Monday, December 17, 2012

Scandal FanGirl Meltdown

I really don't deliberately what a lot of TV. Most of  the time it just happens by accident. During the day, I don't watch because it is the only silence I get to write. But lately something's changed/ It ain't hard to define/ Jesse's got himself a girl/ and  wanna make her mine...no, that's not it.

What had happened was a show called SCANDAL. I'm obsessed with the show. It really sucks that the most important relationships I have outside of DaddyFixIt and the McBrothas is with a TV show...and people on Twitter who like the TV show.

Scandal is beautifully shot show, amazingly written, the performances are EMMY-WORTHY, take that you Jerry Lewis Loving FREAKS at the GOLDEN GLOBES who SNUBBED SCANDAL. I'm not obsessed.

I've spent the last couple of months really, really figuring out what I want...and what I want is to write about fluffy stuff, fun stuff, to add value to the world by being brave enough to say.... I'm a song and dance woman who can only kinda sing and kinda dance. MY value is in entertaining. PERIOD. Nothing else. I suck at everything else. I write to amuse myself. I do goofy videos to amuse myself, and hopefully a couple of others.

I love TV as a medium. I decided to do my own vlog on YouTube about TV and pop culture stuff, because, well, I am not wired up to be one of those folks who sells you 5 grand worth of marketing stuff. So let me entertain you...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Internet Marketing Adventures

I've been learning how to market myself on the internet...it's a daunting task. There are a million and one ways to do it and a million and two folks teaching you how to do it.

I've scaled down my services and I'm teaching women how to be confident using their voices for work and in life.

I'd love for you to check out my new and somewhat improved website http://www.tangelaekhoff.com/

The writing is mostly biz and kinda life related, but soon, soon, soon, I'm getting my books up on Kindle. And my creative non-fiction itch will be scratched.

Thank you for reading!


Tangela

P.S. What have you been up to?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hello, I'm back!

Hello friends!



I've been away getting up my new website and business  www.tangelaekhoff.com . I also finished an online business course that teaches women how to use the web to make money online.

Let me just say...it's been mind boggling.

I've launched a personal coaching business which has been fun and interesting.

I'm always looking for clients...so if you need a big push to move yourself forward in your business or life, send me an e-mail!

I've missed writing for fun for creativity's sake...and just for me. That's part of why I'm back to Homegirl !

My website and business are up and running...so, now I'm settling in on my vision. I feel like I took my eye off of the ball for me. I'm a writer, dammit.

So this is the first thing I've written just for me. Sure, it sucks...but I'm glad I did it!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Changes. Changes. Changes.

They say the only thing constant in life is change. They are right.

I won a scholarship to  Marie Forleo's online business school! I am sooooo excited. B-School is a great opportunity to meet other women who own their own businesses, and most importantly, an opportunity for me to learn how to successfully leverage my talents as a speaker into a lucrative online business. I'm adding personal coaching to my business, so I am hoping to turn all of this into online lessons that people actually pay money to learn.

Marie has made millions online and with her live events, and I want to learn how to make money + help other women, especially those who have struggled with unemployment, underemployment....and the crushing self-esteem issues that come along with it.

I think I am now in the path of the right people. Just praying that God sustains us for a couple of months.
I will still blog about life and "stuff" here, but I will be focused like crazy on building up a business that actually sustains and supports our family.

Send good thoughts my way, as I continue to send love and light to you.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Arm In Arm (Mother's Day)

There is nothing more beautiful for a mother than when the kids get along and silence befalls a home. Tonight the boys fell asleep arm in arm. Two sets of ridiculously long eyelashes brushed Cassiopeia. Two taupe arms embraced the genetic best friend. Two little boys, who normally bite the crap out of each other,  bared sleepy smiles instead of tiger-like fangs.


I watched in awe as closed eyes darted back and forth, as if reading the credits of a movie. They slept. Together. Arm in arm. These boys. These brothers. They destroy my home during the day. They destroy me by night with the illumination of love. I did nothing to earn this feeling. Yet, I gobble it up like a baker's daughter. I allow the sweetness to permeate my once-cynical soul. I was told I couldn't have any more children. Yet here they are.


And, I felt like Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona. 


I want to say to my husband, "Bring me a toddler, DaddyFixIt. Bring me a toddler."


Raising Arizona would probably never be made today. We are a culture that takes kidnapping,  in the most literal form, very seriously.  But, the movie is the best visual chronicle of what being a mother is supposed to be. Love. Longing. The desire to be loved and to love without condition or description. It is what it is.


Tonight, my accent, my horrid, southern accent finally served me well, as I cut off the light in their room, and attempted to imitate the sublime Holly Hunter aloud. I tried to push back the tears, and said, "I love them soooooo much."


They will be out of school in a few days. I won't be loving their taupe asses then...


Happy Mother's Day, friends. Savor the good times...like when they are passed out slam asleep.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Demi's New Twitter Handle

I totally gave Demi her new Twitter handle. Wonder if I'll get credit... or chocolate???

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brush

My heart aches.

Then, I feel a slight, cool brush of air that combs over the fine hair on my arm.

I remember He's right there. Beside me. In the pain.

I remember because He tickles me daily.

He gave me laughter. He gave me sorrow.

Like a sandwich cookie.

He's on one side.

I'm on the other.

But in the middle is where life resides.

The shocking sweetness of the good stuff.

The grainy, lumpy, crystals pretending to be creamy good stuff when it's bad...sometimes it's very bad.

The tear makes a great escape, and then comes the tumble.

