Wednesday, August 29, 2007


It's all Malcolm's fault (smile). Not only did he get me hooked on this Thursday Thirteen meme business, earlier this week he added a poll to his blog (Pop Culture Dish). In the poll, he mentioned a kid (played by Billy Mumy) from one of my LEAST favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone. In the episode, the little kid named Anthony, a little monster in disguise, has the power to make people who tick him off disappear into the cornfield.

Argh! I couldn't stand that kid. In the process of thinking about just how much I absolutely abhorred him, I started thinking about some of the other TV kid characters who've worked my last nerve.

Granted, most of the shows on my list I've only watched in passing (either while channel surfing or because of my own child's appetite for bad television) but trust me, I saw more than enough . . . Anyway, here's the list:

1) Anthony Fremont (That was the fictional name of the evil spawn from the Twilight Zone who made people disappear into the cornfield.)

2) Kenan and Kel of the Kenan and Kel Show (Okay, watching these two goof-balls was sort of like watching a Black version of Larry and Curly, minus Moe. And for the record, I hated the original 3 Stooges.)

3) Steve Urkel from Family Matters (Talk about an insult to smart, Black kids everywhere (smile). But to be fair, besides Laura, most of the characters on this show came off as big doofuses.)

4) Michelle from Full House (Something about the Olsen twins has always given me the hee-bee jee-bees. Seriously, when they were babies they kind of reminded me of a pair of muppets or ventriloquist dummies or something . . . )

5) Lil Earl from What's Happening (The hubby has threatened to put me out if I include Lil Earl's name on the list. Well, I guess I'll be sitting on the curb tonight y'all (LOL). One clue that a show is about to get the ax is when they add some cute, but annoying little kid to the cast. Sorry Sweetie, Lil Earl seriously bugged the heck out of me.

6) Raven, Corey and Eddie from That's So Raven (My son is mad at me about this one (smile). Not that I care. I still say, rather than a show, all three of these jokers should be doing commercial spots for either Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.)

7) J.J from Good Times (This one is sort of a no-brainer, isn't it? Yeah, let's just keep it moving . . . )

8) Tia and Tamera from Sister, Sister (I'm not sure what it was about them. But even today when I see them, I get that awful sensation that generally accompanies the dragging of fingernails across a chalk board . . . shudder)

9) All of the kids from Happy Days (I hated this show. Still do. Mainly because, back when I was a teen, the 3 kids I babysat for during the summers used to make me watch the re-runs with them every doggone day. I have no doubt that being forced to watch this show is some awful level of Dante's Hell.)

10) All of the kids from Barney (Come on y'all. Weren't most of the kids on this show too durn old to be dancing, skipping, singing goofy songs and holding hands with the likes of Barney?)

11) Buffy and Mrs. Beasley from Family Affair (Yes, technically, Mrs. Beasley was a doll. But it's hard for me to imagine one without the other. I'm pretty sure there were days when it took everything in Mr. French not to lock the both of them up in the closet somewhere.)

12) Junior from My Wife and Kids (Talk about a punkin head. *For those who don't know or are simply in denial, "punkin" is Southern Ebonics for pumpkin* Yeah, so, anyway, they made this kid's character so slow, he really should have been hanging out with those big, goofy kids on Barney . . . and wearing a protective football helmet so he wouldn't hurt his fool self.)

13) Greg, Marsha and Jan from The Brady Bunch (Y'all know in the real world, Greg would have grown up to be the office suck-up, Marsha would have ended up being somebody's Stepford wife and poor Jan would have either wound up as some demented serial killer or else a horribly confused astronaut . . . you know, like the type who at some point decides to embark upon a road trip armed with a can of mace and a big bag of of Depends . . .)

So tell me, who did I miss? Which TV kid makes you wanna go all "Homie the Clown" (from the show In Living Color) and just bop 'em upside the head, one good time? I love kids. Really, I do . . . just not the ones on TV.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I could post something silly today. Being silly is easy. My mind generally tends to lean in that direction and without requiring much by way of provocation. But, as of late, I've been in a reflective, contemplative mood. So, how about a couple of inspirational quotes, instead?

The following is one of my favorites: "If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be too cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off the cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down . . ." Annie Dillard

And here's one from a song I've been listening to for the past couple of days:

"In the end

There can be only laughter

After the dance

Lies a whole new chapter

So never wait too long to try

Cause you might

You might win . . ."

