Saturday, April 30, 2011

Everything Means Nothing

I'm not going to lie to you, folks. Although I had heard about the tornadoes ripping through the south, I really wasn't paying very much attention.  Afterall, we've been seeing patterns of natural disasters as of recently and it really isn't very difficult to dismiss something or become immune to a situation when it's not in your own backyard and doesn't feel like it's directly affecting you. After seeing days of royal wedding coverage, I was able to finally digest the hard facts. I felt like Obama touring the areas of devastation. I went online and watched cable news coverage. Then I felt like Bush after Hurricane Katrina because days had gone by and I had done nothing. Where is Kanye to announce to the world that "Chenna doesn't care about southern people"? I've been in my own bubble. I let the news filter through me and now, I am broken hearted as I try to pick up the pieces of what I've missed and figure out how I can catch up. My house, my car, clothes and shoes mean nothing. This I know. And this is not something that I just learned today, I've always been aware that material things are just that... materials. But there are people who have truly lost everything, so it's not a bad idea to revisit the fact. In the Bible, Jesus tells his followers that he will return but not before a few things happen first.  "Nation will rise against nation... there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues..." He says these things must happen so therefore we shouldn't fear them. It's all a part of something greater to come. This can't be something easy to hear when your house has been reduced to rubble and your loved ones are missing and/or dead. I feel thankful for my life and my worldly possessions during this time, but more importantly, I am so grateful for the things that I cannot see or hold: my faith and my God, and the power of prayer, which as a nation we can use to heal the world.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Casey's Cast Away, James is Crowned King?

Last night we said goodbye to Casey Abrams, the bluesy jazz man, the red haired, bearded, bassist who I have to come to know as the finalist unlike anything Idol has ever seen. Yeah, we've heard that line before, along with, "this is the best season ever." It could be said from year to year as the talent evolves and impresses our nation. But Casey truly was identifiably the most unique and musically talented individual I've seen since the show's inception. Not just because he plays the upright bass, not just because he looks different than anyone we've seen, not just because he growls when he feels the music moving through him, and not just because he's far beyond his years, the way he interprets various musical genres. It's because of all of those things actually and even more. I appreciated what Casey brought to the stage each week and even though I breathed a great sigh of relief when Jacob, who was in the bottom three again, was sent to safety, I knew when there was only Scotty and Casey left, that last night would be the night the jazz and R&B died. The voters have spoken and he will be missed by me. Randy, however, although he may have been touched to see a fellow musician leave the show, seemed to have the winner, not the loser, on his mind. Wednesday, after James' performance of a Carole King classic, Randy declared James the winner of the whole thing, and jumped on stage at Ryan's behest to hug him and reiterate his prediction, just in case we didn't hear it the first time. I was never really a fan of the judges making such predictions, there is some chance that it truly could sway the vote. A vote that James doesn't seem to need any more help in gathering. I don't think he's ever been in the bottom and with only five people left, he just might rock and roll his way into the finale. The real question is: who will be there with him?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"The Tamar Show"

I know family love is unconditional but, Tamar would make it hard for me. This weeks show was mostly about Tamar and her rants and raves, her jealousy and self-esteem issues, and her obsession with money and class. Not a good look for the youngest (and loudest) sister in the Braxton bunch. She's stated many times in the last three episodes that she wants a record a deal and is tired of being known as Toni Braxton's sister. She tries her best to bully her record label exec husband either by verbally attacking him or by batting her falsies. Either way, he's standing firm on his answer. He'll give her a contract, but it has to be under his rules and regs and she will not have the control that she mistakenly feels she is ready for. Therefore, Tamar has not signed this contract and remains wealthy, married and miserable. She has a know-it-all mentality and a teenager's temper. It was Toni Braxton's birthday, and the girls were in Miami. They bought their sister a special gift, but Tamar was so engulfed in her own fantasy life, that she went looking for the same pair of sunglasses for herself once they got home. They walked the red carpet at a Dolphins game, and Tamar complained when the announcer only pointed out "Grammy award winning" Toni's name. I have to admit, this one was a little upsetting to watch. Especially the part where Tamar sat at Toni's birthday dinner table and proceeded to read each sister and insult their relationships with their men. "You have a husband who cheats, you have a husband who is a computer nerd and cheats on line, you have one who just wants to live off your name..." Not an exact quote, but pretty much how she said it. I don't know how those women sat there and tolerated this little girl's abrasive comments and opinions. I guess it leads us back to that unconditional love theory. Or maybe there is some sympathy mixed in as well. Toni called her "New money" a couple different times as Tamar made fun of her for still shopping at Target and Walmart. At the rate Tamar is going, she better hope her husband continues to appreciate her for being a "pretty wife" because she could end up ringing her sister up at the register the next time she shops there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Going Royally Mad

