My website has made it more than obvious that I'm a big advocate of safe sex and STD/STI testing. I don't think people take it seriously enough. There's a whole lot of blabbering about it, but when it comes to taking action, people don't. So I'm sharing some recent news I have about the topic. 1. Although BEHIV closed in 2011 (very disappointing because I enjoyed writing about them: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4), the Walgreen's on 75th & State is still doing free HIV/AIDS tests. The other Walgreen's participating in the CDC program stopped in June.
There's also a location at Erie Family Health Center that does free rapid HIV/AIDS testing at 2751 W. North Ave., between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.2. I'm a few weeks late, but I created this gallery on the Trib's site about India's awareness initiative when they went to 23 states and 162 districts to talk about HIV/AIDS.
I think Chicago should do something like this with the Metra and CTA trains.3. Interesting (but depressing) article I prepped for the Trib's health page: "Infections among homeless could fuel wider epidemics: study
I would be all for this test being mandatory. Check out another article I prepped for the Trib's site: "U.S. health panel likely to make HIV tests routine
" (I was looking for an alternate location for annual testing for myself and a friend -- no point in preaching about testing if you won't participate, too -- and it was entirely too difficult to find a spot. Planned Parenthood charges $30 for those who are uninsured. Blew my mind because with health insurance, it's only $15 for lab tests. And for those who are hurting for money, both prices are steep so I want to make sure to get the word out about Walgreen's, which I called and they said they'd be testing for at least another year. Take a friend. Know your stats.5. Jeff Johnson had a really interesting radio discussion today on marriage and he retweeted my tweets about whether people should wait before having sex.
I listened to his radio show for the first time today (I usually just follow on Twitter). I really liked his news program and now that I've heard his radio show, I'll be a regular listener and you should, too. Click here
for the Sunday show from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT.1st tweet retweeted (3 times): Click here to read it
.2nd tweet retweeted (6 times): Click here to read it.
This week was rough. A couple other issues happened, but the third and most important issue was seeing my great great aunt in a nursing home on Saturday. Whenever you see a loved one in a nursing home who you know despises nursing homes and doesn't look as phenomenal as she usually does, that can tear your heart apart. It temporarily makes me rethink about my stubborn attitude when it comes to having zero interest in motherhood. You kinda want someone to be around to take care of you, but then I rethink that and think of all of the relatives who came around to see this family member who aren't her children. You don't have to have kids to have someone take care of you when you're older. Then again, a couple of things I smiled about this week wouldn't have happened had my parents not had me so...um, yeah, no plans for children but it's making my arms fold a little looser on the topic. And through it all, I still found things to smile about.1. Hanging out in Grandad's backyard: For over 60 years, my grandfather was a smoker. I didn't know much about second-hand smoke, but I did know that every time he went outside to smoke on the back porch, I'd run under his heels and balance myself on the porch rail so I could be right next to him. He hasn't smoked in a couple of decades now. This time around I spent the weekend at his house just to clear my mind. Some people get massages. Some get manicures and pedicures. Some have girls' nights out. Me? I go to Grandad's. It is the best place to clear my mind. On Friday, we hung around, ate watermelon, laughed at episodes of "Roseanne," went to our favorite Asian food restaurant for dinner. I spent the night and, on Saturday afternoon (after visiting my great great aunt with my mother), my grandfather and I got two lawn chairs and sat in his backyard drinking Mogen David Classic American Wine Concord and talked about politics, relationships, family and how weeds are tearing up his backyard. I even left with a big bag full of collard greens, tomatoes and banana peppers from his garden. He's better than the grocery store!2. Angela Davis autobiography recognition: A guy walked by me last week while I was reading Angela Davis' autobiography. He stopped to ask how far I'd gotten into the book and gushed about how much he enjoyed it. Now normally this wouldn't be something that would've caught my attention so much, but the guy was white. Yes, that may sound close-minded, but I just wasn't ready for all of the compliments and the look of admiration he had for her. It made me want to dig through this book that much quicker because from what I've read, she's had quite a few problems with dealing with people being racist to her so I wondered if other cultures would relate the same. I know far too many people who are too close-minded to read "The Autobiograpy of Malcolm X" to find out where Malcolm X was coming from so I expected the attitude to be the same way about Angela Davis. It is not. I couldn't be happier to hear that. I haven't finished the book yet, but it's due this week so I better hurry up.
It's been a long time since I was excited about a female singer (or current day male R&B singer). There are moments when I'll like a song but not an artist's entire body of work. I watched Elle Varner perform "Refill" on the pre-show for the BET Awards and thought, "Man, she can really sing." I knew the song from the radio but I just wasn't sold. Thank goodness for AOL's Listening Party
(new CDs every Monday). I listened to her entire CD and bought it the same day. Not only can she sing but she's really intelligent and classy. Check out her interview on The Breakfast Club
. Every single song on here is good enough to be a single and when I got to the last song, I was disappointed that the CD wasn't longer so I replayed it in its entirety again...and then again...and again. "Only Wanna Give It to You," "Refill" and "Leaf" are my favorite songs, but there's not one song I don't like. If you let her sing in a capella, she'd sound just as good. I have officially found a new favorite female singer. The last one I was this loyal to was Beyonce before she started that Sasha Fierce persona and tried to rap (my gawd, I wish she'd never do that again). Still enjoy some of Beyonce's music (blasted "Run the World" extra loud) but Elle Varner is more soul, less pop; more groovy, less booty (music, that is). She's funky like Beyonce but soulful like Alicia Keys. Her style is the best of both worlds. I highly recommend this CD and look forward to listening to more music from her.
