29 November 2009

the ripple effect

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
-- Leo F. Buscaglia

27 November 2009

My blog’s personality?

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson

Like some parents say about their kids, I would say that my blog is a reflection of my personality.

Earlier during the inception of this blog, I struggled with a friend’s accusation of my coming off sounding too preachy, that it might turn people off, and so, I considered not writing my blog. But other friends began emailing me, telling me they’ve become accustomed to reading things in my blog that would make them smile or laugh, or give them the spiritual recharge they needed, and they encouraged me to continue writing what was in my heart. Secular themes as well as non-secular themes.

I write the way I speak.

When I was a child, on three separate occasions, people have told my mother that I will be a preacher; first, a babysitter in Brooklyn NY, then years later a pastor in Racine, Wisconsin, then a few years later at that same church, a pastor who was a guest during a revival at our church, pointed to my mother in the crowd, telling her that her son (me) was going to be called to preach. As far I feel, I haven’t received that direct calling.

I’m a shy person. When I mention that to my best friend, he laughs. I have to agree with him when he corrects me and says I’m ‘situationally shy’; I approach the idea of meeting new people with a feeling of dread for fear of not being able to come up with the most interesting or unique thing to say initially or the funniest, or sharpest, response. I guess other people's opinions are very important to me ( I'm working on that).   If I am successful with my opening line, I then worry that I may not be able to follow up with more. Signs of encouragement is when I find someone with whom I have something in common, or someone that talks a lot. My best friend understands me. He knows me. He has seen me command conversations, but it takes certain situations to open me up.

I say all that to say, should I get that calling to preach, I will take it on. In the meantime, rather than stand in a pulpit, I’ll occasionally write what’s in my heart with the hope I can share a sad or frustrating moment that someone would read and know that those things just don’t happen to them, or to make someone smile or laugh, or feel good about themselves or at peace. I know that that’s what I would want to read. I have also searched through my blog for those very same things, whenever I needed a smile, a laugh, or to feel good about myself or to get some peace.

Should my mother happen to find my blog, I would want her to find something that applies to her. Should my 14 yr old nephew happen to find my blog, I would want him to find something that applies to him as well.

So that’s my blog’s personality.

It’s me.

What is your blog's personality? What message are you trying to convey?

26 November 2009


                                                           Obey Him In The Little Things


On November 26,

Grammy-winning singer and actress Tina Turner was born on this day as Annie Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, 1939

25 November 2009

5 things- Thanksgiving 101

I was talking to a co-worker today and she was telling me that her grandmother had asked her to come up with 5 things to be grateful for. She was telling me she couldn’t think of 5 things. I was being flippant, coming up with a complaint or whine and changing it into something for which to be grateful. For example;

“I need to lose some weight.” --“Thank you God, for me having enough food to eat.”

“My feet are sore.”  --  “Thank you God, for the ability to stand and walk and run.”

“I have too much to work to do today.”  -- “Thank you, God for a job.”

“I hate driving long distances.”  -- “Thank you God, for my car.”

“My hair is getting grayer as the years go by." --    “Thank you God, for letting me see 47 years; some  people don't live to see this age."

Do men have biological clocks?


I wish a coworker hadn't sent me the following link; now I feel older


i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

-- e.e. cummings

24 November 2009

A Moment of Thanks

Usually when I receive religious emails,  I have a circle of friends of  whom I know would appreciate reading them and I foreward it to them, as they do to me. Sometimes I'll read them in their entirety at that moment, or I will collect them to read during a morning break. This was sent to my email this morning, and I instantly shared it with a coworker who really appreciated it.  At 10 we had gone to a staff meeting and I told her that a depressing mood came upon me and I didn't understand why, and she asked if I had read what I had sent her this morning, and I hadn't, but I just did, in its entirety, a few minutes ago, and that mood I was in this morning? It's gone. And I feel better!  
Here it is:

Life is hard, and every day is challenging. You may be wondering just now if you can go on. Perhaps another person is vexing you. Perhaps you've been maligned or criticized. You're discouraged with unanswered prayer. Maybe you're feeling like Elijah under the broom tree, wanting to die.

Try praying with thanksgiving. A thankful attitude is the cure for many emotional ailments. Take depression, for example. What is depression or discouragement except the total collapse of thanksgiving in our lives?

