Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Wish My BF Would Have Challenged Me To Make 300 Sandwiches So I Could Have An Interesting Blog

I will admit, my SO and I play into gender roles and I'm OK with it. I do most of the grocery shopping, cooking and laundry and he does a lot of the icky stuff like throwing out the trash, fixing things and checking the mouse traps because I am SOOOO scared of mice even though I should be used to them being from New York and all.

Anyway, I cook because I like to; I enjoy putting together healthy meals for my family and when they're cheap and can be used for leftovers it makes the whole experience even better. It's like a challenge to make good, quality food at a great price and I feel like such an old boring person for even saying that, because it shows how exciting my life is right now.

Stephanie's Smith's revelation in the NY Post that she is the cook behind, a blog that documents a woman's quest to make 300 sandwiches for her boyfriend in exchange for an engagement ring has stirred up some emotions on both ends; men applauding her for going in the kitchen and doing something for her man and women stating she is setting herself back into the 50's thinking she has to cook in order to get a husband.

According to her blog she's a foodie and a writer and her boyfriend is a great cook, so this type of challenge seems to be a fun way to get her to share his passion for cooking and could really bring them closer together. I really hope he a) keeps his promise after the 300th sandwich and b) she actually enjoys doing what she does.

I can't see myself going through a challenge whether it be a weight loss challenge, cooking challenge, sex challenge (even though that does sound interesting) in hopes of a ring but hey, who am I to judge? I am sure they are happy, in love and have a healthy relationship and if she's OK with doing this to please her man then I'm OK with it as well. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Could Care Less If You Don't Want To Hear My Kid's Tantrum

Reading Matt Walsh's article in the Huffington Post took me back to a period in parenting that I seriously tried to erase from memory. I am so grateful my two and half year old is out of his shrieking, ultra meltdown temper tantrum stage where he would scream so loud in public I would fear windows would break. It got to the point I was afraid to take him outside because of the embarrassment I would face he would throw a tantrum. Seriously, it was that bad.

Then I realized keeping him locked indoors while he got over this stage was not an option and sometimes you have to take your kid out to do everyday stuff. Like go to Target or the supermarket. I'm not talking shopping at a high end department store, brunch or the general section of the library, I'm talking regular everyday activities.

Anyway, my approach to dealing with his behavior was to be consistent in not giving in to his tantrums and helping him verbalize his frustrations. Once he understood screaming was not going to get him his way because Mommy really, really doesn't like that shit he would cut it out. He also is speaking much better, allowing him to express his frustrations with words and not with screaming/crying/thrashing. 

As a parent, I don't encourage my child to act that way and at 0,1 or 2 they don't really have the ability to control themselves as much as a 5 year old can. I get it if my grade school aged kid was acting like a spoiled brat and I did nothing to stop it that people would get mad. And these people I keep talking about? The people that stare, give dirty looks and make comments under their breath. I've gotten to the point where I stare back. 

I found myself caring more about what people thought than trying to control the situation which is really two different things. Toddlers cry and whine and throw tantrums. It could be because they're tired, hungry, bored, whatever. It happens and people need to deal with it. We were all small children at some point, had small children, have small children or will have small children. If anything, these businesses that sell products that families need are benefiting from our business so if you don't like my kid making noise, you get out the store and go somewhere else.

I never in my life spent more money on groceries and random shit at Target and Duane Reade than I do now that I have a child so I don't get how other people feel they have the right to suggest these places are not places for children,  parents should leave their kids home, blah, blah, blah. Who are you to suggest that? Do you work for these companies? And if you do, let me know so I'll take my business elsewhere.

Listen, people have the right to stare, give dirty looks and talk shit under their breath as much as my toddler has the right to act like a toddler. All I'm saying is, if you really have a problem with me or my kid, come up to me and say something to my face or walk away. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Urban Parenthood?

When I first started this blog, I thought it was going to be a parenting blog featuring helpful articles and books, recipes, things to do in Brooklyn and some of my personal experiences as a mom. Looking back at my recent posts, I see I'm writing about Miley Cyrus, natural hair and the war in Syria. I have to take a step back and figure if I should just write about what comes to me when it comes to me or just focus on the parenthood thing.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Problem I Have With Sheryl Underwood

By now, I'm sure most women within the natural hair community have heard about Sheryl Underwood's comments on The Talk where she referred to black hair as nasty and not worth saving while the panel discussed Heidi Klum's decision to keep her biracial children's hair after they get a haircut.

I know other bloggers have touched on the issue of self hate because she clearly thinks natural black hair isn't beautiful which may explain the wig on her head, but the issue I have is the fact that she made these comments with a mostly white panel in front of a mostly white audience. 

Would she have made those comments if there were three other black women and one white woman? Would she have made those comments in front of a mostly black audience?

This kind of reminds me of when Mike Epps recently said that his older, dark skinned kids were jealous of the children he has with his new wife, because they are cuter and have good hair. When we hear this kind of hate by our own family members and those within our community, how can we expect mainstream America to portray more positive, beautiful black women on TV, movies and magazines?

