Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pages Turn

Reading the last few lines in this chapter of my life, I turn the page. I am eager to begin Part 3. Though unknowing I am eager to explore the new places and set upon the new adventures. I am eager to turn the page.

I have been the damsel in stress, I've slayed a few dragons. I have been a soldier; I have died in battle. I found I have nine lives. I am still fighting.

I have loved and lost. Put my house on it. Walked away with only the shirt on my back only to love again. I have hitchhiked the long road to redemption and am now merging onto the highway of success.

My story has been eventful but I am ready to turn the page. On to a different life, I am ready to turn.

As the plot develops a number of characters disappear. Whether in the dust of disdain or under a shower of well-wishes they go and we each continue in our own way. I am completely embracing mine.

Surely, there will be folded pages for reference, for my favorite parts, but I recognize it slows progress. You can't change what is written, you can only move on. I have turned many wine-spilled, tear-soaked, marker highlighted pages, but with this page I breathe a sigh. I have come into my own. I am eager to begin Part 3.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jada Pinkett Is In Need of Curves

I love the Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith duo. I don't like how they are handling Willow Smith but that has been beaten to death.  I digress...

I believe that the two are of the best looking couples in Hollywood. Or at least they were. Jada isn't looking as nice. It's not that she isn't aging gracefully. She is getting thinner and I am really uncomfortable with it. Sure she is naturally thin but she should put on some grown woman weight. And make and effort of it! No reason a grown woman in her um...let me check...late 30's should look like that! For goodness sakes. I thought she was in her early 40's, she is just 39. The lack of flesh in her face is making her look old.

She used to look soft and amazing (see left.) Maybe someone told her as she is rumored to have had cheek implants.

This doesn't help. Grown woman weight, please! Just saying...
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Monday, December 27, 2010

So You are Forcing Me to Buy Health Insurance? Judge Says You Can't

I'm fairly liberal. I would love this country to join the ranks of developed countries that provide health care to their residents. However, mandating that everyone PURCHASE health insurance is not the best alternative. I totally believe that this was a mechanism to garner support from managed care organizations for Obama's health care initiative. We can agree that states force their residents to purchase car insurance. I don't think that's right either by the way. Just as I don't think universities should force you to purchase a product to enter their institutions (SAT and ACT). These examples are easier to swallow because it is the individual university and the state's prerogative to do so. To make matters worse we would be fined/taxed if we did NOT purchase health insurance. I wrestled with this in my soul. I just decided I just don't like it. 

A Virginia judge doesn't like it either and has declared it unconstitutional. In his 42-page opinion, Federal Judge Henry E. Hudson "concluded that requiring most people to get insurance or pay a fine - as the law mandates starting in 2014 - is an unprecedented expansion of federal power and cannot be justified under Congress's authority to regulate interstate commerce" according to the Washington Post. I'm no lawyer (thank heavens!) but I totally agree. However, as a political scientist, the federal government can simply coerce states to adopt such a mandate individually by withholding funds or offering grant opportunities for those who do. You know, the way they did with increasing the drinking age. More evidence of my lack of law training...why have two different Judges in the same state of Virgina upheld it? I'll have one of my lawyer BFFs explain. The difference between politics and the law is supposed to be objectivity...but we all know that the law is also left up to interpretation. (ahem politics!) Can't wait to see what the Supreme Court says. (20 other states including my lovely state of Florida are fighting to throw the entire law out. That's reaching.)

So what happens if someone hits you and you don't have car insurance? You pay through your nose or you don't get your car fixed. No I am not advocating that someone should die in the ER triage because they don't have the means to pay care. Insurance should be affordable so that everyone would have the ability to ELECT to have coverage. Should you CHOOSE to not purchase insurance, you should 'die' trying to pay the government/hospital back. That is tax enough.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

If They Fired Don Imus, This Idiot Should Be Fired Too!

Hot 97 of New York, the flagship of urban radio stations, has suspended DJ Cipha Sounds indefinitely for saying on air... OK brace yourself...

I am HIV NEGATIVE because I don't mess with Haitian girls.

Is "suspended indefinitely" a synonym for "fired"?

I am not going to comment about the cultural insensitivity, that would be like discussing that the sky is blue and grass is green. I am upset because he was also grossly irresponsible. Considering minority communities as a whole are still in need of proper health education, particularly on the subject of HIV/AIDS he has done a terrible disservice. Where else than one of the most popular radio stations can minorities receive useful information? Instead this idiot propagates lies.

I ask the question again, is suspended indefinitely the same as being fired? If not then this is nothing less than pure hypocrisy. Though I am uncertain if the powers that be over at Hot 97 are ethnic minorities but I would argue that it doesn't matter. Don Imus and his "nappy headed hoes/ Jiggaboos vs Wannabes" comment warranted a cancellation of his radio show. Rick Sanchez, a Latino was fired from CNN for making inappropriate comments about Jews and he wasn't even on his own show! The radio station doing anything short of firing DJ Cipha Sounds sends a message that it is OK for Latinos to say horrible things about Blacks (and vice-versa of course). It's OK for the country's most disadvantaged minorities to continue to perpetuate internal discord.

Most importantly, where is Al Sharpton in all this? Jesse Jackson? Oh, right.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Dont Ask, Don't Tell" is Repealed. What Will You do Now That You Know?

It is hard to believe that for decades there were witch hunts to expose the sexual identity of soldiers and that homosexuality was grounds for dismissal. It is hard to believe that Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a compromise to allow homosexuals to serve in the military. You know, I won't hunt you down and you don't make it glaringly obvious. As perfectly depicted in the illustration, it shouldn't matter who you choose to love or be intimate with especially if you are willing to serve and risk your life for your country. It wouldn't read on your tombstone.

