The Problem With Assumption? | Black and Married With Kids.com – A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

The Problem With Assumption? | Black and Married With Kids.com – A Positive Image of Marriage and Family.

Old Friends, New Prospects

AMCOLTLCombo

Two years ago ABC broke my heart.

I spent a great deal of my life, between my grandmothers and even my father, immersing myself into the lives of the denizens of Pine Valley and Llanview, Pennsylvania. The fictional homes of All My Children and One Life To Live were about to be no more, as someone in management decided to take these decades-old fan mainstays off the air. The fans–myself included–railed back loudly. A savior in the guise of Prospect Park gathered up the rights for the two shows after their final airings and, amidst almost as much drama as the shows themselves offer, manage to find an online platform to relaunch. And so, on Monday, April 26, the fans’ prayers have been answered, and our TV families are back in the mix. Anyone with access to Hulu.com, HuluPlus or iTunes can once again tangle with the Lords, Mannings, Martins, Chandlers, Hubbards and the venerable Erica Kane.

And this ecstatic viewer can finally watch the finales that have been holed up on her TiVo. To a new era with old friends!

Related posts:

Carolyn Hinsey, TAINTED DREAMS: Welcome back, AMC and OLTL!
Mark Brennan Rosenberg, How ABC’s Loss is Prospect Park’s Gain
Variety, Inside the Online Revival of ‘All My Children,’ ‘One Life to Live’

Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater Season Announced – NYTimes.com

The last paragraph is all that matters…..

Vassar's Powerhouse Theater Season Announced – NYTimes.com.

4 Ways to Spring Clean Your Marriage | Black and Married With Kids.com – A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

4 Ways to Spring Clean Your Marriage | Black and Married With Kids.com – A Positive Image of Marriage and Family.

What Is It About Marriage That Keeps Us Coming Back? | Thought Catalog

What Is It About Marriage That Keeps Us Coming Back? | Thought Catalog.

Little Known Black History Fact: Jules Lion

Just because I can…and because I never shy away from sharing new-to-me Black History….

Black America Web

Jules Lion was a free black photographer from France that entered New Orleans around the late 1830’s. Although he started as a lithographer, he introduced a special type of portrait that was new to the United States called Daguerrean photography. This was the first type of photography in the country before more advanced exposures were created. Because this was a new picture-taking process from overseas, some believe Lion’s work gave birth to photography in the United States, especially among blacks. He was one of the first blacks to be known as a Daguerrean photographer, which spread to other budding black photographers quickly (like James Presley Ball) and throughout the country.

Lion’s story in New Orleans began in the late 1830’s as a lithographer, but around 1837, he was driven back to France for a year with the declining economy to sharpen his photography skills under the method of Louis Jacques…

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The Facebook 40 Fast: Diary of a Digital Junkie

FACEBOOK-REVOLUTION_medium

A lot of people give up something for the Lenten season, and when they do it’s typically something that will cause some bit of inconvenience and/or suffering—some part of their everyday lives that they normally can’t live without, like chocolate, sugar, alcohol….or Facebook. Now we already know I’m a self-confessed Facebook addict, and I had planned ages ago to take a hiatus from the large amounts of time I spent searching and posting on there. And I really was going to start my Lenten deprivation right at the top of Ash Wednesday, but there were a few conflicts: on Ash Wednesday this year I was still in New York playing tourist and coming down off my Lin-Manuel Miranda Heights-induced euphoria, so naturally, there was no way I was breaking contact with Facebook before my review was written and posted on a certain fan page. Also, the fact that Lent fell square in the middle of February—also known as Black History Month—caused me a bit of consternation. You see, for my own educational benefit (and, as I would learn, the benefit of many of my friends and some of their kids) I posted a different person of note for every day in the month. Since this year in particular I chose the sciences, an area I was not only not as knowledgeable as say the arts and entertainment but one that took a personal bent as my uncle and two of my high school classmates were among those I spotlighted. It’s hard enough to have achievements in Black History spotlighted anywhere, and while I don’t have a Wikipedia-sized reach as far as audience is concerned, I felt obligated to finish out the month and then start my self-imposed digital exile on March 1, adding 9 extra days in April to equal the 40 I would have spent from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.

