Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break! Whether you celebrate or not, a few days off never hurt anybody…so I hope it was eventful and/or restful for you all.
This morning on my train ride to work, this woman was lamenting about her life and all the mistakes she’d made, the opportunities she didn’t take advantage of and the choices she could have made that would have changed her life forever. She thought she’d be in a different place by now, and for the duration of my commute to work, I felt sorry for her.
Before I got off at my stop, her friend told her that she was being miserable, and that where she was today is exactly where she was supposed to be. To that, the woman responded, “So you’re telling me that if you could go back in time, there’s nothing you would have done differently?”
I had to get off the train before I could hear her friend’s response, but it made me ponder the answer myself.
I would have studied abroad in Spain for a semester if I could go back to my college days.
I would have listened to my mother more when it came to certain guys I had a crush on.
I would have played basketball in college when offered the opportunity.
I would have bought a place once I moved to NY instead of anticipating not liking it here, or not being able to survive here…7 years later.
I would have taken a chance on sports broadcasting.
I would have bought those shoes :-)
Hindsight being 20/20, there are a million things I would have done differently if I knew then what I know now. But the reality is, I didn’t know then what I know now…and that’s what learning is all about.
Yes, I could have done a semester abroad, but what great experience would I have missed out on while at Syracuse? I could have listened to my mother more when it came to certain guys, but I learned valuable lessons of what NOT to do from those relationships. I could have bought a place here, but not been able to afford it because I jumped the gun and/or didn’t research/plan correctly. And those shoes…? They’re out of style now.
The point is, I feel that without having gone through life’s uncertainties, the ups and downs and making mistakes, how can we discover ourselves? You have to walk in the rain to experience the rainbow. You have to know sadness to appreciate happiness. You have to make mistakes in order to learn and grow.
Missed opportunities teach us that we should not live life in fear…to take a chance every once in awhile. The woman on the train sounded like a person who allows her fears to define her, and in that fear, she lives her life with regrets. What I feel she (and I) can learn from the “would’a, could’a, should’as” is to embrace the fear, stare it in the face and channel it differently.
Fear has a purpose. It can be the engine that drives our intellectual, emotional and spiritual progress…our evolution. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Don’t be afraid of failure. Be afraid of not trying. Be afraid of not loving. Be afraid of not living.
The better way of living is not without problems, challenges, tragedies or regrets – but in the way we deal with them. Instead of wishing you lived in a different world, create the world you want to live in. Perception is reality.
If you are constantly looking at your past with regret, you can’t shape and appreciate your bright future. We literally can create the world we want to live in through our minds and project it outward. Accept your past, make peace with your decisions, and begin again. Embrace a new paradigm to guide your personal life to one of fulfillment. Have faith, and believe it possible.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Happy Hump Day!
So it seems I must be the only person in my office who couldn’t care less about the engagement announcement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. News broke yesterday that the couple will be married in Westminster Abbey next April, and already some of my coworkers are treating it like it will be an American holiday.
While I’m happy for the Prince and his future Princess, I just really don’t care that much. While some are thrilled for young William, others are already taking bets on how long their marriage will last. I’ve heard some say 3 years, others say 7. And then there are those who say that he’ll simply stay married and take a mistress.
Either way, who cares? And why hate on young love? :-)
While I don’t really put much into “celebrity” couplings and marriages, what I DID find interesting is that Prince William and Kate Middleton dated off and on for 9 years. To me, if anything, I think taking your time to really get to know someone gives your marriage a better chance at success. It’s not guaranteed – nothing is – but 9 years of vetting someone is a lot longer than most people stay married nowadays…so it made me wonder if theirs was a case of love at first sight, or a friendship that grew into a passion.
They say the Prince saw her in a fashion show in college where she was modeling lingerie and was smitten. I’m sure there was a physical attraction between the two – or at least on his part - but was there a “spark?” I’ve heard some couples say that they knew IMMEDIATELY that their spouse was “the ONE” upon their first meeting. My good friend said to her husband in her wedding vows, “You had me at hello.” You know it’s gotta be deep if you’re quoting lines from Jerry Maguire :-)
But I can’t say that I’ve ever felt that. That’s not to say that I haven’t felt any sparks, or that there was no chemistry between me and any boyfriends I’ve had. There have definitely been sparks. But physical attraction, lust, chemistry…does that lead to long term love? Is that different than knowing someone is "The One?"
Most couples I know on a personal level who have been married for a long time had no idea that their spouse was The One when they first laid eyes on each other. My sister will be celebrating her 10 year wedding anniversary this December, yet when she first met her husband, she just thought he was cute. He didn’t speak English, had only been in the country for about six months, and she had just graduated from college and was fresh out of a stale relationship. She thought she’d kill some time with him, just date and have fun. Now, 13 years and two children later, she couldn’t imagine her life with anyone else.
Now if you ask HIM, he’ll tell you it was love at first sight. He knew...even if SHE didn’t.
So maybe both people don’t have to feel it. Maybe the other person has to be shown over time that the love of their life is staring them right in the face…but they just can’t see it yet. Either way, their love grew steadily, not instantly (at least for her). They were together for three years before they got married, getting to know each other (and how to communicate since neither spoke the other's language) and taking their time. While it may have “clicked” for him, it didn’t click for her right away – so clearly if we don’t know right away, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
In all of my longest lasting relationships, I didn’t know right away that that person was going to be in my life for more than a week, let alone months or years. And usually those who I had an instant, explosive chemistry with quickly fizzled out after a fast burn. So what has your experience been? Have you:
1. Been in a relationship with someone who was a longtime friend that you’d started dating and went from having a platonic relationship to a romantic one?
