Friday, September 27, 2013

Hispanic Heritage Month - Women Who Rock

Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off on September 15th! It's a great time for us to celebrate the unique contributions, culture and talents of Hispanic Americans throughout this country. 

I'm a BIG supporter of women.  So, to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, I'm celebrating beautiful, smart, talented Hispanic women I love and admire: 

Antonia Novella -
First Hispanic American to be named surgeon general of the United States. She was born in Puerto Rico and appointed Surgeon General by president George Bush. 
She was also the first woman ever to hold the position. #GirlPower

Rita Moreno
- The first Hispanic American (and the second person ever) to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy.  "Maria" from Westside Story...  #dope

Ellen Ochoa - First female Hispanic astronaut.  Her first of four shuttle missions was in 1991.

Celia Cruz - Bolstering a 40-year singing career, she recorded 23 gold records, appeared in several movies, earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and was awarded the American National Media of the Arts by the National Endowment of the Arts. (One of my favorite artists ever!)

Mary Joe Fernandez - Won two grand slam tennis titles for doubles & two Olympic gold medals.

Sonia Sotomayor - First Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Rita Hayworth - She was born Margarita Carmen Cansino from Spanish parents, but was made to change her name and hair color in order to get work in Hollywood.  She made a total of 61 films and appeared on the cover of "Life" magazine six times.
Singer, Celia Cruz
Since 1968, the U.S. has honored the important role of Americans whose ancestors hailed from Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.  September 15th was chosen as the first day of the celebration because it's the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.  (Mexico celebrates their independence on September 16th and Chile on September 18th.)  


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tie Tuesday (Earvin "Magic" Johnson)

He's one of the biggest athletes of all times.  His skills on the basketball court have cemented him as a legend - no question about that.  But his legacy will be what he's done off of the court. 

Magic Johnson is the CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, a company that has a net worth of $700 million.  He's also part-owner of the LA Dodgers and has several other enterprises including Magic Workforce Solutions, Sodexo Magic Food Service, Magic Airport Holdings and ASPiRE TV.

The five-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer recently launched his "Friends of Magic" project in Chicago.  The goal: To help at-risk students, including dropouts, graduate from school.  It gives them a second chance.  

As he wiped away tears during the announcement event, Magic said, "I've been so blessed in life. I'm trying to give back to the same community I grew up in."

Magic Johnson's Bridgescape Academy contracts with the Chicago Public Schools to help dropouts complete their graduation. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Winning Powerball Music Playlist

Can you imagine winning $400 million dollars???  I can!   Listen.  If I win the Powerball Jackpot this week....  No--wait. What am I saying?  Scratch that.  *positive thinking*  WHEN I win the lottery (Come on Jesus), I'm gonna celebrate! I'm celebrating with lots and lots of music to commemorate the moment.  In fact, I'm hiring my own personal DJ to follow me around and bless me with great sounds. 

I've actually created my music playlist (with strict instructions) for the big pay day.  Wanna see it, here it goes!   *dancing*

For The Love Of Money (Money, Money, Money) - The O'Jays (I'll start my 1st day as a multimillionairess listening to this song.)

Look Like Money - Yung Ralph
(Play this as they're presenting me with my check on TV.  Don't listen to what my momma says - Just play it!)

It's All About The Benjamins - Puffy 
(All day rotation)

Shower The People - James Taylor (Play this as I'm meeting with my new lawyers to discuss details...Gotta take care of my fam!)

Party Up In Here (Ya'll gone make me lose my mind - up in here!) - DMX
(All day rotation)

Before I Let Go (Extended remix version) - Frankie Beverly and Maze
(This should play as I'm walking in to my "I won the lottery" celebration party.)

That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Gladys Knight (My friends will cry when this plays at my party 'cuz I'll be presenting them with dolla dolla bills, ya'll!) 

Let's Get Crazy - Prince
(All day rotation)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tie Tuesday (Arsenio Hall)

He's baaaaaaaaaccckkkk!  After a 19-year hiatus, Arsenio Hall stepped back on the scene last week with his new late night syndicated talk show.  

