Tolerant Much?

People cannot change how, when, where, and why they are born; and they certainly cannot, at least initially, change their genetic makeup (DNA) or their appearances.

Only nature, nurture, and circumstance determine these outcomes for them. Nevertheless, people ARE born with an inherent burden of choice: whether or not to do or believe this or that, whatever this or that may be. However, variables, factors, influences, etc. outside of their actual individual beings, their surroundings, may determine whether or not people exercise their inherent right to choose. Consequently, letting others choose for oneself is an actual choice, too.

One of the outside variables or influences as to whether or what an individual chooses is culture. Culture is defined as “a way of life of a group of people—the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next; characteristics of a particular group of people that distinguish them from another group.” There exists many culture types and variations in this world, especially today. Furthermore, different cultures may share similar practices and/or belief systems depending on their mutual influences.


In this video, the female argues that the reason the male cannot wear his hair in dreadlocks is because it is her culture. The male counters with the fact that dreadlocks originated in the Egyptian culture. The female then attempts to further her argument by asking him where Egypt is, insinuating that the answer to her question, Africa, is the location of her culture. The male then refuses to respond, and attempts to end the debate by leaving the area altogether.

While I do wish that the male had a calmer, more coherent and substantial explanation for his choosing to wear his hair in dreadlocks, I cannot argue with the simplicity of his answer to her hasty questioning. She insisted that wearing dreadlocks is her culture, in a tone that claims exclusivity to her culture alone. Beside the fact that several cultures have co-existed during any given time period throughout Africa as a whole continent, another fact remains. That is that several cultures of past and present practice wearing dreadlocks, such as: ancient Greek, Christianity, Islam, Aztec, Hindu, Buddhism, Judaism, African, Rastafari, and athletic cultures like pro American football. Each of these cultures wears dreadlocks, also called locks, as an expression of religious, spiritual, ethnic, and/or political convictions.

I could go on arguing that the practice of wearing dreadlocks belongs to no one race or culture. Instead, I beg of all people, especially this female, to be open-minded and appreciative of others, their cultures, and their creeds. Do not hastily judge someone by looking at their outward appearance. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is absence of knowledge; and no matter how much you already know, there is always more to learn. Also, in observance of the male’s lack of muster, be knowledgeable enough about your own beliefs to at least be able to defend them when necessary.

Hawaiian Eats: Shrimp & Mango Tacos

Shrimp & Mango Tacos

soft flour tortillas, med or large, to preference
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mint leaves, finely chopped
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 large limes, juiced
2 large ripe mangoes, peeled and diced

1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Add shrimp to boiling water. Remove shrimp and drain once rapid boil returns.

2. In a medium size bowl, mix the ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Toss the shrimp, mint, and mango in the sauce mixture.

4. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

5. Serve on flour tortillas, with your favorite cocktail. We chose Mangoritas!

Enjoy! Perfect picnic snack whether you’re at the beach or in your own backyard!

Time Capsule: A Music Journal

I was looking through some old papers of mine, and found this music journal that I kept for a week per the instruction of one of my professors at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

It’s always interesting to me to see a reminder of my past.


I have always recognized that I was a passionate person, especially about music, among a few other things. I feel as if most music (with or without spoken words) affects me differently than most people—more intensely, sometimes moving me to the point of tears. I had not realized, until periods in my life when I had been forced for considerable amounts of time to separate myself from outside influences of society, including music, that if I do not hear it often, I feel detached from something. My most recent separation from music was during my deployment to Kuwait/Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom. I’ve been back in the states since late December 2010. At last, I am surrounded by music and its continuous growth. It is most fulfilling I should say, especially since Western style music is familiar to me. I no longer subconsciously take for granted the freedom of expression and release that is music!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Car Radio on the way home from class, home television:

  • Country: Keith Urban “Long Hot Summer” (one of my current favorites)
  • Rock: Foster the People “Pumped Up Kicks”, 311 “Love Song”, Sublime & Rome “Panic”
  • Pop: Katy Perry “Last Friday Night”
  • Murder At 1600 soundtrack
  • Commercials: Sonic (“Heart’s Desire,” played to the music from “You Can Do Magic” 1982), Travelers Insurance (Ray LaMontagne “Trouble”), Cheetos “Chopsticks”

Friday, September 02, 2011

IPod in the car, home television:

  • Pop, Alternative, Blues: Adele “Set Fire To The Rain,” Charles Bradley “The World (Is Going Up In Flames),” Amos Lee “Southern Girl,” One Republic “Good Life,” Norah Jones “Sunrise,” Jack Johnson “Posters”
  • Twister and Rizzoli & Isles soundtracks

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Oh how excited I get when I hear LSU’s “Hey Fighting Tigers,” “Pregame and Touchdown!” It gets my blood pumping!

Home television and PC iTunes:

  • 28 Days and Something Borrowed soundtracks
  • Oregon vs. LSU football game!
  • UL-Monroe vs. Florida State football game
  • Blues: Charles Bradley’s No Time For Dreaming album
  • Pop: Hanson “Love Song”
  • Hip Hop/Rap: Gym Class Heroes’ As Cruel As School Children album

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Home television and IPod:

  • Prom soundtrack
  • R&B/Blues: Aaliyah, Charles Bradley, Etta James

Fun Fact: As a teenybopper, I would spend my evenings (after homework and playing outside of course) in my room trying to master the dance moves from Aaliyah’s music videos. Her voice was so calm, cool, and sensual. I silently pay my respects each time I listen to her music, and wish that we all could have been able to see her grow as an artist. Like so many before her, she left this world before her full potential reached kinetic.

