Thursday, June 12, 2014

The jig is up.

Back in January, I swore that this was only a temporary hiding place. When, six days after Christmas, the Elf had still not yet returned to the North Pole, I stuffed him in this drawer thinking eventually he'd make his way to the garage.

He never made it.

That brings me to today. When my seven-year-old son stumbled upon his limp, tangled body in the drawer beneath the cable box. "He feels warm," he said.

"It's probably because it's June," I replied without thinking. 

I tossed around the idea of suggesting the elf was hibernating. Then maybe that his spirit had left his body and floated back to the North Pole. Three years ago, I could have distracted him momentarily, stuffed it down my shirt and 15 minutes later that would've been the end of it. I couldn't lie fast enough. 

Not with this child. The jig is up.

What I wasn't prepared for was the endless list questions that followed. What about the leprechauns? And the Easter bunny? (For the record, he admitted he never believed in the Easter bunny anyways. The thought of a 6 foot tall rabbit hiding eggs was just too far fetched for this realist.) 

I assessed the situation, weighed my losses and settled on this: 

"In actuality, none of them are real. Except Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. They are totally legitimate. And you better roll the elf over on his stomach cause his eyes are actually cameras spying on you from the North Pole." 

You could say I ruined Christmas. I say I brought June some Yule Tide magic AND a fresh tool to bribe good behavior.

We'll circle back on this when he's nine. 

If you only knew what happened yesterday. #growingup #parenting #nowheretohide




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A billion reasons your online dating profile is stupid





Please enjoy this honest play by play and glimpse into the creepy world of match.com.

Make sure your audio is up. I think I'm amusing but I'm also a bit of a narcissist. HAPPY WEDNESDAY.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Make it Cheesy

I put my very outgoing seven year old who incessantly wiggles in a hip hop class like three months ago. Radically enough being the overachieving mother that I am, I learn his choreography to help him practice the night before his show at the Ferst Center downtown....and we made a video.
Luckily for you, I'm feeling a little fancy & I'm going let you in on the newest gangsta hit: 

Make it Cheesy feat. Yo Mama & Crazy C

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Taking a stab at fiction.

So I've been working my craft and taking a few small stabs at fiction. I have my mind stuck on a theory that explains my inevitable fall from one WTF moment after another. Meet my good friend, Murphy.

27 has proved to indeed be a pivotal year for "you've got to be fucking kidding me moments." I don't mean to beg pity because there have been great joys too. But if you know anything about anything you know that 27 was also a pivotal year for some other edge riding, norm breaking creators. That is to say, the members of the 27 Club all tragically died after a coincidental rise to stardom. I'm alive and kicking and I plan to keep it that way. But like I said, I'm taking a stab at fiction.

I'm sure my use of profanity was noted just earlier in my post. Typically, I like to write in a PG format so that not to put my credibility or objectivity in question. I think a journalist/blogger needs to respect the sensitivities of a very diverse crowd. But, where can you talk when you must always allow the views of the stakeholders to filter you? Expression is nothing more than an exchange of ideas. Discussion and disagreement breed substance. Out of substance comes change and improvement.

IF you pick the wrong place for that sort of self expression,  you're suddenly trending in more than a dozen different countries. You wake up to find your good name hanging shamefully in the headlines. If your sense of humor isn't on par with that of the stakeholders, suddenly you're looking at your name in a Huffington Post headline filtering its way up your newsfeed. The next day they'll tease your story with Facebook opinion polls and an interview with an expert specialized in talking in circles about nothing.

Take this opinion piece by Chez Pazienza. I really like this guy BTW.

"Predictably, it was easier just to knee-jerk and get rid of her -- despite what appears to be a record of pretty damn stellar service to her station and the community -- rather than ignore a late-night social media brain purge that almost nobody would've seen in the first place had she not been fired over the fucking thing."

Where exactly is the line between privately exchanging quips with fellow sarcastic semi-narcissists about real damn life - and inciting a swift rise to the sweet tasting tip top of the Totally Entertaining Bullshit corner of the internet. Another move by Murphy.  Then you meet his bitch cousin, Daytime Television. Its was the oddest week of my life. Truly like, just stupid ridiculous. Came in with a bang then faded into the fairytale ending for any aspiring Viral Internet Darling, mugshot and all. But for me, the whole thing was completely humiliating. I have never felt more sorry for myself.

Here's my point. I'm still trying to figure out who I am as a writer. In the meantime, I have the right to step out of my journalism oxfords and write with some flavor. My hope is that I can put something together eventually that makes people stop and feel and think and even, act. A good story does wonders for the spirit and I have a good story to tell.

So, I'm playing it safe. I've made a space for these stories to develop and to work my hand at a more flavorful style of writing.
READ me & share if it really does it for you.
#ChasingMurphy

LAST THING: Just wanted to send some love to Susannah Collins. Her "public oops" got her fired from Comcast Sports Net Chicago AND she got on Leno. And because I too have learned to feed the beast, you can watch it unfold in all it's humiliating glory here.





Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Did we forget about the Redskins?