Kem (from his song "You Might Win")

Be encouraged. Be inspired. Be an inspiration. And hey, if none of those work for you . . . just be quiet (smile).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

THURSDAY THIRTEEN . . . 13 INTERNET PET PEEVES . . . Don't act like I'm the only one. Everyone has them, right? The following are some of my pet peeves when it comes to the internet.

1) Sites chocked so full of ads, graphics, photos and the like, they take forever to upload/download . . . Hey, give me a break, you know what I'm trying to say *smile* (In case you didn't know, not all of us have, want or can afford high speed internet).

2) Religious chain letters that attempt to blackmail you into salvation. You know, the "if you don't send this to 33 people in the next 33 minutes, 33 of your teeth are gonna rot" or some other such nonsense. (Does salvation made by way of threat or under duress really even count?)

3) The Nigerian Chain Letter (Come on, Dr. Josc, Mr. Abdoul and all the rest of y'all. Do you really think I was born yesterday? There is no 22.5 million dollars and I am not your dear friend. So, get a new hustle and stop freaking emailing me.

4) Dead, Broken or Unworkable Links (Okay, I must confess--I too have been guilty of this. )

5) Bloggers who respond to everyone's comments except yours. (Dag, it's like that, huh? Well, I'll just take my jacks and go play somewhere else.)

6) People who "reply" to "all" by email when they really only intend for one specific person to see the message. ( May you all be sentenced to an Email 101 Refresher Course.)

7) Pop-ups that sneak by your pop-up blocker. (Grrr!)

8) People who expect you to respond promptly to their emails, but refuse to extend you the same courtesy. (That's all right Mom. What goes around, comes around. Just kidding*smile*).

9) Huge links that take forever to download. (Really, sometimes smaller is better . . . ).

10) Sites with hideous color combinations--like pink on black, or black on purple . . . (Dag, I'm blind enough as it is. Pretty soon I'm gonna have to start wearing my 3D movie glasses everytime I sit down in front of the screen).

11) Bloggers who take themselves way too seriously. (Lighten up and laugh sometimes, why don'tcha? Life is way too short).

12) Forwarded emails, letters, poems, warnings purportedly penned by some authority figure, government official, slave master or Maya Angelou. (Stop the madness people).

13) Folks who pull/fish your name from a group email in order to send you advertising material and/or spam. (Class, can you say, "Tacky?!" Thank you class.)

Okay, did I miss any? Are there others you'd like to mention? Go ahead and vent, why don'tcha? I just did.

***A FEW LATE ADDITIONS***When you finish here, hop over to Artventuring and check out Michelle's "13 Life Frustrations We All Share." Also, Malcolm posted a list of "13 Films That Spawned Short-Lived Series" on his blog Pop Culture Dish.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


What I like about Barack Hussein Obama extends beyond his charisma, his candidacy or his politics. I read his first book, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, well before he announced he was running for our nation's highest office. Matter of fact, I can remember saying in the book club in which I belonged at the time, "If there is to be a "Black" president in my lifetime, if will more than likely be Barack Obama."

My favorite section in Dreams From My Father is one entitled, "Origins." In it, Senator Obama speaks candidly about his family, his unique upbringing and his feelings about his racial/ethnic heritage. While writing about his college years, he mentioned a young woman he called, "Joyce." He described her as a "good-looking woman who had green eyes, pouty lips and honey-colored skin." He talked about the day he asked Joyce if, by any chance, she planned on attending the upcoming Black Students' Association meeting.

He said Joyce looked at him funny, shook her head and told him, "I'm not black. I'm multiracial." Then she went on to tell him about "her father, who happened to be Italian . . . and her mother who happened to be African and part French and part Native American and part something else." Then Joyce, who Obama described as being on the verge of tears at that point, went onto tell him that Black people were always trying to make her choose, while White people were willing to treat her as a person.

What Obama conclued about the experience, made me smile, if only because I've often thought/felt the same when I've encountered people like Joyce . . .

In Barack Obama's own words: "That was the problem with people like Joyce. They talked about the richness of their multicultural heritage and it sounded good, until you noticed that they avoided black people. It wasn't a matter of conscious choice, necessarily, just a matter of gravitational pull, the way integration always worked, a one-way street . . . Only white culture could be neutral and objective . . . Only white culture had individuals. And we, the half-breeds and the college-degreed, take a survey of the situation and think to ourselves, "Why should we get lumped in with the losers if we don't have to?" (From Dreams From My Father, pages 99-100)

In part, what I like about Senator Obama is that he appears to have made a conscious decision to cast his lot with those perceived as "the losers." It amuses me that so many (both Black and White) appear to take issue with Obama's choice to identify himself as an African American and align himself with the African American community. One has only to read his book, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance to understand that Obama fully appreciates all of the various elements that helped make him who he is. In fact, I'd dare say, even more so than his African father, the book is about how his White, mid-western bred mother helped shape and influence his African American identity. I view how Barack Hussein Obama has elected to define himself as both an act of love and one of defiance.

