Tuesday, June 30, 2009

IGNITING THE LEGACY: I Can't Stop Listening to This Song!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
So instead of having to go onto youtube every few hours...I'm putting more of MJ's legacy on this site. I refuse to let his legacy be tainted by the media! This song is so heartfelt and raw and I thank Diddy, The Game, Boyz II Men, Mario Winans and Chris Brown (eh hem Jay Z) yes C. Breezy for creating it!


LIVING THROUGH GRIEF

On Thursday, June 25, 2009 the world was silenced for a few moments. Shortly after, one could hear the sound of tears, weeping, and screams as well as music being played on every radio station in honor of Michael Jackson, one of America's greatest icons. A lot of people would like to know how to deal with grief. Grief can be defined as a multifaceted response to loss. It includes the emotional numbness, disbelief, separation, anxiety, despair, sadness, and loneliness that accompany the loss of someone or some thing that is loved. Everyone experiences loss or change at sometime in life and understanding grief can help you to deal with your feelings and to eventually grow and become a stronger person. Grief is apart of the healing process.

When dealing with grief be certain to take care of your emotional needs. This can be done by expressing your feelings. When painful feelings are repressed it can create and lead to additional concerns. Accept help from friends and family members, they often can ease the pain and help you to get through difficult moments. If you begin to see major changes such as fatigue, consistent feelings of sadness, excessive weight loss and or gain you may need to seek professional help. This does not mean you are crazy but it does mean you are in the red zone and could benefit from speaking with someone other than a family member. Keep in mind that it is normal to feel sad and it is beneficial to get plenty of rest. Set short-term goals which list some quick activities or things to do such as visiting friends or writing letters. Recognize your progress and treat yourself to something you like. If you feel like it is taking you longer than normal to do things such as go to the post office, set a time limit for yourself to assist you with staying on track. Try new activities to help you through this difficult time. It's a great opportunity to take that new aerobics class at the gym or that cooking class at your neighborhood grocery store. Be informed! Call your town's help line for a list of support groups that is going on in your areal. Often it is helpful to be around someone who has been through a similar situation; it normalizes you and help you to stay stable.

If someone you know is grieving be present. Being able to sit with someone face to face is power. If you are unable to be there send letters, e-mail, or make phone calls. Don't get caught up with your own feelings and make the conversation about you, become a good listener and that will decease feelings of anxiety for the other person. Be patient and respectful and remember that everyone owns his/her own feelings and grieve in their own way. If you sense your friend is asking for space then give him/her space. Continue to check in with your friend periodically. Recovery takes time; remember it has to rain in order to the sun to shine!

XIXI,
XTherapist

Musing over Macchiato's & Morning Papers

Good morning everyone! Here's today's top headlines:

Joe Jackson left out Michael Jackson's most recent will. Oopps! I'm thinking this might hurt the seed money for Ranch Records.

Ashton Kutcher tweets for Obama. I heart Ashton.

FINALLY! Iraq celebrates US withdrawal from cities. Like we like ya'll anymore than they do us! Please.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a good thing? Angry Democrats are the best thing that can happen to Obama right now.

Monica Conyers resigns as Detroit City Council President. Did I miss her other options?

Facebook wants to be more like Twitter...seriously?

BET Awards scores highest rating EVER for "Jackson Tribute" I truly feel that BET used MJ's death to boost ratings since there was hardly any tribute.

The Early Word: Michael Jackson's death projected to prompt surge in magazine sales. I know I've already purchased a few already...

Debbie Rowe you are NOT the Mother! Huh?

The Dog Flu Virus...are you and your dog safe? Dog owners read this!

Kate Gosselin's book release date postponed. I wonder if it's clear that her brand is damaged without Jon. That book may never come out!

Monday, June 29, 2009

XI has been Nominated for the 2009 Weblog Awards!

Monday, June 29, 2009
The Black Weblog Awards combines a network of Black Blogs around the net where every year various blogs are nominated for awards based on the popularity and content on their sites. This year as a new up and coming blog XI has been nominated in the "BEST BLOG TO WATCH" category for our fresh new voice in the black blogosphere. We're excited and honored and would love the support from our readers for this award.

Please click the thumbnail below to vote for XI under the "Best Blog to Watch" category.

Voting ends on July 25th so you have plenty of time to go and vote daily. We appreciate your support!

Click here to cast your vote for XI!

XI WORLDWIDE: Welcome and Introduction to Team XI!

Everyday IamXI and myself are working behind the scenes to provide our loyal readers with quality content to grow our base. So in that spirit today is a big day in the XI family! We're excited to tell you that Team XI has officially grown into a team of 5 contributors and content researchers (G. Stone, Xtherapist & XIX will be the news names seen around XI) Please be on the look out for the many articles and thelpful information posted by our new contributors.

So without further adu...welcome to the XI family and here's an introduction of what's in store from the new members of the XI team!

G. Stone:


G. Stone is XI’s Socialite and weekly contributor. She’s a regular on the New York City social scene and is an expert of what’s hot and what’s NOT in the world of fashion! To compliment her writing credentials for XI, G. Stone also contributes to Limitè Magazine, where she writes articles about up and coming designers and collections, as well as Socially Superlative, where she discusses events held in the New York metro area. Not to be confused with your average socialite G. Stone is a loving mother and wife who works in the finance industry by day.


