Okay, sooo I'm just a little excited about seeing one of my FAVORITE singers this coming Thursday at the Verizon Center - Sue Me... LOL! But, if you could careless for Mimi, then there's probably no sense in you watching some of my favorite videos by her:
Make It Happen
Fantasy Remix featuring ODB (R.I.P)
Breakdown featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
Heartbreaker Remix featuring Missy and Da Brat
It's Like That
Music Makes The People Come Together The Adventures of Mimi
The Headline Reads: CNN sorry for Bush speech gaffe (Reuters.com)
Here's the gist:
CNN apologized Tuesday after an open mike transmitted an anchor's bathroom conversation with another woman live over the network as it was carrying President Bush's speech in New Orleans.
"Live From" anchor Kyra Phillips had apparently left the set around 12:48 p.m. EDT Tuesday for a bathroom break while the news channel carried Bush's speech marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Phillips' wireless microphone was turned on and picked up about a minute and a half of a muffled conversation she had with an unidentified woman where she apparently talked about her husband, laughed and talked about her brother.
"I've got to be protective of him," she said without being aware that the mike was on. "He's married, three kids, and his wife is just a control freak." CNN anchor Daryn Kagan broke into the telecast immediately afterward updating viewers on what Bush had been saying.
"CNN experienced audio difficulties during the president's speech today in New Orleans," the CNN statement read. "We apologize to our viewers and the president for the disruption."
CNN apologized to the White House on Tuesday afternoon. It wasn't clear whether it was a technical or human malfunction, and CNN, citing corporate policy, said it wouldn't comment on whether anyone would be disciplined. It seemed unlikely that anyone would.
LMAO and for real, was he saying anything important anyway?! LOL! By the way, did anyone see Bush on The Nightly News yesterday evening? If not, you can read the short transcript here. At any rate, what was up with this...
WILLIAMS: A few months ago you were reading the life story of Joe DiMaggio by Richard Ben Cramer.
BUSH: Which was a good book.
WILLIAMS: You've been on a Teddy Roosevelt reading kick.
BUSH: Well, I'm reading about the battle of New Orleans right now. I’ve got an eclectic reading list.
WILLIAMS: And now Camus?
BUSH: Well, that was a couple of books ago. Let me look. The key for me is to keep expectations low.
WILLIAMS: Is that what everyone doesn't get?
BUSH: I don't know, Brian, what they get or don't get. Here's the thing: The great thing about the presidency is that you are totally exposed. And people spend a lot of, particularly if you're making decisions, and hard decisions, people spend a lot of time, not only analyzing decisions, but analyzing the decision maker. And I understand that, but a president must never let that get him off track.
WILLIAMS: Even if you're frustrated that we're getting something wrong?
BUSH: You have to do what you, if we're getting something wrong, we change it.
WILLIAMS: How have you been read wrong?
BUSH: I don’t know. I frankly don't pay that much attention. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, but…
WILLIAMS: Still not watching television, huh?
BUSH: I watched a good baseball game.
WTF? Who cares what he is reading? I don't even know WHY they thought it best to spend time talking bout his reading list?! Aren't we supposed to be discussing Hurricane Katrina and the debacle that has by far been the most embarrassing and shameful event of our time? Not to mention his overall lack of leadership? But wait, Okay, wait, my bad, Brian did get in ONE question about Katrina...
BRIAN WILLIAMS: You have apologized for the damage, but what about the damage to your presidency? And Mr. President, here's what I mean, most call it your low point. A lot of Americans are always going to believe that that weekend, that week, you were watching something on television other than what they were seeing. And Professor Dyson from the University of Pennsylvania said on our broadcast last night, it was because of your patrician upbringing. That it's a class issue.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I don't know Dyson, and Dyson doesn't know me, but I will tell you this, that when it's all said and done, the people down here know that I stood in Jackson Square, and I said we're gonna help you, and we delivered.
Yeah, that's what we want to hear Bush - I don't know him so who cares about what he thinks? Whatever. You can read some comments from other viewers here, but overall, for me this was a very disappointing interview....
Well, one year ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the Gulf. I woke up this morning to The Today Show recapping all the events of that time. They even had an interview with Brownie who basically apologized (again) for being so wrapped up in the 'talking points' that he forgot to be a man of the people. Yeah, whatever. You're a year late and billions of dollars short. As much as I can't stand him, it should be interesting to see Bush tonight on The Nightly News with Brian Williams. Shoot, I wonder what our president has to say now? (Brian better sock it to him because I don't want to hear the same PR BS that he's been saying lately.) At any rate, the following poem is dedicated to the men and women who are STILL suffering from the events of Hurricane Katrina. I wrote this last year at a time when I was very much upset (and still am) about everything that went on in the Gulf. Sooo, if you don't like to read curse words, I suggest you turn away now...
When I paid my taxes,
So how dare you bitches start relaxin'?
Don’t you see us down her bleedin',
Our hearts carved out
I shouldn’t have to shout
That we need food and supplies!
Don’t you have your own set of eyes?
This is the United States Of America!
Yet, I feel like we're down in the foothills of Africa,
Waitin' for some relief
But hell, there's no time for grief!
Can’t mourn for too long,
I'VE GOT TO BE STRONG!
So I scream out questions to the dead air,
Didn’t you muthafuckas know Katrina was comin’!
Instead, you got us runnin’,
Lookin' for aid.
In a world of masquerades,
With fake ass politicians.
Damn, I’m just wishin,
They could see the true horrors of my eyes!
Treadin' through dark waters,
Full of bloated bodies,
Floatin' under gray skies.
Lord, protect me!
DON'T LET THEM TAKE MY SPIRIT!
I know my money was green when I paid my taxes...
(c) 2005-2006. All Rights Reserved.
The following slideshow has been on my 'MySpace' for the past year, but since my page is now private, I'd thought it would be approriate to share it here:
Silence After the Storm - Life Has Yet to Return to Much of a City Haunted by Katrina katrina poems
Like The Bangles said, it's just another Manic Monday (Oooo Wooo) and I'm completely swamped!!! There's entirely too much work to do today, but there's nothing like one of my 'feel good' songs to boost my energy. So, here's my jam of the week. This artist never made a 'real' video for this song, but I was lucky enough to find this joint on YouTube. Enjoy!
What this song is saying to me:
Don’t you worry about the past cause
It’s gonna be what it is
All that you can do is try to
Make your future beautiful
And let it be the greatest moment in life
Monday's Motivation - 8/21/06 motivation keep the faith monday's motivation music
You Should Watch This: A Girl Like Me
Big props to Sanaa for posting this in her blog because she inspired me to want to share it here. The above link leads you to a very poignant video. Here's what it's about:
Kiri Davis, 16, Urban Academy: I wanted to make a film that explored the standards of beauty imposed on today's black girls. How do these standards affect her self-esteem or self-image. Through making this film I learned a lot about where some of these standards might stem from. Running time: 7:00.
