I love independent cinema. I love Black independent cinema even more. Here in Philadelphia, we have a chain of theatres called simply "The RITZ"...Their slogan used to be -"Movies to talk about." At one of these movie houses you can see a movie filmed in The U.K. , Ireland, Japan, France,Spain or elsewhere in the world.
Prior to what the average American moviegoer thinks...Good movies are made outside of this country. If you don't mind english sub-titles sometimes..and you get into the actual story being told..You are in for a great time at the cinema.
There are also some great films made here in the U.S.A. on a shoestring budget that aren't backed by a major studio that wound up getting shown to limited audiences. Ever wonder why you never heard of a movie like "The King's Speech" that won big at the Oscars? It's because you didn't check out independent cinema at movie houses like the Ritz!
Oh...and the popcorn is the best in the city...bar none...You can taste the butter melting on it.
Now for the real reason I wrote this post.....There is an independent movie out that is getting a lot of early buzz on Facebook, Twitter and other websites called 'Dessert Flower' that I want to pull your coat tails to...It probably will wind up in a movie house like the Ritz and in limited theatre openings across the country.
Based on the book of the same name, Desert Flower is at its core a story of courage and hope and one woman's journey. This biopic examines the life of Waris Dirie (played by supermodel Liya Kebede), a Somalian woman who at the age of 13 fled her home before her impending marriage and ultimately became a world-renowned model. The film touches on the sensitive issue of genital mutilation, which Dirie experienced at the age of 3, and the woman's fight to eradicate the horrifying procedure.
Despite the subject matter at it's core...This film and the upcoming "Mooslum" with Evan Ross are two independent Black films that are worth your while to see. Desert Flower is currently playing in select U.S. cities. Go see it and I hope the popcorn in your venue is as good as I know the popcorn is going to be at THE RITZ!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
1.What Are You Reading Now of Days?
When I'm not blogging or on Facebook or Twitter, I'm reading Zane's "Hot Box" currently...She writes the best erotica.
2.Where do you shop for your clothes ?
Anywhere that's affordable and that has clothes I can fit. When it comes to suits, I like to have at least one suit that's good and that I can wear from anywhere to a business meeting , church, funeral or a dinner. I'm not ashamed to say that I often go to Men's Wearhouse or KG's... I've found some great looking suits there...I'm past the age of trying to impress somebody with a name brand or a hefty price tag...but I still want to look good.
3. What's Your Cologne of Choice?
The panty dropper as the kids say...Issey Miyake. Someone gave me a bottle as a Polyanna gift a few years back.(The only decent polyanna gift I've ever gotten.) and it's been my cologne of choice ever since.
4.Have You joined the IPAD craze yet?
I don't even own an ipod yet.....I know, I ought to be ashamed of myself.. but my wife and I were at the Apple store just a few days ago looking and playing with some IPADs and Laptops...The Laptops were out of my current price range...but the IPADs weren't...I like them...I'm almost there! LOL!
5.Who have you got in the Final Four?
Don't ask! Every school I picked is out...Ohio State, Duke, San Diego State...forget about it. I should have been forward thinking and picked Butler in at least one of my brackets!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Jimi Hendrix recorded a song back in nineteen sixty something or other called "Manic -Depression" It's one of my favorites by Hendrix..(Yes,I'm a Hendrix head...He died when I was twelve, but I still love his music.) Anyway, this is not about Jimi Hendrix or Manic Depression...This is about a sign of the times..."Facebook Depression" or as it is correctly called.."Social Networking Anxiety." Can you believe that?
We really are becoming a weak ,spoiled nation of whiners aren't we? From what I can asertain from my recent reading..We can now Add "Facebook depression" to potential harms linked with social media and networking, an influential doctors' group warns, referring to a condition it says may affect troubled teens who obsess over the online site.I read this and I wonder is it really just troubled teens? It seems like more adults are on Facebook ,Twitter, Myspace and the like than ever before... Poor kids...you can't have anything for yourselves anymore, can you?
Researchers disagree on whether it's simply an extension of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition linked with using the online sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Supposedly there are unique aspects of Facebook and Twitter and other social networking sites like them that can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem, said Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe, a Boston-area pediatrician and lead author of new American Academy of Pediatrics social
media guideline. Wow! They're writing books about something I was just doing for fun.
With in-your-face friends' tweets, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook and Twitter pages can make some people feel even worse if they think they don't measure up.
It can be more painful than sitting alone in a crowded school cafeteria or other real-life encounters that can make kids feel down, O'Keeffe said, because Facebook and in some aspects, Twitter provides a skewed view of what's really going on. Online, there's no way to see facial expressions or read body language that provide context.
The guidelines urge pediatricians to encourage parents to talk with their kids about online use and to be aware of Social Networking anxiety, cyberbullying, sexting and other online risks. These guidelines were published online yesterday in Pediatrics.
I believe it was last year that I wrote a post about cyber bullying. Not trying to give myself a free plug (yet again) ,but hey...I did! My wife, who like myself is a Facebook and Twitter user (as well as a blogger) has often said that the social networking phenom "is like a big popularity contest —a contest to see who can get the most friend requests or get the most pictures tagged," she said. It can be...
Also, it's common among some teens( and silly childlike adults, old enough to know better) to post snotty or judgmental messages on the Facebook walls of people they don't like. ( Yet "friend" anyway...which has me scratching my head.)
The academy guidelines note that online harassment "can cause profound psychosocial outcomes," including suicide. The widely publicized suicide of a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl last year occurred after she'd been bullied and harassed, in person and on Facebook.
