Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Look

My template broke. I'm more than a little bummed about it. It would appear that The Blog Cafe went out of business. That's too bad because I liked their templates. Well, I'll just play around until I get something else I like.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I didn't think anything could be worse than my Friday post but this takes the cake:

Children fed 'silly pills,' forced to perform sex shows
  • Story Highlights
  • Defendants convicted of grooming kids for sex shows in "kindergarten" classes
  • They gave Vicodin to the kids and called the drugs "silly pills"
  • Residents thought there were swinger parties going on; didn't know children involved
  • The kids are now in therapy, a Texas Child Protective Services caseworker says

MINEOLA, Texas (AP) -- In the windowless front rooms of a former day care center in a tiny Texas community, children as young as 5 were fed powerful painkillers they knew as "silly pills" and forced to perform sex shows for a crowd of adults.

Two people have already been convicted in the case. Now a third person with ties to the club, previously known in town only as a swingers group, is set to go on trial Monday not far from Mineola, population 5,100.

"This really shook this town," said Shirley Chadwick, a longtime resident of Mineola. "This was horrible."

Patrick Kelly, 41, is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, tampering with physical evidence and engaging in organized criminal activity.

In all, six adults have been charged in connection with the case, including a parent of the three siblings involved.

Jurors this year deliberated less than five minutes before returning guilty verdicts against the first two defendants, who were accused of grooming the kids for sex shows in "kindergarten" classes and passing off Vicodin as "silly pills" to help the children perform.

Jamie Pittman and Shauntel Mayo were sentenced to life in prison. Kelly also faces a life sentence if convicted, and Smith County prosecutors hope for another swift verdict.

Thad Davidson, Kelly's attorney, said his client passed a lie-detector test proving his innocence and worries about getting a fair trial in Tyler, 25 miles southeast of Mineola, which is in Wood County.

"I think it's impossible to get a fair trial within 80 miles of Smith County," Davidson said.

Mineola, about 80 miles east of Dallas, is a close-knit, conservative bean-processing town of with more than 30 churches. Residents there want to put the scandal behind them as quickly as possible.

The one-story building where prosecutors say four children -- the three siblings, now ages 12, 10 and 7, and their 10-year-old aunt -- were trained to perform in front of an audience of 50 to 100 once a week has been vacant since the landlord ousted the alleged organizers in 2004.

Down a slight hill is a retirement home, and even closer is the office of the local newspaper. Doris Newman, editor of The Mineola Monitor, said rumors of swinger parties spread around town but that no one mentioned children being involved.

Newman, who can see the building from her office window, said she remembers the parking lot filling up with more than a dozen cars at night.

In August 2004, an editorial under the headline "Sex In the City" opined that if the swingers left quietly, "we'll try and forget they've infiltrated our town with their set of moral standards."

"It's not that we're trying to look the other way," Newman said. "But there's a lot more to Mineola than that."

According to a Mineola police report, the department first investigated a complaint in June 2005 in which the siblings' foster mother said one of the girls described dancing toward men and another child saying that "everybody does nasty stuff in there."

In the second trial, Child Protective Services caseworker Kristi Hachtel testified, "I've seen a lot and I never in my wildest dreams imagined this. They were preyed upon in probably one of the most heinous ways possible."

The children are now doing better, the welfare agency said.

"Through counseling and therapy sessions, these children are now finally feeling secure and safe," agency spokeswoman Shari Pulliam wrote in an e-mail.

Permanent custody of the three siblings was given to John and Margie Cantrell. This week, prosecutors in California charged John Cantrell with sexually assaulting a child in the state 18 years ago. Margie Cantrell said her husband is innocent.

Kelly's attorney moved Friday asking to postpone the trial in light of the allegations against Cantrell, a state witness. Texas Child Protective Services said it would be "common" for the agency to investigate.

The Rev. Tim Letsch is opening a church in the yellow-plastered building where the children were abused. He acknowledges that building a congregation might be difficult because of the stigma attached to the property.

"You got to decide whether you're willing to forgive those kind of things," Letsch said. "It's a hard deal. Especially for a spiritual person to walk in and say, 'This happened here."'

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Is there a special place in hell for people like this? I mean REALLY now people. This world is going to hell in a hand basket. I have several problems with this situation.
  1. That parents pimped their kids for this
  2. That ADULTS paid to watch this
  3. That parents got paid for their kids to do this
  4. That these children were DRUGGED with Vicodin
  5. That ADULTS paid to watch this AND not one thought it was wrong and went to the police
I'm just very angry and saddened. It's like a blow to the spirit. If Jesus showed up tomorrow, I would not be surprised.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Friday WTF Moment

I read the following article and I had to pause. Enough so that I wanted to actually blog about it. i mean it broke me of my addiction to social networks.

Mass. girls may have made pact to get pregnant
By MELISSA TRUJILLO, Associated Press Writer

The girls showed up repeatedly at the high school health clinic, asking for pregnancy tests. But their reactions to the test results were puzzling: high-fives if they were expecting, long faces if they weren't.

School officials in this hard-luck New England fishing town say an alarming 17 girls — four times the usual number — became pregnant this year. And even more disturbing: Some of the girls may have made a pact to have babies and raise them together.

"A typical girl you would think would say, `Oh my God! What am I going to do now? How am I going to support this baby? How am I going to finish school?'" Superintendent Christopher Farmer said. "These young women clearly have not seen that."

The story exploded after Joseph Sullivan, the principal of Gloucester High School, was quoted by Time magazine this week as saying the girls confessed to making such a pact. Sullivan was on vacation Friday and did not return calls for comment.