After you've watched it, I'd love to get your thoughts?
There is a level of ignorance in this country that runs way deeper than where those levees were supposed to go. This ignorance was so blatantly displayed for the entire world to see when our government failed to help our brothers and sisters in the Gulf Coast. But don't get it twisted; my anger doesn't stop at the government. No, this anger does not discriminate. From the cops shoplifting in the Wal-Mart to the neighboring parishes not allowing their brethren to enter to the continued off-shore drilling that is hurting the wetlands, I am just completely pissed at the foolishness that went on and STILL continues to go on today. Like those FEMA trailers, for instance. Now I know something is better than nothing, but my goodness, NO ELECTRICITY! I almost died from laughter when that woman said she might have to give someone a blow job just to get her electricity working!
Parts 3 and 4 pulled on my heart strings too. (Oh yeah, from CJR, it looks like I wasn't the only one crying Monday night.) But there's only so much my mind can take before my tears turn into red hot flames of anger! So, let me vent about the other shit in this documentary that made me mad. First off, what the hell was Condi thinking? Granted she might not have any real power and she just might be a puppet for the Bush Administration, but the last thing she should have been doing was shopping!!! Shit, if she can't really control the situation, AT LEAST she could've made some noise about it! That's what Nagin did and he's just a damn mayor. Who can forget his famous comment - Get off your asses!!! (You can listen to his compelling interview with WWL here or read the transcript here.) But even with the opportunity to tell her side of the story, Sam Pollard, producer and editor of When the Levees Broke, states here that Condi decided that it was best to decline. Yeah, I guess so! Sam also mentioned that Gen. Honore, the army general who was credited as being the one who really started to get things moving, wanted to do an interview but was told that he couldn't. WTF? And Barbara Bush, what was her story behind saying shit like:
"So many of the people in the arenas were underprivileged anyway, this is working very well for them."
Now what is that all about? Wait, I know what it's about; it's all about the haves and the have-nots. The usage of the word refugees was definitely an example of that. (Boy, was that pissing me off when the media started with that crap!) Yet through my anger, I'm hoping against hope that the events of Katrina can help to bring about a new era in our society. One where more and more people start to reexamine their confidence in our government. Where we start looking out more for one another. Like Sam put it,
I think what we all need to do is just be more aware of people in need and learn to give and share more and not be what most Americans learn to become which is completely individualistic and self-involved.
Amen to that!
My reaction to Parts 1 and 2 when the levees broke spike lee hurricane katrina gulf coast
I ask for full amnesty on any typos in this posting because I am seriously shaking as I type this. Thus far, Spike has done an excellent job of following/capturing the essence of what happened in the Gulf Coast. As I watched, I didn't want to cry. Not because I was insensitive to what I was watching, but more because I didn't want to miss anything. Instead I let the tears go their separate ways as they rolled down my neck, where they pooled, forming their own lakes. I wasn't prepared for what I was feeling. I wasn't ready to be taken back to that place of hopelessness. Of anger. Of pain. Of worry. Worrying for my cousin and his kids. Worrying for the elderly, families, and oh those precious babies enduring the heat of that summer! It just breaks me to see the children suffer! At that time in 2005, my family were on our way to FL the week after Katrina. I agonized so hard on whether or not we should go. I mean, how could we go and have fun while folks were starving? I debated with friends, sought advice from fellow vacationeers online, and nothing was putting into the right frame of mind to go. That was until I read a post from a lady in Louisiana who was explaining to me that she had planned all year to take her family to Disney, but Katrina had ruined all of that. Instead of character breakfast with the Mouse she was dealing with characters from her insurance agency who were giving her the blues about not having flood insurance. As she told me more and more of her story, she started reminding me of how blessed we were to still have the opportunity to go and that our lives were still normal. Even in the midst of all her problems, she was still hopeful, asking me not to ruin it for my little boys. I took her advice and we went and we had a great time. I just made sure of one thing. Before we left our condo, we prayed every single morning for peace, happiness, and prosperity to return to the Gulf.
Spike reminded me that through of all of that and I can't wait to see what's coming up on parts 3 and 4.
Update: You can read my reaction to Parts 3 and 4 here
when the levees broke spike lee hbo parts 1 and 2
The Headline Reads: Banish The Bling!
Sing along if you know the words:
Only thing that we did right
Was the day we begun to fight!
Keep your eyes on the prize,
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Who doesn't remember watching Eyes on The Prize in school? I know I sure do. The pride that I feel after watching the struggles we have overcome still move and motivate me today. After reading Mr. Williams op-ed, I found myself drowning deep into my own thoughts of where are future is headed. Here's an excerpt of the TWP article:
Have we taken our eyes off the prize? The civil rights movement continues, but the struggle today is not so much in the streets as in the home -- and with our children. If systemic racism remains a reality, there is also a far more sinister obstacle facing African American young people today: a culture steeped in bitterness and nihilism, a culture that is a virtual blueprint for failure.
The emphasis on young people in today's civil rights struggle is rooted in demographics. America's black, Hispanic and immigrant population is far younger than its white population. Those young people of color live in the big cities and rely on big-city public schools.
With 50 percent of Hispanic children and nearly 70 percent of black children born to single women today these young people too often come from fractured families where there is little time for parenting. Their search for identity and a sense of direction is undermined by a twisted popular culture that focuses on the "bling-bling" of fast money associated with famous basketball players, rap artists, drug dealers and the idea that women are at their best when flaunting their sexuality and having babies.
In Washington, where a crime wave is tied to these troubled young souls, the city reacts with a curfew. It is a band-aid. The real question is how one does battle with the culture of failure that is poisoning young people -- and do so without incurring the wrath of critics who say we are closing our eyes to existing racial injustice and are "blaming the victim."
He goes on to say:
In order to face this century's class battles, young minds need the self-confidence that comes from examples of inspiring historical personalities, such as a black woman born into slavery who made herself a national leader, Sojourner Truth, or a black man living under rank segregation, A. Philip Randolph, who defied corporate power to break segregation in organized labor. Frederick Douglass had to teach himself how to read before standing up to defeat slavery.
These examples should empower young people to believe in themselves and to organize across racial lines and build institutions with a solid footing in the nation's political and economic power. This is real black culture, and it is based on strong families creating determined, self-reliant young people.
The defining challenge for this generation of Americans dealing with poverty is putting the next generation in a position to move even higher. Individuals must now use the opportunities made available to them by the sacrifices of past generations if they are to achieve victory in America's long and still unfinished civil rights movement.
