Category Archives: Random

Social commentary, interviews, rants and anything that just needs to be said.

The Minutiae of Negativity…(issa rant)

Instances like these, are why I keep my mouth closed when randoms overshare their views tinged in negativity. All of the good that can be done in this country and in this world…yet some choose to allow a self-aggrandizing few to disrupt how they live.

  • when to stand, when to sit
  • who/what we can and can not criticize
  • how to protest
  • calling one out of their name, because they don’t protest to the levels you see fit
  • valuing property and convenience over lives
  • who folks can and can not marry
  • forcing antiquated ideals onto the masses, despite clear flaws
  • protecting those same antiquated ideals (“America”, police, religion, etc.), instead of admitting there are problems and addressing them

All of the ills that exist in a day and age, where answers and/or the means to find them, are literally at our fingertips. And we, as a people, are content to still fight amongst ourselves to prove “our” way is right. Nevermind the fact that, the individual or entity who we “think” is wrong may genuinely have a point. They also, may have the answer to something that truly needs to be addressed. An answer that could make that thing(s) better.

This is why I put zero stock in ideals. Only people and their past & present actions mean anything in my view. Because just as easily as we can evolve, we all can grow in the opposite direction as well. And unfortunately, the people who realize this are in the minority.


I don’t know the man in the above video from a can of paint. His beliefs, anything. But I know real, unmitigated joy when I see it. Now imagine the different walks of life, that took part in the creation of these glasses. I’m willing to bet there are some conflicting opinions that live among those individuals. But look at what their #collective abilities produced.

Stop engaging in #groupthink. If you can criticize your family or someone on your job or your team– why can’t you do the same for anything else? Especially an ideal, an object, an entity. It doesn’t mean you don’t/can’t love it. It simply means you see where a fix can be made to make it better.

WHO TOLD YOU, YOU CAN’T CRITICIZE SOMETHING AND STILL LOVE IT?

It’s literally something we’ve been doing since elementary school. Look at your work. Find the flaw(s), fix it. We were taught to do this from an early age, to make things what class…better.


FVCK #NEGATIVITY (and stupidity)…LIVE!

We can affect change, if we step outside of ourselves and accept that no one person or thing is perfect. It’s okay.

WNBA Rosters Coming to NBA LIVE 18

It was announced this morning that complete WNBA rosters will be included on NBA Live 18. This historic event in gaming will be available next month via EA’s latest iteration of one of it’s flagship franchises.

In an interview with CNBC, Sean O’Brien, Electronic Arts (EA) Sports’ executive producer for NBA Live– stated that the idea was born via a continuous push for more diversity in gaming. The blueprint of which, was provided by EA Canada’s inclusion of women’s soccer teams on FIFA 16.

Click below for the trailer to the WNBA Play Now mode:

Typical chauvinistic commentary aside, the reaction to today’s news has been met with a wave of positivity and excitement. Check out the WNBA’s twitter feed + #WNBA twitter search results.

“We are delighted to collaborate and make history with EA as NBA LIVE 18 becomes the first video game to feature the WNBA’s full roster of teams and players,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders, via press release. “With EA’s expertise and ingenuity, the game will provide a terrific platform to showcase the players and the league, enabling fans to experience the WNBA in a new, exciting way.”


One of the more forward thinking globally recognized companies, the EA x WNBA collaboration makes sense on its face. In 2017, Electronic Arts ranked as one of the Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.

In My Opinion:

THIS SHXT IS DOPE! I mean, this is nothing short of amazing news. Never mind the fact that it’s five, ten, fifteen years late in arrival. Representation definitely matters!

The bad:  WNBA players are appearing on NBA Live, not NBA 2K (the more popular hoops franchise, developed by Visual Concepts).

The good:  IT’S A START (and possible boon for EA). Time will tell, how it progresses. Best case, this new game play mode is a success. And with success comes further investment by EA and potentially Visual Concepts and others.

It’s a win regardless. #LeanIn

My boy got pulled over…

…by the police and that shxt shook me up. Because as a black man/woman in 2017 America, a minor traffic infraction could directly impact census numbers at any time. And dammit, I’m not ready to say goodbye to my brother yet.

Roughly a day after this– a forty something female police officer in New York City was murdered in a senseless and unprovoked attack. The assailant now deceased, was said to have been schizophrenic and off of his meds.

I am a law abiding American citizen in this country. One with relatives who have served in the armed forces. One with relatives who have served in various hued uniforms, that took an oath to protect and serve. One that full on respects and understands the danger associated with the job undertaken by the nation’s police force.

