Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Designer Douglas Says... Set to Debut New "Plus U" Collection on Aug 10, 2008

Happy Wednesday Family!!!

As many of you know New Jersey based designer Douglas Says is one of my favorite designers, I am a long time fan.....he creates the sexy slinky wrap dresses that I love to wear....

but I am betting that many of you didn't know that he wasn't a "plus sized" designer per se (lol), he's custom made clothing for the big gals over the years but never really put his "stamp" on an official plus sized line.

Well the wait is apparently over family!!! On Sunday, August 10, 2008 Douglas Says will officially unveil his new plus sized line...christened "Plus U" at Club Escuelita (301 West 39th St).

So you KNOW I got excited when I got the call from Douglas about his new line and I took it upon myself to do an impromptu interview to ask the questions that the juicy gals REALLY want to know:

Douglas, tell me WHY after all this time were you finally inspired to produce a plus sized line?

(D.S.) This journey started out when my life long girlfriend/model/muse Rosemary Cousar opened a store in Easton, PA and called on me to place my clothes in it. The response was great but the initial designs were made with standard industry model body in mind. The reality is that my original collection was only an illusion from the door, I realized immediately that real women have more curves; So I opted to do a just a few pieces for the store and it was while I was going through my archives, trying to consider which silhouettes worked best that suddenly a plus sized show began building in my head. So I believe that God used Rosemary to direct this path and then he cleared the way for me! Before that I was trying to figure out how to challenge myself from my last showing.

What do you hope to accomplish with this new line?

(D.S.) A relationship, an understanding with the plus sized community as well as building more skills for myself as a designer. But the support of the plus sized community does matter here. It is crucial in deciding where "I and/or We" can go with this collection and it is the determining factor in whether or not there will be another season after this one! I didn't enter into the field of fashion expecting anything more than to follow my heart's passion and do what I wanted to do...and this remains..."I am my own boss and I do what I do for the love of it all"!

When will the collection fully launch?

(D.S.) August 10th 2008 at Club Escuelita in New York City. The premiere of "PLUS-U" will be unlike any other full figured experiences of the past! I can honestly say that this collection feels completely different from any of my other collections that I have created in the past. I am sure that everyone will be pleasantly surprised!!

What's the price range for the line?

(D.S) The price range is still being considered because as you know my operation is a one man show. These are all one of a kind items, custom produced by my hands from sketch to finish...The question is how much are you (the consumer) willing to pay to keep it going?! In truth, it costs a bit more to produce this collection than the collections that I normally produce. With my original collections items have range from $150.00 to $600.00; it depends on the item and the work and hours that go into creating it. I'd prefer that a potential client experience the fit before they judge the the price tag!

Tell me a little bit about the line.

(D.S.) This particular showing of Plus U is
a fall collection and with this being my first time at bat I've chosen to focus on my fit. As with all of my designs, these are custom made items because I believe it is important to try and remove all the taboos that come with the idea of combining stretch fabrics and real women's bodies. I love working with stretch fabrics and I believe it just has to be cut for YOU, with YOUR body in mind. I don't believe a plus sized woman should have to sacrifice quality for fit.

What plus sized celebs or famous women have you dressed?

(D.S) I addition to having The ORIGINAL Runway Diva wear my designs, I have had the pleasure of dressing Angela Bofill, Toukie Smith and 3 time American Vogue cover model Peggy Dillard (who is the signature model on the flyer for this collection). For me this is a very personal show, the most important one of them all for me.

So there you have it my plus sized fashionistas, I hope that you will all make the time to come and preview this very important showcase for the plus sized industry. You know we spend most of our time (or at least I do...lol) about a LACK of stylish clothing for plus sized women....so it's important that we show some solidarity and come out and support those who listen to our pleas and try to fulfill our needs.

So come on out rain or shine and check out his new line "Plus U" and watch some fabulous plus sized models (including myself!!!) work the runway at Club Escuelita on Sunday, August 10th in NYC. Doors open at 7:45pm and show time is 8:15pm Sharp!!!

Hope to see you all there family!!!

For more info about Douglas Says check out his website: http://douglassaysplusu.vpweb.com/
“The genius of investing is recognizing the direction of a trend - not catching highs and lows”

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Carter-Hemphill Family Reunion 2008

What's up family!

I just returned from Laurel, Maryland where I had accompanied my mom, dad & sister to a family reunion for the Carter-Hemphill family. My great grandmother was a Carter and I had never met this branch of my family tree before, neither had my mom and we were all excited at the prospect of meeting new family members.

The trip started off for me on a sort of weird note - lol...you KNOW me fam....there's ALWAYS a story somewhere....

Anyway, we were taking Amtrak to Maryland and I was scheduled to meet my mom, dad & sister on 59th Street where the plan was to catch the A train to Penn Station. I needed to make a quick stop at Rite Aid for some last minute toiletries and as luck would have it - the cashier at the store saw my suitcase and decided to strike up a conversation with me, a conversation that went a little like this as he rang up my purchase.....