No doubt, I think about the misfortunes our youth has placed themselves in every time I look at my kids or the kids in the neighborhood. These babies and young adults are our future, yet some don't have a clear understanding of the beauty that is continued inside our 'blackness'. I'm trying to raise my boys to respect their heritage as well as those of others. Our world is one big melting pot now and we've come so far, but there's still so much more road to travel.
civil rights black issues african american blogging
The Headline Reads: The bloggers and journalists are comrades-at-keyboards
For my College Comp class, I'm writing a paper on the impact blogging has had on mainstream media. Naturally, this is an easy topic because, hey, I'm a blogger and the media can't seem to stop talking about all the blogging that's going on. Here's an article discussing this topic, yet again:
The war is over. No, not that war. Or that one. I mean the supposed battle between mainstream media and bloggers. The last shot, a dud, was fired by Nicholas Lemann, dean of Columbia University's School of Journalism, when he issued an encyclical in the New Yorker this month defending professionalism and decreeing that citizens' media is just "journalism without journalists". It was met online with an exasperated yawn from bloggers and (in Roy Greenslade's term) hackademics, who said there never really was a fight. Bloggers don't think they'll replace reporters, they want to work in symbiotic bliss, amateur alongside professional, complementing each other's skills to expand the reach of the news. I call this networked journalism and I am seeing more examples of the two tribes coming together not to clash but to conspire.
For example, when a Reuters lensman faked up photos from Lebanon, blogger Charles Johnson at littlegreenfootballs.com demonstrated just how Photoshopping had oomphed up the action. Johnson was the same blogger who showed how the documents underlying former CBS anchor Dan Rather's investigation of George Bush's military service had been faked. But big media's reaction this time was different. CBS stonewalled for 11 days. Reuters responded by suspending, then firing the photographer. They also gave Johnson credit, which is to say that Reuters saw they were on the same side - the side of honesty.
Similarly, when AOL released millions of web searches, thinking the information was anonymous, it was bloggers, like techcrunch.com's Michael Arrington, who realised searches can reveal our identity. The New York Times reported a magnificent story tracking down searcher "no. 4417749" as an old lady in Georgia who'd sought "women's underwear" and "dog who urinates on everything". The Times, like the Washington Post, gave nods to bloggers for doing the legwork.
New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen has just announced a new initiative in public-supported journalism called newassignment.net. He believes one way to support investigative journalism is to invite the public to suggest and assign stories, to donate money to support the reporting, and to help in gathering facts. Key to Rosen's vision is that paid reporters interview, investigate and write, with the support of citizens, and that editors' journalistic skills and standards act as a buffer.
A related project being discussed among bloggers, journalists and technologists is to create a simple program that thousands of onliners could use to test whether their internet providers are crippling the free phone service Skype or other applications that compete with the telecommunications corporations' own paid services. This would inform a debate in the US over net neutrality - that is, whether government should regulate to assure that all bits over all wires are treated equally. Note that in this project, the reporting itself might influence the news - that is, an internet provider, faced with mass testing, might mend its dastardly ways. Reporters would say this ruins the story; it scoops the scoop. But the role of reporting is still met: that of journalism as a watchdog.
Finally, last week, the sunlightfoundation.com, a US group dedicated to openness in government, joined with a consortium of journalists to unleash citizens on government appropriations: the billions of dollars in special favours elected representatives get for their districts to curry favour and - let's call a pig a pig - buy votes. The UK has similar efforts, such as theyworkforyou.com.
So networked journalism is about much more than camera-phone pictures of disasters or stars. It can be about digging up news and keeping government honest. I used to call this "citizens' journalism", but I recanted when I realised that journalism should be defined not by the person but by the act. Anyone can perform an act of journalism and the more such efforts we have, the more informed our society will be. So I believe we must support our new comrades-at-keyboards with resources, reporting, editing, training and even revenue. In the end, we're all in this together.
Jeff Jarvis is a journalism professor at the City University of New York who blogs at Buzzmachine.com
Well, I agree with Jeff. (Especially that part about 'support our new comrades-at-keyboards with resources, reporting, editing, training and even revenue'.) I'm not looking to compete with mainstream media. They have their thoughts/opinions and I have mine. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't, but isn't that what makes American great? Besides, blogging is wayyy cooler! :-)
Check this out: WashingtonPost.com Launches Sponsored Blogroll
Here's a little background:
The Sponsored Blogroll project is the brainchild of Jeff Burkett, head of the WashingtonPost.Newsweek Interactive’s sales development team. The Blogroll process goes like this: A blogger signs their blog up as a candidate for the program. Once a blog has been accepted, a link to it is featured in the Washingtonpost.com’s Sponsored Blogroll index, and a box featuring regularly updated Sponsored Blogroll links appears on the Washingtonpost.com front page. Washington Post sales reps will also contact the blogger and try to connect them with the right Washingtonpost.com advertisers. Both the blogger and the Post split any ad revenue.
Gosh, it looks like Burkett might be onto something good. I've got too much of a foul mouth so I doubt that I'll make the cut. LOL! ;-)
blogging media news journalism
But I'm not quite ready to tell it yet, so check out my favorite video of the week, Cham featuring Alicia Keys - Ghetto Story (remix/chap 2). It's an inspiring jam that really gets me so amped and motivated. Especially when Alicia sings this part:
gonna make it someday gotta be somebody
I can't forget that Sanaa did her thing with this one (as usual). Check it out...
Cham Ft Alicia Keys Ghetto Story Remix
UPDATE: Check out another one of Cham's jams that gets me going: Rude Boy Pledge [Album Version].
cham alicia keys sanaa hamri
One day, I'm going to finish these books I'm writing and give everyone more than spurts of stuff. But until then, I'm going to share my writings because hey, sharing is good. I've been inspired to write the below for a character I'm working on. She's a lot like me, but she isn't me. Or maybe she is? Oh whatever the hell, check this out and for the record, I wrote this joint before I found the picture below, but doesn't it fit so well? LOL! You can just feel the anger...
I am so pissed off right now. Beyond belief. What is so hard about going to the store, buying a few things, and coming back? Why is that every "errand" with you has to turn into a 6 hour adventure of telephone tag and Q&A sessions? Where you at? Why aren't you done yet? When you coming home? Damn. Why can't you FOR ONCE do what you say you are going to do? It's not in my nature to run behind a man nagging and reminding, so why the hell do I have to do that with you? See, men are always wondering why women bitch or complain and I say - what they really need to be thinking about is why does she have to? A GOOD MAN doesn't have to go through all of that. A GOOD MAN is on his J-O-B, unlike the fool you've decided to turn into. So, speak up! Tell me what prevents you from being the man that I need you to be? We've been together for four years and haven't I done what you needed me to? You want sweet, I give you sweetness. You want a listener, I give you both ears. You want a hot meal when you come home, I give you that plus lunch for tomorrow. And let's not forget I puts it DOWN in the bedroom. So what's the deal? Am I not fulfilling my end of the bargin? I know we're not married, but ain't I showing you all of what you COULD have if you just slowed down a bit and took some time to appreciate this womanly package I've handed to you with a nice-big-red-fucking-bow on top? Come with it, baby. Let me know NOW what's REALLY going on because quite frankly, I'm not gonna continue living like this, waiting around for you to come to your senses. Hell, I should've listened to my mama when she told me NOT to move in here with you. But naw, I had to be grown. I had to show her and my sisters that my life was going to be different. Now, look at me! All these years with you and now look at us, having petty arguments over who drank the last soda or why there's dishes in the sink? This is just ridiculous and for the record, I don't even LIKE the sodas you buy. Those cheap store brand things, but I think you know this already. That's why you never buy the right ones the FIRST damn time. Is that your excuse, baby, so you can get back out of the house to go see her? Yeah, don't look so surpised sweetie. It was only a matter of time before all of your "errands" caught up with you? I thought we had gotten pass this kinda stuff baby? Isn't that why you asked me to move in here? So we could work it all out and make a life together? LOOK AT ME WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU! Wasn't this... Enough.... For you?
