Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm Sorry, so sorry

Soooo a hundred and 40 something years after the end of slavery and about 50 years after the end of Jim Crow the government finally apologizes for both. See article here-

The current push for the apology came from a White Tennessee Democrat (some wonder whether he pushed the resolution to aid him in a primary he has against a formidable black opponent). Fear in the past of apologizing came from fear of having to pay reparations (which I'm on the fence about) which this new resolution mentions nothing of. Yet, Congress did not fear apologizing to the Japanese for their time in internment camps or the Hawaiians for overthrowing their ruler in the late 1800's.

It's always nice to receive an apology and some feel this is just another step towards racial tolerance in our country. But...I'm not so convinced this will do anything. Maybe it's just the pessimist in me. A little acknowledgement to the injustice put upon African Americans in this country is welcomed but actions speak louder than words. But it's notable.

Meanwhile my friend put me on to an upsetting headline from CNN (who I am at times convinced is not black people friendly no matter how many correspondence of color they have, although I exclude Anderson Cooper from this)
1 out of 2 with HIV in U.S. is black, report says

Okay, so my friends and I had the gripe of how this title is provacative and how many people will interpret it as a black only disease or use t to sterotype. The media loves to sensationalize things. Now, I'm not saying there is no truth to it but there is a more tactful way to address something that will have people focus on the issue and how to resolve it(which is use some protection people or keep your legs closed- what's the problem!) rather than have people too pissed at the title and the way the matter is presented to focus on the real problem.

You read that title too fast and it makes you believe that one out of two Blacks has HIV. Read the report and it makes it appear that AIDS is a black disease which is a bunch of bull. It affects black women between the ages of 24-36 at an alarming rate, comparable to that of third world countries. Frightening. But how misleading could this report be?

I really wish the media and the health community would show how narrow their studies are. This disease isn't affecting all blacks at a high rate. It is a affecting a subset of blacks at a larger rate (drug addicts, incarcerated, lower socioeconomic backgrounds). Why not make sure that is mentioned?

My issue, to go off on a tangent, is that sometimes doctors think they know my medical history/future based on my race. I'm black therefore I will have diabetes, hypertension etc. But is it more accurate to access my lifestyle first instead of assuming I am living a certain lifestyle that would put me at risk for those illnesses simply becaue I'm black?

Acknowledging race in health is important, we want to make sure we get the appropriate test and aren't ignored simply because a certain illness doesn't affect whites, but at the same time we don't want to be penalized either. So to my doctor- when you ask me about my diet and I tell you I don't eat white breads, fried food all the time , didn't grow up on kool aid and high sugar drinks and don't munch on chitlins etc, please believe me! Don't assume that you know my diet and therefore my future health issues because I'm black! I want doctors to access my health based on me as an individual and not as a statistic for something that may not have any baring on my life style!
Get's off soap box.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Now entering: Adultville

I knew it would happen one day. I knew there would come a time when I'd simply be out of the loop. I thought it would happen when I got married and had kids or was well into my 30s but I guess I don't need to have a teen or hit 30 to enter the unhip, out of touch adultzone
Here were some of my tale-tell signs that I, of the Generation Y (whatever that means), have gone to the dark side:
  1. I don't get the damn hype over High School Musical. And now they have a movie going to theaters!
  2. I am not excited about the new 90210 even with Kelly serving as a teacher. The original cast was where it was at!
  3. Jonas Brothers, Cheetah Girls, Menudo (and not the original group, there is a new Menudo)- I can't get with it. Who are these people?
  4. I'm starting to NOT dig popular music or even know who the MTV artist are and using the phrase "back in my day when music was good". Yes, Summertime by Fresh Prince is now my old school cookout jam and I can site Tribe Called Quest as one of the desent rap groups back in the day. The only new rap artist I know of now is Lil Wayne and he is hardly on my good list.
  5. I could give a flying crap what is "in style" now. Not saying I don't know what's in style or won't wear it but it's not like when fall comes I'm rushing to the store to get the latest sneakers or jeans to wear to work. We don't have that new school year/ first week fashion show thing anymore. I don't care if I still rock the jeans I bought in 2001. In fact, I'm overjoyed I can still wear them!
  6. I have finally turned my back on MTV Real world. I just don't care about these people who all seem to look the same each season and have the same problems. Not to mention they are all younger than me now. I remember when they were way older and I had plans to try out for the show!
  7. I don't know all the new slang/lingo. I make up some of my own, bring back some old school stuff (like I frequently use "whack" now) or take some from adult reality shows like Project Runway (I'm all over Christians "hot tranny mess"). But the new words for cool, dope, hot, awesome? I haven't a friggin clue.
  8. Bad ass kids annoy me. When I was younger, I was a kid so I didn't care about other bad kids unless they bullied me. Now that I'm older and I see a kid act up, I shake my head and say they need their butt whooped. Gone are the days when I'd say "I'll never spank my kids".
  9. I'm fierce about my skin care regimin. I may not have bags, wrinkles or dark circles yet but I plan to keep it that way for as long as geneticlly possible so I use the anti wrinkle, under eye creams now for prevention but it does make me feel kind of old to have the cashier ring up my wrinkle reducing chemical peel and have her ask me how it works. Hell if I know but I figure as long as I see no wrinkles I'm good to go!
  10. But on that note, when I wake up from a late night of partying, the reflextion in my mirror is less than camera ready. I need cucumbers to depuff. Sigh.
  11. I'm starting to wake up early on the weekends. I did when I was little but then I hit teenage ville and never cracked open an eyelid on a Saturday before 10am. Now that seems entirely too late. 730/8am is my usual. I like to get out and work out before all the people hit the city.

