Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Butler Review

I went to see The Butler with a guy friend who is extremely intelligent, and he was intelligent enough to mention that watching a movie in a theater was not a great first date idea. Well, I really wanted to see the movie. So, anyway. We're sitting there chatting during the previews about random things and he randomly says, "I'm tired of all these slave movies." I didn't think The Butler was a "slave" movie, until the lights went dim and the opening scene made me gasp. I will try my best not to spoil the plot by offering a general summary:

The movie opens up with the main character (Cecil Gaines) in a cotton field as a little boy. He's enjoying a quality moment with his father, and his mother (played by a very white looking Mariah Carey) is nearby. The owner of the cotton field appears and forces Cecil's mother to join him in the shed. A loud scream is heard, which is an apparent sign that she was raped. Cecil then asks his father if he's going to do anything. His father yells toward the owner of the cotton field as if he is attempting to stand up for her. The owner pulls out his gun and shoots him before he has a chance to say what he was thinking about saying, right in front of his son, Cecil. An old white lady comes out to comfort Cecil and then tells him, "I'm going to teach you how to be a house nigger." The story then progresses to show how Cecil lived his life as an exceptional butler.

The opening scene made me very uncomfortable. Mainly because I watched a Black man allow his wife to be raped, bow down to the owner and then be shot dead while his son was witnessing it all. I can appreciate the overall message of the movie; the importance of showing how this butler successfully worked through 8 administration changes in the White House and pressed for wage adjustments as far as the Black workers were concerned. I just don't appreciate the fact that it kinda did play out like a "slave" movie. Cecil was a slave to his job, and his son grew to despise him for it. His wife (played by Oprah) mentioned that he cared more about the White House than he cared about her. She was right. We never got to see Cecil's emotional struggle; how his past actually affected him. He was headstrong on being a hardworking man, striving to provide a "better life" for his family. His older son leaves for college and rebels to become a Freedom Rider and a Black Panther. He is arrested multiple times.

One of the lines in the movie, said by the actor playing Martin Luther King Jr.'s role was something to the effect of, "Your father is showing what it means to be a hard-working Black man." However, his son remains embarrassed by his inability to stand up for what's right. Their conflict scene took me right back to the opening. Cecil was bowing down just like his own father, simply doing as he was told. When his youngest son decides to fight for his country in the Vietnam War, we see no interaction of Cecil trying to stop him, even though he admits that he didn't know why we were at war in the first place. There were too many emotional gaps. Too many failed opportunities for the viewer to be invited into Cecil's mind. He's narrating throughout most of the movie as his older self, but the story still lacked emotion from him as the main character. However, he did cry when his father died and when President JFK was assassinated.

We view his close relationships building with each POTUS, which coincides and clashes with his home life. All of Cecil's energy is focused on catering to the White House staff. The most personal scenes were depicted when highlights of the Civil Rights movement were shown. Most of these scenes occurred around his oldest son's rebelliousness. We got to see how "niggers" were treated when they refused to stick to the whites only code. These scenes also made me uncomfortable. I didn't understand the merit behind them. But, they were necessary to build upon and add to the movie's time frame. 

Nevertheless, I expected to see the truth and I expected to be educated. I was a little disappointed when I arrived home afterwards and read that most of the events of the movie in relation to Cecil's life didn't actually happen. They were added for a dramatic effect. The movie was loosely based on the life of Eugene Allen, the real butler who actually did not grow up working in a cotton field, did not have two sons and was not actually "recruited" for the White House position.

For roughly 34 years, this Black man worked as a butler and that's really all the viewer got to see, since the majority of the scenes took place inside the White House. Other than the beauty of him being alive when a Black President was elected for the first time (years after he retired), I missed the real history lesson.

