Monday, December 24, 2018

It's about family!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays:

As my family gets smaller with untimely deaths of those at the top of the pyramid, and as my sister, brother and I ascend to the pyramid hierarchy, family becomes more important.

On this holiday season, I extend a message to hold tight to family, cleave to them, honor and cherish them.

With family, bask in the glow of the merriment and the holiness of Jesus' birth.

Be together.  Love together. Cling to one another....together.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Being awarded...I guess I like it

I am not really big on awards...or so I thought.

I was absolutely giddy with excitement when I was awarded the "Girl on Fire" honor last night.  I used my acceptance speech to talk about the importance of being brave, curious and kind.

After I got my honor, I walked around the ballroom seeking -- and getting -- congratulations and best wishes from the audiences.  And I happily took pictures with any and everybody -- including some selfies.

So, today I'm basking in the afterglow.  So, I guess I enjoy getting awards after all.

And, based on my resume, I deserve it.

Monday, November 12, 2018


I'm still basking in the joy of being in China for 10 days.  Climbing the Great Wall of China will forever be etched in my consciousness as history-making and life altering.  Navigating and negotiating those uneven and steep steps was a physical test but exhilarating to know that I made it to the third tier...or 3/4 of a mile.  So, that meant I managed to scale 1 1/2 miles of this wonder.

Of course, visiting the largest Buddha in the world was dynamic.

We went to Forbidden City, Summer Palace and so many wondrous sites, that we were ripping and running daily.

I met some wonderful women, including two sistas, on the same tour but not on the same bus.  We vowed to get together again....Ditto for two native American women from Albuquerque who I vowed to visit.

It was tiring but rewarding.  The worst part being the ride home and the incessant security checks.  When I got to O'Hare and thought I was almost home free, the security summoned me into still another security checkpoint and I almost went crazy.

All in all, it was a trip of a lifetime.  Bears repeating.

It was a trip of a lifetime.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A place to Chill

When Dominick's was open, there was a quiet place there where I could relax, read...and chill.
I'd spend Sunday morning reading for hours without home interruptions or other distractions.

So, I was unhappy when Dominick's went out of business as I didn't have that quiet place to retreat to on Sundays.

Until yesterday.

I went to Mariano's on 110th and Cicero and walked into an oasis of wonderment. There is a quiet place where I can read and, which is adjacent to a coffee bar.  It is nestled away from the bigger grocery vortex so the busy feel is oblivious to those in this quiet island.

So, I was delighted yesterday to find my new retreat.  And, after spending hours undisturbed, I did some genuine shopping and was delighted by the European feel of this shopping emporium.

So, I've found my quiet place and hope it will be a lasting find that will not be subject to the whims of the market fluctuations.

Monday, September 24, 2018

PHEW! Success!

I had my annual end-of-summer dinner party yesterday.  I didn't know who would come because folks don't RSVP anymore.

But, they came in.  They ate.  They had engaging conversations.

Among those attending were those in the media, entertainment, business and, of course, good friends.

The food was DE BEST -- thanks for Chef Nicole. It was plentiful and DE-LI-CIOUS


The weather was perfect - SUNNY, not a cloud overhead.

And, midway through the dinner, I looked at the sea of invitees and knew it was a job well done.

Well, it can be pricey, and I bite my nails leading up to the event.

But, the success of it all has me feeling pretty happy and satisfied on this post-event day.

Despite my complaining and moaning pre-event, I know I'll do it again.

Next year.

Monday, September 10, 2018

It's about growth!

I'm going to China in October and I'm SOOOOO excited!

In preparation for the trip, I'm learning how to speak Chinese.

The language is complicated but I'm slowly getting the major phrases down.

The agency handling the trip says it's not necessary to learn the language since the guide speaks English and can assist if there are rare situations where I have to speak the language.

But, I'm learning it anyway.

There are several reasons why:

Natives respect you for trying to master  their language.

You get to speak to the Chinese in their language.

And the most important:

I get a sense of accomplishment and uplift when learning something new.

It's about growth!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Blame it on Serena

Labor Day is a big holiday weekend in Chicago.

There are BBQs, Fests, concerts, parties...places to go and people to see.

But, as a lifelong Tennis FAN-A-TIC, I watch the US Open.

I love watching Serena in her comeback.

I love watching Sloane as she defends her title.

I love Nadal, Federer, Del Potro, Isner, Thiem

I love the doubles and mixed doubles.

I love seeing the up-and-coming players make their mark.

I love seeing the veterans maintaining their dominance.

