alexandra allred

#FridayReads: White Trash by Alexandra Allred

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It all started when someone called an African American toddler “cute little niglet.” White Trash was created in tribute to this unknown child. It has a hilarious cast and shocking storyline based on real people and true events in a small rural town in Texas. When Thia Franks returns to her home of Granby, Texas, the very place to which she’d vowed never to return, Granby’s worst and best elements force the new single mother to face both her past and her destiny.

At first, it seems that nothing has changed: Chester Kennedy’s goats continue to run rampant through the town, Officer Tina Wolfe stands accused of racial profiling the growing Hispanic community, Thia’s gun-wielding neighbor believes a squirrel has it in for her, and the town’s local newspaper owner prints only what she believes the citizens should know.

But when a young black man—an upstanding and popular citizen of the small, east-central Texas town—is brutally murdered, everything changes. Everyone is being watched. Everyone is being judged.

White Trash is a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud book that also serves as a bitter social commentary on American hypocrisies and prejudices. As Thia Franks comes to terms with the murder, and the small police department works the biggest whodunit in Granby history, a startling underworld of domestic abuse, gunrunning, drug use, illicit sex, and child molestation is revealed.

While the murder is horrendous and some of the citizens of Granby are appalling, many stand up for what is right, and the total package is endearing. You’ll want to read White Trash more than once in order to capture all of the tale’s insights as it neatly summarizes the reality of every American small town peopled with neighbors you can’t get away from, you can’t stop talking about, and you may not want to leave.

Visit Alexandra Allred online at – www.alexandrapoweallred.com

  • “White Trash” Author Gives Thoughts On The Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman Case (dangerouslee.biz)
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Ask Dangerous Lee: How Risky Are Blow Jobs?

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Q: How risky are BJs (blowjobs) ? Like if I were to do it, how can I make sure I don’t catch anything?

– Anonymous

A: Unprotected BJs are very risky. It’s best to use a flavored condom for protection. If you have unprotected oral sex, don’t swallow. Be sure to check the goods before you put your mouth on it, protected or otherwise. Oral sex presents the lowest risk, but it’s still risky. Anal is the most dangerous form of unprotected sex and then vaginal. If you allow him to cum in your mouth don’t hold it in, spit it out immediately. Also, don’t brush your teeth before or immediately after.

Got a question for Dangerous Lee?

 

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Rest Dangerously: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela AKA Madiba

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela 1918 – 2013

Nelson-Mandela-bwI knew that we shared the same birthday and that he referred to Detroit as “Motortown”, but I had no idea he was also known by the name; Madiba. If you are as clueless as I was, the below will be a “you learn something new everyday” moment. Rest Dangerously, Mandela. Thank you.

Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Right-wing critics denounced him as a terrorist and communist sympathizer. He nevertheless gained international acclaim for his anti-colonial and anti-apartheid stance, having received more than 250 honors, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Soviet Order of Lenin. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba, or as Tata (“Father”); he is often described as “the father of the nation”. Mandela died following a long illness on 5 December 2013 at his home in Johannesburg.

via Nelson Mandela – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Flashback: 18 hours in 1990 when Mandela Charmed Detroit

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Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of October 2013

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  1. What Do Dangerous Lee and Poetic Justice Have in Common?

  2. Why I Hate Being A Woman

  3. Dangerous Lee Interviews The Next Best Thing in Hip-Hop – Tony K

  4. Dangerous Lee Interviews Professional Handmade Guitar Maker – Ron Luczak

  5. Dangerous Lee Interviews Illustrator – Kasim Earl

  6. Michael Jackson Joins DangerousLee.Biz

  7. Party City: Making  Me Hate “Thriller” Every Halloween

  8. Will Write For Traffic: How to Successfully Guest Blog (eBook)

  9. 7 Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer

  10. The Fall of Man – Will Women Replace Our Fallen Politicians?

Read more October 2013 content

  • Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of May 2013 (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of March 2013 (dangerouslee.biz)
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Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of September 2013

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  1. God Fearing Men Want Sex Too!