I have brush with death.

He coaxes me back to life.

The air on my arm gently spells, "Be here. Be now."

Comfort in calligraphy that brushes a heartache into a heart fully awake.

                                                 ~Tangela Parker Ekhoff  (9/21/11)

I wrote this after my Mom died. I have a book full of poetry. My favorite pastime is making fun of poets and writing poetry...and eating cookies.

Funny that even when I'm sad...I'm thinking about cookies. I'm actually very happy today and I'm thinking about cookies. Life has taken a turn for the good...and I'm thinking about cookies. There is not one damn cookie here in the house that I actually want to eat. But, I'm thinking about cookies. I'm going for a walk. I'll stop at the bakery on 1st street...and buy a donut. They don't have cookies.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Mighty Ekhoffs

When the McBrothas were itty bitty things, I wrote them a song. Actually, I just ripped it off from a Frosted Flakes commercial. Some call that sampling. I know it's cheesy, but I think every family should have one cheesy, face palming tradition. For me, it's a song.

I used to sing the song more times a day than I care to admit. Most of time when I sang it, it would lull the McBrothas to sleep, or at least cut a tantrum short. Hey, gotta do what you gotta do, right?

I haven't sung the family song in a few weeks, but yesterday, when it was "supposed, alleged" nap time around the house, the boys were singing the family song!  It made feel all warm and fuzzy.





Everywhere we go

people want to know

who we are

'cause we are stars

we are The Ekhoffs

the mighty, mighty Ekhoffs.



I wrote this song when we were in the initial throes of poverty. I wrote it because in many ways I felt so small, insignificant, and hopeless. I guess singing that we were "mighty" gave me some kind of comfort. We are slowly climbing our way out, but every single day I am thankful for the struggle, and thankful for the strength it has brought our family.


No matter how hard things get, no matter what we go through as a family; I want the boys to remember we are a family. We are bonded not just by blood, but by love. I hope when they are old men they'll look back and think of the family song with fondness. I hope they teach it to their grandchildren...I hope my intergalactic great-grandchildren think it's the cheesiest thing they have ever heard!




The McBrothas in a stroller...with a bored tiger behind them.




Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flip-Flops







A chubby old lady just fell in the Wal-Mart parking lot. She was wearing white socks and pink flip flops. The contents of her purse spilled all around her. She sat up, and started putting stuff back in her purse. Then a cute young man came over to help her. He handed her a matchbox car and a handful of change. 




In his hand he was holding a tattered semi-opened tampon. She started laughing. He started laughing. He said, "I'm sorry." She said, " Are you gonna give me that tampon or do you need it?" The old chubby lady was me...Note to self: Don't wear flip flops and socks...oh, and stop going to Wal-Mart ... double oh, take tampons from 1996 out of purse. #FACEPALM




P.S. I also shoved this random Mussolini Medallion in my purse before the  young man saw it. The last thing you want to be is a communist in Oklahoma...that's almost as bad as being a democrat.









Monday, March 19, 2012

What If...







The "what ifs" of life always have a way of grinding us down to a finely crushed version of who we really are.  What if you actually stopped asking "what if" and just do:

what comes naturally to you

what gives you peace

what makes you happy

what you always thought you could do

what "they" said you couldn't/shouldn't  (p.s. tell "they" to go to hell)

what makes you smile

what makes you cringe

what makes you strong

what makes you weak

what makes you proud

what makes you feel love

what makes you feel like Wonder Woman, Rosa Parks, and Cher all at the same TIME!!!

WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT!!!

Last time I checked, you're gonna go into a casket/ urn/ Viking burial boat all by your damnself. Stop letting other people tell you WHAT you need to do with YOUR life. Stop waiting for someone else to give you permission to live your own life.That little voice that whispers to your soul is actually shouting: WTF do I gotta do to get you to pay attention?

What if you listen?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Burning Question

Over on Danielle LaPorte's fantastic blog she asks a burning question of her followers. Her site is filled with inspiration and power and business mojo!  I got mad web love for Lady D! Today's burning question is WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO STOP DOING?

Oh, Danielle, I really wish you'd stop reading my journal...

I would like to stop beating myself up about the past. I have made so many mistakes, missed so many opportunities, and allowed so many people who don't matter one damn to turn the powerful woman in me into a crying little ball of afro-puffed snot.

I wish I could go back and tell that little girl, "You are gonna be fine." I wish I could tell 30- year-old me to,
 " GO for friggin broke...and NEVER LOOK BACK!"  I wish I could tell my forty-year-old self that in three years my Mama, my rock, would be gone, and I should spend as much time getting up in her business and hugging her as possible, instead of fretting about something insignificant!

I would like to stop beating myself up about the past. It is dusty old box and it's too heavy to carry into my future. I need to unload it.  Yeah, I effed up royally, but God's grace is here for me right now.

The NOW is pretty darn cool!  I have three amazing kids! A husband who loves me. I am finally within reach of  my dreams! After taking the zig-zag path to following my call, I'm using my speaking superpowers to put a nail in the coffin of financial and emotional poverty that's robbed me of living a Big Ass Life! Did I mention I am using my experiences in poverty to speak at two Food Bank conferences in April!?!? Every experience is an opportunity!

Starting today, I am putting the nail  in the coffin of my past. It's done. I'm so over it, and I am so ready to be who God has called me to be. I am imperfect. I am a work in progress. I am...here.now. I AIN'T LOOKIN BACK!

So today, ask yourself WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO STOP DOING
Elevate a prayer... and let it GO! If it requires physical work, know that half the heavy lifting is done in the mind...

