Monday, March 31, 2008

Model Mia Amber Weds Comedian Mike Yard

Yesterday, on a magnificent Sunday afternoon I had honor of attending the wedding ceremony of my home girl, plus sized model extraordinaire...Mia Amber Davis and my favorite comedian Michael Yard. The wedding was held at Jericho Terrace in Long Island, NY. I had been praying all week for the weather to be beautiful for Mia's most special day and my prayers were most definitely answered. It was a gorgeous day, not a cloud in the sky...absolutely perfect weather to be married in.

The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 12 noon and the guests were all escorted to a holding area, where we could have coffee or tea and relax until the ceremony began. While we were waiting, I took a moment to survey the room and I saw quite a few of my favorite comedians coming through the doors. I mean Mike IS a you just KNEW there were gonna be some of them in the house. Among the many comedians(I simply cannot remember everyone's names...apologies guys) coming through the doors I ran into, Dean Edwards (Dark chocolate cutie with the wild hair), Drew Fraser (LOVE him!), John Smooth (Been bumping into him ever since we met at Freddie Jackson's Bday Party), Ruperto Vanderpool (Cuz I'm Dominican Baby!), A brother named Figman whose act I caught many years ago with the late Monteria Ivey at Caroline's doing a bit on Colonial Williamsburg that had me laid out! A beautiful female comedian all done up in yellow named Mugga, Marc Theobald, Sinck and big Italian guy named Sal. Also coming through the doors were Susan Moses & her husband Craig Williams, Sunil & Leo, Nicole Brewer & her fiance, photographer D'Lo Brown (turning it out in a "Pretty Woman" inspired polka dot print), Madeline Figueroa-Jones & her husband Luke, Shante Gordon & her fiance Tony, Gwen "Diva" DeVoe & her husband didn't take long for that holding area to fill up with all of Mia & Mike's well wishers!

After a brief wait, we were all escorted upstairs to another room where the actual ceremony was to be held. The room was beautifully decorated but a little chilly for me (I hate having cold air blowing on my bald so I opted to wear my mink beret. I left my bag on my chair with Al & Diva and quickly hoofed it to the back of the room to take my place beside the piano. Mia had asked me last year if I would sing a song during her ceremony and after getting over the shock of being happily obliged. I managed to snag a beautiful violet & lime colored dress from Douglas Says to wear and I was feeling oh so beautiful when we arrived.

The song that she chose was Etta James' At Last and her cousin Elder Marcus Lewis accompanied me....and I gotta tell you - he was absolutely BRILLIANT!!!! I loved singing with him and I thought we worked well together in this capacity....I would sing again with him ANYTIME (just shout me out Marcus!!!). Most of the guests were not aware that I was singing, and since we were in the BACK of the one knew it was me singing until they turned around and actually looked at me and that in itself nearly made me laugh. The bridal party entered the room off of our song and I was nearly moved to tears to have been asked to share in their special day.

The ceremony moved fairly quickly after that, Mia was escorted down the aisle by her mom, Ms. Ida Bishop-Davis. Mia (as you all well made and absolutely stunning bride - whew - Just stunning ya'll! And she was hiliarious when the minister asked if anyone has a reason for these two not to be wed....Mia turned around and looked at us like we'd better not say NUFFIN!!!! was hilarious.

Hey! Did I say that Mike Yard looked mighty sharp in his white & Black - MIGHTY SHARP!!! As they turned to take their first kiss as husband and wife and then "Jump The Broom".....I have never seen a couple more in love than these two.

After the formal ceremony was out of the way, every body hightailed it down stairs for the er...."cocktail hour" & Mike don't drink...but quite a few of us DO! The spread was magnificent, Mike & Mia had every kind of food & drink you could think of to keep us busy as they went off to shoot pictures. They were a little short on seats & tables but you know how WE do....we made it work for

When the bridal party returned from taking pictures, we were escorted to ANOTHER room for the actual reception, where we all found our table markers and made our way to our tables. I was seated at the same table with Diva & Al, Tonya Giddens, Rocky Grate & the always fab Lisa Scott. I was glad to be seated with Lisa, because I don't get to see her too often and we were able to talk and catch up on each other's lives. I didn't bring my monster along and I missed him during Mia & Mike's first dance (sniff!). So I decided to briefly join Diva & Al on the dance floor for the first dance!

There was a DJ and a Steel Drum band came in and played a few selections as well. I had already been prepped by Mia not to expect TOO much house music - so when it came on all the house heads ran to the dance floor and we partied for like...all 3-4 of those I heard something I liked and I grabbed Luke Jones and took off to the dance floor (and then I left as soon as they started playing "Before I Let Go?I Found Lovin"). But I managed to cut a rug with Leo for a moment as well - On the dance floor I ran into, BGU's Tasha & Jeannie Ferguson & partner Ife, Model Lissa Essling & Designer Monif C.

After all that dancing it was time for dinner and the dinner was lovely too, we had a choice of chicken, beef, shrimp, fish or veggie plate, and I thought that was awesome. I had a steak and my steak was so big I couldn't finish it (How often does THAT happen family???). Followed by a dessert plate complete with a slice of wedding cake, a canoli and an italian pastry with coffee.

Of course it wouldn't be a comedian's wedding if the comedians on hand couldn't actually say anything, so the MC, Angelo Lozado (also a comedian) announced that they could come up and take 2 minutes to give their blessings to Mike & Mia and I thoroughly enjoyed them (Not a fat joke in the house...I LOVE IT!!!).

Well of course all good things must come to an end and before you knew it, we were headed out to the hall where a candy bar had been set up, so you could bag your own personal bag of candy as a keepsake....of course by the time I got outside, there were only marshmallows & M&M's left (M&M = Mike & Mia...get it?), but I managed to take a nice bag of chocolate home for my monster.

After we got our coats we headed outside to retrieve the car from the valet, as we were waiting I saw many folks coming outside with table flowers, displays and even the big tall glass candy canisters in hand!

My people....I love my people and I am glad to say...


Seriously though family, it was beautiful, beautiful wedding and the most fun I have had in a shoulda been there ya'll!

You know....I never did see Mia throw her bouquet and I KNOW Mike didn't throw a garter!

Did she actually throw it? How did I miss that? Does anyone know???

Mike & Mia....Thank you meant the world to me to share that day with you...I wish you both all the love & success in the world.

True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chikezie gets the boot on American Idol

Hey Family!

Last week I half heartedly tuned into American Idol, hoping to be dazzled by the vocal performances but unfortunately most of what I saw really looked like appearances on a high school talent show. I dunno family, perhaps it's me but very few of the finalists this year have that whole "Star Quality" thing about them. I mean the "IT" factor is pretty much what will determine how far you'll go in your career. And few of them have it this year and I don't know why that is....I really don't.

Chikezie sang a very cheesy and karaoke-ish version of the Luther Vandross classic "If Only For One Night" - Not the best version but certainly not the worst I have ever heard....he just didn't sing the hell out of it, as he should have. I think his choice of song was a bad one and if you watched any of the previous AI's, then you should know that ANY song that either Luther, Whitney or Beyonce has performed is almost always a bad choice. Unless you do something COMPLETELY different, you run the risk of being compared as a sad imitation of the original. And what generally happens is that most of the singers NEVER take the songs and make them their own - they usually just do lukewarm copies of the original version.

