Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stephanie Tubbs Jones Memorial Service

I attended Stephanie Tubbs Jones' Memorial Service today in Cleveland.

Here are some of my pics from the service. I was in the balcony. I have a Canon A 570IS.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

My Cleveland

Took some time recently to take some snapshots around the city of Cleveland, Ohio.

1. reflection pond behind the Cleveland Museum of Art 2. reflection pond from another angle 3. the infamous FREE stamp, next to Cleveland City Hall in downtown Cleveland 4. graffiti - up high 5. Sixth Street Pizzeria sign 6. a view of downtown Cleveland from the Tremont 7. it's the nightlife: downtown Cleveland, the Warehouse District 8. the Jesse Owens statue in the courtyard near the old Courthouse in downtown Cleveland 9. the plaque that accompanies the Jesse Owens statue 10. one of the many rail crossings in the Flats in Cleveland 11. the House of Blues in downtown Cleveland 12. Steelyard Commons, old steelyard converted to a shopping mecca

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Monday, August 25, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: "The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner" by Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith's "The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner" is a really good read. I could have finished it sooner, but I was just taking my time.

It's about a group of black women in South Carolina in the 1950s. At times, the book does dip into the 80s too. The topic is abandoned children and how best to handle those situations so that they do not become worse situations. I think that is a good description of the plot w/out telling you the plot.

I love the characters. The main characters are Bonnie and Thora Dean. I have been trying to figure out who would play each of those women if the book became a movie. My reading book always cast the movie. It's a fun thing to do.

There are also some secondary characters that stand out. Like Ruby-Pearl, a member of The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner.

I also like that the book was not quite predictable. I knew that one situation was possible, but I did not expect the ending.

The author did a good job of covering all of the details about the ending too. Except we do not know what happened to Tilde, who was not the most liked person in the story.

I like this one in terms of dialogue and the strength of the characters. I am a bit numb on the main topic though. This should make for a really good discussion for my reading group though.

Additional resources:
I'm off to finish reading "Black Thunder" by Arna Bontemps. I've read one of his books before. He's old school; Harlem Renaissance old school. Should be a good read.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fond Memories ... Stephanie Tubbs Jones

Cleveland (and others) are mourning the sudden passing of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (STJ). This is a difficult post to write. I, like many, have lots of STJ stories to tell and good stuff too.

My sister and I, in particular, loved to share STJ stories. Most recently we'd talk about how STJ was a ride or die Clinton supporter. We were a bit perplexed by her staunch position. But if you are going to support someone, you should support them right?

My sister is in the same sorority as STJ. And my sis also lives in DC. So come Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Weekend, it was a given that STJ would throw a nice gathering and she would be seen around town during that wknd having a good time too.

I'll miss her smile! It was infectious as was her positive spirit.

I may even pull out the proclamation that her office presented to me in 2002 for producing and distributing the complimentary CleveEvents list, a weekly electronic listing of events in the Greater Cleveland area.

But I can't leave out a most memorable time involving the congresswoman. It was September 11, 2001. I was working as a researcher/producer in the newsroom @ WCPN/ideastream in Cleveland. As the morning television programs displayed images of what was going on in New York and D.C., I began to scramble to contact members of congress who might be in Washington at that time. Somehow amidst the chaos, I was able to get STJ on her cell phone and of course, we went LIVE w/the call. She told us that she was okay and she told us what she knew at the time - which was not much because this was very early on; still morning. But for her to take the time to talk to us and for her constituents to hear her voice was comforting.

What will Clevelanders do for the Annual 11th Congressional District Labor Day Weekend Parade and Picnic in a few days; heck, what will the Dems do @ the upcoming DNC in Denver? No matter the event, STJ's presence (or lack of it) will be missed. Sorely missed.

And not to make this a foot note, but STJ's passing along w/that of longtime Cleveland councilwoman Fannie Lewis (I used to live in her district, Hough, for several years) last week is a devastating blow for Cleveland politics.

I'm feeling a little heavy ...

Additional resource:
Do you have any memories w/the congresswoman? Do share.

NOTE: image from AP

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bike Fixed

Oh, this is such good news. My timing is a bit off (end of summer), but I did fix my bike. That's right I fixed my bike. I guess I should note that there was really nothing wrong w/it. I had tried to put air in the tire to no avail.

Well, there is this place called Free Ride. They will not fix your bike, but they will help you determine the problem and tell you/show you how to fix it. Very empowering. Well, Shawn was my go-to guy. He was a great teacher: patient and friendly. When he's not working on bikes, he working on his 'world class' garden'; well, maybe not 'world class' but definitely bragging material and edible too! ;-)

So in addition to properly inflating the tires, I put on new back brakes. Very cool (and easy). Those are the old brakes below.
The most interesting part of this story is the fact that I do not own a bike rack, so I put the back seat of the Jeep down and stuck the bike in the back. It was a bit awkward, but I did not have far to travel. Crazy thing is though, the bike almost slid out the open back window!!! Ut oh ... I had to take a hand off of the steering wheel to pull it back in (tore the seat cushion and the Jeep spare tire cover in the process. But that is minor damage considering ...).

