Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year to you all!

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!

~~~~ William Arthur Ward

Friday, December 30, 2011

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night

Ah the end of the year post! In 2010 I wrote a two part EOY post one about my personal life, the other about the world  and how I see things, this year it's all about me.

Professional: At the end of 2010 I started the balls moving on a new position at my current firm and guess what it's paying off. I've become a LOT more vocal even when the shy girl in me tells me not to and I see it taking root. We had two "conferences" this year and in both I was asked to share my ideas more often because of my unique prospective and that made me feel great. I have to admit that though I spoke up on occasion,  it wasn't as often as it should have been. I let the climate of my industry (which is quite scary and unstable) scare me into not always saying when things were not right. That time has changed, God willing it pays off.

The bigger part of all of this is that I decided that 14 years in this business has been great but I'm ready to give back my community. I've always said when CJ gets older I would volunteer, well I took my first steps towards that with the clothing/food drive I held and there is so much more to come.As much as I love finance and analytics I've decided that my passion for it is dwindling.I want more for me, for my community and in order to get it I have to be a part of the change not just sitting around waiting for the world to hand me something all wrapped in a pretty bow.

Self Revelation ALERT: 
 I'll admit it I'm pushy, I'm opinionated and if crossed I will be your worst enemy, but  if you know me then you know it's all done out of love. A few years back I made a promise to myself to keep a tight circle after a heart wrenching incident with a friend, and not to let people take me to that place again. Over the last year I let a few people in and one to my own detriment, but because of the personal growth here in my little cocoon, my anger with this person only lasted a moment and I was able to move on. I've realized I can't heal the world and honestly don't want to. A few minutes of meditating revealed the simplest principles to me, that no matter who the person is their anger, resentment and low self esteem is not my issue. I'm good and will be good long after I cut them off.

With that said I feel less crippled when it comes to this blog and what I write. Good Ole Smarty's consistently reminds me that YES others may have written about it, but not from my perspective, so here's to hoping that I can carve out the time to give you more of ME. I promise it will only sting a little bit.

Friends: This year I've established that my support system (outside of family) is AMAZING! They want for me things I didn't even know I wanted and that is awesome. Some of you are new to this lovely circle of trust but you've only made it better for me in here. A few of you are a testament to what should really come of Social Networking and I love ya.

Family: This year I've realized even more how strong my family is. I wouldn't change that for the world, what I will say is we need to get together more often. The holidays are just not enough! Christmas only solidified that for me with all the men in the basement talking and laughing and the women upstairs it just felt right, not the separation of the two but the warmth in the house. I want to feel that way more often. So I guess I'll be the one that initiates the getting together and I don't mean to EAT (mmhmm I know how y'all are).

Fitness: I have never struggled with my weight, nor have I ever not worked out but this year I took it to another level. For the last 12 years I've been practicing Yoga it is my first love. I can go on and on about the benefits from helping me through my labor and delivery, keeping me toned through the pregnancy and showing me how channel the negative energy in my world and turn it into positives. Hatha Vidya will always be a part of my regiment! But this year I wanted to focus on some good old strengthening enter Crossfit ( thanks to the Evil Terita) and Reformer Pilates (thanks to Jaded for the gift certificate) OH MY! I haven't felt this strong since I danced. So I'm promising myself to find a way to fit them in more regularly and by fit them in I mean financially, Pilates is quite pricey so it may come down to two classes a month.

I also started living a Paleo lifestyle introduced to me by Terita and The JadedNYer. I can proudly admit that for the majority of the time I've adapted this lifestyle I've been 100% Paleo, even with some of my sugary addictions (The Holidays and the week before my fast well yeah not so much). Eating clean has been good for me and for the Giants. The Mr. hasn't had a blood sugar reading over 100 since September and I found out this week, his Dr is thinking of cutting down his meds. AWESOME right?! I'm not waiting for an answer it is.

So that's my year in review, I don't make resolutions and I'm sure I forgot somethings but *throws confetti* who cares that's all in the past and I'm looking to the future!

Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting on my rants and random thoughts!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Giving Thanks.

"Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.' ~Khalil Gibran

 A month ago I sent out an email to bloggers, friends and family asking them to donate to an amazing program that helps Girls escape sex trafficking and start a new life (GEMS). I thought it would be nice to just extend the invitation to share the many blessing that we've been given with others, but in all honesty I didn't expect many to help. I knew the handful of people that would and I was okay with that.  I was VERY wrong, of the 30+ people I sent the email to more than half responded and helped. I was blown away.

