Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Meme

I am tweaking a meme I saw on Tinu's Facebook page.

I'm in a horror movie with the #GeekDivas rounding out the cast:
  1. Cries like a baby: Liz
  2. The one who trips while running in the woods: Jill
  3. The first one to go missing: Glennette
  4. Gets murdered saving you: Shireen
  5. Survives by faking dead: Kenya
  6. Had a solid survival plan but no one listened: Danielle
  7. Spends all their time looking for Twinkies: Heather
  8. Gets turned into a zombie: Lisa
  9. Is really the killer: Vanessa and Tinu
And speaking of horror movies, check out WTOP's list of "Top 50 Scary Movies of All Time." I've seen most of them and agree with a lot of the list. Do you?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Does Your Job Make You Happy

I had an interesting conversation with a young woman (25yo) the other day. She said she was looking for a new job because she wasn’t happy at her current one. Being the “you only live once” person I am, I encouraged her in her efforts.

Then she asked me, “Shannon, are you happy at your job?”

While it was a yes or no question, my answer was far from short and sweet:

You’re asking a loaded question. I have this conversation with my BFFs every so often; does happiness come from within—self-confidence and contentment—or from external stimulation? If as you assert, it comes from outside factors, then the answer is no, my job does not make me happy. To carry out this train of thought, I don’t look for my job to make me happy. I work so I can have the resources to do the things that make me happy. 

I enjoy my job; I like the people, our clients and learning new things. I like pushing myself to do more and be better. It can be challenging at times. There are times when my co-workers are co-irkers and there are times when clients forget we’re on their side. It’s all good though because it keeps me on my toes. I may have plans for my day and some days I get to work those plans and other days, my plans are out the window like last night’s news. Did I answer your question?

And this was only part of the long answer I gave her. She nodded as if in agreement as I spoke; however, in retrospect, she was probably thinking about dinner.

What about you, does your job make you happy?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Philanthropy is the love of humanity

Wednesday I attended GW's Fourth Annual Woman and Philanthropy Forum. It was an inspiring, motivating and thought provoking event. As the venue did not provide wifi, I had to take notes...with pen and paper ~gasp~. These are a few of the nuggets of knowledge I gleaned from the day.

Keynote speaker Nancy Brinker
  1. philanthropy transformed me
  2. I still learn on the job everyday becasue the world is changing everyday
  3. do not fear occasional mistakes, learn from is more about the response in the long haul
  4. where you live shouldn't determine whether you live
Panelist Mahsa Pelosky
  1. do what you can with what you have where you are
  2. our values are reflected in how we spend our money
  3. philanthropy is about citizenship
  1. philanthropy is time and money
  2. we have to be strategic with our time, treasure and talent, we can't give to every cause
Aren't these wonderful nuggets? I can't wait for next year's event...well done G-Dub!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How Will Your Obituary Read?

By Jove, I think I've got it!
This is hotter than a summer afternoon in the bayou!

I've learned the secret to life: relationships...authentic, true, honest, real, deep, stimulating, thought provoking relationships are the answer.

It doesn't matter how much money you have, what kind of car you drive or the number of bedrooms in your home. And you know how I know that not one iota of this materialistic stuff matters...because I've never seen any of it mentioned in an obituary. What is mentioned are the relationships folks had, with their Creator, families, children, friends, animals, organizations and even the world.

Don't get me wrong, money is important and their is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting nice things; however, those materials aren't the goal in life. They are the rewards for and result of self discipline, hard work and personal responsibility. The goal in life is to be a good parent/spouse, trusted friend and dependable co-worker...these relationships will outlast anyTHING you own.

Consider the future for a moment, how will your obituary read?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reading poetry is nice, HEARING poetry is the way to go!

On Tuesday I attended the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest - DC Finals. Nine young men and women came on stage one-by-one to recite poems. It was a wonderful evening!

And while there was only one winner, who will move on to represent DC in the national competition, ALL of the participants did a good job.

As host @ChriStylezBacon aptly put it, their teachers had put them "through poetry book camp," and it showed.

Some of the poems recited:

We Wear the Mask, Paul Laurence Dunbar
"Alone," Edgar Allan Poe
The Blues Don't Change, Al Young
The Bones of My Father, Etheridge Knight
Calling Him Back from Layoff, Bob Hicok
"Hope" is that thing with feathers, Emily Dickenson
The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost (with audio)
Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More dancing, singing and acting...oh my!

The second week of INTERSECTIONS: A New America Arts Festival begins this evening and runs through Sunday. If it is half as good as the first weekend, then we're in for a plethora of phenomenal performances.

