Thursday, March 29, 2007

Who's complaining?

So I finally got around to watching Tuesday's Oprah show on Wednesday evening. It was a good show; she covered a lot of topics and it was called the good news show. For the record, I like Oprah and I DVR the show daily.

Well, one segment really intrigued me and that was the 'Stop Whining/Complaining' segment. There was a pastor on who talked about a challenge to rid the world of complaints and complainers ... wow ...

It is an interesting concept. The plan is based on wearing a purple bracelet and the goal is to not complain for 21 consecutive days (it seems that research shows that it takes about 21 days to form a habit). If you do find yourself complaining, you should take the bracelet and put it on the other wrist. You do this until you've worn the bracelet for 21 days and picked up a new and positive habit of not complaining.

I have already put in my request for a bracelet (I also ordered some to pass along to others) ... and I think I will complain until it arrives. No, really, I've been consciously working on this endeavor since I saw the Tuesday show. If you, too, are traveling down this complaint-free road, all the best! It seems a bit 'secret-like' to me. So it should be a bit easier to think of the positive in what may appear as a negative situation.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Movie Review: "I Think I Love My Wife"

When I saw this title, I thought "What the hell is this?" and there are black people involved ...? AND Chris Rock is spearheading this ...? Is he playing Pookie for real? Even after I saw the trailer for the movie, I was more convinced that it was not something that I wanted to consume.

So, give me a stressful work week and the ability to procrastinate and I end up filling one of 70+ seats in a near vacant, but new movie theater. Somewhere along the way someone told me that they'd seen a decent movie review on this flick. I must say that I was not persuaded by seeing Rock promote the movie on the various talk shows.

So I'll tell you what I can without giving the movie away. I do not like Kerry Washington's role; it seems to rely too strongly on her looks. She also has a way of smiling that is forced and annoying and how much effort does it take to play a homewrecker ...? But I guess someone has to do it, eh?

The woman who plays Rock's wife, Gina Torres, in the film is really

Laurence Fishburn's wife. She was okay. But I think that was intentional; she was not supposed to be this standout character.

What I did not like was the gratuitous profanity! And I am not being prudish. It just seemed as if it was thrown in to make it a 'grown up' movie. I mean the movie does not deserve an 'R' rating.

So what did I like about it ...? It did not end quite the way that I thought it would ... it's a different movie at least in terms of seeing black actors on the big screen (though it is a remake and there was some typical black folks kind of violence) ... hhhhuuuuumm, there had to be something else, I mean that's 90 minutes of my life that I can't get back! But that's also 90 minutes of my life that I wanted to get away from ... so if your having the kind of day that I was having and you have a couple of bucks for an inexpensive matinee, ney, $5, then check it out. Otherwise, wait until a friend gets it on Netflix and when they're done, ask if you can borrow it ... it's not bad, it's just forgettable!

**image borrowed for promotional purposes only!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Reading is FUNdamental!

I recently finished reading "Hunting in Harlem" by Mat Johnson. It was the March selection for my reading group. The book was released in 2004. Don't ask me why we are just now getting around to reading this book ... The group was first introduced to Johnson when we read his debut novel "Drop". That book was a riot. I don't recall the details, but I remember laughing - alot! We loved it.

Anyway, "Hunting in Harlem" is an interesting title and an even more interesting book. Though interesting seems such an inappropriate word to describe this novel. How about that book cover ... ? A bit eerie, yet fitting.
It was the plot that I relished - mostly for its inventiveness. I am, however, reluctant to give away the details because I don't read book jackets and I don't like when the crux of the storyline is given away. Let's just say the story was well crafted; not really predictable and had a good amount of humor tucked away. Johnson clearly knows how to poke fun at Black American society; though in my opinion, that's not too hard to do. Johnson just does so in such a searing way that sometimes (well, maybe just once), I was actually afraid to laugh. Huuummmm, seems I failed to mention that Johnson won a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for "Hunting in Harlem". Good stuff.

Well, Johnson has a new book out - "The Great Negro Plot: A Tale of Conspiracy and Murder in Eighteenth-Century New York". I am on the fence about this one because I 'read' that it is historical fiction ... Something about that classification just does not sit well with me; I think I want it to be either or and not both; I want to be able to separate fact from fiction. Anyway, while I did like the last historical fiction that I read - "The Known World" by Edward P. Jones, I'm just iffy about the category in general. But at 160 pages, I should not balk at reading Johnson's newest book because with my schedule, I could read it over a three-day weekend ...

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Who knew ... ?

