So last night I decided to go to the Ash Wednesday gospel concert that was being held at my church featuring singers Marvin Sapp and Kim Burrell. Suffice to say, I had an OUTSTANDING time!!
First of all the concert was free so that's always a bonus:) and then second, you really can't go wrong with those two singers. Plus, anyone who knows me well, knows that I love gospel music. I don't buy very many CDs but I have quite a few gospel albums including Donald Lawrence, Mary Mary, Smokie Norful and Donny McClurkin to name a few.
Marvin Sapp's rendition of "Never Would Have Made It" brought the house down, let me tell you and there have definitely been times in my life when no truer words were ever said. It's just an awesome song.
And one of my favorite Kim Burrell songs is "Have Faith In Me". If you haven't heard either of these two songs you should really check them out.
And then since it was Ash Wednesday, everyone had to process up to the altar to get anointed with ashes in the sign of the cross on your forehead.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and occurs forty days before Easter. It is a period of time marked by fasting and prayer and you're supposed to give up something you really like during that period. I'm still not so sure what that should be, lol. I'd have to say though, whenever I'm in church, it's the one place where I feel that everything is alright with me and who can complain about that?!
So am I the last person alive who doesn't have either a Facebook or Myspace account??
Everyone I know has a page - "Oh, hit me up on Facebook!" Sorry, I can't. Or "You got a Myspace page?" .....Ahhh, no I don't! It seems like a great idea I guess or so many people wouldn't be doing it. But what is the big deal, lol?? What is it that I'm missing out on cause I'm starting to think I'm really missing something major.
I've seen the pages. Is it the fact that you can connect with friends? Well what if you don't wanna connect with someone but they wanna connect with you? Then you look like the bad guy cause you denied their friend request, right?!
I know I write a blog but it's not the same in my opinion. I always hear about when a friend either changes their status from single to it's complicated or in a relationship and then everyone wants to know what happened. And who really has like 5000 friends? How does that happen? I really need someone to break it down for me. Then you get poked, sent gifts, the whole "thanks for the add" thing...I'm just not sure I'm ready.
As with everything else, I'm usually the last one to get with the program. Usually it's something electronic. Like before I bought my new car last year I had a cassette player in my car that I had bought brand new several years before. Don't laugh. I remember specifically telling the guy at the dealership that yes he heard me correctly, I wanted a tape deck, not a CD player in the car, because I only had cassette tapes. I can still remember the incredulous look on his face, lol! Also, I'm sure I was one of the last people to get an I-pod. I was rocking the personal CD player for the longest, haha! Get this, I still have a VCR - no DVD player. I think there's one in the living room but I've never used it. Crazy I know.
I know I'm a little bit quirky and don't mind being the last member of a club. I guess it's why I'm not into brand name clothes or expensive jewelry either. I kinda just do my own thing and if it just so happens to be in line with everyone else then that's cool but if not, then oh well...A lot of my friends are the complete opposite but I guess that's why they say opposites attract right?
But back to the Facebook/Myspace thing. I really need somebody to let me know what's up. What am I missing out on? Is it time for me to finally join that club too...
"When I asked the Lord to send a friend, Though many came and went, He gave much more than I ever asked, For you are the friend He sent."
As I've written before, there is nothing more important to me than friendship. Friends are there when we're standing tall and we need them more than ever to be there for us when we make mistakes or make fools of ourselves and fall flat on our face. Don't forsake a chance to let your friends know their importance in your life.
So today I participated in Career Day at Brawerman Elementary School in Santa Monica. I was part of a four person panel that included myself, Richard Katz, a former State Assembly Speaker, Larry Scarpa, an environmental architect and Jorge Salcedo, head soccer coach at UCLA. Michelle Ruiz a former K-CBS anchorwoman was the moderator for the event.
Michelle, Richard, Me, Larry and Jorge
Michelle basically took turns asking each of us questions about our chosen careers - who or what inspired us, what goals we have, how we deal with failures, etc and at the end of the discussion, the 4th to 6th graders were allowed to ask us questions. I would have to say that it always impresses me just how thoughtful and perceptive and insightful kids of this age can be. They asked really interesting questions and it made for a great interaction.
As always with these types of events, whenever I pull out my measuring tape and show them just how far 22" 4' is, people are always shocked. It actually seems unbelievable to me too at times because somehow when you measure it indoors it just looks further than it does outside in a pit. I think it has something to do with the visual perspective.
Anyway, it was a great privilege and honor to talk to the kids and parents and it's humbling to know that perhaps I could have had a positive impact on just one of them in attendance today. That makes it all worth it!!!