  2. Why I’ve Slept With White Men And Will Do It Again

  3. Dangerous Lee Interview: Comedian – Kris Shaw

  4. Book Spotlight: Dana Ellington Myles – Diva

  5. #KeepitDangerous! Moment: Princess Diana

  6. #KeepitDangerous! Moment: Wonder Woman

  7. Why Are Celebrities Still Afraid Of Coming Out?

  8. 9 Vitamins That Help Your Body Fight Diseases

  9. 7 Things You Really Need To Stop Doing

  10. 5 People Who Have Changed The Course Of 2013

Read more September 2013 content

  • Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of May 2013 (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Dangerous Lee’s Top 10 Picks of March 2013 (dangerouslee.biz)
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The Zen And Art Of Housework: Arrange Your House, Arrange Your Mind

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Carpet care companies are in business because most reasonable Americans want to live in clean and well-maintained places. Unfortunately, there’s only so much an American can get done by hiring a home services company – most American households still have to take on the everyday chores of dish-washing, vacuuming, laundry, and on and on. Of course, most people are busy and overworked so they absolutely hate having to do these mindless, repetitive chores.

Fortunately, you can make a mindless, boring chore into a mindful, beneficial activity that you actually look forward to doing.

An Opportunity for Creativity and Growth

While it may sound far-fetched, the repetitive and “mindless” seeming nature of most chores is actually the perfect opportunity for valuable creativity and deep, introspective thinking. Recent scientific research has been explaining exactly why so many people seem to have great ideas in the shower: the activity is so routine for most people that they are allowed to relax completely and let their mind wander freely.

Just as most people do not have to think too hard on how to lather, scrub, and rinse in the shower, some lucky people learn how to make housework so routine that they enter something of a blissful, meditative state – the best part is that it is actually easier to reach this state of mind than you may expect.

Focusing on the Every Day Tasks

The key is to recognize that all the housework you ever do (or should being doing) can be divided into two broad categories. Most tasks are more regular and may even be required every day or at least every week: laundry, vacuuming, mopping, dish washing, and cooking may all fit into this category. Some tasks can be considered relatively irregular or uncommon like a major paint job, a thorough round of spring cleaning, or a complete overhaul of your home office.

For the everyday category, you should train yourself to make your efforts as routine as possible. This means figuring out the best time of day for that every day activity, and sticking with that time. It also means figuring out the best way to do it, and then sticking with that way. Once you break into a regular routine, you’ll automatically find yourself able to do the task at hand without feeling annoyed at the cyclical nature of the task. The recurrent nature of something like sorting dirty laundry, moving it through the washer and dryer, and then sorting it again before sending it to your closet or drawers will stop bothering you once you make it extremely routine.

Closing Remarks

The only reason that everyday tasks are so annoying to face is because we feel they interrupt our lives – we feel like they interrupt our lives only if we haven’t seriously focused on scheduling them in and mechanizing them the way we do our showers. Once you can accomplish that level of routine with your everyday housework, you’ll find your mind seems to be a more peaceful, happy, and creative place as you go about completing the chores you have to do anyway.

As for the irregular tasks of spring cleaning and the like … well, we haven’t quite figured out how to make them less of a pain. Let us know what you think about solving that dilemma!

Hashir Ali writes for Steamer’s Carpet Care, a carpet cleaning company in San Antonio, Texas. Hashir enjoys finding mediation in the most unlikely of places.

 

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Make Pop Art That Really Pops

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If you’ve ever heard of Andy Warhol, you probably know that he was famous for creating canvas pop art. You probably also know that he offered the opinion that in the future, everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes.

Maybe you’ll never be famous, but you can achieve accolades among your family and friends using state-of-the-art technology companies to manipulate pop art photos, creating works of art that will amaze and delight you.

I Guess, But What Is Pop Art?

As you might suspect, “pop art” is short for “popular art.” The pop art movement first came to light in the United States and England in the latter part of the 1950s. It was a rebellion against abstract expressionist art, which pop artists considered to be elitist and meaningless, according to The Warhol.

Artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein pioneered the pop art movement, using common, everyday elements to make a social statement regarding mass consumerism – think of Warhol’s famous soup cans, or his silk-screened celebrity photos. He was essentially taking art away from the elitists and saying, through his work, that art belongs to everyone.

The common theme in pop art is commercialism and the mass market. It makes a statement through the use of common themes and interests. It was also meant to be fun. Now you can share in the fun – it’s never been easier to have a photo converted to pop art.

The common element within the movement of pop art isn’t a technique or style that is shared but a theme that is common among all the artistic pieces that were produced during the era, states Art Lex on Pop Art.

