Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 9 - Thirteen Games That I Enjoy Playing

I was recently talking to a relative about a game night he will be hosting next month and it got me to thinking about some of the games I have enjoyed playing through out the years. Please participate in the poll on the right.

1. Connect Four is a vertical checkers game. When my son was a boy we use to play this game all of the time. I am not the type to let a child win to boast their self-esteem, they have to earn it. There came a time when I had a most difficult time winning.

2. Othello is another game of strategy that I enjoy playing, especially when I discovered the secret of being the first one to the corners.

3. Trouble - I remember first playing this game when I was a child in elementary school. It use to be a lot of fun, but I haven’t played in years.

4. Scrabble - An excellent game for teaching children how to spell and use a dictionary.

5. Monopoly - Who didn't grow up loving this one?

6. Pictionary - This is probably my favorite game of all times. Half of the fun is figuring out how you are going to draw whatever is on the card.

7. Life - The game actually did teach you about life.

8. Scene It - I played this game for the first time over the Christmas holiday. I throughly enjoyed it because it is trivia based.

9. Trivia Pursuit - I love any and all games that pursue trivia.

10. Scattegories - This has been a fun game to play as an adult.

11. Outburst - Only played it a couple of times, but it was fun.

12. Upwords - A stackable Scrabble.

13. Sorry - Another one of my childhood favorites.

What are some of your favorite games?

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You Know You Are Ghetto on Your Job When...

I hate to admit it, but I have been guilty of more than one of these infractions during my working career. I thought this was funny so I am passing it along. Have a nice day at work.

1. You have at least one drawer/cabinet that contains more food than office supplies.

2. Not only do you know all the security guards, janitors and cafeteria workers, one of them has asked you out on a date.

3. Your version of a conference call is when you call your friends and plan what you are doing for the weekend.

4. The only time your man/woman picks you up from work is on payday.

5. Friends and family members call you at work to cuss you out because you didn't answer your phone quickly enough.

6. You paint your nails at your desk.

7. When you are on a personal call you, laugh so loud your co-workers on the other side of the office come and ask you what's so funny.

8. You have pictures on your wall with you and your friends at the club.

9. To beat the system, you have codes for personal calls that let's someone know to call you right back. (For example, let the phone ring two times and call me right back)

10. You give your out-of-town friends your company's 1-800 number.

11. Before calling in sick, you rehearse your sick voice and sick story several times out loud.

12. Coworkers ask about your father's surgery that required you to miss work for days - and you don't even know who your daddy is.

13. You use the company's postage machine to stamp your personal mail.

14. Your kid's school supplies all have your company's insignia on them.

15. You call in sick on payday Friday and send your cousin to pick up your paycheck.

16. You contribute $1 to the office Christmas party, eat the most food and take a platter of lunch meat and potato salad home to your family for dinner.

17. Before someone uses your telephone at your desk, they have to wipe the chicken grease off the handset.

18. You call in sick on Friday because you went out on Thursday.

19. You tell off your supervisor and a couple of other coworkers on a regular basis - and wonder why you haven't been promoted.

20. You get your haircut/hair done on lunch and come back two hours later. Then you ask "Was anybody looking for me?".

21. You cuss your creditors out for calling you at work.

22. You come to work on Fridays dressed for the club.

23. Your kids call your job and say to the operator, "Let me speak to my Mama"

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Vocal Group Hall of Fame

I have been meaning to write a post regarding the “Vocal Group Hall of Fame” for a long time, but just never quite got around to it. The concept of honoring singing groups from the past is awesome to me because some of these artists would never get any recognition without this venue. I am always somewhat disappointed by the outcome of the inductions in the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” because there seems to be a lot bias and political implications involved in the voting. Whereas the voting to select vocal groups seems to be evenhanded and the voters seem to make a sincere effort to be inclusive of all genres of group musicians from Peter, Paul, and Mary to the Stylistics.

