From the Editor
or those of us that live in New Orleans, we can all say that there is indeed no place like home. In case you didn't notice the traffic or too busy preparing for the exquisite carnival balls, last month New Orleans was filled with Malcolm Armstrong Jr. activities surrounding Superbowl and Mardi Gras. In the midst of the madness, Cognition Magazine was there to bring you to some of the most exclusive events during this time so please be sure to check our Superbowl XLVII event coverage spread and our website for more pictures and interviews. After the world renowned New Orleans Mardi Gras holiday comes Lent, and that means itâ€™s time to transition into spring. Its been a long winter and now its time for the flowers to bloom; especially the flower that is inside of you. Whatever it is that you have inside thatâ€™s waiting to come out and flourish, let it. The cold cruel winter is over...let your sunlight shine folks! Think Mind, Think Body...Think YOU! Yours in #WELLNESS, Malcolm M. Armstrong Jr. Founder & Chief Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Follow us on twitter: @cognition_mag Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/ cognitionmagazine 2
2. Editorâ€™s Note 8. Blacks Going Green: How African Americans can be eco-friendly
12. Health & Fitness 14. Ask Dr. Ada
24. 18. Cover Story: Hollygrove Market & Farms 21. Love & Relationships 22. What Blacks Should Know
23. Sexual Health 24. Comedic Relief: Interview w/ Mark Caesar 26. Superbowl XLVII Event Coverage 27. Be Inspired 5
GREEN By: Paris Hughes 8
he “going green” movement—which involves environment conservation and creating a more energy efficient future-- seems to be taking hold on America’s culture, a culture that is constantly viewed by outsiders as a wasteful and callous attitude toward the environment. Now, we’re beginning to understand how we can only take so much from anything before it collapses under the weight, so now the newest attitude is about choosing a lifestyle that will leave the smallest carbon footprint. Looking around online at what can be done to live a “green” lifestyle, another trend is apparent— numerous observations into why African-Americans are not represented enough from a media standpoint in Green Revolution. The main worry is that this gives the impression that African-Americans do not care about the future of the environment, nor want to make an effort to lead more energy efficient lives. Does that stereotype hold true? Not really. The common practices needed to reduce waste are routine in many households. But the decision to “go green” may not be so straightforward. In order to understand where African-Americans fit in this movement, it’s important to know the motives behind a lot of the practices. Green lifestyle expert, Chris-Tia Donaldson, of the website, Thank God I’m Natural, explains that Blacks have always practiced a “green” lifestyle—it just wasn’t necessarily about the environment.
you weren’t in the room? Or scream at you again, when you ran too much bath tub water? Or are you like my mother, because you never throw anything away, but instead clean and then recycle the use of plastic bags, aluminum foil, jelly jars, plastic containers, saran wrap (and yes, the last part is possible!). All of those traditions are major steps in saving energy and the natural environment, but it’s not done with a “save the planet and recycle” mindset; it was just practical ideas that were developed overtime in order to save money. Donaldson stresses the importance for why African-Americans should start making this about the environment, however. Her reasons included health reasons (as AfricanAmericans have a greater risk for heart disease, strokes, and diabetes, and this could be reduced if there was greater access to organic foods, farmer’s markets, etc.); the fact that communities are at risk when African-American neighborhoods are situated near chemical and power plants far too often, leading to asthma, infant deaths, and birth defects; going green is cost-efficient (as explained before); and the fact that “green collar” jobs will soon become a growing trend of the work force.
