Friday, February 29, 2008

Walter Greene's GEM Mag Cover Party - Harlem NYC

I had the pleasure of attending a special party thrown in celebration of fashion guru Walter Greene's cover of GEM Magazine. GEM is a full colour glossy magazine that is 8 1/2" X 11" in size. It is published in Guyana every two months: February, April, June, August, October and December. The magazine is filled with world-class photos, fascinating features and thought-provoking columns.

I had gotten a call from Walter while I was up in Buffalo shooting with Blur Custom Dezigns (See blog) who gently reminded me that I had not RSVP-ed for his party ( typical Runway Diva tradition) so I quickly took the number from him and rsvp-ed for myself and 1 guest (I had no clue at this point, who i'd be dragging with me).

I spent the day in the office and made arrangements via telephone with Jacqueline (who I had convinced to join me - and we agreed we'd meet at 6:15pm, since the party had a 6:00pm start time. The party was being held at Harlem's newest designer shoe boutique "Head Over Heels" which is located on 124th st & St Nicholas Avenue. After I left the job at 4pm to return Qristyl's dress to her (thanks mama!), I jumped on the train and made a pit stop at my girl Deb's house to kill time till the party. I was wearing jeans & a green turtleneck and decided to go home and change into something a little more dressy (since the party was literally around the corner from me....) but those plans went out the window after waiting for the M104 for nearly 15 minutes in the bitter cold. THEN getting a bus and being dumped off at 124th & Broadway as the driver announced that Broadway would be the last stop. I was pissed because I can usually convince a driver to let me ride with them up to Convent Avenue so i'd be closer to my place. But after waiting another 10 minutes to catch another M104, I decided NOT to go home (because I was freezing and I KNEW I wouldn't come back out!) and just catch the BX15 across town to St Nicholas Avenue.

When I arrived at Head Over Heels, I felt like a big popsicle....chilled to the bone. I looked around for Jacqueline, didn't see her and hurriedly made my way inside. The boutique had been transformed with flowers, h'orsdoeuvre's beautifully laid out and Model Michelle Kurbanali served as the Bar-Mistress. The lovely Michelle was also winner of the `Face of Shabeau' cover model search 2007. The first person I saw was the legendary Audrey Smaltz, who after giving me a "gentle" poke about Rip The Runway (Audrey was instrumental in getting that whole mess worked out)...I made my way to the coat check, grabbed a glass of champagne and waited for Jacque to arrive.

When I returned from the coat check, I saw that Jacque had just made her way inside and as I went to greet her, I began seeing folks that I hadn't seen since we were all in Guyana last August for Fashion Week - founders Nicole Clarke & her husband (dang! I can't remember his name either and I see him all the time!!! Apologies love), Designer Donna Dove (Walter was dressed in head to toe Donna Dove and looked fabulous!),Former Editor in Chief at BELLE Magazine (currently at Black Enterprise) Sonia Alleyne, Kirk Shannon-Butts from Glamour Magazine, Designer Cleon Cummings, Models Somaya, Angel, Naeon, India , musician Ejyp, Khadijah Nicholas "Miss Trinidad & Tobago of New York 2006, Frederick Adams & ANTM contestant Camille McDonald all came out to wish Walter well.

My girl and model extraordinaire Lene Hall was holding it down in true hostess fashion (this child is so beautiful and long and lean that it's disgusting!!! you boo!), she introduced me to her very handsome fiance and told me that they are officially engaged. I was very happy for him....he is the nicest brother! Congrats ya'll!!!

As the evening wore on modeling legends Renauld White & the ever beautiful Angellika (draped in mink) walked through the doors. For those of you who DON'T know your history.....Renauld is the 1st African American Model to appear on the cover of GQ Magazine in 1979.....He seemed surprised that I told him I was a fan of his work - lol...he thought the I was younger than I am).

I convinced Jacqueline to try a spring roll that I had just picked up, dipped in some sort of spicy dipping sauce and was just absolutely amazing! It really was.

I also met a beautiful, coffee colored, African sister with a shaved head who told me that I stopped her on 125th street and told her she should consider modeling - she took my advice and was now doing exactly that. Her words made me feel really good. Thank you beautiful one.

I briefly got to chat with photographer Donn Thompson, who was looking real sharp in his suit (I am not accustomed to seeing him dressed up like that) and sharing the hosting responsibilities with Miss Lene.

The party was scheduled to end at 10pm, I think....but as you all know I have been running for the last two weeks and I was simply put - exhausted. After shooting a whole bunch of Guyana Fashion Week/Kaieter Falls reunion photos signaled to Jacqueline that it was time to go.
I retrieved my coat and picked up a lovely gift bag from Lene that had some samples of the Thierry Mugler fragance "Alien" courtesy of Lorna Welshman-Neblett. (Loving the "Alien" Miss Lorna!!!)

I grabbed my gift bag, bundled up and headed out into the cold on my way home....Mercifully Jacqueline drove and dropped me off (thanks chicklet!) and hurried home to get warm as well!

Congrats again on your cover Walter and thanks for always thinking of me!

Love Ya!

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Soul at Ceol's - The February Edition

What's up family!

Last night I performed "Soul at Ceol's" (pronounced "Keel") for the second time at Ceol's Pub at 191 Smith Street in the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn. After sending out a mass email to my mailing list with the WRONG ADDRESS - (Dang! Ya'll - I'm really sorry about that!)...Jacqueline picked me up at 6:15pm and I was in a FOUL MOOD....again. By the time we got across the bridge my bad mood was quickly dissapating and as we parked in front of Ceol's a smile began to come across my face.

Outside of the venue was a big ol poster with a photo of The Runway Diva! As we made our way in I saw that the dining room (where I'd be performing) was quickly filling up. I decided to go over my music & lyrics and prepare myself for the 8pm set. As I was going over notes & lyrics, my friends began to walk through the doors - first up was Miss Eda Francois, followed by Clunis and my boy Shawn Hawkins from my favorite computer cafe, Michelle Young who brought her cousin with her, Ive Ventura (who I haven't seen in a while) who also brought a friend along.

After working out the logistics with Alex (my sound guy) I took the stage at 8pm - I started off my first set with some slow to moderate tempoed songs, so that folks could enjoy their dinner AND the music. There was plenty of Soul Food on the menu and Chef Syncere honored my request to add some potato salad to the menu (can't have fried chicken without it!). It was during the first set that I began to struggle vocally and the phlegm on my vocal chords was wearing me out! Several folks opted for me to try some traditional Irish drinks to help work out the kinks - I passed on the Guiness Stout (hate it!) and took the Irish Coffee that a gentleman seated down front offered me - was disgusting (Bailey's AND Milk? Can you say YUCK!???).

Anyway Alex was also working the bar and made me a hot toddy for my second set. By the time I took the stage for my second set, Mary Moore had arrived with a birthday gift (my favorite fragrance - Thierry Mugler's Angel Violette) for me and the hot toddy had me feeling all warm and fluffy inside. I was feeling so good that after I finished my 2nd set, I wanted to sing some more - so Jacqueline and I added a few more songs on the fly - It didn't really matter WHAT I was singing - folks just wanted to the second set folks were up dancing, singing along and just having and all out good time! Before I knew it, everything was over and we were preparing to leave - Chef Syncere packed up several cartons of food for me and I couldn't wait to get it home to share it with my monster.

On the drive home, we (Jacqueline & I) chatted briefly about the nights events and I was already preparing a new set in my mind for next month's show. As I watched Jacque's tail lights disappear into the night, I couldn't get my mind off my potato salad and I ran upstairs to try some -

Imagine my face when I unpacked all that food and everything was in it EXCEPT my potato salad!!!! AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Chef Syncere - I saw your face, I know you were exhausted - so I ain't mad....just still salivating for my potato

Thank you Mary Moore for the beautiful gift (I spritzed my last spray a week or so was right on time!

Oh yeah fam, Soul At Ceol's happens the last Wednesday of every month.

"Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success. "

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blur Custom Dezigns Photo Shoot - Buffalo, NY

This weekend, I flew up to Buffalo, NY on Sunday morning to shoot with new clothing company, Blur Custom Dezigns (

Blur is the brainchild of Tiffany Jones (MFC Top 5 Finalist- Season 2):
and her manager Miss Jay (I couldn't find a photo of you love...apologies!). I have seen this line in shows quite a few times and have always been impressed with what they do with Denim...(They deconstruct then RE-construct it to make new designs....way cool ya'll).

