Happy Halloween!

Good day all and…

HAPPY HALLOWEEN or ALL HALLOWS’ EVE! Originally dedicated to remembering dead saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed, today, we dress up as something or someone other than ourselves and enjoy the activities associated with the day. These activities typically include trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving pumpkins, visiting “haunted houses,” and telling scary stories, to name a few. Talks of witches and goblins and ghosts, oh my! I’ve always LOVED Halloween. As a kid, I anxiously awaited for its arrival. Year after year, I transformed from one character to another, and it was awesome. It gave me the opportunity to be something that I wouldn’t have otherwise. There’s something very thrilling about going house to house, uttering the words “trick-or-treat” for candy or being scared out of my wits by someone else, dressed in a costume that was meant to terrorize. Mmm…getting chills right now. LOL. I hope everyone has fun today but also remember to keep it safe. Kids- be aware of your surroundings at all times and remember to only visit houses with their lights on. Well, this is what I was taught to do. Parents, whether you are taking your child(ren) door to door to trick or treat or going to a “trunk-or-treat,” please be sure to check your kids’ candy before they begin to devour it and monitor their intake. The dentist loves this time of year. Be creepy, be scary, have fun, and enjoy the day.

9/11 – Never Forget

Do you remember where you were 18 years ago? I remember…I remember exactly where I was when this occurred. As I was leaving one of my college engineering classes, my good friend, Christy- who was about to enter the same course with the same professor, just at a different time- asked me “did you hear about what happened? Two plans flew into the World Trade Center!” By this time, everyone had heard the news. I was stunned but it still didn’t register with me the profound impact this attack would have for years to come. The remaining classes I had that day were canceled as people were scrambling to understand what was going on, feared another attack would ensue, and if, indeed, a family member or friend working in or near the Center had been affected. I took to my dorm room and became transfixed to the news coverage for two straight weeks. I had never watched more news in my entire life. I couldn’t get enough. That’s all my mind was willing to consume. The sheer and utter devastation to New York and the many lives this major incident took had more than overwhelmed me. As the days and weeks passed, many of my friends, me included, were settling back in our normal routines, but were still numb. I, however, both needed and wanted to keep abreast of what was happening and what we, as Americans, were going to do about it. I remember hearing on the radio Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA” and Whitney Houston’s version of the Star Spangled Banner, constantly. These tunes gave me hope. They, in effect, helped restore my faith that everything was going to be okay. That was 18 year ago. Today, I am reminded of this hardship and how it has shaped my life. I am reminded of the sacrifice our men and women made to protect us from such a tragedy happening again. As we look back on this day, let us remember not the bad, but how Americans of all races, colors, and creeds, came together- like family. Let us remember the fallen and those who put their lives on the line to save others. Let us pray that if, in another time of crisis, we see each other as family and do whatever it takes to protect each other. To all the lives lost, to the injured, and to the survivors of 9/11, we will NEVER forget you. YOU are loved!

Avengers Endgame Review

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EPIC! I know I’m a few weeks late and this will be relatively short…But, the culmination of 10 years and 22 films, Avengers Endgame brings the Infinity Saga to a climactic and poignant close. The film featuring cinematic heroes- Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America- band together, once again, to take down the Mad Titan (Thanos) as they travel back in time to retrieve the infinity stones to bring back the “snapped.” With the help of newcomer and heavy-hitter, Brie Larson starring as Captain Marvel, and Paul Rudd (Scott Lang- a.k.a. Ant-Man), the Avengers are able to fight off Thanos to pull off a successful time heist and re-snap. Mention must also be given to all of the other MCU hereos that we have come to know and love- Black Panther, Suri, and Okoye, Dr. Strange, Wong, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Valkyrie to name a few. I want to give a big ups to Captain Marvel, who has quickly become my favorite MCU superhero. Captain Marvel SHINED in this movie, living up to her very hyped matriculation into the MCU, more so than in her own solo film, in my opinion. Check out my Captain Marvel review.

