#Chicago Teen Gunned Down…A Bright and Beautiful Life Snuffed Out by #Violence

The murdered civil-rights leader’s dream was incandescently alive in 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton as she performed in the national’s capital with her high school band on what was both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Inauguration Day.

She was there not only as a majorette but also as a major success in all areas of her life, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend, as an athlete, and as an honor student at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Prep in Chicago.


And to make her presence all the more perfect on this doubly historic day, she faced the world with an unwavering goodness that translated into an uncommon pleasantness. Her presence was at once comforting and inspiring. Her family and friends knew her to be an exceedingly rare treasure.

“There’s not many,” says her godfather, Chicago Police Officer Damon Stewart. “It doesn’t happen often.”

Pendleton was at school on Tuesday, and classes let out early because of exams. A bitter cold snap had suddenly given way to unseasonably warm weather, so she went with the other members of the girls’ volleyball team to a nearby park to enjoy the reprieve. They were nine blocks from the home of the president at whose inaugural Pendleton had performed.

Around 2:30 p.m., a rainstorm swept in. Pendleton and her teammates sought shelter under a canopy. They were joined by a least one boy, who was apparently the intended target when another boy suddenly appeared with a gun and began firing.

A stray round struck Pendleton in the back. The doctors at Comer Children’s Hospital were still fighting to save her when her father, Nathaniel Pendleton, and the godfather, Stewart, arrived.

“They tell us they’re working on her,” Stewart recalls. “Her heart had stopped.”

The father usually picks up his 10-year-old son, Nathaniel Pendleton Jr., at school. The godfather arranged for a police radio car to get the youngster while they waited and hoped. The doctors then said there was nothing more they could do.

Later at the Pendleton home, the mother, Cleopatra Crowley-Pendleton, spoke of a daughter who loved reading and writing and Latin. Hadiya had read theTwilight books in two days. She sometimes spoke of becoming a journalist when she grew up.

Her brother sat looking at cellphone pictures of his sister.

“It’s very painful to see your big sister get slaughtered,” young Nathaniel wasquoted saying by the Chicago Tribune.

The godfather had become a cop as a testament to his 12-year-old brother, who was shot to death back in 1985, nearly three decades and thousands of gun deaths ago. Stewart now vowed to do whatever he could to help the Pendletons through grief and pain such as he knew too well.

“It destroyed my family,” he said on Wednesday morning. “I don’t want it to destroy another family.”

“She was destined for great things, and you stripped that from her.”

Students at King College Prep decorated Hadiya Pendleton’s locker, January 30, 2013. (DNAinfo)

As the day progressed, the White House joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel in expressing their sorrow.

“What is best in our city,” Emanuel said of Hadiya.

The father appeared at a press conference with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and announced an $11,000 reward for the killer.

“They took the light of my life,” Pendleton said. “This guy, whoever he was, the gunman, man, you took the light of my life. Just look at yourself and just know that you took a bright person, an innocent person, a nonviolent person.”

He said of his daughter: “This kid didn’t like violence at all, didn’t even like to fight, avoided a fight, moved away from anything that was not positive. She was a majorette, just came back from the inauguration.”

He was addressing the killer directly when he said, “She was destined for great things, and you stripped that from her.”

The girl who had performed at the inauguration just a week before had become one of 42 people murdered in Chicago since the start of the year, six of them under the age of 18. She would not be going with the band in March to London and Dublin as well as Paris, where she also hoped to study as an exchange student.

She would have been a perfect ambassador, just as she was the perfect majorette on that doubly historic day in Washington. She truly was what is best not only in Chicago but in our country.

She leaves us with the example of her uncommon goodness, which now becomes a challenge.



34 Things Every Man Should Do Before Dying #bucketlist


1. Travel to Paris, and New York.
These cities have a certain mystique about them… it’s well deserved. Plan to visit one (preferably both) and be sure to experience what makes those cities unique. Side note – Real gentlemen don’t do tour buses.

2. Master the omelet.
This is one of those things every man should learn. know how to create an omelet and know how to find those hidden and forgotten items in your refrigerator. Nothing goes better with that good morning kiss than that good morning breakfast.

