A MinD in MoTown

Talk about hyperbolic.

If someone were to you ask what two of the most “insidious and dangerous” threats to society and the world today were, what would you answer?

Terrorism, homicide (in general), global warming (maybe not the insidious part…), AIDS (not sure about insidious here either), etc. Far from that lengthy list for so many of us would be gay marriage and abortion. However, Pope Benedict XVI seems to think otherwise*.

Reading about actions like this one from the sole person leading the faith that I grew up with make it that much more difficult to ever consider returning to my Catholic roots. As someone who very strongly believes in a woman’s right to choose and regularly advocates for same-sex marriage, how can I possibly rejoin a church that so openly dismisses both as two of the most major “threats” without consideration of every other danger that plagues our society?

Not only do I find these claims by the Pope completely ridiculous, but misplaced as well. Our world is burdened by things far worse than abortion and gay marriage. So many people regularly face hunger, poverty, sickness and immense, actual threats to life and happiness such as war, terrorism and bigotry. Yet the Catholic church, with the Pope at its helm, wastes its time on gay marriage and abortion? Perhaps this simply puts a wider rift between myself and the only faith I’ve ever truly known.

For years now Catholic officials have questioned why so many young people are turning away from the church and becoming atheist, agnostic or joining other religions. Maybe, just maybe, statements such as this one from the Pope have something to do with it.

* If you check out the article, what I continue on to say might make a bit more sense. It also helps slightly that you know I have quite an estranged relationship with Catholicism.


Tuneage Tuesday — “Love Foolosophy”
May 4, 2010, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Tuneage Tuesday, Uncategorized

It’s been a hot minute since the last Tuneage Tuesday, but I’m back with yet another round for you lovelies.

So what gift do I bear? “Love Foolosophy” by Jamiroquai. We all remember tunes like “Virtual Insanity” and even “Canned Heat,” but this one is a bit less known. I adore it just the same though, and I hope you do, too.

April 29, 2010, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Getting my RANT on, Help a girl out

Eight years… That’s about how long I’ve had Verizon Wireless as my cell phone provider and now I’m seriously considering a major change to another service.

After an aggravating Wednesday where a few Verizon staffers seemed completely unwilling to help me in any way, shape or form* – and this is after years of me praising their customer service – I’ve grown frustrated. Following years of loyalty despite the lure of iPhones and all-inclusive phone plans, my allegiance to the VZW now wavers and I’m highly considering cutting all ties.

But where do I go from here?

Although the iPhone does carry a certain appeal, AT&T is not a service that finds itself popular among my peers in NC. Perhaps it’s their coverage in this particular area, but I’ve been warned to keep my distance. The same goes with TMobile. I believe my boyfriend’s words last night were, “You better not go with TMobile,” as I mentioned my perusal of alternatives.

Sprint, however, is swiftly taking the lead among its counterparts as family members and friends mention their $70 unlimited plan and wide array of Smart phones that don’t require additional monies just to own (unlike Verizon). I feel my wallet tugging that direction as I realize the cost savings compared to my current provider, which will charge me nearly $110 per month just for a similar calling plan.

But now, as I still sit unsure of my decision, waiting for my current phone to completely die and become little more than a paperweight, I’m turning to you guys for advice. What services do you have and which would you recommend*? What are the ones to avoid? Should I just stick it out with Verizon, though my happiness with them is waning, or is it time to jump ship?

(I know this posting is somewhat lackluster, but really, after yesterday, I’m somewhat at my wit’s end with both this phone and this company. I’m ready for a change. And soon.)

* And, to make matters worse, someone at the store ripped my soft-plastic cell phone case then took no blame for it and refused to replace it. Ugh.
** No talk of iPhones, please. There’s zero chance of me buying one.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
April 22, 2010, 5:38 pm
Filed under: Getting my RANT on, I watch too much TV

(This post has been brewing inside me for a while and it’s about damn time I spit out the words.)

Week after week, I sit there and watch the trainwreck that is MTV’s “16 and Pregnant.” And each week I find myself asking the same question: Are we somehow glorifying teenage motherhood?

While I both believe and hope the show’s creators didn’t aim for young girls to watch this show with awe, wishing that they could become next season’s stars, that exact thought continually crosses my mind.

Despite the producers/editors likely best efforts to depict the hardships of teen pregnancy and thus optimistically prevent it for countless other girls out there, I imagine there are dozens of high schoolers who tune in each week and begin longing for a baby of their own. They watch the struggles of teens and instead of thinking, “I never want to be in those shoes,” they begin plotting their road to stardom as a character on Season 3.

As teenagers, we’re all impressionable. You tell us not to hang out with George* and ten minutes later, we’re in his bedroom doing who-knows-what. You beg us not to drink and we’re so sloshed that Friday night that we can’t even spell our name. That’s how it goes, and yet someone out there decides to toss 20 episodes of prego-teens on the tube and seriously expects girls not to quickly jump on that bandwagon? Why do I find this all hard to believe?

It’s easy for me to look at each episode and critique the passing moments, which are nearly the same every week:

  1. Naive girl meets “nice” boy.
  2. They fall in love.
  3. They do the dirty.
  4. Uh oh, someone’s pregnant.
  5. Boy is a jackass.
  6. Heartbreak hotel. Girl cries A LOT.
  7. Push. Push. Happy birthday baby.
  8. Teen parents are poor.
  9. Life sucks.

