labay

Archive for 2009|Yearly archive page

“Tomorrow People” is when I typically learn news things.

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on April 2, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I am such a Johnny come lately, seriously. I’m usually the last to know some well-known trivia like that Robin Thicke is the son of Alan Thicke and Gloria Loring from Days of Our Lives. Like really, I learned this just two days ago while whiling away the hours in a friend’s bedroom.

There’s so much one can learn from VH1. Where would we be sans cable? Heck. Where would I be? I’d be oblivious to the fact that Alan Thicke fathered Robin Thicke, that’s where. 

But that’s not the lede of the news. Nope. Not at all. I also learned while watching the same network that Ziggy Marley did what papa Bob Marley could not. Remember that hit tune, “Tomorrow People”? Well, ole Ziggy was able to burst through the Top 40s with this ditty that also garnered two Grammys.  That’s something Bob Marley never accomplished. 

I know. I know.

This is the sort of useful ish one can use when a conversation takes an awkward, silent turn. You can so blurt out that Ziggy Marley went one belt-notch above Bob Marley on the U.S. Top 40s and earned the most coveted music awards, and that socially awkward person you were talking to would so appreciate this tidbit.

Try it. You’ll see. – MJ

Grenada’s bakes, my new guilty pleasure

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm

My latest guilty pleasure is a scrumptious breakfast treat known in Grenada as bakes with spicy salt fish inside. This ish is yummy as hell. Grenadians will wince when I describe it as fried bread but that’s essentially what it is. It’s chewy dough packed with carbs, which makes it nothing less than bread served with fish or cheese or… Well I really don’t know what else Grenadians eat with bakes but I can attest that it’s delish. 

It also reminds me of codfish Haitian patties, which is another one of those Caribbean treats that’s tasty as hell but not as well known as say jerk chicken (fish, pork, beef) or ganja. – MJ

 

My latest breakfast yum-yum and Grenada's greatest culinary contribution

My latest breakfast yum-yum and one of Grenada's best culinary contributions

Haitian codfish patty - yummy Caribbean ish just like bakes or vice versa

Haitian codfish patty - another yummy Caribbean ish just like bakes

Isaiah Washington keeps on truckin’

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Family, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on March 27, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Feels like it’s been eon since I’ve posted something. Wait! It has been. I blame the economy and all the stress that comes with a downward market. Sigh. 

But you know that I had to share some tidbits like say Isaiah Washington taking on the biopic role of the late Lou Rawls, Mr. You’ll Never Find another love like mine. 

Pathway Entertainment has acquired the script “Through the Eyes of a Son,” described as an uncensored take on the singer written by his son Lou Rawls Jr., and will develop it as a feature, with Isaiah Washington attached to play the famed crooner.

Born in Chicago in 1933, Rawls sang in a range of styles that included blues, soul, funk and R&B, selling millions of albums and earning legions of fans, as well as the accolades of Frank Sinatra. He also, according to the script, had a traumatic life, enduring a poverty-stricken childhood and, in adulthood, intense marital strife.

Take it away, Lou! 

Tough childhood, trajectory into stardom, fame, love, sex…um, sounds like all the right ingredients for a biopic. So the news is nothing earth shattering or that super exciting but it does mean another movie starring a black actor is in the making. That could make for a nice chat come happy hour. Have an easy, breezy Friday. – MJ

Check this out

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Family, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on March 25, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Check out these new cars picks I found on Black Enterprise.com. Pretty cool wheels.

I walked away from this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit feeling comforted.

That hasn’t always been the case.

There’s been auto shows where I’ve winced when the wraps were removed, revealing questionable vehicles beneath. They’d either be too big, or too cramped, or not really a hybrid, leaving me to wonder who’d buy ‘em.

But this year, it’s been a mix bag and what’s in the bag isn’t all bad.

Some of my favorites:

Cadillac SRX Crossover: It’s has crisp lines and silhouettes, and an angular front-end that looks aristocratic.