Let me explain, it's not that I think people are selfish and don't want to help but because I'm the kind of person that just doesn't depend on others to get things done. So even when I include others I will usually place that in the back of my mind and just take it all on myself. It took everything in my being to send emails with details, follow up emails with reminders of deadlines etc...but I did it and it paid off. With the help of so many of you, we were able to donate at least two of everything on their list and tons of clothes to help the girls transition. Here are a few snap shots (there was so much more my office mates can attest to how crazy it got).

A few of the things we collected.
First off I would like to thank the people that donated.

* Arie Rich of KMP, I've met a lot of bloggers but no one is as generous and kind hearted as you are. Many Thanks!

* My Girl BranBogs of The Chic Factory. I wish you had time to have brunch when we linked up but there are many days to come!

*Divas and Dorks, I know you're schedule is busy and I appreciate you taking the time to meet me.

* MissHartNYC of O So Chic You took time on your birthday to make sure I got your donations and I thank you. My biceps thank you to because I carried all of them into the city no need to work out. 

*Glennisha from Glennisha the writer I can't express how thankful I am to have met you. Too often you don't find people on the same page as you and when you do it's a great thing. the donation plus the conversation brightened my day. 

*OnlyoneDivaDee from Diva Dee's discussions The laughs, the donation all awesome. 

*TeritaTweets from  REAL LIFE! Next time we are having lunch and it will be an anti-paleo wonderful time. Damn meetings! Oh how could I forget how you have kept me from going off on others in this month. Thank You!  

*Julia from REAL LIFE! Not only did we have a hilarious conversation your donations were awesome. 

* Michele from REAL LIFE! I haven't seen you in almost a year but when I needed you, you were there. You're a great friend and I am lucky to have you in my life.

*Naimah2U Brooklyn's own and someone I consider a friend. You're one of the few that just get me. Thank You! 

*Two newbies the ladies of, Thank you for your donation.

And those of you that encouraged me through all of this.

* Coogie Cruz from "The Love of Art and War" Word can't express how much I love you. If it wasn't for you I might not have made it up there to deliver things. More importantly your constant words of encouragement kept me on course. Love ya Chi-Chi

*TheJadedNyer . A lot of people owe you their lives and they don't even know it. All the silly conversations, text messages and emails were blessings (even that old sappy one that made me cry on the street) and I thank you. The Empire will be great. 

*Smarty's World, That last conversation we had mannnnnn!! I can't explain how much your words meant to me that night, you're constant encouragement to be great (outside the office) means the world to me. 

*Bangs and a Bun, You only typed a few lines to address my moment of weakness but at that moment it felt like a novel. 

LASTLY my buddy Nadine from High school. It's been 19 years but when we met it felt like we were hanging out between classes. That's AMAZING, and I am so happy to have you back in my life. 

The entire project came together thanks to the ladies of GEMS, specifically this woman. I won't post her name because I wouldn't want my named posted just anywhere but she was the guiding light through it all. I hope the girls have an amazing Christmas party and I'll be in touch. 
Special shout outs to CleoSunshine and Shelly Shell, the Spring will be here before you know it and you're first on my contact list! 

GEMS accepts donations all year long so you don't have to wait for my next step to donate! Give of your heart!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas is in the air

So I thought with the holidays upon us I would keep the Monday post light. I'm sure I'm not the only one that is cleaning , prepping and cooking like a crazy person so here is a play list of songs that have kept me on my game and not in the loony bin :). There are a few Christmas songs because I have never been much of a jingle bells kind of gal but there are some songs that I love to hear this time of year. So here we go! 

This is my favorite clean the bathroom song. I can sing as loud as I want and my brushes are in there to double as a mic. Can you say winning?! 
Listen you all need to get into Switch. I think they made some of the best love songs, I'm not about their upbeat music.

What is Christmas without these songs? It's not Christmas without them.

I introduced CJ to Christmas in Hollis while we decorated the tree and he loved it! He loved it so much I had to hide the CD it was on so he would go to bed. 

I added this last night after it played on the radio last night. I now have it on my iPod so the Giants will eventually hate this song. hehehe

So what are your go to songs this time of year? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

She's making a list and checking it twice

YES it's that time again, Christmas shopping, Holidays stress and my two week vacation (4 days and counting). I've gotten through most of my shopping and a lot of it was done through sites having sales which was awesome. This evening as I went through my emails I couldn't help but laugh at some of these deals and to think who do I dislike enough to buy..... So here are some of the deals I would get for people I didn't like.

#5.Half off a Scandinavian Cozy! Can someone explain to me why my beer needs such a fancy cover?

