Saturday, August 30, 2008

Taking the bait

So McCain chose a woman to be his vice presidential running mate. The act in and of itself is great but I'm not convinced on the motives. She is very young and in my belief less experienced than Obama, an aspect McCain loved to criticize Obama for (she's got 13 years of experience and no foreign policy experience, only two years as a governor of Alaska and the Republicans try to build up her military experience by saying she lead the Alaskan national guard for two years- not convinced). Republicans are hoping her presence will sway some Hilary supporters who were looking to change history with a woman for president. Well this Hilary supporter (and now Obama supporter) is not taking the bait.

Why would I vote for McCain simply because he has a woman VP? I mean, isn't that their sole reason for believing she would help take away possible Obama votes? Palin and Hilary do not share hardly any views. Palin is pro life, pro guns and shares Bushe's failed economic policies. So, again, outside of her sex, why would I vote for McCain? Does he really believe women are that unintelligent that we would fall for the hype? Newt Gingrich said on the Today show that he urged McCain not to pick a typical older white male as a running mate which he points out Obama did. Looks alone should not be the factor in picking a VP. In addition, if we are going on looks, I think Obama's look changes the face of politics enough so I think his pick of Biden, if we're going on Newt's superficial stance alone, was just fine.

Some are worried for Obama's camp because of this change but I'm not. I might check out the Republican convention to get an idea about her. After all Palin was a former beauty queen and Ms. Congeniality. Maybe her personality could sway some voters. But for serious voters, she's going to need more than a smile. She's going to need to distance herself from all the negativity of the Bush administration and show that even though she's young and not too experienced she can pick up the torch should McCain not be able to.

As an aside though, I must say, it is a change in politics if the normal faces are recognizing that voters are now open and ready for new types of faces in our government. There may come a day when the presidential candidates for Republicans and Democrats could both be women and/or minorities.

Vote or Shut Up!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hilary made me late for work

I hadn't planned on it but got sucked into Hilary's speech at the democratic convention and I must say I think she did a wonderful job. I admit that I was a Hilary supporter so I was nervous about Obama winning. However, I had no problems with jumping ship. I still have my concerns about him but feel something new and fresh in the White House beats the same old same old. How else will we make any positive change? Albert Einstein, I believe, said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, voting McCain, in my humble opinion might be insanity. But enough about that back to Hilary.

My concern has always been that if she lost, her supporters would turn their backs on voting Democrat and if we got full support, political analyst believe Obama could win. I think her speech was great in pushing her supporters to now support him but is a speech enough? I can only hope that we see more of her face in his campaign and that the media stops hyping up any tension the two camps may or may not have. We really need a show of unity.

Anywho, I watched her whole speech and loved it and then couldn't get up on time this morning because I stayed up later than usual to catch it. But I think it was worth it...

TV Nation

Now that the Olympics is over and soon the Democratic/Republican conventions will be on and off, I am gearing up for some favorite TV shows to return or interesting new ones to air. Here are some of interest to me and when they air. I stared the ones that are must sees for me.
This site,
displays all the shows and what days they’ll air.
I feel a DVR usage coming in full gear!

*America’s Next Top Model- Airs September 13- CW Network-look for the first Trangendered person on the show and (s)he is from Maryland…No comments

Gossip Girl- September 1- CW- yeah, I know I’m too old for this but I made the mistake of watching it once when nothing else I liked was on and got hooked!

90210- September 1- CW- actually I don’t really plan to watch more than the first episode just out of curiosity as I used to love the original series. At least this time they added a person of color.

*Lost-January-ABC- the best yet most confusing series ever since the X-Files (whose second movie I’m so sad about)

*House- September 9-Fox- that’s one angry doctor

*Grey’s Anatomy- September 25- ABC- I was really hoping they would have killed off Izzy

*Fringe- September 9-Fox-new series from Lost dudes and it has Pacy from Dawson’s Creek and the black from the Wire/Oz/Lost- Looks cool

*Heroes- September 22-NBC- hope this season is better than the last

*Law and Order: SVU- September 23- always a good bet

*CSI- October 9, CBS- never really got into the show (but love the CSI: Miami spin off- Sept.22) but with Lawrence Fishburne cast as the new lead detective I’m going to check it out

*ER- September 25-NBC- I have been a loyal viewer and with Noah Wyle back and Angela Basset cast I will be glued to this final season

*Supernatural- September 18-CW I love the guys fighting evil on this show, funny

*Sarah Connor Chronicles-September 8-FOX- I was skeptical about a Terminator series but they did a great job with the first season

Damages-TBA-FX a great legal/litigation series with Glen Close as a high powered attorney almost as crazy as her Fatal Attraction character

*Nip/Tuck-TBA-FX- what can I say, who doesn’t love Christian Troy or the insane plots?

