Matters Of Opinion

Choke On It

"I didn't touch her. I don't even like black girls. I know what this is about, she is just upset I have a white girlfriend. I couldn't tell you the last time I dated a black girl. She was trying to get with me, "

The above quote is Albert Haynesworth's( Washington Redskins player) plea as to why he is not guilty of groping a black waitress who is suing him for sexual abuse.

One of the topics I pleaded with myself to never write about is the reason black men find it necessary to get "on" and claim to not date or want to get involved with black women. This topic is very tiresome but it's necessary for me to tackle it.

We find this mostly with athletes, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco are two of the many that have this stance. Ochocinco has even gone so far as to claim he is part Mexican, that is unbelievable on all levels. For me, a black man that dates or marries a woman of another race is not the problem, the problem lies in the disparaging reasons why they do not date black women. Often I hear that we have attitudes or we don't respect our men, this may be true for some but why generalize it and place it on an entire race of women. It's highly unnecessary to slander black woman, if you have a preference then so be it. 

From what I have observed it never serves these men well in the end by doing this. T.O publicly showed up his downtrodden relationship with his white girlfriend on his Vh1 show and Ochocinco seems to bitch more than play football.

All I ask is that the black women be shown more respect from our men and please if you have something negative to say about the reason we are not worthy, choke on it.   

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Osama Bin Laden: What do we believe?

I woke up to the news of Osama Bin Laden's death and I wasn't shook to my core or surprised that this had happened.

What caught my attention was the fact that this is still relevant. From what I believed previously was that he already died of lung cancer. I am not blinded by the fact that our government has been screwed up for some time now. The supposed death of Osama Bin Laden, to me, is just another way of distracting us from whatever the truth may be.

I will have to see the actual body of Osama Bin Laden to believe this to be true.

Is it morally correct to rejoice in the killing of someone? What does this teach our children? That retaliation is appropriate only sometimes? So many questions surround this moment in history. I personally would just hope that retailiation from the otherside doesn't happen, seeing that this circle of violence is ongoing.

The Choking Kind: A Complainer's Story

A woman I work with is an avid complainer. No matter what I say her response is rarely ever positive.

On a Monday morning she will say "Is it Friday yet?", this is a pretty normal humorous question asked often I noticed, but then she does it on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and then when that faithful Friday rolls around her response is: "Is it 5 yet?" GOSH LADY!!!!

I am quite friendly with the people I work with so regardless of the annoyance of a person I tend to stay jovial. When I made a remake to said co-worker about her new haircut she commenced with a barrage of complaints about it being too short, too spiky, too blonde, too whatever! Then it dawned on me that maybe she is just a naturally unhappy person.

There are quite a few people that do not know how to take a compliment without feeling the need to downplay something about themselves, "this old thing" they would say to a meaningful compliment about their attire. Makes me wonder if complaining and downplaying ourselves is a way to make others feel better? If this is the case we got things all screwed up.

I used to be that girl that would point out my faults before someone else did, it was a way for me to detract the criticism of others. It became a habit of mine, until one day a friend pointed out that I was making her uncomfortable by complaining about myself. I am now fully aware that playing small for the sake of others isn't helpful nor welcoming.

I once pointed out to my co-worker that not all things have to be bad and to my dismay she laughed and each day she continues to complain. It's not a responsibility of mine to bring her to a better place, it is solely hers, but I still encourage her with a nice word contrary to her complaining. Being aware is the first step in fixing all bad habits, but I wonder if complaining is one of those bad habits that we hold on to unwillingly?  

 

Donald Trump: Unworthy!

Why are we listening to Donald Trump?

Is anyone really taking him serious?

Who is tapping him to ask all of these outlandish questions?

After nearly of four years being in the office why is our Presidents credibility being questioned by the likes of Donald Trump?

Again I ask why are we listening and giving Donald Trump any attention?

As President Obama said we have better things to take care of. Off with Donald's toupeed head.

The Reunion: WHY IS IT NECESSARY?