The superintendent said he had no independent confirmation of a pact. But he added: "What we do know is there was a group of students being tested for pregnancy on a regular basis, which would suggest they were not taking steps to avoid becoming pregnant, and that when some of them had their babies, they appeared to be very pleased."

None of the girls or their families have come forward to confirm any type of pact, and school and health officials have not identified any of the youngsters.

The girls are all 16 or under, nearly all of them sophomores. The superintendent said they have been reluctant to identify the fathers, many of whom are older. But one of them "is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal was quoted as telling Time.

City and school officials in this town of about 30,000 people 30 miles north of Boston have been struggling for months to explain and deal with the pregnancies, where on average only four girls a year at the 1,200-student high school become pregnant.

Just last month, two officials at the high school health center resigned to protest the local hospital's refusal to support a proposal to distribute contraceptives to youngsters at the school without parental consent. The hospital controls the clinic's funding.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk said Friday there are many contributing factors to what she called a "blip" in the pregnancy rate, from glamorization of teen pregnancy in pop culture to cuts in funding that have reduced teachers and health classes in Gloucester.

"We have fallen on hard times," Kirk said of her city, which has suffered in recent decades with the decline in the fishing industry that has defined Gloucester since the colonial era.

Gloucester is the town that lost six fishermen in the 1991 shipwreck that inspired the book and movie "The Perfect Storm." Its high school teams are known as the Fighting Fishermen.

Student Council member Emily Spreer said many of the girls came from difficult socioeconomic circumstances: "Their circle or clique, they're not the most fortunate family-wise."

"If you're a young person who really is struggling to find an identity for herself, absent the support and the guidance, it can become almost a default option for some to become a mom," said Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. "We need to do more for young people and show them more paths."

Gloucester — a heavily Roman Catholic town with a large Italian and Portuguese population — has long been supportive of teen mothers. The high school has a day care center for students and employees.

Christen Callahan, a former Gloucester High student who had a child when she was 15, said on NBC's "Today" show that some of the girls would ask her about her own pregnancy. "They would say stuff like, `Oh, I think my parents would be fine with it and they would help me,' stuff like that," Callahan said.

Sarah Brown, chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, suggested some of the blame lies with the nation's Hollywood-obsessed culture, in which stories about pregnant celebrities abound.

Just this week, 17-year-old TV star Jamie Lynn Spears, the unmarried sister of Britney Spears, gave birth. "Juno," a wry comedy about a 16-year-old girl who gets pregnant, was one of the most acclaimed movies of the year.

"Baby bumps get written about the same way designer handbags do. It's just one more lifestyle choice, just another personal expression: these shoes, this bump and that handbag," Brown said. "It's not surprising that teenage girls can get confused or even seduced by the allure of celebrity pregnancy."
AP reporters Pauline Arrillaga in Phoenix and Nancy Kelsey and Karen Testa in Boston contributed to this report.

I don't know if these girls really know what they are getting into. Having a baby is easy - raising a baby is a different story. What would you do if your found out your daughter was trying to get pregnant on purpose and couldn't even legally drive a car? Here is my train of thought:

  1. She isn't allowed to get an abortion. She got pregnant on purpose she gets to see the pregnancy through to the end. But - would you let her put the baby up for adoption?
  2. I'm split on adoption. One part of me says that realistically, grandma would be raising the baby while my daughter tries to finish school and work (cause sister needs a job to buy diapers and clothes and pay for daycare). Another part of me thinks that someone else might be able to give the baby the love and care that he/she needs
  3. My child would not know freedom any more - although with me she wouldn't have known it in the first place but she would be under even stricter who, what when and where's. As in who are you going with. What are you going to be doing? Where are you going to be and when will you be home? Plus surprise visits to verify her story
  4. You have to finish school and you need to be working on college plans
That's it for now. This whole story makes my children's lives that much harder because I'm going to be even more vigilant.

Long Time, No Blog

It's been a while since I blogged about anything significant. I blame the following:
  1. The Brook on ning.com
  2. Illinisoul on ning.com
  3. The Brook on ning.com
  4. Illinisoul on ning.com
  5. Mix in a little Facebook
  6. This little thing called work
Essentially I have become addicted to a social network for people that grew up in my hometown and one for my alma mater. Pretty much to the exclusion of everything else. It's ridiculous. Now that the growth of the sites have slowed down - a little - I want to get back to blogging on the regular. I just need to decide what I want to talk about. I say this all the time but I REALLY mean it this time.

Friday, May 16, 2008

You Say It's Your Birthday...

Well today it is my birthday. For once I have plans outside of family dinner. For those wondering why I dropped off the face of the earth, I've been sucked into ning.com. All about the social networks. If one of your so-called friends invites you to join a ning.com network don't be friends with them ANYMORE. Real friends don't introduce friends to ning.com. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008


This is an interesting test. I got 10 out of 11 correct. You are going to hate yourself over this. It scores automatically, too. Take this advice - be sure to think before you answer.

Click here: How Smart Are You?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Be Blessed

Every time I hear "Be Blessed" by Bishop Paul Morton, I feel the spirit move within me. It moves me to tears. Prayer is so powerful. I sometimes wonder if people realize how much so. As the song says "I pray for you. You pray for me. And watch God change things." It doesn't say right away but God will answer you in His own time. Since this has blessed me, I want to bless you. Enjoy and BE BLESSED...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Say What?!

