Enforcing Dress Codes for Parents? Bad and Stupid Idea

I think sooner of later United States will become a police state where you can’t do things you take for granted for example, taking your kids to school while wearing your pajamas or sweatpants. Sadly in Florida instead of focusing on their education crisis and find ways to avoid kids dropping out of school and creating new after school programs that doesn’t have to be with only sports, one school board member named Rosalyn Osgood is trying to implement a dress code for parents. Yes, you’re reading it! For parents when dropping their kids to school. You have to be freaking joking, right? How can their way parents dress conflict with their kids education? It makes no sense whatsoever! Osgood comments were bluntly stupid:

“It’s hard for me to tell a child not to show up for school with hair curlers, pajamas or short shorts if they see parents wearing them. Parents need to lead by example.”

Ok, why don’t you check each child how he or she goes academically which is more important, to guide them into success instead of how they’re dress or even worst how the school district dictates how parents should dress when dropping or picking their own kids. And by the way, school isn’t a “Fashion Show” as Osgood also commented. It’s a place where kids learn the basics based on what society dictates them to be, not what’s the most expensive clothes the kids wear. It sounds to me like another excuse not to use their time to fix what’s really going on in Public Schools. So, if this is implemented, parents don’t have another choice than to have their kids home schooled.

Can Hollywood and Society Get Over it?

Last Night (Sunday), I watched “12 Years a Slave” and I couldn’t stand another 10 more minutes. It’s based on a book by Solomon Northup recounting his experience as a free man in the North being kidnapped, tortured, abused and sold as a slave in the South. But this movie version disgust me, not only the hate towards Black people is apparent, but Black actors in this movie should say, “NO”, I can’t be doing this role! Instead, they just want to be noticed by acting they’re abused, naked, raped just for the sake of an Oscar. I couldn’t bear how long Black actors have become over the last decade to get still stereotyped roles. I don’t know, but as a woman of color I don’t think this is the only history Blacks have. Our ancestors came in this land against our will, while being “reconditioned” with whips and chains, eliminating their original names to common ones and under heartless types of abuse not even a white person can endure, lost their way, their purpose, their heritage and culture to become just a feeble minded servants. I mean, Black people gets it, and it’s quite repetitive at times, over and over with the same story line it’s tiring. Black people wants to move on, wants to prosper, wants to be left alone. This movie and perhaps other movies and miniseries based of what the Black ancestors went through is a punch in the gut, and a insult. I know Hollywood and society is racist against us, they want Blacks back as servants, why this fetish and fascination? Is it because some people think Black people are just feeble minded today than decades before? Don’t be such jackasses!

Why don’t Hollywood start doing positive movies about the successes of Black people what they have achieved over the years instead of depressive movies and TV shows glamorizing their pain, suffering and humiliation? At least Tyler Perry got it right making positive films but then he just back off… a lot.

Wrong Definition of the word Racist

In Chicago, it’s Board of Education announced a plan to restructure public schools with prominently Black neighborhoods, by simply eliminate it’s actual teachers and staff and replaced them with teachers and staff from the Academy for Urban School Learning who are “experts” in handling low-performing schools and placed them at three troubling schools on probation. Meanwhile 50 schools in the regions are shut-down all while the Chicago Teachers Unions cry foul at all this debacle citing that “improving” this broken “School system” by shutting down while firing personnel is “racist.”

I just say… STOP RIGHT HERE, Miss! Do you know what that word “racist” means? Is a person that thinks that certain race, ethnicity, nationality, accent is inferior and deserves a inferior quality of living for this or that person. To suggest that improving schools by closing deteriorated schools while trying to save 3 or more it’s more than a slap in the face for you, Mrs. Karen Lewis, it means that the actual teachers that are members of your union sadly doesn’t care about the kids, and instead care about the paycheck they receive by delivering a crappy service to the community specially the children. And there’s a lot of drop outs, who sadly end up in and out of jail prison systems and others who stayed doesn’t have the right tools to survive in this society by learning just the basics like Math, Science, and History while you, Mrs. Lewis are just bitching and complaining followed by drinking a cold iced tea by stepping on a lot of the future generation that could be the next leaders of this country. Sadly, this woman has lost touch and it’s the lack of knowing the word “racist” that Lewis screwed big time.

Where Our Black Heroines?

Recently I watched “The Vampire Diaries” at Netflix. Two weeks ago I was invited to see “Divergent” on theaters. And read “Reboot” by Amy Tintera on my tablet. What all those young fictions stories have in common? The lack of Black girls in their stories or as the main protagonist.

Recently I posted about not only the lack of Black women in TV shows but the stereotypes that followed from “ghetto with an attitude” to “the other woman”. But this is another issue I would like to address it now. Authors from making TV shows to fiction books these days doesn’t realize there’s a huge majority of young African-American girls and sadly even in these days still there’s no role models to follow. What I say role models are NOT ratchet women causing a ruckus by name calling, throwing shit everywhere and acting like an irrational animals. I mean role models with integrity and moral compass able to choose the right decisions.

