Considering my disgust for entertainment gossip
, multiply that times 5 when it comes to political op/ed blogs without any research. I read a blog today that was linked to a Facebook page
I was following. Now the FB page already rubbed me the wrong way a couple of times for inaccurate paraphrasing, but everyone has a right to their opinions. However, one particular article
linked today finally made me say, "I've had enough." I "unliked" the page but not before I shared my opinion about that link. The blog was a piss poor argument about why Pres. Obama shouldn't talk about deadbeat fathers at Morehouse's graduation ceremony
and the blogger called his mom a "deadbeat mother." Let's just get past the terrible disrespect involved in calling someone's late mother, who he absolutely loved, out of her name. That's some world class 100% bullshit. Now when I called the blog "bullshit" I was told that I should use "grown up words," but the irony of a blogger who did little to no research on Obama's background calling his mother a "deadbeat" but being offended by me insulting her article almost made me want to laugh. Almost.Here are the facts. While Pres. Obama did live with his grandparents for an extended period of time:1) His mother was homeschooling him for a bit as a child.2) His mother was concerned about his grades when the two of them moved to Indonesia to live with his stepfather due to his job opportunity. 3) His mother wanted Obama to live with his grandparents because he was getting better grades and a better education when he lived in Hawaii.
Would she have been a better mother if she knowingly let her child get a mediocre education instead of the one he ended up with and later became a Harvard graduate?4) We've all heard the saying "It takes a village to raise a child." Staying with your grandparents when your mother is keeping tabs on you, eventually separates from her new husband and moves back to Honolulu is nowhere near the same as someone just completely disappearing from your life. So to call his mother a "deadbeat" is not only incorrect but it's just flat out ignorant.
I try not to go off on tangents about animal rights, fitness, going green and eating healthier. It's not my thing to start telling you horror stories and try to guilt folks into a different lifestyle. I find the most successful way to get people to want to live a healthier life is to do me. So far folks have just observed me doing my thing and curiosity caught them. But this is the one time I'm dropping some serious hints about vegetarianism. I've been one since 2004 and Pinterest has given me ideas
. For someone who despises cooking, that site has made me want to prepare meals more often. If you're curious about being a vegetarian, you're welcome to check out "So you think you can be a vegetarian?
" and/or download this article I wrote for the Chicago Defender
newspaper in 2010. I enjoyed the interview with Roniece Weaver and Fabiola Gaines of Soul Food Pyramid
| Chicago Defender article: African-American Vegetarians|
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| UNCUT/LONGER VERSION: African-American Vegetarians (Chicago Defender article)|
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|File Type: || pdf|
Full disclosure: I despise the film "Monster's Ball." It bothers me (like it did for producer Belma Johnson) and I feel like Halle Berry has done so many other great roles that she should've been awarded for. I did, however, enjoy "Training Day," but to this day I still think awards should've fallen at Denzel Washington's feet for "Malcolm X." My head still rolls about Angela Bassett not winning for "What's Love Got to Do With It?" I have never been impressed by the Oscars nor have I been patient enough to sit through an entire show. But I respect the actors who were cheated out of these awards so much that it made me want to see this 52-minute special anyway.
Los Angeles Times writers John Horn, Nicole Sperling and Doug Smith wrote an interesting piece about the Oscars called "Oscar voters overwhelmingly white, male" that had absolutely no surprises in it for me. I was more surprised by those who were surprised by the analysis. Either way, I recommend reading it.
And now on to Obba Babatundé's film: I was born in 1981 so some of these movies and entertainers are new to me (highlighted in green) while the tales of others live on. Many distinguished African-American actors and actresses are mentioned and/or interviewed:
Sidney PoitierBeah Richards
James Earl Jones
Louis Gossett, Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Eriq La Salle
Michael Clarke Duncan
Screenwriters were mentioned as well, including Lonnie Elder III and Suzanne de Passe. Directors Spike Lee and John Singleton were also acknowledged. And musicians who were nominated and/or won Oscar Gold awards are featured, including Isaac Hayes, Ray Parker Jr., Herbie Hancock, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and Brian O'Neal.