It was clear the women found her comments somewhat amusing because they laughed, along with the audience, but it was also clear Aisha Tyler felt uncomfortable. It would have been nice for her to say something in defense of natural, black hair but since she wears her hair in a straightened state, I can't say if she would truly understand how offensive Sheryl's comments were. She also may have wondered if she would have been coming off overly sensitive in front of her mostly white audience by changing the tone of the discussion. 

Long story short, we need to not sell out to be accepted by mainstream America and their standard of beauty. We don't need to make our skin lighter, hair straight, wear wigs and weaves to look like something we are not. We also don't need people like Sheryl Underwood and Mike Epps to degrade our culture and offend our children in an attempt to make jokes.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

World War III?

I was in high school when the twin towers were attacked on September 11th. At that time, when many were considering going on to college, many of my classmates decided to go into the armed services for obvious reasons. At that time no one knew why we were going to Iraq and how long the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would last, or that we would later find out the war in Iraq didn't really have much to do with the attacks that occurred on September 11th. We all knew we were attacked, and we needed to go after those responsible and prevent it from occurring again.

We find ourselves 12 years later, dealing with homegrown terrorists and threats to Americans and our allies abroad. We now find ourselves with the looming possibility of striking Syria for its crimes against its people. 

What has been happening in Syria has been horrible and tragic. Over 200,000 killed in their civil war so far with a million displaced. Its so sad, and at times surreal that wars like this can still occur in this day and age. Its painful to think a government would actually carry out attacks against its own people. That leaves us to wonder; do we have a moral obligation to do what is right for the innocent Syrians that have been killed and to potentially block more deaths? Do we have an obligation to the American people and more specifically the people that serve our country to not get involved?

Its scary to think that a military strike by the U.S. could lead to retaliation by Syria and their ally Iran. Its scary to think they would strike Israel, furthering our involvement in the Middle East which could very well lead to a full scale war. Would our Middle Eastern allies get involved if we find ourselves at war again or would they just nod their heads in approval and be happy its us fighting and not them.

I was inspired to write this after seeing on BuzzFeed the trend occurring by members of the military anonymously sharing their disapproval for a military attack on Syria on social media. I understand they have an obligation to this country, and to our President, and cannot speak out against the President or policy; I just also believe our government has a moral obligation to defend our country and to protect those that serve it as well. They didn't sign up for this,and if the military cannot speak their mind, we should show our troops support and speak up for them.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Buzzfeed Just Helped Me Decide Who To Vote For In The NYC Mayor Primary

Since I am not a registered democrat and too lazy to change my party affiliation from independent, I will not be voting in the democratic primary for NYC Mayor next month. I know who I would ideally prefer to win but to be honest, I don't really see much of a difference between each of the candidates to really research their backgrounds and watch the debates. According to Buzzfeed's quiz Which Democratic NYC Mayoral Candidate Should You Vote For I should vote for Weiner because I err, prefer a candidate who is really transparent. 

What about you?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Oklahoma Shooting Breaks My Heart

I am incredibly saddened and appalled by the news of the death of Christopher Lane, the young Australian man that was senselessly shot while he was jogging by three bored teens. When the story first broke, many news outlets did not want to publish the pictures or race of the boys because they were minors. Now we know, two of them were black and one white.

I don't buy the defense people are throwing out that they should have had more to do. There are many kids out there that don't have supervision during the day while they're on summer break and don't have part time jobs or activities to do that are not out there killing people for sport. In order to hunt someone and shoot them for no reason, you have to be depraved in some way. Its a shame that three people were able to get together and all share in this sick behavior and not do anything to stop each other.

When kids are bored and do not have the supervision or parental guidance they need they can get into trouble and do stupid things. Whether it be drugs, drinking, vandalism or hanging out, they can get into trouble with the law which is unfortunate. Kids left to fend for themselves, especially those in poverty can get caught up with gangs or drug dealing, which we see too often in poor, minority communities. 

According to CNN, one of the black boys that shot Mr. Lane in the back recently tweeted he hated 90% of white people. You could argue this is was a racially motivated crime because there is the possibility that if it happened to have been a black man jogging this may not have happened. There is also a possibility they premeditated this attack and it just happened there was a white man passing by at the wrong time.

Obviously, people are calling out Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to make a statement, to offer not only condolences to the family this young man with a bright future left behind, but offer a statement condemning what these teens (specifically the two black ones) did. Too often, when horrible crimes are committed by blacks, whether it be black on black crime or it be black on white crime, there is silence by the black community.

I think there is a tendency to feel a sense of embarrassment that one of our own did something so horrid we just don't know what to say. We don't want to appear as if speaking out against crime committed by our race is speaking out against our race. Not everything can be seen as black versus white. Sometimes it has to be about standing for whats right or wrong, regardless of who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. 

There has to come a point where we not only speak out against violence when its white versus black. We can't make excuses or try to find a reason why people do horrible things. There are just some instances and times where we can't use racism as a way to explain despicable behavior. 

There are countless young, innocent victims of violent crime that were killed not because some depraved individual decided to shoot and kill, it often times is the result of gang activity, drug deals, some sort of beef that turns into gun violence by people that do not know how to use a gun properly or have much regard for human life to take the risk of shooting an innocent bystander in order to reach an intended target. This, I would argue, is the result of poverty and lack of resources in under served communities.