginning of the month, and then my account will have to sit inactive for a bit.

The only time I'll allow myself a little splurge is when I make a sale. That commission will be split between my savings, credit card payments, and a little bit to spend. By the way, having my savings come out of my check before I get it was one of the best ideas I've ever had! LOL

Have any of you had to make serious changes to your relationship with money? Did you have a good money management foundation from the start, or did you have to learn as you go? What has been your biggest challenge?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Funny.... Why?

So today makes eight years since the incident. I've not been in the major funk that I usually am around this time, just been a little somber. But I just saw something on Twitter that made me GO. OFF.

#TEAMRAPE
#TEAMNOREALLYMEANSYES
#TEAMTAKEWHATSNOTYOURS

What in ALL the fuck?!

All of these were tweeted and retweeted by supposed leaders, college-educated black men in BGLOs. (Yes, I know that being in a BGLO these days doesn't amount to shit in regards to leadership, morals, etc.--another post for another day-- but still... in the spirit of what the Founders of all of our orgs envisioned, I find this incredibly sad.)  Why the hell is this funny to them? I would expect this sort of "humor" (and trust I'm using that word very loosely) from depraved convicts or the like.... but really?

Ugh, I can't even put into words what I'm thinking/feeling right now... All I know is I've been through the shit and didn't find a damn thing funny about it. Where the hell do they get off making light of it?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"What do you want for Christmas?"

It's a question I dread.

source
Besides the fact that I'm really not a fan of the holidays, I hate the back and forth that goes on when I say I don't want anything. The inevitable "Come on, you must want something!" really grinds my gears (thanks, Family Guy). Why can't folks just leave it alone? Is it because they'll feel bad rattling off their laundry list of material desires if I don't have one as well? Do they think I'm trying to be contrary or something? Maybe it is just an earnest interest. But my answer of "nothing" should be enough.

This year, I've been asked what I want repeatedly by my parents, Bartender, and his daughters. I've tried to come up with something, just to avoid that conversation, but honestly I don't want anything! All of my needs are met (thank you Lord) and I'm becoming self-reliant to a fault. After the incident, and after dealing with years of my dad complaining whenever I asked him to do anything for me, I decided I'd rather get what I can on my own. And I've done just that. Yeah I have my little wishlist (like over on TGHD) but those are all things that, if I decide I really want them, I will purchase myself. So when I'm asked that question, I'm truly thinking "Nothing that I can't get on my own." That may be terrible, but that's the way it is.

As far as the things I can't quite get on my own right now... well they can't either. What do I really want? I want my own condo. I want the capital to purchase and renovate several rental properties. I want stocks in Apple and Microsoft. I want Mr. Right to knock on my door tomorrow with a ring. (LMAO on that one) I want a gray doberman pincher puppy that's already trained and housebroken...

Moral of the story: the things I want, I will get in my own time. Please accept "nothing" as my short answer.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Faking It

Sunday I came across an article about the most counterfeited items of the year as well as this picture of "red bottoms." (And yes, I mean "red bottoms" not Louboutins. True Louboutins don't have to be painted red post-production! Hmph!) Couple that with seeing an obvious Coach knock-off at church and I began pondering something that has come across my mind before. Why do people bother buying knock-offs? Of course the simple answer is that they either can't afford or don't want to pay for the real thing... but who are they fooling? Are they trying to convince others that they have something that they really don't, or are they only fooling themselves? I have a few "designer" bags; not many though, and they are on the lower end of what would be considered "designer." Meanwhile, I have a ton of purses, totes, clutches, etc. that, while not high end, are super cute. They weren't created or purchased in an attempt to make someone believe they were something that they aren't. They are just cute purses that get as many compliments as the designer bags. And as much as I want a pair of Louboutins, I could never bring myself to buy some "red bottoms" in hopes of passing them off as the real thing. Now I do have some shoes that are similar to my favorite Louboutins, sans the red sole. IMO, there's no reason to fake it. Sure, some may attribute prestige, money, and status from these designer labels... But the assumption about those that bother with fakes is the total opposite. Besides, those that know the truth can spot an imposter without even trying.

Who ARE you?
But what else do we fake? Staying in an unhealthy relationship just to make others think we can keep a mate. Perping (for those unfamiliar with Black Greek life, this means pretending to be a member of an organization when in reality you are not). Pretending that your ish is together because you have a degree(s). Going into debt for bigger and better cars, clothes, homes, etc. just so people will see you keeping up with the Joneses. Creating an online persona that in no way resembles who we are offline. So often we put on about different aspects of our lives in an attempt to appear as if we've arrived in some way. Maybe it's a subconscious fear that who and what we truly are will not be enough in the eyes of others. However, if we could accept ourselves in complete authenticity--not to the point of apathy and failure to make improvements--we would find, more often than not, that others would accept us too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

So Now What?

Tonight I am taking what will hopefully be the last final exam I ever have to take as a grad student. I am David, facing my Goliath: Macroeconomics. If I succeed with a grade high enough to get that little MBA title and my sanity in tact, I will feel very accomplished.

from thecomingdepression.net
But then what? I can't help but wonder what good is it going to do me. Due to budget cuts, I can't get an educational benchmark at my current job (which was the only reason I went back to school in the first place, along with "the plan" that I've mentioned here before). It's not a requirement for real estate, so I'm not sure how much help it will be there. And I'm not finding too many positions for adjunct business professors, so who knows how that will pan out. I almost feel like I've just buried myself under more debt and stressed myself out for nothing.

I want to be optimistic, to have faith that doors will open, etc. After all, they have so far. And I believe they will continue to do so, even if things don't go quite the way I'd like. But I'm left to wonder were these two additional years of school even necessary.

Who knows. Maybe it wasn't the actual education, but the connections made during my time in grad school that will be the key. After all, "it's not what you know, it's who you know." And I've met a few people--both professors and students--who I think could be extremely helpful in some things that I'm trying to do. So there's really no room to complain, huh? Well then I won't do that. But I'm still left to ponder the question, "So now what?"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing

Note: This is part one of this entry. Part two is of a racier nature and is therefore going to be on my blog that is devoted to such.

