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I Won $5,000,000!

I received the e-mail below informing me I'd won $5,000.000. Why do people do this? Why do people respond to these scammers? Aargh! I started to respond with fake information but I have way too much to do rather than waste my time with these crooks.

The Common Wealth Of Nations
P.O Box 789
Harrogate HG1 2YR
Ref: CMNL/04760X2/45
Batch: 8731/069/BRK369
Our Dear Winner,
You have won the sum of$5,000,000.00 (Five Million,United States Dollars) from Commonwealth Lottery on our 2010 end of year charity bonanza.The winning ticket was selected from a Data Base of Internet E-mail Users,from which your Address came out as the winning coupon.We hereby urge you to claim the winning amount quickly as this is a monthly lottery. Failure to claim your win will result into the reversion of the fund to our following month.You are therefore requested to contact immediately our Claims Department below quoting winning number: LOTTERY NUMBER:05-08-10-18-20-46-{02}.
Barr. Richard Brown
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +601 0255 5803
Congratulations once again. please quote your lottery number.
Mr.Bruce Morrison,
Online coordinator for Commonwealth
Sweepstakes International Program.

Halloween 2009: Trick or?

Trick_or_Treat Saturday night was Halloween. In my neighborhood, Halloween has become much like any other night because kids don’t Trick or Treat door-to-door anymore. Schools have Halloween activities, there’s trick or treating at the malls and some churches have non-traditional celebrations.

I typically prepare for at least one child to stop by; I have bought treats every year --- except this year. For the last four or five years, not one kid has come by --- not one. It’s not as if children passed my home; they were nowhere to be seen. Not passing by...not even a kid in a costume in a car that drove by. Nothing. Nada.

So, tell me why a young boy, no more than nine years old, rang our doorbell at 10:38 at night. No one comes by that time of night unless they’re expected or it’s someone with bad news. So the first reaction was alarm.

After opening the door, I saw a young man with a Halloween bag. He was a nice looking young boy but I was not about to open the requisite metal security door that separated us. I told him that I was sorry but we didn’t have any candy this year because no one has stopped by in recent years. I then asked him if he was alone and why he was out so late.

He said he was alone but never answered the second question. I checked the surroundings as much as I could because I was not about to get bum-rushed in my own home. He said, “Don’t you remember me, I used to visit next door?” I didn’t remember him but he could have been telling the truth. I asked him if he was afraid to be out alone at this time of night and he said no that he walks this way to school.

I apologized again for not having any treats for him and told him to go straight home because it was too late for him to be in the streets, especially alone. He said yes ma’am and went on his way. I watched him walk down the street until he turned the corner out of my line of vision.

Then I wondered for the rest of the night who would allow their precious child to be out like that. I was so concerned about him that I looked for him after I got home from work today. I didn’t see him anywhere. Then my folks returned from a homeowners meeting and told me about a gang in the neighborhood.

Kids from another part of town, who live in a nearby group home, have started a gang that terrorizes neighbors, especially other young kids. They break into cars. They also send a young kid to scope out homes so they can go back later and burglarize the place. 

Now you know, I am cautious but I refuse to live in fear. I also believe in having 9-1-1 on speed dial and defending my family and myself by any means necessary. I wonder if little man was a member of the gang and tried to get into our home to scope it out. I wonder if he was a kid whose parents were at work and didn’t know he was trolling the streets so late at night. I wonder.

Well, I’m still going to be on the lookout for little man as I ride through the neighborhood. If I see him, I’ll let him know that I am concerned about him and wanted to make sure he was safe. Then I’ll go on my merry way but don’t get it twisted; if little man turns out to be in the gang and tries anything, I got the right to go Bernie Mac on him and his friends. Believe that.


Happy New Year! Are we in for more wild times in 2009?

I am glad that 2008 is over and we can start 2009 fresh and new. Here are my resolutions for the New Year. I've only included three because that's a manageable number I can cope with. I'll let you know how it goes throughout the year.

