He's Just Not Into Me

January 30, 2009

For any woman. It's tough to swallow. I had mine last year. Thanks to my imagination and creativity I had created all these scenarios and emotions he was feeling that prevented him from being the great guy I had made him to be in my head and not the secret-holding guy he was in reality, until it clicked: He's Just Not That Into Me.

So I am pretty excited for the release of the movie next week, and to see Drew Barrymore, who I adore - yay, for the chubby cheek girls:). That episode with Miranda on SATC when she gets snapped on for butting in still always makes me smile, because no one really wants to hear from someone else that a guy isnt into them.

With the realities of a war, crazy layoffs all around including my own office and a shrinking economy, we could all use a cheesy romantic comedy every now and then - though $12 for the ticket is a splurge in my budget. My homie Nicole did a great post on the movie and other great ensemble cast (Love Jones and Clueless made the list, and Hitch also get my vote:)

love . . .I love

January 28, 2009

Now, that's what a President and First Lady should look like:)

All Right Now, Juanita

January 27, 2009

She looks great for 50 and I commend Minister Juanita Bynum for making lemonade out of lemons, after the collapse of her marriage, but wearing her wedding dress at her birthday party was a little, uhm, odd . . .

She has to hold it down a little better for us Aquariuans, the coolest sign around. My special day is less than two weeks away:) YAY!!!

Back from Atlanta . . .

January 26, 2009
I had a BALL this weekend in Atlanta. Knocked out some important family business and hung out with my nearest and dearest. Got fitted for my bridesmaid dress and gotta say the fit is flattering (whew, i was nervous, really!). I am co-hosting the Bridal Shower in March with the theme of "Sassy Shoes" and I'm definitely up for the challenge (read: shoe overload.)
Saturday I had a great pow wow with my old boss Joyce who is still one of the best story tellers around! We met up in East Atlanta at a cute spot in the midst of these new chic condos. Why did I move to New York again?:)

After our lunch of gut-busting laughs and encouraging words, I hung out with my brother's new "girlfriend." They might as well be engaged as they spend most days together, alternate who cooks every Sunday and her 5 year old daughter ADORES him and He, her, but what do I know? She's cool people and I could tell she was itching to hang out since he doesn't and she doesn't have a lot of friends in the city (she moved from Buffalo, NY last year). So she comes with to this fab Atlanta party at the cute lounge, Uptown. Nice crowd and the DJ killed with all the old school Atlanta Jams I worked it out on some skates at Golden Glide to. Of course the shortest guy in the place wanted to talk to me, and sunglasses in the club is some pretension I can do without.

Can I just say I LOVE Southern people? I guess I never appreciated how much people say excuse me, thank you and hello. There is a $5 Black book store in West End (don't ask why I was there) which was DIVINE and the incents I got are something serious.

I felt like a rockstar at church as everyone said hello and stopping by my old high school brought back a lot of great memories and made me feel extra grown. Of course it wasn't all roses as I stepped into a little family drama, but they wouldnt be family if we didnt find ways to step on each other's buttons.

That was my cue to vintage shop and I got some fab new dresses and inventory for my vintage collection (and I have already set up my Etsy page . ..yay!). I am heading back next month for another friend's wedding I just found out about and perfectly fell on the day of our next Bridesmaid meeting.

Georgia is definitely on my mind . . .
*Check me throwing up the "A" at about 6 years old in my Easter dress. HA!

The Baby Blues

January 22, 2009
I called my grandmother on MLK holiday. Seems my ears were burning as her and my aunt were just talking about me she says. They wanted to know if my high school band was in the parade:) After we chat, my aunt gets on the phone, who I share a special bond with as we graduated the same year, me from high school, her from college for her bachelor's degree in her mid-50s. Loves it!

After small talk I ask her how everyone is doing, she hits me with, "well, we've got some sad news."

I brace myself for a sickness or death or family drama. This family has had it's share, including the crazy story of the minister announcing in church my uncle had been suspended from the deacon board for smoking "refa" by the baptismal pool, but I digress . . .

"Tyreika is pregnant," she says quietly

I sigh. Ohh. that news. I pretend it is new to me, put my 9 year-old sister is the grapevine and always knows all the family news first, including stuff my aunt didn't mention. Tyreika is pregnant. Not the greatest timing for my little cousin who graduated high school last year and after being dropped off at college on Friday, had her "Pa Pa," the grandfather who raised her along with my aunt, her grandmother, pick her up by that Wednesday.