Thanksgiving is also the opposite of discontent. It's easy for us to become disgruntled with various factors in our lives; but let's be like one man who was thankful...

For the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

* For all the complaining I hear about the government because it means that I have freedom of speech.

* For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I am alive.

* For the teenager who is not doing dishes but is watching TV because that means he is at home and not on the streets.

* For the taxes that I pay because it means that I'm employed.

* For the lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

* For weariness at the end of the day because it means I have been capable of working hard.

* For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.

Thanksgiving is the opposite of anxiety. Philippians 4:6: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Worship and worry cannot live in the same heart. They are mutually exclusive, according to Ruth Graham.

Thanksgiving is also the corrective for sadness and even grief. While working on a message from Psalm 100, my phone rang. It was from a family dear to me. Our children were about the same age and had played together growing up.

The caller told me there had been an accident in the woods, and a portion of a tree had fallen on one of the boys. He'd been pinned for over an hour before the ambulance arrived, and it appeared the young man would be paralyzed from the waist down. His spinal cord had been crushed.

Well, that just destroyed my afternoon. I couldn't get it out of my mind. This was a blond-headed kid, very athletic, full of life; and in one moment, his life was shattered and changed. I wrestled with my own thoughts and emotions until evening, then I placed a call to the intensive care unit of the hospital. Frankly, I didn't know what to say; but I didn't have to say much at all. The boy's father ended up comforting me.

He said, "Pastor, I want you to know that my wife and I are, first of all, thankful that our son is alive. Second, we're thanking God that it wasn't the upper part of his body that was paralyzed. And thirdly, though we don't understand why, we know God is good and that somehow in the midst of this, He has a plan for our son's life that must go beyond anything we can imagine. Though it's hard and we wish it hadn't happened, we have committed it to our God, for He is good."

Is the race of life wearing you down?

Try a moment of thanks.

Dr. David Jeremiah


23 November 2009

On November 24,

Mississippi passed the so-called "Black Codes" that barred blacks from jury service, testifying against whites in trials, bearing arms and attending white schools, 1865.

We've come a long way. In 2008, we elected our first black president, but we still have a long way to go.

Subtle Racism

i reached.

i reached,

looking for the love I thought I had;
digging through layer upon layer of your smile
to find


Nothing but darkness,
and a buried

wooden cross

that continues



alexgeorge, 1988

Still Waiting

I know I said that I enjoy writing, and that I would write poetry even if no one read it but myself. It’s true; to me writing is like breathing. It’s something I have to do. Not always something I want to do. I have the complete opposite of writers block. New ideas pop in my head all the time. The same with short story ideas. And I get frustrated. Today I had sent out my poetry manuscript to the 15th legitimate literary agency in The States, and it gets old, considering that I’m still waiting for any of them, from the 1st one through the 14th one to respond to the many follow up emails or calls I’ve made.

I wonder if, when my collection of short stories is ready to be published, will I have the same problem?

On November 23

On this day in 1897, Andrew J. Beard, and African American inventor was awarded Patent # 594,059. Despite having no formal education in engineering or metalwork, Beard had invented an automtic railroad car coupling device called the Jenny Coupler. Prior to the Jenny Coupler train cars were joined together manually, causing thousands of railroad workers to lose their hands,arms, and even their lives. Born in Eastlake, Alabama, in 1850, Beard labored for years in railroad yards where he personally witnessed horrific accidents when workers tried to execute the rapid procedure of manually coupling train cars with a pin. Beard sold his lifesaving invention to a New York company for $50,000. It’s still being used today.


The Monday Blues

Dwele to the rescue

20 November 2009

Quotes of the day

" The two big advantages I had at birth were to have been born wise and to have been born in poverty."

And, another one I like:

"Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn't mean he lacks vision."

both by Stevie Wonder

Life, for granted

I’ve removed some words from my vocabulary. Some are ‘can’t, try, and if.’ They’re self-defeating and they give reasons for failure. I’ve replaced “I can’t swim” with ‘this year I’m going to learn how to swim”; my nephew loves to swim and I used to sit on the chaise at the YMCA and watch him swim. My ability to swim would be another fun thing we could to. I’ve replaced ‘I’ll try it’ with ‘I’ll do it.’ That’s not to say I will succeed, however, saying “I’ll try it” and then failing people tend to shrug it off, saying, ‘well I tried’, and that’s their excuse for failure. Because they tried. I’ve replaced ‘If only I can lose some weight before my next physical,’ with ‘ when I lose this weight before my next physical.” I call words like ‘I’m going to’, ‘I’ll do it’ and ‘when I lose this weight before my next physical’, as proactive words. They prompt you do act upon it to accomplish it, at least in my opinion. When I say ‘this year I’m going to learn how to swim”, that statement prompts me to search for swimming classes.
My personal wish list for now?