So it's amazing that such a policy is repealed. But what people have not discussed are the mechanisms put in place to ensure that homosexuals have fair treatment in the military. Opponents of the repeal  drew parallels to the decision to end racial segregation in the 1950s and the admission of women to military service in the 1970s as a lame excuse NOT to repeal the ban (which doesn't make sense, both are currently enforced. Why wouldn't we do something that is actually working?) While it is a lame excuse the parallels are valid and should be lessons for implementation and not deterrents.

With all social change i.e. freeing of slaves, there will be a number of resistant individuals. These individuals must be *ahem* encouraged by the law to embrace change and not create policies out of their desire to maintain the status quo. i.e. Jim Crow. To ignore this is foolish. Lessons for implementation...not deterrents.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

All I want For Christmas

Damn Mariah Carey.

I woke this morning humming a song from Mariah Carey's classic Christmas album. It is Christmas time, after all. It brought me back to Christmases past, many of which I spent brokenhearted...waiting and wishing for phone calls that sometimes never came.

"Miss You Most (at Christmas Time) was my obligatory wallowing song. One particular Christmas was terribly difficult. I was desperately in love with someone. Love Unrequited. And for months, miserably hard months, I fought to get over him. I was seeing someone that I had high hopes for. I really liked him and hoped perhaps I'd finally get over Love Unrequited. But he disappointed me horribly. He was to spend two days with me a mid-point of his 7 hour journey home for Christmas. Not only did he not come, he forgot to let me know.

I was hurt. Why would someone do that to ME? I felt little and insignificant. I felt like a fool. What's worse (yes, worse) is that I could only think of the Christmas prior. I had spent hours on the phone with Love Unrequited and did so for days after. It was a wish I'd had for at least three Christmases. But this particular Christmas I was missing him so much I couldn't breathe. I prayed that he'd remember me this Christmas. I sadly I ended up crying my eyes out Christmas night.

Everybody's laughing,the world is celebrating, and everyone's embracing except for you and I.
I actually love the song but it's unfortunate that it takes me to a dark place at times. Especially this cold Monday morning.
I miss you most at Christmas time
And I can't get you, get you off my mind.
Every other season comes along and I'm alright.
But then I miss you most at Christmas time.
As I reminisce on tough Holidays, my husband calls to say he was thinking of me on his drive to work. Hearing him say he loves me always warms my heart. I have all I ever wanted for Christmas, my own love. Amazing love at that.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Commentative Collective

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been overwhelmed with random thoughts and observations that have developed into well, random conclusions. Two weeks worth of commentary can be summarized by the following points:

  • There is a difference between ideological battles and actual policy creation. There is a difference between campaigns and government. As a political scientist I see politics as a game. The ultimate policy is what matters. People pay entirely too much attention to the emotion behind the game and not whether or not they win or lose. Mind you, people aren't exactly sure if it's their team they are rooting for first place (i.e. a state government worker who is calling for drastic cuts in the size and spending of state government. Seriously?).
  • Facebook ruins lives. There have been many potential (and actual) jobs lost, relationships ruined, self-esteems dashed and robberies AND suicides committed due to photos, wall posts and status updates on Facebook. Yet, Facebook continues to expand. I have a fundamental problem with Facebook and it's effect on people's lives and privacy. But I can't break free of it, people refuse to contact me any other way. *Fists in the air* Mark Zuckerberg is a genius, Facebook however is a curse.
  • There is a divorce epidemic in Hollywood. I suggest that they all go under quarantine and stay away from red Carpets and holiday parties until it blows over. It is obviously contagious.
  • No matter how elite Jay-Z has become or how mainstream hip-hop gets, it seems its never acceptable music for the workplace. No problem with Maroon 5, until my office playlist slides to Kanye West...
  • iphone users, I haven't come across an app or function that you have (and that I want) that my G2 (android) phone doesn't have access to. So... Oh facetime? I have skype and google chat on my computer and I will have all the facetime I want with my husband when he gets home from work. I just want to let you know that it gets annoying.
  • Julian Assange says that the sexual misconduct charges against him is nothing less than a smear campaign to discredit him and his organization. No evidence has been provided to him and his attorneys. No kidding. Of course it is! Shouldn't mess with the U.S. I believe we (America) are international bullies, but even I have issues with WikiLeaks. There is little discretion with what is being released and that kind of disregard can only come from someone like Assange, an Australian citizen who has no emotional connection to this country.

Just saying.
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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Lebron HAD to return to Cleveland on a Thursday night!

My husband has just left our home to watch the Cleveland vs Miami game over beers with friends. I am stuck here working on an assignment from work. The hubby never had much faith in the Miami Trinity, I of course loved the idea. Every Miami game he is itching to see them lose and he has been obliged occasionally. The are 12-8, there is no reason for the Heat record to be any less than 17-3 at this point. However, this game tonight is going to be a game they cannot lose. The Jilted City is going to get their revenge either way. Win or Lose.

Cleveland is angry. The arena is sold out. The t-shirts are rude and signs are mean. Hell, they are nasty. There is rumor that there is a chant list for the crowd being passed around that includes one "Lebron went south when his mom rode West" referring to his mother's alleged sexual relationship with his former teammate Delonte West. I mean, that is down right cold. It is going to be tense and hostile. Oh the potential for disaster.

I would be glued to my Flat screen watching in HD any day... except for super Thursday! Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice is on tonight. AND Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!?! Are you kidding? No, I don't have DVR (today...but ask me if I do next week). So I have to choose. I'm thinking the Cleveland arena can't boo for all 4 quarters.

But they are really mad.
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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Who owns a Nook???

I love the advertisements for's e-reader Kindle this holiday season. They are so cute and abundant. Goodness! I own a Nook and eagerly look out for Barnes and Nobles' clever ad for their e-reader combat their chief competitor.