Not the best new development to make a third generation of young moms following her mom and grandmom (I don't use the term, out of wedlock, one of my friends said it the other night and unintentionally stepped on a feminist time bomb for me . . ).

But a baby being sad news? naww. I realized the small-town thinking had now made a prison for my aunt who was now embarrassed after raising this granddaughter as her own child and spoiling her to pieces. It took me a second to process the news just because this was the same girl I remember holding when she was three years old. But we grow up and its more important she know we have her back, and remind her this isnt the end of her life, but the beginning of a new one and she can still reach for her dreams, just put in more work. But walking around acting like someone died isn't helping anybody. As a young women I feel for my little cousin, and have that sobering moment of that could have been me - and was the aunt Im talking to who had a baby in her 20s, rumor has it with a man she didn't know was married. So I know it hurts them to see the next generation make the same mistakes.

But they have to get over feelings of discomfort that their baby girl is having sex, and deal with helping her mentally prepare for the change. But of course I say none of this and just give the appropriate "uhh hmm" and sigh.

And just as quickly she asks if I have found a special young man. I sigh and laugh and skirt the question. When what I wanted to say was, "Babies are blessings."

Amen to That

Up this morning I should be cleaning and getting my stuff together for my trip to Atlanta (so excited;)! But of course Im on the couch and on my computer and getting my TVOne on. Glad to see the network finding it's stride. Get it Ms. Cathy!

And seeing the Black sitcoms you realize the fact that their are NONE on TV besides CW which puts "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Game" on Friday, usually the kiss of death:(

But watching Thelma on "Amen," catches my attention more than usual.

Her daddy the Deacon gets me laughing and side eye going as usual. Through all her whining (which is A LOT) good ole Reverend Ruben loves her hard and they make me smile. I realize it's good to see someone like me on TV. Deep brown skin, some meat on her hips and spiritual. Getting closer to God, I find myself often quoting something from church or some encouraging word I've heard and I sometimes surprise my own self, and step back to take a look at this new and improved girl. Luckily my voice isn't as high as it use to be, so I hope I don't sound like Thelma. . .

But it's definitely good to see her and the Rev. Now I wanna see an episode of her in the church as First Lady. . . . and Aretha Franklin in the pew with her fab hat from inauguration:)

Obama the Musical!

January 21, 2009

Get ready, it's coming:) If you'll be in London March 5 - 22, definitely hit up the Obama Musical! And if you want a guest, take me.

Can't you see First Lady Mrs. Michelle O singing, "But you're an internnnnnnnnn"

and our President singing back "Yes, this I knowwwww, but don't you wannna beee First Laddyyyyyyy?"

Ok, i'll stop . . . .

It was absolutely amazing last night to see their first dance. At Last indeed. I even overlooked Beyonce's choreography with pantomiming her cheek for emphasis;)

I LOOOVEE my First Family!! Malia and Sasha's scavenger hunt in the White House sounded like fun and a dose of the Jonas Brothers, man oh man, to be 10 again;)

The Time Has Come!

January 20, 2009

Those kids in DC in college better LIVE IT UP!!!!!!!!! They have the Obama's in the White House. Wow . . .. Michelle looks GORGEOUS in that green (just had 20 minute debate on color of her fab suit) and I so want to know what she gave Laura Bush. So gracious.

Martin Luther King, The Dream

January 19, 2009

Coretta and Martin

Happy MLK Holiday! Hope you are keeping it a day ON, even if that means just buying a pack of fruit snacks on the train from the little kid who tells you he isn't out here robbing or stealing, or giving a call to an old friend or relative. I'm from Atlanta and was raised in a Black community so the King holiday and his legacy have always been a major part of my life and drilled in me. I've been to the family house many times and love that swing each time. In my conspiracy theorist ways, I googled the rumors in high school of his infidelity and the young feminist in me did feel a little someway and just as quickly had even greater respect for what his family endured with the constant wiretaps and FBI investigations. In the grand scheme he was a young man who did the extraordinary and is a direct link to the success and opportunity so many of us have around the world, with heroic courage that is as rare as it is precious. He showed the power that lives inside all of us

In college we had to pick a beat for one of my journalism classes. Knee-deep in my senior thesis on Black college women and their views on marriage, I picked relationships as I spent nights reading of the complex history of marriage in the Black community. And when the King holiday came I knew I wanted to do something on it and decided to do whether women were interested in getting their own King. Professor Dixon praised the idea in class and I felt rather cool, than he quickly shredded my first draft to us. I went left field in the story half way through and I squirmed in my chair kicking myself for rushing to do the story. I did the edits and it made its way online. It still could have been much better but feel free to check it out.

