Archive | November, 2009

Total Success: Shaq’s Good & Selfless Deed

30 Nov

I think he’s played Shaunie for a fool for the last time (as she reportedly packed her things, pulled their children from school and headed to L.A. several weeks ago), and I think he is an absolute fool for letting the likes of Kobe Bryant and Karrine Steffans air his dirty-filthy-nasty laundry, but I saw Shaquille O’Neal in a new light this past week, and a tear almost came to my eye when I found out about his latest act of (penance??) kindness.

 

By now, everyone has heard about the heart-wrenching story of five-year-old Shaniya Davis, found murdered on the side of a rural North Carolina road after having been kidnapped and assaulted, and the shameful biddy that is her mother (who was charged with human trafficking of her daughter, involving prostitution).  Well, Mr. O’Neal also heard about this shocking story and paid for all of little Shaniya’s funeral costs.

 

*Sigh*

 

A stellar basketball career aside, it’s kindhearted acts like this one that almost make you able to forget the often times compassionate but sometimes philandering ogre’s shifty (not-so-long-ago) history…Almost.

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

Lola is at it again!

30 Nov

Jennifer Lopez the actress, I am actually quite fond of (Selena: Classic, Angel Eyes: Fab, The Wedding Planner: LOVE, Gigli: Okay, not so much) but Jennifer Lopez aka J. Lo aka Lola the artist-slash-dancer (refresher course, as we’ve already addressed the multiple monikers) I just want her to stay home, give Max and Emme her undivided attention and feed that perpetually thin husband of hers a sandwich.

 

I know I’m late (I already told you guys I was in sabbatical mode with Thanksgiving looming), but when Lola took a stage dive on her fanny while Throwing On Her Louboutins, artist-dislike aside, I felt really bad for her.  That was until she told the media that her fanny fall was all a part of her choreography.  Really!?

 

Hmph! While she cannot convince me (or the rest of the world) that her little technical difficulty was a planned dance move, I image this is what she must have REALLY been thinking shortly after her performance as she filed those Louboutins in “T” for trash:

Louboutins Parody  (courtesy of Mysti @ 93.9 KISS FM)

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

Disturbing Tha Peace; On C-SPAN?

30 Nov

If you were like the millions of conventional Thanksgiving Day observers this past Thursday, then you were celebrating good friends & family and partaking of some good food.  In your after-meal comatose state, you undoubtedly spent time watching seasonal events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and any one of the (dud) Turkey Day Football Games, so it is quite likely that you missed Chris Bridges’ National Press Club speaking debut.

 

Disinterested in the pigskin showdowns featuring the Dallas Cowboys (yuck) and the Detroit (cowardly) Lions (with the exception of Melanie Fiona’s bluesy National Anthem and United Way Halftime salute at the Detroit vs. Green Bay Game), I spent much of my Thanksgiving evening cleaning my kitchen and channel surfing.  As I hit C-SPAN, I actually took one of those Elmer Fudd eye-bulging double takes when I saw Ludacris reading a prepared speech.  Waiting for Ashton Kutcher and his production crew to swarm the screen and tell the viewing audience that we’d all been Punk’d Holiday Style, I actually sat for a spell to see what “Luda” was talking about, and why he wasn’t delivering a rhythmic 16-bar cadence.

 

To my surprise, he was ardently speaking on behalf of his charity, The Ludacris Foundation, discussing his own philanthropic efforts and encouraging listeners on ways in which to support grassroots organizations aimed specifically at enriching the lives of young people.  Sometimes corny (he assured the audience early in his speech that he had not come to Washington DC to announce his candidacy for the 2012 presidential election, and then chuckled at his own joke) and at other times emboldened (he shared proudly how he, rapper T.I. and other friends and associates in the music industry had come together within 8 hours to raise $80K for the Atlanta Flood Victims earlier this fall) the one constant element that resonated throughout his speech was Chris’ passion regarding his non-profit and the recipients he’s been able to assist with a “hand-up” as opposed to a “hand-out.”

 

As an entertainer, he may be explicit and controversial (the evening’s emcee, Donna Leinwand began her introductions of Chris with “you may remember his song Politics; Obama is here,” which I found pretty funny, as many in the audience did not fit into Ludacris’ target hip-hop demographic), but alter ego aside, Chris Bridges’ seemingly genuine fundraising efforts were a pleasant contrast to the often violent, exploitive and crude images projected in rap and urban music today.

 

Now if 50 Cent would stop picking and instigating fights with his fellow rappers and utilize the G-Unity Foundation to support “Crafts for Christ: An after-school program highlighting the development of arts & crafts projects depicting totally awesome biblical stories,” then we’d be well on our way to a safer and more productive world for America’s youth.

