Sunday, December 10, 2006

the weekend....

This weekend started out very rough and by rough I mean something around 20 degrees with the windchill. Uuhh...did I mention how I don't like to go outside when it's cold? Yeah...that's still the same.

My homie Kristal and I decided on Thursday we'd go down to Adams Morgan and hang out at Bukom, a local West African restaurant/bar. Needless to say once I saw the temperature report for Friday, that was a no-go. I know I'll have to get out of this soon- I will need groceries in January again-but I can't just jump out there into sub-zero weather. I do that on the way to work and I barely make to the train station without a snotty never can tell when your nose is nasty in winter and that's just one more reason to stay cozy indoors.

On the brighter side of things, friday turned out to be really cool, no pun intended...Another friend was conned into comming over( a ploy by myself when she wanted to borrow the vacuum) and we ended up playing my favorite game, Scrabble. The shits addictive really it is....especially when you're winning ....we went through all the old times from college romances gone wrong, having to keep some knucklehead off of a friend, getting caught cheating and all the other dramas that happened in our dorm room. the night was beautiful and all indoors with heat-provided by my landlord.

Saturday was by far the best though....2 words Home Depot....I ended up getting a power drill to finally put together my home library and plants to make this place home. Visual noise is serious problem that f*cks with your psyche. I have soooo many boxes with books and books and books to put away, but thanks to the depot I'll be good by later this evening.

I'm living the simple life....just happy to have good friends,scrabble and a power drill make up my weekend.....ahhh life is good.......

Saturday, December 02, 2006

being too critical?

Two nights ago I went out for the first real time alone in DC. I staggered out, despite feeling completely drained by work, to see my favorite production of all time, A Raisin in the Sun. Somewhere around 7th grade I fell in love with Lorraine Hansberry's seminal work and was committed to playing Beneatha one way or another. In the Spring of 2005 I got my chance on stage at the Carver Theater in Birmingham.
See my photo with Asagai...<--------

In addition to being directed by my favorite director, Niyi Coker, A Raisin turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences ( at least in my adult life). It'd been a while since I'd done any acting and getting back to a great form of self-expression was what I really needed at that point in life ( i.e. crazy ass boyfriend, too much adult responsibility, other people's respoonsibility, caring for children, raising adults, you know the usual crisis-forming scenarios).

Given that background, as I left the theater I started to wonder if I was being too subjective in my critique of the production at H street's Atlas theater. It's opening night and most of the kinks in production get worked around week 1. Seated, I found myself reciting lines and remembering the blocking & passion I had in my performance. Intermission is when it really hit me, I need to cut that shit out....Let these people perform the piece like they want to , like they've rehearsed. Yeah,yeah, yeah, I gets that way sometimes...meditation helps most of the time, but being away from my nag champas and floor pillows I found it difficult to really get free. I eventually did, of course and by the time Act II rolled around, the actors had warmed up and I'd cooled down...enough to really enjoy the play. Laughing out loud (i meanLOuD) and seeing the actors for their rendition of a truly magnificent work.
The show ended and even though I didn't find myself giving a standing ovation, I could truly appreciate others loving what I'd fell in love with a long time ago. Congrats on a fab opening night Cast......and umm look out for me, coming soon to an audition near you....

Throughout the play I enjoyed the gentlemen who played Asagai. His Nigerian accent was stellar and so was his performance. Lively, passionate, get my vote of superior, you and mama, and walter, and ruth...Keep the embers burning.....I was just hating that's

Thursday, November 30, 2006

World AIDS Day

As you all may know by now, today Decemeber 1st is World AIDS Day( WAD). People from Timbuktu to Papua New Guinea are out spreading the urgent message of "accountability" for this year's activities. Accountability, which reflects a need for governments to step up to the plate and honor their committments to the global HIV epidemic, is the theme of WAD.

In just about every city across the globe there are programs, demonstrations, and activities designed to bring heightened awareness to some of the newestHIV issues plaguing the human race.

Just a few of the newest issues are the urgent need for more funding for technologies like microbicides and vaccines, continued political will to treat all patients ( regardless of stigma surrounding their personal infection stories), and increased awareness of the role gender inequality plays. Activists are encouraging everyone to know their HIV status and get TESTED! The more you know, the better you can protect yourself. Find a test center near you and make your way to it...and while you're at it check out local WAD activities in your area.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Damn you done F@#ked up now......

