Controversial Three 6 Mafia Banned from Memphis Music Festival

Don Imus was recently fired for making comments that were both racist and sexist. Now it seems that the media frenzy that surrounded the Imus controversy has trickled down to a local issue in Memphis, TN. The annual Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival is coming up in a few weeks. The list of artists that will be performing is a regular who’s who of music from the past and present. The controversy has come up regarding the performance of rap group Three 6 Mafia at this festival.

Wendi Thomas is a columnist for the Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis. She has made it very clear how she feels about the degrading comments made about women in the rap music industry. she has written thirteen articles alone on this topic over the past three years. The most recent article calls for the Memphis In May Board to recall the invitation to Three 6 Mafia for this year’s music festival. The board refused to pull Three 6 Mafia from the line up. Why would they pull them from the line up? That would cost them too much money to make a statement of that magnitude! But then again, should they make that statement?

Rap group Three 6 Mafia’s music is filled with lyrics that are extremely offensive in many ways. However, they won an Oscar for their song “It’s Hard Out here For a Pimp” from the movie “Hustle & Flow.” While this group performed on the Oscar stage they had scantilly clad women prancing around them dancing in a vulgar manor while they sang about making money off of them while they work the streets. I will not sit here and fill this article with filthy lyrics, however, I do want to give you just a few examples of the filth that this group makes money singing. Songs talking about men climaxing in the mouth of a woman. Songs telling women very explicitly what they want done to them or what they will do to a woman in a sexual situation. Many times in their lyrics they call women by names that I would consider degrading and offensive.

Sure the lyrics are nasty; but what does this mean to me, and to all the people in the Memphis area, or the people in the world for that matter? In my eyes, it means absolutely nothing. Just like what Don Imus said meant nothing to me. don Imus has a right to say what ever he wishes, just as Three 6 Mafia has every right to sing about whatever they choose. This is America and we have the Freedom of Speech. I feel that the firing of Don Imus was totally uncalled for. So what, he said some offensive things! Thousands of people do that every day! Howard Stern, rap musicians, the Television show “Girlfriends”, and even the cartoon “South Park” just to name a few offenders. My solution, I do not choose to listen to these radio shows, or musicians. I also choose not to watch those television shows. That is another benefit from living in the United States of America, I have rights to choose what I listen to, watch, or believe in.

Why on earth should someone making offensive comments or singing offensive songs be cause for national or international uproar? I do not think it should. We are all individuals, different in our own way from every one else. We know who we are and if someone says something offensive about your race, sex, nationality, religion, or background then you have the right to be offended and take it up with the person who made you feel offended. Does this give you the right to cause that person to lose his job, or to cause them physical harm, or to go out of your way to make their life miserable? No it doesn’t. The college students that were offended by Don Imus are no less offended by what he said because he was fired for making the comments. People, including women, are still buying Three 6 Mafia CDs and concert tickets.

Just because something is offensive to you does not mean they had no right to say it. they had every right to say it, and you have every right to say something back. Welcome to the free world, enjoy it, love it. Speak, sing, pray, I know I do.

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Holiday Visiting

I remember being a child and making coupon books for my mother for Mother’s Day. The small handmade book would have several coupons in it for things like a hug, a kiss, a clean room, breakfast in bed, and so on. My mother always loved those home made pictures and coupon books, or else she just told me she did! Now I am a grown woman and a mother myself. The thought crossed my mind as I mapped out my families plans for the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend. Where is my time to relax and enjoy a quiet moment on Mother’s Day? My schedule for the holiday weekend goes a little something like this.

Friday – take the kids to school, work, clean the house, do the laundry, pick up the kids from school, make dinner, have family fun time (our Friday night ritual), get the kids to bed and any other chore that pops up.

Saturday – breakfast, get all three kids bathed and dressed, get myself bathed and dressed, drive an hour and a half to visit my mother and my grandmother for the day, drive an hour and a half back home, cook dinner, clean up, get the kids to bed and do more laundry.

Sunday – breakfast, get everyone bathed and ready again, drive an hour to visit my mother in law for the day, drive an hour back home, cook dinner, clean up, get the kids to bed, and do laundry yet again.

