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

{Refrain}
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
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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

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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

Halloween




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.