Xtherapist:


Xtherapist is XI’s therapist and weekly contributor. She's in her late 20's and prides herself on being a strong independent woman. Currently she resides on the East Coast with her VERY significant other and their 6 month pit bull terrier Jordan. By day she’s a Child & Family Therapist for a non-profit organization that has more than 20 programs committed to serving children and families. Xtherapist holds a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and is currently working toward enrolling in a doctorate program to polish off her educational credentials. She has worked in the mental health field for 6 years and prior to that she taught kindergarten. Her areas of expertise include nightmares, trauma, and mood disorders. In her spare time she enjoys reading and taking trips to Starbuck’s for her favorite drink, Iced Vanilla Chai Tea Latte- non fat milk! Xtherapist is also passionate about physical health and has recently been working towards getting healthier with daily exercise and proper nutrition. As a new blogger she's excited to be part of the XI team and looks forward to sharing ideas and topics with the XI family. Feel free to e-mail her at Xtherapist@gmail.com with your questions for advice.


J. Probe:


J. Probe is XI’s Content Contributor & Researcher. She’s our resident “go-to” person responsible for researching materials submitted for posting on the site as well as validating items for authenticity. Because of the role we’ve taken on as a relevant and credible online publication we pride ourselves on this aspect of our site as a key factor to the XI brand. XIX is knowledgeable and well-versed on various topics of interest and is well read and caught up with many current events we include on our website. She is our trusted source for factual information and her work is invaluable to XI.


Stay tuned as the madness unfolds...


Seriously Why...Joe Jackson?

Now I know I must be smoking because I KNOW I did not just witness a publicist, an attorney and a label name drop while discussing his son's death.

Seriously Joe...WHY pops?! Why?


*Blank stare*

Seriously Brett Favre...Why?

It's a painful thing in the world of football for athletes...when they reach the pinnacle of their career and must face the reality of hanging up the cleats. Most start planning their departure by exploring the many options available for retired athletes. Some do this by branching out into completely unrelated fields while accept job offers in sports broadcasting, coaching or front office positions within various franchises. However, regardless of the choice at the end of the day ALL must take these steps with dignity and honor out of respect for the players behind them whose turn has come to shine as they once did in their prime.

So why aren't we having a conversation like this about Brett Favre...why you ask? Seriously why...because Brett Favre hasn't had the aforementioned conversation with himself and clearly has no plans in doing so. Don't be fooled by the customary off season game of "Will Brett Favre retire?" where cameras set up shop in front of his home and his agent muddles through questions regarding his "future plans" and Brett submits his retirement paperwork to the NFL only to request for reinstatement right before training camp is set to begin. This tawdry scenario plays out year after year while the media forces it down the throats of millions of fans as if they don't know how the story ends.

Well I'm sick of it Brett! Seriously I am. What is it about your pathetic and obviously useless life that keeps you from allowing what many before you made sure you had with the full spotlight of that of a young promising career gives. First man up on the, "Brett's stealing my shine", spotlight show is Aaron Rogers. Drafted in 2005 Aaron was the passive apprentice groomed to fill the shoes of the future hall of famer whenever he decided to hang it up. But as the 14th & 15th seasons came and went Rogers as well as the Packers quickly realized that Favre had no intention of going out quietly so at the start of the 2008 off season the team was forced to pack up his locker and ship him out to New York to play for the Jets. Once he arrived in NY not only did Brett steal the shine from Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning he was the direct cause of Chad Pennington's departure from the team who had drafted him back in 2000. Pennington was shipped to the Miami Dolphins clearing a space for Favre now entering into 17th season in the league. Yes I said 17th season. I think it's appropriate to note that the Jets finished 9-7 in 2008 eventually releasing Favre during the off season and drafted Mark Sanchez in April.

Now as we enter into yet another summer of "Favre foolery" his next conquest are the Minnesota Vikings who seem poised to sign him pending an intense physical which will highlight questions about his throwing shoulder that he recently had surgery conducted on (which I'm convinced no longer contains human parts...but that of an old used car with various pieces of junk from other models holding it together.) However, I think it's clear judging from Favre's track record he's leaning towards playing, what with 17 seasons under his belt what's 18 right? But true to form standing in the way of Favre's "eternal football career" is another young QB in Tarvaris Jackson who will likely be cleared out of the way to make room for the dinosaur or worst Jackson will be reduced to backup after a decent season in 2008.

What has me baffled is if anyone is paying attention to the clear selfishness of this man who can't let the game go? We all know Favre is a hero and one of the greatest QB's in history...I get all of that. I personally love the guy. But I mean it's one thing to sign with a team to fill a need but these teams are casting good players aside to appease the whims of an old man afraid to face reality and move on. Seriously Brett move on dude...stop ruining the careers of young QB's because your name is golden to franchises who will NEVER get the full potential from your days in Green Bay. What you had years ago is gone. And what you're today is pathetic, annoying and unnecessary!

BOY.....BYE!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fashion: The XI Way...Shoe Rehab!

