Dear Readers, I am proud to say that we are growing in numbers, writers and distribution. Urban Grapevine is coming to full fruition and I am just as excited as my staff and readers. But if at any point you feel the content is lacking detail, references or event hat juice we have promised since day one please by all means drop me a email and tap me on the shoulder. Feel free to email me for a pat on the back to any staff as well. Remember Urban Grapevine Magazine gives you the juiceâ€Ś.culture is grows and the voice of the community is heard! Felisha Bradshaw Author/Editor in Chief
Contact me at: email@example.com
No rituals. No superstitions. I just say my prayer to the Lord Savior, Jesus Christ – that’s all. As long as I have Christ in my life, everything works itself out. I’ve never been a big believer in superstitions or any thing like that. I’m very confident before I walk into a boxing ring because I train my body so hard. I feel that as long as I ……………………………..(see page:40)
The Mending Process with Cynthia Miller
When life seems to take a change for the better. TIPS FROM A VETERAN...Treasure Blue
Dating an Indie Author...with Rahiem Brooks page 12 FACEBOOK Etiquette ...too much!
Urban Voices...Lyrics from the Soul
HIP-HOP...LIVE AND AVAILABLE
ELDORADO ANDERSON..POSITIVILY DRIVEN
In the Know...ADVOCATE AND EDUCATE
HAS BEEN JACKED!
DRESSED FOR SUCCESS COOKING WITH QUIANA...NO NEED FOR BEEF DUMPSTERS...DON’E BE A DROP OFF SITE MAMA MACK LOVES THE KIDS DON’T CALL IT A COIMEBACK! Q&A W/ ZAB “SUPER” JUDAH ALICIA COBBS...COLOR ME BAD!
JAMIR BRUNSON’S SIGNATURE DESIGN… Single&Simply LOOKING!
riting can be therapeutic for most and reading has the same effect on one’s sanity. Both have been called hiding places, safe havens the beginning of closure and the door opening to a new life. For some it has been all of thee above. As for Authoress and Jr. Editor/Content Writer for Urban Grapevine Magazine Cynthia Miller it once was and now it is for her readers. She unleashes a wrath of confessions; addiction, sexual abuse and a spiraling of emotions. This author has overcome some of life’s most monotonous obstacles. Cynthia and I spoke briefly about her journey but never got in depth about how it all began. So today we will talk with Cynthia and see where she once stood in darkness and how the light of life, living and her children brought her into victory. UG MAG: Hey Cynthia, now that we have ample amount of time to really chi-chat let’s talk about the things in life that served as a cloud over you even on the sunniest days. If someone who didn’t know your experiences in life asked you where you were 10 years ago what would your response be? Cynthia: I sat back and thought of what I was doing at 8am 10 years ago. I was deep in the tunnel. I don't want to sugar coat my life ten years ago. Plain and simple I was in addiction. I was a heroin addict. At 8 am every morning i gathered a crew together and sent them out into the stores to run refund scams so I could feed our habit. Today I am the general manager at the largest sales company in Phoenix. I guess you could say I am still having a morning meeting. But today I am in a suit and I have over 100 employees that are depending on me to feed their families. UG MAG: So you went from feed habits to feeding families. Amen to that! When did you know that enough was enough? Was it forced on you by the dept.. of corrections) or was it your own revelation? Cynthia: It was neither I nor department of Corrections. I called upon God. One night with a bra full of dope on my way to make a delivery something hit me. I had decided to go clear a warrant I had up the next day. I saw a bible in the corner of my room and opened up to Psalms. I called my mother in Oklahoma and poured my heart out. I told her I was tired of living this way. She told me to pour my heart out to God. I did. I begged him to take the taste of Heroin out of my mouth. I told him I wanted my children back and I just did not want to continue to live this way. I begged him to hear my prayer. The very next day the events in my life carved the way for the changes I have now made. Yes, I was arrested! Almost three years to the day all my prayers were totally answered!
UG MAG: Wow, talk about a testimony. So it was his will not yours; is what you are telling us? This is a true act of God's fresh mercies for his children. I so believe in the power of the Lord. When you stated you were arrested did you make bail or did you stay imprisoned? I could only imagine the effects detoxing had on your body. Tell us when you started writing explain the process. Cynthia: In my book I talk about the unique way I was arrested. I actually walked into the courtroom. I went into the wrong courtroom and spoke sassy to the judge only to find out the judge worked two rooms and the room I was assigned to was hers. So needless to say she locked me up, raised my bail. Even then my mother was going to post bail one more time and my adult children stopped her. It was a blessing being fulfilled in disguise. I shot my last dose of heroin in the courthouse parking lot and I kicked my heroin habit over the next several weeks. It was very hard. I refused medication because I never wanted to forget the pain. I never have. And I have never looked back. I was facing ten years . My mother hired a lawyer who got it down to six. And then the miracle came. I will not divulge that. You will have to read the book! But, I eventually started writing poetry in jail and then I started working on the story of my life. I shared the first few chapters with other women and they started to release their pain to me. I knew that this story could save lives. When I left Banning Road Camp I had about a third of my story done on a computer. A employee mailed the flash drive to my house. When i got it out the mailbox I ran to my room and started writing. I left California with a couple of boxes of clothes from a thrift store and the flash drive with In Rare Form tucked in my bra. I have never looked back! I have no regrets. UG MAG: Banning Road Camp? Is that the county jail? Cynthia: Fortunately my last jail stint was county. However I had already been to Prison.
UG MAG: Why did you choose the title In Rare Form? What does it say to readers? Cynthia: I chose the title In Rare Form because I wanted my story to be raw and uncut. I wanted to Tell my story In Rare Form because I wanted it to be bitter sweet. Although the story is raw it is not rare. There were over six million children molested last year. However it is rare that someone tells you what happened after the crime. I have watched crime channels and I always wonder what happened to the family the next day and the next, even ten years later. I wanted the readers to get an in depth look behind the door of abuse and addiction. I also wanted to show the true power of a mothers love for her children and how that love can one day save the family. In the end my readers will know that truly the family saves the family!! This story was written to allow my audience to see deep inside the walls of survival. We have all watched the story of the abused child on the crime channels. But few of us have seen what happened the next day and the next and the next. I wrote this story so that I could take you inside of survival. Sometimes it is not pretty. But in the end I know that you will believe in the human spirit and the will to survive that is buried in all of us. I want this story to save lives. I want the mother that reads this story to peek in on her baby’s one more time tonight. I want the addict that reads this story to find their way out of the darkness. And for those of you that have never had to wake up inside a tunnel to reach out to those who do. Remember, there is always a rainbow after the storm. You just have to look up. EVERY INTERVIEWER ASKS AT THE END OF AN INTERVIEW WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO OUR READERS BUT I AM GOING TO LEAVE THIS INTERVIEW OPEN. EVERYONE IS NOT CURED THROUGH READING A BOOK. CYNTHIA IN NO WAY IS SAYING THAT NOR DO I WANT READERS TO BELIEVE THAT BOOKS CURE ADDICTION BUT A TESTIMONY OPENS THE DOOR TO FAITH AND THROUGH FAITH GOD MAKES THINGS POSSIBLE. READING CAN ENLIGHTEN. IT CAN BE THAT WRAP AT THE DOOR OF YOUR CONSCIENCE. WHEN A TESTIMONY IS WRITTEN IT IS THE AUTHORS WAY OF SAYING YOU ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE. IF i CAN THEN THERE ARE INIFINITE POSSIBILITIES. SO READERS IF YOU WANT TO TAP AT A FRIEND OR FAMILIES DOOR OR THE GATEWAY TO THEIR ADDICTION SET THEM ON THE PATH TO KNOWING AND UNDERSTANDING; PASS THEM IN RARE FORM AND WATCH FAITH WORK!
THIS STORY CAPTURES THE TRUE SPIRIT OF SURVIVAL IN RARE FORM. THIS IS THE STORY OF TWO CHILDREN WHO SURVIVED A HORRIFIC CRIME IN 1986. THIS IS ALSO THE STORY OF THE MOTHER WHO GAVE THE CHILDREN THE STRENGTH TO SURVIVE. THIS STORY IS VERY TASTEFULLY WRITTEN. THE FAMILY IN THIS STORY WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH. THE CHILDREN IN THIS STORY WILL MAKE YOU CRY. AND THE MOTHER IN THIS STORY WILL MAKE YOU STAND UP AND SHOUT TILL THE FINISH LINE. WHEN YOU FINISH READING" IN RARE FORM" YOU WILL BELIEVE IN MIRACLES ALL OVER AGAIN!
Promotion Is Constant Best-selling authors never stop promoting their books, no matter how successful they get. I remember recently, I took off on a kinda/sorta writers retreat, shut myself off from much of the outside world to get in on some good writer. After three months of so, I reappeared, and OMG, I noticed how much changed in those mere three months. You would've thought I took of for three years, as my sales slumped, new faces in publishing that I did not know, and names and book titles being branding the next big thing. I'll never make that huge mistake again, I'll tell you. But, this is my most steady and proven technique, that hasn't let me down since: Write, promote, write, promote, write, promote, write, promote, and write some more. Oh, did I mention to promote? Many still market at the grassroots level, not just through national TV or radio interviews. They take the time to visit and meet individual bookstore managers at both chain stores and independents. They never relax and believe they have "made it." After nine best-sellers, including The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks still tours with every new book.
"Dr. Will Moreland America's # 1 Leadership Life Trainer, is regarded as a leading authority on leadership. Over the last 15 years he has helped individuals, organizations and companies achieve remarkable results. Pulling from his leadership experience in the military, ministry and market place, Dr. Will has a unique gift to cross over racial, economic and social barriers and reach audiences from all backgrounds. Dr. Will travels the world to share his message that everyone can "Live In Victory Everyday, through Leadership, Insight, Vision and Education. He has spoken in over 25 countries on four different continents, including India, Nigeria, Ghana, Germany, Spain and Italy. Author of over 20 books, Dr. Will has just released the top selling book, GENIUS POTENTIAL. In the book, Dr. Will gives a simple and practical blueprint to identifying, developing and releasing your GENIUS POTENTIAL, that special passion on the inside of you. The book has been praised by other best selling authors, educators, Olympic Athletes and many others. Ready to take your life to the next level, read this book. Invest in your very own copy today atwww.willmoreland.com"
The saying goes that everyone has a story to tell. Judging by the number of new titles that are released daily on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and various other outlets, that saying cannot be any closer to the truth. Selfpublishing has become a major force to be reckoned with in the book industry. In fact, according to sources such as Wikipedia, in 2008 the number of self published books surpassed that of their traditional predecessors for the first time in history. Furthermore, 2009 went on to be another year of record breaking measures with 76% of all published books that year being self published. Today, those numbers continue to rise in both print and e-reader platforms.
A key component to this phenomenon is the increased pressure on the literary industry to make money! Simply put, agents and traditional publishers alike have decreased the number of authors they have committed to sign. They have limited their roster to those who they believe will give them the biggest return on their investment. That goal goes beyond recuperating expenses. Mainstream and small presses alike must protect their brand and maintain their distribution channels. For many new and aspiring authors, the influx in rejection letters has impacted their decision to travel the increasingly popular road of self publishing. So you think you want to self publish? Below are a few tips.
