Friday, January 29, 2010

Lalah Hathaway

LATES NEWS UP DATEKurt Elling is one of today’s leading jazz vocalists, and this Sunday, he’s co-hosting the Grammy Awards. Ok, it’s the Grammy Pre-Telecast Ceremony, but the event, which presents many of the awards that aren’t seen in the main ceremony, is filled with musical eminences in its own right: Elling himself is slated to perform, and artists like Mick Fleetwood, LMFAO and Colbie Caillat will introduce award winners. Video of the proceedings will also be streamed live online at the Grammy Web site.Elling has a long history with theGrammy Awards : namely, that he keeps getting nominated, and keeps not winning. He’s got a good chance this year with Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman, up for the Best Jazz Vocal Album prize. But he’s also logged a lot of time at the ceremonies waiting for his number to be called, and has some good stories to share.

I shot Elling a few questions over e-mail, and he was gracious enough to respond quickly.It’s been quite a career for Lalah Hathaway. She’s one of those singers that make you just shake your head after hearing her sing. It’s so effortless. So rich. So deep. So good. It was in her genes, as both of her parents were accomplished artists, her father of course being soul singer Donny Hathaway, and her mother Eulaulah, after whom she was named, an accomplished musician. She officially began her career in 1989, after signing with Virgin Records and releasing the single, “Inside The Beat.” And four years later released her self-titled debut album.

That’s when the magic started.This year, for the first time in a more-than-successful career, Lalah Hathaway has garnered her first Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the ballad “That Was Then” off of her latest album Self Portrait. Today, as we celebrate her birthday (she looks damn good for 41!!!), SoulBounce says both Happy Birthday and Congratulations to Donny’s daughter. To one of soul’s greatest ambassadors. To the one and only Ms.Lalah Hathaway. Melanie Fiona has insisted she already feels like a winner after being nominated for a Grammy Award.

The singer faces still competition in the Best Female RnB Vocal Performance category from Beyonce, Jazmine Sullivan, Ledisi and Lalah Hathaway.

“If I don’t win the Grammy, that’s OK because the company I’m in feels like a Grammy (win) already, and that’s Beyonce - like I have to pay a lot more dues before I get to Beyonce’s status,” she said.

Original Source By: Tariq

Bank of America's Website Has Been Down All Morning

The website for Bank of America has been malfunctioning all morning. Attempts to load the page produce nothing at all.

A tipster speculates that it is possible that Bank of America has been the victim of a cyber-attack. For now, we're assuming it is a much more mundane problem. All websites occasionally go down.

A call to a spokesperson for Bank of America was not immediately returned.

Source :

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Author J.D. Salinger dead at 91

Reclusive U.S. author J. D. Salinger has died of natural causes at his home in Cornish, N.H., his literary agency said. He was 91.

"Despite having broken his hip in May, his health had been excellent until a rather sudden decline after the new year. He was not in any pain before or at the time of his death (Wednesday)," Salinger's literary representative, Harold Ober Associates, said in a statement issued to The New York Times.

Published in 1951, his novel "Catcher in the Rye" marked Salinger as a major voice in American fiction.

After that, readers scrambled to read his works as they appeared in The New Yorker magazine, before their publication in book form. His collection, "Nine Stories," in 1953, was followed by "Franny and Zooey" in 1961, and "Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters" and "Seymour an Introduction" in 1962.

Salinger took his solitude seriously. Not only did he eschew newspaper interviews and television talk shows, he lived alone in rural New Hampshire, outside the town of Cornish, with guard dogs.

Jerome David Salinger was born New Year's Day 1919 in New York. He attended Valley Forge Military Academy and began writing at the age of 15. He studied short story writing under Whit Burnett at Columbia University and attended two other colleges without graduating.

Salinger's first published story, in Story Magazine in 1940, was followed by a score of others for such magazines as Harper's, Saturday Evening Post, Esquire and Cosmopolitan. But he did not attract wide attention until the publication of "Catcher in the Rye," the first-person story of Holden Caulfield, a prep school student who spends a weekend in New York.

