2009 | NESHEAHOLIC

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Life is like a bag of popcorn

Life is like popping a bag of popcorn. Not only do you have to make decisions, but the timing of those decisions are also imperative. You don't want to wait too long to make a decision, burning your popcorn and ruining the "flavor" of your life. But you also don't want to decide to do things too quickly, leaving lots of un-popped kernels, or wasted potential. Once you've stopped the microwave and opened the bag, there's no going back - and once the popcorn is burnt, it's burnt.

Just like popping popcorn in the microwave, there is no magic "popcorn" setting (the popcorn button never pops the popcorn to perfection). You've got to listen as the kernels pop, until the popping is far apart, and then remove the bag. In life, you've got to keep your eyes and ears open to the opportunities in front of you. Being observant and patient, and timing your decision correctly.

Now we've just got to figure out the timing to give us perfectly popped popcorn.






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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A cure for your depression

I heard recently about an organization that takes "at risk" youth from the inner cities, those from low-income families and rundown neighborhoods in the U.S., to other countries, like Africa, to volunteer in the villages. The goal is to show them what "real" poverty is like. The purpose isn't to belittle their personal situation, but rather to show them that there are people out there who have it much worse. Most important, what volunteering also does for the inner city youth is give them a sense of worth. On a day to day basis they feel like they have nothing, but on their trip they are able to give to someone else, which definitely boosts self-esteem.

Under normal circumstances the last thing someone would think to do in order to deal with their own problems is help someone else with theirs. But there is an intrinsic value to being able to help someone else. Feeling down this holiday season? Not enough money for the gifts you want? Travel plans aren't coming together? Take the opportunity to make someone else smile. Something as simple as volunteering your time to help someone wrap gifts, or decorate their home. No time? You obviously have the Internet. Send someone an e-card who you know is having a rough time. It doesn't even have to be planned, help a mother with their stroller on the escalator at the mall, or help a grandmother carry her granddaughter's mini-convertible to her car. I guarantee you that being the facilitator of someone else's happiness will make you happier.

~Spread Joy~


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gender roles and double standards


A gender role is defined as a set of perceived behavioral norms associated with males and females, in a given social group or system. It has occurred to me that no matter how much we try to move past it, gender roles are ingrained in us.

I'm all for gender equality in the workplace and such, this post is focused on the gender roles within the family and relationship structure.

I think many times women, or maybe I'll just speak for myself, don't want to be tied down to "woman's work" but we still want our man to take care of the "man's work." I can't scream for equality in what traditionally has been considered tasks of a woman, while not wanting to accept those that have been traditionally considered tasks of men. Men and women are different, we are meant to be different, and there is nothing wrong with that. My husband is outside shoveling snow and I plan on making dinner. I'm fine with that. I don't want to switch. And that doesn't make me any more or less of a "real" woman.

We can't escape gender roles, and I don't think there really is a need to. We're built differently and we have different biological/hormonal structure. We are made differently so that we compliment each other.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Non-Christians during Christmas time

I feel like being non-Christian around Christmas time must be like being Black all the time. What I mean by this is that during this season Christmas is default. The main decorations in malls and offices around the country are Christmas trees. Not many stop to place a menorah or kinara (for that matter, I've just realized that "kinara" isn't even listed as a word in the spell check on this computer). In December is when a non-Christian feels most intensely that they are a minority, or not part of the default.

I think I can accurately equate this to being of a minority race or person of color, on a regular basis. This has nothing to do with racism at all, but just the feeling of knowing that you are not in the majority, or not the default. In a simple thing like purchasing make-up, a dark skinned woman will find that the "regular" foundation is in a shade for white women, and that her color must be found in the "alternative" shades. On the same token, pagan celebrations, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all seen by the mainstream as "alternatives" to Christmas.

I'm trying to be mindful, more this year than I've probably ever been before (because of two new lovely Jewish co-workers) of being all-inclusive in my holiday cheer, saying "holiday" rather than "Christmas" and acknowledging the dates of other's holiday festivities. But, I can't help but be excited about my holiday, CHRISTMAS. It's a joyous occasion to celebrate the birth of my savior and I'd like to scream from the rooftops about him. My excitement stems from CHRISTMAS, my joy of the season comes from that. And all the other pretty notions of family, giving, love, etc. are subcategories to the birth of the Light.


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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You better care about politics

A lot of people say "I don't care about politics." You NEED to care about politics.

Register to vote, be informed, and vote in any election you can!

This is the problem.This is the reason that our politicians are walking all over us. We aren't informed, and we don't vote. (we being the collective/general "we") Specifically, if you are of color or a woman, do you know how much blood, sweat, and tears went into you getting the right to vote?! Don't waste it!

I'm not saying everyone should be out taking political science classes but read up on the issues every once in a while. I can't say that I am as well versed in politics as I should/could be, but I know its importance and I try to keep up.

You can't not care about politics! Decisions are being made about your future, and the future of your children, and you're just sitting by watching reality television (no offense to reality TV )

P.S.- Don't you dare complain about political policy and decisions if you aren't doing what you have been granted the ability to do in electing officials who represent your ideals. There is a lot of crookedness in politics, but we can do our best to keep things as straight as possible.


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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You could have had a Queen...

You search for a prince charming but you could have had a King.
You stripped him of his robes with foul words and a bitter heart.
Regressed him back to a frog because you were blinded by his staff rather than taking your seat at the thrown beside him.

