Get On His Level ...

WOW! I am in awe of the amazing speech in which Barack Obama just delivered. I heard loud and clear the challenge that it will take some level of personal responsibily on everyone's part to get the nation where it should be. I am ready! Instead of staying in my current position, I've decided to rise to the occasion and get on his level!!!!!


History in the Making ....

45 years ago, Martin Luther King stood at the Lincoln Memorial and delivered one of the greatest speeches of our time. In that speech he said:
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency
of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take
the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the
promises of democracy.

How synchronistic is it that today Barack Obama, the first African-American with a legitimate chance to become President, will deliver his acceptance speech for the Democratic party's nomination? WOW! The now-ness and the urgency he felt so many years ago is exactly the way I feel today. I feel like I am watching history and in November, I with my fellow Americans will participate in history by voting in the most watched American election ever.

I always had an affinity for American history and politics. I love the democrat process we as Americans are granted. I celebrate patriotic holidays with vigor and pride. I wholeheartedly believe ever American should know the songs that built our country and sing them with pride. I relate to the red, white and blue even when the red signifies the blood and strife of my forefathers that were slaves. I stand for each and every civil liberty we have (yes I make a point to tell the airline officials I do not agree with their policies EVERYtime). And today these fundamental things that make me feel so connected with the pride of being an American reach a pinnacle.
There have been many a great political leader I have admired and truly loved. My affection for all things Kennedy have been evident since what feels like birth. Presidents Jimmy Carter and William Jefferson Clinton have made huge impressions on my life and the way I am as a citizen. Even Ronald Reagan has made me feel proud to be an American but there is something different and more akin with me and Mr. Obama.
If you think it is because we are both Black, that would be the obvious choice but that would also be incorrect. The thing about Barack Obama is his earnest belief in the power and responsibility of each and every individual to contribute to the positive change of our communities. It is the fact that he stands in the face of criticism, cynicism and ridicule with pride and honor. His belief in hope and positivity are shown not only through his eloquent speeches, but more so in the way he has lived his life. He is an example of the type of American I want to be. He is the man I want to lead my country to the tenants it was founded on and today he is one step closer to that. Barack Obama is the leader that can get us closer to the freedom Dr. King so visioned 45 years ago ...

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!


Sometimes It Just Feels Right ...

This week feels good.

I am reminded how in The Alchemist at one point things just seemed to flow together even though he had know idea of what was about to happen. I feel in that place - I don't know what is about to happen but I feel chance and growth and it feels good.

I'm really excited - scared too - but more excited. And courage is feeling that fear and doing it anyway. I'm doing some stuff ... we shall see!


Isn't She Lovely

I am in tears as I type ... happy tears, proud tears, hopeful tears! I just heard Michelle Obama's speech from the Democratic National Convention and I am proud to be an American, proud to be an African-American and proud to be a woman but most of all proud to be present at this point in our history.
She so eloquently spoke on her life and her husband and I am beyond excited for what the next page in history will be with him as leader of America. Change is happening all around us, major change. Gigantic shifts in how the world is viewing itself. Her speech spoke to that.
Who are we not to dream and then go after those dreams? Who are we not to pursue our greatness and find a way to give back to our communities and our families? Well I'll speak for me, who am I not to?
I am so excited about the America we are becoming with the leadership of the Obama's.
YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!