I'm not really directing this post at teenagers....Remember...this was their thing at first....I'm disgusted with some adults on the networks who seem to have regressed since they got on the networks. Teenagers and children can tend to be mean as anyone who has ever endured four years of High school probably knows...but by the time you are over 25 , you should be beyond that type of behavior.
If I see one more 30 plus years adult post something about how many "haters" they have, I think I will deactivate all of my accounts. On the real though,these social networks are great ways to reconnect with family, old friends, fraternity or sorority buddies, old schoolmates et al. They are great marketing tools also as well as a great way to meet new people..(For those who aren't too paranoid or full of themselves or both!)
This is the new hangout now...If Facebook and Twitter served drinks..it would be the equivalent of the corner bar...These social networks can enhance feelings of social connectedness among well-adjusted kids, and have the opposite effect on those prone to depression.
People shouldn't get the idea that using Facebook or Twitter "is going to somehow infect you with depression. It all depends on you and who you choose to "follow" or "friend"
Friday, March 25, 2011
Tyrone had shingles.
Those of us who spend a lot of time in a doctor's office should appreciate this! Doesn't it seem more and more that physicians are running their practices like an assembly line? Here's what happened to my man Tyrone :
Tyrone walked into a doctor's office and the receptionist asked him what he had. Tyrone said: '' I got Shingles man.'' So she wrote down his name, address, medical insurance number and told him to have a seat.
Fifteen minutes later a nurse's aide came out and asked Tyrone what he had...
Tyrone said, ''I got Shingles. How come yall keep askin me the same question?'' So she wrote down his height, weight, a complete medical history and told Tyrone to wait in the examining room.
A half hour later a nurse came in and asked Tyrone what he had. Tyrone said, '' Like, I told the other two people who asked me,shingles..I got shingles'' So the nurse gave Tyrone a blood test, a blood pressure test, an electrocardiogram, and told Tyrone to take off all his clothes and wait for the doctor.
"What? Take my clothes off...for some shingles? Okay, whatever yall say." he said.
An hour later the doctor came in and found Tyrone sitting patiently in the nude and asked him what he had.
Tyrone said, ''Shingles man'' The doctor asked, ''Shingles??Where?''
Tyrone said, ''Outside on the truck. When I put my clothes back on, where do you want me to unload 'em??''
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
This Libya thing has already begun to spin wildly out of hand....The Right Wingers in the U.S. have already started their attacks on President Obama...but even more alarming...The so called Allied Nations of NATO can't seem to get along either.. It appears to be a pissing contest between certain nations as to who should be running the show. Incredible...
Discord erupted Monday in Europe over whether the military operation in Libya should be controlled by NATO, after Turkey blocked the alliance's participation while Italy issued a veiled threat to withdraw the use of its bases unless the alliance was put in charge.
Germany also questioned the wisdom of the operation, and Russia's Vladimir Putin railed against the UN-backed air strikes mounted so far against Moammar Gadhafi's force by Britain, France and the United States outside of their NATO roles.
"The Security Council's resolution is flawed, it allows everything and is reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade," Putin said. "In fact, it allows intervention in a sovereign state." He's actually right.
A day after Turkey declined to support a military plan for the alliance to enforce a Libya no-fly zone, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could support the NATO effort — but only if it does not turn into an occupation. Again...I find that reasonable.
"NATO should only enter Libya to determine that Libya belongs to Libyans and not to distribute its natural resources and richness to others," Erdogan said during a visit to Saudi Arabia.
There had been widespread expectation that the strikes against Libya would be overseen by NATO, and the hastily improvised nature of the military coalition has drawn criticism.
The United States, France and Britain initiated attacks on Libya on Saturday, raining cruise missiles and precision bombs on Libyan military targets on the ground, including Gadhafi's residential compound. Other countries have since joined in.
Diplomats said Turkey, a NATO member that sees itself as a bridge between Europe and the Muslim world, was angered by its exclusion from an emergency summit Saturday in Paris organized by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, at which the 22 participants agreed to launch armed action against Gadhafi's military.
France ended up making the first strikes, and the diplomats said Turkey's envoys had warned that NATO's participation in the airstrikes could damage the alliance's standing in the Islamic world at a time when it is heavily engaged in the war in Afghanistan.
The diplomats, who are accredited to NATO, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.
NATO's participation in any military action against Libya would require the approval of all 28 NATO members. But Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal denied that his country was grounding NATO.
"Turkey is not blocking NATO, Turkey has been contributing to the preparations with a positive approach since the beginning," Unal told The Associated Press.
The NATO diplomats said the North Atlantic Council, NATO's top decision-making body, was unable to reach agreement Monday, and would take up the issue again on Tuesday for the fourth day in a row.
Even if such an order is adopted, it would take several days before aircraft under NATO command could start flying missions over Libya. The order also is likely to restrict NATO's air forces to making sure there are no unauthorized flights over Libya, with no mention of attacks on ground targets, one of the diplomats said.
France seeks leadership. Turkey was apparently not the only obstacle. Diplomats said France was seeking political leadership of the mission, but this was opposed by a number of other nations, which wanted NATO firmly in charge. Another sticking point was just how aggressive the enforcement of the no-fly zone should be, as several nations strongly opposed continuing the air strikes on Libyan ground targets.
From Chile, President Barack Obama said the United States would transfer leadership of the military operation to other, unnamed participants within a "matter of days, not weeks."
"NATO will be involved in a coordinating function because of the extraordinary capacity of that alliance" but details of the transfer — when it would take place and to whom — would be provided by U.S. military leaders, President Obama said.