Have a closer walk with God Learn to swim Stop buying books and read the ones I have Go out even if it’s by my self Take a road trip Laugh every day Be fit Reduce my road rage Read my Learn Farsi book from cover to cover Learn Farsi Be a better friend
Be more self-confident Stop comparing myself to others Complete one short story before working on a new one Make someone smile Learn to type with all 10 fingers

Do you have a personal wish list?

On November 20

President John F. Kennedy issued executive order barring racial discrimination in federally financed housing, 1962.

O No!

Yesterday when I first heard that Oprah had made the decision to end the Oprah Winfrey show, while everyone was talking about what the ABC affiliates were going to do to fill the huge void left by her absence and what publishing companies were going to do as she has the ability to produce bestsellers solely by suggesting her audience read a certain book,  I was thinking of three things. I thought of Sofia, the character she played in the movie The Color Purple over 20 years ago. That is my favorite movie of all time. When I first saw that movie, I remember the audience was filled with, I had guessed, were women of the Pentecostal or Evangelical faith. I say that because there were pivotal scenes where quite a few women around me had stood up and had gotten in what we church folk calls, ‘ movin’ in the spirit and  speaking in tongues’; when Shug Avery was headed to her father’s church, and towards the end when Celie had seen her kids for the first time since they were taken away when they were children at the beginning of the movie.


I can still see Oprah’s ‘Sofia’ character stomping through the fields to find Celie, the character played by Whoopi Goldberg, to say to her “you told Harpo to beat me!I love Harpo. God knows I do. But Ill kill him dead, 'fo I let him or anybody beat me! All my life I had to fight! I had to fight my daddy! I had to fight my brothers, my cousins, my uncles too! But I never, never, never, never, never, never thought I'd have to fight In my own house!”
I know it by heart!  I have friends with whom we'd recite the lines from the movie..
I loved Oprah in that role because in that character I saw my mother, my sister, aunts, and every black woman I know. She was passionate about being treated with respect, dignity, and self-defense. I’ve loved Oprah ever since.

"I came from nothing," Winfrey wrote in the 1998 book "Journey to Beloved." "No power. No money. Not even my thoughts were my own. I had no free will. No voice. Now, I have the freedom, power, and will to speak to millions every day — having come from nowhere."

I also thought of a friend’s grandmother, Charlotte; she always said that her dying wish was to be in attendance on one of Oprah Winfrey’s shows. That was all she talked about. She used to spend her retirement days doing volunteer work, being a mentor-grandmother of sorts, to children whose grandmothers had passed away. She delivered food to shut-ins and she made quilts. No matter how busy she was during the day, no matter where she was from 4-5pm, she was in front of a television set somewhere, watching Oprah. She had been given a VCR two decades earlier and a DVR about 5 years ago, but she had to watch it when I came on. There was no way she would wait until a better time to see it.  Her wish unfulfilled, she passed away 1 year ago, and never got the chance to be on the show.

I also thought about all the short stories I had sent her over the years. I’ve sent maybe a dozen, all by certified mail, reply-receipt required. I know they’ve all been received by someone at Harpo, as I have the signed receipts to confirm it, but that doesn’t mean that Oprah has read any of them. That’s my hope, in a way. I’d rather her not having read them than to have read them, didn’t like them and threw them away. I know I’m being crazy, but we have all crazy dreams sometimes. Mine is to be on one of her shows where she has a guest talk about their favorite passions or their favorite person, and unbeknownst to them, that favorite person has entered the stage behind them and the entire audience is erupting in applause, and that guest is wondering what’s going on. Then they turn around to see their idol standing before them. For me, in addition to dreaming about Halle Berry or Sallie Toussaint or Salli Richardson-Whitfield or Nicole Ari Parker (obviously), I have this dream where Oprah invites me to be on her show where she discusses one of my short stories in particular which is one of her favorites, and she’s asking me questions. I’m talking a mile a minute about how I would love to have Spike Lee or Lee Daniels or Antoine Fuqua make a movie of the story, and the audience is erupting in applause. I turn around, and the 3 directors are approaching me. I’m speechless, as they all shake my hands and sit on the sofa next to me. Their purpose on being there is to tell me they’re interested in three of my short stories and want to make movies out of them! And that Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Nicole Ari Parker, and Salli Richardson-Whitfield want to play the lead roles in those movies!
When I first heard that Oprah had made the decision to end the Oprah Winfrey show, I thought ‘I’d better hurry up or try harder to get her to read my stuff,’ but she’ll still be in the public eye. She’ll just be busy with other aspects of her huge empire.
Maybe then, she’ll find the time to read my short stories. I’m sending another one to her tomorrow. And if it's made into a movie some day, I'll dedicate it to Charlotte.