Whether African-Americans or Caucasians—or any ethnic group for that matter—is more likely to represent the “going green” movement, should not be the issue, however. One quote that stuck with me came from Speech Thomas, from Arrested Development (the twotime Grammy Award winning alternative hip hop group As Donaldson explained in an interview of the website, from the 1990s…not the television series.). In an EmpowHer, Blacks are historically known for their interview with Ronnie Tyler from blackandmarriedwithenvironmentally friendly practices, such as farming their kids.com, Thomas explained “The whole idea of being own vegetables and fruits, using public transportation health & green conscious had primarily been a “white” and recycling items for other uses, but it was more about thing to a lot of black people I met,” after he released the economic reasons; saving the environment becomes a 2010 album Strong which featured the song secondary reason. “Greener”, about the environment from the perspective of the African-American community. It makes sense when you think about it. Anyone remember, when you were a kid, and your mom would But is this true? If so, when did such an essential issue of scream at you for leaving the bedroom lights on, when conserving our planet, and respecting the Earth by 9
minimizing waste and pollution become divided possible, and there are no plans of moving to another between being a “white” or “black” thing? Why is this planet that can sustain human life yet, we can all being questioned at all? agree: caring about the environment enough to perform tasks in order to keep our air, water, and other Considering that all ethnic groups of all social natural resources plentiful and clean is a “human race” backgrounds desire to live on this planet as healthy as thing. So what can the entire human race do to protect the environment and conserve energy? Here are some tips, and you can start these at home: Pay bills online in order to save paper Repair leaky faucets Unplug cell phone chargers and appliances when they are not in use. Have a garden, flowerbed? Collect rainwater to water your plants. Instead of using paper towels to clean your kitchen, uses cloths instead. You can even make rags out of old t-shirts When you are not using the computer…turn it off completely. Stop buying those huge packs of disposable plastic water bottles. Instead buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle and refill the anytime you want (and it’s cheaper!). Open those curtains and enjoy some natural light instead of keeping a lamp light on in the daytime. Lower the temperature on your thermostat. Shop locally for fruits and vegetables.
Health & Fitness Geaux Green With Your Fitness Regimen
M By: Cory Turner
y wife frequently tells me that I leave a carbon footprint the size of an elephant. My biggest infraction is 16.9 ounce disposable water bottles. On average, I drink 8 bottles of water a day, more during the summer. Many empty bottles make it to the recycle bin;
components of new apparel. Using alternative transportation to get to and from destinations can lead to a fitter you and a healthier environment. Fortunately, the gym I belong to is close to my home. On some days, I run to the gym. There are other members who ride their bikes in. I do a great deal of cardio exercise. Depending on the weather, I run and bicycle outdoors. By exercising outdoors, one can help the environment. Electronic components in treadmills and other cardio equipment use electricity. By taking your walks or runs around your neighborhood or in area parks, you conserve irreplaceable energy.
most donâ€™t. In an effort to help the environment, I bought several reusable plastic squeeze bottles. They fit in my bicycle These are just some ideas to help add green to your bottle cage and are more sanitary in the gym, even healthy practices. bought a belt with a water bottle for when I run long distances. Still, though, I often find myself reverting to quenching my thirst from the disposable bottles. Another transgression takes place with my running shoes. Depending on several factors, including running style and weight, a standard pair of running shoes should last between 300 and 500 miles. Running in worn shoes, no matter how good they might still look, can lead to injury. Unfortunately, this means that I typically get about 10 weeks of running use per pair. I rotate shoes, turning my running shoes into casual shoes or grass-cutting shoes, depending on how long they have been in the collection; then, they go into the garbage. There are options to give your used shoes an after-life. Depending on wear and condition, you can find organizations on the Internet that allow you to donate your shoes to needy people around the world. If there is no life left, Nike offers the Reuse-A-Shoe program (http://www.nikereuseashoe.com). Reuse-A-Shoe takes old shoes, grinds them up, and gives them new life in rubberized tracks, floor tiles, or even as
Health & Fitness Exercise Demos By Gentelle P. Images by: Cosey Photography
1) Lie flat on back and lift legs to about a 3 o'clock position.
2) Extend both legs together above head. The back should have about a 45 degree angle.
3) Bring knees into chest while keeping legs together and repeat steps.
Squat & Pull
1) Stand with legs shoulder length apart and extend arms straight up. Hands should be in prayer-like position.
2) Turn to right side with both knees bended. Right knee will face the ground and elbows should be bent.
3) Stand straight up facing right side. Straighten the left leg and extend the right leg out on an angle. Extend arms all the way out. Repeat exercise facing the left side.