#4.Custom made bobble head. UHM they are just scary to begin with but imagine if you got one of someone you hated.

#3. 2 poetry slam tickets.... Y'all already know how I feel about Poetry.

#2.50% off Mc.Donald's. This is just ridiculous! I know times are hard but if I'm going to spend $13 it's not going to be on Big Macs.

and the number one gift I would give someone I disliked (DRUM ROLL)
#1. 2 pairs of Pajama jeans for $19! YES kbg deals almost got blocked in my emails for this deal.
For the life of me I can't understand these. I just don't.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Missing children


Here are the details of the missing girl. Please if you have any information call the police, call the news station let someone know what you've seen. These kids and their families need your help! I am a mom, an aunt and a sister I can't imagine what I would do if this was a member of my family.


This is Janice, a 17 year old autistic girl.  Yesterday around 2:15pm she boarded the Uptown bound D train and hasn't been seen since. She was last seen wearing  Her Brother is on twitter and is asking that if you see her to call the 44th precinct (718) 590-5511.  NYers keep your eyes and cellphone out.
Here is her picture: 

NY 12 is airing the story and ask that you call these numbers if you see anything 800-577-8477 or (718)590-5511.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New York New York a helluva town

Last week The Jaded NYer sent me a link to a blog written by yet another transplant (that's what I call all of you non-natives) complaining about all the things our beautiful city lacked.To say I was annoyed would be the understatement of the year. Not only because the writer was bashing my city but he/she was doing it unfairly. 

The complaints weren't about the normal things like how dirty it is (stay out of tourist traps) or about the overcrowding (don't live in Manhattan) but about nature.I was confused because the comments were all confirmation of this falsehood. All the yes NY doesn't have anything but concrete and rude people talk got me thinking if any of these people actually knew the city. The answer is NO, all they know is Manhattan. If you limit yourself those few little miles of land in my opinion you forfeit the right to hymn and haw about this city because you haven't explored it.

As a native Brooklynite I know that the book "A tree grows in Brooklyn" is not just a catchy title. There really are trees, grass and if you're lucky a friendly squirrel. The city is not some barren concrete place but a cluster of amazing boroughs that give you something different every visit. You want nature, go to Brooklyn or head out to where I live. This was my front yard a few days ago:
Nothing but nature surrounding me, the same day I took this picture I saw a rabbit run across my street. I love it. I like to think my home is a retreat from the hustle and bustle, but when I want to be in the thick of things  I jump the LIRR and head into the city.  Just one more beautiful thing about this city, you have options. In no other city can you experience so much culture by simply crossing the street or taking the train one stop. Only in the GREATEST city in the world.

My advice to all you transplants is get from behind your computers, grab your metro card and go explore. If you don't do that then I don't want to hear another bad word about it.

I never understood how people can complain about a place they are visiting, you would never hear me bashing you in your home.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No Mirrors in my Nana's house.

Last night when I got home after doing a million things I sat down to talk to CJ about his day. He started off with the regular conversation about his friends L and T and something about a Burping contest (boy humor escapes me). As he continued on and we giggled he got serious and said one of the boys said I'm a little brown boy. *sigh* I asked him why but he wouldn't tell me. He seems confused, he seemed angry, my heart broke. He didn't want to talk anymore, it didn't matter what we said, I suspect he saw the anger in our eyes.

This morning when he climbed into my bed I gave him a hug and kissed his forehead. He started talking. Mommy I'm proud to be a little brown boy and I told that boy so. But why does that matter? Fuuufcckkkkkk why now he's 5 years old!!!  I went through the speech I rehearsed from the time we decided to send him to this school.  He understood, and just like that the topic changed he was a power ranger again. It didn't change for me, I sat there angry. Hell I'm still angry.

The speech for 5 is different than the speech for 6, for 8, for 10 etc, but the thought of actually having to have the words prepared makes me want to spit fire. But after this morning I am confident that my words will guide him and he will be able to navigate this tricky world of Post Racial BS. I am sure he knew there was a difference in his skin and his best bud L's (he's no dummy) I want him to know that is the ONLY difference.

The title of this post is a book I read to CJ every night its a beautiful book and I read it to him this morning before he left.

Lyrics to the song by Ysay M. Barnwell 

There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
There were no mirrors in my Na's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
I never knew that my skin was too black.
I never knew that my nose was too flat.
I never knew that my clothes didn't fit.
I never knew there were things that I'd missed,
cause the beauty in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun);
...was in her eyes.
There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
I was intrigued by the cracks in the walls.
I tasted, with joy, the dust that would fall.
The noise in the hallway was music to me.
