Take Your Secret to the Grave 


At Greenwood Cemetary in Brooklyn, New York, you can literally take your secret to the grave. 

The idea was introduced by a French artist by the name of Sophie Calle. Beginning Saturday, you will be able to write your secret on a piece of paper and slide it into a slit in the tombstone. 

This Saturday, on its opening day, you will also be able to personally tell your secret to the artist. 

Once the grave becomes filled up with secrets, the papers will be burned. This grave will only be open for the next quarter century.

The intent of the “burying of secrets” is not to be therapeutic, although that might be a side effect for some participants. There are two other “graves of secrets” in Geneva and in France, where Calle has her own secrets buried. 

A Change For The Better

I am so happy for my son. I transferred him to a new school a couple of days ago because of ongoing issues at his old school (which I spoke about in my last entry) and a lack of follow up or problem solving from his school.

This new school reminds me of what a school is really supposed to be. It reminds me of my elementary school that I attended in Brooklyn. My son came out smiling and happy when I picked him up this afternoon and I haven’t seen that in a very long time. At his old school he was always upset, anxious and angry when I picked him up. 

My mom had to pick him up yesterday after school because I was at work. He called me from her phone and one of the first things he said was “yeah, they have an auditorium with seats for us to sit on!” At his old school, the lunchroom was also the gym and the auditorium. He said they were given a little bit of down time to paint and use the computer which was great to him. He works really well when he isn’t hovered over and when given a chance to transition from one activity to the next. His old school took all of the fun out of learning and felt like a school prison. I’ve heard other students say that they don’t like going to school there because staff is “mean” and I’ve heard parents who attended the school when they were younger say that the school “isn’t what it used to be”. They said back in the day, the school had carnivals and fun activities, which no longer take place. They have a carnival day that takes place in the cafeteria, of course, and it is very low budget and boring. My son asked to go home after ten minutes. The school treats students and parents more like robots than people. I did not feel comfortable or welcome whenever I would go to the mai office for whatever reason. I felt the administration spoke in a condescending manner and reacted to everything as if they were reading out of a manual. 

It’s only the first week at the new school so it’s too early to be overly optimistic but I already have a better vibe within these first few days than I ever did at his former school in the five years he was there.

Anti-bullying where?

I usually don’t post anything too personal on this blog. But there is something that has bothered me so much recently and it has gotten worse every passing week. 

My son is an upper elementary school aged child. There are a group of boys that he has been in class with since kindergarten. These boys have been frenemies from the beginning. Sometimes they like each other and sometimes they don’t. One day they are friends and the next day they are enemies and calling each other names. This last year in particular, however, it has gotten increasingly worse, to the point that I am getting called by the school at least every two weeks, sometimes more, regarding escalating incidents between these boys and my son. 

My son is no angel and I have reprimanded and spoken and yelled at him and punished him plenty of times for his part in the situation and for his wrong doing. I’ve told him that if a child says something to him that bothers him, then he should tell a teacher because we don’t want it to escalate. He has had an increasingly hard time dealing with the stress. 

He was seeing a social worker at the school to discuss coping strategies. He had two different social workers, the first was an older woman who had a very calming demeanor about her and my son took to her very well and enjoyed meeting with her. She retired and was replaced with another social worker, a male in his 30’s, whom my son also liked very much and looked forward to meeting with.
This yeat, however, he was switched to a guidance counselor because they said the social worker is reserved for more intense and behavioral students. My son didn’t warrant a social worker. So he was scheduled to meet with the guidance counselor every week. From the beginning, my son disliked her. He said she was “mean” to him. He said if she asked him a question and he didn’t give the right answer, she would yell at him and get frustrated that he didn’t respond with the term she was looking for. Every time he has session with her, he came home more stressed that he was before meeting with her. 

I contacted the school and requested that he not meet with her anymore because it wasn’t effective and was making the situation worse, actually. I knew it wasn’t just my son being defiant because he loved the other two social workers and never complained the three years he went to session. 

The school was adamant that I keep him in the guidance sessions and said they had no alternate counselor. He couldn’t go back to meeting with the social worker because he had no room in his schedule. My son was pulled out from class again after I requested that he not be. I then took him out early from school the next time he was scheduled and told them that I demand his IEP be revised and I put it in writing so it could not be ignored. 

