Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Girl, Put Your Records On

Pushed over the edge by Miss Ahmad's trip down memory lane, I went over to iTunes to download some vintage Prince only to get sidetracked by one of my new favorites, Corinne Bailey Rae. Her gorgeous acoustic version of her song Put Your Records On is their Free Download Single of the Week. I have the regular version on my MySpace page (yes I know, I'm "grown") but I like this acoustic version even better. The girl is just ridiculous...

But back to Prince! I had to download Anotherloverholeinyohead since I couldn't get it out of my head after commenting on Miss Ahmad's post! I also went ahead and downloaded his first album For You since my CD has long been scratched up. Whenever I listen that album, I am instantly transported back to my childhood bedroom with my headphones on, my door locked and my sister banging on the door (because it was her room too).

Ah, the memories...


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oh, The Places I'll Go

I don't know about
you, but I'm ready to get up outta here and go somewhere, anywhere for a nice vacation! I do have some getaway plans for the summer, but nothing too exotic: North Carolina for work, California for fun and Virginia for my family reunion.

My dream trip would be to Fregate Island in
the Seychelles, the star of the photos here.

How about you? Any hot travel plans for this summer?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Five (Or So) Things I Like About... the Sangin' Diva!

So, on this lovely, sunny Wednesday I have been doing some championship procrastinating! I wasn't even planning on blogging until I received an email from the WCBH aka the West Coast Bloggin' Hotties - my blog buds on the other coast with a great idea. Apparently Butta, blogger and editor extraordinaire, came across a meme called "Listing Magnificence: Five Things I Like About Myself" but WCBH Tia thought it would be far more interesting for bloggers to list five things we like about one or two other bloggers instead of singing our own praises. Tia's got the ball rolling with a very sweet tribute to Butta herself and I thought I would start out by singing the praises of The Sangin Diva (Miss Ahmad, you're next!)

It's always fun paying a visit to The Diva Book so I can follow Shannon's busy life as she travels all over the world as a backround singer.

She is always on the go and she's really tall!

And the mundane side (even though this is first class!)

And how sometimes it's not all it's cracked up to be.

She's a 'Cappuccino' like me

You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.
However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.
You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.
You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please

She likes cute little diva dogs.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Obama in 2008?

Is Barack Obama faking the funk when he says he doesn't want to run for president in 2008? Jason Zengerle, a writer for The Plank, the blog on The New Republic thinks so, thanks to this piece in the latest issue of New York on Al Gore.

The New York article by John Heilenman piqued Zengerle's interest because of one seemingly innocent paragraph that mentioned how only Gore and Obama had the "capacity to toss the chessboard in the air, altering Team Hillary's carefully calibrated plans."

Zengerle notes that Obama, despite his protestation to the contrary, is putting out subtle signals that he really is thinking about running for president. The strongest sign to date is Hopefund, his PAC (political action committee) which has so far distributed close to $2.5 million to Democratic candidates. Also, after reading an excerpt of the senator's upcoming book The Audacity of Hope on his website, Zengerle seems to think that Obama doesn't seem "entirely enamored of life in the Senate." Says Zengerle:

Spreading money around to Democrats all over the country, making noises about how the Senate maybe isn't the best place for him to affect political change--sounds like a guy thinking about running for president to me!

In my own humble, politically unconnected opinion, Barack Obama will not be running for president in 2008 - I think he's going to wait until 2012. Of course, if he does run, I'll make like Halle Berry and do "whatever he wants" -- short of collecting paper cups off of the ground. I mean, he is fly and everything - and I would love for a woman like his wife Michelle to be the first Black First Lady of the United States of America - but can a sister get an office job or something?


Monday, May 22, 2006

Adieu To A Legendary, Pioneering Diva

"I was quite taken with her, because I'd never seen the African influence in dance with that kind of strength and artistic power. It impacted my soul. No one had reached those heights. She was the definitive black dance company. She moved among the highest intellectuals of black culture, all the writers and painters and literary folk."
-- Harry Belafonte in the Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2006


Friday, May 19, 2006

Halle Berry Goes Off On British DJ

Chris Moyles is a big DJ in London who thinks that Halle Berry was "ratty" (British slang for grouchy) because she found an impersonation he did of a "big, fat, black guy" to be racist. You be the judge. Here is the exchange as reported by the AP:
Hugh Jackman, Berry's "X-Men: The Last Stand" co-star, jokingly suggested that Moyles might take the role of his body double if he ever landed the part of James Bond.

"I could definitely do that," Moyles said before adding, "Put your hands in the air!"

A somewhat puzzled Jackman replied, "Are you some kind of Brooklyn Bond?"

Moyles replied: "I'm a black American guy. A big, fat, black guy. Put your hands up in the air."

"Are we having a racist moment here?" Berry asked Moyles after she took exception to his impersonation. Moyles said he just couldn't do American accents.

A BBC spokesman, bravely speaking on condition of anonymity, said "There was nothing racist in what Chris said, and he made that clear on air."

