Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Random Thoughts Thursday - aka MY BIRTHDAY!!



The greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love, and be loved in return. I feel so blessed today! I don't think I can top what I wrote last year on my birthday, so I'll simply thank God that I'm able to see another year. I have everything I need, and God sees to it that all that I am and have is my Divine inheritance. Every new year of life is an opportunity for self mastery, self-reevaluation, for setting a new course for optimism and the exercise of faith. I welcome each new day as a challenge to transform my world and grow my spirit - to lead a more meaningful life. Today, on my birthday, and everyday, I am perfecting myself...the self I know in God. Amen.

Now!

- What is up with this weather? DMoe is supposed to be coming up to the NYC, and there should be no snow on B-Day! I hope he's able to make it in so we can get it poppin!

- Did I mention my trainer Deebo...I mean Bobby...will be at karaoke on Saturday? Don't call him Deebo like I accidentally did the other day - he might bust you up!

- My DMoe iPod will be updated if he makes it in. Looking forward to new music!

- I need to go buy a salad - I forgot to cook my veggies last night.

- It's a shame that yogurt with honey is like crack to me now. My taste buds are changing.

- I'm must be getting mushy in my old age. My sister and nephews sang Happy Birthday to me this morning and I got all misty-eyed. What is wrong with me???

- Oh, and my nephews think I should have a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. I actually think that's a good idea - I just may do that just for them :-)

- I can't wait to see my ace Denise this weekend. I miss her! We might need to have an old fashioned slumber party with Val on Saturday night after "the club." :-)

- Why am I at work?

- What is up with the killer whale? And why do people insist on messing wild animals? Then they act all surprised when one attacks them. Yes, it's a whale...but still...it's an animal! A Killer one!

- I could have sworn my cat meowed "Happy Birthday" to me this morning. He was extra snuggly and affectionate too :-)

- Can you tell I'm a cat person? :-)

Go!

-b

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WTF? Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

Okay, I know I'm late. But honestly, I've been slammed at work and my brain is fried. Couple that with the fact that I haven't had a decent, starchy carb or salt or sugar for the past 7 days and you can see why I might be a bit cranky or non-creative :-)

I was just about to call it day when....

...you all have Craig to thank for these videos.



huh? Can someone interpret that for me?

Or this one:



The Jamaican puppets are hilarious!

Check out this foolishness:




WTF? They was gettin' it IN on the good foot weren't they?? LOL!!

Last but not least, you have Monica to thank for sending me this link. Nothing says thank you for the million dollar ring like good head :-) LOL!

Just what I needed today :-)

Feel free to add your own "WTF Wednesday" moments for today.

Go!

-b

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Tuesday!

So I asked Stef if we could discuss her Valentine's Day drama as a blog topic. In case some of you missed it in the comments, Stef saw some unnerving information on her new "friend's" Facebook page that suggested that maybe she wasn't the only sweetie in his life - and she quickly went off! We won't go into the details, but dude was pretty much busted by some PYT that posted something suggestive on his page...that he apparently hadn't seen and removed until it was too late. Yikes!

The whole thing sounds silly at first, since Facebook is...well...Facebook. But maybe there's something there to discuss. Can Facebook mess up a (budding) relationship? Is Facebook...as Yolanda would say..."the debbil?"

Facebook is a fun and convenient way to keep up with friends and family. Half the stuff I know about my family I learn through Facebook...which is kinda sad. But hey, it's better than not keeping in touch at all, right?

I log on periodically throughout the day and use it to promote my blog. I "watch" tv shows and sporting events with my FB friends "together." It's just another way to connect.

And I do know a couple of people who have even had some romantic hook-ups, meetings with friends of friends they may have met on FB. Friends suggest friends to other friends, and we all become one big, happy family.

At first anyway.

But what about that cutie you met at the gym? Instead of exchanging numbers like we used to do back in the day, the new question now becomes, "Are you on Facebook?" Give someone a last name or an email address, and BAM! - there they are. A friend request goes out, you start to chat, talk on the phone, look into each other's lives...and all of a sudden, you have a new boo.

Until...

One day, you log on to see that some "chick" (whose profile pic is of her in a wet t-shirt) posts something like, "Hey babe, missed you last night" on his wall - and now you're all in a tizzy. Sure, the message was somewhat innocent...I guess...but who is she? You click on her page, and either look at every pic she has and read all of her info...OR...you sit there fuming because this b*tch made her page private.

So, you try to act all cool about it, and casually ask your man who the lovely young lady with the "classy" photo is - and he tells you she's just a friend and that she's harmless. You don't believe that sh*t, but you can't say anything because all you have to go on is a wall post.

What to do??!!

Here's what you do. Delete him. Not necessarily out of your life, but at least off of Facebook. The longer you keep him as a friend, the more you'll obsess over his page and anything on it that could be seen as "suspect." For some, if you're already insecure, Facebook will just fan the flames of your jealousy. You don't need another reason to feel distrustful of your man (or woman), especially if you're suspicious by nature anyway. If you think something is going on, just trust your gut and follow THAT instinct, instead of allowing your mind to play tricks on you because some random girl "likes" your man's status.

If you DO decide to "friend" your man, make sure you have a discussion about what is expected and boundaries. Not every man or woman cares, or even reads, that your boo is "in a relationship" in the status part of their page. If someone disrespects you or your mate by posting something suggestive or that can be seen as inappropriate on your wall, then either "de-friend" the troublemaker, or change your privacy settings. Do what you have to do to make sure your relationship is safe.

And if you MUST use Facebook to see what your significant other is up to, make sure you have PROOF that something is up before you go screaming, "You asshole, I saw that new girl you friended, I know something is going on cuz she wrote that she loves you on your wall!"

Boo: "Uh...she's my sister..."

You: "Oh...well, uh...she seems nice."

Avoid the cyber drama...just sayin.

-b

Monday, February 22, 2010

Life Eternal

Good Monday everyone!

I want to dedicate my blog today to Serena Wills and her mother, Marguerite Sauti Wills - who passed away on Friday, February 19th. May she rest in peace and my God deliver strength to Serena and her family.

It's hard to know what to say when someone leaves us or a friend loses a loved one - we don't deal very well with death usually. We see it as the enemy, even though it's as natural as birth, as day is to night...as breathing out is as natural as breathing in. It's a cycle completed that is most times hard to bear, because we simply cannot conceive of an end to ourselves or those we love.