I haven't seen a thing! They have recently released an all-color Nook. How are they planning to sell this thing? I love my Nook. I received it in July from my husband as a birthday gift. (Fantastic gift, by the way.) It has WI-FI and 3G, web surfing capabilities, touch screen keyboard and that wonderful e-ink that e-readers use. I cannot read books or journal articles on my computer screen. Can't stand it. I'm sensitive and old-fashioned. With my Nook I can read all day and not get irritated. It's wonderful. I can't imagine the Kindle being so much better. Barnes and Noble has LOTS of books and I have always found what I was looking for. I can search, purchase and read all on my gadget in a matter of minutes. I can even put my academic journals on the device since it reads pdf. No more looking for articles and carrying tons of paper! I have the Nook app on my smartphone and can read all the books in my Nook library from there. You know, if I must.

I think its great product. But who else does? How can they with limited advertising?? I know that the iPad is very intimidating right now but Kindle is still fighting. Nook should too.

* Update* Just found out a co-worker owns a Nook and of course LOVES it!
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mr. Ed Bradley : the Most Interesting Dog in the World

I have an incredibly interesting dog. He does not bark. Well, he can bark he simply chooses not to. Only once or twice a year. Bradley is far from a guard dog. He is a the size of a large house cat but completely terrified of them. He is scared of everything actually. Tall people, vacuum cleaners, large brown bags filled with groceries, thunderstorms... helium balloons. My husband often jokes about selling him and getting "something more useful"He is the by far the most interesting dog in the world. He is nosy as hell and sneaky. Bradley is not allowed on the couch. But quietly unlock the front door while entering our home and you can occasionally catch him hopping off the couch and running to hide.
Sneaky dog! He is the pickiest eater and hates for you to watch him eat. Bradley is by far the most interesting dog in the world if he were human, he'd drink Dos Equis.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

African Prints Are In!

And I cannot be more excited! Left and right I am seeing more and more designers featuring African or African inspired prints. What is so awesome is that a lot are just African fabric in simply sew in Western silhouettes. This is a great change on what seems to be an obligatory fish-tail/mermaid silhouette for West African women wearing traditional styles.

Zoe Saldana in Louis Vuittion

Gwen Stefani

Rihanna in Suno

What irks me is how people are paying hand over fist for things I have a drawers full of of! Boxing Kitten charges hundreds of dollars for a pieces I swear my aunties bring back from Nigeria for me as gifts. I would kill for those rompers they create out of ankara fabric. Now that I have a sewing machine...I will try and make one.

Fergie, Beyonce and Alicia Keys in Boxing Kitten

ASOS has some amazing pieces. They have a subsection ASOS AFRICA that is essentially, rompers, halters and dresses etc. made from African fabric. I just purchased a blazer from the UK based site that I almost died for. I am seeing a lot of this trend coming out of the UK too. Darn Brits! If they would only let me order from H&M online...

Korto Momolu always stays close to her West African roots with her runway designs. Everything is clean, yet bold sophisticated and African inspired. I would wear anything she put together.

To see more celebrities wearing African styles check out Madame Noire

Or you it! Here's to hoping this trend lasts. There a big Indian inspired trend 5 or 6 years ago and that lasted awhile. Africa can use the boost and I would LOVE to give all the clothes I have in my drawers a run.

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Who divorces over sexting?!?

I mean, to each his own... but if you are going to spend millions of dollars on a wedding and call all your family out to watch you recite vows that include "forever" and "always" I wouldn't think sexual text messages would make you divorce.

Now break up. Yes. If you were boyfriend and girlfriend and not legally bound (children are legally binding in case you were wondering) sure. Disappointment sucks, but it's marriage and this means you made a promise to stay in spite of a lot of unforeseen circumstances.

So dissolves marriage over sexting!?! Well, when actual cheating has gone on in the past-when there are is a "you were sending nasty texts to our friend instead of being there when I needed you most" present-when it is really the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Bigger question is who's friend boldly tells the media intimate details about the situation. Geesh Mario Lopez!
[Image via Huffington Post]
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No more Waity Katy!

Well, I am terribly excited about the Prince William putting a ring on it! His mother's ring at that! Whew! Eight years (or 10 I have heard) and Kate was actively...waiting. No job, no career... just waiting to be royalty. Well ta-da! Good things come to those who wait. Patience of a princess! I like Kate Middleton.

I like her (as much as you can like someone you don't know at all) because she is cute and looks rather normal. I hear she is middle class girl with no real royal background. Now I don't know what type of middle class girl would be mingling with the queen and her sons so I question just how "middle class" she is. Nonetheless, she super adorable I love her clothes and her make up is always so nice. Sets off her cheek bones.

Makeup and clothes may sound frivolous but I clearly have nothing else to go on. Not like she is some outstanding accountant or anything--cause again she didn't get a job. But she has a big job ahead of her. Princess Diana had the heart of many and was very philanthropic, so I am sure everyone has big expectations of her. No one more than her husband-to-be. You know how men love their mothers.

[Image via]
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ok Seriously, Where is Audra McDonald on Private Practice?

I am not the only one asking. I typed it in google and the phrase come up by itself! Frequently searched. Her absence is very conspicuous in case the writers didn't know. I can imagine that it would be awkward for Naomi's (McDonald's character) ex-husband Sam and BFF Addison to be "a couple" in plain sight and within her presence. Personally, I can't stand Sam and Addison as a couple. It's gross. No, it is not an adversion to interacial couples. I would prefer someone not needy, neurotic and annoying like Addison. Sam and Charlotte would make more sense. Besides, everything in the world is wrong with your best friend sleeping with your ex-husband, especially if that same best-friend slept with her own ex-husband's best-friend. Wreckless.

