Welcome to This Black Sista’s Memorial Blog

•June 6, 2009 • Comments Off on Welcome to This Black Sista’s Memorial Blog

Hi there.

Some of you may have noticed that I have not entered any new articles for some time.  You’re right.  I’m no longer blogging, but I am still writing.  This time, it is fiction and essays for wider and more literary publication.  It may be that in the future, I will be starting a new blog touching on my professional writing, but not now.

I hope that you will continue to use this website as a guide to explain things that happened several years ago, during the time that I was blogging.  Things like New Orleans post-Katrina, black people, culture, gossip/public intellectualism, politics, Buddhism, journalism and ethics, looksism, cooking, fiction, history, womanism, writing, race, fashion, music and other topics of interest during this rather fractious time in American life and the life of the Republic.

Other than cleaning up this site occasionally, I won’t be blogging fulltime any more.  Good luck, and happy writing and blogging your own damn self.


LIVE STREAMING: Homegoing of Poet Amiri Baraka at the Newark Symphony Hall, New Jersey

•January 18, 2014 • Comments Off on LIVE STREAMING: Homegoing of Poet Amiri Baraka at the Newark Symphony Hall, New Jersey

Sorry that I am late with this.  I am not a coding wonder.  There is no guarantee that it will be repeated on a loop after the ceremony is over.   UPDATE (2:32 p.m. Central Time):  It IS being looped for several hours.  Danny Glover, actor and Woodie King, drama director and playwright, are officiating at the funeral.  I cannot vouch for the quality of the transmission.  It is what it is.

It started around 10 a.m. Eastern Time.  The end of Ras Baraka’s eulogy will mark the end of the ceremonies.  A lot of good jazz, good poetry, good oratory.  Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Sonia Sanchez, Savion Glover, and Sister Souljah are just a few of the luminaries who are going to speak.

This is from the CPRMetro.org, a community, public access entity for New Jersey and part of New York.

Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Busting Out of Jail The Hard Way – Nathan Middleton Wanted His Mother to Provide Explosives and a Car for His Jail Break

•December 20, 2013 • Comments Off on Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Busting Out of Jail The Hard Way – Nathan Middleton Wanted His Mother to Provide Explosives and a Car for His Jail Break

I’ve been waiting and waiting for the proceedings from Nathan Middleton’s Monday court appearance to surface, but nothing came up the pike until yesterday.  It’s so incredible, it’s laughable.

The more Middleton tries to run away from culpability for the destruction of Aprina Paul’s body, if not outright murder, the worse it gets for him.  Investigation of the young woman’s remains continue.  However, he’s facing an additional three years on a possible 40-year-long combined jail sentence for attempting to bust out of the slam.  Again, Middleton had to follow and respond to the proceedings on video feed from jail, because the authorities are afraid that he will abscond from justice.  From Channel 3000:

According to a criminal complaint, Nathan Middleton, 29, wrote his mother a letter from Rock County Jail, where he’s been incarcerated since Nov. 20 in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond, asking her to help him break out. Officials said in the letter, Middleton asked his mother to “blow (the window) out with something that will blow a big hole in it for me to get out of it.”

“We have him plotting an escape, attempting, but we do not have any information that she did anything to assist him at this point,” Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary said.


In the afternoon on Dec. 2, a detective listening to a phone call from Middleton to his mother said Middleton referenced the letter, telling her “if you can’t do what’s in that letter I’m just going to end it,” according to the document.

He’s going to commit suicide?

Continue reading ‘Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Busting Out of Jail The Hard Way – Nathan Middleton Wanted His Mother to Provide Explosives and a Car for His Jail Break’

Christmas Songs: “Oh, Tannenbaum,” José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, from “The Three Tenors Christmas” 1999

•December 20, 2013 • Comments Off on Christmas Songs: “Oh, Tannenbaum,” José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, from “The Three Tenors Christmas” 1999

I prefer Plácido Domingo because he’s handsomer and I like his voice, but Luciano Pavarotti was indeed the male operatic voice of the latter half of the last century.   José Carreras, the second of the two Spanish tenors, and situated in the middle, may be outgunned, but he’s enhanced by the experience.  He’s definitely not “the other guy,” as one Seinfeld episode put it.

How did The Three Tenors come together?  Mario Dradi, an Italian opera producer, suggested a fundraiser benefiting  José Carrera’s charity, and to welcome the singer back to performing after Carrera won his bout with leukemia.  The rest, as they say, is history.  The Three Tenors performed together on and off during the 1990s until 2003.  This performance was on December 23, 1999 in Vienna, Austria and was recorded as part of The Three Tenors Christmas video on Sony.

Cover of "The Three Tenors Christmas"

The Three Tenors in 1999 (Courtesy:  Wikipedia.com)

Oh Tannenbaum” or in English, “Oh, Christmas Tree” is from the German, with some lyrics attributed to composer and organist Franz Anschutz, and based on a 16th century Silesian folk song by Melchior Francke called “Ach Tannenbaum.”   Five years earlier, in 1819,  Joachim August Zarnack had composed a tragic love song based on “Ach Tannenbaum” as well.    Anschutz added two new verses and set his lyrics to a traditional folk melody, “Es lebe hoch der Zimmermannsgeselle  in 1824.

It was, of course, about a fir tree.  In the song, the fir tree is praised for its evergreen leaves which symbolize fidelity and devotion—in contrast to the inconstant young woman of the Zarnack folk song.  However, the song gradually became associated with Christmas and Christmas trees, thanks to Anschutz’s verses.  It crossed over to the United States with immigrants and American travelers and did not become popular in this country until the middle of the last century.

Continue reading ‘Christmas Songs: “Oh, Tannenbaum,” José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, from “The Three Tenors Christmas” 1999’

Nelson Mandela Memorialized With a Second Line Parade in New Orleans

•December 15, 2013 • Comments Off on Nelson Mandela Memorialized With a Second Line Parade in New Orleans

Hat tip to Joyce Ladner on Facebook for this link.

