Monday, November 18, 2013

The Generational Gap - When Does it Age Out?

We often hear how this millennial generation is one of entitlement, fast spaced and is accustomed to many spoils which some may say leads to the unconventional modern employee.  Basically millennials' are the WTF generation who takes no crap, and will do as they please when they please as long as the job gets done!  Being labeled as Generation X I do tether on both the Baby Boomer and Millennial end until recently in which I think my so called balancing act is kind of swaying towards team Millennial and here's why.

By trade I am a Learning and Development professional which means I'm a strong proponent of growth and development, no shock there.  Recently I've been assigned a project to re-structure an Executive Training Program.  This program is geared to recent college graduates seeking retail management positions.  During the planning phase I included retail management seminars but also seminars geared to understand the life cycle of merchandise, the role of the corporate office and leadership development skills; afterall these people will be in management which will mean they will be leading.  As the re-structured program was viewed by leadership, the following comment was uniformly shared amongst these individuals "I don't want these trainees knowing anything else except retail, if we show them anything about corporate, they'll want to leave and join the corporate office".   It took me a minute to let the statement resonate and unfortunately I don't have a poker face so everything pretty much showed what I was feeling.  So rather than play coy, I just had to ask why?

The response for a lack of a better word was RIDICULOUS.  These "Leaders" said they have a fear of college kids who feel entitled.  To them it was insane that these young adults did not want to work on  weekends, and holidays (including Thanksgiving).  In reality who the hell wants to work on weekends and on Thanksgiving especially after I've completed four years of college and have mounting student debt.  Furthermore, their rationale was once they get a sense that there's something else out there they would want to leave, so it would be best not to expose them.  When was the last time you heard of a college graduate not being exposed; one word to defy this, Internet!  The first thing I could think of was the word oppression and a sense of keeping a group down; being a Blacktina I can relate.  As I evaluated their responses I couldn't help but notice they called the management trainees, kids; that alone means they aren't being respected.  Secondly, how can we be a Learning and Development culture and you have a fear of growth opportunities? The sentiment alone contradicts the body of work you so admiringly have pursued as your passion.  And then it hit me, it wasn't about being a Learning and Development professional, it was about being OLD!

The fear factor during this meeting was displayed by those who have been with the company 20 years plus and they weren't 40.  The average age in this meeting ranged from 40-62.  The one's in the 40 range you could tell were baffled, but those 50 and 60 year olds, good lord they meant what they said and wanted like hell to stay that way.   Adjectives like spoil, smarty pants, arrogant were all thrown out to describe these college recruits.  With the obvious resentment towards this generation I had to ask why are we recruiting them.  The answer was simple, we are a progressive organization.  I almost died! LOL.  Really!?!?! You're progressive but you're scared to let them see anything other than what they're here for.  It took all of me to say get the f*ck outta here with that bullshit! But I think my poker face showed it all.

As the meeting adjourned my boss who's also a sistah and around my age understood my frustration and applauded me for quickly recovering.  She then suggested that I "crawl" rather than challenge this group.  Basically spoon feed them only a little cause they ain't ready.  While I appreciated her advice I was pisst the f*ck off.  Why do I have to "crawl" and take it easy? Is it out respect? Is out of fear that I'll be deemed troublesome? Why can't these Boomers see their antiquated methods have aged out?!?! Coincidentally the reasoning to restructure this program was due to it's attrition rate of 32%, considerably low compared to other retailers.  Unfortunately, to this group the reason for such failure is the perception of millennial entitlement.  Their perception and control makes me really wonder who's the entitled group now?

Peace Out,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Be Careful Calling Yourself "Hov"

Ingenious to cryptically call yourself God and have billions of followers respect you as the same.  I'm talking about rap great Jay Z aka Hov, or Hova.  For those who don't know Hov (Hova) is derived from the God name of Jehova.  When I first heard this back in 2002 I was like damm, dude is smooth who would of thought!?!?! However, Mr. Hov's actions of late do not seem very godly like!

Jay Z like other countless hip hop moguls have partnered with a high end store, in this case Barneys.  When was the last time someone from your hood said I bought this from Barneys, just saying.......Granted his partnership is to benefit the Shawn Carter foundation for the socio economic under privilege.  According to Hov he's not making a dime off this venture.  Yet its been highly publicized, his new line is debuting on November 20th.  When I first heard of this partnership I was like OK here we go, you'll tote that you're still all that, you're hood, blah, blah and if you don't believe me just listen to his music.  But if you're still in touch then you should know we don't shop at Barneys or any of the exclusive high end retail.  Hell even Oprah gets profiled in these stores.

But despite what he says he has a right to partner with whoever and if it's for the benefit of the under privilege what better way to do this than with an expensive ass store such as Barneys.  And let's be fair Jay Z is not the first to bullshit his love for the hood and put out apparel, gadgets, etc. that your average hood person couldn't afford except for the drug dealer.  (Read my article about my open letter to Steve Harvey regarding Sean Combs, written a few years back  However this is where it gets murky; Barneys recently discriminated against two young African Americans, they did so by having two undercover "toy cops" stop them outside the store and bring them back in for interrogation.  The toy cops and most likely Barneys as a whole were not convinced that these two individuals could have legally purchased a $300 belt and a $2500 bag.  Barneys proceeded to check their debit cards and hold them to verify no fraud was committed.  In all due respect does it seem crazy to anybody that an establishment now stops paying customers?!?!  Stores usually don't do this, but if you're black there's a strong possibility you're suspect.  The question to Jay Z then begs, how are you going to continue a partnership with a business that discriminates the very same people your foundation is trying to help?

Before I began writing this article and opening up a can of worms, I decided to research the foundation.  The Shawn Carter foundation is headed by Jay Z's mother and provides scholarships in the range of $1500 - $2500, a drop in the bucket for Jay.  When looking at the site most of the recipients are of African American descent which is no surprise since whenever the underprivileged is mentioned its usually us.  What came next was Jay Z's comment which again wasn't a surprise to me but thank the real God it's hopefully an eye opener for others, especially our somewhat blinded youth.  Jay Z stated he won't make a snap judgment, he too has been profiled and empathizes with those who have, but as of now he will continue business with Barneys; raised eyebrows here.  You have been profiled you know what it feels like but yet you'll do business with them.  This is like saying yeah the KKK hung my family, I get it but I'll work with them to benefit my business.  OK maybe Barneys is not the KKK but you get the point.  When does anyone of color (celebrity status) stand up and say Fuck that!  I mean he could of lived up to his "Hov" status  and issue a statement to Barneys requiring them to  change their practices.  I would of accepted him saying he would continue the partnership with the contingency that Barneys up their diversity training, review discriminatory practices, etc.  But he said none of that.  What Hov proved to many of us is he's not God, he is man and like many his morals are compromised by greed. 

