The Rules of Eating Sushi

Posted in Culture, Ettiquette, manners, Restaurante etiquette, Uncategorized with tags , on March 7, 2012 by GRACE

I am guilty of breaking a number of these!  But have no fear, all is not lost, The Tilted Nose  along with will have you knowing better.  And when you know better, you do better! 

(pronounced Kampai)

It’s Not That Hard To Say Good-Bye Oprah!

Posted in Current Events, Entertainment with tags on May 25, 2011 by GRACE

While not a fan, I am sad that the one of the last decent and tolerable show on TV is leaving us.  While the Oprah show was often news worthy, hard hitting and informative.  There were those shows that were just about common sense.  I often found myself amazed at what she was teaching her audience on a daily basis, and found myself saying “you’ve got to be kidding me” while talking to the TV.  In short it is time for her to wrap it up.  Her last few seasons were a reach in an attempt to stay current and it looked like she was trying too hard, much like the King of Pop Michael Jackson before he left us 2 years ago. 

She had an awesome run and is loved by millions.  Best of luck to her and the new network. I am certain We will be seeing her again.

Parent Hood!!!!!

Posted in Family, HIP-HOP, Relationships, Uncategorized on January 6, 2011 by GRACE

WHUP There It Is!

Attention All Gentleman!!!

Posted in Ettiquette, HIP-HOP, manners, Relationships on December 2, 2010 by GRACE

“Yo yo yo yo yo!!!” is neither my name nor an acceptable greeting. Yeesh!

What happened to, “Hello, how are you?” Can we get some MANNERS here please?

Whoopi Does It Again!!!

Posted in Books, Entertainment, etiquette on October 7, 2010 by GRACE

If I’ve said it once…I’ve said it a thousand times.  In fact, it is the one mantra that I live by in my life:  “Make it easy for everybody!”   While my boyfriend may tend to disagree, I could not have been happier when I heard my Scorpio sister Ms. Goldberg say it!  I became my own Amen Corner with jubilation that …It wasn’t just me!

Ms. Goldberg will be signing her book at Borders Books in New York and New Jersey this weekend!

How Do You Change A Culture of Bad Behavior?

Posted in etiquette, manners, Sports, Uncategorized with tags on May 18, 2010 by GRACE

The loss of basic manners and respect toward others has gone too far. Simply being nice, respectful and courteous and greeting the person on the other side of the counter, microphone, cellphone, etc., with a smile, a “please” and a “thank you,” will benefit you far greater than being rude and disrespectful.
Remember the Michael Jackson “Man in the Mirror” test. You know the words. Put ‘em into action and let’s play nice. You’ll go a lot farther in the long run.

Blizzard Party Etiquette

Posted in Education, etiquette, Hosting, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 8, 2010 by GRACE
Blizzard Party in Brooklyn - Copyright John W. DeFeo


Oh yes….it does exist.  If by chance you are throwing a gathering or party during inclimate weather, please people, please, please, PLEASE know that it is ultimatly irresponsible to offer alcohol to your guest and then send them out into the icy roads and snow.

I was at a party over the weekend in Virginia where they have just recieved a record amount of snow and ice.  The host of the party did NOT want to honor a snow date and therefore kept the party going.  She surprisingly had a house full of people.  Mostly folks with cabin fever who just had to get out of the house.  There was food and alcohol and a lot of what I call “collegiate drinking”.  Shots of tequila and so on.  When the cake was cut the  food ran out and the liquor ran low the guest of honor (husband of the host) proceeded to kick folks out all at once.  Fine…not a problem.  But not once did I hear a question of concern for the folks who braved the elements and committed to coming out in celebration of this dear soul.  I have but one word for behavior like that…..RUDE!

If you just have to throw a party because snow days slow you down and make you bored, be prepared to have people spending the night at your home.  It is highly irresponsible to invite people over during inclimate weather have them drinking only to send them out into the night on thin ice.  As a host you should insist on designated drivers for your guests and while everyone is of legal drinking age you may have to do a little babysitting to make sure that the designated driver is sticking to his or her limitations.  It sounds like a pain in the butt, however as hostess with the mostess the safety of your guests come first.  After all they came out for you as well as because of you.

Until next time…behave, be polite and lets be careful out there!

J.D. Salinger (1919-2010)

Posted in Current Events with tags on February 1, 2010 by GRACE


“There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It’s peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure.” J.D. Salinger

We Say Good-bye To Teddy

Posted in Entertainment, MUSIC, World News with tags , on January 14, 2010 by GRACE


As a little girl he didn’t mean much to me.  He was just another brohter on the Soul Train stage that made my mother and her sisters scream with excitement as they slapped each other five (on the black-hand side).  Being so green to the ways of  life and human nature,  I simply could not relate and I therefore resulted to the fact that the female members of my family were just foolish and crazy.  But the moment that I knew I had become a woman… was when Teddy shouted at me to “Turn Out the Lights!”   … and I did!

Rest In Peace Teddy Bear.  You have influenced the world with your music and your masculinity.   I think I can honestly say that because of you I have a strong affinity for men with beards.  😉    You will forever be an all time favorite of mine.

Sade’s Back!

Posted in Entertainment, MUSIC with tags , on December 11, 2009 by GRACE

For years we’ve been saying it almost wistfully, knowing it to be just a fanciful wish,”if Sade were to come back, she’d kill the game!” Well, I guess the game is about to be slain because it’s official – Sade is BACK!!!
Epic Records announced yesterday that Sade will release her new project Soldier Of Love on February 8, 2010 – just in time to be a very popular soundtrack to a lot of Valentine’s Day lovemaking!

Sade’s last project was 2000’s Lover’s Rock and it would be more technically correct to refer to Sade as they rather than she because the band Sade includes not only the sultry singer for whom it’s named, but also the smoking backing band Sweetback who are a tour de force in their own right. In fact, they – Stuart Matthewman and Paul Spencer Denman, in particular – might truthfully be the massive, purring engine behind the machine. However, just like a BMW, a great engine topped with a great body and nice throaty voice is an alchemy guaranteed to produce gold. For Sade’s sake, I hope this time it can also, once again, produce platinum because the game has undergone fundamental change over the decade she’s been out of it.  No matter how much the change the world needs Sade, but more importantly…I need Sade in my world!

The Thanksgiving Guest 2009

Posted in Ettiquette, Holidays, Uncategorized with tags , , on November 25, 2009 by GRACE

As I travel to North Carolina for a holiday weekend with a new group of  folks who I conduct business with. I am grateful to be participating as a guest, and am reminded once again as we all should be on how to conduct ourselves properly for the holidays.

 As a Guest:

RSVP. Let your host know right away if you can come or not. If you received a “family” invitation, let him know how many of you can come. Don’t show up with uninvited guests. There is usually room for one more at Thanksgiving, but this is something you must discuss with your host ahead of time.

Offer to contribute to the meal – but don’t dictate the menu. Your best bet is to make your offer open-ended and follow your host’s direction. If you or your ‘party’’ have special dietary needs, it is very gracious to offer to bring a dish that meets those needs. “Grace is a vegetarian  (I’m really not)– I’d love to bring a delicious tofu dish if that’s OK with you.”

Dress appropriately. At the very least, clean and pressed. As a true sign of consideration, dress one notch up. Your hosts are probably going all out, and your attire can either say, “I appreciate the effort you are making for all of us,” or “I thought you were ordering take out.”

Arrive on time. Yes, it is a day of feasting, but that turkey is going to be done at some point and your hosts are trying to plan around that magic moment. If you arrive late, don’t expect anyone to wait for you.

Offer to help with the clean-up. Family or non-family, this is one day where it is a great idea to pitch in.

Avoid controversial or painful family subjects. This is a day to be together in a spirit of generosity and thankfulness for all you do have. Let it be just that.

Leave on time. If you are a houseguest, stick to the agreed begin and end times of your visit.

Say thank you. A phone call or, better yet, a hand-written note of thanks to your hosts shows your appreciation for all their hard work.

A Safe and Happy Thanksgiving to all from the Tilted Nose!

