Bmore Artists Feel The Bern

 

Let me start this off by saying that politics are not my normal subject matter but I felt that I should explain why I’m really feeling “The Bern” after this past weekend. I attended a rally at the Hollywood Diner Food Truck Park, down on Saratoga St, which was organized by various grassroots community groups. One of the main event organizers was Chasz Sollmer, founder of www.theartistscompound.com, one of the areas best marketing and networking opportunities for DMV area artists. As we were chatting about me blogging for her organization, she mentioned that she was hosting this rally for Bernie Sanders and I was a bit intrigued because I think that art and politics make strange bedfellows. She explained that she wanted to do this rally to show that artists in the Baltimore area and nearby cities really do support the Bern’s platform, despite the media’s attempts to basically ignore coverage of his campaign efforts.

 

Until Chasz made this point, I never really paid attention to the lack of Bern coverage, I was simply sick of hearing the Trump bullshit. This made me realize that I had pretty much counted Sanders out simply because I hear so much about Hilary. Now, I used to be down with Hilary until Scandal came out and now I can’t help but think that the Mellie character is based a little bit on her. As a matter of fact, now that I am fully awake and realize that whether I like it or not, the political process has quite a bit of bearing on my life and livelihood. For this reason, I decided to really investigate Sen. Bernie Sanders’ record and how he articulates his position on the issues that affect me. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I admit that my interest in him was originally piqued when a few of my favorite rappers endorsed him…Killer Mike, Scarface and Bun B. Yeah, I know that’s juvenile but hey I’m influenced by my idols sometimes. LOL

 

Anyway, not only does he meticulously lay out his response to numerous societal ills but he also provides sustainable solutions and the methods to pay for these proposals.   The Bern is on point with reforming Wall St, racial justice, women’s rights, LGBT rights, Medicare and Free Higher education for all, empowering Native American tribal nations, increasing and improving Veteran services, complete economic reform for Puerto Rico, increasing minimum wage to $15 and generally working to close the widening economic gap between the filthy rich and the working class. The list is quite comprehensive and frankly sounds more genuine than Hilary’s explanations of the same issues.

 

This authenticity is what I believe his supporters connect with. I mean, Sen. Sanders has been grinding it out on the fight for social justice since the 60’s! Although The Bern did not attend the rally in Baltimore, his passionate supporters showed up about 1000 strong and marched in the rain to rep for him. Since these were representatives of Baltimore’s arts community, it was a very eclectic and diverse mix. I saw all races, the ages ranged from college students to seniors, vegans and carnivores, Wiccans and Baptists, all loving the Bern. Shout out to DJ B-Side who kept the crowd moving in between musical performances. A special shout out goes to Courtney from Craving Potato Factory who hooked me up with the massive Old Bay Lump Crab potato. If my trainer is reading this now, I know I’m going to pay for it, but it was worth the extra cardio.  A final thumbs up to The Artists Compound for a well-organized event and I am looking forward to the next one. Next up, The Gathering of the Arts on 4/16. www.thegatheringbaltimore.com

 

 

 

Juggling for BernRockin Out for the Bern
Cats for Bernie

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The Diabetic Gourmet Update, 3rd week or so

So, I’ve consciously been on this #thediabeticgourmet journey for a few weeks now and I am happy to say I’m down 3.5 lbs, yes the .5 counts dammit. I have done this through a bread pudding binge, Amish market pastry binge, a couple of flare-ups and a full week of Starbucks crack-ucinnos. I can’t say that I have been especially disciplined with my diet but I have cranked up the strength training, which seems to be working. My little progress bubble was burst this morning though, when I woke up to hear that one of my favorite MCs, #PhifeDawg from #ATCQ lost his battle with diabetes and kidney disease, caused by the diabetes. I was up in here sad like I knew the brother personally. I felt like he was a friend in my head, because I can connect with him on a few levels; he repped Trinidad “Trini gladiator”, he was a “funky diabetic”, he was short like me aka “The Five Foot Assassin”, he was a New Yorker and he spit some of the sickest, wittiest verses in hiphop, especially on Electric Relaxation. My favorite line was “bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman’s furniture”, if you aren’t from NY then you probably didn’t get the reference.

Anyway, his death brought back the realization that this diabetes shit is no joke and I must stop bullshitting…again. I do currently have my blood sugar under control, but my last binge almost put me back up there. The silent killer in diabetes is the kidney damage though, which I tend to forget. I think that is my greatest health fear, kidney damage because after that it’s much harder to manage and in my experiences with friends, it only goes downhill from there. The crazy thing is that, I am a type 2 diabetic so I can effectively reverse my disease with proper diet and exercise. I know these things yet I continue to make questionable food choices, daily! WTF Once again, I have renewed my dedication to a better diet. This time around though, I’m going to be realistic with myself. Since I made it past the pastry counter and the Starbucks so far today, I am going to start with that goal. Little things right? LOL It’s a real challenge for me to get everything right on a daily basis. For instance, I could take all my meds on time, get in a workout, eat a healthy breakfast and lunch but then drink some Bucks and wonder why I can’t fall asleep until 2am. Or, run around all day buying healthy food but get home and don’t feel like cooking cause my Sjogren’s done flared up. Sigh…the trials of auto-immune shit. But, if you look at my medical record and all of my issues, you would think I would have died years ago. I remember my Doctor told me back in 2003, she had never seen anyone with numbers so high and still functioning. LOL I guess God had me then, and He has me now. I figure life is either too short or too long for me to continue bullshitting with my health because clearly I am still here for a purpose. I mean that life is too short for me not to use the gifts I have been given and life is too long to suffer through pain and sickness if I can change it with my actions.