The common theme used is mass market consumerism and the commercial ways of the world. Pop Art utilizes images that are familiar, but within differing contexts, in achieving a positive aesthetic. It may also be used to critique our society in general. Popular Art is based on the things that people are interested in.

Your Photos Could be Famous

It’s easy. All you need is:

  • digital photos
  • virtual canvas
  • a creative website
  • a sense of fun

You already have photos – pictures of you, your friends and family, your pets. Now you can have fabulous photo pop art quickly and easily. Having a photo converted to pop art is fun. You can custom design your photo into stunning pop art on special sites that will show your family and friends how remarkably creative you can be. Your photos could end up funny, thought-provoking, surreal pop art, or a visual social commentary. Or it could just be a colorful collage for you to hang on your wall. The only limit is your imagination.

Get ready to wow your friends and family – make use of all those cool pictures you’ve archived on your hard drive. You know, the ones that you always meant to do something interesting with. There couldn’t be a better time to do it – current technology means that it’s possible for anyone to have art created. Maybe you won’t be a Lichtenstein or a Warhol, but then again, you’ll have some interesting pop art pictures to display.

The Sky Is the Limit

Were silk-screened soup cans really all that “good”? Maybe not, but they sure got a lot of attention. You know how they say everyone has at least one book in them? Well, everyone has one work of art in them, too – at least one. And once you find out how easy and how fulfilling having your own pop art made can be, maybe you won’t stop at just one.

Anja Koester is a writer for PaintYourLife.com where you can put your pictures on canvas or find classic art reproductions for decorating your home.

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Top Story: Flint Positive Spotlight – Jon Connor Makes Billboard Charts Debut

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After tours, magazine features and meeting his idols, Flint rapper Jon Connor has made his mark in one of the areas that really counts: the charts. Connor’s new album, “Unconscious State,” is on two of this week’s Billboard charts: no. 7 in the Heatseekers chart, and no. 35 in the R&B/hip-hop charts. “I remember when the album was done, I joked around with friends and said, ‘imagine if this charted.’ …The fact that it actually happened is crazy,” Connor said.

Billboard magazine’s weekly music charts are recognized internationally as the standard for tracking the most popular songs or albums through physical and digital purchases, radio airplay, YouTube views, and more.

The R&B/Hip-Hop chart is genre-specific, while the Heatseekers chart ranks albums from new artists/bands who have never landed in the top half of the company’s heralded Billboard 200 chart.

Read full story – Jon Connor makes Billboard charts debut with album ‘Unconscious State’ | MLive.com.

Are YOU Flint Positive?

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From Scrap To Art: Getting Ready For Burning Man

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Burning Man Festival is fast approaching and you’re already getting anxious for the biggest, most anticipated art festival in the West. While still four months away, it’s never too early to get that bus van primed for the road and start thinking about the theme of your art installation. If you know anything about Burning Man, at some point you have to improvise. Whether it’s an elaborate art installation using salvaged materials or the quintessential playa art of the Black Rock desert sands, making a successful and enriching Burning Man experience requires finding creative ways to use ordinary items.

So much art at Burning Man is constructed using a wealth of materials laboriously transported to the sweeping, desolate Black Rock desert. Appreciating the mere physical feat of hauling so much material and supplies into the middle of an arid desert is appreciating the art itself. The real art is in the labor and the experience itself. From this, however, the transformation of junk material is made. Scrap and everyday building materials are re-imagined in expressive forms, figures, structures, and even vehicles. Altering perceptions of what is possible with materials and creating a sensory experience around them is all you have to do to radically transform ordinary, unwanted scrap into interactive art.

Some examples of past year’s art installation include such diverse concepts as a mobile Victorian house to a pier in the middle of the desert sands to mazes of glass. The most amazing part of the artistic Burning Man experience is that there is astonishing simplicity in the creations. Mechanics aside, most structures and art fixtures are created using re-purposed materials. Many still are totally reusable when they are disassembled, making the creation sustainable in every context–before, during, and after Burning Man.

One poignant example is a structure that was constructed using re-purposed steel. A Reno Star Cosmic Thistle was made out of Reno steel and shaped into a forty six foot tower with steel beams protruding from the top like a desert thistle. By taking a material that was not being utilized and building a unique structure, the art has a more sustainable, purposed message.

