Wednesday, December 16, 2009

College Degree vs. Experience

I graduated from college on December 13, 2008. One year later and I still haven’t scored my dream job. No one told me it would be this hard. No one taught me how to strategically search and apply for a job. And no one prepared me for the rejection I would soon face. Therefore, I blame no one… but myself. It’s my fault. I admit it. I should have taken the initiative and set the standard for my own life. But it’s too late. Or is it?

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Element of Freedom

I may be biased when it comes to critiquing Alicia Keys. So what?! It's blatantly obvious that I am one of her biggest fans (notice I said biggest and not die-hard). I will not follow her to every city she visits and I can't tell you everything about her personal life. But, I do know the words to all of her songs, the title to every CD she's released, her real name and many more irrelevant facts.

The fact of this matter is, her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom was released today (and yes, I bought it). Another classic collection of heartfelt songs indeed. Too hard for me to pick a standout favorite, so I won't. Each track brings about its own feel and I dig each one. However, I'm secretly hoping that "Put It In A Love Song" is chosen as her next single.

If you haven't copped it yet, go do so now! Or download it... your choice.

Just give it a fair listen.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Precious

After sitting through two screenings, reading various reviews and engaging in multiple conversations about this film, I am finally able to develop my take on it.

Precious, such a fitting yet ironic name for a 16 year old girl who is not treated like a dearly beloved, darling child. She is sexually abused, impregnated twice and infected with HIV at the hands of her father, physically and verbally abused by her mother and cast out by society because she is "different". This tragically beautiful story, based on the novel Push by Sapphire and set in 1987, causes a surplus of emotions to arise within viewers.

The misspelled introductory credits bleed away from the screen to unveil Precious sitting in class, partaking in one of her many daydreams/hallucinations. This time she's fantasizing about having a rendezvous with her math teacher. The fantasy is interrupted by a call to the Principal's office. Precious gets kicked out of school for being pregnant a second time and then sent to an alternative school for a supposed chance at life. The fact that she can barely read or write is then revealed, but her lesbian teacher, Blu Rain introduces her to a world of words where both love and hope exist. Ms. Rain helps Precious to realize her worth through deeply involved reading and writing sessions, despite her many heartbreaking circumstances while a glimpse of faith is showcased when Precious daydreams of singing in church.

The film is at times uncomfortably funny as humor is used to overshadow the extremity of events taking place in Precious' life. Her father abandons the family, leaving Precious to endure the scrutiny of her mother, Mary who progresses through several stages of vicious attacks in psychotic, jealous rages, foolishly blaming Precious for stealing her man. Mary uses any object within her reach to throw at Precious (and her baby in one scene), coinciding with degrading profanity and insults. But in the end Precious fights back, showing that she is more than an obese, illiterate, welfare dependent teen. However, Precious' dreams of being rescued by a light skinned guy with "good hair" and seeing a white girl every time she looks into the mirror are unintentional, but obvious racial innuendos that vilify the African American race. On another note, inspiration in the film is minimally recognized and felt, but is exemplified through Precious' unbelievable strength and raw inner beauty.

Mary begs for forgiveness when she is brought face to face with her daughter after months of separation, but Precious is unyielding. Remembering all the pain she suffered at the hands of her mother, she bids her goodbye. The conclusion is confusing and incomplete. It simply shows Precious walking down the street with her two children, leaving viewers uncertain about what her future holds. Much like Precious, one can only imagine and hope that she went on to live a happy life (as the theme song "Happy" by Leona Lewis alludes).


"Dey talk like TV channels I don't watch."--Precious


"Push yourself!"--Ms. Rain

SN: Mo'Nique and Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe both deserve an Oscar nod for their roles.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bye Bye Bobby

Bobby Bowden announced his retirement on December 1, 2009. "The bowl game will be my last game as head football coach at Florida State," said Bowden. "It's been a great 34 seasons. I'd like to thank my wife Ann and my family for their love and support. There were a lot of nights when I was on the road and not at home at the dinner table. We all know that's part of it. I'd also like to thank the coaches and their families who helped build the program into something that is special. You can't have a successful program without players and we have been blessed to have young men who are winners both on and off the field. I want to thank them and their families for committing 4-5 years of their lives to me and to FSU. Finally, I'd like to thank the University and FSU fans who have supported the Florida State program. We've got one more game and I look forward to enjoying these next few weeks as the head football coach."

The Seminoles haven't had what some may call a decent season as of late, struggling to win games against mediocre opponents and dealing with the conflict of trying to find solace in a solid quarterback. However, Bobby Bowden created history with the team, setting milestones and breaking records that
will more than likely go unmatched for years to come. He exits with an overall coaching record of 388-129-4 and a plethora of memories for fellow colleagues, players and fans to savor.

National Coach of the Year six times (1979, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1999)

National Championships in 1993 and again in 1999

12 ACC championships

14 straight seasons among the Associated Press' Top Five

Two Heisman Trophy winners

and a Rhodes Scholar

Induction into the College Football Hall of Fame as an active coach

Second in all-time wins by a D-1 coach

34 years as the head coach at Florida State with only one losing season

As a graduate of The Florida State University, I am proud to say that I bleed garnet and gold... No need for band-aids. Despite the circumstances, still screaming: Go Noles!

True Seminole til I die.

Farewell, Bobby. Wishing you a happy retirement.

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*