Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Hello outside people, this is Ma'at giving you all the info in the Lou. Just recouperating from Turkey Holiday. If I see one more turkey leg, turkey soup, turkey giblets, turkey gobble, turkey whatever, I'm going to start spitting out turkey feathers. On the real. That is one thing about Turkey Day and the days following--you got to eat what your mamma makes, cause if you don't, she's going to think something is wrong. My moms is from the South and she was raised on eating means you love her and I couldnt dare not eat what she cooked which was everything--turkey, ham, dressing, greens, cornbread, potato pie, egg pie, oooh let me stop before I gain another lb just typing about it. Good thing I am maintaining with my regimen of being a work-outaholic (on the right is a pic of myself during my beginning stages of my work out regimen in 2002, photo taken by Japhus Johnson of Hot Shots) , cause I would be trippin out big time of the lbs I did gain. But it was cool on the real. It was nice being with the family at the dinner table saying grace, carving the turkey and eating and talking about how blessed we are and will be and of course the usual,-What are you gouing to do with your life speech" from my parents. That is always a given. I hope you and yours had a good one. Ok, let me get like Russell Simmons and get to the biz....
Before the Turkey Day rush, I had to watch the American Music Awards this year because
1)Its my yearly tradition since the early 80s to watch this show where I try to predict the winners and see ho wmany I got right and 2) St. Louis' own Cedric The Entertainer hosted.
The award show came on last Tuesday and I must say I was not-so- excited about this year's show mainly because there were no real star power artists performing this year--the big name they were hyping all night were the Rolling Stones and they were not even there at the award show but live via satellite. Now dont get me wrong, Rolling Stones is a legendary group and has entertainment value, but if ABC only had the Stones to keep people watching, that was a much ballyhooed stepped down to when Prince, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Lionel Richie and Madonna reigned supreme (Babyface's backstage Memory Lane segments were too short and not worth the trip taking) and they were worth the last few minutes of a three hour show to be glued to the telly and watch them perform (I remember back in the day in 1987 when Janet first performed on the AMAs and lip synched/danced to her hit "Control" WOW! That was the best performance Ive ever seen of her!). Anyway, Cedric did OK. He did his thing. He started off on point, coming on stage with a ghetto blaster in his hand , pimping to D4L's wacky booty song, "LAffy Taffy." Then he cracked on everybody including Britney Spears husband Kevin Federline syang that he has a new cologne out called, "Freeloader," and when he mimicked Will Smith's nude pose in the film, "I Robot." After that, he played it safe and just intro's many of the acts. The show really needed a shot in the arm in the hosting category (maybe a Chris Rock or Mike Epps even) cause the performances on there were painstakingly awful especially Lindsey Lohan's non-singing self and Hilary Duff's lip synched high pitched dread. Mariah Carey did OK. When she won her sole award at the top of the night, and she blamed her voice on not hearing the monitors. I dont know what's going on, but I hope next time the schedule of singers and acts are better (even Ciara, didnt cut a rug like she usually do, she was relagated to singing her chorus to "Like You" with Bow Wow on a makeshift set of the hood). Omarion was probably the best act even though he did his best Michael Jackson dance routine through most of his solo time. And there was no way Missy Elliot could perform (who was on crutches) cause she was walk-deprived. Oh well, maybe it was becasue AMA producer Dick Clark is still recovering from his stroke that the show was lackluster this year. Who knows. Hopefully the Grammys will be better (I hope to attend that next Feb, fingers crossed).
As far as going out last week, I mostly chilled with the fam. My boy Kameron said he attended Nelly and Murphy Lee's pre-thanksgiving party at Club Dreams and said it was packed, but I think he didnt have too much fun cause he rode with Brandin and Tony who had VIP tickets to it and didnt tell Kam about the VIp tickets and he had to pay 10 bones to get in. OUCH. Then he said his driving crew wanted to step after about 10 minutes in. Kam was passed pissed. That was too much playing. Not telling someone they didnt have VIp tickets and their having to pay was FOUL.
Thanksgiving Day I ate and ate and watched the Good Times Marathon on Nick at Night that lasted until last Sunday. That was cool. It was nice analyzing the shows like the James Evans (John Amos) years (1974-76)--the best episodes; the post-James Evans years (1976-1979) that had Florida (Esther Rolle-God rest her soul) leave the show in 1976-77 because of a dispute over JJ's (Jimme Walker) bafoonery and Willona (Ja'net dubois) taking over as surogate mother; the Keith (Ben Powers) years (1978-79) and watcvhing how bad of an actor and impersonator he was and the final episode, "Looking Over the Rainbow" in 1979 when the Evans family got out of the ghetto. I always liked Good Times. I would a little kid when it first came on, but I have always watched it ever since the frist syndicated run in 1980 onward. Now as a gron up kid, I can understand why Thelma (Bern Nadette Stanis) and Willona were the eye candy of the show. I always used to wonder if JJ or James ever tried to flirt with them off camera? I wouldnt blame them. Both of them were hotties back in the day.
Here are my best and worst episodes and when teh show KILT THE GUN (when the show went into overkilled and died)
Best Good Times episode: Neighbor Gertie came over to the Evans home and brought over meat loaf for the dinner and they all thought the meat loaf was made out of dog food. CLASSIC
Worst Good Times episode: Penny almost burned the Evans couch and the Evans kids give their story of how the couch got burned. HORRIBLE--A WASTE of 30 MINUTES.
When did Good Times KILT THE GUN? When the producers of the show introduced Carl (played by the late STL actor Moses Gunn) on the show as a love interset for Florida. This was when teh show died for me. It was enough that James was killed off at the beginning of the fourth season (1976-77)and then to bring in a love interest for Florida so quickly after James' death was nothing but a contrived, plot device that didnt work for me.
On Friday, I decided to see what was the big fuss about this Black Friday craze (black as in in the black that is) , shopping for sales a day after Thanksgving. So I did my own little assesment and got up at about 7 in teh morning and checked out the Walmart Superstore in Ofallon Illinois. It wasnt as jammed packed as I thought it would be (the Walmart stores in St. Louis were no joke with all of the people cramming and running in the store like it was Armaggedon) until I went to the electronics section of the store. It was a long line that wrapped around that little section of the store like it was rush hour on the highway, people were grabbing DVDs, TVs, cameras, you name it. I was waiting for the Santa hats that people were wearing to be knocked off cause of someone getting the last of whatever, but everyone was cool, even polite, no drama at all (They did have an ambulance oustide of the store just in case). For about an hour of this, I decided to roll out. Later on that evening, I decided to go out and check out Cafe Eau at the Chase. I was going to Chingy's party at Formula, and even called the club manager , Kay, and told her I was coming through, but I was not feeling the club thing. My girl Tiffani Blackmore had voice and e0mailed me earlier that day cause Carlos M and Gina wanted to know if I was going drinking at Club Dreams. I was confused at the message as far as why Tiffani would contact me for Carlos, but then I realized that Carlos' celly must still be missin (and I guess Carlos and Gina are back together) I tried calling Tiffani and Carlos back to see what was up, but I didnt get a repsonse back. I met up with Christiaan, Kameron and his "in from out of town" lady Teresa up there about 11. It was jammed packed mainly because it was too cold to be outside. But inside, I ran into some socialites and the person I talked about last time that I refuse to talk about was there. Kam was about to tell me that they were here but I saw that person before Kam did and let him know before he answered that I saw that person. The band was backing up Haromy Fernandez, a white chick who could sing soul. I talked with her briely during the intermission and she was drinking a drink that was colored blue. I forgot what she said she was drinking cause it was loud up in there but she did tell me to check out her site harmonyfernandez.com. I have yet to check it out, but eventually I will. We stayed at Cafe Eau til about 1 in the morn. I was nice and only had one drink--a Jack and Coke that was about $5.50. Kam and Christiaan and Teresa had Long Isles.
Last Saturday, I decided to change it up in my Bally locations and check out the one in Dorsett. I got there about noon. It is bigger and spacier and more equipment than the one in Clayton (they close dteh one on Rock Road by the way) . I ran into music man Aaron Foster up in there who usually goes to the Bally in Clayton. He asked me if I still needed music for my talk show or had I gotten someone else and I said "HOLD UP LIGHT SKIN". (Naw, I didnt say that. A little jokey joke there. )Naw, I reassured him that I didnt get anyone else and I woudl keep him posted on when Tia and I may need his music genius. Kam works there as a message therapist and I decided to check that area out and it looks like a dungeon down there. Kam wasnt there that day cause he was busy in afterglow from the previous night. LOL. Kam said thats what they call downstairs too--the dungeon. I checked out Red Sea. They usually have reggae on Saturday nites and decided to go there. I met up with Kam and Teresa and it was ghost town up in there. I got there about 10:30 It was few people up in there 20 tops and everyone stayed upstairs to listen to reggae. Before I got there, I had a kamo that put me right and Kam bought me a Jamican beer that was really nice. I was toasted after that--talking loud, acting crazy while Kam and Teresa laughed at me. The bartendar chick was even drunk--what was up with that? It was too funny. We started complaining aboutthe gnats that kept flying our direction and I made the comment--these must be racist gnats cause they are only messing with the niccas. LOL. While we were laughing and drinking, I got a call from hollabackboi that he attended the Earthquake show at Roberst Orpheum that was hosted by STL's Lavelle Crawford, and opening acts STL's Arvin Mitchell (are you trying ti be sexierthan me now? LOL), and Guy Torry. Man, I forgot about that show. I usually can get in with a comp, but I wasnt even trying to go through all that drama to call up the PR people, get a ticket and try covering it. Besides, Ive seen all of them perform before so it was no biggie. But hollaback said the show was good. I could barely hear him from teh music playing at the Sea but he did ask me why backstage looked toe up to the floor up. OOps! I then asked him, how did he get backstage and he said through his buddy Ricky McWoods, whose married to Guy Torry;s sister. Oh, him. No comment, Anyway, hollaback was suppoed to get back with me as far as how the show was, but I guess I'll read it in Partyline with Delores Shante cause I know someone from the American was there reppin. We stayed a little bit longer as we saw the white girls up in there gettin drunk and looking for love. I also took Kam and Teresa's photo withTeresa's digital cam (I gave her an idea that they should take nude pics 2gether. LOL--I must have bene drunk to say that. GOSH GEE) ) At about midnite or so, Kam took me to my car and I jetted to the crib.
FOXX WATCH: Did you all see Jamie Foxx on Oprah? It was definitely a love-you-love-you fest. Foxx is cool and he knows how to give the "right Tv image" now that he is an Oscar winner. Nothing was really revealed on the show as far as the supposed rumors about Jaime that he was going to set the record straight about. The ones revealed were not all that compelling like Jaime kicking it with Oprah (yeah right) and the supposed nude pics of Jaime found by a trash man in his dumpster (Jaime did say that was true) . The only things I saw that were interesting was Jaime talking about Whitney and Bobby being at one of his infamous parties and they saing Karoke (that aint all I hear be going on at his parties--or as Jaime said on Oprah--"At my parties people can let their hair down--uh-huh), teh other was R&B singer Tank being in the audience as one one of Jaime's three closest friends that he always hangs with even when he is on a date with a lady. Hmmm, what is going on there? And when did Tank become superfriends with Jaime? Hmmm, inquiring minds would like to know I'm sure. I knew Oprah wasnt going to talk about Jaimes' supposed bisexuality thatI heard from a STL comedian here who told me that he goes both ways. OR getting into Jaime, Rev Jessie Jackson and Snoop Dogg's mission to stop the execution of Cripp founder Tookie Williams (who Jaime portrayed in a cable movie last year called Redemption and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performnace BTW) Now that would have been compelling TV and would have made Jaime even more interesting or as Barbara Walters' lame TV special said the other day, about the 10 people she interviewed for 2005, including Jaime-- "Fascinating."
MILES OF HONORS: Kudos to the Miles Davis Family--the late great jazzologist from East Boogie was recently named into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that will take place in March 2006 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.
My boy Kam recently told me that my pic is in the new issue of Hipster Magazine, posing with my girl Tiffani Blackmore. If I get a shot of it, I will post it here next week.