2. Enjoyed a mild attraction with a traditional courtship that involved going on several dates over a long period of time that gradually grew more serious based on common interests?
3. Just fell head-over-heels in love fast and furious and the lasting relationship is/was based on a passionate connection?
So which if these 3 scenarios describes most of your relationships? Have any of you had a relationship that didn't seem like it would last at first — but after enough shared experiences and enough time getting to know each other, you found you'd built an unexpectedly strong foundation? Or was it hot and heavy from the beginning?
Monday, November 22, 2010
I've been so busy today that I didn't plan on blogging. I finally got a chance to come up for air just in time to watch Part 2 of Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things. She did Part 1 on Friday, and it was, as usual, amazing to watch. But today I have a bit of a rant.
Some (very few) of Oprah's favorite things don't dazzle me, but most of them I'd LOVE to take home with me! But what makes watching this particular show fun for me is watching how happy it makes the folks in her audience. For 25 years, she's been bringing joy to people's lives...and Oprah is truly blessed because she is always giving. When you give to others, the blessings come back tenfold - which is why I believe she is highly favored.
But some folks don't like to see other people happy. Sure, I watch these shows wishing I was in the audience. I could use a new Coach bag, an iPad and some glittery Ugg boots. I don't NEED those things...I just WANT them. But most times, Oprah fills her audience with single mothers who can't treat themselves to fun things, new things, or expensive things. They're people who devote their lives to charity, or are teachers, or first responders like firemen or policemen - or they are people who have served this country. Most times, the people in the audience are people who do for others selflessly, and Oprah is simply giving back to them.
Which is why I don't understand how anyone could hate on that. The two co-workers I sit in between turn to The Oprah Show daily - and it seems that they have something negative to say about Oprah DAILY. They scoffed when she gave away cars. They huffed and puffed when she sent her number one fans to Australia on a plane piloted by John Travolta. They scorn the women in the audience who cry once they realize they're on the always envied Oprah's Favorite Things Show...knowing FULL WELL that they TOO would be acting a fool if they were lucky enough to get a seat in Harpo Studios. Oprah could give me a stick of gum and I'd be excited!
But why is it so hard for some to be happy for other people - especially people who could use some cheer? It's not like her audience is filled with rich folk, or her celebrity friends. They are people just like you and me. Lucky people :-)
What I find even more puzzling is their reason for hating. I asked them what their issue was with this show. One says, "Oprah is just gluttonous."
Clearly the one has no idea what the word "gluttony" means. If anything, Oprah is the opposite of gluttonous...which means to keep everything to yourself. This is a woman who gives millions to charity, builds schools for the poorest of girls in Africa, built an entire neighborhood in Katrina ravaged New Orleans and spoils her fans with cars and gifts. How is that gluttony? Clearly this woman is a moron.
The other one says to me, "She's just showing off her money, and throwing it away."
Again I say....huh?
If they knew anything about anything, they'd know that most likely, Oprah didn't pay for a damn thing. Just saying the word "iPad" from her mouth, Oprah knows that the Apple folks will gladly donate 200 of them for her audience in exchange for the publicity. When Oprah built a new home for a mother who had no arms, she must have said "Sears" and "Home Depot" a dozen times. Do you think Oprah paid for any of those appliances? Hell no...because they were happy to just be featured on her show. When Oprah spends her own money, like she did when she built those homes in New Orleans or her school in Africa, trust me...you'll know it. But for some Uggs? Child please.
What you put out into the universe comes back to you - whether it's positive or negative. What misery must one be living in that she can't be happy for other people? Why is it so hard to enjoy watching other folks be happy? Why be jealous of people who give of themselves day in and day out? Are they that unhappy in their own life that the mere sight of other people smiling and laughing and crying for joy makes them sick? I feel sorry for for my coworkers sometimes - because their contempt for others shows how truly unhappy they are in their own lives.
Today, at 4 pm, they both muttered as they turned on their tv's, "Oprah, again?"
Umm...that's where she's been for the past 25 years - who were you expecting to see? The Grinch?
And that's why they turned on their tv in the first place...to see what Oprah was doing today. If they can't be happy while watching the joy she brings to others, then why watch? We work at a cable network for crying out loud! - There are at least 200 other channels to turn to...so change the channel! Perhaps they can't help themselves from watching...hopefully the joy is contagious...as Oprah gives her audience...yet again, a shiny new 2012 Volkswagon Beetle!
Friday, November 19, 2010
So…let me get your thoughts on something.
Lately I’ve been reading articles about the double standard between single, Black, 40-something year old men who are successful...but choose not to get married or have children – and their counterparts who decide the same. And I’ve also read the statistics that state that 72% of black children are born to unwed mothers (parents)…which got me to wondering…
Would any of you agree that if a black man or woman, for whatever reason, decide that they never want to get married, should they NOT have children? Ever?
I ask because it seems that even though we’re not getting married, we’re certainly still having kids. Now, I’ll be the first one to tell you that children are never a mistake. They may not always be “planned” – but I believe that if you are here…God wanted you to be here. Period.
But there are those who say that black men and women who have children out of wedlock are “polluting” and/or “diluting” the gene pool of “desirable” parents for the next generation of our children. Successful, educated black men of a certain age with the means to take care of a child and provide for him/her are opting NOT to get married and have children, while "Pookie annem" are having babies all willy nilly and not taking care of them. The same can be said for black women who are choosing their career over a family, but the "Shenene’s" of the world are popping them out one by one.
I’m not saying this is true, but that is the perception. Don't shoot the messenger.