Calling it his "Back Is Beautiful" campaign, Arsenio hasn't missed a beat!  He's still engaging, silly, comfortable and extremely relatable on camera.  In its first week back, The Arsenio Hall Show featured several A-List guests including Magic Johnson, Angela Bassett, Lisa Kudrow, Chris Tucker, Mark Harmon and Ice Cube. 

A LOT of people have TV talk shows.  Some of them are good, but most of them aren't.  And none of them are "Arsenio Hall."  He's really one of a kind.  His does things his way.  And even almost 20 years works. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

4 Little Girls You Should Never Forget

September 15, 1963.  Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.  

The bombing (planted by the Ku Klux Klan) happened during Sunday school, as a symbol of opposition to racial equality and civil rights.  The explosion ripped through the church and killed 11-year-old Denise McNair, and 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. 

The incident represented a terrible way of life during the civil rights movement.  One that was full of violence, bombings, lynchings and hatred.  This bombing was especially painful because these were children.  Four little innocent, beautiful girls...attending Sunday school.  

It took many years for authorities to solve the case.  *blank stare*  Three Ku Klux Klansmen were eventually convicted in the bombings.  Robert "Dynamite" Chambliss was convicted for his role in the bombing in 1977 (died in prison in 1985).  Bobby Cherry was convicted in 2002 (died in prison, two years after the conviction). Thomas Blanton was convicted in 2001, and is still serving a life term.  A fourth suspect, Herman Cash died in 1994 without ever serving a day behind bars. 

As we look back on this terrible act, let's always remember and honor those four little girls. Share their story with younger generations.  Talk about it.  Keep their legacy alive. 

Top: Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson
Bottom: Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair
** Last week, Congress bestowed its highest civilian honor to Cynthia, Carole, Addie Mae and Denise with a presentation of Congressional Gold Medals for heroism. **

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vine Video Of The Week (If This Dog Isn't A Virgo...)

If this dog isn't a Virgo, I don't know who is!  I give folks this "look" at least 2-3 times a week. LOL! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

For The Love Of Everything Holy, Protect Your Brand!

Real Quick:

A lot of people think only large corporations and business conglomerates should be concerned about their brand.  Wrong!  Always remember that you are a brand.  Yes, you!  Think of yourself as the CEO of you.  It doesn't matter if you're a teacher, a police officer, a business owner or someone in the spotlight. YOU determine your brand (make sure it's authentic).  YOU work hard to maintain your brand (manage people's perception of you).  YOU protect your brand.    

Side Note:  The "Beyonce" brand  (Yes, she's a brand) is an excellent example: Talented.  Professional.  Business woman.  Mother.  Fashonista.  Wife.  No-Drama.  Philanthropist.  Whether you're a fan or not, you gotta respect the Beyonce brand. 

I recently watched a reality TV series (I know, I know. *holds head down in shame*) where a very popular, talented, R&B singer single-handedly destroyed her brand over the course of a few weeks.  

What took years to build, she tore down in one season of reality TV.  Show after show, her ego, attitude and unwillingness to collaborate with other artists was almost too painful to watch.  And on top of all of THAT, she also came across as a bully!  Whew!  #fail

The "PR" me cringed every time I saw her and her antics on screen.  

Lesson:  Don't compromise your brand for anyone or anything.  Commit to that.  Remember to always protect your brand.  And think before you react.  Ask yourself, "Is this helping or hurting my personal brand?"  If it's I even need to say anything else?

Note:  If you're ever asked to do a reality TV show, remember this: The production company doesn't have fans, a reputation or a brand to protect.  It's your responsibility to protect your brand.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tie Tuesday (Wen Jones - Ex-Marine Stood Up For Bullied Teen)

Disclaimer:  If you know ANYTHING about me, you know how much I hate bullies.  HATE.  I know hate is a strong word, but in this case it's true.  I loathe bullies.  

A few months ago, Wen Jones, a 43-year-old former Marine from Jupiter, Florida saw three men (in their 20's) picking on a 14-year-old at their local beach.  

