Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Susan Moses!!

What's up family!

Last night I attended a "Surprise" birthday party for my home girl Susan Moses. I say "Surprise" because I am pretty sure that she had to know what was going on because she has a CRAZY schedule! For those of you not familiar with Miss Susan...She's the stylist for Queen Latifah and one half of the design team for Queen's new Curvation line of clothing.

Susan and I go back as far as the 80's when we were both aspiring models and along with a bunch of our other model friends decided to start our OWN plus size agency....we christened it "Elegant Extras". EE, as we called it for short hung in there for a while.....but THAT aspect of the business is still the same....the IDEA of a different sort of plus sized agency looks good on paper....but without the proper backing and industry's very hard to bring to life. Anyway, that was pretty much my "Coming of Age" period of my life and you just KNOW I'm gonna go dig through my albums and post some of those old EE photos from back in the

Anyway, the party was held in Williamsburg at the home of Sunil & Leo, Sunil is the other half of the Curvations design team. I hooked up with my other home girl from EE...Viki Lepak! It's always a blast seeing Viki because it's so long between the times when we see each other that we ALWAYS have to play catch up. I met Viki at the Union Square stop on the "L" line...a few stops into BKLYN and were we there!
After getting past the initial confusion of which direction to proceed in...we walked the few blocks to Sunil's house and got caught up on the way. We reached Sunil's building at the same time as a pretty sister in a fabulous black dress...the party's theme was black & I knew immediately that she was going to the same party as we were....I commented on her dress and she turned around and I realized that it was Jordan Tesfay, who is THE plus sized model of the moment. She's incredibly nice and incredibly beautiful ya'll....check out mama's photos in my screen show.

We took the elevator up and we were greeted at the door by Sunil's partner, Leo. Leo immediately told me that he had seen me in the Curvation video and was a big fan of mine (Ya'll know that stuff ALWAYS makes me smile! Thanks Leo!). Sunil came up and said hello and told us to make ourselves comfortable as he continued his hosting duties.

Sunil & Leo had lovely spread laid out that included Shrimp Cocktail (ALWAYS a winner with, Crab Cakes (Can't go wrong here),meat patties that came with this amazingly hot dipping sauce...Yummy! Along with various cheeses, meats & and a phenomenal olive tapenade. I am told that Sunil prepared all of these wonderful treats himself! (Well call ME impressed!!!...ya'll know what a picky eater I can be!). Once the bubbly began flowing I swooped up a glass and began to work the room with my "self portraits" (See slide show).

The beautiful people were in effect and I ran into folks I already knew AND I made some new friends as most favoritist (lol) makeup artist on the planet was there....You GO Sam Fine!!! and I had an absolute blast. Later on we decided to utilize the outdoor deck to sing Happy Birthday and toast Miss Susan. Although the weather was unseasonably chilly....we hung out there for a little while anyway.

Once we all gathered upstairs, TWO cakes were brought covered in Chocolate Ganache....absolutely to DIE for!!! and the other was a strawberry shortcake. I found out that it was a double celebration as it was Susan's birthday and her Wedding Anniversary (7th or 8th...but don't get me to lying...I can't remember which!). So we all sang happy birthday (BOTH versions of, Susan gave a beautiful speech and then we ate our cake and got the hell off that patio because it was COLD (I don't do well in the cold) and the air had a mist to it as well!!!!

We (Viki & I) hitched a ride back with Craig to Manhattan and I said my goodbyes and jumped on the "A" train back uptown.

It was an awesome night!!! Happy Birthday again Susan!! You know I love you!

Much Success Mama!

"Wisdom is what's left after we've run out of personal opinions."

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Harry Potter Rules!!!!!!!

