Sunday, December 28, 2008


2008 is coming to a close.

How was this year for you? Did you get
all that you wanted accomplished?
Are there some projects you never got to?
(I didn't clean my attic or buy new furniture
or put my screen door up or move my dresser to the

There are still a few days left in this year.
Is there anything you want to do before the
year is up?

Friday, December 26, 2008

RIP Eartha Kitt - A Sophisticated Lady

She oozed sensuality and as catwoman, Eartha Kitt growled
her way into the hearts of millions. The legendary actress and singer died last night after a long bout with colon cancer. She was 81.

It is ironic that the sultry songstress, known for
the song, Santa Baby, died on Christmas Day, just a week after the holiday classic became certified gold. She was a unique talent who excelled in film, theater and music. Kitt often played a sassy sex kitten and her work spanned generations — does anyone remember Boomerang? She continued to work until the very end, taping a PBS special just six weeks ago.

Eartha Kitt was one of the original African American divas. She
came from an era of glamour and sophistication and along with such divas as Diahann Carroll and Lena Horne, she was the epitome of a lady.

Can you name any Black actresses today who possesses the glamour, style and sophistication of our past African American divas? Who out there today could
compare to Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll or Eartha Kitt? Where are the real ladies?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Question of the Day

Do you think a married man who is separated should be able to date?
Does it matter how long he's been separated?

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Madoff Mess

By now you've probably heard or read about Bernard Madoff.
Over several decades, he built Madoff Investment Securities into a financial empire.
According to the Associated Press, Madoff's
wealth allowed him to live a lavish lifestyle — acquiring a $7 million
apartment on the Upper Eastside of New York, homes
in Palm Beach and the Hamptons and a villa in the South of France.
Madoff owned several boats, had memberships in
exclusive country clubs and even had a share in a corporate jet.

But his financial empire was built on a card of lies. He was a fraud.
It was revealed that Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme: a financial
operation in which money from new investors is used
to pay earlier investors. Basically, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Madoff scammed more than $50 billion from investors.
Director Steven Spielberg, Mortimer Zuckerman, editor in chief of U.S. News
& World Report and Nobel Prize winner Eli Wiesel, were among his victims.

But many of Madoff's victims were not millionaires or part of
elite society. A good number were foundations,
charitable organizations and just ordinary folk
looking to put away
funds for retirement, kids' college savings and emergency situations
such as medical bills.

Some people lost everything. A 95-year-old grandmother
lost her life savings and now has to rely soley on
Social Security. A recently retired couple now wonder how they're going to pay
their bills until they find jobs again. Charitable organizations and foundations
have had to close down and layoff hundreds of employees right before the holidays.
These groups supported homeless shelters, schools, senior citizens-
basically the displaced, the deprived, the disadvantaged.
And most recently, one of Madoff's victims, french billionaire Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet committed suicide after losing $1.5 billion of his clients' money in
the Madoff fraud.

In the meantime, Madoff is on house arrest - laying low in his $7 million Upper Eastside

What do you think should happen to Madoff?
Do you think victims of his scheme should be able to recoup their losses?
If so, how?
Should the government intervene?

Maybe grandma was right. The best place for money is under the mattress.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Hips

My jeans are a little snug. It happens around the same time every
year. I gain between 7-10 pounds between my birthday - November
4 - and New Year's. I don't do it on purpose of course.
Though I teach four Jazzercise classes a week - Sundays, Tuesdays and
two on Thursdays - my good eating habits seem to fall by the weightside (lol) during
the holidays.

I always start the new year off with determination and drive.
I join my local Weight Watchers and ramp up my exercise regime -
participating in bootcamps in addition to teaching Jazzercise.

In the spring and summer, I'll go jogging in the mornings
and teach Jazzercise at night. I catch the metro to get a little
walking in and also walk during lunch. I love to go dancing and do other
outdoor activities. I eat light - salads, fruit, yogurt. I try to limit
bread and sweets (though I am totally addicted to desserts).