It's a natural and appropriate response to grieve, because the person we want to be here isn't here anymore. But a Divine spirit never dies, and an angel's love always surrounds us. Life is in the eternal present when the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. In our grief, we sometimes forget that our true self isn't our physical self. Birth is not the beginning of life, nor is death the end. Both are a part of the continuous flow of life, the all encompassing theme of existence.

The circle is complete when we become one with God, and Ms. Wills rests in paradise now. She has returned to that changeless bliss at the center of God's Kingdom, out of which everything manifests and around which everything revolves. God manifests in infinite variety, and it's His pleasure to give us the Kingdom...His boundless gift.

We cannot live except as an ongoing succession of births, deaths and rebirths. To have life, you must lose it - like a grain of wheat that falls to the ground to produce a rich harvest. Perhaps we don't bury our loved ones, but plant them in the faith that their spirit is raised up into a new life. Everything and everyone in creation was born into HIS creation - and as above so below, on earth as it is in Heaven - in the image and likeness of God, we too, are life eternal...everlasting.

Marguerite Sauti Wills
May 20, 1949-February 19th, 2010

-b

Friday, February 19, 2010

TGIF!!

So, I was planning to write my blog after watching Tiger Woods' press conference. I figured there might be something worthy to discuss.

But in the commentary that has come AFTER his speech, all I can think to say is, "Forgive him, and leave him alone."

One of my co-workers was blasting his speech, saying he's only sorry he got caught, and that she doesn't believe him. She even went so far as to ask, "Who does he think he is to call a press conference just to say he's sorry?"

My answer?

"Who are you to say you don't believe his apology is sincere? Who the hell are you?"

****crickets****

Maybe the apology was a part of his therapy. Maybe his advisers asked him to do it. Maybe HE wanted to do it. But regardless of what inspired his apology, the fact is he apologized. He didn't owe any of us that. He didn't wrong any of us. But since he did apologize...why not just accept it?

What I find funny about all of his critics is their lack of forgiveness for a transgression that was never directed at them. We see forgiveness as something only God has to grant - but not us. While we confess all the time that "we are only human" when it comes to our OWN faults, we seem to forget that Tiger is also human.

We withhold our forgiveness - unconsciously projecting our feelings of guilt onto others, playing a blame game and shifting our own shortcomings to others - and fail to forgive the faults we can't bear to look at in ourselves.

Life shows us how to live and love by example, sending us relationships that challenge us. Our most difficult relationships offer us our greatest opportunities to grow. Tiger is now going through his.

We all have our regrets - some secret guilt or private embarrassment we carry inside. There are certainly acts in my own life for which I would want to be forgiven. We all have them. Usually our private pangs of conscience are self inflicted, not put on CNN for the world to see. And ultimately, we are either willing to forgive or we're not..but until we can forgive others, we totally won't be able to forgive ourselves.

Sometimes, what we've done doesn't determine who we ARE...it's what we've overcome that can determine that. A person we've wronged may not be aware of how we've grown since we hurt them, or who we've become. And sometimes those who we still hold grudges against are not who they were either - they too may have changed. It's so easy for us to edit out our own past behaviors without giving someone else the benefit of the doubt.

The Bible says, "Judge not and condemn not...for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged." No one is saying that Tiger's behavior was right, or that we should condone it. But what we should be saying is the choice is ours to forgive. If we all could see our lives from the Divine perspective, we would see each other as perfect, yet imperfect...and every hurt and transgression as an integral part of life - and an invitation to be better than we were before.

Divine justice works this way: whatever you do or don't do, whether you forgive or not, whether you judge or judge not - you do so unto the Body of Christ - which is only ourselves, all of us under the oneness of God. So if you know you'll have to ask for forgiveness one day, also know that you'll have to give it. The wisest thing to do is to always choose forgiveness over anger, and love over hate - for love heals everything in its path. Forgiveness is a form of self-mastery, so don't let anger and pain settle into your spirit. As we forgive, so we are forgiven.

-b

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!

My body hurts.

- Has anyone been watching the Winter Olympics? I've been watching here and there, and some could argue that the Black athletes aren't getting the same shine as the other athletes, especially Shani Davis, who won gold in the 1000 meter speed skating race - defending his title after winning in 2006 (the first Black Winter Olympian to win individual gold).

Some say he's "un-American" because he doesn't make himself available to media and corporate sponsors, or because he's perceived as arrogant. What do you think?



He seems pretty available to me. And he's confident, not arrogant. He's VERY American. People need to get over it and congratulate him.

- I wonder what El Tigre is gonna say tomorrow during his press conference? He needs to just be like, "Look, it is what it is. Sorry, but I'm back now bitches!" And then proceed to whoop all their asses at the Masters.

- Did I mention I'm tired today too? And I went to bed early.

- I can't fold a fitted sheet to save my life. That really bothers me.

- My birthday is a week away!

- Not sure how I feel about turning 37 yet. That number sounds foreign to me.

- I'm waiting for the weekend just so I can sleep late.

- I'm grateful to have a job. Please pray for those who are still looking. I don't take my blessings for granted.

- My turkey chili was pretty tasty yesterday - especially for it to be "healthy" chili. It was my first time making it, and I'm very pleased with it. Having it again today - I made too much, so I'm sharing with Monica.

- Training with Deebo tonight...and I'm skerred!

- I wanna go see Alicia Keys and Melanie Fiona. Any takers? Hook-ups? Anybody?

- Almost time to eat...again...geesh!

- I thought this was funny: Cat Fight - 'The Cleveland Show' Video Daily Drama

- Is it bad that I'm waiting for DMoe to get here to update my iPod? So sad.

- Did I mention that my body hurts? ...ouch

Go!

-b

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Hump Day!

My arms are sore. My back is tight. All the result of my training with Bobby...the trainer who I affectionately refer to as "Deebo."

Now, working out everyday has been challenging, but rewarding...and training has been hard, but definitely worth it. I have no complaints about that at all - and Monica and I will be in tip top shape in no time!

But can we talk about this diet?

Eddie, the nutritionist, hooked us up with a diet plan that we are to follow for 14 days, and then he'll switch it up in accordance with our work outs. Here's a taste of (or lack of) what he has us eating:

steel cut oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins
low-fat cottage cheese (I refuse)
whole grain waffles (cardboard with no syrup)
baked fish and skinless chicken (no problem with that)
brown rice or whole wheat pasta
egg whites

Not so bad right?