HRH Prince William is marrying his girlfriend of almost 10 years, commoner Kate Middleton on Friday and I can't wait. I can't wait for it to be over, that is. The local news media has been camped out in front of Westminister Abbey, the royal palace and even poor Kate's (not so poor looking) house for months now. And now that the date is inching even closer, there have even been counters at the bottom of the TV screen, letting us know how many weeks, days and hours are left before the Prince makes his girl a future queen. Breaking news: I. Don't. Care. I really don't. And I keep trying to figure out if I am somehow being internationally ignorant. I've racked my brain wondering if I'm supposed to care and if it makes me less of an intellectual or more of a brut that I don't. I cared about Princess Diana as I came to see and recognize her in the media and grew to learn of her charitable efforts and admirable charm. I was very young when she married Prince Charles but I remember the night that she was killed in that horrific car chase with the paparazzi. I'll never forget the images of her car, mangled and still, even then, lit up to the sound of flashing lights and camera clicks. Seeing those images replayed again today to somehow tie in the wedding with the death of perhaps William's most important influence is sickening and not an hommage to me at all. I'm offended seeing my favorite morning news show amchors sitting high in makeshift news studios in front of a church where no one will even be until Friday, interviewing anyone and everyone and scrambling to find the kitschiest keychains, fighting to be the first to announce the designer of a wedding dress we just might forget. And I keep asking myself, why do we care? I understand that it is a big deal for the prince to get married. His choice for a bride will be the future Queen of England. But it just doesn't feel like a big deal to me. Maybe because I live in America, and we have our political nonsense to deal with. It's like, holla at me when they actually become king and queen. I shall practice my curtsey...

Hip Hop Out of the Box

Last week's episode left us wanting more as Chrissy (and the rest of us) awaited Jim Jones' answer to the age old question, "Will you marry me?" He looks down on her, as she sits, tears streaming over her painted face and, as he stares lovingly into her dramatically lashed eyes he says... "You sure you wanna do that?" BUZZER! Wrong answer, Jim! Let's try this again. She answers by stating, "I can't see my self with anyone but you." How romantic. Jim, in his powerful pink polo, smiles shyly (or painfully, I can't tell which) and says, "I'm with you." BUZZER AGAIN! I guess that's as hard as it's gonna come. There was no yes or no, just an acknowledgment of what Chrissy must already know. Jim loves her and he has her back. But will he marry her? The next scenes are of Jim showing off his ring to the camera and his friends and family and I can't help but to think that there's something wrong with the picture. Cut to Chrissy's confessional and she tries to explain away her proposal. She claims that it's just a fantasy that us girls grow up with, the man down on one knee, confessing their eternal love and proving it with a diamond and a kiss. She says she's not waiting around for a fantasy and while the rest of us daydream, she's going to go out and get what she wants. I'm not buying it Chris. Some may see a woman proposing to a man as a modern move, an act of love that transcends all gender. I see it as an act of desperation. If there is one tiny drop of old fashioned values and tradition left in this world, can it at least be that? I'm not saying Chrissy is a desperate woman, but she most certainly felt pressured during this time and we all know what desperate times call for. So they are engaged, but not planning a marriage any time soon, and contrary to my opinion, which matters not to their situation, I do wish them all the best.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Return to the Hard Rock

*Lets return to the HARD ROCK hotel for pheleshia's weekly dose of hooking up, drinking and mayhem.*

