Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Don't blame Texas for Ted Cruz, we thought he was Canadian

Ted Cruz, the Republican wingnut Senator from Texas, announced his candidacy for the 2016 Presidential race this week. My first thought was - BWAHAHA! Followed by a confused 'Wait, what?' moment. Skipping past 'Why Lawd, why' confusion and landed on Le Sigh. 

First of all, Texans don't even like this guy. We don't claim him. A bunch of "we don't want anything that looks like, thinks like or feels like Obama" fools got together and voted him in. But watch a Texas newscast and we're really more concerned about how much TeddyC is embarrassing us. As Texans, let alone Americans. We have enough shame what with Rick Perry showing out and people reminding us that Kennedy died here. We know. But TeddyC? Let's just say he won't get a plaque by the Alamo proclaiming him to be one of our Texas Heroes. That government shutdown move he pulled a year or so? Folks are still tart.

Next up - I thought he was Canadian. NTTAWWT (not that there's anything wrong with that) but I thought you had to be 100% steeped in the red, the white and the blue to run. So I wiki'd him and I guess his Mom was American so he gets a pass? Really disappointing. I was hoping to see the Royal Canadian Mounties ride down and swoop his ass up for a cross-border perp walk.

Thirdly, can NO ONE see the cray-cray? I mean, he's not a little off, he doesn't just march to the beat of a different drummer - dude has his own set of sheet music and he's the only one who can read the notes. Really, dude is Revelations-kind-of-cray. He's anti-women, anti-immigration (um, your dad is an immigrant? As are you, kinda?), anti-same sex marriage, anti-WhoAllKnowsWhatElse. He does want to get rid of the IRS though so... there's that. :-/

Lastly, I thought after the Obama of it all we (as a nation) had decided to only get the cool and smart kids to run the country? Didn't the Shrub experiment teach us enough? For some reason, I thought we'd all decided that coiffed, photo-op mouth pieces for the Tea Party were no bueno. Did no one send the memo to Ted? Do the reThugs even want this guy to run? At the very least, they have to have figured out that someone who alienates 50% of the country (women, minorities, sane folks) is not going to do well. Hi Mittens, how you doing? 

Here's a highlight from Cruz's  announcement.
In Cruz’s formal announcement for president, he lamented the low voter turnout rates for the Evangelical community. “Today, roughly half of born again Christians aren’t voting. They’re staying home. Imagine instead millions of people of faith all across America coming out to the polls and voting our values,” he said.
Is he calling those of us that DID vote faithless heathens? Is anyone else equally terrified and amused by this guy or is it just me?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Empire v Scandal - must the battle for "real" blackness continue?


I have spent waaaaay too much time lately listening to people debate about depictions of black people via Scandal and Empire. Which one is more real? Which is better? Which one helps or hurts the black community more? Whether modern black femininity is more epitomized by Olivia Pope or Cookie Lyon? Is it worse to see Olivia bouncing back between Fitz and Jake or to see Lucious Lyon's overt homophobia?

Someone even went so far to say that Scandal is to Empire what The Jeffersons was to Good Times. Oh dear, are we still trying to get one TV show to reflect the entire panoramic experience of Black American lives? Are we still looking to well-written but nonetheless fictional TV shows to accurately depict those lives?

Let's all take a minute, breathe deep and stop.

First of all, this is finely crafted fiction. Acted and directed for entertainment purposes only. If you happen to grab a life lesson here and there from an episode or two... so be it. But let's not act like any of us don't see the good, the bad and the ugly in both of these shows. They are both wonderful and awful.

Let's talk leading ladies - These ladies are really fly in their own way. Cookie is not more "real" than Olivia and Olivia is not "balling harder" than Cookie. I know people who are half Cookie, half Olivia. Coolivia? Olivkie? I know people who are very Cookie with a dollop of Olivia. I know people who are not like either one of them but covet their shoes.

At the end of the day, these  are two fictional black women who are come from two different places. Some of their issues (wrong-man-choosing, meeting secretly with law enforcement, family drama, yaki hair laid all the heaven) are the same. Some are very different. They are both complex, complicated and both happen to look good stomping in four inch heels.

But they are not by any means perfect:

Bless their hearts. I don't know about you but I don't know any women who spent 17 years in jail and came out on top. Let alone any who spent 17 years in and less than six months later is a millionaire in a penthouse. Nor do I know any women whose father ran a super secret black ops agency, slept with the President and has 2/3rd of the Washington power players on speed dial. 