Well, considering we can't use salt, butter or any real salad dressing - it gets pretty boring and bland. I'd almost rather not eat at all. I had to choke down that oatmeal this morning after I discovered that cinnamon only makes food SMELL good, not TASTE good. Raisins and all.

But I'm not complaining...that much.

As a Black woman, we are at the highest risk in the nation to be overweight (BMI over 25) or obese (BMI over 30). You don't even wanna know my BMI - child please. I wasn't thrilled when Deebo put me on the scale either, but now I'm even more determined to do something about it. While I think I'm sexy at my size, I know I could be doing better.

Obesity contributes to many health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes - but with education and dedication, we can help avoid or reduce dangerous excess weight through diet and exercise...something I'm very well aware of, but haven't really been doing. I know what I need to do for my well-being and health, and for the past month, I've been doing it.

I think as Black women, we think thick is sexy...and our men would most likely agree. I've never had a problem getting attention from men (I think my height helps to mask these hips of mine). But thick and obese are two totally different things. I don't want to be rail thin - I want to be healthy. Being healthy shouldn't be about vanity - it should be about living a long, wonderful life.

And not for nothing, I wanna do a chin-up dammit! And not get winded walking up those damned steps at Grand Central! You'd never guess I played 3 sports year round all throughout middle school and high school. Truth be told, I just want my athletic self back. And Deebo is helping me get there.

And so is Monica. Without her, I know my motivation level wouldn't be where it is today. If you've been trying to work out more, try doing it with a friend who encourages you, supports you, and motivates you to be your best. I know I could do it without her, but it would be so much harder. Thank you Monica for being right there with me and being my inspiration!

I'm ready to do it y'all - one day at a time. I AM doing it. I feel great, I sleep better, and I feel my body getting stronger. I hope to continue to get stronger everyday - and I'll deal with the nasty, bland food if I have to in order to get there. Besides, nothing tastes as good as healthy does.

-b

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Tuesday people!

I neglected to mention I was taking the day off from blogging yesterday - so sorry about that! I just needed a day to relax...but I'm back!

So I was catching up with an old friend recently - seeing where we were in each other's lives since the last time we spoke. I asked about her love life and she asked about mine.

Friend: "What's up with _________ ?"

Me: "He's okay, I guess...haven't really spoken to him."

Friend: "But I thought you two were getting along?"

Me: "We were, did...for a while. But he's pretty much Black History now."

Friend: "Well, what about __________, you know...the cute one?"

Me: "Black History too...he was nice, and he's still cool...but I had to keep it moving."

Friend: "You sure don't waste any time do you?"

Me: "Nope."

She hit the nail on the head - I don't waste any time. I don't like my time wasted, and I don't like to waste any one else's. I have no problem getting to know someone, slowly. But there's a difference between taking your time feeling someone out and getting to know them...and wasting time.

I've found that the older I get, the more I know what I want...and the less time I waste in getting it. That is true in several areas of my life - whether it's my career, my weight loss goals...and more importantly, my relationships. If there is no connection, then we can be friends. I'm not gonna wait around to see if one develops. We're either feeling each other or we're not. And I'm not talking about a simple physical connection. That's the easiest to detect. It's either there or it's not.

But what I'm talking about a real connection. Mental, emotional, spiritual. Do we want the same things? Are we on the same path? Am I a rebound? Are you sure you're really "available." Are you truly "single?" Are you just trying to "get yourself right?" I ask all of these questions directly - and often. I pull no punches. And if the answers aren't in alignment with mine, then it's time to keep it moving. Plain and simple.

We all know when someone is into us. We know when someone genuinely likes us. In my 20's, I could entertain several guys at a time, because I wasn't interested in settling down. So that meant I kept a few stragglers around here and there to hang out with if I wanted company - even if I knew I wasn't really that into them, or vice versa. They'd re-appear every few months like clockwork - and I kept my steadies in rotation.

Now, I don't have time.

Now, don't get me wrong...that doesn't mean I love 'em and leave 'em - or chew them up and spit them out. Just because a man doesn't want what I want, or there is no love connection, doesn't mean we can't be friends or that I'll never speak to him again. Quite the opposite actually. I have A LOT of male friends who are all great guys.

But there'll be no sex. No late night booty calls. No, "Let me come check you real quick" text messages. We're cool, and that's it. Don't pretend to want more, or have your cake and eat it too...because you'd just be wasting both of our time. If there is no romantic future - then save the "sexting" for someone who wants that.

A time waster isn’t just someone who doesn’t show up or call when they say they will - that's the easy one to spot. The ones I'm wary of are the ones who talk a good game when it's time to "come lay up" - but when you talk about your feelings or what they want for the future - they are “not sure” or are “confused.” At my age, it’s really quite simple to figure out - you either like someone and want to see where it goes or want it to work out - or you don’t. I'm not suggesting you lay it all out on the line in the initial stages of a relationship - like the first 3 months. But after 6 months to a year, you know...or at least you have an idea.

The biggest time waster is the one who is only dating you to sort themselves out - either after a divorce or coming out of a long term/bad relationship. And as sure as the leaves will turn colors, when they are “better” - they're ready to move on. This could be called a rebound, and unfortunately we have all been there. The trick now is to recognize when you ARE the rebound so that you can keep it moving...or at least keep that person at arm's length. And if you're using someone else, you need to be honest with yourself about it and determine if it's fair to waste someone else's time. It's not cool to be selfish.

As our conversation went on, I told her it wasn't about being "mean" when it comes to dating. Like I said...at my age, I've just become very good at analyzing the situation and seeing what it really is vs. what I want it to be. It's always best to have a sense of humor when it comes to dating, and to have fun and to not take things personally - but it's equally important to read the signs, in between the lines and to not waste anyone's time either. If you're not sure, then here are some things I've learned on how to avoid, or be careful when dealing with time wasters:

Don't put all your eggs in one basket - date different people. At the same time.
Never put yourself out for a first or new date.
Never travel too far to meet someone consistently - especially if you're the only one doing it.
Take everything that is said with a pinch of salt until you find the truth.
Don’t get your expectations up - set out to have fun and that's it.
Take what a person says as truth - not what you want to hear.
You can't change anyone.
If their behavior is inconsistent, or they don't call or show up when they say they will - keep it moving.
If they wasted your time once, they'll do it again for as long as you allow it.
If they're not truly "single" or are "in between relationships" (whatever that means) - then RUN.
If they "just" broke up with their ex - be careful. And keep your options open.

