EPISODE 40—Self awareness, navigating confidence & fear

Miguel Asua is a name you should know. As Notorious BIG once said “If you don’t know, now you know!”

Episode 40 features Miguel Asia, someone I met right before ‘Rona became a national emergency…but we’re part of the same team at work—at a new job I started just as the pandemic was starting to rage in the United States.

This guy wears a lot of hats: Writer…music artist…to video producer…. But let me stop typing so you can meet him yourself!

We talk inspiration, motivation, and his sense of self awareness that enables him to speak oh-so confidently about his strengths–yet with vulnerability about his fears and up front about his weaknesses..

You don’t want to miss this chat–on Planet Noun:

Thanks for listening to Planet Noun where it’s 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 was Miguel Asua of Asua Films and the brand new podcast Behind the Credits with Asua!  

Brotha man makes music, too—so take a look and a listen:

Slow Mo by Asua. Take a peek at more of his videos here.
Interesting fact: Lambo was shot at Washington D.C.’s Black Lives Matter Plaza. Take a peek at his other videos on the Asua page on YouTube.

Until next time, take care!

Oh…As the late Nate Dogg once sang “Hold up! Waaaa-aiiiit!” HOW could I forget—a clip of that hilarious interaction with Gayle King that we talked about in the show!

EPISODE 37: How 1 pandemic won’t stop the show

How 1 thing, 1 day, 1 time is still a monthly matter–but with masks and social distance. The 25th Project masks up, tweaks protocols and keeps the service moving.

Welcome to another installment in Planet Noun’s COVID catch-up series—chats with past podcast guests to find out how they’ve been faring during this rough year.

This time, I’m catching up with Jay Herriott from The 25th Project—an organization that started by helping the homeless at least once a month—on the 25th. The inspiration stems from the last time Thanksgiving’s roving date matched up with the static date of Christmas…the year both were on the the 25th of their respective months.

Jay says the organization and its volunteers are still fulfilling their mission—but to keep everyone involved safe from volunteers to the homeless people they help, they’ve made tweaks recommended by health experts. Other than that—they’re keeping things moving.

Thanks for listening to Planet Noun where it’s all about the People, Places, Things and Ideas that teach us, prompt us to make a difference and do more with what life presents.

Here’s where to learn more about Jay Herriott and The 25th Project—on their website. You can also listen to Jay’s Planet Noun interview from last year, learn more about the initiatives they’re undertaking throughout the year—from the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, their ongoing propane drive during the winter months as well as their yearly Soup and Socks drive.  If you feel so inclined, drop them a donation.

Sister friend chat: Pandemic coping & thriving amid persistent racism

Sometimes you just need to talk it out with friends…to catch up, to listen, to process and share.  Welcome to this conversation with a longtime friend.  A fantastic friend with a beautiful mind—one who is a constant wonder, one who I admire, one who I am constantly learning from and inspired by.

Our relationship has often been symbiotic.  When we were in the same classes, she learned by teaching, and I learned by ingesting and we both learn by doing.  

Welcome to Planet Noun, where it’s all about the people, places, things and ideas that teach us, prompt us to make a difference and do more with what life presents…

Joining me—is a repeat guest…my dear friend Pamela “RareEpiphany” Best….A renaissance woman, indeed. 

Last time she was on the show, we caught up to each other in Philadelphia…and recorded our conversation between there and New Jersey…sometimes in her rental car…another part during an old-school slumber party in her hotel room. It was mostly about her erotic poetry book—Soul Kisses (https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/rareepiphany)

This time—we’re talking via Zoom. 

So Rare and I talk about a range of things….starting with this COVID-19 pandemic that’s turned us all topsy turvy and how it’s affected her. We also get into how the never-ending soul and structural pandemic of racism in America hit close to home this year.

One tidbit of info I learned from my friend:  George Floyd was an extended family member of hers. She also tells me about the concerns she has for her teen son as he navigates through a world that isn’t always primed to see the best in him because of his skin color and, as he matures, his stature.  

