Friday, January 30, 2009

TGIF!

Guess what? He's baaaaaackkkkk!!!!

You know him...our favorite weed head :) My sidekick with the blogness, the Charlamagne to my Wendy....Craig...(n'em)!

In the spirit of Sasha and Malia…

(A DAUGHTER MOMENT BY CRAIG VERDE)

Last week, I decided to remix my baby girl’s breakfast. Instead of two Eggo French toast with Karo syrup, 8 seasoned french fries with ketchup on the tip (“One for each finger” she says…For EACH finger…the girl has all her digits, mind you….(Sigh) So here’s the thing…regardless of what she has to eat in the morning, she ALWAYS washes it down with a stink ass fried egg…salt and pepper.

Now…she’s five….

She finishes her breakfast with a stink ass fried egg. EVERY MORNING. Captain Crunch cereal? Stink ass egg. Cream of wheat? Stink ass egg. Even on days on the run when she has Wise potato chips and a 12oz of Coke. She still bitchin’ for a stink ass egg! Now, my girl kisses me EVERY MORNING before she leaves to school. I shouldn’t want to throw up every time I kiss her goodbye.

For breakfast, sometimes I try to Jedi Mind Trick her into mixing it up a bit. "Eat a piece of egg…eat a piece of french toast." I say this hoping the syrup will overlap that funky ass taste in her mouth. But I guess that’s no different than mixing cologne with three games of flag football. I try to manipulate her as she’s eating. “It’s fun, sweetie,” I say. “Mix it up. Eat a piece of egg and then french toast.” She spits back, “No! Fried egg is my dessert. Dessert is always last!”

(Pause) You know…you just gotta’ laugh at a child’s stupidity sometimes. They can say some “real life situation” dumb shit. But I was in the moment so the shit wasn’t cute.

Now, I can’t put her into SHOCK by a TOTAL breakfast u-haul. I do that and she’d go into total “GATOR” withdrawal like last time…dancing around and shit…trying to stab me with her plastic fork. So…I started small. Same routine, but instead of that stink ass fried egg, I made my baby egg whites for the first time. It stink’s too but at least its healthier.

I cracked that egg, cupped it back and forth between the cracked shells. I poured out that yellow yolk. I watched it slither down the drain into the black abyss. As soon as the yolk disappeared, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I looked over at my little girl and she’s sitting there, staring at me. Like a lion would their prey. I froze. She looked right through me. Ahhhh shit. Here we go. But no…she smiled at me. I began breathing again. “You look funny, daddy”…she chuckles out. I muster up a half smile.

FAST FORWARD…EGGS WHITES DONE…

I turn the stove off. Immediately my daughter says, ”Eggs done already?” I’m like what???!!! First of all, why the hell is she clockin’ me like that? And second, how many fucking fried eggs you gotta’ eat to get an internal egg clock to go off in your head? How the hell she know the difference between fried egg and egg whites in cooking time?

NOW she’s pissing me the fuck off. I gotta’ admit, I kind of blanked out and thought I was now talking to her mother. Two peas in a pod, I tell you.

I ignored her and dumped the plate of egg whites in front of her like an overworked and underpaid waitress. “Eat,” I barked. She rolled her eyes at me. You already know where she got that eye-exercise from.

So little woman here stared at her plate like a confused, little puppy. Head cocked at an angle. She even poked it as if she were checking for a pulse. She then lifts the plate and looks under it, like superman would a car. What the hell is she looking for UNDER the plate?

At times like this you gotta’ have patience with a child.

So here I am…(IN ONE BREATH)...”What the hell you doin?!” C’mon now, I don’t got time for this, girl! I gotta go to work. You don’t play this crap with yo momma’. Let’s go! EAT!"

“But daddy, what’s this?” she said.

“Egg whites,” I shot back…

“But I like my egg yellow.”

“Well, today, you’re having egg WHITES, no yellow…WHITES!”

“But I want my egg YELLOW”

I said, ”Look…” and I LOOKED at her. I gave her that “LOOK”…like “I will FUCK you up little girl” look. But then she gave ME the “LOOK”...Like, “I’ll tell MOMMY on yo ass and SHE will FUCK YOU UP!” look.

I took a breath and changed my approach, like the punk I am.

“Princess, try the eggs, please?”

“NO!!! YELLOW, YELLOW, YELLOW…(repeat 93 times)

Apparently, 12 minutes of saying “Yellow” can work up an appetite. She gave in and gave it a taste. After two chews, she stops. Frozen in deep thought, (or the deepest you can go for a five year old) she looks up at me with her mother’s angel eyes and says…

“Where’s the meat? This is a vegetarian egg? Daddy, we not veterinarians. I want the chicken part of the egg. What’d you do with the chicken daddy? I saw you put something in the sink. I want a chicken egg!”

“YELLOW, YELLOW, YELLOW"…(repeat 93 times)

The next day…normal routine…but this time I gave her TWO fried eggs.

That’s my child and I love her slow ass.

BABY GIRL’S BREAKFAST SONG

My president is Black, my hair braids tight!

If my eggs look white, then my eggs ain’t right!


What’s the craziest or dumbest thing you’ve seen a child do? Yourself included.




-Craig

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!

I've been TAGGED by my sister Nicole from http://deendivas.blogspot.com to answer these questions. Since it's Random Thoughts Thursday, I thought I'd post my answers here today. If you've been tagged, you have to add one more favorite thing to the end of the list:

Favorite color: Purple
Favorite perfume (guys): Aqua Di Gio
Favorite perfume (girls): I like the Coach perfume I got for Xmas
Favorite pj brand: Val got me a Vicky Secret night shirt and I love it!
Favorite clothes brand in general: Gap
Favorite person in the entire world: My sister
Favorite country : USA baby - we elected President Obama!
Favorite car: an SUV
Favorite sport: Football
Favorite sport player: Donovan McNabb...haters!
Favorite spot in America: my sister's house
Favorite animal: My cat - Cole
Favorite movie: The Color Purple
Favorite singer: Not sure I have just one
Favorite day in the week: Saturday
Favorite time of the day: lunchtime
Favorite holiday season: Thanksgiving
Favorite number: 6
Favorite food: seafood
Favorite chocolate: Hershey
Favorite cartoon: Bugs Bunny
Favorite blogger: ME! Ha! Nah...don't have just one
Favorite flavor ice cream: Strawberry
Favorite Mobile Brand: They're all the same to me
Favorite name: too many to name
Favorite hobby: Blogging!
Favorite room in my house: my living room
Favorite vacation spot: so far, Jamaica
Favorite quote/verse: I have many, but the first to come to mind is, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1

Now..I will tag Rene, Latinegro and E. Serena did something similar already on Facebook, so she may re-post here.

Everyone I know on Facebook has been tagging each other with their 25 Random Things about themselves. Since I do Random Thoughts Thursdays every week, this was hard for me to do since I feel that most of you know so much about me already. I'm posting this note on Facebook as well, so feel free to leave a comment on either site if you're on both. Here goes:

1. I kiss my cat Cole....and NO...not on the mouth. My nephews do though and it drives my sister and her husband crazy.

2. I haven't had a real boyfriend in over 5 years, yet somehow it doesn't feel like it's been that long. It only seems long to me when I say it out loud.

3. I procrastinate A LOT! I think I do it because I know I do my best work under pressure, but the stress isn't worth it sometimes.

4. I secretly wish I was the Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine. I have an aunt that used to work there and I got to spend a day with her and the staff to see how they operate. I had so much fun! I can dream right?

5. I wish I had continued playing the piano when I was younger. I hated going to the lessons (Mrs. Dees would tap my fingers with a red pen if I made a mistake) and practicing always crept into my play time. But I always felt so proud when I finished playing my piece to perfection. I played for 3 or 4 years and the last piece I played at my last recital was The Fifth Symphony by Beethoven. I even curtsied at the end. Whenever I see Alicia Keys play I wish I'd never stopped.

6. I was born in Okinawa, Japan and I want to learn to speak Japanese for that reason. I minored in Spanish, but I would also like to be fluent in French. I should learn to speak Arabic though so I can keep up with my nephews. Can you tell I like languages?

7. I was valedictorian of my junior high school. I wasn't even aware of it until they surprised me with an award right before our 8th grade graduation. I always wonder if there was another Black valedictorian at Armstrong before me. I should check that out.