I came up to do the shoot because we are friends but also because Tiff and Jay promised me a custom made design a while ago and I was determined to get I arrived in Buffalo at around 8am ( homies booked me on the big 6AM flight - I had to be up at 3AM and then spend 50 bucks to catch a cab to JFK....because my monster said it was unsafe for me to be on the Subway at 3-4 in the morning, and although I HATED wasting money like that...I had to agree.) and as I made my way into the terminal - I was surprised to see a good friend of mine waiting to greet brother Will Price was catching a flight out to Florida at the same time and because his flight was delayed-he was able to greet me before he left. It was good to see him and although I was bummed because he wasn't going to be able to show me around his city, It made me feel special that he took the time to find a way to holla at me anyhow. Will walked me as far as he could with out exiting, we said our goodbyes and I headed down to baggage claim to get my bag and find my ride. After a brief wait and some convo, I collected my bag and hopped in a van to take the short ride to the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

It was bitterly cold, still early and I was still half sleep when I arrived and attempted to check in - I was already irritated because home girl at the front desk kept calling me "Sir" (even after I corrected her), so the confusion that came along with checking in just pissed me off more. After some back and forth phone calls between the front desk, Miss Tiffany and Miss Jay - I finally got checked in stopped off briefly for a bite to eat and then headed to my room for some much needed sleep! I found out that I would not be needed until 2-3pm for my first fitting and that made me happy because I could arrive at the fitting refreshed and rested. I had a "special" room on the 15th floor that required a room key for access to my floor (Kewl!) and I was in that room long enough to turn on the heater (I like my room toasty), take off my clothes and jump under the covers before my head hit those pillows and I was out.

I arrived downstairs in the ballroom and the fittings were in full swing - Tiff and Miss Jay had brought in models from all over the country - one of the makeup artists came from Seattle, Washington!! The ladies seemed surprised to see me and I realized that Tiff & Miss Jay had not revealed that I would be there. I got fitted into 2 outfits for their new "Blur Mature" line - one soft mauve colored dress and the other was a long denim skirt and a shirt-vest (this was the outfit I was taking with me and it made me very happy!). The fittings went off with out too many problems and then we were whisked off to the movie theater where the shoot would be taking place. After getting all the logistics for the next day's shoot, we headed back to the hotel - dinner wasn't scheduled until 7pm and it was only like 4pm and I was STARVING!!! I walked around (it was Sunday and the downtown area seemed like a ghost town to me) until I found a little place called "Joe's Steakout" and ordered a 6 inch steak sandwich.

After stopping briefly back in the ballroom to chat with Tiff & Miss Jay, I headed to my room and absolutely INHALED my sandwich - it was DELICIOUS family!!! And it might be one of only two reasons that I EVER need to come back to Buffalo (sorry folks!). I just chilled and watched tv until dinnertime and then I headed back downstairs to meet the group. When I got downstairs the small room that dinner was held in was packed - everyone was seated at 2 circular tables and their were about 18 models & staff in total who were eating with us. I took a seat and then got in line to fill my plate.

Well, the steak sandwich was still with me, so I wasn't actually too hungry - After realizing this would probably be the last time I'd eat all day, I managed to snarf down some grilled chicken and some salad. I went around the table asking everyone who they were, what they did and what their dreams were. The answers were interesting indeed. The ladies used the setting to pick my brains and I didn't mind in the least. I tried to give out positive answers for everything asked but in my usual style - I was reluctant to sugar coat the truth. It was definitely an eye opening conversation for me and probably for the ladies too! We sat in that ballroom for what seemed like hours getting to know each other better. The shoot was scheduled for the next day and hair and make up began at 4am - at this point folks began to trickle out of the ballroom because they KNEW they had that 4am call time. My own call time wasn't until 8am but I knew I needed to sleep too AND I wanted to catch the last of the Academy Awards (because my boy Tevin Thomas was nominated in the Best Song Category and I wanted to see it!).

I got back to my room, got some ice to chill my Pepsi's and pretty much watched the broadcast on with the TV on mute. Was it me or was this year's broadcast by far one of the most boring yet??? Anyway, once the announcement was made for the winner in the Best Song category (it wasn't my friend), I turned off the TV and tried to get some sleep.

The next morning I was up at 6am, I got myself together, grabbed my bag and made it down to the ballroom by 8am. Upon my arrival I was told that things were a little behind schedule and if I liked, I could go back to my room, get some more sleep and await a call telling me when I could come down for make up. From there I went downstairs to grab a leisurely breakfast. I joined a few ladies who were already sitting at a table and ordered the delicious looking pancakes that I saw another model eating. I should have KNOWN ALWAYS looks better when it's on someone else's plate. While my pancakes (that took forever to come) LOOKED delicious - a few bites into it and they were soggy and yucky - the syrup only made it worse. Needless to say, I didn't finish them but went on to have cups of coffee (just kidding). There was some big meeting of Firemen at our hotel and the cuties were everywhere!!!! After hanging out for a while, I decided to return to my room and see if I could indeed get some more sleep.

I slept until I got a call at 3pm telling me to come back down stairs. I got redressed and made my way back to the ballroom. I found out quickly that confusion ensued when several makeup artists & hair people had to be pulled off the shoot and sent home. I offered to do my own makeup but I was told not to worry - someone would be doing my face....but it would have to get done on location. After we all congregated in the ballroom, we all headed back to the movie theater to shoot. First thing I noticed was that it was Monday morning and the streets were STILL devoid of people - Buffalo still looked like a ghost town and half the businesses lining the streets seemed to have gone out of was this city operating? I wondered to myself.

We arrived at the theater where, the photographer was setting up and Tiff & Jay were busily getting everyone prepped and dressed. The first shots involved the concession stand at the theater, with standard size & plus sized models creating drama revolving around popcorn, nachos & soda. It was an interesting concept and I wish we had more time to do even more shots. My first shot was in the Mauve dress and it was in one of the theaters - I love how people expect me to just "Go for Broke" in front of a camera and pull a million poses out of my butt- I swear on a stack of bibles, I can't do it - Folks always laugh at me when I say how uncomfortable taking pictures are for me....I really don't like it too much - I am just lucky enough to be able to take a good photo. Well, we got the shots, broke for lunch before we had to head back to the hotel for the second half of the shoot.

Tiffany had taken the liberty of preordering something for us to munch on as we worked - she ordered pizza and a large sampling of wings that included, Mild Buffalo (should have been hot ones...these were thisclose to being bland), Barbecue (the only OTHER reason for me to come back to Buffalo), Cajun (interesting) & Honey (which Tiff loved but I After FINALLY convincing the house manager that he should give me some Junior Mints to relive my childhood (thanks!), we all got our coats and headed back to the hotel. The second half of the shoot involved shooting individual pieces for the catalog and I was scheduled to shoot LAST....AGAIN!!! It was nearly 9pm when we got the final pieces shot and broke for dinner - it was a LONG day for everyone and we were all famished when we sat down to dinner.

After conversing over Chicken Parmigiana, Bowtie pasta, fresh broccoli & chocolate fudge cake for desert - I announced that I would be leaving since my flight was at 5:50 am and I needed to catch the 4am shuttle to make my flight back to NYC AND Buffalo was expecting a MAJOR Snowstorm at around 7am. It had already been snowing for several hours when I got up at 3:30am - I was very nervous about being snowed in and I knew I had to be at work at 10am. Fortunately everything went off without a hitch and we made our flights on schedule and I got back to NYC at around 7am.

I took the skytrain to the Subway and hoofed it on the train back to Harlem (I wasn't trying to give up another 50 bucks for a cab ride home), The E Train was crowded (since it was rush hour) and as soon as I stepped on the train, I saw a brother that I met at a dinner party for my longtime friend Craig Bannister - lol...he is Craig's cousin and his name is Craig Bannister too! He offered me his seat, which I very stupidly declined (don't know WHAT I was thinking), dropped off my bags to my monster and then got back on the train to head into work.

I was exhausted and cranky when I got to work and I spent the entire day wishing I could be home in my bed sleeping.

Will Price, I am hoping that you will be able to change my mind about returning to Buffalo......

Thanks Tiffany & Miss Jay for the outfit - I will wear it with pride, and I hope that you got all that you needed from me - I had a blast!

Sidebar: Normally, I would write as many names as I can remember in my blogs but I don't want to slight anyone (because my memory ain't what it used to be - forgive me in advance ya'll!). Know that it was a pleasure meeting each and everyone of you and I look forward to seeing you all again in the near future.

"Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Birthday Bash 2008 - Negril Village NYC

Whew! Family.....

I am finally recovering from my annual birthday was a VERY long day for me (all will be explained let me start from the beginning.....

I decided towards the end of December that I wanted to have a birthday party and I expressed this to my publicist Mary Moore...I knew that I wouldn't be able to do it in my usual "Runway Diva Fashion"....ya'll know...I generally will secure an arrangement with a club preferably on a Friday or Saturday night...they get the bar (my peeps like to and I bring in a DJ of my liking....(Usually DJ Rockin Rob or The Legendary Chris Washington!) a little food to sop up all that alcohol (The Runway Diva can THROW DOWN in the kitchen!!!).....waive the cover at the door and the party is on!!!!

Well because the party was kinda last minute....I realized I couldn't do it in my usual fashion and I would have to "piggyback" my party on someone else's....Big Ced of The Industry Co-Sign ( was kind enough to let me have my party during his usual Thursday night event. Well, everything should have been all good from there right? RIGHT????

lol...from the moment I decided I wanted to have a party and sent out my "Save The Date" emails...I began having these weird feelings and emotions and wavered frequently between being excited and wanting to cancel everything...every day it was a new story with (menopause is a beautiful thing....NOT!). Mercifully Jacqueline stepped in and told me not to I did as I was told and tried not to worry but I just couldn't relax completely.

The icing on the cake for me was the weekend leading up to my party, where I went to see Patti Labelle and got a really bad case of food poisoning (see winter explosion 2008 blog) and was actually sick on my KNOW that pretty much set the tone for my bad mood to continue.....

Anyway, the day before my party, I got a call from Mary early in the morning informing me that my presence was requested at The Hammerstein Ballroom for BET's Rip The Runway taping and did I still want to do it (I had gotten the call a week or so earlier but they couldn't make up their minds about actually HAVING the segment again (Hmmmph! Never mind that it's THE MOST POPULAR SEGMENT in the ENTIRE BROADCAST????...but more about THAT After saying a brief prayer for my stomach to be still...I agreed to participate and got myself together for the 1pm fitting/rehearsal.

After much chaos, I got the fittings and the rehearsal out of the way without much of a problem and headed home to prepare my bag(s) for the next day. My new dilemma was that we were not scheduled to be onstage to do our segment until 9:15pm and my party started at 9pm. Well since our segment was ONLY 2 minutes and 23 seconds (I kid you not) I figured I could do it and jet downtown quickly to make my party. As usual the broadcast was a little behind but I got out of the Hammerstein Ballroom at 9:45pm jumped in a taxi dressed in a Qristyl Frazier Dress (that I snatched off of a plus model as soon as we were done) and got to Negril Village at 10pm.

Jacqueline met me outside and grabbed my bags and coat so that I could make a "proper" I got downstairs to find my friends waiting patiently for me, Jacqueline had the section where we were seated beautifully decorated and I knew immediately that all my fears were for naught. I looked around and saw so many familiar faces from various points in my life that it made me smile and feel loved.

As soon as I walked through the door I saw an old face from my John F. Kennedy HS Track & Field days, his name was Gerard and he was actually managing the upstairs dining room (the last time I saw Gerard was in 2005 when he was managing at "Earl Monroe's Restaurant" in Harlem, where I was having my birthday dinner at the time!), Also in attendance was my girl Vonne with a new friend; Sohad G came with a jacked up back & a friend in tow (thank you chica!) , Shawn Griffith and his wife Aileen (who I worked with back in my NY Magazine days) and I hadn't seen in many years; Kimberly "Q" Purnell (who couldn't resist showing off her new FLOOR LENGTH WHITE MINK COAT!!!!AARRRRGGGHHH!!!!) & her partner Trescha (I won't put my nickname for her but thanks for the Sushi plates & fluffy socks ya'll), Jacqueline's best friend and my new friend, Clunis (who gave a beautiful bracelet and matching earrings to go with the dress I was wearing - thank you lil mama); Timikal Bobo (who I met during FAT Chance while she worked for Oxygen), actor TC McLaurin (who came even though he was on crutches), My brother Shawn Johnson (who I met way back in my "Pulse" days), Sharon Jones & her fiance' Stacey (Thank you for the gift card!), Rosamund "Rosie" Fife (who I first met while working with DSE), Personal trainer, William H. Felder, New Plus Sized Designer B. Justice (who I met in Fort Lauderdale last fall when I attended the "Oh What A Night" fashion event with Linda Scott)...Bryan (the "B" in B. Justice) brought me a beautiful poncho & cowl that he made for me because my buddy Marco Mays told him that I am always cold (lol...I am); my bestest buds, Gwen DeVoe & Eda Francois, Cee-Truth & Cutie Kev Lawrence of The Thermal Soundwaves crew, My childhood buddies from East 128th & 129th Streets - Dionne, Arlene Rieira & Shawn Pressley, my baby sis, Karen and my oldest nephew Darren (who is now 21 and as handsome as they come!!!) and even my monster was in attendance for a little while.

It was an intimate little group and I was able to work the room fairly quickly (at least I thought I Every one wanted to buy me drinks but I did my usual "take a sip" and pass it down ritual (because I didn't want a repeat of the er...drunken "Jet Lounge" party a few years back). I found out from Jacqueline that my childhood friend Craig Bannister had stopped by with out his partner Bruce (Sending out speedy recovery wishes to your mom Bruce!!!) but couldn't stay....he left me a bottle of my favorite champagne Veuve Clicquot (yellow label-Yummy!)...that made me giddy!!!! I got a chance to sit and chat with almost everybody (Kev Lawrence - I didn't get to spend enough time chatting with you - apologies - will definitely make it up to you though!) and as I looked up I saw a few models who came through when the Rip The Runway taping was finished....Plus Models Mia Amber & Wynter stopped by as we were winding down. Negril Village brought out red velvet cupcakes with a candle and everybody sang (lol...or rather...attempted to sing) Happy Birthday - (no one ever knows the rest of the words to the Stevie Wonder Joint...).

I had a wonderful time and even though I couldn't really get my dance on like I would have liked...I enjoyed myself nonetheless. As we emerged from Negril at 1am - we found ourselves right smack in the middle of a damn snowstorm!!!! You gotta love NYC in February....

Anyway, before I end this blog, I just want to take a moment to thank the following folks:

Big Ced - We couldn't have done it without you - Thank you SO very much!

Mary Moore - I am so sorry you couldn't attend, but in case no one has told you lately - YOU ARE THE BOMB and I love you more than you know! Thank you.

Jacqueline Kennedy - I don't know why we were thrown together in the manner that we were but your influence on my life has been extraordinary (you have no idea)...I thank you for helping me out of my funk and I look forward to us doing glorious things together this year. You are awesome.

To My Most Wonderful Friends - You all have no idea how much I value the friendships that I have with each and everyone of you. Having to experience the loss of 3/4 of my friends before they reached age 30 has been a hard pill for me to swallow and the result is that I am very protective of those that I call "friend". Your continued love and support of all the things that I do is nothing short of amazing and it is the fuel that keeps me going - I love you all, thank you for sharing your lives with me.

The journey continues family.............

"Choose your friends carefully. Your enemies will choose you. "

Joanne Borgella is first to go on American Idol 7

What's up Family!

By now you all must have heard that my girl Joanne Borgella was the first one eliminated on American Idol last night. I was down at the Hammerstein Ballroom taping "Rip The Runway" AND I was running to my birthday party afterwards, so I missed the results broadcast. But folks were texting each other back and I got the news via someone who got a text message on their phone.

In case you all missed the can check it out here:

Dang ya'll! I was hoping she'd be around awhile.

I hope that the rest of them can hold my attention...cuz I thought almost all of the guys have sucked so far. And I gotta tell you...most of the time...I agree with what Simon says...he ain't nice....but he gives it to you straight - no chaser and as a singer myself....I appreciate that.

Oh more

You can't be the American Idol in a RED SUIT looking like GARY COLEMAN people!!!!


I'm off to Buffalo in the morning ya'll....will holla when I return!!!


It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rip The Runway 2008 - Hammerstein Ballroom NYC

Hmmm....Where do I begin with this one family???

