The Mixed Matters Journal

Sunday, July 10, 2016

C Dyann Designs

Hello everyone,

We've missed you! We hope you feel the same about us after so much time lost between us. We have good news!

We decided to embark on a new chapter and move to Los Angeles. There were reasons for this move, but we believe it was for the right reason. Although Mixed Matters may come back in some form, we have been fortunate to enter the jewelry and design business. Therefore, the creation of C Dyann Designs! C Dyann Designs is described as, "Unique. Romantic. Beautiful. Handmade Jewelry and Accessories" For those of you who prefer to take a look of what C Dyann offers, please visit their Facebook page at this location:

Here are a couple of items on display:

Please continue to follow us as we're reorganizing and developing a new partnership with Chatmon's Books to provide readers with the best in new and up-and-coming authors. Don't forget to visit C Dyann Designs on their website:

Friday, March 05, 2010

Movie Review: Brooklyn’s Finest

Movie Review: Brooklyn’s Finest
By Chandra and Charles

*Spoiler Alert*

Tonight Charles and I saw Brooklyn’s Finest and left the movie theater with different opinions and feelings about this movie. Over dinner we discussed the scenes we liked, the actors, who performed and the resolutions of the storylines in the movie itself.

Chandra: So what did you think?
Charles: I enjoyed the movie for the actors, they brought the intensity to their roles.
Chandra: Really? I wouldn’t have called it intensity…
Charles: Well, to be honest, the script was the typical vignette of corruption, redemption, and loyalty. Plots, we’ve seen a thousand times - but - I felt the acting was good enough to make us not see that.
Chandra: This movie to me was like The Wire Redux. Only HBO’s The Wire actually had a soul. In many ways it seemed like a bunch of movies rolled up into this one on top of that, like Training Day, Crash, um… Should I go on?
Charles: No, you don’t have to but I just want to point out that this movie portrayed three cops facing personal challenges in their lives. For example, in one story line, a cop was so desperate to find a home for his growing family that he took liberties that he shouldn’t have.
Chandra: Oh you mean Sal? Sal just gave me heebie-jeebies. Ethan Hawke, considering his squeaky clean image did a bang up job of playing a low-life police officer. To be honest, I felt let down by many of the characters. Definitely I was happy to see my folks from The Wire, but if I wanted to see The Wire I would have watched The Wire. How many booty clubs, drug raids, and corrupt commissioners can you rehash? And, I know I’m going on here, but bear with me. Wesley. Oh, Wesley. I had high hopes for the brother in this movie. I wanted him to bring Nino Brown, and he did not. He could have brought back Nino, just once.
Charles: Here’s the thing. If you came in expecting Nino Brown to return, then I can see why you would be disappointed. However, I thought Wesley’s character of a released drug dealer who wanted out of the game showed a different side to a stereotypical role like that.
Chandra: Well, I’m sorry but I was looking for some Nino Brown level drama. Moving on though, I sensed a little Crash-y-ness in the end. Did you?
Charles: The final scene was a bit predictable I admit but Richard Gere’s, Don Cheadle’s, and Ethan Hawke’s roles had me pinned to the edge of my seat because of the situations they were in. Granted the ending was over the top, but the intensity from each of them, convinced me what they felt was real and I was on a rollercoaster ride to the very end.
Chandra: Intensity. Roller-coaster. Is that why I felt nauseous watching it? Or was it the oversized movie screen and watching Ethan-as-Sal sweat and chain smoke? Hmm. Hey, did you notice the stereotypical Latina, with 'Ay Papi' every other sentence? And why did she, the only brown woman with a speaking role end up being a prostitute? I don’t know Charles, I just don’t know. I didn’t hate the movie but I believe it definitely doesn’t live up to the hype.
Charles: It didn’t have to. I mean, it’s a cop movie! They are not known for their deeply intellectual, philosophical point of view. That being said, this movie was a look at a system that fails the police who work in it. Maybe not Wire-like, but nevertheless, these cops were all faced with decisions that had serious impacts on their lives. For example, Gere’s character turns out slightly better than when he started.
Chandra: In all fairness, I can’t compare a roughly two hour movie with a multiple season cop drama (yes, I’m talking once again about The Wire so stop rolling your eyes) that just happens to be one of my favorite shows of all time. Also, perhaps it is best to let Nino Brown rest. After all, this is a post New Jack city movie. But, I thought what could have been a gripping drama that left me thinking about the characters long after the credits rolled, turned out to be a circular, cyclical, predictable, bloody mess. So Charles, if you had to rate this movie on a scale of 1 to 10, what would you rate it?
Charles: I’d give it an 8 for the acting over a predictable script. Again, I believe the passion, in Gere’s Cheadle’s, and Hawke’s roles were gripping enough to hold my interest. Wesley’s role wasn’t bad, it was Nino Brown light, but very believable and real.
Chandra: I would give this movie a 6.5 on the high side. Its predictability, too much dialogue, very sweaty, and in the end sickeningly bloody attributes made it hard for me to watch without a smirk.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tree Lover