Amen


Thanks, Danielle your words are always on point, girl!!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Death...Again

Last year I lost several good friends and my Mom. I thought I would get a break, but on February 12, 2012 my dad, Pastor John Parker, died. I am sad that his death came just five months after my Mom's. I had a chance to reconnect with him in the last month, and it felt good.

I'm in a totally new place. I'm an orphan. I'm not sure what is next for me, but I am sure that I will spend every day trying to be a better mother and wife.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Black History Month: Taylor Dayne

Blacks and Jewish people have a lot in common. Slavery. Oppression. Whoopi Goldberg. During the Civil Rights Movement, Blacks and Jews marched and worked side-by-side to end discriminatory Jim Crow Laws in the south.  But, while Black people are appreciative for the gift of friendship, the greatest gift the chosen people have ever given us, besides Adam Sandler movies (womp, womp), was a nice Jewish girl named Leslie Wunderman, who is better know as the blonde bombshell, Taylor Dayne!

I'm trying to get my 1987 Taylor drag just right! Red lipstick? Check! Ripped jeans? Mega-check! Crimped hair? Do you smell something burning? Awww, snap! I just fried my hair with my crimping iron from 11th grade that I dug out of a box labeled, "High School Nightmares.". I miss Alabama, because in Alabama, them Arabs and them Koreans are experts on Black hair care products. Don't believe me? Just ask your own personal Black Friend who she buys her weave from. Trust me, she is not going to say from "ShaQuanna's Weave Emporium" or "Skippy McAlester's Weave Galleria." You see, people are coming from China, Korea, Pakistan, and those other far-a flung countries in search of the American Dream. They are financing their American Dream one weave at a time! I'm singing Neil Diamond's
"(They're Coming to)America" right now. Neil's Jewish, too, and if you don't like that song; you're not a patriot...and you should self-deport to like Micronesia. Is that racist? No, silly, it's Black History Month! It is not Micronesian History Month...that's in August.

Sorry for the rant, but the side of my head looks like a blown out tire, and oddly enough, it smells like the infield at a NASCAR race. Yes, I know what that smells like from personal experience. I'm a race-mixer like that. Shout out to my boo, the #88, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Taylor Dayne burst onto the music scene in 1987 with the funky! infectious! "Tell It to My Heart". I love that song, but I have to say her love songs were beautiful. "I'll Always Love You" and "Love Will Lead You Back" solidified Taylor Dayne's place as a Pioneer of Black History. "Love Will Lead You Back" was one of my Mama's FAVORITE songs. Every time that song played, Miss Ella would drop everything and wave her hands up in the air. She waved 'em like she just didn't care. Then she would say, "That girl know she can SANG!" Notice I didn't say that white girl. We had cable then, so we knew Taylor was white, but she got the "Miss Ella Seal of Approval", and that's enough for me.

Today, I salute Taylor Dayne, Pioneer of Black History, for a voice as rich as Joe, the janitor/shareholder at Facebook World Headquarters. I also salute Taylor Dayne for giving me wonderful memories of my Mom. My Mom loved music, and she instilled a love of music in all of her children. Growing up in Montgomery, Alabama, where there are so many spoken and unspoken rules, Mama taught us that there was no such thing as Black music or white music. She just taught me to listen without prejudice...(thanks, George Michael for totally ripping me off)!!!!! Miss Ella taught us that good music was good music, and Taylor Dayne, you made us all believe that the one that got away would come back. Mazel Tov, My Sista!

My parents divorced when I was ten.  My parents had seen each other three times in the 35 years they were a non-couple. On the day my Mom died, one of the last people she saw was my Dad, who came from D.C. to say goodbye. She never remarried after they got divorced. Their marriage was filled with a lot of pain, mostly because of what Viet Nam did to Daddy. But, Mama never got over him. I'll never know what was said in that sterile room on September 10, but I do know that Mama held on long enough to see him.  Hours after he got there, she let go, and let the cancer take her. In an act of kindness and grace, never displayed by my father (at least to me or in my presence) my Dad paid for my Mom's funeral.

 Mama and I loved watching soap operas together.  I suspect that if her death had been scripted, Dad would take Mama's hand before she died, "Love Will Lead You Back" would be playing in the background. He'd say, " Please forgive me for ruining your life." She'd say, " I forgave you a long time ago." Then her hand would fall slowly by her side, her eyes would close with a look of peace on her face.  The screen would fade to black, and Taylor's amazing voice would swell, ushering my Mom into heaven.




For more info about Taylor go to her website:  http://www.taylordayne.com/

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Black History Month: Justin Timberlake

I'm not even going to attempt to write anything deep or meaningful about Justin Timberlake. Why? When it comes to Timberlake, I am that crying girl on American Idol when Sanjaya was performing. I'm just a ball of snot and Grape Lip Smackers when I watch Justin on TV. I totally understand people who trampled each other to death to see David Cassidy. Blood lust thy name is Timberlake.

Justin makes me giddy. I love him sooo muuucchhh! *Holly Hunter voice from Raising Arizona.* This isn't news. The bible suggests that when you become a grown-up you should put away childish things. I listened to the bible, and in my garage there is a Justin Timberlake doll. Doll Justin calls me from his itty bitty Mattel cell phone when I sleep..."Tange, let me out of this box. Play with me. Make me dance-fight with your Jordan Knight doll...." I rebuke Doll Justin.