Anywho, the Naomi character is intergral to the show. Or at least she was. As the season develops and pivotal things happen her absence becomes more pronounced. I wish someone would tell us what is going on. Is Audra McDonald doing a Broadway show?Is she pregnant? And the biggest question of all that everyone is she leaving the show? On Greys Anatomy, Izzie just left and never came back, but we heard about Katherine Heigl leaving from the media. In this situation on Private Practice, we have nothing. Grrrr!
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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Isn't this interesting?

Doesn't Chris Wallace from Fox News look like Sheldon from the show "Private Practice"? I watched him on "The Daily Show" literally could not tell the difference for a while. Wallace might have better hair. Maybe.
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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Sink Scott, Please!!

Oh my goodness. Florida state political scene is a zoo, (while California is probably a circus show). It has been the most expensive and down right nasty mid-term election in a long while. The current governor forfeited a sure bet at a second term as governor to run in the U.S. Senate race. I'm sure he thought it was a good idea at the time given the political climate, as he had his eyes on the presidency and saw the trend leading towards senators. My how things change so quickly!! He ends up being ousted from the Republican party, running as an Independent and ultimately losing the election. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee actually won more votes than originally projected. Possibly sympathetic votes due to the rumor that Bill Clinton asked him to drop out of the race. Now, we have Marco Rubio who is waaaaay to conservative for me but I can live with that. He now no longer directly impacts state policy (he is a current Florida state legislator). It is Rick Scott that I am worried about!

The Florida gubernatorial race has been interesting indeed! In a race that was sure to be one between our Attorney General Bill McCollum and current state CFO Alex Sink, we are going over-time a with less than 1% advantage of Rick Scott over Alex Sink!! Are you kidding me??
Both Rubio and Scott are Tea-Party favorites and Scott is gong-ho over trimming government and reducing government expenditures. Um, I work for this said government in an area where they are constantly trimming and is the greatest state expenditure. Medicaid. I don't see how his camp is chants how they are going to create jobs when they are sure to cut those of state workers.

Praying for an upset in over-time. It is Wednesday 11am, the election is way over. I guess Florida is poised to have some election drama every 10 years.
*Update* Alex Sink has conceded. AND my congressman Allen Boyd (for 13 years)was ousted. I'm preparing my resume/CV now.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name is Probably Married

I'm married now. I have to change my name. My name will not be changing my much for I am keeping my last name and adding my husband's. Our last name's differ by three letters. Not a big deal, right? It really isn't.

Except, are you serious? I JUST got used to the name that I have. Growing up in America with a name like mine? I had always considered myself fairly traditional. As a young girl I doodled my name with the last name of my boyfriend all the time. Yet, I am having a difficult time getting over the fact that I am changing my name right now. I mean how will it affect my mail, my academic records, for God's credit!?! I know, I know a rose by any other name is still a rose. I am still myself but changing my name also refers to the grown woman that I have become (become ???) and refers to the person I am today. I guess.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Who Takes Two Week Breaks?

I do. In the past two weeks I have gone to Miami Beach for and had my share of carrot cake and all sorts of treats that I have deprived myself of in the previous month, sending my diet straight to hell with extra postage. I am an emotional eater and I'm a cancer who's a bit overwhelmed so I am...eating. But I enjoyed being in Miami even though I was there during Urban Beach weekend or something like that. I enjoyed the crowd and the people watching. Yes, I did enjoy seeing men with reflective smiles and women scantily clad and motorcycles...(what is with the motorcycles and no clothes? That's not safe. I mean what happens if you fall off?). There is a time and place for everything and what a better why to enjoy your Memorial Day weekend? South Beach eating and drinking something you paid way too much for, laughing it up and talking to P. Diddy's kids. Random... but true.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

From I Will to I Do Part 3: A Love Letter to Carot Cake

Dear Carot Cake,

Though it has only been a couple of weeks though it feels like years since I've seen you. I miss you so much. I long for your sweet cream cheese icing and you pecan inclusions. Your moist brown goodness is like no other. No, I am not sneaking around on you with yellow cake. I told yellow cake I needed space a while ago. It is you that I could not let go of. I know its hard for us to be apart right now but we both know that love requires sacrifice and I will fit into that wedding dress. So just hold on Carot Cake and in a little more than 3 months, we can be together forever.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

His Middle Name is Hussein. It's Okay.

In addition to the "the president isn't a natural born citizen" claim that still persists despite presented evidence, I am sick and tired of this Hussein-is-his-name issue. Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein. He's okay with it. I'm okay with it. His father did not consult the American public when he decided to name his child. It is a name. It should not be considered derogatory or made to seem as such. So to hear that Democrats on the Texas School Board argued against the motion of a Republican member to add Obama's middle name to their textbooks (and their history and social studies textbook issue is a shame) because they believe the Republicans intend it to be derogatory is a sad situation on the part of the Democrats which include African-American members. Barack Hussein Obama should be referred to the way he took his oath of office. Barack Hussein Obama.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Distant Relatives: A Necessary Creative Initiative

Ever the Pan-Africanist, I am very excited about the new Nas and Damien Marley album Distant Relatives which hit the stores on Tuesday. With songs like Africa Must Stand Up and Strong Will Continue and K'naan (who I love! ) as a featured artist, they make emphasis that all Blacks, on the continent and the throughout the Diaspora are connected. Unity is the means to progress. And if there is anything I stress in my African-American Studies course it is Pan-Africanism. All three tend to have politically motivated lyrics in their projects so I am eager to hear this album. In fact, I'm going to pick it up on my lunch break.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

But He Doesn't Look That Much Darker to Me...

