Qai Qai (The Doll) and Zoe are Total Boss Ladies

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL – Do you know Qai Qai?

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Have you not heard of this sweet, innocent, inspiring motivational Instagram poster?

Oh, I forgot to add that she is no pushover as well. She is the ultimate boss lady! She is like the miniature version of Anna Wintour. I imagine when you see her coming to your office, you don’t know if you should hide under the desk or talk about how nice your weekend was.

Right now, she has beef (a disagreement) with her brothers, the puppies. Since she doesn’t want to lose her role as the best friend to the CEO of her company, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. and the founders of the Williams-Ohanian Inc, she is making sure to show them who Qai Qai is!

For real, this girl is not messing around. You can see it on her Instagram feed.

Outside the family drama, Qai Qai is the doll I wished I had growing up as a black girl. Zoe, Quai Quai’s creator, was in kindergarten when she was teased because of her natural, kinky hair. This inspired her to help prevent other kids from being ashamed of their natural hair or skin color, which differed from the majority of popular dolls at the time. This led to the creation of Qai Qai and other dolls. Zoe’s goal was to empower the proud Mamas of these dolls, like Olympia, to love their skin in hopes they wouldn’t have to deal with the same issues she had in Kindergarten.

I was a big fan of Barbie but in the ’80s and ’90s. I envied her perfect, silky hair, which was so different from my own. Barbie was usually a princess or a bikini-clad beach bum without any real substance. This changed in the 2000s and I am so proud of Mattel for giving a more realistic, inspiring image to this classic doll.

In comparison, Qai Qai has this larger than life personality. She doesn’t take any crap from anyone. She reminds herself to be strong and confident. She enjoys her tutus and crazy expressions, and although she is sometimes afraid of being replaced by one of the dogs in Olympia’s heart, she maintains her confidence in talking about her feelings (I think hihi).

She is also really funny!

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Maybe, if dolls like Qai Qai were an option for me in my youth, I would have been more comfortable with my hair and playing with different styles for my type of hair, than wishing I had bouncy Caucasian locks.

We must be grateful to Wlliams-Ohanian Inc. for creating fabulous dolls, Zoe’s dolls. Oh, by the way, Zoe is only 12 years old! Not even a teen and she has already created a non-profit company.

That’s a boss lady right there!

On top of all this, Zoe has a heart of gold. She is collecting unwrapped dolls and donating them to girls in need, in Haiti for example.

Zoe

Qai Qai was created by a kind, thoughtful, and special little girl.

I may be 35, going 36 – a grown woman, but I still have the heart of a child. I will buy Zoe’s doll (and hug her) before I give it to my one-year-old cousin (I think I will buy 2, since her big sister may steal the doll). My hope is that they can feel proud of the skin they were born with and have Zoe and Qai Qai as role models.

Thank you Zoe, and thank you Qai Qai, for making me see there is still some kind of wonderful in this world.

https://www.instagram.com/realqaiqai/

Oh, please check out this video and don’t tell about it to Allstate Insurance…

Qai Qai and Olympia fight and reconciliation video

 

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Lee

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL – On a quiet Saturday morning, I woke up happy and grateful that it was Saturday. While I was looking at my dresser, where books from my favorite icons were on display, I laid my eyes on “Lee” by Lee Radziwill.

As I picked up my phone to check emails and Instagram, I told myself I will look at the book again this weekend since it had been a while. The first thing I saw on Instagram was Giambattista Valli saying goodbye to Lee! I quickly jumped out of bed thinking I was dreaming, but I wasn’t.

The glamorous Caroline Lee Bouvier Radziwill had passed away. It was such a sad coincidence that the same day I had glanced at her book on my dresser and wondered about looking at it and the magnificent pictures inside again, she passed away.

Lee Radziwill

For me, Lee was more than the sister of Jacqueline Kennedy. She was her own person. Her feisty personality, her undeniable sense of style, her wit and her sense of humor made her a very special person. If you don’t have the chance to watch her interview with Sofia Coppola, please go on YouTube to see it.

