Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Halle a day

keeps the doctors away

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Paula Deen couldn't see him standing against that dark board

Yes she went there.
 And so sad that her grandfather killed himself because his slaves were emancipated and he didn't know what to do?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Come to think of it...

Paula Deen deserves to be called out, but Antonin Scalia is on a whole other level. He is a dangerous man with way too much influence due to his lifetime appointment to the bench. He needs to be impeached. He is not suited for his role as a justice of anything. He's a fascist and a poor excuse for an American. His constitution says whatever he wants to make up in the moment. What happened with the Voting Rights act has got very little coverage and neither has the direct impact where states which previously had their unconstitutional voter laws struck down, are now literally tripping over themselves to re-enact them. People, the GOP are trying to steal the election and only YOU have the power to make sure this does not happen because the highest law of the land just stuck two fingers up at democracy with this ruling.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Would We Be Having This Conversation---

One thing about me

The Infinity Bridge in Dubai
I take life seriously. Some people don't.
I take love seriously. Some people don't. 
I take friendships seriously. Some people don't.
I take relationships seriously. Some people don't.
I take my job seriously. Some people don't.
I take karma seriously. Some people don't.    And when they don't, they wonder why bad things
                                                                    keep happening to them. They ask my opinion, and so
                                                                    I tell them:
                                                                    I take life seriously. They don't.
                                                                    I take love seriously. They don't. 
                                                                    I take friendships seriously. They don't.
                                                                    I take relationships seriously. They don't.
                                                                    I take my job seriously. They don't.
                                                                    I take karma  (reaping & sowing) very seriously. They don't.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Less than zero

If you lower your expectations of certain people down to zero, they will never disappoint you again.

Paula Deen Hires Real-Life Crisis Fixer Who Inspired Scandal's Olivia Pope

Paula Deen is in full-on crisis mode -- and she's brought out a big gun in the hopes of reviving her ruined reputation following last week's N-word disaster. (The fired Food Network star broke down in tears Wednesday morning on the Today Show speaking to Matt Lauer about the ongoing fracas.) And, a source tells Us Weekly the celebrity chef, 66, has hired none other than Scandal's Olivia Pope! Well, sort of.

A source tells Us Weekly the Lady and Sons proprietor has been "making desperate calls to top crisis PR firms" after Food Network and Smithfield both dropped her in the wake of the scandal, with other partnerships and business ventures on thin ice as well. "She ended up with Judy Smith," the source reveals. Smith, 54, is a Washington, D.C.-based crisis management expert who has worked with the likes of Monica Lewinsky and Michael Vick -- and famously inspired Olivia Pope, the fictional DC "fixer" on ABC's Scandal played by Kerry Washington

Quips the source: "It's good, because only Olivia Pope could help her now!" The New York Post's Page Six first reported the possibility of Deen hiring Smith. Said Star Jones of the DC insider: "I've got her number on speed dial . . . If I listened to her advice more often, I wouldn't have gotten into half the trouble I'm in."

Choking back sobs, Deen addressed the camera on the Today Show Wednesday morning, pleading "If there's anyone out there that have never said something that they wish they could take back. If you're out there please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me. Please, I want to meet you. I is what I is, and I'm not changing."

A little too late for her 'acts of contrition'. Her brand is dropping quicker than shit in the toilet.

Song in my head

Monday, June 24, 2013

Life finds a way!

History Expects You


Is what I tell people quite often. I even sent this link to a Facebook friend of mine who posted a pic of two older women kissing. He said the pic made him vomit in his mouth.  After I posted this link on his page, all he said was that he understood. I didn't have to say anything.



All her life she had to fight

Funny how time flies

My nephew graduated from high school last week, in Madison Wisconsin, and I was there to share in the special event.

It's hard to believe that 17 years flew by. It didn't seem that long ago that I was holding him in my arms, that I was feeding him.

When he walked across the stage, I was teary-eyed. I am a proud uncle.

He never caused my sister, not one second of heartbreak. When his siblings ( my sister's other kids were adopted and some were her husband's kids) have been in and out and in and out of jail and never graduated, I asked him what kept him on and the straight and narrow, and he said, three things;  football, and he saw his mother cry because of the agony his siblings caused, and he never wanted to make his mother sad. And me. He always wanted me to be proud of him.  That really touched my heart. 

