Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Before that major event, there was another war that got the wheels turning to make what we now call America. The American Revolutionary War last from 1775 - 1783. Numerous figures played a major role on and off the battlefield during it's time span: Samuel Adams, George Washington, John Adams and Paul Revere to name a few. For my Tuesday Talks, I'd like to focus on a person who participated in a major event that lead to this war against England for independence. Little is known about Crispus Attucks and those other four men who died during the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. If given the opportunity, what would I have asked this American hero?
Dear Mr. Attucks,
You were the first person to die in what we now call the Boston Massacre. You were a runaway slave who died amongst fellow Bostonians. What was life like for you in Massachusetts? When did you realize you didn't have the same rights as non-blacks? We know more about the life of slaves from southern states, but not so much those in the north. Though the north abolished slavery before the south, they to at one time allowed slavery across their lands. I read somewhere that you had an alias and eventually escaped the mainland as a harpoonist on a whaling ship.
Where you aware of the mounting tensions between the colonists and the British? How did you remain free for so long without anyone willing to turn you in for a reward? I also read somewhere that you had a sister that remained in Massachusetts. Did you fear for what could have happened to her? Lots of runaway slaves fled to Canada. Did the thought of leaving the colonies and heading to Canada cross your mind?
What most people probably would like to know most was what lead you to be on that particular street on March 5th. There are conflicting stories of what actually happened that night. Some say you struck a British soldier first. Others say you did not. Did you know the other men who died with you that night? Regardless of the specifics, three of you were dead on the spot. Two others died later. Due to your deaths, a spirit of unit for a common cause ignited the desire of freedom for all. How does it feel to have played a major role in history not just for your generation, but for generations hundreds of years later? Do you think your actions went in vain considering what happened in the Civil War?
Thank you Crispus Attucks, Samuel Gray, James Caldwell, Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr for the ultimate sacrifice.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
This past Sunday was Mother's Day. As I wished many a Happy Mother's Day, I reflected back on memories of my mom, the late Sarah Waymer. Mother's Day is a tough holiday for me. I see lots of mothers and daughters attending brunch and doing other cool stuff. My mom died 10 years ago this month. In fact, she died a week after Mother's Day in 2001.
I've been without my best friend for a decade. It would be great to have an opportunity to sit down and have just an hour long conversation with my mom. I'd love to catch her up on what has happened and ask her what I never had the chance to. For this Tuesday's Talks, I have this dream conversation with my mom.
It's been way too long since we've chatted. The last somewhat happy memory I had was us watching General Hospital from your hospital room. My boss was nice enough to let me take a two hour lunch to visit you and to feed you since you didn't want to eat. Cancer makes you lose your appetite. You always enjoyed watching your favorite soap opera. You'd be very pleased to know that it's still on and that Sonny got married.
So much has happened in the world in general and in my personal life. Thank goodness you missed the horrific events of September 11, 2001. If the Cancer hadn't done you in, the tragedy that struck the nation would have. Thankfully we didn't know anyone who perished that day. As an adopted New Yorker, I know a piece of you would never have been the same.
You passed away shortly before my first television episode aired. I was trying so hard to get all the research and re-enactments done quickly, but things get caught up in post-production. You missed my debut by a few months. I remembered how you never wanted me to go into television. Yet, you stood by me and became my greatest amount of support. When I was having difficulty researching these true-crime cases, you were always a shoulder to lean on.
I also had my first boyfriend a few years later. It lasted for a few years, but you never had the opportunity to see me bring a date home. I wonder if you would have liked him. As I recalled, you wanted me to marry a reverend. You told me to stay away from jocks. Okay, I've gone out with a few of those, but you were right in the end.
Mom, you always told me to go out and explore. That I have. Not as much as I wanted to. I've gone on a cruise to the Caribbean, Toronto, numerous US cities and a few cities in Spain. Traveling is very liberating and humbling. I can't wait to head back out. I still have the travel bug. Hopefully one day I'll reach two of the cities you always wanted to visit: Honolulu and London.
As you predicted, I ended up in Chicago. Don't know if that's a blessing or a curse. It's different from the east coast. I think you had a crazy idea I was going to be the next Oprah. That's probably why you thought I'd end up in Chicago. Since I've been here, hardly any friends or family have visited me. I get by as I can. Traveling back east, writing and long phone calls help.
I'd like to think we had a good relationship when things didn't involve my education and upbringing. When we were just talking it was more like a sister-sister relationship. There were a few things I would have loved to ask you that I never did.
I know it was considered taboo back in the 70's to have a kid late in life. You never thought that you would have kids. What was going through your mind when you found out you were expecting me?
You always got upset when there was any mention of wars or anything disturbing involving our military. I know you were very upset when your brother Linwood lied about his age, joined the US Navy and then got killed at sea a few weeks before WWII ended. What was Uncle Lenwood like? I know you were young when he died. Grandma doesn't like to talk about it. I vaguely remember hearing you tell me about that horrific day when representatives from the Navy showed up to your home and informed you of what happened. You said grandma let out a deathly scream. You also told me he was a good guitar player. I'm studying guitar now. Maybe one day I'll take up piano like you did. Uncle Lenwood looks exactly like you. Grandma still has a picture of him in his Navy uniform hanging in the living room.