Last night I did BET'S "Rip The Runway" (Where hip-hop meets fashion) for a third consecutive time. I was apprehensive this time around because the previous two shows left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Well, let's just say that this season was not much different - after MUCH back and forth drama about whether or not there was even gonna BE a plus sized segment again.....( we REALLY need to go through this crap again???) BET and everyone involved should know by now who their demographic is - most of the chicks in the audience watching the taping AND the one's at home tuning in are women who are a size 14 and larger - know - the "norm" in America??? Why is it that year after year someone is trying to eliminate what is CONSISTENTLY the most POPULAR SEGMENT in the SHOW???? Well, the word on the street is that because Mr. "P. Diddy" himself was producing this show - he made it crystal clear that he didn't want any plus ladies in the show - I am guessing that someone must have had the er "Demographics" chat with him and he decided to allow the segment in but the "ki-ki" is that the plus gals would have to wear swimwear - not necessarily a bad thing - but it was clearly an idea designed to intimidate.

Well, when my publicist first called me about doing the show in swimwear - my initial thought was "ok, I KNOW I don't have a swimsuit body and I'm a little apprehensive but if they can do it classy & tastefully for me-i'll do it".

Lol....while I was brave for the moment - it took about a week for me to chew over this idea and change my mind - my goal is TO NEVER GIVE ANYONE A REASON TO CLOWN ME!!! and after some thinking - I just didn't think a swimsuit would be a good look for me and I called Mary and told her I had changed my mind. I had already set the date of my party, Feb 21 and it was coinciding with the taping date of the show anyway. I figured I would just focus on making my party a great success and Mary agreed. And I didn't give it anymore thought after that. Well, that should have been the end of it, but of course wasn't.

On the morning of February 20th, I got an early morning call from Mary again - now everything had changed - again. Bathing suits were OUT and clothing was back in but of course....this led to a mad scramble for designers AND models. Mary thought it would be great exposure for me to be a "Celebrity" model on this show and I agreed to get myself together (still recovering from food poisoning) and headed down to the Hammerstein Ballroom for the last minute fittings.

Once again, I arrived down at the ballroom and confusion erupted again when it came to checking in at the front. Also attempting to check in was Miss Theresa aka "Sparkle" from T&J Productions in New Jersey. After the confusion with the check in was cleared up we all entered the ballroom and headed upstairs to get fit for the "Size Sexy" segment.

I was NOT pleased that we had to walk up three flights of stairs to get to our dressing rooms....when we finally got upstairs, the fitting was in full swing along with the filming of the new "Reality Segment" they were also taping. The first person I ran into was plus model Mia Amber along with plus models Wynter, Shellie, Christina Mendez (who was selected to be a part of the reality segment...congrats!) Tricia Campbell, New plus model Nefiteri, As well as designers Monif C, Qristyl Frazier & new designer Sixx Footer. I also saw American Idol top 24 finalist Jared Cotter AND I Love New York 2 finalist Buddah (who I prefer to call by his given name Ezra).

After fitting in several "Hallelujah is the Highest Praise" dresses and feeling like the "Big Fig Newton" in most of them, I settled on a bright yellow wrap dress from Qristyl Frazier.

We found out that there were 3 designers in our segment and each designer got 4 models to use but I was dismayed to see that they added a segment with 6 foot tall, size 2-4 models (I didn't appreciate that gesture at all) - don't get me wrong I thought the clothing was AWESOME but I THOUGHT this was the "SIZE SEXY" segment????? I drew the line at a young man who tried to place TWO size 4's in front of me in the finale and push me back into the background.....What's wrong with this picture people????

Ya'll know The Runway Diva wasn't having it!!! One was bad enough....BUT TWO???? Hell Naw!

We all headed downstairs for the rehearsal and here is where even more confusion ensued. We found out quickly that there were some folks in the segment that weren't supposed to be in it and when the dust cleared, several models got bumped from the segment. This would have been fine if they had actually been told what was going on, but they weren't told and when they left that ballroom, concerned about losing a SECOND day of pay from their 9-5's, they STILL didn't know if they were doing the show or not.

The next morning I received a text message telling me that they were taking the dress I loved from me and moving my position from number 1 spot to a spot further back to make room for one of the models who had gotten bumped. I had a problem with this because I had already packed my bag with that outfit in mind and had no clue as to what else I would be given to wear. And I was wary of wearing another outfit that was just too big for me.

To make a long story short, I got to the taping, tried on the alternate dresses and knew immediately that neither one of them showed me off in a flattering light. I decided that if my only alternative was to wear a dress that was too big for me and NOT a flattering cut on my body was something I could pass on. And I told them (the producers) that in no uncertain terms. I was told that my pulling out was not an option, as they really wanted my participation in the segment and would work something out to benefit ALL parties involved. After numerous back and forth phone calls, heated conversations and one absolutely ridiculous suggestion that I forfeit my spot so that someone else could be in the show (lol...ya'll KNOW me family- the business of ME will ALWAYS come first.), everything managed to get worked out to the benefit of everyone.

I was fully prepared for the drama that always comes on the hair & makeup tip - but this year I was pleasantly surprised, there was none of the typical shunning of the plus sized models as there has been for every show prior to this one. My boy from MAC on 125th was absolutely RUNNING that hair & make up room and I snagged a lead makeup artist, a lil asian chick named Cindy....who as God is my witness - BEAT MY FACE FOR THE GODS!!!!!! lol...everyone wanted to know who had done my face! I was very happy because I knew my face would be "painted" for my birthday party as well!!! YAY!!!!! The upside of this is that ALL of the plus size model got their hair and makeup properly done WAY before show time .... which is how it SHOULD be!!!

I met so many "Top Models" backstage that I can barely remember their names....but I got the pics to prove I also got a moment to chat with Ezra some more, we exchanged info and plan on being friends and hopefully we will be able to work together at some point in the near future. The brother was very nice, humble and approachable - uh....did I say he was SERIOUSLY FOINE as well!!!???? Whew!! Honey they put him and all that body in the swimsuit segment but I was SO very disappointed when I saw that they stuck him in some friggin' Bermuda shorts!!! I was really praying for the Speedo ya'll = they Gypped us big time here....they can parade out half naked women but no half naked MEN????? WTF??

Oh and yeah....I know I am probably older than many of the models that I worked with here but I gotta tell you....the boys they hired this go round were some really good looking young men, but honestly not enough Dark Chocolate ones in the house.....dark yummy! I also got to meet and briefly chat with Mr. P Diddy himself and after a brief warning from Mia Amber who made me promise to be nice and not say what was REALLY on my mind - I simply shook his hand and thanked him for allowing the plus size segment to happen - it meant a lot to plus size women everywhere. (hmmm...never mind that he didn't really want the segment in the show and all of the women in his segment looked like little Puerto Rican, Asian & Mulatto miniatures....)

I am still not a fan of dancing on the runway, I consider myself a purist and I think you should let the dancers dance and the models model....the twain should never mix. Ya'll know I wasn't dancing on this my knees were simply not having it.

Anyway, after his Sean John segment - P Diddy had to come backstage and be taped viewing the remainder of the show from a monitor - I thought it was ironic that they had his setting (where he'd view the show) sandwiched between plus size designers Qristyl & Monif C. He had big girls to the left and to the was no escaping us!!! I thought it funny that the producers asked for a few of the models to position themselves behind Diddy as they were shooting the segment and we did - I don't know what happened but he must have telepathically told the producers - "Get these big chicks from behind me!!!!" because nothing else was said we were just told to move out of the shot and they inserted the size 4 girls in our spots. I also met designer Zac Posen as he was coming off the runway and he was very pleasant (and a cutie to boot) but his excuse for not creating plus sized clothing was that the stores won't buy it. I the only one who thinks this sounds like BS?

Zac my love, anyone can make doll clothes...but a REAL designer can make REALLY beautiful clothing for women who have REAL Curves. All it takes is ONE BRAVE SOUL, ONE FORWARD THINKING PERSON who has vision and can see where the market is going before it gets there. And capitalize on it. The first person who does it (and does it right) will make a fortune....mark my words.

You make it AND make it right and they will come - I promise you this Zac Posen.

The whole thing was comical - sad but comical.

Anyway, I found out that our segment was supposed to go on at 9:15 but TV being what it is...we were a little late getting started....and we actually got on at around 9:30pm or so...but our "Size Sexy" segment lol...was the shortest segment in the whole show (coming in at a lofty er...2:23 seconds) and after some restaging because Nelly kept blowing his lines...I snatched the dress I was borrowing this dress from Qristyl right off of Christina Mendez' body and was out of there and in a taxi by 9:50 and wound up arriving at my party at 10pm on the nose. It was all good from there (see my Bday Blog)!

