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[If you like humor, you may be interested in reading For Your Eyes and Ears Only]

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Published in: on February 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Top Five Friday

 

There is a lot to be said about a person’s name. Many stereotypes and opinions are formed merely on the basis of a first name. We all know the black community is famous for naming their children after such things as luxurious cars, brown liquor, a mixed drink, a popular celebrity, or maybe a combination of the mother’s and father’s first names to create that one-of-a-kind even harder name to pronounce.

But surprisingly, black people aren’t the only ones these days with the ingenious knack for putting a spin on traditional names.  Parents of other races are expressing their selves just as much by giving their children distinctively original names and unique spellings as well.  They have gone as far as  naming their children after fruit, cities, days of the week, and fairies to mention a few. 

No wonder Pope Benedict XVI recently made a plea last month to all parents to give their children more traditional Christian names.  The Daily Mail quoted him as saying

…a child’s Christian name is an ‘indelible sign from the Holy Spirit’ and protects family life, which is ‘being threatened’.

According to the article, a priest can refuse to baptise a child if the name given is not recognised. More interesting is that Denmark, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Argentina are among those countries which publish lists of acceptable names from which parents must choose.  Portugal has banned the names Lolita, Maradona and Mona Lisa.

An amazing Black History fact proven by the 2000 U.S. Census data reveals that while parents have a choice in the right of the birth name of their children, there are some last names passed down from generation to generation that just can’t shake the racial connotations and are automatically dubbed a common African American surname.    

Today’s Top Five Friday topic: The Blackest Last Names in America

90% – Washington
75% – Jefferson
53% – Jackson
46% – Williams
37% – Jones

One of the most lasting legacies is in a name; how will you make history?  Do you believe that parents do their children a disservice by naming them untraditional names?  Should we take pride in our black surnames, or are these just slave names too?

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 11:32 am  Comments (3)  
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

My Birthday treat. um, yum!

Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm  Comments (6)  
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Are you my mother?

Please tell me I’m a two-headed, 4-armed monster, with the strength of Mr. Incredible and know-it all of Yoda. For then I will truly know and understand why:

  • I should be able to smile through my tears
  • In a moments notice be asked to plan, organize, and coordinate a dance routine for four screaming 9 year old girls 
  • I spend my weekends making home-made ballet tutus
  • I give choices between A or B and am told why C is better
  • We both have the same exact food or drink, but mine seems to taste better
  • I’m supposed to remember everything
  • It’s my fault that the sandwich was soggy, and I forgot to pack the juice box
  • I feel guilty for not attending every classroom party or school event
  • I should have endless ideas for dinner
  • Mommy just does it better!

  Is it just me; or have you had one of these days too?

Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 9:19 am  Comments (8)  
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Top Five Friday

Words That Pay Off

Looking for that win-win situation that leaves everyone happy and no one feeling that the other has compromised? Then look no further; I think I may have discovered the answer. It’s as simple as speaking your mind in a kinder, healthier way to get more of the behavior you do want and less of the hostile pushback you don’t. The old adage, It’s not what you say, but how you say it, still holds true. So don’t discount the power of your words. Failing to effectively convey your thoughts, express your expectations, disappointments, and desires can mean the difference between losing ground or gaining the end result you are personally aiming for.

Fortunately, there is a method to all this madness known as COMMUNICATION.  According to a May 2008 O Magazine article, How to Say I Hate You More Lovingly, there is an Attack Mode and Smart Mode of communication.  Here are some examples of ways to say what you mean AND mean what you say, without coming across as the bad guy. Try using some of these tactics at home and in the workplace.

Today’s Top Five Friday topic: Words that Pay Off

 ATTACK MODE:                                                 SMART MODE:

 

 “You and your family are horrible every time we get together. When they’re not boring me to tears, they’re usually offending me.”

  

 “I don’t always enjoy being with your family.  I feel left out of the conversation, and sometimes I strongly disagree with what they’re saying.”

  

 “No, that won’t work at all. Just let me handle the client files the right way.”

  

 “I’m not sure if that will work. What if we did it this way?”

