Friday, December 27, 2013

What I Learned from The Best Man Holiday Movie

Normally, I reserve taking a trip to the movie theater for action films.  I just feel like I can get more bang for my buck to see/hear explosions on the big screen.  Comedies and dramas seem more appropriate for Netflix at home.

However, since I'm in a relationship now, those decisions aren't always mine.  So, when something comes out that she wants to see, then I make it my business to give her the same courtesy of going as she does for me.  This recently included the movie, "The Best Man Holiday."

It's a sequel to the 1999 movie, "The Best Man" which was about some dude who got married to a woman who cheated on him with his best friend.  Well, there was more to it than that, but I don't want to get into all of that.

Anyhoo, this movie has been rated only 5 or 6 stars out of 10 from most movie review websites.  I tend to disagree.  This movie had everything: singing, comedy, drama, tragedy, and even action.  

Because of the ratings, this movie will probably not win any major awards.  The actors, who were all on-point, will not be walking the red carpet with any hardware for their efforts either.  Mainly because most people prejudge this movie before even walking into the theater.  After all, it's a "black movie" to most of the critics.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  You could have substituted any race in this movie and it would have still been virtually the same.  

What I got most from the movie is that TBMH really taught some life lessons throughout those 123 minutes.  I can say that definitively because it hit really close to home in regards to one of the main plot lines.

* SPOILER ALERT * (skip to the Spoiler Alert ending if you plan on seeing this movie)

It hit close to home for me because it involved a man on the verge of starting the "cruise control" part of life who lost his wife to a slow death -- cancer.  Morris Chestnut's character, Lance, had to learn how draw strength from his wife's suffering.  She taught him how to love, forgive, and appreciate.  He did everything that she said because he knew that she was telling him "the right thing."  You tend to take things a lot more seriously coming from the mouth of someone who is dying.

* END OF SPOILER *

The viewers of this movie will learn that, too.  At least I hope that they will.  Too often I see people who don't appreciate what they have in their family and friends.  They take people for granted with the utmost of confidence that they'll always be around.  They treat people poorly not thinking of how that person could be gone with the next breath.  They dismiss opportunities to spend time with someone because they assume there's always tomorrow.  They never miss a good thing until it's taken away from them.

That's not me.  Although there are some things I would do differently if I had a do-over with my mom and The Mrs. if they were still alive, I have no regrets.  I enjoyed them while they were here and never stopped showing my appreciation.  It doesn't mean that I didn't have lapses.  There were times I could have been a better son/husband.  But, I'm human.  Those things will happen.  I've learned from those lapses and it has made me a better son to my father and I'll be an even better husband when that time comes.

The main thing is that now that they're gone, I can look myself in the mirror and say with confidence that I showed them that I loved them both.  For those of you who have never lost a parent, child, close friend, etc., can you do the same?  

If someone in your household died tomorrow, can you honestly look in the mirror and say that "I gave them 100% of me?"  Will they take their last breath knowing that you love them?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Want #Sex? There's An App for That!

People are trying to hook up faster and faster these days.  Sites like AdultFriendFinder.com brag about how you can find people who are interested in sex with no dating mumbo-jumbo.  Skip the formalities and just say if you're down with the horizontal mambo or not.  Now there's a phone app that is actually supposed to be even more efficient.  It was an app created by a couple of guys whose focus was to empower women in their sexuality.  Um, okay.  It allows them to seek sex without the judgmental eye of society watching.

The app is called Pure and it has taken hooking up to the next level.  This app allows you to peruse photos until you find someone that you like.  It will search for members in your local area because if you're in Miami then you wouldn't want to waste your time connecting with someone that lives in Seattle.  So, after you find that person in your area, you'll have to wait and see if that person likes you.  If you're both attracted, then you can basically decide "your place or theirs" at that point.

Seems easy enough, right?  A few taps on your phone could lead to a night of this:


Or this...


Would you ever use an app for a one-night stand?

Friday, December 20, 2013

5 Blogs to Follow: @LadyT523, @VanityStrokes, @DirtyInPublic, @SingleDatingDiv @MarriageDr, Post #500

I wanted to do something special for my 500th post and I've decided to pay it forward.  I'm a firm believer in supporting what I like.  If I enjoy something, then I try to share it so that others may do the same.  Although I don't read blogs as much as I once did, I still take time to enjoy a select few.  I want to share some of the newer blogs that I read religiously because of their entertainment value and useful information:

The Tasha Mac Chronicles 


On top of being eye candy, Tasha chronicles her life as a single mother of four daughters.  She talks about how dating and home life for her is completely different from someone who may not have kids or may not be married.  Not only does she do a great job of "painting the picture" of her life, she also is a genius in regards to teaching life lessons.  She is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, who because of Hurricane Katrina, now lives in Jackson, Mississippi.

For new readers, I would suggest that you check out these posts: "Can Football Help or Hurt My Relationship?," "Am I My Brother's Keeper," and "What My Daughters Don't Understand."

Stroking at Midnight
www.StrokingAtMidnight.com

Twitter: @VanityStrokes

This Toronto author started in October and the blog world hasn't been the same since!  This site is steamier than your bathroom mirror after a morning shower.  Vanity takes some of her own personal experiences and shares them in a vivid and deliberate fashion.  She has a way with words that will paint a picture that any adult reader can appreciate.  Seductive blog posts like "What's Your Fantasy?" and "Caution: You Will Get Wet On This Ride" tells how it all started.  Give Vanity a try and enjoy your imaginative visuals that will raise your eyebrow on multiple occasions.

www.DirtyInPublic.com
Twitter: @DirtyInPublic

Where do I start with this site?  I love what Dirty in Public has to offer.  Californian, Marrie Lobel, is the owner/operator of DiP and she always finds an intriguing relationship or sex topic to pique your interests!  She takes everyday conversation and presents it in a way that makes you think.  She does a great job of helping people understand either where they went wrong or how they can improve upon their relationships.  With posts like "Available for Sex: Leave the light on for me!"  or "The Other Woman: What she needs to understand!" which breaks down the #SideChickRevolution.  Marrie is as insightful as she is delightful.


www.SingleDatingDiva.com
Twitter: @SingleDatingDiv

This Canadian red hot really dives deep into the core of relationships.  Suzie takes a look at different relationship situations from all angles and offers a solution to those issues.  She also does a great job soliciting feedback from the readers which generates a lot of insightful comments.  If you have a question about your relationship, then send an anonymous letter to "Ask Single Dating Diva" to get honest options towards solutions.  You will also enjoy posts like "Dating a Work in Progress - Stay Away!" and "The 3 Date Rule Hook Up."

www.RelationshipRx.net
Twitter: @MarriageDr

He's the only guy on the list, but don't let that deter you.  Aaron Anderson is the real deal and probably the only certified one in the bunch.  He's a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO.  RelationshipRx always takes a positive approach to solving dilemmas which is what makes it so refreshing.  There are relationship resolution posts like "My Husband Wants Sex All the Time" to "She Never Wants Sex."  He also provides helpful tips to keep your marriage fresh with posts like "Six Naughty Ways to Spice up Your Sex Life."  It's the feel-good blog that everyone should have in their RSS feeder.

