Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Let Me Tell You Why

Lately I've been tossin' and turnin' a particular thought over & over in my head.  I've been meaning to speak on it but just didn't know where to begin.  Well, no better place to begin something than the beginning.  So...here goes. --- Every time I click onto the internet or step outside my house...if I see black women, I see a black woman wearing a weave, extensions or a flat-out wig.  EVERYWHERE I go.  The grocery store.  Park.  Drugs store.  Nightclub.  Church.  Everywhere!  And every time I see them, I ask myself, "Why?"  Why do they want long, straight hair?  Or long, curly hair?  Or long, blonde, straight hair?  Or long, blonde, curly hair?  Why?  Why is their natural hair covered virtually every time they leave their homes?  There are women I've seen at church for damn near a year now, and some I've seen since I moved to L.A. in 2000, and have never seen them without somebody else's hair on their heads.  And, truth be told, I think I know why.  --- I realize that here in Hollywood and in this nation's fashion capital, New York City, the heavily publicized standard of beauty is set by white men & women.  Thus, People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful lists are always composed of 99.9% Caucasian people.  And 99.9% of the films shown in movie theaters and the shows on television are composed of 99.9% Caucasian performers.  And the magazine covers are graced by 99.9% Caucasian people.  The people who run the television networks and movie studios and publishing companies and record companies and fashion houses are 99.9% Caucasian.  I get it:  the black women I see wearing weaves, extensions and wigs (excluding those with natural hair loss) have obviously bought into what the 99.9% constantly tell them about beauty.  What I know for sure is that I want people to be happy.  And I know that true happiness originates from within.  So, if this means I have to love my sistahs harder and stronger till they see their phenomenal worth, I'll have to do just that.  'Cause it's painfully apparent to me that far too many of them don't truly believe that God doesn't make mistakes.

Radio Days

Wabash College Radio

Loyola University Maryland

WLOY Radio DJ, Alex Namin

Way back in the early '80s I used to read the news on the Wabash College radio station, WNDY 91.3.  I loved that gig.  I went on to spin records, too.  Back then, radio stations weren't as heavily formatted as they are today.  So, I played whatever I wanted to play.  As I type, I'm listening to the college radio station of Loyola University in Maryland (WLOY).  DJ ALEX NAMIN is spinnin' the tunes!  Up till a few moments ago I was texting him real time while he's on the air, but I typed something to him he didn't want his boss to read and told me in no uncertain terms to kick rocks!  Haaaa!  God bless the youngun!  He sounds so mature over the air.  I can't believe almost 20 yrs ago I was standing in the hospital with his mom & dad moments after he was BORN!!!!

P.S.  I was just reminded that I should've included one of my fave, Fraternity Brothers, JOSEPH BRIAN BEVELHIMER, as an "assistant DJ" with me.  I distinctly remember him having me play Meatloaf's "PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHT."  LOVED that song!!!!  It's STILL a classic to my ears!

Ugly Is As Ugly Does

Andre Davis

Being deemed good-looking and charismatic are usually blessings.  But, to some, they're CURSES.  And to former, up & coming wrestler, Andre Heart aka Gangsta Of Love, good looks, charisma and poor judgement were his undoing!  Today he was found guilty on 14 counts of felonious assault for having sex with multiple women without divulging his HIV+ status!  Ouch!  He didn't appear too terribly phased by the verdicts as they were read, but I'm sure inside, his heart was pounding and he undoubtedly wanted to fall into his mother's bosom and wish she'd make it all go away.  God bless the women he slept with.  And God bless him, too.  --- Read his story HERE.