Ten years ago I graduated from high school with not a plan in motion. No going away to school, no plans to go to city college, no backpacking in Europe and not to many friends to lean on. I was 17 with nowhere to go except to my room in my mom's house. That summer was a hard one, I didn't hang out like a "normal" teenage or go out at all for that matter. I was preoccupied with watching TV and annoying my siblings with my lack of joy.

Eventually I came out of that slump and realized that I needed to get a move on with my life. I got a part time job and enrolled in school, I was doing better than I hoped. I remember taking really good care of myself at that time, eating right, exercising and building great relationships.

Somewhere around 2004 I lost my joy and my virginity, one lead to the other. Since that time I have been trying to regain as much joy in my life as possible. I have regained a small margin of it but I would like more. This year my high school classmates, of which I only talk to on facebook, are reconvening for the clich├ęd  ten year reunion. This event is causing me to slip back into a place of doubt and self-consciousness and I DO NOT like it.

While initially I was very excited about going, just recently I have questioned why at all it is necessary to do. For one weekend we will come together to reminisce, laugh and re-connect. But what are we really looking to do? Re-kindle old flames? Flaunt our perfectly shaped adult bodies in front of those who teased us about being bigger or smaller than they were? Sit around scowling at all those we secretly hated for ten years?  

 Yes, I am a sourpuss at times but its warranted when I think about my high school years. or when I try not to. Are reunions really necessary? or Am I just being a spoiled brat that wants nothing to tamper with my emotions?

Who's watching you?

Big brother, so to speak, is everywhere; this I know to be true. A couple of years back I saw a newpaper article that showed how the new street cameras, positioned in streetlights, were used. These cameras are supposed to be used to monitor crime in certain areas. These street cameras can see up to 50 yards and in many cases, right through the windows of unsuspecting individuals. I was shocked and quite surprised. In our homes we feel that we should have privacy but apparently that no longer exist.

Each day we move deeper and deeper into technology and with that progression we have opened ourselves up to living lives that are not so private anymore. This upsets me and I feel that we as citizens of the US have unknowningly signed away our privacy for the sake of being open to technology.

I have a Facebook page, I enjoy social networking and I do not plan on retracting from it.
I have been aware for some time that everything done on the internet is more than likely stored away and never washed away completely. I am not fine with that but I don't want to be left out of the progression of technology; so I oblige.

One of my associates refuses to do anything on the internet that has to do with providing information such as her address, phone number and definitely not her social security number. I often ask her how she feels about not being "in the loop" of technology and her response is always "I will survive". A life without technology is not such a bad idea but if your like me and you don't mind having "big brother" know every move you make, then go right ahead but know that at sometime that may come back and harm you; I'm fully aware of this.

I don't mind the idea of putting info onto the internet but the whole streelight ordeal scares me beyond measure. I'm able to log on and off of the internet sites but if someone is watching my every move daily and especially in my home, I can't and won't live like that.

I do not think invading ones privacy is ever justifiable but in this modern day that can be argued in many ways, I choose to hope that it's not something that is done to harm but rather help, if at all necessary.

EAT, PRAY, LOVE and LET GO.....

This past weekend I decided to watch EAT, PRAY, LOVE. I have heard so much about the book but I never took the time to read it, so the next best thing was watching the movie.

I enjoyed it! It was like I was living vicariously through the main character.

One part of the movie that resonated with me was the way she dealt with her relationships.
The way she was able to walk away from a situation that she knew was not good for her, spoke volumes. Granted, she had a bit of assistance from an omen, but the courage came from her.
 
Relationships consume our lives on a daily basis, whether it's with an intimate partner or a co-worker. Often these relationships have a major affect on the things we do and how we think about ourselves, but for whatever reason we do not let them go if need be.
 
"I don't want to be married anymore", Julia Roberts as Liz Gilbert proclaims to her husband after a deep tearful prayer in her bathroom. Like magic she let go of something that was not fulfilling for her.
 
There have been a number of people in my life, including myself, that have gone through something that threatened the existence of a relationship, but rather than face the problem and/or end the relationship we pressed on with pain in our hearts.
 