I hope his actions opens up the door to our communities that we must make these profiled people accountable.  No longer can they say it's not my job, on the contrary it is your job.  Whether you like it or not you've become a messenger who bridges the gap between cultures.  When you show you don't give a fuck why should we give a fuck about you!  For the most part I strongly believe the 40 and older are hipped to his shit already, it's the young and impressionable I'm concerned about who follow him as a true God.  Listen young people always know if someone or some establishment doesn't like you due to the color of your skin then you have no business ever spending your money there.  Learn this don't give your green to those who don't respect your black and this also goes to Mr. Jay Z aka Hov, make him accountable youngoens, his time has come!

On a side note: Nas would have NEVER done that shit!

Peace out,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Don't Play............

One of the hardest things to do in life is to forcibly compromise your true self.  I'm not talking about letting someone pass you in a lane or skip you on a line; rather I'm referring to changing who you are, you're true innate self.  From first hand account I can tell you its hard, but at times its necessary especially from a work professional standpoint. 

Typically I'm a fun person, I love and I mean love to "cut up".  I try to have a good time where ever I go whether its church, a social gathering and even work.  But recently things changed for me at work.  While I enjoy having fun with my co-workers and my bosses, yes there's more than one, a recent experience made me feel otherwise.  As in the Brady Bunch song, "here's the story".

One of the directors who I frequently have conversations including "joking" around, nothing to serious and never disrespectful recently interrupted a conversation between me and a co-worker.  She did so by quickly stating "oh here I go being rude interrupting y'alls (yes she said y'alls I live the in South, lord help me) and then turned to me and said "ok smarty I know you have something clever to say" and laughed.  She was right I had something to say since I thought this was an invitation to speak.  So I said, "of course you're interrupting we expect nothing more" lol.  Her response while she too was laughing was "hey, don't forget I have a "D" in front of my name.  BTW - the D is for Director.  First of all with my smart mouth I wanted to say is "D" for Dick because you're sure acting like one.  Instead, I chuckled with her and said "I hear ya" and walked away.  She never knew what hit and trust she thinks things are still the same, but I know different.

See her "D" comment although said in "joking" way was a subtle attempt at letting me know you can joke with me but I'll always win because of who I am.  For me conversational banter is a two-way exchange but yet for this individual she's OK with it as long as she can throw her title as a shut down move.  Personally I think it's a punk move that defies the whole "we'll really a team" concept.  You can't call yourself a team and behave in a hierarchical mode when it suits you.  That's not being a Director that's being a spoiled "mean girl" brat!  However, for me it was a revelation to shut it down.  Going forward I have to put things into perspective and treat work as "work", which means my arrival is to work, put on my headphones and only speak when needed professionally.  It's a stark contrast to who I am and I truly hate it.  But when I balance the evils of this change, the consequence of the hood in me to break on my boss far outweighs me keeping quiet.  The good part is me keeping quiet will give me a great insightful perspective of my surroundings which means more Blacktina articles, bear with me :)

Peace out,

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Alma Awards aka The Latin Oscars and Grammys All in One!

Last night I had happened to come across The Alma Awards.  Trust that I'm not using the words come across lightly,  my viewing was purely accidental.  As it happens my husband is an avid MSNBC watcher and as he turned to check on some news broadcast he "came across" Aimee Garcia and David Zayas (Jamie and Batista from Dexter fame) accept an award.  Because of my love for Dexter he felt compelled to yell from the bedroom and have me turn to MSNBC.  By the time I got to the show it was probably about an hour in.  Now I can rant and rave about how I find it unusual that an awards show honoring the achievement of Latinos who are the majority minority of this country is scheduled for a Friday night on a cable news network is besides me.  I guess The Almas does not have enough of a perceived viewership to have an ABC, CBS, NBC or hell even Fox time slot. But enough said, we shouldn't be surprised since this is what we're use to with the NAACP Image Awards; it's always a shock that its on, smh..........

But nonetheless I watched and here's my commentary.  First of all I like to view these shows to see the hidden Latinos, you know the "Martin Sheen's".  These are the ones that we had no idea they were Hispanic until their either presenting and start to really use those "R's" or receiving an award.  It kills me how they tote race pride yet in any Entertainment Tonight interview you'll never hear Viva La Raza! But now all of sudden your abuelita Esmeralda was your inspiration, just shoot me now. Before we load the gun, let's move on to the next "Oh my goodness" moment.

During the after show, yes they really had a after show, I guess they're modeling the BET Awards concept.  But during this "insightful" telecast we had the privilege of hearing from the President of National Council of La Raza (NCLR),  Janet Murguia who boasted the achievement of Hispanics in which it has taken them 20 years to be recognized in the arts.  Anyone reading the last sentence should be doing the Scooby Doo screech or at the very least a raised eyebrow.  20 years, Janet WTF are you talking about?  Your statement probably has Desi Arnez, Ricardo Montalban, Cesar Romero turning in their graves.  Furthermore, do you know anything about Cheeta Rivera or Rita Moreno? Hell The Almas had an Anthony Quinn award.  Again, WTF are you talking about?  Did you forget about Freddie Prinze ala Chico and The Man, and as one of my besties noted, the theme song was by Jose Feliciano.  I'm not sure if Janet meant a particular sector of Hispanics haven't been recognized, but as far as I know The Almas is for all comprising of the Latino race, not just a mere sector!  What made this more profound is no one on the "panel" corrected her.  Which made me say WTF have y'all been in the last 20 years?  Janet's statement made me think and I'm going in here, the Gays, always talking about secluded abuse.  Really!?!?! Granted at times it may have happened but you damm well know it isn't the same. Hispanics has not nor will ever be completely shut out, but yet they will shut out others.   
If you don't believe me just like look at the Little Miss Hispanic pageant in Delaware in which officials stripped a mini me Blacktina because she wasn't latino enough.
Read on if you want clarification.    
But here Janet and others on the panel want to cry the woo is me unfair scenario.  Before you whine I suggest you get your shit in order and recognize your inner racisms, and maybe then your achievements will be more profound.  Until you get right and clean up your own house don't expect the rest of us to visit.