General Motors Corp. also unveiled a Cadillac CTS wagon that suited my fancy. It’s a wagon that has nothing to do with those station wagons of yore. Very contemporary, very right now.

And I would be a dud if I didn’t mention the Cadillac Converj. This concept car oozed sleekness.

To read more, check out this brief piece on new 2009/2010 models like the new Ford Taurus.

Enjoy. – MP

For those of you unfamiliar with Natasha Richardson

In Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on March 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Later in the evening…

I logged onto the New York Times Web site and saw the sad news. Natasha Richardson is dead. Tragic. She leaves behind her husband, actor Liam Neeson, and two sons. 

Earlier today…

I haven’t really had time to post anything new as of late. Busy, busy, busy. But the tragic news of what happened to Natasha Richardson jarred me out of my immersion. Life can be tragic and is always short. Lets not take it for granted. Here’s to Natasha Richardson, who played the snobbish bitch in “Maid in Manhattan”, and had to be airlifted from Quebec to New York after a serious fall Tuesday. Live your life. Enjoy it. Be safe. – MJ

Jamaica: The Gayest place on earth.

In Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on March 11, 2009 at 7:03 pm

If you’re gay, don’t visit Jamaica and if you’re a Jamaican who happens to be gay, flee while you still have limbs. 

Jamaicans hate gays. There’s no mistaking their abhorrence for the gay and lesbian community. When Jamaicans are not chomping on Escovitch fish, they’re chopping bodies of gay men. I know. You’re incredulous at my accusations and think, “What an ignorant, girl, that MJ.” But no lie. It was sadly reported in the March issue of Essence Magazine – the body snatching and slicing that is of a man who happened to be gay. A mob beat up the poor guy until their blows snuffed the life out of him then chopped his body into pieces all because, “Batty boy fi dead.”

His body or pieces of it were found on the side of a dusty road. 

Interesting group of people, those Jamaicans. Gotta love em’ and their eccentric sense of style. Oh, that bunch always does things a little differently, like say the gleaming Chinese straight hair weaves, their ardent taste for khakis year-round, and never-ending supply of multicolored shoes (Remember Travel Fox?).

Because rocking shoes with these patterns and hues are very masculine. And when you pair any of these shoes with one of those ugly netted tops…well, that image doesn’t conjure thoughts of the Village People. Not. At. All.

Watch out Kenneth Cole. Who said you knew anything about men’s fashion? 

 

Netted topping looks somewhat like this but sans the extra gay-looking pants.

Netted topping looks somewhat like this but sans the extra gay-looking pants.

But in all fairness to this Caribbean group, hatred of gays and lesbian isn’t a Jamaican thing. Though gay hatred seems heighten in that country, it’s a West Indian thing – which is oxymoronic when you really think about it. People of the West Indies are perceived to be a loving, coconut juice-sipping, indigenous bunch, not hate mongers. I was chatting it up with Mama MJ a few weeks ago. We weren’t talking about anything in particular. My curiosity was piqued so I asked her out the blue how Haitians feel about gays. She said there is disdain for same-sex couples and that long ago, gay men were murdered on the island. 

I asked her if she thought killing them was right. I breathed a sigh of relief when she said no. It’s not that I don’t get why some people get the willies when they see gay men and women. They’re homophobic – clearly. It’s just that I don’t see the necessity to kill another human being. To harm gays and lesbians or kill them is absolutely wrong.

Caribbeans folks are typically pro-life. I can’t help but wonder why that life suddenly becomes expendable if it swings the other way.  – MJ

What’s in a name? A whole effing lot.

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Family, Grenada, Haiti, Humor, Jamaica, Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Relationships, Trinidad on March 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I’m not a mother. I’m fickle about motherhood. I don’t go all goo-goo, ga-ga about the prospect of motherhood. Actually it scares the shit out me. Motherhood is a big f%#king deal, and people who are nonchalant about this privilege simply don’t get the task at hand. 