On another front....NEW SHOES UPDATE!!!! Got these last week...another pair of comfortable heels! What's a girl to do??
Today is my mother's birthday so I wanted to take the time to wish her a beautiful day!!! She is the kindest, most generous, most loving person I know and I'm so grateful that God chose her to be my mother. I remember the days when I was growing up and she would drive me to the track EVERY day and sit in the stands and watch and wait for me to have my practice even if it took 2 or 3 hours. Then she would take me home and ensure that I did my homework and help me whenever I needed it. I didn't realize at the time how much of a sacrifice she had to make in order for me to become the athlete, the student, the woman that I am today.
On Saturday I drove up to Bakersfield and surprised her with flowers and my dad and I took her to dinner. I think she enjoyed it all but she really almost had a heart attack when she turned around and saw me just standing there in the middle of her bedroom!
She is funny and supportive and thoughtful and I hope and believe that I've not fallen far from the tree and I couldn't be more happy about that. Here's a picture of when she was in her thirties and I superimposed a current picture of me next to her. I think we look a lot alike!
Here's another picture of her. I think she was in her early 20s in this one.
Tomorrow, the 18th, is also my older brother, Dr. John Edwards' birthday, my only sibling. I couldn't be more proud of anyone. He's worked so hard and accomplished so much and I wish him nothing but success. He certainly deserves it.
Here's a picture of me and him at my Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Stanford last year.
So Happy Birthday to you both!!! I wish I could be with you respectively but know that my heart and my thoughts are with you. Your loving daughter and sister....
12. Voice Notes. I like the fact that you can record and send voice messages back and forth on blackberry messenger. I don't use it enough though!
11. The memo pad. I like having the option to jot down notes and numbers and other information whenever I need to.
10. The calculator. I do the bills where I live and so I'm always adding, multiplying, dividing something between the three of us...
9. I use the alarm whenever I have to wake up early.
8. I like the fact that I don't have to scroll down the entire page to get to the top or bottom of any screen - I can just press T or B and presto!
7. I love how clear the images are on here. A picture on here is as clear as a picture I take with my digital camera. (I will have to say tho that it sucks that the Sprint World Blackberry, the 8830, which I have does not have a camera on it!) But when my friends send me pictures or I look up an image online, it's REALLY clear.
6. Being able to mapquest whenever I need to.
5. The game BrickBreaker. I used to be addicted to this game. I had to go cold turkey lol, in order to break the habit but I'm sure once I get back on the road traveling to meets again this summer, I'm gonna need BrickBreakers Anonymous, lol!
4. I can be in Glasgow, Beijing, Orlando, Australia or Timbuktu for that matter and still have service.
3. Being able to google something at the drop of dime
2. Getting my email when I'm on the go
1. BBM!! (Blackberry Messenger) - Where would I be without it? I get to talk to my favorite people all the time:)
****Big thanks to Dave and Joice who were instrumental in convincing me that I needed to get one. I was really reluctant at first - thank God I finally heeded their advice!****
As I'm typing, I'm sending out a message to an old friend of mine. Something happened in the past and that "something" caused us to go our separate ways and for some reason today, with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I've just decided that enough is enough and I'm over being hurt and upset. I could just carry this burden around with me for years to come, but why? Life is too short! It actually takes MORE work to be upset with someone than it does to just make amends.
I know Valentine's Day is supposed to be for couples and married folk but in my opinion, it really should be for friends, or family, or lovers or spouses or whomever you love or care about. At least that's how I see it. There's no special time or day designation where your love should mean more or less. I REALLY try to show the people that matter to me ALL the time how I feel, whether it be with a text, a smile, a joke, a word of encouragement, or a phone call - whatever they need.
It's not always reciprocated but then again, that's not the reason why I show my love. It's just in my nature I think. I do it because I want to. I do it because that's who I am and I hope that in some way I can brighten that person's day. Sometimes it's been enough. Sometimes it hasn't. You can't control that. You can only keep smilin', keep shinin' and let your friends, family and loved ones know just how much they matter!
I was reading a book last night called "The Slight Edge" by Jeff Olson. It's a pretty good read actually and in there is a quote which I find interesting so I thought I'd share and ask whether you agree or disagree with his assertion.
He was talking about the fact that if you want to raise the quality of your life, you should hang out with people who have been there and done that.
So he writes something he calls The Law of Association and he says: "You are the combined average of the five people you associate with most."
I thought about it and perhaps he just might have a point.