FYI...I'll be at the Atlas...hanging with the cool kids.

Slam Theatre 2.0: The Miseducation

Access Granted

Getting Airborne!
Jazz Jam Session w/ Jose Herrera Trio

Life in Motion: A Trio of Perspectives

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Singers, dancers and actors...Oh my!

The Atlas Performing Arts Center third annual INTERSECTIONS: A New America Arts Festival opens this weekend and I'm all over it. The full schedule is packed with more than 150 main-stage performances, 30 free cafĂ© concerts and 25 special events. Starting tomorrow evening, the festival will feature a diverse arts line-up, including dancers, singers, actors, aerialists and dogs (so I'm not going to this particular can's supposed to be wonderful).

These are a few of the performances yours truly is seeing during the festival:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I have one, if you wanna play with someone's uterus, go get your own

I'm amazed!
I'm shocked!
Frankly, I'm just dazed and confused.
I never would have guessed people are interested in my uterus.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about how I should treat it.

The "Church" says "you gotta put a ring on it."
The anti-abortion folks say if I break it, I own it, no returns or exchanges.
The politicians only want to pay for upkeep, not for excessive mileage.
The Pink people, who used to look after my boobies, now wanna have a say in what goes on down there.

I wish these folks were as interested in my mortgage, my gas prices, my grocery bill, my 401K ROI, my local schools, my environment, my voting rights, my food and water supply, my incarcerated, homeless, unemployed, underemployed and chronically ill brothers and sisters.

Isn't there enough stuff on the planet to be concerned with other than what I do with my uterus?

Monday, November 28, 2011

From Black To Racially Ambigious...WTH?

I am a Black woman. I have always known I am Black. My family and friends know I’m Black. At times there has been confusion because I’m a fair-skinned Black woman. The confusion is usually with Latin men, who speak Spanish to me and I politely respond, “no hablo espanol.” Then they take a closer look at me, smile and move on. This has happened numerous times and is a regular occurrence in certain neighborhoods and countries. It was not until I began acting a few months ago that I even considered using this misidentification to my advantage.

I began putting my acting resume together and shared it with a fellow actor. She suggested, along with my actual race, I list the other ethnicities I can also play. It took me a minute to figure out exactly what she meant. I decided to stay true to myself and list only “African American.” I am a Black woman and I want to play roles that are either Black or not-ethnically based. Much to my chagrin, it seems Hollywood has something different in mind.

I recently saw an advertisement looking for a “racially ambiguous” woman. What in the world? Who the heck is “racially ambiguous?” It hit me like a ton of bricks, I’m racially ambiguous…at least to some people. When Black folks see me, they see a sista; when Latinos see me, they see a senorita and I know I confuse the heck out of a lot of white folks. I can’t tell you the number of times a white person has asked, “What are you?

So, I revised my resume to read, “Ethnicity: Black (can play Hispanic, Middle Eastern or North African).” Has the pendulum swung so far that we are non-racial?

I may work as multi-ethnic, bi-racial or mixed, but I won’t live that way. It took me years to get over my hang-ups about being a fair-skinned, hiyella, redbone, light-bright Black woman. I am proud to be a Black woman, and while there is probably some white, American Indian and other in my ancestry, when I look in the mirror, I know who I am and I am wonderful.

Photo: Me and Daddy on July 4, 2011

This is a repost of an article I wrote for Body and Self Image. Submit your [self image] story here:

How did this happen?

Last month, the DNC announced the hiring of "Greg Hinton as its first-ever Chief Diversity Officer."

Really? The Democratic Party needs a Chief Diversity Officer? Really? Does anyone else see the irony in this?

I don't get it. The Democratic Party is the party of the people...Black, brown, white, Jew, Protestant, GLBT, women, etc. Almost any and every marginalized group has been able to find some political refuge under the Democratic umbrella. This is why I'm disheartened to learn the party has hired a CDO; it shouldn't need to hire one.

I was there, 20 years ago, and it was great. Ron Brown was the first Black chairman of a major political party. Alexis Herman was there, along with a slew of men and women representing every facet, shade and angle of America. The consultants and contractors also represented different slices of the American pie. The DCCC and the Convention Committee were equally diverse.

There wasn't a need for a CDO, people understood the headquarters for a political party had to look like the people in the party.

How did Democratic leaders forget that most basic principle?

I'm sad, oh so sad.
My photo
I live in Washington, DC, one of the most beautiful places on earth. My personal mantra, "live your life, this isn't a dress rehearsal, you don't get very many do-overs, and guilt is a wasted emotion."