Where in this packed schedule is there time for me to bask in the joys of motherhood or enjoy this holiday at all? Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly looking forward to each moment that I get to spend with my mother, grandmother, and mother in law. Each of them are such wonderful women and I love them all dearly. The problem is not just with Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. It is every holiday. At Christmas time it is the same thing. Days of packed schedules and no real time for our children to sit and enjoy the gifts they have received or to learn the true meaning of the holiday. We are too busy carting them from one place to another to just enjoy time together during the holiday. At Thanksgiving, we find ourselves so stuffed from eating three separate Thanksgiving dinners over the course of the weekend, that we may need to be rolled home instead of drive ourselves home.

I found holidays much simpler before I was married with children. Back then, I only had my parents and extended family to worry about seeing on any given holiday. Those were simpler times. Then I got married and that added a whole other set of parents and extended family to see on each holiday. Then you add in children that you are having to cart around with you each time you go visit anyone. You have to carry diapers, bottles, changes of clothes, baby wipes, formula, baby food, pacifiers, and whatever else your child needs to make it through a day away from home. Not to mention keeping the child entertained in the car while you drive to and from your destination, or keeping them occupied while at your destination. Luckily, I have wonderful parents and in-laws that have toys at their homes to entertain the children so we don’t have to bring something along to keep them happy at the grandparent’s house. Many people are not so lucky though. You begin to feel like you are taking your entire home with you. As you drive, thoughts start circling in your head. “Why can’t they come to visit us?” “Don’t they realize how hard it is to travel with children?” “There has to be an easier way to do this every year?”

After the whirlwind of the holiday ends, you sit down and start trying to think of a solution to make things easier the next time around. Thoughts of trading off each year and only visiting one set of family each year instead of all of them every year. Well, that isn’t fair of course. Then the family you don’t get to see that year will feel left out, and you will miss seeing them and so will your children. What about having everyone to your place instead? Well, this poses a whole other set of issues. Do you have room for everyone at your house? Would everyone be willing to travel to you instead? Every option comes to the same conclusion. This is the way it has been done for years in ‘my’ family.

I have found, there is not any real solution to this problem. Of course you feel obligated, they are your family. You love them and want to be with them and enjoy the holiday with them. They raised you and cared for you just like you are doing for your children. It is a matter of respect, love, and devotion to your family and your roots that keeps you running on every holiday. As my husband has said in years before, our parents had to travel with us when we were young, they have earned the right for us to come to them. Now it is our turn to teach our kids to not forget about their roots, and to continue loving and cherishing family even once you are grown and have a family of your own. It is an important lesson for every child to learn. At times while traveling from place to place on the holidays, I find myself frustrated and tired. The kids may be fighting in the car, or cranky and tired of riding for so long. Whatever the frustration is at that moment, I try to remember how much fun we had while visiting this time, or how much fun we will have at the next place. I try to remind my children of those things too.

Why do we feel obligated? Because that is the way it is, and I don’t think it should be any other way.

Crock Pot Breakfast Day 2

eatwell

In yesterday’s blog post on the Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole, I promised to let you all know my kids’ opinions on the casserole. All 5 of us ate the casserole for breakfast this morning. However, only 3 out of the 5 of us liked the casserole. My older 2 kids both said the casserole tasted good, however, they didn’t like the texture of it. I think that next time I will let the bread dry out a bit before I put the casserole together. Maybe that will help with the texture issue?

Tonight I am putting together Slow Cooker Cinnamon French Toast for tomorrow morning’s Brain Food Breakfast. Here’s the recipe:

Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

Ingredients:
2 16oz. loaves cinnamon swirl bread, sliced into 1/4’s and left to dry over night (or for a few hours)
1 dozen eggs
4 cups milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:
Spray the crock with non-stick spray! Place all the bread in the slow cooker.
Mix all of the remaining ingredients together and pour it over the bread.

Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Admire the smell while it cooks! The last 1/2 hour or so, remove the lid to let the moisture absorb some. Dust with powdered sugar, a dollop of whipped cream and/or drizzle with syrup when serving!