The trash and the rubbish just cushioned my feet.
And the beauty in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
...was in her eyes.
There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
The world outside was a magical place.
I only knew love.
I never knew hate,
and the beauty in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
...was in her eyes.
There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
There were no mirrors in my Nana's house,
no mirrors in my Nana's house.
And the beauty that I saw in everything
was in her eyes (like the rising of the sun).
"Chil', look deep into my eyes."
"Chil', look deep into my eyes."

*Writing a letter to the teacher now and fighting the urge to go to that school and get all Assata Shakur on these people*

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The words you speak hold power

There is a school of thought that believes that the way you use a word changes the meaning. I had a long drawn out discussion with a friend about calling herself or anyone else a Nigga, Nigger or any other form of the word and at the end we just agreed to disagree.

I consider myself to be open minded when it comes to the world but I will never believe that I can change the   meaning and deep rooted history of a word. I give the serious side eye to those that tell me they use the word so they can reclaim it. Who exactly are we taking it back from since it never belonged to us? If that's the case then I will just start calling people anything I'd like. Pocketbook for instance, Yo my pocketbook what's going on? See how that makes no sense. Neither does using the other word. 

The words we use have power, they have meaning and I don't care how many times you wave the flag of change it doesn't change that. 

I stumbled upon this video recently, take out the word Pimp replace it with Nigger and tell me you still think it's okay. And while you're at it stop calling dudes pimps and yourself hoes... Do better, be better! 

This post came about after I heard a woman on a crowded LIRR train tell her son to STFU Ni**A and a white woman told her friend "They act like animals that's why we treat them like it". The first time I heard this was in a cab, I have to remember to keep my headset on when I'm out on the LIRR, it will save me from the madness

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

From Talking the talk to Walking the walk

A few weeks back I wrote a post "Lucky ones get a chance at a normal life " which ended with me wanting to do more. Well the time has come for me to leave my comfy cocoon and walk the walk.  The people at GEMS are having a holiday In-Kind to put together gifts for the girls and women they serve. I've reached out to all my friends in NYC both bloggers and non-bloggers and now I am reaching out to you my readers. 

So often we are told that sex trafficking is a third world issue, It is NOT. Currently New York meet 7-9 of the conditions thought critical to a comprehensive anti-trafficking legal framework*, this however does not mean that the laws on the books are being enforced by judges, prosecutors and law enforcement. In short it is very much our issue and in our backyards.

GEMS (Girls Education and Mentoring Services)  and their "Girls are Not for Sale" statement has been making strides in shining light on the abuse of young girls. Here are a few facts pulled from their website.
  • GEMS was founded in 1998 by Rachel Lloyd, a young woman who had been commercially sexually exploited as a teenager
  • Girls Educational and Mentoring Services’ (GEMS) mission is to empower girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential
The InKind accepts donations year round,  however the drive for the holiday season is most important because of the loneliness the girls feel during this time. If you are interested in helping click here to see a list of items and contact me at the email address. These are everyday items we often take for granted. The goal is to have all donations together by December 15th.
If you do not live in NYC and are interested in starting your own drive or would just like to donate please send an email to here and I will point you in the right direction.
*The Polaris project 2011 State Ratings. More info can be found here: Sex Trafficking in the US

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blessings abound

I had every intention of writing a post addressing the ego trip I dealt with earlier this week because I was angry, confused and annoyed. Despite the ill feelings and advice to let the person know that I saw what she was doing I decided to be zen like and just leave it alone. Then after being surrounded by my awesome family on Thursday I thought a post on what I'm thankful for would be a better start  for a Monday.

I'm thankful for my family. We are by no means perfect but we are a family that loves and supports each other. Nothing that I do would ever be possible without them.

I'm thankful for my job. YES I complain sometimes but I am still thankful to have a career I love and a firm that I believe in. I've seen too many people unemployed for long periods of time to not be thankful that I am able to pay my mortgage and keep food on the table.

I'm thankful for home. We worked hard to buy our house, we shed many tears during the process. Now we shed tears of joy because we love being home owners.

I'm thankful for the Giants. Sure they take up a lot of space and CJ is really just getting to a place where he is comfortable with his long legs and arms but these two bring me joy. The Mr. balances out my high stress, fast paced mind and CJ reminds us both to stay grounded.

I'm thankful for a healthy mind, heart and body.

I'm thankful for my friends. New, old, long term and short-term you've all served to be a blessing in my life. I'm even thankful for the people I'm no longer friends with as you've taught me to be a better friend to others.