So, there you have it!  Five blogs that will educate and entertain you while I crank out my next 500 blog posts!

Do you have a blog of interest to share?  If so, feel free to add them in the comments below!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Do Other Languages Offend You?

(thinking to herself) "Oh, no she didn't wear that!"
Okay, so I'm sitting in an Asian restaurant last week.  A Japanese restaurant to be exact.  The waitress comes to my table and speaks very good English while getting my order.  I noticed about five minutes later that she and a co-worker were off in the corner having a good laugh.  They were looking towards a customer and giggling all while talking in their native language.

Were they making fun of the customer?

I haven't a clue and I can't say that it bothers me to know what they are saying.  I just assume that they're more comfortable in speaking their native tongue.  However, I do remember a story a former coworker told me once.

First of all, my former coworker is black.  I have to give you that background to help you understand the context of the story.  She was one of four other black women getting a pedicure at a local, Vietnamese nail salon when an older, black woman walked in and sat down next to her.  The older woman was wearing something resembling African tribal attire (really gaudy ensemble including a large hat).

After greeting the older woman (in the English language) and figuring out what services she needed, the Vietnamese lady working at the location proceeded to start the pedicure.  Another Vietnamese salon worker walked by, laughed, and hurled an insult in her Vietnamese tongue about the older woman's attire.  She assumed that since everyone in the salon was black that they wouldn't know what she was saying.

What she didn't know is that my former coworker lived in Vietnam for three years and is very fluent.  She told the salon workers (in Vietnamese) that they would do that lady's pedicure for free or she would tell the woman that they were insulting her.  Of course they were stunned (along with everyone else in the shop) that someone spoke the language and to make a long story short, they did do the older woman's pedicure for free.  The older woman never knew why she received the free pedicure, but she was appreciative on top of being confused.

A lot of English-speaking people are skeptical when we don't understand something.  We feel extremely disrespected to think that someone could be bad-mouthing us right in front of us.  A lot of times we assume the worst, but I think that story is an isolated incident.  With so many people being educated in foreign language, it's not wise to assume that someone doesn't understand what you're saying.

Do you get offended when people, who speak good English, speak their native tongue around you?

"Ay, que feo!"

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

In The Year 2100, Blacks Will Only Be Seen in Museums

I know that the title is unsettling.  I heard my father say that recently. He said that at the rate black people are destroying their communities, that 100 years from now we won't even exist.  Think about that for a second. That's a strong statement!

If you're not black, then you may feel uncomfortable agreeing with that thought or speaking on it. If you are black, then you should feel uncomfortable in knowing that although it may not be true, you can understand the concept.

Here in Jackson, MS, a 15 year old girl was shot outside of Wingfield High School after a fight. She died later at the hospital from a gun shot wound to the chest. Shortly after this tragedy occurred, videos surfaced showing multiple fights at that high school from this year and last year. At least eight videos ranging from classroom brawls to outside gatherings.

Kids fighting is nothing new.  It happened when I was in school, too.  I think that the difference is today is that it's glorified on an entirely new level in 2013.  Teachers no longer have control over classrooms due to the policies put in place that restricts them.  Parents have no control over kids at home because most of them are either single parents or too immature to be a parent.

So, if kids are steadily engaging in acts of violence and parents don't know how to guide them to behave like human beings, then why shouldn't my father feel the way that he does?

Nelson Mandela just passed away a few days ago.  He represented something we may never see again in any leader, regardless of color: restraint.  Mandela could have easily lashed out against white people for putting him in jail for almost 30 years.  But, he decided that it wasn't worth it.  He spent the remaining years of his life trying to install peace into society instead of the opposite.  Sometimes your worst enemy will learn to love you if you show compassion.

For every Mandela, there seem to be 10,000 non-Mandelas born each day.  Black people who just don't believe in leaving the world in a better place than how they found it.  My generation (70's babies) were the cause of that.  We were the generation that decided that we would allow our kids certain freedoms that our parents wouldn't allow us.  Now we have a generation of kids who only want what they want regardless of the end result.

It's that mentality that makes being violent feel like option number one instead of a last resort.  It makes taking care of your kids seem like a burden instead of a responsibility.  It makes dating the opposite sex seem like a game instead of an opportunity to find someone to share your life.

How can a race of people possibly survive against those odds?  Maybe my father was right.  Neither one of us will be here to verify in the year 2100, but maybe this blog post will serve as notice to those who will.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

The 2013 NuRenaissance 11th Annual #Art Showing & Gala w/ @NuRen_Artist

Come support the arts as Myron McGowan presents his 11th Annual NuRenaissance Art Showing & Gala! 

Not only will you get the opportunity to see some of M&M's newest (and some classic) artwork, but you'll also get treated to the stories of the inspiration behind them! There will also be other local artists presenting their pieces, spoken word performances, and more!

 Come out and support local talent and the arts and you may even see me walking around perusing the artwork!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

For Once, #NFL Sunday Was Meaningless #BAMAvsAUB

I sat on my couch as I usually do on Sundays, but it felt different this time.  There was something missing.  I watched Arizona v. Philadelphia, New England v. Houston, Chicago v. Minnesota, and a few other games with close scores in the 4th quarter.  But, I still felt as if something was missing.  The DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket is way too expensive to not be satisfied, so what gives?  Why am I bored when watching my favorite sport of all-time?

Because Rivalry Week in college football ruined it for me.

It didn't ruin it in a bad way.  It actually was a good thing.  This weekend was the best weekend of college football that I've ever seen in my life.  So, after experiencing game-after-game of heated, long-standing, NCAA Football rivalries going down to the wire, I could only come down off of that high when NFL Sunday arrived.  The feeling of elation that I felt for some NCAA teams and depression that I felt for others could not be matched by the NFL.