Grade: C 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

JUST US? The Race for Justice

"Man I gotta protect myself"... "Protect yourself from what?".... "You don't understand"

I really didn't understand why my ex-boyfriend felt the need to purchase a gun. He knew I was afraid of them. I begged him to change his mind, but he wouldn't. Later on, he proudly showed me his permit license and his new "toy". I had never seen one up close. He cradled it in his hands. I glanced at it. Then, I told him that I never wanted to see it again. I couldn't soothe his paranoia. I couldn't digest his pain. I'm Black as well, but I'm a woman, and I just couldn't relate...

You'll never understand what it's like to be a Black male, unless you're a Black male. 

I know that now, especially after closely following the trial for Trayvon Martin's murder; a 17 year old Black male who was walking home from the store, carrying a pack of Skittles (my favorite candy) and a can of Arizona Iced Tea. His killer, George Zimmerman, profiled him and categorized him as a "punk" and an "asshole" while speaking to the 911 dispatcher. "Fucking punks"... "These assholes always get away"... Trayvon was wearing a hoodie. It was raining. And, according to Zimmerman, he was walking with no direction and looking into homes. Zimmerman admitted that he was following Trayvon while in his car. "We don't need you to do that", he was advised. However, Zimmerman chose to get out of his vehicle anyway. 

In one of his recaps, he claimed that Trayvon was circling his car and egging him on. However, Trayvon was on the phone with his friend, Rachel Jeantel, before the confrontation ensued. She described their conversation on the stand during the trial, with a heavy attitude and snappy remarks directed towards the defense. That, along with her inability to communicate properly, apparently did not make her a credible witness, even though she was the only one who could actually speak for Trayvon, who she said described Zimmerman as a "Creepy ass Cracka." 

Rachel told Trayvon that Zimmerman could possibly be a rapist. Trayvon laughed it off, but Rachel could sense that he was afraid. He told her that he was close to home, and Rachel thought that he would make it there safely. Then, she heard a "bump" and "wet grass sounds". The call dropped. Trayvon attacked Zimmerman. Or Zimmerman attacked Trayvon. We'll never know who was the actual aggressor, but we do know that if Zimmerman would have waited in his car for the police to show up, Trayvon would more than likely still be alive. The speculation began to outweigh the truth, and Rachel soon became a victim herself. She was ridiculed and criticized for not being articulate. Her speech was slurred. She rolled her eyes. She got feisty with authoritative figures. She was obviously frustrated, but she still had the courage to represent in front a national audience for her friend, Trayvon; the only person who never picked on her. People called her ignorant. I even got into a heated discussion with someone trying to argue ignorance versus incompetence. 

This trial made me emotional. Why was it so hard to convict someone who confessed to shooting an unarmed teenager? Oh yeah, Zimmerman said he shot Trayvon in self-defense, so justice died right along with that justification. Then it occurred to me that Zimmerman wasn't even initially arrested after the shooting, and Trayvon was a John Doe for 3 days before the morgue released his body to his parents. Some people dispute the claim that this was a race case because Zimmerman is Hispanic. Some people don't know the difference between race and ethnicity. Just as some people don't know what it's like to be profiled. 

Race: How you look | Ethnicity: Cultural background/where you're from

Not only was Zimmerman unapologetic; he had the nerve to state that killing Trayvon was God's plan, and initiated the support from other like-minded individuals who believed that Trayvon was nothing but a thug. Zimmerman is a hero in their eyes, so they freely gave donations for his legal fees and saluted him for taking the law into his own hands. As the community watch captain, he saved his neighbors from having to deal with another crime... a crime that he assumed would take place because Trayvon looked "suspicious". 

"A system cannot fail those it was never built to protect..."

Last weekend, I marched for (in)justice; just as we had to march to have Zimmerman arrested and subsequently march again for a/an (un)fair trial. The verdict? Not Guilty. Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder. He was also found not guilty of manslaughter. But that doesn't mean he is innocent. Free to walk, nonetheless. Free to resume whatever is left of his normal life. Free to celebrate a victory. Free to have his gun back. Free to stand his ground and shoot another suspicious, Black teenager. Free to laugh at our pain... 

