Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You Gotta Do It

Every year the book club that I'm a member of attempts to go on a weekend retreat somewhere in driving distance from LA. This year we went to Palm Springs. Actually we go to Palm Springs a lot for our retreats. The reason is that there are plenty of houses there available to rent for any given period of time. We took our retreat last weekend for a much needed getaway from Los Angeles and thoughts of all that we left behind.

Renting houses actually is much nicer than staying in a hotel if you take a trip with several friends or family members. We always rent a house that includes a pool and jacuzzi. I was able to catch up on some reading, swim as if I didn't have a care in the world and luxuriate in the great jacuzzi.

Since I got to the house 1st I was able to pick my room. I picked the Master Bedroom that included our course it's own bathroom and a room that was so big it also had it's own living room with sofa, chair and coffee table. A sliding glass door to this room took me to the master's pvt patio.

We all enjoyed our stay in Palm Springs as we ventured into the city's downtown area only 2 miles away to eat, and shop. Palm Springs is full of retirees and many white gay men. Not our flavor but that wasn't the purpose of our trip anyway. The people in this city are very relaxed and very friendly. Probably because most are retired or just have enough money that they don't have to have an attitude about anything.

If your in Los Angeles or close by you should try a trip to Palm Springs. If your in any city that has a resort like town close by check out renting a house. You won't regret it and at the same time you'll get to spend quality time with people you care about.

Below are pictures of the pool and bedroom suite where I spent most of my time last weekend.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Unforgettable Divas

In my last post I forgot to mention two other Divas that were at the show. Please forgive me all of you that are fans of theirs. Getting old causes you to forget and overlook things that are staring you right in the face.

Speaking of staring you right in the face. Performer, singer and actress Sherri Lewis , one of the Divas that I forgot to mention tells her story of a new love at the age of 33yo, that one might think would have been lost due to her newly discovered HIV+ status. Her story pulled at your heartstrings. The anticipated still waters of a new relationship happily endured the information of the disease once thought of as a death sentence. The love of Sherri's now husband is ever flowing. Sherri was quite the Diva in a Pink dress and boa. After hearing her story and listening to her sing the only word that comes to mind is inspirational! Read this story on Sherri located on The Body webpage. Here's an interview with Sherri on youtube. It's important that we hear the stories of women with HIV as we don't hear these stories enough.

Thank you Sherri for pulling the coat tail of this aging man!

The other Diva that I forgot to mention was Kym Whitley. I don't know how I forgot her because she was hillarious as you can well imagine. On top of that she looks really good! Normally, Sheryl Lee Ralph has one of my favorites Jennifer Lewis for comic releif at the show but this year as I said in my last post Jennifer could not be in attendance. Kym was a welcome addition and I hope she comes back again and again. Kym opened the show and as she was talking Norwood comes walking down the aisle making his grand entrance. Now everyone knows that you shouldn't come in late to a show if a comedian is going to be in the show, becasue they will call you out in some way. And that she did. "...Only Norwood could wear a cheatah suit and afro". All eyes on Norwood and the laughter ensued.

Norwood Young in cheatah. I don't think they like him on

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Divas Simply Singing

I went to the Diva's Simply Singing fundraiser last night. It's billed as, A magical evening of song and entertainment benefiting Women Alive coalition and Sister Circle: South Africa. This event has been presented by Sheryl Lee Ralph for 18 years addressing issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. It's an event that should be held all around the country so those of you in other cities could enjoy what I did last night.

I think what Sheryl Lee Ralph does is amazing and she is a Diva. There's no taking that away from her. It's wonderful all the work that she does in the fight against HIV/AIDS and she deserves a Lifetime Achievement award in my opinion. She didn't sing herself last night because she had a touch of laryngitis so that was missed out on this year. Jennifer Lewis who is usually at these show was in Europe this year. She did however, do a comical monologue for the audience. She said she'll be back in time for November 4th. You do know what that is right!?

These are once in a lifetime lineups. You'd probably never see this group of ladies and an occasional man on the same stage again.

Here's who was sang at last nights performance.

