Friday, July 29, 2011

Fab Five Friday

This is where I list the top five things uppermost on my mind, and this week, I'm still obsessed with friends. Oprah says there are five types of friends every woman should have, though I think you'd be blessed to have just one of these.
They are:

1. The Uplifter - If you're quitting your six-figure job to sail around the world in a kayak with no sunscreen on, she'll be the first to yell, "Go for it!"

2. The Travel Buddy - You can't travel with everyone; it has to be someone flexible and agreeable, just in case you want to start the day doing Patron shooters without the lime.

3. The Truth Teller - This is the gal who will tell you -- without jealousy or malice -- "Your weave needs tightening, love."

4.The Fun Maker - She is spontaneous, has a zest for life, and you might just catch her at the mall shopping in her PJ's.

5. The Random - This woman (or man!) isn't like any of your other friends. They are half your age, poorer than you (or richer!), and not of your same ethnicity. She will help you grow as a person.

In your circle of friends, which one are you?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 13 of the 15-Day Photo Challenge

Did you ever notice that sometimes in large families (I have seven siblings!) alliances are formed between two or more of the children? Sometimes siblings closest in age will be close in life; sometimes the only boys in a family of women will forge a bond, but sometimes, an older sibling will "adopt" a younger one.

That is my story.

The picture above is of me and my Big Bro. He is the oldest (16 years between us), I am the youngest, we are the closest. He is my confidante, my best friend, my biggest supporter, and has rescued me on several occasions.

Once, when I was in Jr. High, I had received a scholarship to Westlake School For Girls, a school that children of celebrities attended (It's now called Crossroads). I was part of an experiment called Project Open Future where they plucked the top girl and boy from about five inner city schools and sent them to various boarding schools, ostensibly to give them a leg up on life, open up their future. At the time, Westlake was an all-girl's school and everyone there treated me kindly, even though I surely looked like the odd-man-out, especially when Friends and Family Day rolled around. I didn't know if anyone would show up for me. My dad had three jobs, my mom didn't drive the freeways, but I dressed up in my best dress (Easter outfit) and waited outside anyway.

I saw many chauffer-driven Hollywood stars come and go visiting their children, but no one came for me. The girls were starting to feel sorry for me, as it was getting late in the day and I was feared that I'd become known as the only girl for whom no one showed up.

Until suddenly, against the backdrop of a setting sun, pulling dramatically into the parking lot at the last possible moment . . . came my Big Bro like a knight in shining armor, except he was driving a sky blue Triumph. "Happy" seems inadequate to express how I felt at that moment. He rescued me, and our bond got even tighter. We are still close after all these years, and I am so happy to have him in my life.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Leimert Park Book Fair

"I read, therefore, I am." That is the theme of my life. It's also the theme of the Leimert Park Book Fair, Number 148 on my Bucket List.

If you know me or follow me on, you know I read up to three books at one time, with a twist. (One is always an audiobook.) Words are my life, and any time I can go to a book fair, fest or fete I am there faster than James Patterson can publish his next book, and that's pretty fast.
So imagine my thrill at attending the 5th Annual Leimert Park Book Fair where they had a main stage, a children's stage, a cook's corner, several break-out author sessions and a poet's lounge. It takes place up and down Degnan Boulevard here in L.A., which has an eclectic assortment of shops, lounges, restaurants, clubs, businesses and the famous Eso Won Book Store, all black-owned. It really was a festive atmosphere, and celebrity authors abounded: Sugar Ray Leonard, Todd Bridges, Karyn Parsons, Dr. Bernard Kinsey to name a few, as well as established authors like Pamela Samuels-Young, Ernessa T. Carter and at least 30 more of their contemporaries. I was in my element!
(Ernessa T. Carter, Todd Bridges, Helena Andrews)

But the piece de resistance was seeing not one but TWO Pulitzer Prize winning authors. How often do you get to see that in person? Paul Blackmon wrote a non-fiction book Slavery By Another Name about the re-enslavement of black folks from the Civil War to World War II (Yes, it's true!); and they also had the lovely and smart Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns, a book regarding the little-talked about Great Migration of African-Americans from the south to the north during a defining period in America.
(Isabel Wilkerson w/moderator Beverly White of KNBC-tv)

I went alone having in mind to stay only a couple of hours and see some key authors that I follow, but I ended up staying all day and spending way too much money on books. But it was well worth it, and I'd do it again faster than James Patterson can hire another author to write his book for him, and that's pretty fast.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 12 of the 15-Day Photo Challenge

Day 12 of the 15-Day Photo Challenge is number 15: Take a Picture With Someone You Love.
My sister-in-law, My mother-in-law, and Me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 11 of the 15-Day Photo Challenge

We interrupt this program for an important message!
This is Day 11 in my 15-day photo challenge, which is number 2 from the list on the side bar: Your outfit for the day & a description.

