Mar 11


Remember my last post back in August 2010 about the cover of Women’s Running Magazine? I did wind up canceling that subscription and oddly, my Runner’s World subscription stopped coming to me at the same time.  That was no skin off my nose, as I wasn’t interested in reading it anyway.

Or so I thought.

I found that a lot of my motivation to run, to try new trails wasn’t because I enjoy it (I don’t), it was because Runner’s World magazine offered me helpful tips on many things, that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Sure, I could go to the website and find articles, but the problem is two-fold: 1) I’d wind up searching for the same items or 2) I find myself getting bored with technical speak or stories on athletes, I don’t care about.

When I signed up for last month’s Firecracker race, I got a subscription to Runner’s World.  Last Friday, I received my first copy and…

April 2011 Runner's World

When I saw it, I just laughed, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Aug 10

Black Women Run, Too

I recently received the Sept/Oct 2010 Women’s Running magazine and there’s a strong chance I may cancel the subscription. The magazine itself has some almost-useful-to-me information, but each time it comes in the mail, I’m reminded that the magazine is really not geared to me as a black female.

Women's Running magazine

Women's Running magazine

Just a glance at recent covers can tell you that. In the two years this magazine has been coming to my house, I don’t ever remember a woman of color on the front of the magazine. Inside the magazine, not one of the articles features a woman of color. Three ads contain a woman of color: One Latina near the beginning of the magazine, then on page 76 (this issue is 80 pages) in the lower left corner and again on the back of the magazine. The only time you see females of color accompanying an article is when they are children. Of course! It’s so uplifting to see young black and brown girls interested in fitness. *eyeroll*

Of course, this is nothing new. Women of color are be used to the dearth of useful information in magazines geared to (white) women. Self, Shape, Women’s Fitness, Prevention, and Fitness Magazine have never pretended to cater to me. That’s why I will never subscribe or read these magazines. But when I saw “Women’s Running” (previously Her Running), I had wrongly assumed that meant all women. If anything, this is extremely clear in the beauty sections, which mainly focus on products geared to those with fair skin and non-kinky hair. In other words, I’m not going to hold my breath expecting an article on which hair care products are best for black women who swim. Which is okay. I don’t need Women’s Running to change to fit me.

I think what astounds me most, is that when you consider the make up of the US Woman’s Track & Field team, it is mostly black women. I do not recall seeing them interviewed in this magazine. However, I do see many interviews from past white Olympians, including those who have never won a medal. When I go running in my neighborhood the young Latinas and older Asian women put rest to the belief that only white women run. When I join a race and see so many black women of various ages, I refuse to believe the image these magazines give me. There is a reason that I follow @blackgirlsrun on Twitter.

Sadly, there’s not many options for me out there. Heart & Soul magazine has a very, very limited fitness section. I used to subscribe to this magazine for years, but figured it was time to let go when I only wanted to read one article from it. Instead, I’ll continue what I’ve been doing; sending out tweets and blog posts asking black female athletes for tips. Word of mouth is strong among black women. We have that going for us.

Hopefully, I’ll learn of a useful-to-me magazine.

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Apr 10

Things I learned about SiriusXM Radio

We had a Ford Focus for 4 days and it came with SiriusXM Radio. It was an interesting time, but I’m still not sure that service is worth $10 – $20 a month. Here’s a handful of things I’ve discovered about the service and myself:

  1. There really is no need for a Grateful Dead station or a Bruce Springsteen station for that matter.
  2. Chris Matthews sounds even more insane when you’re listening to him and not watching him.
  3. Soul Town is possibly the best radio station ever created.
  4. The comedy stations are truly not funny.
  5. There are too many commericials, considering you’re paying for the service.
  6. Classical music while driving is dangerous for me.
  7. The Jazz station would be better if it was KJZZ.
  8. Countdown with Keith Olbermann is not made for radio.
  9. Nina Blackwood and  Swedish Egil are still alive.
  10. 80s Music > 90s Music.
  11. I am so over Pearl Jam, U2 and R.E.M.
  12. Traffic in Phoenix, Detroit and Las Vegas sounds worse than LA traffic.
  13. The Coffee House station increased my roadrage.
  14. The reggae station, The Joint, is nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, but they do need to kick back on the Marley.
  15. The Latin stations are infinitely better than what’s played on broadcast.

That’s about it…for my listening choices. I thought it pretty neat there was a station that played Showtunes, but the ones I listened to I own already. I wonder though, what others get out of the service.

Feb 10

iPad: Poll Numbers and Spin, or Why You Should Pay Attention

I got an email from Telecom TV with the screaming headline:

Oh dear! 52 per cent of consumers don’t want an iPad

I know, right? So I click the link and start reading. Keep in mind that Martyn Warwick will never be called a fan of Apple or Steve Jobs.

