Friday, April 04, 2008
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I must have screamed out every profanity known to man in English, Spanish and Italian. After taking Pure Barre classes at Inspired Yoga I was reminded of why I never became a ballerina (the pain factor of the class alone definitely trumped the traumatizing experiencing of having my weave fall out in ballet class as my horrified, 8 year old, Caucasian colleagues watched in terror.)Although a bit heavy on the thighs (a whole lot of shaking and baking going on) I already have a nice athletic body shape, but for a diva like myself, it is not enough. I want sexy legs like Amerie (actually I think I got that covered), sculpted arms like Ciara, a killer stomach like Janet Jackson, and a bootylicious booty like Beyonce (um…not sure my body type will allow for this but I up for the challenge, realistically I will settle for Megan Goode’s gluteus maximus). I want that Janet Jackson circa 1990’s “If” video body that will make men come home early from work, pay all my bills, and beg for mercy (Lordhammercy!) Well, you get the point. In my quest for the perfect body (and fulfilling my lost long dream of being a dancer sans the bad weave job) I have taken Kundalini Yoga, Tribal Bellydance, Flamenco, Indian Dance, Salsa, Beginner Adult Ballet, Tango, Exotic Dance, Pole, Sexual Tai Chi, and even a Hawaiian Hula class. Always looking for the latest trend, I decided to take a note from the celebrities and raise the barre by taking classes at Pure Barre.
Arming myself with a water bottle, Jackie-O sunglasses and fashionable workout clothes (if fashionable includes a wife beater and booty shorts LOL), I was convinced this class would be easy. I am thinking, “Do a plie' here, degage in 5th position, step-ball-change, jazz hands, and spirit fingers at the close…yeah…I got this.”I thought I knew…I had no idea.Pure Barre Technique is an intense and exhilarating core workout (read: even the most fit yogi will be screaming for his mama.)
The 55-minute class fuses Lotte Berk exercises, dance, yoga and Pilates for a challenging, high-energy workout. It begins with an upper-body warm-up with weights and move to the ballet barre for thigh, seat and abdominal work. Each strength section is followed by stretches to create long, lean muscles. The barre, in particular, allows you to target specific areas that can be tricky to reach other kinds of exercises. Every move has a purpose as the class switchs its focus from arms to thighs to abs to back, so a whole session is necessary for a full-body experience.
Working my muscles to fatigue, my body started shaking, I stared sweating profusely, my face started to contort, I started to scream. If one did not know better they would have thought I was having a orgasm (rather a orgasm of pain!)
But wouldn't you know it… I survived the Pure Barre Class and all I have is the pain in my gluteus maximus to show for it. Despite the torture I breathed through all the difficult positions and actually completed the process (read MESSAGE!). I felt detoxified, elongated and most of all energized. In addition it is my prediction that I will be bootylicious in no time. I have already got a class pass.For anyone who is seeking for a different fitness experience try Pure Barre. Open to men and women this technique will have your muscle and skin tone glowing with perfection for the summer season.
As for me...I plan to look bootylicious in my Freakum dress by late July (uh, oh, uh, oh, uh, oh), Please believe...I will have the picture posted on facebook!
"Pure Body is all about combining strength and flexibilty instead of just one or the other for a a balanced body"- Carrie Rezabek, founder of Pure Barre
thoughts on the random: summer shoes, facebook overload, and the conclusion of the l-dub blackberry saga.
With the first official week of summer upon us, I thought it fitting to put up a few shoes that I have my eye on. Some of you are familiar with the hot lil shoe i posted in my last "favorite things" installment--hopefully, these won't be as "too hot for TV" as those were, but sexy and stylish nonetheless.
So I pretty much would chase a chick down for these joints. Great with a sundress or maybe some skinny jeans. Fly and funky with a dash of retro. I actually bought some black ones similar to this not too long ago--I have to say that they're pretty versatile and can transition from work to play very well.
