Friday, June 27, 2008

These Are a Few of My Most Hated Things

Everybody has a pet peeve (or, if you're like me, quite a few) so having not much else to blog about for now, I decided to share some of these things with you.

1. City amusement taxes. I was looking at our cable bill last night (Bigmama complained about prices rising) and discovered an 8% city amusement tax. You are basically paying the city once a month to be amused by television. I considered calling the cable company to complain that my service wasn't particularly amusing this month and so the city didn't deserve an 8% amusement tax but I decided against it.
2. Fake-out thunderstorms. I hate it when it looks like it's going to rain, I plan my day around the possibility of rain, and then it doesn't rain. There should be a law of Nature that states that gray clouds are only allowed when rain is actually going to come. Too many times have I been caught in absolute sunshine in the afternoon wearing long jeans and carrying a golf umbrella.
3.Public transportation riders. From regular passengers who yell into cell phones to the homeless people who make the air in the train car unbreathable to the peddlers selling "Chews, Fruities, and Tootsie Rolls" to the preachers who call you a heathen when you roll your eyes and turn the music up in your headphones to max volume, public transportation riders seem to be sent to make your day as hellish as possible.
4. Scissors packages. You can't open a package of good scissors without scissors. It's a conspiracy.
5. Luggage locks. It's not like you can use the damn things anymore. I don't why they're still being sold.
6. Old male joggers. I mean, there's nothing wrong with getting your exercise on. There is something wrong with running without a shirt when you're hairy and your stomach touches your knees.
7. Bikers who think they own the road. Stay in your lane and I'll stay in mine. Just because you're on a bike doesn't mean you can weave in and out of traffic. If you cross in front of me I'll hit you.
8. Pedestrians who think they can make it across. If you're walking, and a car is coming, don't try to tempt fate by running in front of it. In a fight between man and car the car always wins. Always.

9. Bratz Dolls. Dolls with big heads and clown feet with clothing that little girls shouldn't even know exists. As before, enough said.
10. Matches. By the time you get the damn thing lighted you don't even want to use it anymore. And God forbid you don't move your finger out of the way fast enough.

I'll add more to the list as events (and stupid things) warrant.

Put Your Guns in the Air, and Shoot Them Like You Just Don't Care

(Disclaimer: I assume NO responsibility for any injuries or deaths that result because somebody actually took my advice.)

I walked into the kitchen last night to make a package of chicken ramen noodles for dinner (yum).

After my water started boiling and I started opening the package, Bigmama turned to me and said, "You know, guns are legal now!" (Actually, it sounded like she said illegal, to which I thought well that's silly, guns are already almost illegal.) But when she clarified what she had said, I had to abandon my noodle making for a moment.
"Yeah. They ain't got no business making guns legal. People are really going to just go around killing each other now."
"Well, Bigmama, they're probably thinking along terms of the Prohibition and what happened when they banned alcohol."
"When was this?"
"During the Great Depression. People started drinking more when alcohol was illegal."
"Yeah, but alcohol can't kill you. People are going to walk around with guns and just shoot people whenever they want."

I left the conversation alone there, because once Bigmama has taken a stand there's no talking her out of it or even presenting another point of view. And that's fine...she's lived long enough to not have to care what anybody else says.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Before everyone hits the streets to drink and shoot celebratory shots into the air at 3 in the morning (hey...they do it on the 4th of July), it is important to understand that the Supreme Court did not lift a ban on handguns completely. They instead declared that the Second Amendment does, in fact, guarantee the right for individuals to bear arms for self-defense.

(And by bear arms, the Supreme Court doesn't mean the right to wear short sleeved shirts).

It is said that this decision will have minimal effects, at least for now, because while having a handgun is now legal (in Washington), it is still difficult to obtain a gun ANYWAY.

My thoughts? I'm not exactly "anti-gun" myself. I don't know how I feel about people carrying guns around, but I'm sure that just because it's legal doesn't mean people will carry them all the time. And I don't think that everyone will go around shooting people just because they have a gun with them (unless their trigger finger is like my debit card use). But I would argue that the second amendment does provide for the possession of guns for self-defense.

But it won't make much of a difference, so don't buy the NRA-themed ice cream cakes just yet.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

To Categorize or Not To Categorize


I tried, guys. I really did.

I tried creating categories in Blogger.

First I decided to switch to Wordpress, because you can create categories in Wordpress. But something wasn't working quite right; I couldn't get any further than downloading it to my desktop. I couldn't open it.

So I consulted my trusted friend Google, because I knew there was a way around this twisted system. After about an hour of searching and reading and realizing I didn't understand the complicated terms and re-searching the Web, I FINALLY found an easy to understand website.

I followed all the steps to the best of my "limited HTML" ability. I refreshed my page, and VOILA!! A nice section said "Categories" with a subsection, Movies (and a 2 to indicated that I had tagged two posts).


Or not. When I clicked on the link, it didn't go where it was supposed to go. : (

Not easily deterred, I went back to the page where I had found the easy instructions to see if there were some troubleshooting tips. Somebody had experienced the same thing I did! Things were looking up!

But I couldn't find the section where the error apparently was. ANYWHERE. I got lost in a world of <>s and /s and CSS and all other sorts of things.