Watch below:  

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

19 November 2009

On Doing You

If there are people in your life that continually disappoint you, break promises, stomp on your dreams, are too judgmental, have different values, and don't have a shoulder to cry on during difficult times...that is not a friend.
To have a friend, be a friend. Sometimes in life as you grow, your friends will either grow or go.
Surround yourself with people who reflect your values, goals, interests and lifestyle.
When I think of any of my successes, I am thankful to God from whom all blessings flow, and to my family and friends that enrich my life.
Over the years my address book has changed because I changed for the better.
At first you think that you are going to be alone, but after a while new people show up in your life that make your life so much sweeter and easier to endure.
Remember the expression, "Birds of a feather flock together."
If you're an eagle, don't hang around chickens:

Chickens Can't Fly!

~ author unknown ~

Botswana, Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Gambia, Mozambique, Guadaloupe, Brazil, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, India, Jordan, and countless others, then Europe

For as long as I could remember,
I wanted to visit  Europe.

I dreamed of visiting the Eiffel Tower

and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel  in Paris,

                                                                 Buckingham Palace in London

The National Archeological Museum in Athens Greece,

or The Colosseum,  in Rome Italy.

but then I moved to Maryland/ Washington DC
and being surrounded by people that looked like me, I felt like a fish in water.
It was so in my element.
It was the best time of my life, and also the worse
indirectly caused by effects of 9-11;
Then I moved back to the Midwest, then to Oregon,
and sometimes feeling like a fish, floundering, choking, completely out of a water,
my desire to visit Europe is now
 either completely gone, or  it's been pushed further down a new list
I didn't realize I had.

There are other places outside of North America that I'd rather visit first.

18 November 2009

 "If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears,however measured, or far away" --Henry David Thoreau

The Truth

“Truth is powerful and it prevails.”

--Sojourner Truth

She was an Abolitionist and Social Reformer. In 1828, she successfully fought a legal battle to regain custody of her son, becoming the first black woman to win a lawsuit against a white man. Born Isabella Baumfree into slavery in Swartekill, New York on the Hardenbergh estate, she was one of 13 children to James and Elizabeth Baumfree, slaves of Colonel Hardenbergh. In those days, children of slaves were born into slavery, and were considered property of the owner of the slave mother. After the Colonel's death in 1806, ownership of the slaves passed to his son, Charles Hardenbergh, and she was sold to John Neely of Kingston, NY. Neely would beat her and treat her cruelly, and sold her two years later to Martinus Schryver of Kingston, NY, a tavern keeper for $105. In 1810, Schryver sold her for $175 to John Dumont of New Paltz, NY. Although Dumont was kind to her, his wife harassed her and made her life miserable. In 1815, Isabella fell in love with a slave named Robert from a neighboring farm. When the two were found to be lovers, Robert was sold and she never saw him again. Shortly afterwards, she gave birth to a daughter, whom she named Diana. Two years later, she was forced to marry an older slave named Thomas, and they would have four more children: Peter (born 1822), James (born 1823), Elizabeth (born 1825) and Sophia (born 1826). In 1799, the state of New York had passed legislation to emancipate all slaves in the state on July 4, 1827; during this period NY slaves could not be sold out of the state (to avoid the coming emancipation). Dumont had promised to free Isabella a year early if she would work well and faithful for him, but at the last minute, Dumont changed his mind. In late 1826, Isabella walked away from Dumont's farm with her youngest child, Sophia, leaving the other children because she could not take care of them. She found her way to the home of Isaac and Maria Van Wagenen, a Quaker couple who took her in, and Isaac paid $20 to Dumont for her until the emancipation took place eight months later. When Isabella learned that Dumont had sold her son Peter to an owner in Alabama, she took the issue to court, and after several months of legal efforts, she won the case and her son was returned. During her stay with the Van Wagenen's, Isabella became a devout Christian. In 1845, she moved with her son Peter to New York City, where she worked as a housekeeper for Elijah Pierson. In 1839, Peter left her to take a job on a whaling ship, and in June 1843, she renamed herself "Sojourner Truth," telling her friends that she must go and preach about abolition. While living with the Northampton Association of Education and Industry, an abolitionist group in Massachusetts, she met fellow abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas, and David Ruggles. In 1850, Garrison published her autobiography, "The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave," and from the proceeds bought herself a house in Northampton, Mass. In 1851, she began touring the northern states, speaking at Abolitionist meetings at a time when women were not supposed to speak in public. In Akron, Ohio, she delivered her most remembered speech, "Ain't I a Woman," adopted from the abolitionist image of a kneeling female slave that asks "Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?" Over the remaining years before the Civil War, Truth would speak hundreds of times at Abolitionist meetings. Moving to Harmonia, Michigan, she worked during the Civil War to help recruit black soldiers for the Union Army, and in 1864, worked at the Freedman's Relief Association in Washington DC, helping to provide aid to freed slaves. In 1865, she began riding the Washington DC streetcars, to help force their desegregation. Following the Civil War, Truth continued to speak around the country, on issues such as aid to former slaves, women's rights (including voting), prison reform, and against capital punishment. She died at her home in Battle Creek, Michigan, and was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery along side her other family members.
Oak Hill Cemetery
Battle Creek
Calhoun County

