Ant and I celebrated our 4th anniversary the other day. We consider the first day we met the day because our lives would be forever changed. It was the opening night of “The Color Purple” (which – by the way – is coming to NJPAC in Newark and you can get a $25 price break using code "25URBAN" at the website). On that day in 2005, Ant was covering the red carpet for STARZ! I was covering it as well. My friend Mario introduced us at the after party. And the rest is history. As we continue to budget the little we have right now, we didn’t plan on exchanging gifts. But Ant surprised me with a card that reads: "I'm so glad I found you - the one I can TRUST to dream my dreams with me...the one who UNDERSTANDS my deepest feelings...the one who KNOWS me and loves me as I really am...You're everything I ever hoped for in a PARTNER, all that I need in a friend, and all I ever wanted in someone to love. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!” Did Ashford & Simpson write that? LOL! I guess you see why it’s easy for me to wade through the minimum wages of a couple of temp gigs. There’s something PRICELESS at home as we build ABUNDANCE! Oh! Per a Ralph Lauren sample sale, he gifted me an awesome, white, brushed cotton jacket that fits as if it was tailored and a cute pair of green corduroys. WHAT CAN I SAY? He’s a keeper!
Ant and I had the luxury of both working in the city one day recently and we were able to have a lovely (but quick) lunch at Blockhead’s with Manivone and our girlfriend Camille, who lives mostly abroad. In fact, Camille was straight off a plane from Ghana (and is soon en route to Beijing). She and I got to spend more time with Ant and some of his co-workers at 'Wendy' (Talia and Aleeka). A little BBQ. A little karaoke. Also, Camille and I got to hang out with our friend Omar. You remember Omar. He did that great tux for me some years ago when I hosted an event for Disney and Steve Harvey absolutely LOVED the tux. OMAR - at that time - was one of the vendors at the old N, my favorite boutique:
Well, he has remixed his brand and is now doing a line (ROAM New York) for HSN (http://www.hsn.com/). And he goes on air to sell his goods:
His next appearance on HSN is December 19th. After that, he's booked in February, March, and May.
Also, over this last week and change, I was most excited to see my nephew Herman Lee Riley III (for a brief moment) as he was flown here to NYC for an interview (a potential gig for after he graduates my alma mater Morehouse College in May). Too, in the Spring, he's one of 16 Business-major seniors at my alma mater who travels to England, Ireland, and Scotland. SO PROUD I AM!
2009 OUT MUSIC AWARDS
Ant and I went to the 2009 Out Music Awards in NYC at Webster Hall – such a sign that I am home as I saw so many of my best friends from the industry and beyond. Nominee and good buddy Demarco Majors was in the house. Here are my buddies Ra-Fael DeBlanco (publicist extraordinaire) and Luke Burke (producer extraordinaire). And my Terry Wynn who is like a little brother to me. Co-host for the night Kate Clinton steered the night alongside Rodney Chester of "Noah's Arc" fame. And my friend Publisher of BLEU Magazine Devon Christoper was there along with Kimberly Nichole with whom I sang on the same stage for the Ashford & Simpson tribute at Gospel Uptown: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2009/11/30/entertainment-exclusive-2-get-your-tickets-to-see-pieces-of.html.
And my Momentum buddies Sage Rivera (far left) and members of VOGUE Evolution dancers ("America's Best Dance Crew") were there. And of course, Ant’s and my friend Richard Pelzer (President & Founder of MEGA Management) invited Ant and me: VIP. He too blogs: The MEGA World of Lil Mogul - www.TheFutureForward.net. Here Ant and I pose with our friend Toyce who recently attended the BDAY party that Ant threw for me a couple of weeks ago. And another highlight: Benny Ninja - the FIERCE one who you may know from America's Next Top Model.
Ant, his co-worker Talia, and I went to Erykah Badu’s listening session at Chung King Studios in Manhattan. She played tracks from her upcoming CD: "New Amerykah Part II: Return of the Ahnk". The new material is a SONIC SMORGASBORD! CLASSIC ERYKAH INSIDE HER CURRENT FREQUENCY - ALL AT ONCE! Corinne Bailey Rae was there... and let me know she has a new album coming out in February. And it was nice to sit in a studio with the lights off… incense burning… and Erykah Badu waxing philosophical on all things music and life and love. Ant is a big BADU fan. Too, he modeled alongside Badu in the April 2008 issue of ESSENCE Magazine. And he got to attend a similar listening experience when her first project in this multi-tier volume was released: "... CUP RUNNETH OVER...".
So my hustle continues for work. Took some great meetings over these last few days. I put my pop culture analysis hat on(-camera) for a piece that will run on NBC Nightly News & MSNBC by year's end (Stay tuned). In the wake of my debut contribution last year (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXc6x5JlJuw), glad they still call from time to time. Too, I met some folks at USA Network about some opportunities. And I’m closing in on a project that will bring in some revenue during the holidays. So, stay tuned for that.
A new, slim, trim ANGIE STONE was the musical guest. And after her song ("I Ain't Hearin' You"), she and Wendy talked all things new weave, D'Angelo, and waistlines, etc. OVERALL, great show! www.wendyshow.com
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