How Far?

 

In my Creative Non Fiction class this week we’re workshopping each others writing pieces. After a classmate finished sharing her writing about love and other 4 letter words, we were giving a writing prompt. The prompt was “How far will you go for love/relationships?” The hopeful romantic in me wanted to say to the limit does not exist. The stoic me sighed and said what’s love and a relationship anyway? Does our generation even know what those words facilitate? My professor started the timer and this is what I had to say.

Many people say hopeless romantic but I say hopeful. Hopeful that the best has yet to come and all the setbacks are set ups for the love I talked to God about. I remember being on the edge of love only to look over my shoulder to realize I was alone. People say a love lost is supposed to make you better not bitter, but it’s hard to remove the stain and stench of a soiled love. How far am I willing to go? Honestly somedays to the end of the Earth and back. I would do a lot for my love because for my love I need a riot. Other days I might not even want to crawl. But the love and passion for myself is limitless and burns like the fire in Hades.

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Communication and Doctor-patient relationship

Hey guys I’m back again with your daily dose of health and medicine for Saturday. So last week I started sharing a story about what happened last week while I was at the doctor. So basically I had a real life deja vu of the advocating I do for my mom. There was this mother and daughter waiting to see a doctor for a walk-in. The receptionist whom registered them for the walk-in didn’t communicate that doctors take their scheduled appointments first then debate when they’ll see the walk-ins. These women had been sitting in the waiting room for a while until an actual doctor had explained the so called “miscommunication”. Then another patient who should’ve been in a different waiting room almost missed their appointment because of the same receptionist. Communication is key anywhere especially in doctor-patient relationships it’s your health and body.  Seeing this treatment I’m glad this woman and myself are advocating for our mother’s health. Now onto the more recent events mom had a bunch of appointments this month. this week she found out she doesn’t have any blood clots, her blood pressure is great, A1C (three month sugar level) is high, and she can also start to focus on having the surgery to remove her hernia. A hernia is a cyst which can be found in the stomach or intestine. This is a condition she had when impregnated with me. She put off having the surgery for a while because she wanting get other stuff under control with her health. However this is great news but all of her doctors are not on the same page which is very important. We have one doctor prescribing her Vitamin D pills without saying if her levels appear to be low or not. Then you have another doctor wanting to repeat blood work that’s been performed already. When you have doctors and specialists make sure they all on the same page and informing you about their treatment plans for you. Communication is important when helping a patient understand their medicines, health, and the reason for different tests/blood tests. For weeks my mom and the sleep clinic were playing phone tag but she finally spoke to to them today. Also you don’t want to have repeat tests and medicines that you don’t need from your pharmacy, because your doctor’s aren’t on the same page communicating with you. This can run up your insurance have them sending you bills saying they’re not paying for this because you’ve had  it done multiple times. This also corresponds with medicine as well if your pharmacy is continuously giving you refills for medicine that you’re not using adds up on your insurance. If you have to get a little wild sometimes to get your point across then do so because this is your health, body, and insurance. The insurance didn’t want to pay for another Cat Scan for my mom because she had one in the hospital a while back. Then even before that she had one for something else and so the doctors that wanted this third scan decided to use the one from when she was in the hospital to find the answers they needed about her kidneys at the time. Make sure you’re getting everything you need from your appointments communication is deal of importance within doctor-patient relationship. Alright guys that’s it health and medical Saturdays with Davidia. It’s been real enjoy the rest your weekend.

A List of Superwomen In Honor of Women’s History Month

Hey y’all!

It’s James again!

I’ve been up all night trying to figure out what to blog about and it just dawned on me…it’s Women’s History Month!

In no particular order, I would like to take this time to honor some of the superwomen who have had an impact in my life personally starting with…

 

1. Zora Neale Hurston

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“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it”

Honestly, deciding to read my little brother’s discarded copy of her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. That book changed my life in ways I cannot express and now I CAN’T STOP RAVING ABOUT IT! I might have to give it another read soon. Actually, it’s one of my dreams to do a remake of the film version. Maybe someday. Here’s to you Ms. Hurston!

 

2. Eartha Kitt

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“A man comes into my life and I have to compromise? You must think about that one again”

This radiant queen. I mean seriously, how could she not be on my list?  She blessed us with one of the most iconic holiday songs of all time. With lyrics like “Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex and checks”, ‘Santa Baby’ is still a bop! It should also be noted that, Ms. Kitt survived being blacklisted by the government and was the first African-American actress to portray Catwoman on screen. This earns her a solid spot on my list of superwomen.

 

3. Maya Angelou

 

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“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”

When my best friend and I first heard of Ms. Angelou’s passing, we were devastated. I remember catching a glimpse of an interview she did with Oprah and just thinking to myself, “She’s so out of this world”. I read “Still I Rise” in my first semester here at Lehman College, and I’ve made it my goal to become more familiarized with Ms. Angelou’s work ever since. Here’s to you Ms. Angelou, a true superwoman.