The reason I had not let go was pure undeniable FEAR. The fear of going through the motions of "getting over" and also the fear of maybe missing something. That something could have been the person changing for the good and I didn't want to miss it, so I weathered the storm and looked forward to sunny days that were few and far between.
 
Many of those relationships I held onto with a vise grip eventually withered away before I could catch hold and the day came where I stop thinking of that person and they became a distant memory, one that wasn't missed at all. My experience was that I lived in my head, I made up scenarios of grief that never existed and I stressed myself while also being stressed by the relationship. In the end letting go became the song I would rehearse in my heart as I remembered that I was worth happiness.
 
I dedicate that song of letting go to all my friends, loved ones and readers who need that extra push of encouragement, one day that sun will shine and illuminate your life and the relationship with yourself will shine through. And if you haven't read or watched EAT, PRAY, LOVE take the time and enjoy it.
 



Tyrese is a relationship "expert" from hell!

We all have personal beliefs about cheating, being cheated on, who cheats more etc.,

Double standards are alive and brewing in the world everyday and even against good judgment, will probably never go away.

Just recently I watched the above video of Tyrese on the Wendy Williams show and he's pretty much saying what has always been said: Men are often known to cheat and women get a harsh reputation if they do.

It's kind of hard to swallow the notion that a man can be promiscuous and a woman has to be docile and willing to accept it. I have one brother, and I can't say fully, but I believe that my mother and father didn't raised him that much different from me and my sisters when it comes to relationships. On the other hand I understand that there are men that have been taught it's ok to be freer with themselves.

After too many bouts of mistrust and on-going BS my significant other shared with me his reasons for not always being honest and it stemmed from his father telling him that a man should have "options"  even if committed. I became humbled when that was revealed to me, it took a lot of forgiving and coming through before I came back to a better place in our relationship. My forgiveness mostly came from a place of pity. There are so many men that are placed in that box at such a young age that when given the chance to be better, they begin to have an inner struggle of beliefs. What is it to be a real man in today's society? And who can actual teach one to be a real man? 

Back to the video, Tyrese made a good point in saying that he would advise his daughter, if ever cheated on, not to own the cheat because it is not her fault. That statement was very uplifting but in turn he still put his foot in his mouth by proclaiming that he wouldn't accept a woman cheating on him but that a man is expected to cheat. Ho Hum, you lost me. That type of thinking will continue to leave men and women divided beyond measure.  

On another note, when did Tyrese become a relationship expert?

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Chivalry is Dead!

In my context of chivalrous behavior, I mostly relate it to how a man should treat a woman. Though in all honesty the codes of chivalry only outline one maybe two matters relating to women.

Anyhoo...Its dead all the same.

Probably boxed and buried in the bus barn on 103rd and Stony Island.

I frequently ride the 14 Jeffrey Express to and from work, and I often DO NOT get a seat. Mostly because there are to many damn men sitting! Without a thought to give up their seats. I often encounter the man that fakes being sleep to alleviate looking in the face of the woman(me) standing over him while he sits. Or that one guy seemingly deep in thought that looks nowhere but out the window the entire ride or Mr. Iphone that is so focused on the contents of his phone that he doesnt see the slew of women standing with bags and wearing high heel shoes.

The worst of the kind is the man that has equipment that he carries with him everyday and his equipment need a seat of their own. Death to his equipment and his reasoning.

One of the codes of chivalry says: Be respectful of women. The 20th century translation: Dont give up your seat!  

I encounter quite a bit of foolery while riding public transportation all the way down to a man knocking me out the way to get on before I did. As convenient as it is to have many buses that can be taken all across the city, this is one part of commuting I can live without.  

5 reasons to love a man 6ft and taller.....

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I'm only 5'3, at one point I could have sworn I was 5'5 but thats neither here nor there. My man on the other hand is a statuesque 6'5, YES!!!!!!!

I never knew I loved tall men before he came into my life and now I know there's no turning back from this. So I have taken the time to compiled a list of  the 5 things I love dearly about a man that is able to tower over me....