Dispelling the Myths about Hospice Gulf South Hospice would like to take a minute to inform the community about the importance of outpatient hospice. Within this 6 month series of informative articles, Gulf South Hospice hopes to eliminate the myths, phobias, reservations, and even ignorance surrounding hospice care. We can surely agree that hospice can be a difficult subject because our culture is not fond of talking about death and life transitions. We must understand that death happens to everyone, even the ones we love. Hospice is a family and team oriented program that brings comfort to individuals/ patients faced with limited life expectancy. Hospice ensures that the patients last days consists of controlled pain, comfort and constant efforts to preserve their quality of life. Hospice not only involves care for the patient, but it also provides support for his or her family members as well. Hospice care assist families in coping with the life transition of their loved one for we know that losing someone we love is not an easy task. Gulf South Hospice would also like you to know that hospice is not a â€œdeath-bedâ€? concierge service. Hospice care consists of a concise plan for the last 6 months (usually longer) of a patients life. Once a patient has been notified of having limited life expectancy, hospice initiates care to relive physical pain and to address life transition needs. Let Gulf South Hospice be at your side for the care of your loved one during their time of need and life transition. The sooner hospice care is initiated, the more comfort your loved one will experience. Let us be there for you. 15
Ask Dr. Ada Dr. Ada Craig Roberson is a dedicated wife, mother and advocate for those in need. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker within the state of Louisiana and holds a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. Ada has a wealth of experience in working with disadvantaged individuals and has taken the term “Life Enhancement” into a whole new meaning within the social services industry. Her ability to truly understand human behavior has allowed her to transform the lives of many individuals, some of which were hopeless in the eyes of society. She loves a good piece of fine chocolate, a good challenge and stimulating activities. If you have an issue you would like to bring to Dr. Ada’s attention please email email@example.com or make a post on the Ask Dr. Ada page on www.cognitionmagazine.com
Dr. Ada Craig Roberson Casey: I am 30 years old and my mother still calls me every time there is a crime report on the news and it’s driving me insane. I am not living a dangerous lifestyle and my social life is not the hottest but yet she still is on my back about the crime in the city and my safety. How do I tell her that she does not need to keep contacting me about every single shooting or robbery without being disrespectful? I am trying to keep my cool but at this rate, I’m ready to go off. Hi Casey: Judging from your question, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that you don’t yet have children of your own. One of the things about being a parent, and a mother specifically is that it doesn’t matter how old your children are, they are still your children. I understand that you are an adult with your own independent life, but that will never stop your mother from worrying about you and your safety, hence, the frequent calls. I suggest that you tell your mother that you love her and appreciate her concern for you, and that you make a practice to be vigilant about your own safety because your safety is also important to you. You can discuss with her some of your safety practices in an attempt to help reassure her that, while you are aware of the dangers that exist, you are proactive about ensuring your own health and safety. At the end of the day, do you really think that the best reaction to your mother’s concern for your safety is anger? You know that she’s going to call every time something happens, so you might even consider beating her to the punch. Next time there’s a shooting, call her up and say “Mom, did you hear about the shooting? I just want you to know that I’m paying attention to what’s happening around me and I’m doing everything I can to stay safe. Love you.” Write back and let me know how that goes.
Garry: How do you balance working with someone you are attracted to without crossing professional boundaries or having it interfere with business? Garry, It is not uncommon to become attracted to someone with whom you work, especially given the amount of time many of us spend in the office. However, there are several things that we must consider before exploring those feelings, if at all. There are some companies that maintain an anti-fraternization policy which would outright prohibit you from becoming romantically involved with a fellow employee without jeopardizing your employment. That, in and of itself, can help you put this attraction into perspective. However Garry, at the end of the day, it is wise to understand that relationships are like living, breathing things…they are subject to change and grow, as well as to die a terrible, horrific death. If you get involved with a coworker, you must consider how the realities of what happens in relationships will fit with, and potentially impact, your employment obligations. When things are good, I’m sure life will be good, but what happens if things turn sour? Is it worth possibly jeopardizing your livelihood? There’s nothing wrong with mutual attractions, however I would suggest you keep it professional and turn your romantic attention to someone outside of the workplace. Essence: What are some mental exercises I can do at my desk at work to relieve stress? My line of work is stressful but necessary. Essence: Exercise in any form can act as a wonderful stress reliever. There are several things that you can do while you’re sitting at your desk at work, which may aid in stress relief. You can try to perform breathing exercises in which you take several long, slow deep breaths, making sure to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth while contracting your diaphragm through the inhale and expanding your diaphragm during the exhale. The inhale should take several seconds, but you want to make sure that the exhale lasts at least twice as long as the inhale. Try repeating the breathing pattern for three to five minutes. You may also want to try meditating or creating positive mental visualizations. Finally, making and repeating affirmations, or positive statements to yourself can help lead to more positive thinking. Positive thinking can, in turn, help reduce stress. 17
ognition Magazine takes you inside the operations of the Hollygrove Market and Farms. This green oasis in the middle of New Orleans has much more than what meets the eye. Finance & Operations Manager, Bill Pastellak tells us all about this unique eco-friendly market.