Feel free to add more.

You will go through some frogs before your prince(ss) arrives, so that's to be expected. If you know what you want in a relationship, make sure the person you're spending the majority of your time with wants the same thing. If they don't, then don't spend the majority of your time with them - it's that simple. I'm not saying don't be friends or hang out. Just limit your time (and emotions) with them. If your relationship didn’t go as planned, then shake it off - and on to the next one. Put it down as a life experience or putting in the leg work. The more you date, the more you'll know what you want...and don't want. If the person you've just met isn't walking the same path - don't go down theirs...stick to your own. Life is too short to be wandering around aimlessly wondering what's going on - and my time is precious. Once it's gone, you can't get it back...so spend it wisely...and with the right person.

-b

Friday, February 12, 2010


TGIF Bee-yotches!

To keep the party going with Friday Sexy Singles, who better to feature than the "sessy" diva who came up with the idea in the first place?! She's gorgeous, intelligent, funny and really needs no introduction. You all know and love her, our very own YOLANDA!

Let's get it!








150 and Counting...
by Yolanda

I'm cute. Somedays, I'm kinda fine. I have all my teeth, bathe regularly and I can make more than a few things from scratch. So why am I, at 31 years young, manless and sexless for 150 days and counting? What gives?

Now, I'm not one of those BBWs (Bitter Black Women) who thinks she'll never get married, hates the brothers and has written off ever finding a relationship. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart, so I believe...scratch that, I know there has got to be a "Mr." out there somewhere who'll make me a happy "Mrs." Or at least a very happy long-term girlfriend. Sometimes I do wonder if there's something 'wrong' with me. Am I too quiet? Am I not outgoing enough? I've never really been 'that girl.' You know, the one who captures the glances of the men when you go out? In school, I didn't have any boyfriends (I know, cue the violins). Sure, I had a few interested parties sniffing around here and there, I wasn't a total prude. But every budding relationship seemed to fizzle out. In my 20's, I had the epiphany that maybe I just had some daddy issues and managed to pursue unattainable/unavailable men. So, I took a long man-break. But, the pattern seemed to continue...meet, date, get to know, spend time together, fizzle out...repeat. I've even tried the eHarmony route to no avail.

So here I am, 150 days in and counting. And you know what? I'm alright. I'm not dying. I'm not scouring the streets, looking for a fix. I'm not 'rabbiting' myself to bits everyday. I'm cool. Some days, I don't even think about it. Most days, I'm so overwhelmed with work (or 'finding' work, I should say) or focused on friends/family that I'm not thinking about what or who isn't there. The way I see it, if it's meant for me...it'll be. I admit that I have been making a conscious effort to put myself out there more. I would like to try a little speed dating to challenge myself and see where that goes, but I won't be crushed if it doesn't work out. If my attempts to step outside of my box flop, I'll still be here...living life, enjoying my friends and working on myself. One monkey don't stop no show, right?

And, if all else fails, I do know how to get in touch with some emergency peen!

-Yolanda

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!

This snow is for the birds...the total wackness. There's a 10 foot snowman in the courtyard of my apartment complex. I'm glad the kids are having fun, but we all know how I feel about snow. That's all I have to say about that.

- I hope the snow is gone by my birthday.

- If you haven't donated already, you still have time to help Serena in her efforts to run for Teams in Training - which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She's running this race in honor of her beautiful mother Marguerite "Sauti" Wills to help create a cancer-free world. She's only $285 away from her goal, so let's help her do it! Visit her page and donate today, as her deadline of March 1st is fast approaching. Help save a life - no amount is too small. Thanks all!

- This is my favorite commercial :-)



"Stinky McStink Face!" LOL!!

I thought this one was funny too.



Now I want Doritos :-(

- I forgot to bring my lunch today, so now I'm agonizing over what to eat...already.

- Anyone have any fun or unique Valentine's Day plans?

- Monica and I saw The Wolfman on Monday - I like a "dirty" Benicio del Toro :-)

- I haven't heard all of "Ursher's" cd yet - even though Rameer sent it to me (I think) but this remix makes me bob my head:



Anyone else heard it and liked it? I'm sure DMoe will give us a review :)

- I'm doing something for my birthday on Friday, Feb. 26th, so keep that night free!

Go!

-b

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Phone Sext

Happy Hump Day!

I hope you all on the east coast are dealing well with the snow. Personally, I'm over it. Spring time and warm breezes can't come soon enough if you ask me. Oh well, I'm at work...such is life.

As I was getting ready to brave the elements this morning, I was listening to the radio and the "Flashing Lights" feature they have on Hot 97. Kate Fox was reporting that San Antonio Spurs player George Hill has some interesting photos of his man-meat all over TheDirty.com. He sent these pics via text, and now his bidness is all over the internet.

Lawyers for the Spurs wanted the pics removed immediately, but the suits at TheDirty.com fired back saying basically..."tough noogies!" So the pics remain. You know I had to go see for myself what all the fuss was about. ;-)

They don't show his pretty lil wee-wee, although the rest of him looks pretty impressive. Hey, I'm not mad at him, and if the "hearts" they have covering his stuff are any indication of exactly what he's working with, then GOOD GOOGLY MOOGLY! That's all I gotta say about that!

I see nothing wrong with "sexting." I'm all for being creative, fun and naughty with technology - and we're all grown right? Now the key word here is "grown." I don't think teenagers should be doing it - even though they ARE doing it in record numbers. The laws regarding teen "porn" and "sexting" are a bit fuzzy, but with pedophiles out there, you can't be too careful. Hopefully "sexting' is all they're doing...and not the actual DEED.

But I digress...

Now, like I said, if you're grown, then sending your boo a nipple shot here or a cock shot there isn't hurting anyone...unless that shot ends up in the wrong hands. And in George's case, I'm sure he didn't think his thing-thing would end up on the internet.

