Thursday, June 26, 2008

Innocence Lost

Never in my life did I ever think that I would be writing a blog about this particular subject. Thank you Mario for bringing this to my attention. Chuck E. Cheese has lost his innocence, so to speak. No the big rat didn't fondle or grope a kid on the arcade floor or anything like that, but the musical selections that throughly entertained us over the years have been compromised.

Now, back in the day, when Chuck E. Cheese was Showbiz Pizza, I loved going there. It was great,fun, magical even. They used to sing this song..." I love Cheese pizza, I eat it all the time...." It was a catchy little diddy that I still remember 22 years later. That's powerful. So when Showbiz Pizza changed to Chuck E. Cheese's I was excited and disappointed at the same time, because I had grown to love Munch- the ape mascot. He was now replaced by a Rat aply named Mr. Chuck E. Cheese. His rhythmic band played melodic sounds to entertain the kid in all of us and embed the Chuck E. Cheese brand in our brains. I soon forgot about Munch and Showbiz and embraced Chuck E. as I swayed back and forth to the music as I gobbled my hamburger and red onion pizza accompanied by my salad from the neverending salad bar. I even had my 22nd birthday party there, equipped with College aged friends terrorizing the kids in the arcade. It was fun for everyone. Where a kid can be a kid right?

So imagine my shock when I witnessed a video of the Infamous Chuck E. Cheese band playing Usher's Love in this Club. You have got to be kidding me. Has Mr. Cheese's profits sunk so low that the band now has to play hip hop and R&B to boost sales? Last time I check that piece was slammed up and jammed up with screaming children and parents popping excedrin. Every single time I drive by, the parking lot is full almost to capacity and on the weekends, Forget about it. My son loves it and I keep the token bucket stocked with at least 100 tokens at a time for his sudden urges to visit the Cheese. I understand and agree that the band needed to change its reportoire and choreography for a hipper, fresher audience, but Usher? And, Love in this Club of all things? A sexually charged song not really made for kids. I would like to think that Mr. Cheese would not stoop so low to get a rise out of the patrons. I hope for his sake and the sake of the children frequenting his establishment that the video was the prank of a bored Cheese employee playing around after hours, because if this is the direction Chuck E. Cheese is headed, what's next, Strippers at Disney World?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bats in the Belfry

If ever we needed a man. There are some instances where we strong, independent women make this statement. We headstrong women convince ourselves we don't need a man and some of us don't want one. However, there comes a time when we not only want one but need one.

A friend of mine had a bat in her house last night and it scared her half to death. Instead of trying to kill it or chase it out with a boom, she ran in her room, looked the door and jumped on the bed. She called me in frantic mode as she sat rocking back and forth holding herself. I laughed but felt for her at the same time. Where are the men when you need them? A man could have taken care of this instead of her calling 911 to have the Fire Department come and kill the bat. There's A Bat in my House...remember that from Hollywood Shuffle? Actually, they didn't kill the bat but threw it out the window. As the Fire Dept. did their thing, my girl stood on her table shaking like a leaf. She was talking so fast and breathing so hard. I felt so sorry and helpless. I can see it now, my girl standing and screaming in the room as the bat roamed the living room like he paid the rent this month, screaming, "Where are all the men when I need them?"

So after much contemplation, I finally got the are there to kill those bats, spiders, roaches and rats etc., that sometimes plague us. Let me not forget to mention my other friend's trouble with the Diamond Back Rattle Snake. They are there to hang the shower curtain when it falls, the blinds when they come down ( Samantha, Sex and the City), and move in the new couches when we don't want to pay for delivery. They are handy when the pipes are clogged, the light bulbs need changing and when the car breaks down. Honorable mention: The flat tire needs changing. They are also there to comfort us when we are upset instead of us nursing a bottle of alcohol because we can't stop shaking after the damn bat inhabited the house. My girl was contemplating sleeping in a hotel last night. I wonder if she did. A man could have shut this whole disaster down. Only problem would be if the man were afraid of the bat too. Damn.

BET Awards Revisited.

My people, my people. Here are a few questions and/or comments I had while watching last nights BET Awards.

Why take the time to sag your jeans if you are going to keep pulling them up, Chris Brown?