"So...you taking a trip?"

"Yup, family reunion.." I replied.

"Really? Where bout?"

"Maryland" I replied.

"I was just down in Laurel last week visiting some relatives it was interesting....I bullet came through our hotel window and got lodged in the ceiling while we were sleeping"

At this point I stopped talking and just looked at him and said "Okay Bruh....you're scaring me now because that's EXACTLY where I am headed..."

At this point he had the rapt attention of all the rest of the customers in Rite Aid as well. I had already made my purchase but I moved off to the side so that I could continue talking to him, we made small talk for a few moments more and just as I was about to leave to catch my train the last thing he said to me was...

"Well, I hope you aren't staying at the Ramada Hotel in Laurel...have a wonderful trip!"

At this point my heart completely stopped for a moment because that was precisely where we (and the rest of my family) were staying because it was the base for our family reunion. I swear to God I almost headed back home after hearing that sh*t!!! lol....

But I'm no punk! I rushed down the steps of the subway station to meet up with my family but decided to keep the information that the clerk at Rite Aid gave me to myself until we got there and I could further assess the situation and I quickly made a mental note to request our rooms to be NO WHERE near where Bruh man and his wife had stayed...lol.

We boarded our train without too much fanfare (my dad is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's and can be a handful at times) and wound up taking seats in the "Quiet" car of the train...which was fine with me because I hate having to travel with rude people on cell phones and their disruptive children. This particular quiet car was also have some technical difficulties with the air conditioning that was being worked on so the air kept going on and off....lol...which ALSO worked out perfectly for us because neither myself or my mom and dad like freezing cold air conditioning - it was just perfect!!!

We had a couple of hours of ride time so we chatted quietly for a while, I read a few magazines, shared some cookies with my dad and inevitably began to drift off to sleep to dream dreams of shootouts at our hotel...lol.

We arrived at the Baltimore BWI Airport stop and get this...we had to take a shuttle bus TO the airport and then call the hotel so they could SEND another shuttle bus to pick us up. Why the hotel refused to pick us up from the train station is beyond me. It was only when we got settled on the shuttle bus and my mom began chatting up some folks who inquired about me; did we find out that we had family on the train with us for most of the ride! We all got acquainted with our new cousins quickly as I made the call to the hotel for the shuttle bus pick up.

After about a 20 minute wait the van finally pulled up and quickly whisked us off to the Ramada Inn. After a brief wait, we were given our room keys (they put us in the tower building which was on the OTHER side of the building from where homeboy stayed). We dropped off our bags in our rooms and realized that we were ravenous and decided to walk over to Popeye's which was nearby.

Now normally I LOVE myself some Popeye's Fried Chicken but I gotta tell you this was the first time that I actually had chicken that wasn't good. I knew something was up when we saw that most of the staff was Indian...lol. We ordered like 12 pieces with Cole Slaw, Mashed Potatoes & Biscuits and even some apple pies for dessert. We were all starving after the long train ride so we at that horrible ass chicken but it was really disappointing. My dad may have been the only person who DIDN'T have a problem with it. Lol, we walked back to the hotel complaining the entire way.....We also ran into a crazy, white lady, who looked like she was coming from OUR hotel who was angry as hell about something and kept, yelling & cursing and darting in and out of the heavy traffic - while a friend of hers followed and tried to keep her from getting hit by a car.......

As we returned to our hotel rooms, we had a little down time before the family meet & greet and my mom & dad decided to take a nap. After sharing a cocktail with my sister in our room, I changed into my bathing suit and headed to the pool to catch the last couple hours of sun only to find to my horror and dismay that the pool was closed due to a malfunctioning pump and management had decided NOT to alert the hotel occupants to that fact. (The lifeguard on duty warned us NOT to enter the dirty pool water).

Now you all KNOW I was hot!!! I absolutely LIVE for pools and Jacuzzis when I am travelling and the fact that I had called and inquired about the pool BEFORE leaving NYC really just ticked me off. Upon closer inspection I noticed that the grounds of the hotel were not properly maintained (chicken bones and cigarette butts everywhere!) and hookers flaunted their wares all day and night (I kid you not!) and the supposed "hotel manager on duty" NEVER made an appearance during our ENTIRE stay. The hotel was a TOTAL nightmare!!! But back to the family reunion....which was actually quite nice.....

After the pool fiasco my sister and I decided to check out one of the ballrooms where the "meet & greet" was still going on and we needed to pick up our name tags for the family picnic the next day. As I hung out snapping photos of my little cousins and allowing the little ones to use my height to retrieve left over streamers from the ceiling (one of my little cousins was really creative ya'll the next day that little one took the remains of the purple streamers that I gave her into a nifty lil set of earrings - I was THOROUGHLY impressed!) and getting to know my family, I heard some music seeping through the doors.