You needed a Queen.
But instead you bred a princess, spoiling her with unkept promises.
Knocked off her crown with a Pinocchio nose after your lies turned her fairy tales into hell.



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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Personal sins shouldn't require press releases

In a press release Tiger Woods stated "personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions."

This was in response to the overwhelming sentiment from the public and the media that he had to talk about the whole golf club to the back window - running into a fire hydrant -cheating accusation, incident.

I'd have to agree with Tiger on this. Personal/familial transgressions and problems shouldn't have to be talked about to feed the public's hunger for knowing everything about a celebrity or politician. A cheating spouse shouldn't be a public issue - it is between the married couple and their family- nor should it cause someone to lose endorsements (unless the endorser is something like a marriage counseling organization or something similar) or force them to step down from political office. Infidelity/adultery is a serious issue, but not something that should have to be made public when it doesn't affect the populace.

Now there is a line between what should be private and public for celebrities and public figures but I'm not sure where it lies. In the recent child molestation allegations surfacing about R & B singer Pleasure P, I feel like that is something that should be made public. I think the difference to me in this case is that child molestation is a crime, one of those crimes held at the highest of people's criminal hierarchy. I'm not sure if that is fair, but that's how I feel.

My public vs. private criteria:

Private: A politician cheats on his wife
Public: A politician cheats on his wife and writes off traveling expenses to his mistress as state spending

Private: A celeb has a car accident
Public: A celeb has a car accident and a dead body was found in their trunk after the accident


Yes, public figures put themselves in the public eye, but they are human like everybody else.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Love

Love takes no account

If you do things out of love, do them purely in the name of love. Don't feign to do for love, but really do in anticipation of reward. Love keeps no tally, no ledger of what's given and received.

1 Corinthians 13, verse 4 & 5:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Failure

There is something to be said about the times you do all you can, and still fail. That is a true test of personality, a true test of heart. When there is more that you can do, it's easy to have the "shoulda, coulda, woulda's" but when you've done all you can and you fail, what do you do? They always say that failure is never trying, but what about when you try hard, to no avail? It's a hard pill to swallow, a failure out of your control. You can say "Well, there was nothing more I can do," but that doesn't ease the heartache of failure.


How do you deal with failure out of your control?

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Movies should have happy endings

A lot of the criticism I'm hearing about Lee Daniel's Precious is that it was too sad or too dark or too emotionally intense. The way I see it, Precious was REAL. It showed one of the ugliest sides of life; some people used that to characterize it as a bad movie.

I think this stems from our need for movies to have happy endings, for good characters to be redeemed and for bad characters to be punished. We seek out movie entertainment for things to go "right," unlike our lives where things happen that aren't always fair.

It can be argued that entertainment should just entertain and make us feel good, but I admire a story where filmmakers don't feel the need to wrap everything up in a neat little bow before the credits. Some people live happily ever after, others sadly don't.


Should movies have happy endings?
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The lure of twitter

Something I've come to realize about what makes Twitter a special little place on the interweb is the convergence of celebrities and us "regular people."

There has always been celeb websites but never before have we been given the allusion of actually knowing a celebrity, being privy to when, what and where they are eating, their first thoughts when they wake up, and their last thoughts before they go to bed.

It makes our day to be able to @mention or RT (retweet them). Even a person not very consumed with celebrity culture will get excited to "follow" their favorite author or politician.

Twitter: where everyone can know someone "important."

I'm cool, so follow me.


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friendship is a two-way street

It's an old saying, but it's true. If two friends have not talked for five years, it's neither of their faults, or both of their faults, depending on how you look at it. Friendship, like any type of relationship, contains two people and takes two people to make things work.

It amuses me to hear someone say "She hasn't called me in 2 years, I'm so upset, we're not friends anymore." Phones, e-mail, text messages, facebook, they are all two-way communication devices. If she hasn't called, and you haven't called, who is to blame? There isn't really a person to blame, unless you blame both parties equally.

It's easy to put the blame of a lost friendship on the other person, but before you do, please examine your efforts, or lack thereof, in the friendship.

Now, if one person is continually attempting to make contact, talk, go out, etc., and the other person isn't responsive, that is when blame can be placed. Otherwise, pick up the phone, and start the ball rolling on rekindling your friendships.

Life is a hectic, busy, thing, and I do wish I had more time to keep up with my friends from all walks of life. I'll have to try harder.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heath Ledger vs. Mo'Nique

I saw the movie "Precious" this weekend. I thought it was a good film. The term I've been using to describe it is "intense." Good cinematography and great acting with a heavy, yet well executed, plot. There is already Oscar buzz surrounding actress Mo'Nique for her role as the mother in the film. I think she did a phenomenal job.

My husband asked if I would say she was better than Heath Ledger as Joker in Batman. My initial reaction was "heck no!" Heath Ledger destroyed (that's destroyed in a good way) that role in a way where no one will ever be able to play the Joker again. He will forever be the Joker. But after I thought about it, I think I would place Mo'Nique on the same level as Ledger. The Joker is a very complex character to play, being insane and all, so a person might say that it is "harder" to play the Joker than to play the Mother in "Precious." But for all intents and purposes, the Mother is mentally ill as well. Both were so committed to the characters that audiences have very visceral reactions to them.

I think both actor's performances can be acclaimed on the same level.


