Category Archives: Culture

Me Too, As Well

My world has been Baracked. Hat tip to Erica. I too, have contributed to a political campaign for the first time ever. I was compelled to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, because really? It is time for a change, and we ARE the ones we’ve been waiting for. My good friend, sometimes housemate, always kick it partner, Kelli P, is a politico of the highest order. She will drag anyone, anywhere, to champion her political beliefs. She sent me a Barack pin for Valentine’s day and a card that was *ostensibly* from Barack. It was hilarious. I do wear the pin, with pride, and some humor. The person who matched my contribution e-mailed me, she lives in California, we’ll likely never meet. But that’s what Barack can signal for us, a change, a move towards unity. I know it sounds cheesy, it sounds idealistic, optimistic, unrealistic, just plain damn crazy. But you know what?

We deserve it.

All of us.

Black. White. Brown. Old. Young. Gay. Straight. Military. Corporate. Domestic. International. Capitalist. Feminist. The Ill and the Olympian. Our children and our enemies. Our pets, and our planet. We’ve got to get it together.

$4/gallon gas, $3/gallon milk, A war on terror (not working); A war on drugs (not working); A war on the environment (working); A war on the economy (working).

I’d be fine with either Barack or Hilary honestly. I don’t think either of them (or any figurative leader) can solve most of, not to mention all of these issues we face. But as Kelli so aptly and subtley put it on a cd of mixed music she made for me at Christmas: I Choose Hope.

Get out there and VOTE!

***ETA: Another thing about my friend Kelli. We spend alot of time together when I’m in Virginia, out and about, social butterfly-ing it up. However, I have learned to always check what t-shirt she has on before we walk out of the house together. She’s a raving liberal and wears outrageously politically explosive (in my opinion t-shirts) so I always have to make sure she doesn’t have on something like a “If you’re not pro-choice, I’ll eat your baby!” t-shirt.

Things To Do In New York

Happy belated Valentine’s day yall! I was up to the usual ridicularity. I had hibachi with KJ, Charles and Papaya, drank some beer and fell asleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head (or maybe I was drunk!..just kidding). In a fit of unmitigated domesticity I baked mini-cupcakes for friends and colleagues! I actually mailed out a valentine’s package to my nephew! (A cookbook for kids, a card and some candy). There must be a full solar eclipse coming.

Despite work being insane. I headed back to NY last weekend. I met up with LN at Arena Studios for a Molly Crabapple gallery show. We lasted about 10 minutes. The draw was art and “free champagne”, we couldn’t think of a better way to kick off a friday night! But the studio was hella-packed, hella-hot and hard to move around. Plus, it just wasn’t either of our “cup of tea”, the people watching was FANTASTIC though. There was a burlesque model in the back and people could sketch if they so desired. I opted out of that and headed back to the champagne! We ditched the show and headed to get some italian food after walking 40-eleven hundred blocks. The food was okay, but the drinks were the winners (Clementinis!). We killed time jibber-jabbering about race issues, socio-economic issues, travel and women’s reproductive rights…it was fabulously nerdtastic, then we rushed uptown to catch Paul Mooney’s late set at Caroline’s. This was my third time seeing him and I will never get tired of his humor and insights.

Saturday I caught up with SJ in lower east village (?) for lunch, but we ditched that since we’d both eaten already and hit the Italian Wine Merchants saturday Wine Seminar. SJ is into Italian wines and this class focused on Tuscans and Super-Tuscans for you vinoheads. It was one of the best wine classes I’ve attended (and cheap!). A Beautiful venue, proscuitto, an array of cheeses, breads and 7 wines. And they were cracking lobster tails when I realized I should switch to water. We chatted up the whole place and I got invited to dinner by a random family of four, while SJ got hit on by a cutie-pie who was about 4 inches shorter than she is! We headed next door after the class for…more wine of course!

I had to decline the dinner invite to head to Thomas Pink to pick up a gift for KC’s birthday party later that night, then showered and changed and met Josh and Dennis at Vlada for drinks, then we walked over to Ariba Ariba! for food I’ve had outside of Mexico. Actually, this was the best restaurant/non home-cooked meal I’ve had in weeks. And this was the worst (also in NYC). We cruised in Dennis’ pearl white Mercedes CLK to KC’s uber-bachelor pad in Chelsea and I realized I’m These kids have moolah! All in all a good night of dancing (techno, really? really?) and spoon bread (no that is not a euphamism). Fortunately there was no pork fried rice at 5am this time. But I can’t make any promises about next time!

Let me know what your favorite NYC spots are! Or where is your favorite restaurant/eatery in the

Amazing Blogger Tag!