My child knows Young Jeezy, I put on for my city. How'd that happen?

OK, just because there is a delay doesn't mean you have to curse your entire song. We at home want to hear more than moments of dead air, Young Jeezy and Kanye!

Who were the two broke down chicks in the too little dresses? Oh, they were Keisha Cole's family members.

Why didn't more acts use live bands instead of studio tracks?

Why did Ne-Yo's performance remind me of Michael Jackson's Dangerous performance on the MTV Awards?

What is up with Ashanti wearing her thighs out every time we see her?

Mc Lyte we understand you are a devastating diva who represents on the mic, but why are you screaming your voice overs?

Damn, Alicia, you got some big hips!

Who's idea was it to bring SWV's Old hind parts back? Good to see them though. I see Ms. CoCo cut her nails.

Envogue Reunion? I'm enjoying this part. Good memories. They need to come back.

Why are they making fun of adoption? Don't approve at all.. Shame on you Niecy!

Did Kanye really win or did they give it to him so he wouldn't flip out?

WTF was Rick Ross thinking coming out with his belly on front street?

Who put the molasses in T-Pain's hind parts when he accepted the award with Kanye?

Didn't realize how much I missed Maxwell. Honey, leave the rocks alone and get back in the studio. You have too much talent to waste.

What Academy was Al Green thanking?

WTF did Tom Joyner have on? Wow.

When did Antwone Fisher get a wife?

Why did the girl go onstage with Weezy wearing a black tank, Capri pants , equipped with the purse to match, and why did the whole family accept with him? Were they on the album?

All in all the awards show was one of the better ones, we still have some areas to work on though.

Oh, honorable mention from a friend: Why is alcohol the one thing Diddy decided to push last night? Ciroc vodka is the joint, just what black America needs...more liquor!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jill Scott Gets Her Man.

My my my Ms. Scott. Well congratulations on your recent engagement. You are truly an inspiration to plus size women everywhere. Hey, women period for that matter and thank you sooooo much for the Butterfly Bra. You Go Girl. You are blessed to find love once again after your divorce. That gives us still single women hope that true romance and love are possible.

However, my question then it that easy to find love if you are not a celebrity? When Ms. Scott serenaded us with Lyzell in E flat we truly believed that she was in love and wanted to not only be her but in love with the man she was in love with because it sounded so wonderful. She made love sound so sweet and innocent and deep. We all wanted it and want it. When Ms. Scott announced her divorce we all said oh no..not Lyzell...gone. A part of our hearts died with Jill's relationship. So when Ms. Scott supposedly hooked up with Lamaan Rucker, we were excited again for both of them. Hey Jill, damn girl good catch. Go head!
Now Ms. Scott announces her engagement to Jon Roberts, her drummer and it seems like true love once again. Again, we are happy for her, at least I am. But, I have to wonder, if I put myself in her situation, would my friends be so happy for me? Would I be looked upon with admiration or with one eyebrow raised?

Attack of the Killer Children

While sitting in the lobby of my son's Dentist this morning, I witnessed several different interactions with the other waiting parents and their kids. These relationships left me quite puzzled and damn near upset. Why would I be upset or concerned for that matter, about someone else's business? Because their experiences inter feared with my experience. I hate going places and they are plagued with out of control children. Stores, restaurants, and Airplanes are the worst. Just shoot me already. Each time I see a childzilla I look at mine and say, "I wish you would." He looks at me and says, "What did I do?". I say, "Nothing and you better not even think about it." What do the parents of the childzilla do in most cases? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Hello! This is not creative expression, its annoying, torture to the people around you. Wake up. But, I digress. Oh, back to the dentist appt...

First of all let me say that I realize that every place I go will not be filled with tranquility and zen like vibes, however, some places like the lobby of a dentist office should be quiet enough to give the kids the opportunity to think about their impending doom behind the big white doors. As I sat there and waited for my son to finish I picked up a magazine: 30 Minute Meals by Rachel Ray and started to plan next week's experimental meals to break up some of the monotony in my monochromatic life. When all of a sudden a couple walks in with two little boys, Daniel and Tristan. Why do I know the names of these children? Because the father proceeded to scream their names across the lobby in a loud booming voice every time Tristan got out of hand which was every 30 seconds. The kids looked to be about 4 and 3 with Tristan being the youngest. They were dressed alike in blue and red racing outfits with blond newsboy cuts. To the average onlooker they would present Angelic and peaceful. NOT! Well at least Tristan wasn't.

