Friday, April 28, 2006

We can all do something

My 8-year old son wrote a letter to president last night:

I have two sons, and i talked with them last night about what's going on in Darfur. I mainly wanted them to understand that they are fortunate to be born into a life relatively free of suffering AND that its all of our responsibility as human beings to do our best to help others that are suffering. ESPECIALLY children.

I know that the answer to the world's problems is nowhere near as simple as my sons think it is...and besides that, there are so many issues that need our attention. How is one to choose? I mean i care about what's happening in Sudan and Uganda, the plight of the Sierra Leone diamond miners, the continuing war in Iraq, the destruction of our wildlife, i mean the list is too long...far too long. And let's be real here: there's only so much of my time and resources that i'm willing to commit. I'm not going to be joining Greenpeace anytime soon. That just isn't the path my life is on. Now that i think about it, if i'd had this level of social awareness when i was 22 years old, i just might have signed up.

But the whole point of this is just to say that no matter how little or how much time or money we have, every single one of us can help in some way. We can volunteer our time to worthy charities, donate money, attend rallies....anything. If you're reading this, please help.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Forget self-defense. Just do magic.

rom The Independent online:

Being a magician has its advantages, such as when David Copperfield made his wallet and mobile phone vanish into thin air after he and two female assistants were confronted by real-life armed robbers in Florida...He turned out his pockets, apparently empty - but in fact containing his wallet, passport and mobile phone. "Call it reverse pickpocketing," he told the Palm Beach Post.

I mean how cool is that? For me, just seeing David Copperfield's name in the news was surprise enough. Since i was a kid, he has always been my favorite magician. I'd be glued to the TV set whenever he had a special on. His deep-set, haunting eyes and intense voice were riveting, not to mention the amazing tricks he did. At one point, i actually wanted to become a magician. I used to check out magic books from the library and study them and attempt to perform the tricks.

But after a while, his popularity waned. Or maybe just the public's interest in 'magic' had worn off...until David Blaine came along.

but forget Blaine. I mean its nice to see a famous Puerto Rican* magician but he'll never be as cool as Copperfield.

*My man wanted me to say that David is Black instead of Puerto Rican but i was like "whatever..get your own blog"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'm sorry to the 4th Degree.

That doesn't sound quite right. And it makes me thankful that the English language is nowhere near as complex and layered as Chinese. This excerpt from a recent Newsweek article breaks it all down:

Saying sorry has long been an especially fraught diplomatic exercise between China and America. Almost exactly five years ago, a Chinese fighter jet and an American reconnaissance aircraft collided over Hainan island, killing the hotshot mainland pilot. After the 24-person U.S. crew made an emergency landing on Hainan, mainland authorities detained them and Beijing demanded an apology. Diplomats worked day and night for 11 days to negotiate mutually acceptable language for an U.S. apology.

In the end, the U.S. side allowed mainland officials to use a Chinese phrase indicating the Americans were “very sorry” for not receiving prior permission to “land their aircraft.” But in its own Chinese-language version of events, the U.S. embassy used a different phrase, indicating a milder level of “sorry”.

The Chinese language has at least four intensities of “sorry”, reflecting a sliding scale of remorse and responsibility.

Could you imagine that in a relationship? I mean could you ever get away with Sorry Level 1 or 2? I know i wouldn't accept it. He'd have to be Level 4 Sorry at all times or else we're breaking up.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

There's always one.

So I was reading this article about Proof's funeral, and when i get to the last sentence, it reads:

"At one point during the funeral, Nedra Ruffin, daughter of the Temptations' David Ruffin, used the chapel's microphone to plug an upcoming album by her son. Her comments were met with ardent boos from the audience."

I almost wish i were there just to have witnessed that. Unbelieveable. But on the real, i could completely see David Ruffin himself doing the very same thing. Like they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

on Proof and his death: of course it's always jarring and sad when a human life is suddenly taken but if its true that he shot someone in the head over a game of pool just before he himself was killed in retaliation...i don't know, man. i mean, whatever i could say here is obvious enough.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rich Panties in a Bunch

Rich people all over Manhattan are quaking in their boots. They are having night sweats and bouts of nausea. Just the mere mention of the S word is enough to send them in a fit of hysteria. For on Friday, their doormen might go on strike.

*cue bomb sound effect*

Oh no!!! Who will open the door for them when they come back from a long day of shopping at Sak's? Who will accept packages for them while they are toiling away in their corner offices? Who will let the Circuit City guy in to install the 86" flat screen HD TV?

As one lovely millionairess at my job said today, "I can't believe my doorman is going to do this to me...I mean who is going to take care of my dry cleaning? THAT'S gonna be a huge problem.."

Stupid cow...i bet she has no idea (nor cares) why they are on the verge of striking in the first place.

In other news, I'm reading this and loving it. Especially since i'm planning to become a small business owner in the next year. The book is a little scary in that there is SO MUCH WORK involved but alot of the things he talks about I won't have to deal with just yet since i'm going the franchise route. But still. Its all very daunting nonetheless. I was even feeling a tiny bit discouraged but i snapped out of it quickly.

