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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update.

I didn't get disqualified from the Navy. I suppose I was being my usual paranoid and melodramatic self. :-/

I took my mom with me for moral support in case I had a nervous breakdown. My recruiter was there, but I didn't see the chief around anywhere. My recruiter informed us that the chief had to go downtown to assist another Navy recruit and would be back soon. He told me about how the chief had "spazzed" when he spoke with him on the phone the night before about my tattoo, and mentioned that that would qualify me to be discharged. My recruiter told him it wouldn't, since I didn't get a tattoo on my face or hands, so it was still within regulations. For some reason, the chief still wanted to have a chat with me anyway. We sat down to wait, and my mom and recruiter gabbed about parenting issues while I twiddled my thumbs in nervousness.

11:00 came and went, and the chief still hadn't shown up. Eventually he called my recruiter, who told him we had been waiting in the office for a while and asked if he wanted to talk to me on the phone. A few minutes later, my recruiter got off the phone and told me that the chief was still downtown and all I needed to do was write yet ANOTHER statement about why I got my tattoo. I filled out the form, we finished chatting, and that was it.

*Wipes sweat from forehead*

That scare made me realize that I really am serious about going to the military. Honestly, I wasn't feeling it in the beginning, but I know that I don't want to be in St. Louis forever and this is the best way I know of to move toward my career and life goals. So no more impulsive, stupid decisions. I will not be getting any more tattoos......at least not until after boot camp.

Anxiety.

I don't know if I ever mentioned this on the blog before, but I got my second tattoo back in October. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal; however......I got the tattoo while I was in Navy DEP. (I still am in DEP by the way, at least for the time being, but I'll get to that later.)

Some of you may laugh at what I got. After starting my fashion blog, I became semi-obsessed with that "Moda Ribelle" phrase, so I searched far and wide for the perfect font to get the words tattooed on my shoulder. Once I decided on the font, I dragged my brother along with me to the tattoo shop. It only cost 40 bucks and took the guy about 10 minutes to complete. I loved it.....and then it hit me. I kinda sorta wasn't supposed to get any body art and/or piercings before going to boot camp. Oops.

I told my recruiter about it, and he didn't seem to think much of it. He had me fill out some form explaining the who, where, when, why, and how of my tattoo placement and that was about it. That was three months ago, but my decision may have come back to bite me in the ass.

I got a call from my recruiter's chief last week, asking me if "anything had changed" and he went on to ask if I was having second thoughts about going to the Navy. I told him no, I've actually been trying to get in shape for boot camp. He told me they have too many people waiting to ship out, and they are canceling DEP contracts for people that don't want to go. I'm not sure if that was meant to be a scare tactic to see who is really serious about joining the military, but I assured him that I didn't have plans of flaking out at the last minute.

Then I went to my recruiter's office earlier today to fill out some paperwork. The tattoo subject came up again, but once again, my recruiter didn't say much about it. After I got off work, I got a call from him saying I need to come into his office tomorrow because the chief wants to "talk" to me about my tattoo.

Oh shit.

It may not sound like a big deal to anyone else, but any time someone wants to "have a talk" with me, it never turns out well. I've come to expect the worst in most situations because in my life, the worst thing that can happen always does happen.

Now my throat is dry, my chest hurts, and my stomach is in knots. Every minute that goes by seems to last an hour. How embarrassing is it going to be to tell everyone that I got disqualified from the Navy because of a $40 tattoo of my fucking blog name? I told my mom about it and she laughed at me. Nice.

I know if the worst case scenario does manifest, I can't be mad at anyone but myself. I knew the rules but like my usual hard-headed self, I did what I wanted anyway. Which is another reason why I wanted to go to the Navy, to hopefully break me of that habit. I have to stop writing about this now. I'm getting depressed just thinking about what's going to happen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Spare The Rod.

*Disclaimer: This post is in regards to MY beliefs on spanking and interacting with children. I am well aware that I am not a parent and have no plans of being one in the near future. However, I cannot be bothered with the people who love to say, "You can't talk about parenting issues if you don't have kids." I talk about whatever I want. If you don't like it, you've been warned. :)

While blog-cruising the other night, I came across a World Star Hip-Hop video of an uncle who had apparently caught his teenage nephew "faking his gangsta" on Facebook. The uncle was obviously pissed, as he explained to viewers that their family isn't about that "gangsta" shit, and proceeded to pull out a belt and whip his nephew several times for his indiscretion. You can check the video out here.

I went on to read through the comment section as I normally do, and reactions to the video ranged from kudos to the uncle for his actions, to amusement at how completely humiliated the young boy must have been. I was not amused by the video at all. To be honest, I found it to be contradictory that this man was chastising his nephew for pretending to be "gangsta," and chose to teach him a lesson by spewing profanity and using violence. In my opinion, that seems pretty fucking gangsta.