So here I am again, back at square one. But I am far from giving up. I just can't bear to suffer any more defeat today. I WILL have categories on my blog. Just wait and see!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dumbest Generation, huh?

Take a look around you (okay, maybe go outside first to do this exercise). What do you see? What are the people around you doing?

First, it depends on where you're standing. If you're standing in the downtown of a huge city (let's say Chicago, because that's where I live) you're likely to see men and women in business suits, damn near knocking people over in their haste to gulp down a cup of Starbucks coffee while talking on a Bluetooth headset and surfing the Internet on their business PDAs. Look in a car and don't be surprised if you see someone with a laptop computer resting in the passenger seat like a member of the family (I've seen it). Even at places like the park, people are texting and Twittering and checking their Facebook pages and all sorts of other things. 

There are people (mainly those who have trouble catching on to the technology fad) who believe that our nation is getting dumber with the availability of the Internet and all of its resources. They think we should know when the Gettysburg Address was delivered (1863) 
or who the first open heart surgeon was (Dr. Daniel Hale Williams) or what date is "a date that will live in infamy" (December 7, 1941, said by President Franklin D. Roosevelt regarding Pearl Harbor).

And by the way, had I not Googled each one of those questions and answers as I write this very entry, I would not have known any of this.

But you were impressed for a minute, weren't you?

Since when does a test of my intelligence mean that I have to remember significant dates or names off the top of my head? Why is my generation "dumber" than any other generation simply because it takes us much less time to retrieve much more information than before? What's more, people insinuate that we are weaker because we have technology. Guess what: somebody has to program that technology. 

Take the creation of a blog. "Oh, you kids have it so easy, you can just type words on a screen and people can read it. Back in my day we had to have our work published to get discovered". While a blog isn't exactly rocket science, it's not as easy as making a peanut butter jelly sandwich. The skill set required to create a (successful) blog includes the ability to turn on a computer, to log onto the Internet, find the perfect blog website, customize your blog to look exactly how you want it to, and some basic writing skills. It may not sound like a lot but it requires some organization and dedication. Imagine: many of the tech naysayers can't even make it past step one.

The statistics are the worst part. They say something like 50-something percent of teenagers don't know who Dick Cheney is. 60 percent of teenagers where? Because every single teenager I know at least recognizes the name and knows by now that Dick Cheney isn't a person you want to go hunting with. In all of these articles, I haven't seen any numbers showing the number of adults who can't do simple computer functions. I'll bet the number is astonishing. 

Try this out. Go to a library one day (I know, I know, yes those things DO still exist, and they come with Wi-Fi!) and try looking for a book through a card catalogue (if they have those things anymore). If your library doesn't have a card catalogue, go to the section with encyclopedias (yes, those still exist as well) and search for an entry. It could be on anything. What does it take to find that entry?

You need the patience to keep looking for what you seek even if it isn't automatically available. You need to know how to look through an encyclopedia (an index) in the first place or else you won't get anywhere. The information you find is something somebody else has written and has made available to you for free. 

Now look for the same entry online. You still need patience, because if your searches end up like my searches you find often that what you were originally looking for wasn't exactly what you had in mind. You need to know where to look; obviously searching for an article on bats on Facebook won't do you much good. And whatever you find is something somebody else has written in hopes of either sharing knowledge or because they got paid to do it. 

See the similarity?

To the skeptics of those of us who are immersed in the technological world, understand this: technology is everywhere, from the computer you're reading this blog on to the television you're watching to the car you drive to the cell phone you connect to everybody with. And it's not going anywhere but forward from this point on. You'd do well to stop running from the revolution and start learning from it.

And by the way: rather than being ashamed of the fact that I didn't know the three facts I mentioned earlier offhand, I'd much rather be proud that I had the creativity and researching skills necessary to find my answers in 3.7 seconds, which is much quicker than I could have ever remembered off the top of my head.

Obviously Presidents Talk in Colors Now

Ahh, Ralph Nader. 

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate,'' Nader had told the Rocky Mountain News, in comments published Tuesday. "He's half African-American.

"Whether that will make any difference, I don't know,'' Nader said. "I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards.''

Let's take a moment to analyze this statement a little bit. Nader says that the only thing that distinguishes Barack Obama is the fact that he is half black...but then speculates whether it actually makes a difference. The "whether that will make any difference, I don't know" sounds like an actual oh shit clause in which Nader realizes that he is crossing a line that will definitely lose him some points. 

But then it becomes obvious that he is unrelenting in pursuing the race topic when he asks "is it because he wants to talk white?"

Hold on a second. 

Let me point out first and foremost that white is a color, not a way of speaking. Just like you don't talk blue, yellow, or green, you don't talk white. Don't get me wrong, though. I understand that Nader is saying that Obama is trying to talk like a Caucasian. 

So let me point something else out. Not every white person speaks like an aristocrat (hillbillies?), and every black person doesn't sound like something off a rap music video. There are plenty of well-spoken African Americans out there. White people have no more right to claim "proper English" than black people have to claim slang. 

Obama said it right when he said that this is just an attempt to get attention. Honestly, I knew that Ralph Nader existed but I didn't even know he was running for president. 