  1. Get more rest.
  2. Eat less fired foods and more raw fruits and vegetables.
  3. Blog every day.

Let's pray for wisdom, protection and guidance for President-elect Obama as he assumes leadership of this nation during one of its most fragile periods in history.

Peace and Blessings.





Ageless Music: Blogger Album Project


My sister from another mother, Linda, from Ramblings of an Ageless Hippie Chick tagged me a few weeks ago with a meme on my seven favorite music albums. I’m such an eclectic music lover that I’ve started and stopped this blog post more times than I care to remember. Since it’s cold outside and I’m in for the night while I continue to fight off a cold, I’m going with whatever I write this time.

Besides, I am so tired of the Rod Blagojevich scandal and the Jesse Jackson Jr. denial tour that I really must move on for my own sanity.


1. Post your list of the seven best albums, the seven bloggers you will tag, a copy of these rules,
and a link back to this page.
2. Each person tagged will put a URL to their Blogger Album Project post along with a list of the seven best albums in the comment section HERE.
3. Feel free to post the “I Contributed to the Blogger Album Project” Award Graphic on your sidebar,
along with a link back to this page.
4. Post a link back to the blogger who tagged you.


1.       A Love Supreme – John Coltrane:  I can listen to this album over and over and over again. Coltrane was a musical genius and I’d choose his tunes over many of today’s musicians. That’s not a slap to just a testament to the groundbreaking sound of John Coltrane.

A love supreme


2.       Exitos Eternos - Celia Cruz:  There is only one Celia Cruz. I love watching her and predecessor, La Lupe. Celia Cruz mesmerized the Latin music industry and showed just why she’s the Queen with her modern tunes. My favorite song from this album is La Negra Tiene Tumbao.

Exitos externos


3.       Electric Circus – Common:   This album is probably the least commercially successful of Common’s tunes. I happen to like the 1970’s flavor of the tunes. Common was obviously heavily influenced by his relationship with Erykah Badu at the time this album was made. There’s also a collaboration with Mary J. Blige that is underrated.

Electric circus


4.       Heaven – BeBe & CeCe Winans:   Before Kirk Franklin broke ground as a contemporary gospel star, BeBe and CeCe Winans paved the way with this album. Many secular radio stations found several cuts from the album in heavy rotation on their playlists. I love every track on this album. One of my favorite songs from this album is Lost Without You 



5.       West Side Story – Leonard Bernstein:   Since my mom taught dance when I was a kid, I grew up listening to show tunes. I recall watching the movie version of West Side Story and memorizing all of Rita Moreno’s lines. While I liked Natalie Wood’s role but Rita had fi-yah.

I did get that the story was based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s really interesting to hear some of the songs today but I still love the album.

West side story



6.       3 Years  5 Months & 2 Days in the Day of the Life of… - Arrested Development:   I love this album and I love this group. They remind me of Sly & the Family Stone. There tunes are upbeat message music. I love the mix of reggae, rap and R&B. This is another album that I would turn the volume up on real loud and sing as I drove in my car on long distance trips.

Arrested development


7.       The Isaac Hayes Movement – Isaac Hayes:   This album was released in November 1969. I remember it vividly because of the song I Stand Accused. I had just become a teenager and the older kids talked about how long the song was. Since it was a slow song, it provided couples an opportunity to dance really close for a really long time. That song was the first song I danced close with a boy. I didn’t see what was such a big deal. I was really young. LOL

The isaac hayes movement

Here are the SEVEN BLOGGERS  I’m tagging. Play if you want, if not, that’s cool too.

TGrundy of RIBS

Regina of Regina’s Family Seasons

Mr. Chap of Mr. Chap Morning Show Live

Angie of What Floats My Boat

Marty of Marty BLOGs

Theo of Now That’s What I’m Talkin’ About

 and Matt of  A Bowl of Stupid.

My brain is fried; that was hard work. Your responses will be interesting. Peace and Blessings, y’all.


© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.

