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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Obama’

What’s in a name? A whole effing lot.

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Family, Grenada, Haiti, Humor, Jamaica, Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Relationships, Trinidad on March 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I’m not a mother. I’m fickle about motherhood. I don’t go all goo-goo, ga-ga about the prospect of motherhood. Actually it scares the shit out me. Motherhood is a big f%#king deal, and people who are nonchalant about this privilege simply don’t get the task at hand. 

With that said, (channeling one of my fave cousins who loves that term: with that said) I feel it’s importance to give a baby a proper name. Mama MJ taught me well. A child’s name is important as it’s the doorway to their identity, their personality. It’s called nomenclature. There should be a story or meaning behind a name. Not: I’m not sure what it means but… 

Or I just named him or her Baby X cuz…

Ask Mama and Papa MJ why they named their five children their specific names and prepare to hear stories – several of which are quite riveting.

A baby’s name should be fluid. It should fit with the middle name if there is a middle name and last name. I once dated a guy who’s first name was Mshindaji; middle name Mustafa; last name Grant. 

My reaction: WTF were your parents thinking? Where’s the melody in that nomenclature combo? 

And I get it. MMG’s Black Panther parents were caught up in the black power movement. They wanted to reaffirm their blackness through their child’s name. But Mshindaji + Mustafa + Grant = yuck. Nasty. Barf!

Names are like fashion. When you mix and match, you’ve got to be careful that it doesn’t come off sounding kooky. Plaid and polka-dots don’t work no matter the color scheme. 

Idiosyncractic as it is, the name combo Barack Obama works simply because it sings. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. First and last name fit perfectly. It helps that his first and surname are from a distinct religion/region. Michelle Obama also works but imagine if our First Lady was Condoleeza. Let’s say it slowly. Condoleeezzzaa Obaaaama

Gross, right?

And with that said, let’s segue to a story that underscores why I feel it’s important to give a child a sound name or one that has meaning or a damn good story. After all, they’ll have to carry that name for the rest of their lives unless they’re willing to spend ducats to legally undo the damage you’ve selfishly imposed on them. Might as well give them a a name they can feel proud of versus one where they’ll spend most of kindergarten and beyond cringing during attendance roll call. 

With that said, I present to you Marijuana Pepsi Jackson

Police years ago pulled over a young woman who rushed through an amber traffic light. “I’m about to arrest this person right now,” the irritated officer radioed to a dispatcher. “She’s telling me her name is Marijuana Pepsi Jackson.”

It’s the truth. Marijuana and Pepsi are her legal first and middle names, and the Beloit woman embraces them as a symbol of her struggle to succeed and to help other children overcome obstacles.

No Mary or Mary Jane or Mary Wanda for her. It’s Marijuana, thank you, she’s told bosses, co-workers and friends over the years, and even wore it on nametags at work.

See what I’m saying? – MJ

 

 


Much to do about the dress

In Fashion, Michelle Obama, Politics on January 21, 2009 at 1:59 am

Hmm…what would I wear if my hubby were being sworn in as president of the most powerful country in the world. Dunno. Which is why I could care less that Michelle’s Isabel Toledo number received mixed reviews. Some have said that the gems were a bit much and the dress – tres Jackie O, methinks – is overdone as well. As I said, dunno what I’d don if I or my hubby were being sworn in as the 44th president but whatever I chose to wear, best believe it’d be over the top, overdone, sparkly, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I mean given the historic/memorable factor thingy, could you blame me? 

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And then there was this number for the inaugural ball or balls, 10 in total. Here’s a pic of the Obamas during their first dance. I’m on the prowl for more pictures, preferably of Michelle and her much-anticipated ball gown designed by 26-year-old Jason Wu, a former student of Project Runway fashion guru, Tim Gunn.

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The Inauguration Report from BK

In Humor, Personal, Politics on January 20, 2009 at 3:10 pm
USA Today        USA Today

 

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10:07 am

Wow. It’s exactly 10:07 a.m. Crazy. In a little less than two hours Barack Obama will be sworn as the 44th president of the United States of America . My palms are sweaty. I’m emotional. One of my closest friends called me a short while ago. She was in tears. She couldn’t believe that she was at work while this historical event is unfolding. I’m in my mother’s bedroom, taking it all in on television, I told her. I suppose it’s not about the what ifs, or should of, or could of. I suppose it’s about taking it all in no matter where you are. It’s about recognizing that something awesome is happening. What. A. Feeling.

10:12 a.m

Watching the Today Show. Caribbean folks always have to represent and of course in Chocolate City, they are representing strong. Saw a Haitian flag (go Haiti!) in the crowd. Not sure who the reporter was but this reporter was interviewing a person of West Indian descent, who was talking a mixed CD he made with lots of Bob Marley tunes. He said something positive the inauguration though I can’t recall what exactly that was. I was too fixated on the Haitian flag fluttering in the background.

10:20

No disrespect. I collect shot glasses. I need to buy a shot glass with Barack Obama’s face emblazoned on it. Random thought for sure.

10: 21

This sucks. Why am I not in D.C.? I had lodging options and also a free magazine party to attend on Sunday. Sigh. WTF? My D.C. pals will never let me forget this major faux pas. I mean I’m broke but even that’s no excuse. I read reports of unemployed people with mouths to feed who have traveled from as far as Texas to D.C. to experience this once in a lifetime moment. Be back in a few. Going to dunk my head in the toilet cause I’m feeling like an ass right now.

12:44 p.m.

