Frankly, I am not interested in how or whom you choose. That is private. I just want to make sure that you exercise your privilege and right to do so. Please VOTE! I could launch into a diatribe about our fore parents and their battles to ensure that the voices of the people are counted and heard, but I'm saving that for a near future post. This is about apples and oranges. Flex your muscle, head to the polls, and vote with your heart and mind.
Personally, I am excited to go to the polls Tuesday. That lil' pickaninny with the cornrows and gangly stature you'll see, literally skipping down the street on her way to Grant Elementary to cast a vote? Yeah buddy, that will be me!
As this moment approaches, I am reminded of the days of The Honorable Harold Washington in Chicago. I was an eighth grader at the time of his first election, and I can remember the excitement and pride felt amongst the people of the city. I was passing out buttons and everything! I was a child, but ooh wee, I was amped! Are you sharing these times with your children? Are you taking this opportunity to teach them about political process? I sure hope so. Trust me, they will never forget.
I must also point out that because of the never-before-seen circumstances of this Primary, Black women might find ourselves between a rock and a hard place in our decision making. Our choice lies on the cusp of race AND gender; the very same classifications by which we are judged on a daily basis. If there was ever a time when we should feel important, that time is now. Forget about the fact that the universal standard of beauty is an image completely opposite of your own. Forget about your battle in the boardroom. Forget the subtle yet disparaging remarks against your character and existence made by the mainstream media on a regular basis. Forget what our own community regurgitates to us about ourselves in the name of entertainment and fame. Ladies, if ever there was a moment for you to shine and have a personal victory, it will be Tuesday!
Ladies and Gentlemen encourage your family, friends, and colleagues to immerse themselves in this electrifying time of our lives. Gather all the information you can. Read the paper and the Internet, listen to the candidates, watch the pundits on the news outlets (they're so entertaining). This is amazing, I tell you, and in our lifetime, we may never see it again. My grandparents didn't live to see it, but I can imagine them chiming in anyway. They would be excited too.
I've been waiting to do this post ALL week! As some of you may already know, Jesse and Angie have returned to Pine Valley! Angie returned Friday, and Jesse literally waltzed onto set today, looking all kinds of lovely and salt & pepper FINE. Time has done Mr. Darnell Williams well. As for Ms. Debbi Morgan, she is as beautiful as ever and her skin is still flawless. These two are a prime example of the black not crackin'! Although they have yet to cross paths, the plot is already thick behind the mysterious illness that has befallen their son Frankie. The last time I saw Frankie on AMC, he was a baby.
While the character of Dr. Angie was transplanted to two other soaps (where apparently Frankie grew older, and an adopted daughter arose for Angie), the fact that the ABC and AMC brass are reviving this, is an amazing testament to one of the greatest on screen love stories EVER. By bringing these two characters together in the eighties, All My Children and its writers, successfully opened up the world of daytime television to an all new demographic and generation. Personally speaking, I could not wait to get home to watch it! This was young love, black love, rebellion, drama, and suspense, all rolled up in one, and the story line never failed to disappoint. Add to that their friendship with Greg and Jenny and the show was really on point.
In hindsight, I wish they never took Jesse and Angie away from us. He was brave and she was ambitious. I don't know too many folks who look to soap operas for role models, but back then, Angie proved that you didn't have to give up your cookies for a man to be with you. She made Jesse wait until they married (eloped), and in my eyes that speaks volumes and is a far cry from the skyrocketed instances of teen aged pregnancy we see today. They also had an AIDS storyline back then involving one of Angie's friends, this was "risque" at the time, but brave and prescient. Unfortunately, we are hard pressed to find such compelling content on our shows these days. Call it ass backward, if you will.
I am excited to see how this story unfolds. How long will it be before they are revealed to one another? Will the son Frankie survive? Will Jesse and Angie reunite? Will there be bitterness and resentment? Where is Angie's daughter? The possibilities of this storyline are enumerable and juicy.
