Election Eve 2012: Public Service Announcement to the Undecided Caucasian Electorate

5 Nov

At this, the eleventh hour just one day before the United States’ official election day;  if you find yourself a member of the still undecided Caucasian electorate population that has basically garnered all of the attention from both major presidential candidates this election season, perhaps this very rudimentary and candid endorsement from Chris Rock will help you to decide for whom to cast your ballot more expeditiously.

You’re Welcome.

Doing Our Part: Support Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

5 Nov

Hello Pack Faithful!  It seems like ages since real life has afforded me the opportunity to take time to sit and indulge in what has always been for me, the pleasure of sharing my thoughts, concerns and general musings with each of you, but I honestly had to make the time to talk with you guys about Hurricane Sandy.

Let me first say that for any of you who have been affected, I am praying for your peace of mind and that you find swift relief and recovery in your circumstances.  For me, although I can say how blessed I am to have heard from so many of my family and friends up and down the East Coast who survived through Super Storm Sandy last week with only minimal damage and a few days’ inconvenience as it related to power outages, food shortages and the like, I am still wholly mortified by the images that I continue to see from as far south as The Outer Banks to the heavily hit northeast region of the New York/Tri-State area.  It is for that reason that I wanted to use this platform to encourage each of you to do something.

While so many of us don’t have the necessary training or resources to assist in clean-up efforts in areas like Ground Zero or the New Jersey Shore or across the Mid-Atlantic, it is good to know that we are not helpless.  If like me, you find that the daily news stories of damage assessments, the rising death tolls or coverage of images like the ones below tend to leave you in a state of unrest, then please donate to The American Red Cross on behalf of the victims of Sandy.

As a nation, lets prove this November that a contentious election is not the only time we can mobilize in full force for a worthy cause.

Sign of the Apocalypse: Drake and Breezy Fight over Rihanna (GASP)

14 Jun

Did I say Apocalypse?  Obviously I mis-typed.  What the title of this post should have read was: Signs That I’ll Be Taking an Apocalyptic Style Nap Due to The Yawn-Worthy Gossip That Drake and Breezy engaged in fisticuffs.

Apparently said melee transpired after Drake allegedly minced no words (via a note…yep, real gangsta) about his status with Brown’s ex, Rihanna.  Now, I have no plans to sully this blog any further with a bunch of hearsay and blather so feel free to get the supposed details about this boy brawl here, here and here.

I will however close by asking if I’m the only one who saw this coming???  As far as striving for inspiration as an entertainer, I say mix creative juices with whomever you want, but c’mon.  Drake’s cameos in RiRi’s videos, their innuendo induced performances and then her recent Birthday Cake collabo with Chris all made for a very intricately volatile situation…A situation where it seems that people have caught feelings and/or never lost feelings; so much so that now folks are nicknaming Drake the Evelyn Lozada of Hip-Pop and Pretty Boy Brown is having glass cleaned out of an open wound.

I know, I know.  This is a tragic and upsetting time for all the #TeamDrake and #TeamBreezy shrieking tweens out there, but understand that this is not BREAKING NEWS as Russ Parr or TMZ have lead you to believe.  Somebody wake me up when news breaks  that one of these overexposed celebrities donates half their fortune to something newsworthy like the Clean Water Project or the End Auto-Tune Initiative.  Until then, *yawn*.

The NBA Finals: Game 1 and Why I Can’t Wait for Russell’s Post-Game Interview

12 Jun

While it is true that I (along with most Americans not residing in the Sunshine State) have become more and more enamored with the basketball team formerly known as The Seattle SuperSonics, their dominance, resilience, youth and imminent Game 1 win (crosses-fingers), is not why I am looking forward to Russell Westbrook’s post-game interview.

The truth is (just like one of my Instagram-mers @karlmeloanthony hilariously pointed out) I can’t wait to see if maybe, just maybe Russell will take his eclectic styling to another level and bless us all with this throwback Gordon Gartrell tonight!

The Mighty Dollar: Public Figure, Private Life and Questionable Child Rearing Allegations

11 Jun

Most nights when I climb into bed at the end of the day, I ask God for three things:

  • The addition of 4 more hours to a 24-hour day
  • Forgiveness for the gleeful mental images of pure ruin and nastiness I’ve envisioned for the people who’ve crossed me throughout my day
  • The strength and wisdom to raise my kids in a way that does not jack them up into adulthood.

Now while I’m not very optimistic about the first request and I struggle with the second, I am pretty sure that I have been bestowed with an almost heavenly serenity and awareness when it comes to The Pack Kids because…well, they are still with us, ladies and gentlemen.

