Ebony vs. Alka-Seltzer Plus

Ebony vs. Alka-Seltzer Plus


I have had a cold for about a week. Today my sinuses started acting up and as a result I had a horrible headache and my face hurt.

So, I finally took some medicine. This to be exact:

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About 30 minutes it I thought I was going to see Jesus.

I am telling y’all I have never been so sleepy, so fast. And of top of that I was shaky and irritable.

Here is the thing though, I had forgotten I had taken the medicine.

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After about 10 minutes I remember that I took medicine.  Ok, cool, maybe Jesus isn’t calling me home. So, trying to think logically (which was proving difficult) I look at the package. I mean maybe it was night time medicine.  No, no it wasn’t night time medicine.

Then I notice that it says “See New Warning” ok…ok….new warning….maybe this will explain some things.  Check the warning. No, nothing about extreme drowsiness with quick onset.

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At this point I am getting real irritated at this box for not giving me an explanation as to why I feel like someone slipped something in my drink.  I am still having trouble staying awake, so I do the next logical thing (no, not lay my silly ass down and go to sleep), I start eating.

After a pack of Ritz cheese sandwich crackers, a little Debbie’s valentine snack cake (confiscated from my 5-year old’s candy stash), two juices boxes and some hummus and pretzel chips later I am less shaky, but no less sleepy.

So here I sit in my recliner, semi-coherent wondering what in the F@$& the “plus” is in Alka-Seltzer Plus.  Whatever it is, it’s apparently too much for me….

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And I am sure some of y’all are wondering why I don’t just go to sleep. Well, it is a matter of principle at this point.  I am not letting this medicine punk me like this, nothing you get over the counter to take during the day should knock you on your behind like this….

The moral of this story: Next time I will only take one and make sure I have no plans for the day.

By the way: My head still hurts….

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“Don’t You Want Trump to Be ‘Successful’?”

“Don’t You Want Trump to Be ‘Successful’?”


I find it very interesting when Trump Supporters say to Non-Trump Supporters “Don’t you want Trump to be successful?”

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This is a more complicated question than I think most people realize.  It all depends on how you measure his success.

If you measure his success by him making good on his campaign promises than, by default, a non-Trump supporter doesn’t want him to be successful.  If they did, they would be a Trump supporter.

So, really, is it a fair question?

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I think everyone wants #45 to do a good job, we just don’t all agree on what “a good job” is…and probably never will.

At this very moment, I know there is someone reading this that thinks Mr. Obama was not a successful president and there is someone that thinks he was very successful one.

People do not change their standards or beliefs based on who is in the White House.  It just doesn’t happen. So, it isn’t rational to expect someone who disagreed with the things Trump was proposing to now hope he gets those things done.

I would venture to say that a good portion of the people that didn’t care for Obama when he took office, probably still don’t like him.

I am sure many of them wanted him to be successful but by default the things that he set out to do made it almost impossible for those that did not support him to see him as successful.

(Don’t get me wrong…there were people that wanted to see Obama crash and burn and the country be damned.)

The same applies with #45.

So, where does that leave us, the Non-Trump Supporters and the Trump Supporters?

Well it leaves us at odds.  There are some things that we are just not going to agree on.  And one of them is what will define success when it comes to the Trump administration.

In the end, time will give us some answers.  People measure things like unemployment rates and national deficit and such things.

Laws will be passed, laws will be changed.  It will help some, it will hinder others.

But, for me at least, the measure of success will be in how we, as Americans, treat each other.

It will be in how we treat those who need our help, be it our neighbors down the street, or those fleeing horrors in another country.

It will be in the example we set for the rest of the world.

And even in that, our ideas of success will differ.

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Something of Substance

Something of Substance


Last night I made a promise to myself that I would write something of substance on my blog today. I don’t know if I actually accomplished that with this post, but it did feel good to write.


There is nothing I can write the would be so profound that it will make an opponent of Black Lives Matter change their minds. There is nothing I can write that will make a diehard Trump or Hillary supporter change their mind. There is nothing I can say that will make a misogynistic man change his point of view.

I wish there were, I wish there was a way to make people see and understand the things that are so clear and evident to me. I wish I could bestow the gift of empathy upon those that so obviously lack it.

I wish I knew the magic combination of words that could unlock the level of human understanding that for all our great strides we have yet to attain.

But I do not.

And the irony is there are people right now, with views and opinions so very opposite of mine, wishing they had a way to make me understand what is so obvious to them.