The ease at which it has become possible to enter the world of publishing, makes one’s dream of wearing the title “author” a far more feasible goal than in the past. However, once the decision is made to self publish, it is one that requires a solid commitment to the project from start to finish. It extends far beyond the sense of finality one feels when they type the words “the end” on their manuscript. It requires ownership of every aspect of the project creatively and requires one to put on their business hat.
“The road is not paved without sacrifice and the journey will not be easy. However, the reward is profound when one decides to embark on the road to an indie life.”
Make a solid commitment to assume full responsibility for your project Copyright your work with the Library of Congress Purchase your own ISBN Apply for a PCN Have your cover professionally done Hire an editor and know what you are getting (Developmental, Copy, Proofreader) Follow professional guidelines when choosing font and typesetting Handle stock images with care Establish print options Do seek distribution Market and promote your work through various avenues Establish your brand Keep books and business cards on you at all times Use social media responsibly Network with independent bookstores Interview and utilize out of the box platforms for showcasing your work Reach out and establish a relationship with your target market
Dont: Make the mistake of believing that good work will sell itself Release unedited material Mistake vanity publishers for self publishing Spam Bash your fans or fail to embrace growth Rely solely on any one source such as independent stores to sell your titles Give up
There are two sorts of people in the world. People that work for themselves and people that work for some else. It seems that the two cannot happily date and get to that blissful power couple phase that seems so effortlessly for Beyoncé and Jay-Z. The definition is a powerful one and not many attain that sort of status, and the reasons may vary, but for an independent artist the problem is simple. Many people seem to think that as an author, we tour cafes, sip lattes and churn out top selling novels. Taking a trip to a writer’s conference seems like an unwarranted vacation, especially when you stay two days before and after the conference. Such an act may spawn the lines “All you do is stay on your laptop” and “I’ve been working hard all day and all you did was sit on your ass.”
If you’re a successful independent author and have heard that come out the mouth of someone you’re dating, it’s your cue to kill them off as easily as you would in a killer plot. It’s sad but true that FB, LinkedIN and Twitter have created unorthodox methods and hours of operations to run successful indie business and people need to understand that. We are doing business in the 21st century. People are online at all sort of times, mostly after their 9-5’s and that’s where their FB and Twitter fun begin. Where it’s customary to ignore phone calls, text and FB notifications on a date, perhaps when on a date with an indie author it may not be applicable. And someone that truly appreciates an indie author would understand that we sit around waiting for the next big sale and a date should not potentially arrest that. Let’s examine that. So, you’re on a date with an indie author and you see that they’ve received a FB notification. The indie author looks at the phone screen and it says, “Hey, I wanted to buy your books in the Kindle store, but I wanted to know all the books in the series, so that I can get them all.” Now, should an indie author cut off a date mid-sentence to reply? No. However, the date should afford the author an opportunity to reply to the customer immediately while they’re online prepared to buy a book. It’s not rude. It’s business based upon the business model set in the 21st century.
You’re on another date and you get a Twitter notification that that book club you’ve been dying to get with has just initiated a message to you. You begin to message back and forth resulting in a 15 book invoice being sent out, and paid before the date is over. The response should be a congratulations and a pat on the back, and not, “Why do you stay on your phone so much. That can wait.”
You’re headed to the airport and someone your interested in is ignoring your text messages until you send one with a sting to it, and then they immediately reply. They go on a tirade about the way you sent a nasty message, and say, “I’m working while you’re at home sitting on your ass.” Now you’re about to fly and all you want to do is talk to someone that you’re interested in just in case the plane doesn’t land. Now I am assuming there is a reason why, which may be summed up as jealousy that you’re going away and they’re stuck at work or bad past relationships. In the end we all choose our careers, and authors can’t help that theirs is done in ball shorts and tank top on their porches, and their mates is at an office that they absolutely hate. Indie artists typically don’t have offices, so there are no business hours. There is no operations manual. Trips to book signings and conferences and tours are not vacations. They are work. Selling books is an art and requires work. To suggest other wise is a slap to the face of an indie author that just can’t explain how they’re selling books, but they certainly know it wasn’t given to them. Lugging 75 pounds of books to the airport, smiling and greeting people at signings/ conferences, networking, and creating new innovative and effective ways to advertise and market to book stores, book clubs and distributors is not easy, and because it’s done from the comfort of an indie authors bedroom does not make it less than someone’s that has to report to an office daily and sit in boardrooms.
So to my fellow sisters and brothers in this struggle to be successful indie authors, I strongly suggest that you select mates as craftily as you select which events to attend and which people you decide to follow. It’s an added stress for someone to make you feel that your hard work is in vain, because despite a phone call to sell 50 books may take 5 minutes--and seem easy--one will never know what actually sparked that sell. Book stores and clubs have a weird way of watching an indie author for months and years before giving them a try; hence, those months and years were the real work, and not the call.
Lately there has been questioning on the etiquette on social networks. Is it not true that we as in FACEBOOK account holders have the ultimate power. We can delete the lifeline of a Facebook friend. We can do what we can not even do with our every day life friends; SHUT THEM UP...with a click of a button. Whoâ€™s responsibility is it to keep their pages clear of spam...game requests...people posting the unwanted on your wall? YOU, YOU, YOU! I was taken by a group administrator that stated they only allow their close friends to post their marketing material on their page and that they were appalled by random (now follow me) people posting on her page without even a simple hello. Now get this; random? These are people she let into her circle. Maybe she should have checked their profile to see why they joined FACEBOOK in the first place.. Before you even accept the request ask if them not to post any promo material on your page or send any game requests...if they violate then do the honors of deleting. Who is to know if they are random or real friends?
YESTERDAY: On the day before the present, thy spirit rested, in your essence Me being who I am, and you being who you are it was natural that our two entities would someday collide before I awoke this morning, I loved you from afar you represented the heavens and thus twinkling stars before I needed you I trusted you only because my eyes heard the beat of a heart incomplete and like an innocence lost, I had to possess you, no matter the cost because when you truly love someone the willingness is the first part of sacrifice and little by little moments forgotten pass you by hard times fall short if you sing through it, but endure long if you cry for my lack of insight I can only sit and dream if the present holds for me just half the joy of past other ways or will the future of unsure, return to me fond thoughts of yesterdays. TODAY: The merciless morning greets me...welcoming to it's fold and I wear the quilt of guilt to protect my spirit from the cold I do not ask that life always carry the burden of the pleasant road for I, a single ray of hope, have long understood the price of the toll the pursuit of true love has always been reserved for both the foolish and bold and it was once foretold, that our souls would grow together, until the age of old but life without a care, ran into a love that was hard, but fair and when hopelessly was caught in the cynicism of metaphorical glass prisms the greed of my need, could not help but contemplate next see it was the dark rain that represents the long forgotten's pain discovered spry, I naively walked into the eye of her storm cleansed but left a mere shell of a man, pining for yet another chance forgiven for my trespasses but not my sins I stand as only one, yet cursed for the wrong of many men stained as one of blackness of heart when in reality I'm just a simple man, playing a mans part. TOMORROW: The promises of her tomorrows, interrupted my days of sorrow and i sense just the hint of a wisp, lovingly penetrating my midst can the woman of my fantasies coexist, with the here and now of reality will the fragrance of her emotion be enough emboldened by the wish of a touch, I am drawn to her like a moth to guiding light I couldn't resist her summons if I chose to nor would i wish to awash in countless recollections, I am nevertheless caught up in your affections uniquely free, it is the sighs collected in your cries that play piano keys up and down my spine as if a conductor of concerto sublime were orchestrating a slow sensual tango with only thoughts of beautiful sheet music in which to pantomime I mistakenly thought that love was long dead, my heart had it's time until her future enticed my past with a slow love song beckoning for my soul and my spirit, and oh yeah, bring your heart along and I no longer dampen the surprise in your eyes with whens and whys for I now surmise it is in my future in which your love lies...KB
Combination Poem: A Lady's Psyche, My Silhouette, Make Me By Alexzenia Davis Make me illegal Make me reasonable Make me matter Make me a hurry Make me a figure 8 Make me infinity You wanted to know me I could feel you piercing Devouring my lips with your lens Chillin' in my peripheral Trying to creep into my vision Just searching for my soul Trying to find a way to the whole of me Looking at my demeanor making judgment calls Like, boy, do I look meaner than a bully in class halls But did you ever ask? Did you ever fix your lips to say why? Why do I buy time posing with my hands on my hips? And gazing around as if I don't give aâ€Ś Shift into my scene And see what you see But don't go off of what you've seen And then 20 years later Assume that you'll just open a container Of well-preserved memories I woke up this morning and pulled the cloth from off my hair And I stood there And I looked in the mirror And I heard you saying something in the background And I turned around But I didn't hear it I just smiled I knew you would say something to make me feel this way Feel the way I feel when I Love the way I feel when I Don't want to forget That you want to forever remember myâ€Ś Silhouette I went to bed last night And I didn't care to think about tomorrow Not because I wasn't waiting for it to come But because I knew I didn't have to ask it to Make me necessary Don't make me additional Make me vital Make me medicinal Make me count
Poet, Author, and Playwright Dexter Brady has been speaking for the heart since his first ultra sound, and has become one of the most transparent writers of all time, He personally invites you on a retrospect journey of poetic testimony to celebrate his lyrical miracle on paper in this long awaited masterpiece...
His Latin was like satin as he whispered in my lobes the lustful longings of his desires that abode inside me like pollen in the sting of the honeybee... sweetly pumping nectar of necessity to pleasure my pelvic proclivity To be near him, to revere him in tranquility...more and more seductively while he perused me poetically as I used him aesthetically...angelically for my eye candy... His confection was perfection of a collection of skills and thrills a woman dreams of when she wants to make love he released the she-beast in me so I aimed to please him intellectually Erotically educated sexual instruction percolating emotional combustion perplexing and vexing my thoughts within during my induction in his private fraternity of lost...never found panties Willingly…I submitted to his haze which only amazed no need to hurt or harm while he proceeded to cum and cum closer to me in midst of my feminine walls His profession wrote new laws of attraction the out cum always satisfaction
We re-verb'd nation after nation as our contemplation created a new house of Greek underneath the bed sheets… I tell you he was the best of the Latin Lovers… He put Zorro to shame as he explored my Spain He is the Columbus of orgasmic spices because he has the device which entices more than inertia...more than a leap of faith or folly…he re-verses the whiz of gee by golly…he plays the words of the player like a team of NBA All Stars ...he shot me to the moon and back… Oh yeah! He’s got lovin’ like that… his lovemaking created a new universe he gave me heaven on earth… I can truly say I was touched by an Angel …so divine and sensual Tantalizing my mind, spirit and body I had to write this scribe to tell somebody about the lover whose Latin was like satin in my ear… our moments of conversation I hold so dear His language I will always keep inside like...his tongue whispers on my lips and thighs…like the last drop of fragrance of his cologne…his words, his words and his love Linger on and on. Cheryl Sublime Poetess Faison
The possibility of finding the real thing made me ready to love you A past full of hurt made you ready to spar -refusing to give in to love without a fight I never wanted confrontation but still I stepped into the ring We touched gloves and you lingered for a moment - looking at me like you wanted to concede The bell rang we danced around for a moment throwing pitty pat punches trying not to hurt each other Then out the blue you hit me with a sucker punch and I was stunned You started to stick and move Body shots weighted with unwillingness had me winded and confused A hit below the belt
dropped me to my knees You said I'm just not the one for you and I was down for the count I scrambled to my feet and was saved by the bell We retreated to our corners - everyone on my side pleaded for me to throw in the towel but I refused to give up Your love had me up against the ropes now I'm comin' out swingin We threw off our gloves and got tangled in fisticuffs
I threw jabs of kisses and attention you blocked refusing to let me connect I want you -left hook I need you -right hook I love you -uppercut We delivered simultaneous haymakers -you threw I'm just not ready I countered with your worth the wait and now we're both laying in the ring punch drunk bruised, bloody, battered They say love is a battle but they never tell us what we are fighting for
I walk the walk
After a day’s work
and talk the talk
I lay down and rest for a while
and dress the part
Then get up and take a bath
That’s fabulous me
having no phone or anyone disturb
being fabulously me!
my bathing leisure
That’s fabulous me I got grace in my style
being fabulously me!
make up on with my smile my hair done with my fashion and my nails did with passion
I place my eye mask over my face, sleeping gloriously under the stars Waiting for a new day to rise.