She was magical and so funny.

Her life may have been glamorous, but she had her share of tragedies too. She didn’t let them break her spirit. She lost her dear son, Anthony Radziwill, to cancer (damn you cancer!). There is nothing worse for a parent than the loss of a child.

My comfort is that one day (or maybe it’s already happening), she will be reunited with her dear son; she will hold him in her arms again.

John, Ed and Anthony

I hope that during this réunion, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and all of the puppies she had come running toward her and Anthony to give them love and so many hugs.

In the end, many other friends and members of her family are joining this big homecoming party. Her son, her sisters, her nephew, her friends, and her puppies are all walking on the beach, happy and serene.

I truly hope her homecoming will be like this.

The world is a little less glamorous and fun without Lee. It’s definitely the end of the golden age of class. Maybe we should carry her legacy.

You know what, I think we should carry her legacy with pride and with class.

I will end this post with one of her quotes:

I believe that without memories there is no life and that our memories should be of happy time. – Lee Radziwill

 

Lee's eyes

Can we still be friends MJ, Kobe, ​and LeBron? Can we?​

Written by Sabine Démosthènes

MONTREAL –  While I’m taking a sip of my really hot green tea, I’m asking the question that every basketball fanatic has asked of themselves (maybe not while drinking tea)…..

I put a little twist on the question to spice it up.

If I had to choose between LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and MJ (aka Michael Jordan), who would I love to hang out with and hear basketball stories from the most?

LeBron James, Kobe Bryant

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, right, drives toward the basket as Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. The Cavaliers won 109-102. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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I would say none of them! I would gladly say, out of nowhere, that I would love to listen to Larry Bird stories all day long.

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Someone would say, Larry Bird wasn’t on the list! You have to pick between those 3 players. The so-called GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). It might surprise a lot of you, but I would say Kobe without any hesitation.

Now, I can imagine my brother, The Educated Fool aka Donnie Disco, screaming “what is happening to my sister?!”

But, let me explain something. Kobe is a very bright guy. You can have a decent, philosophical conversation with him. You may not agree with his opinions, but you know you will learn something.

Like the title of this post is pointing out, those gentlemen are not perfect at all. They all have flaws. Some were maybe not the best teammates to their colleagues while they were playing. They didn’t really want to pass the ball to the others. Instead, they were pretty much Me-Myself-and-I-type players. I’m talking about Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Of course, they both are pretty similar. They were breathing the game 24/7. Both were being coached by the great Phil Jackson. How I see Bryant and Jordan is like Rocky Balboa (Jordan) and Adonis Creed (Bryant). The Original and The Ingenue. The Ingenue became quite spectacular before he retired.

But LeBron is the Apollo Creed of the trio.

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I can hear some “Ohhh!” while you are reading that statement.

Why do I put LeBron as Apollo?

When Apollo lost his championship in Rocky II and returned in Rocky III as Rocky’s mentor, you could see that Apollo saw the bigger picture. Being an ally instead of an opponent was more beneficial for him, and for Rocky. At the end of Rocky III, when Apollo reminded Rocky about his small favor – the last boxing match between the two of them. No one would ever see this match because it was just the two them. They were the only ones at the gym. Apollo wanted to prove to himself, between the two of them, who was the greatest but in a friendly kind of way. We didn’t find out who won until the beginning of Rocky IV. I’m sorry to talk about the Rocky movies, but the characters parody this basketball trio so well. LeBron is more humble, maybe the less selfish one in this trio. That is an admirable quality, especially for someone who gets so much attention.

Like Apollo, he is a good businessman. He sees the bigger picture. Oh, now, someone will tell me MJ is the father of athlete branding. I will say, you are so right, but with LeBron, you can feel his interest will go somewhere else – will it be in the business world or elsewhere?  When we say that this person is the Michael Jordan of law or this person is the Michael Jordan of science, that is a fact that Michael Jordan is his own brand.

