I Yam What I Yam


Many people often tell me how much of an extrovert I am and they couldn’t be more wrong. lol While surfing HuffPost this morning I ran across what best describes me and what I attempt to relay to them every time the conversation arises. Maybe some of the signs apply to you as we’ll……..

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.

Introverts are notoriously small talk-phobic, as they find idle chatter to be a source of anxiety, or at least annoyance, for many quiet types, who may find that it feels disingenuous.

“Let’s clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people,” Laurie Helgoe writes in “Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength.” “We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”

2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people.

If you’re an introvert, you may sometimes enjoy going to parties, but chances are, you’re not going because you’re excited to meet new people. At a party, most introverts would rather spend time with people they already know and feel comfortable around. If you happen to meet a new person that you connect with, great — but meeting people is rarely the goal.

3. You often feel alone in a crowd.

Ever feel like an outsider in the middle of social gatherings and group activities, even with people you know?

“If you tend to find yourself feeling alone in a crowd, you might be an introvert,” says Dembling. “We might let friends or activities pick us, rather than extending our own invitations.”

4. Networking makes you feel like a phony.

Networking (read: small-talk with the end goal of advancing your career) can feel particularly disingenuous for introverts, who crave authenticity in their interactions.

“Networking is stressful if we do it in the ways that are stressful to us,” Dembling says, advising introverts to network in small, intimate groups rather than at large mixers.

5. You’ve been called “too intense.”

Do you have a penchant for philosophical conversations and a love of thought-provoking books and movies? If so, you’re a textbook introvert.

“Introverts like to jump into the deep end,” says Dembling.

6. You’re easily distracted.

While extroverts tend to get bored easily when they don’t have enough to do, introverts have the opposite problem — they get easily distracted and overwhelmed in environments with an excess of stimulation.

“Extroverts are commonly found to be more easily bored than introverts on monotonous tasks, probably because they require and thrive on high levels of stimulation,” Clark University researchers wrote in a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “In contrast, introverts are more easily distracted than extroverts and, hence, prefer relatively unstimulating environments.”

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.

One of the most fundamental characteristics of introverts is that they need time alone to recharge their batteries. Whereas an extrovert might get bored or antsy spending a day at home alone with tea and a stack of magazines, this sort of down time feels necessary and satisfying to an introvert.

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.

Introverts can be excellent leaders and public speakers — and although they’re stereotyped as being the shrinking violet, they don’t necessarily shy away from the spotlight. Performers like Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and Emma Watson all identify as introverts, and an estimated 40 percent of CEOs have introverted personalities. Instead, an introvert might struggle more with meeting and greeting large groups of people on an individual basis.

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle.

Whenever possible, introverts tend to avoid being surrounded by people on all sides.

“We’re likely to sit in places where we can get away when we’re ready to — easily,” says Dembling. “When I go to the theatre, I want the aisle seat or the back seat.”

10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.

Do you start to get tired and unresponsive after you’ve been out and about for too long? It’s likely because you’re trying to conserve energy. Everything introverts do in the outside world causes them to expend energy, after which they’ll need to go back and replenish their stores in a quiet environment, says Dembling. Short of a quiet place to go, many introverts will resort to zoning out.

11. You’re in a relationship with an extrovert.

It’s true that opposites attract, and introverts frequently gravitate towards outgoing extroverts who encourage them to have fun and not take themselves too seriously.

“Introverts are sometimes drawn to extroverts because they like being able to ride their ‘fun bubble,'” Dembling says.

12. You’d rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything.

The dominant brain pathways introverts use is one that allows you to focus and think about things for a while, so they’re geared toward intense study and developing expertise, according to Olsen Laney.

13. You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation.

Because really, is anything more terrifying?

14. You screen all your calls — even from friends.

You may not pick up your phone even from people you like, but you’ll call them back as soon as you’re mentally prepared and have gathered the energy for the conversation.

