Monday, June 23, 2008

The Danger That is Fung Wah

I believe it was my second year of college when the Fung Wah craze started. East Coast students began boarding these Chinatown buses to NY, Philly, Boston, and Maryland in flocks. Everyone fell in love with their cheap fares and record trip timing. New York?..for $15? less than 3.5 hours? Who wouldn't?

But alas...all that glitters most certainly ain't gold, readers. Fung Wah became the kind of death defying stunt that even David Blaine would second guess. Horrifying stories of rollovers, accidents, and even high speed chases were more common than not. It had gotten to the point where NOT having a Fung Wah story was odd.

Me: "So you took that Chinatown bus to NY?"
Fung Wah patron: "Yeah, I left Boston 25 minutes ago and we're crossing the BK bridge right now"
Me: "Really? that took you a while, got pulled over or something?"
Fung Wah patron: "yeah and we had to switch buses when the engine fell out. Probably would have been there by now if we didn't"

Years later, it seems old habits die hard. Their service has not gotten better and the risk of injury has gotten higher. Hell, you don't even have to board the bus to be involved in the accidents now! This morning a 57 year old woman was waiting to board the bus in NY when it was sideswiped by a dump truck! I kid you not.

People. I know the cost of gas...we use premium in our tank. I know the economy... I am one mishap away from losing everything my(damn)self. BUT never, NOT NEVER will I get on one of those buses. Good Lawd! Isn't Greyhound only an additional $10?

Please don't do it! Readers, I love y'all like family (and that's because a good majority of you ARE my family). If you need to borrow that extra $10 I got you! Just don't do it to yourself.

Friday, June 20, 2008

First Comes Love, Then Comes....

the promise ring?

My immediate response? Promise what?

The promise to love, honor, and protect is a marriage right? And an engagement is a promise to marry. Does that make a promise ring a promise to promise, to promise, to love honor and protect? Sound silly? Well that's because it is silly.

I have reached 24+ age group where those around me have began to plan weddings and families. I love seeing my loved ones in happy, committed relationships. Love is and always will be a beautiful thing in my eyes. BUT (yeah I said it BUT) I cringe when I hear "he gave me a promise ring".

We are far from high school and several of us are approaching that 10 year high school reunions. So why is it that we revert back to juvenile practices? A 17 year old can tell his girlfriend that he promises when they go off to college their relationship will not suffer/strain with a ring. But the same ring from a 30 year old man? It is stalling ladies, HE is s-t-a-l-l-i-n-g!

While I love diamonds as much as the next girl...I expect more than a promise ring from KB. In fact, if we're being completely honest, he can skip all three rings and just give me the commitment. The ring isn't a guaranteeing that bills will be paid on time, that he is being faithful, and will continue love or respect me. The man is.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

City of Champions

Every single Bostonian blogger who is beaming as they write today's entry.

It's funny, as you get older winning means so much more than "I'm better than you". The road to triumph is now more meaningful than the trophy. This is a team that went from a 24-58 season to NBA Championship in one year.


This win is about resilience, determination, and will. That trophy symbolizes the ability to dust yourself off and try again. They've earned every ounce of their glory. When you see the look of indescribable pride in their eyes as they are asked to verbalize their feelings... it tugs at your own heart.

The team's victory resonates with me. It's made me accept that last year WAS hard but this year can be so much better. Change a few key players, play amongst the best, learn from past mistakes, train a little harder. Evolve. Grow. Be.

This is the City of Champions. It's become the place where any victory is attainable. Perfect place to call home. Perfect place to learn to be the best YOU.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Waiting on the World to Change

I do try to leave the political stuff alone. Although it is my blog, it is not necessary for me to bombard my readers with my political beliefs. Every so often I do feel the urge to speak up, mostly when the topic is ri-damn-diculous.

Contrary to popular belief, this was not ‘Hezbollah style fist-jabbing'! The first time I read that I could not help but quote my brother and yelp "What the craze?" (in plain English... what the #@*&%)! Isn't this what Torres and Williams did every Thursday evening on New York Undercover?

Were people honestly questioning this gesture? It's D-A-P... equivalent to a hand shake, a "go get 'um Tiger". I am quite sure MTV and BET have aired enough rap videos for the masses to have seen dap before. I mean COME ON PEOPLE!

The miseducation of America is severely deep-rooted. It has come to the point where we are dissecting an intimate moment between husband and wife. John Mayer isn't the only one waiting on the world to change.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Key to the Corner Office

Since getting my promotion at work I have been curiously observing the behavior of my replacement. It is evident that he is a goal oriented, DRIVEN man. He has his eye on the corner office and the key will soon be in his hand.