What I do like about both shows is that they are entertaining (if I overlook the Liv held captive episodes) and bring more to the table that your average TV drama/soap. Like them or not, you do get caught up in the characters' lives. It's escapism at it's best. Music on both shows is top notch. Whether your life has been more Lyon or Pope is for you to decide. I think there's room for both of these shows on the DVRs of all viewers. 

Were there articles complaining that Breaking Bad depicted white people in the wrong way or that Two & a half men wasn't a realistic depiction of single fatherhood or Downton Abbey wasn't inclusive enough? Different stories, told different ways. The best way to depict them all is to find a way to get all of them on TV. Can we (black folks) celebrate the win of having shows with people that look like us on TV and work to get more?

Let me sidebar two shows that gave me great joy this season: Black*ish and How to Get Away with Murder. There have been some scenes with Jenifer Lewis and Laurence Fishborne that are hold-your-sides funny. 

And actually, some of the realest "black" moments on TV were between Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson.
That whole episode when Mama came to town was about as real as it gets. But again, fictionalized because not once when my mother was doing my hair back in the day did she confess to murder and arson. LOL! It's TV people.

My point? Besides embedding all the fun gifs - is to say (once again) we are not a monolith. The fun of humanity is in the variety. The fact that we have some things that are common (love, sleep, taxes, the necessity to take in oxygen) and then a whole bunch of stuff that is markedly different. Instead of pitting one experience against the other, why not be glad of the existence of all?

Just a thought. You can go back to debating whether to take Lucious or Huck on a drive by with you now. :-)

Comments, insights? Who is watching which (or both or none) of these shows and why?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The #Selma Bougie Movie Review - Must see and yet...

Selma was all it was marketed to be: a brilliant and sometimes painfully honest look at the fight for the right to vote which came to a head in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Martin Luther King, Jr and Coretta Scott King were played masterfully by David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo. The supporting cast was impressive and the story felt authentic. By authentic, I mean it felt like the story was being told without any obvious hidden agenda.

No spoilers but they kept it really real. No one was all saint or all villain. Everyone was human. LBJ was not painted as a benevolent savior for the colored folk and Martin Luther King's faults, fears and foibles were on display. You winced and you sympathized and you exhaled. As for the flow of the movie, the opening scene ripped your heart out and you never really got it back because you knew what laid ahead. 

The dialogue and scenery made sense for the movie and even though you knew what was going to happen, you were so embedded in the moment that things still came as a surprise, or a laugh, or a disappointment or a prayer. It's a rare movie that allows for that kind of emotional investment but Selma is just that good.

On the other hand, I have to admit that I'm thoroughly weary of seeing black folks catch a beatdown on the big screen, in real life, just generally. Sick. Of. It. There was a couple sitting behind us that said, "Wow, that scene looked just like Ferguson from a few weeks ago." Unfortunate and true. Apparently in this country, some lessons need to be learned and learned again.

The best thing about Selma is that it gives a detailed almost "behind the scenes" look at one of the pivotal moments in the Civil Rights Movement. The worst thing about Selma is that it is a stark reminder that no matter how many strides of progress have been made, we have not overcome as yet.

I walked out of the movie conflicted. Watching the movie felt like a journey. However, when the movie ended we hadn't reached our destination yet.  Much as I loved the artistry of the film, it's not one I'll watch over and over again. 

Have you or will you see it? Thoughts, comments, insights? Do share...

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

When Superwoman needs a nap

Every holiday it seems I make the same declaration - Someone else needs to step up and make this holiday happen. Yet I found myself (again) hosting Christmas (again) with guests (again) and last minute shopping, wrapping, decorating (again) and cleaning and cooking and cleaning (again) before I jetted off to Mexico where BougieSis caught the flu, gave it to me and I spent New Year's huddled under an electric blanket with antibiotics.

No. Bueno,

I returned to work this Monday to find that not one but two employees were promoted out of my already understaffed team so I was left with a team of one and a half people to do the work of six. I went into a status meeting with a client and of course had my hindparts handed to me because I couldn't commit to taking on any additional work. Oh and it was windchill 12 effing degrees outside so my trek to the treadmill felt like a march across outer Siberia. I made it for 18 minutes on level 1.7 before my lungs revolted and I hacked and coughed my way back to the house.

I'm living so sexy.

And don't get me started on my love life. Really. Let's just let that simmer on the back burner until my energy is back where it needs to be. Suffice it to say dude said he was sorry I didn't feel well, did that mean I wasn't cooking for the game? {Insert epic side-eye here}

Okay, enough whining. Please do not go look in the archives to remind me how many times I say "This year, I'm doing ME!" I lowkey mean it this year. Superwoman needs a nap, the cape needs to be dry-cleaned and the boots require new heels and some polish.