I personally haven't heard the speech Senator Barack Obama gave on race. I've read and heard snippets but finally had the opportunity to read the speech in its entirety. Here it is as found in the Chicago Defender. I'm posting this because I believe in sharing the knowledge and letting people make educated decisions for themselves. I'm also sharing because I believe he says - FINALLY - what many people think but are afraid to say: That race is an issue in America that won't be solved until it is openly acknowledged and dealt with. I hope this is the first step in a new direction.

Barack Obama gives speech on race in U.S.

Text of Obama's March 18 Address on Race Text of Barack Obama's remarks in Philadelphia. "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union." Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy.

Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation's original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution - a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States.

What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign - to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America.

I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction- towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story. I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas.

I've gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world's poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

IT'S A STORY that hasn't made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts - that out of many, we are truly one. Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity.

Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans. This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign.

At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either "too black" or "not black enough." We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn. On one end of the spectrum, we've heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it's based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap.

On the other end, we've heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.

Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed. But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice.

Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

GIVEN MY BACKGROUND, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough.

Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way But the truth is, that isn't all that I know of the man.

The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor.

He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God's work here on Earth - by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, Dreams From My Father, I described the experience of my first service at Trinity: "People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend's voice up into the rafters . . . And in that single note- hope! - I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion's den, Ezekiel's field of dry bones.

Those stories -of survival, and freedom, and hope - became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world.

Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn't need to feel shame about . . . memories that all people might study and cherish - and with which we could start to rebuild." That has been my experience at Trinity.

Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety - the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity's services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor.

They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children.

Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I CAN NO MORE disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love. Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable.

I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through - a part of our union that we have yet to perfect.

And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American. Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, "The past isn't dead and buried. In fact, it isn't even past."

We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African- American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

SEGREGATED SCHOOLS were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven't fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today's black and white students.

Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments - meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations.

That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today's urban and rural communities. A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one's family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened.

And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods - parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement - all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African- Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted.

What's remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn't make it - those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination.

That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations - those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future.

Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright's generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years.

That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings. And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews.

The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning.

That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change.

But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

IN FACT, A SIMILAR ANGER exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race.

Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor.

They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Long Time, No Post

I know that I haven't posted in a while but I wanted to give Matthew some top billing since his news was so awesome and I was so proud. Anywho, I got this in the mail today and I knew I had to post it. Just in time for Easter. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Matthew Jones - Supastar!

I'm proud to say that I know a movie star - Matthew Adam Jones. Actually we've known that he was a star for a while. Now everyone will know.

it has been a while
the time has come for good news
and it's really big

just shot a great film
the character name - haiku
all lines, in this form

the movie's called BREAK
i'm a badass assassin
you can check it out


Matthew is the handsome fellow on the left...

Tuesday Tickle

As usual, I was perusing my emails and this one made me laugh - out loud. So I am sharing. Enjoy!

Wash and Curl

A woman stuck her head into a hair salon and asked, "How long before I can get a wash & curl?" The beautician looked around the salon full of customers and said, "about 2 hours." The woman left.

A few days later, the same woman stuck her head in the door and asked, "How long before I can get a wash & curl?" The beautician looked around at the salon and said, "about 3 hours." The woman left.

A week later, the same woman stuck her head in the salon and asked, "How long before I can get a wash & curl?" The beautician looked around the salon and said, "about a hour and a half." The woman left.

The beautician turned to her girlfriend and said, "Hey Juanita, do me a favor. Follow that woman and see where she goes. She keeps asking how long she has to wait for a wash & curl, but then she doesn't ever come back."

A little while later, Juanita returned to the salon, laughing hysterically. The beautician asked, "So, where does that woman go when she leaves?" Juanita looked up, wiped the tears from her eyes and said, "Your man's house!"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's All About Love

Happy Valentine's Day! When we were growing up, my mom would always tell my brother and I that this holiday isn't just a "lover's holiday". It's about love and anyone can celebrate that, right? So with that said, happy valentine's day to one and all and I give you this:

Friday, February 08, 2008

How Fast Are You?

Test your reaction time with this special test. Supposedly, the automobile driving manual says the average driver's reaction time is: .75 seconds....... or 1 car length for every 10 mph..........

Click here to test your average reaction time.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Aisha Lewis - The Next Triad Idol

My friend and children's godmother (Godmommy to them) is participating in the Triad Idol. I got this message from her the other day:
In case you want to take a 1 minute break from your busy day, please check out my audition from the first round of the Triad Idol 2008 competition, held in Greensboro, NC. There are 4 rounds total, and the winner gets a really nice prize in addition to singing at some local performances in the area. I will be moving on to the quarter-final round next week.
Because I am such a good friend, here is said audition:

You go Ms. Lewis!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday

If your state is part of Super Tuesday, I strongly encourage you to vote today. Whether you are a supporter of the Republicans, Democrats or Green Party, your voice makes a difference.

Personally, I am supporting Senator Barack Obama. I'm one of those people that chooses based on the issues that concern me. Senator Obama is speaking my language right now. If you haven't seen the following video, check it out:

While I would love that everyone support Senator Obama, my concern is that you are part of the process and get out and vote! People worked too long and hard for African-Americans to get a right to vote not to vote. It's like a slap in the face. Vote, vote, vote!

Did I mention you should vote? Happy Super Tuesday!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vote Chooser

Need help deciding which candidate to support in 2008. Votechooser.com has a 10 question quiz that makes it pretty easy. Whoever your candidate of choice is, I encourage everyone to get involved in the election process. You need to vote to make your voice heard.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Let Them Eat...Dirt

For all the complaining we are doing about the economy, we should be lucky that we are blessed by the best we don't live in Haiti (or any 3rd world country for that matter).