*Always Sunny in Philadelphia-September 18-FX- some call it the new younger version of Seinfeld I just call it funny

Prison Break-September 1- FOX- how many times do they have to get out of jail? Let’s see

*Private Practice-October 1-ABC- a spinoff of Grey’s Anatomy with slightly older slightly less annoying characters and Taye Diggs who I like in this series but who I haven’t liked since Best Man

Smallville- September 18-CW- now that they’ve gotten rid of that pesky Lana the real Lois and Clark matchup can occur!

The Cleveland show- TBA- FOX- Well if I loved Family Guy, gotta watch this too!

*Battlestar Gallactica-January – SciFi- their final series, yes I am a scifi geek

Raising the Bar- September 1-TNT-I love a good law drama and with Zack from Save by the Bell I’ll watch

Dirty Sexy Money- October 1-ABC- again a random show I got hooked on about rich people and their secrets. Hey, it has Blair Underwood in it!

Shows on Premium Cable this girl will be sadly missing until the season comes out on DVD:

Crash- October 7- Starz- based on the Oscar winning movie comes a series about race relations

Dexter- September 28- Showtime- the sympathetic serial killer returns

True Blood- September 7- HBO- Gotta love a good vampire series and it’s based on a series of books

Sigh, I watch way too much TV, I might have to let something go…

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Famous Hollywood tidbits about Maryland I never knew- Why don’t we get more hype for the positive?

I was trying to fight sleep at work so I did a random wikepedia search to wake me up and found that Maryland (my state) has quite a few famous folks from or who grew up in the area. I knew about Tupac, Jada Pinkett, Julia Louis- Dryfuss, Michael Phelps, Carmelo Anthony and Billie Holiday but some notables I never knew were- Babe Ruth, Martin Lawrence, Ben Stein, Good Charlotte, David Hasslehoff, Kathy Lee Guildford, Taraj P Henson, Goldie Hawn, Harriet Tubman, Adam Duritz from the Counting Crows

We need more Maryland Hype Men/Women. People leave and you don’t ever hear about it from them. I think the biggest Hype man we have is John Waters (of Hairspray movie) and he is particular to Baltimore and then a very certain subculture of Baltimore. I know it’s difficult but if collectively we put a little more pride into Maryland and it saw continued housing/retail/job growth as well as a real stomp out on crime it would seem like a much more appealing place to live.

Here are all the movies shot in Baltimore,_Maryland
Some notables I never knew- Beauty Shop, Live Free/Die Hard (although one scene was supposedly at the SSA building in Woodlawn- let me tell you I don’t know what SSA building that was but it was no parts of around here!), Runaway Bride, Silence of the Lambs, Sleepless in Seattle, 12 Monkeys, The Sum of All Fears, Something the Lord Hath Made (you mean Mos Def was filming in Bmore and I didn’t know?! For shame!)
Films shot in Maryland but not specifically Baltimore are Enemy of the State and Wedding Crashers.

I’ve heard that Baltimore is the perfect location for movies because you can find a neighborhood that looks like one in another city or time period. So you don’t have to travel as much. You can do a setting in New York and one in Philly in present time and then in the 1960’s all right here.

All I say is, if Baltimore is so darn dangerous would they really let Rene Zelwegger film her current movie here (she filmed in the county and the city)?
And the show Ace of Cakes (on either Bravo or TLC) is set in Baltimore at the Charm City Cakes place in Mt. Vernon (the city) I believe.

You know for all this stuff you’d think we’d have a better reputation, just a little… I mean the president’s own daughter lives down the street from me (well almost, I could power walk to her area) and Michael Phelps is buying a ridiculously pricey condo in the city (I could go for a long distance jog to get to his area- not that pressed).

I’m just saying…

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some more songs I'm feeling

Other songs in my head...

Jazmine Sullivan- - they call her the new Lauren Hill. I'm not sure I can go there just yet but this song gives me a reminder of Hill's X-Factor song.

Solange- I Decided- -yeah, yeah, she's a mini Beyonce but I really think this song sets her apart from her big sis and it's got an old school/Supremes feel that's pretty catchy

Kate Nash- Foundations -- British singers are really resonating with me

The Garden- Mirah- - heard this song on So You Think You Can Dance and it got in my head, mainly the beat, here's the song (no video yet)

Common- Universal Mind Control- - there's no video yet, I think but here is the song. I am a definite Common fan!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is Black Still Beautiful?

I’ve posted about Black women before but after a rather “interesting” discussion with a white male friend of mine I have some more thoughts. Disclaimer for some of my friends thoughts: he got a nice intellectual tongue lashing from my roommate and myself.

My discussion with my friend began when we discussed women’s figures. He happens to like thin women (like size 6 type women). He doesn’t understand why other races, particularly black men find larger and/or more curvaceous women appealing. He further wonders what all the appeal is with black men dating white women. He says they are just as crazy as other women. And he says it can’t be the figures because he constantly sees black men with “out of shape” white women.

We ponder why we don’t see more (although it is growing) black women/white men couplings. Although a good number of my black female friends and family members have married or are seriously dating white men, I do know that a large percentage of black women (ok I don’t know for sure) still aren’t into the idea.