There are too many reasons for me to be thankful and happy and I won't block that by putting any more energy into other's people negativity. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Black is beautiful but Black isn't Power. Knowledge is Power"

Nothing has ever rang as true as the quote above. I've been sitting on the link to this movie for sometime, mainly because I didn't know exactly what I wanted to say about being Black in America. Being Black in America isn't a monolithic experience because as with any people we are diverse in our culture. But what we do share is a history, steeped in oppression and violence only to produce some of the greatest minds, leaders and works of art.

The last week in politics with the "Their Blacks and our Blacks" getting thrown around like it's 1930 it got me thinking,how do others see themselves when it comes to being Black in America. Are they content with the two depressing hours wrapped in a bow on CNN, or the one sided views the hollywood machine produces or is there more? And how many of us can look back and say I know my history, the leaders, the sacrifice. And do we honor that in our everyday lives. I know that I do and that I'm teaching C.J too (and sometimes the Mr.), but I'm one of several million.

So with that said there is a very powerful documentary out that I believe all of us need to try and see. Not only as reminder of the sacrifice but also as a reminder that things haven't changed as much as we'd like to think. Yes I'm aware our our history didn't start on the shores of America, nor will they end but it is important to know what happened on these shores so that we can finally live up to the expectations set before us and make the changes we all long for.


I pray for the day people of color in America realize what strong stock they come from and stop with the racial slurs disguised as compliments, killing each other over land that is not theirs and oh so much more. I say this prayer with a heavy heart.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Losing Focus

This week my mind has been everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. I've been incredibly unfocused and if you know me you know that's not a good thing.

  • I've been focusing on the future of this blog. The content, strong opinions and how to tie it all together.
  • I've been focusing on my career and how to make a strategic move that has become NECESSARY!
  • I've been focusing on my family. 
  • And lastly I've been focusing on C.J and making sure he stays ahead of the other kids in school.

The only thing I haven't focused on is ME, THE individual. Not the Mom, Not the Wife, Not the Career Woman. Just plain old  ME and what makes me happy. I've been so focused on making sure everyone around me was happy and doing well I forgot that I should be happy and healthy too. So that starts today because even if it's something as simple as going to get my brows threaded I need to make sure all my wants and needs are met, or I'm no good to anyone.

I'm also going to start thinking in the now, sometimes I get caught up in the what if of life and I then if something goes wrong I freak.Clearly that goes against all my Yoga training, so it's time to own up and remember that I can't see or control the future and stop trying too. None of these revelations are new to me, it's a constant battle for me to remember that I have to put myself first.

I know a lot of my readers feel the same way, so where do you plan to start? What are you waiting for?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Only can the spirit turn the world around.

Last night I watched the Great Pumpkin with CJ and I was reminded how great television when I was growing up. From School House Rock to The Electric Company, Sesame Street to the Muppets we learned new things every time we watched TV. I can still sing every word to conjunction junction. Imagine the glee when I saw there was a new Muppet movie coming out!!! YES another opportunity to bridge my past and CJ's present. *does happy dance* It's one of my favorite things share with him and I think he gets a kick out of knowing him mom and dad watched some of the same shows.  

After the Great pumpkin went off I asked CJ did he want to watch my favorite Muppets episode and he did. As we watched it I realized not only did we learn and grow intellectually we grew as people. There were some really awesome lessons on the Muppet show (Thank You Jim Henson). I got a little teary eyed watching CJ try to pick up every word but after the third time he had it. Let's hope the message sticks. 

We come from the fire, living in the fire
Go back to the fire, turn the world around
We come from the fire, living in the fire
   We come from the fire
Go back to the fire, turn the world around
   Go back to the fire, turn the world around

We come from the water, living in the water...
We come from the mountain, living on the mountain...
Oh, oh so is life
Ah, ha so is life
Oh, oh so is life
Ah, ha so is life

Do you know who I am
Do I know who you are
See we one another clearly
Do we know who we are
Oh, oh so is life
Abatiwaha, so is life
Oh, oh so is life
Abatiwaha, so is life

Water make the river, river wash the mountain
Fire make the sunlight, turn the world around

Heart is of the river, body is the mountain
Spirit is the sunlight, turn the world around

We are of the spirit, truly of the spirit
Only can the spirit turn the world around
Some  grown folks need a reminder of this especially in this day and age. Longing for 
the days when life was this simple, AH HA so is life. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BLACK Pride No more.

A few days ago I logged into twitter and was created by the trending topic du jour "Only Black People say" *sigh* Usually I am free of the ridiculousness of trending topics because I don't use the web, but one of my friends (*side eye Dany*) decided to get into this one.