Some of the show's detractors predict that the "Size Sexy" segment will be history after this broadcast on Tuesday. I would like to be optimistic and hope that this will not be the case and the plus sized community will continue to put pressure on BET to expand the segment and....

Let The ORIGINAL Runway Diva produce it.

It may be just wishful thinking on my part but I believe in putting what you want out into the universe......

Stephen Hill - I have you in my sights and I will be waiting for your call!

Aminah Benjamin - Good looking out mama...thank you! It's gonna be all good from here....see you soon!

One more thing.... Fam...

Rip The Runway airs THIS Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 at 10pm on BET....Don't forget to watch!!!

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Soul At Ceol's Wednesday's Return....

Thanks for all of your support and your continued birthday greetings family!

I wanted to give you all a heads up on my next performance........

Soul at Ceol (Pronounced "Keel") featuring Miss Sharon Quinn continues THIS Wednesday, February 27, 2008. I will be doing two sets with my first set beginning at 8pm, there is no cover and the dress is "Casual Cool"....(lol...I just made that up). The food is fabulous and the music....well...if I MAY say so myself...the music is FABULOUS!!!

Soul Food AND Soul Music???? What???? You can't go wrong with that!

Ceol is located at 95 Smith Street in Brooklyn. For more information on Soul at Ceol's: and click on "Events"

Hope to see you all there!!


Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.

American Idol 7- Top 24 Joanne Borgella

All right family...Did you all check out Joanne Borgella's first go as a top 24 finalist on American Idol last night?

Dang ya'll....I hate to be the one to say it but...uh...I wasn't really feeling the song and I didn't like the black & white outfit she was rocking either....she looks amazing in colors.

Quite frankly I am a little scared for her.

I dunno family....I think she's gonna be in the bottom three...the majority of the remainder of the singers were much stronger.

You can't play it SAFE on American Idol...EVER. You have to go for broke and take risks each time and that particular tune did not showcase her talent at all.

That's my girl though....and I'm gonna root AND I'mma say a little prayer for her too.

Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!!!!!

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to!!!!

I am still under the weather from the bad buffalo wings that I had at the Winter Explosion Event......I have been tossing and turning and alternating between chills & sweats.

I am pissed! This is NOT how I anticipated spending my birthday. I am praying that I am not still sick by the time my birthday party comes around on Thursday.

And that's all I have to say about that.

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Kathy Jones-Ferguson!!!

Happy Birthday Kathy Jones Ferguson.....

I miss your presence in my life more than you or anyone else can ever know.

Continue to watch over me please......

Love you my sista from another mista


“Your Birthday is a special day, one that's just for you, a time for doing everything, you have always wanted to do...”

Winter Explosion 2008 - Patti Labelle

Hey Family!!!

This is the weekend leading up to my birthday and I am amped....I am on my way up to The Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in upstate NY for the Annual Winter Explosion 2008. Winter Explosion 2008 is a ski weekend that's mainly for "The Boys" a lot of women couples have begun to take part as well. I haven't been since 2002 designer Franklin Rowe took a group of models up to do a fashion show.

This organization (run by Don Johnson) goes ALL out for their events....for more about what they do

Well...I didn't ACTUALLY go for the ENTIRE ski trip...actually my girl Eda & her partner Becky went and the treated me to a ticket to the Sunday performance of Miss Patti Labelle. Oh wait!!! Did I say that Winter Explosion books some of the biggest acts ever for their annual event??? In the past they have had Faith Evans, Alyson Williams, Martha Wash, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Holliday, Regina Belle, Ann Nesby, Vesta Williams, Rachelle Ferrell & CeCe Peniston....Need I say anymore???

I met up with two brothers named Billy & Wyatt...who so graciously agreed to allow me to ride with them up to the resort. After a bit of confusion about my ride pick was comical...we got underway close to 6pm and I gotta say the ride was actually pretty quick. Billy and Wyatt were absolutely wonderful to be around and we basically chatted and listened to music until Wyatt and I both fell asleep.

I found out from Eda in advance that the "theme" for this year's concert was "A Black & White Masquerade Ball"....when we pulled up....the kids did NOT disappoint...I have never seen so many beautifully and elegantly dressed black folks in a was refreshing to see! The masks were elaborate & beautiful as well. As soon as I crossed the threshold into the lobby I began seeing people I knew...after briefly saying hello to designer Vernest C. Moore & Eric Ellen...I scanned the long line looking for my friends and quickly spotted Eda, Becky & Dede. I got my ticket ran upstairs to put my bag down (I was supposed to be returning to NYC immediately following the after party) and quickly joined them inside.

As I took my seat, I saw that there was a lively game of "The Newlywed Game" going on hosted by Racine, who came in from Washington, DC I believe...HE was hilarious. Also joining Racine on stage was poet ButtaFly Soul - Baby! THIS brother is a goes FAR BEYOND simple poetry....his shyt makes you think.

Well, after the game, a few singers, some giveaways and some impressive stalling by the KNEW ya'll were stalling...) The lights went down and Miss Patti took the stage! I put down my drink and grabbed Miss Eda's camera (Can you all believe I actually forgot my damn camera!!!!) and ran down I was close enough to Miss Patti to see the veins on her was amazing....sang her butt off and the Diva KEPT CHANGING SHOES!!!! Miss Lady had her piano lined with Christian Loboutin PUMPS!!!! Eda & I were SCREAMING!!!!!... AND get this...she brought some folks onstage to sing....she pulled one brother up front...who quickly announced that he wanted to dance...The Diva gave him the floor and HE DANCED HIS AZZ OFF YA'LL!!!!! He was so good that Miss Patti let him STAY on stage and she sang as SHE choreographed his moves!!!! It only took me a moment to realized why the brother looked familar to me!!! It was Billy....the brother that I rode up with!!! I was on my feet cheering him on!!! I felt good FOR him ya'll....he was simply put...amazing.'s too bad I don't have the pictures I took....hopefully someone will send me some shots for this blog.

After the concert folks began heading to the ballrooms for the open bar (Top Shelf Ya'll) and around 2am...I realized I hadn't eaten and I also found out that I was actually going to be returning the next day on the bus with Eda, Becky & Dede. We went off to get something to eat and I wound up ordering buffalo wings and fries....I ate them and then went immediately back to partying. I had a great time and all was well with the world....I don't know what time we actually headed to our rooms....But...

At around 5am my stomach awakened me with an attitude...A REAL ATTITUDE!!! I hit the floor running because I realized I was in the midst of er..."The Bubbly". It didn't take me long to realize that it was the wings & fries that did me in...because that was all that I had eaten. I got back in bed a little while later and didn't awaken again until I heard Becky trying to get dressed informed me that we had 30 minutes left until breakfast ended, so I decided to shower quickly and try to get something to settle my stomach.

I was feeling okay and was actually looking forward to a cup of coffee and entered the almost full ballroom....the breaksfast spread was lovely, pancakes, sausage, Bacon, grits, eggs, potatoes...all of the food groups!!! Normally I would have been giddy but the moment the smell of all that food hit my damn stomach started twitching again....

I bypassed the buffet and decided to get some fruit....I didn't see Becky in the dining room so I took my plate and sat at a table in the back and off to the side. There was one young lady sitting there eating her breakfast in her pajamas and I decided to join her. The table was preset with settings, glasses & pitchers of water & juice. The waiter brought me a cup of coffee and I really did try to eat some fruit...I took a sip of coffee, decided it was too sweet and then the room began to spin....I realized that I wasn't going to be able to stop anything...or get out of that dining room before anyone saw what was happening....

Okay. Stop reading here if you DON'T want to be grossed out.

Remember.....I warned you.

As my diaphragm began to convulse and I began breaking out in a sweat...I had no choice but to quickly grab a glass from the table, put my head down and deposit half the contents of my stomach into that drinking glass.

Now I am sitting there holding a water goblet of last night's snack down on the chair and in absolute HORROR, I realize that I WASN'T as fast as I thought and some of it actually made it onto the tablecloth...I had about 15 seconds before I had to grab a second glass and deposit THE REST of my stomach contents in that glass too. When I lifted my head back up to the table, the sweat was pouring down my face and all I could think of was:

"Now what am I supposed to do with these two glasses of last night's snack and how do I get out of this dining room unnoticed?????

I saw that the coffee station had a large gray bin for dishes etc...that was empty...I very quietly placed the two glasses in it...covered it up, grabbed a towel, returned to the table and tried to clean up the mess that I had discreetly as possible.

I left that dining room embarrassed to my very core...sick as dog and definitely ready to come home.

