Synapses, Soup, Scandal and Alicia Keys

Every now and then I see a photo that will cause my brain to go into search the archives mode. I can almost feel synapses firing that haven’t been used in years and years. Those obscure brain connections take me to a place where I can see pictures, smell smells, feel the briskness of fall or the heat of summer.

The photo above is of a neighborhood in New York City called Crown Heights. It’s in the borough of Brooklyn. And although I’m pretty sure I’ve never been to Crown Heights, this photo takes me back to my coming of age in New York City.

The architecture, the trees, the fall shadows, are all so familiar. Seeing this photo is like taking a trip without ever leaving home.

This week the weather finally changed a bit. Well, for this area it changed. It wasn’t anything too dramatical. (is dramatical a word?) We really don’t have seasons here. Our weather is more like constant Spring with a few rainy days, a few cool days and a few warm days.

So, now we are having a few cool days. Not cool by the standards of the rest of the country but cool for here. And, there’s nothing like cool weather to make me crave certain things. Things like cuddling, sweaters, leather backpacks and soup!

This week I actually made soup. I used chicken stock, sausage, onions, mushrooms, corn and jasmine rice. I seasoned it only with pepper and a little margarine.

I let it simmer for about 40 minutes and the result was oh so satisfying! I really enjoyed it and The Girlfriend enjoyed it too. And, after we ate we cuddled on the sofa! Soup and cuddling in the same fall evening, what could be better!

The internets are abuzz with debate about the TV show Scandal. The show, which airs on Thursday nights (which is tonight as I write this) and stars the stunningly beautiful Kerry Washington (whom I am told smells like honey and almonds).

Lot’s of women, especially Black women seem to love the show. And, supposedly lots of men, especially Black men hate the show.  And, of course, there are outliers. Like me, a Black woman who hates the show and lots of Black men who, maybe don’t love the show, but certainly like it.

Most of the controversy stems from the sordid affair the main character, Olivia Pope played by Kerry, is having with a White dude who is the President of the United States.

My problem with the storyline is two-fold. First, the show is very daytime soap opera-ish to me. And I’m no fan of soap operas. Second, it’s annoying to me that for a group of people that are so lacking in representation on network TV to have the only show starring a Black women to feature a plot where she is having an affair with a married guy.

The show which is set in Washington, D.C. and modelled after an actual real life person, in my opinion, could have been a fascinating political drama. Which considering the often crazy antics and generally incompetent governance of the political class in the Nation’s capitol would have been right on time.

But, no, we get some trashy, overwrought, overacted, wordy, nighttime soap opera. I just wish for more. Much more.

Finally, Alicia Keys in the last few years has been seriously branching out from her singing and songwriting roots. She’s acted, produced Broadway plays and television movies. Well, AK continues to expand her reach by executive produceing and producing the music for a new film called The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete.

The film stars one of my very favorite actors Jeffrey Wright along with Anthony Mackie, Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that when it comes to films I love two elements in my films. The first, the coming of age genre. The second, New York City. And, this film is guess what? A coming of age film set in New York! Whoopie!

The film opens today, October 11! So, check your local theaters. And, of course, if you see it please let me know what you thought of it.


Do certain photos take you back?
Are you a soup person?
Do you watch Scandal?
Does AK’s new film sound interesting?

AK News! (Update – 9/01/13)

Don’t miss Alicia this Friday, August 30, when she performs on ABC’s Good Morning America! AK is just back from her world Tour so this should be great! Check your local listings but, the GMA Summer Concerts are usually during the eight o’clock hour.


Here is Alicia with her brand new cut AND her live performance of Fire We Make with Maxwell this past Friday on GMA! Enjoy!!

(Note: Please pardon the sound glitch at 1:05 into the video)

10 Things: Danica Patrick Sucks, Robin Returns, “Like” Drama and much, much more!

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.Here are 10 things that are on my mind this week

10. – Race car driver Danica Patrick will race this weekend at the Daytona 500. She won the pole position last weekend by having the fastest lap at time trials for the race. The media has been doing lots of reports this week on her. And, those reports got me thinking about how astoundingly over-covered by the media she is considering she’s one of the suckiest race car drivers in the sport. She’s never won a race. Heck, she’s never even come in second or even third.

