Friday, December 24, 2010
What are some of your favorite things?
Feel free to post them!
10. Mogen David Concord Wine: Because it's red, it's sweet and it's smooth and it creeps up on you after glass number two. It's relaxing and it's tasty!
9. My phone: I need to stay connected to my kids and my family so I can't be without it. (This includes landline and cellphone!)
8. Dove Body Wash & Deodorant: Gotta smell good and I gotta be fresh every time I walk out the house. Dove smells amazing and it keeps my skin moisturized. As women get older, our skin gets more dry so I have to make sure I'm not crusty by the time I'm 60.
7. My Make Up: I'm a make up guru. I love MAC Cosmetics, Mary Kay, Almay, Maybelline and Revlon. Rimmel is good too but these are the only brands I wear on my face. I've learned to go light on the lips if I'm heavy on the eyes and vice versa. Mascara, liquid eyeliner and blush are musts when doing great make up.
6. My Library Card: I love reading books and renting movies for free. People don't realize how convenient libraries are. They're everywhere and everything is free. They offer free wi-fi, free Internet access, free books, movies, etc. They have activities for kids and classes/workshops for adults. I love the library. I go at least once a week.
5. My iPod Touch: Music, games, apps, need I say more?
4. My Purse: My purse is an extension of my fashion sense.Next to a great pair of shoes, I always try to rock the hottest style and fashion trends when it comes to my purses. My favorite brands right now are Guess bags and Kathy Van Zeeland bags. Burlington and Macy's offer great deals on these two trendy brands.
3. My Debit Card: Visa baby! It's accepted everywhere.
2. My Family: They're with me everyday when I wake up and before I go to sleep. We do everything together and we are a very close knit family. As my kids get older, it's more about their cellphones, Facebook and texting with their friends. But they manage to squeeze me in once in awhile. I cherish those moments as well as cuddle time with the hubby.
1. God & His Word...Bible baby!!! The bible says "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. "
Posted by BigCityIntellect at 3:39 PM
Monday, December 20, 2010
So yesterday morning I knew I wanted to go to church but I was so tired and I didn't feel like leaving the warmth of my bed to walk 1 block around the corner in the freezing cold. But around 9AM I woke up and decided to get myself out of bed, wake up my kids and get our butts to church. We missed Sunday school but we were right on time for church.
The sermon was wonderful. Pastor Caffey drew her sermon from Matthew Chapter 6. I was so moved by this sermon I know my mind has changed the way I think about materialistic things. She discussed that God should always come first in your life even before your family and friends. That God and your eternal salvation are more important than a house, clothes, money, jewelry, cars, etc. She went on to preach that people need to stop putting so much focus on things that you can't take with you. Things that can be taken away. Even people. God wants us dependent on Him. Not independent from Him. He wants us to understand that no matter what, He will never leave us. Materialistic things go away but your faith in Him should be steadfast.
As Christians, it is important to make sure we read the word of God and get understanding. It is important that if we have a family, that we take our families to church. It is also important to keep people away from you that mean you harm mentally, spiritually and physically. I want people around me that are like-minded. That share my views and that don't try to turn me away from my path to God. That's nothing but the devil. I want to surround myself with people who believe that God is the head of their life and that nothing and no one is more important than Him. I don't want to waste my short time on this earth, spending my precious time with people that care more for materialistic things than God. People need to understand that jobs, money, cars, clothes, houses can be taken away. Nothing is promised. Let it go. The bible says "no man noeth the hour or the time"...meaning you don't know when you will leave this place. Anything you accumulate can't go to the grave with you.
So many things are happening and yet we still turn a blind eye to what's really going on. Record unemployment, record foreclosures, crime on the rise, the list goes on and on and yet people still think bling, bling, and popping' bottles is what's up. As one who has experienced the end of several unhealthy friendships and the loss of my corporate job, I know all too well how quick you can have something and how fast it can be taken away. Through some very trying times, loud arguments, nasty emails, crying and screaming, I have learned for the last time what's most important in this life. This life isn't forever. Death is 100% certain. Now is the time I need to prepare my soul for the afterlife, as this is the life that is eternal. If people don't repent and build or re-build their relationship with God they will be lost. Take care! God bless!