Tristan proceeded to slap his, what I deduced to be his step mom, in the face and kick her as she tried to put his shoes on after dad took Daniel to the little boy's room. All she said was, "Sit still honey so I can put your shoes on so you don't slip on anything." Dad and Daniel come out and step-mom goes to the car for something. Dad gets on the phone and starts yelling at baby mama, I assume, for the kid's social security numbers and that she'd better come up with it. When she said she didn't have it, he yelled at her, "Yeah the boys are fine and I told you they had dentist appts. this morning, bye!" He hangs up as step-mom re-enters the lobby. She sits beside dad and helps Daniel get a book. Tristan, obviously bored with this situation, decided to blow the Popsicle stand and leave. Now, I'm faced with a dilemma. Do I chase Tristan or not since I seem to be the only one who witnesses his escape. I decide in the affirmative, because after all if it were mine I'd want intervention, so I get up to apprehend Master Tristan in the parking lot. As I am in motion, Dad notices him in his escape and sprints for the door. He nabs Tristan in the nick of time and swats him on the bottom twice and says get inside and drags him in kicking and screaming. Relieved I didn't have to intervene, I sat back down and grabbed my magazine.

They sit Tristan at the kiddie table where he proceeds to kick the walls and bang on the table. Now the other parents, myself included, are annoyed and curious to see how this family is going to handle this situation. Dad proceeds to yell, "Daniel!!!, I mean Trissssstan, Stop it!" This guy is so confused, he can't even remember the name of the child he is yelling at. This exact exchange happens, no exaggeration, 6 more times. "Daniel!!!!!, I mean Trissssstan, Daniel!!!, I mean Trissssstan, Stop it!" You get the picture. On top of all of this, Tristan is yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs.

Realizing that the noise is not going to cease anytime soon, I try to tune Tristan out and get back to my magazine. In walks a woman who doesn't look a day older than me, with a Gothic young lady around the age of 11 or so. This mother asks her daughter if she is in pain and the girl totally ignores her. She stares straight ahead and never acknowledges her questions. The mother spends 3 mins pleading for the girl to answer her and she finally says no. The mother then gets up to take something to the window and then comes back and says, " I know you are upset but you don't have to forget your manners," and then kisses her on the head. This continued the entire time they were there. So now the scene is...Tristan screaming and yelling at the top of his lungs, kicking the wall, Dad screaming the names of both children and mom in the corner begging her child to talk to her. Calgon, take me away!! Ugh.

To add to this madness, my son comes out and says the doctor wants to see you. They proceed to tell me that he has 3 cavities and will need to be sedated. OK I say and we enter into the sedation room. They give him the knock out punch and I proceed to read yet another magazine. After about 10 minutes, he starts truly bugging and falling all over the seats, me and the floor. I tell him to get up and lay across the group of 3 chairs on the other wall. He does so and he is blissfully sleep and I'm calmly reading my magazine once again. I never realized you could make so many different dishes with pears! Finally a piece of paradise in the midst of this ever shrinking hell hole. Well, paradise was short lived as another mother and her two children entered the room. Now, I had to pick Len up and sit him next to me with him slobbering at the mouth and speaking in tongues. The mother and her two sit down and her baby son, dressed in a t shirt, a diaper and sandals, proceeds to jump around the room and through his Gerber Finger treats onto the floor and eat them. The mother does little to stop this. So now I have Len speaking in tongues and falling all over the place( he actually ended up in the floor), little half dressed baby throwing Gerber treats, Spongebob on the television and a pounding headache. I actually said, this is such a major disaster as I shook my head. To top it all off, the woman is looking at me and Len as if she's studying us and her child in now headfirst under the chairs. I don't get it. Has parenting come to this....let the child do what they want? They finally come and get Len for his mini surgery and I go back to the main lobby.