Sunday, June 28, 2009
So everyone has a shopping weakness. I have several but right now I’m definitely feeling platform sandals. I lost my mind this month and over shopped. I literally caught myself in a ball out moment, paused for a personal intervention and put myself on a serious timeout. And at the end of it all I still needed a few items. One was a cute pair of gold sandals. So I gave myself a challenge. I would purchase the sandals if, and only if, they were on sale and less than $50. Yeah I know I set myself up for mission impossible. To some, this may not sound so hard. My issue is I am not rich but I prefer not to buy certain brands (nothing wrong with them just a personal preference). I’m happy to say that I found a hot pair of gold sandals on sale for $19.99 and FREE shipping. Yup, sure did! Unlisted by Kenneth Cole – Lounge Wear (http://www.piperlime.com/). I was hesitant because I thought it was too good to be true. I thought they would either look chincy or feel like glass shards, I mean cheap leather, and cut into my sensitive feet. I was pleasantly surprised! These sexy gold gladiator platforms are HOT! And they look even hotter on. I love bright pink toes so my feet just pop in these good thangs. Unfortunately, they don’t have many sizes left (yippee, I don’t want everyone in my shoes) but they do have a silver pair for $29.99. I’m in a sharing is caring mood… Enjoy!










**LIVE BLOGGING THE BET AWARDS**


Tune in TONIGHT at 8pm to BET for an all-star tribute to the greatest of all time, Michael Jackson! Artists such as Beyonce, Tyrese, Keri Hilson, Trey Songz, Usher, and New Edition, just to name a few will be paying tribute.
Stay tuned to XI tonight as well...we will be LIVE blogging all night! CAN'T wait for you to join us!



His memory will live on!



8:05pm - So, maybe BET left the best for the Awards show, because the pre-show was "blah" in a word!
-Opening the show...New Edition performing the Jackson 5's hits... Mmm...well alright...they obviously haven't perform together in a while. It was ok... And was that Bobby Brown looking all plump?!
8:17pm - Jamie Foxx is too funny! I wanted him to bust his a$$ doing that damn Moonwalk. LOL!
8:18pm - And did Tyra just call Lil' Wayne "Lil Wheezer?!"
8:23pm - Jamie Foxx and these outfits! LMAO! BET better get their techincal difficulties together!
8:27pm - Keri Hilson...uh-no...Her vocals definitely weren't on point. SORRY, K. Hills!
8:30pm - Niiiiice performance Ne-Yo! But, um, you SHOULD'VE kept that hat on in honor of Mike because that bald head with those fugly 80s glasses on...NOT a good look!
8:41pm - Alright Jamie, I'm feeling this performance. HOT! But, WTH was Snoop doing up there? Is he a hype man now? And T-Pain with that big a$$ chain...I know he's going to need a chiropractor backstage.
8:48pm - "The 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - Hit Wonder" -- Jamie about Soulja Boy... LMAO!
9:04pm - B is on IamXI's HIT list! Did she just put on a swan's dress and HALO! I'M OUTRAGED!!!
9:14pm - Ok, Jamie and Martin are fools for that one! LOL! But, am I the only one wishing that wasn't a pretend movie?
9:20pm - Thanks Mary Mary... That performance w/ Queen was the only highlight for me out of like 20 so far... this BET Awards has been a snore so far except for that performance.
9:22pm - TRE TRE TRE DE CLASE! Did Zoe just put Ms. Nichols on blast by saying she was in the ladies room when they were suppose to be on stage together to present an award?! Ugh! What she couldn't hold it?! Where was her Depends?!
9:29pm - NE-YO, PLEASE PLEASE put that MJ hat back on!!! Your dome is blinding me!!! "She can pay all the bills and take me out in this recession...in this recession..." Really, Jamie? LOL!
9:32pm - OK! Keith Sweat and those fingerwaves...
9:44pm - Ciara needs to stick to what she does best and that's DANCING! She needs a beat because she CAN'T sing it with piano.
9:51pm - I'm feeling this Keyshia and Monica performance...Keyshia has finally gotten it right. She came down those stairs somewhat gracefully and her voice is on pitch. Pretty good...
9:52pm - Citi Trends, BET?! Oh no... not where you can get lucite heels and spandex dresses...
9:57pm - Big ups to James Young...
9:58pm - BET and these damn breaks ON AIR...get it together, BET!
10:10pm - Thanks Jay for declaring D.O.A.
10:13pm - Don Cornelius aka the BET Mob Boss... He sounds like he's about to fall asleep...OH NO! He can't read the teleprompter with his glasses on?!
10:17pm - TEVIN CAMPBELL?! What rock did they find him up under? Where has he been?!
10:21pm - Tyrese, Johnny, and Trey look good and sound great! Nice tribute to the O'Jays...
10:27pm - Where is Don's theme music off that damn stage, he is taking up precious time! I am so bored with him right now... Lawdy...
10:29pm - Yes, we remember that song, Don...we just heard it! WAIT! Did the O'Jays just play Don by saying "he's always been that slow?" LMAO!
10:45pm - As you can see IamXI took a personal intermission break... I'll be back when it gets interesting again...
11:08pm - Tyrese & Taraji...cute & funny!
11:10pm - BABY MAMAS accepting awards now?! What?! Is she going to take it to him when she goes for her visitation?! This is EMBARRASSING!
11:22pm - Aww, Maxwell had me feeling like slow dancing.
11:29pm - Wait...was Drake on the Nickelodean or N network? I think he was on All That...
11:32pm - YES, he was on Degrassi: The Next Generation... Woooooow...
11:34pm - Did Lil' Wayne just have his kids on stage performing with him?! :-O
11:40pm - (tear) Aww, Janeeeeet...
11:41pm - THANK YOU, BABY JESUS, FOR THE MJ TRIBUTE FINALLY!
11:42pm - Ne-Yo needs a lace front wig fo real!
11:47pm - THAT'S IT?!
11:59pm - I'm still awaiting the relevant tributes to MJ...(still staring at the screen in disbelief)... I feel bamboozled! BET hoodwinked me! IamXI fell for the okey doke! BET has run amuck!
I must say that this awards show failed to meet my expectations...so sad, so sad...