But what if the successful, educated black man/woman with the means to take care of a child actually decides to have one…but still doesn’t want to get married – then what? Should he/she be criticized for bringing a child into an “unwed” situation, even if they are an active parent in the child’s life, teaches him things, spends time with him and loves him? Or would they be contributing to the breakdown of the black family – even if they’d probably end up divorced if they got married anyway? As we've all heard by now, many feel that marriage is becoming obsolete - but being parent doesn't seem to be going out of style any time soon.
I ask because not everyone is meant to be in a monogamous relationship. Not everyone, regardless of education or status, has the tools necessary to compromise, or make the sacrifices necessary to have a successful marriage. Success in a career is VERY different than success in a relationship in many cases, so marriage may not be for everyone. Success and happiness no longer have to include a wife, a husband or a child. Sometimes a job, a cat and a Snuggie are really enough :-)
But can you be a great parent while not a great spouse? Or do you think they should go hand in hand? Is a person who would be considered a “desirable” parent selfish for not choosing to have children, or are they smart for knowing what they want or what they can or cannot handle? I’m curious to hear the answers to this one because some days I can see myself as a mother, but not a wife – and other days the opposite is true. So what say you?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!
- Eagles v. Giants this weekend - gonna be a good one!
- Annamaria and I have our annual friendly wager involving her cooked food and my cheesecake...may the best Vick win! LOL!
- How come "Vick" didn't come up as incorrect in my spellcheck? What is a "vick?"
- I want cream of wheat...maple brown sugar to be exact.
- I've discovered chocolate and vanilla marshmallows - GREAT in hot chocolate! Yum!
- I have a steak marinating for dinner tonight - gonna be DELICIOUS!
- Can you tell I'm hungry? Didn't eat breakfast today.
- I had the best time with my mom and family for my mother's birthday weekend. My mother turned 60 years old on Nov. 16th...a true blessing! I love her and thank God for her every day.
- Eid Muburak to my sister, brother-in-law and nephews - and all my Muslim friends out there!
- The Republican senators have prevented the Paycheck Fairness Act from finally being brought up for a debate and receiving a vote - buffoonery.
- Everyone is crying that Brandy was robbed on Dancing with the Stars. This shouldn't surprise ANYone. Competition based reality tv is just...well...you know..."not real."
- I'm terrified of snakes.
- I can't stand selfish people.
- Four out of 10 think marriage is becoming obsolete. What do you think?
- If what they say about Tony Parker is true, that's GRIMY! But not surprising, in the least.
- I can't believe Thanksgiving is next Thursday. I feel like this year just sped up! I'm making peach cobbler for the first time, wish me luck!
- Time to put the braids back in.
- Also time to get re-focused on my work-out/nutrition plan again. I've gained a few pounds back - not cute. Definitely going spinning tonight...all alone :-(
- Happy Birthday SuSu! It's also my late grandmother's birthday today as well.
- Greys and Private Practice tonight!
- What's for lunch?
- Today's throwback - a double feature!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I've been off for the past couple days, so I planned on taking off from blogging as well. I didn't ask for any guest bloggers, but DMoe hit me up this morning asking if he could get some shine. He had Mike Vick on the brain, so as a Eagles fan who had just witnessed Eagles Monday Night Football history, I figured I'd give him the floor. So I'm posting DMoe's blog from Vickadelphia....and I'll catch y'all tomorrow :-)
I'll admit, I'm a sucker for redemption.
I confess: Yes, I wanted to see Kobe shine his tarnished public image with the “Brass-O” of hard work and dedication to win his fifth championship ring. Yes, I wanted (and am still wanting) to see Tiger Woods rise like a phoenix from his self-inflicted personal ashes to hoist some shiny new trophy. And yes, I wanted to see Michael Vick make a triumphant return to the game he could have revolutionized a few years ago. As we all know every tawdry detail of his well-documented story, Mike experienced a setback along the way.
That’s right people, I’m officially coining the legal trouble that led to “#7” becoming “#33765-183” in the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary a “setback” after seeing Mike Vick's performance last night. It was poetry in motion, glide in stride, and an outright dominant showing that Hall of Fame quarterbacks and sports pundits have been collectively salivating over in the 15 hours since the game concluded. Aside from all that, it was quite simply fun to watch.
“Setback” is one term in use here. The other more obvious term to be spoken is: redemption.
I have a deep personal belief about redemption. Sure I’m a sucker, but it’s a bit more beyond that - I believe God sets us up, so He can knock us down. At the very moment we need greater understanding of the true nature of our success (and the role He’s played), He knocks us down so we learn to appreciate standing up again. Only then, with our newly-found footing, can He show us the true magnificence within ourselves we never knew even existed.
I think that’s what Michael Vick saw and said each time he pointed up to the heavens every time he threw or ran for a touchdown en route to last night’s record-setting performance. As good as he’s been, as amazing as his past highlights and performances have been, I think he amazed himself anew.
As the game ended last night, I thought back to a night in early November, 2008. I woke up at about 4:30am with an urge to jot down the details of a dream I just had. That night, I fell asleep to ESPN Sportscenter’s detailed accounts of “The future of Michael Vick” in the wake of his legal troubles. As Vick’s career seemed destined for permanent derailment at the hands of his conviction on charges of dog-fighting and subsequent incarceration, in the name of redemption, I had other ideas.
Dmoe’s sleeping...he’s snoring………ZZZZZZZZZZZZ……and now……he’s dreaming…
My name's Dee Moe. I'm a marketing executive for the hottest sports and entertainment agency in America.