?Last month, before the new device was launched, an earlier survey showed that 26 per cent of consumers who were aware of the hype surrounding the imminent arrival of the iPad had no interest in buying one.

Now a follow-up study indicates that, as the Retrevo blog puts it, Apple has suffered “a failure to convince any new buyers to consider the iPad.” It adds, “Not only did Apple fail to convince new buyers, it may have lost many potential buyers who now say they don’t think they need an Apple tablet computer.”

That’s because, to quote Retrevo again, “Consumers lost interest after the [iPad] announcement. Retrevo’s study asked consumers whether or not they had heard about the tablet before the tablet was introduced and again after the announcement. The word definitely got out as the number of respondents saying they had heard about the tablet rose from 48% shortly before the announcement to over 80% after the media frenzy on January 27th.”

Wow, right? But guess what? I’m not a tech person and I’ve never heard of Retrevo before this article. I’m not going to just take this at face value. I want to know the polling size, how the people were selected, the questions…in other words, the details. So, I searched for “Retrevo ipad survey” (without the quotes) and noticed a link to MacDailyNews at the top of the search results touting the same exact survey.

Continue reading →

Dec 09

New York Times suggest gifts for the people of color in your life

On FriendFeed, I was alerted to the fact that the New York Time’s Gift Guide for 2009, included a whole section for the people of color in your life.


I freely admit to being slightly amused by it. At first I thought it was a joke, but seeing articles and tweets about it, made me realize that it was an actual part of their guide. In 2009.

Naturally, I had to look it up myself. And…uh…well, read:

>>Of Color | Stylish Gifts


Somali fashion, do-it-yourself henna kits, children’s books that draw inspiration from the lives of Barack Obama and Sonia Sotomayor: it’s not hard to find gifts created for and by people of color this holiday season. Here are some possibilities.

There are some defensive people out there who think this is positively acceptable. They point out that the author of the section is black, so that makes it okay. Get it?

Now, I read some of the different suggestions on NYTPicker and kept thinking, “This has to be a joke.”, but uh…well…

For your Latino friends…

sotomayor Continue reading →

Mar 09

Internet Confession Time: Hunger

This is what runs through my mind when I’m starving and looking for something to eat:

Jan 09

Why I’ve been silent

I’ve been getting emails the past few months asking me why I rarely blog any more.  Some of it was that I got so burnt out on politics that I just shut down. Some of it, is that I won’t want to put just anything on my blog. You can follow me on Friendfeed and see some of the content there. Logic would dictate that I figure out this MediaRSS plugin so that I can import my FF content to here. But the main reason I no longer blog is financial.

Meaning: I have no money.

The stress of constantly being behind in bills, of trying to keep on top of billing has turned me away from writing.  Anything I write will be shot through with how broke I am and I do not want to have that be the focus of my blog. But the truth is that due to a dominio effect that started in Spring of 2007, there’s a very good chance of my family being homeless in the coming months.

We spend most of our money on paying late bills and their fees, but we’re also behind on our mortgage now. Having that over our heads has made the effort to get out and enjoy life a little hard. Add in the IRS funds we owe for the past 2 years, it becomes a little suffocating to try to be fun.

We don’t have credit card debt, a car payment or anything like that.  We just owe on our house, the IRS taxes and property taxes.  When we purchased our home, we got a decent rate, put down 20% on a home that was underpriced for the market.  Even now that our home’s value has dropped a bit, we’re still not upside-down on our mortgage.  What hurts a bit more, is that even if we were renting, we’d still be in the same boat, but propbably would have been evicted by now. We have no place to go if we lose our house. Nowhere.  Many people are lucky enough to have friends and/or family willing or able to help them in dire times.  Neither of us can claim that. Nevertheless, the domino that fell in Spring 2007 has created a cacophony of sound we can no longer ignore.

As you know, I work for my husband–our small company of two. While there’s been some industry upheaval, there hasn’t been enough to explain why we went from working 20 – 30 sites a month down to about 10.  Even at 10 sites a month, assuming they’re new sites, that’s still barely scraping by. Even if I were lucky enough to find a job outside the home, we’d need childcare for the kids and another car, so my husband can continue his company he started in 1995.

We’re trying. We’re trying so hard to give our kids a good life. We don’t spoil them, but I enjoy taking them to the zoo, botanical gardens and museums.  I’ve given up my memberships to the Arboretum and Natural History museum. Instead opting for the museums free days and saving for Arboretum or Descanso Garden trips.  Our zoo membership ends soon, so that twice monthly visit will end too as it’s either than or end the hosting on our business website. They’re growing so big, so fast that I can’t afford to get them clothes that fit properly. That makes me so sad.

It’s so frustrating to see all the work you’ve done so much to create topple. I’ve been here before and weathered it, but then I was single and childless. I didn’t have any responsibilities except to myself.  I do not find solace in knowing that I’m not alone in this experience, that other families in this country are feeling the same effects.  We can all hope for the best and hope that it comes sooner rather than later. That some solution presents itself as soon as possible. Otherwise, this could be the end of my blog as it stands.