Let’s get to the conversation…on Planet Noun.

Thanks for listening to Planet Noun where it’s all about the people, places, things and ideas that teach us, prompt us to make a difference and do more with what life presents…

You’ve been listening to my friend Pamela “Rare Epiphany” Best….we Zoomed for about three hours that day…so more of our conversation could show up in later episodes.

Catch up with her on social media on Instagram and Facebook.  

Don’t forget to follow Planet Noun on Social Media… Facebook, Instagram and Twitter…We’re on SoundCloud…. Oh, and please stop by Apple Podcasts and rate the show!

Thanks again for stopping by… until next time, take care!

Leaving all dreams on the table with author Keosha Turner

You want dreams.  Well dreams cost. 

If you don’t remember Debbie Allen uttering those words on the television show Fame, we can’t be friends.  

Kidding!

But seriously,  what I’ve learned from interviewing folks on the 30 previous episodes of Planet Noun, is that there’s a cost to realizing goals and aspirations.  Even when it seems like luck, trust and believe—there’s a lot of work that goes into being ready for that “lucky” break and being ready when opportunity calls.

Today’s guest is Keosha Turner—a woman who has a busy life, but she manages to write fantasy books in her spare time, like a page turner called The Disappearance of Magda Harden.

In this conversation, learn more about Keosha’s path to writing, and her writing plans.  

I’ll have to circle back to see if anything has changed, because this episode was recorded a little before the COVID-19 ish hit the fan and a national emergency was declared in the United States.

So if you’re looking for something new to read—even as things are opening back up…check out Keosha Turner!

And good news—the second installment of the Magda Harden Series will be out in July…that means not only one, but two of Keosha’s books for your spring/summer reading list!

Oh, and if you don’t know that “Fame” reference I referred to earlier, that means I’m getting old…and you’re about to get schooled, lol:

Revolutionary in the regular with poet Romus Simpson

Meet today’s guest, Romus Simpson. He always has a funny story to share, and has been a vivid storyteller since I’ve known him.  I don’t even remember the year we first crossed paths, but it was through my cousins at their parent’s house—many years before they both passed on.  

Years later, we ended up in a long conversation after my aunt’s memorial and became pals.

He reminded me that I asked him to come on the show for National Poetry Month earlier this year.

A short time later, the world CHANGED with COVID-19 and worldwide stay at home orders and lockdowns.  As cities and states grapple with reopening plans, we still don’t know what it’ll look like when things get back to “normal.”

But finally Romus and I got to chat virtually — right in time to bid adieu to this year’s commemoration of the poetic form.

Romus Simpson…right here on Planet Noun. 

Thanks for listening to Planet Noun where it’s all about the People, Places, Things and Ideas that teach us, prompt us to make a difference and do more with what life presents.

Life and our surroundings present us with ample opportunities to chronicle daily life—opportunities that are ripe with the ordinary.  And for anyone who’s been marginalized, thought of as less than, and constantly delivered mainstream messages that your life and experiences don’t matter (NOTE: Those messages are LIES), revolution can be found in the regular, everyday occurrences—that can shatter the racism of low expectations.  Black history is as much the big, course-shifting names and events as well as the unknown citizens and everyday moments stepped in our humanity: Life and black history through everyday poetic moments.

Don’t forget to follow us on Social Media… Facebook, Instagram and Twitter…We’re on SoundCloud…. Oh, and please stop by Apple Podcasts and rate the show!

Thanks again for stopping by… Hope you enjoyed this episode! Until next time, take care!

We’re so interconnected

I took part in a Zoom girlfriends conference call earlier. About five of my longtime friends and I met up in a room set up by one of my decades-long pals…

Living during a pandemic and social distancing and shelter in place orders…made me realize that I allowed work to get in the way of maintaining my friendships.