Italy warned Monday that it would review the use of its bases by coalition forces if NATO does not take over. The country lies just across the Mediterranean from Libya and is allowing the use of seven of its military bases.
"Italy will begin reflecting on the use of its bases," said Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, according to Italian news reports. "If there is a multiplication of command centers, we must study a way in which Italy retakes control of its bases."Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi insisted the mission should pass to NATO's command, and said Italian planes would not launch any missiles. Speaking in Turin, he said coordination among partners must be "different from the one that has been established so far."
On the home front, That queen of the Right wing, Sarah Palin ,in her best passive aggressive mode (and not to mention hypocritical), used her speech this weekend in India to say that Americans have a tradition of criticizing the President while overseas. Then she proceeded to criticize the President while overseas, Explain that to me please..
“The U.S. has a tradition of course of Americans as we travel to foreign soil we don’t criticize our President’s foreign policy — even as friendly soil as India is — I won’t criticize what his foreign policy has been. But, to answer your question, certainly there would have been more decisiveness, there would have been more commitment to making sure that those who are freedom fighters, who truly desire democracy and free and fair elections and respect for human rights and women’s rights, that they know that America is on their side. And we have a rich tradition, a history in America of being on the side of those who would seek democracy, who would seek freedom, and free markets. So, yes, there would have been more decisiveness and less, though the word has been beaten to death, the word ‘dithering’? I, heaven forbid you hear that again in national news over in the U.S. because it’s used all the time. But less dithering, more decisiveness.” -She said, while at a speaking engagement at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi.
Despite the fact that I don't care what she (or any of the Tea Party pundits) have to say about anything...I said that President Obama would be attacked from all ends.. To my knowledge , nobody on the left has said anything public about his policy towards Libya...but it's coming...There were several Anti War protests this past weekend.
I'm not going to go on and on about this and barring some major new development I'm not writing another post about this Libyan thing this week...All I'm saying is that I personally feel as though, our involvement in this was a bad idea and that this thing is spiraling way out of control, way too soon....but what do I know? By the way...What is the price tag on this?
Ummmm Hmmmm, another blog post for another day...but not tomorrow.
Monday, March 21, 2011
I couldn't believe what I read in the papers this past Saturday Night, That The United States, just barely out of Iraq and still in Afghanistan has yet taken military action against yet another Muslim country!
You know my thing is domestic! We have enough that needs to be taken care of right here in the U.S. of A. without spending one red cent on the affairs of another nation in the middle east. Is President Obama once again caving in or trying to appease the Republican majority in congress? I certainly hope not.
Anyway, a coalition of American and European forces bombed Libyan targets by air and sea Saturday in the first phase of a military campaign to drive Moammar Gadhafi from power.
French warplanes fired the first shots in the broadest international military effort since the Iraq war, destroying government tanks and armored vehicles in the region of the rebels' eastern stronghold, Benghazi. Hours later, British and U.S. warships and submarines launched more than 110 Tomahawk missiles against Gadhafi's air defenses around the capital Tripoli and the western city of Misrata, which has been besieged by Gadhafi's forces, Pentagon officials said.
Early Sunday morning, several loud explosions were heared in Tripoli, followed by what sounded like bursts of anti-aircraft fire, CNN reported. The aim of the coalition's operation, dubbed "Odyssey Dawn", (I gotta admit, they do come up with some catchy titles for these operations )was to enforce a United Nations-sanctioned no-fly zone over Libya and stop Gadhafi from attacking overwhelmed rebel forces in the east.
"This is not an outcome the U.S. or any of our partners sought," President Barack Obama said from Brazil, where he is starting a five-day visit to Latin America. "We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy."
Less than two hours after President Barack Obama spoke, Mommar Gadhafi, who has ruled Libya for 41 years, said in a telephone call to Libyan state TV that he will arm civilians to defend Libya from "colonial, crusader" aggression.
"It is now necessary to open the stores and arm all the masses with all types of weapons to defend the independence, unity and honor of Libya," Gadhafi said. He is indeed delusional and I won't argue that he is a tyrant....but he is of no threat to the United States or any of it's European allies that I can see.
For their part, The Republicans and the Tea Party crowd are trying their hardest to find something that the President has done wrong...Unlike George W. I will give President Obama credit for going to the United Nations and making sure that this was an international -unilateral action. The U.S. seems to be giving the French and the British Air support and nothing more.
No troops of any nation are on the ground in Libya.
Thing is...Can the rebels do their part to flush Ghadafi out? Could Ghahafi prolong this thing into a years long campaign?? Another post for another day. The Left and progressives are upset with the president's move period...I have already heard the rumblings on Facebook and Twitter denouncing not only this move, but questioning his commitment to a progressive agenda. Again, I ask the question...Is he trying to out Republican the Republicans?I just don't know right now.
I still can't understand why the U.S. is involved in this....I hope this doesn't lead to yet another protracted uber-war... Stay tuned!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
1. Outdoor Sweat Session
Head to a local park for a hike, run, bike ride or tennis match. (If you live in Philly, that means Lincoln Drive.) Get your blood pumping, and you might notice something else pumping too (I'm talking about your libido in case you didn't catch the little innuendo). I'm just sayin ...
2. A Bicycle Built for Two
A lot of us African-Americans just aren't the romantic types, and we ought to be.The ultimate exercise in teamwork and trust, tandem bicycling is both a great workout and a chance for you and your significant other to get in sync, get into it and get involved as James Brown would say. Rent one at a bike store near you. (If you live in Philly, that would be at the Bike shop on Main Street in Manyunk.)