8. One of my 8th grade teachers, Mrs. Miller, named her daughter after me. Mrs. Miller wrote in my yearbook that by giving her unborn daughter my name, she hoped that "some of what I have rubs off on her"...whatever that means. She named her daughter Brooke Ashley Miller, and I always wonder who this person turned out to be and if I deserved or lived up to that honor.

9. I'm terrified of falling down steps.

10. From 6th grade to 12th grade I played field hockey, basketball and did the high jump, triple jump and long jump in track. You'd never know it by looking at me though. I miss my athletic self.

11. In 10th grade, I entered an essay contest honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. My essay was titled "Soaring on the Wings of Justice." I won the essay contest, $500, and the essay is currently engraved in gold on a plaque hanging in the Hall of Fame in my high school where it will live forever. I wonder if there's an essay hanging there written about Barack Obama? I hope there is.

12. I love sudoku.

13. I've been 5'10 since I was 14 years old and, like Yolanda, have worn a size 11 shoe since I was 11 years old. My right foot is actually an 11 and a half.

14. Syracuse University is the only university or college I applied to. Good thing I got in! I don't know what I was thinking, but I knew that's where I wanted to go and there was no other option. My years there were some of the best years of my life! Not only did I get a great education, I forged friendships that will last forever.

15. The next time my sister, Fouad and the kids go to Morocco, I'm going with them. There is no real reason other than money that I haven't gone with them yet. Just wack on my part.

16. I never go on Myspace anymore. Facebook has taken over for me because there are just SO many more people to connect with there. I feel like I have a birds eye view of what everyone that I ever knew is doing. And I don't even have to talk to them :)

17. I have a cousin who I just recently reconnected with on Facebook. We were VERY close growing up and we lost contact when we all went away to college. It's a shame that we had to get re-acquainted via cyberspace, but I'm thankful that we did and that we didn't get reconnected under different, potentially worse circumstances.

18. I love blogging! I thank Amanda and my sister for constantly encouraging me to do it. It's fun and cathartic for me sometimes, and I feel like it keeps me sharp for all the other writing I have to do for my job. Now...the BOOK!

19. I hate writing self-evaluations. I wish I could just write, "pay me what I'm worth" and be done with it. I have to get over my guilt of asking for what I feel I deserve when most people are happy to simply have a job. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to come to work everyday and I love my job - but come on...even in a global economic crisis, a sista needs a good raise. Anyone want to write it for me?

20. Sometimes I wish I could be hypnotized to NOT like bread, butter, sugar, salt, carbs or anything else that Dr. Oz says is bad for you. I feel like asking him, "dude, then what do you EAT?" I have been eating much better, but hypnotism would make it so much easier :-)

21. I have a feeling that 36 is going to be a GREAT year for me. I was further convinced of this when I realized we are in the Chinese Year of the Ox - which is me! (and Barack Obama! yay!) I read the predictions and I feel like this year will be my year to shine. Who wants to shine with me?!

22. I say I don't believe in horoscopes, but I read them all the time. I get upset when I read a bad horoscope for the day and I try to make sure that whatever negative prediction I read, I reverse it. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. I'm a Pisces, so maybe that's how Pisces people are ;)

23. I miss my step-father James. He passed away going on 5 years ago and I think about him all the time. The Sugar Shane fight was on the other night and James LOVED the fights. When someone got knocked out, he would yell, "BABY SEAT!" and I would crack up! I miss him so much, I feel like he's one of my angels.

24. The only time I didn't have a cat was when I was away at school. My cats' names growing up were Heather, Plato, Tigger, Jasmine, Morgan and now Cole. I also had a Great Dane named Jason and a mutt named Sugar Bear.

25. Every time I've had a fish dream, a friend of mine or someone I knew was pregnant. I don't know what it is about fish dreams and babies, but I haven't been wrong yet. My great-grandmother used to have the same dreams and she is the one who told me that if I dream of fish, that means someone is pregnant. Now I wonder if she told me that because she knew I would have those dreams too, or if it's just a coincidence. By the way, I had a fish dream over the weekend. So who is it?

Okay...GO!

-b

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Hump Day...even in this weather. I don't think I've ever wished for summer so hard this early in the winter. You know how by March, you can barely take it anymore and then spring gets here just as you're about to pull your hair out? Well, I feel like that NOW! but anyway...

...here's my REAL rant for today. Watch this clip - just the first minute or two:



Okay, I know "Brooke Dean" isn't the most ethnic sounding name in the world.....I know this.

If you see my name on a resume or an email, you might not guess that I'm a Black woman. I can form a sentence that has subject-verb agreement. I can string some words together that actually make sense. People understand the words that are coming out of my mouth. And even though I can be all jokey-joke with people at times when I may sound like Sarah Palin where I drop a "g" at the end of a word, trust me when I tell you I can speak proper English. Hell, it may not even be "proper"...it's really just STANDARD English. And dare I say, I have no accent...not even a "Philly" one.

Yet, when some people meet me for the first time after having only corresponded with me via email or over the phone, they always seem stunned to discover who I am.

"oh...YOU'RE Brooke Dean....uh....hello."

Then once they realize their ignorance is showing, they always try to cover it up by following with something ridiculous like, "oh...I thought you were...uh, SHORTER."

huh?

How does one sound..."short?"

But I've also gotten those who, in a drunken state at a premiere party, actually say it.

"oh...YOU'RE Brooke Dean? I thought you were White!"

(gasp!) did he just say?....yep, he sure did.

So I ask, "why did you think that?"

"I dunno, I guess because you sound white."

They say it like I deserve credit. And I'm talking about both White AND Black people.

What's funny to me is that I never heard that growing up. I attended a mostly White school all my life, all the way up through college. But it wasn't until my adulthood that I really began hearing people say that I "talk White." Isn't there something wrong with that picture? Should ADULTS be that ignorant? Even Ralph Nader accused Barack Obama of "talking White."

Once, a Black guy who worked in the mailroom asked me where I was from. I answered - Bensalem, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. He said, "figured...you soundin' all white." Every day after that, he would ask me a question to see how "Black" I was.

"Yo, B...you know who Jay-Z is?"

My response? "uh..Marvin, you don't have to be Black to know who Jay-Z is."

That had him stumped for about an hour. Idiot.

Sure, I can throw some slang around for comic effect or emphasis sometimes. I understand some Ebonics. But just because I recognize that there is a time and a place for everything and I can communicate effectively on every level doesn't mean I am less Black than anyone else. I'm no less "down." I'm always surprised that some Black folks actually still think that way.

And for White folks, why would some of them be surprised I can speak and write at my education level. I mean...really?

It irks my nerves that speaking standard English is synonymous with "talking White." Bad grammar is common among many groups of people. Not Black people. Not Latino people. Not White people. But IGNORANT people.

I just walk away.

-b

Hey y'all!

Today is one of those days I wish I had a guest blogger. My mind is all over the place today and I'm super busy and stressed at work, so I know I don't really have time to come up with a well thought out post. At least not the way I'd want it to come out anyway.

I'm up late chatting with my cousin...you know..."Snoop" :-)

She's asking me, "Where are all the Barack's?" A lot of women I know have pondered the same thing. I told her that this topic could piggyback off of yesterday's discussion. I don't want my blog to become a relationship blog - but hey, it's on my mind and that's what we were talking about. And since I don't have a guest (still waiting on that "Bitchassness" blog Rameer), you'll have to just flow with me.

"Snoop" asks, "where are the Barack's? Why do we get the leftovers?" By "leftovers" she specified men who had bad credit, 5 baby mamas, no education, have commitment issues, no relationship with their parents, no assets, don't want to think out the box, have ex-wife or ex-girlfriend drama, no place of their own, are gay, in jail, have no ambition, lack compassion, lie, cheat, are high maintenance, and have some bitchassness in them (Rameer....still waiting...)

These are all HER words y'all, not mine. Okay...the "bitchassness" part was me ;)

ANYWAY...my question back to her was..."well, are you a Michelle?"

Of course she said yes :-)

We women ALL think we're the "Michelle" to his "Barack." But is that really true? Can we HONESTLY say that if a "Barack" stepped to us in his fly blue suit and killer smile, charismatic personality and stunning genius, we'd be ready? Would a man like that even notice us? Would we be his reflection? Michelle Obama is a force to be reckoned with in her own right, so we see why Barack clings to her. We want that from our mate too. But can we ask for a "Barack" if we're not a "Michelle?" Be honest....

"Snoop" said, "well, there are more 'Michelle's' out here than 'Barack's.'"