5. LOVE TO SEE HIM COMING
 When he walks into a room and you see him above majority of the people around him, and he's walking toward you and all you can see is that frame that demands attention, you can't help but want to know more about him among other things....

4.BE THE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
You ever been in the grocery store and couldn't reach that item at the top shelf and out of nowhere this person reaches over your head and grabs your item and hands it to you, you look back and there stands Mr. ALL OF 6FT AND MORE....yummy!

3. SUPER-SIZED BODY PARTS
Get your mind out of the gutter! I'm referring to the hands and arms. Those baseball glove sized hands that can palm just about anything, and the long arms that grab you in one fell swoop and make you melt, now you have permission to revert back to the gutter mind...

2. A SENSE OF SECURITY
When he stands behind you it's as if you are standing in front of a wall of protective flesh and you lean into him, everything else doesn't matter.

1. HIS COLLARBONE
My personal favorite! When you curl up next to him and your cheek rest inside his collarbone, you smell his cologne and feel the hardness of his physique, wrap your arms around his back and.......let's keep it PG but I'm sure you know where I'm going with this.

These are just a few reasons to love a man 6ft and taller but I'm sure you ladies have more reasons, feel free to contribute.
 

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Chemicalization: Is Natural Hair just a phase?

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My mother calls a chemicalization the process of purging all the bad to get to the good; I love her for all her insight.

But the chemicalization I recently experienced had to do with the hair on my head. For those that know me, they know that I have probably changed my hair every month since I was about 14, with the exception of getting braids that last a few months. I have always flip floped between going long or short, black or brown. Its exhilirating for me that I can change my hairstyles as often as I feel. But lately I have been worrying myself about whether or not I am actually taking care of my hair the way I should.

With many black women transitioning into wearing their hair natural, I've wondered if that is something I should do as well.

A week ago I did a major chop of the little hair that I did have and I semi regret it, not for the sake of the style but the fact that for a month prior I hadn't put any chemicals in my hair. I didn't want to put any in this time but I was told that I "needed" to and that process was horrifying.

Out of the 13 years that I have put chemicals in my hair to relax the root, my hair has never burned like this last time. I was on the brink of tears. Then the heat from the curling iron took the cake, I have come to the conclusion that I can't do this anymore. Previous to me going to the hair shop my boyfriend let me know that he didn't like the fact that I chose to start wearing weaves again and going to the shop so often, his solution was "Just comb your own hair". I laughed but he's right I pay so much money to have someone else do something that I should be doing on my own. As fabulous as I look after getting a fresh hairdo, it doesn't account for all the pain that I go through to get it.

Many of my friends have gone natural and I love their styles but I was a silent advocate against going natural because I thought it was just a phase. But now, for me, I see it as a necessary way of escaping the rigourous routine of a hairstyle that last no more than a week.

I may change my mind about this after publishing this post, as I do with many things in my life. But I am realizing that the many things I have become accustomed to are in place only because I still have a fear of changing routine. This time around I may decide to just give something new a try. 

 

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Honesty: Saying what needs to be said....

A honest approach to a relational problem:

Him: I am not sexually attracted to you anymore, your weight is the issue.

Her: Gasp! (The sound of her self-esteem taking an elevator to the bottom floor)

In today's society it isn't as easy to be as honest as we would like. Our honest approach can lead in many directions including violence. But as we teach our children that honesty is the best policy we are being dishonest to them. Most children are very honest. Many of us have encountered that child that will snarl at something ugly or even say someone is fat or unhygienic and we will punish that child for doing so; and that is where it begins. We gain a disposition of keeping what we truly feel to ourselves and often we endure the thing we began to despise or we simply bow out without explanation. So honesty was once the best policy now honesty is the last policy, used during times of complete frustration or when we are full from skating around it and it has to go somewhere.

Particularly in intimate relationships honesty has become strained and replaced with half-truths, whereas if you ask about something in particular you get the answer but if not it gets left out. Ever notice when someone asks you a question and it ends in "Be Honest", that adage is a way of knowing that oft times we give what is refered to as the "Best" answer; the one that allows the conversation or situation to remain at ease.

