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I Wasn’t Sure I Could Do It

I must admit, I wasn’t sure I could do it – post everyday for a week, let alone a year but I was willing to try.

I like a challenge.

But I’d taken on challenges before….

I don’t think of the year. I think of a day at a time.

Sometimes, ideas come quickly and often, other times not so.

Sometimes, I bang out several hundred words in no time flat. At other times, a few hundred seem to take an eternity to emerge.

Used to being more comfortable behind the scenes, I’m learning how to bare myself to the scrutiny of others and not become paralyzed by my fear that they won’t like what I say, think I’m a fraud or worry when they don’t comment.

And they’ve been surprisingly (to me) generous, receptive and supportive.

Now posting everyday has become a habit I don’t want to break. (I’m writing this as I wait to see a movie.) Three months just flew by!

There’s no prize at the end of the year, just the sense of accomplishment I know I’ll have.

Thanks to my blog buddies and everyone else whose comments have encouraged and propelled me forward.

To the next milestone.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Content Block?

Collaborative writing exercises—such as the cl...
Image via Wikipedia

Is this content block?

For the first time since I started this challenge to post everyday in 2011, I don’t have a topic I want to write about.

I have a few ideas but I haven’t had the time to develop them as I’m in the middle of two writing projects – one with a fast approaching deadline.

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that the ideas aren’t popping as fast or as furious as they usually do. And for some reason, I’m not feeling any of the suggested DailyPost topics.

So rather than break my perfect postaday2011 record, I’m writing and hoping to clear my head because all I can think of is my deadline.

I can’t wait to get back to writing about my travels.

Using your cell phone to take photos? (via Inside-Out)

It is incredible how cavalierly these companies put sensitive information into people’s hands without even a word of warning.

 I love to take photos but was unaware of the risk involved when you take photos with your cell phone and post them online (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Unless you go into the GPS settings and turn off the tracking option, the location of the photo you just took is visible to the public. Take a look at these videos that sum up the risks and offer solutions to the problem. htt … Read More

via Inside-Out

Daily Post: Do You Prefer Talking to Text Messaging?

Texting on a keyboard phone
Image via Wikipedia

I definitely prefer talking to text messaging unless I’m in a setting where its impossible to have a phone conversation.

While text messages are great, they go only so far. They can’t tell me if I’ve made the person I’m communicating with upset, uncomfortable, insulted or angry.

When we speak face to face, we pick up visual cues and listen for audible cues to assess how the conversation is going.  Text messaging removes those cues and places the burden on abbreviated words to convey a range of emotions and intentions.

Unless my message is obviously funny, is a smiley face or LOL telling the recipient to laugh or that I’m laughing. (Although every time I see LMAO, I can’t help laughing out loud at the image it conjures up.)

And those abbreviations don’t work on my non-English speaking friends.

Sometimes, like today, after looking at the 20-odd messages that passed between a friend and I, I wondered, wouldn’t it have been better to just pick up the phone and talk?

That’s the other thing text messaging eliminates – the sound of peoples’ voices.

Frankly, all this technology keeps us separated in our own little worlds. I wouldn’t mind a little more face time with my friends.

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Soulful Sundays: Lorraine Klaasen

Loraine Klaasen performing at Kola Note, March...
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I realize now that I was meant to meet Lorraine Klaasen.

I had been in Jamaica for a week and when I returned to New York all I wanted to do was curl up in front of the television and find a Bond marathon or watch reruns of Bonanza. I had done nothing to get ready for my trip to Montreal. I hadn’t even bought my ticket.

As Wednesday turned to Thursday, I struggled with the temptation to stay put – and disappoint my aunt – or spend what I was sure would be an astronomical amount on airfare and get the introductions she was to facilitate. I searched for last minute weekend packages.

Before I left, my aunt asked if I wanted to go to an event with her that Saturday night. Why not? I thought.

I had no clue what I was in for.

Lorraine Klaasen comes from South African musical royalty. The daughter of legendary performer and Nelson Mandela’s favorite jazz singer, Thandie Klaasen, Lorraine has been described as one of few South African artists who preserve Township music.

From the first chord sounded at the Cabaret Mile End, people were on their feet but the real dancing started when Lorraine came on stage. She is an electrifying and energetic performer.