I just hope record labels don't wear her out and she continues to love her team as much as she currently says she does.
Strange week. Some great moments, some not-so-great moments, but you already know that this blog will focus on the great moments. 1) The Avon Store compliment: I went to The Avon Store to get my favorite perfume and Emma moved her store a block over from 7062 N. Clark to 7108 N. Clark St. She asked me if there was a way to change the address and I told her I'd take care of it.
But what I found more important was that she talked about how many customers she got from that Examiner post. I love to hear that articles I write get people more customers, especially from entrepreneurs who I think are delightful to work with. I'm a loyal customer of Emma's because she's consistently been professional, friendly and reasonable. Click here
for the perfume post. 2) Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning: Special look of gratification for Wednesday morning. Wow. Fun company. Interesting moments to learn about someone's background. I don't care how much you think you know about a person. You can always learn more, and if you never learn anything new, life gets boring quickly.
I didn't even want to go to work that day. Wednesday morning could've traveled on to Thursday, but bills must be paid and I love my job. So off I went to work (and a horrible traffic jam).
I don't follow the Olympics. If it wasn't for work-related tasks, I couldn't tell you who did what, but I couldn't help but read the massive Twitter comments about Gabrielle Douglas so I had to find out what in the world did she do. I can barely tell you the winners of any Olympic titles (minus John Carlos, and that's because I read "The John Carlos Story
"). After a long-winded Twitter debate about absent fathers (another topic I'm completely baffled by with one Twitter users insane defense for fathers being trapped and how it's the women's fault that black men aren't around), I thought I was done with this topic. Then there was the newscaster who said "Who cares if she's black?" that baffled me, especially considering how overly patriotic so many people are and how hard they want Americans to win competitions. Why is it OK to be proud, wear flags, chant about America but a girl who makes history as the first black woman to take home the gold for the woman's individual all-around gymnastics event should be ignored? Who cares that she's black? I do. It is possible to be as proud to see someone black make that achievement as it is someone American.
But my bigger issue is reading baffling comments about her hair, the first thing I thought of was an argument I got into on Facebook about the Surgeon General. People felt like Regina Benjamin aired out black women's hair secrets by talking about how we may hesitate to workout because of the length of time and trouble we go through to get our hair done. It's true. There is a love/hate relationship with exercise, especially swimming, moreso with women who have relaxers. It's the main reason I don't swim more. But I work out four or five days per week because I refuse to let my hair control the rest of my body. And when a young lady is making history in the Olympics, I say she deserves a free pass.
So much has happened between Saturday afternoon and now. Not just random stuff but life-changing events, things that put future plans in perspective and make me smile just a little bit wider. I rarely dedicate all five things to one topic, but this time around I'll dedicate my five things that made me smile to one particular person. Those in the know, know!
1. Going to see his new apartment: Anybody can ask you to go out on a date or to hang out around each other's house, but it's flattering for someone to want you to come by and help them make initial decisions about where they want to live and give you a tour. And then really want to know what you think of the place and your thoughts on what it should look like. I didn't really understand the point of going to someone else's apartment until I realized it was less to do with going and more to do with being interested in my opinions and showing his accomplishments.
2. My mother's voicemail message: There are very few people who can reach me through my mother outside of family. I have old friends who wouldn't dare pick up the phone to call my mother about me because they know they wouldn't get past the first sentence. My mother is a lovely person but she will guard me from anything or anybody who she feels isn't in my best interest. So the call she got to let me know a certain someone was in town for good and the meeting afterwards was memorable to say the least.
I enjoyed this movie although I didn't really have much of a desire to see it when it was in theaters. Long-time fan of Julia Roberts but I'd only seen Lily Collins in "Abduction" (and badly wanted to arch her eyebrows) and Armie Hammer in "Social Network" so I didn't know what to think of them outside of those two movies. I enjoyed Armie's performance but wasn't into the connection between Lily and Taylor Lautner. I figured she may have been a little too young for the "Abduction" part, but watching this movie, innocent puppy love (ironically considering one particular scene) seems to be more of her speed. Plus she and Armie were cute in action. Julia Roberts was quite the handful as a horribly jealous queen. It's been way too long since I read "Snow White" so I don't remember whether they mainly kept to the storyline but either way it goes the plot in this one was great. I enjoyed the witty comebacks, the fight scenes, the mother-daughter battles and a particular bug spell. Good stuff.
I read on Netflix that families and children would like this film more than adults. I'm not into cartoons, video games or many goofy family friendly movies, but for whatever reason I was amused by this fairytale turned movie. It could be because Julia Roberts' character was so delightful and evil when she usually plays personable characters. I liked the chance of pace, and as usual, she looked great, even during the apple scene.