Oh yeah...and home girl who sat at the table with me?

She never even looked up from her breakfast plate.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they are sticking to their diets."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Time Warner Cable & The NAACP Image Awards






"Beware the fury of a patient man."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Time Warner Cable NY & American Idol HOW PISSED OFF AM I TODAY????

Last night I got home in enough time to relax, have my dinner and a glass of wine. I was nice & comfortable, grabbed the remote, turned on the TV and tuned into channel 5 to catch the announcement of the top 24 on season 7 of American Idol.... why was THE CHANNEL SIGNAL UNAVAILABLE FOR THE ENTIRE BROADCAST????


Let's just say that Time Warner Cable and I are NOT friends at the moment.

I heard through the grapevine that my girl Joanne Borgella made it through!

This is amazing news.

Personally my favorite part of the whole show is "Group Week" that's when most Diva's are either made or broken.

Can't wait to check it out!

Congrats and much success in the coming rounds to Joanne!

Love Ya Kiddo!

Oh yeah....btw...

('cha thought I forgot)

"Success is a journey not a destination. The doing is usually more important than the outcome. Not everyone can be Number 1."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wyclef Jean - No Fatties On Stage - What the Hell???

Please tell me family that someone OTHER than myself (and the person who tipped me off to this) checked out this link from

Wyclef Jean (The Fugees) is in the midst of a live performance and requests that some "curvy" girls join him on stage....when a plus sized gal attempts to honor that request...THAT CRITTER HAS THE NERVE TO SAY THIS ON THE MICROPHONE:




Surely this brother, "has fallen and hit his head"....when is the last time he actually LOOKED at his damn audience????


You know...until I read that crap...I was a BIG Fan of Mr Jean and his music.

He can go straight to hell now.


Funny...after I saw this clip, I googled him for photos of him & his mama....

She looks like a 200 plus pounder to me....I bet she didn't like that either.

His insensitive remarks did more harm to the plus sized industry than he could ever imagine.

Go to Mr. Wyclef's site ( click on forums and put his behind on blast!!!

He has seen the very last of my money.

The "Bootyman" is now my friend.

"Discourtesy does not spring merely from one bad quality, but from several--from foolish vanity, from ignorance of what is due to others, from indolence, from stupidity, from distraction of thought, from contempt of others, from jealousy."

American Idol - Season 7

Hey Ya'll....

Am I the only one who was confused about whether or not Joanne Borgella made it to the top 24??? I watched the ENTIRE broadcast last night without interrruption....I thought I caught a glimpse of Joanne in the last few moments of the broadcast all DRESSED UP and apparently BLOWING on a song....she was so glammed up it made me believe that she had made it to the next round. I never saw her eliminated (although I am pretty sure she had to come back and sing a second time.)

I'm gonna take a leap of faith here and say that she did.

In case you missed Joanne's initial audition, you can check it out here:

The voices this year were so different and unique's gonna be an interesting season...

Stay tuned ya'll!

Have a great day ya'll!!!

We all have the ability, sooner or later, to single-handedly, change the course of the tide in our favour.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Flavor of Love 3 - Season Premiere

Okay Family!

So I swore on a stack of bibles that I would NOT watch the 3rd season of Flavor of Love....alrighty then....I Lied!!! I most CERTAINLY tuned in for the season premiere of Flavor of Love 3....

Do the producers scour the earth for the dumbest ninnies they can find?????? WTF???? And's pretty evident that Flav ain't really feeling the big girls and I was genuinely surprised that he chose"Tik" but then after I saw her walk away....I knew exactly why she was chosen! I just want to know why all the big girls gotta be crazy, clumsy, sloppy, ungraceful and unable to dress themselves properly????? Can someone tell me why?? Huh??? Where are the big fly ass plus sized fashionistas????

Oh wait! Perhaps THEY have enough sense to know that they are better than this show.

Of COURSE most of the ladies he eliminated tonight were internet fan base is just plain WRONG for what they did. I don't know how Tik escaped this elimination round but I bet you she won't last another 2-3 episodes. And "Ice" the Radio DJ from Detroit who reminds him of Brigitte Neilsen....she ALMOST blew it blurting out that she didn't know why she was she won't last either. He's already suspicious. And the twins? Thing 1 and Thing 2....heh-heh...let's just see how far THAT will go. (There is something inherently wrong about sleeping with your SISTER!)

But I will watch the catfights yet again.

Uh...Has ANYONE noticed that Flav is a critter???? (Recognize this word D? lol) A loveable critter....but a critter nonetheless.

I wonder what Hoopz & Deelishis are up to these days.

Funny, this bunch isn't NEARLY as interesting as the last two seasons....I wonder how long it will be before I change the channel again.

"The sadness of the women's movement is that they don't allow the necessity of love. See, I don't personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dance Wars: Bruno vs Carrie Ann

Lol Family!!

I just happened to have the TV on channel 7 while I was updating my blogs. It is the only way I could have ever POSSIBLY caught ABC's "Dance Wars: Bruno Vs Carrie Ann". I only half heartedly tune into Dancing With The Stars....It just doesn't move me unless someone falls on their I KNOW that was mean spirited...but honestly that's really why I watch most of the time. But the REAL question that nags at me is this:

Who the hell are these people and where did they come from? Never heard of either of em'.

I am a big lover of musical theater and I love broadway and MOST dancing...Some of it DOES put me to gotta tell you:

This is one of the dumbest shows I have seen in a minute.

But with the phenomenal success of "High School Musical" this show comes at the right time and I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be a big hit.

The dumb ones always are.

The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.

Amy Winehouse on The Grammy Awards

At 9pm last night, while channel surfing back and forth between "The L Word" (will definitely blog about the new season of this show later on) and "Def Comedy Jam"....I realized I was missing the Grammy Awards....I hurriedly tuned in just in time to catch the musical performances of Beyonce & The Legendary Tina Turner...which I thoroughly enjoyed....they both looked and sounded great...Miss Tina looked AWESOME (Heck!! I wanna look like that at 61!!!) and you haters can talk all you want....Miss Beyonce is all right with me. This was a great "passing of the torch" moment.

Beyonce/Tina Turner's 2008 Grammy Performance - Proud Mary

But let's talk for a moment about Miss Amy Winehouse....Shall we?

Unfortunately, once again The Grammy Awards Show failed to hold my attention for the entire broadcast, as it has done in years I kept channel surfing...but I managed to go back to channel 2 just as they were announcing Amy Winehouse's performance, live via satellite....(ya'll know with all her drug troubles and arrests splattering the front pages of EVERY TABLOID IN AMERICA....Miss Thing had a bit of trouble getting a Visa to get over to the US to perform live).

Amy Winehouse's Grammy Performance Medley - No Good/Rehab

But back to the high do you think she actually was??? She nearly had me fooled until the second song....Mama's frenzied, frenetic, drug tinged (?) performance was all over the place, she was rocking back & forth, altering the lyrics sometimes until they were almost incomprehenisble....("They tried make me go to rehab I said No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no...ROFLMAO!) the only thing she WASN'T doing was er..."the dopefiend scratch"....I couldn't tell at first if she was high or not but by the end of her new interpretation of "Rehab" was clearly evident that she was on SOMETHING....But the "Ki-Ki' is this:

EVEN IN HER ADVANCED STATE OF INEBRIATION....SHE SOUNDED BETTER THAN MOST OF THE STUFF I HEAR ON THE RADIO EVERYDAY!!!! She has one of the most distinctive sounding voices I have heard in a very long time.....she has a phenomenal career ahead of her - IF she can get it together.

I don't know about anyone else, but this was real hard to watch for me. I am a big fan of her music and her talent and I want her to stay here long enough to record her legacy in music. I am praying that this sister gets herself together and/or gets some help before she crashes and burns.....permanently.

The Runway Diva is rooting for you Mama!

I was gonna end this particular blog on the Amy Winehouse note but my girl T-Boogie just called and asked me what I thought of "The Time's" I missed that one (lol...I didn't even know they were scheduled to perform) but I checked it out on YouTube this morning:

Rhianna with Morris Day & The Time - Umbrella/Don't Stop The Music

Quite frankly that "Umbrella" song by Rhianna was the bane of my existence ALL LAST SUMMER!!! So needless to say, I wasn't all that impressed with this new interpretation of that annoying song. I DID however enjoy Morris Day & The Time and I was truly enjoying "Jungle Love" but I do wish I could have seen more of them...(I could have done without that "Don't Stop The Music" Song....didn't like it at all.)

