In anticipation of the “Storm of the Century,” I went to Total Wine, a liquor store (warehouse, really) near my home I’d heard a lot about, but never visited. Because drinking alone under the covers isn’t sad if there’s a blizzard outside. Shut up, no it’s not.
The store was amazing! Every kind of wine, beer and liquor you could ask for at great prices! The whiskey and Bourbon aisle was like heaven. It’s officially my new happy place. I bought a bottle of the Elijah Craig small batch I tasted on the Evan Williams distillery tour I went on in Louisville earlier this month and a bottle of Builleit. I didn’t even get to really enjoy either before I realized the storm was a bust. Does the streets being clear mean drinking alone is sad again? Awesome, then I’ll get back to it. Below is the “Me In Your City” video I shot in Louisville. Bourbon and Bourbon distillery tours are my favorite. Check out the video when you have the chance!
Yesterday, on my flight from Seattle to Dallas, I had the most passive-aggressive pillow fight ever with the woman seated in front of me. She wasn’t using her neck pillow and she kept pushing it into my lap. Grrrrr!!! A big believer in living within the space designated for you while flying, and admittedly a little cranky from being on the road for 3 weeks, I kept pushing it back onto her side. She could have easily just put it away, but she didn’t. She kept stuffing it back in the window and nudging it back with her elbow. So it was “on.” No words were ever spoken, but it went on for nearly 10 minutes. I was flying US Airways, so there was no video screen in her headrest; I had to amuse myself somehow. Every time I pushed it back in her window, I would see her huff and puff and almost turn around, but she never did. I guess we were both being petty, but stop encroaching on my personal space, lady! I wish I’d videotaped it. It was hilarious.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, I won.
Maybe this makes me a bad person. But I needed it.
We just wrapped taping for season 3 of “Exhale,” and I had a day off before I had to head up to Seattle for a show. So I decided to stay overnight in LA with BFF Dawan, rather than fly straight to Seattle and get a room. He lives a ways from the hotel where I was staying, but his daughter’s daycare was just a couple miles away. So I decided to meet him there and ride back to the house with him after he dropped her off.
Perfect. I’d save money by not paying for an Über to West LA during morning rush, and I didn’t have to inconvenience him at all. To make sure everything went smoothly, I planned to arrive about 15 minutes early and just wait outside or in the lobby of the daycare center. But when my taxi pulled up, I realized the daycare was located in a home on a quiet, residential street, and I was gonna have to stand in front of the house until Dawan arrived. I considered asking the taxi driver to keep the meter running until he got there, so I didn’t look like a toddler thief, but I am poor. So I hopped out. Here’s the thing about being an unfamiliar brown woman standing in front of a daycare with two suitcases, each of which could easily hold a toddler: there’s no way to not look suspicious.
I regularly do an hour onstage, but those 15 minutes outside that daycare felt every bit as long. That’s why I’m not angry at the woman who sat in her car, sizing me up for 3 minutes before she got out and walked towards the house clutching her daughter’s hand and her cell phone equally hard. And I’m not mad that once she was inside, she peeked her head back out the side door and pointed me out to someone inside. I probably would have done the same. As soon as Dawan got there and shifted his truck into park, I began wrestling my super heavy bags into his trunk. “Hang on. I’ll do it as soon as I drop her off,” he offered.
Nah. I got it. We should probably go right now.
I was telling Christine, one of our camera operators and baker of the victorious vanilla bean buttermilk version, that I always try to pronounce scone the way Europeans do — so that it rhymes with “John.” Mainly because it makes me feel fancy in Starbucks, but also because I think the originator (or language of origin) of a thing or a brand is who/what should determine its pronunciation. Like Nike. Or Porsche; the car is named after a real dude. We can’t just decide to change the pronunciation of his name because we want to:
“Well, where I come from, we say it like “Porsh.”
Shut up. No one where you come from has a Porsche. Y’all don’t get a vote.
So… we’re back in the studio shooting the third season of our talk show, “Exhale” and I’m super happy the band’s all back together! We just wrapped day one, and it was probably the best day of my entire life. Better than the day I was on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Better than the day Wanda Sykes tweeted “I love @ejthecomic.” Better than the day I first tried Nutella.
Because today I got to interview Johnny Gill.
I have loved Johnny Gill since I was about 9 years old. In fact, his was the first CD I ever owned. When my dad bought our family’s first CD player in 1990, my mom and I went straight to Sam Goody. She got Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and I picked out “Johnny Gill.” He is the best singer (don’t waste your time trying to argue this point) and my favorite New Edition-er by far and I’ve bought every one of his subsequent albums. I try to catch him whenever he’s on TV and if any of my friends sees he’s going to be on something, they’re always sure to let me know.
During the first season of “Exhale,” we did a show where we had some of the hosts’ favorite entertainers as guests. During the planning stages I dropped several not-very-subtle hints that I would love to meet Johnny Gill. Our fabulous booker, Carol, tried to get him, but there was a scheduling conflict and he couldn’t make it. I was super sad and so I recorded this [wide] open video letter asking him to come on the show if we got renewed for a second season.
Flew into LA for the day and the venue sent a towncar service to pick me up at the airport. I realized I didn’t have any cash when I got in the car, so I asked the driver if I could tip him on my card. He said he couldn’t do that, so when we pulled up to the hotel I asked the valet if there was an ATM inside. He said yes so I asked my driver to wait while I went in and got some money. I brought ten bucks (it wasn’t a great tip or anything) back to the car and gave it to him and he followed me back in to the hotel to tell me he’s been driving for 20 years and I’m maybe the third person who actually came back to the car after saying they’d be right back with a tip. Then he told me he was done for the day and took me to lunch with his tip. In real life.
The point of this story is: If you act like you have home training, sometimes an old white man takes you out for “kinda free” In-N-Out Burger and you wind up making an unlikely friend.
So I’m sitting at an airport gate wearing a Montreal Canadiens t-shirt because I ran out of clothes on the road, and it was $7 at Walmart. Well, they’re apparently in the Stanley Cup conference finals this year and the guy sitting next to me is a huge Canadiens fan. He saw my shirt and started yapping to me about the team and last night’s game… And instead of just telling him I know nothing about the team or the sport, I for some reason, try to get thru the conversation without getting found out. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
“Can you believe that OT goal last nite?” he asked me. And because I didn’t know whether the goal he was talking about was good or bad for “our” team I just shook my head and replied, “Psssshhh.”
If I spoke to someone wearing Eagles swag and they told me it didn’t mean anything to them, I’d probably go on a rant about how they could have bought almost any other t-shirt besides that one and how you shouldn’t represent for something if you don’t believe it… I eventually just put on my headphones and closed my eyes to end the convo. But the point here is that I’m a hypocrite and a poser. I know and accept it.
This week on “Exhale” we talk about Family — how to make time for love relationships, how to care and prepare for aging or ill parents, etc. In this short outtake Rene and I talk with Bryan Gaines, Co-Chair and Project Assistant for The University of Southern California Advocates for African American Elders Project. He had some great information about helping parents age with dignity and why it’s important to know which siblings parents want to handle their finances. Sadly, my folks only have one option.
Tune in to check us out Wednesday night at 8pm on ASPiRE!