I write a lot about being myself and wanting to just be me. Well today I am going to be honest with myself about myself. I believe before you can get what you want you have to be clear on what it is you want before you can obtain it. I know exactly what I want but in some aspects of my life, my wants are too "bad" or seem "not right." As a result I have created a pattern where I shy away from what I truly desire.
Case in point, my social life. I've always enjoyed a quite interesting social life. I've generally been in the best cliques and ran in the best circles. I like nice things and I've always been in the company of nice things and cool people. I used to say a lot in Indiana "I'm the coolest person I know and I know some cool people." Speaking of Indiana, I had a ball. Living in the middle of nowhere did not sour my social life - it enhanced it. Now that I live in one of the most fabulous cities in the U.S. and am pretty well connected, my social life sucks. Why? Because now in Hollywood, my social life merges with my career. Here is weird - for instance, in Indiana if I wanted to party and not be viewed as unprofessional, I just went to places where the athletes and folk from the athletic department didn't frequent. That way I could have the best of both worlds. I could go out and wild out and at work no one would be the wiser. It is not that way here.
Los Angeles is interesting ... well to be honest I don't live in L.A., I live in Hollywood and it is a whole 'nother species. Here it is all networking all the time. Even when I go out and have fun and "do my thing" I can't REALLY do my thing because there is always someone there that could be standing between me and that next level ... I am an assistant looking to cross over so I have to be careful about my actions and reactions at ALL times here. Even simple things like going to lunch on a weekend become a networking event - I'm always on.
Work DaVida is not the same as play DaVida (don't get it twisted there are numerous forms of DaVida: work, play, family, Louisiana, Houston, L.A., Miami, in a relationship, will whip your azz, nice as pie versions of DaVida's to name a few). I work extremely hard and when I am able to party I go hard ... REAL hard. I haven't been able to do that in sometime and I feel stir crazy. It is like the city is closing in on me. All of my friends from the Indy days are going back there soon for a bachelorette party but I can't go. It looks like I'll be at work on Labor Day so my plans to drive to Phoenix are not so good either. ARGH.
I seek balance. I know it has been said that you can be yourself 100 percent all the time and I that is true for some people but not so much for me in this town. Luckily tonight I'm too tired to care. Problem is there's been too many of those nights lately. And there's night's like tomorrow where I'm going out but I kind of have to so you know what that means - more networking which means more work DaVida.
When am I going to be able to come out and play?

Happy Bday Karla

Aaaahhh 5:00 and I am so bored at work because the phones have stopped ringing. I decided to check out Karla's blog looking for something about her glorious birthday was today. She had not blogged on it yet but she did bless me with a quiz/questionairre. That is so typical of Karla ... always giving even on days when she should be receiving. I love you Karla! Happy bday and many more!!!!!!!!!!!

On her blog, Confessions of a Former Hot Girl, Karla listed these instructions:

  • Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions
  • Bold all the items you've eaten
  • Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
  • If you've put it on your blog, or emailed it to friends, shoot me an email of your list or post a comment here linking to your results.

    The VGT Omnivore's Hundred:
  1. Venison
  2. Nettle tea
  3. Huevos rancheros
  4. Steak Tartare
  5. Crocodile
  6. Black pudding
  7. Cheese fondue
  8. Carp
  9. Borscht
  10. Baba ghanoush
  11. Calamari
  12. Pho
  13. PB&J sandwich
  14. Aloo gobi
  15. Hot dog from a street cart
  16. Epoisses
  17. Black truffle
  18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
  19. Steamed pork buns
  20. Pistachio ice cream
  21. Heirloom tomatoes
  22. Fresh wild berries
  23. Frois gras
  24. Rice and beans
  25. Brawn or head cheese
  26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
  27. Dulce de leche
  28. Oysters
  29. Baklava
  30. Bagna cauda
  31. Wasabi peas
  32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
  33. Salted lassi
  34. Sauerkraut
  35. Root beer float
  36. Cognac with a fat cigar (well it wasn't THAT fat)
  37. Clotted cream tea
  38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
  39. Gumbo
  40. Oxtail
  41. Curried goat
  42. Whole insects
  43. Phaal
  44. Goat's milk
  45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
  46. Fugu
  47. Chicken tikka masala
  48. Eel
  49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (best memory was w/Karla)
  50. Sea urchin
  51. Prickly pear
  52. Umeboshi
  53. Abalone
  54. Paneer
  55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
  56. Spaetzle
  57. Dirty gin martini
  58. Beer above 8% ABV
  59. Poutine
  60. Carob chips
  61. S'mores
  62. Sweetbreads
  63. Kaolin
  64. Currywurst
  65. Durian
  66. Frogs' legs
  67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
  68. Haggis
  69. Fried plantain
  70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
  71. Gazpacho
  72. Caviar and blini
  73. Louche absinthe
  74. Gjetost, or brunost
  75. Roadkill
  76. Baijiu
  77. Hostess Fruit Pie
  78. Snail
  79. Lapsang souchong
  80. Bellini
  81. Tom yum
  82. Eggs Benedict
  83. Pocky
  84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
  85. Kobe beef
  86. Hare
  87. Goulash
  88. Flowers
  89. Horse
  90. Criollo chocolate
  91. Spam
  92. Soft shell crab
  93. Rose harissa
  94. Catfish
  95. Mole poblano
  96. Bagel with lox
  97. Lobster Thermidor
  98. Polenta
  99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
  100. Snake