Come on..Get your romantic on.Spread a blanket on a flat spot and dine on fresh fruit, chocolate, cheese, and wine (the menu is up to you two, of course). If you get rained out, you can always cheat and spread out a blanket on the bed. (Wink-Wink!)
Hit up three or four of your favorite watering holes around town and try a new beer or drink at each one. Okay, this isn't entirely outside, but hey, doesn't walking from bar to bar count? I think it does.
Get some fresh air and give your relationship a karmic boost: Sign up to help clean up a local park or highway, or if you're good with a hammer, you can help build homes in nearby neighborhoods with Habitat for Humanity (Habitat.org), or help autistic children at the center for Autism.
6. Horseback Riding
Find a local farm or a nearby equestrian school and book a couple's ride through the countryside.
(I don't know why I wrote this....No two people that I know are going to get on any horse!)
7. Book a room at a local hotel for only one night. To add an element of mystery, don't tell your significant other where the two of you are going. (Sex never goes out of style!)
Friday, March 18, 2011
"Not a chance,that cat is drawn" says Rakim, "it is 3:00 in the morning!"
He slams the door and returns to bed.
"Who was that?" asked Juanita.
"Just some drunk guy asking for a push." Rakim answers.
"Did you help him?" she asks.
"No, I did not, it is 3:00 in the damn morning and it is pouring rain out
there!" says Rakim.
"Well, you have a short memory Rakim," says his wife. "Can't you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us?" she said.
"I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself Rakim"she continued.
Rakim does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the
He calls out into the dark, "Hey Man, are you still there?"
"Yeah" comes back the answer.
"Do you still need that push?" calls out Rakim.
"Yeah, please!" comes the reply from the dark.
"Where you at man, I can't see you?" asks Rakim.
"I'm Over here. On the swing," replied the drunk.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
The West Coast vocalist had consistently struggled with some very serious health issues since a stroke paralyzed his left side in late December 2007. Nine months later, he suffered yet another stroke.
Toward the end of his life, Nate Dogg spent a considerable amount of time in and out of medical rehab facilities undergoing physical therapy in an effort to get his mobility back.
He was born Nathaniel D. Hale on August 19, 1969 in Long Beach, CA, Nate Dogg, like a lot of R&B or secular singers began singing in the church where his father was a pastor.
He left home at 16, dropping out of high school to join the Marine Corps where he served for three years. At 21, he hooked up with Snoop Dogg and Warren G in the rap trio 213.
Nate signed with Death Row Records in 1993. His first hit single, "Regulate," dropped in 1994.
Nate would go on to be featured on several Tupac Shakur records before signing with Elektra. The four-time Grammy nominee had his fair share of troubles, having been arrested on drug and weapons charges in 2002, but he will best be remembered for his contributions to and collaborations on over 40 hit singles between 1991 and 2011.
He died Tuesday, March 15 in his home town of Long Beach, CA.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
1.I'm finally going to give in and get in the office NCAA pool.
2.I've got Ohio State winning it all, maybe I shouldn't do a bracket.
3.Judging by their last few games since beating the Lakers and the way they dismantled the San Antonio Spurs recently....The Miami Heat have stopped crying and found their inner villian.
4.The Cavs can learn a few things from the Thunder about how to rebuild a team...With a little luck they'll get a nice lottery pick and with a few savy trades and another lottery pick next year,
The Cavs can be right back in the mix in about three seasons.
5.Both the Sixers and the Knicks were showing such promise a few weeks ago....Now both teams seemed to have hit a wall.
6.The Chicago Bulls might surprise a lot of people and come out of the East this year.
7.If the Boston Celtics make it back to the finals this year, I for one will be surprised!
8.Kevin Love deserves to be on a better team.
9.Love em or hate em, The Los Angelas Lakers are still the team to beat and still the best show in town!
10.It is unbelievable but true, The Bucks, The Bobcats and The Pacers are more than likely going to make the playoffs this year. Honorable mention should go to the Sixers and the Knicks too I suppose.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I have been the biggest critic of the tea party movemant. I know that supposedly there are Black tea party supporters...I look at them as just misguided fools...There were Black soldiers in the Confederate army for that matter....What can I say? Ignorance in action is a frightening thing.
Two Weeks ago, NPR executive Ron Shiller called the tea party movement that propelled Republicans to huge congressional gains in the midterm elections last November "scary" and "seriously racist." In addition, he complained that America did not have enough "educated, so-called elite" citizens, and that the Republican Party was anti-intellectual. His opinion...and in my opinion, the absolute truth.
NPR, which is supposedly liberal(That's the rumor at least) tossed Ron Shiller under the bus, denounced his comments about the Tea Party and sought to distance themselves from him... He has since left NPR for "undisclosed reasons." They distanced themselves because his comments could possibly force the majority Republican Congress to cut it's funding ,that's why....
So I suppose the Tea Party takes umbrage at being called racist....Explain to me why they are now encouraging voters to oust a Black congressman because of his religion? Explain that?
Over the weekend, the so called Tea Party Nation sent out an e-mail to Minnesota voters backing independent candidate, Lynne Torgerson over Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison. Who is the Tea Party Nation? Glad you asked!This is the same group that sponsored the Tea Party convention earlier this year, headlined by Sarah Palin. The reason given for backing Lynn Torgerson over Keith Ellison is that Keith Ellison is an African American Muslim with alleged terrorist ties. Not only are they being discriminatory, but they also lied about Keith Ellison in the e-mail, which stated the following:
"There are a lot of liberals who need to be retired this year, but there are few I can think of more deserving than Keith Ellison. Ellison is one of the most radical members of congress. He has a ZERO rating from the American Conservative Union. He is the only Muslim member of congress. He supports the Counsel for American Islamic Relations, HAMAS and has helped congress send millions of tax to terrorists in Gaza.
