Vigilante

One of my favorite shows is a British drama called Luther, starring Idris Elba.  Some friends of mine told me about it in 2012.  I didn’t realize that they’d released a third season in 2013 until a few nights ago, so I’ve been playing catch up. This evening, I watched the third episode of the season, about a vigilante killer. The guy’s wife had been raped and murdered by someone who had been convicted of armed robbery, but who got out early for “good behavior”. In the husband’s mind, if the guy had served his full term, he wouldn’t have been free to commit the rape and murder. He then started looking at other cases where either the perpetrator got off on a technicality, or justice wasn’t served fully in some other way. He decides that he’s going to take things into his own hands and goes about starting to kill these people. Continue reading

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Penny Hardaway? A Blast from the Past!

from youtube.com

from youtube.com

I just watched an awesome video!  It’s part of ESPN’s E:60 series, which I hadn’t known about until my brother sent me the link to this particular video.  It’s the story of Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, a former NBA All-Star going back to his hometown of Binghampton, TN, to help one of his childhood friends coach a middle school team.  The team – the Lester Middle School Lions – went on to win the state championship that year and the following year.  It was a wonderful “feel good” story about a guy I hadn’t heard much about in a loooooong time. Continue reading

Reflections on Race in my Life

Today I took the boys down to the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the national mall. The Park Rangers were holding an educational event for children, and I wanted them to participate. I didn’t have much hope for Joshua, the three-year-old, getting too much out of the visit other than exercise, but I hoped that Jalen would start to learn some things.

After we parked, we had a little hike to the memorial. Jalen asked me where we were going and why, and I started trying to explain the nuances of racism and how Dr. King fought for equality for all. Joshua interrupted to ask, “Why are we black, mommy? Is it because we have black clothes?”

You can always count on Joshua for a laugh!  Lol.

I remember a time I went to my dad with my own questions about racism. It happened my first black history month in college. Continue reading

I Get By With A Lil Help…

Today at my church, we executed almost flawlessly on the idea my pastor had for how the service should flow. He allowed us to be a little creative, and it worked wonderfully. Tonight I feel the need to say thank you to the many people in my life who help me whenever I need it, who go along with what ever crazy idea I’m looking to bring to reality, who offer advice and encouragement – to my friends. “Friends” here includes family members, people who I’ve known for years, those I’ve just met, and so on. It’s just a broad category for trying to capture the people who have helped and continue to help me in various aspects of my life.   Because I would never be able to name every single person, I’m simply going to list broad areas here, so that I don’t unintentionally hurt anyone by not including their name.

Thanks to the people who say yes when I ask them to do something: those who readily agree, those who give in to my smiling persistence, and those who just indulge me. Continue reading

O Death, Where is Thy Sting?

Today I finished Oonya Kempadoo’s All Decent Animals.  I was disappointed.  For the most part, I’m a “give-me-closure” type of reader.  I don’t like ambiguity or confusion at the end of a book.  What’s the point?  Now, there are times when it’s done well.  Delores Phillip’s The Darkest Child is a good example.  There were a couple of loose ends – characters you never found out what happened to, and the book ended on two of the characters about to start a new life, but to me, that was a good resolution to the book.  (Actually, the book was so dark that at times, you were praying for it to end!  It was really a good read though; pick it up if you have a chance).  But Decent Animals?  While the description of Trinidad is on point, and the dialect written perfectly (I could hear Trinis speaking in my head!!), I have no idea what happened to Phillip (I can make a guess, but I don’t want to guess; I want to know!), and didn’t understand what Ata’s problem was, and that was disappointing to me.  I’ll be interested to hear what the book club girls think about this one.  I’m giving 2 1/2 stars.

Yesterday the book inspired me to write about the ethics of letting sexual partners know if you have an STD.  Today it’s prompting me to write about how we deal with death and how sometimes we can be ridiculous about it.   Continue reading

Don’t Keep This Secret

Image courtesy of [Phaitoon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.ne

Image courtesy of [Phaitoon] / FreeDigitalPhotos.ne

I’m moving through my January book club book – All Decent Animals – by Oonya Kempadoo. I still haven’t figured out where it’s going, as there are several story lines, but one interesting issue it’s raised is the ethics involved in deciding whether to tell your sexual partners that you have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease. One of the characters in the book is HIV positive – it is now showing symptoms of having become AIDS – and he is refusing the advice of friends that he needs to inform his partners. Continue reading

Blah

I don’t know what to write about this evening.  The truth is that I don’t feel like writing anything and am trying to figure out how to get out 500 words. It’s not that there’s nothing to write about – I could write about my recent experience helping my first-grader with his science fair project (however, it was painful; so I don’t feel like revisiting right now).  I could write about how the three-year-old and I went to the pediatrician today and he recalled the Daniel Tiger episode he’d seen about Daniel Tiger visiting the doctor, but I don’t feel like it. (Daniel Tiger will get his own blog entry sometime before January is finished though). I could write about how the dealer promised I’d have my car back on Tuesday and tomorrow is Thursday and I still don’t have said car. Eh. Continue reading

Reality Check

I am listening to What is the What as my current audiobook.  It’s the autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, written by Dave Eggers.  It’s taking me a while to get through it.  For one thing – it’s a long book.  I’ve finished the first part and am on the second part which, where I have about 6 hours more to listen to.  Then, I’ll move on to part three, which is also another six hours.  But the real reason I’m moving so slowly is that the story is awful.

It details Deng’s experience as one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”, which, according to Wikipedia, ” is the name given to the groups of over 20,000 boys of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983 to 2005).”   Continue reading

Burt’s Bees and My Overactive Imagination

Tonight, my cousin told me that she thought something was wrong with her two-year-old son’s bedroom.  He seems to have fits of coughing when he sleeps in there, but seems much better when he’s in other rooms.  She’s having her air ducts cleaned again and will be turning his room inside out – also again – all in hopes of eliminating whatever it is that may be causing him to cough.  The poor little man has already spent a couple of days in the hospital due to respiratory problems, and we’re all praying that he doesn’t have asthma.  Of course, asthma is completely controllable, but it’s not something you want to deal with if you don’t have to.

My cousin is dealing with a real health issue with her son.  This morning, I manufactured a health problem for mine.  I was eating breakfast with my youngest, Johsua the three-year-old, and he asked for a piece of my English muffin. Continue reading

The Poor You Have With You Always

Image courtesy of [graur razvan ionut] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of [graur razvan ionut] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This evening I went into my Pocket (see yesterday’s post for details on Pocket) and read the article “20 Things the Poor Really Do Every Day” on Ben Irwin’s blog.  It was written in response to an article on Dave Ramsey’s blog – “20 Things the Rich Do Every Day“.  I loved Mr. Irwin’s article.  I should let you know up front that I’m a graduate – twice – of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  I now teach a small group when we offer the class at our church.  We practice several of his recommendations at home.  I am an accountability partner for at least two friends. I, for the most part, agree with what he says.  But I was disappointed by the what-the-rich-do article.  Especially this line that Dave used in the comments that he appended to the list after, apparently, all hell broke loose when the blog was first published:  This list simply says your choices cause results. You reap what you sow.

Really?  The poor reap what they sow?  They choose to be poor? Continue reading