Epic Rap Battles: Famous Figures Battle

Like to find something amusing to get through the slog of the coming week. Since it’s three days, that’s a good start.

Don’t know how I found the first YouTube clip, but they all cracked me up.

Anyone remember MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch? Used to love watching that. This stuff is much milder.

I always consider the use of the word “ass” or something just as profane to be a weakness in rapping, an easy go to word, because they cannot think of anything else. Otherwise, not bad.

 

 

 

 

Don’t eat too much for the Holiday(s), it’s nearly impossible to get that weight off once it climbs on. 😀

Happy Thanksgiving….

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Open Forum: Music, Getting Off the Planet, This Election and What’s Up?

Top 40 Radio

There are three singers that I find hard to listen to: Taylor Swift (she whines, really cannot sing), Kelly Clarkson (she sings about the same thing over and over again – being unable to get along with any man) and Katy Perry (I wanna take a hammer to her – Madonna did the kinky schtick years ago –  it’s tired coming from this chick).

Outside of that, I like the station(s) I listen to.

I prefer music without singing mostly and a techno / pop / hip hop / rock / reggae beat. Something creative and fresh. Anybody ever heard of Gotango? or the Electric Samurai? I’m always listening to that kind of music.

Anyone with suggestions, please do tell. I feel music starved these days.

Gangnam Style

You’ve heard the song? You’ve seen the video? Of course you have. I cannot master the dance. Then again, I have two left feet.

The parodies kill me.

Thought of You, Oshun: Getting Off the Planet

Apparently, you and I are not alone in wishing for a voyage to another planet. Our very own, super awesome, black woman scientist, former NASA astronaut, Mae Jamison is in charge of finding a way of sending a probe to our nearest universe.

The following is from the NY Times (Oct 22, 2012):

The news last week that there is a planet circling Alpha Centauri B, only a little more than four light-years away … a triple-star system that is the Sun’s nearest known neighbor.

This year Mae Jamison, in conjunction with the nonprofit foundation Icarus Interstellar, won a $500,000 government grant to set up 100 Year Starship, an organization that is to come up with a business plan for interstellar travel.

Darpa, the government agency that helped invent the Internet and now wants to help invent interstellar travel, estimated that just planning for such a trip could take 100 years. Dr. Jemison, 56, hopes it can happen sooner.

I asked Dr. Jemison if she would go, knowing it was forever.

“Yeah”, she answered. “I would go.”

What could be cooler than that? Who says WE don’t like science!!!??!! Just don’t show me any Alien flicks, let me have a pick of a couple of men to bring along, and I’m all aboard.

The Undecided Voter

Believe it or not, I was undecided until the beginning of October. I voted via absentee ballot. NJ is very flexible in voting in this manner. You can have the ballot appear for every election, or only vote in the general.

Due to Hurricane Sandy, the big guy, our Governor Chris Christie says folks can vote via email and fax. That’s great. Why isn’t that a regular practice? I mean we do almost everything online in this state: I file and pay state and local taxes, car registration and other things that way too.

Who Do I Think Will Win The Presidential Election?

You all know I’m not about telling anyone who to vote for or what to think. You do what works for you. I love that all of us have many different perspectives on what we believe. I’m constantly impressed by the viewpoints, facts and information you ladies (and gentlemen) bring to this blog.

The following image is just speculation on my part. And I voted for the losing candidate once, back when I was a kid and doing it for the first time.

I’m totally guessing when it comes to Nevada (NV), Michigan (MI) and Minnesota (MN). Those are the only states I really don’t have any guesstimates as to how they will turn out.

As for the others? Who knows. {{Shrug}}

I wont be following the election tally on November 6th either. If I wanted to I’d probably get alerts to see how New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Florida voted. Those 3 states will tell you who is President for the next 4 years. Going to bed early anyway.

Facebook and the Online / Email Campaigners

I have a friend who’s suddenly sending me election propaganda. It feels like they’ve tapped into the Facebook madness. Look, I’ve been avoiding Facebook lately. It’s been too much. If you worship like your candidate. Good for you.

How about leaving the rest of us alone already?

And the world isn’t going to be any different on Wednesday, November 7th.

What’s Next?

The year is closing out soon. And I’m thinking, next year, 2013 has to be different. The problem with being a LEO is that we are rather FIXED people. We can do the whole 180 degree turnaround thing, but there’s always a core part of us that never changes.

So, it’s all about changing small habits that can make a big difference. I’ve got stuff in my closets I haven’t touched in years, and I must do something about it.  You can take that to be literal or rhetorical. In both cases, it would be true.

Hope everyone is feeling well. Doing well. Staying safe and healthy.