A jury of "his" peers sympathized with him. Unlike me, in reference to my ex-boyfriend, they could relate to his fear. They believed that Zimmerman was the one screaming on the 911 tapes, even though he was strapped with a gun that he was trained and ready to use. So well-trained that with one good aim and steady focus, he was able to shoot Trayvon directly in the heart, after allegedly having his head bashed into the concrete numerous times. *side eye* 

Juror B-37 even agreed to an interview to defend the not guilty verdict. She admitted that she (white) and 5 other women, (4 white, 1 Hispanic) were confused about the stand your ground law. They questioned the manslaughter charge, but still could not fully apply it to the situation that "George said" took place. Juror B-37 was even preparing to write a book about an experience that she "never wanted to be involved in." However, Juror B-37's husband is a lawyer, who has some type of connection to Zimmerman's defense attorneys. 

Just as we have the right to remain silent, we also have the right to question the system about our right to walk home, unbothered; the right to defend ourselves against someone who thinks we are capable of doing something wrong at first glance. 

At this point, I will no longer attempt to portray Zimmerman as a liar. I will no longer offer my rebuttal for speculation and theories. I will no longer pretend like we have overcome the discomfort of racism. We have not. It's evident every day, everywhere, but I/we ignore it because we want to truly believe that our ancestors' sacrifices for change were not in vain. We want to believe that we are a nation "with liberty and justice for all." We are not. We want to believe that Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is now in effect. It is not. Though it's currently in progress, we have a long way to go. Equality is to justice as harmony is to peace. In the midst of so much racial tension, that is the one thing that remains clear. 

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*


Saturday, May 4, 2013

They Kept Calling Me Gay... So I Could No Longer Play

I've never told anyone this, but one of the reasons I quit playing basketball was because I wanted to escape the stigma of being called "gay". From ages 8-17, I was an athlete; a superstar athlete. I was a girl who looked and played like a boy, and everyone thought I was gay. So, I'm finally setting the record straight...

I'm not gay. However, as a young girl struggling with an identity crisis, I almost believed that I was... because people insisted on asking. I liked boys, but not many boys liked me. Again, because I looked like them. I was pretty, but unattractive, mostly due to my wardrobe malfunctions. I hated wearing dresses and heels. I still do. I love(d) sports, and could care less about anything else. I thrived on being in the spotlight... and I didn't realize how much I wanted the attention until someone recently told me that I have only child syndrome (selfish, bossy, easily angered and more). More than one person, actually. I refuted this claim until I thought back to my days on the court, wearing my knee-high socks and Nike headbands. I couldn't play if I didn't look good... So, I guess I'm a natural-born attention seeker, and that probably means I'm gay. 

Is Jason Collins an attention seeker for wanting to be the FIRST NBA player to announce his "secret" lifestyle? 

Is Brittney Griner an attention seeker because she made her announcement shortly after Jason Collins made his? Where's her Sports Illustrated cover? Why isn't she a "pioneer"? Is it because the gay-o-meter had already counted her "out"? She wears bow ties and she can dunk; she was automatically gay and there was no need for her to announce it. Right?

The Bible says many things about homosexuality, but this isn't a religious argument about homosexuality; this is an argument about equality... "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." BS! If we're all equal, then why couldn't I be the first girl to play in the NBA? My "American" dream was shattered, but luckily I had a plan B. I could still become a productive member of society by doing something else that I loved: writing.

When I was a freshman in college I decided to write a narrative essay on Sheryl Swoopes and her decision to "not be some sort of hero." My English professor read my first draft and forced me to change my topic. "This is an offensive topic that may offend some of your classmates. I strongly encourage you to choose another topic." That's exactly what she marked on my cover page, and I still have this essay in a folder on my bookshelf...

Offend them how? By sharing insight on one of my favorite basketball players? She assumed that spreading the news about my favorite basketball player's "coming out party" was guaranteed to hurt someone's feelings. My first college essay was rejected. Pun intended.

"Male athletes of my caliber probably feel like they have a lot more to lose than gain [by coming out]. I don't agree with that. To me, the most important thing is happiness." - Swoopes 

So, Jason Collins, are you happy? 

