Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The topic of this post was inspired by none other than Ms. Ruby Dee, who really should have been honored with an Oscar the other night. No, I didn't see her performance in American Gangster nor the performances of any of the the other actresses she was up against. I mean, really, does it matter? Very seldom is that stuff is ever assessed fairly or based on any degree of real talent anyway (LOL).

Folks have been overlooking Ms. Ruby Dee (aka Mother Sister) for a long-time. At least since, A Raisin In The Sun I'd dare say. A big ups goes to Spike Lee for bringing her and her late hubby Ossie Davis back into the forefront and the big screen, via movies like Do The Right Thing and Jungle Fever.

But anyway, getting back to the topic, there's nothing that inspires me more than to see a woman, like Ms. Ruby Dee, who has aged gracefully. 'Cause y'all know, there are a lot ole girls out here who seem to be doing their darnedest to accomplish the exact opposite. No, I'm not trying to name any names. Please! And get myself put on somebody's hit list? Ah, no thank you (LOL).

Besides, I'd much rather stay on this side of positive and concentrate on those ladies who I think are still working it with class, style, beauty and grace. You may or may not agree with some of my choices. But feel free to add you own or comment on some of my pics. So, in no particular order . . .

1) Ruby Dee (Keep representing, Ms. Dee!)

2) Nancy Wilson (Yes, ma'am, now this is how I want to go gray.)

3) Sophia Loren (I do believe the hubby still has heart palpitations whenever he spies Ms. Loren. I know he can barely watch any of her old flicks without salivating.)

4) Rita Moreno (Makes me want to go find my copy of Westside Story and then slap somebody.)

5) Toni Morrison (Ms. Morrison can rock those dreads, can't she?)

6) Racquel Welch (I saw her on some show recently and could barely believe my eyes. All I could think was: Now, I know she is old as dirt. How is this possible?!)

7) Diahann Carroll (Gotta love Whitley and Preston Burke's mama, don't you? LOL!)

8) Judy Pace (Many of you may not remember Ms. Pace, whose hey-day was in the '70s. But I saw a picture of her in Jet, not long ago, and she doesn't look like she's aged a bit.)

9) Sally Fields (I think she just might be sipping from the fountain of youth.)

10) Barbara Streisand (Age has actually softened her looks, I think.)

11) Patti LaBelle (I'm pretty sure Ms. Patti has had some "work" done, but I swear she looks younger now than she did when she was with the group LaBelle.)

12) Priscilla Presley (I almost didn't put Ms. Presley on the list. I can tell she's had some "work" done fairly recently and if she's not careful she may end up looking like her former son-law. But overall, ole girl has got it going on.)

13) Diana Ross (Y'all stop hating. Even if you don't like Ms. Ross, you've gotta give it to her. For her age, she still looks darn good.)

Ordinarily, I would have saved a list like this for "Thursday Thirteen." But these days, I just don't have the time to visit all of those different blogs and reciprocate in kind with comments. But don't let that make you hesistate to leave your two cents here. If you leave a remark, I will most certainly holler right back at ya (smile).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Let's play a game, shall we? Okay, I'll name a song and you tell me which version you prefer. Are you game? Of course, there are no real winners or losers and no prizes will be awarded nor will any money will be changing hands (smile). And, of course, I plan to share my preferences as well . . .

1) FEEL THE FIRE (Peabo vs Stephanie Mills) Okay, I REALLY enjoy BOTH of these versions of the song. I just saw & heard Peabo's version on Soul Train classics, this past Saturday, so I'm leaning hard in brother P.'s direction. But Ms. Mills' versions is in my car's cd rotation.

2) KILLING ME SOFTLY (Roberta Flack vs Lauryn Hill) Again, I'm torn. I like both versions. But if forced to choose, I'd have to go with sister Flack.

3) I SHOT THE SHERIFF (Eric Clapton vs Bob Marley) Gotta go with Marley on this one.

4) TO BE YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK (Nina Simone vs Donnie Hathaway) Both versions make me cry. But I owned Simone's version on a 45 when I was little girl, so she gets my vote.

5) HOW COME YOU DON'T CALL ME? (Prince vs. Alicia Keys) Come on folks, don't even try it. Prince all the way!

6) LADY MARMALADE (Labelle vs Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink and Lil Kim) Okay, I have to give it to them, the youngsters held their own on this one. BUT nobody says, "Itchy geetchy ya-ya, da-da," like Patti, Nona and Sara. Y'all betta recognize!)

7) FOREVER, FOR ALWAYS, FOR LOVE (Luther Vandross vs Lalah Hathaway) This may surprise you, but I think Lalah out does Luther on this one. Her versions really takes my breath away.

8) IF THIS WORLD WERE MINE (Marvin & Tammi vs Luther & Cheryl Lynn) This is such a beautiful song and they all do such wonderful jobs. Today, I'm gonna say both. It's a tie.

9) NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE (Michael Jackson vs. Isaac Hayes) Yes, Mr. Hayes is a hometown (Memphis) product, but I've gotta go with MJ's version.

10) CRUISING (Smokey vs DeAngelo) The hubby hates both of these equally (LOL). But I think I'm a tad more partial to DeAngelo's version.

11) DO ME BABY (Prince vs. Meli'sa Morgan) Sigh, I don't know why she even tried to go there. Again, it's all about the Purple One. Prince baby!

12) I CAN'T STAND THE RAIN (Ann Peebles vs Tina Turner) Sorry Ms. Tina. Ms. Ann has this one SO covered can't nobody touch it (smile).

13) OUTSIDE MY WINDOW / ANYTIME (Meshell Ndegeocello vs. Brian McKnight) According to Brian these are two different songs. Ha! Man please. Meshell did it first and she did it better. Ya heard?