 

4. Whoopi Goldberg

 

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“An actress can only play a woman. I’m an actor, I can play anything”

Oh Whoopi, I really have no words to explain or express my admiration for this woman. From portraying characters like Celie in The Color Purple to Queen Constantina in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (One of the most iconic adaptations of Cinderella by the way), how can you not love her. I mean she’s an E.G.O.T winner for heaven’s sake. I think that says it all.

 

5. Janet Jackson

 

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“No my first name ain’t baby. It’s Janet. Miss Jackson if you’re nasty”

I remember being seven years old when I first watched the music video for her single “Doesn’t Really Matter” and obsessing over how futuristic the music video was. My mother and I would sing that song all the time together. I also remember watching the music video for “The Pleasure Principle” and trying to imitate the choreography. I must confess, I almost had my black card revoked because I hadn’t yet watched Poetic Justice (I mean I’ve seen bits and pieces, just not the whole film). That’s how hard people go for Janet Jackson, because she is a star in her own right. That’s why she ranks on my list of superwomen.

 

6. Lauryn Hill

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“We should always be aspiring to know more, and to better ourselves, and to improve ourselves. To improve ourselves, because that’s how we improve the world around us, by working within us”

Growing up in a Nigerian-American household, my father owned very few albums from Black-American artists. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was one of them. Up to this day, the interludes between the tracks on that album still provide me with wisdom during my day. Not to mention that “When It Hurts So Bad” is probably my favorite song on that album due to the fact that it helped me get over a MAJOR heartbreak. That album significantly changed my life, which is why Ms. Hill has secured a spot on my list of influential superwomen.

 

8. Tyra Banks

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“Shine bright. Shine far. Don’t be shy. Be a star”

Yes, I know you all are judging me for this one but hear me out. This queen has maintained relevancy in an industry that is openly ageist against women. She has “given back” and created a platform for younger women to pursue their own dreams of becoming models. Almost all the seasons of ANTM (Up until the Rita Ora season and the season that they started to incorporate men onto the show *insert eye roll here*) are BINGEWORTHY. Love you, TyTy.

 

That wraps up my list of legendary superwomen.

Happy Women’s History Month!

Signing off,

James

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Love With Love 10th entry

Hi again! Today’s entry will be all about Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster) by Robico. Both the manga and anime are excellent – I recommend watching the anime first because it stays true to the storyline, and then reading the manga to enjoy the rest of the story all the way up to the ending with the original artwork.

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The female protagonist is Shizuku, a girl unlike any other shoujo manga heroine I have ever encountered. She is a total type A student, spending all of her free time studying. She sees any other activities or diversions as nothing more than distractions getting in the way of her study time. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Haru, a boy in her class who was suspended in the first week of school for getting into a fight. There is still a human-shaped imprint on a wall of the school building where he threw the other student. Even though his suspension ended, he refuses to come back to school, and Shizuku is sent to his home to try and convince him to come back.

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I really enjoyed this series for the bizarre personalities of the two main characters and how, despite their differences, they are able to form a friendship which is mutually beneficial. The biggest shock, I think, is how Haru performs in school when he actually shows up. The key factor that usually makes me like a series is its unique characters, and My Little Monster has exactly that. Another thing I love about the series is the humor – it might be fair to say that there’s more comedy than romance. And it truly makes the story work.

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-Milena

I Waited For You

I waited for you to come and show me different. I waited for you to be the man I knew you could be and the one I needed. You showed me a side of you I never knew existed. You showed me why it’s important to protect your heart. I waited for you to reach out and right all the wrongs made. I waited for you to hear the prayers I whispered to the moon for you. I waited for a change of heart, but it never happened because your heart was never mine. I waited for you only to find out I was on the edge of love and life alone. Pretending and defending your name as if you weren’t guilty of all the accusations made against you. I waited for you to see the loyalty and consistency I exude, but it continued to go unnoticed. I waited for you so long only to realize that forever doesn’t last too long these days. I waited for you and lost myself. All I could do was cry at the life I thought I was missing. My own life was passing me by and I couldn’t even hold on to it. But then that’s when it hit me. The life I was trying to hold on to never existed. I was in love with the idea of love and all the things I thought it encompassed. I was in love with an idea before I even loved myself. Thinking you could bring me all the things I was missing. That was then this is now. When I think about it, I know that I was never there, or even cared. You disappeared and so did the naive, vulnerable, and lonely boy that was infatuated with you. He is no longer here. The impression that you left on my heart and further interaction with men is something I’m still learning from. But the side effects of you are something that will make me better and not bitter. Waiting for you is something that will only be a figment of the past.  My presence is a present you no longer will be gifted.