Black people admit that JT has talent. But, we are split on accepting him after the Janet Jackson Super Bowl fiasco. He kinda hung her out to dry, and Janet was pretty hurt by it all according to my cousin. I talked to all the Black People in the whole world about it, and we are evenly split. So, until we can get it resolved as a community, I'm gonna go rouge and declare Justin Timberlake "The Blackest White Man in America."

"Cry Me A River" is a beautiful revenge ballad. Justin's vocals are a sonic boom of soul. The falsetto, the strings, the Timbaland...it is my favorite JT song.




Until The End of Time is a close second and is by far the best example of R&B done white:



Oh, here's Crying Girl...this would be me, if I ever met Timberlake:


Monday, February 6, 2012

Black History Month: Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke has soul. He's easy on the eyes and ear canal, unless you all trying to physically shove him in like a Q-Tip...that would hurt.  He's also married to the very beautiful and talented Paula Patton. I almost had to disqualify him, because my husband (Mr. Freedom Rider) says being married to a black woman is  cheating. See, my husband assumes he has an automatic Ghetto Pass because he put a ring on it, but I'm all throwing up my "Talk to the Hand" hand on that tomfoolery! *Emphatic Eye Roll* Ok,  my husband, Drum Major for Justice Ekhoff, may have a point. Nothing says, "This White Boy Has His Eyes on the Prize" like being married to a sista or wearing a t-shirt that has that slogan printed on it... note to self: make a t-shirt to put on Zazzle in spare time.

I know some of you are just getting hip to Thicke because of the singing white children on Glee, but I am a die hard fan... I bought Jordan Knight's (yes, New Kids on the Block, now, NKOTB...I love you, Jordan. I love you, Donnie!!!! #BlueBloods) solo cd, Jordan Knight and it was chock full of songs co-written by Robin Thicke. Shout out within a shout out:  Bonus Black History points to Donnie Wahlberg for producing some amazing tracks on JK's cd and sliding in a badass sample of Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones Part II "on the killer song "Don't Run." The first time I heard "Don't Run", I was all, (Please do your best to use a Flavor Flav voice here:) "What? Dang? OK? Wait a minute, is that Mobb Deep? Damn, son! " If you don't know who Mobb Deep is; it's o.k. Mobb Deep is old school hip-hop, and a total black thing. We only have a month...me trying to explain Mobb Deep to you is like you trying to explain to me why white people love watercress sammiches, Axe Body Spray, and nuking their innards in a tanning bed...see what I mean?


Sorry, so many white guys, so little month...


Back to Thicke. His voice is like thick hunk of MeMaw's German chocolate cake: DE-Yum-Shuss. His songs are poetic and beautiful. He makes you fall in love with falling in love, and he makes married sex sound sexy... shhhhh, our single friends think they are the only ones who have s.e.x.

 Robin's  mama is actress, singer, song-writer Gloria Loring  and his daddy is Alan Thicke, yes, Growing Pains... his parents wrote the theme songs to Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life (cha-ching). My Mama and I used to watch Gloria Loring on Days of Our Lives... That is some SHO' NUFF Black History Pedigree! Robin Thicke is virtually one of Frederick Douglass' great-grand cousins, yo!


I know Robin Thicke is not a Pioneer of Black History, but he is President of the Next Class of Soul Singers Who Trick Black People into saying, "Damn, I thought for sheezy that DUDE was Black!"


We Salute You Robin Thicke for going one place Justin Timberlake couldn't (because his Mama record company put the kibosh on JT being down with the sisters after that Janet Jackson nipple slipple) .








Are you kidding me!!??!! the sample of Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven".... WHAT? C'mon!
I am gettin down with my bad self! 


And for your viewing pleasure the INTERRACIAL SUPERNOVA of Robin Thicke and his beautiful wife, Paula Patton... I did a sit up in honor of her abs... 


Double fist bump to you Robin Thicke!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Black History Month: Sheena Easton

My baby takes the morning train...

Oh, I didn't see you standing there. Can you help me cut myself out of these lycra bike shorts? I look like a busted can of orange sweet rolls and I smell like a ham...

I love me some Prince. Back in the day, Prince was trouble. Does anyone remember what happened when he came to Montgomery, Alabama? He was so freaky. He was "nasty as he wanna be" before there was a 2Live Crew.  In 1984, The Purple One got his assless chaps hands on a sweet Scottish lass named Sheena Easton, and got her BANNED from the radio and MTV.  Before Prince transformed her, Sheena had been an innocent torch singer, belting out fluffy love songs that the whole world loved. She was number one on my invite list for my "Imaginary Grease Celebrity Sleepover."

Yes, I was a nerd.

Enter Prince and his Claire Huxtable hair, high-heeled boots, and purple foundation garments.  He turned sweet little Sheena into a slutty little Scottish Sexypot. The song was "Sugar Walls." I loved that song...my Mama slapped the taste out of mouth one day when she heard me singing it. I still sang it...when I was 500 yards away from my Mama's pimp hand. After Prince, Sheena was on my "Imaginary Eternal Hellfire and Damnation Power Prom Committee"...the cool sinners would be there, flames, worms, and all.


Please join me in reading this in a SEAN CONNERY VOICE:
Prince wrote "Sugar Walls" under his pen name, "Alexander Nevermind."  Tipper Gore then named this song as one of the "Filthy Fifteen" for a good dang reason; it's all about the lady parts, the she-biscuit, the fem-nuggets,  girl giblets, the smack madame...

 I thought it was a black woman singing and for that alone, Sheena Easton, you are a Black History Pioneer! There would be no Christina, no GaGa, no BritBrit...if you hadn't let Prince work his dirty magic on you! Sheena 2.0 sounded just like a black woman!