Sexting has become the new "phone sex." Why put your desires into words when a picture is worth a thousand of them? And if you're in a long distance relationship, or your partner travels a lot, then sometimes you have to think of new ways to keep that spark. Nothing is better than the sound of your phone going off telling you you have a text-message upon touching down at your destination...only to open it to find some flesh staring back at you. (Not that I'd know or anything ;-)

I just think people should be a bit more selective with who they "sext." Some men (and women) are ad-DICK-ted to sending flicks of their private parts - so much so that I could probably showcase my own dick gallery...if I had kept them all that is. Lucky for those menzes, I deleted photos of penises that I'm not actively engaged with :-) But others might not be so lucky.

If you're gonna send nekkid pics, then be careful...that's all I'm saying. If you want to be Oprah and/or rule the world one day, make sure no one can track those pics back to you - or at the very least, don't show your face! You don't want those pics coming back to bite you in the ass.

And if you're out there doing dirt, then you REALLY shouldn't be sending any skin flicks via email or text. It's called evidence, and a man or woman scorned...or worse, someone looking to get paid...will gladly sell them to the highest bidder or put your sh*t on blast.

Otherwise, have fun with it! The quickest way to put a twinkle in someone's eye is to send them a nice, sexy, unexpected text of you in a thong, or nothing at all. It'll leave a lasting impression, and leave them aching...and you can finish "the do" later where your phone left off ;-)

-b

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Tuesday!

I was trying to think of a sappy, syrupy blog to write today in honor of Sade's new cd dropping, but nothing came to mind. With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought I could conjure up Cupid's spirit and come up with something to read along to the lyrics of "No Ordinary Love."

But nothing sugary came to mind...at least not today anyway...(ask me again on Friday).

But what DID come to mind was this book I've been hearing about for a couple of weeks now. It's called Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb.

I can hear women now..."Oh hell naw!"

This woman has been everywhere with her book, from The Today Show to O Magazine to Dr. Phil. She's not just peddling her book, she's defending it. Something about the word "settle" seems to unnerve some women - enrage them even. But I think I get what she's saying.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advising my soldiers of love to marry a man who they're not attracted to, or who they aren't compatible with. But I don't think she's saying that either. I haven't read the book, so I can't be sure - but she argues that all she's doing is giving women insight that she wishes she had in her 20's and 30's. And she's only giving this advice to women who want to get married one day.

The women who seem to be up in arms about her book say things like, "I don't need a man, or want one, to be happy" or "I deserve Mr. Right."

Well, if you don't need or want a man - then don't read her book and go on your merry way. And for the women who DO want a husband, I think what the author is saying is that women confuse "Mr. Right" with "Mr. Perfect." Guess what ladies (and gents) - "Mr(s). Perfect doesn't exist - so be realistic about what you want in a partner - and I think that's the gist of her message.

Within the past week, I've had two conversations with 2 women who said something very similar to me about men and preferences. One woman said she wanted to date a tall man - a man taller than she is - which shouldn't be too hard considering she's only 5'3.5". But a man who was say, 5'7" was too short for her. Hmmm....ok.

The other woman and I were talking about my "My Best Friend's Ex" blog - and she mentioned that a friend of her's dated her ex even though "he wasn't even her height." That sounded silly to me, because as tall as I am, I never really cared about a man's height as far as dating criteria. I've dated men shorter than I am, my height, and taller than I am - it never mattered to me. That's not to say that I may not have dismissed a man for other shallow reasons in my day, but hearing women say out loud that they wouldn't date a potentially great guy because he's short, or shorter than she is, sounded utterly ridiculous to me...and it makes you think.

I look at some of my friends who are in great relationships, and I look at their men. Their men aren't 6 feet-plus, God-like Alpha males who make six figures, have perfectly straight teeth with megawatt smiles, are smarter than Bill Gates and can put any super model to shame. They aren't moguls like Diddy, they can't sing like Maxwell, or run a ball down the field or on the court. But they're all great guys who make great husbands and fathers...or who will one day.

Successful, wonderful women feel that a perfect mate is their birthright. And I think I'm a catch for any man who wants to catch me. We all should feel that way. But great men and women aren't the things of fairy tales or romantic comedies. If a person has 80% of what you're looking for in a partner, then snagging him or her isn't "settling." It's actually quite lucky!

And that's only if that's what you want. Like the author says, "If I'm not interested in golf, I'm not gonna read a golf magazine." So if you're not interested in possibly getting married one day, then maybe her book isn't for you to read. I'm not even saying her book is on point or that I'm gonna read it myself.

But there's nothing wrong with wanting a husband or a wife. There's nothing wrong with relaying your experiences to other women so they can get out of their own way. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to get married, and there's nothing wrong with settling for "Mr. Good Enough." All of our experiences are different.

I'm not out here trying to sell you on books or magazine articles on love, dating and relationships. After all, they have their audience, they're playing us most times and most of us eat it up - and they make their money. That's what it's all about.

But the topic of this book has caused so much controversy, it was worth taking a look at why. Ms. Gottlieb says, "I'm not saying don't fall in love. I'm saying learn to compromise so you can." That makes sense to me. Maybe our fairy tale love involves the guy who just may be an inch or so shorter than we are, or who isn't as athletic as we'd like, or doesn't make the six figure salary we hoped for. But just because he's not perfect doesn't mean you're settling. "Mr. Good Enough" just might be no ordinary love - but EXTRAordinary.

-b

Monday, February 8, 2010


Le lundi heureux mes amis ! (since I don't know any Creole...just stuck with French :-)

Congrats to the 2010 Super Bowl Champions - The New Orleans Saints! I felt it only appropriate to allow the "NOLA Boy" to express himself today - so without further adieu...your friend and mine :-)

Have Some "Who Dat!"...by DMoe.

I’d like to thank Brooke for allowing me the opportunity to guest blog today. Its been a great last few hours and great football season. There are so many thoughts and so many ideas about all that has happened. A few of the thoughts are football-related, but many of them go beyond 100 yards, two teams, and a trophy presented to my beloved New Orleans Saints.

With about 3 minutes remaining, the Saints were ahead by one touchdown. Peyton and the Colts were driving, and all I’d heard all week started ringing in my ears. “Peyton will carve up the defense,” “He’s the greatest ever,” and “There’s no stopping him.” As the plays unfolded, I can honestly say I didn’t waiver. I remained steadfast in nervous, optimistic belief that it was "our time." Then, cornerback Tracy Porter made a break on a Reggie Wayne route. He intercepts the great Peyton’s pass, and streaks for the end zone.