But LeBron seems to bring a little bit more versatility. He is way more than the man we see on camera. I guess we just need to wait and see.

To say who is the ultimate GOAT? There are a bunch of GOATs out there. Why do we need one when we can have 10? Bird, Johnson, Jordan, Bryant, James, Julius Erving aka Dr. J, Barkley, Abdul-Jabbar, Chamberlain, Iverson, Durant… The list could go on, but I will stop there.

My point is that we don’t have to crown one king. We could crown many kings because they were all great. Yes, some of them, were spectacular to watch and made us believe we could fly (oh crap, am I singing R. Kelly’s SpaceJam song?!… Oh crap).

Being the GOAT is more than championship rings and the tongue while dunking. It’s about being a team player. It’s not about being the most polished, perfect guy in front of the camera. It’s about being a decent human being when there is no one filming you (ok, maybe not today in 2019) even if you made some big mistakes. That’s part of being human. To fake a squeaky clean image, but really be a nasty piece of work is not part of the GOAT application form. I don’t mean to send some jabs, but Jordan with his gambling and letting the NBA pretty much cover it, plus his attitude toward some of the other players – this is not really a GOAT attitude. Ok, the gambling is maybe over or we are just not aware of what is happening anymore, but being not so nice with LeBron, come on MJ! You can be better than that. All these GOAT shenanigans are so childish boys.

Can’t we all live in perfect harmony?

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I’m changing my mind.

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Finally, I’d rather have a nice conversation with Barkley, Abdul-Jabbar, Bird and Dr. J, then off to hit some golf balls (especially with Barkley).

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Goodbye is the hardest word to say. Rest well Kristoff

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL- Yesterday around 11:45am, near lunchtime, my brain needed a little break so I went on The People Magazine website to read something light, for just a few minutes.

I couldn’t have expected the news I read. I read the very heartbreaking news that Kristoff St. John had passed away. I was speechless! I couldn’t even scream an “OMGwhat!?” I was thinking I must be having a very bad dream. This beautiful soul, that a big majority of us grew up watching on Different Word as Denise Huxtable’s boyfriend and of course, as the unforgettable Neil Winters on The Young and The Restless. He was clearly a big part of my life for the last thirty years.

Kristoff

His warm smile, his humility and his sense of humor were legendary! He wasn’t afraid to show his true character as an authentic soul. He was the kind of person you could have a real heart to heart conversation with. And he was such a good actor from he was a young kid.

JAMES EARL JONES;DAMON EVANS;KRISTOFF ST. JOHN

I wished I could have had the honor to just laugh and cry with him.

Brothers

A few weeks ago, I had an emotional conversation with my dear love about the loss of a child, a terrible thing some parents have to deal with. He told me about the time one of his son’s best friends committed suicide. While he recalled the funeral and how distraught he was, he started to cry. He said he could never forget the sadness afterward when he met the parents of this young man. Until this day, the parents were never the same. He said they never got their smiles or their joy for life back. And I saw his sadness while my hubby describes what awful feeling it must be for the parents since he is himself a loving father of two wonderful men.

A few years ago, Kristoff lost his son that he deeply love with all his heart.

His son committed suicide. For a parent, it’s the ultimate nightmare to be the one burying your child under any circumstance.  Kristoff wasn’t shy to talk about his grief and his struggle. Earlier in the post, I mentioned his capability to be a humble and sensible soul. This man was simply an angel on Earth for us.

Now, he is resting his wings, as we remember him, and as we cry and smile with all the joy he brought us as a brother figure, as a friend, and a hell of an actor. I hope I will witness we will all meet again a nice little chat between Kristoff and Jeanne Cooper.

Episode # 9906

Kristoff, one day, we will all see you again. You will prank your best friends.

The Fab 4

You will slow dance with your love, you will smile with your daughters and with your son.

And maybe, we will have the honor to catch the sunset and tell some jokes.

Rest well.

Father and Son

 

Am I going to write the same post-Super Bowl every year?