Creating a unique environment with simple materials is the culmination of artistic prowess. While there are plenty of towering, intricate, mechanically complex designs floating around the sphere of Burning Man, there are even more simple, beautifully imagined pieces that were fashioned out of discarded or old building materials that play on perceptions. Burning Man is all about a collective experience based on individual contributions and creativity with resources. Finding a way to utilize resources at hand to bring something lively and imaginative to the festival will heighten the experience and transform the way you perceive discarded or seemingly unusable materials.

The notion of scrap material is challenged at Burning Man. The metaphor that everything has potential for a new purpose is represented in this concept. People give new life to things and create symbols and meaningful expressions of human experiences and emotions out of heaps of plastic, wood, metal, glass, fabrics, and everything else. In the process, you discover that you have multiple potentials and many purposes. The larger sense of community is omnipresent.

Even the most unassuming creation has a potential to morph into a larger contribution. From something playful and entertaining to something that challenges people’s conceptions of world around them, there is limitless potential for the art you create and the definition of art is never so broad as it is at Burning Man. The next time you come across a stack of metal rods, wooden pallets, and sheets of plastic behind a building, in a final resting place beside a dumpster, consider the Burning Man playa.

By +Ben Vaughn

Ben Vaughn writes on aluminum recycling in Salt Lake City and creates art out of scrap and recycled materials for the Burning Man festival.

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5 Simple Yet Amazing Reasons Why You Should Donate Books

Given the pithy direction this world seems to be heading in, finding a soul that’s willing to share and part with what they love, for the greater good is like finally finding signs of life on some planet at least. Especially one that promises to spread knowledge like a shining beacon and enlightens people in its own warm ways. On a personal level, donating books is a lot easier than you think. And if you’re still looking for inspiration, perhaps these five reasons will help you decide for the better.

  • Spread the love

In a time and age where technology seems to be changing the way we saw and read our books, every bibliophile understands the importanceof saving that rustic charm and feel, good old paper brought. And the only way to make every budding bibliophile realize this is by spreading the love for books. Because, going to bed every day knowing that you made someone (probably, less fortunate) out there a little more well-read and a little happier is nothing less than super-heroic.

 

  • Make space for new books

In the list of nerd-problems, lack of extra space for a dozen more books comes a very close second to a favorite series coming to an end. Unless you live in a mansion spanning acres and acres of land, this is something that can give you sleepless nights. After all, there’s only so much respite shelves, beds, shoe-boxes and the floor can offer. Book donation is an elegant, albeit generous solution to this problem. And hey, it any day trumps the parents throwing old books away.

  • The easiest form of giving

Passing on your beloved books to someone else, is probably the best way to spread knowledge, quite literally. And when you donate, the whole gesture becomes all the more beautiful. Donating books is a win-win for everyone involved. The receiver- because you give him the chance to explore a portal to whole new world only books can offer. And, you, because when you give wholeheartedly, the sense of happiness and satisfaction that it brings is unmatchable.Moreover, unlike donating money, donating books doesn’t burn the heart or pinch the pockets.

  • Helps you de-clutter

There are those bibliophiles who are perfectly at peace with books jutting out of every cranny and sliver in the house. And there are those who are the very epitome of the obsessive cleanliness. For the latter, donating books is the most amazing solution to this problem. And I’m not only talking about the shelf space. More often than not, we end up buying books that we form no attachments to. And yet there they are, gathering the dust of indifference slightly laced with regret. You can’t just throw the books away, nor can you hand them down to anyone. One simple solution: Donate.

  •   Begin the cycle of giving

To be very honest, the most awesome and sought after books in my inventory were picked from book charity events. This made me think, what if no believed in the art of giving? Would existing bibliophiles be made happier and the uninitiated be converted? Now put yourself in perspective and imagine yourself at the giving end of this cycle. There could be that one book that changed your life and the way you saw the world. When you donate that book, you’re giving someone, someone more less fortunate maybe, the chance to be inspired and change their lives. And that person in turn donates the book again. Do you see what you’re doing here?

 

Today’s featured writer,Jenny Wadlow,  is a freelance blogger. She is a self-proclaimed book worm and suggests buying used books online for they are affordable and environment friendly. You can follow her on Twitter @JennyWadlow.

 

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