After God, and his mom, I am perhaps his biggest cheerleader!
Our cousins showed up too.
I really enjoyed my time in Madison. I was around lots and lots and lots of black folk; my sister had quite a few events planned to celebrate his graduation, and I savored every moment because for once I was not the only black person around. There were at least 50 in her home at at time. Like a fish in water, I was soaking it all up. The blackness. I wanted to drown in it. For the first time in  a long time I didn't stand out. No one asked me how I knew the the host. I felt good.  It was like getting a fix, and I tried to get as high as I could off the blackness because I knew I'd have to go back to Portland in a few days where I always stood out any where I went. Being in my sister's home was like being in Fontenay Sus Bois, the Parisienne suburb I stayed in when I went to Paris last year; Africans all over the place. I was in heaven.
Well, I'm back home now.      :(

The Black Woman

From the sands of EGYPT you rose
Coffee and carmel coated
From your head to your toes
Made of mud with perfect curvatures
No need for clothes
Naturally strong hair
Full lips and nose

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Janet is leaving the Rhythm Nation for an Islamic One

(I've heard this before. I dont believe it's true)

Singer Janet Jackson had a widely celebrated wedding to billionaire Wissam Al Mana just a few months ago.  You might have heard that the wedding cost millions of dollars, and since that time, Janet hasn’t done any acting or released any music.
It has since been reported that Janet has moved to the Middle East and converted to Islam.  Surprisingly, she also has disavowed music and left the industry entirely.  Janet says that part of the reason she wants to leave music is so that she and her husband can live a private life away from the media.
Al Mana made his fortune through the Al Mana Retail group, which is owned and controlled by his family.
This is Janet Jackson’s third marriage and her last major media appearance was in a Tyler Perry film, “Why Did I Get Married?” 
Janet is now 47-years old and still looking great.  She got her big break in 1982 after releasing the album control.   We will always love Janet, whether she lives in the US, the middle east or anywhere else.

--courtesy ,

Paula Deen suffers from 'Type 2 racism,' says 'The Daily Show'

Paula Deen has had a rough week. The Food Network star renowned for her gluttonous cuisine became the target of widespread derision after she admitted to past use of the N-word. On Thursday night, “The Daily Show, suggested the chef suffers from “Type 2 racism.”
Host John Oliver began by wondering exactly which N-word Deen uttered because, he joked, “I know it wasn’t nonfat.”
Like many, he was reluctant to believe that Deen, with her warm Southern charm, ever harbored any bigoted sentiment.  Even if she had used the N-word, he argued, it doesn’t necessarily make her a racist. After all, “maybe the word just slipped out when she was rapping along to the Wu Tang Clan in some sort of innocent karaoke mishap.”
More problematic for Oliver was Deen’s idea for a plantation-themed wedding: “Everyone dressed in crisp white linen, and instead of rings the bride and groom exchange slaves. And after the reception, the Union army comes through and burns everything to the ground.”
As Oliver noted, this isn’t the first time Deen has been the subject of controversy: Last year, she was criticized for waiting three years to disclose her Type 2 diabetes diagnosis, all the while peddling decadent dishes (e.g. deep-fried, bacon-wrapped macaroni and cheese) to the American public.
“I’m not surprised she was diagnosed with diabetes,” he said. “I’m surprised they didn’t rename diabetes the ‘Paula Deen syndrome.’”
Oliver was eventually joined by correspondent Jessica Williams, who urged caution because Deen "clearly suffers from Type 1 or Type 2 racism.”

As Williams explained using pitch-perfect faux-medical jargon, “Type 1 racism” is an inherited condition and "there is reason to believe that Deen’s ancestors had a strong strand of the racism gene." Cue footage of Deen on NBC’s genealogy program, “Who Do You Think You Are,” noting that her family owned "a lot" of slaves -- 35, to be exact. 
“You know what else is a lot? One. One slave is a lot, Paula Deen,” Williams exclaimed, prompting boisterous applause from the audience.
 “If her family owned slaves, that is pretty strong evidence that her racism is Type 1?” Oliver wondered.
Not so fast: Williams claimed it was still possible that Deen was afflicted by "Type 2 racism," an adult-onset form of the illness developed "after years of clogging your brains with pure, saturated Dixie nostalgia.”
Luckily, Williams explained, there are treatments available, including a Nicorette-like patch that helps “suppress the urge to blurt out anything offensive.” (No points for guessing what it’s called.)
The patch would allow Deen to live a long, healthy life, at least until she “chokes on a sausage fritter or drowns in a vat of butter.”
In the end, Oliver was impressed by the sympathy his colleague showed toward “someone who’s said such horrible, hurtful things.”
“Oh please,” Williams replied, “Paula Deen’s words aren’t hurting black people anywhere near as much as her recipes are.”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

1,000 Deaths / D'angelo

Today is June 19th

Juneteenth day TODAY celebrates and symbolizes the end of slavery in the United States. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. But, it was not until June 19, 1865 that all slaves were finally freed. That concluding event was when General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas with his troops and issued Order Number 3 which finally freed the last of the slaves.
The formal end of slavery was marked by the passing of the 13th amendment of the constitution.