I don’t doubt that many native New Orleanians also joined the parade, which began around 2:00 p.m. Central Time.

Thousands of miles away, New Orleanians from South Africa held a second line from Jackson Square to Congo Square to celebrate the life of the man who transformed their country.

St. Claire Adriaan grew up under apartheid. He knows first-hand the difference Nelson Mandela made.

“Seeing the difference in terms of dignity being brought back, humanity being brought back into people’s lives because growing up as a person of color, going through what we have gone through was dehumanizing,” said Adriaan.

For Zandi Ndebele Sutton, Mandela was like family.

“My uncle who raised me up was in prison with Nelson Mandela for 15 years,” she said.

Sutton marched the streets as part of Mandela’s youth leadership in the 1980s. She was there when he was released from prison, and is close with Mandela’s grandchildren.

“In public he was different than he was in a social environment. Most people knew his kindness, his integrity, his dignity that he exuded every where he showed up, but he really, really enjoyed jokes,” said Sutton.

“He taught us to read the newspaper, morning and evening. In the evening when we get together when we met him, he wanted to know ‘What did you learn today? What’s going on in the world?’ Since then that stayed with me.”

Trumpeter James Andrews, the older brother of New Orleans’ own Trombone Shorty (and Treme musician),  led the procession through the streets of the French Quarter to the border of Treme, or Congo Square.  The more hardcore partiers and musicians probably decamped to the Andrews family-owned The Oop Poo Pah Doo Bar raise a few toasts.  Remember, this was a celebration of a man’s life as well.

Mourners wrote messages to honor Mandela when the second line ended in Congo Square. Throughout the week, people can also sign a book honoring Mandela at St. Katherine Drexel Prepatory School, formerly Xavier Prep, on Magazine Street. The book will later become part of Mandela’s archives in South Africa.

“It’s like the passing of a family member, you want to be a part of it,” said Keith Doley, honorary consul for the Republic of South Africa to Louisiana.

Those who took part in the second line say the most important way to honor Mandela’s life is to continue his legacy of making a difference for his community, and fighting for both equality and reconciliation.

That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 10, “A Door Marked Exit”

•December 13, 2013 • Comments Off on That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 10, “A Door Marked Exit”

THAT was some winter finale.

It’s also getting crazier and crazier in the D.C. of Scandal.

Of course, KevOnStage will continue to play it, including Eli/Rowan’s spirited takedown of Fitz, for laughs.  BTW, for those of you who are novices to the show, Fitz did not cry like a baby boy.  Instead, the president took it up one more notch in what is now his war with the head of B6-13.

For us Gladiators—and Senior Gladiators in my case—we cannot wait until February.  Until, we’ll be going on life support until that time.  Pray for us. Facebook Confused Smiley


Nathan Middleton Attempts Jail Break Days Before His Court Appearance on December 17

•December 13, 2013 • 1 Comment

Like I said, if Nathan Middleton was so innocent, he wouldn’t have burned the body of Aprina Paul.  And he wouldn’t have attempted a jail break, either.  He would be chilling and confident.  Instead, the closer he gets to his upcoming court appearance, he’s panicking about moving inexorably further and further into the criminal justice system.  And it’s probably, finally dawned on him that he’s in deep.  Not as deep as the shallow trench he built for Aprina Paul’s poor body, but wide enough and deep enough.

From GazettExtra:

Nathan Middleton, a town of Porter man accused of hiding and burning the body of a Dane County woman, was arrested Friday on suspicion of soliciting to escape from the Rock County Jail.

Rock County detectives began investigating Middleton’s escape plans last week after learning he was plotting to escape from jail, according to the Rock County Sheriff’s Office.

Middleton told inmates he wanted to escape, and he attempted to contact friends and relatives for help to escape, according to the sheriff’s office news release.

Dude, you ain’t going nowhere.

Security has since tightened at the Rock County Jail, especially since Middleton will appear in court on Monday afternoon, December 17.  Middleton was charged with two felonies for burning and destroying the body of Aprina Paul, 19, a young black woman that he had solicited for sex on Craigslist.  According to Middleton, Paul expired during the night beside him in bed after taking several drugs, but the authorities believe otherwise despite the lack of incriminating evidence.

Middleton was still in the slam as he has not bonded out.  Bail was set at $100,000, a reasonably high sum.  As I said before, his ass is probably not worth bonding out to his family and friends.  His father is already in the slam for a murder conviction.  So they certainly were not going to get themselves in trouble by assisting him in evading justice at the hands of authorities.

LIVE STREAMING: South Africa Says Goodbye to Nelson Mandela

•December 13, 2013 • Comments Off on LIVE STREAMING: South Africa Says Goodbye to Nelson Mandela

Beyond the talk about selfies and worse, about unvetted schizophrenics who hallucinate seeing angels beside President Obama but cannot perform sign language, this is what is real:

Some of you have noted that the links that I provided for the memorial service earlier this week for Nelson Mandela are still viable and active.  However, the next few days will mark the final goodbyes to the late president and freedom fighter, with activities moving from Pretoria to Qunu, the place where Mandela was born and raised.  I am providing the same links here just in case the former are shut down, and because this most recent post will be more readily seen and accessed.

And, you will receive a taste of South African news, politics and history and culture.  I have since learned that eNCA is a private, fairly independent news agency, while SABC, the public broadcasting arm, is best known as the network that most closely reflects the politics of the African National Congress, or the ANC.

Above, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela gives an interview about her former husband’s final moments for Independent Television News or ITN in Britain.

