March 17, 2015

Beignets or Bust - Life List #23

Back in 2010 I decided to sit down and compile a life list. Some may refer to them as bucket lists but the sound of that diminishes the importance of what this list truly means to me.

Many of the "things to do while I still have a chance" range from simple day to day goals to doing what some might view as unreasonable, improbable or maybe even impossible. Well you see that's the beauty of it. It's my list...and the only thing that will ever prevent me from achieving any of them is ME.

This past weekend, 5 years after starting this list, I was finally able to scratch of item #23. Eating beignets at Cafe du Monde's in New Orleans. 

It was our last day in The Big Easy. My girlfriends and I had attempted to eat there the day before but the line started at the entrance and ended at the gates of purgatory. This was going to have to be the day.

After walking about five or six blocks from the hotel we'd been sharing with Robert Durst....yes...that Robert Durst... we arrived at our destination. The line wasn't as long as it had been the day before. 

The sun was warm but the gentle breeze cooled my tingling skin. As I inched closer to the entrance, I took in everything. The tiny little tables...the people....the high vaulted wooden ceiling with ceiling fans whirling throughout this historic French market coffee stand.

All I could think about was my list. For five years I had refused to even think about eating a beignet. I had no idea what one even tasted like. All I knew is that I'd made a promise to myself to enjoy this experience at least once in my life....just the way I wanted.

We were quickly seated at a tiny little table with five chairs. The waiter cleaned what looked like an ant pile of powdered sugar, left behind by the previous occupants, from the table. 

As we took our seats, I smiled to myself. I knew exactly what I was going to have - an order of beignets and a cup of cafe au lait. 

The coffee reminded me of my childhood. My Aunt Bay and Uncle Richard had coffee every morning with their breakfast. Aunt Bay always placed her cup in a saucer and would pour a tiny bit in the saucer so that I could have a taste. You see certain superstitions have been passed down for generations in my of them being the notion that allowing kids to drink coffee makes them hard headed.... Ha! I think if we'd been given a cup with our breakfast we probably would have been a lot less cantankerous. 

Oh...back to the beignets. They literally melted in my mouth. Powdered sugar was every where and I didn't care! I was fulfilling part of my personal legend. A memory was being created that I will cherish for the rest of my life. 

Now on to the next BIG adventure.

November 24, 2014

Why Is Religion So Divisive

Oh...they want to save my soul? They believe the bible is utterly true because why? The bible says it's true. I've always questioned what made one religion so much more credible than another...and with age and very little consideration regarding what others think about me...I've finally been able to admit to myself and others that I don't subscribe to the fairy tale of Christianity anymore.

Don't get me wrong the bible is one of the greatest stories every told but that very same book that brings out the best in some people can bring out absolute hatred toward those who aren't like them in others.

I don't speak much about it unless I'm asked. Some listen and disagree. Others can see my point. But it's hard to venture off from something that's been (basically) beaten into our psyche since we were kidnapped and brought here as nothing more than chattel.


They nearly faint when I tell them I don't need a deity to save my soul. My soul is nor will it ever be lost. It is the purest part of every living being. It is God.

March 03, 2014

Why Such Outrage Over Achieving a Dream - Lupita Nyong'o

Yeah guys it's me and I'm back for an impromptu rant. First off I'd like to congratulate the talented and beautiful Lupita Nyong'o for her win last night at the star-studded Oscar Awards. Her riveting portrayal of a young slave touched the hearts of millions of viewers and captured the attention of the Academy that bestows this coveted award on a select few. However, there seems to be a few people of "color" who are dismayed and bewildered as to why so many black folk are singing her praises. As one man put it "what has she done for us to be proud of?" His argument is the fact that she was cast as a slave and movies about slavery only are made to remind us that White Supremacy is still alive and well in this country and that a true revolution and "PanAfrikanism" is the only way our existence can be secured. WTF!!

I was infuriated, to say the least, after reading this diatribe of garbage I started thinking which lead to typing. So here it is.

She didn't receive an award for slavery. She received an award for an extraordinary performance of her portrayal of Patsy, a young slave woman. Diligence, hard work, overcoming an inferiority complex (due in part to lighter skin blacks taunting her as a child), and excelling in her chosen craft won her that award. She was recognized by the Academy of motion pictures, a group who has certainly done a poor job in recognizing the works and contributions blacks have made in the movie industry, for that excellence.

Even in the midst of what I'm sure will be one of the most memorable moments of her life, Lupita remained humble enough to note that her happiness was due in part to the suffering those who were portrayed in the movie endured. "Why couldn't she have played a queen"...."why do blacks win Oscars for roles that depict us as slaves, white men's whores, and crooked cocaine snorting cops"...."she's not being a role model for other little girls"... I mean the list of foolery literally went on and on until I became physically sickened.