Love the concept of Free Ride though. They have all the tools that you need. Everything else is dirt cheap like patches for tube are just 25 cents and the actual tube is $1. I highly recommend it. Lots of cool folks too.

So now it's off to get a bike rack. Incidentally, I found a guy who is selling a bike rack for Jeep Wranglers. Yea me!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wallet Reunited w/its Owner!

Crazy things happen all the time. I recently traveled to Chicago and had a blast w/lots of friends (I'll get around to posting pix from that trip later in the week).

I had a great time w/friends; we were attending the UNITY Journalists of Color convention. Good times indeed.

However, on the very last evening, as my roomie and I were cabbing it back to our hotel, we discovered a wallet in the backseat of the cab. The cabbie seemed uninterested in getting wallet to its rightful owner. But everything was in there: money, credit cards, driver's license, keys ... so we thought we'd play Sherlock. Didn't think it would be that difficult, but time was not on our side as were we both scheduled to leave Chicago less than 12 hours after finding the wallet. We took it w/us - as opposed to leaving it w/the cabbie.

Well, somehow, I ended up w/the wallet. I packed it up in the hopes of finding the owner. However, I left Chicago, then went to Akron and Cleveland. When I finally arrived home, I did not immediately unpack. When I did get to unpacking several days later, I saw the wallet and thought I'd use the Internet to get in contact w/the owner. First I tried LinkedIn. No luck. But I hit the jackpot on Facebook. I found an exact name (she had a unique name too) and the city matched - Chicago. So I sent her a message via Facebook. Well, most people check their FB accounts more than they use the restroom on a daily basis, but not this person. After several days, she finally checked her FB and yes, it was the right person! How cool is that?

So she provided me w/her mailing address and I put the wallet (along w/one of my handmade greeting cards) in the mail this past Friday - all contents inside.

Life is good!

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Birthday Bliss

So here is the rundown for how I spent my birthday:
  • woke up to noisy neighbors
  • officially woke up to NPR on the radio
  • aerobic work out for about 25 minutes
  • read USA Today
  • ate wheat toast w/butter and peach jam for breakfast
  • slight headache
  • wore my Ann Taylor black shirt dress w/sandals
  • took the top off of the Jeep (one of the day's highlights and cruising the town)
  • ran to campus briefly
  • brought a pair of $9 shorts @ Steve & Barry's (I hope they do not go out of biz)
  • came home to a package from CARDS Magazine (I'm in the Aug o8 issue)
  • took a short nap
  • checked snail mail: another package (large) and birthday cards
  • arranged an appt to sell clothes listed on Craigslist ($20)
  • ate Wendy's :-( poor planning on my part
  • went rollerblading on the city street - awesome (one of the day's highlights)
  • edited and distributed the CleveEvents list (I am way too dedicated to that list)
The details: the large package came from my best bud Baer! Included a t-shirt, well, specifically an Orgeon Public Broadcasting (OPB) women's t-shirt. Lovely. Along w/some shortbread squares. Tasty. Some papers for card making. Crafty. and some other goodies.

Lots of emails, text messages, wall posts on Facebook and phone calls w/birthday wishes. Bliss indeed.

The celebration of life continues ... thanks for the love.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Aaah ... the new Ikea Catalog!

So today is my birthday! Lovely and lovely day.

This catalog is soooo soothing. For real. There are an abundance of ideas and lots of items that are reasonably priced.

My catalog was delivered yesterday. I was excited because I was not expecting it. But I remembered that when I last visited the store a few months ago, I decided to sign up for the catalog because everytime I go to the store, the catalogs are not available.

I particularly saw some desktops that I like (like I need new workspace). I've only flipped through a few pages, but I love, love, love it.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Cell Phone or Mobile Phone

So I was recently having a conversation w/someone about cell phones and they made the sly comment that cell phones are old school and cell towers are no longer in use and therefore we are now using mobile phones.

I began to ponder and then began some research. And that is not exactly true. It's very technical and I'm not certain that I won't blotch it trying to relay my newly found knowledge - so I won't even try. You are on your own; and yes, I am leaving you hanging, at least in that regard.

However, the topic does bring something else to mind for me - my mobile. I am very much in like w/my service provider, Sprint. And let me tell you why:
  • my monthly bill is $66. I like that price. It includes unlimited texting, internet access, gps, 400 peak minutes and unlimited nights and weekends that begin @ 6 p.m. Oh, that $66 includes an educators discount. Cool. I made some other comments about my LG phone in an earlier post. Not much has changed since then. I mostly remain blissful about it and it's capabilities.
I saw (through a direct marketing piece) that Sprint has a new mobile device similar to the iPhone. I won't get it unless it's free and then I'd have to seriously consider the fact that it would probably take me away from my happy little $66 plan.

But the new Spring Instinct (see image above) has that iPhone look - sleek w/the flat panel. It has the basic features of most mobile phones too. Though I was wondering if it shot video; I believe that the answer is no.

Well, you can be ambitious and be an 'early adopter'. I want to sit this one out mainly because I like my current phone and its rate plan just fine thankyouverymuch. I'll catch the next big thing next time around. How are things in your mobile world?

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