Look at these scores from the games that I watched:

Duke over North Carolina, 27-25
* Mississippi State over Mississippi, 17-10, Overtime
Oregon over Oregon State, 36-35 
Georgia over Georgia, 41-34, Double Overtime 
* Ohio State over Michigan, 42-41
* Auburn over Alabama, 34-28

(*-came down to the last play of the game)

If you have a chance to catch the ending of any of these games, then treat yourself!  Even if you only watch the last five minutes of each one, then that will be enough to satisfy you.  And if you watch the 4th quarter of the Alabama / Auburn game, then you may see the most exciting 4th quarter in the history of football (pro or college).

Last weekend was the last full schedule of college football games for the season and it did not disappoint!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Who Will Tell Their Stories?

One of my father's childhood friends stopped by his house recently while I was visiting. Listening to them talk about growing up together was so entertaining! I sat back and listened to each story that they told.  Knowing what life was like for my father as a child is fascinating to me.  He's told me so many stories of how he and his brothers grew up in 40's and 50's in Mississippi.  I value each and every story I get from family as a timeless treasure.

The photo attached is one of my mom and her siblings.  I know a story about every person in it.  My uncle in the black shirt once told me a funny story about jumping off a moving truck in an attempt to impress girls as a youth.  My aunt next to him told me a story of how her husband forgot to play her usual numbers for the Minnesota lottery the one day her numbers were actually selected.  The lady in the middle is my mom, so of course I know everything about her.  My uncle in the suspenders shared with me how his dad (my granddad) broke him from smoking cigarettes.  My aunt in the red shirt shared about how she once had to discipline my mom for being bad.

So many entertaining stories that takes you back in time as you listen to them.  However, it sometimes makes me feel pretty bad about not having a son or daughter to share these stories with about my family. My cousins have kids, so they may attempt to share some things.  Although I have god kids and my lady has kids, they probably wouldn't understand the dynamic of my family. Especially on my father's side.  If you didn't grow up around my family like my cousins and I did, then it would be hard to understand some of the inside jokes that come from the stories that they tell.  It's almost like walking in on the middle of a movie.  You may figure some things out, but you'll never have foundation that all good stories must have.

But, me not being able to pass things down is not the real tragedy.  The real tragedy is that I don't think kids have an interest in hearing those type of stories. If it's not about "Twilight," a reality show, an Xbox game or something like that, then kids tend to tune grown people out after three minutes or so.

So, where will these stories go? Will they die with me?  

Unfortunately, I think that they will.  Talking to elders is a thing of the past.  Previous generations and how they live aren't important in our society now.  They probably haven't been in more than a decade.  At least not any more.  I'm not the only one who recognizes that fact either.

The cable network called AMC (once called American Movie Classics) changed their name because they wanted to get away from the classic and appeal to younger generations.  It's why they now have programming like "The Walking Dead" and "Breaking Bad."  They know that very few want to watch old black and white movies today.  Do you know anyone under 40 years of age who can watch a black and white TV show/movie?

The United States is probably one of the only countries that doesn't hold its elders in high regard.  In Asian countries, older people are revered for their experience and wisdom.  To sit with someone who has truly experienced life is an honor to most of them and other countries.  Here in the States, it's considered a waste of time for some.  Kids don't want to hear how things used to be.  They don't care what life was like before cell phones and remote controls.  It doesn't affect their lives so it has no place.

That's so sad to me.  Storytelling is a lost art.  I used to enjoy sitting on the porch and talking to my grandmother about her days as a little girl.  I heard about how she had to work from the crack of dawn to sundown as a pre-teen.  I remember hearing that she didn't have her first TV until she was in her 30's.  She's told me about how racism was rampant in Mississippi.  In fact, she just recently told me about how she cooked breakfast at her sister's house for two of the three civil rights workers not too long before they were later murdered in Philadephia, MS.

Hearing how she lived gives me perspective on how I live.  Perspective is something we severely lack in society.  We can't put ourselves in someone else's shoes because we don't have to do so.  My generation doesn't appear interested in sharing things with its kids.  In fact, my generation invented things to keep kids occupied so that we wouldn't have to talk to them.  Why else would someone think of putting a DVD player in a vehicle?

How can a kid understand the privilege of having a car when he/she doesn't even know that his/her grandma had to walk to school?

How can a kid appreciate having over 200 television stations when he/she doesn't know that granddad only had four while growing up?

How can a kid value the time family spends together when everything promotes individualism (iPod/earbuds, cell phone, tablets).

As much as it pains me to say it, "cherishing our elders are a thing of the past."  I honestly think that my generation (70's babies) is the last one where a majority of us truly appreciate the stories we were told by those a generation above us.

It's a shame, too.  Now that I'm 42 years old, I have lived life long enough to have stories to tell.  Some funny and some serious.  But, "who wants to hear them" is what I ponder.  The only people who will probably know about my stories are the ones who follow my blog.  The rest just don't seem to care.

Am I wrong when I say that our elders are no longer relevant to a majority of young people?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

(VIDEO) #Knockout Game Will Get Some Kid Hurt (or Worse)

First, I want you to watch the video...


Is this not one of the most ridiculous things ever? I don't get it. What in the world has happened to kids parents? How can you have a child capable of something like this unless you're not doing your job? I know all parents aren't slackers, but let's be honest: most of the kids in this video probably do not have proper parenting structure at home.

I love boxing and cage fighting, so I understand the fascination of seeing someone knocked out.  However, at least those people know that they're in a fight.  These people on the street do not.  The fact that these teens target women and children as well makes it even more disturbing to most people.

For those of you who jog or walk with earbuds in your ears, then I would advise you to make sure one of your ears is free to hear around you.  Society gets crazier and crazier each day and a walk to work or a jog in the neighborhood can lead to a concussion or worse.

As for the people perpetrating this act, don't think you're not putting yourself in harm's way as well.  There are more open-carry gun laws being passed and licenses to carry permits being issued.  One mistimed swing can result in you being shot.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Facebook and Your Kids

Facebook used to be about friends and relatives, but now it's not. People add others that they barely know or maybe not even know at all to their Friends list. They don't know if the person is a stalker, rapist, or worse, a pedophile.

Surveys say that almost 9 out of 10 parents post their child’s full name, and exact date and time of birth before even coming home from the hospital. As the child grows, they post pictures of their kids and tag their friends, siblings, and other relatives.

This kind of information could be used by predators to befriend your kid. They could use your kid's name and the names of their relatives and friends to build trust and convince them that they are not really a stranger.  A stranger that knows detailed information that allows them to have a rapport with your child.

Identity thieves can also use this information to answer security questions to access your accounts.  If you must post pictures of your children then you should at least remove personally identifying information such as their full names and birth dates. Your real friends know their names anyway.

If you're going to put your family on display then at least give them a fighting chance. Make sure that your friends are really your friends and make sure you don't put too much information out there.