Before you say, oh, there’s a “lot” of Black women characters in TV Shows and movies. Consider this? How you ever see a Black young teenager as the main character? Name at least one. Not in a comedy which is always stereotyped, but in action, sci-fi, is always scarce. For example, “Vampire Diaries” which there’s only one black girl and a recurring black guy in the show. “Divergent” doesn’t have even one dark skin girl and “Reboot” lacks diversity. The bad about black girls and self-esteem is because there’s no actually no role models of their own kind that can be identify with. It’s always the negative stereotypes that seem accustomed to or to be just the sidekick who is asking for trouble and needs the white friend to help her out and these girls will imitate in the wrong sense of the word. And not only that but the skin factor affects how Black girls motivate themselves to have high self of themselves. There’s less dark skin women on TV, than light brown skin women and it send these girls wrong signals and confusion about knowing themselves and where they stand. Right now our priority for these girls of color is to enrich themselves and be not only proud of who they are but motivate themselves to feel identified with the characters that define what’s a girl of color truly is and should be. Not what the media and society have been contaminated their minds to believe.

Ethnic Hair Wars

Last week, the US Army introduced regulations concerning how hair styles are acceptable and which ones aren’t. Sadly, most of the hairstyles that are unacceptable are the ethnic hair, for example cornrows, dreadlocks and some braids. African-American women specially who are in the military were up in arms. How can the US Army tell them what to do with their hair when the priority right now for the military is how to implement programs for soldiers to avoid having PTSD? It turns out it was aimed at African-American women who their hair is grown up, not straight down like Caucasians has and African-American hair is mostly curly to nappy that to put just a bun in their hair constitute a big challenge unless the hair gets chemically treated to look straight.

I think the army instead of thinking of just straight hairstyles that are easy to put a bun to, they should understand not all hair textures are the same and understand that it’s not the hair that make them a soldier, but their integrity and moral background the soldier has. Another thing, if the US Army allowed turbans, headscarves and beards for religious reasons, why they don’t allow Black women have their natural hair? It doesn’t affect their duty! And seriously it doesn’t look unkempt and nasty. By the way, I read their Power Point presentation  and it just sickens me, their arrogance over stupid little things like tattoos, jewelry, hair instead of more important matters like life and death situations, combat strategies and moral responsibility is putting everyone’s tax money to waste! Don’t you guys think?


Photography on a Budget: Learn Your Equipment

So, you’re doing the first steps in going pro by buying a SLR camera. And you got it all ready. The fact is not yet. Photographers must have at least the essentials to not only be prepared but to have fun as a hobby or be more serious in the hard business of photography in an era of smartphones.

The Basics:

SLR or DSLR: It stands for Single Lens Reflex which uses a mirror and prism system (hence “reflex”, from the mirror’s reflection) that permits the photographer to view through the lens and see exactly what will be captured. There’s the Film Camera and the Digital Camera which is more accepted because of the ease of use.   DSLR comes with standard zoom lenses to make you start right away. Read the instructions first of it’s capabilities and usage.

Tip: If you have one camera and decided to get another one or upgrade use the same brand that you’re use to. It will save you money instead of buying a different brand of camera. Although there’s lens adapters to connect one brand of lenses to a different brand of camera it would damage the camera in the long run if you’re using cheap adapters.

Tripod: It has different types, colors and sizes and purposes other than carrying the camera. The monopod however is the most popular item photographers use because it goes closer to the camera and it’s less intrusive than using a tripod.

Tip: Before you buy make sure the weight of your camera handles it as some smaller tripods are designed for smartphones and point and shoot cameras.

Lenses: Different types, focal lengths and purpose to use with with camera. There’s several types of lenses:

  • Zoom Lenses or Telephoto Lens: Use from nature, to sports, to portraits. It’s the basic lens that comes with the purchase of your DSLR.
  • Prime Lenses: Their focal length is fixed, it is used for many purposes but the main is for low light conditions because their aperture are bigger than zoom lenses.
  • Wide Angle Lens: It is widely used for architectural, interior and landscape photography. Most production companies use wide angle lens because focal length is smaller than the focal length of a normal lens and it’s good for areal shots in films and shows.
  • Fisheye Lens: It create a visual distortion creating a panoramic image. It is used from portrait photography, to abstracts and architectures.
  • Macro Lens: It’s very widely used for macro photography which is extreme closeup of an object.

Tip: Zoom and Prime lenses are the norm, while the Wide and Fisheye lens are optional if you have the money to spend. For macro lens that have a hefty price tag there’s an alternative for that.