It seems we are all  busy trying to figure out what to say to make those who don’t agree with us to see the errors of their ways. We focus so much on making them acquiesce to our “higher level” of understanding that none of us are listening.

Oh, we hear what the other side says. We hear soundbites, we hear mantras, we hear slogans. And even though we write it off as empty rhetoric as we retaliate with our own (which are made of something much more tangible, of coures).

Then we surround ourselves with likeminded people and bask in the self-manufactured glow of our perceived virtue.

And then we blame the media and the internet and “them” and never once do we acknowledge where we fall short.

We are angry.

We are scared.

We are confused.

We are tired.

Some of us are so uncomfortable with some realities we convince ourselves they are only isolated incidents, propped up by the media and their hidden agenda.

Some of us expect people who are unaware of our reality to understand it.

We are overwhelmed and we don’t know where to start.

And then so many look to the past, to when things were “better”. But were they better? Who were they better for?

There have always been poor people

There has always been hate.

There has always been oppression.

There has always been a revolution in the making.

There have always been extremist.

There has always been a need for change.

As humans, as a society, as a world we should grow and evolve, but we now seem to be stagnant.

There seems to be nowhere to go and nothing left to do.

Is this where we are now? In such a Sith-like state of absolutes that compromise is an antiquated notion?

I hope not. Because that will not bode well for any of us.0075fb63358774e2f62ee476af42939b

I hope that this country, even in its flawed and fragmented condition, take the words of Lady Liberty’s poem to heart. That we acknowledge the blood and tears; the bravery and sacrifice that accompany the birth of this nation. That we all accept our countries vices along with its virtues.

Maybe then we will learn to listen to what we hear.

Maybe then we will truly “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I haven’t been writing much lately…..

I haven’t been writing much lately…..


And I thought that perhaps I needed a change.

So, I decided to change the theme/layout and title of my blog.

I will say it has inspired me some, I have a rather large post about current events that I want to write,  but just thinking about those things makes me tired :-(.

I do have a great story rattling around n my head. It involves two sisters, one is an assassin and the other is priestess. They are on a journey to find……well I am not sure what they are looking for.

But they are meeting the main character for the first time….at least I think she will be at main character. 

*sigh* I promise guys, I will post something of substance tomorrow.

But anyway, I hope you like the new aesthetic. 

A Tribute to Prince: Billboard vs BET

A Tribute to Prince: Billboard vs BET


I have now seen the Billboard Music Awards Tribute to Prince that took place on May 22, 2016 and I have seen the BET Awards Tribute to Prince that took place on June 26, 2016.  I can now give my opinion on both.

Now I am a self-proclaimed Purple Hippie. I was born in 1976 and have no recollection of a world without Prince. I have often said he provided the soundtrack of my life. By the age of 10 I was totally enamored with his Royal Badness.  As, such his death struck me to very core of my being (I am sure some of you will think I am exaggerating, but those that know me will know how messed up I was) I found out at work and I cried at my desk, in full view of anyone that happened to be in the very busy hall outside my office. I mourned for weeks, I am still mourning. I say all this to give you all an idea of how much a Prince tribute means to me and, perhaps, how harshly I would judge it.

Billboard Awards

Now, with all that being said; I, like many, was perplexed and concerned when I learned that ONLY Madonna would be performing in the Billboard Awards Tribute to Prince. Yes, they dated (briefly) back in the day and they were friends. Yes, they did one song together (Love Song) and he played the guitar in the beginning of “Like a Prayer”.  However, there are many, many, MANY other artists who worked with Prince, who were mentored by Prince and who admired Prince. Surely, they would want to participate in this tribute. But for whatever reason, they did not or were not invited to participate. After a few days it was announced that Stevie Wonder would also be performing.

Now, I watched the Billboard Tribute. It was not bad. I have heard many people talk about how horrible it was. It really wasn’t, but I do have some issues with it.

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  1. The choice of Madonna as the only artist:

I understand they were friends; however, she was not his only nor closest friend (as far as I can tell). Of course he was a very private man and I guess she is somewhat private now or at the very least would respect his wishes (this is speculation on my part) if they were indeed that close.

I have purchased every special collector’s edition issue of various magazines published about Prince since his death. (it still hurts to type that). I have not seen the Billboard one.

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I do not recall any mention of his relationship/friendship with her, no quotes or memories from her or others that may have seen them interact. I am not trying to belittle their friendship by any means, but by having ONLY Madonna perform in the tribute it seems that Billboard was belittling his relationships with all other artist.