Calling Out Kanye and His Bad Manners at the CMA’s

Posted in Country Music, Entertainment, MUSIC with tags , , , , on November 16, 2009 by GRACE

UBER Big up’s to Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley as they sang:  “Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be KANYE!!!”  “Don’t let them pick guitars and drive them ole trucks, cowboys have manners they don’t intterupt!”


Prince Talks to Tavis

Posted in Current Events, Entertainment, MUSIC with tags , , , on April 24, 2009 by GRACE

It’s hard to believe, but even the supremely cool being known as Prince was teased as a child, in an shining example of how not to judge a book by its cover.


“The first thing I did is,” Prince tells PBS’ Tavis Smiley in a new interview. “I went into [my]self and I taught myself music. My father left his piano at the house when he left and I wasn’t allowed to play it when he was there because I wasn’t as good as him so when he left I was determined to get as good as him.”


And practice he did, laying the foundation for his future rock star status by perfecting his talent, until people started treating him differently.


“I taught myself how to play music and I just stuck with it and I did it all the time and sooner or later people in the neighborhood heard about me and they started to talk about me and it wasn’t in the teasing fashion, it was more like, ‘Wow look what he can do…’ Once I got that support from people that I believed I could do anything,” he reveals.

 check your local listings for the interview, airing April 27 and 28 on PBS:

PRINCE’s Lotus Flow3r at a Target Near You!

Posted in Entertainment, MUSIC, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 29, 2009 by GRACE

His name is Prince and his new 3 disc album “Lotus Flow3r” hit  TARGET stores TODAY!!!

R.I.P. B.I.G.

Posted in Entertainment, HIP-HOP, MUSIC, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 9, 2009 by GRACE

As of today, it has been twelve years since the drive by murder of  Christopher Wallace aka the Notorious B.I.G.

As of today no one has yet to be brought to justice for this crime.  Sad but true, however the bigger question is why?

Movie Etiquette

Posted in Movies with tags , on February 9, 2009 by GRACE

The days of respectful silence unfortunately seem to be gone.  That said, here are a few rules that should NEVER be broken when attending a cinematic show:

1. Whisper to your seatmate if necessary — but don’t talk back to the screen or do a running commentary on the action.

2. Turn of your cell phone or put it on vibrate. If you must make a call, do it out in the hallway or lobby.

3. Don’t get up or move around too often; it’s distracting to others.

4. Going to an evening or late show? Leave small children with a babysitter.

5. Pitch in to keep the theater clean: Use the receptacles for trash.

As always behave and be polite!!!

“Love In The Time of Cholera”

Posted in Entertainment, Movies with tags , , , , on February 9, 2009 by GRACE


Just when I thought that I was cinematic-ally satisfied after seeing “Slumdog Millionare”.  I  happened across another amazing film during one of my many bouts with insomnia.

“Love In The Time of Cholera”.  What a great movie this is!  Based on the book with the same name, this gorgeous move set somewhere in the Spanish Caribbean takes you on a journey of undyinglove just like ‘Slumdog’ and ‘Benjamin Button’.  Only instead of Dev Patel and the beautiful people of Mumbai, India, LITC gives you Javier Bardem, John Leguizamo, and  fine a** Benjamin Bratt!!!  His presence alone will make you want to watch this movie ladies.  Sorry guys, he’s my favorite actor these days, and for obvious reasons.

Florentino Ariza (Javier Bardem), a telegraph boy, falls in love with Fermina Daza, the daughter of a mule trader (John Leguizamo).  Ariza is persistent, writing her constantly, serenading, speaking poetically of love. Her father tries to keep them apart, and then, one day, she sees this love as an illusion. She’s soon married to Urbino (Benjamin Bratt), a cultured physician, and for years, Ariza carries a torch, finding solace in the arms of women, loving none. After Urbino’s fall to his death Ariza then sets out to claim the love he sought after 50 years earlier. 

Does he succeed?  You must watch for yourself.  Trust me if you love beautiful love stories and period pieces you will not be dissapointed with this movie.

Slumdog Millionare

Posted in Current Events, Entertainment, Movies with tags , , , , , , , on February 9, 2009 by GRACE


I have never had a film affect me on so many different levels! 

1.  The soundtrack is on fire! (Give it up for A R Rahman)

2.  The storyline is a compelling and endearing.  The plot is one that consists of  love, family, civil unrest, money, power and success

3.  The children in the film are beautiful

4.  The people in this film are beautiful  (I officially have a crush on Dev Patel!)

5.  Danny Boyle  did an outstanding job.  The way the film was shot was breathtaking

6.  Mumbai, India is a major star in this film

7.  The choreography at the end was THE BOMB!!!  Kudos, for Longinus Fernandes aka Longi who they equate to the artist presently known as Prince!  (Love that!)

This movie is nominated for 10 Oscars.  I hope you love it as much as I do!

Benjamin Button…From A Womans Perspective

Posted in Entertainment, Movies, Relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2009 by GRACE


Set on the day that Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, elderly Daisy Williams nee Fuller is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital. 

 Benjamin’s diary recounts his entire extraordinary life, through the unusual aspect of which was his aging backwards, being born an old man who was diagnosed with several aged diseases at birth and thus given little chance of survival, but who does survive and gets younger with time. Abandoned by his biological father, Thomas Button, after Benjamin’s biological mother died in childbirth, Benjamin was raised by Queenie, a black woman and caregiver at a seniors home. Daisy’s grandmother was a resident at that home, which is where she first met Benjamin. Although separated through the years, Daisy and Benjamin remain in contact throughout their lives, reconnecting in their forties when in age they finally match up. Some of the revelations in Benjamin’s diary are difficult for Caroline to read, especially as it relates to the time past this reconnection between Benjamin and Daisy, when Daisy gets older and Benjamin grows younger into his childhood years.

My grasp on this as a woman, is how Benjamin was able to be every man to Daisy that a number of men play in the average woman’s life.  He was the older man and the father figure to her when they were in their twenties.  He was her equal at their happiest when they found peace with themselves and one another in their forties.  When he left after they had a child and came back to her while she was in her fifties he was then “the younger man” and therfore the younger lover and she his Mrs. Robinson.   She even loved him as a Son and was able to give him a mother’s love as he aged into infancy.  He was every man!  Some women should be so lucky to have a Benjamin Button. 

Great film!

When In Rome…

Posted in Current Events, Politics with tags , , , , on January 28, 2009 by GRACE

I have to disagree with the president on his comment to instill some “Chicago toughness” into the city of Washington D.C.

He was shocked that his daughters school received a snow day on the count of  ice.  Well you’re not in Chicago anymore AND Washington D.C. has snow days …accept it and move on.  Snow days are magical for children and I’m happy that Sasha and Malia  get to have this experience. 

 As for the President trying to make D.C. into Chicago reminds me of   New Yorkers who move to Virginia and decide that Virginia needs a Jimmy Jazz clothing store.  You can’t come into another state, city, culture and decide that it needs to be run your way.   Let the “Snow Days” be the delightful days  of childhood that we all miss.

Who’s That Girl?

Posted in Entertainment, Fashion with tags , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by GRACE


I attended a calendar launch this evening.  The city is still buzzing from the inauguration and I decided to keep the party going. 

This party was a launch for an independent project that wanted to make a statement on behalf of women with curves.  As you may or may not know,there is a lot of controversy within the world of fashion on how beauty is defined and dictated by thatparticular  industry.  After being in this room of curvy women, it wasn’t difficult to see why. 

While I don’t agree that you have to be rail thin to be beautiful,  I don’t believe in being unhealthy, obese, or unfit.  One model in particular who said her name was Wynter,  stood out from the rest of the group.  She was as vibrant as much as she was curvy and had it going on!  I got a chance to talk with her while standing over a glass of champagne and I found her to be delightfully engaging, with a gorgeous smile.  I learned she was college graduate of a HBCU, a sister southern girl, and career girl on the go.   We spoke ferverently about the changes in America, along with the changes in her life. For a brief moment she was so electric I wanted to be her!  I LOVE seeing black super women who are comfortable with themselves.  Way to go Wynter!!!  Way to be FLAWLESS!!!