The book mainly deals with its hero's resistance to growing up in a world of adult phonies who betray youthful integrity. The title evokes Caulfield's desire to protect younger children from the scourge of adulthood. The theme made "Catcher" especially appealing to young readers and college students, and the quality of writing soon qualified the book for inclusion in college literature courses.

With "Nine Stories," Salinger began his story of the Glass family Les and Bessie, a former Jewish-Irish vaudeville act, and their gifted children. The eldest, Seymour, commits suicide in his 30s and that becomes central to all that follows.

In 1953, a high school student managed to interview the author for her school newspaper. The closest anyone else came was in 1978. A Canadian police reporter determined to meet the celebrated writer so pestered Salinger that the author prepared an ambush at the end of his gravel driveway. Before being driven off, the intruder recorded Salinger's view of life, later published in a newspaper account of the experience. It quoted Salinger as saying:

"I've gone through this so many times. There's no gracious way to tell you to leave. I'm becoming embittered.

"The words are a little different each time. People with problems, people needing to communicate, people wanting help for their careers. They've collared me in elevators, on the street, even here. I get stacks of mail and questions every day.

"But there are no generalizations. I'm not a teacher or a seer. I pose questions a little differently, perhaps. But I don't pretend to know the answers.

"When I started in this business I had no idea this was going to happen. In ways, I regret ever having been published. I'm a private person. Why can't my life be my own? I never asked for this and have done absolutely nothing to deserve it."

A reporter for United Press International in July 1987 got close enough to Salinger at his Cornish home, well-hidden by birch and maple trees, to describe the author as tall and pale with receding white hair, shaggy eyebrows and round shoulders.

In January 1987, a New York federal appeals court barred Random House from publishing a biography of Salinger that Salinger claimed violated his privacy.

Cornish's 1,000 residents seldom saw Salinger and conspired with the author to guard his privacy.

The author married Claire Douglas, a Jungian analyst, in 1953 and they had two children -- a daughter, Margaret, a writer, and a son, Matthew, an actor and film producer. The couple divorced in 1967.

Salinger is also survived by Colleen O'Neill, a nurse he wed in the 1980s. The Times said little is known about the marriage since O'Neill respected Salinger's desire for seclusion and didn't speak publicly about their relationship.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

President Obama State of the Union Address Time Set

27 January 2010
Posted on BlackState 27 January 2010

President Obama's first State of the Union is scheduled for January 27, 2010 at 9 PM Eastern Time and 6 PM Pacific Time. He's expected to address the economic crisis, jobs, reducing government spending, and health care coverage for Americans.

President Obama remains popular despite a barrage of right wing and health insurance sponsored lies this past summer and fall about health care reform. Deliberate misinformation such as death panels and rationing by some on the right led to confusion to some not following the bill closely. When discussing the difficulty in passing health care most in the media fail to mention the role the campaign of lies has had on the way Americans are polled about health care reform. Early on the debate before the mass excursion of money to oppose reform, over 70 percent of Americans supported some form of a public option, whether government competing against industry or lowering Medicare to age 45 or 55. Public opinion changed when the lies backed by an onslaught of money entered the sphere.

We can probably expect more of the sort of corporate sponsored opposition especially in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United. Which allows corporations to spend any amount of money in politics. President Obama and the Democrats still have the numbers to pass health care reform. Its easier if the House passes the Senate's version of the health care bill and fixes its concerns through reconciliation after the midterm elections. Every expert agrees that health care reform pays down the deficit and will give Americans one less thing to worry about if they lose their job or have lost their job and because of preexisting conditions can not get covered.

Original Post:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Holiday Cram part 2

I am so busted. A few days before the holidays, and I still haven’t got my presents ready. Work has been tight, with the year-end reports to finish and holiday parties to attend.I still get a little things to parcel up sooner than I head-off my journey. But time is small. I have deadlines pending. I’m really cramming exactly this very instant to get the whole thing finished. I extreme dislike my lethargy; I blame it on my missing social life.

