Category Archives: People

Ghosted? Mourn @ a Funeral with author Lenina Mortimer

Sometimes romantic relationships SUCK.
Especially when they run off the rails…whether it be from growing differences between relatants or if someone just up and decides they don’t want you anymore, but they don’t bother to tell you about it.

Basically—when someone ghosts you.

Today’s guest experienced ghosting…she was the ghostee—if you will. Old boy turned her loose, but didn’t verbally communicate that to her—and wouldn’t communicate with her as she tried to get to the bottom of things.

So Lenina Mortimer wrote a book about it—to help someone else along the ghastly breakup recovery path.

Take a listen to Lenina Mortimer, author of the book “I Ain’t Thinking About You…The 8 Step Guide to Finally Letting Him Go Using the Breakup Funeral Method.”

Let’s get this mourning in motion…On Planet Noun.

1:50—Getting the un-holy ghost(ting)

3:09—Discovering the root of dysfunctional relationships

6:24—Creating the Breakup Funeral

14:51—Timing: When is it best to hold a breakup funeral?

19:20—Why separation is healthy after a breakup/Why the Breakup Funeral is a communal experience

25:54—Running into the ghosted

30:09—A love letter to black women

35:32—Self-care is crucial to breakup recovery

38:50—Steering clear of breakup traps

41:31—To forgive or not to forgive?  And when? 

Get your e-book copy

Find out more about Lenina Mortimer and her work! Let’s start with a link to her e-book “I Ain’t Thinking About You…The 8 Step Guide to Finally Letting Him Go Using the Breakup Funeral Method.”

Lenina’s also on social media. You can learn more about her coaching services there.
Facebook
Instagram

And one thing she mentioned during the show—the Via Character Strengths Survey. Listen to learn how and why she uses this survey in her work.


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EPISODE 20: If We Could Only Talk—a chat with singer- songwriter, a cappella arranger N’Namdi O. Bryant

When you know what you do best, sticking to your guns—as singer-songwriter PJ Morton writes and sings—is how to get your life’s work done.

Today’s podcast guest is N’Namdi Olufemi Bryant, a singer-songwriter and host of the podcast “For the Love of A Cappella.” We get into some themes of his latest album during this episode. It’s titled “If We Could Only Talk.” 

So N’Namdi and I had been talking about doing a podcast together for MONTHS, but as usual, life takes on its own plans. We were going to have him on before an album release earlier this year, then tech difficulties took over his project.

But the idea was still in both of our orbits. So—lookie here—I saw on Instagram that N’Namdi was in Washington, D.C. I said to myself—GIRL…..let’s make this happen! If you don’t ask him if he’ll have time for an interview—it’s an automatic no!

I asked if he had an time to chat. He said yes, and here it is! It all worked out.

So we met up at the Mansion on O Street. It’s a tourist destination located just off the bustling Dupont Circle, and has a fascinating trove of history tied to it. It’s also where N’Namdi sometimes performs.

There are so many themes to this podcast, and to preserve the integrity of the conversation flow, I tried not to do too much lifting and pasting of interview parts. We talk about negative self-talk, and what N’Namdi does to overcome that hurdle. Also—a discussion on imperfection and about the different ways he stretched his vocal range.

During our talk I learned some things I didn’t know in the decades since we last saw each other.

So let’s get right to the conversation, where we start talking about his podcast “For the Love of A Capella,”and where he got the idea for his program.

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07:55-Why it took him more than 10 years to complete one particular song arrangement

11:05—The makings and stories behind his current project “If We Could Only Talk”

21:30—How Kermit the Frog came up in our conversation

26:06—The road to vocal range

31:51—The time we talked about skylines and smog

33:39—Homeless in Huntsville, Ala. and Nashville

49:59—The part about albums, hilarious singing telegram and touching ride-share driver stories


That was N’Namdi Bryant…singer, songwriter, musical arranger…lover of a cappella! His new project “If We Could Only Talk” and his other albums are available on various online platforms–including iTunes.

Learn more about his projects on his website—The Acappellian.
You can also connect with him via social media:
Facebook
Instagram

Remember to also follow Planet Noun on Social Media, and to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform and please rate the show.

Thanks again for stopping by Planet Noun. Until next time, take care!

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EPISODE 18—When your name helps pave the pathway to greatness

In this episode of Planet Noun, a chat with an up-and-coming…award-winning jazz musician Jazmin Ghent.