Last night, my boy Chris Spencer gave me a last minute call to attend a movie screening at the 17th Annual Pan-African Film and Arts Festival that is being held here in Los Angeles. Lucky for me, the theater where the screenings are is right down the road here from where I live at the Culver Plaza Theaters.
The Pan-African Film Festival is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the advancement of cultural diversity and education through the exhibition of positive and realistic media images. They basically screen numerous independent and recently released or re-released films that don't have the backing of the bigger studios. Sometimes small films like Slumdog Millionaire, which I recently saw by the way - awesome!!, get screened at these types of festivals and then some big company sees them, word spreads and they become huge big-screen successes.
The movie we saw was called Killer of Sheep and it was actually filmed in 1977 and in black and white but it was never released for the cinema because the producers could not afford to pay for the rights of some of the music. I think they said a couple years ago Steven Soderbergh paid something like $100,000 to buy the music rights and so the film was finally released. The director was Charles Burnett, a UCLA film-school alum.
It was an interesting movie to say the least - somewhat of a "Blacksploitation" feature. To be honest, I'm not sure I totally understood what was going on, lol but nevertheless I enjoyed myself. The star of the movie was there and so there was a Q & A after which helped me to figure out a few things:)
The Festival goes until the 16th and hopefully I'll get a chance to go check out a couple more films.
Maybe it's just me, but it seems that everyone is just waiting for President Obama to make a mistake, an error, to have a lapse in judgment. It's kinda crazy. Let me start with Rush Limbaugh, with his RIDICULOUS comment about hoping that Obama and his government fails. I mean, is this guy such an idiot, so selfish and self-serving that he would rather see an entire country fail, financially, socially, politically and whichever other way I might think of (because he did make a blanket statement), just so that he and his cronies can be right? It really is incredulous!!!
Then comes the fact that two of Obama's cabinet picks had to withdraw themselves from the positions to which they had been nominated. The two who withdrew were former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, who had been nominated for health and human services secretary, and Nancy Killefer, who was to be the federal spending watchdog as chief performance officer.
To his credit, Obama went on 5 different TV shows and said, “I’ve got to own up to my mistake....Ultimately, it’s important for this administration to send a message that there aren’t two sets of rules — you know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes.” In 8 years of Presidency, I don't think we ever heard Bush make any such acknowledgment of fault.
Nevertheless, it is my opinion that these two individuals should be held more accountable for THEIR mistakes much more so than President Obama. But since they were HIS picks, yes, at the end of the day, the buck stops with him but like he also said in those interviews, "The only measure of my success as president when people look back five years from now or nine years from now is going to be, did I get this economy fixed?” he told CNN.
It seems that instead of looking to see what he might be doing right, the eagle eyes are waiting, almost hoping for the opposite. There's so much partisanship going on that I'm not sure how progress is truly going to be made.
And now comes news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized with a serious case of pancreatic cancer. Should the worse case scenario happen, God forbid, and she not make it, it's gonna be real interesting to see what ballyhoo will be made about whomever the President chooses to replace her.
Well I, for one, am choosing to let the President "land" as my good friend Joice always says, meaning let the person get their footing first before criticizing. President Obama has a long road ahead and if we begin to tear him down before he even "lands", I think that kind of pressure is inevitably going to be too much for anyone to withstand.
On a lighter note, Dave is running in Stuttgart, Germany (where it all really began lol 09/06)on Saturday in one of the biggest indoor races of the season. As he always says, "Imma hold it down!!" And as always, I know you will!!
I just wanted to officially congratulate the Pittsburgh Steelers on their victory last night in the 43rd Superbowl!!!It was an awesome game and even though I was exhausted from my travel back from Scotland, this game, with all its great plays and momentum changes definitely kept me awake.
Additionally, several of the Steelers train at the Disney Wide World of Sports facility that I train at when I go down to Orlando. I would see these guys every morning at the track at practice in all that heat down there and in the weightroom with Coach Tom Shaw. When you see them put in all the hard work, it's even greater to see them reap their just rewards.
Last night's MVP #10 Santonio Holmes , #24 Ike Taylor and #51 James Farrior are three guys in particular that I've met down there. I've never really seen such a big group of NFL players working on out on a daily basis and so it made for some interesting days at practice listening to them talk SO much trash to each other. Boys will be boys I guess, lol!
Anyway, congrats to the Cardinals as well because they played an excellent game too although if I see Kurt Warner's wife one more time during a football game, I'm gonna have to write a letter to the TV station in protest:)