Your boy( or former boy) "Kramer" is the latest to have his racist tag showing in what will be the MVP headline of the day for me. Another one bites the dust? Well, it all depends on how you look at it.....

According to my fellow African American co-worker, "they'll be giving his ass a medal by the end of the week!" I'm not so sure, but I hope his ass is finally washed up like he was starting to be. It's a shame I don't feel any sympathy for kats like that. You know the kind that pretend "anger" makes them do things....As I like to see it, some people try really hard to suppress their racist urges ( and being a member of another minority or traditionally discriminated group doesn't change this) but sometimes that tag is just showing.....

The way he figures it Richards doesn't think he's a racist .....just a victim of anger,unfortunately his situation couldn't be more problematic. If it only takes your ass 30 seconds to anger to the point of calling someone a got more than anger issues..
Granted in fits of anger,we've all put our feet in our mouth but that usually takes some time and a little manipulation. But hey...if if it floats right up to the surface, sorry dog but there's probably a whole lot more where that came from.....Basically that was some shit you MEANT to say......not a fluke......

ANyways, it's UnliKely that the rest of America will side with me but I'm hoping the Jewish influentials in Hollywood will do us a favor and pull the plug on any future efforts of this man in TV..... (*that might make him more of a racist tho....hmmmm.......)

And don't forget to tell him...."ummm Micheal your tag is showing".......

Who's next? I'm sure I'll see another tag hanging before long.........

Monday, November 20, 2006

what sucks..what doesn't......

So I thought that DC was the cause of most of my most recent problems...only to find out it was all really! Anyone who knows me or who at least reads this far into my blog, knows I HATE cold weather. And by cold weather..... I mean anything less than 50 degrees is cold. Anyways, starting a new gig and moving to a new cold ass city would normally be the start of a great adventure. Unfortunately, I have been a lot less than adaptable than my blogs name would suggest.
Hell..... now that's what sucks.......

Being in a rut and telling yourself you are not in a rut is a tad self defeating, na'mean? The truth is I've been blogging on the sly and even less talking to myself. *Gasp!@#@* Revelation #2......I better stop while I am ahead....nawl......

Anyways, Yeah, I've been slacking in ery'thing mostly cause I lost a little bit of my home when I moved here. Not because I'm getting old...I'm not...but because I think I couldn't connect to solid ground fast enough once I got here...and that I blame on cold ass weather...........

I've always like to fantasize about dimensions of our personalities that are connected to the weather,climate, and overall environment. I am now my own subject.....and as it research would have it...much like the conclusions I reached well over a decade ago........I need SunLight!! Damn it! I mean I need sun and heat together to keep the chi flowing. I can quote some Deepak now and say how life offers it's gifts and reminds us to cherish the sun and the moon together...but damn I don't feel like it....

It beeeees that way sometimes. Although, I've begun to embrace Jack-ass Frost and 'nem ( I'm trying to wear steps steps) I know I still have a long way to go. Let's just say I can't wait till Spring and I can high step in my flip flops on the Metro. Ahhhh life for the living...that's what I call Summer..That's what doesn't Suck....

..I'm working to embrace this thing and maybe I just need to touch my other favorite body a little closer to me in the know to uhhhh help me work this thing on out with a little heat.....
Bikram Yoga anyone?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Female Fish sellers have increased risk of HIV.....

As has been heavily stated all over the world.....women everywhere are at increased risk of HIV acquisition. This week's case describes female "fish madams" near Lake Victoria exchanging sex for fish to sell in the markets.

Around the lake there are numerous women whose livelihoods depend on their ability to gather and barter fish. The fishing is done by men who return to shore with never enough fish to go around. This is of course caused by lack of fish in the world's ocean a consequence of disobeying fishing regulations, global warming, and environmental pollution. The result?..less fish..less money..more poverty & risk..........women who want or need the fish to sell give sexual favors in exchange for say a week's worth of income.

The danger of this fish-sex trade is magnified when women travel to different beaches gathering more fish, having sex with more partners, or with fish van drivers who can assure a faster return on their fish sales.

Several groups are working with these fishing villages to spread information on the risk of HIV in the fish-sex trade and condoms are being promoted. The unfortunate element is the practice remains the same only + condoms and an increase in HIV testing and counseling.