In hungry Haiti, dirt is food

By JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press Writer 21 minutes ago

It was lunchtime in one of Haiti's worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud.

With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies.

Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

"When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day," Charlene said. Her baby, named Woodson, lay still across her lap, looking even thinner than the slim 6 pounds 3 ounces he weighed at birth.

Though she likes their buttery, salty taste, Charlene said the cookies also give her stomach pains. "When I nurse, the baby sometimes seems colicky too," she said.

Food prices around the world have spiked because of higher oil prices, needed for fertilizer, irrigation and transportation. Prices for basic ingredients such as corn and wheat are also up sharply, and the increasing global demand for biofuels is pressuring food markets as well.

The problem is particularly dire in the Caribbean, where island nations depend on imports and food prices are up 40 percent in places.

The global price hikes, together with floods and crop damage from the 2007 hurricane season, prompted the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency to declare states of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean countries. Caribbean leaders held an emergency summit in December to discuss cutting food taxes and creating large regional farms to reduce dependence on imports.

At the market in the La Saline slum, two cups of rice now sell for 60 cents, up 10 cents from December and 50 percent from a year ago. Beans, condensed milk and fruit have gone up at a similar rate, and even the price of the edible clay has risen over the past year by almost $1.50. Dirt to make 100 cookies now costs $5, the cookie makers say.

Still, at about 5 cents apiece, the cookies are a bargain compared to food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy.

Merchants truck the dirt from the central town of Hinche to the La Saline market, a maze of tables of vegetables and meat swarming with flies. Women buy the dirt, then process it into mud cookies in places such as Fort Dimanche, a nearby shanty town.

Carrying buckets of dirt and water up ladders to the roof of the former prison for which the slum is named, they strain out rocks and clumps on a sheet, and stir in shortening and salt. Then they pat the mixture into mud cookies and leave them to dry under the scorching sun.

The finished cookies are carried in buckets to markets or sold on the streets.

A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered.

Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases, said Gerald N. Callahan, an immunology professor at Colorado State University who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.

Haitian doctors say depending on the cookies for sustenance risks malnutrition.

"Trust me, if I see someone eating those cookies, I will discourage it," said Dr. Gabriel Thimothee, executive director of Haiti's health ministry.

Marie Noel, 40, sells the cookies in a market to provide for her seven children. Her family also eats them.

"I'm hoping one day I'll have enough food to eat, so I can stop eating these," she said. "I know it's not good for me."

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You Have No Power Over Me

Someone write that on a box of donuts. Considering how close we are to New Year's and resolutions, it's very a propos. But you know what it made me think of? It made me think of this:

and this

and this

Still don't know what I'm talking about. The movie is Labyrinth with a very young Jennifer Connelly and not so young David Bowie. I loved, loved, loved that movie. Gonna have to add it to the queue on NetFlix. For those that still don't remember, check out the trailer.

National Mental Health Care Week

I know it's not nice to make fun of those who have mental problems but this made me smile. So I apologize in advance for laughing but if you laugh too, that makes you just as bad.
This coming week is National Mental Health Care week.

Please post this new menu near the phone for the Voice Mail service on our switchboard has changed. This new menu allows for faster response to your special needs.

Mental Hospital Phone Menu

Please select from the following menu options:
  • If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.
  • If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
  • If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5 and 6.
  • If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want, stay on the line so we can trace your call.
  • If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be forwarded to the Mother Ship.
  • If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
  • If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press, nothing will make you happy anyway.
  • If you are dyslexic, press 9696969696969696.
  • If you are bipolar, please leave a message after the beep or before the beep or after the beep. Please wait for the beep.
  • If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.
  • If you have low self-esteem, please hang up our operators are too busy to talk with you.
  • If you are menopausal, put the gun down, hang up, turn on the fan, lie down and cry. You won't be crazy forever.
  • If you are blonde, don't press any buttons, you'll just mess it up.
You can do your part by remembering to contact at least one unstable person to show you care.

Well, I did my part. it’s your turn now.

Know the Signs to Save a Life

Sometimes a little knowledge can make a difference.
STROKE: Remember The 1st Three Letters.... S.T.R.

My nurse friend sent this and encouraged me to post it and spread the word. I agree.
If everyone can remember something this simple, we could save some folks. Seriously... Please read.

During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) .....she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening.

Ingrid's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 pm Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps In grid would be with us today. Some don't die.... they end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead.

It only takes a minute to read this...A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke... totally . He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR . Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
  1. Ask the individual to SMILE.
  2. Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE - Coherently. (i.e. It is sunny out today)
  3. Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 999/911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue
NOTE: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Delete, Delete, Delete

On another note, don't use company-issued electronics to conduct your extra-marital affair. Apparently, this is just one of the texts they found on Chief of Staff Christine Beatty's city-issued pager:
'You made me feel so damn good'

The Detroit Free Press obtained nearly 14,000 text messages from the pager of Christine Beatty, chief of staff of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, many of which describe a sexual relationship. Excerpts posted on the paper's Web site:

9/28/2002, 11:53 p.m.
Beatty: Where are you now?
Kilpatrick: At home waiting for all [executive protection unit officers] to leave. Where are you?
Beatty: At the residence inn in Madison hgts.
Kilpatrick: What rm?
Beatty: I'm in room 311 in bldg 3 in the back.

10/7/2002, 11:20 p.m.
Beatty: OK, I'm feeling like I want another night like the most recent Saturday at the Residence Inn! You made me feel so damn good that night. As you can see I can't let it go!