Late one night, I'm sitting in my imported Italian theater chair watching Rocky 3 on Blu-Ray. The depth and detail of this newest digital remaster is amazing on my 104-inch screen. I'm enthralled, and loving every minute of a film I've seen at least a dozen times.
The dynamics of the film are well-known....Balboa faces his toughest challenge from a brash, street-tough boxer named Clubber Lang. Lang chides Rocky constantly, disrespects his manhood, and paints him as soft. Meanwhile, Balboa poses with newborns, cuts ribbons on business openings and signs autographs.
Across town, at 2am, Clubber Lang is doing his 1000th sit-up in a damp, dark basement dimly lit by a single light bulb. The determination is fierce as each sit-up is a painful step toward the goal, and he is relentless.
And then ---- it comes to me.
I pause the movie, grab my blackberry and start emailing my team of marketing reps. I get everyone out to my house for a meeting, and we hatch our plan:
The Return of Michael Vick
All five of the reps are seeing the vision, as I lay down piece-by-piece how this unprecedented marketing resurrection shakes out. First, we set a meeting with the league office to get clearance. Surprisingly, Commissioner Roger Goodell sees this as a great opportunity, and he gives us the go ahead. Michael will be released from prison in May of 2009, so we have to be ready.
We visit Mike at Leavenworth and he seems unexcited to see us. With his beard grown out, and hair in long cornrows, Mike seems out of touch with himself and there's no gleam in his eye. He is indeed a shadow of his former self. We sit down with him and tell him the news of 3 former Nike execs who vacated their posts to form a new sports company, and they want Michael to be the lead on the launch of the brand that will change sports forever.
The journey begins. We fly in a hand-picked team of specialists in nutrition, strength training, conditioning and sports psychologists. This innovative group of experts are poised to recreate the one we once knew as number seven. Michael is placed on strict diets, he starts each day with training at 5am, and ends with game films at 10pm. We shoot every moment of his grueling physical conditioning and no holds are barred. Between sessions, Michael does yoga and accelerated cycling classes. Within a few weeks, he is strength training on his own when he's not sleeping. The prototype is being rebuilt, and we can see the glimmer in his eyes.
This is Vick 2.0.
The advertising guys come in and document every detail. I’m thinking, “It's happening, it's actually happening.”
We wake up at 3am on a Saturday during December to newly-fallen snow on the ground. We're excited because today is the day we shoot something we've all come to know as “The Conception."
Meanwhile, Michael’s resolve continues to climb, and he has become a relentless, well-chiseled machine that hasn't put a football down in seven weeks, after not picking one up for almost a year.
A team of sports scientists have developed a newly-patented, laser-guided passing drill that shoots a beam of light on assorted targets in an area, and Michael's reflexes have responded in a most amazing way after only a few days. The challenge is to not only hit the target, but hit the target exactly where this razor thin beam of light is shown for only a millisecond. The footage is unbelievable. Between his reps of strength drills and mental acuity tests, the documenting of this campaign will change the face of athletics - forever.
“The Conception” is ready just in time for the NFL playoffs. It's halftime of the Falcons/Packers game, and for millions around the world watching the screen goes black as they cut to the first commercial.
The spot begins with rapid flashes of dirty hands, a bald head with a sweat-soaked headband, and chiseled elbows wistfully finishing the 25th set of some unnamed new type of chin-up.
A light bulb, a damp basement, and a single weight bench all flash on the screen in quick succession.
The screen goes black. The sounds of grunting determination are heard, but not seen.
And then, the eyes....only the eyes of a clean shaven Mike Vick.
Then, the screen goes black yet again.
The word "faster" ---- fades to black.
The word "quicker" --- fades to black.
The word "returns" ---- and then, a final fade to black only showing the logo of our brash new brand.
The sports world is turned on its ear, and the hype has begun. Sales for the new company's gear soars. “Conception” is a smash with buzz-worthy clips to describe football’s bionic man we have raised from the dead. Meanwhile, the marketing gurus keep giving glimpses in ads online and sprinkled throughout NFL coverage.
The campaign is simple. You couldn’t stop him BEFORE, but wait til you see him now. He’s billed as “more than a Quarterback the likes of which you've never seen.” Yet, you will never actually see him in the first series of commercials.
We buy time for our second commercial during Superbowl halftime and anticipation of the spot's release is at a fevered pitch.
This next spot, called "The Creation," features quick flashes of a chiseled, 2% body fat Mike Vick standing on a rain-soaked cement playground with football yard-markers. Mike is shown throwing a football marked #52 into a mop bucket 40 yards away.
Masterful editing depicts quick, repetitive cuts as we see his ability to drop these almost balls in buckets in various locations 40 yards away. His completion percentage in this exercise is a mind-blowing 78.2 percent.
Months of mechanics drills and thousands of footballs with the laser-guidance drills are finally paying dividends.
The screen goes black.
And then, once again - the eyes. Only the eyes are shown, with a slight pan up to a clean shaven bald-headed Mike Vick.
.....and then, the screen goes black yet again.
The word "accuracy" --- fade to black...
The word "elusive" --- fade to black...
The word "vision" ---- fade to back....
The word "returns" ---- and then, a final fade to black only showing the logo of this brash new company.
And then…I woke up.
For a moment late in the 4th quarter last night, I thought I was still dreaming, but then I realized I’m just a sucker for redemption. Apparently, so is God.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Happy Veterans Day and Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!
I'd like to thank all of our servicemen and women who sacrifice their time, their families and their lives defending the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. I hope you all take the time to remember and thank the veterans among your family, friends and coworkers. As the daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend of men (and women) who have served our country proudly, I appreciate your service and bravery.