And lastly, does the iPad have a timer? If so, Rosario Dawson needs to use it.  I'm sure her speech was probably riveting but who the hell would know since she spoke so damm much and too damm fast. That was just RIDICULOUS, sort of like the show, the time frame and the commentary!  Just realized there's my answer, no wonder why it was on MSNBC, LOL.

Peace Out,
Janet MurguĂ­a,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Is it Me or You?

Randall Kerrik, Johnathan Ferrell
Last weekend in Charlotte, NC Johnathan Ferrell an unarmed 25 year old FAMU graduate was shot and killed by police officer Randall Kerrik.  As I write this I wish this were a new occurrence or at the very least something that would shock me, but regrettably I feel neither.  As I heard the officer was charged all I could think of was why bother he's going to get away with it anyway; so don't waste our time with the hype, the marches, the special "probed" investigation. We all know how the story ends.  The jury will find the officer innocent cause he feared for his life, exercised the necessary precautions, blah, blah and Mr. White Officer goes home, while again we lose another black man.

At this point I don't many others who aren't desensitized by these types of events.  We've seen it with Travyon Martin, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant, Emmitt Till and countless other unnamed victims.  The introspection of my desensitization made me realize that it wasn't that I longer cared, it was that I understood the root of the problem, which is, it not us but THEM and their FEARS.

Why are white people so afraid of black people? And I mean afraid to the point where they shoot first, not just once but multiple times, at least more than 10.  Almost as to ensure you better be dead! Apparently we're not all cut out like 50 Cent who can get shot multiple times and live.  The reality is white people have this panicked fear of us.  Never have we seen a case in which a white person shot and killed an unarmed person of any race more than we have seen with black people, not even during 9/11 when middle easterners were perceived as the enemy.  When  I look at these events I just shake my head, because I just don't get it! Why are you afraid? Historically you have been the dominant race, enslaved us and to this day supersede us educationally and economically. So why the fear?

Some may say the fear comes of out of white guilt, but I think the fear comes from the perceived take over. Similar to slavery, when a negro became insolent they received the whipping of a life time and at times even murder.  This was the white man's way of keeping us in line cause they thought we were savages and could erupt at any minute. Is this still the perception? White people will NEVER ADMIT to their fears, after all only a social misfit would agree to such a thing.  But for once in our lives we need them to be honest; I know that's a stretch.  The bullshit talk of I'm not racist, I have black friends, I'm for equality in hiring, housing, etc. doesn't mean shit to me if you innately have a panicked fear of me.  That fear will and it already has transcended to your descendants.  Their isn't a white person today who has owned a black person, yet they carry ancestral perceptions.  You may ask, how can that be? Well look at what's been happening since slavery ended nearly 150 years ago and tell me it has not.  To quote President Obama "the look of white woman clutching their purses", "car doors looking", "the department store personal security escort", all stems from a fear they don't want to admit but will easily act on.

Honestly I'm tired of the marches, the talks that we have to fix ourselves first, and all the typical diatribe that goes with these events.  I wish someone will really hit to the root of the problem and tell white people, No you're the problem, you're the issue, you're the one with a panic fear, you're the one who needs work, not us.  Yes, we definitely have some problems we can work on, what race doesn't.  However, when I look at these men who were murdered none of them were Pookie from the hood, which tells me it doesn't matter if we have a degree from FAMU, all that matters is the color of our skin and what is innately feared as uncontrollable savages who have to be put down like rabid dogs.  For the most part African Americans are always working hard at trying to fix themselves, but now it's time for white people to fix themselves, cause if they don't why do we even need to bother.

Peace Out,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Corporate Profiling - What Diversity Training Doesn't Cover!

Recently my boss called me into a meeting regarding an incident in which it was reported that I had behaved in an inappropriate manner when it came to moving me to another cubicle.  My accuser who I am not allowed to face is an HR Director who overheard me speak to a colleague and was offended at my tone and what he assessed to be someone who was very angry.  He went on to say that this behavior can contribute to a hostile work environment in which others may feel threatened and even scared.  My boss concluded her end of the meeting by informing me these actions normally result in a written warning but because it was my first time and I most likely wasn't aware that we'll just leave this as a conversation and won't notate my file. She also went on to say that I've been considered as high potential to move up within the organization, however, I need to be cognizant of my behavior especially near outside influences who may have input regarding my growth.

At this point I do believe my boss thought this meeting had concluded and I understood my place......but screech (Scooby Doo) style.  Much to her dismay my inner "aw hell no" kicked in and I responded with my defense aka counter attack:

1) I in no way behaved in an inappropriate manner when I spoke to my colleague who I sometimes hang out with after work.  She's white, I'm Black/Puerto Rican, a little Ebony/Ivory going on.  She understands me as I understand her.  As a matter of fact she too chimed in about the "jacked" up cubicle I was being asked to move to.  Is she being spoke to?  Uh, no she's not, but OK, let's move on to number 2.
2) Hostile, threatening, scared work environment - I take all of these very seriously. How was I contributing to this type of work environment when I was not using profanity, nor raising my voice, didn't throw any objects (you know white people go after that stapler in a minute), hell I didn't even use street lingo.  Did I seem happy, no I wasn't.  But did I act like I was going to blow up the place if I didn't get to sit with my team, no I didn't.
3) Why are you mad, I wasn't even speaking to you? - This was a conversation between myself and a colleague, two people that's it! She wasn't running for cover, she didn't run to him and claimed to be scared.  Why are you so threatened regarding my conversation with another individual?  After all on our recent Employee Engagement Survey one of the questions was, "Do you have a work BFF?" I actually do and it was her.  Who are you to control our conversation, especially when you don't even know how she may approach me when she's angry. Was it because she is white and you were fearful that I was over powering her? Or, were you thinking she's white and I should be respecting her more? Sort of like in "The Help"?

As I concluded my counter points, I also suggested a remedy in which 1) I should be able to face my accuser and 2) Perhaps he needs diversity training, which he should of had because he's an HR Director, but apparently something is lacking.  By this time my boss had a perplexed look on her face, like damm, it's one of the smart ones, shit I thought this would be over.  I then went on tell her my reasons.  If this individual has input to my growth what other mis-perceived notions is he also spinning and to who? Clearly he misunderstood and it resulted in my being spoken to but could have resulted in a written warning. Something of this magnitude should give me the right to face my accuser and defend myself or attempt to understand his perception, it could be a teaching moment for the both of us.