This is a swimsuit calendar which is  available at   Wynter looks great there too!

Do Over!

Posted in Current Events, Politics with tags , , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by GRACE

I needed a “do over” for President Obama’s swearing in! 

I know it was Chief Justices John Roberts  blunder, but damn!!!  This was such a historical moment, not to mention the one and only real reason that people 2 million strong braved the cold, traveled far and wide and showed up for! It should have been perfect. 

I know we can never get that moment back, but they have now re-taken the oath  in the oval office with no audio, just photographers in an attempt to try and get it right.  I guess that will have to do.

The Transition Is Over and Change Is Here!!!

Posted in Current Events, Politics with tags , , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by GRACE


President Obama has hit the ground running with what he calls  changes for a  “more responsible, more accountable government”

  • he ordered a salary freeze for senior White House staff
  • tightened rules on lobbyists
  •  established what he said is a new standard of greater government openness
  • Hillary has been confirmed
  • Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her Senate Bid
  • Governor Patterson (New York) has made his choice for Hillary’s replacement

Sounds like CHANGE to me!

Tuxedo Etiquette

Posted in Current Events, etiquette, Fashion with tags , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by GRACE

In this day and age not much about tuxedo etiquette is known or followed.  The question was asked on MSNBC last night, why the President chose to wear white tie to his ball and just what is the etiquette for white tie, black tie, straight tie?

Here are some tuxedo etiquette facts to help you:

Type of event: White tie (Most Formal)

Black Tailcoat & Pants
White Shirt, Open-back vest (or cummerbund), and bow tie
Black Formal shoes
White Gloves

Black Tie (Very Formal)

Black (or white) Tuxedo Coat & Black Pants
White Shirt
Black Cummerbund (or vest) and Bow Tie
Formal Shoes

Black Tie Optional (Preferred Formal)

Black (or white) Tuxedo (or suit) Coat & Black Pants
White Shirt
Any Accessories

Time of Event:

After 5pm – Same as White Tie

2pm-5pm – Same as Black Tie

Before 2pm –

Black or Grey Cutaway Coat
Stripped or Black Pants
White Shirt
Black or Grey Open-back Vest

No…I Did Not Like the Dress.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by GRACE

Michelle Obama is hit or miss with me as far as her fashion sense and fashion choices.  The black and red dress on election night …miss.  The dress the day she visited the Bush’s at the White House…Hit!  The outfit on the capital  at the swearing in was a miss for me,  and the inaugural… gown the same. 

This Jason Wu creation was too young.  In fact I think I wore that same style dress to my junior ring dance back in high school.  What bothered me most was she couldn’t dance in the darn thing!  I would have liked to have seen her in a better “frame” which would be a color or different silhouette and keep it simple yet elegant.   

I am by no means trashing the First Lady, it’s just that her body is deserving of so much more! She has the stature for something better. It was not a good dress for her but all First Ladies get better.


Posted in Current Events, Politics, World News with tags , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by GRACE

“God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land. “





Inauguration Eve

Posted in Current Events, Politics, World News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2009 by GRACE

It is the eve of the Inauguration of Barack Obama and once again I cannot sleep.  My feelings of anxiousness will not allow it and I’m feeling just like I felt the night before the election.  I’ve watched all of the train rides, concert celebrations, been to Howard University with Rev. Jackson, Rev. Sharpton and Dr. West.  Attended Ariana’s Gala (all via CNN) and can’t help but feel as though the celebrities have taken over this “grass-roots” movement.  But when I hear that 2 million are expected to take over the mall in Washington, D.C. tomorrow I quickly change my way of thinking.  Which is hard to do with all of the glitz and glam (and lets not forget Oprah), the whole grass roots concept can easily get lost in the inaugural sauce of:  “What song will Beyonce sing?” What and Who is Michelle going to wear?”  Honestly…I hope she picks a dress from the JC Penny’s Bridal Department just to show folks that tomorrow is about a movement to change all of that non-sense, and not about designers and celebrities.  

For the last eight years America has been suffering, and as I listen to Prince sing “Whats wrong with the world today?”  From his song Dear Mr. Man  I am reminded of the change that has taken place since that song was recorded.  I think  of my late father Charles who passed away from brain cancer three years ago, and never even saw Barack Obama coming.  I think of my grandfather who told me stories of racism, segregation and Jim Crow,  My grandmother who has her own bus story that happened well before Rosa Parks and I could not be more thankful that they have lived to vote a black man into office, and will live to see a day like tomorrow.  Lastly, I think of Martin Luther King, Jr.  and the words that he spoke so eloquently when he said:

“Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside.”

I am not in Washington D.C. for this celebration of our 44th President, but it was these words of  Dr. Kings that has let me know that the dream still lives, this celebration is global, it exists beyond our nation’s capital,  CHANGE  is here and tomorrow belongs to us!!!

Michelle Obama’s Mama

Posted in Current Events, Politics, World News with tags , , , , , , , on January 17, 2009 by GRACE

I just read a comment on facebook that disturbed me deeply.  This particular someone mentioned how he is just now discovering that the President Elect is having his mother-in-law move into the White House with them to help them with the children.  He then went on to say that this was ghetto and I could not have been more shocked and appauled.   The sad part is the fact that this individual is an african american who thinks that an african american family pulling together and supporting the family as a unit  is “ghetto”!  I found that to be most facinating.

Did we not all have a Nannie growing up?  Of course we did, she was our grandmother if we were blessed enough to grow up with one in our lives.  I call my grandmother Nannie.  She took care of me while my mother finished her degree because my father was away on active duty. 

It’s better to have a family member looking after your children than a rank stranger.  One of my reasons for not having children now is because I don’t want to raise them WITHOUT family around.  Families these days are extended and get to know their relatives and loved ones over email and through all kinds of technology.   This doesn’t allow much for history, identity and the sense of  family  pride. 

I’m happy to have been raised with all of that, but more importantly I’m happy to see that being exemplified in the White House.  It is definitely a step in the right direction.  This country needs to see more of that so it can get back to better values,  and absolutly NOTHING about that is  ghetto.


Posted in Current Events, Entertainment, HIP-HOP, Movies, MUSIC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2009 by GRACE



For Christopher Wallace a.k.a Biggie Smalls, it was all a dream and we (his loyal fans) felt as though we were living it with him. 

I was fortunate enough to attend the Notorious premier with none other than the talented Barry Cole, Music Supervisor for films such as Roll Bounce, Drumline, Talk To Me and my favorites  Brown Sugar  and the HBO documentary “G String Divas”.  His work on Notorious  alone deserves a standing ovation.  Kudos Barry!!! As always you did your thing and I have to say “Thank You So Much” for the audio experience.

Since veiwing this production, I’ve been bombarded by a bevy of  naysayers who mind you have not seen the movie but somehow feel that it’s going to be “wack”! They also seem to be upset because “Pac” doesn’t have a movie about his life and so why should they support a movie about “BIG”?  To that I say this:  You couldn’t be more wrong.  This movie is GREAT for the simple fact that it’s history and we lived it.  To be at a Biggie Smalls concert one day in your life (as I was back in college) and to suddenly get an inside view of the actuall happenings of  Bad Boy and Junior Mafia is nothing less than facinating.  As far as Tupac not having a movie on his life,  I strongly feel this movie is as much Tupac’s as it is Biggie’s and would strongly urge fans to not to regress back into that petty rivalry and let the beat go on.  More importantly any qualified someone willing to produce and dedicate 2 hours to Tupac Shakur’s life and make a compelling “Legend’s Story” should go right ahead and do it.  I’ll be right there in the balcony with my bag of popcorn and peanut butter M&M’s reliving it just like I did with BIG.

The cast is sprinkled with a multitude of unknowns who all brought thier “A” games to thier characters. Biggie’s biological son, Christopher Jordan Wallace plays Biggie ages 8 to 13 looking just like his Papa!  Bravo to Jamal “Gravy” Wollard and Derek Luke, for outstanding portrayals of the Biggie/Puffy team.  Angela Bassett was a polished Ms. Wallace and Naturi Naughtons portrayal of Lil Kim (old school Lil’ Kim) was so realistic and accurate…she scared me!