- Monica finished the NYC Marathon in a little under 6 hours! Go Monica! I'm so proud of you!
- Miley Cyrus is annoying.
- Gwyneth Paltrow sings country music now?
- I have to start giving my cat Cole steroids for his tumor :-( Please pray for him. He's my baby.
- The heat doesn't get hot enough in my apartment. They're being stingy, and everyone knows I hate being cold!
- I wish I still knew how to play the piano.
- I need braids....my hair is breaking off badly due to the weather change.
- It doesn't need to get any colder than this. I don't mind when the high is 50 degrees, it's when the high is 30 degrees that I can't stand it.
- "Start Over" on Time Warner Cable is the best. I got home late from the gym, and was able to start Law & Order: SVU from the beginning instead of waiting til today to watch it on my DVR at work. They even have "Go Back" to shows that you missed in Prime in the past 2 days. Love it!
- The new girls on 16 & Pregnant are dry.
- If I say no, then that's it. I don't owe you an explanation.
- I'm becoming really annoyed by all the noise on the train and buses lately. Why are people screaming into their cell phones and talking to people who are 6 inches away from them like they're deaf? Geez! I'm in the wrong city to be complaining about noise.
- Oh, and I wanted to spank these badass kids on the train platform today. Your kids are not cute, control them. The woman told the 5 of them to use their "whisper" voice and they screamed and ran around silly for no damn reason. She needed to use a strap! I'm not saying beat your kids....but beat your kids when the "whisper" voice thing doesn't work.
- Cop gets 2 years for killing an unarmed, handcuffed Black man. Mike Vick gets just about the same sentence for killing a dog. F*ckers.
- I love my Dyson.
- I was in Nine West yesterday browsing and realized I was humming along to Christmas music. There were Christmas decorations up in Target BEFORE Halloween. It gets earlier and earlier every year.
- I love Target.
- Who are these people that still smoke cigarettes? You KNOW it can kill you, but you do it anyway? It's not considered cool or sexy anymore, so why do it? Ridiculous.
- The Biggest Loser is such an inspirational show. I always wind up shedding a tear...or three.
- Haven't caught Conan yet, but I hear he's been hysterical :-)
- Did you know they sold wedding gowns at J. Crew? Not that I was looking or anything :-)
- I hate it when people use excessive profanity in their FB statuses. I usually wind up "unfriending" them.
- I also hate when people don't spell check their statuses. I know it's only FB, but there is no "a" in the word "definitely" and no "d" in the word "congratulations."
- I wanna see Denzel's new movie Unstoppable.
- He still does it for me :-)
- I have a lot of food in my fridge that needs to be thrown away. And plenty in my freezer that I never feel like thawing out to cook.
- Last Friday, Deebo boxed me like a man. After the FIRST hour of training, he said we were "just getting warmed up." Another patron in the gym even told him, "that's enough" when they saw me sweating like a runaway slave. He promptly told her to mind her business after damn near knocking me out. My nose even started bleeding once I got in the locker room from overheating myself. He's a great trainer, but I think he's losing his damn mind.
- Someone sent me the link to the auto tune remake of MJ's "PYT" and I didn't know what it was, so I clicked on it. Pure fuckery. You don't remake ANYTHING MJ has done, but if you DO, they could have just left Robin Thicke on it...but T-Pain? FU-CKER-Y.
- Men should not wear white, pointy shoes and tight, tight jeans...together OR separately.
- MTA fare hikes again, and less service. Pretty soon it's gonna be cheaper to just drive.
- I'm always amazed at women who can commute in heels.
- Some of the men and women who perform in subways are really talented!
- First kisses are the best aren't they? :-)
- I feel like blowing off every meeting I have from now until the new year. I have 2 weeks left of vacation to take and I need every single second of it.
- My cell phone is too slippery...I keep dropping it.
- I have so much laundry to do this weekend. But I love the smell of freshly laundered clothes :)
- I feel like I've been thirsty all week - I need to drink more water.
- My lips have been chapped all week too...obviously because I'm dehydrated. Not sexy.
- Who are these people who pay contractors thousands of dollars before they do any work? How does that even make sense?
- Is the bed bug epidemic over yet?
- Pootie Tang was on HBO last night...really?
- I'm peace like that.
- And in honor of the SU basketball season starting, Brian's throwback!
When the 'Cuse is in da house...OMG...Danga!
I wanted to get your objective opinion on something. Recently most of my girlfriends, some whom I’ve known since childhood, are disappearing on me. I noticed they started hanging out without me, or “forget” to invite me to lunch or a movie. I confronted one of my “Friends” who has since distanced herself from me and she said that she didn’t like the fact that I date married men. When I asked her if that’s how our other mutual friends felt, she said yes, which is why they don’t hang out with me anymore.
I thought friends weren’t supposed to judge you. I told her that true friends are friends through thick and thin and don’t judge, but she brushed me off. What do you think?
This is interesting, because without knowing the depths of each of your friendships and what you all have been through together, it’s hard to say either way – you can make an argument for both sides.
While I think your friends should judge you based on your heart, maybe your heart is showing them something they don’t like. Have you ALWAYS dated married men and they’ve accepted it until now? Or is this something new that you’re doing that they think isn’t really “you?” If this is new behavior, I'd hope they'd talk to you about it rather than abandoning you. But if this has always been your thing, perhaps they're just tired of it now.