For those who have seen both films, would you say Mo'Nique and Heath Ledger's performances were of equal caliber?

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Left 4 Dead 2 - Someone who looks like me!

Left 4 Dead 2 comes out today, but lucky as I am I had it yesterday and played well into the night. First, let me say I give the second version two thumbs up. Its everything that a game sequel should be. There are new zombie types, melee weapons, challenges, and (my favorite) new characters. I was so happy to see that one of the new characters was a Black woman, like me!

Now, I played the first version happily, even without a Black woman avatar to choose from, and I would be playing the second version just as happily even if the new character (Rochelle) wasn't in the game. But it makes my gaming experience *that* much more fun to have a Black woman with locs as my avatar.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My problem with ABC's "V"

I was really excited for the premiere/pilot of "V" last week on ABC. I'm into sci-fi, and with the recent success of "Flash Forward" I was looking for ABC to come at me with a one-two punch of great television. Thus far, I've been disappointed.

The premise of the show is that alien "visitors" or "V's" have landed/ are hovering mother ships above Earth's largest cities. The majority of humans embrace the V's while others are against their existence on earth. Prior to this formal "landing" V's already inhabited earth secretly, some good, some bad. Looming is the questions of WHY? the V's have come to Earth. Noting V traitors who seek to help the human race, the answer is probably something bad.


Earth - V relations are unrealistic
Nations cannot get along with other humans that have been on earth for the same time span as they have, I find it hard to believe that countries would so easily accept the V's onto the planet. At the arrival of the ships there was note of ONE military plane attempting to shoot at the V's ship. One plane? Whenever an aircraft that our military cannot communicate with is in our air space, its gets shot at, or at least surrounded by our air force. You are telling me that in none of the countries on Earth was military sent to check out the ships? Unrealistic. Of course I don't expect the series to explore the relations in real time, as it would probably take longer than this TV season to delve into the resistance , but by the second episode countries are already starting to grant alien's VISA's. Unrealistic. In the U.S. we've faught for years over citizenship of immigrants who cross our borders illegally, but in the span of about a week ALIEN's get VISAs? No.

Also, they look like us, which makes sense. It was even noted by character Chadd Decker (played by Scott Wolf, who looks earily like Michael J. Fox) that the V's look like what the main stream would consider attractive. I understand this being intentional, humans will trust people who are attractive, studies have shown that, but there is no mention on how they will be distinguished from human beings. They are letting them onto the earth with no way to immediately distinguish them? No tattoo or signiture arm bands? Humans are just not that trusting.

Character development = way too fast
There are many storylines happening at once, and multiple characters being looked at, which is fine, but things are going so fast that relationships aren't clear. The relationship between FBI Agent Erica Evans and Father Jack Landry, which I believe will be a central relationship, is very ambiguous. It isn't clear as to whether or not they knew each other prior to their first onscreen encounter at a V-Resistance meeting. There are many characters and many storylines, but they don't seem to be getting fleshed out at all. Actress Lourdes Benedicto, who plays Valerie Stevens (fiance of a V-traitor) is shown in all the major cast shots, which leads me to believe that she is an important character. Why then, at this point, has she been almost nonexistant in the story? I'm all for inference, but there seems to be non-strategically placed holes in the story.

Not all bad
In the end I wouldn't call the show all bad at all. The cinematagrophy is great, and I'm intrigued by the notion that anyone could be a V. It will be fun trying to decipher who is human and who is V as the season goes along.

I believe this is the third attempt at the series since 1983.

Rating: B-
(for reference, I give "Flash Forward" an A)
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Friday, November 6, 2009

White Beauty

The cosmetic company, Pond's, has the below commercial out in India. I watched the commercial three times to make sure I was getting the right message. I determined that I am seeing what this commercial is saying, loud and clear: Dear women of India, if you want to keep your man, you need to be as white as you can be, because white is beautiful. As the commercial says, their product can give you white beauty, in either a pinkish-white glow, or a pale white.

As a person of color this upsets me. Not because I don't think white is beautiful, but because I think all colors are beautiful, and marketing a product that attempts to sell one type of beauty over another is shameful.


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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Obama, the face of our nation.

Why is it that people see other country's like of our president as something negative? Whenever non-American support of our president is mentioned its always portrayed as something bad. Why?

I think its because American's are so xenophobic that they think other countries should have nothing but fear for us and our president, as we seem to fear other countries. Oh yes, we fear other countries. This war wouldn't have been supported as long as it has if people didn't think that we needed to bully other countries into our way of thinking in order to keep them from attacking us.

What about friendships? What about positive relationships and positive perceptions between nations? I've always thought that positive begets positive, and negative begets more negative. One day, somebody will have to step up and be the bigger person, to say "we were wrong, what can we do to make things right?" (I know it is not as simple as just saying that, but the sentiment of that statement is what I mean).

I think President Obama has made good strides into "marketing" the U.S. in a more friendly way, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

We don't have to rule by fear...then again, why do we feel like we need to rule?
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Fail

I was really excited for yesterday, my first time setting up shop to give out candy to trick or treaters. The hubby and I went to BJs and got a big box of chocolate bar miniatures and some small packets of Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids.