You wanna know the TOP reason why I quit basketball... because I would never be able to compete with guys on a professional level. No matter how much I developed my skills to be better than all the cocky, male MVPs, I was still a girl... who everybody thought was gay.

According to most people, ALL homosexuals are attention seekers who want to be praised for their courage and bravery. If this is true, then why are most homosexuals afraid to address their same-sex preference in both intimate and public settings? Why would it be so hard for an attention seeker to seek attention? Jason Collins is a 34-year-old NBA center. He's black. And he's gay. What did he set out to prove? That it's still a man's world, even if he's a homosexual. 

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Temptation Review

I love watching movies with my besties. The commentary is always quite hilarious...

"Unh uh. He better not pull my hair! I'm bald-headed!"

"He looks like an ant, and why does he have so much lip gloss on?" 

"That's not lip gloss. That's grease!"

"Why are Brandy's eyes so far apart? They need to stop doing closeups!"

"The grass isn't always greener on the other side cuz ain't no grass over there!"

"Man I'm pissed off!"

I received many fair warnings, and I still gave Tyler Perry the benefit of the doubt. My boy bestie asked in his review of the movie, "Why doesn't Tyler Perry trust us?" I should have trusted my gut. I guess I couldn't fight the Temptation...

Hello, my name is Judith (Jurnee Smollet-Bell). I'm a naive and gullible 25 year old (almost) marriage counselor and my husband is an aspiring pharmacist. I've known him since I was 6, so we were soul mates from the beginning. At least until Harley (Robbie Jones)  came along. He made me feel wanted and he remembered my birthday when Brice (Lance Gross) forgot. He also protected me when a guy ran me over in the park. Brice let a random guy disrespect me and call me out of my name. Harley showed me how a real man should treat me. Plus, he's already successful and has a load of money. I tried to resist his advances when we first met, but he awakened my senses and made me feel things that I've never felt with Brice, and I mean that in every way possible. He's spontaneous, funny, charming, aggressive and outrageously handsome. Brice is just... well, boring. I tried to be the kind of woman that Mama raised me to be, but I just got tired of being the "model Christian". Mama wanted me to be perfect, but she was keeping a secret of her own about my daddy. She's always judging me and telling me what to do; trying to control my life... but I'm a grown woman. Hell, I'm married! Even though Brice and I are still struggling, he promised that we'd be right where we need to be in about 10 years. I don't know if I can last that long though, especially if Harley keeps telling me to leave him. He's just so irresistible. The way he looks at me with burning desire, and how he grabs me and slangs me around. We have wild sex, and I kinda like it. The Bible says that married couples should have sex three times a week, but Brice stopped turning me on. He likes to work overtime and watch football. He's also too worried about that new chick Melinda (Brandy) who just started working at the pharmacy. She's mysterious and downright crazy. Who walks around with a hood on at night and gets jumpy when hearing someone else's voice? I don't know what's up with her, but something is definitely wrong. I don't have anything to worry about though. I know Brice will never leave me. He's weak, and conservative. But I on the other have learned how to live. Growing up in the South kept me sheltered. I never even saw people doing drugs back home. In DC, things are very different. Everyone is so carefree and outspoken. I finally decided to try new things and ended up close to the edge. I wanted to jump after Harley pushed Mama. I'd never seen him act that way in the unknown amount of time that he's been out of college. However, I did read his questionnaire and hypothesized about how he could possibly behave in a relationship. Things moved so fast. I didn't have time to think about what I was doing. All I can remember is Ava (Kim Kardashian) telling me that my shoes were ugly and that I was forgettable. I had to spice things up. And my boss (Vanessa Williams) with the fake French accent wasn't making things any better by forcing me to set old white guys up with younger women. I needed to be fulfilled. I needed excitement. I needed a wake up call...