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL- It’s Monday morning and the first sentence that came to my mind was: Do the Pats have more rings in their jewelry boxes than I do in mine?

tom brady and his rings

I guess they are coming closer and closer to having more rings than I do.

Foremost, I would like to congratulate the 2019 Super Bowl champion, yet again… Usually, I’m not a happy camper after another championship won by the Pats, but as I predicted, they won. So, I’m not that surprised. I was really surprised about the lack of action and the thought crossed my mind that this was the most boring match I’ve seen in the past twenty years! Omg, even Bily Whisky, my little furry son, was sleeping through it.

Bily Whisky asleep

What happened to the Rams?

They were supposed to have Bill Belichik’splaybook in their hands. They could have won but again, The Pats showed us that they were better prepared; even if it was to play a more defensive game. Actually, both teams were in a more defensive state of mind than an offensive one.

I guess The Pats will say again in front of a camera with their biggest smile on their faces and their kids chanting: We are going to Disneyland.

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Am I going to write about the half-time game?

Hm, I will only say this:

Dear NFL executive team, do you have Metallica, Smoky Robinson, Chaka Khan, Earth, Wind and Fire, Wu-Tang and Arcade Fire’s phone numbers?

I’m dropping my mic right there.

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On a positive note, The Pats have a Haitian on the team and he did the Haitian people proud. Sony Michel is a name to remember! I will gladly say, on this occasion where one sentence can contain these words, Haiti won the Super Bowl! Ok, ok, a really small part of Haiti won the Super Bowl.

I guess we are not a product of a “shit hole country”. Right, number 45?!

Now that the football season is over, I will get back to my usual: Omg, what I will do with the rest of my life (from February until September)?

I will watch the soap opera of the NBA. I will admire my curling army (like my in-laws used to do). I will get my blood pressure high by screaming at the screen while watching The Champions League and I will stress myself to the point of destroying (not really) my electric guitar while I watch Naomi Osaka win Wimbledon, the Rogers Cup, and The US Open and saying out loud Haiti!

Naomi Osaka

I guess I will survive another seven months without the boys.

 

The Queens of Hip-Hop

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL – On this really cold Wednesday morning, I must listen to a playlist that will make me forget about the harsh, cold days we have had for a couple of weeks now. This so-called “winter wonderland”.

While browsing my playlists on my iPhone, I decided to start this week with my Queens of Hip-Hop’s playlist. On this list, you won’t find any Cardi B (who’s that?!?) and no Nicky Minaj (who’s that?!?). Seriously, with all the legendary ladies we have in Hip-Hop, I just don’t get how come those two singers (and I’m being really nice here) are so popular. They are mediocre, at best. Even my grandma Sue (sorry grandma) would be a better rapper than those ladies. My grandma would have dropped some words of knowledge with a big attitude.

Anyhow, my playlist is an ode to the icons of Hip-Hop music. The first track was the perfect one to start this kick-ass, goddess of a playlist.

Let me present you with Queen Latifah classic’s Unity.

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They don’t make these kinds of anthems anymore, but this oldie is a classic.

The children of the 70s, 80s and even early 90s were so lucky for witnessing so many classics hits during those decades.

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Back to the main topic.

The next song on my playlist was Doo Wop (That Thing) from Ms. Lauren Hill. The debut solo album of this “The Fugees’ family” alumnus, The Miseducation of Lauren Hill, was until now, one of the greatest albums of all time.

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So far, this playlist is on fire!

Of course, the playlist includes some Salt’N’Pepa too. In the 80s, there were two bands with strong women that I was a die-hard fan of. Salt’N’Pepa and Bananarama (I’m a Venus, I’m a Venus, your desire … oh damn! I was five and singing those lyrics).

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Salt’N’Pepa was the first female rappers I saw. For a second, as a young girl, I wanted to be a rapper. My big brother told me I really didn’t know how to rap though (damn you, big brother).

There is no Queens of Hip-Hop playlist without some MC Lyte. Like, it’s impossible!