When she learned she won the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album, Ghent was in the midst of a trip to Australia.

“So I was absolutely shocked, so shocked, and I feel like it changed the dynamic of that whole trip in Australia. I just know it’s no one but God, and I’m beyond thankful, and I don’t take it lightly. You know, I’m representing women, African American women in music, in Jazz music, so I’m beyond thankful and grateful.”

When she’s not belting smooth tunes from her saxophone, she’s in the classroom teaching music to children in Polk County, Florida.

We talk about her pathway to jazz music, the saxophone, and how names and other language used with children can affect the trajectory of their lives.

She also talks about how words from musicians she looks up to helped guide her path.

“I did this Show Your Talent competition. The judges were Marcus Miller, Brian Culbertson and Boney James… It was surreal to be in front of these people I grew up listening to,” Ghent said.

“I was so nervous before I played, and Brian Culbertson came up to me and said ‘you know what, just have fun. And if you have fun, everyone else will have fun, too.’ That was the moment where I was like—maybe I could do this and record, and write and make this a career. That would be a defining moment.”

Ghent says she is on a constant path of self-improvement when it comes to her musical gifts.

“I feel like there’s this unattainable goal that I have for myself that I’m constantly working towards. I just know I had a love for music and it’s what I wanted to pursue. I can’t see myself doing anything else. So that’s what turned it into a career…”

Planet Noun is all about the People, Places, Things and Ideas that teach us, prompt us to make a difference and do more with what life presents. That’s exactly what Ghent is doing with her teaching and her music.

Listen to the entire interview —featuring Jazmin Ghent, winner of the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Album.

Learn more about Ghent’s music on her website.

You can also follow her on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

SoundCloud

Instagram

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Episode 17: Warming up for the glow up with confidence, featuring Patrick Fenison

WARNING: This episode contains cussing. And it’s not all bleeped out. So govern yourselves accordingly with earbuds and such.

The Glow Up. Been hearing a lot about that lately. First of all—what the F is that? Well, intuitively, I know what it is…but I had to consult a reputable source…

So…the Urban Dictionary tells me the Glow Up is when you go from wack-looking to gorgeous… another definition is to rise to the top from the bottom of whatever aspirational ladder a person is climbing. The Free Dictionary’s idioms section says something similar—Basically, it’s a fantastic transformation—that’s very real.

Who doesn’t want the Glow Up? I mean, who isn’t fascinated by someone’s rise from out of nowhere?

Thing is—I’ve learned—it’s hardly EVER from nowhere. The folks you love and adore today—famous folks or maybe other folks—have likely been working their tails off for YEARS in order to get the results that are now visible to lots of people.

A lot of more time-established shows and podcasts interview folks AFTER their glow has started, and there’s everything RIGHT with that.

But what about the folks who are somewhere in the middle, folks who are not quite at the top or at the bottom, but somewhere in between?

Well, today’s guest took time off of his grind to talk to me.

His name is Patrick Fenison. He’s one of many people committed to meeting their aspirations.

We start our conversation with the time Pat started recognizing his glimmer—when he KNEW he was born to be a performer.

3:45—When Pat knew performing was for him
5:42—Pat ain’t got no sense! His path to becoming a comedian
8:10—I’m going for it!
14:09—Creating a fanbase, then a move upsets hometown momentum
23:43—Everyone’s not going to believe in you; the importance of guarding curating your energy spaces with like-minded people
34:13—A story behind his video “Drop It”
46:30—Where to find Pat on social media

Find Patrick on Facebook and Instagram

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Episode 16: Putting smarts to your money with Jason Thomas

Do you wish your money were more intelligent?

Well, that’s what Jason Thomas specializes in—making money work smarter for his clients to enable them to meet their financial goals.

Thomas is co-founder and president of The PILL Method, a financial counseling company that uses education and technology to show their clients ways to more astutely use their dollars and cents to move toward their financial goals and debt freedom.

“It can begin with simply having a checking and a savings account,” He told Planet Noun. “It does not require you to go get [a] loan, it doesn’t require anything else. What we can basically really show you—how to make your money smarter.”

Thomas joined Planet Noun for a conversation from his home in Jamaica, that’s where he and his wife Carmen and two sons moved recently from the United States.  

The couple also provides financial coaching through Future Family Finance.

Episode 16, featuring Jason Thomas, dives right in with no breaks.

