Ocean Spray All In On The Dreams Challenge

 

Ocean Spray Dreams Challenge

By now you’ve probably seen the viral video by @Doggface208, where he peacefully glides along on his longboard, singing Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, while joyfully chugging down a big jug of Ocean Spray Cran·Raspberry juice.

What’s not to love? Great song. Happy guy. Delicious and healthy juice. Plus I love the local connection with Ocean Spray. Their corporate headquarters are in southeastern Massachusetts, fairly close to where I grew up. I remember visiting cranberry bogs as a kid. But I digress.

So anyway, sales and streams of the song skyrocket. Fleetwood Mac gives their nod of approval on Twitter. Then Mick Fleetwood makes his own video doing the same.  A new meme is born – Cranberry Dreams or Dreams Challenge.

The man behind @Doggface208 is named Nathan Apodaca. A recent profile of him in the Los Angeles Times shares that he buys the large jugs of juice to save money and drinks about one a day. “The colder, the better.” According to the article, his car battery had died the day he recorded the now famous video and he was on his way to work.

Since he was having problems with his car, Ocean Spray surprised him with a brand new truck! A video was posted a couple of hours ago on their Instagram feed. Of course the truck is filled with more than enough juice to last for a little bit. Ocean Spray CEO, Tom Hayes even did his own version of the Dreams Challenge.

I wonder who’s next!? Does this thing have momentum? Stay tuned.

*Updated 10/8/2020* The answer to the question about momentum is absolutely yes! Have you seen the fly from Pence’s head during the debate? Take a look at this hilarious video with the sound on.

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Screenshot: Ocean Spray Instagram

AKA Sorority Sister Kamala Harris

2020 will never be remembered as an easy year. Nor one of the happiest. It certainly isn’t a boring one though. My mom said that Kamala Harris’s nomination for Vice President is one of the most exciting things to happen in a long time. My mom is an AKA, just like Harris, so they are sorority sisters for life.

Growing up, I always knew that my mother was part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and that pink and green were the colors. Two of her best friends, my godmother and my brother’s godmother are also her sorors and they are all thrilled.

While I never pledged to a sorority myself, being part of the AKA sisterhood has been part of my mother’s identity for as long as I can remember. With nearly 300,000 members, Harris has a powerful force standing behind her and financially supporting the campaign as well. Founded in 1908, that number is significant to the organization.

It’s not surprising, that soon after Harris became Biden’s running mate, thousands of donations in the amount of $19.08 showed up. According a Washington Post article, more than 14,000 of these donations poured in, adding up to more than a quarter million dollars. And the money keeps coming in.

While you may see women dressed in pink and green at some campaign events, you won’t see any AKA symbols, says a Richmond Free Press article. Also, don’t look to see an endorsement of Biden and Harris. As a tax-exempt nonprofit entity, there are limits to their allowed political activity. Keeping their tax-exempt status requires compliance with IRS regulations. Non-partisan voter education drives are generally okay, but not much more than that.

The debate between Pence and Harris is tomorrow and I’ve been looking forward to it. However, given what’s going on with the spread of the virus around the White House, I’m a bit nervous. Pence was at the superspreader event, so he really should be in quarantine and not out and about. Apparently they will be separated by plexiglass, so that hopefully will make the event much safer.

Every day appears stranger than the last. I cannot even imagine the drama that tomorrow’s debate will bring.

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Photo Credit: Luke Harold | Flickr

Do You Window Swap?

window sill

About a week or so ago, I saw a tweet about a website called Window Swap. Have you seen it?

The simplicity is addictive. You see views out the windows of other people. That’s it. But those views let you travel around the world in an instant and catch a glimpse into their lives. Like a short film.

Over the last several days, I looked out about two dozen windows, but didn’t stay on many for long. However, this window pictured above is different. It belongs to Justin in Rochester, New York.

The view is calming. A real moment of zen — with trees gently swaying in the breeze outside, part of a sofa or chair cushion in front of the window sill, with a watering can to the right. The window sill has a vase of colorful fake flowers, a tiny potted evergreen tree with a cat seated in the middle. The cat turns around and looks at you, walks a bit, then turns around and sits again. Music plays in the background and you can hear people talking, the sound of food sizzling, the microwave timer, and dishes clanking.