There is talk around the Internet (and USA Today) the recently bleached Sammy Sosa is "back to basic Black". Apparently he has been seen partying at a Miami nightclub and he no longer looks like a supersized Marc Anthony. Um, looking at this TMZ, he looks nothing like he used to. There hasn't been much of a change to me. This is a seasonal change that the average Black person experiences from the fall/winter when you spend time in doors to the summer when you are catching a lot of sun. I already have to use a different make-up foundation here in sunny FLA and it is just the month of May.
Of course, his recent lighter appearance sheds light on the skin color complex a number of Diaspora Black suffer from. Even on the Continent there are plenty of people who have damaged their skin using skin-whiteners because they believe----they have been led to believe---that lighter skin is better. This is more than an issue of seeing Beyonce and Alicia Keys in the media everyday and therefore you perceive lighter skin as the standard of beauty. No. This is a systematic issue of class and societal value. No matter how successful Sammy Sosa had become he was still a Black man, from a place where being "Black" is ill received. Worthless. Though the psychological effects are similar, I would argue on that on the population level it may not be as severe. American Blacks are more preoccupied with hair-texture than skin complexion. Having good hair is as good as if not better than having light skin. And we sacrifice for it. That same sacrifice can be seen in many Blacks in many parts of the Diaspora. So much so that many risk their lives to change that very feature of themselves.

photo via TMZ
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Lena Horne passes at the age of 92

Singer/actress pioneer Lena Horne passed away yesterday, on Mothers' Day at the age of 92. Of the Black female pioneers in the film and music industry she (along with Miriam Anderson) is one that I especially held close to my heart.
She was not just a Black history bite of information to me. She was on the Cosby Show, Sesame Street, the Muppet Show, the Wiz. She was around to inspire me as a little girl growing up in the 80's. Most influential for me was her duet with Kermit the Frog singing "It's Not Easy Being Green" which is one of my all-time favorites. Children can recognize skin-color and ethnicity differences at a very young age. It is so amazing to break the issue down for a child, to reach their insecurities and offer reassurance in a song.
So in my adult mind I know that at 92 she has lived a full life. She was just as beautiful in her late years as she was in her youth. She made her mark as a jazz singer. I can remember playing her "Stormy Weather" on number of Saturday nights that I have spent alone. But the child in me is mourning Glenda the Good Witch. I am mourning the person who told me it was OK to be me in a way I could understand even as she was coming to grips with that herself.
My identity is very clear to me now, I am a black
woman, I’m not alone, I’m free. I say I’m free because I no longer have to be a credit, I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.

Her presence will be missed. May she rest in peace.

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Forever Young

I had my braces removed a few days ago and I feel as though I have aged about 5 years. Admittedly, the braces made me look as if I was in my very early 20's so I probably just look my age now. My age is still relatively young, though lately I have been concerned with my fleeting youth. I notice that things don't look the way that they used do, they don't move the way they used to. I cannot party the way I did in college and pull all-nighters 4 nights out of the week to get work done. I am no longer superwoman.

The models in fashion ads seem to be getting younger. I can't relate to some of the current music. I cannot shave the side of my head because well, I have a real-ass job! I dwell on the fact that Biggie Smalls was only 26 when he was killed. He died when I was well into my teens. He seemed much older then, now I realize that he was just a baby.

My colleagues and I complain about co-workers and their intimidation. A young, well-educated, and talented employee is someone everyone fears will take their job. A few years ago I would be angry and think it was unfair but I have noticed my growing sympathy towards our co-workers' situation.

Old men have no shame about making eyes or saying inappropriate comments to me now. I am just old enough now that they don't think of me as their daughter. In fact I am at the age in which I may catch the eye of older, younger and those who are relatively the same age as me. One day this will all change. It's sad that this is what I think of. Sad but true.

I want to be forever young. I guess inside I always assumed I would be.
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Monday, May 03, 2010

From "I Will" to "I Do" Part 2- Procrastination and Weight Loss

It is a little more than 4 months until my wedding and there are a slew of things that I have not done yet. I will not say what they are because I am a bit embarrassed. But mainly they're the do-it-yourself projects that I---the frugal bride now wish I had simply paid someone to do.

I have however, chosen and ordered my wedding dress. It has been at the bridal salon for two months. I have not seen it or tried it on. Nope. I gotta lose weight. Sure I arguably don't quite NEED to lose weight. I am starting to resent people who question me about this"but why?" "come on, you can have a little bit of cake." Is there a bride that was not worried about her weight before her wedding? And why do people try to sabotage your efforts by being ever so persistent with that piece of cake!! I should lose weight because I was a bit ambitious with my gown sizing. I cannot face the disappointment of getting into the gown and it not ziping up. I can't face it.
Besides you can let the gown out but you can't take the gut in. Losing weight is a more efficient solution.
But as I drag my feet, that is one extra thing on the list of many that needs to get done.

And I'll get to it, I will. As soon as I finish this cheesecake. And after this weekend because it's my sister's birthday, certainly there will be birthday cake.
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Friday, April 30, 2010

Awesome article: "How We Became White People"

Interesting title as the author, Christian Launder admits to having always been white. Launder is the writer of the blog (And now Book!) Stuff White People Like (which you all know I follow) and a Canadian immigrant. He gives an interesting perspective on the new immigration law that passed in Arizona. But even better he addresses that such discriminatory legislation was once passed to keep Europeans out. The Jewish, Irish, Italian and Eastern European, "the Ethnic-Whites". But now they are they are absorbed into American society and appearance has a lot to do with it.

Fantastically well written. I am jealous.

Check out on here.

photo via CNN
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Putting Floridians Before Politics?

Great time to be a Florida Resident and a political junkie!

