31 December 2010

ringing in the New Year

This is where I intend to be when the New Year rolls around. I will be here at about 11 tonight. This is my favorite place of all. My bed : I'm looking forward to it.
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30 December 2010

Friday Flash back - Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, & The Spinners

my coming of age

This entry was inspired by a comment  fellow blogger Moanerplicity made on my blog regarding Lady T’s death, so I give credit to him for the idea…

My coming of age Soundtrack would include the following:
Teena Marie
Rick James
Diana Ross
Thelma Houston
Cheryl Lynn
Teddy Pendergrass
Luther Vandross
Natalie Cole
Peabo Bryson
Stephanie Mills
The Jackson 5
The Sylvers
Stevie Wonder
Marvin Gaye

Phyllis Hyman                                                                                      
Dionne Warwicke                                  
Aretha Franklin
Labelle (not just Patti- the whole group)
Tina Turner
Miles Davis
John Coltrane
Al Green                                                         
Bootsy Collins                                         
Sugar Hill Gang
Kurtis Blow
The Ohio Players
Minnie Ripperton
Kool Moe Dee
Roberta Flack
L L Cool J
Smokey Robinson
Quincy Jones
The Brother's Johnson
George Benson
Donna Summer
Hall & Oates
John Waite
The Doobie Brothers
Elton John
Public Enemy
Brass Construction

I remember when I used to get an allowance. Most kids would spend their money on candy or some toy, but I used to buy records- 45s they were called, and vinyl albums, then 8 track tapes, then cassettes. Yeah, I'm  old enough to remember buying Chic's Risque  on 8 track and playing 'Good Times' over and over, and buying the 8 Track of Diana Ross'  'Diana', and playing 'Upside Down' repeatedly.  The same with Minnie. I used to play her song 'Lover and Friend'; until my sister got sick of it and hid the 8 track tape from me.
During my high school and college recitals I sang Peabo Bryson and Luther Vandross songs. I remember my first job where I had to put price tags on canned goods, and listening to this new group called the Sugar Hill Gang, and falling in love with that Chic song Good Times all over again. I also remember the first song I had -- (fill in the blanks) to: Diana Ross & Lionel Richie's 'Endless Love.'  

 Who is in your coming of age Soundtrack?

29 December 2010

Now That You're Back


You have left me
I faced the music

I listened
for the first time
to the lyrics
that hit so close to home
and inspired
made me smile
made me laugh

made me aware
that there is life
after you
as there was
before you.
now you are back with your confident smile

                                                                     ----but I have my own now.
Thank You.


27 December 2010

“See, you don’t have to think about doing the right thing if you are for the right thing then you’ll do it without thinking.”
                --Maya Angelou

26 December 2010

Teena Marie : Rest In Peace

 -- Teena Marie, a celebrated R&B singer-songwriter, was found dead Sunday at her California home, her manager said.
Born Mary Christine Brockert in Santa Monica, California, the 54-year-old artist famously paired with late funk legend Rick James and was nominated four times for a Grammy Award, according to her official website.
Marie was found dead by her daughter after apparently dying in her sleep, manager Mike Gardner said.
"Teena was a black voice trapped in a white body," said Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One, a broadcasting company that targets African-American and urban listeners. "I would always tell her that she was one of the greatest vocalists of our time."
Among her songs were "Lovergirl," "Portuguese Love," "Ooo La La La," and "I'm a Sucker for Your Love."
While no cause of death has been released, the singer's publicist Lynn Jeter said that Marie suffered a grand mal seizure -- a neurological event, marked by loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions, according to the Mayo Clinic -- a month ago.
"Luckily, someone was there," Jeter said of that seizure. "The ambulance took her to the hospital, and on the way she had another seizure."
The publicist said that she had a "great" conversation on Saturday with Marie, who told her that she was excited about heading to Atlanta to perform this week -- in what would have been her first performance since the seizure.
Marie sang under various record labels, including Motown, Epic, Stax Records and Cash Money Classics, since bursting on the scene as a 19-year-old, according to her website. Her last studio album, Congo Square, featured several collaborations.
Eddie Levert, founder of the vocal group The O'Jays, praised Marie as both a singer and mother.
"There are a lot of black people who swore by her and believed in her, as far as her music was concerned," he said. "She was a good mom, and to me, that is saying a lot.''

CNN Senior Political Contributor Roland S. Martin contributed to this report.
 -- Courtesy CNN.com

Agreeing with Eddie Levert, I swore by her and I believed in her. I remember loving her first single when it was going up the charts, "I'm Just A Sucker For Your Love" more than 30 yrs ago, I think.  I remember thinking about how funky-sounding that sista was, and that she was the female version of Rick James. I remember first loving her voice and buying her album on vinyl.  The cover of her album, "Wild and Peaceful," did not feature her image, with Motown apparently fearing backlash by audiences if they found out the songstress with the dynamic voice was white. Motown decided to let her voice speak for itself.  I had no idea she was white. I was shocked, that something so funky could come from someone that looked like her. She sang with authority. I remember watching a documentary on her life on the TV One cable station-which I predict, will be be playing in rotation soon. She was the product of her environment. She was raised on the R&B music of the 60s and 70s, she was raised on Motown. She sang the music she knew about, what was in her heart. And she had credibility.