Today, I did something I haven't done in a long time. I went out to eat with my friends from church. This used to be the norm every 1st and 3rd Sunday, but for the past couple of weeks months I've been spending every 1st and 3rd Sunday with Bartender. I told him last night/this morning as I was leaving his house that I'd stop by before he went to work, but instead of doing the usual routine of going straight to his house after service, I went out to eat. I didn't realize how much I missed just talking and laughing with my friends like that. It's really the only time that we have together, because everyone's schedule is so busy.

But Bartender was not trying to hear that. In his mind, I was supposed to be there just like always. But I'm always there. Monday and Thursday nights after class, whenever I can sneak away Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, all Saturday afternoon and evening even though his daughters are usually there despite the fact that Saturday was supposed to be our date night. This was a necessary breather, and I still made an effort to leave early just to stop by and see him for a few minutes.

 It's not that I don't enjoy being with him. On the contrary, I love the time we spend together, to the point where I would be with him all the time if it were possible. I've been like that before, and I learned my lesson about having (or being) too much of a good thing. Eventually all of that togetherness wears someone down, and the other person (usually me) is told that space is needed. So now I'm making a conscious effort to not be the one who always wants to hang out. Not easy when he wants to spend so much time together. BTW, that's not a complaint at all. I just don't want to wear out something that's been really good so far. Shoot, it hasn't even been a year since we exchanged numbers. I'm afraid that being up under each other too much will lead to someone feeling smothered. So I'm doing an anti-smother damage control preemptive strike, if you will.

What I've learned with food and makeup holds true for relationships as well: you can definitely have too much of a good thing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quotes of the Day: On Adversity

Today some developments came up that have me reconsidering the direction I want my career to follow, and whether I want to remain with the real estate company I'm with or go for broke & work strictly for myself once I get my broker's license next year. Until I can think a bit clearer to write a post that actually makes sense, I'm trying to lift myself up with some quotes instead...

“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” Arthur Golden

“Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember” Seneca

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford

“Seeds of faith are always within us; sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth.” Susan Taylor

“There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.” Washington Irving

“Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition - such as lifting weights - we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” Stephen R. Covey

“Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with.” Thomas Carlyle

 (all quotes courtesy of thinkexist.com)

random: i want

i want to teach business; real life business skills that people can use.
i want to instill a hunger for business and entrepreneurship in little black kids.
i want to be successful in real estate.
i want to work for myself.
i want to sit on my butt and let great real estate investments take care of me.

i want to paint.
i want to write.

i want to love.
i want real love.
i want a real, lasting love that doesn't end with me asking "WTF?"

i want a house.
i want a house that i can decorate and where i can throw cocktail parties and intimate sleepovers.
i want a home.

i want knowledge.
i want to know a little bit of everything.
i want to share wisdom with the world.

i think i want too much.

i want it all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Talk--America's Doing It Wrong

Did your parents ever sit down and have "the talk" with you?

When I was 16 my parents asked if I had any questions about sex. I didn't. There was no discussion of how it works, methods of preventing pregnancy and STDs, the emotional issues that go along with it. They simply reminded me that sex was "wrong" and "don't do it." Yeah, I knew that I'd been told sex was bad (but magically became good once you say "I do") but that didn't stop me from doing it-- two years prior to the non-talk "talk."

I've asked a couple of my friends, and none of them recall having the notorious talk that parents are supposedly so scared of. (Maybe they're so scared that they skip it altogether?) There was the "don't do it" speech for most of them, and the "we're just gonna put you on birth control & hope for the best" move for a few others.While this passive approach may seem like the answer for apprehensive parents, how is it working out for the kids?

Well, it looks like it's not. Not for teens in America, at least. Research recently done by sociologist Amy Schalet compares the difference in approach to teen sexuality in America and European countries. In her article, "Sex, Love and Autonomy in the Teenage Sleepover," she states, "American adolescent sexuality has been dramatized instead of normalized."  The results of this? A high rate of teen pregnancy, abortion, and transmission of STDs. Advocates for Youth provide these figures:




Schalet cites two main reasons for the stark differences in approaches to teen sexuality: religion and economic security. As a whole, the U.S. has a tendency to be more devout than our counterparts in the Netherlands, hence more conservative views and beliefs. As far as economic security, she reasons, "Like most European countries, the Dutch government provides a range of what sociologists call 'social' and what reproductive health advocates call 'human' rights: the right to housing, healthcare, and a minimum income. Not only do such rights ensure access, if need be, to free contraceptive and abortion services, government supports make coming of age less perilous for both teenagers and parents.

What are some of the differences found in approaches to sexuality?
  • Adults in France, Germany, and the Netherlands view young people as assets, not as problems. Adults value and respect adolescents and expect teens to act responsibly. Governments strongly support education and economic self-sufficiency for youth.
  • Research is the basis for public health policies to reduce unintended pregnancies, abortions, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Political and religious interest groups have little influence on public health policy.
  • Youth have convenient access to free or low-cost contraception through national health insurance.
  • Sex education is not necessarily a separate curriculum and is usually integrated across school subjects and at all grade levels. Educators provide accurate and complete information in response to students’ questions.
  • Families have open, honest, consistent discussions with teens about sexuality and support the role of educators and health care providers in making sexual health information and services available to teens.
  • Society weighs the morality of sexual behavior through an individual ethic that includes the values of responsibility, respect, tolerance, and equity.

 I find it ironic that our society is still so conservative about some aspects of sex even though sex is everywhere, 24/7. Is it that we've demonized our natural sexuality to the point that we are in effect helpless against its power? By not looking at sex/sexuality for what it is--a natural desire that can be both healthy and fulfilling when done/used responsibly--we have left ourselves open to a myriad of problems that can be prevented.


main source: Consequences of U.S. and Dutch Approaches to Sex

Monday, November 15, 2010

Planning, Preparation & Payoff

At the beginning of the year I wrote a post about 2010 being my year of planning, preparation and payoff. There were several things that I wanted to accomplish and I was determined to either start or complete this year; some personal, some professional. Many were goals that I wanted to reach within the year, while others (the "planning" and "preparation" goals) are stepping stones to much grander goals. Thankfully I can say that I am on track with most of my goals!

I'm all set for graduation in December if this macroeconomics class doesn't kick my butt. Be prepared to see Tori D., MBA all over urrythang I touch from then on!