And if you have something to celebrate: don’t hesitate to come here and brag. I’ll be thrilled for you. 😀

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Open Forum: What’s On Your Mind? My Experience With Hurricane Sandy

Survived Hurricane Sandy

And all I have to show for it is this blog post – no T-shirt yet.

That was one nasty trick without the treat. I guess the treat is still being here to write about it.

Was I scared? No, actually. Besides the difference in how it sounded, like a train rolling very close by the house, I’ve experienced more intense thunderstorms. Lots of wind, I could hear stuff flying about, but thankfully it didn’t shake the house or rattle the windows. It went by and over the properties – not directly at it.

And blissfully, I fell asleep because that constant droning noise sorta knocks you out.

This Jersey Thing and the Howling Outside Your Door

Let me tell you a bit about middle and southern NJ. I am located a couple of miles from Trenton and Princeton, that’s the neck / bend of this kidney-shaped state. I am 45 plus minutes west of the NJ shore. However, regardless of all these miles away from the shore, practically this entire area of the state is ZERO feet above sea level. We are right at the level of where the ocean meets the land. There’s barely a decent rise. And the soil out here IS sand.

So picture this on a dark night: a lull in the wind, a spittle of rain and you start to believe that the media has over-hyped another storm. Listening to the radio, waiting for the storm, reading the endless stories about this stuff online, you start to think: what was the hysteria all about?

She’s Coming For You

Then, Hurricane Sandy arrives. On the night of a FULL MOON. The tide is already high. From what I heard, 2 ft above normal. She comes. Her voice rising. Throwing things around. She’s getting stronger and stronger. Howling in a pitch so high it strains your nerves. Tides are rising in some places as high as 15 feet.

You remember that you live at sea level. No big swells. No massive hills. No mountains to break that rising tide.

You realize that 90 plus mile winds are bringing everything with the ocean (boats, pieces of boardwalk, cars, and other debris) up into and ripping off part of your home, or perhaps dragging it off its foundation onto a highway nearby.

Thinking About the Katrina Aftermath

A few years ago, I went down south to visit a friend who showed me the area after Hurricane Katrina hit Alabama, Louisiana and other states. She showed me a beach front, which was clean as a whistle. I started swearing involuntarily, after she told me it used to have amusement parks, hotels, food stands and everything you’d expect at the beach.

It was gone. All gone. Like looking at virgin territory. Like no one had build anything there before.

Hindsight

In the past, I wanted a house at the shore. I loved the beaches, the boardwalks, and driving aimlessly down the entire stretch. I probably could have gotten a cute little bungalow or maybe a multi-story property to rent during the Spring and Summer.

But I looked at the flatness of the area. I thought of stories my Mom told about what it’s like when the tide comes in to flood a small country and doesn’t stop. I chickened out. So, I picked an area that is NOT a flood zone. That’s information you see might when you sign the albatross (mortgage) papers (I think it depends on the state).

It’s hard to resist living near the water. I feel drawn to it. The sweet smell and salty taste of the ocean air. The soothing sound of the tide. The endless view, staring out at the entire world, and if you look hard enough to see the curve of the horizon.

The Governor and Interstate Assistance

Tuesday night, I listened to the car radio, ’cause I had no power. I heard my governor, big Chris Christie, mention the work being done to get the power back on. Almost right afterwards, the lights came on. Talk about a delightful and nice coincidence! Relief filled me: I wouldn’t be freezing my butt off that night. Although I had candles, flashlights and extra blankets ready.

Driving around today, I saw many out of state utility power trucks. So, thank you to the people from out of state who came to NJ to help.

I’m also thankful for coming out unscathed from the storm.

And my prayers are for those who were not as fortunate.

What’s On Your Mind?

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Daily Mail Coverage of Sandy – Long Article – 1

Daily Mail Coverage of Sandy – Long Article – 2

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Are Black Children Too Stupid To Learn?

Florida School System Gives Up on Black Children

Are black children really that hard to educate? Or are people who are supposed to be professionals, you know – experts at teaching, declaring that there’s an actual limit to black intelligence?

Are black children really too stupid to learn?

A nephew of mine believed he wasn’t as bright as Asians, and he was only in 2nd grade at the time. Who’s at fault for demotivating him from learning? If all black children hear is how stupid they are – why would they feel inclined to pay attention in school?

My mother pulled my brother out of a school system that declared him not-too-bright. She recognized B.S. and sent him somewhere else.

In high school, I was questioned as to who was writing my essays. Meanwhile, I was writing essays for my brother while he attended college. And he was studying to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering, which is almost entirely nothing but complex mathematics.

Here’s the article source link: Florida Passes Plan For Racially-Based Academic Goals

A few excerpts from the news article:

The Florida state Board of Education passed a controversial plan to set reading and math goals based upon race.