Now with Obama, it shifts to whether you would want to date a guy like Barack. As my expert for the piece said. well am I Michelle? Again, I'm working on it:) Saw some fab brooches on Etsy and started selling myself.

London Calling

January 18, 2009

I'm loving watching all the Living Single episodes on TVOne. Seems they are killing the last season lately and I don't mind. And for somebody itching to travel I want to smack Maxine upside the head.

After years of her fiery relationship with Kyle he gets the fab opportunity to head his company's new division in London. He breaks the news to Max who is a little stagnant in her career. She wants him to stay. He invites her to come and surprises her with a ticket. She lets pride get in the way and says no. She then dramatically shows up at the airport the day he is leaving to give him one more chance to stay. He, her one more to go. As I'm putting my pennies together to head over in the spring, I'm shaking my head at her. And not just for the opportunity to live and see a new city. But the thumbing your nose at somebody who makes you happy. She needed to bust out Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train to Georgia." That song gets realer the older I get . . .and in true small worldedness Gladys was Overton's mom on the show and of course sang in sitcom fashion. I'm not saying a woman should automatically follow her man or trying to put my feminist card at risk. But if one in a couple gets an amazing opportunity, don't let pride tear it a part. When I take that midnight train to London, I plan on having a blast!

You Got Served

I stopped in to the Carol Daughter's store on 125th today. I make my way to the store at least once a month, and every since I first spotted their Pearls fragrance I have had my eye on it. I decided not to get it when I saw it in November hoping Santa would bring it my way for Christmas which didn't happen. Knew I should have made a wish list :)

As I begin my way through the store to see the latest on Pearls and if it's still around or magically on sell, I am approached by sales associate Gina in the back of the store. She said hello and told me she remembered me from last time I was there and asked how I was enjoying my Sotto. I smiled feeling special she not only remembered me but my scent, which has been a big hit especially on guys after being a die-hard Almond Cookie girl. She took me around the store showing me new products and showed me the roll-on oil set in the front of the store just in time for valentines. She was absolutely so sweet and genuine and I was so excited to see they brought back roll oils. A while back I was hooked and was so disappointed when they stopped selling them because they weren't making as much by selling the pure oils. Great business decision, sucked for me. Anywho, Gina took extra good care of me and I got the oil set and along with great new smells, I had a smile. I even emailed the company to tell them just that. One day when I'm a cool grandma with my vintage dress shop like Miss Celie's and her her Pants, I definitely plan to have fab people who know there stuff and make a girl smile. Now if she could just get them to offer a valued customer a trial of Pearls . . .

Ever had a great customer service experience?

True Life: I cancelled on Inauguration

January 17, 2009

Sooo, soon after the election, I learned I would be expected to be at work on January 20th, so I put it out of my head of going to DC. Then, my fab God Sister had me thinking of going and just coming back Monday before the big day. So that became my plan . . . until Thursday. I was tired. Really drained. ANd the idea of big crowds, long waits, and not even being arond for the actual parade made me step back and have a what am I doing moment. I hated to pull out on my girl and Ari and Channy who were driving down, but I just felt I was forcing it. And I actually wanted to give back on MLK day. Then tonight I turned on CNN and wondered had I made the right choice. He'll be there for 8 years, and Ill be in DC before March. And besides, I learned my fav guy in the administration and my crush of the last year is not that into Black girls:( :( Found that out at my friends' game night last night. humbugggg. At least I had fun at the house party. And still soooo excited for Inauguration and beyond!!

Happy Birthday, First Lady!