What I didn’t expect was the near panic I caused—apparently my friends find me entertaining. I made a bit of an error in cutting myself off: first, I neglected to mention that I was taking said leave of absence. More accurately, I neglected to mention it AGAIN at the end of February, as I am quite certain I posted a status about not being able to do the “no Facebook” thing until after I finish the BHM posts. Either my friends don’t read or I REALLY post more stuff than I thought, because the panic set in after about three days of no activity in my timeline….which led to my second error. I don’t have a whole lot of Facebook notifications sent to me but the few that I do have set up are any updates from my family or any direct posts to my Wall. Imagine my shock and amusement when friend after friend started putting out e-BOLOs on my whereabouts. I had to get a friend of mine to post for me that I was ducking out for a month so I could stay my course. And yes, while technically looking at my notifications on my phone could be considered cheating, it was a daily struggle not to answer some of those. The withdrawal was not extremely harsh since it was only Facebook and not the whole of the Internet I was giving up: I still checked my email, I still did blog posts (which automatically post to Facebook through a widget on my blog and do not count as direct posts), I still surfed, and I spent some time discovering the ins and outs of my Twitter account. One might consider THAT cheating too, but unlike the lies alcoholics, smokers and addicts tell themselves, I really can stop Twitter at any time. If the constant barrage of tweets from the myriad of people, groups, shows and others I was following wasn’t confusing enough, the character limit stifles me. Of course, my Broadway paramour Lin-Manuel chose Lent to give up Twitter—HIS electronic drug of choice—and did some heavy reacquainting with his Facebook page during that time, so that was torture enough for me right there. I also discovered how much I missed interacting with my friends—and how much they missed me. One actually emailed me to say my crazy posts brightened her day.

I quickly discovered it was not so easy to simply log off of Facebook; aside from my administrator duties on both my blog and my church’s FB pages (which I exempted for any publicity posts that fell within the time frame), I forgot exactly how many website logins centered around my personal Facebook. Imagine my surprise trying to get onto Groupon and Pinterest and not being seen from either not being logged on period or being on one of the other pages. I had to go back in to at least login to make those functions work, and this would sadly not be the last of my unintentional cheats. Clicking on links in articles and Twitter posts blindly for later reading led me to find Facebook tabs staring at me on my browser, which led me to two blatant cheats. After 2 seasons of blatantly ignoring Dancing With The Stars (and most of ABC’s programming, for that matter), I did sneak onto Facebook for about two minutes to vote for D. L. Hughley to give him more time to let loose and find some rhythm…I figured I ought to back up all the pep talk I was giving him on Twitter. And I checked some of my inbox messages—just a glance, mind you—and wound up answering one from a friend whose phone number I misplaced mainly because she was asking for a favor and I needed to finish an interview with her anyway.

I did manage to get my email inbox somewhat under control, and get a little more administrative clean-up done on my blog. The 40 day apartment declutter project took a detour in favor of some huge financial housecleaning, and I also managed to discover this alien invention called “quality time.” Got some decent date nights out of it—G.I. Joe: Retaliation preview, dinner and some seats at the Hornets/Clippers game that morphed into some REALLY nice seats (and a proposal AND a halftime performance from ABDC Season 4’s Massive Monkees) and just some general TV together time. And I actually got off my butt more often to exercise instead of vegging on the couch with a computer in my lap. So I didn’t do as well as I should have, but I did manage to refocus and get some priorities in order. Now the real challenge begins—not falling back into old patterns and mainlining the computer again, It’s all about balance here, and with any luck, I can draw on my dance training and use that mental stamina to try and maintain it.

"It just keeps callin' me, mayn...."

“It just keeps callin’ me, mayn….”

 

Relationship Resolutions – Dating Tips and Resolutions for Better Relationships – ELLE

Relationship Resolutions – Dating Tips and Resolutions for Better Relationships – ELLE.

The Balcony Is Closed: Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert and My Love Affair with Them and the Movies

balconyisclosed

Yesterday afternoon my Twitter feed was flooded with news of Roger Ebert’s passing. Not five minutes before I read those headlines I saw a link from his blog about his “Leave of Presence,” where he outlined his plans to step back from his incredibly heavy schedule reviewing movies and restructuring and revamping his own website and interests. Even in the face of declining health, Mr. Ebert was planning to move forward full throttle.

I remember as a young child watching selected programs on public television; one of those programs came on much later than my bedtime allowed, but I somehow managed to sneak in front of a TV to watch. It was a movie review program with two seemingly astute and knowledgeable critics giving their spirited opinions about recent theatrical releases. Yep, I was a 12 year old egghead watching Sneak Previews. Much like many who follow Mr. Ebert and his TV partner Gene Siskel through each incarnation of their show (At The Movies, Siskel & Ebert At The Movies, Siskel & Ebert AND The Movies, etc.), most of my viewing experience was guided by their simple “thumbs up/thumbs down” approval ratings system. Admittedly, the “stars” rating did come into play, but movie executives and marketers lived and died for the “two thumbs up” badge of honor. Of course, there were certain opinions of theirs I didn’t necessarily agree with (and movies I saw anyway despite their panning), but I would always listen to their viewpoints and consider them carefully as I watched or avoided a given film. (No offense intended to Richard Roeper, Siskel’s TV successor and Ebert’s seemingly heir-apparent, but this was the dynamic duo I grew up with and swore by for many years….so this is a huge loss for me.)