NOW WATCH THIS:

  1. I empathize with my friend’s ordeal for a number of reasons. Yet I grew more affected by the situation as I read his detailed account
  2. I mourn the loss of Officer Familia’s life. Who was tragically taken away from friends, family and a community, far too soon.
  3. I can feel empathy for both of these individuals/occurrences equally, because I’m an evolved human being. One that understands, that acknowledging tragedy in respect to another, is not a zero-sum game

Rhetorical question coming in 5-4-3…

Why is it so difficult for people to accept, that you can criticize someone or something, while not condemning the sum of it’s parts?

LET’S GO TO THE CHALKBOARD

If you put five police officers in a lineup and show proof that two were bad. Took bribes, have multiple reports against them for excessive force…it’s okay to call them bad cops.

SAY IT!

TWO OUT OF THESE (not all) FIVE OFFICERS ARE BAD.

Now, in that same spirit try this. If a police officer panics…

FOR

ANY

REASON

and kills an armed or unarmed civilian negligently, he/she is responsible for killing that person. Period. And together class…that individual should be held accountable.

But that’s not reality. Accountability doesn’t exist when it involves an officer and the taking of an innocent life. Even in situations where traffic stops are grossly botched by the trained responder, and the victim did everything right (#PhilandoCastile). Which in turn, results in a further cultivated precarious view of authority, which continues to rapidly erode.

How dare I or anyone cry foul at this though…right?


This is not a hit piece on those sworn to protect and serve however. POLICE OFFICERS DO A JOB, THAT I DON’T HAVE THE PATIENCE OR GUMPTION TO SIGN UP FOR. THANK. YOU. FOR. YOUR. SERVICE. No, this is being penned as a means to an end. To show how one can both walk and chew gum at the same time.

There is a legit fear felt by individuals of color in this country for the police. Not a healthy respect, but a feeling of terror that at any moment any interaction can go sideways and lead to our demise. And the gross lack of accountability and acknowledgment of this very real reality is only making matters worse.

Thanks to recent history, my motherfuckin’ best friend could have been a got damn hashtag, like too many before him. But because far too many more in this country, suckle off the teat of a broad brush stroked narrative of who and what is good/bad. Who and what can be questioned or taken to task, I’m supposed to look the other way.

My boy got pulled over the day before Independence Day, because of the tint on his window. He has no criminal record. He’s a married, father of two, with two degrees and is one of those guys loved by all.

He survived thankfully, by way of sheer chance. And nothing you can say, will convince me otherwise.

Thanks America.

Oh…and the tint was 14% below legal levels.

Glamourina: A New Choice in Athleisure Wear

Athleisure, is a modern trend in fashion where traditional workout/athletic clothing is worn in other settings.

When yoga pants went from an occasional public sight, to a regular occurrence years ago, brands capitalizing on the growing trend was inevitable.

In recent years, a vastly increasing number of companies have jumped into the athleisure game. Yet there still remained few options for women of color. Enter Glamourina.

In April of this year, proud working mothers Kia Renee and Nekol Choo introduced the Glamourina brand to the world. Looking to encourage increased levels of self-esteem for women of all ages, shapes and sizes– via the promotion of beauty, health and fitness.

What is Glamourina?

Glamourina is an online athleisure apparel store founded in Washington, DC. Their primary vision, to create pieces that would uplift women. And spark a shift in mindset for those that may need it.

A labor of love that took some two years to build, when asked why now in regards to the launching of Glamourina:

“There is a need for our product, cultural athleisure apparel. We felt that women of color were underrepresented in the fitness apparel market. And we wanted to provide options for us and by us.”


The first thing that jumps off the screen, whenever you look at the 1st generation of Glamourina apparel– the inclusion of kente cloth prints in their designs.

Why Kente Athleisure?

Kente is a traditional tribal fabric originating from Africa. Which like the continent, conjures a sense of strength and power.

“We are especially excited about our Kente line of athleisure apparel,” said Kia and Nekol, co-founders of the emerging company. “Our aim is to motivate and encourage women to be just that. Strong, powerful and confident at all times.”


In just two months since its inception, the line has received very favorable reviews. And the brand’s co-founders are diligently working to expand on the apparel options currently available. Looking ahead. The pair hopes to offer men’s pieces in the 2018 collection, so stay tuned.

Glamourina‘s Kente Athleisure line is available for purchase NOW, exclusively at www.Glamourina.com.