Would you like to share some of your choices from my list? Yes, I know, there are plenty of others. Any in particular you'd like to add?

Friday, February 15, 2008


"Debut author Lori Johnson spent the first seventeen years of her life as a "military brat." Even though she has lived in a total of eight different cites/communities in the U.S. and one abroad (Wiesbaden Germany) . . .

Recently, I was honored when the kind ladies of The Page Turners Book Club (representing Bridgeport/New Haven/Hartford ) invited me to be their very first spotlight author. After a brief introduction, I took a shot at answering four different questions, among them: "What is the biggest misconception about your work?" If you like to read my response, I invite you to click on the highlighted link above.

I learned about The Page Turners Book Club while visiting author Shelia Goss's blog. If you've never visited Shelia's blog, I strongly encourage you to do so. Her current post, deals with recent cancellation of the "Girlfriends" series. Over the past week or so, Shelia's written a nice recap of the recent Grammy Awards and invited folks to join her in listing some of their favorite slow jams. Shelia is also quite generous when it comes to sharing her obviously extensive collection of beef-cake pics (if you're looking for a peek, go to the end of the link *LOL*). Hey, just because a sister is happily married (I'm talking about myself, here), doesn't mean she's on some sort of visual lockdown (smile).

Anyway, Shelia is the author of several books. Two of them, My Invisible Husband (2007) and Roses are Thorns, Violets are True (2008) have been Page Turners Book Club "book" of the month" selections.

If you know of any interesting book clubs in your area, or belong to one, please feel free to mention them here. Also, any comments or questions about the spotlight piece are welcome.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


1) Tyson Beckford Calendars (For those of you who don't know, he's a pretty boy model. Hey, even a old girl has to have a little beefcake every now and then.)

2) Godiva Turtles (The hubby likes buying these for me on special occasion even though we both know they go straight to the hips and thighs.)

3) Girl Scout Cookies (Thin Mints and Trefoils. Need I say more?)

4) The Best of Soul Train (Yes, WGN shows old episodes of the program on Saturday afternoon. It's nice to revist those days when folks really danced rather than simulated various positions from the Karma Sutra.)

5) Oprah (I don't care what y'all say. Opie is all right by me. The best thing about living in Charlotte is that her show comes on twice--at 4pm and 9pm.)

6) General Foods Coffee (The Hazelnut Belgian is actually the only coffee I'll drink at the moment)

7) Men with Facial Hair (Don't ask. It's a fetish.)

8) Head Gear (I'm a hat, cap and scarf kind of gal. And there's nothing more I love than a guy who knows how to sport a tilted brim.)

9) Arbor Mist (Yeah, it's cheap, fruity and ghetto as all get out. So, is that, like, a problem?)

10) Lavender (Lotion, body wash, candles, shampoo, air freshners, doesn't matter. I just love the scent.)

11) Black Sitcoms from Back In the Day (Martin, A Different World, Cosby, Sanford & Son. Half the mess passing for such now, makes my head hurt.)

12) VH1 SOUL (I love R & B and hiphop music videos. Actually, it's the way I prefer to hear most new music. Sadly, Charlotte doesn't offer this as a cable option. Now, I have to wait unitl I'm in Memphis in order to partake or go with the Music Choice Channels where I can listen, but don't get the videos. Sheesh!

13) Blue Bell Ice Cream (They didn't sell this in Cleveland, so I was denied the pleasure for four, long years. Even though you have to search, you can find it in Charlotte. The home-made vanilla tastes nearly as good as grandma's.)

I have a long list of others, but since it's Thursday 13 . . . So do we share any guilty pleasures? No (smile). Well, do you have any as odd as mine? If so, do you dare share them?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


1) Faith is a choice;

2) The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want;

3) More often than not, the dictates of Fundamentalists, Churchfolk, Preachers and Organized Religion block one's path to the Lord;

4) Prayer works;

5) The Jewish cantor, the Southern Black hymn and the cries of a child all sound the same to God's ears;

6) Joy Cometh in the Morning;

7) Blessed are the Peacemakers;

8) A little child shall lead them;

9) The meek shall inherit the earth;

10) Jesus wept . . . (and so should we)

(Conceived while listening to songs from Aretha Franklin's "Amazing Grace.")

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A FEW BODY DOUBLE . . . DON'T (s) . . .

Some things you just ought not tell me . . . really, unless your aim is, in fact, to make me bust out laughing. Take the time my friend JG told me, and with a perfectly straight face, that his grandmama looked like B.B. King. What the?! (LOL) Yeah, it was slow day at the library, but still . . . I was like dude, I don't mean any harm, but if my grandmama looked like B.B. King, I wouldn't tell anybody.

Same goes for my friend YN, who every now and then will mention how her sisters used to claim one of her college boyfriends looked just like Billy Ocean. Y, girl, please . . . you know I love ya like a play cousin, but you're really gonna have to stop telling people that mess (LOL).

One body-double moment that at the time wasn't so funny was when my cousin Mary's husband said my NEWBORN son looked just like Al Freeman Jr. For those of you who don't know or need a little refreshing, Al Freeman Jr. is the actor who played Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee's Malcolm X. Yeah MR . . . I'm still not laughing dude (smile). Actually, the boy did kind of look like brother Freeman, but still . . . Some things you just don't say out loud!

Another not so funny body-double moment, I still remember and harbor a grudge over, happened back in college. One of my so-called good friends, who, herself, could pass for a Gremlin twin, said I reminded her of Big Bird from Sesame Street Fame. Yeah, I get it . . . tall, yellow, goofy and big-hipped. That's all right, LF 'cause guess what? You still have more teeth than height!

See, don't start none, won't be none (LOL).

So, what about any of you? Any memorable body double don't(s) you care to share? Do you have a celebrity twin? Who do people say you resemble?