Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Introducing Addyi, To Help Stella Get Her Groove Back

                     On yesterday yet another medical breakthrough was made by introducing Addyi, the first prescription drug on the market to help WOMEN sexual drive. Yes, you read right, it is the female version of Viagra and it has been approved by the F.D.A. For those who are unaware on exactly Viagra is (which who doesn't know about it, but just in case) it is a medication for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction that help with the stamina during sex (you must already be erect it just helps you continue along). Surveys says an estimated 8 to 14% of women between the ages of 20-49 suffer from hypoactive sexual desire which is approximately 5.5 to 8.6. million women in the U.S. The F.D.A. stated that the drug was approved for women who has lost their sexual drive due to "marked distress" or "interpersonal difficulty" and not for the use for those who suffer from a lower sexual drive due to medication side affects, illness (depression or mood disorders), or relationship problems.

                                      The critics seem to be at an even split when it comes to support. Those who are Pro-Addyi stated that it's been well overdue. How men have over 2 dozen options that help increase their sex drive and that Addyi is just the start. The F.D.A originally rejected this twice, due to the lack of effectiveness and the side effects. Once finally coming together with Sprout Pharmaceuticals it shows that a compromise was made after both camps feuded over this for years. . Now just as any medication there are side affects which are: Low blood pressure or fainting, especially when taken with alcohol, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness and a slight loss in appetite in the beginning. Leonore Tiefer, a psychologist and sex therapist states "This is not a drug you take an hour before sex. You have to take it for weeks and months in order to see in benefits at all."  However company trials has shown that women who have taken it reported one extra "sexually satisfying event" per month (this is the point that had me sold by the way) and scored higher on questionnaires measuring sexual desires. The drug will be launched in mid-October and women with insurance can expect to pay between 30$ to 75$ a month for Addyi depending on the terms of their insurance coverage.

                       Personally, this is yet another step in women's equality. I'm not for sure if I will be an active participant of this but hey who know what I will need by the age of 40 (all jokes). However I do feel as if this definitely a great options for those women who just want their groove back so to speak. What I am not so excited about is that for every original there will always be an off brand to follow and that is where my concern comes in. Although you take this risk for each drug approved by the F.D.A I feel this one is going to cause a little trouble. I'm optimistic so who knows I definitely see a part 2 to this come October, so stay tuned.

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Monday, August 17, 2015

Straight Outta Responsibility: When Will We Educate Our Own

So as the movie Straight Outta Compton has hit movie theaters many have already expressed their reviews. The movie grossed 56.1 million which means there was plenty to say about it. Majority have given it rave reviews however that's not everyone. My best friend tagged me in a very interesting review on Facebook where one young man felt as if N.W.A were not the evolutionist that the community has made them out to be but actual sell outs. This came stemming from another blogger.  He states while there were multiple rap groups promoting to end violence such as Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions between the mid to late 1980's you had the group N.W.A (Niggaz With Attitude) who were pushing a different agenda, the agenda of those looking to destroy the black community. When the group formed with Easy-E and their manager Jerry Heller it is stated that out of the gate the group was formed to overthrow conscious hip-hop with gangsta-ism and that's something they took pride in.
                     Songs such as "Fuck the Police" and "Gangsta Gangsta" focused on things that we are currently all to aware of and that's racial profiling and police brutality. Which eventually was given the title of gangsta rap or "reality rap" as N.W.A called it. It was reality to them because this is exactly what their environment was filled with, drug invested neighborhoods, crime, and little to no respect for woman, so this was real life for them. It was this form of rap that the blogger feels as was "black genocide" because they chose to highlight their environment. For me this is where I feel different. I agree listening to N.W.A puts you in automatic "gangsta" mode, ready to go out and demolish every dirty cop on the street, but lets be honest with the current events happening lately, we didn't need assistance on it. I agree music is the influence of life however it doeskin have to be. I don't understand how this one particular group is the entire reason why our community is still the same.  At what point of time do we stop putting the blame on everyone else but us.

