Wednesday, June 27, 2007

BET Awards

Well what has become the biggest summer event for Black Entertainment Television year went down last night. First of all, I am a pop culture enthusiast and I think I am in the know on all things celebrity. So I thought I'd give a brief rundown on the happenings last night: the good, the bad and the down right ugly!

First let me say this year's show was 100 times better than last year's presentation. Last year 50% of the winners were not in attendance this year only about 10% of the folks didn't show up. Also those who saw the show last year knew unquestionably that Damon Wayans bombed! I mean bombed. His jokes were off the mark and he had to get drunk in order to finish the show. Personally, the show is better when it is hosted by real comics. Ya'll know the 1st two years were hosted by Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer and they were off the hook. Okay, I digress...on to my highlights.

I was so glad to see Jennifer Holliday and Jennifer Hudson perform I Am Telling You, omygoodness! They tore that song up and they song their individual versions and it was great.

Although I loved Monique telling LL Cool J to remove her shoe, the performance was just okay for me. Kinda like been there done that.

One of the most powerful performances for me was the tribute to Gerald Levert. I have an issue with blocking my feelings when it comes to death and when someone I know dies I never quite grieve I just push it to the back of my mind. Now I didn't know Gerald, but I knew his music and I knew he loved his fans and last night I realized he was dead. I realized he would never grace the Bet stage again to perform or be the butt of Tom Joyner's jokes. And it felt like my heart just broke all of a sudden. I mean I don't know this man for nothing, but I respected his talent and it is gone. So after a 10 minute crying jag, I accepted he was gone.

Anyone who knows me knows I have always loved Diana Ross. I used to imitate her as a child. I remember watching her HBO concert every time it appeared on the channel. I sang all her songs and knew the words -- I can't say that for the folks giving her a tribute. Erykah Badu did Love Hangover but Chaka and Stevie (Love them dearly)seemed to have forgotten the words. Diana's speech and all her children there to support her was wonderful and she is right you can have a career without all the bumping, cussing and grinding.

I enjoyed P Diddy's performance and was glad to see Lil Kim. Say what you want about him, he has the hustle and the album really is good w/all the collaborations. Folks slept on that joint.

I have much respect for TI for apologizing for the altercation with Chaka Zula of DTP and manager of Ludacris. A real man owns up to his mistakes and he did so last night.

Beyonce's performance was on fire and it was great to see Destiny Child all on stage together. When did Solange become part of Destiny Child? I love Kelly's song, but her vocal performance needs some work.

50 cent performed like he was worth 1 cent. I was appalled that they chose Amusement Park as the song for him and my understanding is when the track stopped he was a bit PO so he did the random walking around looking confused. I called my sister immediately and had her cover my nieces ears because the lyrical content was too provocative and really did we need that after such a soul stirring performance from Eddie, Gladys, Patti and Yolanda? Plan better BET.

And my other favorite performance was Public Enemy's tribute to James Brown, now it wasn't as powerful as the one done at the Grammy's with Chris Brown and OMG Christina Aguilar's performance of a Man's World, but it is one of the best tributes. I had to remind my sister that Public Enemy sampled some of James Brown. Did ya'll see Dougie Fresh doing his signature move on stage? I was dancing until I was sweating and I don't sweat my hair for real, even with Sisterlocks!

As you can see I love pop culture and the BET Awards are one of the few awards shows I enjoy watching. So if you missed it, they will rerun it I think on Friday and plenty more times after that. Of course they will cut some stuff, but I hope they keep the good stuff!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What's Your Preference?

I am an avid reader who reads different genres with the passion of pure and unadulterated love. My love of reading encourages me to write, review and support authors. When I started my book club I was determined to support and recognized African-American authors because mainstream media acted like black folks didn't read. Oh we read, but for so long we only had a few folks who looked like us and shared our experiences writing about us. I remember being in high school reading Little Women or Rebecca and loving those books, but the day I discovered one of my favorite genre's with black folk on the cover I abandoned Harlequin - completely.

I am immersed in the literary world because of my book club and my reviewing of novels. And one of the most talked about discussions is the placement of African-American books in mainstream book stores. There are folks who prefer all books segregated by genre not by the color of the author's skin and there are those who don't wish to spend hours in the book store searching for an African-American author's book. There are pros and cons to both positions but here is my story.

One of my favorite books of all times is Waiting in Vain by Colin Channer (my friends know I have a love jones for his writing). I found his book in the front of the book store and was captivated by its cover and when I picked it up I was enthralled with the storyline. So I purchased it and the rest is history. What most readers don't know that in order for Channer's book to be in the placement it was in, his publisher had to pay for that space and in some book stores he would have been put in the African-American section of the bookstore. In either place I would have purchased it. However, if it had been among the hundreds of other fiction titles with only the spine showing, I would have never discover that literary gem. Why? I had never heard of Colin Channer. In fact the African-American section of the bookstores I used to frequent is where I discovered new African-American authors.

Montgomery used to have an African-American bookstore, Roots and Wings and I lived to go there. I would go and take off my shoes and sprawl across the floor with books I may or may not purchased but I was introduced to so many African-American authors. Now the books were a bit costly, but my book club received a discount and we supported them until the very end. I mean we offered to do what ever we could to keep our sanctuary open, but after years of struggling the owners (one was my legal mentor) felt it was time to let the doors close. I miss the many book signings I attended there, I miss the spiritual atmosphere I always felt when I entered its doors and I miss a place of our own.