We decided to follow the sound and it lead us to the hotel bar/lounge where the staff informed us that we should come back in a few because it was karaoke night and not to be missed! Well that was all we needed to hear - my sis and I headed back to our rooms to change into our street clothing and alert my mom about the change in plans. Then we jumped in the shower to get ready to holler!

As we walked through the lobby of the hotel we were overcome with laughter because someone was ABSOLUTELY BUTCHERING "Let's Get It On", we knew we were in for a good time. When we got back to the bar the party was in full swing, the bar was almost full, the was a lively game of pool going on and the DJ was calling up the next person to sing. We took some seats on the side and I began taking drink orders. Some of my cousins were holding it down at the end of the bar near the front of the stage. I ordered some buffalo wings, a margarita and the rest of the drink orders. As I waited for my food order to come up a new person came and took the mic and this sister sang a song called "Harlem Blues" (Ya'll don't know nothing 'bout that..) from Mo' Betta Blues and she sang the hell out of it! I was thoroughly enjoying her cause that song isn't your run of the mill karaoke song. As I made my way back to the tables my sister was already goading me on - "You gonna sing ain'tcha?" " You know you WANNA sing"...of course my mother chimed in on this too and the next thing I know my sister was marching up to the DJ to put my name on the list.

I got up when my name was called and sang my "theme" song "RESPECT", my cousins and the rest of the bar joined in and it was a lot of fun! Then my cousins came up shortly after and had a ball doing the quartet version of "Irreplaceable"! Everyone was having a good time, even my dad! (He loves music). As the evening began to wind down my mom & dad started to get tired so my sister and I walked them back to their rooms and decided to go and buy some tequila shots (from the nearby liquor store) before heading back to the bar.

We sat outside of the hotel drinking that tequila and talking to random folks till we were done. It was then that I first noticed the heavy amount of traffic in the front of the hotel. It was most definitely a 'hot spot"....ya know? We went back into the bar for about another 20 minutes and decided to head back to the room, we were scheduled to be up early for the picnic the next day and we didn't want to hear my mother yelling....

We were up with the birds the next day and headed down to the hotel restaurant for the "continental breakfast" that came along with the room reservation....lol...the "CB" had a few pieces of fruit (apples & oranges) a muffin or two and maybe a bagel....it was heinous...no WONDER it was free. The full breakfast buffet was like $7-$8 bucks and since it had meat...we decided to go with that (it wasn't too much better).

We then went to the lobby to wait for a ride from one of our family members to the picnic area...well I stepped outside for a moment and I swear it was at LEAST 98 degrees that morning....we were one of the first ones (okay...okay...so we were FIRST) to arrive at the picnic area (which was a WIDE open space) and we quickly made our way to the covered area...lol..OUT of the sun!

The rest of the family arrived a little while after and we spent the day, eating, talking and meeting family member from all over (ya'll KNOW my camera was in overdrive that day right?)...as the sun began to set....folks started packing up to head back to the hotel to prepare for the dinner banquet in the evening.

After taking some brief naps and showering, we all headed down to the ballroom for the banquet...we were joined by my cousin Gwen and her beautiful daughter Jazzy...who drove up from Washington DC and a few of my mom's cousins who she hadn't seen in almost 30 years...needless to say...Mom was very happy.

The entire family was dressed up in evening wear, speeches were made and any elders who were over the age of 70 were asked to sit at a special honorary table up front. Every one danced, ate, drank and took pictures until it was time to go....I don't know about anyone else but I had an absolute ball getting to know my family!

We missed the church service (held early the next morning) and my cousin Doris managed to help us secure a ride with another family member back to the train station (because the hotel was so unorganized that we were unable to get a ride in the shuttle van back to the station). We stopped at an all you can eat buffet for breakfast and the headed to the station to catch our train (which was delayed for more than an hour in Virginia).

Tired but happy we all arrived back in NYC in one piece and my sister and I took my parents home before heading to our respective residences.

Doris Douglas - Cousin...You DID it! Congratulations on a job WELL DONE!!! I know you had some mishaps and a few disappointments along the way but I personally want to say thank you for ALL that you have done and are currently doing...meeting my family and learning about who I am and where I come from meant the world to me.

Thank you!

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From G's to Gents on MTV

Well, Well, Well Family!

Tonight I was surfing through the Time Warner Cable Guide and I came across a new show called "From G's To Gents", the title and the previews were interesting enough for me to watch the premiere episode tonight.

The premise is sort of like a charm school for "G's" or "Gangstas" with the end result of turning them into true gentlemen. Fonzworth Bentley hosts and Jamie Foxx (Surprised the heck outta me) is the executive producer.

