Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Fantabulous Tuesday!

Today is my last day of work this week - WOO-HOO!!

I know most of you read my blogs at work, and this will be a short work week for the majority of you as well - so I decided to post my Thanksgiving blog today since you all will most likely be busy traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Thanksgiving is a day to be grateful. Gratitude is the heart's memory - a day to remember every blessing God has given us. We should do this everyday - but today, let me tell you what I am most thankful for.

I am most thankful that God woke me up this morning and breathed his grace and mercy into my lungs. I am thankful to make it through to another Thanksgiving season in good health and with a sound mind. I am thankful that I am able to support myself and share my blessings with others. I am thankful for simply being here.

I am thankful for my family. My wonderful family - near and far.

My mother. I've learned of life's loves and riches through her. I find shelter in her love, strength and friendship.

My father. I hold him dear to my heart and pray for him everyday.

My brother-in-law Fouad. It is through his example that I know what a good man, a great husband and a devoted father looks like. My sister is safe in his love and care. He is a man of integrity and a man of God. I love him for being who he is and for taking care of my sister. I am thankful that he found her.

My nephews Kyce and Ibrahim. They are my hearts joy - God's precious gift to our family. I can't even remember what my life was like before they were born. I couldn't love these boys more than if I had birthed them myself. Through their eyes and their smiles, I see everything that is good in the world.

My sister. My amazing sister Nicole. Did I ever tell you you were my hero? :-) She is my biggest cheerleader, my most honest critic, my biggest defender, my strongest ally, my best audience and my best friend. I am never afraid to trust her with my fears, my failures, my triumphs or my naked heart. She is my other self. My heart found a lifelong friend in her and my world is a better place because she is in it. Always.

Last but not least, I am thankful for my friends. I feel grateful to have so many true friends in my life. There are my "old" friends - friends I've known from high school, from college, at work and around the way. And there are my new(er) friends - friends I've made since I moved to NY - at work, online, through mutual friends and through my blog :-)

I hold my dear friends with both hands and I hug them tight. Friendship is a sweet responsibility. Friendship is a strong inclination to promote the good and happiness in one another. A real friend is sensitive to your character. He/She will never tell you to do the wrong thing or ill-encourage you. A true friend always strives to be proud of you and uplift you. It's the friends that you can call at 4am that matter.

And I have those. I have friends that I've known all my life and friends whose relationships I look forward to cultivating. The growth of true friendship is a lifelong affair - and I look forward to every minute of it. To all my friends - good times to come and I love you all!

This holiday season, reflect back on all that you have to be grateful for. So many times we complain about what we don't have. Who doesn't love us. Our job, or lack of one. Our heartaches. We say "why me?" instead of thank you. But you can't expect to find life worth living - you have to make it that way.

It's said that when you don't know how to pray or what to pray, the only prayer we need to say is "Thank You."

Amen.

Have a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving!

-b

P.S.

R.I.P Sean Bell.

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I literally didn't do anything - didn't even leave the house. It was GREAT...and SO what I needed. This week is going to be a short work week for me, so it's quite possible I will only blog today and tomorrow. MAYBE Friday. We'll see. Try not to miss me too much :-) (kidding...okay maybe not!)

First and foremost, let me post Liz's video blog so we can check in on her progress! Go Liz!



Now, since Thursday is Thanksgiving, and I probably won't blog that day...(maybe)...I decided that instead of Random Thoughts Thursdays this week, we could do "Bitchassness, Buffoonery and Wackness" Monday. This was Amanda's idea...she likes those words, so I figured I'd try to fashion a blog around it so we all can vent about anything we consider to be straight foolishness :-) This clip is for you Amanda - LOL!



Amanda hates Diddy :-)

Anyway - this morning while listening to the radio, the phrase/topic of the day was "You must think I'm stupid...." and listeners called in to tell their stories. This man called in and said he came home from Iraq to find condoms in his girlfriend's place. When he asked her who they were for, she said it was "protection for her favorite toy." Thus..."you must think I'm stupid" if you think I'd believe that! I was CRACKING UP! Hey, at least she thinks on her feet!

Straight Bitchassness!

Here's another story - and you tell me what you think. My sister said she was listening to the radio and this woman told a story about her first date with a new guy. He took her out to dinner and everything was going great. When it came time to pay the bill, he gladly took out his wallet to pay - along with 2 coupons - and handed it to the waiter. She must have had a crazy look on her face because he promptly said "hey, times are hard...every little bit helps!" LMAO! Now, she wanted to know if he was "The Wackness" for pulling out restaurant coupons for a first date. I'll let you all decide that one :-)

So...tell me - What do you consider to be "bitchassness, buffoonery or wackness?"

Here are some of mine:

- name droppers
- people who talk or answer cell phones in movies
- liars
- fishing for compliments
- dudes who go "pssst..." to get your attention
- D.L. Hughley (he's more like "coonery" than "buffoonery")
- Elizabeth Hasselbeck from The View
- arrogant men who are cry babies (Terrell Owens, Kanye West, etc.)
- the closet racist girl who sits next to me at work
- haters

I'm sure I can think of more, but I'll stop here!

And if you can think of a "You Must Think I'm Stupid" story to share, I'd love to hear those too!

Have a great day!

-b

Friday, November 21, 2008

TGIF!!

It is ARCTIC outside! And tomorrow is supposed to be colder than today. Please believe me when I tell you that I will NOT be doing anything but cleaning my cozy, warm apartment this weekend and watching movies. Maybe I'll make it a Spike Lee joint weekend.

Speaking of Spike Lee, remember School Daze? This clip, in my opinion, was one of the most powerful scenes of the film. I'll tell you why after you watch:



The reason I think this scene is powerful is because it speaks directly to self love and acceptance. Yesterday's Oprah show was about what is considered "beautiful" to women all around the world. Women of all cultures were on a quest for perfection as far as what they look like on the outside.

Now we all may have heard that women in Africa and the West Indies lighten their skin, because they feel that lighter is better. But in Japan - fair, smooth skin is considered the secret to beauty as well. If your skin is blemish free and porcelain, you are considered pretty. You may be surprised to learn that Japanese women use lightening cream in order to have fair skin, even though we may consider them to have a light complexion already. But they see their slight tint as too dark. Their skin should be "white."

In Iran, having a small, straight nose is what beauty means to them. They call Iran the "nose job capital of the world."

But not everything that is considered beautiful around the world is defined by European standards. In Mauritania, the bigger the women are, the more attractive they are. If you have stretch marks - EVEN BETTER! And if you're a divorcee, then you are the most desired big girl of all. In contrast, the men should be slim and fit. Anyone wanna go to Mauritania with me? LOL!! Seriously though, I'm not advocating an unhealthy lifestyle. Young girls in Mauritania are force fed until they vomit. Some of the women are severely overweight. I understand they may find pleasingly plump women attractive, but force feeding young girls fattening, unhealthy food is never a good thing.

In India, shaving your head for religious reasons is common. Some sacrifice their hair in order to sell it. One thousand tons of human hair are imported annually from India for hair weaves and extensions. Oprah even mentioned that Chris Rock is in India shooting a documentary on where weave hair comes from! That should be funny!

Weave hair is not just for African American women. There was a woman in the audience with long, blond tresses that wore "extensions." For white women, wearing extensions is a fun alternative to styling their own hair and gives them versatility. You don't hear too many white women calling out another white woman like, "she got a weave!"