There are certain words in the English language that make me squirm. Someone walking around the office I work in just said one - Piss.

I hate that word. It is just so ewww!!! I don't like the different uses of piss either (pissy, pisstivity, pissed). I generally don't use any of those words because I get an instant memory of the first time I heard my mother say something smelled pissy. It is worse than a normal urine smell - pissy is like stale, old nasty pee. EWWW!!!!


Miss Independent

Every now and then a song comes along that I feel defines the woman I want to be come. The highlights of these songs have been hits like "Bossy," "Upgrade U," and even "Queen B*&ch" back in the day to name a few. Today I heard a song that I feel defines a little more of who I am right now. I don't usually listen to the radio, but today I tuned in on the way to the job. I heard Neyo's Miss Independent. This is my new cut!

This song made me so proud to be exactly who I am right now. There is something to be said about my independence - Neyo said there is something about a woman who can do for herself. That is right Neyo! I can take care of myself pretty well by now. He also says there is something about a woman who wants but doesn't need you. That is right! When I was younger I needed every guy I dated ... well I thought I did. Now I don't need a man, I can handle my needs on my own. I do want to be in a relationship. I want a man, but I'm not as needy or pressed anymore. Now I know that it'll happen when it happens and it will be right because I'm right. I'm a little more independent now!


My New Project

My hair has always grown pretty fast and very healthy. I've never let it grow quite as long as it was in high school - yep that is all of my REAL hair on the graduation pic in the many faces of me. In memory of my cousin, I've decided to grow out my hair and donate it to Locks of Love! I'm EXTREMELY excited. It has to be 10 inches long - well a little bit longer because I have to put it in a ponytail and the ponytail has to be 10 inches. I'm going to keep my hair conditioned and my ends clipped, minimal heat so that I can have some gorgeous hair to donate. It will be good since people always say my hair looks like a weave or wig anyway! YAY!!!! Now the little sisters with health issues can have some hair more of their own texture for the wigs. I'm really excited about this ... and the best part is all I have to do now is nothing and watch it grow!


Do Your Thing Man!

I admit I'm not the biggest Tyler Perry movie fan ... but those plays on DVD with MaDear that is another story HILARITY! I am so inspired by him though. I find it remarkable that he has been able to build his brand so much in an industry that is not very open to new ideas. I also find his tenacity amazing (would I really be able to sleep in a Geo for my dreams?). Regardless of how you feel about his material or innovativeness, he is making a difference in his community and making it more feasible for independent filmmakers to carve their niche in the entertainment industry. GO MR. PERRY!

Tyler Perry prepares to broaden his empire
By Jay A. Fernandez
Aug 14, 2008, 08:08 PM ET

