“Rat” when I thought it was over…

So it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from us. A lot has happened in the past long time. Actually the only major change is that I now have my own apartment in Brooklyn. In the beginning, I was scared to live on my own but I learned to enjoy it. Yea, it’s a longer train ride to work. And yea, it’s more rent to pay but at least I’m not dealing with the mouse at the old place. Things started to get better and go my way, until that day…

It was the first day of the New Year. I heard scratching in the radiator but just thought this is Brooklyn. Radiators sound violent out here. Then I started noticing bites in the trash bag. No! This can’t be happening to me. I put Cheerios on the kitchen floor and waited. A little while later, this huge rat jumps out and took America’s most beloved whole grain oat. Ok, ok so it wasn’t a rat exactly. It was a tiny house mouse. But they’re all the same to me. Ugh! I can still see his eye. I don’t get it? If mice are more afraid of people then why are they coming in MY house? Listen, the weather outside isn’t all that frightful. In fact it’s been great! I’m sure there are some left over sandwiches in the Subway dumpster and plenty of newspaper to use as a blanket. Why bother me? I wouldn’t even mind you staying if you didn’t chew up my couch, bring the rest of your friends in, or ran as fast as you do. That crap creeps me OUT! Nothing should run that fast if it doesn’t come from Jamaica. You stay in my house, eat my food, you enjoy the heat and you don’t give me a dime for the rent. And then you look at me like I’M the one with the problem. I’ve given you chance after chance to go to the neighbor upstairs but you didn’t take it. Don’t worry. I’ll fix you. It is ON like hot butter on say what? THE POPCORN!

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You’re The Best Around

Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down

Last week was  a roller-coaster of emotions not only for me, but for many on Facebook. While I’m not a fan of people updating their status with their personal issues, I can’t deny the fact that it does make one feel a little better when you see others agreeing with you and giving a thumbs up. Anyhoo, I was checking my mail and challenging a friend to a round of Family Feud when a slew of pissed off statuses start rolling in. It was so bad that I got depressed, and I had a GREAT day at work. Women were fed up with their men. Workers were upset at their boss. Many were feeling hopeless about their lives. And Romeo fans were upset that Ralph Macchio was safe on Dancing with the Stars. At that moment, I was reminded of the secret weapon. It was time to put out The Song. My morning anthem that turns my frown upside down and gets me through the day…”You’re the Best Around” by Joe Esposito. If you’re a real Karate Kid fan like me, you definitely know the song. It’s such a powerful and underrated tune that teaches us that we can rise above any obstacle if we just believe in ourselves. It’s also best if it’s sung in spandex with a bandana around your head.

The next day on my way to work, I was riding in the cab and pondering over some decisions I had to make. I know what I should do but nervous if I could be brave enough to do it. All of a sudden the radio station plays a blast from the past. What was it? My song! It was a sign! Not only is everything going to be alright, but I decided that I was going to bring this song back. If you don’t know “You’re the Best Around” now, you will when I’m finished.

So this is what Shannon and I have planned. We’ve created a community on Facebook called “You’re the Best Around”. We will pass the link around to all our family and friends and hope you will keep it going. My goal is to get ONE MILLION people to “like” it. Not only does it spread Mr. Esposito’s sweet melody, but will possibly give Ralph the extra encouragement and motivation to win Dancing With the Stars. We can DO this. Who’s with me?

Join the movement, like “You’re the Best Around” on Facebook.

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D-D-D-Do You Have It? GUTS!

I love survival stories. So when I saw the previews for 127 Hours, the movie based off of Aron Ralston’s own survival story, I was all over it.  Aron Ralston is the climber that became famous for cutting off his own arm after spending five days trapped between a boulder and a canyon wall. I knew who Aron was and the basics of his story from the five minute segments on the Today Show. But watching the movie was the first time I heard all the details of everything he went through. The thing with survival stories is I always end up putting myself in their situation. Could I cut off my own arm? My friends have tried to reassure me…

“You could totally cut off your own arm!”

“Don’t worry, you could do it!”

“Shannon, just have faith in yourself!”