My favorite Roger Ebert memory, however, came from his appearance during the NAACP Image Awards. I wish I remembered what year it was and that I saved the recording, but this cemented his cool points with me. Comedian Steve Harvey was hosting a tribute section for the Isley Brothers and picking people from the audience “at random” to play a game of Name That Isley Tune. Harvey called upon Mr. Ebert, who stood ready and eager to participate. As the music played he seemed to think about his answer, then leaned toward his companion, a beautiful Black woman, for confirmation of the correct answer. After giving his answer Harvey asked Mr. Ebert if the lovely lady was his date. Puffing out his chest, Mr. Ebert proudly stated, “That’s my wife.” Quickly recovering from his brief surprise, Harvey gave Mrs. Chaz Ebert a quick once-over, looked at Mr. Ebert and said, “Two thumbs up.” The response garnered both Harvey and Ebert a thunderous round of applause.

I was saddened to hear about cancer diagnoses for both Mr. Siskel and Mr. Ebert; we lost Mr. Siskel in 1999 due to surgical complications from a brain tumor, and later hearing about Mr. Ebert’s battle with thyroid cancer was equal parts painful and inspiring to watch. We all sat dreading this day but dwelling in hope from all of the blog posts and reviews and exciting projects Mr. Ebert kept up. I imagine that enough groundwork and structure was set in place for everything to continue forward as planned, it’s just going to be markedly sadder because of this huge loss to the entertainment community.

Mr. Ebert’s last line in his last published blog was, “I’ll see you at the movies.” I look forward to it, sir. Until then, and for the last time, the balcony is closed.

Thank you, gentlemen....save some popcorn for me.

Thank you, gentlemen….save some popcorn for me.

Related articles:
Leave of Presence – Roger Ebert: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2013/04/a_leave_of_presense.html
Ebert and Siskel: Partners shared unique relationship: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-ebert-siskel-20130404,0,7261935.story
Roger Ebert’s Journal–Remembering Gene: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/02/i_remember_gene.html
Roger Ebert Reunites With Gene Siskel to Review Heaven – Hypervocal.com: http://hypervocal.com/news/2013/roger-ebert-obit/
Roger Ebert – words away: http://davidmzs.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/roger-ebert/
Roger Ebert, RIP – Whatever: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/04/04/roger-ebert-rip/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

The Terrific Twos

Two already? Terrific....

Two already? Terrific….

ter·rif·ic  [tuh-rif-ik]
adjective

1.extraordinarily great or intense: terrific speed.
2.extremely good; wonderful: a terrific vacation.
3. causing terror; terrifying.

So apparently I’m two years and two days into this blogging thing….

It’s been a terrific ride, by ALL of those definitions: I’ve had some intense and wonderful moments and it’s largely been a lot of fun. Mainly, this whole thing is still terrifying as all get-out.

I’m still trying to find my rhythm with this one but I think I’ve got a good plan in place. I’m trying to keep up the Marriage Minded Mondays and keep them pretty well balanced, I still have a few Trash Prompts in the pocket to publish, there are two really substantive interviews I’ve been stalled on finishing (once I give myself a swift kick and publish them, you’re gonna love them–they’re really good and quite informative), and I’m sure there’s some fodder out there for a new series of Dumbass Diaries. Not to mention I know for a fact there’s a 10th season of So You Think You Can Dance coming up, so…yeah, this two year old is picking up steam.

Now my other blog, Practicing Christian, needs some intensive care. I don’t know how other people with more than one blog manage to balance things….I had such ambitious plans for the beginning of the year, and have only managed a few reposts. I’ve done the background research on setting things up but I can’t figure out how to best set up a self-sustaining plan. I dislike the red-headed stepchild treatment myself, so I’m feeling mad guilt about neglecting my other “baby.” Something I still have to work on, I guess.

Still finding my legs and my voice like any other two-year-old, but with practice I think I can go from wobbly knees to a full sprint. Thanks for hanging with me on the journey–let’s see what new kind of trouble we can get into. 😉

Smiley-tantrum

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