I was ready. I was so excited to see the first group of kids approaching. As they got closer I noticed none of the four of them had on a costume. There was no parent but the oldest looked about 12. When they approached us one of them said "Can I have some candy?" and the others said nothing, just went for the bowl. They took over-stuffed handfuls, nearly cleaning out my whole bowl and ran off to the next house. ONE of them did say thank you. I was shocked. I didn't even have time to think to say something. This wasn't what I had envisioned as my first Halloween as a trick or treat home.

I think the only word I can put on my feelings was disgusted. These children had no manners and no Halloween spirit, just pirating for free candy.

I'm a holiday freak, so maybe I'm taking this more serious than I should, but the whole situation made me some mixed version of sad and mad. I'd be lying to myself if I tried to say that the fact that they were Black kids wasn't a part of me feeling the way I did. The thing is, before and after they came to our house, they went to other houses in my condo. Being one of what I believe is two black houses in the complex, I felt shamed by them to my neighbors. I don't want these kids to be what my neighbor thinks of when they see my husband and I at the mailbox.

In a perfect world, people would be judged on what they do, and what they do alone. But the world isn't perfect, and people project the actions of others onto groups of people with similarities to them, and in this case that similarity is darker hued skin.

My second, and sadly, last, group of trick or treaters (since it started to rain) was four adults who were accompanying one very cute little girl dressed as Marie Antoinette. The women she came with made sure she said "Trick or Treat" and said thank you. She politely got one packet of Swedish Fish and a few chocolates and went on her marry way.

That’s how you do Halloween right.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

No babies, anytime soon

As life continues post-wedding/honeymoon, the most asked question I get, second to "How was the honeymoon?," is some variation of "When are you going to have babies?"

My answers are: "No children in our 3 year plan," "I'm afraid of babies" & "I don't really want kids."

As far as the three year plan goes, we have one more year of renting, then we want to maybe buy a house w/i the next year after that, and at least have a year in that new house before we go making any offspring. Ideally there won't be any children popping out until we've been settled a couple years into the house we buy.

I am, literally, afraid of babies. Toddlers I can handle, but infants/newborns scare the ba-jezus out of me. They seem so fragile. Everyone always says how babies are probably more resilient than adults, but I'm so afraid to hurt their little bones and organs. I mean their necks need to be supported since they have no neck muscles yet, they can't sit up, its just too much for me. My niece, who is now almost two, when she was a baby and I was visiting home I either couldn't sleep, or I was up every hour looking at her in her crib to make sure her little chest was rising and falling.

At this point in my life, I don't really want kids. Outside of them scaring me, I just don't have a desire to have a child. I'm still pretty young, and probably in a few years as my biological clock is ticking louder I'll start to feel a "mommy twinge" but right now I'm not at all interested in children. I'm focused on career and building up my relationship with my new husband. Many will say that it is selfish for a woman not to want to have a child because she is focused on herself or career. I guess I can kind of see where that mentality can come from but I know myself, and I know where my priorities lie currently. I can't see why I should be faulted for having a preference of not wanting a child.

Motherhood is a HUGE responsibility, and just like many other things in life, I don't think it is something to rush into at all, even if society says your baby oven is what makes you a "real woman."

To the mothers out there, MAJOR PROPS to you. You are obviously real life super women. I won't be joining your club any time soon, I'm still getting a handle on managing career, housekeeping, and one other life outside my own (my husband).
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Financial Stability vs. Happiness

People always say, don't worry about money, you can't use it when you die. While that may be true, a lack of money sure makes it hard to live. Even with that being said....

There was an article in the Metro a while back that talked about how more and more college students are steering towards more traditional or stable majors like engineering and education because of the instability of the job market, instead of going for more creative based majors like journalism or performing, even if that is where their passion lies.

As a college graduate who graduated with a major in communications and a minor in theater I think its sad for a person to be in a position where they have to chose money over happiness, albeit necessary at some times. I think I just missed the curve of college students graduating into the up and down economy we have now - or at least before the media decided to make it a hot topic. Even still, when hearing my concentrations people always asked, "What are you going to do with that?" And I'd answer, I want to work in public relations and marketing for a performing arts based company. 6 months after graduation, that's exactly what I was doing, but I was very fortunate.

A person who hates math and science but goes into engineering because "thats where the money is," but they'd rather be studying creative writing, isn't really going to feel fulfilled. Money can only fill so many spaces before our true passions are left dry and empty.

There has to be a balance somewhere. A balance between doing what truly makes you happy, and doing what needs to get done to pay the bills. I absolutely love my job, but if I could have things my way, I'd audition and perform full time and do my "real job" on the side. But for now, it remains that 'the 9-5' is my husband, and performing is my mistress ;-)
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why doesn't God fix it?

In times of poverty, famine, natural disasters, crime, violent occurrences, etc. nonbelievers will ask "If there is a God, why doesn't he fix it?" or a believer will ask "Why doesn't God fix the situation?" I won't attempt to give God's answers to these questions, but I have my own hypothesis.

I think God doesn't step in because a miracle isn't needed in a lot of the situations that plague the earth. Humanity has the means to solve many of the world's problems, so why should he be called upon to solve a puzzle that we created and can solve? Poverty is man made. If humanity started to really walk in love, setting aside greed, and help people, the instances of crime, homelessness and poverty would go down. In countries where 10% of the population have 90% of the wealth, its obvious that a different distribution of funds could help those less fortunate.

Even in many cases of natural disasters, these things are caused by the damage that we have done to the earth over these billions of years.