Behold the song that got me popped upside the head, "Sugar Walls!"




*** As a bonus, I included a clean song by Sheena "Damn, I thought that was a BLACK girl!" Easton, "The Lover in Me"  it sounds like it's nasty, but it's clean...Check her out doing the "whap" and the "cabbage patch-lite." Go head on, Sheena 2.0!




Oddly enough, there is a Ron Paul Ad!!!!! on the intro to SUGAR WALLS!!!

"I'ma let you get your freak on, Sheena. I'ma let you finish, but first...." ~Ron Paul

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Black History Month: Michael McDonald

Don't lie to me, child! You know when you first heard Michael McDonald you thought he was BLACK! I know I did.  It wasn't until I saw him and the Doobie Brothers on "What's Happening!" that I was hit in the face with reality: HE is WHITE! Michael McDonald should make white people from Boston to Bejing proud! That's one blue-eyed soul brotha! The man is as soulful as a pot of collard greens after a 4 hour praise-a-thon at a Black Baptist church in the heart of downtown Tuskegee.

I love, love, love Michael McDonald. I had the pleasure of seeing him in Montgomery in 2011 with my dear friend Priscilla. She was so quick on the Ticket Master draw that we sat close enough to feel the floor vibrate when MikeMc rocked side to side like Ray Charles in an earthquake. It was a magical night!

The list of hit songs this man has written and SANG, and I mean, SANG, is ginormous. Michael McDonald is a true Black History pioneer. Michael was in a band named after the marijuana long before high ass Rick James (RIP) concocted the Mary Jane Girls in his glitter-braided head, and as students of Black History, we all know being the first Black person to do something can sometimes be a bad thing---see: first black dude to die in every war, first black dude to try to fly the airplane, and first black dude to hold a grenade.. But, in Michael McDonald's case white America gained the bragging rights to "first white dude to totally fool black people into thinking he was black because he was in a band named after reefer and white folks just don't name bands after reefer, so he's gotta be black, because that is straight up gangsta take that Billy Ocean!"

Whip out your James Earl Jones Voice for this one, chirren, as we salute the BLACKEST SOUNDING WHITE MAN OF THEM ALL, Mr. Michael " I BET HE GOT A SECRET BLACK GRANDDADDY! " McDonald :

Source: Wikipedia

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, McDonald played in several local bands (such as Mike and the Majestics, Jerry Jay and the Sheratons, the Reeb-Toors, the Del Rays and The Guild) while attending McCluer High School in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, now a city of some 25,000 people in St. Louis County, Missouri. McDonald was discovered while playing with a group called Blue and consequently moved toLos Angeles in 1970.



McDonald was recruited by the band The Doobie Brothers in April 1975 when lead singer Tom Johnston became ill during a national tour. His time with the band proved so successful that they decided to retain him as a full time member.
As a member of the Doobie Brothers he recorded some of his best-known songs such as "Real Love", "Takin' It to the Streets", "Little Darling", "It Keeps You Runnin'", "Minute by Minute" and "What a Fool Believes" (which became a number one single in the U.S. and earned him a 1980 Grammy Award for Song of the Year along with co-writer Kenny Loggins). At the same time he appeared as a session singer and piano player for artists such as Christopher CrossStephen BishopJack JonesBonnie Raitt, the rock band Toto and Kenny Loggins.

Trying to pick my favorite Michael McDonald son is like trying to pick my favorite child: Yeah, I have one, but depending on my mood, it could change... So, Yah-Mo-Be on YouTube trying to watch them all...

Here's a bootleg of Michael singing  the  CLASSIC Teddy Pendergrass hit Love T.K.O.

Doing a slow roll dance, wavin' my hands in the air like my Granny at church,yall! Sing it, Michael! Sang that song, BABY!!!

Because I am the "Food Stamp President" of YouTube bootlegs, here is Michael and the Doobies  "Minute By Minute"...with CHORDS, so you can get off welfare and start a band...

That man's voice is like hot buttered CORNBREAD!

I love Black History Month!!!!  I love Michael McDonald, the George Washington Carver of the keyboards!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Black History Month: Billy Vera

Ahhh, 1985... a year in the 80's. Family Ties was one of my favorite shows...."What would I do baby, without your love..Shalalalaaaaa" Well, sing, y'all! It can't be a sing-a-long, if I'm doing all the vocal acrobatics!

When Alex P. Keaton, played by Michael J. Fox, finally declared his love for Ellen, Fox's real-life wife, Tracey Pollen, a beautiful, pensive love song swelled in the background. The brotha singing that song made anyone watching want to fall head first into a big old tub of LOVE!

The song was "At This Moment" and  it became the soundtrack for young republicans and democrats falling in love. It was played on both Black radio stations, both country stations, and Y-102, the pop station with the best stereo sound  in Montgomery, Alabama.

Today we salute Black History Pioneer,  Billy Vera, writer and singer of a song that brought Blacks and whites together with one goal: let's fall in love!  Damn, I thought that dude was black. Nope. He is white. He's a credit to his race.  Vera's voice is  "Sexual White Chocolate."



You must read this in your Barry White, Right On, Right On Voice:   (Source: Wikipedia)

Vera was born in Riverside, California. He began his singing career in 1962 as a member of the Resolutions. He went on to write severalsongs throughout the early 1960s, writing for the likes of Barbara LewisFats DominoThe Shirelles and Ricky Nelson. He also wrote the garage band classic, "Don't Look Back", performed by the Remains.


