Sunday, November 30, 2008

Music Monday 4 :: Mary J. Blige "Just Fine"

Mary J. Blige
"Just Fine"
Growing Pains cd

I love, love, love this song. I love the tempo and the lyrics. Upbeat and upbeat. I like to listen to this in the morning and it just gets my spirits up and gives me a positive outlook and empowers me w/lots of energy.
I am not the biggest Mary J. Blige fan, but I do own several of her cds and I do like her music. She usually does a lot of mellow and slower tunes. I am a woman who loves beats and uptempo jams. And here comes Mary to give me something to move to.

And the video is kinda cool too. Mary is as fly as ever w/all of the wardrobe changes.

So until next time ... I hope that you are "Just Fine".

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Friday, November 28, 2008



Do you ever go to a movie and then wonder "what made me go see that movie?" Well, that is not the case for me and "Soul Men". I know that I went to see Bernie Mac. I'm a big fan of his. However, I don't know if I would have gone to the theater to see this movie if he were alive. You've seen the movie trailers, you know what I mean. It just seems like one that might be best for viewing at home and at a lesser expense.

And it is what is seems - a shuck and jive flick. Unfortunately for me, I was a bit late and missed about 10 minutes of the beginning of the movie. I hate when that happens. However, this movie is predictable in so many ways, one being that they use the 'buddy movie' formula. Not a bad thing, but again predictable.

There were however a sizable amount of laughs. There are also some times when they are trying too hard and when there are just lulls in the movie. But back to the laughs. Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson work well together. Made me think why haven't they been in a movie together before this? They're a good fit. But Bernie could fit in in most places, in my opinion.

The storyline was okay. And despite it's predictability, the ending did have a WTH - what the heck? - moment. Kinda funny too. Of course I won't be a spoiler and tell you all of the details because I know that you will get a chance to see the movie in, what, six weeks or so, if that. Yes, the turnaround from theater to DVD has decreased substantially.

Oh, but one of the best parts of the movie is the credits. While the main credits are rolling, they play footage of Bernie Mac and some footage of Issac Hayes too. It's heart warming and not meant to be sad ... Just good memories. Thanks Malcolm Lee.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Music Monday 3 :: Lenny Kravitz

I'm making this post in honor of my sister who celebrated her birthday this past Friday. She is a big fan of Lenny Kravitz.

It's not so say that I am not a fan, but I don't compare to her and many others. However, I can't ignore his musical abilities (and his good looks).

I do remember one of the first Lenny Kravitz songs that I heard. I think that it was "It Ain't Over Til It's Over" and that is still one of my favs. It has a real nice and smooth flow to it. Hard to believe that that came out in '91. Where was I? I believe that I was living in Cincy. Crazy.

Back to Kravitz ... my other favs are
  • "American Woman"
  • "Fly Away"
  • "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
You should not be surprised that my favs are all mainstream. Yeah, I can sometimes be a pop princess, actually, radiogirl is my thing. I surf the radio all the time seeking something that jumps out at me.

You can get your Lenny fix in these places:
So I given you any info that you did not already know about, but I've ignited your memory ... that's worth something. Happy Monday.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

BOOK REVIEW: "Prospero's Daughter" by Elizabeth Nunez

"Prospero's Daughter" by Elizabeth Nunez is well written. I did, however, find it troubling in many ways.

I read this book for my October reading group. I did not finish in time for the discussion, and fortunately I did not mind hearing some of the details, but that's because I had already predicted the ending (and I was right).

The topics and issues that arise in this novel are race, class and sexual abuse. When I read, I don't always expect happiness or happy endings for that matter, but the amount of vile acts in this book was a bit disturbing for me. Maybe that says more about me and my disposition than anything else.

I think Nunez wrote a wonderful book. Could she have done it in less than 300+ pages? Certainly. There was much description about the island of Trinidad which I enjoyed until I got near the end when I just wanted it to be over - both what I thought was going to happen and my reading the book.

For some, this book will strike a cord on the Shakespearean level. As Prospero is a character in the play "The Temptest". Maybe that mention gives away too much, but it is still a good read.

You can read an excerpt of "Prospero's Daughter" on the publisher's website. The excerpt is the start of the book. I'd be curious to know what you think of it ...

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Music Monday 2 :: DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

So it's only the second week of my Music Mondays and guess what? It's a hip hop throw back. Yeah.

My friends, Ericka and Dell, were talking about Will Smith pre-Will Smith = The Fresh Prince. I had mentioned his recent sit down w/Oprah and that he is such a likable guy. They concurred and Ericka went on to mention her fav Will Smith song - "Miami", which was indeed in the Will Smith era.

But I remember DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince like it was yesterday. I was trying to think of the song about girls and that would be "Girls Ain't Nuthin But Trouble". My other favs along w/"Parents Just Don't Understand" are all quite popular: "Nightmare On My Street" and "Summertime". I love the Kool and the Gang riff that flows through "Summertime" and the fact that the scene he describes in Philly was quite similar to a the summer hang out scene in Cincinnati - hangin out in Eden Park.