Uh, no he did not make that clear on the air! Moyles specifically said "I'm a black American guy. A big, fat, black guy. Put your hands up in the air." He was impersonating a "black American guy" (not an American guy, not a French guy, not a British guy) doing a stickup.

Memo to Chris Moyles and the BBC:
That's racist!


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Omigod! Janet's 40!

So, that means it was friggin' thirty-five years ago that I thought you were so "lucky" to have The Jacksons as your brothers?! Thirty years ago that you were on Good Times getting burned with that iron by Kim Fields' mom?! (She still freaks me out to this day!) It's been twenty-five years since I copied that key in your earring and followed your every (alleged) move in Right On! magazine? Twenty-years since Control? Omigod girl! We all "grown" and whatnot! When did that happen? Geez!

Anyway, I wish you the best on your big day. People can say what they want to about you but you're still here. I mean, please - I can remember when Stacy Lattisaw had a bigger career than you! I can also remember editors telling me (in my magazine days) that you weren't "important enough" for a cover - even though you were breaking records, selling out stadiums worldwide and had regular #1 records. Today, they wouldn't dream of denying Beyonce her rightful cover - and I know you were a part of the crew that broke that barrier down, so I tip my hat to you.

Happy Birthday!


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Still Writing, Still Can't Pump Gas...

I'm still plugging away on my project, so aside from stopping by a few of my favorite blogs and commenting, I won't be doing anything here until the end of the week - just in time to wish Miss Janet a happy 40th birthday! Funny how time flies when you're having fun, right? Her birthday is actually next Tuesday, May 16th, but who knows what I'll be doing then.

My D.C. trip was great by the way. I still fumbled with gas though - I forgot that you had to lift the thing up so the gas will come out! (hahaha!!) Thankfully, this nice lady at the next pump helped me out. And I only spent $10 on gas the whole weekend!

Anyway, I thought I would leave a little food for thought for the next few days. I'm sure I got it out of an issue of Oprah's magazine sometime last year. It is by W.H. Murray, a mountaineer.

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

It's Crunch Time! (Or, Books Don't Write Themselves)

I am doing a lot of work related to my book this week, so I won't be blogging until next Monday or Tuesday. I've put my novel aside to research and work on this book (amidst temping, unemployment, tenant-landlord court - you know, the starving writer thing) and now, I've finally got the proposal together and it's making the rounds. The pictures are a hint about my book, namely the subject. They were taken by Carl Van Vechten.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Pump My Own Gas? Please - I'm From Jersey!

So, being the proud New Jersey-born person that I am, I have no idea how to pump my own gas. Self-service gas stations are a foreign concept in New Jersey, so I've been having a good laugh at NJ governor Jon Corzine's proposal to implement self-service in New Jersey. Bite your tongue Governor! I'll bet one of your drivers pumps your gas!

I mean, I have pumped gas before, just not often. Or well. The only time I have to do it is when I rent a car and I hate it because every rental car is different. As a matter of fact, I'll be renting a car this weekend to drive down to the D.C. area to do some work related to my book, so I'm sure I'll have lots of fun fumbling around and getting laughed at as I face the inevitable at the gas station. The last time I drove down, there was a woman behind me (who was probably in a hurry) that gladly helped me pump my gas. It helped that she actually worked at a car rental place, so she was sympathetic to my confusion. I'm sure she's seen all types!

The reality of self-service first came crashing down on me when I lived, ever so briefly (5 months), in California. I didn't think it would be a big deal, so I couldn't believe that it was such a big production for me! And, I had no idea homeless guys hung out at gas stations to pump gas for extra money (Ha!) I was thisclose to letting this homeless guy pump my gas before the station attendant ran over and said "Oh no miss! It's okay, I'll do it!" I didn't care who did it, I just wanted to get out of there! It's a good thing that I spent the bulk of my time on the bus before I raced back to New York less than six months later. Then again, no it wasn't because the bus in LA sucks. In New York, you see every color and income level on the subway and the bus. In LA, the people on the bus are primarily black, brown and poor. Most of the white people that I saw on the bus were European tourists. In New York, and I'm sure in other cities across the country, it's no big deal to see a person sitting at a bus stop. In Los Angeles, people look at you like you're an alien. And it takes FOREVER to get anywhere. If I had stayed, I would have gotten a car, but I knew I was going so I didn't bother. However, I must say that I was struck by the demographics on the bus - and I know that bus strike a few years ago must have really hurt the poor in Los Angeles.

Getting back to gas, I have a new phobia about it: THE PRICE!

Granted, I use NYC and NJ public transportation, so I've mostly had my head in the sand about gas prices. But I will be renting quite a bit this summer and I will buy a car by the end of the year, so now it's on my mind.

For you drivers out there: How much does it take to fill your tank? And how often do you fill it? Also, driving a compact car from NY to DC and back - about how much do you think I'll spend in gas?