Now that I kinda agree with. Not kinda...I do. That's a blog for a different day, as I don't have time to research the statistics right now...but I will. I DO know that the ratio of men to women is not as steep as we think it is. I read it was actually 80 men to every 100 women...for us - but I don't know how true that is. We start out by outnumbering you and then it goes downhill from there :)

Add to that staggering incarceration rates; we are enrolled in college more than you are and graduate from college more than you do; factor out gay men, DL men, baby daddys, commitment-phobes, and bitchass men (I think I just like saying "bitchass") and it gets downright sad . And we're assuming you want to be with US...which I think most of you do. We tend to look for our husbands in college, but the majority of you are not there with us. We look for you at work, but the majority are not there with us either. We want to marry YOU and tend to be loyal to our men. You have many more options, and EXERCISE those options. We tend not to (even though that's slowly changing). I could go on all day...

....see...told you I was all over the place. I digress...

My point is this. If the odds are stacked against us and there are only a handful of "Barack's" out there, make sure you ARE the "Michelle" to his "Barack." And let's be clear - I use "Michelle" because I'm addressing the women who are looking for "Barack." By "Barack" we mean his ideal. A good man. One that we would be proud to call our man. So when I say "Michelle," I mean the fabulous woman she embodies, in all her glory.

But what I'm really saying is be the best you. Be the Queen that you are. Be prepared to meet your King. There may not be enough Kings for every Queen, but stack the odds in your favor. Don't ask for what you are not. Because in that 80 men for every 100 women, I didn't say all 100 women were "Michelle's." We just ASSUMED they were.

And do you think Michelle would be just as fly WITHOUT Barack? Of course she would. So stop asking where the "Barack's" are. If you're a "Michelle," HE will find YOU.

-b

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hey everyone!

This weekend I literally did nothing. I mean...NOTHING. I wanted to get as much rest as I could to fully recuperate from any lingering cold I may have had...and I think it helped a great deal. I feel a bit refreshed and ready to tackle the week!

Yesterday, my boy Melvin IM'd me a link to Media Takeout. All my coworkers know how I feel about this ridiculous site, but I clicked on the link to read the story titled: HATERATION??? RADIO PERSONALITY TOM JOYNER CLAIMS BEYONCE IS UPSET SHE MARRIED JAY Z … CALLS JIGGA A THUG!!!!

(I'm sorry...this site is just buffoonery to me...there...I said it)

But the reason Melvin sent me the link was to piggyback off a discussion we were having about Barack and Michelle Obama and whether or not our people will embrace them as an example of real, Black love. They grace the cover of this month's issue of Ebony Magazine under that same banner - REAL LOVE.



It's a beautiful sight to see. I think the last time I saw such a prominent couple nationally known as a beaming example of beautiful Black love, it was on The Cosby Show.

But are the Heathcliff and Claire Huxtubles of the world really real...or are they fictional like their tv characters? Barack and Michelle Obama show us that they are real. They do exist. Black love is alive and well. But is it thriving? Does it only exist in one form?

I don't know how true that Media Takeout story is, as I don't listen to Tom Joyner. But it did get me to thinking about the recent Inaugural Ball where Jay-Z and Young Jeezy broke fool in front of the crowd:



Now, last week I posted a clip of Beyonce singing "At Last" as the First Couple danced their first dance. Beyonce was overcome with emotion as she serenaded them - she was PROUD. Then we see the clip of her husband above and it makes me wonder....do you think she was proud of her man in that moment?

Maybe she was. Maybe she wasn't. Maybe she sees nothing wrong with the words he chose to use on the day of the Inauguration of our first Black President. After all, she knows who he is. She's been with him for years and probably knows him better than anyone.

She loves him. She is his wife. She's the Bonnie to his Clyde. They are a powerful, Black couple.

But when you think of REAL, Black love...who do you think of? Do you think of Bey and Jay? Do you think of Will and Jada? George and Weezy? Your parents? Grandparents? Is there more than one look to real, Black love?

We love the way Barack looks at Michelle, with her stunning self. We love the way she stands by her man. He calls her the rock of their family and the love of his life. She respects him as her husband and father to their children. They are two whole selves who came together with a shared purpose and direction in life. They are intelligent, humble, devoted, people who hug, kiss, fist-bump and show true intimacy.

They definitely serve as a magnificent example of what Black love can look like. But I think Black love can take on many faces. Should we use Michelle and Barack as THE ONLY example of Black love to measure all other forms of Black love and to judge other Black couples by their example? Is that fair, or is it about time?

Tell me your thoughts on this. I, for one, embrace them as role models for what Black love could and should be. Their "oneness" is empowering. The love and life they've built together inspires me. Should they be THE example to measure ALL real, Black love from? Maybe not. But can you go wrong by following their lead? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

-b

Friday, January 23, 2009

TGIF my beautiful peoples!

I am pleased to announce that I have another Guest Blogger today. I've referenced his blog Makes Me Wanna Holler in blogs past, and I hope you've all had a chance to check it out. I'm always looking for his next post, because he always makes me think and he's just that damn good. I'm honored to have him be my guest today, so show him some love! With that said, introducing E. Payne!



It's Just…

By Eric Payne

When my wife and I were dating we used to debate the tip whenever we went out to eat. Being a frugal man (arguably cheap) I thought she was too generous. The ridiculousness of it all was that we would usually argue the pros and cons of leaving behind an additional, single dollar.

"It's just one dollar," she would always say.

For me it was never just anything.

As we grew older and closer together in life and love, this single dollar grew to tens then eventually hundreds of dollars, moving way beyond the particulars of some waiter's tip to the costs of gifts, how much to spend on our kids' birthday parties, to the viability of taking vacations. Even right now in our current economy my wife begins any discussion to go beyond our means with, "It's just…"

Webster's definition of just is "by a very small margin or amount." But more times than not, people use the word "just" to devalue large amounts or inappropriate behavior as small/minor and/or harmless. In my travels as a native Chicagoan now transplanted in New York for the past too many years, I've always found it amusing how easily people throw out the word, "just" to justify spending money, time or some other resource they don't (or soon won't) have. And it's almost always in the name of an experience that is typically fleeting. This experience can be emotional (a pair of shoes to ease the pain of a bad week at work), physical (a single donut on Mondays and Fridays because when you're dieting two donuts a week never hurt anyone), or pointless (a gas guzzling behemoth sittin' on 20s or more).

But what do we typically do when someone less fortunate stops us on the street and asks for just one quarter to get on the bus, buy a meal, buy one tank of gas, or fly to Mars?


Usually this person has asked entirely too much.


In New York City you can spend $20 before noon on any given day of the week. But what do we do when we get letters in the mail from our alma maters or reputable non-profits asking for anything from just $10 or $20 on up to pay for tuition assistance or supplies or operating expenses? I know I typically add this mail to the junk mail pile for shredding.

What do we do when the local community board asks for just one to two hours of our time to add our voice to the issues going on in both our front and backyards?

I think you catch my drift.

On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, history was made at noon when Barack Hussein Obama became the 44th President of our United States of America. Ours --- meaning everyone's. And unlike his predecessor, he has charged each and every one of us to play our part in carrying the slogan of "Yes We Can" that buttressed his campaign against all his opponents and detractors.

President Obama (damn that sounds good) has asked each of us to look around and get involved in the redevelopment of our neighborhoods and communities to aid those in need of assistance and to build what time, negligence or whatever-the-ill-may-be has torn down or sent into decline. For those people who are new to the idea of serving others, President Obama has set up his own website, usaservice.org, as a clearing house of information on where and how to connect with service organizations and projects all over our nation. And there's always Google, as well as Idealist.org and VolunteerMatch.org.

It is a brand new year and history has been made, but history was never meant to be one frozen moment in time. In fact, President Obama is insisting that it not be. So what will you do? Will you get on board, or is it just too much to spend a few hours a month being a big brother or sister? Is it just too much to put some sweat equity into a Habitat for Humanity project? Is it just too much to go beyond yourself to do just a little bit more than you do on any given day for the good of one or many?

As someone who has been involved in community service since my boyhood days of wearing coke-bottle glasses and rocking a lopsided afro, I can honestly say giving just a little bit can mean so much --- in the lives of others and in your own life.

Especially now.

Peace.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I can't believe it's Random Thoughts Thursday already!

Before I begin, can I just ask - was anyone else as moved by this as I was? My sister mentioned it yesterday, and I had to post so we could see it again. Our First Couple's first dance:



Black love at its best. You can tell she loves that man...and that he loves her. I cried watching them dance together - it gave me goosebumps! I just want to squeeze them both!