Tyler Perry is on one heck of a run.His five movies have grossed $250 million, and he's sold 25 million DVDs. He's got a top-rated TV show, another about to be announced and 11 boxoffice-busting stage plays. He's landed a book on the best-seller lists and in October will cut the ribbon on his own studio complex.Perry, who Forbes says pocketed $125 million last year, also has achieved something that even Steven Spielberg can't boast: ownership of his work.
Now one of the most elusive moguls in the business is tempting the Hollywood fates by trying to broaden his empire. With the momentum of a new studio deal, the 38-year-old New Orleans native is setting the stage for a lucrative but potentially risky brand extension beyond the millions of black fans who are loyal to his faith-and-family oeuvre -- and the sass-spouting, pistol-packing, sixtysomething alter ego Madea that Perry often plays in the movies and onstage.The first steps in Perry's latest push: "The Family That Preys," out Sept. 12, features both black and white lead characters -- a first for the filmmaker. He recently shot a cameo in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" reboot, which should raise his profile globally. His TBS show, "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," goes into national syndication next month, and he's readying a new series that, like "Payne," might have managed another unprecedented 100-episode commitment from TBS.
Despite naysayers around town who point out just how hard it is to sustain a streak of nonstop hits -- and just how vulnerable an "independent" can become if failures multiply -- Perry and his associates are unperturbed."This is definitely the beginning of Tyler's next phase in the entertainment business," says Mike Paseornek, president of motion picture production at Lionsgate, which has released all of Perry's films and recently closed a new three-year, first-look deal with him. "Tyler is going to start working more with the Hollywood community, and that will bring a diversity of projects to him that he can then put his creative stamp on."
The Lionsgate arrangement -- which kicks in after February's release of "Madea Goes to Jail," Perry's adaptation of his most popular play -- contains some healthy deal points: Depending on whether he plays a lead or secondary role in a movie, Perry is now paid as much as $15 million for his writing, acting, producing and directing services, plus 15% of first-dollar gross and unspecified boxoffice bonuses. He has final cut and, more importantly, owns the copyrights. He keeps international distribution rights (which admittedly have been measly so far given foreign markets' reluctance to embrace black-themed content). He also pulls in an unheard-of 50% of all ancillary revenue.Lionsgate also benefits. Perry's production budgets have stayed well under $20 million, and marketing his films, targeted as they have been so far, has cost in the $16 million-$18 million range per movie.
Since his films have grossed from $31 million ("Daddy's Little Girls") to$63 million ("Madea's Family Reunion") and average another $35 million on video and DVD, profit margins are bigger than Madea's handbags. (Grosses go up when the trash-talking grandmother makes an appearance.)Paseornek and Perry's reps say the new deal is explicitly designed to widen Perry's reach by developing other filmmakers' work under a "Tyler Perry Presents ..." brand. This move undoubtedly will include a broader range of storytelling and casting choices, and it will multiply his output given that the prolific filmmaker already writes, directs and produces two movies a year."He has a true understanding of his brand, an entrepreneurial spirit and a willingness to bet on himself," says Charles King, Perry's agent at WMA.That bet also comes with risks.Even the most successful directors hit career speed bumps, and Perry surely won't be immune to a bomb or two.