Its in humanity's power to fix things, and the problems were brought about by selfishness and greed of humankind. This isn't absolute, but its relevant in many instances. God works through people, and if people are unwilling to do his good works, then good won't be done.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Why marriages fail

I've only been married for one week and one day, but this is something that can easily be observed by anyone, newly married, single, or married for years.

In many instances, couples have unrealistic expectations about their lives and their partners after they are married. Marriage doesn't change a person's habits, personality traits, opinions, beliefs, etc. If a person chews with their mouth open before they get married, they are likely to chew with their mouth open after they get married, even if it annoys their significant other. Getting married doesn't change a person.

This isn't to say that taking those vows doesn't make a person strive to be better in their relationship, but you can't expect a complete 180 degree change of a person. You have to know the person you are in a relationship with, and understand the fact that the things that annoy you about them when you are dating will still be there after you are married, and weigh whether or not this is something you can overlook for a LIFETIME.

I think in many instances by the time the wedding manicure and pedicure polish has faded those quirks and annoyances start to annoy more than they had before. This is only natural, as a person starts to realize they will have to deal with this til death do they part. They key is to think about this BEFORE you make it to the alter. Marriage should be taken seriously and people should truly take the time to think about the worst thing about their partner, and if they love them enough to deal with that worst thing for the rest of their life. In theory, that other person will work on their flaws, but in the instance that it will take them a long time to work on it, can you stay in it for the long haul? If you can...get married.

Marriage is just a grand step toward a lifelong commitment to work on a relationship. The relationship is still going to take work, there will still be arguments, good times and bad times, but the stakes are/should be greater, because it is a lifelong commitment.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Honeymoon Files

What will be missing below are photos of the two coolest things we did during the honeymoon - Scuba Diving and Segwaying around the Bahamas. The scuba diving photos are on a disposable camera that I have yet to develop yet since we just got back to Philly, and the segway photos are on my digital camera which I believe I left in my stateroom on the cruise ship , hoping to recover that tomorrow.

The first port was Grand Turk where we went scuba diving. Scuba diving was AWESOME and SCARY! I've jumped out of a plane, but water scares me lol. I thought since scuba diving happens close to the surface of the water that we would be in the shallow part of the beach.....NOT! They took us out into the middle of the ocean! I was so scared, I clung to the boat the whole time, but it was an amazing experience seeing schools of fish and even a barracuda up close!

This is us, sipping drinks from our carnival cruise ship souvenir cups lol


The next port was Half Moon Cay where we hung out at the beach and swam in THE MOST blue clear water I have ever seen, with sand as sparkling as a diamond, I kid you not!


The third port was the Bahamas where we had the most fun of all. We took a off-road segway tour around the Bahamas, and it was awesome! I SO want a segway for Christmas now lol. For those who aren't familiar, a segway looks like the contraption below.


Let me tell you, this machine is the coolest invention since sliced bread lol. You control it just by shifting your body weight.

Being on the ship was also awesome. We ate SOOOO much. 24 hour room service, 24 hour pizza and ice cream, cleaning of our room and changing of our sheets two times a day, who could ask for anything more? Not to mention we had a room at the back of the ship with our own little balcony!

On our second night the dinning room staff surprised us with cake and a singing of "Happy Honeymoon to You." This is the picture they took as we sat, with the eyes of all the other diners on us lol.



One of the things Carnival is known for apparently is towel animals. Every night when we came back to our room which had been cleaned for the second time in the day, there was a towel animal waiting for us!


I think this one was a seal

This was something cute, not sure, maybe a dog? rabbit?


My favorite, the elephant!



Since Halloween is close there was a "Fright Night." Here is me and the hubby with the "fright" creatures lol.




All in all, I'd say I had a pretty AWESOME honeymoon!!!!!Woot!!!!!



P.S.- pray with me that my digital camera is recovered.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Homeless Veterans

Homeless Veterans

Those words together absolutely disgust me. How dare a government or country allow for men and women who protected and fought for the rights of this nation to live on the streets? There are only a few things that can really strike my emotional nerve, and this is one of them.

30% of the homeless people in Philadelphia are veterans. How is that just? Homelessness in general is a sad plight that many people have to deal with, but to be homeless after returning from risking their lives for all of us? That is the ultimate slap in the face. This video was put together by one of the veteran's centers in Philadelphia (there is also a link there to donate if you would like).

They provide meals, a place to shower, get a haircut and do laundry for veterans. They also offer psychiatric and medical evaluations along with legal counseling. They help them find a place to live and give them job training and even transportation to work if they need it. They provide these services, as actual government provided VA hospitals are closing. It makes my blood boil to think that services like these are even necessary for our veterans. What happened to all the promises that were made by our government of education and sustainability?

A slap in the face to the women and men who risk it all so we can live freely. I don't necessarily support the war, but I do support our troops.
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Growing up...never happens

Growing up is hard to do never happens.

When you are younger you always think there will be some point in your life where you miraculously will grow up, or become a grown up. Usually this is assumed to be somewhere between 20 and 30. Things don't really happen that way. I'm 23, and I feel like I have grown, but that there is still a lot of growing to do. I think it will always be like this. At 60 I feel like I'll still have more to learn in life. Growing up isn't an achievement, but rather a progression. It starts at birth and continues all the way through death, and from start to finish there are lessons to learn.