Of course, I felt the need to speak my piece on the video. I mentioned that I had been spanked just a few times as a child, but my parents decided to stop spanking me and my two younger siblings. I stated that I have no plans to spank when/if I have any children, and that there are alternative methods to discipline children.

I got an immediate rebuttal from another poster whose argument is that there are just some bad-ass kids out in the world that "need" to be spanked. She mentioned that she was a bad kid, and had come in contact with other bad kids in her lifetime who would have benefited from a beating or several. She then told me that I was condemning other people's beliefs, and went on to say that it was "asinine" to say that no children should be spanked.

I countered by using myself and my siblings as an example again. My sister and I have always had fairly laid-back personalities and never required much supervision, but my brother was one of those "bad" kids that most people think "needed" to be spanked. He got into everything imaginable, and I'm pretty sure he drove our parents up the wall when we were younger. However, my mother still found different ways to discipline him when he acted out. She found different ways to discipline ALL of us when we acted out. I remember being in the 2nd grade and giving her attitude about whatever it is that 2nd graders get attitudes about. At the time, I was obsessed with reading Goosebumps and The Babysitters Club novels. Because of my attitude, my mother decided to take away my books. In a desperate attempt to negotiate with her, I requested a spanking rather than being stripped of my favorite reading materials. That was a no-go, and the books were taken until I got my act together.

As I got older, the punishment for misbehavior intensified. And I'm not talking about the bullshit punishment that a lot of kids get nowadays, where they sit on the couch for about an hour mean-mugging everyone until Mom and Dad get annoyed and send them off to play. I'm talking about 24-hour lockdown, where I would do nothing but sit in a room staring at the walls. There was no TV, games, music, Internet, books, NOTHING. If I mouthed off about said punishment, that got me an additional day tagged onto my sentence. Yes, that's what it felt like. A prison sentence. Once again, I would have preferred a swift slap to the face or a couple belt whippings, but those were not options in my house.

There ARE other ways to discipline children; you just have to be creative about it. I think most people choose to resort to the "tried and true" method of spanking because it's simple. Little Kayla takes a toy from her younger brother, he starts crying, you pop her on the butt a few times, and she sits in a corner whimpering for the next half hour. But what is that teaching her? It's teaching her that any time someone does something you don't like, you hit them. And we wonder why there is such an issue with domestic violence, and violence in general, in the community--especially in the African-American community. Most people's opinions seem to lie on extreme sides of the spectrum: you either spank your kids, or you let them do as they please with no repercussions. I don't believe in either one. Too many times I've seen parents who spank their kids, then send them off to play video games, hang out with their friends, and get on their cell phones. It has gotten to the point where spanking is simply a formality; kids know the drill, so they take that whooping, then go about their business. Spanking is a quick fix that is all but forgotten once the sting of the belt fades.

I could say even more, but I'll stop there. Let the blog attacks begin.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

There Goes Another One.


One of my favorite female R&B artists, Jazmine Sullivan, announced earlier this week that she will be taking a break from the music industry. The announcement was made via (where else?) Twitter, and subsequently deleted (surprise). Basically, she was saying that being in the industry is no longer something she enjoys and she needs time to find herself.

As a Jazmine Sullivan mini-stan, I must say I was disappointed to hear this. I think she has a beautiful voice, and she is one of the few artists in the music industry with real talent. I also copped a little attitude due to the fact that several bloggers, including one that I LOVE, decided to post on Jazmine only after she announced that she will be taking a break from music. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like there has to be just a TEENY bit of shade that is being thrown when these same bloggers never bothered to post any entries on Jazmine's album release or anything. But as soon as she seems to be throwing in the towel, everyone wants to give her some recognition? Typical.

I have to wonder if this "break" she is taking has anything to do with not-so-stellar album sales from her "Love Me Back" album, which was released less than two months ago. I bought the album and there are a few tracks that I like, but ultimately I prefer her first album. I did a little Googling and found that she sold about 57,000 copies of her second album in the first week. I'm not a Billboard charts buff, but I'm assuming those numbers were not pleasing to the powers-that-be at her record label, and we all know what happens when record label execs are not pleased.

So there goes yet another artist who made the silly mistake of relying on talent rather than gimmicks when creating her music. Another artist that seems to be pushed to the background along with the likes of Janelle Monae, Lupe Fiasco, and Melanie Fiona. That pisses me off. Why can't Soulja Boy, or Wacka Flocka, or Nicki Minaj, take a break from music? Oh that's right, because if any of these artists recorded themselves taking a shit, the world would gasp in amazement and claim that those are the best bars they've ever heard. Because the masses would rather "do it with no hands" and pretend that they're Barbies, than support music with substance.

That's just the world we live in. Maybe I should join the crowd and cop me a pink wig, some false eyelashes, and make distorted, semi-retarded facial expressions while rapping along with nursery rhyme lyrics.