Monday, November 16, 2009

Racism by any other name

Read 4 stories on racism on AOL home page this morning! Black/White racism, British acts against poor white children of single mothers back in the day and shipped to Australia. (Don't forget Australia's racism against it's own indiginous people.) Racist symbols on holiday wrapping paper (swastika). IKEA's CEO's ties to the Nazis and his use of the N word.

Where does one group get the audacity to think they are better than others? Racism is an ugly, disgusting, gross entity. This is not a win-win for either the victims or those responsible for the racism. It's still slavery. It is still wrong. It still generate intolerance and wars. And it's stupid. Example: you hate me because I am Black and you are white but neither of us made ourselves the color that we are. Then you, the white person, spend your money trying to get brown, like me, in the summer, risking skin cancer in tanning salons. Why imitate me if I'm such a terrible being. Yet you think I'm inferior. And what about those of color, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow? Why are you buying into the lie? As I've said before, if you, whoever you are, fear me that much that you have to resort to racism and slavery, I must be pretty powerful. Thnk about that for a moment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Food, Food Everywhere!

On a lighter note but still dealing with food, this is my favorite time of the year. Love Thanksgiving. Lots of food in the house. Funny thing is, you can't eat it until Thanksgiving. Is that weird or what?

Turkey, dressing, ham, beef roast, greens, potato salad, yams, string beans, corn, salad, turnips, rice and gravy, cakes, pies, cider, alcohol.  All for one day. Can you believe it? Oh, almost forgot the mac and cheese. Not all of this is on our menu for this year.

When my Mom was alive, she did the greens, string beans, meats except the turkey and dressing which I did along with the potato salad and all the desserts. I always start my cooking on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and cook something every day ending with the turkey going into the oven at 4 in the morning. Food is falling out the fridge but we were always looking for something to eat. Sausage, tuna, chicken, franks-anything.

Is your house like that too? I have a packed freezer. So does my daughter. My son just bought over the beef roast which I will cook and take to my daughter's house. Finishing up our shopping this week and the cycle will begin again. Food all over the kitchen. Fridge and freezer full and we'll have to order out because all of that wonderful food will be off limits until that one day where we will all pig out until we can hardly breathe.

Don't you just love Thanksgiving?

Enjoy your holiday.

Arrested for food fight!!!

Just saw story about some students who were arrested for participating and/or starting a food fight at their school. Apparently they were throwing carrots and jello. Anyway, cops were called and now the students may have a record to live down if this is not resolved.

Have we gone stark raving mad? The Fort Hood killer was giving away his worldly belongings, included his copy of the Holy Koran. Supposedly he had ties to some cleric, I believe, who was advocating terrorism - and the authorities, who we pay to protect us, knew all about this. He had also supposedly made questionable statements regarding Muslims and death. BUT NO ONE PAID ATTENTION TO THIS.

In the meantime, students are arrested for a good, old fashioned (albeit messy) food fight. A younger child is suspended at another for bringing his Boy Scout eating tool to show and tell because the school has zero tolerance for weapons. Yet a man walks into another middle/high school with a hidden gun and holds a hostage until he is talked out of doing harm. YET CHILDREN ARE ARRESTED FOR A FOOD FIGHT!!!

Something is wrong with this picture.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Saw the Michael Jackson movie of his rehearsal. Thought it was awesome! Michael did not appear to be drugged or sick. His voice was good, he was energetic. Enjoyed it. Michael was such a talented man. No one can dispute that.

Have heard some of the negatives, even from Michael's family members. So unfortunate. This is a tremendous tribute to the talent of the man and a treat for his fans.

If Michael had lived to do this concert, it would have been the concert of the century!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The year of the ? flu!!!

Am I the only one wondering how there is a vaccine for the "regular" flu before anyone knows which flu it is? I thought the flu was "named" after it was discovered, then the vaccine was prepared and then we got the shots. Now, you can get the flu shot before anyone even knows which flu it is. (Not talking about the H1N1 flu.) So what flu is this shot supposed to protect me from? When are they going to name it? What happens if that is not the flu that occurs this season? If they already know what flu is circulating, why did they wait until now to push the vaccine?

Now if I was a conspiracy theorist I would think that something was going on. After all, sick people are a bazillion dollar business here in the US. Drugs, hospitals, doctors, health care insurance, etc. all depend on sick people. (Not well people)

I have not decided whether I will be vaccinated against either the regular or the swine flu. The last and only shot I got made me extremely sick years ago and I vowed off the shot after that.

This is just my observation. Chime in with your observations.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saggin' Pants

This bears another post. What is up with young men wearing their pants down, showing their underwear? Do they know what it means or even where it comes from.