Do you think posting your kid's photo on FB can be harmful?


Monday, November 4, 2013

Ladies, Your Bodies Are Perfect!

Too often ladies in relationships have complained about their looks.  I get that.  We men are visual creatures, so we appreciate good-looking women.  But, some women take things too far.  You buy into what they're selling on TV and in the magazines and you short-change yourself.

Don't do it.

First of all, I'm not saying don't exercise or anything like that.  Exercise has benefits for what's inside your body as much as it does your outside.  It is very important, but don't think it should be a full-time job and lose hair over it.  Besides, if you're in a relationship, then the only person you should focus on pleasing (besides yourself) is your mate.

If your significant other is happy, then why get depressed over how your body looks?  Sure, it helps to be happy with yourself, but your significant other is supposed to make you feel sexy.  If they're doing their job, then there's no need to stress about losing a few pounds or having a rounder butt or whatever it is that you think you need.  Besides, many women only need "enhancements."

  • Maybe your makeup doesn't compliment you.  You don't want to look like Ronald McDonald.
  • It could be that you don't wear clothes that truly fit your body type.  Can't shop at Wet Seal with a Lane Bryant body.  
  • It's possible that you need to step your shoe game up.  Sneakers probably shouldn't be an everyday option for women over 21.

There are plenty of "tweaks" that most women can make that can significantly enhance their look.  I've seen too many examples of "the girl next door" turning into a Hollywood starlet almost over night.  That could be you if you simply take time to honestly evaluate yourself to determine what would accent your look.

Don't stress.  Don't spend money on unnecessary surgeries.  Don't kill yourself in the gym.

A lot of you may not think that you have the perfect body, but you're perfect for someone and that is what's important!  Embrace what you have and if you need to "fine tune" yourself, then do so.  But, be happy with who you are and stop letting society dictate what is beautiful.

A good man wants a good woman.  If she looks like a model, then great, but the main thing is that she's good for him.  We do want you to look good, but we only care about our standards.  My lady doesn't have to be a perfect 10.  She just has to be perfect for me.

Do we put way too much focus on trying to look like what we see on TV and magazine covers?

Don't believe the hype.




Friday, November 1, 2013

Why Your Child Stops Trying

Where are the fans?
Do you see that field?  This was taken during a high school football game between the Lanier Bulldogs (Jackson, MS) and the Germantown Mavericks (Gluckstadt, MS).

The schools are only separated by 21 miles yet the photo reveals the handful of fans who came out to support Lanier.  A 20-30 minute drive yielded just a few supporters.

I attended the Lanier / Callaway game a couple of weeks ago.  The game took place just minutes from Lanier High School yet there were barely any fans there.

Before that game started, I watched both teams warm up.  I mentioned to a peer of mine how bad Lanier's body language was.  Players were barely jogging instead of sprinting.  There was no enthusiasm whatsoever during pregame warm ups and it translated to their game performance.  Callaway slaughtered Lanier 59-0 and the players didn't seem too concerned about it.  The Lanier coaches didn't either.

Here are some of the other losses Lanier has received this season: 42-8, 67-0, 35-6, 68-16, 62-22, 50-0, and 56-20 to Germantown.  The only close game they've had this season is an 8-0 loss to a not so good Wingfield team.

I personally think that these kids have mentally checked out and I blame the parents.  The parents should be ashamed of themselves to not travel 21 miles to see their children play.  Also, the school should be ashamed for not having a pep squad and band attend as well.  Don't they have a responsibility to provide support as well?  After all, interscholastic competition is a promotion of brands (schools).

This is a school with almost 1,000 students and more championship basketball banners than probably any school in the state.  On game day during basketball season, you can't even squeeze into the gym.  But, if a child participates in anything other than basketball, then I guess it's not important enough for a parent to bother.

The result of this behavior is that the kids lose the desire to try since it appears that no one takes them seriously.  That's a problem.  There are way too many children looking in the audience for their family members only to not see them.  It can be a sporting event, music/dance recital, theatrical presentation, or whatever.  The day a child stops looking for their parents is a sad day!  And Talk 2 Q Show Legend, M&M, once said, "an unloved child is a dangerous adult."

Now, I know in 2013, people have to work.  There are some parents who just can't attend each and every game.  But, something has to be done to provide representatives to support these kids.  I have no allegiance to them at all and I couldn't help but feel sorry for them during the game.  It was pathetic.

Can someone explain to me what makes a parent not care?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Why Black Face Still Bothers Some

Julianne Hough as "Crazy Eyes."
Julianne Hough started a ripple in the social media waters when she appeared in "tanned face" at a Halloween party.  In her attempt to portray a character from "Orange is the New Black," she decided to go the "extra mile."  The character, "Crazy Eyes," is known for her eyes and her hair.  However, Julianne thought it was important (for reasons unknown) to also capture her skin color.

Big mistake.

You can't do things like that, even in 2013.  As long as there are people still on this planet who lived prior to Civil Rights being granted to black people, then there will not be a shortage of pissed off minorities.  Although I view her outfit as being stupid more than I do racist, my father (born in 1941) would be furious.  He grew up during a time when he wasn't even respected as an equal.

I think the idea to do this is stupid because she had to know people would flip out over this.  And if she didn't know, then that just shows her ignorance when it comes to the real world.  I'm guessing that she doesn't have that proverbial "black friend" who could have told her this would be a bad idea and a media nightmare.

Now, although her tanned look is mild at best, there is a reason why black face still bothers some.  It's still a sign of disrespect to a lot of people in this country.  When black people dress up for Halloween, how many of us have you ever seen put on "white face" to be Batman or Indiana Jones.  When is the last time you saw a black person use eye makeup to be Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee?  Odds are you probably haven't.

And it's not just a black / white thing either.  It's sometimes a black / black thing.  Most blacks also get upset when people who aren't white change their appearance to look white.  See Sammy Sosa and Michael Jackson.

We're a long way off from this not being a big deal.  With insensitive idiots like the below (portraying Trayvon Martin) still displaying foolishness, people who think this isn't a big deal can maybe understand where some of the rage originates.


Do you think that it's time to "get over" black face or is it still a problem in America?

(VIDEO) Hitler Gets Pissed at Jay Z

Well, Jay Z is back in the news again. He's not dissing senior citizens on wax this go around. This time, he's apparently not doing anything. I guess that's par for the course for modern day rappers and athletes...

Okay, here's the scoop: two young black kids were racially profiled in a high-end fashion store. A young man was arrested/questioned for purchasing a $350 belt with what was called "a stolen credit card." After a couple of hours in jail, he was released when it was determined that the card was actually his.