But no one’s knocking work. It’s important. It allows me to buy things—like food. And toilet paper. And more hand sanitizer—when I finally track that down.

But one of the things we discussed that is sticking to my mind—how interconnected we are—top to bottom, side to side, everyone incredibly integral to everyone else’s survival and well-being.

Doctors.
Nurses.
Hospital Techs.
Custodians.
Physical plant staff.
Guards.
Police officers.
Fire/EMS.
Dispatchers.
Grocery workers.
Restaurants.
Journalists.
Research scientists.
Imma say that again for the people in the socially distant back who may need to read it again.
Research scientists.
And everyone in between.

Let’s not forget the delivery drivers—shout out to all of y’all from the Amazon, UPS and FedEx folks to the gig-working drivers who deliver app-based food orders.

When disappointment steers you to bet on yourself with David Arrington

There’s a quote that says — move boldly in the direction of your dreams. I love that one…but Sometimes we all need….wait…let me speak for myself….I need a nudge to get me moving in the direction of those dreams, aspirations, and goals written in all those notebooks around the house. Is this you? Do you know someone like this? Either way—keep reading.

“What I do is I accelerate your success. That’s the funny thing about coaching. When you work with me, you’re fundamentally getting a force multiplier.” —Dr. David Arrington, COO of Arrington Coaching Click To Tweet

My guest today is Doctor David Arrington, COO of Arrington Coaching…author of the book “Promotable: How to Demonstrate Your Value, Highlight Your Potential & Land Your Next Promotion.”

We talk about a bunch of things…from the book he released in February, to the role his family plays in the business, lessons learned along his life and business journeys, and lessons he hopes his children glean from his experiences.

So some disclosure here—I’ve known David for YEARS. We met through the woman who would become his wife. But I met her during our high school years in Los Angeles. We went to the same school for a time.

A few years later, we met David and they hit it off. I have the honor of being one of the people who can say — I was present as part of his origin story unfolded.

Well, let’s get to it with Dr. David Arrington of Arrington Coaching — right here on Planet Noun.

Learn more about what Dr. Arrington’s company can do for you and your organization at the Arrington Coaching website.

You can also explore the various courses available at David’s training site—Arrington Training. Offerings at Arrington Coaching include free and premium courses.

One good thing about books is you can read those during pandemics, when you have to shelter in place or are abiding by stay at home orders. Dr. Arrington’s paperback is available from Amazon. So is the e-book.

March 17, 2020 at 7:40 PM

Good God Almighty! I haven’t written a stitch in my journal since July of last year, and a whole heck of a lot—hell of a lot might be a better description, because it feels that hell is nigh—a whole hell of a lot has happened since then.

First of all, Kobe Bryant is dead.

Yes, Marley, dead as a doornail. In a helicopter crash that killed nine people total…including his middle daughter, Gianna.  What in the world? Like, why? I’m still asking because I’m STILL getting over that one. 

It STILL hasn’t trickled down to that hardly disturbed gathering spot—the place where facts go once they actually make sense…or that other settled place where we accept that they won’t EVER make sense.

But still. It. Just. Doesn’t.  Maybe it never fully will settle in.

 I was working the editor’s desk at WTOP that Sunday morning, and it was a flurry of an afternoon. Seems like such a distant memory now–barely two months later…because LOTS has happened since.  Including Super Tuesday (I worked the desk that evening, too—Lord—keeping track of all those states and American Samoa was a pleasantly exhilarating chore), Democratic presidential debates, and just life.  I’m still working on my podcast–my free-time labor of love, Planet Noun, and have some pretty good interviews in the can, but now, this heifer named Rona is trying to steal my joy.

Rona’s not its real name.  It’s COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus.  It’s been traced back to Wuhan, China and it’s spread the globe, to nearly 200 countries.  Once Wuhan was the epicenter, now Italy is the new epicenter.  So many people have died there, and the death toll in the United States is also climbing. The number of cases in our area keeps rising, and each part of the DMV is reporting deaths. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

I don’t know what else to do, but write out my thoughts so they don’t crowd my mind… and create stuff.