I wonder, if we took the time to say all those things that were lurking deep in us, what will be the result?

 Would we still have harmonious relationships? 

Would our honesty be respected or dismissed as disrespectful? 

Honestly, it probably would result in tiny personal wars or it may lead to an epidemic of honest responses. We will never know until we decide to take that extra bit of time to conjure the courage to tell the truth.

 

Are We Really HAPPY?

I have to confess that I hate the words Grind, Sacrifice and Hustle.

They all resemble some sort of pain to me: grinding nails or teeth, sacrificial ceremonies where people lose limbs and hustle reminds me of the bag lady that carries around everything she owns.

Often I hear people use these words in terms such as "I'm grinding to get to the top", "hustle hard to get what you want" and they will receive positive feedback for it. If anyone ever heard me say these words, please understand that I am being highly sarcastic.

This brings me to the topic of happiness, in the process of grinding and hustling are we finding happiness or are we merely playing along with the game of life to accumulate riches.

I viewed the new movie Limitless this weekend and I can't say I liked it much but it wasn't bad, what I did conjure from the movie was that in today's society we all want more than we have and frequently this want doesn't lead to happiness but lots of turmoil. We believe that money, things and status will make us happy and we are willing to slide down that road of "whatever it takes" to get to it.

Happiness is defined as a state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. We try our best to get to happy, but most times we are trying things we think will get us there rather than just being and allowing what we need to find us. Do not misunderstand me, putting in work is always good but trying to hard leads nowhere. In the many moments that make up our day, how many of those moments can we say actually make us happy? 

I can remember my happiest moment, it was when my baby girl first called me mommy. I didn't have to pay her to say it or beat into her mind that I was mommy, it came so freely that it gave me a blast of emotions that I will always remember. My belief is that things are  things: discardable, forgettable and tangible, happiness comes from the experience of something, the knowing that this is just for me and exactly what I needed. So I pose the question again: ARE WE REALLY HAPPY?

 

  

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Marriage: The 21st Century Dilemma

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Yesterday while trying to change my facebook status from single to in a relationship, I mistakenly put married. After a few comments and "likes", I retracted my status and verified that I was indeed not married and very happily in a relationship.

After a while, I began to wonder why I was not married? I have been in relationship for 6 years, we have a very lively and beautiful daughter, we share a living space and for the most part we are very happy. The topic of marriage has come up a few times but I don't have that burning desire to declare that we should get married or else!

When I asked a few friends what they felt about getting married majority of the answers veered toward, "if it happens it happens". Where is the enthusiasm? Are the new generations of women and men too focused on individualism?

My mother's generation was the baby boom generation and marriage at that time wasn't an option it was pretty much the requirement. At what point did being married become an option? This is the question I pose to myself as well, my answer would be that I just don't have the overwhelming sensation to "jump the broom". Divorce rates are high and getting higher, drive by weddings and Vegas quickie weddings are a phenomenon and that spells out that marriage is being taken too lightly. 

At one point to be married by the time you graduated from high school was an accomplishment. If you dare ask any teenager today if they wanted to be married soon after their high school graduation, they may answer with an expletive or they may be too focused on updating their facebook status to answer you. Oh how times have change.  

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Who Gets The Bed?

Moving in with a mate is serious business. Often if you ask a friend if you should do it, they may come up  with some version of "Its up to you." But if they are honest they will give you a definite NO!

I asked an associate of mine, if he thought about living with his girlfriend and he gave me an answer that was totally out of left field:

"When it ends I don't want to be left without a bed"

After the laughter ceased, it dawned on me that he could be up to something.

From my experience of living with my man for the past two years, I can't differentiate between what is his and what is mine. It has never crossed my mind that if we split up, we would have to go through everything and figure what belongs to who, but without the lawyers.

The bed would probably be the biggest item. No one wants to be left having to buy a new bed and breaking it in to their liking; at least I don't. I can't say this is a major concern when it comes to moving in but it is a good question to bring up.