Hey Ya'll, I just finished reading the final installment of the Harry Potter books a few days ago and I gotta tell you.....Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was one of the best books I have read in a very long time...I simply could not put it down. I won't mess it up for my peeps who haven't read it yet so I will just say this...if you are a true will be completely enthralled with this book from beginning to end!!! I fell in love with the series from the very first book and then the movies came along and if I wasn't hooked before....the movies did it for me. And let me say this....I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE MOVIE VERSION OF THIS FINAL INSTALLMENT TO HIT THE BIG SCREEN!!! I have TWO words for WHOMEVER gets to direct & produce this movie: SPECIAL EFFECTS!!! From what I read in this book...they have NO CHOICE but to go for over the top special effects!!!

I might even go back to the first book and start reading them all over again!

The only sad part for me was that I really didn't want it to end...I really didn't....I have a girlfriend who is on the final book as well and because she knows this will be IT for the series...she slowing down her reading pace because she doesn't want it to end either!! THAT'S how good this book is.

JK Rowling....I tip my hat off to you mama! It was brilliant from start to finish and I personally thank you for answering all of the questions that were lingering in my head when I came to the end.

And thanks D!....You know why.

Go to the bookstore and pick this one up's a winner!


"The possessor of truth has freedom."

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Black Pride Beach Party NYC 2007

Hey ya'll, I spent this past Sunday out at Riis Beach celebrating Black Pride with my friends. My Sista/Friend Miss Eda invited me to the beach with them last week...I quickly said yes! I don't know if you all know this about The Runway Diva but I LOVE THE BEACH!!!!! I'm a Pisces...the two go hand in Anyway, so I arrived at Eda's place at around 9:15am...I was told to arrive no later than 9:30pm...So I was prompt...with my beach chair AND umbrella in tow (I don't play around when you say "beach" ya'll!!!). I was greeted at the door by Becky & Brutus (lol..their adorable dog) and I knew immediately that were not leaving anytime soon was dressed and ready to roll. Dede was kind enough to drive us out there BUT we had to stop and get beverages first AND then we had to stop in Brooklyn to pick up the designated driver..Tika. And of luck would have it...(Yeah, ya'll...i'mma tell it)...we DIDN'T MAKE IT TO THE ACTUAL BEACH UNTIL 2PM!!!! I was a little salty (on the inside of course) at all the delays because I knew that we had already missed peak sun time (10am to 2pm), so I knew the chances of my becoming a nice cinnamon color, were shot. I am not accustomed to heading out to the beach so late in the day...(When my monster and I spent last summer on the beach....I still had my car and we would actually either go to Riis Beach or Long Beach but we always left the house at the crack of dawn ya'll and then we were usually home by 4pm...but MY COLOR WAS FABULOUS!!!...Folks thought I had spent the entire summer in the caribbean last year!!!) saltiness quickly dissipated when we arrived on that beach!! The kids were out in FULL FORCE!!! There were so many folks on the beach that it was hard to find a spot for our blankets. (Of course the OTHER end of the beach...where you have to be fully practically empty!) We realized that the police were checking coolers and confiscating all alcoholic beverages when you exited the parking lot....but....professional drinkers that we got around that by quickly exiting the parking lot and driving over to the curb to unload the coolers BEFORE we got into the parking area...

Once we got that little glitch out of the way we headed towards the music, I heard that CeCe Peniston was performing under the tents...and as much as I love her....I couldn't have been less interested in her show....all I wanted was my beloved beach!

We quickly got a spot and got all settled was a colorful display of people in all shapes, sizes, colors & sexual orientation. Miss Eda was rocking an orange Thong...(that looked fabulous on her) AND she's a fish...she actually SWAM in the me the can keep the cold ass Atlantic Ocean!!!And I must say...these kids WENT ALL OUT with their outfits for the almost felt like I was under dressed! The boys were out in full effect....FULL They loved taking photos with me and I loved the love I was getting from that make sense?

As the day progressed...I began to see more and more folks that I knew and a whole bunch of folks recognized me from the show and came over to say hello and take it was all camera came out and I kept clicking till I got tired. Amongst the folks I ran into...the always fabulous Theresa Randolph, CEO of JT Productions out of New Jersey...Miss Theresa was with The always smiling Jackie (the "J" in JT Productions)...Miss Theresa is a mess ya'll....only person I know who can make a GRAND ENTRANCE on a beach!!! I saw a lot of the kids from the Jersey fashion scene....I know their faces but I can't remember all those names.

