Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Black Friday Experience

For the first time in over 5 years I decided to do "Black Friday". Now I had everything planned in my mind and I had stacks of coupons in my oversized Dooney and Burke bag ready to go. I actually started shopping this past Tuesday on Amazon and managed to get one book (urban literature; I am so ashamed) and two DVDs ("Maria full of grace" and "I am Legend") for less than $20. This was a great deal. "I am Legend" was only $2 brand new, widescreen edition.

As soon as midnight hit on Friday, I saw some online deals that looked great. I only bought from one place, Philosophy. Paypal makes it incredibly easy to spend more money than you should. I bought body wash and lip gloss for a flat fee (free shipping) for $10.

I got up late to go shopping at the mall (around 8:00 am). I get to the mall and it's like a regular Saturday. It was no types of packed or anything. The busiest store was Chikfila. I thought maybe everyone shopped early since the mall opened at  6 but I overheard one of the cashiers at Express say that they could let some people go home early because it's dead. There was this sexy black dress at Express I wanted. It costs $120 and you could get 30% off. I tried to justify this purchase in my mind but my ass doesn't go anywhere so I didn't buy it. I buy my sister's present from the mall, but that's really it. I wanted to exchange this bra I bought in NYC but Vikki's didn't have the bra and I wasn't going to return it for $3. (I had used a good ass coupon on the bra)

My next stop is Target.  I actually spent a nice chunk at Target. I bought baby stuff for my cousin's baby. Girl baby outfits are beyond cute and I went in. And I got some Nuks for her. I love how cute nuks are. For myself I got a shirt. And a mirror for my house so I can see how I look when I am working out. (HEY!!!!!) and a box of Pepperidge Farm Gingerbread cookies that I have smashed already.

In the midst of all this, I go to the bank and complete my credit card application (I was approved! Let's continue to improve the credit into 2010) and upgrade my checking account to a more premiere one. I felt good about those positive steps I am making to get financially sound again. I am planning on another financial blog soon to give some advice (not professional, just things I learned) before December is over. It will update on everything I have done since I made the Do Better Blog.

Overall...the day was semi-productive. I think I could have stayed home and worked. I actually got back in the house by 1 pm. But I could have just stayed in the bed and shopped online instead of venturing outside.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Movies You Should See: Precious (by Sapphire)

I know I have probably already ready 50-11 reviews on this movie. Well here is another one. Mine is most important. I will try not to spoil the movie for people.

First off this movie is based on the book "Push" by Sapphire. The book is a heavy read and does not back down to harsh realities. A lot of people I know who dislike this book claim that it's "unrealistic" and/or "very negative." The book does not have a traditional happy ending. I will even compare it to "The Color Purple" where Celie suffers many injustices in her life but the book ends with her getting back her children and Celie and Mr being friends. (Yes, they are friends...did you read the book? Reading is SO "fun"damental!) This book just ends; and it leaves many readers dissatisfied because it has been etched in our minds that books should end happily. Well life is not always happy; sometimes it's all you can do to survive.

However, I disagree with those who think the book is too sad. There is a progression that Precious goes through from the beginning of the book to the end. The book does not end how you may want it to end but ends with "hope". And that is hope that Precious will keep striving to provide a better life for herself and her kids.

The movie is incredible. A lot of reviews I read said it was graphic and upsetting. I am assuming that the people who say that did not read the book. There were several scenes they down played in the movie that could have been traumatizing (i.e. the numerous rape scenes, the scene when Precious has "mongo", and the scene between Precious and her mother on the couch). I find the scenes with Precious and her friends at the alternative school and at the hospital after she has Abdul to be uplifting and inspiring. I do wish there had been a scene where they told the back stories of the other girls because they all had their own pain and struggles. I was slightly upset that Blue Rain was not cast properly but I do not believe it takes away from the movie. I do feel that casting her as a dark skin woman with locs would have ADDED more to the movie; but the movie is more complex than just race issues. One line that made me smile was when Precious realized that Blue Rain was a lesbian and she says her mother says gays are bad but Precious says "lesbians not the ones who raped me (parapharsing)". I did hate the fact that she stole a whole bucket of chicken when in the book it was a 2 peice meal. I mean I guess they wanted to really illustrate the whole "obesity" issue. And I loved Monique's extra ass Baltimore accent "Bitch don't nobody want YEW!"