Chikezie's mistake in song choice reeks of the same thing that got Season 6 cutie Jared Cotter eliminated before he could seal his position in the top 12. Jared was in position 13 (I think) when he got eliminated for doing a poor man's copy of the Marvin Gaye classic "Let's Get It On",

while the song wasn't bad - it just came off really karaoke-ish and he sort of played to the crowd down front just like Chikezie did. History has shown us that for some reason, this technique just doesn't play well to tv audiences. And unfortunately, I really think that whatever "IT" is.....uh...Chikezie unfortunately, just doesn't have it.

He's an okay singer and that's pretty much about it for me.

I knew he'd be in the bottom three, but because I couldn't watch (I was doing my monthly "Soul at Ceol's" in Brooklyn on elimination night) I don't know who else was there with him. Hmmm....I am wondering if Jason Castro (the kid with the icky locks and amazing eyes) was also in the bottom three because his song was so boring he could have kicked off the "Nyquil/Sominex" tour with this boring ass song.

I actually thought he was going to be the one to go. I hear that Syesha Mercado was in the bottom three AGAIN last week and this is simply not a good sign....dang....I actually love her voice....I am not quite understanding why she isn't connecting with the voters....

Stay Tuned Family!

“This is a fault common to all singers, that among their friends they will never sing when they are asked; unasked, they will never desist.”

Flavor of Love 3 & My laugh of the day....

So Family.....

I have been valiantly trying to watch Flavor of Love 3, maybe it's me but it just isn't holding my attention this season. The contestants this season are pretty boring compared to their predecessors. What has been keeping me in stitches the most is the way he keeps butchering the english language but more importantly, it's those wonderful one liners that keep falling out of Flav's mouth.

This week it was finally time for Shy (Mona Lisa) to make her exit, which was unfortunate because SHE was definitely the funniest of the bunch....and she alone gave Flav and the producers more material than they knew what to do with...

Yo! The green toxic gas that they had coming out of her mouth when she talked was hysterical. That gas gag topped the bicycle bell that they used last season on Hottie whenever she blinked!

Dude (Flav) called her front and center and stated rather eloquently on numerous occasions regarding her "doodie breath":

"I don't know what's going on in your mouth"

"Your breath is like Crystal Meth"

"It's gonna take more than a mint necklace..."
"What is that smell? - You want a piece of gum?"

and MY PERSONAL all time fave????

Yo! Flav said home girl's breath smelled like "Chum".


(that line above would be me - flat lining..cuz I was laid out after that Chum line - I swear!)

Do ya'll know what CHUM is???? ROFLMAO!!!! This is NOT a compliment!

Chum is the ground up dead fish that they feed to sharks!!!!! Ow!
“I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. he told me to wear a brown tie.”

Happy Birthday Devin!!!!!

I am sending a special birthday shoutout and some Aunty Love to my nephew Devin, who is celebrating his birthday today!

My Dev is the closest to becoming a mommy that I have ever gotten. I love him to infinity and the experience of having him in my life during that brief period altered the course of my life forever....and it gave me a newfound respect for single mother's that I most definitely didn't have before!

This is one of my favorite shots of my lil' boo-boo...

Enjoy your day my love!

Happy Birthday and many more....

Love Aunty!

"I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Federal Judge: Enough With the Stupid Names!!!

Good Morning Family!

I got this article via email a few days ago and I was ABSOLUTELY LAID OUT (ROFLMAO!)when I read it.....

It's not a REAL article but it comes from a site called The People's News...which I think is satire for the most part.

I thought it was funny enough to share.....have a safe & blessed day's a laugh to begin your day with......

Lord have mercy.....CLITORIA Jackson????

By Bill Matthews

After Judge Cabrera’s historic ruling, little Clitoria Jackson will likely undergo a name change.

(DETROIT) In a decision that’s expected to send shockwaves through the African-American community—and yet, give much relief to teachers everywhere—a federal judge ruled today that black women no longer have independent naming rights for their children. Too many black children—and many adults—bear names that border on not even being words, he said.

“I am simply tired of these ridiculous names black women are giving their children,” said U.S. Federal Judge Ryan Cabrera before rendering his decision. “Someone had to put a stop to it.”

The rule applies to all black women, but Cabrera singled out impoverished mothers.

“They are the worst perpetrators,” he said. “They put in apostrophes where none are needed. They think a ‘Q’ is a must. There was a time when Shaniqua and Tawanda were names you dreaded. Now, if you’re a black girl, you hope you get a name as sensible as one of those.”

Few stepped forward to defend black women—and black women themselves seemed relieved.

“It’s so hard to keep coming up with something unique,” said Uneeqqi Jenkins, 22, an African-American mother of seven who survives on public assistance. Her children are named Daryl, Q’Antity, Uhlleejsha, Cray-Ig, Fellisittee, Tay’Sh’awn and Day’Shawndra.

Beginning in one week, at least three white people must agree with the name before a black mother can name her child.

“Hopefully we can see a lot more black children with sensible names like Jake and Connor,” Cabrera said.

His ruling stemmed from a lawsuit brought by a 13-year-old girl whose mother created her name using Incan hieroglyphics.

“She said it would make me stand out,” said the girl, whose name can’t be reproduced by The Peoples News’ technology. “But it’s really just stupid.”

The National Association of Elementary School Teachers celebrated Cabrera’s decision.

“Oh my God, the first day of school you’d be standing there sweating, looking at the list of names wondering ‘How do I pronounce Q’J’Q’Sha.’?” said Joyce Harmon, NAEST spokeswoman. “Is this even English?”

The practice of giving black children outlandish names began in the 1960s, when blacks were getting in touch with their African roots, said historian Corlione Vest. But even he admits it got out of hand.

“I have a niece who’s six. I’m embarrassed to say I can’t even pronounce her name,” said Vest, a professor at Princeton University. “Whenever I want to talk to her, I just wait until she looks at me and then I wave her over.”

Cabrera’s ruling exempted black men because so few of them are actually involved in their children’s lives.

Note: This article is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News. It’s not real, but we hope it made you think.

"It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Soul At Ceol's - The March Edition

Happy Thursday Family!

Well, as history has shown us, no matter how well you may THINK you are there will ALWAYS be some "speed bumps" in the roads of

Last night was my third segment in the "Soul At Ceol's" series at Ceol's Pub in Brooklyn, where Soul Music is served with Soul Food. I perform at this spot the last Wednesday of every month from 8pm to 10pm. We have been fortunate thus far - the crowds have been strong, the food has been great and the feed back has been pretty good....

So imagine my surprise when we (Jacqueline & I) arrive at Ceol's almost an hour early (well WE thought we were early until we saw the sign with a new starting show time of and saw that the place was nearly empty.

As soon as we entered the doors of Ceol's we ran into Cluni & Miss Eda dining at the front of the house because the back was empty. We sat and chatted for a moment and then someone told us that Mary Moore, my publicist and Chef Syncere's wife was already seated in the back. So we packed up our things and Eda & Cluni had their meal moved to the back, so we could all sit together. Shortly after we were surprised by my longtime friend Craig Bannister who lives right up the street. A few of Mary's friends also joined her later on.

lol...Murphy's Law teaches us that whatever can go wrong....generally will go wrong...and baby let me tell you - Murphy HIMSELF was in the house last night!

The empty room was the first sign for me but if I should have missed that sign....Another one smacked me right in my face when we were setting up the room! My usual sound person Alex (who I love, love LOVE!!!) told me that he was leaving early that evening and promised me that he would show the person who was covering for him how to set up the mike and the music BEFORE he left.........It seemed as if everyone was leaving early for the evening......