Season 1 practically followed this as if it were a script, and yet somehow, we still had Season 2. And I undoubtedly believe a Season 3 will soon debut. Why? Because teens don’t always see the negative in these scenarios and learn from their peers. Rather, many share the same mistakes as their skewed eyes see the good outshine bad. They watch something on TV and duplicate it in their own lives, which is why this show may last for more seasons than I can count on my fingers and toes.

When comes the time to step back and realize that maybe, just maybe, this one show – albeit popular – could be causing more harm than good? Sharing a few Web site addresses each week does little to prevent pregnancy. Shit, if telling teenagers that unprotected sex could produce a baby doesn’t scare them enough to choose abstinence or find birth control, then what makes anyone think for even a moment that slight warnings squeezed between “I can’t wait to be a mommy” or smiling faces will do the trick? I’m not fooled, that’s for sure. And I bet you aren’t either.

Yes, I will admit any day that I watch the show. But I’m 24 years old and I didn’t have sex in high school because I knew its dangers. I didn’t want a baby. I was not about to mess around with anything that would’ve caused one.

Not everyone is me though and I’m quite aware of the naivete that exists when you’re in high school, assuming no wrong will ever occur in your own life. “It won’t happen to me,” and then BAM, nine months later the legs are in the air as a bowling-ball-sized human comes flying out. Why any young girl would want that is besides me, but some do, and I fervently believe that at least a handful of teens in this world are looking at “16 and Pregnant” saying, “I wish that was me.” Doesn’t that mean it’s time to hit cancel and move on to the next reality series?

Perhaps it’s time for “16 with HIV.”

* Yes, George. Don’t ask questions.

Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 3

…The time has come! (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up.)

It turns out I was wrong and all of us lovely contestants trying to become Charlotte’s 96.1 The Beat‘s AM Mayhem Superstar are now thrown into the world, waiting for votes. That’s where you fine folks come in.


I’m entry #51 – one of 112 vying for a single, solitary on-air radio gig. And now that it’s come time to vote, I’m putting my all into this and hoping that maybe, just maybe, you readers can help me out.

Whether it’s sharing this in your Reader or posting something on your own blog (PLEASE!?) that I could use a little help, words cannot express how much I’d appreciate it. Spread it like wildfire, if you can!!

Thanks for all you guys are able to do and don’t forget to vote!!!

Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 2

And so, it’s done. (Before reading this post, check out Part 1.)

I arrived home just before 7 p.m. last night and with the exception of eating my dinner and a one-hour break for Vampire Diaries – do not judge me! – I worked ’til 11 p.m. to make sure I had this video in the bag.

Six full takes later, and a handful of ridiculous bloopers, here’s the final product*. I look like a damn fool, but I promised my readers the video – it’s public on 96.1 The Beat‘s Web site anyway – so check it out:

We’ll find out on Monday – I think? – who the ten finalists are. Those ten will seek votes from the public ’til five people each receive one day on air for the real test. I suppose stay tuned for Part 3.

* What a ridiculously horrible freeze-frame. Thanks a ton, YouTube. Sheesh.

Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 1

“Become a radio DJ” was never in my set of goals. To be honest, it was never even something I remotely considered … until Monday.

After repeatedly hearing radio advertisements for a new AM Mayhem DJ with Charlotte’s 96.1 The Beat, I finally caved that morning and checked out the details of the contest. A few pictures? No problem. Some information about yours truly? Piece of cake. A three-minute video resume? Uh oh.

Sophie and my supplies.

But I brainstormed anyway, trying to think of an idea that might get my video noticed above the rest. Then I remembered Belle Renee‘s amazing 20-something bloggers vlog and I knew exactly what to do. After a quick email to her making sure it was okay that I stole her idea – thanks lady!! – I spent $15 on ten sheets of posterboard, three glue sticks and a ten-pack of Crayola markers, realizing that I just signed up for an unexpected weeklong project.

I chose a song that afternoon to accompany my on-tape silliness – big thanks to Pham his guidance and for steering me away from the four music-media moguls – and waited for the end-of-work bell to toll.

With a rough script in hand, I started later that evening, cutting the posterboard into fourths and writing out the first few cue cards (which I ended up redoing Wednesday night). Sophie tried to help, but kept mistaking the markers for chew toys so her services were no longer needed. I worked on the cards a bit more Wednesday night – a 13-hour work day on Tuesday hindered my progress – and I have a few more to fill out tonight before my digital camera and I make our finished product (which I’ll be sure to post).

Of course I didn't buy the "washable" markers.

A few glitches, such as my inability to edit said video and my camera’s issues with voice matching up with mouth movements, led my three-minute segment in this direction and I’m crossing my fingers that I don’t look like a complete fool once it’s done. A beer or two prior to hitting record just might be necessary to shake these jitters.

But onward and upward I go. Am I finding myself to be serious competition for this on-air gig? Not really. Aside from that I entirely lack radio experience, a lot of these candidates – because yes, everyone’s video is posted on 96.1’s Web site – have a charisma that I’m not too sure I can call my own. But this journey certainly makes for a good story and it’s a bit fun to do something on a whim and hope for the best.

Now to head home and wrap this thing up. Stay tuned for Part 2 and wish me luck!