The museum, located in Sharon, Pennsylvania in the Columbia Theater, is a work in progress and it will not be opened until the fall of 2008. The museum will feature three floors of displays complimented with a restaurant, banquet center, and piano bar. Inductions have been held since 1998 and many artists have been inducted since the hall’s inception. The 2006 Inductees include America, Bread, The Byrds, The Deep River Boys, Billy Ward and the Dominos, The Duprees, The Fleetwoods, Hayden Quartet, The Hi-Lo’s, The Hollies, Journey, The Lovin Spoonful, The Moody Blues, Queen, The Shangri –Las and Simon and Garfunkel.

The website is remarkable, with footage from induction concerts, listings of special events, a video library, a gift shop, and a list of the 2007 nominees, which is impressive indeed. This is also a page explaining “Truth in Music”, a movement that protects artists from identity theft and the public from being mislead to believe they are seeing the legendary artists that made the song where when in actuality they are not. Currently several states have passed the “Truth in Music” bill, among them are Pennsylvania, Illinois, Connecticut, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, South Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Missouri, Texas, Nevada, New York, and California.

If you like good music I invite you to visit the website, take the virtual tour and enjoy the rich history of music performed by vocal groups of the past.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ruby Dee Gets Her Very First Oscar Nod at 83


The Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning, and among the nominees was Ruby Dee, who after 50 years in the business finally grabbed a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as 'Mama Lucas' in ‘American Ganster’. Mama Lucas was the mother of Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas played by Denzel Washington.

Dee, 83, is the second oldest Oscar nominee for acting ever. Gloria Stuart, nominated for 'Titanic' in 1998, was 87 at the time of her nomination. Ms. Dee’s role in the movie was small, but pivotal to the storyline of the film. It’s been a long time coming after over a half a century of brilliant film roles starting in the 1950’s. Even after the death of her beloved husband and often co-star, Ossie Davis in 2005, she has kept at her craft. She was also seen recently along side singer/actor Alicia Keys on the Sundance Channel’s Iconoclast, a series which pairs mature and young artist together.

In 2004 she along with Ossie Davis, Elton John, Joan Sutherland, John Williams, and Warren Beatty became the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors. In 1995 she and Ossie Davis were awarded the American National Medal of the Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, DC. In later years she has performed mostly in films written and directed by actor/director Spike Le

Check out this clip with Ms. Dee and Denzel Washington.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Beyonce to Portray Etta James

Etta James is a renowned icon of the Rhythm & Blue genre. Before there was Aretha, Dionne, or Chaka, there was Etta James. I am a huge fan and that’s why I was excited to learn that Beyoncê Knowles of “Dreamgirls” fame would be portraying the legendary singer in the upcoming film entitled “Cadillac Records”.

Set in the 1950’s the story is about Leonard Chess, the founder of the South Side Chicago blues label Chess Records. The period piece follows the rise and fall of Chess Records, which launched the careers of such R&B greats as Muddy Waters, Etta James and Chuck Berry. Chess, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, scoured the South, checking out the various blues scenes and selling records from the back of his Cadillac. Cedric the Entertainer will play Willie Dixon, who wrote most of the hits records and was part of the famous company. One of his most famous songs was "Hoochie Coochie Man".

Oscar winner Adrien Brody has also joined the cast to replace Matt Dillon as Leonard Chess, the founder of Chess Records. Dillon had to drop out of the project due to a scheduling conflict. Jeffrey Wright will portray Muddy Waters in the film set in 1950s Chicago. Also new to the cast are Emmanuelle Chriqui, Columbus Short and Tammy Blanchard. Darnell Martin ("Their Eyes Were Watching God") penned the script and is directing. Sony/BMG's Sofia Sondervan and Andrew Lack are producing.

According to, James landed at Chicago's Chess Records in 1960, signing with their Argo subsidiary. Immediately, her recording career kicked into high gear; not only did a pair of duets with her then-boyfriend (Moonglows lead singer Harvey Fuqua) chart, her own sides (beginning with the tortured ballad "All I Could Do Was Cry") chased each other up the R&B lists as well.