It was fun to re-live that night at the source awards when Puffy got dissed by Suge Knight played by Sean Ringgold.  Director George Tillman, Jr.  couldn’t have done a better job of re-creating that ugly East Coast/West Coast beef that was oh so silly and yet oh so serious.

The after party  at the Roseland Ballroom allowed me to meet and congratulate most of the cast and crew.  I was able to do so because most of them have not gone “Hollywood” yet so they were more than mannerable and gracious.  Hip Hop images of  Diddy, Faith Evans, Busta Rhymes, Monie Love, Dream Hampton and Ice T were sprinkled throughout the crowd.  I’m sure I’m missing a gang of names but an open bar sponsored by what else…Ciroc, will do that.

So in the vein of my blog I must speak to the fact that this movie hit on a revelation had by Biggie while watching a Richard Pryor film,  to improve himself and improve his people by eliminating the use of the “N” word and improving his manners.  Ms. Wallace during a speaking opportunity just before the movie said that she wasn’t sure about actor Jamal Wollard playing her son until she saw his swagger and until he said… “Thank You!”

NOTORIOUS  is Hip-Hop History! the soundtrack alone is the “illest”.  You are guaranteed to be informed and inspired from this proud piece of work.  Hey… and if you don’t know….now you know!

Happy New Year!!!

Posted in etiquette, Holidays with tags , , on December 31, 2008 by GRACE

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year from

The Tilted Nose!

Behave and be polite in 2009! 


May God Bless US…Everyone!

Posted in etiquette, Holidays, manners with tags , on December 25, 2008 by GRACE

Merry Christmas from The Tilted Nose!

Yours truly,


Holiday Greetings: Merry Christmas Dammit!!!

Posted in etiquette, Holidays with tags , , on December 18, 2008 by GRACE

It sounds rude-I know, but it’s that most wonderful time of the year, when all the world is filled with cheer and folks seem to be on their best behaviour. 

I especially LOVE the holiday season, because I get to be nice and polite to people for no reason at all.  I happen to specifically love wishing folks a MERRY CHRISTMAS and all  the best for the New Year ahead. But the political correctness of the holidays is trying very hard and doing a good job of  ruining that for me.

I was at a party over the weekend and ran into a colleague and neighbor of mine.  We often see one another abroad through our travels with work  and I’m always happy to see Ms. Beverly.  We were catching up from the last time that we had seen one another and I warmly said to her “If I don’t see you before the holiday, you have a Merry Christmas!”  She returned the holiday wish as if she were correcting me and said “YES-  have a Happy Holiday!”  Well, I just said Merry Christmas which meant that it was all well and fine for her to return the same to me if she chose to.  But the tone in her voice was that I was somehow wrong for wishing her a Merry Christmas since I did not know her religious background.

One thing that I think that folks should realize is that while I know that there are a multitude of reasons for the season (KWANZAA, Hannukah), Christmas is as much of an American tradition as it is a religious one.  I have numerous friends of the Jewish and Buddist faith who put up Christmas trees because it is an “American holiday tradition”.  To them of course it has nothing to do with the birth of Christ.  Same thing for my girlfriend who is of the B’hai faith (who loves to remind me that she’s not Christian) but she and her German husband have come to a compromise on which Christmas tradition (American or German) they will follow for that year.  Mind you each tradition of thiers  involves trees and lights and food and children and toys and family, and oh yes….SANTA CLAUS!!!

How can I forget about what they have done to poor Santa!!  My cousin will not  let me talk to her children about Santa Clause  because she and her husband have told them that there is no Santa.  She feels as if  this is lying  to your kids.  Give me a (bleeping) break!!! I was shocked and appauled that she of all people signed on for this.   She was the biggest Santa fan growing up when we were kids and had a letter edited and prepared and stamped no later than September of each year for the man!!! 

Santa Claus was one the most magical elements of my childhood.  The whole concept of elves , flying reindeer and trying your hardest to wait up so you could hear the sleigh bells off in the distance before they landed on your roof, were the best memories EVER!!!  Now my cousins children talk about how at Christmas “people just  buy them gifts”.  Boo!!!  Where is the magic in that?  Part of the holiday fun is celebrating through a child’s eyes.  Perhaps now I will have to have some children of my own to experience the magic of Christmas…NOT!  Well not yet anyway.

Seriously folks, quit being so damn “PC” about Christmas.  If it were ALL about the birth of Christ there would be no songs or stories about Rudolph or Frosty!!!  Not to mention Dancer, Prancer, Dasher, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen!  Christmas carols would ONLY be about Jesus instead of  the “Twelve Days of Christmas” and what your “true love” brought you on that day.  So stop being so Grinchy/Scroogy and bringing those of us who want to Jingle Bells and Ho-Ho-Ho down.  Instead deck your halls, pour yourself some “Christmas Cheer” and enjoy it!!!  Sheesh!

December 25th is CHRISTMAS! Period! So where does this Happy Holiday stuff come from? We have always said Merry Christmas and we always will!! If you have a problem with it, get over it! Please spare those of us who are just trying to wish folks well during such a hellish time with your stories of what you believe and just take the kindness!Forget about being politically correct and keep on wishing everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

The ABC’s of Good Restaurant Manners

Posted in etiquette, manners, Restaurante etiquette on December 16, 2008 by GRACE
  • Answer an invitation within twenty-four hours.
  • Briefcases and handbags should be placed out of the way and out of sight. Don’t put them on the table or block the waiter’s path.
  • Chew with your mouth closed and be careful not to make any distracting noises.
  • Don’t pass the salt without the pepper.
  • Excuse yourself if you must leave. Fold your napkin neatly and place it on your chair. Push your chair back into the table before you walk away.
  • Food should be tasted first. Then, if you need to, use salt and pepper.
  • Grasp your wine glass with your thumb and first two fingers cupping the bowl and your last two fingers lightly touching the stem.
  • Handle any cancellations yourself. Don’t have a secretary or assistant call for you. Make arrangement for another meeting promptly.
  • Inquiries will get you information. Ask your host what’s good at the restaurant and use his or her suggestions to determine a safe price range. For example, “The prime rib here is wonderful,” means you don’t have to worry about ordering an expensive item off the menu.
  • Just in case, call the morning of your dinner engagement to confirm all details. Check the time, directions, dress code, etc.
  • Keep pace with your companions. Skip a course if you are lagging behind. Slow down if you are bolting ahead.
  • Lipstick should be blotted unobtrusively with a tissue before the meal. Don’t leave marks on glasses or cups.
  • Mention any problems (if you drop your fork, for example) to your host. It’s your host’s job to call the waiter to the table, not yours.
  • Napkins belong on your lap, not tucked under your chin. When you’re through with your meal, place your napkin to the left of your plate; never on a dirty dish.
  • Order last if you are the host. Help your guests feel comfortable, however. Tell them about a good appetizer so they know it’s okay to order a first course. Say “Order a cocktail if you like. I’m sticking with mineral water.”
  • Placesettings demystified: breadplates to the left, liquids to the right; use the utensils farthest from the plate first and work inwards with each course.
  • Quench any desire to comb, smooth, or even touch your hair.
  • Refrain from eating until the guest of honor (seated to the host’s right) begins. If you are the guest of honor, do not begin eating until everyone has been served. However, if the food is hot and the gathering is large or the service is slow, use your judgement.
  • Sit when the host gestures you toward a seat. Don’t just walk up and grab a place at the table. Likewise, if you’re the host, plan where you’ll seat your guest beforehand.
  • Toothpicks are not to be used in front of your companions.
  • Utensils should not be placed on the table between bites. Instead, balance them on the edge of your plate.
  • Vent about poor service, poor quality food, etc., in a letter to the manager of the restaurant the next day. During dinner, however, don’t make a scene that could make your guests feel uncomfortable. Simply say, “This restaurant isn’t up to it usual high quality tonight,” and leave it at that.
  • Wait for your hosts or guests if they are late. Don’t order a drink, unfold your napkin, or start eating the bread. The table should be clean when your companions arrive.
  • eXpect the host to pay the check. Don’t argue when the check comes.
  • Your mouth shouldn’t be full of food when you take a sip of wine or water. Chew, swallow, and then take a drink.
  • Zipper your mouth. Never, never, never complain when you are the guest. If the food is terrible, grin and bear it. If you spot a bug on the wall, look the other way.