Vanessa: Unplugged! Among 60 Influential Black Bloggers

Favicon.ico I was so caught up in the General Election that I neglected to let you folks know that Vanessa: Unplugged! was listed among 60 Influential Black Political and Social Action Bloggers by AAPP (African American Political Pundit). It's quite an honor to be included among many blogs and bloggers that I truly admire for their political analysis, commentary and work for the collective.

Thanks, AAPP!

© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Thanksgiving Reminder...Reality Check...Rant

Today is the day before the day before Thanksgiving. Folks are talking about their Thanksgiving plans and trying to remain pleasant and upbeat. The reality is that folks are losing their jobs all over the place. The signs of desperation in this country are sometimes unbearable if we're paying attention.

We are Americans and we will overcome this bad economy but the fact of the matter is that most of us have not experienced an economic downturn of this magnitude. It would be wise for us to read or re-read an American history book right about now. No matter how bad it is in this country, we are still way better off than most of the rest of the world.

President-elect Barack Obama has inherited a country so devastated by overspending and lack of oversight that it's just unreasonable to expect people who have been evicted or very well soon be to understand economics and why the government should continue to contribute to these bailouts for banks while forcing the auto industry to present a plan before bailing them out. All of this talk about Wall Street, Main Street, side streets and back streets means absolutely nothing but more talk.

I've worked for government for many years. You know the comments about lazy government workers and two-hour lunches….blah…blah…blah. Well, inarguably there are some folks that live down to that reputation but there are far too many others that don't.

Then, enter private industry. No, let's be more specific --- the heads of the Big Three auto companies with hat in hand and no plan. I guess they thought they were Lehman Brothers or AIG but anyway the answer was no; especially since each of them flew in on a private jet for the hearing. See, it's that kind of foolishness that just deserves a beat down. Talk about out of touch with reality. I've worked in private industry also. There was no excuse for the private jets. That spoke volumes about them as individuals and leaders. No wonder their companies are in such bad shape. And this is an example of the superiority of business and private industry that we tout so often? Give me a break.

At this point in time, so many organizations are reviewing budgets, spending plans and job duties. People are being laid off. No insurance benefits. No housing. Nothing. Yeah, Happy Thanksgiving.

With these lay-offs comes an increase in crime but wait, the police and fire departments have been cut also. I'm feeling a lot more like Mad Max. Anyhoo, in spite of what's happening, in the end, we must remain positive, prayerful and grateful. President Obama will not solve America's problems with the wave of a magic wand. Each of us plays a role in America's recovery. CEOs must sacrifice and set the example, Unions must compromise and American businesses must return jobs to American workers.

Our economic recovery is like going on a diet to get in shape. We know what we need to do and we know that there's really no short cut for lasting results. We also know that there's really no such thing as a diet only a lifestyle change. Let's just do this.


© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.



Mission Accomplished

The last five days of my life have been totally consumed with either work fiscal problems, to a lesser extent, family issues and most of all, a student recruitment activity for my college alma mater (FAMU). Yes, that's why I've been somewhat missing in action. The long and short of it is that the event was far been attended than we'd imagined --- especially for a Monday night in the Overtown section of Miami.

There were at least 900 folks there. The auditorium was packed from top to bottom. About 25 students received scholarships in various amounts with a few getting a full ride for their four years in college. Now, I just got caught up in the moment because that's not what this post is really about.

My lesson learned from working this project is that I can't hang the way I used to. I was so tired yet exhilarated at the same time. The relief from the completion of the project was almost like childbirth. Now that it's over, I can get more than four hours sleep.

My Gratitude Moment

For the last couple of weeks I have gone home exhausted. I don't like it when I feel that way because I have little control over my body and I completely zonk out. I sleep for a few hours and then I'm up until it's almost time for me to get ready to go to work. That's not cool.

I realize the exhaustion and insomnia I'm experiencing is likely due to stress from my job. To combat that, I've started powerwalking in the mornings and relaxing with chamomile tea before going to bed.