I tend to fall back on flip flops during the summer--they're comfortable and can usually withstand my metro commute to and fro. But for some reason, the old navy 2-for-1 flip flop just doesn't do it for me anymore--and those used to be my joint sophomore year! Case in point: this great red flip flop from Steve Madden.
...Because no shoe post of mine will be complete without some Pumas, since they are my favorite brand of athletic shoe. I think now is a good time to say that my birthday is exactly 7 months away...but I am also a strong believer of Christmas in July, so if you want to pick them up for me then, that would be pretty awesome :-D
Facebook Gone Wild!
I knew Facebook would evolve into MySpace's hotter sister eventually, but I don't know how I feel about all the new features. I'm glad that they're all optional, but the notification that tells you about all the activity pertaining to your profile (who just wrote on your wall, who just commented on your comment in a photo, etc.) is simply just....extra.
Don't get me started on the honesty box. I mean really, why would you want to know everything people think about you? I can really see some broken relationships/friendships/friends with benefits situations going totally awry on account of things like this.
I am feelin' the Music features though. As a music junkie myself it seems pretty useful.
The Blackberry Saga has ended
...and it ends with L-dub actually breaking down and buying a Blackberry. I decided I no longer wanted the Pearl--the buttons were too small--but that didn't mean that I didn't need or want a new phone anymore.
You see, my current little slider phone has been acting real flippant lately. I'll slide it open and the screen just goes berserk--sometimes the colors are completely off, sometimes it's blank, sometimes they're even a little static.
That sealed it. It was time for a new phone.
So I ended up getting the 8700g model. I haven't gotten it in the mail yet, but by the end of the week I'll be totin it around in classic DC fashion :-)
From the Associated Press:
Obama Launches Two Television Ads in Iowa
By MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writer
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama is launching two biographical television ads this week, focusing on early voting Iowa in the first commercials of his presidential campaign.
The ads represent a strategic shift for the Obama campaign, which has focused on grass-roots efforts and now will introduce the candidate to a new population of voters watching at home.
Candidates typically hold off on advertising during the slow summer months, but the warp-speed campaign has forced the 2008 contenders to rethink the traditional approach. Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Bill Richardson have run ads in Iowa and seen their poll numbers increase.
Obama's two biographical spots are just the start of what could be an unprecedented campaign on television. The Illinois senator has millions of dollars to spend on advertising along with other campaign activities.
The new commercials feature Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard, who worked with Obama in the Illinois Legislature and backs the candidacy of GOP Sen. John McCain and Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe.
"Many of the reasons that I like Senator McCain are the same reasons that I've always admired Barack Obama ethics, independence and a little bit of maverick spirit that lends hope that this country wouldn't be gridlocked in partisan politics," Dillard said.
A 60-second commercial, called "Choices," focuses on the decision Obama made after graduating from Harvard Law School, opting to turn down lucrative offers from law firms and instead move to Chicago as a community organizer.
The other 30-second spot, titled "Carry," addresses Obama's work in the Illinois Legislature, where Dillard praises him for pushing ethics legislation, expanding child care and health coverage and supporting tax credits for the working poor.
"Senator Obama worked on some of the deepest issues we had and was successful in a bipartisan way," Dillard says in that ad.
Aides described Tribe, a member of the Harvard law faculty, as a mentor for Obama. Tribe praises Obama for his decisions after graduating.
"It was inspiring, absolutely inspiring to see someone as brilliant as Barack Obama, as successful, someone who could have written his ticket on Wall Street, take all of the talent and all of the learning and decide to devote it to the community and to make people's lives better," Tribe says in the commercial.
The spots also feature scenes from Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, an address which vaulted him to prominence within the party.
The Obama campaign is spending a modest amount of money to run his first ads in Iowa.
A recent poll in Iowa showed Obama bunched at the top with rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards. His appearances in the state have drawn large and noisy crowds.
The ads come soon after an extensive mailing, which included a DVD biographical film on Obama, aides said.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Sorry for the delay--life has been happenin!--but here is the latest installment of the Daily Obama.