Plenty of head nods of approval in the past couple of weeks so I'm posting five for last week, this week and next week, too. Let's get into these 15. 1. Dolmas:
I don't know why it is I'm so fascinated by Pinterest for recipes because I still don't particularly enjoy cooking and I have several cookbooks collecting dust. But something about that site makes me experimental. I made a bunch of stuff for Mother's Day weekend and really enjoyed them. First up was this stuffed cabbage recipe.
Dolmas (left), vegan sushi rolls (right), stuffed vegan cheesecake strawberries in the middle (mentioned in a previous blog)
2. Vegan sushi rolls:
Seaweed is okay. I'm not falling on the floor over it, but I've learned to tolerate it. But I'm more amped that I can make these sushi rolls now because I would pay $8 at Loving Hut or approximately that same amount at Chi Tung since I didn't know how to create them. Now I do. I just have to get a roller so I don't have to do it by hand.3. Vegan chocolate mousse:
I'm used to eating avocado with salt and vinegar chips and in guacamole. I had no idea that they could be used to make chocolate mousse. I love the vegan chocolate pie at Loving Hut, but when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I had to try it out. I tweaked the ingredients for what I had at home, but I loved it.
Vegan chocolate mousse in the middle (Crystal Light pink lemonade and hot water cornbread on the far right)
Action movies have never been my thing, but I have enjoyed all of the "Iron Man
" series, mainly because I'm such a fan of the writing for this collection. I'm also a huge fan of Robert Downey Jr. (who made it to my "50 Sexiest Men
" Pinterest countdown) along with Don Cheadle. I enjoyed part 1, but I'm far more entertained by 2 and 3. And the third film did not disappoint. All of the stats you're reading about the profits this film made are well-deserved. I have never seen a movie theater so packed that I couldn't even sit with the person I came with. We ended up in two different rows! In the film, Tony Starks is suffering from anxiety attacks and lack of sleep after the nightmares of "Avengers" drama. (I saw that film, by the way. The only parts I enjoyed were Downey Jr. and The Hulk. The rest was wack.)
So when a terrorist called the Mandarin shows up and destroys the city, citizens wonder is Iron Man up to the task. Cheadle's character Colonel James Rhodes
isn't dragging his feet either. He's busy fighting other terrorists and protecting the president, but the two work better as a team. And when Iron Man ends up in a fight that left him with a broken suit and Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow
) in danger, he's not sure if he's physically able to conquer the latest crime. However you imagine the movie to be is probably how it'll end. But it's the actors, the humor, the action scenes, the stunts and the chemistry between the cast that makes this film another winner.
And then there's the dry humor that only actors like Robert Downey Jr. could pull of without making you scowl. I was amused by the rabbit (and thought it was a different kind of rabbit) joke, but the fatherhood jokes were cringeworthy funny that only Downey Jr. could pull off. There are plenty of other quotable moments, too. If this is the last in the series, then it went out with fire (those who saw the movie know the wordplay). If there's a number 4, I'd go see that one, too!
A few years back, I got into a debate with a writer on Yahoo! about writing articles about celebrity rumors. I told her she was basically hurting her own career by supporting ridiculous gossip, especially if she ever wanted to interview some of these artists. Needless to say, we ended up in a pretty big battle about this and I lost respect for her writing because of it. She was also the spark that made me write the 2009 article "How to Get an Interview with a Celebrity
" and "What Happened to Entertainment Journalism with Integrity
?" In high school, I had little to no respect for the bored teenagers who couldn't find anything better to do with their time than make up random stories and pass them around. I never fooled with it and spent about 75 percent of my time with folks who were older than me at my after-school job. The other 25 percent were spent with friends who didn't have time for that b.s. either.