Well, I don't think the wind was on Alex's back good before we started having problems with the sound system (which worked perfectly last month!). My first set was scheduled to begin at 8pm and it took till almost 8:30 before someone figured out what the problem that point it was still cool because only two more folks had joined us by that time.

By 8:30pm, I had finally taken the stage and began my first set with Aretha of course - Rock Steady to be exact. When I saw what was happening in the dining room (lol...nothing for the most part), I nearly changed that first set to almost all ballads but decided to just continue as I had planned. I had to have a chat with the two men who had joined us while we were working on the sound system because they actually thought that they were going to sit behind me during my set and THEN TALK OVER ME.....NOT!

Mike in hand, track still playing and still singing - I politely informed them that most certainly was NOT going to happen on my watch. lol...they smiled and were a little quieter after that but they got the hell out of Dodge when they finished their Guinness's.

Towards the end of my first set a few more friends joined Mary at her table and as I was ending my first set, I found out that one of the guests at Mary's table, a brother named Smokey was not only a singer but he was going to be singing a few tunes that evening. That was most certainly a surprise to me - this was the first I'd heard about someone joining me on the bill and I gotta tell you honestly - I wasn't happy about it at all.....not at all. It's a "Singer's Courtesy" Thing....But nonetheless, I asked him to join me onstage for the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell tune "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", which was comical in itself because Smokey didn't know the words (he only sings original tunes)....but it was fun way to pass the time, so I asked him if he'd join me later, once I found something I thought he might know.

As I took my break, I headed outside and automatically began looking for a ciggie to process my thoughts. Jacqueline caught me a the bar and as we began talking I lost my craving for the smoke. Syncere came out shortly after and we had a lengthy chat and together we cleared up some things for the both of us.

By the time my second set came around, several more people had joined us for dinner and Mr Smokey had performed a couple of selections (with some very interesting lyrics I'm told) for the crowd. The second set went off with out too many glitches and Smokey even rejoined me onstage for an er...very interesting rendition of The Temptations "My Girl" & "Just My Imagination" folks actually began trickling in at around 15 minutes to the shows end. Well something they heard made them come back to the dining area and make some requests for the Runway Diva to sing a little longer....and after a few hot toddies (my new favorite winter drink!)....I happily obliged.

It was close to Midnight when we managed to get out of Ceol's relatively unscathed, I left Mr Smokey in the dining room, where he was finishing up his drink - I was tired and ready for this night to be!

By the way.......

Soul at Ceol's happens the last Wednesday of Every Month from 7pm til 10pm.
for more info - check out
“There is only three certainties in tis life. The laws of physics, the laws of Murphy and death.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Okaerinasai James "Mr. Diamond" Durant!!!!

Okaerinasai means "Welcome Home" in Japanese....So I am sending a special "Welcome Home" greeting to my boy, James "Mr. Diamond" Durant...who called me today to tell me he was in NYC briefly for the funeral of his uncle.

James and I became friends back in the 90's when I was singing with a band called "Probable Cause" and we were doing our thing at the open mic showcase I was hosting at Willie's Lounge. James was my keyboard player....and basically my musical director and we have been friends ever since.

He moved out to Japan many years ago to seek his fortune and has been living there ever since. James is a musician and an entrepreneur. He's doing very well for himself and I am as proud as a peacock for him.

Anyway, he called me (at the last he ALWAYS does) and told me he was leaving the city in the morning but was staying up in the Bronx with a friend name Ronald, who I affectionately nicknamed "Soul Glo" a looooooooooooooonnnnnnnngggggggggg time ago. I haven't "seent" my homie in a minute so I jumped on the 6 train and headed up to the Castle Hill section of the Bronx where everyone was meeting.

Ronald picked me up from the train station and we stopped to pick up a pizza then we took the short drive back to his apartment. I was overjoyed to see my old friend and we spent the remainder of the evening reliving old times and some of his old band mates even showed up. We ate pizza & had cocktails while we watched and old video of some classic "Willie's Lounge" performances that I had on tape.

I even got to speak to an old flame of mind on the telephone (he was gone before I got there) and I was SHOCKED when this mofo didn't know who I was!!!!! (lol...I didn't bother telling him my last name....I figured my first name should have been enough...I tend to leave lasting impressions on the men that I date...), Anyway, he called back later remiss about not immediately remembering who I was (lol) and had a very nice conversation....which of course led to much teasing from James & crew when I got off the phone. (James doesn't forget anything!).

Shortly after James' only daughter, Lauren, stopped by and I got to meet his beautiful and very intelligent GRANDDAUGHTER for the first time. She reminds me very much of her mama when she was a little girl. I have only seen Lauren a few times in her life and all of it when she was a little one but she has grown up to be quite the beautiful young woman and she was rocking a FLY short cut that I was simply loving!

She also took this time to announce that she was a few months pregnant again....I don't think her Dad liked THAT news too much!

After Lauren & Company departed James & Ronald told me a hysterical story about his uncle's funeral and how it wound up being a "free for All" slugfest both IN AND OUTSIDE of the church ending with at least NINE POLICE CARS pulling up in front of the church.

James says his family, with a previous 30 years attendance history, will never be invited back to this church again....ROFLMAO!!!

My People!!! YOU GOTTA LOVE US!!!!

When I left James, I was tired from laughing and he was exhausted from Jet Lag. I wish you safe travel home and I swear I'mma get over there soon!

Love Ya!

“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Popeye's on 125th & St Nick Bites The Dust????

The former home of KFC on 125th and 8th ( more chicken for YOU...Linda Mann!)

Gasp Family!!!!

I just exited the train station at 125th & St. Nicholas Ave and saw that my beloved Popeye's on the corner was shuttered!!!! I don't know about anyone else but absolute TERROR struck my heart when I saw that.

For all you NYC "Party People In the Know".....this particular Popeye's is generally open until like 2-3 o'clock in the it's where EVERYONE who is ANYONE will stop off for some late night munchies after a full night of partying. Lol....ain't nothing like some fried chicken and biscuits to sop up all that Hennessy/Grey Goose/Alize/Remy Martin/ get the picture-right fam?

Anywhoo, I can personally recall MANY a night when a carload of me and my inebriated friends have stumbled into this Popeye's on a late nite chicken chicken would be so good, fresh & hot and we were usually TIPSY & STARVING so we'd be eating that food right in the car!!!

If you wanted to hang and try to sober up a bit after partying......Everybody KNEW it was either Popeye's or M&G's Diner (down home country cooking at its finest) on the next corner if you wanted to eat UPTOWN......late at night.

After walking the length of the block on 125th Street between Frederick Douglas Blvd (8th Avenue) and St Nick....I also saw that all of those buildings located on 8th Avenue; KFC, Bobby's Happy House....(lol...the record shop with the shoe store for chicks like myself with big feet, in the back), my beloved shoe repair shop and many of the other business are rapidly shutting down making way for the excavation & construction (that I wrote about here last year) to begin probably by this summer. The only thing that seems to be hanging on till the last minute is Manna's (dang!!! The one on 8th Ave is the best of ALL of them!!!), The Roti Hut (great chicken Rotis ya'll), & the fish place on the corner of 126th St. Everything else is going or gone......

I wondered aloud if the same person who bought out that strip of properties on 8th Avenue had acquired the properties on St Nick and was beginning to force the business to all close too.

WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?????? Do we REALLY have to go DOWNTOWN to get late night munchies now????

But fear not, nosy person that I KNOW I asked a few of the owners of the businesses on St. Nick what the deal was and they told me that they were most definitely NOT closing and NO, the same person who bought the buildings on 8th Avenue is NOT the same owner of their buildings....AND.....

