Monday, November 30, 2009

You're Killin Me Slowly!!!!



Today I had a very interesting chat about Crisis Generators...folks who always have something dramatic (negative) to share. Almost as if they cannot function in life without something bad happening to them. And of course...they need to share the continual stream of bad news with you. So my dilemma as I've gotten older is that I am having a hard time trying to sit and listen. My life is pretty damn good. I love and am loved by lots of folks. There isn't too much that I would change. So I find it hard to want to listen to how bad someone else's life is. I just have nothing to say. And I feel a little put out when someone thinks that to be a friend is to allow them to emotionally "dump" on you. Hey...how bout you handle that and tell me the story of you overcoming an issue rather than telling me the day to day crap your in?!! I don't know...sounds a little harsh, but that's how I feel. The most ironic part about the CG's is that they tend to be hella sensitive too. So you really can't tell them STFU without that becoming a whole other issue that at some point you'll have to address.

So what can we do about these CG's?? Here are some suggestions I think I'll try in the future:

1. When I get a whiff of the oncoming madness, I'll make sure that I am clearly not a counselor.

2. If there is a pattern of bad shit happening in their life, I will slowly walk away...with one eye open just in case.

3. I will check whatever is in my personality that would even have these folks think I would be remotely interested in dealing with all this.

4. Smile and keep it moving. How can you be mad because your life sucks and mine doesn't?!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saunders Sermons- Classic Delight


I really don't have much to say about this guy...I think the music more than speaks for itself. It's a lovely combination of R&B and your dad's old jazz music. Definitely a breath of fresh air...exactly what I needed when I finally found out about him. If you're into credentials, watch the Roc Boys video by Jay-Z or catch him on Maxwell's new CD. Dude is fiyah....Downloads available at iTunes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cteJ-Fj279M

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Fiasco That is Tyler Vs. Spike




This topic has really interested me, especially since the 60 minute piece. I am not a fan of Tyler Perry movies; if you've seen one, you get the idea about all the rest of them. Spike, on the other hand...I have loved since the 80's when I first saw School Daze. After that, I pretty much have seen every Spike Lee movie. So I've had a few conversations with people about it and I've come to the conclusion that this really isn't about who put the "best image" of Black folks on the big screen; its more about a generational divide.

I grew up in a time when there was no hip hop...I remember when Public Enemy first came out. De La and MTV Raps. I remember how our (Black) culture changed as we as a group became more aware of who we were. Spike Lee movies were a part of that culture and supporting us being more than comedic relief. I remember the Cosby Show on Thursday's at 8pm. Different World came on as I was getting ready for college. Everything about being Black in the late 80's-early 90's was on some pro-black, educate yourself, do better, learn about where you came from type art.

Now we are in the times of Gucci Mane, BET and Tyler Perry. We're right back where we were with gang issues, our people are poorer than ever, we're reproducing at alarming rates and dying just as fast. Our images in the media are comedy...as if we don't care how we represent ourselves. So long as we get that check, I guess. This is the part were I disconnect. I just wasn't raised this way.

Where I feel the difference is is that I remember before there was a Cosby Show, before X-Clan and Boogie Down Productions, before Malcom X in the theaters. The generation right behind me were either babies or were born afterwards. I grew up with my mom and dad in the suburbs. Even though I was raised amongst non-Black people, I still grew up having a very clear idea of who I was and that was supported by the music I listened to, the TV shows I watched and the movies I saw. Sure there was some junk on too...but there was so much more.... School Daze and Different World encouraged me to go to college. Artists like Brand Nubian encouraged me to read more.
How has a Tyler Perry impacted us?

So lets do a comparison shall we???
Spike Lee hired actors that weren't "stars" yet...Laurence Fishburn, Samuel Jackson, Denzel Washington, Giancarlo Esposito, Halle Berry...These people are mega stars now with the ability to portray whatever story they would like.

Tyler Perry actors...himself, and a bunch of actors and actresses that have already been mildly successful in the past. The "new" people may get a spot on one of his TV shows, but that's about it.

Spike is from New York, but he made the best documentary on Hurricane Katrina and has followed up with the people of New Orleans. BTW, Phylis has a book of her poetry coming out. Did you know?

Tyler Perry is from New Orleans...where's a movie about that?