For me, the real beauty of Obama is, one, that he readily and proudly embraces ALL that he is, as well as ALL to which he is connected--his White American mother, his Black African father, his White relatives from Kansas, his Black relatives from Kenya, his Indonesian step-father, his half-White, half-Indonesian sister, his South-Side of Chicago reared African American wife and their two little girls. And two, Obama steadfastly refuses to embrace a solely negative and stereotypical view of what it means to be Black . . . African American . . . or . . . a person of color.

(Written while listening to Lupe Fiasco's "Kick, Push"; "I Gotcha"; "He Say, She Say"; and "Day Dreamin'" from the cd entitled Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


1) Why don't you blog more often? Same reason I don't read more. I'm generally too busy writing. There are only so many hours in a day. When I'm not working on a serious project, I like spending as much time as I can doing things with the family and away from the computer.

2) Why don't you have more writers/authors on you list of links? In most things, I'm not one to play favorites. But I must admit to owning a bias for African American writers who hail from the South. With that in mind, at the present time, I've decided to limit my writer/author links to folks with ties to Memphis, TN (my home town) and Charlotte, NC (where I currently reside). Of course, it is a woman's prerogative to change her mind.

3) Why doesn't your blog contain more info about your book? Patience grasshopper. It's coming. I just received a copy of my cover a week or so ago. As soon as I receive the official okay, I'll post it.

4) Why do you blog so much about music? You obviously missed that post (smile). Check it out here, if you're interested or need a refresher. But the short answer is, writing, reading and music have always gone hand-in-hand for me. I was born in Memphis, home of the Blues, Al Green, B.B. King (got his start there), Bobby Blue Bland, Rufus Thomas, Earth Wind & Fire (even though they seldom claim it) Isaac Hayes, Stax Records and Beale Street. Oh yeah, and Elvis too (smile). I grew up in a home where jazz and r &b was purchased, played and partied to on the regular. Quiet as it's kept, and in another life, mind you, I really did want to be a Disc Jockey. You'd best believe, I'm jamming to some Aretha (who, by the way was born in Memphis) as I type this. "Rock Steady Baby!"

5) What's up with those Cleveland links? I lived in Beachwood, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio for 4 long, cold-a$$ years, before I relocated to Charlotte. The links are just my way of showing my Cleveland peeps some love.

6) Will your novel, After The Dance, be anything like your blog? God-forbid. LOL. My novel is simultaneously a romantic comedy and a parody of sorts, in that it pokes fun at various elements of the traditional "romance" genre. My novel is set in Memphis and contains a number of old school musical references. Hmm, I sense a contest coming on. Question #1 who can guess how many song references the book contains? And the prize? I haven't worked that out yet. But I am open to suggestions.

7) What's up with the black & white baby picture? And how come you haven't posted a current photo of yourself? What? You don't like my baby picture? I hate having my picture taken. Always have. But I'll post a more current one soon . . . maybe . . . we'll see (smile).

8) How come you don't have a website? Dag, give a sister a break, why don't ya? I'm slow, but I'm getting there. Really, I am. Soon as it's up and running, I'll let you know.

9) How come your blog contains so many doggone lists? I'm guessing some sort of undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder. LOL. Seriously though, creating lists is something I've done since I was a child.

Any more questions?
I just might have few more answers in me.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


One of my biggest complaints about today's popular music--so much of it sounds alike. Turn on the radio and listen. Now imagine the voice you're hearing without the music in the background. Uh-huh, most of the guys are yelping, grunting or whining, while most of the girls are stuck on wail, scream or purr. Ain't a whole lot of straight-up sanging going on (smile). Yeah, I said it. Meant it too. Where have all of the distinctive voices gone? Where are the songs and the voices we'll want to listen to 10, 20, 30 years from now?

The following is a list of distinctive voices . . . voices of singers who are no longer with us . . . voices that still make me smile whenever I hear them on the radio. My list is in no particular order and in all honesty could continue on well past the number 13.















So . . . which/what voices are on your list?

After you're finished here, you might want to jump over to Malcolm's Pop Culture Dish and check out his Thursday list of 13 "TV Shows I Would Love To See In Reruns Again."