I am African American and I don't appreciate the idea that I have to be unaware of basic grammar rules and spelling simply because of the color of my skin. We have been working so hard to surpass racial boundaries and limitations, and it was a poor idea on Nader's part to bring those limitations back into play. 

Next time you're trying to win the presidency, Ralph Nader, I suggest you avoid insulting an entire race of people. It just doesn't look good on the resume.

Summer Reading: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

How long does it take for you to get mad? Can one flippant remark or wayward stare send you into the depths of fury so strong people can swear your eyes turn red? Has someone (or more than one person) suggested that maybe you should consider some type of anger management class... on more than one occasion? Or are you so stressed from trying to fit 25 hours' worth of work into a 24 hour day EVERY DAY that you are more counterproductive and feel more stressed than accomplished?

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff is the perfect book for you. "But I don't have time to read an entire book!", you might say. First, the book isn't split into actual chapters; rather, it shows each step and spends two to three pages explaining each step. How can you not have time to read two to three pages a day?

"I don't have time to reflect on each section. How am I going to remember all of the points?" Well, the beauty of this book is that each title of each section seems to be it's own personal mantra: "Ask Yourself the Question: Will This Matter a Year From Now?" and "Repeat to Yourself: Life Isn't an Emergency". And because they are more like mantras, it is easy to repeat them when the going gets tough. You will also find that you don't feel results from this book simply by reflecting. You can think about doing the tips all you want but until you actually set them into motion nothing will happen. 

If anybody can get hotheaded VERY quickly like me (I'm glad I'm not the Hulk because I'd probably stay a monster), you will find this book very helpful. With 100 mantras, there is a saying to help you tackle just about any situation that could affect you. I have personally used at least 10 different mantras that readily come to mind within the past two weeks, and probably a lot more of the less recognized ones. 

Like Advair for those of us asthmatics, however, this book is not a fast-acting inhaler so don't expect to pick it up in fury and immediately be able to calm down. Because let's face it, when you're mad, you don't give a damn about much of anything but what you're angry about, and you certainly aren't in any mood to read a book telling you that what you're mad about isn't really all that important (besides, who the hell is this book to tell you what you're angry about isn't important anyway? It must be important if you're mad...right? Right??) But if you take a few moments each day and read just a few mantras, and really take the time to not just understand but exercise what they have to say, you will find that they are EXTREMELY helpful next time you want to ram that ignorant driver's car or rip the hair out of the woman behind the teller window. 

The Incredible Hulk: An Incredible Must-See

Let me first say that I am not a huge fan of Marvel Comics. Sure, I saw the Superman movie, but that's about as close as I got. Ask me to name a comic character and after a few tries, I draw a blank. 

But The Incredible Hulk is one of my personal "Must See Movies of the Year". Notice, I said year; based on some of the other movies I've seen in 2008, Hulk didn't have too much competition. 

The movie starts off telling the story of Bruce Banner (played by Edward Norton), a seemingly unassuming man who changes into a green monster with unbridled rage and strength (though a seemingly reduced IQ) when his heart rate jumps up just a little too high. Forced to run away to Portugal, his only contact with anybody from his past is a man named Mr. Blue (reminiscent of Reservoir Dogs) to whom he communicates via a very old and obsolete instant messenger. An accident at a bottling factory leads the US military to discover his whereabouts, where they go to capture him. Along the way, he finds the woman he loved and together they set out to not only evade military forces but to also possibly find a cure for his condition. As if it weren't enough to constantly be on the run from the military, Bruce is faced with a new nemesis: a monster with more power and strength than even he.

This is a superhero movie, of course, so it has all the themes of a good super hero movie: the man nobody would have assumed to be the superhero, some pretty woman he feels compelled to save, another monster that matches or surpasses the superhero's abilities, and some quest for some truth (plus an authoritative looking figure who you come to hate but can't help but feel just a little sorry for in the end). 

Any last words?

Again, I'm not a huge fan of comics OR superheroes, OR scenes of miles and miles of carnage in a major city (I wonder how long it would take to fix all of that up) so for me to have enjoyed the movie is saying something. 

I should note that the movie had excellent product placement (as pointed out by Amardo three times), so don't see the movie if you're hungry, thirsty, or a smoker unless you're prepared to buy a Coke, pizza, and a cigarette to enjoy after the show. 

P.S. - This is a movie you can take the kids to, unless they are the type of kids that like to act out movies after they see them. You don't want your little tyke trying to punch a hole in the wall or picking up their younger sibling to throw them into a "building". Not cool.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Happening is NOT What's Happening

Since I'm bored, I decided to do another lovely movie review of a movie: The Happening. 

First of all, after movies such as Sixth Sense and Signs I figured M. Night Shyamalan would produce something as inherently thrilling and shocking as these. I mean, Signs was jumpy and Sixth Sense was just genius as far as the psychological shock goes. But The Happening? C'mon, Shyamalan. You can do better. 

Don't get me wrong, the shock effect was really good. I jumped at a few points in the movie (not that it's very difficult to make me jump), and at first I thought the movie was actually going somewhere. It had promise. Actually, I was pleased with the movie...up until the ending. 

I'm not a fan of conventional endings. Those are for fairy tales. And I'm one of those the-ending-makes-or-breaks a movie people. I went to see The Eye and had a similar reaction. The movie itself was great but the ending just sucked. Bad endings greatly lower a movie's ratings in my book. 