What women( and all others in poverty) need are economic alternatives to employment that eventually lead to sex exchanges. Assistance organizations should of course push for safety in the mean time,( hell that's what I do) but true change happens when poor people's options change... oh and don't even get me started about environmental regulations in Africa........

More about the fish crisis minus HIV implications....
African fish crisis

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Let's play catch up...

So it's been awhile since I blogged, this statement will be followed by a long series of excuses which will begin here...... 1. Work is very busy, projects are rising from thin air and I "new employee" am still demonstrating worthiness. 2. Hell I'm tired when I'm done with the job, 3, my wifi access in the basement I call home is quite limited-still working on getting that service beyond wifi piracy...

Anyways with all those excuses,I still find myself thinking about the blog and all the great things I shoulda been blogging about. As a new Washingtonian, I have been involved in some disastrously strange incidents, particularly when I'm wearing my orange glasses. Like these-^^^

These glasses have managed to attract some of the strangest strange .....

I'll start with the latest and go backwards in freak-ass events.....

So I hop off the Green-line train on my way to the crib when I decide to stop at the grocery store for a little tofu gourmet treat, right......
I'm done and dragging about 7 plastic grocery bags( hell, 7 paper bags are hard as hell to carry several blocks)down the street when I get to my block.
* There is always some shady activity on this street just cause there is a nice dark alley, i.e. crazy person's paradise*
So I turn the corner behind Bank of America and what do I see?

The woman above.....well at least a very similar looking white
woman with no shoes on * automatic sign of a crackdeal/impending blow job- if she's no hippy or no beach nearby,damn*......talking to some cracked out looking black
dude....I'm like awww hell nah! get off my block,right? I proceed to
walk by them ( Cause I'm carrying several bags that have begun to create deep markings in my skin and hell I ain't moving) as I hear the woman say " I need some I need some money".

The dummy black dude has the nerve to look at me and attempt to ask me for some money,like uh..... "excuse me miss" I just starting shaking my head and saying "Don't do it, don't even" in response to his ridiculous begging for crack $$. You think I finance crackdeals and blowjobs? ummm hell nawl....damn fools...Did I mention it was about 30 degrees outside?...crazy I tell you....

*Disclaimer* I am very sensitive to drug dependance issues and their social cause and the proliferation of drug abuse issues in lower class communities. I am however not into supporting drug abusers in my neighborhood via monetary donations, thank you...

Random DC craziness number 2 coming up soon!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A simple reminder.....

Every now and then we hear a song that takes us to a far away place.We may have never been to this place or had the opportunity to evoke such raw emotions, but nonetheless, we step into the singers shoes. Earlier this week, as I'm settling into DC( aka finding little nook-and-cranny coffee shops I hear one of my favorite songs playing. I had one of those moments. I haven't experienced the particular details of this song's story but Gladys sings it so well, you'd think you had...

So without further adieu, I'll let Gladys do the talking...and uh...see where it takes you.......

"kleenex anyone?"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Go Cali!

This is why I love California! Cutting edge ideas everywhere you turn. Why do people with HIV need to be beggars or recipients of just any old thing? Cause it shows how the world really feels about them. Go Cali, with your cutting edge, humanist compassion and loving approach...Who's next? Alabama you say? hmmmmm let's see about that. Read on peoples.......

Public Health & Education | New York Times Profiles California Organic Food Bank for HIV-Positive People

[Sep 26, 2006]

The New York Times on Tuesday profiled the Food for Thought Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank, a not-for-profit organic food bank and garden in Forestville, Calif., founded in 1999 to provide produce to HIV-positive people. About 450 HIV-positive people, including 60 women and 75 Latinos, regularly visit "what may well be the country's hippest food bank," the Times reports. "It's important that the people not just be passive recipients of care, to be conscious of what they put in their bodies," Allen Nishikawa -- an analyst at the Sonoma County, Calif., Department of Health Services -- said, adding, "It's part of a bigger movement to get people to be more thoughtful about things as basic as eating." Horticulturists from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center help manage the garden, and many of the garden and food bank's volunteers are HIV-positive. According to the Times, the food bank -- which receives some federal funding but draws most of its budget from private donations -- "serves as horticultural therapy for the volunteers." Volunteer coordinator Stewart Scofield said, "You can't give away food without an emotional and spiritual component," adding, "We're friends and neighbors taking care of each other" (Brown, New York Times, 9/26).

