Archive for the reading Category

I’m baaaaack!

Posted in catching up, Dogs, friends, happyness, Ink/Holes, inspired, Life, Me, memories, Nerdyness, news, randomness, reading, revelations, sadface, The Future, The Wonderful Internet, TV, video, Work on 02/08/2011 by asante

Hello lovelies :) Didja miss me?

I know, I know. It’s been forever. :-x But like I said before, my life has been in shambles lately, a whooole lot of mess pulling in a bunch of directions. So what have I been upto? Lets run through it.

1. VEGAS. Yes. I was there. It was unbelievable, I had the most amazing time! Me and 3 of my very good friends jetted out to beautiful, sunny Nevada to live out our own version of “The Hangover”. We went out, saw a show, played tourist, gambled (I won $7.14 y’all. Can we say ballin’?), had In-N’-Out Burger for the first time in life (Dear Lord. If I can eat nothing else for the rest of my life… I’ll never complain again. Amen.), spent WAY too much money, and bonded with my Wolfpack. Vacation of EPIC proportions. Can’t wait for the next one :)

2. Grad School. One interview down, 3 to go! The first one went REALLY well, I have high hopes that  I showed Vandy without a doubt that I am AWESOME. Like, seriously. lol. And Nashville was actually a LOT of fun. A friend of mine was nice enough to take me around town and show me a great time, I had a blast. Who knows…. I may be moving to Tennessee y’all :) lol

3. My Poor Pookie.

Yes. That is the formerly sleek and unblemished driver’s side of my Pookie, otherwise known as my ’09 Camry. *cue the hot salty tears of depression… and pour out a little Turtle Wax for her.* Note to all: I don’t care how little regard you hold for your piece of $#!? car, but I LOVE mine. Blind turns in parking garages have 5mph speed limits FOR A REASON. *sniff*. Stupid ’96 Cavalier. At least the cop was fine though. Officer Jones….. #yesplease. lol.

4. Workworkwork…. and BS co-workers. Any of you who follow me on Twitter knows that I faced quite the debacle with a co-worker last week. #deeeeeepsigh. Lets get one thing straight, shall we? I am many things, but a pushover is not one of them. When I ask you to do something and you don’t, just because I don’t say anything, doesn’t mean I’m not aware of your bull. So don’t act all shocked and surprised when I stop asking you to do stuff. There is NOTHING on this planet I despise more than people who don’t have the decency to follow through when asked for a favor. If you don’t want to do it, SAY NO. Seriously! So that I know not to bother next time. Because I will only put my work integrity in your pathetic, incapable hands so many times before I relegate you to a box reserved for the lazy and irresponsible. Do NOT mess with my job. I take my image at work VERY seriously, and don’t appreciate those who can’t do the same. < /rant >

5. SuperBowl Commercials …meh. Except for these two!:

Greatness. And no, I’m not going to comment on the game this year. I was bored to tears. And the Steelers…. just…. fail.

6. New Ink …Yes I know. I’m an addict. But I can’t help myself lol. Officially saving up for tattoo #6… Once I finalize the design, I’ll share. :)

7. BookyWooks! I’ve been reading up a storm in my web-absence. “The Unnamed” (Joshua Ferris),”Bitch Is The New Black” (Helena Andrews), “Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self” (Danielle Evans), “Naked” (David Sedaris) and always more to come. Each VERY different, but I like the variety. Hit me up for more detailed reviews if you’d like, but I’d recommend them all! Long Live REAL books!

8. Tiger In the wake of the insanity that is my life, I had to give up my baby boo, my dog Tiger. Still miss him something FIERCE! :( Hopefully once my schedule dials back I’ll be able to get another dog…. But I miss my Punkin’ Face. I really hope he found a good family though.

Anyways I should really get back to work… Though this was a nice break, time to mosey on back to the craziness that is my work day. Later folks :)

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I love Booky Wooks.