Thanks to http://newbaltimore.patch.com/blog_posts/slow-cooker-cinnamon-french-toast-casserole for this recipe.

I plan to cut this recipe in half because I’m only serving the 5 of us. I can’t wait to taste it because it sounds delicious!

By the way, today was a wonderful day. The kids all feel like their first day of testing went very well. Work went well, and I had a nice break in the middle of the day. My hubby took me out for lunch! We just went to a fast food place so it wasn’t anything fancy. However, getting to spend even 30 minutes with him in the middle of the day makes a bad day better, and makes a good day great. I know, we are a mushy couple and that annoys a lot of people. We love it though. We feel so happy that we have a connection and relationship where we can show affection and enjoy each others company all of the time.

Yesterday’s tip was to enjoy the small things. Today, I am telling you not to be afraid to show love and affection to the one that you love.

Diary of a Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy

The blog post below is an article that I wrote back in 2008. My best friend is about to go through this with her son so I felt like I should put it on my blog not only for her, but for others to view as well. While we were going through the surgery and healing I kept on thinking about how no one told me or warned me exactly what to expect. I wanted to help prepare other parents for what could possibly occur during this process.

Read Below for the diary that I kept during my son’s surgery and healing.

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My son, Cameron, has had issues with snoring and sleep apnea for quite some time. According to the pediatrician and the ear nose and throat specialist, the cause of his issues were enlarged tonsils and adenoids. The ear, nose and throat specialist also felt like removing those would help him with some of the other issues that he was having. Some of those issues were over night bed wetting, and also behavioral issues. I called in and scheduled his surgery with the surgery center. It is an outpatient procedure and usually done in a surgery center not an actual hospital.
The Day Before the Surgery

My son was not allowed to eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight. However, some doctors have different procedures when it comes to that, so make sure you check with your doctor to see what his procedure is regarding food and drink before surgery.

Day 1 – Surgery Day

We arrived at the surgery center at the time requested. However, we had quite a long wait before our surgery. Our doctor was running behind, so we were called back 3 hours after we originally arrived. This was very difficult on my son, he was hungry and thirsty and we could not give him anything to eat or drink. He was also very nervous about the procedure. We kept him busy in the waiting room with games and books. After we were called back tot he pre-op area, we had more waiting to do. The nurse asked us some questions and checked Cameron’s temperature and his vitals. She had him put on a hospital gown and then we waited for the anesthesiologist to come and talk to us. The anesthesiologist explained how they would put Cameron under the anesthesia and asked us the standard questions regarding allergies and reactions to medications, and family history.

Then it was time for Cameron to head back for surgery. They asked Cameron if he wanted to be wheeled into surgery on the bed, but he said he wanted to walk. So my big boy got up and walked with the doctors and nurses back to the surgery room. We watched him walk back and then went back to the waiting room. I got very emotional at this point. All of my nerves and concerns had been held in so I wouldn’t upset my son, and they all came out after he was out of sight. The entire surgery lasted less than an hour. There was a phone in the waiting room and they called us on that phone to tell us when they started. Then a nurse came to get us when Cameron began to come out of the anesthesia.

I had been told by several people that coming out of anesthesia was really one of the worst parts of the surgery. I have to be honest, those stories were right. Nothing really prepared me for seeing my son in that way. He was completely disoriented and scared and drugged up. He was very upset. He didn’t want any of the tubes or needles attached to him, but they had to be. He tried several times to pull them out and we had to try to keep him calm. This was not an easy task because he was still so out of it from the medication. After about 10 minutes of this he fell back asleep. This is totally normal and expected. He slept off a bit more of the medication. One thing I must suggest to any parent going through this is for you to make sure to eat and drink something. I did not eat or drink anything, and it really effected me while in the recovery room. I began to feel dizzy and faint. So don’t forget to take car of yourself during this time. You can’t take care of your child, if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

Cameron woke up again after about another half hour. The nurse gave him some pain medication and had him try to eat a popsicle and drink some juice. He refused the popsicle and juice, but did drink some milk. The doctor let us know that we could choose to give him half doses of his pain medication more often than the full dose. He said that this may be best at first. Make sure you discuss any medication dosing with your physician to see what is best for your situation and condition before modifying any original dosing instructions.