*Fast forward after weird introductory flashback*

I'm speaking in first person because I have to help you understand the plot. You'll probably miss the clues if you don't pay attention from the very beginning, when I'm counseling a young Caucasian couple and using my sister's life as an example of how things could end up if you decide to have an affair. Don't worry; you won't get too sidetracked. Just keep predicting what's going to happen at the end. You'll be surprised by what you thought you knew... because sequence isn't really that big of a deal.

Get the point? Temptation was poorly developed with an unrealistic plot full of stereotypical insinuations. No real established point of view. Horrible time references. Bad character development (Brandy somehow forgot to age at the end)... and I don't know if God would be pleased with a movie that portrays the wholesome Christian wife as one who never forgets to say grace and cooks for her husband EVERY night, while wearing mismatched, old fashioned clothes to work and "normal" hairstyles that don't attract too much attention. 

Tyler Perry, your movies should be steadily improving at this point. If you're going to continue to write, direct and produce films that exclude Madea, please be sure that the editing is not completed by some intern at your studio in Atlanta. I clearly did not miss the overall message. You undoubtedly confirmed that every GOOD writer needs a GREAT editor. Oh, and when T-Boz, Lefteye and Chilli sang to us about not chasing waterfalls, they were dead serious. Therefore, I'm not totally disappointed. Just really really really confused...

Grade D: Only because of the Lance Gross shower scene.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Beat It?

Father beats his daughters for twerking, is subsequently arrested, and the world thinks he took it too far. But wait, he was arrested because the mother of the two girls called the police, and then the video went viral... Who released the video? Why didn't the mother support him? Did the girls really have open wounds, even though they were fully clothed? Will arresting him solve the problem? So many unanswered questions, but there will definitely be no more "booty action"... unless the mother is strict enough to discipline her daughters accordingly. 

When Michael Jackson encouraged us to beat it, I'm sure he didn't mean it in a literal sense. When I read this story, I was confused, bothered, disgusted, angry, hurt, plus more. I also couldn't figure out whose side I was on. Should I support a father's right to discipline his daughters with physical reprimands, no matter the severity? Or should I hold steadfast to my own personal beliefs concerning abuse in any form. I choose the latter. Although I do not agree that his actions warranted an arrest, I do agree that he was much too aggressive in his attempt to inform his daughters that their actions were not acceptable. In most cases, a parent will chastise their child/children with some sort of bodily harm. I've always been a firm believer in non-physical punishment, but spankings are sometimes required, depending on the circumstances. Beatings, though, should never be a primary solution for condemning a child.

Spank: To strike, especially on the buttocks with an open hand
Beat: To hit repeatedly so as to inflict pain 

cc: Merriam-Webster

I'm a 26 year old semi-successful writer, and I can only remember getting two spankings; maybe three. I believe that I was a good child: respectful, polite, intelligent, etc. I hardly ever stepped out of line. After being spanked a couple times, the message was clear. You do wrong, you get punished. I didn't like being punished. So, I did everything that was expected of me... as every child should. But every child is different, every situation varies, and distinctive outcomes cannot be predicted. As much as I would love to defend the argument that spankings don't guarantee that a child will grow up to become a law abiding citizen, I must be realistic, while also trying to prove my point:

As children get older, spankings become more tolerable, which usually means they are not affected by the physical act of discipline and will probably keep doing the same defiant things if the parent does not employ an additional method of punishment. 

Truth be told, I'm afraid of having children. So afraid, that I almost typed child instead of "children". I'm only equipped to handle one, if at all. I constantly tell people that I can't see myself hitting a child. To me, it's an indecent way of expressing disappointment that often does not produce a concrete resolution. Striking a child, either mildly or extremely, increases the capacity of fear and shame. In addition, it adds to the psychological imbalance that affects one's confidence and self-worth. I don't have to conduct research to further elaborate on this fair assumption; experience is always the best teacher. Common practices are also reprocessed, which leads to an ongoing cycle labeled as "tradition", and many parents will couple their defense with a Bible verse to make it excusable:

Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
    and save them from death.

cc: Proverbs 23:13-14

In other words, "you spare the rod, you spoil the child". Disciplining with the rod of correction has been reinterpreted to suffice for abusing children with extension cords, wire hangers, sticks, etc. When your child is crying out in the midst of your effort to inflict the highest degree of pain, where do you draw the line? Or is there no limit that's justifiable when errors are grounds for punishment? Yes, God has directed us to discipline a child consequently, but torturing a child to the max of their individual endurance level causes emotional anguish and personal struggles that are highlighted elsewhere.