10/16/2002, 11:48 p.m.
Kilpatrick: I've been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for 3 days ... relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping and making love.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting your freak on. It helps to be single or being freaky with your significant other.

Don't Hate the Playa?

This is an interesting story. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick appears to have gotten "caught up" as the young folks say. According to my Detroit folks, Mayor Kilpatrick has all the attributes of a playa playa so I am interested to see how this situation pans out.

Detroit mayor's steamy texting puts him in Clinton-style scandal

PERJURY? | He swore he wasn't having affair with aide

January 25, 2008

DETROIT -- Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick bristled in the witness chair last year when asked whether he had an affair with a top aide. No, the mayor confidently told jurors, the two were never romantically involved.

But a trove of 14,000 text messages that emerged this week tell a different story: The mayor and his chief of staff carried on a flirty, sometimes sexually explicit dialogue about where to meet and how to conceal their numerous trysts.

Now the mayor's indiscretion has landed him in a Clinton-style scandal that could cost him his job and his law license and even bring perjury charges.

The Detroit Free Press did not explain how it obtained the messages, which were sent or received in 2002-03 from Chief of Staff Christine Beatty's city-issued pager.

The mayor's denial came last summer during testimony in a lawsuit filed by two police officers who alleged they were fired for investigating claims from two former bodyguards that the mayor used his security unit to cover up extramarital affairs.

'Profoundly embarrassing'

On the witness stand, the mayor also went on the offensive about the allegations, defending his reputation and that of Beatty. ''I think it was pretty demoralizing to her ... but it's demoralizing to me as well,'' he testified. ''My mother is a congresswoman. There have always been strong women around me. My aunt is a state legislator. I think it's absurd to assert that every woman that works with a man is a whore.''

Late Wednesday, Kilpatrick issued a more subdued statement. ''These five- and six-year-old text messages reflect a very difficult period in my personal life,'' he said. ''It is profoundly embarrassing to have these extremely private messages now displayed in such a public manner.''

Kilpatrick is married with three children. Beatty was married at the time and has two children.

Last summer's lawsuit ended with the jury awarding $6.5 million to the officers.

Judge Michael Callahan, who presided over the lawsuit, said it is up to prosecutors to decide whether to seek perjury charges against the mayor. The county prosecutor's office declined to comment on Thursday, but scheduled a news conference for today. AP

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Surprise! Surprise!

Actually, this isn't a surprise. This is a relief. If I had gotten a message that Amy Winehouse was found dead (instead of Heath Ledger), I wouldn't have been shocked. I know it's sad but it's true. Her problems with controlled substances are well documented. I hope that she is truly able to get the help she needs. She is a talented artist. In fact, she is one of my daughter's favorites.
Amy Winehouse enters drug rehab program

By DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press Writer

Amy Winehouse, beset by allegations of substance abuse, entered a rehabilitation facility Thursday to battle drug addiction.

The announcement came just days after the 24-year-old singer was pictured in British tabloid The Sun inhaling fumes from a small pipe. Police have launched an inquiry into the matter.

"Amy decided to enter the facility today after talks with her record label, management, family and doctors," Universal Music Group said in a statement.

"She has come to understand that she requires specialist treatment to continue her ongoing recovery from drug addiction," the statement said.

Winehouse, who is nominated for six Grammy Awards for her acclaimed "Back to Black" album, seems to be as famous for her drug problems as for her music. Since the album's U.S. release last year, she has canceled a slew of appearances amid reports of drug use.

The album's most popular song, "Rehab," references her struggles, and is a defiant anthem against entering a treatment facility.

"Amy is the most talented and important musical artist of her generation and has made huge strides on her road to recovery," the statement said.

Universal said it hoped Winehouse would "come back to full health and fulfill her incredible potential with the label."

The statement also indicated Winehouse still planned to attend and perform at the Grammys, to be held Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.

She canceled a scheduled appearance Saturday at the NRJ music awards ceremony in France, Universal said.

According to The Sun, video of Winehouse apparently using drugs was shot before she attended a court hearing to see her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, appear on charges of assault and lying to police.

Winehouse was photographed walking outside her London home last month wearing only a bra and jeans, with no shoes, looking distressed.

Too Little, Too Late?

Not that I'm one to knock getting a tax rebate. I'm enthusiastically looking forward too it, I wonder if this will really be the shot in the arm that the economy needs.
Tax rebates deal announced

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer

Congressional leaders announced a deal with the White House Thursday on an economic stimulus package that would give most tax filers refunds of $600 to $1,200, and more if they have children.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would act on the agreement — hammered out in a week of intense negotiations with Republican Leader John A. Boehner and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson — "at the earliest date, so that those rebate checks will be in the mail."

The rebates would go to 117 million families, according to a Democratic summary. That includes $28 billion in checks to 35 million working families who wouldn't have been helped by Bush's original proposal, the analysis estimated.

Republicans, for their part, were pleased that the bulk of the rebates — more than 70 percent, according to an analysis by Congress' Joint Tax Committee — would go to individuals who pay taxes.

Individuals who pay income taxes would get up to $600, working couples $1,200 and those with children an additional $300 per child under the agreement. Workers who make at least $3,000 but don't pay taxes would get $300 rebates.

The rebate part of the plan would cost about $100 billion, aides said. The package also includes close to $50 billion in business tax cuts.

The package would allow businesses to immediately write off 50 percent of purchases of plants and other capital equipment and permit small businesses to write off additional purchases of equipment. A Republican-written provision to allow businesses suffering losses now to reclaim taxes previously paid was dropped.

Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment benefits during a Wednesday meeting in exchange for gaining the rebates of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including those who make too little to pay income taxes.

"I can't say that I'm totally pleased with the package, but I do know that it will help stimulate the economy. But if it does not, then there will be more to come," Pelosi said.

Boehner said the agreement "was not easy for the two of us and our respective caucuses." He added, "The two caucuses have to come together and to work in a bipartisan way and to reach a compromise that I think is in the best interest of the American people."

Paulson said he would work with the House and Senate to enact the package as soon as possible because "speed is of the essence."

The Treasury Department has already been talking to the IRS about getting the checks out "as quickly as possible, recognizing that the tax filing season is ongoing," said Treasury spokesman Andrew DeSouza.

The rebates would phase out gradually for individuals whose income exceeds $75,000 and couples with incomes above $150,000, aides said. Individuals with incomes up to $87,000 and couples up to $174,000 would get partial rebates. The caps are higher for those with children.

The agreement left some lawmakers in both parties with a bitter taste, complaining that their leaders had sacrificed too much in the interest of striking a deal. Many senior Democrats were particularly upset that the package omitted the unemployment extension.

"I do not understand, and cannot accept, the resistance of President Bush and Republican leaders to including an extension of unemployment benefits for those who are without work through no fault of their own," Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., the Ways and Means Committee chairman, said in a statement.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee Chairman, said leaving out the unemployment extension was "a mistake," as he announced plans to craft a separate stimulus package in the Senate.


Stimulus package: What's in and out

By The Associated Press

Congressional leaders have reached a deal with the White house on a bipartisan economic stimulus package that is expected to move swiftly through Congress and give most tax filers rebates of $600 to $1,200.


_Tax rebates: Checks of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including low-income earners who make too little to pay income taxes, so long as they earned at least $3,000 in 2007. Families with children would receive an additional $300 per child, while those paying income taxes could receive higher rebates. The full rebate would be limited to individuals earning $75,000 or less and couples with incomes of $150,000 or less, but a partial rebate would go to individuals earning up to $87,000 and couples earning up to $174,000. The caps are higher for people with children.

_Business tax write-offs: Spurring business investments with so-called bonus depreciation and more generous expensing rules.

_Housing rescue: Allow more subprime mortgage holders to refinance into federally insured loans by raising the limit on Federal Housing Administration loans from $362,000 to as high as $729,750 in expensive areas. Increase the availability of mortgages by providing a one-year boost to the cap on loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy, from $417,000 up to $729,750 in high-cost markets.


_Permanent tax cuts: Republicans conceded that their top priority would have to be left out.

_Unemployment insurance: Democrats wanted to extend benefits past 26 weeks.

_Food stamps: A boost for benefits.

_Medicaid: Democrats gave up on including Medicaid payments to states.

_Low-income heating subsidies: Democrats are surrendering the fight to include them.

_Infrastructure spending: Spending on transportation or repair projects already under way is off the table.

_Republicans' proposal to allow businesses suffering losses now to reclaim taxes previously paid was dropped.

(This version CORRECTS housing numbers in paragraph 6.) )

New candy bar offers more than just a sugar high

As if Snickers needed more than peanuts to satisfy, now there's this:
DENVER – If you thought your kids got a sugar high from other candy bars, wait until they get their hands on this one.

Snickers announced its new candy bar which promises to wallop a kick of energy. No longer just packed with peanuts, the new Snickers Charged also contains caffeine, along with taurine and B-vitamins.

The bar contains 60 milligrams of caffeine. By comparison, it would be about two-thirds the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee, which contains about 95 milligrams. The average soft drink has 20 to 30 milligrams of caffeine and an energy drink usually has about 160 milligrams, according to Snickers.

The new candy bar has the same taste as a traditional Snickers, according to officials with the company, and is a low glycemic index food. The company says the new candy bar provides a slower release of energy that has a stable effect on blood sugar.

The new bars will hit selected stores this month.

(Copyright KUSA*TV contributed to this report. Copyright Associated Press, All Rights Reserved)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

His Breakup Excuses - Decoded

I heard the following on the Tom Joyner Morning Show yesterday and I had to post about it. This piece was written by Lisa Lombardi. Lisa is a writer and editor in New York.

How many of us have gotten these lines? How many of them have you given? I hope this is useful information for someone so that you can grow from your newly ended relationship and move on with a clear conscience.

Here, we reveal what men really mean when they use these five lines.

“It's not you, it's me.” “I need some space.” “It’s a crazy time at work…” Ever wondered what guys are really thinking when they toss out one of those hackneyed breakup lines? To find out, we asked experts and real guys to give it to us straight.

He says: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Translation: “This means: It is you,” says Scott Haltzman, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University. “You’re not to his taste, and you might as well move on.” By dusting off this George Costanza classic, he’s trying to soften the blow (as if an amazing woman like you needs the blow softened!). But before you get too steamed, consider this his attempt to shoulder the blame—which he wouldn’t do unless he really respects you, says Rick Blaiser, 31, a writer in New York. “We save this line for girls we consider cool and maybe even want to stay friends with.”

He says: “I need my space.”
Translation: You’re, um, kind of driving him nuts. Yep, he feels smothered, but the good news is it may have absolutely nothing to do with you. “Many men have a fierce independent streak, and when they start to feel that they’re losing their autonomy, they do what any caged animal naturally seeks to do—escape!” says Haltzman. It could be that the relationship is moving too fast emotionally or sexually, or you're seeing each other too often, adds L. Joan Allen, author of Celebrating Single and Getting Love Right. (In some cases, backpedaling and giving him space may ease his relationship claustrophobia.)