Patti Austin - What can you say about Patti's voice. Simply angelic. Although she did cuss a couple of times before she started singing. I loved was funny and made her feel like a real person to me. It felt like you were sitting around the house talking to an aunt and you heard her cuss for the 1st time. LOL

Coko - She gave just what one would expect.

Sarah Dash - I had to go to the bathroom so I missed her performance. It was a long as show and I had had two Jack's on the rocks. Damn Damn Damn

Loretta Devine - She did her thing. Nothing bad to say and extrordianary. You know how Loretta does. She's a Dreamgirl original and she performed.

Ellia English - She played Jamie Foxx's aunt on the Jamie Foxx show. I really enjoyed her she sang one of those blusey I don't want a one minute man gut bucket songs. She sang it right after Coko did a gospel number and explained that she knows who she is so there's nothing wrong with her singing this song after her. And you know what...there wasn't anything wrong with it. Totally loved it.

Sieda Garrett - You know the audience really didn't give Sieda the love that she deserved. I'm not sure why because she sounded really really good. Maybe they just weren't familiar with who she is and what she's done. She sang The Man in the Mirror made famous by Michael Jackson. Maybe the audience didn't know that she wrote that song! To me she sang the hell out of it too!

Miki Howard - I was a little disappointed. I think she was off last night.

Rachelle Ferrell - Rachelle was the surprise songstress that wasn't in all the advertisement. What a wonderful surprise. When she walked on to the stage the audience gave her a standing ovation before she opened her mouth. Once she sat at the piano she said I was prepared to come out here sing but after that now I gotta sang! And SANG she did! I have no words to describe the experience of this beautiful instrument.

Rosyln Kind - A Jazz singer. I hadn't heard of her before and she was ok. I think she had picked a wider known song to sing she would have been more enjoyed. She in a moving airing Oct 18th on the Hallmark channel, with Florence Henderson, Donna Mills and Pam Grier in "Ladies of the House."

Lalah Hathaway - What can I say about this little woman that comes on the stage in a black gown barefoot. I know...I forgot all about her not having on shoes when she started I say..Sing dammit!

Raven-Symoné - She was funny as yall know. Lil mama (I mean a lil big mama) danced her ass off pulling down her skirt the whole time. She half jokingly called for security while this white lesbian professed her love to her while she was on stage speaking with Sheryl. So if you thought that only black people act up at shows you're wrong!!

Alicia Myers - Disco Diva returned. The audience didn't give her much love either but she did look good and sang well also. She sang I Want To Thank You. Some of you youngins might not know her. But you others will remember sweating to her music.

Leigh Jones - Some of yall might not know about Leigh. If not check her out you'll be surprised just like most of the people in the audience were. Un huh yeah they were. Click on her name for a link to a youtube video of hers. Her latest CD is nice too.

Angie Stone - Angie, Angie, Angie...lawd I don't know why you put that dress on baby girl. You can sing you don't have to try to be creative by getting someone to put what appeared to be strips from a potato bag all over the front of a lime green dress. It was not cute at all. Oh no you got worst dressed last night. Even the pseudo drag queen that was in the audience with his grandmother's church hat on, that many of the performers took notice of, looked better dressed than you. I think you could have picked a better song too. Now I don't even remember what it was. I'm not sure anyone else does either, especially since you made everybody stand up and sway and the song never did anything to sway about. Angie, Angie, Angie.

Trin-I-Tee 5:7 - These are gospel girls if yall didn't know. They did a good job but it was at times with the choreography difficult to tell that this was a gospel song. But yall sang nonetheless. Click the link you'll see what I mean although the video doesn't show their moves like we witnessed last night. Maybe it's because they're so attractive or something I don't know judge for yourself.

Now for the Devo's that were on stage.

Kenny Lattimore - He opened the show and did a little slow dance with Sheryl. Yeah Sheryl some of us wanted to be you in that situation. Hee hee.