Targeting a mainstream audience also could alienate his core fans. Imbibing the Hollywood ethos while maintaining an independent voice and pocketbook also will require rare finesse.But Perry, who is considered an unusually grounded person, has never lacked for confidence. He and his camp have discussed creating or repurposing a cable or Internet channel, more actor-for-hire work is in the offing that will potentially increase his exposure overseas, follow-ups to his best-selling book "Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings ..." are in the cards and he has cut a deal with Exodus Film to create an animated series of direct-to-DVD titles featuring Madea.
Naysayers might snipe that Perry could be spreading himself too thin.However, Perry's troubled childhood, including a suicide attempt, and scrappy early career have prepared him for overcoming odds of all sorts. In his 20s, he staged several failed theater pieces that led to his sleeping in his Geo Metro. But his persistence and persuasiveness eventually paid off with a string of successes, including the play "Woman Thou Art Loosed!" He then bet $2.7 million of the profits on his first movie, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," an adaptation of one of his plays that BET and Lionsgate helped finance. It opened at No. 1 at the boxoffice in 2005 and went on to gross more than $50 million domestically and sell millions of DVDs. (Perry held on to sequel and remake rights on "Diary.")
On the TV side, Perry's "House of Payne" deal with distributor Debmar-Mercury also raised eyebrows. Ultimately worth in the $100 million range, the arrangement involved a standard 10-episode test run after which the writer-producer was guaranteed a not-even-close-to-standard 90 episode commitment in first-run syndication. And yes, he also owns the show outright.TBS, which bought the cable rights, has no complaints. "Payne" debuted to record-breaking ratings in June 2007, becoming ad-supported cable's most-watched original sitcom telecast ever among total viewers (5.8 million) and adults 18-49 (3.1 million). It also ranks as TV's most-watched program among black adults 18-49 for the second summer in a row.The show has been "a game-changer for TBS prime," says Ken Schwab, senior vp programming at TNT and TBS. "The growth it showed in market-to-market was huge."Schwab won't discuss TBS' profit margin on Perry's show."All I can say is this has been a win-win proposition -- for Tyler, for Lionsgate, for Debmar, for us," he says. "Everybody has gained on this deal."
Schwab says Perry's audience has shown up for film repeats, which TBS also airs, and that the 18-34 demo has actually increased 15% from last summer. As a result, TBS has ordered another 26 episodes of "Payne."Perry will shoot those episodes at Tyler Perry Studios, a 28-acre complex outside Atlanta that he fully financed. However, the facilities business is a notoriously precarious one, especially in fraught economic times. And in this case, Perry owns the complex outright.With five soundstages, a back lot and 200,000 square feet of office space, the studio will officially open in October. The mogul rarely ventures to Los Angeles or New York as he continues to feed the local economy and take advantage of Atlanta's 30% tax break on local shoots."He has made a huge impact on Georgia's entertainment industry over the last several years," says Bill Thompson, the state's film commissioner, who estimates Perry's impact is in the range of $100 million annually. "He employs hundreds of Georgians and brings great promotional value to the state. He is the anchor of our indigenous film industry."
With the new Atlanta headquarters (he already built one downtown), Perry's ability to produce features and TV shows could grow exponentially."He's accomplished everything that he set out to do and then some from the first time that I met him," WMA's King says.