As I enter, Tristan is still terrorizing the place, Daniel is in the back and two new children have joined the group. However, these children, a little black girl and boy, were playing quietly with their parents and were the most mild mannered children I've ever seen. Hmmm. What gives? I sat with my magazine, tried to have a phone conversation which I couldn't complete because Tristan made the voice on the other end inaudible. Damn. I wanted to check my acct balance and had to go outside because the automated system was too sensitive to continue working through Tristan's yells. Once back inside, Len was ready. He came out all crusty with fluoride dried on his lips, staggering and falling against the walls, talking bout he couldn't feel his lips. My, my, my what a trip from Hell.

As horrible as this sounds, it was actually mild compared to some of the things I have witnessed over the years. The battle I had with my own child on December 20, 2006 in the Gymboree at Columbiana Mall comes flooding back to my memory. You know it had to be bad if I remember the date. We proceeded to fight in the middle of the store which ended up with me carrying him kicking and screaming out of the store and dropping him in the floor in the middle of the mall, stepping over him and leaving. Thank God my girlfriend Patrice was with me or I don't know how he would have made it home that night. She brought him home, made him dinner and put him to bed as I terminated my parental rights in the mall. He knew I was finished because he went from calling me Mama to Ms. Ursula. It was a spectacle and I'd never been so embarrassed in my life. So, I can imagine the humiliation that parents feel when their children act out in public. However, most parents choose to not do anything about it or yell and scream with no results. I guess I'm asking for there to be a better way to control these children and these on the brink of insanity parents. Any suggestions? Anyone?

Monday, June 23, 2008


Excuses are tools of incompetence. They build monuments of nothingness. Those who use them seldom do anything.

After recent conversations with my girlfriends I was inspired to ask the question: Why are men full of excuses?

We were discussing the fact that one of my girlfriends pretty much laid what she wanted and expected on the line. With that being said she also encouraged and highlighted the potential in her man to achieve these things. Now she didn't ask for a million dollar home and a Porsche parked out front, but she did say she wanted a home, a nice car and the ability to vacation.

These are simple things we as women want. Who wouldn't want security? In my circle of friends we all have master's degrees and good jobs. As a matter of fact, I'm the only one who doesn't, so I think, have a good job I mean. But that's another blog entirely. Anyhoo, when you have a professional, educated woman, she isn't willing to just accept anything, at least not all the time. If we have our own things, we want a man with something to bring to the table be it education, a good job etc. We aren't likely to accept that dude on the couch smoking week, and playing video games all day.

Back to my friend, she told him that she did not approve of his unwillingness to handle his business, effectively finish school and being comfortable in a dead end job like Kentucky Fried. Instead of him heeding her warnings or actually accepting constructive criticism, he flipped and got mad at her for saying what really needed to be said. Sometimes, people including myself, need a swift kick in the hind parts to get it together. However, I don't get mad at the people telling me even if it does hurt or sting a little. We deduced that he would start making up excuses to break up with her because she raised the bar and he's afraid to reach for it. He's used to doing the bare minimum and doing more would be stepping out of his comfort zone.

Sure enough, he started bringing up old stuff and things she said and/or did in 2005. Last time I checked this was 2008. If he didn't get mad or upset about it then, why is he upset about it now. Excuses. Instead of saying, hey I love you and I'm gonna try, he gets mad and acts like a child. My head hurts now cause my one of my best friends is upset over a man who can't see just how much she loves him and wants to be with him, but wants him to be the person she knows he can be. Problem is, he doesn't see it in himself. How do you fix it?

The argument of most men in this situation or others like it would be that the woman is trying to change him into something he isn't. "She knew what I was when she met me." This is absolute bull. A woman is not wrong to want a man to want more out of life. Who said you have to just do the bare minimum to make it. Strive to be all you can be. You only get one shot, why blow it? There is more to life then fun and games. There comes a time when you have to grow up, be a man and accept some responsibility. That is such a turn on to women...A man who has his life together. Hmmmm, Sexy. A man who takes care of his children and takes A man who takes care of home and still treats his woman like the queen she is...extremely sexy!

