Category: Other

Why I Can’t “Dig Into” Food Trucks

There are a lot of food trucks in the area that I live. I have tried a few of them but I never really got into the whole food truck craze. While I think the concept of a “mobile restaurant” is pretty cool I do think it’s kind of strange that someone can cook a whole meal inside of an automobile. Doesn’t it seem a little weird to eat food that was cooked right next to a transmission or an engine?

First off, I always worry about the cleanliness of food trucks. The same hands that handle the food also handle my money. Sometimes I see the workers use gloves but they don’t always take them off when handling cash. And that’s just not right. With so many hands grabbing at everything, how can they possible keep everything completely sterile? Besides, is the food from these trucks even made on location? What if the food is made in someone else’s kitchen & brought into the food truck before they open?  Who knows where these meals really come from.

Secondly, I don’t like standing outside in the heat (or in the cold for that matter). Who wants to be outside in the sweltering heat just to get a burger? Sure food trucks have an awesome menu, but unless your food is THAT good it’s just not worth the wait. And in the wintertime when it’s raining cats & dogs that probably means the food trucks that I like won’t even be outside. Extreme weather conditions make it difficult to patronize food trucks.

Thirdly, because food trucks are always moving around it gets harder & harder to keep track of where they are. If I have a midnight craving for macaroni & cheese, how am I supposed to find my favorite mac’n’cheese truck if it’s moved across town? Not all food trucks are listed on the internet and can be very hard to find. The ones with the larger followings are easily traceable but unless you’re a “foodie” who can keep up?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think food trucks are good for niche meals. You just have to be careful in choosing the right one.

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Things That Really Chap My Hide!

There are certain things in this society that just don’t make any sense to me, so I’ve decided to keep a list. I started that list in a previous posting, below is a continuation. Happy reading!

  • Why do hole punchers cost so much? – I don’t know if I’m paying to organize my papers in a binder or if it’s just another way of purchasing confetti. And why are hole punchers so heavy? It shouldn’t take a 5 pound object to cut through a sheet of paper, which only weighs about 2 grams. Oh well, at least they make great paperweights.

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  • Why are garbage bags so expensive? – I’ve asked my friends this question many times & no one seems to have a good answer. In essence, I’m purchasing garbage since all I’m going to do is throw the bag away with everything else inside. It’s such a shame that the bag itself is worth more than its contents. =(

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  • All doors should be pushed only, not pulled – I hate touching nasty doorknobs or dirty handles and am of the belief that they shouldn’t even exist. Why can’t all public doors be swinging doors – you know, built like the doors in a restaurant kitchen? I’ll bet this would cut down on so much disease.

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  • I can’t wear a red shirt with tan pants anymore lest someone think I work @ Target – I remember the times when uniforms were restricted to warehouse workers or gas station attendees. But now, it seems anyone who works a register has to wear one. The thing that gets me is that apparently workers at Target can not only wear a red shirt but anything that has red in it. So it gets more & more confusing as to whom the real red–shirt wearers are versus their perpetrators. At least Best Buy employees all wear Best Buy polo shirts, so there is no question that they are at work. The workers at Target conveniently forget to wear their badges so unless I see someone with a price gun in their hand, I can’t assume that they work there. Do you know how many people I’ve insulted that just happened to be wearing red shirts? Geez! It’s almost like me walking into a courtroom wearing a robe, and getting offended if people think I’m the judge. If you happen to be shopping at one of these places then don’t wear red! And don’t get me started on Kmart; they seem to think they are Wal-Mart workers because they all wear the same colors – blue & tan. And here I was thinking that Kmart’s employees would wear red because it’s the store with the big red “K”. How silly of me to think that!

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  • Why do batteries always come in packs? I only need 2 (4 at the most) – Anybody with a remote control can feel my pain! I’m sure by now somebody has complained to Duracell about it, yet they keep making these multipacks. I really should start a petition and even write my Congressman. It’s just so unfair! And what do we do with the extra batteries in the pack? Put them in the junk drawer & forget about them, right?! I know I’m not alone on that one! Of course, when we need batteries again don’t we always forget about that half-used pack stuck in the bottom of the drawer and end up buying a brand new pack? I know I do! Aauugghh! There’s got to be another use for these leftover batteries. Maybe I’ll start selling them individually on EBay or give them away as Christmas gifts.