Either way, a person can decide to let go of a friendship if they feel that those involved are growing apart. Most friendships, especially between women, are born and nurtured through commonality – shared interests and values. Perhaps your friends feel that your standards and values don’t fall in line with theirs, in which case they don’t see you as someone who they have anything in common with anymore. If they are turned off by your behavior or the choices you make, it’ll be hard for them to respect you – in which case any interaction with you could be seen as “fake.” Some people take adultery very seriously, and they may question your ethics and the type of person you are based on the choices you’ve made.
I’m not saying you’re a bad person, but depending on some experiences that your friends may have had or the values they hold dear, they may not look at you as a model friend. They also may not trust you around THEIR man. Most women (and men) feel that if you’ll sleep with someone’s husband with no regard to their relationship, then you’d probably sleep with THEIR man too. Women tend to keep a close eye on OTHER women they think are shady…especially when their man is concerned. They may feel that a woman who feels no shame in sleeping with another woman’s husband will feel no shame in sleeping with their man too. Although you may not cross that line and break the “girlfriend code,” your rep may be a little shaky when it comes to men.
Some of us have found ourselves involved with a married man at one point in our lives or another. We may have told ourselves that if the relationship was a good one, he wouldn’t be with "me." We find reasons to justify our behavior, even if deep down we think it’s wrong. We can either choose to continue what we’re doing, because…after all…we don’t know that woman – OR we can choose to do better because we know better. Just because you’ve made a decision to get involved with a married man in the past doesn’t mean that you have to CONTINUE doing that – either because you feel you can’t or don’t deserve better. The past choices you’ve made don’t have to define who you are now. But it seems that by consistently dating men who are unavailable to you, your friends may feel that this is EXACTLY how you are choosing to define yourself.
If you see nothing wrong with dating married men, either because you feel no obligation to the other woman, or because you seek relationships with no commitment, then that’s your business. You answer to no one but God and yourself.
But you can’t blame or be mad at your friends for exercising their right to choose who they have in their life. We should choose who we have in our inner circle very carefully, and if your morals/values don’t jive with theirs, then you’ve grown apart and it may be time to let the friendship go. If you want to keep the relationship, then talk to them about how you can change their perception of you and ask them what you can do to salvage the friendship. They may ask you to change your ways, in which case you’ll have to make a decision. If you feel you shouldn’t have to change in order to be their friend, then keep it moving. But if they speak to you from their heart and seem genuinely concerned, hear them out and consider their feelings…or try to see things from their perspective. Sometimes our friends (especially those from childhood) know us better than we know ourselves.
I hope it works out for you.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Now before you think that this is another endorsement for Tyler Perry’s new flick, hear me out. I haven’t seen For Colored Girls yet. I’ve tried to stay away from all the spoilers and blogs posted on Facebook so I can form my own opinion. I know many of my friends - both male and female - liked the film…if not LOVED it. But I will decide for myself.
That being said, what I DON’T get, are all the men who seemingly hate Tyler Perry. I’m not saying, even for a second, that black people – male or female – SHOULD like or support him. I understand that his films are not for everyone and that some don’t find Madea the least bit funny. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about him.
But why do some Black men hate him so much? I hear from Black men that they feel as if his films bash men. But if any man has ever seen any of his films, there is usually, if not always, a GOOD black man for every bad one. Usually, the Black women are the ones who need to be enlightened by a strong, Black man. Usually, the Black man “rescues” the Black woman. If anything, I think the women are usually portrayed as needy, lost, Christian women who don’t know what to do with themselves until the good, Black man shows them the error of their ways. You can argue his movies are a bit corny, unrealistic, a bit "fairytale'ish", formulaic, cookie cutter or too preachy. But male bashing? I just don't see that...but that’s just MY take on it.
Now, since I haven’t seen For Colored Girls, I won’t say men don’t have a reason to be upset. But what I find puzzling is the backlash of the film from men who haven’t seen the movie yet. Even if you’ve seen every Tyler Perry film up until this one, why decide that you hate this particular film before you’ve even seen it? After all, this film isn’t Tyler Perry’s story, it’s Ntozake Shange’s story that he’s adapted to film. So if the content has your boxers in a bunch, just remember, he is telling the story through his lens…but it’s still not his story. Some feel that this story didn’t need to be told, but that’s another blog for another day. Either way, go see the film before you decide to be one of the many men who have considered suicide BEFORE seeing a Tyler Perry movie.
What I also found puzzling was the backlash from some men on The Black Girls Rock BET Special last night. While I will be the first to admit that I don’t normally watch BET, I tuned in to the second hour of this special last night. I loved this performance by Kelly Price, Jill Scott, Ledisi and Marsha Ambrosius.
But what I also loved were the honorees – KeKe Palmer, Iyanla Vanzant and Ruby Dee just to name a few. All of the women honored were women who have paved the way for others, made tremendous strides in their career or are trailblazers in their industry. While one could probably find a million things wrong with the production itself, the idea that “Black Girls Rock” was a positive one. So why hate on that? How can anyone criticize that message? Especially Black men?
With the onslaught of images and messages out there that paint the picture that we’re “un-date able,” “un-marriageable,” “hopelessly single,” “doomed to be unwed mothers,” “not pretty enough,” or “not good enough” – the LAST thing we need to get is the impression from our men that they co-sign that nonsense. The Facebook statuses I read last night from some Black men in my news feed made my heart ache – “Why are they doing this stupid show?” “Who are these women?” “Black girls rock? Really?” “This is wack!”
I just don’t get it.
Most men I know expect…hell, they DEMAND…to be treated like the Kings that they are (or think they are), yet have no problem tearing a woman down. The words “bitches” and “hoes” flow from their mouths freely, but expect women to bow down and kiss their feet simply because they have a penis. They’ll say we have an “attitude” or “that’s why I date ‘insert other race here’ women.” It’s hurtful. It says to us that we can’t even rely on our own men to support and love us…let alone the “rest” of the world.