(Drum roll please.......)

They told me that my beloved Popeye's is under going a massive renovation and will definitely be opening back up shortly!!! It looks like the renovation may be extended to Dunkin' Donuts as well.


Yo, on the real tip.....Let's hope they get some more English speaking folks behind the counter at Popeye's because that language barrier thing is NO JOKE!!!!! Having to repeat your order six and seven times before they understand what the hell you are ordering is not funny!!!!

Anyway, have a great day family!!!

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My "Cash Cab" Experience

I don't know how many of you know this by now, but I did an episode of a trivia game show called "Cash Cab" that's currently running on The Discovery Channel as we speak. I wasn't allowed to blog or talk about the show until it aired, so I couldn't tell anyone about my experience....(lol...but you know I DID tell a few folks anyway!). But now that it's running I can speak freely.

Before I go on....let me just talk a moment about the love affair that I am currently having with Craig's List!!! Love Them, Love Them....LOVE THEM!!!!!

This (Craig's List) is how I wound up having my Cash Cab experience and meeting Bobby Flay!!!.....I was perusing through the casting notices on the site and came across one that was seeking an intelligent host for a new show about NYC on the Travel Channel. What caught my eye was the fact that they SPECIFICALLY wanted hosts who were in my age range. So I answered the ad, submitted a photo and got a call from the producers a few days later.

They set up an interview for me with a producer at of all places....The Barnes & Noble in the Union Square area. I thought that was a little weird but I figured they were trying to save money like everyone else. The guy I met seemed pleasant enough and as it turns out he was from the city of Binghamton, NY (where I went to college), I didn't "feel" like it was a scam or anything so I continued the interview process.

After the whole "getting to know you" phase ( make sure that I wasn't insane or anything...I suppose) he explained to me that all of the segment hosts needed a deep knowledge of New York City, so the second half of the interview was to test my "knowledge" of NY - sort of like a "Trivial Pursuit" questionnaire. This was fine for me because I happen to LOVE Trivial Pursuit or for that matter any kind of game that is Trivia based.

So after pretty much acing all of the questions, choosing shooting locations as well as letting them know my availability, the interview was over. I was told that someone would contact me soon regarding the scheduling of my segment. So, needless to say....I left that B&N pretty much thinking the job was in the bag. What else could I possibly thinking - you tell me you're gonna let me know when you will be scheduling my segment....uh....doesn't that say...."the job is yours"???? lol....

The following week, I got several calls & emails from the producers looking to schedule my segment. We decided to shoot in the middle of the week (a Tuesday, I think) and after I got off of work. I was told to bring a friend, because it makes the segments more interesting and help it move more fluidly. So you KNOW I called Jacqueline as soon as I got off the phone. She agreed to come along and the following Tuesday we were told to meet the production crew down on 21st St & 6th Ave. It was cold as hell so I opted to wait in the Starbucks on 6th Ave. Jacqueline arrived first, followed shortly by the production crew.

Of course I cannot remember any one's name but the young woman who met us, rather frazzled, explaining that they had been having problems with the van that the crew was driving so, we'd have to flag a cab to The 21 Club (where we'd be filming the segment) and they'd follow us. She (the producer) gave me $20 bucks to cover the fare and I figured it was cool....I had been to the 21 Club many times during my Hearst Magazine/NY Magazine days so I'm thinking to myself....okay...."this is gonna be a piece of cake!"

There was a bit of a wait as we waited for the crew to the producer chick started asking a whole bunch of questions and that's when I began to get suspicious. Just then PA came and told us the van was here and we could head uptown. So we all exit the Starbucks and Jacque and I hail a cab while the rest of the crew heads to the van.

It didn't take long to hail a cab and lol...the moment I entered the cab - I knew something was up....I looked around and said immediately to Jacqueline "Hey! This looks like the Cash Cab" sooner than that phrase came out of my mouth - did all the flashing lights come on!!! They set the Runway Diva up LOVELY ya'll......just lovely!

Needless to say, we left that cab a little richer and definitely happy! (Host/Driver Ben Bailey is WAY cool ya'll!...and VERY cute AND VERY tall....that's why it's so CRAMPED in the passenger part of that damn

Two words sum up my Cash Cab experience beautifully:


And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

I won't detail my ENTIRE experience here but I am actually in the process of copy and uploading my segment to this blog....but you're gonna have to wait a second for that!
And oh yeah...Just in case you're wondering....the producer chick QUICKLY took back the $20 bucks she gave me for cab fare! Lol!!

But check it out family:

Cash Cab airs on the Discovery Channel (TWC-NY - Channel 66 check your local listings for other channels outside of Manhattan)....Monday through Fridays at 10:00am, 10:30am, 6:00pm & 6:30pm daily!

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bitches Over Fifty (B.O.F.), Lady O & Tyne Daly

So once again - as a result of perusing the ads on Craig's List, I got another gig!

This time I am doing duty as a background singer for a spoken word artist who goes by the moniker of "Lady O". Her new single is called B.O.F. (Bitches Over Fifty) Limited Edition.... So as I was saying I answered this ad on CL that was looking for a "Aretha" type you KNOW I jumped on that....cuz I LIVE FOR ARETHA (and for you haters.....I don't care HOW she dresses -You CANNOT argue that her instrument is nothing short of phenomenal).

So I sent them some information, a photo and a link to my site and videos. I got a call a few days later and agreed to meet with them later in the week to talk. I called Jacqueline and asked if she'd come along and we wound up meeting at a cafe not far from my home and after a little confusion (there are restaurants on each end of the block with similar names) we all got comfortable as Lady O began to spell out how her interesting journey began.

After an almost two hour chat, I was definitely interested in being a part of what she was doing. They told me the show was being held on April 10th in Nyack, NY. I had my first rehearsal with Lady O, her sister and show producer Annette, Lady O's daughter, the band (who are really awesome ya'll), a rapper named 2-Can (love him - writes lyrics that might have a curse word in it but HE won't say it!!!) and the background singers (Maria & Gail) and it went really well - there's a lot of improv going on and I get to create harmonies whenever and where ever I hear them and for me that's really cool.

Hey! I almost forgot to mention that when I boarded the cross town bus to head over to 11th Avenue (where rehearsals are held), I took a seat near the back exit and found myself sitting across from none other than actress Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey & Judging Amy).

Mother Tyne was rocking a spiky platinum blonde do' and seemed to be very interested in whatever she was reading. She has a really "Stern & Serious" air to her that emanates from her every pore and even I knew enough not to approach her - I didn't want to get cussed out (not to say that she would actually DO that but that how it LOOKED to me!). Anyway, as the bus headed to Ninth Avenue, she jumped up as if she had missed her stop - because it was raining hard, it was difficult to see out of the window. So as she stood up OVER me trying to look out the window - I looked up at her and said "we are on 9th Avenue". She looked down at me and gave me the most beautiful smile and replied "thank you very much" and then I quickly threw in "I am a really big fan of your work - I really enjoy what you do", she smiled again at me said thanks and took her seat. That acknowledgement was enough for me and I left her to her thoughts.

It was really cool meeting her I wasn't ABOUT to ask her for a photo....I just instinctively KNEW that wouldn't be a good idea! She appears to be really private.

But back to Lady O & B.O.F.'s.....Most of the show is about men and menopause and it is absolutely hilarious - Lady O bills herself and her show as a cross between "Bette Midler & Chris Rock". She is so filled with energy that I swear to you - it wears me out watching her.