Well, that will cover it for me. Next week, I will give you a report on Santa Land Diaries at Lemming Aramda Theater in Bellville , First Friday at Formula (Hmmm, interseting choice of venue) and my take on gospel superstar Kirk Franklin coming clean to Oprah about being a porn addict. Until next time, see ya outside!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Greetings all. This is Ma'atology here one more time and I would first like to say thank you to those who have been reading my weblog, responding and telling folks about it. I have gotten several people tell me they keep up with it and that I have made several people who I hang with celebrities especially Kameron. I must say, the power of words and imagination is definitely an ongoing phenomenon in our celebrity-driven culture. I try to tell and report the truth of my travels and journeys as openly as possible because it is what makes human curiousity--as well as keep you popular in our mass society. OK, enough of the classroom talk, let's get to the jizz..........................................................................
Last Thursday, I went to Marla Gibbs' jazz CD listening party that was held at The Formula. I got there a little late (It started about 6 p.m. and I got there about 8:30 p.m.) But I had a chance to mingle and interview Ms. Gibbs who looked stunning in a dark blue pants suit. I first ran into Monica Tyson, who was over this event, to lead me to Ms. Gibbs so I could chat with her about her newfound career. So Monica lead me to her who was signing autographs of her CD, "It's Never Too Late." She stood up (She's tall--about 5' 10) and I shook her hand. It hit me then that I was about to talk to a living Tv legend. This lady has made history being in the longest running sitcom, "The Jeffersons, in TV history. It lasted for 10 seasons from 1975 to 1985 and was still high in the ratings when it went into TV Heaven (True, "Friends" ran for 10 seasons, and Happy Days for 11 seasons, but the Jeffersons also started off on All in the Family starting in 1971). She also made history becoming the first African AMerican-actor or actress to be on Tv for 20 consecutive years. Soon after the Jeffersons went off the air in the spring of 85, in the fall of 85 she turned back around with the hit show, "227" which ran for 5 years (1985-1990). So because of this, I was truely excited talking to Ms. Gibbs. So, when I asked my first question to her, I fumbled her Cd title. I said, "So, what made you decide to release your first CD, "It's About Time." YIPES! DOH! I felt so embarrassed and thought she was going to go into diva mode, but she was gracious and treated it like a comedy bit. She grabbed my forearm and said, "No, it's called, "It's Never Too Late, but, believe me, it is about time." And for those who know Ms. Gibbs and how she can curl a phrase, you know that the line was funny, I was expecting her to end her line by saying her classic ending, "chile." But anyway, she said that her Cd was two years in the making and she worked with her son, who is a music producer and worked on several songs with her grandson. I also asked how her Cd was doing and she said that everyone seems to love it and throughout her tour of the Cd across the country people are pleased of the CD. She also said that she uses her acting skills through the various songs of the CD. Then I asked her what she was currently woking on acting wise and she said that she was working on an untitled pilot for TV Land and a new stageplay. She was recectly in David Talbert's play, "Love on Layway" starring Mel Jackson ("Living Single" ) fame and R&B singer Deborah Cox. At this time, about 10 minutes had passed and her people were motioning to us for her to sign for copies of her Cd so before our departure, I gracefully shook her hand and said, "You are looking very beautiful this evening." And she blushed and said thank you. And I must say, she really did. She is 74 years old and she looks 20 years younger. I must say it;s one thing about black women and black people in general, when we age, we age gracefully when you take care of yourself, or as the streets would say, "black don't crack." Meanwhile, I made my rounds throughout the club. They were running old footage of the Jeffersons sitcom on a screen near the front of the club and had sumptuous finger foods and pastries caytered by Keith Tyrone. The tables had red tablecloths on them with romantic lit candles on top of them setting the jazz mood. In the house were Denise Thimes (looking divaish in her brown polka dotted full length fur), the Bosman Twins, April Spencer, Lisa May, Chrsitiaan Coffield, Brian, photographers Maurice Meredith and Dr. Pam Jackson David A.N. Jackson (I will try and make a Saturday performance at 609 soon), Erica Sutherlin, Alvin Jackson (Can I get some, too? LOL), Kwame Thompson, Formula owner Tony Thompson, Mariah Richardson (who was singing Sade during Karoake--no comment. LOL), and "someone-who-I-almost-got-into-an-alteraction-with-who-came-up-to-me-with-an-idle-threat-and-who-I-ignored-and-who-is-not-worth-mentioning-here" . Afterward, they brought out the Karaoke machine with a band playing the instruments. There were some who could sang (like bartenders Kevin Roston and Andrea Hayes who did a cute Marvin gaye-Tammi Terrell number and Rolston doing Anthony Hamilton's "Coming From Where I'm From") and some who was, well, neednt use a mike to elevate their voices (especially the brother who tried to sing Jefferey Osbornes' Love Ballad") I peaced out and went to 609 to meet up with my buddy Kameron to celebrate my NABJ Award that I was going to receive that Saturday..........
I drove up to 609 and got a parking space near the apartments around the corner from 609. As I was driving, I gave a sister 75 cents to get home on the bus and while I was walking toward 609, there were about 4 guys in a scuffle. Three guys were holding down one guy near a car saying that his life was over. I was like, here we go. This is not good. It was as cold as two popcicle sticks in a freezer and these brothers are in a scuffle over on eof the following: 1)a girl 2)money owed and/or 3) talking smack about ABC. As I was walking, I kept looking back making sure they didnt bring their altercations near me cause that was all I needed to be a part of that Human Tornado, but luckily, it didnt happen. So I walked up to the front of the bar/restaurant and paid my 3 bones to one of the owners, an Asian guy, to get in. Just as I was about to walk in, the Asian guy close dthe door before I was about to walk in. The other guy that was inside opened the door and said, "Man, he coudl have at least held the door for you." I was livid. I was like, yeah, but I regrouped, saw Kam, gave him a frat hug and proceeded ondown where the makeshift dance floor was where DJ Nappy Needles was spinning in the 1s and 2s. Before getting there I saw sexy singer Coco Soul and gave her nice long hug and asked her where she was performing and she told me Blueberry Hill that Saturday and made sure to be there. Me and Kam were standing next to STL boxing champ Cory Spinks who was chilling in the cut. I told Kam, that Spinks should be somewhere training to lose another fight (implying the alleged fight he had with his wife earlier this year). It was a bad joke, but hey, someone had to say it. Kam was buying drinks and I asked for a Long Island. I forgot what he ordered, but we toasted on the success of winning my award and gulped away. Before you know it, I wa sgetting my buzz on--quickly. The Island I got was definitely NOT watered down. It was as stronger as Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1970s . At this time, Christiaan, Brian, and Kevin Johnson was up in there. Meanwhile, I was saying my hellos to the socialites and told Kam about my stop at Marla Gibbs' Cd party and the near altercation I almost had with someone up in there (his name is not even worth mentioning here) and proceeded to drink my buzz juice. The music was blazed and I was feeling nice. Kam and I walked around in the now packed area to the bar area where Christiaan, Brian, Kevin J and Coco Soul were and stayed there. Kam had said that some sista had touched his ass, and, in my drunken stupor, said, "I think a brother just touched mine, oh shyt!"I had everyone near me rolling in laughter. Then, I saw Keith HArris roll up in there and I teased him about his fight he had in front of Club Seven a few weeks back with some other guys and I said to him, "Oh don't hit me." and motioned as though he was about to hit me. He laughed it off and kept walking by. I asked Kevin about whether if he found out who was the stupid gossip blogger that Delores Shante talked about in a recent article in Partyline about that blogger's whacked out opinion that he thought hip-hop writers from the Post and American seemed gay and he said no he didn't and that was the end of that. It was going on 1sh in the morn and Christiaan and Brian was ready to leave. Christiaan had given me his drink that he was drinking and that pretty much took me to the oh-oh-can't drive state. Before Brian left, he said to me, "Now you stay out of trouble, cause I can see it in your eyes." He was right cause I was ready for some. Soon afterward, Kam and I walked outside in the front of 609 and the cold hadnt reached me. I had to see who was up in there when they started pouring out of there close to 2 in the morning. I ran into my other buddy, Carlos Mclaurin, who was with his new hottie, this brunette chick (he was kicking it with Gina Wynn, the white sista who swaer to never date models again). I gave him a frat hug and he asked me when my TV show was kicking off and I told him probably next month, and he told me about his housewarming party he was trying to get together, after that, I don't remember what I said to him, all I remember was Carlos breaking down laughing saying that I was crazy. Then I gave some dap to Kam and walked to my car. I called a buddy of mine that stayed in donwtoiwn Lou side and told him that I was in no need to drive all the way to the Illinois side and could I crash over his crib so I can sleep it off (There was no way I could drive to Kam's cause he stays all the way in North County) . He said it was cool but he was leaving to go to NYC in the early morning. So, I drove off slowly and cautiously and went to my buddy's house to sleep off this crazy but fun night.
I didn't do anything last Friday beside the gym but when I saw my girl Tiffany Graham at Blueberry Hill on Saturday (that I will report more on later in this blog posting) she todl me I forgot her going away party at Dreams that was to be on Friday. I was recouperating from 609 that all I could think about was sleep. I did manage to go to the gym cause I knew Saturday was going to be crazy with places to go.