I love Love LOVE tennis.

Yea, yeah.  I know I could tape it.  But, I've got to see it in REAL TIME!  And, my DVR might not work.

I can't take that chance.

So, folks if I don't get to eat ribs at the BBQs, or visit the African Festival of the Arts, or sit on the lawn and listen to the Jazz Fest...


Blame it on Serena.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Black Harvest Film Festival

A few years ago, the Black Harvest Film Festival promoted the series by hosting screenings at local libraries.  I attended many of the screenings and gained an appreciation for their mission:  giving exposure to local African-American filmmakers.


I enjoyed the movies and, in some cases, the filmmaker was there to field questions and to talk more about his journey.  Plus, we were served refreshments.

As an added incentive, we received complimentary tickets to the REAL showings.

I went and enjoyed the Festival immensely.

Since then, I've gone because the promotional effort made me a believer and a lover of the Festival.

You see the trendy folks there who, also, appreciate the mission and the cinematic message.

It's a win/win and part of my annual must-attends.

Monday, August 6, 2018

National Association of Black Journalists

I LOVE this convention.  It's an under-one-roof conference where you can learn from masters like Tyler Perry and other experts from all media-related disciplines.  I also renew friendships, cement and establish contacts, and connect with a host of media wonks.  This has reaped tremendous rewards as these contacts have turned into HITS.

This year's confab was held in Detroit so I got away to visit Hitsville and other Detroit landmarks, which is making a comeback.

Whatever I spend in registration and fees is worth it in turns of the millions of dollars of benefits I get from attending.

Monday, July 23, 2018

FREE equals FUN

Last weekend, I attended the Taste of WVON food fest.  It had EVERYTHING!  Food, Entertainment, Networking and tons of vendors that sold clothes, jewelry and EVERYTHING I CRAVE!  The spirit of the event was AWESOME!  I ran into so many people and got hugs, made new friends and felt joyful!

And it was all FREE -- well for admission anyway.

But, as I walked the few blocks of the Fest hugging folks, greeting contacts and feeling LUV, it occurred to me that there are so many FREE events that are FUN and TIME FILLERS!

And, the summertime in Chicago is filled with festivals, fairs, flea markets -- THE WORKS!

I always have a great time.  They make for great date sites or just for lallygagging around, as I do.

But, it adds up to FUN!

And what makes the FUN even more FANTASTIC is that it's FREE!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Humiliated? In pain? It's Ok.

Once every few months, I get together with my nephew for lunch and tennis.

It is fun to catch up over lunch and get rid bits about his family.  It is also wonderful to just interact with this young man, who is truly marvelous.

But, then...there's tennis.

He has a monster serve and just blows me off the court.

I'm constantly chasing balls and, on those rare times when we actually have a rally...he usually wins!

But, it's all smiles.

Afterwards, I'm "humiliated" in a fun way.  And, the next day, my joints are hurting as well as many other parts of the body.

But, it's all worth it to connect and spend time with him.

So, forget the pain.  Forget the embarrassment.  This is about love.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Enjoying my 119

For about two years, I've been visiting the Most Unusual Places in Chicago/Chicago area.  It's been an awesome experiences going to unique haunts, off-the-way places and quirky meanderings.

I've been to the Shit Fountain, Violet Hour, the American Museum of Surgical Science and so many more.  

On Saturday, I went to #22, the site of the 1898 World's Fair.  There are three areas:  The Japanese Garden, Wooded Hills and Big Mary.

The Japanese Garden was tranquil, beautiful and mesmerizing. 


The scenery was so haunting and awesome that I could have stayed all day and wrapped myself in the wonder of it all.

My only regret is that I hadn't been here before.  It's always been, where was I?

Monday, June 11, 2018

How to Get a "YES"

I'd been working on trying to penetrate a station for a month.  I called.  No return call.  I called again. No return call.

Then, I heard on the show that they were having a public beach party.

I got up and went.

He wasn't there...but his boss was.

We talked.

He was receptive.

We exchanged cell numbers.

It's ON.

So, that is the recipe for getting a YES.

In going, I exhibited interest and showed that I watched the station.

Plus, I helped boost attendance at the beach party as it was a rainy day and most people stayed away.

But I didn't.  Even at a grandma's age and being out of their demographics, I was welcome there.

I got multiple tee shirts, mugs, lip balm and all of the other goodies.

But, most of all, I got a YES!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Golden Reunion: FAB-U-LOUS

Yes...there were a few hiccups.  And, yes, there were some missteps.