I decided to click the hashtag to see if even one person would take it and flip it to offer a little glimpse of pride. The answer ....NO! After two pages I saw the same ignorance repeated, RT over and over again.

I don't know what I thought would actually come out of clicking on the link, I guess I'm guilty of hoping that one day we'll get it together as a people and stop pushing Mr. Charlie out of the way so we could just lay down under the bus. In true form I went off in the Jaded Nyer's gchat. My biggest problem with these TTs is that despite the claims of there being a "Black and White Twitter" there is really only ONE an open forum where we need to be careful of the images we portray about ourselves. It's hard for me to understand why we need to join in on the bullying of ourselves, if you just need to feel like the outcast in the playground turn on the TV, read the blogs, google what Black people say. Nothing but bulls eyes pointed at your Black skin, your Black hair, your Blackness.  Some may think I am taking this way too seriously because trending topics are just about the fun but this are only adding to the already damaged view of us. It saddens me.

I won't go on because every it's only serving to make me angrier. So I challenge you to leave a POSITIVE response to "Only Black People say" in the comment section. I'll start you off with some things I've said:

Only Black People Say the Blacker the berry the sweeter the juice

Only Black People say Be Black, Shine and aim high. (one of my favorite quotes)

Only Black people say.... now it's your turn

It looks like I might be off these social networks more often. After the debate on using the N word to describe yourself I had yesterday I'm pretty worn out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


For the last two years I've had to deal with the headache of dressing CJ up for Halloween. It's the most annoying process EVER, and I find myself hoping that he will become all revolutionary and refuse to participate. But that hasn't happened because kids love candy! 

This year we got a head start on the costume war but of course the stores didn't have what he wanted.  I mean really how hard is it to have a Lion-o costume for kids! The show is back on and from what I gather pretty popular, so what gives? I mean is there any sort of foreshadowing done with these companies, JEEZ! After an exhaustive search he decided on a ninja and though I was happy to be done I couldn't shake the feeling that Halloween is not that innocent day you get candy anymore. While walking up and down aisles with CJ I realized that all the costumes for grown women (and teenagers) started with Sexy. Sexy firefighters, sexy nurses, sexy armed forces, I even saw a sexy M&M costume! Really? You need a costume based off a peanut stuffed candy to be sexy? There is clearly something VERY wrong with this. 

The world these kids live in is already so oversexed. From TV to music our kids are getting bombarded with these images and regardless of how tough we think they are, there are negative effects. The recent issue with the 14 year old "servicing" her ex on tape is the perfect example. Now maybe she didn't dress up for Halloween but she has obviously been exposed to too much and not enough emphasis has been put on her self worth. And why are grown women so in need of attention that they can't dress up like a REAL doctor instead they dress up like a Sexy one, which consists of fishnets and a stethoscope? It's all very disheartening. 

Maybe it shouldn't be such a big deal because Halloween is about dressing up and having fun but what are we teaching our girls if we allow dress up that leaves them open to worst our society has to offer? 

These are the days I thank my lucky stars I have a boy. Because if we had a girl, the poor child would be covered from head to toe just so her dad would let her out the house.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Rush into the card.

In the last few weeks I've been hearing a lot about people looking into The Rush card and I've found myself wondering why? After asking a few people and looking at the rush card (again) I'm even more confused.

The top three answers to why they considered the Rush card were:
* no fees or credit check
* need of a credit card for emergencies
* to build credit
Hmmm... The reasons for wanting a card are legitimate but you won't achieve any of these goals by using that card. Let's go through each, shall we.

No fees :
There are actually a ton of fees associated with this card, ones that you may not incur from a regular debit bank debit card. See below:

This pre-paid card seems have a whole lot of  fees associated it. Now I'm realistic, and you should be too and understand there will be fees because that's how the banking industry works. But what you should also see is that these fees are ridiculously excessive. At first glance if you have a rush card you will incur approximately $65/monthly in fees (including the so called optional services, like bill pay)...which is certainly NOT good deal to me. I use two accounts (big bank and small) and both allow me to pay my bills for free and make as many inquiries on my balance without penalty. In this day and age most companies allow you to pay bills from the web for free and even offer to waive other fees if you do so. 
 To be fair I decided to put in my criteria for a card, to see what recommendations they had and Guess what? The fees associated with these cards are STILL higher than what I would pay at a commercial bank.  
The Rush theory seems to be that they are better because you will never spend more than is available, therefore never incurring overdraft fees. And while this is a great lesson, it only teaches one aspect of  fiscal responsibility.