But African American women, on the other hand, have this love-hate relationship with hair and how we wear it. We have issues. All kinds of issues. Some good, some bad.

Like in School Daze, you were considered trying to be "white" if you straightened your hair. If you wore it naturally, then you were "nappy-headed" and a "jiggaboo."

Why do we do this to each other? To ourselves? Why can't we just accept each other for who we are and the individual choices we make? Am I less "down" or "not really black" if I choose to relax my hair? Are you automatically a "natural beauty" if you wear locs and considered "socially conscious" and more in tune with your "blackness"? Why do we have to label each other at all?

I remember being so resentful of my sister for having a different head of hair than I do. Not because I thought her hair was more beautiful, but because she didn't have to sit at the stove having her baby hairs sizzled to her scalp from the straightening comb. I have this "funny bone" spot on my neck where, if you so much as blow on it, I'd giggle. Needless to say when it was time to "get the back of that neck," I'd have to go to school with burn marks on my funny spot because I couldn't sit still :-) I couldn't wait til I was finally old enough to get my hair "permed." My mother held off as long as she could, but I couldn't take the second degree burns anymore. My mother and sister have never known the sizzle of the straightening comb - so not fair!



Now some of you would think after enduring all that just to wear my hair straight, that I'd revolt and join the "happy to be nappy" club right? Well, to be honest, the thought never really crossed my mind. I LOVE natural hairstyles on my sister-friends. Liz has beautifully coiled hair. Nic Nac has a head of wild, free flowing waves. And Monica just recently started rockin' a fabulous short, curly fro. And I love the styles on all of them!

But I don't see myself with any of those looks at all. I have a funny shaped head. I feel like I'd have to wear makeup and earrings all the time. And I like being able to pull my straightened hair back in a pony-tail and throw on a cap. I think I told you all this in a previous blog - hair just doesn't do it for me. So the easier it is to take care of or style, the better. Natural hair isn't easy to take care of - at least not the natural type of hair that I have. If it were, I'd probably wear it that way. But to me, it isn't...so I don't. Trust me, I've seen it on myself.

why did they put an afro wig on me?

Now I've rocked braids before. I do it all the time. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of doing it again for the winter. But I want the option of wearing my hair straight again after I take the braids out - an option that doesn't involve a hot comb :-)

Hi -)

I say all this to say - hair, complexion, light, dark, fat, skinny, weave, knots - none of those things are the true measure of beauty. And I'm not saying we haven't made progress in the self-love department. The whole "good hair/bad hair, light skin/dark skin" standard of beauty has become more inclusive where we admire all types, textures, shades, and styles. We can admire Beyonce's fierce weave as much as we can India.Arie's kinky coif. Alek Wek is just as stunning as Noemie Lenoir. But sometimes I do still hear grown, educated women refer to fine hair as "good" hair. For the record - "good hair" is healthy, strong, well taken care of hair, and "bad hair" is dry, brittle, weak hair that isn't taken care of. Simple as that. No textures involved.

The true measure of beauty comes from within. It's funny how men don't have a have a certain complexion or hair type for most women. They could sport locs, a baldy, be honey dipped like Boris Kodjoe or dark chocolatey like Morris Chestnut. All we care about is - "Is he a good man?" That should be the standard we measure ourselves and each other by everyday. Are we good? Are we kind? Do we have a Godly spirit? Do we treat people the way we want to be treated?

The physical is but just one aspect of ourselves, and no two of us are alike. We are beautiful and diverse. Each of us is a divine original of God's awesome beauty of creation. In all it's glory, we should take in and drink deeply all the images that God has created for us to enjoy instead of fretting over who's beauty is better. If we don't, we'll miss all of God's true beauty altogether.

Too many of us live and die without ever realizing how truly beautiful we are as expressions of God. We absorb messages from all around us as to what beauty is instead of looking within. We focus on the outside and try to "fix" ourself there instead of realizing that the beauty we seek is inside all of us. We were made in God's likeness. All of us. We are more than our face and our body. We are more than our hair and our complexions. We are more even than our intelligence and our personality. We are human and divine. In His eyes, we are perfect. Beauty is a reflection of the face of the Creator - and in one glimpse we are blinded by His brilliance. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then in seeing God first, we allow ourselves to see the beauty in everyone, from every angle. Once we tap into the beauty that is God in us, then true beauty shines through lighting everything in our world. Even if our world involves a hot comb :-)

Have a great weekend!

-b

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Welcome to Random Thoughts Thursdays!

Okay, so we'll see how this works out. Some days I have nothing to say. Others I have so many thoughts running through my head that I don't even know where to begin. So I figured maybe I'd dedicate a day to random thoughts, questions, or open it up to discuss whatever anyone wants to discuss. I'm sure there will be a Thursday where I have something specific to say - but in the meantime, let's try it out.

Some random thoughts I've had so far today:

- This woman on the train was smacking gum so loud I wanted to snatch her lips off!

- You ever see really skinny guys wearing skinny jeans...and the jeans are STILL baggy on them? What the hell man??? Eat something, lift weights, do SOMETHING!

- Why are the people at my job so GREEDY? I have a candy jar filled with goodies and they pretend to come over to ask me questions when all they really want is candy. And then they grab a handful instead of taking just one piece. There's someone digging in it right now! Just ask, TAKE ONE and then keep it movin'!

- Speaking of work, I've had a stressful week so far and it doesn't seem to be letting up. Everyone was getting on my damn nerves. By the end of the day, I'm wondering where I can hide the bodies and get away with it.

- I miss Bernie Mac



(LMAO! I needed that!)

- Any of you have "booty jeans"? Mine are not necessarily jeans, but corduroys. Every time I wear these cords, my backside is bootylicious! They lift it up, push it out and round it out nicely - especially when I have my high heeled boots on to go with it. I have them on today - I love it! (I'll be back to my flat back tomorrow!) LOL!

- Speaking of Bootylicious - can anyone see Beyonce playing Wonder Woman? She's expressed an interest and says she's met with reps from DC Comics and Warner Bros. to talk about inheriting the Amazon princess' tiara from Lynda Carter, who played the character in the '70s TV series. Now, if Wonder Woman was an Amazon, brick house, ass kickin' superhero, B might not be tall enough. Tyra Banks anyone?



Okay, I'll stop my random thoughts here so that you all can jump in with yours.

I'll leave you with a question for the day:

Would you rather suffer a nerve injury that forever numbed your entire genital region, or one that left you completely deaf?

(....huh? what?....I can't hear you! LOL!)

-b

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Hump Day!

Today's blog is going to be short and sweet....hopefully. I'm working like a slave today and haven't had much time to think, let alone write. But one email discussion that began here at work has inspired my topic for today.

As some of you may know, Beyonce Knowles' 3rd cd, "I Am....Sasha Fierce" dropped yesterday. In this disc, Beyonce unveils "Sasha Fierce" - her racy, edgy, sexy alter ego. Now, we've seen Sasha, we know Sasha - but now B makes it official, gives her a last name, and unveils her in a double disc. "Sasha" is who she is when she's performing. She's raw. She's aggressive. She's not afraid of her sexuality. She wears patent leather super-high heeled stiletto boots. On a recent Oprah interview, she said sometimes "Sasha Fierce" goes home with her. No doubt Jay-Z is the beneficiary :-) Sasha's a freak.



....back to that in a minute...

