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"DO YOU GET WHAT YOU'RE HOPING FOR... ?"

I'm missing home something terrible but looking at these pix means I'm making the best of it!

Still, 'success is nothing without someone you love to share it with'! LOL! Though just a text or quick call away, the time zones between Ant and me - coupled with our respective attachment to keeping our individual selves entertained without the other in tow (sometimes at the expense of what's sensible) - have made it a challenge (at best). I'm not a fan of being without Ant. And I'm not a fan of being alone. That said, being alone has allowed me to put things in perspective and work through some of the feelings that lie beneath the loneliness.

But back to making the best of it: My L.A. friends say 'only you would come to town and have us at the Egyptian Theatre to see 'Mahogany'. Most of them had never set foot in the Hollywood landmark'. THANKS GUYS (and GALS) - including my Tanika Ray of EXTRA fame.My Theo was in town from New York - so he had to be there given when we first met at now-closed Day-O, our mutual friend Erich told him I was a big Diana Ross fan... and Theo asked me to recite lines from "Mahogany" that he wrote on the paper table tops, tore off, and took home. LOL! Talk about a full-circle moment.

There was also my Ed who has worked with the diva and many divas over the years.

And Curtis who is "the other" #1 Diana Ross fan. And Walter - Curtis' brother - who I'd never met before but he told me he was a fan of the blog. As his brother Curtis introduced us, he assured he already knew who I was and always wanted to meet me. Well, now we've met. And thank you, Walter, for reading "A Day in the Life of Riley: Pop Culture & Possibilities". Curtis will be hosting a Diana Ross-themed party (in my honor) during Labor Day weekend when Ant comes to town. We'll party alongside rare Ross footage. ALL ABOUT LOVE! 

Theo brought his good girlfriend Victoria who brought her good girlfriends - including Ms. Lana. I even won the "Mahogany" prize as the promoters had some folks come up and answer some trivia and work the runway.

Though the bag said GUCCI, its contents were not. But there was "Mahogany" cake. Still, fun... and of course, I took the time to buy a toothbrush and spruce up my Diana's Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - right in front of the Egyptian Theatre. Afterwards, "Eyebrow King" Damone Roberts - another Ross fan -  and his partner Ramon - joined us at The Abbey for some nourishment ----- all of this juxtaposed to me --- three hours prior --- crying in my L.A. hotel room  as Oxygen rolled out "Bodyguard" for the 500th time. Surely my tears were from loneliness and homesickness ("Bodyguard" isn't one of my fav films like "Mahogany" but I'd always wished Ross had taken the part when it was offered to her after "The Wiz").

It hasn't all been lonely and blue. From the pool party that Javier and I attended when I first got into town, I met a cool dude named Delandis (www.delandisworld.com). He happened to have a business meeting in the studio where I'm working. We stumbled into each other and decided to have lunch. Aroma on Sunset was our spot... and we caught up on all the great things he's doing - including pitching a kids show starring HIM.Ant and I saw him a couple of years ago (but didn't know it) as he was in the Chicago company of "Wicked". Delandis - who is celebrating a birthday in a few days - also got me out my hotel room last night. The Abbey - again - was the spot. It was good to be out but I'm really missing NYC and Ant (who says he just bought me a new digitial camera [DISPOSABLES no more! LOL!] and can come to L.A. Labor Day Weekend. Ern is coming too). And Theo kept me entertained while he was here in town. He hosted a night of Mexican at El Coyote where he reconnected me to his Victoria (Ant and I got to meet her when we were last in L. A.). Then, she brought Lana and others into the mix. 

 


Plus, my PMAMA  (Marlene), who I know from a listserv of which she and I are members, came and we got to meet in person for the first time.


My other dear friend Zabrina came by and we enjoyed a cocktail before she took me to meet up with our girl Tosha Whitten-Griggs (and her sister) for a party at The Roxy. Zabrina is doing publicity for BET which is the home of a couple of my latest projects "Frankie & Neffe" and "Monica: Still Standing".On one night, my buddy Javier scooped me up for a quick drink. A few more cocktails later (coupled with karaoke in WeHo), I'm excited to report that - after shutting them down in NYC, Burbank, Manila, Chicago, Atlanta, and some other locales I may be forgetting - my Maxwell's "This Woman's Work" is now a hit in West Hollywood. LOL! Next stop: a karaoke dive bar near you! LMAO!

And Sid - always a joy - has been giving of her time generously - to 'babysit' me when I am over being in my hotel room alone... and can't remix the four walls around me any other kind of way. One night, we went to the home of a friend of hers. I stumbled into some actors whose work I admire - including Terrell Tilford (http://www.terrelltilford.yuku.com/) and Noah's Arc's Chase, Doug Spearman. It was such the intimate affair, I got shy to ask for photo ops but did get to chat each of them up a little. And they are both the nicest guys! Very warm! My L.A. buddy Javier popped by after his fashion show. The following day, Sidra and I enjoyed a bite at L.A. LIVEs "The Farm" as we needed to debrief all the fun we had the night prior. Thanks Sid - for a great time! (I considered going to the Sunset Junction Street Fair - featuring performances by Supremes' Mary Wilson, Motown artist/"Lady Sings The Blues" co-screen writer Chris Clark, and others). The L.A. Times did a story on Clark that reminded me what a compelling way she managed to weave her talents throughout Motown (as a white woman) during some of the label/movie company's integral moments  (www.chrisclarkinc.com).

Meanwhile, work is good. Post-production on the "Monica" project is going well.

My other long-standing clients have even been calling and though I've not been able to squeeze in any of their requests for my services (due to demands of my current schedule), it's good to know the calls are coming and will hopefully be coming when this current project wraps (or whenever I can squeeze a day or two into the mix. I'm all about a WIN-WIN!).

And I've also taken on a couple of quick turn-around assignments for 'ESSENCE' and 'Spelman College'. Stay tuned on those particulars when closer to roll-out. Though my project for 'ESSENCE' is for the November 2009 issue (details later), I - unrelated to this assignment - 'heard' (on the street. SMILE!) that my Miss Ross, her oldest daughter (with Berry Gordy) Rhonda, Rhonda's new baby boy (Miss Ross' first grandchild), and others in the Ross clan are supposed to pose for 'ESSENCE' cameras sometime soon. Will be great to see those shots as it was to see cover models, Miss Ross and Tracee Ellis Ross, a few years ago, on the iconic magazine's cover and inside the issue.
So, deadlines, premieres, and post-production... OH MY!... are on the horizon. There is still the uphill battle of managing the economics (especially as I have to pay for room/transportation in order to work out here on the West Coast). But things are improving... and it's all par for the course. Even when things show up a challenge, I continue to acknowledge that I AM BLESSED... and in the words of Langston Hughes, "Life is fine... Fine as wine... life is fine...".


 

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