And that’s why specials like Black Women Rock should exist - because if no one else believes it, at least WE should. If no one else will “big us up,” then we’ll do it ourselves. If no one else tells us that we rock, we’ll tell ourselves. And how can that inspiring vision from Ms. Bond be viewed as a negative thing?
Men, sometimes everything isn’t always about you. Oprah doesn’t have to have rappers on her show. Tyler Perry can tell a story from a feminist point of view if he wants to, and Black girls can rock without your hostility. Turn from Oprah and don’t go see any Tyler Perry films. But support your women. Tell her she’s awesome every chance you get. Don’t first think to criticize your (or any) woman when you also have the choice to uplift her. It would just be nice to have your encouragement once in a while. I'm not talking to ALL of you...just a few...
While I know some of you think that there are no good women out there who “deserve” your support, there are women out there who believe that there are no good men out there who deserve our support either…but we give it anyway. Not all of us leave a theater after seeing a "Black girl movie" wanting to bite your head off. Most good women know the difference between a movie and real life. We know that great Black men exist. Not all of us are bitches, hoes, skanks, baby mamas, attitude havin’ wenches not worthy of your praise. We carry our communities on our shoulders daily, so let us stand on yours for a change…and lift us up proudly. Tell us we rock…show us that you love us.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!
I can't believe it's November already, geesh!
- I didn't feel like blogging yesterday. Something about the election had me bummed, frustrated, disappointed...jaded. It was on my mind, but not in a good way...and it just drained me. One of the things that frustrates me the most are the people who BRAG about not voting. I'm allergic to ignorance and bullsh*t. People should really be ashamed of themselves.
- Check out Ox's blog and his post midterm election thoughts - sums up how I feel beautifully.
- But God is in control of all things, and I pray that we can work together as a country.
- Please continue to pray for our President. He needs us.
- Remember this?
Former President Bush said that Kanye's comment about not caring about Black people was one of the "most disgusting moments" of his presidency. Not 9/11, not starting a fake war, not the people who DIED in those wars, and not the people who died and suffered during Katrina....but Kanye's comments. Did he go to the Tayler Swift School of Sympathy? If he's not the biggest idiot on the planet, I don't know who is.
- If you're not a racist, those comments wouldn't affect you. But the truth hurts.
- RIP Shannon Tavarez - so sad. God bless this angel's soul.
- Monica's race is 4 days away - there's still time to donate! Go Monica!
- Someone please take this Halloween candy away from me.
- Are there any groups of women going to see For Colored Girls this Friday? I know men aren't going in droves to see it :-) I hope Tyler Perry does a good job with it.
- Brian's throwback :-)
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I hope you all have gone out, or will be going out, to vote today. I wrote my "go out and vote" blog yesterday so I could stay true to TMI Tuesday. Normally I'd give this space over to Fury, but Domina*tricks asked me if she could guest blog for me today. I'm a bit nervous, but many of you have been calling for it...so here it is! I will be driving to and voting in PA all morning...but maybe it's good that I'll be M.I.A for this one :-) Don't worry, I'll check in on the discussion. Here it goes...without further adieu...give it up for Domina*tricks!
I Finally Know What the Wet Spot Feels Like...by Domina*tricks
I was wondering if Brooke would allow me to post to her blog for TMI Tuesday. After all, I made no secret of how beautiful I thought she was. Perhaps she’d be too shy to post a blog from another admiring female – one who wanted to taste her lips and lick her clit. She’s probably blushing just reading this.
I know that I probably come off as a brazen, crass lesbian who also has a thing for f*cking and dominating men. Truth is, I’m simply a bisexual, curious, sexually adventurous woman who was once too shy to even write the word clit, let alone actually lick one.
I used to be your average, everyday monogamous good girlfriend. I dated only men – safe men. Men who only had sex in the missionary position, came after three strokes, and quickly rolled over to go to sleep...leaving me laying in the dry spot. No, I don’t mean “wet spot.” The spot under my ass was rarely wet...because I usually never came. Women create the wet spot...yet I had no idea what one was.
Until I met my ex-boyfriend’s sister.
She was gorgeous. We met at his family’s cookout, and I was mesmerized by her. I remembered he had mentioned that his sister was a lesbian. I didn’t think much of it, probably because I envisioned her to be this huge, manly, unfortunate looking dyke of a woman. As she turned to face me when he said, “I’d like you to meet…” I couldn’t breathe. She was stunning.
She smiled at me and gave me a warm stare. Something told me instantly that she liked what she saw. So did I. Up until then, I had never felt warmth between my legs at the gaze of a woman, but there was no mistaking that this woman was doing something to me.
But I thought to myself, “I’m not a lesbian, what is going on here?” I shook it off, thinking that maybe the wine coolers I had been drinking were a little too strong for me – being that I was a lightweight and all. Maybe the light alcohol had me imagining things...I tried to convince myself.
A few shots and Long Island Iced Teas later with my boyfriend and I was totally staring at her the entire night. Conversations of when they were kids were swirling around me and all I could think about doing was kissing her. She had a pouty, plum mouth that looked like they’d burst if you kissed them too hard. I wanted to know if they were as soft and juicy as they looked. I watched her mouth move with every word she spoke – and each time she caught me staring, she’d smile as I quickly turned away.
As the moon moved to the other side of the sky, I noticed there were only 3 people left outside in the backyard – his parents had long said their “good-nights” to us. I looked over to find my boyfriend passed out on a lawn chair, snoring like a young boy. She came over and sat next to me and put her hand on mine.
