Young People…. STOP F*ing up your life.

There is a young woman who is 23 years old. I’ve known her all of her life. Her sister is one of my Best Friends, and our families have been close since before I was born.

This young sista is beautiful and smart (or so I thought). She has not always made the right decisions but really who has? From the outside looking in, I thought she was trying. She had gone out of state for college, but a series of poor decisions brought her home to her sister’s couch without a degree. She ended up finding retail employment for about $12.00 per hour.

Me being the problem-solving diva that I am, I reached out to her to let her know about a free training program in her field of interest that could potentially double her income. This training program would be free to her for 5 to 6 hours a day for 16 weeks. Previous graduates of this program are making between $20.00 to $40.00 per hour.

She led me to believe she was really interested in this opportunity. She attended the orientation, completed the test, and participated in 3 interviews, just to not show up on the first day of class.

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This is a program that had over 100 applicants for 23 spaces. I spoke to the instructor and the counselors to ensure she got into this cohort. I feel like she slapped me in the face and F*d off an opportunity to change her life.

She’s standing still right now, with no direction as to where her life is going. She’s not thinking about her future and is consumed with getting her nails done and ordering the best hair for her sew-in. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing wrong with getting your hair and nails done, but that can’t be the purpose of your life.

I just want to yell, what the hell is wrong with you? You’re not living up to your potential and as an adult, it’s no ones fault but your own. Be accountable, be a woman of your word, and don’t drag other people down with you. I didn’t have to put my name on the line for you, I didn’t have to extend the olive branch to give you a life-changing opportunity, but I did because I love you, I respect you, and I know you could have a bright future if you apply yourself and commit to something.

What’s, even more, sad is the lack of accountability and the need to play the blame game instead of saying I F*d up. I took it back to our Shule Mandela Academy days and recited a portion of a pledge we recited daily that stated: “All learning is not fun, some learning is tedious, but we cannot be black and proud, and all so be dumb, therefore we must learn, we are the next generation.” I get crickets from her, so I’m done. I can no longer help people that don’t want to help themselves.

Fortunately, I don’t mind helping another young sista, I just can’t help her.

Call to Action: Young People, take control of your life and Live life to it’s fullest potential because we only get one. Take advantage of every opportunity and go for all of your dreams!

Teach.Inspire.Motivate.Empower

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Gratitude is a KEY to Success!

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“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see” – Dr. Robert Holden

 

Straight Outta Compton!

This movie was the absolute bomb! Shame on me for waiting so long to do a review….LOL. I enjoyed every minute of this movie from beginning to end. The story line was entertaining as well as historical. I enjoyed how relatable the movie was. As a person who was about 5 years old while all of the things were happening in real life, it meant a lot to me to revisit what was going on in our world at that time. It’s interesting how some things come full circle and repeat itself, for example in the movie they touched on the Rodney King beating, and as I was watching it, I couldn’t help but to shake my head because I can no longer keep count of how much police MURDER and brutality that is caught on tape, published in mainstream media, and still ignored.

Prior to watching this movie, I really liked Ice Cube, and after watching this movie, I was inspired, motivated, and grew an enormous amount of respect for Ice Cube. I love that he stood up for himself at a time, when everyone wanted to get their check, so they kept quiet. I love how he peeped game and spoke on it, instead of ignoring it. I love that he was and still is a man of Integrity, a man of Strength, and a man that followed his dreams to success.

Many times I’ve seen people fall victim to their circumstances. They allow the poverty stricken communities that they came from determine their future and how they live their lives. Watching these young men tell their truth, follow their dreams, and become extremely successful inspired me. I want to be a woman who when they tell my story it inspires someone to do great things, find happiness, and love themselves.

I am a first generation college graduate fighting to make my dream of financial freedom a reality and it will come!

Was the Thrill Worth it?

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My best friend has been seeing a guy off and on for 5 years. OMG……he is such a freaking DOGGGGGG. He is tall, dark, handsome, and very successful. A recipe for DOGG…..LOL. They have a very interesting relationship, he would randomly come around and whisk her away on mini vacations. As a responsible best friend, I expressed to her that something was up with him and she insisted that they had an understanding and I backed off…… I had a feeling he was in a relationship but didn’t want to stick my nose too far into a situation that didn’t belong to me.