Actually I would think that a man would want the TV rather than the bed. Whats more important during the split of living arrangements the TV or the bed?

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Ladies are becoming extinct

I confess that I curse quite a bit.

My favorite word being the F-Bomb. It is my dear friend in times of pure frustration and excitement. When I get a good rhythm going there is no telling what will come out of my mouth. But, I do not do it in public places, it's usually on the phone with a close friend, or whispered when I come across something utterly ridiculous that deserves an expletive.

What I have noticed lately is that more and more young girls are engaging in profane conversations in public places without a care in the world.

This past Friday I was privileged to be on public transportation with a group of high school students (I shudder as I type this) and every word that came out of their mouths were curse words and things that I could never fathom saying out loud, let alone in public.

The biggest shocker were the girls that talked freely about sexual experiences and what they planned on doing to other teenage(I hope) boys. Imagine someone telling you about a porno they'd seen that involved really explicit scenes with lots of fluids and insertions that can only be thought of for porn, I don't even think I ever thought of half of the stuff they were saying. This type of behavior scared me to the point of me screaming, "Excuse me", but that was all I could think to say. Of course they dismissed my interruption and went back to their conversation.

I can't help but feel sad for that generation and wonder what will become of them if this type of behavior isn't rectified now?

After making it to my destination I had to go to Faceook and explain what I saw and many people said exactly what I was feeling but no one offered a concrete solution to what can be done, I didn't think they would but a girl can hope. It seems this type of behavior is becoming the norm for teenagers, it's not okay but its accepted as a "phase" but when does this phase supposedly end? 

Oral Fixation: EVERYDAY?!?!?!?!?

Many of my conversations always tend to veer toward sex. Who doesn't like sex? (If you say you don't, get off this blog and proceed to the nearest counseling group or your neighborhood gun shop).

Just recently me and my sister were talking about Oral Sex and someone she knew made the comment that "if a man gives it more than he gets it, he isn't a real man", WOW! what a way to size the man up huh? My significant other, who is a avid eavesdropper, chimed in with "sounds about right". After a deep long sigh I responded:

Me: "Why is that?"

Him: "Because a man is suppose to get it everyday"

Me: "What?"

Him "Yes"

Obviously he thinks this way because he is a man, but is there a man out there that really gets it everyday, FROM THE SAME WOMAN? And if so, how is that possible?

I'm one that believes in rationing, I prescribe to the notion that too much of a good thing isn't good. 

Growing up, many girls in my high school looked down on giving oral sex, it was like a stigma of disgust. No one ever claimed to have done it or if they "tried" it they didn't like it. I laugh at that now, seeing how all that was more than likely a lie. My man says "there isn't a way around oral sex, its a part of sex", I understand that completely now. But why is it a need to indulge in the act on a daily basis?  

 

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Sexual Exploitation??? I dont think so...

We are all sexual beings and more than a few of us engage in sex on a daily basis, with toys or with others or all by ourselves..No judgment should be passed.

So why is there this uproar about Northwestern University professor, J. Michael Bailey, bringing in two consenting adults to do a sex toy demonstration for his SEX EDUCATION class? Maybe it has something to do with it being done in public, because we all can assume that most people who engage in sexual acts(such as the one demonstrated) or who watch porn don't do it public, we rightfully assume.

As I understand it, the demonstration was optional and there were plenty of warnings to the students beforehand. Also, it seems that the students who were present were not as "traumatized" as is being portrayed in the media. Executive Director of Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Rachel Durchslag, has stated that some students could have been traumatized by the demonstration if they had been sexually assaulted or abused, which brings up another question...Why would they have been in a sex education class in the first place?  

Sex is always going to be controversial, whether it is verbalized or if it's the physical act. I'm beginning to believe people who have too many hang-ups about sex are just bored and probably unsatisfied, so they stuff the issues down our throats unnecessarily. And when did America become such a moral country anyway?