characters story writing
Try this: The Satan Maneuver
Doing my usual late night reading of blogs and I came across the above 'blog novel' by Mark. From reading the first few chapters, I find that his work is quite good and intriguing. Here's an excerpt:
She tried opening her eyes again. Through the slits she braved the lights. She saw shadowed structures. Upright and angled. She closed her eyes against another wave of nausea.
They were driving on a bridge. A huge bridge.
Which one? I live on East 56th. Why are we on a bridge?
"This seems to be the spot."
Braking, stopping, the engine left running. Then the continual clicking of the car's emergency flashers.
She heard the driver's door open. An arm slid under her legs while another pushed behind her lower back. A hand grabbed her right side. She was lifted like a rag doll over the center console between the two seats, and deposited in the driver's seat.
"Just a little matter to take care of before we get down to business."
The voice was vaguely familiar. Not a close friend. No one at work. Who?
The speaker placed her hands on the wheel, moving them around, then lay her left hand on the armrest. After a moment, a hand took her right index finger and pushed it against the emergency flasher switch.
What on earth...?
Anxiety gripped her body, her muscles strained but frozen.
A chuckle. "I guess you've realized we're not in Kansas any more."
Man, there's nothing like a good mystery!
Good morning world. I've been inspired this morning by Rev Run's new book, Words of Wisdom (which is a really good book full of motivational words) and I wanted to share the following excerpt:
Find things to be thankful for. The perfect time to be thankful is when major problems arise! The Master, Jesus, never panicked when there was a shortage; he would simply lift up the problem and thank God that it was already done! Jesus only saw abundance. Be thankful. What you see is what you get.
This page got me to thinking, when was the last time I said thank you or was thankful for all that I have right now. Shoot, in my quest to 'have-it-all', I've neglected to appreciate the here and now. So, I'd like to take the time right now to say thanks to the Lord above for the following:
1. My family: I love each and everyone of them, including the ones that only call when they want something. I'm thankful that they continue to love me as well even when I turn into a bossy u-know-what.
2. My friends: It's not easy being my friend. I know this by the number of folks I surround myself with, but I'm thankful for ones I do have and I value the life lessons that I've learned (and will continue to learn)from them
3. My sanity: When Gnarls Barkley came out with the song, Crazy, I just knew they were talking about me. Lord, you know I've been up and I've been down. Still you've helped to put my feet on solid ground. (sidebar: Why am I know singing Something In The Way You Make Me Feel by Stephanie Mills?) Additionally, I'm thankful for the fact that I've been able to really open up as of lately and not shy away from all that I am inside.
4. My car: I don't know how you done it, Lord, but you've managed to keep my car running even though the check engine light has been on for the past year.
Well, I'm done. You guys got anything you're thankful about?
rev run words of wisdom stephanie mills just blogging
The Headline Reads: Dentist Puts Gold Teeth on Pet Cat
Goodness gracious, this cat is doing it big kitty style. LMAO! Here's an excerpt:
His owner, dentist David Steele, said he gave Sebastian gold crowns to help strengthen the fanged feline's teeth. Steele said he was worried the unique canines would break off or become a problem.
"It's possible to work on animals the same way we do humans," he said. "I did it to strengthen (Sebastian's) teeth, but it had an excellent cosmetic result. The cat gets a lot of attention now. Everyone is tickled to death when they see him."
Sebastian's two gold teeth protruding from his furry face make him seem a little menacing, like a hip-hop star's guard-cat or a movie villain's pet. The feline didn't seem too happy with his new look at first.
Steele said the cost for each gold tooth is about the same as for humans — about $900 each.
more crazy photos here crazy photos cat with gold teeth crazy news
I’m seriously going through it today. Feeling a bit on the sad side. Funny, I was reading my horoscope today and it had this to say:
Your salty mood makes loved ones laugh. Your work benefits from it, too, as you put your personality into every task. However, do watch your words around sensitive souls who are inclined to take offense where none is meant.
I’ve always believed in astrology and damn this is so on target. Anyhow, it’s FRIDAY and I am so looking forward to a weekend full of martinis. I’ve been doing a lot of drinking these past few weekends, but naturally it’s always after the kids have gone to bed. I swear there’s nothing like a nice drink to mellow out to. Looks like last night there were a lot of stars right in my backyard at the JW Marriott for a salute to Cathy Hughes (ain’t she the bomb?) of Radio One. If I would’ve known about it I could’ve stayed my behind on 15th St, walked over there, and snapped some flicks. (Instead I was admiring this guy, who was protesting a worthy cause.) Oh well. It’s nice to see black star power coming together to celebrate this lady! Speaking of celebrities, what’s up with the IRS in regards to this story?
IRS Targets Award Show Goody Bags
Academy Will Now Stick to Giving Out Oscar Trophies
Movie stars appearing at the Academy Awards will no longer receive the lavish goody baskets they have come to expect -- worth as much as $100,000 each and including freebies such as iPods, resort vacations, coupons for laser eye surgery, jewelry and high-priced lingerie -- because of a crackdown by the federal tax collector.
The Internal Revenue Service and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences yesterday announced they have reached a settlement on undisclosed taxes owed to the government on the "gifts" received at the Oscars in the last several years, through 2005.
The academy also announced it will no longer give out the bags, saying the board quietly voted last April to end the practice. In recent years, the academy has given the bags -- also known as gift bags or swag -- to as many as 200 hosts, performers and winners on Oscar night. "There's no special red-carpet tax loophole for the stars," IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said in a prepared statement. "Whether you're popping the popcorn, sitting in the audience or starring on the big screen, you need to respect the law and pay your taxes."
Typically, if the IRS finds someone has failed to pay taxes but no fraud is involved, it assesses back taxes, interest and penalties for only the preceding three years. In this instance, if 200 people received $100,000 baskets in each of the three years through 2005, the taxable non-cash income would be $60 million.