Today, I walk two miles, and this is my uniform:
Tennis that Sarge bought me (I haven't bought any for myself since the day I married)
Sweatpants (a souvenir from the NBA All-Star game
A shirt, nondescript
My iPod to listen to my audiobooks (right now it's Laura Lippman's I'd Know You Anywhere
Shades, so I can protect my eyes (and look cool, too.)

Monday, July 18, 2011


Our niece married her soulmate in Atlanta, GA, and it was refreshing to see young love again. I have never seen two people more in love than this couple. Don't get me wrong; Sarge and I are still in love, but the last time he looked at me with doe eyes was because I had the remote and Swamp People was about to come on TV.
So I want to thank my niece and her bridegroom for reminding us of our youth, and for helping me with Number 123 on my Bucket List: Attend a Destination Wedding.
Sarge and I enjoyed three beautiful days of nuptial hustle and bustle, including the Bride's Breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead (photo above), and ending with the wedding (photo below) at the Flint Hill Mansion. The ceremony was held out of doors in beautiful gardens (How they kept the bugs out, I'll never know!) The reception was inside the newly restored c.1835 mansion that was once a slave-owning plantation. (Is there any other kind?) Tasteful, elegant and full of love are the words that best describe this wedding.
Afterwards, of course, all of the out-of-town family members gathered together for a nightcap (no photos allowed.)
Congratulations to Erikka and Ralph!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fab 5 Fridays

Fab 5 Friday is where I count down the top five things on my mind this week.
This was originally going to be Day 11 of the 15-Day Photo Challenge, a photo with a friend and a memory, but I couldn't pick just one friend! Heck, I had trouble narrowing it down to 5, but 5 I did. These are in NO particular order, hence, no numerals.
The five most fabulous people in my life today are . . .

Jj, nicknamed She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed because, well, if you do what she says, no one will get hurt and we'll all be winners like she is. She even kicked cancer's ass and ran him out of town. I want to be her when I grow up.

Next, there's the Diva of All That's Good and Red. (These are real names, by the way, and have not been changed to protect the fabulous.) She lights up all the dark corners of my life, and I simply won't live without her.

And what about Me-Me, my sister/sister-in-law/best friend forever who is Gayle to my Oprah and Oprah to my Gayle. Everybody needs a Gayle in their life, someone who always says, no matter what the situation, "You can do this."

I cannot, will not forget Miss C; not even in a pool, not even after school. Though she's not yet my age, she is my sage. (Enough already with the rhyming. Who am I, Dr. Scholl?) Anyway, Miss C is forever in my corner, the first one I hear from whether I've had good news or bad. She guided me through the worst period in my life. Life as I know it today, would not be the same were it not for her.

And last but not in the least bit the least, There's Ri-Ri, who I've known since we were in 7th grade. She taught me everything I know about life, how to be loving, giving, kind and thoughtful. So highly do I think of her, she is the Godmother to both my children. (She also taught me everything I know about sex, so Sarge should be thanking her. But that's a whole other post.)

Who is/are your best friends and why? Inquiring minds and all that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


. . . where you write the caption.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



Friday, July 1, 2011

Fab 5 Friday

. . .Where I flash on the Top Five things I'm obsessed with at the moment. This week, it's time to share my favorite apps for iPhone/iPad.

Not counting the Kindle App (the whole reason for an E-reader), these are in a particular order.

5. IMDB - If you're not familiar with Internet Movie Database, get with the program. It has any and all information on various and sundry movie minutiae. Who was the actress who played Elizabeth Bennett's best friend in Pride and Prejudice? Type in the movie title, click on "cast" and poof, your answer (Claudie Blakely) appears faster than Lydia can elope with the dashing Mr. Wickham.

4. DirecTV - This app has saved me more times than I can count. If I'm out, and forgot to set my Tivo to record a show, tap this app, and -- BAM -- problem solved.

3. Moviefone - At dinner and decide at the last minute to go to the movies, too? Open this app, and your GPS allows it to bring up movie theaters in your immediate area. Not sure which movie to see? Watch the trailers right on your phone.

2. Friendly - This is the Facebook app I use. If I'm reading a book, and want to check FB real quick, I exit the Kindle app, hit up Friendly, and life is beautiful. God saved the queen.

1. Words With Friends - Curses to the folks at Zynga for creating this game. It's a digital version of Scrabble, and I am hooked like a giant catfish on that disgusting Swamp People reality show where they've never heard of catch and release, and the fish have more teeth than the people. Somebody help me, please. I think I might need an intervention.

What's your favorite App? Check the "Shares Well With Others" box on your inner report card and tell us about it.