Kanye West's Performance dedication to his mother nearly moved me to tears. I don't know how he got through it without heart goes out to him. The next album he puts out will be either God awful or Friggin' Brilliant....pain tends to bring out the best in an artist...crazy ain't it?

I also caught MY GIRL & 20 Time (20 BABY!!! COUNT EM") Grammy Award Winner Aretha Franklin with BeBe Winans (Hmmm...I almost didn't recognize Bebe...he's lost quite a bit of matter though, he looked good), The Clark Sisters (I loved what they were wearing ya'll...the crisp white shirts and the long satin skirts looked beautiful to me), Trintee 5:7 & Israel & The New Breed. Now you KNOW Miss Ree-Ree is my IDOL so I am NOT about to say anything bad about her OR what she was wearing.....I just need to know WHO KEEPS PUTTING SPAGHETTI STRAPS ON HER DRESSES AND WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THE MATERIALS FOR THE STRAPS!!!!?????

Anyway, the last time I tuned back in...I just caught Herbie Hancock getting his award for Album of The Year. Who da' Thunk It?

You know I used to LOVE the grammy's and I swear as a musican....I looked forward to seeing them every year....but I have been so disappointed by the last couple of broadcast that my interest is waning....and for me...

That's a Shame. But I am eternally hopeful....I will still tune in again next year.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy 45th Birthday Deb Divah!!!

Happy Birthday to ya, Happy Birthday to ya...Happy Birthday!!

Friday night I mustered up the energy to put on some clothes and make it down to my home girl (and Scrabble Bud) Debbie's 45th Birthday. I have known Deb for quite a few years now and if you follow my know that I am always trying to drag her somewhere with But I digress...This would be my first opportunity to meet some of her friends and "exes" Inviting exes always makes for good party

Anyway, I was supposed to drag Jacqueline with me (since she lives nearby) but she backed out on me at the last minute because she had a test the next day. So I jumped on the bus and took the short ride to 103rd st. Actually, I have grown quite accustomed to that area from Columbus Ave to Amsterdam Ave. My home girl Bev Howard lived at 784 Columbus for YEARS, Crazy ass Carlton lived on Amsterdam & My Homeboy Ronn Thornton(RIP Boo!) lived right around the corner from Carlton!!!

Well Deb lives right smack in the middle and it took all the energy I had NOT to roll up at her "Red Carpet/Black Tie" event in my jeans & multi colored Nikes!! So I put on some black velvet jeans, boots & a sparkly top and my best party face and walked the short walk from the M11 bus stop to her house. We'd had a practice make up run the night before, that turned out well so I had my tools (lol...brushes) and my makeup in my bag.

As I was heading to the entrance to her building, I ran into old school DJ Reggie Wells...who lol...never seems to remember who I am, unless I mention Diva (which I We chatted for a moment and he gave me a flyer to his next party and I bid him farewell. When I entered Deb's apartment, the party was in full swing! She (Deb) loves decorating and throwing parties (I think Halloween is her favorite holiday) so I wasn't surprised that she had the Red Carpet laid out, the walls in her hallway were filled with lights and "Walk of Fame" stars for her guests to sign and the walls of her living room were covered with tables for 6, each with a bottle of champagne and a chandelier hanging over each table. She also had a mock stage with red velvet curtains for photographs, a mock film strip hung from window to wall and a beautiful spread of munchies including fresh steamed shrimps, crudites, meats and assorted cheeses, chicken wings & dips.

The birthday girl was all done up in an evening dress by Igigi ( gift) with her hair pulled back in an elegant ponytail. She looked great and she was really happy so I didn't want to mess up her vibe, so we skipped the whole makeup/lashes thing...since the evening was getting late. As I entered the living room I introduced myself to a brother named Dwight (or Dwayne...hmmm...I am not sure) who was very nice but pretty much kept to himself all night. A beautiful lady who works in the same office as Deb's roommate Deb. Yeah..Deb's roomie's name is Debbie too! (But we will call her "Dubby" so as not to confuse you) I cannot remember her name but I remember thinking that she was just really beautiful! She made Deb a Red Velvet Cake for her birthday - Dang ya'll!!! That was the best red velvet cake I have had in a good long while!!! I ate EVERY bite - INCLUDING the cream cheese frosting!!! Also seated in the living room was Deb's longtime buddy, Sparky. I hadn't seen him in a it was good to reconnect.

As I moved on to the back of the house in search of the birthday girl, I saw a beautiful painting that's supposed to be a likeness of Deb that Dubby painted. It was Deb facing the sun...arms outstretched...weave flowing!!! I have a Diana Ross "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" moment every time I look at it. I also met one of her exes who, henceforth and forever more will be christened "Uncle Fester" because I swear to Goodness...THAT'S WHO HE LOOKED LIKE TO ME!!! The brother had a little er "dif-few-cul-tee" with the english language....I will only linger on this long enough to say...that brother provided me with laughs the ENTIRE night....nope make that the ENTIRE WEEK!!! God Bless Him. He was in Dubby's room with her and another chick that I didn't know.

I went into Deb's room and found her, her friend Don (newly christened "Scooby"), her cousin Gina & as we were talking the sister who was in Dubby's room made her way over to us and introduced herself. Her name was Allison and she was a little ol thing with this beautiful tattoo on her upper back. It was a dedication to her late parents and although I thought the tattoo was really beautiful and I photographed it....I will respect her wishes and not put it on my site. The child went to make me a drink and brought me back something that I nearly choked on!!! Had to send her back several times to keep adding juice to it!!! lol.

The group was small but lively and I actually wound up having a great time lol..AFTER we turned off the lovely jazz music that Deb was playing and hooked up my Ipod to play my specially created "Deb's Birthday Mix" at the last minute!! Lolololol

After an interesting game of "How Do YOU Know Deb"? The Deb Divahs tried valiantly to get a murder mystery game going but their plans were quickly thwarted by Allison...ROFLMAO....who CLEARLY wanted NO PARTS of any game playing.

Later on we were joined by Deb's friend Denise - who I have personally christened "Marvin & Tammi" (after watching her show up dressed as Marvin Gaye AND Tammi Terrell at one Halloween party!) and a friend of Gina's showed up towards the later hours.

The Champagne was flowing, the convo was most of and after Deb began opening her gifts, the party was moving along nicely. We all gathered in the hallway to sign our "Stars" on the Wall of fame and after we sang happy birthday...the party began winding down. At around 3am - I scooped up my Ipod and announced that I was going home. Deb looked tired and folks were clearly NOT taking the the music stops AND the liquor is gone AND the HOST has gone to bed, er...that's a pretty good sign that the party is over!!!!

Lol...I had a great time and you know I was back over there bright and early the next day for the post party wrap up!!!

Love Ya D! Happy Birthday Chica!

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Farewell to CD 101.9

CD 101.9 drops jazz for "adult rock" format

4:54 PM EST, February 5, 2008

Goodbye Grover Washington Jr. Hello, Radiohead.As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, after 20 years, WQCD (CD 101.9) has dropped smooth jazz, flipping to what its owner calls "an innovative new Adult Rock format."Now known as WRXP, the station will feature such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana, The Who, Oasis, R.E.M., and Radiohead.

Station owner Emmis Commununications cited "declining audience" as the reason for the switch. The smooth jazz format can still be heard on the frequency's HD2 channel.The first song played by the new station was the Velvet Underground's "Rock and Roll."

Huh?? What is this??? Did ya'll hear this one family??? Dang! No warnings, no protests, no farewell show, no nothing....this was done very quietly. My homegirl Deb told me about this yesterday, we always played this station while we played Scrabble. While I am not the biggest fan of jazz lol...just about every laundromat in Harlem kept their radios on CD 101.9 while you waited for your clothes to wash and dry. This station has been a part of my musical life for as long as I can remember....along with WCBS-FM ("We Play Your Favorite Oldies...") I am saddened to see it go and alarmed to see that Jazz is being relegated to "underground" status. It still one of the purist forms of music to still exist.

I wonder what station my laundromat will leave playing now.

"The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Article by The Runway Diva in the February 2008 Issue of Plus Model Magazine

Good Morning Family!

When you have a moment from your busy schedules, check out my new article on "Model Behavior" in the February 2008 issue of Plus Model Magazine:

This month's cover features the amazingly gorgeous (and totally nude) Victoria Castillo...

You GO Girl!!!

Here's a direct link to my article...Enjoy!

May your day be a phenomenal one! Thanks as always for your continued support!