 In 1985, a producer from the TV show Family Ties was in the audience to hear the band play "At This Moment." The song was featured in the fall of 1985 as a backdrop for romantic interludes between characters Alex (Michael J. Fox) and Ellen (Tracy Pollan). Viewers responded by clamoring for the song, and in 1986, Rhino Records released By Request: The Best of Billy Vera & the Beaters, which featured the song. The single became a number one hit in its re-release,[2] and remained on the charts for 15 weeks.




We salute you Billy Vera, Drum Major for Justice,  for making us fall in love..
By the way, in 1985 I was bad in love with a short, white republican, too.** He broke my heart. He broke up with me outside of the lunchroom at Sidney Lanier High School. I played this cassette over and over on my Walkman until it snapped from the searing white heat of my pain. *sniff*  I had to bootleg me a copy off of Y-102, WHHY-FM's countdown with dj Phil "The Fish" Horton. You kids today have it easy! You can bootleg with one click of a mouse, but we had to work hard to steal  download music. We had to hold a tape recorder up to the radio and try not to breathe while we were bootlegging ---while walking backwards uphill in the snow!  Y'all are too damned spoiled ! 


** I am now married to a very tall white republican, but I won't let him near a high school lunchroom. Y'all know what President Lincoln said about history repeating itself. 


By the way to the second power, watch this all the way until the end. The dude sounds like Snoop Dog  giving a keynote at a Glaucoma Retreat.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Black History Month: Gino Vannelli

Yesterday, Don Cornelious died, and millions of people all over the world are left to wonder, "Is the soul of soul music dead?" Short answer: YES. Have you turned to an "Urban" station lately? Marvin Gaye must be rolling in his grave. ( Eye roll, tooth suck, cobra neck...)

 Many of us spent our Saturdays watching American Bandstand and Soul Train. Don Cornelious's booming baritone voice, fly style, and love of soul music made everyone who watched Soul Train want to be Black...for an hour. Rest in Peace...and SOOUUULLLL, Don.

On February 2, 1975, an Italian man from Canada became the first white solo artist to perform on Soul Train. His name was Gino Vannelli. He had a righteous curly mullet fro, and a voice that made Black people all over the world say, "Damn, I thought old dude was BLACK!" His power ballad, " I Just Wanna Stop," didn't come out until 1978, and it is probably the song that most of you will remember.

Gino was not the first white person to have his music played on Soul Train, that distinction belongs to Dennis Coffey, a guitar legend and member of the legendary Motown studio band, The Funk Brothers. You know Dennis's  work from The Supremes, "Someday We'll Be Together," Frieda Payne's "Band of Gold," and Edwin Starr's "War." Dennis Coffey's song "Scorpio" was played on Soul Train, but GinoVannelli was the Jackie Robinson of Blue-Eyed Soul, breaking the color barrier on a show that was the major television outlet for Black artists. If you put it all in context, Gino was more like the Suzzette Charles, the second Black Miss America, but because Vanessa Williams was stripped of her title, Ms. Charles, the runner-up, who graciously stepped in to wear the bling,  is referred to as the FIRST.

Whatever. Gino was the first white dude on Soul Train.

Read this in your most SOULFUL Don Cornelious Voice:  (Source: Wikipedia)

Born in MontrealQuebec, Vannelli is one of three sons (Joe, Gino, and Ross)[1] born to Russ and Delia Vannelli. Russ, his father, was a big band musician. As a child, Gino's greatest passion was music, and he began playing percussion at an early age. By the age of 15, Gino began writing songs. Just out of high school, he signed his first recording contract with RCA under the pseudonym Vann Elli, but went on to study music at McGill University.


We salute you Black History Pioneer, Gino Vannelli!




Bonus Jonas, Y'all..here's 33 seconds of Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio."  Why only 33 seconds? Because we only got 28  29 days, chirren!



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Black History Month: I thought that dude was Black!

I could do 28 29 days of Black History, but I think PBS is gonna take care of  that for me. So I have decided to dedicate the next 29 days to highlighting the best white America (and any other place white people are from) has to offer in soul singers.  I believe the lack of great soul music is why our country is so off kilter right now.
Y'all, this mess that is on the radio passing itself off as R&B is just awful. I miss good old fashion music!!!!
O.M.G. I am officially old.


I present to you...

PIONEER OF BLACK HISTORY: BLUE-EYED SOUL SINGER BOBBY CALDWELL

(You MUST read this in your Morgan Freeman Voice ) Source: Wikipedia

Bobby Caldwell (born August 15, 1951) is an American singersongwriter and multi-instrumentalist who, despite a prolific musical output over his 30-year career, is still best known for his 1978 hit single "What You Won't Do for Love".[1] While he has always maintained a devoted fan base in the United States, a legendary status has been bestowed upon him in Japan. For R&B and modern jazz fans in the United States, he retains the title of: "The white guy most often mistaken for an African American vocalist."






Doing my slow motion , "Hey, hey!"

We salute you Bobby Caldwell for your contribution to Black America: "Damn, I thought he was BLACK!"