“To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go ‘BOO!,'” says Dembling. “I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend — as long as it’s not jumping out of the sky at me.”

15. You notice details that others don’t.

The upside of being overwhelmed by too much stimuli is that introverts often have a keen eye for detail, noticing things that may escape others around them. Research has found that introverts exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information, as compared to extroverts.

16. You have a constantly running interior monologue.

“Extroverts don’t have the same internal talking as we do,” says Olsen Laney. “Most introverts need to think first and talk later.”

17. You have low blood pressure.

A 2006 Japanese study found that introverts tend to have lower blood pressure than their extroverted counterparts.

18. You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s.

Introverts observe and take in a lot of information, and they think before they speak, leading them to appear wise to others.

“Introverts tend to think hard and be analytical,” says Dembling. “That can make them seem wise.”

19. You don’t feel “high” from your surroundings

Neurochemically speaking, things like huge parties just aren’t your thing. Extroverts and introverts differ significantly in how their brains process experiences through “reward” centers.

Researchers demonstrated this phenomenon by giving Ritalin — the ADHD drug that stimulates dopamine production in the brain — to introverted and extroverted college students. They found that extroverts were more likely to associate the feeling of euphoria achieved by the rush of dopamine with the environment they were in. Introverts, by contrast, did not connect the feeling of reward to their surroundings. The study “suggests that introverts have a fundamental difference in how strongly they process rewards from their environment, with the brains of introverts weighing internal cues more strongly than external motivational and reward cues,” explained LiveScience’s Tia Ghose.

20. You look at the big picture.

When describing the way that introverts think, Jung explained that they’re more interested in ideas and the big picture rather than facts and details. Of course, many introverts excel in detail-oriented tasks — but they often have a mind for more abstract concepts as well.

“Introverts do really enjoy abstract discussion,” says Dembling.

21. You’ve been told to “come out of your shell.”

Many introverted children come to believe that there’s something “wrong” with them if they’re naturally less outspoken and assertive than their peers. Introverted adults often say that as children, they were told to come out of their shells or participate more in class.

22. You’re a writer.

Introverts are often better at communicating in writing than in person, and many are drawn to the solitary, creative profession of writing. Most introverts — like “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling — say that they feel most creatively charged when they have time to be alone with their thoughts.

23. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.

Introverts can move around their introverted “set point” which determines how they need to balance solitude with social activity. But when they move too much — possibly by over-exerting themselves with too much socializing and busyness — they get stressed and need to come back to themselves, according Olsen Laney. This may manifest as going through periods of heightened social activity, and then balancing it out with a period of inwardness and solitude.

“There’s a recovery point that seems to be correlated with how much interaction you’ve done,” says Dembling. “We all have our own private cycles.”

Provided courtesy of HUFFPOST


Blurred Lines, The San Diego Sex Scandal Edition

Only in Cali


In a political climate where sex scandals are constantly cropping up and reemerging, Robin Thicke’s controversial song of the summer, Blurred Lines, couldn’t have been released at a better time for parodies.

U-T TV, an online news venture affiliated with the UT-San Diego newspaper, formerly the San Diego Union-Tribune, released a spoof of the song, lampooning Mayor Bob Filner in light of recent sexual harassment allegations against him. The video –which features Filner’s head superimposed on a man’s body and female anchors dancing in skirts and high heels — has drawn criticism from other news organizations that find it peculiar they should call out the mayor’s behavior by using a song that’s also been lambasted as misogynistic.