FOLLOW on social media:

@shopglamourina – twitter | instagram | facebook

 

Living With Lupus | A Warrior’s Battle

With May being Lupus Awareness Month, I thought it the perfect time to gain a better understanding of just what this disease is. Rather than researching, I reached out to Tameka Robbins, a former high school classmate for a more personal perspective.

Tameka is a lupus warrior (Packers fan and loather of bad parking), who has lived with this ailment for some 16 years. Proactively attacking a situation, that attempts to do the same to her.


What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs). “Chronic” means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. – per www.lupus.org


In Tameka’s eyes, lupus “is a pain in the ass. A bully that I have to fight nonstop on a daily basis. It’s the biggest challenge that I’ve ever faced in my life.”

The form of the disease that Tameka lives with is known as systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). And brings with it the following symptoms: extreme fatigue, hair loss, achy joints, and sun sensitivity (which causes heat rashes on exposed parts of her body). Occasionally, she experiences unexplained musculoskeletal chest pain. Which is particularly troublesome because it can mirror the sensations of a heart attack.percentage healthy

A Chance Appointment

in 2001 Tameka scheduled a visit with her PCP after consecutive days of feeling lethargic, were followed by random hair loss and a sudden sensitivity to the sun. With her doctor out of town, deciding to see the covering physician may have been a godsend.

“My PCP at the time was white (we’ll call her Dr. Wilson), the doctor I ended up seeing was black (we’ll call her Dr. Allen). Normally I don’t put much stock into race, but I say it was a blessing because when I told Dr. Allen my symptoms, the first thing she asked was if I had ever heard of lupus? After responding no, she informed me that oftentimes it takes YEARS for people to get diagnosed because the symptoms are common across other, more well known illnesses. She also told me that lupus primarily affects women of color.”

It is of her opinion, that because of Dr. Allen’s being black and well versed in lupus and the demographic it mostly affects– it significantly cut down on proper diagnosis time. An important factor in helping to combat the disease and its effects.

Post Diagnosis

Spoon Theory

Spoon Theory – a visual depiction of the energy needed to perform common daily tasks when battling a chronic illness

“It takes me a lot more effort to do even the most basic things that most other people can do without thinking about (see Spoon Theory, for a better explanation). There are many times when I just break down and cry because I hate not feeling well; the thing is I NEVER feel 100%. I’m usually operating between 30-70%.”

Tameka credits her support system (mom, husband, close friends, and amazing co-workers) and scripture for providing a means to cope when times seem their bleakest. Support and some semblance of understanding, not pity, is all these brave individuals need to get thru at times.

To that end, she recommends finding a quality support system and a lupus buddy, to anyone newly diagnosed. Because an illness as unpredictable as this, is hard enough to deal with without suffering in silence.

“I have to actively invest in myself because if I don’t, my condition will deteriorate and could kill me. It takes time to make sure that I’m eating healthy, taking my meds daily, scheduling and attending multiple doctors appointments, staying in tune with my body in an effort to identify when I have a flare-up. Sometimes I feel like I’m failing miserably, but there’s always someone to remind me that I’m a warrior.”

And a warrior she definitely is.

I humbly salute everyone who battles this cruel, faceless disease. May each passing day be better than the last and bring us one step closer to a cure. With that I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this one last parting shot from the lady in purple.

“Some people have a hard time believing that I’m sick because I don’t look sick, which to me is a fucking insult.” People, please stop saying stupid things like this. Just because you can’t see it or haven’t experienced it, doesn’t mean it hurts any less.


Related news: 

  • On 5/5/2017, the signed fiscal 2017 omnibus (H.R. 244), included $13 million in new funding specifically to advance lupus research, education and awareness.
  • On 5/20/2017, Tameka and her team of loving volunteers will be participating in the ‘2017 DC Walk to End Lupus Now’. Her personal fundraising goal for this year has been met now (ehem)…but any additional funds, I’m almost certain would be welcome. CLICK HERE
  • For more information visit, the Lupus Foundation of America at www.lupus.org

National Nurses Week – May 6-12, 2017

National Nurses Week running from May 6-12, is a time set aside to acknowledge an often ignored section of the American workforce. From schools to clinics, hospitals to battlefields, nurses serve in any number of capacities as frontline stewards. Helping to maintain or regain one’s optimal health.

Every patient and medical situation calls for a different course of action to achieve the best possible outcome. And no one knows this better than the selfless men and women who take on this challenge daily. Just as these trained professionals are often the first face that a new patient sees. They also can be the most important at any moment. With duties that find them calming the nerves of the fearful, starting necessary IVs or being the first in the room to address unresponsiveness, to name a few. Nurses have to be just as versatile and adaptable as they are skilled.

