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What I'm Watching on #Netflix

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

For this week's picks from Netflix Instant Watch, I bring you a must-watch TV show and a double film feature! I have been binge-watching all summer, so I might have to publish two posts this week:

TV Show:
Orange is the New BlackOrange Is the New Black.Netflix hits it out of the ballpark (or the prison yard) with this dramedy based on the memoir of a newly-engaged NYC WASP who is sent to a federal prison where must quickly learn to adapt to prison culture. She is a fish out of water living in a fishbowl, which makes for great laughs and some serious reflection on the humanity of inmates. I was hesitant to recommend this show because of it's graphic sexual content and language. But I decided that would be akin to self-censorship, so here is my disclaimer: this is not a show for the easily-offended or prudish.

Safety Not GuaranteedSafety Not Guaranteed.This move defies classification into typical film genres. It's sort of a romantic comedy if you consider a pair of social outcasts falling in love to be romantic. It's sort of a thriller if you consider a band of misfit journalists investigating a time-traveling weirdo to be thrilling. Basically you have to be an oddball to appreciate this movie. I am and I did. It's whacky funny!

The DetailsThe Details. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great. That's a shame for a film jam packed with acclaimed actors. Tobey Maguire's quivering lips and marble-sized tears (ever notice how huge his tear drops are when he cries on camera?!) plays a douche-bag husband who commits a series of transgressions that ruins several lives. It's supposed to be a dark comedy, but I found it to be more disturbing than twisted funny.

Dear Trayvon,

Monday, July 15, 2013

Trayvon Martin shooting protest 2012 Shankbone 5
By David Shankbone (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I usually keep my blog a politics-free zone. But since the verdict was announced in the George Zimmerman case, I cannot hold my tongue. You see I have been engaging in quiet protest since the tragic shooting of this young black man in February 2012. I signed the family's petition and wrote to legislators about banning stand your ground laws. But quiet action is almost the same a saying you are ashamed about what you are doing. I am going to speak my mind and not worry about how readers will react.

I actually started writing this post on MLK Day, the day our first black president gave his second inauguration address. I was reflecting on the Reverend's dream about not being judged by the color of our skin and whether it had finally come true when Trayvon popped into my head. I pictured him in his hoodie and answered my own question with a heavy no. The one-year anniversary of the shooting that claimed Trayvon's life was approaching and so was the trial of his killer, self-deputized neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. I hoped against hope that justice would be served but was careful not to get my hopes up.

In the aftermath, many people implied that Trayvon somehow deserved what happened to him. Questions about what he was doing walking in that neighborhood at night wearing a hoodie (read: the uniform of a hoodlum) rose above questions about the actions of the man in violation of his own community's code of conduct. They dragged Trayvon's history into the debate (a suspension from school for marijuana possession) as if that proved he was up to no good that fateful night. At the end of the day he was a kid. All kids make mistakes, none of them should die for it. If every adult in this country were given a death-penalty hearing for the bone-head mistakes we made in our youth very few of us would be found not guilty.

The fact in plain black & white is that an unarmed black teenager was stalked and shot like an animal by a suburban vigilante with a gun. And America largely sees no problem with this because, after all, black boys die on the streets of LA, Chicago, and Brooklyn all the time (often by the hands of one their own). So what makes this kid so special, right?! To put it in simple terms: everyone's life is precious. those who steal life must be held accountable. George Zimmerman should have been punished for instigating a confrontation that ended with a child losing his life.

Now a jury of his peers has let Zimmerman walk away from his crime. He gets to walk away, AGAIN. The country will move on to other issues. But his parents won't. His friends won't. Social justice advocates won't. I won't. His face will haunt me, reminding me to keep agitating. When I look into my son's eyes, I see Trayvon's reflection sometimes. And I make a vow not to raise my son with double standards. I refuse to subject him to Jim Crow-like rules such averting his eyes and mumbling "no-sir" when confronted by an authority figure. I refuse to because that would be teaching my son that he is second-class citizen.

There was a time when men settled their difference with their fists and the loser left with a broken nose and a bruised ego. But both men lived to fight another day. These days a grown man can pick a fight with a teenager and then shoot-to-kill when he loses the upper hand. So who is really the thug in this scenario?