Be Blessed!!!!!!!

At Gloria's funeral, this guy got up to sing. He said that her mom had requested one song but that God placed another song on his heart on the day of the service. I could tell by his voice that he could sing and thought he was about to sing something that was going to make me super sad. Instead, he sang something that gave me hope. The song he sang was about praying and supporting those you love and are around so to all of my friends and blog readers, I offer the bridge of this song and you can hear the song on the link below.

I see you in the future
And you look better
I see you walking in favor and prosperity too
Let me encourage you
Let me speak life to you
You can depend on God to see you through
You can depend on me to pray for you
I pray for you
You pray for me
And watch God change things ...


100 Things ...

I was recently reading an article in Oprah Magazine. It was about how Martha Beck helped three women discover their "superhero powers." It was an interesting read and spoke of how everyone has powers but like Clark Kent we may be disguising or hiding them behind our own proverbial glasses. One assignment she gave one of her patients was to list 100 things that she'd accomplished that were valuable to her and no one else. I found this interesting and wanted to share. What have you done that is a major accomplishment to you? I bet you can find 100 ...



Just Can't Shake It

My cousin and I weren't especially close growing up. In fact we'd fight constantly. She and I were very different. I used to do anything and everything not to get fussed at. It is not that I didn't do things wrong, it is just that I would be very careful not to let anyone find out (it is not that I don't do things wrong now, but I just do my dirt quietly as not to bring much attention to it). She was different. It was always whatever with her. Back in the day, we'd fight all the time because of those differences. She was a good fighter and would talk a lot of crap. I still think my folks were scared of her ... they'd let her do whatever and say whatever (for example, I never cursed in front of my Grandmother, Gloria could say whatever she felt like). Because it was just the two of us for a long time (she and I were 8 years apart and my sister came 8 years after Gloria) we were more like sisters and sibling relationships sometimes have some rough spots.
As we got older and I began doing/learning about the inner workings of the soul, I began to have a new appreciation for her and her openness and lack of concern about other people's thoughts about her. There is some freedom in not being concerned with those things that are a staple in my life. For me, most of what I do (and don't do; or the precautions I take when doing undesirables) is about how I and my actions would be perceived. That is sometimes highly limiting. When I hung out with her last September that one night at my mom's party, we were different. We had a ball - she was doing her and it was quite alright. After that we'd talk on the phone every now and then but we never really talked about much. I couldn't afford Christmas gifts so I cleaned out my closet and collected a huge box of clothes, purses, shoes and books for her. I wrote her a letter expressing my new respect and love for her and stuck in the box. I put the box in my trunk but never mailed it. Even when she got sick, I thought of sending care packages with books and journals but never did. I honestly thought she'd make it.
I can't shake my sadness because I don't know if she know how I felt about her. I really loved that little girl (not age, but stature - she was like 4'9") but I don't know if I ever said it - I can't remember ever being like "I love you". I do remember and know that I spoke a lot to her (and about her) expressing all that I felt she could be or could become, but not so much for who she was right now. There were so many of her actions that I felt were out of line that I know I made known that I didn't appreciate it. I don't know if she could grasp that my concerns for her life were out of love for her and her son.
With Bernie, I had an opportunity to at least express some of my feelings toward him (when he got sick, we did a company get well video and everyone got a few minutes to say what they pleased). I never said a thing to her. When I'm misunderstood by my friends or dudes that end up falling off, I go out of my way to make sure they know how I feel. Why didn't I do that with her? I can't shake it because I know I didn't do my best to make her know how I felt. I was going to go and see her on the 8th but she was gone on the 1st.
I know this isn't about me but I can't help but feeling like a dirty, shady selfish person - if you love someone, you should be down. I always say I'm down but I wasn't and I can't shake that feeling. I don't want to talk about it or see anyone because I don't want to hear how I didn't know or it is not my fault or other words of comfort. I know my friends love me and know me and I'll go as far as to say they know my heart. But I can't shake that my cousin died not knowing any of those things about me so there is a huge change she died not knowing that I loved her.


R.I.P. Bernie!

As I find it hard to see the silver lining these days, I do know that I have been very fortunate to have worked for some of the best people in the industry. Most recently I worked at a company influenced by one of Hollywood's giants. He was a great man and that greatness oozed through everything at that company. It was the best place I ever worked and I so miss my times there. This man was so MAJOR as far as his status in entertainment, but EVERY morning that he was there he'd stop and chat up ALL of the assistants. We all had a very special relationship with him ... LOL! Our conversations were literally about my hair and how I'd definitely fall in love one day. He passed on as well ... such a sad time. RIP Mr. Bernie Brillstein, I'm better for having worked for you and known you!


It is Mourning ...

Last night when I got home from work, I couldn't really sleep so I decided to watch my shows from DVR. Big Brother was good but still couldn't sleep and started watching America's Best Dance Crew. I had my phone on vibrate because this dude is supposed in town that I thought might call and I didn't want the ringing to wake up my roommate. Around 12 something the phone rang, it was my mom ... Gloria had died.
Often when people die, you wish your last time with them hadn't been the last. I do wish I could see her and talk to her again but I don't regret the last time I saw her one bit. It was at my mom's 50th. Gloria looked really pretty and happy and we KICKED it! We danced all night and just enjoyed being around one another.
If it is one thing Gloria taught me, it is to be myself. Gloria was ALWAYS Gloria ... LOL even when I just wished she could "do right". She was a very independent thinker - she did what she wanted all the time and put herself first until she had a son. I will never know for sure but I really feel that in her life she just desired to be loved. I hope she left knowing that she was ... Gloria's passing forces me to ask the question what is really important to me. I often say my career is the most important factor in my life. I know for a fact today this is not true. As I sit at work, I know this (or no other job) can give me the comfort and joy I have when in tune with my family ... like at my mom's bday party last year. That was a day that really mattered. I had no idea then she'd be gone now ... no one did, she was just fine. Which is another lesson - you never know what tomorrow brings so live your life being happy today.
I'll miss you Gloria ...
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