Excerpt from link:

Early abuse may be more damaging to developing emotion and stress systems because it happens as the brain is rapidly developing and when children are more dependent on caregivers’ protection. Moreover, because it’s harder for very young children to discern the clues predicting an abusive attack, they may be chronically stressed and overly vigilant.

"Words hit as hard as a fist." 

Although I didn't receive many spankings, I was disciplined verbally, with promising threats and ultimatums. Ex: "Make a C on your report card and "see" what I do to you!" Verbal discipline was more effective than physical discipline in my case. I was terrified of what could possibly happen, and my parents were very aware of how timid I was. So, they adapted to what worked best for their approach to parenting, and again, I did what was expected of me. 

It is important for parents to study their child/children to determine which form of discipline will result in a proper correction. Believe it or not, children are smart, even if their grades don't say so. They know what's coming if they do something wrong. Still, it doesn't stop them from doing it. Why? Because as children age they develop their own way of thinking and familiarize themselves with customary functions of the world. I suppose this is why it is common to promote the idea of allowing children to make their own mistakes; so that they can learn from them. But of course most parents have the tendency to nurture and protect, even when anger is present. Utilizing other relevant options can prevent future problems, especially when the child isn't learning from physical discipline, such as:

  • Confiscating  items (cellphone, television, etc.)
  • Public humiliation (forcing them to upload a picture to social media networks holding a sign that explains their punishment - kudos to one of my favorite authors, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, for starting this trend)
  • Back to basics repetitive writing (I will not do such and such...)

I don't doubt that most parents feel remorseful after striking a child; however, it should not take years for a parent to adjust their method(s) of discipline if a flagrant manner of spanking is clearly not working. If the child has not responded to physical torment, then the child may not be the problem, and I mean that sincerely. 

In conclusion, when parents are being punished for disciplining their own children, a change is obviously necessary. Furthermore, when two parents disagree on how a child should be disciplined, communication is key. I can't positively state that it was the first time this father harmed his daughters in such a radical way, but whatever was happening before this incident was not addressed by all means. I hope these young ladies fully understand the repercussions of their behavior; otherwise, their famous beating was for absolutely nothing.

Graph used courtesy of LA Times article that explains how spankings affect the brain.

Other Sources:

What is your definition of child abuse? Should parents be arrested for disciplining their children in whatever way they see fit?

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What is Hope?

"Hope is the intangible feeling that encompasses life's unknown possibilities." 

This quote is on the back of a book that I helped someone publish... I hope it sells because it's hard to tell if the hope that dwells inside most is legit. We often quit when there's no sign of success ahead, but imagine being left for dead in a dark room with no bed, and being fed cold meals. How would you deal? I read about 10 youthful offenders who "know it's real". How would you feel if you committed a crime and had to do the time? I'm not talking 5-7-9 or Forever 21. Try 25 to life, a guaranteed quarter century son. Now, think about how you'll live after the time is done. Survival of the fittest is not a game. This can easily happen to you if you don't change. When they lock you up and throw away the key Mama and Daddy can't give you free reign. A penny for your thoughts for the priceless cost of free pain? Choose freedom. Don't be dumb. Think before you act. Because once they take hope from you, you can only hope to get it back...

I haven't blogged in almost two months. If the message I'm trying to convey is not already clear then let me explain:

At Starbucks, on a rainy day last summer, I met a fellow "goal digger". On most Sundays after church, I spent hours at her home reading tons of letters from juveniles serving long sentences. We searched through the library archives one weekend to find supporting news articles from over 20 years ago. She even talked me into visiting a prison. We all know someone who has served time in prison, but most teenagers don't realize "if you do the crime, you do the time"... long after you become an adult. Imagine being 14 sentenced to 70 years or 16 sentenced to life.