A young lady purchased a $2,500 purse from Barney's and received a similar line of questioning about how she could afford the bag.  Why she used her tax rebate money to buy a purse that expensive is beyond me.  Maybe she and the young man are both rich.  It's moot anyway.  The point is that they were both making legitimate purchases, but were accused of being shady people.

How does Jay Z tie into all of this? Well, he has a contract with Barney's to launch some new holiday clothing next month. Critics are calling upon him to cut ties with Barney's to take a stand against "shopping while black" incidents. However, Jay Z did release a statement on his website that basically denounces discrimination without condemning Barney's.

It appears that Jay Z will choose his pockets over his people and that will be unfortunate for Jay Z if Barney's is guilty of profiling.  Tons of people will be pissed at Jay Z saying he's too cowardly to speak out.  Including Hitler in the video below.  He was really pissed!
 

Now, I lost respect for Jay Z long ago, so this incident doesn't affect how I feel about him.  I lost respect for Jay Z after he dissed a living legend in Harry Belafonte. I can't say that I won't be surprised if he indeed decides to continue his affiliation with Barney's even if it's proven they were at fault. But despite that, this may surprise you: I don't think he should be obligated to cut ties with the store.

I just have a problem with Jay Z saying nothing about it for as long as he did. Nothing. He can at least condemn the incident even if he doesn't condemn the store.  We know for a fact that the incident with the young man happened and we know without a fact that it landed him in jail.

But, nope that's not his style. He's not going to piss off a store selling his over-priced swag.  He's going to play the victim and whine about people attacking his character.  And again, to his credit, Jay Z is being victimized here to a certain extent because he had nothing to do with what happened.  But, he's too self-centered to realize who the real victims are in this ordeal.

As for the store, I just think that Barney's needs to readjust the attitude of its employees. I won't call a franchise "racist" for the actions of a couple of idiots.  I seriously doubt that they tell their employees to "follow all black customers."

Famous people, regardless of color, would do whatever it took to right a wrong.  That trend died a decade or two ago and got replaced with, "I gotta get mine, you gotta get yours."  Just like we do with politicians, we blindly support our favorite celebrities despite the fact that they don't always care about our well-being.

Do celebs/athletes have any kind of responsibility to speak up for the "right thing?"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

You Can't Drive A Person to Cheat

(types) "Oh, I just got finished 'working out.'"
There are a lot of things that will cause some ups and downs in a relationship, but that's par for the course.  It's how it's managed that determines if that relationship is successful or not.  So many people in relationships think that if their significant other cheats that it's somehow their fault.  I disagree.

There is never a good reason for someone to cheat on you.  Never.

Men are generally labeled as cheaters more than women, so I'll focus there.  A lot of times, especially these days, a man will use deflection to get himself out of trouble or to win a debate.  Despite the fact that he's the one being accused of some wrong-doing, he'll flip the script to put the accusations back on the woman.  Now, women do this, too, but I'm just talking about the fellas right now.

A man will cheat on a woman (or attempt to cheat) and will somehow turn things around to make it seem as if it's his woman's fault that he did it.  Surprisingly, this method is very effective in getting guys out of hot water.  You wouldn't think that it would work, but it's actually a lot more successful than you would think.

Ladies, don't fall for this.  It's a trap.  A man will tell you that he cheated because you did the following:

"You're always too busy for me."
"You won't have sex with me any more."
"You don't dress sexy like you once did."
"You're always mad at me over something."
"You drove me to cheat."


All of the above is garbage.  The proper response when a man feels any of the aforementioned junk is to sit his woman down and have a conversation.  He should then explain how he feels and why he's not happy in the relationship.  If things don't change for the better in his eyes then he needs to return to single status and move on with his life.

Boom.  It's that simple.  No one gets cheated on in that scenario.  Instead of trying to have your cake and eat it, too, just simply move on to the next one and allow the last one to find someone who is more compatible with her.
"You MADE me do this! I didn't want to, but you forced me!"

We guys want to find another girlfriend before we decide to get rid of the one we have.  That's not how it goes.  Leave her because you're not happy and not because you've found someone you think is better.

Do you think that a person can be driven to cheat?

Monday, October 21, 2013

#Relationships Can't Exist Without Trust

Relationships shouldn't be difficult, but we make them that way.  We self-sabotage a good thing more than we realize because of our own insecurities.  It makes me wonder how any of us are in a good relationship given all of the poor examples out there in the world.

How frustrating is it to try and do everything right in your relationship only to have the other person continually side-eye you with a look of suspicion?  No relationship can exist long-term without trust.  But, so many people carry baggage from previous relationships that make them doubt a new love.

For those of you who don't seem to know how to trust, allow me to offer some assistance:

Let it go


Whatever happened in your last relationship, or the one before that, or the one before that, let it go.  You can't expect to be successful in a new relationship if you're treating that person like the old boy/girlfriend.  It doesn't mean that you can't learn from a past heartache and grow from it.  I'm not saying that at all.  I'm saying that the new person isn't the old person.  So, to treat them as if they are is going to automatically result in relationship failure.

Don't play Sherlock without a reason


I'm suggesting that you allow the new person to display signs reminiscent of the previous person before you refer back to that previous experience.  Don't go looking through texts, drawers, etc. for someone who has done nothing to warrant the investigation.  Going "Law & Order" on someone who isn't guilty could result in you infuriating your significant other.  A person who is displaying signs of trust to you will not be that forgiving when you lose their trust.  You can't put toothpaste back into the tube, so once you investigate, then you had better be right in your suspicions.

Ignore the whispers


There will be friends associates who will "put a bug" in your ear that your significant other isn't any good.  For guys, it could be an associate who wants a shot at your woman for himself.  Maybe he's attracted to her and wants to get you out of the way by filling your head with nonsense.  For women, it could be the same as the men or maybe she just doesn't want to share her time with your boyfriend.  There have been incidents of women breaking up a friend's relationship because they miss spending time with their friend.  Don't pay these people any mind.  An outside force should rarely come between you and a relationship.  It's all about you and the other person's actions.

That Mr. Furley side-eye!


In conclusion, good relationships can't exist without trust.  If you're not willing to trust the person you're dating then why are you wasting their time?  (Yes, I said "their time.")  Good people get into relationships with the expectations of their good deeds being reciprocated.  If you're not willing to at least allow them the chance to mess up on their own, then you're never going to be happy in any relationship.

Can a relationship exist if one or both people are suspicious of each other's actions?

