In July, 2008, I, Princess Rachella, Intrepid African American Girl International Journalism Consultant, pulled up stakes once again and headed to Nairobi, Kenya. Through my various adventures, I've concluded that if I get any MORE explosively fabulous in these prequel years to "THE BIG 5-0," I will have to register myself with the Pentagon as a thermonuclear incendiary device.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
But at least I've been having a fantastic time in Washington. My friends Deb and Ray have made me feel so welcomed and comfortable in their lovely home. They threw a terrific dinner party Friday, and yesterday, Deb and I laughed till we choked watching Robin Williams at Constitution Hall, while Ray chilled with a good book in front of the fireplace. And last night, at a party I almost tried to worm my way out of, I danced harder and longer than I have in years, to music performed by people with names like "Lady Gaga," and "The Flaming Lips." Both of which sound like troubling physical ailments.
I also saw friends I hadn't seen in ages. I worked with Jodi for 3 years at Knight Ridder's Washington bureau, and she's now a successful freelancer (I've never even met her 8 year old daughter!!!). Her husband Terry has been running a wildly successful online news portal
geared toward African Americans, but will be switching to directing communications for a environmental advocacy group soon. Lynn covers President Obama for a major newspaper, and is a network news analyst. Alicia, our graciously grooving hostess, is the Ombudsman (Woman? Person??) for NPR. I went to the party with my friend Kitty, who's an NPR editor. I'd actually seen Kitty a few months ago, in Nairobi of all places, where she was part of a group of editors studying issues in developing countries.
Here's the thing. Lynn reminded me that back in 1996, when I was living two blocks from the US Capitol, I threw a big party as a mixer of sorts, because I was about to assume the presidency of the Journalism and Women Symposium, or JAWS. I decided it would be a great PR for the organization, and a good chance to network. I started cooking on a Monday for a Thursday evening party which remains my personal best: about 40 people packed into that second floor townhouse. I even invited some of the bigwigs I'd brushed shoulders with as a DC reporter, and so folks were shocked when Eleanor Smeal and Marjorie Margolies Mezvinsky arrived and started working the room.
Last night, Lynn told me she had just started hearing about JAWS when she came to that party, and now she's been a devoted member every since. She even started throwing the annual DC JAWS mixers! It was a wonderful reminder of how much power we have as women, if we're not afraid to reach out and support each other.
So I 've decided there's really something to that six degrees of separation concept. And for the rest of my time in the US, I can't let little things like 17 degrees and a windchill factor of 1 degree keep me from reaching out to reconnect.