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A series of unfortunate events/Sunshine

So yes, I have been real slack with my blogging since I got to DC, but I'm in a new place with a ton of new and exciting responsibilities......hmmmm * actually that sounds like more of a reason to blog than a formidable excuse*...oh well....

Anyways, my new job is fabulous, filled with layer upon layer of reponsibility and challenge- my piece of pie. The domestic side, my life after work had not been feeling so good until recently. Primarily because of a few events that occured last week......I'll list them here......

1. Inability to find housing-and not just any housing but decent housing that doesn't cost $1500 bucks a month. * stanking city folks and this damn cost of living! Argggghhhh!

2. My minor accident in an unlikely location-I'll explain more in a paragraph or two.

*SideNote..These two are the same problems I had when I first moved to Ghana.Hmm, could I be the problem?..Highly unlikely.*

The photo of the car is from number two, so I guess I'd better explain that one first. In the city, there is the problem of highly congested traffic in the morning taking up all lanes of the street, even parking spaces. This often translates into "no parking sign" between 7 am and 9:30 am and then again from 4 till 6 or so. I haven't really had a problem jumping out of the bed and moving my car to a secure parking deck every morning, except this one day when uhhh can see what happened.

After a short night of plum wine and short stories continuously interrupted with a buddy, I went to sleep dreaming of lillies and daisies....*translation..I was quite buzzed.*
Unfortunately, I slept through my wake up call and was startled awake by Tom Joyner's voice blasting through my hotel's $7 alarm clock radio. I jump up and realize it's shortly after 7 and I could have a nice towing bill to pay. I hustle to put on something decent( not see-through) and rush to move my car. I'm still maddddd drowsy ( thank you $7 plum wine)-*I'm noticing a pattern of 7s here...hmmmmm*
I'm sleepy and groggy as I move my car into the parking deck, slowing into a nice convenient parking spot. Until I realize its a handicapped space. I start to back up my vehicle, back, back , back to get into the unhandicapped space next to my current spot, back, back , back and right into the damn concrete column to my right. Damn thing just snuck up on me! Whiplash, my neck was stiff and my car smashed........ Of course, instantly I woke up then, fully abe to assess the damage. My trunk wont close I have to rig it with a shoelace or something else ghetto like that. Sob story number 1....

The bright side of this charade is that this may have been the beginning of an argument to support the sale of my whip. You don't really need a car in DC since metro trans is robust in most areas. I'm not saying I'm going to do it, but it might be a possibility.

The sunny side of my apartment search has also recently shown its rays. Originally, I thought I woud get the automatic boot from my hotel since I hadn't found place yet. But like I said my boss rocks and gave the go-ahead for an extension....Life rocks today and's just about managing a smile when you're homeless and the wing on your car flies away........

Ahhh...the beauty in the little things...........smell it...smells good huh?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Global HIV Documentary Airs on PBS tonight
Critically Acclaimed Film on Global AIDS Features Narration by Glenn Close and Will Smith -

One of the best documentaries ever produced about the global HIV epidemic will air tonight on PBS. After watching the documentary on HIV in the Black community, "A closer walk" will serve to provide the look of HIV on a macrocosmic level. Check the link and watch...learn....and React!

A CLOSER WALK, Oscar nominee Robert Bilheimer's film about the global AIDS epidemic, airs on PBS Thursday, August 31, 2006, 9:00-10:30 pm ET, marking the documentary's U.S. television debut.

Narrated by Glenn Close and Will Smith, A CLOSER WALK features interviews with the Dalai Lama, Bono and Kofi Annan, with musical contributions by Annie Lennox, the Neville Brothers, Eric Clapton and Sade.

Filmed on four continents over a period of three years, A CLOSER WALK depicts the harsh realities of global AIDS, and explores the intricate relationship between health, dignity and human rights.

"This is a story about the way the world is" says Close in the opening line of the program's narration. The film's rendering of the world through the prism of AIDS takes the viewer to locations in the United States, Ukraine, Uganda, South Africa, India and Haiti, and offers deeply personal stories of children, women and men around the world affected by the disease. Those caring or advocating for people living with AIDS are featured prominently in the film as well. They include Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners in Health, India's Dr. Suniti Solomon and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Speaking of his approach to the film and its complex subject matter, director Bilheimer said, "When I interviewed [UNAIDS Executive Director] Peter Piot early on, I was really struck by his insight that 'AIDS is part of the human condition,' and that 'AIDS exists because we exist.' When Peter said that, I knew that A CLOSER WALK should indeed be a film about the way the world is, and that my colleagues and I would need to be in and of the world for a period of time to truly understand what AIDS is doing to us all."