Good manners do more than show off your good upbringing. When you know and practice the rules of etiquette, you can relax in social situations. You don’t need to nervously second guess your every move. That means you can concentrate on the business at hand and get the job done.

Emily Post Is Here!

Posted in Books, Emily Post, Entertainment, World News with tags , on December 15, 2008 by GRACE

Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners

Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners,"  by Laura Claridge, is shown. From AP Photo by AP.


“It is to Laura Claridge’s credit that she has written the first full biography of Post. An exhaustive researcher, Ms. Claridge has in this book provided beguiling new details about the taxonomies that governed Post’s life. And Ms. Claridge has situated her within the context of the fast-changing customs at the beginning of the 20th century when she exerted her greatest power.” Dinitia Smith, The New York Times
“In turning her attention to Post, [Claridge] takes up two mysteries. One has to do with etiquette: why, in a supposedly classless society like America, do so many people fret about table manners? And the other has to do with ‘Etiquette’: how did Post convert social disgrace into such a triumph? …Unlike the typical author biography, which suggests that salvation comes in the form of self-expression—shame and alienation converted into art—her life story testifies to the redemptive power of repression. Emily Post became Emily Post by doing what Emily Post advised.” Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker

“Laura Claridge’s meticulously researched bio hints at a feistier Emily, who once ‘plied her banjo like a flirtatious peacock’ as a Gilded Age debutante mingling with boldface names….Emily Post is a rich portrait of an era, but — like its subject — it has little time for idle gossip.” Katharine Critchlow, Entertainment Weekly

“Claridge’s warm, appreciative text does full justice to the surprisingly democratic influence of Post’s most famous book, and it also paints a rich, almost novelistic portrait of a woman whose long, full life embodied the dramatic changes that transformed American society.” Wendy Smith, Chicago Tribune
“Claridge’s Emily Post is not only a fascinating look at a woman who managed to conquer many worlds in her time, it is also a social biography of the changing face of the United States during the 20th century.” Faye Jones, BookPage

“As with her last book, a biography of Norman Rockwell, Laura Claridge has revisited an American icon, upending or at least questioning cliché, which, in the case of Emily Post, is that of a fussy, obsessive woman preoccupied with which fork one should use. Claridge tracks Emily’s rise from vivacious debutante to poised but neglected society wife and mother against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, deftly tucking in such capsule anecdotes as the déclassé Vanderbilts vying for high-society acceptance….Claridge’s book hints at becoming a cultural or literary analysis, offering glimpses of Post’s historical context and writing style. Liz Brown, Los Angeles Times

“[Claridge] offers a rich description of the social development of the times,…an immensely researched work that straddles the line between academic and popular nonfiction…[R]eaders will find themselves rewarded with fascinating insights into the times through which Emily Post guided us.” Anne E. Carroll, Baltimore Sun

“An absorbing new biography…Claridge writes a smooth, clean story of a woman whose legacy is much more central to American life than choosing the correct fork.” Evelyn Theiss, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The first to fully portray this pioneer, Claridge is becoming the sort of biographer readers will follow anywhere, …and now this absorbing study of a keenly perceptive ethicist second only to Eleanor Roosevelt in the immensity of her influence….The pain and humiliation of her divorce from Edwin Post fostered her devotion to writing (she was a successful novelist) and seeded the compassion and advocacy for women that shaped her highly moral approach to etiquette. Claridge chronicles Post’s remarkable ability to discern the needs of a burgeoning American public transformed by immigration, industrialization, war, and women’s and civil rights, and hungry for guidance in social and familial situations.” Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

“It was the genius of Emily Post to show us that manners are the small coin of morality….Emily Post became perhaps the most important and certainly the most influential moralist of the 20th century. It is Laura Claridge’s genius to explain the surprising and improbable background and equally amazing personality of Emily Post.” P.J. O’Rourke, author of Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People

“What she [Claridge] has given us is not only a canny and insightful read, but when she calls her Emily ‘a domestic anthropologist,’ you know she’s right. Brava!” Nancy Milford, author of Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

“Laura Claridge has given us so much more than a mere biography of this august arbiter of good manners; [She] has flung open the doors of an entire society – she has shown us in enchanting, mesmerizing detail how the modern city of New York was built and made.” Carolyn See, author of Making a Literary Life

“… a biography as rich and engaging as a portrait by John Singer Sargent.” Daniel Mark Epstein, author of The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage

“Laura Claridge’s masterful Emily Post tells the story of a lively heroine, raised in a Gilded Age New York of silk-stockings and debutante balls, who wrote one of the enduring bestsellers of the 20th century…. Laura Claridge’s vivid, graceful biography of Emily Post is an essential contribution to American social history.” Eric Homberger, author of Mrs. Astor’s New York

The Thanksgiving Guest

Posted in Ettiquette, Holidays on November 26, 2008 by GRACE

As I travel to North Carolina for a holiday weekend with a new group of  folks who I conduct business with. I am grateful to be participating as a guest, and am reminded once again as we all should be on how to conduct ourselves properly for the holidays.

 As a Guest:

RSVP. Let your host know right away if you can come or not. If you received a “family” invitation, let him know how many of you can come. Don’t show up with uninvited guests. There is usually room for one more at Thanksgiving, but this is something you must discuss with your host ahead of time.

Offer to contribute to the meal – but don’t dictate the menu. Your best bet is to make your offer open-ended and follow your host’s direction. If you or your ‘party’’ have special dietary needs, it is very gracious to offer to bring a dish that meets those needs. “Grace is a vegetarian  (I’m really not)– I’d love to bring a delicious tofu dish if that’s OK with you.”

Dress appropriately. At the very least, clean and pressed. As a true sign of consideration, dress one notch up. Your hosts are probably going all out, and your attire can either say, “I appreciate the effort you are making for all of us,” or “I thought you were ordering take out.”

Arrive on time. Yes, it is a day of feasting, but that turkey is going to be done at some point and your hosts are trying to plan around that magic moment. If you arrive late, don’t expect anyone to wait for you.

Offer to help with the clean-up. Family or non-family, this is one day where it is a great idea to pitch in.

Avoid controversial or painful family subjects. This is a day to be together in a spirit of generosity and thankfulness for all you do have. Let it be just that.

Leave on time. If you are a houseguest, stick to the agreed begin and end times of your visit.

Say thank you. A phone call or, better yet, a hand-written note of thanks to your hosts shows your appreciation for all their hard work.

Happy Thanksgiving to all from the Tilted Nose!

Being A Gracious Host

Posted in Ettiquette, Holidays, Hosting on November 26, 2008 by GRACE

As a Host:

Extend the invitation at least a month in advance, longer for those who might be traveling. If out-of-town guests are staying with you, set a beginning and an end for the visit. Three days is usually the optimum.

Be as accommodating as possible to ‘extras.’ “John and I would love to come, but our friend Tanya will be spending Thanksgiving alone – is it possible to include her?” If you have the room, of course they should bring Tanya! (Be creative – fit in as many as possible. This is the celebration that exemplifies the generous spirit!)

Have a flexible menu plan. Because Thanksgiving is a bit of a pot luck affair, be prepared to be “coordination central.” Accept all offers for special diet accommodations

Assign tasks. Greeters, hors d’ouevres passers, ‘bar tenders’, ‘circulators and introducers,’ servers – even though most guests may be family members, give them the red carpet treatment.

Take a tip from the airlines: serve and seat young children and the elderly first.

FHB – an acronym to be whispered to immediate family ONLY! FHB means “Family Hold Back.” If there is a critical shortage of a critical food item, discretely whisper to family members, ‘FHB the dark meat.” It’s the secret signal that guests get first dibs on the dark meat.