Here we are 5 years after they met and the poop has hit the fan. They were getting ready for a long weekend trip together, and she was looking for a good book for the ride. She enjoyed reading the first book he wrote, so she asked him for suggestions for books by other authors in his genre. She didn’t hear back from him soon enough and decided to google him to see what other book suggestions arise. Well, the google search gave her more than she bargained for.
She found out he got married last year and has a newborn baby. Yes, married last year and they’ve been dating (well knowing each other) for 5 years. I could not believe it. How do you lie about your whole life?

To his credit, he never promised my girl long-term, he never made any commitments or sold any dreams, but he lied about his relationship status for years. He never said he was in a committed relationship, never once said he even had a girlfriend, let along a fiancé or a wife, and these were questions she asked on a regular basis. When they met, he told her that he had just gone through a divorce and was enjoying being single. When she confronted him, he said we have a good thing going, and my relationship with my WIFE is complicated. Let’s continue what we have. This man must be crazy to think she would be comforatble being his mistress.

Why are men so freaking selfish. Just going around lying and hurting people. Let’s not even discuss the health risk, when you’re sleeping around with multiple partners and your partners are sleeping with multiple partners. This shows the lack of respect that he has for his marriage and his wife.

What’s even sadder is his amazing, well educated, well-accomplished wife doesn’t know who he really is. This man has a secret life where he is taking other women on trips with their money and sleeping with them. He is putting his family at risk, and I wonder is it really worth the thrill.

I’m shocked that it took my girl this long to google this man. These days, that’s the first thing you do.

Please note: I received her permission to blog about her experience.

San Jose Juneteenth 2015

Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the abolishment of slavery in the United States. Most recently it’s celebrated in a festival-like manner, where people celebrate black culture, with performances, vendors selling clothes, jewelry, food, non-profit organization giving out information, and now even service providers offering different services for the attendee’s at the event.
I try to make it out to several different Juneteenth celebrations, but this year I only made it to one, and that was the San Jose Juneteenth festival. Often this celebration is fun and has several people attending, but this year seemed a little off.
The celebration was at a new park this year. This park was bigger than the park it is normally at, and I think it worked against the organizers. They had Keke Wyatt perform and maybe anticipated a larger crowd, but it seemed like not very many people attended the celebration this year.
The event began in the late morning, I arrived around noon and got lost. I initially went to the original park, where another festival was taking place, and so an old family friend who pointed me in the direction of Juneteenth. I finally made it to the park, after getting lost on my journey. I made it in the gate, and it was hottttttttt, I probably guzzled down a gallon of water as the day progressed.
As soon as I got in the park, I had to feed my daughter and myself. I was looking for a #PointFriendly option and noticed, the food options were very few. There was a fried food vendor (chicken, fish, & fries), a Jamaican food vendor, and a sweets vendor. I was hoping for BBQ but settled for Jamaican. I got the Jerk chicken, which was grilled, with plantain, and rice and peas! It was very tasty and filling, and the #PointFriendly option.
After getting my food, I walked around to check out all the vendors. I supported all the vendors by purchasing something from their booth including books, t-shirts, and jewelry. I also stopped by the PG&E booth and the Comcast service booth. Though I didn’t need the service that PG&E or Comcast was giving away, I went by to hear their sales pitch. After checking out the vendors and getting food, we spent the majority of our day sitting with my dear friend at her booth. She was a vendor at the event! She had a prime location booth right near the front of the entrance. Well at least I thought it was the prime location, but I noticed that a lot of people opted out of supporting the vendors, not sure why, but I would assume because they had to pay an admission fee, they decided to just eat, socialize and watch the show.
Keke Wyatt’s performance was mediocre at best. Don’t get me wrong, that woman can SANG, but she kept giving excuses and talking in the middle of the song. She was shooting for her upcoming reality show, and maybe she was directing as she was performing, but I was disappointed in her performance and left in the middle.
Overall, I’m glad I was able to support at least 1 Juneteenth celebration this year, but I wish I would have gone to another. This year’s SJ Juneteenth seemed like a waste of time, energy, and money.