My second suggestion really cut to the core as I went on to explain why this HR Director may need diversity training or we need to really amp it up a notch or two.  This individual has to really come to grips of what he considers offensive and by who. I have witnessed many meetings in which my white colleagues became upset and carried out offensive behavior like banging a table, throwing objects (the stapler never gets old), even cursing.  I've also witnessed them being sent home with pay and Managers asking us to ease up on these individuals when they come in cause their going through a "rough patch".  In this so-called offense I did not exhibit any of these qualities.  Which makes me wonder, how can my tone scare him this much? I'm not a big woman, merely 4'11, 130 lbs.  You're a man of significant size, and now based on my tone you're scared and threatened? Is he a punk? Maybe, because only a punk would report this as an incident.  Do I really scare him? Physically probably not, but mentally, hmmmm......maybe so, but is it enough to report me?

 As we cut to the core, it was not my tone or behavior, it was me! As a white man he saw an angry black woman and he immediately "Zimmermaned" me which means he profiled me to be violent.  Am I taking this to the extreme I don't think so, using words like scared and threatened what else could these mean?  This very action insinuates to me that if I express myself in this environment even if something negative is being placed upon me that I can NOT express myself authentically without being perceived as a threat.  For adverse situations I have to face them with a sugar coated smile to avoid his fears and those like him.  Yet if I lack aggression then I lack the initiative to move forward.  If I'm too aggressive I'm the angry black woman.  At this point it's a no-win situation, and we wonder why there's a lack of Black leadership?!?!  As you can imagine by now my boss's head had to be hurting this was indicative as she rubbed her right temple, and for some strange reason I heard the Excedrin music play in the background.  Honestly I really didn't care how she felt, if she was able to deliver this message she had to be equally willing to receive my message.  My parents raised me to value my name and I'll be dammed if I let someone's bullshit fears smear it!  To her relief I'm about to start my vacation, but little does she know I will be reporting this incident to our Employee Hotline which takes items very seriously.  Furthermore, I will express how I felt threatened, after all you did say he has input into my growth; if so he has the ability to stifle me because of his prejudicial stereotypical views. You can not threaten my career because you lack understanding, and then hide behind it.  Trust (in the words of a RuPaul Drag Race contestant) after I'm done he will really know what an angry black woman looks like!

Peace Out,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

We Shall Overcome; have we?

Back in 1979 my 5th grade class belted out the song We Shall Overcome during the school's annual Black History assembly.*  We sang this song in honor of the civil rights struggle that preceded my generation 10 years earlier.  Fast forward 34 years later,  I woke up thinking have we overcome? The year is now 2013 and a 17 year old boy is senselessly murdered because an assailant's prejudices said this boy has to be criminal, for no other reason but the color of his skin.  It had nothing to do with the hoodie, white kids wear hoodies all the time; it had to do with this boy being black and nothing more! While we all know the story very well, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to sing another song? Are we going to hold vigils? or Are we going to finally stand the f*ck up and say that's it AmeriKKKa, I'm done being your whipping race for all races; don't get it twisted the white race is not your only opponent.  Look at George's mother and uncle, trust and believe they too would have thought that Moreno Trayvon was up to no good!

To the critics who think Black America is being hypersensitive again, let me just give you a timeline of what's happened in my generation that I can vividly recall.

1982  - Willie Turks - A subway car maintenance worker beaten by a white mob in Brooklyn.
1984 - Eleanor Bumpers - 66 year old woman shot and killed by police ordering her from an eviction.
1986 - Michael Griffith - Killed after being hit by car while running from a group of whites in Howard Beach.
1989 - Central Park 5 - Five innocent Black and Puerto Rican kids convicted of gang rapping a white woman.  These kids ranged from the ages of 13-17 and had nothing to do with the rape.  Yet they were crucified the minute they were illegally apprehended.
1991 - Rodney King - Savagely beaten by four police officers, who were later acquitted on criminal charges.
1997 - Abner Louima - Sodomized by a NYC police officer after being arrested outside a Brooklyn nightclub. 
1998 - James Byrd - Head and arm severed as he was dragged behind a pickup truck by 3 white supremacist.
1999 - Amadou Diallo - New Guinea immigrant shot 41 times by police.
2006 - Sean Bell - Killed after he and his friends were shot 50 times by New York city police officers, all were acquitted.
2012 - Trayvon Martin - 17 year old gunned down by neighborhood watch who thought Travyon looked suspicious.
1988 - 2012 - Various black teens gunned down based on Stand Your Ground Law.

Again this timeline is what I can vividly recall, I haven't include the countless other racially victimized cases, nor the plethora of black woman incarcerated for 20 years plus for drugs they didn't even have.  In my lifetime if I can recall 10 incidents and there are plenty more, clearly there's a problem.

For those who are chanting "Let it be" and asking us to respect the judicial process, I have to respond are you f*cking kidding? Where were these chants when OJ was acquitted? Sometimes I think we're getting paid back for OJ, but wait a minute, you did get him! He's in prison for 15 years for "stealing" his own shit.  George Zimmerman KILLS Trayvon Martin and nada, nope, nothing and you ask Black America why are you being sensitive?

I am tired, I am hurt, I feel deflated and have no confidence in this nation and our people.  Yes you heard me right our people.  I don't want to hear another press conference, I want action.  I want to see the new Medgar Evers, the new Martin's, the new Malcolm's, the new Thurgood Marshall's, the new Nelson Mandela's.  As a people we have become complacent and have striven off the backs of our past leaders. When they died the struggle should not have died with them.  Just because the President and First Lady is Black does not mean we've made it, just because the top golfer, basketball player or lead media guru Oprah Winfrey are black doesn't mean WE made it.  It means THEY made it.  But as a people we are still unjustly treated in all spectrums.  Why are we constantly the whipping race? Is it because we let ourselves get whipped? Think about it, what other race has endured our atrocities and refuse compensation.  Answer is NONE.  The Jews will milk anything related to the sacred Holocaust.  The Japanese Americans another group who will seek compensation.  Native Americans, need I say more.  But black people we just get happy to get a job and then wonder why people treat us like shit.  We're treated like shit because we don't demand being respected.  We don't seek a justified apology for being robbed our culture, family, religion, language, etc.  No, we take it lying down and sing a song, or have a march.  NAACP where are you? One of those A's stands for Advancement, instead of paying homage to black celebrities,  what are you doing about our inner city children, education, reducing the prison population, business empowerment, etc.  If you're doing something, we can't see it, nor has it been working.  You too need to step up your game!