Gay men say they are turned on by this because it means you, young man, want a real "booty call". A male prisoner said it means he can touch whatever he want's in that person's pants because it is advertising that this behind is available. Same thing the gay man said, just different words. Historians say this began in slavery times because, just like in prison, slaves were not given belts because they might hang themselves robbing the slave owner of income and it was also a form of humiliation. Ever try doing something while holding up your pants? We see that now. Looks stupid to me. (And you have the nerve to try to run. Be for real!)

So what are you saying, young man? You are a closet gay. Have nothing against the gay population but if that's you, be open about it and stop hiding. You are predicting that you are going to prison (or maybe you've been already.) Or maybe you are confirming that you are still a slave. Remember the experiment with the young elephant. When he is young, he is chained to a spot in his pin. He tries over and over to move but is stopped by the chain. After a while, he stops trying and guess what? The chain is removed because the owner knows he won't try to go anywhere because he thinks he is chained. So, like in the Willie Lynch speech, the enslaved perpetuate the slavery and the masters don't have to do anything except reap the benefits of stupidity. You, young man, are doing it to yourself. The height of ignorance.

And what about the young ladies who put up with this? Where is your self-esteem?

This is very serious and we need to address it immediately. Do the schools allow this? They should be sanctioned or disciplined in some way. The world is watching this and laughing at us.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Flash Forward

Did you see the new TV program, Flash Forward? Interesting story line. Everyone in the whole world blacked out for 2 minutes 17 seconds at the same time on the same day. And during that blackout, everyone saw their future. Little girl said she had a bad dream, guy about to commit suicide sees a better future for himself, recovering alcoholic sees himself drinking, wife sees herself with another man, etc.

What future do you think you would see if this happened to you? Something to think about. What future do you want? If you knew something positive was going to happen, how would you live? Would you want to know the future?

If the future you saw was negative, would you try to change it? Do you think you could change it? Suppose you saw illness, death, financial ruin? Would you give up without a fight?

I have not figured any of this out yet either so I will revisit this discussion again.

Life tip: Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have. H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is Etiquette Dead?

What is going on? Folks cursing folks at tennis matches. Folks disrespecting the President. Folks acting the fool at the music awards - again.

What happened to respect and disagreeing agreeably? You have every right to disagree. Thank God we are in a country where you are not shot for speaking out against the leader of the country. But let's not over step our boundaries.

We need to get back to good old fashioned manners. Remember please and thank you, etc.? What happened to paying attention to the speaker and not texting on your cell phone while they are talking? We are being watched and the world is saying, "what a bunch of phonies." How do you expect the world to take us serious when we act like idiots?

Get it together, people.

Life tip for you: How you treat others is how you will be treated.

Enough already

Is anyone else tired of the doom and gloom in the news? It is so depressing. In a 30 minute news program, the first 20 minutes is who shot/stabbed who, who was the hit-and-run victim, who got raped/robbed, which politician/sports figure/rapper acted like an ass, how many more people lost their jobs/homes, how many of our soldiers died in bomb attacks, which movie star, etc died, etc, etc. If you were visiting from another planet and turned on the news, you would probably call in your alien troops to fight us all!

Is anything good happening in the world? You wouldn't think so. After 20 minutes of doom and gloom, there is weather, sports and a 5 second story on the dog who was rescued from the well he fell into.

Not only does the negative story run all day but then it is repeated on the weekend. Is it fair to the family to relive several times during the week how their loved one was killed. When September 11 happened, my young grand daughters thought buildings were collapsing all over New York because the collapse of the Twin Towers was shown over and over. And if the visual is not bad enough, then we get to hear the 911 call from the person trapped or being attacked or whatever.

I have stopped watching the TV news and recommend that we all do the same. (I stopped reading the papers long ago.) If you have cable, you can probably program your remote to select what you want to see. If not, just turn the sound down until the weather, sports and animal story comes on.

Don't worry. If you are online, you still will know what's happening in the world. You won't miss out.

I am not advocating living in a vacuum but enough is enough of the "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality of the news media. If we stop buying or watching, they will change their approach.

How about more stories like the woman who saved her house by selling apple cakes which she called Mortgage Apple Cakes? (I'm financing my retirement by selling ReRum Cakes. Re for retirement, rum for 100 proof rum.) How about looking for someone else who is saving their home in some creative way? How about someone who is turning the negative of job lost into the positive of whatever they are doing? How about some success stories taking up the first 20 minutes of the broadcast?

It's time for a revolution. Enough already.

Life Tip: FEAR is false evidence appearing real.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In Remembrance

Not going to go over the affects of 911, etc. Just want to acknowledge and say R.I.P. to those who gave their lives during this great tragedy. Hoping that the rest of us will also find peace.