I wrote some darn-silly lyrics for Rona…First time I heard someone call this outbreak The Rona, Bobby Brown’s song Tender Roni immediately came to mind…

SneakyRona

Truth about The Rona 

It’s a sneaky little virus

Don’t treat it right, fight it back don’t hold it tight. 

Only sneaky Ronas can swirl around the world

A special pandemic where symptoms can even hide.

If you believe in health and all that it can do for you 

Buy you some veggies

Buy some fruit tooo-oooo

And if you find that sneaky Rona has crept up on you

Make it official

Go get it a di-ag-noooo-ooo-sis 

Chorus

My lungs…

Tryna stay clear from the Rona

It is not my love 

My lungs staying clear of the Rona

It is not my love

Verse 2

Truth about Rona

It’s always on the move

Don’t matter what you look like-it can come for you…

So stay your hind parts home. 

And cook you some food. 

Netflix and chill and Amazon Prime too

(Just don’t order food)

If you believe in health and all that it can do for you 

Eat you some veggies

Eat some fruit too.

And if you find that sneaky Rona has crept up on you

Make it official

Go get it a di-ag-noooo-ooo-sis 

Chorus

My lungs…

Tryna stay clear from the Rona

It is not my love 

My lungs staying clear of the Rona

It is not my love

Bridge

The truth about Rona—it’s a sneaky skank

Bout as sneaky a skank thats around the way

It makes the toughest homeboys get fever, dry cough. 

Sore throat runny nose or-no-symptoms…

Wash your nassssy hands to keep that Rona out your life. 

 Cover your mouth

Don’t go out in a crowd 

You don’t want the Rona cause the Rona ain’t right…

So getting toilet paper it might save your liiifffffeeee.

Chorus

My lungs…

Tryna stay clear from the Rona

It is not my love 

My lungs staying clear of the Rona

It is not my love. 

(Repeat 2x)

Sometimes foolishness is what saves us (read: me) from anxiety or panic.  And panic and brawling over fibers used to clean hindparts is not what I’m about. But then again, sheer foolishness and selfishness is what leads some to do just that.  Hoard and fight. 

Rona Shopping

Made a Target run yesterday, and found toilet tissue. May make another run tomorrow morning for a few more things.  

Things with this COVID-19 outbreak have totally upended he way we do things…folks staying at home, teleworking, San Francisco on lockdown, part of New Rochelle, New York on lockdown, gatherings of 50 or fewer banned—then that number squeezed down to 10 people or fewer. 

I’m usually glad and content to stay home—but there’s the knowledge that I’ll get to go to the store and get what I need.  

But just like Kobe Bryant’s death fractured the once secure lenses through which folks may have seen life, COVID-19 has tilted us into thinking that we may have to hunker down for a long time…that resources that were constantly stocked on supermarket and big-box shelves may be scarce.  Yes, if everyone buys 80 packs of toilet paper each, yes, things will be scarce.  

To make sure we all have what we need, we must be committed to being good humans and not moved by fear.  And moved to thank our store clerks for their service along with medical teams, servicemen, firefighters, cops—and journalists who help us stay informed.  As a journalist, I’m biased about that last one…But during that Target run, I made sure to tell staff members “Hey, I’m glad you’re here!”

I’m afraid all of this will be our new normal.  Already, I’m longing for the halcyon days when I was getting over a bad breakup…or those days when I worked seven days in a row here and there—and the only thing I had to worry about was being a little tired. 

It’s thrown many of us for a loop. And we’re just trying to navigate and deal, and adjust. It’s the human way.

How 1 thing, 1 day, 1 time became a monthly matter with Jay Herriott of The 25th Project

As always, this episode of Planet Noun is about the People, Places, Things and Ideas that teach us, prompt us to make a difference and do more with what life presents.