  

“You’re so bossy with the kids, they just run away, and I don’t blame them. You need to lighten up.”

   

“Like you, I’m concerned about the kids. And I’m tempted to clamp down on them—but I’m worried that it will backfire if we do it too forcefully.”

  

“I never want to go there again for vacation. We’re still paying for that stupid idea of yours.”

   

 “I didn’t like that place as much as I’d  hoped. Maybe we could go over a list of new places we might enjoy.”

  “I’m much better at the whole money thing than you are. Honestly, you need to listen to me on this.”   

  “I understand what you’re saying about our finances. I have some good ideas about it, too.”



“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

          –Maya Angelou

Published in: on February 18, 2011 at 11:31 am  Comments (2)  

Real Housewives of Civil Rights

‘Spoof of the Real Housewives of Atlanta’

The all-black female comedy ensemble, Elite Delta Force 3, recently released a comedy sketch on Youtube called The Real Housewives of Civil Rights. The bit presents wives of civil rights leaders, including Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz, Maya Angelou, Winnie Mandela, as cast members on a Bravo-esque reality show. Marilyn Monroe is a curious addition to the group, but we think she might represent the Kim Zolciak of the bunch.

It’s hard not to laugh out loud at this production: when it’s time to leave at a “ladies-only” luncheon organized by Winnie Mandela, Rosa Parks refuses to get up. Betty Shabazz admonishes Rosa, “You don’t always have to refuse to give up your seat all the time.” The Elite Delta Force 3 should be celebrated for their hilarious critique of the Real Houswives franchise, but, in all seriousness, where’s Angela Davis in this skit?

Is It Just Me, or have you had enough of reality T.V.? Let me know what you think?

Comments are welcome.  To leave a comment or respond, please click below in the Tag line.

Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm  Comments (4)  
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Top Five Friday

Best of  Black Love

You’re awaken by a quartet of violins playing under your window as your lover proclaims his love for you, he looks deeply into your eyes, kisses you softly, and then says “You complete Me”.  Think this kind of thing only happens in the movies?  Yeah, well, it doesn’t have to.  No need to wait for Valentine’s Day to make your own romantic love scene.  While you’re at it take a look back at some of the most memorable moments on the silver screen of  black love and romance. 

Today’s Top Five Topic:  Best Black Romantic Movies

 

[image credit: John Holyfield]

Published in: on February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Grown Folks Business

 

In your relationships are you the talker or a listener? Do you feel the need to be in control all the time, or is it okay with you to let your partner take charge? The reason I’m asking is because a recent conversation with my husband spawned the comment: 

 Most women do not listen to their man! Whether it be in the bedroom -OR- the boardroom.

Is this true? Or do you LISTEN within reason? I know the first thing most of you will say is that it all depends on what it is. Because of course, nobody wants to feel like your significant other is your ‘Daddy’, or you’re being told what to do either. 

Even more interesting is the fact that when a woman does ask her spouse for his opinion or advice about something she will generally follow-up with the same question to a close girlfriend or confidant.  And then depending on the outcome of that extended conversation, decide what she should do. Why is that? 

On the subject of  listening in the bedroom; that’s a whole other situation in itself.  Both men and women have an equal role to play in satisfying the needs of each other.  I’m sure you’ve heard the saying:

 What you won’t do, another women will.  

So, are you open and willing to exlore new experiences with your partner that will arouse and enhance your love life?  Or are you stuck in the same old routine of things?

What I wonder is if the reason sometimes women get the – I’m gonna do what I want to attitude, has anything to do with women devaluing the man in a relationship.  Especially nowadays that most families are a two-income household with women sometimes earning just as much if not more than their spouses. Could these all be contributing factors to the woman’s belief that she knows best?

What’s your take on all of this sistahs? Do you agree with my husband’s assumption that most women do not listen to their man? Or do you believe this is just another attempt for the man to have the upper hand in the relationship?

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 9:31 am  Comments (1)  
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Do You Know Your Footprint?