Okay...now...

- I got some GOOD sleep last night!
- I saw alot of good looking men on my way to work today, it made my commute very enjoyable :-)
- I have been craving Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for DAYS now!
- My cell phone situation is STILL not resolved! T-Mobile is killin me!
- I just ordered "Future President" t-shirts for all the kids I know :-)
- I have yet to watch Season 4 of Lost, so I'm tivo'ing the current season hoping to catch up later - so no one tell me what's going on....DRE!
- I want Snapple!
- Smoking should be banned from the Earth! I hate catching a nose full of someone else's smoke as I walk down the sidewalk! UGGH!
- My cat has been scratching the shiznit out of me because he doesn't like taking the medicine I have to force down his throat.
- Not long ago, I heard two friends talking about me behind my back on the phone - one of them must've accidentally conferenced me in and not realized it. I listened just long enough to hear what they actually thought of me. It's interesting to hear people discuss you when they think you're not listening.
- I'm using the pressure cooker my sister got me for the first time tonight. I hope I don't mess up my chicken!
- I just realized I don't have any onions...and that's what I need tonight to make my chicken! Dagnabbit! Now I gotta go buy some.
- Sometimes I wish I was having an Obama baby like Annamaria.....sometimes :-)
- I feel like I should have a framed picture of the Obamas in my apartment :-)
- Something about bodybuilders creeps me out.
- I love peaches!
- Lately I hate all my clothes...I want new ones.
- I need a vacation already...somewhere WARM!
- I miss my nephews :(
- And finally - this is simply to drive Annamaria crazy:




Okay, this list could go on forever...chime in!

-b

Happy Hump Day!

It seems so strange to me that it's Wednesday already. These past couple of days have been an emotional whirlwind for me! First, it was a Monday filled with anticipation and reflection. Then yesterday, it was a Dream realized. I'm still high even though I'm exhausted today!

So many people from my job were off yesterday. Everyone is telling their stories of how they spent their day - how they were either in D.C. at one of the balls or sitting home watching the parade on their couch. It'll be one of those "where were you when?" moments that will be discussed and re-lived for years and years to come.

At first, as I was watching all the coverage of the people gathered down in the mall, I felt a twinge like, "man, I should have gone down there." But it quickly disappeared as Kyce and Ibrahim (my nephews) BOUNDED all around the living room screaming and clapping, "OBAMA! OBAMA!" In that moment, there was no place I'd rather be.



Would it have been great to meet people from around the country and around the world who came to witness this historic event in person? Absolutely. Would it have been great to stand arm and arm with folks who never thought this day would be possible? Of course. But as Kyce sat on my lap hanging onto Barack's every word, it hit me - this is exactly the way I was supposed to be witnessing history.

I didn't need pictures, and buttons and souvenirs. The best thing I got to take away from Inauguration Day was that, to my nephews, this was normal. Barack Obama was the first President they've seen being sworn in. A Black man, just like them. The most powerful man in the world is a man with an African name, just like theirs - he is THEIR President. What a sight to see - the glimmer in a child's eye - that he can be ANYTHING he wants to be in this world - whether he's Black or African or Muslim. Anything. This is all they know. Mini Obamas in the making.



I can't wait to see all the pics that my friends took in D.C. and hear all the amazing stories. If any of you have anything to share of your Inauguration Day experience, then please - let's hear it! As Pranny would say, "Spread Love!"

-b

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

Is everyone ready?!?!?! I am SO proud! I'm beaming! I'm anxious! I'm excited! I'm overflowing! I'm ready!

While taking in all the inaugural hoopla yesterday, of course I had to check out Oprah to see what monumental show she had planned. As usual, she didn't disappoint as she invited a gang of celebrity friends to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., including Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill.

Oprah also welcomed Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, who talked about a new online "pledge" campaign - an initiative to get people involved in service to Barack Obama. As part of a collaboration between MySpace and Kutcher's Katalyst Films, Kutcher, wife Demi and their celebrity friends will recruit users to pledge service to Obama by recording videos of their pledges and uploading them to Myspace. They produced their own video of pledges and presented it to President Obama to let him know he is not alone - take a look:



Something so simple, yet...amazing. Powerful!

It starts with a promise. You set a goal and you say it. My mother always tells me, "what you say out your mouth happens." Making this pledge is speaking into existence a commitment to making a change for the better. It makes it plain, gives you clarity, and it holds you accountable to your personal responsibility. That said...

I PLEDGE TO:

- Take better care of myself so that the best me can be of service to others.
- Stop buying and drinking bottled water.
- Use eco-friendly tote bags while grocery shopping and not plastic bags.
- Volunteer in my community.
- Raise money for my nephew's school, which teaches Islamic studies, so that they have the necessary resources to nurture his faith and education.
- Be more financially responsible.
- Continue to be a positive example and mentor to my nephews, and all the children in my life.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use.
- Continue to speak on career panels at Rutgers University and mentor students.
- Become more aware of the world around me and to speak out against injustices everywhere.
- Continue to include our President, his family and our troops in my prayers.
- Live by the motto, "to whom much is given, much is required."
- Be the change that I seek.

President Obama cannot change our nation alone; he can't do it without us. The change we seek begins with you and me. History Today! What is YOUR pledge?

-b

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Now is the Time

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Today isn't just the eve of the historic inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama. It is the day we celebrate the life and contributions of one of our greatest Americans and champions of freedom and justice for not just people of color, but for ALL Americans.

Before Barack, he set the tone as one of our greatest orators of all time. This speech still gives me chills!



How appropriate that we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration. Dr. King was a prime example of how one man can bring about powerful change to a crippled nation. Our nation is weak at the knees once again, and in THIS time, the man to bring about change will be sworn in tomorrow. President-Elect Obama will call on all of us to make a difference, to serve our communities and to share a spirit of renewal for ourselves and our country. And there is no better day than today to open up that renewed spirit.

If you'd like to help Renew America Together - click on that link and sign up. The grassroots movement we helped build was always about more than an election. It's about bringing much needed change to Washington and our communities.

One more day til history! I was hoping to get down to D.C. for the inaugural festivities, but it just didn't work out that way. I will be following the coverage on CNN or ABC with my family in Philadelphia. If you'd like a breakdown of the 44th President Inauguration, go to that link to find all of the events leading up to and including the day of the inauguration.

So, what is everyone doing tomorrow? If you're around, let me know how you will be celebrating this amazing day in history! Now is the time!

-b

Friday, January 16, 2009

Good morning my loves!

Two things about today's blog: 1) It's long (but an interesting read) and 2) I didn't write it.

Once I read this article, I decided I'd post it today because I'm curious to get everyone's opinion on this writer's perspective. The topic of relationships, particularly between Black Men and Women, always seems to get a rise out of people - and I don't think this article will disappoint. If you have time, I'd also really love it if you checked out a friend's post titled "How to Love a Black Woman" - which may give the opposite view of this topic. E. Payne's blog is addictive, so show him some love - I hope he'll chime in on this discussion if he has the chance. So here it is, and let's discuss:


"Why Are Black Women Scaring Off Their Men? A Fighting Spirit Is Important - but Not at Home"

The Washington Post
By: Joy Jones


Have you met this woman? She has a good job, works hard, earns a good salary. She went to college, got her master's degree; she is intelligent. She is personable, articulate, well read, interested in everybody and everything. Yet, she's single.

Or maybe you know this one. She is active in the church, faithful, committed. Sings in the choir, serves on the usher board, attends every committee meeting. Loves the Lord and knows the Word. You'd think that with her command of the Scriptures and the respect of her church members, she'd have a marriage as solid as a rock. But again, no husband.

Or perhaps you recognize the community activist. She's a black lady or as she prefers, an African American woman-on the move. She sports a short natural, sometimes cornrow braids, or even dredlocks. She's an organizer, a motivator, a dynamo. Her work for her people speaks for itself- organizing women for a self-help collective, raising funds for a community cause, educating others around a new issue in South Africa. Black folks look up to her, and white folks know she's a force to be reckoned with. Yet once again, the men leave her alone.

What do these women have in common? They have so much; what is it they lack? Why is it they may be able to hook a man but can't hold him? The women puzzle over this quandary themselves. They gather at professional clubs, at sorority meetings or over coffee at the office and wonder what's wrong with black men. They hold special prayer vigils and fast and pray and beg Jesus to send the men back to church. They find the brothers attending political strategizing sessions or participating in protests, but when it comes time to go home, the brothers go home to someone else.