I make no attempts to cover up my disappointment at young men who dress, speak and carry themselves like thugs and criminals and then are surprised at the problems and automatic assumptions that come along with their mannerisms.

So needless to say I applaud the efforts that the premise of the show seems to be making and I really did find the premiere episode interesting enough to tune in and watch next week. I really am interested in seeing which of these brothers truly want to change their lives...although I am not really sure of how teaching them how to play cricket will achieve that.

The first elimination was pretty much predictable and on point based on the behavior that the 2 contestants had displayed all evening.

From G's to Gents airs on MTV.

I'll keep you posted on my thoughts fam!

“You change your life by changing your heart.”

Sunday, July 13, 2008

And The Next Food Network Star is gonna be......

Okay Family!

I'mma just call it...I think brother Aaron McCargo Jr, out of Camden, NJ will be The Next Food Network Star!!! I just need for him to find the balance between his cooking and his on camera personality and find it quickly. His talents in the kitchen remind me so much of "Jag" from the prior season....I want to eat everything he cooks!!!! The judges love his cooking as well and he absolutely SLAYED them (the judges) and me with the Rachel Ray Challenge....he finally found his personality and showed it to the world!!! And he ROCKED BOTH of his dishes on the "Throwdown" Challenge. I absolutely love him and I really do think he has what it takes to be "The Next Food Network Star" over the remaining contestants......I would definitely watch his show.

Adam Gertler, who is charming enough but his food doesn't always impress me and sometimes the jokes blow up in his face. He reminds me of myself in the kitchen....lol...all over the place! I just don't think he's ready yet. Though he did make me wanna go out and try some lobster mac & cheese after his Throwdown Challenge in Vegas last week.

Lisa Garza, I gotta give it to mama....she can cook, the face is ALWAYS beat to a pulp, hair is SITTING!!! The pumps and the look is always together....but her personality comes across a little er....stern? And her food is sophisticated but not necessarily anything i'd want to eat....ya know? And the judges aren't all that excited about her cooking either.
So there you have it....I'm placing my bet now...I can just feel it in my bones.....

Make sure you all check out the final episode next week....I KNOW I will!

Dang....I want a sandwich now......

"It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts."

Friends & Family Day at Jackie Robinson Houses

Wow Family!

Yesterday I had the most fun I have had in a very long time! It all began when I received a call earlier in the week from my cousin Emma inviting me to the annual Friends & family day celebration at Jackie Robinson Houses in East Harlem. Further tempting me with the prospect of potato salad and sweet potato pie...I told her I would most definitely be there!!!

Now, I have mentioned my cousin Emma in my blogs before...she is one of my most beloved relatives! Our family elders all came up from South Carolina and lived together in Queens till everyone got on their feet and began relocating to Harlem. Her son Steven and her daughter Lorraine and I came up together and the three of us attended John F. Kennedy High School together, Steven and I graduated together and Lorraine came out the year before.

Steve and I have always been close since our days at CS 30-31, then IS 201 and we were on the track team together at Kennedy. Steve has always been my favorite cuz and his family is quite large so I was excited at the prospect of seeing them all at one time.

I decided to spend the earlier part of the day with my mom & stepdad and then I headed back to Harlem at around 3pm. The festivities were scheduled to begin at noon and go on until 5pm, so I figured 2 hours would be a nice amount of time. I exited the 4 train at 125th and Lexington Ave and found myself standing in front of Pathmark. I knew I had to stop there to pick up a few things before I headed home so I made the quick decision to head to Jackie Robinson first and hit Pathmark right before I went home.

Jackie Robinson Houses is located between 128th & 129th Streets between Lexington and Park Avenues. I grew up two blocks west on 128th St between Madison & Fifth Avenues. I was a stone cold neighborhood girl. I went to PS 24 (lol right NEXT DOOR to our apartment) for Kindergarten thru 1st Grade. I received a scholarship in 1st grade and as a result I spent grades 2nd through 5th downtown at The Lenox School for Girls on East 70th Street, returning to Harlem in Grade 6 to attend Community School 30-31 on 128th St btwn Lexington & Third Avenues and I attended middle school at I.S. 201 from there I went to JFK. I remember the summer of one of the NYC Blackouts that I walked PAST my house (where I KNEW my mother would make me come inside...lol...BORING) and walked straight down to Jackie Robinson to hang out with my cousins, I remember that although the lights were out the phones still worked so I called my mom to let her know I was safe and was absolutely giddy at the thought of spending the night with my cousins...we watched from the safety of their apartment windows as people returned from 125th st, arms filled with stuff they had just looted and were now hiding in the bushes on the grounds of where Alice Kornegay Houses now sit. - we even sat outside in the same area where the celebration was taking place with a bunch of other folks because it was the middle of summer and blazing hot.