Big Poppa

January 16, 2009

"Notorious" hits theaters today. I had the pleasure to interview much of the cast including Naturi Naughton, Antonique Smith, Derek Luke, Anthonie Mackie and Biggie's mom Mrs. Wallace before Christmas and man, oh man, was it an unforgettable feeling. You could feel the energy of Biggie with them all, especially Jamal Woodard who plays him. Watching the big actor through a crack in the door as he interviewed with BET before me, humbled me as it sunk what the lost of Biggie meant for so many. And thinking how much the rapper accomplished before his death at the young age of 24 had me feeling I better step it up.
Anthony was much like his onscreen characters full of energy and wisecracks. And Derek Luke made my night after a great talk and I respect him even more for the great respect he has for his craft. He asked for my card so he could be sure to check out the piece afterward. He could have thrown it away as soon as he walked out the room with his beautiful wife, but it was the first time a celebrity I interviewed seemed really interested in the final piece and that I had asked interesting questions they hadn't heard ten times before.

The movie definitely took me back and so nostalgic for 90s Bad Boy

Fashion for a Cause

January 14, 2009

I'm a volunteer with the MacDella Cooper Foundation and if you are in NY, we are having a fab event February 20th. Get tickets now! We have a special rate for recssionistas like me, as we raise funds to build a school for orphans in Liberia. Please hit me up if you would like to join this worthy group to be the change the world needs to see.

Love Lessons from Dad

January 13, 2009
Me and my mom don't discuss sex. I know she's done the do, hence me, but we don't discuss it. I've shut down a little talking to her about guys after the few times I tried a while back and I could feel her distress on whether it was leading to more, when it totally wasn't. Now she's a little more open but I'm always walking on egg shells waiting for her to get overwhelmed with her baby girl being all grown up.

But my dad is a whole nother story. Over the last few years we've bonded as singles and share our stories from the dating scene. He makes me laugh talking about a new lady and I see where I get my tendency to gush over a crush.

Tonight I call him back and before I know it he's been going on 20 minutes about this lady at his job who has a crush on him and he's enjoying the attention. Her coming into the picture made him pull out of going to a trip to Cabo he was invited on by a lady in Maryland he had been talking to. Yeah, the ladies love my dad. Work lady and him went to the movies after work a few weeks back and she was all over him he tells me. Now my dad is a sweet guy like a teddy bear and always makes me feel like the prettiest girl arouund, so I'm not grossed out by that and just smile because it's not conceit that he says she was all over him. Just the hilarious truth.

After movies they go to the Peachtree Plaze he tells me and my heart beats and my eyebrows merge hoping he won't tell me they grabbed a room. We talk dating but actual hooking up, well, naw, I don't need details. They go to the 73rd floor and grab a drink he says and my breathing begins again. Oh, the bar overlooking the city. Nice.

He then tells me she told him that the first day she walked in the room, he was starring at her. He says he really just was excited to see a Black woman with all those credentials and told her Im not intimidated by good-looking women. Go pops.

Circulate to Percolate

January 12, 2009
Tonight I went to this networking event, well more of a panel discussion, and had a great time. It focused on magazines on the web, with Black Enterprise, the Source, Ambermag and Uptown's web leaders.
Of course one of the first people I see when I walk in is my old boss, proving how small the world and this industry really is, and why its best to try and keep a good relationship with folks. After a great discussion where they all admitted we are all figuring this thing out and seeing what works (and of course the person with the really looooooonnnnggg three part comment/question ), it was time to mix and mingle. I met some great new people doing their thing online and made me feel like I wasn't a floundering fish, but a part of a cool club.
Then I ran into someone who remembered me from Z &J's rolodex party and we reconnected. She introduced me to two of her guy friends who were really funny and had started their own site. Slowly it felt like a kids game outside as we parted. First she left heading to the A, as we headed to 1. At the next block, the bald headed guy of the duo headed downtown, leaving me with the round-faced clever one. We laughed and talked as we waited on the train. He was heading to Westchester and we both got off at 42nd, me for the 3, him to go upstairs to the PATH. Im learning to be more observant and was trying to read him. He asks for my card. We continued to talk and he waited about 10 minutes until my 3 train came. I'm on my breather from dating, but. . .

I guess those tips on where to meet Black men were on to something.

I'm Feeling Inspired!

January 11, 2009

That's Love

I'm antsy and just as quick as one thought enters my head another comes, which makes for an uninspired writer and an even worst blogger

Then I saw this post from Joyce, which made me smile and chime in a "here, here" to her fabulousness and that of Denene's. Read it and link instead of weep. . .

