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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I could end this book review by right there, but it wouldn’t explain WHY I think Dr. David Arrington’s, founder of Arrington Coaching, has given readers a good thing.
Well, let’s get to that. Why should you snag a copy this book?
Reason #1: It’s a quick read. I read Promotable: How to Demonstrate Your Value, Highlight Your Potential & Land Your Next Promotion in two sittings—I put it down the first time only because it was time for bed. I had stuff to do the next day, but guess what? I used one of David’s suggestions during a meeting.
How about THAT?
Reason #2: I like this book because it doesn’t drone on and on, but gets straight to the point of how you can become more promotable and prove your value at work. It’s also packed with extra resources and links to additional reading material—including probing questions to ask yourself, and free worksheets to help you think through the things you desire in your career.
Another thing I enjoy is that the author’s personality shines though this-here work. Full disclosure: I’ve known this dude for decades, and his wife even longer than that. This book is not only a helpful read, it’s also a throwback journey down memory lane with film and old-school hip hop references!
Long story short: With so many books out there, it’ll be worth your while to pay attention to this one. Click the image to learn more.
Somehow, I don’t quite know how, a book about the Palos Verdes Peninsula titled “Time and the Terraced Land” ended up in my hands. Actually, I think it ended up in my dad’s possession when he made a visit to a brick-a-brack store when I was a teenager, I think. As an adult, I kind of lifted it from him to get more information about one of my favorite places on the planet.
If you don’t know where the Palos Verdes Peninsula is located, it’s in Los Angeles County, Calif., past Torrance and near San Pedro, Calif.
It juts out, as peninsulas are wont to do, in the Pacific, gifting folks with extraordinarily beautiful views—especially on clear days. This particular Sunday wasn’t the clearest one, but the beauty was still extraordinary…and enough where a healthy crop of people came out to enjoy the vistas.
This land has had plenty of visits from me—from peaceful, scenic drives, to stops by the interpretive center just near the Point Vicente Lighthouse, and pauses along the pathways there to listen to the waves.
On this particular trip, I parked my rental car and walked toward the fence separating walkers, joggers and whale watchers from a precarious fall.
A kind man named Desmond started telling me about some seals perched on a rock near the shore. He had some really super duper binoculars and he shared some of his views with me—along with a snippet of his story…see, his wife was with one of his granddaughters. And they were at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center.
In the mean time, I found out this man (hadn’t asked his name just yet) had traveled the world with the Navy, so he tells me, and was on this day out spotting sea life like dolphins (he let me look at a pod traveling north) in addition to the seals.
He also told me that he and his wife did things differently—formerly living in a boat in the area—and that they both love to travel and she, at the tender age of 52, he tells me, decided to become a flight attendant, which fell in line with their love for travel.
Folks had gathered there to see if they could be party, visually speaking, to migrating whale pods that move along the California shoreline during the winter months. While we didn’t have any luck with whale sightings, there was that group of dolphins we saw. Desmond engaged others who happened upon our little section of the fence, and then I noticed the group gradually grow larger as folks learned dolphins had been spotted out yonder. One of the dudes who was there with another lady and a dog estimated about 100 dolphins were swimming and leaping with the group.
After meeting Desmond’s wife and lively granddaughter, I decided to take a walk through the interpretive center. It had been some years since my last visit.
The center tells the story of the Palos Verdes Peninsula from prehistoric times and the indigenous people who resided there, to the era of the Ranchos in Alta California, to the history of Japanese Americans there, and the era of Marine Land, a marine zoo (akin to Sea World) which closed in the late 1980s, to the Fresnel lens of the Point Vicente Lighthouse which is on display courtesy of the US Coast Guard.
Whaling was also big business back in the day, and there’s a whaling boat as well as a display of an array of products used throughout the years that relied on parts of Baleen Whales in order to produce. From soap to toothbrushes, clothespins, and oils for various purposes.
The center also explains the dynamic nature of the peninsula, and the constant, albeit slow, movement of earth in the Portuguese Bend landslide area. The Bend is part of one of my favorite scenic routes ever, and I like to drive it when I can—just to see how the roads have changed and how much new road patching has been necessary to repair bumps and cracks that inevitably develop due to the constant movement of the earth there.
Another cool thing about the PV Interpretive Center—the awesome walking trails overlooking the ocean with a cool view of Catalina Island. That actually was two things…and the third? It’s FREE! Nothing better than the opportunity to experience grand views and learn something new for $Free.99!
