health hop music

I believe the children are our future. I believe that it’s important to meet people where they are when trying to reach them. I believe we should educate young people about real topics like sex, economics, politics, race and health. So it follows that I should like Dr. Clarke’s “Health Hop Music.” Uh, no.

Dr. John D. Clarke has a series of albums he’s written, produced and performed focusing on educating young people about their health. Relying on studies with conclusions like “the average teen listens to 40 hours of music per week and 10,500 hours of music between the 7th and 12th grade,” and “today, Hip-Hop is the music of choice for many teens and is the ideal genre for capturing their attention,” Dr. Clarke hopes to use hip hop to break through to kids and get them to listen up.

While the doctor’s motives are admirable and his attempt to make good songs not too shabby, I have to say that this is a fail. Take a break from reading right now and head over to the Health Hop page on CD Baby and listen to some clips. See what I mean? No? Read on.  Continue reading

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Filed under Health & Wellness, Music & More, Routine Ramblings, What kind of fuckery?

hoodwinked

I’m pretty disgusted right about now. I was asleep, knocked out due to my sickness and woke up at midnight to find that the House had passed a health care reform bill (HR 3962). Sounds good at first, especially since we have been trying to get SOME form of legislation moving through the process. Unfortunately, this is not what I was hoping for. I get the feeling that most people had/have no idea that today, in what felt like a backdoor sneak move, Representative Bart Stupak put forth an amendment on a Saturday morning to the proposed health care bill. Oh, it got passed, by the way. What is this bill that you probably didn’t know was even being discussed?

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment violates the spirit of health care reform, which is meant to guarantee quality, affordable health care coverage for all. In fact, this amendment would create a two-tiered system that would punish women, particularly those with low and middle incomes, the very people this bill is intended to assist. The majority of private health insurance plans currently offer abortion coverage, and the Stupak/Pitts amendment would result in the elimination of private abortion coverage in the ‘exchange,’ the new insurance market created under health care reform, as well as in the public option, if one is created.

“The Stupak/Pitts amendment would purportedly allow women who want comprehensive reproductive health care coverage to purchase a separate, single-service rider to cover abortion.  But such abortion riders do not exist because women do not plan to have unintended pregnancies or medically complicated pregnancies that require ending the pregnancy.  These so-called ‘abortion riders,’ which would be the only insurance policy through which abortion care could be covered in the ‘exchange,’ are discriminatory and illogical.  Proposing a separate ‘abortion rider’ or ‘single-service plan’ is tantamount to banning abortion coverage since no insurance company would offer such a policy.*

Take some time. Read that again. How ridiculous is that? While folks were on Twitter talking about brunch, football and #threewordsaftersex, anti-choicers were hijacking health care reform and using this opportunity to revolutionize American health care as a stage for their anti-abortion agenda. Dude… not here. Not this fight. SMH. Don’t be mistaken, taking away abortion coverage (in both private insurance plans and the public option) will not deter people from having unprotected sex. It will not result in a significant decline in abortions sought or performed. It will not only hurt the people you think it might hurt.

Abortion is legal. Until Congress passes a law otherwise (that passes Constitutional scrutiny by the Supreme Court), it is legal. I can’t get hype about HCR, and trust me I WANT to be so hype about HCR, when people are trying to use the backdoor to chisel away at my rights. It’s sneaky and I don’t want my government to work that way. Please believe that the NRA folks would not be down for this. You see how they get when someone even breathes gun control. The Second Amendment gets trotted out like it was the 11th Commandment.

I took a Legislation & Public Policy course in law school. I’m currently taking Politics & Policy in my MPA program. Even without those classes, I know some BS okey doke when I see it. Game recognize game, right? This is a CLASSIC example of how you get a piece of legislation to FAIL. Instead of coming out and saying no to HCR (which will make you look bad, for sure), you say yes but also get on board with an amendment that will alienate so many people that it’s sure to bring down the whole house. This is some back to the drawing board shit if I’ve ever seen it, yet so many folks are just happy to have something, I bet they won’t raise a fuss. You are so used to accepting crumbs from the gov’t that you’re not willing to fight for what you believe in. Meanwhile, those that are AGAINST what you believe in are up ALL night, working hard. No, really. They’re up ALL night. Crazy does not sleep. But listen yall, don’t drink the kool aid. This is not the HCR we want. It’s the HCR we’re settling for.

Find out how your representative voted on the Stupak/Pitts Amendment. If they were on board with the amendment and you are not, please call your rep and let them know how poorly they’ve represented you this weekend.

Definitely hit up your Senators. Ball’s in their court now.

*Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Read the whole statement here.

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Filed under current events, Health & Wellness, I'm Judging You (reviews & criticism), Now I'm pissed, Pay Attention!, Politics, Swiped, What kind of fuckery?

miss me?

Looking at my blog and realizing I haven’t posted an entry since October 21st is uber depressing. I want to write something so badly but I think I end up tweeting my ideas in 140 characters instead of fleshing them out here. I’m going to stop doing that so much.

Most recently I’ve been laid up sick. Worn down, snotty, coughing up all kinds of sexy shit. Went to the doctor today after my boss sent me a preemptive “don’t bother coming to work” email and turns out I have a respiratory infection. Gotta hit up these anitbiotics and all will be well. I hope.

Seeing as I’m still sick and will be spending a fun-filled weekend on my sofa, I should be able to write some of the things I’ve been thinking about all week. It always seems to go that when I write my “sorry I haven’t been posting” posts, I follow with like three new entries. So yeah, I’ll be back to business.

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Filed under Routine Ramblings

RHoATL, Season 2 Finale: Wrap it up, B

nnlwh

But that choker's not cute.