Monday, September 05, 2011

No music (mp3 player or radio) or television today—just the melodies in my head and the reassuring silence.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I’ve been working my full-time job since May 2011. I’ve known since the beginning that I am “allowed” to listen to music at my desk. However, it just occurred to me today to actually do it. It’s fascinating to me the difference in my mood and outlook between calls I see when I incorporate music into my work environment.

Pandora (at work):

  • R&B: Aaliyah Station: Aaliyah, SWV, Boyz II Men, Usher, Mary J. Blidge, etc.
  • Beachside Pop/Rock: Jack Johnson Sation: Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band, Led Zeppelin, etc.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Pandora (at work):

My “happy” music…

  • Reggae: Bob Marley Station
  • Rock: The Black Keys Station

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Growing up in New Orleans, I was surrounded by the comforting sounds of the Blues. I remember the surprisingly uplifting moans of the local artists and their instruments finding their way to you from every street corner in the heart of New Orleans. This is my favorite type of music to hear live. To me, it is the most personal of all music for obvious reasons. It feels most in tune to the natural rhythm/movements of the body, which is why I enjoy dancing to the Blues also.

Pandora (at work):

The following artists are among the most talented musicians that I have had the pleasure of listening to.

  • Blues: Joe Bonamassa Station
  • Blues: Eric Clapton Station

Friday, September 09, 2011

Pandora (at work):

  • Motown: Marvin Gaye Station

Car radio on the way home from work:

  • Most times when I listen to the car radio to and from somewhere, I am not actively listening. This was the case today. I am not sure what station it was tuned to. If I plug in the IPod, it’s usually because I have a song or many songs from a certain artist that I want to hear.

Home movie:

The music in this movie is so soft and reassuring. It reminds me of Mother Nature, omniscient, patient, and renewing. I suppose this is one of the reasons this film will always be on my favorites list.

  • The Secret Garden (1993) soundtrack

Saturday, September 10, 2011

  • Northwestern State vs. LSU football game

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I was sitting in my homeroom class, waiting for Mrs. Cox to call roll, when my Army ROTC instructor burst in the classroom door; and as discreetly as she could she told us to turn on the television. “We’ve just been attacked,” she calmly said, with the greatest sense of urgency. In a split second, our small mundane high school world turned on its side. The horrifying images of the Twin Towers and the planes that sliced them were forever engraved in our memories. We had so many new emotions to process. And we, too, became a generation defined by one tragic event. Everyone who remembers also remembers the music that brought them comfort during their loss, their realization, and their gaining of a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves. Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You,” is just one of the many songs that are nostalgic of the tragic events that played out on this day 10 years ago. So you can imagine how moving the concert below was for me.

Home television:

  • Concert for New York 2011: performances include Paul McCartney, the Who, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Melissa Ethridge, the Backstreet Boys, Destiny’s Child, Adam Sandler, Macy Gray, etc.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Not feeling very well today. I think I may have a cold. I listen to my IPod while resting to heighten my spirits. Some nice music usually does the trick, along with some cold medicine of course.


  • Soul: Al Green
  • Pop/Rock: The Beatles, Florence and the Machine, Jason Mraz, etc.
  • Alternative Hip-Hop/Blues/Roots: G. Love and the Special Sauce

Reflecting on the One in the Mirror

reflection, quote

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” –Antoine de Saint Exupery

“No smile is as beautiful as the one that struggles through the tears.” –Author Unknown

“You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.” –Barbara De Angelis

“What we are afraid to do before men, we should be afraid to think before God.” –Beilby Porteus

“You don’t have to prove someone wrong to do what you know is right.” –Author Unknown

“True contentment is a real, even an active virtue—not only affirmative, but creative. It is the power of getting out of any situation all there is in it.” –G.K. Chesterton

“We could concern ourselves less about what other people think of us if we knew how seldom they do.” –Author Unknown

“You should never let the sun set on tomorrow before it rises today.” –Author Unknown

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” –G.B. Shew

“No man is free who cannot command himself.” –Pythagoras

“Perhaps, I am stronger than I think.” –Thomas Morton

“An idealistic soul is hard to understand.” –Monsieur Rodolphe Boulanger

“To thine own self be true.” –William Shakespeare

“Once you are real, you can’t become unreal again.” –Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

“That which hurts also instructs.” –Benjamin Franklin

Oh, the Humanity!

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” –Helen Keller

“The essence of a man is imperfection.” –Norman Cousins

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others; and if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” –The Dalai Lama

“We have committed the Golden Rule to memory. Let us now commit it to life.” –Edwin Markham

“I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.” –Booker T. Washington

“As the daylight can be seen through very small holes, so little things will illustrate a person’s character. Indeed, character consists in littles acts, well and honorably performed.” –Samuel Smiles

“To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.” –Author Unknown

“Treat people as they are and they remain that way.” –Goethe

“People are afraid of what they don’t understand.” –Author Unknown

“Don’t just listen to what someone is saying; listen to why they are saying it.” –Author Unknown

“No one can develop freely in this world and find a full life without feeling understood by at least one person.” –Paul Tourner

“Don’t ever let anyone see you frown. You just never know who may be falling in love with your smile.” –Author Unknown