Lastly, for my fellow Latinos, Puerto Ricans in particular I noticed many of you (not all) have been silent throughout this ordeal.  Just because Zimmerman is part Hispanic does not make his actions right.  If you're on his side just because Trayvon in your mind is a moreno, then you too you should be ashamed of yourself.  Let me share with you a little secret, you're also Black! Read your history; Puerto Rico was comprised of Indian and African slaves and Spaniard slave masters.  The Indians who couldn't handle the labor died off quickly, leaving African slaves to be RAPED by their masters.  As a result the product of a Puerto Rican. You, mis hermanos and hermanas are mulattos.  If you don't believe me just listen to Celia Cruz she's always paying homage to the Africano ancestors; better yet take a good look at your admiration for Jennifer Lopez and her backside; chicos and chicas that doesn't come from an Indian or Spaniard but pure Africano.  Here's one last one do you like Congas? Guess what, Africano again!

Peeps wake up, reconstruct, demand respect of your leaders, the judicial system, your children, your elders.  Black America you can NO LONGER sit down and think you're doing good.  All rainbow of races are against you, it's time to demand your respect, self-worth and seek sustaining progress that is owed to YOU!

Pisst Off,

*Back in the day recitals were referred to as assemblies in inner city schools.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why We Own Nigger

This past weekend I went to see the new Kevin Hart movie Let Me Explain and I laughed my ass off.  He's no Richard Pryor but he's good enough for now! As I cracked up and sometimes teared I found myself laughing of Kevin use of the "N" word, hell I'm going to say it Nigger.  Yep he said it more times than I could count.  And guess what it didn't piss me off, I was fine with it.  As a matter of fact every time I hear one of us call each other Nigger it gives me pleasure.  Please don't get me wrong I know where it comes from and what's associated with it, and because of that it gives me pleasure.

As Black people have we realized that we've taken a word that was so harmful, ugly, mean and disdained and turned it into a term of endearment that not even the ones who created it can use it!  When has there been a time in history that we created something and white man tries to take it, Elvis anyone? And God forbid we try to take something they created, we'll still be lynched, but Nigger is one of those things we now own and they can't get it back! I take pride in knowing that.  

The whole debate of eradicating the word should be re-vamped into the word Nigger has to be removed from white language only.  If whites say it they suffer the consequence the same way our ancestor suffered if they didn't properly address a white person (remember don't look into their eyes), LOL.  Yes I know I'm going too far and I don't mean it, but I am honest about owning the word. As black people we should say Nigger anytime we get in front of them, it kills them that they can't say it, not even repeat it from a rap lyric.   And for that alone I love me some Niggers day in and day out!

Peace Out,

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Feeling Dogged by DOMA - the VRA Compromise

This week has been the the week of two historic events for our nation.

1) The gays are happy, DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) has been upheld by the Supreme Court.  According to one of my friends who's been with her wife for 25 years, she's finally rich!

2) The Supreme Court declared parts of the VRA (Voting Rights Acts) no longer need to be upheld and local government can control some of these aspects as they see fit. Translation, states can require ID (which I don't see as a problem), however, they can also
determine what the local government can constitute in terms of the right and access to vote (i.e, closing polls early, eliminate Sunday voting, etc.).  According to Chief Justice Roberts parts of this law was in place to combat discrimination, but since we're no longer a racist society we no longer need these parts of protection.  Hmmmm.....we're no longer racist?!?!? John may need to call Paula Deen and get that little fact checked.

As a black hispanic woman I am pisst at both of these events.  Yep, I said BOTH.  I am all for gay equality but I resent the gays get their way while the opposition of the VRA affects majority of minorities.  All along, the gay community supported their argument on the backs of the civil rights movement that affected the African American community; but how is that they get equality and we continually get discriminated? Where are the gays now? Do they still feel like blacks? I don't think so......

Part of DOMA's passing is strongly contributed that many of the right wing's children, other family members, etc. are "coming out" and in support of their families many of the legislation supporting the gays are being passed.  Makes me wonder should we call Henry Louis Gates,  Jr. to research some of the right wing politicians and verify perhaps maybe one fifth of their black blood; would it change their minds and affect their political standing.  Here's an interesting fact, some probably know their "tainted" ancestry and choose to ignore it or obliterated all together. But when it comes to their gay son and his long time "roommate" these are acts that can no longer be avoided and rather than alienate your child, let's enact laws to protect "Kyle". 

I think this reasoning is a pure crock of shit! Where are the gays now besides crowding court houses with their weddings.  Do they still side with the plight of African Americans during the civil rights movement? Or are they asking "Big Daddy" to walk Junior down the aisle?

Yes, America it's a sad day, it's proof that it's all about the privilege!  While this still remains it will always be one step forward to two steps back.  Going forward as a minority community we need to step up whenever another community tries to use our plight to compare to their whims.  The Jews would have NEVER allowed anyone to compare their discrimination to the holocaust, how dare we allow another group to do the same.  Hopefully, now everyone sees and just like in slavery time that Miss Anne would drop your ass in a minute once she gets what she wants!

I can't say today who are our black leaders, cause honestly I really don't see any.  I see complacent, I see turmoil, I see disenfranchisement, I don't see much PROGRESS.  People we got to start stepping up big time; if not there will be more than some VRA opposition.   In the words of 90s hip hop song by the Brand Nubians "Wake up, Wake up"!

Peace Out,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Dave Chappelle Experience

Dave Chappelle was practically vilified when he abruptly departed from his hit show and gave up millions of dollars.  When Dave asked "why did you give all this up?" his response was "I had to get in touch with my inner coon."  Some may not quite understand what Dave meant, personally I somewhat understood but it wasn't until today at an all day team meeting that it really sunk in what Dave may have felt. 

During our meeting there was a period of dedication to the team's VP who is moving on to another role within the company. To celebrate this new endeavor the team performed a parody based on the sitcom song from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Lyrics were changed to suit the occasion and two of the team members performed. The team member who performed the rap was white and as he got up to perform, he did the whole "Yo, Yo Son! thing, walked with a supposed swagger and wore a
baseball cap tilted to the side.  His sidekick who was a sistah, was adorned in her Bonquiqui attire, big earrings, baseball cap and good lord an Adidas sweat suit top. As the fake Fresh Prince began rapping and his sidekick went on to do all the former hip hop dances the crowd roared in an uncontrollable laughter. 