I've pulled together a great group of young black professionals to start work on chartering a Jackson, MS chapter of the National Black MBA Association. (By the way, if you're in the Metro Jackson area and interested, email me at TDWhitley@gmail.com. Thaaaanks!)

My real estate business is taking off. This is especially big to me because, as I've stated before, this is not just a job but a career for me. And for me to be doing any business at all with the economy like it is and with my limited resources... it's huge. God's favor is all over that.

Despite my flightiness and lack of focus, I've come up with a career plan that would make retirement within 15-20 years a possibility. That way I could focus on my non-profit and do some creative work, all while bringing in passive income--which is the best kind of income there is, IMO. Now if I can stick to the plan, instead of suddenly deciding I want to do something else, that will be a true payoff in and of itself!

I've been able to completely rid myself of some dead weight. I'm talking exes, old "friends" who really did nothing more than bring me down, old hurts and disappointments that slowed my progress. Strange how I actually feel lighter now that I'm done with all of that. That lightness is both a payoff from learning to be honest (brutally, sometimes) with myself and others, and preparation for "the next best" whatever to come along.

But of course, not everything has gone as planned...

I didn't stick with my workout routine. The payoff was supposed to be shedding X number of pounds by my cruise in June. Didn't happen. I stayed fat and happy. Found another "workout" though, and it feels good to "work out" on the regular. What? O_o I'm all about the exercise over here...

I have yet to get and stay organized. This is an ongoing thing for me, but I haven't given up on it!

I didn't stick with the plan to focus solely on myself... For the entirety of this year I've been more or less (okay, really more) booed up. I said I was going to take a break from relationships and such, but this current one just sort of happened. But this time, seriously, once it's over, it's all about me, myself and I. There's no potential-beau in the background this time, so I guess that means it'll be time for that break... IDK.

So there you have it! I'm happy to see the progress that I've made and I can't wait to see even more growth, progress, and positive moves. What upward motion have you made this year? Share it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

#thingsblackgirlsdo and other self-depricating bullshit

Most of the people I e-interact with know that I'm on Twitter a good deal (although not as much as of late), and while it's definitely not enough to base a thesis on, watching TTs (that's trending topics for you non-tweeters) has lead me to a conclusion that I'd like to discuss.

Many of us have "drunk the kool-aid." We've bought into the negative stereotypes of ourselves. The following are some of the TTs and tweets I've seen:

#doesntmeanyourblack [sic] (I know it should be "you're" not "your" but that was the TT...)
#nowthatsghetto
#blackfolks "want an iPad but haven't paid their car note, rent or child support"
"black people: child support. white people: house note"

The the majority of people perpetrating the stereotypical foolishness are the same ones that these TTs target. The offending TT de jour is #thingsblackgirlsdo. And folks are having a field day with it. Observe some of the tamer tweets:

try to have kids wit a nigga coz he got "good hair"
get emotional on twitter and be wanting to fight over words that disappear smh
go to the club lookin like a million bucks but be broke as fuck lookin for a nigga to buy her drinks!
get foodstamps sell them for more than they worth
get loud in any public place
drive to a destination to go fight

 Now there are a lot of people trying to put some positivity out there (among my favs: #thingsblackgirlsdo ROCK!!) but overall... SMH. And of course the onslaught of negativity brought about another TT:

With no Job Experience or Education gets pissed cuz they cant find a Good Paying Non Factory Job
could tell u everything about the Lebron decision...but couldnt name one major court decision in American history
sell weed so they aint gotta get a real job
try every way possible to get around the law
hav 3, 4 baby mommas an call all of dem hoesm.. [sic]
have side chicks fighting/hating each other and the main chick don't have a clue what's goin on....

My main issue is that it's us dogging us. Of course it would be upsetting to see "others" going in on us, but to me it wouldn't be as surprising. But for blacks to dog each other out for the whole Twitterverse to see is disheartening. Even if it is in jest--after all, there's some hint of honesty in every "joke" someone makes. Some people are believing the things they type. And by no means am I saying that everything is all roses with us as a people. Many of the tweets about what black people do can be applied to any other group of people (because each group is diverse and encompasses both good and bad). But the fact that everyone seems to associate black with the bad traits shows that we have bought into the lie that society has pushed onto us. Black is bad, wrong, negative, ugly, evil. We've been bombarded with that sentiment for so long that it's seeped into our collective psyche and now we are regurgitating it back into the universe. And not just on Twitter, but in our every day lives. So many of our people have a defeated outlook... They believe the negativity that swirls around them and it becomes a self-manifestation.

Instead of falling in line with that, how about we make a conscious effort to represent ourselves, our people, and our culture in a positive light, and then reflect that positivity in every aspect of our lives.

#Thatisall.

Quote of the Day

“Don't rely on someone else for your happiness and self worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can't love and respect yourself - no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are - completely; the good and the bad - and make changes as you see fit - not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”

Stacey Charter

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shoe Porn: Purple Passion

It's been a looooong time since I've done a shoe porn post! But due to recurring events, I felt it was needed.

Over the past two years or so, I've fallen in love with many pairs of purple pumps, boots, sandals, etc. Purple has become my favorite color for the time being (purple and blue always fight it out in my mind, while pink sits back comfortably in 3rd place) so I want to get shoes that reflect my passion for purple. Unfortunately I've only managed to buy ONE pair of purple shoes... which I don't get to wear often, since they are too big. (Side note: what the heck is up with Jessica Simpson? I had to give away my size 10 because I literally lost the feeling in my foot, they were so tight. Then I got these purple shoes in an 11 and they slip off my feet!) So anyway, this post is an ode to the shoes I've lusted after but never could make my own.

This is the shoe that started it all: Nine West Hamptonesk. 2008. Lawd, y'all don't understand how bad I wanted these shoes! I was calling all over to see if any stores had them... The few that had the style didn't have the purple. Then I finally call ninewest.com customer service and the lady tried to tell me they didn't come in purple! What the deuce?! I know what I saw lady! I saw love... in shoe form.... *le sigh*






This year's obsession: Vince Camuto Amber. It was lust at first sight once again when I spotted these in Dillard's a few weeks ago. I wanted to snatch them up then and there, but I was trying to be frugal and the price tag wasn't working for me. Then I got wonderful news: the price was marked down to $80! I ran to Dillard's as fast as I could. They did not have the purple in my size. I decided I could settle for the blue, since they had that in a 10, but I'd need to try it on first just to be sure. It did not fit. -_- So I figure, no biggie, I'll just order an 11, and since I'm ordering, I can get the purple! Um, no. This style was not available in an 11. Woe is me!