My Writing Life: Writing is Like Starting A New Year at School

My Writing Life: Writing is Like Starting A New Year at School

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Words of Wisdom

In order to know what to do in the future, you have to understand the past.
Senator Edward Kennedy


Farewell to Senator Kennedy. He touched many and was an advocate for those without voice. He fulfilled his purpose. May he rest in peace.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You have the power

Nothing external to you has power over you - unless you give it power/permission. Agree or disagree.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Love times 2

Have you ever been in love with 2 people at the same time? Over a long period of time? What happened? Did you ever choose one over the other? Or were you the "other" woman/man in both situations?

Perhaps you don't believe someone could love 2 people. Maybe you feel that one of them would be shortchanged.

Whatever, I would like to know your thoughts. Of course, you should not name the parties involved. Use the comment link so others can join the dialogue.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Sometimes the best of life comes out of the darkness.

There is(was) the darkroom where pictures were developed. The seed is placed in the dark soil where it develops into the mighty oak tree. The embryo is formed in the darkness of the womb. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the EVENING and the morning were the first day. (Not day and night, but night and day.)

Darkness is not always negative.

What are your thoughts on this?


Sorry I have not been here lately but promise to change that immediately. Lots going on. Just retired. I AM SO HAPPY!!! Think I want to redesign this blog to focus on real life tips. At any rate, it is onward and upward. Thanks for your support.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Such a tragic week!

Such a tragic week! Our heartfelt sympathies to the families of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and of course, the multi-talented Michael Jackson. Listening to MJ right now on the radio. Hearing tunes I never heard before but they are all fabulous. Each of these people made a mark and their gifts will be sorely missed and cannot be replaced.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Go Prez

Did you see/hear the President's speech? What do you think? Did he "apologize" like some are saying? Give a shout out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Take another stroll with me

On a lighter note, more memory lane stuff. This time I'm not just limiting this stroll to places but also TV, food, activities.

Remember house parties with colored (red) lights? Boy were they fun. And while we are at the house party, don't forget spiking the punch. My Mom used to have rent parties too. We may have to go back to those parties due to the economy.

New Yorkers will probably remember The Village Gate. Great place for great live music. Some of you may remember Honeysuckle's, a bar/restaurant on the upper West side. Interesting array of people could be found there. Food was good. Best seat in house was upstairs where you could look down at the bar. Fabulous people watching.

Another great place for food was/is Jezebel's on 9th Avenue and 45th Street. French decor including a piano and a table with a swing for seating!

Who remembers Saturday morning cartoons like Mighty Mouse, Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang? Anybody but me remember Beanie and Cecil? Wow am I dating myself.

How about some music like the Duke of Earl by Gene Chandler? What about I'll Try Something New by the Miracles?

Last but not least (for this post) is a place called Plato's Retreat. Not going to give any more info about it but some of you know what it was!!!

If you remember any of the above or have some memories to add, leave a comment. (Comment could be about anything you remember: food, TV, movies, clubs, restaurants, etc.) Would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What is torture?

I watched a video in which a journalist bet that he could withstand waterboarding for 15 seconds. The person who was going to administer the "test" was covered so you could not see his face. He explained to the journalist that he WOULD NOT be able to last that long. The journalist was strapped to a board with his head slightly down and feet a little higher. He was given an object to drop on the floor to stop the test.

Then the waterboarding began.

The journalist dropped the object within about 5 seconds! He then explained how he could not breathe because the water was going up his nose. He stated that his brain was telling his body to breath and that his heart was racing incredibly. THIS WAS AFTER ABOUT 5 SECONDS.

If I remember correctly, the man administering the "test" did not think waterboarding was torture. Are you kidding? Someone please tell me what torture is if this is not torture.

This is like saying only the Japanese tortured people during WW2 but we didn't. Yeah. Right. Or that only the North Vietnamese committed terrible atrocities during the Vietnam fiasco. We, Americans, only went over there to "help" these people who could not help themselves.

Don't misunderstand me. I don't condone torture no matter what side of the flag you are on. If my telling you something, even a lie, is going to stop the torture, I may just tell you something.

Man's inhumanity to man. Unbelievable the lengths we humans will go to in the name of justice, religion, etc.

Hurts, Doesn't It?

There seems to be a lot of talk about Sonia Sotomayor's decision against the White firefighters. Discrimination is a b@#$, isn't it? There is also noise about her statement that a Latina woman might make a different decision than a White man.

African Americans (Hispanics, etc.) have suffered discrimination for decades and decades. So now, you (White firefighters, Joe the plumber, etc) know how that feels.