-- bio courtesy Kit and Morgan Benson, findagrave.com

On November 18

in  1993,   Black and white leaders in South Africa approved the new democracy constitution that gave blacks the vote and ended white minority rule.

in 1978,    Spingarn Medal presented to Ambassador Andrew J. Young "in recognition of the deftness with which he has handled relations between this nation and other countries" and "for his major role in raising the consciousness of American citizens to the significance in world affairs of the massive African continent."
in 1900,     Howard Thurman, theologian and first black to hold a full time teaching position at Boston University, is born.

in 1787,     Abolitionist and orator, Sojourner Truth was born, 1787


When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret. Now that I am 50 I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness.

-- C.S. Lewis

16 November 2009

On November 16

William Christopher Handy, the "Father of the Blues," was born in Florence, Alabama, on November 16, 1873.

15 November 2009

The Monday Blues

already on sunday night.  Janet Jackson to the rescue-

Janet Jackson To Discuss Michael's Death On ABC Special
Singer's interview with ABC News will air a day after the release of her greatest-hits album Number Ones.
Janet Jackson will be the subject of an hour-long special on November 18 that will feature her first extended sit-down interview since the death of her brother Michael back in June. Jackson will invite ABC News correspondent Robin Roberts into her home for a lengthy discussion that will air the day after Jackson's new greatest-hits compilation, Number Ones, hits stores.

The special will be the first time Janet discusses Michael Jackson's death at length in prime time, although she has addressed it briefly several times since Michael's passing on June 25. She appeared at the live televised memorial tribute to Jackson on July 7, and she addressed the audience of the BET Awards a few days after his death. "I'd just like to say, to you, Michael is an icon, to us, Michael is family," Janet said. "And he will forever live in all of our hearts. On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all of your love, thank you for all of your support. We miss him so much."

Janet also spoke to MTV about her tribute to Michael at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. "He left such an impression with his style on so many different generations," she told MTV News. "To see [the dancers at the VMA tribute] try to mimic him to the T and doing an incredible job at it as if he was the one that taught them — 'No, this is how you do it' — and to see them look so close to his movement, it just touched me. It really touched me."

Janet Jackson's Number Ones feature two discs of her biggest singles, as well as the recently released track "Make Me," which is a tribute to her late brother's breakout smash "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."

14 November 2009

BE (basement elevation)


"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend."
                           -- Theophrastus (c. 371 – c. 287 BC)

  I wasted 3 hours tonight, watching the new movie 2012. I stayed the entire time. Why, you might ask? Two reasons- first, I was hoping it would get better (which it didn't), and second, I wanted to see how this disaster of a disaster movie  would end ( it was a happily ever). It's hard to believe the director of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow would have released a movie the likes of 2012. John Beiffus of GoMemphis.com said it best when he said;
The bad news: The world as we know it has come to an end.