Another thing I have realized about myself, is my hard-headedness has affected my soft ass! I basically have been bullshitting about my physical therapy too so my knees have been grinding again. As my trainer #GODA Brandon told me this morning, muscles don’t rebuild themselves. Dammit, I actually have to work on this? So here goes again for the umpteenth time, I’m like Diddy with this shit..I ain’t ever gonna stop. Well since it’s lunch time and I’m not in binge mode, guess I’ll go make a salad and stay in health mode. Until next time, Be Blessed!

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Tell The Truth and Shame the Devil: Let’s Talk About Transparency

 

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I’ve had a few conversations lately about being transparent and what that really means, which led me to remember a couple of my Mother’s favorite phrases. “Tell the truth and shame the devil” as well as “The truth will set you free” were two of her often used ones. My Mother was a believer of “keeping it real” and I guess that’s where I get my attitude towards transparency from. She used to tell me if I was ashamed of what I was doing, then don’t do it. If you’re not ashamed, then do it proudly because it’s all between you and God anyway.   Jesus states in John 8:31-32, that if you hold to His teachings then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. I believe this is talking about freedom from shame and guilt, of any form and for any reason. If people want to belittle you for what they deem to be a dirty secret, you can take your power back by simply telling your own truth. I have a couple of anecdotes to explain…

 

I remember a few years ago, one of my last days working at Verizon, I was struggling emotionally because I was sick of the job and one of my good friends had passed away the night before. I was not in the best of moods to put it mildly, but since I was in a training class that day, I figured the day would at least fly by.   When I walked into to the classroom, I saw that one of my “work wives”, was in the class with me. She is extremely attractive and most of the guys would grit on me when they saw our interactions, since she was kinda touchy-feely and always hugging on me. Anyway, we thought the chair next to her was available so she invited me to sit down and my co-worker burst in all loud and shit trying to embarrass me. This dude was known as a smart ass and liked to verbally joke, so I guess he called himself playing. He said all out loud, “I know you think you’re a man and shit but you aint sitting next to my girl S__. That’s my seat, I’m sitting next her today!” Yo! I saw red and I spazzed the fuck out on him in front of the whole class. I remember saying, “Yes motherfucker, I’m gay and what?! That shit is common knowledge. I don’t think I’m a man but yes I am gay. So what, so what else you got motherfucker?! You’re not going to try and embarrass me in front of all these white people! What the fuck is wrong with you?!” My tirade went on for a bit more and then I went and sat down at my seat to stunned silence in the classroom. Dude apologized profusely because to him it was a joke but shit what is so funny about being gay? Isn’t that against the company Code of Conduct? My reaction basically took the power away from his intention to embarrass me. I know I must have blacked out because of my white people comment. LOL

 

Back in 2008, there was an email circulating online regarding a prominent DC Black church, Greater Mt Calvary Holy Church and their choir members and ministers being gay. The funny thing about this to me was, the church always has been and still is known as being an undercover gay church. You can Google the email if you want the complete story; I will just say that it got real ugly with names dropped and everything. A group of my gay church friends and I were sitting around talking about this email at the time and their reactions really surprised me. Out of everyone in the group, I believe only myself and one other woman were openly gay. However, every last one of us in the group were involved in the church in some way, while actively practicing this “lifestyle”. (I don’t agree with this term, but that’s for another post.)

My thoughts on the email situation was, OK so you’ve been put on blast so why not admit to your gayness and move on? Everyone looked at me like I had two heads! Now I understand that not everyone has the same level of boldness, but if the alternative to speaking up is public ridicule, why not speak up? The email alleged orgies involving the choir members.

Now, if the accusations of sexual shenanigans are true, and they took place between consenting adults, that’s their business. It’s against the moral expectations of church members but hey it happens all the time. Regarding the members being gay, clearly it’s already known and they have no plans to stop anytime soon, so why not own up to it? You aren’t fooling God anyway, and He is the only One who matters. My response would have been to address the church and specifically the woman who sent the emails, and tell them unapologetically Yes, I am gay, so what? I mean, they’re already talking about you, so take away the shame of what they consider your sin by telling your truth.   No need to gossip about something that is common knowledge right? Also, if being gay is a sin and you have accepted Jesus, isn’t that sin already erased? I mean you can’t preach total forgiveness and love but then say, Oh No, gay isn’t covered in that ALL meaning. There are many arguments on this subject that I will cover later, but basically if you ARE gay and someone tries to belittle you for being gay, if you don’t think being gay is shameful then you should stand up and be proud.

This is why I have always lived my life openly, even when it was not popular. I felt like I may have many things to atone for but deception about who I am will not be one. I have had to lie at some times to preserve my jobs or to deflect violence from homophobes but for the most part, when confronted directly, I had to tell my truth. I like for people that I feel may be judgmental to know up front, so when the bullshit starts they can’t say they didn’t know.

As I said before, telling the truth will always set you free because it takes your power back. No need to be ashamed and live with your head down, own your flaws and love your whole self, because God already does. Until next time, Be Blessed!

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