They did remove guidance from his IEP and gave two alternate outside resources for me to call. The first told me that my son wasn’t yet old enough for their service and the other referral had no openings. Which would leave me with having to pay out of pocket for any other traditional counselor and I cannot afford that. 

So anyhow, the school situation has gotten horrible. The group of boys is still in class together and it has gotten so bad that teachers have had to physically intervene and separate the boys. Every day there is a new story of who said what and who is friends with who. The boys have gotten excluded from class trips, have received lunch detention, have been threatened with suspension, have had meetings with the social worker to mediate and diffuse the situation. Things will be good for a week and then it’s drama again. 

I’ve went to the school to talk with my son and the principal. She has told my son to “ignore it because they are just words”. She said “it’s going to only get worse in middle school and you have to learn to block out some things”. I agreed with her to an extent. Life is cruel. People are mean. There will always be situations and environments where you don’t like someone. I spoke to my son about picking and choosing his battles. I told him that he can’t get upset about every little comment but to get upset about the malicious and really hurtful ones. I’ve given examples of how he could respond to the minor, not so hurtful comments. I told him when someone comes up to him to tell him that another boy doesn’t like him, then he should say “I don’t really care what he thinks”. 

This week everything went downhill. Yesterday, my son came home saying he doesn’t want to go back to school. He said “I don’t want to see them anymore”. He said “I don’t want to keep fighting them”.  I told him that he had to go and that I would talk to the principal because apparently, there was a situation that took place yesterday and I was not made aware of it. 

So the principal this morning told me that she didn’t get a chance to call me yesterday because she had a lot of obligations. She called me later this afternoon to tell me what happened. She said that in the schoolyard during recess, a boy went up to my son to tell him that the other boys were talking about him. This boy proceeded to run back and forth between my son and the other two boys to instigate. The principals exact words were “the other boy was instigating and provoking”. Then the other two boys came up to my son to confront him so now it was 3 against 1. One of the boys, in the principal’s words, “lunged” at my son. He apparently swung at my son but missed. My son grabbed his hand and did a hold on him that he learned in karate class. Teachers then intervened and my son had to talk with the principal and she then did an investigation. Later that day, my son went to use the bathroom alone. One of the boys involved in the first altercation saw my son going into the bathroom. He followed him into the bathroom. One of the teachers saw this and went in to see what was going on. According to the principal, this boy went to punch my son but missed and my son then hit him. 

So the principal then tells me that if this continues, my son will be suspended and the other two boys will have consequences as well. I asked if the other two boys will be suspended as well. She said no because although they attempted to hit my son, their hit didn’t land or make actual contact. My son, however, although in self defense, did land his hit and because of a hands off policy at school, he can get suspended. The other boys would just not be allowed on the next two school trips. 

I obviously became very upset at this unfair and one sided punishment. I told her that if she suspended my son and not the other two boys, then I would take it to a higher level and she can justify not suspending the other boys involved who started the fight, because their hits “didn’t land”.  

I did yell at her, not even gonna lie. And the F bomb was used. Not at her but in the sentence. She then hung up. She was called back and yelled at again for being ridiculous and unfair and she said that she is being “verbally assaulted” and hung up again. 

So she can’t tolerate an angry parent yelling and hangs up the minute voices get raised, yet my son should “get a tougher skin” and “ignore it”. A child who is around his peers all day every day should learn better coping techniques yet she hangs up within five seconds of being yelled at. 

Maybe she should develop a “thicker skin”. 

So now I will be going to my local elementary school this coming week to have him transferred. He’s actually not in his zoned school right now. This is a neighborhood we no longer live in but I chose to keep him in because I didn’t want to pull him out after he made friends. That will all change come Monday. I will not force him to return to a setting where he is within feet of a group of boys that he has ongoing issues with and a school that obviously has no clue on how to prevent these situations from happening and has no alternatives other than to stick my son in a Kindergarten class. This will only continue to get worse and I can’t imagine how my son must have felt yesterday when he was attacked twice in one day. 

