Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Reality of the Situation


Ward 8 in Washington DC has the highest unemployment rate in the city. This should not be news to anyone who gives a damn. It is usually (one of) the highest in everything: violence, HIV infections, illiteracy. So to hear that there is a 25.2% unemployment rate in my Ward is no surprise.

At the same, almost daily it seems, a new “reality” show is introduced. Most are centered around the most trivial and ridiculous personas I have ever seen. I am not a fan of this wave of television and am frankly digusted with it; apparently I am in the minority or the numbers wouldn’t be on the rise. My point? These shows are not about reality at all.

I’d like to see a show that is unscripted. A show that is about REALITY. Programming that would reflect the times in which we find ourselves. Let’s chronicle the unemployed, the homeless, students struggling to get a quality education…something, anything worthwhile. But, would anybody watch? More importantly, would anyone be courageous enough to air it?

I understand that the current reality craze are the equivalent of soap operas. It is actually a much-needed break from reality; an opportunity to focus on something so inane that we can forget for a little while. However, why can’t we take a real look at reality? Why can’t we reclaim this genre and do something good? Why not pay the unemployed thousands of dollars an episode rather than pseudo-reality stars?

I’m gonna have to reach out to some of my colleagues in the film genre and see who’s in. I’m game. Shining a bright light to change lives while restoring dignity with a paycheck on the side? Sounds like a win-win-win.



Landscaping Woes

It’s me again with my “Money Pit” adventures!

So, my first project was my yard…ohhh, I wish you could’ve seen the “before”; my intent was to take a picture of that urban jungle but my new friend and landscaper, Manuel, had it cleared by the time I was back from the store.

Manuel was referred and recommended to me by a friend (remember the tips). He came over to look at the yard, gave me estimates as well as ideas for the front and back. We went for sod in the front yard and grass seed for the shady back. I went to the nursery with Manuel to pick out flowers and to learn a little. BTW- my petunias… did not do so well, but the begonias were beautiful! I, of course, went for colorful and unique. The flower beds also have a black mulch which I love.

The change was AMAZING. I told him that friends/fam were going to walk right past my house. I have gone from the neighbor that everyone surely talked about, to having the best yard.

Disclaimer: I should have taken “after” pics of last summer’s record heat wave. Oh, the sun…despite the fact that I was diligent about watering the grass and flowers, parts of the grass were scorched. Then, I began to fall off with my watering. Manuel pulled up the sod and planted grass this past fall. Yay!

Thanks Manuel- I’m sure the mailman thanks you too! If you’re in the DMV and need a landscaper, contact him now!
Stone Mans
Landscaping Service & Construction

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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in home improvement, women


High Erasure Rates?


Did DC Public School administrators and teachers cave to pressure to improve test scores? A hearing will be held on April 6 to investigate the integrity of student test scores. Last years’ tests seem to have a high level of erasing that changed wrong answers to correct ones.

DC teachers maintain that with the extended test time they encouraged students to check and re-check answers accounting for the changes. Given the spotlight on the Nation’s Capitol: student achievement, facility conditions and teacher performance, there are questions about the veracity of the scores. Jobs are at stake, federal dollars are on the line and reputations are at risk.

Have we sunken this low? I have long maintained that until children are a priority in this country, the state of education will not improve. We do not invest in the future here. A few visionaries have done it independently but do not have the resources to meet the demand.

As a parent, I support any and all organizations that lok to serve our children and improve their station. As a consultant, I look to serve those same organizations, providing then with the necessary technical assistance.

What will you commit to do to help our children excel? 

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Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Civil Rights, Education, Politics, Youth


It’s Totally Bloggable.

I get inquiries all the time about blogging. People are unsure if they should create a blog, if so what they should write about and what the focus should be. To blog or not to blog, that is the question!  Here are a few quick tips.