The "I Am..." side of this schizophrenic double cd is simply Beyonce. The fresh faced, au natural, romantic, ballad singing Beyonce. She's innocent. She's lovey-dovey. She's the coy, country shy woman who bashfully shies away from questions about her man and guards her privacy. Beyonce's a lady.



And no doubt, Jay-Z is the beneficiary.

We all have a side of ourselves that others rarely, if ever, see. There are different facets to our personalities that some may find shocking to know existed. Some of my friends call me "church mouse." My sister had no idea I wrote erotic poetry. Who we are to the world may only be a facade. Or maybe only a lucky few are fortunate enough to meet the "Sasha Fierce" in us.

...so...back to Hov...

Do you think a man - your man, any man - wants a lady in the street and a "Sasha Fierce" in the bed? Can the same be asked of men? A "Shawn Carter" in the street and "Jigga" with the swag in the bed?

Who is your alter ego? Do you have one? If so, what's his/her name?

I think I'll call mine "Sapphire Vixen"

-b

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hola mi gente!

It's gettin' cold, y'all! And you know what that means. My single women know exactly what I'm talking about. The wind is a little brisk, you stay under the covers a little longer in the morning, you wear your cozy socks around the house....and your ex-boo's start calling again trying to get warm :) Funny how that happens right? Guys who were missing in action all summer long are all of a sudden calling like "hey, what you been up to?" or "damn, I missed you." LOL!!

Uh huh...y'all know what I'm talking about...don't act like it's just me! :)

Anyway, Today's blog is kinda long, so I hope you have time to read it. I thought I would piggy-back off of yesterday's discussion. A lot of you responded to me yesterday - either in the comments section or via IM or personal email - saying that going back to an ex was a no-no. But most of you also said that you're all friends with, or at least cool, with your exes.

So today I'd like to take that a step further and ask - can exes be JUST FRIENDS? I was watching an episode of Samantha Who? last night and the episode was about the main character's apprehension with telling her new boyfriend that her roommate is not only a man, but a man she used to be in a relationship with. When she finally told him, he was relieved. Why? Because HIS best friend is also HIS ex.

You'd think Samantha would be like "whew!" right?

WRONG!

She was actually uncomfortable with it. When it came time for them to introduce each other to their exes, Samantha wondered "is she prettier than me?" It bothered her that her boyfriend's best friend was his ex, even though she was living with her's. And here's the kicker! She THEN got jealous when her boyfriend's ex hit it off with her ex. Watch the clip:



It's funny how our feelings play tricks on us.

Would any of you have a problem with your current boyfriend/girlfriend having a close relationship with their ex?

Let me take it even further. Are any of you friends with an ex that you want back, and it's hard being their friend while they date other people? Are any of you still friends with your ex, but have a "friends with benefits" relationship with that ex? Can former lovers make great friends? Or should you stay away, for fear of falling back into familiar situations? The questions about can you simply be just friends with an ex seem to be endless. There is no right or wrong answer.

Personally, I think exes can be great friends, but it may take some finesse. And time.

If you started off as friends, you should be able to maintain the friendship right? Sometimes the friendship was the best part of the relationship. Just because you don't make it down the aisle doesn't mean all is lost. After all, you've shared memories, made each other laugh, confided in each other and know each other's deep dark secrets.

But some may say that this is exactly why you CANNOT be just friends. You've shared memories, made each other laugh, confided in each other and know each other's deep dark secrets - AND YOU'VE SEEN EACH OTHER NAKED!

Sometimes it's hard to bring a relationship back to the friendship level after having been the most intimate with someone. You will always have an image of that person naked, and memories of your sex life could be triggered by something as simple as the smell of her perfume or hearing a song that you once made passionate love to. You might consider yourself to be the most evolved, tough guy or woman when it comes to putting your feelings aside, but it's sometimes very hard to see someone in a different light after you've smacked it up, flipped it and rubbed it down!

Aside from sex, sometimes you can't be friends because you DID confide in each other, and now you feel you can't. The person you once shared any and everything with may be dating someone new now and you might not want to hear about their new relationship. Or you may feel awkward telling your ex that you have a hot date tonight. You might be reluctant to tell your ex how your new boo hurt you for fear of appearing silly or vulnerable - even though appearing silly or vulnerable was never an issue when you and your ex were together. That comfort level is no longer there.

As in the Samantha Who? clip, she was jealous. If jealousy comes into play, then no, you can't be friends. If it was a bitter breakup, even after some time, you may not want to hear how the new person they're dating is the love of their life. Who wants to hear that crap? Especially if you're not really over it. Even if you're the one who did the dumping and you don't have feelings for your ex anymore, if they find new love before you do, you might be resentful. Petty yes, but feelings are feelings. The thought of someone else taking your place in the world that you and your ex shared is sometimes painful to imagine. If you can't be sincerely happy for your ex because of jealousy or if you haven't moved on from the break up, then you can't be friends - because true friends are happy for one another.

What if the passion you feel for your ex is still there? You don't want them with anyone else because YOU still want them. Sometimes our relationship was so riddled with problems that we wondered why we were with that person to begin with. And then we realize...the sex was good! She had a big booty! He had a big...ahem...uh..feet! ;) Chances are we stayed in relationships based on passion and sexual chemistry, not because we were meant for each other. We may mutually agree to break-up after we come to that realization, but that doesn't mean the attraction is gone. So even if y'all start to "hang" under the guise of being "just friends," it's possible something could jump off "just for old times sake." Then that could bring you back to square one, how you felt right after the breakup, just when you were starting to get over it. Damn, damn damn!

Then there's just a matter of what went down in the breakup period. How many of you tried to remain friends with an ex just so you wouldn't feel guilty about dumping him or her? You know...the whole "it's me, not you....can we still be friends?" thing - when what you really want to say is "kick rocks bee-otch!" LOL!! Whatever you do, don't force a friendship when you really don't want one. It's not fair. The peace offering of friendship isn't sincere, it's just a way for you to feel easy about yourself and telling yourself you're not an asshole for dumping the other person.

Also, if you know your ex still has feelings for you and you still want to be friends, walk a fine line. If you did the dumping and can move on with ease, be sensitive to your exes feelings if you know there are still feelings there. You might have no problem meeting for coffee or hanging at the movies with your former flame every once in a while. But your ex, whose heart you broke into a million little pieces, may not like it that you can move on while still sending them happy little emails all day. They might snap on you, so be careful! LOL!

Everything I said above may seem like it's not really a good idea to be friends with your ex. But the elements you need in order to be friends may simply be time, space and maturity. If you're going to keep that ex still programmed in your phone, then make sure both of you have moved on and you don't have that person lingering around in your life unless you really, truly have a genuine friendship worth preserving. In a perfect world, exes can succeed at being friends where bitterness, jealousy, passion and human nature DO NOT EXCEED reasoning and rational thought. Yeah, good luck with that :-) But it IS possible.

If you two were the BEST of friends before, broke up on the same terms and it was perfectly mutual, neither of you have a problem with your ex seeing new people and you both are totally honest with each other...then be friends. If you can't say that, then leave the friendship behind...along with some really great memories.

-b

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I was in Philly over the weekend for my mother's birthday and had a great time with my family. The weekend goes by SO FAST, and I'm exhausted today. Let's just hope this day breezes by :-)

First, I'd like to post Liz's video blog. It has been a full week since she began her journey towards getting healthy. For those of you who may not have read my earlier post about Liz, she is a friend who is chronicling her weight loss journey in a video blog on YouTube. Let's see how she did and cheer her on!