Turn off the TV during Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving has been around long before football or television. VCR’s, TVo – use the technology! Focus your attention where it belongs – on the lovingly prepared food, your family and your friends. When the dishes are done, EVERYONE can enjoy the games (or the chat in the other room!)

Say thank you. Don’t forget to thank everyone who participated in the planning, cooking and cleaning up.

A very happy Thanksgiving to all from The Tilted Nose!

Hosting A Traditional Thanksgiving

Posted in Education, Ettiquette on November 24, 2008 by GRACE

Planning to host Thanksgiving dinner for the first time is a rite of passage that many young American families will likely experience. With careful planning, nearly anyone with decent skills can pull off a delicious feast. Many experts say that the traditional Thanksgiving menu has evolved over the years since the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation, Massachusetts in 1621. Fortunately, in the United States, Thanksgiving takes place over a four day weekend, which is plenty of time to recover from the efforts of planning and preparing an extensive Thanksgiving meal.

The guest list for a Thanksgivingdinner can include immediate family, extended family, or for those far from family, close friends or co-workers. Most importantly, the guest list should be made up of people one is thankful to have in one’s life. The host should be sure to have adequate seating, table wear and place settings for the guests. Once the host has determined the guest list, he or she can proceed with planning the menu.

For the novice, preparation is key. A menu should be devised according to personal taste, cooking experience level, budget, and facilities.  For the most part, a traditional meal is difficult to produce with only one oven, as the turkey usually dominates that area, which makes planning ahead even more important.

 A traditionalmenu includes turkey, ham or a roast is also acceptable. For a first timer, there are many resources to help one prepare a turkey, including the National Turkey Federation’s website, which has tips on everything from purchasing to preparing a turkey, and the Butterball hotline, which staffs experienced cooks to answer questions.

Roasted, stuffed turkey is, of course, the most traditional method of preparation, but turkeys can be barbecued, grilled, or deep fried as well.

Side dishes can be just as important as the main course. Usually, a potato salad or sweet potato dish is included, as well as a stuffing, or dressing as some call it. The stuffing can be cooked inside or out of the turkey, but be sure to follow directions to avoid potential food poisoning issues.

Green beans, mixed greens, and autumn vegetable mixes are all common Thanksgiving fare. One of the traditional standbys of Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce. Variations on the simple cranberry sauce include chunky apple cranberry sauce, and for my cousin Tyrone the Jello congealed salad. Some families forgo the formalities and prefer to plop the gelatinous sauce straight from the can onto a plate.

Dessert also depends on personal taste, as well as on the skill of the preparer. Of course, prepared pies are always available from the local supermarket or bakery, and if presented well, no one will be the wiser – just don’t tell Martha. Apple, sweet, and pecan pies are all my favorites. Bread in the form of Aunt Jane’s rolls is also important. Beverages can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic — just be sure to include a choice for the guests. I go tend to go for the Uncle Roy Specials, which is Jack Daniels and Ginger Ale created by none other than…my Uncle Roy! 

Be sure to provide appetizers to keep hungry guests at bay, and make sure that there is entertainment, such as music, television or games. ( None of these except maybe the music (dinner music) should be going on while dinner is taking place.)  My Grandmother then calls the family together and my Grandfather will pray and give thanks.   Once the meal is over, enlist help with the cleaning. Store the leftovers carefully, since Sweet Potatoe Pie can make a lovely breakfast pastry, and part of the joy of Thanksgiving is indulging in leftovers!

Cold a Flu Etiquette

Posted in Ettiquette on November 22, 2008 by GRACE

Do you remember your mother saying “cover your mouth when you cough”? Probably you do, because this exhortation accompanies the whole childhood. Maybe it is a kind of protest then, that in adulthood this simple rule is not followed by many.

The British Department of Health now started a new campaign “Coughs and Sneezes spread Diseases” and calls for a better cold behaviour.


Sneezing or coughing without covering your mouth is annoying and unhygienic for those around you will directly be confronted with your germs and viruses.  Due a survey, one in ten people admitted to not always washing their hands before preparing food. And more than three in ten people said they would use a tissue at least two or three times before throwing it away.  Eeww!!!
Following findings such as this that show general attitudes and knowledge of effective coughing and sneezing etiquette are poor, a new Coughs and Sneezes spread Diseases campaign has been launched which should remind people of the importance of remembering that simple steps can help stop the spread of colds and flu to others.
The main messages of the campaign are: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, use disposable tissues and throw them away after using, clean your hands regularly – especially after coughing or sneezing.

The Wedding: Close But No Cigar!

Posted in Ettiquette, Wedding Etiquette on November 20, 2008 by GRACE

The Bride wore a butter yellow mermaid style wedding dress with yellow roses in her hair. The wedding party was dressed in all black and the flower girls in all white. The sunflowers were constructed in tall arrangements with bamboo.  It was nice.  The ceremony itself, not a sad ceremony, not too many tears, and before you knew it…they were married! Just like that.  Now onto the reception which took place in the same location but in the event area of the museum.  The space itself was gorgeous!  More tall arrangements as centerpieces and a monster size gold American eagle in the middle of the room.  Very nice.

The wedding party was more than anxious to get to the reception.  Some of the groomsmen were anxious to start drinking, while others were eager to close the deal on the bridesmaid they had their eye on the night before.  The ladies in the wedding party just wanted to get off their feet and out of those shoes.  But first we had to conduct the business of introducing the bridal party.  Typically the order for this part of the event goes as follows: 

1. Grandparents
A grandmother should always be escorted. (Grandparents can also be introduced from their table).

2. Parents of the bride

3. Parents of the groom

If there is an extended family.
The bride’s mother and her escort are introduced first.
Next, the bride’s dad with whomever he is escorting.
Then, the groom’s mother with her escort.
Last, the groom’s father with whomever he is escorting. (A mother should always be escorted).

4. Flower Girl with Ring Bearer

5. Jr. Bridesmaid and Jr. Usher

6. Bridesmaids and Ushers (If there is an extra maid or usher, three people could be announced together).

7. Maid or Matron of Honor and Best Man

8. The Bride and Groom


 Which then is followed by a prayer and then dinner. Instead the Bride and Groom came out first!!! And then introduced the bridal party one by one themselves!  How anti-climatic is that!??!  Oh, and dinner?  There was no dinner. The couple decided on a cake and champagne reception.  I have one word to say about that….RUDE!!! 

It is in the poorest of taste to have your guest spend money on travel, hotels, tuxedo rentals, gifts, etc. and you not be hospitable to them.  And then you fly off to Tahiti on your honeymoon and send your guests home broke and hungry.  RUDE!  On top of that it is most irresponseble to provide alcohol and no food to absorb it and then send folks out into the streets driving drunk.  RUDE!  Lastly, I believe that not at least having passed hors d’oeuvres from the social element of the event.  Without the flow off food, folks are just posted up at tables with nothing do unless they are dancing or going to the bar.  At this event that definitely was the case.

There were a few great highlights a karate demonstration with the tiny tots.  My brother is a 6th degree Black Belt with his own business.  Apparently in Japan it is good luck for the children to dedicate a kata at a wedding.   The first dance of the Bride and Groom was nothing short of what you would see on dancing with the stars. My brother and his wife were all of a sudden Warren Sapp and Brooke Burke stepping in the name of Love (not their song) but BRAVO!!!

Once the Omega’s sang the “frat song” (which is what I refer to as a “negro spiritual”) around my brother’s new bride and folks were lubricated enough to dance, the evening was over.  We then returned back to the hotel where my Mother had a late night breakfast set up for family and guest because she is a class act and knows how guests and family should be treated. 

I have to be fair in saying that the rationale for the choices that were made for this occasion could be due to any number of reasons.  The economy is not the best right now, and the couple only had six months to pull this off.  At the request of my Brother because he didn’t want to wait (Impatient Man) a year to get married.  So I’m sure they were dealing with budgetary constraints.  I have to believe that if budget in fact  is the case common sense would tell you that if you are not able to take care of those who bear the expense to come and support you on your special day, then you should postpone the event until you can make that happen the RIGHT WAY. Please do not misunderstand me.  I was very happy for my brother and my new sister in-law, but I couldn’t help but think that they came across as selfish and in-polite.