If you are already in the habit of recycling, conscience about the conservation of water, and preservation of the Earth’s beauty than you are probably familiar with the term ecological footprint.  It is a means of measuring the amount of human consumption of land and sea that a person uses in their everyday lives and the earth’s ability to basically keep up with it.  If humanity does not begin to scale back to a more simplistic lifestyle, void of waste, eventually what can happen is the demand for space will become too great for the Earth until it is no longer capable of sustaining such high expectations.

The same could be said for a psychological footprint.  Which would measure the amount of emotional energy that a person expends every day on things that rob and deplete your life sources of the body’s daily requirements.  If we are not careful to replenish ourselves mentally we can exhaust all of our reserves and begin to run on fumes causing us to have detrimental breaking points in our framework. 

Be mindful of your daily footprint, take stock of your emotional capacity, and know your limits.

Published in: on February 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm  Comments (2)  

Top Five Friday

Behind the scenes.

I’m starting this weeks Top Five Friday off a little differently today. Think of it as a bit of a behind the scenes look at how most concepts for Top Five Fridays are created.

I frequently get asked the question, “How do you come up with your topics?” My short answer, “Ancient, Chinese Secret!”. (Remember that old Calgon detergent commercial?) Alright, just kidding. So ask me again; and I’ll tell you that generally my ideas stem from something that I have encountered in my everyday life. My topics may be spurred by a recent conversation I’ve had, current events, or I’m simply coaching myself through a woe-is-me moment; hence the tons of motivational posts. 🙂 Couple this with several late nights and there you have it. There’s no denying that it has been lots of hard work too, but it has been worth every minute of it.

So now I know you’ll understand when I tell you that today’s Top Five Friday couldn’t be more befitting as an end of week topic for the Like Water series. Case in point, you remember my winter storm adventure last Wednesday, Fail to Plan; Plan to Fail, The Nor’Easter Post Mortem. Well, can you believe that just yesterday I read an article from MSNBC.com entitled “5 Ways To Keep Your Commute from Killing You”. The article is about ways of coping with your daily commute to and from work for a more healthier experience. See all the connections?! — my drama, personal health. It’s all relative. O.K.A.Y., you stick to reading and I’ll stick with this writing thing. 😉 Moving on…

when all you see is RED!

Ask anyone in the Washington, DC metropolitan area what the worst part of their morning is and you’ll most likely hear, “TRAFFIC!”  Just the mere thought of it can send your blood pressure sky rocketing, make you lose you religion, or damn sure push you over the edge.   And to add even more insult to injury, according to a 2010 Urban Mobility Report, the gridlock is getting worse.  Some try to find some solace from the commuter chaos by riding the subway, bus or train. Even then you run the chance of contending with crowds, delayed trains or buses, and the occassional abnoxious passenger from hell.  Still most of us are left with no choice but to drive our own cars and brave the rush hour traffic jam because of scheduling conflicts, distance, or even daycare arrangements.  In the latest MSNBC.com article entitled “5 Ways To Keep Your Commute from Killing You” you’ll find ways to help you keep your sanity and at the same time get your health in check.  Below are a few of the main points of the article.  But, be sure to read it for yourself; your body will thank you for it later!

Today’s Top Five Topic: Beating the Commuter Blues

. Laugh to keep from crying: Listening to comedy while stuck in traffic will distract you from worrying and can lower stress.

A good laugh lowers levels of stress homones

: Avoid being bored to death, literally.  Instead turn up your favorite song or listen to an audio book.

Last year, British researchers published a papaer that suggested a link between chronic listlessness and heart problems. 

:. Relax, Relate, Release: Practice deep breathing techniques, and shoulder/neck exercises to release the tension.

Roll your shoulders, loosen your grip on the wheel and spread out your fingers.

:: Steer clear from road rage: Agressive driving makes the commute that much worse.

… instead of letting anger over traffic or agressive drivers make you act the same way, use this “downtime” in a positive, productive way. 

::. Think happy, be happy:  Don’t let the commute steal your joy.  Instead focus on something you are thankful for or appreciate.

… turn fatigue and resentment around.  You may just arrive at your destination in a more content physical and emotional state.

How do you beat the commuter blues? Or, share the story of your worse commute ever.

Published in: on February 4, 2011 at 7:53 am  Comments (2)  
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