You know kids always want to please their parents. What were some of your proudest moments involving me? I would think it was the times I played my violin, graduation and awards night. To a mom it could be just being a good kid and not getting in trouble.
I remember Sunday, May 20, 2001 very clearly. You died shortly after I left the hospital. Per dad's request, he wanted me to go home, get some rest and come back later. I found out you died in his arms sometime during my commute back home. I always wondered if you were upset with me for not be there. Till this day, I still can't discuss that day with my dad. A part of me believes you knew you were going and didn't want me to see you suffer anymore. That was how you were. You always cared about someone else more than yourself.
I'll close by asking if there was anything you wanted to tell me, but didn't have the chance. We all feel that we have plenty of time left to say what we want to. In reality we're only on this Earth for a short time. Until we meet again.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Welcome to my second installment of Thursday Thoughts. As several of you may know, I've been single for about five years. Though I've read a few dating books and dating blogs, attended speed dating events, gone to singles socials and tried the well known online dating websites, I still haven't been able to really click with someone. After so many unsuccessful dates, there comes a time when you can't keep saying it's always the guy's fault. I never really thought that. I'm very guarded when it comes to dating for my own personal reasons. I figured I had to start digging deep to see what I could be doing to turn off potential suitors. I attended a two hour local dating seminar. The advice I received was great! I can't keep all this knowledge to myself. There could be other fellow Alpha Females out there who could use this information.
First the audience was given a broad definition of an Alpha Female. She's one who likes to be in control and plan everything. At times she's high maintenance & expects the guy to act/dress a certain way. She also tends to be non-flexible, very career oriented & very confident. Sound familiar?
The panel said this is not what the majority of the men want out there. I can clearly remember the gasp coming from the audience, including my mouth. We professional women found nothing wrong with that description. How can a man not want to date one of us? We're strong, confident & intelligent women. It was at this moment when we were all educated on the 8 Good Dating Behavior tips.
These 8 dating tips make up the acronym S-O-F-T-E-N-U-P. Be more feminine by softening up. Guys don't want to date the female version of themselves was the key the panel stressed.
S-Smile. Even if you're having a bad day. Show off those pearly whites and new lipstick.
O-Open Arms( no crossed arms, it makes you appear closed off)
F-Forward Leaning (show interest by leaning in/inching closer)
T-Touch appropriately (the hand, the knee..aka flirt a little)
E-Eye contact (no need to stare, a quick glance here and there, bat those lashes)
N-Nodding (it shows you're paying attention)
U-Undivided attention (no distractions, no textings, checking messages, etc.)
P-Positive (do have confidence, but not cockiness & no attitude)
I also learned during this seminar that lots of women make the mistake of approaching the date like they're HR managers. Don't interrogate the date. Don't ask him right off the back, where he works, how big his house is, what kind of car he drives, when do you want to have kids, etc. Try to dress more lady like and leave the power suits at home/work if you can. You can always carry the jacket with you and bring a cute flirty top to change into before your date. Don't wear too much makeup to the point the guy doesn't know what "you" really look like. Makeup should enhance your natural beauty.
For those that prefer online dating, a great photo, tagline and bio are your first impressions. Don't chose a glamor shot or one of you all decked out to the nines. That was my fault. This gives off the appearance you're too high maintenance and intimidating. If you're in a ballgown in a fancy banquet hall, you might automatically turn off a bunch of guys who feel they can't compete with that. You don't want the guy to say, "She would never want to go out with me the 6th grade teacher. She's looking for a CFO." Have a great close up of you, looking natural and having a great time. If you love sailing, a great shot of you at the helm of the boat would be awesome. For your bio, pick two or three adjectives about yourself and then briefly tell a story using those words.
We women need to stop being picky. Every guy is not going to be 6'0", have an MBA, be a world traveler, own a new condo and take home a six digit salary. Your match might be 5'7", have an associates degree and not own a passport. This is the guy who more than likely will call when he says he will, treats you like a queen, has set work hours and is happy as long as you're happy. He's not the Alpha Male: basically the same characteristics as the Alpha Female.
The final point the panel requested is that we women leave our inner CEO at home. Lots of us are working and/or have advanced degrees and top leadership positions with our employers. These strengths play against us in the dating world. Some of us talk too much about our jobs, career goals, degrees we have, upcoming projects, etc. Don't do that on a date. Most men will get intimidated or they think she'll be great to hire, but not to date. This is why you won't get asked for your number or why they will never ask you out for a second date.
I put the 8 Good Dating Behavior tips to use on a recent date. So far so good. We've both agreed to a second date. I'd love to hear your comments/tips as well. Happy Dating!!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011