Amardo liked the movie, and I can value his opinion. But the revelation of what was killing these people was less than convincing and the ending just wrapped things up way too nicely. His attempt with a hanging ending was less than subpar.

Should you go see it? Meh... for the shock effects, yes. If it rips your heart to see a young girl in the position this little girl was in, yes. If you want more from the story than shock effects and a few gut wrenching sad scenes, NO. Save your money and wait for it to come out on DVD. 

Pregnancy Pact?

I'm sure you've heard about it in the news: a group of teenagers in Glouchester, Mass. decided to all get pregnant at the same time and raise their children together. Or did they?

"There was definitely no pact," 17-year-old Lindsey Oliver told "Good Morning America" on Tuesday. "There was a group of girls already pregnant that decided they were going to help each other to finish school and raise their kids together. I think it was just a coincidence."

The story started on Wednesday, June 18th when Time Magazine posted an article about the students as well as the increased amount of pregnancy tests handed out and the subsequent offering of contraceptives (even though this was frowned upon by the mayor). Apparently, 17 girls are now expecting children. The article goes on to say that a prospective reason for the pregnancy boom could be that the girls want somebody to unconditionally love them. 

But now, they are investigating this and saying that there may not have been a pact to get pregnant but rather, a pact to help each other finish school. I have a few things to say about this: not necessarily about whether or not a pact was formed, because in the larger scheme of things that is not the issue at hand. What we should be focusing on is the fact that there are 17 girls at a high school in Massachusetts that are pregnant and all the news media can focus on is whether or not it was planned. 

Pregnancy is a huge decision. When you decide to have a child or to continue with an unplanned pregnancy, you are not only playing with your life but your child's life as well. You have to be able to not only support yourself but your child. As I've said in an earlier post, it's a HUGE responsibility, something that doesn't even BEGIN to compare with the exercises you do with the egg or the bag of flour or even the little baby dolls in school. Those are just projects that you'll be done with in, at most, a few weeks. A real baby is yours for 18 years (and if it's anything like some of the people around me, even longer). A real baby grows. It needs new clothes, it needs food. It needs to be petted. You won't sleep for some months. 

A child deserves to be raised in a stable environment. But you can't go into a pregnancy thinking that it's all fun and games because it isn't. Sure, (most) babies are adorable, and you look at them and go "Awww, look at the gorgeous baby", and you want one just like it that you can hug and show off to adoring strangers. But there is so much more work involved...and unlike someone else's baby, you can't play with it and then leave it. 

I want so badly to say shame on these teenagers, but you can't completely blame them...they don't know any better. And nowadays, teenage pregnancy is being glorified everywhere, on TV and in movies. And I'm sure there are some teenage mothers who did a very good job with their children. But that's if you can only do well if you're truly ready for children, which I don't really think these teens are, not based on their reasons for wanting a child.

If you want unconditional love from something, buy a dog. They require responsibility but they won't wake you in the middle of the night crying (though they might bark), their food is relatively inexpensive compared to feeding a baby, you don't have to go through 9 months of pregnancy, and (though I'm rather attached to my dog and I won't say this would be easy) if you find you can't take care of the dog, it's a lot easier to find new owners than if you put a child up for adoption or in foster care. And not much feels as good as walking in the door and seeing your dog run to greet you with enthusiastic licks and offering of toys, even if he's been left alone in the house all day. It doesn't get much more unconditional than that.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan...and you might not wanna mess with the movie, either

I'd been meaning to blog about this before but it slipped my mind. Friday I took my cousins to see You Don't Mess With the Zohan. 

I should have known that a movie about a Middle Eastern anti-terrorist turned hair dresser was going to be, at best, dumb. But I wanted to give Adam Sandler some credit because he's usually not horrible in his movies (c'mon now, Billy Madison was hilarious) so I gave it a shot. Looks like I was mistaken in many ways. 

The first mistake was taking my 10 and 7 year old cousins to see the movie. It was too raunchy even for me! That was my fault...I hadn't researched the movie enough before we went to go see it. But there was nothing good about the fact that he kept banging old ass women in the back room of the hair salon.

What's more, there was little story line, and the movie was racist as well (it was obvious no Middle Eastern people were consulted in the writing of the movie, because it was nothing but one huge stereotype). And while the stereotypes were supposed to be comical, they seemed more offensive than anything else. Plus, the ending was the typical ending, the "plot twists" were typical plot twists that Ray Charles would have seen coming, and you're left with a bad taste in your mouth and a "I can't believe I spent $8.50 on this garbage". 

Roger Ebert gave this garbage 4 stars. Four stars??!!! This movie deserves at most 2 1/2 stars, if you'd like to be generous, for the few laughs I got. Ebert...dude... Even your film compatriot Richard Roeper had enough good sense to realize this movie isn't worth the trip to the theater. And you gave it four stars? This movie is an insult to all the other stellar movies that just couldn't make it into 5 star territory and you should be ashamed of yourself for putting it there. On a scale of 1-5, 4 means "above average". Zohan was, at best, "substandard".