Besides, it's been interesting to see the old players in action. Tad is still "Captain Save a Ho", Adam is still surly and conniving, Opal, as always, is a tawdry busy body. Doc Joe Martin is old, yet gentle and kind and Erica is Erica, 'nuff said. There are obviously some characters that I know nothing about, and every ones kids seem to be grown now, but it shouldn't take long for me to catch on.
I hope you tune in also! We are truly missing a positive view of ourselves on the tube. Don't get me wrong, I live for my CW shows (Girlfriends, The Game, etc.) and I tune in to a few mainstream shows (Boston Legal, Greys Anatomy) because they sprinkle in black characters here and there, but I gave up on the Soaps a long, long time ago. The return of The Hubbard Family is a breath of fresh air and they will be welcomed into my home everyday, Tivo and all. I might even decide to add the show as a regular blog item.......
Hmmmmm, wait and see!
One such place for me is The Crib's Evergreen Plaza (for future reference "The Crib" is Chicago). Evergreen Plaza is a mall on the Southwest side and over the years it has been affectionately called "The Plaza" or "EverBlack". Through my domestic travels, I came to learn that there is one such urban mecca in most major cities, i.e., Atlanta's Greenbriar Mall, and LA's Fox Hills.
Word has it the The Plaza's demise is on the horizon. How sad.
My trips to the Plaza began at very young age, and I can remember tagging along behind my parents on trips to Monkey Ward's, Carson Pirie Scott or Buster Brown's. As I got a little older, my girlfriends and I would be dropped off on occasion to the movie theater with stern warnings about strangers and instructions on what time we would be picked up. Once we hit 7th and 8th grades we planned group outings to The Plaza with the neighborhood boys, we were like one big family. We would take the "little kids", hop on the 103 Cottage Grove to the 95th Street Station, transfer buses and head for a day at the mall. We would be 1980's clean too. You could not go to the mall looking any old kinda way. We had to be cute. My girls and I had this crazy obsession with DeBarge back then, and we all took the name of one of our favorite group members. I was Randy. Anyway, we had tee shirts made with these DeBarge-inspired monikers on them, pink or light blue with white lettering, and anytime we met a cutie in the mall, we would give our nickname. It worked well. Apparently, young adolescent boys didn't know any better and thought it was clever.
Our purchases at the mall included the latest 45's, chocolate chip or sugar cookies, egg rolls, Orange Julius, a pair of gym shoes, or some piece of junk jewelry. Oh, and let me not forget our stops at Arby's. Horsey Sauce, yummmm. I think we loved The Plaza because it represented a sense of freedom and independence. In a way, during those weekly trips, we were coming into our own. Our parents were only a pay phone call way if there was ever trouble, but the fact that they trusted us to venture out without their supervision, spoke volumes about our character, and the values they instilled in us. We were never out acting a plum fool.
I saw Purple Rain at this mall! Purple Rain! How big was that???
As time went by, around 18 or 19 years old, I began working at The Plaza. I worked at The Gap for about a week. Hated that. Then I got a job at Spin It Records. Spin It was one of the coolest gigs I ever had. It was great for my social life and I got to listen to music and collect a check. Heaven.
There was always something exciting going on in that mall. Fashion shows, performances, celeb sightings. Wassup Big Daddy Kane!
I also made great friends while working there, we often swapped store discounts. I mentioned egg rolls above, and one of my best friends today is the daughter from the family that laced the 'hood with those delicious egg rolls for years and years. Shout to The Moy Family! Nei ho ma?!?
All in all, if and when EverBlack closes, it will take with it a piece of time that helped shape the lives of a very special generation of young black folks. Thanks for the fun. Sorry to see you go.
After living here for six years, I am still not sure why these car/police chases are newsworthy, but this Hollywood, and Brit Spears gets more tv time than our presidential hopefuls. Go figure.
Yesterday was my late, paternal Grandmother Helen's birthday. She would have been 88 years old. In her honor, I decided to share the words I spoke during her memorial service in June of 2006.
