Meet Howard J. Davis, the filmmaker behind C’est Moi

Howard J. Davis was born in Britain and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.  C’est Moi, based on the tragic death of Marie-Josèphe Angélique  an 18th century slave, is Howard’s first film to scre…

Source: Meet Howard J. Davis, the filmmaker behind C’est Moi

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Will the real MVP please stand up?

We are witnessing one of the most fascinating countdowns to greatness in NBA history.  In a house full of sons who have all made their picks, this is probably the first year we are definitively divided.

NBA Finals

A few short weeks ago, the reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors, demonstrated one of the greatest Western conference finals comebacks against the Oklahoma City Thunder.  With their butts in a sling following two back-to-back beatdowns from OKC, they were 48 game minutes away from being launched into the losers circle of all-time greatest upsets.  I was horrified as I watched them crumbling before my eyes after recording the best regular season record in NBA history.  Throughout the year they were unstoppable. No one had an answer for the elite “small ball” Warriors.  What they lacked in size they more than made up for in heart and skill set.  About 0ne-third into the season, the idea of a back-to-back championship appeared inevitable.  However, there was one looming test they would have to pass.  It was the one matchup most of the commentators were anticipating would foretell the future outcome. Inquiring minds wanted to know, how would the Golden State Warriors measure up against the Oklahoma City Thunder?

kevin and russell

The Oklahoma City Thunder are by far one of the best teams in professional basketball.  Their season ended 3 weeks ago and I’m still thinking and talking about them.  OKC has an arsenal of weaponry in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.  They are young and they are fierce and they single handedly put their team and Oklahoma City on the map.  Yes, I know, basketball is a “team sport” and one of the biggest criticisms against them is their lack of ball movement and team play but that’s their game, and has worked for them – up until the point where it counts the most.  I can’t lie, a matchup between Kevin and Lebron would have been dreamy, and I would have been rooting for KD and Russell all the way.

As for the question, how would the Golden State Warriors measure up against the Oklahoma City Thunder?  Well, the Warriors more than measured up against the Thunder, beating them on both regular season meetings and overcame the insurmountable obstacle of being down 3 games to 1.  But oh how the tides have changed.

Lebron broom

It was just last week that the Golden State Warriors were ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers 3 games to 1.  They were on pace to closing the series out at home and came up shockingly short.  No worries, the champagne tastes better on the opponent’s court anyway, right?  Oh how sweet that victory would have been.  But not this time.  The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by their no nonsense powerhouse LeBron James, have a different plan for the reigning champs.  Lebron broke the broom when talks of a sweep were flooding the airways.  Will he Shaq-shatter the backboard glass on the head of the beloved MVP Steph Curry?  Only time will tell.

shattered backboard

Tonight is game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.  The season champion will be named.  Whichever way it goes, records will be broken and stars will shine.

champagne

The Gout de Diamants is on ice at the Oracle.

Who will be toasting this time?

Stay tuned!

Dear son, I’m sorry most people don’t have integrity.

One of the most daunting tasks I have as a mother is explaining away the disingenuous behaviors of others.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is – there’s no “probably” about it.  There’s an unfortunate downside to teaching my children to be men of integrity, who respect others and honor their words.  They expect the same treatment in return.  Teaching to be good and to do good must come with a cautionary warning: Most people don’t have integrity.


Since graduating high school, my middle son has sought out an interim post graduation program that will help him to develop as a student-athlete. Promises were made by well-known coaches and prestigious institution officials to secure his attendance at an elite prep school only to renege on every promise mid-season and usurp thousands of dollars and time that can never be recovered.  A lawsuit worthy cause? Perhaps.  My first priority, however, is to piece together the broken pieces of my son, his shattered dreams, cast cold-heartedly to the ground and discarded.

 

Image Credit: Jules Jovan

“Son, people are not who they seem, they are just people. Riddled with flaws and self-centered motivation.”

Shall I address the Bronx body shop, where my eldest son took his new car to tap out a dent that a fellow motorist caused while it was parked innocently on his college campus? As if the hit and run wasn’t enough, the body shop swapped several of his car’s factory-installed parts and replaced them with a few “chop shop specials”, unbeknownst to my son.  Several weeks later, there is smoke rising from under the hood. “Don’t worry son, just bring it to the dealership and have it checked out.”  Well, the underhanded work of the body shop was quickly uncovered.  As for his new car warranty, well that was voided based on the unauthorized replacement of the factory-installed parts.  Will the body shop owner ever admit what was done? Of course not. Will filing a formal complaint help recoup the financial losses associated with the unlawful act?  Not likely. The burden of proof lies with you and unless you have video documentation of the theft by the shop mechanic, it is a waste of time. “Son, all people can not be trusted. Research, investigate and choose wisely.  I wish I could protect you from every charlatan, every deceiver, every thief and heart-stealer. My dearest son, I’m so sorry that most people do not have integrity.”

A Festival for the Senses

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

It’s time to treat your senses to a breathtaking, flavorful and fun-tastic adventure at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival going on now through May 30, 2016.

In addition to Epcot’s longtime cherished attractions, interactive learning experiences and character meet & greets, you will find an exquisite culinary collection of authentic international cuisine, how-to gardening seminars and workshops, and interactive play gardens that glow at night!

See” all of the carefully crafted character topiaries including Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, making their 2nd festival appearance.

001-frozen-elsa-topiary-epcot-flower-and-garden
Photo Courtesy: DisneyScrollbook.com

Hear” the pulsating beats of timeless and treasured pop music bands with the Garden Rocks Concert Series featuring Peter Noone, Herman’s Hermits and Darlene Love – just to name a few.