Then it really began to sink in - we were actually gonna win this thing. With that, as Porter made his way through blue shirts with a convoy of white shirts leading the way, the images of an entire lifetime of New Orleans Saints’ (and ultimately, New Orleans) snapshots began to flash in my mind.

You see, the Saints are ours. We citizens have unconditionally loved them in spite of themselves since the team became ours in 1967. Year after year, my grandparents loved the Saints - my momma, my daddy, and all my aunts and uncles went to all the games. There was never any question as to who we rooted for growing up. All the while, the team was uniquely ours. One miserable season after another, sometimes even from a promising start to miserable season in the end, they belonged to us. Much like the relatives you love but shake your head about at the family reunions, the Saints have been another prideful piece of my city that we love - but pray that they will get things together eventually.

Meanwhile, if there’s one thing New Orleans loves to do, she loves to slice off a piece of her culture, her food, her people, and her music and say, “You want some baby?” Don’t worry: even if you refuse a slice, she’s gonna revel, party and enjoy herself anyway. Even as Katrina took shots at her, and many of her citizens were forced into exile across America, she withdrew just long enough to stand back up on her wobbly feet and proclaim, “Don’t forget about me, there’s nobody like me.” And in record numbers, we returned to her. Many of her people came back with the spirit that makes her so beautiful, so vibrant, so unique.

We lived in trailers, we rebuilt our homes, we bled - and to this day – many of us still sweat to repair the lives that were torn apart that late summer day in August 2005. All the while, we clung to our love for all of her things...including our Saints. She struggles as we do, but we love her none-the-less. She’s got water lines, her roads and schools are in disarray, and she’s got a crime problem - but she’s working on it.


All the while, we still love her because she’s ours. That love is unique for many reasons, but it's been said that “Love isn’t love until you give it away.”

Maybe that’s why we roll when we hear our brass bands play, because the music is ours and we want you to have some.

Maybe that’s why the place is so dear to us, because you just can’t go to France and see French buildings with Spanish ironwork. It's just ours, but we want you to have some.

Maybe that’s why we wept for her as the waters flooded her neighborhoods, because New Orleans was ours...and we cried for what was being washed away. Maybe that's it.

All the heartache, all the tears, all the lives lost and homes destroyed - all of it was ours. Now, we rejoice in our team, that “stylized lily” on the helmet - our city, our spirit, our flavor, our music, and our love for her because it's ours - and we want you to have some…

Maybe that's why we love it when you say, "Who Dat?" - because its ours...and we want you to have some.

-Dmoe

Friday, February 5, 2010

TGIF!!!

Do any of you watch Private Practice? If you do, then you know there's some shady goings on between Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) and Sam Bennett (Taye Diggs). If you're not a fan of the show, I won't belabor you with details - but in a nutshell, Addison's best friend is Sam's ex-wife - and Addison and Sam were contemplating gettin' busy! Some real trifling, stankadank stuff happening.

I think most of us agree that the rule is YOU CAN'T GO AFTER A FRIEND'S EX. No way, no how, not NEVA! Especially when the person is her ex-HUSBAND and they have a child together - not just some dude or girl you hung out with once.

Sam argued that he was over his ex-wife, that SHE left HIM, and that he's moved on. But do you move on with your ex-wife's best friend? Uh, do you really have to ask...???

Addison eventually said no to his advances, saying that she can't betray her best friend - but she had to think about it first. I mean REALLY think about it. She kissed him, contemplated sleeping with him, but decided against it because, as her best friend said, "that would make her the worst person ever." So she didn't do it.

But I'm sure that's not the end of the story since we ARE talking about a tv drama here. My fellow Private Practice fans, stay tuned for more foolishness to ensue.

But my question to you is this: Is it EVER okay to date a friend's ex? And when I say "ex", I mean "ex-anything" - ex-crush? ex-boyfriend/girlfriend? ex-f*ck buddy? ex-dude-you-just-met-one-time-but-wasn't-feelin'-him-like-that?

I think it depends on the parties involved, the circumstances, the level of trust and honesty, and A LOT of maturity. It MIGHT be okay if your friend accidentally stumbled upon the same dude you just happened to meet online, but the relationship never went anywhere. But probably NOT okay if your friend was pining away after the guy you just got out of a 2-year relationship with - or your EX-SPOUSE!

So blog family - is it ever okay to date your friend's ex? Have you ever wanted to date a friend's ex but refrained out of respect for your friendship? Has a friend's ex ever approached you, and you had to THINK about reciprocating? Or is anyone your friend ever even LOOKED at off limits?

Holla at me!

-b

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!


- Happy Birthday Pretty Ricky!

- There's this "doppelganger" thing going around on Facebook - and some of you are dead on - but most of y'all are trippin with who you think your celebrity twin is. The majority of you DO NOT look like Halle Berry or Gabrielle Union...OR Idris Elba, Will Smith, Morris Chestnut or Tiger Woods. That's not to say that some of you don't really have a celebrity twin, but c'mon son...take a REALLY GOOD LOOK.

- I think Jon Stewart is hilarious:



- I've been on a workout grind with Ms. Monica! We're doing it!

- Super Bowl Sunday! I hope it's a good game :-)

- Isn't it odd that people who want to join the military to fight for our freedom don't get to enjoy the freedoms they fight to protect?

- When my baby nephew answers the phone, he says, "Flaaavor Flaaave....who's this?!" Cracks me up every time!

- Yolanda, I ordered boots from Zappos and had them sent to my sister's house. They got there the next day, I can't wait to try them on!

- When people say they don't have time or are too busy, most times what they're really saying is that they're too busy FOR YOU. People MAKE TIME for what they WANT to make time for.

- My middle left finger is still swollen and sore. Nothing helps. Ice, Icey Hot, heat, nothing. Any suggestions besides going to the doctor?

- Sade on Tuesday!

- Someone emailed me an article that says that I should either freeze my eggs or get a donor by the time I turn 37 so that I can have a baby while I still can. Considering I'll be 37 in 21 days, that was depressing.

- I want chocolate - a Milky Way to be exact.

- I have boring meeting after boring meeting today. Fun.

- Think Tiger Woods will come back earlier than expected?

- I have a free movie ticket that expires tomorrow. What should I go see?

