Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Met a Guy

Yes. I met a guy tonite.

I was at the berry stand at Harris Teeter, looking at the fresh
blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, when a man walked up and asked if the blueberries were really that cheap (they were on sale - 4 pints for $6.00).

I wanted to make a smoothie and we talked about fresh fruit versus frozen.
He noticed the items in my grocery basket and commented on how healthy I was — I had some yogurt, almonds, frozen berries, flaxseed oil, skim milk.

"You workout?" he asked.


We talked about the grocery stores in the area - how there weren't any
good ones.

He held out his hand.

"I'm Ron," he said, with a strong handshake. "I like your hair."

"Thank you," I replied with a big smile. "Nice to meet you."

"What's your name?" he asked.


Okay, if he wasn't 65 I would have given him my real name - and maybe even my number.

Nice guy. wrong age.

Oh, God - you're heading in the right direction. Now can you just please give me someone 30 years younger !!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson: The Greatest of All Time

I needed to write about Michael. His music. His life. His pain. This man's music made such an impact on the world. He was a global phenomenon whose voice touched more than four generations.

He began singing with his brothers at age five. 5.
He was 10 when they signed with Motown records. 10.
He was 11 in 1969 when the Jackson 5 had their first hit.
Forty years later, in 2009, at age 50, Michael Jackson is dead.

As a child, Michael's voice was so pure and soulful. You felt his words.
Has anyone heard Who's Loving You? lately?

My aunt Debra had Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album. On her wall hung a huge poster: Michael with his wide, dazzling smile and big afro, looking quite the handsome fellow.

In The Wiz, he was a perfect scarecrow to Diana Ross's Dorothy as they tried to "easy on down" the yellow brick road.

But it was Thriller that really touched my life. The album came out in 1982, the year my mother died.
It was a sad time. But even in the midst of sorrow, music can lift the spirit, if even for a brief period.
My family would take me, my sister and our friends to the skating rink in Jackson, Miss., and we would skate and dance to Michael Jackson: PYT (Pretty Young Thing). You Wanna Be Startin' Something. Billie Jean. Beat It. And they would show a video of Thriller on a big screen inside the rink. We sat on the floor, mesmerized.

In college, I watched the Remember the Time video with my suite mates (Suite 103) in the honors dorm. We gathered in someone's room, crowded around a small 13 inch, marveling at the intricate dance moves. But my favorite Michael video was Smooth Criminal - the "smooth" lean forward still amazes me.

I think Michael's albums after Thriller were all underrated. When I heard Keep It in the Closet recently, I was like, "wow, this is the jam." (Anyone remember the video with temper-tantrum-throwing Naomi Campbell.)

Two years ago, I was home for Christmas. My stepsister's 15-year-old daughter only wanted one gift that year: Michael Jackson's concert DVD. I think he was in Germany.

"Michael Jackson?" I asked. "Michael Jackson," she said emphatically.
I wondered why a 15-year-old, whose world was ruled by Lil Wayne and Beyonce, was interested in Michael Jackson. However, that Christmas evening, the whole family sat in the den and watched Michael Jackson's concert. It was simply a joy. We sung his songs. Danced. Laughed. And had dessert in between. From the oldest to the youngest, we were all quite taken with Michael.

Last year, I went on an outing with my friend Hilary and her 4-year-old son, Daniel. Hilary mentioned how Daniel loved Michael Jackson. I gave her a puzzled look. "What?" And at the sound of his name, Daniel kept saying, "Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson."
His father had introduced the young lad to Michael's music and little Daniel was an instant fan.
I was like, "Wow, a 4-year-old loves Michael Jackson?" I just couldn't believe it.

If Michael only knew that his music, admired by those of my generation and before me, touched 15-year-olds and 4-year-olds today. He was still making an impact.

Millions love and loved Michael. Yet, he seemed so lonely, isolated on that Neverland Ranch.
It was a double-edged sword.
It was because millions loved him that he couldn't lead a "normal" life.
And he "longed" to be normal.

At his memorial service, watched by millions worldwide, his brother Marlon told of how Michael once dressed in a costume to go into a store (but Marlon recognized him anyway). Michael just wanted to be able to go into a store like everybody else and not be hounded.

But "he couldn't walk across the street without a crowd gathering," Marlon noted.

In a recent interview, Deepak Chopra's son remembered how Michael went to a Halloween Party wearing a mask. He kept the mask on the entire time. As he danced, people stopped. "Who is that?" they wondered. It was one of the few times he was able to dance freely.

I can't imagine the life Michael Jackson lived. During the star-studded memorial service that featured Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Usher and Stevie Wonder, Marlon mentioned how Michael was often "judged" and "ridiculed."