For some reason my reaction was not to laugh, I did not see anything funny about this performance. As a matter of fact I found the performance offensive; at first I didn't understand why I was offended; was it because I didn't like the rap (it was whack) or could it be I felt a migraine coming on?  But as I looked on the laughter I saw were of people laughing at the way black people act not at his performance.  I saw a crowd who genuinely found a musical genre founded by my people and its actions as comical.  The worst part is, the few black people in the room cracked up too.  I don't know if I'm being hypersensitive, but for the life of me I couldn't see or feel it any other way.

In my mind if it feels a certain way then it is that way, no doubts! There was no disputing my perception and how uncomfortable it felt.  The feeling was reminiscent of watching an old movie in which a white character makes fun of Old Joe, the negro butler as he belts out one of the negro spirituals and all his white friends laugh and say "Oh Thomas you're such a hoot!" For the rest of the day I couldn't shake this experience, I was sour, very anti-social and couldn't wait for this meeting to conclude.  Once the day ended I got in my car and didn't regret the sour disposition I had displayed.  In my mind there was no need to pretend like I enjoyed the day.  I took the stance in recognizing I'm an adult with over 25 years experience in Corporate America and if I don't like something I be dammed if I act like I do.

For professional reasons I couldn't express myself, but I think my silence spoke volumes.  While I can't and like many others necessarily verbalized our feelings it is equally important that our actions display our disagreement.  While the parody act really messed up my day, I was proud that my reaction was authentic which for me helps gets through the hidden inner challenges we face as Blacktinas in Corporate America.

Peace out,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

This is how I Don't Want To Remember Trayvon

Florida police officer uses image of Trayvon Martin for target practice! You don't believe me, read on!

The Guardian

Peace Out,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jayonce and Obama - C'mon Son, Get the F*&k Outta Here!

OK I may go to jail for this article as its geared to my distaste of the Jayonce (Jay-Z and Beyonce) machine.  It seems these days if you say anything negative about them you're damm near anti-American.

Like many others I have bounced to their music, own CDs; as a matter of fact Get Me Bodied and Give it to me are probably some of my favorite songs - mind you this was pre-Obama.  What brings me to such discontent is Jay-Z's newest song "Open Letter" in which he boast about their trip to Cuba and goes on to mention "I might buy a kilo for Chief Keef Out of spite, I just might flood these streets, "at the end of this verses he states Obama said "chill, you gonna get me impeached" But you don't need this shit anyway.  Chill with me on the beach."  Lastly towards the end of the song he speaks of getting mad and "catching a body."

First of all Jay-Z you're 40 something, haven't you grown up?? Why are you still rapping about kilos and catching bodies.  Do you want us to believe you're still slinging drugs coupled with murderous acts.  Are you? If not may I suggest you grow up, read a book on philosophy or something and rap about something more legitimate to your world. You left Marcy projects a long time ago I sincerely doubt you and the Mrs. are renting a Section 8 apartment and chilling with the peeps.

Now for your Mr. President and your star struck ass! Out of all the people in the world you want to chill with you choose Jay-Z, really?!?! I can only imagine how intriguing a conversation must be between a Harvard graduate and a former drug dealer - are we feeling a little Dickens'ish? A little Prince and the Pauper thing going on?  I get the fact that the Jayonce machine held a very lucrative fund raiser for your re-election and you are probably eternally grateful; however, have you too lost your f@*king mind?!?!!? You are the President of the United States, the most powerful man in the world and here you are acting like the nerd who wants to hang out with the cool kids.  But haven't you heard; nerds done good, they rule this bitch and have sustainability.  Curious, do you want your daughters marryng a man like the Marcy project Jay-Z? Probably not, hell Jay-Z doesn't want his own daughter marrying that Jay-Z. 

In the end none of us can control who the President chooses to fratenize with. Though when it came to Reverend Wright he quickly ended that relationship, perhaps he should do the same with the Carters.  Personally I hope he gets some backlash for this; Fox speak up, this would be a legitimate one for you!  But I'll say this I did not vote for this type of man, the Barack Obama I voted for had a keen interest and aspirations for the betterment of all US citizens.  The 2nd term Obama is all about I'm cool as shit hanging with Jigga! Mr. President my advice to you is get it together do the job we voted you in for, mic down!

Peace Out,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Do I Laugh or Cry?

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  Laugh for the mere fact that I'm astonished and I don't know why but nonetheless astonished that we actually had advertising that demoralized ethnicity(s) in such an atrocious way; or cry knowing that these feeling although hidden by some still exist today! Courtesy of take a look at some of the common ads that plagued our society less than 100 years ago!

Peace Out,

Monday, March 11, 2013

Little Women!

Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and all you stuck up little women who go around bullying others including fellow women as if you had a prosthetic penis attached to your vagina, let me me just say "You my dears are setting women back 100 years and then some!"
Women in Corporate America in general have made great strides; some of us are comfortable with still being Mommy's, wives, daughters, etc. Your recent public actions have insinuated that in order for a woman to achieve greatness she has to basically give up her family.  Maybe it's OK for you two and your comrades who make a million + + +, but it's not something every woman should or needs to do. We should be able to tend to our families; just like a man should and keep our positions as well as elevate.  The very act of saying that we can't lends credence to the male dominant opinion who's perception is we can't do both, a contradiction I'm sure many women unequivocally can dispute.  Our defense lies in the simple fact that we do it everyday without "domestic" help like you two ladies.

Before you go on 60 minutes and grace the cover of Time magazine may I suggest you get a grip and watch your words.   Sheryl and Marissa, I'm sure surrogate sisters somehow, do not represent the average woman in Corporate America as a matter of fact they represent a very small percentage of women who most likely have a hefty therapist fund for their children as they struggle with separation issues.  Lastly I truly hope both of these so-called corporate maniacal women are not taken seriously and many others such as myself go out their way to vehemently refute their so-called claims!  In retrospect I'm a mother first and a professional second, in my book a hug from my child is worth far more than a pat on the back from my boss (mic down)!

Side Note: I wasn't going to go here but if I have to or I wouldn't be Blacktina; could it be the message of these two women stem from them being white? After all isn't it common in the white culture for others to tend to their children? Throughout slavery it's no secret Mammy raised the children.  One of the most celebrated movies of 2012 publicized this very action in The Help.  Curious is this a cultural thing that these two very rich women share the same opinion because they have the same upbringing and in turn expect the same "return" as it pertains to child rearing? Just curious........