They may have been divorced, they may have been political rivals, but Nelson and Winnie Mandela still had a bond with her former husband, a bond reflected with this kiss between Winnie and  Graca Machel, his widow.  Some have called them Nelson's co-wives, and perhaps they were (Courtesy:

They may have been divorced, they may have been political rivals with vastly differing viewpoints, but Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela still had a bond beyond just children and grandchildren.  A bond reflected with this kiss between Winnie and Graca Machel, Nelson’s  widow.  Some have called them Nelson’s co-wives, and perhaps they were (Courtesy: dream hampton/Facebook)

What will happen this weekend?

Mandela’s body will be flown from an air force base in Pretoria on Saturday to South Africa’sEastern Cape province. This is where Mandela’s ancestral village of Qunu lies. The family farm there will be his final resting place.

Members of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, will bid Mandela farewell from the air force base. An honor guard from the South African National Defense Force will then take charge of his casket, which will be draped in the national flag.

On arrival at Mthatha Airport, the closest to Qunu, the casket will be placed on a gun carriage, while the national anthem is played and the honor guard presents arms and salutes. Mandela’s family will follow the carriage in cars.

Thousands of mourners are expected to line the streets from Mthatha Airport to watch as the military transports Mandela’s remains to the remote village where the former leader spent much of his childhood.

Along the way, the procession is expected to pause for prayers to allow ordinary South Africans to pay their respects.


Once at Mandela’s house in Qunu, the military will formally pass responsibility for his remains to his family.

The South African flag draped over the coffin will be replaced with a traditional Xhosa blanket, symbolizing the return of one of their own.

At dusk, ANC leaders, local chiefs and the men in Mandela’s family are expected to gather for a private night vigil, held according to the traditions of the Thembu community, his native clan, before a very public funeral the next day. Villagers may gather outside the house to pay their respects.

The celebrities and dignitaries in Qunu will include the likes of Oprah Winfrey, the Prince of Wales, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Golden Globes Announced: “Twelve Years a Slave” and Kerry Washington in Contention

•December 12, 2013 • Comments Off on Golden Globes Announced: “Twelve Years a Slave” and Kerry Washington in Contention

A few surprises.  Completely passed over for major awards were The Butler and Fruitvale Station.  Damn shame in the case of Fruitvale Station, but perhaps it will show up in the Oscar race.  And perhaps, it was released far too early for the voters to recall it at this particular time.  Strangely, Game of Thrones with its Red Wedding and Homeland were also snubbed.  This Globe race could be a harbinger for the Oscars.

My fear?  Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor will cancel each other out for Best Actor and someone like Robert Redford or Tom Hanks will slip in as “a compromise.”  Another dark horse for Best Actor at the Oscars?  Bruce Dern.

Barkhad Abdi, the Somali-American actor and indie film director who played the pirate leader Abduwali Muse in Captain Phillips, won a nomination from both the Globes and the Screen Actors Guild this week.  Methinks that the cadaverous Abdi, who came to this country from Somali via Yemen about fourteen years ago, also appealed to the imaginative nightmares of Globe voters to get him that nomination.  But with Bradley Cooper and Michael Fassbinder—who was crazed in 12 Years... —in the running as well, it’s going to be an interesting contest.

The frontrunners for Best Picture?  12 Years a Slave, as well as that paean to 2oth century corrupt politics and Mafia guys, American Hustle.  Dark horses may be Nebraska and The Wolf of Wall Street.  If director Steve McQueen is overlooked for 12 Years…, either by the Globes or the Oscars, I think that it will be a disgrace.

Continue reading ‘Golden Globes Announced: “Twelve Years a Slave” and Kerry Washington in Contention’

In the Never Forget Category: R Kelly’s Twitter Account Blows Up With Snarks About His Thing for Underage Girls, Not Questions About His New CD

•December 12, 2013 • Comments Off on In the Never Forget Category: R Kelly’s Twitter Account Blows Up With Snarks About His Thing for Underage Girls, Not Questions About His New CD


This is HILARIOUS.  And just desserts, too.

The Twitterverse has lit up since yesterday regarding #AskRKelly, an account created by the singer to promote his new CD, Black Pantieswhich has been come in for mixed critical acclaim.  However, instead of reading Tweets by avid fans about music, Kelly got smacked down via Twitter about everything else, including his notorious sex tape, his predilection for underage girls, his fashion taste, his sexual quirks, and his video closet series.  And the hits just keep on coming, even after Kelly pulled the plug on the account yesterday and then reportedly snuck it back online today.

Continue reading ‘In the Never Forget Category: R Kelly’s Twitter Account Blows Up With Snarks About His Thing for Underage Girls, Not Questions About His New CD’

Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Madison’s Snuggle House Goes Out of Business Amid Fear…and Loathing

•December 11, 2013 • Comments Off on Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Madison’s Snuggle House Goes Out of Business Amid Fear…and Loathing

One thing for sure, this is not the Seventies, and this is not the New Age or California.  More and more, I am convinced that this surely is the uptight, and not alright Midwest.  Madison may pride itself for being several square miles of liberalism and common sense, but compared to the Bay Area then up to now, it’s got a hell of a long way to go to rid itself of certain assumptions of what sexuality truly is.

How do I know the New Age and the Bay Area?  Because I was there.

There were businesses that offered training in or provided therapeutic massages, and offered hot tubbing and saunas.  Those that were created under false pretenses in certain cities were quickly smoked out and sent packing or were brought to court by the authorities.  Those that were unsanitary or were found to have given customers hot water-passed germs or infections were also cited, and if they did not come up to standards, were denied licenses—and also sent packing.

Why do I cite massage? Because, like snuggling, it’s personal. It involves a loved one or a stranger (in this case) touching you.  Snuggling and massage are two different things.  However, both go under the rubric of touch therapy.  It’s something that is good for you, not exploitative. Both can be non-sexual or sexual, but there was nothing sexual in what I experienced.