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Why Am I Sucking In My Stomach At The Gym?

By now, you all know that I see some crazy things when I’m at the gym. Here are my sightings from this week:

  • Why is there a couch at the gym? – In the waiting area of my gym there is a black leather couch where I’ll see people sitting from time to time. It’s right next to the area where the sales reps sit but I have no idea why it’s there. Is the couch for people who are waiting for their personal training appointment or are they weary from a heavy workout? Whatever the case may be, I think it’s a bad incentive to have plush leather seating in the waiting area of a gym
  • There should be a fast food restaurant connected to the gym – Think of Wal-Mart. They have a McDonald’s connected to most of their stores, so why can’t the gym? I understand it’s all about getting fit and losing weight but what’s wrong with a little reward when you’re done? Or better yet, pig out before you hit the gym so you’ll be even more motivated to work out harder
  • I hate when men walk around with a puffed out chest – Most guys are just not that buff so why do these men act like they’ve been bench pressing 400 pounds? It’s like me sucking in my stomach while I walk around. It’s a gym folks & we’re all fat!
  • Please wear appropriate gym attire – Why do people show up at the gym wearing street clothing? Everyone knows what to wear to the gym and gym clothes are not expensive at all. Say no to the cargo shorts & respect the house of fitness.
  • Is it just me or does yoga seem like something you can do at home? – Yoga is very much an individual sport, like track or swimming. It’s not like the other people in the class are there to motivate you, or like we’re all suddenly going to get hype together.  I don’t see the point of going to a class where I sit down & stretch for an hour. I can lay a mat out & practice my breathing in the comfort of my own living room

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The Newest Member Of Mensa Is Black!

The newest member of MENSA is Anala Beevers, a little African American girl from New Orleans, Louisiana. With an IQ of 145, she was inducted into this very exclusive club just last month. (Normal genius level is around 130). Can you believe that she’s only 4 years old?! At 4 years old I knew how to read but I was nowhere near genius status. GO ANALA!!

We all know that Mensa is for the exceptionally smart, but did you know that only 2% of the general population qualifies for membership by passing a standardized intelligence test? With more than 57,000 members, there are more Americans in Mensa than in any other country in the world. Members range in age from 2 to 102 and include people from all walks of life – engineers, homemakers, teachers, actors, athletes, students and CEOs alike.

Who’s in Mensa? According to www.us.mensa.org, the youngest Mensan is 2 years old; the oldest is 102 years old. Approximately 38% are Baby Boomers between the ages of 51 and 68, 31% are Gen-Xers between the ages of 27 and 48 and over 2,600 members are under the age of 18. The general membership is 66% male, 33% female but currently there isn’t any data available about racial breakdowns.

So, you’re probably wondering what a bunch of geniuses do when they get together. Well, they have community-oriented activities and can attend entertaining, intellectually stimulating events all while exchanging ideas with others through a variety of publications.  So, little Ms. Anala Beevers is in for a lifetime of learning!

Click here for Anala’s story.

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Talk To Me, Baby: What Type Of Phone Call Are You?!

Life keeps us so busy that it gets difficult trying to catch up with family and friends. There are some people that I love talking to & some that I can’t stand to talk to for more than a few minutes at a time, so I’ve categorized my phone calls. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about –

  • Bathroom phone call: Sitting in the bathroom is usually one of the most peaceful times of day for me (don’t laugh) so what better time than to call someone that has stressful conversation? This way when I’m done with my “business”, I’m also done with the phone call. Sometimes I wish I could flush certain people down the toilet (lol!)
  • Lunch break: These phone calls are usually pretty quick since lunch breaks are only an hour long. Because I have to eat and possibly do other things during my lunch break people I call during this time are usually just acquaintances, business calls or family members I don’t really want to talk to for very long.
  • Making dinner: This is where I get to multitask – I call people who are not that interesting.  This way I don’t have to give them my undivided attention and once dinner is ready (usually 30 minutes or less) it’s time to get off that phone.
  • Eating dinner: While I’m eating, I usually call people who like to talk a lot. It’s not good to talk with food in my mouth so during this time I can be a really good listener. And if I go for seconds, then they can really keep talking!
  • In the car – These phone calls are reserved for people I really like because sitting in the car is the largest chunk of time I use up. Traffic can get really bad and driving a few miles can take anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour, so this is truly the best way to kill time. I can connect with friends that I love talking with while I get to my destination safely.

