Thursday, October 26, 2006

"O" C'mon!

When I considered posting on this topic, I realized that I rarely blog about the media...or current events. I can't think of any reason why I haven't, because there is MORE than enough going on out there that is worthy of contemplation and discussion. So, in my acknowledgment of that fact, please forgive me if you deem this - one of the few "media topics" that I have chosen to discuss - as being trite.

Yesterday, as some of you may know, Oprah had Madonna - via satellite from London - as a guest on her show. According to Madonna, she was appearing on the show to "set the record straight" regarding her recent adoption of David, an 18-month old boy from Malawi. For those of you who are not up to speed on the issues surrounding this adoption,
go here. Go here for more information on the interview with Oprah. (hopefully the links will work, but if not you can google it)

Let me first go on the record as saying that I am an advocate for adoption, especially the adoption of Black children - the consistently overlooked and devalued. I will also say that I applaud the various celebrities that, be it intentionally or unintentionally, have brought African adoptions - specifically - to the forefront. There are many people that believe that adoption should begin at home - with American children - and while I do agree, the reality is that it doesn't seem like that is happening at the same rate as international adoptions. Therefore, my recommended continent of choice is Africa.

I digress...

As it relates to this particular interview - my issue is with what seems to be a lack of candor on Madonna's part, and a lack of journalistic integrity on the part of Oprah.
What I am really considering in this lowly blog entry, is the "elephant" that stood in Harpo Studios named "preferential treatment" - and the blatent disregard of its existence.

What has presented itself to be the main point of contention in this "case" is the time, or lack thereof, that it took to process this adoption. When asked by Oprah if she felt as though things happened more quickly for her because of her celebrity status, Madonna's response was something to the effect of wishing that it HAD gone quickly and that if you know anything about Africa, you know that nothing happens quickly in Africa.

Well...I've never been to Africa, soooooooo...okay. I can see how, coming from America where things are usually quick, quick, quick that when going to another country, you might think they move slow.

But then here's the kicker...about 10 or 15 minutes after Madonna implies that everything was done by the books, Oprah tells Madonna that she heard that the adoption is not really official. That in 18 months, "the powers that be" are going to determine whether or not she is going to be able to keep baby David. Madonna says no way...not true. She goes on to explain that right now they are in a phase called "interim adoption." Interim adoption, she goes on to educates us, is the legally determined timeframe (of 18 months) when the adoptive parents are supposed to reside in the country (in this case Malawi) with the child. During this time, the family is evaluated and monitored to ensure a smooth and comfortable transistion - both for the child and the new parents.
Well...Ms. Material Girl then says that this law was, essentially, waived - allowing their "interim adoption" to take place in London - because there was no way that she could leave her children and husband to go live in another country for 18 months.

Are you serious???? If you want to adopt from Malawi, or any other country that has such laws, YOU DO! I would have to, so why shouldn't she? And the crazy thing is she has the means to do that...the money to not worry about work and to fly her family back and forth when she missed them...or move them there with her for the 18 month time period!

I don't know about you, but something smells very strongly of preferential treatment! is where Oprah disappointed me and displayed her inability to seperate herself from her celebrity. She, in my own personal opinion, as a bonafide journalist should have taken this opportunity to question Madonna as to whether or not that very "allowance" was a form of preferential treatment...of something that was done simply because of who she is. But nope, she just let that slide...didn't flinch, didn't question...NO.NOTHING! I was stunned, and borderline offended, by the fact that they obviously think we're idiots. I mean, am I wrong? Is this not an example of the exact kind of thing that has people questioning the whole process? an effort to "set the record straight" was it journalistically irresponsible for Oprah to not dig deeper...ask the tough question?

One might have concluded that Oprah was standing by what she stated in the beginning of her show - that with all of the other serious, life threatening situations going on in the world, does it make sense that Madonna's adoption should make the headlines? So maybe she didn't want to contribute to making a sensational mountain out of a molehill.

I think not.

See, after Madonna's segment, Oprah interviewed the Dixie Chicks. If you'll remember, the Dixie Chicks made international headlines after the lead singer, Natalie Maines, spoke out against the war and the President while performing in London. But rather than focus on the controversy surrounding the war and the President...the meat of why Natalie said what she said...Oprah was insistent upon the other two members of the group sharing whether or not they were mad at Natalie for what she did/said. If you watched closely, you'd notice that the Chicks seemed to try to gloss over that question...not create a problem where no problem existed (apparently)...laugh it off and get on to the real issues. But Oprah dug deep...actually asked them to "get serious" and basically give us the scoop. Air their personal, and possibly "dirty," laundry.

Hmmmmmm...interesting. Maybe it's just me, but I don't get it.