This my first published poem.

When I cut several limbs from your tree
you cried
tapped into hysteria
stood ground at my front porch and threatened me
letters even found their way under my doormat to greet me each morning
I offered heartfelt apology to you and the precious tree
you denied and refused and waged war
Dearest neighbor I must admit
your love for those tree limbs is unprecedented
you cried as if I severed your arm
as you spewed forth rumors of my deed
like blood gushing uncontrollably from an artery
your hysteria brought to mind the story of a woman
who lifted an automobile to rescue her infant
the threat, our parting words that Saturday afternoon
made me realize
that you share a deep intimacy with that tree.
Which leads me to wonder
What the hell is wrong with you?
Do these tree limbs severed represent love lost?
Is that tree your only friend in the world?
What void does your rift with me replace?
I pray for you and for me every night
as a neighbor should
Tree woman find peace and love.

Copyright Chandra Adams 2006

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Precious the Movie - Reactions

Very few movies can touch emotions the way Precious, executive produced by Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey touched most of its viewers. I found this movie touching, moving, and also very sad, as it was very difficult to fathom that someone so young would have to endure so much pain delivered by the people that should care about her the most.

Even more moving, or at least interesting, are the reactions I have seen chronicled over the past few days. While this movie has generated critical acclaim from the mainstream, it has also generated anger from many African-American people.

My first thought about the anger was that it was ridiculous. Many of us see Precious everyday as we go about our daily lives - on the bus, in the supermarket, walking home from school as we speed by in our vehicles, whether it is from a distance or under the judgment microscope of people that we see but don’t truly know.

I also do understand the shame and anger that this movie has apparently produced. Before I experienced any truly traumatic experiences in my life, I would have probably had the same reaction to Precious. She was abused, overweight, depressed, and her situation seemed completely hopeless. I would have cringed as I watched her image dominate the silver screen with her ham hocks and double chin, her fried chicken greased fingers and her illiteracy, revealing to the world what they probably already think about most black girls and black women - that we are worth very little, except to serve others.

Precious is my hero. I’ve experienced a few setbacks in my life, but nothing I could ever compare to what this character endured in her young life. During those dark periods, however, I found out what I was made of, and most importantly how to stand on my own two feet without worrying about what others thought of me and how I was living my life. This story gave us a straight-no-chaser, full-bodied portrait of human suffering and how attitude won’t necessarily guarantee that our suffering will subside, but will help us make it through.

Precious, although a character in a movie, is about as close to real life for many as you can get. There are young women worldwide who suffer the same indignities simultaneously, regardless of color. Instead of experiencing shame over this portrayal of a segment of our society, how can we begin to use the experience to develop more compassion? American black people are as diverse as any other group of people, but I’m not so naïve to think that people won’t look at her and think of all black women, or all black people as being the same way. What others think of us, however, is truly none of our concern as mature adults. Most of us can barely keep track of our own thoughts, what makes us think we can control what other people make up their minds to believe?

