6 Dec 2013
“Comfort can always be found in the memories of a life well lived.” ~ASM
Nelson Mandela, finally free.
Posted from WordPress for Android
“Comfort can always be found in the memories of a life well lived.” ~ASM Nelson Mandela, finally free. Posted from WordPress for Android
I have such respect for bloggers who follow the lives and every little change, diet, and nuisance of celebrities. It takes a lot of work to keep up with one’s own life, not to mention keeping up with the lives of others. I’m tired just thinking about it. Thankfully there’s room for all types of(…)
September was an exciting month. I was published by two online publications and saw a chapter of my life published, along with 29 other mothers, writers, and bloggers, in the book, The Mother of All Meltdowns. It’s no secret that when you share pieces of yourself with the public – be it a national publication,(…)
The Best Man Holiday, is the sophomore release to The Best Man, original in theaters almost 15 years ago. Like with most sequels audiences feel as if they know the characters and feel as if they’re at a reunion or homecoming of some sort and eagerly anticipate catching up on old times to see how their(…)
30 Nov 2013
I have such respect for bloggers who follow the lives and every little change, diet, and nuisance of celebrities. It takes a lot of work to keep up with one’s own life, not to mention keeping up with the lives of others. I’m tired just thinking about it. Thankfully there’s room for all types of bloggers and there’s an audience for us all. To the celebrity bloggers, I want to go on record to report that I am not your competition. I don’t have the wherewithal to blog about celebrities for these 5 distinct reasons:
So what say you friends, do you log onto celebrity gossip sites and watch celebrity gossip networks/shows? (I do!)
Bloggers/writers do you write about celebrity gossip and entertainment?
30 Nov 2013
September was an exciting month. I was published by two online publications and saw a chapter of my life published, along with 29 other mothers, writers, and bloggers, in the book, The Mother of All Meltdowns.
It’s no secret that when you share pieces of yourself with the public – be it a national publication, readers of books, audiences, or viewers, you place yourself in the spotlight to be judged, ridiculed, and scrutinized.
The excitement over my first paid publication could have quickly been marred by the commentary that ranged from opinionated readers questioning my age and maturity to others pitying me for being such a “great writer” who “wasted” her time with the likes of my article topic, a tongue in cheek phenomenon I’ve coined as “Instagram Filter-Shaming.”
If it weren’t for the year I’ve spent blogging – literally practicing my writing habits, slowly growing from blogging anonymously to being encouraged to use my name and then add my picture (thank you Joi), defining a writing style and tone, honing my craft, and being supported and critiqued by bloggy friends, actual friends, and even the readers who seldom comment, I would have lost my ish reading negative, judgmental, and misguided comments on my first paid publication.
Because I know that writing about something as touchy and disheartening as my experience with troubled skin and the low self-esteem that tends to linger in its wake, can make me sensitive to judgment, I simply chose not to read all 150-something and counting comments. I read some, and even responded kindly to a few negative and positive comments because I have just the right dose of delusion, wisdom, and optimism to consider it all as a compliment and testament to my ability to engage readers who agree and disagree with me.
Unfortunately (maybe fortunately?) my loved ones, namely two of my girlfriends, did take the time to read some of the comments and were a bit livid at some of the negative responses. (Good girlfriends are ready to go to bat over perceived disrespect and hurt feelings. Thanks ladies!) One of my friends asked incredulously, “Did you read what some people were writing?!” The other asked, “Are you okay with how some people have responded to your article?”
The fact that people actually read my article and were interested and affected enough to write a comment, despite their disgust with the topic, is the accomplishment I could have hoped for. To engage people in dialogue is a sign of my definition of success. While people may not have liked my topic and thought it was juvenile or a non-factor, not even one person (at least from my girlfriends account who read ALL of the comments) spoke ill of my writing style, technique, and ability to engage. That, my friends, is the goal of both BeQuoted and Andrea Moore.
So for those of you who feel judged, ridiculed, and scrutinized, pay the naysayers only enough attention to thank them for paying you attention.
For the PERFECT stocking stuffer for yourself or loved ones, click HERE to order your copy of The Mother of All Meltdowns on Kindle or paperback.
24 Nov 2013
The Best Man Holiday, is the sophomore release to The Best Man, original in theaters almost 15 years ago. Like with most sequels audiences feel as if they know the characters and feel as if they’re at a reunion or homecoming of some sort and eagerly anticipate catching up on old times to see how their “friends” have grown.
Scott Bowles of USA Today incorrectly dubbed the movie as “race-themed” and after much backlash changed the title of his movie review to not include the words, “race-themed.” The movie themes, as there are many, can be seen as one of friendship, forgiveness, marriage, relationships, and just plain ole good.