Smell” more than the roses at the Healing and Health Garden display of ancient medicinal plants and herbs, and the grandiose floral arrays throughout the park.

“Taste” some of the finest delicacies showcased around the world, pamper your palate with specialty wines and mixed cocktails, and experience Florida Fresh – a sampling of unique blends of locally grown and produced ingredients.

epcot food
Photo Courtesy: disneygo.com

“Feel” the friendly flutter of butterfly wings against your ears or the soft tickle of their tiny legs as these treasured winged wonders grace the palms of your hands at the Butterflies on the Go exhibit.

butterfly garden
Photo Courtesy: disneygo.com

Create with children. Fellowship with friends. Make new memories.

Awaken your senses.

Book your Flower and Garden Festival Vacation today!

 

 

Chasing Chickens: The Not So Luxurious Side of Luxury Travel

“Catch me if you can!”

Running and chasing after friends as a child will always be a treasured memory.  Some kids always got caught first, my sister mostly.  Then I would let her tag me so I could help her catch the others.  This was our childhood, here in the United States, the land of the free.  Traveling, especially to the Caribbean, there is a different childhood story to be told.

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When The Mansion is Really a Sandcastle

Sandcastle-2
Photo Credit: Emily Miles of Ankeny, IA

We were the envy of the neighborhood, well at least our friendship was.  The joy of our youth was evident in the brightness of our smiles and infectious laughter.  The walls of our friendship were impenetrable, like a mansion reinforced with pure gold.  You were always the beauty queen, I suppose I was the sidekick but most superheroes have one so it never made a difference to me.  Neighborhood acquaintances since birth, best friends since preschool, surely we were a match ordained in Heaven.  How convenient that our houses were parallel to one another, a quick hop over my backyard fence, a little neighborly trespassing, and there I was, knocking on your door.  Sure I was the one doing all of the fence hopping but it didn’t matter, we were peanut butter and jelly, a perfect combination.

It was always fun visiting your house, hanging out with you and all of your sisters.  And the coziness of having both parents around was a welcomed glimpse into my alter life.  Living in a dual income home you surpassed me on the economic scale and getting a ride home from school from time to time was a welcomed luxury.  My mom didn’t drive, didn’t have a car and worked 2 jobs so life was slightly different for me even though I lived just around the corner.  It bothered me sometimes that your mom never let you spend the night at our place but our friendship could not be shaken and I was more than happy to stay at yours.  We were ebony and ivory, “living in perfect harmony” as I danced to whatever beat you played.

How awesome it was to get to attend private school together!  I’m not sure how my mother ever afforded it but I was so glad to have a friend to call my own as we entered elementary school together.  Boys always liked you better, that was a given.  We were just a couple of schoolgirls growing up and being silly.  Sometimes we dated boys that were best friends too just so we would never have to be apart.  Ugh! Remember that boy whose backpack I threw in the garbage because he kept getting on my nerves?  And the one who visited his grandfather every summer and dated nearly every girl in our crew, one after the other? Boys. Yuck!

Academically we were always at the top of our class.  Our dynamic duo was destined for greatness until life as we knew it took a dramatic turn.  I was skipped a grade and you weren’t.  How could they do this to us?!  To make matters worse, your parents transferred you to a different school far away.  My new classmates were horrible.  I often turned to my sister, who was now only a grade ahead of me, for comfort.  You were gone, and I was left sitting alone in a boat without a paddle.  I stayed home sick more times in that one year than I had throughout all of my school years combined.  We saw each other from time to time but life as we knew it was changed forever.  That first year without you was the longest year, at least it used to be.  When you re-enrolled for junior high school we were peas and carrots again – just like Forrest Gump and Jenny!

forrest and jenny

Our celebrated reunion was short-lived.  We were the same, but different.  There were a few noticeable changes in our lives. New friendships had formed, new habits developed, and our common interests were separating.  High school continued on this course with the two of us traveling at different speeds.

interlocking circles

Like interlocking circles, I had my friends, you had your friends, and sometimes, not often, it was just us.

High school nearly killed me, literally.  Perhaps you didn’t know that or maybe you did but didn’t really care.  I’ll never know.  Your new clique kept you pretty busy while I was treading water just to survive.  Graduation couldn’t come soon enough and before long I was on my way to college in sunny Florida.  Our buddy time was further reduced to occasional Spring breaks and holidays but it was always good to see you.  We kept tabs on each other from a distance and good news, as they say, always travelled fast.  Life doesn’t always work out the way we intend it to but we do the best we can with what we have been given.

Transitioning into adulthood we made a few similar choices.  Having our first sons born within months of each other would rekindle the bond between us later on as our children would become regular playmates and even greater friends.  Parenting was our specialty.  Day trips to the parks, birthday parties and barbecues became part of our regular routine – and we loved it!  By the time we were both pregnant with our third child, going to the beach bearing our big baby bellies was the glory of motherhood.  Remember when we took turns spelling words on each others’ backs with sunscreen?  We’ve been skinny together, fat together, then skinny again and sometimes in between.  Happy together, sad together and just trying to figure out what everything means.

Now I suppose a friendship like ours was not meant to last because now we have bad blood, as Taylor Swift describes best.

It was no secret that he was never good enough for you.  Not a bad man, just not good enough for you.  After countless years of trying to understand the attraction, I think we all concluded it was a mystery that could not be solved.  So what do you do when you don’t know what to do?  You go along with the program, just to keep the peace, because life with you was far better than without you.

What appeared to be a mansion constructed with bricks and mortar turned out to be a sandcastle, washed away in the first wave.  Few losses are greater than when friendships crumble.