“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

NY Fashion Week Continues......

I attended another "Fashion Week" fashion show yesterday....this one was in a Chinatown venue. I already had my day planned but Fallon called me at the last minute and asked me to attend the event with her. So I quickly got myself together and I met up with Fallon at the office and we caught a taxi downtown. The ride was uneventful except for the rude taxi driver of Eastern Indian descent....who decided that he would NOT drop us off in front of our venue on Mott Street as we requested but a 1/2 block over on Canal.

We walked the rest of the way and met 2 other models in front of the venue. I opted to take the second elevator after an asian woman decided to jump on the elevator right before the door closed....overloading it....I jumped my behind right off as they all laughed at me. Hah! I have been stuck in more than enough elevators to know that I didn't want to be stuck on THAT little one.

After getting off on the 5th floor...I realized that I had been at this spot monster and I are underground "house" heads and we've attended parties that DJ Ruben Toro throws at this place before. Anyway....after checking in with the gracious sister at the door and opting not to check our coats...we got our press passes and headed straight for the bar. Their were two signature drinks being was a cocktail that was infused with violet petals...(it tasted like room deodorizer or lavender Fabuloso laundry softener) The other drink was much more to our had lime and kumquats and sour mix...not sure what the actual mixer. The main room was already set up but at 6:30pm (doors opened at 6:00pm with a 7:00pm show time) the room was still fairly empty. As I waited for the "mixologist" to finish my cocktail, two women body painted like an American flag sauntered up to the bar to try and order cocktails. They were pleasant enough to show pose long enough for me to get a pic and after they got turned down on their drink requests (No alcohol for the models until AFTER the show) they disappeared backstage.

I ran into photographer Joe Clark from who was busily setting up his cameras. Arena Turner (Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance Paris) was the evening's host and I looked forward to seeing her since I hadn't seen her since we hung out in Florida last summer. As we got seated in the main hall (which was decorated with balloons, flags, lights & streamers) I was dismayed as we took our seats to see several models (I will assume that they were in the show) prancing around and walking through the main hall in their underwear???. My years in production taught me that this is a big "no-no"....once the "house" is open, models are not to be seen until showtime and are relegated to the backstage area.

Shortly after arriving I ran into Tonya Giddens, who was there supporting some of her friends in the show. Sitting across the runway from me was shoe designer Etu Evans, who told me that he just returned home to NY from being on the road to find that thieves had cleaned his shop out while he was gone. I was glad to hear he was taking it in stride and not letting it affect his journey. After getting a request from the house photographer to pose for some photos, I followed her backstage and posed for a few shots. lol...the backstage area reminded me of the some of the things I went through during Guyana Fashion Week last year (Logistics, logistics, logistics ya'll!!!) was looked to be about a hundred models, designers, hair & makeup people (okay I'm exaggerating a bit squeezed into a space that was designed to hold say....fifty models. Get the picture??? Not enough room and by the time I got back was hot and funky...

After an hour delay in the show start time....the show opened with MFC3 finalist Arena Turner entering the floor- face "Done" and hair "sitting", in a body hugging black dress by Baby Phat. This is how Miss Arena got my attention at the Dallas castings for MFC Paris....she was wearing a white Baby Phat dress that looked absolutely beautiful on her! Special note to the producers...take the time to have someone properly introduce your Host/MC for the evening....I hated the way Miss Arena was so casually introduced. But I digress....she took the stage and introduced Miss Full Figured 2008 - Yvonne Forbes who took to the runway in a bleached blonde bob. Yvonne was followed by those same two ladies painted as the flag and they came down the runway holding a banner introducing the first designer....who I believe was the same brother I met at Theresa Randolph's Miss Full Figured 2008 pageant...named Dexter Ivy. Dexter considers himself to be a jack of all trades in regards to fashion. In this instance he was in designer mode....his designs kicked off the show... he finished off his presentation with his signature walk and a young female protege.

Each segment was followed by a body painted sign card girl....and while this may have been a great novelty idea at the beginning....the novelty had worn thin on me by the third designer and I was tired of seeing them after a while. The segments by Qristal Designs & Abby Z were filled with familiar faces....veteran plus models, Jeannie Ferguson, Rocky Grate, Miss Veronica (Lord...I can NEVER remember this child's last name!!! Apologies, mama!), Miss Full Figured NY 2007...Troy Safi as well as newbies...Pamela Carrington & Christina Mendez.

By the time the 4th designer's segment was announced, I was tired and unfortunately bored....I had the same problem with this show as I did with several other's I have been to recently....someone needs to be offstage calling the show. There is no reason for me to have to sit there and watch ANOTHER MODEL pose at the top of the runway while she WAITS FOR THE PREVIOUS MODEL TO FINISH!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGHHH!!!

I can't think of ANYTHING that will make a show drag on tediously than this common error that I see many new models making.

Once again people!!! The rule is this:

(Runway Diva tip #1 - When you see a model at the end of the's time for you to WALK...if he or she is headed back when you come out...YOU ARE ALREADY LATE!!!..) In the future...have someone posted backstage to call the show.

I will never "dog" out anyone's show...(we ALL gotta start some where family!) but I do try to give honest and constructive criticism. My problems with this show are similar to the shows I have been invited to this past year, so my advice will be the same as the advice I have given in the past:

Start on Time!!!! - This is a must and one of the first things I learned while working with DSE, you must train your audiences, models, designers & staff to arrive on time...the only way to do that is to let them know that "the show must go on"....with or without you. Things can (and do) happen and human beings can be notoriously unreliable. If you only have 4 designers by show time (and you had 8 scheduled to appear) and you have 50 people in the audience (but you were expecting 150)...start your show on time for those 50 people and put on the most fabulous show ever WITH THOSE 4 DESIGNERS! It is not fair to those 50 people to hold them hostage and make them wait because the people you hired don't have enough respect for you or your audience to show up on time. Starting more than 15 minutes late is unacceptable! I learned under the tutelage of Gwen DeVoe about being punctual and I have seen her tell many a late designer/model/makeup artist/commentator that showed up late to "have a seat and enjoy the show....your scene was cut when you failed to arrive by check in time." - KNOW that at her next event, if that person was even invited back can believe they were either on time or If you have friends/audience members who insist upon arriving "fashionably late"...then they will just end up missing most of your show, sorry...that's just how it goes. Oh helps to have a "back up plan" as well.

(FYI - Often times folks will show up late because YOU have a history of starting's best to train properly them from the beginning).

Less is More - My sole purpose for attending these events is generally to see the fashion shows - I am not really interested in seeing stilt walkers, fire breathers or contortionists....get it? I thought the nude body painting was an interesting gimmick but after the 4th time of seeing those painted sign card girls....I'd had enough. Don't try to cram too many events into one evening - it drags the evening on and it only takes away from the heart of the event....the show.

Quality instead of Quantity - Try to avoid putting newbie models in your show who have absolutely ZERO experience - I don't care how beautiful they are or how many tickets they's hard to watch from an audience point of view. 9 times out of 10 most people will remember the models who were really awful and that isn't the experience you really want them to walk away with is it? Take the time to train your newbies...if you don't have enough time to get them "runway ready" then sit them in the audience and have them watch the vets to see how it's done.

My last piece of advice is strictly for my "Veterans" (and KNOW who you are!) after you have been in the business for a certain number of years and have many successful shows under your belt - there comes a time when decisions have to be made about which shows will be beneficial to you and which ones will not. As a "Runway Diva" I know that we ALL have a love of walking the runway, particularly when there aren't a whole lot of shows being produced for us. But those of you who are serious about your careers know that the time will come when it's a question of what is good or bad for your "image". Once you reach a certain level...there are just some things that are just not a good look for you be doing anymore. ( have reached the point as an actress where you are now performing on Broadway...would you really consider doing a high school production of "Dreamgirls"for free, at this point in your career, just because you love singing? Hmmmm....

Just a thought.

When being approached by promoters and/or producers, after a while there are certain specific questions you need to ask yourself when trying to make a decision about doing a show. Ask yourself and then ask THEM:

  • Will my doing your show benefit me?

  • Am I being paid (be it cash, clothing or photos)?

  • If my "pay' is in photo form - are these photographs that I can actually use in my book?

  • Will there be someone influential in the audience who can further my career/dreams?

  • Will my being in your show help or hurt my image?

If the answer to these questions is "no" then you already have your answers before you start.

Remember that YOU are the product - invest in yourselves wisely.

Just some food for thought people....before the next show.

Love Ya!

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."