As I sat in theatre I couldn’t help but think about my marriage and friendships as I watched the movie and along with fellow movie goers surfed waves of emotions that ranged from happiness, surprise, and sadness, to laugh out loud cackles to discreetly wiping away tears.
I walked away from The Best Man Holiday with some lessons on marriage and friendship:
6. A man who listens to his wife, considers her opinion, treats her as an equal but also protects her physically and emotionally is a man worthy of respect and saying “I do” and “I will” to. Lance Sullivan, played by Morris Chestnut, is the type of husband who adores his wife, treats her tenderly and will absolutely wreck shop if he feels she is disrespected or slighted in any way. Lance Sullivan, I do.
5. Good news or bad news, bring the news home first. Your partner should be one of your best friends and trusted confidant. If there is life altering news to share your partner should be the first to hear about it. Both Harper and Mia, played by Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan, as well as Julian “Murch” and Candace, played by Harold Perrineau and Regina Hall harbored secrets they chose to keep from their partners as a way to either protect their partners or themselves from pain, rejection, and what they seemingly thought would be undue drama. Instead of sharing the news with their partners the news was instead shared with friends (and foes) leaving a sticky film of resentment, anger, and feelings of betrayal and embarrassment that could have dismantled their marriages. Not all news is worthy of being shared, but for the news that is worthy of being shared, share it with your partner first.
4. Make time for friendship. The business of life has only sped up over time. There is always some place to be, something to do, and things that are more important and pressing than talking to friends. You’ll call them or send them an email right after you do this one thing. Only there’s another thing that quickly follows and that phone call, get together, and email is postponed to Nev-u-ary – the month that was somehow omitted from the calendar. We don’t get through life without other people. Make it a priority to make and maintain relationships with others – this includes family and friends. We miss out on opportunities for growth, opportunities to love and support and to be loved and supported, laughter, and creating memories by neglecting relationships with those who know and love us more than we sometimes acknowledge.
3. Don’t be afraid to humble yourself. Love is the great equalizer. It trumps selfishness, pride, and egotism. To choose to love means among many things to always attempt to humble oneself enough to own up to ones faults and humble oneself enough to apologize, to accept an apology, to forgive, and to accept a helping hand when it’s extended. The Best Man Holiday had no shortage of moments and scenes where eating humble pie was a dish served fresh and piping hot or late, but no less delicious.
2. “Faith doesn’t exempt you from life’s storms; it equips you to go through them.” ~Lane and Toyea Hawkins
Like life, marriage is not without its murky forecast of thunderstorms and lightening. Lance and Mia’s faith and love for one another did not alter the ultimate plan for their marriage and for their lives, but it was their faith, love and respect for one another, and choice to choose peace and acceptance that helped them brave the storm. Choosing faith and making “peace your priority” is a difficult task and one that we can spend our entire lives trying to master, but the benefits of peace and faith far exceed that of relying solely on ourselves and our understanding of what we think should be and what we consider to be “unfair.”
1. It’s never too soon to discuss and execute Estate Planning and Advanced Directives. Leave it to me to exit the movie theatre thinking about how quickly life can take an unexpected turn leaving my husband and close relatives and friends to make decisions on my behalf without me ever verbally and legally making my choices known. There is a scene in the movie when one of the characters tells another that her husband has her blessing to remarry, but not to a particular big booty, beautiful, former college classmate. While estate planning does not involve decisions regarding former big booty classmates but instead involves the planning of trusts, and designation of beneficiaries and durable financial and medical power of attorney among other important and complex topics to address, I couldn’t help but think that I might want to tell my closest friends which women my husband would be completely forbidden to date or marry in the event that he were to become a widower.
The Best Man Holiday is still in theaters. For showtimes and tickets click HERE.
The Best Man Holiday soundtrack is also available in stores, on iTunes, and on Amazon. The soundtrack is absolutely perfect for the holidays.
Have you seen The Best Man Holiday? What did you think of the movie? Did you think it was better than The Best Man, the original?
What marriage/relationship or friendship lessons did you learn?
18 Nov 2013
Can men survive, or thrive, without women? Methinks not.
Years ago I decided to boycott music videos not only because I was hard pressed to see a lead woman of my complexion (well, not totally true, there were quite a few deep brown apple bottom shots in nearly every music video in the early millennium) but also because I was tired of the video images assaulting my other senses. Watching horrible, degrading, music videos totally impacted how I heard the song.
It is no secret that the heavily male dominated hip-hop culture cannot survive without women. The culture of this new era hip-hop is dependent on the female body to create music videos and alleged tales of sexual exploits and conquests in their lyrics. Women are the consumers of hip-hop music, the muse, and the abused of the misogynistic culture.