Thank you.

Nov 08

Bitches Gone Wild: The Motrin Drama

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Can you say stupid with a slice of WTF?

Last night, my Twitter started going off with angry tweets regarding an ad on the Motrin website.  I can’t show you the ad because it’s been pulled.  Let me describe it:

It was a way too long video with a voiceover of some whiny mom complaining about something.  The words she was saying were being tossed acrossed the screen in what was probably some misdirected attempt at hipness.  After I woke from a nap, the woman was still droning on and she started talking about how she uses a carrier (which somehow is painful)  to make her look like an “official mommy”.

Let the shitstorm begin.

All day long, as I checked into various social media sites, women with too much time on their hands were writing overwrought posts talking about the ad was ‘insulting’.  To whom, was unclear.  Some moms were offended by it because they were adoptive parents.  Some because their kids were older.  Some because they never use(d) a carrier with their babies.  Others because they know that if worn right a carrier isn’t painful at all. But they were insulted and seeking vengeance.


Mommy bloggers you won the internets today.  Your prize?

Later this afternoon, childless people, men and those who have lives walked into this dust up trying to figure out the problem with the ad.  Most of them realized quickly that the ad wasn’t anything to get upset about and moved on with their lives.  Sadly, the mommy bloggers didn’t. They were making videos y’all.  Videos.


A few hours ago, the Motrin website went down.  Crazed mommy bloggers cyber-high-fived one another.  That’ll show Motrin.  Mess with us and our faux outrage.

Well, Motrin finally responded and was a lot nicer than I would have been if I were doing the PR for the company:

We certainly did not mean to offend moms through our advertising. Instead, we had intended to demonstrate genuine sympathy and appreciation for all that parents do for their babies. We believe deeply that moms know best and we sincerely apologize for disappointing you. Please know that we take your feedback seriously and will take swift action with regard to this ad. We are in process of removing it from our website. It will take longer, unfortunately, for it to be removed from magazine print as it is currently on newstands and in distribution.


Kathy Widmer
VP of Marketing – Pain, Pediatrics, GI, Specialty
McNeil Consumer Healthcare

So now there’s even more vindication, but even worse, the masturbatory “See what Social Media can do?” posts are going up.  It’s like a Daisy chain gone bad.  And this is why I don’t call myself a mommy blogger.  This is why I try to stay away from mom blogs.  This is why some people shouldn’t be allowed to use a fucking computer.

I will say that I am extremely jealous at the swift and angry reaction of these women.  Just think of what they could do if they organized to help the poverty-stricken or cure real injustices in the world.  I wish everything in my life was so perfect that I would have the luxury to get all agitated over a damn ad.

Nov 08

Musings on last night’s election

the 44th President of the United States...Bara...

Image by jmtimages via Flickr

am not going to try to write a long intellectual entry on what happened last night. I can only post snapshots on we witnessed.  My feelings are still too raw.  I woke up this morning, like in 2000 and 2004, with a knot in my stomach; expecting a different outcome.  I rushed to grab my morning paper to make sure it was all real.  That today wasn’t Election Day and I just dreamt that Sen. Obama had won over 330 Electoral Votes.

It was real.

It did happen.

Senator Barack Obama is our President-Elect.

My 5 year old, who has been an Obama fan since last Spring, kept asking me this morning, “Did Obama really win?”  Through tears, I said “Yes. Yes he did.”


I spoke to some of my older family members last night.  The constant refrain was, “That young man did it.  He ran a great campaign and didn’t let anyone tear him down.  I never thought I’d live to see this day.” They reminisced on growing up in segregated towns in the South and Midwest.  One 92 year old cousin, in Arkansas wept as he talked about he had to keep his head down, just so he would stay out of trouble, “Today, I hold my head high, like Obama did throughout his campaign.”  I cried.


Sen. McCain’s concession speech, was the most classy concession speech I think I’ve ever witnessed.  Even though from July on he ran the exact same campaign Sen. Clinton did, his concession speech was exactly the one she should have given in June.


The first black President won this election without the Self-Appointed Godfathers of Blackness.  We didn’t have to see Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton pontificating on our TVs last night for the first time in my lifetime. Rev. Jackson was shown, tears streaming down his face, as he stood with thousands in Grant Park.


Scholars will study the Obama campaign forever.  Not just political scholars, but in business classes, PR majors, technological studies.  Every tool out there was used, even abused if my text messages and emails are any indication. The branding was simple and consistent, from slogan to font, to color.  The business acumen of where and how to raise and spend money, would make many major corporations jealous.