Scripture verses: (St. Matthew 6:19-34 KJV)
Posted by BigCityIntellect at 11:27 AM
Thursday, December 16, 2010
What's the big deal with Facebook? Why are 1 in every 10 people on Facebook? Why are there over 500 million people using this social networking site everyday all day? What's the fascination with Facebook? At one point in my life, I was using Facebook over 10 hours a day. I had over 2000 friends and I was playing on average, 5 game apps a day. Very addicting games might I add. I was connecting with old friends and making new "friends." I was updating my staus every hour on the hour like I had a Twitter account. Don't get me wrong Facebook is a great tool to connect with friends and family and play games and upload videos and pictures if it's used responsibly. Not every person on Facebook is capable of being able to use a social networking site with a mature attitude. Since I joined Facebook in June 2009, I have been subjected to stalking, cyber bullying, racist messages in my inbox, spam, negavive posts about me, tagged in photos without my permission and solicited by businesses and MLM schemes. I have played games and been good at them and I have been atttacked verbally by people who are not good sports about a game.
Now that my kids are using Facebook, I have to constantly monitor their accounts and inboxes. They don't like it at all. They feel I am invading their privacy but I know I am doing what all parents need to be doing. Honestly, I wish I could reverse the decision to even allow them to have Facebook accounts. I am afraid of some of the behaviors I have witnessed on Facebook. Some of the posts I have seen by my kids and their "friends" is quite disturbing. I don't condone this behavior at all. There have been times where I have banned them from using Facebook, and somehow they find a way to access it behind my back anyway which is another story all together.
Basically, it comes down to this: Facebook has taken over the world but it doesn't have to take over your life. You can control how often you use Facebook and what content you have access to and what others can see. Since September of 2010, I have deleted over 2000 people, I only play 3 games, I don't post my status anymore, I have strict privacy settings, I don't have pictures of my kids and family on Facebook and I don't share any personal details like my phone number and address either. I do log on everyday and I admit I need to reduce the hours I am accessing Facebook. When I stopped using Facebook for several weeks in September thru October, I felt fine. I had no anxiety about it. I didn't even miss it like I thought I would. I had more time on my hands and I didn't have any drama in my life. It's not a big deal. I am confident one day I will be over Facebook and quit it all together. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, it could be next week, one never knows....((wink))
(Image taken from: http://thenextweb.com/google/2010/04/24/facebook-google/)
Posted by BigCityIntellect at 1:58 PM
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sorry I haven't been on in almost a month. I didn't really have much to say these past few weeks. As I reflect back on the events of 2010, I walk into a new year with a new outlook on life. 2010 brought end of friendships, end of family relationships, new friendships, loss of job, change in income, kids starting new schools and grade levels and finally death. This year was full of ups and downs, but it was good. This year I was selected by the city to get advanced technical training in Microsoft, and I was blessed to work with an amazing group of people that I have bonded with over the difficult process. I was able to finally join the gym and make working out a part of my daily routine and I've forged new professional relationships through networking and word-of-mouth.
But in 2010, I lost a friend of 20 years over a petty disagreement that was escalated. I also was not able to make amends with my sister, after months of not speaking over a separate petty disagreement. In the end, the loss of those two relationships makes me appreciate the relationships and the friendships I do have right now. These events have made me extremely selective in how I use the word "friend" and what a true friendship entails. I've learned yet again, that successful friendships and relationships happen when you bond with like-minded people, that share your views, values and mores.
I'm happy to share that I've found a renewed relationship with God. I think I have finally found a church home for me and my family that will be a good spiritual foundation that we need. I enjoy the people and the services and the message in the word. I was reluctant to join a church because I was afraid of the added responsibility, but I think that is backwards thinking. I mean I joined Facebook and LinkedIn and other social networking sites. I joined Blockbuster.com and Ancestry.com and Netflix.com and have magazine subscriptions. The point being that if I can join all these things, why can't I join church? The bible says: "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." (Proverbs 25:28) The bible also says: "Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction." (Proverbs 10:14)
Anyway, I digress. The lesson I'm taking away from 2010 is to be careful who you let into your inner circle and what you share with them, be thankful for the people that have your best interests at heart and support your dreams and aspirations, and love your family and put no one before them. Appreciate what you have even if it's not much, and never value materialistic things and money over people, knowledge, wisdom and intelligence.
