Nine Movies I Loved in 2016

So 2016 is like so over, she said in her best Valley Girl voice, but I still wanted to post about my favs in cinema. Now while I didn’t get to see every movie I wanted to see (Queen of Katwe comes to mind), I wanted to take time to pay homage to 2016’s special 9, especially since tonight is Oscar night. Hey, the Academy has theirs and I have mine. Continue reading Nine Movies I Loved in 2016

Leaning on the Spider’s House

Hey, I thought I’d squeeze one more poem in before Poetry Month is over…so here goes…

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Leaning on the Spider’s House

Pacing myself amongst
The throng of lilies
I notice my own footsteps
Melting away the ground.
Pushing earth condensely
Among the little earthlings,
Who pop their miniscule heads out
To see what goings on
Disturbed their infinitesimal world.
They scurry away like Hurricane Katrina victims,
Running for their lives
With only what’s on their backs.
Some carry or nudge their young along.
Hear their cry?
I chase after them
For my own delight –
Watching them dash madly about.
Many drop their wares
Losing family along the way.
I stop to survey my spoil.
I see the lovely lilies,
Now trampled underfoot
Looking rather broken of spirit.
The houses are more than empty
They stand equal to the ground.
At last,
I lean upon the spider’s house
To write my hopes in condensation.

April is Poetry Month

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I love April for many reasons – spring, crisp weather, the sun – you name it.  What’s not to love?  But a reason many may not know about is that April is National Poetry Month.  It’s a time to reflect on poems and authors that give us life.  Or better yet, it’s a time where we can stop and put pen to paper to scribe our own verse.

There are so many things that can inspire us.  We just have to be deliberately mindful of what they are.  You don’t have to be in extraordinary circumstances either.  Shoot, stick a good plate of food in front of me and chile I get the vapors!  Look below at my poem about just that.  I hope you enjoy it and for all of us poets out there, Be Inspired.

Sustenance

Moist flesh
Punctured skin
Dripping red
Berry sauces that tinge of grapes
Smothered layers
Cooked in creams
Succulent to the tongue
Refined nectar
Gracing the palate
Softly fondling the nostrils
Delicious heat curl the air
Waving its vitality to its many lovers

Woe to the Watcher of Downton Abbey!

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No! No! No! No! No! NO!! I’m not okay. I’m not okay, you see.

Sniff. She says as her hands shake.

I think…I think I have a problem. It’s going away. It is. It’s the end. Mary wedded down and Edith might be marrying up. Lawd knows she deserves some happiness! She couldn’t pick Mr. Right if he threw a wedding ring at her.

Oh what joy when Mr. Carson and Ms. Hughes married! No, I will never call her Mrs. Carson. It just would not be right. And Daisy has wrecked my nerves just because she’s gotten a little edumacated. The little snot!

Her hand curled under her jaw while her eyes fixed on the floor. Her mouth quivers as she continues…

Oh Mr. Barrows, Mr. Barrows! I never thought I’d feel sorry for you, you conniving petty, backstabbing twat! But I do, I do! Please don’t kill yourself. I hope you find another job only to make that staff miserable there. That’s your purpose, your reason for being.

She wipes her moist eyes with her small, slight fingers. Her pursed lips curled into something of a smile and with wild, bloodshot eyes exclaimed:

I just don’t know! I just don’t know! What is to become of me!

She says as she shakes her head wildly, now slumped in the huge chair looking rather like a small child. Her feet dangle and her body is limp. She softly mumbles:

I shall never recover.
I shall never recover.
I shall never recover.

From the other room a scream pierces the air:

Poldark’s on!

Her pursed lips curl into a smile…

The Wiz Live!

THE WIZ LIVE! -- Pictured: (l-r) Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, David Alan Grier as Lion, Shanice Williams as Dorothy -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
THE WIZ LIVE! — Pictured: (l-r) Elijah Kelley as Scarecrow, Ne-Yo as Tin-Man, David Alan Grier as Lion, Shanice Williams as Dorothy — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

This past Thursday NBC aired The Wiz Live! My family and I decided to do a pizza night while watching the production. Great idea, right?