As for the second statement, she was talking about her experiences and how they would relate to decisions she might make, if I understand her statement correctly. As an African American woman, who grew up in Harlem and North Carolina during the sit-ins, busrides for freedom, the murder of Emmet Til, the murders of King, the Kennedys, etc., I certainly would have a different slant on things than a white man who grew up in Long Island where Blacks could be servants but could not go to the country clubs. If I were a judge, however, I would have to follow the law and not just my feelings.

So for the Rush Limbaughs and the other dipsticks, give it a rest! If Sotomayor were a white male, you would not have anything to say - and you know it. This is so blatant, it's pathetic. We can see who the real racists are!

Supreme Choice

Glad the Pres selected a Latina woman as nomination for the Supreme Court. And from the Boogie Down Bronx! (Only New Yorkers, past or present can appreciate that point.) All the naysayers might as well go sit down. A Black president and Latina woman on the highest court in the land. GO TEAM!!!!


Just wanted to say thanks to all of you who read my blogs on a regular. I do appreciate it. Keep reading and feel free to respond.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Can we get an Amen?

Had a talk with a young lady today about not getting responses or comments on her blog. She said her freinds. etc., have been informed of her blog. I assume their responses are positive. They will verbally inform her that they have read her posts or like what they read but none of them have responded with a comment on the blog itself. Why is that?

I have a similar problem. I have several people on my email lists from both of my blogs and I've only gotten a couple of comment/responses. I am indeed happy for those responses ( and to know that I have a couple of followers) but I get the same answers. "Oh yes, I read your last post. It was good" or "You really upset the apple cart this time" or whatever.

So the question is, how do we get folks who read to comment (hopefully positively even if they disagree)? I know that I like to comment on posts that speak to me in some way. I'm in several writing groups on Linkedin and I visit the groups regularly and try to comment on posts that I feel I can contribute to. Sometimes the comment is as simple as "good luck on your book" or my opinion on whatever the post was about.

Anyway, all bloggers would appreciate your comments to whatever posts speak to you. I would prefer comments on the comments link at the bottom of the post itself but a comment is a comment. So to those who regularly read my posts, I sincerely thank you. I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I enjoy which is to write. Look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Law of the Garbage Truck


Law of the Garbage Truck. One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.' He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets... The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so...Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't. Life is ten percent what you make it, ninety percent how you take it! Have a garbage-free day!

Another goodie sent by a friend.


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Sent to me by a friend. Thought I would share it with you.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


It's spring cleaning time! Time to get rid of stuff from last year (or the last ? years) that you didn't use, will never use, refuse to use again, etc. I'm reading the book, Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke which tells how to go through your entire living space and throw out, recycle, or sell "stuff". Also talks about clearing out old thoughts, mindsets, etc. that may also be weighing you down.

I just started reading it and already I've cleared out my jewelry boxes, recyling most of it. Going through the rest of my closet. It is truly liberating.

Have fun.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Memories

Got some more great memories.

The bakery I spoke of earlier was Cushmann's. It was located on 125 between 8th and St. Nicholas Avenues and it would run circles around Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme if it were still open. All of their items were delicious: glazed donuts, jelly donuts, brownies, etc but the apple turnovers were unmatched by anyone. They were huge and overflowing with apples. They went out of business because of competition from supermarket entries like Sara Lee cakes. (By the way, is Sara Lee still around?)

Todays list just proves that I was (still am) a party girl. These 2 places still exist but with the changes taking place in Harlem, I don't know how long they will be around. I'm talking about Showman's and Lenox Terrace. Never really hung out in either but they are a fixture uptown.

I did hang out in Doral's on 7th between 145th and 146th Streets with the guys from the 369th Armory. Wild bunch of guys. Drank each other under the table! By the way, they had great parties at the Armory. All you could eat and drink and loud music. What could be better?

Another food spot was Copeland's on 145th Street. Copeland's had been around for years. Sunday brunch, good soul food. Copeland's even tried a 2nd restaurant on 125th but it didn't last long and the both stores bowed to economics (or so I heard.) Rents too high, or their prices were too high, etc.

As I was writing this, I remembered a BBQ place that was around the corner from the original Copeland's, on Broadway and about 147th St. Can't think of the name but the ribs were wonderful. So much so that I got off the bus coming home from work one day, in an unexpected snow storm (had on heels so I had to walk slowly to keep from falling) to get a rib dinner!!! Now that is some good food. And I'm sure many of you remember Singleton's BBQ. I think there was more than one but I remember the one on Lenox Avenue across from Harlem Hospital.

