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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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 →

Dec 09

Hmmmm…something smells

On Dec. 8th, I saw a listing on craigslist for a 3bd. home in Pasadena for $1050 a month. Sounds great, right? So, I emailed the listing asking when we can see the house. My husband, unbeknownst to me had made a phone call to the 626 number on the ad to ask the same thing. That was on Tuesday. That night, we decided since it was close by to drive by and look.  There’s a sign outside, but it was obvious someone is living there, you know…since we could see them walking around inside the house. Today, I got this email:

Thanks for your response regarding your interest in having my house for rent.The house is much available for now and it a 3 bedroom home..I want you to know that i am the owner of this building situated at [redacted].But i am now presently in West Africa for my Hospitals Project prayer crusade with my wife and we have the keys right here with us.I will like to inform you that it was due to my transfer that makes us to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean at the time and the person that will rent it to take it as if it were its own..So for now,We are here in West Africa,NIGERIA our new house and also with the keys of the house,we are trying to look for an agent that we can give this document before we left but could not see and we are as well as don’t want our house to be used any how in our absent that is why we took it along with us here..We are only willing to give the house out to a lovely and caring family only, so if you know you cannot give the house the neatness it deserves please don’t contact me.But if you promise to always take good care of the house,get back to me on how you could take care of our house or perhaps experience you have in renting a home.Hope you are okay with the monthly price of $1050 with hydro,heat laundry facilities,air-condition Etc.I am looking forward to hear from you ASAP,Our house number is[foreign phone number] OR
[foreign phone number], below is the application form for you to fill and discuss on how to get the house for rent..
Kindly confirm your interest by filling the form below:
FIRST NAME: __________________
MIDDLE NAME: __________________
LAST NAME: __________________
PROFESSION: ________________
PHONE (____) __________ (CELL)
PHONE (____) __________ (WORK)
PHONE (____) __________ (HOME)
KIDS _____ (YES/NO), HOW MANY ________
Home ADDRESS: ___________________________
CITY: _______________
STATE: ______________
ZIP CODE: ____________
WHY ARE YOU LEAVING? _______________________________________________________________________
Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt for you and contacting  you.Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the document and the key to you,please we are giving you all this base on t r ust and again i will want you to stick to your words,you know that,we do not see yet and only putting everything into Gods hand,so please do not let us down in this our property and God bless you more as you do this.

Yeah…i think we’ll pass.

Aug 09

My Healthcare Story

My doctor In 2002, I found out I was pregnant the week I returned to work from disability leave. I was let go the next Monday. Throughout my pregnancy, we paid $640 per month towards COBRA. I received  unemployment. My self-employed husband was covered under my plan. On April 29th, I was discharged from the hospital. Within the week, I received bills and then a shock from CIGNA: my health insurance was cancelled. My payment in April was a day late. CIGNA chose to send me back my check and cancel my coverage. The cancellation took effect retroactively to April 30th. That meant my follow-up visits to my OB/GYN and to the new pediatrician all had to come out of pocket.

There’s a lot of noise out there about the proposed healthcare bill going through Congress at the moment. There are a lot of lies being told by right-wing propagandists. A lot of astroturfing being done by the health insurance & pharmaceutical companies. I do not know if the proposed bill is going to help. What I do know is that for over 60 years this issue has arisen and the GOP tells us that we have to wait and see. If they haven’t been able to come up with a reasonable response or alternative solution in this time, why does anyone listen to these people?

I find it frustrating that people who receive taxpayer funded healthcare (I’m talking your elected representatives here)  have the audacity to go out and tell you that taxpayer funded healthcare is “socialism”.  It’s just mind-blowing when people I know who receive some kind of government assistance parrot that line with no sense of irony. When you tell them that just like with gay marriage or abortion that if they don’t like it, don’t participate they have no response but to sputter. No one is forcing them or their doctors to join in the proposed bill. They do not have to use the service. That is no reason to deny it from others who want it and need it.

Continue reading →

Aug 09

Are sponsorships to conferences to be expected now?

Monopoly before I started losing When conference dates and location are announced, excitement is expected. Greed is not. Trish Robinson alerted us via FriendFeed about the general response to BlogHer ’10.  She posted:

What the hell has BlogHer turned into? Nearly every comment on the first post announcing next year’s date are people trying to find sponsors and how to get a free trip? Wow. – Trish R

Curious, I clicked the link.

I am new to the ‘blog-a-sphere’ and didn’t make BlogHer 2009, it seems 2010 is coming to my hometown here in the big apple, how do I register since I won’t be requiring the hotel? Is there a separate registration section for us NYC based bloggers? what is the rate if you don’t require a hotel?

Should I start posting for a sponsor already/now???

So much to learn, so little time! :-)

That’s a worrying reaction for many reasons, but as you scroll through the comments, you see others posting about looking for sponsorships.

Continue reading →

Jun 09

Wanna be a prop in an inauguration? Here’s your chance!

At 4:28pm I received an email from the Office of the Mayor. It’s a request for Angelenos to name their top Angels. That is, who is the most awesomest volunteer you can think of? The Mayor cares. Really. He wants to lavish the top 5 winners with the opportunity to be on stage with him for a few moments next Wednesday when he’s inaugurated for his second term.

There are True Angels in this city. They are the people who devote untold hours each day to building their communities and lifting up those less fortunate than themselves.