I am very excited about this show ya'll and as a "B.O.F.I.T., myself.... (B.O.F. In Training), I tell you it's not to be missed. For more information on the show check out Lady O's website:

We will be performing at Riverspace ( in Nyack, New York on Thursday, April 10th at 8pm, Tix are $28.00 and the best part of it is that once you have confirmed purchase of your ticket - they will provide FREE round trip transportation for you if necessary - BUT you have to reserve a spot on the bus AFTER you have purchased your ticket.

"A woman is like a tea bag, you never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Reconnecting with Tony Blades......

What's happening Fam?

Last night I wound up reuniting and having dinner with a long lost friend from my past. Ya'll know me you already know that if someone should cross my mind or enter my thoughts, and I haven't seen them in a while.....well that's a "sign" for me to check in on them or reconnect if I have lost's a er..."Pisces Psychic" thing with me....ya know?

Well, a few months ago, brother Tony Blades' name came up during the course of a was interesting to me because back in the day when we were all partying till the wee hours of the morning and then going straight to work (lol....I DEFINITELY cannot do THAT stuff anymore...ahhh...the joy of youth!) Tony was a person that I saw frequently....we all partied Pulse, 70 West, Club Harambee, The Omni Hotel, The Roosevelt Hotel, The Mark Ballroom, lol....I could go on forever but in a nutshell.....We (Diva's Encore Models & Friends...) ABSOLUTELY RULED THE PARTY scene in NYC for years!!

When we all met, I was working at NY Mag and modeling on the side with Diva & The Encore Models and Tony was modeling - his face was plastered all over billboards & subway posters as the face of Benson & Hedges (I think it was B&H....sigh....I wish I had a copy of that's legendary)....for like....FOREVER??? He also played ball for the WBLS Sure Shots, rolled with Vaughn Harper and he was a big ol' tall brother too (6'6")...oh yeah...did I say he was a cutie too??? lol...ALL the girls were trying to holla at Mr. Blades back in the day!

But I digress....anyway, after the convo with my friends and the trip down memory lane that ALWAYS comes with these conversations....I realized that we had ALL lost track of this brother and no one knew where he was. The last time I had heard anything about him - he had moved to Vegas and was working with Motown Cafe (remember THAT place?) and then Poof!....
Nothing...... he just disappeared.

So as it turns out, I was sitting at my computer working on some blogs ( I am now) and he crossed my mind again. This time I took it upon myself to do a "google" search on him and managed to find his name on Linked In. I didn't know if it was him or not but I sent an email anyway and lo and behold a few weeks later he responded!!!! We chatted via email and told me he had just left NYC and would definitely holla when he returned. He said he was pleasantly surprised to hear from me and he was looking forward to catching up soon, we exchanged phone numbers and promised to reconnect as soon as possible.

Well as fate would have it, I got an email from him a few weeks ago on a Sunday and he said he was back in town and would be here until Wednesday. I managed to tie him down on Tuesday and agreed to meet him for dinner that evening. He was staying in the W Hotel on 17th & Park...(lol...where it all "began" for me) and after heading home to feed my monster....I hoofed back downtown to 14th street. It was frigid night, so you know my behind was dressed in layers, like an Eskimo. I called him from the lobby when I arrived and he quickly came downstairs to greet minute I saw him it was like I had just seen him yesterday....I kid you not - he hasn't changed much at all (except he's rocking the bald look like the Runway and we hugged for a very long time.

We were gonna hang out at the bar at The W to catch up but it was packed and he was hungry so we opted to go down the street to City Crab (one of my faves) and have a cocktail or two. City Crab was fairly empty so we got a table quickly and Tony decided he wanted crab legs - I decided to follow his lead (since I really do love crabs) and I ordered a cold Bass Ale to go with my crab legs. Once the waitress went to put in our orders we quickly got caught up on each other's lives......

I found out that my boy Tony, now divorced, is doing very well for himself....He currently provides security for Chris Rock. He travels all over the country with him and he seems to really be enjoying what he does. He's told me of his travels with Diana Ross & her son Evan (lol...interesting story). He also told me that he had been following my career and was very proud of what I was doing. We talked about old times and how we partied and WHO we partied with (am I the only one who remembers Flavor Flav showing up at parties at the Roosevelt Hotel with that stupid Viking hat on looking crazy as hell????). We talked about the passing of old friends like Bob Jones, L.D., Rand and Gene Pendergrass, one of the Dow Twins and the many other folks we have collectively lost track of. We spoke of old flames, old rivalries and people who made us laugh (like Frank...the Asian kid that dressed like John Travolta in the White Suits and the layers of gold chains...back when we partied at The Pulse every Thursday night!).

We talked and talked took photos and even managed to eat all of those crab legs without missing a beat ( City Crab....don't leave the crab legs sitting in ruins the taste of them). I ordered a trio of Sorbet for dessert and even stopped to holla at some new fans....

As we walked back out into the chilly weather and towards his hotel, we hugged again and promised to not lose touch again. I do hope that he calls me when he returns to NYC....I'm feeling like it's time for a reunion of some sort by this summer - what cha' think Tone?

It's LONG overdue.....


Tony B. my love.....

Love you Boo, thanks for dinner and I am SO very glad that I found you....don't disappear on me again!

Friendship is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The L Word - What's Up With Pam Grier????

Yo Family!

I am an avid fan of Showtime's The L Word....been watching it since the beginning....I am loving MOST of the plots and mini drama's (lol...Jenny is seriously getting on my nerves and I am salivating over her getting her come uppance....c'mon...c'mon...can't you just SEE it coming????? lol....

Anyway, I am writing this blog because I need to know


I am a HUGE fan of Pam Grier....I have been since the Seventies when she was THAT CHICK for Everybody....feel me?

Every time she comes on camera now she looks like a sweaty, hot, messy, depressed, dowdy shrew???

Just a hot ass mess. All the time. Sorry.

Kit Porter is the only juicy girl on the show and she's SURROUNDED BY FABULOUS LESBIANS AND she has absolutely ZERO flavor???? Who in the world thought that would be a good idea???

Ilene Chaiken, creator of the series....Question for you:

Did Miss Pam's character of Kit Porter slip through the cracks this year??? I know she's menopausal and depressed, angry and a bunch of other things...but damn??

When does she get her fabulosity back????

She needs to be representing better than this, perhaps ya'll need to create a fabulous friend from Miss Pam's past who visits and is surprised at what her friend has become. Horrified by her lack of style, she stays long enough to rock her world and inspire her to get her club and her life back on track.....

And note to the producers: It can't be some young chickie like Papi, that just got out of Pampers yesterday trying to be a player....As an older, worldly woman, Pam's character can't respect that M.O.

I can't think of a better, more fabulous persona for this character than The ORIGINAL Runway

Can you?

"Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil."

Friday, March 7, 2008

Size Sexy - The Shortest Segment in the History of Mankind?

Greetings Family!

First and foremost....thanks for all of the congratulatory emails, text messages and phone calls...I appreciate your support always.

Let's chat about Rip The Runway 08 for a moment....Shall we? lol...

I watched the entire broadcast of Rip The Runway the other night and the longer I sit and marinate in my thoughts.....the angrier I get.


This is the 3rd time I have done this show and while I can ALWAYS find something to complain about if I look closely....this year's slight's are just a straight up slap in the face to plus sized women everywhere.

Is it me or is the "Size Sexy" segment getting shorter every year?

Does it appear that less and less effort goes into this segment each time?