Sometimes, however, a guy feels suffocated when you’re not even coming on too strong. “Being in love is a form of losing control,” explains Haltzman. “If your guy’s not used to it, there’s a good chance as he starts to get too close he may feel an instinct to pull away.” (So that explains those dudes who call you three times a day, drop by every night—then tell you you’re crowding them!) This breed of breakup sometimes doesn’t stick, notes Haltzman: “If he’s balking at making a deeper emotional connection, sometimes a little space will change his mind.” So if you’re hoping for a reconciliation, your best bet is to get on with your life—and let him figure out for himself how lonely his life is without you.

He says: “Work is crazy—I don't have time for a relationship right now.”
Translation: He’s just not that into you. Work may be busy, sure. But “if you’re important enough to him, he’ll find a way to fit you into his schedule,” says Haltzman. Lots of important men manage to juggle a job and a relationship: Look at Donald and Melania! Ah-naald and Maria! “Ask yourself this: If Halle Berry came to your guy’s door in the middle of his ‘crazy work schedule,’ would he send her packing?” says Haltzman. “If the answer is ‘no’ then you’ve got to wonder why he could find time for Halle and not you.” You also have beauty, brains, talent—the only thing she has on you are a few stinking statues. If he can’t see your worth, he’s not worthy of you. Next!

He says: “I think we should see other people.”
Translation: He loves sex with you, but he would like it with other women, too. Take it from John Brown, 36, a screenwriter in Los Angeles, who admits to having a “friend” who has pulled this stunt. "When a guy says he thinks you should see other people, he wants to ‘see’ if you'd be willing to let him sleep with other girls, guilt-free," he explains. “He thinks you’re hot—if he didn’t, he’d completely end things—but he doesn’t want all the obligations that come with being your boyfriend.” Ouch! (Remember: John Brown’s just the messenger, people…)

He says: “You're too good for me.”
Translation: He’s a dog—and he knows it. When a guy says you deserve a better boyfriend, run—yes, run—the other way. “Most people overestimate their value,” notes Haltzman. “They think they deserve the raise or to be chosen as the next American Idol. So if a man tells you he’s not worthwhile, he’s probably right.” This bad-news dude is flat-out telling you that he doesn’t put much stock in what it takes to make a relationship work: honesty, trust, little things like fidelity, says Haltzman. Bottom line: “Believe him and thank him for saving you from a lifetime of misery," says Allen.

A Poem About Our Girlfriends

I don't think we always realize how important our girlfriends are to us. I thought this was great and wanted to share.

Someone will always be prettier.
Someone will always be smarter.
Some of their houses will be bigger.
Some will drive a better car.
Their children will do better in school.
And their husband will fix more things around the house.
So let it go, and love you and your circumstances.
Think about it!
The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart.
And the most highly favored woman on your job may be unable to have children.
And the richest woman you know, she's got the car, the house, the clothes might be lonely.
"If I have not Love, I am nothing."
So, again, love you.
Love who you are.
Look in the mirror in the morning and smile and say,
"I am too Blessed to be Stressed and too Anointed, to be Disappointed!"
"Winners make things happen, Losers let things happen."
Be "Blessed" Ladies and pass this on to encourage another woman.
"To the world you might be one person, but to the one person you just sent this to, it could mean so much."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Year, New Look

I was tired of my current look. I saw some other blogs had nice set-ups and I was jealous. I wanted a nice set-up, too. Thanks to Mia over at The Blog Cafe, I am no longer jealous. Now others can be jealous of me. Let me know what you think. I'm still working out the kinks but overall, I'm tickled pink!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Under construction

My blog is going to get a facelift so I will be on hiatus for a little bit. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mama Ain't Jokin'

This is awesome!
Looks like Mama is going to make him stand out there for a long time!
Ought to be a pretty good lesson, one not easily forgotten! Don't ya think?
He doesn't look very happy, like, maybe the lesson is already working, huh?

Be sure to look at all 3 pictures.

Now this is a seriously strict mom...

Don't mess with her...

We need more parents like her...GO MOM !!!