The film has received international critical acclaim. Writing for the Gannett News Service, chief film critic Jack Garner gave A CLOSER WALK his highest rating, calling it a "beautifully told story of suffering that inspires hope and action." In South Africa, reviewing the film prior to its national airing on South African television, Claire Keaton of the Sunday Times called the film "unforgettable." In New Delhi, following the film's India premiere, Rajeshwari Sharma of the Economic Times said that A CLOSER WALK is "an absolutely brilliant account of the deadliest plague humankind has ever known."

Originally conceived in 1996 with the late Jonathan Mann - widely regarded as the architect of the global response to AIDS - A CLOSER WALK took three years to develop, three years to make and is now in its third year of a distribution campaign.

"The whole point," says Bilheimer, "was to level the playing field in terms of what we all - as a human family - understand about AIDS. Making a film that would somehow engage everyone on this issue was obviously a challenge on the creative side. But the equal challenge, on the distribution side, was to put the movie in front of, literally, hundreds of millions of people. We are about to achieve that."

Since its premiere at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2003, A CLOSER WALK has been broadcast nationally on South African television (SABC 1) and Canadian television (CBC). Agreements to air the film in China and India on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2006, are being finalized.

Featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film has also premiered at Lincoln Center in New York City, in Kansas City and Kiev, and in New Delhi, Johanesburg, Durban, Bangkok and Phnom Penh. It has been shown at hundreds of schools and college campuses around the world, and been used as a primary education and awareness tool by NGOs, corporations and other organizations, including various UN Agencies such as UNICEF, UNDP and UNODC, the U.S. Department of State, AmfAR, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundations and prominent AIDS advocacy and education campaigns, including The One Campaign and Grassroot Soccer. Oprah Winfrey has featured excerpts from A CLOSER

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Namaste yoga..a yummy filler

In the last few months I have watched more hours of television than I did in the months of Jan-May combined. Now, normally I might beat myself up but I'm learning to be mindful of things I don't intend to do.I think we could benefit from a little more mindfulness. In this particular case, I wasn't beating myself up about watching some mindless entertainment when mid-channel surf I found it...... Namaste Yoga on FItTV.

I was very close to mental giddyness when my remote stumbled onto this show. Mind you it's all of 12:30 am and I really should be sleeping.I prefer yoga in class or early in the morning at home.Most of the yoga shows on TV are completely bland and lackluster.But this....this ....program was the most like being in class with a serious yogi.This yoga was so good..... I actually got off the sofa,from under the blanket and onto the floor. With no you understand that? Downward facing dog hasn't felt that good outside of an instructed class.

To help you visualize,try this. Think Zen music meets slowly rotating outdoor scenery + the calming voice of the instructor.I think I could smell Nag Champa coming through the Tv. I don't know, maybe I am a geek but hell anything that makes you get off the couch at midnight is worth mentioning. Can't wait for it again at 7:30 am. Check the website for your local times. Get to stretching and Sun Salute.....

Namaste Peoples....

check the's so serious

Will the spotlight last? Black HIV cases

It seems as though ABC's documentary on HIV/AIDS in Black America did a great deal for prevention efforts. Since the documentary aired on Thursday I've been talking out the wazoo about HIV in our community. If you didn't catch check out this. The major points highlighted were homophobia & silence in the Black community, rapidly increasing rates among women & their social status, and the silence of the Black church. While the doc didn't tell me anything I haven't learned in the last 5 years, I think it may have served as a wake-up call for some. Statistics may frighten some and encourage others. Par exemple....Swallowing this statistic may be difficult....Black people=13% of the population and Black women= 52% of the newly diagnosed HIV cases.
More Feb 2005 statistics here--->

If you hadn't heard news like that then you can imagine how shocking it can be. I've been approached several times to talk about HIV since the doc and at one of the best locations to talk about sex and HIV..........a martini bar...........Can you think of a better place to have intellectual conversation, well umm I'm sure you could. Despite popular belief, tipsy people can make some rather insightful comments*
The conversations were productive and in between sips of Riesling, I encouraged more prevention and fundraising activities. I even gave out prominent HIV contact information for the state of Alabama. I can only hope that a documentary along with other outreach can create a lasting effect. I'm doing my part and I can only hope that the afterglow lasts. I'll be curious to see if testing rates go up at work next week. I'll keep you posted and you let me know when you were last tested.