But you know what?

I just realized that all these trials, deadlines, and pressure are here to make me commit to my responsibility better, even if it’s freaking hard.

There are times when the anxiety makes me suicidal, but that’s not the attitude.

The feeling of finally getting the fruits of something I worked hard for is incomparable.

And in a few years, I’ll look back to everything that has happened, and just grin. Then, I’ll tell myself it was all a good memory and a worthwhile experience.

So, whatever problems come my way, I’ll just enjoy it. Feel the trial. Fall. Cry.

Maybe I want to create on those presents now. I’m sentiment a bit overjoyed in a shopping mood after writing this situation. Pleased holidays each one!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Life’s Drama

The night was cold and quiet; a perfect night to stroll and enjoy the fresh, humid air. So, instead of hurrying home, I took the time to enjoy the night. The stillness of the surrounding was so inviting; it was a perfect night to ponder on a dream I thought I already lost into naught.

I walked past a middle aged woman jogging with her dog. She seemed so absorbed in her jog she didn’t even noticed me. From the looks of her, she seemed content with her life. She must be the VP or better yet, the CEO of some multinational company. A few meters ahead, I passed a group of young students. They looked so happy and carefree exchanging stories, oblivious to the world around them.

I looked at the books in my hand and thought I want a life like these people around me, blithe and easy. But, I would only get to that state if I get back my long lost dream. I want to pursue it now more than ever. I want to be more than just anybody. The world is huge out there. And it would take a lot of preparation to be that somebody I desire. The road is still long, and there’s a lot to do and experience along the way.

This is a battle I want to achieve on my own. I know that the space left for me in this world has not yet been filled, and so, I won’t falter working on that space to realize my dream.

Of Edward and the Shadowhunters

I spent most of my teenage years locked in my room, skimming over pages and pages of romance novels and fantasy books. I was a bookworm then. In fact, I think I missed all the fun in the Friends show or the sassy episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 from staying glued to a book. So much for my teenage life.

But when I started working, I lost interest in books; maybe because of exhaustion and stress or simply because I already outgrew romance novels. Since then, I find it hard to pick up a book and sit for long hours crying or getting excited over a book. BUT, all that changed with the whole gothic, vampire era people seem to live these days. I was among those who got hooked with Edward and Bella. Thanks to them, my book days are back again.

There’s one book I’m so hooked today—The Mortal Instruments trilogy. Like the story of Edward and Bella, the book combines the magical world with the real world. A normal girl suddenly finds herself in a different world complete with demons, warlocks, vampires and the like. Of course, there’s a touch of romance in the novel. After all, what good is a novel without the written pages of admiration and affection?

If the Shadowhunters and their magical world are real, I would love to live there. Maybe the next time I hit the club, I’d check out the dark corners. Who knows, I might find them there.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Age doesn’t matter, or does it?

If someone asks your name with your age, how would you respond? Would you tell your real age? Or would you just tell your name, no age attached?

In today’s world of yuppies, high-tech gadgets, and online world, it’s often hard to tell what a person’s real age is, whether we are talking about health age, cognitive age, or just plain age. Different professionals have different ways of measuring a person’s age. But the calendar age, which all of us follow, is often the source of scrutiny to most people. Many don’t want to reveal their real age for fear of being called old.

It’s really funny ‘cause I myself don’t want to tell my real age when asked. There was a certain point in my life when I started answering age questions with a blank stare. Since then, all age-related inquiries were either answered with a stare, a smile, or a guffaw; a seemingly clever maneuver to avoid a seemingly simple question.

I’m not ashamed with my age or anything. But experience-wise, if people don’t know your real age, it keeps them interested. They treat you like a pal, minus the phony ‘elderly’ respect. But of course, there’s a downside to that. When people don’t know if you are older or younger than they are, they neglect to respect you altogether. Most of the time, they just snob you or give you the cold shoulder.