I'll be the writer/blogger/HR Consultant propped up in the corner in Snuggie (do they sill make those?) - How's your new year starting out?

Monday, January 05, 2015

Happy 2015! I resolve... not to make any resolutions

I cannot, in good conscience, kick off one more January with a peppy New Year, New You! post. I cannot. Let's face facts. We did not magically become new people between midnight December 31st to 12:01 am January 1st. All the faults and foibles we possess are still there. We are who we are for the most part.

What a new year DOES do (just like a new day only with a bigger sketchpad) is give you an opportunity to draw a different road map. You don't get to hit a reset button really but you can say, "I'd like to do x and y and z this year" and people nod and encourage you to do so. However, if it's the exact same x and y and z you've resolved to do in multiple years' past, allow for the fact that folks are going to side-eye the hell out of you. 

But that's okay too. I, for one, have decided against the annual making (and breaking) of resolutions. I'm just going to continue to be a better me, whatever that turns out to look and sound like. 2014 was more win than lose for me so instead of picking it apart, I'll just take the W.

However, I will take a moment to talk about broad lessons learned in 2014. And yes, some of them sound familiar because apparently, I'm the sort of gal who has to learn things the hard way and more than once...
  1. Rarely do the best things happen overnight or without a bit of sweat equity. This counts in relationships and work.
  2. Be careful what you wish for cuz you just might get it. Can I get a witness?
  3. Not everything you want is what you need. C'mon somebody.

What about you? Did you keep to your 2014 resolutions? Trying again this year? Do share...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Boobs and P! Power - Scandal and a PSA

In the words of the Commodores - How can she lose those things she use?
In mid-September, I was running errands when one of Plano's finest pulled up behind me and flashed his lights. Le Sigh. I pulled over with a smile on my face, rolled down my window and spoke, "Hi Officer, how's your day going?" He paused and then blinked. "Um, better than yours. You don't have a front license plate, your inspection sticker is out of date and I can't find proof of insurance on this car in the system." I handed him all my documentation, explained about the inspection sticker all the while smiling and chatting about the weather, the Cowboys, the price of gas, whatevs.

"You are the most pleasant traffic stop I've had in a while." He informed me while he typed up $600 worth of fines into his little handheld. 

"Well, no need to make you feel bad about doing your job. Plus I was just headed to Zumba class so it's not like you're totally ruining my day." I brightened the smile and fluttered the lashes. 

"You know what?" He offered, leaning in. He may or may not have been ogling the boobs. "I'm not supposed to do this but let me tell you how you can get almost all of this excused and pay only a tenth of the fine." 

"That would be soooo awesome," I cooed and wrote down every word he said. He thanked me for my pleasant attitude and we went our separate ways. On the day I was supposed to go in and prove I had fixed all the stuff, I clickety-clacked into the Collin County courthouse, stood in line for 52 minutes (with a lot of really cranky people) and finally handed over my paperwork. She typed my name into the computer and looked up. "One second." She made a phone call.

Everyone stared at me like I was about to get Seal Team 6'ed up outta there. Officer Friendly came out from the back and motioned for him to meet me in the lobby. "Hi there!" I waved. He laughed and said, "Let's take a look." We went outside, looked at the car, he signed off on the paperwork. We walked back in and I saluted him, "Thanks for the service, you be careful out there." He walked away shaking his head. No, Officer Friendly was not cute. He was just a guy doing his job who enjoyed not getting cussed out.

When I handed my stuff back to the clerk, old girl said, "That will be $11." I didn't ask any questions, slid a ten and one across the counter. The guy that was behind me in line looked over and announced, "It must be awesome to have boobs." I grinned, "It rocks." He look stunned that I acknowledged that I had flirted my way out of a $600 fine. Then I hotfooted up out of there before somebody changed their mind. 

Last night on Scandal, Papa Pope was livid that Olivia out-maneuvered his nefarious plot to get rid of Jake while shaming Fitz. When he came to confront her at the pool, she calmly removed her goggles and told him that she had weapons at her disposal that he never would. Okay?! Boom-chicka-wow-wow and whatnot.

She basically touted the power of the p! to her daddy. Admirable? No. But totally true. 

Speaking of girl power, ladies - today is the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness month - did you get the girls checked? Medically and professionally, I mean... SMH. Get yo' mammogram on.