I had to checking in after the recent announcement that current Florida Governor Charlie Crist IS planning to abandon the Republican Party and run as an Independent for the Florida Senate seat. Once considered a shoe-in for the senate seat Crist is now trailing behind young Florida state legislator Marco Rubio who has become the darling of the party. Does he really believe that the inter-party squabbling undermines the potential for good Florida policy? OR does he really want to win, so bad that he would abandon the party that once considered him a front runner for the VP position in 2008?

Rubio's major appeal is his age (he's kinda a cutie, I admit) and his charge that Crist is not a true Republican. You know, basically since he hugged the President and vetoed a shiteous education bill recently. But has he ever been? No. First he's been referred to as a RINO for years. Second he is one of few Republican politicians I actually like, which should tell you something.

There are so many ways this can play out. As an Independent he may eat into the votes of the leading Democratic candidate, Congressman Kendrick Meek. There can be a play on young and new vs older and the same as Meek is also a relatively young man. Or it can be a play on the minority issue, Rubio being Latino and Meek an African-American. Despite Crist's Greek tan... he does not count as a minority. Or Meek could come out a serious winner from this... splitting the Republican vote preventing neither Rubio or Crist to gain a majority.

Pretty exciting. Can't wait to hear this come out of Crist's mouth when he announces it tomorrow.
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bloggy Break.

As you can see blogging is far and in between right now. But don't despair--in case you were---I will be back in full force shortly. The end of the semester is upon us. I am reading papers. Grading papers. Writing papers of my own. Giving exams. Whew! But the thoughtful criticism will be back in a week.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Removing Tattoos is not Gangsta is reporting what folks have been talking about for a while now, in addition to how lame he is. Fiddy is removing his tattoos because of his "movie career". Right.

You can still have a movie career and tattoos. I'm just upset he gave this whole gangsta, "I got shot 356 times and I'm still alive but I drive a bullet proof car" persona and did not fully commit to it.

There are kids with ruined lives because of him. In his transition out of the hood he is alienating the people who look up to him. I wonder if he gives back to the neighborhood while he's trying to copy the yuppies he sees everyday now that he has Vitamin Water money. Boo.

But really 50 cent can do no right by me.

Photo via People
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This is Why I Still Believe in Capital Punishment

For some crimes locking someone up for the rest of there lives is just not enough. Raping a child is just as heinous as murder, in fact worse. All acts of rape, especially those under the age of 18, are bad. However the rape of a pre-pubesent minor is...

See, I have no words. I believe that this type of crime is just as evil as killing in cold blood. The act does not end though with a relatively immediate death, but a slow killing. Killing the child's self-esteem, ability to love (others or themselves) and killing their off-spring because those who have been abused as a child often abuse others.

The death penalty for the rape of a child less than 12 years old is a serious policy suggestion. The rinky-dink child molester list is not doing enough to save our children.

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Jill Scott on Black women feeling stung by Interracial Relationships: Part 2

In continuation of my response to Jill Scott's commentary on interracial relationships, in part 1 I stated that as bad as it sounds, it's true, the majority of black women feel a 'wince' when seeing a Black man with a White woman. It is not because they dislike interracial relationships as the "wince" does not occur when the situation is reversed. But Jill makes a poignant claim that there is a sense of betrayal and this is where I left off. I believe the issue is an issue of supply and demand.

I understand and share the feeling of betrayal. But I do not think that we as Black women are justified to dwell is such a place. Firstly, betrayal suggests an agreement, bond or contract in which she makes the argument that because of their shared struggle in history such a bond is implied. However, it is clear that any such contract between Black men and Black women whether expressed or implied has been breached. Do you continue to honor a contract when the other party does not? I am in support of strengthening the Black community and improving the relationship dynamics between Black men and women. But I am more in support of the improvement in self-image and self-value of Black women. So yes I believe that dating outside of your race as a Black woman is great.
Relaxing the issue of race, in part 1 I illustrated that I too experienced difficulty with young men with my own cultural background marrying outside our culture. The men did but the women did not though we all were strongly encouraged to. What is important is that there is a residual sentiment of inadequacy that is shared among the women that did not. I have heard young men say that they did not find women with our cultural background attractive and witnessed differential treatment to women who did not share their cultural background. I felt betrayed. There are women who worked hard, earned advanced degrees and never disappointed their parents--save for this one area. Now they feel like failures. How would one respond to that? Date outside your culture. Which I did.

What is most enraging is the "Black Man in America syndrome", symptoms includes difficulty in being exclusive with one Black woman and actually declaring "I'm a hot-commodity". What makes me angry is that it is true. The demand for this "successful Black man" is only because he is scarce and secondly that Black women restrict themselves to Black men.

"Well White men find you attractive" a friend said one day. Trust me they find you attractive too. Not All! Like not all Black men find me attractive. And in all my interracial involvements I found that the person who was most uncomfortable about race was me. I find that restricting ourselves to Black men 1. perpetuates feelings of inadequacy 2. Guarantees a number of Black women to be alone (or sharing a Black man, which is another post all together) because the stats just don't add up. This is more detrimental for the Black community for the Black women and perceptions of their value is something that we pass down to our kids verbally and through cues. And we best love ourselves by allow us to find the kind of love we deserve. Where ever we shall find it.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Erykah Badu: Creative or Socially Irresponsible?

Any true fan of Erykah Badu would expect nothing less than her video for her new single Window Seat. The video exhibits walking through a park her stripping her clothes off piece by piece until she is naked...then she is shot. This video can be interpreted in a number of ways. However, most simply we are often criticized most when we are honest and show who we truly are. The video ends with her saying that people assassinate what they do not understand. Sure, her being shot sounds a bit much but she is an artist that takes on social issues and I anticipate creativity.