I don't know ya'll...I'm just rambling, but it's so obvious to me that we know better! We've done better...why in the hell are we defending us reiterating old stereotypes like we're living in pre-civil war times..."if we can make them laugh, maybe we can sneak a good message in!". I don't need to laugh to consider life or my blessings or how good God is in my life. And I'm thankful my "madea" taught me to be a lady, carry myself well and respect myself enough not to deal with people that would even think of doing me harm. So thanks Tyler, but I won't need the "grit ball" lesson. I was raised better. And thank you Spike for teaching me the it doesn't matter if I have good or bad hair, if someone's caught jungle fever and that Tawana told the truth. I appreciate you trying to make us WAAAAAAKEEEEE UPPPPPPPP!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Get Familiar....



....QUICK! If you aren't familiar with Eric Roberson, I am sure you are familiar with tunes he has penned such as Musiq's hit song "Previous Cats" or Dwele's "Hold On". He has worked with Soul greats such as Jill Scott and Lalah Hathaway.

On his latest release, Music Fan First, he continues on the path of his previous releases with solid music and lyrics. No, this won't be played on the radio. Commercial radio isn't ready for him yet. I think "Break It Down" would probably be his best chance at a radio hit.

His collaborations prove to be a highlight of this project. The tune with Lalah Hathaway "Dealing" is one of the best songs that highlights the best of each of their voices while still staying true to great song writing. Also, "The Hunger" with E Ellington Felton illustrates how he is able to switch from sweet love songs to angst.

This is one soul album for 2009 that you do not want to sleep on...and if you haven't heard some of his earlier work, I suggest you GET FAMILIAR!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Coming to Ame...I Mean Arizona


This has been a wild 4 years here. Phoenix is so different from California, yet...the same.

It's prettier here...no smog, mountains and saguaro's (cactus) everywhere. But there's something very fundamental missing in the Valley of the Sun.

CULTURE!

I miss concerts from my favorite artists. I miss seeing Asians driving down the street instead of just in nail shops. I haven't seen an Indian (from India) since I moved.

It's so basic to those who grew up and live in areas that are culturally diverse. But here...this right here...no diversity really. We do have Native Americans in full force, but other than that, its pretty milktoast in Phoenix.

The reason I notice...and care is that there is something to be said for living amongst different cultures that elevates you. I think that diversity makes you a more well rounded person that will allow for you to function better in society. But what do you do when you live in a culturally stagnant area? How do you learn about different cultures? How do you really value you're own when there is no comparison?!

I'm thankful that I grew up in Southern California; that I chose to spend a good portion of my 20's in LA learning more about other people. It helped develop a tolerance and appreciation that I wouldn't have received otherwise. And say what you want about LA, but the tolerance and understanding that I have about gay and lesbian issues go way beyond my drinking days in WeHo. It helped open my eyes to more than skin color diversity issues.

I love living here. I love that I have a better quality of life. That I can afford to live. Broke in Arizona is a whole other broke than in California. So though I believe I made a smart choice to relocate...I'll always consider LA my home.

When I Fell In Love With Football


...it was in Vegas. I dated a guy who was a gambler. We used to drive to Vegas every other Sunday so he could place his bets (legally!). We'd spend all day in the sports books. And by all day, I mean from the first game all the way to the last on Sundays! I had a choice...either gamble the little bit of money I had or sit and watch with him.

...So I started paying attention. First, to find the teams I wanted to bet on, but eventually certain teams caught my attention. I saw an interview with Terry Glenn and starting paying more attention to the Cowboys. I wasn't a fan yet...but the fact that they are America's team and even in horrible season's always seemed to fight really had me cheering for them.

...Its been almost 10 years and though I watch football waaay more now than I did back than, I still appreciate their tenacity (though I think letting T.O. go was the stupidest thing they've done). I think this will be a garbage season, but I'm still going to cheer, watch every game I can and have my Cowboys Christmas tree up!!

...I'm not a stat geek...I really don't care about the specific numbers of really any player. I look at it as a team sport and entertainment. I watch all day Sunday, but that's about it. Rarely watch a weekday game because...well....i'm busy! lol...but I love the athleticism and the camaraderie that it provides. Nothing beats going to a game and talking shit with other fans...even if its fans of another team. These days, I look forward to football season...all the drama and intrigue and amazing plays that get 2 teams to the Superbowl. Can't beat it!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Motivation

What is it about people who are successful?

MOTIVATION!

But how does one achieve the motivation they need to get where they want to go? At what age does this self-motivation come? And as a parent, what can I do to foster the dream instead of killing it?

I had a conversation with my step son today about what his goals are as an adult. He said he wants to play basketball. Well, he's a good player, improves every season, very open to coaching. Problem is...he doesn't practice outside of when he has to! So, as a parent, I wonder how he'll get better?!!