After four months of working here, he has gotten a promotion. Granted, that is not a surprise since I have too (which is the reason he started here in the first place). However, his is a significantly bigger promotion. While, I was moved up within the the same title. He has gone from Coordinator to Analyst...completely changing the scope of his work.


Relatability; I have watched him interact with the key players, the VPs and Managers. He can seamlessly contribute to any conversation and is not hestitant about joining a conversation with them.

Desire to Learn; Utter a complaint about a task and he is right there offering support and/or trying to learn what it is you are doing. "I can help you out with it, if you show me how to do it." Soon enough that is another skill is under his belt

Friendliness; He isn't just chummy with the VPs and Managers, he yucks it up with the entire staff. He willingly engages in conversations about their personal lives.

Dependability; He is here early every morning and leaves just after 5 every evening. Although we are not salaried, overtime is NOT an option. Essentially, he is not being compensated for the extra time.

I have often wondered why none of the female Coordinators are such sharks. We are all polite, demur, dependable, and approachable. But we are not the "go-getter" I see in him.

Ladies, if you have your eye on the corner office, I urge you to be more like him. I guarantee it will get you far. To read more about taking charge of your career, read The Cheat Sheet for Woman by Kate White.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I Heart Books

It's no secret, anyone who knows me knows learning to read changed my world. From the very day I sounded out my first full word, nothing in me has been the same. I was the one kid who actually liked the required readings in high school, in fact I still have some of those books. And one, The Joy Luck Club, is still my all time favorite.

The more recent additions to my collection I have acquired through and the Black Expressions book club. So although I am an avid reader, I haven't walked into a book store since college (and even then it was for the purpose of buying overpriced text books).

Until yesterday. I want you to close your eyes and visualize the look on Charlie's face when he stepped into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Substitute Charlie for me, 2* year old black woman...and substitute chocolate for books. Keep the expression. And now you have me when I walked into the Borders at Downtown Crossing for the first time. I was in total awe.

In that moment, I realized I Heart Books. I love the cover, the summary on the back, the author bio, the story in itself. I love it all! For me, it's not a hobby, it's not what I do for leisure at the beach, nor is it just something to do to pass time on my commute to work.

Talk about light bulb moments!

All my life I have heard, find something that you love and earn a living doing it. For a while I thought it was children, so I worked at camps, after school programs, daycares, you name it. But what was missing was the fulfillment...I wasn't totally happy.

It was not the feeling I have when I am editing my book. It was not the same joy I feel when I think of how many manuscripts I will read as a publisher. I didn't have the passion I have now. This is just the beginning of my work running my publishing company, yet the onset of total happiness is already blooming. I know this is what I want to do.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Company You Keep (excerpt from a forwarded email)

I try not to flood the inboxes of my friends with the dreaded "forward". No one seems to favor these. Today, when I opened my inbox I made the same dreaded face you would have made if I'd sent this along. But after reading it, I realized it was something I would like to share and decided to post it.....enjoy

The Company You Keep

  • "It is better to be alone than in the wrong company".

  • "Tell me who your best friends are, and I will tell you who you are".

  • "If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights".

  • "A mirror reflects a mans face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses".
The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate for the good and the bad. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.

As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider This: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it.

Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I was once a Psych major, pretty pretentious... I know. But in my defense, mental health has always fascinated me! I spent several years studying disorders and convincing myself that THAT was what was/is wrong with members of my family (myself included see Imposter Syndrome post). At one point, I'd convinced myself that I was just a hypochondriac!

In my studies, I learned that the pattern of addiction can be genetically passed down. Naturally, I was immediately freaked out because it meant that I am susceptible to addiction. It is a disease that runs in my family (kleptomania, gambling addiction, alcoholism, etc). In knowing I am genetically predisposed, I've tried to figure out what it was before it ruins my life. Yet, somehow in all my intuitiveness I missed a few key red flags.


-Shopping or spending money as a result of feeling angry, depressed, anxious, or lonely
-Having arguments with others about one's shopping habits
-Buying items on credit, rather than with cash
-Describing a rush or a feeling of euphoria with spending
-Feeling guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed after a spending spree
-Lying about how much money was spent. For instance, owning up to buying something, but lying about how much it actually cost

Retail therapy is a problem y'all?! Hell if I knew!

