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Category: Culture

Happy Game Day: Unsolicited Relationship Advice Edition

Posted by on February 3, 2013 | One comment



What do you bring to the table? Do you come to the table for sustenance or to battle?

You can either bring what you have to give freely or else you’re just playing checkers (or chess, I don’t actually know how to play checkers, but I do play chess badly, and I know it is a very adversarial game – wherein you are out for yourself, playing against your opponent, strategizing to defend your armory and take out the other side’s, to accomplish a very personal and singular victory).

Conversely in a true partnership, you bring what you have, not only to sustain yourself, but moreover what you have in abundance for the benefit of another. All the while maintaining the balance of preserving and nurturing your own needs, for the more you make of yourself the more you’ll bring and have to give to the partnership.

You’ll have to ask yourself what you truly need, whether those needs are absolute and finite requirements (also flippantly known as “deal breakers”). For example in most cases, fidelity is an absolute requirement and less often adhered to as a “deal breaker”. That is just one obvious example of something one might absolutely “require” out of a partnership.

Of course there is an endless minutia of varying needs between partners, and at various points throughout our partnerships, our needs change and our partners needs change. I’ve learned quite concretely that if both partners don’t acknowledge that and tend to it, a partnership quickly devolves into the aforementioned adversarial battle, instead of a firm base from which two people can grow and thrive.

Ask yourself, “Does my partner adhere to my must-haves (fidelity)? Do I?” Are you appreciative of that to one another? Do you demonstrate that appreciation? How? Then look at your “nice to haves”. What is it that would be, or is a bonus to your concrete needs? Those are usually the mutual and private courtesies you lend each other, quirks that are met, understood and maybe even nurtured. Your contributions to that may be in the recognition and care of those traits in your partner, but it can also be the recognition and care of those traits for yourself.

Personally, I know that there are always up times and down times, usually based around purely emotional needs, for whatever external or internal reasons that need to be addressed. I may be at an insecure place where I need pretty constant affirmation or reassurance (now that takes on many varying and very personal terms, for everyone – see The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman).

In those varying and often trying times of greater need, in whatever particular issue you or your partner may be dealing with, you don’t have the right to demand that the need be met, nor do you have the obligation to meet it for the other person. HOWEVER – you do have the supreme, absolute (and rarely utilized) power to ask yourself what you can do about it, whether for yourself –or- for the good of the partnership (which are essentially one in the same).

If your particular trial is currently affecting your ability to function, you may need pretty immediate assistance. You can usually recognize this because of either underlying or completely overwhelming frustration. Identify for yourself what is causing YOUR frustration. Identify for yourself what you might need to help you cope with it. Ask yourself what you can do to address your own issues. Do you need your partner’s help? What do you need your partner to do for you? Take some of your workload, leave you alone, talk it through, hold your hand, or provide distraction for you? Only you know the answer as to what you really need.

If you both come to table with an abundance of what makes you great on your own, plus a bounty to lend, you’ll have a true partnership. On the other hand if you want to play games, wage internal and external wars – prepare for a long and fruitless battle.

When you are seated at “the table” together you should both see it as a living and constantly changing landscape. Are you tending to that landscape together, both on your own accord and at the behest of your partner? Are you both being reasonable in your evaluation of what you each have to offer and what you both need?

At the end of every day (sometimes every moment) you’ve got to be accountable for meeting your own needs as best you can before you can blame your partner for not meeting your unreasonable, often unidentified and certainly not well communicated needs. In case of emergency, you’ve first got to place the oxygen mask over your own face to survive and most definitely before you can be of any assistance to anyone else.

Once your oxygen levels are met, and if there are no hard stops or “deal breakers” in this moment of your relationship, the next step, the next moment is again up to you. If you need it ask for it. If you can get it or give it to yourself, do that and save adding an additional task to your already hard working partner – who should be doing the same for themselves so that you can independently breathe easy for as long as possible, so that in those moments of true crisis or need between you, you’re both rested and ready to work to support each other through whatever may come, as those heightened needs arise.