Posted in catching up, happyness, hobbies, inspired, Life, randomness, reading, revelations, The Wonderful Internet on 12/06/2010 by asante

Reading is awesome. For serious. One of my bestie’s favorite quote is,  “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” When did we all give up on the amazing art of disappearing into a book?

I won’t lie, I’ve been skimpin’ on my reading quest of late, but I just picked a new book before my Thanksgiving trip, and I cracked it open on the bus this morning. I think it’s a genuinely bad idea to forgo reading in favor of lesser entertainment forms…. Yea I can hear you all calling me a nerd. I don’t care. #nerdygirlswag. On a thousand-trillion. lol.

According to the BBC, the average person has only read 6 of the following books in their lives. SIX!! That’s it?! Maybe I’m just a bookworm, but I think as humanity we all need to do wayyyy better. Read my blog (lol) then log off the interwebs and head to the nearest bookstore/library. Please and Thank You. lol. Anyways, below (after the cut)  is *my* version of the  Top 100 Nominated books on The Big Read list…. Bold if I read it, Italicized if I didn’t finish it (Yet!!!).

Enjoy! And pick up a book or two off the list why don’t ya.

Continue reading

Beautiful quote, intriguing book.

Posted in beautiful, happyness, inspired, Love, quotes, reading on 08/17/2010 by asante

I recently borrowed the book “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, from a friend at work, and so far I really like it!!

This quote in particular made me lose my rhythm on the exercise bike today lol. Enjoy :)

Words of divine consciousness: moral exaltation; lasting feelings of elevation, elation, joy; a quickening of the moral sense, which strikes ones as more important than an intellectual understanding of things; an alignment of the universe along moral lines, not intellectual ones; a realization that the founding principle of existence is what we call love, which works itself out sometimes not clearly, not cleanly, not immediately, nonetheless ineluctably.

Can They Live?

Posted in funny, news, quotes, randomness, reading, The Wonderful Internet, Uncategorized on 08/09/2010 by asante

Let me be clear. I’m in no way/shape/form well versed in politics. My knowledge of how the government works is very limited.

But I am a fan of President Obama.

I think that from the perspective of a politically simple-brained person as myself, he seems to be doing a good– maybe great–job, in light of the circumstances he was left with (Muchos Gracias, Bush I &II). And I just get stymied when I see people BLATANTLY acting brand new about how he, and his family, as the FIRST FAMILY, get treated just because they have the audacity to be black and rich.

If you weren’t aware, the Obama’s were black and rich BEFORE he became President. lol. I mean, have you seen his house?!

So why is it such a big deal when rich black folk act like… well, rich black folk? Why is it such an issue for the rich, black, first lady of the free world to go on vacation? Danielle Belton got into it in this great article: “People Who Get Mad When Right People Do Rich Things Confuse Me” and I gotta say, I agree. Let the man be rich and black lol. I think he deserves it.  Check out an excerpt below.

While I was in New York City participating in Basseyworld Live the TV exploded with indignation over a wealthy woman going on an August vacation to Spain with her daughter. That wealthy woman happened to be the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. And because her personal safety is of national importance, we pay for her security detail. (Of course, we’re always paying for her security detail and travel and other things no matter what she does because it’s all largely budgeted in advance and pre-approved by Congress, but never mind those pesky details.)

OMG! Her living her life going on a private family trip is SOOOOO OFFENSIVE! Doesn’t she know that the only way I can tell if she cares about me and my unemployment is if she makes empty, showy gestures? Like hugging some grubby plebes while wearing hand-me-down coveralls before getting back inside pf her air-conditioned limo? Where is her flag pin? Why does she hate America? (See the entire article Here)

–By Danielle Belton, author of “The Black Snob”

Oooh America… lol.