... that the funeral business has incorporated technology into the funeral ceremonies? Well, my maternal grandfather recently passed away and it wasn't as difficult of a time as I thought it would be. I held up okay. I even had a role in the ceremony - I read the obituary; while reading the obituary, I took the liberty announce that I was my grandfather's favorite grandchild - it was one of the rare moments of laughter during that time though my sister said that she did not think it was funny ...

Despite the occasion, it was wonderful to see my relatively large extended family. I saw cousins that I hadn't seen in years and met some second cousins for the first time. Also, my parents have been divorced for some time, so I was pleasantly surprised when my dad and my step-mother showed up; that was a very nice gesture.

Now, back to the technology: well, there was a slide show w/the lots of photos and an accompanying song. It was just right. But I was just surprised then I noticed a projection screen coming down and I thought, what is this? I'm sure some folks have incorporated video and so much more. I think it is a great addition to an otherwise somber situation.

The next thing was the funeral program. Extremely elaborate! A true keepsake - as you can see, but I did not scan in the bookmark that came w/the program. What's most interesting about the funeral program is that it was designed by my truly talented brother! He is a creative genius. period. So much so that the funeral home was totally impressed and he will probably get some freelance work out of the situation!

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Music Festivals

Why didn't anyone tell me about some of these HUGE music festivals ... ? Coachella seems absolutely fabulous! It's a three day festival from Friday, April 27, 2007 until Sunday, April 29, 2007 in Indio, CA. A three day pass is $249, but thosse babies are all SOLD OUT! Here are just a few of the names on the bill:

The Roots
DJ Shadow
Spank Rock
Artic Monkeys
The Decemberists
Regina Spektor
Lily Allen
Amos Lee
Amy Winehouse
Lupe Fiasco
The Black Keys
Ghostface Killah
and tons more!

Next up is Bonnaroo! Woo Hoo, is what I say. It's from Thursday, June 14, 2007 until Sunday, June 17, 2007 in Manchester, TN! Tix are now $214.50 for the entire festival (they started out at $184.50) and there is also a service fee AND a shipping fee. But what you're really inkling to know is who's at this shindig, eh?

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
The Roots
Franz Ferdinand
Lily Allen
Mavis Staples
Junior Brown
Xavier Rudd
Aesop Rock
Michael Franti and Spearhead
and tons more

I'm really considering Bonnaroo since I should be in desperate need of a breather by then, but I'd need to get the tix like ... now! And all of my expendible cash is tied up in trips to Boston and Vegas. Oh, woe is me ... I may have to just settle for a t-shirt from their online stores. :-(

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Why is it so hard to do the right thing ... ?

I know that I am not the only one surprised by the recent arrest of Akron Buchtel football coach Claude Brown. This specifc story may be unfamilar to you, however, it is a story that you have heard before: Teacher/Coach has 'consensual' sex with a student/minor.


I am only surprised because I wonder why someone who has worked so hard at achieving certain goals in their life would put it all on the line for a few moments of pleasure ... I mean, how difficult can it be to find someone to have sex with who is at least over the age of say 20 or 21? Someone unattached to the school or organization that employs you ...? It just seems so reckless and it seems that way because it is!

And in this case, Brown won't be able to work for a school system again/ever! If coaching is/was his passion, why would he jeopardize the situation ... ? Oh, and I did not even mention the fact that he is married.

So, I've been trying to rationalize this situation from the coach's perspective, but how about the 17-year-old female student's involvement ... should there be some accountability on her behalf? I mean, Brown and the alleged victim have confessed to having 'consensual' sex on at least three occasions since December. Is a 17-year-old female aware of the consequences in a situation like this? If they were having unprotected sex, she could get pregnant; she could be a social pariah for ruining the coach's career and his marriage ...

It really is just an unfortunate situation ... I am just baffled that many men can not control their libido ... it seems to be such an easy solution.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jennifer and Forrest and Oscar

How about those Oscars? It was a long and daunting program - I believe it was nearly four hours! I had my step-dad record it, but the program was only scheduled for three hours. So I did not get a chance to see a replay of the Forrest Whitaker acceptance speech, at least not on the digital video recorder (DVR). I did end up seeing it replayed on Oprah the day after the Oscars.

It was exciting to see both Jennifer Hudson and Whitaker win. They both delivered heartfelt acceptance speeches. How about Hudson nabbing an Oscar on her first movie out the gate? Whitaker's films have had such depth and it was wonderful to see him receive such a high achievement. Though I have still not seen "The Last King of Scotland." It is scheduled to be released on DVD in April.
Ellen Degeneres was okay as a host, the Dreamgirls performance was nice; I want to see "The Queen"; awesome to see Martin Scorese win - finally! And to be given the award by the three legendary directors: Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas.

It was not the best Oscars program that I've seen ... it moved along too slowly w/too many miscellaneous awards being handed out back-to-back.
**photo borrowed form

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