Peace out,

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Few Chips in the Cookie

Last week I attended a "thinkers" seminar on behalf of my employer.  The audience consisted of mainly senior management and some 1st line level managers.  As we were segmented into groups for various exercises I couldn't help but notice the racial demographics.  Each group of five had one black person; the total number of participants were 29, 23 of those 29 were white and the remaining six were black.  It's obvious we don't need a rocket scientist to decipher only 20% of the room containing management was black!  Is this phenomenon new? Absolutely not; but is it tiring, Absolutely YES!

As I worked within my group I wondered about the other 20% and was curious did they too feel the disparity.  Unfortunately these instances aren't new, however, I often self-examine why do they exist.  We often here the term equal opportunity; if there is only 20% of blacks in a room of management, did equal opportunity really prevail? Does the term equal opportunity mean equal amongst blacks and not the position? Is it equal to a certain allowable number? The methodology surrounding the equal opportunity equation is one that leaves some serious bafflement.  Unfortunately I do not have the answer; but I do know there is a problem.  Ironically the thinker seminar was based on problem solving.

So, Corporate America here's a problem for you "Why are so many high level positions still held primarily by whites?"  A couple of ways to solve this problem via the suggestions of the seminar was through mind mapping.  As my mind maps to this problem here's what I came up with:

Segregated Education -  Brown vs  Board fought for equal education amongst races, but not amongst financial class.  Once whites realized this they took they money and moved into all white neighborhoods.  Legally from a taxation view schools that are housed in a district with a larger income tax distribution receive more funds, less teacher to pupil ratio and overall a nicer place to learn, hence enhancing the desire to learn, preventing drop out rates.  Statistics show blacks/hispanics are poorer than whites; so if this doesn't change which obviously is affecting our education; are we doomed to always be the 20%?

Culture Differences - Black/Hispanics culture and needs are different from whites.  We do not care about hiking, camping, what do to in the case of a bear interaction.  These instances are not part of our normal lives.  Therefore, answers to questions regarding hobbies during an interview or personal perspectives may not necessarily attract an interviewer.  Yes, I know we can work around that but quite honestly the work around may seem inauthentic which ultimately discredits our chances.

20% - OK who's looking for us? Who thinks we're qualified? Are those in position considering candidates seeking us? Are they recruiting from inner city schools? Do they look in certain minority organizations? Where is the search coming from?

Using my newfound skills in addition to mind mapping the problem we're also supposed to define a viable solution that can be implemented and controlled.  Based on the results of my mind mapping exercise very little can be done.  I don't mean to sound gloom; however this is a truth.  As a people; do we work 110% harder?; do we increase the “hard work” number to 200%?; what is it that we can do to double our numbers from 20%?  The one thing we can do is provide awareness to the next generation.  20% may not seem like a lot but it's more than 1%, it's more than 5%, it's more than 10%!  20% is still not OK but it shows progress.  I've been in Corporate America for 25 years and I do remember when I saw 5%.  Being a young woman in a new world it really didn't appeal to me, but as I grew in ranks I began to understand the differences and applaud the strives being met.

My advise to you coming into this corporate world, do not become discouraged.  Speak your voice, don't worry if you don't hike or battle bears, honestly if that makes a person then this world is more screwed up than we thought, LOL.   At the end of the day you need to be yourself, there's a reason you were chosen.  Examine and embrace that reason and keep moving forward as you battle this fight.  As they say in boxing "may the best man/woman win!" Be the best you can be.  I’m sure strives will continue and as the 20% rises you can be proud that your best resulted in much deserved progress!

Peace Out,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Question - Django 2013? Answer - Christopher Donner

"Those of you who "go along to get along" have no backbone and destroy the foundation of courage. You are the enablers of those who are guilty of misconduct. You are just as guilty as those who break the code of ethics and oath you swore." - Christopher Donner

I DO NOT CONDONE KILLING of any kind, let me set the record straight before I proceed to write this article. - Blacktina

Now, what the hell is going on? For many the actions of Christopher Donner the ex LAPD officer who is terrorizing those and their relatives who have done him an injustice has resorted to "retribution" killing. I use the term "retribution" because this man is not just killing anyone, he is purposely going after those who wronged him, hence the title of this article Django 2013? Are his actions right? Absolutely not, but can one understand how the tipping point of always being unjustly treated just because you were born with more melanin can be an experience that can drive you over the edge. For most white people I'm sure the answer is No, as it should be the "White Right" aka privilege always protects you; but for people of color the experience can either leave you drained whereas you're emotionally wrecked or insensitive where you ignore all around you. From experience it's very easy to feel the former.

There's a point in a "minority's" life in which we just can't take it and will react. It's like a dog who's there to serve but you keep hitting him and chaining him up. One day that dog will get loose and Lord help you if he sees you, because an attack is eminent; that's how most of us feel everyday. We don't know which day we'll snap. Granted it won't be in the form an expert marksmanship, but I assure you an assault will come; whether is verbal, confrontational or just a good "Kiss the Blackest part of my ass" scenario; it will happen!

Notice to whitey and those who want to act like them; ease the f*ck up! Peeps are tired, we had enough of your Obama pro-primate campaign and feeling like you can treat or talk to us anyway. This is not 1858, we're not in a Django movie, but I assure you keep acting up and it will become one. My words are not a threat but just a warning to just STOP! I don't know what your parents, grandparents who whoever has taught you but whatever it was, it's wrong. You can not in all honestly berate individuals who are highly educated and strived for success like shit!

At the end of the day I really do hope Christopher Donner ceases his tirade of retribution, but I'm equally optimistic that the conversation of racism and all its parallels will continue and explore the depths of this ugliness on all levels!

Peace Out,


Sunday, January 27, 2013

All Created Equal???

This week's hot debate is women in combat, while some are applauding this equal opportunity endeavor, I for one am booing it! Yes I'm a woman and by definition a minority woman and one would think that anything that results in equality would be in agreement with me. However, it couldn't be far from the truth in this particular aspect, Private Benjamin this is not!

While I understand the need for equality, I do believe that there are some things that are just unequal and should remain as such.  Although some things are unequal they are actually equally balanced. OK, yes I know conundrum here, what the heck is Blacktina saying?? Here's my perspective, we all have a place in this world, society whatever spectrum you want to categorized yourself in and sometimes our place is defined by intellect, emotion and physicality.