Continue reading ‘Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Madison’s Snuggle House Goes Out of Business Amid Fear…and Loathing’

Live Streaming: Nelson Mandela Memorial Service, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, December 10, 2013

•December 9, 2013 • 5 Comments


Greetings, Americans and citizens of the world.

Coverage of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela is scheduled to begin around 4:00 a.m. Eastern Time Tuesday, December 10; 3:00 a.m. Central Time, and 1:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

The first streaming link is from SABC, or the South African Broadcasting Corporation. It is the South African public broadcasting entity, encompassing radio as well as television.   SABC provides three television channels that present programs in several major languages spoken in the country.  It is presenting ceremonies and interviews with citizens, historians, comrades and politicians who knew Madiba Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and who were a part of the dismantling of apartheid and are still involved in rebuilding the nation.

I saw the news people present information as to the best way to get to the stadium by train, bus or car.  It’s been followed with some entertainment, with a folk-rock couple singing praises of Madiba (father) Mandela in two languages.

This streaming link is from eNCA.  Begun in 2008, eNCA, or Electronic News Channel Africa, is South Africa’s 24-hour news channel.  Their slogan, interestingly, is “No fear, no favour.”  I think it means that they will be unbought, unbossed and incorruptible toward its viewers.

PBS relayed the list of activities and speakers at the Memorial:

  • Choir sings South Africa’s national anthem
  • Opening remarks and interfaith prayers
  • Speech by Mandela family friend Andrew Mlangeni
  • Speech by family member Gen. Thanduxolo Mandela
  • Tribute by the former leader’s grandchildren Mbuso Mandela, Andile Mandela, Zozuko Dlamini and Phumla Mandela
  • Speech by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
  • Speech by African Union Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
  • Speech by President Obama
  • Speech by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
  • Speech by Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao
  • Speech by Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba
  • Speech by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
  • Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro
  • Keynote address by South African President Jacob Zuma
  • Sermon by Bishop Ivan Abrahams

This is the outline of national events during which South Africa bids farewell to the late freedom fighter and president:

  • Tuesday, 10 December is the day for South Africa’s official memorial service at the FNB Stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg, which will attract world leaders as well as ordinary South Africans and will be addressed by President Zuma with tributes from other heads of state
  • The memorial service will be shown on big screens at three “overflow” stadiums – Orlando in Soweto, Dobsonville north of Soweto and Rand in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosettenville
  • Between 11-13 December, “selected international visitors and guests” will be able to view Mr Mandela’s remains at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
  • The public will be able to view the body from 12:00 to 17:30 on Wednesday and from 08:00 to 17:30 on Thursday and Friday
  • His body will be transported on Saturday, 14 December, from Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria to the Eastern Cape, with a procession from the airport at Mthatha to his home village of Qunu where a traditional funeral will be held on 15 December
  • A national day of reconciliation will take place on 16 December when a statue of Mr Mandela will be unveiled at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
  • Some 90 screens will be set up across the country to show all planned national events

If you have no access at work or elsewhere to a television, this is the place to be.  Thanks for coming.

Christmas Songs: “Christmas is All Around Me,” Sung by Bill Nighy as Billy Mack, From The Film, “Love Actually,” 2003

•December 9, 2013 • 1 Comment

When ex-druggie, burned out and jaded, has-been rocker Billy Mack told a British radio audience, Buy my festering turd of a record, in the film, Love Actually, I know that I wasn’t the only one rolling on the floor laughing.  However, I didn’t know that it was also included on the soundtrack as well.

Okay, I know, I know.  The Troggs, back in the Sixties, recorded this song, originally “Love is All Around”  in 1967.  And then WetWetWet covered it for Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994, and it became a hit all over again.

Take it away, Wikipedia:

A parody of the song appears as a central theme in the British Christmas/romantic comedy Love Actually (2003), which, like Four Weddings and a Funeral, was written by Richard Curtis. On the film’s DVD commentary track, Curtis says that after the success of the Wet Wet Wet version, he “couldn’t think of a funnier way to start the film than by actually making [the British public] listen to the same song again.” In the movie, a burned-out rock star character, Billy Mack (played by Bill Nighy), changes the lyrics of the classic “Love Is All Around” to “Christmas Is All Around” and “come on and let it show” to “come on and let it snow” in what he freely admits is a cheap attempt to reach the Christmas number one spot, thus achieving a comeback “at any price”. The Christmas version appears periodically throughout the movie, with frequent references made to its being “crap”. The song is featured on the film’s soundtrack album, which in 2004 reached Billboards Top 40 and ranked #2 on the soundtrack album chart. It also achieved gold record status in Mexico and Australia.

The film as well as the soundtrack came in for a lot of mixed reviews—and sarcasm.  The most recent salvo protesting the film’s growing popularity as a romantic Christmas film came from The Atlantic magazine. Christopher Orr emphatically believes that Love Actually is not a romantic film.

As for the rest of the film—which is to say, the bulk of the film—I think it offers up at least three disturbing lessons about love. First, that love is overwhelmingly a product of physical attraction and requires virtually no verbal communication or intellectual/emotional affinity of any kind. Second, that the principal barrier to consummating a relationship is mustering the nerve to say “I love you”—preferably with some grand gesture—and that once you manage that, you’re basically on the fast track to nuptial bliss. And third, that any actual obstacle to romantic fulfillment, however surmountable, is not worth the effort it would require to overcome.

Hmmmm, he has a point about looksism and the grand gesture.  However, what can you do with a film within a certain length of time?  I personally did not think that Keira’s body was all that winning, although her character Juliet seems sweet at face value.  But what was it that her husband Peter and secret admirer Mark loved about her?  What made her loveable?  Who knows?  Orr also takes an indirect jab at the film’s soundtrack, suggesting that “the movie’s peculiar conviction that weddings and funerals ought to be livened up by (respectively) the Beatles and the Bay City Rollers, and so on” should not be used to gloss over the fact that nobody is really working at their relationships enough for us to really root for them to make it, at least for Christmas.