I know these women because I am all of these women. And after asking over and over again "What's wrong with these men?" It finally dawned on me to ask the question, "What's wrong with us women?"

What I have found, and what many of these women have yet to discover, is that the skills that make one successful in the church, community or workplace are not the skills that make one successful in a relationship.

Linear thinking, self-reliance, structured goals and direct action assist one in getting assignments done, in organizing church or club activities, or in positioning oneself for a raise; but relationship building requires different skills. It requires making decisions that not only gratify you, but satisfy others. It means doing things that will keep the peace rather than achieve the goal; and sometimes, it means creating the peace in the first place.

Maintaining a harmonious relationship will not always allow you to take the straight line between two points. You may have to stoop to conquer or yield to win. In too many cases, when dealing with men, you will have to sacrifice being right in order to enjoy being loved.

Being acknowledged as the head of the household is an especially important thing for many black men, since their manhood is so often actively challenged everywhere else. Many modern women are so independent, so self-sufficient, so committed to the cause, to the church, to career-or their narrow concepts of same-that their entire personalities project an "I don't need a man" message. So they end up without one.

An interested man may be attracted, but he soon discovers that this sister makes very little space for him in her life. Going to graduate school is a good goal and an option that previous generations of blacks have not had.

But sometimes the achieving woman will place her boyfriend so low on her list of priorities that his interest wanes. Between work, school and homework, she's seldom "there" for him, for the preliminaries that might develop a commitment to a woman.

She's too busy to prepare him a home-cooked meal or to be a listening ear for his concerns because she is so occupied with her own. Soon he uses her only for uncommitted sex since-to him-she appears unavailable for anything else. Blind to the part she's playing in the problem, she ends up thinking, "Men only want one thing." Thus she decides she's better off with the degree than the friendship. When she's 45, she may wish she'd set different priorities while she was younger. It's not just the busy career girl who can't see the forest for the trees.

A couple I know were having marital troubles. During one argument, the husband confronted the wife and asked what she thought they should do about the marriage, what direction they should take. She reached for her Bible and turned to Ephesians. "I know what Paul says and I know what Jesus says about marriage," he told her. "What do you say about our
marriage?" Dumbfounded, she could not say anything. Like so many of us, she could recite the Scriptures but could not apply them to everyday living. Before the year was out, the husband had filed for divorce.

Women who focus on civil rights or community activism have vigorous, fighting spirits and are prepared to do whatever, whenever, to benefit black people. That's good. That's necessary. But it needs to be kept in perspective. It's too easy to save the world and lose your man. A fighting spirit is important on the battlefield, but a gentler spirit is wanted on the home front.

Too many women are winning the battle and losing the home. Sometimes in our determined efforts to be strong believers and hard workers, we contemporary women downplay, denigrate or simply forget our more traditional feminine attributes.

Men value women best for the ways we are different from them, not the ways we are the same. Men appreciate us for our grace and beauty. Men enjoy our softness and see it as a way to be in touch with their tender side, a side they dare not show to other men.

A hard-working woman is good to have on your committee. But when a man goes home, he'd prefer a loving partner to a hard worker. It's not an easy transition for the modern black woman to make. It sounds submissive, reactionary, outmoded, oppressive. We have fought so hard for so many things, and rightfully so. We have known so many men who were shaky, jive and untrustworthy. Yet we must admit that we are shaky, jive and willful in our own ways.

Not having a husband allows us to do whatever we want, when and how we want to do it. Having one means we have to share the power and certain points will have to be surrendered. We are terrified of marriage and commitment - yet dread the prospect of being single and alone. Throwing ourselves into work seems to fill the void without posing a threat. But like any other drug, the escape eventually becomes the cage.

To make the break, we need to do less and "be" more. I am learning to "be still and know," - to be trusting. I am learning to stop competing with black men and to collaborate with them, to temper my assertive and aggressive energy with softness and serenity. I'm not preaching a philosophy of "women should be seen and not heard." But I have come to realize that I - and many of my smart and independent sisters - are out of touch with our feminine center and, therefore, out of touch with our men.

About a year ago, I was at an oldies-but-goodies club. As a native Washingtonian, I love to do the bop and the hand-dance styles that were popular when I was a teen.

In those dances, the man has his set of steps and the woman has hers, but the couple is still two partners and must move together. On this evening, I was sitting out a record when a thought came to me. If a man were to say, "I'm going to be in charge and you're going to follow. I want you to adjust your ways to fit in with mine" - I'd dismiss him as a Neanderthal. With my hand on my hip, I'd tell him that I have just as much sense as he does and that he can't tell me what to do. Yet, on the dance floor, I love following a man's lead. I don't feel inferior or feel I have to prove that I'm just as able to lead as he is. I simply allow him to take my hand, and I go with the flow.

I am still single. I am over 30 and scared. I am still a member of my church, have no plans to quit my good government job and will continue to do what I can for my people. I think that I have a healthy relationship with a good man. But today, I know that I have to bring some of that spirit of the dance into my relationship.

Dancing solo - I've mastered that. Now I'm learning how to accept his lead, and to go with the flow.

All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.
__________________
I am a woman, I make mistakes. I make them often. God has given me a talent and that's it. ~ Jill Scott

Okay, let's hear it!

-b

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good morning my little chickadees!

It's Random Thoughts Thursday! You know how this goes....

- If anyone wants to go to a fun party, then please join me at my boy B-Luv's Ol Skool Jammy Jam for Charity. Let me tell y'all, B can dance his ass off! And his parties are always fun! If you like Ol Skool, you're guaranteed a good time. Just to get you in the mood, click on the link to go to the flyer - he has a playlist on there that will have you singing "it's got to be reeeaaaallll" all day. And the best thing about this party? It's for charity - Proceeds to Benefit The Three Doctors Foundation - (www.threedoctorsfoundation.org) and the Hope Mission (www.thehopemission.org) You'll be sweatin' your booty off! Come have fun with us! By the way, it's his BIRTHDAY PARTY!

- Okay, why is the porn industry asking for $5 billion in "rescue" money from the government? ...Seriously?

- Speaking of bail-out money..........where is it?

- So far, my "take my ass to bed early" plan has not worked all week. You see what time I'm posting this blog right? (the time stamp at the end of the post is when I started WRITING the blog) Just insanity.

- And yes Annamaria, I know you're still sleeping :-)

- Why do I ALWAYS have dishes in my sink?! It's just me living here! I hate washing dishes! hate it hate it hate it!

- It is BRICK outside! Summer can't get here fast enough.

- I count my blessings everyday. On days like today, I thank God that I have shelter, warmth, food, clothing and a job to pay for it all. I'm thankful all my loved ones are just as blessed. Thank you.

- My sister started a blog - Deen Divas - geared towards Muslim women. I'm so proud of her, and I admire her devotion in learning more about her faith. Nicole (Malek) is truly a remarkable woman of God...no matter what she calls Him.

- While we're talking about blogs, I want my brothas (and sistas) to check out this post and give E your honest feedback. I thought it was a thought-provoking, insightful piece; and while I have yet to post my comment - and I plan to - I want to go back to E's blog and read your comments as well - Black Male Misunderstood.

- I'm gonna have "Eric B For President" in my head all day thanks to B's playlist.

- Everyone, if you can, please check out The Beast premiering tonight on A&E. Here's a clip:



(and please pray for Patrick Swayze's health)

- Rameer, I'm still waiting....

- The blog I'm planning for tomorrow is kinda long...just thought I'd warn y'all now.

- Have we all gotten over the Giants loss yet? Good. In that case, let's all rally behind my Eagles shall we? Let's become a "collective heartbeat" (as Brian Dawkins calls us) and root for the Eagles to disrupt Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals! NFC Championship Game on Sunday! Good luck Dre Lew with your Ravens!


Cardinals

Was that crass?....eh...oh well ;-)

-b

Hooking Up!

Happy Hump Day!

I am pleased to announce that I have my first FEMALE GUEST BLOGGER! She is a beautiful sister-friend by the name of Serena Wills, a fellow SU alum and a member of my Spiritual Team! Introducing Serena!



Thank you Brooke for this opportunity to be a guest blogger! I love the good conversation and comments that go back and forth from day to day. But after a conversation on Saturday night with a friend of mine, I emailed Brooke the next day and asked her if I could address the peeps on Hookin Up!

Now, immediately one thinks of hooking up as sex or getting with that brother/sister you’ve been digging for a while. In fact, I’m talking about when your peeps think that just because you are single that you need to be hooked up!