Women are nurturers by nature, but we don't want to take on the role of our partner's mother! We want an equal, not someone we have to carry. If we handle all things alone, why do we want another able bodied person in the house adding to the light bill, food bill, insurance etc. who isn't helping. Spouses are supposed to be help meets, not I need helpers! I may be a little harsh but time is out for all this dragging and pulling and begging a man to be a man. We deserve better than that. Instead of getting themselves together they come up with more excuses than a man going to jail... "You keep an attitude, I don't like what you said 3 years ago, You make me feel bad about myself, Your family doesn't like me, You're a dream killer, etc." This is such a crock of bull if I ever heard it. We would never criticize a man who is trying, making an effort, getting off his lazy hind parts and looking. At least most women won't. However, when your man becomes a "Franklin Swift"( Wesley Snipes character in the movie Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillan) and you spend more time asking if he looked for work that day or called that person or that person, its time to speak up. For women looking to get married, that is terrifying. This means nothing will ever be taken care of, the children wouldn't be picked up if need be, the bill money would be mismanaged etc. Or the woman would have to do everything to make sure the house is running effectively and if that is the case, why is the husband even there? They make toys for sexual gratification!

How about this, Men get yourselves together, be men, and we won't have to voice our opinions about you. Therefore your feelings won't be hurt and you won't have to make up stupid excuses to end the relationship rather than accepting responsibility. Ladies here's the new motto: Only Real Men Need Apply!

Life Made Easier

Our lives today are enhanced by the numerous inventions that man has created. So today I salute those men and women who have made our lives just a little easier. I'm not talking about the obvious inventions like electricity, the wheel, telephone and television, I mean the ones we don't readily think about. So I say thank you to the people who made the following things:

1. The little plastic rings at the end of shoe laces so they don't come unravelled.

2. The navigation system. Now those men don't have to swallow pride and ask for directions.

3. The home water filter.

4. The Smoothie King

5. The power outlet you can plug in your car to charge things

6. The tape dispenser.

7. Condoms

8. paper clips

9. The tip card

10. Pill boxes

11. Velcro

12. Thank you Eli Whitney for making the Cotton Gin!!

13. 3 ring binders

14. recycling

15. baby powder

16. Video Games

17. flash cards

18. The vacuum that sucks all the junk out of your computer keyboard

19. QVC

20. The Food Network

21. File Cabinets

22. white out

23. Time-Out

24. disposable diapers

25. Epidurals

26. Anesthesia

27. upholstery

28. carpet

29. bug spray

30. the new energy saving light bulbs

31. George Foreman Grill

32. Bluetooth

33. email

34. text messages

35. websites

36. the Internet itself

I could go on for hours but who has that much time?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Language Disconnect

In my job I take calls daily from families interested in adopting children. I have the children logged according to numbers and letters. When I get these calls I ask for the last 4 DIGITS of the id number. Most often than not the caller responds...010B. When did the letter B become a digit? So I respond so the last 4 Digits are 3010? Yes, that's it, they respond. When it happened yesterday, it started me to thinking about other things we do and say that are just backwards. For instance:

1. Mash that Button: You Mash Potatoes, you press buttons

2. Cut out that light: You cut vegetables, you turn off lights

3. I'm fixin to: Fixin to what? Don't you fix items or food?
3.5 Hey, you don't fix food! You prepare food, you fix things that are broken. LoL!

4. I have a great ideal: opposed to great idea.

5. Why is daytime drama called Soap Operas?

6. Why do we look at the radio when we are really listening as though we can see the image or see through the radio into the studio?

7. Why do we talk louder when the cell phone is cutting up as if the louder volume will make the other person understand better?

8. Why do we say the cell phone is cutting up instead of saying the signal is fading.

9. Why do we talk louder when we can't hear someone. They aren't the ones with the problem.

10. Why do we always nod our heads, smile and say yes when we don't understand what someone is saying to us. We could be agreeing with anything.

11. Why are bill collectors nasty and rude. Don't they realize that pissing people off doesn't get the bill paid?

12. Why do people call you back when you tell them you will call them back?

13. Why do people call you with nothing to say? Stay off the phone!

14. Why do people answer text messages but not the phone?

15. Why do we walk all over the house looking for the television remote instead of getting up to change the channel?

oops, forgot one!!
16. Why do we yell at the television during sporting events as though the player and/or coaches can hear us?