This movie gets a "only watch if somebody else bought the bootleg". And Adam Sandler, use a little more discretion next time you want to be in a movie that stars a Israeli guy with a very heavy accent who somehow can convince everybody that he is from AUSTRALIA who thinks its cool to seduce old ass women in the back room of hair salons.

New Layout

I decided that to boost my mood a little (and to waste a little time) I was going to change the layout of my blog. So what you see now is thanks to the kind folks at Pyzam (and whoever made this layout). It was the first layout I saw on the page and I instantly fell in love with was exactly what I was looking for! The white background instantly makes my page look happier, and the graphic design in the corner is perfect. Just my style. Finally, this blog layout truly reflects my personality, at least as far as design goes. 

Oh and by the way. So I was going to be a good girl and put a new status on my Twitter page...but Twitter took too long to load. That's gonna cost you some points, Twitter. I already don't agree with having a whole website dedicated to statuses (which I only update once every few days ANYWAY) but the speed with which it took to load the page was less than satisfactory. I know you're handling heavy traffic now as more and more people join your website but step up your game like Facebook and Myspace did (except the Facebook bumper stickers...those are the worst at loading) to handle the extra subscribers. As a developing and new technology you don't wanna piss people off this early in the game.


No, this isn't going to take the path of my last few posts. In honesty, though I still feel a little... unrecognized at times I know that one day things will all change so I'm not terribly upset about that anymore. Besides, don't sweat the small stuff... and it's all small stuff. Plus, I'm having a good day. Since I don't sleep over my aunt's anymore I get ample sleep at night and I actually beat my 6:00 alarm to the punch this morning (yep I was up at like 5:45). Plus, going home gives me the chance to detox before I go back the next day so that I'm ready to deal with those little crumbsnatchers I call cousins (lol, they're not always that bad). 

See I could walk the walk, couldn't really talk the talk
Had to get the talk to properly explain my walk
Cuz this lack in talk had my walk lookin off...

Actually, today's post title was inspired by a song by Lupe Fiasco called Failure. I was listening to my songs on Intelligent Shuffle on my mp3 player this morning on the train and it played a few of his songs in a row, this one being one of them. Admittedly, I don't remember what line in the song really inspired me to write this morning, during the few free minutes of my day, but at the time it really meant something. The one mentioned above wasn't it, but it definitely sounded like something that really fits me right about now so I figured it deserved a place in the post. 

I had a new flavor of coffee today and it is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. To the people at Dunkin Donuts, kudos for inventing toasted almond coffee. Now it's no french vanilla or hazelnut but it certainly ranks up there with the best. And I know I'm probably a bit late jumping on the toasted almond train but as far as I can remember that wasn't a flavor last year when I bought coffee and a bagel religiously every single day before school. But yeah if you're a coffee drinker like myself (or maybe not as extreme) try the toasted almond coffee. It's almost as heavenly as a caramel frappuchino from Starbucks or a coolatta [Okay, I joke, I joke. Nothing is as heavenly as those two beverages, at least not anything that I can mention on this blog ;)].

By the way: if you are a college freshman or sophomore (no matter what school you go to) you have the opportunity to get paid per month to do absolutely NOTHING! If you don't believe me, ask Amardo. I got him hooked up and he gets paid to do exactly what I do, which is sit on my ass and collect money each month like a fat landlord (well I write articles for them too, but I get paid extra for that). It's a SEO company, and maybe if I really don't have anything better to do within the next 5 minutes I'll write another post just about that to explain why this is something people should want to take part in. Who can't use an extra $100-150 a month? I know mine goes toward my phone bill so that's never something I have to worry about. What's more, I know the whole process like the back of my hand and though you communicate directly with the company, I act as a liaison to make sure the process goes smoothly. Think about it. It's a great opportunity.

9:10 and it's still silent. I love this. Today is going to be a good day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Somewhere Out There

Hey niece...never forget that your are part of a Dynasty. You are a Queen and never allow yourself to be treated otherwise. I stand at the right hand of the man. My power is your power, your enemies are my enemies, you pain fuels my fury.Those who cross you will never know the joy of a long life!
I attribute a lot of things to my uncle: any street sense I can claim, my extensive knowledge of cell phones and the new cell phone technologies (c'mon...suggest anything less than quad band...I dare ya), and a sense of always having somebody I can call on whether I need advice or a new pair of gym shoes. I won't get too deep into the grisly details but he was really stepped into the role of father when my own wasn't able to do so.
Too fast to live...too young to die
That's why I've named my blog after one of his favorite quotes. I'm not sure where he got it from, but I think I need to adapt this to my own life, especially after my last blog post. After writing it, I realized what a state I was working myself up into. I need to be moving too fast for the times, not sitting back complaining that I'm inhaling everyone else's dust. Because I'm not. I'm like the lone driver on the freeway, with cars way in front and way behind. I could speed up and try to catch up with the drivers ahead of me but I'd just end up with a poor excuse for a speeding ticket. I could focus on staying ahead of the drivers behind me, but they aren't much competition because they're already behind. I'm in a league of my own right now. I'll continue to own my part of the road, and I'll wait for those ahead of me to get caught in gridlock so I can learn from their mistakes and avoid the traffic jam.

I Want My Name In Lights

Well, this marks the beginning of a new week, and as I listen to my cousins yelling and screaming in the background, I kind of wish it was the weekend again so I could sit back and relax.