Last Saturday, I checked out my buddy Joel King's stage reading of his play, "Real Life" that afternoon, at St. Louis Public Library downtown STL. I thought I would go there before picking up my award at the NABJ Awards at SImon Hall at Wash U that was going to start about 5:30 . So I got to the library so I could check this one out as well. I saw Joel's other plays--Meeting at the Elder's Circle and Me, Don and the Psychiatrist--that were stage read at COCA lat month. So whenever Joel has something I try to support him cause I was pivotal in his development as an actor when he acted in two of my productions The Ducthman and Ledragvaganza in 2002 at the former Hatshepsut Studio Gallery and to support bicariously the legacy of the late Lisa Colbert, a sista who was a theater teacher at SIU-E, who taught Joel and whom I befriended who died prematurely at the age of 32 from complications of lupus. The reading had some of Joel's acting cohorts as well as my boy Stuart Allen, who was also in Ledrag. Lisa May also was in it, who played Ray's grandma and Leah Stewart, who played Ray's mother. The play was about a young urban brother named Roy Vinson, played by Allen, whose life on the streets turned into a life of madness. I thought that it was going to be another typical Boyz N the Hood story, but it took a 360 turn when a dance number was brought into the mix. It was very West Side Storyish and put another perpesctive to the piece. With a few teakings here and there (especially the documentary angle and the setting problems), this could be a very refreshing piece on the urban hood genre. But the hitch was during the Q&A session when Joel's mother got up to congratulate Joel and his accomplisments. Just picture one of those church going mammas, who is a dark, fleshy woman, who gets emotional and praises the Lord everywhere she goes and that's Joel's mamma. She was getting into the troubles and pains that our urban youth is going through. She broke it down, but I believe she was getting overwrought with teh staggering stats of urban youth and death from violence and other activities. She said she works with many youth programs through her church and that Joel is saved and sanctified like his family and a vessel for change. It was very deep. It became a house of COGIC worhsip, for real. Surreal almost. I could just imagine how Joel was feeling as his mother was speaking so passionately about her strife. And what could he have said, "Okay, mamma, that's enough." He bore it and was professional about it. Then, the converstaion wnet into a weird place when the topic of molestation came about. Now in the play, theer was no reference to this, but Joel explained that in one of the characters a prostitute, it is disocvered that she wa smolested, but that scene was not seen (pun) to us. That lit a fuse for Joel's mother saying about the wickedness with molestation that goes on behind closed doors (she even brought on young people who are into threesomes!). And she said she tried to raise her 11 kids right (whooh, mamma wa snot playing). She also brought her 75 year old mother there, who was quiet and politely nodding her head, who said taughther about being morally right. True, the coversation brought on much needed dialogue, but it was very heavy handed, and the focus should have been more on the script(I wanted to ask wht the main characters thought about their charcters and the story but I didnt feel it was right to change the vibe of the conversation). Joel's mother even attacked Allen when she said that his acting needed to be lifted escpecially duing the last soliloquy when he was in the pen. Allen looked trapped. I was like uh-oh. But overall, the coversation was provocative. A little too Christianocentric for my taste, but it was definitely worth an ear.After the stage reading, I went to the NABJ Awards at Wash U. I remember going when I was a writer at the American in 2003 (and when Tavia Evans racked up a couple of awards when she was working there as well). The set up still the same with a silent auction of photo gods' pictures before the actual awards. I was there because I found out I was going to win Best Feature TV Story for cable for my workon former MAXX JAzz recording artist, Rene Marie on Charter Communications' now defunct show, Reel ENtertainment. I worked on the piece with my producer and buddy, Peter Foggy (That is a picture of Pete and I in the upper right hand corner holding the award after the awards ceremony --photo courtesy of Eric Wilson). The show was hosted by KSDK education reporter Sharon Stevens and KTVI Sports reporter Rob Desir. The hour and some minutes long event had categories in the print, and TV and over 100 entries were sent in who entered all together. The keynote speaker was Ellen Soeteber, former Editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who resigned recently from her post after the reported buy out and budget cuts in people's salaries. Her speech was nice and non-threatening. I thought for sure she was going for the gusto and do her WOMANIFESTO about about the uncertainties in journalism especailly affter wthat transpired, But she was cool. She started off by saying could someone tell her what is the latest on Tom Joyner's "It's Your World." She even sang teh theme song. Now, what was funny about all this is, Ellen is not black and when she tried to sing the theme, she was really dragging it. But it was all in fun. Then during her speech, she said that she is from East Boogie and that she graduated from East Saint Louis Senior High. I couldnt help myself and clapped causing others to clap. But the thrust of her speech was about real change. She says that real change means real courage. I was feeling her about that. I wasnt paying too much attention to her speech cause I was focused on walking up to the podium to receive my award. I also discovered that my former boss Dr. Donald Suggs was getting the Hall of Fame Award. I thought that this was going to be interesting to receive my award on the same night that my former boss was getting an award. Now the killer part during the evening was that the tv winners' videos were to be shown on the screen screen in front of the stage. My heart went into my chest. I wasnt expecting that. So that meant that the video of me introducing Rene Marie would be shown. I am a stickler of how I look and to see myself that big on screen left much to be desired (Now I understand when actors say they do not like to see themselves on screen where you focus on your weak points and your physical flaws). So when it was time to introduce the video that Pete shot of me and Renee I slumped in my chair causing Pete to snicker a bit of my discomfort. I placed my hand on the sid eof my face and kind of peaked at the screen to see the video on screen and my head was literally HUUUUUUUUUUGE. I was so uncomfortable, as though I was getting a root canal, but I survived the minute video byte and got up with Pete to receive the award. I clapped for myself and saw Dr. Suggs daughter, Dina clapping and cheering vigorously for me which surprised me. I smiled graciously and both of them, did a "raise the roof" motion to the stage, picked up the award from one of the award handlers and for a split second wondered what I was going to do after I received the award. I turned around, faced the crowd and held it in front of my face which caused slight laughter. Soon after when I got to my seat, onlookers nearby gave me the thumbs up sign and a breathed out and glad I was able to find my seat. Post's Tavia Evans gave a short rundown of Suggs' bio and intro (She was cute when she said to him in the audience, "Am I getting this right?"). She presented Suggs his Hall of Fame Award and gave him a hug which was a nice touch, a reunion of sorts. Suggs also spoke short and sweet about the importance of black journalism and compairng it to a hospital with surgeons. I remember him saying this during those weekly editorial meetings when I was employed at the American and it wrung even truer when I heard him say it that in journalism, you must have writers who are on point at all times. Other winners of evening were StL American's Wiley Price, Alvin Reid (not present), Chris King, Carol Daniel (who was looking fierce in those black leather jeans), Donn Johnson (who had the laugh moment there when he asked where was the camera to take hos pictire), the Post's Bryan Burwell and KETC's Ruth Ezell. Soon after Larry Flynn of the Post and President of the NABJ (who gave the greeting at the award show) invited me to their after party sip at Chase Park Plaza. While I was driving, I saw something yellow on my windshield. I found out I got a parking ticket while parked at Wash U (That was JUUUUUUUUUUUUUST great!)When I arrived at the Chase, I saw Pete waiting in the lobby area of the Chase and told me where everyone was. they were sittign across from the theater getting situated. When I was about to walk up there, I saw American Idol contestant Phillipe with a tambourine in his hand standing next to two tall sexy sistas satinding in the lobby. I went up to him and he said he was performing in Cafe Eau and told me to come on through. I said I would try but my mind was on getting to Blueberry Hill, but I had to make nice with the NABJers and their get together. It was an intimate group of about 20 or so where me, Pete, Burwell, NABJ auction manager Gloria Ross, Post editor Lisa Manns (who is off the chain and man crazy), Flynn and Post's Ron Harris, Sharon Stevens and Ezell were the notables there. It was very interesting as the beer, Cosmos, popcorn, and chips and dips were flowing and the conversation got wilder and wilder. I wont reveal all the details but I must say it was like being a fly on the wall seeing some of the movers and shakers in journalism letting their hair down and talking about whatever came to their minds. I stayed for a minute but I needed to go where the action was at Blueberry Hill where Angela Brown had a set up in the Duck Room for Lamar Harris and his band The L's CD that was on sale as well the various artists performing on stage like Lamar, Coul Train, Jada Avenue, Coco Soul, and poets IMPAKT and Chill Da Playa. It was hosted by Selena J, who also spat some lyrics for the packed crowd in the dungeon. The event reminded me so much of The Flow back in the day where a band was on stage and you had poets and singers performing. When I got there, Kam was standing talking to this cat who had on a white nylon cap who came up to me and said, "What are you wearing? Your fro looks like half of it is still curley?" I looked at him, put my hand on his shoulder and said, "How many of those beers have you been drinking?" and" Are you supposed to be a comedian or something?" Then he said, "No, no, it's not like that, I'm just checking what you got on, taking it all in." Huh? Okay. All I said after that was, "It's all in your attitude." Then Kam interjected and said to the brother, "Come on, he's a popular brother around here." The whole sceanrio was funny to me. he was just another confused fan who needed to be coverted to my world is all I can say. LOL I've been dressing my unique style ever since college and its like drinking water or sleeping to me--being different fashion-wise is what I am all about to get people talking and challenge what should be worn (To recap, I had on a large blue suit coat, a large tan shirt with big collars, large gaucho like blue pants and blue Converse shoes--the attire for the NABJ awards) . After that, Kam said to me your boy is here (The one I almost had an altercation with at Formula) so he put me on guard and told him that whatever happend til now, is what's going to happen. But I was in no far cause if they tried anything, I'm sure I had the backings of many up in there who I knew to fight my battle for me. Anyway, teh evening was pure neo-soul, everyone was on point, escpecially the L band who was tearing up some rock and jazz riffs behind the artists who performed. Oh and the one-who-I almost had an altercation with avoided me up in there(the saga will continue I'm sure ) In the house were Cody Aaron (hope your feet feel better. LOL), Demond Meeks, Charles Brown, Jacque Land, Brian, M.P.E.R.O.R., Delmor Loop mogul Joe Edwards, Maurice Minor, KSDK's Jeff Small, Kevin Johnson, Nate Johnson (Selena's sis), and Tiffany Graham.
In closing, I finally had a chance to interview Forest Park College English professor JK Dennis in his office at the college this past Monday on his book, 9 Lessons for a Meaningful Life. He is a very deep brotha and looking forward to writing the story for West End Word and eventually recapping the interview here on my blog.
There is an upcoming audition for those thespians out there: A two act play by St. Louis playwright Greg Carr called, "Johnnie Taylor is Gone." The roles are for four African American women (ages 20-50) and 6 African American men (ages 20-60). It will be an open call. You must come prepared with a two minute monologue and a cold reading from the script. Audition dates and times will be Friday, Dec. 2 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 3, from 1:p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, located at the Main Theatre on 5600 Oakland Ave. For more info call Carla Moody at (314) 644-9387 or the Box Office at (314) 644-9388. Oh and when you call, tell them that you saw it here first on maatspear.blogspot.com.
Well that will do it for me. Next time I report on STL native Cedric The Enetrtainer's hosting duties on the American Music Awards, Sonja Branscomb's Appreciation Party this weekend and anything else that may be happening this holiday weekend. Everyone have a safe Thanksgiving holiday and I will see you all outside next week!
Friday, November 18, 2005
But I digress. First off I would like to say that I found that this week that I will be picking up an award at The National Association of Black Journalists Communications Awards this Saturday. I entered two of my works one was the Emmy nominated piece I done (along with producer Pete Foggy) on Maxx Jazz recording artist Renee Marie and a cover story I wrote on the St. Louis based Cuzzo label for the defunct newzine, Flipside. I think the first piece won. I'm not for sure about the second. but I am greatful and thankful to win and with iot coming from NABJ, makes it even more special (thanks Tavia for the invitation reminder LOL) The ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Simon Hall at Wash U. My boy Pete gave me the news about the win and jokingly asked if I was going to wear my Morpheus suit, the one I wore for the Emmys. Well, that wont be happening. Thats one thing about Ma'at, you will never see me wear something that extravagant at two consecutive high-brow events.
Now a recap of my week. Last Thursday, I checked out the Filmmakers Showcase Brunch which was a celebration of the films and filmmakers who had films that were being shown at this year's St. Louis International Film festival (kudos to Chris Clark for the tix). The event took place at the house of Ron Stevens, a cool guy who owns a radio syndication biz and his lovely wife Joy, and from the looks of that multi roomed(I counted at least 30 rooms including 10 bathrooms ), three-storied crib, it seems as though he could fit every syndicated radio staion in a room. This man's house is HUGE. His basement alone is the size of the Formula nightclub. All the fancy artwork and artifacts (knights from the 1800's) It's at a gated community in the CWE and I must say, I was deeply impressed with his house, I mean, palace. We hit off quite well and hopefully will work with him the near future (I sent the mp3's to ya) I met many great people who have films in the fest and the brunch was tasty. I really liked the quiche and the free Hurricanes. LOL.
Last Saturday, I checked out Steve Lacy, I mean Christopher Stevens' Birthday party at Club Seven (Thanks to Lacy and his partner Carvonne for hooking me up with the entire weekend). Lacy always brings the heat when it comes to his birthday parties because all types of people from all races, colors and persuasions be up in there getting their party on and celbrating Lacy's life day. VIP was cool. They had Chinese food (the egg rolls were off the chain) and I kicked it most of the time up in there until the drinks came through and had to walk around up in there (my bad Harry for opening up the door in VIP to hear a cell phone call. I wasnt trying to do anything crazy). Around 1 ish, things was really poppin. The DJ--DJ AJ was OK. He's no DJ Needles, but he kept the music going (he played Nelly's Grillz a multitude of times). At this time si hung near the bar area on the Seven side of the club. My bar hangers were Kameron, Terrence, Christiaan (I saw you trying to nino pop) , hollabackboi, and Laton Chairs. What was so off the chain was Laton was buying apple martinis for all of us non stop. And that's all I need to hear for me to get my party on. I was gettin' nice and this party girl and her friend were dancing in front of Kam and I so I decided to PAR-TAKE in the opportunity. So, I got up on her and got my dance on. Now the trip part came when this brother behind me who was wearing a black hat said to me, "Yeah, that's what I'm talking about." Huh? Talking about what? I was like, is this brotha gettin turned on by her, me, or both? At that time, I could care less, cause after 1 o'clock, people up in the club was whateva, whateva. Then hollaback was trying to get an afterparty going if you know what I mean and wanted me to call their celly after the club closed (their phone never picked up BTW) When it got to be close to 3 in the morn, Dj AJ, was like it was time for us to go and was saying, "If you don't want to go to jail, then you better leave, the club is closed." The fireman's door of the club was lifted and people started hauling ass out of there-- slowly to get those digits from whomever or the addy to ones crib to get their horizontal swerve on. . I heard that the official after party was at Bottoms Up on the East Side. I didnt have any singles in my wallet, so I know I wasnt going there. So I walked up to the front saying my goodbyes to the other socialites and stayed out front for a minute. Other party people I saw up in there were Lynette, Jamelle (sporting cornrolls), Trez Adams, Jamie (the girl not the boy), and Demond Tucker--oops, almost forgot BILL BEENE, the Partyline photographa!