The good news: Mommy's new boyfriend was squashed in the gears of a giant high-tech ark, so Daddy's back in the picture!
In typical disaster-movie fashion, "2012" presents these events as being of more or less equal significance. Such Hollywood accounting (another example: one John Cusack trumps 3 billion nonentitities) may offend the literal-minded, but others will accept the equation as part of the preposterous fun of this campy if overlong exercise in gleeful world-smashing spectacle from post-Irwin Allen master of disaster Roland Emmerich, the director who previously blew up the White House in "Independence Day," stomped Manhattan in "Godzilla" and turned Earth into an ice cube in "The Day After Tomorrow."

This is the type of movie in which a huge ark, loaded with humanity "to ensure the continuity of the species," doesn't just crash into random noncelebrity obstructions as it floats on a newly formed ocean but into Air Force One and Mount Everest, in immediate succession. (The Eiffel Tower must have been on its lunch break.)
But Emmerich wants us to know he's aware of his movie's silliness: In "2012," the apocalypse starts, with a wink, in Hollywood, as the long-predicted slide of California into the ocean precipitates not just the death of civilization but also the craziest limo ride in movie history, with Cusack -- in what may be the year's most ridiculous but exhilarating effects sequence -- putting the pedal to the metal to outrun an earthquake.
Inspired by popular pseudoscientific claims that the Mayan calendar predicts the world will end on Dec. 12, 2012, the film is a sort of disaster-genre greatest hits collection, gathering the tidal waves from "The Perfect Storm" and "The Poseidon Adventure," the temblors from "Earthquake," the volcanoes from "Volcano" and "Dante's Peak," the fireballs from "Armageddon," and other special-effects traumas into that paradoxical form of entertainment that allows viewers to escape their real-life woes by imagining something far, far worse.
Calculated to appeal to both Al Gore and Rush Limbaugh fans, the script by Emmerich and Harald Kloser dramatizes the perils of global warming yet lets mankind off the hook by blaming "the biggest solar eruptions in human history" for cooking the Earth from the inside out, like a microwave oven
"The neutrinos coming from the sun have mutated into a new kind of nuclear particle," warns a geologist, and yes, I admit it, I'm a sucker for such gibberish.
Before you can say "and with Woody Harrelson as a long-haired hermit radio prophet," the Earth's crust has "destablized," a cruise ship containing George Segal has capsized, Wisconsin has shifted to the South Pole (!) and our nation has lost its manhood, as Emmerich cheekily suggests with a shot of the collapse of the Washington Monument.
Oscar Wilde famously said of a Charles Dickens tearjerker: "One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing." Similarly, it's hard to imagine audiences won't hoot when the president of the United States (Danny Glover) casts his eyes heavenward and addresses his dead wife as a gargantuan tsunami sweeps over the White House: "Dorothy, I'm coming home."
For all its godless global cataclysm (the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio crumbles, and the Sistine Chapel fissures at the connecting index fingers of God and man), "2012" reassures viewers that it's a small world after all, thanks to a series of unlikely, fateful coincidences.
For example, a White House scientist played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (this movie's most significant accomplishment may be to introduce this wonderful actor to a wide audience) is not just a fan of Jackson Curtis (Cusack), the "optimist" author of inspirational doomsday novels, he actually meets the man while investigating a dried-up lake in Yellowstone National Park. Curtis is there camping with his two young children, while his ex-wife (Amanda Peet) spends time with her new beau (Tom McCarthy).
Later, the men will meet again when the family almost miraculously makes it from Southern California to China via two airplanes and a monk's pickup truck. Ejiofor's scientist also is the first to object to a secret government plan in which billionaires are able to buy passage on the ark, no matter how inessential they are to humankind's gene pool.
Near the end of the film, we learn that much of southern African escaped flooding; but as arks loaded with officials and rich people from the U.S. and Europe head toward the Cape of Good Hope, I couldn't help but imagine the Africans thinking: Here we go again.

