Saturday, June 5, 2010

Simply Beautiful Beauty Treatment #3

Them There Eyes
Eye Refresher

Steep 2 bags of chamomile  tea in hot water for three to five minutes. Let cool until the bags are comfortably warm to the touch. Lie down, close your eyes, and place a tea bag over each eye; then cover with a soft cloth. During hot months, put the cooked tea bags in the refrigerator and apply to eyes when needed for a refreshing, eye-opening experience. While you are at it, enjoy the tea and really relax!

 I fell in love with you the first time I looked into
Them There Eyes
And you have a certain lil cute way of flirtin'
With Them There Eyes

They make me feel so happy
They make me feel so blue
I'm fallin', no stallin'
In a great big way for you
My heart is jumpin', you've started somethin'
With Them There Eyes......

"Them there eyes"- Billie Holiday

Div'Icon (Diva Icon) Of the Month


Although Fredi Washington was a very beautiful and talented woman with light green eyes,  she was actually a African American. This fact often made her a victim of rejection by both black and white film fans alike.  Because she was a stunning mixture of talent and beauty, studio heads in Hollywood urged her to pass for white;  and if she did so they promised her they would make her a bigger star than Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Constance Bennett and Greta Garbo. Fredi refused  to the detriment of her career, but she never wavered.. Her best-known role was as Peola a black woman fighting to pass for white in the film Imitation of Life released in 1934 and her performance so convincing, people believed that she wanted nothing more than to "pass" in real life. Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact she was the complete opposite of the "Peola" character though she could never "shake"  being compared  with the character constantly throughout her acting career.

In real life she was a strong advocate for civil rights and was the president of the Black actors guild for many years. Although she never reached the level of stardom of some of her contemporaries of the time; Ethel Waters and Jospehine Baker reached, Fredi demonstrated great courage by choosing to be herself on and off the screen despite the outside pressure and/or accusation of trying to be someone else to gain acceptance and more success. In this day and time she serves as an example  that to be proud of who you  are no matter what race despite what others think or believe and to hold your head high always in the process NEVER ashamed.

As my Div'icon for the month of June, Fredi, I salute you, and I thank you for reminding me that a price tag can never be placed on the value of who you really are!


(Yes it's a drink!)

1 oz Cognac
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Dry Gin
Juice of 2 Lemons

Put plenty of cracked ice in a cocktail shaker,
add ingredients and shake briskly. Strain into a cocktail glass.
To make a drier drink, reduce the amount of Cointreau.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

SPOTLIGHT: Mr. Hubba Hubba of the month


He is the hepcat by which all others are measured. He the one and only Cab Calloway.  From Harlem to hollywood, this man  put the J in jive and was the master showman.  Born on Christmas day in 1907, the 2nd of Cabel Jr and Martha Calloway's six children, Cabell Calloway III was supposed to be a lawyer (according to his parents hopes), but where or where would men learn to be a smooth cool cat if he had taken that route? He may have charmed a few judges and juries with that powerful barritone voice, but the world would have missed out; but thank goodness that by the time he graduated high school, Cab was playing the drums, doing vaudeville with some classmates and decided that being an entertainer was his calling. With his trademark zoot suits and handsome looks Cab lent his voice to and/or wrote such snazzy tunes as "(Hep-Hep!) The Jumpin' Jive,"   "Fifteen Minute Intermission' and "Blues in the Night,' "Are You All Reet?," "Are You Hep to the Jive? (Yas, Yas)," "The Calloway Boogie," "Come On with the Come On," Don't Falter at the Alter," "Foo a Little Bally-Hoo," "Geechy Joe," "The Hi-De-Ho Man (That's Me)," "Jive (Page One of the Hepster's Dictionary)," "Oh! Gram'pa," and "Virginia, Georgia, and Caroline." Calloway and his band were also in several feature motion pictures, including "The Big Broadcast of 1932," with Burns and Allen, and the Mills Brothers; "International House," with W.C. Fields, in 1933; "The Singing Kid," with Al Jolson, in 1936; and "Stormy Weather,", but his signature tune, "Minnie the Moocher" was born due to a brain fart while live on the radio where he  had to resort to what would be another one of his signatures; scatting as filler. "I forgot the lyric of a song,"  he admits,"That's how "Minnie the Moocher' was written. I forgot the lyric to another song that I was doing and I put in skee-tee-tuh-bee and the hi-de-hos and it became very effective. And then I sat down and wrote 'Minnie the Moocher."'  It was recorded in 1931  and again several times in the decades which followed, including a disco version.  Minnie the Moocher became his biggest hit and most memorable; never failing to receive full audience participation when  he shouts is imortal "hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi."

 In the years to follow, Cab had some ups and downs in his career; creative differences with musicians he played with and of course the biggest road block that all talented african american entertainers had to endure; RACISM. Despite those setbacks Cab had a career in entertainment that lasted until his death which totaled 65 years;not bad for a guy who was a paperboy, shoe shiner, and  horse walker in his youth. In every generation he had never lost his appeal; in 1980, he had a role in the "Blues Brothers" starring Dan Akroyd and John Belushi, and in 1989,  he  made an appearance in Janet Jackson's "Alright" video and performed to sold-out  young audiences in Japan that loved  and cherished this wonderful showman. On November 18th, 1994 at the age of 86, Cab took his final bow surrounded by family.  If you wonder if Cab had any regrets, this statement should sum it up well,  "During the '40s they used to say that I had 40 suits and 40 pairs of shoes," Cab related. "It ain't true. I had 50 suits and 50 pairs of shoes and 50 pairs of pearl-gray gloves too. They used to say that l got arrested twice a month for speeding on the New Jersey Turnpike. That's a lie. Brother, I owned the New Jersey Turnpike, and I used to run that big old Lincoln through the Holland Tunnel and over the Jersey meadowlands like there was no tomorrow. They used to say that I had a beautiful woman in every city and town in the country. Shoot, I had two, one for rainy days and one for sunny days. They say I’ve had and lost millions of dollars. Buddy, they haven't stopped counting yet. Women, horses, cars, clothes. I did it all. And do you know what that's called, ladies and gentlemen. It's called living."