Never let them forget who you are.

Once again, I am at a point where I evaluate myself and try to figure out where I'm going, what I'm doing, and why I'm going where I'm going and doing what I'm doing. And thus far, I must, say I'm pretty excited with the way life is going right now. I've got great friends, an amazing boyfriend and some money in the bank for once. But where am I going from here? In 1, 5, 10 years from now, where will I be? I want to make an impact. I want to be somebody. But I guess this blog just isn't the place to start. It could be, if I wanted it to be. I could put myself out there.
That's the thing about me: I don't have any obsessions, nothing that people would associate with me, except writing. So that's what I do: I write. Unfortunately, writing doesn't get you name recognition unless you're doing Def Jam Poetry stuff, which I don't do all the time. I may crank out a good poem here or there, but I couldn't do it for a living. I play the piano, too, and could probably get damn good if I tried really hard, but I don't.

Truth is, I wouldn't even want to read my own blog if I happened across it. Call this a moment of depression or call it me finally finding the truth, but honestly, who wants to read a boring blog like mine? Nobody cares about my life...they hardly care enough about their own.
I thought Blogger would be the cat's bananas because my boyfriend has one and his looked pretty cool and he has a lot of readers. Then again, I don't cater to anybody but myself in this blog so I suppose I shouldn't expect many faithful readers. My friends say I write too much...always have. No matter what I write everyone always seems too lazy to read what I have to say. I'd be willing to bet that if I had posted my latest poem 4/20 on my blog, nobody would have read it nor would they have thought it was as good as they thought it was when I said it.
At the same time, I dont want to write just to appeal. The whole point of me starting a blog in the first place is so that I could release my daily frustrations into a medium that can't fight back. I obviously have misinterpreted my own intentions.
I promised change before and we see how far THAT got. So this time I'm not promising anything. I just know that things just can't stay the same.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hamster Ranchero y Cerveza!!

Before I get asked any questions, let me just clarify that the title is an inside joke. In my uncle's attempt to become fluent in Spanish, he has taken on the task of learning by doing... this means that he goes to Mexican restaurants and orders una mesa para cuatro... that was, of course, as far as he'd gotten with the spanish. But what's funnier is that sometimes he can't read the menu so he has to order the only two foods he knows: huevos rancheros y cerveza. Now, I don't know about you, but there are only so many times you can eat eggs and beer before you just get sick!

Fast forward to about an hour and a half ago. My cousin Nia owns two Roborovski dwarf hamsters (yes, the exact same kind as my darling Chippendale). One, Buttercup, is quite the rebel and always looks like she got caught in the electric socket one day. She ended up escaping so four of us were on a mission to find this little no-tailed heifer. An hour later, after much screaming and maneuvering of heavy objects, we found the little rascal and returned her to her cage. I told my uncle what happened and he said next time we should get her out with the vacuum cleaner. And that's when we started discussing different elements of hamster cuisine, like hamster burgers with hot sauce and cheese and hamster con queso (which led to my invention of the hamster ranchero y cerveza to poke fun at his limited ordering possibilities). 

I'll admit, if you don't know how my uncle and I communicate with each other, you'd think it was gross that we could discuss such a thing (although some Peruvian dishes feature cuy. And if you don't know what cuy is, look it up or ask). But we just roll like that. I tease my uncle about his limited Spanish, he teases me about my cracked phone, I told him he looked like Russell Simmons, he told me my mama needed two tickets for the zoo (one to get in and one to get out), and so our lives go. By the time I spend one day with him I have a million stories to tell about our adventures. 

I'm fighting sleep with a butter knife... my attempts to stay awake are having no negligible effect on me so I guess I'll succumb to the urge. I'll be posting again tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Connected Like Legos

I just went through a huge exercise of patience and was pleasantly surprised at what I found I could do. What sparked my fit of emotion? Just some financial issues that weren't financial issues when I went to bed. Either way, I woke up to a not so pleasant wake up call. I was stressed, upset, frustrated, and to the point of tears. What was I to do?

manly intuition?
i knew somebody was fucking with your money

and when somebody fucks with you, i wake from my manly slumber

Well, I must say this. There are some external forces at work here. Let me explain why. Amardo and I have a bit of a ritual, you could say. I go to bed after him or at least he calls me before he goes to sleep, and he always wakes up after me, no matter what time I wake up. But last night was different. I called him before I went to sleep (i went to bed first) and he ended up waking up before I did. What was stranger was that we talked on AIM, even though we rarely do. I had accidentally left my account signed in last night and when I woke up he had sent me a message this morning so I responded. Amardo called it his "manly intuition" that woke him out of his "manly slumber".

me and you are connected, like legos
and we are one like 2 peas in a pod that have sex all day

Either way it goes, he really kept me from overdramatizing the situation and he was supportive but most importantly, he was there when I needed him and that really means a lot to me. He seems to have developed a radar that screams when something is really wrong with me and he always knows the best way to calm me down, too. (In case you aren't hip to organization, the bold blue stuff is what he said to me. Perfect analogies lol)

People go through their lives looking for their perfect mate and many never find the one who truly complements their personality. I'm just glad I found mine so early.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 1

There is always an event in our lives that makes us forget the fairytales we live and remind us of just how difficult reality is. That event for me is watching my cousins.

