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Who Said Andrew Jackson Was a Mulatto?

25 Oct

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VOTING IN 2016

Yesterday, one of my co-workers told me he is not voting. He said he can’t stand either candidate in this race. He said they’re both dishonest liars.

 
I told him the same thing I’m telling everyone who gives me this lame excuse for not voting. Nothing has changed in politics. Candidates have been doing their share of dirt for years.
 
  • Kennedy, MLK, and Hamilton were cheating on their wives. Alexander Hamilton had a 2-year affair and actually paid the woman’s husband blackmail money to keep it a secret!
  • Senator Strom Thurmon had a black daughter out of wedlock (even though he was a staunch advocate of segregation).
  • Presidents McKinley, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Truman were all reportedly members of the KKK. There is documented proof that Truman paid KKK dues for years.
  • Andrew Jackson owned at least 300 slaves. He also signed a law for the forcible removal and brutal relocation of Native American tribes from the American South. In the 1828 election against Jackson, John Quincy Adams supporters accused Jackson’s mama of being a prostitute who married a mulatto man. They even went so far as to accuse Jackson of being a mulatto offspring!
Incidentally, the election of 1828 has been called one of the dirtiest elections on record. Jackson’s supporters called Adams an adulterer and a pimp. Adams’s supporters called Jackson a hothead and a murderer (I’m not sure if killing people in duels counts as murder, but you get the point).
For more details, click here

So, you see, scandalous shit has been happening for centuries. But none of this info was readily available to the public back in day.

 
Today, EVERYTHING is recorded, filmed, tweeted, posted, shapchatted, blogged, and Instagramed for the world to see. It’s all out in the open. Case in point: Anthony Weiner, Richard Nixon, Elliot Spitzer, Nikki Haley, and Marion Barry.
 
I’ll admit, there was a gold standard for political decorum decades ago. People didn’t say certain stuff in public. But this is the age of ‘anything goes’ and our politics reflect it.
 
The one thing that remains the same is that we do get a chance to vote. We still have the right to cast our ballot. Whether you think the system is rigged or not, you have the chance to go through the motions and select the candidate of your choice.
 

So, stop bitching and whining about how unfair life is. I’m a black woman over 40. Life ain’t always fair. If I let the unfairness of life be my guideline, I’d have never gotten anything accomplished.

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The Cruise That Almost Wasn’t – Norwegian Jewel Turned Out to be a Gem!

10 Oct

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I just got back from 7 days of fun-filled, sun-filled, rum-filled cruising!

I’d never considered cruising to Mexico. The Caribbean is more my style. But all that changed last week. Hubby and I had a cruise planned from Aruba to Columbia, the Panama Canal, and then St. Pete, Florida. This was an open bar cruise—and trust me, we’d planned to get soused every day!

The morning before the trip, the cruise line CANCELLED the cruise due to impending Tropical Storm Andrew. We’re veteran travelers, and since we’d already scheduled 11 days off for vacation, we had to regroup fast. So, we focused on the opposite coast and lucked up on a deal for $449 from LAX to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabos San Lucas through Norwegian Cruise lines.

We upgraded to a balcony for $150 dollars more. It was totally worth it. The cruise was sheer perfection! I’m impressed with Norwegian, and how clean the staff kept the ship. This wasn’t a booze cruise, but somebody forgot to tell Norwegian that. We had plenty of free liquor on all of our excursions.

I skip anything involving animals (swimming with dolphins, petting turtles, camel rides, etc.). I don’t believe in imprisoning and enslaving any creature for humans’ enjoyment. It makes me sad to see that.

If you’re ever thinking of cruising on the Norwegian Jewel from Los Angeles to Mexico, try these excursions:

PUERTO VALLARTA
Las Caletas Beach Hideaway – $129 per person

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At $129 per person, this excursion seemed a little pricey at first. We chose this because we’d heard it was an exclusive beach that wasn’t crowded, where we could simply relax.