The principal told me that he cannot hit even in self defense. I understand that schools cannot promote hitting, even if in the name of self defense. But we also can’t teach our kids that you should just be a victim and there will be no consequences for the other party. I will never teach my son to be a victim and I will always reinforce that you have a right to defend yourself. Because next time it will be more than one kid following  him into the bathroom. I’m glad he made it known that he will and can defend himself. 

His school talks about anti-bullying and hangs their anti bullying posters all over the school. The principal makes a morning announcement every day about being kind and keeping your hands to yourself. Yet when the bullying situations occur, they aren’t handled properly. Telling kids to ignore hurtful words and to be made to feel like a criminal when they defend themselves is sending the wrong message. It is not realistic to tell a child to consistently ignore malicious words from their peers. It is not realistic to say keep calm and to not react. It is unrealistic to say that you should not let unkind words hurt you and effect your mood. Bullying is an epidemic and more and more children are committing suicide because of improper handling of bullying situations and peer issues. My son tells me consistently that he does not want to go to school because he is having a hard time dealing with the situation. These boys are kept together within feet of each other every day when it has been proven over and over again that they need to be kept separate. The school is very small and does not have alternate rooms for them to go to. 

I hope that when I go to our zoned school to have him transferred, things will go smoothly and he can begin attending immediately. I can’t imagine having him return to his current school for another school year. 

Justin Timberlake’s selfie brings about change 


Apparently Justin Timberlake has some influence in his native Tennessee. Justin posted a selfie while in the booth on his social media page during the last election. Unfortunately, he was forced to take it down because at that time in Tennessee, it was illegal to post any pictures from inside the booths. However, Tennessee recently made it legal to do so. As long as you do not take a picture with the intent of committing voter fraud or for vote buying, it is totally fine to do so (in Tennessee at least). 

Many states do not allow pictures or video in the poll booth. 

I could see the benefit in being able to do so. I think it could help with attracting more voters, particularly younger voters. I don’t think it has to necessarily be a celebrity to be effective. Young people will want to go out and vote the more they see their peers doing so. Some might go out and vote just so they can take a selfie. Either way, I think it brings attention to the subject. I don’t think you should be able to post WHO you voted for, as many people might vote for someone just because a celebrity that they follow voted for that person. But I don’t see the harm is taking a quick pic on your way out of the booth. 

Beggars Can’t Be Picky

I hate it when people make it seem like it’s your fault that you’re single. “Maybe your standards are too high”. “Maybe you’re too picky”.  There are people who will make you feel as if you are doing something wrong because surely, if you were doing something right,  you wouldn’t be single! 

Well then I guess there’s a lot of wrong people out here because there certainly are a lot of single people! I guess we are all just so damn picky and bougie that nobody is good enough for us. (Sarcasm here).

The other day, I made a comment that I would probably not date someone if they didn’t drive. I’ve dated non-drivers before and say this based on experience. I have no problem taking turns with driving but I definitely don’t want to be the only one doing the driving. When I said that if someone didn’t drive it would be a no go for me, another woman proceeded to say “well beggars can’t be picky”.  

I guess it s a good thing that I’m not begging. I found her comment to be insulting and a bit ballsy. First of all, just because I am dating and looking for a relationship doesn’t mean I’m “begging” or desperate. I guess she was trying to say that if I really want to be with someone, I might have to forgo the driving preference. But I don’t agree. Just because I am looking for a relationship doesn’t mean that all preferences and standards have to go out the door. So many women “settle” and accept things that they genuinely don’t want to just so that they have a partner. I know some of these people personally. I don’t want to be one of those people. My standards or preferences or whatever you want to call them are already pretty basic. It’s not like I’m asking for furs and diamonds (I totally don’t wear real fur btw). My three basic tenets are that you have a decent job, have a car and treat me good. I do prefer someone with their own place and have foregone that plenty. So now I’m supposed to negotiate on the three other basic preferences I have? Before you know it, I’ll be doing all the driving, paying for the dates AND waking up to your mom in the morning. But it’s okay. As long as I have someone right?

Happy National Margarita Day!


Every year in the United States, February 22nd is National Margarita Day. The margarita is the most common, tequila based cocktail in the United States. 