Above all else, music always grabs me, so the songs cinched it and I decided to blog this scene. Further, I downloaded Shazam so I could find the music. I couldn’t find all the songs, but found four. The music is perfection — all mellow grooves. I wonder what they’re cooking? For a moment you can see slight reflections as they walk around the kitchen.

The scene is on a 10 minute loop, so the same music plays over and over. The cat moves around the same way and the bits of conversation repeat as well. She asks him to write down something they need and then asks him to subtract 88 grams from (the lentils?), then thanks him. What a beautiful simple moment.

It makes me wonder more about this video and these people. What was the day and time? Just a normal day or a special one? I guess I’ll never know. Maybe that’s part of the intrigue. The mystery of the mundane bits and pieces of other people’s lives.

I haven’t closed the scene yet, because as I write I want to capture the feel of it. Once you open a new window, you can’t go back. And I haven’t seen that you can search for a particular place or scene. When I close it, it will be gone.

There’s also a place on the website where you can submit your own window and learn more about the project. It’s in response to the pandemic with everyone being stuck at home. This is a way for us to travel.

Below are songs from Justin’s window. Hope you enjoy them as well. Lifted by DAO is my new favorite song that I have on repeat!

Playlist – Justin’s Window

El Camino – Ganzo

lōland – taiyō

The Calm – DAO

Lifted – DAO

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Image: WindowSwap

Juneteenth 2020

Flowers and blue sky represent a day in June, Juneteenth

The exact year I cannot remember. But at some point before 2006, I learned about Juneteenth. At a family gathering here in Massachusetts, my cousin told us about the fun Juneteenth celebrations she went to in Texas. We New Englanders had never heard of it. But learning about it made a big impression. The 4th of July didn’t liberate Black people, so it really wasn’t a day of independence for us. Juneteenth was for us.

I started blogging in 2006 and wrote about Juneteenth that year.  After that, I wrote a few more posts about the day. In 2009, my post discussed how the Senate formally apologized to African-Americans for slavery and segregation. Below is part of that post.


The Congress acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow laws; apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws; and expresses its recommitment to the principle that all people are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and calls on all people of the United States to work toward eliminating racial prejudices, injustices, and discrimination from our society.

DISCLAIMER.—Nothing in this resolution authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.

As an African-American who is a descendant of slaves, I accept the apology. It’s not all that can be done. The disclaimer is huge. Reparations are still an issue. But it does have meaning. If nothing else than for the history books.

Eleven years later, Black people in this country continue dealing with injustice, cruelty and brutality. My belief is that until the United States truly reckons with the legacy of slavery, beyond a mere apology, but with formal hearings and reparations, this country will never heal.

However, it’s encouraging seeing more white Americans trying to understand the magnitude of wrongs suffered by Black people. Before change takes place, acknowledgment must happen. It’s starting.

For example, Netflix took down their paywall today for viewers to see Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” and “13th.” Hulu placed “The Gullah Way” on YouTube for free. I hope many take advantage and watch these shows.

2020 has exceeded all expectations in shining a light on the truth, so that everyone can see society clearly. And the year is only half over. Let’s hope 2021 brings more justice, compassion and kindness.

14 Years Blogging

14 years blogging

April 29, 2006, is the day I decided to start blogging. Yay for 14 years!

I’m forever grateful to my past self for taking the leap. Even though back then blogging was considered sketchy by many. Now it’s a standard for most businesses and has been for sometime now.

What a difference 14 years makes! Given we’re now in the midst of a global pandemic, what a difference six weeks makes.

Depending upon the country you live in, or what part of the United States you’re located, many of us are still remaining at home to help flatten the curve and stop the spread. I live in Quincy, which is part of Greater Boston and we’re in the worst of it so far.

My annual tradition on this day is to pick a word for the year. It wasn’t very difficult to decide on the word — HEAL.

To make free from injury or disease.

To make sound or whole.

To make well again.

To restore to health.

I hope that this time next year, the world will be free of COVID-19 and we will have a vaccine.

While staying inside, I’m also on a personal journey of inner healing. I’ve found several people on Instagram who are inspiring millions of us to look inward. Links to them are below, in no particular order, if you’d like to follow them too.

Dr. Nicole LePera
Yung Pueblo
Alex Elle
Lalah Delia
Lacy Ann Phillips

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Links to posts for past years are below. Thank you for being here!