Other than new or previous feelings about this film and its accompanying soundtrack, I think it’s worth it to revisit Nighy’s contribution during the Christmas season, if only for laughs.  Enjoy.

That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 9, “YOLO”

•December 9, 2013 • Comments Off on That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 9, “YOLO”

Sorry that I am late with this one, but there may be nothing that will keep me from making a good pot of gumbo in the midst of Wisconsin cold and snow.  Yeah, there is only one more episode of Scandal left for this year (sorry, Gladiators) until February 27, 2014.  And if you hadn’t heard, there will be only 18 episodes this season because of Kerry Washington‘s pregnancy.  Never fear, no major character is going to die off this show.  Yet.

“Yolo” was pretty bloody, what with Quinn about to lose her life at the hands of the man she loves, and then the Vice President giving her husband more than a hickey to remember her by.

If you need more meat in your recaps, you might wanna try the AfterBuzz TV AfterShow above.

And then, if you still have the vapors after rewinding and playing the DVR, I simply cannot help you.  But here is Men on Scandal.

Amber Riley (from “Glee”) Becomes The Seventeenth Season Winner of “Dancing With The Stars”

•November 29, 2013 • Comments Off on Amber Riley (from “Glee”) Becomes The Seventeenth Season Winner of “Dancing With The Stars”

I can take or leave Dancing with the Stars; I’ve watched a few times when shows that I wanted to see were starting later in the evening, and nothing else was on.  I’ve also watched a few times when people you’d never think would be chosen as contestants were showcased, like B-listers Wendy Williams, Chaz Bono, Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward, Valerie Harper and Kristi Yamaguchi.

Continue reading ‘Amber Riley (from “Glee”) Becomes The Seventeenth Season Winner of “Dancing With The Stars”’

In Case, You Are Wondering, It’s Thanksgivukkah…

•November 29, 2013 • Comments Off on In Case, You Are Wondering, It’s Thanksgivukkah…

thanksgivukkah 2013

Hope your Thanksgiving was great yesterday. I mean, mine was. Kale and mustard greens with hot sausage, quiche, mashed red and blue potatoes, among others. And of course, a bird that had meat falling off the bone. I was so full, I didn’t have room for the pumpkin pie and egg nog, and crashed not long after.

Yeah, that’s why Thanksgiving has another day—Friday—on which folks can recover and merely nosh on the leftovers while watching old movies, Scandal episodes already aired, and of course, the football games.

Yes, I think that I am going to fit pretty well into the role of the maiden aunt who has big throwdowns of food during the holidays.  But I am going to have to plan better…

…and for some, the holiday is really extended. If you are Jewish, and keep the holy days, this is Hanukkah or Chanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Far from being the “Jewish Christmas,” Hanukkah is a yearly remembrance of how a menorah was kept alight for eight days without the use of oil that had been defiled under the rule of the Seleucid Greeks.  Remember that Hanukkah commemorates the miracle of the menorah and not the subsequent military victory that overthrew the Seleucid overlords as well as their Hellenistic Jewish supporters.

The last time a convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah occurring at the same time in the United States, it was 1888, smack into the Gilded Age.  And there was a lot of immigration from areas of Jewish habitation: Poland, Eastern Europe, Russia.  Many of these new immigrants sought to fit in their new land, and readily adopted Thanksgiving as a custom to keep along with their religious observances.

Which could explain the phenomenon known as the menurkey: a menorah shaped in the figure of a turkey.  Asher Weintraub, you’re a genius.

No, I am not into braving braying hordes at the mall; I’ve been on both sides of that racket, and besides, I do not have disposable income.  However, I am into making coffee, surveying the snow outside, and taking it fairly easy while job hunting online.  I’ll have a couple of articles for you to check out today, if you subscribe to all or some of the above.  Take care.

Those Posters From Facebook: Anything From A to Z

•November 22, 2013 • Comments Off on Those Posters From Facebook: Anything From A to Z


You know, one gets tired of writing about murder and of death.  And I may not talk much later on about the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death as I planned.

I mean, I feel just like these young girls above, Alice (Liddell) of Alice in Wonderland, and Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz commiserating with each other.  Alice fell down a rabbit hole, ate from a magical mushroom, and later, stepped through a mirror to have a croquet match with the Queen of Hearts, a dangerous royal harridan who was more likely to bellow for someone’s head, including the Cheshire Cat‘s.  The teeth in the smile that John Tenniel drew for the disappearing kitty may have been dismaying to Alice, but terrifying for me back in the day.  A thing that is essentially all mouth?

And then there was Dorothy.  The effects from a Kansas twister caused her to visit a very foreign country, where the inhabitants all spoke English.  On the way to petition the Wizard for the means to return home, Dorothy becomes the enemy of the Wicked Witch of the West (by accidentally landing—in the house with Toto—on her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East).   Dorothy meets people out of her ken—the Munchkins; she collapses sleeping in a poppy field, is kidnapped by flying monkeys…well, you know the drill.  Plus those ruby slippers are just stuck to her feet for some reason.  She can’t take them off.

All in all, you know what I mean.  I can well agree that these sisters have experienced some sh*t.  Things caused by events not even in their control.


Our FLOTUS, however, wants to find out whether fantasy reflects real life.  I doubt it, but of course, this is a riff off Scandal.


These are just a few of the posters from Facebook that I have enjoyed recently.  Some of you may or may not have seen them, and not all of them are funny.  They sure are interesting, because it appears that people have a lot of time on their hands to put these bad boys together.  Spreading them around is the easy part, no doubt.

Continue reading ‘Those Posters From Facebook: Anything From A to Z’

That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 8, ‘Vermont Is For Lovers, Too’

•November 22, 2013 • Comments Off on That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 8, ‘Vermont Is For Lovers, Too’

Again, here is KevOnStage’s recap of last night’s Scandal episode.  It’s “Vermont Is For Lovers, Too.”