This movie deals with a lot: incest, teen pregnancy, abuse (physical and sexual), color issues, illiteracy, obesity...and more. Precious is the girl down the street who every one picks on. She is the girl who people turn their nose up at because she is so dark and fat. She is the girl who I cried for in the middle of the movie. She is the girl I will continually pray for every night. There are real life Preciouses (is that right? LOL). I know one personally, and I will not go into the details of how I know her, but I do know that she was picked on for being different and keeping to herself when the truth of the situation was deeper than anyone realized. I probably know more but will they ever admit to what happened? Of course not, especially if their own mothers allow them to be raped.

I think this is an important movie for everyone to see. People should not be put off by Tyler Perry and Oprah's names (I don't get the TP hate at all...). Their names were added AFTER the movie received rave reviews at Sundance. And if Monique does NOT get the nomination for Best Supporting Actress, then it's racism because she killed that role. So much so, in the scene where she is talking to the social worker, I cried. And in the book I was like "fuck this bitch" but I CRIED hearing the words on screen. It was heavy.

4.5 stars out of 5.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Things I learned on my random trip to NYC

I went to NYC for a few days this week.
Now I am home and I am somewhat sad about that. I love NY. I don't know why. I guess because I always wanted to live a "fast" life. I debated  making a day by day blog about my experiences but decided that no one wants to read all that so I will just list out all the things I learned in NYC.

*3 or 4 days in NYC is not enough: My plans changed each day. I did not get to see half the people I wanted or go to half the places I wanted. I did see the MOST important people to me in NYC and that was nice. It was like "Girlfriends" mixed with "Sex in the City." Now I realize that if I lived there, I will either be broke or drunk. Or both. If I could find a job making $70K, I will go. Seriously. Maybe only for a year.

*Umbrellas are so necessary: It started raining on Thursday as I walked my happy ass from 34th to 42nd. Everytime I come to NYC, it either rains or snows. I need to keep an umbrella on me at all times.

*Subways!!!!:  Okay this is two fold. One part is I need to buy myself a rolling suitcase. Second is that the subway system is nice. Okay many NY-ers don't understand what it is like to have to NEED a car in order to go places. If I could catch the subway in Baltimore, I wouldn't own a car. For what? The money spent on  buying a car, insurance, and the upkeep is ridiculous and I'd rather use that money paying off debt and travelling. But alas, I learned how to take the subway and I won't even tell you how Katie and Karen didn't tell me that C train runs express and doesn't stop at 23rd so I had to hop off and run around the station like a fool until I heard the A train say next stop 23rd and I ran on that like a crazy woman. But I must look SO NYC because quite a few ppl asked me for directions. And I gave them out.

*Obama has his own condoms: For those "hard times", we all need a "stimulus package" because "hope is not a form of protection" (and sry for the dark picture. I fixed it in Picasso but I can't find it. Oh well).

*Art means different things to different people: My best friend wanted to go to MOMA, I wanted to go to BAM. I sent her a link to BAM. We decided on BAM. We get there and she is upset that there is no "art" and we have to go to MOMA next time. I was confused. Apparently "art" to her is "paintings." She didn't bother looking at the link I sent her for BAM; and she must not have looked at the one for MOMA either because they don't have a lot of paintings. Either way, I am not a painting from Europe watching girl. I prefer my art to be from Africa, South America, Asian, and I like to my "paintings" to be in "picture" form. LOL. I loved the museum. Pictures will go up on my facebook.