I say all that to say that raising children is HARD.  It is not for the faint of heart or for those looking for the latest melanin-enriched rosy cheeked, curly-haired accessory of the week (shots fired, I know).  It requires determination, resilience, patience, discipline (on both parts) and some basic common sense.  There are no “instructions or owner’s manual”, but the basic understanding that for your efforts, there will be occasions when you will be loved and adored and other times (sometimes more frequently) when you will be loathed and have mustaches and horns drawn on your Mother’s Day portraits (that’s just me? Oh…oh, okay then).  Still, as a parent who only wants the best for your child, you have to take the bad with the good and be unafraid of being the proverbial bad guy every now and again because you know that your resistance to negotiate with your kids’ terroristic demands or to acquiesce to their will is for their own good.

Having now stepped down from my soap box, I cannot imagine embodying these ideals for child rearing while being a celebrity.  I mean, as a public figure, people are already critiquing your every move and misstep; to couple that with a public assessment of the way that you interact with your children (God forbid if you believe in spankings and get caught not “sparing the rod” in public) and just like that, you and your family are media fodder and you have regular appointments with Child Protective Services for the next 6 months.

I can’t speak for him personally, but I imagine that is sort of what Dr. Creflo Dollar is going through right about now, especially given his religious celebrity status here in the U.S.   As reported by the NY Daily News:

Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar took to the pulpit in front of a packed house on Sunday to deny punching and choking his 15-year-old daughter, calling the accusations “an exaggeration and sensationalism.”

Dollar was arrested on Friday after the teen told police that he roughed her up and beat her with a shoe during an argument over whether she was allowed to go to a party, police said.

The Atlanta-based preacher’s other daughter, Alexandria, 19, backed her sister’s story, and cops noted the teen had red marks on her neck, signs of an apparent dust-up.

Dollar was charged with battery and cruelty to children.

He struck down the charges during a sermon at his World Changers Church International, his suburban Atlanta-based church that boasts 30,000 members and a host of satellite ministries across the U.S., according to The Associated Press.

“I will say this emphatically: I should have never been arrested,” he said, after receiving an exuberant welcome from the faithful at his 8,500-seat sanctuary, known as the World Dome.

“I want you all to hear personally from me that all is well in the Dollar household.”

 The 50-year-old televangelist denied choking his daughter, saying the scratches on the girl’s neck were caused by the skin condition eczema, which she’s had for 10 years.

“The truth is, she was not choked, she was not punched,” he said. “Anything else is exaggeration and sensationalism.”

After the incident, Dollar told police that the fight started when he told the teen she couldn’t go to a party on Saturday night because her grades were poor.

On Sunday, he told the church, “The truth is that a family conversation with our youngest daughter got emotional. And emotions got involved and things escalated from there.”

“I would never approach one of my children to intentionally inflict bodily harm. I love her with all my heart,” he said.

The father of five has built a multimillion dollar religious empire since starting the church in an elementary school in his hometown of College Park, Ga., in 1986.

He runs a weekly radio broadcast and has published more than 30 books preaching the “prosperity theology” message, which says God rewards the faithful with vast wealth.

His ministry has drawn criticism from detractors who have raised questions about his lavish lifestyle, including multimillion dollar homes in Atlanta and Manhattan, a private jet, two Rolls Royces other deluxe creature comforts.

On Sunday, he suggested that the media attention following his arrest was part of a plan to undercut his message, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

“The devil knows that in order to discredit the message, you have to first of all discredit the messenger,” Dollar told his congregation.

To be clear, this post is in no way a means by which to discredit or detract from Creflo Dollar.  With the exception of his gangster lean in Jermaine Dupri’s Welcome to Atlanta video, I have nothing against the man.  I do not know what went on in his home to lead up to these allegations, so you won’t hear me judging him or his family.  Further, I find the online comments that I’ve read following the various articles about Dollar both supporting his alleged actions as well as condemning them to be irresponsible and premature, especially since it is not yet clear what actually transpired at his home last Friday.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t care what a person’s socioeconomic and/or celebrity status is, if punching or choking a child registers as acceptable behavior in their mind, then they deserve to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  The problem however, is proving this depravity in thinking and behavior.