I’d like to hear from you…..what type of phone call do you think you are?

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“We Are All Oscar Grant”

Today I went to go see Fruitvale Station. Unfortunately, it wasn’t playing in a theater near me so I had to travel a little ways to see it, and I am so glad that I did.

If you’re not aware of this film, here’s the back story: Twenty-two year old African American Oscar Grant, III was brutally shot & killed in Oakland on New Year’s Day in 2009 by an overzealous White transit cop named Johannes Mehserle. Johannes was sentenced to 2 years but ended up serving only 11 months in prison. That’s right – 11 months in jail for murdering an unarmed young man.

Not knowing much about the story of Oscar Grant, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I walked into the theater. But 2 minutes into the movie, I was enraged! The movie started off with the live shooting of Oscar Grant (what I’ve attached here) and sets the tone for the rest of the film. This movie shows the kind of man that Oscar was – an imperfect one, but a seemingly good father and completely innocent young man. His whole objective that night was to celebrate New Year’s with his friends and get home safely by taking the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) instead of driving. But he never made it home. Transit cop Mehserle claims that he was reaching for his taser to calm Oscar down but instead grabbed his gun and shot Oscar in the back while he was lying on the ground defenseless.

Riots & protests ensued in the days following Oscar Grant’s murder, some peaceful and some violent. I can only imagine the heartache that Ms. Wanda Johnson felt in losing her son Oscar considering that he was unarmed & not dangerous. Barely old enough to drink, he simply wanted to ring in the New Year without any trouble. There can’t be any worse way to start off your New Year than to learn that your son’s life was unexpectedly & unjustifiably taken. But through it all, she still fights for hope in our justice system and redemption for her son’s execution.

I did feel as though the movie was incomplete. Before the end credits rolled there was a status update letting us know what happened to Oscar’s family & the transit cop that killed him. However, the battle shouldn’t end with his death. Connect with the Oscar Grant Foundation, whose mission is in part to “Provide comfort, needs assessment, emergency counseling and resource referral information to assist the family through the initial aftermath of a traumatic event caused by violence and treatment for the emotional injuries sustained at the hands of law enforcement officers.”

Fruitvale Station won two awards in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival: the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature & the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film. This film stars Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer and is playing nationwide in a theater near you.

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Don’t Pray For Me. Pray For My Dentist!

I had yet another dental appointment this week & was scared for my life. I would rather be stuck with 5,000 needles than to have a drill in my mouth for two hours on a single tooth. My new dentist is pretty good (I just started going to him this year) but when I walked into his office he didn’t seem as upbeat as usual.

That’s when it dawned on me that my prayers this morning were for the wrong person. I was praying that God keep me safe & calm during my root canal but I should’ve been praying for my dentist (actually the endodontist) instead. After all, he’s the one with the drill & the Novocain in his hands. It doesn’t matter how calm I am if my dentist didn’t get a good night’s rest. He might be too tired to do the best possible job on my teeth.

Have you ever been at work, only a few days away from a much needed vacation & can’t concentrate on your work because you‘re daydreaming about lying on a beach instead? Well what if my dentist had an upcoming vacation and couldn’t focus on my teeth? Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What about when you have a meeting right before lunch and your stomach is growling because you missed breakfast? Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What if my dentist had a fight with his wife that morning (or even the night before) and is in a bad mood now? Uh oh, I’m in trouble. What if my dentist doesn’t feel well but didn’t want to call in sick today? Uh oh, I’m in trouble.

So before you go to see a medical specialist of any kind, pray not just for yourself but also for your doctor. Trust me, it’ll make a difference!

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Why Are You Wearing Cologne To The Gym?