Now I just took you all on a journey down my own personal memory lane with me to make a point.....when I approached Jackie Robinson Houses the walkway was decorated with Blue & White Streamers and Balloons, I could see the crowds of people even before I'd completely entered the complex. Everyone had their spots marked off with name cards and folks had set up barbecues, cabanas, tables, chairs....the event was so large that it spilled into the parking lots as well. As I walked around the complex I saw that there was one of those traveling carnival rides on 129th street between Park & Lex (the street was blocked off) and the children were all clamoring for rides...lol...that brought back more than a few memories for me. As a young child I rode on more than a few of those rides during the block parties that were held on 129th St between Park & Madison where I lived for a while.

Anyway, I put down my bag and sat next to my cousin Emma and some of the other elders surrounding her and quickly got caught up on things as my cousin Cathy began making plates for everybody. I got lots of love from all of my family members but especially from the little ones who remember seeing me on TV.....which made me laugh cuz I remember when they were little I could barely get them to crack a smile at me...lol.

I immediately pulled out my camera and began taking photos of everything and everybody....I started seeing familiar faces, some that I hadn't seen in at least 10 years. After chatting with my family I began to circulate around the complex seeking out old friends....

First face I saw was that of Karen Bunyan-Shuler, a friend of mine going back to our JHS days at IS 201 and she was with Adrina Price (they have been best friends since FOREVER) and I sat and talked with them, sipping Long Island Ice Teas until I spotted a tray of ribs on the table behind her - she saw me looking and told me I should eat...lol...they had some of everything ya'll - ribs, chicken, fish, grilled shrimp, greens, potato salad, mac n cheese....the list was absolutely ridiculous...but I didn't want anything but ribs and boy were they good - I sat there eating and licking my fingers (and toying with sticking that rib bone in my mouth..lol) and then I got up and continued mingling....

I hadn't taken but a few steps when a young man came up to me and hit me with "Is your name Sharon?" Yes, I replied. He looked SO familiar to me but I simply could not put a name with the face..."You don't remember do you?" he asked with a big smile on his face - completely puzzled I told him "you look familiar but I can't figure it out". He told me his name was Marvin Scott and I nearly died - once he said his name, I remembered him clearly....lol.

Marvin's older brother Darryl was one of my early teen crushes/loves and our families interacted closely. Marvin was the younger one and although he looked the same in the face....he was clearly all grown up now. He walked me over to his mom and dad (who I hadn't seen in many many years, since they left NYC) and his older brother Ronnie (lol...who didn't remember me at all). I grew quite close to his mom and I used to check in on her frequently when I lived on the east side. He filled me in on his life (he's retired from the military and now working in law enforcement) and we exchanged numbers and promised to keep in touch.

I looked up and saw my cousin Steve talking to Roosevelt Glenn, so I walked over to say hi. Roosevelt and his brother Harry, my cousin Steve and I were all elementary school classmates at CS 30-31. Harry & Steve were best friends and Harry was killed in the towers during 9/11 (R.I.P. my brother). I talked with Harry's mom for a while and saw that they were ALSO grilling ribs....lol...Harry's mom gave me the "go ahead" signal and I was OFF!!!! One of the Glenn brothers hit me off with a few ribs that were coated in this absolutely DELICIOUS mustard based BBQ sauce. As I dug into my ribs my cousin Steve (who was chomping on a cheeseburger) joked with me "You weren't playing when you said all you wanted was ribs!!!" I was dead serious - I eat chicken and burgers all the time but because I live in a "Pork free" environment at home - I don't get to eat ribs that much - so when I see them....lol...that's usually all that I want (unless there's some REALLY good potato salad to go along with it!)

But back to the Glenn family ribs....I thought the Ribs i'd had earlier were good but whatever they put in the special homemade sauce!!! THEY OUGHTA BOTTLE IT!!!! It was so good I just kept licking my fingers....I was TOTALLY in heaven ya'll! We eventually made our way back to our family area where I found that a lot more of my family had just arrived. I looked behind me and saw Carl Williams and his family. A few members from my old church Shiloh Church of Christ Disciples of Christ sat a few tables away. I ran into a young lady that I had performed with in a production of "Once on this Island" in New Jersey - lol...small world!

There was a moment of silence as everyone stopped what they were doing to pay their respects to our friends and family that have passed on. White balloons were released into the air and then the party resumed with the children that live in the complex treating us to a little dance number that they had put together and the party just took off from there. As the sun began to set, I decided it was time to head back West and I went up to my cousins apartment to pick up a little present she had left for me in the refrigerator - a sweet potato pie and some of her homemade potato salad!!! I was joyous because she makes the best pie & potato salad that I have ever had!!! I also spied that she had made some banana pudding - so yeah...I snuck some of that too!!!
It was an amazing day and I loved being able to see my family and old friends like that. Special thanks to my cousin Emma for inviting me.....I look forward to attending next year....Enjoy the slideshow and photos fam!


