Remembering Christmas 2013.

There are no children in the house and around 1am early Christmas morning, my siblings decided to open gifts right then. There are five of us plus Mom, which means buying lots of gifts and spending lots of money and ain’t nobody got time/loot for that. So we pick names and everybody buys one sibling one cool gift.

My baby sister, age 21, picked me. I wasn’t enthusiastic about this, especially because the rumor in the house was that she’d bought me a pair of black leather pants, something I don’t have much desire to wear or have practical use for.

All my siblings opened their gifts ahead of me because we open gifts one at a time, from youngest to oldest, so everybody can watch and oooooh and aaaaah. When it got to me, everybody was staring HARD.

I pulled the pants out of the box silently. These had to be the dingiest, oldest-looking pair of black leather pants you’ve ever seen. Something like what Prince would wear back in the 1980s, only not in purple. Did I mention they were bell bottoms? Continue reading

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One family’s awesome Christmas card.

Why have I watched this three times today already? I don’t even mind that they shamelessly plug their new production company at the end.

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Helping ballet diversify.

misty-copeland-1

Misty Copeland, a real life “black swan.”

Project Plié first came to my attention via some prep work I was doing for a Q&A session with Misty Copeland, a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre. I’ve followed Copeland’s career for years now. This is in part due to my love of dance, but it’s also because she is one of the rare women of color to be promoted out of the corps de ballet at the company. Her success has been thrilling to watch.

Not that there haven’t been other programs to help diversify the elite ballet community, but this one looks especially promising. Here’s hoping.

Check it out!

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One airline’s amazing generosity at Christmas time…

This did it. I’m officially in the holiday spirit now!

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What fresh foolishness is this?

I don’t usually pay attention to internet ads, but this one caught my eye right away. I had to get a screenshot of it.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 4.38.59 PM

Let’s set aside the fact that the image has been photoshopped to within an inch of its life. Let’s also set aside the miraculous claim — one pound a day by my math — that’s sprawled across the top. My big question is, why would weight loss scammers of the internet decide to pick Gabourey Sidibe as the face of their brand? Remember, there was a hoax in the same vein about two years ago:

Gabby-Sidibe-Photoshop-Weightloss-Hoax

The photoshop job on this second image is so shabby as to be comical. Maybe that’s the point. But for the first image — where they’re selling a legitimate real product, why use Gabby? After all, she’s been on tv a lot lately. Supporting roles on Showtime’s “The Big C” and FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven,” along with publicity for both projects, have kept her in the public eye all year. Surely we would’ve noticed if she lost 200 pounds.

So what gives?

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Honey vs. The Stairs

See that small, tannish ball of fur on the right?photo

That’s my dog Honey Chaka Khan. She’s almost five years old. I’ve had her since she was a puppy. As of two days ago, Honey refuses to climb the stairs. I have no clue what brought on this new phobia. It’s so out of the blue. I tried giving her treats and talking sweetly to her. No dice. What could have brought this on? And how do I fix it?

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Remembering Madiba.

nelson-mandelaNaturally I first heard the news on Facebook. A tv journalist friend of mine in Wichita posted “RIP Nelson Mandela” on her page and it showed up in my newsfeed. I was disbelieving initially. He’d been on the edge of death for months, it seemed, and I didn’t want to fall prey to a hoax. Was this really, really happening?

By now, of course, we know that it was.

I felt great sadness, a puff of pride, and then an uncomfortable sense of relief. But like President Obama said in his remarks shortly after the news broke, Mandela “achieved more than could be expected of any man.” His work was done. Continue reading

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