President Obama Salutes African American Women


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Presidential Proclamation -- National African American History Month, 2012

NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH, 2012
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION
     The story of African Americans is a story of resilience and perseverance.  It traces a people who refused to accept the circumstances under which they arrived on these shores, and it chronicles the generations who fought for an America that truly reflects the ideals enshrined in our founding documents.  It is the narrative of slaves who shepherded others along the path to freedom and preachers who organized against the rules of Jim Crow, of young people who sat-in at lunch counters and ordinary men and women who took extraordinary risks to change our Nation for the better.  During National African American History Month, we celebrate the rich legacy of African Americans and honor the remarkable contributions they have made to perfecting our Union.
     This year's theme, "Black Women in American Culture and History," invites us to pay special tribute to the role African American women have played in shaping the character of our Nation -- often in the face of both racial and gender discrimination.  As courageous visionaries who led the fight to end slavery and tenacious activists who fought to expand basic civil rights to all Americans, African American women have long served as champions of social and political change.  And from the literary giants who gave voice to their communities to the artists whose harmonies and brush strokes captured hardships and aspirations, African American women have forever enriched our cultural heritage.  Today, we stand on the shoulders of countless African American women who shattered glass ceilings and advanced our common goals.  In recognition of their legacy, let us honor their heroic and historic acts for years to come. 
     The achievements of African American women are not limited to those recorded and retold in our history books.  Their impact is felt in communities where they are quiet heroes who care for their families, in boardrooms where they are leaders of industry, in laboratories where they are discovering new technologies, and in classrooms where they are preparing the next generation for the world they will inherit.  As we celebrate the successes of African American women, we recall that progress did not come easily, and that our work to widen the circle of opportunity for all Americans is not complete.  With eyes cast toward new horizons, we must press on in pursuit of a high-quality education for every child, a job for every American who wants one, and a fair chance at prosperity for every individual and family across our Nation.
     During National African American History Month, we pay tribute to the contributions of past generations and reaffirm our commitment to keeping the American dream alive for the next generation.  In honor of those women and men who paved the way for us, and with great expectations for those to follow, let us continue the righteous cause of making America what it should be -- a Nation that is more just and more equal for all its people.
     NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2012 as National African American History Month.  I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

100th Day of School



Today is the 100th day of school for the McBrothas.  Daniel and I made a cake for his class last night to celebrate. He helped me mix the cake, frost the cake, and he counted out one hundred M&Ms to decorate the cake. He was so proud of himself. He said, "Mommy, I'm 100 days smarter than the first day!" 100 days is quite an accomplishment.

 When I was five months pregnant with this little fella, they told me I had miscarried. But, after an ultrasound, there he was. I'm not sure why he was spared, but I am grateful to have him in my life. Maybe he'll cure cancer or the dreaded "diabeebees" that makes his brother have to have shots. Maybe he'll invent something. He already has a brain that builds, tinkers, and reboots. Maybe he'll grow up to be an outstanding friend, father, and spouse. More than anything, I want him to have a happy childhood.

The past 100 days of school haven't been easy, but they have taught me a great lesson in making every single day count.

 I think if we broke down huge tasks into one hundred day chunks, we could accomplish a lot. Where do you want to be in 100 days? Do you want to be 100 days smarter? Do you want to be 100 days happier?
Well, today is the first day...




Monday, January 30, 2012

eTange : The Work Around Queen

I have been writing like a maniac. But nothing I'm writing fits on this blog. I'm publishing my own work on Kindle, and my plan is to launch my own digital publishing company in April.

New York publishers are not interested in people like me. So once again, I have to find a way around my problems. New York publishing houses say that stories about African-American women in the south can only be written by white women. You know, like The Help (no, I'm not a fan. I make no apologies, and I don't want any from you for liking it)... I have been told that no black woman could have ever written a book like that "with so much sensitivity" by someone at a fancy literary agency.... My response was "REDACTED. REDACTED. And another thing, REDACTED."

I know enough about publishing to be successful at publishing the stories I want to read. I worked all those years at River City ( did everything from writing contracts to selling paperback rights to selling movie options to making copies) and I've dabbled in PR at some level since leaving (all those articles about my comedy, that wasn't my agent---I am my agent---I did that all by myself).

Digital publishing has made the opportunity to publish more EQUAL. I'm looking forward to being a part of this brave new world! I feel no shame about not being published by New York. I feel no shame about being self-published. I am looking forward to selling my work and other writers...MAKING MONEY doing something I really love. I love writing, but I also love publishing.

It has taken all these years of "research" to see that I was supposed to be doing this all along. It all fits together. EVERYTHING: teaching, publishing, cleaning, even my failed small business, stand-up comedy and being a mama has taught me all I need to know.

I have never been afraid to work hard for what I want. Cleaning was probably the best prep for the business end of publishing. If I didn't clean, we didn't have power or gas or food.

I have never lost my love of books. I never lost my dream to be a "real" writer. I've never given up on me. I'm just done trying to play a game where the deck is stacked against me. It's taken a whole lot of death and a whole lot of broke-ass to slap me out of the bad dream and the waiting and waiting and waiting. Seriously, fancy ass New York publishing world, if you were a man; I would have dumped you for less a whole lot sooner.

I am looking forward to helping myself and soon, others who want an opportunity to tell their stories.

P.S. If you want to secretly submit a story or novel or essay collection ekhoffeditorial (AT) gmail (DOT)com.
Looking to help folks who are WOEFULLY under-represented by New York....
Looking for happy books, humor books, poems,  love stories, southern stories, chick lit, black chick lit...make it fun, folks!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Good, Clean Fun

Daniel spent the week asking us (repeatedly, like, 5 million times) for a family outing. "Can we do something as a family?" he begged, all week long.