- Not ready for another snow storm this weekend. Do I go to Philly and brave the snow, or stay my behind home and stay snuggled up with my cat on the couch?

Go!

-b

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Happy Hump Day!

My friend Patrick posted this as his Facebook status today:

Hit up "urbandictionary.com" and search your first name. Put the meaning as the first comment.

So I did, and this is what is listed under "Brooke":

1) A word more along the lines of Gorgeous, Beautiful, Pretty, Glamorous...2) Sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality: 3) Excitingly appealing; glamorous.the coolest person in the world - and she is quite pretty indeed. One of the most amazing people you will EVER meet! Brooke's are really fragile, and extremely caring at heart! They are always positive, and will cheer you up when you are down! sexy beast, hot girl. no guy can resist her - The best name ever - aka "Fucking Awesome."

While that seemed pretty accurate (smile) - the real meaning of Brooke is: From an English surname which denoted one who lived near a brook.

Nothing Afrocentric about my name for the most part. No deep meanings either. However, I was named after my grandmother's favorite singer - a Black man named Brook Benton. I would have been named "Brook(e)" whether I was a boy or a girl.

But some people I know have names that have awesome meanings - like "Aisha" which means "alive" or "Amir" which means "commander" or "prince" or "Akili" which means "bright and smart."

Some would argue that these are very "Black" or Arabic names - there's nothing "European" about them. However, when most of us name our children, we give them names that represent what we want them to become, or names that bear pride in one's family or culture. We want their names to mean something.

But what does it mean when Jamal can't get a call back to set up a job interview? Is "Linda" more employable than "Lakisha?"

Your name should define you in a positive way, not diminish you in other's eyes. But we all know that we live in a society where some employers discriminate against job applicants based on the Afrocentric or "black-sounding" names on their resumes, regardless of their education, job experience or qualifications. Jamal could be a Harvard grad, while Jeremy could be a high school drop out...and Jeremy STILL MIGHT get a call quicker than Jamal will. Sad, but true.

In a research paper by University of Chicago economics professor Marianne Ber-trand and Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor Sendhil Mullaina, 5,000 fictitious resumes were sent out in response to more than 1,300 help-wanted ads in The Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune. Resumes were randomly assigned a variety of very "black-sounding" names, such as Lakisha Washington and Jamal Jones, or very white-sounding names, such as Emily Walsh or Greg Baker.

Two higher-quality and two lower-quality resumes were sent out in response to each ad. Black-sounding names were randomly assigned to one of the higher-quality resumes and one of the lower-quality resumes. The resumes with white-sounding names received 50 percent more call-backs for interviews than those with black-sounding names. Resumes with white-sounding names received one call-back per 10 resumes, while those with black-sounding names received one call-back per 15 resumes.

Now, this shouldn't surprise anyone, but my question to you all is: Have you, or are you considering, giving your child a "white sounding" name so that they don't have to deal with this type of discrimination? Or do you plan on giving them names that mean something to YOU - even if they sound "ethnic"?

Most would argue that no matter WHAT name you give a Black, Middle Eastern or Latino person, they may still be discriminated against when they come face to face with the HR representative who will see who they really are - so why bother trying to fit in?

I've gone into interviews and personally gotten the surprised-to-see-I-was-Black look on their face - with the response,"Oh, YOU'RE Brooke?" In most cases, I still got the job, and my resume usually spoke for itself...but maybe they assumed that I was "less Black" because of my name.

It's hard to say I would have gotten those interviews anyway had my name been Shaniqua. But having the name Brooke hasn't made me any less proud of my heritage. I'm not "less Black" because I just happened to be named after a man who has a "White sounding" name. I don't need to have a "black sounding" name in order to be proud that I'm black. I've found that a lot of my friends who are now becoming parents, or who plan on becoming parents, have told me that they are going to raise their children to be proud of who they are, but still give their children conservative names so that they don't have to deal with any "extra" discrimination. After all, there are blatant, obvious pitfalls to having a name that screams "ghetto" - even if the name has a regal meaning.

So...again I ask, is it better for our children to have more common names rather than ethnic sounding names? Do we give our kids a chance on a not-so-even playing field, or do we wear who we are on our sleeves...and our resumes?

Think about it - an HR rep makes a decision to call a person back based on his or her resume in 10-15 seconds, which is not a lot of time to sift through one's intrinsic biases. Maybe if they took the time to read past the name, they'd see that Jerome graduated at the top of his class and has amazing credentials. But that sometimes doesn't and won't always happen...unless they're trying to fill a quota.

Those of you who have children - tell us their names and the reasons why you chose those names. If you don't have children, but plan to one day - how do you think you'd name them?

Go!

-b

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Like It Raw

You can probably guess by the title of my post that it's TMI Tuesday. Don't be alarmed folks, it's just a title.

But that's not to say there's no truth to it ;-)

Now before you throw yourself all into a tizzy, I haven't lost my damn mind. I know that condoms are necessary all the time. One bareback ride could be a death sentence, and I'm very well aware of that. And as loud as my clock is ticking, I'm not trying to turn up preggers either.

That being said, you can't tell me that latex on your sensitive skin down there feels natural - man OR woman. I'm just keepin' it 100...y'all know I'm right. I know they make condoms that feel like "nothing" - or so they say - but I haven't used one yet that felt as good as hot, throbbing flesh against my...

....whew! gettin' hot in here?

(fanning myself)

Anyway, like I was saying - men are assumed to be the only ones who have a problem with the feel of a latex glove choking the life out of them from the shaft up. But let me clue some of you into something...women don't like the feel of it either. We probably hate it MORE than men do. Why? Because nothing is worse than a man who is too clueless to realize that you may not be as lubed as you should be, and continues to pound away at you until the hot rubber starts a small forest fire on your va jay jay. Then, when we get up to pee, it burns like the dickens cuz y'all asses made it red and raw down there and now our sh*t is all jacked up and knocked out of whack for a couple days til it heals.

Sorry, had to rant about that for a sec.

But that's not what I wanted to really talk about. What I really wanted to get your opinion on was when - and more importantly HOW - does the topic of unprotected sex come up? Now, this doesn't apply to jump-offs and fuck buddies, or even friends with benefits. With them, the condom stays put at ALL TIMES. Period.