Until then, we must continue to do to push HIV to the forefront by ending the silence and start talking...any and everywhere! One of the key statements that emerged from the white gay male fight against AIDS was "silence equals death". We must learn to adopt this statement in order to reduce the damage already being done by HIV. The problem with this like many other issues in Black America is silence is a pattern. Some individuals who lack self-worth accept a culture of "oh well" and AIDS in no exception. I'll continue to fight the battle and encourage others to get tested, use condoms,and change social dynamics .......... what will you do to kill the silent epidemic?

Friday, August 25, 2006

making waves and riding them out......

The title of this blog is a quote from one of my newest and treasured friends. Today laughing on the phone, she made this witty reference to the ideology of moverandshakerism on news of my recent employment in the DC area. I laughed out loud and remarked at how wonderful that simple saying was. She said she makes affirmations to herself just to keep the energy moving. It reminded me of how important self-affirming words are. I also used the moment to be suspended in accepting creative energy from others. We find that difficult to do sometimes, assuming we are the only goodideahavers. Blahhhh!!!! People remark that I am too passionate sometimes (even about the simple things, but hey when you find yourself you'll be doing that too). I love learning from others and getting absorbed into other people's mind framework for a spell....try it you'll learn something 'bout yo self.... Anyways, I do digress.......

Being a person geared towards self improvement through the channels of self-acceptance, I tried to remember when I'd last given myself an affirmation. It was just yesterday, but suprisingly I'd forgotten what it was. Was it not creative enough? I remembered my wall & mirror quotes though...Mirror, you say?
While living in Birmingham, I had these beautiful quotes I'd write on the bathroom mirror to remind myself of the greatness in me and in the world. The mirror served as a very powerful mode of self-celebration. Just taking the time to remind myself and you that self-celebration can be forgotten if not kept spunky and creative just like us. So that being said, Sista I'm taking that quote and modifying it...... "I make waves and create splashes as I ride them"....

Everyone should be reminded of the beauty inside them through creative circuits...let's do it....If it's new to you...I can hold your hand for a lil while but then you gone have to start steppin high and stepping out...... Read more wacky but realistic affirmations here and here. Then of course you can always make your own, unique to your situation and perspective on affirmations...Try it and uh lemme know how it benefits you.....

with love,

Int So Grl

Monday, August 21, 2006

jitters...sup with that?

I'm nervous....................


without can get 'em......and then couple the fact that you didn't eat with............

damn I really need to meditate more often........... cause.............

these people ( blessed humans) are really trying my zen style right now..........

making me jittery and shit....or is it the empty belly?


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why is Shelia Johnson up there?

Who is Shelia Johnson you ask? She's the Executive V.P of Corporate Affairs for BET & wife of Bob Johnson of the same network fame. Why you ask is her name so important that she's included in the title of this blog? Suprisingly, she was featured yesterday during the opening day panels held at the International HIV/AIDS conference in Toronto. Mrs. Johnson held the stage for a panel on the status of women and HIV along with Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation, Dr. Nadik,gender inequality specialist and UN Special Envoy for Asia, and Musa Njoko, an HIV advocate from South Africa.

The panel commenced with insightful commentary from each woman's perspective of AIDS and it's impact on women,family, and future country's stability. Women currently represent 50% of those infected with HIV/AIDS and are the population in which the disease is most rapidly increasing. Check other stats on women here.

I watched the broadcast of the conference on CSPAN as I was not in attendance this year. Melinda Gates, whose foundation, co-chaired by husband Bill Gates, has millions of dollars going into HIV prevention and treatment programs all over the globe, spoke very plainly with evidence-based research with women as her platform. She spoke of gender inequality, poor and disempowered women difficulty in negotiating condom use, and the role of girl's education in the fight against AIDS. The Gates foundation is a leading funder of programs designed to combat women's vulnerability to HIV, namely microbicide research. Microbicides are products applied topically that contain anti-HIV meds that can block the virus from entering the vagina.The products are odorless and can be applied without need for permission from a woman's husband or a sex worker's clients. More Microbicide info is here. ( Microbicides are the newest developments that can potentially turn the state of HIV around for women and I can go overboard when it comes to them....Let's just say they are my favorite in the works prevention tool...other than a vaccine)

Dr.Nafis Nadik, specalist on Gender inequality in Asia, also delivered a well informed platform on the realities of child marriage in the developing world, and spousal infidelity in patriarchial societies and their relation to increasing HIV infection for women.