Interview by: Malcolm M. Armstrong Jr. Images by: Q. Bleu Photography
closely with our farms and really whatever they are growing is what’s going to be in the box. We do surveys a couple of times a year to send CM: We noticed that the Hollygrove Market is very significant. It is different from other markets. Why do out in our email newsletter to you think that is? BP: Well I think Hollygrove Market improved find out what organically. It came into the neighborhood to provide it people want so with fresh produce and since then it has really grown. A we can tell our lot of staff has come through there and added their own farmers what to touch to it. We never really had a vision for what the grow to make market was other than just to provide people with access sure people are to fresh local produce. It has taken the shape of everyone getting the that has come through there and it made it a little unique things they in that aspect. We really just respond to whatever the want. People customers want and try on a regular basis to deliver the take to it things they want to see in the market. We really take our because it forces direction from the customers. them to kind of mix up their regular meal plan. You also get a lot more produce in your diet as well. CM: How long has the market been in existence? BP: We opened in the fall of 2008. It was just a couple CM: What farmers do you guys work with? folding tables and pop tents outside where we sold our BP: We work with a lot. I would say over the course of $25 weekly box. Since then, it has really grown. We the year we work with about 75 different local farmers. moved inside; we have things like dairy, baked goods, Most of the farmers we work with are within a 100 mile coffee and now we’re doing meats. We are really trying radius of the city but a lot of them are on the Northshore. to expand the selection to make it your one stop shop for all of your local food needs. CM: So most of the farmers are local? BP: All of them are local. The furthest we go is, during CM: We did some research on the food box and a lot pruning time for peaches and flowers, northern of people are into it. Tell us what’s in the box and why Mississippi. do you think people are drawn to it? BP: Well the box varies from week to week. We work CM: What is the Hollygrove neighborhood response to the market? BP: That’s been tough. Initially it was started to serve the Hollygrove neighborhood and it wasn’t just an idea random people came up with but it was actually neighborhood leaders who said they wanted access to fresh produce in the neighborhood. We had a lot of difficulty. It’s still owned by the Neighborhood Community Development Corporation who takes their direction from neighborhood leaders. We offer discounts to the neighborhood, we present research projects of focus groups to the neighborhood to reach them and see what they want. We still haven’t had the success we expected especially operating the 20% discount we do for neighborhood residents. That’s something that’s really difficult for us because a lot of times people are on a CM: Im with Bill Pastellak who handles the Finance and Operations of the Hollygrove Market and he’s going to tell us about his involvement there. BP: I handle all the finance, Communications and operations at the Hollygrove Market & Farm which means I’m kind of the guy that makes sure the lights are still on, the bills get paid and things are running.
fixed income, they’re not familiar with the items in the box, and other times it’s not just something they are interested in, they rather just go to the dollar store or Wal-Mart. CM: The shift isn’t easy to get people to shop locally and to buy fresh produce. What are some suggestions you have to get people to start eating fresh foods and supporting local markets? BP: I would tell people to just come out there and shop for things you are familiar with, things that you would find at any grocery store, except the food is local. We find the quality (of food) is a lot better, the money goes straight back into the economy. Ask questions, our staff and volunteers are fantastic about giving ideas and telling people what to do with their food items.
outside of the Hollygrove neighborhood that were interested so we have it now where a minimum 50% of the gardeners have to be Hollygrove residents. We have one of the community gardeners who manages it; making sure peoples plots are looking good and takes requests for gardeners that want to come in.
CM: You guys have different perks available for shoppers such as the 20% off discount for Hollygrove residents. Tell us about the other perks you have available. BP: We do offer that, the 20% discount for residents. We CM: Tell us about some of the items you guys grow also offer a 10% off discount for university students and directly at the market. BP: We actually don’t grow a lot of it. Almost all of the then a 10% discount for teachers K-12. Teachers that stuff we get is from local farmers. About half of the site is have shopped at the market before are really passionate community garden space which we provide to Hollygrove about local foods and they are exposing the kids to that. residents free of charge. The other half of the site is dedicated to production; we get a lot of greens from there, CM: You guys are doing an excellent job and we are kale, broccoli, mustard greens but outside of that, it’s not really impressed with the operation of the market and that large of a space for the customers we have coming its variety of foods. How can people find out more through there. about the Hollygrove Market? BP: You can always go to our website which is www.hollygrovemarket.com. We have a newsletter which CM: How does the community garden space work? you can sign up for and you can do that on the front page Do you have to be a Hollygrove resident? BP: We started that way but we got a lot of people from of our website. The easiest way we can get all your information would be our facebook page facebook.com/hollygrovemarketandfarms.