 This episode finds a new roommate raising the feathers of the girls in the "foul coop"! Heather Cooke joins the MTV RW gang as the havoc that led to Adams departure settles. Heather, who goes by her last name "Cooke", is the daughter of a U.S. Naval officer and a native Filipino mother. She is an avid and passionate soccer player who has won numerous awards for the sport. This, in my opinion, is one of the catalysts for also pulling her closer to the males in the house. Prior to moving into the HARD ROCK home, she lived and worked in Washington, D.C.  As she joins the other roommates we observe the warm welcome from the gentlemen while some of the females decide to not be so gentle. The decision to not be so welcoming is not held by all as Heather decides to give Cooke a chance and not follow in the footsteps of Nany and Naomi. As they spend some time trying to figure Cooke out, Cooke engages her own battle with the girls and stands her ground. She shows us that she can stand her own and is not afraid to speak up and out for how she thinks and feels! Cooke is definitely underestimated and her personality is stronger than imagined. She even starts some drama when she begins on a mission to break up Heather and Dustin as a result of her own attraction to Dustin. As she continues to stir up the emotions of the female roommates the men take time to get to know her and show her some support... to the dismay of the females! The actions of the male roommates later on cause an argument that has many triggers! These triggers include Naomi being upset about Cooke’s interaction with Leroy, to there also being retaliation from Nany due to the fact that she is upset that Cooke has taken Adam’s spot in the house. The men have identified these factors, while the women use the fact that Cooke has made statements of breaking up Dustin and Heather, as the real reason for these arguments. I completely agree with the men, this is all about their own feelings! Overall, this episode wouldn’t have had any substance to it if it wasn’t for the arrival of Cooke! She brought the fire to the episode and I believe will continue to do so in weeks to come. The girls in the house need to stop being so childish and allow for the true reasons for their dislike of Cooke to surface. As we saw in this episode they were only able to confront her as “liquid courage” reared its ugly head again. In the weeks to come I wonder if they will continue to feel this way about her and actually do something about it! What I feel is going to be interesting is Cooke’s reaction to the new drama that is going to engulf the show as Dustin’s escapades previous to joining the show, which are viral, are brought to light. Also, the intimate relationship between Heather and Dustin becomes compromised as a result of this. The upcoming episodes seem to be filled with the typical story lines of possible pregnancy, fist fights and nights of dancing and alcohol. However, the discussion of Dustin’s actions is what is going to hold my attention for the weeks to come.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

End of the Road for Stefano

The bottom 3 this week consisted of Haley, the bluesy babe, one of only two girls left in the competition, Jacob, the resident gospel great and Stefano, the wild card and R&B romantic who has been winning Jennifer Lopez's heart since his first audition. JLo, however, kept her fingers crossed for Haley, stating she didn't want to see another girl go home. She got her wish, Haley was the first contestant sent back to the safety of the couches, leaving Stefano and Jacob to suffer through a Katy Perry performance and God knows how many commercials. Finally, Jacob was safe, but I'm thinking it wasn't by very much. This was his second time in the bottom in as many weeks and he seems to be losing himself and his voters as the competition slugs on. Jacob used to wow the crowd with his energetic and soulful singing. His vibrato is one you either hate the sound of or turn the TV up for and his wild high notes used to leave the judges on their feet and literally asking for more. But the last couple of weeks I have noticed, and apparently so has Randy, that Jacob has been holding back. Maybe someone whispered in his ear that he was going too far, or that he would lose America's vote by being too gospel. Randy asked him last week to bring more of himself to his performance and this week begged him to not hold back. So it's not just me, Jacob is definitely scared to take America to church, the thing that got him this far in the first place. Next week, if he could read this, I would advise to put on his Sunday's best and do exactly what we know he is capable of. But back to Stefano. The kid had a lot of heart and you could see that he was trying each time he stepped on that stage. He was losing votes and remained in the bottom for awhile which is usually not a good sign on this show. We knew his time was coming fast and once the outrage of several girls going home week after week took over the Idol buzz online and in the media, after Paul, Stefano was the most likely choice to go home. The other boys, as popular as they may be, should definitely watch their backs and never feel safe. Girl Power does indeed exist and Haley and Lauren are holding on strong. See you next week.

Bombs Away

*pheleshia updates us on citizens who find explosives and take the matter into their own hands -- literally!*