This is all I can think of at this moment. If you have more, please leave a comment and lets share a laugh today!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Something for Nothing? Don't Think So!

With the economy being what it is, this blogger has seen her fair share of heartache and debt. I feel like I keep playing an LP with a scratch in it ( like my Michael Jackson Off the Wall where it was scratched on Don't stop Til you Get Enough after he said Wooo!...Wooo!, Wooo!, Wooo!.) by continuing to blog about this stuff, but someone has to keep drawing attention to it or the powers that be will continue to ignore us.

Again, with the economy being so bad everyone is looking for ways to make extra income. With that being said, Con artists are taking advantage of our desire to get ahead and make life comfortable for our families. I'm not talking about those stupid emails you get promising you exorbitant amounts of money if you give them your bank acct number and help them cash these supposed checks that their country can't cash. Anyone who falls for that is very stupid. Well, maybe not stupid, but more so desperately desperate and at the end of their rope. Well, wait a minute...that's 6o% of Americans. Unemployment is on the rise, Gas is astronomical, Food prices are ridiculous and salary raises are stagnant. So I guess, its easy for us to become targets of buffoonery.

Every time we check our faxes or open our emails our in boxes are full of emails advertising...Work for home, Make thousands a week, get into the real estate game, Live the life you want, Hollywood wants you to be in their next movie, claim your free Dell computer, we got your resume, Visit Orlando, Daytona and Mexico for $99/ per person etc. How is all this possible? Its not. Let's pick these examples apart...

1. Work From Home: I admit, yes me, the wise one has been burned by this one on more than one occasion. First, it was stuff envelopes and we'll pay you so much a week for how many envelopes you stuff. So my mom and I sent the money order in for the kit. What came in the mail was a list of companies we could work for and a tutorial on how to place an ad in the paper and get other fools to do the same thing we just did and get paid for it. Meaning, the person that sent us our kit got paid to mail our kit to us. Get it...stuffing envelopes. Never mind that they portrayed themselves in a manner that led us to believe they would mail us a thousand pieces of mail and a thousand envelopes and it would be our job to assemble and stuff and mail. What happened? Nothing, the bank wouldn't stop the money order because a police report was needed, the company had an F rating with the Better Business Bureau with hundreds of complaints from others they had scammed out of their monies.

On another occasion, I got an email to work from home, making calls for an insurance company. They had a website, with so-called testimonies from satisfied users and copies of supposed checks. Problem... F rating with Better Business Bureau, unsatisfied users and no customer service number available to call. Needless to say I ran far, far away and deleted all correspondence.

2. Live the Life you Want: Again, these people try to get people to sign up to get the "secret" to wealth and how they are all so happy. Problem, only the company is getting rich because the consumers are paying for the "secret" and the "secret" is a big "Gotcha!" The consumer can't get their money back in most cases and the website owners are laughing all the way to the bank. Come to think of it, those photos and testimonies probably are real, they are the website/companies owners bragging on how they have scammed thousands of people out of their hard earned dollars. Bustas

3. Hollywood wants You: Well, well, well, yours truly got burned by this one too. Being that my friend is an actor and has worked on several movies as an extra in his day, I felt this one was safe. However, I didn't think about the fact that he has an agent that sends him on these jobs. I got an email saying I could have a Hollywood website where agents would see me and I would get notifications about movies being filmed in my area and could go be an extra. I took the bait cause in my day I've worked on a movie or two ( through the film commission mind you) and made $150/day or more. So, I knew it was possible. So I signed up for the special offer of $1.95 to get started and get your site. What they failed to tell me was that my credit card would continuously be charged month after month for $49.95 and they would not send not one listing. When I tried to cancel the membership, I was told that those were the terms and I should have paid more attention. However, there were no terms, you had to sign up and pay first and get correspondence later to read 2 days later. Why was I so stupid to fall for it? Because I wanted extra income to help cover mounting, never ending, household bills that my job nor my Bachelor's and Master's Degrees aren't paying. I wanted to work in the field I went to school for, get paid and network so I could stay in the field. I was totally taken advantage of because of my desperate desire to succeed. Again F rating on the BBB! Happy Ending though, my credit card company did shut it down. Amen!