From the advocate position, Musa Njoko a 34-year young woman from South Africa, previously featured in the stellar HIV documentary A Closer Walk, provided the viewpoint of an infected woman and her struggles for support in modern South Africa. Musa talked about her ideas for building more interventions and programs centered around living HIV positive and empowered.

Now enter Mrs. Shelia Johnson, who was introduced by her position at BET and her youth involvement experiences. ............Her comments were pitiful at best. She spoke from a clearly inexperienced researcher. I could tell you how many times she said "we just need to educate them" but then you'd probably feel sorry for her and Bob ( if one could feel sympathy for a millionaire with a monopolizing social & cultural influence on the African American community.) Her responses were overly simplistic in nature and when she spoke, she looked like a deer in headlights.
Mrs. Johnson clearly was mistaken in what she assumed was her target audience. She must have thought her audience a group of novices; uninformed paraprofessionals. In actuality, Mrs. Johnson was presenting to an informed global audience ( in Toronto and simultaneously translated & broadcast all over the world), well suited to criticize overly simplistic thoughtless one liner approaches to the issues of Women & AIDS. She was really doing a diservice to herself when she stated "women are constantly being challenged to be sexual beings"....WTF???? BET?? Sexual Beings?
Don't just take my word for it, see the deer in headlights for yourself and through the eyes of reporters....Excerpts from reporters comments on the meeting...

I'm sorry, Mrs. Johnson women need more than your summer youth basketball team to keep women out of the reach of HIV/AIDS. We need stronger methods to counteract the booty-fication of television and society. She even mentioned the role of the media in preventing HIV, not with much elaboration of course.
Who does this woman thinks she's talking to? I don't want to sound condescending on anyone who is making an effort, but any exec.VP whose network further fuels the degradation of women, needs to get a clue. It seemed that the overarching theme escaped her. When you realize that women's role in society is directly correlated to their risk for HIV, the reasons for increasing HIV prevalence among poor, uneducated,disempowered,marginalized, and obectified African American, Eastern European, Indian, Cambodian, and African women is clear.

I wonder if Mrs. Johnson would be willing to show 30 minutes of her network's programming to women seeking to empowering messages that protect them from a society that sets them up for AIDS. Likely they'd see more ways to put themselves at risk....continue to lower yourself to bitches and hoes, put more emphasis on the way your ass looks in those jeans, objectify yourself and have others do the same, and don't forget to "let a man be a man".

Why is this woman representing the fight against AIDS?

a real activist..not buying it.....

Saturday, August 12, 2006

We're here to experience.....Everything is everything

We’re here to experience……Everything is everything.

A wild horse one day appeared and made its home in a farmer’s field. “How lucky you are to have acquired such a fine horse for nothing!” said his neighbors. “Maybe, maybe not,” replied the farmer. The farmer’s son, who was his only helping hand around the farm, tried to ride the horse. It threw him, breaking his legs. “How unlucky for you,” chorused the neighbors. “Maybe, maybe not,” replied the farmer. The young man was left behind when the emperor’s soldiers arrived in the village to conscript all the able-bodied young men into the army, many of whom were to die in the war. Meanwhile, the farmer’s wild horse ran away. “How unfortunate!” cried his neighbors. “Maybe, maybe not,” rejoined the farmer. The horse returned to his field bringing his entire her with him. “What good fortune!” exclaimed his neighbors. “Maybe, maybe not,” reflected the wise farmer.
This small passage of old Chinese wisdom resonates with me each time I read it. The beauty of life is the uncertainty. I remember a time when I wanted to know everything for certain and those moments still come back to me every now and again. I wanted to control jobs, other people, and just about anything I thought might threaten my livelihood. We’ve all had to battle being control freaks at sometime in our lives.