Signs that tell me I am growing up:
(may not be applicable to everyone)

I'm getting married
On October 18th 2009 to be specific. Now, marriage in itself doesn't make anyone more "grown" than anyone else, but I believe that the mindset that I've learned and developed that has put me in a place ready to marry, makes me know I have grown as a person. Committing to marriage means that I have acquired skills of commitment, trust, love, and the ability to comfortably feel responsible for and connected to another human being for the rest of my life. Growing up lesson: Its till death do you part, so make sure you are ready for life together.

My garbage stinks
This may come off strange but I think a person who's trash smells is a person who is eating and cooking well. In college living off of ramen and Easy Mac, my garbage didn't smell much. As I have grown in my culinary expertise and the trash is laced with remnants of vegetables and fresh meats rather than McDonalds wrappers, I am learning to provide through food for myself and my future hubby. Growing up lesson: if you can't cook, you can't eat.
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kicking you out of the "Big Girls Club"

A little while back Mo'Nique announced that she was planning on working to lose weight. A lot of her fans were outraged, claiming that she was turning her back on the "Big Girls Club" that had been her main audience throughout her career. This is absurd. Mo'Nique isn't saying "I no longer think big is beautiful, I want to be a skinny girl now," she's saying "I want to be healthier, and losing weight will help that." In an article I read today, she says she started at 262 lbs, is currently 224 lbs, and wants to get down to 200 lbs. For all those fans dissing her for wanting to lose weight and saying she's abandoning the big girls, remember, 200 lbs. is still no where near "the skinny girl," according to popular culture.

How can you hate on someone for wanting to be healthy? Yes, she has based her career off her larger than life personality and plus size. And, she's still going to be Mo'Nique, supporting that big can be beautiful too, at 200 lbs. I don't think she is selling out in the least. Mo' Nique is a role model for a lot of plus sized women who look at her and realize they don't have to be a size 0 to be beautiful, and I think this is something people should look at and say "she is comfortable with who she is, and wants to be healthy too." There is nothing wrong with that.


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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let Stand

On a lot of microwaveable meals the instructions tell you how long to heat up the meal, and then they say "let stand for 1-2 minutes." The standing after heating allows for any sauces to thicken up, and meats to become tender, and for all the ingredients to meld together. If you rush to eat it too quickly, it won't be at its greatest potential for tastiness, and you'll probably burn your tongue. You also don't want to leave it too long because then it will get cold.

This is life.

Sometimes you just have to let things stand. If you try to rush things, you will get burned. If you take too long to make moves, life will become stale and cold. You want to have that balance. Enjoy where you are when things are good, don't rush. If you rush you'll always be working towards the next phase without enjoying where you're currently standing. BUT, don't stand too long, and definitely don't stand in dirt, because then things get old, stale, and cold. Who wants a stale life?

It is hard to find that balance though. Sometimes its hard to gauge that standing time. Have you found your balance?
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Monday, September 28, 2009

The High-tech Happy Meal

On the occasions when I go to McDonalds I usually get a Mighty Kids Meal, which is similar to the Happy Meal, only with a little more food. So for about $3.50 I get a small fry, 6 chicken nuggets, a small drink AND a toy (Thats a good deal if I say so myself) In the last Mighty Kids Meal I bought, the toy was actually a CD. A CD as the toy in the new happy meals. The CD has five tracks, and its one of those KidzBop CD's, so there are covers of more popular songs done by kids with some of the words altered.

There was an insert with the CD, one side said:

Rock On! Play KidzBop Tunes on your McWorld Music Player! Only at happymeal.com.

and the other said:

You could be a KidzBop star! Create your video and upload it to kidzbop.com. See who's starring today!

My first thought on this was how un-kid like this whole Happy Meal "toy" was. It seems very reminiscent of more adult entertainment forms of the iPod and iTunes and youtube. When I went to kidzbop.com I was sort of surprised that it is pretty much a children's version of youtube mixed with a little iTunes. Kids have loggins, where they can access their "music stations" and they are encouraged to upload videos and host webshows!

Now, I understand that happymeal.com and kidzbop.com are attempting to offer alternatives to websites that may have content not suitable for kids, and that is wonderful, but is it old fashioned of me to think that children's Happy Meal toys should encourage imagination a little more? Dolls, puzzles, figurines, etc. Are we past the time when children play with non-electronic toys, and create their own worlds? I use to play Barbie dolls for HOURS. I created different families, and stories lines, and was entertained for a very long time by my own imagination.

As adults I think we are primarily entertained by various screens for hours on end. In my mind kids should have, or have, a different type of entertainment regime. While our toys are gadgets and gizmos, theirs are stuffed animals, blocks, dolls, and figurines or coloring and drawing.

Are we turning into a species where our main entertainment source is motherboards and microprocessors, as soon as we hop out of the womb? Is this a good or bad thing?
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hair Misorientation

About a year and a half ago I decided that I would no longer chemically straighten my hair. I was spending lots of money, and going through painful treatments to make my hair straight. I decided that I was trying to conform to a standard of beauty that wasn’t me. So I decided on only natural styles from that day on.

Hair is a huge part of what makes a woman feel like a woman, and I decided that I was trying to be a woman that I was not. I feel that the way I care for my hair now and the styles I keep are more of ME than ever before. It isn’t easy, as I am still in transition and dealing with two different textures of hair at once (natural and chemically relaxed). But I can’t wait for the day where all my hair is natural , I’m sure sooner or later I’ll just cut off all that isn’t ME.