“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are
created, strengthened and maintained."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Will Smith IS Hancock and he ROCKS!!!!

Good Morning Family!

Yesterday, I spent most of the day hanging out with my mom & my stepdad. The plan was to walk over to the movies to check out Will Smith's latest flick...Hancock. My mom and I are both big Will Smith fans and we had been trying to get to the theater ever since it came out on July 3rd. However, the weather refused to cooperate most of the time (it's been raining a lot and neither one of us really "do" rain..lol). Anyway, I got to my Mom's around 1pm and after a short delay...(lol...last minute bathroom run) we headed downstairs. My parents got off at the lobby and waited for me as I took the garbage down to the basement.....

By the time I got back upstairs I was pleasantly surprised to see my oldest nephew standing in the lobby talking to his grandparents. He was in the area taking care of some personal business and decided to stop by and see them. Although I was still miffed at my nephew for standing me up on Father's Day and his um---apparent indifference to the whole situation...I couldn't help but marvel at how very handsome he is.

Well at his grandmother's prodding, he apologized and gave me a big hug and a kiss. I told him it was no biggie....because that was the last time I would him invite him to anything. If you know me at all - then you already know that I like folks to be consistent.

Anyway, we slowly made our way up the street when my mom announced that she was hungry and needed to complete some errands before we headed to the theater. Lol...my mom moves VERY slowly so I knew that I would be taking on the bulk of those tasks....not a problem at all. We decided to have lunch at the local diner and after we placed our food orders, I ran to the post office to complete the last of her errands (I had already done some on the way.)

The run to the post office took a little longer than I expected and by the time I returned my um....BACON cheeseburger deluxe was waiting for me. It tasted good going down....lol...but that lasted about as long as it took me to CHEW it. I was nauseous within minutes of the last bite. Anyway, the next stop was the bank and then after that we hopped on the bus for the short ride over to the movie theater.

After all that eating and running errands we arrived at the theater at 3:00pm....lol...15 minutes after the movie had begun. The next showing wasn't until 4pm so we decided to run ONE MORE ERRAND and wait for the 4pm show. After exchanging a pair of slacks bought for my dad the week before, we headed into the theater. We decided to sit on the padded benches near the concession stand. As we waited for the clock to tick down, we marveled at how ridiculous the prices are for snacks....a small soda & a small popcorn can run you close to $7.00 now - absolutely RIDICULOUS...lol. (THIS is why people sneak food into theaters...why would you pay $4.95 for a popcorn when you can buy a bag for .99 cents at a local bodega???).

While we were waiting some er...dirty looking chick with her two bad ass kids...took the bench next to us (even though I was praying she wouldn't) and proceeded to ask me (after asking my dad first) if I would give her $2.00 to buy sodas for her kids....What the hell????? After politely telling her no....we decided to make our way into the theater. We found some seats in the aisle and got comfortable....of course THAT'S when my dad decided he needed to go to the bathroom - IMMEDIATELY!!! So I hurriedly escorted him to the bathroom and got him altogether and rushed back to our seats....the moment I re-entered the theater....I immediately decided it was time to change our seats.

Now mind you, the theater was half empty, so why did this chick, her lover and HER two bad ass noisy kids decide to sit in the row of seats...RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!!!! I gave my mom one look and she KNEW we were moving....I wanted to enjoy the movie and not have to "shush" these folks the whole time.

So we found some new seats and after (I kid you not) 15-20 minutes of commercials & previews...the movie finally began. There is NO WAY that I am about to give away this movie out of respect for the folks who haven't seen it yet.....To make a long story short....Will Smith plays John Hancock a reluctant superhero who is absolutely wreaking havoc on the city of Los Angeles when he saves the life of a struggling publicist who then decides to give him a PR makeover as thanks for saving his life. There are a few plot twists and turns (some of which I didn't expect....go figure...lol).

At the present time, Will Smith can do no wrong in my eyes....I forgave him a long time ago for "Wild Wild West" and I absolutely LOVED Hancock!!!! And did I say that Will looks awfully good in black leather....dayum! Although the cameo appearance from Mike Epps confused the hell out of us all.....I am still a sucker for superhero movies, actually anything that has a comic book theme....So if it has a comic book theme I am probably gonna try and check it out.

So I know I REALLY took the long way around getting to my review, so I'll say it again....


"What we do for ourselves dies with us; What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Broadway Diva B.J. Crosby has Stroke

Singer B.J. Crosby suffered a stroke the week of June 15th.

She is doing fine and her speech is improving by the day, though she still can't sing. She recently told The Times-Picayune, ""My speech is slurred, but I take my time when I talk so you can understand me. It's OK. I know I'm getting better. I'm going to recover. It's just going to take a little time."

Ms. Crosby received a Tony Nomination for her performance in Smokey Joe's Cafe in which she also contributed to the Grammy winning cast album.