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” – Steig Larsson

Posted in hobbies, Life, Me, Nerdyness, reading, Uncategorized on 06/17/2010 by asante

Paperback CoverSo I just finished this book this afternoon, and I have this to say:

READ. THIS. BOOK.

lol. I LOVED it. I’m a big fan of crime/drama thrillers when they aren’t written to be impossibly lame, and this book definitely delivers. I have to credit my bestie with giving me the push to read this one, I saw the sequel at her place a few weeks ago, and decided I needed to catch up with the series to get on her level :)

But on a serious note, this was an extremely satisfying book. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who decides to read it, but it is such a well crafted, engaging, and seriously entertaining read. And it’s written for a  Swedish audience, so you get to feel a lil’ international as you pore through it lol.

I really appreciated the strong social tones the story brings to light as well. After months and months listening to woman after woman who has been subjugated to sexual violence and assault by men who on many levels, hate women (pseudo reference to the Swedish title of this book) I was really impressed that Larsson took such care to address this issue, even if it was fiction. It was well written, and a painfully accurate, but rewarding part of the plot.

Seriously though y’all, it’s a quick, enthralling read, and you won’t regret it.

READ. THIS. BOOK. lol

#readingwin

10 life lessons you should unlearn

Posted in Life, news, randomness, reading, revelations, The Wonderful Internet on 05/20/2010 by asante

Originally posted in “O” Magazine, this article takes a good  hard look at the things we tell ourselves will make ours a life worth living. I thought it was pretty interesting! Maybe we could all take some notes, and remember that nothing is set in stone, and that includes “lessons” taught by others about how your life “should” be. Check it out!

By Martha Beck

In the past 10 years, I’ve realized that our culture is rife with ideas that actually inhibit joy. Here are some of the things I’m most grateful to have unlearned:

1. Problems are bad
You spent your school years solving arbitrary problems imposed by boring authority figures. You learned that problems — comment se dit? — suck.
But people without real problems go mad and invent things like base jumping and wedding planning.
Real problems are wonderful, each carrying the seeds of its own solution. Job burnout? It’s steering you toward your perfect career. An awful relationship? It’s teaching you what love means. Confusing tax forms? They’re suggesting you hire an accountant, so you can focus on more interesting tasks, such as flossing. Finding the solution to each problem is what gives life its gusto.

2. It’s important to stay happy.
Solving a knotty problem can help us be happy, but we don’t have to be happy to feel good.
If that sounds crazy, try this: Focus on something that makes you miserable. Then think, “I must stay happy!” Stressful, isn’t it? Now say, “It’s okay to be as sad as I need to be.” This kind of permission to feel as we feel — not continuous happiness — is the foundation of well-being.

3. I’m irreparably damaged by my past
Painful events leave scars, true, but it turns out they’re largely erasable. Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroanatomist who had a stroke that obliterated her memory, described the event as losing “37 years of emotional baggage.” Taylor rebuilt her own brain, minus the drama.
Now it appears we can all effect a similar shift, without having to endure a brain hemorrhage. The very thing you’re doing at this moment — questioning habitual thoughts — is enough to begin off-loading old patterns.
For example, take an issue that’s been worrying you (“I’ve got to work harder!”) and think of three reasons that belief may be wrong. Your brain will begin to let it go. Taylor found this thought-loss euphoric. You will, too.

4. Working hard leads to success
Baby mammals, including humans, learn by playing, which is why “the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.”
Boys who’d spent years strategizing for fun gained instinctive skills to handle real-world situations. So play as you did in childhood, with all-out absorption.
Watch for ways your childhood playing skills can solve a problem (see #1). Play, not work, is the key to success. While we’re on the subject…

5. Success is the opposite of failure.
Fact: From quitting smoking to skiing, we succeed to the degree we try, fail, and learn. Studies show that people who worry about mistakes shut down, but those who are relaxed about doing badly soon learn to do well. Success is built on failure.