I encourage him to dream...I want him to think that the world is larger than Phoenix...that he can attain whatever he'd like in life. But I need for him to understand that the key to achieving a goal is passion and dedication to being the best. Where I need help is trying to find a way to nurture the dream and drill the desire to want to self-improve rather than waiting for a practice day. To be honest...I don't know how.

What can I do as a parent to get him motivated to practice on his own? To do well in school because he will need to be prepared to go to college? How can I show him that a dream deserves 100% of his attention?? I am really stumped.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Hate BET Man....They're Garbage!






BET...Why?!








This comes after viewing the 106 and Park show before the awards with my 8 year old son tonight...So, I'm watching these performances...Hurricane Chris (money doesn't make you cuter), Letoya Luckett (da hell was happening behind her?), Diddy's boys...and in between they're asking people about Michael. Now, maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I swore I heard Debra Lee mention that she was WELL AWARE that the world would be watching what was about to enfold.

What enfolded was shucking and jiving 2009. The best of the best coonery this side of the Atlantic! I need for the host of the tribute to be sober, for the acts that actually honored MJ to have even a little bit of his talent (with the exception of Ne-Yo) and that Joe Jackson be somewhere other than on TV. And BET provided the outlet for all of this...

I realize that Aaron McGruder was probably being a little sarcastic with his imagery of Debra Lee as Cruella Duville out to kill black folks with horrific programming...but upon further inspection I have to say I think he may be right on point! I really think that an afternoon spent watching BET not only dumbs you down, but also desensitizes folks to real issues in our society.
Another point that became obvious to me is that I, as a Black 34 year old woman is no longer their target audience. I'm a grown woman, intelligent that enjoys a "grown" type of entertainment splashed with news (because umm...in case no one at BET knew...change is happening...like...right now!). We are in hard economic times; it is documented that African-American unemployment is the highest, we have the highest number of young, black male suicides. There are just bigger fish to fry than all this dancing and singing...I need facts. My son needs to see reality, not fantasy in the form of College Hill or Hell Date.

STOP FUCKIN SINGING AND DANCING LIKE SHIT IS COOL RIGHT NOW...ITS NOT!


In closing, thanks BET for reiterating that we really are our own worst enemy. And we'll tape it and show it to the world just in case someone wasn't paying attention. We are responsible for the images we portray...and again...we failed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Hustler's Hustle...

I am a Finance Counselor and I talk to adult learners everyday trying to figure out how they can afford school. For the most part, most are looking for the best way to self-promote or maintain their jobs. And than there is a whole other group of "students" who are going to school for the financial aid they can recieve while attending.

Now, I'm not one to knock a hustle...do you boo boo...do you. However, why not actually attend classes? Why not actually finish with a degree?! Why hop from school to school when you could stay put, collect the check and get a degree out of it?! And actually position yourself to make some bread instead of creating a huge bill?! This has fascinated me to no end...the hustle of financial aid without really getting the best benefit...A FREE EDUCATION! So what do you get in the end? $18,000 and the bill and bad credit to prove it:(

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why is the okey doke ok?

Very simple question...difficult to answer for so many. Why are we ok with less than? Why do people accept abuse? Why do we work a job we hate? Why do we just "go through the motions" of our lives? This is all we have...yet so many, myself included just kind of get by. What can I/we do today right now to make our day better than ok? When people ask how I am...I say fantastic...and I mean it. But I want to be able to say that daily, weekly, monthly and yearly!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Art of Discovering My Passion

I have never been the type of person who came out the womb knowing what I wanted to do as a career. I have passing interests, but nothing so concrete that I've enjoyed any work that I've done. Now that I'm going into my 34 year of life however...I feel the pressure to figure something out for myself. What do I hope to accomplish for my 34 year? What goal am I going to set for myself and how easily will I either attain or let it go?! So my current interest is all things interactive on the computer...here are the goals I am setting for myself:
1. Go back to school for marketing and writing
2. Continue to network online
3. Explore topics that are really of interest to me
4. Believe that whatever I dream is nothing compared to what I could really ever have!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Actively Participating...

So one of my New Year resolutions is to more actively participate in my life. I feel that there are times when I'm way more reactive than proactive and this has got to stop! :) I want to be able when someone asks me about my hobbies to thoroughly answer the question. With actual hobby's!

I love interacting with people, but that sometimes is more to my detriment than any benefit. I'm looking for benefits in 2009. For example, I want to exercise more. It is a solo activity, but gives me a lot of me time to really think and come up with a game plan. I'm going to be 34 this year...40's not that far off. What am I waiting for?!!

So my question to u is...what are U waiting for? What will make u disconnect electronically and connect realistically?