2. The addition of Stevie Wonder:

This almost seemed an afterthought on the part of Billboard, but perhaps it took a while for Stevie to get back to them (he may have been busy giving quotes to some of those magazines that I mentioned earlier). It very much seemed like pandering to the “black” audience as if we were upset that they chose a white woman to do the tribute.

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We weren’t.

Prince fans (for the most part) have a deep and unique understanding that a person’s skin color nor sex as anything to do with their ability to perform ANY kind of music. (I mean have you listened to any of the man’s music?) giphy

While Billboard may have had the best of intentions (which I like to think they did), I question their execution of their tribute to Prince.

It was not bad, but it also did not capture the essence of the Artist, in my opinion.

BET Awards

Last night (June 26th), the BET Awards aired. Instead of having one performance as a tribute to Prince they had a total of 6 performances, by a total of 9 artists. They performed a total of 16 songs from Prince’s vast catalog of music throughout the awards ceremony.

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Now this, in my humble opinion, was a more fitting way to honor Prince Roger Nelson. They utilized artist that worked with Prince, that admired Prince and were mentored by Prince. Mayte Garcia danced. Mayte!

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Prince and Mayte Wedding Photo

They reached into his vast catalogue and pulled songs that were not only wildly popular on the charts, but those that many fans cherished as hidden gems because they didn’t get much airplay. They celebrated his genius and his diversity.

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Conclusion

It may be that the Billboard Awards took place to soon after he left us. The pain was still raw. As fans we wanted more than they offered as tribute. Perhaps they should have opted to simply show clips of his performances, interviewed those in his life, past and present. Perhaps they should have allowed us all a little time to mourn and heal.

Their tribute was not bad, but it is not what it could have been.

And don’t get me wrong. There were things missing from the BET tribute; Wendy and Lisa, Misty Copeland, Rosie Gaines…. but I, personally, preferred the BET tribute.

However, I don’t know if it is even fair to compare the two tributes. BET had more time to plan, BET learned from what many perceived as mistakes made by Billboard.

I will say this, Billboard has and probably always will be about commercial popularity, not necessarily the quality of music or skill of the musician. And honestly BET is much the same, but BET seems to have more experience with those artists that have not quite “crossed over” to the main stream.

Billboard and (I would guess) the majority of the audience at the awards show that night loved and appreciated Prince for Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, and Kiss.

But I have to wonder how that audience would have reacted to The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, Pop Life, or America.  Or the whole Rainbow Children album.

 Billboard Awards Prince Tribute Playlist

Nothing Compares 2 U – Madonna

Purple Rain – Madonna & Stevie Wonder

BET Awards Prince Tribute Playlist

The Ballad of Dorothy Parker – Erykah Badu & The Roots

The Beautiful Ones – Bilal & the Roots

Take Me with U – Stevie Wonder and Torey Kelly

Purple Rain –  Jennifer Hudson

Nothing Compares 2U – Maxwell

Delirious, Kiss, Pop Life, I Would Die for U – Janelle Monae

Housequake, Erotic City, U Got the Look, Love Bizarre, Glamourous Life, America, Baby, I’m a Star – Shelia E.

 

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I need your help!!!

I need your help!!!


I have a blog post that I would like to do but I need to gather information from as wide a cross section of people as I can. The survey is completely anonymous, so I won’t know who answers what. The survey will be open until May 20, 2016 at 9 pm.

Here is the link to the survey. Please feel free to share it with your friends:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ReadingComp

ThankYou2

Jordancon 8: A Review

Jordancon 8: A Review


So this is the review of my first Jordancon I was supposed to be writing a week ago, but upon my return to reality I discovered that time was a thing I was lacking. So while the husband and kids are outside I will try to sum up the awesomeness that was Jordancon 8.

Now, I am sure you are wondering “What the heck is Jordancon and why have there been 8 of them?” So to steal directly from http://www.Jordancon.org:

Jordancon is a fantasy literature Convention founded in honor of the late author, Robert Jordan. Jordan was the author of the best-selling The Wheel of Time series. Jordancon features eight tracks of simultaneous programming, a Dealers’ Hall, gaming, an Art Show featuring original art by a variety of artists, and charity events benefiting the Mayo Clinic and other charities. Past guests have included Harriet McDougal, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Sam Weber, David Wong, Jana G. Oliver, Emilie Bush, David B. Coe, Eugie Foster, Seanan McGuire, Michael Whelan, Larry Elmore, Saladin Ahmed, Todd Lockwood, Catherine Asaro, and Patrick Rothfuss.