In 2011 I will continue to do what I've already started to do. I will continue to read more books, watch less television, eat healthy, work out, spend time with friends and family and stop cussing. I will choose my words wisely before I speak them and value the people who mean the most to me.
Every year I vow not too make New Years Resoulutions. I don't believe in them. In over 30 years since I've been on this earth, resolutions have never really worked for me. I believe in starting the new year off on a positive note, but I think if you want to make big changes, why wait until the new year? Start now. What's stopping you? But hey, that's just me.....
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you! Enjoy, be safe and God bless!
Posted by BigCityIntellect at 12:19 PM
Saturday, November 20, 2010
(Warning! May contain spoliers!)
After begging my husband for weeks to take me to see "For Colored Girls", I wish I hadn't. The movie is based on the 1975 play by Ntozake Shange titled "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf"; but by the time you see the movie, it might just make you suicidal! Not only was this movie equally as depressing as "Precious", it really made black men look just down right rotten! I'll give you a side-by-side comparison as to how each movie portrayed black men:
"For Colored Girls":
1. Rapist black man
2. Down Low HIV positive back man
3. Father who murdered his children black man
4. Adulterous black man
5. Philandering black man
6. Theiving black man
1. Father who repeatedly rapes his daughter black man
2. Father who gave his daughter HIV as a result of the rapes black man
3. Verbally abusive black man
4. Physically abusive black man
5. Emotionally abusive black man
6. Mentally abusive black man
Tyler Perry never holds back on black men in his movies. He covers all the bases! Didn't leave one stone unturned. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he does have positive male role models in his films, but they are few and far between. In fact, in all of his movies, there's a black man who falls under at least one of the categories named above.
Whoopi Goldberg played a crazed religious fanatic with a hoarding problem. Tyler did absolutely nothing for this Academy-award winning actress in this film. I was highly disappointed in her role.
Janet Jackson was beautiful to watch but she was a nasty, angry career-focused shrewd who contracts the HIV virus from her philandering, down-low husband. Karma right?
Loretta Devine portrays a slightly annoying, loud-mouthed, nurse with a heart of gold. Not much else to say about her character...
Kimberly Elise's character is an abused mother of two small kids who watches her children die before her eyes, as their father drops them out a five story apartment building window. Her character was weak and was not ready to face the role she played in her children's deaths, as she knew their father was psychotic and should not be around children.
Thandie Newton played a "loose" woman. Basically sleeping with every Tom, Dick and Harry, literally...need I say more?
Phylicia Rashad was my favorite. She portrayed a woman who cared about her neighbors lives and wanted them to be better people and not settle. She was the backbone of the movie, I would say.
Anika Noni Rose's character played an innocent and naive dance teacher who is raped by an "friend" in her own home.
Kerri Washington plays a child services worker who is having fertility issues with her husband and feels guilty that she did not do enough to save the two abused and murdered children.
There were quite a few supporting roles in the film, but roles that were down right mind boggling. For instance, Macy Gray played a back alley "abortion doctor" in the hood, apparently doing it for years and never getting caught....yeah right! Then there's the actress who played Whoopi's youngest daughter who actually went to the back alley for the abortion...ridiculous!
This will be a lesson to me to read the books/plays before I go drag my husband to see these movies. I was utterly speechless at the ending of "For Colored Girls"...this movie wasn't "for colored girls" ....it was for the garbage can.
But hey, what do I know? At the end of the day, Hollywood will reward this crap and one of these actresses in "For Colored Girls" will surely get an Oscar nod. Mr. Perry's version of "Push" A.K.A. "Precious" won the actress Monique an Oscar, eventhough she portrayed the devil in the movie so why not re-create the "magic" in "For Colored Girls"? I'm just sayin....
