Health and YouTube Challenge

Apparently I am a sucker for punishment because in between taking care of my mother and working on getting some projects and other sources of income, I have decided to give myself a health challenge and a YouTube Challenge.  What is going on?  Read on.

I was trying to get my mother in the tub to assist her in bathing and not only did she only get water in her face, I ended up with a sore back.  My tailbone is killing me and I realize it is because I am so out of shape.  For the last couple of years, I have concentrated on everyone’s health and happiness.  Then last year, I decided to take advantage of the gym in my apartment complex.  Just when I was starting to get used to going at least three times a week, I got the call from Puerto Rico.  I dropped everything and flew down just to find out my dad was in the hospital in really bad shape.  I did not exercise after that (except for a couple of bad attempts I really did not put much effort into).  I sweat off 15 pounds and with my fabulous adrenaline and ice cream diet, gained 20 more for a whooping 235 pounds.  I am not healthy and I am not happy, like I mentioned on another blog post.  So now what?

I started walking.  Yesterday I went around the block once.  Today, I was able to go around the block three times.  Then we loosely measured the distance with the car and it turns out that it is 0.1 of a mile.  I need to go around ten times to walk one mile.  My goal for the month of March is to walk around ten times.  Let us see how that goes.

Not happy with what seems like a big enough challenge, I decided to take back a challenge I wanted to do last year.  I started out a 100 day challenge and everything was going well until my dad took a turn for the worse and I abandoned the goal.  So, as you can see, I created a video and I started the challenge yesterday.

So what challenges have you decided to tackle this week?  Leave your comment below the video.  Thanks.


Chris Rock was in a NO Win Situation

The Oscars were finally televised on Sunday. They were accused of being too white although the president of the Academy is African American and the host was African American. Never mind that the people complaining could be seen as sore losers for not getting a nomination, Chris Rock was in a no win situation.

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of Chris Rock. When he was starting out, he had this joke about the fact that the lower you were in the totem pole, the better you were as a boxer. In boxing you had the white people at the bottom, the blacks in the middle and the Puertoricans at the top. Well, obviously, I found the joke offensive. If you are trying to make the point that you are against racism, why are you making a racist joke to make that point? Suffice it to say, I am not happy that I am defending the man now.

Chris Rock was in a no win situation for several reasons. If he would have made it all about Black Power, he would have lost some of the white audience in the process. If he criticized his own people, he would have been seen as a sellout and an Uncle Tom. Back in the day, throwing shade at both sides would have been funny and liked by all. Unfortunately, we are living in a time when everybody is offended by everything, so this strategy backfired.

He made fun of the Academy…for too long. Halfway through the show, I was even tired of it.

He made fun of Jada Pinkett Smith. Even though most people know that the only reason she complained was because her husband did not get nominated, he was criticized for that.

He made fun of the movies, the presenters, and the movie industry. Depending on who you ask, he went too far or not far enough.

In the end, he was in an impossible position. This entire controversy to me is ridiculous for one simple reason. If these people consider themselves creatives making an art form, why are they so hung up on a prize? If they are above all of us who like competition, why are they making an issue about nominations? There are award shows for African Americans and that is fine. However, if a white person decides tomorrow to make a show to highlight the work of white actors only, that person is being racist. Why?

I have always been against divide and conquer. My generation was supposed to end all this unnecessary comparisons. So why is it even worse now? Because we all want to be equally important no matter the endeavor. So it really is not about the best person for the job, it is about which minority complains the loudest. This is an era of incredible mediocrity that continues talking about the little things instead of making it about what it should be. I’m sorry, if I was an actress, I would not like to be the token Latina getting the nomination. I would like to get a nomination because I did such a good job that nobody can deny me. This is what people miss in these controversies all the time. We are making everything about sex and race and those should not be the only considerations.

At one point, Mr. Rock mentioned the fact that back in the 60s, his community was more concerned about getting hanged than they were about getting a little golden statue. In an era when we have Donald Trump inciting hate against Hispanics, POWs, Muslims, Women and people from Idaho, getting a golden statue should be the least of our problems.

The second point that I want to make is that African Americans are not the only minority in the US. While Jada, her husband and Spike Lee were complaining about inequality, Alejandro González Iñaritu became the first person to win Best Director back to back in the last 65 years. Last time I looked, Iñaritu is Mexican. I think African Americans need to start looking at their contribution to the industry and make things happen. It is very easy to sit back and criticize instead of making an effort to put out good products year after year. We had 12 Years a Slave, Selma and a few other movies and then we had Straight Out of Compton.  You want to get our attention, you need to keep making more and more movies.  In this day and age where many people consume their material online, go for independent productions and create your own buzz with social media.