From time to time I like to write about my experiences at the gym. I try to work out about 4-5 days a week so something comes up almost every day. Here are my gym randoms for the week:

  • Men stop wearing cologne to the gym – Spraying an expensive fragrance (or even a cheap one) will never mask the odor of pure funk. Everybody at the gym smells & if you’re working out hard enough you will too.
  • Chest hairs are not sexy – If you have a lot of chest hair or hairy arms please cover that up. Nobody wants to see all that. Leave something to the imagination, guys! T-shirts are sold everywhere so there is no excuse.
  • There should be a minimum amount of weight that a man has to lift at the gym– A man should be able to lift more weight than I can. So if I leave a machine with, let’s say 25 pound weights, then a guy shouldn’t be able to sit at that machine & use the same amount of weight. He should have to automatically increase those weights by at least 50%. After all, aren’t men supposed to be stronger than women?!
  • I’ve said this before, but big arms & a big gut don’t go together – Talk about irony, why not work out so that your body looks ripped all over? It makes no sense to be strong enough to pick me up but your stomach is so big I can’t even hug you all the way. Ha!

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Racism: You Can’t Determine What Is Offensive To Someone Else

Most African Americans have experienced racism at some point in their life. The problem is that most White’s in this country are apathetic to our plight. They tend to think the problems that we have are self-inflicted and our bouts with racism are over-exaggerated. I contend that another person, particular someone who is not of color, will never understand exactly what racism is & how it can affect generations of people.

White people don’t deny that there is some racism out there. And we already know that most racist acts are committed against African Americans – not Hispanics, not Asians, not Indians – but African Americans. So if we all can agree that racism exists & that African Americans are victimized more often, then we must agree that there is a perpetrator. After all, racism cannot exist without a catalyst, right?

Let’s talk about the “n-word”. There are some White people that think because some African Americans use that word, that it’s counterintuitive to discourage Whites from using this word. They can’t seem to understand why we continue to perpetuate a term that has such a hurtful past but get upset when they use that word. Here’s my response to any White person who says that:

SO WHAT, YOU DON’T GET TO DECIDE WHAT IS OFFENSIVE TO ME!

The aggressor (in this case: White people) doesn’t get to decide whether or not it’s okay to use a word that I consider offensive coming from someone else. It’s the same example that I gave in an earlier post – if I call someone fat that’s considered rude even if they call themselves fat. And unless you grew up under a rock, everyone knows that the n-word is offensive to Blacks coming from White people. So why would you use it (especially in public)? White people aren’t always the aggressor and all Whites aren’t racist, but when it comes to race relations they don’t have the privilege of appearing to be a racist. It’s the same way with sexual harassment – if I say my co-worker is sexually harassing me then my company has an obligation to investigate even if my co-worker doesn’t agree that sexual harassment took place. Even if you don’t agree that using that word is wrong, you still know that it’s considered offensive so just don’t use it.

Some things we don’t have to agree with or even understand – Feelings are subjective. If someone is offended by something, you don’t tell them that they are wrong for being offended, instead you respect the way they feel.

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I Like It Clean

My friends make fun of me because I listen to cuss-free rap. When I download rap music I always select the clean version because I don’t like to listen to a lot of foul language even though I may really like the artist.  Although the explicit lyrics help make the song what it is, here are the main reasons why I choose clean lyrics:

  • I don’t want to hear the same 4 cuss words again and again – Hearing the chorus over & over is repetition enough for me
  • I prefer to focus on the lyrics, not the vulgarity – Cussing takes away from the song & ruins the integrity of the words being said
  • I like the beat – Isn’t that what all children tell their parents when they want to listen to music they shouldn’t be listening to? When I was in junior high & high school I used to listen to Tupac (I still love Ambitionz As a Ridah) and Dr. Dre ( remember Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang?) all the time but when my parents listened to my Walkman, they would admonish me for listening to all that cursing. I tried to explain that I just listened to rap music for the beat, but my parents never bought that excuse
  • It is possible to have good music without all those bad words – Just look at other genres of music. Country, Latin or Jazz music don’t have curse words but it’s still good music to listen to
  • I don’t want to offend others – When I play my music loud (which is the best way to play rap music), I don’t want the language to be offensive to others. You never know who is listening whether it be children, senior citizens or people that just don’t want to hear it at all.
  • I don’t want to hear women called out of their name repeatedly– I’ve heard the “B-word” enough to last me a lifetime; I certainly don’t need to hear it again & again

So, you see, there are good reasons for listening to clean rap music. Right now my favorite “clean” song is Lil Wayne & 2Chainz – “Rich as *%$^#”, but of course the clean version.  You should try it sometime!