On http://enjoyceinglife.blogspot.com. My Girl D and Her Brown Baby
There's this badass girl, with a badass husband, some incredibly gifted children, and a badass home. Nicknamed Bertha Stewart, she can put her foot in a pot and have you sucking the remnants of her culinary creations off your fingers. Yeah her kids take cooking, Mandarin and horseback riding lessons, AND have an art gallery of their work in their home. Yeah her sexy, sassy, classy style is impeccable (you'll never catch her slipping). But the baaaadest thing about this girl, and I mean the baaaaaaaaaaaadest thing, is her talent. Denene Millner is a confident writer who knows how to work her finely-tuned instrument. A connoisseur of culture, she possesses a unique voice that is both sophisticated and sister girl. My friend is so on point and on fire sometimes that I have slapped my screen with a "right right, an "I feel you" or "go 'head girl." A few words from her will make you want to take some action. Witty as all get out, she'll have your sides aching at her observations and objections. And if she gets on you, you will be bruised and educated. Denene don't play. She's an award-winning journalist who's been published in everything from the New York Daily News to Essence and Parenting. A relationship guru, she's authored of 17 books, fiction and non-fiction for adults and teens. She gets book deals so often that the ink doesn't dry on one before the next opportunity pops up. If you didn't hear me before - she's baaaaaad. What is so exciting to me about Denene is that she is TOTALLY committed to raising the best black children she can - by any means necessary. Hence the launch of her blog, My Brown Baby: http://mybrownbaby.blogspot.com. And she's willing to share her experiences, ideas, findings, battles and inspirations.

I'm not a mom yet but I read Denene's blog faithfully and her and her contributors are some amazing people and proof having it all is totally possible and keeping in perspective what matters.

And still my favorite post by Joyce was her many hair dos:)

Me, Morris and the Side Eye

January 8, 2009

Yep, fine behind Morris Chestnut stopped by the office and some how the camera caught me and him both giving the stink eye. . . I had just watched my new copy of Best Man over the weekend and now he has me excited to see "Not Easily Broken." Well, kinda excited and a scratching my head too since part of my New Year's Plam was to take a breather from the dating scene and this is the perfect date movie. I've been enjoying my own company so much I get the nerve to actually go to a movie alone. We'll see . . .

Well, I did get the nerve to watch the video of the BART officer shooting a young Black man in the back and that just made me really sad and whispering prayers for his family and baby. And honestly made me nervous thinking of one day being a mom to a Black man if I were so blessed. That's why it's so important to help build our community so our boys have chances to grow up and be the good men Morris plays so well on the big screen.

Marriage on my Menu

January 5, 2009

Yes, Im still pretty excited about my friend's wedding in April and being a bridesmaid. And thanks to "Girlfriends" Joan, I know not to share my thoughts on the brides blue shiny gowns:) We'll still be gorgeous, and most importantly I get to be a part of one of the biggest days in her life.

And marriage continues to be in the air as ESSENCE launched the 2009 Will You Marry Me couples yesterday. I always LOVED this feature and this year watching the proposals was just as touching - if not more. I had the chance of being an extra at the New York proposal and the Texas couple turned out to be an old friend. When I found out Andrea had been chosen I was so excited!! I couldnt hit her up the day of the proposal so Essence was nowhere on the brain, but she was sure to hit me the next day to see if I knew or had anything to do with it. I knew about it but couldnt take any credit for them being picked even though I was tempted to lie. lol.

Anywho, if you wanna easy pick me up definitely check them out as Black love lives on, and then vote for your favorite couple for the prize of $50,000 towards their dream wedding! Yes, I'm going to Andrea's so, may be a little bias in wanted them to have it:). She definitely deserves great things as a good-hearted teacher in Houston.

That's Clair - no E

January 4, 2009

The Huxtables are still the prototypes and Clair Huxtable's flyness continues to sink in. And when I thought we made a mistake spelling her name in a gallery for the show's 25th aniversary, IMBD confirmed her name was spelled Clair- no E, and somehow I loved her even more.

We all know how annoying it is for people who have tough names, to get upset when it's inevitably mispronounced. And those of us who have names that aren't spelled the way people would assume make our own club of no pre-made items with our names and spelling our names with a smile after someone has mistakenly misspelled it, already starting mine with an 'S'. I've always loved the uniqueness of my name and it's spelling (which is phonetic I promise) and makes it very easy to find me on google which Im not sure is good or bad. . . .But I do know I feel even closer to the regal Clair (and I'm still beaming from my Phylicia Rashad encounter last year:)

Can't you just see her spelling that whopper of a name with class and grace, "That's Clair, C-L-A-I-R."
"E?" they respond
"Nope," she smiles . ..then on to spelling Huxtable.