Now I am guessing some of you are saying “Well who in the world is ‘Robert Jordan’?” Well, he is the author of The Wheel of Time and has managed to change many lives with what I am going to go ahead a call a masterpiece of epic fantasy world building.

But most of that is just the technical side. Jordancon is more than a Convention. For Wheel of Time fans it is like coming home. Heck, even if you are not a Wheel of Time fan you will feel like you are coming home. It is just that awesome. But enough of that let’s get to the review.

Actually I thought long and hard about the best way to do this review. Should I do it as a day by day break down or just talk about certain aspects of Jordancon or just talked about what I really like?  I think it is going to be a combination of all those things….so just hold on and try to keep up 😉

As some of you may know, I am an event planner (I have a degree and everything;-)) As such I tend to look at events a little more harshly than some. I will say Jordancon got my stamp of approval. It was extremely organized. They have a website www.jordacon.org on which you can get information about the location, dates, time, guest, panels, pre-register for things (in needed), make your schedule and purchase your tickets. Even better they have a Facebook page where you can not only keep track of what is going on, you can get toScreenshot_2016-04-28-23-30-55 know the organizers, ask questions and even make suggestions (they may not be used but it is nice to know they are open to listening) They also have an app that runs on both Apple and Android platforms. The app is free and gets updated about a week before the actual event. On the app you can see the full schedule for weekend, you can select which panels and events you want to attend and view them on a separate schedule. It also provides hotel information and you can offer feedback.

See how awesome this is and we haven’t even gotten to the actual Con 😉

 

Now Jordancon was my first Con and I truly hope that any others I attended will be as well-organized as this one.

Registration on Site: The registration table was the just about the first thing you saw 20160423_195207-1when you entered the hotel. The table was full of information and helpful, smiling volunteers. Whether you had pre-registered or decided at the last-minute to show up there was no real stop in the flow.  Upon registration you were provided with your badge (which you should wear at all times so people know who you are), a program, and the newsletter for the day. (We will talk more about that later)

 

Panels: I mentioned panels earlier and some of you may be wondering what they are.

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Costuming In The Wheel of Time Panel

Panels are 1 hour sessions set up for fans to learn about certain areas in the genre of fantasy and sci-fi and/or about The Wheel of Time. Many of the also allow fans in compete in several arenas of knowledge, learn a new craft or just act goofy. But the panels are not just set up all willy nilly. Each panel is part of Track as such each panel has a specific theme, Jordancon 8 had the following Tracks: World of the Wheel, Sandertrack, Writers, Rivets and Robots, Workshops, Gaming, Art Show, Deep South Con, and the Main Programing.  In World of the Wheel Track all the Panels had to do with The Wheel of Time, the Sandertrack dealt with the Works of Brandon Sanderson but aside from the that the rest of the tracks had a great variety of subjects. And you did not need to be a 20160422_211616Wheel of Time or Sanderson fan to enjoy it. The gaming track was a dream come true for anyone that is a huge fan of epic board games (like Firefly), Magic the Gathering, Poker (which my husband enjoyed) and ton of other stuff that I have no clue about

 

Most panels were about 1 hour-long and there was an ½ hour in between. This allowed time for going to the Art Show/Dealer Hall, visiting with other Con-goers, grabbing a bit to eat or running up to your room.

The Newsletter: Each day of the Con there is a new newsletter that Contained snippets of interviews from Team Jordan, Information about upcoming events of the day (like the costume Contest). On the back of the newsletter was the full schedule of the day.

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Extracurriculars: Along with the Panels there were several book signings with the guest authors and Team Jordan, a SCA Fighting Demo, Costume Contest and Jordancon awards, and awesome dance (there was even a dinosaur), a Blademaster Tournament, Karaoke, and a reading by Brandon Sanderson.

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Stained Glass Dragon created by Leia Powell

The Art Show: If you don’t do anything else at Jordancon you have GOT to visit the Art Show and the Dealers Hall. Not only you have the opportunity to see the works of many talent artist (many of whom are official Wheel of Time artist) you also have the opportunity to purchase the art and get it signed.  They also have a variety of other items to buy, clothing, books, beautiful stained glass dragons (I got one), jewelry and more. Ta’veren Tees (The Officially Licensed WoT store) also has booth there.