Ladies, I would ask if you've ever unleashed the power of p! (or merely exercised your God-given estrogen-powered right to be charming) to get something you wanted but that would be giving away the secret sauce, wouldn't it? Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cocoa vs. Chocolate - When a casual conversation goes terribly wrong

For clarification purposes, let me start out by explaining that I started referring to naked aerobics between folks as "swirling the cocoa" or "sharing the cocoa" or "stirring the cocoa" (basically all verbiage involving making and partaking of cocoa) a few years back. I can't remember why. I had a good reason at the time and then it kind of became a thing: Cuddle cocoa, pity cocoa, hot and bubbly cocoa vs. yesterday's cold and curdled cocoa, measuring a man's stirring implement, sipping vs. over-indulging... you catch my drift.

Now that we've cleared that up, let me share a crazy conversation that I participated in the other day. It was an innocent enough get together of 6 girls and 4 guys. We ate and then three of the guys wandered off. Someone came by and offered me dessert - a chocolate mousse pie thing that I turned down with a sigh. I announced to the girl on my left, "I miss chocolate."

She nodded and said, "I miss sex."

The room went completely still. Even the crickets were like, "Wait... what?!"

Another girl sitting across from me kind of double-blinked and asked me, "Why did you give up chocolate? Are you allergic?"

"My waistline is allergic." I announced and everyone laughed. Awkwardness in room diffused.

Girl to left pipes up again, "You can live without chocolate though,  there is no substitute for sex." The three guys that had wandered off reappeared and took seats. Two leaned forward. One rubbed his hands together. Oh dear. We were really about to have this discussion?

Let's get the people in the room straight. There's me, guy I was with (Guy1), girl to my left (GTL), Trey, his girl T, Bryan, his wife Jazz, Some other dude (Dude), the girl seated across from me (Girl4) and then some other girl who shows up from time to time (RandomChick).

Before the guys could start, Jazz asked: "Why have you given up sex?"

GTL explains (in a lot of detail) that she's given up on men. Girl4 stops her in mid-whine and says, "Friend, that what toys are for."

Dude declares, "Toys are no substitute for the real thing."

Three of the women exchange looks and go silent.

Dude asks, "Seriously, the toys make up for not having the real thing? That's just not possible." He looked around like his feelings were about to be so hurt. I wondered which of the chicks in the room he was dating or had dated. 

"Sometimes the toys are better than the real thing!" RandomChick says. Hope it wasn't her.

Again, ladies - there are things we may think to ourselves and there are things we say in mixed company... learn the difference. Much chatter commenced about toys vs. human touch.

Trey asks, "Okay, if you had to chose between never having human interactive sex again or never buying new shoes, which would you do?"

I winced. I mean, shoes are important. I immediately started thinking of an out. "I get to keep all my current shoes?"

Bryan laughs, "You're going to wear something out, the shoes or the man. Which will it be?"

His wife answers, "Some of my shoes have been with me longer than you. I'm low-key tempted to go with shoes." She laughs, "Naw - I'll take you." No one 100% believes her but we let it ride. #DontStartNoneWontBeNone

Dude says, "That's like asking a man to give up sex or SportsCenter. I can catch the scores later."

Guy1 asks, "Bruh, you are comparing a man watching SportsCenter to a woman eating chocolate? That's not even apples or oranges. More like watching Durant vs Bron in a game seven for the championship."

"Like never disturbing your man during the Superbowl." RandomChick says.

"Or your woman. Is there a law against having sex while watching the SuperBowl?" I joked.

Guy1 is now side-eyeing me up and down. "Let's say you had to chose between sex and chocolate for the rest of your active sex years. Which do you pick?"

"Sex, for sure!" I say immediately. (I'm no fool) "But let me qualify that, it has to be good sex. I'm not giving up my chocolate high for lackluster cocoa."

"Right like when you really want chocolate, you want Godiva truffles, not a damned Hershey Kiss." Trey's girl T said. I like her.

Girl4 was like, "There's really no substitute for chocolate though. It releases serotonin and makes you feel so good."

Trey, "Like orgasmic?"


"Then why not just have the orgasm?" Guy1 asks.

Thirty minutes into endorphins, serotonin levels, calories burned vs calories consumed and I nipped it in the bud. "It's a moot point because you can have both. On a great day, you can have both at the same time. Okay?"

High-fiving commenced but the question remains. If you had to chose between sex and chocolate, which would you pick? And is this not the silliest that turned serious discussion ever had?


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