Friday, June 6, 2008

He Said, She Said

I remember sitting in my dorm room freshman year with three other friends. We all sat around on the bed laughing and chatting like we had not a care in the world. The topic of sexual assault came up and I offered up a statistic I'd learned on Oprah just before starting school "1 in 4 woman are raped before they graduate college... so technically one of us could very well be raped before we leave here". We all looked at each other in silence. I later learned that it had already happened (my roommate had been raped in that very September weeks after starting her freshman year). That statistic really hit home.

Rape is very real for some women. For those who have been sexually abused or raped it is an experience you cannot be freed from, it is binding in that way. For other women the word "rape" is a weapon. It is an allegation they have chosen to hold in their palm, threatening to forever change the life of a man who has in some way scorned them. Studies show that an Alarming 41% of rape allegations are false.

This may be the reason why we stand behind our athletes and entertainers when they are accused. Men like Kobe Bryant, Mike Tyson, even R. Kelly proclaim their innocence and their fans remain supportive. "Why would her rape her? He can have any woman he wants".

We hear their side of the story and immediately jump to their defense. And I say "we" because I have certainly been guilty of it. Jah Cure has been one of my favorite reggae artists for years. I've spent many an evening listening to him pour out his soul on a song and wondering how a woman could ever accuse him of such a violent act.

This morning, I read her side of the story and it occurred to me what it must be like for these victims. If it was indeed him that raped her, how painful must it be to hear his music or hear people chant "Free Jah Cure"? How degrading is it when people offer you $$ to change your plea or drop the charges? What is it like to have your family threatened after you've already been through so much?

Jah Cure is on international tour and he's become more successful through this ordeal. His fan base stretched from the islands, throughout Europe and North America. And his fame is due largely to this rape allegation. If it is untrue, and she is part of the 41% of woman who have charged a man falsely, then his story of adversity is remarkable. If not, we have essentially praised him for ruining this woman's life.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Inadequate Black Man

Part of the reason I was a silent Obama supporter was because I had an incling that this was not a fight he could win. The fight I am referring to is not the Democratic election but rather the Presidency itself. I have never been naive; and while I haven't been the target of racism and discrimination first hand, I know the country I've grown up in. And I know, no matter how great thou art, a black president there may never be.

What America needs IS change. But progress is a slow and often painful process. We are not so far removed from the days the Civil Rights Movement...change has yet to come full circle. So while I am grateful to be alive to witness the announcement of first black presidential nominee, I fear that this too shall pass. And John McCain will likely be our next president.

Am I'm just being pessimistic? Maybe. But you know that insecurity in the pit of your stomach when you sense something bad is going to happen?

Well that sense of doubt was only confirmed when I read this . The words a former Democratic voter set us back at least 50 years. "I'm not a Democrat anymore because the Democrats don't want me! And I don't want them! Democrats are throwing the elections away, for what? An inadequate black male?"

So it isn't pessimism. It is the reality that the country we live in can refer to someone as influential as Barack Obama as an inadequate black man. It is the knowledge that we have only taken a few steps in the walk toward equality...the journey is miles long.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Charlottes, Mirandas, and Samanthas

As most women between the ages of 16 and 50 did, I saw the ultimate chick flick this weekend. For me, Sex and the City was filled with cheers, jeers, and even a few tears. (Sigh)Yes, I did tear up!

Beyond the amazing clothes and plot lines that had me on the end of my seat, this movie taught me a great deal about friendship between women. I have always gravitated more toward chummy relationships; dinner and a movie, a night in the club, carefree/drama-free fun. I have never been the type to wear emotion on her sleeve. Call me Estrogen Challenged; I simply have a hard time with the emotional attachment. I have no remedy for the broken hearted, down in the dumps, doe-eyed girl. It's always been a foreign language to me.

During the movie Carrie had some of her toughest trials in life and her girls were right by her side. They were her company in the honeymoon sweet, her movers, her go between, her everything. As I watched I found myself pining for friendships like this.
I immediately began scrolling my mental Rolodex for the friend who would spoon feed me yogurt when I refuse to eat, or tell the guy who broke my heart "I curse the day you were born".

Alas, I came up with a very short list. I've isolated myself from those types of women, and maybe it is because I am afraid they'd need a shoulder to cry on. I am in no way insinuating that I do not have good friends (because I definitely do). Nor am I saying that I am not a good friend to those who are in my life. But there is an emotional wall there and it does create distance. Until I watched the movie I hadn't thought about the way it affects my relationships. I hadn't thought about the have to be a great friend to have a great friendship.