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Power of the Internet #Privacy #Regret

Being someone who is constantly watching educational shows and listening to technology podcasts, I understand the Internet extremely well.  I can find almost anything on anyone on the web by simply understanding how to search for it.

What is so concerning is that young people don't understand that what they put on the Web stays on the Web.  Whether it's on the Internet or the Deep Web, it's out there never to truly vanish.  A photo or a comment that someone only wants to direct to a small group could be accessed by the public at any given moment and we forget that.

I remember when I was extremely active on Facebook.  I would argue politics, relationships, and other topics ad nauseam with my Friends not knowing it could come back to bite me some day.  I didn't want to lose out on a job because of something that I said on a social network.  People don't believe that companies search social media accounts of candidates, but I have a relative who did that on her job before she recently retired.  So, it's very real and she's told me some horror stories about it.

Although I knew better, like most people, I said that "it would never happen to me."  I had to ditch that attitude and I did.  I realized that I was getting caught up in the moment so I stopped.  I completely changed my ways.  I'm very selective with my online comments now because I'm refocused on the fact that people are watching.  It doesn't mean that I don't speak my mind because some things need to be said.  But, it does mean that I'm not "out there with it."

You'll never see me post provocative photos of myself, use curse words, or publicly humiliate someone on social media.  But, a lot of people under 30 years old don't seem to understand that and it's up to people who know better to teach them.

The YOLO generation views the internet as a place of conversation and not a place of "evidence."  That's why so many idiots have been convicted of crimes based on things they posted online.  That's why so many relationships have ended because someone was stupid enough to put something incriminating in print.  That's why so many lives are ruined because someone thought that a sex pic sent to a crush wouldn't wind up in a Google search.

So, my message to everyone out there who reads my blog: talk to the young loved ones in your life.  I don't mean in a passing conversation.  I mean to sit down and have a serious discussion about how anything they put online or even in a text message is subjected to public scrutiny.  It may actually save someone from future heartache.  Times are hard enough for the younger generation to find their way through life.  The last thing they need is something they did/said hanging over their heads.

Don't get it twisted, young people... The Internet can break you.

How do you prevent people from using social media as self-esteem booster or electronic therapist?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More #Miley!

Miley is making the most of her renewed fame.  The former child star has moved into adulthood with a bang all starting with her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.  She is now one of the most talked about people in social media and her recent appearance on Saturday Night Live has thrusted her even more into the spotlight.

We see this pretty much every few years.  A young star who comes off as inappropriate in his/her quest to be an adult.  Brittany Spears went through a phase where she was on top of the world after performing at the Super Bowl.  From there her image changed and the next thing that you know, people were calling her "trailer trash."  Justin Beiber went from an adorable child prodigy from YouTube to a bad boy speeding up and down his community streets despite complaints from neighbors.

It wasn't always like this, but times have changed.  Remember back in the day when the cast of "Diff'rent Strokes" were having their issues?  Child stars from 30 years ago simply used drugs or did porn.  There was no social media to really put themselves out there, so a lot of the abuse they endured were self-inflicted and somewhat private.  Dana Plato (Kimberly Drummond) did porn and drugs and it ultimately killed her.  Todd Bridges (Willis Jackson) and Gary Coleman (Arnold Jackson) had brushes with the law as well.  Ironically, Conrad Baines (Phillip Drummond), the man who played their father on the show, almost out-lived all of them (only Todd is still alive).

Child stars transition to the adult world isn't so private any more.  In fact, it's more in your face than ever.  The media force-feeds us photos and stories about these kids each and every day.  With that kind of pressure to stay in the headlines, it's no wonder that these kids go to the extremes that they do to stay relevant.  We can't help but see them all over the place and for those who aren't fans, it drives us nuts!

I personally have nothing against Miley Cyrus.  I never watched Hannah Montana and I never listened to her music.  I don't care that she attempted (poorly, I might add) to twerk on stage or the fact that she sticks her tongue out more than a dehydrated anteater.  But, I really need her to go away and I'll tell you why I feel this way.  In fact, I'll tell you why a lot of people feel this way:

Her act is forced.

It's one thing to transition from one personality into another naturally (a la Justin Timberlake), but it's clear that Miley is forcing her way into her new persona.  The tattoos, the new affinity to rapping, the provocative dancing, and even the hairstyle appear to be part of a "PR package."  Miley's new image is about as natural as Pamela Anderson's breasts.

But, you do you "Boo-Boo."  Whatever works and pays the power bill is all anyone cares about these days anyway.  However, just as you have the right to do whatever you want on television (within the law), I have the right to pray that the TV station broadcasting you suffers a power failure.

If there is someone in Hollywood you could ban from TV, then who would it be?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sometimes the Death Penalty Isn't Enough

I'm normally up on my news, especially sports, but the last couple of weeks have been extremely busy for me.  However, I received a call from The Lady on yesterday afternoon and the news blew my mind.  She told me that running back and future Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famer, Adrian Peterson's son was beaten to death.

I don't know AP or his family, but for about five seconds, I felt a knot in my stomach after hearing the news.  From what I've read online, the mother of AP's son had a boyfriend with prior domestic charges to took his frustrations out on the two year old boy.

I'm not going to get into the decision-making process of the mother.  She has to unfortunately suffer for the rest of her life for dating a known abuser.  I want to talk about the abuser, 27 year old Joseph Patterson.  I realize that he's supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but I'm jumping the gun on this one.  I think he's guilty.

I don't know if the state where the heinous crime was committed uses the death penalty or not, but sometimes the death penalty isn't enough.  Sure, if you could sentence this guy to die, fry him, bring him back, and fry him again, then I think I'd be for it.  But, since that's impossible, then your only choice is to lock him up for the rest of his life.

That's not good enough either.

I'm sick and tired of it being Open Season on people, especially women and children.  Men were once protectors of their families and now they're exterminating them like common roaches.  It's sickening!  I wanted to throw up when I heard the news today because I can't stand to see a child mistreated, yet along hear of one beaten to death.

If I had things my way, I'd put Joseph Patterson in a jail cell with no A/C or heat and give him just enough food to survive.  From there, I'd allow the child's father, Adrian Peterson, to come in once a year to beat a handcuffed Patterson within an inch of his life.  I would allow AP an opportunity to do that on the anniversary death of his son every year until either he or the Patterson died.

I know it sounds cruel, but it's nothing compared to pulverising a child's body with your fists.  Imagine the pain the child went through.  Babies have no resistance to beatings.  They aren't capable of running away or curling up in the fetal position and surviving the onslaught.  All they can do is cry and suffer.

Why not repay the favor?