Lens Filters: These important small attachments to your lens have a lot of functions and purposes to make your photos enhanced with brilliant contrasts and colors. Some come in circular and others square to attach it to your lens. The basics are:

  • Polarizing: It enhance blue skies and clouds to stand out but also reducing reflections. Used mainly for landscape or portrait photography.
  • Natural Density: Reduces the amount of light entering the lens, decreasing camera shutter speed. Useful for situations where motion blur needs to be created (rivers, waterfalls, moving people) or large apertures must be used with flash to avoid overexposure. It’s used for landscapes.
  • UV: It avoid the rays from the sun, and elements of weather. It can be permanently attached to your camera.
  • Close-Up or Macro: These Filters are an life-saver alternative to do Macro Photography. It comes in sets of magnification strengths.

Tip: Start with a basic set of filters (Polarizing, UV, Macro) and get used to use it available on Amazon.com. Again, you don’t have to spend hundreds on a single one when you can get sets at a fraction of the price and works as well as the expensive ones. Make sure it’s the right size for your lens before you buy. There’s a complete list on other filters you might interested you.

Flash: You can’t shoot in the plain dark if you don’t have one of these! It comes as a built-in with your camera, or dedicated camera flash that fits in the hot shoe of your DSLR, Macro Ring Flash for macro photography and Hammerhead Camera Flash that goes on the side of your camera (like the old days)

Tip: Before you put your Dedicated Camera Flash, Hammerhead or Macro Ring Flash you must turn your camera off to avoid functioning errors.

Camera Bag: Very important to carry your camera and accessories properly and securely without breaking it. It comes as backpack, shoulder or traveling case.

Tip: It’s more expensive than a regular bags, so get the backpack style for reliability and durability just in case you’re going to buy new accessories so you won’t have to buy another one for a good couple of years.

Now for the good part: The post-processing tools.

Many photographers who have cash to spend use Adobe Photoshop. But the software itself cost $700.00! Not every body have money for that! So, what’s the best if you’re starting on photography and wants your photos a work of art? It’s simple, not complicated to choose from alternatives.

Adobe Photoshop Elements: It basically the lite and easy version of Photoshop and it comes with the standalone version or with Premiere Elements which is for video editing. $80.00 – $120.00

Corel Paintshop: It’s biggest competitor to Photoshop is the most useful software for photo editing without the huge price tag, Corel Paintshop is an award winner software with ease, stability and reliability for the most experienced photographers. $99.00

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: It’s a good software to correct or enhance your photos before you’re using Photoshop or Corel. $136.00

Tip: When you get your DSLR it comes with post-processing software too! Also, there’s free photo editing software like GIMP.

Don’t forget your Memory Cards, Cleaning Supplies such as LensPen and Sensor Cleaning Kit. Always, read the instructions before using your camera. And have fun shooting!

Note: If I miss something or have any comments please let me know.

Big Freaking Deal

Here’s what I don’t understand. It’s 2014, right? So, why the media is always promoting “unity” and “diversity” in the South like it was the 1960′s? I mean, have this country overcome racism and discrimination? In reality and seriously no! Still we get bombarded with ads sponsoring gay and single parenthood families, we get up to our noses with interracial relationships and still there’s people who are old fashioned, who don’t want to mix chocolate with milk. There’s always a handful of people saying offensive and insulting words against this race or another and how their behavior affects these groups socially. You can’t fight the strong opposition of hate groups and invite them over a  few cups of tea and have a normal conversation and debate. It’s unrealistic to think that just for one prom race “integration” will change all that causing all those racist black hearts to melt or soften.

Truth is the South is very deep in reaping their seeds of racism. And no matter what it’s very strong and it’s unavoidable. The South has always have conflicts with the North, to their way of life, of how the North have “evolve” in the sense of “tolerance” and acceptance of other races and nationalities to how the government work together. The South is sunk in their so-called “Christian” beliefs of “love thy neighbor” but not towards the Black Community and it amazes me how short they have become over the course of a few centuries. How backwards they have become and how rough with the sense of arrogance in what’s acceptable or not. Just because they use the confederate flag to strike a point doesn’t mean they’re mature, grown human beings. To me, it’s going back to the memories where Black people were persecuted, abused and even killed, denigrated because of their color of their skin, treated worse than animals with no voice or opinion except “Yes or No” and who can remember the days where Eugenics were planning on eliminating the Black race once and for all by forcing sterilization, and outcast them from their master’s houses with no where to go. Ok, working in a plantation were the only thing they knew. And after that, the Jim Crow laws which put the Black People away from civilization back into servitude under fear until the Right Civil Movement came along temporarily.

But did it work? Some parts. But still the South didn’t prosper itself, didn’t heal it’s wounds and are dwindling in the past, not into moving into the future. And now they’re integrating simple activities like Prom into the schools and showing to the whole wide world they overcome racism by integrating Black and Caucasians together. But I’m sorry doesn’t suppose to do that decades ago? Why now? What they’re trying to prove with all this? That they’re as much civilized than Washington DC? That racism and discrimination is over? Not that fast! Still, they have to be honest with themselves and it’s going to have a hard road healing it’s wounds and it’s embarrassing with the past, and maybe, maybe I might be convinced.