                                     Now please don't take that statement wrong, we as African-Americans are NOT responsible for the unnecessary killing of our young black me and women, but does N.W.A have the answer or is responsible for coming up with a solution, It would be different if they presented themselves as a black conscious rap group, however out the gate they stated their style "gangsta" or "reality" rappers. The blogger then begins to say that "instead of spending our money supporting the movie we should be buying books about the Black Panther party and other revolutionist who really stood up for police brutality." What i think the blogger is missing is that each revolutionist did not go down without a fight, a bloody fight at that. The Black Panther party chanted things such as "The Revolution has come, its time to pick up the gun, off the pigs". While N.W.A had quotes such as "And when I finished, it's gonna be a bloodbath, of cops dying in L.A. (in which the Black Panther movement started in Oakland), similar much. However this what you want us to reference.

                                      To end this I want to state my stance and possibly offer a better solution. This education has to start somewhere and what better place to start than at home. Home is the start of how you will eventually live your future years. You don't have to be a product of your environment, I went to college, currently working the career that makes me happy and getting money the legal way, so all is not lost. I was able to accomplish this with a mom who encouraged and pushed me to be better than what is around you. I live in the drug invested neighborhoods. I have went to the schools where educational materials were short and teachers who were just on the clock for a check not concerning themselves with educating our youth. My mother made me aware of those things and goals outside of that environment and daily I fight to strive for better. That doesn't make me in less aware of the constant misdoing against the lower class community. If anything I want to do all that I can to educate with the knowledge I know and spread it abroad. Is it my responsibility? As long as I have a mother who still stay in the same neighborhood, as long as I have 2 black nephews, and as long as I wake up every morning, yes. However I refuse to let what is played on the radio be the expectation of what our future can follow, because you have current artist such as Young Thug who has stated that he is only doing this to make money. I will do what i can, I will research day and night, I will memorize what is within my legal right and then I will go out there to spread the knowledge to others. I will take responsibility and NOT place it in the hands of others. I wont just talk about it but be about it, and that is how the "black genocide" can end by the faithful saying "if you want something done right, do it yourself."

Peace and Blessings
Swagg P

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I Will End The Mental Illness Stigma

In light of recent events surrounding the tragic death of Sandra Bland, the focus on mental illness is stronger than ever. Despite the various types of mental health services many still don’t know where to turn for help leaving them to battle it alone. There are over 50 different mental illnesses and over an estimated 61 million people from at least one of these illnesses daily. Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) was established in 1990 by the U.S. Congress in recognition of efforts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to educate and increase awareness about mental illness. It takes place every year during the first full week of October. During this week, mental health advocates and organizations across the U.S. join together to sponsor a variety of events to promote community outreach and public education concerning mental illnesses such as major depressive order, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Different events during the week include art/music events, educational sessions provided by healthcare professionals, advertising campaigns, health fairs, movie nights, candlelight vigils, and benefit runs. I had the wonderful opportunity during Houston Pride celebration to meet and briefly chat with C Patrick McIlvain the founder and director of The Walk For Mental Awareness Houston. So of course when he so graciously obliged for a brief interview I jumped on it quick fast and in a hurry. Check out his interview below. 

#1: So tell me how the walk even came about?  
The Walk for Mental Health Awareness - Houston aka The Walk Houston came out of The Walk to Washington D.C. for Depression Awareness - October 7, 2010. We are a fundraising venue for Houston area non-profits that offer mental health services/support to their clients. It is the walkers who do the actual fundraising by asking their friends, family members, and network of associates to sponsor them to take part in the walk. Through our first four walks we have raised & returned to our "Walk With A Purpose" Teams $72,000.00. We do retain 10% for process/handling fees. And if you have a "friendly" dog - we are a all welcoming Dog friendly walk if on a leash & you pick-up after. We even have the "Pup Tent" just for doggies. Somehow I was guided to the website for this walk from St. Louis to Washington D.C. 
When I read some of the personal stories that folks posted - it felt like I had just discovered a large lost section of my family. I know then that I had to be a part of this walk somehow someway. I know that I could not be gone from Houston & my volunteer commitments for the entire duration of the 80 day walk but I could be part of the last four day. So I was able to get some of my very good friends to sponsor me (it was required if 1 wanted to be a part of the last 4 day needed to raise $1,500.00) that I did. When I got to Washington D.C., Steven Curran - the walk originator - asked me if I would be interested in starting a chapter in Houston of The Walk for Depression Awareness......after thinking about it for a couple of nanoseconds I said "YES". Just after the walk to Washington the Board of The Walk for Depression Awareness - St. Louis meet and wanted to be all inclusive of mental health/illness so the name was changed to The Walk for Mental Health Awareness.  The first walk in Houston was held Saturday, October 15, 2011. So our #PositivePublicDialog began as we walk and talk to #EndTheStigma and to #EndTheIndifference to talking about mental illness out in the bright sunlight of day, just where the conservation belongs. It is time that we started #TakingOurDignityBack. 

