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The Kobe System: Vanessa, You’re Welcome

23 Jan

If you haven’t seen the most recent exploits of the warm-up wearing, motivational speaking guru, The Black Mamba as he schools the World’s One Percenters on how to excel further despite their own individual greatness and success, then you must be watching all things Republican on a continuous C-Span loop.

For those of you however as amused as I was by Serena’s Grander Slam, Sir Richard Branson’s planet purchase, Jerry Rice wanting to understand the words coming out of Kobe’s mouth or Kanye actually considering someone else’s advice for a change, know that this latest Nike brainchild had to have been developed of authentic and necessary origins.  I mean, whether you love him or loathe him, Kobe Bryant has had an epic and undoubtedly future Basketball Hall of Fame career.  He has been likened to The Great One in just about every aspect of the game and even in his many lucrative endorsement deals.

Unfortunately also like Mike, Mr. Bryant has recently had to endure the ill effects of his dirty laundry being aired to the world and his marriage ultimately becoming collateral damage.  And in a dunder-headed move of having no prenuptial agreement, Kobe’s pockets have become nearly $150 Million lighter almost overnight.

So yes, the notion of Kobe motivating the Über-successful into being even more so is a unique and cheeky idea which makes for a great shoe selling advertising campaign, but know that in 2012, every commercial, fade away, public speaking outing, behind the back pass and 3-point shot are all simply motivational mechanisms for #24…The man’s got a lot of monetary recouping to do!

Getting My John Coltrane on in 2012

2 Jan

No, I’m not making epic music on my horn (although I did play the tenor sax until Junior High School…Fanny Pack Fun Fact # 128), but I am in A Sentimental Mood as I’ve been reflecting on 2011 and making preparations for a productive 2012.

Let me be the first to say that while I am blessed every single year, 2011 was honestly a time of both high highs and low lows for me.  But in my planning to agressively chin-check 2012, I am not sitting down and calculating a bunch of unattainable goals just because a New Year has crested upon my horizon.  What I am doing is looking back on all of my loves, losses, goals, miscues and realities and making a commitment to myself to dedicate some real and substantial time toward addressing each.

That alone makes 2012 an exciting prospect for me, and I am looking forward to all that is in store; I hope that each of you are as well!

The Fanny Pack Husband Tag

23 Dec

In addition to the multiple blogs that I subscribe to and enjoy reading, as well as my moderate addiction to Social Media, I am unashamed to admit that I also have a minor love affair with YouTube.

Whether it’s fashion, hair, makeup, politics or popular culture; I LOVE watching the multitude of videos that people all over the world upload to YouTube.  I’ve even drank some of the social video crazy juice and have been regularly uploading vids as well, the most fun of which has been a two part Husband Tag video that I was surprisingly able to get The Honey to voluntarily participate in.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what exactly goes through my mind when The Honey cuts a fool, or if he tolerates my special brand of foolery, then check out these amusing videos that give a little insight into our life, love and relationship.

MsTiffFanny Goes Live!

11 Nov

The reason you all are witnessing me patting myself on the back right now is because I finally accomplished one of my blog goals!

A couple of years ago when I decided that I wanted to write and maintain a blog, one thing that I thought would be awesome for  The Pack Faithful would be if I could somehow accompany the blog with some videos so that my readers would not only become familiar with my authoring voice, but my natural one as well.  In truth, there are times when there is SO much to say about a situation or happening in life, politics or popular culture, that I am certain that my intentions can sometimes get misconstrued.

It is for that reason that I put an action plan in the works to develop a YouTube Channel as a counterpart to The Fanny Pack.  MsTiffFanny Live is exactly what the name suggests.  It is a live vlog where I can upload various videos highlighting my random musings, thoughts and expressions.  For me, the channel is not only a branding mechanism, but a vehicle to inform as well as and decompress with.  Besides, for those of you who do not know me personally, MsTiffFanny Live will finally give you a chance to see and hear where The Fanny Pack originated.

The introductory video is one that took me FOR-EV-ERRRR to upload and edit, but the end result  turned out to be a very satisfactory Channel intro that will precede any future videos that I post (if I do say so myself).  Check it out, and if you are feeling the direction I am taking with the channel, please comment, “like” and even subscribe.