"How much pain can one take?" Marlon asked. "We would never understand what he endured."

Sure, some people thought him weird, a freak, a wacko, a pedophile. For years on end, there will be debates on his abusive childhood at the hands of his controlling father, his plastic surgery, child molestation charges, wives, the prescription drugs and debt.

Michael was a flawed man. But his talent was undeniable.
It seems, from a very early age, Michael knew he had a special gift and wanted to share that gift with the rest of the world. Yet, he still wanted to be thought of as "a person, not a personality."

His whole life was music. Michael lived to be 50 years old - 45 of those 50 years he was a star. He gave of himself, until he could give no more.
In fact, he died still trying to give what he could - his music. That's all he knew.

Others will come along who can sing and dance. But as talk show host Larry King said, "There will never be another Michael Jackson."
There was something otherworldly about Michael that just can't be duplicated.

During Michael's memorial service, Motown founder Berry Gordy said that Michael had accomplished everything he had dreamed of and that he was "simply the Greatest Entertainer that Ever Lived."

And he still lives, as singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson noted during the memorial service. Robinson, who read statements from Nelson Mandela and Diana Ross, wrote the Jackson Five's Who's Loving You?

"He is going to live forever and ever and ever," said Robinson.


For though Michael is physically gone, his music
remains - and is more popular than ever.
(Did anyone see Britain's Got Talent? Little Shaheen Jafargholi sounds remarkably similar to Little Michael)

In his last days, Michael was getting ready for his, "This Is It" show. It was suppose to be his last concert. His final farewell.
Maybe Michael left us because he knew he had nothing else to prove.
From California to Maine, London to Brazil, Africa and Asia, his music united a world — even dancing Filipino prisoners.
It was only in death that we realized his global impact.

I say goal accomplished, task finished.
Job well done Michael. Take a bow.
You can go home now.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Year of Freedom

Yesterday, I met a gentleman from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
He told me he was on his way to Hawaii.
"For how long?" I asked.

"I don't know. I'll just stay there until I feel like coming back," he said.
"I'll see if I can find work or what not."

I loved his free spirit attitude about life.

I would love to just go to an island and stay until I felt like coming
back, I told him.

"Why don't you?," he asked.

I went into a long drawn out monologue about how I had bills and needed my
job, blah, blah, blah, blah.... I couldn't just pick up and leave. I have

Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a responsible, dependable person. I admire those who do what they want, when they want.

I once dated a guy who lost his job at a computer company during the dotcom bust. He took his payout and boarded a cruise to Barbados.
He didn't come back until a year later - a year later.

I can't just pick up and leave.
Or can I?

Right now, I go to work, school, teach jazzercise, and try to volunteer whenever
What exactly is stopping me?
Is my job really stopping me?

Well, first of all, you have to have the financial means to just get up and
go. I'm not a millionaire - far from it in fact.
I work so I can pay my bills.

But what if money was not an option?
Where would I go? What would I do?

I would love to go to a luxury spa for about a month where there is hiking, horseback riding, yoga, healthy meals and great pampering services.
Of course, I would take a few weeks to visit cities in France and Italy.
I would like to go to South Africa, Ghana and Egypt.
Next stop? One of the Caribbean Islands, where I could just write and relax.
I may even audition for a Broadway play when I get back. I could definitely
see myself on Broadway.

That's a good year off.

What do you think?

If money was no object and you could just pick up and go anywhere —
for a month, a few months or even a year — where would you go? What would you do?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Liar !

A couple of months ago, I found out that a guy I recently dated had been married before.

He confessed that he had been married for 5 years about a decade or so ago and it didn't work out.

He said that I had never asked him if he had been married.


First of all, my Dream Mate has the following qualities:
1) college-educated
2) professional job (financially stable)
3) never married
4) no kids
5) (must be honest, spiritual, trustworthy, caring, kind, etc.)

Please note the words "Dream Mate."

Anyway, some of the first questions I ask a guy are:
1) Are you married?
2) Do you have any children?
3) HAVE YOU EVER BEEN MARRIED ? (are you divorced?)

So don't sit up here like I'm stupid and tell me that I never asked you if you had ever been married. I did ask you and you lied. LIAR !! You are insulting my intelligence !

I'm reminded of a song in the movie, Waiting to Exhale called, "It Hurts Like Hell." For though this is not an instance in which a person has been caught cheating, I still feel betrayed.

I don't know.
Why can't I just meet a good, honest person? Why?

Do we have to do background checks on men we meet these days?
I mean, what if you find out a person is not the person you thought they were?
Lots of time wasted and love lost.

What are your thoughts?