Just some thoughts, Ladies and Gentlemen. Right or wrong...just what I was feeling at the time. - S. Carter

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Father's Day, J.N.!

As Father's Day approaches, it's only appropriate that I dedicate a post to my Dad, J.N. He's truly the greatest!

I guess I'm what you would call a "Daddy's Girl." I'm the middle child of three, and the only girl. My Dad and I have always been close - in fact I still let him call me by the pet names he's called me for 28 years. And before you ask, no, I'm not telling! If you know me, or if you know him, you already know! ;-)

My Dad is seriously one of the kindest and gentlest men I've ever met. After serving Jesus, his family has ALWAYS been his top priority. He and my mom will celebrate 31 years of marriage in a few weeks, and their relationship stands as a testament that marriage, and BLACK marriage really can work. Dad has set an example for my brothers to follow as husbands (one is married, one is dating), and he's also taught me (through both word and deed) what to expect from the guys I choose to date.

I know Chris Rock says that you aren't supposed to celebrate people for doing things they are supposed to do. I get that. However, in a time when so many men are opting not to take care of (support/nurture/get to know) their kids, the men who do should absolutely get their kudos. Not only is my Dad a great father, he's also a wonderful son. As I type this, he's on the phone with my Grandma who lives 1,100 miles away, conducting their weekly Bible study.

So yeah, I just wanted to let it be known that I really do have the best father in the world! Happy Father's Day, J.N.!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Disrespect Starts At Home

Video courtesy of Komonews.com

I'm sure you have seen the video clip of the Seattle police officer punching a teenaged girl in the face. I know that's what people are calling it, and the punch is one aspect of the video, but in my opinion, it is not the major issue.

If you watch closely, or really, if you watch the video at all, you'll see the struggle that was taking place from the very beginning between the officer and the girl he was trying to arrest. Apparently, the girl in the black shirt was being arrested for jaywalking, and was trying her hardest to resist the arrest. Her friend in the pink clearly had an issue with it, so she started trying to pull the police officer off of her friend, and she ended up pushing the officer. To me, that is where everything went left. What gave the young lady in the pink the idea that she could strike a police officer? Even before that, what gave her the idea that she had the right to interfere with an arrest? I think it started at home - more specifically, with a lack of home training. Now, please understand that I think the police officer was wrong for punching the girl in the face - he could have done something else. But I get the idea that he'd be under similar scrutiny if he'd maced or tased the girl. The fact is that a police officer has the right to subdue a person who is interfering with an arrest. The girl should have respected his authority as a police officer, and let him do his job. In stead, she treated him the way she would have treated one of her peers, and got in his face and pushed him. Let me reiterate the fact that the cop did not have to punch her in the face, but he did need to do something to get the situation under control. After the girl in the pink was subdued, he went back to try to restrain her friend, who was STILL resisting arrest.

I know it sounds like a cliché to say that kids today have no respect, and I guess it some ways it is a cliché. However, it is also true. Today’s kids have a lot less respect for adults than they did when I was growing up. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought to put my hands on a police officer, teacher, or my parents (I would not be alive to tell the story if I had). That wasn’t something I had to be told – I just knew it was wrong. Somewhere along the way, though, this girl learned that it was ok to put her hands on somebody who wasn’t doing what she wanted them to do.

Should the police officer be punished? Maybe, simply because he could have exercised better judgment than to punch a teenaged girl in the face. In the long run, though, he should be allowed to keep his job, and any pay, benefits, etc. that he would normally receive.

This isn’t a racial issue (so please don’t try to make it one). That is precisely why I waited until this last paragraph to even speak on race. This is simply a situation where a girl thought she could disrespect authority was taught a very valuable lesson.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

People Don't Write No More...

Where are the real songwriters? I'm sitting here listening to "Never Keeping Secrets," by Babyface, and it just hit me - you really don't hear lyrics like this anymore. Nobody sings about love, it's just all sex, and "how much money can you give me," and my "bi**h is badder than yours." I mean, I guess there's a time and place for everything, but it seems like the time is overwhelmingly ALL the time, and the place is the whole of Planet Earth.

I don't know what it is, I guess people and standards have changed. I'm not meaning to sound old, because I'm really not, but there are very few new artists who sing about anything of real substance. Anyone who knows me knows I love Anthony Hamilton's music. Anthony sings about life, love and real situations.
To quote Anthony's "Never Love Again":

A man don't usually fall no more than twice
And if he does you'll never know 'cause he won't say
For the fear of being used, taken twice by the heart
It's in his nature to be afraid
He starts to wonder if it's really right, to let his past take control of his life
Maybe I'll run into hope, someone that's right for me
And share love freely and fall in love again.

That man is singing about something he knows!

Now take a gander at these lyrics from The Dream's
“Rocking That Thang":

Girl I'm in love with you baby, and I want you to know
That I'm hooked on your body, and I'm trying to be yours
Hear my words for their worth
Ain't just tryna get in your clothes
Okay, I'm lying. Damn you fine
And uhm...

Lol, what an appropriate ending to that stanza. "Um...what?!?" To each his/her own, but how can people listen music like this ALL the time?