Love & Relationships The Relationship Plan.
e live in a very fast world, everyone has a millions things going on all at once. With information at our fingertips and technology dripping with new ways to better our daily existence, we can go go go, all day every day. Many of us have jobs with long hours, multiple jobs, or maybe numerous business adventures all happening at the same time. Amazingly for many this lifestyle works and is wildly successful. On the flip side, for many of us who are making waves with our careers or business ventures we are lacking or behind in our dating life or falling short in our relationships.
tedious. Not to be a negative Nancy, or diminish the excitement of something new, the reality is that relationships can be a lot to take on as young professionals trying to come up in this every changing, demanding and competitive world. For many of us if we stopped expecting love to look like the movies and changed our approach maybe it would come easier or slide into our schedules in more realistic ways. Can we approach our love life like we do business? Have a plan, negotiate terms, and execute. Could it be just that simple? That might be too crass but the idea is nice, and to an extent very possible. If I can negotiate buying a car, purchasing a house, a discount on my cable bill and schedule to have my house cleaned, my nails done, my car washed, and on and on and on there is no reason I can not negotiate my love life to work in my favor. Cut the drama; enjoy the boo benefits without the hassle. This could be the newest win-win approach for all involved. As a modern gal this could be a very promising future.
The spontaneity that we enjoyed in college and pre-career no longer works with our grown up lives, we For dating or relationship advice email AJ McCreary are ruled by meetings, schedules, and appointments. at firstname.lastname@example.org The goal is not to kill romance but pursuing a relationship or maintaining a romance might actually be easier if all the terms are on the table upfront. If both parties know what to edict and is expected of them there is less potential for drama and disappointment, drama, or nonsense. Finding a significant other or managing your life and time with a significant other can be complicated. Not for a lack of caring or trying but after you come off a 12 hour shift, get food, deal with any errands or chores, and sit down for five minutes going out to meet new people or calling and chatting about silly mishaps that happened throughout the day or how your loved ones mother is so crazy and out of line is a headache. After a long day, knowing that our busy workflow is a mere 9 hours from restarting many of us would rather put off dealing with a something extra in exchange for a long shower and bed. All that busy work for a boo is exhausting, time consuming, and frankly it can be 21
What Blacks Should Know
Can Stress be Good for Us? By: Malcolm M. Armstrong Jr.
e all know that stress can cause negative affects upon the human body both mentally and physically but who says that it has to be all bad? Believe it or not stress can have beneficial qualities. Psychologist and other health experts divide stress into two categories which are Eustress and Distress. If you really sit back and think about it, how many times have you performed your best while under pressure? The added stress of knowing that you have to give your all and/or finally meet that deadline prompts us to strap up our boots and work harder to achieve our goals. The pressure to perform can bring out the best in us but excessive and consistent stress can cause its malignant qualities to affect us. Here is how to distinguish good stress from bad stress: Eustress (Good Stress): Helps you to achieve goals and meet expectations Increases planning skills Boosts memory Serves as a warning sign for the body to avoid dangerous/uncomfortable situations Boosts immune system Improves heart functioning Distress (Bad Stress): Prevents sleep or causes excessive sleep Provokes mood swings Lowers immune system functioning Causes abnormal eating habits (too little or too much) Causes medical difficulties that vary from headaches to ulcers According to webmd.com over 43% of adults suffer from adverse health issues resulting from stress and 75% - 90% of all doctor visits are a result of stress related ailments. Be sure to fill your life up with eustress “good stress” and to avoid the bad stress. Use this resource to ensure that you know the difference to maintain your best mental functioning. For more information on stress and its effects on the human body visit: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body 22
Life After Sexual Trauma
By: Paris Hughes