That’s fabulous me being fabulously me!
That’s fabulous me being fabulously me!
Music blasting, cruising through the post
You may call me the foxy diva
hair moving like it saw a ghost
Because I’m fabulously me
singing loud as if no one was around
That’s just fabulous me
That’s fabulous me
being fabulously me!
being fabulously me!
Between a Rock and a Hard Place February 9th, 2012. I’m caught between a rock and a hard place and it’s 3:30 in the morning as pain dominate my heart muscles as if I just lost a loved one to a violent crime. I’m still paying the doctors for previous emergency room visits believing everything will be fine soon. I was informed there was no blockage so this must be stressed related. Should I throw caution to the wind and just chock this up as another event that will pass? Or should I put my trust in the hospital; this big money- making business? As I ponder my next action I found myself walking to my kid’s room. I watch them sleep and wonder if this will be the last time I see them alive. I cover them up, stared at them for awhile and kissed them on the cheeks. If I go tonight it would mean I won’t get the chance to say goodbye to my oldest daughter. I would not get to finish the picture I’ working on for my mom’s birthday. How will my wife survive? How will she cope with the constant questions from the kids? Where is daddy and why did he have to leave us? Like a broken record playing the same blues over and over again. How would my mom deal with the death of her son? It’s like Mary accepting the crucifixion of her only child. How will she overcome the pain? I think back on all the abuse she has overcome but know that this would be biggest blow to this gentle being. I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. I tried to calm myself because worrying won’t change my situation. Should I go to the ER again just to be told: Mr. Grant your heart looks great so this must be stress related or should I prepare myself to meet my maker? After a few minutes of pondering my situation I decided that I have left a good impression on this world and wish the best for those closest to me. I realize I am merely following the path that has been laid out for me. If this is my last night on this earth I must say that I am proud of some of the things I was able to accomplish. We live and we die, that much is certain and I now have a sense of unbelievable peace and calmness. Ernel Grant Poetz Realm 860- 803-6711 www.poetzrealm.com firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want good music, spend money on it. Bottom line. I’m sick and tired of people complaining about the current state of the music industry. Complaining that the songs you’re hearing on the radio “sucks” won’t change the state of music. Spending money instead of copping bootlegs or illegally downloading MP3s is the solution to forcing a change. Your money is a vote, and if you want to see your favorite artists prosper, you have to support them. It’s a business at the end of the day. Be proactive by buying their product instead of reacting by complaining, or hit up their shows if you don’t want to support the “evil recording labels.” I sometimes hear people say, “I don’t wanna buy the album and support the label.” That rationale doesn’t make sense. The recording label won’t fund the artists if they’re not getting sufficient share of record sales. It’s bad enough that new artists have to sign 360 deals, meaning they have to give up shares of merchandising, touring, publishing, etc. to the label when they didn’t have to do so in the past. Besides the artists on major labels, support independent artists doing their thing. If you love what you’re listening to from artist “No name”, spend some dough and support them. Take back the music
instead of relying on the industry to force feed you rhythms that’ll kiss your eardrums to bliss. The industry won’t change because they know YOU won’t change. They know you’ll take anything they throw out there like zombies. It’s like a dead beat boyfriend not wanting to find a job when his girlfriend is willing to buy him any and everything. Why should he work when she’s catering to him regardless? That’s the industry, my friend. If you need another music resource, internet radio is the alternative to mainstream radio. YouTube is the alternative to music videos (do they still exist?). You pretty much have no excuse to search for talent when you have the internet. Sadly, society is so reliant on technology that the power of word of mouth is dying. People in general have this mentally where if it’s not in the mainstream, it must suck. If an artist is not featured on cable television or played on top 40 radio, they must suck. That mentally is just as poisonous as the music that supposedly sucks. Everybody “sucks” in that case. If you want “real music” (whatever that means), and is grown tired of commercialized music, hit up websites that cater to independent artists. Support the grassroots movements. That’s what I do. The only time I listen to mainstream music is when I get my swerve on at the club. I have no choice really. I just have the power to tune out music and just go with the flow if I don’t dig it. That’s probably one of the reasons why I hardly hit up the clubs unless it’s “grown folks night” (which is weird because I’ve yet to hit my 30s). Then again, it’s not weird. I just appreciate good music. The music from the past has so much soul whether it’s Grudge with Nirvana, Alternative music with Tears for Fears, or R&B with Marvin Gaye “and ‘em.” Radio has never showcased a wide range of music unless you tuned in after midnight to check out underground joints. Society nowadays is too complacent. They’ll take whatever is given to them even when they subconsciously think that the content they’re listening to is trash. You’re picking the best of the worst. It’s hard to rebel against the system when you hear a song a million times a day and start liking the melody. You say to yourself, “this song is corny,” but later you find yourself humming the same tune because you hear it all the time. Congratulations. You’ve been officially programmed.
“YOU JUST GOT KNOCKED THE F**K OUT!!” That might have been the classic line from the blockbuster smash hit, Friday starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, however, this may have very well been what has been going through the mind of Zab “Super” Judah since the time he began taking boxing seriously.. Why? Because this man has been knocking out men throughout boxing rings across the globe for years… after years… after years (you get my point.) You say you don’t know who Zab Judah is? Then you’ve left me no choice but to come to one of two conclusions: 1) you’ve been living in a cave for the better part of the turn of the century or 2) you have the sports knowledge of a fruit fly with its wings cut off (yeah – I said it!) Either way, let me rectify the situation: Zab Judah (hereafter to be referred to as simply “Zab”) was born October 27TH and began boxing at the tender age of six years old. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, he is presently 34 years old (you figure out his year of birth) and has compiled an impressive amateur record of 110-5. His professional debut was on September 20th, 1996, defeating Michael Johnson by technical knock out (TKO) in the 2nd round. Since that time, Zab has won an astounding 5 world titles between the weight classes of Welterweight, Light Welterweight and Junior Middleweight divisions. Did I mention he is a former undisputed World Welterweight Champion OF THE WORLD?!?! He aptly secured this amazing feat by knocking out the formidable former champion Cory Spinks. That being said – it’s on this rare occasion that I was able to slow Zab down enough to secure this interview and share it with you - the fortunate readers and supporters that have held him down since his rise to fame, notoriety and quite possibly – a return to world domination.. Zab is presently in Vegas training for his next knockout win so catching up with him was a feat all in itself. For those that don’t yet comprehend the magnitude of what I just wrote – allow me to repeat myself: I was able to get the man slash iconic boxing legend, “Super” Judah on the phone to chop it up with me for several minutes, albeit his verrrrry busy schedule in order to secure the cover story for none other than the soon to be worldwide (drum roll please…) Grapevine Magazine! Real recognize real and being that Zab also represents the planet of Brooklyn much like myself, I knew I had to crank out a metaphorical “homerun” exclusive interview to the readers in order to land the cover story!
The Interview… David L. (DL): Do you have a preference in your fighting weight? Zab Judah (ZJ): Nahh, no preference. Hmmm… I guess if I did, it would be Junior Welterweight. I began my career at this weight and won the majority of my titles at this weight. But overall – it don’t really matter to me. Proper training takes precedence over everything so more than anything else, I stay on top of my training habits and how I take care of my body. I can fight comfortably at any weight. DL: What is your most memorable fight? Why? ZJ: Probably winning the undisputed Welterweight title in St. Louis when I beat Cory Spinks. That was a special moment for me. I mean I was young, raw, you know? Yeah – that was probably the fight that stands out most for me. Every fight is special in its own way, but that one got me to where I am today. DL: Any pre-fight rituals? Superstitions? You know how some athletes might have to wear a pair of lucky socks or something? Or they may have a favorite pre-game meal? Wassup with you? ZJ: No rituals. No superstitions. I just say my prayer to the Lord Saviour, Jesus Christ – that’s all. As long as I have Christ in my life, everything works itself out. I’ve never been a big believer in superstitions or any thing like that. I’m very confident before I walk into a boxing ring because I train my body so hard. I feel that as long as I train hard, everything will go in my direction. I’m focused. I go out there in the ring and let my hard work do the talking for me. That’s why I don’t get into the whole “superstitious” thing. For me – nothing but hard work and practice. That’s my ritual! DL: What would the casual fan be surprised about you? Gimme something that you can give the reader into the private life of Zab Judah. Something most people have no idea about you. ZJ: (Thinks for a moment…) I would say the casual fan would be surprised that I ride dirt bikes. Love them! Yeah that’s what I love doing during my off time. Right now it’s about my upcoming fight, but when I have that down time, I ride. DL: With respect to Father’s Day, how do you spend time with your kids and family? And does your hectic training schedule get in the way? DZJ: Well you know none of that even matters cause anyone that knows me knows that my family travels EVERYWHERE with me! I don’t travel without my family! They’re at EVERY fight! I’m big on education and I have a daughter graduating from High School so I have to be mindful of the fact that school is priority. Where ever I train and fight, they are all nearby. DL: What is your favorite location to fight at? Why? ZJ: I don’t really have a favorite location. I can fight anywhere. No pressure whatsoever! It doesn’t even matter at the end of the day. I can fight in St. Louis, matter of fact – that’s one of my favorite places just because I’m like a hometown hero there as well! I can fight in front of my own hometown in Brooklyn to Vegas to wherever. Matter of fact, they are soon doing something in Brooklyn (Barclay Center) so look for me there as well. L: Upcoming events? Final thoughts? ZJ: I had an organization previously called Fight For Life, in which I sponsored several holiday events for kids and I mentored them about accomplishing their goals and staying out of trouble. I am very proud of a program I’m involved in presently through my foundation. It’s an anti-bullying program through my Zab Judah Cares foundation in which I educate the youth on bullying awareness and how to prevent bullying in the school system. This organization focuses on helping children see the dangers of bullying and my goal is to teach children to become friendlier with one another and improve their socialization skills. You know – bullying is a serious topic right now. We are doing a five city tour in the near future in Minnesota, Ft. Worth, TX, Dallas, TX and Detroit just to name some of the cities. My overall goal is to make kids know that there is someone out here that cares about them because I was bullied as a youngster and I understand how it feels to be bullied. Yeah – big things are happening right now.
