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2012-2013 Winter Reading List

As the temperatures continue to drop, curling up with a great book is sounding more and more appealing. I’ve compiled a reading list that is sure to turn up the heat, make you think, and entertain you during those chilly afternoons and evenings.

 ImageAmerican Ghost – James Owens 

Set in small-town Florida, American Ghost is a story that many small southern towns share. A black man is killed by a lynch mob in 1938 and the ripple effect of his murder still makes waves in present day. Although the townspeople have attempted for years to cover up any evidence of this event, a curious anthropology student from Miami uncovers their stormy secret. His discovery starts a firestorm of anger, hurt, and betrayal, not only for the families involved, but for him and the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher he falls in love with during his research of the town’s past. American Ghost is a classic American ghost story that will continue to haunt you long after you’ve read the final chapter.

 ImageNYPD Red James Patterson

For those of you into crime novels, James Patterson doesn’t disappoint in NYPD Red. As the Hollywood elite make their yearly trek to NYC for various film festivals, someone in the shadows in none to pleased. Detective Zach Jordan is a member of a special task force called NYPD Red; created to protect the rich and fabulous in New York City. He and his team are called on the case when a high-powered producer drops dead at breakfast. It seems someone is obsessed with those in the film-making industry and is slowly and systematically killing them one by one. As the Hollywood glitterati drop like flies, Zach Jordan and his partner Kylie race to find the killer before he strikes again. Just like an episode of Law and Order; NYPD Red will keep you engaged until the very end; predictable or not.

ImageThe Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling

The author of the famed Harry Potter series has made her foray into fiction for adults in The Casual Vacancy. Billed as a tragic-comedy, The Casual Vacancy looks at both political and social themes in a serious, but somehow comedic manner.  This story is centered around a small parish in England called Pagford and its political goings-on. After the parish councillor of Pagford dies in the parking lot of his local golf course, the town erupts into madness trying to fill his political seat. As those who desire to be elected make their intentions known, the accusations begin to fly, courtesy of the kids of the would-be elected officials and the parish coucil’s message board. Accusations range from rape, drug use, prostitution and even molestation. The Casual Vacancy will make you laugh while simultaneously making you think about serious social issues that pervade today’s society.

ImageFifty Shades Darker/ Fifty Shades Freed – E.L. James

 Everyone’s favorite BDSM team is back for not one, but TWO books. If you  read the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey, SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER! All clear? Okay, let’s proceed. The main characters really begin to trust each other in Fifty Shades Darker, and you begin to learn a bit more about Christian Grey’s hidden past. In Fifty Shades Freed, we get to the conclusion of this steamy trilogy as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele REALLY begin to explore themselves and each other, and start to understand the essence of control, role reversal and in the end, true love.

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Celebrity Fashion: How Far is Too Far?

Style and fashion have reached new boundaries in music. Self expression or publicity?

Variety is the spice of life and “they” say no publicity is bad publicity, but sometimes you have to wonder:  Are our favorite artists pushing the envelope with their hair, style of dress and live shows simply to remain relevant or are they simply expressing themselves through fashion? How far is too far?

​When you think of an artist with interesting fashion sense, Lady Gaga is usually on that list. Even with something as small as an appearance at an awards show, she always has on something quirky or interesting, and it gets the people talking; from local news outlets to high end fashion magazines. It seemed the more she was talked about, the more intricate and experimental her clothing choices became. As her clothing choices changed, so did her live performances and appearances. We all remember the infamous “Meat Dress” and who could forget the “Born This Way” performance, where she emerged from an egg? Some people think Lady Gaga has gone too far, but she still has millions of adoring fans who identify with her. They love her clothing choices, headpieces and performances and they will forever call her “Mother Monster”

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Nicki Minaj is another artist people think of when it comes to interesting outfits and performances. First it was the colored wigs and your run-of-the-mill outfits. Next came the Bride-of-Frankenstein hair, multicolored leggings, polka dotted rain boots, and candy-colored fur coats. By the time we arrived at Nicki’s 2012 Grammy performance, she was decked out in a red Versace hooded cape. Her performance of “Roman Holiday” that night had critics and fans alike talking about it for weeks after it was over. Some people say Nicki has gone too far with the wigs, outfits and strange performances, but all those things have done wonders for her career. She is now the face of Pepsi and when her “Now In A Moment” commercial premiered she got a reported seven figures for it.