But I don’t know. The only thing I can say I would do for certain is cry. And panic. Maybe not panic as much as Amanda, but I’m sure I’d panic a lot. I was stuck in an elevator once for 20 long and excoriating minutes, the first five minutes I was fine. Cool as a friggin cat. The last 15 minutes? I broke into a sweat, considered rationing out my coffee and suddenly developed claustrophobia. It was horrible. The only thing that kept me the least bit sane was still being able to access Facebook on my phone. 20 minutes stuck in an elevator without a connection to the outside world? I’d probably have had to be committed.

Another great survival story is the Uruguayan Rugby team who’s plane crashed into Andes Mountains.  They were stranded in the mountains for 72 days with little food. Once the food ran out, the survivors began to eat the deceased. When I brought this survival story up, not a single person tried to reassure me that if we were to all crash into a mountain that I could easily eat their flesh. My theory is they don’t want me to believe I’m capable of cannibalism. God forbid we’re ever trapped in an elevator together, they don’t want me envisioning their head as a donut to dip in my coffee. Fair enough I guess.

Lastly, I want to go on record and say should I ever find myself in the lead role of a great survival story, I want to be interviewed first by Matt Lauer. Not a satellite interview either… I want to touch that hot white morning news anchor booty.

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Peter, Paul or Mary: Who Has the Most Rights When Naming a Baby?

So today I wanted to rant about something that really gets under my skin. I overheard a conversation about a woman who just gave birth to her daughter and bestowed upon her spawn, a very lame name. I don’t remember what the name is so I’m gonna refer to her by one of the most played out boring names ever… Sarah! Awww, don’t give me that look. It IS boring, to me at least. And apparently to the mother ’cause get this, she didn’t want to name her that either! The father wanted to name her after his mother or sister who passed away. I am sorry for his loss and they must have been great women for him to want to name his daughter after them. But I was still in a state of bewilderment. Why was she not satisfied with the name? And then we got into a debate, which leads me to ask you: which parent has the right to name the baby?

I know what you’re gonna say. It takes two to tango, Amanda. Very true. But when it comes to naming MY child, I dance alone. Hear me out. Of course, two people are needed to procreate. But only one parent brings the child into the world. A man becomes a father when baby is born. But the woman becomes a mother at the moment of conception. She nourishes, protects, and endures the pain, discomfort, and sometimes even danger of carrying the child. A man will never know the agony of childbirth. Neither will I, because for my 30th birthday, I will be setting fire to my entire uterus. Anyway, any man who truly loves his child, to the woman he…(in my R. Kelly voice)… is forever indebted, is forever indebted, is forever inDEBTED to her cuz... she makes the decision if the child is going to be born or not, whether you agree or disagree with abortion. She ultimately has that power. The LEAST a man can do is allow the woman to name the baby whatever she wants to call it, without any persuasion. The only time he should interject is if the name will cause the child to have great difficulty in finding a job, or may be deemed highly offensive such as Aryan, Ronaldisha, or worse… Mary. Yeah I said it. Jesus didn’t even speak English so her name was probably Manusha, which in my opinion is FLY!… ‘K, Back to the subject.

My 30th birthday - no candles, just the lighting of my uterus.

Keep in mind ladies, I am not telling you that you do not have to consult with your partner on such decisions. Remember, I am a single woman with no kids. Listening to my advice, no matter how intelligent, may just get you kicked out of the house. These are just my feelings and crazy ways. And who knows? Maybe there will come a time where I will love a man so much that I’d actually respect and consider his feelings. The point is, we of all people should never be unhappy with our children’s name. We’ve won our rights, we’ve burned our bras, and we can burn our uteruses. Let’s burn whack names.

Put your lighters up. – Lil’ Kim

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Not So Breezy: My Advice to Chris Brown

Chris Brown, after ripping off his shirt and storming out of the GMA studios.

So we’re all aware about the latest Chris Brown outburst on Good Morning America. In case you don’t know, Chris stormed out in a violent tantrum because Robyn Roberts persistently questioned him regarding “the incident”, when really he was there to promote his album. Now Robyn looks like the bad guy because she drove him to that point and wouldn’t let it go. But is it fair to blame her for his antics?

