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Showing posts from January, 2012

My Family's Revolution: Financial Literacy and The Department of Gentle Nudges

"I'm just trying to be a light."
~ Tammy Faye Messner

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert on investing, retirement planning or insurance and do not offer this information as professional advice. Please consult trained professionals for advice specific to your needs.

Dear Gentle Readers,
I've been so busy with family stuff and ranting about things that made me mad that I failed to keep you abreast of my family's revolution to become smarter than Wall Street. At our last family meeting, we just about finished our module on financial literacy, covering the basics of investing, retirement planning, and insurance. The funny thing is, although the meetings are informative (My niece, Single Parent Goddess, would say they're probably too informative, but since our last meeting got her reading the finance section of the newspaper, I beg to differ!), we eat very well (two types of lasagne, grilled portobello mushroom and red pepper sandwiches, sauteed zucchini, spaghetti, and l…

Godspeed and God Bless, Etta James

To say that Etta James was an icon is an understatement. Having grown up with an Etta James superfan as was my mother SWIE ("She Who Is Exalted"), I think of Etta James as the soundtrack to my mother's life.

My mother's young womanhood was cut short at the age of 19 with her marriage to my dad and the birth of my oldest sister shortly thereafter. Her dancing and drinking days were mostly confined to the walls of her household after she married. And a lot of that dancing happened to the music of Etta James.

If Sam Cooke, Luther Vandross, and Teddy Pendergrass were my mother's top musical boyfriends, Etta James, Dinah Washington, and Aretha Franklin were her musical best girlfriends. I grew up watching my mom bop and stroll to "Tell Mama," and take long drags of her cigarette and hang her head to "All I Could Do Was Cry," as if what happened in that song was happening to her. I sometimes wondered whether my mother had actually loved someone else i…

Gov. Jan Brewer: Bitch, Is You Crazy?

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer greets President Barack Obama on the tarmac in Arizona and gives him a personal note to invite President (Yes, PRESIDENT) Barack Obama to a private meeting. He reminds her that her account of their last meeting at the Oval Office wasn't particularly kind or accurate. She responds by pointing her finger in the face of the LEADER OF THE FREAKIN' FREE WORLD and getting angry. Because he won't meet with her? Because of her own words?

Is it me, or is this white privilege run amok? The idea that you can point your finger in the face of the President of the United States, who just happens to be black, because he won't do what you want and has the temerity to challenge you based on your own words? Because he's not SUBSERVIENT?

And she actually had the nerve to say she felt "threatened" by the President.

Pardon my language, but Gov. Brewer, as they say in the 'hood, "Bitch, is you crazy?"

Let's get one thing straight. Presiden…

Boycott Girl Scout Cookies? Be Prepared -- For a Backlash

Some wingnuts out of Missouri want the public to boycott Girl Scout cookies because the Girl Scouts allegedly have some connection with Planned Parenthood.
Seriously? Boycott Girl Scout cookies? Are you kidding me?
Be prepared -- for a backlash.
I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout (that's my Girl Scout uniform pictured above), and I live by the Girl Scout motto: Be prepared. Girl Scouts is the first all-girl organization that most girls join. Scouting builds character, teaches team work, and empowers young girls to achieve beyond their wildest expectations. It also broadens their worlds.
I was in Girl Scout Troop 796 of the Tierra del Oro Girl Scout Council in Sacramento, California. My Brownie and Girl Scout Troop Leader was Mrs. Hawkins. We were a working-class, racially diverse group, and because of Mrs. Hawkins' vision, we were exposed to things that working-class little girls might not have otherwise seen -- the ballet (Sorry, Mrs. Hawkins, for falling asleep during "The Nu…

Grand Old Party? More Like The Donner Party

So Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina Republican primary, despite allegations by his second wife that he requested an open marriage and despite him unloading on CNN's John King for asking about said alleged request. Independent expenditure PACs have been firing at Romney and Gingrich in ways that do violence to President Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment -- Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.

I'm not a Republican, but is it me or is the Republican party looking more like the Donner Party? It seems each candidate or their surrogates are willing to do or say anything to stay in the game, even at the expense of the party's ability to put someone in office come November.

What's more telling is that none of the candidates is speaking of their vision for the country going forward. Their campaign slogan? "Beat Obama," as if this were the Army/Navy game, or Big Game between Stanford and Cal for that matter.

Republicans, let me give you a hint: Runni…

"Occupy" Red Tails This Weekend

I'm getting ready to head out the door to meet Black Man Not Blogging (BMNB) and my family to see "Red Tails," the story of the African-American Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots from World War II. People who want to send a message to Hollywood that we want more of these kind of movies need to go "occupy" Red Tails this weekend.

The movie was completely bankrolled by George Lucas because no one in Hollywood would greenlight it. Once he made it, he was told that no one in Hollywood would know how to "market" a movie like this.

To borrow from Roland Martin's commentary on "Washington Watch," "Really? When we have a black president and the biggest media star in the world, Oprah Winfrey, is black? Really?"

I call B.S. on Hollywood, and I plan on "occupying" this movie to send a message. Plus, George Lucas' girlfriend of five years is Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Capital Management, the largest African-American-owned i…

Put Your Pearls On For Mrs. Obama

Today is First Lady Michelle Obama's birthday. I'm late to the party, but I noticed on Facebook that there's a campaign to show your support for the First Lady by wearing pearls today called "Girls with Pearls." When I step out today (I'm home from work), I will be wearing mine.

In my 48 years in these United States, I have never seen a First Lady of the United States so disrespected, misconstrued and totally misunderstood. I've seen photos online comparing her to to Tarzan's chimpanzee Cheetah in an email joke. Wisconsin Republican representative Jim Sensenbrenner derided Mrs. Obama for her campaign against child obesity, citing that she had a large posterior. (I find that ironic since any sister with any semblance of a booty will tell you that white men covet our butts.) Rush Limbaugh "slips" and refers to the First Lady as "The First Linebacker."

If you think this isn't about race, you're fooling yourself.

It's time for…