A margarita is a cocktail that consists of triple sec, tequila and lime or lemon juice. It is also garnished with salt around the rim. You can order your margarita shaken with ice (on the rocks), blended with ice (frozen) or without ice (straight up). It also comes in a variety of flavors including strawberry (my personal fave), mango, limeade, watermelon, pomegranate and raspberry. 

There are many stories about the origin of the margarita, but all agree it started somewhere between the 1930’s and 1940’s. One of the earliest stories attributes the drink to a restaurant owner by the name of Carlos “Danny” Herrera. His restaurant was called “Rancho La Gloria” and was located between Tijuana and Rosario, Mexico. Supposedly, he created the margarita for a customer, Marjorie King, who was allergic to many spirits except tequila. 


Pictured above, the Coronorita is one of my favorite drinks. It is basically a beer cocktail with a bottle of Corona turned upside down into a frozen margarita. 

What’s Your Favorite Cover?

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?

Many songs have been covered by another artist later in time.  Sometimes, the cover turns out to be better than the original.  I wanted to share some originals and their covers with you and please feel free to comment some of your favorite covers as well.  Hope you enjoy 🙂

1- Etta James ‘At Last’.  Cover done by Beyoncé

 

 

2- Fleetwood Mac ‘Landslide’.  Cover by The Dixie Chicks

 

 

3-Queen ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.  Cover done by Panic at the Disco.  *I first learned about Bohemian Rhapsody when I watched “Wayne’s World” in the 90’s. My son introduced me to the cover recently as  Panic at the Disco is one of his favorite groups.  This is a pretty difficult song to cover and while nothing can beat Queen’s version, I think the Panic boys did a pretty good job.

 

 

4-Dolly Parton ‘I Will Always Love You’.  Cover by Whitney Houston.  This is probably one example where I like the cover way more than the original.  This song was meant for Whitney.

 

 

 

5-  Chaka Khan ‘I’m Every Woman’.  Cover done by Whitney Houston.  *I don’t think it’s possible for Whitney to NOT kill any song she sings.

 

 

6-DeBarge ‘Love Me In a Special Way’. Cover done by Tamia.  *Tamia makes any song that she sings sound amazingly beautiful.

 

 

7- Frankie Valli ‘Can’t Take My Eyes off of You’.  Cover done by Lauryn Hill.

 

 

8-Betty Hutton ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’. Cover done by Bjork.

 

Do you wear your wedding band?

The other day I was watching my son during  karate class and I noticed one of the fathers standing next to me wasn’t wearing his wedding ring. Then I looked at another father and he didn’t have on his wedding ring, either. I’ve known many married men that do not wear their wedding ring. Most married women I know do wear their wedding ring, however.

I posted on Facebook and asked my friends if they wear their wedding ring. The majority answered that they do not and neither does their partner. One of my female friends said that she is busy with her three kids and simply does not remember to put it on. She said that her husband does wear his band but she wouldn’t mind if he didn’t. They have been married for about 11 years. Another woman that has been married for 20 years said that neither her nor her husband wear their bands.She also said that they have been married for so long neither one of them cares.

One Facebook friend who is newly married said she would be very upset if her husband didn’t wear his band. I agreed and said I would be upset too, but then again I’m not married and maybe after 10-20 years it wouldn’t be a deal breaker to me either.

So is it that longer married couples don’t wear their wedding bands as frequently as newly married couples? Does your wedding band become another fancy piece of jewelry that only gets worn on special occasions, or maybe never at all? I always looked at the wedding band as a symbol of your vows and commitment to one another and I personally feel there is a level of disrespect when you do not wear it. 

What do you think? Do you or your partner always wear your wedding ring, and why?

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day


Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  On December 7th, 1941, the Japanese navy attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This event is what led to the United States entry into World War II. 

The attack was meant to be a preventive measure to ensure that the US Pacific fleet would not interfere with Japanese plans to attack overseas territories. The US had moved their fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor prior to that to discourage Japanese aggression in the Far East. 2,403 Americans died as a result of the attack. The following day, the United States declared war on Japan. Later, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy would declare war on the US and vice versa. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States, declared December 7th, 1941, a “day which will live in infamy”. The attack was declared at the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime because of its unexpected nature.