Throughout the video words like “RESIGN and “CREEPER” appear across the screen as the female TV anchors wag fingers to lyrics calling out Filner’s alleged behavior, playing into an already sexualized music…

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I Wanna Send A “Shout-Out” to My Bed


OK, seriously sleep and I have never been friends. She has always seemed to taunt and seduce me most when it is time for me to wake up at 6 am after hitting the hay, as they say, at approximately 4 am. She then would entice me with innuendoes of “hey, you didn’t finish that dream,” or “wouldn’t it feel so good to lay back down in my arms and sleep for another three hours,” or “it’s raining today,” or my favorite “go on and ignore that alarm clock, honey. She don’t love you like I do.” Ahh, it’s a fight that I have never won. So needless to say, working the 9-5 in a law office of stuck up, Republicans, strung out on Starbucks coffee, intent on convincing people to spend their hard earned dollars to go to trial for charges that they knew they were going to be sent to the “big house” for was totally not my gig. Thank goodness for second chances in life.

Two years ago I was lucky enough to be able to turn back the clock (great analogy combined with my sleeping issues, huh..lmao) and return to college and complete what I have always loved. Now that I am at Guilford College in North Carolina, I have been able to control when I get up and have to hit the road to get to class and and may I say it has been the shit. My first experience in college I wanted to get it done fast and fill each semester with as many overload of credits as I could so that I could be a graduate and become part of the distinguished legal field. Sleep would try her best to convince me that Commercial Law class at 8:30 am was a bad idea but for four years I pressed on. I should have listened to her. Now, an English major and Art History minor, on a campus where the adaptation of time is akin to “island time” in the Bahamas, it feels so different. My mottos is and will continue to be: NO FRIDAY CLASSES! Wooo hoooooo.

Since we have been on this summer break, I have found myself back to attempting to get up early and “get my day started,” you know so the neighbors see me being active and I don’t feel so much of a nocturnal being that I know I am. You see, I have never felt “awake” during the day until after 2-3 pm. Once there, I feel normal and attentive, but before I feel like I am in an antihistamine-fog, that I can’t get out of where voices sound like underwater messages and directions/instructions seem to be sent in German to my brain. I normally catch the “good vibe” and ride that bitch out until I begin to experience drowsiness, which oftentimes comes to me between 3 and 4 am, during which I can write, research, enjoy movies and music, unlike the time when “the others” are awake. I know its odd. But after many months of not being together, my ole mistress, Sleep, appeared on the side of the bed once again. 

In her most sultry voice ever, she whispered, “Today is your day. Relax. NetFlix loves you, and the bed misses you.” So to make a long story short, I listened to her and it has been one of the most refreshing days EVER (in my best Oprah singing voice). My mind is clear, my thoughts are not as crowded as usual and I feel like I have that George Costanza pep-in-my-step after receiving his first hand-model check (only Seinfeld enthusiasts will get this). So as this ultimate feeling that has escaped me for years has now returned, I just want to give a few shout-outs…..

  1. Shout out to the Sleep Mistress. You ROCK and I have missed you like a fat kid misses cake.
  2. Shout out to my Westies for not walking my entire body like canine-alarm-clocks as I slept so that I could get up and take you three out.
  3. Shout out to my neighbors for not waking me with lawnmowers/weedeaters, rock band practice, extra tomatoes from your garden and the mail lady with packages that she MUST ring the doorbell for.
  4. Shout out to my bed. You have been my bestest friend for years and I don’t know why I try and act like we can resist one another’s love. I have been living a lie and thanks to the Mistress I realize, I CAN’T QUIT YOU.
  5. Lastly, shout out to anyone else that understands this affinity for sleep during the light hours. Not because you are depressed or medically induced to. No, not at all. Not because you are lazy, or a procrastinator (ok maybe a little), or not a go-getter, but simply because you enjoy a good days sleep in bed, in sweats, or naked, or with man’s best friend surrounding you and/or NetFlix, HuluPlus or AmazonPrimeInstant playing on the Vizio. 

No, we are not vampires or any of that Robert Pattinson group of blood, werewolf and Twilight followers, but we may cross paths in the night. Them, hiding from light so not be burned into oblivion and us enjoying the creativity that comes with peace and quiet, that you can only enjoy in the waning hours of early morning. Ahh, then the recharge…..when me and my bed become dirty lovers again. 