Any signs you've hit "adultville"?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Music on My Mind

So I had a blog buddy who used to post regularly different music/videos she was feeling out there and the recent tag post I did inspired me to do the same every once in a while. As a writer music gets me in a zone. Jill Scott gets me to my women's lit mode and Lincoln Park gets me to my horror writing zone.
So I also like to search out for lesser known artist so I live on itunes for unknowns. Not to mention, don't laugh, but the show So You Think You Can Dance has put me on to some really off mainstream lyrical goodies. Anywho, down below are just a few of the videos/songs I'm diggin at the moment (some are old some are brand spankin new). I'll try to put a couple up on a weekly or every other week basis- spread the word underground and what not.

Justin Nozaka- After Tonight (and he's Kevin Bacon's nephew- random)-

Anything by Adele but this is Chasing Pavements

Santogold- I'm feeling her Creator song but this is LES Artistes which I'm feeling as well- this isn't a sista who is afraid to rock- we need more!

Even though I hate to admit I like his stuff- Kanye West and Chris Martin (of Coldplay)- Homecoming

That's all for now...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Racial Politics

I know I'm late to the scene, I've been a bit busy, but I had to stop and take some time to comment on some things, namely this New Yorker cover that is supposed to be a caricature of Obama and his wife.
Yes people are talking. Their talking about the racism, the ignorance, the bias. But what are they not talking about? What issue of great importance are they missing? I'll tell you.
How dare they give Michele Obama that jacked up jerry curled 'fro! Has anyone ever scene her sporting that tired do? She rocks a perfectly coifed bob not some side show Bob from the Simpsons crap they did in this cover! How dare they!

But seriously, I've heard the cover is meant to be a satire on all the ignorance being thrown at Obama from his political haters and some ignorant G.Q. Publics. HOWEVER, I am not satisfied. This isn't funny and things are still too sensitive for those stupid enough to believe Michele is a terrorist and that Obama is a follower of Osama and burns the flag to get that this is meant to show how crazy the statements made about Obama are. In fact, it simply looks like the New Yorker is siding with those simpletons and making fun of Obama.
Now the New Yorker may make fun of other politicians but some things get lost in translation when the insult deals with America's fear of terrorist and misguided criticism of Muslims. I say bad timing. Why wait now to do this instead of when he was campaigning against Hilary? Are they fearful he might actually win? Seems people are scrapping the bottom of the barrel to find ways to discredit Obama. No ones perfect so I'm sure you can find something better to pick on than his name, his former minister, his alleged elitism (if he came from the ghetto would he have enough street cred to run the country? Come on this is the presidency not the rap game, and most presidents have come from money, our current one included. Guess this brown person's getting too "uppity"!)

As an aside, did I miss something, why are all the papers referring to Obama as the "presumed" Democratic candidate but McCain gets the full Republican candidate to his name. What's the presumption? Didn't Hilary stop fighting the good fight?

Black in America
On a semi related note, we get another series on Black America by a news program. This time CNN is airing a two part series on July 23-24. Day one focuses on black women, day two on men.