Post Interview: Zab continues to use boxing as a tool for kids and young adults to stay out of trouble in the streets of Brooklyn as he himself did when he was younger. Zab back in the day would often go to the local gym with his mother and father, both former martial arts champions in their own right. Both parents continue to play pivotal roles in Zab’s career and even to this day, he looks to them for guidance and direction. The family believed that if they trained all of their children from a young age, they would become champions in the ring… and in life – and it paid off. Zab’s present foundation, Zab Judah Cares focus is to mentor young children and teach them that bullying is not a nice way to treat peers and that bullying can eventually lead to the bullied child to feeling helpless, intimidated, and possibly even leading to suicide. Zab plans to set up a hotline for kids to contact him and his organization if they are feeling intimidated and helpless and needs someone to talk to and he will also be available to come out to different schools and organizations to discuss “bullying and its negative effects” on all young people. Zab recently visited Moscow, Russia and met with the President. He was treated very well and was impressed with what they had to offer and the great fighters that inhabit the country. Zab was told by the President of Russia he was welcomed back at any time as he continues to develop his international relationships in the boxing industry because he wants to acknowledge the skills of boxers in America and internationally abroad. This will undoubtedly bring him one step closer to becoming the global icon he looks forward to becoming down the stretch of his career.
Presently, Zab will be making his acting debut in a movie called “The Obama Effect” because of its interesting premise (more on that at a later time). The movie features such prominent actors such as Charles S. Dutton, Meagan Good, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Emilio Rivera and Katt Williams. You can log onto Youtube to check out the trailer of “The Obama Effect”. Also check out Judah Bros. Boxing gym in Brooklyn at 400 Liberty Avenue where Zab’s father, Yoel trains young men and women to become future champions and where Zab trains when he is in New York. I promised Zab I would keep our first interview (of a future part 2 series) short and informal so as to not put any damper on his present training regimen, but trust – I will put it down even that much more when we follow up in the near future. For now – enjoy the proverbial “appetizer” and get ready for the best to come… and remember: Men lie. Women lie. Great interviews speak 4 themselves! Nuff said.
Prelude to the interview… Allow me to paint the proverbial picture of what almost never transpired: Me: “So Ms. Davina Perez (Zab’s publicist of Venus Management Company), do you think Zab will allow me to interview him for this up-and-coming magazine? I think he would be the perfect individual to put it on the map. He is a stand up guy in the community and that is exactly what this magazine is looking for in its subject matter and overall storyline. I can promise you nothing but integrity and I won’t “sneak attack” him with any questions that will damage his rep or clown him in any type of way.” Davina: “Lemme see. He’s got a fight coming up and he’s out in Vegas right now training for it.” Me: “Well, I appreciate whatever you can make happen. See what you can do. If you could just give me about 10-15 minutes of his time… I promise the interview will be nothing but classy.” Davina: “I won’t make any promises. I’ll get back to you.” Now most of the time when someone says, “I’ll get back to you”, you’re most often already doomed from the start. But I wasn’t talking to just anybody. From the initial conversation, I was able to detect the level of class that makes up the camp of Zab Judah. Ms. Perez reminded me that he was in the West Coast and to call him at exactly 4pm (EST). A couple of hours went by and I was again contacted by his publicist: “David, are you there.” Me: “I’m here.” Ms. Perez again asked the question. But not to me.: “Zab – are you there?” JACKPOT! I immediately recognized his voice from several years ago (I reminded Zab that I previously met him at a celebrity sponsorship event that him and I was hosting at The Salvation Army in NYC). I immediately thanked him for taking the time to do this interview with me and promised that my line of questioning would not infringe on his privacy or go on for too long so that he could immediately get back to his upcoming fight. Instead, I subtly requested that we continue part 2 of this interview at a later date upon his return to Brooklyn which Zab graciously accepted.
IS A GREAT THING TO BE ABLE TO HEAR ABOUT POSITIVE YOUNG BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND THEN SEE BEAUTIFUL MINORITY FACES STAND IN UNISON. OUR NEIGHBORHOODS ARE DECREASING IN POSITIVE NUMBERS; MEANING DEATH HAS HOVERED OVER THE URBAN COMMUNITY IN BRIDGEPORT CONNECTICUT. THE NUMBERS ARE RISING IN FUNERALS AND NOT BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS. ABSENT PARENTS ARE ON THE RISE AND UNITY IN THE FAMILY IS DECREASING. MOTHER'S ARE REACHING OUT TO MENTORS; SCREAMING FOR THEIR SONS AND DAUGHTER'S LIVES; LITERALLY. AT ONE TIME IT MAY HAVE FELL ON DEAF EARS...AND DEATH'S EARS, BUT NOT TODAY. IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD WE HAVE A SAVIOR FOR OUR CHILDREN A MAN THAT DOESN'T MIND BEING CALLED A ROLE MODEL AND LIVES UP TO THE TITLE MENTOR. HIS NAME IS MR. ELDORADO ANDERSON DIRECTOR OF POSITIVE BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
WAS ABLE TO GET A FEW MINUTES OF HIS TIME TO TALK ABOUT SOLUTIONS FOR SAVING OUR YOUTHS AND KEEPING THEM POSITIVE…….
FELISHA: GOOD EVENING ELDORADO... WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE RISING VIOLENCE AND DEATH THAT HAS EMBRACED OUR YOUTH? ELDORADO: Good Evening Felisha, Thank you for having me. (PAUSE) Literacy or the lack thereof, is the #1 reason for the rising violence and death that has become a way of life for our youth. Recently, standardized test scores came back and the results were a little more than alarming. Almost 94 percent of 10th graders in Bridgeport scored a collective D in the categories of Reading and Math. The fact of the matter is, students didn't just start failing in math and reading in tenth grade. As far back as first grade, students struggled with basic computation and problem solving skills. FELISHA: EDUCATION? HMMM...THAT'S A GREAT ANGLE TO VIEW THE PROBLEM FROM. NO ONE HAS EVER REALLY TAPPED INTO THE LACK OF EDUCATION. PARENTS WERE ALWAYS THE REASON OR SHALL I SAY THE LACK OF PARENTING THE REASON FOR THE VIOLENT STREAK IN OUR CHILDREN. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SOLUTION? WE ARE DEFINITELY ON THE SAME PAGE; I JUST COMPLETED AN ARTICLE CALLED BEING IN THE KNOW. IT SPEAKS ON THE LACK OF EDUCATION OUR CHILDREN ARE GETTING IN URBAN SCHOOLS, THE LACK OF PPT TESTING AND FOR OUR HONOR STUDENTS THE OUTLETS TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS; FROM BOARDING SCHOOLS TO CHARTER SCHOOLS. YES, ELDORADO IT IS DEFINITELT THE LACK OF EDUCATION. ELDORADO: At least 3 states have used 3rd grade reading scores of boys to determine how many prison cells to build in 10-15 years and they have always underestimated. Now, we can blame the absence of fathers for the reason(s) our young boys and girls seek male attention, but if you can provide an atmosphere where students can feel generally loved and accepted, and then the gateway opens for other avenues where our children can express themselves and this is what we provide at Positive Young Brothers & Sisters Mentoring Program. There is no sense of urgency when it comes to the reality of what these test scores represent. Recently, I asked a 5th grader what type of jobs are available to students that drop out of high school, and she matter-of-factly responded, "well, you can always get pregnant and get on Section 8." Now, this same girl failed all categories on the CMT test, but she knew how to get over on the welfare system. Parenting or the lack thereof is the biggest variable when it comes to the success of our children. FELISHA: AHHH...SO, THERE IS TRICKLE DOWN EFFECT TO THE PROBLEM AND TO THE SOLUTION. WHEN DID YOU SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH? WHEN DID YOU START THE FOUNDATION FOR YPB&SMP? THE NEED FOR MALE FIGURES IN OUR CHILDREN'S LIVES IS RISING. FATHERS HAVE CHANGED THE DEFINITION OF BEING THERE FOR THEIR CHILDREN. SOME MOTHERS MAY AGREE THAT FATHERS BELIEVE IT COMES IN THE FORM OF A CHECK EVEN IF IT IS COURT APPOINTED. SO WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SOLUTION TO THE LACK OF MEN STANDING UP TO BE FATHERS TO THEIR CHILDREN? I RECENTLY HAD A MOTHER AND SON WROTE THE MAGAZINE ASKING FOR OUR HELP. THE SON WANTS TO SUE HIS FATHER FOR NEGLECT. hE SAYS THAT HIS FATHER SHOULD PAY FOR HIM TO GO TO EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES LIKE FOOTBALL AND KARATE CLASSES OUTSIDE OF CHILD SUPPORT IF HE DOESNT WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH HIM? DO YOU THINK IF THE COURTS ALLOWED THIS SUIT TO TAKE PLACE THAT FATHER'S WOULD HEAR THEIR CRY? DOES YOUR MENTORING PROGRAM HAVE VOLUNTEER DADS TO HELP YOU TAKE ON THIS FATHERLY ACT? WOW...WELFARE WAS HER SOLUTION TO UNEMPLOYMENT? IT BRINGS TEARS TO MY EYES. IT SOUNDS LIKE THE SOLUTION HAS TO COME FROM ALL ANGLES. WE MUST TACKLE THE EDUCATION SYSTEM...FATHERS AND PROPER PARENTING FOR SINGLE PARENTS AND MOTHERS. DO YOU THINK THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS SAYING THAT THE PROBLEM IS TOO MUCH TO TACKLE SO THEY STAND BACK AND WATCH MINORITY GENOCIDE?
ELDORADO: No, I believe that the government is taking steps in the right direction with stricter expectations they have set with all educators including the stubborn ones who have been protected by Unions and loyal Principals. However, due to the former administration that crippled our students more with the "No Child Left Behind" act, the current government has a tedious task of restoring that government failure and creating a different framework to better assess our teachers and better prepare our kids for the technological, science, and math driven society that awaits them.
FELISHA: You continue to surprise me with each answer. I think people are quick to point the blame when sitting back saying...as a parent I am trying...the teachers seem to care...must be the government. I am enjoying the refreshing answers...they expose areas I have not even began to tap into. Eldorado tell our readers about your program and its framework...what the children will gain, how other children can join, how to volunteer, and what are the major donations needed for PYBSMP. You can also share your events up until September 30th ELDORADO: Positive Young Brothers and Sisters or (PYB&S) is a revolutionary mentoring program specifically designed for young inner-city men and women in grades 5 - 8 that focuses on issues pertinent to their lives such as mental and physical abuse, broken families, negative peer pressure, bullying, lack of motivation for self and school, unhealthy relationships, and much much more. We operate from January to June and we primarily meet every other Saturday from 9:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. Our schedule looks something like this: 8:45 - 9:45 - Breakfast / Warm-Up 9:45 - 10:30 - Math / Writing / Reading / Tutoring 10:30 - 11:15 - Math / Writing / Reading / Tutoring 11:15 - 12:00 - Drama / Technology / Art / Culinary 12:00 - 12:45 - Conscious Conversation 12:45 - 1:30 - Athletics / Games 1:30 - 1:45 - Lunch / Dismissal We are a strictly grassroots organization, meaning that we raise all funds on are own and we are not governed by a board of directors. We facilitate activities as well as the schedule and we have been graciously hosted by the McGivney Community Center and it's staff. Our mentoring program resumes in January, however if a parent is interested in having their child attend the mentoring program, they can fill out an application. All application request can be sent to email@example.com. Also, if you would like to become a mentor with the PYB&S mentoring program, applications are available upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org The next fundraising event, which will be our 2nd Annual PYB&S Co-Ed Kickball Tournament, will take place on September 15th at Beardsley Park in Bridgeport, CT. The tournament is open to all participants over the age of 21 and it sure to be a good time. Sponsors are welcomed. The price per player is $30 and with this you will receive food, drinks, and a T -shirt. The rest of the money will go toward expenses and the PYB&S Mentoring Program. For more information, contact Eldorado Anderson at 2035208229 For more information on the Positive Young Brothers & Sisters Mentoring Program, you can visit our website at www.pybs.org
FELISHA: Aint nothing like a good ol' kickball game. I can remember being picked 3nd over kickball rival Felicia Bendolph and Jennifer Dunbar... still I was proud to be 3rd on a team of mostly boys...I think I am going to have to sit out that game but put my daughter in my place. (LAUGHS) Eldorado I am so thankful to have been able to have this chat with you. The knowledge you share on our youth and the violence in our urban neighborhood was enlightening and I am in hopes that this article will reach the right person/s where more change will come and PYB&S will get the recognition and maybe volunteers and donations it deserves. Our youth are our future parents, corporate America, Politicians, Doctors and Lawyers and educators. If not steered in the positive direction we will see less minorities in such positions ...less in our black colleges and more in the prison systems and streets. So readers please do not take this interview and Eldorado's views and program lightly. Thanks Eldorado, this will not be our last encounter...see you on the field...September 15th 2012. ELDORADO: Thank you for your time and love. See you soon...