What I did not know was:

1. This was not a production site but a real park with real unsuspecting by-standers and

2. She did not have a permit to shoot such a video or any video at all.

3. She is "shot" next to or close to where JFK was shot.


I am all for being provocative but first, there are laws. Let's not break them. Second, the JFK issue is a bit sensitive, but aside from the fact that there was no permit (geez!) then this is no different than any other musical artist making some sort of political statement.

Social responsibility suggests responsiblity for society and with the recent health care reform debate we know that a number of folks want that responsibility to be as little as possible. I say chillax.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jill Scott on Black women feeling stung by Interracial Relationships: Part 1

People have taken to the blogosphere to discuss Jill Scott's recent commentary in Essence Magazine about what she describes as a "wince" or a "sting" that Black women feel, particularly herself when they see, hear or realize that a successful Black man is married to a White woman. There are a number of comments in agreement and there are many comments of disdain and finger pointing. I find that interesting.

For Black women, admitting that you may wince when you see a Black man with a Black woman is like admitting that you have peed in the pool before. Some will condemn you and scream "you're nasty !" but I would be hard pressed to find someone that has never peed in the pool before.

Many are calling her racist and that what she says is disgusting (kind like peeing in the pool right?). Many of them are Black. What's surprising is just how many are "SO disgusted". It's common knowledge within the Black community that Black women harbor this sentiment. It's a topic at comedy shows. My White girlfriends have all experienced the fiery stares of Black women as they walk hand-in-hand with their Black male partners. So if this is news to you, trust me you are of the last to know.

Jill explains that Black women and men in American history weren't valued, suffered a harsh existence and struggled together. They were a team.
[...] what we really feel when we see a seemingly together brother with a Caucasian woman and their children. That feeling is betrayed. we exert efforts to raise our sons and daughters to appreciate themselves and respect others, most of us end up doing this important work alone, with no fathers or like representatives, limited financial support (often court-enforced) and, on top of everything else, an empty bed. It's frustrating and it hurts!

She forgets to mention how that wince rarely occurs when the situation is reversed. I literally have to hold myself back from running up and giving a Black woman a high five when I see her married to a "seemingly together" White man. Furthermore, Black women complain about the number of homosexual Black men just as often as they do about Black men dating White women. It isn't just about race, it is also about the numbers.

Black women outnumber Black men. Period. If you are by chance selective and would like a Black man say, without criminal record, to be a college grad, heterosexual AND gainfully employed you have reduced that number drastically----- Not considering whether the two of you have chemistry or if he is even nice to you. If you want him to have good credit and no prior children well--you are looking at my man and you need to back off!! (Kidding. I'm just kidding.)

To better illustrate I will relax the issue of race. As a child of African immigrants my parents pressured me to marry within our culture, common to many first generation Americans. If Black men are hard to find imagine restricting yourself to a subset of them. Finding a "successful" one was not as difficult (immigrant parents usually push their kids really hard) as was finding a nice one. "Successful" Black man? That's a collectors item! He's holding out for the highest bidder and you-member of a subset of Black women-don't even have a paddle to make a bid with. Of the Black American men I know with my cultural background, I don't know ONE that married within their culture. I'm sure there are some but the fact that I don't know of any speaks volumes. You wait for him though that effort is not reciprocated. I know plenty of well-educated women (and their parents) still waiting for their 0.0000019% chance. That is betrayal.

Are we justified? This is where I depart from Jill Scott and explain in Part 2.
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Friday, March 19, 2010

A Model Hazzard

Reason number 897 why I was not encourgaged to become a model (in addition to only being 5'5, of course) is my strong adversion to public embarassment. General embarassment really. This line of work would likely include free designer clothing, access to exlusive parties and travel in it's bundle of benefits. Unlikely to be included however, is health insurance.

Modeling is a dangerous job! Now let's consider those who's occupation is just as dangerous yet they earn a fraction of what models earn and don't have the ability to purchase private insurance... just saying.

View just how dangerous modeling could be. It's even funnier the second time around.

It's Friday. Sue me.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Has Facebook Become a Legitimate Presence in Our Everyday Lives?

Today it was announced that the social-networking site Facebook had more hits than Google, the mega search engine. Am I surprised? Yes, but I do not find that hard to believe. What people often describe as an addiction, what students (grad students for sure) describe as the ultimate procrastination tool, Facebook has somehow become a legitimately functional part of our lives. I for one am not the Facebook's biggest fan. I believe the social-networking site has single handedly undermined the privacy of the average person everywhere. It has taken the high school bathroom wall to the worldwide web. And what was once a scotched-taped Polaroid and dirty words written on the bathroom wall is now a jpg. file and a video captured by ones iPhone for the whole world to see. And God-forbid someone actually tags you.

Facebook blurs the lines of impropriety as my students find no issues with sending me friend requests. I mean, would you ask your teacher for their cell phone number so you can send them texts later? Facebook transforms your life into a glass house visible for those merely passing by. Details of your summer vacation or office party are available for those you wouldn't call up on the weekend to tell. Past relationships are suddenly and surprisingly current, even with those in which it is probably best to lose touch.

I have had a Facebook account for 5 out of the 6 years of its existence. Of course the level and nature of content has changed over the past 5 years. There are a number of events that are forever present because of the connective nature of the site. I can't simply delete photos. By best friend begged me to tag her. And it seems that no one believes in email anymore. Instead people send Facebook messages, which I am quite hesitant to check. Privacy settings change constantly making it almost impossible to conceal yourself, without taking yourself out all together. Which I have done before.