I also ran into Eda's former roomie, Ethel, who was working the beach with a clipboard...I don't have a clue as to what she was Eda's friend Delores took the bus out and met us on the beach. We began packing up at around 7pm cuz it was getting dark and I ran into fashion producer Terrence Taitt on my way back to the parking lot....he's always fab ya'll....but get this...THE KIDS WERE STILL ARRIVING WITH COOLERS AT 7PM!!!!

Now THAT'S how you have a beach party!!!

Happy Black Pride Ya'll!!!

OOOOHHHHH Wait!!! I knew I was forgetting something....check this out ya' my sista's were out...I mean REALLY OUT on the beach I saw sista's with 44GGG's out on the beach TOPLESS!!!! The little mama's were topless as well...I mean they were topless, Bottomless, Big girls in bikinis, get the picture right? So I'm figuring..."It's the middle of the summer...I don't know most of these people...I don't want tan lines either...these sista's ain't should I be? Right?? RIGHT YA'LL??? So I put my shades on, pulled down the straps of my bathing suit and proceeded to drift off in the sun....Topless....I swear to you all....I wasn't laying there more than 5-10 minutes when I heard "Hey!!! Isn't that the lady from Mo'Nique's FAT Chance??", WTF???? I kid you took me less than TWO SECONDS to get those damn straps back up!!!

lol..I HAD to tell someone that story....I was laughing while it was happening...but I bet you I won't be caught out there like that again....

"Whatever you follow after, you become like."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Before The Music Dies.....YOU GOTTA SEE IT YA'LL!!!!

Hey Ya'll! I went to an AMAZING screening of a documentary on Tuesday night...I got an invite via my MySpace page from one of my MS friends named "SistaSuga". I found out that SistaSuga, whose real name is Pam, is one of the founders along with another sister named Detrel of a group called "ONUTSS" which stands for "One Nation Under The Soul Shack" and they were the hosts for this particular screening.

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

Narrated by Academy Award® Winner Forest Whitaker, BEFORE THE MUSIC DIES (B4MD) is an unsettling and inspiring look at today's popular music industry featuring interviews and performances by Erykah Badu, Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Branford Marsalis, ?uestlove and a wide variety of others. The documentary film has built a passionate following as "the most important film a music fan will ever see" (XM Radio) by providing "a balanced overview of the state of the rock scene of America" (The Wall Street Journal) and adding "passion to the eternal debate about the industry" (The New York Times).

BEFORE THE MUSIC DIES (B4MD) tells the story of American music as its future hangs in the balance. Filmmakers Andrew Shapter and Joel Rasmussen traveled the country, hoping to understand why mainstream music seems so packaged and repetitive, and whether huge corporations really had the power to silence musical innovation. The answers they found on this journey..ultimately, the promise that the future holds..are what makes B4MD both riveting and exhilarating.

Now I gotta tell you in all honesty that I don't usually attend most of the events that I get invited to but this one struck a chord with me AND the screening was in my I just couldn't resist. I swooped up my running buddy Deb and we walked over to Seventh Avenue for the was a bee-YOO-tee-ful summer evening and with the both of us considering ourselves to be "music heads" we were excited about what we were about to see!

We got to the venue at around 6:15pm (just in time...they were about to start) and we were greeted immediately by Pam...we exchanged hugs and introductions and we quickly found some seats. The movie opened with a clip of Ray Charles and a very young Billy Preston (in a Lemon Yellow suit!) performing "Agent Double-0 Soul" was an amazing thing to see because performers just don't get down like that on stage anymore. Billy was actually....GASP!!...ENTERTAINING!!!! The room was so moved by that clip that we all burst into applause when it ended.