To ease my pain, I went to Zappos.com and searched for purple shoes. I was determined! I found something that would do the trick: these Gabriella Rocha shoes (style: Arria). These were great! Flashy, attention grabbing... so me. But wouldn't you know it, this color doesn't come in a 10.








And then there were these. Alexander McQueen heart toe pumps. $725.00. Enough said.

Systematic Apathy

Although this post is not really about the mid-term elections held this past Tuesday, that was the impetus for this post. What I'm about to say is not necessarily because of the results of the elections, but the comments I've heard and read concerning them.

Somewhere between the Civil Rights movement and today, we (yes this is a generalizing, collective "we") as African-Americans have gotten waaaay too comfortable. Lax. We "just don't give a f***."

No, let me correct that. We give a f***, but about the wrong things.

On Tuesday, I saw a lot of tweets and Facebook posts about voting. And I saw a whole heck of a lot of posts about not voting. Not just saying they hadn't vote, but boasting that they wouldn't. I'm sorry, when did not voting become the "it" thing? Oh I know, since there were no superstars this election. It was great that the coolest candidate for POTUS eva motivated people to get out and vote in 2008. But like so many other fads, once the celebs stopped talking about it and the "cool" wore off, people lost interest. The proof is in the low turnout by young voters and minority voters.

But this isn't just about politics and voting. It's about a lack of concern and misplaced priorities that seem to be rampant in our community. So many youngsters that I know--and ones that I don't know but have observed--place so much interest and emphasis on the latest dance, what a celebrity is doing/wearing/saying, becoming the next (insert hot athlete here), or becoming a dope boy and so little on getting an education and making a future for themselves. Many are enthralled with being sexy and having sex, without regard to how their lives could change as a result.... But hey, you can't fully blame the kids when many of the adults--the people who should be role models--are acting the same way!

I know this isn't new; the same thing was going on back in my day. (God, that makes me sound old!) But just because it's been going on for years doesn't mean we can't turn it around, does it? We as a people have too rich and too great a story to be done in by our own laziness, sense of entitlement and failure to recognize what is truly important. We cannot let apathy take us back to what we once fought so hard against.


P.S.: For anyone with the urge to say "Well white folks are doing the same thing and you ain't saying nothing about them," lemme address y'all now. No hate towards anyone, but white folks aren't my folks. What they do to their own detriment is not my concern. If you want to follow down a destructive path just because "white folks are doing it," then we're in an even sadder state than I thought.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On Going Crazy

Last week I feared my crazy had run off the new beau for good. It was a rough week emotionally, although logically it really shouldn't have been. It was his birthday week and I'd done a pretty good job of holding it all together, indulging him and putting on a happy face from Sunday up until late Thursday evening. Then came a serious shift in mood, stemming from perceived lack of attention. (And yes, I knew it was irrational; even while pouting about it my more rational side was sitting there like "Really? You know this is BS right?")

Then Friday... *sigh* What should have been a great day--homecoming weekend, day off work--was a series of disappointments. In and of themselves, these would have been so inconsequential... but in the throws of my insanity trip, it ended up being the culmination of all that was wrong in my world. Essentially, it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was at his house and out of nowhere I started crying--sobbing, really. Of course, he figured it was the latest little frustration that sent me over the edge and tried to fix it but... it was no use. I was mentally, emotionally, and almost physically down for the count. I went home, didn't call him like I said I would. When he called late that night after work, I was afraid to answer the phone. I was embarrassed, and sure that he didn't want to deal with me anymore. My little speech was all prepared and ready to go, but all I got out was "I'm sorry." He interjected and said, "It's cool. I know you're stressed right now. You just need to relax. Maybe talk to someone about it."

I knew exactly what he meant when he said "talk to someone." I've considered it. I know people who have said talking to a psychologist or counselor or whatever was helpful. I'd never knock it, but I don't even know what I'd say. "I'm almost finished with my 2nd degree, have a really good guy in my life, and two decent jobs. Woe is me!" I feel petty, and think anyone I talked to would think the same. And considering the fact that I really don't know what the problem is, how could it even be fixed? Logically, I should be happy as hell! And usually I am pretty happy on the surface. Stuff kinda simmers under the surface and usually it dies down... or boils over like it did Friday.

My attempts to control my crazy aren't getting the best results, but could someone else really do better?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 7--Lust

Seven love secrets (I'm putting the PG-13 version here... and I dunno if I'd actually call these secrets. Just facts. The real "secrets" are elsewhere...)

1. For all of my relationships over the past three years, with the exception of the current one, the next guy was already "waiting in the wings." There's no #2 this time, so I'm not sure what that means.

2. I remember the names of everyone I've been with, all x of them... although I have to think hard sometimes to remember the name of one particular ONS.

3. I thought I was in love with my first. Maybe I was. To this day I still feel a little way about him. I call him Mr. Magic Voice because his singing is what got to me.

4. Once I'm done messing with a FB, I generally don't acknowledge their presence anymore. No hard feelings or anything, but when that one connection is over, what else is there to converse about?

5. My friends have always come to me for sexual advice. Even back in high school. I have no idea why... lol

6. I briefly considered becoming a phone sex operator, because everyone told me I had the voice for it. I gave that up once I realized that internet porn had stolen all of the thunder from phone sex. LOL

7. Although I have some "unconventional" interests when it comes to sex, I don't consider myself a freak. "Freak" means abnormal, and who gets to decide what's normal? And would the standard be what people say is normal, or what they normally do? The two don't always match up!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 6--Gluttony

Seven guilty pleasures.

1. Shopping
I shop even when I know I shouldn't. It's not to the extreme where I'm going into debt or anything like that, but money is eeeextra tight at the end of the month because I've been shopping so much at the first of the month. BUT I shop after my bills are paid so... *shrugs*

2. Ice Cream
I am a fat girl. A fat girl who likes ice cream. If you have it, I will eat it. Again, *shrug*

3. TV
I could sit and watch Desperate Housewives, SVU, The Gates, House, and Psych all day long. And HGTV, History Channel and Food Network? Pppsssshhhh... If I didn't work, I'd be a straight up couch potato.