Thanks Guys and Gals!

Breast Cancer Awareness and Musiq: YES!

23 Oct

If I weren’t a happily married woman, or didn’t have enough conducive things going on in my life to afford me the time to be an R&B stalker, I would totally drive up to Philly and kiss Musiq right on the mouth for this here gem!

You all know how I feel about Breast Cancer Awareness (sadly, I just found out that a dear friend/mentor was diagnosed just this week), so learning that Musiq Soulchild had recently included the role of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Circle of Promise Ambassador to his successful résumé; I was over the moon.  With the sort of exposure that Musiq can offer to the foundation and toward combatting this deadly disease, it is likely that even more young women of color will become engaged in the Breast Cancer Awareness dialog and movement.

Check out his newest video “Yes”, directed by Juwan Lee, and see if you don’t shed at least one tear.  The video also cameos a wealth of beautiful breast cancer survivors from the Atlanta area; just fabulous.

DWTS Season 13: I Might Actually Watch an Episode or Two

19 Sep

Actors, Reality Show Stars, Talk Show Hosts and Athletes.  Seems like the perfunctory amalgamation of contestants for yet another season of Dancing with the Stars, right?  I’d certainly say so, except that in the case of the Season 13 cast, many of them have had a rather high-profile year, making the show a likely high ratings contender.

Take for instance the women’s World Cup darling, Hope Solo.  Although she and Team USA couldn’t quite get past Japan to take home the title, her athleticism, won’t-quit attitude and obvious beauty earned her a slew of fans; both soccer savvy and oblivious alike.  I imagine those same fans will swarm to the phones on her behalf.

Then there is Nancy Grace.  The in-your-face legal beagle got a lot of face time this year as she covered the Casey Anthony trial (and basically convicted and condemned the woman as well).  I don’t know how all that attention will translate on the show, or if the instigator is even able to Viennese Waltz, but if nothing more, I am sure she will be good for a giggle or two.

Now if I’m honest, I am most interested in seeing Ron Artest compete. And no, not because like his athletic predecessors, he faces pretty favorable odds at claiming the Mirror Ball Trophy by the show’s conclusion.  Actually, I am (ashamedly) looking forward to Ron’s admitted nuttiness, his sharp tongue, whether or not he will thank his therapist for her encouragement on his Foxtrot and if Tom Bergeron & company will address him as Metta World Peace all season.

But in this sea of twelve, there are sure to be some other early stand-outs as well as fan favorites:

The Reality Stars: Kristin Cavallari, Robert Kardashian and Carson Kressley (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy)

The Actors: David Arquette, Elisabetta Canalis, Ricki Lake (Actor turned Talk Show Sensation) and Chynna Phillips (Actor turned chart topping musician)

The Activists/Motivators: Chaz Bono (LGBT rights advocate) and J.R. Martinez (Injured Iraq War Veteran slash motivational speaker slash “All My Children” cast mate).

With this collection of spotlight grabbers, good guys, feel good stories, nostalgia evokers, famous for no reason and “what were they thinking” participants, I suspect that this will be a big season for DWTS.  And I’m all in this go ‘round…at least until Bruno makes an uncomfortable reference to one of the contestants Paso Doble execution and the physical act of child bearing.

My New Guilty Pleasure: Tia & Tamera

1 Sep

In all honesty, from their first guest appearance on “Full House” to their “Sister, Sister” days (“Go Home Roger!”), I’ve been a big fan of the sisters Mowry…well, with the exception of that weird Disney Channel “Twitches” franchise phase.

Still, all grown up and with motherhood and matrimony on the menu, the twins have an extremely successful reality show on The Style Network that follows their lives and new experiences and I have to say, I am supremely addicted. But while I do admittedly need deliverance from all things boob-tube, at least this show is more endearing and wholesome than my other guilty pleasures like Dexter, True Blood and the infamous Real Housewives of Atlanta. That counts for something, right?

You can check out the lovely (and at times very loony) ladies for yourselves on Mondays at 9/8c on Style!