The first half of the film moves a bit slow for me. I understand exactly why the Russo brothers chose to do it the way they did it. They left no stone unturned. However, while I appreciate that everything was strategically placed and how they took time with each character, focusing on how he or she was affected, I feel like some things could have been left out. This would have given the film more credence to me and a grade of A+. My biggest and really only quibble with this movie is its length. It’s just so damned long!

Regardless of its length, this movie is an experience. An experience like we have yet to see in film. It is a roller coaster of emotions, with tons of laughs and tears; sacrifice, redemption, fun, and love. The movie perfectly bonded me to these characters in a way I didn’t think possible. Thank you Kevin Feige and all those at MCU for bringing the comics to life like only you can. You make me feel like a kid again.

My movie grade: A

R.I.P. Natasha Romanoff and Tony! Your sacrifice did not go unnoticed. Peace

Happy Mother’s Day

Dear Mom,
Happy Mother’s Day! Today is a day to celebrate all that you are. Your knowledge, wisdom, encouragement, strength, and dignity have helped to define my siblings and I, in ways I could not imagine possible. Almost 39 years have passed and not a day has gone by that I have not had you in mind. You taught me to be kind, to be patient, to be loving, to be caring, and to be strong. More importantly, you taught me to love and be true to myself. You inspire me and lift me up when the going gets tough. These are all things that I cherish and live by on a daily basis. Words cannot describe the joys of having you as a mother and a best friend. You mean the world to me and I cannot thank God enough for giving me you. It is through your example that I have become the man that I am today. You truly are a phenomenal black woman. I love you with all of my heart. -Jeffrey

And to all the other mothers out there, this day is for you. Happy Mother’s Day!

National Sibling Day

Hello everyone! Today marks National Siblings Day– a day to recognize, celebrate, and acknowledge siblings, if you have them, of course. I have two older brothers and two younger sisters. Growing up, we were very close. I recall racing our remote controlled cars, playing with our G.I. Joe’s, beating them (sometimes) at ‘Contra’ on Nintendo, and riding our bikes all over the city. With my sisters, I can remember playing with Barbie dolls, hide and seek, jump rope, letting them do my hair, being their protector, and much more. In my neighborhood, we were dubbed the Bailey boys and girls. It was such a joyous time for me. To this day, when I think back on those times, I smile and take a moment to reflect. Each of us have separate lives now, but still remain close to one another as siblings should. To my brothers and sisters, although I may not say it as much as I should, I want you to know that I love you very much and I’m proud of each one of you. I pray for your health, happiness, security, and well-being everyday. I stand proud to be a Bailey and I’m even prouder to be your brother. I love you Lil’ William, Bobby, Brittany, and April. -Jeffrey

Autism Awareness/National Child Abuse Prevention Month

A number of observances are taking place this month and while each observance deserves standalone recognition, I’d like to especially observe two very important ones -Autism Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Awareness- each of which greatly affect our youth.

According to Autism Society, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability, defined by a certain set of behaviors that affect individuals differently and to varying degrees. Currently, there isn’t a single known cause of autism. However, increased awareness and early identification can lead to improved outcomes for individuals suffering
with the disorder. Some of the signs include:

  • lack of or delay in spoken language
  • repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms
  • little or no eye contact
  • lack of interest in peer relationships
  • lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • persistent fixation on parts of objects

Child Abuse, including neglect, happens on a daily basis and in all walks of life. Many children suffer from abuse and neglect by loved ones, friends, and even strangers. Two ways in which we can help curb this problem are:

  • provide positive parenting- making it comfortable for your children to communicate with you
  • ask questions

It is imperative that we educate ourselves on issues that greatly affect our children. Read all you need to know on Autism and Child Abuse Prevention at http://www.autism-society.org and https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/
Report child abuse and neglect where is it appropriate, while being mindful of the circumstances to parent and child. Remember, the child’s well-being should ALWAYS come first. SPREAD THE WORD!

National Kidney Month

This post is a bit late for me, but I want to bring to your attention that this month is Kidney Disease Awareness. Information taken from Davita Dialysis website:

Kidney disease develops when kidneys lose their ability to remove waste and maintain fluid and chemical balances in the body. It effects 1 in every 7 adults in the United States. There are minimal to no signs of kidney disease, which, unfortunately, makes it sometimes impossible for individuals to be aware that he or she is experiencing an issue until it reaches later stages. Individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, or even cardiovascular disease pose a higher risk of developing the disease. While the disease doesn’t discriminate, African Americans are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with Kidney failure than any other ethnic group.