Don't get me wrong, these little precocious balls of ferocious energy I call little girls can be lots of fun sometimes. And nothing is better than the looks of excitement on their faces when they see me walk through the door or the yells of "Deeemmmmiiiiieeeerrraaaaaaaaaaaa!" and grabbing my waist for a hug before I can even put my bags down. I consider myself lucky...most people don't get to feel that feeling until they have kids of their own. I play games with them sometimes, and teach them new things.

But it has its downs, too. I'm tired. I didn't get much sleep last night, and I was up early and I had to get the girls up and fed and dressed. Nia, the older one, wanted to set up a lemonade stand so I had to chaperone that (despite sitting in the shade cold and sleepy). We came back to the house and I had to find something quick for lunch, and now I'm hoping they just stay quiet for another 45 minutes until I take them to karate and I'll be done for the day.

I want kids. And the topic of having children has come and gone a lot over the past months. But my experience with my cousins, who may as well be my sisters, has reminded me of the HUGE responsibility kids are. My privilege is that I can give these children back to my aunt at the end of the day (lol)...I mean that I'm not responsible for everything. But when you have children of your own, you can't give them to their mother or send them anywhere else for answers. You're responsible for all of it. You're responsible for their 3 meals a day, the roof over their heads, the clothes on their back, the transportation to and from school (or the bus stop), and the toys they play with. You are responsible for keeping them happy but teaching them the difference between right and wrong. Every time I am with them alone, their lives are in my hands because they are not old enough to do it themselves. Every time I take them to the park or to the pool or to the movies or anywhere else we may go alone, I am responsible completely for them. It's huge.

Writing this very article is sapping the little energy out of me that I had left. I'm drinking coffee in hopes that it will somehow give me a boost but it doesn't seem to be working very well. I now have half an hour before I need to get them ready for karate. Whoooooooooooooossssaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Today is Day 1 of the next 8 weeks of my life. Jesus Christ see me through this (oooo this is spawning the idea of an entry on religion...when I finish doing all the things I'm SUPPOSED to be doing right now I'll get to that)! Wish me luck, everybody.

I Should Be Working...

...but, of course, I'm sitting here writing in this blog. I've got articles to write, and yet I'm sitting here just writing my life away on this public medium that I'm not sure anybody reads anyway. My (poor) reasoning for not writing my articles is that I'm waiting on my tea to get finished so I can sip on it and write at the same time. I am quite sleepy and I'd really like to sleep but I'd rather feel productive and do research or write articles. I get the feeling my tea is done now, so I'm going to get to those articles. Deuces.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Something Different

I got my hair braided today...I haven't gotten this done in almost two years so not many people know this side of me. I just wanted to show this pic. I'll be writing later.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Should Have Been a Marketing Major

Inspiration sneaks up at the most interesting times. I was already in bed and half asleep when I got the idea to write. I know it's against the rules of writing to jump out of bed to work on something, but I just could not help myself. I had to write.

I am now a registered member of Associated Content. For those who don't know, Associated Content is where freelancers and ordinary people can write articles on basically anything they want to write them on (or they can choose from a list of articles needed). You publish your articles and if they're wanted, you get paid. It is very interesting. I haven't written an article yet but I will be soon so I'll be including links to that as soon as it gets published.

I have a new...idea. I want to become a freelance writer, but I had absolutely no idea that the business (because it is considered a business) was as complicated as it is. I'm not going to lie, I thought doing freelancing would be easy because I could just write some articles and get paid. But I've discovered being a freelancer is so much more than that. You have clients to maintain, deadlines to meet, and forms to fill out. You have to be able to market yourself and well. And you really have to want to do it. So far I've been researching what I need to do and what skill set I'll need to become an established freelancer, but I haven't done much by the way of preparation yet. I think I'll need some help in that area. We'll see how it goes.

Since I can't sleep now (for whatever reason) I suppose I'll do some more research. Knowledge certainly doesn't hurt! Look for those articles within the next week!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some Housecleaning

So, as I said in my last post, I just signed up with Technorati. Now, it seems pretty cool but it takes forever to get anything to work! It took me 10 minutes to upload a profile picture! So to the folks at Technorati, maybe 10:49 at night isn't the best time for me to try to make a new profile, but whatever bugs you got, you need to iron them out because they are more frustrating than trying to retrieve bumper stickers on Facebook!!

Second: as I mentioned in my last post, I'm going to be starting a new blog sometime within the next few days (maybe even the next few hours if my caramel frappuchino keeps me up). This blog is going to be a professional blog, and I'm not going to post in it too often. It will be a place for me to showcase my work. Hopefully, when I start getting references from companies, I'll be able to create a website and really start getting business. But we'll see. Future announcements as events warrant.

Third: expect some changes on this blog. I'm going to be posting a lot more to keep in touch with my writing side and to increase my skills, and I feel a lot more confident about posting now that more people will actually be able to see this blog. I'm not going to promise a complete facelift overnight, but there will be some changes soon.

Fourth: here are some pictures I ran across today when I was trying to find a pic for my Technorati profile

That's me and my dog Cesar. He's my little ride or die dog. Both of my pets are you can see he sits at the table like he owns the place.