Spell Check.

Obama's win brings firsts for black press

January 3, 2009

Barack Obama’s election as president is prompting major changes in the nation’s black press, ushering in a series of firsts that editors say will reshape print, Internet, radio and television coverage aimed at African-American audiences.

Essence, the top selling magazine among black women, will have a full-time White House reporter for the first time. Ebony magazine will add a White House reporter, either full-time or as needed. Its sister publication, Jet magazine, will have a weekly two-page Washington report in every issue.

And Black Entertainment Television is scrapping its usual fare of videos and sitcoms for a four-hour live broadcast of Obama’s swearing in — just as the leading cable network in black households did for both party conventions last summer, and on Election Day. TV One will do the same, airing 21 hours of inauguration coverage throughout the day.

In some ways, the moves mark a return to a time when the black press — particularly magazines — were newsier. Jet first published photos of the battered and swollen body of Emmett Till, sparking outrage and galvanizing a still-young civil rights movement.

“Who we are is really evolving right now, in this post-civil rights era,” said Bryan Monroe, vice president and editorial director of Ebony and Jet. “Our readers really need the black press.”

April Ryan, who has been covering the White House for American Urban Radio Networks for 11 years, wonders what took so long.

“Katrina happened under Bush and Rwanda happened under Clinton,” said Ryan, who has been one of a handful of black reporters in the White House press corps during that time. “If more reporters of color were here, maybe those issues would have garnered more attention, and it could have made a difference.”

She said that the addition of black reporters could mean more focus on the urban agenda—failing schools, crime, job loss, poor health care.

“I am five generations removed from a slave. I was here the night [Obama won] and I had goose bumps,” Ryan said. “Yes, we pause for the history of a black president — but it’s not the reason to be here. There’s real work to be done.”

The press as a whole has faced charges of pro-Obama bias – including respected names like PBSGwen Ifill, who is black – but the magazine editors say they know they must provide balanced coverage to their readers.

Yet, if what happened to Tavis Smiley, a popular guest on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and host of his own PBS show, is any guide, serious questioning of Barack Obama might not always sit right with black audiences.

Smiley ended up leaving his post as a commentator after he was roundly criticized for taking a harsh stance on Obama—his point, he said, was that black folks should kick the tires before getting on board.

“A whole bunch of black people turned on me in the blogosphere and they called me everything but a child of God,” Smiley said. “They thought I was hating on Barack Obama.”

The latest issue of Essence, which reaches 8.5 million readers a month, has two different covers—Barack or Michelle—and features famous African-Americans, ruminating on the moment. Ebony named a person of the year for the first time in its 63 year history, dedicating its entire January issue to Obama.

But all the coverage won’t be like that, one editor said.

“We’ll be asking what he is going to do on specific issues that African-Americans are interested in, unemployment, AIDS, housing, health, we are going to be following all of those things,” said Tatsha Robertson of Essence. “It is historic but we are going to take him to task.”

Robertson said Essence will use its website to break news, and it already started an Obama watch section on its website, one of the most popular features.

The moves are also an indication of the deep ties Obama formed with the black press — and by extension the black community — over the course of the campaign. Black support for the president-elect was 95 percent, a record.

“We did do a very good job of fostering strong relationships during campaign…and the community had unprecedented access,” said Corey Ealons, the campaign’s director of African-American media. On weekly conference calls during the general election, Ealons said he would put the campaign’s core issues — heath care, joblessness, education — in the context of the black community.

“It was just a matter of spelling it out and making it plain — that the unemployment rate in our community is double the national average, that 95 percent of black children go to public schools — so they could report it back to the community,” Ealons said. “And they did so. The desire now is to maintain and sustain that.”

For Ebony, the nation’s oldest black magazine with a monthly readership of 12 million, the coverage paid off — the Chicago-based magazine landed Obama’s first post-election interview.

The newsier turn, is due, at least in part, to the black brain drain from mainstream publications, due to massive industry buyouts and layoffs. And black publications like Ebony and Essence have reaped the rewards, landing reporters and editors from top newspapers like The Baltimore Sun, Newsday and the Boston Globe and organizations like Knight Ridder.