May she rest in peace.
Below are some of my favorites of hers.


& one of the best duets EVER. If you've never heard of her, listen to her duet with Rick James (may he rest in peace as well)


Marvin Sapp - The Best In Me, Live

I have come to believe...that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.
--Audre Lorde

24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

And a happy New Year to all who will read this! Please have fun and be safe and please remember that Jesus is the reason for this season. Peace!
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23 December 2010


this is a repost

22 December 2010

Question of the day

           Things could be so much more simple if:

            1- people just meant what they say.
            2- yes meant yes, and no meant no. 
            3- there would be no more doubt or confusion, especially with love.
            4- people knew to avoid full conversations before I've had my Americano with an extra shot
                of espresso in the morning.
            5-there were no backstabbers.
            6-people understood every word of the Wedding vows.
            7-I didn't let people who cut me off in traffic piss me off so much
            8-I could eat anything I wanted and still lose weight
            9-Sarah Palin didn't exist, and the republicans in congress didn't block President Obama every
                step of the way

             Things could be so much more simple if, what?

21 December 2010



“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”

                                                                  --Oscar Wilde

20 December 2010

unless you're dead

Do not believe anything because it is said by an authority, or if it is said to come  from an inspired source. Believe it only if you have explored it in your own heart and mind and body and found it to be true. Work out your own path, through diligence.
                 [Gautama Buddha]

from Maya Angelou on Facebook

                     --This is a wonderful day, I have never seen this one before.

Help is on the way


19 December 2010

and then the sun came out

her name was lisa. 20 yrs ago. she said this to me-

...long as i live, and troubles rise...

The Greatest of these

             And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
                                -- 1 Corinthians 13:13

18 December 2010

Overheard at the mall (a few minutes ago)

Impossible is not a word. It's just an excuse not to try.
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Happy Birthday

                                                          my Godson  Promise turns 6 today!

I haven't seen him in 3 years as his parents are working in Dubai.

listening to...

17 December 2010

slipping away

An old friend found me on facebook recently. We began talking about old friends and old loves from back in the day. She was telling me about the one that got away, my friend Roger.  I reminded her of how she loved him but was afraid to show her feelings because he was a white dude and her friends didn't approve of him, and how she was nice to him in private but avoided him in public (yes, we were in high school). 
She said he was the only guy she was attracted to, who treated her right, and she let him slip through her fingers. She said that future relationships failed because all other guys fell short in comparison to the way Roger treated her. She never did get her high school diploma, and she has 4 kids she had to raise by herself. All are grown and out the door and they don't speak to her.

I didn't tell her that Roger went on to marry a beautiful black woman and they're having a great life, and she's a cardiologist and he's a chemical engineer, with 3 beautiful kids, and 2 grandchildren.

"& what did you  learn from that experience?" I asked her. 

She didn't respond. Roger was crazy about her. The three of us used to study together. She was terrible at algebra and geometry. He used to do her math homework for her, and he even tried to tutor her.
I remember the day he and I was in school and he said hello to her in the hallway on the way to our class, and she snivelled her nose up at him as if he smelled.

I asked her again, "what did you  learn from that experience?" 
No response. 

Then without thinking, I said, "If you'd tried to reach the one you loved just a little bit more, when you almost had them, your life would've been completely different."

and then I wondered if I was also talking about me.

Have you ever let someone you loved (or liked alot) slip through your fingers? Why? What were you afraid of?

and the winner is....

Providence Health Plans ties for “most admired” health care company by Portland Business Journal.
Providence Health Plans shared top health care honors in the 2010 Portland Business Journal “Most Admired Companies” awards. The awards are given based on results of a survey of chief executives in Oregon. In accepting the honor, Barbara Christensen, chief sales and marketing officer for Providence Health Plans, said that “in recognizing Providence Health Plans today, you also recognize the vision and work of our founders – a work we are proud to carry on today.”
Providence Health Plans has been one of the "Top 10 Most Admired Health Care Companies" for five years running (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010).

I'm proud to say that I work here!
                                sometimes the biggest, deepest scars are the ones we can't see.

on taking risks

To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
                            --author unknown

I've recently taken a risk. The writer ( & Nobel Peace prize winner and Holocaust survivor) Elie Wiesel said that 'the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.'