Trayvon stood his ground that night but the law was not on his side.

Missed Me?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hello friends!

Sorry I went off the air. That's not entirely the case. I was posting some reviews and giveaways, but I promised more life posts and I've dropped the ball. Sorry 'bout that.

I am struggling to find the time to maintain this blog. Truthfully, I am doing social media stuff all day at work and it's been hard to summon the power to post on my personal site. Plus work is time-consuming and I find my "free time" divided between family and chores. Aw, balance (post on that coming soon!).

Here is a few updates: I was featured at Mom Meet Mom this week. Mom Meet Mom is like Match.com for the mommy set. One of a my favorite bloggers Christa of I Know How Babby Is Formed, is the visionary behind this movement. Please go check it out!

Marlie's sass meter is off the charts. She likes to argue and thinks she's smarter than you so she tries to justify talking back. Now, I'm all for encouraging my child to use her reasoning skills and powers of persuasion, just don't be rude! I told her I was sending her to law school so can turn all that back talk into billable hours. She learned to snap her fingers recenltly which she enjoys doing while watching Michael Jackson videos on YouTube. She calls him "Michael Jack" and she asked me why his nose looks different in Blame it on the Boogie and Bad (she's very observant). She turns 4 next month and the birthday party is all planned out. If you follow my boards on Pinterest then you already know the theme is Toy Story Western. I can't wait to share photos! This fall we will take her on kindergarten school tours because the public school system has school choice option (it's really a placement lottery). We will also visit a couple of charter and parochial schools. I am trying not to freak out about it.

Desmond had a huge growth spurt and is already more than half Marlie's height. People comment that he is going to be taller than her. They may be right. He clocked in at 75 percentile for height at his 15 month wellness check up. He weighs 20 lbs so he is going to be long and lean. He has taken to school like a fish to water. He likes stacking and sorting. He even stacks and sorts things around the house. Too bad we have to transfer him to another school because we can't afford to keep him at Marlie's school (long story). He is also talking up a storm: nana (banana), hair-to (here you go), du (dog/duck), baba (Marlie), mama, dada, and oh-oh.

Me and Damon went through a rough patch recently. Lots of arguments and nights on the couch. After a particularly nasty day of exchange barbs and hanging up on each other, we put the kids to bed and talked. It was a huge breakthrough. Things are on the mend and just in time to have a happy 13th wedding anniversary on July 15.

Coupon Code: Squooshi Reusable Pouches for Squishy Food

Monday, July 1, 2013

Adorably designed, Squooshi reusable food pouches are fun for kids of all ages and you'll appreciate the cost savings of DIY...Save up to hundreds of dollars annually! With Squooshi you can store, freeze, and serve all from the same container. www.squooshi.com Use Code FAMILYGUIDE for a FREE set of replacement caps

Squooshi food pouches are reusable and uniquely designed so they are fun for kids, helpful for parents, and better for our environment.

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Get Back to Work with Staples.com

Staples.com provided me with this product for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of backpacks online.

I started a new job last month after being a stay-at-home mom for five years. On top of a new wardrobe, I also needed a laptop bag. Staples.com stepped in to make my back-to-work shopping easy!

They have a wide selection of laptop bags from traditional cases to backpacks and even some on wheels. The Altego Channel Stitched Ruby 17" Laptop Backpack caught my eye because I like to be hands-free while getting two kids and other supplies into the car in the mornings. It retails for $69.99 which is less than I was planning to spend.

What I instantly liked about the Altego backpack was it's sleek look and pops of color. But just as important as style is its utility. This backpack fits an extra large laptop like mine with room to spare. If you think it would be a strain on the back, you would be wrong. It has an adjustable chest strap for even distribution of weight and the material is very lightweight. As for protection, the bottom is waterproof  and the padded lining provides ample protection for my precious cargo...just like a car seat for laptops!

Staples.com is my new shopping destination for office supplies. Did you know they offer free shipping to Rewards members? Sign me up!
laptop backpack
Me and my new best accessory.

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