Neither IRS spokesmen nor Academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger would confirm or deny that number. Nor would they say whether, under the terms of the settlement, the IRS forgave back payment, interest and penalties. Nor would they say whether the Academy has paid a lump sum on behalf of past recipients.
If the agency forgave the debt, that means U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill.
Now how the hell are you going to try NOW to collect/settle taxes on all them swag bags? I really can’t believe that the almighty IRS didn't know all about this ‘gift-giving’ going on in Hollywood. Shit, I still owe tax money from THIS year and they’ve been riding me like a pony to hurry up and pay them. Is this a classic sign of preferential treatment? Hmm, I wonder, if we can expect attendance to dip at these award shows because of all this.
Well, school starts on Monday and what does that mean for me – no more 30-minute commutes to work with all the expected increase in traffic. It was cool to see the kiddies enjoying Russ Parr’s Back-To-School concert in today’s paper. I can only hope that they stay that enthusiastic when it comes time to crack them books open…
And speaking of cracking something open, why the hell are supporters of Wynn and Edwards throwing 'bows up at PGCC (that’s Prince George’s Community College for my out of towners)? Here’s an excerpt:
The fight outside the forum in Largo echoed the verbal pounding that Wynn endured from Edwards, a Prince George's County civic activist who has mounted a lively challenge to the seven-term incumbent congressman.
Several Edwards supporters said they were riding in a caravan to the forum at Prince George's Community College when they noticed a fight.
Pierre Cauthen, an Edwards volunteer, said two Wynn supporters were ripping up Edwards signs when someone from her campaign asked them to stop.
"Words were exchanged," Cauthen said. "And the Wynn supporter hit the Donna Edwards supporter. Then another Wynn supporter jumped on him, too."
Wynn said yesterday that his supporter was acting in self-defense.
"One of their people hit my people," Wynn said. "They got the worst of it."
Deidra Hall, a spokeswoman for the college, said a witness called about an altercation involving the "snatching of signs." Hall said one person was given a citation for disorderly conduct. No other details, including the names of the campaign workers, were available.
This is totally embarrassing and regardless of what these candidates are saying, this makes BOTH OF THEM look bad. (You can watch some video here.) Damn, let’s try to keep it clean kiddies...
cathy hughes russ parr swag bags donna edwards albert wynn
I just feel like sharing/reading a little poetry. I've always loved this poem and it's helped to cheer me up when I'm going through my mood swings...
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
(c) Maya Angelou
I'll DEFINITELY Be Watching: When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
My husband and I decided to cancel our HBO service a long time ago, but with the above documentary on its way next Monday, I am surely going to make it a point to reinstate our coverage! The events of last year (and what's still going on this year) are an American tradegy indeed.
UPDATE: Here's a excerpt from Spike's interview with HBO:
HBO: When did you know you had to do a film about this?
Spike Lee: When Hurricane Katrina went through New Orleans or around it, I was in Venice, Italy at a film festival. It was a very painful experience to see my fellow American citizens, the majority of them African- Americans, in the dire situation they were in. And I was outraged with the slow response of the federal government. And every time I'm in Europe, any time something happens in the world involving African-Americans, journalists jump on me, like I'm the spokesperson for 45 million African-Americans, which I'm not. But many of them expressed their outrage too. And one interesting thing is that these European journalists were saying the images they were seeing looked like they were from a third world country, not the almighty United States of America.
It was around that time that I decided that I would like to do this. And as soon as I got back to New York, I called up (HBO's) Sheila Nevins, and we met, and she agreed to go forward. What many people say in this film is that what happened in New Orleans is unprecedented. Never before in the history of the United States has the federal government turned its back on its own citizens in the manner that they did, with the slow response to people who needed help.
Recently, there was another horrific earthquake, a national disaster in Indonesia. And, once again, the United States government was there within two days. Now it's great that we were in Indonesia in two days. But...let's get a globe [LAUGHS], and see what the distance between the United States and Indonesia, and to New Orleans, and the people in the whole Gulf region.
HBO: Why do you think the response was what it was?
Spike Lee: Well, I would just say, what Kanye West expressed, that George Bush doesn't care about black people. Many people think it had nothing to do with race, it had more to do with class. You have a large population who happened to be poor, and if they did vote they didn't vote Republican anyway. Everybody was on vacation. Ms. Rice was buying Ferrigamo shoes on Madison Avenue while people were drowning, then went to see Spamalot. Cheney was on vacation. Bush was on vacation, and even when the President cut short his vacation, he did not fly directly to New Orleans. He did not fly directly to the Gulf region. He had the pilot of Air Force One do a fly-over.
Politicians do many things that are symbolic. And people might say well, what's the good if it's just symbolic? Sometimes there's a lotta good in symbolism. In 1965 with Hurricane Betsy, then President Lyndon B. Johnson flew to New Orleans, and went to the Lower Ninth Ward. He shined a flashlight in his face in the dark and said, I'm Lyndon B. Johnson, I'm the President of the United States and we care about you. George Bush did not feel he had to do that. He showed up late, and the damage had been done already.
One of the things I hope this documentary does is remind Americans that New Orleans is not over with, it's not done. Americans responded in record numbers to help the people of the Gulf Coast, but let's be honest. Americans have very, very short attention spans. And, I'll admit there was eventually a thing called Katrina fatigue. But if you go to New Orleans, only one-fourth of the population is there. People are still not home. So hopefully, this documentary will bring this fiasco, this travesty, back to the attention of the American people. And maybe the public can get some politicians' ass in the government to move quicker, and be more efficient in helping our fellow American citizens in the Gulf region.
TWP article Spike Lee on HBO Hurricane Katrina
Today is Wednesday, I'm at lunch, and I'm experiencing writer's block. I really should be working on this story I'm writing for this contest, but I'm having a problem concentrating. My mind keeps wandering around and right now it's stumbled back into this dream I had last night about one of my friends. I dreamed that said friend had died in the weirdest way. We were all on the dance floor grooving when suddenly friend falls down and never wakes up. WTF? I swear, I really need to stop listening to Madonna's Confessions On A Dance Floor, so instead I've moved to Xtina's (that's Christina Aguilera for those who don't know) new release, Back To Basics. Well in my little opinion, I disagree a bit with what was said in this review:
Aguilera has a tendency to sound detached and emotionless, as if she's unable to inhabit a song. She might be mechanically perfect, or something close to it, but she still seems to lack emotional range, particularly when she's not blasting the high notes.
Now, how is it that Cassie's new album can be noted as "one of the best pop albums released this year", but Xtina's album is remarked as having "overreached, and the result is a bit of a mess, as she's somehow decided that overblown power ballads and inauthentic blues songs pair perfectly with sharp, jazzed-up hip-hop bangers." WTF? Granted there are some tired songs on this joint, but at least Christina actually sings, bringing a beautiful vocal range to songs like Oh Mother, F.U.S.S. (Interlude) (apparently, this is an ode to someone (Scott Storch!) who was f-ing with her while she was trying to make this album), Without You, I Got Trouble (I especially like this one! LOL!), Hurt, and Mercy On Me. This young lady is doing the damn thing and I say, give her a few more years and she just might surprise all the haters.