This shoutout goes to my bed.


Homage Gone Wrong? Or Simple Humorous Music?

So I am surfing through youtube last night and ran across something that blew my wig back. The attached video is one for a song, “Asian Girl,” by the group Day Above Ground. I think that they attempted to first pay homage to the women of the Far East, but got terribly lost somewhere.

The video shows model Levy Tran come home, undress and then get into her bathtub, all the while listening to the groups song offering. Sounds innocent enough, huh? Well, from the first few lines the train falls off the tracks of appreciation for a race of women. As the lyrics run off a list of desired Asian stereotypes: fried rice, sticky rice, butt-fucking all night, Korean bar-b-que, Bruce Lee, Toyota, wonton soup,”best nails in the city” and slanted eyes, before they are done, they even give shout outs to what they feel are “Asian hoods”; i.e. Acadia, J-Town, Koreatown, Chinatown.

With all the protesting of various issues around the world and especially right here in our own backyard, why is there no outrage to this hugely offensive song and clearly racist attitude submitted through demeaning lyrics? Per the band, “Our song “Asian Girlz” was not written with any malicious, hateful, or hurtful intent. We know it is racy and does push the boundaries further than other songs out there. Understand that we do not promote or support racism or violence.” Yeah, right. OK

It’s sad that a record label would sign off on the track, but when twerking and “super-manning hoes” are acceptable forms of music, then maybe I am the only one with higher standards of what music lyrics should be. Can you even call these lyrics or are they more like a racist rant put to music? I guess as long as you make it seem humorous, then it’s ok. The music industry has accomplished the biggest music fail of 2013 with this track. Sad




So everyone that knows me, also knows that I am a huge hip hop fan. With that said, I am not really a fan of much of the rap that is out there today, (which I will expound on later; lol) but when I ran across this jewel, “My 2nd Lighter,” by Redman, my faith was reassured.

What I like about Redman overall is that he is a rapper that has consistently remained the same. His style originated as  a funky and unapologetic delivery from the early Brick City days, which was first back in 1992 on his debut, “Whut? Thee Album.” Although he has released some questionable material, mostly with Meth, he has maintained the staying power of a 28 year old porn actor after three days of partying on little blue pills. Red’s comedic performances are what keeps me a fan.

Continuing this noted style, Red brings back to life a DJ Premier track that was utilized by the great NAS (My 2nd Childhood) and replaces one word (“Childhood” for “Lighter”) in order to make the track truly his. As the rapper discusses the types of people that he smokes with, he gets down to the nitty gritty about why he has to keep an eye on the closest part of his arsenal; his lighter. To me, I guess the fact that Redman reminds me of that guy from the pj’s that has become successful, but still shows up everywhere in the hood is another down to earth reflection of his personality that I can relate to through his rhymes, causing me to stay on the lookout for anything new from him. I HEART REDMAN!!!

I like this track because it personifies the humorous, off-beat, intelligent flow that Reggie Noble has become noted for after all these years. Do yourself a favor and listen to the track, but also ingest the humor that is associated visually with it (complete with a Spike Lee cameo and deeply encrusted DOC flavor).

Rock on Red.



Years ago, as I walked the southern streets of Randleman, NC, I never thought that other Black boys as myself dealt with the same issues. Of course, the handful that lived in the same St. Peters neighborhood were understood to me to be from two parent homes, albeit very lower class financially. I actually thought that that was where the similarities ended. And as growing men we didn’t discuss issues that bothered us because in the hood that was opening yourself up to be ridiculed for being “weak, a punk, a pussy, or worst yet the soft one of the neighborhood.” Because we didn’t communicate in that manner with one another, we never knew issues that the others came into contact with. We wore the unspoken code of “being a man” on our sleeves and never discussed anything outside of Spike Lee movies or the occasional porn flick that one of us could pinch from our parent’s stash, that we would all gather and watch while downing Bacardi shots and MD 20/20 Orange Jubilee in the attic of a friend’s house. But in any event, the conversation never occurred.