He stated, with a disclaimer to me but we were being honest, that he doesn’t believe many white men are attracted to black women (I have heard just the opposite from my other white male peers so I don't hold his word as the be all end all). He discussed the whole black women with attitude perception, which to a degree he understood, given the circumstances one might be in (for instance, he fully believed that it was expected in the black community for black men to cheat, at least according to all his black male friends- I demanded to know their names!). His main issue was that our group tends to run on the larger size. He states when you usually see a white man with a black woman, the black woman is usually very attractive and toned or ten times better looking than the guy.

I tried not to be offended by his comments about us running on the larger size, mainly because, heck it’s true. For better or for worse, we have a higher percentage of thick women in our culture than white women or Asian women. And even in our smaller sizes, we're curvier, which is alright by me. There are a slew of reasons for this which I won’t get into but in any event, he said he found it unappealing. In addition to that many of the women in our fair city don’t hide their weight but flaunt it. Muffin top, camel toe and all. I told him there were many gorgeous women in Baltimore . And it’s true but if you are in the city, the type of woman that is most common is a bit curvier and a little more “round the way” in how she carries herself.

So I wonder: What image do we as African American women present to the world, superficially? It seems that we can have all the Tyra Banks, Gabrielle Unions, Jada Pinkett-Smiths and Joy Bryant’s that we want, all it takes is one Sheneenee with roller's in her hair, missing front tooth and belly hanging out that the news keeps showing over and over again. And the media loves to find that image. If they are thin- they are a b*&^%, if they are overweight then they are good motherly/sage types. If they happen to be thin AND nice then they are (or become) very European in image (Beyonce).

I would love for others (inside and outside our race) to see us as beautiful like we see ourselves without conforming but I’d also like for us to dignify ourselves with a more sophisticated image. As a collective we may never be a skinny people (this simply could be because the people we were descended from in West Africa were not of that rail thin physique- but that doesn’t mean a free for all pass to obesity either), our hair may continue to grow out instead of down and we can’t nor should want to all be fair skin. There is a line, albeit blurry, between not conforming to Westernized standards of beauty and still presenting an attractive image. The question is- are enough of us doing that or is society doing too much negative generalizing?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dating Etiquette: Outdated or Underused?

So after two planned dates where the guys suggested venues closer to where they lived (and I'm not talking about a spot they've gone to that's unique to that area, I'm talking movies and a starbucks) instead of where I live I am brought to a grinding halt to wonder: Has dating etiquette changed or is it just some of the guys that I am seeing?

I believe that the first date should be at a location closer to the woman, or, at the very least, a location in the middle of where both parties live. I have dated too many guys who pick places down the street from them and have me taking the hike to meet them in their place. So that when they are snug in their beds at the end of the date I’m still driving my way home, using up more of my gas and expanding my carbon footprint. A restuarant they know of down the corner from them that they like and want to share with me is one thing, a generic place I can find anywhere is quite another. I can find a starbucks anywhere so why should we go to the one close to you instead of a middle ground?

I’m not picky on what the first date should be. I find letting the guy select tells you a little bit about him so if he chooses Chucky Cheeses as the date locale, fine. You’ve just found out he may have some growing up issues and you were forewarned. Had you picked the place you might have to find out a harder way. In any event, I think it’s good to let the guy be the “man” and plan the date and have the opportunity to impress you rather than you taking control of the situation the first time around.

Further, I’m not a stickler for traditional dates. I had an older co-worker balk at the idea that a guy wanted to meet me in the morning for coffee on the weekend instead of a nice fancy brunch. She said in her day guys wanted to impress women and take them out to nice places. She felt a guy who just took me to coffee thought that he was “hot stuff” and didn’t need to make an impression on me. I admit, brunch would have been nice, but I get it if someone is a constant dater, taking people out to fancy dinners/lunches/brunches all the time can be pricey. Especially if you don’t really know the person. Starting with a budget friendly date is no big deal but eventually I think all women, liked to be treated special. But it did make me wonder...
Sign O the Times I guess.

I still think the guy should pay for the first date no matter who suggests it. I’m all for going Dutch once in a while after the first date and even having the woman paying for it all further down the line but a guy who asks me to come out of pocket on the first date, especially if he asked me out, would annoy me (notice I said “would” because fortunately that hasn’t happened to me). It’s not gentlemanly or impressive. Not saying I have to be taken out to a fancy restaurant if its not in your budget but wherever the place is, asking a woman to pay up is not going to get you brownie points and will down grade your status. A woman likes to offer and then perhaps the guy will say “no it’s on me” but definitely don’t ask her to pay a thing on the first date. At the very least it makes me think that he is only interested in being friends (even though my male friends have paid for outings with me before) and not that he is simply cheap or confused about how far the women’s lib movement really goes.

He should follow the date up with a call or text to make sure you got home safely. I admit, most guys I go out with do this but when they don’t I get a bit bothered. I don’t expect a new found parent but darn please give a crap whether I make it home safely or not? Or is he already a sleep since the dating location was close to him?

I’m just saying... What is the real dating etiquette for the millennium?