(love the background music and "Yee Haw" t-shirt!) LOL!

Congrats Liz!!!

This morning I was listening to the radio and the question of the day was "Do you regret getting back with an ex?"

I tried to think back to my past relationships and I realized that out of all of them, there was only one ex that I got back with...and I have no regrets about it at all. As a matter of fact, I feel he's the one that got away.

Everyone says, "they're an ex for a reason" - and for the most part, I believe that. I understand that our hearts may tell us one thing while our head tells us something else. We go back because we want to give that person the benefit of the doubt, or we don't want to be alone and that person is familiar to us. If you're considering going back, just make sure you've done some serious thinking, soul searching and evaluating before just jumping back in. The consequences can be devastating if we don't.

Some of the horror stories relayed this morning were from men and women who got back with an ex KNOWING that the person hadn't changed. A man told a story of an ex he got back together with, only to learn she was cheating on him and ran of with another man. One woman said she got back with an ex who was a crackhead and stole her wedding ring so he could sell it for drugs. Another woman spoke about an ex who had gotten several other women pregnant while she was also carrying his child. The stories were crazy! I felt blessed that I couldn't say anything NEARLY as bad about any of my ex's.

It's easy to pass judgment on others' situations, and I TRY not to when possible. But come on...your ex is a crackhead just out of jail and you think it's a good idea to get back together with him? Did I miss something? And the people who called in seemed to talk about these people who wronged them as if they themselves played no part in their own heartache. In blaming others for our pain, a lot of times we shift our own shortcomings to them and give ourselves opportunities to forgive the faults we can't bear to look at in ourselves.

Life shows us how to live and love by example. But it also teaches us by sending us relationships that challenge us to love as well. Our most difficult relationships offer us our greatest opportunities to grow in wisdom and openheartedness. We all have regrets - some secret guilt or private embarrassment we carry around inside, sometimes for years. Someone may have wronged us, or WE may have been the one to wrong someone else. It may have been yesterday and the hurt is fresh, or it may have come from someone who we've long lost touch with.

But whether we get back with an ex or not, we have to remember that this person today may remember us as the person we were, unaware of how much we have grown and the kind of person we've become. They too, may have changed. A past hurt can shape us into what we are today. Maybe if we hurt someone else, we sought forgiveness for all the times we talked instead of listened, or got angry when we should have been patient, acted when we should have waited, scolded when we should have encouraged, criticized when we should have complimented, said no when we should have said yes, or said yes when we should have said no. Those we are still angry with because of their past transgressions against us may not be who they once were either. Whether we get back or not, try to look at the person for who they are, not who we want them to be.

The wisest thing we can do, no matter if we decide to go back or not, is to stay in the light and ask the Spirit what we are to learn about ourselves and about life from the experience.

Like I said before, there was only one ex that I went back to - and it was worth it. I have nothing but fond memories of that relationship, and that relationship set the tone for what I will and will not settle for in my future relationships. Getting back with an ex is not always a bad thing. Getting back with my ex showed me what real love is. What unconditional love is. What forgiveness is. The love I experienced in that relationship set the standard for the love I know I am worthy of. That love heals everything in its path. That ex has framed a part of my life and he may not even realize it. Sometimes we hold on to our past hurts like a set of credentials. But bitterness, like love, creates after its kind. So I choose to hold on to the love from that relationship, and create after it a knowing that greater love must be possible. Thank you Honeybunny :-)

-b

Thursday, November 13, 2008

TGIF!

So yesterday as I was perusing through Essence.com, I came across a short article about sex and fuller figured women. The article was called "Overweight Women Have More Sex." Some of you may have come across it - but if not, let me post it for you all to read. Then of course we can discuss :-)

Overweight Women Have More Sex

If you're feeling blah about your body lately and aren't getting busy because of it, we hear you!

But get this: According to new research published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, overweight women are more likely to have sex than those considered to be of "normal weight."

What the...?

When researchers looked at the sexual behavior of more than 7,000 women, they were astonished to discover that overweight women are having more fun in the bedroom - and their findings contradicted widely held stereotypes that overweight and obese women are insecure and not as sexually active as their thinner counterparts.

Scientists don't know why bigger girls are getting more action, but who cares? Ignore your inner critic if you've packed on a few or just had a baby. Just hit the sheets - your sex life will thank you.


Courtesy of momlogic.com/Essence.com

Now, y'all know I'm crazy right? As I read this (Amanda, you know how my mind works), all I could think about was this part of Katt Williams' stand-up:



Now, being a full figured woman myself, I can say that I've never really had a hard time getting attention from men. Some men, especially African American men, have a taste for us "Brick House" women. We're even beginning to be portrayed as sexy and desirable in movies and on television. And that's as it should be, cuz we're some sexy b*tches!

Even though many of us still have body image issues and may not fit the "Hollywood" version of what sexy is, we're making progress - and I think the Essence study proves that we see ourselves as desirable, sensual and sexual beings.

But here's a question...were any of you surprised by that study? Maybe some of my full figured friends out there aren't surprised, but I'm curious if there are any "skinny b*tches" out there who are surprised? (and when I say "skinny b*tch, I mean that in the most loving way possible!) LOL!

Are there any men reading this that are surprised by that? Are you a man that prefers full figured women? Thin women? Or who just love all women in general? What is your preference, if any?

I think a lot of people may have been a little surprised by that statistic, but may not want to admit it. Sometimes I think we may subconsciously subscribe to a stereotype of how sexy is defined by others' standards. If you were surprised by that article, I'd love to hear your reasons why.

Lastly, here's another question - how many of you feel that your friends think your sex life is better or worse than it actually is? For example: if you're married or in a committed relationship, do you feel that your friends think you're getting some on the regular when you're really not? If you're single and date a lot, do you feel that your friends think you're having casual sex, even though you're really laying on the couch watching Ugly Betty with your cat?(...ahem...uh, not that I would know anything about that :-) Men - do you feel your boys think you're knocking the bottoms out of chicks when, in reality, you haven't had none since some had you? :-)

Break it down for me :-)

Have a great weekend!

-b

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Thursday my beautiful peoples!

Is it me, or has the time change and it getting darker outside messed you up too? I can't seem to get it together! I want to stay snuggled up in my bed with my cozy cat all day! I just feel like hibernating! Terrible.

Anyway, as I said yesterday, today's blog will be a continuation of part of yesterday's discussion. Not about haters, but about online dating.

Now, like I said, I've tried this before. I've met some great people as a result of it and made some new friends - just no love connections. But just like I've met some great people, I've come across some crazy characters as well.

You'd be surprised the nonsense you see on some of these dating profiles from various sites. It's no wonder some of these people are single. As my friend Princess would say, "they're coo-coo-cachoo!"

So what I asked my friends to do, both male and female, is give me a list of online dating "DONT's" that we should follow when posting our personal profiles. Many of you had the same answers, so I'll try to consolidate - the lists were LOOONG. I listed them just as they were written to me. Some of these were hilarious!