Most concerning is that Gmail and Pandora are blocked in my workplace, but Facebook conspicuously is not. Google powers my life; I use Gmail, Google chat, Google maps, Google Calendar. I have the G-1, the first Google phone. The idea that an invasive procrastination tool is more valuable in the work place than personal email (most likely the account used on your resume!!!) and visited more than the site that is the vehicle to answering all of your most random inquiries is disturbing to me, at the very least.
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Sunday, February 28, 2010

From 'I Will' to 'I Do' - Part 1: Be Careful What You Ask For

This is not a wedding blog. By no means do I intend to change or slightly modify this blog, my blog full of wit and critical analysis of politics and lifestyle topics----to a wedding blog. However, I recognize that the bulk of my 'lifestyle analysis' is largely about my own lifestyle and right now my life is completely consumed by work and planning my wedding. As a result I have not written in almost 2 months in efforts to not discuss my inability to settle on a choice of tablecloth. (Which I have completely solved now...whew!)
So I have given myself permission to write about my experience wedding planning. Occasionally. Therefore I will include a 12 part series called "From I Will to I Do". However, there would be no discussion of taffeta versus satin, trust me.

When people find out that you are getting married they ask a series of standard questions, for instance, "when's the date" and "have you picked your colors"? Additionally, there is someone who probably only wants an update or simply wants to make conversation who asks "how's planning going?" DON'T ASK THAT UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW.
This is a question that you can't---well I can't---help but answer truthfully. "It's a little overwhelming." Here I am giving you an opportunity to end the conversion fairly quickly. It is advised to respond with "Yeah, it can be sometimes." Or "It will get better." And then get the hell out of there. If you respond "Yeah, how so?" You brought it upon yourself.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Case of the Mondays

This morning I got out of bed at 4am to wash my hair. I was incredibly motivated to start the day. By 6am I went back to bed for what should have been a quick nap. However, after I hit my snooze button say...twice, my fiance' turns of my alarm. Grrr! So I wake up 2 hours later than intended with the familiar feeling of scrambling to get ready, to get my head together which seems to last all day. I had the serious case of the Mondays today and skipping lunch didn't help either. There are many substantial issues in the news today that will just have to wait until tomorrow for my comments. Mondays tend to conjure the question (and I am sure this is the case for many at their respective jobs) "why am I doing this?". I came across a comic that I saved sometime ago that reminded me that their may not be a point to this Ph.D thing. Today of all days.

Can't wait to go home and watch Hoarders.
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Friday, January 08, 2010

khloe and Lamar and the Pink Elephant in the Room

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom are eager to have a baby "right away". It has been reported that they both really want kids and can't wait to start a family together. "Lamar really wants kids".

Okay, Okay. But what happened to the kids that Lamar already has? Is it me??

Like...he already has kids. 3 of them with the same woman (though one passed away) whom he did not marry, by the way. Are we just going to pretend that they don't exist?

I'm bothered. Maybe it is just me.
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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Health Care Reform Bill Explained, Kinda

So we know that the Senate passed the Health Care Reform Bill (yes!) But this is only half the battle. The version from the House and that that has just passed from the Senate must be merged, blended (or more accurately, argued and fought over) before it shows up on the desk of the President. But do you even know what the health care bill is about? Death panels? Public option? Funded Abortions? We are sooooo past that. I found a great tutorial with an adorable guide to help explain the Senate bill.

I feel like I learned something.
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Monday, January 04, 2010

Does This Mean Kanye West is Going to Rap Again?

Kanye, ranting about how his work will get better with time ends his blog with "Now I'll figure out a way to make that rhyme". I am an avid fan of Mr. West but I admittedly did not buy his last album. I do not want to hear Kanye West sing. That is like buying Meryl Streep's debut recording album. Or Coke releasing a new formula. Why? I miss old Kanye. I have Late Registration in my car right now. *Tear drops* Kanye is amazing, usually. I can wait for his next--hiphop album.
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Sunday, January 03, 2010

What?!? Nigerians are Terrorists Now?

During the break, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a Nigerian National decided that it was a good idea to blow up a commercial plane en route the U.S. Now this is obviously very unoriginal, but if you are going to do something like this you are going to want to do this right. I am not sure what I find more shameful, that a Nigerian has decided to blow up a commercial plane in the U.S. (I mean really? Why doesn't he just go invent the light bulb?) or that as close as he got to doing so was starting a fire in his crouch in coach seating.

Now, I am an American National, born and raised but I still feel a bit...disturbed. He is relatively a baby. He looks like someone who would hangout and play cyber combat games with my little brother. He is a graduate of University College London. This is like going to Brown, Dartmouth or Yale in the U.K. His daddy is stupid rich. His father being a "successful Nigerian banker" may not translate easily so let me help. I repeat, his daddy is stupid rich! Like one of the richest men in Nigeria. For those picturing flies in the faces of starving children, let me remind you that Nigeria is an oil country. The little boy's last known residence was in a multimillion dollar flat in London. What was your living situation like in college?? Stupid rich.

This is not your everyday (read: stereotypical) Islamic extremist.

This could add to why he slipped through the cracks. But his "stupid rich" father told the U.S embassy that he was worried about his son...why was he not on the no-fly list? And he bought his plane ticket as a cash purchase, this should be a big red flag While I am sure that we should take every bomb threat seriously, a little 23 year old rich Black Muslim boy with an ivy-league equivalent education is probably not on the priority list of National investigations.

And who is using a credit or debit card to buy a plane ticket out of Nigeria?? I mean, I'm not.

This may seem selfish but what disturbs me most is that the already don't let young men from Nigeria obtain visas to the U.S. Hell, we had trouble getting my grandma a visa once and she had been traveling to the U.S. for 20 years! They do not let young men from developing countries who are not little rich snots like Umar Mutallab into the United States. No, not even a visiting visa. The rationale is that if they come they will never go back. Because of this incompetent little snot who could only set fire to his Burberry trousers I will never be able to take my cousins to DisneyWorld.
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