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts” – Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation. These five tenets comprise the nursing process. A learned protocol of steps that nurses of all walks utilize to provide service with grace and benevolence. These individuals face emotionally, physically and mentally taxing occurrences on a regular basis. All to provide the highest level of care needed, in a person’s time of need. And for that we humbly thank them.



Related news:

For more information on National Nurses Week, go to the American Nurses Association | National Nurses Week page.

Stay Woke…but unplug occasionally

The other night at dinner, I was talking to my son about his day. Jordyn, my 2yo was sitting at her table singing Bob Marley’s “3 Little Birds”. She’s a little jukebox, just like her mother. I couldn’t help but smile.

Afterwards, my son Jaden who plays AAU basketball had a scrimmage. So we got in the car and he put his NBA 2K12 Soundtrack on, like he does every time we’re going to do something basketball related. And for an hour he provided me a much needed distraction.

Inside that gym, I saw him, his teammates and their competition (varying hues, but predominantly brown like he & I)– being carefree children. There was laughter, frustration, coaches yelling and applauding, whistles blowing and parents talking recklessly. I watched as the fruits of extra practice time, allowed him to regain his jumper. And on the last one, he left that goose neck up as he walked off the court.

When he headed to the huddle, we made eye contact and he smiled broadly. I shook my head, grinned and gave my sign to focus and keep playing. He nodded and listened to his coach.

Unbeknownst to him, my heir had done for me the same thing that my air had done over an hour prior. They allowed me to break not only from the usual day to day grind. But they forced me to unplug from the negativity, the hatred, the fear, the unnecessary yet unavoidable reality that is again being forced onto the masses.

Our nation is broken and has been since forever. Our justice system is broken and has been since forever. Yet even with that, if we as individuals don’t allow ourselves opportunities however small they may be, to exhale and experience some form of normalcy– we will burn out and be worthless to any cause or to those that need us most.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, the news, both cable and network. They all are regurgitating the same negative information and energy over and over again in a non-stop 24 hr news cycle, that can easily do as much harm as good. Yes, it is necessary to be informed. It’s also a must to be selective about whose feeding you and how often.

Our present day reality is not new:

  • there’s a chance I, my children’s mother or anyone in their village could leave home in the AM and never return.
  • my son, is nearing that age where he will begin spending more time away from the nest. He’s only a year younger than Tamir Rice was.
  • my daughter could be riding in the backseat one day during a sheer happenstance encounter with law enforcement, that could go wrong for any number of reasons (see Philando Castile).

This is the remix to a past that POC were faced with some 3-4 generations ago. One that I try my hardest not to let outwardly affect me. At least not in the eyes of my babies. Because they need me, us, here in the physical as well as to preserve the ideal we provide them.

They need to know that someone in their life cares. Especially as they come up in a country, that continues to prove it could give a good damn about them.

With all that said, no matter if you are a frontline fighter against injustice, a background supporter or quiet sympathizer…I implore you to make time to unplug. Because if you don’t, the sheer volume of mind numbing occurrences and their coverage– will certainly, drive you mad.

Be vigilant. Be smart. Be safe.

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:: Love ::

 

 

 

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featured image source:  thecatholiccatalogue

“Postgame Pass” – BOOK REVIEW

Postgame Pass: Access to the Life, by Jill Munroe is a riveting cautionary tale, of the fast life of today’s modern day professional male athlete.

It details stories of sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, Pac-Man, gambling, violence, dragons and the incomparable Robin Givens.

And as over the top as the above statement reads, only a very small percentage of it is false. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about that.

In the book, Jill speaks to a few different audiences, in what one could frankly describe as a manual for all interested stakeholders, involved in the day to day off the field dealings of big time American professional athletes.

From young soon to be pros (w/aspirations to become a recognizable brand), to their wives/girlfriends, to aspiring fun girls hoping to become reality TV stars to those regular people that keep VH1 + Bravo’s ratings so high– there really is something in it for everyone.

Now for the pure sports fan who only cares about what’s going on on gameday or the necessary training and discipline needed…this book is NOT for you. However, you should really be able to discern that from the title. But alas even for those types, what you can gain, is a greater appreciation for what your favorite athletes have to go thru on a day to day basis. Because nothing is ever as cut and dry as it seems (i.e. why two teammates seem to suddenly have a problem with one another, and can no longer co-exist).