For me personally, My Honey and I had to deal with an incident years ago where a parent of a teammate of my son basically accused my husband of abuse because said parent saw my kid get popped in the mouth for spitting on another child (the parent told other parents that he was concerned that my son was being abused).  Of course, when the rumor mill had finally made its way full-circle, it turned out that the “accuser” had not actually seen any of the exchange between My Honey and son, only my son crying inconsolably and his father threatening to give him something to cry about if he did not hush, but by then the damage was already done (and while My Honey relished the notion that these group of parents believed that he whooped his kids, I took issue with the whole Angry Black Man label that they tried to affix on him…but I digress).

If nothing else, from this story, it is apparent that wealth and status do not a stable familial relationship necessarily make.  This matter should also serve as a reminder to us as parents (and those of us who one day plan to be parents) of the serious commitment and mental fortitude that needs to be exercised in not only raising children, but ensuring that their core values and expectations in life are realistic and reflective of our own.

I’m Not Crazy, I Just Work A Lot!

11 Jun

For those of you who’ve been missing my musings and social commentary over the past few months (or who have just been robbed of the opportunity as of late to tell me what an opinionated jerk that I am), let me just say firstly, that I am truly sorry for turning this mini-hiatus from the blog into an indefinite sabbatical.

The truth is that with my recent promotion at work, much of what I do on my 9 to 5 (who, am I kidding; it’s more like my 8 to 7) overlaps into my “me” time, my home life and what little time I had originally carved out for daily blogging activities in the first place.  But if I am honest, I really have been missing the decompressing, creativity and general medium by which to express myself when I am not blogging, and if nothing else, what this time away has revealed to me is that writing combats the crazy!

So with that, while I cannot yet promise to pick up a daily writing regime at this time, I am committing to knocking down the cobwebs and making a concerted effort to compose a few posts each week.  This should serve to not only satisfy you, my loyal readers, but to also stave off the need for both my regular Calgon appointment and the looming white jacket.

The Measure of a Man

24 Apr

Okay, really guys?  Stop blinking rapidly and refreshing the webpage!  It’s really me!  I know that my posts for 2012 have been few and FAAAAAAARRRR between, but seeing as how we’ve discussed my various power moves as of late (promotion, anyone?), I trust that you all understand.

What’s funny is,  I’ve been a little skeptical lately as to how I would find time to get back into blogging, and if I would still have anything poignant to say, but truth be told, I’d forgotten how cathartic this practice is on a daily basis, so I imagine that I will be doing better to make time!

At any rate, with my new responsibilities and the annihilation of anything that even remotely resembles a structured daily schedule, it hasn’t only been me who’s had to adjust.  While my honey and the big Pack Kids have been supportive (who knew that after a thankless 10-hour work day, “the twins” would have warmed up left overs for themselves and run a load of dirty dishes without being asked to do so…the fact that the clean ones from the morning were still in the dishwasher is neither here nor there…), it’s been The Baby Child who’s antics have let me know how truly missed I’ve been between 8 and 6.  Whether it’s sitting up under me until bedtime, requiring that we act out the latest Dragonball Z fusion fight stances or helping me to sort his fruit juice splattered laundry, once I’ve crossed the threshold, the kid is basically not letting me out of his sight until bedtime.

The other night after I’d made him a fruit salad, The Baby Child insisted that he sit in my lap and share his fare with me.  This of course entailed serving each other all “Coming to America” style, sans the large ostrich feather fans and handmaidens.  When The Honey got home, it was all he could do not to burst into laughter.  Instead, he popped a grape and told The Baby Child that it was his job to feed me fruit and for me to sit in his lap because he was my man.  The Honey proceeded to shake his head at me, chuckle and change out of his work attire into his sweats.

After our palettes were thoroughly satiated, I convinced The Baby Child of what great quality time he could spend with me before bed by helping me to sort some white laundry (don’t judge me).  After getting half of the clothes in the washing machine, I caught sight of him intently inspecting, then snatching up a shirt and gleefully running up to his room.  Days later when I got home from work, The Baby Child greeted me at the door with kisses, an inquiry into what was for dinner and fully dressed in his “good clothes” from head to toe, but with that missing white undershirt billowing over his own toddler wear.  Taking the bait, I asked him why in the world he was wearing his father’s beater.

“Because mommy, I’m a MAN and I’m gonna get all the girlfriends.”

Uh, whaaat?

So, clearly I am not sure at what point my baby opted not to fill his father’s shoes but instead his undershirt, and in doing so, equated that with being “a man”; or even in being “a man”, that meant being imparted with girlfriends, but it is apparent that although this child is extra times ten, I must say, at least he has modeled his mini-manly self after a pretty wonderful prototype.

Now, if I could just get them both to put the seat down!

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