Von Smith - He'd remind you of a young Sam Harris from...oh shoot I can't remember the name of the show. You know the one I'm talking about that was on before American Idol became the famous show featuring singers who wanted to break into the business..shoot somebody help me. Anyway, I understand he 1st got his big recognition by posting himself singing And I'm Telling you on youtube. Ok, I found the name of the show...Star Search! Thank you Fullundie! Click on Von's name to see the youtube spot.
Donald Lawrence - Grammy award-winning songwriter, producer, arranger and music director ended the show with most of the ladies and a gospel choir on stage. What's the term for an orgasm that is not as big as you thought it would be. Oh yeah Anti-climatic. Nuff said.
Oh my stars! I almost forgot the star of the show!!
Patti LaBelle - Ok now don't tell anybody this but I've never been that big of a fan of Patti's but I do give her much deserved respect. With that being said, she did sing and perform her ass off. I thoroughly enjoyed her stage presence and an I don't know what that came across on stage. Maybe it was her genuineness. I don't know but she was excellent.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm Free

Sometimes it takes a minute to get yourself back together. I've been making posts but not really saying exactly what was on my mind. That's because I was in something. (don't want to call it a relationship, because admittedly that's not what it was)

Now that it is over I feel free. I'll call him Illusion. I enjoyed Illusion's company, he was intelligent, attractive, and extremely charming. It just didn't work out and it didn't end nicely either. There wasn't any fighting, yelling or anything like that. He said that he wasn't the man that he felt that I needed. I should have just said ok and let it go but I slipped and wanted to be heard. How unnecessary was that? I knew it was coming to this but he just beat me to saying it.

I'm glad that I had the good times that I did. I'm doubly glad that it is over. I did make one mistake a week or so after things ended, trying to contact Illusion in person one more time offering something that I know he needed.

I shouldn't have done that but I don't regret it. Since then there has been no contact or much thought about him and I feel real good about it.

There was someone who has (I'll call him Jag) wanted to get to know me for awhile but I couldn't because I was trying to figure out what this thing was. Jag understood and never tried to make waves to the thing I was in. He didn't call me or make snide remarks when he saw me in public on very few occaisions.

Not two days after my mistake of attempting to contact Illusion. I ran into Jag in the grocery store of all places. He saw me before I saw him. He called my name and we began to talk. On every occaisions that I had seen him prior he had not asked if I was still in that thing. This time he did. I told him that I wasn't. He didn't smile but looked a little sad and asked me if I was ok. I assurred him that I was. And feeling free. And I really am, no more worries about the illusion, no more feeling sorry for the illusion, no more wondering if the illusion is being honest, no more illusions.

Jag said he would call the next day and he did. We talked about family, politics, travel, religion, charity and more. He said he would call again and he did. He invited me to dinner and I accepted. We went to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. I thought we were going to the restaurant Traxx that's housed inside, but we headed for the trains. We boarded a train headed for Del Mar. Once in Del Mar we caught a cab to the Pamplemousse Grille . The ride took a little over an hour and allowed us to talk on the train before enjoying a wonderful dinner and continued great conversation.

Sometimes you have to go through something to get to something. I have no expectations of this going anywhere but it was fun and I enjoyed the moment. I'm grateful for all that I've gone through to get to where I am. I have many memories that I'll cherish and I know there will be more.

I wish illusion much success because I refuse to dwell in a thing that was never going to be anything. I do not wish him any ill and hope that mentally he will be well.

I'm here enjoying the moments.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rebuke in Verse

Get them back...they don't deserve to be close to you. You don't have to do a thing because it's already been done. Just be still and you'll see.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


There had been a storm in my life as I'm sure you could tell by the types of posts I had been making. I had to read this Psalm several times to remember...

I hope it helps you if you too feel like you are in a storm that just won't seem to pass. Trust in the Lord because the storm will pass leaving you victorious if you just remember...

Psalm 118
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Let Israel say: "His love endures forever."
3 Let the house of Aaron say: "His love endures forever."
4 Let those who fear the LORD say: "His love endures forever."
5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.
6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!
16 The LORD's right hand is lifted high; the LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"
17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
18 The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;
23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.
27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.
29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.