Precious often envisioned herself as a white girl on those occasions when she needed to escape from her daily troubles, and made it crystal clear to her audience that she wanted nothing more than to have a light-skinned boyfriend by her side, which undoubtedly highlights the preoccupation many African-Americans have with being too dark-skinned or ‘too black’. I realize that at this point I’m probably beginning to step on a few toes, but let’s face it - the truth hurts. We have allowed ourselves as a whole to remain victim at the hands of mainstream society and refuse to look in the mirror and embrace who we are, warts and all. Until many African-Americans disturbed and shamed by images of Precious can embrace themselves, they will never be able to garner the respect they seem to crave, and young women like Precious will remain commonplace instead of becoming the exception.

Chandra Adams

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Movie Review: I'm Through With White Girls

This movie made in 2006 sat in my Netflix cue for a very long time. I was drawn to it by its title, but also repulsed at the same time because I was sure that I would be seething with anger throughout the viewing due to it title.

So I imagined the stereotypical, misogynistic tale of a young black man who treats women -- and in this case, white women, like a Baskin-Robbins flavor of the month. Then, at some point, I expected the character and his friends to sit around at some bar and talk about how crazy black women are, and how they were driven to white women. What I got instead was a very pleasant surprise.

The main character Jay is a bit of a nerd. Well, that’s putting it nicely. He lives in Los Angeles, works as a graphic novelist, and doesn’t own a car. He dates white women because he is afraid that black women won’t be as accepting of him.

At the heart of the story is a 30 year old man who looks for any reason to end a relationship to avoid being hurt. It is such a typical problem but seldom examined in such an honest fashion. I immediately liked Jay, not because of his sometimes childish ways, but because of the realistic portrayal of a relationship with a commitment-phobe.

Stereotypes came crashing and tumbling down in this movie. Catherine, his co-star, brings to mind the air headed hippie, when she turns out to be a very successful and stable personality throughout the story. I’m Through With White Girls biggest success was in representing its characters as multi-dimensional, complex, and human.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I’ve been through a lot of changes lately. Most of them have been welcome and good. I’m happy with my life - I feel confident, I know myself, I have love in my life and it shows in so many areas of my daily life.
I am a fairly adaptable. I have accepted some huge disappointments in the past with calm and a reasonable faith that things will get better. But I’ll tell you, I read somewhere that it’s not the big setbacks in life that get to us, it’s the little things. Today, I’ve seen enough to believe that that saying couldn’t be more true.
I freaked out today over a situation that has been plaguing me for a little while now. I felt that I could no longer endure the situation and that I was alright to vent openly. As I sit here and write, I still feel upset, but I’m reminded of something that my mother used to say to me often, and I’ll tell you what that is.
I was prone to emotional excess when I didn’t get my way as a young girl. I wasn’t allowed to be disrespectful toward my parents, and if I ever ventured out of pocket I was quickly put back in my place. With that said, when I would go off the deep end, my mother would remind me that I needed to learn how to control myself. My response to that was to get even angrier until she walked away shaking her head. Now that I’m older and well past the tantrum phase, I see great wisdom in those words. Today, I was quick to anger, and in many ways, rightfully so. But the way I handle myself in the midst of that anger is of monumental importance to my success.
Today I had to deal with two difficult customers. One that signaled that she is no longer doing business with me, and one that I must admit I wish would no longer do business with us. The first customer is leaving just when the relationship seemed to be going well. It turns out that she has a different point of view on the matter. Although, I am disappointed, people change and must go on their way. This is a change that can and evenutually will create opportunities for me to find better customers and improve my skills to keep them satisfied. With the second customer I have endured the kind of changes that are not healthy and add no value.
The customer in question wants me to alter my service to the point that it is no longer recognizable. My first response to this request is to send the customer packing and sever all ties. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as that -- I have investors that feel that this customer is important enough to entertain his ideas, and well, we are providing a service. Customer satisfaction is important, right? So we’ve gone through several changes to please this customer, and every time we come back with what appears to be a solution, he keeps moving the bar, changing the rules. Not only is it aggravating, it is a complete waste of time. My frustration and anger reached a boiling point, and I’m ready to take a stand. Now, at this point, I could make a bad situation worse and just go buck wild. Well, okay, maybe not buck wild. I don’t even know if I have it in me to go buck wild, at least not in the way I imagined in my meeting today. In reality, I have a few options left to explore before I throw in the towel.
I do have other parties involved who feel the same way I do about the customer and I can leverage their involvement to our mutual advantage. I can also stop giving this matter more attention than it deserves. The customer most obviously has another agenda, and is maneuvering to complete its fulfillment. The more attention we give it, the more we get manipulated in making this the most important customer when the return is minimal to nothing. Either way, I am the one that has to maintain a cool head, the one who has remain in charge of the situation, and the one who decides what makes sense for both the customer as well as the company.
Managing change is sometimes difficult but it doesn’t have to be impossible to bear. I am learning more and more everyday to keep the petty stuff in perspective and save my energy for the bigger things, like my loved ones and my health. The ability to do this can sometimes make the difference between a leader and a follower, and I prefer to lead.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Perfect Sunday