Something New

Last week I had a phone conversation with a loved one.  I hadn't spoken to her for quite some time, so it was great catchin' up.  Truth be told, before I called her, I knew precisely what I wanted to discuss.  But I felt compelled to talk about everything else under the sun BEFORE I got to the subject matter on my mind.  I don't think she was any the wiser.  Anyway, eventually I got down to the nitty gritty.  I asked her about her new friend.  She told me that her new friend had just recently visited her, but had gone back to wherever she lives.  Of course, I had to ask more questions.  And, eventually, I got the answers I was lookin' for.  She and her new friend have consummated their new friendship.  Haaa!  I love the way I just put that.  After one husband, numerous, male lovers, two kids and 50+ yrs of living, my loved one has crossed over into the land of "carpet munching!"  Haaa!  Based upon our conversation, I didn't get the impression she deems herself a lesbian.  Which could turn out to be a real bummer somewhere down the line 'cause the new friend is a full-fledged lesbian.  And a stud lesbian at that!  All I know is that for now they seem to enjoy their relationship just as it is.  Good for them.  My loved one lives life to the hilt, so I hope & pray that whatever she's doing with this new friend only brings joy to BOTH their lives! --- Folks can say what they wanna say about the aging process, but my loved one's recent revelation goes to show that...

Monday, November 28, 2011

It All Begins With You (Me)

Yesterday my pastor said something that truly resonated with me.  He said that many of us pray to God to change the circumstances in our lives when, in reality, what we should be praying to God for is to change US.  I know where I'm concerned, that's precisely what I MUST do.  The life I'm currently living is a direct result of the choices I'VE made.  I am the reason I am living in this woefully-in-need-of-updating two-bedroom apartment.  I am the reason I can't afford to fly WHEREver I wanna go WHENnever I wanna go.  I am the reason I rent a car when I need one instead of owning one.  I am the reason professional fulfillment eludes me.  And only I---with GOD's blessing---can change things!  So, God, I say...right here...and right now...please change ME.  The very moment you do that...with MY help, of course...my circumstances will change, too.  It all begins with me.  The secret of life is walking closer to The Truth.  Amen.  

That's What She Said

BenĂ© Viera

I just discovered a blog written by a black, female feminist.  And boy oh boy does she have a lot to say on a lot of subjects.  Her name is BenĂ© Viera.  The post I stumbled across was her take on Tyler Perry and what she deems his "issues" with black women.  I have listened to far too many folks loudly regurgitate their persecution opinions of Tyler's writing abilities, alleged homosexuality, etc.  Enough already is my response to all of 'em!  If you don't like his work, don't patronize it.  No need to try your damnedest to make sure NOBODY ELSE enjoys his work, either.  I read Bene's blog post from beginning to end.  I read her readers' comments.  And I STILL say, if you don't like his work, don't view it.  Simple as that.  From where I'm sitting, the man does what he does.  Some of it I've enjoyed.  Some of it, I haven't.  Same as with every other artist who presents his/her work for public consumption.  If casting Kim Kardashian in his latest project has black women in a tizzy, I say, puhleeeeeeze!  I'm sure there's something more urgent to tend to than worry about whom Tyler casts in HIS films!  Emphasis on HIS, thank you very much! --- From time to time, I'll still check out her blog, though.  She seems interesting!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Latecomer

Adele

I must have been living under a rock NOT to have jumped aboard the ADELE bandwagon ages ago!  I mean, geez, that girl can SINNNNNNG!  I stayed up to the wee hours of this morning, surfing YouTube, listening to several of her recordings.  I have now added several of them to one of my YouTube playlists:  Someone Like You, Hiding My Heart, Don't You Remember, Make You Feel My Love, Crazy For You, Now And Then & Turning Tables.  I love her husky timbre.  And the power behind her voice!  I tell you, if singers aren't able to belt, I'm not usually all that in love with 'em.  I like some folks who keep it calm, cool & collected, but my preference is a belter!  ADELE, I look forward to hearing future recordings.  And I hope you recover miraculously from your recent, throat surgery.  What a COLOSSAL TALENT!

Movie Night

The Cast

Last night one of my dear friends invited me to accompany him to see an independent film, starring someone he knew.  All I care to say about it is that I'm happy that the writer/director got his vision produced.  And I say that 'cause sooooo many people in this town SAY they're making a film but 99% of those folks NEVER produce a completed project.  This guy did.  It is my hope that he continues to produce more and more of his work.  'Cause practice makes perfect.  And, based upon what I saw, he could only benefit from more practice.  God bless him.