2: I love how there are 3 days of events can you let people know what they can expect attending each event?  
"3 Day, 1 City A Life Changing Weekend" is how we ID ourselves. It should be noted that we take place during World Mental Health Week, the first full week of October. And most years 1 of our 3 days falls on 10-10th. which is World Mental Health Day. Our first event (our kick-off even) is held on Thursday of WMHW and that is the start of our Positive Public Dialog by illuminating our City Hall lime green (the cause color for mental illness) for 3 nights.This event is free & open to the public. Just join us at City Hall - on the Reflection Pool side. at sunset. Our second event is our Pass It Forward / Positive Public Dialog Luncheon, it is held on Friday of WMHW. This year our guest speaker is Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD., LMSW founder of Peace of Mind Foundation - bring a positive pubic dialog to folks who are challenged with OCD. There is a $30.00 fee to attend the luncheon and tickets can be purchased by going to our website: thehoustonwalk.org Our third event is the main event our 5k fun walk with post Mental Health Expo. This year it is on Saturday, October 10, 2015 and held in Stude Park (sometimes called Studewood Park)1031 Stude Street @ Studemont and starts at 8AM. There is a $25.00 registration fee for folks age 12 and up - until day of registration when the fee goes up to $30.00. One can register by going to our website - thehoustonwalk.org 

#3: Why is mental health so important?  
Because of these top reasons: 
  1. 1 and 4 adults - approximately 61.5 million American's experiences mental illness in a given year   
  1. About 2.4 million American's live with schizophrenia  
  1. Approximately 6.1 million with bipolar disorder  
  1. 14.8 million with major depression 
  1.  42 million Americans live with social anxiety disorder 
  1. Serious mental illness cost America $193.2 BILLION in lost earnings per year 
  1. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of deaths in the United Stated & expected to become #1 by 2025 
  1. 90% of those who die by suicide had one or more mental disorders 
  1. Although military comprises less than 1% of our population, veterans represent 20% of suicides nationally, about 22 Veterans die each day from suicide. 

4: What advice for those who want to help in being part of our Positive Public Dialog on talking about mental illness but not sure just where to start? 
Start by educating yourself as much as you can about the true facts about living with a mental illness. It is time to stop the 5000 year old social stigma that is still so yoked to us. Look to groups like National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), Mental Health America, Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) - they all have Houston chapters. Join them - support them so their positive public message can be shared far and wide also join The Walk for Mental Health Awareness - Houston. 

This interview was not only delightful but educating. I agree that the stigma of mental illness must be broken. We as a community must stop just sweeping it under the rug or trying to come up with the easiest solution. As a person who suffers from at least 2 of the 50 something mental illness I can say nothing about it is easy. Nothing about the day to day life is ever an easy path. Some days are good but dealing with anxiety and depression such as I do you see more bad days than good. Although currently on a pretty good medicine regiment and I do go to therapy twice a month, that is still a progress versus my history of my battle. It took me so long to have the courage to go and reach out for help because I lived under the stigma of religion (pray it away) or the lack of education within my particular community (African-American) which is rarely discussed. Hence why although personal opinion something still seems strange within the Sandra Bland case, I can share within her mental battle, not exactly but similar. Which is why I am now forming my team for The Walk For Mental Awareness Houston and I am willing ready and able to do my part to end this stigma. Not just for me, not just for Sandra Bland, but those women who don’t get media coverage or young teenage girl that doesn’t know how to handle the pressure and trials that come with being a teenager in America today. For that veteran who can't forget what he saw and experience while going to battle for his or her country. For the first time mom who feels she is parenting all wrong and has little to no help around. For them I will #EndTheStigma don’t forget to visit thehoustonwalk.org

Peace And Blessings

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Who Is There To Protect Us?