But beyond her performance, it was something else she did that touched me. It was surprising and I couldn’t remember seeing it done before – Lorraine invited several up and coming performers to the stage and gave them space so that each in turn could entertain her audience. I was impressed.

It was because of that openness (and the fact that she was sitting at a table next to mine) that I decided to approach her at an awards dinner the following evening. When I told her about my planned trip to South Africa, she promptly gave me her business card and told me to email her.

By the time I landed in New York, she had responded.

We met again when she performed at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Summer Concert series. My traveling partners and I invited her to dinner. She gave us a list, not just of friends but also family members, including her mother and brother, and contacted them on our behalf.

Because of Lorraine, we had a welcome party waiting for us when we arrived in Johannesburg. She single-handedly opened up that city and Soweto for us.

Lorraine will be back in my city this weekend. She, along with Malika Zarra, will be performing the music of the Grammy Award-winning civil rights activist and South African musical great, Miriam Makeba, at Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater on April 1 and 2.

I can’t wait to see her perform again. Watch her here in the meantime.



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Weekly Photo Challenge: Ocean

We had requested rooms facing the Indian Ocean so we could watch the sunrise on our last day in Durban.

Sunrise on the Golden Mile, Durban

At eight floors up, we had a perfect, unobstructed view and spent the better part of the morning watching the sun as it climbed peacefully over the horizon.

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The Calendar Did Say Spring. Didn’t it?

The calendar said spring... photo by Marcia Mayne

But this is what my neighborhood looked like as I walked to the bus stop on Thursday morning.

My only consolation is that winter can’t last forever. I am ready for warm weather.

Aren’t you?

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Tasty Thursdays: Ambrosia

A photo of an Ambrosia salad, cropped from the...
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Lately, nothing I cook satisfies my taste buds. But since I have to eat something and I’m not wealthy enough to eat out every night, I have to find something to eat.

I’ve switched to desserts. Well, one in particular – Ambrosia.

Ambrosia is a simple dessert that I can make almost with my eyes closed. What I love about it is the rich combination of sweet (I have a wicked sweet tooth), crunchy (chopped almonds), tart (orange segments and pineapple).

Basically, Ambrosia excites my taste buds and keeps them guessing.

See if you agree.


1 8 oz. can of mixed fruits, drained
1 8 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
8 oz. Whipped Cream
¾ cup of almonds (or walnuts), chopped
Small jar Maraschino cherries, drained (Save a few to garnish)
Marshmallows and additional fruits, e.g. orange segments, seedless grapes cut in half, etc., can be used for color, texture and variety
Cherry syrup to sweeten the whipped cream and add color


Chop nuts, set aside
Spoon whipped cream into a bowl, sweeten to taste with cherry syrup
Add fruits and half of the chopped almonds, mix thoroughly
Cover with Saran Wrap and refrigerate at least an hour
Garnish with remaining chopped almonds and cherries, serve


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Elizabeth Taylor’s Dead. Am I the Only Person Who’s Never Seen Any of Her Films?

Screenshot of Elizabeth Taylor from the traile...
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Elizabeth Taylor, the much married, British-born, Academy Award-winning actress and humanitarian, died today. And as I watched a small tribute to her on television this morning, I realized that I’ve never seen any of her films.

That surprised me. I love going to the movies. How did I miss not seeing any of Ms. Taylor’s movies? I should have at least seen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or National Velvet or Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf or Cleopatra.

No question then what I’ll be doing this weekend – catching up.

But even though I can’t remember seeing any of Ms. Taylor’s movies, I can’t deny her influence on the industry, her enduring beauty or her charitable work.


Thank you, Elizabeth Taylor, for all you’ve done to make the world a better place.


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Spring Signs

Signs of Spring

I took these photographs last March in DC with my Blackberry. As I remember, it had warmed up a bit during the week but later turned cold, rainy and windy so most of the Cherry Blossoms I wanted to see had been blown away by the weekend.

The tulips, however, survived the bad weather and were just beautiful. All kinds of colors and color combination.

Purple Tulip

It was almost the same type of weather we had this time last year, warm one day, we had 70+ degrees last Friday, then back into the 30s and 40s the next.


Hope the spring flowers survive.


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