Other credits include "One Mo' Time," "Harlemsong" and "Dreamgirls." She's also appeared on A 1984 TV special, "Lady BJ Sings Lady Day: A Tribute to Billie Holiday," in addition to "Law & Order: SVU", "Ally McBeal" and "Gimme a Break."

The theater star famous for her powerful voice is able to speak and walk and has regained some use of her right hand and arm, but is unable to sing at this point, according to a report in the Times-Picayune.

"My speech is slurred, but I take my time when I talk so you can understand me," Crosby told the Times-Picayune. "It's OK. I know I'm getting better. . . . I'm not mad that this happened to me. But it's difficult to get through. I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm going to recover. It's just going to take a little time."

Crosby, who has played Matron "Mama" Morton in the hit Broadway revival of Chicago, does not have medical insurance. To help raise funds for her bills, donations are being accepted, and a benefit concert is planned for the fall.

"I need prayers more than money," Crosby told the New Orleans paper. "Tell people not to stop praying for me. I know prayer changes things."

We are praying for your speedy recovery BJ!

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all."

Monday, July 7, 2008

VH-1's I Love Money

Dang Family!

Did anyone see the 1st episode of VH-1's new reality fiasco....I Love Money???? I watched it this morning and was laughing my behind off! It's absolutely ridiculous and that's exactly why I will probably watch it again.

This first episode involved the choosing of sides for the remainder of the competition and unfortunately lil Midget Mac was the first man eliminated....lol...although he I seriously doubt he would have made the cut anyway....I don't care how many push ups he can do....he's still on the small side and he would have been a disadvantage to any one's team. But his attitude and unwillingness to put on the bikini for the first challenge ultimately did him in.

I can't help but wonder if he will be the only person from this show to leave with their dignity intact.

I guess we'll see won't we?

Btw....Can someone please tell me why the host looks so familiar to me???? I simply cannot put my finger on where I have seen him before.....

"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love."

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!!!!

Sigh....Enjoy the fireworks...it's raining...I'm staying inside.

"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it."

DSE Summer Party Series Pt 2 at Deity Lounge

Happy 4th of July Family!!!

Last night was the second installment of the DSE (DeVoe Signature Events) Summer Party Series. This month's party was held at Deity Lounge (www.deityloungenyc.com) in Downtown Brooklyn. The party's theme was a "Pre-July 4th South Beach White & Denim Affair"....all guests were asked to wear either an all white ensemble or a mixture of White and Denim....sounds easy right? lol....not for everyone....see the slide show...

But it didn't really matter....all were welcome on this night! I picked up the A train from 125th street and rode it to Brooklyn where I exited at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn stop. After a few seconds of getting my bearings, a passerby pointed me in the direction of Atlantic Avenue. I walked about a block or so and quickly found Atlantic Avenue. As I was walking up the street searching for the address, I heard someone calling me from a car...as I looked up I saw that it was Knitwear designer Michi (lol...I have been running into her a lot of late), who was pulling her car into a waiting parking spot. She pointed me in the direction of the club and I told her I would meet her inside.

As I approached Deity Lounge, I was surprised to see that it's former home was a Synagogue...the exterior was absolutely beautiful, I had to stop to take a few pictures and I got instantly excited to see what the interior looked like. But just as I was about to enter, I ran into designer Qristyl Frazier, who looked beautiful in a denim mini (that I am SURE she made herself..lol). We talked for a few moments and she told me that she had to run an errand for a client and she would be returning to the party shortly. (Uh-huh....I'm still waiting on that drink Qristyl!!!).

The inside of the Deity Lounge is breathtakingly beautiful ya'll....the first thing I noticed was the circular bar and the exposed brick walls, complete with trees and original art. The ladies & mens rooms were cleverly marked "Goddess" & "God". Now you know me family, so you know my camera was out and I was taking pictures almost immediately. Diva must have seen me outside talking to Qristyl because she was right at the door when I came in...she was dressed in a gorgeous strapless evening dress in White & Caribbean Blue....my girl looked absolutely stunning and so did my plus sized sisters....

Almost everyone was keeping in line with the theme and if you allowed your imaginations to run wild....you truly felt like you were in a beach side club in South Beach all that was missing was the smell of the ocean......Fabulous! As I began circling the bar, I immediately began to see familiar faces everywhere, Plus Model Christina Mendez had her crew in one corner and Runway Coach Extraordinaire, Alva Page was holding it down in another.

I ran into my longtime friend and plus model Roslyn "Rocky" Grate who was a rocking a FIERCE new short asymmetrical do' that just left me speechless (Home girl....YOU LOOK MARVELOUS!!!!)....and she wasn't the only one with new short cuts.....Miss Josephine (Curvesity Entertainment) who was missing her partner Sonia tonight (We missed you girl), also had a new short do and she was at the bar with...lol not one but TWO Mojitos and get this....SHE WAS GIVING THE BARTENDER TIPS ON HOW TO PRESERVE AND SELECT FRESH MINT!!! (You go 'head girl and kick some knowledge)...also in the house was Talina Jones, who was celebrating her birthday with a new cut and a fresh birthday cake! Happy Birthday Chica!!!

