This Week in the News-What’s Really Going On?

It’s been awhile since I’ve done “This Week in the News”.  I hope even though I’ve been slipping you’ve been talking amongst yourselves.  This week I decided to do the newsworthy stuff (at least in my world) with a twist.  I’ve pondered a couple of things this week, and I decided to share those things with you.  Maybe we can create a healthy, lively dialogue, and you all can shed some light on some things that I’ve thought about.

First, I must send my condolences to the family of ex-NBA player Lorenzen Wright.  His body was found yesterday in Memphis, TN.  The 34 year old had been missing for 10 days, and the cause of death appears to be from gunshot wounds.  It’s really sad, especially since he has 6 children.  I truly hope that his killer is found quickly and justice will be served.

Next up, Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.  I’m surprised I even typed their names because their whole situation is ridiculous.  So I’ll move on.  (But, I will say Levi is accused of impregnating another woman…so the big question is will he and Bristol still get married???)

If you are an R&B/Neo-Soul fan, then you MUST be a Maxwell fan as well!  So, you must have been really excited when Maxwell announced last summer that he would be releasing an album each summer as part of a trilogy of albums.  I was about to go in on Maxwell  about the missing album until I just read that Disc 2 will be released Winter 2010.  So I’ll leave the sexy crooner alone…

If you are up on your summer tours, then you know Common (did you see him in “Just Wright”?) will be in the DMV next Saturday, August 7, as part of the Summer Spirit Festival, along with The Roots, Janelle Monae, B.o.B., and none other than ex-flame Erykah Badu.  Now, how often does it happen that a person goes on tour with their ex?  Now, if I’m not mistaken, Ms. Badu had a daughter, Puma, by another man while she was dating Common…I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think I’m that type of woman to go on tour with a dude who had a baby with another woman while we were together.  But if it works for them who am I to judge?  I would like to be a fly on the wall though.

Even though details are still a little sketchy, 18 year old Rayihm Holmes was in a coma for 4 days after a run-in with NYPD.  The teen was a high school football player and was set to start Kingsborough Community College soon.  According to reports, Rayihm, along with two friends, was walking home after a cook-out on July 11 and was stopped by NYPD officers.   At some point, an officer taunted Rayihm, and slammed him to the ground with no provocation (it has been said his hands were raised).    The young teen’s head hit the ground, and he began vomiting and bleeding.  An Internal Affairs investigation has begun, and the family has filed a notice of claim with the NYPD.  This young man cannot remember details about the indicent and requires assistance walking.  I do hope a thorough investigation is done because there is NO reason why he should have suffered these types of injuries. 

Ok, folks, so there’s my rendition of “What’s Really Going On???”.  Are there any news this week that I missed?  I know there is, so please feel free to share.  And provide your own lively anecdotes about some of the news I mentioned from this week.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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The HIV/AIDS Epidemic

HIV and AIDS are real.  And I sometimes wonder how seriously people take these diseases.  People have died from it, infected others, been in denial, and have behaved recklessly after finding out their status.  There are also those who have turned their lives around after finding out that they have been infected.  I do wander though why there appear to be so many new cases of HIV/AIDS that are reported each year. 

First, let me say that I am NO expert.  I’m sharing my opinion based on things that I’ve read and things I see.  Second, I’m doing this post to educate my readers (and anyone else that happens upon my blog) about the dangers of not protecting yourself during sexual intercourse, knowing your sexual partner(s) history, and, most importantly, sharing information to where we stand in this fight against this deadly disease.   According to an article I read from the AP and Washington Post on HIV/AIDS, the District of Columbia had a 9% increase in the number of residents of HIV/AIDS between 2008 and 2009.  An epidemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, is defined as severe when the percentage of residents of a specific area with a disease exceeds 1 percent.  Currently, 3 percent of DC residents have HIV or AIDS.  While I am concerned with other cities around the country, as someone who lives in our nation’s capital, I’m more concerned with DC’s statistics than any other place.  If I ever move and am single, heck maybe even if I’m not single, I’ll make sure to read up on my area’s HIV/AIDS statistics.  I encourage all of you to do research on your city’s statistics.  I personally feel it is up to each of us who have sex know about our partner.  And I encourage all of you, BEFORE you have sex with your mate for the first time, to go get tested.  And you get tested together.  Most women get on birth control to prevent pregnancy and believe that will be sufficient.  We must also take it amongst ourselves to make our partners wear condoms.  And if he doesn’t want to, tell him YOU don’t want to (have sex).  Or you can even wear a female condom.  And there’s still a disproportionate percentage of African-Americans in the United States who are infected with HIV and AIDS.  (But we can talk about that another day.)  Some great resources are the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser State Health Facts, and the White House has implemented a National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