Last Sunday, I checked out Steve Lacy's and Carvonne' White's Hair Show, "It's All About Hair" at the Hyatt Regency near Union Station. The event was a culmination of other events prior to and after the hair show where hair stylists from in and out of town facilitated workshops and classes about hair and what to do with it whether it's cutting it, pressing it, ironing it, coloring it, braiding it or weaving it. Me and Kam checked it out. We sat next to Kam's colleague, Darlene that both work at PT's Salon off 270 on east Page (PLUG-PLUG) More than 300 hair fans, stylists and onlookers sat patiently for the show to start. Now I know how it is when it comes to productions (I've done five theatericals myself) and trying to get folks and last minute things together is a lot of hard work and my boy Lacy was stage managing, prop handling (I'll get more into this later on) , sweeping the stage off and award handling. Brother was working harder than a Jamaican for real. I am not mad at ya. If you have to depend on somebody to get it done, do it yourself. But getting back to the hair show, the show started off with a bang with a hot tease with a tall hair model with long flowing blowhair in a very long and TIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT (as in fit) leather dominitrix outfit with colossal black heels (like the ones the chick in the group Dee-Lite used to wear back in the day) hopping up to the stage (Yes, I said hopping, she could not walk regularly in that outfit). A guy (I didnt catch his name) helped her on to the T part of the catwalk stage up to a makeshift apparatus that also had steps where she did a vamp dance using mostly her long colorful fingernails and danced to a sexy electronic drum beat with the refrain Electrify Me cooing in the background. What made it even more sexy was when the model was shaking her hair and bending her neck toward the guy so he can cut her hair. It was a hot scene. Soon after that the emcee of the evening, Michellene, graced the podium where she entertained for the reaming two hours with humor and off-the cuff comments on everything and everybody. The local stylists featured were Bonita Riochardson from Eclectic Designz, Daisha, from Selah Salon, Tiffany Rodgers from Shi Salon, Tahsa Harris Reed from Midwest Styles, Candace Young from B.I. M., Marc Stevens from Danielles, Brandon Williams from 911, Ken'Ya from Carla's Casual Creations and of course Christopher Steven. They also had a hair presentation by Donnal of Donnal's Hair Studio , an Caublasian guy who did a model's hair in less than 30 minutes. It was bit tedious, but it was interseting to see him cut her hair from long to neck length. Out of town stylists included Patric Bradley reppin' Texas and Virginia and Freddie Jones ( A cancer survivor by the way) reppin Dallas, and Amos Jordon reppin North Carolina. Most of the stylists' hair show routines were pretty much the same where the models get their hair tweaked and cut then they walked down the runway. There were some that were pretty creative in their presentations like Miss Michelle Ashwood from Steven Styles doing a dating Game skit with the models and Brandon Williams of 911 doing a Hollywood award show skit which was the highlight of the evening. They had models who looked and wore their hair like Missy Elliot, Sierra, Fantasia and Destiny's Child that took over espcecially the model who performed as Beyonce. Sistagirl had the hair and applebottom body like Beyonce. They started off from the back of the room in feather boas and when their music came on (Destiny's "Lose My Breath") , smoke came from the stage and they did their routine on stage exactly like the video from that song. It was off the chain and when it was over, there were some that gave the skit a standing O and when hairstylist Brandon came out with some hairspray and spraying the models; hair he sprayed them down!There were also some award presentations given out to those who did remarkable works, one was STL hairstylist Everett Johnson who got the Trailblazer Award who, at first just said thank you, but when he was asked by the mistress of ceremonies to come back up to say more (she say he did his speech like Russell Simmons. LOL), he started to get choke dup when he said he dedicated his award to hi smother who passed three years ago. That was real and a touching monet in the show. Louise Holliday received the Lifetime Achievement Award, a mover and shaker in the hair biz, a beautiful and spry elderly lady who was more excited for those who worked on the show than for her own accomplishments. She also modeld earlier on in the show showing off her well curled white hair. OK, the improv moment in the show occurred during Freddie Jones' scene when two guys brought out a long sofa chair and stood it in the middle of the stage. Before you know it, the mistress of ceremonies asked for some guys in the audience to help move the sofa chair upstage. With me and Kam being near the front, and a lack of many men there, we volunteered to do it along with a brotha (whose name slips me now) who was sitting on the opposite side of the room got up to move it and then the hostess said, "Okay we have Usher, LL, and 50 to help." the audience chuckled, so before I got to the stage to help move the sofa, I seized the moment by raising up my hands in a victory pose and got several sistas in the audience giving me catcalls(I see I still gots it. LOL) . I must have been Usher cause I had on a blue Kangol, a striped blue shirt with big white cuffs and blue wide legged pants cause the other guys were dressed more toned down. We also had to move it back in the lobby after the skit was over, but I must say, I know I need to be on somebody's stage cause like pork, I'm such a ham!
Before I close let me say congrats to Chill da Playa and his wife Stephanie, two local spit poets, who recently got married (where was my RSVP at? LOL).
The gas face goes to the gossip blogger that STL American's Delores Shante talked about who was saying that it seemed as though writers who are in the STL who write about hip-hop in the St. Louis Post and American are gay. That was extremely FOUL. Why would someone wanna go there? What does writing hip-hop and being gay have anything in common? Here we go again with this homophobia going on. That is the problem with hip-hop now, espcially the gangsta hip-hop, it's homophobic and misogynistic in its imagery and lyrics. Objectifying the hypermasculinity in gangsta hip-hop gives no room for those hip-hop artists who are not hardcore rappers and just rap, say like Kanye West or Common. I don't understand it. Maybe I can make this a topic for my upcoming talk show. I see that this has been blown way out of proportion. To check out was Delores Shante had to say about this, pick up this week's American or peep it out at stlamerican.com under Partyline section.
Next time, I will report on the Marla Gibbs jazz Cd Listening Party at Formula I attended this past Thursday, My NABJ Award celebratory drink at 609, the NABJ Awards, Joel King''s stage reading at the STL Public Library and anything else that may come up.
Until then, see ya outside!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Last Thursday, I attended the Best of the RFT Party at Moolah near Lindell and Vandeventer. It was a celebration of the winners of the Best of in a recent Riverfront Times issue where readers took a poll of who was the best in whatever topic the poll was pertaining to from restaurants, to clubs to best TV hair. The event was PR'ed by Charrisse Pantella who was the brainchild of the Beauty and the Bling event at Harrah's I went To (and got pissy drunk at) this past September. I hear more than 1500 RSVP for this free event and I must say it was definitely that. It was a circus kind of theme to this party. Outside, patrons were intoduced to a stilt walker and a drum band with a bubble machine. Once inside, I parused through the vendors. One booth was giving away free pizza, another was giving away chocolate martinis. I also got info from this graphic artist vendor called Ego that I may try out for my marketing projects. The hostess of the night was drag queen Dieta Pepsi who was looking fabo with a black cashmeire dress on. She was interviewing people as they enetered the party and it was projected on a large screen in the main building where everybody was. True, she's a hefty one, but she was working around teh party as though she was skinny minnie. I am not mad at her! Now I must say, the patrons got three drink tickets for theri drink and this was the popular booth of the night. It was definitely bottlenecked where peopel where trying to get their drinks. I ran into my party girls Gina Wynn and Tiffani Blackmore (who is seen in the picture with me at the party) who had a strategy of how to get drinks. Gina (who said she was no longer dating models--oops) was our point person when she got to the bar and Tiff (did you get your magic stick?) and I gave Gina our drink tickets so we didnt have to wait getting our drinks. When Gina got to the front it was think loud sista who was spouting "We Shall Overcome" rhetoric which I was looking at her like she was a Rosa Parks (thanks for the obit Tia) wanna be, but when she got clos eto teh bar as well she said to Gina, "I'm next." Then Gina said, No, I'm next." I was like, "Oh, shit, it;s about to be a catfight tonight." But it was cool. It was too packed for a fight to jump off, but you know it ain't nothing like two women scratching each other;s eyes out to the death. LOL. Anyway, I ordered three Absolutes and sevens and was on my merry way. Me, Tiff (who was gettin' drunked up) and Gina tipped over to VIP in a smaller room where people were getting there network on. In the house were Freeman Bosley Show's Darrius, STL American's Charmaine Brown, Kameron Hopson, Christiaan Coffield, Brian, Post Dispatch's Kevin Johnson and Tavia Evans, Ali Mosier, The Best of the STL's Gilberto Pinella, KSDK's Jeff Small, and Mike Roberts Jr. thanks Charrisse for teh hook up. I'm looking forward to the next big shindig! After Moolah, Kam, Christiaan (Mr. Rogers LOL) and I drove over to 609 in the Loop to catch DJ Nappy Needles spinning on the 1s and 2s. I haven't been up in there in a few months and decided to check it out. We were going at first to Seven for their new In the Mix set up, but there were no people there (I hear it was moved to Christopher's Barbershop in the Loop). So, we went up in there and teh first person I recognized was Bally trainer D'Anthony who still had his training gear on from Ballys (what was up with that). As always, it was mad packed up in there, and we decided to walk to the back of the bar area where Needles was spinning to get a permanent spot so we wouldnt get trampled over. I ran into Jamie up in there and he was telling me about Nellys private party that was held the previous night at Nectar. I didnt know anything about hsi party, but from what I hear, it was an intimate affair with some celebs who came through to celebrate Nelly's 31st B-day. I hear his girl Ashanti was snuggled up with him and producer Jermaine Dupri (sans Janet) also came through to celebrate with Nelly. I rolled out of 609 around 1sh and went to the crib...Last Friday, I went to Schnicks in Swansea to cash my check and ran into Tim Lampley, the guy who did late updates on Channel 5 a few years back and doe swork with MAdd SPorts on BET (Ive been knowing Tim since King Junior High School in East Boogie) . We talked about old school mates and such and I told him I wa sgoing to Plush to check out Syleena Johnson in concert. Later that evening, as I was preparing for Syleena Johnson's concert, I was getting up from teh coach to answer my cell phone and stubbed my right pinky toe on a table in my den and damn near broke it. I was in PAIN. I thought for sure I was gearing up for the hospital, but I was able to move it, so it wasn't broke, but you talk about pain. It was like someone hit my toe with a hammer. I move dit a little bit, put some Icy Hot on it, and kept on going. I was walking as though I had a fake leg, but I was able to pimp walk to not make it so noticeable. I checked out Syleena Johnson concert at Plush (thanks John for the hookup). She was in town for the stageplay Cheaters that was playing at the Fox last week. I knew that this would be the place to be as opposed to First Friday at the Boathouse in Forest Park cause the stars of Cheaters would be at Plush to support their colleague. Of course my VIP boys were with me (Kam and Christiaan) and right before we entered, it were some guys near the club who were talking and befor eyou know it, one of the guys threw a beer bottle at another guy causing glass to break on the ground. What was that all about? Well, I didn't ponder around to find out and went in. There, I saw the usual suspects like Kevin Johnson and Katrina (former Partyline reporter), and I also saw Tim there and another old school mate, Tony King. He still looked the same and said whattup to him. They had two for one drinks and I was sipping on Absolute and Seven and Kam was starwin' Long ISland and accoding to him they were stronger than the Incredibel Hulk. My boy was a little droop legged and was feeling nice after the first drink. I must have been immune to my drinks, cause I wasnt feeling the buzz. Christiaan was getting nice as well with his Jack's. Soon after, I started pimp limping over to the small VIP area where the celebs of Cheaters were going to be. I saw Monica Butler guarding the area and we spoke. She gave my boy Kam the hookup to message the cast of Cheaters (man, she got her hands in everything here in the STL, and I mean hands). So, I asked her could we get into VIP and she poilitely said, NO." Now, she just hookedup Kam, but can;t let us in? Well, for those who know me, you knwo I don't take no for an answer and was able to get in by accident (I will not reveal my technique hereLOL). Anyway, once inside, I saw Silky SOul who was sporting her red Afro and Syleena Johnson was already in there, getting ready for her performance. Doug Eason was the host of the night (he was such a silky voice) and he intro'd Syleena's opening act, a local guy name Twan, he has a gospel-Gerald Levert kind of voice and he did his thing. While he was performing, there were security guards coming up towards VIP and Michael Jai White and Brian McKnight walked into VIP. Now it was turning into a VIP. It was cool being up close and personal with the celebs (Jai White is much taller than what I expected) McKnight came with his Asian girlfirend, the same one that accompanied him at te Expo concert last siummer at the America's Center. Cast mates Wendy Raquel Robinson (Steve Harvey SHow) , Carl Payne (of Martin fame) , and James Avery (Uncle Phil) did not show up. They must have went to other spots in the STL. Meanwhile, Syleena got on stage and sang a few songs for the crowd. She sang her hits "Guess What," the hook to Kanye West's "All Fall Down," and her new song, "Another Relationship," (which she sang in the play, "Cheaters." ) . She sang for about 20 minutes and that was the concert, McKnight hugged SYleena and congratulated her, then he and his lady vamped. Soon after Jai White and Johnson left, which was a sign that it was time