I’m alive! I am getting over a head cold precipitated no doubt by burning the candle at both ends AND in the middle. Back to back weekends in New York (weekend update coming soon) and a hellacious pace at both clients. I don’t get sick often and pride myself on fighting illness off pretty well, but this one laid me out flat. But, I’m alive!

First order of business, everyone go and order your Ubuntu shirt now, then come back and let’s jibber jabber. My Semester At Sea colleagues John Paul and Shannon are serious about this thing. Plus there’s a cute pic of Archbishop Tutu aka “Toots” so…Go. Seriously!

Okay, now that you’re looking good in your new socially-concious duds, let’s get on with the gettin’ on.

I was tagged by fellow blogger, former Gadling colleague and LA hangout buddy Adrienne as an Amazing Blogger! This honor apparently comes with the dubious duty to “confess” seven “weird” or random facts about myself. As if yall didn’t already know enough? First, I’m going to tag…Liz, a funny girl from Canada (or America North as I like to call it) as an Amazing Blogger too!

1. I have two middle names. The first is the one that you know me by, the second only 10 people in the world know. I only recently found out at my mother’s mother’s funeral, that that second name comes from my great-grandmother.

2. No, I will not tell you what it is. And yes, thanks to the Homeland Security Act it is now on my Driver’s License.

3. I always travel with small candles when I am staying at hotels. I like the calming ambiance, the fragrance, and even if you’re alone it’s kind of sexy! But I also travel with febreeze and house-slippers, so maybe I’m just a nut.

4. The middle name that you know me by means something positive in several languages:

Yoruban: Champion or “First”

Spanish: Day

Hindi: Candle or “Light”

So I like to champion the first light of day, which makes sense, seeing as how I’m an early bird.

5. I do not like the texture of apples or pears, and am in fact, allergic to uncooked apples. However, I do, on occassion, enjoy a slice of apple pie with Vanilla ice cream.

6. I pretend to be competitive, but really I couldn’t give a $h1t most of the time. Except, when it comes to Uno and Dominoes, then I’m insufferably competitive.

7. I made my entreprenuerial debut when I was 9, selling hamsters/gerbils to neighborhood kids for .50 cents each. That is, until my parents found out when one got loose in the house, and all hell broke loose. My second venture was selling colored paper for .05 cents each during the paper-airplane, four corners/truth box craze of ’83. I was 10. At 11 my parents had to shut down my marble re-sale ring because kids were pilfering their parent’s rent money to buy a pringle’s can worth of rare marbles for $20-$50/can. So, I think I’ve always had the entreprenuerial bug.

Yall tell me some weird facts about YOU! Come on now, this is a Community, with a capital “C”!

It’s Getting Hot in Here…NYC edition

I’m just back from New York. The plan was to go see the Kara Walker exhibit at the Whitney, catch up with a friend or two and enjoy restaurant week, maybe watch a little hotel t.v. and get some work done.

Who was I kidding?

Friday started off great with a special delivery (yes, that’s cryptic, I know. lol). Unfortunately, the weather turned all The Day After Tomorrow on us. Snowflakes as big as tissues on an already snowpacked tundra-looking land was just one more reason KJ and I were ready to get outta dodge. Through snow, sleet and rain (really) we made it into Brooklyn by 8:30pm and into Manhattan by 9:30, just enough time to check-in, stash the car and hit Caroline’s Comedy Club to see Sheryl Underwood’s late set. There was no question that it was going to be hella-funny, and she didn’t disappoint, we laughed our way through 3 martinis each and had to explain some of the more “urban” jokes to the unsuspecting folks of the non-brown variety. After the set, at the bar (waiting for KJ) Sheryl walked up with several people in tow and uttered the most beautiful phrase in the human language: “Hey cutie, come hang out and let me buy you a drink.”

How could I say “No” to that? Yeah, of course I didn’t. Thus began a night that I can barely put into words here (to protect the innocent AND the guilty). KJ and I hung out with Sheryl and her friends, at the bar and acted up until the wee hours of the morning. Sheryl is razor sharp smart, kind and talented.  It was one of those nights, that was magic, where you don’t want to be anywhere other than where you are in that moment in time. It was not the last we’d see of the crew though.

Saturday, we hit the Whitney where KJ hustled a student discount and the exhibit was worth the journey. It wasn’t easy to get through either physically (so many people) and emotionally (antebellum south images of race/sex/brutality, etc.) kind of like my reactions to Frida Khalo’s work…Good art makes you feel, and not always good. My favorites where “Creme in your Coffee and Chocolate in your Milk” sketches from the 90’s and one of the video pieces from 2004. The exhibit moves out to UCLA’s Hammer Museum for the rest of the spring, so catch it if you can. Amazing. Here’s a brief, but good, everyman’s synopsis of the exhibit “My Enemy, My Complement, My Oppressor, My Love.”