A Complete lie...Not a scent of proof...just an inflammatory and irresponsible bit of truth bending.
Truth bending that they are good at...Death panels anyone? President Obama was born in Guam anyone?? It's the same old crap.
If you put the obvious grammatical errors aside,Keith Ellison is not the only Muslim in Congress, and where is the proof that he has sent millions of tax dollars to terrorists in Gaza? The Tea Party is dangerous not only because of the wacky people who are in it but also because of the rhetoric use, which is hateful, ignorant and uninformed. That is a dangerous combination that smacks of desperation. And people actually wonder, people actually question why folks think the Tea Party is racist?? Unbelievable!
Monday, March 14, 2011
Carrying a big debt of any kind can be psychologically burdensome. It can cause a lot of sleepless nights so after doing much research..I've come up with some ways that some of you might want to kill your debt creatively.
1.First off, Find yourself a better credit card, with a lower rate. Make a list of how awful you felt about being in debt with your previous cards on the outside of an envelope. Place your credit cards inside the envelope and seal it. When you're tempted to charge something you can't afford, you'll read your own words about how debt affected you -- and decide to stick to your spending limit. I know it's crazy,but it's working for me...Go with me on that.
2.A little help from your peeps! Involve your closest partners or friends. Sometimes you need the support of loved ones who know what you're trying to achieve and have your best interests in mind. Keep in mind that you'll want people who inspire you, not depress you or other wise get on your freakin nerves. Make sure you choose those with positive attitudes. (Not folks who just want to know your business and gossip.)
3.Employ Facebook or Twitter. Employ these social networks to publicly declare your new financial goals. Making a public, online announcement can make all the difference in maintaining a financially healthy life.You've put yourself out there and this can piggyback off of number two...It'll get your true friends involved.
Use your social networks to declare your goals, ask for accountability and gather the support and knowledge you need to get there. There are other people in your social circles who share your desire to stay debt-free and are just waiting for a reason to commit. Then you can all do it together.
4.Lighten your load by broadening your budget. Broaden your budget. A perpetually tight financial belt is a problem, so loosen it up a notch before you rip it off. The Money Mess personal finance blogger Christopher Scully stresses the importance of constantly refining and revising a cash-flow plan. If a budget isn't elastic, you'll eventually stray. "Build in achievable goals, then rework your budget to include saving for it," says Scully. "Allot some sort of reward money for hitting monthly milestones on the way." By doing so, you'll prepare for long-term objectives while having enough funds to satisfy your desire for spending liberty. (Yeah,I know,surprised by the stuff I read, aren't you?)
5.Reduce Temptation... This was my problem...Listen, if access to an abundance of credit is overly seductive, cut it down. I once had 13 credit cards...Yeah 13, Visa,Mastercard, American Express...Today...I have two major cards and three store cards that I hardly ever use.
6.Take the highest ugliest bill you have and frame it...Pay your lower bills off first and then work on that high one, that ugly one...The more you chip off of that,the better you begin to feel..This is what I did.
7.Refine Your Value system baby! -If you really want to stay on budget you had better find out what it is that really makes you happy! Take the time to really think about what you want and why you just have to have it ,or why you really want it!You'll be much happier spending money and be less likely to blow it on impulsive purchases or trying to keep up with the Joneses. Listen to the old Temptations song of the same name...There is a lot of wisdom to be found there.
Finally Save your old debt payments.you can offset the budget blues by doing something smart with the cash you had been sending your creditors.
Once you get rid of revolving credit card debt, take the money you were previously using to pay off debt each month and put it toward building up emergency savings. "Mad Money" as my mother used to say...Actually it's just money for that rainy day. Having extra cash socked away for unexpected expenses is one of the most effective ways to stay out of debt.
It's just like going on a diet.Once you've achieved your desired weight, you've got to keep the momentum going, you can't start eating all of the food that made you fat in the first place or you'll undo all that hard work. So the final tip: Enjoy your success so much that you refuse to let those balances edge up again.
A Public service announcement from the Maverick of All Bloggers.
Friday, March 11, 2011
There was a Black man, a White man, a Native American man and a Latino man. All four were on top of a cliff discussing the difficulties their people had undergone.
The Native American man said, 'My people have suffered the most. In honor of what they have endured, I will fling myself over this cliff in hopes that my blood will change things. "So he yelled, "THIS IS FOR MY PEOPLE!"; and he jumped off the cliff.
The Latino, not wanting to be outdone, quickly looked at the other two and followed yelling, "THIS IS FOR MY PEOPLE!"; and he jumped off the cliff as well...
The Black man was touched by all this and decided it was his turn; So he yelled, "THIS IS FOR MY PEOPLE"; and pushed the White man off the cliff!
STOP LAUGHING !!!
WE ALL KNEW THE BROTHER WAS NOT GOING TO JUMP!!!! DIDN'T WE?
(Thank You Regina...That was a good one!)
Thursday, March 10, 2011
March 9, 1997....My flight from Atlanta had just arrived in Philly....I had been in the ATL for two weeks...It was around 7:30 pm...I was hungry, I was tired...and I desperately wanted some good food ,a hot bath and some rest....Though not necessarily in that order. I took a cab from the airport to my house...