Needless to say after pizzas were ordered, picked up, sodas lined up, and glasses iced; we all plopped in front of the tube. Let me just add the adults were more excited than the children – or as my mother would say, ‘chirren’ – in the room. WHO DOESN’T REMEMBER DIANNA ROSS AND MICHAEL JACKSON IN THE WIZ?? And so who wouldn’t be excited for a reboot? Apparently, my niece, bless her heart.  Because at first, she just didn’t get it. She kept asking questions as if to say this makes no sense. I’m like, they’re munchkins; they’re supposed to look like that! What do you mean?? Haven’t you seen munchkins before?? Dawg!!

I’m serious about dem munchkins, honey…but on the other hand, is it sad that as a 46-year-old, you are the one defending the credibility of an imaginary people to a child??  Never mind.

To the review: I couldn’t have been more pleased. I enjoyed the newcomer, Shanice Williams’ freshness as Dorothy; Ne-Yo’s bold new dance moves as the Tin Man; Elijah Kelley’s athleticism as the Scarecrow and certainly David Allen Grier’s prowess as the Cowardly Lion. Who knew? Comedian David Allen Grier acting and sing ability was so on point.

Out of all three live productions NBC has aired – Sound of Music and Peter Pan previously – The Wiz Live! scored highest. The core songs and play were the same, but there were other changes that gave the play an updated and kicked up feel. It was a pleasant surprise.

Lastly, the best performances of the night were David Allen Grier for such an excellent show of talent and Mary J. Blige who tore it up as the Wicked Witch of the West. Hey, don’t take my word for it. Go to the NBC.com website and view it now if you haven’t already!

Two. Thumbs. Up!!

The Wiz Live!
David Allen Grier as the Lion and Shanice Williams as Dorothy in The Wiz Live!
THE WIZ LIVE! -- Pictured: Mary J Blige as Evillene -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
THE WIZ LIVE! — Pictured: Mary J Blige as Evillene — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUSTED – DON CHEADLE!

 

Did ya’ll know that Don Cheadle had quit Hollywood and is now working at a funeral home in town??? LOL! Nah, you know that’s not true!  But take a look at this guy – who does work at a funeral home in town – doesn’t he look so much like Don Cheadle??!!?  I went to a wake this past Friday and had to do a double-take as I was going out of the door, then a walk-backwards, and finally I just asked the man could I take his picture.  It was just uncanny.  Anywho…what do you think?

 

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The Real Don Cheadle
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Funeral Home Guy

What I’m Watching on TV

When I realized that I hadn’t written an entertainment piece in a while, I began to think about what was good on TV. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’ve grown weary of the programming that many are flocking to. As a matter of fact, I’ve found myself in a veritable mixed bag of nuts as far as my TV choices go.

HOW

Hell on Wheels – AMC

I love Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount). You know one of the things I like the most about him? Honey, when he says, ‘c’mon!’ Let’s just say I like the sexy, one-syllabled, country-styled way that he utters it.

How I hate that this season is the last, but so far, that doesn’t mean the story line is suffering. I’m on my toes guessing still. Where are his wife and child? He’s already lost his first family. Please let this man have his dream of peace, a family, a dog, and beautiful house by the beach. I want this so badly for him.

But I’m wondering about the new female character, Mei. Due to the outbreak of war and avoidance of an unwanted marriage, she’s forced to run from her home in Asia to America, cross-dress like she’s a boy and work like a man. Where does she fit in all of this? You know Cullen and her will become closer before it’s all over with.

DevMaids

Devious Maids – Lifetime

I couldn’t see how they were going to continue this show after season one ended, but every week I am frantic if I haven’t set my DVR for eight o’clock on Monday nights. It gets twistier and twistier. Yep, I actually wrote that.

Carmen (Roselyn Sanchez) is sleeping with the husband of the record producer she’s trying to impress; Zoila (Judy Reyes) is pregnant by her dead husband so her fiancé walks out on her at the alter; Marisol’s (Ana Ortiz) mysterious, gun-toting boyfriend has possibly broken up with her and never mind that he was once her maid; Rosie (Dania Ramirez) had just left her hot husband for her even hotter husband (watch the show to get the meaning of that)! Whew! Funny, ridiculous, and just plain fun!