4. Books
I'm a bibliophile who has trouble letting go. There are books piled up everywhere in my room and my old room/office/guest room. Some of them I haven't read in forever but I still have them. Maybe getting a Kindle or an iPad will help me out with that... IDK.

5. Shoes
Can shoes be placed in a separate category than shopping? I believe so. My closet is overrun with shoes, PLUS I have the little Shoe Under thingy (shoe organizer than goes under the bed). I usually end up giving shoes away every couple of months and it's still always plenty. Funny thing is though, I never seem to have shoes to go with the outfits I plan, so I have to buy more. See? It's necessity!

6. Punishment
Ummm, I don't think I wanna go into details here. LOL

7. Makeup
It's the craziest thing: I rarely wear makeup, but I have a whole warehouse in my room! I'm especially guilty of this with eye shadow. I have so many different palettes it's insane, but wear eyeshadow maybe once a week. Maybe. At least I put the many shades and brands of lipstick to good use. So that's not too bad... right?

Friday, October 22, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 5--Greed

Seven worldly material desires.


You heard Mr. Douglas--I mean, Gordon Gecko.

1. A MANSION. Even though I don't plan on having a big family, I want a huge house for entertaining. Five bedrooms, 6.5 baths, formal dining room, bar in the basement, entertainment room, big backyard with the outdoor kitchen, office/study, a special room just for me and my husband plus any "special guests" we may allow when we feel like being... social. Yeah, I want alla that.

2. A YACHT. I think it would be soooo cool to have a little mini mansion out on the water! Going up on the deck to work on my tan (I gotta keep this body extra dark chocolaty, doncha know), being able to see different places while still having all of the conveniences of home? Sign me up.

3. A BUGATTI VEYRON. 1001 horsepower. Enough said!

4. EGYPT. No, not the actual country. The island. Really any of the islands in The World. Or The Palm, I'm not too picky.

5. LIVE IN STAFF. I would love to have a trainer, chef, maid, driver and stylist in my home, at my beck and call.

6. HUGE CLOSET FULL OF DESIGNER CLOTHES AND SHOES. Do y'all remember the scene in Sex and the City when Carrie saw the closet that Big had built? OMG that was like porn. I want--no, need that in my life.

7. UNLIMITED ACCESS TO TIFFANY & CO. I am a sucker for Tiffany's, and I'm on their site drooling all the time. Would be nice to be able to walk in and say, "Hi Muffy, I'm back. Let me have that Legacy ring with the diamonds and platinum in a size 10. What stone, you say? Well, let's get the rubellite, the purple sapphire, the aquamarine, and the pink sapphire. And be quick about it dear, I'm in a hurry..."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 4--Sloth

Seven things I neglect to do.

1. Study at any point besides the night before a test.

2. Post blogs when I intend to post them.

3. Create a budget and stick with it.

4. Get organized and stay organized for longer than a week.

5. Call people "right back" -- although I (usually) really mean it when I say I will.

6. Mani/pedis. Long as the nails are clean & not too long... eh.

7. Figure out everything my computer does. I've had my Macbook for almost two years and I still find surprises because I never took the time to really explore it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 3--Wrath

Seven things that piss me off.

1. SLOW DRIVERS. Especially when they pull out in front of me going at least 10 miles slower than I am. Or won't move out of the left lane. Or make a complete stop to turn when it's not necessary. Or don't go when the light turns green. Or think that just cuz they're retired and have all day to ride around doing nothing that I want to spend 20 minutes of my lunch break stuck behind their slow-moving butts.... Ya know what? I think other people driving PERIOD pisses me off.

2. Not being able to find cute clothing/shoes in my size. There is an unaddressed discrimination against ladies with big feet. Why is it that some of the cutest shoes are only available in small? Why can't stores order more than one size 10 shoe? Why do shoe makers neglect those of us with odd size feet who need a 10.5 and can't work with their 10 or 11? (I'm looking at you Jessica Simpson!) And the plus-size clothing.... Lawd. If it's cheap, it's hideous. If it's cute, it's costly. Where is the in-between?

3. Victim mentality. If you think that everyone is out to get you, everyone wants to see you fail, no one ever helped you, you're the only one going through ish... I don't want to be bothered with you, because I will be tempted to tell you to jump off the nearest bridge expeditiously. Seriously, stop looking at everyone else like it's their fault that you ___________. Look at yourself. Oh, and if everyone tries to distance themselves from you? You may want to look within. I'm just sayin.

4. People taking my kindness for weakness. When you're on my good side, I am sweet as pie. But trust, you don't want to try & take advantage of that. I can do a complete 180 on you and be the biggest, dirtiest bytch alive when pushed to that point. I don't like it, and I try to avoid it, but some folks have to see for themselves that behind the smile is a problem that they really don't want!

5. Incorrect spelling/grammar. I'm not some kind of grammar nazi (usually). I know there are times when people relax with their verbiage, especially on the "interwebs." But if you are constantly mixing up to/too/two, your/you're, there/their/they're, etc. I'm gonna have a problem with you. There have been many a blog posts I've come across where the content and topic were great, but I just couldn't get past all of the errors. They invented spelling/grammar check for a reason, folks.

6. A man who can't take the lead. In some aspects I'm very old fashion, and I suppose this is one of them. I expect a man to be able to make decisions, to provide (when necessary in dating, period in marriage), to protect... Basically to be a leader. A sorry man who looks to his woman for everything raises my ire.

7. People who don't know & have never done my job, trying to tell me how to do it. I think that one is self-explanatory!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 2--Envy

Seven things I lack and covet.

1. My own home. Preferably a condo. (Yes, the real estate agent has not bought her first house! For shame...) 
picture from http://www.justnewlistings.com/

2. Free time. Between two jobs and grad school, not to mention all the other obligations in my life, I'm jealous of anyone who can get a moment to relax and enjoy themselves. 

3. Marriage. WAIT, let me clarify: a happy, healthy partnership with a faithful husband. Yeah, that's what I mean. Not just any old "I do; we's married now!" type deal.