My mother told me I should've been a lawyer because I (allegedly) like to argue. I don't particularly like to debate, but I definitely don't back down (and it's gotten me in plenty of trouble). I never wanted to be a lawyer. What I did want was to hear both sides of every argument. I can't stomach those who believe something just because they read it online or heard information from another clueless soul. There's a reason we have a legal system and there are two sides to every story. Before I'm willing to even humor a rumor, I want to hear what the source has to say about that rumor. When I was a kid, tabloids used to be the joke of journalism. But with so many gossip blogs, tabloid writers are now disguising themselves as "entertainment bloggers" and "gossip bloggers." I don't give a damn what the word on the street is. Put in the foot work and talk to the source yourself. And readers who believe anything they randomly hear as truth blow me away more.
It's that time again. So what am I giving the head nod of approval?
1. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries: I can't stand cooking. I've bought cookbooks and lost interest before I left the bookstore. Cooking shows make me sleepy. And I'm uninspired to cook even when I go to great restaurants. But for some bizarre reason I always want to cook something new when browsing Pinterest. I've made more new meals from perusing that site this year than I did in my entire 20s (I'm 31). Some recipes are losers and others are winners. My most recent is this strawberry recipe, and these things are delicious. Check out my version below. (Click the photo for the recipe.)
It took me weeks to get through this whole CD because I just didn't want to stop playing number one "Boys 'Round Here" or number two "Sure Be Cool If You Did." Both songs are complete opposites, and what's so great about them is Blake is as impressive doing a slower song as he is doing up-tempo. I am crazy about his sense of humor on "The Voice," but my first introduction to him was on "Chelsea Lately," which is a show I barely can stomach. I was flicking through channels. He was on. And he gave her a run for her money. I kept hearing about the bromance between him and Adam Levine,* but since I was so adamant about not checking out who Maroon 5 was, I ignored it. (Just because someone's favorite color is maroon and she's been calling herself Maroonsista for over a decade does not mean she'll like every group with "maroon" in its name. I kept hearing those recommendations...nonstop!) However, again, flicking through stations, I caught an interview with Adam Levine talking about Blake smelling like liquor. It was so funny that I tried to figure out who he was talking about. And that was my introduction to one of my new favorite country artists.
What does this have to do with anything? It takes me back to the reason I love these two songs. What other country artist would sing about doing the Dougie? The beginning of the song was just sing-songy rap (think Drake but with a southern accent and much better tone). When he got to the chorus, then we got the grit.
On "Sure Be Cool If You Did," women wondered why he had to get married. No disrespect to Miranda, but Blake can be all kinds of sexy. My favorite line is "You can't shoot me down/'Cause you've already knocked me dead." Game!
I haven't done a music review in awhile because there are so few artists that make me want to buy their entire CDs, but I've been listening to Brad Paisley consistently for the past year or so. And considering I just got into a debate on some random hip-hop site about "Django
," this seemed like the perfect time to review this album. I can't figure out how someone could love "Django
" but then wag a finger at L.L. Cool J for doing "Accidental Racist
." My thoughts on that song are here
. The rest of the review will focus on the rest of the album.
Either I need fresh pillows for the rock I was sleeping under or this film didn't get much publicity. Channing Tatum is the type of actor who makes you want to follow every movie he's been in, and I've pretty much seen them all. But this one was news to me until a couple of weeks ago when I started seeing ads for it and the DVDs plopped on end racks in Target. I got it on Netflix, and it's absolutely worth buying (or at least renting).
John Tyree (Tatum) is a soldier at home on leave for a year. While hanging out at the beach, he observes a woman named Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried). A clumsy guy she's apparently on a double date with sits on the edge of a bridge and splash! Her purse, which was also on that same ledge, goes into the water. John decides to jump off the bridge to grab her purse and beat her date — who doesn't look equipped for this kind of task — to rescuing that bag. Boy meets girl. Girl blows off guy she's with. Girl likes new boy. Romance ensues immediately.