What can I say?  It’s Olitz again, with Cyrus, Baby Huck, and Mama Pope, Mama Pope, Mama Pope doing her little Thriller zombie thing.

I think that we’re free to hate Mellie again.  But Cyrus is getting his back…in spades.

Yeah, I don’t think I want to see cartoon characters doing the wild thing or knocking boots, either.  Or stuffed animals or Barbie dolls.  Ewww.


Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Nathan Middleton Makes First Court Appearance Connected With The Death of Aprina Paul

•November 21, 2013 • 1 Comment

Nathan Middleton, 29, appearing at the Rock County Courthouse yesterday via video before Court Commissioner Charles Holznecht. Middleton has been charged with hiding and mutilating the remains of Fitchburg resident Aprina Paul, 18.  Yep, I don’t think the goatee can hide the fact he’s losing weight over this mess he created (Courtesy: Nick Agro/GazettExtra)

First off, here is the criminal complaint against Nathan Middleton. It’s a doozy. The two felonies he is charged with carry a maximum, combined sentence of almost 33 years in jail.   And they’ve made the bond high enough—$100,000—so that his sorry ass won’t get out without someone really feeling the financial hurt and wondering whether he is worth it all.

If Middleton manages to bond out, he is prohibited from approaching or getting anyone else to approach Aprina Paul’s family.

This is what the Wisconsin State Journal says:

Middleton became a suspect shortly after Paul was reported missing by her family on Oct. 29.

A review of Paul’s cellphone records by Fitchburg police showed an exchange of more than 60 text messages with Middleton’s cellphone over a nine-hour period on Oct. 27. State Department of Justice analysts plotted the points of Paul’s last cellphone calls to areas near his home at 12016 W. Highway 14.

Middleton told Fitchburg detectives that Paul responded to his ad on Craigslist and he understood that she was an escort named Lilly.

He initially denied meeting her and said he deleted the texts so his fiancee, Brittney Humphrey — whom he called his wife — wouldn’t find out.

After Middleton changed his story and told detectives he had sex with Paul and then dropped her off in Stoughton, a Fitchburg detective arrested him.

Okay, this is media shorthand, but you really do have to read the criminal complaint to get the complete lowdown.

Continue reading ‘Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Nathan Middleton Makes First Court Appearance Connected With The Death of Aprina Paul’

Coming Up Today: More on Aprina Paul, Zimmerman Cases

•November 21, 2013 • Comments Off on Coming Up Today: More on Aprina Paul, Zimmerman Cases

I was busy yesterday job hunting, and thereafter really didn’t have much energy to pursue the latest on the Aprina Paul case locally and on George Zimmerman’s latest shenanigans nationally, along with some other stuff I wanted to touch on.  Especially regarding the 50th Anniversary of The Kennedy Assassination tomorrow.

It may be later today that I will be commenting on both cases.  I’ll have a PDF of the criminal complaint set up as well, so you can read for yourself what the police found out and why they are not allowing Nathan Middleton to slide.  Apparently, the guy has been lying about his activities from the gate, which is no surprise to me.

As for whether Aprina was a prostitute or not, that will be confirmed by the criminal complaint, which also contains her family’s input to the investigation  As I said before, the focus should not reside on what Aprina did for a living, but on Nathan Middleton, as he was the last person to see this young woman alive and had full control of (and disposal of) her body.

See you all in a bit.  I need coffee.  😉


Zimmerman Released On Bail; Ex-Girlfriend Alleges That He Has Contemplated Suicide and Has Choked Her

•November 19, 2013 • 1 Comment

Think that he’s going to last until his January 7, 2014 court date for domestic abuse?

George Zimmerman has yet another look about him. He’s not pudgy or slim. But with that beard and scraped pate, he looks as if he is part of the Taliban.  All he needs is a turban or cap from that area of the world marked by extremism and militancy.  And marked by lots of guns and the suppression and control of women and of people not like them.

At least Shellie Zimmerman was finally able to serve divorce papers on him, knowing that he would be residing in the slam overnight.  He’s been ducking her since early September.

And during the hearing, it was revealed that Zimmerman is in debt to the tune of $2.5 million dollars.  He’s practically indigent, having only about $144 to his name.  At least, that’s what he says.

What is the price of a human life?

I find it really interesting that my blog article trending for the past 48 hours is the one showing Trayvon Martin‘s dead body. It’s almost as if the haters want to reassure themselves that there was one good thing that George Zimmerman did—and that was to rob this young black man of life.  That may be all that they have, because frankly, what George Zimmerman did was wrong.  Dead wrong.  He’s done wrong before, and he’s been wrong since his acquittal for the murder of Trayvon Martin.

Don’t even use stress as the reason why he’s been acting up since the acquittal.  A smart individual would lie low and not even try to engage law enforcement.  He or she would go see a shrink or even a qualified pastor with an LCSW license and truly work out some problems, no matter what.

However, George Zimmerman is nothing at all like a smart human being, someone who can finally hear the Universe greasing his skids enough to contemplate his misdeeds with an object to turning himself around before it is too late. Instead, he can do no wrong.  In SGI Buddhist terminology, Zimmerman inhabits the lower four worlds: hell, hunger, animality, and anger.  All he is concerned with is doing what he wants, and if someone runs counter to his designs, he’ll make them the perpetrator, just as he did with Trayvon Martin.  Nowadays, he’s back to his starting point as an adult, beating up and terrorizing women.  White women.

Assistant State Attorney Lymary Munoz disclosed that not only had Zimmerman’s girlfriend accused him of pointing a shotgun at her and breaking furniture Monday, she also told authorities that he tried to choke her a week and a half ago.

“She is in fear for her safety,” Munoz told Seminole County Judge Fred Schott.