6. It matters what people think of me
“But if I fail,” you may protest, “people will think badly of me!” This dreaded fate causes despair, suicide, homicide.
I realized this when I read blatant lies about myself on the Internet. When I bewailed this to a friend, she said, “Wow, you have some painful fantasies about other people’s fantasies about you.”
Yup, my anguish came from my hypothesis that other people’s hypothetical hypotheses about me mattered. Ridiculous! Right now, imagine what you’d do if it absolutely didn’t matter what people thought of you. Got it? Good. Never go back.

7. We should think rationally about our decisions
Your rational capacities are far newer and more error-prone than your deeper, “animal” brain. Often complex problems are best solved by thinking like an animal.
Consider a choice you have to make — anything from which movie to see to which house to buy. Instead of weighing pros and cons intellectually, notice your physical response to each option. Pay attention to when your body tenses or relaxes. And speaking of bodies…

8. The pretty girls get all the good stuff
Oh, God. So not true. I unlearned this after years of coaching beautiful clients. Yes, these lovelies get preferential treatment in most life scenarios, but there’s a catch: While everyone’s looking at them, virtually no one sees them.
Almost every gorgeous client had a husband who’d married her breasts and jawline without ever noticing her soul.

9. If all my wishes came true right now, life would be perfect
Check it out: People who have what you want are all over rehab clinics, divorce courts, and jails. That’s because good fortune has side effects, just like medications advertised on TV.
Basically, any external thing we depend on to make us feel good has the power to make us feel bad.
Weirdly, when you’ve stopped depending on tangible rewards, they often materialize. To attract something you want, become as joyful as you think that thing would make you. The joy, not the thing, is the point.

10. Loss is terrible
Ten years ago I still feared loss enough to abandon myself in order to keep things stable. I’d smile when I was sad, pretend to like people who appalled me.
What I now know is that losses aren’t cataclysmic if they teach the heart and soul their natural cycle of breaking and healing.
A real tragedy? That’s the loss of the heart and soul themselves. If you’ve abandoned yourself in the effort to keep anyone or anything else, unlearn that pattern. Live your truth, losses be damned. Just like that, your heart and soul will return home.

Gotta get you folks thinking early this morning.

Posted in Life, news, quotes, reading, The Wonderful Internet, ugh. on 04/28/2010 by asante

I stumbled across this poignantly written article this morning, and I just had to share. It’s by anti-racist writer and activist Tim Wise, and it puts a lot of this country’s current events in a very interesting perspective: what if all the recent predominantly white “movements” against the government were being organized by black or brown people? Though he references purely U.S. events, this certainly can be extrapolated across borders, because sadly, this happens all over the place.

Check it out. [Bolding is mine, not the authors.]

IMAGINE: 
Protest, Insurgency, and the Workings of White Privilege. 
by Tim Wise (website here: http://www.timwise.org)
April 25, 2010

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure–the ones who are driving the action–we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters–the black protesters–spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government. Would these protesters–these black protesters with guns–be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry, screaming, black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a black rap artist were to say, in reference to a white politician and presidential candidate: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” And what would happen to any prominent liberal commentator who then, when asked about that statement, replied that the rapper was a friend and that he (the commentator) would not disavow or even criticize him for his remarks. Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said in 2007about Barack Obama, and that’s how Sean Hannity responded to Nugent’s remarkswhen he was asked about them.

Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister–who also works for the organization–defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding,or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough–“living fossils” as he called them–“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.*

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Arab Muslims and liberals,respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh,when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up The New York Times.

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on freerepublic.com last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it.this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say,

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Game Over.
*(Denver Post December 29, 1995)

Now, I’m not by any means politically knowledgeable. But I think Wise put an excellent, chilling twist on our current events. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has watched these horrific Tea Party goings-on and thought “in any other color, that would be terrorism.” Because it really is kind of terrifying what how much leniency is being given to these people armed with such intense hatred, money, weapons, and admittedly dangerous ideals. It makes me kind of sad to think that as a nation, the U.S. has taken a few enormous steps backwards in the past year. Hopefully something can be done so we regain our footing, because if allowed to continue, I can’t see a positive ending to all of this.