Often times sex is misunderstood, leading to the need for these sex education courses. I don't fully agree with the LIVE presentation but then again I probably would have been in attendance if it was offered to me. Professor bailey has also stated that he teaches "open-minded grownups not fragile children" enough said. Let the Sex Education continue!

 I will more than likely be downloading an application for admission in hopes of taking this class one day, seeing that I'm a VERY open-minded grownup.

Gun Owner's Should Be Made Public: Madigan's Plea

After reading the article in The Daily Herald on making the names of gun owner's public, I tried to wrap my head around why this is absolutely necessary and whether or not this was still a case of a power struggle over the gun laws that have been in place for decades.

I was for the handgun ban that had majority of the city in a uproar last year. I don't like guns, and I have seen to much violence in my community because of guns. Yet, I began to understand the need for the individual to protect themselves by any means necessary. When community activist Otis McDonald proclaimed to CNN: "Give me the opportunity to at least make somebody think about something before they come in my house on me" I digressed all my disagreements on why the handgun ban should be upheld. Having a small child in my home was another reason I was for the ban and it's now also the reason I believe the ban to have been superflulous.

But, now the need to know who these registered gun owners are, is way over my head. The assistant public access officer offered that "the General Assembly has clearly determined that it is in the public interest to provide a system for identifying those who are qualified to acquire/posses firearms via  FOID cards", therefore she believes "the public has a legimate interest in the enforcement of the card act." This may very well be true, but I believe the disclosure of said names may do more harm than good.

The people of this city has seen our crime rate peak more than any other large US city. There is a substantial amount of fear in the people of this city and to add fuel to that fire by allowing us to know that the guy in the office that likes no one owns a firearm or knowing that certain individuals DO NOT own guns, may not go over to well. The need to know who the sexual offenders are in your community is necessary information but the need to know the owners of firearms is an envasion of privacy and it puts too many people at risk.

Artistic Appreciation: What the Oscars mean to Me

The Oscars are my all time favorite awards show. I love the energy surrounding and building up to the show and of course I love the anticipation of finding out the winners of my favorite categories. 

The categories I love the most are: Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay, Documentary, Sound Editing, Cinematography, Short Film, Foreign Film, Animation, Best Supporting Actress/Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Lead Actor, Directing and Best Film of the Year. As you can see I pretty much love the entire show.

Some of my constituents have expressed that there isn't a need for award shows, that one should feel in their heart that they are a winner regardless of what a committee says; I beg to differ. 
 
Many artist are often under appreciated because many times they are seen as not serious or to involved in what is seen as a hobby, frequently told to get a "real job". But, if the heart of an artist is strong enough, they continue on and they prove to those naysayers that what they do isn't just a job but its a need for expression and that need can not be suppressed. 

What the Oscars bring to light is the appreciation of those that dare veer away from the ordinary life and who choses to bring to life a character or story that many can relate to. The reason we rush to the movie theater to see that new movie is because we enjoy watching something come to life by the hands of a brilliant mind, something that grabs our hearts and takes you to a place that you may have never known existed, Avatars anyone! 

The Oscars are not just an awards show it is the culmination of a love of characters, a need for writers, those working hard behind the scenes, the underdog that never knew he would become top dog, the years of struggle that proved to be worth it, a dream that may have died but was reborn, the daring documentary and the lessons needed to be learned.

I personally would like to thank the Academy for giving us artist something to look forward to, even if we never make it to that stage to make that "I'm so in shock I can hardly breath" speech. Thank You.


Pay Tithes or get shot

I am not a Chrisitian, so I often stay away from religious conversations. But, just recentlly I was sent a video that unnerved me so much that I am choosing to express my feelings about it.

 

 

 

In this life we have choices and going to Church, in my opinion, is a choice. No one should be ridiculed or tomented if they see the need not to attend church regularly or if ever.

Another choice one has is the option of making a tithe. I am a tither because I see the benefit of giving to others. I do not give tithes to any religious organization though, better yet I give to those I see that are in need of a helping hand. As often as I see fit I give 10% of my earnings to a person or a family that is in need.

