Murders of Black Teens are up 39%

Happy Belated Holidays,

I know we've been on hiatus for quite a while, but between the holidays, work, and school we've been swamped. The headlines have been plentiful, and just when I was going to do a pointless post on the "Puff the Magic Negro" song, I came across this Wall Street Journal article on murder rates among Black American teens! It's outrageous. In case you don't have time to read the short article, here's the summary:
"Murders rose among black teens in 2006 and 2007 as overall homicides dropped compared with the previous year. And the 2000-07 rate of increase among black teens was more than twice the rate of increase among white teens, the study found. An overwhelming proportion of the killings involve black-on-black crime. James Alan Fox, co-author of the study, said the cuts in law-enforcement programs and activities geared toward youth disproportionately affect African-Americans because they are more likely than their white counterparts to come from communities where there is inadequate adult supervision, high rates of single-parent homes, inferior schools and widespread gang activity. "Cuts in support for youth have a much greater impact on black families who don't have alternatives," Mr. Fox said. "

Now, we can all blame the Bush administration for cutting programs that benefited underprivileged neighborhoods, but I must admit that since I've been on my own, I've done my best to stay away from the 'hood. Not because I'm in any way ashamed of where I've come from, but because it's depressing. I always wanted to be the person to go back and volunteer and start a non-profit to benefit my community, but I haven't done ANYthing since I left but benefit myself. I know that if we want change in our communities it starts with us.

Now don't get me wrong, I do not assume that all of you buppies came from the "urban mecca's" that are responsible for these despicable crimes, nor do I think that we should be the sole saviors of the black race (I mean parents and educators should share some responsibility, right?), but I do know that each of these communities would benefit if we donated some of our time and money to volunteering and giving back to children in need (through education and social organizations). I do not feel that the situation is hopeless. After this past year, neither should you. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is hopeless.

What are your thoughts? What are the causes for these numbers? What are some possible solutions? Do you still identify with these communities even though you may be living in an entirely different community? Do tell...


Oh Hell Yes: Tip Your Waitress, Boo!

Tipping...... ahh - I am a really fair tipper - by all means. 20% at least. 20% is always easier for me to calculate than 15%, so I take the easy route. Even when I get bad service, I leave a tip. There may have been approximately 5 times in my 28 years of living that I have walked out without tipping - for TRUE reasons of course..... check the tips AND please check the video at the bottom of the post. Damn! I miss true blood.

Tips on tipping:
At a salon: The standard amount for salon gratuity is 15% to 20% depending on the extent of the services, the skill of the stylist and whether or not you intend to frequent the establishment and the stylist again. Given all these factors are positive, you'll want to offer a tip in the 20% range. Don't overlook the people who shampoo your hair and those who get you coffee and magazines--they get at least a dollar for their services.
At a restaurant: Offer up 15% to 20% of your total bill. Keep in mind that the amount you tip reflects the total price before any coupons, gift certificates, etc. Just because you get a discount, does not mean that your server did not serve up the full order. If you are part of a party of more than 8 people, you should offer an amount closer to the 20% marker, if not more, depending on the needs of the guests in your party. If, for example, one of your guests insists on getting the salad dressing on the side, extra bread, more water and no avocado, then you definitely want to compensate the server who extended service to include these extras.

At a club or bar: Tip the bartender between 10% and 15% depending on the complication of your drink order. If you just order a beer in a bottle, there's not too much effort involved in providing the service, but if you order a mixed drink that takes time and includes a lot of ingredients, then offer up a more sizable tip, somewhere closer to the 15% range.

Transportation: Whether you hail a cab or take a limousine, you best offer a gratuity between 10% to 15% of the fare. If the drivers are particularly rude or unhelpful, give them the minimum. But if they are attentive to your travel needs and help you in any way beyond the norm, remember and thank them with a 15% or larger gratuity. If you use valet service at a hotel, restaurant or shopping area, offer the driver 10% for the service, but never give change. Another guideline is simply offering the attendant a back or two for the parking and retrieval of your car. And if you're traveling through an airport, and utilizing the aid of skycaps, offer a dollar per bag and up that amount if the bags are particularly heavy or large.

At a Hotel: It is standard to leave the maid a few bucks for tidying your room. If you have additional needs such as more towels, soap, an extra toothbrush, etc. thank the maid with an additional dollar or two. When checking in and out of a hotel, remember the bellhop with a gratuity of a dollar per bag, unless, once again, you have particularly large or heavy bags.

Check out the video:
Yeah - take that, take that.


Daily Prayer: "The Upper Class"

I cry. You cry.


Did anyone else see Keyshia Cole singing at the Oscar De La Hoya Fight last weekend? Please comment on the singing, wig, and ensemble. I have no words...

And have you seen "The Way it Is" (Keyshia Cole's Reality Show)? If not, enjoy the preview. Check out the fam (high-tech shit):

Real Housewives of Atlanta "NeNe" Evicted from Home

Daaaaaaang NeNe. Fox blew her WHOLE spot - damn...

Polls Show a Large Majority of Americans Approve of Barack Obama

I'm all smiles today after reading this article. We are on our way to progress! Story Here - Washington Journal


A Buppie Bailout Message, from "The Big 3"

Gotta click to enlarge - funny ish (depressingly funny, but funny nonetheless).

GM, Chrysler, and Ford are gangster - like literally.


Alum Shoutout: FAMU to Play in Obama's Inaugural Parade!

According to my sources, FAMU's Marching 100 was asked to play in the inaugural parade. Awesome news and I had to share. Yay! Ahhhh, how I miss undergrad...

Marching 100

Super Bowl


In the Name of...

May God Bless originality. Amen.


Daily Prayer: Is it okay to laugh??

What Would Jesus Do? lol


Quarterlife Crisis?

Ok, admission: I think I'm going through a quarter-life crisis. First of all, I'm feeling completely unfulfilled at work. On paper I'm doing well, but at the end of the day, the job is just unfulfilling and stressful. So what do I want to do? I have no idea. My passion is helping children through education. But teachers don't get paid nearly enough for me to even consider a career change. So today I decided to work from home and apply to some positions at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation as well as the Oprah (Angel Network) Foundation. Wish me luck. I could really use a change.

Secondly, I think I'm finally getting to the age where I can see myself settling down with a family (*shudder*). Also stressful as I'm not really sure I'm ready. But luckily I don't have to make that decision anytime soon because "he" has not popped the question yet. But just to think of myself tied down with a husband a child makes me feel a bit old. And I don't like it. I don't know, I feel like I should have a bit more direction by now. Like I should've "lived it up" a bit more by now. Hmmm, what to do, what to do...

Oh, lately I've been feeling the need to do a little jet-setting and hit up a couple vacation spots just to escape, but guess what? We're in a damn recession so I should be saving money, right? Ugh. I chose the option a couple years ago (unknowningly) to either A - Buy a House, or B - Have a Life. Unfortunately, I chose A and I feel as though I'm forever tied to bringing in a certain income to pay a mortgage that I really don't need in an area I'm not sure I want to live.

I guess the word "forever" with any aspect of my life is my real fear. To work in a certain profession "forever", to be married to someone "forever", to live in a certain area "forever", to have kids that I have to take care of and love "forever" scares the shit out of me. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! Lord help me...

Now back to watching Fraggle Rock and Reading Rainbow clips on youtube - that always makes me feel better. Peace Buppies.

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