What has now become evident to me is that men in general can’t seem to survive without women. I reached this conclusion on my most recent trip to Miami when my girlfriends and I were offered seats in the club’s VIP section paid for by a group of men who seemed to be “collecting” a female entourage to sit prettily on the sectional while tapping our pointy toe stilettos and sipping on whatever was being offered.
Had I not been so bored that I began creating a mental list of the many ways that I’m no longer about that “club life” I would likely had not noticed how the ladies drafted to the VIP section served as ornaments on a Christmas tree. The men serve as the Christmas tree in this metaphor – dry, overbearing, and with a definite shelf life, never welcomed in the home past a certain time.
I began to feel a little disgusted at the thought that we, not just my friends and I, but women everywhere are so commonly used as accessories. Without us many men are incomplete – fully dressed but without shoes, a watch, a tie. Needing women to make oneself look and feel better is seemingly an issue of low self-esteem and a desire to portray an image. What that image is supposed to portray exactly is a little lost on me. Is he looking to portray the image of the “the man,” a pimp, a celebrity? I don’t know.
Should we be flattered? I’ll admit that being arm candy and being “shown off” isn’t so bad when that man who is showing off the beautiful woman in his life recognizes and treats her as if she is more than just a cardboard cutout offering of an image fulfilled.
That night in VIP I realized that 1) the drinks are pretty watered down when being shared among an entire harem in a Miami nightclub, and 2) men truly cannot survive or thrive without women.
So what say you friends, have you ever felt like a man’s accessory?
Have you witnessed another woman be treated as a man’s accessory?
How do you feel about the thought of being a man’s accessory?
10 Nov 2013
“Dating” your spouse or long-time partner can have the tendency to become very boring, very quickly.
Given the still struggling economy and the all too often complacency married and long-time couples seem to grapple with, dinner and a movie have in recent years turned into a Red Box, Netflix, and sandwich-without-the-crust kind of a situation.
Refusing to equate long-time relationships and marriage with tedium and unwelcome routine, I’ve devised a list of 40 Date Night Ideas that range from transforming the living room into an indoor picnic for two to a “body party” complete with body oil and dessert served a la “body platter.”
Print these Date Ideas, separate them by cutting them into strips, and store them in a Date Night Jar (Click HERE for ideas on how to create a beautiful DIY Date Night Jar).
7 Nov 2013
Ever notice how a single blade of grass can grow in the cavities of asphalt and concrete? Its sheer will for life indignant, persistent to rise despite the weight of cement and the danger of a million trampling feet or heavy weight vehicles.
In my life I am attempting to make a conscious effort to be like the grass, impervious to elements and changes designed to put weight on me. I admit that in my professional life I am able adapt to change fairly well. I am a problem-solver, independent thinker, and a creative mind skilled at tackling crisis’ and difficult changes. Personally, however, I sometimes tend to become easily irritated (let’s keep it real I get quite irritated in my professional life as well) I don’t run from change, but I do not embrace it in peace. As a side effect of stress I have an embarrassing history of becoming short with those closest to me. In other words, I am weaker than a blade of grass.
Thank goodness that with each day comes new opportunity to learn, to do better, to set goals, and to achieve goals. As of late, my daily goal of seeking and staying in peace is showing itself to be more within my reach than it was a year ago. I am so happy to be on the right track, especially knowing that the concrete is being formulated and readying to be poured. I need my armor to protect myself, and, as much as I can, to protect my family from the dangers that are both “seen and unseen.”
I am uncertain how the upcoming changes in my life and my family’s lives will affect our relationships with one another or impact our daily lives. But what I am certain of is that there are allowances for an abundance of opportunity – opportunity to grow, to better ourselves individually and as a family unit, to fine tune our relationships, to hone skills that in the daily hustle and bustle of our lives as parent, spouse, employee, son, daughter, aunt and uncle we have allowed to become rusty. There will be opportunity to pursue personal and professional endeavors that we would have otherwise made excuses not to pursue if we hadn’t been pushed into a corner by these changes and forced to evaluate all that we are not doing.
Given the dangers seen and the dangers unseen that are sure to lie ahead, I may be naïve to feel a rush of excitement, but I’ll be honest, I am excited. I’m looking forward to learning how strong of a woman I truly am.
I can’t see the dangers that lie ahead but I know they are there. I am not afraid. Instead, I am protected and fitting myself with the armor of peace and faith.
I hope that this post provokes dialogue, thoughts and actions that you may not have otherwise had this evening without visiting BeQuoted. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read my rant.
This is a BeQuoted throwback post that still fits like glove.