Let's keep this going. If you remember Harlem from back in the day, put your comments on this post. (Just wish I had pictures of all these places. Never thought they would disappear.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Memory Lane

For my Harlemites, let's go down memory lane:

Remember Teddy's Shanty's hot dogs on 8th Avenue at 125th St? Every time I went there, they would charge me a different price for the same order: 2 hot dogs and a grape drink. Or the original Wells, Chicken and Waffles. Sherman's BBQ (when the food was good), Mister B's, The Flash Inn, Thomford's ice cream parlor (125th St, corner of St. Nicholas Ave.) And the best Chinese restaurant in NY as far as I'm concerned, Len Fong, which was on Broadway at 145th St. Food was delicious and Cantonese and you could get a nice buzz off the drinks while waiting for your food. Just found out that M & G's diner, corner 125th and Morningside Avenue, has closed!!! Oh the shame of it all. They had one of the best music collections on their juke box. The soul food was great and they were open 24 hours a day and you got to know the waitresses who called you by name. You could eat breakfast at 5pm or 3am. Oh and don't forget Wilson's up on Amsterdam Avenue.

What about some of the bars in Harlem? The Top Club, The Baby Grand (which I think is now a Radio Shack), The Oasis up on Broadway. The Paradise, which was on the corner of 110th Street and 8th Avenue and was a "bucket of blood" where even the bartender would tell you not to turn your back on your drink!!! The other paradise was Small's Paradise, of course. Had lots of fun in there. I used to hang at a bar called The Four Pheasants (weird name for a Harlem bar.) It was a 3 for 1 and they did not water down the drinks. Happened to know the guys running the the place. Sometimes I would have 9 to 12 shots lined up in front of me. Woo Hoo!!! Occasionally stopped in The Flame, 141st Street and Lenox Avenue, which I considered a neighborhood bar. Mostly older folks from the 'Hood, kind of the quiet.

What about the dance halls? I can only remember The Savoy, 149th St in the Boogie Down Bronx and The Carlton Terrace on 96th Street and Broadway. Think I went to all of the dance halls at one time or another because my uncle gave a dance once or twice a year.

Remember when you didn't have to go downtown to the movies? I think there were at least 4 theaters on 125th Street including a Loew's and RKO on 7th Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets. There was another Loew's on 116th Street, along with another RKO, I think.

What about the bakery on 125th Street between St. Nicholas and 8th Avenues? Don't remember the name but they had huge apple turnovers that were full of apples (would you believe) and wonderful glazed donuts. Speaking of glazed donuts, no one, not ever Krispy Kreme could compare to Georgie's Bakery which was down the block from Con Ed. Little tiny place and the line was down the block at holiday time! Had a small menu of pound cake, chocolate cake, coconut pie, sweet potatoe pie, brownies and the best glazed donuts in the world. A tray of freshly baked glazed donuts would be sold out by the time you got to the counter - and - you were already in the store. Across the street was Wimp's which had delicious cakes.

Can't end without mentioning Majester's Fish and Chips. (the original store on Lenox and 129th Street.) There was always a line of people, no matter what time of year it was. I never went to that place and walked right up to the counter. Best fish and chips in town and they were open late for the bar crowd.

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Hit me back with some of the places you remember.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Correction to Willie Lynch Post

The etiquette school (DFI) is reconsidering the option of expelling the student who was fighting so at this time, no decision towards dismissal has been made. When reviewing the mission of the school and our target audience, it was felt that other things need to be investigated before a decision can be made. The rest of the post stands. Let's remember our greatness.

Willie Lynch Lives On

Had an unfortunate event happen this weekend at the etiquette school I work with. The school, The Development and Finishing Institute ( is Harlem, New York's premier etiquette school. We hold classes at Columbia University. In our 7 year history, we have never had to expell anyone. We've also never had to deal with a child fighting another child-until now.

Details of the incident are not necessary for this post. Suffice it to say, the young lady who started the fight was also disruptive in class 2 weeks ago. Because of this, DFI has no choice but to immediately dismiss this young lady from attending classes with us.

What does this have to do with Willie Lynch? You tell me. I recently learned that the Willie Lynch speech is not authentic. The article gave many facts about when someone named Willie Lynch lived, which apparently was many years after the speech was written. Article also talked about other great Black leaders who spoke out against the horrors of slavery and NEVER mentioned this speech.

The speech may be a fabrication but what are we as a people doing to live it down? Why do we treat each other the way we do? The mother of the young girl who started the fight was there at the school. If we (anyone) are the product of our environment, then what does that say about the young lady's home life. And what about her self-esteem? How bad do you feel about yourself that the only way you can get your point across is by fighting?