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Poldark – PBS Masterpiece Theatre

PBS slays me!

I so love PBS for a zillion reasons but I’ll just share one of them at present…Poldark. This is the new series on Masterpiece Theatre. The character Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner) is brooding, dark, and sexy. He’s really of the blue-blood stock but rebels on every level against it.

He’s prideful and stubborn but with high morals and a big heart. Sigh and swoon! He even rolls up his sleeves and works in the copper mine he owns; he marries his pretty kitchen maid, and doesn’t seem ashamed of it at all. So when his friend accidently kills his wife, of course he helps him escape. And when a ship wrecks on the shores of his estate, of course he rounds all of his workers and villagers – who are poor – and encourages them to pick up the food and goods washed up shore. Of course this means drama! And of course, this means I’ll tune in next season to see where this picks up!

Darrin Dewitt Henson – A Lovely Man

I just had to post this.   Darrin Dewitt Henson (best known for the Soul Food TV series) was in my town recently.  He is as nice, personable, and lovely as he seems to be on screen.

Some kids came out and danced for him.  He not only came out to watch them, but he bust a move with them as well!  Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that he has a killer smile and great body to go along with that beautiful personality as well!  Heeey!

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Thanks Darrin!!

 

 

 

 

 

From the Mississippi Delta, A Memoir – A Book Review

DrEIMHollandObitSomeone recommended the memoir of Endesha Ida Mae Holland a while back. I wrote the name down but it literally took years for me to get around to it.

This memoir is not for the faint of heart. Ms. Holland, or Ida Mae, does not sugar-coat anything.  I fell in and out of like with her constantly and for various reasons.  Let me explain.  Life was very hard in the 50’s and 60’s for anyone but especially if you were black and double that if you were a woman.

When young, Ida Mae was probably just a typical child from the poor side of town of Greenwood, Mississippi. Then something terrible happened; something that seemed to pull her inside out.  She was raped – raped by a white man old enough to be her grandfather.  What was even more twisted and diabolical is that the rapist’s wife is the one that set the attack up!  After that, any aspirations of Lil’ Ida Mae not only dried up and imploded, but her dreams spat her out and kicked her down a path of loose living, fighting, and stealing.

At first I felt so sad for her. I wanted so much for her to just get a break.  But time after time, Ida Mae got thrown down in the mud; so much so that I guess she decided it was best for her to wallow in it with a smile.  This is where we use the phrase “wild out,” which is what happened to her until a Godsend called The Civil Rights Movement began.  It’s amazing what a purpose will do for the soul.  And in Ida Mae’s case, it saved hers.  She went from literally being a prostitute to a civil rights leader who inspired others.  Along the way, she had a baby, got married three times, got her doctorate, and wrote several award-winning plays.

Her life was like, well, Forrest said it best, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get.”  Her life was chocked full of pain, joys, struggles, noble causes, and triumphs.  She is brutally honest about not being the best mother, at one point not even wanting to be one, leaving her child with relatives.  However, at the point of writing her memoir, she had realized that she almost totally missed out on this once in a lifetime privilege of motherhood.

You know how you have a family member whom you look up to? You love them. You’re close to them.  You know them, or at least you think you do.  That is until Auntie Big Mouth starts digging up the dead cat.  And this time the dirt she’s talking about is on your favorite.  You’re shocked.  You may even recoil.  How could they ever?  I don’t believe it, you think.  You feel let down and disappointed.

That’s how I felt reading this memoir. During the parts where Ms. Holland’s life is so off track, I was ready to give up on her.  Why not?  She had already given up on herself.  But she prevailed.  She was humbled, saddened, educated, exalted, and tempered with the passing of time.  When I closed the book, the lesson I took away is that given the chance, humans can become amazing beings.  We all can live to our potential once provided the opportunity.  And lastly, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself or anyone else is forgiveness.