Thursday, June 25, 2009 - NBA Draft Party



There were a ton of parties Thursday night in NYC to celebrate the NBA draft. First stop: 40/40 club. I arrived at 11:30ish and expected to see a massive line. To my surprise, there were more bouncers outside than guests and you actually needed to know your confirmation number to get it. Glad I didn’t delete the confirmation email. Minutes later, I walked in and realized it was very close to standing room only downstairs. It was packed and the draft wasn’t even over yet! I heard the DJ give a shout out to Diddy but I didn’t see him and can’t confirm he was there. While trying to walk around the lower level, I locked eyes with one of the Flavor of Love girls. I remembered the face but couldn’t remember her name for anything! I googled it and it was Smiley aka Leilene Ondrade. Very pretty girl but back to my recap. Upstairs a mass of party goers huddled together attempting to make their way to the VIP rooms. After about 30 minutes, the massive sandwich moved about 3 steps forward. I’d had enough at that point and it was time to move on.

Next stop: M2 Ultra Lounge. The bouncers were quite selective and it was obvious you needed a “hook up” to get in (thanks Joy!) but once I was in, it all made sense. The place was crammed with celebs, athletes, and reality TV folks. M2 is a huge venue. It was packed but definitely better than 40/40. VIP was a zoo but who doesn’t want to get in, walk around and see who else is in there???? Thanks Joy and Ebony for the VIP hook up! Unfortunately, I didn’t see and probably didn’t recognize all the celeb or the reality TV folks at M2 but here’s my list: Kevin Hart (comedian), Brooke & Christian (BET’s Harlem Heights), Jordan Hill (Knicks draft pick), Jadakiss (rapper), Pepa (rapper/author), Rockwilder (producer), Trey Songz (singer), Meagan Good (actress) and T-Weed (VH1’s I Love NY season 1 and I Love Money season 2). DJ Clue, DJ Mr. Cee and DJ S&S keep the party going and weaved in lots of Michael Jackson classics. All in all it was a great night. I was dead at work the next day but it was worth it!

Living off the Wall Weekend: Usher Walks off Larry King Live!

In a stand-up move Usher Raymond reportedly walked off the set of Larry King Live when the conversation about Michael Jackson went negative. Mr. King, other guests and "experts" are among a growing list of journalist and news networks dead set on highlighting the negative aspects on the tail end of MJ's life, instead of respecting his family, children and fans who are still heavily mourning his unexpected death on Thursday June 25th.

I've always liked Usher but now I LOVE HIM for taking a stand and not participating in the media's desire to taint MJ's legacy!

Here's Usher's statement to Larry King before walking off the show:

“I realize this is your platform, but a family has lost a son, a brother, a father and they are still mourning the loss, all the other stuff will eventually come out but I can’t believe we are sitting here talking about addiction at this point!”

I feel like Usher's actions should start a MOVEMENT so I have chosen to stage a one woman boycott starting now of CNN, CNN.com, Fox News, Entertainment Tonight, E Online & MSNBC until further notice for such disgusting coverage of MJ. There's absolutely NO RESPECT for the dead anymore and it's a true shame! So thank you Usher for waking us all up...

Living off the Wall Weekend: President Obama Writes Letter to Jackson Family

President Obama has written a personal letter expressing his condolences to the Jackson family.

Dr. Conrad describes MJ's final moments. Jackson family expresses their concern over doctor responsible for Michael's health.

TheYBF.com (who has been on point all weekend with MJ updates) has some rare candid pictures of MJ with his family and friends. Love seeing MJ smile!

Debbie Rowe is bowing out of custody battle for kids.

Jackson family planning Global Tribute for MJ Memorial.

Janet & Brothers may do a "Tribute to MJ tour" NICE!

More photos from NecoleBitchie.com. Some of these pics give me chills! I hope to store these in a safe place...my kids will know this man!

As if we didn't already know but the BET Awards will be one big MJ Tribute show. And I'm going to watch every minute of it for the first time since the awards show began.

I HOPE YOU ALL ARE CELEBRATING THE LIFE & LEGACY OF MICHAEL JACKSON THIS WEEKEND!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Living off the Wall Weekend: Updates, updates, updates...