Fanny Pack Listening Party: Fool for You

15 Jul


As much as I love music, I cannot believe that I am just now introducing my listening party posts.  I guess in reality it is perhaps because I’ve not been overly moved by popular music as of late; to expend my energy (and my platform) to highlight yet another factory assembled, cookie cutter artist and his or her homogenous song.

But clearly such is not (nor has never been) the case when talking about Goodie-Mob-rapper-turned-soloist-turned-Gnarls-Barkley-front-man-turned-soloist again, Cee-lo Green.  Whether you are like me and can clearly recall tales of Cee-lo riding around in his Acura Legend(ary), calling out self-proclaimed G-O-Ds, or whether you are just now boarding this crazy train and have only recently been introduced to the pint sized dynamo thanks to his Unrequited Lovers anthem  Forget You, know that Green is the sort of artist that offers listeners his heart and soul and a pinch of funk with every rasp, falsetto and vibrato that he sings.

Stirring in some Melanie Fiona to his flavorful, musical gumbo, Cee-lo’s latest single from his Lady Killer’s album, “Fool For You” accurately depicts the feeling that we’ve all experienced at one time or another when that special someone had our heart on our sleeve, body on cloud nine and our nose wide open.  Its retro sound, lyrical flair and instrumental infusions makes “Fool For You” every bit a sultry R&B instant classic, well worth a listening party Fanny Pack feature.  Enjoy.

Compton High Student Puts on a Clinic: Paying It Forward

11 Jul

It’s always incredibly moving when despite economy, socio-economic status, societal image and basic stereotypes, a young man proves that he can not only rise above the labels and the odds, but that he can also bless others in the process.  What began as a contest for Allan Guei, a graduating senior at Compton High School in Los Angeles, CA, resulted in a move so profound, one has to wonder how long before an After-School special will be produced to tell his tale of class and generosity in its purest form.

Organizers of the Compton High free throw shooting contest were on a simple mission: to demonstration to students how to create community spirit through the incentive of awarding college scholarships.  The only contest requirement was that entrants be students at Compton High and have at least a 3.0 GPA.  Of the nearly 80 applicants that entered, eight contest finalists were selected at random to participate in the event, which was held in March.

One such participant was school star basketball player, Allan Guei.  And although he had an obvious advantage over many of the other contestants (in that, as a star basketball player, he was likely more capable of making foul shots than the other competitors), the organizers decided that Geui should be allowed to remain in the contest since he too met all of the contest requirements.

Sure enough, with fluid form, technique and follow-through, Allan’s precision free throw-shooting earned him the top scholarship prize of $40,000.  But it wasn’t his impressive b-ball skills that fascinated all who’d come to learn of this young man and his story of excelling on and off-the court.  It was the fact that three months after swishing his way to a more financially comfortable college experience, the Cal-State Northridge student-to-be (who’d earned himself a full scholarship from the school) graciously decided that his $40K winnings would be put to better use if split between the seven other students who qualified to compete in the March contest.

“I’ve already been blessed so much and I know we’re living with a bad economy, so I know this money can really help my classmates,” Allan Guei said in a release from the school. “It was the right decision.”

As a part of the contest and to build morale and cohesion in the Compton community, the contest organizers decided to film the Compton High students throughout the ordeal as part of a documentary that is scheduled to be released this fall.  In one of the films closing scenes, CHS principal Jesse Jones makes the surprise announcement at the school’s June graduation of Guei’s benevolence.

Donald Dotson, who also plans to attend Cal-State Northridge, described Guei as being a very deep, intelligent, and warm person.

“He’s going to go really far in life.  Because of what he’s done for us, God will bless him. That’s what life is all about; stepping forward to help other people.”

And just like that, in a stunning and tear-jerking display of kindness, Allan Guei solidified his legend as a stellar high school academic and athlete who saw the good and felt the necessity in paying it forward.

Distracted.Dot.Com: The Braxton Five

12 Apr

So, I was productively bogging and minding my own business when, SNATCH!  Howard’s finest and her baby siblings commandeered my television and my attention!

And from Trina’s first (of many) alcoholic swigs to Tamar’s continual sentence enhancing’s and’s (ex: “He betta get it together!”), I knew that this would be a reality train wreck that I’d need deliverance from, and that I would shamefacedly love and loathe with identical ardor.

Productivity: 0

Braxtons: 5

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