When my Aunt Daythol asked me to speak at today’s services, I didn't hesitate to yes. I spoke at Aunt Rozzie’s service, and just last year around the same time, I stood in a similar place, for the same reason, extolling the virtues of my Grandma Roberta. This is an extremely difficult and unique time for me, losing my grandmothers so close together. You never think about what life will be like without your loved ones. I remember the sense of urgency I felt to take a picture, any time they were in the same room together. I never wanted to be without that memory. I would sometimes tell people how they were my precious jewels, as if I could wear one in each ear. My fondest memory is of them together, giving a male friend the third degree in Granny Helen’s kitchen. For those of you who knew them both, you can only imagine!
My cousins Kevin and Lance and I were allowed to call our Grandmother, "Helen", as we matured, and she sometimes went by Hayes, which was the name that my great grandmother Nevada affectionately went by also. On the flipside Granny had a term of endearment for KK and Lance that I shall not repeat at this time; and most times, I answered to “girl”.
No matter what she called us, she never failed to feed us well, always including our individual favorite dishes in her holiday dinners. From spending time around her, I grew to love crossword puzzles and sports. Whenever someone asks me how I came to love sports so much. I smile and say, “I got it from my Granny Helen”. She taught me how to use a few choice words too, but I will save that for another time.
On Sundays, during football season, I would go to her house to watch my favorite teams play. She had the NFL Sunday Ticket. She and Bob would sit in the living room and I would sit in her room and we would watch our respective games, checking in on one another periodically. Granny was a beautiful mix of spicy and sweet and for her many gifts, I am eternally grateful. My one regret is that I never learned either of my grandmother’s recipes, but that’s ok, because now, I just bug my Mom and Aunt Daythol for instructions, all the way from California. They both laugh and have pity on me. Secretly, I think they are pleased that I am finally interested in it at all.
Helen will always be truly special to me and so many of us in this room. On behalf of our families, Hayes, Young, Mitchell, Branch, McShan, and Barksdale, I say thank you for coming to share in this time with us. God Bless!
The first time I saw this commercial, I damn near peed my pants. I called The Lady (that is Mom for future reference) and told her all about it. She too, nearly peed her pants. Around the time PSP dropped this comedy, there was some controversy/debate about the use of the word rhyming with Trigga. It may have been the Imus debacle, who knows? That is irrelevant. What matters is that I decided to substitute the derogatory word with the term "Squirrel". Yes, that's it, I thought! This crafty wordplay will be my carrot stick, my nicotine patch. I will say "Squirrel" instead of that other vile word and clear my conscious (sort of.) Try it for yourself. Go 'head, I'll wait.........
In the meantime, I need to address a few Squirrels who have made headlines lately. Seems to me like they drank the kool aid.
You received your comeuppance yesterday homey. It was Nicole Brown Simpson Revenge all up and through the courtroom at your expense. Judge Jackie Glass stood tall to you,Juice, and doubled your bail for a display of "arrogance/ignorance", she wasn't sure which one it was, and according to her, it could have been both. I think she is right on the latter. Folks are tired of your new aged song and dance. All these years, you've been thinking that you were above the b.s. that most black folks, or for that matter, most human beings deal with on a regular. Somehow, you were under the impression that you were different. Now you had to put up collateral from your crib to cover your arse. Sorry man, I hate to say it, but you've been a victim of your own simplicity. Damn shame.
Contrary to what you've been told Blade, Dark Chocolate does indeed melt and right now, you are in the fondue pot. The Internal Rectum Service is coming for you. One of your ill-advisers convinced you that the "861 position" would spare you from paying taxes on all those millions you made when that Dark Chocolate was hot. Now you have jumped from the fire into the frying pan with an all white jury. Who does that?!!? I guess you do. See ya in court!
We never believed you anyway.
You should have kept your mouth closed from the very beginning. It does not surprise me though, because your judgement has been questionable for quite some time. When I saw you on the telly speaking grimy about Barack, I wondered what big business entity you were trying to saddle up to. I will spare you by not injecting race into this. You've done enough damage to many things Black, on your own. I don't need to present any evidence of this, just randomly ask anyone walking down Hood Ave., USA. Go 'head, I'll wait. In the meantime, you are eating crow. Reset dude. Focus on filling those seats at The Charlotte Bobcats Arena. Ish looks SO crazy on tv when no one is there.