So, if they say that age doesn’t matter, then why do people still cower when asked of their age? Why do people act like they are answering a difficult Physics question when the age question arises? As my mother would often say, ‘people don’t usually think and act their age’, so why bother telling your age?

At the end of the line

When you’ve reach a certain peak in your life, everything starts to stop and move in a slow motion. It’s like reaching the highest point of a mountain. As you reach the top, you feel so overwhelmed with your achievement and everything you see around. But then as you stay longer on top, things seem to come to a halt. The landscape becomes so familiar; soon you’ll feel tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. Ultimately, you would want to experience something new; something more fun and exciting.

That’s when you’ll start your descend to get to a new mountain top. But along the way, every step you’ll take will feel like a huge endeavor. Usually, it’s on the descent that flashbacks of the past will come to mind. It’s the stage you pay for your mistakes and regret for what you’ve done and missed doing. It’s also the time you’ll learn to accept the consequences of your mistakes.

It’s like death—a slow, painful death. There’s no turning back, no point of return. There’s only one way in and no way out. Frustrating. Confusing. Just when you think life has been good, you suddenly find yourself on a sinking ground. It’s the end for you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness

Suppose you suddenly get hold of a genie lamp. After careful scrutiny and a few rubs, a genie appears and gives you one wish, just one wish. But you can’t just wish for anything; he will give you two options and you have to pick only one.

Option one: he will give you a palace complete with servants and a garage full of luxurious cars and a carriage; millions of cash enough to last for a lifetime; and vacation houses all over the world. In other words, you’ll get to live like a royalty. BUT, everyone else gets twice apiece of what you have.

Option two: you get ten million dollars, but no one else gets anything.

There’s even a bonus. Whichever you choose, the genie will erase your memory of making the choice, so you’ll stay guilt-free.

Now, which would you choose? A luxurious life in your palace where everyone else gets more than what you have? Or a life where you get to be the only one millions richer?

I know, you’re thinking of option one; you get what you want while your friends get theirs, too. Everyone wins; everyone is happy. Ultimately tough, I don’t think you’ll be happy with that choice. Who would ever get to stay happy when you know that your friends have more than what you have? Humans are simply not wired like that. Would you be happy if what you have is less than what you think you should have?

The ugly truth is that maximizing happiness for humans mean spoiling everyone else’s life while spoiling themselves only half as much. No one seems to be content of what life offers to them today. It’ll always be getting more than what others have.

Crying out Loud

The blissful mood of the hundreds or so women, men, and children happily playing and resting in the park was suddenly disrupted by a loud wail. It was coming from a girl of no more than four or five years old. Everyone was looking at her, including me, for fear that something terrible was happening to her.

I gawked at her a long time, trying to see if she was faking it. Some children are such con artists, you know; they love crying at inopportune moments just to catch everyone’s attention. Trust me; I know that for a fact.

But this kid wasn’t a fake; she was indeed crying. She was muddy and dirty, with dry leaves and flowers dangling from her hair; looks like she just had a bad fall. Beside her was her mother angrily muttering incomprehensible chides while trying to get the dirt off her.

The scene was something I saw often in that place. It happened to me before when I was her age, my mother scolding me in a public place for doing something appalling. It maybe a typical mother-daughter moment, but I don’t think it should be done in public.

Have you ever experienced being shouted at by your boss in front of your colleagues? How did you feel when he told everyone of your mess? Embarrassing, right?

The little girl may be feeling the same way. She may not only be crying for her mistake, but for humiliation as well. We all make a mistake. That’s a fact. If the mother was scolding her child to teach her a lesson or show the kid her love, I don’t think she should yell at her in public.

Why not explain to the kid why what she did was wrong instead of shouting at her? She should have just hugged her and tell her it’s okay to fall down. Comforting her instead of embarrassing her would tell the kid that it’s okay to fall and eventually she would realize that it’s best to clean up and stand up instead of cry out.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m mistaken. May be the kid did something worse than what I saw. Maybe I’m misjudging the mother. But still, I believe that teaching a child good ideals don’t have to be done through humiliation, and worse, in public.