From Men:

- Don’t put single if you have an ex that is in and out of your life.
- If you drink or smoke...admit it
- Don’t put "looking for a serious relationship" if you want a fuck buddy.
- Don’t say you're independent if you want to be taken care of and not work.
- Don't lie about your size. Example: this 1 chick told me she was a size 6. “Why-come” when I met her she was a size 24? Oh no you didn’t!!!!
- How about the proverbial “Don’t treat me like a hoe! I’m a lady.” chick. You know which chick I’m speaking of. She’s the one who has a stockpile of suggestive pics on her page and giving shout outs to all the men she’s screwed online.
- Don't say you are into stuff you don't like, ie: sports or bike rides or movie types.
- It turns me off when they list themselves as professional and college-educated, but when I read their essay portion, it is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors and doesn't make any sense or give me a good idea of their personality. Please proof-read, ladies! WTF!?!?!?!

From Women:

- No headshots unless you have other body shots as well
- No pics with you flipping the bird
- No shots of you holding guns (that cracked me up Liz! are you serious!?)
- No shots of you with other women holding on their ass, even IF you cover their face!
- No prison shots (meaning you and your boys doing the “we so fly in the pen” pose
- At least ONE shot of you smiling - I need to see your teeth!
- If you are 5'9", don't tell me you are 6'3" because I will notice.
- If you have a picture that you have to black out a woman's face, don't even bother posting it.
- If you have several other accounts with dating sites and repeatedly copy and paste the same “about me” and pictures...get a life !
- If you have no intention of getting into a serious relationship please do not put "ready to settle down" anywhere near your profile…
- If you are 5’6”…then no…5’10” is not kind of close…get a tape measurer
- Before you make ridiculous requests for your “perfect” girl, look in the mirror and be realistic.
- If by any means you are not “A REAL MAN, traditionally speaking” then please choose another username for your multiple free dating accounts - possibly try "Loser Guy", "Prey and Leave", "I’m a Dick"
- If you have repressed rage and really hate women, get off this site...
- Don't put "exploring career options" when you are unemployed and BROKE!
- Stop choosing usernames like "9inchlover," "daddylongstroke" and "makeuwannacum" - it's just tacky.
- Stop asking "can we have a blockbuster night" when we first make contact and you haven't even asked me my name yet.
- Don't say you have a roommate when you live with your MOMMA, Auntie, Cousin, Ex-Wife or EX-Girlfriend!
- Don't front on your page with an expensive car and you have a hoopty or no car at all!
- Stop taking pics with you and 5 of your boys and not identify which one you are.
- Don't claim you have 6 acres of land and have pictures posted of "your home" from a magazine
- If you have 5 kids with 6 baby mamas, get off this site!
- If your picture is of you when you were 21 and you're now 38, stop it.
- Don't lie about being an engineer if you're a stock boy!
- If you're morbidly obese, don't put "stocky"
- Pics of you with half naked women, do-rags and cornrows or taken in a junky apartment are not acceptable.
- If you have 40 pics posted and you're not smiling in ANY of them, that means you either have a jacked up grill or you're just mean
- If your screen name is Pookie, RayRay or Debo, keep it movin
- If you're on a dating site and you're married, you need to quit playin

We could go on and on with this - and it seems the women had a much longer list of "no-no's!" Maybe I just got more responses from them. I'm sure all of these apply to both sexes.

If this blog wasn't long enough already today, I decided to list some rules for online dating that some of you may find helpful. If this doesn't apply to you, then you can stop reading now and get on with your day :-)

Some Tips:

1. You’re writing for an audience. Don’t forget it. Ever hear of T.M.I.? Too Much Information? Just because you think of something doesn’t mean you should say it here. Want to date a hottie and nothing but a hottie? Don’t say it, just do it. Leading with your superficial side has never helped anyone.

2. Adjectives mean nothing. Anyone can write a similar list: "nice, smart, kind, warm, funny, honest, successful, ambitious, family-oriented." If I can write that, and you can write that, and your mom can write that, how are we any different? Turn those adjectives into anecdotes and your profile may actually sound different than every other well-intentioned adjective-writer out there.

3. Activities mean nothing either. You might think you’re writing something specific when you list your interests: “hiking, biking, movies, music, travel” - but really, don’t most people dig this stuff too? If you’re going to mention something, make it as specific as possible. Where do you hike? What’s your favorite movie? What’s the city you’re just dying to visit one day?

4. Ask yourself: “Can anybody else say the same exact thing?” You want a person who is honest? You like to laugh? You’re done playing games? Join the crowd. Better yet, come up with a more creative way to express these same sentiments.

5. Leave the clich├ęs to everyone else. Listen, I think it’s cool that you “work hard and play hard,” are “equally comfortable in a little black dress and a pair of jeans,” and “are looking for your best friend and partner in crime,” but so is the next person on my search list. And the next person. And the next…

6. Watch the bragging. You can talk about yourself at great length without sounding like you’re showing off, but it’s a fine line. Avoid subjective evaluations such as “I’m very attractive/intelligent/funny” and focus on illustrating the same points. Your picture will let me know if I think you’re attractive. Your grammar and diction will indicate that you’re intelligent. Your humor will come across in your essays. Show us, don’t tell us.

7. Nobody responds to negativity. If you’re depressed, fed-up, lonely, frustrated, or just out of a relationship, you may want to wait until you’re in a better place before you date online. If you can stay upbeat and have fun writing your profile, people are likely to have fun reading it.

8. Don’t define yourself by what you don’t want. So you’ve dated enough people to determine that you don’t want someone who’s a liar, who is grossly overweight, or who is chronically unemployed. Congratulations. Turn those negatives into positives or just leave ‘em out. People shouldn’t feel personally indicted by your essays.

9. One word: spell-check. Write your profile in a Word document, spell-check it, then cut and paste it onto the site. Note: a lot is two words, definitely doesn’t have an “a”, and you’re is a contraction meaning “you are” LOL! (for you Jose!)

10. For the love of God, tell the truth. If you don’t, you’re destroying any future trust you may have tried to build up, and you’re giving all the honest online daters a bad name.

And finally, BE SAFE!

-b

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Haters



1. See also "Player Hater."

A HATER, of which "playa hater" is but a subgroup, partakes excessively of criticism and negativity. The defining characteristic of a hater is that the hater's ire is directed at someone who has achieved some level of success (where success may be measured in terms of scrilla, macking ability, or general pimpness). It is inferred that the source of the hater's dislike is rooted in jealousy, and not some other justifiable reason.

Most simply, a hater is someone who openly criticizes, purposefully attempts to sabotage, or who indulges in any number of other negative activities/behaviors aimed at someone else for no reason. The derogatory aspect to the term comes in the idea that the person who's hatin is really only jealous.

Now that we have the definition out of the way - courtesy of the Urban Dictionary - let's talk about this. Actually, today's blog is a part one of two...to be continued tomorrow.

Today's blog even has a couple elements to it, so it may seem like I'm all over the place today. Let me get started and break it down. And please, I hope this doesn't rub some of you the wrong way...just read and stay with me - please :-)

My sister and I were talking about yesterday's blog and dating in general. Since she hasn't been out on the dating scene for a long time, she asked if dating was really as bad as us single ladies say it is. She said she was talking to one of her good friends and they were discussing how online dating was non-existent when they were dating and when they got married. Now it's the norm.

Now, I've dabbled in online dating. As a matter of fact, almost all of my single friends have. It's almost a given that this is one of the ways you can meet people. For some single people, they feel that this is the ONLY way to meet people - either because they're shy, they're disengaged from the club scene or were never really a part of it to begin with, they work long hours, etc. The reasons are endless.