Now, how the hell did I get on this topic...
Christina Aguilera writing music reviews
The Headline Reads: Fire Hazard Causes Dell To Recall Laptop Batteries
Now, I know why my work issued Dell Latitude D600 keeps shutting off on me! Since I first received this baby, I've gone through two hard drives, numerous blue screens of death, and countless man hours wasted recreating lost data. Shit, it's about damn time they recalled these things! I just feel bad for this guy:
In an incident last month, Thomas Forqueran, 62, of Arizona, was loading his truck and smelled smoke. Flames were shooting out of his Dell Inspiron laptop, which he had placed on the passenger side of the vehicle, and spread as the fire ignited ammunition that was also in the truck. The truck, a 1966 Ford F-250 passed down from his father, was destroyed by fire.
"I see Dell commercials half a dozen times a night, saying 'What can we build for you today?' " Forqueran said. "And I say, 'Grandpa's truck.' "
Dell batteries Dell laptops are a fire hazard? News
I know you hear me at night. Deep in my thoughts of what it is I think I should be doing with my life. I talk to you so much that I miss writing to you like I've done for so many years. I spent last night reading some of my old letters to you and I'm amazed by my growth as a woman, daughter, mother, and friend. Yet, I still have a long road ahead of me and naturally I'm scared Lord, but I'm also excited by the possibilities. I know that everything that is happening in my life is a result of the ultimate plan you have for me. With so many things running in and out of my life, I need balance. I know I need to pray more for direction, insight, and more importantly patience, but you know what I need God. You knew before I even put my fingers to this keyboard and there's immense comfort in knowing that through it all, you are always here for me to talk to.
my life letters to God
I am so Hung Up on this verse from Madonna:
No time to hesitate
Those who run seem to have all the fun
I'm caught up
I don't know what to do
Monday found me butt ass tired from a weekend of partying (Happy 51st Dad!) and movies (The Pulse sucked ass, but Mr. 3000 was too funny!), but I made it to work on time. I learned today that this week in DC is Summer Restaurant Week, so I'm debating which restaurants to hit Downtown...B Smith's, DC Coast, Fogo de Chao, or maybe Georgia Brown's. Geez, so many choices so little time! Speaking of time, I really want to go some fricking where, but I can't go on a trip anytime soon considering I have NO VACATION TIME at work! I've been moping hard over not being able to go to Disney this year, but I guess there's a bright side - I'll be able to go twice next year! YESSSSSSSSSS! We're definitely going to do an adults-only trip and a family trip, so I'm really excited to start planning that... Damn, is it 5:30 yet... Time goes by... So slowly
Who have you inspired today? Who have you loved without expecting something in return? What helped you to get out of the bed this morning? Why did you decide to take the path that you're on right now in your life? How are you doing so far in your journey? Are you tired? Can you hold on? Do you just wanna give up? If you do, will you ever know the joy of success?
Here's a little trivia - what song did these lyrics come from?
Bob got it goin' on with no job
And everything Rob got he got from Robin
And everything she got she got ho-hoppin'
My girl Jilly wanna be like Jackie
Fat rope chains and I think that's wick-wacky
Tom and Dick wanna be like Harry
Little do they know he's bitin' on Barry
Stan was a scam, but Vinnie's legit
Mercedes coupe hometroop with no kit
A businessman with a beeper for a reason
Not like Tim because it's in this season
For what it's worth, I've been inspired by this song tonight (in case you were wondering the answer to the trivia is Expressions by Salt-N-Pepa) to give a little bit more of me, to go a bit deeper into my inner core and give you some more shit you probably didn't want to know. I thought I wanted to do that by writing 100 more things about me, but I'm too wrapped up in my thoughts to pull anything out. I've been feeling so damn moody lately! I can't seem to understand what the hell is going on? One minute, I'm ready to jump my hubby's bones and the next, I wanna break one of his bones. So, where does a chick go when life's mood swings have her fucked up in the head? Well, here of course. I swear, I know I would be so insane right now without music. This semester at Kaplan, I find myself in the middle of Accounting I and Effective Writing - can you guess which class I like the most? What's the point of a degree anyway? Society has us all thinking that you can't do anything anymore without some higher education. HA! I can name a lot of folks who have made a nice living for themselves without some stupid piece of paper: Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Quentin Tarantino, David Geffen, and Thomas Edison to name a few (sidenote: I'm at a loss for any black folks???), but as tired as I am I can't quit now.
On another note, has anyone seen The Devil Wears Prada? If, you haven't here's a clip...
I totally loved this movie! Not only was it funny, but I saw a lot of myself in the main characters, Andy and Miranda, which got me thinking - why is it that we allow what we do to define who we are? Shit, I could spend all night answering that question, but The Devil also made me long for more black films that dig a bit deeper into the spectrum of our lives/history. I mean, it would really be interesting to see some of the drama at VIBE or Source magazine played out on film...
my life trivia the devil wears prada Vibe The Source
I finally did it! I've finished my book review of RM Johnson's newest novel, Do You Take This Woman?, but I wanted to share with all my writing blog buddies (and the whole world for that matter) that RM Johnson is having a writing contest! Here are the details from his website:
I would like to give all of you guys who fancy yourselves writers an opportunity to have your work seen by my many readers, and the rest of the literature loving population. The publication is scheduled for mid 2007 and will be sold in all major book stores, discount stores, i.e. Wal-Mart, Target, on-line, and all other venues where books are sold. This will be a great opportunity for the unpublished writer to gain exposure for their work.
There are three stages to this contest.
First--email me a sample short story of yours. That story will be judged on it's content, and quality of style. But that will not be the story that will be ultimately published.If you are selected as a writer to be included in the project, you will be notified, at which time you will receive the theme, the title and additional guidlines for submission for the actual story that will be considered for publication. This safeguard is in place to protect the concept of the book from theft. You guys will love the idea, and have a ball writing the stories! After you have been given the theme, and have submitted your story, there will be a selection process, and authors of selected stories will be notified.
The rules are very simple.
1. Sample stories should be no longer than 5 double spaced pages.
2. Stories should be original works, submitted by the author.
3. All submissions should be sent to email@example.com.
4. Deadline is Jan 1, 2007.
Best of luck to all that enter because I know I'm going to!!! Will you?
writing contest RM Johnson
I had to post this after reading it in my girl Newy's blog. For those that don't know I am a free-spirited Aquarius and this definition of babies born in February fits me to a T! (sidebar: this is totally on point about my Sag hubby, too!) So, I'm curious - do you agree with what this says about your birthday month?
Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. sexiest out of everyone. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Horny. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizing dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions. Repost this in 5 mins and you will talk to someone new and realize that you are a perfect match.
Attractive personality. sexy. Affectionate Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Great kisser. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Observant and assesses others.If you repost this in the next 5 mins, you will meet your new love in 8 days.
Suave and compromising. Funny and humorous. Stubborn. Very talkative. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal. Does work well with others. Very confident. Sensitive. Positive Attitude. Thinking generous. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Able to cheer everyone up and/or make them laugh. Able to motivate oneself and others. Understanding. Fun to be around. Outgoing. Hyper. Bubbly personality. Secretive. Boy/girl crazy. Loves sports, music, leisure and traveling. Systematic. Hot but has brains. If you repost this in 5 mins, a cutie that's caught your eye will make an introduction to you will realize that you are very much alike in the next 2 days.
Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Shy towards oppisite sex. Easily consoled. Systematic. Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. If you repost this in the next 5 minutes, you will become close to someone you do not speak to much in the next 4 days. Overall...this is me.
You've got the best personality and are an absolute pleasure to be around. You love to make new friends and be outgoing. You are a great flirt and more than likely have an a very attractive partner. A wicked hottie. It is also more than likely that you have a massive record collection. You have a great choice in films, and may one day become a famous actor/actress yourself - heck, you've got the looks for it!!! IN the next 6 days you will meet someone that may possibly become one of your closest friends, if you repost this in 5 minutes.
Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people's feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Spazzy at times. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover. Repost this in the next 5 mins and your reputation will boost someway in the next 12 days
outgoing personality. takes risks. feeds on attention. no self control. kind hearted. self confident. loud and boisterous. VERY revengeful. easy to get along with and talk to. has an "every thing's peachy" attitude. likes talking and singing. loves music. daydreamer. easily distracted. Hates not being trusted. BIG imagination. loves to be loved. hates studying. in need of "that someone". longs for freedom. rebellious when withheld or restricted. lives by "no pain no gain" caring. always a suspect. playful. mysterious. “charming" or "beautiful" to everyone. stubborn. curious. independent. strong willed. a fighter. repost in 5 mins and you will meet the love of your life sometime next month.
Active and dynamic. Decisive and haste but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people's problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Usually you have many friends. Enjoys to make love. Emotional. Stubborn. Hasty. Good memory. Moving, motivates oneself and others. Loves to travel and explore. Sometimes sexy in a way that only their lover can understand. if you do not repost this in the next 5 mins, someone very close to you will become mad at you in the next 8 days.
Loves to chat. Loves those who love them. Loves to takes things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn't pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Brave and fearless. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care to control emotions. Unpredictable. Extremely smart, but definitely the hottest AND sexiest of them all. repost this in 5 mins .
Trustworthy and loyal. Very passionate and dangerous. Wild at times. Knows how to have fun. Sexy and mysterious. Everyone is drawn towards your inner and outer beauty and independent personality! Playful, but secretive. Very emotional and temperamental sometimes. Meets new people easily and very social in a group. Fearless and independent. Can hold their own. Stands out in a crowd. Essentially very smart. usually, the greatest men are born in this month. If you ever begin a relationship with someone from this month, hold on to them because their one of a kind. repost in 5 mins & you will excell in a major event coming up sometime this month.
This straight-up means your the most good-looking person possible... better than all of these other months! Loyal and generous. Patriotic. Competitive in everything. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Easy to talk to, though hard to understand. thinks far with vision, yet complicated to know. Easily influenced! by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having lots of ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Has that someone always on his/her mind. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Abiding. Able to show character. one guy/girl kind of person. Loveable. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. loves music. pretty/handsome. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Sensitive. [A hott new guy/girl will catch your eye & you will catch theirs too in the next 6 days, if you repost in 5min
Pretty/Handsome. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Sensitive. Down-to-Earth. Stubborn. Repost this in 5 mins and you will meet someone new in 8 days that will perfectly balance your personality.
Happy Friday! Well, today's file finds us looking at some poor doggies who have been subjected to being dressed up in the craziest of costumes! Although, secretly I find them all cute in one way or another, by the looks of their faces, at least now I know why doggies hate halloween...
See File 7/18/06 See File 6/9/06 crazy photos pet costumes
Live in the Metro DC area? Well, you are coordinally invited to The First Annual Urban Cowboy B.B.Q & Trail Ride
Saturday, August 5, 2006
The Little Big Horn Farm
10AM - 11PM
ALL ARE WELCOME!!!
But Please No Kids Under 12!
To register and learn more, click here.
I have a birthday party to attend on that date, so I won't be there, but I still want to support and pass the info along. (Thanks Omar, for the invite!)
blackboxx media O.S. Cowboys
The Headline Reads: Empty, and Fulfilled
After reading the above story, I'm feeling oh so beat up, but hopeful that there are still good people out there in this crazy world. Here's an excerpt:
Chief among those people are the homeowners: people like Dorothy Ward, a sweet-faced, sad-eyed black woman of 62. Nine months before Katrina, she and her fiance bought a little three-bedroom, two-bath house in Fillmore, a lower-middle-class neighborhood of identical tan brick bungalows south of Lake Ponchartrain and east of City Park. They worked together on fixing it up. She bought new sheets and linens; he was refinishing a cabinet for her china collection. They were starting a new life together. Then Katrina arrived.
She evacuated to Dallas with her daughter and niece. He was going to come later. But she lost track of him in the chaos after the storm. She was trying to keep up with the rest of her family and somewhere along there one of those family members died and she had to deal with that. She never filed a missing-persons report for her fiance: She thought that cost money, and she had none.
When Ward finally got back to New Orleans in March, she found a disaster zone, her house flood-soaked, locked and muddy, with no sign of her fiance. The china cabinet he had been refinishing for her under the carport was now perched askew on one corner atop a six-foot fence abutting the house next door.
She tried contacting public and private agencies for help in cleaning out her house, but she wasn't feeling well. A medical checkup revealed cancer. Finally, 10 months after the storm, she paid a neighbor to start cleaning the house. He found her fiance's body under the moldy horror show inside. The flood-soaked linens around him were still folded in the packages from the store.
After that nobody would go near the house. The St. Andrews crew heard her story, and we were there in three days and had her house cleaned back to the studs and rafters in two more. She was so grateful she wept. When the volunteers wouldn't take money, she brought us all fried chicken she had cooked in her daughter's FEMA trailer.
"God sent you all to me. You are my miracle," Ward told the grimy workers, smiling through tears in her white church outfit as she left for yet another funeral. "You can't know how much you've done for me. I feel so blessed."
Well, then as God would have it, I found this little treasure in my email inbox. I think it's worth sharing as well...
Aren’t You Proud To Be Black?
by James Clingman
Originally posted 7/6/2006
Update: Sorry about the formatting! I can't seem to fix it!