The first thing i know i need to learn fairly quickly is self-motivation. Because ultimately, we only have ourselves to lean on. Everyone else has their own lives and problems and worries etc and won't have time to help keep me on track w/my dreams. So i know i've got to do that for myself if i'm gonna make this happen.

For some reason, i haven't felt much like writing lately but i'm going to try harder to track my progress w/this business. Even just for the fact that it will help me see how far i come when i have those days that i want to give up.

So basically where i am now is I've decided which franchise opportunity i want to pursue, i've spoken with the CEO who is very friendly and helpful, they've sent me their info packet along with an application for me to send back....and that's where i'm sorta stuck. Well not really. I've just sorta been putting off filling it out because it means i'll have the disclose the sorry state of my debt, finances and credit. the CEO has already assured me that as long as i am paying my bills (which i am) that everything will be fine, but still. To see it laid out on paper like that is depressing. What if they reject my application and say 'uh no. we definitely don't want you as a part of our franchise, you loser.'

But i'm gonna send it in. I've given myself a deadline of Apr 28 to get it all together...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

*light bulb*

The most compelling reason why people should not wait until they are in their 40s to start having children:

When you are in your 60s, hopefully with a fat pension or savings and ready to retire, your child is ready to go to college and your parents (if they're still alive) are old and needy. So then you're faced with a dilemma: do you keep your savings for your retirement, use them to send the kids to college, or use them to take care of your aging parents (whose retirement money may have run out)?


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Happy Birthday, Kimberly Byrd.

Wherever you are.

Kim is/was my sister. More accurately, one of my sisters. My father has sired approximately 18 children (with lots of different women) thru the course of his lifetime and i'm the oldest. Kim is one year younger than me. The last time i saw her, she was 18 and had a child. At the moment, i can't even remember if it was a boy or a girl. Before that, i hadn't seen her since we were 9 or 10 years old.

I have one clear memory (but no hardcopy) of a photograph we took together. I was 9 and she was 8. She was sitting on a big brown leather easy chair and i was standing behind her. I had these goofy multicolored beads in my hair which i thought was so cool at the time. We were both smiling really big...two cute and sassy little girls happy to get to know each other as sisters. We had different mothers but we'd both visit our dad and hang out together. After a while, she stopped coming around. Probably because her mom didn't like dad (with good reason). Even when i saw her again as a teenager, the meeting was awkward, at best. We were strangers again. Somehow my dad had relocated her and invited both of us to his place. I think her and i had a chance to talk privately and i'm pretty sure i told her some very surprising(maybe not) and unpleasant things about our father. I would imagine it made her not want much more to do with him, and by extension, me. I never heard from her again.

Sometimes i think i want to find her but it would probably not be good for either one of us. I've been thru the whole 'finding a long lost sister' thing once already and the result was disappointing and stressful. You can't make strangers care about each other as family just because you tell them they are family. The heart just don't work that way.

But anyway, I hope she's having a great 34th birthday today.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Thin + Skin = Big Baby

After growing up a sci-fi nut and thus watching every episode of Star Trek Next Generation (twice or more), i'm convinced I'm an empath. Or maybe i just really want to find a way to rationalize the fact that i'm over(ly) sensitive. I not only experience my own pain and hurt to the nth degree but other people's as well.

Anybody who knows me well knows that if a jumbo jet crashes with hundreds of passengers onboard, i'm haunted for days afterwards. I can't stop thinking about it. I can't stop imagining the hell those people went thru in their final moments. So imagine me after the tsunami. Or Katrina. Sept 11th? AND i was in New York that day? forget it. I've spilled enough tears to fill the Pacific. For real people and for fictional ones.

I watch the Sopranos (go figure) and i have to look away whenever someone gets whacked. I can't watch operations. I'm a big fan of action/disaster movies (go figure again) but i just now turned away from some Earthquake in New York flick cuz i could feel myself getting upset and the opening credits hadn't even finished rolling...Charles S. Dutton was only just starting to yell at the guy who complained that the Met was flooded...but i can't watch it.

I've long ago accepted it and in some ways, i've embraced it. It helps and hinders me all at the same time. I feel that my heightened sense of empathy (peace to Lauren Olamina) helps me be more sensitive to others. I'm generous and caring by nature. People often tell me that i'm easy to talk to..warm. Open. But other times, i feel weak and if *kryptonite* is relationships, that oversensitivity can cause major problems. But as a creative person, its a rich and diverse well that i can draw from to express any emotion.

I often wonder if more people were as sensitive to other's pain as i am, how different would the world be? Would it be as easy for a President to drop bombs on a country if the thought of it made him/her physically ill? Would it be as easy for a man to slap his girlfriend? Would it be as easy for a doctor to withhold treatment from a patient with no medical insurance?

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Saturday, April 01, 2006


The true test of the strength of any relationship is how people deal with each other during times of conflict. That's when the layers are peeled back. When the truth is often revealed. When you can look behind the words and really see what people are REALLY saying...