When you are invited on a show for an interview, it’s common sense that you find out what questions are going to be asked. If certain questions are going to be off limits, you need to make it clear before accepting an interview. I find it very hard to believe that Robyn didn’t get permission or make him aware that she’d question him about his dealings with Rihanna, especially since this is his first album after the ordeal.

The title of his album is F.A.M.E. which is an acronym meaning Forgiving All My Enemies. Obviously, the title was inspired by the event that occurred two years ago. Of course she’s going to question him about that night if the album he is there to promote is based upon that. So really HE brought it up. Music is personal. The reason why this album is supposed to be so special is because this would be the most candid, heartfelt, outpouring of emotions that he has ever given. The truth is, as much as you’d like for everyone to just move on, it’s not going to happen. I agree that he should be forgiven, especially when there are people like Charlie Sheen who are doing worse and are praised for their actions. Celebrities do whatever they can to get in the spotlight. They want enough attention to sit on top of the world, forgetting that there truly is a price to fame. He did what he did, and he has to live with the consequences because of who he is. Gotta deal with it buddy. Yeah, it may be annoying because you have a camera in your face. But if it weren’t for your record deals, you would’ve been behind bars and probably suffering even more. You can bounce back a little easier than the average Joe.

My advice to Chris? While you may choose not to share your side of the story of what happened that night,  you do have the opportunity to prove yourself remorseful, and that you are learning how to deal with your issues by facing the questions that are brought to you. Notice that I said “learning” and  not “learned” because you haven’t which is totally fine. All of us are always learning. But you’d like for us to believe that everything is in the past, peachy keen, you are cured, and this won’t ever happen again. However, storming out screaming, cursing, and throwing objects around, damaging property and possibly hurting bystanders because some one made you mad is only showing that you need full time counseling.I think many times, he makes things more dramatic to make himself look like the victim., possibly also to get any kind of attention since any kind of publicity boosts ratings. This along with the twitter wars is just really proving how immature he is and how he really should take a break to get himself together. I think a year, SIX MONTHS, even away from Hollywood is what he needs. Aspen, Alaska, or a European country side for reflection and meditation is good. We all know you got it in you. Talent like your is rare today. We really do want you around.

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And Oscar Should Go To…

Marky Mark knows who wins this.

This is the first year I’ve seen every movie nominated for Best Picture. When the nominations were announced, I realized I had already seen quite a few of them. So I decided to try to see the rest of the movies nominated. Some people challenge themselves to complete marathons, I challenge myself to watch movies. So what?

So without further ado, I give you 2011 Oscar picks.

Best Picture: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter Bones

I liked every single Best Picture nomination, some more than others. I went back and forth between two movies: Inception and The Fighter. In the end, I think my vote would go to The Fighter. But ask me tomorrow and Inception might win.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), James Franco (127 Hours)

First off, apologizes to Javier Bardem because I haven’t seen Biutiful. I did see all the other performances and I’d give this catagory to Colin Firth in The King’s Speech.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale (The Fighter), John Hawkes (Winter’s Bones), Jeremy Renner (The Town), Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right) and Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

Christian Bale, Christian Bale, Christian Bale! I honestly forgot I was watching Christian Bale five minutes into The Fighter.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Natalie Portman (Black Swam) and Michelle William (Blue Valentine)

It’s a toss-up between Annette Bening and Natalie Portman. Black Swan was the last movie I watched, so her performance sticks out more in my mind. But Annette is also deserving. (Disclaimer: I didn’t see Rabbit Hole or Blue Valentine.)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Amy Adams (The Fighter), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Hailee Steinfield (True Grit) and Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

I have to say it’s complete crap Hailee Steinfield received a supporting role nomination when she the female lead, True Grit was her movie. But I suppose she’s lucky, I think she has a much better shot in this category than she would in Best Actress. I’d give her the win, but not without seriously considering Melissa Leo for perfecting white trash in The Fighter (More disclaimers: Didn’t see Animal Kingdom)

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3, How To Train Your Dragon and The Illusionist.