3. Travel to a third world country.
Nothing will ground and humble you more than this experience. walk down a third world street and take a moment to reflect on what’s important in your life. (An all inclusive resort doesn’t count)

4. Get a manicure.
A real manicure and afterwards, might as well cater to your shoes – get an old fashioned shoe shine outside while people watching.

5. Throw a real party.
I mean prepare every detail. from rolling the sliced turkey, to mixing the olives, to slicing the french bread, to lighting the candles. Select the right music„ chill the white and let breathe the red wine. Throw a white table cloth on the table and invite the big boys.

6. Write a love letter.
A high school note doesn’t count. Take time to write a real love letter to someone deserving. No e-mail, no text, a hand written love letter that speaks from the soul. (keep a copy for yourself, you’ll be glad that you did in the future)

7. Establish a reputation
A gentleman, a scoundrel, a dandy, a lazy bum. People will perceive you a certain way and there is power in perception. Hopefully you’ll choose to present yourself in a favorable way.

8. Give something away just because.
One day when someone tells you they like something you have, just give it to them as a gift. it may be a book you’re reading, your watch, your pen, the point is to simply give away something simply because the person complimented you on it or because they noticed it.

9. Fast for 3 days.
Not a juice fast where you fill your belly with sweet stuff, go 3 days only consuming water. Take time to reflect on yourself, your life, and literally let the inner you relax.

10. Give up something you enjoy.
Practice self control and decide to simply give up something you enjoy. be it soda, a certain type of meat, candy, a tv show. The point is to practice self control, you’ll be fine… even a bit stronger.

11. Buy an Antique. 
Take a day and search through an antique shop. Find a piece that you enjoy and add it to your home. Find a piece that adds character to your home and you’ll find it may become one of your favorite things at home.

12. Repair a piece of furniture.
Now I don’t mean go build you an elaborate cabinet with hidden compartments, or putting together an piece from Ikea. Take the time to strip down a table, buff it, refinish it. No need to make it a habit, but at least experience it once.

13. Play chess.
If you don’t know how, learn… if you already know how, play it more often. Chess is for the big boys, gentlemen don’t play checkers.

14. Have a suit tailor made.
Pick out the material, discuss the process with your tailor, enjoy the measuring process. While everyone can’t afford a bespoke suit, this is one of life’s guilty pleasures you should make a point of experiencing.

15. Give away a keep sake.
Find an item, hold on to it for a while (maybe a coin, a token, a lucky pebble, a money clip) then give it to a friend after you’ve had it for a while.

16. Write a book.
Now everyone may not be able to do this, but everyone should at least try. Take time to document something worth documenting.

17. Have a hobby.
Every gentleman should have at least 1 hobby. be it card collecting, stamp collecting, pens, or watches. Nothing gives you as much peace of mind as sitting home relaxing looking over what you’ve taken time to gather.

18. Spend a quiet evening ALONE.
Cheese, wine and candlelight or a cold beer and pizza – learn to enjoy your own company.

19. Vacation alone.
This one needs no explanation… ALONE.

20. Have a wall full of photos.
Select a section on your wall and frame photos of close friends, family and loved ones in general. A picture paints a thousand words… a wall full of photos speaks volumes of love.

21. Stay up all night working.
I’m not talking about working the graveyard shift. Spend all night working on something you enjoy, something you’re passionate about. Then, look out the window at daybreak before you go to bed.

22. Bid at an auction.
Don’t just bid, WIN. it may be an item you may not cherish forever, the point is the thrill of the win.

23. Strike up a conversation with someone you’re not attracted to.
Take the time to strike up a conversation with a woman on the merits of simply making her smile. Not because you think she’s beautiful, but simply because making a stranger smile is a beautiful thing.

24. Celebrate your birthday.
Celebrate your birthday by giving something back to the world. It has allowed you to see another year, why not give back… write a book, a poem, make it about what you give, not what you get.