Monday, August 06, 2007


I just returned home after having visited 4 cities in 2 weeks. It was fun, though a bit tiring, like traveling with the family can sometimes be. Had it not been for the music, I probably wouldn't have made it beyond a couple of days (smile). Really, I mean, What's a road trip without music? Please, I don't even want to think about it.

When the hubby and I first started traveling together, umpteen some years ago, our musical preferences/differences were something we had to sort out. I like my music loud. He doesn't. While I enjoy a variety of music, I prefer R & B, hip-hop and jazz. The hubby can only take a limited amount of hip-hop, prefers "smooth" jazz, and is even more OLD SCHOOL than am I when it comes to his preferences in R & B.

Moreover, I'm pretty sure, had ole boy been traveling alone, he would have listened to nothing but CLASSICAL music. I don't have anything against classical music. It's all right. I mean, I can listen to it for a good, solid 10 minutes or so . . . before I'm overcome by an overwhelming desire to slit my own wrists or somebody else's throat (LOL).

In recent years, I've managed to assemble a collection of mutually agreed upon cds. These are tunes we both enjoy and have little problem listening to over and over again. On our latest road trip, I managed to sneak in a best of Stephanie Mills collection and that went over well enough to become part of the permanent rotation. But when I dropped a best of Aretha collection on ole boy and tried to get him to join me in a "Freeway of Love" sing-along, he wasn't having it. Though, I think I heard my son humming in the backseat to "Chain, Chain, Chain" so there may still be hope (smile).

The following is currently the mutually agreed list of tunes we listen to when we set out on long road trips:

1) Next Exit (Grover Washington, Jr.)

2) Cache (Kirk Whalum)

3) Hang Suite . . . & . . . Now (Maxwell)

4) Ride (Boney James)

5) What's Going On (Marvin Gaye)

6) Best of Smooth Jazz (Vols.1-4; Various Artists; Warner Bros)

7) When Skies Are Grey (Ron Carter)

8) Bill Withers (Greatest Hits)

9) Kemistry . . . & . . . Kem II (Kem)

10) Bang!Zoom (Bobby McFerrin)

11) Always & Forever: The Classics (Luther Vandross)

Of course, had it been left to me, there would have been some Common, Coltrane, Miles, Badu, Jaguar Wright, Ndegeocello, India Arie, Jill Scott, Raheem DeVaughn, some old Isley Brothers and Al Green, some Heather Headley, Cassandra Wilson, some Lauryn Hill, a bit of T.I and the list goes on . . .

So, what do you listen to when you are on the road?

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I've never really had the desire to participate in a meme before, but Malcolm over at Pop Culture Dish inspired me. After reviewing his 13 favorite concerts, music-lover that I am, I decided to list my own 13. The following are some of my favorite concerts, though in no particular order . . . well, except for Prince ones (smile). Unlike Malcolm, I'm horrible at remembering years--so, my list doesn't include any.

1) Prince, Vanity 6 & The Time I was a BIG Prince fan, back in the day. This is probably my all-time favorite concert. Those folks put on one HELL of a SHOW.

2) Prince & Shelia E. The hubby (who back then was the boyfriend) and I camped out all night for this show. We bought tickets for ourselves and about 10 of our friends and relatives.

3) Al Jarreau The hubby and I have seen Jarreau several times. My favorite show was an outdoor concert on Mud Island (in Memphis). There was a light rain and a breeze coming off the Mississippi River that night . . . and I was young, in love and sipping on wine coolers (smile).

4) B. B. King I saw B. B. up close and personal (front row seats) on Beale Street and in a club bearing his name, no less.

5) Phyllis Hyman and Kirk Whalum Whalum is a hometown (Memphis) boy who can blow one heck of a bad sax. I saw up on stage one night with the late, great Phyllis Hyman.

6) Grover Washington I was blessed to see the late Mr. Washington in a small club in Memphis one night. He was extremely personable and a great performer.

7) Rachelle Ferrell, Will Downing and Jonathan Butler Yes, I'm a a jazz fan. Loved the show, but I'm still mad that Rachelle and Will didn't sing their duet.

8) Stephanie Mills I saw her years ago at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis. I don't think she gets the credit she deserves. Sistergirl has some chops.

9) Maze All I can say is, the haze and the contact high was something else (smile).

10) George Benson Another one of those great outdoor concerts on Mud Island.

11) Jeffrey Osborne Even after all of these years, I'd love to see him again.

12) Cameo I still have the poster my hubby bought me at the show.

13) Maxwell and Angie Stone What can I say . . . Angie was cool, but Maxwell is MY BOY!