 I first want to say to the readers that I apologize for talking so long to get back to you in regards to the topic of the grenade being found by a couple in Connecticut. Just as a recap, a couple in Old Saybrook, CT found the grenade and brought it to the police station in an attempt to provide safety to others. Report by Sgt. Kevin Roche of the Old Saybrook Police Department indicates that "A couple was cleaning out a deceased relative's house, and they came across what they believed to be a hand grenade. They wrapped it up, put it in their car, and brought it here to the police station for the police to dispose of," (information provided by wtnh, channel 8). Thoughtful on their part, but definitely an unnecessary act! Unfortunately, this report does not inform us of why the couple did not simply call the police. However, as I researched further I was able to uncover other interesting facts. First of all this couple is not the first to engage in this act of thoughtfulness. Secondly, this happens in other parts of the country more frequently than we may think and third, (a fact which I was aware of) the police are not equipped to handle explosives…… the BOMB SQUAD is the division that needs to be called in for these types of situations. In past years there have been many other individuals that have felt as though they should bring explosives to police stations, instead of calling 911. There was a recent incident on February 28, 2011 where someone brought an explosive to the San Marcos station in San Diego, California and another on December 11, 2008 where someone walked into the police station in Riverside, California and placed a grenade on the counter (again in California… I noticing a trend here?) The police in both situations reported that individuals were not charged and were just being good citizens. Do you agree? How can we begin to let people know that this is a serious matter (something that they should already know)? The police have even had to remind people that if they encounter any form of explosives they are to leave them where they were found and call 911. This is something that I DO NOT have to be reminded of at any point in time! I have and always will make sure that the police are utilized and earn their daily paycheck. At the end of the day we need to remember to use our common sense in situations. My mother would argue with me about this statement because she has always told me that in life “common sense is not so common for others.” However, if we do not begin to use this sense we could end up putting ourselves and other in serious danger. So I leave you with this thought…..if we continue to ignore the factor of danger how protective are we being of ourselves and others?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Twisted Sister

Welcome back to the House of Braxton: Toni, Trina, Tamar, Towanda, Traci and matriarch, Evelyn. These six women are back and down for round two of their new reality series, Braxton Family Values, on We TV. I feel like I'm missing a character, perhaps one of the most prominent and watched for character of them all... the Braxton Family wig collection. I swear, their hair accessories steal the scene in every segment as far as I'm concerned. At one point, I even saw a stocking cap peeking out from under one of their many suffocating head pieces. But lets talk about the episode as it was. We saw last week that Trina likes to get her drink on and this week she confesses to her sisters that she was pulled over and arrested for a DUI! This prompts the Braxton clan to become very worried and they all take turns diagnosing Trina with depression among other mental incapacities. There are two sub-plots, one that centers around The Taste of Atlanta, an annual cooking fest held in the city that the girls are all geared up and ready to throw down for (minus their mother's dreaded blackberry dumplings) and then there's Towanda's faulty marriage. Last week we found out Towanda and her husband have an open relationship and sleep in separate beds, this week we find Towanda airing her husband out for being an author who can't seem to sell a book. He appears to be complacent and willing to live off the Braxton name, a stay at home dad who takes care of the kids and watches lazily as his wife picks up the tab every time. But back to Trina. She is forced by her sisters into telling her mother about her run in with the law. She whines about how the police made her take off her wig and wig cap while she was getting booked. Evelyn's reaction is priceless, "Good Lord, you gotta mug shot!" The girl's make a trip to see Trina's husband, trying to get to the bottom of their sister's woes, they then decide it's time to call in the family therapist and host an intervention of sorts for her, as they feel she really may be suffering. This episode was packed with a lot of emotional weight. Maybe too much, even for an hour long show. While bickering between sisters may be normal, there is definitely some deep seeded historical problems between some or all of the Braxton bunch. If the point of the show is to follow Toni Braxton's claim to a comeback, that's one thing, but the family dynamic, although it may be as sweet as mama's blackberry dumplings, seems to be just as sticky and hard to digest.

Mama Mafia!

*pheleshia will be reviewing this new reality series each week, feel free to join her by posting comments below!*