It was just last week that we were all holding hands singing "We Shall Overcome" and celebrating the swift judgement handed down against Clippers' owner Donald Sterling. People called his comments grotesque and stood in awe that the NBA would have ever let this kind of person through their multi-billion dollar doors.

I haven't felt outrage in a long time. It seems people get outraged about nearly everything these days. As +Ari Sarsalari so eloquently put it, "We've created a web of fake outrage and fake apologies." But is this a genuine reason, like the comments made by Sterling, to feel a rush of unjustness? I pose you this question:

Did we forget about the Redskins?


For years, Native Americans have protested the mascot and name of the NFL's Washington, D.C. team. The Redskins have been so eloquently called for more than eighty years. The largest representative body in the Native American world, The National Congress of the American Indian, has stated publicly, a lot, the the "R-word" is a racial slur and considerably offensive. They aren't the only ones either. Nearly a dozen human rights groups and government commissions find it rude too. An yet, the name lives on.

To save face, the team's ownership has attempted to make good with the Native American community. Current owner Daniel Synder even created an association to fund scholarships called The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. But the name stayed.

Last week, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada publicly urged the NFL to change the name of the team and follow in the footsteps of the "certainly not racist" NBA.

Synder has relentlessly defended the team's name and then subsequently portrayed himself as a supporter of all things American Indian.

Lawmakers like Reid meanwhile have said that the name was birthed in racism and have put pressure on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to change it. He claims public polls show support for keeping the name.

Considering Sterling's comments, what if the NBA had instead swept the issue under the rug? What if they'd allowed him to keep his team and instead created a non-profit that funds scholarships for inner city Black kids? My Twitter feed would have exploded. So why then do we let this kind of a racist blunder continue? Is it because there aren't a lot of six foot six members of the Cherokee Nation shooting free throws at the Staples Center?

Riddle me that kids.

**Disclosure: I'm one-eighth Cherokee Indian. Just enough to brag about it in bars when somebody tells me I look exotic.



Monday, April 28, 2014

Why natural disasters are good for us


Its not easy being green. Skies over Lauderdale Co., AL
It's hard to watch severe weather from behind the keyboard when you are used to being out in the thick of it. Watching first hand how an ominous sky morphs into a nightmare is a indescribable feeling. According to an NPR article published Monday evening, this latest onslaught of damaging tornadoes across the southeast has already killed 15 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma. News outlets in the Tennessee Valley have reported three more dead after another supercell moved through the Athens-Limestone County area.

Surveying the damage. Tornado damage in Tupelo, MS. today. 
Disasters, like everything else that rocks you to your core, have a silver lining. Undoubtedly tomorrow, stories will begin to surface of communities coming together, brother helping brother and families clinging to one another to conquer grief. No other time do you see the kindness of strangers so poignantly displayed than after huge loss.
What's next?  2013 Kilpatrick, AL tornado victim surveys what's left.
Just over a year ago, I covered the annihilation of a predominantly Mexican trailer park in the town of Kilpatrick, AL. The area of about 100 homes is known locally as "Little Mexico." When the storm system passed through it lay waste to the majority of these very modest homes. All that remained were the families left with nothing. Looking around at the damage it was hard to imagine this mostly immigrant community rebounding after losing it all in an instant. But then the human will surfaced from the rubble.


I've got your back, you've got mine. Tornado victims find peace in helping each other rebuild.

It wasn't just the Hispanic families helping each other, but others from the town that had previously been divided by the passing of Alabama's controversial immigration bill - the toughest piece of anti-immigration legislature to date . Within an hour of the storm's passing, students from the nearby high school had formed a group to assist with the recovery. Church groups, elected leaders, store owners - all white - journeyed down dirt roads they'd never dared to visit before. In just a few hours, chaos was transformed into a sort of order. Belongings were sorted. Snapped drywall and splintered framing piled neatly and smoldering. Tarps covered roofs and women pulled wagons with boxed meals and teddy bears. As I stood and watched this miracle of empathy from the sidelines it wasn't so hard anymore to believe that good lives in all people. Selfless love had bridged the gap of cultural differences. Disaster had bonded people despite language barriers.  It resonated so strongly that the story was picked up by numerous national news outlets.

The point is that without tragedies like the one we are witnessing tonight, we might forget that exists anymore. In the rat race of a society my generation has come to know, its sometimes hard to remember that people do good for it's own sake still. Despite differing opinions, divides over politics and religion, socioeconomic status  or the color of our skin; Humanity relies on its community to survive. 

My prayers are with the victims and their families tonight. And for those like me still waiting for the storms to pass, stay safe and stay aware.

UPDATE: (Tuesday 4/29/14 9:55AM)
The Associated Press and The Weather Channel are reporting 28 fatalities across the south including six in Alabama. More storms forecasted for this afternoon. 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mass shootings in my newsfeed


Isn't it terrible that when I see the name of a school or a military base in a news headline I just assume there's been a shooting. Then I say to myself, if lots of people had been killed I would have heard about it by now. Then sadly, I resume scrolling through my newsfeed relatively unaffected. I caught myself tonight and realized: it's a scary damn world we live in. #FortHood