Zimmerman was calm and showed almost no emotion during his 15-minute court hearing. The only exception was one flinch, when Schott cited the new choking allegation and said that was why he would not set bond at $4,900, the amount recommended by county guidelines.

Munoz said Scheibe, 27, had not notified authorities when it happened but that about a week and a half ago, Zimmerman had choked her.

Munoz had another dramatic disclosure: Scheibe also said that Zimmerman had recently talked about suicide.

Karma’s racking up, isn’t it?

Scheibe did not report the alleged choking to police, said the prosecutor, adding, however: “She did fear for her safety on the day of this incident. She indicated that they had been discussing breaking up. He also has mentioned suicide in the recent past. Due to those factors and the defendant indicating at the time he was going to commit suicide, that he had nothing to lose, we feel that the victim’s safety and the community’s safety is our paramount concern.”

Continue reading ‘Zimmerman Released On Bail; Ex-Girlfriend Alleges That He Has Contemplated Suicide and Has Choked Her’

George Zimmerman, Killer of Trayvon Martin, Charged With Domestic Violence Against His New Girlfriend

•November 18, 2013 • Comments Off on George Zimmerman, Killer of Trayvon Martin, Charged With Domestic Violence Against His New Girlfriend

I saw the TMZ breaking news this afternoon on Facebook, but news about this development were pretty sketchy until now.

Here’s the arrest report as outlined by the sheriff’s deputies, and just click the link:  georgezimmermanchargesdomesticbattery

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Department, which patrols unincorporated areas of the county, were called to a duplex home in Apopka, what appears to be a lower middle-class burb not far from Orlando.  George Zimmerman had flown into a rage with his new girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, during an argument.  According to the conversation Scheibe was having with the 911 operator, it seems that Zimmerman had escalated into inappropriate behavior in their relationship before, just as he had done with his former fiancée and his soon-to-be ex-wife.  “He knows how to do this: he knows how to play this game,” Scheibe said in the audio transcript below.

But guess what?  Zimmerman got on the horn to tell his side of the story to another 911 operator, while Scheibe was talking to her 911 operator and to the police.

Sounds a lot like CYA was going on, but we’ve heard this story before about people seemingly going crazy and violent on Zimmerman, and he can’t do anything but defend his poor little victimized self.  It’s a broken record.  I picked up this side of the story from TMZ.  He claims Scheibe is pregnant, but the cops deny that she is.  But if Scheibe is pregnant, why threaten, push or aim a shotgun at a woman who is carrying your child?  Only a psycho does that.

You can hear the wheels turning in his head as he concocts and shapes what happened to the 911 operator to serve his purposes and establish his vaunted innocence.  He’s nothing less than a manipulator and sociopath.

Plus, Zimmerman had barricaded himself in Scheibe’s duplex, pushing her out of her own home.  Scheibe gave her key to the deputies, and they had to push aside her furniture (some of which he had smashed) in order to get to him.  Zimmerman was not armed—that is, he was not carrying his guns—when he was arrested, but why barricade yourself inside a house with guns unless you’re about to make one of those kinds of last statements.  You know.  Suicide by shootout with the cops.

I keep thinking back to poor Trayvon cold in his grave, and his parents still toiling to get rid of Stand Your Ground laws, making appearances around the country to small auditoriums and churches to tell of their experience of losing a child who was unarmed to gun violence.  Their lives will never be the same.

And now we have a female Trayvon, Renisha McBride, also unarmed, who was shot down on Ted Wafer’s doorstep for simply being black, inebriated, stoned and disoriented and bloody from a car crash, and looking for help.  Wafer shot through the front door, which was locked, and the screen door, which was also locked.  How could a 5’4″ Renisha have broken into Wafer’s home if she was a home invasion robber or burglar?  Renisha’s parents are also in pain, wondering how anything like this could happen to them, that their daughter would never come home again.

Nina Ippolito over at Policy Mic warned that Zimmerman’s brushes with the law isn’t serving blacks—or the dead Trayvon—at all:

People who were outraged by the verdict of July’s trial want to see Zimmerman suffer, but continued media scrutiny isn’t sufficient to hold Zimmerman accountable for his actions. Watching Zimmerman unravel won’t bring Martin back. It won’t do anything to ensure the safety of other young black men around the country, nor will it restrict the legitimization of vigilante-style gun justice. Instead, reports regarding Zimmerman’s stunted life as a free man merely highlight our inability, as a society, to make anything good come of the tragedy that was his trial.

As tempting as it is to focus on Zimmerman’s post-exoneration fate, doing so won’t bring us closure.

Too bad Zimmerman can’t be retried on what he’s been up to lately, because I think that a lot of people have had their eyes opened.  The guy is dangerous to anyone who gets close to him.  Anyone’s son and anyone’s sister.  And not just those of black and brown people.

Demonstrating and buttonholing our politicians about these travesties of justice, influencing the passage of bills and legislation as well as educating others about why Trayvon Martin is important, is a beginning towards that kind of closure.  At the moment, though, I cannot forgive a justice system that would allow a psycho case like George Zimmerman to continue to walk around while a young black man or a young black woman who were never in trouble with the law are now dead and buried for absolutely nothing.  Karma is slowly catching up to George Zimmerman, and as far as I and a lot of other people are concerned, it’s only a matter of time.

That “Scandal Cartoon”: Episode 7, ‘Everything’s Coming Up Mellie’

•November 16, 2013 • Comments Off on That “Scandal Cartoon”: Episode 7, ‘Everything’s Coming Up Mellie’

I’ve decided to include the latest KevOnStage confection, Cartoon Scandal, recapping the latest Scandal episode, if you had to work, had to go to a flick with your boo, or had drifted asleep before the getting got good.

This time, it recaps three of the biggest revelations yet on the Shonda Rhimes nighttime soap-political thriller.  Yeah, you will be confirmed that Quinn is in biiig trouble.