That interaction was quite nice and refreshing, and here are some images from that day, as well as one of the view through Desmond’s binoculars:
Place: Point Vicente Interpretive Center
Address: 31501 Palos Verdes Dr W, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
I can’t help but think of Alice in Wonderland—the Disney movie…and the caterpillar with the hookah…asking Alice this question while blowing smokey designs in her face.
No smoke here…but the question remains the same.
Who ARE YOU?
What are you here to do?
What’s your gift?
No, I’m not talking about something you got for a birthday or holiday—if you celebrate those.
I’m talking about something that’s special about YOU…something that you were BORN with—that no one else can do just like you.
I’m not talking about a skill like playing an music instrument.
I’m not talking about talents either…but gifts.
But what’s the difference, you ask? That’s what today’s guest on Planet Noun is discussing in this episode. Fredrick Bussey also wrote a book about it.
So let’s get right into it…he’s a dad…a speaker and entrepreneur…founder of marketing and branding consultancy IconStatus…his work? Helping brands and individuals to convey their stories with more power.
More from Fredrick Bussey author of the book “Breaking Orbit: Rip Out of the Regular by Unearthing the Power Within” on Planet Noun.
Learn more about Bussey via his social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram:
In August of 2019 I had the opportunity to attend a wedding in the Bahamas. The Bahamas is such a beautiful vacation spot, I could not pass up the opportunity to visit this lovely island again.
I stayed at the Atlantis on Paradise Island. I wish I had more time to experience what they had to offer, but my time spent there was very enjoyable and fun.
As it turned out, Junkanoo was also being celebrated. Oh the joy! I’d told myself that I wanted to start attending Carnival and Junkanoo celebrations in the Caribbean, and look what happened.
What is Junkanoo?
“Junkanoo, a Bahamian national festival, is a kaleidoscope of colours and sound,” states this excerpt from the Bahamas Government website, which also summarizes the festival’s traceable origins, and evolution of its costumes.
“The rhythmic sounds of cowbells, goat skin drums and whistles, accompanied by an array of brass instruments, create a sweet musical beat that will move you; while brilliantly coloured costumes capture your eye, and bring much visual delight. This bi-annual cultural highlight takes place on Bay Street in New Providence and other Family Islands during the early morning hours, from 1:00a.m. – 9:00a.m. on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year’s Morning. Junkanoo can also be experienced on many celebrated occasions such as independence Day (July 10th). There is also a Junior Junkanoo Parade in December, held in New Providence.”
I was told by several locals that the parade in December is much bigger and that I should come back. Putting that on my bucket list. Have you ever been to any Carnival or Junkanoo celebrations in the Caribbean? Tell me about them.
One thing is for sure—it doesn’t automatically mean the exact same thing across any boards. That’s what the new Netflix comedy series, “Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show,” appears to explore through clever comedy vignettes which are stitched together amid a reality show backdrop. They take the reality show format and hijinks and transform them into utter hilarity!
Each sketch is part of the thematic lattice that, as individual segments and as a whole, challenges what it means to be black and, in a not so low-key way, asserts the oh-so-true notion that black folks in America (and anywhere) are not a monolith.
The show takes on a range of topics through a comedic lens—from world geography to Ice Cube Day, the lunacy of some olden-day nostalgia, and the oft repeated notion that ‘black don’t crack,’ — until it does.
There’s even a nod to a Mary Poppins who’s looking for a nanny job with a wealthy black family…and another nod to an original Twilight Zone episode–that one where a man was in a tizzy on a flight during a bad thunderstorm because every time he glanced out the window, he saw a demon on the wing…But the Astronomy Club puts a chocolate twist and some stank on it—and a little booty poppin’, too.
Each episode is roughly 20 minutes long, so the six-episode season is bingeable without decimating weekend or even weeknight plans.
Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show was launched on December 6, 2019, and is executive produced by Kenya Barris—the creator of the hit ABC show ‘Blackish.’
The Astronomy Club is an improv sketch comedy group that was founded in 2014. Its members are Shawtane Bowen, Jon Braylock, Raymond Cordova, Caroline Martin, Jerah Milligan, Monique Moses, James III & Keisha Zollar. Read more about them on the Astronomy Club website.
