W.T.H. !! (What The Hell)

August 6, 2012 – In less than a month, I will move out of the house I’ve called home for the last 11 years and 2 months. It has been he longest I’ve lived in one place my entire life.

When I purchased my home in June 2001, cable lines had not yet been buried, the subdivision was very diverse, and seeing deer in the yard wasn’t a rare occasion. With the fast paced development between 2001 and 2008, all of that changed. My home sits on nearly a half acre with three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, dining room, and family room with an unfinished basement and a HUGE garage. It was more house than I needed out in B.F.E., East Bumblefuck, but it was what I could afford at the time.

I took my time and decorated it with warm colors and comfortable furniture. I installed every blind, window treatment and painted the walls. Truthfully, every painting project, with one exception, was done after a painful break-up – there were only two but I managed to cover a lot of walls while working through the sadness.

The first five years I had the best looking yard in the subdivision. I spent a lot of time caring for and nurturing my lawn and garden. I loved every minute of it!

I have hosted a few memorable parties with close friends and family as well as providing a few of them with a place to live during their periods of life transitions.

Several years ago I realized my commute had greatly diminished my quality of life. Driving 100+ miles roundtrip every day meant I spent approximately 15-18 hours a week in my car – that’s a part-time job!! I was tired and frustrated. So I put the house on the market in 2010 – the timing could not have been worse.

The real estate agent I enlisted to sell my home assured me she ad the experience and skills needed to get it sold, even in a soft market. Foolishly, I believed her and here I sit 2 1/2 years later.

Like millions of other homeowners in the US, my home’s value was hit hard when the economy tanked in 2008. My small subdivision of 24 homes has seen its fair share of foreclosures subsequently causing a 45-50% loss in home values. After having my home on the market for 2+ years, in March I made the business decision to walk away – to let it go into foreclosure.

This was not an easy decision and one I came to after the bank refused to agree to a short sale since I wasn’t faced with a financial hardship (i.e. job loss). A loan modification wasn’t a viable option because most come with clauses that you have to remain in the house for at least 5 years.

Now I begin the next chapter of my life. At a time when most my age would be content, I am downsizing and purging. Purging more than just material possessions, but that is another topic for a different day.

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Before Tuesday, August 7th, had you heard the names of Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper or Kellie Wells? What about Lolo Jones?

If you are a casual follower of Track & Field competitors, and by casual I mean rarely until Olympic season, the answer to the first question is probably ‘No’. But we’ve all heard and seen Lolo Jones.

This post was prompted by a Twitter exchange with @HumanityCritic that began with the following tweet.

That was his reaction to an interview Harper and Wells did with NBC’s Michelle Beadle. (Click HERE to watch the video.)

Initially, I totally disagreed with @HumanityCritic about his assertion this amounted to nothing more than a catfight. I blame the media for hyping their chosen favorite, Lolo Jones, although statistically she trailed both Harper and Wells. Although I understand Harper’s & Well’s frustration, the situation could have been handled more…diplomatically. But, I get it and I think I would have responded in similar fashion.

Jones, Harper, & Wells

So ask yourself why did MSM (mainstream media) give all the praise and coverage to Jones leading up to the Olympics?

Yes, she has an “interesting” story…raised by a single mom with five children, lived in a church basement, father in prison, attended 8 schools in 8 years, and she’s still a virgin. A great boot strap story right? Agreed.

Compare it to Kellie Wells’ story…raped by her mother’s boyfriend/fiancé as a teen, moved out of the home to escape and a month later both her mother and the boyfriend die in a tragic car accident.

Dawn Harper’s story…no real personal tragedies but she did manage to compete mere months after having knee surgery.

Equally compelling stories.

So again, ask yourself why all the Lolo hype? Is it because her story “played” better and she is more “relatable“? And by relatable I mean not as black. Is it because Lolo is considered to be more “marketable“? And by more marketable I mean not as black.

Well, I don’t have to ask because I think I already know…after all this is MSM we’re talking about. But I would be remissed not to call a spade a spade.

Boom!! Just like that…

@HumanityCritic thinks both Wells and Harper have “tarnished the possibility to get the kind of shine they deserve” and sadly enough, I agree. However, that might have its advantages for their respective families who can possibly avoid the media attention and scrutiny into their personal and private affairs as is the case with Gabby Douglas’ & Ryan Lochte‘s families.

Let Lolo Jones bask in the glare of the spotlight which will eventually grow dim and fade away because Dawn Harper’s and Kellie Wells’ name will forever be etched in Olympic history as silver and bronze medal winners.

BOOM!! Just like that…


It would appear that Danielle C. Belton over at Clutch Magazine has echoed my sentiments more in depth hits the nail on the head! BRAVO!!


Gabrielle Douglas – Gold Medalist, Olympian

We cheered for Gabby Douglas when she helped the US Women’s gymnastics team win the gold and when she became the first African American female to win the gold in the Women’s Individual All-Around.