Sadly, as I look around my neighborhood I see the reality of our country's economic situation kicking in. Some folks are without jobs and a few others have a second job just to make ends meet. When I see families living with that kind of stress I realize there but for the grace of God go I.

I am blessed to be able to live comfortably and not worry about food, clothing and shelter but I am more blessed that I have my family and friends. Peace.


Take my cat, please…

I was totally bummed out yesterday because my cat was missing. Well, it's more like one of my cats was missing; there are eight in total. This is a picture of the vagabond, Xena (pronounced ZEE-NAH), yeah like the warrior princess. When she was only a few months old, she used to stand on her hind legs like a kangaroo and try to punch the other cats; that was a weird sight.

Anyhoo, as I was leaving my office to go home for the evening, I saw that my Dad and my brother had called. Of course, the first thing that pops in my mind is that something may have happened to my Mom. Well, to make a long story short, they had been looking for Xena since my mom returned from her dialysis appointment earlier in the day.

There was no sign of Xena and they had looked in the house and throughout the neighborhood. My Dad said that my Mom was very upset and they wanted to know if I'd seen Xena. I started to feel nauseous and it seemed as if I'd never get home.

When I got home, my Mom's eyes were so swollen from crying that she looked like she had an allergic reaction. It was bad. To make matters worse, she started going on and on about Xena and how she prayed to God and my deceased daughter, Jamila, for Xena to return.

If you've been reading this blog, you already know my daughter's story. Well, Xena was her cat and is likely the closest I'll come to a grandchild. I wouldn't want to lose her but I'm not going to spaz out either. I checked the neighborhood again and then made plans to go to the animal shelter in the morning, distribute flyers and offer a reward. What more could I do?

My mom said the guy that tried stealing the newspaper on Sunday had taken Xena and had done who knows what to her. I couldn't convince her otherwise. I tried to concentrate on my tasks for the evening and periodically checked outside to see if Xena had returned.

At about 1 AM, after hours of my Mom's kvetching, I convinced her to go to bed. She went to the front door, opened it and Xena was there. Oh…my…God… she screamed – no, more like wailed, thanked God and really carried on. Xena sashayed in the house as if nothing was wrong.

Needless to say, Xena will not be allowed out of the house anymore unless she's on a leash. I teased my Mom about how she reacted yesterday. Of course she denies most of it but rest of the family knows better. Perhaps I can get a good night's sleep and no more cat drama.

Happy Sunday, I’m stealing your newspaper!

I woke up this morning to my Dad yelling at a guy who was stealing the newspaper from the front lawn. Huh? What is this neighborhood coming to? The guy put the newspaper back and continued walking west on the sidewalk. I didn't see his face but my Dad said he is a neighbor. Happy Sunday!

I didn't go down to the guy's house, although I wanted to. I wanted to yell and scream and shout and call a neighborhood meeting on the spot. I didn't do it; but I sure wanted to. That's not the first time the newspaper has been missing but we thought the delivery guy was slacking.

The Sunday Miami Herald costs what? A dollar?

I don't know anything about the guy other than my Dad says he's Haitian and lives in the pink house about three houses away. The family that owns the place is very nice and they have been good neighbors. I don't know if the guy is their relative or not and I really don't care. Supposedly, he passes our house frequently. My Dad thinks he will apologize but I don't. He had the walk of a seasoned thief. You know, he was caught in the act and he didn't run or even walk fast. Even if he does apologize, I won't believe him.

Short of going to law enforcement, I'd like to not just let the issue go. The big 'but' to this situation is that I didn't actually see the guy, my Dad did and he doesn't want to pursue the issue. Maybe it's a guy thing. The newspaper thief will surely pass that way again and he'll not walk by without me saying something to him.

To me, it's a matter of stealing a newspaper escalating to stealing one of our vehicles or burglarizing our homes or someone losing their life. I'm a firm believer of nipping things in the bud. If you don't I think that leads some folks to believe they have permission to try you again.

In the meantime, I am also reminded that 'fences make good neighbors."

What would you do?