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They Don’t Know…Because No One’s Told Being in the Know! Who knew that my daughter would have the opportunity to go to a charter school that not only taught classes far advanced than the public school system but were focused on two areas that public schools never concentrate on; taught from kindergarten to be and think “college bound” and to take responsibility for their own actions. The disciplinary code is not just to do scholar work but taught what’s needed to take the steps to be a scholar. A child can be intelligent or taught on an advanced learning plain but if they cannot behave on a scholar’s level then it’s like teaching backwards. This school was not in a predominately white neighborhood or outside of the city pushed away in the wooded areas of Connecticut but right smack dab in our urban community; Bridgeport Connecticut’s East Side. Achievement First Bridgeport Academy has exceeded my expectations of a charter school since day one. My daughter began in the entering class of 2011’s graduates. My mother who is a very politically active came across enrollment, which was the best thing that could ever have happened for her. Thank God there was someone; “In the Know”. I can’t judge too much because like a lot of urban moms I was not able to be involved in her school activities. I can imagine how thin stretched the single working mom/guardian is. But if we do not come together and volunteer the little free time we have for our children in the public school system they will be at a loss. So let’s step in the know for our children. The journey may take some sacrifice but hey, these are our children! So for now here are a few tips on how to start advocating for our children’s search for the A1 choice high school for our children. For our early bird parents don’t just start these prep steps in the 8th grade but as early as 5th grade. All kids should be college bound. Steps Start looking for schools based upon the child’s likes and strengths. Narrow the list down to no more than four schools. A choice of high schools can be Googled. i.e. If your child loves art you may want to start in top art schools in (your city) or (state). If the choices are boarding school type in boarding schools with a concentration in art. Then you can narrow the schools down by tuition; ask about financial aid because some school’s aid help can be low to even $0. Ask about scholarships and even sponsorships. Some of the more expensive schools have a list of sponsors who will help or even pay 100% tuition. Start your children in extracurricular activities; groups at school. (i.e. the glee club, garden club, reading clubs, sports (at least one), academic clubs.) You may even want to get them active in the community; volunteering. Don’t think if you start them in the 8th grade that schools won’t notice that. It doesn’t look favorable. Being active on the student council is a good look as well. Attention 7th and 8th grade students….and their moms. GRADES are very important at this stage. High schools really reflect on how well your children do in the 7th and 8th grade. So where there is slack get those grades up. Tutoring, staying after school and doing whatever needs to be done to get the grades up. The higher the grades the better chance they have at choice schools, scholarships and sponsorship. Check the local libraries, ask guidance counselors, ask your church to start a tutoring group. You must do what you can to get the help they need. There should be plenty of info on the internet as well about tutoring at $0 cost.
Testing. ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills), Most high schools make you take an entrance exam. Catholic high schools usually use the HSPT. Other private high schools use the ISEE. Boarding schools use the SSAT. You should sign up to take the test at your favorite school to show them that they are first on your list. Take practice tests before taking any of these tests. You can find them on the web and in your local libraries. Here are a few links to get you started. http://www.testpreppractice.net/ SSAT/Free-Online-SSAT-Practice-Tests.aspx, http://www.testprepreview.com/ssat_practice.htm; Resumes. Just like you send a resume for the job you want your child should be sending a resume to the schools for the same purpose; to be interviewed as a potential student. In this resume the student needs to market themselves. Create a resume that stands out. Make sure all extracurricular activities are listed. Recommendations. Be sure that you have a suffice amount of recommendations lined up from teachers, community leaders, and from your pastor’s/priests. Follow the guidelines required by the school but it is good to have all types at hand just in case. Asking last minute may hinder getting the best recommendations. We do not want then to be rushed. The Interview. Make every school believe that they are your child’s first choice. No school wants to hear that they were fourth on the list. Techniques for interviewing can be found at: (NY schools) http://nycprivateschoolsblog.com/admissions-process/nyc-private-high-school-interview-tips/01/28/2010/ http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Good-Impression-at-a-Private-High-School-Interview (universal tips) DEADLINES. Make all deadlines. It is imperative. Keep a calendar of application and paperwork deadlines. Most are due in December but check each application they may vary. If you get early results that are unfavorable don’t give up. Ask the school what caused the rejection so that you can be better prepared for the next school. Parents we must be involved. Always have a backup for all appointments; transportation for testing, interviews and mail outs. This process can be overwhelming but we do all that we can for our kids. Keep us posted on how well these tips helped. We stick together and we all can be in the know! For June 2013 we will do a congrats shout out to all 8 th grade student for their efforts in getting into the A1 choice high school. Send in their acceptance schools and we will post them. You can also send questions regarding high school entrance. Send to: email@example.com
Registration & Dates The 2012 PSAT/NMSQT test dates are Wednesday, October 17 and Saturday, October 20. You must sign up for the PSAT/ NMSQT at your high school or at another high school in your community. This test is administered by high schools, not through test centers. Online registration for the PSAT/NMSQT is not available. Please note that each high school chooses only one October test date. If you would like to take the PSAT/NMSQT, contact your high school counselor or principal to find out about registering for the test, paying the test fees, and learning the correct date, time, and location that your school will give the test in October. Also, contact your guidance office for a copy of the Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT to help you prepare before test day.
1. Out of 100 pictures, 98 of them are YOU in the club, 1 of your child(ren) and 1 Cover Photo for your timeline! #DEAD 2. Posting subliminal messages about someone ON your friends list without tagging them. Uhm, what and who are you afraid of, ol' scary acting a$$?!?!?! 3. Copying and pasting updates and or comments to someone's EX on your friend list. Really, errr uh, REALLY? Go and sit your nutty a$$ DOWN and play with your leggos! 4. Randomly texting people who have their numbers up on FB talking about, "Hey, what's up?" If you don't take your stalking a$$ THAT way >>>>>>>>>>>>!!! 5. Seeing someone on your friend list for the FIRST time in public and running up on them like a groupie and or shouting their name.....(sigh)......It is only Facebook; no, REALLY....IT IS ONLY FACEBOOK S/N: If you find yourself feeling a certain type of way about ANY of this (Delete Me Now!!) TRUST, it only goes downhill from here! #TeamNoFilter.com *drops the mic* THANKS DAYM “SHOWTIME“ PATTERSON You can catch Daym’s blog on:
Sometimes our greatest hindrance to personal growth is not poor performance, it's mediocrity. It's clinging to complacency when you know that you have the potential to do better, to be better. The definition of mediocre is as follows: "neither good nor bad; meager, low-quality, second-rate; so-so; undistinguished, commonplace, pedestrian, everyday; run-of-themill. Cruising in the lane of commonality provides you with the comfort of doing just enough to make it/save face/keep your job/keep your mate/look good/look better than the other guy. There is a veneer of safety in this position; however, there is also a great risk to this mode of operation. You risk never achieving your full God-given potential, settling for the scraps of the sub-par. For me personally, as a believer in God through Jesus Christ, I have found that mediocrity is the symptom of a greater root issue; me trusting in my own efforts rather than truly seeking God's will. Pursuing God's will, rather than my own, always pushes me places that I would not have pushed myself. His ways are not my ways... and Lord knows I LOVE to take the path of least resistance. So for me, it is a matter of daily obedience to God's mandates and initiatives for my life. Today, will I embrace the minimum requirement? Our will I embrace a level of godly obedience that allows me to participate in exciting and meaningful God-initiatives that push me to give my greatest effort? Today, I choose to be a vessel for God's work in me, allowing His wonderful power to accomplish the extraordinary, according to His will. Amen.
Q U E S T I O N F R O M A M E M B E R : Me and my fiancé been 2getha for 4yrs& I just recently found out she cheated on me with 1 of her friends...I decided to stay with her & work out some problems we had but she wants to continue to be this girl friend and she feels like it’s nothing wrong with that picture!! So I guess the question is how would you feel about this situation? And how would you handle a situation like this?? ~*Ashleigh*~ Felisha Bradshaw NO ONE CAN TELL U TO STAY OR LEAVE! This is something that only you can truly answer. It doesn't matter if we would do this or wouldn't stand for that because none of us have to live with the pain...or enjoy what may be pleasurable. I do know and can say this from the heart and experience. Women love hard and when we have found that feeling it is IRRESISTIBLE and INSATIABLE. You have to ask yourself is this what YOU want? Can YOU deal with being number 1 only when u are around her? People want to believe that love conquers all but baby it doesn't it can temporary mend but not cure. Because when that love jones sickness comes and you are jonesing for her and she has HER on her mind what will you be able to tolerate? In all reality that is a threesome divided by 1...you get it three people are still involved. If you open that door to another HER be prepared for other HERS to be involved over time. Can u hang with that? Don't ever believe that she will get over this...or let anyone say that if u stick it out and be her ride to die that u will be the last chic standing because u will be the last chic standing and may be standing and dying maybe with AIDS...all chics aint the 100% lesbians they claim to be... I know there will be feedback beyond my own and I say hey take them all in but this was not a tell u what to do it is a did you ever ask YOURSELF this...it's old school food for thought from a psych major is sexuality with a minor in sociology and a master’s degree in there is no need for the pain.
Position One is the hot new book by Cynthia Miller. Some things are worth dying for. And some things you have to be willing to kill for to keep them!!!