That was it in a nutshell. I loved my visit, upset that I couldn't see everyone. I will come back to see you guys! (if you are reading which you should because I am soooo Gucci). I am going to try to go back in a few weeks. I'd like to go back for New Years (I am such a tourist); but maybe my NY/NJ girls will come to DC for New Years and we can party there instead. I did get to see "Precious" and that will be a seperate blog because I have a lot to say about that movie.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Because I MUST rep VA all day

If you tell me this song is wack, I don't fuck with you no more. Clipse is one of the best groups that has dropped in the last decade. Pusha T flow is crazy. Malice keeps it real. Come on now. And they from my state?!? What...(yes I still rep VA. I mean I rep Baltimore but Virginia is home). 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Books You Should Read: Medical Apartheid By Harriet Washington

 This is NOT easy reading. This is NOT light reading.
This is NOT a fiction book to read while you are chilling in the tub.

This is someone's thesis.

Medical Apartheid is a historical journey on the treatment of Black Americans from Slavery (Colonalism) to Modern time. It explores how people of color were often times used, abused, and treated as side shows all in the name of medical science. This book is exceptional.

It took me almost a year to read this book. It's 404 pages (512 including the sources that Washington listed), but is very complex. I read chapter by chapter and took breaks in between. The book inspired me to want to learn more about certain situations that had previously happened to slaves. Washington touches on various topics from sick slaves being sold to hospitals for research to black freedman being used to rob black graves for cadavers for white medical students to the Tuskegee experiment and on. I became very intrigued with the chapters on slave women and fistulas. I will save my readers on the graphic details of what a "fistula" is but to hear the pain endured by women was enough to make me put the book down for weeks. The book also sheds light on experiments being conducted on prisoners in jail, and how many men are forced to be a part of many clinical trials. These trials do not end well. Like I said, this is not easy reading.

One of the most interesting non-publicized "research" experiments touched on in this book is Planned Parenthood. Yes, everyone's favorite cheap spot for birth control and quick abortions began as a low cost clinic for black women. The aim was to allow cheap birth control and abortions for black women to essentially eliminate the black race by preventing births. (I am simplifying the chapters but this is it basically). Washington even breaks down the plan to use black leaders that our community would trust to lure black women to their facilities.

Now Planned Parenthood has gift cards! Nothing says I love you like a gift card to an abortion clinic. 

 But I digress.  This book is a must read for anyone interested in the medical field. I think it sheds light on the reason why there is such a big disparity in health care between caucasians and african americans.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bored and Tired

I feel like I haven't been blogging properly lately. It's hard because after work, I come home and work out and eat. After I eat, I get online to do my part time job for a few hours. It's very hard to blog while I am working, so I forgo it. I have managed to do bullshit blogs about random things but there are a lot of heavy things I want to talk about.

I just lose motivation and maybe I am outgrowing the internet. I log on twitter, and I stay on less than 10 minutes. I might tweet a few folks but then I am like "whatever...this is not popping" and go to Facebook. Facebook keeps my attention long enough for me to play Mafia Wars and then it's back to work.

I have a lot of things on my plate. I am focusing a lot of my attention on paying off this last credit card by the end of December. I have another debt with the state that I will pay off within a year I pray, and then the last few payments on this car so I can get right and buy a new one. On top of that, I am still trying to save for Africa 2010. (Apply for my passport next week! I need to remember to take a picture WITH my glasses this time)

I started thinking about moving again.

I will be in NYC in less than 2 weeks. I am hoping to get up with a lot of people, break bread, and start networking to see what it's like.

So please don't think the bullshit blogs mean I have fallen off. Well...that's what it kinda means.

Just know that I am busy focusing on me and doing big things. I have a lot of goals to meet by the end of the year and I really want to make it happen.

Stay Blessed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sneak Peak: The Princess and the Frog

Here are the first five minutes. It is still 'rough and dirty' but I am already in love. And can I tell you I laughed so hard at the little African American child saying 'Oh no I'd never kiss a frog!' and the little Caucasian girl saying 'I'll do! I'll kiss anything!!!'.

Good Times. Dec 11, 2009