When did people stop expecting substance in their lyrics? You know what, I'll tell you - the moment the first R. Kelly album went platinum. People (mostly your cousins), love to talk about how talented of a writer R. is, but really, his lyrics are pretty basic. I think I've discovered his lyric writing strategy - as long as it rhymes, and makes people dance, it's fair game. Think about the "Ignition" lyrics. And no I'm not typing them, because most likely you already know them. That song was HOT the year I graduated from college, and I'm not gonna lie, I liked the remix, but mostly to laugh at. Let's be real – lyrics like these are the reason he's not in jail now! It really seems like, in our community, as long as you can make people dance, you can do no wrong. That's sad. I wonder if they'll make a movie about him like they did Jerry Lee Lewis.

Now don't get me wrong, I like a catchy song with basic lyrics every now and then (Jamie Foxx's "Blame It" is one of my favorites), however, my musical taste is mature enough that I see a song like that for what it is. Simply put, it’s just a fun song, not something to emulate or really see any substance in. And no, I'm not saying that lyrics always have to be deep, but just like the company you keep, I'm convinced that listening to stupid, mindless music all the time makes you stupid and mindless.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Enjoy Being A Girl: Nails

So nails are my new obsession. I've always been into basic nail care, you know weekly manicures and of course pedicures every two weeks in the summer. But recently, I've been really into nails...new polishes, designs, techniques, etc. I guess it all started with my desire to try Minx. While watching an episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, in which a group of them went to get Minxed. I'd been wanting to go for a while, but I'd forgotten, so while watching RHOA, I set a Blackberry reminder to call the next day for an appointment. The next day I called, and made my appointment with the Minx specialist, and the rest is history.

My first Minx manicure, September 2010
Manicurist: Shabela C.

My second Minx manicure, April 2010
Manicurist: Shabela C.

OPI Axxium gel laquer in Bubble Bath.Bubble Bath used to be my shade of choice a few years ago. When I say shade of choice, I mean I got that color EVERY week!
Manicurist: Shabela C.

Mint Candy Apple (Essie) and pearl nail design, June 2010
Manicurist: Shabela C.

My manicurist is the best! She stays abreast of all of the new trends, and colors, and because of that, I usually end up getting whatever color she recommends. As a result, my favorite colors of 2009-2010 are: OPI's Russian Navy, Essie's Mint Candy Apple and OPI's You Dont Know Jacques. As I said earlier, I used to get OPI's Bubble Bath EVERY week! After I got tired of Bubble Bath, I moved on to Essie's Waltz, which is a little more white, but I love it, too. More recently, though, I've embraced color. So much so, in fact, that it's weird to look down at my nails and not see color. I just love being versatile!

While I'm shouting out my nail technicians, I also need to tell you about my pedicurist, Helen. Helen does the best pedicure ever! She takes her time, and really pampers your feet. The polish selection at her salon, Hollywood II Nails is pretty much only OPI and Essie (I'm a polish snob, so you know I love that), and she has just about every color.

So yeah, I thought I'd share. I'd love to hear from my readers about their favorite colors, techniques, etc.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Who Really Cares?

So everyone is up in arms about a rapper who will remain unnamed's comments about how he prefers white women over black women*. Big freaking deal! He's entitled to like what and who he likes - so is everyone else.

Does he sound ignorant? Of course. But why is everyone surprised? This man isn't a well respected scholar. He's not a theologian who's been charged with the task of enlightening the public or educating children. He's a semi-famous rapper. I mean really, his claims to fame are:

I don't take 'em out to eat
I ain't here to trick or treat
I ain't trying to fix your weave
I ain't heard of that
I'm just here to train ho's
Put 'em on the main road
Teach 'em how to 'Change Clothes'
I know you heard of that


...To keep my hands in my pants, I need to glue 'em with glue

*insert side-eye here*

The reality is this, sistas wouldn't even be checking for said rapper if he was not just that, a semi-famous rapper. Nobody would even care about his comments. I,for one, wouldn't give him a second look if I passed him on the street. He’s not my type. I’m educated, I work everyday, and I’m not trying to settle down with, marry and raise a family with a man who thinks, sounds or looks like him.

This situation is not a loss for us. News flash - said rapper's girl probably isn't with him for any reason other than his semi-successful (and I mean that in a nice way) rap career. If he prefers women who'll do whatever he says, and who treat him like the bejeweled trout-mouthed king he aspires to be, so be it. Not a loss! Get over it!

Having said that, I'd like to know what exactly black women need to do to stand by our men. I'll tell you one thing, I'm not gonna stand by a guy who is clearly misogynistic. Respect me, and you'll get the same in return. And this really isn't a black or white issue - it's a common sense vs. sheer ignorance issue. Why is it only women who are told our standards are too high? If I've worked hard, and if I'm taking care of my business, why shouldn't I want someone with the same values? I think that's just an excuse for piss poor dudes to express their sense of entitlement. I believe in giving credit where it's due. I also believe in telling it like it is.

* If you're unfamiliar with the rapper's comments, check them out here, courtesy of Vibe.com. http://www.vibe.com/posts/slim-thug-black-women-need-stand-their-man-more