This is an interesting piece of legislation...it's true that children of all races are effected by absentee fathers and it is a good way for Obama to take advantage of the "family values" angle that his Republican colleagues are well-versed in (or so they say :-)
however, I still worry about Obama's ability to really speak on the most important political issues of the day--namely the two I words: Iraq and Immigration.
It's still early though, so I guess only time will tell what the future holds for the Barack-star.
US Fed News
June 18, 2007
SENS. BAYH, OBAMA INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO CONFRONT ABSENTEE FATHER EPIDEMIC
The office of Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., issued the following press release:
Sens. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Barack Obama (D-IL) today introduced legislation to encourage more men to take responsibility for their children and to address the challenges faced by millions of American families as a result of the national epidemic of absentee fathers.
In Indiana, one out of every four Indiana families is headed by a single mom, according to the Indiana Youth Institute Kids Count. Nationally, in the last 40 years, the number of children without fathers in America has more than quadrupled, from 5 million in 1960 to more than 24 million today. An estimated 40 percent of the children who live in fatherless households have not seen their fathers in at least one year.
The Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2007 removes government penalties on married families and offers support for fathers trying to do the right thing while cracking down on men who avoid their parental responsibilities. The bill would provide fathers with innovative job training services and other economic opportunities, while expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to help non-custodial parents trying to support their families. It would also increase child support enforcement by helping governments collect a projected $13 billion in payments from those who don't fulfill their parental responsibilities.
The Bayh-Obama legislation would help ensure that money paid for child support goes directly to children and their mothers and does not result in loss of food assistance for eligible families. It would also strengthen domestic violence prevention services.
"Conceiving a child doesn't make you a man, but raising one responsibly does," Bayh said. "The fatherhood crisis is an issue many politicians would prefer to avoid, but elected officials have a moral obligation not to sit idly by while communities crumble because of the epidemic of absentee fathers. I am not na?ve enough to believe that government alone can solve this problem, but together we can play a constructive role in crafting policies that attack the root causes of this epidemic. Fatherless children are more likely to do poorly in school and have emotional and behavioral problems. They are more likely to commit crimes, smoke cigarettes, and abuse drugs and alcohol. Many of our most pressing societal ills can be addressed by tackling the fatherhood crisis effectively."
"As fathers, we need to teach our boys what makes you a man is not just having a child, it's having the courage to raise a child," Obama said. "Congress can make it easier for those who make that responsible choice--and make it harder for those who avoid it. This legislation will provide support for fathers who are trying to do the right thing in making child-support payments by providing them with job training and job opportunities and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. It stops penalizing marriage in the tax code and makes sure that children and families, not the government, receive every penny of child support. It would also crack down on those who avoid their responsibility by increasing child-support enforcement, a measure that will collect nearly $13 billion in payments that can help raise, nurture, and educate children."
Studies show that children without fathers in their lives are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They also are more likely to have behavioral problems, to run away from home, and to become teenage parents themselves.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, companion legislation is being introduced by Congresswoman Julia Carson (D-IN) and Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL).
"This is good legislation for families across Indiana and America," Carson said. "It sends a message to our men that, once you become a parent, you have a responsibility to that child and we're going to hold you accountable, but we're also going to provide you the tools for success. The role a father plays in the life of a child is invaluable, and it's heartbreaking to consider that almost 25 million kids in this country grow up without a father in their lives. This legislation will take steps toward changing that."
"This bill is a key component of a fresh approach to family support, one which supports and strengthens families before they are at risk," Davis said. "This legislation provides the tools to strengthen relationships between fathers and their children and encourages fathers to become good nurturers and providers. The fullest positive participation by fathers helps to create a caring environment capable of fostering optimal child development, promotes humanistic cultural and community traditions while reducing poverty, teenage pregnancies, juvenile delinquency and incidents of child abuse and neglect. In the process of assuming responsibility for fatherhood, fathers themselves acquire new self confidence, new parenting skills, higher educational accomplishments and greater economic independence."