I mean, clocking in at 2:23 seconds??? Is that an ALL TIME RECORD for the shortest segment in history???

The OTHER fashion segments had so much time that the models could stroll leisurely and do ENTIRE DANCE NUMBERS if they so wished....why were we literally RUNNING up and down the runway?

4 models per designer and ONLY TWO DESIGNERS FOR THE ENTIRE SEGMENT???? WTF??? If this is truly the most popular segment each year and the VAST MAJORITY of your demographic is women OVER a size 14.....why would you diss us like that by not giving us the same or comparable amount of screen time as you gave all of the other designers????

No other segment had 3 designers lumped together for an under 3 minute segment. Everyone else showed ENTIRE COLLECTIONS....Why were the plus sized designers only allowed 4 garments each???....come on P. nice.

And no disrespect to the third designer Sixx Foota (who's clothing I actually liked) but that segment was designed for the plus sized woman and to send out four 6-foot tall size 4 models in a pool of plus sized women...I mean....what sort of a subliminal message are you trying to put out here BET????

I didn't get it and from the reaction of the audience....they didn't "get" it either.

That just wasn't cool look in my eyes.....and then to ask us to reposition ourselves so that the size 4's could stand in front????? I don't care if they were from America's Next Top Model!!!! (all the more reason for them NOT to be in that segment)Ya'll know I was biting my tongue till blood filled my!!!

Perhaps I am making too much of the situation....but I really don't think I am.

And Was it me or did it seem like 3/4 of the show was about Mr. Diddy & The Sean Jean Company???? I thought the show was called "Rip The Runway"....not "Rip The Runway in the Sean Jean Collection but only if you are a size 10 or smaller"...

If I keep talking about this I'm just gonna get even madder....why don't you check it out yourselves and let me know your thoughts:

Don't blink lol.....or you may miss us.

Check it out Family:

The Revolution may not be televised....but it IS happening....Be warned.

"The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything -- or nothing."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

American Idol - The Top 12 Finalists


So I haven't really been interested in American Idol since Joanne got booted....but I did watch the final elimination before the announced the top 12 finalists....I caught a recap of the performances and I just want to know what made Luke Menard think that "WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU GO-GO" would be a great song for him to sing and catapult him into the top 12?????

That had to be the worst song choice EVER!!! It was pitchy all the way through it and the ugly, tinny tone that his voice took on during the chorus was like nails across a chalk board to me. And it's too bad because he DOES have a really good voice and he also has "The Look"'s a shame....damn.

I bet you he won't be singing or listening to THAT song again for YEARS to

And come on Idol....making folks try to perform right after you've crushed their dreams??

That's not nice at all....and it's as hard for me to watch as it is for them to try and sing.

And was I the only person picturing Danny Noriega in full makeup and drag???....that boy is just too pretty for words ya'll...

I personally think he was trying to give Sanjaya some fever with "Tainted Love"

And hey....I can admit I was wrong....Gary Coleman made it into the top 12!


But if ol' Chikeze Eze doesn't sing better than this next week his butt will be out next Thursday too!

Life is the sum of all your choices.

Christian Wins Project Runway 4 - Told You So!!!

I knew it!!! I simply KNEW it.....

I knew they were gonna give Project Runway 4 to Christian!!!

And to bring in Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham as the final judge??? was a no brainer the moment they announced her as a name.

Anyway, I loved watching Christian show his human side when he THOUGHT he was gonna be Auf' The tears reminded me that as brilliant as he is (and he is brilliant as a designer)....he is still very young and the tears showed me that he has humility (I hadn't seen that in him before).

ButI did love many things about ALL of the final collections and I really thought the knits that Jillian did were amazing...they really were.

Is it me or is Rami Kashou... er...kinda yummy?

Rami's evening dresses were absolutely breathtaking as well.

Hey! Did I say that Rami is REALLY A CUTIE???? Well, if I didn't....I'm saying it now....he's a hottie people!!! Very sexy mouth too!!!

Anyway - Congrats to Christian....I know you'll go on to do wonderful things! Perhaps our paths will cross one day and I will convince you to make some clothes for a "bigger doll"

"The word impossible is not in my dictionary."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Project Runway 4 Finale....Tonight!!!!

Okay Family!

So tonight is the long awaited (at least for ME!!!) season finale of Bravo TV's Project Runway....

The three finalists, Christian, Rami & Jillian go on to show their collections in Bryant Park.

Photo courtesy of BARBARA NITKE/Bravo

I actually think it's gonna be hard to call a clear cut winner at this point...They are ALL great and each have their own individual style. My problem with all three of tonight's that ALL of their collections are predominately black in color.

Although I didn't particularly care for him at the beginning...I gotta tell favorite going into the finale is.....Christian!! Although...I thought what he did with that little chubbster's prom dress was HEINOUS!!! He is CLEARLY all about making "Doll Clothes".

He absolutely SLAYED me with the Art Gallery Inspiration Challenge and what he did when he reconstructed those Levi's was hot to death!

This kid is going places no matter how you slice his own words:

He's SO Fierce!

I will be at the Divabetic conference at Gotham Hall I hope I can get home in enough time to catch it.

I predict the winner will be the designer who throws some COLOR into their collection!

Project Runway is on TONIGHT at 10pm (lol...I think) on Bravo.

Oh yeah...One More thing.....

Did anyone see the last challenge where Chris got Eliminated? You know where he used the human hair in his finale collection outfits??? Where you all fascinated that he had the gumption to do that? wasn't anything new to me....and that's because NJ Based Designer Lonie Cisco did this very same thing at LEAST 10 years he did for a BIG GIRL and he used BLONDE hair....

You GO Lonie...for being ahead of your time.

Just some history for ya' case you didn't know.

"Use what talents you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang the best."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

5 Women Killed in Shootout in Lane Bryant in Chicago

Alright Family.....

I just wanna know...IS THE ENTIRE WORLD GOING CRAZY????

I just found out today about the shooting spree that happened in EARLY FEBRUARY at a Lane Bryant in Chicago.... Check out the story below:

Five women dead in Tinley Park clothing store shooting

February 2, 2008

An armed robber killed five women — including at least one customer — this morning at a Lane Bryant clothing store in south suburban Tinley Park before fleeing the scene and launching a manhunt, police said.

The women’s bodies were found in a backroom of the store, which is located in a shopping center at 191st and Harlem.

The Tinley Park Lane Bryant is in the Brookside Marketplace shopping center in the 7200 block of West 191st Street.

Carrie Hudek, 33, a social worker from Frankfort, was identified as one of the victims in the shooting.

One of the victims was identified by her family Carrie Hudek, 33, a social worker from Frankfort who was shopping at the store when she was shot.

“[She]was the most wonderful, loving person who did everything for anybody,’’ said sister-in-law Jennifer Hudek.

The shooter — described by a witness as a stocky man in a dark knit cap and dark jacket — was seen leaving the scene but police are yet to find him. Tinley Park Police Sgt. T.J. Grady said police were “pretty sure’’ he acted alone.

Why the shooter targeted the small retail store for robbery is anyone’s guess.

“It’s not a place where you would find a lot of cash,’’ a police source said, adding that the man did make off with some valuables.

Why it turned deadly is also unknown, police said.

The store did not appear to have its own video camera, a police source said, but authorities are checking for cameras within a few miles of the Brookside Marketplace shopping center at 191st and Harlem, just south of Interstate 80, where the Lane Bryant is located.

The sprawling center, built in recent years, includes some storefronts that have not opened yet, making the Lane Bryant store more isolated.