I haven’t seen the Illusionist. I absolutely loved Toy Story 3. How To Train Your Dragon was cute, but Toy Story 3 completely redeemed Woody and Buzz after Toy Story 2. If this wasn’t a public forum, I’d tell you I nearly cried like a baby during the closing scene of Toy Story 3. Plus Toy Story 3 was nominated for best picture, the other two movies weren’t… that’s some kind of math problem where Toy Story 3 wins.

I know there’s still awards to hand out, but I hear the music and I’m being told to wrap this up. So thank you 2010 for some good movies (we’ll forget Furry Vengeance and the Tooth Fairy, ok?)

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Parking Wars: Us vs. Vanessa Hudgens

So Amanda was up for the weekend. Actually, she was up for about 24 hours. But that’s neither here nor there.

We were meeting up with an old friend of hers for lunch at The Standard. The mall was packed, trying to find a parking spot was impossible. I don’t even mean trying to find a parking spot close to the door was impossible, just A parking spot was hard to find. I started ranting and raving about all the idiots that ignore the direction of the traffic flow in a parking lot. Those arrows and stop signs aren’t just suggestions, people! That was originally going to be what this whole post was about.. but then this happened.

Free Parking? No, more like GO TO JAIL!

After driving around for ten minutes, we spotted two cars pulling out. A van was waiting for one of the spots. They had gotten there only a few seconds before me. So being the polite and courtesy driver that I am, I let them choose which of the two spots they wanted. After they pulled into their spot, I started to move forward… then it happened. Out of now where, an SUV comes along and STEALS MY SPOT! I can’t quite explain the rage I felt at that moment. By the shade of green she was turning I could tell Amanda felt the same way.

“Beep your horn at them!”, Amanda yelled.
My car has a cute horn, it’s hardly intimidating. But I laid on that horn like my life was dependent on it. I don’t know if I thought my cute little horn would scare them into backing out of their spot, but I had to do something! Then the thief climbs out of the driver seat and doesn’t even look at me after she had the nerve to steal my parking spot. In some countries she’d have had her fingers and maybe tires removed for such an offense.

I put my window down and yelled at her, “Excuse me, but I was waiting for that spot for a good five minutes!”

“My sister’s in a wheelchair!” Billy the Kid yells back at me.

“There’s plenty of handicap spots up front, this is my spot!”

“Well, I don’t have a handicap tag.”

Amanda leans over and yelled out my window, “MOVE VANESSA HUDGENS!” (I later learned the reason Amanda climbed on to my lap to yell at these hoodlums was because she couldn’t figure out how to work my car’s automatic door or window. Vanessa Hudgens better thank god that technology tripped up Amanda.)

“You’re an asshole and this is MY SPOT!”, I throw a little more emphasis on my spot and to try to get my point across. Wheelchair or no wheelchair, that spot was mine.

She rolls her little eyes at me. At this point, I’m so angry over this parking spot I’m nearly shaking. Doesn’t she know the rules of the parking lot? Why isn’t this on the drivers test? Didn’t her mother teach her any manners? Wait, didn’t my mother teach me any manners… because here I am getting into a screaming match over a parking spot. But dammit, that parking spot was mine! I had to give up though, she had my spot and all I could do was go back to driving around in circles. I yell at her one last time, just because it feels good.. “WHATEVER MEGAN, THAT’S MY SPOT!” She looked like a Megan, okay?

For those wondering, YES her sister was in a wheelchair. But she had what appeared to be a broken ankle and was being pushed in a hand-me down wheelchair from her elderly grandmother. Hardly a legit excuse for being a thief. Next time drop Tiny Tim off at the door and find your own parking spot. Don’t make up excuses or use your sister’s cheerleading injury to take things that don’t belong to you. You aren’t the only one in this world with problems and if we all took what we thought was owed to us, we’d live in total chaos. Respect the rules of the parking lot.

And Megan? If you’re reading this, lemme see you again in a mall parking lot stealing spots… I’ll make sure Amanda’s door is unlocked. Better yet, just take the advice of Ice Cube … “You better check ‘yo self before you wreck ‘yo self.”

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