Right now I am more overwhelmed with life than ever. I just found out that I’ve been accepted to a graduate writing program at USC (thanks to my work/your support of WWTD, might I add), and my head is spinning daily with unanswered questions about how I’m going to pay for it, how to get there, where to live, how to splash down in LA looking cute, what to do with my car, and how to say goodbye to Philly so I can proceed with this dream. Until I get my feet back on the ground and my head together posting will have to slow a bit because I’d way rather write than deal. But I should get it together soon – I feel really excited and fortunate and just cannot wait for this new chapter in life!
But while I have your ear, a few other “transitions” have gone on this week. We lost one of my favorite entertainers ever, the amazing Bea Arthur. This woman literally taught me the issues of the seventies through Maude (if you didn’t know, Maude also played a role in black entertainment history by serving as the spin-off vehicle for Good Times) and as Dorothy Zbornak in Golden Girls. She had such a strong female presence, unique deadpan delivery, and really pushed the envelope in all that she did. I’ve spent the days since her death looking at old clips and stumbled upon this really random one featuring Bea Arthur and a few other nostalgia nuggets singing “We Are a Family,” from Dreamgirls.
Ernie Barnes, former football player and extremely talented painter, also died this week. His rhythmic depictions of black life defined his style, and he is especially well-known for “The Sugar Shack,” the cover of Marvin Gaye’s album I Want You and the painting from the closing credits of Good Times. Incidentally, this random Jewish boy I kicked it with in college who thought he had soul called his dorm room “The Sugar Shack,” and until very recently I had no idea where he’d gotten that from. Needless to say his room looked nothing like the painting below, which should make you break out into the Good Times theme song at first glance.
Last but not least, one of my favorite bloggers has decided to hang up his hat. David Mills aka Undercover Black Man was one of the first readers I ever had and has encouraged me to come back and write every time I was ready to throw in the towel, which has led me to have a sort of friend in my head/what would UBM do?/I wanna be you when I grow up type of admiration for him. His blog has been one of my few regular reads since I learned what a blog even was (I’m really gonna miss the Random Japaneseness). In fact, many of you found my lil’ site through his in the first place, so instead of selfishly harassing him to keep blogging I’ll respect what is clearly a well thought out decision and wish him the best. I mean dude has Emmys for Jehovah’s sake, and I really can’t wait to see what he does next.