must understand it’s important to first hrough the years, I gained a sense of perspective separate and into the emotional effects of rape from friends and understand the major acquaintances, who bravely told their stories and provided differences between some insight into what they dealt with through the years. rape and abuse and a I think the first time I gained some understanding, consensual sexual happened when I was barely a teenager. I read to better relationship. understand sex and the body (two things not openly They must discussed at home). While flipping through pages in the understand that contrary to what peers, society, etc., may library, I came across one book that featured a chapter on say, the survivor is the one that is in control of their feelings rape and there was one section that stayed with me through towards sex. Even though they may have endured a the years. To paraphrase, it was explained how sex—which situation that turned sex into an act of violence, it does not is typically used to give pleasure or to express intimacy to a have to define them, their sexuality, or their future sex life. significant other—is now turned into a tool to degrade, hurt, Someone that is a victim of rape must also remind humiliate, abuse, and control. That was the first time I themselves of this, and to also remember that they have full understood how rape affected more than just the physical permission to a healthy and enjoyable sex life. part of a person. Returning to a healthy sex life after a rape may take In addition to the other emotional issues that arise time, but is attainable. Laura Berman, Ph.D, sex therapist, after becoming a victim of rape—self-blame, low best known for her television series, In the Bedroom with self-esteem, depression, post-trauma flashbacks of the Dr. Berman on the Oprah Winfrey Network, explains that event—a person may also has to deal with a fearful and although a victim may never forget the pain from sexual distorted attitude towards sexuality. violence, recovery is not impossible. According to one writer, Ash, on Pandora’s Project—a website that provides support and resources for “With trust, communication, and hope, you can survivors of rape and sexual abuse—this will be one of the rebuild your sex life and rediscover your sexuality,” she most difficult issues to face after sexual assault. In her explained in the article “How Rape Affects Your article titled “Feeling Guilty About Wanting Sex: After Relationship and Sex Life” from the online “Everyday Rape and Sexual Assault”, she writes that it’s very common Health”. for survivors of sexual assault to experience feelings of shame about wanting to engage in consensual sex. This may “Perhaps you might prefer small changes in the come from connecting rape and sex as the same act; many bedroom…It might take, but there is a plethora of different times, this is caused by worries of judgmental people, who ways for you to enjoy your partner’s body and your own, may make it seem that enjoying sex after assault is and you can discover these ways at your own pace.” abnormal. In order to You may be able to work on reconnecting with your conquer sexuality, once you work out the emotional effects of rape those first. You can achieve this by reaching out to a therapist to feelings of help you walk through the steps towards recovery, and to guilt and also gain the support of non-judgmental family members, shame, and to rebuild a friends, a significant other, or even a support group in the community or online. healthy sex life, the survivor 23
Comedic Relief Mark Caesar Proves that laughter is the best medicine
Interview by: Malcolm M. Armstrong Jr. Images by: Q. Bleu Photography
CM: What is “Piss Yo Pants” comedy and when did it start? MC: Piss Yo Pants comedy is a comedy and film company that I started in 2008. CM: How did you become a part of the comedy group? MC: It originally wasn't a group it was just me then I decided that maybe a comedy group would be cool. CM: How and when did you discover comedy as your niche? MC: I would say I was about 15 when I felt like comedy was something that I could really approach and be successful at.
CM: We all know laughter is the best medicine. Tell us how your comedy helps you to de-stress? MC: Being a comedian is hard because there's really no body there to pick you up when you’re low but usually when I make other people laugh I'm in a better place. CM: How did you feel during your first live show as “Piss Yo Pants”? Were you nervous at all? MC: Well piss Yo Pants is new but my first show I felt like I was in a living room making a bunch of my friends laugh I'm 11 years in, nerves are out the window lol. : What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your comedy career and how did you beat them? MC: Bad promoters, not always having a crowd, and just trying to build a lane where there really isn't one but, you have to just keep in your path CM: What’s next for Mark Caesar? MC: I have a 1 hour special coming up really soon, I'm on tour right now and I have a small roll in a movie coming out in June called "The End" staring Seth Rogan.
CM: How can our readers find out more about “Piss Yo Pants” and MarkCaesar? MC: They can come out to Laugh and Sip every Thursday night at therapy wine lounge 3001 Tulane Ave CM: How does the New Orleans culture influence your or they and visit Pissyopants.com. comedy acts? MC: New Orleans is huge on my style of comedy and storytelling because these are the people I do it for the most and you always want to be able to relate to your audience. CM: What is the chemistry like among the group members? MC: It's amazing really, the best part about it is that we all have our own things going on in our career but once we put it all together the chemistry is insane. CM: Who has the most outrageous personality in “Piss Yo Pants?” MC: Brady tells the craziest stories, I'm the most off the wall, Mario has the wildest imagination, and Dustin Arroyo makes you say “I can't believe this dude just said this.” We're all pretty outrageous.