Chess viewed James as a classy ballad singer with pop crossover potential, backing her with lush violin orchestrations for 1961's luscious "At Last" and "Trust in Me." But James' rougher side wasn't forsaken -- the gospel-charged "Something's Got a Hold on Me" in 1962, a kinetic 1963 live LP (Etta James Rocks the House) cut at Nashville's New Era Club, and a blues-soaked 1966 duet with childhood pal Sugar Pie De Santo, "In the Basement," ensured that.

Check out Ms. James with her former label mate Chuck Berry in their rendition of "Rock & Roll Music".

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Color Purple Is Closing On Broadway

After 940 performances and grossing over 103,000,000 The Color Purple is shutting down production on Broadway. The show will still continue to tour so that others can experience Alice Walker's American masterpiece. The current installment of the play The show currently stars Chaka Khan as Sofia, BeBe Winans as Harpo, LaKisha Jones as the Church Soloist at all evening performances and Sofia at all matinee performances, Montego Glover as Nettie, Elisabeth Withers-Mendes as Shug Avery, Alton Fitzgerald White as Mister, Krisha Marcano as Squeak and Zonya Love as Celie.

The word is that Fantasia's exit two weeks ago may have caused an early demise for the show even though some heavy hitters (Khan and Winans) still remain. Oprah Winfrey made this statement when the closing was announced "When the opportunity came to help bring the musical to the Broadway stage, it was a full circle moment for me," she added. "I'm so proud to have been a part of this production that not only made Broadway history, but resonated with a new generation and touched the lives of more than 1 million theatergoers." Although I never made it to "The Great White Way" to see the show I sure hope it comes to the Dallas area because from what I heard it is very entertaining.

Oh Kwame, Say It Ain’t So!

I have a lot of love for the city of Detroit; always have from the time I was a small child living in Flint, Michigan. I couldn’t wait to get my driver’s license as a teenager so I could travel to the forbidden and mysterious “Motor City”. As an adult, even after moving from Michigan, I have kept abreast of the happenings in Detroit. A few years back I saw the young mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick on the “State of Black America” forum that is televised on CNN. He was articulate, intelligent, and humorous, I liked him immediately.

Now I don’t know what the mayor did to piss off the powers that be at the “Detroit Free Press”, but the newspaper has reportedly dug of information revealing a romantic relationship between the mayor and a top aide within his administration. It seems that this romantic liaison was animatedly denied by both parties last year when they testified under oath last summer. Both parties could face up to 15 years for lying under oath. During the time of the alleged relationship, both the mayor and the aide were married; in fact the mayor still is married, at least for now.

What I have difficulty understanding is why public people can act so dim-witted at times. They think they won’t get caught, but “Big Brother” is always watching and there are too many footprints you can leave now with email and text messages. It seems that the mayor and his love interest exchanged over 14,000 text messages. It makes me wonder when there was time for him to get any work done at all! Entertainers, sport, and political figures share a certain celebrity in American society that places them in the precarious situation of being spied upon at every turn. As a culture we seem to love to reveal the frailties of our heroes. I think it makes us feel that our mundane lives are not so bad.

I certainly hope that this indiscretion does not diminish Mayor Kilpatrick's accomplishments during his tenure, such as:

  • Establishing the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
  • Successfully closing the deal for the $180-million renovation of the historic Book-Cadillac Hotel
  • Brokering a revised development agreement with three casinos that has produced more than $1 billion in new investment as they build permanent casinos in Detroit
  • Convincing Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online mortgage lender, to move its headquarters to downtown Detroit
  • Responsible for Detroit being recognized by the "New York Times" Travel Section as one of 53 “must-see” destinations around the world for 2008.
My hope is that he is remember for the progress he facilitated for Detroit and not this misstep.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thirteen Television # 8 - Shows That I Never Miss

This are thirteen shows that I love to watch in no particular order. Have an excellent Thursday Thirteen.