After 1 hour of time in the recovery room, we were allowed to take Cameron home. He slept a lot and didn’t eat or drink much. We did feed him some ice cream and some popsicles. Whatever he would eat we gave it to him. Every time he woke up we tried to get him to drink something. Even if it was only a sip. Swallowing and staying hydrated are both very important in the recovery from this surgery. The more they swallow the quicker it will heal. We made sure to keep pain medication in him, that way he would not be in any pain.

Day 2

Lots of comfort is needed on this day. He still did a lot of sleeping, but was awake more. We were careful to make sure his pain medication was given in the correct dosage and on time to prevent any pain flare ups which would cause him to get upset. We continued to push fluids. He drank juice, water, and ate popsicles. He didn’t want any food, but did attempt to eat some yogurt, ice cream, and pudding. He only ate a few bites, but a few bites is better than nothing. I did attempt to feed him some macaroni and cheese that was not hot, just luke warm, and he couldn’t eat that yet. Make sure you watch for a fever. A fever is expected, however, if it goes above a certain level then you need to contact your doctor. Our doctor didn’t want the fever to get any higher than 101.5.

Day 3

This day was the worst day of the recovery for us. Even though we were pushing fluids, I believe he was on the verge of getting dehydrated. This is a very bad thing at any time but especially when trying to recover from a major procedure such as this one. His fever was very close to the level of having to contact the doctor. He wanted to sleep more than the day before. He was refusing to drink or eat. We really had to force fluids and food on him. We even had to force the medications on him. On this day we began giving him Gatorade to drink instead of just plain water and juice. Since he was only drinking small amounts the water and juice just wasn’t enough to keep him well hydrated. The Gatorade worked like a charm. Continue the pain medication on a regular schedule, and allow as much rest as your child wants.

Day 4

This was the beginning of better days for us. Cameron began to eat some foods. He ate some luke warm macaroni and cheese, among other soft foods. He continued to drink his Gatorade, however, I did have to remind him to drink often. I did not give pain medication on as strict of a schedule. If he was in pain and it was time or past time for medication I would give it to him. However, I waited for him to tell me he was starting to hurt. On this day, we noticed some diarrhea from the antibiotics. If the diarrhea becomes excessive, you may need to contact your doctor.

Day 5

Cameron is feeling much better on this day. He was eating and drinking without any struggle. we were still taking pain medication as needed. However, in the evening on this day his ears began to hurt. This is totally normal, so do not be alarmed by it. The pain from the removal of the tonsils and adenoids will radiate out and cause pain in the ears. This pain was quite bad for my son. However, every child will react differently to this. We had to go back to a strict schedule for the pain medication. Also, I made sure to give food and drink after the pain medication to help prevent further pain. Also, by making sure to offer food and drink while the pain medication was in his system I found that he was able to eat and drink more.

Day 6
Today you need to be prepared for a fall back in the recovery. It is totally normal and our doctor told us to expect it at this time. Stick with the pain medication on a regular schedule. Continue to push the soft foods and fluids. My son would cry because the pain from his ears was so bad. We started to chew gum to help with the pain.

Day 7 – 1 week post surgery

Cameron’s ear pain continued. I called the doctor’s office to find out the results from the culture of the tonsils and adenoids. The results were not in yet.

Day 8

Cameron’s ears are somewhat better. However, we are still having to give pain medication every 4 hours. He is starting to eat more, and is drinking much easier. This is the day that most children are able to return to school. This day fell on a weekend for us, so Cameron is still at home. Now that he is feeling so much better, we have to watch how much physical activity he is doing. There is to be no strenuous physical activity for 2 full weeks post surgery. With my son, I had to keep a close watch on him. I even enlisted his sisters to help me keep him from getting to active.

Day 9

Cameron’s appetite came back completely on this day. He was still experiencing ear pain. I gave him pain medication when necessary.