The moral of the story to women, or men, or whoever would like to take this to heart is to love yourself the way you are, if it takes pain and strife to make yourself look another way, maybe it’s better to just be you?

The below video was one of the things that began my thinking about changing the way I dealt with my hair, it also made me cry, because undeniably, there is still residual psychological effects of the past on our present and the way that Black people see themselves. It says its 13 minutes long but you only really have to watch about 7 minutes up to the credits, but please watch it if you have the time. PLEASE PLEASE watch it if you have the time.


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Friday, September 25, 2009

The 6 Commandments of Internships

Internships are a tricky thing for both organizations and interns. I have devised a guide, an internship bible if you will, to clarify the boundaries in an internship.

The most important thing to remember is that an internship is suppose to be a mutually beneficial relationship. Both intern and organization should come out of the relationship satisfied.

FOR THE ORGANIZATION:

Thou shall not limit the intern to coffee-runner.
Yes, part of being an intern is doing menial tasks that those working for the organization don't want to do. Sometimes there are copies to be made, envelopes to label, or letters to fold, and that's fine. But making an intern do things completely unrelated to the organization like getting your coffee and picking up your dry cleaning isn't cool. Remember, mutually beneficial.

Thou shall be patient
Its not always easy to deal with teaching an intern, although some are great and very receptive. You have to be patient and understand that in many instances this is the first time the person is getting hands on experience in the field. Take your time, teach them well, and sow the seed for them to be successful at what you are teaching them, in the future.

Thou shall be prepared
I can admit I've struggled with this one myself. You have to have tasks for the intern to do. Devise a plan, make a schedule, so that the intern isn't just taking up space, and wasting both of your time.

FOR THE INTERN:

Thou shall ask questions.
Don't just take instructions and complete tasks without thought. The purpose of an internship is to LEARN in the field. Ask questions, ask WHY things are done a certain way, or HOW the system in place came to be.

Thou shall exceed.
Doing only what you are told is limiting yourself, and not taking advantage of your internship opportunity. If you are an intern you are at a unique place. You get experience in the field, while still having the leeway to experiment and make mistakes. In a real job you will be completely held accountable for your mistakes, in an internship you get to try things out.

Thou shall be professional
You want to make a good impression on the organization you are working with - with your work ethic, dress, personality, etc. A bad impression on a company who could potentially hire you in the future is a BAD thing.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Clean your carpet

You know how when you get a nice new carpet, its so clean and fresh and soft on your feet? After a while, after many steps are taken on the carpet, through the daily messes and spills of life, the carpet gradually gets dirty. It happens so slow that you barely notice it. Then one day, you rearrange your furniture, and see that square of still sparkling and soft carpet that has been protected by the couch covering it. At this point you want to clean the carpet, to get it back to the splendor it once was, or you want to overhaul and get a whole new carpet. You remember when the carpet was fresh and new, almost perfect, and you realize you want that back. Before seeing that square patch you had gotten use to the stains and dinge the carpet held.

That is life. There are daily trials and tribulations in life that make our carpet dirty. The key is, don't get use to the dirt. Don't settle and become complacent with the dirt and grime of life. Always remember that clean patch of carpet. The you before you lost your job, the you before your husband/wife left you, the you before you lost that loved one. Remember that shiny clean patch, because if you get use to the dirt, it can over take you, and make you forget that you once had a glimmering, soft carpet to walk on, and once you forget, its hard to get that back.

Don't let the stains stay on your carpet forever. You can be clean again.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Relationship Myths Busted

I don't understand why relationships get a bad rap!

I can't be in a relationship, I love my family, and I don't want to lose them. Being in a relationship does not mean you lose touch with your family. If you are with a good person, that person becomes a PART of your family, and perhaps later you will create a family with them of your own.

I don't like relationships, I like to be my own person. Why can't you be your own person and still be with someone? Once again, if you are with the right person, you will be free to be exactly who you are. Pretending isn't an innate part of relationships, pretending is an innate part of BAD relationships. You should always be free to be yourself. In a relationship, as opposed to in some friendships and dating, there are no boundaries. Friends and dates, and sometimes even family don't know the 'real' you, the you that is there when the work clothes are taken off and the world isn't watching. Your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife, however, knows you, and you can be comfortable with just being free. Your faults, weaknesses, they can know them, and not care, because they love you.

Relationships are no fun. I like to go out and have fun with my friends. Once you are in a relationship, when you go out to the club with your girls (or boys) you don't have the constant rambling in the back of your mind: "Do I look good? Will someone give me their number tonight? Will anyone ask me for my number tonight? Why are all my friends getting all the attention and not me?!" You can relax and have a good time out at the club, bar, show, restaurant or whatever, because you aren't consciously or subconsciously on the 'hunt' for anyone. There is no rule that says people in relationships can't still have a social life outside of those relationships.

I have dreams that I want to fulfill. When you are in a unit, your dreams are multiplied! Now you have someone to travel with you across Europe, someone to edit your dissertation papers while you are studying for your doctorate and someone else to share your dreams with.

*A GOOD relationship doesn't have the problems that people like to use for why they don't like relationships.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with being single either, just don't unjustly put relationships down
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Raw Fruit Theater Troupe's "A Taste of Sisterhood: Learning to Swim"

"A Taste of Sisterhood: Learning to Swim" in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

Come out and see Raw Fruit Theater Troupe's Fringe production!!!

