Monday, August 25, 2008

I want to apologize ...

... my blogs have fallen victim to the increasing demands of my new responsibilities at work. I used to update on the days when I had a lot of down time, now my down time is pretty much nonexistent.
Since I last posted, I found out that Julius J. Carry, also known as, "Sho Nuff" from "The Last Dragon," has passed away. There haven't been any official details released about his death but Wikipedia is reporting that he had pancreatic cancer.
Carry, 56, is best known for his role in "The Last Dragon" but he appeared on several TV shows including "227," "Murphy Brown," "JAG" and more recently, "The Unit. " While he will always and forever more be "Sho Nuff," he has had a lot of excellent roles as a professional man, more often than not playing a detective, a doctor or someone in the military.
To me, that is commendable because you all know how easy it is for us to see only negative images of black men in movies and on TV shows. His death was really a loss.
Da Brat has also been sentenced for her role in an altercation at an Atlanta-area nightclub last fall.
I first reported to you guys last November that Brat, aka Shawntae Harris, was arrested in Tucker, Georgia for hitting a waitress in the head with a bottle of rum. As a result, the woman's face was cut and has been scarred for life.
She pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to three years in prison, seven years probation, 200 hours of community service and she has to complete completion of substance abuse treatment, mental evaluation and anger management classes.
Dayum! If that's the deal she got, I wonder what she could have gotten if she didn't make a deal.
On a lighter and brighter note, both the US Men and Women's basketball teams claimed the gold in this year's Olympics. I saw both games and that could explain why I could barely keep my eyes open in Church yesterday.
The U.S. Men won a hard-fought victory over the Gasol brothers and the Spanish National Team. I missed the entire third quarter while I was taking a nap. But I woke up just in time to see them win it all and get their medals. But the women's game, I saw it all!
The U.S. Women turned the Australian National Team into spectators. Lisa Leslie claimed her fourth straight gold medal in the same sport. That is unprecedented in the Olympic games. She hasn't said so but I think this was her last time on the National Team. I will give it to her though, she went out on a helluva high note. She was 10th in the tournament in rebounding, fourth in field goal percentage making 38 of the 66 shots she took. She was tied for second place in blocked shots and ranked 12th and 11th for offensive and defensive rebounds respectively.Simply put, the girl is BAD!
Honestly, I've known it since the '96 Olympics in ATL. That is when I started to sit up and take notice of women's basketball and that could have been because I made the varsity team as a freshman. *brushes off my shoulders* The next summer, the WNBA was launched and she became my favorite player and the L.A. Sparks became one of my favorite teams.
Leslie, 36, is a wonderful ambassador of women's basketball and has been for years. She played for University of Southern California Trojans from 1990-94, then internationally for a year before the '96 Olympics.
At any rate, if this is her last Olympics, her legacy with the Women's National Team has been cemented in her four golds and in the young players like Candace Parker and Sylvia Fowles who are coming behind her.

Monday, August 18, 2008

To clarify ...

... it seems that quite a few of you have yet to hear about Hip Hop Harry. So you know I had to go to YouTube and find a couple of videos for ya'll.
Before you ask, I have a gang of nieces, nephews and god kids, so no, I don't watch this during my leisure time.
Check him out:
He is so hood, ain't he?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sometimes I Wonder ...

In case you're new to this, the following is a mash up of my random thoughts of the last week.

Sometimes I wonder ...

Whatever happened to the female MC?

Where the hell is Missy Elliot?

Why is Timbaland a freakin' bodybuilder?

How do they decide which sports are played for Olympic medals?

Who the hell voted to make table tennis a sport?

How come they didn't include air hockey and pin ball?

Where the hell did Hip Hop Harry come from?

What happened to Barney?

Am I the only person who thought he was a child molestor? Think about it, you do all this stuff with this big purple freak and you can't tell anybody? That's sounds a little freaky to me.

How come the characters on Sesame Street never got older? Every year Elmo turns three on his birthday. He's been three since I was three.

While we're on Sesame Street, were Bert and Ernie brothers or a couple?

If they were brothers, weren't they too old to share a bed?