Wow. Shivers. Great speech. I never sang the national anthem with so much passion. Loved the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery’s benediction. Goose bumps. Hair standing. Wow!

1:00 p.m.

Preparing to head out. Need a celebratory lunch. Feeling very festive. Feeling proud to be an American. Woo hoo! Throwing one of my several Obama tees. Palm still sweating. What a feeling. Wow! 

1:19 p.m.

Let’s get involved. President Barack Obama has called on all of us to do our part. We have to our part and choose hope over fear. Ready to do your part? Go here to learn more.

6:02 p.m.

Watching the inauguration parade on CNN. Can’t wait to see what Michelle O wears to the inaugural ball.

10:01 p.m. Decided that I like Michelle’s dress. It’s fresh, flirty and young but not in a weird way that plays against her age. Mm…Barack sure can move those hips. Oh, but wait…where was I?

12 a.m. The Barack fest has come to an end. I literally watched on MSNBC this beautiful couple attend 6 balls. I’m fatigued. Heading to bed. Gotta wake up bright and fresh for a new day under a new president. What. A. Feeling.- MJ

Taken by Associated Press

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President Barack H. Obama’s inauguration speech.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Dat Lovey Dovey – the Obamas.

In Politics, Relationships on October 2, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Months ago I told my friends I thought the Obamas were the couple to eye. The love between Barack and Michelle is beyond visible, it’s captivating. I certainly can’t get enough of these two.

*Gush, gush.  Would someone please pass the popcorn?*

The Obamas recently celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary.

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The beginning.

See what Huffington Post bloggers say about the Obamas‘ relationship. While you’re at it, check out this really cool slide show that will surely leave you chanting, “Yes, we can!”

The Obamas are an example why I scoff when people spew acrid crap about relationships such as men ain’t fill-in-the-blank; women are fill-in-the-blank; love is fill-in-the-blank.

There are LOSERS on the prowl, and these LOSERS are quite deft at masking their ill intentions. But I refuse to let LOSERS win.

Boo, LOSERS!

Speaking of LOSERS and totally hoping McCain and Palin will be among the defeated bunch, I’d like to segue to a related matter about voting. Please be sure that you’re registered to vote cuz, like, you can’t vote if you’re not registered.

What I’m saying is you’ll be turned away when you arrive at the polling booth and that might look, um, embarrassing considering you had like forever to register. Know what I’m saying?

Now that I’ve done my public service announcement bit, I’m rerouting the convo back to fawning over the Obamas.  Ah, yes we can.

*More gushing.*

*MJ is blasting Stevie’s “Do I Do”. *

My life has been waiting for your love
My arms have been waiting for your love to arrive
My heart has been waiting
My soul anticipating your love, your love, your love

...Do I do, do I do
What you do, what you do
When I do my love to you

*MJ is now bopping to Chris Brown’s “With You,” – a downgrade from Stevie’s classic but still a snappy ditty considering the garbage out there nowadays.*

…and the hearts all over the world tonight.

*Improvising*

Ooh, yeah, ooooh, yeah…the hearts, I said, the hearts…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago’s South Side

In Michelle Obama, Politics on September 11, 2008 at 5:11 am

I’m taking a detour from this blog’s Caribbean focus to Chicago’s South Side. Expect this to happen from time to time, I mean with this being a blog and all.

Given the presidential election that’s less than two months away and the fierceness that is Michelle Obama gracing a plethora of magazine covers, this deviation is timely and warranted. I mean sheese, it’s Michelle. I’m a fan. A major fan. There’s a legion of us who are. Just check out the blogosphere. Michelle’s a bad mamma jamma: fashionably fierce, a seemingly loving mom, wife, lawyer, ivy leaguer, sistah, better dancer than Barack (see Ellen Sept. 8 YouTube video below) etc.

I may start a scrapbook for the sole purpose of chronicling all things Michelle. I love Barack too but it’s a slightly lesser love and somewhat salacious. Barack is charismatic, smart and sexy. Yes, I said sexy. His brain is sexy. When I look at Barack I totally understand why some women drop their undies for politicians. Err…OK, maybe my moral being won’t allow me to completely understand the swap-your-panty-for-a-political-romp but you get my drift.

Anywho, with Michelle it’s like I’m star struck – like gazing at a big sister with pride and brimming with the feeling that damn, she’s well put together, she’s making it happen, I want to follow suit. Michelle is a symbol of the saying that goes something like, “Beside every strong man stands a strong woman.” If I were to ever meet Michelle I would totally fawn and yes, unabashedly, I’m admitting that. Then I’d cry because I’d be overjoyed.  Perhaps because of nerves and all I’d tell her about the guy who broke my heart and the guy who helped me believe in love again.

She’d grease my scalp because that’s what big sisters do. Of course I’d continue to prattle about love won and loss, my career, and life in general, and oh yeah, the political scene. Like, I’d totally want to dish about the behind-the-scene stuff. The stuff that hasn’t been reported on.

I could totally envision Michelle tenderly parting my hair and nodding as I babble, head tilted.  She may suggest a perm or that I invest in a high-end flat iron like the one she uses to get her hair all super bouncy. I would so oblige because who says no to Michelle? I’d ask, “Think I should get a texturizer, Michelle?” After all, it’s supposedly less harsh than a perm that straightens. Anywho, Michelle’s awesome. The Obamas are awesome. Michelle is amazingly awesome. She’s fan-ta-bu-lous. I totally needed to get that off my chest. Thanks for putting up with my rant. – MJ