Friday, January 04, 2008

10 Tips For a Healthy Romantic Relationship

I didn't write these but I could have. My friend sent them to me from a message board on deephousepage.com. The author goes by the handle "dubfly". Thanks dubfly for your words of wisdom.
  1. COMMUNICATE- Relationships fail because couples talk about their relationship with everyone except one another. Your partner is not a mind reader, so always say what’s on your mind in a manner that will get through to them. Some people need communication to be point blank, most people need a sit down conversation, and others need the delivery to be nice and sweet. Once you know your lover, you’ll know how to communicate with them.
  2. GET WITH SOMEONE ON YOUR LEVEL- Relationships falter when people are on unequal planes. If you’re a lawyer, marrying someone who’s unemployed won’t work. The unemployed person won’t know what your job entails, and will start suspecting that you’re cheating on them, don’t love them, don’t like them, hate them, etc. In reality you don’t have much time for them because you have a significant amount of work to do. This is why entertainers get with entertainers, white-collar workers get with white-collar workers, and blue-collar workers get with blue-collar workers. Your mate must understand what you go through on a daily basis so that jealousy and tension don’t arise. The last thing you need is for your partner to say “ you ain’t shit” because your careers, and ultimately your lifestyles, aren’t parallel. If you work at McDonald’s, find a mate who does something similar to eliminate the jealousy, envy, leeching, and other problems that come with dating above or below your level. Research shows that couples who are on the same level, stay together longer than couples who aren’t, simply because they understand each other’s grind.
  3. KEEP YOURSELF UP- If your mate met you and you looked a certain way, you have an obligation to keep that look up or improve upon your looks. Nobody wants a dime piece to turn into a penny just because they got comfortable and then got sloppy.
  4. HAVE A DATE NIGHT- Whether you’re dating or married, set a night each week where you and your mate can have one on one time. We’re all so busy with functions, kids, work, and friends, that we neglect our partners. Your partner is a priority in your life, and should be treated as such. Schedule a weekly date night where it’s just the TWO of you. Date nights can be dinner and a movie, or it could be a night where the kids are with their grandparents, and you all are in a hotel room with a “DO NOT DISTURB” sign on the door.
  5. SHOW INTEREST IN YOUR PARTNER’S DAY- We are so consumed by our own daily successes and failures that we forget to ask our partner how their day went. Even if you don’t care, just ask!! It will make your partner feel valued, loved, respected, encouraged, and appreciated. Nobody likes conversations that revolve around one person, so stop being selfish and ask your mate how their day went. Try to care about your partner’s day if you currently don’t. I find this hard to do myself, but it’s not all about me in a relationship!!
  6. KNOW WHAT YOUR MATE WANTS OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP- Does your mate want cohabitation? Does your mate want to casually date? Is your mate looking to tie the knot? Does your mate want to be friends with benefits? You must communicate with your partner about these issues before you catch feelings, and then catch heartbreak. Two major issues couples don’t discuss, is whether they want to get married, and whether they want to have children. By the first or second date these issues should be clarified. If a person’s answers aren’t sufficient for you, move on. One wasted night is better than one wasted year. Often men don’t want to get married, and often women don’t want to have kids. Know what you both want before you officially become an item.
  7. DON’T DISCUSS YOUR EX- Keep the past in the past. Nobody wants to hear about what your ex would have done, did do, or could do for you. Talking about your ex will make your mate jealous and suspicious, and it’s unnecessary. Discuss previous relationships in the beginning of your courtship to clear the air, but until your mate asks you a question regarding your ex, keep your mouth shut. Don’t get a person’s mind ruminating when you don’t have to.
  8. DON’T USE SEX AS A WEAPON- Too many of us use the **** and the ***** as a weapon against our mates. When they upset us, we withhold what they desire most. This is wrong. Talk your issues out. If you’re not in the mood for sex, be upfront about it, but don’t say, “because you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, you aren’t going to hit it tonight.” Making love is an intimate event, and your genitalia should not be withheld just so you can get revenge on your significant other. If your mate can’t get it from you, they will eventually go elsewhere, and you’ll be to blame. Everyone has sexual urges that need to be fulfilled. Using one’s hand or one’s fingers for a few nights might be ok, but after a week of making your mate self pleasure, consider your relationship a wrap.
  9. HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON- Too many couples get involved with each other based off looks alone, and then realize that they have nothing in common. You may both be on the same level in terms of beauty, but if you have no interests in common the relationship won’t last. If you like to shop all day and your man enjoys going to football games, it won’t last. If your women likes to go to art exhibits on a Friday night and you’d rather sip Old E, the relationship won’t work. If you’re both into sports, the relationship will work. You can go to sporting events together, workout together, plan hiking trips together, shop for sporting equipment together, etc. You must have a lot in common with your mate for your relationship to grow. This includes professional ambitions as well. Are you trying to build an empire, while your mate is comfortable at the glass ceiling? This would be a problem. Know your mate, communicate, and try to have as much in common with them as possible.
  10. DON’T TRY AND CHANGE YOUR MATE- The saying “you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife,” is true. You can’t change people’s personalities to fit a mold that you want to caste them in. If you meet a woman who’s overweight, don’t make her join Weight Watchers just because you think she should shed a few pounds. If you wanted a skinny woman, you could have found one if you looked hard enough. If your man is undereducated when you meet him, don’t force him to go back to school just to impress your family and friends. If you wanted a highly educated man, you could have found one if you stepped up your dating game, and had a little more patience. The point is, none of us wants to be changed by our mates, especially over superficial bullshit. Trying to change your mate will cause resentment, which will ultimately leave your relationship like Michael Jackson’s current career.
  11. Bonus Tip: STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF- Don’t front folks. Always keep it as real as possible. You come first before any other person on earth. Too many of us get so wrapped up in our mates that we lose ourselves in the process. A lot of us are left with nothing when a relationship fizzles. We are left with no friends, because we neglected them to be with our lover. No family, because we cut them off to be with our partner.

Mother apologizes for ‘Hannah Montana’ hoax

I wasn't going to comment on this story because part of me thinks this is just S.O.S. (stuck on stupid). However, part of me gets really, really angry. What exactly are you teaching your child when she cheats and lies on an essay and wins a fantastic prize? That it's OK to lie and if you get caught all you have to say is sorry? Well I'm sorry because it's not OK and sorry doesn't fix everything. Essentially, this family committed fraud. On top of that they robbed some other deserving child of a well-deserved prize. I'm sure they have learned their lesson but parents the world over can use this as a great example to teach their children about how lies can hurt. OK - soapbox over.

I Believe in Miracles

If you didn't believe in miracles, here is a reason to do so:

Window washer talking after 47-story fall

Considering most people that fall more than 3 stories have a 50/50 chance of survival, I acknowledge this as an act of God. Nuff said!