Why is it that things we do to each other we would never do to someone of another race? (Not talking about crime, etc.) DFI is constantly asked to make concessions that these same people would never ask for if the school were run by Whites. We hold classes at Columbia University but we are not a part of Columbia. If Columbia were running DFI, none of the mothers enrolling their children in DFI would approach the registrar asking for a discount in tuition other than whatever may already be offered. I've seen this in other areas too. Why is it that we would degrade another AA's product or service but would not consider doing that at a Macy's or Target's, etc? And if you (or your child) started a fight in one of those stores, you would find yourself in Central Booking. Why do we feel that because we both have Black faces, I have to "give you a break, give you a bigger discount, let you pay late, or let you otherwise break/bend the rules etc?" No I don't! Nothing personal but this is business.

And let's not forget about the crab mentality. Personally I am very happy when someone of color (which is just about everyone in the world) is successful. You would think I was a relative!!! Contrary to the media, there is enough to go around. I don't have to badmouth someone else's success. It does nothing for me. Lighting your candle does not put my candle out. It adds more light to the room.

Let's remember our greatness and stop repeating the ideas put forth in the Willie Lynch speech, whether it is authentic or not.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

So late you're absent!

Oh boy. Sarah Palin again. Like a bad penny, you keep turning up. You're so late you're absent. President Obama recognized his mistake and apologized about the remark he made. And since when does the pot call the kettle black, pun intended? You certainly are not umblemished. Neither is your family. Clean up your own backyard before trying to clean up someone else's.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Not a Penthouse!

It seems that Bernie Madoff wants out of his little cell. Wants to go back to his bazillion dollar penthouse apartment to await sentencing. His attorneys said he would not be a flight risk. I guess not. Didn't he have to wear an electronic bracelet? Besides, the press was camped outside his apartment night and day. Get Real!! How about if all his assets are sold to repay the people who lost their money dealing with him? Of course, if it were you and me, the little people, we would have been so far in the jail that they might not be able to find us. I'm not gloating but it's time for some justice. Last night's news showed one of his victims, who has to work for $8.00 an hour after losing about $700,000 to Madoff - and he is 90 years old!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Let your arms show

Isn't there more important things to discuss than Michelle Obama's bare arms? Probably the ones making the most noise are those who dare not show their bare arms!!! Leave the First Lady alone. She is not like the other first ladies. She has her own style and it is refreshing.

The real question is, what can you do to make this world a better place? I would think worrying about sleeveless dresses is not it. What do you think?


News reports that teen pregnancy is on the rise. Wow!

Young men, you need to stop dropping your precious seed (translate babies) in any and every well you come across. Any male animal can produce offspring. Any human male can produce a child but that does not make you a father. And who is left with the result of that act while you move on to the next "starving-for-love" young lady? A young lady, who is a child herself, who now has a child that she and her mother and grandmother will raise.

And young lady, why is your body, your virginity so value-less to you and that young man? Why are you having sex anyway? Why are you so void of self pride and self respect that you feel you must have sex with someone, young or old, because he said, "if you love me, this is how you prove it." No! What it proved is that you fell for the same line he used on the other 2 or 3 young ladies who had his other babies. Then the baby mama drama begins.

THIS IS NOT LOVE. This is not respect. This is how many notches he can put on his belt (or bedpost.)

Young ladies (and young men). You are worth more than an orgasm (which probably only one of you experienced anyway.) Don't throw away your dreams to do or be whatever you are dreaming about. Break the cycle of single parent homes in the Black (or whatever) community. Look at the new President and his wife. Let that be your example.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hiding money

It seems that some of the banks that received bailout money are helping wealthy customers hide money in offshore accounts in places like the Cayman Islands!!! Duh. Is anyone surprised to hear this when some execs are still getting billion dollar bonuses and the banks who got the money have so far refused to say where it went? And where does AIG get off asking for more money? I understand what the President says when he explains that the banks must not be allowed to fail so the economy can stabilize. But if it were up to me, I would be in their books EVERY week until this crisis is over and they would not get a cent unless I was satisfied about where the money was going.

Just one taxpayers opinion. Because the truth of the matter is that ALL money is taxpayer money whether you put it in a special account or it's part of the bailout money. What do you think?


So who is the rocket scientist who created a video game showing girls/women getting raped? What is entertaining about rape? If the makers of this game find it entertaining, they should be placed in mental institutions. I believe the game is created by a foreign company. I hope they go out of business. They should be shut down. This is as bad as the Post cartoon. These people also don't see what the problem is and why people (in their right mind) would take offense. Everyone knows rape is a power play and has nothing to do with sex. Totally disgusting. They should be glad our legal system is not "an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth." In some countries, men are castrated for such crimes.

