Mama’s Year in Review: Part One

When I was a wee girl, my mama used to say that the older one gets, the faster time flies. I have never felt this more than in 2015. I can’t believe that in just a short week, we will be writing 2016 on our checks when I only just stopped writing 2014 in June. So, last night looked around and reflected to put this entire year in perspective. Although I know there are a host of horrible things humankind did to humankind this year (e.g., ISIS murders, bombing in Paris, continued racial profiling), I decided to list some events that reflected people and things that simply warmed my heart, made me cheer or got a chuckle out of me. (These are in no particular order.)

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Adele: Adele released her newest album, 25, with her first blockbuster single “Hello.” Her sultry, sexy voice combined with her mature lyrics produces an image of an old-fashioned, smoky piano bar with a woman planted tentatively on a stool singing ballad and blues about timeless themes. In fact, it is hard to believe that Adele is a woman in her 20s. Her looks, attitude, and music reflect the life of a more seasoned lady.

The Year of the Woman: It seems that every time I turned around I was witness to another powerful woman breaking barriers and squashing stereotypes in sports, entertainment, and politics. Amen!

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Misty Copeland
  • Let’s start with the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team winning the World Cup for the first time in 16 years. A big congratulations to these super female athletes. Then, WNBA star and Olympic medalist, Becky Hammon made history when she accepted the position as the first female assistant coach for a professional men’s team. Thumbs up for the San Antonio Spurs!
  • In entertainment, Misty Copeland became the first African-American principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. Other African-American woman made waves in Hollywood. Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, and Regina King all won Emmys this September.
  • In politics, both Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Carly Fiorina have changed the landscape for women in politics. Clinton has proven she can play in the big leagues with the heavy hitters and she is adept at using their own strategies against them. Fiorina has demonstrated that she can take on the insanity of Donald Trump and other male contenders in a classy and expedient manner. Who knows? Maybe we will have a woman president one day soon.

McDonalds Serves Breakfast All Day: I love breakfast, and when I heard Mickey D’s was serving it all day now, I was over the moon with delight. Why? Sometimes a girl just needs a quick egg on the go. You know what I mean? I know most items on the breakfast menu are full of fat, sugar and calories, but my favorite item is the Egg McMuffin, which according to my former Weight Watchers teacher is the best choice in terms of fat, protein and carbs. So, hand over that quasi-healthy breakfast sandwich even if it is 2 in the afternoon.

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The Fall of the Confederate Flag: Boom! Finally! The South Carolina state legislature voted to remove the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds. Unfortunately, it took the devastating massacre of 9 people at the Mother Emmanuel AME Church to do so. It is a lesson to all that symbols are powerful, words do matter, and discrimination should never be tolerated particularly at the government level.

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Elle King: Elle King, 26 year-old daughter of comedian Rob Schneider and model/actress London King, hit the music scene with her song “Exs and Ohs” from her album Love Stuff like Dorothy’s house landing on the Wicked Witch. Her voice is so reminiscent of Janis Joplin that my husband thought I was playing a Joplin record. Although she attended the University of the Arts in Philidelphia, she is also a self-taught musician, falling in love with the banjo and listening to country music until she was so adept at it, she could write songs for the banjo. King is a self-proclaimed “bad ass” with tattoos and a unique sound that mixes country, blues, rock and soul. She doesn’t own a computer, prefers mimosas, and her songs make bold social statements. If you haven’t seen or heard it yet, I encourage you to listen to “Good to Be a Man” from her album The Elle King EP. Better yet, watch the video; it’s hysterical.

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Inside Out: I must have been living under a rock because when I took my children to see Inside Out, I had no idea what it was about. Aren’t pleasant surprises wonderful? I was delighted by the whole shebang: the writing, the actors, the art, the plot. The premise of personifying emotions was brilliant, and the idea that each emotion is necessary is a wonderful message for kids to learn—that it’s okay to be angry and sad sometimes. After all, that is the way we are made. I’m not sure my children got that deep with the movie, but I loved it.

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That Sugar Film: Okay, this documentary debuted in 2014, but I did not watch it until 2015. I am often behind the times, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to share this wonderful film with my plethora of readers. This Australian film follows Damon Gameau in his quest to answer the much debated question: Which is worse for you, sugar or fat? His focus was on sugar, and since he had not eaten refined sugar in several years, he offered his body as the guinea pig for this experiment. I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but I will say I learned a great deal about the power of the sugar industry and its glorious history, the effects of sugar on the body, and why we should not be concerned with healthy fats. Let’s just say my husband watched it with me, and he gave up sugars that evening. (Of course, he has the will power of a stubborn ass…me, not so much.) I am trying slowly to get the sugar out of my house to start my withdrawal on January 1.

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Stay tuned for Mama’s Year in Review: Part II

 

Highlights of the Republican Debate, June 2015

imagesLast night I watched the Republican Presidential Candidate Debate on Fox News. For those who missed this highly entertaining piece of television, I will remind you of the gentlemen (no women candidates) who were present for the debate: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, John Kaisch. Did I leave someone out?

images-2Some of the highlights for me where as follows:

Illegal Immigration
Donald Trump took full credit for bringing illegal immigration to the forefront. He did not provide any proof that the Mexican government is sending criminals to the U.S. However, Trump did state that the Mexican leaders are smarter than our U.S. leaders. Then, Trump called the U.S. leaders stupid repeatedly. He may have something there, but it felt highly disrespectful. The Dixie Chicks lost their entire career for saying much less.

Scott Walker was called on his change in opinion about illegal immigration—he no longer supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Why? Because he listened to the American people. Hum, why wasn’t he listening before?

Marco Rubio seemed the most knowledgeable on immigration stating that most immigrants today are coming from Central American. He was calm, rationale and articulate throughout most of the debate. Someone that articulate and knowledgeable doesn’t have a chance in this race with big mouths.

Ted Cruz called the current leaders in Washington the “Washington Cartel.” Wow! I have no words for that one.

Civil Liberties vs. Protection from Terrorists
Chris Christie and Rand Paul debated the merits of “spying” on American citizens to oust terrorists. Civil liberties vs. hunting for jihad? I am all for the protection of civil liberties, but Rand made a fool out of himself when he said he only wanted to spy on the bad guys. Duh!

Ben Carson did not come out and say he would bring back waterboarding if he were president. Rather, he said, “What we do in order to get the information we need, is our business, and I would not tell people what we’re going to do.” Human rights? Maybe, maybe not. It seemed optional to him. Continue reading “Highlights of the Republican Debate, June 2015”