We scooped up a couple bottles of wine to meet KC and the crew at his pad in Chelsea to whoop it up before heading back uptown to see The Color Purple on Broadway. Thanks to S for the hookup on a 1/2 price tickets link! The show was phenomenal. Chaka Khan was funny and fierce. I’ve seen her live before and she didn’t disappoint, she was so obviously born for the stage.

After the show we met up with Sheryl and the crew. again. until the wee hours. again. And she wouldn’t let us pick up the tab. again. KC and his crew met back up with us, toasts were made, friends were hugged and my favorite quote of the night was: “That’s why they put me in jail last Thursday!” As uttered by an arrogant “D” list rap personality who shall remain unnamed (hey, I ain’t crazy!).

We metro’d downtown for more club hopping KC and Kirk, but not before I got into a rather delightful conversation with a housing-challenged gentleman who regaled me with tales of his walk from Richmond (Virginia) to Atlanta (Georgia). Before we hopped off the train, we promised each other we’d meet up in Palermo, Italy one day.

The rest of the night gets sketch, Rated R/x, NSFW, TMI, WTF? and OMG! So, I’ll just let you fill in whatever story you’d like, I am generous enough to fill in the details like: Pork fried rice at 5am?

Sunday, we sent Sheryl a gift bag over to her hotel before heading to brunch at Junior’s over in Brooklyn off Flatbush. We decided to stay in Brooklyn and watched the game. I was down for the Pats the whole way, and I couldn’t be mad that they lost because the Giant’s defense really won that game. I lost a dollar to Charles who flip-flopped at half-time. Argghh! It was in the 40’s in NY and I guess that is like The Day After Tomorrow to them, Ella had the heat on in her apartment and when I woke up from my nap, I was convinced that I was in hell (and after the weekend, who could be surprised?). But then I realized I had on my hoodie and was too close to the radiator.

Whew. That was close.

I have to be back in NY on Wednesday. Who else is scared?


Signs of Friendship

A five hour dinner followed by a 2 hour breakfast the next day. Random You-tube clips of the Chapelle Show and a 3 way conversation on race, religion and relationships. Pinot Noir and a toast to new loves, prolific careers, “dufflebag dogs”, and how if we put all of our travels together, we would have covered most of 6 continents, and how none of us could ever live in Atlanta.

A Heart for Service















Marian Wright Edelman

One of the many benefits of working in and around institutions of higher education, is the general plethora of socio-cultural programming available at most schools. Couple that with an Ivy-League nametag and you’ve got out of this world speakers, performers, artists and events. Everything from seeing Barrack Obama on the treadmill at the gym, to hearing Marian Wright Edelman’s MLK day keynote address.

As a contemporary/mentee of Dr. King’s, she pushed for the Poor People’s Movement, though Dr. King (and Bobby Kennedy) were both assasinated before the event (a march and “tent-in” on Washington, DC), Mrs. Edelman still saw fit to gather the troops, personal safety-be-damned, and mounted the attack on poverty which, of course, still continues today.

She spoke for an hour and a half, and if she’d kept on for another hour and a half, we would have all remained, rapt, inspired and called to duty.  She pointed out that King’s words still ring true. That injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice/freedom everywhere.” I loved her point that the gauge of a society’s morals is how it treats it’s children.

I forget sometimes what an honor it is to be an educator, maybe not in the traditional sense, but as someone who fights for higher education for populations who have not long had access and still face barriers, as a mentor, program director and coach. My heart beat warm in my chest, because I’m not alot of things, but I care, and I have a heart for service.

Check out the work Mrs. Edelman and her crew are doing over at the Children’s Defense Fund (which she founded and where she coined the phrase “No child left behind”). Whatever you stand for, whatever you fight for, whatever you’re passionate about. You count. Everyday there are people who can’t do, counting on those of us who can.


The road is long, and the battle is not yet won, equality eludes us on many fronts. But let’s take a moment and rejoice (versus debate) the fact that in the running for President of the most powerful nation on earth, we have choices. A man of color, a woman, a devout Mormon, a former NY mayor with a lisp and a whole cast of characters that Thomas Jefferson is probably rolling in his grave over. The only way that this presidential race could be more hilarious is if Tom Cruise-azy threw his hat into the ring. And I’m sure Dr. King would raise and eyebrow, but he would wholeheartedly support the right of each man (or woman) to pursue his destiny.

But let us not forget that he also said let freedom ring from EVERY mountain top, not just the ones encapsulated in North America, so let us remember our duty to the rest of our global bretheren and fight for the rights of all men, women and children, here at home and abroad. Ubuntu, is the word that Desmond Tutu would use here…it means basically, that I am, because you are. 100 years ago neither women, nor people of color could vote. Can you imagine what we can do in the next 100 years? Me either, but I’m excited by the possibilities.