“So, did you have a good time?” She said staring intently into my eyes.
“Yes, you have a great family. You’re all so wonderful," I replied, trying to pull my hand away.
“Thank you. My brother speaks very highly of you too.”
We sat there, awkward. I had no idea what to say to her – I was too busy staring at her baby soft skin.
“So will you be staying the night?” She asked sliding her hand off of mine, onto my thigh, then into her own lap.
“No, I couldn’t possibly. Besides, I have some things to do in the morning. I should get going.”
“Okay. How are you getting home? I’m sure you know that he’s a heavy sleeper,” pointing to my man. “He’s not waking up, so you might as well stay.”
“I can call a cab,” I say, even though I really didn’t want to.
“Let me take you home then, I’ll get my keys.”
Before I could object, she was up with her purse and keys in her hand ready to go. She smelled so good, fragrant perfume intoxicating me. I got in the passenger’s side and clicked myself in. She turned and smiled at me. “Lead the way,” she said...so sexy.
We arrive at my apartment and sit there. I thank her for the ride, and tell her how great it was to meet her and her family. As I unlocked my door, she reached over and took my hand. As I turned to look at her, she kissed me. Not a peck, not a quick “smooch.” A long, lingering kiss. I’m sure it was only 10 seconds long at most, but it felt like an eternity. A blissful eternity.
I don’t know if it was the Long Island Ice Teas or her perfume, but somehow we ended up tumbling into my living room, onto my couch, kissing, reaching, stroking...until we eventually reached my bedroom. Everything was a blur. Clothes were strewn about, my hands were running through her long, silky hair and her fingers were inside of me. That night was the first time I had ever tasted a vagina...and allowed a woman to taste mine.
She made me feel things I’d never felt before with any man. She was soft, patient, caring, considerate, passionate and intense. She took her time. She made sure I was comfortable...and satisfied. I finally knew what a wet spot felt like.
The next morning, my boyfriend called to apologize profusely for passing out on me and for having his sister drive me home. Little did he know, she also drove me crazy...and I counted the days, hours and minutes until I saw her again. Things didn’t last too much longer with my boyfriend and I after that, but I continued to secretly date his sister behind his back for about a year after we broke up. He always appreciated that I was “cool enough” to remain his friend after our break up - so much so that I had no problem “stopping by” to all of his family cookouts...and to visit his sister :-)
Monday, November 1, 2010
I know it's late in the day and most of you probably won't even read this...but I felt compelled to get this blog out there today. I've had a hectic day, but I wanted to make time to urge all of you to exercise your privilege to vote tomorrow - November, 2nd. Election Day.
I know most of you have friends posting the "Who's Gonna Join Me?" voting links on your Facebook wall. We have volunteers calling us from both parties, leaving us messages on our machines telling us to go out and let our voices be heard - to rock the vote. We get it! The message is loud and clear! But is it?
I live in NY, most of you know that...but I'm still registered to vote in PA. My permanent address is listed as Bensalem, PA - and I'd like to keep it that way.
After all, PA is a swing state...so I feel my vote matters more in PA than it does in NY. I could be wrong, but that's how I feel. I fully intended to fill out the absentee ballot - only to find that I had to turn it in at this office by that time in order for my vote to count. Those deadlines weren't met and I was a little too late. So what now?
I thought to myself, "Do I drive ALL THE WAY to PA...JUST to vote? or do I sit this one out?" After all, it's just ONE vote right? Will MY vote really make THAT much of a difference?
I know some of you think that's crazy, but what if EVERYONE thought like me?
No one would show up at the polls...that's what. And that's wrong.
Now again...that is just my opinion - and you all know that I have an opinion about everything - and I fully intend on expressing mine tomorrow. It's not about believing that my ONE vote will change the world. It's more about making an effort to participate in the political process. When it's all said and done and I seriously consider what is at stake, I feel compelled to exercise my privilege with a sense of urgency - and I encourage you all to do the same.
Now of course, I can't MAKE you do anything you don't want to. Perhaps some of you have actively DECIDED NOT to vote. That's your right too. If you've already pondered what's at stake and have decided not to vote, then there's just no getting through to you. You've made up your mind. But remember, NOT voting also renders you mute and insignificant.
Yeah, I said it.
Voting is a privilege that was hard to come by for most of us who read this blog daily. There were many years that women and minorities were not permitted to let their voices be heard in the political arena. People were brutalized and murdered so that you and I can have the luxury of going to the polls to vote, free of charge and without anyone standing in our way. Come to think of it, we don't even have to physically be there to vote...which is what I was hoping would be the case by filling out my absentee ballot in time. But the privilege isn't the only reason to get out and vote tomorrow.
The state of affairs is out of control in this country. Unemployment rates, the war(s), education, housing, energy...you name it. There is still so much that needs to be done...and we need you.
Are you one of the many strange creatures I've heard of that has never voted? Have you been deceived into believing that your vote doesn't count? Well, it does.
Did you know that best way to control a person does not involve force? Discouragement will keep a person from ever trying to do better, despite the fact that they know better. Take off the shackles of your mind and let your voice be heard. If you have ever complained about the current state of affairs in this country (and I know you have), then by all means, either vote - or be quiet. The time to speak is at the polls. Vote now or forever hold your peace. If you're a parent, then this is more of an issue of privilege for you. It's an absolute obligation. A good parent leaves an inheritance for their children. What will your choices pass down? Think about it.
I've decided to make the drive to Philly to cast my vote, and it will be a personal day well spent. Exercise your privilege tomorrow - the time is more urgent than ever.