By the way, actress Bellamy Young appeared on The Wendy Williams Show this week.  Did you know that she was only supposed to be on Scandal once or twice?   And then she got to be a regular player.  Frankly, I didn’t like the interview.  Either she was tired and hyper from doing so many appearances, or her jumpy behavior is an offshoot of her playing First Lady Mellie Grant.

And then there is Men on Scandal:

Word to you Scandalholics, there are supposedly only two more episodes left before the series goes on hiatus during the Christmas-New Year holidays.  It will then reappear in January.

This episode was so good I am going to watch it again using On Demand.  See you there.

Nathan Middleton Arrested on Charges of Destroying Aprina Paul’s Body, Drug Possession, and Pandering

•November 14, 2013 • 10 Comments

This news came out late yesterday afternoon and updated during the local evening news.  The charges—that Nathan Middleton burned Aprina Paul’s body and that Middleton was using drugs at the time—were a given. The authorities have enough evidence to send him back to prison for a decade, but not for murder. They also admit that it may be close to impossible to ascertain how the young woman actually died from the bone fragments.

The pandering charge—that Middleton admitted to soliciting Aprina Paul for the purpose of prostitution or sex in exchange for money (using Craigslist)—is a new one, but like the other charges, not surprising coming from Middleton.  If a man (or even a woman) goes to a particular area of Craigslist, no matter in what city, or even abroad, and places an ad using euphemisms like “partying” or “having fun,” when what they mean is anonymous sex encounters, more often than not someone is going to get a pro at this kind of thing.  One does not have to be a prostitute in order to participate, just experienced and willing.  And money may or may not be involved.

This is a screenshot of what a sexually-inclined individual might expect on the Madison Craigslist's Casual Encounters area.  Not necessarily for innocents, and as always, one must be careful that one does not catch a disease---or catch hell  (Courtesy: Craigslist)

This is a screenshot of what a sexually-inclined individual might expect on the Madison Craigslist’s Casual Encounters subsection, where Nathan Middleton may have placed his ad.  Even the Personals section is not for innocents, and as always, one must be careful that one does not catch a bug—or catch hell (Courtesy: Craigslist)

From Channel 13 in Rock County:

Continue reading ‘Nathan Middleton Arrested on Charges of Destroying Aprina Paul’s Body, Drug Possession, and Pandering’

Filmmaker Ken Burns Says New Mayor Bill DeBlasio Will Settle With The Central Park Five

•November 14, 2013 • Comments Off on Filmmaker Ken Burns Says New Mayor Bill DeBlasio Will Settle With The Central Park Five

It's almost over; the long hell of the Central Park Five, shown here in a contemporary courtroom sketch by Christine Cornell.  These black and Latino youths were accused of raping a woman jogger in Central Park in 1989 (Courtesy: PBS)

It’s almost over; the long hell of the Central Park Five, shown here in a contemporary courtroom sketch by Christine Cornell.  The newly-elected mayor of New York may resolve the wrongful conviction case filed by Antron McCray, Yusuf Salaam, Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson and Raymond Santana (Courtesy: PBS)

Starting on some good news today.  And this is not only good news, but welcome news.  These men need closure, and they more than deserve justice for what happened to them: losing their good names, their sense of self and peace of mind, and years out of their lives resulting from the hysteria and lies of that time.  Don’t get me wrong, I strongly dislike rape and rapists; but even more, I dislike rape frame-ups, especially of men of color.  An individual—a man as well as a woman—can be against both.

The news broke yesterday during an interview conducted by The Huffington Post‘s Josh Zepps with filmmaker Ken Burns.  Burns was being interviewed about his new “Learn the (Gettysburg) Address” project, when someone e-mailed a question about the status of the five men who were wrongly accused and convicted of raping a female jogger in Central Park in the 1990s, touching off a landslide of hatred against black and brown male youth.

Bill de Blasio, the mayor-elect, has agreed to settle this case, and though this is justice delayed way too long, and that is justice denied, [they] will not only be exonerated … but they will have justice, they will see some closure, they will be able to be made whole,” Burns said.

Burns joined HuffPost Live last year before the film’s release with one of the exonerated members of the Central Park Five. Burns said then of New York City’s refusal to settle the 10-year-old case, “the city has put molasses into the system,” and that 10 years later “this is still an open wound that we continue to pick the scab on.”

Continue reading ‘Filmmaker Ken Burns Says New Mayor Bill DeBlasio Will Settle With The Central Park Five’

Aprina Paul Memorial Held Last Night at Death Site in Evansville, WI

•November 10, 2013 • Comments Off on Aprina Paul Memorial Held Last Night at Death Site in Evansville, WI

Another photo of Aprina Paul; about 100 people memorialized her at the house where she died in Evansville last night (Courtesy: Facebook)

Another photo of Aprina Paul; last night, about 100 people memorialized her at the house where she died in Evansville  (Courtesy: Facebook)

This from the Janesville Gazette last night.

Rock County Sheriff’s Sgt. Josh Lund told the Gazette Saturday night that several dozen of Aprina Paul’s friends and family held a candlelight vigil at the home near Evansville where her burned remains were found.

Lund on Saturday night told The Gazette that a group of people held candles and held a sort of memorial service for the 18-year-old Fitchburg woman at the house 12016 Highway 14 West, where resident Nathan Middleton admitted he’d burned her body in a fire pit after he claimed to find her dead the morning after having sex with her.

The ABC affiliate here in Madison, Channel 27, was a bit more forthcoming, but not much.  Yes, there were residents of Evansville who also joined the little service.

Organizers say the family needs some closure. Those who live near Middleton’s house are also looking for ways to heal.

“They’re shocked,” says neighbor Laura Hanson. “No one expects this in a smaller community, and when it happens, it hits really close home.”

Who attended this memorial?  Let us know what happened and how you felt about this event.

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