Saturday, July 4, 2009

Remembering Michael Jackson, Humanitarian and Artist

I can recall my cousins and I standing inches away from our television in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia watching the Thriller video for the first time. I think I was about seven or eight years old. I grew up in a very religious household so we were not allowed to listen to music. So my cousins and I watched Thriller and all other music videos muted. Today, I can listen to his music anytime I want thanks to my iPod. All of his music is so uplifting and inspiring. To this day I still feel like it's a dream that Michael Jackson left this world.

On June 25th I was having lunch when CNN announced Michael Jackson was transported to UCLA Medical Center. Before I could digest everything the Los Angeles Times announced his death. I never met Michael Jackson but the news hit me hard. I lived through his music. Whenever I listened to "Man in the Mirror" he made me want to become a better person. Michael Jackson always voiced his concern for a better world through his music. He believed in unity, love and peace. Although he faced many challenges throughout his life, I wish more people would recognize what he has accomplished and what he has given back to the world. There is no doubt he was a brilliant artist but most of all he was a kind hearted human being who devoted his life to helping others in need. He contributed to 39 charities and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most charitable star. Let us remember and celebrate Michael Jackson the philanthropist, artist, brother, son and father.
Love Train- O'Jays

People all over the world (everybody)
Join hands (join)
Start a love train, love train
People all over the world (all the world, now)
Join hands (love ride)
Start a love train (love ride), love train
The next stop that we make will be England
Tell all the folks in Russia, and China, too
Don't you know that it's time to get on board
And let this train keep on riding, riding on through
People all over the world (you don't need no money)
Join hands (come on)
Start a love train, love train (don't need no ticket, come on)
People all over the world ( ride this train)(Ride this train, y'all)
Start a love train (Come on, train), love train
All of you brothers over in Africa
Tell all the folks in Egypt, and Israel, too
Please don't miss this train at the station
'Cause if you miss it, I feel sorry, sorry for you
People all over the world (Sisters and brothers)
Join hands (join, come on)
Start a love train (ride this train, y'all), love train (Come on)
People all over the world (Don't need no tickets)
Join hands (come on, ride)
Start a love train, love train
Ride, let it ride
Let it ride
Let it ride
People, ain't no war
People all over the world (on this train)
Join in (ride the train)
Start a love train, love train (ride the train, y'all)
People all over the world (come on) Join hands (you can ride or stand, yeah)
Start a love train, love train (makin' love)
People all over the world ('round the world, y'all)
Join hands (come on)
Start a love train, love train

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ethiopian New Year (Enqutatash)

Dancing in the Street

During the celebration, children wear new clothes and go door-to-door in their neighborhood singing. The girls wear dresses and carry daisies and drums with them. They knock on doors and sing for the family that opens the door. In return for their songs, the family will give the kids money or special bread prepared for the new year. While the girls sing around town the boys paint pictures of saints and give them to people. The boys receive the same compensation for their paintings, money or bread. During the new year the history of Ethiopia is remembered, and its importance is acknowledged through Biblical passages and prayer.


I cannot wait for new year's to come around!! It is actually 2001 in Ethiopia right now. The current year according to the Ethiopian calendar is 2001, which began on September 11, 2008 CE of the Gregorian calendar. The year 2002 will begin on September 11, 2009. I absolutely love taking pictures of the celebration. Ethiopian New Year is coming up in September and for those of us who reside in California, the celebration will be San Jose this year. Last year, we celebrated the new year at Lake Merritt, Oakland.

Fancy Headwear

Mesgana Dancers

Father & Son

Eskesta- Shoulder Shimmies

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Memorial Day Weekend: Jon & Kate Plus 8

While most people were barbecuing and spending quality time with their families, I had absolutely no plans this past weekend. That's when I turned on my TV and began searching what programs to watch. As I reached channel 50 (TLC) I put my remote control down as I watched a set of sextuplets running around in a green carpeted house. I was watching the show Jon & Kate Plus 8. TLC planned for a marathon of the show leading up to season 5 premiere. I quickly learned all of the kids names: Mady, Cara, Leah, Hannah, Alexis, Aeden, Collin & Joel. Wow. It was fascinating to watch their mom, Kate cook for all eight kids, how much flour she uses every week, how many paper plates (1300) she goes through a week. To some extent it was also very entertaining to watch Kate treat her husband Jon as one of the kids. In between commercials I would try to sneak in house work like my laundry, ironing, & cleaning my closets. I really didn't want to miss a thing. What shocked me the most was all the episodes I've watched thus far were far more entertaining than any reality TV show. I especially enjoyed the episodes where Jon & Kate would have a one-on-one day with each kid. As season 4 wrapped up, I became more excited to start watching the new season. The season premiered with the sextuplets 5th birthday party. Kate was seen organizing the party and preparing gift bags for the guests. Mady and Cara volunteered to help prepare the gift bags. Jon was missing for most of the part. He came in during the party and Kate didn't even acknowledge his presence. It was very sad to see. Even if she belittled him in the past he would sigh and let it go. But this time she didn't even say a word to him except for take off your sunglasses for the family picture. Jon and Kate spoke about the paparazzi and how much they have impacted their family and friends. At the end of the 73 minute season premiere we were left with uncertainty of Jon and Kate's marital status. I was a non-viewer before May 22, 2009. I have not watched every episode since season 1 but from what I have seen this past weekend, I truly want them to stay together. They just fit perfectly. Kate is a bit controlling, Jon is laid back, Kate is cautious, Jon is adventurous. I believe they have done a great job with the kids. Nonetheless, I wish them the best and they have gained one more viewer.

What did you think of the season premiere? Will you continue to watch?

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Natural Mystic

I remember signing up on youtube to specifically create a tribute to the legendary Bob Marley. I began collecting sentimental images of Bob Marley at various stages of his life. I chose one of my favorite songs "I Shot the Sheriff" as the background audio for the slideshow. During my research, I came across surprising and interesting facts about Bob Marley and I wanted to share it with everyone:

1) His real name was Robert Nesta Marley

2) Bob Marley's first single was "Judge Not" a song about morality

3) He worked in a welding shop before he became famous

4) Recorded Exodous while residing in London

5) He did visit Ethiopia, spiritual home of Rastafari

6) He had 8 children; 6 sons and 2 daughters (Cedella, Damian, Julian, Ky-Mani, Stephanie, Stephen, Ziggy, Rohan, & Karen)

7) Marley was shot at his home in 1976

8) In 1977 Bop Marley injured his toe while playing football in London. The wound had become cancerous.

9) On Monday, May 11, 1980 the Natural Mystic passed away in a Miami hospital on his way to Jamaica.

What are some interesting facts about BM?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

You know it's a recession when...

1) You wait to fill your gas tank until the empty sign appears

2) You become guinea pigs for research companies (only if there are no needles involved :)

3) You collect all your highschool and college text books and list them on e-bay

4) You are actually happy to see Suze Orman on CNN or Oprah

5) Conversations about morgatges and lending become interesting

What are other signs of a recession??