So my sister and I met up for Essence Fest during the summer…it was the event’s 25th anniversary. And we had a BALL! We mainly went there this year for the music and the marketplace that showcased all of these black-owned and produced product.
So we were meandering through one aisle…and a gentleman approached us and started talking to us about our skin. We were both satisfied with our current products but wanted to learn more about this brand. Then he introduced us to the product line creator…who is today’s guest on Planet Noun…
So we tried the moisturizer on our hands…and were impressed with how our skin felt…supple-soft…and the product had no heavy scent…another plus for us.
Now sis and are loving Three Notes Skincare!
But how did this business get started? Simple…It started with an issue that needed a solution.
Take a listen to Tanzania Crew—founder of Three Notes Skincare—on Planet Noun.
00:00—A skin problem needs a solution
24:38—The meaning of Three Notes
35:30—Good news for the company
Today’s guest—Tanzania Crew—founder of Three Notes Skincare. She joined me from the Memphis area. We met at Essence Fest where there were LOTS of quality products for sale in their marketplace at the convention center in New Orleans.
Here are some other products and sites Tanzania mentioned during out chat:
Doughful website: An online marketplace for folks who create doughful deserts to those who plan events where such artfully crafted treats are served up and eaten. Learn more on the Doughful website: https://www.doughful.com
The Pupp Cleanse This book sparked from the time when Tanzania got a rash after the birth of one of her children. She developed an intense rash and chronicles the process she used to eradicate hers.
As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases
Life can abound with various challenges, but it’s up to us to take that stuff and make it into something better.
There are some folks in this universe who, despite challenges, imagine how they’d like life to look. Then they plan and move boldly in the direction of those dreams.
My next guest is one of those beautiful humans.
Deia Davis-Williams and I go way back to college. We’ve been connected on social media, but and saw each other in person for the first time in YEARS in New Orleans as Essence Fest was wrapping up. It was the first time at Essence Fest for either of us. Shoutout to Essence for such an awesome, affirming event!
Deia is a publicist…and founder of ExquisteM Public Relations. She’s also in law school and is very specific about her goals and the impact she wants to have in the African-American community.
Take a listen to this driven sister’s story…On Planet Noun.
00:00—Deia’s organic road to becoming a publicist.
04:35—The role family plays in the ExquisteM brand
10:20—How she knows the law path is right for her and for giving back to her community
38:15—So who are some of her clients? You know I TRIED to find out…
39:02—How Deia rolls when she walks into a room when there aren’t many people like her present
Thanks for listening to this episode featuring Deia Davis-Williams of public relations firm ExquisteM! Quite a few nuggets to remember in each episode… A key from this one to remember: Set clear goals, and if you want to reach them, figure out a way do so with persistence, honest hard work and integrity.
It’s always exciting when a new episode drops…this one is no exception. It’s the second of two collaboration episodes with Liliana and Tamara of Barely Bougie Mamas—a podcast that was released during the summer.
If you haven’t heard last week’s episode, take a listen after you get through with this one.
So Barely Bougie Mamas is a podcast featuring Liliana and Tamara—two moms who grew up in poverty—but have crafted lives for themselves and their kids that are totally different from their own upbringings…and all of the funnies and concerns that stem from those differences.
My sister Lea and I joined them at Liliana’s home in Southern California for some kiki-ing and questions.
Last week, we talked about some of their experiences growing up vs. how their kids are growing up.
And this week, Liliana, Tamara, My sister Lea and I talk about something Le-Le and I know…being single, childless aunties….And the role all aunties play in the family fabric. Whether they’re linked by bloodlines or play aunties that are for real-real with their care, concern and involvement.
So let’s get to it with the Barely Bougie Mamas and Planet Noun:
Topics and timecodes:
03:13—Dealing with annoying comments like “You’re not married? You don’t have kids? And you’re HAPPY?” (Answer: Hell to the yes! Contented, single and childless women do exist, they’re real people)
08:55—Aunties to O.P.K.-Other People’s Kids
10:19—The Sister-in-Law Co-Parent (Tamara says don’t skip your visitations) & the Auntie Posse
14:15—Unmarried Aunties, do you realize your importance (and not just for babysitting)?
17:30—Liliana’s experience as a single, childless auntie
21:28—The fun auntie
29:32—An auntie’s listening ear
35:05—Forging the relationship with a potential auntie in your life
If this is the first time you’ve heard of them, they have several episodes already released…12 of them…13 including this one.