Saturday, June 27, 2009
As if running from the police for questioning wasn't shady enough...Dr. Conrad Murray has now hired an attorney and has put out a statement claiming his innocence...Story here

TMZ is reporting that Michael Jackson's kids want to live with Katherine Jackson and not with their mother Debbie Rowe. This may get interesting...story here.

TheYBF.com is reporting that the BET Awards will have most of their performances dedicated to MJ in some way or another. Can.Not.Wait.

Here's the statement from BET Executive Stephen Hill:

"This weekend’s awards will be heavily focused on Michael Jackson and his legacy:“This will be a show heavy on Michael Jackson’s memory. I think what you’re going to find is that acceptance speeches for awards will have nothing to do about the artists themselves, but about the influence that Michael Jackson had on them,” Hill said Thursday in a phone interview from Los Angeles.

“A show like this takes a good six months to put together, so when something happens three days before, it’s going to be done fueled by emotions,” he said.

Hill said many of the celebrities who will appear on the show — including Beyonce, Wyclef Jean, Maxwell and Ne-Yo — contacted BET to see how they could help prepare a tribute.

“Within minutes after its happening, we had calls from different artists — all asking what can they do” and how could they pay tribute to Jackson, he said."

Here's The NAACP's official statement in response to the death of Michael Jackson:

“Michael Jackson’s dedication to humanitarian issues, including helping to raise untold millions of dollars to alleviate poverty and hunger, showed us that he understood how to use his fame to advocate for equality and freedom worldwide. Michael’s compassion and vision for a better world, which he so clearly expressed in his music, will be part of his ongoing legacy,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.

In the African American tradition of the great song and dance men Michael’s incomparable, talent and creativity influenced music, dance and culture for decades. His love of soul, rhythm and blues, and rock & roll, all performed with his innovative unique style captured the hearts and imagination of generations of fans.

“NAACP Image Award winning, international superstar, Michael Jackson was a musical artist rooted in the proud tradition of black American music. His career — from the working-class neighborhoods of Gary, Indiana, to the heights of the entertainment industry — is a classic example of the American Dream. Michael Jackson, and the talented Jackson family, represented pride and promise to generations of Americans and people around the globe." concluded Jealous

And it looks like the drama over Michael's death and legacy has officially begun...

Custody battle over MJ's kids looms...

MJ's family to conduct independent autopsy.

Oh how I wish this was true! Story here. But since this reaks of internet scammery...stir clear of this RUMOR!

Does anybody remember the "Thriller Inmates"? If not here's your refresher or introduction for others. And yesterday in a heartfelt tribute they made another video honoring the King of Pop. I heart these guys!

Additional celebrities react to MJ's death...

Diana Ross: “I can’t stop crying, this is too sudden and shocking. I am unable to imagine this. My heart is hurting. I am in prayer for his kids and the family.”

Lil Wayne: “I personally can’t believe it,” Lil Wayne told MTV News. “But it’s more unfortunate for the world of music. … My love goes out to his family. … A sad day in history, not [just] music.”

Chris Brown: “Michael Jackson is the reason why I do music and why I am an entertainer. I am devastated by this great loss, and I will continue to be humbled and inspired by his legacy. My prayers are with his family. Michael will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. He’s the greatest … the best ever. No one will ever be better.”

R.Kelly: “I am truly saddened that my Mentor, Brother and Friend will no longer be with us physically. At the same time, I feel so blessed to have been touched by his Music, his Dance, his Lyrics, and his Pure Genius. It is because of Michael’s yesterday that I am who I am today! My condolences to his family and friends around the world. Michael Jackson Rest in Peace and may your music and legacy forever reign on earth!

Britney Spears: “I was so excited to see his show in London. We were going to be on tour in Europe at the same time and I was going to fly in to see him. He has been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I’m devastated he’s gone!”

Living off the Wall Weekend...TIME Magazine Special MJ Edition


TIME Magazine will publish a special commemorative issue on Michael Jackson to hit newsstands on Monday, the newsweekly has announced. Which means I'll be waiting outside of B&N at 5:00 am to obtain my copy! They had BETTER make a bizillion copies to accommodate the demand for this one!

*tear*

Friday, June 26, 2009

MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE...IGNITING THE LEGACY! LIVING OFF THE WALL WEEKEND!

Friday, June 26, 2009
This post will be updated periodically throughout the weekend!

Check back for updates!

It's an MJ Tribute Weekend...honor his LIFE by IGNITING HIS LEGACY!

Michael Jackson Newspaper Headline's Around the World Slideshow

The New York Time's:"Shock and Grief Over Jackson's Death"

From the Huffington Post...story and pictures here.

From twitter via Vibe Magazine:

Usher: “May God cover you Michael. We all lift your name up in prayer. I pray for the entire JACKSON family particularly Michael’s mother, children and all his fans that loved him so much. I would not be the artist, performer, and philanthropist I am today without the influence of Michael. I have great admiration and respect for Him and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and perform with such a great entertainer, who in so many ways, transcended the culture. He broke barriers, he changed radio formats! With music, he made it possible for people like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama to impact the mainstream world. His legacy is unparalleled. Michael Jackson will never be forgotten.”