According to witnesses, the men had been bullying kids on the beach all day.  One of those kids was a 14-year-old named Zion Wright.  The men kicked him repeatedly and called him racial slurs.  Zion is black.  

When they saw Zion and his father near the restrooms, the men started up again.  Wen heard them and stepped in.  He told them to calm down.  The men (cowards) proceeded to beat Wen until he was unconscious.  Video was taken by witnesses showed Wen falling to the ground during the attack.  The men fled the scene when they heard police had been called.  Last week, the local police department identified and arrested all three men: Tyler Carswell, Cody Roon and Eric Deiter.   
Wen Jones shows physical damages sustained during the attack.
The beat down left Wen needing surgery to fix a fracture under his eye, as well as stitches all over his face including his tear duct.  His response to the incident:

"I'm not happy to have been injured pretty severely, but at the same time, I ask myself, would I do it again?  You know, it was the right thing to do, so I probably would." 

True definition of a good samaritan.

Cody Roon, Eric Deiter, Tyler Carswell


Friday, September 6, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

10 Worst Co-Workers Of All Time

No intro needed.  Let's jump right in, shall we?

The Brown Noser - Easy to spot!  They're usually promoting themselves at every opportunity, in a corner chatting it up with the "boss" or somewhere trying to be seen and/or heard by the influential leaders at the company.  But you know what?  They're actually fun to watch!  Brown Nosers aren't bad people, they're just annoying.  

The Snob - Calm, cool and collected.  You cannot and will not ruffle their feathers.  They won't participate in any office politics, good or bad.  They follow company policies (they love the HR department), give fake smiles and boo hiss when it comes to office gossip.  Sound boring?  Hmmmmm.... :-) 

The Inappropriate Jerk - Offensive jokes.  Out-of-line comments.  Polyester suits & bad teeth.  Just all-around bad person. 

The Know-It-All - They know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING.  The "Company Guru." You name it and they've done it.  You got a problem?  They know how to solve it - their way, of course.  They give unsolicited advice, and it's usually accompanied with a condescending smirk or question. Just know that they're intimidated by intelligence & confidence, so if they're coming for you...take that as a compliment. :-) 

The Office Hormone - Everything stresses them out: Deadlines, emergencies, conference calls, cafeteria food, meetings, office parking, holiday parties, ___________, etc.  They cry.  They're dramatic.  They have attitudes for no reason.  They Wear. You. Out.  

The Backstabber -  The O'Jays said it best:  *singing*  "They smile in your face... All the time they wanna take your place.  The Backstabbers!"  They will sell their soul, a kidney and their first born for a promotion or job recognition. What makes you think they won't sell you (a co-worker) down the river or throw you under the bus? 

The Slacker - *sigh*  I mean... *sighs, again*  Lazy, unimpressive and always trying to get out of work.  

The Manipulator - Careful. They sometimes disguise themselves as Mr. Nice Friendly or Little Miss Helpful.  Ahhhhh, but they have ulterior motives.  Yes, they do!  They're not just being nice because they're a "nice" person.  Newp. Clue: If a person is always the "hero" or "victim" of their own story - red flag!  #manipulator

The Wimp - Scared to speak up for themselves or anybody else.  Afraid to share their opinions.  Their motto:  "Just go along to get along." 

The Bully - Believe it or not, there are bullies in the workplace.  Quite often they've been given some kind of power. They use that power to mistreat and intimidate people, and sadly they tend to get away with it.  The looooove "wimps." (Stay tuned - I'm gonna do an entire blog post on workplace bullies.) 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tie Tuesday (Robert De Niro)

One of the greatest artists of our time.  Love, love, love him!  He's been acting since he was 20 years old and he just keeps getting better with time.  His catalog of work is extensive and super impressive.  

If I had to choose my favorite Robert De Niro film, I couldn't do it.  I mean.  I just....everything he's done has been stellar!  Raging Bull??  The Godfather Part II??  Cape Fear??   Casino??  Silver Linings Playbook??  Just amazing!   And did you know he directed A Bronx Tale and The Good Shepherd

Robert De Niro is so dope, he makes me want to be a better writer!