Energy and Eye openers

Evening guys I know I’ve been late with my posts and I’m sorry there’s been a lot happening but I thank you my readers for reading. This week was bananas for me but let me tell you my mom made a smoothie for both of us using blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and ice of course. Since my mom is lactose intolerant we don’t really use a lot of milk and certain types of cheese. If my mom has milk or too much cheese she will have to take Imodium AD or just stay home because diarrhea. Lactose intolerant is when the body can’t digest the enzymes given from milk, cheese, yogurt, and other diary products. So therefor people have to use lactose free products and an epitome for lactose free milk would be Lactaid milk, Soy, or Almond milk but always be sure to read your labels as well. Even though I’m not lactose intolerant I don’t like the smell of certain juices so I don’t drink them. My mother loves orange juice but without the pulp and I hate orange juice but love eating oranges, tangerines, clementines, and whatnot. I love eating grapes but I hate the taste and smell of regular grape juice/soda and I only drink white grape juice. I have an odd thing about tastes and smells when it comes to food and drink for me. Also some people have a dislike of certain textures like my tapioca pudding mom doesn’t like that yet we both like rice pudding but I like it more than her. However getting back to the smoothie it came out great and I had to stay up late that night to do homework and that smoothie gave me a lot of energy which I needed. The amount of energy it gave is similar to what we gain when drinking coffee or caffeinated tea. This also worked for my mom too because she needs more protein and potassium which is gained from bananas and avocados. We also had guacamole for a snack one night as well which was great as well. I’m not saying that you must eat healthy or second guess every meal because my meals weren’t healthy this week. I was very tired and lazy so me and my mom had uber eats and some frozen tv dinners when neither of us wanted to cook. Honestly my goal is to educate and encourage advocacy for your bodies and healthcare. I had my appointment yesterday with my new doctor who is also my mother’s primary care doctor. We’re trying to get her on the same page with her other specialist doctors. I felt the appointment went well. I had an ECG to measure to determine if there were any problems with my heart since I have trouble sleeping at night and feel like anxiety attacks me at night the most. I haven’t seeked out trying melatonin yet I’m letting that be my last resort of treatment for sleep. However me and my om agreed to start getting back on track with cooking instead of ordering out so much. There’s nothing wrong with doing it once in a while or if you just want to have a treat however, when it becomes a habit that’s a problem. However my mom knows wants to keep numbers looking great and is going look into getting a bone density test. She’s been having a lot of pains in her bones lately so this test will help determine if she needs a calcium pill like me. Next week I will continue more about different things to do with body. One more things I wanted to share with you my reader is this deja vu I had. When I was waiting to see the doctor I took notice of how unorganized this 2300 Westchester Montefiore is and level of redundancy in that place. I had a 12:30 appointment and returned home by 4:45pm. There’s a high level of non-communication in that place. However I’m going to try to keep an open mind as I wait for my medical records to be transferred from Urban Health Plan to Montefiore. I will share the rest of this story in my next post have a great night guys and happy reading.

New Voices Playwriting Festival: The Aftermath

in eps10Howdy y’all! It’s James again!

I hope you all are loving this forty degree March weather (I know I am).

Okay, so I know you guys are probably reading the title and thinking, “Is he still going on about that damn Playwriting Festival” but I promise this is the last time I’ll speak on my experience and then I’ll go back to being a normal college student with normal experiences, haha!

This week Monday, I was invited by Professor Engels to do a Q&A for her Playwriting Class at Lehman. And all I have to say is…boy, I should’ve prepared more.

Although, how does one prepare for a Q&A?

I mean, being that this was my first Q&A ever, I didn’t know what to expect. I had no idea that the students were going to have actual questions for me because who am I but I regular kid from the Bronx who just wants to tell stories. Anyway, I digress.

I arrived on campus earlier than expected and poked my head through the glass square in the middle of the wooden door. I was hoping that Professor Engels didn’t see me, but she did. Rats! Just kidding!

She invited me in and I saw a few familiar faces *Cough Cough* Brittany *Cough Cough*. I took a seat and I waited for Professor Engels to wrap up her lecture. My palms grew sweaty and my legs started to shake. I hated public speaking. I hated having the spotlight on me.

To my surprise, Brittany had prepared a very sweet speech about me (because she’s awesome and we go WAY back to my first semester at Lehman) detailing my background as a writer. After this speech, the floor was opened for me to speak. I got up and took at seat at the desk. The hot seat is what I called it because the look on the students faces made me know that they were ready to grill me with questions.

I let them know right off the bat that I was nervous. I mean what was I doing up there in that seat? I’m a student just like them, learning just like them.

The questions just started pouring in and I didn’t even get the chance to take notes like Professor Stowe had advised (I knew I should’ve set my audio recording before starting).

The students raved about the actors. They asked me about choices I made within the play. They asked me about the process and whether or not I was going to write a second act. We chatted about the “steak and chicken” monologue (which I credited to a conversation I had with my best friend Joyce ages ago). I responded to all of their questions and comments as truthfully as I could.

I told them a few secrets about things that went on behind the scenes (things that I didn’t include in my exposé from last week), I told them about previous versions of my play before the rewrites, and I gave them a bit of writing advice.

When it was all over, I had students walk up to me and shake my hand, thanking me for coming in. I still couldn’t believe that my work had affected so many people in such a positive way. I really felt blessed but I won’t get preachy with y’all.

I shook Professor Engels’ hand once more and I thanked her for having me come in. After that, I was on my way having completed my first Q&A. Prayers up that there are more Q&As in my future.

That officially wraps all the talk about the Playwriting Festival!

I hope you all stop by next week!

XOXO,

James