Whatever happened to good cartoons?

Am I the only one who thought Smurfette was a ho?

Not only that, wasn't Hefty Smurf (the one with the tattoo) gay? I mean, Smurfette was trying to give that thang away and he wouldn't take it.

And just where the hell did all those smurfs come from with only one woman in the village?

Where they cussin when they used the word "smurfy" as an adjective?

Who told white folks that calling someone "articulate" is a compliment?

Why did a white lady get offended when I smiled and said, "thank you, so are you."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Man, it's been a helluva weekend ...

... I'm sure you all have heard about the death of one of the Original Kings of Comedy, Bernie Mac. Mac, 50, passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia and the death of 65-year-old, Black Moses, better known as Isaac Hayes.
These were two of our most talented and treasured entertainers and they will, without doubt, be missed by their hometowns of Chicago and Memphis, respectively.
I heard about Bernie Mac's passing on Saturday morning while I was laying in bed. The radio announcer said "he will be missed," and I sat straight up in my bed. Just the night before, I read that he was improving and he might be able to go home soon. It's just sad.
Mac is of course known as one of the Original Kings of Comedy. He's also appeared in the "Ocean's Eleven" movie franchise, as well as "Transformers" and "Mr. 3000." My favorite movies that he's appeared in have got to be "Life" and "House Party 3."
Uncle Vester was funny as hell but Jangle Leg, oh ... my ... gah!!! He was the funniest dude in the movie.

I heard about Hayes on Saturday afternoon when I got a CNN Breaking News alert on my phone. I just shook my head and said, "Damn." I know he had a stroke a while back, maybe a year ago and had been on the road to recovery.
I actually remember Hayes more for his music than for his acting. Some of my earliest memories are of listening to my mom and uncles sing "Stand Accused."
Perhaps our generation will remember him most as the love making, heart breaking, Chef on "South Park." All of the South Park fanatics will never be able to forget episodes like "Chef and the Succubus" and "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls."
Other than his singing, the funniest thing I remember him doing is "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" where Chris Rock in all his Jheri Curl glory went into the restaurant owned by Hayes and Jim Brown asking for "one rib."

My heart goes out to both families because I know this was a huge loss for both of them. Mac leaves behind a wife, daughter and granddaughter to cherish his memory. Hayes leaves behind his fourth wife and 12 children.
Lets keep both families in our prayers.
For old times sake, here are a couple of my favorite Bernie Mac clips and Isaac Hayes songs.

One thing is for sure, there is some serious laughing and grooving going on up in Heaven. With greats like Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx and Robin Harris preceding Mac and Gerald and Sean Levert, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke preceding Hayes, I'm sure the good times aren't stopping up there.
What are your favorite "Mac Man" and "Black Moses" moments?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sometimes I wonder ...

Brace yourselves, this is a series of random thoughts that have been weighing on my mind and I feel so inclined to release them into the blogosphere.

I Wonder ...

- why do I get so dang sleepy after lunch.

- when did skinny white girls become the standard of beauty.

- what smart person decided that the medians on interstates was a good place to plant flowers and trees.

- why kids always hate the single adult in the neighborhood.

- if eating during those few hours after breakfast and before lunch is called brunch, how come eating after lunch and before supper isn't called lupper? Or if you eat dinner, why isn't it called linner? While we're at it, why doesn't Taco Bell call that Fourthmeal, Dinfast?

- how come we don't get summer vacations as adults? Shouldn't we be able to get a month or two off during the summer and get paid for it.

- why do co-workers assume you're pissed if you're not talking.

- when black folks will stop blaming everything on being black.

- what the hell was L.L. talking about in the chorus, "Pink cookies in a plastic bag, getting crushed by buildings ..."

- why is it only old, ugly and really big or really skinny men who find extra thick women attractive.

- why do white folks always want to touch my hair.

- if I feel comfortable enough to oblige them, why are they surprised that it's soft? And why do they whisper about how soft it is? If it were coarse, would they scream at me, OH MY GOD IT'S SO COARSE!!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

I've got a question for you.

Think really, really hard, what one thing do all these people have in common?