But, overall, Spelman's Golden Reunion was awesome.  A few stayed away for petty reasons but they were the losers.

As I reflect on the wonder of the weekend, I'm so glad I made it.

One of the most poignant remarks came from Faithia Pugh who joined me to find our lost bags.  We scurried around in search for our bags for at least an hour.

And they were finally found.  But, we were in it together.

At the end, she said to me:  "If we'd known each other better, we could have been friends in college."

It's not too late as I have her contact # and will begin a friendship -- 50 years later.

Monday, May 14, 2018

My Golden Reunion

I leave this week to attend my 50th College Reunion from Spelman College.  It is hard to believe it's been that long.

It will be a nostalgic occasion filled with rituals, rites of passage and remembrances.

I look forward to returning to the campus where memories were sown and where traditions are strong.  Values were stressed and traditionalism was emphasized.

I thank my parents for choosing it for me and for the foundation of strength it provided me and continues to provide.

As I look around at the way life has evolved with the coarseness and lack of civility, I hold Spelman dear for building character and creating a strong bond of faith.

Spelman is part of my growth and I look forward to returning to the scene that helped flower me.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Consult your village

Recently, I had a pain -- intense pain -- in my hip.

It was becoming so aggravating that I consulted the Internet for help.

No luck.

So, in desperation, I posted my malady on Facebook.

Through my Facebook village, I got a diagnosis and tons of referrals and advice on next steps.

Out of that posting, I culled through the referrals and settled on a nearby chiropractor.

She is wonderful!  After three treatments, the pain is gone and I have strategies on how to avoid the pain in the future.  I've followed the regiment and feel so revived.

I would have never gotten relief had I not put the word out on Facebook.

And, for that, they are my go-to source for advice and counsel.

So glad to have such a reliable and wonderful village.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Take advantage of rare opportunities!

OK.  So, I was writing my $525 registration check for Alpha Kappa Alpha's conference when something came flitting across my email:  A great deal to travel to China.  Great deal, indeed!  $899 for air and hotel and the tour.  Of course, there will be extras but even with that this is a rare opportunity.

So, I tore up the check to AKA and made it to the China travel agency.

I don't have much more time on this earth and I don't know when my health will break down.  So, I'm going now...while I'm well...while I can seize the opportunity!

Monday, February 12, 2018

When Growth is not always good for business

I love my furnace guy. Shawn is funny, customer-service oriented, caring, passionate and makes you feel like you're his ONLY customer.  When you call him, he gets back within an hour -- MAX.

Others must feel that way too.  Why?  Because, he's gotten busy and started parcelling out assignments to his workers.

They don't have his personality and appeal. They're straightforward, no-nonsense, in and out and BYE.  But, they do fix the issue.

I insisted that he call me so I could talk to him.  Sure enough, he got back to me right away.  He explained that through aggressive marketing, his business has soared.  I'm thinking that part of the business' appeal is HIM and his vivacious, sparkling and charming style.

I guess I haven't made the cut in terms of being one of his "preferred" clients because I'm getting the gloomy, unpleasant technician.

So, I may start letting my fingers do the walking and find another furnace server.   After all, it's the little differences that allow a business to thrive and survive, or die.

While I want him to grow, if you haven't trained your staff to bring the same style to their negotiations and work, the growth may be negated if folks start looking for someone else.

That is the juncture I'm currently in.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Greatest find in 2017 -- Greatest Achievement

This is not what you'd expect to be on the list but, as I reflect, these two items keep bubbling to the top.

The first is the discovery that I had GPS on my cellphone -- for YEARS!  I went to a Personal Trainer in Wilmette. She was giving me directions on how to get back home but insisted I must have GPS.  I told her "NO."  I always printed out directions from MapQuest and struggled to drive and read.

She looked at my phone and said:  THERE IT IS.  It was under MAPS.

Since discovering that, my life has been easier navigating to different places.  It's been a life saver.

The second "Achievement" was rebuffing the pleas of an ex-boyfriend to see me. You see, he left unceremoniously without a word --leaving me hanging, bewildered and hurt.  Nine months later, he called.  But, by this time, he had a fiancĂ©. He wanted to connect and I refused. I told him he'd hurt me in the worst way and refused to meet or connect. I loved this man and wouldn't play the game.

And, while it would have been easy to see him, meet on the quick and become the "side chick," I wouldn't.

It was hard...but worth it for my self esteem.  Had I given in, that would have been another series of hurts and I love Melody too much.

So there.