I'll check it out and see if they do a more detailed review than NBC news did. As long as they don't generalize, I won't be annoyed...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I keep playing Tag

The True Urban Queen Tagged me!

The Rules
"List seven songs that you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now, shaping your spring/summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to."

My List
(I'm not much for the radio these days so I search far and wide for musical inspiration)

1) Viva La Vida- Coldplay
2) Homecoming- Adele (the 10 times better non drugged out Amy Whinehouse)
3) Shake- Metro Station
4)Creator- Santogold
5) Rising Up- The Roots, Chrisete Michele, Wale
6) Magic Touch - Robin Thicke
7)Tie- Forever- Chris Brown and Bleeding Love- Leona Lewis

Now I'm taggin Girl From Park Heights, Renissance Black Woman and the Anti Diva!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Texting is the New High Tech Security Blanket

Joe: Hey Cat this is Joe. We met at the gym, how are you?
Cat: Hey, things are good.

Joe: So how was your weekend? I was so busy with family for the holidays. Sorry I didn't call sooner


No response.

Seriously, dude, pick up the phone! No we are not going to get into a whole conversation over text!

I took a very informal poll and found out that people, most particularly women, do not care for texting as the first communication from a guy. Meaning, if I meet Joe while out and give said man my number I do not care for his eventual technological contact with me to be via texting. Now I'm not talking about I just met him and moments later he sends me a text. That's okay, maybe even cute depending on what he wrote. HOWEVER, fellas, if you contact a person a day or so later and it is via a text message that is a let down.

Calling shows you are motivated to speak to that person and willing to set aside some time to get to know him or her and possibly plan an outing for the future. Texting someone as the first contact is a cop out and makes that person seem like they were an after thought. I say suck it up, take a risk and call that person!

What's the worst that could happen? You've already taken the biggest risk and it paid off because you got their number. And if they aren't home, I know this might be scary for some people but, you might just want to leave a message! Maybe it's just me but I like it when a guy cares enough to leave a message instead of just hanging up. Otherwise I'm left with the fact that he called because I have caller ID but don't know if I should call him back, is it important or does he plan to just call me back when he can? Too many questions, let's be simple, leave a message!

I know it's scary to call someone the first time but texting instead of making that first call has got to be the most annoying thing since walking around with those phone earpieces...when you aren't even talking to someone... or have your hands in use...while on a date. Everytime I see someone walk around with those things like they are Lt. Uhura from Star Trek I have to sigh deeply and practice some Ghandi like patience. Disengage from the machinery people!

Okay, back to the regularly schedule programming.

Anyway, I have to wonder if technology, for all it's greatness, is also making us lazy. I am meeting way too many guys who feel texting me a message for our first conversation is okay. Further , they then try to put the "burden" of calling off on me. They text me saying "hey, it's Pete from the other day, what's up, give a call when you can".


If you are the one interested why aren't you calling me? How has calling someone become the new hot potato?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness: Can you make a dream a reality in this society?

You ever have a side of your life that you want to explore or a dream you want to achieve but the process to get there is so difficult or risky? Maybe you want to act, sing or open up your own business. Or maybe you find the place you are living in is not bringing you the excitement you’ve always craved. There is something you want to do that requires you to step out of your comfort zone and decisions must be made. You want to buy a house since this is a buyers market but you also want to move out of the state to find whatever happiness. You want to pursue that catering business you’ve dreamed of but your highly lucrative career makes you put in so many hours you’d have to quit to pursue that dream.

What do you do? We’re encouraged in our society to follow our dreams but real life forces us to put them on the back burner. Buy that house to build that equity even though that may mean you can’t move to L.A. like you wanted or travel to Australia like you dreamed.

It would seem too easy to have everything we wanted. Life, at least in my twenty something odd years of experience, seems to be more of an either/or. Only in college was I able to do drama while at the same time being involved in student government. Sure in the “real world” you could be a professional and take a modern dance class once or twice a week but if dancing is your passion you can’t be a banker and tour with a ballet company at the same time.

But do you give it up for the lure of financial security or even just the idea of making the most money you can make? But who wants to be in their 70s thinking about what they could have been/done/tried? Who wants to live their dreams through their kids (isn’t that the stuff stage moms are made of?)?