Volunteering: One of the wonderful things about Jordancon is they give fans a chance to volunteerbe involved, in fact they need us to be involved.  Fans can volunteer to help out in several areas (registration, the art show, the Con suite).  Jenna Lipnickas is the volunteer director and she is wonderful.  Signing up to volunteer is easy. It is done through www.volunteerspot.com. Volunteer orientations are held a couple of times a day on Friday and Saturday. They are short, Concise and easy to understand. And you get a handy-dandy folder with all the spots you signed up for. And as an awesome bonus you get a ribbon for your name badge (trust me it is an awesome thing)

The Con Suite: Now I don’t know if they do this at other Cons or not, but Jordancon has a Con Suite. They provide food (yes, food) for the Con-goers. This, to me, is completely amazing. It is open from 8 am – 8pm during the Con (it closes at 4pm on the last day). It is an area where the attendees of Jordancon can relax and enjoy complimentary food and drinks. I like this because it encourages the attendees that don’t know each other to chat it up. I mean food is the ultimate icebreaker, right?

Now those were the major things I wanted to touch on but I know what your potential Congoers really want to know. “How much is this going to cost me?”

  • Jordancon Tickets: They are very reasonably priced. Before Jan 1 they are $45, Jan 1 to March 30 they are $55. After that they are $65 and can be purchased at the door. (These were the prices for this year)
  • Travel Cost: Jordancon is held in Atlanta, GA.  So you will need to figure out how much it will take to get from wherever you live to Atlanta and back home. My husband and I drove. We live in Ohio (near Dayton) and with stops it took us about 8 hours. The drive was easy and relatively cheap. If you are close enough to make the drive, I would suggest that option.
  • Hotel: Jordancon purchases a block of rooms in the hotel where Jordancon is held. This year the rooms were $95 per night. My husband and I checked in on Friday and check out on Sunday. With taxes our hotel bill was $262.08.
  • Meals: As I mentioned before the Con Suite is awesome. All in all, I think we spent more money on meals driving to and from Atlanta than we did in Atlanta.
  • Purchasing Items from the Dealer Hall:
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    Artwork by: Ariel Burgess, Edsel Arnold, Leia Powell, and Joe O’Hara

    Now this is where you may blow your budget. You can get prints of artwork at pretty reasonable. The ranged from $20 – $30. Prices to vary by artist and by the size of the print. There is also an art auction in order to buy original pieces of work. These are more expensive; I think the lowest price I saw was $150. Some of the auction items can be purchased at a quick purchase price (like the Buy It Now feature on eBay).  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to purchase any jewelry so I am not sure of the prices on those, but most of it seemed to be handmaid so I that would add to the price. The items at the Ta’veren Tees booth pretty much matched up with the prices on their website.

All in all, Jordancon was a wonderful experience. It was a great first Con. Now I will say I have been Conversing with many of these people online for 2 years or so (some more like 3) and I admin a Wheel of Time fan group on Facebook and that added to me feeling welcome I am sure.

But my husband didn’t know any of these people, and while he has read the series he is not as obsessed as I am, but he still had a wonderful time. They accepted him as part of the family.  He even went to a couple of things all by himself. So don’t worry if you have a friend or a spouse that isn’t into the books, there is plenty for them to do if they enjoy the genre.

Ebony’s Jordancon Tips and Takeaways:

  1. If possible, plan to arrive at the hotel the night before the Con starts. That way you will not miss out on the opening ceremonies and it will give you a chance to get familiar with the hotel and maybe meet some people.
  2. Bring someone with you. It is always more fun with a buddy.
  3. If you think you might want to go to Jordancon join the Facebook group, follow the Facebook page or join the Wheel of Time fan group on Facebook. It is a great way to get to know people.
  4. If you can cosplay, COSPLAY. I didn’t this year and I regret it. I am going to next year if it kills me.
  5. Plan ahead. Check www.Jordancon.org as the date draws closer to see what you might want to do.
  6. VOLUNTEER!!  It will give you a chance to meet people and you will get a ribbon.
  7. Take as many pictures as possible. I am actually going to talk my husband into getting me a nice camera for Christmas just for Jordancon.
  8. If you are currently reading the Wheel of Time Series, there will be spoilers at Jordancon
  9. Kids are welcome at Jordancon, but you may want to leave them with Grandma so you can have a fun weekend out.

So now that I have gotten you all hyped up for Jordancon here is the information for Jordancon 9:

Jordancon will be April 21 – 23, 2017, at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center.

Author Guest of Honor – Charles E. Gannon http://www.charlesegannon.com/

Artist Guest of Honor – Stephen Hickman

http://www.stephenhickman.com/

For more information, please visit www.Jordancon.org.

I don’t think tickets are available for purchase yet, but if you follow the Facebook page there will be an announcement when they go on sale.

Well I hope you guys found this helpful and informative. See you in Ga!