And, despite her suckiness, she is one of the highest profile racers in the sport. (Is race car driving a sport?) Not since Michelle Wie conned the media and Nike into thinking she was a great golfer has anyone with such a crappy record of achievement in sports achieved so much notoriety.

09. – Robin Roberts went back to work this week at ABC’s Good Morning America. As you know she’s been out sick for the past several months. I’m just wondering, amid all the fanfare of her return, has she come back too soon?

Whatever the case, Robin looks great and she is so brave and a wonderful role model.

08. – I have a friend on facebook who messaged me this week. She was upset. She went on to say that she was hurt that I never seemed to “Like” any of the stuff she posts.

So, I thought about how to respond to her. Basically should I be honest or make something up to be nice. I decided to be honest.

I told her that I never “Like” any one of her posts because I ‘hide’ her posts from my feed because I got fed up with all the kittens, cute babies and sayings and quotes she posts.

And she posts a stunning number of those things every single day! When I go on facebook I hate when my feed is clogged with all that junk. I just want my news and status reports from friends. That’s it.

Her response was to not understand how anyone wouldn’t want to see those types of things. She said they were inspirational and she just wanted to make everyone’s day better by posting them. And she went on and on about how much inspirational sayings and quotes help her get through the day.

I realize now I should have just said that I loved her posts and just didn’t take the time to “Like” them. Sigh. We went back and forth until somehow she convinced me to ‘unhide’ her posts and to take the time to “really see them”.

Yep, I should have lied.

06. – It’s really interesting to me how much the media has been covering the story about South African track athlete Oscar Pistorius (allegedly) murdering his girlfriend. They have been covering it everyday since it happened. And that’s really interesting since the media seemingly can only find the time to cover the violence in Chicago every few months or so.

05. – I saw the film, “Yelling To The Sky” recently. It stars Zoë Kravitz and features Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe as well as Shareeka Epps, who you may remember from the film, “Half Nelson“.

As you probably know by now my favorite film genre is coming of age films. And “Yelling To The Sky” falls in that category. Zoë plays a 17 year-old named “Sweetness”, who suffers living in a home with an abusive father and a mentally ill mother. The film follows her as she tries to navigate school, being bullied by neighborhood kids and dealing with her parents.

Zoë was really good in her role and I really liked the film, although I felt the resolution was just a teensy bit contrived. The film is from 2011, so I’m sure it’s on Netflix and dvd. If you check it out, as always, please let me know what you thought of it.

04. – Have you had Challah bread? It’s so good!

03. – You guys know I crush a lot, right. So, guess who I’m crushing on now. Ready? Tamar Braxton! I know, I know, she’s a little loud but, she’s so cute. This is my guilty pleasure crush. 🙂

Check out her latest song, “Love and War“.

02. – I went bike riding this week. Have you ever gone bike riding and enjoyed it so much that you didn’t pay attention to how far away from home you rode? I did. Lol. And it was no fun riding all the way back home! I’ll never let that happen again.

01. – Ak is going on tour soon. And, Miguel is going to be opening for her! The only thing is the venue she’s playing is huge and I hate crowds. I’m going to have to decide if I’m going to brave the crowd or wait to see her at a smaller venue.

What’s on your mind this week?
Do you think I ought to brave the crowd to see AK?
What do you think of my thoughts for the week?

AK performs on The View!

Very few artists, if any, promote their music they way that Alicia Keys does. She’s relentless when it comes to getting out and promoting a new album. She’s already made several TV appearances here in the U.S. and in Europe promoting her brand new number 1 album, “Girl on Fire‘.

That photo above of Alicia, looking like Lena Horne, was taken just before her performance on The Late Show With David Letterman last night. And earlier in the day yesterday she performed her brand new single, “Brand New Me” on ABC’s The View. Check out her performance below. See, I told you she’s a hard worker!