The music to the season opener of Mob Wives begins to creep through my television speakers and I anxiously wait to find out the true focus of the series.  Who are the main players? How did they end up on the show? Most importantly how did the mob agree to this? History has shown us that the mob doesn't tell secrets much less admit that such a thing as the "Mob" even exists. In this episode we are introduced to Karen, the daughter of famed snitch "Sammy the Bull" Gravano. Renee, daughter of Anthony "The Little Guy" Graziano, advisor to a crime family. (It turns out her sister is the creator of the show and their incarcerated father has stopped speaking to both of them.) Then you have Carla and Drita, both married to New York convicts who are currently serving time for their various crimes. They all have a significant tie to the mob in one way or another. Immediately these ladies roles are outlined and the drama ensues. Karen's return back to the "Island" from her comfy home in Arizona and Renee's animosity towards her sets the stage for the season premier.  Now I have to say that I do not blame Renee for her feelings because she knows nothing else other than the oath of protecting family. Don't we all? One may say not to this level, but then I ask to what extent would you go?  On the other hand, I understand the point of view from both Drita and Carla who are willing to give Karen a chance. I applaud them for going against the grain and taking more time to process the situation. Not many of us would do this. Instead we just go with the majority. I personally feel as though the majority is not the rule! The drama seems to make for reminiscent scenes in many of the reality shows on T.V.  However, as the cameras roll I realize that these ladies are dealing with something that the other shows rarely capture... the real world!  I can't remember the last time a reality show reflected on the TRUE aftermath of someones actions.  There is no staged house without TV, cell phones, and children with only "liquid courage" to bring an issue to the point where physical altercations ensue. It's quite the contrary. These ladies share with us how the serious crimes of their family members, husbands and fathers, continue to affect the lives of all loved ones even years after the crimes have been committed. The brief intro to where the ladies come from gave me a chance to speculate on the premise of the show and where the focus may be throughout the season.  As we watched the closing segment we were able to quickly view portions of this seasons episodes; which included arguments, crying, strangulation (yes I said strangulation) and even laughing.  While the credits roll to close out the show, I think of the episodes to come and the fact that even though the secrets of the mob may not be the main direction, showing the impact that the mob way of life has had on these ladies will be the an ongoing overarching topic.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Out of Africa -- the Battle Over Barack's Birth

I never thought we'd get this far into this presidency and this deep into our nation's woes and still be asking the question: where was Barack Obama born? There are people who long to discover the truth as they would like it to be. They bring their tricky translators to Kenya to interview the African family of our president. They twist the words of his paternal grandmother and announce that she admits she was present at Obama's birth -- in Kenya, not Hawi'i. (We later learn that there may have been a miscommunication and it is said that this same grandmother insists she was misquoted and that her grandson, our president, was indeed born in the good old United States.) Fast forward to Donald Trump, this nation's most famous CEO and now maybe a strong contender for the Republican nomination to this nation's highest office. The cynic in me can only hope that Trump will actually run for president. While he makes a mockery of our election process and himself, President Obama can sail right into a second term and continue his work and dedication to getting this country "back on track". The idea that our government, on either side, would not only allow for a black man to run the country, but just happen to let it slide that he wasn't even born here, is a ridiculous notion and impossible to imagine. Obama was put into the position by his political predecessors to be our leader long before any of us even knew who he was. These people have people who know people. Hiding the birth location of one candidate would be as impossible as hiding another candidate's teenaged daughter's pregnancy. We're going to find out about it sooner or later. Trump has given interviews to every morning talk show, every cable news channel, and he almost always lets this "birther " issue dominate his entire campaign strategy. He stands firm on it and dangles a thread of mystery in front of America's face, stating he is working on uncovering his truth and that we will hear about it when the time comes. Although he does sometimes touch on other pertinent matters, it baffles me that Trump will not spend more time discussing real world problems along with his ideas for the country and its future. If this is all the Republicans have to offer, Trump, an extreme right wing tea party and Sarah Palin -- yikes-- then we can almost guarantee that the Obama's will be in the White House for another four years in 2012.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Loving Love & Hip Hop

Today we see a sobbing, emotional, and unsure Chrissy. She's the girlfriend of rapper Jim Jones, who has been honest in stating that she's been with "Jimmy" for six years but has no ring and no babies to show for it. Chrissy has been a source of toughness, the strong black woman type who says what she wants and tells it like she feels. But Chrissy wants to get married and the thought of spending her life with the man she loves and says is "worth it" softens her up this week and shows us she is vulnerable and just as submissive to love as the rest of us. She actually goes to the family jeweler, designs a ring, and buys it with plans to get down on one knee. She intends to propose to Jim herself as she feels that if she doesn't do it, it will never happen or it might just take too long and she's ready now. Welcome to the new millennium... tradition is dead. We will find out Jim's answer on next week's episode. Olivia, the defunct G-Unit songstress, is preparing for her showcase and listening party. She will be singing songs to an audience littered with record label big wigs. She knows that this may be her last chance to be taken seriously as a solo artist and disrobe herself of the labels from her past that she longs to transcend. We don't see Somoya Reece this week and just get a slight glimpse of Emily, who shows up to Olivia's show to confront her once again about last week's altercation between all four cast mates. Talk about the wrong place and the wrong time, Em! Olivia walks away to focus on her big night and the show ends with a cliffhanger... Chrissy on her knee, ring in hand and Jim Jone's looking a million and one different emotions.