he Leading Ladies Spectacular kicked off Superbowl
XLVII with a “Ladies Night Out” event benefiting the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children. On Thursday, January 31st 2013 the New Orleans Museum of Art was well endowed with cocktails, influential women, various vendors, music and a strong philanthropic spirit. Local Radio Personality, Host and Producer Fresh Johnson emceed the evening while DJ J-nice of Atlanta kept the networking ladies dancing on their feet. Attendants received noteworthy guests such as Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49’ers, Retired NFL player/Radio Host Lamar Campbell, Renee’ Knorr of My Beauti Network and the guest of honor Sunseria “Ms. Buffy” Smith, Mother of Baltimore Ravens very own Ray Lewis.
gles of urban womanhood such as being a single mother, Domestic Violence and surviving molestation. Dressed in golden African attire, the NFL mother captivated the room of networkers with inspirational words and talks of her new book entitled “P.U.S.H. Out Your Pain: Release the Secrets Within” in which she held a signing for afterwards. “It was truly a blessing to be invited out by Sharon tonight (CEO & Founder of Leading Ladies Spectacular) and I came not knowing what the topic Renee’ Knorr, one of the event sponsors, is a New was ‘domestic violence’ which my book is about” In Orleans native who now resides in Atlanta, GA the spirit of tonight’s event which benefits the where she operates her “Global luxury marketing Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, Ms. company” My Beauti Network. In reference to the event Renee’ states that “You can feel the room that’s Buffy described how she overcame her experience with domestic violence and how her spirituality just full of great vibes and great energy and that’s assisted her. “I am the woman I am today because of probably one of the most important things about tonight.” Rene also states that “I am a honored to be all the pains and abuses I have been through and I kept it a secret” states Ms. Buffy. “Don’t let anyone one of the supporters of the Leading Ladies Prey on you and think it’s ok for them to do these organization” and “Im so excited to be able to things to you and be silent” says Ms. Buffy. Her support other women that are very powerful that’s making a difference in the community and making a message to the evening’s attendants was to inform them that “The purpose of my story is to help hurting positive impact.” people heal and that you can recover from anything. You can come back stronger than ever if you believe Mother of Baltimore Raven’s #52 Ray Lewis, in yourself.” Sunseria Smith AKA “Ms. Buffy” concluded the night with a powerful message revealing her strugThe evening concluded with traditional New Orleans Second Line music, distribution of gift bags complementary of Dr. Miracles Feel It™ Formula and more book signings with Ms. Buffy. To gain more information about how you can benefit the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, a 501 (c)3 organization please visit www.mcwcgno.org. To learn more about the Leading Ladies Spectacular organization and their CEO & Founder Sharon Turner go to www.theleadingladiesspectacular.com.
he evening of Friday, February 1st 2013 during Superbowl XLVII was filled with football elegance with New Orleans flair at The Foundry. Former New Orleans Saints Coach Mike Dikta hosted “An Exclusive Evening with Ditka & Friends” a limited seating event with all proceeds benefitting The Gridiron Greats and The Kevin Turner Foundation. The venue was filled with NFL greats such as Dennis McKinnon, Lawrence Taylor, Kyle Turley, Kevin Turner, Adam Schefter and smashing rock performance by the Kyle Turley Band. Dennis McKinnon, Director of Corporate Relations & Player Liaison for the Gridiron Greats Foundation talks with us during his interview and he stresses the importance of raising money for his organization. McKinnon explains that the Gridiron Greats, headed by his former coach Mike Ditka has the mission of “Helping players around the country who are retired and not financially doing well or not doing well health wise and we are trying to give them a better quality of life and assist them with pro-bono medical attention.” Most of the financial and physical hardships that retired NFL players experience go unseen. Reminiscing on the death of a former colleague, Dennis states that “Players that play this game should never suffer the way they do when they leave the game.” To assist with the fund, Rudolph Foods, the largest manufacturer of pork rinds is heavily involved with the Gridiron Greats Foundation during this years Superbowl. When asked about Rudolph’s involvement, McKinnon explains “This year they (Rudolph Foods) are donating 10 cents of every bag sold, a 6 month promotion culminating on Superbowl Sunday up to $10,000 donated to Gridiron Greats. They are a great humanitarian company. We are going to extend the partnership.” As the night went on players, retired players and patrons feasted on local cuisine, a lavish desert display and libations including Mike Ditka’s very own brand of Cabernet Sauvignon served by the gorgeous staff at The