Verdict: Thumbs up! It was all that and more.

We took a tender boat from the pier to the beach. This 30-minute ride was filled with fun tour guides, who kept us entertained, and guess what? FREE adult beverages! On the way to the beach and back, unlimited beer and pina coladas flowed. I had no clue this was part of the deal. I don’t know how many we had. Between the two of us, I stopped counting at seven!

When we arrived at the beach, we were served a FREE authentic Mexican meal. The outdoor lunch was offered beneath a shady canopy of trees. Afterward, I donned my swimsuit and lied on my big fat butt for four hours. See those hammocks? Yes, I parked my booty right there! While I was asleep, my husband took advantage of the FREE water sports. The beach offered canoeing, snorkeling, and water jet packing. What more could you ask for? In the end, the price was right for everything we got.

 

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How’d you like this shower in your home?!

MAZATLAN
Bar Hopping – $59 per person

Bar #1

I rarely buy drinks on the ship. They’re ridiculously over-priced and watered down. We bought two mudslides on the first day, and our bill was $21.95!!! I don’t know about you, but I at least like to be taken to dinner before I get screwed over. I admit, I did try to take my own vodka onboard disguised in water bottles, but Norwegian confiscated them. Oh well, can’t blame a girl for trying.

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This is one of the reasons we signed up for the bar hopping excursion. At $59 per person, it was a deal. In 3 ½ hours, we visited 3 bars, where our drinks were FREE. We were only supposed to get one drink for free and then we were to pay for the rest, but between stops, our tour guides served us FREE tequila! I think they were just as buzzed as we were. At the last stop, we had twenty-five minutes to shop. Hubby found a great little place called Casa Maya Arte, where I picked up some beautiful Mexican stoneware.

Bar #2 and the view from the bar!

 

 

Bar #3 and the view from the bar!

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This is Casa Maya, where I spent waayyy to much money!

Verdict: Thumbs up! When you consider one drink costs $10-12 on the ship, $59 is a hell of a deal.

CABO SAN LUCAS
Baja Highlights – $59 per person

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One of my favorite tours. After a day of hanging at the beach and overindulging in distilled spirits, I was ready to take it easy. I should have know something was up when I learned I was the youngest person on the tour. At age 46, I ain’t no spring chicken, but I felt like a teenager compared to all the senior citizens on the air-conditioned bus.

We made 3 stops at historical places in Cabo. One of them was to a glass blowing shop. Those guys have skills! I snapped a few pics of one them transforming a lifeless piece of glass into a work of art. We got a chance to buy any of the amazing handmade pieces in the store.

Afterward, we stopped at some restaurant with an amazing ocean-view. And guess what? More FREE drinks! I don’t know what was in that beer they gave me, but it I practically took a nap when I got back to the bus! It was hops and barley on steroids, baby.

We went on a shopping blitz, mainly just looking because my husband only gave me five minutes in each place. My last stop was a sliver boutique, where hubby twisted my arm (not that much) into buying a gorgeous sterling silver rock masquerading as a ring. Chunky is as chunky does. The only weird thing for me was the guard armed with what looked like an AK-47 standing outside the ladies bathroom. Dayum! Made me too nervous to pee.

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The tour ended with us buying $1 all-natural popsicles with no GMO, no high-fructose corn syrup, and no artificial flavors. I bought pineapple, and I actually had chunks of pineapple in there. Yummy!

Verdict: Thumbs up! Definitely worth the money.

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Me and Hubby before we drank too much!

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When I retire to Cabo, this is the realtor I’m going to use!

P.S. I was shocked to see the devastation Andrew caused, especially in Haiti. The fact that our original cruise was cancelled was a blessing. Thank God we didn’t get caught up in that. My prayers go out to those who were affected.

Is Queen Sugar Sweet Enough to Hold My Attention?

18 Sep

UPDATE: November 8th. 

After binge watching all the episodes, I have to admit  I was wrong. I LOVE this show. Give it a chance and let me know what you think! 