Concerts in the Bay: Summer Jam 2015

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BAYYY BAY (in my New Orleans accent voice), I had the best time at Summer Jam this year! First off, I’ve been hitting Summer Jam, since I was 12 or 13…..LOL, I’m an OG in this game. I’ve been to Summer Jam at The Shoreline Amphitheater, Concord Pavilion, Oracle Arena in the Suites, and regular seats at Oracle Arena, and to be honest the fun never depended on the location, but who I went with. It’s always fun doing things with fun people! There were no fun killers in our group!
This year I attended with a few friends and my sister. The show was really good and everybody around us (except the two miserable birds in front of us) was turnt up and having a great time. We were all dancing and singing along with the performers and/or the DJ during the intermission. It almost felt like club night with an awesome DJ. Everyone was dressed up, hair done, make-up done, nails done, real FANCY, and smelling good, especially the guys who set in the section behind us, but I’ll write a separate blog post for that tea. On behalf of my whole crew, we want to shout out KMEL for having a great line up this year!  (Emphasis on this year…..lol)

When I tell you Trey Songs put on a good show, he was absolutely great. He voice was beautiful! I love an artist that sounds as good in person as they do on the radio! This was my second time seeing him in concert! Though he performed well, I would rate his set a 9/10, minus one for his wack dancers. I’m like they are more of a distraction then entertaining. The outfits they wore didn’t compliment his at all, and it just seemed a little out of place to me. Other than making a bad choice on hiring dancers for his show, he had a good set, and shout out to him for paying homage to our home team #Warriors, while in their house! He is a classy man.

They saved the best for last. Weezy F. BABY! He really knows how to get the crowd pumped up! He was a one man army that night, and commanded the attention of thousands in the building. He didn’t have any gimmicks nor any distractions, just straight Tunchi! Not to mention, he spilled some ground breaking tea! He has really left Cash Money (I never saw that coming), signed a deal with his idol JAYZ, and his next album will be released on Tidal.  I’m like, make them moves baby! It is a beautiful thing to follow your dreams and maintain success, and it’s that much sweeter when you’re able to do things the way you want. Kudos to Lil Wayne, he really inspired me!

Overall, I really enjoyed myself at this concert!

Brunching in the Bay: Oakland Edition, CANA

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Sunday Brunch at Cana in Oakland started off a little uneasy. My BFF and I walked in for our 11am reservation and it was cold, and they wanted to give us a small table by the door, or sit somewhere that we would have to get up after a certain amount of time, so we decided to just sit at the bar. At this point I felt a little embarrassed because I invited her out, picked the restaurant and our experience started off wack. After taking our seats at the bar, we relaxed a little, got comfortable (FYI, I love that they have hooks for your purse at the bar), and looked over the menu.

I was a little overwhelmed with all off the selections that they had for brunch! Everything looked so tasty and exciting. I had only had Cuban cuisine once, so I was excited for this treat! As I’m looking over the menu, I tried to find something that was point (Weight Watchers Term) friendly, I got excited for the Ceviche Trio, with Plantain Chips.

We ordered the Ceviche Trio for our appetizer, and we both selected the American Choice Omelet for our entrée. The Ceviche was AMAZING, the flavors just danced on my taste buds. Each one having its own distinct flavor, yet all of them were good. This was my first time having ceviche made with halibut in addition to the traditional shrimp. They also used more than just lemon and lime for citrus, they used pineapple and orange citrus. We ordered the American Choice Omelet, but it definitely had a Cuban flair. I subbed the eggs for egg whites.

The service was interesting…… It started off with a take it or leave it attitude with the wack seats from the hostess, to a very helpful/service oriented attitude from all of the staff towards the end of our meal. Our waitress/bartender seemed a little overwhelmed, it was the beginning of the day, and she was putting things together, so she was very pushy for us to hurry up and order, and then was forgetful of our request. We would ask the other bartenders and even the hostess for certain items and they were very helpful and eager to assist us. We had hoped to stay for the music, but it had got packed by the time we finished eating and we were ready to go.

Sitting at the bar, we were tempted to take advantage of their bottomless mimosas, but because juice and alcohol are not point friendly, I opted out, and my BFF wanted to be supportive of me, so she opted out as well.

Note, during the week M – F, they charge all of the patrons a $2.00 minimum wage fee, because minimum was increased to $12.00 in the City of Oakland. On Sunday’s, there is no Minimum wage fee, but if you stay for the band (which is nice if you’re not there to socialize), they charge a $2.00 band fee.

Overall, I would rate the experience a 3/5, customer service is really important to me and first impressions are important as well.