The movie was a lesson to me as to how the music business worked in the past and how it works now....and what I learned about the direction that music is taking and how radio selects their "playlists" was absolutely appalling to me. The appearances by Erykah Badu, ?estlove & Branford Marsalis, Bonnie Raitt and the things they had to say about the business (like how difficult it would be for artists like themselves or me (Waaaayyy past, bald as an eagle AND a BIG girl to boot!!!) to get into the game now....should be a wakeup call for anyone who even remotely THINKS about calling themselves a musician.

The most telling part for me however, was when one of the interviewers stood outside of an Ashlee Simpson concert and asked her young fans what her music meant to them or what it inspired them to do and their reply was "nothing". WTF???

Dang ya'll.

When I left a James Brown concert..I always left feeling good about myself, proud to be who I am and motivated enough to feel like I could go out and change the world!!!!

I don't know about anyone else but I have always believed that music is supposed to inspire, motivate, uplift, invigorate, make you reminisce, move you to action...but damn it!!! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO FEEL SOMETHING!!!!!

Otherwise, it's just noise...isn't it?

As a vocalist myself (see album, the product of a home where music was in abundance....Music has been an integral part of my being since I could talk. I don't think I could have made it through my 47 years without it. So AS a musician I can honestly say that I don't think I'd be too happy if my fans said that about MY music. That single scene spoke VOLUMES to me regarding the state of the music industry today.

But the good thing about this movie is that it offered hope to all of the independent artists and budding musicians (myself included). Without giving away the whole damn movie....I will just say this. There IS another way....GO SEE IT. I LOVED IT.

Now after the screening ended (they were kind enough to roll the clip of Billy Preston & Ray Charles one more time for the latecomers), there was a lively little discussion about folks thoughts of what they had viewed. One sista stood up and said that she thought that the movie should have had more black artists and their views...bladdah...bladdah...bladdah...totally throwing the whole "Black & White" thing in the mix. A few people disagreed with her view point and she got a little defensive. She mentioned that she was a filmmaker AND the daughter of a jazz I suggested that if she didn't see HER view point in this particular film...perhaps she (as a filmmaker) should go out and make the movie that SHE wanted to see HERSELF....And I told her "YOU'RE a filmmaker...Make it. I would go and see it."

Well I thought I was being totally encouraging...but I got the feeling that the sista took it completely the wrong way. No matter....I enjoyed the film anyway...And I STILL recommend it to all.

Hey Pam and ONUTSS! We had a wonderful time, thank you so much for inviting us and please continue to keep me on your mailing list!

"Clarity comes with understanding and knowledge comes with truth."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Wednesday Nights At Ginger

Last night I hooked up with my longtime home girl, had been a VERY long time since we had hung out and "got our drink on". So the plan was that she would meet me uptown on 125th & Morningside and together we would walk up the hill towards Broadway and check out Jazzmobile at Grant's Tomb. The day was absolutely perfect! It was nice and warm but not too hot...perfect for live Jazz music and I don't know about anyone else, but the Jazzmobile of my youth was something else...I never particularly cared for Jazz Music but the surrounding festival was always AMAZING! Vendors lined the sidewalks and there was always mouthwatering food to be purchased and you couldn't leave with out a big container of homemade lemonades or "Half and Half's"...that's 1/2 iced tea & 1/2 lemonade...for those of you NOT in the It was always like a reunion to me because I would always run into folks I hadn't seen since high school or college. And then the crowd (or the really smart folks in the crowd...including myself) at around 7pm would head down the hill over to Perk's...where they had "Jazzmobile Wednesdays" and the drinks were two for you got there after weren't getting in because the place was packed!!!

Anyway,I was very excited at the prospect of attending Jazzmobile because I hadn't done it in YEARS....actually the last time I went...the er...young people (wow...I always feel old when I say that but it's the truth) began to turn it into a hoochie show and it just got way out of hand....totally ruining the Jazzmobile concerts themselves....It started to feel a bit dangerous to a night on Crenshaw Blvd in I just stopped attending.