I like the story telling aspect of their songs. They always paint a picture for you. And you gotta love the vid. So comical. I thought it was comical back then and I think it's funny now as well. Oh, and the music. What is that from? A TV show. I think it's "Bewitched"...

So if you get a chance, check out the DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince Discography. You can check it out even if your memory is not shoddy like mine. Oh and do tell about your fav Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince/Will Smith jam.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Social Media Usage

I've been using social media for a bit. I jumped onto Facebook some time ago when I could hardly track down my students. But when I'd contact them through Facebook, they would immediately respond. Now Facebook is crammed. It's interesting to see the folks who are now jumping on board - the late comers. Some want to know what all the hype is about. I basically tell them that they can keep up w/me w/o ever actually talking to me (or others). Like eavesdropping.

I've been on MySpace for a while too. Though it is not my fav. Just too flashy and I do mean crazy graphics and blinkies. But I still go there to check out artists and to listen to music and see tour schedules.

I have not been Twittering for long. I checked it out for longer than normal to try and get the gist of it. I like the definition of micro blogging. I sort of use it as a daily diary; more like what I'm doing or going to be doing. Sometimes I use it to drive traffic to one of my blogs. I just try to keep it basic. I do like the way that Chris Brogan uses it. He shares a wealth of information it is so SM (social media).

The other SM platform that I've been on, but was slow to get fully emersed is LinkedIn. My friend Tonja mentioned it to me as a way to network. To especially get in touch w/say, HR folks who might otherwise be unreachable. I know that would not work as well today now that the platform is popular and seeking to expand.

There are some other areas that I've recently gotten involved in:

  • FriendFeed
  • LiveMocha
  • Utterz

Here are the platforms that I rarely use:

  • Last.Fm
  • Hulu

Platforms that I'm aware of, but not interested in or yet to jump in:

  • Plurk
  • Flock
  • Multiply
  • Spokeo
That should tide you over for a minute or do tell about your social media experience.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

If I Could be a Writer ...

I discovered a blog called the One Minute Writer. It is as simple as it states. So I will get right to today's topic:

A career as a writer for me would consist of writing about hip hop. Love, love, love the music and the culture. I've been w/it since its inception. I've seen the growth and what I thought was its demise (gangsta rap). I don't necessarily want to travel the world w/the artists, but I'd really like to focus on the music and the culture w/o having to travel. For example, focus on the clothing trends. I can just watch that from the community. It's right there in the people. They take elements of what they see and feel in hip hop and make it their own. Though I would like to see a concert or two.

I would continue to follow the independent hip hop world as I do on my Indy Hip Hop World blog. That's where my heart is. I do like a good amount of mainstream artists, but the ones I like did indeed have humble beginnings too.

So if I could have a career as a writer that would be my beat ...

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Music Monday 1 :: "It's a New Day"

Okay, I've decided to start something new on this here blog. It's called Music Monday and guess what? It will post every Monday. Genius.

I have a few reasons for doing this too:
  • purposeful blogging
  • a reason to blog about something more consistently
  • I really like music, but I have not been listening to a lot of music lately
Music Monday will focus on music. Aaah, genius again. The music genre will vary though hip hop is my fav. In many ways I will mix it up for you all though.

So here's what's up first. New music from I am not his biggest fan, but I do like most of his music. Actually, I can't point to a song of his that I do not like - though I do frown up on The Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps" - though it was funny to see Will Farrell singing it on the movie "Blades of Glory".

I digress. I watch Oprah w/some regularity. This past Friday she had as a guest debuting his latest song - a tribute to Barack Obama willing the 2008 Presidential Election. He performed the song on her show. I think I am attracted to the song because of the hip hop edge, but also because it's uptempo and has a catchy hook. Check out the lyrics to "It's a New Day" as well. Very cool.

What do you think?

If you have any recommendations for Music Monday, do share.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Night Excitement

I don't normally do politics on my blog. I just don't want to get into that discussion w/the general public. It's bad enough that my walking group and I discuss politics on a regular basis in addition to lengthy discussions w/most of my family and friends.

It was just astronomically wonderful to watch Election Night returns! There was such a positive energy. I don't have cable, so I mostly watched NBC and CBS (just a pinch of PBS, but it was too boring; they did a much better job w/the debates). I did not watch ABC because I do not get a clear picture - what will I do when the analog signal goes away?

My neighbor stopped by after telling me that she was exhausted, but yes, everyone wanted to see how this one would go down. I was checking Twitter and Facebook to see what the activity was like on those platforms too. Just constant updates.

And to see the announcement come down was euphoric. All I noticed on the TV screen was a giant graphic that had a picture of Barack Obama and underneath it said "44th President of the United States". I just got goosebumps writing that. Incredible. Then they cut to Grant Park. I can only wish I was there. But I did feel that atmosphere. I still feel it today and I imagine that I will feel it for the weeks and months to come.

I'm making plans to be in the nation's capitol on the Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Holiday - Monday, January 19, 2009 and then the next day, I hope President Obama will have a public event that I will attend on Tuesday, January 20, 2009! I will be there - for sure.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Testing <Radiogirl/Kim>