The conversation begins with information about his family and partner-run companies and flows from there.

1:03—More about the PILL Method. What it is, how it got started, and how it works.

2:26—Interest rate vs. interest cost. What’s the difference?

28:17—How Thomas got into financial counseling/what led him to become passionate about helping people get out of debt.

32:16—Why some folks leave his seminars angry

38:05—Thomas conducts free seminars to introduce folks to The PILL Method. So how does he make money?

Connect with Jason and learn more about The PILL Method

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

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EPISODE 15: Crafting characters that can step from a book’s pages and walk down the street

Any day is a good day to profess affection… so—I admit—I’m in love. With books written by today’s guest! So, there’s this character named Elouise Norton who has captured my heart! Why? Because she’s so human… It’s like I know her.

I’m stoked that I got to interview her creator during a visit to Los Angeles!

Critically acclaimed crime fiction writer Rachel Howzell Hall is the author of several books, including the Lou Norton series, and another title They All Fall Down, which will be released on April 9.

We discuss a range of things from her origins as a writer, how she can explores through her characters, the dualities and unexpected realities of her page people—her characters, and more!

Take a listen to Rachel Howzell Hall on Planet Noun Episode 15!

Part 1—00:00-08:10
Where it all started

Part 1a—08:16-17:07 How a character, Detective Elouise Norton, was a tutor to Howzell Hall

Part 2—17:04-29:02
Characters you don’t expect… dualities and unexpected realities.

Part 3—29:05-36:20
Rachel’s journey toward crime fiction

Part 4—36:28-42:37
Reconciling characters and subject matter with a churchy upbringing

Part 5—42:40-end
Most gratifying moments as an author, and maximizing her time as an author who also has a family and a full time job

Links to stories mentioned in episode:

Torrance bowling alley shooting

Rachel’s social media links:

Instagram

Twitter

Website 

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Episode 14: Repackaging life and a museum—with George O. Davis, CAAM Executive Director

February is Black History Month in the United States…a time to focus on the contributions and achievements of African Americans not only in the past, but to hear stories of those who are still with us, still writing their stories.  George O. Davis is such a person. Part of his work involves helping  to expose museum visitors to the stories of others.

Part 1:

00:43—Davis’s Pathway to CAAM
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Part 2:

22:23—Rundown of the museum’s features and a few current exhibits.  By the time this episode drops, a couple of those will be on their last days. Here is a link list that includes information on the artists mentioned in this episode and exhibit dates:

An exhibit on the Los Angeles Freedom Rally. This took place in May of 1963. 

Robert Pruitt—Devotion — This exhibit ends on February 17, 2019.  Here’s what the Los Angeles Times says about his work.

One of the past art exhibits at CAAM featured Nina Chanel Abney.

African American artists Davis mentions who are being featured at other museums in the city. 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art—Charles White: A Retrospective

Bruce’s Beach in Manhattan Beach, Calif. was talked about in this episode.  More on its history along with another area black beachgoers used to frequent in the Santa Monica area called The Inkwell.

Part 3: 

24:56—Davis talks about:

  • The importance of expanding the knowledge of black history among and beyond black folks
  • Museums as a way to increase that knowledge
  • Visiting such Places with an open mind
  • Taking in the Things—the exhibits, information, art, the facts and Ideas they convey
  • Acknowledging the facts of history and reckoning with that information to grow beyond our country’s ills…past and present. 

Other links related to this episode:

History of CAAM

More on George Davis’ s appointment as CAAM executive director

CAAM Social Media:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Bruce’s Beach in Manhattan Beach, Calif. was talked about in this episode.  More on its history along with another area black beachgoers used to frequent in the Santa Monica area called The Inkwell.

Other mentions in Episode 14:

The Broad 

Davis also talks about a multi-million dollar painting purchased by Sean Combs (After all these years, I still instinctively call him Puff Daddy. Well, looks like he’s Art Daddy now!)

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EPISODE 3—Balikbayan Boxes: Care Packages in Reverse with Jason Reblando (Repeat)

Since Christmas is around the corner, here’s a question for you: 

What’s the value of a can of Ensure? Spam? Or a pack of Doritos or other snack you can pick up during a Target run or at the corner store?

Well, if you’re a member of the Filipino diaspora, everyday items, snacks and other treats can have additional meaning attached to them if they’re shipped to the Philippines from abroad in a Balikbayan Box. 