Medium (NBC) – This show is different from your normal fare. It’s about a psychic and mother of three who dreams about present events (kidnappings, murders, etc.) and is sometimes able to solve the crimes, sometimes before it’s too late, but not always. Another neat aspect of the show is that at least two of her daughters have the ‘gift’.

Monk (USA) – The obsessive-compulsive consultant to the San Francisco Police Department that has a keen eye for the minute details of a crime scene. He has too many phobias to count, but he always is able to reenact the crime and catch the perpetrator.

The Ghost Whisperer (ABC) – It’s not Friday night without this show. This woman is able to see and talk to the dead in an effort to help them cross over. Most of the time the ghost have other plans (unfinished business) making her job extremely difficult.

Law & Order (The Original) (NBC) – This has been a perennial favorite of mine for well over fifteen years. I even have three of the computer games. I especially use to love the banter between Detective Briscoe and Lt. Van Buren. The prosecutors aren’t half bad either.

Bones (FOX) – Temperance Brennan (Bones) is a forensic anthropologist that works alongside a gung ho FBI agent. They make a great team although there is an enormous amount of sexual tension between them.

Dexter (Showtime) – This guy is a blood splatter analyzer who just happens to be a serial killer. Not to worry…he only kills the dregs of society who happen to have slipped through the cracks.

Don’t Forget The Lyrics (FOX) – This is my favorite game show. Hosted by Wayne Brady, the contestants are asked to name the lyrics of popular songs. It is a lot harder than it sounds. I have aspiration of competing one day.

American Idol (FOX) – Reality at it’s finest in my opinion. Although this is the seventh season, I am still interested in watching, especially the bad auditions. They are like train wrecks, painful to watch, but you can’t turn away.

October Road (ABC) – This show’s premise is the return of the prodigal son, who has written a book trashing everyone in the town where he grew up. I love the cast of this show, which features an aging Tom Berenger.

The Women’s Murder Club (ABC) – Four women, a police detective, a coroner, an assistant district attorney, and a journalist try to solve murder mysteries. There are plenty of plot twist and some humor in an otherwise serious show.

Big Brother (CBS) – I hear this one is coming back early because of the writer’s strike (It usually airs in July). The competitors live together in ‘The Big Brother House’ and vie for prize money. The object of the game is to try and avoid being voted out of house and become the last one standing.

Dancing With The Stars (ABC) – The third and final reality show that I watch religiously. Entertainers and sport stars compete for the trophy and the opportunity to be numero uno on the dance floor. Some of the competitors are horrible (Master P, Clyde Drexler) and some come along quite nicely (Laila Ali, Joey Lawrence).

Brothers and Sisters (ABC) – Finally any show with Sally Field is destined to be a winner. She portrays the matriarch of a family of misfit siblings with problems from messy divorces to drug dependency. All of the action takes place while one of the sibling’s husband runs for president. A stellar cast.

Do any of these make your television viewing list? Please share some of the shows you watch.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 7 – Little Known Facts

I have been really busy this week and contemplated not doing a Thursday Thirteen post, but it is so much fun that I could not resist. Here is a list of thirteen trivia facts. There is no rhyme or reason to the list, but let me know if you knew about some of them.

1. Debra Winger was the voice of E.T.

2. The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To Beaver".

3. There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

4. The longest one-syllable word in the English language are "Screeched, Scratched, Scrounged, Scrunched, Splotched, Squinched, and Squelched."

5. Los Angeles's full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula"-and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: "L.A."

6. 60 Minutes is the only television show with no theme music.