to rolll out--and we did...Last Saturday, I did my usual going to the gym and when I went to the crib, I checked out the What;s Happening marathon that was being shown that weekend on Nick at Night. I must say, I enjoyed watching What;s Happening, espacilly Dee, who was the real star of this show. She was so mature for her age and could say a line in straightface and make the line even more funnier. Shirley was pretty funny too with her sassing and trading insults with Rerun. It was kind of weird seeing the last season's episodes when Mabel King, teh mamma, left the show due to her prtest of having a father on the show, and Dee being an orphan in the house while Shirley moved in and Rahj moved outto live with rerun in an apartment. Of course Dwayne, was the dumb blonde type of chartacter, who was afraid of everything and said Uh-UH and Hey Hey Hey (the catch phrase of the show). Before I knew it, it was time to check out the play I-2195. I went to see it at the Lee Theater at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL. I had to review it for KDHX (peep it out at kdhx.org) and I must say, I really enjoyed this play. It was about a ex-freedom fighter, Lucinda Celeste played by Unity Theater vet Thomasina Clarke, who is now living in the woodlands far away from civilization who is pressured by BOLT, a givernment entity that wants to bulldoze her property and capture her as a bounty. meanwhile her son, Otto, played by Hairdo U star Eric Conners comes to visit her and reveals the reason why he came to "New Virginia' to find her. It also starred UMSL student Myron McNeill who played the valor driven freedom fighter Rex Eaglejeep, he was your fortitudinous leader who was protecting Lucinda. He was my favorite character. He gave comic relief and a string masculine demeanor to his part. The play was set in the distant future where poeple's right to privacy laws are threatened. The play was more of a human story than anything else even with the cast members being African American, it still didn't take away from the juice of the play. I loved the set which looked exactly like a log cabin and the forest. The best scene was when Lucinda and Otto forgave each other for their estrenge drelationship and her sitting out the bulldozer as a final freedom fighter move. UMSL defintely needs to re-stage this play. Most of the black people, I know, were at Cheaters, but a play that had some meaning and depth, should have been seen by more of us. Speaking of Cheaters, Kam told me some of the backstage antics at the Fox while they were at break performing Cheaters. Kam was doing messages for the female cast mates and I think my boy is in love, especially with Wendy Raquel Robinson. He was like, "Man, I wonder who is waxing that?" But the funny part was he said when he had a towel on the face portion of the message table, when she got up there was a ton of makeup on the towel. WHOA! Afterward, she told him that he looked liek Wesley Snipes and kisssed him on the cheek. Kam also said Michael Jai White was doing majic and card tricks for everyone. can you imagine that? Spawn doing majic tricks? Hmmm. He also said they had a buffet of food that would make Sweetie Pies jealous. My thing is like, all that food, how were they gonna continue performing on stage and got a lazy tongue from all that food. Hmm, talk about VIP...Last Sunday, I checked out the 5 SPot at Club Dreams, and ran into problem that I wasnt expecting. I thought everything was cool between 5 Spot co-developer Harry Colbert and all, but for some strange gut feeling, I knew some shyt was about to get started. Before I came, I called my girl Isis, who always hooks me up because I am with the media, and when I got there I met up with my business partner Tia, and we went in. When the security guy asked for our ID's, Harry came up and a beautiful sista up front named 31, asked Harry about my access in. He said, NO. I told him that I talked with Isis aboout access in. He was like, "well, I have to see." Huh? What the fucc was going on? harry acted as though he did not know me. Now, mind you, when 5 SPot was at Hard Rock near Union station, he gave me the VIp treatment, even telling me where the media sit and, but I got a funny attitude with him at the Eric Roberson concert at History Museum at Forest Park when he told me that only sponsors can sit up front (but Kevin Johnson form the Post, who is media, was able to sit up there). Now he's giving me shade. I was about to walk out of Dreams and fucc even going in, but the sista 31 told me to go on in. I was livid. What did I do to Harry for him to act funky with me? I don't think I will be attending anymore 5 Spots. I don;t need the unnecessary aggravation. It's not that serious. But I digress, once in, I got my seat with Tia and her business partner and Kam slinked in as well, I was cool. Isis told me not to trip off of what happened and she will get some understanding about access. ...The first act was the sista who hooked me up to 5 Spot, 31, she was cool. A little lazy in her delivery, but she had some tight things to say, especially about "crackers" (who she say could be anyone of any color who tries to oppress you). The headliner of the night was my girl Coco Soul, who blazed the night with her 40 minute set. She did some Chaka ("Through the Fire") , some original tunes ("Lazy Day," Balance") and did an impromtu of ALicia Keys' new joint, "Unbreakabale." She got on the keys and did her thing. She then quipped: "Y'all got your own Alicia Keys right here." Another strong point of her show was her singing Chaka's "Stay" and had members of the audience to sing teh hook. She asked American Idol contestant Phillipe to sing (I think it was planned caus ehe was up front most of the concert) and he clowned and brought it, but the shocker was when she asked Floyd Boykin to sing and he did OK, he was safe in his vocals, nothing too serious, but he maintained. There was a girl who she asked to sing, her name slip sme now, but she took out her gum, go the mike and sang notes on top of notes, homegirl was blowing like snot to Charmin, okay? Even Isis Jones did her thang, holding a note for a few seconds and getting a rousing applause. Man, I must say, her voice is getting stronger by the day. Anyway, Coco's backround singer Lynette was looking mighty glamzonish with her auburn curls and silver lame cleavage-set, spaghetti strap blouse. I tease dher when I told her, "No wonder Coco wa slooking back at you, to make sure you didnt upstage your hotness." I'm such a mess. In the house were Kevin Johnson, Clear Channel's Angela Brown, Arvin Mitchell (who was passing out comps to his comedy show at the Funny Bone), Joel King (suprise-suprise), Christiaan, and Ali Mosier.
Last Monday, I peeped out a pre-screening of 50 Cent's anticipated flick, "Get Rich or Die Tryin" at the Esquire. But before I got there, I had to haul ass over to KDHX studios to record my review for I-2195. It had to be the quickest recoding Ive done sicne doing them. It only took me 5 minutes to record it. Before heading to KDHX, I called James Thomas, whose over a lot of the movie screenings in teh Lou, told me to come on through cause the line was wrapping around the Esquire, so that was my motivation to drive and talk fast. I called kam about 6 p.m. and he told me he was getting on the highway from Florrisant to jet down there. When I finally got on 64 to get to the Esquire, it was a bottleneck toward the Forest park area. I was like, this is great. It took an extra 10 minutes for me to get to the theater. So, when I saw the line, it wasn't as crazy as I expected but it had to be about 100 or so standing in line to get in. So, I parked and walked up to the front, showed my press pass and waited for Kam to get there. Meanwhile, I bumped into former UNCF's Reggie Saunders who todl me he was now with Clear Channel. I gave him my biz card and told him to holla at me if a job opp happens. Thomas and crew were straight up regulating on this flick. They were letting only 20 people at a time into the theater and they were stamping people's hands to make sure those without stamps could not enter the theater. They also were telling people to turn off their cell phones cause if the ushers saw anyone on them, they would confiscate them. Because of the heavy bootlegging going on in theaters, they werent going to take a chance of this flick getting legged (I hear they got got when Barbershop 2 was screened at the Esquire two years ago). Anyway, when Kam showed up, we went in--and had a little tete-te with a black guy with a press list. I showe dhim my press pass and told him I was with the press. He was about to give me some flack cause apparently I wasnt on the list, but he didnt and let us on through to the press seats. I realized I was the only print media person there beside Movie Guru (everyone else were at Nellys concert at the Pageant which I will talk breifly about). Anyway, when we got our seats, the people were coming in my the hundreds. In the meantime, Hypeman Dwight Stone (I was waiting for your call so I could give you Bill's celly )came through with a big plastic sack of CDs to pass out to the moviegoers. He went up front, stood on the arm rests of a chair and did some guessing game contests for people to win teh CDs. One was, Guess How old this perosn is, or Guess How much this person weighs--it was fun, but I was waiting for the show to start (While this was going on I had gotten a text from Christiaan about where Nellys concert was and a voice message from hollabackboi that he had an extra ticket to the Nelly concert) . Anyway, when the show started, you can hear a pin drop for people waiting for this movie.
Here is my review of Get Rich or Die Tryin
"Get Rich or Die Tryin" is the semi-autobiographical story about a rapper named Marcus, played by rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, who grows up in a life of drugs and is almost killed when he shot violently druing his climb up the gangster lifestyle. Directed by "My Left Foot'" Jim Sheridan, this movie was a color-by-numbers-tale with no real surprises. It's kind of like a poor-man's version of the more worthier "8 Mile" but more violent. The supporting charcters are what makes this movie interseting, especially Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje who plays the drug lord, Majestic and Terrenace Howard in a scene stealing role as ex-con bama. The movie is told in narrative by 50 that gives his reasons as to how his life became the way it was. It starts off with Marcus and Bama and his crew robbing a Chinese biz and their speeding away and Marcus eventually getting shot nine times and teh mystery of whetehr he was going to die or not. Then, it goes to flashback mode showing Marcus' life in Queens in the early 1980s (and his idol being none other than Rick James--which is a running gag throughout the film). These scenes were interseting because it is shown how Marcus mother was a drug dealer and showing her early demise in the game, a first in the hood genre. After that, the film pretty much is old hat, guns, drugs, power ("Love will get you killed" as 50s character says) and death. One of thw powerful scenes was when Marcus was in solitary as he contimplates suicide. It was a good scene cause 50 didnt have to talk. He is not an actor and to hear him talk in that lazy tone and no expression in any of his scenes besides the usual scowl, was sort of a nuisance. 50 was his best when he was shown thinking and staring avertly showing his dilemma without acting. Another scene that was comical and was not supposed to be was the shower scene in prison where 50 and Howard fought guys in the shower naked. It was too hilarious, and I'm sure the director was not intending for it too be funny. Marcus' love interest, Charlene, played by the beautiful Joy Bryant ("Antwone Fisher"), didnt have much to do here, but be pretty and make love to 50 (which also seemed comical). She was mor eof a plot device to keep the story going.
Overall, "Get Rich or Die Tryin" is for those die-hard fans of 50. It will definitely do Top five at the Box Office (I'm even predicting No. 2) this weekend. After the curiosity has been fed of 50's screen debut, which will be quick, you will probably wished you could have waited for the DVD to come out. If I had to rate this( Four stars being great; three stars being good; two stars being average; and one star being poor) I would give it two out of four stars.
I didnt go to the Nelly concert at the Pageant. It was sponsored by Majic 104.9 and those who attended had to get tickets through them. It wasn't a general admission ticketed show (Nelly's video man Dana Christian was the 50 Cent movie, BTW) . but I hear he got on stage around 9 ish (doors opened at 8 p.m.) Hollabackboi was there and he told me that they had a live band for Nelly and the Lunatics to do their thing. From "Country Grammar" to "Grill" Nelly rocked the house (I hear the standout spitter was Murphy Lee). But I hear Nelly said nigga to much in his set and as Murphy Lee told the crowd that hi sgrandparenst were in teh audience, hollaback said, you would have thought Nelly would have toned his language. As stated by hollabackboi, he said, "Nelly is a nice looking brotha, muscular, rich and all that and he didnt have to keep on saying the n-word." I asked hollaback did he perorm "Tipdrill" and hollaback said, NO. I was shocked he didnt, but then again I am not. That song has caused alot of controversy for Nelly (as well as the song and energy drink Pimp Juice). But, I hear that it was packed house. If anyone went to this, post up and tell me what you thought of it.
SPILLED TEA : I hear that the drag queens on th East Side are taking over Club Onyx. After the G Spot closed down just down the street, they didnt have another black club to go to, so I hear they are represeting at Club Onyx. I wonder if we'll hear 100.3 The Beat's Tossin Ted reaction to all of this when he is broadcasting live down there, No SIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. LOL
I saw Patti Labelles Tribute show on Fox . It was Okay. It was a little disjointed. Why did Yolanda perform a non Patti Labelle song and sang. "Victory" from the Gospel soundtrack?" And I cringed when Ashanti was singing "New Attidude" with Aptii, whovever had teh idea to pit a non singer with a diva legend powerhouse liek Patti was on drugs. I didnt see Kelly Rowland and Nelly but I'm sure the performance was just OK. Comeidan Jimmy Fallon was funny imitating Patti LAbelle's duet partner, St. Louis own Michael McDonald saying that he sings in such a way that he can make up lyrics. then he had the band to play "I Keep Forgettin" and started mimicking Michael McDonald's voice while running through the isles. It was hilarious. I was expecting a little more to the Labelle reunion. They only saing "Lady Maramalade" and the other memebsr oif Labellw Sarah dash and Nona Hendryx (who still looks good all tall and toned up) were walking all over the stage whiel Patti out sang everyone as usual. The finale was to be desired. The finale was "YOu are My Friend" and Patti mostly hugged and kissed everyone while Yolanda Adams trie dto get her cnets in with the vocal acrobatics. If ya'll sa wthise, what were your opinions about it?