I'm so emotional right now. There is a feeling of anger, of fear, of sadness, because the body count for our black lives are growing at a rapid pace. Yet again here is footage of yet another arrest using unecssary force and improper detainment of a young African-American woman Sandra Bland, 28, a 2009 graduate of the HBCU PrairieView A&M University that was pulled over for failure to signal. No there were no drugs found, wasn't driving erratically nothing that should have cause her to be detained in the way that she was. Watch below (YouTube):

This young lady was there at her alma mater to interview for a position in Student Outreach which she was scheduled to start on Wednesday. Notice how the officer instructs the bystander recording that he needs to leave as her cries are ignored. You can hear her stating "You slammed my head into the ground" and asked "Do you even care about that?", yet nothing changed the officer continued to place his weight (if you notice this office has to be at least twice the young lady size). Saturday afternoon she contacted her sister Shante Needham to let her know that she had been arrested but was unaware of why. She then began to tell her sister how the officer placed his knee on her back and thought that her arm was broken. Her sister told her that she would everything she could to get her out, only to get the news that her sister committed suicide. The autopsy resulted in death by asphyxiation by using a plastic bag to hang herself from her cell. They have no video footage of what went on in her cell. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards clearly states that jailers should check on inmates once every hour, no one checked on Bland until a hour and a half later and that was by intercom. This same jail in Waller County was cited 3 years ago for improperly monitoring prisoners when a man hung himself with a bed sheet in 2012 My question is: when are those who are called law enforcers see consequences for their action. I do know that there is Internal Affairs but where are they? Where are they to look at this and say this was wrong? Can we now in America ESPECIALLY BLACK America can we really say that the law is on our side. The thing that angered me the most was no one seems to have certain answers and this young lady family as well as the world needs answers. When the coroner was interview every answer was "I believe" "I'm guessing" nothing certain. The media then quickly bring in her past with dealing with depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) of course to try to give you every reason why this young lady ended up dead but the truth, but when will the truth be reveled, better yet when are we as a community DEMAND the truth instead of sitting on our hands and waiting on it. When will we as a community wake up, and I say community because at the end of the day we are ALL a target. They don't just find different African Americans to kill, they flip a coin or set a quota on how many black lives can be taken by the end of the month. So n any given day at any given time that coin toss can be for you. When we will realize that this could happen to your family member or yourself? What will it take before we can all stop looking out for self and realize that we are in an unspoken war with the majority of the United States? We are quick to come up with a trendy hashtag but that's all. When are we going to learn to do the work...there is work to be done and voices to be heard and it starts as early as a young child at home. Take the time to not only learn history (because it always seems to repeat itself) but teach our kids not to sit back and let it happen because "they dont pay attention to us" STOP PLANTING DEFEAT in our kids and in ourselves. We as a black community must stop being defeated and start speaking out the majority cant stop us all. Make sure you sign and share this petition:


Let us no longer sit in silence please. To close this out I want to share this beautiful sister last 2 videos. I want you to listen and take the actions needed to pick up the fight where she left off.

April 8, 2015


Last video:

Peace and Blessings
Swagg P

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Thursday, July 9, 2015

*Insert Favorite Kind Here*

Every so often you get a craving for me
Even though some call me dangerous you find me to be oh so sweet
There is a certain tooth you have for me but your mouth enjoys blissfully as it touches my creamy texture
And Im good in any type of weather
I tend to melt by the touch of your hand
What you do to my body I just cant stand
And trust me my brand comes in millions of flavors.... I am

Who would have guessed the hottest month of the year is dedicate to the one thing we all look forward to during this season. Young and old enjoy it on a stick or in a cup and even a cone....yes ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH. Although my favorite ice cream has not yet made it back to its rightful spot in every store freezer (Blue Bell), I will continue to celebrate. I admit since Blue Bell (which started in 1907) has been off of the shelves for personal reasons (there was a listeria outbreak) I have found a few other alternatives:

Magnum Bars- This picture just doesn't do it justice:

Now you cant really mess up snickers and ice cream, Snickers will always win however, I recommend these:

Again Snickers win....