“There is a sense of going to back to the roots of where we used to get our news,” said Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). “When we first learned of something that was going to happen in our community it hit the black press long before it hit the mainstream.”

BET, which will host an inaugural ball for the first time in the network’s history, ran 10 hours of election night coverage and reached 10.7 million viewers, beating out CNBC’s coverage. Correspondents, who were spread out in cities across the country, were expected to report the news, but also reflect on the moment.

“We made the decision that we needed to cover the visceral aspects of the election as well,” said Keith Brown, senior vice president of news. “Reporters had a responsibility to give the information but also say what it felt like and what it meant to our community. They were our story tellers and not just reporters.”

BET, long criticized for running too many booty shaking music videos, is in the process of expanding their news coverage beyond the current 25 hours a month. But don’t expect “Meet The Press” or a nightly news-style broadcast.

“People are demanding change and accountability and they want to know what’s happening and they want people who they trust to break it down and help them understand it,” Brown said. “And we have a very key role in doing that. Sometimes the most traditional way isn’t the most effective, but it’s going to be grounded in solid reporting.”

Where My Boys At?

Yesterday while on 125th after a fresh produce run I ran into a publicist buddy. She was all bundled up as the snow sprinkled the block. After chatting, she invited me to game night at her place later that night. 135th st trumped heading to BK so I was down. Then she mentioned maybe to bring a platonic guy friend to keep the ratio balanced.

Ok I said, then I was stalled, as I realized a guy friend with no feelings on each side who didnt already have plans on Friday may be harder for me to find now then its ever been. I tell her this as the smooth drummer from my church comes up and says hello with his so fresh hairdo. She responds, well bring him as I laugh.

We part and I keep heading down the block and run into the electronics store to pick up a new copy of Love Jones, where Darius's female friend kept their crew going with her many guy friends. I was pumped to discover this store as I try and support more Black businesses. And I was even more excited to see they offered great prices with a nice setup and good customer service. I felt obligated to support the Black record store on 125th last summer. It was on its last leg as the owner, who looked just like Rodge from What's Happening, passed out fliers to protest the city altering the zone and store rent. I paid $24 for Waiting to Exhale there with dust on the shelves and saw it in WalMart for $7 over Thanksgiving. It's since closed.

Once home, I faced the reality I don't hang out as much as I use to and have a ready list of folks hitting me for whats the plan, which Im fine with. And on top of that, even less guy friends. In high school and college I had many guy buddies which I always enjoyed and felt made me better understand the guys I did like and date (and could chime in a "you're too good for him," code for "he's just not into you"). Of course every girl has the stories of a guy she thought was just friends then makes a move you didn't see coming, but hey, they're still men.

What I realized was being bombarded with unwanted male attention we ignore may make more of an impact than I cared to admit, making the "you want something from me" thought prevail. As some women argued they didnt see the need for guy friends, only guys they were interested in and their girls, later that night. I interjected I like having guy friends. I like getting an unbiased opinion from the male mind, from someone who I dont have romantic feelings for. I like having "boys."

But as I sat on my couch I realized I hadn't built any new guy friendships lately and neglected the ones I did have. I had overlooked potential good friends because I didn't see the "something more" potential. Well, I guess I wasnt as out of it as I thought as I had hit up five guys I knew before I knew it-one of which I went out a few times with last year and who was soon dubbed octopus and his calls denied. But he still was good people, I just wasnt interested and didnt have the maturity then to just articulate that. I went from zero to three who were interested in coming and smiled at the quick shift, when I got texts for the address.

The night was a lot of fun, though a drop of my phone proved near fatal, and I didnt get the texts till today from two of the guys checking in about coming through. And I was the taboo CHAMP. There are serious perks to being a writer - we always have synonyms and know that every word counts! Then with any EBP crowd of course convos on relationships (are Black women prudes) and the future of our communities and what needs to be done- which for me are often one in the same, the Black family has to be strong for the community to truly thrive. And I'm looking for more platonic guy friends to include in the convo.

08 Come Ups

January 2, 2009
Before I get too deep in the new year I better acknowledge some of my many great moments of 2008 . . .

*You're Hired
This year I celebrated my first year working full time.
(and meant I wasn't up to be Diddy's assistant after interviewing for the job but interviewing him:)

*Bills, bills, bills
I signed my first apartment lease this year and am blessed to get cable, internet and light bills and be able to pay them.