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

Whitney and Other Disappointing DWTS Moments

29 Nov

I’ve not really followed Dancing With the Stars since Season 4’s suspect voting results that led to only a third place finish for the most impressive and surprisingly light-on-her-feet dance stylings of Lalia Ali to Apolo Anton Ohno (winner) and Joey Fatone (runner-up), but I was drawn to watch the Season 9 Finale when I heard that the new and improved Ms. Whitney (love) would be performing.

 

In an effort to get current, I watched Youtube clips of the show, week by agonizing week until I was caught up on the three finalists.  While I didn’t think it was very fair, I was pretty sure that Mya and Donny would finish 1 and 2, seeing as how both had a strong dance and performance background, while reformed Goth-girl-turned-sequined-diva, Kelly Osbourne would receive the cursory “honorable mention”.  When the final results were read however, and Donny Osmond was awarded the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy, I was once again reminded of why I stopped watching this popularity contest in the first place.  Not that Donny was a poor dancer by any means, but his movements were kind of seasoned and measured in comparison to the lithely and pronounced lines of Mya.  I guess I can complain but only so much though, as I dialed in nary a vote myself.

 

But that wasn’t my only DWTS disappointment of the night.  It really pains me to say this, but Whitney’s 2009 rendition of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” was a EPIC FAIL!  While she looked FAB in her yellow-belted, ruffled mini-dress with an elegant scoop neck, she sounded like an Ultimate Karaoke contestant.  Her five background singers were the songs only saving grace, keeping the integrity and the original sound of the tune intact (I wonder if the producers at DWTS had cut Whit’s mic and let only the back-ups sing and harmonize, if anyone would have been the wiser?).

 

Clive’s protégé did not even bring her diva A-game to the show; having a more “cut-the-check” look on her face at times than bearing her classic (and often times sweating) “I-am-every-woman” countenance.  Now, I love Whitney, God knows I do, and despite mixed reviews, I own a copy of “I Look To You,” but if she were to take her previous successes and ride gracefully into the sunset, I wouldn’t be mad at that.

 

And as for DWTS, unless they incorporate mini-MMA matches to determine who gets eliminated from the bottom three each week as opposed to the current popularity-versus-actual-skill spectator voting, then they won’t have to worry about me tuning in next season.

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

Whose WORTHY Enough for the GOP?

29 Nov

Ever since the 2008 presidential election, it seems that the Republican Party has gone back to the proverbial drawing board, recalibrating their message and strengthening their base, in hopes that in 2010 the Democratic stronghold in Congress will be effectively toppled and the presidential election in 2012 will result in a drastically more conservative leader-of-the-free-world who embodies solely the ideologies of the Grand Old Party (and who won’t be afraid to crack the skulls of other world powers and tuck diplomacy neatly in the top right-side drawer of the Resolute Desk as an artifact of the previous administration).

 

To enact this plan, an ultra conservative faction of Republican National Convention members are developing a “10 point purity test” in hopes of identifying and supporting only the most philosophically sound GOP candidates and representatives.  The ten “principles” highlighted in this litmus test of sorts refer specifically to issues like opposition of government funded abortions and trade restriction legislations, while in support of issues like a troop surge in Afghanistan and the Defense of Marriage Act.  The plan, if endorsed by the RNC would cause candidates whose ideals differ on more than two of the 10 issues, to be ineligible for Republican Party funding.

 

This latest pretentious stance has got to make you wonder though; do Republican legislators think that they alone hold a monopoly on these particular positions?  Are there not liberal, middle of the roaders and conservatives alike who believe in the sanctity of marriage, or that in order for there to be true victory over terrorism in the Middle East and abroad, the United States has to reestablish dominance over insurgents in Afghanistan? I’ve said it before, but it seems to me as if certain Republicans feel like, if you aren’t a member of their alliance, then it is almost as if you are considered an infidel, in need of enlightenment…or exile. 

 

But, if you take the time to actually review the GOP Purity Test in all its divisive glory, it reads more like a personal attack on the current administration, than a tool by which to garner and reestablish a firm traditionalist message amongst the Republican core.  This “catalog of grievances” seems to sites only issues that President Obama has put into place that one must not support in order to be considered a true Republican candidate.  What about foreign policy, sound fiscal guidelines and a deficit-reduction strategy?  If the GOP didn’t spend so much time alienating people based on party lines (and in an effort to demonize the current White House occupants) they could see that there are several platforms and issues that transcend partisanship and that resonate with all types of voters; issues that could ultimately work in their favor toward any 2010 pursuits.

 

Now before anyone gets their progressive panties in a bunch, the Purity Test is not yet a staple amongst “Asinine Republican Rules and Regulations”.  It is however up for adoption at the next RNC Meeting…In Hawaii.