A Perfect Sunday
I’ve been dodging the NFL season I guess since about 2003 for reasons I’ll share with you a little later. But this past Sunday? I accidentally stumbled upon possibly the most stress free, totally enjoyable day in a very long time.
Lately I’ve had a lot going on. My job always keeps me running, even when I’m not there. I use a lot of my mental space just thinking about how to get over and get it all done in 8-9 hours a day. The past week, I’ve resumed writing as well. I’ve laid down a lot of my writing demons and I’m ready to crank out some more mystery and mayhem.
So Sunday, I lounged around and got up very late in the morning, which meant my day was starting off with a bang. I have been unable to sleep in for the past few months, so this was a welcome pleasure. Next, I decided that waffles sounded like a good breakfast with a hot cup of coffee. The waffles were excellent, and the steaming hot coffee gave me just the right pick up to get me going.
If you didn’t know this about me, I am a very creative person, and if I don’t have some creative outlet at my disposal I could literally go crazy. You know, the kind of gnawing my fingers off crazy because I haven’t found anything to do to keep my mind at peace. With that said, I have been very enthusiastically working on two sweaters -- one I’m knitting and the other I am crocheting. Finding time to do that is a chore in itself, but the house was quiet and all I had to do was plop down in front of the television with hooks and yarn flying in every direction. With a full stomach and some caffeine pumping through my veins, nothing could stop me.
I turned on the television, and with mixed feelings I noticed that the Oakland Raiders were playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Figuring that I could always turn the station if things went bad quickly, I dropped the remote by my side and watched with guarded suspicion. Well, the more I watched the better things got. The Raiders scored early and Tampa Bay seemed uncomfortable. I was definitely intrigued.
Needless to say the Raiders kept Tampa Bay out of the playoffs with the kind of win that I was used to seeing when Gruden was coach. What’s that you say? Gruden is now coaching Tampa Bay? I know, heh heh heh!! It wasn’t sweet revenge, but yes, it really was in a way sweet revenge. I love Gruden, but he, on that fateful Superbowl Sunday, turned my beloved Raiders into the biggest Superbowl losers in a game that I still don’t think they have quite recovered from to date.
By now you must know that I am a Raiders fan. Yes, I said it, and I can finally say it without pangs of anger, or without trying to defend my choice. They may have finished 5-11, but there’s no greater sight than to see a team at the bottom of the barrel keep a playoff contender out of playoffs. And it certainly helped that it was Tampa Bay. Believe this.
Oh, and the day just got even better. The Chargers and the Broncos. I had truly whipped myself into a frenzy and was elated when the Chargers shut the Broncos down. It was the Raiders spirit working through the Chargers, bringing chaos and wonder, shock and awe to a team that I simply cannot tolerate.
I bet I sound crazy to anyone reading this. Well imagine what I was like on Sunday! I still get hyped just thinking about it, and I am ready for bed right now and very sleepy.
I am a Raiders fan. I am also a fan that has found it extremely difficult to stomach their post Superbowl record. This past Sunday was perfect. It took me back to Raider glory and possibility, and made me remember why I love the game.