Let me break down to y’all my frustrations, and I want to see if it’s just indeed me or if others have fallen prey to this as well. Brooke put out a blog a while ago talking about how her married friends won’t hook her up. Well I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum. I have married friends out here in Dallas, TX who think that there’s a problem with the fact that I’m single. Granted I love hearing, “You are just too wonderful and the perfect man is out there for you and oh you deserve the best and a good man who will treat you right.”

This is all good and I agree, but I have a few in particular that are so insistent on seeing me with a man that on every conversation (or almost every one) they are talking about…“Ooooh girl, I got someone for you. He’s tall like you, drives a Benz and is a principal of a high school.” Or the one I loved was, “Re, I got the perfect guy for you. He’s the parking lot attendant for my building and he’s tall, seems nice and at least we know he has a job.”

First off, it’s not about what he’s driving because for all they know it could be in his Mama’s name, and yes the parking lot attendant may be cute and yes he has a job, but is that all you looked for when you married your husband?

About every week I’m hearing about a mystery guy that the Hook Up Committee I call 'em wants to match me up with. Now, this is the funny part…I never asked to be hooked up! If anything, I love being single and satisfied! But ever since the storm blew over with my ex-boyfriend back in mid 2007 they have been on a mission to get me connected with someone.

It’s bad enough I hear this outside of work, but on my team at work I’m the only single person. So as we are out and about in the community, my teammates who I love dearly will tell me, “Hey did you meet that recreation center director, I think he’s sweet for you.”

I’m like "What the...?"…we are trying to have a meeting with Mr. Rec Center Director and yes I know he’s sweet on me and if he were a grown a** man he would tell me that he wants to take me out and not call the office asking my Director if I’m seeing anyone, what do I have on today (oh yes I’m serious y’all), and I’m a good man…I pay my bills on time and cut my lawn.

YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT! LOL!

The one thing that I’ve truly learned from being out here in Dallas almost three years is to truly let God lead him to me. If it happens to be through a friend then fine, but it shouldn’t be forced or shoved down my throat. I also want someone that I can compliment and not complete. You should already be complete when he/she comes to the table. No one, and I mean no one, should be in the business of saying, “Oh he or she completes me.” You should be 100% from the door and that person is also there with you and compliments you even more.

Yes I’m from the east coast (New York Stand Up!) and I used to live in the DC area for almost 9 years. Am I hearing this from my friends on the east side?…no. It’s truly a southern thing. People out here get so worried about a woman who's single, in her almost mid thirties, no children…what’s wrong with her? Then I have to tell them…I’m a Divine Mold created by Him and when the time is right He will present my husband to me and there won’t be no question about it! Check out the poem on my blog titled Divine Mold if you’re ever in a moment where you don’t believe he/she’s out there.

When I told this to an associate of mine, (cause not everyone needs to be your friends) she said, “Girl please, I’m in the business of helping myself and no longer in that self help mode in regards to waiting. I don’t have time to wait around; I have to find him myself.” I just threw my hands up and walked away!

So on that note, tell me your hook up drama - if you’ve fallen prey by your friends that are married and want you to join the circle so bad that they are throwing people your way to meet, or even a blind date dilemma.

This is Serena signing off…check out my blog at http://divinewryte.blogspot.com

Peace!!!!!


(P.S. Serena's birthday is on Friday!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good afternoon everyone!

First, let's check in with Liz!



Keep doing your thing Liz!

Okay, just so you know, I feel like ranting today - so let me just get to it.

Now, did any of you watch The View yesterday? Ann Coulter was their guest promoting her new book. All I have to say is Ann Coulter makes Elizabeth Hasselbeck look like she has a bit of sense...and that's a hard thing to do. Please watch this - it gets a little heated!



Now, I take issue with MANY things that Ann Coulter says and stands for. But having been raised by a single mother myself, this discussion was especially grating to me. How this woman can pass judgement on an entire group of single mothers who struggle (or maybe DON'T struggle) to care and build a life for their children is beyond absurd. Ann Coulter, who has never been married or bore children, sat there at that table like she was the moral majority, and I'm so glad Whoopi called her ass out.

And she had the nerve to say that she was being attacked?

This woman indicted an entire group of women who are superstars raising children. Like Barbara Walters asked, what about widows? What about women who ran away from an abusive situation so that they and their children are safe? What about women who were married and then got divorced? You'd think she'd say these women were the exception. She didn't! Ann Coulter is just straight crazy.

I can probably say with some certainty that MOST women (and men) don't set out to be single parents. Sometimes life just happens. And they deal with it. I am in awe of single men and women who raise their children and handle their business and do it all successfully. We don't know the next person's circumstance, so passing judgement should be left to no one but God.

But I'm not done..oh no no no no!

What also totally baffled me was Ann Coulter claiming that Halle Berry's Oscar acceptance speech was "for the blacks," and that she was identifying with her Black father who abandoned her.

Huh? What the hell is she talking about?

In case anyone forgot what Halle said, here is her speech.



Halle Berry is a Black woman. Ann Coulter would agree with that. So why is she taking issue with Halle being PROUD to be the first Black woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Actress? Is she supposed to all of a sudden DENY her Blackness because she's an Oscar winner? Halle Berry can't help who her father is. She can't help that he was a Black man. Halle Berry knows that in the eyes of all of society, she is a Black woman. She wasn't identifying with her Black father. She was identifying with her Black SELF.

If anything, she thanked her manager Vincent Cirrincione, who she said was like "the only father I've ever known." I guess Ann missed that part. She also missed the part where Halle said, "I want to thank my mom who's given me the strength to fight every single day, to be who I want to be and given me the courage to dream, that this dream might be happening and possible for me. I love you, Mom, so much. Thank you." I didn't hear her mention her father. Ann Coulter is an idiot.

Halle Berry, an Academy Award winning actress, was also raised by a single mother. A WHITE single mother. They come from every race. Not all children raised by single mothers are drug dealers, addicts, murderers, unwed teens or are in jail. They go on to be productive citizens who contribute to our world. They accomplish extraordinary things. They're just like me.

It probably pisses Ann Coulter off that next week, the Black son raised by a single, White mother, will take his oath to be sworn in as the next President of the United States. She needs to just go away...her and Sarah Palin. Matter of fact, take Joe The Plumber too while you're at it.

-b

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Monday everyone!

In case you missed the EAGLES/giants game yesterday, here are the highlights :-)


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You know, as I was getting all the HATER texts and emails yesterday from my mostly male NY friends, it occurred to me - it may not be possible for me to marry or procreate with a New Yorker who is a Giants fan. Why? We'd be a house divided :-)

I was certainly in a good mood after the Eagles win, but if I had a boo who was a die-hard Giants fan...he might have gone to bed mad at me ;-) Well, maybe not at ME, but just mad in general...and that got me to thinking - have you ever gone to bed mad at your significant other over something silly? Or maybe not so silly?

Rameer still hasn't come up off that NeYo cd, but I have heard a few of the songs off his latest offering. The song that plays continuously now (that I love!) is Mad. Take a listen:



I understand not wanting to go to bed mad at your baby. I don't like going to bed mad at anyone, personally. If it's something silly like being mad that your team lost in the playoffs, then no, you're not allowed to go to bed mad :-)

But sometimes - like in that video - things are said that we may not mean, words are spoken that we cannot take back and no one is thinking logically.

She's staring at me, I'm sitting wondering what she's thinking
Ummm Nobody's talking, cause' talking just turns into screaming (Oooo)
And now yes I'm yelling over her, she yelling over me,
all that that means is neither of us are listening,
and what's even worse, that we don't even remember why we're fighting


So, in that case...I think it's okay to go to bed angry. I know that goes against all the couple or marriage advice out there, but think about it. Trying to stay up to resolve an issue may actually do more harm than good.

We fall into this place where you ain't backing down, and I ain't backing down,
so what the hell do we do now?


When you're angry and tired, you're not thinking straight. Neither of you are. That's when real damage can be done, especially if it's clear that neither of you are listening to each other and are no where near finding any common ground anytime soon. If neither of you are backing down at that moment, just walk away and take your behinds to sleep. Once you get some rest, you can awake refreshed with a better perspective on your disagreement and, even if you're still angry, you may be able to see your situation in a more reasonable light. Perhaps then, you and your partner will be able to discuss your differences without yelling or arguing.