Are there upsides to simply beating felony assault prisoners as opposed to giving them the death penalty?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Support @CieraPayton's IndieGogo Campaign!

www.CieraPayton.com
"Graceland" and "Days of Our Lives" star, Ciera Payton, needs your help funding the United Solo Theater Festival in New York City!  With only 60 days to raise $7,500, she only has 24 days left as of October 5th to raise approximately $5,000 more.

Click here to contribute anything from $1 to $1000!  

Every little bit counts and not only does it fund her performance, but donations also benefit the Step Up Women's Network and  Girls for a Change organization for kids!

She will also be my guest on the Talk 2 Q Radio Show on Wednesday, October 9th @ 10 PM EDT / 7 PM PDT.  Click here and then click Follow under the T2Q logo to get an e-mail or text reminder the day of the show.  Take advantage of the opportunity to call and ask her a question on the air or use ask questions from the interactive chat room!

Ciera will be performing "Michael's Daughter" on November 23rd.  Learn more about the event below:

Michael’s Daughter is a one-woman show created and performed by Actress Ciera Payton. As an aspiring young actress dealing with the ups and downs of the Hollywood shuffle, Ciera is suddenly confronted by the constant letters from her incarcerated father. These letters provide the backdrop for her soul searching and a beginning to address her unconventional upbringing and troubled past. 

Her New Orleans roots are tested constantly through a series of failed relationships, struggles to make ends meet, and the ongoing loneliness that comes with Hollywood dream chasing. Ciera guides the audience on a journey from a little girl in New Orleans' 3rd Ward to a woman in Los Angeles fighting to forgive her family. 

Throughout the play, Ciera artfully portrays her stuttering, city-slick Father, southern belle Mother, and her endearingly crass Aunt Patty. She does so in a manner, completely filled with humor, compassion, and understanding. Michael’s Daughter's universal appeal and impact transcends race, gender, and economic class. 

People of all backgrounds will be touched by this story and moved to DO SOMETHING and MAKE A CHANGE after watching it. 

Remaining true to her goal to give back and help in providing creative outlets for inner city children, Payton is pledging a portion of the donations received through the IndieGoGo campaign to Step Up Women's Network AND Girls for a Change.


Twitter: @CieraPayton

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I Chose #Scandal Over #BUFvsCLE

I'm embarrassed to say what I did, Olivia. SMH.
(SMH)

Those who have followed me for a minute know that I'm a huge football fan.  Especially the NFL.  (Sigh)  I almost feel dirty typing this, but tonight, I did the unthinkable.  Tonight, I did something that could possibly get my Man Card revoked.  Tonight, I chose to watch the hit show "Scandal" over Thursday night football.

What intrigues me so much about "Scandal" is the writing.  The show writers do an excellent job of taking you down a path, getting you comfortable, and then blindsiding you with something completely out of left field.  Top that off with a cast of amazing actors who surprisingly left the Emmy's trophy-less and you have something rare for prime time TV these days... an amazing show.

But, the NFL on Thursday night is a no-brainer for a sports nut, right?  Despite the fact that the game involved two un-sexy teams in Buffalo and Cleveland, it's still the NFL.  (BTW, the game was pretty entertaining).  I started watching the game at 7:25 PM Central Time and once 8:59 PM CT rolled around, I found myself changing the channel to ABC.

I still love the NFL, but with the magic of DVR's, I can pause the game, flip over to "Scandal", and watch the game during commercials.  Although it makes sense to most men to record "Scandal" and watch it after the game, it's virtually impossible to do due to social media.

If I don't watch "Scandal" live, then one of my Twitter or Facebook followers will be sure to tweet something that spoils the show.  That's not what you want in a show like this where the writing is so superior to 95% of the things airing on TV these days.  Shows like "Scandal" spawn copycats like "Deception" or "Betrayal" and all of those other shows with edgy names, but empty stories.  It's one of those trendsetters that every other station wishes they could duplicate.

I got on the Scandal bandwagon on Day One.  It's very rare to see an African-American as a lead character on network TV and for it to be a woman made the show more interesting to me.  I wasn't familiar with show creator, Shonda Rimes, also African-American, and my knowledge of actress, Kerry Washington, was very limited, too.

Despite all of that, I knew after only watching the first few episodes that this show would go down in history as one of the classics.  The ever-changing plot is great and the cast of characters is even greater.  It's the best cast of actors that I've seen on a show since ABC aired "Ugly Betty."

Dag, I may lose my man card for admitting that I watched that show in its entirety, too.

SMH.

Don't feel so bad, guys.  I'll be back!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Loyalty is Extinct

My favorite NFL team since 1975.
Things that were once something to be proud of 50 years ago are just simply trendy in 2013.  One of those things is the act of being loyal to something or someone.  We don't do that much any more.  In fact, there are probably a lot of people who may even consider it stupid to remain with something that's not giving you what you need at that particular moment.

We live "in the moment" way too much these days.  Some blame the YOLO (you only live once) mentality, but this mindset was around way before that term.  Somewhere between 1990 and now we completely lost the ability to show loyalty.

A perfect example is in sports.  I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan.  I have been since I was old enough to remember.  I have photos of me around 3 years old wearing Cowboys stuff.  Despite the fact that they haven't won a Super Bowl since 1996 doesn't deter the fact that they're still my team.

I have a nephew who is 13 years old and he is on his 3rd "favorite" team.  Once "his" team goes on a downward spiral, he changes to another one.  He sees nothing wrong with changing of teams because he doesn't understand loyalty.  He doesn't get that there's more appreciation to patiently waiting for things to get better rather than jumping on the next team's bandwagon.  This translates into everyday relationships.

How can someone stick with a significant other through the good times and bad times if they can't grasp the concept of loyalty?

Being in a dedicated relationship means that both people have to show loyalty.  It's the cornerstone of what makes a relationship successful.  It doesn't mean that you necessarily have to stay with that person until the very end because there are exceptions to every rule (abuse, criminal/drug activity, incompatibility, etc.).  However, it does mean that even when things aren't 100% that you should hold out hope that some day they will be.

"Reality" TV doesn't help.  We see The Bachelor and The Bachelorette go through contestants like Kleenex tissues.  Although that's a scripted game show, it gives some viewers the mindset that they always have immediate options.  It encourages the mentality that "if you're not going to do what I want when I want, then I'll find someone who will until you start acting right."

If she's not giving you the intimacy you once shared as newlyweds then try to talk it out instead of creeping with a co-worker.  If he's not giving you the emotional support that you need then communicate that with him before confiding in the guy you see at the gym.  You owe that person that much simply by having the title of "significant other."  And if you don't feel that way, then you're not in a real relationship anyway.