There were lots of drinks specials....a twist on a mimosa with Prosecco & Blood Oranges (tasty but the blood orange flavor takes a little getting used to....use too much and it can be bitter) and a yummy buffet that included fried chicken, yellow rice and fried dumplings that were to die for....you know something is good when you can still eat it cold. On the other side of the room was a table that was filled with a platter of Chocolate (Whoo!!! It was GOOD!!!) and Vanilla Cupcakes (didn't try those cuz I was stuck on the chocolate ones) as well as Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes courtesy of Annie Mae's Cheesecakes & Moore (www.anniemaescheesecakes.com) (Girlllll....your desserts were great!!! There was a bakery on the block that had some beautiful cupcakes in the window.....I will say this...I few people actually stopped and bought a few...and uh....word on the street was that as pretty as they looked....they were actually kinda um...dry...so thank you for "doing it properly"...lol).

As the evening went on and more folks began to fill the room the cocktails were flowing and there was a definite electricity in the air. Tonya "T-Boogie" Giddens and a few others (along with myself) was working the room with their cameras. I chatted with Linda "The Dancing Machine" Mann and Denise Best. I also saw Brother Lavon & his very handsome friend (who's name I can't remember) as well as Jada Vegas, who hurriedly ran back to her car to get me a flyer for her next event. Baby, that bartender had his hands full with all of the cocktail orders.

There was tons of conversation, mingling and networking going on and as I worked my way towards the back of the room I saw a beautiful seating area where there was a camera and an interview area set up. I remembered that tonight was the announcement of the winners of the talent search for the new hosts of DSE TV.

The search had been narrowed down to 5 finalists and tonight was the big night for two very lucky ladies. Finalists Suzette Bonzo, Catalina Colon & Lakia Tribie were on hand for the announcement, the other two finalists were unable to appear. The room was filled with beautiful people and quite a few handsome brothers were on hand to support as well. Did I say that Lakia Tribie has a most handsome and charming husband? Well she does and he kept me laughing!! Finally Diva took the stage with Rosamund "Rosie" Fife (who looked quite beautiful if I do say so) by her side and took the mic and called for the room to be quiet.

As the three ladies stood on her right, Diva explained to the crowd about the voting process and how the winners were actually selected. A hush filled the room as Diva & Rosie both held placards with the photos and names of the winners......Drum Roll Please......

Congratulations to new DSE TV Hosts: Suzette Bonzo & Lakia Tribie!!!!!

The ladies were quickly whisked off to the interview area and were put to work immediately...lol.

There search also continues for a new male host as well....and speaking of male hosts....I think I saw the perfect one as I was standing outside talking to Jeannie Ferguson an absolutely FOINE brother wearing a white baseball jersey & cap walked past and we both stopped and took notice.....he asked where the party was and we pointed him in the right direction and I hoofed it back quickly cuz he was good looking enough for me to get a second look at!!

Well before I left the party...you KNOW I had to check out the brother more closely and introduce myself....I think he said his name was Karlos and he had heard from several people that he should look into that hosting position....well as I got ready to head on out, I happened to look back and saw that he was talking to Diva (and hopefully auditioning)...so we will see how it goes.....

As the hour grew late, I accepted a ride back to the city from Suzette & Christina Mendez (Whew!! Thanks ya'll I certainly did NOT want to get on the train back to the city), said the last of my goodbyes and walked around the corner where Suzette's car was parked close by. As I passed some of the many shops lining Atlantic Avenue, I saw several beautiful dresses in the shop windows but the thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that TWO of the shops had EXACT versions of Monif C.'s convertible dresses in the window! Interesting huh?

Anyway, Congratulations Diva on another great event! Continued Success with ALL that you do mama!!

Congratulations Alva Page on your new gig! I KNOW you are gonna kick some MAJOR butt!!! I am very proud of you!

The Party Continues.....See Ya'll Next Month!!!!

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Article in the July 08 Issue of Plus Model Magazine

Happy Independence Day Family!!!
My latest article in the July 2008 issue of Plus Model Magazine is available for your reading pleasure NOW!!!

My girl Fluvia Lacerda is rocking a swimsuit on the cover and she looks fabulous!!! You GO Girl!!!

This month's topic:

Part 6: How to Submit Your Photos Online or Via Mail

I hope you enjoy it and thank you as always for your continued support!

“People shop for a bathing suit with more care than they do a husband or wife. The rules are the same. Look for something you'll feel comfortable wearing. Allow for room to grow.”