Some disagreements can be resolved quickly and painlessly - like being mad that your sweetheart was talking sh*t about your team ;-) But others may require you to sleep on it and save the discussion for a new day. It's easy to take back Giants trash talk, that can be forgiven :-) But some words, once uttered, can never be taken back. So, if your relationship is worth it, take a break, get some sleep and find your equilibrium so that you both don't say or do something you'll regret later. And to all my Giants fans friends who were poppin' off at the mouth earlier, I forgive you :-)

What's the silliest thing you've ever gone to bed angry over? :-)

Go EAGLES!

-b

Friday, January 9, 2009

TGIF!!

Now remember yesterday when I said I wanted another Guest Blogger this month? Well guess what!? I got one!

He goes by the name of Craig...Craig Verde :-) Once you read the blog you'll know why :-) He asked me to include this clip in his intro...so without further adieu!



Hello Peoples!

I’ve been asked by the great Brooke to Guest BLOG. This is my first time in this forum. But being as though I missed Random Thursday...I thought we’d revisit the concept today and do RANDOM ‘RIDAY!!!!

Blogging has become the staple of the Internet. A forum to regurgitate the minute details of our Road Running lives. I’ve been trying to think of what the hell to write about. Relationships…I’m a hermit…Food...I’m a semi-quasi-vegan, but only during the week … Sports…unathletic …Music…tone-deaf …Movies…I can’t afford movies in NYC, too damn expensive!!! A matinee is at 10am…WTF??? …Maybe I should do a blog about NETFLIX? Nah…So many topics to make your brain melt and ooze out your nose giving you the Roscoe” look (Please reference Comedic Series MARTIN, pronounced as “Ma-In”)

But for me, the only thing that’s in my head is the word “BLOG”.

So I’m stuck…;-(

Now, I’m what you call a GREEN PEACE ACTIVIST. We’re a world-wide organization that spreads the word of peace and sharing in a ceremonious fashion. So what I did was ACTIVATE my GREEN to emanate my PEACE (Please take a second to digest this)

So, as I indulge in my aromatic ceremonies, I began meditating on the word BLOG.

Blog….Blog….Blog…I kept saying to myself…What the fuck? After a few moments, I found myself inhaling a spiritual essence. The feeling after you do yoga for the first time and you get to the part where you gently lay on your mat and rest…AND YOU’VE BEEN DESPERATELY WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT SINCE YOU THINK YOU PULLED A GROIN DURING DOWNWARD FACING DOG. Now, as you lay on the mat, the chants take you away to another place…mmmmmmmmm….Yoga….What am I talking about? Oh right…BLOG. But I found this YOGA essence in the word Blog. Then it hit me…I’ve just created BLOGA….Yes! This is a Downward-Facing BLOG!

Say the word BLOGA ten times. How do you feel? Funny? Initially. Stupid? Probably.

Well, I said it 87 times. And in doing so, I became one with BLOG. I realized how many ways we can incorporate it into our lives.

So in my BLOGA mindset…Here are some examples to use the word BLOG as a verb:

Pretty woman walking down the block: “I’d BLOG the shit out of her!”

Ugly woman walks down the block: “Damn, she looks like a BLOG

And for SOME of you gentlemen…

Pretty Man walks down the block: “Hmmm,…he would so get the BLOGness!”

Just jokes people…. don’t get Ralph Tresvant on me…:-/

So I walked into Starbucks the other day…Laptops and Cappuccinos in abundance…Tight pants and long legs crossed…and these are the men mind you (Again…No Ralphies)…It was unusually loud this day…eardrums bumping to the orchestraic (you can make words up in the BLOGOSPHERE!!!)…now…the ORCHESTRAIC sounds of clicking keys coming from every direction. I don’t mean to be prejudice or racist but I shook by head and under my breathe I uttered the word….”BLOGGAS” Leave it to BLOGGAS, to write when not written to….give you their two cents when you didn’t ask for mutha fuckin’ change….MUTHA’ F’IN BLOGGAS! Don’t get me wrong…I Looooove TYPISTS! Manicured hands…sanitizer gel sitting on the desk, right next to the NIVEA lotion (Personally, I think Nivea is too oily but I like the name so…there you go…) but boy I hate BLOGGA’S! (That was my Chris Rock impersonation by the way)

Side bar: Starbucks smelled like ass. You know why? Because Motha Bloggin Blogga’s only communicate through their computers! They don’t talk…They look at a screen, and whisper the words to themselves as they write. Do you know that whispering makes your breath stink?!!! Now imagine a room full of over-priced coffee and the whispering smell of ass…Dunkin Donuts, here I come…

My head hurts and I don’t know what the hell I’m writing about. My hands have diarrhea. I must be out of my mutha’bloggin’ mind OR maybe you should be a “Green Peace Activist like me”…;-) Then this piece would be more interesting… ;-)

So let’s all come up with a sentence using the word BLOG…ENJOY AND HAVE A HAPPY RANDOM ‘RIDAY!!!!

-Craig

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Okay, so it's our first Random Thoughts Thursday of 2009! I'm sure these will be good today, as many of you have probably had a million random thoughts over the course of a couple weeks of vacation. So let's get to it, shall we?

- I'm out of "New York" shape...meaning I didn't do nearly as much walking or climbing subway steps while on vacation in Philly. I almost hacked up a lung climbing the steps at Grand Central on Monday!

- The Eagles will upset the Giants on Sunday...believe that.

- I'm going thru "Snapple Withdrawal." I haven't had one since Monday and I miss me some Half Iced Tea-Half Lemonade Snapple!

- I would like to have another Guest Blogger this month...anyone interested? :-)

- Kiddie germs lay me out! I've been sick with a cold for 2 weeks now! Not cool.

- The cable guy has one of the most adorable faces I think I've ever seen.

- I need a good "work-out" playlist for my iPod...anyone have one?

- Also, anyone have the latest NeYo cd I could borrow?

- I'm going to the gym tonight RENE! He's on my Team, but lately I feel like he's the coach! LOL!! I appreciate it tho.

- Now I just need people on my team for my Finances, Beauty, Spirituality, etc. I'm accepting applications :-)

- Speaking of "teams"...who does that sound like Amanda? LMAO!!

- "Plantation Mint" tea is now my new favorite tea thanks to my sister.

- I miss my nephews SO MUCH! Seeing them everyday for 2 weeks was good for my soul.

- The EAGLES will upset the Gia.....oh...wait...did I say that already? ;-)

I can't even remember how many times we sang the Eagles Fight Song at the Dallas game in Philly. We sing it every time the Eagles score a touchdown. For those of you not familiar with it, here's a taste - too bad the game this Sunday is in NY or else you'd hear it!



E-A-G-L-E-S - EAGLES! Your turn!

-b

Happy Hump Day!!

Sorry I'm late! I've been trying to blog from home, but last night I wasn't able to. And I had to screen a film this morning, so I've been busy off the hook!

While I was trying to figure out what day it was yesterday, it hit me - IT'S FREAKIN JANUARY 2009! I frantically wrote an email to Amanda and Leesa stating, "It just occurred to me that it's January, which means next month is February, which means my birthday is coming and I'll be 36!" Where did the year go?!

I barely got used to being 35! I think because in my mind, I was trying to block it out. I don't want to define myself by any age. I don't feel a day over 27, and most people say I don't look it either. But then, upon finding out my real age, someone inevitably asks, "Why aren't you married yet?" or "You don't want kids?"

I have two best friends from college. One has three children and the other is working on her third. We're all the same age, and have grown closer than ever over the years. Our lives are all completely different and have taken us places we never thought we'd be. One never thought she'd be a stay at home mom, having earned her law degree and once loved the thrill of trials and cross examinations. The other, a widow, is raising her children alone after 15 years of being with her soul mate.

Then there's me - single with no kids at 35. The only difference is...this isn't a shock to me. Growing up, I always said I didn't want kids. I've since changed my position on that, but it wasn't until my late twenties when I was in a relationship with someone I could actually see myself having kids with that I began to feel differently. Now, in my thirties, I can see myself as a mother more so than a wife. But I'd want to raise my children with their father, so I guess I'd have to take the man too ;-) We can't always dictate what life brings us, but we want it to be as ideal as possible right? Right.

"Why aren't you married yet?"

It's a question I never know how to answer. Then they ask...

"Well, why don't you have kids?"

To follow with that question is almost just as absurd.

I think I give simple answers that never seem to be good enough. "Well, the right man just hasn't found me yet" or "I'll have children when the time is right for me."