I'm not saying you should never end a relationship.  Sometimes things just don't work.  But, you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't even try.  If you can't feel enough responsibility and dedication to stick with someone that you call a "significant other," then I guess they weren't so "significant" in the first place.

Life won't always be rosy in relationships.  Things happen.  How you respond to those things determine what kind of character you have as a person.  Are you the type of person who quits as soon as something pops off or do you try to weather the storm until things improve?

Through thick and thin, I wear my Dallas Cowboys paraphernalia proudly.  But, my commitment to love extends far beyond sports.  What about yours?

Will you stay or will you go?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Just Happened?

Sometimes in life, you're thrown a curve ball.  You're going through your everyday life as normal and * wham * something unexpected throws you for a loop.  Before you know it, your life has changed for the better or for the worse, but you never saw it coming.  All you can do is ask yourself, "what just happened?"

Someone once told me that "certain people are placed in your world to get you to a certain place in life."  I'm a firm believer of that statement.  I think that it is sage advice and that is very true.

I felt that way after losing The Mrs. to breast cancer last year.  Although she is no longer with me, I am in a better place as a person because of the time I had with her.  I didn't realize how much that I learned from her until I had to use it on my own.

We go through life expecting the people that we love to always be there each morning we awake.  We wake up thinking that today will be pretty much like yesterday, but that's not always the case.  Things change.  Our loved one could move on to another phase in life like an out of town job.  Maybe a change in lifestyle or a work schedule means that you're unable to see each other as much or at all.  Or maybe, God forbid, they pass away.

No one wants their "cheese moved," but the one constant in all of our lives is change.

You don't know what to do.  
You don't know what to say.  
You don't know where to go.  

However, it's how you adapt to change that defines you as a person.  You can let it negatively affect you which may lead to your life spiraling out of control.  Things start to have a domino effect on you and before you know it, an unfortunate situation has turned into multiple unfortunate situations.

Or you can meet the change head-on, face your fears, and go on with your life.  You realize that whatever you once had was just a piece of the puzzle in what you call "your life."  It was a part of your life that somehow makes you a better person, regardless if you realize it or not.  Also, aside from the person dying, whatever happened doesn't mean that person is gone from your life forever.  Just like the double helix pictured below, maybe your paths will cross again.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who's Your Modeling Agency? Instagram?

I see so many models ladies on the web showing off for the camera.  They think that because they take "back shots" or show some skin that the 1,000 male followers they have makes them something they're not.  I know, I know, some of you are saying, "Q, why are you being so hard on these ladies?"  Well, it's because of what I encountered recently.

I received an e-mail from a young lady who wanted to be on my radio show.  She has over 2,000 followers on Twitter and almost 2,000 on Instagram.  I won't post any of her photos or give her name, but her "portfolio" basically consists of photos of her in nightclubs drinking from a champagne glass and flirting with the camera.

The young lady is attractive and her outfits don't look bad, but I can't help her.  I've had a video vixen on my show before and not only was she good-looking, she was also a theater major.  She also had an agent which said to me that she was serious about her career.  It was a pleasure to interview her as opposed to potentially talking to someone who hasn't made a dime (to my knowledge) off of her "work."

Models are in the business of advertising a product.  Don't think that Brooklyn Decker is in Sports Illustrated simply to show off her boobs.  She's selling those bikinis that you see her in.  Swimsuit companies pay her good money to make their products look desirable.

I'm all for promoting people who are trying to gain as much exposure for their craft as possible.  However, having a bunch of horny guys following you doesn't make you Sofia Vegara.  Photos of you drinking something "top shelf" in a swanky nightclub don't make you Gisele Bündchen either.

People, stop it.  I'm all for having fun, but just stop it.  You don't have 1,000+ followers because people think you're the next Tyra Banks.  You have 1,000+ followers because you're half-naked in every other photo.

Please learn the difference.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

What Happened to Pride?

Pride starts at home.
I really try hard to do the right thing.  I really try hard to be a good person.  But, for what?  What is the pay off for me working so hard to be presentable to the public?  My mom passed away last year, so it's not about trying not to embarrass her.  My father is 72 years old and I don't do it to impress him either.

What is it?  What makes me go about my life the way that I do?  What makes me watch what I say in public,  try to dress appropriately for where I'm going and give maximum effort on my job?  Pride.  What happened to pride?  You could see it in so many people back in the day and now it's almost non-existent.

I listened to stories that my parents told me about when they were kids.  People back then had so much pride to the point that it almost seemed like a full-time job within itself.  I have relatives who were janitors, maids, etc. who didn't feel any shame in the jobs that they did.  In fact, they were completely the opposite.

They were so proud of being employed that they worked as hard as they could and rarely took time off.  My parents instilled that same pride in me.  They taught me how to always do my best and work hard.  I do the things that I do because I now have pride in myself.  It wasn't always like that though.  I had to evolve.

When I was younger, like most kids, I acted accordingly not because I cared how I looked in the public's eyes, but to make my parents proud.  I knew that as long as they were happy, then more than likely, I would be, too.  It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

However, as I got older things changed.  The things I did became more about me and less about my parents.  I realized that I didn't just represent them, but I had my own reputation to uphold as well.  It took seeing some of my peers establishing bad reputations to realize it.  However, what people thought wasn't my only motivation to be a certain way.  What I thought of myself played the most important role in establishing pride in my life.

I cleaned my house when I knew no one was coming over.  I brushed my hair even though I knew I wasn't leaving the home that day.  I realized that I truly had pride in myself when I found myself putting forth a maximum effort doing things that no one would ever see.  I thank my parents for that.  I spent so much time in my life trying to make sure they were happy with my behavior, that I didn't realize that I was benefiting from it myself.

Pride is becoming extinct and it's almost completely non-existent in males.  No one feels ashamed for what they say, how they dress, or how they perform because you can't shame someone who doesn't care.  And if a child doesn't have parents who instills pride in their kids at an early age, then that makes it that much tougher to develop good habits.

This is the society that we live in now.  No one cares any more.  And the people who do care try to keep their families as far away as they can from the people who don't.  I can't say that I blame them.  So many influences of the wrong things flood our television and radio markets and what do we do as parents?  We allow our kids to partake in it.  Why?  Because other kids are doing it.  They're going to hear it anyway.  Why do we let our kids dress like adults?  "Because other kids are doing it."  "They're going to do it anyway."

That's our justification for promoting shame and demoting pride.  SMH.

Do you think that the days of people caring about anything are gone now?

If the parents don't care, then you know the kids won't.

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