In summation, I’d advise anyone, at even a momentary crossroads in their relationship (usually self induced and not nearly as critical as you are likely making it out to be #guilty), to remember one thing and then to do another; number one is unfortunately a Dr. Philism, and that is, the only person you can control is you. #truth

Second is the coolest exercise I ever read in any book or magazine (this one happened to come from O Magazine) and it goes like this:

Fill in the blank – To feel ____________________________, I need my partner to ____________________________.

Turn the page – Now cross out “I need my partner to”, and just feel that.


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2nd Annual New Mexico Black History Month 2013 Festival Guide

Posted by on January 24, 2013 | Comments Off on 2nd Annual New Mexico Black History Month 2013 Festival Guide

The New Mexico Black History Month Organizing Committee’s mission is to preserve the rich cultural heritage that African Americans have made to the state of New Mexico and the United States. We do this by producing an annual slate of events that cover five focus areas: Arts and Culture, Cuisine, Education, Positive Youth Development and Health. There is something for everyone here…Enjoy and celebrate with us!

The 2013 New Mexico Black History Month Festival is February 5 – 24, 2013. Something for everyone: Roots Revival cabaret, Griffin’s Best Sweet Potato Pie contest, Dreamgirls at Popejoy, The Cotton Club Refined Gala, CommUnity Dance Party, WorkItOut Wellness/Fitness day, New Mexico’s Gosepl Best and seriously good times!

The purpose of the 2013 Black History Month Festival is to promote multiculturalism and increase awareness of the contributions that African Americans have made to New Mexico. Each event of this festival showcases the culture and talent of African Americans and encourages engagement and participation by the entire Albuquerque community.

-New Mexico Black History Month

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The Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States

Posted by on January 21, 2013 | Comments Off on The Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States

President Barack Obama Inauguration Speech 2013Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images – click for full text

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope.

You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.”

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Slovenly Acts of NM Tourism or E̶v̶i̶l̶ Genius?

Posted by on March 16, 2012 | 4 comments

Latest: Tourism Secretary Answers | DPNM Reaction | Dept. of Tourism Response | CBS NEWS | The Associated Press | The Santa Fe New Mexican

Don’t cry, kids decorate pics like this all the time…the software comes on their “baby iPads”.

As we’ve been covering for you since the original RFP was released back in August 2011, the then recently appointed face of the New Mexico Tourism Department was poised to launch a new brand of New Mexico to the world…One that perhaps would eventually lend locals the luxury of not having to explain that New Mexico is in fact a part of the continental United States, to everyone from Washington State to Timbuktu.

New Mexico may perhaps be best known as an extra terrestrial landing strip or that dusty land which one passes through en route to another destination, but brand new leadership handpicked and handsomely paid is now at the helm to “rebrand” New Mexico, USA. The rally cry chosen by our new leader in branding, State Tourism Director, Monique Jacobson, to entice the world over to make New Mexico their destination of choice: “Adventure steeped in culture.” Okay. First question, whose culture?

Next, putting the reins of representing New Mexico to the world in the hands of a Texas Co. were enough to ruffle more than just a few local feathers. When Job Creation is touted as being a top priority of the sitting administration, sending a $2M job to a neighboring, tourist destination competitor state was perplexing at best, especially taking into account the plethora of skilled ad agencies all over the home front who no doubt KNOW New Mexico.

Regularly citing a seemingly “gold standard” of criteria, that the Tourism Department herself/itself either devised or adopted, the Texas firm won out over the many locally based firms who applied, even over the few NM firms which allegedly made it into the “final round” of “scoring” despite their in-state “preferential” allowances. Vendor Inc. ultimately won the dough, and apparently unabashed contract, creative and casting control.

Herein lies either the genius or the critical downfall of a campaign that has yet to air, New Mexico is already making news; First in the few rumblings about the Texas award, then almost under the radar the contracting started to go out. Initially with the multi-state (CA, NV, TX, NM) staffed casting outfit based out of Santa Monica, CA, which sent out the campaign devised casting call…(Back to that in a hot minute).