*Beachside Fun
Cancun for labor day was the rejuvenation I needed and a hotel overlooking the beach was mesmerizing. There's nothing like being by the water and had me plotting of ways to move on the coast . . .

. . . and Puerto Rico in October. San Juan definitely was a great time with snorkeling, hanging out in the rain forest, riding a ferry to a small island, salsa lessons in the gorgeous and lush tropical spot.

*Conference Crashin
I hit Unity with no conference registration or hotel booked and had an absolutely fab time. I stayed in my own bed each night in nice rooms, showing the power of a positive attitude and getting your network on as great friends were happy to let me keep them company (Thanks Jules, Bone Bone and WW:) And spending time with Sierra and her mom, I also had a new experience, as we went in through the kitchen in our dresses to the NABJ awards and enjoyed a great meal and expanding the network:)!

*The Single Mingle
I wanted to get out and date more and I definitely did in '08. I'm not leaving the year with a great love but a much better understanding of the things I like and don't like in a potential mate. Some of my fave dates was the collegiate cute date of us cooking, watching Crooklyn and then playing Howardopoly, the "Hip Hop Lives" date of Kanye's concert, and then there was my best first date of the year (and my life thus far) at Melba's in Harlem where cool grooves and candlelight were the perfect back drop for a fun experience of getting to know you. Including him ordering the mac and cheese, which I said looked more like the Kraft version then the real thing. As the waitress walks by he grabs her wrist and says, "now what were you saying about the mac and cheese" with a smile in his eyes. I beam as I tell her how good I thought it was. She walks away smiling and we burst out laughing. He ended up moving away but I cant complain. Cupid was pretty good with sending a few tall, dark, handsome, genuine and intelligent brothers that made me smile and keep my faith that my guy is out there and its not for me to go looking.

*Michelle Obama (and Barack, Malia and Sasha too:)
Man oh man. All my friends, family and coworkers have grown tired of me injecting her in every convo, but I just am still riding my Michelle Obama high as Ive been in overdrive in since March it seems. loving what their election means for the rest of the world as we all strive to be our best selves and what their relationship does to uplift Black love

*Great Friends
I am so fortunate to have amazing friends. Im not one of those girls who says I have few women as friends (which I always find a little like a red flag you cant hang on to any female friends) My girls held me down and we had a blast, even if it was just a crazy night at home or in Queens or anywhere else.
(at our send-off dinner for Ari before she headed off to Italy)

*My Faith
I felt I got a greater understanding of what life is all about this year and being a member of a great church helped as I kept what mattered in focus. I work right by Lehman's Brothers so seeing the collapse of the financial industry up close was kind of intense and having my spirtual self nourished helped keep things in perspective

Farewell 08 . . .

It's Time to LIVE

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

2008 was a monumental year for our nation, world and each of our individual lives. It wasn't my worst and I am blessed to leave it with steady cash flow and my sanity and spirit in tack. After my short break I was back at work this week but with a new demeanor and pep in my step. After letting those things that aren't good die in 08, my church has challenged us all to LIVE in 2009!

And I can already feel the breath going deeper through my lungs as I come back alive and get deeper into fulfilling my purpose.

Somehow the pressures of live had begun to take their toll and my confidence in myself waned. As I scratched my head as to what happened I began to do small things I had stopped doing, that I had done when I was happier, like going to the library and writing cards (I LOVE stationary, and write notes on whims so feel free to email your address so I can add you to my address book). Another thing I use to do more of was jot lists and random thoughts. When I got a Blackberry (now I have two thanks to the job . . . yeah, its more cumbersome than cute) I stopped carrying around my fav lil notebook because I thought I would be ms. tech savy and typing away. Now I realize its nothing like having your little notebook and being able to see a continuation of your thoughts. And

And with that notebook Im starting my lists again. I am continuing to add to my list of goals for the year and beyond. And I am really excited to have already crossed one off: Organize my clips online. When Giant relaunched their site and I lost my clips I realized the importance of having copies of online articles and the need to have a nice online clip book. Well, a year later - Ive done it!
Check out my portfolio of some of my favorite pieces!! Looking back helps you realize how far you've come sometimes and also reminds you its no mistake you are where you are and each small step got you a little closer.

Here's to LIFE in 2009!
And to live is to love . . .