Now there are those that enjoy something that's in the same section but not the same thing


Which are my favorite perfect for the 4th...

But my go to would be these:

Gives you your life....and your life with a splash vodka lol!

Finally some fun facts:

1. It takes about 50 licks to lick away a scoop of ice cream
2. 430 joined in Oklahoma to eat Blue Bell while ringing cow bells which set the world record
3. California produces the most ice cream in the United States
4. Sorbet has no milk at all
5. July 1984 was when National Ice Cream Month was declared

So hopefully towards the end of this blog you would made up your mind to be a willing participant of NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH. Drop you favorite in the comments below.

Peace And Blessings

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Written In Black And White.....

Once again the media never fails to disappoint me. As I shake my head reading yet another article with a very unnecessary tasteless title and relentless bashing: 

Now after doing further research I was told that this particular site is equal to that of MediaTakeOut which does not hold the best reputation in media. So any one who knows or hears the name mediatakeout then you know there is a likely chance that its just not true.  However for those who may not take the time out to check their references and check to see if it is a valid site THIS SENDS ALL THE WRONG MESSAGES for the following reasons :

     1. The fact that this particular blog site couldn't congratulate her on making an ESPN cover.where only 8 African-Americans female has had the honor to get the cover spot.

    2. Every dominate centered female DOES NOT go by the pronouns of "he" "him" or "baby daddy" that burns me.

  3. Using the word "ALLEGED" does not make it ok to say what would be considered an opinion. 

  4. "But, if you want to see her butt naked in ESPN's Body Issue flip the page" *insert blank stare here* yet you somehow some way found away to sexually objectify her.

*my reaction the entire time*

How many of you have sat and read an unnecessary title whether in the newspaper, local news, website or wherever and thought "Do they purposely use their outlets to not only make black people look bad, but also the LBGT community?" I have heard a few people say that we often bring the attention to ourselves, which sometimes seems to be true however, in this case she should have been praised and congratulated on making such a cover as ESPN this particular media outlet decided to just completely slander her and insult her by addressing her with male pronouns and focusing on the negative setbacks of her personal life. Brittney Griner is only one of many who often get profiled negatively in the media, and it makes me wonder, will we as African Americans as well as LBGT African Americans ever get a fair post. I know there are many African Amercan blogs and reporters but pay close attention. The site is named blacksportsonline...key word BLACK. So then the question becomes at what cost do you then begin to tear down a fellow successful black woman, because keep in mind before all of this she was one of the top picks in the WNBA, she was the 1st WNBA player to ever score to 2000 points and block 500 shots. Also she won Best female Athlete ESPY Award and it was not mentioned in the article. She was as many of us will experience at least one time in our lives PROFILED, and the big blow is by another black blog/gossip site. Now by all means let us not forget what exactly got this young lady into her predicament, and abuse of any shape form of fashion IS NOT AT ALL exceptable. I believe this story could have been presented in a better way than this and why we as a community (black and LGBT) are so quick to highlight your negative before positive? Is this the "crab in the bucket" mentality that often spoken of and yet dissolved?

However I'm beginning to wonder does the media help place the target on our back along with society. Are they really the ones that place the horrible image upon us? I agree that at times we do cause attention by not always making the best decision but lets be honest anyone else of any race creed or sexual orientation would have gotten a way better title. Now being apart of a blog I understand that I am now considered media especially when my focus is about a celebrity however I am going to try my best to make the changes that I would like to see within the media. Some may say well that's a big task but, somehow someway this has to change.  

Peace and Blessings,

Swagg P

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"