7. All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

8. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades - King David; Clubs - Alexander the Great; Hearts - Charlemagne; and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

9. It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year's supply of footballs.

10. According to Genesis 1:20-22, the chicken came before the egg.

11. In medieval England, beer was often served with breakfast. (I love this one)

12. Five Jell-O flavors that flopped: celery, coffee, cola, apple, and chocolate.

13. The most common name in the world is Mohammed.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Tonight marks the season opener of American Idol and I will be there front and center. I have been a fan of the show from the premiere in the summer of 2002. I don’t watch a lot of reality television, in fact I only have two shows besides Idol that I refuse to miss (“Dancing with the Stars” and “Big Brother”). One of the cities the Idol train stopped in was one new home town of Dallas, Texas. Last summer on my way to work a traffic alert came over the radio informing that traffic was backed up on the freeway because of the auditions. Now I don’t know what talent was found in our fair city and the surrounding areas, but the first winner of Idol was from a little city about thirty miles outside of Dallas called Burleson.

Everyone knows the judges on American Idol, even those who don’t watch the show. There is the name dropping record producer Randy Jackson (I worked with Whitney and Mariah). The one hit wonder Paula Abdul (well actually it was an album) who always seems a little high to me (I’m just saying). And finally “The Simon”, he’s rude, crass, shallow, and insulting. I just love to hate them all.

For the next two weeks the show will be airing auditions, which are of course hilarious. Remember William Hung? I can’t wait to see who shows up this year. The thing is the show’s producers tend to show us more of the jokesters and wannabes, than the truly talented singers. I was lucky enough to catch the auditions of Tamara Gray, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Stoddard, Justin Guarini, Fantasia, and Carrie Underwood. Well it’s time for me to pop some popcorn and settle in my favorite seat in front of the tube and check out what promises to be another entertaining season. Is anybody with me?

Check out this Mad TV spoof of American Idol.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Dr. King

Although the national celebration of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday is next Monday his actual date of birth is January 15, 1929. Born Michael Luther King, Jr., he later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. He would have been 79 years old today. This year is also significant because April 4th will be the fortieth anniversary of his assassination. Although he only graced us with his presence for 39 short years, he left a legacy that is shared throughout the world by millions of people. Rather than dwell on the negative aspects of his death, I will celebrate his life by sharing some quotes from the man himself.

A lie cannot live.

A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.

There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Marion Jones Sentenced to Six Months in Jail

Once the most celebrated woman athlete in the world, a disgraced Marion Jones has been sentenced to six months in jail for perjury. Last year she denied using performance enhancing drugs despite reports to the contrary. She was also involved in a check fraud scheme. I wonder if I am the only one speculating about what happened to cause this young woman’s downward spiral.

Seven years after winning five Olympic track and field medals is officially broke and humiliated. Jones has lost off all of her properties, including the home she had purchased for her mother. Last year, a Jones urine sample tested positive for the performance-enhancing drugs. Jones immediately quit a European track tour and returned to the United States. Although she was cleared when a backup sample tested negative, she missed at least five major international meets, forfeiting an estimated $300,000 in appearance and performance fees.

In her prime, Jones was one of track’s first female millionaires, typically earning between $70,000 and $80,000 a race, plus at least another $1 million from race bonuses and endorsement deals. Jones made an appeal to the judge that she not be separated from her two sons, which includes a baby who is still nursing. The judge denied her request acknowledging that the children were innocent victims, but "criminals have to realize the consequences of their actions on others".

Jones claims not to have known that she was taken steroids, which she stated was given to her by her then trainer, Trevor Graham. I don’t think she should go to jail. She has been stripped of her money, homes, lifestyle, Olympic medals, and her dignity. Why should her young children have to suffer the absence of their mother? I would like to know how others feel about Jones’s sentencing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 6 - 50th Anniversary of Motown Records – 13 Facts About Motown

Thirteen Things about Motown

Motown Records or Hitsville USA was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1958 (although there is some discrepancy, some resources claim 1957 and others 1959). I am going to stick with 1958 only because in 1983 the television special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, and Forever” aired. The original building where the “Motown Sound” was created still stands today at 2648 West Grand Blvd. in Detroit Michigan. It is a fascinating place to visit because it is hard to conceive that the world renowned, rich musical heritage that is associated with this company started in this little building. The Studio is literally a garage, with all the original accoutrements that gave us such artists as Mary Wells, The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracle, Marvin Gaye, and the list goes on. On this Thursday Thirteen, I give you 13 trivia questions about Motown. The answers are listed below.