“We’re checking every possible means of getting out of this area,” Grady said.

The other victims have yet to be publicly identified as police were still attempting to notify some of the victims’ relatives Saturday.

All five of the victims were between the ages of 24 and 40, said Tinley Park Mayor Edward Zabrocki. It’s not clear yet how many of the victims were employees, police said.

“We’re very sad about it,” a clearly shaken Zabrocki said from the scene. “... We’re a victim of our society that we live in.”

The first call of shots fired came into police at 10:44 a.m., Grady said. Inside, they found mayhem.

“There is no question it was a horrific scene,’’ a police source said.

Greg Grace of Frankfort, who was in the parking lot outside Lane Bryant, said he saw several stretchers being wheeled into the store. The stretchers later were wheeled out — carrying no one.

There are at least 40 investigators on the case. Police searched neighboring stores and cars in the parking lot, and used a police helicopter to search the surrounding area, Grady said.

Police even locked down some stores in the center, including a Target, PetSmart and Office Max, searching each with guns drawn.

Six officers “just kind of ran through our store real quick, and searched it from top to bottom,” said Graham Schaeffer, an Office Max employee. “It was freaky became we didn’t know what was going on.’’

Shopper Charlotte Vaitkus, a resident of the surrounding area, said she wanted “to issue a statement to the mayor because of the frequency of crime off Interstate 80. We just don’t feel safe.”

Carissa Townsend, 15, of Homewood, who was also shopping at Brookside Marketplace, said the incident was “scary ‘cause it’s so close to home.’’

Mayor Zabrocki said that after the shooting Tinley Park sent extra police patrols into the residential neighborhoods nearby and sent an automated telephone message to residents to tell them about the shooting. The village also broadcast information on local access cable television.

Police said they were looking for a medium-complected black man standing 5-foot-9, weighing between 230 and 290 pounds and wearing a waist-length black coat, a black knit cap and dark jeans. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Tinley Park police at (708) 444-5368.

Art Golab, Dave Newbart, Annie Sweeney and Monifa Thomas are reporters with the Chicago Sun-Times; Carly Mullady is a reporter with the SouthtownStar
Related Blog Posts Lane Bryant - 5 Shot In Suburban Chicago Store - Tinley Park

From Homeland Security National Terror Alert

Lane Bryant Announces the Establishment of the Lane Bryant Tinley Park Memorial Fund

From Net News Publisher

The views expressed in these blog posts are those of the author and not of the Chicago Sun-Times.

I cut and pasted this story from the Chicago Sun Times....I never heard a PEEP about it in NYC - Did ya'll?

I am also including a link to the page, in case you want to see the photos that accompanied the story.,tinley020208.article

Lane Bryant must have shut this down quick, fast & in a hurry!....and I can't say I blame them. And to make matters worse....the police are having a hard time finding the gunman.

Jules!!! What is going on in Chicago????

My condolences go out to the victims and their families.

To be alive, to be able to see, to walk, to have houses, music, paintings-- it's all a miracle. I have adopted the technique of living life from miracle to miracle.

Monday, March 3, 2008

New Article by The Runway Diva in the March 08 issue of Plus Model Magazine

Good Afternoon Family!

Don't forget to check out my latest article in the March 08 issue of Plus Model Magazine, This month's article is all about "The 7 Deadly Sins for a Plus Sized Model".

Please click on the link below and enjoy! And don't forget to spread the word!!!

"... in writing you cannot possibly be interesting if what you say is not true, if it is what I call “a true lie,” i.e., a truth which gives the wrong impression. For no matter how subtly you lie in writing, people know it and don’t believe you, and the whole secret of being interesting is to be believed."

Mo'Nique & The Gastric Bypass Rumors

Hey Family!

I received a distressing call from a pal of mine as I exited the Subway station on my way home. The caller was telling me that Wendy Williams was on the radio blowing up Mo'Nique's spot saying that some celebrity blog site Media Takeout was circulating stories that she's been out of the media eye because she was recovering from gastric bypass surgery.

My first thoughts and words out of my mouth were:

"I don't believe that."

And I don't.

I have had the pleasure of working with Mo'Nique since I first met her in 2005 as a contestant on Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance. I have never met anyone who loves themselves more than she does. This goes against everything she stands for, every word that she's ever spoken, and I won't believe it unless I hear it from Mo' herself. Gastric Bypass is NOT a cure all and is VERY dangerous....I just don't think she would allow someone to cut up her body like that. She's always been a big believer in being healthy and I KNOW for a fact that she works out and of late has been eliminating certain food groups from her diet. I saw her about a month ago and she looks absolutely fabulous, loves her life and is living her dreams....

She's working on SEVERAL movies and perhaps her huge schedule is what is keeping her so busy.

I refuse to speculate about this in the least.

As for the comment posters on that particular blog site - GROW UP, if you can't make a comment that ISN'T littered with typos, profanity and insults - keep it to yourselves....until you can at least write a sentence in proper english. Calling folks big fat b@tches doesn't help the situation at all....and it certainly isn't going to stop the movement......

It's all quite silly to me.

"Our loyalties must transend our race, our tribe, our class and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective."

Manhattanville Station Post Office - Simply Ridiculous

This morning I got up early and got dressed so that I could hit the post office by 8am to get a money order for my monster. We got out the door early, so I was able to stop and get a cup of coffee from the local bodega to sip while I waited on line. The Manhattanville Station post office is located on 125th St between Morningside & St Nicholas Avenues.

The post office doesn't begin retail services until 8am, but opens before then for clients who have P.O. Boxes. I arrived at 7:50am and there was already a line of about 6-7 people waiting before me. I looked over to my left and saw that there was nice line forming at the Senior Citizens window as well.

By 7:59am there was a nice line of oh about 17 people (including the ones in front of me) and at 8:05 one agent finally came on duty to handle the retail services. I just KNEW that since it first thing in the morning, surely there would be a ton of agents on duty to get everyone in an out in an expedient manner. Lol...I must have briefly forgotten where I was - because the NEXT agent came out at approximately 8:10am and while it was amusing watching her talk and get dressed at her damn window.....she didn't open up her window for service until 8:19...I know this because I (along with everyone else on that line) was watching the clock and writing it down.

By this time, people were getting agitated and several near fights ensued (with one guy in a WHEELCHAIR trying to flex on an old lady who complained about him jumping the line-which he did). After Superman in the wheelchair (Dude??? You're in a WHEELCHAIR for goodness sake...WHAT did you actually THINK you were gonna do to that old lady????) rolled himself out of the post office a fight began to break out on the automated postage line - and over at the Inquiry window (which if you've EVER had to wait on THAT line for a package-you know the wait time is simply put - RIDICULOUS)...folks began SCREAMING for a supervisor to come out to restore order (who ever THAT person is - We NEVER saw him or her).

The agent for the senior citizen line NEVER came out in the 40 minutes I spent waiting on that damn line. Those poor seniors had to get on the back of the line and wait like everyone else this go a sympathetic ear in the bunch. Every ONE was tired and cranky!

Time on my watch when I left the post office finally? 8:30am....and there had to be at LEAST 20 people behind me at this point with the same TWO agents trying to help everyone.

Why does it seem like this scenario ONLY happens in urban areas?? I guarantee you that if I go to a post office BELOW 96th street the service is 10 times better.....

No matter, the new settlers are taking Harlem by storm and you know that they won't tolerate bad or slow services and they will complain until they reach the person in charge and changes are made.