Still with me? good :-)

So my sister asked me, "whatever happened to just meeting people face to face?" I told her it's not as common anymore, or it usually happens by accident. Living in NYC, I can tell you that a lot of times we're too busy to pursue that glance we get from the cute guy on the train - we're in a rush. Also, I find that dating in NYC is a skill and adventure in and of itself. I don't want to run the risk of insulting any brothas from the NYC, but let's just say that they have a swagger that exists because they know they have options. Many options. And they exercise those options. They have no problem dating you and a handful of other women at the same time. Trust.

Following the story? I'm getting to the point...just hold on :-)

Okay, so she says "well, what about your married female friends? Or your friends that have a boyfriend? Can't they introduce you to someone?" I had to pause and think about that. I told her that none of my friends are interested in or even thinking about hooking me up...it's just never happened - even when I asked them to look out for a sista.

Out of nowhere, she says "Well, that's not surprising, I always thought your friends were haters."

Whoa! Where did that come from?

I had to think about that. Why would she say that? Her logic was that if my friends truly wanted to see me happy, they would actively be on the lookout. My sister is always inquiring a man's status for me. I remember she was at the hospital in labor and asked a cute doctor who walked by if he was single. She was asking for me. She's always telling me, "Hey, there's a handsome man who prays at the mosque. If you wouldn't mind converting, I could get his number for you!" She's crazy! LOL! But I love her for it :-)

When I complain to my married friends about dating, they just say "sorry girl." When I ask them if their husbands have any single friends, they say "I'll see" or "yeah, but you don't want them." It's a conversation in passing, not really taken seriously.

Maybe they think I'm joking. Who knows.

But is that hating? Or just not really caring? I'm not sure that it's either really, but one could look at it many different ways. Maybe looking out for me IS on their radar and I just don't know it. (By the way, if it IS on your radar, let me know! LOL!!)

Now, she did concede that the whole dating thing isn't the ONLY reason she thinks that some of my friends are haters. She said it was just one aspect of a series of behaviors.

So I told that story to lead me to the real question for today's blog. Do any of you feel that you have friends who secretly hate on you? Maybe not your "ace boom, friends since kindergarten" friends. But any coworkers, acquaintances, friends of friends? I know a lot of women may think that, but may not want to comment on it. What about you men? No one wants to believe that their friends hate on them - in ANY situation. But do you think that your friends can SUBCONSCIOUSLY hate on you, and not even be aware of it? Tell me what you think about that. I'm curious to see how many of you think it may or may not be true.

Oh, and to all my close friends out there....take what my sister said with a grain of salt. Don't ask me to name names...she probably wasn't talking about you. But if you're offended...then maybe she was :-) HA!

Hit me up!

-b

P.S. Tomorrow's blog is a continuation of part of today's topic about online dating - specifically the online dating "no-no's" or the "DON'T's" of online dating. So if you haven't responded yet to my DON'T's inquiry from yesterday, you still have time to get them to me so I can post them!

Brookeybaby73@yahoo.com - Thanks!

Happy Veteran's Day!

If you know a veteran, thank him or her for their service to our country! Whether you believe in war or not - this war or any war - these brave men and women serve our country for our freedom. We don't do enough to thank them or provide for them. Many of them are suffering from poverty, illness and homelessness. So if you do nothing else today, thank the veteran in your life. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

Now, onto something else.

This morning I was listening to the radio and the topic of the morning was relationships. The female sidekick Liz Hernandez was explaining how she was basically dumped by a man who said he wasn't ready to be in a relationship. When they first met, they had spent nearly every day of their first 3 months together. If she wasn't at his place, he was at hers. They went on dates, talked on the phone for hours at a time and had been intimate regularly.

Since everything had been going well, after 3 months she decided to ask him if he considered them to be in a "relationship" - if they were exclusive.

His response?

"We're not in a relationship. We're friends."

Whoa...

She sounded deflated as she said it. What just happened? She was baffled.

But here's the kicker!

She said she asked him if he wanted to be in a relationship with her and he said no, even though he was going through all the motions of being in a relationship. She then said she told him she had to stop seeing him and that she was leaving - and that if she left, she was never coming back. He watched her walk to the door. She turned one last time and asked, "you're not going to stop me?" He said nothing. She left.

WHOA!

I think my pride is so great that I wouldn't have kept trying to backpedal. If he was willing to let me go, then I would have just left. No words needed. But what I think hurt her the most is that she didn't see it coming. Everything was great in their world...until it was time for a real commitment. She was blindsided.

My question to all of you is, when do you know?

Is 3 months long enough to determine if someone is relationship-worthy? When do you ask where the relationship is headed? When do you ask if you're even IN a relationship? Should you even HAVE to ask after 3 months? Tell me what you think.

I wish I had more time to listen this morning, to see if she revealed any more of the details of their relationship. Were there signs? Did he tell her in the very beginning that he didn't want a relationship? I needed more information.

Either way, you can't make someone be in a relationship when they don't want to be. Only you can determine what you're willing to give, at what time and for how long. In the failure of a relationship we resolve never to make the same mistakes again. We get toughened a little, maybe wiser. I could hear she was becoming jaded in her voice. But we can't get TOO jaded by love's suffering and dead ends. We just have to appreciate that there's a lesson in there somewhere.

We make strong efforts to avoid past mistakes. We never want to appear naive and we try to be clever and smart about love. But the real advance we make after we've been devastated by love is to simply be able to enter into it again freely one more time in spite of our suspicions, past hurts or mistakes. Take the lesson and heal yourself. No partner can save you, deliver you or give meaning to your life. The source of love is within us. It is the love we give to ourselves as much as it is the love we get. The passion we most need to feed is our relationship with God, and that ultimately is our relationship with ourselves.

-b

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Monday!

At first I thought nothing much was going on this morning and I wouldn't have anything worthy to blog about today. I wanted to shout out a blog I came across that I found interesting and I was going to leave it at that.

But then I got an email this morning from my friend and coworker Liz Jackson that inspired me so much that I decided to dedicate my post to her today, with her permission.

But first - the blog that I wanted you all to check out is called "Ask the Black Man." It's basically an advice blog from a black man's perspective. It's pretty straight and to the point. If you have any questions you'd like the "Black Man" to answer, then visit his page and ask away!

Now, Liz.

She posted a video blog on YouTube that she will update at least weekly. She's on a quest to lose weight and get healthy. She feels that by chronicling her weight loss on YouTube, this will hold her accountable and keep her motivated - and I think it's a great idea! We all need to support and motivate each other in all our endeavors, and getting healthy is something I think we all can relate to in one way or another. Here is her first post.



Liz is a beautiful, intelligent woman with a great personality and amazing strength. I am proud to be her friend in this quest, and I plan on supporting her by doing this with her. It takes a lot of courage to do what she's doing. Many of us hide behind our fear which causes us not to act. We may be afraid to love because we might get hurt. We may be afraid to dream because we think we'll fail. We may be afraid to ask for help for fear of appearing weak. But your fear can either hinder you, or embolden you to take hold of your life.

Fear can be your call to faith. Liz's quest is going to thoroughly put faith to the test. Fear is very real and present in all our lives in some way, and if we let it persist, it can overwhelm us. But when you get to the place where you feel you have no place to turn, surrender to it and open up to what God has in store for you. Give in and know that He will give you what you need to accomplish all your goals. Once we yield to that truth, the fear that blanketed us, that blinded our vision, will begin to lift, revealing a world of light and abundant health and opportunity.