4. A Camaro. I see them every day, everywhere I go! They're taunting me yall. They are!
picture from camaroz28.com

5. Inner peace. I'm envious of people who can be calm and peaceful regardless of what goes on around them. I just don't have that...

http://embraceyourgifts.typepad.com/
6. High metabolism. Don't laugh, I'm being serious! I know some skinny-minis who put away food like it's nothing. Meanwhile, I sniff a donut and got an extra 2 lbs. It's not fair, I tell ya!

Funny thing: My ideal size is the same as the "big" one in this pic!

7. Inherited wealth. I'm not ashamed to admit it: I'm lazy and would LOVE to not have to work! I can just imagine what it would have been like to grow up with the world at your fingertips... *le sigh* Maybe in my next life.



from gawker.com



Monday, October 18, 2010

7 Deadly Sins Challenge: Day 1--Pride

I peeped this over on L. Michelle's blog and decided to steal it :) I am starting today!

The 7 Deadly Sins Challenge...


Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
          Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.

Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.

Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.

Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.

Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets

 
So here we go: PRIDE.
 
1. My way with words sometimes shocks even me. Of course, it usually happens when I'm not trying, which makes it that much more awesome.
 
2. My hair is (and has always been) really fly. Need proof? Check here and here. I'll wait.
 
3. I'm a really good cook, with seafood being my specialty. If you are a seafood fan, I can have you ready to propose within one meal. And don't let me make my macaroni & cheese with it! You'll have the plate in one hand and be pulling me to the courthouse with the other. It is NOT.A.GAME.
 
4. "Call me Mrs. Flinstone, I can make yo bed rock!" LOL Seriously though, I am that deal when it comes to *ahem* workouts of the adult nature. And I am not ashamed.
 
5. My spending/saving habits are improving. It feels pretty good to know that even when I'm "broke" according to my checking account, I'm still sitting kinda pretty in the savings.

6. I'm multi-faceted like you wouldn't believe! My interests are so varied & I code switch so easily that I can easily fit in to just about any situation. Not that I want to most of the times, since I'm kinda anti-social :) but if I need/want to, it's not even an issue.

7. My legs. Usually when someone asks about my favorite feature, I'll say something like eyes or hair. But really, my legs are great. Kinda funny to me since I am a big girl, but it's true!



**By the way, it was really hard to come up with seven things! I'm not one to took my own horn (that often).**

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pinkwashing: Think Before You Pink

What is pinkwashing?

1. a term used to describe the activities of companies and groups that position themselves as leaders in the struggle to eradicate breast cancer while engaging in practices that may be contributing to rising rates of the disease. (source)
2. Using support for breast cancer research to market products, particularly products that cause cancer.Pinkwashing is a blend of pink, the color associated with breast cancer research, and whitewashing, "concealing flaws." (source)
3. The term “pinkwashing” is sometimes used to describe products which are targeted at people who are concerned about breast cancer, with the “pink” being a reference to the pink ribbons used to symbolize breast cancer research. Pinkwashed products are often sold with claims that the purchase of the product will benefit breast cancer research or patients suffering from breast cancer, leading consumers to believe that they are making a sound ethical choice by purchasing such products. (source)

The most recent company (that I can recall) to be nationally blasted for pink washing was KFC and their pink "Buckets for the Cure" campaign. This was especially egregious as many believe their is a link between cancer and food like fried chicken. However, pinkwashing is not always so obvious. Some companies feature the pink ribbon or turn packaging pink, leading consumers to believe that profits from purchasing those products will go towards cancer research donations. This is not always the case. Some companies make no donation at all, while others make a minuscule donation, sometimes only $.50 of profit.

Think Before you Pink has some questions consumers should ask if they are looking to "buy pink."

1. How much money from your purchase actually goes toward breast cancer? Is the amount clearly stated on the package? If you can’t tell how much money is being donated, or if you don’t think it’s enough, give directly to the organization instead.




2. What is the maximum amount that will be donated? Whenever there is a cap, your individual purchase may not contribute anything to the cause, depending on when you shop and whether the cap has already been met.



3. How are the funds being raised? Sometimes the purchase alone does not ensure a contribution.

4. To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?

5. What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?


Remember, if you want to make a donation, you can make donations directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen. And if you want to show visible support, there is The Pink Ribbon Shop (which donates to various legitimate cancer research foundations) and Shop Komen.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

No Wedding, No Womb: A Middle-of-the-Road Perspective

*Note: This post has zero stats on how good/bad children of single mothers are, how they fair in life, comparisons between single parent & two-parent families, jail stats, economic info, nada.  If you're looking for all that, I'm sure you'll find a lot on both sides of the argument by simply following the #NWNW hashtag on Twitter. This post is STRICTLY the opinion of Tori D., and I reserve the right to change that opinion or stay stubbornly mired in it, should I choose to do so.*

A few week ago, I saw posts popping up about No Wedding, No Womb, an initiative that some black bloggers--mostly women, from what I saw--started as an effort to reduce the high percentage of out of wedlock births. Seems noble enough. Of course, in typical Tori D. fashion, I couldn't get any thoughts together in time, so I dropped it. I figured it would pass relatively unnoticed anyway, so why post something when it's dying down? But um, it didn't.

Within the weeks since #NWNW appeared in the Twitterverse, it has morphed into an ugly battle. From the opposition, I've seen tweets calling NWNW self-hating because it "puts down black men" and picks on poor black women, insensitive to homosexuals, a put down from people on moral pedestals, illogical, anti-feminist in that it ignored a man's role & responsibility and the assertion "these bitches are dykes." I hadn't followed the battle that was going on, but these were the tweets that were flooding my timeline. So when I finally go back to see what #NWNW supporters had to say, there was an onslaught of attacks towards those who were born or had kids out of wedlock instead of defense of their stand.

What the hell happened?

It amazes me (though at this point in my life it really shouldn't) that people could see the same thing with such starkly different perspectives. Granted, I have not read all--or even a majority--of the posts that were written for NWNW. The few that I did read told personal stories and didn't come off as belittling to me. But then I thought about it a little differently: Would I be offended if I were the result of a casual fling, or even a relationship that just didn't result in marriage? Would I be pissed if I'd had a child outside of marriage? Would it somehow be less infuriating if it wasn't just directed at black women? How would this whole movement affect me? Clearly I don't have an answer as these are all hypothetical. Honestly, I can see both sides, especially when they bring in different elements that I had not initially considered when NWNW came into play. However, I think a lot of people (on both sides of the argument) are letting feelings and personal circumstances color how they receive the message, or causing them to not receive it at all.