Image Ever the chameleon, Katy Perry has been known to change both her music style and her hair color on demand. She’s even been known to change her hair DURING a performance. Perhaps not considered as over-the-top as Nicki or Gaga, Katy HAS been known to wearing interesting themed outfits in concerts and on red carpets While she certainly hasn’t gotten as much press as Nicki or Gaga, she has gotten her fair share of “She’s gone too far” comments based on her themed outfits.

Her most controversial moment came when the Children’s Television Workshop chose not to air her appearance with Elmo on Sesame Street because some parents felt she was showing too much cleavage. Katy’s then fiancé Russell Brand later tweeted, “Today’s Sesame Street will NOT be brought to you by the number 34 or the letter D.” Too far? You be the judge.

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A Closer Look at Tom Ford

To say that Tom Ford is a fashion juggernaut would be something of an understatement. With a resume that reads like a veritable “Who’s Who” of the fashion industry, there’s no question that the man is talented. His fashions have been seen on the likes of Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, and Rihanna. In 2008, Tom Ford named long-time friend Erykah Badu as his muse for his White Patchouli fragrance. In 2011, Beyoncé even walked the runway for him.

He began his fashion career as an intern at Cholé. After he graduated from The New School, he worked under Cathy Hardwick. By 1986, Ford had moved on to Perry Ellis. In the 90s, Ford served as creative director for both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. By 2004, Ford had parted ways with Gucci and started his own line of eyewear, beauty products, and ready to wear fashions for both men and women.

Tom Ford has dressed everyone from actors and hip hop artists to professional athletes and models, but when it comes to dressing himself, Tom says that he prefers to wear a suit, and recommends that other men do the same.

 

…a man should try wearing a suit throughout a normal day. I do most things in a suit—and sometimes even in a tuxedo—and so I’m really comfortable in one.

And, apparently the Hip Hop and R&B elite agree with his advice, because when it’s time to dress up, Tom Ford seems to be the go-to designer. It’s no secret that the hip hop/R&B world has always had very close ties to the fashion world. For as long as I can remember, rappers and R&B artists have been calling out their favorite brands and designers in verses. Common, Trey Songz, 50 Cent and Drake have all mentioned Tom Ford in songs.

Always one to push the envelope, Tom Ford’s ad campaigns often feature provocative imagery and his 2012 men’s lookbook didn’t disappoint. His looks for Spring/Summer 2012 included impeccably tailored suits, shirts, pants and shorts, but also featured ample amounts of nudity, both of which we have come to expect from Ford. For the Autumn/Winter 2012 season, Tom Ford showed lots of leather, silk suits; velvet dinner jackets and alpaca jackets (So if you get something on it, in the words of Denzel, make sure you BLOT that!)

Swizz Beats and Alicia Keys exchanged wedding vows in 2010. Alicia wore Vera Wang and Swizzy rocked a white Tom Ford tuxedo jacket.* Photo courtesy of Stephanie Pistels

Jay-Z performed at Carnegie Hall in early 2012, impeccably dressed in a Tom Ford white dinner jacket. *Photo courtesy of WireImage

Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks arrived at 2012’s Met Gala in a custom Tom Ford design *Courtesy of Getty Images

Taking a page from Tom Ford’s AW2012 collection, which includes statement suits, leathers and furs, Rihanna was seen at the Met Gala in a black, backless crocodile-print Tom Ford dress *Courtesy of Getty Images

Black Silk or How to Turn a Man Down In 3 “Easy” Steps

I learned a long time ago that when a man approaches you to ask for a date, you should never be rude, but make it quite clear if you aren’t interested. You can smile and keep walking if he tries to grab your hand on the street. You can politely entertain his conversation, and then, still politely say “No thank you” or something to that effect when he asks if he can call you. I’ve had some good experiences avoiding men I wasn’t interested in…but I’ve also had some bad ones. Let’s begin…