As I read my editor's note at her book signing, fighting back the tears, I realized just how much words change lives. I realized that my purpose extends way beyond trying to inspire someone with a few words of encouragement. "Faith without works is dead"... but what's life with no hope? How can someone survive without believing in a better tomorrow? 

Life is short. Time is precious. We've heard these cliche sayings before, but when it actually applies to you, how do you handle it?


... a life with no hope. "If you're living without giving, your talents are null and void." What's your purpose? Can you answer that question in one second? That's how long you can live without HOPE: to cherish a desire with anticipation; to expect with confidence; a desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment. Get my point?

LIVE YOUR DREAM and P.S. Never Give Up Hope...

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What's the BIG Scandal?

Hey Shonda... You got me! I tried so hard to ignore all the hoopla about your new show. Grey's Anatomy was always enough. But noooo... you just HAD to let your creative writing mind set sail and create a new visual addiction. How scandalous of you!

I watched my first full episode of Scandal last week. The return episode. Only because everyone was wondering if the President was still alive, and I really did think they were talking about President Obama... because of the tax increase. No? Oh. Well.

Anyway, so I watched the return episode of Scandal on Thursday and then my besties and I got together on Saturday to play catch up. I was obviously missing out on something deep, and I wanted to dive in. We started watching season one and I was immediately confused. After watching the return episode, I picked the plot apart right way. I even participated in the #FreeHuck trend. I didn't know who Huck was, but Huck was freed and all was well apparently.

I avoided the Scandal on purpose because I'm trying not to watch so much TV. I got too much writing to do and "ain't nobody got time for that", but my besties coerced me. Peer pressure like a mug. I'll actually be watching tonight with my boy bestie, Twonny.

"Rule #1: No talking during Scandal," he told me.

He's controlling, but I'm a boss chick like Olivia Pope.

Furthermore, I don't know what all the controversy about her having an affair with the President is about. Yes, he's white. Yes, he's married. However, I thought people would be even more upset with Shonda for electing Fitz as President when our real President is Black. IJS.

People just love creating an unnecessary Scandal I guess. Shonda is definitely on her #WriterGrind and I ain't no hater.

I still have a few episodes to watch before I really know what I've been missing, but I'll enjoy tonight's episode I'm sure... and I'll ask lots of questions (during the commercial breaks of course).

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Best Funeral Ever

I don't wanna die. Not if I'm competing with someone else to win a prize for having the "Best Funeral Ever"... Actually, when I die, bury me inside the jewelry store with "2 Chainz", because I obviously had no chance at a bright "Future". Are you scared of lions "Tygas" and bears? What if I "TIP" toe around my casket like a ghost and scream "Look at me now!" or "Busta" move in heaven while my mama is crying and my cousins are playing with my urn, careful not to "drop it like it's hot". It's all "Gucci Mane"... Cuz when the "Tha Block Is Hot" and it's "500 Degreez" it's "Lights Out". 5 "Carters" make a dollar and I hope my parents have enough "Young Money" for my "Rebirth" because as of today, "I Am Not A Human Being"... Ya feel me?

I am embarrassed. Black is no longer invisible. What's done in the dark always comes to the light, and now we can all see it. Black is supposed to be beautiful, but it has instead become an ugly mockery for "reality". Reality TV is not allowing us to keep it real, like we all claim to do when attempting to speak the truth. The truth is we are doomed if we don't stop the foolishness NOW. I was minding my own business (and everybody else's) while scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, as I normally do before transitioning into writer mode. Almost every status was about this show. I hardly ever watch TLC because I thought it was an educational network. Guess not. Because the only thing this show taught me was that urns are allowed on rides at the fair, even though they don't meet the size requirement.

O_o... ???