What I really want to say...or..YELL...is "STOP ASKING ME!" Sometimes I feel like people discuss me and "my situation" as if I'm not even there. Is it a SIN to be 35, not married with no kids? Did I break some sort of rule or something? Does growing my career count FOR ANYTHING?

It's not like I'm sitting at home eating bons bons, twittling my thumbs, waiting for Prince Charming to knock on my door. I go out. I spend quality time with my family. I have girl nights out. I go to movies by myself. I meet great people online. I meet great people in person. I cultivate relationships that bring great meaning to my life. And I do it happily single and childless.

I'll admit, at first - When my 35th birthday came and I was still single without a boo in sight, I had a sad cloud hanging over me. I just did not understand how I still had not found someone or how this man did not find me. I mean, I had put in some good years of practice and search, so you figure that something has to have happened by then right?

After 35, the pressure is SO on because, well, for the ladies, the time to biologically procreate is coming to a close. People are worried that your eggs are going to turn to powder before any of them get a chance to be spermeated. And for both sexes, you should be married by the time you’re 35 because some rule says so.

I wish the answer were as simple as "because, like Oprah, I dont' want to get married" or "cuz I don't want any snotty nosed, rusty behind kids!" But that wouldn't be true. I DO want those things. I DO think about it. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. My sister tells me to "let God", so I'm trying to do that while enjoying my "singlehood." Everything in His time if it's His will. Most days I accept that. Other days, it's hard to accept...especially when all your friends are working on their third baby and you have no prospects in sight.

But you know what? I also don't have to worry about diapers, or being a single mom, or not having a life cuz I can't find a sitter, or my husband getting on my LAST NERVE and I have no where to escape cuz the house just isn't big enough!

I can go catch a movie with my single friends at the last minute. I can say, "meet me for dinner in 15 minutes" at the drop of a hat. I can stay up all night and sleep in late. I am unencumbered by husband or child, and freedom has its rewards.

Grass always looks greener on the other side right?

So when someone asks you why you're not married or why you don't have kids, just tell them, "I'm just enjoying my side of the fence for right now, wiggling my toes in my nice, green grass."

-b

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Okay, is it me, or is anyone else having trouble remembering what day it is? Being on vacation for 2 weeks has me all over the place...but I believe it's Tuesday, so...Happy Tuesday!

Let's check in with Liz! She's been recording herself, she just hasn't been uploading or sending the links to me - so don't think I forgot! But today she sent me week 6 and week 7 updates, so click on those links to see how she did :-)

Okay, so last night I watched a new show on ABC called True Beauty - did anyone see it??? The contestants on this competition reality show all think they're being judged on how beautiful they are on the outside, but actually they're being judged on their inner beauty. Check out the contestants:



"When I walk into a room, time freezes."

I mean, I understand confidence. No one thinks, or should think, that he or she is unattractive. But even the most confident of us should realize that no one is perfect by everyone's standards. And truly beautiful people understand that beauty illuminates from within.

These men and women were obnoxious. They were arrogant. They lacked any substance that could be seen - at least not in the first episode. Sure, they were physically attractive - but on the inside? Whoa. Let's hope creative editing cut out any redeeming qualities any of them may have had, because it was sad...so sad.

But what was most sad about these contestants was how noticeably insecure they all were. We all have insecurities. Some of us work through them and try to overcome those insecurities. Others mask them with a false sense of pride. We build a bigger ego thinking no one will see the real person within. I got the sense that these contestants were hiding behind a veil, even though they desperately wanted to be seen. They all measured their worth by their outward appearance and were crippled by what other people thought of them.

I understand they thought it was a beauty contest - but when asked how one measures beauty, not one of them said anything about having a good heart, being compassionate or generous or having a sensational personality. They were concerned with cheekbones and eye color and their physique. They were jealous of each other. They were condescending. And they were ugly...to the bone.

Don't get me wrong, we all enjoy looking our best. We wear make-up, stylish clothes and get our hair did :-) We make ourselves attractive for many reasons...whether it's to put a little more sway in our step, or to attract members of the opposite sex. The great challenge for each of us is to let go of our limited view of ourselves and trust the intimations of our soul, which whisper to us "rejoice, you are a child of God." We focus outward when the beauty we long for and try to paste on our bodies is already within us.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying taking care of yourself and looking the best that you possibly can. But all of that should be done to please yourself, not to be judged by anyone else. We should take just as much time, if not MORE, to cultivate our inner beauty. Too often our appreciation of beauty does not penetrate beyond physical attractiveness or sex appeal, and our relentless pursuit of beauty at the superficial level prevents us from understanding that our oneness with God makes us beautiful from our souls. The outward appearance may be what attracts us to a person, but the person's inner self is what will keep our attention and capture our hearts.

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

Out of His love, we are created in His likeness, divided and multiplied into a myriad variety of images manifest in His glory. Be content with your natural appearance. And I don’t mean a reluctant contentment - but a joyful, sincere gratitude to God for what He has blessed you with...and what He has given to others. You can’t be grateful and envious at the same time. God created us beautifully, knitting each part together deliberately. We are all unique - no two of us are exactly alike. Beauty is infinite because God is One. No matter how deep it is...where there is beauty, there is an eye to see it. Once we tap into the beauty that is God in us, the veil is lifted, and our inner radiance shines through.

-b

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

And if you're back at work from a long break, then maybe it's not such a happy Monday :-(

But there's always something to be happy about right? Well, unless you're a Vikings fan :-) First things first, shall we? :-)



If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan. But I'm not just an Eagles fan, I'm a football fan. I'm a basketball fan. I'm a sports fan!

Yes, when it comes to the Eagles, I can sometimes have a slick mouf :-) I can talk more shiznit than a little bit. Trash talker? Yeah, that's me. I'll bet you, and I'll take your money :-) I'm the one yelling at the tv like, "you f*ckin a**hole!" when I feel the ref made a bad call. I'm the one who'll be seething for a few days after my team's heartbreaking loss. I'm the one teasing, "Eli (Manning) is adopted!" Yes, I'm that chick.

I was a tomboy growing up. I'd much rather race a boy down the street than do Barbie's hair. I hated make-up and high heels (still do), and boys were my competition, not my secret crushes. I played three sports from 6th grade to 12th grade - field hockey, basketball and track...and I wasn't too shabby. The guys would come watch me play, cheer me on, tell me the mistakes I made ("you should have followed through on that last shot, follow your shot!") and I was one of the boys.

It wasn't until I turned 15 or 16, when I started "rounding out," that they started looking at me a little differently. Then, I wasn't just "cool" because I was into sports, but now I was "cute" too. Maybe that's why I liked this movie so much :-)



A woman who's into sports too? Sexy ain't it?

Or is it?

I've heard some men say that their dream girl would be a beautiful, sexy woman who could talk sports with them all night while cuddling watching Sports Center. But I've also known men who say they wouldn't want a woman invading "their world." That sports is for them and the fellas, and the only thing she should be able to do is bring him a beer while he's watching Kobe. They want her to stay in "her" place while he's basking in playoff heaven. Sports is HIS escape...maybe from her.

Some men don't want a woman who may know a little MORE than him when it comes to sports, while others would brag to his friends, "Ask her anything, she's a sports genius!" Some men like it that their girl would rather watch a game instead of Ugly Betty, as long as she's not beating him in fantasy football. They don't mind that she's just as into sports as he is, as long as his boys don't start inviting her to watch the game at the bar too.

It's a fine line with some men. I think some men think they want a girl who loves sports just as much, if not more, than they do - but secretly...not really. I know a man who thinks women who are heavy into sports are "bull dikes" or "butch" and not "feminine" or "ladylike." Totally absurd, but that's what he thinks.

So...tell me...Men - do you find it sexy when a woman knows the difference between a zone defense and the Zone diet? Or do you think it's a turn-off?

Women - do you think that men find you MORE or LESS attractive if you walk around in a football jersey, cussin' at the stupid ref? Is he happy that you know more about sports than which team wears the cutest "outfits?"

Times have changed. Some men like a girl with a mean shoe game. Some like a woman with a mean jump shot (your girl was NICE!). Women can love to shop AND go to a game. And we can be sexy doing both. Personally, no man I've known has told me that a woman who likes sports more than he does is unattractive. But I think they know better than to say that to me anyway...you know, with my slick mouf and all. They don't want none ;-) Not sure if my competitive nature makes me more or less sexy ;-) but you know what...????

...I don't care...Eagles gonna whoop Big Blue's ass! Yeah...I SAID IT!

-b

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