Last year, Congress passed legislation based on a proposal introduced by Senator Bayh that provided up to $50 million each year for the next five years in funding for responsible fatherhood programs nationwide as part of the spending reconciliation bill.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
from The Baltimore Sun:
Obama's appeal strong with younger voters, regardless of raceThomas F. Schaller
May 30, 2007
I'm not sure whether America is ready yet for a black president, but I do know this much: If a Barack Obama fundraiser last week in Washington is any indication, Americans under 40 sure seem amenable to the idea.
At H2O nightclub along the Potomac waterfront, more than 1,000 people shelled out $100 each to hear the 45-year-old Illinois senator give a short speech. The crowd was predominantly young, professional, racially mixed and full of what Mr. Obama might call audacious hope.
"Everywhere we've gone, we have not just big crowds but diverse crowds - crowds that span the gamut of races, of religions, of regions, of age groups and gender," said Mr. Obama. "And that sense of people coming together is a powerful thing."
When I asked attendees why they were supporting him, the words I kept hearing were "new," "fresh" and "different."
Two Haitian-born sisters in their 20s who became naturalized citizens a few years ago and have never voted in a presidential election showed up at the nightclub to get a closer look.
"I'm supporting him because it seems like he's bringing new ideas," said Daphne Francois, a law student at New York University visiting her sister, Regine, an attorney from Silver Spring. "I think he's trying to be inclusive of all ideas," added Regine Francois. Josh and Micaela, a husband and wife in their mid-30s who asked that their last name not be used, both voted for George W. Bush in 2000 but switched to John Kerry four years later. They found a sitter for their two kids so they could come over from suburban Arlington to check out the first African-American male Democrat elected to the Senate.
"I cannot believe how much he's bringing a new dialogue to the table," remarked Micaela, a Latina who served in the military and is a registered Republican. "He's not the same old, same old."
"We're really hopeful that America can get swept up in a leader, because we really haven't had much leadership in a while," said Josh, who is white and a registered independent.
These are the voters the Obama campaign is trying to lure and motivate.
"Politics in this town seems to always involve power trumping principle," Mr. Obama told the audience. "We get discouraged, and half of us don't bother to vote and the other half go to the polling place and hold our noses and vote against somebody rather than for somebody."
In his speeches, Mr. Obama talks a lot about the crippling power of cynicism. On May 19, he gave the commencement address at Southern New Hampshire University. "I rebelled, angry in the way that many young men in general, and young black men in particular, are angry, thinking that responsibility and hard work were old-fashioned conventions that didn't apply to me," he admitted. "I partied a little too much and studied just enough to get by."
After he and some college buddies "trashed" a dorm room, Mr. Obama's girlfriend pointed out that her grandmother was once a custodian who spent years cleaning up the messes left by thoughtless college kids like him. That moment, he says, caused him to remember that the world didn't revolve around him.
Mr. Obama admonished the new graduates to seek goals beyond the material. "In a few minutes, you can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and go chasing after the big house and the large salary and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should buy," he said. "But I hope you don't. Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. ... And it will leave you unfulfilled."
Monday, May 28, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
i haven't done this in a while but with summer approaching i decided it was time to do another list of things i'm lustin' after.
most of you saw my post about my upgrading to a white blackberry pearl, so i wont' repost that. (y'all lazy folks can just scroll down and see the joint). so I'll start with the dress i tried on today at banana republic:
some of you know that i'm a Zeta. well, it's time for a new blue dress. i would look devilishy phine in this thing*, and i know because i tried it on at lunch today. it's about 15o bucks but honestly: i'd drop that much for this thing cuz it's so cute. 100% silk as well.
*see, i was trying to keep from saying "devil in a blue dress" because that is corny.
okay next up:
i tried them on. they make me feel like a wanton sex kitten. i don't think there's anything else to say about these shoes. except....will you buy them for me?
and now, the obligatory greek item:
I was so in lust with this damn thing I wrote a Facebook note about it. it's good for just about any occasion---NPHC info session, sorority chapter meeting, rush, even casual friday at work. and I love the old school flair.