  1. Your blog is not your website. So don’t treat it as such. This is your opportunity for people to see behind the curtain, if you will. Share who you are, what you enjoy and what you’re passionate about. 
  2. Be sexy. This is your chance to speak to your people. Be as creative or controversial as you dare. Your title should titillate as well.
  3. If it don’t fit, don’t force it. Share information, link when appropriate but don’t shove your product or service down our throats. If people like what they see/hear, they’ll tune in and eventually “buy.”
  4. Multimedia is in. Videos, graphics we like it all. So after you post that dynamic video, tweet, tumble and FB it.
  5. Find your voice. Is your style journalistic, hit it and quit it, list maker, multimedia hog? All types are welcome on the blog. It’s even better when you give us a good mix.
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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Fun, writing


Is Mother Nature Angry?

I read a status update on Facebook yesterday of someone pointing out that recent disasters have all occurred on the 11th day of months (World Trade Center, hurricane in Haiti, earthquake in Japan) and quoted a scripture passage about the end of days. Now I don’t know about that, but recent events have made me ponder the way in which we treat the earth.

Has Mother Nature finally had enough? Is the Earth starting to break from the wear and tear that its sustained?

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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Reflection



God Bless America

The House Committee on Homeland Security’s hearing on The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and That Community’s Response began today.

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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Civil Rights, Family, Politics



Do My Breasts Offend?

In Manhattan, a small-business owner is battling the condo board of the building from which she leases space. The complaint? Technically, a door left a few inches ajar. But at the heart of the complaint are breasts, breast-feeding that is.

Upper Breast Side provides support to lactating mothers via workshops, products and specialist referrals. However, the condo board apparently has an issue with breast-feeding. The previous tenant, a chiropractor left the door ajar as well because his patients had difficulty opening the door- as do mothers carrying infants or navigating strollers- however he was not cited.

A court found sufficient evidence to supprt the complaint and a public hearing will be held on March 23. In the meantime, the condo board has upped the anty charging that the owner is breaking zoning laws because her lease described the business as a community facility which by definition provides “educational, recreational, religious, health or other essential services for the community it serves.” They argue that it is a retail store.

I am hopeful that Manhattan and New York women will show up in volume for this hearing because it seems that the board can’t see beyond the breasts.



Rihanna v. Farrakhan

I don’t know about anybody else, but my daughter is definitely not “swine” nor am I. Especially given the loaded meaning it has within the Muslim faith. She is a HUGE Rihanna fan and I enjoy some of her music.

I have a complicated history in my feelings for the Minister (that I will not go into because I believe one’s religion and beliefs are personal). I will say that I am familiar and have heard him speak in person several times. I also have great admiration and affection for the Muslim faith although I do not ascribe to it. With that said… really?

Now, I have taken issue with Rihanna’s clothing sometimes and definitely her lyrics (Rude Boy, What’s My Name) since my daughter is intently watching. Then I remember myself at 14- the music and artists that I loved (and still do). And the belief that I’ve held since then, that my mother did her job and did not put that burden on the artist. Do entertainers have some responsibility to the youth? Yes, because the youth have made them. However, they are performers and much of their act is just that, an act. My daughter and I talk about appropriate dress and behavior for young women and many times my daughter shakes her head at the clothing that female stars choose to wear. These are teachable moments.

In a four-hour speech, I am hopeful that Farrakahn had something better to say. However snippets about the positives of Scientology and standing by his friend Gadhafi, do not instill confidence. And quite honestly, I have not heard him rip any male performers for filthy lyrics or flashing us with their boxers because their pants are scraping the floor or skinny jeans so tight that I have a clear view of everything I don’t care to see. Her dancing is reminiscent of many moves from Africa and the diaspora, so while they are erotic they are also rooted in tradition and history.

I am not certain that this was not an attempt to get some media coverage. There was a time that I would have never said anything like this about the Minister but I think long ago he was “led astray.”

And good for Rihanna for responding and keeping it moving. You can not please everyone, all the time.

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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Girls, Music, women, Youth



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