September 4th-6th @ 7pm
Freedom Theater
Tickets only $10!!!!!

"Raw Fruit Theater Troupe presents A Taste of Sisterhood: Learning to Swim. This unique medley of new and timeless short plays celebrates various facets of sisterhood. Laugh, dance, and get your feet wet! Adapted/directed by Jamila Capitman, featuring playwrights Kirstin Greenidge, Elaine Jackson, and Ntozake Shange."

We've been mentioned in the Philadelphia Weekly here: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/arts-and-culture/stage/XX-Marks-the-Spot.html

You can purchase tickets here: http://www.livearts-fringe.org/details.cfm?id=9208

Come out, support me and support Raw Fruit!!!

MISSION: Raw Fruit Theater Troupe is committed to creating theatrical opportunities for women of color in Philadelphia. Raw Fruit promotes the celebration of womanhood and cultural awareness.
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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Reality of Healthcare

There will never be true health care reform because hospitals are all in Washington's pockets. Whats good for the people, isn't good for the bank accounts of the health care racket, so the people will continue to suffer; in debt because of medical bills, or dying because of lack of treatment. The actual HEALTH of Americans is the last thing on the minds of the people most invested in this debate. The "health care" industry is just another business, where dollar signs will make the final call....which is sad.

Hospitals already see individuals using Medicare and Medicaid as "bad patients," because they only get 80% of the bloated amount they would like to charge for their services. These patients are looked at as a LOSS to them to treat.

Really? A loss? Treating a patient and making them healthy is a loss?

You would think that everyone wins when someone's health is improved, but that's not the case. The people with the most money are the people who deserve to be healthy, apparently.

Money before medicine.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Get off book

In acting there is a phrase called "getting off book," which means no longer using the script, and performing the lines through memorization. Often actors will try to hold on to the script as long as they can, using it as a sort of crutch in the rehearsal process. While script is still in hand the actor has the excuse to look down at it for their lines, or not fully be in their character. Only when you are off book can you truly start to act, truly start to fall into your character, truly make the performance come to life.

Its the same in real life. Some people spend all of their time planning for what they want to do in life, but never actually start DOING anything. Its dangerous to hold onto your plans as a crutch and never move forward to actually living the life you've planned out.

Don't be scared, let go of your script, and take the stage!
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Escalator Trolls

I've been pretty busy lately, working, wedding planning, and preparing for my show that opens next weekend. So any chance I get to relax, even if only a few seconds, is important to me. But people seem to not want to let me have my relax time! Let me set the stage for you...

Its a day like any other. You are in the mall, airport, train station, etc. You leisurely step onto the escalator and intend to enjoy the ascent/descent, to take those 20 seconds or so as a break from your day....nope.....the person in front of you rushes up the already moving stairs, and you can hear the person behind you sighing and breathing loudly in a tone that you know is meant to tell you to hurry up/down the escalator.......escalator troll.
---------------------------------------------
Dear Escalator Troll,

I'm sorry that you mistakenly went up my automatic staircase when you meant to take the manual stairs. I will not be moving until this staircase takes me to the end of its mechanical road. If you wanted to set your own pace, you are in the wrong place. Next time, when you want to walk up the stairs, don't get on this moving staircase, get on the regular stairs. Thank you. Dweeb.

Signed,
LaNeshe
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Coffee is my drug

I consider coffee a drug. It alters a natural state of being, therefore, it is a drug. Just as all drugs, everyone has their own "prescription" and "dosage" for coffee. In theory, the back of my coffee maker should have a medicine label that reads:

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Why Women Carry Large Purses

I use to always say "I will not be a big purse woman!" I'd see all these older women (well older than me) toting their large purses and I swore that, that would never be me as I slung around my small clutch purses....and they I grew up. Now sometimes I even have to carry two bags to hold all the things I need for everyday life.

Why women carry big purses:

1. Make up: when out all day, running errands, working, etc., a woman may need to reapply lip gloss, lipstick, eye liner, lip liner, mascara, foundation, etc.

2. Lotion: Once again, being out all day, especially in the winder, our skin gets dry, and that is unacceptable.

3. Pads, tampons, liners, oh my!: Can never be unprepared, for yourself, or for a fellow woman warrior battling "that time of the month."

4. Painkillers: We get headaches, and we need to get rid of them.

5. Phone, Wallet, Keys: The holy trinity of the purse

6. A book: Books allow us to take control of our own time, if we are waiting for the bus, or in our commute on public transportation, we have a good book to keep ourselves busy, or from thinking about all the things we have to do when we get where we are going.

7. I-pod: If we don't want to read a book, we'll listen to our music.

8. Snacks: Who knows if we'll get to take a full lunch throughout the day, when all else fails, nutrigrain or granola to the rescue!

9. Bottle of water: to wash down our nutrigrain or granola bars.

10. Shoes: Chances are throughout the day we will do some swapping between our "cute shoes" and our "comfortable shoes."

11.Mirror:Remember that make up we carry? We need to see where we are putting it don't we?!

12.Sweater: It is possible that the AC is too high in the summer, or the heat isn't high enough in the winter, so we are prepared.

14.Umbrella:We are prepared for rain,as well.
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