("For Colored Girls" Image from : blog.singersroom.com)
Posted by BigCityIntellect at 4:51 PM
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
My 15-yr. old son and my 14-yr. old daughter have cell phones. They have internet access on their phones and unlimited text messaging. These are now features I am considering changing due to a study that says "teens who swap 120 messages or more per day are far more likely to engage in sexual activity, drug and alcohol use." (Suntimes.com 11/10/2010)
According to the study, it's a red flag to parents that hyper-texting can lead to these high risk behaviors. The study also suggests that when parents monitor their childs text usage and social networking activities teens are at a lower risk.
"The research was done at 20 public high schools in the Cleveland area last year and is based on confidential surveys of more than 4,200 students."
"It found that about one in five students were hyper-texters and about one in nine are hyper-networkers -- spending three or more hours a day on Facebook and other social networking websites."
"Hyper-texting and hyper-networking were more common among girls, minorities, kids whose parents have less education and students from a single-mother household."
"The study is billed as one of the first to look at whether texting and social networking are linked to sexual intercourse or other risky behaviors."
From a mother's standpoint, it's imperative to monitor what your kids are doing on their cell phones and social networking sites. I am friends with my kids on Facebook and I regularly read their text messages, incoming and outgoing. I don't care what anyone thinks but my husband and I are responsible for making sure our kids don't engage in high risk behaviors. We are always with our kids (unless they are in school) and we spend time talking to them about sex and drugs and alcohol and the importance of being responsible and making smart choices.
It's easy to let your kids fall by the wayside but it's even harder to make sure they don't. It's a constant challenge but one I am prepared to meet.
If more parents took the time to raise their children and not rely on technology to do it, there would be no correlation between hyper-texting and sex, drugs & alcohol.
(excerpts from Suntimes.com 11/10/2010
Posted by BigCityIntellect at 1:15 PM
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
This week, the Chicago Sun-times reported that "72% of African-American babies are born to unwed mothers". This statistic is alarming but not surprising. I used to be part of that statistic. I had my first child at 18 and my second child at 20 all before I got married. I didn't plan this. I don't think any rational-minded woman plans this for herself. But we do need to take responsibility. Over the last 30-40 years the dynamic has changed. If a 15 year old Afican American girl gets pregnant, she gets a baby shower. Back in the day if this same scenario was to happen the child was "sent away" to have the baby and then the baby was given to a older, more financially stable family member or put up for adoption. It wasn't celebrated.
I take full responsibility for becoming a single mother. I knew when I got pregnant the man who fathered my child was unstable, had issues and was not prepared for this kind of responsibility. In my mind, I convinced myself that this was the right thing to do. I told myself that this baby was mine, I can raise him by myself, I don't need anybody, I need someone to love me that would never leave me, etc, etc....
These were all irrational reasons and 15 years later I am still learning the lessons of becoming a teenage mother. I come from a two-parent household so I know the importance of having both parents in the home.
The real issue is deeper than most people realize and that most people don't want to discuss. Here are the reasons why "72% of African American babies are born to unwed mothers..":
1. Lack of education, jobs, and money in the black community;
2. Black Men and black women don't respect each other;
3. Sense of hopelessness, failure and desperation;
4. No parental supervision or strong authority figure;
5. Already come from a single-parent household so creating one is not a big issue...
Lastly, another disaster that happened to African-Americans started back in the late 50s and still continues to this day references the public housing and welfare piece. If mothers wanted access to public housing and welfare assistance for their kids they couldn't have a man in the house. They were told to qualify for housing they had to be single mothers. This rule set by the government meant that if there was a father in the home who had a job but didn't make much money was not eligible to participate in the public housing program. They were forced to leave the home for fear of the mother losing housing for her and her children. In theory, I know what the government was trying to do. They didn't want the parents to keep making babies, but in reality, this bad decision has created generations of fatherless homes for African American children creating the single parent pandemic we now see in the African American community.
(Statistics taken from Suntimes.com 11/8/2010)
Posted by BigCityIntellect at 7:44 AM