Article by C. Miller We have all heard the saying ‘behind every successful man there is a strong woman’. This statement is not heard so much anymore. Women are no longer standing in the background satisfied with keeping the meals cooked, feeding the kids, and taking care of bedroom duties. Women are no longer being bred for ‘The Perfect Husband.’ We are no longer dressing up and waiting to be serenaded and swept off our feet. As a matter of fact, we are making choices of our own. This fact could not be proven any better than in the literary world. Today women like Nakota Mackmamma Mackie, Wahida Clark, and Envy Red (to name a few) are making their mark. These women are taking the literary world by a storm. Today women are taking their past and turning it into a very productive and profitable future. Not only are women writing best sellers they are opening publishing companies all over the United States. The new generations of successful, independent women are also showing up in the boardroom of large corporations. The one time ‘boys club’ with a key to the men’s room has had to make a few changes. These companies are now building a lady facility. Yes America, behind every successful man there may be a strong woman and you may very well meet her today. It is very possible she is your boss and you are reading her book. A best seller I might add. You can find Cynthia Miller on Face Book. You can also visit her by going to www.inrareformbook.comBe sure to look out for Cynthia’s latest book entitled Position One……
Written by: Felisha Bradshaw Should A Child be Able to Sue the Absent Parent for Neglect?
When is it time to take matters to the courts if talking to your child’s absent parent doesn’t seem to work? Sitting before a judge seems to get results for legal matters when people in general cannot come to an agreement. But we are talking what a child does when his parent can not comply or meet his needs. Should that child be able to sue a parent for emotional turmoil, pain and/or neglect? Irreconcilable Differences n. the usual basis for granting a divorce (dissolution) in no-fault divorce states. If one party says the marriage is irretrievable and refuses to reconcile then such differences are proved to exist.
In the early 80’s a movie called Irreconcilable Differences starring Drew Barrimore. Drew wanted to divorce her parents for being selfish and career driven to the point where she felt neglected. No one thought that she would ever be granted a divorce, but she was. This was not done because she didn’t love her parents it was in the end a lesson learned for her parents. A mother reached out to Urban Grapevine Magazine to do an article on her son wanting to sue his father for physical, emotional turmoil, neglect and stress. This mother wanted to get the opinion of our readers before she follows suit. My question to you is should a child be able to sue his absent parent for not spending time with him and not meeting the basic core needs of child; nurturing?
What Do You Think?
Please send your thoughts to Urbangrapevine3@gmail.com. In the subject line please write Irreconcilable Differences. Your opinions will be posted in our next issue of Urban Grapevine Magazine. Please copy and paste the link to the interview with Child “A” and his mother regarding their current issue.
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What is that smell festering in the summer heat? Its trash and garbage that unlike during cooler degrees, becomes much fouler when heated by the baking sun. But I'm not referring to litter. The kind of junk that overfills tin cans and garbage dumps. I'm referring to the mess that comes out of the thoughts and mouths of others with not enough positivity in their lives.
Along with the sweltering heat index, often times come hot attitudes. Some we knew where there all along, for far too long. Some hibernated the winter away like a grizzly in a cryptic cave. Now ready to peep its deadly head out and float through the atmosphere with the heat wave. On the streets there are more loitering. School children with not enough to do can be amongst that crowd or even loading the airways with texting, tweeting and Facebooking. Itâ€™s the new age drama-filled summer that can take things past the street corners and spread all across the globe in a matter of seconds. From bullying to harassment or just plain disrespect, a person can turn what would otherwise be a couple months of barbecuing and vacationing with family and friends into hell on Earth; all because they are human Dumpsters. You see, some people just can't seem to be happy no matter what. Some people take so much pleasure in making others miserable that they become fixated on it, almost possessed with another person. Their objective is plain and simple; to dump their misery onto someone else so that they can feel just a little better. But no matter how much garbage they put on unsuspecting victims, they will never feel completely satisfied until they clean out that dump truck of a mind they have, and park it. Whether they don't want to because they've come accustomed to tormenting others, or they simply don't know how...it is up to you to make sure that you are not a victim to the negativity. Rise above any influence to partake in such foolishness, and then you've got to learn how to flush them out so they'll never come to you with their garbage again. I quote a post I read, "I asked God to get rid of my enemies and I started losing friends". Sometimes it is hard to tell who have your best interest at heart or who is in the interest of breaking your heart. God gives us good old fashion intuition and signs but often times we ignore them and try to forgive those that bring us harm, be it mental, physical, emotional or spiritual. There is nothing wrong with forgiveness. As a matter of fact it is therapeutic and vital for your psyche and helps us to move to a higher plain. But you take that trash that they've tried to bombard you with and you psychologically burn it or bury it never to return to that place with them again where it can surely fester and funk up the energy and environment surrounding it for miles on end! It will pollute everything in its path, cloud your heart with grit and grime and make it hard to even breath. It can even slowly kill you from the inside out. For even the best of friends with the best of intentions can weigh you down with so much negative junk that your spirit breaks. And the 'laws of attraction' tell us that when your spirit is broken, it becomes difficult for anything good to get into your life. You see, there's nothing wrong with having a few close friends to confide in, to get feedback and support from. But when a person is constantly coming to you with their messy life, not taking any advice or trying to make it better. Their trash can become your baggage of torment as well. Know when enough is enough. Know how to say, 'we've had this conversation far too many times and I can't deal with it any longer. If you won't take my advice than get professional help...'friend'! Make a conscious effort to guide your summer season, to positive reasons for blessings toward yourself. Learn how to meditate and pray and concentrate on only the things that you enjoy and want more of. Whether is money, good health or someone special. And ignore the ill intentions of that battering boss, inconsiderate family member, and abusive lover, backstabbing friend or judgmental foe.
I saw "The Secret Tape" and it helped to change my life when I began to perform exercises it suggested. One such experiment said to put whatever you wanted on your mirror and look at it every day. Well there is one mirror I am sure to look at every day in my house; surprisingly it is the bathroom mirror. No matter what you do or how you feel at some point or another you will end up going in there. So I wrote out a check to myself, starting out modestly just to test "The Secret Tapes" theory, that if you see it and think of it every day it will manifest. The amount was for $30,000. I had never seen that much money at one time in my life so I was anxious to see how things would turn out. Not to mention I was B-R-O-K-E and needed a financial blessing. I wrote an expiration date for the end of the year. And 4 months after that expiration date, I was receiving a check for $32,000! It may have been late a few months, due to the fact that focusing on positive instead of the opposite was still new to me. Now I have written another check for $100,000. To some that is nothing, to me it is a bigger blessing and freedom from financial ruin. I await the expiration date and look at that check every day. I also wrote all the things I wanted in a man that would become my husband. You know the 'list', I'm sure you've been told of it before. But did anyone tell you to post it on a mirror or somewhere where you would be looking it over every day? I doubt it. You see, they say make the list but don't tell you what to do with it. If you place it somewhere where you've got to look at it, then you will have it in your thoughts instead of the garbage you've been dealing with before. You will give the universe, God, your guiding Angel the opportunity to bring that which you have thought of and meditated and prayed about into existence. For we often forget to look over a list tucked away or placed around the house. We get on our knees to pray at night and if we're adamant maybe the mornings as well; in between times we deal with garbage. But we go into that bathroom more than twice most times, and stay there longer than the time it takes for us to be on our knees praying. So while we're there, bathing or taking our 'dump'. Concentrate on what's on that mirror. What you see when you look at your reflection, and hope to someday soon be a reflection of you. Get rid of your trash and clean up your life. Spring clean, summer clean! Prepare your home and inner house, which is your spirit, mind and body for blessings this year and leave anything that is not in sync with this in the gutter where it belongs! Stay cool and teach your children this as well, because in case you haven't noticed they need a covenant of protection and prosperity around them. Sing with me, "NO MORE DUMPSTERS IN MY LIFE!” in my Mary J. Blige voice. Stay cool, safe and blessed! Stay cool, stay cool. Peace, Vaneeka 'Lyric' Parker-Robinson
tephanie Nicole Norris is a new up and coming romance fiction author from Chattanooga Tennessee with a humble beginning. She was raised along with six siblings by her mother, Jessica Ward. Always being a lover of reading from early childhood Stephanie loved to read books by R.L. Stine, fantasy, and supernatural. Stephanie always had a natural talent for writing. Starting her journey with writing in 2010 she decided to bring her stories to life. In 2011 her Debut Novel "Trouble In Paradise" was completed and shortly published in early 2012. A romance drama about a 28 year old African American female trying to better herself with a internship and marrying the love of her life, but runs into road blocks and things get so out of control that there are major changes for her future. Her pages tell a story with deception, suspense, and a dramatic twist. Stephanie is inspired by writers like Eric Jerome Dickey, Jackie Collins, Gwynne Forster, and more. She resides in Atlanta Ga. *For paperback and more about this author visit www.stephanienorris.net SYNOPSIS
Victoria is thankful for a lot of things- Joshua, the love of her life, a career change that starts a new chapter, and a condo in the suburbs of Chicago Illinois. Her jaw drops when she opens the garage and finds a brand new Cadillac wrapped in a huge bow. She is ecstatic and ready for the next steps towards her future. This is Victoria’s fresh beginning. When Victoria and Joshua start their journey things take a turn for the worse. Victoria finds out that her nemesis and Joshua’s ex, Danielle Shumaker has flown to Chicago to try to get Joshua back. Victoria is determined to win this fight, when she finds out Joshua has secrets of his own. Distraught, confused, and mad as hell she falls into the arms of another. When emotions run high and desire digs deep Victoria finds herself caught up in Trouble.
We have heard of the sexy MackMama, the sensual and bisexual MackMama, the author and talk show host MackMama. Outside of the controversial woman who faced diversities that would only few come out of sane, there must be a passionate woman that very few get to know. There is very little talk about MackMama. I am curious to know and those who are true fans, followers and listeners want to know about the beautiful, charismatic yet passionate woman she is. MackMama where does your passion lie? What makes you cry? What makes your eyes tear, tears of joy; without conviction of your past? I am asking what you love beyond sexual thrill, the writing thrill, and the thrill of being the desirable M.M? MM: My daughter is my true love. She is the reason I write, record my music and host my radio show. I need to give her examples of success. She knows I was in prison and in order for me to redeem myself, I make her proud by striving to make our dreams come true. She is a dreamer and an achiever just like me. So we talk about fame, success and fortune together. She roots for me every day and I wake up, stay up, grind and hustle all for her. VELVET is why I do all I do. UG MAG: Velvet...that's a beautiful name. It’s great that you are concerned about how she perceives success. One things for sure our youth need to see that when we fall down we can get up brush it off and keep going towards our goals; our signature designs (who God intends us to be). So Velvet, just know that your mom is a go getter and has set a positive stream of respect for being the woman she is now and the mother and woman she is reaching to be. I learned after sitting through your Blog Talk Radio show that you are setting up time be a mentor to youth’s in crisis. Tell us about this program and where the idea stemmed from? MM: I developed my online mentoring program to continue the mentoring process when the speaking engagement is over. Where do the atrisk youth go from there. I come in one day share my story and answer questions and expect change. Change doesn't happen in a day. So I created www.mackmamamentor.com and I want to give back some of the blessings that was given to me. My goal is to take the members of the program off the streets and introduce them to culture events. Workshops that deal with anger management, money addiction and etiquette. I am in dire need of donations. I am not a non-profit as of yet so am ineligible for government grants. This program is strictly selffinanced. I love the children and I want to buy them school supplies, school clothes in hopes they will do well. Knowing that someone cares when they feel depressed or abandoned will give them an incentive to excel in school. I am proud of my program and can't wait to start implementing my plans. Please visit the site and donate to this wonderful cause, thanks in advance folks. UG MAG: Notoriety has been given by your listeners and your reading fans that you are a got getter and that your skills at writing are far from mediocre. You are very popular and also known for your Blog-Talk Radio Show. Do you think that popularity points help people when raising money for a cause? Are you at an advantage or disadvantage? I am only saying this because I see and have heard that plenty of fundraising/donation links and sites flop because the person behind the fundraiser isn’t taken serious. MM: Maybe that is why I don't have many donations yet. Good to know. I guess people think I want to go shopping with their money because I am seen in various pics with celebrities looking fly. SMH so if I toned it down and pull out the card board box I might get somewhere? I feel like that is nonsense, I know times are hard so I don't expect much. You yourself donated five dollars, I was appreciative. Give what you can and let God do the rest. I want to help save these children from ruining their lives. It’s simple as that. I don't need the dona-
tions, my kids do. Our culture seems to be digging a ditch for itself. Trust in supporting one another seems to be at an all-time low. Maybe the card board box is a good idea. When I say that, I mean a benefit; a Hip Hop Summit. Because you are connected to many celebrities maybe reaching out to rap artists that have made it through the storm against all odds would spark up donations. Take them right then and there Old School New York style.