Beyonce: “The incomparable Michael Jackson has made a bigger impact on music than any other artist in the history of music. He was magic. He was what we all strive to be. He will always be the King of Pop! Life is not about how many breaths you take, but about how many moments in life that take your breath away. For anyone who has ever seen, felt, or heard his art, we are all honored to have been alive in this generation to experience the magic of Michael Jackson. I love you Michael.”

Diddy: Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life!! He made me believe in magic. I will miss him!

Vanessa Simmons: The death of Michael Jackson came as such a surprise to me. At first I felt incredibly saddened, but as I sat and thought of Michael Jackson, the greatest entertainer of our time, it put a smile on my face. He was such a dynamic person who touched tonssssssssssssss of people with his talent! That’s incredible! A round of applause for Micheal

Madonna: “I can’t stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever! My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless.”

Russell Simmons
: Michael Jackson was my generation’s most iconic cultural hero. Courageous, unique and incredibly talented. He’ll be missed greatly.

Mariah Carey: I am heartbroken. My prayers go out to the Jackson family,and my heart goes out to his children. Let us remember him…

Brandy: It hasn’t hit me YET!!! I know when it does I will be a f**kin WRECK!!!!! I loved and still LOVE Michael Jackson!!!

Quincy Jones: “I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news. For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don’t have the words. Divinity brought our souls together on The Wiz and allowed us to do what we were able to throughout the 80’s. To this day, the music we created together on “Off The Wall,” “Thriller” and “Bad” is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all…talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I’ve lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him.”

Erykah Badu: Thank you Michael for your hard work , dedication ,philanthropy,& the sacrifice of your young spirit . Your vision and imagination live thru us. I don’t know what to say.

From Necole Bitchie.com: Rare Photos and Videos of Michael Jackson

From TheYBF.com: Micheal Jackson Gone Too Soon

Reuters: Disbelief from fans greets Michael Jackson's death

The Washington Post: Michael Jackson "King of Pop"

CBS News: A Look Back: Jackson at the White House

CNET: News sites swamped following Michael Jackson's death

HuffingtonPost.com has dedicated a Michael Jackson Big News Page to his memory. Wonderful things are on there that you should check out!

From Huffington Post: House pauses to remember Michael Jackson (the stuff LEGENDS are made of I tell you)

Repairing A Damaged Relationship

John & Kate plus 8 fans are shocked, outraged, not surprised and some unconcerned. Recently TLC aired a Special Announcement from one of America’s favorite families disclosing their decision regarding their relationship status. For those of you are out of the loop, John and Kate have announced they are getting a divorce.

Many of you are probably asking why are we talking about John and Kate’s relationship? Well welcome to Xclusivity Therapy section where real lives and real situations are answered, dissected and reviewed. I am the Xtherapist and I will be writing and responding to questions on the blog. This is not to say that the information provided is the only way or the best way to go but it is another opinion and view from someone who knows absolutely nothing about you other than the information you provide. If you are open minded and able to look at situations from a different perspective which may cover several dynamics; if you like to exercise your mind then this is the Xact spot for you!

Where did it all go wrong? I do not have the answer to this question because I do not have all the facts; I only know what TLC, the tabloids, newspapers and magazines have disclosed. However, I can say that the decision to continue to air the show is sickening and gives the assumption that the family has not done the work needed to repair the relationship. I know what you’re thinking… John cheated and acted out; Kate is rude and controlling! This may all be true or not but nonetheless a damaged relationship can be repaired. I am not saying that the marriage may not still end in a divorce. I am talking about repairing what was damaged and creating the puzzle pieces for how to move forward and eventually how to co-parent while living apart (To be posted in the next Xtherapy column). We live in a real world where often it is better to avoid then to deal with the feelings and emotions. I want to provide you with some simple steps that may be helpful if you are going through a break up. Not necessarily an intimate relationship because the steps provided can help you with a damaged friendship, a damage relationship with a family member or co-worker. See a relationship is just a title of a union of two or more people involved, intimate or not. Remember these are merely ideas to get you started on a road to repair.

I want you to remember that people change. No one is the same person they were 5, 10 or even 30 years ago. When you begin to see the change take notice react. Don’t wait to see how long it is going to take for the phase to be over because it is possible that it may not be a phase.

Acknowledge your feelings and stay true. This is one of the weaknesses John appears to have on the show. He often states, “ I did not choose this life, it was chosen for me. I did not speak up.” This brings me to my next point create boundaries. Creating boundaries will help people to understand and respect your limits. It sets the tone for the things you will and will not tolerate.

Take time out to evaluate your situation alone. Friends and families are great, but think about what you want vs what you need before you talk to someone else. This will help to eliminate someone’s feelings being transferred to you. Bring it back to basics and create a pros and cons list and or use a journal to organize your thoughts and feelings to help decrease feeling overwhelmed.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate, I cannot say it enough. Communicating does not consist of yelling, screaming or using cut throat words. No matter what word you use and or say the other person WILL never feel how you felt and or feel. What? I know this is what you are saying but think about it. Feelings are emotions and they are personal. This means you own your feelings. Yes, I know what it feels to be sad or even happy; therefore, I can relate to your feelings but I will not feel exactly how you feel. Therefore, why waste energy on something that no one except you gets. At the end of the day when the arguing and tears are all over and done the situation has not changed for the better. I tell my client’s screaming is a way for an adult to tantrum. Think about it kids tantrum when they are not getting their way and or they cannot communicate. Well, adults scream when they feel people are not listening and or do not understand their point, most of the time. If you feel the conversation has taken a turn down blame lane, take a time out and revisit the matter later. I am not sure where we picked up the habit that you have to say it all now or you will never have the chance to, is beyond me. If you are working on repairing a relationship it cannot be done in one night. Take a step back and acknowledge you need space and time to bring yourself back together. Look for the future blog, which will highlight Effective Communication.

