Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tie Tuesday (Jason Collins)

I'm toooooootalllly loving NBA player Jason Collins right now.  He did something so remarkably brave yesterday. His unwavering courage makes my heart smile.  I don't know him, but I sure wish I did.  He's best known for his basketball skills, but his legacy will be the news he recently shared with Sports Illustrated: 

                                         "I'm a 34-year old NBA center.  I'm black.  And I'm gay."

So, here he is.  The first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport.  Wow.  I mean...wow!   

After I read Jason's story, I was reminded of how important it is to live a life that's genuine and true.  It takes so much courage to live your life as YOU see fit.  It shouldn't be that way though.  It really shouldn't.  We should be able to live and think as freely as we wish.  In doing so, maybe we can help others along the way.  I know Jason's announcement will help others.  It will help some people embrace who they are and it will also help our country to become more compassionate.  

I'm convinced that being who you are and living in that truth is the path to happiness. Trusting yourself and making choices without fear is just...dope.  Point blank period.  Sound simple?  Not always.  But, it's sooooo worth it.      

Click here to read Jason's Sports Illustrated article. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What I Know For Sure....(Oprah Started Something)

Oprah started something.  For years, she's shared her "What I Know For Sure" column in O magazine with readers.  I'm no Oprah, but as I get older, there are more and more things I absolutely, 100% know for sure about myself.  Here are just a few:
  • I prefer dogs to cats.
  • I'm a writer.
  • I hate oatmeal, milk, yogurt and the Lakers.
  • I'll always be a few pounds overweight (It's called "thickness").
  • I love smart men.
  • I love smart women.
  • I'm private, not secretive (There's a difference).
  • I'm terrified of snakes and bad politicians.
  • My faith is rarely shaken.
  • I will always love and appreciate a good book. 
It's always good to take a sec and reflect on yourself from time to time.  Be honest about what you know for sure (thus far in your life).  Do an assessment.  Do you like yourself?  Are you complicated?  What makes you smile?  Are you a work in progress like me?  Just some things to think about....  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tie Tuesday (Dr. Steve Perry)

Dr. Steve Perry is the founder and serves as principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut. Capital Prep has sent 100% of its predominantly low-income, minority, first generation high school graduates to four-year colleges ever since its first class graduated in 2006.  The school has been deemed one of the most successful schools in the nation.

He is a CNN education contributor and Essence best selling author with his book, “Man Up! Nobody is Coming to Save Us.” He has also been a regular contributor on issues of education for CNN, MSNBC and Fox.

In 2009, Dr. Perry released his fourth book “Raggedy Schools: The Untold Truth,” which takes a look at urban public education. He was most recently featured on TV One's popular series, "Save My Son."

Click here for more info on Dr. Steve Perry.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Boston...Tragedy, Lessons

It's been a tough week for the country...  

I stopped trying to understand the evil in this world a long, long time ago.  You can literally go crazy trying to understand why people hurt children.  Why?  Why do innocent people have to die by such senseless, horrible acts?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Despite what experts say, no one really knows.    

I tell myself that everything happens for a reason and I wholeheartedly believe that.  I do.  But what happened in Boston this week makes me question my own beliefs.  And I'd be lying if I said these kinds of incidents don't impact my sensibilities.  They do. 

What happened in Boston (and Newtown) makes me a little more distrustful, paranoid and frightened.  BUT, these tragedies also make me more compassionate, kind and loving.  When I heard about Boston, the first thing I did was call my mom to say "I love you." 

These sad moments make me appreciate the here and now more than ever.  I'm a Virgo, so it was hard getting to a place of "now."  Virgos plan relentlessly for the future, leaving no stones unturned along the way.  We rarely take time to smell the roses.  It's an extremely exhausting way to live.  Correction: It WAS an exhausting way to live.  Now?  I smell flowers daily, hourly if possible. 

My heart goes out to the victims and families of these tragedies. I hope they'll find some sense of peace.  Sooner or later, rather than never.

If what happened in Boston teaches us anything, it's that we should live and live well.  It's such a cliche, but tomorrow isn't promised to any of us.  
We all have a standing appointment to transition to the afterlife.  No one knows their expiration date.  So until then...try to be happy, be grateful for love & loved ones and never, ever take a moment of this life for granted.  xoxo :) 



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tie Tuesday (Cory Booker)

I grew up in Florida, so engaging in politics has always been second nature to me.  I love it (I can debate with the best of 'em!)  

Anybody who knows me knows how much I love and admire Cory Booker.  He's the mayor of Newark, New Jersey...and will probably be a U.S. Senator sooner than you think.  Click here to learn more about Cory, his work with Newark and his plans for the future. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

When Keeping It Real Goes Toooootally Wrong - Dad Whips Daughters For...

It's no secret, I'm not a parent.  But, I love kids.  I really do.  And I know, I KNOW the laws of life say it's not cool or appropriate for me to have strong opinions about raising kids, disciplining children or the failure of the American public education system.    *side-eye*   *slow-blinking*   *long-sigh*


Before I start, take a look at the video below.  It shows a father "whipping" his 12 and 14 year-old daughters for posting a video of themselves "twerking" on Facebook.  Twerking? 

Twerking = Lewd, sexually suggestive dancing; usually done by young females. 

Take a look.... (WARNING: It's pretty graphic.)

Now, listen.  I wholeheartedly believe in disciplining kids.  Children have to be taught right from wrong.  They need structure in their lives and they need parents to guide and support them as they grow.  I get it.  

But this video is disturbing.  On one hand, I understand this father's anger and frustration.  Young girls should not be doing this.  They shouldn't.  It's not right.  It's totally inappropriate and unacceptable behavior.  Can we all agree on that?  Yes? Ok-good.

However, on the other hand, I'm totally not OK with a parent (or anyone for that matter) using a cable wire to whip a kid in such a brutal way.  That too, is totally inappropriate and unacceptable.   The beating left the girls with welts on their legs, open wounds and bruises, and the father was ultimately arrested on child abuse charges.   

All in all, this is a sad situation.  I'm certain this father was doing what he thought was best.  And those girls?  They were being teenagers.  And we all know that teenagers oftentimes do stupid things.  Still no excuse though.   

There are plenty of experts who say spanking kids is OK.  And people's views on punishing children differ based on culture, race and generational influences.  In fact, one of my friends said to me recently, "I was never spanked, but I was slapped upside the head all the time by my dad when I was younger and I turned out fine."  *blank stare*   

Disciplining children with extreme violence just seems so barbaric, ineffective and downright wrong on many, many levels. The result is fear, not respect.  And pain doesn't always = obedience.  
But, hey what do I know?  I'm not a parent.  So take what I say with a grain a salt.  Pay me no mind.  I'll just go on about my way and keep on raising my dog....  *sips smoothie* 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tie Tuesday (Benjamin Bratt)

Probably one of the most underrated men in Hollywood....  He's best known for his role as Rey Curtis on Law & Order, but he's had appearances and noteworthy roles on lots of movies and television shows including Miss Congeniality, Traffic and Private Practice.

He and his wife Talisa Soto have been married for 11 years.  Click here to hear how he keeps the spark in his marriage.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tie Tuesday (Idris Elba)

*sigh*   I mean..... *sigh*   Actor, Idris Elba folks.  Idris Elba.  No words.  I have no words. #speechless

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