Today’s guest is Jay Herriott of The 25th Project, an organization dedicated to helping the homeless on the 25th of each month—and beyond. 

Tomorrow is TODAY! But if you miss Soup ‘N Socks on February 25 of this year, no worries-it’s every year. The 25th Project also has year-round opportunities to serve the homeless population in the Washington, D.C. area.

We met through my job, a former co-worker recommended him to me as a source for story ideas. I’ve interviewed him for work stories a couple of times, and wanted to talk a bit more with him, so I called him up for Planet Noun.

But HOW did his organization get started? 

That’s pretty simple. It started with one meal from one restaurant—and a bit of sharing and an idea that blossomed from there.

Episode 27 of Planet noun features Jay Herriott of The 25th Project

Thanks again for listening to Planet Noun! 

You’re definitely appreciated!

Learn more about The 25th Project and the activities they have going all year long (including Soup ’N Socks which is today), go to The 25th Project website or their Facebook page.

During today’s episode, Jay mentions some statistics on homelessness in California. Click here  to find more information about those numbers, or here.

Jay mentioned a news story about New York moving their homeless population to other locations. He didn’t specifically mention this article, but here’s one of several that are about this topic–one from CNN, and the other from a local ABC affiliate station.

Where Brooklyn At?

(Where Brooklyn At?)

I always like going to New York City and this time was no different. Alaska Airlines was having a BOGO sale that my friends and I could not let pass. You don’t want to know how much our round trip tickets were…okay I’ll tell you. One hundred and thirty six U.S. ducats! I know, I couldn’t believe it either!! As you can tell I absolutely LOVE a deal (who doesn’t). Stick with me kids!

So this time around we stayed at the McCarren Hotel in Brooklyn. BROOKLYN! Home of the Living Single brownstone and some of my favorite MCs. Big Daddy Kane, Notorious BIG, Lil Kim, Mos Def and Jay Z, just to name a few.

The McCarren is a cute boutique hotel that is super convenient to shops and eateries on Bedford Avenue.

Tasty pastries from Martha’s bakery. The berry napoleon is their specialty and was superb!

While working from my hotel room, I saw on the news that artist Efren Andaluz just finished a mural honoring Kobe Bryant and his daughter GiGi who were 2 of 9 that lost their lives in a helicopter crash on that gloomy Sunday morning of January 26th. This still feels unreal. As a Los Angeles lady, it was my duty to check it out and my friends agreed.

This mural is in Brooklyn, on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Pacific Street across from the Barclays Center.

Kobe and Gianna Bryant mural in Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue and Pacific Street across from the Barclays Center.

So after we paid homage to our Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, we headed around the corner to BK9

BK9 is a modern caribbean restaurant in Brooklyn with a warm and inviting atmosphere. The perfect place to meet up before or after an event after work for happy hour, brunch or just because.

This place was amazing!

We also got a chance to get out of Brooklyn because one borough can’t hold these chicks down!!

In Harlem we saw the Apollo Theatre and ate at Melba’s. The fried chicken and egg nog waffle with a side of strawberry henessy was delicious! Melba’s is located on 114th Street at Frederick Douglas Blvd and is a great dining option while in Harlem.

Strawberry Henessy at Melba’s

In Manhattan we went to Bryant Park to ride the bumper cars. Because of the weather, they didn’t bring them out. Bummer but we enjoyed some hot cocoa along with the sights and sounds of the city.

Subway life

If you want scenic views of NYC’s skyline, then the Roosevelt Island Tramway is the ticket. You can ride the tram for just the cost of a metrocard ride. Enjoy the views as you enter the station from Manhattan’s upper east side and ride across to Roosevelt Island.

Back to Brooklyn, where I got to see some cool street art. Brooklyn is definitely a vibe and I can’t wait to go back.

What are some of your favorite spots in NYC? Drop me a line.

A few of our stops in Brooklyn:

People, Places, Things, Ideas!

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