I'm done. Oprah is about to come on.
We began at one of our fave spots for gluttony, El Cholo. Here, we met up with some former colleagues. Good times ensued and the Rita's were flowing, and the chips and salsa was delicious, and......well you get the point, we were grubbin'! Anywaaaaayyy, amongst the other folks was a young lady that Dan Belle and I did not know. She was a friend of our friends,friend. Dig me?
After a bit of open ended conversation, and more drank, she began to warm up to all, subsequently "fitting in" with the flow. Now Dan Belle and I have great stories and some are appropriate for sharing, and some we embellish, and some we definitely keep under lock and key. Needless to say that the table was full of laughter, and nostalgia filled the air. Our former life tends to be very intriguing to strangers (no we were not involved in any felonious activity or anything that would shame our mamas).
Wellllll, dinner came and went and D and I decided that it was time to hat up and move on to the next spot. We said our good-byes, but in the process, we got the feeling that this random broad wanted to roll (must have been the stories). What the heck, I thought, she's a cute girl, she might come in handy at the bar. Besides, the more the merrier. Guys like it when we travel in packs. Soooooo, she ditched the dude she came to meet, and bounced with D and I. She even rode in the car with us (this should have been our first clue).
Our next stop was to meet some old friends. So we arrive at Spot No. 2, introductions are made, and everyone seems to be having a great time. Suddenly, my boys are asking D and I about homegirl. The questions range from, "what does she do?", to "how long have you all been friends"? Quietly and strangely, we both had to answer that we didn't really know broad, and she was with us at the previous spot with a previous cat, and she wanted to roll, so we said "sure!" That is when she went from her government name, to "Just Met You", and for the rest of the evening, she lived up to it, famously. She set her sights on one of my boys, and the side show began. Now, I must hand it to her, she wasn't a punk. She saw something she liked and she committed to the game, in spite of the fact that she knew NOT ONE of us a few hours before. We had a round of drinks, and decided to head somewhere else.
Our next, and ultimately final stop, was a club. We chose this particular spot, because as we were driving down the street, "Just Met You" said "STOP", "I know the bouncers here, let me see what's up", so the caravan pulled over, and D and I watched as "Just Met You" worked her mojo. Next thing I know, she signals for us to valet and we are walking in. I think to myself, "okay, 'Just Met You', I see ya"! Please bear in mind that The Maven is no longer a club banger. Once upon a time, I would shut a damn club DOWN, but I am a cougar in training now, so I'll leave that loud music and jumping around to the kittens.
Side note: Anyone who saw me in action at Lady M's wedding should ignore that last statement.
Continuing on......we all converge on the bar and get a lil something, and stand around to soak in the vibe. The vibe was actually very cool. The music was on point, so much so, I got the DJ's card for future reference. We are all having fun, seeing old faces, and meeting new ones. "Just Met You" is still smelling my boy, but also making her rounds in the club. Obviously, she is seasoned. D and I catch a glimpse of her canoodling off to the side with someone familiar, or NOT. With this chick, who knows? HaHA!
Finally, the night comes to an end, mainly because LA is corny like that and shuts down early, akin to when your elders came in your room and shut the lights off, regardless of what you were doing, and told you to take that arse to bed.
The crowd filled the streets and as we waited for the cars, everyone said their good-byes, good nights, and good-to-see ya's. The ride finally came and D and I jumped in, but "Just Met You' was off closing her deals. She finally got in the back seat, and we made a bee line to her car for the drop off. At some point, D and I realized that she was backseat mackin' on her phone to one of our boys, and we gave each other the side eye. Broad works fast. No hate.
So, we got her to her ride, shared a few empty thoughts, and she was gone. Just like that, "Just Met You" came and went. She had a great night, had great food, great conversation, met some great guys, and all this with two broads she didn't know from Eve. Go figure.