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Not putting a Ruffneck track on this list would probably get me disowned by my brother, haha. She is one of the pioneers of Hip-Hop artists and truly, I hope one day that she will be inducted into the Rock N’Roll Hall of Fame.

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Of course, I got some Missy Elliott and Erika Badu as well. When I listen to Missy’s hit The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly), omg, I have a beautiful throwback party in my brain! I remember the first time I heard this song and how mesmerized I was by the creativity of Missy Elliott. I never took drugs in my life, but from that moment, I was so hooked on every piece of music Missy Elliott created like it was cocaine.

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I may write an even longer post about this fabulous playlist, but I will spare you reading a full chapter of my reminiscing about the good old times of music history.

Can we steal Marty McFly’s car from Back To The Future and return to the ’90s, please?

I’m pretty sure we have some magnificent, talented women who are creating fabulous music, but for some dumb reason, clueless and insignificant songs are being made by a stripper and a woman whose persona I don’t even understand the purpose of keep playing everywhere! There is nothing intelligent being said in those songs and foremost, nothing empowering are being communicated to the next generation of young, impressionable human beings.

I’m too damn mad, so I better listen to my playlist and get empowered by my Queens of Hip-Hop……

queensofhip-hop

http://www.missy-elliott.com

http://www.mclytenow.com

https://www.saltnpepa.com

https://twitter.com/iamqueenlatifah

 

Brady, Gonk and The Rest of Pats Army are going to the Super Bowl… Again

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL- My face this morning is like the face of Stewie from Family Guy when he is unamused by Brian’s antics (or maybe vice versa).

stewie griffin

Last night during the Chiefs vs Pats game, when I saw there were 2 minutes left after the Chiefs touchdown, I said to the hubby – ok, I’m going to bed. It was such a stressful game! It was even stressful during the extra-time. I knew that King Brady would do the final touchdown. With only 2 minutes and The Pats have the ball, it was done. They would go to the Super Bowl and for two weeks, I would hear about how great the Pats were from my entourage and all the other Pats fans. Secretly, I hoped for a miracle from The Chiefs – a nice interception and touchdown while I was slowly falling asleep. I’m too damn old to see the writing in the sky for The Pats.

When the hubby told me they won (before going in dodoland), I was numbed. I grabbed my little Bily Whisky and told him that mommy will be grumpy for the whole week (and secretly wished I was knitting a Burn Pats Burn blanket…)

brian and stewie

What should I write today? Like always, King Brady and his army did it again. I must mention that this guy is a class act.

brady and gronk

After the game, Tom asked the security team if they could meet Patrick Mahomes privately, inside the Chiefs locker room, to have a chat with him.

This is sportsmanship!

A true leader and a true champion have this kind of attitude. Even when he lost a game, he goes to the other team to congratulate them. For me, this is what sports are all about.

This next Super Bowl, I’m very mad that the Rams will be the ones facing the Pats. With the way, they got there, instead of the Saints… I can’t believe it I’m writing these words, but I hope the Pats will crush them.

NFL: AFC Championship-Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

Jan 22, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) points to teammates as head coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft look on after the 2017 AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, I said it! I hope it will be the last time I say such a thing.

Rob Gronkowski

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski jokes with fans during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. The Cavaliers defeated the Celtics 122-121. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

And what’s up with Maroon 5 during the half-time show in Atlanta?

Really, seriously? It the NFL dealt with Kaepernick in a more mature way, maybe we could have really decent shows. Come on! It’s Atlanta and we will see Maroon 5?! Oh lord. I better find something to do (like the dishes) during this half-time show.

Now, I will get back to my grumpy face and again, congratulations to the Pats. Since I was raised to be polite, I will only say to the Rams, good luck.

I really need a drink after this post. Even if it’s early. I mean a nice hot green tea.

Come on peeps, I don’t drink a Cosmo or tequila in the morning! Sometimes I do have decent brain cells left in my brain.

cosmo and basket

Sometimes.