Of course my wife was glad to see me...My daughter, who was 16 then was doing what most 16 year old girls do when they are home...Talking on the phone...On any other night I wouldn't have cared or paid much attention to her and her girlfriend's conversation..but this night ,what I heard her say unnerved me....
"Oh my God...Marsha are you serious?? Dad!!! Biggie got shot!!! He's dead!!!" she screamed...
''WHAT???" I said....I was stunned....It hadn't been a year, scarcely six or seven months since I had heard my daughter in a similar phone conversation blurt out- "Hey yall, Tupac just got shot out in Las Vegas!"
Again....My reaction was - "WHAT????"
Most of you who were alive back then who was listening to music remember those dark days...The days of the so-called East Coast -West Coast war in hip hop.....Truly a dark time...The West Coast was ruling hip-hop in the mid nineties and Notorious B.I.G. from Brooklyn had single handedly saved East Coast Rap.... Tupac (who was born on the East Coast) had chosen to defect and represent the West and under the spell of that hoodlum posing as a record label head, Marion "Suge" Knight....Tupac kind of lost his way....Things got way out of hand and a "war" between the coasts began.
I always thought the so called war was hyped up by the press and the media in general...After all, this was the post O.J. era...They needed something to sell papers and snatch ratings out of the toilet.
Now, 14 years after his death and 15 years after Tupac's death...Neither murder has been solved. I always had my theory about who was behind both deaths... I won't call the mastermind out here...Not because I'm afraid, but because I can't prove it. I've always said that if you want to know who may have committed a murder , think about who benefits from the person not being around! From what I can see, this particular person hasn't fared too well since either rapper has died, so ,so much for that theory!
Still, I can't help wondering if either murder, Big's or Tupac's will ever be solved.....There has been theories about a rogue cop, a guy now serving time for bank robbery and even a guy who is now deceased himself being the triggerman. The FBI has closed a lengthy investigation into it without naming a suspect and accusations ,some groundless and some with merit have flown.....
When all is said and done, Hip Hop has a huge gap that hasn't been filled to this day and there still remains a huge mystery that sadly, may never be solved!
Rest in peace Big...Thanks for everything!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
1. Why Do You Blog?
"I blog basically because I have a lot to say and frankly ,I'm too lazy and too impatient to write a book. This is the best way for me to say what is on my mind and actually "publish " it for a wide population of people to see. If I ever decide that I actually want to use my talent to make money, then I suppose I'll have to find a publisher and an editor and write a book...Until then..I'll blog."
2.Describe your blogs-
"Well, this blog..."Keith's Space" is my baby.....My wife and I conceived and launched this blog the day after Christmas, 2007....She envisioned me writing about politics, sports and a wide range of subjects on this blog, which I do and including my poetry and fiction. I wrote this blog for close to six months and after I started getting a little following, I launched my second blog, "Escapades" on July 17,2008...That blog has my original poetry, short stories, novellas and erotica on it and featured art work by african american artists on it... I love that blog ..It is just so much fun to write...This blog is becoming very hard to write. Two years later, nothing for me to do but start a food blog called "Good Foodie" ,which has recipes and health tips and soon, restaurant reviews....I thought about doing a sports blog, but decided against it...It's hard enough writing these three blogs."
3.Which Blogs remind you of yourself?
"Don over at "Minus The Bars" reminds me of me...My Man, Monarplicity reminds me of me, a side of me if you will and 12Kyle over at the "12th Planet "reminds me of me....I love reading those three the most. Honorable mention has to go out to my main man Rich at "The Rich House " and Carey-Carey over at "Carry Me Home"....I enjoy reading those guys immensely. I need to comment more.. A lot of times the comments and the back and forth between us is what has stirred the creative juices and inspired my best posts.
4.What is the single greatest thing you like about blogging?
"You get to write more than 140 charactors.....I swear, I have much more to say than a 140 charactor Twitter post or even a slightly longer Facebook status...but some days, they serve their purpose. Twitter and Facebook is killing Blogging you know...A lot of the old Blogging gang is on one or both and as a result, many of them don't Blog anymore....Only a few of us are still true to this game....I'm in it for life.."
5.Any Blogs Being Slept on?
"Oh yeah...My man Dajj on "Soul Tight" , ''Soul on Ice" over at "I Got Soul" , Kenny and Ed over at "Ed ,the Sports Fan", Curvy Gurl ,over at "The CG Chronicles" , Lovebabz, who just blogs her heart out over at " Lovebabz: "A Life in transition" and my wife's fantastic blog- "The Ladybug of the Household", which I have been shouting out for awhile now. There are more, but I don't have the time or the space to go on here."
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I've talked about my experiences after college on this blog numerous times...Especially in the early days of this blog when I first started writing it. I talked about how I walked out of college in 1981 and mistakenly thought that the world was my oyster...I was young, gifted and Black with an education...The first of the post civil rights generation to enter the work force.. I was going to turn the world upside down!!!!
HA! as my little grandson might say! Not so fast....In 1981, as now..America was in a deep recession. I couldn't find a job at all...And Christmas '81 ,I was one of the most educated, broke and unemployed knee grows you would ever want to meet. Things look even worse for the person leaving college in 2011...Thirty years have passed and America has made even bigger mistakes than it did in the years before.
For years, Damn near everybody and their uncles have been told that going to college was the best protection against unemployment. That unfortunately hasn't been the case for African Americans during this Great Recession, with a jobless rate nearly double that of their white counterparts. And experts say the gap could widen in the slow recovery.I believe the recovery was a little swifter in the period when I was coming out of college.