12 November 2009

Random thoughts

30. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day.What a waste.
29. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.
28. More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.
27. Im a proud, loyal Packer fan and a reluctant Viking fan (thanks alot, Brett Favre).
26. Is it really safe to fly with the flu and the swine flu going around, considering that the air on planes is recycled?
25. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?
24. Bad decisions make good stories
23. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
22. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
21. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
20. I’m 47 now
19. Seems like I was just turning 40
18. My God-son asked me if Adam had a navel since he wasn’t born. I didn’t know how to answer him.
17. I have to shave daily now since my stubble is not black anymore, but grey.
16. I’m 47.
15. I watch too much tv.
14. I’m 47.
13. When will Oprah acknowledge my poetry manuscript I sent her years ago?
12. My Tivo, somehow, seems to know what I want to watch.
11. People in Oregon ask why I’m not wearing a jacket in 50 degree weather, and I just say three words:     “I’m from Wisconsin,” and people automatically understand.
10. I hate snow.
 9.  When I get married I want to wear an Alexander McQueen suit. Or shirt. Or fedora. Or shoes.
 8.  When will Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, Lee Daniels, or Spike Lee take an interest in the short story manuscripts I’ve sent them?
 7.  I can’t afford the 2010 Jaguar XJ at the moment.
 6.  I need to be hypnotized to hate sweets so I can lose some weight.
 5.  When people say I look like I’m in my 30s are they just saying that to make me feel good?
 4.  I hope to be a homeowner within a year.
 3.  I'm glad I don't know where a Walmart is here; it's easier to avoid it that way.
 2. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.
 1. I’m closer to 50 than I have ever been in my life, so far.

11 November 2009

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t care to know if a friend just found a parking spot in another part of the world or if someone just found a pair of shoes they like in their size at a store a thousand miles away from me or if someone just ate the best hamburger at a particular restaurant three states away from me. It there was ever a mundane message, then those are. I have received even more mundane messages than those.

I was encouraged to have a twitter account but I find it to be a waste, a virtual time vampire. No one ever responds to the messages I send. My guess is because they’re legitimate; I’m not telling thousands of strangers that my cat sheds a lot of hair or that the washer at the laundromat is more effective than the washer at home, or that my neighbor is worried about the swine flu. I’m actually messaging editors of poetry magazines or literary agents or screenwriters to get my writings published or made into a screenplay, or helping a friend find job leads. The friends I have on twitter, my real friends, we communicate the old fashioned way. We call each other. Or we email and text each other.

For reasons like that alone, I’m terminating my twitter account.

My brother, whose work life and home life leaves him too busy to mail me pictures of my God-daughter, updates his facebook profile with the pictures. Otherwise I would terminate my facebook account for the same reason.

in the direction of happy

i wanna go fast. i wanna race. i feel like i've been tiptoeing through life, afraid to upset other people or hurt their feeling, but i'm older now, and no one is caring about whether they're upsetting me or hurting my feelings, and they're happy. i feel like i've been waiting for permission to be happy.  i'm gonna get my needs met. i'm gonna accomplish things i've been setting aside. it's my turn to be happy.

10 November 2009


God willing, if I wake up tomorrow morning, I will be 47 years old. As a youth, I never even thought of a number as high as 47, but if I see tomorrow morning, I will first get on my knees to thank God for letting me see it!

There are so many things…so many goals I thought I would have attained by now. I’ve got to find a way to make year 47 be the beginning of the best time of my life. Those words have been said countless times before. I’ve got to find out how to be effective, how to make those words come to fruition.

I’m grateful to be as old as I am. I really am. I had a friend with whom I shared the same birthday and birth year, and she was very ill 6 months before our 30th birthday. She was so ill she required hospitalization. All she wanted, at the very least, was to see her 30th birthday, but she died a few days earlier. Every time I even begin to think I’m getting old, I think about Mary; realizing she would be deliriously happy to be 46, I’m grateful to be as old as I am.

I really am.

And God willing, I’ll get older and older.