Now, just so you know, I am the type of person that enjoys being the wallflower around a lively issue. It allows me to hear other perspectives and then critique them in my own special manner, normally through blogging. lol I remain absent from conversations of politics, race, finances and child-rearing for the mere fact of not wanting to hear a statement from someone that I have held in high regard, only to be let down by their close-mindedness or asinine views. But recently I was on the peripheral of a conversation that was centered around race and the Zimmerman verdict. I take that all of us, regardless of our position on the matter, can agree that the situation is a tragedy for all involved; a young teen is no longer full of life, a man has had his life changed forever with the pull of a trigger and a community, as well as a Nation, has been divided yet again because of an issue involving race. It’s a sad state of affairs. I feel deeply for all parties and families involved. But you know what? This type of situation happens daily as someone takes a particular dress style or bravado as being a menacing act. Now, the outcomes are not always as horrific as the Zimmerman-Martin case has been, but they still produce just as life-changing events for those involved.

At the tender age of 10, I never knew what racism was because it was something that wasn’t discussed in my household (as many things were not discussed in my dysfunctional family that NEEDED to be, and were not, but I digress). My first taste of realizing that I could and would be treated differently came when I desired to play the lead in a western-themed play that I can’t for the life of me recall the name of. Being the only student that actually knew the lines from memory as well as being a student of the three main television channels that were offered to us back then, I was a student of every Clint Eastwood, Bette Davis, Steve McQueen, Michael J. Fox offering there was. After garnering the lead, I was shot back down from my lofty height of floating on cloud 9 and back to earth when white students protested to the music teacher, Ms. Moyers. I remember their words like it was yesterday as they bickered, “He can’t play the part. HE’S BLACK!” Never had I been so floored in my life. I felt like I had been hit in the stomach by Lou Ferrigno himself. But I picked my face up off the floor and slumped home with the heartfelt disgust of Charlie Brown. GOOD GRIEF!


Flash forward 5 years to the age of 15, complete with an impressive afro, hair on my upper lip and thanks to Joe Weider (Coach Ferguson most of all) an impressive pair of chiseled arms and legs at my disposal. Physically, I was a fit and finally pleased young man with who I was growing up to be until I stepped into the same proximity of an older white woman in Freeman’s Drug Store. As I entered the door and went to reach for a stool, she immediately jumped up, grabbed her purse and told me with fear in her eyes, “I don’t have nothing for you to take, Nigger. My husband is right outside.” WOWWW. So in reply, I flew off the handle and screamed back “Who gives a fuck where your husband is, Bitch. I don’t want your pancake ass or your cheap, empty ass, purse,” as I reached into my pocket and tossed a handful of five, tens and twenty dollar bills at her face. I felt as if I had exercised that demon right on the spot by yelling back at her, but honestly I felt far worse. To say the least, I was blown away and had no idea why I deserved her designation of the “N-word”on me, but from that day on I wore that undeserved moniker and mental video of that moment inside on my emotions for some twenty years until I was able to understand that I didn’t have to be what someone else felt I was. But other interactions aided in that growth, as well as damaging a youth on his path of maturity.