First round of FREE ADVERTISING begins here, where in a state which had worked, and risen to world-renowned ranks as tops in film production the mighty Vendor picked California filmmakers to jet in and out of the state with their own crew to film a weather ravaged four day shoot. The story of “irked” local filmmakers and production houses went from viral to news worthy, then broadcast all around the country painting New Mexico as a state set to advertise themselves without much faith in themselves.

To today and into mañana’a news, as dictated by the aforementioned ad campaign casting specifications, we shall only be represented by the “light-skinned” and fit among us. By these standards not even the woman who is our top elected official need apply to appear in this first round of advertisements requesting that the world take a look at New Mexico as an “Adventure steeped in culture.”

Where New Mexico is already hurting in some circles as appearing steeped in gas & oil interests and enriching corporate culture (see SB9 tax veto here), we’re now a step further to the right to most, elitist/racist or just plain out of touch at best. Because unlike a feature or indie film casting call which may rely on scripted requirements for certain characters – this is destined to be a multi-million-dollar motion picture representation of our great state, broadcast to the world.

All excellent moves if subscribing to the old adage that “any press is good press”, or aiming to flagrantly fly insensitivity in the face of the majority of your product/state’s population, or if politically angling to shine a spotlight on our state leader’s already dubbed war on immigration – good show.

Click here for the adults cast as Caucasian or “light-skinned” Hispanics in the ad, as released by the contracted casting director.

This just in: Expect NM Tourism select, Vendor Inc. to be without comment on this debacle just as they seemed to be in this 2011 Super Bowl bust.

Special thanks to our media “partners” and certain “whispers in the wind” in covering these developments…

UPDATE: Vendor Inc. has issued the following statement to Gabriel Escobar of The Dallas News:

“The focus of our shoot was on showcasing to the country the many amazing experiences and adventures one can have in New Mexico. The casting call you referenced was for the role of “tourists” who could be coming from any number of states. This is the first of many spots which will feature the wide range of people who are drawn to New Mexico.”
-Tom Hollerbach, Managing Director and COO, Vendor Inc.

So, as the statement(s) would suggest, we’ve got it all wrong. The cast are not New Mexicans, they are tourists. Caucasian or “light-skinned” Hispanic tourists.

Perhaps they were actually making special concession in allowing local “lights” to be considered to portray the desirable white market…

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Black History: Month Long Celebration, New Mexico, USA

Posted by on January 16, 2012 | Comments Off on Black History: Month Long Celebration, New Mexico, USA

– The New Mexico Black History Month Festival

An unprecedented celebration of Black History month here in New Mexico, OPEN TO ALL.

The New Mexico Black History Month Organizing Committee’s mission is to preserve the rich cultural heritage that African Americans have contributed to the state of New Mexico and the United States. Their annual slate of events cover five focus areas: Arts and Culture, Cuisine, Education, Positive Youth Development and Health. There is something for everyone…

Event organizer Cathryn McGill and company have put together the following schedule: (Full details and descriptions here)

Jan 28th- Kickoff Brunch @UNM-Sub Ballroom

Arts & Culture Weekend
Feb. 3-5

Soul Food Week
Feb. 5-12

Motown Weekend
Feb. 16-18

Body & Soul Weekend
Feb. 24-26

Affiliated Events
Jan. 15 – Feb. 25

The New Mexico Black History Month Festival is an opportunity to build and strengthen our community from the inside out. African Americans have made important contributions to the state and we believe those contributions are worthy of celebration and recognition. Get involved with us and let’s make a difference in this community. Thank you to everyone who has contributed financial and in-kind resources. I am deeply grateful.
– Cathryn McGill

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PT NM Res. Global Fashion Icon

Posted by on August 22, 2011 | Comments Off on PT NM Res. Global Fashion Icon
ArtCultureFashionGlobalNMSanta Fe

Photo Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

“It was so much fun to be part of the contest. I had been to the competition in the past but only as an observer. It’s really important to support and encourage Native American arts, and that includes clothing,” – Tom Ford

Read all about the globally acclaimed fashion designer/producer/director and part-time Santa Fean regarding his participation with the Santa Fe Indian Market this past weekend, previously and going forward, right here in the Santa Fe New Mexican!

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