But what about the guy/girl you've been seeing for 6-12 months? The sex is good, but you know it could feel SO MUCH BETTER skin to skin.

Men: Please don't tell me it happens like this:

(all hot and heavy, poking at her butterfly wings, too late to turn back now...)

Man: "Do you have condoms?"

sskkkkkrrrrrr (sound of brakes screeching)

....let me stop you right there - huh?

Men - asking a woman if she has condoms at that moment doesn't make you seem NON-presumptuous when it comes to sex - it makes you seem stupid. If you're over 25, then you're grown enough to know to carry at least ONE condom on you at all times. What we REALLY think when a man doesn't have a condom is that he's prepared to hit it raw...not that he didn't assume you were having sex. Grow up.

Woman: "No, I don't"

Again with the foolishness.

A woman should have a standard issued condom somewhere in her possession. Maybe not always in her purse, but definitely in her house/apartment. And chances are, she probably does and just SAYS she doesn't.

Why? Two reasons:

1) Because she doesn't wanna appear to be a ho - because sadly enough, there are still men who exist who think that simply because a woman has condoms in her possession, she's some sort of strumpet.

OR

2) She only has Magnum XL's left over from the LAST dude she was sleeping with and she's already seen/felt your man meat and knows the condom is too big for you - so she won't embarrass you by offering you one that she knows won't fit you. Sometimes y'all play yourselves thinking you can fill a Magnum, and that we don't know with one glance what you're working with. Trust me, we KNOW...and we don't need any slip-ups...or "off's."

Ladies: Hopefully the decision not to use condoms doesn't go like this either:

"It's okay, I'm on the pill."

Again I say...huh?

Da hell are you talking about "I'm on the pill?" ...And?

Last time I checked, the pill didn't protect against the Clap. And if a dude falls for that line or sees it as an invitation to hit it raw, then he's just as much an idiot as she is. It's not about a baby...it's about herpes! With the pill, the patch, the IUD and Plan B, women have that baby thing on lock - and women who don't want to get pregnant...DON'T. But there ARE trifling ass women out there who know your dumb asses will fall for that crap - so be smart. Most women with a bit of sense don't want your snotty nosed, rusty behind babies anyway. They just wanna feel some hot, non-latex friction! Make sure you know which one you're dealing with.

This blog is getting long, so let me try to get to my point.

Yes, using condoms is a necessary evil in most cases - whether it's sexual encounter #1 or #100. But when two people decide to become exclusive, it's only natural that the glove will come off at some point. This is when a real conversation is necessary. For some reason, I think people are afraid to have that "talk" - so instead, they invent ways to accidentally go raw without discussing the implications or consequences of that decision. Saying, "I'm on the pill" isn't answering the question, "How would you feel if we got pregnant right now?" Or asking, "Don't you trust me?" doesn't answer the question, "Are you having sex with anyone else besides me?" People either don't want to ask the REAL questions when it comes to sex and relationships, or they say what they THINK the other person wants to hear.

One of the perks of a flourishing, monogamous relationship isn't simply having sex without condoms - but also having honest conversations about sex and intimacy. A moment of lust shouldn't be a factor in your decision making when it comes to having unprotected sex. Trust and a mutual understanding of the consequences of that act and what it means to both of you SHOULD be. Don't avoid the conversation because you think NOT using a condom is a deal breaker, or because you think USING condoms means he or she doesn't trust you. Whether you decide to use them up until marriage, or even well INTO marriage, make sure it's a decision you both made TOGETHER for the right reasons....not because you didn't wanna make a run to CVS in the middle of the night. It's better to have "the talk" than end up burned or knocked up.

Cuz that's just not fun for anybody.

-b

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Monday!

Today is "Bloggers Unite For Haiti Day" - and I wanted to share a video with all of you. It features one of my best friend's father doing his thing in his mother country. His name is Dr. Rodrique Mortel, and he is a doctor and Haitian transplant to the United States. He gives new meaning to the saying, "To whom much is given, much is required." Check him and others out as they provide help to those in need:



As I watched the "Q&A" portion of the Miss America Pageant on Saturday,(shout out to Miss Virginia - the newly crowned Miss America) one question posed to a contestant was (and I'm paraphrasing) "Do you think we should help Haiti when we have so many problems of our own right here in the United States?"

I've heard this question asked a lot actually, and I think it's a ridiculous question. Sure, we have our own issues. But are people really suggesting that we shouldn't help a nation that is already one of the poorest, if not THE poorest, on the western hemisphere after such a devastating earthquake? Are we THAT heartless?

Yes, we have pockets of extreme poverty in our inner cities. Yes, we're in a recession. Yes, we still need to do more for the victims of Hurricane Katrina right here in our backyard. But despite a recession, the unemployment rate being at one of its highest ever, corporate greed, bailouts, and fighting 2 wars - the Unites States is still one of the most prosperous nations in the world.

Most of our citizens don't have to worry about where they can find clean water to drink, or a roof to cover their heads. We have clothes on our backs and we feel safe. Not ALL of us - but the majority of our citizens don't know anything like the struggles that Haitians have felt long BEFORE the earthquake...let alone since.

To whom much is given, much is required.

Most times we can't see past our own problems, our own struggles, and those of our families. But sometimes it's not all about us. Sometimes we have to look at our lives and realize just how many blessings we actually DO have. It's so easy to complain. But if you truly look at what you have in life, you'll always have more. If you only look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough.

Look at what is happening in Haiti, and then look at your life again - and then ask why we should help Haiti.

Silly question right?

Let's strive to look past the confines of our individualistic lives and see ourselves as part of a global community. Being a citizen of the world means simply that we are all interconnected. Having this mindset doesn't mean you have to empty your bank account to give a donation, or jump on a plane to dig through the rubble. It could mean giving $5 by texting 501501 to Yele, or 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross. It could mean giving some of your time to help gather clothing and supplies to ship overseas. Or it could simply mean sending up prayers as you climb into your warm beds at night.

Whether it's a tsunami that kills over 200,000 people in Asia, or a hurricane that drowns a city here at home - our first thoughts should be, "What can I do, how can I help?" We should exude a spirit of generosity, and not expect anything in return. Our reward is in helping our fellow man and doing His will.

On this the first day of Black History Month, I'm reminded of a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" I ask YOU - have you done all you can to help Haiti?

To whom much is given, much is required.

-b

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