Day 10

I could have sent my son to school on this day. I chose to keep him home one additional day though. He had still been taking pain medication every 4 hours up until this day. The medication was mainly for the pain in his ears. I kept him home to see if he could go all day without taking any pain medication. He chewed gum to help with the pain when needed. He wanted to eat constantly. I guess he is making up for all of the food that he didn’t eat in the first week of recovery.

Day 11

This is the day that Cameron went back to school. I walked him in and spoke with his teacher. She was already aware that Cameron was having surgery, but I wanted to make sure she was aware of what to do in case something went wrong with Cameron. I sent a note in as well to be on his file just in case. I also made a point to inform the school nurse that he had just had the surgery and what to do in case of an emergency. The main concern was if Cameron had a tonsil bleed. This is not common, but it can happen. If this does happen, you child needs to go immediately to the hospital in an ambulance. However, before you do this, make sure to have the child drink ice water immediately to stop the bleeding. I made sure both his teacher and the school nurse were aware of this, they never needed to do anything though.

Day 12

Cameron’s voice is coming back to normal. The swelling seems to be going down. He still has quite an appetite. If he wanted to eat, I fed him. Even if it wasn’t time for a meal. He had lost some weight during recovery and his body must need to have some additional calories to be hungry so often.

Day 13

His voice continues to sound better. It is still not completely back yet. We returned to the doctor for a follow-up visit. The doctor says he is healing up very well. We discussed the results of the cultures. We were given the OK for all physical activity including gym and recess at school.

It has been over a month since Cameron’s surgery now. He is back to his old self again. His voice never did return to what it sounded like before, however it is similar. We are no longer having any issues with apnea. We are still working on the overnight bed wetting, but it is much better than it was prior to surgery. It was a difficult road to recovery, but it was completely worth it for my child. His health is much better now because of the surgery. I truly hope this article will help anyone whose child is going to have this surgery. I searched for people who had been through this, and wanted more information. It is hard to prepare yourself as a parent for all that comes with the surgery. If either of my other children have to have this done, now I am better prepared. Hopefully you are now too.

The Golden Rule

Just in case you didn’t know this about me, I was born and raised in the South, by two Southern parents. I was taught all of the good Southern manners, and was told quite often “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Oh yes, my friends … that’s the Golden Rule. For years I lived by this very rule. I am a few days away from turning 34 years old and I feel like I have adapted the Golden Rule to something that makes a bit more sense to me and what I have learned in my life.

While I was in elementary school, I was nice to everyone and always smiled no matter what. I was also different from the other kids in many ways and since I went to a small private school, I didn’t really fit in. I was picked on relentlessly to the point where I had very little self-esteem left. However, I kept right on smiling and being nice even though I was hurting so much. Smiling and being nice wasn’t working for me, I had to find a different way. I learned not to hide my emotions and that it was ok to show how I was truly feeling. I didn’t have to smile and be nice when people were being mean and hurting me.

As I got older, I began to interpret the Golden Rule a bit differently. I thought if I treated people with kindness, love, and respect; then that is what I would get in return from them. Sadly, I learned that was not the case. When I treated people that way, there were some people who would return that behavior, then there were others who still treated me however they pleased no matter how nicely I treated them. This behavior I still don’t understand. I’m sure that I have trouble with this because I was raised in the South and that just isn’t how Southern Charm works.

Now, I’m aging even more and I have started to see that the Golden Rule has an even deeper meaning. I came to this realization sometime within the past 2 years. I have had many “friends” in my life, or at least I thought they were all my friends. However, what I have learned is that many people who come into my life are there for only a short period of time and while they are there they serve a very important purpose in my life. I have the type of personality where I like to keep all of those special people close to me forever. However, not everyone has the same view on friendship as I do. This has been a very challenging lesson to learn, and there are often times that I still struggle with this very problem.

When friends drift apart due to work, life, family, or other changes sometimes that causes them to not be able to keep in touch and have the same kind of relationship that they had before. I have always been the type to keep in touch and try to hold it all together no matter how many balls I’m juggling. However, many other people choose to allow that friendship to fade and not keep in touch. When there is a shift like this, I always do wish that we were close like we had been before. I also often wish that other people tried as hard as I do to keep in touch. I know, this isn’t always possible, but I like to hope for the impossible. No matter what though, I’m the type of person that even if we don’t talk all of the time, or see each other often, I will still be there for you as a friend when you need me. Once a friend always a friend in my book.