Cruise Reviews - Read Celebrity Royal Caribbean & Norwegian Cruise Reviews and Vacation Blog Entries

Cruise Reviews - Read Celebrity Royal Caribbean & Norwegian Cruise Reviews and Vacation Blog Entries

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nation of cowards

The new and first African American attorney general said in reference to the New York Post racist cartoon that America is a nation of cowards. Of course the news media and others attacked him for those words but perhaps he is right. Let's face it. The police have not really endeared themselves in the African American community. Rodney King, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and others come to mind. It's sad that this ugliness is still alive and well in America. It's also stupid. No one had anything to do with the color of their skin (at birth). Of course those same White people who spout racism spend millions of dollars yearly to get brown, risking skin cancer, but claim that people of color are inferior. Inferior to what? It's sad that some people think this way and it's equally sad that African Americans do not realize their own power. Think about it. You must be worth something great if one group of people tries so hard to keep another group of people down. Stop the put downs, the hatred, the stupidity. So much energy going into the negative. Enough already.

New York Post

Those who know me know that I was not going to let this one go by without comment. I'm sure you have seen the cartoon published by the New York Post linking 2 stories together, the stimulus package from President Obama and the chimp that was killed by police after it attacked a woman. So how is this not racist when it shows a cop holding a smoking gun, commenting about the stimulus package and a dead monkey on the ground? The Post said it was a parady (seems everyone uses this word to justify what can't be justified) and that it was really directed towards the speaker of the house who wrote the bill. And that makes it right??? It's an insult to her also. And what about the lady who lost her pet chimp? (Of course, that's another strange story but I digress.) So just what was the editor in chief really saying? That the President is a monkey? Anyone who lived through the Martin Luther King era and the history of racism in this country knows exactly what the symbolism means. Was this a veiled message to the idiots who would want to hurt the first African American president in this country? This is no parady and those responsible should step down. The non-apology issued by the paper means nothing. It is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lets follow this example

African American Congressman John Lewis of Atlanta recently met with the White man, Elwin Wilson, who attacked him in 1961 during a protest when Lewis was a young civil rights leader. The confrontation took place at a bus station in South Carolina. Wilson apologized and he and Lewis embraced. Lewis said Wilson was the first person involved in attacks against him during that turbulent time to apologize and he offered forgiveness without hesitation.

I thought this was worthy of mentioning because I grew up in North Carolina during the sit-ins at places like Woolworth's 5 & 10. I also remember the hot waiting rooms for "Colored people" in bus and train stations (no fans), colored signs over water fountains (water was not cold if it worked at all), bathrooms, etc. And the entrance to the movie theater that was on a side street, around the corner from the main street white entrance, that lead to a small balcony. I was quite aware of racism as I grew up in the south and in New York. I had to remember which part of the country I was in and make the adjustment. Up north, I sat wherever I wanted on the bus; below Washington, DC, I sat in the back. In a store that serviced white and Black patrons, I had to wait until the white person was waited on first though I may have been first at the counter. I decided to leave NC after completing the 9th grade because I knew my New York state of mind would get me hung.

I am happy that this reconciliation occurred and hope others of all races follow suit.

Surprise. Surprise.

I hear that Etta James is now stating that the remarks she made about Beyonce and President Obama were jokes. Hummm. I've read that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. In other words, what you say is what you feel.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Etta's tirade

What's with stars like Etta James (and Aretha Franklin's uproar about Beyonce calling Tina Turner "Queen") stomping on Beyonce for singing James' signature song, At Last, at the inauguration? I happen to like that song and thought Beyonce did a great job. Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Besides, Beyonce just played James in a movie. I don't recall James saying anything bad about that performance. If she had messed up the song, I could see James saying something about it. James also had negative words to say about President Obama. Whatever.

When are we (all people) going to learn or remember what we were taught as children? If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

I truly believe that if you know who you are and are comfortable in your skin, it shouldn't matter what people say about you. (Hope Beyonce reads this.) I stopped caring what others think of me years ago. My motto is, "you don't have a nickel in this dime - and if you do, I gave it to you. It's still my dime!"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Big Bonuses

Just saw part of Meet the Press in which the panel was discussing the $18 billion bonuses some Wall Streeters received for work done last year. Panelists pointed out that this was not taxpayer money but money in a fund set aside for these perks. Everything is ultimately taxpayer money. AND YOUR POINT IS WHAT? I wouldn't care if that money had been set aside from when money was first created. What about perception? You have companies (obviously not all on Wall Street) asking workers to give up future raises, freeze their 401K and other pension plans, if they even have pension plans left, work less hours for the same pay, no overtime, people being laid off and you have other people "crying" because their bonus is a couple hundred thousand dollars less than usual. Don't get me wrong. I don't begrudge anyone getting compensated for their work but did it occur to the people running these companies who were asking for bailout assistance to say, "why don't we freeze bonuses if we are going to ask for help?" And what happened to the money that was already given out? How come no one seems to know where it went? Wall Street, banks, etc. should not get another dime until they account for what they already got and they should be made to show their books monthly.