The older you get the more pressing is the desire to live the dream. Perhaps you think, after I get married and the kids grow up I can reevaluate my desire to be a film director or open that designer boutique. But deferring a dream is a dangerous thing. You never know what the years hold for you.

So, again, what do you do? I’m of the opinion that you have to make the decision full force. If you want to be a dancer really pursue it. And if it’s more comfortable to set a time limit for success then do so. If you know that the risk is just too great for the realities of your life then you have to be accepting of the decision not to go after that dream. No regrets. Not pursing a passion can eat at you if giving it up was not your decision. Another alternative could be compromising. If you can’t be in the ballet tour, would you be fulfilled teaching dance in the evenings after your full time job? Can you work and sing gigs at night or perform in /direct a local theater company?

Ultimately, make the decision alone. Your parents, most likely, will tell you to follow the money. They are coming from a place of love. They don’t want you to suffer. And 9 times out of 10, that’s what they did. But all that makes is a greater population of unsatisfied people. If you must seek outside advice, I’d ask someone who you trust as a mentor. Someone in the field you want to be in. I have a coworker who is also a published author who gives me some great advice not just about the field but about the outside life matters to pursuing a dream. Make a chart of your goals and weigh them not just on how strong you want to achieve them but also whether it is alright to put them off until later. I desire to buy a house but I actually can live quite happily if I buy the house later in my life than next year. It will be much easier now, as a single woman with no kids, to live the dream of traveling to, say, Egypt than later should I get married and have kids. Buying a house then might actually be easier (especially since I’ll be splitting the mortgage with someone or at the very least have a higher paying salary). Or take the job making the money you wanted to live comfortably or keep the lower paying one for now and have the freedom to do pursue other interest at the same time.

Whatever your decision make sure it’s one you can live, and inevitably, die with.

The Randomness of it all: Things I heard/read:

So much for hiding from those aliens…

You ever see those sci-fi movies where the earth gets invaded by aliens? Ever wonder how the hell they found us if their planet was millions of light years away. Well this may be the answer. Seems our earth is crying out and what a horrific noise it is.
Here’s the audio and explanation.

Now, I wonder how long the earth has been making that noise. For those earth conscious do you wonder if its earth basically in pain for all the crap we humans do to it? Or for the more scientific minds is it simply a part of what the earth does just like spinning. Scientist don’t yet know why the earth makes this noise but they do know that if “others” are out their listening, they can sure hear it!

The Birds!

The Baltimore Ravens are thinking of training real ravens to fly around the stadium during their games.;_ylt=Aqxvnhg6FGa7t40l7w5gvYzZn414?urn=nfl,91061

Hmm *scratches head* Nothing about that sounds right at all!

First of all, I hate birds. They fly above you and think the world is their toilet. Who wants to have to worry about a bird dropping a “special gift” on their hot dog before they take a bite?

And ever since watching The Birds I am no fan of them, especially if they come in groups. That always seems ominous to me. Like something bad is about to happen any moment. What if they just go mad, perhaps at the Raven’s bad game, and start flying around insanely and attack people. Again, the threat of having your eye poked out does not make for a relaxing jolly good time. I’d take a pass on this one!

Now that’s taking a chance

Would you go, at a moments notice, to a public place for a date with a total stranger? I mean never seen them before or so much as heard their voice? Well that’s the theme for the ever growing service for single peeps called

You sign up, much like match or eharmony and the site contacts you with maybe thirty minutes notice to go meet Joe Random at said bar or coffee shop. You can log on to the site and see just what this Joe Random is all about but get this, they blur his/her picture. So I guess you have to hope that the “site people” stick to what you request and don’t set you up with someone outside of what you want. I wondered why they keep the picture hidden but realize that if you knew you had to meet a guy or girl at say Starbucks in thirty minutes and checked their picture out and were thouroughly displeased you might be tempted to just not show up which is waaaay rude. So this way you’re coming with an open mind and taking a chance on someone that you may never have winked at on match but is an actual great person who may not be so bad to know further or someone who may actually be just your type. You don’t know.

Still, what a roll of the dice? Not so sure I am confident enough in a strangers ability to arrange a blind date for me. I barely trust the taste of the people I know (who pretty much view the types of guys I’m attracted to as outside of what they would ever have guessed which is why they usually never get it right).

I suppose the first time around could be a fun experiment but after a while I could see this becoming as scary as walking into a dark haunted house- you just don’t know what scary creature is going to pop out at you calling your name!