With that said, (channeling one of my fave cousins who loves that term: with that said) I feel it’s importance to give a baby a proper name. Mama MJ taught me well. A child’s name is important as it’s the doorway to their identity, their personality. It’s called nomenclature. There should be a story or meaning behind a name. Not: I’m not sure what it means but… 

Or I just named him or her Baby X cuz…

Ask Mama and Papa MJ why they named their five children their specific names and prepare to hear stories – several of which are quite riveting.

A baby’s name should be fluid. It should fit with the middle name if there is a middle name and last name. I once dated a guy who’s first name was Mshindaji; middle name Mustafa; last name Grant. 

My reaction: WTF were your parents thinking? Where’s the melody in that nomenclature combo? 

And I get it. MMG’s Black Panther parents were caught up in the black power movement. They wanted to reaffirm their blackness through their child’s name. But Mshindaji + Mustafa + Grant = yuck. Nasty. Barf!

Names are like fashion. When you mix and match, you’ve got to be careful that it doesn’t come off sounding kooky. Plaid and polka-dots don’t work no matter the color scheme. 

Idiosyncractic as it is, the name combo Barack Obama works simply because it sings. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. First and last name fit perfectly. It helps that his first and surname are from a distinct religion/region. Michelle Obama also works but imagine if our First Lady was Condoleeza. Let’s say it slowly. Condoleeezzzaa Obaaaama

Gross, right?

And with that said, let’s segue to a story that underscores why I feel it’s important to give a child a sound name or one that has meaning or a damn good story. After all, they’ll have to carry that name for the rest of their lives unless they’re willing to spend ducats to legally undo the damage you’ve selfishly imposed on them. Might as well give them a a name they can feel proud of versus one where they’ll spend most of kindergarten and beyond cringing during attendance roll call. 

With that said, I present to you Marijuana Pepsi Jackson

Police years ago pulled over a young woman who rushed through an amber traffic light. “I’m about to arrest this person right now,” the irritated officer radioed to a dispatcher. “She’s telling me her name is Marijuana Pepsi Jackson.”

It’s the truth. Marijuana and Pepsi are her legal first and middle names, and the Beloit woman embraces them as a symbol of her struggle to succeed and to help other children overcome obstacles.

No Mary or Mary Jane or Mary Wanda for her. It’s Marijuana, thank you, she’s told bosses, co-workers and friends over the years, and even wore it on nametags at work.

See what I’m saying? – MJ

 

 


Chris Brown’s manager reportedly behind Rihanna beat down

In Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on March 11, 2009 at 12:44 am

I’m trying to refrain from writing anymore about Chris and RiRi until this episodic ish comes to a finale. It’s been pretty easy but this latest twist I’ve gots to share. According to MediaTakeout.com, which got the news from TMZ.com, which got this juicy tidbit from a source I gather, the text message that led to the beat down came from Chris’ manager, a 40-year-old dame name Tina Davis. The two have been hitting the sheets since Chris was 16. Mon dieu! Where’s social service? I’m beside myself. – MJ

1236708194christina

Jamaica’s own Biggie and Tupac, part deux?

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on March 11, 2009 at 12:11 am

Reggae world, we all know what has been going on in the music world lately. I’m talking about all of the ongoing clashes. Some people think it could get out of hand one day and reach the rancorous level of Biggie and Tupac. In the end, conflict sells (e.g. Biggie & Tupac; Beanie & Bounty; Mavado & Vybez Kartel) but people have to be wise and know it is a lyrical war, not a physical confrontation. Some of these artist have said numerous times that these clashes are musical expressions, not meant to be taken literally. But I wonder if reggae clashes will ever escalate to violence? – MP

Richie Spice Vs. Gyptian

In Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on March 10, 2009 at 10:38 pm

I like and respect both artists. They both sing conscious songs and songs uplifting the ladies and are both loved by the masses. Although Richie Spice resume is a little longer I would like to know who the people rate as a better artists.  So let us know how you feel. – MP