Building For Sale???


I see my landlords are beautifying the front of the building.  As I type, four or five folks are outside, repainting the white fence in front of the building.  Could the landlords be makin' the place look nice so they can sell it?  Hmm.  I'm gonna have to hit Google and find out!!!!  Thank goodness for the ol' all-knowing internet!!  :)

Saturday In The Park With CAM

I was back at Griffith Park today and loved every minute.  I prefer to enter the park off the 134 East freeway, Forest Lawn exit.  I always feel sooooo dang good after my workouts there.  I always enjoy observing the bicyclists and joggers and picnickers.  And the random people who simply pull over to the side of the road to read or eat in their cars.  That beautiful park is for everybody.  And everybody can find something to do while there.  Or maybe just sit and do nothing.  I met a guy there a couple years ago who told me that he was lying in the park one afternoon and felt a tug on his feet.  He looked up and it was a friggin' coyote nipping at him.  That would've freaked me out!!!  I probably would've screamed like a little girl!  Haaa!  Well, today I didn't see any coyotes.  I simply basked in the glorious sunshine as I walked and performed incline & decline push-ups.  This 47-yr-old body truly responds incredibly to the rigors of working out in Griffith Park.  If God's will, I'll be back tomorrow after church! :)  

Curbside Service

This morning, I hopped into my silver, Dodge Caliber rental and boogied over to LAX to pick up my friend, Chris, his wife and his precocious eight-yr-old son.  They celebrated Thanksgiving in South Carolina and Atlanta.  Anyway, luckily for them, I had a big enough car to accommodate all their dang luggage.  You would've thought they'd been gone on a two week expedition!  Geez!  I was truly happy to pick them up.  Chris offered me $40 to do it, but he's my FRIEND.  I couldn't take money from him for doing what friends SHOULD do.  Instead, I told him to buy me two drinks when we go out next.  Heck, my mama didn't raise no fools!  Haaa!  Speaking of drinks, I think I just might concoct me one in just a few.  Bacardi Limon & orange juice.  Why not????  :) :)   

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ma'am, Do You Need A Hand?

Two weeks ago I returned to my volunteer gig with the elderly.  I had been away from it since May.  When I walked back into the residence, it was as if I had never left.  I recognized the familiar faces and greeted each and every one of 'em with a warm, hello!  My first, two hours at the residence is spent with the elderly who have all their senses and can do for themselves.  I began, as usual, assisting the delightful employee, Jennifer, as she led the residents in exercises.  After that, I joined a table of elderly fellas for lunch.  We talked about any and everything.  One of the gentlemen, Bill, is new.  He seemed like a jovial type.  Interestingly enough, he lives there, but his wife doesn't.  I suspect he needs special care his wife can't handle on her own.  Sitting and dining with them is a hoot & a learning experience.  It gives me an opportunity to ask all sorts of questions about the aging process.  Just as I sometimes say to myself that I can't believe I'm 47 yrs old, they told me they say the same thing to themselves about their age, too.  See, people truly are more alike than they are different. --- It's when I go upstairs to the Alzheimer's floor that I begin to truly thank God for my blessings.  I venture to say that more than half the residents on this floor seem even more advanced in their dementia than I recall back in May.  It used to be that I only heard one woman screaming that she wanted to go home.  Now, there are two or three more women who let out gut-wrenching sounds without provocation.  Every time I heard the loud screaming, I went to the woman and talked to her to soothe her.  I also grabbed her hand and rubbed her fingers as I talked.  And, every time, talking quietly and rubbing their hands calmed them down.  I honestly don't see how the employees on that floor can do it day in and day out.  The noise would really get to me.  Since I'm only there for two hours, it doesn't get to me as much.  But I'd be lying if I said it didn't at all. --- Nobody knows what the future holds.  But the one thing I know for sure is that if I have breath for the next, several months, I'll be back with the elderly folks.  God bless 'em. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Let Us Give Thanks