The other advice I would give African Americans is that not every movie they make has to be an all black cast. One of the few things that I applaud Shonda Rhymes for is the fact that she always has a cast of characters that includes all kinds of people in her shows. This should also be true in film. You can tell really good stories and have African American actors in the lead roles. It does not have to be only black actors in the movie.

Do I think that some movies came out that should have receive a nod? Yes. I did not see Straight Out of Compton. I have heard overwhelming praise for the actors who participated in this movie. Do I think an actor should be nominated just because he is Black, Asian or Latino? No. There are too many good movies with too many amazing performances. There were also big blockbuster films that did not get nominated. In the end, if you want to change the industry, the insiders need to start by creating more and more content. Then we need to follow suit and spend our dollars in those movies that promote a world where we have all kinds of people.

On a last note I want to make something perfectly clear. You cannot keep throwing shade at people while doing the same thing they did to your community. I am tired of watching people use the excuse that the whites enslaved black people and they need to learn a lesson. The only way they enslave you is if instead of doing your thing and showing how good you are, you keep using prejudice as an excuse to do mediocre work. You cannot scream equality while at the same time being racist. Racism can come from any race and it does, every day.

I would love to hear your opinion so leave your comment below.

Mourning and Organizing

This is the disaster in the apartment.
This is the disaster in the apartment.

For those of you who know the story, two years ago I went from having a normal life with a husband, a daughter and a dog, to complete chaos.  My husband was diagnosed with cancer and even the test for cancer got infected and gave him a five day stay at  a hospital.  My father, who had leukemia for almost ten years, was diagnosed with cancer.  My husband had surgery in April and on May 27th, we got the call that my father was in the hospital.  Not two days before he had been talking about a friend being sick and his family standing by him.  That Saturday, May 30th, 2015, my sister and I were in Puerto Rico hoping that he would not die.  He did not, we got him to the US, where he died on January 17th, 2016, leaving us with mom, who apparently has Alzheimer’s.  Since they moved in with me and brought their lives here with us, we tried to fit a three bedroom apartment and a two bedroom into a three bedroom apartment for the five of us.  We also had a storage unit.  Needless to say, the transition was not easy.  And so, a month later, with no job, no prospects and an apartment that is fatter than I am, we find ourselves in mourning and organizing.

I have always been a pack rat.  I don’t know if it was because I was the last of four and I always felt that I got what the others did not want.  Or maybe I always felt like the happy accident I knew I had been.  The thing is, for birthdays and Christmas, I never got hand me downs and I held on to those presents for years.  So much so that I still have a very tall Barbie that my dad gave me one year.  I have to say that most of the stuff I have not given away.  They have been lost after 23 moves.  Add to that the fact that my father was himself a pack rat and you have a recipe for disaster.

We have read all the books, even taken courses.  The truth is I can go to your house right now and help you figure out what organizing system will work for you.  I cannot do that for myself.  I’m not unbiased enough.  So here I sit, surrounded by tons of stuff and coupons that will probably expire because I keep forgetting to take care of these things.

I also understand that because I did everything I could until his last day of life, I really don’t have any guilt or unfinished issues with my dad.  I barely cried for him, although I do get emotional when I want to talk to him and I realize he is not here.  I do, on occasion, feel guilty that I don’t cry more.  I loved this man to death.  I don’t understand why his final good bye was so easy for me.  And then I look at my room, with piles and piles of unfinished business, and I understand.  This is how I mourn.

I decided to take the situation at hand and deal with it in a very specific way.  The way is simple.  I am right now, taking one thing at a time.  Contrary to what every book, magazine, article, guru, YouTube video and expert says, I am taking each piece of paper and dealing with it.  This means that I grab a piece of paper and I decide if it is trash, shred, recycle, or do something.  If the item requires an action, I go ahead and do it at that moment.  This will mean that it will take me longer to finish.  Right now, that is the best I can do because I don’t want to do anything else.  I want to deal with things once and then get them out of my life.

This is how I deal with my grief.  I understand that it is going to take me longer to do everything.  That is what I have to do and I am fine with that.

So how do you deal with grief?  Let us know in the comments section below.