Take care of your self. Read a book, take a bubble bath, bake some dessert, take a walk, run or jog, or listen to music. These are all outlets that can be helpful in soothing your mind. If you know how to meditate or you take yoga those techniques are also great. It is important to pay extra attention to your mental health and physical health when going through a break up or relationship strain.

If you are working harder than the other person rethink your options. Be clear if you truly are working more than the other person by following the above step of creating a pros and cons list. If what you want them to do is not happening that does not mean they are not working it means you are angry because you are not getting you way and that is another article. Keep in mind that sometimes people are so hurt that they are unable, right away, to work on the repair. It may be helpful to take a week or two to just think and evaluate yourself and relationship.

I hope that some of the aforementioned steps will be helpful in future relationships that become strained. Sometimes it is not possible to repair a relationship to the point where you may stay in contact but often it is possible to repair the relationship in order to close the door and move forward.

" Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." ~ President Barack Obama


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Thursday, June 25, 2009

***BREAKING NEWS*** Michael Jackson Dies of Cardiac Arrest!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

UPDATE:

CNN is now reporting that Michael Jackson has DIED!

I can't deal! This is so sad and unreal. Michael Jackson R.I.P.


Michael Jackson rushed to hopsital after suffering from cardiac arrest according to CNN.

Stay tuned to XI as we update you with the latest details.

Updates from TMZ.com:

He was picked up at his home around 20 minutes ago -- we're told his mother is on the way to visit him.

UPDATE: The 911 call came in at 12:21PM at his Holmby Hills home in L.A.

UPDATE: A Jackson family member tells TMZ Michael is in "really bad shape" and the brothers are headed to UCLA.

UPDATE: We just got off the phone with Joe Jackson, Michael's dad, who says "he is not doing well."

TMZ is reporting that Michael Jackson has died!

HOWEVER THAT REPORT HAS NOT YET BEEN CONFIRMED!
UPDATE: We've just learned Michael Jackson has died. He was 50.

Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hill home and paramedics were unable to revive him. We're told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back.
Michael is survived by three children: Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince "Blanket" Michael Jackson II.

Jackson had 13 number one hits during his solo career.

CNN is STILL reporting that the Pop singer is still in the hospital. No major news organization has confirmed his death.



Keeping Up With the Joneses!


Ok, XI fam, let’s switch channels from the hilariously funny shenanigans of Bridezillas on WeTV to tonight’s episode of the ‘tug on your heartstrings’ show, Wedding Day on TNT. Tonight’s episode features a couple that IamXI have had the privilege to get to know within the past year, Jaénelle and Nykolas Jones. Detroit natives, Jaénelle and Nyk, have known one another since grade school but didn’t begin dating until years later. The two quickly fell in love and became pregnant with their daughter, Anayah, in 2007. The couple decided to wed, but their wedding plans were put on hold when Jaénelle delivered early and Anayah was diagnosed with a non-functioning kidney. This prognosis was especially difficult for Jaénelle, a neo-natal intensive care nurse at Children’s Hospital. After Anayah’s risky surgery and mounting medical bills, the couple no longer had the funds for a big, elaborate wedding…


Enter creator Mark Burnett, Wedding Day producers, Anna Richardson and Exceptional Events (a premier wedding and event design company in Detroit), the Wedding Day co-hosts Alan Dunn (celebrity event planner, TLC's For Better or For Worse) and Diann Valentine (celebrity wedding designer), R&B singer Joe (who sang during the couple’s first dance), co-workers (who tipped Jaénelle off to a mass e-mail about Burnett's national search for engaged couples with a story to tell), and countless family members and friends who all assisted in making Jaénelle and Nyk’s day a VERY special one. They were wed on August 8, 2008 and their wedding was "beyond their dreams and so much more," says bridesmaid, Vi’Nessa Webster. Jaénelle and Nyk have not seen a preview episode of their nuptials yet. So, they will be viewing it for the first time with their entire wedding party, Anayah (who is great now and loves to dance & sing to the BEP’s "Boom Boom Pow"), their new baby girl Kennedy (born just this past Saturday), and the rest of America. Hope you have the Kleenex ready because this one will be a tearjerker with a few laughs…thanks to my dear friends, comedian Phil Newkirt, Doraine Swift, Vi’Nessa Webster, and Toi Webster.


I urge all of our fellow Xfactors to tune in to TNT, TONIGHT at 8pm eastern, to witness a compelling story about true friends who marry one another on the second episode of the Wedding Day. I know IamXI will be tuned in... I mean, who doesn't like a great love story with a fairytale ending? And hey, Detroit will be seen in a totally different light for once too!