On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post.

JFK Middle has a black student population of about 88 percent.

… Florida Department of Education said the goals recognize that not every group is starting from the same point and are meant to be ambitious but realistic.

Robinson called the state board’s actions essentially “proclaiming racism” and said she wants Palm Beach County to continue to educate every child with the same expectations, regardless of race.

We all – especially mothers and fathers – should have the right to any and all learning alternatives. And these children should not be hostages to any group. The only pertinent issue is that they get an education which allows them to be self-sufficient and productive citizens.

This reminds me of the voter registration issue, where we are singled out as the only people too stupid to follow directions.

Frustrating, to say the least.

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Update: NY Times Article – Florida Defends Learning Goals

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November 4, 2012

Update: NY Times Article – How Do You Raise a Prodigy?

Money quotes:

There is no federal mandate for gifted education. But if we recognize the importance of special programs for students whose atypical brains encode less-accepted differences, we should extrapolate to create programs for those whose atypical brains encode remarkable abilities.

Once again, it falls to parents to advocate for their children’s needs, often in the face of a hostile or indifferent educational system.

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, himself a conductor and a former wunderkind, remarked dryly, “If Beethoven were sent to nursery school today, they would medicate him, and he would be a postal clerk.

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Comic Con: The Nerd Economy Thrives

Went today. Never attended this particular one before. Although I’ve been to a few sci-fi or writer’s conventions. I thought Comic Con was only a west coast affair.

Rather nice and interesting event, I expected TV shows or something of that nature. But it was pure comics, video games, and the like.

I only regret not getting my hands on a T-shirt. It ended too soon, before I could see everything. And it was packed!

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Black Women: We all cannot be instant best friends

In my opinion, friendships grow in the same manner as other relationships. There is a courtship or getting to know you phase. There is the gradual “tell me more about yourself” or “I’m telling you more about myself” phases.

  • You share ideas.
  • You share mildly humorous short stories.
  • You share your food.
  • You share your time. You share your ambitions. And so on….

Overall, in whatever manner it occurs, trust must be earned. Respect must be earned.

For each and every person who decide to be friends, it takes time. One of the things I’ve noticed among SOME black women is that there is no in-between phase. In an environment such as school or work, from day one, I’ll be subjected to the most intimate – things that I really don’t care to know about – verbal dump.

The BFF Hotline

I’m thinking of starting a 900 number phone line so these chatterboxes can spend the $3-$5 per minute babbling on about their inconsequential lives.

Yes, I say inconsequential, because I don’t know them enough to care or consider whether their issues are worth being concerned about. So, they shouldn’t be offended when after backing up their verbal garbage truck and dumping on me, which I only allow after a couple of times, I get up and walk away to avoid their presence. Even if they follow me, I run away saying, “I’ve gotta do something right now, don’t have time.”

I really do have better things to do. In these environments, my time is money. I’m not one to provide a sympathetic ear until I know you. A relationship doesn’t begin unless you invite me to lunch and we use some of the off-time to talk. It doesn’t begin unless we share some hobbies and want to hang out somewhere at some time. But it doesn’t come with interrupting me at the job as often as a chatty pest may see fit. It doesn’t begin until these women show some consideration, a reasonable attitude, and address me in a proper manner.

Misdirection and Disaffection

I’m very polite, but some folks want to assume I’m a doormat. You know, everybody loves to bait a black woman to see her turn into a “She Hulk.” Not gonna happen with me.

And, I’m puzzled by the strange attitude I get from some black women.

They speak in such a odd way towards me. See, I’m not okay with that common tone of anger. I feel that if you have an issue with someone else, take it up with them.

A real friendship doesn’t begin with another woman doing all the talking, having a one-way “dialogue”.

Real conversations are about give and take. Some black women are too old to be told what’s common sense. If someone has a problem – yes, one can talk about it, but one has to listen to the other party speak too. It is give and take. Not take, take and take some more.

An Acquaintance Is The Door Leading to a Real Friendship, or Not

If a woman’s overall conduct isn’t ladylike, discrete or show some semblance of modesty, she shouldn’t be surprised when people refuse to listen to her. Dodge her company, or ignore her entirely….

When a black woman approaches another, assumptions should not be made.

