Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cute Animal Alert! Cute Animal Alert!

It may be a Wednesday but any day's a good day for a dose of cuteness from Cute Overload!

Have a happy Wednesday...

Best Wishes,

Friday, November 24, 2006

Not In The News Friday (NITNF)

NITNF will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

Today's subject: my take on interracial adoption. I have total respect for couples and even individuals who adopt a child of a race/ethnicity other than their own. While I have never adopted a child, I am a parent...and anyone who adopts a child becomes a parent.

My children are multiracial (Black, White and Apache). I embrace all of their ethnicities. So I can imagine in some small way what it might be like to have a child of a completely different race/ethnicity. I think this gives me a unique perspective but it's still not the same as actually adopting a child that may have been born in another country and/or raised in another culture.

I'm going to skip the celebrity entries that have gathered so much attention in recent months and years because, well, you don't know who's real and who's just trying to look like a great humanitarian. It's a shame that it isn't easy to tell once fame and papparazzi and other elements enter into the picture. So, back to the real world...

When people adopt children of another race/ethnicity, they have to realize and accept right upfront that at some points in their lives, they will face questions, misunderstandings, racism and prejudice for their choice to adopt...just as an interracial couple accepts this when they conceive a child together. And yet they do so anyway, because they love each other and their child. I believe this must be the same for people who "transracially" adopt. They want to love that child and they would die to protect that child.

Some people say it's selfish to subject yourself to "undue attention" by mixing the races. If people want to give you undue attention, they'll find a way to do it anyway, they'd find another excuse besides race/ethnicity. People are people...but it takes a special person to take a risk to love someone else, to raise a child, to be a parent under conditions "outside the box."

So, to the parents of transracial adoptions, I salute you. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Best Wishes,

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Just `Cause A Holiday's Coming, Don't Totally Veg...

Click on the picture and read the captions over at Cute Overload, it's funny!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Best Wishes,

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm Back...

My little trip to the emergency room turned into a 3.5 day stay in the hospital. I was released only a couple of hours ago.

The long and short of it: a very painful case of food poisoning, most likely. I was well-treated in the hospital and my wife, Angel, was with me the majority of the time (when she didn't have to be home for the kids). The first day, Angel's sister kept our kids overnight so Angel could be with me. I'm deeply grateful for that.

I'm also deeply grateful for all the prayers, silent and otherwise, that were said for me, in addition to any well-wishes.

I really don't want to go into all the medical details, except to say that the reason they kept me so long was because, with my medical history and biology the way it is, things could have become life-threatening. I'm grateful to my God that they did not.

I'm looking forward to spending this Thanksgiving with my family. We all have a lot to be thankful for.

Best Wishes,

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Apologies, No NITNF

I've had a stomachache that won't quit since yesterday, made me quite ill last night and it's still with me this morning. So, on the advice of my doctor, I'm going in to the emergency room. I expect to recover but this isn't too conducive to blogging.

Not In The News Friday (NITNF) will return next Friday.

Best Wishes,

Saturday, November 11, 2006

If You Could Only Feel The Pow-er!

Somebody made a "Hello Kitty Darth Vader."

I don't want to know what part of "The Force" created that!

Does it have a white fur saber?

Best Wishes,

Friday, November 10, 2006

Not In The News Friday (NITNF)

NITNF will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

Featured This Week: A unique take on the life and career of Mariah Carey!

Excerpts from Free at last: Mariah Carey—the voice. The marriage. The multiracial drama. The so-called breakdown. The return

In some ways Mariah Carey, 35, is everything you would expect a pop diva to be who has sold 150,000,000 albums -- comes third behind Elvis Presley and the Beatles -- for most weeks spent on the Billboard Hot Singles chart and who emerged from her decade-and-a-half career as the best-selling female artist of the 1990's.

Others' responses would often take Carey by surprise. After all, it was impossible to know when her "of color" status was going to make someone flip. "My struggles began when I was 5," she recalls. Two moments crystallized this for Carey: The first was when two White teacher's assistants laughed at her for trying to draw her father with a brown crayon. The second was Carey's taking her 6-year-old best friend to her father's house and her friend's bursting into tears at the sight of a Black man hugging his now obviously not-White daughter.