Today marks another Thanksgiving Day I'm not back in Indiana with my siblings.  I'll ring in the night at the same venue I was in this time last year.  No, the woman I'll be working for isn't my blood relative, but she's a really sweet lady nonetheless.  So, I give thanks to God and His Universe that I'm HERE to enjoy the day!!!!!  Hallelujah!!!!! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Belatedly Speaking

This past Tuesday, November 15th, marked the 50th year of a dear friend's life!!!!!  I've known her for the past 26 years of it!!  Although I forgot to wish her a Happy 50th on that actual date, I DID remember to do it this morning!!!!  She told me she celebrated the day by going to dinner with her ex-boyfriend and her 16-yr-old son (my godson).  She doesn't really make a big deal out of ANY of her birthdays.  This one included.  I'm just happy she's ALIVE, WELL and in GOOD HEALTH.  She's a PHENOMENAL MOTHER and FRIEND.  I love her dearly!  So, HAPPY HALF A CENTURY, MISS MADELINE!!!!!!

Ain't No Wig Big Enough

Over the years, "Lady Di" has worn some mighty big hair!  And, as far as I'm concerned, the bigger the BETTER!!  Go 'head with ya bad self, MISS ROSS!!!  Ain't no wig big enough to keep me from YOU!!!!  Haaa!  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

At What Point?

At what point does a man stop concerning himself with what the outside world thinks of him and simply accepts that he's ALREADY everything he's ever wanted to be?  Truth be told, I know the answer to that question.  'Cause, in many ways...I'm already there. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hardly A SHAME

MICHAEL FASSBENDER as "Brandon"

A few days ago my friend, Stephen, was kind enough to invite me to accompany him to a screening of the new film, SHAME, starring MICHAEL FASSBENDER.  I had first heard about this film from my friend, SMERALDA, who sang its praises.  Well, now I've seen it.  And, boy oh boy, am I happy I did!  First and foremost, the film touched me to the core of my soul because I related to the lead character, "Brandon."  I, too, have used sex to make me feel powerful.  I, too, have spent (and still do spend) many nights home alone because something inside me doesn't allow me to make true, meaningful, romantic connections.  And the one time "Brandon" did make such a connection, he couldn't "get it up" if you know what I mean. --- I walked away from the film acknowledging yet again that my life is as unfulfilled as it is because I do and have done NOTHING to change it.  The "Brandon" character will have to make some major, life changes to live a more spiritually and personally fulfilled existence.  And you know what?  So will I! --- When the film hits theaters, I HIGHLY recommend it!

Pariah, The Incredible Movie

ADEPERO ODUYE as "Alike"
KIM WAYANS as "Audrey"
CHARLES PARNELL as "Arthur"


pa-ri-ah [puh-rahy-uh]
noun
1.  an outcast.
2.  any person or animal that is generally despised or avoided.
Last week I was blessed by GOD to see the screening of the new film, PARIAH.  It's the story of a black, teenage lesbian and her struggle to live the life she was born to live.  I'm tellin' you, the stellar performances of the cast were enough to sing the praises of this film.  But I must admit that the story itself was quite phenomenal, too!  The lead actress, ADEPERO ODUYE, was simply sensational!  I couldn't take my eyes off her.  The actor who portrayed her father, CHARLES PARNELL, was also terrific.  I particularly enjoyed what KIM WAYANS brought to the table as the mother.  I've only seen Kim be funny.  So, seeing her suit up with drama was a refreshing change of pace.  And I truly felt for her character.  As much or more than I did for Adepero's as her tormented daughter.  I sincerely hope & pray this film does enough box office to garner more work for/from the writer/director, DEE REES.  I enjoyed the film a great deal and look forward to seeing it again!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

They Are WOMEN!

I can't stop watching this video of the female pros on Dancing With The Stars, dancing to Jordan Sparks's song, I AM WOMAN.  SIZZLIN' HOTTTT!!!