The beauty of the passage is that it reveals an aspect of our unseen natures. We, even through simple statements, are still attempting to control situations that cannot be controlled by our minds. We must embrace what is for what it is….which is not always what we want or what we interpret it as being. The neighbor’s comments reflect their need to feel comfortable in the farmer’s situation. Often the sympathy we feel for others is primarily based in our desire for comfort. We want the situations that make us uncomfortable resolved, often immediately after we hear of them. This is not all completely our faults. We are not in nature individuals who are superficial and bogus concern with the wellbeing of others. We can blame our society we can blame our parents, or we can blame our reliance on tradition without investigation. Not much thought goes into the manner in which we deal with others, specifically if we are not counselors or interested in world healing. For the non-altruists, I’ll add the following statement. If we must think in terms of individualism, then we view a new approach to genuine sympathy as beneficial for us and them. Whatever we do for others we do for ourselves, as we are all contributing members in this world.
An old chaplain friend of mine taught a workshop on HIV diagnosis counseling last year. The most important concept I learned in this workshop was living in the moment with whomever you are counseling. Don’t rush into placing an individual into a category or force them to make complete sense of what they are currently experiencing. Staying with others in their time of difficulty can show whether you are truly committed to showing sympathy. This is but one example of how we can live in the moment as a justice to ourselves and others around us. We often think that the moment is never good enough; that something better is around the corner. Living in this manner closes us off from the free things that we are meant to experience from moment to moment. We can not assume that what is to happen next will be the ultimate in greatness; neither can we expect the worst of outcomes. This passage helps me to think of every moment not as great in a sense of superiority, but simplistically great because It is what it Is.

Put into pop culture terminology, “everything is everything”….we’re just here to experience it. Now go forth my friends and put that in the air.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Terror Insurance.....hmmmm....

Yesterday, the first news I received was that of a "foiled" terror plot on UK aircrafts traveling towards the US. I'm becoming less and less interested in watching the news....I've already eliminated local and most cable stations...but I still must watch CNN. So 23:45 minutes of yesterday the repeating story detailed some "probable Pakistani" natives who worked at Heathrow and their attempt to blow up planes with gatorade or something like that.

Don't get me wrong people should be informed on world happenings and the like, but stop with the promotion of fear. I did watch and was interested for the first 35 minutes of the coverage yesterday, only to find today more terror/fear based product promotion. Now before we travel, not only must we have our belongings in clear plastic bags..... we need terror insurance. Yes, dear friends ...terror insurance. If you're wondering how it all works, imagine this. If you decide not to fly because of a terror threat somewhere, you can just charge that to your terror insurance. They'll foot the bill if you want to cancel any type of travel based on perceived terror threats. Now at first thought, it does sound good, considering all the threats the US is likely to receive throughout our continuous reign of capitalism and oppression.

But really, lets think about this. Do we really need another gallon of gasoline added to our fear-based flames we call life? Call me me naive...hell call me crazy, but I'm thinking of our futures..... Now presuming that one day I'll decide to have kids or you'll decide to have kids do we want them to continue to live in this frightened fish tank of world? I see this insurance as a huge step in dealing with the symptoms of terrorism instead of the root causes.We'll just keep building our defenses instead of our offense. Where is a good World Cup coach when you need one? I think Americans are not into prevention based approaches to world problems, i.e. terrorism,world hunger,homelessness,drug addiction, insert other social ills here.
Will we realize that bomb-proofing our houses will not prevent terrorism? We gotta get some new thinkers on these issues......

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Oh yes....I'm back in here....

Hello all my adoring fans... I am happy to announce I am back in the building...with the success of my former blogs... and my not so successful but very attractive blog.. and my overly viewed full of randomness blog on , I've decided to devote a blog to a happy medium of all great and not so great aspects of my former blogs.. Get Ready for a bunch of something...that'll probably consist of the following......
1.Interesting happenings in the world of HIV/AIDS and poverty reduction
2. Feminism and the modern world/the black community latest passion-whatever it may be on said date
4. female genital mutiliation/cutting- terminology......depending how much of a feminist I feel like on said date
5. Love and my predictions on what makes it good-not that sappy...i can't live without you stuff either...this'll be something of the buddhist/free love paradigm
6.running- 5-10K marathons and sprinting through local Georgia neighborhoods
7.Thai food and my passion for it and men who recognize good curry/masman paste
8.Fashion- ecletic styles and thrift store luck ups....although I don't really consider it luck ...more like my style gods personal deliveries
9...insert other point of randomness here

So....sit back strap up and strap we go on another of life's wonderful journeys!

luv InTn so. grL