No credit check
That may be a selling point for some because we've all had our moments of carelessness with plastic, I know I certainly have (*looks at dumb ass Christian Dior bean bag*). But if a card doesn't check your credit, how exactly will they report back to bureaus about building a credit file. We'll get back to this. Strike one.

Needing a credit card for emergencies:
I know that my credit card has been a savior in many instance but I know that the key to being responsible was spending and paying back what I spent immediately.  BUT a rush card is not, I repeat NOT a credit card. It is a Pre-paid card, so if the emergency arrives and you don't have the cash to cover it, well then it seems to me you're kinda out of luck. There may be some people that actually have money on their Rush cards and only use it for emergencies only but it seems silly to me to have to constantly put money on a card when it could be gaining interest somewhere else.
My biggest fear for those using this card is that they will/are depositing their pay checks into this account, not using it as an emergency funds.  Therefore not using it for an emergency but for everything. The site promotes this in several places, depositing your entire  paycheck, tax return etc and it's a bad idea. Strike two.

Building Credit: This Pre-paid card doesn't report back to the credit bureaus. I searched the site for some time and couldn't find that anywhere. With that said, having that card seems like you're shooting yourself in the foot. Credit essentially is a loan that you need to pay back. The company that originates the loan will then reports back to the bureaus on how responsible or irresponsible you are with their money. Responsible = good credit score, limits raised, Irresponsible = low score and fees and more fees, bad reports sent to the credit bureau killing your future forever more (not really but you get the drift). Strike three.

So what are my suggestions as I sit here giving the side eye to y'alls Uncle Rush and his savior card? Easy don't get this stupid card.

Deposit your pay checks into a bank or credit union. Even with the terrorist movements by big banks lately, there are still tons of options. Do the research and make that change. The comparison on the Rush site (see below) should not scare you into believing that there are no banks out there that can't beat these made up fees. 

A friend recommended USAA, and after looking into them I think they are a pretty good option. They offer a few perks but if you're uncomfortable with not being able to physically visit their banks then those of us in NY might want to keep looking. (According to their site they have easy deposit locations so that will help with needing to deposit checks).  But again you're banking needs can only be met if you do the research.

For those of you out there who still feel like they need plastic, and your bank is not completely power tripping * side eye Bank of America* see what secured cards they offer,. There are a handful of banks that will allow you to decide what your balance is (usually from $300 up). This option is actually closer to a credit card and will help you build a steady credit profile. After one year some banks review your credit worthiness and will offer you an actual credit card and return your initial deposit.

There are people that exist without any credit at all and that's fantastic(well until you go to get a mortgage or something) but there are a whole lot more people that dig themselves a grave of bad credit due to bad decisions. The Rush card is just that a bad decision.

Another good read about The Rush CardSunday Brunch Thanks FunkDigitial!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hey Young World.

I don't usually post twice in one day but this was one of the most disturbing things I've seen in a long time. In a city where the police have been known to shoot first, ask questions later I would never expect to see this. I can't blame this on teen angst or the growing frustration of living check to check in a city that continues to get increasingly expensive, this just seems like lack of home training.

Is this where our girls are headed? Jail for stupidity. I can't even express how sad this video made me, all I could think was I don't want my son around kids like this. Here is the video, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments:

"Lucky ones get a chance at a normal life"-- Very Young Girls

A few months ago I watched the documentary "Very Young Girls", to say that I was devastated by the time it was ended would be the understatement of the year. "Very Young Girls" follows several thirteen and fourteen year old as they battle their way out of the sex trade industry... YES I said 13 and 14 year olds.

In deeply moving interviews the girls tell stories of being tricked, traded and forced into sex slavery by pimps and we watch as they struggle to get away from "The life" as they call it.  Though all of the girls are in different places of their transition there is one constant, these little girls are so psychologically scared that they believe they love these pimps and sadly don't believe they deserve happiness.  Even through the occasional jokes and laughter it's all still there. Thankfully Rachel Lloyd and her amazing staff are there to guide them. 

Throughout the movie I cried and cried because I am baffled at how we've gotten to this place as a people. Little girls are not to be raped, prostituted and harmed, they are to be protected. Have we just shifted to this one of the countries American's love to bash, oh the women there have no rights...well guess what American women and girls are being treated as poorly as the women overseas. Sure we don't have to wear burkas but in a  society where police officers can't look past their duties and see little girls are not out there by choice but because of fear and need to be protected where does that leave us?  Lost.