The aforementioned video that was sent to me, was a youtube video with a voice over of Creflo Dollar explaining how he would handle non-tithers that entered his church, point blank he would shoot them and then commence to doing his sermon. Now, he says he would only do this if he weren't covered in the blood of Jesus, so I'm guessing that's a good thing. He goes on to say that you CAN NOT receive prosperity, blessings or deliverance unless you tithe. 

This was even more unnerving because you cannot force someone to do what you want them to do, especially when it comes to their morales and their values of living. I see it as trying to place guilt in someone for personal gain and this is the reason so many people see it absolutely unnecessary to attend religious sanctuaries.

Do not misunderstand me, there are many benefits in congregating in churches, I just feel that no one should be manipulated or coerced into doing something just because another HUMAN says it has to be done. Be mindful, there may be prophets and apostles that walk among us but not everyone who says they are, actually fit the bill. 

In reading this please remember that this is my opinion and that I have the right to express it. 

 

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Cellphone Conversations: "Hi Mommy"

The most annoying thing is to be on public transportation while someone is on their cellphone. Often times they are competeing with the sound of the buses/trains motor and conversations of other patrons, so their voice is louder than necessary.

The rewarding part of public phone conversations is that the eavesdropper in you is fulfilled at overhearing something that you probably shouldn't be hearing.

Just this week I was privy to a conversation that a not-so-young man was having with none other than his mother, whom he affectionately referred to as "mommy". I can't knock a person for calling their mother mommy, I've done it since I can remember and I still do and I have no plans on stopping. Yet, hearing this man say it made me laugh and cringe at the same time. Seeing him trying to muffle the phone as he talked made it worse.

There isn't much wrong with this situation, everyone has the right to do whatever makes them happy. But, when I watched/listened to this man on the phone seemingly trying to whisper and hide the fact that he was a momma's boy, the only thing I could wonder was if he had a girlfriend.

Some men have suffocating relationships with their mothers and it translates into problems with their relationships with other women. The pacification by their mothers leaves the man searching for that constant blanket of comfort.

It's hard for some women to look at a man, as a man, if he refers to his mother with such a juvenile label. I have had the pleasure of dating a momma's boy and what I experienced tilted toward the extra-ordinary and rather weird. Am I wrong in implying that a man that affectionately refers to his mother as mommy, has some sort of deep-rooted issue that may need therapeutic help? 


Ntozake Shange at Depaul University Tonight

Many have seen For Colored Girls.

Many more have read For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.

Many many more has seen the play acted out on stages all across the US.

Tonight, if possible, you can have the opportunity to hear the Obie Award winning writer, Ntozake Shange, of the aforementioned works speak at DePaul University.

The DePaul Activities Board has sponsored the speech tonight at 7 p.m. located at the Lincoln Park Student Center Room 120.

Shange's work is inspired by her passion for race and feminism, she has an amazingly empowering voice and if you can make it tonight you will experience that first hand. I hope to see you there!

Gallery sneak peek (1 image):

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Let the Opinions Begin

"If I want your opinion, I will give it to you" - Martin Lawrence

Opinions are everywhere. With the creation and expansion of social networking and blogs, the world has become saturated with opinions. So my solution to that is to add my own opinion to the mix, served hot or cold, however you like it.

I am the self-proclaimed loud mouth among my friends, and family. Often the things that come out of my mouth are some form of an often exaggerated experience of commuting or traveling throughout downtown Chicago.

Am I the only one who saw the homeless man fishing (equipped with fishing rod and bucket) while walking down State Street during lunchtime? Or what about that one guy who has been singing on the red and green line since 2002?

Quite often it seems that I am the only one witnessing the craziness of my city. I crave the abnormal and extraordinary, why else would I live in a city that has popularized cows, allowed an artist to place the biggest eye ever seen in the middle of the Loop and attracts crowds with a gigantic silver bean.

Here goes everything, I present to you Matter of Opinions, enjoy the ride; it will be as bumpy and enjoyable as a popular CTA bus route with all the perks

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