The moral of this story is, you can take a horse to the water, but don't be mad if she's thirsty and drinks it all!
Now, I know what you're thinking. Why would you eat it, TWICE? My bad. I just don't have a legitimate reason. Convenience, maybe? Well, not exactly, because Trader Joe's is two blocks further. My point is, we should try harder to eat properly. Put your taste buds in boot camp. I did just that last night when I cooked some spinach. That was all I ate. Spinach, a pinch of salt, and pepper galore. This obviously was a better choice, but I had already consumed a double cheeseburger, a fry, and some nuggets (yes, I'm greedy), I ate the spinach to psyche myself out.
A coroner's report was released today regarding the untimely passing of Dr. Donda West, beloved mother of Kanye. As reported by the AP, it appears that results of the autopsy were inconclusive, but one thing seemed clear. Dr. West had heart disease, which could have been a contributing factor. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in our country. My maternal grandmother, and many of her siblings suffered from heart disease. I am predisposed to it as a result. I have cholesterol issues. I know better than to eat Wacky D's.
My plea to you today is to learn about coronary diseases, how to prevent them, and how to manage them. Life is easier when you feel better. Tweak your menus, for yourself and your loved ones. Think of beautiful colors when you eat, and pick food accordingly. Excersise and limit your alcohol intake (this is a challenge because I love a good drink.) If you smoke, STOP. That has got to be the NASTIEST habit.
I think I've said enough.
Now, dear heart, go hug or kiss someone you love.
My morning began with a healthy dose of football pre-game folly. I was once a loyal fan of Fox NFL Sunday, but then JB left, and I just could not get into it anymore, so I followed JB to CBS, but even that show is not the same without Neon.
Then ESPiN saved the day. They gave me Keyshawn! I am devoted and true. I'm always pleased to wake up and see Key's chocolaty goodness. His stylist gets an "A" from me, because the man is always "drobed" and lays a suit like no one's business. His sense of style seemed to have rubbed off on Da Coach too because he's been looking nice lately (in an old sugar-daddy kind of way.) Keyshawn is also bold in his commentary and cuts slack for no one. FYI, he's not a fan of one such S. Alexander and he pulled no punches when he sat down for an interview (heart to heart) with his own kin, one such C. Johnson. All in all, the ESPiN Sunday NFL Countdown gets my vote. Boomer Berman does his thing effortlessly and the chemistry between the guys is good, except for a few cringe inducing blunders here and there from that Hall of Fame, Dancing With The Stars champion.
As I type, I am watching the Titans and Chargers, in what has turned out to be a defensive battle. Mr. Young has been running for his life in the backfield. Rivers, at one point, was on the sideline barking at folks like a rabid dog. Antonio Gates' beautiful smile turned to a frown when he was carted off on a stretcher with what seems like a foot injury, and LT seems to be warming it up as The Bolts have taken the lead. It's probably a wrap for Young Vince's first attempt at a taste of P.O. (that's playoff) glory.
In the early game, I had high hopes for the Bucs, however, the Giants and their ghastly QB, made believers out of their loyal NY fans by winning their first playoff game in seven years.
On the League Pass the Bobs got off to a slow start in their empty arena against the Bucks, but they seem to have found a lil' rhythm, thanks to G. Wallace, and now its a game. The Rap seemed to have the Cavs beat until LBJ found a lil' inspiration in the form of two heckling sistahs who bent his ear from their floor seats. Apparently, Bron Bron does not play that.
Last night, during the Celtics-Pistons match up, perhaps a star was born. Rookie Glen Davis showed out with solid stats, in about 20 minutes. He is not a baby anymore, just big. As in, he showed up big time for his team. New nickname please! That game did not disappoint, and I hope that was a glimpse of what the Eastern Conference finals will be. In the words of my homeboy Andrew, "it was a baaarn burnah!"
Nice to see CP3 handling his biz against Nash in the PHX-NOH game, I still wish the Hawks had drafted him.