4. Claim Your Free Dell Computer: We've all fallen for this one. We get an email claiming we've won something spectacular. Something we probably can't afford to just buy outright. So we click on it and see what it says. Well, guess what? You have to answer 50 different surveys and join offers and advertisements so people can start telemarketing you and you never make it to the damn prize, but what has happened? About 20 different companies now have your name, address and phone number and they start calling you 30 mins after you get tired and close out the email. This really started happening after we all called the "Do Not Call" number and deleted our numbers from the telemarketing database. This was a slick way for companies to get us back because hey...we signed up for it right? I don't know a sole that actually got any product advertised. What we have gotten is Brad calling from xyz insurance with great quotes or Kevin from See and Do Orlando who has a great vacation package for us to pay for.
5. We Got Your Resume: Just today I got an email from a company that I sent a resume to off Career Builder. Me thinking that this is a reputable employment website and the companies represented were reputable I applied for a job. I got an impressive email stating they received my resume and they were very impressed. So much so that they had forwarded it to upper management and were seriously considering me for an interview next week. Sounds great right? Wrong. In order for them to finish "processing" my resume within their company I had to sign up for and receive information about higher education, universities. "Because the company values the desire to further education within their employees and compensate for this and provide tuition reimbursement". So, I signed up against my better judgement and started the surveys. It was page after page of universities not offering the degree I wanted, so I got annoyed and stopped. What happened? I got a call about an hour ago from Kevin in the higher education department wanting to speak with me. Any word from the supposed job? Heck no.

Since I applied for quite a few jobs, I got another email from a jewelry company( that I never applied to) saying they viewed my resume on Career Builder and wanted to hire me. Impressive. Well, its a jewelry manufacturer in Europe and they pay $85,000 base. Base? That means commission job or something. The email ended me back if you want more info on the job and don't reply to this one but to this email instead. Also, there was no phone number to call or a company address or nothing. Why do people keep playing with my emotions?

6. Visit Orlando/ Daytona etc.: Boy do I really feel foolish after writing this. I've learned just how gullible or naive I really am. I got a fax at work about a wonderful vacation package to Disney for 7 days and with it came 3 other vacations to Daytona, Vegas and Jamaica. Since my friend and I had just come from Jamaica and definitely wanted to go back, I jumped on the offer. It cost me $354.00. Needless to say, we never got to use the package, because when I called to use it, I couldn't reach anyone, blackout dates etc. The package expired, although if I had paid an additional $75 I could have extended the package for another year. I didn't. But what I did do is like a fool, is accept another package and agree to pay another $125 for a year and got a whole slew of new vacations. Problem...they charged my acct when they were not supposed to and I had to fight to get them to give me my money back and I cancelled the package. The lady that sold me the package called me and told me how she lied to me when she sold the package and told me that she and her daughter had gone and loved it. She lied about how easy it would be to use it and how many satisfied customers she had. I actually was her third call of the day and all of her customers were very unsatisfied and wanted their money back. Realizing that she was representing a fraudulent company she vowed she was leaving before the Feds shut down the company and hauled her off the jail with the management. Laughable. She was a sista from NC. Why are these companies able to get away with this stuff? Because the Feds don't care cause we, the consumers, don't speak up. I'm actually looking at an offer fresh off the fax this morning...

11 Day Magical Vacation... 5 days and 4 nights in Orlando plus 3 days and 2 nights in Daytona Beach and F. Lauderdale, plus 3 days and 2 nights Bahamas Cruise with a Bonus: 5 days Cancun or 7 days Puerto Vallarta..All this for $99 per person. Sounds Too Good to be true right? It is!

The only people getting rich are these bustas scamming the rest of the hard working public. I'm beginning to think that there are not any more legitimate jobs available other than the dead end, no paying ones we are currently working. Everyone wants to be able to call their own shots and be their own bosses cause the ones we work for are crazy and credit stealing, but is this really possible?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is There Really a Such Thing as an Affordable Vacation?