UG MAG: Everyone knows there is a problem rising with the lack of role models for our minority youth. What do you think is the root of the problem? Every Man or Woman is out for themselves. The females aspire to be video vixens and the men want to be rappers. No one wants to be a role model or a mentor. It takes too much responsibility. I don't judge others I just do what my spirit leads me to do. I wish I had a mentor when I was running around crazy in those streets. Oh by the way my story is riveting check out Tales of an Original Bad Girl. I just released the Ultimate Edition with the 116 pictures, 52 are in color. They look so nice on the Kindle and Ipad 2. If youâ€™re a fan of my work this is the collectorâ€™s item. It is exclusive to Amazon. UG MAG: Now that we have discussed the root of the problem, what do you think is the solution and what does MACKMAMAMENTOR.COM have planned for the coming months to reach out to the kids in the community? MM: There is a simple solution; folks need to care more about the kids in the hood that have no outlets. UG MAG: If a supporter wanted to volunteer to help out at a Mack Mama event how would they do so? MM: I plan to do workshops, cultural events and shopping sprees. A person would only have to contact me to be a part of my program. I welcome interns and supporters.
We were founded by the inspiring author and motivational speaker, Mack Mama, who wants to give back to the community by sharing her testimony of change and redemption. Our goal is to inspire and motivate at risk youth in need of guidance via the internet. To sign up for membership you must be between the ages of 13-19 years old, and fill out the form on the CONTACT US page. Membership qualifies you to take part in workshops, motivational groups and fun activities with Mack Mama and her staff. As of now the Membership is limited to citizens of the United States.
Starstatus Publishing Derby, CT 06418-1923 Toll Free: (877) 453-9532 firstname.lastname@example.org
Art- [ahrt] noun 1. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. 2. the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection. See fine art, commercial art. 3. a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art. 4. the fine arts collectively, often excluding architecture: art and architecture. 5. any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art. According to dictionary.com, above holds the definition of the word art, but to define art would be to bottle creativity, to cage passion and to stifle life. There are so many forms of art and I am amazed and blessed to have stumbled upon the works of Alicia Cobb. Her artful expression is like looking at infinity. Yes, exactly...one could take there eyes off of it and return and see more and more beauty in the work she creates.
Alicia has taken some time to answer a few questions about her art form and at the same time gets to share her signature design with us. UG MAG: Can you share with our readers from the beginning steps how painting and drawing became a part of you? Did you start out sketching? o does it go as far back as scribbling Alicia: I know it sounds clichĂŠ, but honestly art has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. When I was little I would find things to draw on all the time. During free time I would always grab paper and crayons. My favorite things to draw were people, rainbows, & clouds. I was appointed to art for the school plays every year to help create the back drops. As a teen I wrote poetry all over my bedroom wall with permanent markers then hung drawings next to them. Even my ceiling was filled with art. I don't really remember scribbling but I'm sure I did at some point early on. I started sketching when I was about 12 years old. UG MAG: What age did you gravitate to art as a career? Alicia: I had very humble beginnings as a child and sometimes my surroundings made dreams seem unattainable. I can honestly say that I always saw art as a career for myself, I just never knew in what capacity and how I would attain it. I did not start seriously pursuing art as a career until 2009 when I was 31.
This was about two years after I was introduced to Artist & Friend, Shanna Melton and a world of creative people that I didn't even know existed. Spending time with other creative people; poets, artists, photographers, & singers made me feel at ease, it came very natural. I knew then for sure that paint was flowing through my veins and I needed to bleed. I actually did not know what body art was to be honest with you. I body painted for the first time in 2009 in what I considered to be an experiment of sorts. I had already been face painting for a few years and thought it would just be cool to paint a whole body. Lalli Wells graciously allowed me to paint her, photographer & friend, Ajani Housen took photos which were posted to face book, and I have been painting bodies since.
“WHAT FASCINATES ME ABOUT BODY ART IS HOW FAR YOU CAN GO WITH IT.”
~Alicia Cobbs UG MAG” What fascinated you about body art? Alicia: What fascinates me about body art is how far you can go with it, how creative it can be. The human canvas is very different than any other canvas I've ever worked with. UG MAG: I see that you use a mold to practice your craft. where do the concepts come from? Alicia: I actually don't typically use a mold for practice, that's new. I often practice on myself, my children, & other people who are willing to let me paint them for practice. My children have grown bored with being painted and usually disappear pretty quickly when they see my kit come out. My concepts come from different places. Often times it could be something as simple as a song or picture that inspires a design or something someone says. My brain is constantly moving, constantly creating. If someone is hiring me, I typically come up with designs based on their vision or theme.
IIUG MAG: Iâ€™ve noticed that Shanna has been in just about every artists journey in Connecticut. She is a wonderful person and passionate about the arts. Surrounding people with positive creative vibes does send rejuvenating surges through the body.
I didnt know you painted faces...I do as well...let me rephrase that because i doubt it is as well as you do...(Laughs)...but I paint faces from time to time for friends at parties. I never thought to do the body...but I guess we all have creative vices...and we find comfort in the one we master; for me it is writing whether it is poetry or fiction writing. Wow it must be a treat to be painted on and get to take pictures of your self as part of a artpiece....too cool. Guess you have no problem finding models. I know many are curious as to what the prices range from. Can you share with our readers how they can go about getting prices on body art? If someone was interested in taking classes from you are you available for this and what would the costs be. I know it would be a great therapeutic session for youths in crisis looking to get their creative expressions out of their veins... what's on you agenda this summer...do you have any events you's like to tell out readers about? Alicia: I love what I do. Finding models
Art is a form of expression that dictates how the artist sees the world. I always wondered when a person sketches is the world all black and white. So Jamir, tell us what is your preferred form of drawing? Sketching people? Still life? JAMIR: Well I always was the type to see the world different so that something I had natural to once I put a pencil and paper in front of me I knew this what I wanted to do. As a artist I prefer the mind when drawing imagining something in your mind and putting it on paper Or if I draw the person but add my own style to it art sometimes is not about being the best at it but how much you can create and amaze the world. UG MAG: So, you free-hand draw....u see it in a memory that takes snapshots and saves them in your thoughts and later you open that album and tap into that figure? Wow...yes...the creative mind is amazing. I see in some of t your art your personal signature; I am referring to the Mona Lisa Sketch.... JAMIR: Yes I can also look at something like a person and add my own style to it as well. That is true the Mona Lisa does have my personal signature UG MAG: You owned that picture by drawing your view... like the Kanye picture I saw you tap into his anger...his jawline was a masterpiece.... What would you say is the hardest part of the human body that you still have to practice at? For me when I drew people it was the hands...and I am the type who can only draw what is in front of them; I guess u can say I mimic...Since u can draw from the mind is it easier to add that extra distorted overtones to that area so that the flaw looks flawless or intended? JAMIR: Thank you, yeah sometimes when I draw I blank out like im not paying attention to no one else but what I’m drawing when I’m into it The hardest part to me is the hands and the eyes what I learned about our eyes we concentrate on one eye and we do the eye or hand and its bigger than the other one so I tend to watch that but when I’m into it I try to learn something from it when I erase I think when this happens it is a natural thing because erasing helps you realize what’s wrong and allows you to put something new. So I guess that is true; erasing is important to me because I always learn from it. It’s like taking a picture and getting the picture wrong so you delete it until you get it perfect. If someone says they do not erase then they are not learning anything. Flawless? (PAUSE) until I see the face pop the way I want or any drawing I don't stop because it always feel like something is missing (LAUGHS)
UG MAG: (Laughing) Yes...that is true...So erasing is the method to evening the eyes ....not to perfection right? Because we are imperfect people but you do keep working on it enough to where you are satisfied. Do you use rulers or anything to help your final pic come to life? Rulers? Napkins? I used to use them to shade...So, what are your plans for the future Jamir? I never did ask if you ever went to school for art....so have you? What are you doing to master your craft? Have you ever thought of being an illustrator or putting together a picture book? JAMIR: Not rulers nut paper, napkins to get the shading; sometimes I use a mix of charcoal and fingers to get the blend I need. Yes it erasing gives more ways to work around and come up with something new nothing to me are never perfect because we are imperfect No I did not go to school for art I self-taught myself. My art plans are to travel the world and let people be amazed at my artwork I also I want to do photography and even a little fashion as well. UG MAG: A self-taught artist I feel is more artistic because he/she is boundless. There are no rules just free-handedness...this will be an added incentive to your creative mind and help for your ventures into photography and especially fashion. in the end where do you see your career as an artist? Jamir: I guess to master my craft is to see the beauty around me and keep it in mind to where I can put it on paper even when I draw people add the little touches to that. I see myself...just traveling drawing for people using my creative mind hope like Leonardo de Vinci leave something on this earth for all to see. UG MAG: and we at Urban Grapevine want to contribute to your exposure...so readers you will see Jamir's art each issue as a header for the arts and community roots opening page... Well guys you've heard the scoop on Jamir as he has allowed us to tap into his creative point of view. Jamir, thank you for your time...would u like to say anything to the readers? JAMIR: Never keep your mind from the world because there is so much potential and beauty I think thatâ€™s how far we get to heaven had an artist . UG MAG: Thank You, Jamir.....for your time and sharing your art is appreciated. Where can people reach out to you? Are you selling any art? Jamair: Currently.... yeah and people can reach out to me at 862-224-9565 & also my Facebook Jamir Brunson and Laughs) my email email@example.com
You’re Under Arrest! Role Play! By: Sextastic
“ Tweeeeeeet!” Blowing the whistle coming out of the bathroom was a pair of legs that went on for days. You! Stop right there!” Fishnet stocking a blue mini skirt and a uniform top tied to reveal her stomach and buttons opened to reveal her cleavage. Stuck in a web of her sexiness he complied. Before he could get into their master bedroom from its adjoining bathroom she slammed him against the wall. Her erect nipples pressed against his bare back she spoke sternly. “Drop it.” The terry cloth wrap around towel dropped to his feet. She frisked him with her baton in hand. She tapped on his inner thighs indicating that she wanted him to spread his legs. He obliged. “Officer, what is this about?” “I hear you are carrying a very large package and I was told to search you.” She dropped to her knees and cupped his sack massaging them gently in her hands. She leaned in a breathed in his Hollister scented body and was greeted by a very large package. I was warned it may be a-dick-tive and dipped in deep chocolate. I am sorry sir I will have to taste it to be sure!” She suck on the tip of his strength and up and down until she’d taken all of the 9 inches in length, 3 ½ inches in width into her mouth. The more she sucked the red streaks she left from her candy apple red lipstick thinned out into a faint red drizzle. He yanked the back of her head catching her off guard. He pulled her up by her hair. She raised the baton and he grabbed it as she swung in mid-air. “I’ll take that! Now you will see what it’s like to be violated.” He turned her around so that she was facing the wall. He leaned in on her his thickness swinging hitting her on her thigh. He flipped up her skirt with one hand while resting his forearm across her back keeping her pinned. “Is it part of your uniform not to wear underwear and to have stockings with a fuck me crotch?” She tried to get loose from him. “See now I have to punish you for being a naughty cop!” He took his arm off her back and pressed her shoulders forward while pulling her backside into his front. He tucked her skirt tail into the waist of her skirt and ripped the opening in in her stocking wider. She bit on her top lip then licked her lips. “Your under arrest…I mean resisting…ar…arghhhhhh.” He took the baton and greeted her opening rubbing it around the entrance and she clenched her inner muscles making it hard to go any further. “I’m resisting?” he removed the baton and guided his length in her by the movement of his hips until it was on target. He slid inside and she welcomed him poking her butt out. “…please don’t hurt it! I will do whatever you want.” He grinned and grabbed her mid-waist and worked her over. He slid in and out slowing then faster moving in rhythm with her pants and grunts. Just as she was about to bust he pulled out and stuck the baton back in her twisting and turning the stick while penetrating her from every angle. She screamed out. “Beat it up Mister beat it up!” “Oh beat it.” Laying on top of the dresser about a foot away laid what looked like brass knuckles. He took slipped his fingers through without missing a stroke. He pulled out the baton and balled her fists up and into her cave went a small plug. He worked her tight spot gently. She wanted both spots occupied the tried reaching between her legs for his rod. He knew what she wanted and gave it up easy. She reached her point of explosion and rubbed her clit until he felt her muscles contract……….