This isn't acknowledged in Portland Oregon,  that I know of, since I haven't heard any mention of it here. But then again, my world here is as different from my world in Milwaukee Wisconsin as night is from day.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The things I don't remember

  • The most traumatic experience of my life- being inside a warm womb filled with liquid, growing for months and then suddenly being forced out into the open world having to breathe on my own.
  • Being connected to my birth mother by an umbilical cord filled with blood that carried oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood from the placenta to me.
  • I don't remember when or if I was breastfed. 
  • I don't remember if I fell asleep on my birth mother 's chest or if I fell asleep on my mother's chest.
  • I don't remember having met my father, or my older sibling, or even if I had an older brother or sister.
  • I don't remember the thrill of standing on my own two feet for the first time, and moving.
  • I don't remember a time when I felt no fear whatsoever. 
  • The feeling of being totally and completely in the moment.The older we get, the more we get caught up in time and what we need to be doing in the future. 
  • The feeling of being 100 percent in the moment with nothing else on our minds is an amazing feeling.
  • I don't remember the first time I heard myself  laughing.
  • I don't remember the first time I recognize my reflection in the mirror.
  • I don't remember the smell of baby powder on my skin.
  • I don't remember the first time I felt loved.

Sometimes I wish

I didn't care. I think my blood pressure would be improved if I wasn't motivated to put in 100% when others put in 0%  which seems to be enough.


What if?

I wonder how different I would be if I had a father or other man in my life to have taught me life lessons when I was growing up?
I always envy guys who had dads that would teach them things boys should know. Like how to throw a ball. Or hit a ball with a bat. Or how to play basketball. Or how to discuss football. Or how to talk to women. Or how to fight. Or how to be assertive and not so malleable .

(Between God, you and myself- I panic when guys wanna talk about some football game because I only know about touchdowns-I can bs my way around it through ). I know how to talk to women because I know what pisses them off and what what makes them smile, and I know how to fight, though my last fight I was in 6th grade.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Tell Me Something Good

De La Salle North senior Melaku Arega's determination takes him from ESL classes to Johns Hopkins University: Academic Achievers 2013

Melaku Arega, (center) and his family, (from left) Enat Arega, 17; Aster Birke; Addisu Wolde; Henock Arega, 11; and Hana Arega, 15 immigrated to Portland from Ethiopia to help the children get a better education. When Melaku Arega arrived, he struggled with English. But four years later, he worked hard to master the language and earn admission to Johns Hopkins University on a full-ride through a Gates Millennium Scholar scholarship.

Melaku Arega would carry around a green notebook to copy down words he didn't understand. Conspicuous. Plummet. Harbinger. Every night, struggling with English after leaving Ethiopia for Portland in 2009, he would plunk open a dictionary and write down the definitions in careful lettering. Since then, Arega has come a long way and against long odds. Despite knowing little English four years ago, he's now finishing his senior year as the valedictorian and a top science and math student at De La Salle North Catholic High School. Then, he's off to Johns Hopkins University to study engineering on a full ride through a prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship. Arega is one of more than 500 Academic Achievers selected by metro area high schools to be featured in The Oregonian. The students kept up stellar grades throughout high school, with many distinguishing themselves through civic engagement and participation in extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs.