Gary Gets the Axe (finally)

Gary Busey was fired on this week's Celebrity Apprentice. Some would say it was long overdue, but it was apparent Donald Trump believed in him and was in some kind of warped awe of what he kept referring to as Gary's "genius". So he remained until last nights cooking show challenge. Gary's uncontrollable ramblings and annoying unprofessionalism sent him packing when the men lost to the women. The teams had to market a line of meats and food products (brought to you by Omaha Steaks). They produced a cooking show type of infomercial where they had to prepare meals and sell the small studio audience on the product. The women got along for the most part. Star was in position as usual (behind a computer spouting instructions and over talking the real Project Manager, Hope). NeNe was sassy and cold, and then later wonders why she has a reputation of being just that -- sassy and cold. She did seem to be working hard on her cooking segment. The team of women all complained that Latoya talked like a little girl, but she is a Jackson and her whole family talks like that.  Although, the business executives didn't like that the women continued to chant "Omaha", when the name of the company is actually Omaha Steaks, they liked the women's energy and ultimately gave them the win. The men were a bumbling mess, although I must admit, Meatloaf was cooking his rump off and performed well while fighting back his urges to grill Gary Busey right there in front of the execs. I agree with most, it was Gary's time to go but, I can't let Lil John and John Rich off the hook. They basically threw the challenge, barely lifting a finger, walking around aimlessly as their Project Manager went down in flames. They knew that if they lost, their chances of getting rid of Gary would be very high so they definitely lacked in the areas of support and determination. That was shamefully unforgivable. No matter what, you should at least try to win.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This Ain't the Jersey Shore

*pheleshia intends to get to the bottom of this CT news story, so look out for what she finds out next*

REALLY....REALLY??? As I begin to write this blog I think to myself... did I really just hear that? Was that really just a news story? Recapping this story I have to say that this is a serious matter due to the fact that someone could have been badly hurt. However, I have to ask how many of you would know what to do if you found a grenade? And no, you are not on the Jersey Shore!  If you responded, drive it to the police station, then you have failed and would need to rethink your answer and the dangers of making this your final answer.  The news informed us last night that this is just what someone did after finding such a dangerous item near their home. As the shock and disbelief begins to wear off I ask myself: what made someone decide to do this?  What happened to 911? Was there a holiday for dispatch which left the phone lines unmanned for the day?  I definitely don't have the answers in this situation but I wish I did!  Curiosity continues to manifest as I blog more about this story. I mean, don't you want to know what the police said to them as they described the nature of their visit to the station? For myself and those that ask the same questions, I am going to do some more research! So stay tuned fellow blog readers... hopefully I will get some more information to let us know what was ticking in the mind of this person as the grenade was being turned over to the authorities. As for the individual that completed this act of bravery.....I am glad that you are safe!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sister, Sister

I don't really know what it's like to grow up with sisters. Especially 5 sisters who all sing. are close in age, and have very strong personalities. This is true for R&B singer Toni Braxton and her sisters Trina, Tamar, Traci and Towanda. (Did I get them all?) The first episode of their new show "Braxton Family Values" just aired this week and it seems as though these 5 women are going to give us just what we're looking for in a reality TV series. Whether you're a familiar fan or a curious observer, Toni Braxton and her family are going to serve you all the drama of the Housewives franchise and no moment for a cat fight or tearful tirade will be spared. The wigtastic debut begins with Toni getting ready to perform her first show in over 6 months. She invites her sisters who used to sing back up for her at one time or another to rejoin her on stage. One sister, Tamar, is annoyed at the thought of being a "doo wop singer" as her dreams are much bigger and she longs to be a solo artist herself. While another, Traci, is jealous and hurt that she wasn't asked to perform at all, Towanda must keep her head on straight as Toni's personal assistant. Trina, also a background singer, appears to like the life, and doesn't mind a good glass of wine, or a martini (or a Valium??) to accompany her on this wild ride. In the episodes to come, the sisters will fight, hug, cut deep, love hard and raise children, all while supporting their biggest star, Toni, their mother Evelyn watching over her brood proudly. I look forward to keeping up with these talented siblings.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Video Game Vixen - MJ the Experience