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Many relationships have a void when there is a lack of communication. Pillow talk is a great way to share your most intimate thoughts, not to mention it builds sexual arousal and excitement. It can open the doors to better communication outside the bedroom. This may be the time you can express what it is that you like and how you like it done. Let go of your inhibitions and free yourself. Be sensual with doing this because no matter what no one likes to be told what to do, when they think they are doing everything right. Moan, shake your head like a wild beast when it is not what you want. For instance if you want her to explore your wetness because at the time you need clitoral stimulation gently take her hand and say something like, " See baby...see how wet you make me, make me cum." At this time you should guide her hand to your clitoris. If you want her to rub it hard press down hard and rub it together, then let her do the rest. If what you need is that sensual rub gently place her fingers on your clitoris and lightly rub. Tell her you like it when she rubs it softly. Tell her she gives you butterflies when it tickles. Bite down on your bottom lip and shake your head , yes. You can show her through words or body movement that she is doing all the things you need. As woman we all know that telling her, "Yeah, Uh huh, right there..." will send her mind in a swirl...cause she knows she has hit that spot. Talking dirty while having sex may just be what your relationship needs. If she can open up to you sexually, maybe the lines of communication outside the bedroom will heighten. Being able to be open with your partner about what you’re feeling inside, whether it's pet peeves, goals, where the relationship is going and where you'd like to see it go. Whether it is pillow talk or just everyday talk, the lines of communication staying open and being optimistic can be beneficial to your existing relationship
Re-planning Your Relationship Contributing Editor: Felisha Bradshaw Just when you thought love conquered all, a little thing called being on the same page comes into your relationship and leaves a gap between you and your spouse. You begin to question if love is enough. In the beginning of your relationship you may have thought that the “L” word would carry your relationship into a world where it was worn across your chest and held power like the “S” on Superman’s. But then as the years pass and the arguments become overwhelming and consistent. There is no question that you still love her and her touch still sends chills up your spine and when her lips touch yours passion creates butterflies that flutter from your midsection, turning into liquid butterflies that escape between your legs. But then the question becomes stronger each time you argue. What use to make you upset; where you could walk away, think things through, and let it go as a disagreement between lovers turns into anger that has you mad for days, not wanting to talk it out, hear her out, tossing in your sleep because you’re trying to stay clear of her naked body, you even have thoughts of infidelity; thinking that someone else would understand you better. When you argue the things that you both say are harmful, some things you can’t take back and you wonder if you even want to. The words sting like alcohol on a deep cut, wounding your heart. You wonder how this could be when you still love her; you still want the future you both talked about. Then you realize that you haven’t spoken about the future in a long while. You wonder if you are still on the same page or in the same paragraph, like you use to be. She used to listen to your dreams, wanted to incorporate her dreams with yours… you both had a plan. So to make sure that all is going as planned you strike up a conversation.
Relationship Drama By Mack Mama I thought I went through some drama in my past relationships, dealing with mental and physical abuse, down low drug addicts and straight up nut jobs. The debacle I dubbed my “Thug loves” have nothing on Reality TV relationships. Lets start with the newest Realty show “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. I am overjoyed at some of the absurd characters on the show. I watch gleefully as the train wreck explodes on my flat screen. I just bought a 55inch so I can see these jokers in HD largeness. I am in my glory. Stevie J. the manipulating, cheating Rico Suave on the show, who also doubles as a music producer and Mi Mi Faust’s longtime boyfriend is down right sickening. I found myself shouting at my big screen “Nooo this fool didn’t!” “Mi Mi punch him in the face, girl!” and other obscenities that I won’t repeat in print. He is having a blatant affair with his artist Joceline Hernandez, who at one point, I thought was a pretty transvestite (she has a suspicious masculine look to her). Stevie had the audacity to get Joceline pregnant. Yes, on national TV in this day in time, he actually admitted to raw dogging it, with this female, who also happens to be an ex- stripper. Outrageous! Then, there is Lil Scrappy the southern rapper who hasn’t had a hit in a while, but is so adorable that I am rooting for his comeback. He was dumped and cheated on by Diamond, a female rapper who left him for Soulja Boy. The tables were turned, by a female, heartbreaker finally! K Michelle, who is my favorite personality, exposed her ex boyfriend Memphis Hitz as a woman abuser who spent two million dollars of her recording budget that was given to her by her record label. She was subsequently black balled in the industry and struggling to get her ten minutes, out of the fifteen minutes of fame, she had left. Drama, Drama, Drama isn’t that what we tune in for? It is great to take a break from our reality and view “Reality” played out by others. I wish I could get paid for the heartbreak and headaches I have dealt with throughout the years, like these folks who collect big checks for each episode of foolery. It must be nice! Stay Tuned.
“NEVER” IS NEVER AN OPTION: Katia C. Samuel UCONN 2011 Aspiring Doctor of Pathology/Medical Examiner Interested in Sexual psychology
“That NANOSECOND will make you a liar every time and we have all been there living in the reality of an inconceivable action.” Let me first start by saying that this is not a “research article” but strictly subjective information with an objective undertone. These findings are according to, but not limited to, self evaluation and a deep analysis of why things have happened in my life and how most life experience crept up on me and made me a believer in “all things possible”. I am sure most will be able to relate, adapt or even confess to sharing my personal findings revealed in this public forum. Once the reader has tapped into their true sexual, spiritual, emotional, social and psychological selves, with an open mind that is unreservedly susceptible to varying states of existence, the body and soul will follow. For a brief moment in time the readers of this article will began to reevaluate themselves. In their in depth self analysis they will revisit those very moments in time when they were capable of stepping out of their comfort zone and living within in their mind, however, not their superficial mind but there deeper most inner mind where there is a very thin and fully permeable line between never and forever. They will be able to recall a time when they answered to a world that was forbidden in every other space in time. But in that very small moment what one never thought would ever happen became an unchanging reality and we can’t and most times don’t ever want to turn back. This space in time exists in every place in time. However, what distinguishes this particular moment is the presence of an opportunity and an undeniable and strong conviction to having to make a choice in that exact moment. Whether homosexual, heterosexual, asexual, Christian married, engaged, high-strung, killer, lawmaker, politician…etc. no matter who or what you are and depending on how many hats you wear this space in time is ever present. It will rear its ugly, yet beautiful, head and irreversibly shapes who we are; it dictates where we are today and where we will be tomorrow. However, when it comes to sexuality the circumstances, consequences and outcome proves to be much more euphoric due to its dark nature and ability to expose hidden fantasies.
For all sexual human beings there is a hidden place that we dare to visit for whatever reason. We exclaim and profess that “never” is a definite. However, most places we have already visited rather we’d like to admit it or not. For most of us our wildest dreams, inner most fantasies and deepest desires are housed in the “nanosecond” the space in time known to be so small that we cannot rationally remember when the thought entered our minds or when we even had time to consider making the thought an action until we are in the moment and time has surrounded us and we are encompassed and enveloped in this new world, this new way of thinking and feeling. Take for instance when one person does something and another person asked them “why?” and their answer is “I don’t know”. Most of the time, we come to the conclusion that it is an excuse for, and a way out of having to own up to “irrational actions”. Usually it is because one has limited/labeled themselves making statements like “I would never” and/or “it is not in me to do that”. However, often times, it’s an action based on a decision made within a nanosecond of time. At this time ones emotional, social, psychological and spiritual reasoning is in a place they never knew existed! This is a place that we can only tap into when we are honest enough with ourselves to conceive of the inconceivable and to believe the unbelievable. I am not speaking about aspirations, but that inner self that proves to be the whole you, the you that is not limited or labeled and refuse to be.
am a woman who has had the chance to love in many ways. I have loved limitlessly, unconditionally, with and without regret, both a man and a woman. I do not identify as a heterosexual or a homosexual nevertheless, I am definitely not asexual but I have lived according to the rules there of. Labeled love is only important when I limit myself which automatically hinders me from ever being who "I” really am. I am true to myself and I know that the love I feel for an individual does not lie in sexual identity or gender, social status or psyche, level of spirituality or chosen denomination. In life, experiencing me and being comfortable with who I am, I have learned that my ability to love lies in my spirit and not in my sexual identity or sexual preference. Tapping into every facet of the NANO seconds in my life I have been able to open up many possibilities in my life and live a life full of experiences both pleasing and non-pleasing. Yes, I am a God fearing woman who believes that God loves without limitations or conditions. Yes, I believe that he has set forth specific instructions on how we should conduct ourselves and has clearly stated the riches and “benefits thereof”. However, because I do not argue politics or religion I will not go any further into my belief but leave this article here reminding you that everything within is purely and totally my take on the realm of living and allowing one’s self to let our minds explore. I believe everyone thinks outside of the box they just chose to jump in and seal the box around themselves never allowing greater, higher, deeper experiences. *asex.u.al Function: adjective, 1.lacking sex or functional sexual organs
REFERRENCES All photos in this issue of Zab Judah were taken from Google images .Photos were given to UG MAG compliments of writers to compliment their articles. Articles are strictly for written for your entertainment. Advice given doesn’t necessarily mean advice taken.
EDITOR IN CHIEF Felisha Bradshaw Sr. EDITOR
Maritza P. Brown
Katia C. Samuel
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David “L” Treasure Blue Cynthia Miller Danielle “Envy Red” Hutchinson Rahiem Brooks
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