We managed to say “aaaww” when her father, Staff Sergeant Timothy Douglas and currently deployed in Afghanistan, surprised her at the Olympic Finals after not seeing each other for two years. We shed a tear listening to her story of huge sacrifice resulting in a huge pay-off.

We marveled at her mother’s selflessness allowing her baby girl to mover 3,000+ miles away to train for the Olympics and live with a family that welcomed her in their home lovingly.

We then went out and proudly bought our box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes with Gabby on the cover.

Gabby’s story highlights all that is good in this world – Sacrifice, hard work, selflessness, love and family. She is now America’s darling and will be enjoying the fruits of her hard labor and rightfully so.

However, there’s a dark side to this sudden thrust into fame and being the center of mainstream media’s attention. The same media that highlights Gabby’s accomplishments in London are simultaneously digging into her family’s personal and private affairs.

Just the other day, Entertainment Tonight ran story on her mom, Natalie Hawkins’ bankruptcy and receiving disability making sure to mention the parents’ pending divorce. Today, the NY Post ran a story calling Sgt Douglas a deadbeat dad citing (alleged) quotes from Gabby Douglas.

Sadly enough, I think this is just the beginning of these stories and it isn’t just Gabby feeling the sting. Several major news outlets ran a story on Ryan Lochte’s mother’s home being in foreclosure.

Neither Gabby’s nor Ryan’s families deserve this type of scrutiny nor to be picked apart…to have their private personal affairs aired out by the media. It’s unfair to all parties involved.

This is a testament to how low mainstream media has sunk. Stack ’em up to knock ’em down.

My hope is that both families manage to navigate through the darkness the bright lights of fame brings and come out on the other side, hopefully unscathed.

Have you ever complained / lamented about the lack of positive portrayals of African American women in the media (i.e. reality TV shows)?

Are you sick of seeing African American women portrayed as loud, obtuse, bitter, hateful, nefarious gold-digging, fame-seeking whores whose decision making and life choices have proven to be questionable at best and down right stupid at worst as evident by the current state of affairs in their lives?

Do you watch Real Housewives of Atlanta, Love & Hip Hop (NY & Atlanta), or Basketball Wives? Well, I hate to inform you of this but you are a part of the problem.

Look at ’em eat it up!!

My grandparents owned a farm and I spent many summers with them. I remember begging my grandfather to let me help slop the hogs – that’s feeding the pigs for you non-country folks. In addition to the store bought feed my grandfather would mix with water, the hogs were fed all the food that was thrown in the garbage. Food that had spoiled, rotten fruit, watermelon rinds, the scraps from the dinner table, half eaten sandwiches, orange peels, etc., etc.

There was a bucket next to the back porch steps where this “slop” was stored. Every few days my grandfather fed this putrid smelling, fly infested mess to the hogs and they lapped up every drop pretty much in the same manner as you consume the “slop” offered to you within the programming content of the aforementioned television shows.

I know this will fall on deaf ears and leave you mute like Helen Keller but the argument, or justification, that it is simply entertainment is a bullshit excuse used to avoid accountability. And yes, you are accountable.

“If you build it, they will come”. And so you have.

You’ve come to the trough snorting and grunting and gobbling up the garbage with great fervor and the networks keep feeding it to you knowing your appetite will never be satiated.

But remember, you are what you eat! So please, stop feeding at the trough!!!!

Huh…you talking to me?

Sometimes I am truly dumbfounded by the things people allow to fly out of their mouths and what they will post on the internet, from the incredibly obtuse to the blatantly ignorant. This, falls somewhere in the middle…I guess.

Ernestine Shepherd

A friend posted this picture of Mrs. Ernestine Shepherd on his Facebook page. “Ernie”, as she is called by those who know her, is a 75 year old female body builder who looks FANTASTIC! Given her slim frame, she is not bulky, masculine looking, nor hard like the majority of her female counterparts in the sport. She is, however, toned, well defined, and above all else, an inspiration to every African American woman whose goal is to get in shape.

According to the CDC, 51% of non-Hispanic Black women, age 20 years or older are obese. Non-Hispanic Black females aged 2-19 – 24% are obese. These statistics are both staggering and frightening. [Source]

Over half of my sisters are obese and run the increased risk of the following health conditions:

  • Coronary heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers, such as endometrial, breast, and colon cancer
  • High total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides
  • Liver and gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Degeneration of cartilage and underlying bone within a joint (osteoarthritis)
  • Reproductive health complications such as infertility
  • Mental health conditions

So when you say “I would rather stay fat than to look like that.” what I interpret that to mean is:

  • I would rather have high blood pressure and suffer a stroke…
  • I would rather have Type 2 diabetes, rely on insulin, and end up blind and in renal failure…
  • I would rather have cancer…

…than to be physically fit and healthy.

And that…is just profoundly sad.