He's probably tired of the camera at this point. He doesn't always look this evil. He's a very happy puppy.

This is Chippendale, the most gangsta hamster I know. Everyone who meets Chippendale falls in love with him. But don't take his cute and cuddly looks for granted...he does fight if you try picking him up and he's a fast little summummabitch.

I guess I've run out of stuff to say for now, so I'll retire my blogging for the night and get back into entrepreneur mode. I'll be saying a lot more from now on. Til then, deuces.


So I've finally figured out just why my blog isn't getting many hits...nobody knows it's out there! My blog doesn't even show up when you type my name into a search engine! Now, you can view my Technorati Profile any time you want! Hopefully this will bring new readers to my site. I'll also be starting another blog (but I'll Technorati this one quicker!) with a professional focus, but more on that in another post.

Today is A Gift

Amardo and I went to go see Kung Fu Panda last night. Yes, we know it's a kids movie, but I'm a HUGE fan of kid movies and Amardo is a kung fu fan so I think it worked out. Plus, hasn't anybody ever noticed that kid movies are JAM PACKED with all sorts of adult innuendos that you have to be a little older to understand? Anyway, Kung Fu Panda was HILARIOUS!!! Now I've noticed that if something truly is funny, I tend to cry when I laugh. I don't know why. I guess it's because I never cried when I was a little kid and now all those stored tears are catching up to me, or my tear muscles (?) are weak. I was laughing so hard I had streaming tears less than 5 minutes into the movie!! Even Amardo, who doesn't laugh at much along the lines of clean family fun, had a good time. And this was from the guy who said he wasn't watching kid movies until he has kids to watch them with. 

The kung fu master said something that was very interesting: 
Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a mystery,
But today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.
I don't know about you, but I think that is some of the most amazing and powerful advice that I've ever heard in a movie, second only to John's soliloquies in the Saw movies (yes, I still think beneath the gore the Saw movies are some of the deepest movies ever created). What was even more interesting and even ironic and really put everything into perspective was that when I walked in the house, my grandmother (who will from now on be referred to as "Bigmama") was watching Oprah and she was featuring people who had been basically told they were going to die soon. One man, who was an instructor at Carnegie Melon University, was told he had only months to live and so had delivered a final lecture to his students, which he presented on Oprah yesterday. Hearing all of that made me realize that we really do spend so much time wrapped up in dealing with the mistakes of yesterday and fears of tomorrow that we forget to live our lives day to day. Because next week isn't guaranteed, tomorrow isn't guaranteed, and if you live anywhere near where I do, two hours from now isn't guaranteed. Anything can happen. 

So treasure the here and now, people. Love your family and let them know you love them. If you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, tell them how much you care about them. I tell Amardo often how I feel about him not because I'm worried he doesn't think I care; I know he does. I would just HATE for something to happen to either one of us without us knowing how we feel about each other. The same goes for my friends. We only live one life. The only time you can make the best of it is now.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Since When Is Truth Unacceptable?"

We've heard a lot in the news about the very controversial rant of Father Michael Pfleger at Trinity United Church of Christ.

First, let me say this: I'm not much of a church goer, but if I did go to church, Trinity would have been where I went. I've gone to services where the Rev. Jeremiah Wright preached, and he's done services for my family.

I finally got a chance to see the "offending" video today of his rant, and I must admit...I've never laughed so hard at something like that in my life! Tears were streaming down my face by the time I was done, and the clip was only 3 minutes long!

C'mon now, people. What he said had some truth in it. I'm not racist, or reverse racist, or whatever you wanna call it. In fact I have many friends of many different ethnicities. But it's true: Hillary DID run thinking she was going to walk straight into office. She was cocky and that's what turned a lot of voters off from her. And why wouldn't she be: her husband WAS president, she HAS been senator of New York for some time, so she's been in the political limelight for a long time. But all of a sudden, a smooth talking, honest black man comes into the picture and all of a sudden she can't break the barriers she wished to break because there's someone who can appeal to voters just a little better than she could.

I'm not gonna lie, if Barack weren't running I would have liked to see a woman president, if only to institute some type of change. But while Hillary Clinton seems far away and unreachable, Barack feels like somebody I may have actually met or would actually have a chance to meet. And he's smart as a whip and dedicated, which is much MUCH more than we can say about the president we have now.

Leave Father Pfleger alone. He even says in his rant that he's "nonpolitical" and stops himself because "he doesn't want to get [the church] into any more trouble than it's already in." I don't think his intent was to bash Hillary as a person, but just used a maybe out of place example for what he was talking about before. But of course, the news won't report that side of the story. He shouldn't have to apologize and he shouldn't have been suspended. This is a nation of free speech and he shouldn't have to refrain from speaking the truth to be more politically correct.

And for the record: there were a lot of people yelling and cheering and clapping at what he was saying, and if I were there, I'd be right along with them, standing and agreeing to what he was saying.

And for a different record: the Catholic church was sure quick to suspend him for saying something about how racist this country is but they STILL haven't stopped their preachers from having sex with little boys. Something about this whole system seems very, very backward...

Father Pfleger said "Since when is truth unacceptable? I thought I lived in the land of the free... and the home of the brave"...

You said it, Father Pfleger. I've been wondering the exact same thing.