Obviously moved by this film I wanted to help and donated money to the cause. But I am wondering what more can I do. I joined the GEM council of daughters but still it never seems enough, I want to actually be hands on and offer the guidance I was so lucky to get from my mom. I know it's a delicate situation and they can't let everyone in so I'll wait and see when they allow for mentors again. In the meantime I wanted to ask you to support their cause by

1.Watching the Movie: Very Young Girls and the campaign video Hotel Room
2.Donating to their latest fundraiser: GEM 30 Day Matching Gift
3. Remember these girls are not here by choice, don''t judge them. Help them.

* I am so blessed to have been in a home where my mother was an overly active part of my life.*  Thank you V, for recommending the movie.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Picture Post: NYC Randomness

As I was walking down the block I ran across a parade of famous advertising characters, how could I not risk being late and snap a few pics.

The pictures below is exactly what I mean about this being the GREATEST and most random city in the world.

Vlasick pickle, test dummy, Mr. Peanut, French's Mustard 

The Michelin man, Tony the Tiger, and the Aol guy.
Things like this make me remember why I love my city.

Friday, September 30, 2011

She is a dancehall queen for life.

Yesterday I was in the mood to relive my dancehall queen days and Spotify was there to help. I sat in the office singing and chair wining to my favorites from Buju Banton and terror fabulous and thought see how great dancehall use to be. Then Red dragon came on and I was over the top excited because I could see the smoke filled party, canei bottles  and young me  dancing and laughing. It was like a quantum leap back to the 90s, this was my jam! And right as I started singing my Adult self screamed ," WTF  are you singing, are you listening?"  so I stopped and did just that and.....Oh my word!

How in the hell do I have teeth because surely if my mom heard me singing "If your crotches never fail you yet, I want you pop your vagina." she would have slapped the taste and teeth out of my mouth. I remember being about 15 singing  a song called "kill the bitch " my mom rushed into the living room screaming so how did she miss this one? Very easy she never heard it. That got me thinking about CJ and how I always say he better not do blah blah blah in my house.  It's just empty talk I guess because he won't do it in  my house,  he'll be out with friends and I'll be none the wiser just like my mom. On some levels I'm not okay with this,  but I'm a realist and know that's just the way it works. I guess if  this trash that passes for music now didn't  gives me a headache after two seconds I could monitor more but it does.   I will just have to make it clear that these are song and if he ever speaks to a girl in that manner I will end his life.....IMMEDIATELY! *what, too much?*

Anyway it's Friday, so slackness is in order. Here are some of my favorite inappropriate dancehall songs from my youth. So cock up your batty and ride and enjoy the flashback. #ahthegoodtimes

*SM why was I singing this song* 

This is the song that inspired this post. 

oh so yeah I was really jamming talking about Bum flick pon mi dick. LOL I still love this song though. 

I'm going to leave it there, the amount of slackness is too much for one post.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From the mouth of babes

This morning my friend Fawzilla sent me a great video and I thought I'd share it with you. This girl is awesome, Sure it's scripted and she probably doesn't know what half of what she is saying means BUT these are questions some of you ADULTS are too scared to ask.

My favorites:

Do you need this to wipe your hands, you've got blood on them.
Wanna go fight the power with me later?

LOL! I mean and the faces on these white men... PRICELESS.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beres Hammond makes everything better

I've posted this song before when I was stressed but today when I heard it I REALLY HEARD IT! Every lyric and so I decided to post again. This song says it all.

It's either you're in or out
gotta know what you're all about
Be bold and strong
Tell yourself you're not doing wrong

Once you're in you've got to take it
Make your mind up son and face it
Because Warriors don't cry

I know lots of folks will hate you
and not because they want to 
but sometimes they don't even know why.

So don't watch the crowd
Their duty is to be loud
Believe in what you're doing 
and feel proud
Cause when you fall along the way
People will have lots to say
They don't even care if you make it through the day

either you're in or out
gotta know what you're all about
Be bold and strong
Tell yourself you're not doing wrong

There is no true friend when you're hungry
Not if he is hungry too
At time you can't rely
Because the same brother 
Will send you with the offer
Yes feels good and set him right

So don't watch the crowd
Their duty is to be loud
Believe in what you're doing 
and feel proud.
Cause when you fall along the way
People will have lots to say
They don't really care if you make it through the day

either you're in or out
gotta know what you're all about
Be bold and strong
Tell yourself you're not doing wrong (2xs)

Once you're in be prepared to take it
Make up son and face it cause 
Warriors don't cry.

I know lots of folks will hate you
and not because they want to 
but sometimes they don't even know why.

So don't watch the crowd
Their duty is to be loud
Believe in what you're doing 
and feel proud
Cause when you fall along the way
People will have lots to say
They don't even care if you make it through the day