If you suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., it is important that you consult with you physician and have a kidney screening. For more information on raising awareness for kidney disease, please visit DaVita.com/KidneyAware .

“Captain Marvel” 2019 Review (Spoiler Alert!!!)

 

Seeing as this is only my SECOND blog post, let me preface this by saying I’m a HUGE Marvel fan. There- you’ve learned something new about me. And in celebration of Marvel’s latest offering, I’d like to give a brief overview of the movie. Wanna hear it, here is goes… Soooo me and my partner went to see “Captain Marvel” last night and let me tell you, we thoroughly enjoyed it! The film is set in the 90s and stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. For this post, I will refer to each as Carol and Fury, respectively.

Not your typical origin story in the Marvel sense, but a very good one indeed. The movie finds Carol (a sarcastic, hot-head) struggling to find her true identity, having had her memories suppressed by the Kree- a formidable alien race comparable to the Klingons of Star Trek. While fighting as a member of the Kree task force, aptly named Starforce, Carol is kidnapped by the Skrulls (a green alien species of shape-shifting abilities). In the film, the Skrulls are a refugee people, trying to escape extinction by the Kree while searching for a home. As such, they have invaded Earth, seeking to find a device capable of generating light speed so that they may find a planet far beyond the reach of the Kree. In the midst of all of this, flashes of Carol’s past takes her to planet Earth, where she and Fury go on a journey of discovery. It is here where Carols learns of the Skrull invasion and seeks to find out why the Skrulls are on Earth. Through multiple plot twists, we find that the Skrulls are not the enemy they were originally believed to be. Rather, they are a humble species, simply trying to survive. With the help of Fury, Carol unlocks her past and the source of her powers, which derives from the tessaract. By the end of the film, and after overcoming many obstacles, Carol finds her strength- embracing who she is and takes down the Kree. With a newfound sensibility, Carol leaves behind her family and friends on Earth in order to help the Skrulls find a home and to end the Kree-Skrull War.

Upon first viewing, I would grade this movie a solid B+. I loved the 90s nostalgia. I loved the camaraderie between Carol and Fury. I loved the performances by Lashana Lynch (who plays Maria Rambeau) and Ben Mendelsohn (who plays Talos). I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Annette Bening plays Mar-Vell, as Mar-Vell is a ‘he’ in the comics. The movie seemed a bit disjointed in places. It starts a bit slow and at times, I found myself wondering where the movie would take me. I would compare it to the 3-point thesis essays from my college days. You had an introduction, 3 major points of interest, and then a conclusion. This movie seemed to have developed in the same fashion. We are introduced to this powerful character (Carol), who fights for the people she believes she belongs, works to discover who she really is, and helps to secure a safe haven for a race she once believed to be the enemy. Overall, the movie is a great addition to the MCU and very much plays to the 90s era. I highly recommend this movie. I look forward to seeing what ‘Captain Marvel’ brings to the Avengers team in their quest to stop Thanos in “Avengers: Endgame.”

Happy National Nap Day

Happy National Nap Day!

As I have grown older, napping has become one of my very favorite things to do, especially when it rains. I try and take a nap everyday but it doesn’t always happen. For me, it’s both rejuvenating and comforting mentally and physically. I find that after napping, I’m in a much better mood and I’m more apt to want to tackle the remainder of the day. Surprisingly, when I do take a nap, I’m down for at least 2 hours, as anything less is a just tease. Haha. Napping carries a lot of great benefits.

According to Web MD, here are some benefits of taking a nap:

1). It can help improve your memory
2). It can help keep you more consistent
3). It may lift your mood
4). It helps with alertness

Napping can help us function more efficiently in our daily lives. So, take advantage of a little extra sleep a day. I hope you all are enjoying whatever day you are having and if you get the opportunity to enjoy one- TAKE A NAP!