I have a solution: get rid of those CEOs and other execs, etc. who ran their companies into the ground instead of giving them compensation "for a job well done." Like the CitiBank exec who was about to buy a $50 million jet.

Another solution: have execs of the companies laying off workers give up their bonuses, raises, etc. so the workers can continue to work and support their families because in the long run government (taxpayers) will end up paying for these workers through foreclosures, evictions, unemployment, public assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid.

Get real, Wall Street!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

And so it begins

Just read an email stating that the Black Artist Association was upset because Michelle Obama did not choose a dress by a African American designer. Her husband did not choose an African American designer either, did he? I know he likes Hart, Schaffner and Marks for his suits. Are they African American? At any rate, the email made it seem like this is the only chance Mrs. Obama would have to select an African American designer. I think they will be in the White House at least 4 years. I would think there would be other opportunities for her to wear designer clothes.

Having said that, I would like to add that Mrs. Obama shouldn't have to select an African American anything just because they are African American. I make my selections as a matter of taste, not because of the color or someone's skin. Isn't that what Martin Luther King said?That it should be the content of one's character that makes the choice, not the color of one''s skin. He was not just talking to White people. Let's leave the crab mentality in the fish market.

Monday, January 19, 2009


What is BS? BS is Belief System. Your belief system. What do you believe about yourself? About life? About God? About people? About anything, everything?

Did you know that your outer condition is the expression of your mentality?

Here are some things you need to consider:

Learn to combat negative influences. You really are in control of your environment. No need to blame anyone else. You did it. You can undo it. Be mindful of the things you listen to.

Focus on what you want, not what you don't want. Focus on what you have, not what you don't have. What you pay attention to will magnify. Have you ever had a headache that seemed to intensify the more you thought about it? Did the pain lessen as you took your focus off the headache? Question: did something outside of you stop the pain? No, it was you and what you focused on (or did not focus on) that stopped the pain.

You are the person you are today because of the thoughts you had yesterday. Change your thinking and change your situation.

A great spiritual leader once said, when you enter into the theater of your mind and walk upon the stage of your imagination, you can create your own destiny.

Ponder that.

Missing the inauguration

Some of you who know that I received my ticket to the inauguration may have strong feelings about why I should have gone to this wonderful historic event. As it turns out, the person I would have gone with (if I were going) was able to go, leaving today and returning Wednesday.

Watching the events on TV last night, I questioned whether I had made the right decision. (I hate crowds.) This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am well aware of that. I came to the conclusion that I should not second guess myself. Everything happens for a reason. I believe that my time will come to be in Washington, DC. Maybe even to meet President Obama face to face.

Anyway, I bless those fortunate enough to go. This is a wonderful year. It is a fabulous time to be an American.


I saw this in The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen and thought it was appropriate for all of us.

Today I am enough.
Able enough.
I have enough ideas to pull off magic and miracles.
I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.

This is not the entire piece but it speaks to our new president and it speaks to each of us - if we believe. I truly believe that I AM ENOUGH.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Inaugural Ticket

Received my ticket to the inauguration on January 20!

I am so excited. Problem is getting there and being up front and not freezing, etc, etc. Anyway, I got the ticket and I'm thrilled. This is history in the making.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Watch Night

Do you know how watch night service came about? I found an email that was sent to me on December 25, 2004, entitled "African American Watch Night Service." In the email, it was noted that watch night seems to be an African American "thing" on New Year's Eve. Apparently White Christian churches do not include watch night services on their calendars, preferring to focus more on Christmas eve programs. For those who don't know, watch night services can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as Freedom's Eve. Blacks were anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had actually become law. Then at the stroke of midnight, January 1, 1863,all slaves in the Confederate states were declared legally free. Of course this brought about cheering, singing, celebration, and praising God. Since then Blacks have thanked God at these services annually. Nothing wrong with celebrating and being thankful to see another year. At least get the history behind it. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

No good reason

I have a few questions for the lady who knowingly left a special needs person strapped in his seat on a bus because "if she drove him home, she would be late for church." What God do you serve? I'm sure you consider yourself to be a good Christian. What, then, would Jesus do? What is your church saying about what you did? What are you saying? Was leaving that young man worth whatever was going on at your church that you could not be a little late? Is it worth you going to jail and losing your job?And people question why the world does not want to be part of the CHURCH. Is it any wonder?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR. Wishing you and yours a wonderful, healthy, happy and prosperous New Year. Remember what you put out is what you get back so make sure everything you put out is positive. As in the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley, you are the master of your fate, you are the captain of your soul. In other words, life doesn't "happen" to you, you create it. So create a wonderful life for yourself for 2009 and may all your desires come true.