Social media came into its own this election cycle. Twitter broke most stories before even blogs had a chance to write up something.  This election cycle belonged to black bloggers.  It seemed that they alone were taking advantage of social media tools, not just to announce new posts, but to organize GOTV and appearnces.  It was a simple way for them to stay in contact with their readers outside the blog and get more on-the-ground reporting from around the country.


I still haven’t received my shirts from the Obama-Biden campaign. I’m sad.


The ground campaign of Obama’s was probably the best of any campaign ever.  Speaking to friends who worked for the campaign and speaking to people who volunteered from the campaign, they all said the same thing, “This is the first election where people from DC who had never stepped foot in my town, didn’t come in to tell us how it is. They gave us ownership and listened.”


A few weeks ago, Republicans started whining about how Democrats shouldn’t have a majority because that would be dangerous for the country.  All of a sudden they despise the idea of one party controll the Administrative and Legislative branches of government.  I’m still trying to find where they were so distraught about this in 2000 and 2004.  It’s a disengenious arguement and insulting to my intelligence.  Republicans need not fear. Democrats do not govern to abuse power.  A Democratic majority will have it’s hands full rolling back and repairing the damage of the last 8 years.


Best quote of the night, after the election was called for Sen. Obama: “Meanwhile, in D.C., two guys named George and Dick have placed the single largest order for industrial strength paper shredders that Office Depot has ever had to fulfill.”


When I had heard that Fox News (!) had called Ohio for Sen. Obama, I thought I was going to faint.  When I saw that he had also won Florida, I had to sit down.  Thank you to both states.


I can only hope that we never have to hear or see the hatefulness that is Gov. Sarah Palin.


And finally, we’ll never learn what Republican voters liked about Sen. McCain.  It’s a testament to spin, that when asked the most intelligent offering was the tired, “Obama’s a socialist/radical/communist/Muslim”.  That never explained McCain’s appeal.

Aug 08

NBC still sucks

Recreated peacock logo not used universally un...Image via Wikipedia

I wrote an entry about the suckitude of NBC covering the Olympics back in 2006.  NBCs coverage certainly fell off 10 years previous, but since Sydney, it’s increasingly painful to watch.  It’s not the just the fluff pieces on the athletes where a knee scrape at the age of 6 is told with overwrought music and fraught with drama.  It’s not just the insufferable focus on American athletes, many of whom don’t stand a chance to win a medal, let along a gold one.  It’s not even the fact that if you do not have cable, you’ll miss 95% of the coverage.  The worst part of NBCs coverage, at least for me here on the west coast is the utter lie that is that taunting “LIVE” icon in the top right corner of my screen.

Opening Ceremonies carried that “LIVE” tag, even though earlier in the day I heard about all the technological feats from European friends a good 9 hours before I even had a chance to watch it.  Yesterday, people were talking about swimmer Michael Phelps wondering if he’d win his gold medal.  3 hours before it was shown here on the west coast, I already knew that he did.

I had this rant ready to go, but I just reread what I wrote in ’06 and it still stands today.  The 2 points I made then, I wanted to make today:

Not to knock on my fellow countrymen, but the best part about the Olympics is the internationality of it all. I love seeing people excel in sports that they shouldn’t have or surpass all kinds of odds just to get to the Olympics, but I have a feeling that Americans don’t have a corner on hardship*


Now let’s get to programming. Remember the days when the Olympics were carried live? Remember when you had to set your VCR to tape figure skating at 2:45pm? Well now, we’re subjected to 3.5 hours of highlights. By the time the Olympics air here on the West Coast, I already know who won. Hell, Comcast On-Demand has the winners up before NBC plays their stinkin’ highlight reel. And that’s exactly what it is: a flippin’ highlight reel. I have no idea what’s edited out until I see who’s competed. On the computer. Where it’s already tomorrows in Torino. You’d think that there are really only 6 people competing in any given sport. Those other names? They’re just ghosts of Olympics past.

I think that if I want to watch soccer and avoid gymnastics, I shouldn’t have to use a chart to determine when it will actually run and on what channel.  I should be able to watch an entire competition all the way through.  Instead, last night we got a chunk of gymnastics (US, China and Japan only, even though 5 other countries also competed), some swim races, a volleyball game, interviews with the US Women’s fencing team and highlights of other sports that weren’t televised at all.

How do they think  that is watchable?  That was just on the Universal HD (where it is so not HD) channel.  I popped over to USA Spain vs. Greece basketball and the commentators were calling color from a studio in New York!  I haven’t caught anything on MSNBC, Oxygen, Telemundo or CNBC mostly because I find it ridiculous I have to flip that much to watch old news. But I wish I knew the reason why content couldn’t be aired live across all timezones at the same time.  NBA finals, Super Bowl, World Series, Wimbledon, US Open, etc. are all aired at the same time in the US.  Why not the Olympics?

I really, really, really detest NBCs coverage and you can let them know at [email protected]