So what's the Tori D. interpretation of NWNW?
Have a baby when you are ready. Practice safe sex. I know many people don't go looking for trifling, no good people to have babies with (male or female), but being selective about who gets the goods and what you do to prevent pregnancy could mean a world of difference for you. Now what constitutes a "suitable" mate? Well that's on you boo. But consider whether you know and like/love the person well enough to potentially have to deal with them for the rest of your life--wedding or not. No shade to those who had OOW children; things happen. Even if you do background checks on potentials, use condoms & birth control religiously, it could still happen, and the dad could still be an ass regardless of who/what he is. But actively try to reduce those chances until you decide you want to bring a life into the world.

I guess that's more "My Womb, My Way" instead of "No Wedding, No Womb." At the end of the day, I believe the intentions behind NWNW were good. But what's that famous saying? Oh yes, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." From the sidelines, it looks line NWNW went to hell in a handbasket.


Anyway, what's your take on the NWNW debacle? I'd love to hear differing opinions on it (without the constraints of 140 characters!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Breast Cancer Myths

As I'm sure you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. People all over the country are gearing up to walk to raise money for a cure, sharing survivor stories, or paying homage to those who lost their battles with breast cancer.

Also, around this time every year, emails begin circulating (even more than usual) about things that will cause or prevent breast cancer. Research has proved many of these to be myths, yet many are unaware of this and continue to spread misinformation. Here are a few common myths and the truth of the matter. Click the links below for even more breast cancer misconceptions.

Myth: Only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk.
Reality: Roughly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors for the disease. But the family-history risks are these: If a first-degree relative (a parent, sibling, or child) has had or has breast cancer, your risk of developing the disease approximately doubles. Having two first-degree relatives with the disease increases your risk even more.

Myth: Wearing an underwire bra increases your risk of getting breast cancer.
Reality: Claims that underwire bras compress the lymphatic system of the breast, causing toxins to accumulate and cause breast cancer, have been widely debunked as unscientific. The consensus is that neither the type of bra you wear nor the tightness of your underwear or other clothing has any connection to breast cancer risk.

Myth: Wearing antiperspirant increases your risk of getting breast cancer.
Reality: The American Cancer Society pooh-poohs this rumor, but admits that more research is needed. One small study did stumble on traces of parabens in a tiny sample of breast cancer tumors. Parabens, used as preservatives in some antiperspirants, have weak estrogen-like properties, but the study in question made no cause-and-effect connection between parabens and breast cancer, nor did it conclusively identify the source of the parabens found in tumors.

Myth: Annual mammograms expose you to so much radiation that they increase your risk of cancer.
Reality: While it's true that radiation is used in mammography, the amount is so small that any associated risks are tiny when compared to the huge preventive benefits reaped from the test. Mammograms can detect lumps well before they can be felt or otherwise noticed, and the earlier that lumps are caught, the better one's chances for survival. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women age 40 and older receive a screening mammogram every year.

Myth: Hair straighteners cause breast cancer in African-American women.
Reality: A large 2007 study funded by the National Cancer Institute found no increase in breast cancer risk due to the use of hair straighteners or relaxers. Study participants included African-American women who had used straighteners seven or more times a year for 20 years or longer.

Myth: Overweight women have the same breast cancer risk as other women.
Reality: Being overweight or obese does increase your breast cancer risk—especially if you're past menopause and/or you gained the weight later in life.

Myth: I’m too young to worry about breast cancer.
Reality: While it’s true that your breast cancer risk increases as you get older, the fact is that women of all ages are at risk for developing breast cancer.


Myth: Birth control pills cause breast cancer.
Reality: Doctors say the evidence isn't strong enough for them to recommend that women stop taking birth control pills to avoid breast cancer.
Some studies from the mid '90s showed that birth control users had a slightly increased risk, but researchers caution that pill formulations have changed since then (most contain much lower doses of the hormones linked to breast cancer risk).
This research also found that the risk returned to normal 10 years after women stopped taking the pills. Some research suggests that risk may depend on ethnicity or age (African-Americans and those who take pills after age 45 have a slightly increased risk), while other studies found no association between pills and cancer whatsoever. "This suggests that birth control–related breast cancer risk may not be the same for all women," says Susan Love, MD, a breast cancer surgeon and founder of the Army of Women, "which is why we need the Army of Women to help figure out whether subgroups have different risks."

Myth: Drinking from a plastic water bottle left in a hot car can cause cancer.
Fact: This rumor falsely claims that dioxins—a group of toxic chemicals associated with an array of health problems, including breast cancer—leach from the heated plastic into the water.
Plastics do not contain dioxins, and the sun's rays are not strong enough to create them, says Michael Trush, PhD, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Urban Environmental Health. Most single-use beverage bottles sold in the United States are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a substance tested extensively for safety.
There is some evidence that heat can cause bisphenol A (BPA), a compound that's been shown to have estrogenic effects in animal studies, to leach from plastic bottles into the water. (The "estrogenic effects" are thought to impact cancer risk.) However, most single-use water bottles sold in the United States are made from BPA-free plastic. And there's no proven link to breast cancer in women anyway. To be safe, drink from a reusable plastic bottle labeled "BPA free," or choose water bottles with a "1," "2," "4," or "5" in the recycling symbol on the bottom.

Sources: http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20215558,00.html
http://womenshealth.about.com/od/breastcancer/a/breastcafacts.htm
http://health.msn.com/health-topics/menopause/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100264189&imageindex=1&q=Breast+cancer+myths%2c+debunked

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Could You Be A SisterWife?