Education comes first 
His father, Addisu Wolde, first ventured to Portland alone with plans to bring his family along later. Arega and his sisters, Enat and Hana, soon followed, leaving behind their mother, Aster Birke, and younger brother, Henock, in Ethiopia. Arega said his work ethic was forged by a father who was constantly working to provide for them, at times sleeping for three or four hours at night before heading out again. Wolde had two jobs -- nursing assistant and translator -- so he could support them and send money to Ethiopia. On top of that, he took classes at Portland Community College, determined to become a registered nurse. When they did have time together, Wolde reminded his children why they were in America: to study, go to college and achieve a better life than they had in Ethiopia. "He always says, 'Education is the only reason you're here, so make me proud in whatever you do,'" Arega said. The experience forged independent children. Arega helped lead as they cleaned their two-bedroom apartment and cooked for each other. Back in Ethiopia, he used to write practice tests for his sisters from their schoolbooks. In America, he would check their homework before they went to bed. "He's the one telling the other kids, 'This is the way we have to focus,'" his father said. "He knows what to do and when to do it." That focus helped Arega learn English quicker than many of his peers. He started out at Jefferson High School, where he took English as a Second Language and standard English classes. He studied incessantly on his own. Too timid to practice with classmates, he would watch episodes of "Lost" and "Dexter" to imitate American accents. During the summer, he took a Portland Community College English class. He also got involved with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, whose mentoring program helped him connect with successful African immigrants. By the time he transferred to De La Salle North on a scholarship for his junior year, some of his new teachers and classmates could hardly detect an accent. With a newfound confidence, he got more involved with school, joining the Constitution team, the National Honors Society and student government. But his studies, as always, came first.
Just the beginning 
Teacher Scott Reis saw Arega's potential during his precalculus class, when the student humbly pointed out a mistake Reis had drawn on the board. Though Reis left the next year for Jesuit, he still met with Arega at the local library or a burger joint for tutoring in the AP Calculus exam, which Arega was eager to ace. Arega's mind is like a sponge, said Reis, and his focus can be unparalleled. "He sets the goal for himself, then he does it," he said. Earlier this year, Arega decided to study on his own for the notoriously difficult AP Physics test -- even though his school only offered a high school level physics class. He spent time after school with his physics teacher, Joe Shindler, and worked on every practice test he could find, going back to the 1970s. "He has that combination of motivation and fascination with science that really is unique," Shindler said. "In my four years here, he's the best student I've ever had." Both teachers are confident in Arega's scores, though results don't arrive until later this summer. Arega, who says math and science always came easily, feels like his hard work is finally paying off. On top of his scholarships and his acceptance to his No. 1 college, he also has his whole family back together again. His mother and brother immigrated to Portland earlier this year. Still, he knows there's much more to be done: His engineering programs and medical school will be harder than what he experienced in high school. He keeps his mind focused on the future, which he hopes includes building a medical clinic in his native Ethiopia. Maybe then, he said, he'll feel like he has finally made it. "This isn't success yet," he said. "This is just the beginning." -- Nicole Dungca
His achievements are made all the more impressive given the data documenting the struggles of students with limited English skills. Last year, only about half of those students in Oregon public schools graduated on time. And scholastic success can be even more difficult for students like Arega, who learn English later in their academic careers. Despite the difficulties, Arega never allowed himself to get discouraged. "Just coming here is such a big opportunity," said the 18-year-old. "That's the one thing that kept me going. My best choice was coming here and having the opportunity to be good at something."

This was the cover story of the local paper last week, The Oregonian. When I saw it, I smiled.I had to share it with you.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I promise

What's a lavender word for lynch?

I know I’m not sufficiently obscure
to please the critics-nor devious enough.
Imagery escapes me.
I cannot find those mild and gracious words
to clothe the carnage.

Blood is blood and murder’s murder.
What’s a lavender word for lynch?
Come, you pale poets, wan, refined and dreamy:
here is a black woman working out her guts
in a white man’s kitchen
for little money and no glory.
How should I tell that story?
There is a black boy, blacker still from death,
face down in the cold Korean mud.
Come on with your effervescent jive
explain to him why he ain’t alive.
Reword our specific discontent
into some plaintive melody,
a little whine, a little whimper,
not too much-and no rebellion!
God, no! Rebellion’s much too corny.
You deal with finer feelings,
very subtle-an autumn leaf
hanging from a tree-I see a body!

--Dorothy Durem

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Love Conversation

Dig if you will the picture

Dig if you will the picture
Of you and I engaged in a kiss
The sweat of your body covers me
Can you my darling
Can you picture this?

Dream if you can a courtyard
An ocean of violets in bloom
Animals strike curious poses
They feel the heat
The heat between me and you

How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that's so cold? (So cold)
Maybe I'm just too demanding
Maybe I'm just like my father too bold
Maybe you're just like my mother
She's never satisfied (She's never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other?
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry

Touch if you will my stomach
Feel how it trembles inside
You've got the butterflies all tied up
Don't make me chase you
Even doves have pride

How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world so cold? (World so cold)
Maybe I'm just too demanding
Maybe I'm just like my father too bold
Maybe you're just like my mother
She's never satisfied (She's never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other?
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry

How can you just leave me standing?
Alone in a world that's so cold? (A world that's so cold)
Maybe I'm just too demanding (Maybe, maybe I'm like my father)
Maybe I'm just like my father too bold (Ya know he's too bold)
Maybe you're just like my mother (Maybe you're just like my mother)
She's never satisfied (She's never, never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other? (Why do we scream? Why?)
This is what it sounds like

When doves cry
When doves cry (Doves cry, doves cry)
When doves cry (Doves cry, doves cry)

Don't Cry (Don't Cry)

When doves cry
When doves cry
When doves cry

When Doves cry (Doves cry, doves cry, doves cry)
Don't cry
Darling don't cry
Don't cry
Don't cry