No one can ever argue the battle of intelligence between the genders, actually I truly believe none really exists, except in the Patriarch law in which men are paid more than women.  This law stemmed from a period in which men were the dominant bread winners of the family and hence had to be paid more.  As we all know this now archaic law is being defied by our current administration and hopefully men and women will be compensated based on skill and experience and not what's between their legs!

Let's talk about emotion for a minute.  If you ever watched the Notebook, Steel Magnolias or Terms of Endearment chances are if you're a woman and you cried.  Here's another observation, if your boss pissed you off at work and you ran into the bathroom to cry it out or you went home and bitched to your family, chances are you're a woman. Point here I'm trying to make is in combat there is no crying, maybe a tear or two, but its about shooting, protecting your life and those around you.  Being a woman and maybe I speak for myself we are wired to feel, to nurture, to help,  to feel compassion, to absorb loss.  Our emotions to say the least are roller coaster driven.  I once had male gay friend who explained to me why gay men are promiscuous (yet safe).  His rationale was when it comes to sex they view it for the most part as a physical act; women get all caught up cause we view it as an emotional attachment.  Unless you're a prostitute this is true!  Considering emotions coupled with murderous, heinous acts, is combat really a place for a woman?  The emotions I've just described are not a bad thing, in fact we need more in this society, hence our place.  It is not wrong to be the gender of comfort during catastrophe.

Lastly and this is the big one, physicality.  There's a reason why competitive sports are gender based.  By nature whether we want to hear it or not men are stronger.  Just ask the millions of women that have been beaten by their husbands despite any attempts of defense.  Call Tina Turner she'll tell you the truth! While I'm not trying to mock domestic violence I am trying to bring out a point, physicality has no argument here, by default nature driven this is a man's dominance; I for one do not have a problem with it. Let's face it how many women enjoy when their boyfriend/husband or whatever man is in your life changes a tire, moves a piece of furniture, builds you a fence, carries in heavy groceries, easily opens up that jar of whatever the hell is stuck, builds the bike for the kids at Christmas and oh offers to drive those 10 hours! I personally love the last one :).  I have never in my life heard a woman say stop it Mike, I'll do it. If you have then you are bullshitting and you just made yourself work harder than you should of.  Apparently intellect wasn't being exercised at that junction.

Some may view my opinion as being sexist but that's actually far from the truth.  I'm in the opinion of placement and balance.  Just like my husband can do things physically that I can't nor want to try, I can do things he can't like, nurturing, making sound decisions, and giving directions (those 10 hour drives come with a price, lol).   I don't resent this part of me as a woman, I love this is how God has made me and I love how he/she made my husband.  While I am a proponent of equality and I am equally supportive of balance and women in combat defies balance.  To quote 1970s goddess Farrah Fawcett "
God made man stronger but not necessarily more intelligent. He gave women intuition and femininity. And, used properly, that combination easily jumbles the brain of any man I’ve ever met.”  As we continue to strive for equality, let's strive to be equal in ways that we are defined for.  I applaud the women's movement, there's no way I would ever take it back.  Like many other women I benefited greatly. However, some things I just have to think twice, I mean what's next genetically engineered penises.  The chalk line needs to be drawn at some point, I rather use the chalk in this instance of balance than to use it to outline my sisters dead body in combat who might have been physically or emotionally drain to fight out a war.

Peace Out, 

Monday, January 21, 2013

The NBA We Ain't

OK folks POTUS has been inaugurated for a second term. Sonia Sotomayor swore in Vice President, Joe Biden.  Beyonce sang the National Anthem.  Roberto Blanco was the poet at today's ceremony, who's not only hispanic but also gay! To say we had an eclectic group as part of this historical ceremony would be putting it mildly.  However, what I will say is appreciate it now because it will be a long long long time before this much flavor is part of any future inaugurations!

In the words of Keyshia Cole, Trust and Believe the caucus of white politicians are getting ready for 2016 and will put a kibosh to all these ethnic shenanigans, LOL!  If there is one lesson to be learned is that the road to the white house will not be a repeat of the NBA.  Up until the early 1960's till the emergence of Wilt Chamberlin believe or not the NBA was mostly white players.  The players were not accustomed to a fast paced dunking game and as you probably can guess the rhythm was quite off.  Then in 1962 here comes Wilt Chamberlin and all of sudden all the Negroes got in, LOL.  Somewhere there's some white man in a grave regretting ever integrating the NBA.  But I assure you this will not be the problem with politics, because the NBA they are not.  So, peeps enjoy our President or as like to say the modern day monarchy (been watching Downton Abbey, forgive me)  cause I am not sure if we will ever again in our life time witness an historical event of such great magnitude!

Congrats Barack, now lower my taxes and stop bullshiting! OK on the real Congrats you're better than what we had, and I know in your conscious you will try to do your best!

Peace Out,

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year New You!

13 is normally considered the most unluckiest of numbers, however I challenge everyone to take this year and defy the number 13 curse, with that being said here are my 13 Must Dos for the year:

  1. Release toxicity - If you're not in my circle to compliment but to condemn then get out.
  2. Learn something new every 30 days - Make time for growth and self knowledge, you'll never get  bored.
  3. Increase my vocabulary - Just as mama use to say, use my words
  4. Be self-positive - Stop self-doubting my actions and go for it.
  5. Self-promotion - It's time to market me, my accomplishments and seek the spotlight
  6. Take Passion Classes - No not the lovemaking kind, but classes on what makes me happy (i.e., writing, baking, and traveling) not that lovemaking doesn't make me happy I just don't need a class on that right now ;)
  7. Tap into my spirituality - Be at peace with self and continue to seek peace
  8. Drink more wine - This may work with Must Do #7, wine somehow gives me peace :)
  9. Patience - Be more patient with others, with myself and with my endeavors
  10. Cut down on Facebook - Facebook has proven to be toxic.  Honestly I can care less who has went where and with who. The Check-in app was the worst thing ever created!
  11. Read a new novel every month - Imagination equals beauty, there is nothing more special than checking out for a minute or two :)
  12. Willfully admit wrongs - I don't have time to ponder how can I argue a wrong.  If it's wrong, its wrong, admit, move on and learn.
  13. Increase my FU Fund - If Must Dos 1-12 don't work out, at least I'll have a fantastic FU fund to tell those who are pissing me off FU, enabling me to vacation, spend frivolously, and provide me with some quick retail therapy relief!
Well folks that's Blacktina's Terrific 13 for 2013, may I suggest you do the same, build it, follow it, and embrace it!  Happy New Year!

Peace Out,