Sunday night, while flipping through channels, I ran across Sister Wives. From seeing the commercials, I'd already formed my opinion of the women who had agreed to be a part of this polygamist marriage. These women are dumb. This is just a way for dude to get more ass. They must have low self-esteem (because they were all a bit homely... I'm just saying). Dude ain't even cute enough for that!
So I watched the show to get a better understanding. Of course they were Mormons and most of them had grown up in polygamist families so to them it was nothing. Between the three women, there were 12 children with one on the way. The man was also courting wife #4 who already had 3 kids. The current sister wives explained the "benefits" of having other wives. Basically they had someone to watch the kids when they were having sexy-time with their 1/4 of a husband. O_o (If there were other benefits mentioned, I missed them. Really, all I heard was that there was always someone to watch the kids.) Isn't that what friends and teenage girls in need of money are for, to babysit?

At the end of the show, I had one question: WHY? I still didn't get the purpose. They didn't seem like they were pooling money and getting rich (from what I saw, only the guy and one of the moms worked--plus with all those kids you know their grocery and clothing bills are a beast). None of them were bisexual (at least, not that they mentioned) so it wasn't like they're getting another partner out of the deal, just another "sister." They all still had a ton of responsibility considering the ridiculous number of kids they had. The house wasn't all that big... What was the benefit?

Fast forward to last night. I'm at Bartender's place while he and a friend are chilling & Bartender asks the guy to explain what they had been discussing a few nights earlier. His friend proceeds to talk about how he asked his "lady friends" about coming together in a similar type set up. From the way he was talking, they apparently know about each other. He was reasoning that if they all pooled their money together to live in one location, they would cut down on rent, he wouldn't have to spend as much time away from them or as much money on travel (since most of them are in different states), and they would always have someone their to watch their kids. He looked at it as a wealth-building venture, with the added bonus of having all his pussy in one place. He also made mention of how "back in the day, in Africa, it was normal for a man to have a bunch of wives." Needless to say, the majority of his lady friends were not having it.

And then, while writing this post, I came across this blog post about an Alpha Female in polygamous relationships.

Some may side eye the hell outta me, but I gotta admit, some of it makes sense. I mean, if the women already know about each other, why not use each other to their advantage? Of course, I'd vote to make it even: if a man can have multiple wives, it would only seem fair that a woman could have multiple husbands, should she desire that. Not saying that this kind of arrangement would work for me, but to an extent, it may have it's advantages.

So what say you? Could you be a "sister wife" (or "brother husband" for the fellas)? Are there any circumstances under which you would even consider it? What do you think of those that practice this lifestyle?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Current Motivation

Yesterday, as I began to prepare for my first listing presentation (yay, me!) I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. Chest tightening, shaking, the whole nine yards. Thoughts of "What if they don't like me? What if they won't want me because I'm inexperienced? What if they ask me something I don't know? What if I miss something crucial that messes up the whole experience?" flooded my head, and in that instant I wanted to say "never mind!"

I prayed. I breathed deeply. I re-grouped.
I reminded myself that I do not run and hide, and that I could overcome any obstacle I encountered even if I fell and looked foolish a few times in the process.
I got back to work.

Today I'm still working on my presentation, getting details, running reports, making my presentation pretty and whatnot. I took a little break to look at a blog that I haven't visited in a while. I viewed some of the cards on Affirm Art and came across the affirmation I needed for today (and really, the rest of this very busy year):

courtesy of affirmart.blogspot.com

Although my plate is full and new obligations are being added to my calendar daily, I am happy that it is that way. Knowing that I am capable of dealing with anything and making situations work in my favor has given me renewed energy. I'm ready to work.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What Would You Do?

This weekend I was presented with some soap-worthy drama that I have no idea how to handle.

I have a friend who has recently gotten married and had a baby. I didn't know much about the guy although I'd seen him around before, but other friends expressed their concern that dude was a dog. From brief interaction with him, I knew he was a flirt, but I didn't learn the extent of his actions until Saturday.

While talking to a good friend, this guy came up. She told me that a mutual friend of ours met him one night at a club where his band was playing. She asked if he was seeing anyone and he said no, he was single. Long story short: they have a one-night stand, she feels awful & avoids him. One day she & some others run into the couple (while the wife was still pregnant); he plays the "we just met" game. Then he texts her around 5-something in the morning one day, asking if he can come over "to chill." She tells him off & that's that. Later, she finds out that was right after his wife had the baby.

I won't even get into how he tried to get back at another friend of mine who he used to mess around with & tried to holla at again right after getting married....

Basically he's f*cked over two of my friends, and only one of them knows it. He shouldn't get away with that.

So now I'm trying to decide whether I should tell his wife or not. Like I stated, she's a friend. As sweet as she is, she definitely doesn't deserve that kind of treatment. And if he's trying to bone two other folks that I know of, imagine how many he may be messing with that I don't know about! I'd hate for him to bring her something she can't get rid of, if ya know what I mean.

And just to add the icing to the cake: I used to talk to this guy's cousin a good little while back. I don't want it to seem like some kind of delayed, roundabout revenge because it's absolutely nothing like that. This could be a whole can of worms that I definitely don't want to get entangled in.

So what would you do? Tell her and let whatever happens happen? Keep your mouth shut and hope for the best? Only say something should she mention it? Confront the guy?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rally for the Scott Sisters

On this past Wednesday, hundreds of people marched onto Mississippi's state capital demanding the pardon and release of Gladys and Jamie Scott. They have served 16 years for a robbery netting $11. A robbery for which they maintain their innocence.
video

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Power of Positive Thinking

*Got this in an email from Jane Carter Solution today. Thought I'd pass it along*

Positive thinking and hard work are THE critical links to self improvement. Growth, happiness, and joy is the direct result of working hard and viewing life 'positively'.

Positive thinking can transform your life and allow you to do great things. Everyone and everything benefits from this change in you - your step lightens, your smile brightens, and your spirit generous. You find the joy in your life and share it with those around you.

How? Incorporate the following positive affirmations into your daily routine:

I deserve all the good things that come to me

· I deserve to be happy

· I deserve abundance

· I deserve love

· I deserve prosperity

· I deserve good health

· I deserve to enjoy life at its fullest

· I deserve a peaceful space to live

· I deserve to be in contact with Nature

· I deserve to be compensated for my skills and my knowledge

· I deserve to be successful

· I deserve to be surrounded by people who love me

· I deserve to experience beauty

· I deserve to enjoy my time doing something that I like

· I deserve to be appreciated

· I deserve to be respected

· I deserve to achieve my goals