I was supposed to get into my take on the BET 25th SilverAnniversary show, but I am tired of typing. I will try and get to it next week. Like I said last week, the show will repeat from now til eternity, so I will have a chance to put my dibs on it.
Before I roll, my mentor, Eugene B. Redmond emailed me and gave me this flier about a program and ongoing event going on. Here it is:
Encore’ Reception Friday, Nov. 11—6-8 p.m.—BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT Exhibit Runs Through Nov. 20(Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Morris University Center ArtGallery)“Black Arts Movement: Some Arkitects & Heirs –Photos & Memorabilia from theEugene B. Redmond Collection”—Curated by Howard Rambsy II
During the Nov. 11 “encore” reception—6-8 p.m.--refreshments will be offeredand brief readings will be given by members of the EBR Writers Club’s SoularSystems Ensemble.”This exhibit contains photographs, album covers, posters, fliers, and artworkfrom Eugene B. Redmond's extensive collection. The materials relate orcorrespond to the "spirit of the 60s." Along with his extensive, ever-expanding collection of photographs, Eugene Redmond's assortment ofmemorabilia focusing on African American artistic productions is the result ofhis larger mission of creatively documenting the vibrant rhythms and brillianthues of black expressive culture.” --H. Rambsy IIAmong “images” included: Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Alvin Aubert, JamesBaldwin, Amiri Baraka, Fontella Bass, Gwendolyn Brooks, Stokely Carmichael,Lucille Clifton, John Coltrane, Jayne Cortez, Stanley Crouch, Angela Davis,Jimmy Daniels, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Katherine Dunham, James Farmer, LouisFarrakhan, Aretha Franklin, Robert Hayden, Calvin Hernton, Langston Hughes,Chet Johnson, William Keorapetse Kgositsile, Calvin Lockhart, Martin LutherKing, Sylvester Sunshine Lee (& children dancers), Shirley LeFlore, Haki R.Madhubuti, Mariam Makeba, Pinkie Gordon Lane, Audre Lorde, Dudley Randall,Babatunde Olatunji, Ike Paggett, Sonia Sanchez, Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake,Alice Walker, Jerry Ward, August Wilson, Howlin’ Wolf, Malcolm X, Ahmos Zu-Bolton.Also included: a collage of variations on the “Black Christ,” a painting bythe late Jeff Donaldson (of Chicago’s “Africobra” school) and two works byEast St. Louisan Edna Patterson-Petty (including a sculpture and acommissioned quilt representing 40 years of Redmond’s life).The SIUE Art Gallery is open daily from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and at othertimes by special request.
For more information call the Morris UniversityCenter at 618 650-2300 or SIUE English/EBR Writers Club at 618 650-3991.The exhibit opened October 24, the beginning of “A Drumvoices Festival ofBlack Arts,” a weeklong celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Black ArtsMovement. Participants included Amiri Baraka, Melba Boyd, Jayne Cortez (andFirespitters band), Katherine Dunham, Eddie Fisher, Sherman Fowler, SylvesterSunshine Lee, Shirley LeFlore, K. Curtis Lyle, Haki Madhubuti, Arthur Moore,and Darlene Roy (and the Soular Systems Ensemble). The Nov. 11 reception is inconjunction with the Old Man River International Commerce and CulturalFestival Think Tank (held Nov. 7 in East St. Louis City Hall).A catalog adapted from the exhibit will be available in the near future for$10.00. To order the publication, send a check or money order for $10.00 toDrumvoices Revue, English Dept. Box 1431, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1431.Email: email@example.com. Fax: 618 650-3509.
Well that will cover it for me. I will holla back later with more outside stuff. Until then, stay up!
Friday, November 04, 2005
Hello outsiders, well let me start off by saying that I didn't win the Emmy last Saturday (but I did get a chance to touch one--the huge statuette you see in the pic) . I think the whole experience was an out of body one to say the least, but before I get into the evening and all of its grandeur, let me backtrack and tell you what I did prior to the big event.
Last Friday, I put on my theatre cap (actually my theatre Afro cause I took my cornrolls down and sported a Lenny Kravitzesque fro) and went to the Broadway Center of Art in Belleville to check out "Luv", a play about three neurotic NewYorkans, one guy name Berlin and a couple named the Manvilles who are pissed off about their lives and decide to con each other in order to find love. It was a pretty brainey off beat comedy. It kind of reminds you of Groundhog Day and a Woody Allen film, everyone living the same kind of existence day and day out (you can peep my review of this play at kdhx.org). At the same time, the downwton area was having an outside Halloween party where kids and their parents were going door to door at various shops to get candy. My mind was definitely not on candy, but on celebrating my nod for Best Segment at the Emmies the following night. I called my buddies Kameron and Christiaan to meet me at the Drunken Fish in the CWE to celebrate my nod around 11 ish. So I get there and Kam is already there. So we go upstairs to get some drinks. We chatted a bit about the usual: our day, women, the future, what have you, then Christiaan shows up (what was up with the bifocals, man,. LOL) and the party wa son. Christiaan sat down in a sofa while Kam and I started to get our drink on. I ordered a Absolut and Seven and I think Kam got a Jack and Coke. While we were talking, this white guy who was sitting next to me started to bring up a conversation about women and why they are so difficult to live with. Now, mind you, while he was talking, his wife, his sitting next to him. I thought this was quite strange for him to talk about women in such a way and his woman is sitting right next to him. (I should preface they were both hammered) Anyway, as time progressed, he asked me, why can women wear thongs on the outside of their pants and he couldnt expose his dick out of his pants. At this time, I was quite juiced myself and I said, "Well, maybe becasue you're exposing your dick is why you can't do it." The guy thought my response was hilarious. Then he said, "Well I'm not gay or nothing but...I'm just trying to get laid tonight" I was like, okay, his wife is sitting next to him and he's trying to get laid. Then I thought, here we go, he has to overmasculinize his actions because of his hidden attractions (Or, the usual, "The alcohol made me do it") . My thing is this, if a guy is attracted to another guy, I don't see why a guy has to over explain his actions. It's the other guy who makes the choice of whether to accept or decline thd other guy's actions. It's the same scenario with a guy being attracted to a woman. It's the woman's decision to accept or decline a guy's actions. I just took it as he must have liked what he saw and used heterosexual chatter to make it point known. I just took it as more free drinks. LOL. Anyway, he continued talking and then here's the killer, he showed me and Kam a picture of this sista on hsi cell phone, real pretty girl, with dreads, and I said to him, "Oh, who is that?" and he said. "My girlfriend." I said, "Your girlfriend!" Now he was off the chain. He's going to show us his chick on the side while his wife is sitting there! I then told him, "Man you need to be on Jerry Springer, for real." I then asked him if his wife knew he had a girlfriend and he said yeah, but he said he wouldnt let his wife have a boyfriend. Off the chain. She then quipped, "I'm going to get me a boyfriend." I wa slike, this is too much playing. Meanwhile, he bought me another drink and then said, "It look like your buddy is looking atme like he is jealous cause I'm buying you drinks." Kam was like, "Naw, man, not at all." What tha fuck??? This guy was really putting it on strong, and it was getting weird. It was hard to analyze thinsg at the time cause of the spirits I was taking in, but now that I think about it, I think the white guy wa strying to take me home with him and his girlfriend and do a chocolate swirl...
Later that night me, Kam and Christiaan, checked out former 100.3 the Beat personality J-Nicks' birthday party at Toxic (I believe he turned 21 this year). Nicks was in town also to celebrate his new gig as host of Rap City with a party that was to take place the following night at Plush. We got to Toxic about midnite and it was a decent crowd. It wasn't ghetto as all get out and the cover I beleve was 20 bones and becasue of that and no headlining rap star performing the crowd was half odf what it usually is. We got upstairs and saw the usual usual suspects like Kevin Johnson, Capo, Chantal with the snaps, Terri who hooked me up on the VIp list, D.St. Lou (Deandre Perryman) who came up to me and had some concerns about my blog report on him on stage at the Webbie concert but it was all good. His manager, Tony Ford, who is also from E Boogie (I'm hail from ther as well--too bad you went to Lincoln. LOL)) told me he saw the blog spot as well. So I guess I must be doing my job if people are reading my blog. Perryman asked me what he should do as far as PR for himself and I told him that he should do a concert with the other St. Louis American Idol contestants and keep that going. He shook his head in consideration and stepped (I saw that bling on your wrist--what's going on balla). Also in the house was KSDK's Jeff Small who was chillin in VIP. I also saw comedian Arvin Mitchell who was talking and shaking hands (he gave me a compliment on my tan cordurouy jacket I wore--he has good taste) J Nicks came in Toxic with his mini entourage about 1 ish and that; swhen Aloha got on stage to perform Happy Birthday for J-Nicks and sang " Destiny' sChild "Cater To You." The girl sounds good (and she's not half steppin in the eye candy department either) My only beef with the VIP area at the party was there was no food. No chicken, No mostocolli. NOTTA. But they did have strawberries and a chocolate dipping machine for people to swirl their berries on. I guess if you wanted to get your eat on, you had to go outside and pay for a hot dog and BBQ with the brother vendors outside of the club. But the saving grace was the free MOET they wer giving out. I got two cups. The sista that was pouring said we had to start tipping if we wanted another cup. So I did. I wasn't going to sweat that. But the MOET came right on time cause it was good toasting liquid for my Emmy nod...