Get it together Manhattanville Station employees or you will ALL be looking for new jobs (whether YOU do YOUR job well or not) Cuz that's how the new settlers get down...mark my words on this one people.

"If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.’”

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Birthday Dinner 2008 - Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. NYC

As February came to a close, I met my friend's at The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, for a final birthday dinner. This is a tradition that we have had for many, many years now. A group of us get together and take the birthday person out to dinner to celebrate their most special day. I don't know why on earth I picked Bubba Gump's except that it was the first thing that popped into my mind when asked where I wanted to go.

As I departed from the A train at 42nd street (44th st exit) and walked the single block to the restaurant, I got a phone call from Miss Eda telling me that no one was at the restaurant and she had gone up the street to have a pre-dinner cocktail. I continued on to the restaurant and saw my group immediately. I called Miss Eda back and she hoofed it back to Bubba Gump's. We found out that it would be an additional 35 minute wait for our large party and we decided to wait upstairs at the bar to pass the time away. The bar was crowded but we managed to snag several seats and we quickly got seated and ordered a round of pomegrante margarita's from the bar (they were just okay - not "pomegranty" enough for me).

By the time we were gonna order a second round of drinks, our tables were ready. Joining me for dinner were organizer and my best friend Gwen "Diva" DeVoe, Tonya "T-Boogie" Giddens, Linda "The Dancing Machine" Mann, Laura Burwell, Eda Francois, Miss Clunis, Rosamund "Rosie" Fife, Madeline "Maddy" Figueroa (who came even though she was exhausted from severe jet lag following a 28 hour flight from Austrailia!), Roslyn "Rocky" Grate (who showed up in a red & white peppermint patterned mink jacket) & Muzette Charles. I don't get to see my homegirls too often this days, so it's always a joyous occasion when I DO get to see them.

Shortly after we were seated, our waiters Kai & Jenna took our drink and appetizer orders. The evening progressed smoothly from there and a little while later we were all happily ensconced in our drinks and appetizers.

Kai came over and tried to trip The Runway Diva up with a little Forrest Gump trivia, lol...little did he know that Forrest Gump is one of my All Time Favorite movies (I watch it everytime it comes on). He DID manage to stump me later with a technical question but everyone KNOWS I aced that quiz! My prize was a crown and I waited all damn night for that stupid crown!!!

After some problems with the appetizers (uh...gnats should NOT be buzzing from the appetizers when you bring them out) and the meals (a couple had to be sent back...and why would you send out an ENTIRE stalk of we all chatted and took photos as we enjoyed our dinner - when I looked up a steady stream of snow was falling on NYC.

The BGSC crew came out and completely put the Runway Diva on the spot for the silly Happy Birthday dance - I had already prepped them and told them I wasn't dancing (the knees rule me out every time!!!) but I did stand up and let them sing for me and present me with an ice cream sundae complete with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and a maraschino cherry...(lol...I am SEVERELY lactose intolerant, so I don't really mess with ice cream; I don't like whipped cream and I HATE MARASCHINO CHERRIES!!!! - so you know I wasn't TOUCHING that sundae! But the gesture was lovely and I appreciated it.

Did I mention that I finally got my er "Crown"??? Why did these kids bring me a COFFEE FILTER CROWN THAT THEY AUTOGRAPHED?????

ROFLMAO! It was the funniest thing EVER!!!

I also got recognized by a group of fabulous & thick sistas who recognized me from MFC. I found out that they work for a Harlem Based Daycare program in Marcus Garvey Park (I played in that park many times as a child). I posed for photos and exchanged information with a sister who runs the program and promised to be in touch!

As we hugged, kiss, said our goodbyes and headed out into the steadily falling snow, Diva, Muzie & I jumped on the 1 train and headed to 125th street where she parked her car and she gave us both rides home (thanks chica!)

To see The Runway Diva embarrased out of her mind - check out this clip (Thanks T-Boogie)

My very special Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Happy Birthday Song:

Diva, thanks for putting it all together, I really appreciate it!

For my friends - I love you all , thanks for always making my birthdays special ones!

Laura Burwell - it's been too long, let's not take so long between visits again!

Muzie - you were the "Surprise" of the night - your presence meant everything to me, Thank you!

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Harvey "Star" Washington Robbed at Gunpoint in Chicago

Did you all read this story in the Chicago Tribune last week about Producer/Image Maker Harvey Star Washington getting held up at the Chicago Hilton last week?

Read the full story below:

Robbers storm Hilton Chicago, steal $20,000 from fashion-show practice

Two robbers, one of them with a gun, allegedly got away with as much as $20,000 Sunday night from a fashion show audition at the downtown Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago police said. No one was injured in the 10:45 p.m. holdup.

(Tribune photo by Tom Van Dyke / February 25, 2008)
By Mary Owen Tribune reporter
5:19 PM CST, February 25, 2008

Every Sunday for the last month, about 40 full-figured amateur models filled a Hilton Chicago meeting room to rehearse their struts and poses for a March fashion show at Navy Pier.After the models left on Sunday night, two men stormed the meeting room, duct-taped eight fashion show organizers and stole $20,000, police said.Harvey Star Washington, the annual fashion show's organizer, said he believes the robbery was an inside job by people who knew that he would be in town on Sunday to collect dues and ticket proceeds from the models.

"They said, 'Where's the money, Harvey?' " said Washington of Washington, D.C. "They said my name like they knew me. . . . It had to be someone who knew we had the money."The theft occurred at about 10:45 p.m., after the models had left. Organizers were talking in the meeting room when the men, one carrying a gun, entered the third-floor Marquette Room from a back door, police said. They duct-taped the organizers, including Washington, and demanded money, police said.After 15 minutes, the thieves left with Washington's Louis Vuitton satchel, with the money inside, and another woman's wallet. The victims freed themselves within 10 minutes and called 911.Chicago police said are still investigating and reviewing the hotel's surveillance video. No one was in custody Monday night. Police said the robbers ran out of the hotel, headed south on Michigan Avenue, past 8th Street.A hotel spokesman said the robbers did not steal from anyone else in the hotel, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

"We are cooperating fully with the Chicago Police Department," said Robert Allegrini, the hotel's regional communications director.Washington, who checked into the hotel on Saturday, said the $20,000 was slated to pay for the bulk of the March 16 Navy Pier fashion show, which is called "Fashionology: A Celebration of Fashion." The show will not be canceled, he said. Washington said this will Chicago's 12th show.The models, most of whom have never walked a runway, pay $200 to participate in the show featuring Washington's clothing line. The fee pays for the model's hairstyling, makeup and a photo shoot. Participants must also sell at least ten $50 tickets to the fashion show.Washington, who owns Washington-based Experts the Image modeling agency, said that four women were cut from the show Sunday night after they did not meet their ticket sales requirement. Two of the women left the meeting room at about 8 p.m. Washington said he passed on their contact information to police. In the weeks leading up to the show, the models, most of whom are women, attend weekly rehearsals. Tiffany Neely of Chicago, who works for Washington, said some of the women are afraid to return to rehearsals next week. She said future practices will have more security to protect the models and employees."It was really scary and very stressful," Neely said. "We can't let something like this stop a movement that is so great for the full-figure woman."

Harvey and I go back as far as 1995 when I came down to audition for the Congressional Black Caucus show that he was producing. We managed to stay in touch throughout the years and our paths crossed again when we were both working on Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance. I got the news on this story via text message while I was in Buffalo working. I was just relieved to hear that he wasn't injured.

I have been held up at gun point and it simply is not a pleasant experience to go through.

I gotta call him and make sure he's alright.

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."