I knew right away something was terribly wrong...because only a few stragglers with beach chairs were headed towards the park....definitely NOT the festival of my the time we got up the hill and to the Tomb....I saw what appeared to be a reunion of the class of were so many senior citizens out there...we felt like we stood out like sore thumbs...and apparently the festival has been canceled for a I guess it is truly about the music now.

Well, an immediate change of plan was in order and we decided to head over to Ginger...a still fairly new Asian themed restaurant located on 116th & Fifth Avenue. I heard that they were having cocktail specials and a party there on Wednesdays, so we jumped in a taxi and headed across town. Well, we got there pretty quickly and we found out that nothing was really happening yet, the party, given by Moet & N Harlem New York (The new clothing boutique also on 116th St in Harlem)...was actually an AFTER party and the PRE Party was at the Boutique...did you all follow that??? It was just a block away and since Ginger was still empty...we walked up the street to check out the boutique.

N Harlem New York, is actually quite beautiful...I loved the layout of the place...the cocktail of the day was a Sangria made with Moet and mixed was quite tasty!!! We grabbed our cocktails and quickly started going through the racks...Although Miss Eda saw lots of things that she could see herself in...the same could NOT be said for The Runway Diva...So I inquired about their sizes and the proprietor asked me what size I was looking for...she did have some plus sized things she could show me...So I told her I was a size 16 and she made the mistake of asking me what I I pointed out a dress that I liked...and I wasn't the least bit surprised when she frowned and told me she didn't have that dress in my size...I laughed and told her I wasn't interested in seeing any "old lady clothes" in Brown, Black & Navy don't know if she found this funny or not) but she DID tell me that they were going to be carrying Monif C.'s stuff in their shop by the fall. (Congrats Monif!) It was at this point that a woman caught my eye and I thought I knew it turned out I did!!! It was a former Encore model named Rashida who used to be one of "Diva's Encore Models" back when we were RUNNING THINGS in NYC!!!. Rashida looks good and is a designer herself these days and I wouldn't be me if I didn't take a few photos of her!! We exchanged numbers, hugs and kisses and promised to be in touch.

Eda and I then took our Sangrias and headed towards the back of the store to the backyard lounge area the store has (it's pretty cool ya'll) and we just chilled there until we were ready to head back to Ginger.

We realized we were drinking on empty stomachs, so we decided to head back to Ginger to get something to eat....When we got back there were a whole lot more folks in the place and the DJ was spinning some music. We found two seats at the bar and immediately began chatting up the man who was sitting to my left. He filled us in about the restaurant, the food AND the event. He was really nice. The pretty bartender gave us some menus and suggested what would be good to eat. We wound up ordering some shrimp dumplings and the teriyaki (I think) beef ribs with eyes got huge as she brought out these TWO BRONTOSAURUS RIBS on a plate!!!! I kid you not!! These ribs looked like those things they put on Fred Flintstones car when he goes to the drive in and tips his car over..ROFL!!!! But baby!! They were GOOD!!! They were so good...that I swear to ya'll...I got tired of fooling around with that knife and fork and put that rib right in my mouth!!! I can't WAIT to go back and order them again...

We had a couple of drinks, we actually ate dinner...salmon & Broccoli rabe for me..(it needed some rice) and a catfish dish for Eda...(I don't think she enjoyed as much as I enjoyed mine) and then the folks from Moet arrived from the other party and the champagne was flowing....for free! (You KNOW I love me some champagne). While we were sitting a lot of familiar folks began trickling in...Photographer Donn Thompson, Artist & Designer Tony Nigel, A musician friend of mine named Tevin and Eda's home girl from back in the day...Diane.

We sat there eating and chatting till about 10pm...when we decided to depart (Eda had to be up at the crack of dawn). But we had already decided that we were coming back....we both enjoyed the vibe.

Next stop....Floridita on 125th St & Bway has a new tapas bar that I am dying to try out!

Smootches Family!

"Maturity must be recognized in order for new growth to start."