25. Buy a painting.
No litho, no generic painting, save up some money and buy an original.

26. Prepare a picnic.
Plan it, surprise her, and enjoy it.

27. Custom make a piece of jewelry.
Although you may think it may be too expensive, you’d be surprised. Design a piece and bring it to a jeweler. It’ll have a special meaning and will be one of a kind … like yourself.

28. Write yourself a note.
Write about the temperature, how you feel that day, your thoughts on love, life and in general. Date it and tuck it away Come back to it a few years later (if you remember where you hid it) and reread it.

29. Dance the Waltz.
At least (try it) once. You’ll be surprised…. and the electric slide!

30. Write a thank you note.
Write a note to a close friend, a family member simply because. Let them know what role they played in your life.

31. A Kodak moment.
Capture a special event on film. Time surely flies, but memories have a way of lingering when captured.

32. Buy an Item with the intention of giving it away.
Save it for someone much younger and give it to them when they can appreciate it.

33. Volunteer for a good cause.
Invest one day in something you always wanted to support. giving back is golden (but don’t wear it like a shirt, no need to boost, to it with  good heart not to stroke your ego.)

34. Buy an elderly person lunch.
One day while you’re buying yourself lunch, just turn around and offer… no, insist on paying for the elderly person’s lunch behind you.

35. See an opera, and/or play.
Dress the part.

36. Remember it’s deeper than Fashion – Live with style..

3 Ways To Get Your #Mojo Back


“The word ‘mojo’ derives from an African language and relates to magic and spells to generate luck and power. In today’s language, the word still refers to a  source of vigor, energy, sexual potency, and power.”

By ImSimplyDebbie

(This post  3 Ways To Get Your Mojo Back that appeared on lifeloveandmusic.net can be viewed in its original format by clicking on the link below.)

If you feel tired, burned out, sad for no reason, frumpy, bored or stressed-out about anything and everything in life, you may have lost your mojo.

Sometimes just making some small life changes can release some toxins you hold inside and get your mojo back so that you can begin to feel more energy and enthusiasm about yourself and all that this beautiful world has to offer.

1. Hang out with only the best people you know~  Be with people who motivate you, uplift you, want the best for you, and who are just fun to be around. If there are people in your life who drain you or make you uncomfortable, this is the time to put them on hold until you reclaim your mojo. Don’t isolate yourself. Go out with fun people and have some fun.

2. Change your thinking~ When you are down on your mojo, your mind likes to take over with negative thoughts, worry, and over-thinking. You have to treat your unruly mind the way you would a puppy or small child. Every time it spirals off into negative thinking, redirect your thinking to positive memories or thoughts, gratitude or anything pleasant. You will have to do this many times until your mind knows you mean business. Before long, it will be natural for you to redirect negative thinking patterns.

Remember how you felt on those good days? The days when you could just wake up and everything seemed to fall into place. You don’t have to be old to feel the effects of mojo depletion. I have felt it many times since entering my 30′s and although I haven’t figured out yet how it goes, I do know that there are some ways I can get it back.

3. Remember the good old days~ Right now, go grab a pen and paper. Think about the times in your life when you really had fun, and write them down. Go over the events in your head and mentally re-live these fun and happy times. Circle some of these activities that you might want to enjoy again. Then pick a couple and go do them!


Good News For Brown Eyed Girls


“Brown Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison

(The following excerpt is taken from the article “Blue Vs. Brown Eyes: What Do Your Eyes Say About You” that appeared on stylist.com. To view it in its entirety please click on the link below.

Have you ever wondered what your eyes say about you? Well apparently, the “Brown Eyed Girls” out there have been deemed more trustworthy than those with blue eyes, according to a new study published by Charles University in the Czech Republic.


Catching Big Fish #InternetCatfishing


Maybe Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o was a hapless victim of a cruel internet hoax, as he now claims. Or, maybe he was in on the prank involving a dead girlfriend who, as it turns out, never even existed.

In either case, the bizarre story that had the sports world abuzz last week has brought the term “catfishing” into the public eye—and given educators concerned with teaching students about web safety another risk to be aware of.

(This excerpt originally appeared on eschoolnews on January 20, 2013. The article can be viewed in its entirety by clicking on this link.)