It’s a tradition I had no idea about until a year or so ago.  It was then I realized that—among all the groups of color I grew up around in Los Angeles—there are some folks whose traditions I’m more familiar with than others. I don’t pretend to know everything about anyone, but as an eternal student, learning as much as possible is a constant goal. It dawned on me last year that I knew next to nothing about the Filipino diaspora and Filipino Americans, and wanted to learn more. 

This-here interview was released last year, and was so interesting I wanted to share it again this year!

So if you’ve heard this before—welcome back, and stick around. If you’re hearing this for the first time, let’s dig into this holiday repeat of Planet Noun Episode 3—Balikbayan Boxes: Care Packages in Reverse with Illinois-based artist, photographer and author Jason Reblando.

Happy holidays! Merry Christmas, Happy everything! Take a listen to a holiday repeat of Episode 3, with guest Jason Reblando. He’s an Illinois-based artist, photographer, and author. Jason joined me on Skype.

This has been a holiday repeat of Episode 3 with guest Jason Reblando, an Illinois-based artist, photographer, and author. He was on Skype.

Here’s a link to Jason’s article about Balikbayan Boxes on City Lab.

Learn more about Jason, his book projects and artwork on his website.

Find him on social media:

Twitter: @JasonReblando

Instagram: @jjrebs

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EPISODE 12: Getting all up in the family’s body business on Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is almost here! That means it’s almost time to throw down on all those bounties that’ll grace our holiday tables this week!

Thanksgiving is also Family Health History Day… A time to discuss and learn more…. Diseases or health events that tend to run in your family…

Yeah… I know that  is NOT a sexy discussion to have while passing the lamb, ham, turkey, chicken, greens, potatoes, tomatoes—you name it.

But if you’re family is gathering for this holiday or any other one—could be an opportune time to consider easing in those not so appetizing discussions about your family health portrait…. Just try to time it when Cousin so-and-so is NOT about to fork a piece of sweet-tater pie in their mouth.

My guest today is Doctor LaKeischa McMillan… she hosts the Housecall with Dr. Mac Podcast… In addition to doctoring, she also mothers and wifes (It’s my podcast, I can make up words). The cast is a joint venture with her husband, Wendell.

So Dr. Mac joins us with the skinny… or the fat—depending on how you throw down in the kitchen—on having unsexy conversations about family health during Thanksgiving or any season when family gathers.

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Cancer’s wiggety-wackness, gratefulness…and prayer (yes, this post will make sense)

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, PGFD firefighter Jesse McCullough, his wife and one of his daughters at a Sunday afternoon fundraiser to help defray costs of McCullough’s cancer treatment. Gov. Hogan heard about the event and stopped by to offer emotional support. Hogan also fought cancer for about a year and a half. His diagnosis came just several months after his inauguration in 2015.

(At the Water’s Edge, Maryland) — Grateful. I’m deeply grateful that folks allow me into their time and spaces to ask questions and be nosey in both good and extremely difficult times.

Some folks I cover for work really resonate my heart strings. From Brandi Garrett at The Maddy Wagon whose daughter, Madison, is a childhood cancer survivor…to Roya Giordano and family who lost their teen son/brother Mathias to bone cancer. 

Earlier today for work, I got to cover a fundraiser for a firefighter who is battling colon cancer. It has spread…He says the chemo seems to be holding it at bay right now, but he told me it isn’t curable so he’s essentially buying more time to be able to spend with his wife and watch his daughters grow some more…He’s looking into clinical trials in the D.C. area and in Boston, but isn’t eligible for any of those until all other treatment options are exhausted.

So….Since my blog is a personal project, and because it’s no secret I want everyone to be happy and healed, I have requests:

  • If you are a praying person, pray.
  • If you only put positive thoughts & speech into the universe, do that.
  • If you do none of the above, just hope for the best so Prince George’s County firefighter Jesse McCullough gets better. 
  • If you know a phalanx of prayer warrior grannies or aunties who always smell of peppermints and/or wear white gloves to their houses of worship even in the summer heat…ask.them.to.pray.  Not just any grannies or aunties. The ones who call everyone either “sweetie,” “dear heart,” or “baby”…(pronounced BEHHH-buh) or some other variation.  That encompasses a wide variety of grannies/aunties of different backgrounds with only the sweetest levels of sweetness.

Big G upstairs be listening to them, for real. 

 #McCulloughStrong

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