Liz is blessed to have such family and friends that she feels safe to reveal her hopes, her vulnerabilities and her victories to all of us. She is choosing faith and courage over fear - making a conscious decision to be an active participant in her own life. We tend to avoid the things we are afraid of because we think there will be dire consequences if we confront them. But the only dire consequences we'll suffer from in our lives come from avoiding the very things we need to discover and conquer. We have to learn to be more open and accepting of the things we're afraid of, whether it's exploring our emotions, beginning a workout regimen or balancing a checkbook. Acceptance is simply a willingness to look at, confront and understand something instead of pushing it away. She is living and acting in the present with the understanding that no matter the obstacle or the circumstance, in the presence of encouragement, support, love and GOD, fear is powerless!

Go Liz! Greater than fear is love, and I love and support you!

-b

Friday, November 7, 2008

TGIF My Peoples!

So it's Friday and I'm looking forward to doing absolutely NOTHING this weekend. Okay, I MAY go to Ikea with Amanda on Sunday, but we'll see how I feel. Yes, this cold is STILL lingering, but it's definitely on it's way out. I think once I get some really good sleep tonight and tomorrow, I'll be back to normal. Thank you all for your well wishes and remedies for my cold. It has all helped tremendously!

(Besides, I have to be well for when the Eagles WHOOP the Giants on Sunday. Yeah I said it!)

Rene is gonna get on me for that statement, but I'm ready! Speaking of Rene the Harlemite, we were talking on the phone last night for a good while about everything and nothing in particular. Somehow we got on the subject of relationships, so our conversation from last night will be the topic of my blog today. I figured we could take a break from our Obama high for a moment to indulge in some other discussion :-)

So Rene was telling me about this obsessed, stalker chick he was dealing with. He said she was nice, a wonderful person, the sex was great and they're still friends to this day - but she wasn't the one. And I got that, perfectly understood. But she on the other hand, became obsessed. She called all the time to the point where the sex just wasn't worth the trouble. She had fallen hard. Him...not so much :-)

So that got us to talking about the differences between men and women, and sex vs. real love. What is that THING that makes us fall in love as opposed to the chemistry of physical attraction?

Think about the heart-pounding adrenaline rush we feel when we see that hot guy playing basketball at the gym or the cute girl who's the friend of a friend of a friend who always makes serious eye contact with you. It’s that person we keep track of when he or she is in the same room, whose comments and actions we follow like a laser. We want them. We vibe.

But is that the beginning stages of "falling" for that person, or is that lust? What are some ways you can tell the difference between real love and good sex? I'm curious to see everyone's answer to this.

We all know that Love Jones is one of my favorite movies, and I think these scenes in the movie beg my question perfectly - Please watch the first 8 minutes to get a sense of where I'm going with this:



They started off sexual. The first date. And it was goooooood! :-)

This ain't no love thang, we just kickin it.

But somewhere along the way, they managed to fall in love. Is that the exception to rule, or can real love be born from great sex?

My answer?

It can happen, but real love isn't sex. Sex is created for marriage – a long-lasting commitment between a couple. Outside of marriage, sex can have harsh consequences. Unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, guilt, insecurity, and shame - A STALKER CHICK - can follow. A relationship based on lust can only last as long as the two are physically close and find each other sexually attractive. I'm not preaching against or condemning anyone for engaging in pre-marital sex, I'm just telling it like it is. Sex isn't a bad thing, so long as you don't base a relationship around it.

Real love, on the other hand, is a choice. It's a commitment. Real love sees the other person for who they are, flaws and all, and STILL loves them anyway. Real love wants to serve the other person - it's selfless. Real love makes ALL of your other relationships and friendships grow stronger. Real love is trust and understanding, not jealousy or cruelty. Real love takes time to build and encompasses long-term commitment. Real love survives distance and time.

But most importantly, God is real love. God, as our designer and creator, made us with needs for love. Do you ever wonder why we constantly seek love from others but never feel completely satisfied? It’s because God designed us for an unconditional love, and we, as people, are flawed. People, whether friends, family, or your significant other, will invariably let you down at some point. Only people you really love can hurt you. God wants us to find our need for love and acceptance in Him first. One person cannot meet all our needs, even if he’s funny and smart or she’s pretty and thoughtful or the sex is great.

We were made for God’s love, and God’s love alone can fill that need. Only after experiencing and knowing the unconditional love that God has for us, the love that drove God to send his Son to die for us on earth, can we begin to love others with the same quality of unconditional love. Perhaps finding real love begins with God, and has no end.

-b


Go EAGLES!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy Thursday!

I'm still riding on the Obama high as I'm sure we all are. I picked up 3 more newspapers this morning with his picture on the front. A couple of the headlines read "Age of Obama" and "World of Hope." I feel renewed.

Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Sheppard had this to say about how this historic victory made them feel.





I can finally put my suitcase down.

No Limitations.

Those are very telling statements. To be born in this country, live in this country, and be an active citizen of this country, it's interesting that a lot of us now actually feel like we belong here. Like we are accepted. Like we really have a fair shot or that we are now finally validated. We were all these things before, but now some of us actually believe it. A Latino man who works in my building got on the elevator with me today, just the 2 of us. He looked at me and said, "What a beautiful thing we did with Barack Obama. They can't say NOTHING to us now!"

You could tell he felt invincible! It was written all over his face.

I think the renewed spirit I feel is evident in my smile. I see brothas walking around with a little more swagger. I see hopeful faces. We exude pride in our country. We did this. We deserve this. We deserve him.

Tell me how you feel.

Personally, I feel that our future is a lot brighter. Not because Barack Obama is going to come in and save the day. But because he inspires us to be an active participant in our own lives and our own community. He can't change our lives for us. It's up to us to do that. He serves as our example of personal integrity and responsibility. He represents the best in us that the world will see. He motivates us to act, encourages us to be great, leads by example and will help us give ourselves a greater future.

I feel now, more than ever, that we can do anything. Be anything. Believe anything.

That's how this victory makes me feel.

What did this victory mean to you? How do you feel 2 days after we elected Barack Obama? Do you feel that you are behaving differently? Do you feel that people look at you differently? Do you see a difference in others as a result of this victory? How do YOU feel?


-b

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Watch CBS Videos Online

Wow.

It's early Wednesday morning - 12:55 am to be exact. Just under 2 hours ago, Barack Obama was elected our 44th President of the United States of America. I started writing this blog over the weekend in anticipation of this victory thinking I'd know just what to say when Barack Obama was elected President. I was going to use words like "proud" and "history" and try to sound really eloquent.

Nothing I wrote over the weekend even compares to how I feel right now. The magnitude of this moment can't be measured in words. As I type, my fingers are trembling, tears are streaming down my face. Proud doesn't even begin to describe the emotion I'm feeling right now. I feel blessed. I feel like my heart is bursting in my chest. My spirit is overflowing. My soul is beaming!

Today, I can't help but think of my great-grandparents, my grandparents, and those who thought this day would never come. Those who lived, fought and died not able to rejoice in the enormity of this moment. I can hear my Mommom now - "Hallelujah!"

I feel privileged to live in this moment - to witness our shared journey. This isn't just a journey shared by African Americans. It's a journey shared by all. We can draw from this victory the confirmations through the New Testament of the Bible, the Torah, the holy Koran, the Papyrus of Ani, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Buddha, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, from Nelson Mandela to Maya Angelou, from prophets, to preachers to songwriters and poets - through the chorus of our collective voices we too will hear what the enlightened in all cultures and religions throughout the ages have understood. Beneath all the superficial differences of language, culture, race, sex and religious expression - we are ONE under God.