I have to admit, for a pull-off it was kinda fab.  It had the potential to be big time fab. But over all it was just nice. There was no cutting of the cake, no garter toss, no bouquet toss.  They were the couple caught up with being “non-traditional”  you know the type, but to me they were more like the couple who was loud and wrong.  Not a good look and believe me folks are talking.  Please stay tuned for the feedback which will either support or negate my opinions and observations.

Ultimately, they had a great time and they have great photos and together they will have a great life.    Until then…please behave and please be polite!!!

“Young People Have NO Etiquette”!

Posted in Ettiquette, Wedding Etiquette on November 18, 2008 by GRACE

The title to this post is a direct quote from my mother after hosting the rehearsal dinner for her only son last Friday night.  After assisting her with the details in any way that I could, I could not help but to agree with her.

My brother has been a very eligible bachelor for the majority of his young adult life.  After re-meeting a girl that he has known growing up, he made that decision and decided to turn in his “Player Card”.  The question was popped in May, and a date was set for November.  My mother was tight that she only had six months to plan what normally takes a year.

Fast forward to the night of the rehearsal dinner.  The flowers, the music, and the venue were all beautifully set up and ready to receive the large wedding party and the families.  My Mother had spent a major part of the afternoon getting glamorous and dressing for the occasion.  My brother showed up fresh dressed with his bride to be. Despite the dreary fall rain, guests were starting to arrive, when in walks one of the groomsmen in jeans, hikers and a parka!  My nose went into instant tilt.

“Did you know that you were coming to dinner?” I asked him.  He replied by looking lost and offended, and I quickly walked away.  Any number of the groomsmen showed up inappropriately dressed to a formal dinner, with the exception of a few who showed up dressed and in impeccable taste.  Good job gentleman!  You looked amazing.  It was noticed and appreciated.  By me at least. 

For those of you who do not know how to dress for dinner, here it is.  IT’S DINNER!!!  Preceded with a formal invitation that was mailed to your home therefore, dressy casual. Which means dress pants with matching jackets but no tie for men and dresses or dark pantsuits for women. 

Then there was the other table of groomsmen.  “The jocks” is what I like to call them.  All of them are athletes and all of them have no table manners whatsoever.  I made my way over to the table to socialize and say hello, only to find all five of them bent over their plates like the football table in the dining hall back in college!

You shouldn’t have to bend over your food; you can simply bring your utensils to your mouth. Don’t rush when you lift your food from the table to your mouth. Don’t bend closely over your plate or try to meet your utensils halfway.”

One of them was eating with sunshades on and it was the raniest day of the weekend.  Who did he think he was?

There were a few other mistakes that made for a poor prgram.  The gift giving and introduction of the wedding party usually happens at the end of the dinner.  This dinner introduced the wedding party at the beginning and handed out gifts out the end, which made for poor speeches that got undercut by the excitement of the gift receivers.  There was also the aspect of the parents who brought children that were not in the bridal party and therefore NOT invited.  On top of that the children were also inappropriately dressed!  I have two words for this: disrespectful and TACKY! 

After the dinner we all went over to the rehearsal.  Since the wedding was taking place in a museum the dinner had to take place first since we could not get into the venue until after business hours.  Traditionally,  the dinner is planned for the evening before the wedding immediately following the ceremony rehearsal. 

While I know that many people romantically meet up at weddings, the rehearsal is not the time for the groomsmen to put the “smash-down” on the bridesmaid with the biggest “bubble dress”.  Nor is it time for them to discuss who is going to put what liquor in said flask.   They behaved so immaturely that one of the bridesmaids had to announce: “Let’s remember who we are here for fellas!”  “This is a wedding NOT homecoming weekend!”  Needless to say she and I became instant friends.

We managed to get through the rehearsal and I have to say that I was concerned about the day ahead.  I’ll have the run down on the wedding day and hopefully some pictures for you tomorrow.  Until then, get it tight, get it right, be positive and BE POLITE!

R.S.V.P. Rules

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 by GRACE

Some couples do not require a response to an invitation to the wedding.  Some do.  Be on your best wedding guest behavior and RSVP, even if it’s not required.

By all means, let the couple know if you intend to come.

If the couple is on a budget and you do not RSVP, you may not have a place waiting for you at the reception.

 No weddding cake for you!

RSVP Rules:

  • RSVP for the proper amount of people to attend with you.  One person, if you are attending the wedding alone and two people if you and another are attending.
  • Do not bring another person if have already RSVP’d for one person.
  • Do not bring more guests than the invitation allows.  Don’t RSVP for 4 when only 2 are invited.


Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2008 by GRACE

My Brother will be getting married this weekend.  He’s very excited but at the same time very annoyed that more people have not RSVP’ed to the event.

­R.S.V.P. stands for a French phrase, “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” which means “please reply.” The person sending the invitation wo­uld like you to tell him or her whether you accept or decline the invitation. That is, will you be coming to the event or not? Etiquette rules followed in most Western cultures require that if you receive a formal, written invitation, you should reply promptly, perhaps that same day. For hosts who are planning a dinner party, a wedding or a reception, this is important from a practical point of view, because they need to know how many people to count on and how much food and drink to buy. More important, though, is the simple courtesy of responding to someone who was nice enough to invite you, even if it is to say that you regret that you will not be able to attend.

Many wedding invitations come with a response card that you can mail back right away. Other written invitations will carry the host’s telephone number so you can call with your reply, although under strict etiquette rules, a written invitation requires a written reply. Nowadays, invitations often carry a “regrets only” notation at the end. That means that the host will count on your being there unless you tell him or her otherwise. Some people even use “R.S.V.P.” as a verb, as in “Have you R.S.V.P.ed to that invitation?”

Culturally speaking as an African American, we tend NOT to adhere to these cultural rules and so I anticipate that there will be more who show up, than not.

Happy Veterans Day: Thank You For Your Service

Posted in Ettiquette, World News on November 11, 2008 by GRACE

dsc_4975 If you didn’t know, today is Veteran’s Day, the day we honor American men and women who have served in the U.S. military.I want to offer kudos to all the brave troops, active and reserve, enlisted and commissioned, volunteer and former draftees, current and retired or deceased.I want to thank my late father for his years of active duty service in the U.S. Army and the Vietnam War. Kudos to you Captain (ret.) Charles H. Hobson.I want to thank my grandfather Royal Brown Sr., for his service in the U.S. Army during World War II.

I want to thank all of you, who I have worked with over the years as I have activated numerous events on behalf of the U.S. Army and their African American initiatvies. 

And on an even more personal level I want to thank the few living members of the Tuskegee Airmen, that legendary group of African American aviators who volunteered for military service during World War II, trained as fighter pilots, and flew dozens of successful missions in that war, Along with the Buffalo Soldiers.

Again, kudos to all, and prayers to those currently in military service.And regardless of where you stand on current events, the proper etiquette on a day like to day is to simply thank them for their service!

Farewell to Mama Afrika

Posted in Entertainment, World News on November 10, 2008 by GRACE
10th November 2008
The world was dealt a blow early this morning, in a small town outside Naples, Italy when Zenzile Miriam Makeba..Mama Afrika to the world, passed away.. and left this earth, aged 76 years. She was born on 4th March 1932.
 Whilst this great lady was alive she would say “I will sing until the last day of my life”
Zenzile Miriam Makeba collapsed on stage, at the end of her set, after singing Pata Pata,. She was immediately attended to by her grandson Nelson Lumumba Lee and others before being rushed to the nearest hospital. Tragically, in the early hours of this 10th of November 2008 morning, the doctors pronounced that they were unable to revive her.