You know, sometimes it pays to take a little time to reflect on just who we
are. From time to time, we should think about our relatives, and our people
in general, and reflect on the contributions they have made to this world
and, most especially, to this country. We should take time out to give
ourselves credit for being, as Ed Robinson,(author of Journey of the
Songhai People, calls us, “The fittest of the fittest of the fittest” Black
people on the face of the earth. Don’t you think we deserve kudos for not
only surviving but thriving in this land we call America? I do. So, let’s
If you had the privilege of knowing your grand and great grand parents, you
were probably witness to some of their amazing talents and abilities. You
also had access to their knowledge and wisdom, although many of us didn’t
learn from it. We saw our relatives build houses without architectural
drawings, cure diseases without doctors and prescriptions, stop bleeding
with cobwebs, raise enough food for their families and two or three others,
cure meat in a smokehouse, dig wells, and draw poison out of cut with a
piece of fatback.
Our relatives could make a meal out what we thought was nothing; they could
sew up the holes in our socks, patch our jeans, and put cardboard in our
shoes to make them last just a little while longer. They could deliver
babies, as my great-grandmother did for the birth of my brother and me.
They helped one another with whatever they had, and it was dinner time at
all the neighbors’ houses anytime we wanted to stop by.
Remember the hambone, checkers, homemade ice cream you had to churn, a pot of beans and some cornbread all week long, and that nasty, greasy, slimy,
castor oil? How about having to take cod liver oil every morning, and cold
oil and sugar, goose grease, rock candy and whiskey, and that stinking
little bag some of us had to wear around our necks when we were sick? Our
relatives knew their stuff, didn’t they?
The music they made was unbelievable. Their voices and their mastery of
musical instruments, even without the benefit of formal training, was
something to behold. Our folks were some piano-playin’, guitar-pluckin’,
drum-beatin’, horn-blowin’, high-steppin’, sangin’ brothers and sisters –
and they still are. Doesn’t that make you proud?
And then there were the economic collectives they established to help take
care of burials and other critical issues. Our people knew they had to pool
their resources, and they knew they had to take care of themselves. Maybe
that’s why they knew how to do so many things with their hands. As I look
back at my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, I am amazed at what they did
during what were pretty rough times, at least socially.
They established their own business enclaves all over this country, places
like Greenwood in Tulsa and Hayti in Durham, N.C. They amassed wealth
beyond imagination and, comparatively speaking, far beyond what most of us
have today. Prohibited from participating in the general marketplace and
without the government subsidies handed out to White-owned corporations,
they started businesses and eventually created A.G. Gaston Enterprises,
S.B. Fuller Company, Madame C.J. Walker’s hair products, Johnson Publishing
Company, and Motown Records. What strength and determination they had.
Aren’t you proud of who you are, where you came from, and what your
relatives did to make sure you had food on the table, clothes on your back,
and a roof over your head? We should celebrate our Blackness and always
cherish our culture. As Claud Anderson teaches, we should be proud to be
Black because God made us first, in His image; and He placed us in a
perfect place, on land that contained every vital mineral and natural
resource necessary for growth and prosperity. He gave us enough wisdom to
share with the world and bring others out of the darkness into the light of
knowledge. We are His special people.
So with all of that going for us, why wouldn’t we be proud of who we are? A
lack of pride and love for ourselves would be an affront to God, like
slapping Him in His face and saying, “I don’t like what You did. Yes, you
made me first, you made me special, you gave me wisdom, you gave me the
richest land on earth, and you made me the strongest among men but, God,
you also made me Black, and I don’t want to be Black. It’s too hard being
Black; it’s too stressful being Black, God. And if you want to know the
real truth, God, I am ashamed of being Black.”
Can you imagine some of our people thinking that way? I know we have been
through a lot in this country and the struggle continues, as they say, but
truth can never be destroyed; hold on to it. We are still here, still
standing after all the blood, sweat, and tears of our people. Black people
have persevered, and we will continue to do so.
Take a moment to give some credit to your people, those who survived so you
could be here today, “the fittest of the fittest.” Give honor to those who
have passed on and be proud of what they did. Be proud of whom you are and
the legacy you are obligated to uphold. Understand that you, too, must pass
on a legacy, and that will only happen if you love yourself and your
people, if you value your history, and if you take pride in the greatness
of Black people.
James E. Clingman, an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati's
African American Studies department, is former editor of the Cincinnati
Herald newspaper and founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American
Chamber of Commerce.
In the words of Trey Songz, I don't wanna leave, but I Gotta Go. Right. Now. Yesterday on my way to work, my neighbor stops me as I'm placing the kids in their car seats...
Neighbor: Morning, when you get a chance tell your husband that they are breaking into cars around here again (side note: a few months back - 6-7 cars were stolen/vandalized). Last night, they broke the passenger side window on my truck.
Me: Whoa! I'm sorry to hear that! Did they take anything?
Neighbor: Naw, luckily the neighbor down from you, cut her porch light on and scared them away. I don't keep anything in my car anyway.
Me: Yeah, that's good thing to do. Well, I'll be sure to tell him.
Neighbor: Alright. Take care...
Me: You too.
So as I'm peeping out my window at 1:30 this morning, I see this Dodge Durango filled with 3 males. I'm wondering, what the hell is going on here? I watch as they get out, walk around to a few cars, get back in their truck, get out, walk around, get back in - over and over again for what seems to be some really suspicious activity. Right then and there, I came to the realization that I need to move. I'm tired of the tiny closets, small backyard, no privacy, just all things associated with townhouse living. I want a single family house, but this urge couldn't have came at such a worse time in my financial life considering I got school loans, car loans, business loans, mortgage loans - just all kinds of loans and the last thing I want to worry about is someone stealing my broke down RX300 - Urgh! I don't want to concede to my husband's urges to move forward with using the equity towards another house so freaking soon - we've only owned the house for three years!
So I arrive to work today, grab the paper, and dig into my usual breakfast of a coke & wheat/cheese crackers. I head over to my favorite column, The Color of Money, where there's a great article about settling old credit card debit and my goodness, I almost choke on the quote from our realtors wife Deenice.
Hendricks said Johnson is also wrong in thinking that paying the debt in full will positively affect her credit score. The problem is that once you become seriously delinquent on an account, the damage is done.
Paying the debt in full doesn't necessarily put you in a better position with a mortgage lender, either.
"From a mortgage perspective, as long as the debt was paid, whether it was for the full amount or under an agreement, is all that matters," said Deenice Galloway, a mortgage loan specialist in Bowie.
In evaluating mortgage applicants, lenders just want to see that the debt was resolved in some way, Galloway said.
WELL - is it a coincidence or a smoke signal from God (LOL!)? Either way, it just might be time to contact our realtor and work out some of these financial obligations...
neighborhood issues financial issues house hunting