I don't want to be Black anymore. I'd like to be red, because red is the color for warnings. I am warning you all to find better shows to watch, because the more we tune in, the higher the ratings will be and I'll have more blogs to write about this crap... but I'm dying soon, remember? Off to Trinidad James... with gold all in my chain, gold all in my ring, gold all in my watch... N***a, N***a, N***a! 

"I'm so hood"... kill me now. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. 

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Closer To MY Dream...

A lot happened in 2012. I had my heart broken... again, shortly after Valentine's Day, and Whitney Houston died before telling me where they go. I moved out on my own despite my parents offering me a room with no termination date. I flew for the first and second time, on two different types of planes. Celebrated one year as a member of the best church in Jacksonville, FL, strengthened my relationship with God and fell deeper in love with Him. I was introduced to a long-term iWrite4orU client who opened up my eyes to a hidden form of suffering and bondage in Florida's judicial system, and presented with a full-time, salary writing position. I almost had to part ways with my first vehicle after my transmission and engine failed on me. The repairs totaled $3000, and my engine was only partially fixed. Still, I was able to add more articles to my freelance portfolio, published my collection of poetry on 12-12-12, and spoke about my #WriterGrind on the radio. I also overcame my fear of stage fright and stepped up to the mic to recite my poetry 4 times, after meeting a special someone who is constantly teaching me how to be free. I was Living MY Dream and the good outweighed the bad. I spent the last 3 days of the year at a secret location relaxing and reflecting on every good thing that happened to me, while attempting to finalize my first novel Dearly Beloved S.I.S.T.A.S...

I was busy, happy, and summing up the best year of my life. However, I got off track with my 1 page a day goal. I figured I wouldn't have any problems catching up at the end, because I work well under pressure. I thought my moments of writer's block were preparing me for an overflow of details and creative ideas, because that's what usually happens when I am inspired to write poetry. For about 3 straight months, I was trying to control the story and had trouble developing the plot, until I forced myself out of solitary confinement and started living, like everyone kept telling me to do. I met new people, tried new things, and then the scenes came out of nowhere. Every scene that I had written before was no longer relevant. I had a whole new plot, but the characters never changed. "A good story is always character driven, and when you try to control your characters, the plot changes." Bestselling Romance Author Brenda Jackson told me that, but I didn't listen. 

As a first-time Author, I did not understand what she meant, until I was sitting at the desk at my secret location, trying hard to organize my scenes. I was stumped. I had 3 days to complete the task and I failed. I was disappointed, but quickly reassured as I was heading to church for our New Year's Eve service. My Bishop preached about 2013 being the year of promise, no matter how unlucky the number 13 may seem. "God's Got This," he said. He had been telling me that all year, but I have control issues. God knows it, and now I know it. I am a perfectionist, and I have been in denial for way too long. I want everything my way, all the time. I am selfish as well, I suppose

Lesson learned...

I learned that no matter how often you follow the rules, you can still find yourself in trouble. I learned that I am not a good listener. I learned that I don't speak as well as I write. I learned that I am not perfect, no matter how hard I try to be. I learned that living is a privilege and although I am freely Living MY Dream and sharing my gift, it is not always about me. I learned that I am truly blessed, even when I fall short of my personal goals. I can honestly say that the past 366 days of my #WriterGrind were nothing less than spectacular. I have a few thousand more words left to add to my story, but I will no longer rush the process. The sooner I let go and "live a little", the sooner it will be completed.

What happens when you Live YOUR Dream? When time runs out, you will have no choice but to wake up, and I am humbly prepared to answer my wake-up call...

Happy New Year! Cheers to becoming a Bestselling Author with the project that I still plan to release this Summer… That’s all I’ll ever be striving to achieve. Although I am no longer searching for something that starts with an S, one separate resolution is necessary... I will definitely learn how to be more spontaneous... because satisfaction is always guaranteed.

What did YOU learn in 2012?

It's so hard to say goodbye to my S.I.S.T.A.S... so I didn't... and I won't until they finally shut up.


 *Music is Life... Poetry is Love*