I may post more things. for now, this is what I got.
And yes I realize I had a Zeta blue themed-post. eh, deal with it.
I do agree that while race is still a problem in this country, it's class that blocks or allows people to go to college. Like Obama says in the article, there are plenty of poor white children who can't afford to go to school in this country.
A Question Of Race Vs. ClassAffirmative Action For the Obama Girls?
By Eugene RobinsonTuesday, May 15, 2007; A15
Barack Obama doesn't think anyone should cut his two daughters any slack when they apply to college -- not because of their race, at least. In the unlikely event that the Obama family goes broke, then maybe.
In an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Obama waded into the central issue of the affirmative action debate: race vs. class. Perhaps typically, Obama's remarks were more Socratic than declarative. He didn't really answer the question, he rephrased it. Maybe the way he posed it, though, will lead to a discussion that's long overdue.
George Stephanopoulos asked Obama whether his daughters should be able to benefit from affirmative action when the time comes for them to go to college. The girls "should probably be treated by any admissions officer as folks who are pretty advantaged," Obama said.
Stephanopoulos was driving at the question of whether race-based affirmative action programs are still needed. Another way to frame the issue is whether race or class is the more important factor in our society. Are minorities who are raised in middle-class or wealthy homes still held back by racism? Or should we now focus on socioeconomic status as the principal barrier keeping people from reaching their potential?
Obama's answer, basically, was yes. To both questions.
Obama has repeatedly gone on record as a supporter of affirmative action. But "if we have done what needs to be done to ensure that kids who are qualified to go to college can afford it," he said in the ABC interview, "affirmative action becomes a diminishing tool for us to achieve racial equality in this society."
He seemed to side with those who think class predominates when he said, "I think that we should take into account white kids who have been disadvantaged and have grown up in poverty and shown themselves to have what it takes to succeed."
It's hard to disagree with that proposition, especially as economic inequality worsens in this country. Harvard University (where Obama went to law school) has taken the lead in guaranteeing that money will not be an obstacle for qualified low-income students.
But Obama seemed to agree with those who point to the lingering effects of racism when he noted that "there are a lot of African American kids who are still struggling, that even those who are in the middle class may be first-generation as opposed to fifth- or sixth-generation college attendees, and that we all have an interest in bringing as many people together to help build this country."
That observation points to circumstances that have to be taken into account. Diversity, in my view, is very much in the national interest. But diversity is a process, not a destination. We have to keep working at it. And since a college degree has become the great divider between those who make it in this society and those who don't, affirmative action in college admissions is one of the most powerful tools we have to increase diversity.
The formal separate-but-equal framework is long gone, but de facto separation and inequality persist. Minority students are disproportionately disadvantaged by having to attend substandard primary and secondary schools. Their parents are less likely to have attended college and thus may not be familiar with all the things parents have to do to make their children competitive when it comes time to apply for college admission. And while racism is not the institutional and legal straitjacket it was 50 years ago, it persists in subtler yet still pernicious forms.
Yes, class is important. But race is, too, and while I hope we eventually get to the point where race is irrelevant, we still have a long way to go.
As for Obama's assessment of his daughters' privileged status, that's just a statement of the obvious. With such Type A, high-wattage parents, those girls probably will have the grades and test scores to get into any college. And if they don't, they will benefit from a different affirmative action program -- one that for many generations has ushered the academically undistinguished scions of prominent families into the nation's most selective colleges and universities.
Let's not pretend that college admissions has ever been a level playing field. Obama graduated from Columbia; his wife, Michelle, from Princeton. This means that at those two Ivy League schools, their daughters will be "legacy" applicants, just like George W. Bush was at Yale and legions of Kennedys have been at Harvard. Given the Obamas' power and fame, admissions officers at the schools they attended -- and probably at other elite schools, too -- are going to find a way to let the Obama girls in.