Lupita could have had the role of a broomstick and still been a hit. Her grace, poise, humility and God given talent make that a no brainer. She's a role model because of what she's accomplished not because of a role she played in a movie. TV and movies are entertainment. It's not the industry's job to educate our children about our past. If that were the case, black-ploitation would have ruined us all years ago. It's our job to tell them of our history, and it certainly didn't start with slavery.

Hollywood is very biased. The snubbing The Color Purple received years ago taught me that lesson. The sting was felt again when Denzel and Halle (both undeserving) won for those terrible roles in two of the worst films ever. But an attempt to discredit and devalue Lupita's success is wrong. She's thriving in an industry that's been blacked out for years. That, in itself, is monumental.

Yes, America has a long way to go in regards to race. We have still not arrived at the point where our country can be viewed as a post racial America. This is, however, the country were I was born. I wasn't "integrated" into society -- I am society.

A society where white privilege is woven so intricately into the fabric of our nation most can't even see it, especially if you happen to be white. I, on the other hand, see it's ugly face often. The battles I choose to fight are for my own personal reasons.

Now about this revolution -- who does this man who attacked Nyong'o think will be available to fight it? Our black men are killing each other on a daily basis. No lynchings....No debilitating injuries from the hand of massah's whip. It's GENOCIDE people!

High school drop out rates are up. College enrollment rates are down. We lead the nation in newly diagnosed cases of HIV but only comprise 15% of the population.

Aren't these issues more serious than the plot of a movie?! Let's get "ourselves" together before we start talking "revolution." Oh, and let's not mention the disproportionate amount of blacks incarcerated. Why? Do we commit more crime? No. But racial profiling, stiffer sentencing for crimes more likely to be committed by minorities, and few to no black folks on the bench = nobody giving a damn about this disparity but us.

I hope anyone who feels like others who've thrown salt and casted shade on Lupita put as much effort into finding solutions that are paramount to the future of our young black people and allow her words to resonate in the hearts of all.....

No matter where you are from, your dreams are still valid........"

February 26, 2013

Just Not Enough Time in a Day

I was just mentioning earlier today how I'll have to invest in a backpack pretty soon if things continue to go as they have over the last several weeks. I'm settling into school quite nicely. Some days I hate to drag out of bed, turn the computer on, do a bit of reading, answer a question, respond in a discussion thread, log back off and crawl back under the warm fuzzy cover.


Then I think to myself "kid you must be crazy - your classroom is either in your living room or on your lap. What more can you ask for?". The only thing I can think of is T I M E. I want to goof around on Facebook all day. I want to watch the Chopped marathon on FOOD Network. I want to read my favorite blogs. I want to see what the latest gossip is...but I just don't have the time.

Although advancing my studies in the field of nursing has been made more convenient via online studies. I still have to study. So, I might not be around as much...but I'm still here.

I've just finished my first course (with an A!) and will be tackling TWO this session...which starts next week. Wish me luck and I'll holler at you guys when I can.


February 18, 2013

"Life Is But a Dream" put me to sleep and.....

I had no idea Beyoncé Knowles (Carter) was coming out with a self produced documentary chronicling [in an extremely monotone and superficial way] what it's like to be, who else, Beyoncé. The documentary included no interviews of other family members. I mean this extremely successful entertainer has a mother, father, sister, husband, former Destiny's child group members, and others in her inner circle that we're oblivious of that could have shared a more real world account of what it's been like for her, at least through their eyes. She thanked her family members for certain things they'd given her. Her mother for tirelessly praying for her and being there for her. Her father for teaching her the shrewdness required to be a no nonsense business woman and her insatiable drive to achieve her goals and dreams.

Still when she spoke of her father there was a hint of sadness in her voice. Their split was a lot messier than the "daddy-it's-time-for-me-to-grow-up-and-make-my-own-decisions" that she attempted to pawn off on the millions (I'm sure) that viewed her documentary.

I won't spend a lot of time on Beyoncé. I would hate for anyone to mistake me being nosey and having nothing else to blog about this morning for a fanatical Bey lover obsessed with her every move - NOT!. One thing that I did notice was how she looked directly into the camera and spoke with such conviction, emotion and candidness........until the little exert about the rumors about her using a surrogate to carry her and Jay-Z's baby was brought up. Her eyes diverted left....then right...rarely did she look into the camera. All tell tell signs of deception. Does she think she'll lose her legion of fans simply because she chose to use a surrogate. They're not the only couple who've used this as an option, if this is truly the case.

I enjoyed my pregnancies but if I had the hush money to pay off an incubator.... I can't say that I wouldn't have done it too. Honey you can have these swollen ankles, full bladder, big(ger) nose and post-baby body...that it takes more than 4 weeks to be absolutely perfect again...if you were perfect in the first place.

I enjoyed your performances Beyoncé. You're a dynamic entertainer....but your documentary was just more hype and exposure..... .....

oh...but the baby was cute :-))