The bottom line is that I agree with Oprah in that Madonna did a wonderfully beautiful thing. She adopted a child and has given him what he might not have had if he remained in that Malawian orphanage...and that's opportunity. I would never question her on, nor fault her for, that.

But, what would be nice is a tad bit of honesty...and reality. It's already enough that we have to put up with that fake a** accent!

Oy vey!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

When Life Hands You Beads...

...string 'em!!! (it just wouldn't be the same if I didn't hit you with corny upon my

I'm preparing to go to the International Gem & Jewelry Show in Baltimore this morning. This will be the second time I've gone to the show...I went to my first about three months ago and spent an insane amount of money, relatively speaking. Today I will attempt to exhibit a bit more restraint...riiiiiiiiiight :) However, the money that I spend can be justified by the fact that I'm actually selling my pieces's no longer just something to do to occupy my time.

So, in the spirit of all that is creative, I thought I'd share some of the pieces that I made while I was "away" (it's been a trade off...if I'm blogging, I do less beading...and if beading, less blogging - I must find a happy medium). Here's the latest (I'm hoping you can click on the image for a larger view):

As always, comments are welcomed...including constructive criticism. However, keep in mind that "I'm an artist, so I'm sensitive about my **it" (10 cool points to the person who can tell me who said that line)! LOL

Okay...I must go get ready to do some damage!


Thursday, October 19, 2006

A September Solstice

...has led to October Optimism!

Before I begin, I guess it goes without saying that I have been in quite the blog fog lately. As evidenced by this entry, the fog has lifted! Many, many thanks go out to all of you who have hung in there with me...those of you who have left comments of concern and/or encouragement - as well as those of you who have reached out to me "offline" so to speak. This is part of "The Journey" folks...the real, raw and, many times, rocky Journey.

So much to say with no clear understanding of exactly how to say it all.

September, into the beginning weeks of October, found me in the midst of the "calm before the storm"...but the antithesis of what we all know this phrase to actually mean. It wasn't a peaceful calm, but rather the make-believe type of calm that comes from avoidance and oblivion. And the storm that has come? Well, it's the only good kind of storm there is - the "take the world by" kind.

While I will say that I feel I have been handling my "dark hour" relatively well, I must also admit that I have not been as forward thinking or optimistic - faithful even - as I should. And if I'm honest, I have even fallen short since optimism has taken residence in my spirit...having felt a pang of "je ne sais quoi" after slipping on my wedding band (oh...and the engagement ring too) less than 48 hours ago. Although I am certain that is was neither doubt nor regret that I felt, I cannot put my finger on what the feeling was exactly. But, I do know for sure that it wasn't one that I wanted (or needed) to usher me into the greatness that awaits me.

Granted, I do still have some hills to climb...but I'm thankful that they are hills and not mountains! And, I am a way that I haven't been in some time. So, yes, the rings did eventually come a matter of minutes in fact (thanks, in part, to my "blog angel" who has swooped in - on more than one occasion - and redirected me from going down the "ugly road").

It's ironic because I cannot say with any certainty just what is coming...or just how mindblowing it's going to be...but I have an amazingly awesome sense of comfort in the anticipation and wake of its arrival.

Now...for some updates:

~ I did not get the position that I had interviewed for a post ago. What we see as being humanly perfect isn't always divinely perfect. However, the postive pep that has been put in my step has sent me into a job finding frenzy and am excited for the outcome.

~ I attended my alma mater's Homecoming this past weekend - the only Homecoming worth - HOWARD HOMECOMING!!! I spent the weekend with my sister-girlfriend, visiting from Miami, who is also going through a divorce right now. And for as much as I would have loved to see/hang with my entire group of sister-girlfriends, I was thankful that I received the chance to spend some quality time with this particular friend. Surprisingly for many, no male bashing, husband hating, bitter banter took place. Quite the contrary. Our conversation, and even our silence, was full of beginnings...and happier endings. The familiar faces, squeals of joy, warm embraces, easy smiles and stories of progress...upward movement...left me high. Refreshed. Renewed. I realized that the "Howard Experience" did not end for me in 1998...that I continue to grow and learn from that great institution...and from the greatness that it has produced. My blood runs BISON BLUE, and I could not be more proud!

~ And last, but not least, Homecoming weekend also allowed me to bring to you...* drum roll please*...THE NEW HAIR:

Not the best shot (I should have taken off the sunglasses), but it gives you an idea. You've waited so long that something is better than nothing, right? And. I. Am. Still. LOVIN'. It!!!!!

Soooooo...I am sure there is so much more that I could share, but I'm going to ease back into Blogland and not overdo it in this one post. Right now, I'm just glad to be back! I missed y'all!

And the Journey continues...