Saturday was the day. I got prepared for the Emmys later that afternoon. I decided to go against the norm with suits and tuxes and decided to break out with my black opera coat (that I wore in the pic you just saw) and a red shirt with an ascot tie. I said to myself, if I am going to make a memorable impression, I was going to do it at the Emmys. I got there about 6 p.m. and I parked on the opposite side of the parking lot in front of Plush. I walked through the parking lot to get to the Hyatt Regency. When I was passing the parking lot attendant booth, thsi sista said, "Wassup Morpheus." I laughed. I knew right then and there that my outfit was going to be a conversation piece. So, I got there and went to the table where there were several people checking off people's names who were on the list. I went up to a guy who asked for my name and I wanted to say,"You know who I am," as a joke, but decided not to. I gave him my name and he said that I was going to seated at Table 21. In the meantime, I walked around and did the fake smile and greetings to people I didnt know. Good thing I had on my pink sunglasses cause if they would have seen my real expression on my face, they would have asked if I was okay. Anyway, I walked around the lobby of the Hyatt Regency for a minute, then I decided to walk around in Union Station. I havent been there in a while and decided to check out how people would react to my outfit. I mean, it was the Halloween weekend, so my suit blended right in. I decided to stop at the Fudgery where the Negroes sing while making fudge. This place always irked me because it reminds me of slavery times when black folks would entertain white folks after the cotton was picked and the bucks left sap in their wenches for suckers. Anyway, as the fudge makers sang in front of a mostly white crowd I was checking my text messages and whiel I was doing this, one of the fudgery workers had the crowd to ask him why they were there, and he was like, everybody say why. And they said why. Again, he said everybody say, why. And everyone said why--except me. Now mind you, I was way in the back of the crowd while thsi was going on. The fudgery guy must have had 40-40 vision because he was looking at me and so was everyone else. So when he said everyone say, why, I through both of my hands up like I was making a Y sign as everyone else said why. Everyone started to laugh. He was going to call me out? Okay, well I'm going to give it right back to you. And I did. I got the last laugh. Anyway, I was texting Pete Foggy to see when he was coming through. He said he was coming around 7:30, so in the meantime, I walked around, in a whisk of strangers until it was time for the ceremony. They had a cash bar which I was surpised. At 125 bones a pop, I would think the drinks would be free, but I can't complain cause I was a refugee up in there cause if Pete didnt remind Charter that I was nominated for the Emmy, I wouldnt have been there. I did see some recognizable faces like up in there like Fox 2's Dick Ford, who was one of the co-hosts and Jack Buck who spoke to me. A couple of other people spoke to me, one even asked if I was nominated for anything. I also saw Randall Beans, a brotha who I met this past summer when he was hanging out at Runway Fashions with Stuart Allen. He was one of the Emmy Award handlers. He said that he liked my outfit and I told him to make sure he puts my Emmy Award in my right hand when I win. LOL. Other than that, the crowd was definitely an exclusive clique. There were people with professional cameras there who were taking pics of people in the lobby. When it came to me, a lot of them acted as though I was about to steal their wallet. Maybe it was the outfit. I did look kind of Blade meets the Matrix for real. The ceremony started at 7:30 p.m. and I sat with some former Charter Communication employees. It was a bit awkward because I didnt really work with them. I only worked with Pete, so you can imagine trying to hold conversation with people who you barely know. One guy I did remember, one of the camera guys that came through the studio while Pete and I were taping Renee Marie's piece and the never aired comedy piece I did at the Laugh Factory in St. Peters. Another guy who is an editor said that he felt like he knew me cause he used to to edit my stories. I guess that's how many celebs feel when people come up to them and say they feel like they know them and the celeb is in the dark cause they don't know who is watching them. But I kept cordial and thumbed through the program booklet to see when our cateogeory of Best Program Feature--Art/Perfroming Arts. Of the 67 categories, mine was 52nd in the order of the program, which means Pete and I were going to be on pins and needles for the majority of the program. Before the program started a photographer came around and took our table shot--finally. I didnt wear my costume for nothing. LOL. They served dinner which was OK. They started off with spinach salad with poppy seed dressing that was good. Then the entree was beef tenderloin and chicken with the sides: asparagus, carrots, little baked potatoes, bell pepper and a portbello. It was very chi-chi. For dessert they had German chocolate cake with red flavored sauce on the side. While we were eating dessert, Dick Ford came out to speak to the crowd about the Emmy Awards and that everyone had 30 seconds to say their congrats. Thirty seconds! That cause dsome rumbling in the audience. It takes 30 seconds to even get adjusted with the Emmy in your hand and looking out into the crowd wondering what you are going to say. Anyway, the award show was entertaining. A couple of celebs came through to present an award, Corbin Bernsen, the L.A. Law star who can be seen on Cuts these days, and soap star Anthony Geary of Luke and Laura fame on General Hospital (he was also in the Fat Boys' God awful flick, "The Disorderlies). A coupel of soap actresses also was with them and they were in town to promote a film they worked on that was playing at St. Louis Mills. KSDK racked up winning almost a third of the awards. Fox 2's Mandy Murphy also won quite a bit, too. She was very generous and humble with her winning whereas many of them who got up there to say there speeches seemed as though they were meant to win. Now the thing that got me was when they had one nominee in various categories and they automatically won (e.g. Joe Buck winning for instance) or they would have two nominees in a cateogory and it is a tie. That was crazy to me which brought things in perspective that award shows are so subjective and politics are definitely at play when you have money to get a nomination. The shocks of the night was when students from WSIU (five of whom wore lime green 70s tuxes to the event) won some major awards over local affiliates and when KSHB-TV won over KTVI Channel 2, KMOV, Channel 4, WB11-Channel 11 and big winner KSDK-Channel 5. Oh, I almost forgot my cateogory, Well, Pete and I were nominated against two KETC-Channel Living St. Louis program segments, one on the late pianist Johnnie Johnson and Gospel artist Sybil Smoot. From the day I found out I wa snominated to a minute before KMBC's Lara Moritz read off the names in our cateogory, I thought for sure Johnny Johnson would win for sentimental reasons, ala Ray Charles--he is a music legend and he recently died. Well, I was wrong, when it was time for our category to be read, I got a text message from Kam saying Good luck and I hope I won. That's when it hit me that I really wanted to win. So when Moritz read off the names and said "And the winner is," my heart stopped, then I breathed, and started drinking some fo the wine that was in my glass. She read the name Living St Louis, Sybil Smoot. I was produced by Margie Newman. DAMN! I said to myself and tallied score in my program of who were winning. Pete then blurted out: "Well I guess it's time to go." And it really was. I lost, but from the many text and voice messages I got, I was still a winner, but it's easy for folks to say that when they have a chance of winning an Emmy. Afterward, I got my pic taken by Pete (the one you saw earlier) and in the green room. One thing I can say from this experience, that Charter producer Jacci Poor even mentioned to me before the ceremony started, that my nomination will be forever--and I say to that is, yes, and many more with a win!
After the Emmys, it was time to party. I walked down the street to Plush to see what was happening and ran into Brian Stemmons who along with a couple of other guys were the security guys in froint of the club checking IDs. We talked a little bit about life and all (Plush owner John Daniels also came outside and I said whattup to him) and he started talking about his secuity experience with Club Seven owners Fred Finley and Harry Michel and said that they did him wrong and that they made it seem as though he would never get another security gig in St. Louis. Well, you know its always two sides to every story, but for Brian to say that about the Seven owners is very telling. After that, I drove off and decidded to check out Pepper lounge on 19th and Olive. I saw that something was going on there and decided to park my car and see what was up. While I was walking up, I saw my gym buddy Bally trainer Robin Kason who was hanging out with a buddy of his. I was shocked to see him out cause he told me that doing jazz events was his thing, hmm, anyway, when I walked up to Nectar Lounge which is next to Pepper lounge, they were having a "private" party. So, I flashed my West End Word press pass to one fo the guys who was holding a VIP list and told him I wanted to check it out. Well, by the time I was trying to get clearnce, another guy who I see ocassionally at Ballys (who dressed up like Urkel, high flooded pants up his butt and everything!) said because I wasnt on the list, I couldnt get in and I can go to Pepper Lounge and party. I was like ,here we go. Now, the white guy was about to let me in, but the brother, who I knew from Ballys was going to throw shade. I was about to roll until the white guy told me to wait a minute so he could get someone else to let me in. So, I stayed there to see what will happen. With my 10 plus years of journalism training, my acumen always tell me to wait and see what will happen. Well, the guy who I knew from Ballys was going off saying that he can't understand why people try to get in to stuff and not on the list. I was hearing this, and I was like, what a bitch. Why is he tripping off of a list that really wasnt VIP because for those who wanted to attend only had to go on Nectar's website and VIP to get on the list. Anyway, this other white guy, who was very nice (who had on a orange correctional facility jumpsuit on) told me that if the traffic slows down I could come in but in the meantime, he can let me in at Pepper Lounge. So, I was cool with that. So I chilled up in Pepper for a minute. It was far less people in there and the music was alright (they had a Michael Jackson marathon up in there starting with the song, "Thriller" of course) Before you know it, I saw people coming from nectar to Pepper to party and back and forth, so my media antennae came up and about an hour later (it was after midnite at this time) it was time to see about going over to Nectar. I saw the guy in the orange jump suit and asked could I get in Nectar and he was going to ask the guys up front again, then he changed his mind and let me in at the side door. Whallah. And the morale of this story is, if you hold on long enough you will get in--from the side door! Once in, I saw the guy from Bally who brushed me off and he acted as though nothing happened. Whatever. STL is not a real VIp city and I dont understand why people try and act as though it is especially if there aren't really any major celebrities (beside sports figures) who actually live here to make STL a VIP city. But I digress. Once in, it was like a Rocky Horror Movie up in there with all the adult oriented costumes worn by the ladies (a candy striper, Little Po Peep, hoochies, 80s Madonna look,) I saw Robin Kason wearing hospital scrubs, Stuart Allen in a Sho Nuff costume, sword and all (from the Last Dragon movie) , I saw Fox 2's Rob Desir who wasnt wearing a costume just a shirt and jeans (I thought you were supposed to be at the Emmys with your KTVI crew????) I saw cowboy costumes, Ancient Greek costumes, Green day costumes,a guys in a kilt, and one guy had small cereal boxes takced on himself with plastc knives in them and I asked him what was he and he said, "a serial killer." I thought that was creative. They should have had a costume contest, but I guess they werent upping up no cash for a free private event. One white lady asked me if I was dressed as R. Kelly. That was a good one. It must have been the cornrolls. I told her no, because I like women over 18. She started laughing. But the drama of the night was when a fight broke out, before you know it before hauled ass to other side of the club. Something told me not go over there and I'm glad I didnt cause if I did, I would have gotten trampled on. Stuart got caught up in it causing his Sho-nuff wig to come off. Now you know that is too much playing. Byteh time 2 oclock came around, people were leaving, but before I left, there were these two white guys dressed as Crockett and Tubbs of Miami Vice (yes, the other guy had on grease paint and an black Afro like Phillip Michael Thomas!) The guy who was Crockett was drunk and kept putting his arm around me asking what did I want to drink (THIS WAS DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN LIKE THE WHITE GUY AT DRUNKEN FISH). He asked me did I want to take a shot of something. I was like, okay. I'm not going to say no to a free drink. The only alcohol I had that night were the three glasses of red wine from the Emmys. So, he bought himself and me a yagermeister shot and I gulped it down, and talk about heartburn. Ive never had Y-meister, and from the taste of it, I dont think I ever will. After that, I bounced out. I was about to go home, driving toward Broadway going back East then it dawned on me that the time went back an hour and it was really 1:30 as opposed to 2:30 in the morning. So, I turned back onto Washington heading West to go to Club Dreams where St. Lunatic Slo Down was having his Masquerade party there. I called my buddy Maurice G who co-owns the club earler that day to tell him I coming through, but I was sidetracked with the Nectar party. So, when I got there, there was some people hanging near the front entrance area and I told the sista I was a guest of Maurice's. then before you know I hear someone say, "Dont even go there, you can come in, but dont be acting like you're my guest." It was Maurice trying to clown me(Slo Down was there with the crew). With him being a comedian I was expecting a joke from him and his laugh corner to laugh. Then I was like, "if you answered your phone, maybe you would have known I was coming." then I came him a stunt punch to the stomach and gave him a frat hug. When I got in, it was a nice crowd. I didnt see too many costumes, but peopla were getting their party on as Staci Static hosted form the DJ-booth with the one-legged dee-jay spinning on the 1s and 2s. In the house were Melvin Moore and my Jessie Taylor, who was joking with me about my now costume wondring if Morphues wore a tie? . I stayed for about an hour and decided to roll out.