If you are a parent of limited means, you know dollars spent on entertainment always means fewer dollars for bills.  We are always guilt-ridden about saying no so much, because we know that The McBrothas need to do more than: write on the wall with my eyeliner, get into a fistful of hair fight, or get naked and have a smush your boy parts against the window contest. As a former teacher, I know that kids learn by doing. Experiences teach children how to be productive members of a community. We wonder if our children have been deprived because of our lack of money.

Today we decided to take The McBrothas to the newly remodeled McDonald's. Our Owasso McDonald's is amazing: rock climbing wall, second story slide and a bank of video crack for the gamer babies. The boys were angels. DaddyFixIt and I spent most of the time in complete awe that the boys did not fight, bite, or cry. They both put on their shoes when we told them it was time to go...without a meltdown.

Then, in an absolute stroke of genius, DaddyFixIt decided to take Foxy Boxy II (our totally sexy, tricked out, low-riding, pigeon-poop splattered, 1996 Volvo wagon) to the car wash. I agreed to keep Adam in the car in case I needed to restrain him or hug him or cry because I couldn't console him.  In addition to being Type 1 diabetic, Adam has ADHD in HD and has Sensory Processing Disorder, fancy, Doctorese for "that young 'un will lose his mind in new, crowded, or Wal-Mart-like situations." With Adam, errthang is a situation. Taking the McBrothas out in public is always sketchy because of Adam's issues. Daniel is our BIG HELPER and he agreed to help Daddy wash the car. Dando is sensitive and emotional, but when you give him a job to do; he is locked and loaded!

As Adam and I sat inside Foxy Boxy, Daddy started up the sprayer, and Adam, Mr. Most Likely to Freak Out, laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. The car wash was like The Three Stooges, The Hangover, and Richard Pryor all rolled into one. Adam had actual tears of bliss rolling down his face as he laughed when Daniel knocked on the window and sprayed the car with soap. I could hear Daniel laughing from inside the car. Daniel was laughing and jumping up and down; his cinnamon curls seem to record every giggle. It was beautiful.

After it was over, after Daddy helped Daniel click his seat belt in his big-boy booster seat, after we pulled out of the car wash and headed up Main Street towards home,  Adam said, " I had fun at the car wash, Mama."

Daniel chimed in, " I had fun helping Daddy, and Adam was laughing at me spraying him with the soap gun."

I turned around and caught a glimpse of the boys looking at each other. They were both beaming. Then Adam erupted into a cotton candy fluff of laughter, and Daniel joined him.


My husband gently patted my hand. He knew I had welled up. He didn't even look at me. Had he looked, he would have sprung loose like a cracked levee. We've been through a lot of bad as a family. We are finally going through good as a family. Good makes you far more reverent as a parent after you've been sopped down in bad. We spent two dollars on a car wash that will be a million dollar memory to the McBrothas.

As The McMama, I always worry about how much my boys lack, but on this cold, blustery, winter day in Oklahoma, our boys gained an abundant experience that will last them a lifetime. As parents, we earned the priceless experience of seeing our children happy. It was an embarrassment of riches. Today, we were millionaires. Our children got a trust fund loaded with good, clean fun.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Liebster Award





This little blog was awarded the Liebster from the wonderful Erin at the beautiful, funny, and touching blog, "from Prada to Payless".  I can’t tell you how honored I am to win an award. Thank you so much, Erin!


Here's a Little more about the award from Erin: 

Liebster means "dearest" in German. The Liebster award is given to up and coming bloggers, who have fewer than 200 followers. 
There is no evaluation committee or formal award process (darn!) for the Liebster, but it is better than that. It is recognition that a peer has noticed and appreciated your hard work. 
There are just a few rules that come along with the Liebster Award. They are as follows:
* Thank your Liebster Award presenter on your blog.
* Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
*Reveal your top five blog picks, who fit within the award parameters.
* Inform them that you have chosen them by leaving a comment on their blog.
* Post the award on your blog.

Here are my TOP FIVE. I look forward to reading each of these blogs and I feel the bloggers that run them are among the best in the world! Allow me to get my Oprah on as I screeeeaammmm, " You get a LIEBSTER!"

LMAO with wendy (liebman)   Stand-up comic-Wendy Liebman is one of my idols. Her blog is smart, smart-ass, and informative. It's a wonderful mix of info about healthy living and pie in the face funny. I love this blog. Well, go join it---NOW!



The Sassy Piehole  A hysterical look at motherhood. It's funny and sassy and it even bakes you a hot apple pie! 


Blogged Down At The Moment This blog is a great humor site run by Mariann Simms. Beautiful pictures razor- sharp insights. This lady is funny as hell. I'm also kinda partial because she's from Alabama!


Captain Canard Run by humorist, contributor to Stupid Ass Questions, and Twitterererer Extraordinaire, Dan Burt. Pretty much a one stop shop for funny and off beat stories and one-liners. Dan is an AMAZING comedy writer. I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up as a head writer for a TV show.


Life on (De) Mars This Mississippi Mama does it all! This is my go to blog for great recipes, cute kid pictures, and money saving tips! I love this blog. Now that Paula Deen has had to cop to giving herself "The Diabetes," I expect Margaret to slip right in, and take her place, y'all.



How to Live in a 320 Square Foot Home I love this blog. I'm breaking protocol by honoring this blog. I'm gonna do it anyway.  Anyone who can live in a 320 Square Foot House with this much beauty and charm deserves this award! A really fascinating look at style, function, and sustainability. I'm mesmerized by this blog.http://www.320squarefoothome.com/


There you have it! Congratulations to the winners of the Liebster Award! Now get out there and pay it forward!

~ Tange ( Tangela Ekhoff, Award-Winning Blogger!)