Lastly, my final example occurred at the ripe old age of 21 years old. Back in the 80’s/90’s kids in Randleman used to park, smoke joints, drink 22’s of Budweiser and make out. At this point of my life, tired of years of being called “good……for a Black quarterback,” “fast as a field monkey,” “smarter than the average negra,” or my personal favorite “it makes no sense that you are the only nigger that doesn’t like watermelon,” I did what I wanted and dared anyone to correct me. So with my affinity for white females with flowing blond hair and blue eyes, there I sat in the front seat, parked on a dirt road in Sophia, NC, with a young woman, Lori, that I knew from Randleman High. As we kissed and felt one another up, the more the windows of her Isuzu I-Mark fogged up with perspiration of the heat between the both of us and the cold outside air. As many times as I had been on those back roads with other women, drinking, smoking weed, having sex in the woods and enjoying being almost legal, never had we ever experienced what would come next. As her car filled with blue lights, I was suddenly extracted from the vehicle, slammed into the side panel and then taken back behind the car where I was pressed cheek down onto the hood of the local Sheriff’s Department cruiser. The harder I fought, the stronger the grip of the deputy got. As I tried to swing with the strength of Mike Tyson, kicking and bucking like a mule, the more I realized that at any time this man could shoot me and say I resisted. I eventually adapted the movements of the 60’s Berkley protestors and simply went limp. Let me tell you, skin versus hot hood is no battle at all. Hot hood wins out every time, as I learned, feeling my face began to go numb as it began to adhere to the hood like a medium-rare piece of steak being seared on the local Sizzler grille racks. As one deputy was giving me the business, my friend was screaming and crying and their first words to her were, “Are you ok? Did he rape you? Did he hurt you?” As she pleaded, “Stop beating him. I’m fine. We were just parking,”disgust filled their faces as they both turned, looked at me and proclaimed, “Darkee, you got lucky tonight. Now get your ass outta here and take that nigger-lover with you before we come back and make sure you will never be able to use that cock again. NOW GONN….GET!” They spoke to me as if I were a stray dog that they had encountered going through their trash. Why? Because of the color of skin. Lori and I saw each other many times after, but “the incident” was NEVER discussed. Yet another missed opportunity for change.

Me and my friends never discussed the racist things that happened to us. But maybe we are part of the blame for the strife that exists at this point between black males and those they encounter. Maybe if we had talked, we would have been able to steer the angst many feel for Black males now in a different direction, way back then. Now I am not indicting anyone of racist views because of what happened to me. But because of what I have encountered I can add some relevant examples to what life trials can be for you when you wear the piece of attire that you can’t take off or bleach (sorry Michael J). Black Skin. If fellow students, a mother, as well as those that protect and serve could have an impression of a man like me based simply on my race and sex, then the Zimmerman-Martin matter should be viewed as the utmost of issues that we are confronted with on a daily basis, that require change. Regardless of whether the jury  delivered the correct/incorrect verdict, the matter should be utilized as an opportunity for discussion on the issue, instead of arguments, finger pointing and name calling back and forth. Progress remains a sinking ship when the discussion does not involve how we can learn to accept one another, but instead is mired in blame from one side to another. As I mentioned earlier, I feel regret and sorrow for both sides of the Zimmerman-Martin issue, but now is as good a time as any to take a look at both sides of the fence and begin dialogue in all communities that will produce a change in how we view others. The world is changing by the hour and soon there will be another issue that captures the hearts and front pages of America, pressing Zimmerman and Martin back into the depths of media coverage and conversation, just as the Paula Deen fiasco has been. But before that issue presents itself can’t we all just take a moment and become part of the dialogue of what it is to be a Black male in America is like? I promise you that it will be of great help to us all.


I am a Black male and these are my thoughts ….

She teaches and works he system to a grade of A+. smh


WILMINGTON, N.C. — A North Carolina teacher accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student has avoided going to prison by marrying the boy.

The Wilmington Star-News reported that 42-year-old Leah Gayle Shipman married Johnnie Ray Ison, now 19, two years after being arrested for inappropriate relations with him at a Wilmington high school.

A defendant’s spouse cannot be made to testify in criminal cases under North Carolina law.

“None of the statements made in this case would be admissible without the victim,” said Brunswick County Assistant District Attorney Gina Essey. “The defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against them.”

Shipman was facing 15 years for statutory rape at the time of the wedding.

The marriage reportedly took place on Jan. 25, 2011, six days after Shipman divorced her husband of 19 years.

The wedding became public knowledge after Shipman pleaded guilty to resisting an officer investigating…

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