Happy Birthday, Prince Roger Nelson!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Has any one ever told you that you look like Emmit Smith?     Yes. I went to an Indian restaurant on friday and had a free meal because they thought I was Emmit Smith. The same thing happened when I went to McDonalds saturday morning. I don't even look like him at all.
Why aren't you married yet?  Because I haven't found her yet.
All the Caseys in the family look alike. How come you don't look like them? Because I was adopted.
 When did you find out?    I was 44. My 10 yr old nephew he told me. Everyone knew but me.
How did your finding out make you feel? Relieved, actually, because I had suspected it since I was 8. 
You've been here over 5 yrs now. Do you like Portland yet? Nope.
 I have no idea what you do outside of work, other than reading, writing, and  baking.  Do you volunteer at any of the gay organizations in the city?    ( I didn't answer because the manager was trying to ask a question in a round-about way he knows is illegal to ask)
Why do you like French culture so much?  I don't know. I just do.
Do you have any friends that are not Asian? Yes, my best friend is white. I have some white friends,  Persian friends, Saudi Arabian friends, and a couple black friends, but my recent circle of friends are Asian.
You do know you'll never find a woman like Halle Berry, right?      I know that. I'm not looking for her.
What Caribbean Island are you from?    I'm from Brooklyn, but I was adopted, so I don't know where my people are from. 
You always look so mean. Why don't you smile?     I do, but I need a reason to smile. 
Do you see yourself spending the rest of your life in Portland?   HELL NO. 
Are you an undercover cop?   No.
Are you happy?   No.
When was the last time you were the happiest?  When I was in Paris.
When was the last time you were the saddest? When I was in Paris 
Why do you sleep so much on saturdays?     Because I'm up writing until 1 in the morning  monday through friday. I write at least a thousand words  a day.
You'll never find a black woman in Portland. Do you like white women? I like black women, asians, indians, persians, native american women, latinas, arabic women.

Aren't you lonely?    Yes, I am.
But you have over 250 Facebook friends. How can you be lonely?   Exactly. The keyword being 'friends'. Besides, with the exception of maybe 3 Facebook friends that are really friends, my other friends aren't even on Facebook. I hear from them alot, but they live far away. As a matter of fact, I have friends in Perth  Australia, Riyadh Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Venezuela, Ethiopia and Johannesburg South Africa, that I hear from more often then people who live about 10 miles away from me. And I don't even have to chase them down.
Is Alieux on your birth certificate?  I've never seen my actual birth certificate. What I thought was my birth certificate, I discovered, was my revised birth certificate. My real birth certificate is sealed and unavailable to me, along with the identification of my birth mother, birth father and siblings, Thank you New York City- but I digress.  I was told my birth first name is Alex. But my mother recently told me she named me Alex, and that my birth first name was Rodrigo. I have always loved that name. 
Aren't you lonely? Well, I guess I'm not. When I think of my friends outside of Oregon that call me regularly, I'm not lonely.
What is it about Portland that you don't like? You mean besides the rainy cloudy weather and the people? Yes, besides that? Nothing, that's it.

Overheard on the train home-

We can have a black President of the U.S. but we can't have a black Bachelor or Bachelorette?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pourquoi ?

 I just awakened from an interesting dream about 20 minutes ago. It's one of those dreams that had me lying there in my bed, looking at the ceiling and thinking, Oh, God, was that just a typical dream which is mostly thoughts that float around in one's head while sleeping, or was that a message from You? 
I had made a new friend. I can't remember his facial features. I remember him being distraught because he had a crush on someone. The woman was our new neighbor who I hadn't met or heard about yet, but he's seen her and he wasn't doing anything about it. I told him to "go after your dreams and to stop talking about it."

In the next scene, I was walking down the staircase with a poster of Halle Berry in my hands, and there she was, at the foot of my staircase, on her back, and my friend with his face between her legs which were spread wide. I was furious, and angry, not with him, but with myself.
I yelled at him:

Pourquoi faites-vous ceci ? (why did you do this?)

And he said something which will carry with me all day today:    "You said to go after your dreams and to stop talking about it."

You can't control what you dream about

I thought, well, I am going after my dreams. I'm passionate about baking and writing. And then I asked God, "Are you telling me that I need to try even harder?" 

Then I thought, well, maybe God is telling me to try harder to find the woman He's preparing for me. And thought I smiled, thinking that perhaps He's ready for me to find her-


It would be great if we could recognize the difference between what we feel and what's real.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Yolanda Adams-How Great Thou Art

Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Note to self

Don't base your decisions on the advice of people who don't have an investment in the end result.