She says: Her relationship with Tommy Mottola is at the center of "one of the greatest misconceptions" about her. "People think I've had this fairy-tale life," she offers quietly, "that I met this rich prince who gave me a life in the lap of luxury, put me in a mansion, made me a star. It wasn't that way. In fact, it almost killed me."

She and Mottola met at an industry party in 1988, where Carey was an 18-year-old waitress. When she wasn't clearing tables, she was furiously writing songs on the side and singing backup for 1980's dance music sensation Brenda K. Starr.

There's a reason fairy tales usually end with the wedding. "It was an emotionally abusive relationship," Carey says simply, though she admits that it was "good in the beginning." She adds, "Tommy represented something I'd never had, stability. There was mutual respect and his passion for me and my music."

Somewhere along the way, Mottola's love for the woman and her music morphed into a Svengalian desire for total control. "I was in a beautiful house surrounded by beautiful things, but I couldn't be who I really was."

Still, life after Mottola was no picnic. Carey chose to stay on his label, a move she now realizes was unwise: "I was literally fighting against a system run by powerful people who had an agenda to see me fail." Eventually Carey moved on from her manager and lawyer -- both were Mottola-affiliated. Forced to micromanage her own career, Carey left Sony in 2000 and signed to Virgin Records for a cool $80 million.

To make matters worse, Carey's winning streak seemed to grind to a halt with her acting debut, Glitter. The movie received (deservedly) scathing reviews. The sound track, released on September 11, 2001, made very little impact on the charts. And the next year her Island/Def Jam debut, Charmbracelet, fared no better.

The consummate workaholic, Carey responded by going into overdrive -- meeting every request her fame demanded. Finally, after five days of a grueling schedule and public appearances where she clearly seemed less than herself (most famously on MTV's TRL, where the media reported she did a striptease, but Carey says it was a planned spoof), Carey finally collapsed at her mother's home in Long Island, New York. She was hospitalized for exhaustion. The press ran nasty stories about her waning sanity. Virgin reportedly gave her $28 million to leave the label.

Now she realizes that her much-hyped breakdown was the proverbial blessing in disguise. "it forced me to put the brakes on everything and admit my life wasn't working," she says. "I had to reevaluate myself and get recentered." Slowing down also helped her shed some personal baggage. "I discovered that my desire to make music came from the need to heal myself. My desire to become famous came from the need to feel worthy and accepted. And that made me more of a freak than I ever was."

Source: Essence, April 2005 (Author: Joan Morgan)
Spidey 3 Is Coming! Spidey 3 Is Coming! Woohoo!

Looks intense! And no, this is not today's Not In The News Friday
(NITNF is still coming)!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

This 'Awwwwww!' Moment Is Brought To You By Cute Overload...

What does this have to do with IR Haven? Well, um, consider the picture symbolic -- um, of peace between people of different colors! Yeah, yeah, that's it!

Yes, I know there are more black dogs than white dogs. So what?

...and no, they are not dead.

Best Wishes,

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Here, Have A Dose Of Cuteness To Make That Election Day Pass Quicker!

And check Cute Overload out while you're at it (you can make hours go by!)

Best Wishes,
Wow...Is Election Day Over Yet?

If you read/watch/listen to different media source, you'd think today was the be-all/end-all of days...but I just can't bring myself to be moved.

I did actually want to vote, even though absolutely no candidates in any election have intrigued me. But I recently had a schedule change at work, so I won't be available to vote today anyway.

That's not to say that there probably aren't any interesting political races this year anywhere. I just haven't taken interest in politics in a while. And what I have seen has reminded me why I lost interest.

Don't worry, though...since I didn't vote, I won't complain, either. I just want it all to be over with.

One thing was cool, though: it was free to ride the bus today! Woohoo!

Best Wishes,

Friday, November 03, 2006

Not In The News Friday (NITNF)

NITNF will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

This week's feature...I wrote a poem today. Yup! I done got cree-ay-tive! I hope you like it...

By Allen Steadham

I can't help it
I have to smile
This warm feeling that comes from my heart
for her
my one and only love
my wife

Anywhere I am
I feel this way for her
a good kind of pride
and joy
for my best friend in
the world

This is the one
so special to me
who gave me two beautiful children
such love
a blend of our worlds
our lives

Gifts from above
eyes filled with hope
reflections of ourselves mixed
with them
What potential
they have

I can't help it
I have to smile
The feelings that I can't contain
for them
the ones who earn my heart
My family