On November 10, 2009

Quite a few tragedies occurred during the time I lived in Silver Spring Maryland and worked as a Health Consultant in D.C. , or The District, as is known there. 9-11 occurred, and soon thereafter also The DC Sniper.
 At the time we were suspecting a connection between the terrorists and whoever the sniper might be. For 23 horrific days, he made walking down the street a gamble between life and death. It was a stressful time for all of us. I, like all of the Dc and the Virginia and Maryland suburbs, was basically dodging, carefully running from home to car or bus or train to and from work, and hardly going anywhere else for fear of being shot. Parents were keeping their kids inside. We were scurrying away from the openness of parking lots and front and back yards and bus stops to dark hidden places the way roaches do when the lights are turned on. We joked about it at the time but the fear was real. We were scared for our lives. I remember kneeling between my car and the gas tank while holding the gas handle and filling my car full of gas while looking around me in every direction, even though looking didn’t help. The sniper was laying facedown in the backseat of a car with a gun, sticking out of a hole in the trunk from a far off distance, sometimes in parking lots across from highways or other businesses shooting at anyone. He had no special type of person he was targeting except that of a human being. I remember hearing, an hour after I had gotten home from the gym in Wheaton Maryland, that the DC sniper had just shot someone at a gas station near my gym. That was scary. I never went to that gym again, even though it was suspected that he never killed in the same area twice. We were all able to exhale again when the sniper was caught.

The shooter was a weak-minded boy named Lee Boyd Malvo , who’s serving life at the Greensville Correctional Center near Jarratt, Virginia, and the mastermind,  a grown man named John Allen Muhammed, faced the consequences by getting executed by lethal injection at 9 pm. Tonight.


09 November 2009

A quote regarding gossip

I had heard a sermon based on this Bible verse on the radio while on the way to work this morning, and I had to share it so that I can remember it if I ever needed to recite it.

"He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends."
                                                            -- Proverbs 17:9  KJV.

06 November 2009

On November 6

Absalom Jones rose from slavery to become the first black Episcopal priest and principal founder of St. Thomas, the first black Episcopal church, November 6, 1746

                                             ---courtesy  blackfacts.com

05 November 2009

the future is mine

Today I got dinner at Panda Express, and in my fortune cookie, there was no fortune. The first thing I thought was, “this can’t be good,” but that would mean that I relied on words typed on paper slipped inside a cookie to direct my life.

Just out of curiosity, I googled ‘no fortune in my fortune cookie’ and I received some interesting responses, the most interesting being
‘the future is mine to create.’

Which is true. I knew it anyway, but it was good to remind myself:
The future is mine to create!

On November 5

Theo Wright becomes the first Black person to get a Theology Degree in the US, 1836.
                                                                  ---courtesy  blackfacts.com

Winter's approaching

The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together,
bending all,
the leaves flutter drily
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
and fall
where the salvias, hard carmine--
like no leaf that ever was--
edge the bare garden.

                                                                 ---  Approach of Winter,   by William Carlos Williams

Best friends

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”  -- Dr. Seuss

04 November 2009

See You At The River

Hymn #365

A southern minister was completing a temperance sermon. With great emphasis he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river." With even greater emphasis he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river." And then finally, he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river." Sermon complete, he then sat down.

The choral director stood up very cautiously and announced with a smile,
"For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365: "Shall We Gather at the River."

Smile, life is too short not to!
See you at the river

A year ago today-

An incredible moment in American History. And yes, I was in tears. I first thought of my grandfather and my father, who told me when I was a little boy, that "You can't be no president. You're black. Aim lower." Then I got a call from my 13 year-old nephew who told me, "Uncle Alieux, I really can be President Of The United States!" And for the first time, I believed it.


03 November 2009

Life was alone, no name, no memory. It had hands, but no one to
touch. It had a tongue, but no one to talk to. Life was one, and one was
Then desire drew his bow. The arrow of desire split life down the
middle, and life was two.
When they caught sight of each other, they laughed. When they touched each other,
they laughed again.

I love days like this.
Even though it's been cloudy and gray here all day,
this is how I feel.

On November 3

"I was the only person of color in the Senate, and my colleagues were Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Trent Lott."

                                           --Carole Mosely Braun,
 a Democrat from Illinois, becomes the 1st African American woman elected to the United States Senate November 3rd, 1992

02 November 2009

On November 2, 1976

Jimmy Carter, former governor of Georgia, elected president with strong support from Black voters.
                                                     --Courtesy http://www.blackfacts.com/

On November 2, 1983

President Ronald Reagan signs law designating the third Monday in January Martin Luther King Jr Day, 1983.

01 November 2009

Quote of the Day

"When our hatred is too fierce, it places us beneath those we hate. "
                                         --Fran├žois, Duc De La Rochefoucauld

Mirrors are filled with people.
The invisible see us.
The forgotten recall us.
When we see ourselves, we see them.
When we turn away, do they?
-author unknown