It may seem like I’ve gotten on a soapbox, and maybe I have.  I just get really disheartened and saddened when I see these new numbers of people who are infected.  But what is it due to?  Is it because more people are getting tested or because people are still behaving recklessly when it comes to their sexual, and even drug use, activities?  Are people who are engaging in unsafe activities getting tested now and they weren’t before?  I encourage you all to comment with your thoughts and to share this conversation with your friends and sexual partners.  I truly believe that if you’re not ready to discuss this with your mate then you’re probably not ready to have sex.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

P.S.  I must thank my sorority sister, who works for the CDC, for providing links and other information pertinent to this topic.  She works in HIV/AIDS prevention, and whenever I have a question/comment/concern, she’s the person I go to!

What Makes a Woman “The One”?

During Relationship Week, my friend Erin posed an interesting question on the post “Why Are Educated Black Men Single?”.  She stated that she knows a number of “amazing” single men who are looking for “THE Girl”, but they haven’t found her yet.  (I’m actually wondering why she’s never introduced them to ME, but we’ll save that for a different post!)  We, meaning us ladies, always talk about how we can never find a good man.  But what about those men who want to get married, but haven’t found “THE girl”??? 

I’ll admit it; I’ve been one of those women who has complained a time or two about not meeting the man I thought was the one.  I’ve said most men play games, aren’t ready to settle down, have too much going on, and don’t meet certain criteria on my “list”. (Don’t act like you don’t have a list, ladies and gentlemen.)  I’m a lady, and I know the things that I would like, but I’m really interested in knowing what men want.   Media, society, heck EVERYBODY focuses on what women want in a man.  But today I would like to focus on the men and their wants and needs.  So, guys, let’s have it!  Must she be financially stable, not living with a parent, emotionally stable, cute/sexy/pretty, know how to cook, etc.?  What is it?  Not saying that all ladies will change if need be, but I think this will create some much needed dialogue between the sexes so that women can do some self-evaluation, look in the mirror, and take a look at the things on which we need to improve. 

So, gentlemen, I ask you, what makes a woman “The ONE”?  Do you know any women who have the potential to be “The ONE”?  Or maybe you’ve already met the woman who is “The ONE”.  How far are you willing to go to meet that special lady?  If you don’t think she’s in your current city, are you willing to move to find her?  Don’t be shy guys; now’s your time to make sure your voice is heard.  You can never say, “No one gave me an opportunity to voice my opinion”, because Elle is giving you that chance right now!! 🙂  Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city!

Southern Girl Movie Review: Inception

Last night I saw the much talked about movie “Inception”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ellen Page.  This movie, for those of you that don’t know, is a sci-fi thriller, complete with action, suspense, fantasy, and a little romance.   For someone who had NO clue what this was about but kept hearing how good it was, I must say I was sort of excited to see what all the hype was about. 

Even though this has nothing to do with the movie, I must say Joseph Gordon-Levitt grew up to be VERY handsome!  Like Jude Law, Matthew McConaughey, Jason Priestly fine.  Gone is that little boy from “Third Rock from the Sun” and in his place is a nice looking young man; I think I have a new heartthrob.  (Ok, I just had to put that out there-back to the movie review.)   Since I went to the movie a little late, I must say the 2 1/2 hour time frame was almost a turn-off.  I just hoped that a) I wouldn’t be bored and b) the movie wouldn’t seem like it was 2 1/2 hours.  This movie was really good, so good that I want to see it again, if for no other reason than to try to catch the things that I missed at the beginning (which were a little hard for me to grasp); there was a lot of dialogue that aids in understanding the storyline.  This movie is about entering someone’s dream to gain access to pertinent information.  Entering someone’s dream is an ideal time to gain access to their subconscious as their defenses are down, unless the dreamer is tipped off that they are dreaming, in which case the psyche may do some crazy things to protect the dreamer. 