There is one exception to that though. If you choose to treat me or my loved ones with manipulation, hatred, disrespect and/or ugliness there is no reason for me to treat you with any kindness. Why should I go out of my way to treat you nicely if you are going to do everything you can to stomp on my kindness, spit on it and throw it out the window? This is where my version of the Golden Rule probably isn’t what I ever thought it would be. I still follow the Golden Rule each and every day, however, once that line is crossed … that rule still applies, but it has changed. I will only be as nice to you as I have to be. If life requires me to interact with you for whatever reason, then I will be cordial to you in order to make it through our interactions. But I will not go out of my way to be nice, do favors, or interact with you. There is no point in me going out of my way to be nice if all I will be met with is nastiness in return.

I know this is a very cynical point of view, and I hate that I have grown to have this point of view with anything in life. But I know that this perspective has gotten me through some difficult situations that I have been faced with in the recent past. Luckily, I have many people in my life who treat me with the same love and respect that I give to them. Sorry to go on a rant, but this topic has been on my mind a lot in the past few months due to another interesting situation that has appeared in my life. I am a positive person in almost every aspect of my life, so positive that it is almost a fault! Therefore, I give myself this one area to have a more cynical take. I figure I’m allowed to have this one area of imperfection, right? ;D

How about you? What do you think about the Golden Rule?

Letting Go

They say the first step to solving a problem, is to admit that you have a problem. Ok, I will admit it. I am a bit of a control freak. It’s really kind of weird because there are lots of things that I am so incredibly easy-going about. However, the things that I am particular about I am a total control freak about those. Here are a few examples …

Folding Clothes – Before I got married and had kids, I didn’t really care how the clothes were folded. However, now that I have been trying to do laundry for people other than just me for the past almost 13 years … I have really become a fanatic about the way things are folded.

My kids – I am a total mama bear and control freak when it comes to my kids. I am sure most parents are this way though. I want to know everything that is going on with them at all times. One of my kids has some health issues and I am all over those keeping track of her medications and such. I have either volunteered or worked at the school ever since my kids started school.  I just want my kids to know that I am their biggest advocate and I have their best interests at heart at all times.

Giving 100% – Ok, this is the one that I think a take a bit too far. When I do something, I give it my all. And I do mean my all. I want it to be the absolute best that it can be. About 11 years ago I worked as a temp. I would do such a good job at my temporary assignments that I would work myself out of a job before the contract was up. Of course, that hard work usually leads to bigger and better things for me. But I seriously don’t just give 100% … I usually push myself and go above and beyond. The problem with this is, when I don’t feel recognized, or appreciated for all of my hard work. I get very irritated.

My plans – When I plan something out, I expect it to go exactly the way I have planned it. That is totally unreasonable, and in my head I know that it is nearly impossible. But for some reason when things don’t go just according to plan … I flip out. I know, you are all now thinking that I am a total whack job. HA HA HA!

Ok, now that I have let you all into that crazy place that I call my brain … LOL … let’s get back to the point. This year I am trying to take a step back and let go of many of these issues. “Why do I need to be in control of this?” is what I ask myself. Sure, I still get all uptight over things. It isn’t like I can wave a magic wand and make all of those things go away in my head. But I am trying to be better about it.

What about you all? Is there anything that you are a control freak about? Is there anything that you are trying to change in your life? Take my advice. Even baby steps in the right direction are a good thing. So that’s what I keep on doing. Baby steps towards a calmer and still totally awesome me!

Life Plan

Make Some History

The Seeds 4 Life

Seeds of Inspiration, Wisdom, and Positivity

Sincerely, James

The Life of a Teenage-Traveler

The Ninth Life

It's time to be inspired, become encouraged, and get uplifted!

Stay Calm, Have A Cupcake!

Handling life one sweet treat at a time.