We’re back and it’s over! I missed blogging last week’s episode but when I got around to watching it, it wasn’t THAT exciting to write about anyway. On to the finale…

What are Dwight’s qualifications as the director of a fashion show? He’s telling Sheree to trust him but um, what references is he rolling with? Sheree is the WORST when it comes to hiring help. She can’t hire models, party planners, seamstresses, nobody. For someone who had such a dreadful show last time, you’d think she would be on top of this. How the hell does Sheree have one vision (simple, understated) and she hired Dwight who is thinking “it’s better to oversell than undersell”????? More fur! More accessories! Mmkay.

The Hartwells are getting real and I appreciate that. Ed is truly being responsible saying let’s downsize this crib that costs $200,000 a year and move into our other crib that’s 9 acres. Still a great place to live, I’m sure, but a downgrade from where they are now. Lisa needs to get it together. I know she’s got a lot of things going on, but I’m not so sure she’s bringing in the kind of cheese that’s necessary for the upkeep of the home and everything else the family is spending money on. She wants to be wealthy, but um, it’s not like they’re moving to the poor house! Ed was TOTALLY on point when he said his home was in his family, not in the house. And no Lisa, you can’t build a guest house. You cannot build a gym. You cannot have a circular driveway. By the time you renovate the property with all those extras, it’ll cost damn near the same or more than the home you’re leaving! Continue reading

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Filed under television

focusing on healthy relationships

Today is “Taking it to the Streets” day for Strong Start, an organization dedicated to educating young people about healthy relationships and ending teen dating violence. Eleven organizations in Atlanta,, Austin, Boston, Bridgeport, the Bronx, Idaho, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Oakland, Providence, and Wichita will be helping spread the message about healthy relationships. According to the website, Start Strong is also encouraging people to join the conversation online – “We are asking for your best thinking, your best advice, your best observations to get this country learning about healthy relationships, how to have them, build them, keep them and ensure that violence and abuse are never tolerated.”

It’s great that Start Strong is doing this work and even greater that they’re taking it to the streets today during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to help people see that teen dating violence is truly related to domestic violence overall. A lot of the time we focus on the negative when trying to create awareness by telling people what they should NOT be doing or by showing them how jacked up their lives and relationships are. This campaign builds off of what many advocates know already and what President Obama said in his official National Domestic Violence month proclamation on Oct. 1:

During this month, we rededicate ourselves to breaking the cycle of violence. By providing young people with education about healthy relationships, and by changing attitudes that support violence, we recognize that domestic violence can be prevented. We must build the capacity of our Nation’s victim service providers to reach and serve those in need. We urge community leaders to raise awareness and bring attention to this quiet crisis. Together, we must ensure that, in America, no victim of domestic violence ever struggles alone.

Even amidst all this positivity, I’m kind of saddened. As a soon-to-be 28 year old woman (Nov 1!), I realize that neither I nor many of my peers know how to articulate the characteristics of a healthy relationship. So few of us have seen them or been in them. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll see that this is a true statement. How can we be mentors and teachers to young people starting out? Start Strong’s target audience is 11-14 year old boys and girls. Good, it’s not too early. Clearly we all needed some help learning how to love ourselves and one another in a supportive, encouraging, uplifting and healthy way.  I’m going to keep an eye on this organization and I hope that you do too. Try following Start Strong on Twitter.

Here are ways that YOU can participate ONLINE on October 22nd.  It’s easy and will only take a few minutes of your time:

  1. Give Start Strong your relationship feedback. They need to know what you know. Click Here to give your feedback!
  2. Post a conversation starter to your Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/yfxr7yl) or Twitter profile. This will have a major impact.

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Filed under Domestic Violence Advocacy, Pay Attention!, relationships, Spotlights

hot pepper, baby pops & the running man

You might know those terms in the title to refer to double-dutch moves, especially if you’re from New York ( and only if you’re real!). I wonder what kinds of tricks they pulled in the ropes in Chicago back in the day? Let’s ask Michelle Obama, shall we?

I find this terribly awesome and so very very Black. Pay no mind to what you see in those double-dutch competitions full of skinny lil boys and red-haired girls in French braids with matching t-shirts who call it ‘skipping rope’. I love D-D and it has always been a very Black, urban, around the way experience for me. I still remember the day I learned how to jump and the songs/chants we used to sing. I’m the chick who carried a rope in the trunk of her car up until last year just in case somebody wanted to get a quick jump in.

So yeah, I’m enjoying this way more than I think I should.

Bonus:

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Filed under Pics & Flix, Routine Ramblings

when choosing a doctor…

I’m not a racist, I let white folks use my bathroom! I do, however, have a preference for people of color in certain situations, specifically Black folks. There are limits, of course. When given a choice on nearly everything, I don’t care who does it if it’s done well. I don’t go to Starbucks and wait for the Black barista to make my latte over anyone else who is equally qualified at foaming milk and stuff. I do like to have Black doctors, though. Maybe because I haven’t been exposed to many over the years. Perhaps it was too much Cliff Huxtable. Could be now that my friends are dentists, ophthalmologists, anesthesiologist and such, I like the idea even more. I don’t know. Moving to a new city, I’m having to re-up on my roster of health care providers. I’ll probably just break down and ask my friends or coworkers who they see and roll with their recommendations (an excellent way to find a provider, actually) but at present I’m asking around to see who knows a Black dentist, primary care physician and a gyn.

Wait… that last one, gynecologist… that’s a special category. While I wouldn’t mind having a Black FEMALE gyn, I cannot have a Black male. I said as much on Twitter a couple of days ago and I wasn’t able to fully articulate why I felt that way when asked. I don’t even know if I can get my feelings about it across right now but I’ll try (and fail). Continue reading

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Filed under Health & Wellness, My Life, Routine Ramblings