 

Just watched the first episode of Queen Sugar.

NOT impressed.

I didn’t identify with any of the characters, and I didn’t feel a vested interest in anything that happened to them. But most importantly, I didn’t find a character I could root for.

When the first episode of Underground aired, it snatched my attention and held it every week; indeed, had me fienin’ for more. I guess I expected the same, if not better with this hyped up drama.

However, I’ve decided I’m going to watch a few more episodes. I won’t write it off yet. After all, I gave Game of Thrones a chance after the first episode where two siblings fornicated (disgusting). But the show turned out to be one of my favorites. I figure if I can give that a chance, I’ll give Queen Sugar a chance. I’ll keep you posted.

Have you seen the show yet? What do you think?

Why Authors of Color Should Enter the RITA Awards

2 Aug

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As you may have heard, Romance Writers of America (RWA) just announced winners of the RITA contest a few weeks ago. YOU could have been one of those winners. Have you considered entering the RITA Awards?

What are the RITAs?
The RITA Award is the most prominent award given throughout the genre of romance fiction. The purpose of the RITA Award is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published novels and novellas.

Why is this significant to me?
Historically, RITA entries submitted by authors of color have been underrepresented. There are many talented authors of color who either may not know they are eligible to participate in the RITA Awards, or they may not be aware that the awards exist.

Do I have to be a member of RWA to enter?
No, however members are given first consideration. Also, non-members pay a higher entry fee. The entry fee for RWA members is $50 per entry; the entry fee for non-members is $170 per entry.

Can self-published authors enter?
Absolutely. As long as your novel or novella has an original publication date of 2016, you can enter it into the RITA Awards. For a detailed list of contest rules, click here.

How do I enter?
The RITA Award opens for entries each fall. A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book’s publisher in one of the contest categories. Entrants must supply five printed books by the posted deadline (5 p.m. CT, November 21, 2016).

How are the entries judged?
Each title is judged by five separate judges during the preliminary round. After the first round of judging by published romance authors, entries that meet the qualifications to become a finalist advance to the final round. Finalists are announced in mid-March. Winners are announced at the annual award ceremony, held on the last day of RWA’s National Conference, which is normally held in July.

NOTE: If you don’t have an entry to submit, consider volunteering as a judge for the RITAs. Not only are authors of color underrepresented in the RITA Awards, so are judges of color.

What categories are covered?

Current award categories are:
• Contemporary Romance: Long
• Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length
• Contemporary Romance: Short
• Erotic Romance
• Historical Romance: Long
• Historical Romance: Short
• Paranormal Romance
• Romance Novella
• Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements
• Romantic Suspense
• Young Adult Romance
• Best First Book
• Provisional Category (Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance)

What’s in it for me?
Bragging rights. This is a wonderful accolade to add to your author resume, and it gives you immense credibility with romance agents, editors, and publishers. In addition, winners receive a gold statuette. Book editors receive a plaque.

Now, it’s your turn to submit to the RITAs! For more information, visit RWA.org. You can also email your questions to contests@rwa.org.

Wait! What if I’m not a published author?
No problem. RWA also hosts the Golden Heart Awards, which promotes excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding manuscripts written by members who have not published a novel or novella.

Golden Heart winners receive a gold, heart-shaped necklace in recognition of their achievements at the RWA National conference.

For more info, visit.
https://www.rwa.org/page/golden_heart

Good luck!

Why I’m Boycotting the 2016 Olympics

1 Aug

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Sadly, I’m going to have to boycott the Olympics from now on. Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel revealed the International Olympic Committee has a long history of greed, corruption, and partnering with tyrannical dictators.

Not only have the IOC members made personal demands, including cash, plastic surgery, and 24-hour butler service. They’ve also commanded host countries to do everything in their power to make the games spectacular—no matter what the cost. This has resulted in people being dragged from their homes to make room for Olympic stadiums, migrant workers being killed or denied their passports until they finish construction on Olympic projects, and entire populations being subject to human rights violations. When one worker from the Sochi Olympics complained, he was beaten and tortured, by having a crowbar repeatedly shoved up his anus.