Michael Jackson The Experience came out this Tuesday for the XBox 360 Kinect and I knew this was a game that I had to have, I had to master, I had to "experience" right away. I got it today and as the familiar songs and addictive beats began to play during the intro, that bittersweet feeling of admiration and grief immediately came over me. It reminded me of when I went to see "This Is It" in the theaters on the night of its release. The entire audience was a concert crowd, the movie screen brought a dead man back to life and we sang and cried and celebrated. It was that night that I realized how much I am in awe of this man. There are barely words to describe Michael Jackson. Legal troubles, financial woes, skeletons in his shimmering closet -- they all can haunt his name until eternity. Michael will, ultimately, live on and live strong through his artistry and music. Right now, in this moment, to me... that's all that matters. Now the video game is a little tricky (for me at least), especially if you're used to Dance Central. I had to pull out the instructional booklet and study a few things. After that though, I was in practice mode and learning the moves of a mysterious magician and crooning along to the songs that the whole world can sing. The absolute best part of this game was when Michael appeared at the beginning of the first song I picked to dance to. He was in a glittering glow, statuesque, bedazzled in one of his signature poses. It was at that moment that I felt his undeniable presence in my under-sized living room. I thrust my hips forward, and told the world to "Beat It".

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bye Bye Idol

Tonight we say goodbye to Paul, the bearded, lanky, scratchy voiced idol contestant. (I was wondering how much longer he was going to be on the show.) There will be no tween girl tears from me tonight over those results, matter of fact, I wouldn't shed a tear for any of them, as they all will be on tour this summer and if they're smart enough, they'll find a way to profit off of this opportunity when it all simmers down and they return to their regular lives and mansion-free hometowns. I'm just glad Jacob was safe. Jacob and Haley. I don't think Hayley understands how talented she really is. The scat/jazz duet she did with Casey was just a glimpse at her potential. I hope someone worthy and with good intentions snatches her up when this is all said and done. No one should be surprised that James and Scotty were safe. That rock and country vote is stronger than Ryan's desire to be taller than Rhianna. As for Stefano, he's been in the bottom a lot and needs to figure out who is fan base is so he can cater to them and hopefully get them to pick up the phone. I hope Jacob isn't afraid to let loose next week and take us all back to church with him. I really feel he's been holding back because he thinks America won't "get it". Just loosen up, but tighten those vocals, Jacob. Yes, even I sometimes think that you can be "pitchy". Until next week...

Heavy Headline

This is in regards to the case of the New York mother who drove into the Hudson River killing herself and 3 out of her 4 children.What convinces a mother that death is the only remedy when her heart and/or mind is ill with worry, heartache, or stress? Reports claim Armstrong argued with the father of her children just before this happened. He allegedly had been cheating and she supposedly made a statement that if she were to die, she was taking her children with her. Is Lashanda Armstrong a selfish woman? A mentally unstable person who could have been diagnosed and treated? A doting mother who wanted to save her children from the evils in this world? The black and white of it all is that this woman chose to die, but her babies did not deserve to drown in that river where the waters are cold and unrelenting. It's possible this could be a case of "You cheated on me and I can't handle it, but if you think I'm gonna die and leave you and your new mistress to raise MY kids, you've got another thing coming!" Kill the kids to hurt the parent, it's a common theme in many recent headlines. But I turn my attention to La'Shaun, 10 years old, he fought back against his mother's plot and said, "No, I will not die with you." He escaped the rolling coffin and was rescued as he shivered on the shore. My prayers are with this whole family, but especially this young man, this brave boy, who chose life when his mother, his God given protector, illicitly resolved to take it from him.

Real World in Rewind

*this will be a recurring series, written by Pheleshia every Thursday, so stay tuned!*

Tonight we saw the Real World get really expensive.  Snack in hand, I sat back appalled as Adam once again demolished the HARD ROCK but won over another chance from his roommates to remain in the house, minus one -- Leroy!! Leroy, who if you ask me, was the only roommate with two feet in reality! Adam does have an issue and he should be "let go", as one would from a job in the real "real world".  WTH is wrong with MTV? Would they let one of their employees get away with this? I guess so... as Adam is one of their employees! I know, I know, they say all these things make for good TV... but for how long? Why have we gone from the RW days of Kevin and Heather B to the days of names of people we may forget 5 seconds after the reunion ends?? So all in all, what was learned from tonights episode? Adam having to leave may have seemed harsh but the HARD ROCK made a decision while MTV sat around like parents who don't know what to say to their out of control children.  Next week we will see what happens when the new roommate shows up and we go from the " Real World" to the "Bad Girls Club".

For you, a glass of Pinot Grigio

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