Now I purchase most of my books online or at conferences. I know for me, if I had to wade through hundreds of books to find one good one in a place that doesn't emote the peacefulness I once took for granted, I know I'll miss out on a literary gem. Yet, I understand authors wanted everyone to read their books and being put in a position where others will read their stories. I often wonder will others think like me a good story is good no matter what? Although, I read 97% African-American literature, if I see a book that catches my appeal I'll purchase it, but my heart wants the stories that represent me wholly.

The literary world is no joke especially on this issue. It is always a hot topic with emotions running rampant. When I enter a mainstream bookstore, which is rare nowadays, and the books all placed together by author's last name I turn the books facing so others can discover the author. I am aware because of my inside knowledge and it is my way of helping the situation, but it is hard.

How do you purchase the books you enjoy?

P.S. I love literary fiction, romance (I like to take my mind off issues with these), contemporary fiction, poetry, thrillers, horror etc.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I have been Tagged...

Oh boy...this is harder than it looks

Here are the rules: You have to choose 7 things to share about yourself. Then choose 7 people to tag. Now don't forget to post a comment on their blog informing the person that he/she has been tagged, so that they can join in on the fun.

1. I am the oldest child of three. I have a younger sister and brother. We were separately after my mother died, I choose to stay with my aunt and uncle and my stepfather came like a thief in the night and took my sister and brother with him to Virginia. I choose to stay with my mother's brother and wife, because I had a choice and I wanted to be a teenager. Prior to that time my mom was always working trying to make ends meet and being the oldest, I had to take care of my siblings. And as selfish as it may sound, I needed to be a child/teenager and with my stepfather it wasn't going to happen. So when folks ask what happened I tell them I choose to be child.

2. I am not married nor do I have children or plan to have children. Maybe marriage one day. I do remember as a child always saying, "I'm not getting married and having children and I am going to be a lawyer." Pretty much stayed to that course except missing one step from practicing law.

3. I have 4 tattoos. Yep, four. Not easily seen, but there nontheless. Still contemplating a 5th one.

4. I have been reviewing books for an online group as well as my book club for 3 years. My name can be found in several acknowledgments and a couple of book blurbs. My book club has been featured in Black Issues Book Review where they did an article about my book club and my sister's book club. We were also in Upscale Magazine with our favorite books as well.

5. I used to be a voracious reader reading over 10 books a month, now due to my care taking responsibilities I am lucky to get 5 or 6 in a month.

6. I really want to be a writer. Even with the 3 degrees including JD behind my name (although not a practicing attorney - need to pass the bar) I really just want to write.

7. I would love to start a side business of wedding planning. I love to organize things and I love being creative.

So there is a little about myself. I could go on and on, but don't want to bore folks...

Thanks RJ Queen and Goodnapps for tagging me:

Now I am tagging the following (Hoping some will update their blogs.):

Lock Venture
Sisterlock Adoration
Aundrea - my Alabama fam

Have fun!


5 Month Anniversary

Saturday, June 16, 2007

5 Month Anniversary and More...

Where Have I Been?

One word Busy! This last month has had me on my toes. So let me catch you up.


I had my last retightening on May 24th and it was 2 daysshort of being 5 weeks in between retightening. And um, that ain’t gonna work. I mean we were finished in 3.5 hours, but it just seems to be a lot of detangling and pulling and such. My hair grows fast and I had a lot of new growth. Needless to say we are staying within the 4 week mark, which means I go on this Thursday. Thank goodness because I love my hair right after retightening and a week or so after but when it is time for it to be done I need it done. Right now I need to wash it will do that tomorrow or Wednesday. Not dreading it as much as I usually do because I am getting the hang of it.

Only issue my consultant had with my hair was the same lint in the back. (I for some reason cannot worry about that because I will eventually color my hair.) I am more careful about that now and even own a lock soc. She also cut out some of the bulbs which she showed me how to do. Again I wasn’t too worried about them but I only see them after a retightening and can take care of them then.

I also figure after this next retightening she will want to have me take the retightening class, but my hair hasn’t even begun to actually lock from what I can tell. Also, I have too much stray hair around the edges of my forehead from wearing braids for so long so I really want to make sure my hair is truly settled and the baby locks are coming along pretty good before the class. Especially, since I know they will not teach you how to start locks.

I still love my hair and because of the growth I am getting more compliments.

Miscellaneous Stuff

I was able to taste the delectable treats from Sweet Expressions, DELICIOUS! I choose the Chocolate Toffee cookies (these were samples) and they were delicious and my book club members enjoyed them as well. I cannot wait until her shop is truly set up.

My book club had a fundraiser on June 9th, which was quite successful and a lot of fun. The purpose of the event is garner funds to put on a literary event in November that will be free to the public. A couple of pictures are on my book club website. Saturday we had our annual slumber party and where we indulged in the cookies from Sweet Expressions and pizza and watched Mahogany and a few old flicks and discussed the book for the month. Good times were had by all.

I have lost 13 pounds. The eating healthy and exercising has been paying off. Unfortunately, I had a minor set back because I pulled a muscle in between my ribs which has made working out on my elliptical machine a no-no. And not to mention the danggone steroids I was on kept me hungry. But I’ll start back slowly this week. Food is going well I just gotta find the veggies I really love so my lunches are delicious.

Life has been a bit busy for me and I am behind on just about everything and since I am not feeling my greatest today, I’ll probably hit the bed early tonight. I just wanted to make sure you had an update from me and see what’s going on with my hair.

I know I have been tagged and I’ll be working on that next.

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Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.