African Americans have long suffered the highest unemployment rate of any ethnic group in the country, and this recession has only exacerbated a long-standing divergence.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate for African- Americans in January was 15.7 percent, compared with 8 percent for whites. Although a recent report shows that the unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.9 percent in February, the Economic Policy Institute -- a nonpartisan economic think tank -- projects that national unemployment for blacks will reach a 25-year high this year, with the rates in five states exceeding 20 percent.
Black college graduates have not been spared,( just ask my blog brother ,Zack Issacs.)
At the end of 2010, African Americans, 25 years old and older, with a college education had an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent, while the rate for white college graduates was 4.2 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Other minority groups, such as Asian college graduates and Hispanics, hover a shade over 5.5 percent, while the rate for African-Americans was expected to continue climbing.
Cary Fraser, a professor of labor and industrial relations at Penn State University, believes that several factors contribute to high unemployment in the black community.
First, as corporations continue to relocate thousands of jobs to lower-cost markets in more rural areas, many of the opportunities that were once available to black workers in metropolitan areas like Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore ,St. Louis are now nonexistent.
"African-American professionals have been largely located in the older cities," Fraser says. "Except for maybe places like Atlanta, you will find that there is a higher concentration of the black professional population in the bigger cities."
He believes that black unemployment may end up causing a long-term shift in the country's demographics as many migrate to where the jobs are. "In education, for example, there are many schools in the South that are in desperate need of good teachers," Fraser says. "What we have to ask ourselves is, will we start to see young black college grads leaving the Northeast to teach in the South?" He cites the migration of the auto industry from American-based manufacturers in Detroit to European and Japanese automakers in Kentucky, Mississippi and South Carolina as an example of a significant shift in opportunity.
The second factor in high joblessness among African Americans is what Fraser describes as "class-origin distinction." He says that a large number of black professionals are first-generation college graduates who don't have the same kinds of networks as an earlier generation of African Americans. "They're just not as savvy and as prepared for the work force when they leave college as the older generation was."
Fraser believes that colleges and universities share the blame for not adequately preparing students for the job market. "Many of the institutions are failing these kids and are just taking them in as a way of financing themselves."
Funny ,he would say that...This was something me and a lot of my peers suspected even when we were attending college, That we were just a paycheck for somebody.
So what happened to my American Dream? I heard a comedian tell a group of college students that their diploma was going to get them a big cubicle...."A little bigger than the next guys..but a cubicle just the same."
If I can sound just a little bit hopeful, let me say this....My mother always told me...It's better to be prepared for an opportunity and it not come right away...than for it to come and you not be prepared." She was trying to say...Stay in school...Get that education anyway...Just in case.....of a miracle!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
It's Saturday, and probably a lot of you won't even see this...but if you do...check this out.
In Phoenix ,Arizona a 575-pound man who gained a measure of fame as spokesman for,get this , the Heart Attack Grill — a Phoenix-area restaurant that unabashedly touts its unhealthy, high-calorie menu — has died.
The Friends of 29-year-old Blair River say he died Tuesday, possibly from contracting pneumonia after a bout with the flu.Restaurant founder Jon Basso told The Arizona Republic that Blair River was more than the larger-than-life caricature he portrayed in promoting the restaurant in Chandler (There is a temptation here to make many jokes,but under the circumstances, I'll refrain.) which includes huge hamburgers, milkshakes and fries cooked in lard on its menu.
Basso said that Blair River was a creative genius who had been planning to take part in the shooting of a promotional spot called, "Heart Attack Grill: The Musical."(I kid you not...I can't make this stuff up.)
"Cynical people might think this (River's death) is funny," Basso said. "But people who knew him are crying their eyes out. There is a lot of mourning going on around here. You couldn't have found a better person."
The 6-foot-8 Blair River was an Arizona state high school heavyweight wrestling champion in 1999 and played football at Mesa Community College.
The truth of the matter is that in many cases of people who are huge like Rivers and eat unhealthy, they are definitely not jolly....They are using food, the same way the junkie uses dope and the sex addict uses sex..to fill some huge void inside of them that needs to be closed..
Of all of his friends who are "crying their eyes out." I wonder if any of them took the time to talk to him, find out his mental state of mind...Or did they laugh at him and with him?
There is nothing funny about a young man with his creativity and potential dropping dead...Nothing at all. There is nothing funny about purposely over eating high caloried foods....
We, and by we..I mean me too..all could stand to eat healthier and to get out and exercise.........because unfortunately in the case of this young man...The joke was on him.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Here is one of those little human interest stories that I rarely if ever write about. A few years ago a young woman won "The Ms. Navajo " Beauty pageant on an Indian Reservation. Only problem is and there would have to be some kind of problem or I wouldn't be writing this...She's wasn't a full blooded Navajo!
The beautiful Radmilla Cody, 35,(shown above) a Native American Music Award-winning singer and anti-domestic violence activist,is the woman I was speaking about. The daughter of a Navajo mother and an African-American father,Radmilla Cody was raised by her grandmother in the Arizona Navajo community, initially speaking only the Navajo language. In 1997 she was crowned Miss Navajo Nation, sparking controversy from some members of the Navajo tribe who refused to accept her.
As one disapproving letter to the editor of the Navajo Times put it, "Miss Cody's appearance and physical characteristics are clearly black, and thus are representative of another race of people. It appears that those judges who selected Miss Cody have problems with their own sense of identity."
The only reason I bring this up now is because Ms. Cody is the subject of a 2011 documentary, "Hearing Radmilla",that will be airing on PBS. It not only tells her particular story, but it discusses the larger story of African-Americans and Native Americans ,The two most oppressed minorities in American History.