  • All of our experiences are not the same.
  • All of our backgrounds are not the same.
  • Our culture isn’t just one.  There are multitudes of black culture.
  • All of us do not view political, religious and social issues about BLACK, WHITE or OTHER PEOPLE in the same way.
  • Not everybody is a hugging, kissing, and touchy-feeling kind of person.
  • Not everybody wants to hear the details of your intimate life. Ask if they want to hear it first.
  • Not everybody speaks in the loudest voice they have when speaking to other black women. And that belligerence, that “chip on the shoulder” is noticeable to everybody. That’s why you are having conflicts with people.
  • Not everybody wants to hear you complain about every other woman on the job. This isn’t junior high where you need to have “backup” in your “beef” with what’s-her-face.
  • Stop assuming. Ask first. Don’t assume that everybody “knows that.”
  • And don’t be friendly, only whenever you want something. People aren’t as stupid as you think.

If you cannot treat others with respect, don’t be surprised when that disrespect is returned in kind.

Life will go a lot smoother when you let go of the anger at other black women first. So, look in the mirror, smile at that black woman. Forgive her. Learn to like, love and respect that person in the mirror.

And that disposition towards other black women will change as well….

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T.G.I.F. and I don’t mean the restaurant!

At long last I figured out some new technology. Probably old for everyone else, but I hate struggling through new things, but that’s the only way to learn.

And I know people who can’t stand new technology. I can’t say I blame them. But my philosophy is to keep playing with it until it breaks.

😉

So, if you see a short post. I am blogging from my tiny cellphone. My long silence was based in frustration: lots to say, never enough time.

Happy Friday.

Like my shoes? Ugly, but very comfy.

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Some Nights by Fun and Too Close by Alex Clare

I’ve been hearing “Some Nights” on the radio, not knowing who made it. You know how DJs cannot be bothered to announce who created something. So, I thought it was a classic song by Ladysmith Black Mambazo  (a group from way back when).

Well, this video changed my perception of the song, because it initially made me think of the Lion King.

Beautifully done…

 

 

Too Close

Is it me, or does Alex Clare have an Adele vibe to his singing? She sits in a chair in one video too. I first heard this song for an online ad for Internet Explorer, but it was more of a techno remix version.

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Open Forum: The Floor is Yours – Olympics, National News, etc.

I’ll come back later and write more…

I sense folks want to talk about many different subjects.

Links as usual are welcome.

Feel free.

Happy Sunday. 😀

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Added: Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympics

Apparently, U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney didn’t win a gold medal. Hence the scowl. Check the tumblr site satirizing her. Wee bit funny.

So, who is Lolo Jones and what was the hype all about?

The media has 2 memes: their chosen “winners” – the Maria Sharapova types, and then there are others who have to prove themselves and win a la Gabby Douglas. One gets the money upfront for having a certain “look”, the other has to break world records to get some cheddar.

Douglas was part of a US Olympic squad that hadn’t won a gold since 1996. She won gold in the all-around, becoming the first gymnast in American history to win the gold medal in both the team and all-around.

She had to earn it first to get the fame and money, but you know how it is. It’s alright though.

She has the best attitude.

Grabbed this image from – blackyouthproject.com – hope they don’t mind.

… And is the Olympics over with yet? Seems endless at this point. Should be a couple of sports, not judged by people, but scored by time and points only. Would be over within 3 days or less.

Serena and Venus Williams Continue to Break Records

No surprise there. They play tennis so fierce, they make it look easy. Soon they’ll have enough medals, trophies and awards to fill a museum.

They have four gold medals each, more than any other tennis player in Olympic history. If they can come back and get more, no one else will ever touch their record(s).

You go girls.

Message For Black Girls and Women

Get out of Blackistan. You cannot succeed or achieve your dreams surrounded by toxic people. The only folks you need are familial or reliable Gladiators. Serena and Venus had a Gladiator in their dad. I hope the people around Gabby Douglas step up and fill in that role. Young black women need more protection from the vampires out there. She, and others like herself, still need more time to mature before they get exposed to the “real world.” She’s just a teen, not a young adult. There’s a time and place for the interviews, social media and  face-time with the blood and soul suckers.

To become successful, join the mainstream, and find a safe haven. That means integrating with the rest of society. Social, environment and emotional segregation is a dead-end.

Focus. Don’t let the haters distract you, or you wont be able to get the gold. In this case, literally. I think a number of US failed just because of the distractions. Part of the battle will always be mental.

Your mind must go there first, before your body follows.

Don’t be afraid to dream big. And don’t tell certain people your plans – unless you are looking to be talked out of it.

Sometimes it’s best to do your thing and not talk about it first (or at all). It’s like waiting for permission. You shouldn’t give that kind of control of your life to anyone. They don’t deserve it.

Spike the ball. It’s okay to gloat once you’ve done your thing. Bragging is the best revenge. Yes?

Humility has it’s time and place. Sometimes you need to rub it in people’s faces just how awesome you are.

 

Serena Celebrates – got this image from – ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com. Hope they don’t mind.
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