My favorite parts of the book:

  • Time-Outs- true stories/situations involving players recounted for poignancy to that point of the book (w/names changed unfortunately lol)
  • Chapter 4- Recycling, Chapter 7- Zero to One Hundred Real Quick, and Chapter 15- Exit Strategy
  • the glossary- a number of these terms I was familiar with prior to reading, but others not so much (for fun, read thru the glossary and then go to a pro athletes timeline on twitter and scan it…#thankmelater)
    • my new favorite terms that I can not use loosely in public *cough-cough*:  HoFax, Slash

My take:

All in all, Postgame Pass is a quick, easy and entertaining read. And would make a nice stocking stuffer for anyone who is into the life (off the field, glitz, glam, drama and trappings) of today’s milennial athlete. Initially, the book begins very “listy”. Meaning there’s a lot of, this is this, that is that, type of info. Yet after I finished it, I went back to the beginning and re-read the first couple chapters and better understood why things were presented in that fashion.

As a life long junkie of all things sports, I enjoyed it. And a number of the Time-Outs, had me thinking back long and hard to past rifts between players– in an attempt to figure out who the author was talking about. Additionally, we won’t even discuss the things I actually have done on social media, that athletes + celebrities do (according to this book). But I swear, I didn’t do it for the same reasons…well not the exact same reasons.

Without giving too much away, you’ll just have to read the book to understand. I will simply say this…”birdcall” lol.

 

POSTGAME PASS (www.postgamepass.com) « AVAILABLE NOW!

 

Follow the author:
Jill Munroe (StilettoJill on most platforms)
jocksandstilettojill.com – “ESPN meets Sex & the City”

twitter: @StilettoJill | instagram: @StilettoJill | youtube: StilettoJill | facebook: JocksandStilettoJill

 

 

 

I’m cheating on my…

…site and I don’t feel all that bad.

Well maybe a little.

Last month, I began blogging for Haute Hipsters Media, a communications and branding boutique agency based out of the DC area.

During the re-branding and subsequent re-launch of the website earlier this summer, the company’s owner TaKeyia Monique, decided to include a blogging component to the imprint– with focuses on music, sports, fashion and relationships.

Guess which one I chose?

So far, two pieces have been posted (links below) in “The MANual” and another one is in the pipeline, and should be posted soon. If you’re familiar with me and my writing style, you know what to expect. An honest, fair view on whatever the topic is, with just a touch of comedy…yet always real.

To wrap, continue to check the site here at runninglikwidworks.com, for all of my regular content. But also support what I have going on over at HHM as well. They seem to have something nice flowing over there. I’m just spreading my wings a little bit and tagging along for the ride.

 

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“The MANual” | #HauteApprovedRelationships
hautehipstersmedia.com/category/hauteapprovedrelationships

 

 

 

Text Me, So I Know It’s Real

Remember passing notes in class back in the day to someone you liked?

Do you like me? Check [ ]YES [ ]NO [ ]MAYBE

BRUH! Those days are beyond gone. And I shutter at the thought of my 8yo dating some day. Text messages, facebook drama and screencaps, oh my.

But think about it. When you were younger, you really were good w/just having someone to call your girlfriend or your boyfriend. You two might go to the mall in big groups and go to the movies or on big trips…like the school’s annual visit to an amusement park.

Holding hands, MATCHING, lapping up in the back of the bus. The latter was considered big sh!t…DIGRESSION!

Taking all that into account and factoring in, just how much more advanced in situations the youths of today, find themselves in. Kids just seem to end up in far more precarious positions than we did at the same age. A lot of that could be avoided with simple common sense, but that’s not what this is about.

BRING THE HOOK IN:

Roxanne, Roxanne, can’t you understand?
Roxanne, Roxanne, I wanna be your man

Roxanne Jones, a founding editor of ESPN The Magazine and a former vice president at ESPN, penned an op-ed for CNN a few weeks ago titled– “Young men, get a ‘yes’ text before sex“.

The piece was written from the perspective of a mother, unafraid to have discussions about sex with her son (and also his friends)–a lost art in today’s society. A woman who thanks to her prior position, has heard first hand of the depths many successful male athletes go, to steer clear of entrapment from greedy capitalistic women. And speaking frankly, many regular men of differing ages are susceptible to similar plots.

Now I won’t delve too far into her write-up, because I feel it warrants the perusal of each adult individual, especially those of you who are parents. And from there, draw your own conclusions on whether you agree/disagree/at least see where she’s coming from. But I will say, that IMO there is some merit to where I believe she’s going with this.

Can something as simple as a text, make a difference if an incident arises? After all, any one can decide last minute not to go through with something. Is the possible protection a text could provide greater, than the additional villainizing fodder of the female victim in said incident?

What are your thoughts?