Whether painting a mural, planting a tree, or serving food to seniors, True Angels realize we are all in this together, and that social change only comes with active, committed engagement. These True Angels come together from all different backgrounds and from all across Los Angeles to lay the foundations of stronger communities for future generations.

Continue reading →

Jun 09

Look at me too! or Why women drive me nuts…

Allison is unamused by Betty's efforts to flir...
Image via Wikipedia

There has to be a term for those women, the ones who when they see you flirting with someone immediately start flirting with that person too. Loser? Insecure prat? Pain the in ass? Leech? Sure I’ve noticed it before, but rarely paid it any mind. But now there is one particular person doing it and it’s just mind blowing. I actually would not have noticed, but in the course of a week, 3 different people who do not interact with her pointed it out to me.

So, in the interest of “science” and our sad need for amusement, 5 particular guys were chosen for me to flirt with. Bets were taken on how long it would take this woman to glom on to them.  Now, you have to keep in mind one thing: this person made it abundantly clear that these 5 dudes were not her type in any way. We started the “experiment” in late March. The findings were astonishing: With the exception of Dude #3, it took her at least 3 days to start flirting with the guy. Dude #3 took ONE  day.

What I find most fascinating is that she only does it me. Other women can flirt and she doesn’t react at all. It’s like we’re in this strange weird contest no one told me about. It makes interactions difficult only because I am forced to hold my tongue and not publiclly mock her desperate need for attention. And y’all know how I can get when it comes to a public mocking.

Continue reading →

Apr 09

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) to become a Democrat

Arlen Specter, member of the United States Sen...
Image via Wikipedia

Senator Arlen Specter, a longtime Republican Senator announced today that he was switching parties.  He stated that he will be running for his seat in 2010 as a Democrat. 

Here’s part of Specter’s release, excerpted from the Wall Street Journal:

I have been a Republican since 1966. I have been working extremely hard for the Party, for its candidates and for the ideals of a Republican Party whose tent is big enough to welcome diverse points of view. While I have been comfortable being a Republican, my Party has not defined who I am. I have taken each issue one at a time and have exercised independent judgment to do what I thought was best for Pennsylvania and the nation.

Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans. (WSJ)

While this is a major boon to the Democrats in the Senate, giving them a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority (if Al Franken ever gets sworn in), we rank-and-file Democrats will do well to remember Specter’s actual voting record and how that rarely matches the speeches and statements he has made. Too many times in the past has Sen. Specter step outside party lines to make announcements that he’s unhappy with the Republican goal, how he doesn’t think the people he represent would like him to adhere to party lines. Yet, when it was time to vote, Specter more than ofter, voted along party lines. Sen. Specter has crafter faux-outrage into an art form.

More from his annoucement:


My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

Whatever my party affiliation, I will continue to be guided by President Kennedy’s statement that sometimes Party asks too much. When it does, I will continue my independent voting and follow my conscience on what I think is best for Pennsylvania and America.

Admirable on the surface, but we already have more than enough Blue Dogs in the Senate.  I’m not going to get excited over this, but I will be watching Specter more closely. The last last 14 or so years, I’ve taken everything he says with a grain of salt. This change of party affliation will be no different.



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Feb 09

A mortgage plan…of sorts

Half million dollar house in Salinas, Californ...

Image via Wikipedia

Aren’t they precious?

That’s the only think I can think of when I read about Congress’ plan to help homeowners.

The House is expected to pass the legislation today, and supporters are optimistic that the Senate will follow next month.

For existing mortgages only, the measure would remove an oddity in bankruptcy law: Judges can reduce, or cramdown, the principal on a vacation home, car or boat, but they cannot do it to a mortgage for a primary residence.(LAT)

Well, thank goodness for that, because it’s pretty obvious that only those with boats or 2nd homes are the only ones being impacted negatively during this financial crisis. Baby steps. Their hearts were in the right place. And at least the President understands:

“I just want everybody to understand, that’s the rule for investors who own two, three and four homes,” [Obama] said. “So it should be the rule for folks who just own one home as an alternative to foreclosure.”

The legislation would limit the new bankruptcy rules to existing mortgages. Homeowners would have to seek a voluntary modification from their mortgage holder at least 15 days before filing for bankruptcy. And the bill would require the homeowner to share the profit from a home sale with the lender if it takes place within four years of the bankruptcy. The bank would get 80% of the profit in the first year, 60% in the second, 40% in the third and 20% in the fourth. (from the above linked article)

Sounds interesting, but as the article notes, there’s concern it would push people to declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy declarations stay on your credit report for 7 years.  Considering the draconian changes the Republican Congress made to the bankruptcy laws a few years ago, I doubt that even if there was a rush, that many would prevail in filing.

Like so much lately, it’s best to adopt a wait-and-see attitude toward this. No one wants to file for bankruptcy and adding on more hurdles will likely turn off others.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Jan 09

Obama’s been Tupac’d

We went to the California African-American museum yesterday for the Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations.  I expected vendors, but nothing prepared me for what I am calling the Tupacification of Barack Obama.

This first photo is a rhinestone shirt. The caption of the photo is what it says on the shirt.

All Eyes on Me

All Eyes on Me

This vendor had a ton of photos of the Obamas, but this one caught my eye for obvious reasons.

Obama transformed to FDR

Obama transformed to FDR

Buttons! My kids were drawn to them and I walked over to check them out.  That one in the middle…Wow.



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]