They've all had their bouts with breast cancer.
In case you don't recognize them, clockwise from the left, they are: Diahann Carroll, Cynthia Nixon, Robin Roberts, Roxie Roker, Kylie Minogue, Ruby Dee, Richard Roundtree and Sheryl Crow in the middle.
This all came to me last night when I read that actress Christina Applegate has been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36.
Most folks know Applegate as Kelly Bundy from the super funny, "Married With Children." She's also been featured in guest spots on TV shows like "Friends" "Family Ties" and "21 Jump Street." She also starred in the series "Jesse" and is now the star of ABC's "Samantha Who?" I like her best in movies though, "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead" and "Anchorman" are my favorites.
Anyway, last night, I saw the story on CNN and it threw me for a loop. She's 36 ya'll, 36. Don't get me wrong, I'm not so naive that I believe cancer only affects people over 50. It's just that she's only 10 years older than I am right now and things like this have a way of shocking you back into reality.
The thing is, nobody and I mean nobody is immune to this beast. I hope you guys are doing your self-exams and getting regular check ups. I don't really do either but I'm going to start. I hope you guys do too.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I know I'm a little late, but ...

... I just watched CNN's "Black In America" series in its entirety and all I can say is, WOW! I think Soledad O'Brien can expect to get a Peabody out of this one, that was just a wonderful piece of journalism.
Now that the accolades are out of the way, lemme just say that the statistics for single, professional women in the "Women and Families" episode are down right depressing. I had no idea that getting an education would cut my chances of being a wife and mother in more than half.
I heard those stats when Tyra Banks did her show, but damn! Something about hearing Soledad say it made it more concrete. I mean, dang, did she have to just spring it on us like that? Gah! I kinda did want to wait on my "IBM" (ideal black man) to jump the broom and have a couple lil' cute brown babies.
I think that every little girl grows up with the fantasy of having the great job, with the house that has a white picket fence, an awesome husband with two kids and a dog. But that's what it is, a fantasy. How many folks are actually living that dream and loving it?
My favorite quote by my shero, Oprah Winfrey, is "you can have it all but not at the same time." I believe that. I believe that I will have the husband and kids, I will have the awesome career and I will have my dream house. I was never sure if I'd have it all at once. Now, I'm even less sure of it.
If that weren't bleak enough, when I watched the second half, I spent most of the two hours shaking my head at the statistics of black men who are incarcerated. While I know not all of them are innocent, I am certain that not all of them deserve to be there.
Everybody in prison swears they're innocent, I wonder how many of them are really. Given the number of folks who have been freed with the help of DNA evidence and modern technology, it sort of makes me think that a lot of them are innocent.
Something else I found interesting is the number of folks in prison on drug offenses. They're in there for use, possession or for selling mostly crack. That one drug is responsible for the destruction nearly two generations of black folks. The jacked up thing is folks get more prison time for possession of crack than they do for possession of cocaine.
Why is that important? Well, crack is a poor man's drug, while cocaine is for those folks in the upper echelon of society. I'm not saying that anyone should get off for committing drug crimes but I'll bet if some of these folks were offered help, i.e. rehab and/or job assistance, they would be able to get themselves on the right track.
All in all, watching the special actually motivated me. You guys know I'm working trying to get my my non-profit organization off the ground. It will be an after school program for kids ages 10 to 14 in my hometown of Fairmont, NC. I even have a name for it, Levi Leadership Academy.
It's all about equipping these kids with the skills they will need to become the wonderful leaders they are destined to be. There are a lot of minorities in my rural hometown and a lot of the adults have never attended a college class or even dreamed that they could.
My goal is to not only allow the kids to dream about going to college but to help them get there. I want to expose them to people who look like them who have gone to college and become successful by using their education. I'm not going to bore you guys with the details but the piece has really reinforced and re-motivated (is that a word?) me to get this thing up and running.
To update you all, I finished my plan. The only thing it's lacking now is a table of contents and a good proofreader. I'm so excited, I'm rejuvenated and I'm ready to work!
If you didn't catch the special, do yourself a favor. In my opinion, it lived up to the hype.