In a 1920 edition of the Journal of Negro History,Black Historian Carter G. Woodson (The founder of Black History month) observed, "One of the longest unwritten chapters in the history of the United States is that treating of the relations of the Negroes and the Indians."
"Red/Black: Related Through History," a new exhibit at Indianapolis' Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, illuminates this rarely told story. Since the first arrival of enslaved Africans in North America, the relationships between African Americans and Native Americans have encompassed alliances and adversaries, as well as the indivisible blending of customs and culture.
Like All of us , Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Native American...Ms. Cody's story is not just her
personal journey, but also the story of her people in the last half of the twentieth century to the
"Growing up, I was taunted at school with racial slurs and would come home in tears. My grandmother would be there, waiting to console me. She always said, "Let 'em talk. You are a Navajo woman. This is your land. This is how I raised you. You be proud of who you are." Every time, that's what she would say."
"I spent more time in the Navajo community growing up because my grandmother raised me. When I would come into town in Flagstaff, Ariz., to see my mom, who had black friends, and my dad's relatives, I was in the black community more. I went to high school in Flagstaff, and one day a friend was wearing a T-shirt with a big "X" on it. I said, "That's cool! I should get one that says 'R' for Radmilla!" I didn't know anything about Malcolm X. He told me to join the black student organization. I had a lot to educate myself about and embrace, because I come from two beautiful cultures." she said
She elaborated further by discussing her other heritage-"In the black community I also had my challenges. I was always told, "You think you're cute because you got that long, fine hair," and I would have to stand up for my Navajo side because of stereotypes placed upon the Navajo. When I'd go back to the Navajo community, I would have to stand up for my black side because of stereotypes. "It was a challenge sometimes, but I've gotten past the initial state of frustration and just use those opportunities to educate people and let people know about my culture as a Navajo woman. I think this exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum is a wonderful opportunity for people to gain some understanding about black Natives. We exist, we're here, and through this exhibit we have an opportunity to be acknowledged and recognized."
If you don't live in Indianapolis and can't see the wonderful exhibit at the Eiteljorg museum, please make it your business to check your local PBS listing for "Hearing Radmilla"...It's an excellent biographical and historical piece.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
People are killin me....Two people came up to me today and said..."This Boehner guy, we got to get him out of office." I said -"He just got in office ,what are you talking about?" Both of these people,co -workers of mine started talking about his "job killing" bill and other atrocities.. They started telling me that the Koch Brothers of Wisconsin..Who have funded right wing causes since before I was born...are sending money to Pennsylvania and how we have a Republican Governor and we have to get him out of office before he tries to pull a Scott Walker.
At this point I said "Whoa". First off I am glad that they are as up on current events as they are, but at the same time...I was wondering if these two even voted. Of course that was my next question. One person clearly did vote in November....The other person told me that they did not vote because they didn't know anything about any of the candidates, Democratic or Republican and plus , they didn't think that November Election was THAT important.
See? See the mentality? Hadn't I been railing about how every election is important?? Well...because most of America thought that Brandy getting prematurely kicked off of Dancing With the Stars was more important in November than this election..here is what you got.
Columnist Ezra Klein of The Washington Post has reported that the proposed Republican spending cuts would cost America 700,000 jobs. He calls out the Republicans in general and House Minority Leader John "Cry Me a River" Boehner in particular who label everything from healthcare to the stimulus bill as "job-killing" measures, yet fail to acknowledge the role that the GOP is playing in continued and dire joblessness.
Mr. Klein writes, "Goldman Sachs and Mark Zandi both predict their spending cuts will have a sharp and brutal impact on job creation and economic growth (John Taylor, it should be noted, disagrees). Across the Ocean, The U.K,.'s sluggish, shrinking economy isn't giving advocates of austerity much support for their proposals.
To make matters worse,the Republican Party's plans don't even have the benefit of being consistant. Their efforts to cut taxes and repeal the health-reform law would add vastly more to the deficit than their proposed spending cuts would remove.
Is that a Cameo CD I hear playing in the background? (Remember them? The Funk group from the late seventies and early eighties)It certainly sounds like Republican/Tea Party leaders are talking out of the sides of their necks. (Gotta be an old head to get that!)The question really is will America be able to hear it and bear it?
So , this is what we get....These guys have gotten elected and the first thing they did was fight to make sure the wealthy kept those Bush era tax cuts...The next thing they did was attack the working classes by trying to bust up the unions and disenfranchise the workers...and next ,they will get around to their big promise...the promise they rode in on of cutting health care gains or "Obamacare" as they like to call it.
Any questions now about who these people really represent? Still think that the November mid term elections weren't important?? I dedicate this post to all of the folks who had better things to do than exercise their constitutional right to vote last November....Great Job guys, keep up the good work!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
1.The minute you settle for less than you deserve is the minute you get even less than you originally settled for.
2.I don't think as far ahead as what I'm going to be doing this time next year...Hell ,I'm having a hard enough time wondering what I'm going to be doing in the next half hour!
3. A lot of creative guys (artists,actors, writers, singers, songwriters, musicians)had some beautiful woman either by their side or on their mind.
4.I've loved only a few women, I've admired many.
5.If you work really hard, you've got to have some pleasures....
6.Getting together with friends and having good conversation over a good meal is one of life's great pleasures.
7.I desperately need the love of complete strangers....That's why I always tip well!
8.You know you're getting old when all of the Basketball and Football and Baseball players you admire are younger than your children and all of the coaches and general managers are your age.
9.Most of the good lessons in life I learned, I learned the hard way.
10. Never Forget to be happy at least once during every day!