Foundry. The man of the hour, Mike Ditka explains within his interview that “What we are trying to do is raise some money for players that are in dire need” speaking of the Gridiron Greats. Ditka tells us that former players experience a variety of medical and financial difficulties such as Dementia, housing complications, mental illness and lack of support for medical procedures so the funds raised on this night will go a long way. When asked about his feelings on being back in New Orleans Ditka states “New Orleans is great! One thing I don’t miss is this traffic but it’s great. I have fond memories of New Orleans, not because we won a lot of games here (speaking of his days of coaching the New Orleans Saints) but because of the experiences and the people I’ve met here, I’ve had a lot of fun. I never had a bad meal either.” The overall health of NFL players on and off the field is very important but the mental health of players is just as crucial. When asked about the behavioral health of players after and during their NFL careers, Ditka tells us that “If you’re talking about mental health, then you understand what the effects of concussions can have on you later on in life and a lot of these guys are a direct result of concussions or blows to the head they took as an NFL player. These guys (speaking of NFL players current and retired) go through a great state of depression and it comes from the injuries they’ve had (on the field). Education is the best thing you can do (in speaking of preventative measures).” The night went on with local brass band sounds between the sets of the Kyle Turley Band. Towards the end, guests were given gift bags filled with Mike Ditka’s cigar brand, cigar accessories, and an assortment of Pork Rinds by Rudolph Foods. The silent auction winners adored and posed for pictures with their autograph pieces of sports memorabilia. The evening was a success and raised money for two very significant organizations. To find out more about these organizations and how you can donate please visit: www.rudolphfoods.com www.rudolphfoods.com/brands/southernrecipe www.gridirongreats.org www.kevinturnerfoundation.org
he 13th annual Player
Networking Event™ was
held on Saturday, February 2nd from 2-6pm at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans, LA. Founded by former NFL executive, Guy Troupe this annual event was designed to assist current and former players with their transition from football to other career endeavors. The room was filled with various vendors, career advisors, league executives and eager attendants. PNE 2013 was hosted by Spencer Tillman, former member of the San Francisco 49ers and he was accompanied by a host of successful transitioned players such as Ray Ellis, Brandon Gorin plus more that have careers in fine art, healthcare, digital media, non-profit sectors, and financial services. Brandon Gorin, 2+ year Franchise owner of Marco’s Pizza and former NFL player describes the presence of Marcos at PNE 2013 by stating “I engaged our corporate officers at Marcos’s and they believe in what we are trying to do here (at PNE). It’s good brand building, an asset and a resource to this athlete community. They (Marco’s Corporate) are engaged and came down to sponsor the Player Networking Event 2013.” Other sponsors/partners of PNE 2013 include VooDoo BBQ, Voice America Sports, Corporate Wellness International, Axiom Productions, Wire2net plus many more.
Be Inspired Be “About the Business”
Malcolm Armstrong Sr.
We are not using all the great bait that Jesus used. Jesus was and still is the greatest fisherman that ever lived. See Jesus had no problem reeling in the men by the crowds; Thousands upon thousands because he fished with the live bait of Patience, Compassion, Forgiveness, and Love. He atthew 4:18-20 (KJV) fished with the live and always moving bait of Truth, reads “And Jesus, kindness, and Mercy. We should be using the live bait that Jesus used, but at times we seem to have baited our hooks walking by the sea of Galilee saw two breth- with just the opposite. What are you using as live bait and are you “About the Business?”
ren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers and he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. They immediately left their nets, and followed him.”
Jesus, in this very important scripture has declared and defined for us the essence of our family "business." While our Journey here on this earth is a short one, we must be about our Father's business as Jesus did. After reading the words of Jesus in both texts above that Jesus is extremely serious about our Father's Business. If Jesus must be about our Father's business, and we share the same Father as the human form of the Christ, then we must be just as serious about our family's Business as Jesus was. One of the Oxford definitions of the word business, and the definition I think best fits our role here is Work that HAS TO BE DONE. Quite simply, we as Christians must be like Jesus. We must be about our Father's work that has to be done. THE FISHING BUSINESS! We as Christians now find ourselves firmly planted in the family business, of FISHING FOR MEN TO BRING TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOR. We are struggling some might even say that at times we are failing at fishing for men. I think it's about time that we should review and get better at fishing. We are struggling to be fishers of men, because we simply are not using the proper live bait.
Published on Mar 4, 2013