On Sunday, I had terrace box seats to the Rams v Jacquars game at the Edward Jones Dome. I caleld Kam to see if he wanted to roll and told him I would meet him around 1 ish (the game staretd at noon). I decided to take the Metrolink on down to the Dome cause I wasnt feeling trying to drive and find a parking space with the Rams crowd and all. I took the SWIC College Metrolink all the way down to the Dome to wait on Kam. So when he got there, it was people outside listening to the game, begging for whatever, smoking, cursing for whatever reason. It wa sa sunny day and people were enjoing the weather. So we found our seats and saw thet it was some people in our seats. Okay, I was just about to clown, but they were cool and got out of our seats. Anyway, the game was cool (Rams won 24 to 21), but the enteratainment wa sa white guy who a guizzling beer and screaming at the Rams to rip the other teams head off and the scoreboard showing other gamnes that were going on. That was too much funny. When the game was almost over, Kam and I vamped to beat the traffic. And my question was, what happened to the sun? It got cloudy all of a sudden. kam had parked on the north side of the Dome and I was heading south to the Convention Center Metro link on 6th street, and I told him I would meet him at the History Musuem at Forest Park for the 5 Spot where neo-soul singer Eric Roberson would be performing. So, I was walking up to the Metrolink near St. Louis Center (which looks like a ghostown these days--no stores, nothing but tennis shoes, jewelry, and artwork) and the line of people was as as long as the St. Louis Center. There was no fuccin way I was waiting in line for that long to get on the Link (and it was trying to rain too.) So, I took that mile hike up 6th street to Busch Staidum Station(good thing I am in shape--I thought of the hike like I was doing cardio at the gym) . It took about 10 minutes but it was well worth it cause there was barely no people there waiting. So. I got on and throught about the concert at Forest Park...Later that evening, I drove to Forest park for the 5 Spot show. I had the Scion: Independent Label Cd playing the cut Eric Roberson did with Jazzy Jeff called "Rock Wit U" to get me in the vibe of ER. and ran up to James Glasco and a beautiful sista that was with him. He had the hood up messing around with whatever inside. Around this time, it was light raining. I stopped my car and asked Glasco if everything was Ok and said that he needed a jump. I didnt know if he needed one or not, but he dropped his hood down. It s hard to tell with Glasco sometimes cause he is so serious (COOL CANCER) and I barely see him lose his cool. It was around 7:30 and I text messaged Kam and Christiaan about the 5 Spot. I called Kam and he said he would get there after 8 p.m. I paused. That sounded like late to me. Thats one of my pet peeves, espcecially if I am hooking up someone with a comp, but that's just the journalism training in me when it comes to deadlines and being on time for stuff. Christiaan texted me back and said he was at the show checking out Saw 2 and that he would call me when he got there.So when I got there, Isis, the host of 5 Spot, hooked me up and I told her my guest was running late, and I walked around seeing who was who. I ran into Vanita Applebum who was guarding one of ER's booths (she gave me a card to buy a house from her--I thought that was funny, she didnt; though), and I ran into Monica Tyson who also was guarding one of ER's booths as well. I talked to them for a minute then I headed off to the front area to get a seat. I ran into 5 Spot co-creator Harry Colbert and he told me that the front row of tables for there sponsors. Okay, here we go again. As long as I have been knowing Harry now all of a sudden, the seats are for media (but Kevin Johnson was able to sit there, though). Okay, I didnt sweat it and saw a bench next to teh reserved tables. I sat there and thats where I sat until the show was over. And talk about a show. I knew ER was goingto throw down cause he is such a spirtual and real person and it shows in his singing and his theatrical abilities (he is a music theater major at Howard). Before he graced the stage, there was poetry done by E Boogian MS. Interpretation. Her flow reminds me Lauryn Hill (with a dose of Lil Kim's flow) , very deep and is talking about stuff beside sex and getting or losing a man. Her poem called Fat Girl was good. It was about how she used to be fat and now she loves her body to the point of not putting poisonous foods in her body. She ended the poem saying:"I'm going to a funeral cause the fat girl is dead." Then Isis Jones(who was looking very sexy in a tight flowery gray dress) got on stage and talked about how important it is for us to be checked for diabetes. She said both her grnadmothers died of teh disease and she gets check up regularly. She also plugged the soul food Lifestyles on Delmar that serves healthy soul food (isnt that an oxymoron of sorts?) Soon after that, Er got on stage with the group Level Ground and jammed for about 90 minutes. The highlights of his show were his singing the song, "Previous Cats" (he wrote for Musiq) that had accompanying cue cards he held up with symbols and words from the lyrics of the song. Another was the Gospel moment in his set wheer he stopped the show and began testyfying how great the Lord while Level Ground did an impromptu Sunday morning worship response music with him, then he started Holy dancing. Another was when he asked for three people in the crowd to give him three subjects and he will try and make a song out of it. The subjects were: collard greens (Isis gave out that one), Jesus, and mathematics. He thought about it for awhile and the lyric he came up with was: "Count (mathematics) on Jesus to bless you, clean it out like collard greens." Now he said that the set up was not fake, and I believe him. That is sure genius, free styling like a rapper to come up with a lyric like that and then before you know it, he performed an entire song with that lyric along with other lyrics as though he had written it before. Overall his performance was the truth. It was gratifying inasmuch as there are true soul artists out there who care about music and sharing it with people. When his set was over, host Isis Jones did a minute interview on stage with Eric Roberson aka. ER.
Here is what she asked him:
Isis Jones: I got a quick question for you. How long have you been doing this for 13 or 20?
ER: I was signed to Warner Bros at 19 years old, sophomore at Howard and we actually have a picture of that in the back. I'm 32 years old and I'm not ashamed to say that (crowd applause).
Isis Jones: What is that that you're drinking during the whole show?
ER: This is my girlfriend. She goes by the name of Honey Loquat?
Isis Jones: Call her what?
ER: And I bring her everywhere I go (crowd laughs) and everynight my lips are all over her (the crowd laughs). It helps me with touring, or in the studio when I'm constantly singing. It kind of like a kneepad for your pad. It stays right there-- singers, rappers, I strongly suggest it. I should be sponsored by them.
Isis Jones: You really should.
And here is my interview I did with Roberson:
Ma'at: First off, great as always.
ER: Thanks man.
Ma'at: Glasco always says great stuff about you. I saw you perform last year at the Expo and the first time I talked with you I was at the American, you sent me a CD and everything like that. So, I'm kind of like a closeted fan.
ER: (starts laughing) I feel ya. I appreciate it.
Ma'at: Let's talk about your new CD, 'The Appetizer' and I want to piggyback what you said on stage about being your own boss and how that tie in with the CD.
ER: We are working into a new reocrd and its coming out next year. We are pretty much done with it but its been awhile since we put out a new record and we just had all of these songs and why not put another album out. Thats the beautiful thing about owning your own label (BLUE ERRO SOUL) and bulding up a fan base from a grass roots situation. We decided to put out a record called The Appetizer cause people are hungry for more records, so we are like, you know what, let's give them something. That's a beautiful aspect, you know, I don't have to answer to anybody and to my surprise, the response has been overwheleming, way more than what I thought it would be. I'm just gonna contuinue touring, contuinue to buzz and give back to the fans and prepare what we got coming next year.
Ma'at: With this being 'the Appetizer,' is it kind of like what's going to be on the new album next year, explain the concept?
ER: It's a whole new record. No songs on this record will be on the next album, which I dont have a name for yet, The Entree, or whatever, but not saying that this record is a step down. Its songs that span throughout the years, like there is a song when I was on Warner Bros Records called,"The Moon," that is real hard to find, and there's new songs as well. And you know appetizers can taste just as great like spinach artichokes and chicken fingers. We just wanted to give something to the fans and let them know that , yo, we're doing it. And the next album will be a little different. It won't be a carbon copy of this record. We released this record becasue we feel so strongly about the next record coming out. I feel it will be my best record. I feel that confident about it.
Ma'at: Talk a little about, songwriting, You started off doing that and then you started working with Will Smith and the whole commerciality of that and compromises that is involved with it.
ER:I started out in the biz as an artist first signed with Warner Bros and when that deal didn't work out, it pretty much, when I learned at Howard majoring in musical thater, you learn everything about your craft, everything that surrounds it, so that if you don't work in the actual field you were focusing on, you can at least stay in the biz until you get back to the field that you are focusing on. I got into songwriting becasue I wanted to stay in the biz. I love music. I rather do music whether its on the corporate side or whatever than be somewhere away from music. So when I got into songwriting, I focused on trying to make myself the best songwriter out there, and the constant grind, on both coasts and meeting different people, and it's a blessing and I started really laying work on a lot of people. It got to the point where a lot of times the biz was so messed up that songs weren't getting their just do, or songs werent recorded properly ...
Ma'at: For instance? ER: Man, like, I cant relaly say exactly names, but you know what when it comes down to it, I am a perfectionist and I am quick to tell somebody that the song in my opinion is not up to par. But like a perfect example would be (the song) "Previous Cats," I mean the song was meaningful in my life. It really meant something to me and it wasn't a problem giving it to Musiq (Soulchild) because he is my brother. He can have the song, but it was just the idea of seeing the song and the reaction everybody had about that song and it not really even have a chance to even be a single cause politically it wasnt going to be a single and it wasnt a thing that it was going to make me a lot of money, but it was the aspect that it was a conversation piece that really helped a lot of people.
ER:Anytime I played it for someone, it was either like, "Yeah I do that', or, "My girl needs to hear that" or "I just went through that situation," it wasn't like, "Yo, thats a dope song, wooo.," you know . It was meaningful and if it was a single it would have gave it an outlet to really reach out to a far larger audience and it's amazing we can perform that song and people still celebrate it everywhere we go. You know those kind of frustrations and the more I started writing, the more honest the songs became in my own life, the harder it was to give those songs away. I started more holding on to them. It became like I was opening my journal to the world, my fears, my thoughts, how I was healing, how I fell in love, all in one song. I felt those are the more meaningful songs, and those became the easier ones to write and I started getting spoiled by it, trying to lean more towards it.
Ma'at: What's next up for you?
ER: Next up is to finish mixing the next record that's coming out and really see what the 'Appetizer' can do, cause it's really a word of mouth, we havent really, to be quite honest my whole career over the past five years as being an artist has always been a reactionary thing. We've been on like the defense. We got to St. Louis cause St. Louis asked us to. We go to Russia or London cause we were asked to come. We haven't really taken control and say we wanna go here and set the tone, so I plan to do that now. I've learned alot, made a lot of mistakes, but, I wanna continue and build and put out my own records and then leave outlet for others to put their records. At the end of the day, I am only a guinea pig, in this biz to try and see what works because I didn't want to be like a lot of artsits I've seen over the years that never came out and their talent was never heard cause they waited for someone to put their talent out there. And I was going down that route and I was like, I rather throw all this music out the window for free before no one ever hears it. And luckily, people have embraced it and paid for it and that's how we got to where we are today.
Ma'at:What do think of artists like Ashanti and Ciara who dont really have the vocal talent, but are hyped in the music industry, what is your take on that?
ER: That's a great quetsion, and I'm so happy you answered that question cause the funny thing was when I lived in Atlanta, one of the artists I developed was Ashanti and one of the things I always say is it should be balanced. It should be music for every demograohic in life. There's some records that should only sell 50,000 copies, some records should sell 10 million copies. We should not try and make every single record sell 5 million copies and cut out so much incredible things and the one thing I would tell everyone about Ashanti which is a viable, viable lesson we all can learn from, Ashanti was young and ya-da-ya-da and her deal fell through when we were all in Atlanta , she came back to New York and she didn't go to college, very smart girl, honor roll student, passed up college to pursue her career, and I would still work with her and knew she had a lot to learn, wasn't vocally the best, but the shortest way to tell this story is, I was a Super Bowl party packed in New York and her and her mom wanted a song I wrote and I said come to the Super party and I will give it to you, and when they came and when people saw she was talking to me they said to her, "You sing?" I'm like, naw, naw, naw, leave her alone. She was like, "Yeah, I sing." They were like, "Sing for us." That girl, did a half time show, literally put a CD in the stereo, and performed for the party. I do not know one person who would have put in a CD and have performed for that group of people at that place. And at that moment, I said, "That girl is going to make it," and the difference is, her work ethic. She works harder than any person I know. May not have the talent as much as whatever, but she deserves to have everything she had. If the people that were talented did what she did, we wouldn't have anything to comaplin about in music. But what we do is we sit in our basement and wait for someone to come find us becuase we have the talent and we deserve the success. I can't tell you the number of people I know that got incredible stuff and dont carry it on them and don't use it. While really the Ashantis out there who are hustling and taking the meetings you know, the girl got more money than me and she worked hard. I may not listen to evry single record but I think she's overacheiveing for what her talent really owes. Instead of complaining about that being on, it's viable that all of us need to learn.
(At this moment there is a group of hangerson, waiting to take a picture with Eric, including the American's Bill Beene, and I have my very first makeshift talk show with an audience)
Ma'at: Anything that you want to plug or say before I let you go?
ER: Ericrobersonmusic.com. Check out the forum section. Check out the the albums and the shows out. If you feel something, or see a certain child with a certain interest...the only reason why I'm doing music is because my parents put my sister in music classes and me being the younger brother, I just followed her around. You never know what it might lead to, so it's very interesting. I just say support art any form or fashion.Ma'at: We have an audience now, thank you for coming to my show.(a few giggles come from the small crowd and Eric )
Ma'at: Thanks Eric.
ER: No problem.
In the 5 Spot house were songwriter Osunlade, Track Boyz, James Glasco, Kevin Johnson, Coco Soul (can't wait for your set next Sunday!) , Charles Brown, Melvin Moore (seeing ya everywhere!), Vanita Applebum (It's my house and I live here. LOL), Monica Tyson, Bill Beene (It's gettin laaaaaaaaaaaaate! LOL), Lester, my boy Kam and Christiaan Coffield.
Just a few more short quips before I end this. I hear Busta Rhymes did his thing at the Pageant this past Monday. I heard someone threw a cigarette lighter on stage and hitting Busta with it on the right side of his temple when he and his sidekick Spliff were getting ready to toke on a smoke. I also hear my boy Kam got his party on by himself in the mosh while the show was going on (Must have been high over that message he gave rapper Ebony Eyes earlier, hmmm) . I had to miss this show cause I was bone tired from partying. The only thing I did was record my theatre review of "Luv" at KDHX studios and went to the crib. If anyone went to the show post up and tell me what you thought of it. I caught BET's 25th Silver Anniversary Special last Tuesday. It was pretty good. I enjoyed all the performances (especially LL Cool J , Snoop Dogg with Parliament Funkadelic and the New Edition reunion withBobby Brown). In my next blog I will givemore of an in depth discussion about the special. I'm sure it would have been repeated goo gobs of more times when my next blog comes about.
Oh, yeah, my trip to Cali has been postponed til January.
Well that will be it. Until next time, I hope to have a report on the Best of the StL party at Moolah Lounge, the play I-2195, and anything else that will come up.
Until next time, see ya outside!!!