Official eXclusive Sneak Peek!




Musing over Macchiato's & AFTERNOON Papers


Good afternoon everyone! I know you see that this blog is on fiyah today...well get used to it because we've added new contributors and ish is about to hit the fan in 5,4,3,2,1...ow!

Let get to today's top news stories...

Farrah Fawcett loses her battle with cancer and dies at 62. Very sad story.

I called this on Tuesday when the story first broke. I knew the Govenor's disappearance wasn't just some break he needed to take to clear his head. After admitting to having an affair and being kicked out by his wife his political future is now in jeopordy. Story here

Ok Mr. Ahmenyomama (President of Iran Ahmadinejad) might want to watch his mouth. Comparing President Obama to Bush will definitely get your teeth knocked out over in these parts. And possibly some of your people bombed.

Punks jump up to get beat DOWN...so knuck if you buck North Korea. I'm bout sick of all this poppin' off at the lip. Don't know they know folks over here have NO PROBLEM wiping out their country. None!

Cute story...the White House Goes Hawaiian.

Controversial iPhone porn application launches :-O Hide the kiddies!

Fashion: The XI Way...Say it ain't so, J.Lo!



So, I guess the recession is hitting everyone in the pockets these days. It seems that Jennifer Lopez has temporarily suspended her line Sweetface as it enters a restructuring phase, WWD reported Wednesday. Sweetface, a clothing line created for the ‘about-town diva within’ in 2003, was Jenny from the Block’s 3rd attempt at a clothing brand that no longer exists in the U.S. Her J.LO brand (launched in 2001) was shut down in the U.S. and replaced with justsweet, launched in 2007, a sexy & sparkly mix of pants, jumpsuits and dresses to bridge the gap between her casual J.LO line and the high-fashion Sweetface. justsweet was discontinued after only a few seasons. In 2006, the Sweetface brand reported $200 million in sales, as it converted its initial urban street wear brand to that of one of higher-end fashions. In a company statement, the Sweetface line plans "to reintroduce the brand in the near future with new messaging points and an entirely new fashion point of view."

Again?! I guess three’s the charm when realigning brands and visions for those brands in her case... Well, maybe, that remains to be seen. I’m assuming slumping sales and a downward sloping economy are due to these brands demise, (here’s hoping) and not her creative designs because Lopez is a talented individual and has been touted as one of Hollywood’s ‘best dressed’. However, designing may not be her forté. In my opinion, naming clothing lines Sweetface and justsweet does not appeal to many grown women in our movement and would have been better suited for a little girl’s designer clothing line. I don’t know about you, but grown women aren’t ‘justsweet’ or ‘Sweetface.’ We want to exude sexiness and sophistication, not sweetness. And as for her fashions, tracksuits for IamXI are on reserve for comfort and relaxation only and not for attending parties and walking red carpets. I didn’t much follow her clothing lines after I graduated from college in 2003 due to the fact that all I saw were those damn tracksuits, but obviously she has been missing more than hitting when it comes to her brands.

But, hey, if you are one who is checking for Lopez’s clothing lines, Sweetface debuted its Spring 2009 collection late last year and can currently be found in stores such as Intermix. And the J.LO brand is still selling overseas in 40 countries.

Intercepted: Shaq traded to the Cavaliers

Like we didn't see this coming...Shaquillle O'Neal traded to the Cavaliers. If Shaq had a million dollars for every young superstar basketball one step away from a championship who's careers he's helped launch, he'd be a very rich man. Oh wait...HE does and he's on his way to making more for another one!

The NBA just got 10 times more interesting. In a "stunning" move the Phoenix Suns, fresh off of yet another disappointing season (I still love you A'mare) and financially hurting had to trade their only hope for a championship player Shaquille O'Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Yes...THIS Cleveland. Btw, I know EVERY word to this song!


Their economy is sure to get a boost not only from the signing ALONE, but the reward teams get from the signing in the end. We all know what happens when the Diesel comes to town (see Kobe & D. Wade) So it's only a matter of time before he brings one to Cleveland. I wonder what the stories will ready after Shaq wins a championship FOR Lebron. Will the discussion and criticism towards Kobe be passed onto King James now that Kobe has secured his Shaq-less ring?

Hmmmm...only time will tell tell but I'm calling an early Kobe/Gasol-Lebron/Shaq finals! Yup heard it here first!

Sorry Chocolate Shoulders the original "Superman" is back in East! The Cavs just got DIESELED!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 – Socially Superlative 1st Anniversary Event

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In celebration of its 1st anniversary, Socially Superlative, in conjunction with City Harvest, held an event at Inc Lounge (2nd floor of the Time Hotel) in NYC. Socially Superlative is an online journal that covers events, opening, launches, shopping events, cultural events and basically anything else hot taking place in New York City. Ivy Bakery (http://www.ivybakery.com) provided complimentary cupcakes (Yum!) and guest who donated to City Harvest, were given gift bags filled with treats from the hottest Manhattan spas and boutiques. It’s always nice when you attend an event and leave with gifts! Inc Lounge is a chic and cozy venue, which was perfect for this event. There were lots of photographers, event planners, socialites, bloggers, media, overall a nice crowd. Congrats Socially Superlative!
 
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