Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Well, Here We Are

Today, my friends, I am sad. My friends are sad. I have never seen more depressing posts on Facebook than when Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson died.  The world was watching along with the United States all night last night and all morning today, waiting for the 2016 US Presidential election results but America has voted. Although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, she did not win the necessary 270 electoral votes, and Donald Trump (Yes, Donald Trump) is the president-elect. Devastation does not even grasp my feelings right now. And it’s not because he is a Republican or because Hillary lost; it’s because this scary person will be in power - A person who wants to build a physical wall to prevent immigrants from coming in; A person who wants to ship all the illegal immigrants out who have been positively contributing to society just because they didn’t have their paperwork and separate them from their children; A person who wants to create even more loop holes for the wealthy and who I can’t count on for the poor or middle class; A person who treats all Muslims like terrorists and did not show any empathy in regards to the many shootings of Blacks by police; And lastly (but I'm sure there's more), a person who has encouraged physical violence and intimidation during his campaign.

It is about so much more than party lines, my friends. I think that is what Trump voters are not understanding. Republicans have control of the House, the Senate, and now the Presidency, but the kind of behavior I have seen from this President-elect is not the behavior fitting of the leader of the free world. A leader does not mock or isolate his constituents. So many are fearing that we are going to set the country back 100 or so years in the next 4 years. The fear is real. So it’s not just about me being sad my candidate didn’t win. I’m sad for humanity that someone so “wild” and “insulting” is the leader of my country.

So no, I will not be silent. I am exercising my First Amendment right, just as many of you exercised your right to vote. If this has been an Independent party candidate, or Ted Cruz, or any of the other Republican candidates, I would quietly concede. But y’all picked TRUMP? Mr. No-political-experience TRUMP? And it’s not even him – sure he’s loud and obnoxious, but at the end of the day he’s somewhat controllable or faces impeachment. But the scary part is the amount of people coming out in drones about being violent if you don’t agree with them. I have never seen so much ignorance than in the last year.

It is very important for the country to unite. We have had a rough year and just need to get back to “normal,” or whatever that is. In January when Mr. Trump is elected, I’ll take one for the team and acknowledge that he’s our president, but right now? I’m going to need a moment. I am going to continue to relish in the classy Obama family until President Barack Obama’s last day.  

I am happy to live in a country with a democracy, so as much as I don’t like the outcome, it is what it is. I am faithful that the checks and balances the founding fathers put in play will be useful so that the President does not try to overuse his power. I have even more reasons to get myself and my friends more involved in local politics so that we can keep an eye on the ‘wild child.’

And I have hope because I answer to a bigger power and I know that God has much bigger plans than we can imagine.
It will all be ok, but today, today I vent, so we can start anew tomorrow. You get a trump pass today; and then let's work on making sure his 'great again' is great for us too.
~My unusual political rant

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Here We Go Again

Prompted by the latest event in the news, the shooting of Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma on Friday. My thoughts on what's been going on these last couple months. . .

It is twenty sixteen
and I can not watch the news
Yesterday and now today another
Black person is getting abused
Unarmed, non-violent, doing their own thing
It was them, but could have been me

Here we go again
I pray to God it's never a friend
or family member or self
But it's somebody's son or daughter
The fear is real for this indiscreet slaughter
We are TIRED of the injustice
Of protests that fall on deaf ears

I just finished winning you medals
for swimming, gymnastics, shot put, and what not
You were happily cheering me on
and together we celebrated the red, white, and blue

But now, when black and blue strikes fear
where are you
When I'm walking home in a hoodie
where are you
When my car breaks down and triple A is not there yet
Where are you
because it seems like the only thing I can do
is perform in front of millions
but when I'm all alone
I'm on my own

I celebrate not being in bondage
And what our ancestors have done
but still I have invisible chains
of systematic problems of subconscious and conscious racism
in Twenty Sixteen
whilst we have a Black president

We all have to wear the mask
And I thought by now that maybe I could remove it
But we are all still pretending
you may tan to get darker, but my dark is too dark
my dark is not beautiful, you imply
when my dark is not seen on the television screen
or in plays or musicals
So the only way to get "me" on tv is for
my people to create their own shows
Then you complain why there are no people that look like you in
the Wiz

When I rock my hair au naturale
you imply it's not professional
When I buy some hair and put it atop
you say i'm not being my genuine self
When I wear clothes that snugly fit
you say my curves are inappropriate
When I scream that Black Lives Matter
you SOMEHOW make it about you

So you tell me, when can I win?
Where can I be my authentic self?
How do I stop you from seeing Black and brown
as enemies of black and blue
What is the solution that you propose?
How do we all get along?
In more than just sports and song

Tell me when I can start watching the news again
And not seeing a potential friend
Being attacked with no remorse
and no repercussions

Tell me when I don't have to avoid social media
just not to feel depressed
When living in the free world
but we are under distress

Tell me when it's ok for my little boy
to play with a toy gun in the playground

And lastly, tell me the last time YOU had to write a poem
because you are filled with so much emotion about
what is going on with your race in your own home country.

Lack of acknowledgement that there in fact is a problem,
is part of the problem.

Wake up!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Finished "Year of Yes"

So I gave a brutal first pass review of Shonda Rhimes's Year of Yes in the review here. While I still stick to my guns and say the writing style was boring, my book club members point out that it is more self-reflective and there are several takeaways from this book that can be helpful.

Say "yes" to things that scare you. We all have fears, but when those fears get in the way of us reaching our full potential, or become a hindrance, we have to challenge ourselves to tackle that fear head out. Shonda would not be the writer that she was if she did not write controversial stuff, or challenged herself to write 3 shows simultaneously.