Now We Must See Ourselves Differently – and Act Accordingly

Posted in Education, Ettiquette, Politics with tags , on November 8, 2008 by GRACE
Date: Friday, November 07, 2008, 3:40 pm
By: Judge Greg Mathis

The world celebrated when Senator Barack Obama ascended to the presidency of the United States, the first African-American to do so. His election not only marked a new era in American politics but also a giant leap forward for race relations. Obama, his campaign staffers and his supporters have done what many thought was impossible. Collectively, we all worked together and made history. Now it is time for us to individually do our parts to make sure we, as African-Americans, continue to progress forward.

There are certain moments in U.S. history that have signaled a positive shift in the way Americans view race and injustices. The 1955 kidnapping and murder of 14-year Emmett Till for allegedly whistling at a white woman brought to light, for many white Americans, the constant fear blacks in the South lived in. In 1965, 600 peaceful marchers were attacked by state and local police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama with billy clubs and tear gas. Television cameras captured the attacks and broadcast them to the nation. Many were horrified by what they saw and became active in the civil rights movement gained newfound support. More recently, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath and the government’s failure to assist the people of New Orleans has renewed discussions around racial, social and economic injustice. Along the way, there have been leaders who have represented each step in America’s move toward true racial equality.  President-elect Obama is that latest symbol of hope. But he needn’t stand alone. 

As individuals, we have a responsibility to ourselves and our communities to guide this country in the direction of openness and fairness. For the most part, white people have, at a very basic level, done theirs. Sixty-one percent of those who voted for Obama were white. It has taken centuries, but now, finally, the majority of white people in America are comfortable with the idea of a black person leading this nation. This shows that old stereotypes are, if not erased, fading.

We can help eradicate these stereotypes by not playing into them. Young men: Put down your guns, pull up your pants, and pick up a book. Take your education seriously. Aspire to greatness. If you are a father, be responsible. Support your child financially and emotionally. Young women: Turn off the radio when a sexist and demeaning song comes on. It doesn’t matter if “the beat is hot;” you must have more respect for yourselves. If you don’t, how can others? Parents, raise your children. Don’t let the television or video games replace family time, time that can be used to guide and educate your child. Become active at their school, get to know their friends. Studies show that children with fully involved parents do better in school and are less likely to go to prison.

America is far from perfect, and Obama’s election alone won’t “cure” racial injustice.  But it can change perceptions. If whites are already beginning to see us differently, it is high time we begin to see ourselves differently. And we must act accordingly. 

Judge Greg Mathis is national vice president of Rainbow PUSH and a national board member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

A Formal Invitation From The President

Posted in Ettiquette, Politics with tags , on November 8, 2008 by GRACE

According to the Handbook of Offical and Social Etiquette and Public Ceremonials, President Bush has followed the proper protocol for the Obama’s visit to the white house on Monday. 

The retiring President invites the President elect and members of his Cabinet and ladies to dinner before the expiration of his term of office. He also holds a levee at a convenient time before his retirement.




“Dress She Can?”

Posted in Ettiquette, Fashion, Politics with tags , , on November 6, 2008 by GRACE

Just when I thought America was going to take the high road and do the right things to make CHANGE, the attacks on Michelle Obama’s choice of dress for election night have crushed my November 4th high!

I have to admit saying to myself “no she didn’t wear red and black” but in lieu of more important things happening around me I excitedly kept my thoughts to myself.  However, while discussing the events of the day later that night with a close friend, I was shocked to learn that her mother had issue with Michelle dressing one daughter in black and the other in red.

As a young girl growing up in the south I remember not being ALLOWED to wear red or black until I turned eighteen.  Those colors were simply ‘too grown’ for young girls to wear and wearing them somehow associted one with ill-repute.  It is reported that Michelle does not use a stylist and maybe that night she should have. While somehow the dress seemed fashion forwawrd of her I can’t help but feel that this was not her best choice.

A Great Day In Harlem!

Posted in Politics with tags , on November 6, 2008 by GRACE
Obama Ice


Posted in Politics on November 5, 2008 by GRACE

Words cannot express the elation and pride that I feel on this historic day!  I watched my homestate of Virginia deliver Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States from the historic Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem!  Not only did he win…he won BIG! 

I want very much to document my day and capture the moment.  But the excitement that I feel just will not let me type just yet.  I just wouldn’t know where to start.  Suffice to say, this entry will be a work in progress. 

I will say that I couldn’t be prouder of my people and their historic efforts, my home state and Americans across the country who believed that CHANGE was necessary to achieve and that that time was now.  With that I would like to post the Barack Obama  email that he sent out just before he spoke at Grant Park in Chicago.  Enjoy!


Friend —

I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don’t want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign — every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it’s time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing…

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,


Election Eve 2008

Posted in Politics with tags , on November 4, 2008 by GRACE

Campaigns are infectous and this one is just that and then some.  I just left campaign headquarters on my last attempt at phone banking.  As I made it down to my last few numbers to dial to the state of Florida, I was suddenly interupted by the vision of  a man with a guitar.  It was Peter from Peter Paul & Mary along with Ben Vereen who was on the phone making calls himself.  The entire room turned into one big sing along of “If I Had a Hammer” and “Blowing in the Wind”.  Classic campaign stuff and I was humbled and honored to have been a part of it all.

On a much lighter note, I like to wonder about voting in areas that don’t seem so pressed for change.  Areas like…HOLLYWOOD!  Where the majority of the folks black and white are in that other tax bracket so much so the election does not affect them one way or the other.  I wonder if  Will Smith, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington, Tiger Woods, Prince and Michael Jordan will vote tomorrow on the strength of being black men in america.  Will Halle Berry be seen casting her vote as a message to her newborn daughter?  What about “The Boss” Ms. Ross and Tina Turner even.  Will these dynamic ladies from the civil rights era of fame show up to cast thier votes for the real equality?  We know Oprah will!  

At this defining moment as Barack Obama makes his closing arguments in my homestate of Virginia I am a fluster of emotions for generations past and present as I claim the victory for, tomorrow belongs to us!

OBAMA ’08!!!

This Dove Is Crying

Posted in Current Events, Entertainment, MUSIC, Prince, World News on April 23, 2016 by GRACE

purple“This is black 9/11,” Dave Chapelle told the audience and I could not agree more.  I know it’s been a long time and perhaps I shouldn’t have left you, but I feel like the current situation in the world today with the loss of the truest artist to ever do it, warrants me to come out of my “writer’s block” and try to do my best to honor the man who I have leaned on for strength and guidance much in the same way that Madea loves the Lort.

Prince has left us, and it seems as though the the world has ended.  In true Prince fashion nonetheless, with digital images of  Purple Rain, a Cherry Moon and a Rainbow, all captured by fans around the world who know and love his work.  Two days now since his death, I am now fluctuating back and forth between denial and devastation.  Somewhere in the middle of all that is despondency .  I suppose you could say I’m in 3-D…(hmm… imagine that).

My purpose for writing now,  is to merely document out of love and respect for my dearly beloved, now departed icon, activist and entertainer. But I just simply cannot find the words at this point.  Luckily, I came across a title online that compelled me to click it, and let me tell you I am so elated that I did.  It expresses everything and every way that  I feel, and encompasses all of my thoughts while incorporating an identical timeline to my unique experiences with the Maestro Prince Rogers Nelson.  Click below.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you so much Scott Woods.  Your words were the necessary intervention needed to ease my breaking purple heart.



Steeped In Tradition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 28, 2015 by GRACE

Soul Penetration: The Psoas muscle gets Sexually Spiritual.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 1, 2013 by GRACE

The Southern Belle in Black (via Sheria’s Place)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 7, 2011 by GRACE

“I too Sing America!” And I too love everything Southern! In fact I am a proud card carrying Southerner, with a card that reads: ” Southerners always return home…even if it’s in a box” A phrase coined by Truman Capote just in case y’all were unaware.

For a little over a year, I've been engaging in something new for me, I've been writing a book. It has gone much more slowly than I had planned but I have a lot more to say than I initially thought. Following is an excerpt from chapter one of my manuscript. I figure that it's about time to try my words out on the public. If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you have read these some of these lines before, incorporated into other blog entri … Read More

via Sheria's Place