1. Which artist received the title of “First Lady” of Motown?

2. What year did the Jackson 5 leave Motown to sign with Epic Records?

3. What was the first Motown album to reach # 1 on the Billboard album charts?

4. What is the first Motown single to reach # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart?

5. What was Marvin Gaye’s first top ten hit on the Billboard R&B and pop charts?

6. What is Motown’s top selling album to date?

7. Which Motown group had a hit with “This Old Heart of Mine”?

8. Who is responsible for the operation of the Motown Museum?

9. What Norman Whitfield produced groups had hits with such songs as “I Know (I’m Losing You)”, “I Just Want To Celebrate” and “Born To Wander”?

10. What family group had a hit with the song “Heard It Through The Grapevine”?

11. What Motown artist is considered by Bob Dylan to be “America’s Greatest Living Poet”?

12. What artist began her career as the protégé of Rick James?

13. Who was offered a job as a guide at the Motown Museum ?


1. Mary Wells. Mary Wells had three top ten hits in 1962 including “The One Who Really Loves You” and “Two Lovers”.

2. 1975. Jermaine Jackson left the group opting instead to stay with his father-in-law’s company (he was married to Barry Gordy’s daughter Hazel). Randy Jackson replaced Jermaine and the group became known as the Jackson.

3. “12 Year Old Genius” by Stevie Wonder. He actually thirteen when it was released in 1963.

4. “Please Mr. Postman” by the Marvelettes. Smokey Robinson and the Miracle’s “Shop Around” was the first national hit in 1961, it did not reach the # 1 slot on Billboard. The Marvelettes hit pay dirt in December of 1961.

5. “Pride and Joy”. Released in 1963 it was featured on the “Stubborn Kinda Fellow” album.
6. “II” by Boyz II Men. It would have been Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, however he had already left for the greener pastures of Epic records. “II” by Boyz II Men sold 12 million copies worldwide.

7. The Isley Brothers. During their stint with Motown, the Isley Brothers hit # 12 with the song in 1966.

8. Esther Gordy Edward. She is Berry Gordy’s sister and she keeps the legacy alive.

9. Rare Earth. They remain one of the more successful white acts to grace the label.

10. Gladys Knight and the Pips. The group consisted of Gladys Knight, her brother Merald ‘Bubba’ Knight, and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest.

11. Smokey Robinson. Robinson was responsible for the writing the songs that established the Temptations and Mary Wells careers, not to mention the music of his group the Miracles.

12. Teena Marie. One of my all time favorites, I affectionately refer to her as the only white artist that has to cross over to the pop charts.

13. Myself. That was a trick question. No one could know that, but it’s true. While visiting the Museum in 2001 I was invited to interview with Esther Gordy Edwards because of my knowledge of Motown history. I had to decline because of other commitments.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

You Think English is Easy??

Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present .

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.

P.S. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we
awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP , you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP . When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP .

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP, so........... it is time to shut UP...!

Oh . . . one more thing:

What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U-P

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Does This Anger You?

My aunt sent me this anonymous email and I wanted to post it just to determine if others feel the same way. I know I do. I had to pass a test in order to work for my current employer.


Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their backside, doing drugs, while I work. . . Can you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check? Pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you all will pass it along, though . . . Something has to change in this country -- and soon!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Obama Wins Iowa!

Obama entered the Iowa 20 points behind both Clinton and Edwards, but when the dust settled he had handily won the Iowa primary, with Edwards coming in second and Clinton a close third. I am surprised because I never expected Senator Clinton to come in third place. The Iowa results make it very interesting for candidates entering the New Hampshire primary. Iowa might be considered Senator Obama’s neck of the woods because of its close proximity to Illinois. If this is true, then one might consider New Hampshire to be Clinton friendly.