Say "yes" to the people that matter. Put your phone down. Get off Facebook. Turn off the tv. Give the people that matter uninterrupted, full-attention time. I'll refer you to another website that I enjoy and how we really don't know how much time we have with people, so we should cherish them while we can. (Here's the link, excuse the fowl language). In the book, Shonda said yes everytime her kid wanted to play. It was only 15 minutes usually, but in those 15 minutes, it taught her kids that she was accessible, and it gave her insight into their world. Parents often wonder why their teenagers don't talk to them or tell them things. Perhaps they were trying to for the past 10 years and you were too busy. Invest the time now and build those relationships.

Say "yes" to no. The lack of a decision is a guilt-ridden passive aggressive no. But it still lingers over you. If you don't want to do something or go somewhere, just say no. Have enough respect for the person asking to not give them a "maybe" when you know you won't, and enough strength in the choices you are making to decide. We make a lot of decisions by not deciding to decide. But it's not purposeful. Just decide. Just say no and move on. Read the book or return/sell it. Work out or get rid of the gym membership. Go to bed early or decide that you don't deserve enough sleep. Say "yes" to conscious decisions by saying no to passive ones.

Say "yes" to being good enough. One of the stories Shonda told was about a school who looked down upon mothers who brought in store-bought goods over home-baked goods. You can feel bad about our parenting skills because you didn't have time to bake 30 kids snacks or you can focus on what really matters: providing a good home environment, feeding your kids, working so that they can have what they need, and spending time with them. If cookies don't fit into your schedule, forego them. People need to learn to stop shaming other people for not being able to do what they did. We don't know our neighbor's struggles or what they do and don't have time for. Women especially, are expected to do it all. As soon as we all realize that we are not, and will never be, perfect, the sooner we give ourselves permission to be good enough.

There are several good pieces of advice in the book, like just accepting a compliment: Don't downplay it, just say thank you and smile. I recommend the audiobook to push through, and extract what's good for you.

I am motivated to say "yes" more. "Yes" to me!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hours of "NO"

It's the beginning of 2016. Who wouldn't want to read a book entitled Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes? THE Shonda Rhimes who has written Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Shonda Rhimes who owns ABC Thursdays. She has her own hashtag #tgit. You would think that such an amazing writer, would have a killer self-help book. You. Would. Think.

And believe me, my purpose is not to bash her or the book. But I gotta let this out. Because I am ONLY on the 2nd of 6 cds and the only thing keeping my eyes open was that I was driving 60 mph in an automobile. I have to finish this book. I have a book club to run. I suggested this book. People are coming over to my house to discuss this. But Ugh.

First, big ups to audiobooks. I love them!! You can multitask to the fullest and still "read" a book. I don't think I would be as far if I weren't listening to this. Second, it is nice to have the author read the book themselves. They know exactly where to place emphasis and if it were anyone else, you might blame the reader for not conveying the characters. Third, to be fair, I am not finished with the book. It might get better. I'm praying it gets better. But I feel like I have a gist of the writing style and content already from listening to 2 hours of the book.

Shonda Rhimes is a remarkable writer. If she were writing a script or if this were a Lord of the Rings type book, where Tolkien paints detail to an excruciatingly painful level, this would be great. It would make a great movie, because the producer would have to just follow the bread crumb trail clearly written. But this is not a script or a movie. THIS is a book I purchased to motivate me. To convince me to say "YES" instead of "NO"; to take a challenge. Instead, I feel lied to. Like this was just some marketing ploy to get me to spend $20. 2 hours in, I don't think she's offered any helpful advice. Sure, advice is IMPLIED by her actions, but all I hear is -  and I know she doesn't mean to do this - I'VE DONE THIS, THEN I DID THAT, SO I SHOULD BE OUTGOING, BUT I'M NOT, SO THEN I DID THIS, AND I WAS SCARED, AND SO I CHALLENGED MYSELF TO SAY YES, THEN I SAID YES, THEN I DID THE SCARED THING, AND HIP HOP HURRAY TO ME. And I'm like, well that was great and all, but where is the "how to" in the TITLE!?!?!

I did like the commencement speech she gave at Dartmouth graduation in 2014 but I felt like I was eavesdropping. It wasn't really directed at me, the reader. I'm waiting for her to explicitly tell me, the reader, some jaw dropping knowledge. But while I wait for it, I shouldn't be bored to tears. The writer of Scandal and Grey's Anatomy should not be boring me to tears when I read her stuff. I am utterly shocked and dismayed. I do not understand how this could be. But then a friend reminded me that the original script is just a suggestion and a lot of production and direction goes into a show. And while she provides the skeleton, there's so much more that make these hit shows hits. Not to trivialize her talent, but it's like night and day y'all.

So, I'm going to keep pushing forward. But only because it's Shonda. Because I know she is an awesome writer, I know that it will get better. Or, at least, I hope very strongly. I want to like this book. I want to support one of the best tv writers in my time. I love to write. I want to support a fellow writer. I want to say Yes to this book.

I want to say Yes . . .

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

I can't believe 2015 is already gone, but yes, yes it is. Today is January 1, 2016.

In my previous post I talk about not setting goals just because it's the new year, but making changes and resolutions when you are ready.

Well, look for some changes coming from me and my blog! I'll be hoping to revamp the blog, include some guest posts, and post more frequently.

So share, share, share my blog link; kick back and enjoy!!

Have a great New Year!

God Bless,