To fund the Olympics, governments in many cities like Rio have eliminated funding for local hospitals and schools. Rio’s water is so contaminated with human waste and garbage, Olympic athletes have been warned not to get any water into their mouths when competing in water sports.

I’m not blaming the IOC for these abuses, but they are not doing one single thing to address these atrocities. Their corruption knows no bounds, and I can no longer reward their greed and blatant disregard for human rights.

Please read this article when you have time or check out Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: IOC.

http://www.flotrack.org/article/44257-the-ioc-s-true-ideals-corruption-and-greed

13 Things I Never Travel Without

17 Apr

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It’s that time again. Sun, fun, and vacations. My husband and I try to take at least two vacations a year. I’m always down for anything tropical, with an adult beverage or two. I’m packing for a cruise right now. Being a military brat, I’m a veteran at packing and moving. I keep a checklist of items, which I’ve updated over the years. When I was ten years old, I wouldn’t dare go anywhere without my Richie Rich comics or my Barbie dolls. Now that I’m pushing forty-six, the list has changed somewhat, but these are all things I can’t bear to travel without.

My TOP 13 THINGS I PACK

  1. Passport (I like collecting those stamps)
  2. Kindle and charger (I have three kindles. I usually take the  Paperwhite and a backup.)
  3. Laptop and charger (I never know when the urge to write might strike. I’ve written on the Lido Deck, in the airport, on my hotel balcony, and on the plane.)
  4. IPod and ear buds (To tune out those chatty folks sitting next to me on the plane, on the beach, and wherever else chatty folks tend to sneak up on me).
  5. Sinus meds (Sadly, this nose can attract pollen from fifty miles away)
  6. Rubber flip flops (For the hotel shower and the beach)
  7. Chap stick (I’m addicted to the stuff)
  8. CPAP machine (This is for my husband, not me. Actually, it’s the first thing on his list—even before underwear. He can go commando, but if I have to endure even one hour of his snoring, I’ll be in misery.)
  9. Beer bottle opener (I’ve got one on my keychain—you never know when you might be stranded with a cold beer and no way to open it!)
  10. Tampons (Yep, Aunt Flow has been known to show up unexpectedly)
  11. Pashima (It can double as a shawl or a sarong, depending on the climate)
  12. Flashlight (I hate waking up in total darkness in those cruise ship rooms)
  13. Switchblade (Just in case I get tied up and thrown into the back of someone’s trunk—I know, I’ve been reading too many suspense novels!)

 

 

Natural Hair Odyssey

5 Jan

For the past 4 years I’ve enjoyed being natural. I started my journey in January 2012. I’ve learned much about myself, my hair, and the hair industry in general. I’ve suffered no lack of creativity in hairstyles. Indeed, I’ve found my natural hair can be even more versatile than I’d ever imagined.

 

For 2016, I’ve decided to rock a short straight cut. To do this, I elected to go back to a relaxer. One thing I’ve learned from wearing a super short ‘fro in 2014 is that it’s just hair. I can grow it, color it, straighten it, curl it, slick it, blow dry it, be natural, be relaxed, cut it off, and start all over again. It’s my prerogative. No matter how I’ve worn my hair, my favorite product has been Wen. Natural or relaxed, it just works for me.

 

Here’s my new ‘do and my Natural Hair Odyssey in hair in review.

 

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Oct 2012 (me and hubby parasailing in St. Thomas)

march 2013

March 2013

 

Oct 2013

October 2013

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2014 (still natural, just pressed & flat ironed)

 

 

June 2014

June 2014

aug 2014

Aug 2014 (hubby chopped it all off for me in time for the cruise)

Oct 2014

Oct 2014 (not fried, but died and laid to the side)

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January 2016

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