I’ll never forget, I lived in the “athletic” dorm in college (They weren’t really allowed to call it that, but that’s pretty much what it was because a vast majority of the student-athletes lived there, but I digress) There was this guy on the soccer team who ALWAYS tried to ask me out. I tried time and again to let him down gently, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He just WOULDN’T!  And I reallywasn’t interested. For starters, when he introduced himself (and sadly, I don’t remember what his actual name was) he said…and I quote, “My name is Whatever-Since-I-Can’t-Remember-His-Name, but all the ladies call me Black Silk.

*Grand Opening, Grand Closing*

BLACK SILK????!!!! THAT’S what you’re opening up with?! And “ALL THE LADIES CALL YOU BLACK SILK”???? Sir, that is not the way to my heart, nor any other woman’s heart. But, of course, I didn’t say any of these things aloud. I simply smiled, said, “No thanks. I’m not really into dating right now”, or some other type of excuse.

A few days later, when he asked me out the next time, I’m sure I came up with some other evasive thing to say and managed to hightail it outta there before he started massaging my hands again. (Yeah, he was THAT guy)

One day,he cornered me in the hall on the way into my room after cheerleading practice.  Again, don’t quite remember what he said, but again, I managed to give him the slip. After I went into my room and looked out of my peephole, I saw him standing there for a while, staring at my door…..yikes…….

A few days later I was eating lunch ins the café with my roommate (who also happened to be my sister) , and her then-boyfriend (who also happened to be on the soccer team) came walking over to our table.

Him:  Hey Tee… My boy Whatever-Since-I-Can’t-Remember-His-Name on the soccer team wants to know what’s wrong with you. *snickers under his breath*

Me:  *incredulous* What’s wrong with me????

Him:  Yeah, he said he gave you three chances. *laughing becomes louder*

Me:  Three chances? Three chances for what?????

Him:  Three chances for you to go out with “Black Silk” *throws head back in full laughter*

Me:  This is not funny! I’ve been avoiding this guy for the longest. I keep turning down his dates, but he just doesn’t seem to be getting them memo.

Him:  I know. That’s exactly what he said. He said YOU’RE not getting the memo. The ladies love him, so he doesn’t understand why you’re being so ridiculous.

Me:  I’M being ridiculous??????

Him: *dies laughing*

Needless, to say, I never did go out with Black Silk and I’m not sure what happened, but he never tried to ask me out again after that. But whenever I saw him around the dorm or on campus I always got the mean side eye…..

Ladies, how many of you have a funny story about avoiding a guy? How about you guys? Any crazy stories about avoiding a woman? Send submissions here and I’ll pick the two funniest and post them to my blog.

We’ll miss you China……see you at Rainbow Bridge

Hey guys,

 

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I found out, rather suddenly, that my dog, China, has advanced cancer.  I did everything I could think of to do, and tried every medication that the vet suggested, but she just wasn’t getting any better…..

When she stopped playing with my other dog, wouldn’t play with her toys, and started having trouble walking, I knew, sadly, that it was only a matter of time.  She gave me a look one day, and I knew she was tired and was ready to go to Rainbow Bridge.

So, yesterday, I said my final goodbye to my furry best friend.   I love you, China.  See you at Rainbow Bridge.

 

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

 

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

 

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

 

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent. Her eager body quivers. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster.

 

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

 

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Welcome to ThatsWhatTSaid.com!!

Hey guys!

This is Tee, and welcome to my website That’s What T Said!  This blog will be comprised of all the things that encompass my life:  Food, Friends, Fun, Travel and more.  I’ll even have some celebrity interviews every once and a while 😉

I’ll be updating everyone on my natural hair transition and weight loss chronicles, too, telling you what worked for me and what didn’t (yikes!).  I’ll also be incorporating posts from my old blog (hilarity will ensue!)

If you like what you read, subscribe and send your friends my way too.

Tee

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