I've been fortunate enough to come to this moment on the strength of my ancestors - through the holocaust of the Middle Passage, the brutality of slavery, the Civil Rights Movement to this yet another defining moment in history. I feel like my life has been transformed. It's a changing of seasons. There's a new rhythm to my existence, a new depth to my soul.

Let's make use of this renewed strength and power. Our new President will need it. There are many challenges ahead. A rapidly changing environment that, if we don't do something NOW, will send us the way of the dinosaurs. A struggling economy where industries are drying up and jobs are disappearing and families are coming apart under the stress. A country unable to see past personal greed to the value of an equitable distribution of resources, a nation slowly strangling itself. Some still unable to get past racism, sexism and other "isms" - the world watching us to see if we tear each other apart. Challenges in delivering affordable health care for everyone, useful and affordable education, the lack of hope, the proliferation of violence, the need to accept each other despite our different colors, cultures, religions, beliefs, class and sexual orientation. The frightening number of young Africans and African Americans suffering and dying from AIDS just waiting to be claimed and cared for.

In EVERY instance, those challenges belong not just to President Barack Obama, but to each of us as well. It comes down to us and how we respond to the call to love that each of these crises represents. These challenges seem overwhelming and it IS a lot to achieve. I know we all have our own personal challenges to deal with. But ALL of those challenges are personal. Whatever affects ANY of us ultimately affects ALL of us. We are connected. We are one.

The country got off to a great start in addressing these challenges by electing Barack Obama. We will help him get us there. It is said that "There is no end to what a living world will demand of you." Now that we've elected him, let's work with him. Let's uplift ourselves and our community. Let's stand behind him. And now, more than ever, let us pray for him and his family.

I hope you all will join in celebrating with me on January 20th, 2009. I plan to be there when he lays his hand on the bible to take his oath and be sworn in. As his hand lay on the bible, I hope to be hand in hand holding tight with all of you. On that cold January day, the sun will be shining always. If it rains, the rain will be baptismal. A snowy or cloudy day will be soft and hazy, not blue or lonely. Problems will only be challenges. Delays will be lessons in patience. I won't be tired, simply resting and taking my time. On Inauguration Day, there will be no problems, no delays, no bad weather and no sadness - only lessons, and patience, and sunshine and joy. There will be growth and change and movement. There will be History. Glorious History! See you there!

Love you!

-b

History

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Election Day!

I know it's late, but hey, better late than never right? :-)

My sister and I got up bright and early this morning to vote. I went with her to vote before we took Kyce to school. I had my camera in my hand, she had on her "Barack the Vote" t-shirt and I took a picture of her as she came out and flashed it to me :-)

And then as she got back in the car, she cried. "I really hope he wins" she said, choking back tears. I cried with her. What a powerful moment.

Then after we dropped Kyce off, it was my turn. We went to pick up my mother so we could all go together. Like my sister and I, my mom also had on her "Barack the Vote" t-shirt. We had them covered up in case someone would give us problems, but to my surprise, almost ALL of the volunteers outside of our polling pace had on Obama buttons. I guess they didn't care :-)

My mother and I got in line behind an African American man who was probably in his early 60's. He was smiling from ear to ear. He turned and said good morning to me and then practically yelled "I'm so excited!" My heart overflowed. We took a picture together and exchanged email addresses so we can share photos. A complete stranger.

What a day, a day that will change the world.

I only waited for about 10 minutes in line. We got there early, but the line was forming. Everything was running smoothly, everyone was smiling and happy. When there were only 2 people in front of me as I approached the booths, I got butterflies in my stomach. I felt giddy - like I was going on a first date with a man I was REALLY excited about. I stepped into the booth and tears welled up in my eyes again. I had a moment when I saw Barack's name there. I felt privileged to press the button next to his name. It was an honor to cast my vote for this man.

Another powerful moment.

I've never seen so many people out there EXCITED to vote. I've never seen so many people SO PROUD. Today should have been a national holiday. It was magic.

I hope everyone has voted by now and I hope you all experienced what I experienced today. Moments in history like this don't come along everyday - seize the moment, bask in it, be joyful in it.

Since I'm posting this late, you all may not be around so we can comment on this historical day - but I'll be up all night, driving back to NY in the morning so I can experience the announcement of Barack's victory with my family tonight. So if you all are still around, let me know of your experiences today and I can't wait to celebrate with you all tomorrow!

Obama '08!





One More Day!

Happy Monday everyone!

I'm in Philly for the next couple days, waiting for my chance to vote in Pennsylvania. I am still a registered voter in Bensalem, PA even though I live in NY. Today I'm watching over my baby nephew while my sister is out volunteering at my older nephew's school. I was giving him his breakfast when my mother called me to tell me that she is getting phone call after phone call from a "campaign representative" telling her that if she is voting for Barack Obama, then she has to vote at some school on Trenton Avenue in Bensalem.

My mother has been voting since she was 18 years old and has been voting in the same polling place in Bensalem since I was born. And since I turned 18, I've been voting with her in that same place - the Trevose Fire Company. Now, all of a sudden the day before the election, she is told to vote somewhere else? And only if she's voting for a specific candidate?

Something smells fishy.

Luckily she called me and asked me to check online for the correct polling place. The polling place that came up in my online search showed the location we've always voted at - The Trevose Fire Company. She's relieved.

But what about those who don't have anyone to call to check for them? Those who take those shady phone calls as legitimate or factual? My mother was concerned enough to realize that something might not be right, but not everyone may be so thoughtful after getting a call like that.

PLEASE check to make sure you are going to the correct polling place tomorrow. If you get a suspicious phone call, call your local or state election office. You can check http://www.maps.google.com/vote for voter location information as well. Go online, do some research, call someone...just make sure you do SOMETHING if you feel something isn't right or need more information. We can't afford not to.

Here are just a couple of important things to keep in mind:

All first time voters must show ID. Acceptable forms of ID include:

* A state driver’s license or ID card issued by the DOT
* ID issued by any other commonwealth agency
* ID issued by the U.S. government
* U.S. Passport
* U.S. Armed Forces ID
* Student ID
* Employee ID

You can also show a non-photo ID that shows the address where you are registered, including:

* Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. government
* Firearm permit
* Current utility bill
* Current bank statement
* Government check
* Current paycheck

If a poll worker says you are not registered, you should confirm that you are in the right precinct or polling place by calling 1-877-5-PA-OBAMA (1-877-572-6226) in PA (check for your state). And if you are in the right polling place, but your name is not on the rolls, vote a provisional ballot.

If your vote is challenged, you should answer questions but insist on voting; you can vote a provisional ballot if you are not issued a regular one. And afterwards be sure to tell an Obama Voter Protection Volunteer or call 1-877-5-PA-OBAMA (1-877-572-6226) or the Obama (or McCain - boo!) volunteer in your state.

Poll workers cannot ask you about personal financial matters. You have the right to vote even if you have unpaid bills, parking tickets, overdue taxes, or a home at risk of foreclosure.

Despite rumors to the contrary, you can wear Obama shirts and pins to the polls -- but be prepared to cover them up, if asked.

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in PA, but check to see how long the polls are in your state. Don't leave without voting. If you're in line before the polls close at 8:00 p.m., you have the right to vote.

Know your rights, find your polling location at www.VoteForChange.com and get out and vote.

One more day! History tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 4th - Vote History!

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