 

Hawaii.

 

It just goes to show you, when much of the country is still under the thumb of a fundamentally weak economy and conservative leaders attack the President over big government and wasteful spending, a double standard exists in comparison to the actions of the far-right.  It’s no wonder that the Republican Party has yet to make any significant inroads since 2008.  I suppose that people will begin to take the GOP more seriously when they hold themselves to the same standard they take such immense pleasure in imposing on everyone else.

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

Lady O’s State Dinner Stunner

27 Nov

It is truly a rare occurrence when I’d crop out Mr. President from a photograph featuring him and the First Lady, but Michelle O. was just too ravishing this past Tuesday to share the face time with him.

 

I know that everyone has been talking about Mrs. Obama’s elegant State Dinner appearance, but it bears repeating…her style was not only classic and polished, but yet another statuesque success.  In true Michelle Obama fashion, she chose her custom-made strapless silhouette-beaded gown for the event not from a well-known designer, but instead from an up and coming designer named Naeem Khan.  In keeping with the scheduled Indian theme of the night in honor of India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lady O. wore a skirt earlier that day by New York based designer Rachel Roy, who is also of Indian ancestry (and expressed her “look-who’s-wearing-my-creation” excitement on twitter that same morning).

 

 

Although it has been said on countless occasions since the Obama’s arrived at the White House, it is SO very refreshing to again see a trendy and highly fashionable First Lady at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  Not only does she bring a hip and youthful energy to the political arena, but with the many formal shindigs that she will be required to attend over the next three years, her passion for fashion will undoubtedly open doors for many more new designers; an obvious win for fashion and Mrs. Obama’s own trend-setting status.

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

Totally Buffoonery: White House Party Crashers

26 Nov

AP photo

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s been so long it seems!  My apologies to all The Pack followers for my MIA status.  With the holiday season encroaching on my free-time, I have sort of “checked out” when it’s come to updating the blog.  I’ve truly missed the discourse and I hope you guys have missed our conversations from all things relevant to ridiculous. Speaking of which…

 

With “The Change That I Can Believe In” now a staple in the White House, I have made a concerted effort to pray for the progress of this country and the success of our President.  Not only have I been praying that the amalgamation of tasks on Barack’s massive to-do list will be considerably minimized by the halfway point in his presidency, but I also pray earnestly for the safety of the Obama family.  So surely you can understand the absolute dread that I felt when I heard about the Salahi’s State Dinner party-crashing antics this past Tuesday at the White House.  For those who don’t follow Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of (insert city of residency for these chemically imbalanced women here),” there have been talks that the network is going to extend the series to the Washington, D.C. Metro Area; and cue The Salahi’s.

 

 Michaele and Tareq Salahi are well-known pillars in Virginia’s elite horse country circle, so it comes as no surprise as to why they felt entitled at being present at Obama’s first State Dinner of his presidency.  The fact that their presence at the event serves as further publicity for them as they jockey to be added to the RHODC cast line-up is not lost on me, but the fact that they brazenly ignored social party etiquette, not to mention their ostentatious breached of security has me scratching my head on two accounts.

 

Firstly, after Michaele Salahi rushed home to post her “My Whimsical Night at The White House” photo album in pretentiously braggart fashion on Facebook of all places, (which incidentally is how she and her husband were determined trespassers and subsequently busted) how can they hope to convince Bravo TV and America that they are the crème-de-la-crème of high society?  Even with my modest middle class upbringing, my parents taught me that you don’t show up to a party or event where you aren’t invited…and then brag about it.  Secondly, I am wondering if a changing of the guard (literally) is necessary amongst the brass in the Secret Service.  Granted, the Salahi’s posed no imminent danger to the President, his family and other dignitaries, but I just cannot reconcile the fact that these loons were granted access to such a high-profile, yet exclusive affair and no one knew who they were.  Lord knows, if their intentions had been dastardly, the fallout and scrutiny of this administration would have been devastating! The idea of it all is just too unnerving to even imagine.  Ever the statesman however, the couple’s photo-op with Vice President Biden was classic! He cheesed it up for the cameras as if they are all intimate friends!

 

Joe’s glee notwithstanding, the Secret Service’s Spokeman Ed Donovan said that the agency is committed to assessing how the Salahi’s gained entrance when neither were on the guest list (there have even been hints that a White House Staffer may have slipped them in) and will mend any security procedures that may be lacking.  What’s interesting to note is that there’s the potential for trespassing charges to be filed against Michaele and Tareq for their seemingly deliberate indiscretion; surely nothing one of their high-powered attorneys on retainer can’t handle, but I doubt that the drama will bode well for their “2009 Salahi Campaign for Reality TV Stardom”…what am I saying, of course it will!

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

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