Obama deserves to celebrate because this is a huge step in relationship to the distance African Americans have gone in past presidential bids. I actually had my doubts that he could pull it off due to his racial heritage, but it seems that people are looking for change and they are willing to set aside their differences in order to achieve this change. Savor your victory Senator Obama, job well done! Below is the victory speech from last night.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 5 - Quotes From Comedians

I started to post failed New Years resolutions that I've had over the years to remind myself not to make resolutions because they usually fail (duh!). However, I decided to start the year off with thirteen quotes from comedians, some funny, some serious, and some thought provoking. Happy New Years and Happy Thursday Thirteen!

1. Joy Behar - "Anorexia is just another word for nothing left to lose."

2. George Carlin – “When someone is impatient and says, 'I haven't got all day,' I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day?”

3. Johnny Carson - "For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off."

4. Bill Cosby “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please”.

5. Rodney Dangerfield - "I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof."

6. Phyllis Diller - "I was in a beauty contest once. I not only came in last, I was hit in the mouth by Miss Congeniality."

7. Bill Maher – “Jim Bakker spells his name with two k's because three would be too obvious”.

8. Richard Pryor – “The black groups that boycott certain films would do better to get the money together to make the films they want to see, or stay in church and leave us to our work”.

9. Joan Rivers – “I'm Jewish. I don't work out. If God had wanted us to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor”.

10. Chris Rock – “Every town has the same two malls: the one white people go to and the one white people used to go to”.

11. Chris Rock – “Who's judging American Idol? Paula Abdul? Paula Abdul judging a singing contest is like Christopher Reeve judging a dance contest!”

12. Wanda Sykes – “Don't bother me while I'm eating, or when I'm coming out of the crack house or something. Just let me get going”.

13. Lily Tomlin – “Ninety eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them”.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Women's Museum

My aunt visited from Michigan during the Christmas holidays as she has annually for the last few years. While living in California there was never a shortage of things to do, but having moved to Dallas earlier in the year I knew that Texas was a far cry from California. Months before her arrival I scurried around to find inexpensive things to do in Dallas and happened upon this treasure.

The Women's Museum is located in a historic area of Dallas, along with several other museums, the Cotton Bowl, and the grounds in which the State Fair is held. On the outside it is an older, but well kempt building, but not remarkable. However when you enter the building you will find beautiful hardwood flooring, high ceilings, and impeccably restored architecture. The fare to enter the museum was very reasonable at 5 dollars for adults.

The museum had all types of exhibits from a short film that depicting female comedians over the years (they even had footage of Moms Mabley and Totie Fields) to women who fought for freedom, women's rights, and dignity for all humans. I was in awe of how the museum has included women of all cultures, races, and ethnicities. There mission statement sums up the museum's purpose "The Museum and Institute bring to life the voices, talents, achievements, aspirations and stories of the past, present and future in order to to popularize the contributions and achievements of American Women".

The museum also host traveling exhibits including the one that was on location when I visited. Women's Perspectives: A journey through the AT&T Art Collection features 50 pieces from around the country of modern and contemporary art compiled exclusively for The Women’s Museum. The exhibition includes paintings, prints, textiles and sculptures by women artists from the 1978 to 1995, bringing a wide array of art media.

In the main gallery there was a time line from the 19th through the 21st centuries depicting the struggles that women endured in the quest for freedom, full citizenship, voting rights, and reproduction rights. These struggles made it possible for women to enjoy the benefits and privileges that currently possess. I felt humbled and thankful for these women, some who have passed on, but others who still fighting the good fight.

My aunt and I left the museum more informed than when we entered. It opened up a conversation about women, such as Barbara Jordan, Margaret Sanger, and Delores Huerta. I highly recommend that anyone visiting the area take their children and introduce them to the women whose contributions have changed the world.