I really liked the movie.  The movie did start off a little slow for me, but after a few minutes in it had my full attention.  I’m no sci-fi buff, I was on the edge of my seat and even screamed out a time or two in surprise.  There were a few surprises in the movie, which are always good to keep the viewer intrigued.  And the good thing is that the surprises weren’t expected.   I think this movie was well-directed, well-written, and well acted.  (Did I mention Joseph Gordon-Levitt is HOT?!?!) I must admit this wouldn’t be a movie that I would have chosen to go see on my own, but I’m glad I did see it.  I give it an “A-“. Did you see the movie?  If so, what did you think?   Do you have plans to go see it?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Taking a Break

Good morning, folks! Relationship Week took a lot of me!  I thank you all for your support, readership, and comments!  I really tried to bring something different and put a twist on your typical relationship stuff.  So while I take a breather for a day or two, feel free to catch up on some of the older posts you may have missed, like “My Two New Aunties”, “Internet Dating is for the Birds”, “BET Awards Recap”, or anything else!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern Girl…in the city.

Sunday Brunch

For those of you that don’t know, I’m an avid reader.  My mom began reading to me as a toddler, and at 3 years old, even though I couldn’t read, I knew the story of Cinderella by heart and would recite it to my mother.  This love for reading followed me to adolescence (I would read anything I could get my hands on) to adulthood (whenever I have a quiet moment I can be found with a book or a magazine).  I recently came across the book Sunday Brunch by Norma L. Jarrett. 

Sunday Brunch is about five women who are best friends and met in law school.  Each woman is going through her own personal issues, including the main character, Lexi, who is the go-to person when her friends want to talk about their problems.  Despite the issues the friends go through, they meet every Sunday for brunch at their favorite place, Etienne’s.  After reading the first 5 pages of this book, I was hooked.  This book has a nice mix of drama, friendship, faith, and hope.  It also reminded me of my favorite place to have brunch in the city, Busboys and Poets.  No matter how many places I go to in the city, when people come visit, I somehow end up taking them to BB&P.  I think it’s so easy for people to bond over good food and good times.

As we go through life, I believe that we have to have good friends we can lean on and share the good times with and must do things that inspire us.  We work hard, but we must also take the time to relax and enjoy life.  It is so easy to get caught up on how hard or difficult things may be, but we should focus on the positive, too.  Do you have anything that inspires you?  Do you have a group of friends and every week or every month you all have an outing, no matter what is going on in your lives?  Do you have a favorite brunch spot in your city?  I may need to some suggetion on things to do when I go visit various places!  Be insprired and inspire others.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Long Distance Relationships

Happy Friday!!! It’s the final day in Relationship Week!  I was all set to write about “Fags and Their Hags”, but I just didn’t feel inspired to do that today.  Maybe I’ll save that topic for a future post.  In any event, I decided to write about long distance relationships.  I do know of two couples who have long distance relationship stories. 

First, let’s start with my friend, Marcus.  Marcus’ long distance relationship, or LDR, lasted a year.  Marcus feels that the biggest problem with this relationship was miscommunication.  Not everyone in the relationship shared his or her feelings about what was going in their personal lives, whether it was work, family, or socially related.  Conversation was not always open and honest.  Marcus and his girlfriend lived four hours away from each other and saw each other twice a month.   While they got along fine on the phone, there were some issues when they were face-to-face.  As they only had opportunities to interact 2-3 days at a time, if they had an issue that came up, it seemed really major because of how infrequently they were able to interact in person.  Marcus believes that with a long distance relationship you need trust and the finances to travel often.

Erin and I became friends during our sophomore year in college, and I was so happy when she married her long distance boyfriend, Jemiel, last fall.  They began dating in the Fall of 2004 and dated for 4 years before coming engaged.  While they have a happy ending, things weren’t always easy.  The couple didn’t share the same reality, as Erin lived in California and Jemiel lived in Connecticut, and the social activities on each coast were vastly different.  In order to make their relationship work, Erin and Jemiel inserted communication, transparency, and monthly visits into their relationship.   It also helped that the couple had a strong foundation, as they were friends were four years before they started dating.  Now, they are happy living together as husband and wife.

Just like all  relationships, long distance relationships can be tough.  Both parties have to trust each other, commit to have effective communication, and make efforts to see each other on a regular basis, which can be costly.  Do you think you could be in an LDR?  Have you been in one before; if so, what was the end result?  Please share your stories.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.