Speaking of my baby Hawks. I just think their biggest liability is the coaching, and the lets not forget the ownership drama. The grownups are acting worse than the kids. It's a shame.
Anyway, I'm out. I need a little break before the evening B Ball games.
Kudos to Traceye and her Blackberry.
I know it's been a couple of days since I last touched base. My last few days in Jozi (JoBerg for those of you that are like huh?) were spent doing the tourist thing. We went to the Apartheid museum where they gave me, Brian and Andrea entrance cards to designate which entrance we would have to use I got the Non-European/Non-Blanke or the Black card and Brian and Andrea got the Non-Black/Blanke card. Going through the entrance Andrea was like I want a black card but she had to go through her designated entrance to show how the separation of people were during that time. The museum was really powerful. It took us through the history of the politics of South Africa and how Aparteid came to be and was ended. It's hard to believe that 14 years ago South Africans were still effected by Apartheid.
We left the museum and went to the church in Soweto were Mandela and Tutu held meetings to fight Apartheid and learned the history behind those meetings as well as the church. We even saw the bullet holes from the police attack that occured during one of their meetings. They have a wall where visitors can sign and of course I signed mine with "Peace to Soweto". We then went to Wandies the famous restaurant in Soweto whose food was sooooo damn good. I even took a picture with Wandie himself.
After we left Wandies we went to the Morris Issacson High School which is one of the organizing schools of the student March against being required to learn in Africaan where over 2500 students were killed including Hector Pieterson. We left there to go to the Hector Pieterson Museum and then went to the street where both Mandela and Tutu lived. On that street was a restaurant called Nambitha that was jumpin'. It was packed with all local people and is said to be much better than Wandies. We stopped in for a drink to find that they were doing a tribute to Luther Vandross...that was all the music that they were playing.
We ended our evening with a great dinner at the Butcher Shop, a really good steakhouse.
So now were in Cape Town, (got here on the 30th) and so far so good. We had an amazing dinner our first night at a seafood restaurant called Bahia. It's won many awards for their food and after having the most succulent lobster I understand why.
New Years Eve was great!!! We spent it with my friends Lisa and Janie's boy Sid Money who is from the states but lives in Joberg and is sooooo damn crazy!!! Imagine DMX on 40 cases of Redbull!!! We went to his friends house who has an apartment on a hill overlooking the waterfront to bring the New Year in so we could see the fireworks and then to Hemisphere, the hottest club in Capetown which is Ironically owned by a guy from Chicago!
We met a ton of Sid's friends from Cape Town, Durban, Mozambique and JoBerg who were all so nice and kept the Champagn flowing.
So far we've been to Table Mountain where the view was amazing, Cape Point which is the Southen tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. We"re going to the Winelands Thursday and to Robbin Island on Friday.
I hope everyone is well and wish you all a very lucrative 2008 physically, mentally, spiritually and montetarily.
Miss you all!!!
Good thoughts, Good things
Traceye Y. Smith
I am so excited to see 2 Dub Z 8! Last night's year-ending countdown was like a breath of fresh air. I even shed a few tears. I told '07 to kick rocks! Remember that skit from Chapelle Show, when after getting O pregnant, Dave went to the office and quit, kicking trash cans and telling folks to kiss his tail? That's how I felt at midnight. Hilarious, right? You see, there is nothing like a new start. January 1st is that one gift you can always count on; it is sure and certain. It offers you the opportunity to begin anew.
After making it home sometime this morning. I popped my private bottle, had a slice of birthday cake, and watched Auntie Mame (the 1958, Rosalind Russell version) until I fell asleep. I just love that movie. Mame and her best friend Vera were two bad broads, and they LIVED! Mame says, and I quote, "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death." Basically, take your seat at the table of life, and eat!
I watched the Illinois-USC game today. Realistically, it was just the USC game. Nothing more needs to be said.
Look for a new entry by weeks end. I must get used to the blogosphere, so bear with me as I work out the kinks.
Thanks for all the birthday wishes, and New Year's blessings!
The Maven aka Christie Luv