I took a risk, uprooting my self from my network of family and friends and familiar surroundings in Wisconsin, for the sake of a job in the state of Oregon. In between the first and second interview I was disagnosed with a condition that required my being on crutches and making sure I didn't apply pressure to my right foot so that blood could flow to the bone to nourish it (it got better about 7 mos later). So, I was thinking, 'here I am, in crutches, in a 2-floor apartment in Milwaukee Wisconsin,  needing friends to help me pack up and clean and vacuum my place for the move, and I'm going some place where I only have one friend and his wife to help me ( which they did not). It would be so much easier if I stayed here.'  I'm glad I made the move. Three years later, I am still proud of the company for which I work. My social life here, however, is virtually dead. I've been shown a whole lot of indifference in my personal life. But do I have any regrets about the move? No. I prayed for a great underwriting opportunity on the west coast ( I specifically prayed for an opportunity in Los Angeles, but Portland is close enough), and I know that everything else will follow suit. God never does anything half-way.

Have you taken any risks lately?

14 December 2010

remember this... ?

a quote that bears repeating

" ... We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people..."  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I want to thank one of my friends and coworkers-Sandra, who has this as part of her email signature. I see this everytime we email each other about the things in the news that upset us, make us smile, make us angry, and makes us (me) speechless. 
I hope to never be one of those silent good people. 

on today December 14,

in 1939,
Ernie Davis was born. He was a star running back at Syracuse University; first black player to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961; drafted by the Washington Redskins and traded to Cleveland but died the following year of leukemia before playing a pro game. 

in 1799  
Giant George Washington Head, Fishkill, United States
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: Week in Fishkill

George Washington, dies. His will stipulated that his slaves shall be freed upon the death of his wife, Martha.
(how kind of him).

13 December 2010

Remember this...

"The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing. They believe, rather,
that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually to make a new man of himself."
~Wang Yang-Ming

Did you hear Bernie Sanders' speech?

I think it was December

 i think it w
i think it was december.
there was a cold wisconsin wind.
your love, i can remember,
welcomed me like an old friend.

i recall it being cold,
because we skated on the lake.
(the secrets that we told;
the love we used to make

the dreams we used to share,
each sealed with a kiss.
a love beyond compare
that i truly miss)

the first day the robins sang
God took you away,
now, every time i hear one sing
i think of that day.

sure as there are stars above,
as far as i can remember,
i have never felt so loved.
i think it was december. 

                                          --from The Love Experience, Pt1,   by Alieux Casey    ( 1990)

i think it was                                                       

song in my head...Kenny Lattimore

12 December 2010

love is a game


My friend Rodrigo and Claire, his wife
                                             Love is a game that two can play and both win. 
                                               ~Eva Gabor


Regarding past relationships

 I know some people who will ride love until the last wheel falls off, even though the other wheels fell off a  long time ago. My mother did it with both husbands. My sister did it with both husbands. I have friends doing that with their girlfriends or wives or husbands. Some of you know my story: for me it was over with my ex when she, a Christian, went to Houston to see her  father who was ill, and she returned 6 weeks later (after he passed away) a devout Muslim, wearing what Bill Maher calls, a bee-keeper suit, showing only her mouth, eyes, and hands.  We're still close, and we tried to maintain the relationship for a minute,  but knowing how I felt, we both knew it was over the minute I saw her wrapped in material from head to toe (which, alone should be a crime, because she was too beautiful to be covered up). And just 6 weeks earlier, I thought she was the one.

So, regarding your past relationships how did you know when it was really over ?

10 December 2010

On today, December 10

in 1982,
   Dr Pamela McAllister Johnson, Ph.D.  became the first Black woman publisher of a mainstream paper, the Ithaca Journal. Interesting article about her- click here.

in 1967,   
Otis Redding's career came to a tragic end when the twin engine plane carrying him to a concert date in Wisconsin crashed in Lake Monona, Wisconsin.

in 1964, 
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Dr Martin Luther King Jr

in 1854, 
Edwin C. Berry was born on this day in Oberlin, Ohio. He errected a 22-room hotel, Hotel Berry, in Athens, Ohio; at the time of his retirement in 1921, he had a reputation as the most successful black small-city hotel operator in the U.S.(1892).

Sugar Ray Robinson permanently retired from boxing on this day with six victories in title bouts to his credit -- more than any other fighter in history.

in 1950,
 Ralph J Bunche becomes the first Black person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize

1n 1846, 
Norbert Rillieux is most noted for his invention of the multiple-effect evaporator, an energy-efficient means of evaporating water. This invention was an important development in the growth of the sugar industry.

                                                   --courtesy blackfacts.com & wikipedia

Friday Flashback-

09 December 2010

                                  “The secret of life…is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
                             - Paulo Coelho, from The Alchemist

Michael Eric Dyson to Obama: 'You've Got to Be More Like Bush'

After the sweeping turnover in the House of Representatives during the 2010 midterm elections, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is reaching out to President Obama via YouTube about what he should do next:


note to self

                                              Be careful of who and what you let in your mind.