With everyone singing the same sad song of seemingly never ending brokeness, is it really feasible to take your family on a full filling, fun-filled vacation? My answer is no. Every time you turn on the television you see commercials for vacations...Disney, Vegas, Jamaica etc. Steve Harvey is forever telling us we can afford to travel in style and treat our families. He is also telling us we can afford to eat healthy, but that's another blog by itself. I understand the tourism industry trying to stay viable in this day and time but what about the working family? Our finances aren't viable enough to actually pull off these vacations. Now I admit, a few years ago, I was balling out of control...taking trips to Jamaica, LA every year, Vegas, Santa Fe, Albuquerque etc. It was fun and I had the time of my life. I really did. But, I should have savored the moments because I haven't been on vacation in 2 years now. The economy has quickly crumbled into the molting mound of debt and heartache it is today. Even the tears of the many can't reverse this action and Disney wants us to spend 1600 for a family of four for 7 days. In normal times this may not be bad but now...forget about it! Unless you live in the Orlando area you will spend much more than that because you have to get there in the first place.

So maybe my sights are set too high in wanting to take my son to Disney. So how about a trip to Myrtle Beach? Well, let's see.
Gas round trip and there: $175 - at current Gas prices of $3.85/gallon
Hotel Accommodations (2 nites): $270 - at average hotel prices not including taxes
Spending Money $200 - including food, and attractions- no shows
Total for a 2 day wknd- 2 1/2 hrs away $645- for me and my son alone.

For me to pull this off I would have to either not pay the rent, which would cover it, or not pay the light bill, the car payment, and the cell phone bill. Then I could pull it off. That's a shame.

So how do we achieve that much needed rest and relaxation without breaking the bank and neglecting household bills? My guess is aim low, plan small and simple. I suggested a camping trip to my neighborhood state park. I have Sesqui park right across town. So let's figure up that trip...
Gas round trip: $ 35 - can get there and back on 1/2 tank or less
Tent $ Free- my job has one I can borrow
Food $ 75 - including grill, and hot dogs with fixins
Bedding $ Free - I own a blow up mattress
Cooler $ Free - I own one
Camping fee $ 25
Total Cost of neighborhood camping trip: $135.00 for me and my son alone
Now will this trip provide much rest or relaxation? Probably not because my son is scared of the dark and there won't be a night lite. He's scared of bugs and hello, its in the woods. He's full of energy and there won't be much to do but run around. There is no power therefore no movies etc. But hey, its cheap and its a getaway!

Is this what we vacation enthusiasts have been reduced to? Camping in your seemingly backyards? God please help us. I want to go back to Vegas, visit Hawaii and go to my sister's graduation in Los Angeles soon! There has to be rest for the weary that's not six feet under. Actually a friend told me they don't dig six feet anymore, so maybe 4 feet under. But who wants to vacation that way? Anybody got any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Its Blazing Hot....Why?

For the past few weeks, many of us have been experiencing record breaking temperatures, which have altered our daily lives. We are carefully planning activities that require being outside as little as possible. I think we can literally fry an egg on the sidewalk with a side of bacon. I'm sure our electric company is loving the extreme temps cause that means more money for them. But, why is it so hot? Well, I have a theory...flow with me.

Some of the most amazing events of our lives have been happening and shocking the world. All we can say is Damn...that's hot. All of this heat has to manifest itself somewhere. Don't believe me? Read on....

1. Sen. Barack O'Bama won the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States. That's huge, historical, electricity and excitement building. In other words...Damn...that's hot.

2. Hillary Clinton lost. A Bush or Clinton will not be on the Presidential Ballot. (They thought they were shoo-ins didn't they?) Damn....that's hot.

3. The Lakers and the Celtics are in the NBA Finals!! Need I say more. Damn...that's hot!

4. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson got divorced. Damn...that's hot!

5. Gas prices are so high we are walking and biking. Damn...its hot!

6. Angelina Jolie is having twins adding to her already multi-ethnic household. Damn...that's hot.

7. Jay-z and Beyonce got married making them a super duper power couple. Damn...that's too hot.

8. Jill Scott designed the Butterfly Bra for us Beautifully Bodacious Sistas. Damn....that's so hot.

9. The Kelly J. Hunter Group was introduced to the world. Damn...that's on Fire!

10. Serena Williams is on the Cover of Ebony Magazine and looks like a real girl. Damn...that's making the guys hot.

So with all this hotness in the world, its no wonder we are blazing out here. Question is just how much hotter can it get before we explode?