I'm usually at my weight goal (or near it) by summer and tend to do
well in eating right and exercising - until the holidays. And for me the holidays start on November 4. It seems that by the end of the year, I'm mentally
tired, exhausted really, of doing all the right things and just want to indulge, relax, be free. I want to enjoy the holiday gatherings with friends and family and not have
to worry about what I can and cannot have.
I don't want to be on a stringent schedule.

I'll be home for Christmas. Mississippi is the fattest state in the nation.
I don't want to add to the obesity problem. But it's hard when grandma, who you haven't seen all year, is insisting that you get "just a small slice" of her homemade poundcake or get "another bowl" of her Southern greens swimming in fat.
So, I'll eat the cake and the greens.

Unfortunately for me, my body type does not allow me to indulge, relax, be free - forever. I've faced the facts: I can't eat whatever I want, whenever I want.
If I don't want to be a statistic, one of the millions who are overweight and obese,
I have to be diligent in my eating and exercise.

So, though I've fallen off the bandwagon. On January 2, 2009 I'll be back to basics and before you know
it, back in my jeans.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oprah, Oprah, Oprah

I love Oprah. Absolutely adore her.
I admire her hard work. Her dedication. Her commitment. Her
tenacity. Her perseverance. Her spirit. Her courage.
There's something inside her that touches the hearts of man.
Her success stems from a strong sense of self, yet she has a
vulnerability that is honest and true.

Oprah was born in the poorest and most racist state in the nation,
Mississippi - my home state. She overcame sexual abuse and poverty
to become an international media mogul and major philanthropist.

Her accomplishments are immeasurable.
She has a talk show, radio show, magazine, a production
company (Harpo Films) and foundation. She builds neighborhoods (remember Hurricane
Katrina?), schools (South Africa Leadership Academy for Girls) and makes
books best-sellers just by mentioning them on her show.

She's an actress (The Color Purple, Women of Brewster Place, Beloved),
producer (The Great Debaters, Color Purple on Broadway) and the recipient
of a gazillion awards. For some, she's even a spiritual guide (The Church of O).

Oprah is a billionaire. She can buy anything she wants (fancy cars and diamond rings), go anywhere she wants, meet anyone she wants. In fact in 2009, she will launch her own network - OWN - The Oprah Winfrey Network.
Is there anything this lady can't do? I don't think so.

But with all that she has and all that she does, Oprah is not happy.
She's "disappointed in herself" for getting up to 200 pounds.
In the latest issue of O magazine, the mogul talks about her weight gain. Read the article here.
My heart warmed when she declared that her goal was no longer to be thin, but
to be healthy and strong. wow.

In the same article, however, she mentions her thyroid problem, high blood pressure and heart palpitations.
Don't you think your body is telling you something honey? Slow Down !

I know Oprah does it all, but does she really need to do it all?

Oprah seems to fill her life with a lot of "stuff." She is always working on a project - and we are the better for it. She is an inspiration and a role model for all of us who want to "live our best lives."

But is all this "stuff" stressing her out? Is she trying to fill some emotional void in her life? Is she lonely? Depressed? Is she looking for something? Maybe love? acceptance? Why does she need to be busy all the time? Is she running from something?

I think Oprah is beautiful - inside and out. But as I learned from my own struggle with weight, she has to accept herself. Many times we wear the mask - pretend to the world that everything is okay, but deep down we're hurting.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I've never considered myself the type that would be a stay-at-home mom.
I like to be in the street.
But after spending two weeks with my sister and her newborn twins, I had
second thoughts.

They were so little and tiny. I just wanted to hug them.
I had an urge to always keep them safe.
How could you leave them?

My sister has to return to work in March and is looking
for childcare. She is a public school teacher.
The twins will be only four months old.

Would I want to leave my young tiny newborns in the care of someone else?
Anything could happen - especially at daycare centers with lots of other kids.
At what point would I be okay leaving them? 6 months? a year?

Maybe I should stay home until my kid turns 6 and goes to first grade.
That's 6 years out of the workforce.

Maybe I'll be rich enough to afford a nanny. Then again, anything could happen.
Did anyone see "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle?" scary.

But millions of women do it everyday and their kids turn out just fine.
What are your thoughts?