It’s time for a reality check. The violence in this country is out of control. Our society is becoming one built upon hatred, blood and massacres. Please, show me the love.

We have always lived with the theory that whoever is fastest on the draw is the winner, but this is no longer a fair fight–it’s war. It’s frightening to think that we’re living in a nightmare. Who is going to take the blame?

Charles and I went to see a movie a couple of weeks ago. We chose one mainly because we were out of town and, according to the timetable, it was the only thing playing. As we sat through the trailers of the movies coming soon to a theater near you, I was appalled at how each movie was as violent, vulgar and downright stupid as the next.

Fortunately, the movie we saw was none of the above–it was just totally mindless. The script did try to keep it real–not all of the characters were pretentious–but in many ways it was degrading and had little redeeming value. Except for a few spots where it was, in all honesty, funny, I couldn’t believe this movie actually made it to the big screen.

Staying home and trying to find something on TV is even worse. If someone isn’t killing someone or doing something brutal, they’re already dead and the viewer is forced to watch all of the gruesome details in HD. Shiver me timbers.

What do I watch, you ask? For one, “Love in the Wild,” which is not at all what you think. It’s an adventurous show where couples get to see if they’re really meant for one another as they take on some rigorous task like running, hiking, jumping, swimming or rock climbing–all athletic, all clean. If you can jump through the hoops, go through the wringer and still smile at your mate, then you’ve really got something going on, much like real life.

My next favorite show is “America’s Next Top Model,” and I’ll just leave that one at that. Lastly, I love TV Land, where shows like “Bewitched,” “I Dream of Genie” (although, I admit, I love me some J.R.) and the funniest one of them all, “Green Acres,” are aired. I couldn’t believe it when I found this channel.

I recently made Julia sit down with me to watch a few episodes of “I Love Lucy” during a marathon weekend. OMG, even she was laughing, and at 6 and a half, I don’t think she really knew what was going on. Call me old-fashioned but hey, at least after viewing these shows, it didn’t make me want to go out and slap, much less kill somebody.

OK, so if you don’t want to go to the movies and you absolutely refuse to watch TV Land, where can you go? You can go to Cove Lounge, Harlem’s latest in spot to hit the avenue. Neatly tucked away on Lenox Avenue, between 126th and 127th streets on Harlem’s restaurant row, the answer to the downtown scene, Cove has been hosting a rather sophisticated crowd in a relaxed atmosphere that provides a welcomed oasis from the hustle and bustle. The outdoor garden is open, a great place to relax on these hot, balmy nights. And as if that wasn’t enough, you just never know who you’re going to meet there.

Harlem was alive and well represented at Gracie Mansion, where the official kick-off for Harlem Week–which we all know is really Harlem Month for the month of August–took place. The evening took on a rather somber note as Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce President Lloyd Williams announced the passing of Soul Food Queen Sylvia Woods earlier that evening. The event was a celebration of sorts, celebrating Woods’ birthday and continuous years in business. It was a celebration of life, love and a legacy.

There to salute and honor were fellow restaurateur Joe Barnes; Yvette Campbell, CEO of the Harlem School of the Arts and board member Chuck Hamilton; Nick Jones; Bob Tate; Dr. Marcella Maxwell; Edith Mathews; Assemblyman Keith Wright; Geoffrey Eton; NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch President Shirley Scott; and hundreds more who are ready for Harlem Week.

Happy birthday to Abdul Shaheed, Lori Diggs and daughter LeAnna, Michael Pies, Deborah Makonnen, Brett Simon, Tanya Cunningham, Winnie Walker, Dana Davis, TAR, Carl Petties, Jenyne Raines, John Casey, Debra Mossishow-Rankin, Juanita Pratt, Frank Vattelana, Philip Williams, Delores Sheppard, Carol Bass, Bernardean Richardson-Davis, Laverne Rector, Robin Rectorand, Robin Burgess, Tmisha Williams, Carol Davis, Cathy White, Charles Harris, Brenda Cooper and Elizabeth Rankin-Fulcher, who is planning a very special “Seven Decades of Life, Love and What I Know” extravaganza. Don’t you love it–and Elizabeth?

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Manley on their wedding anniversary.

Brush up your resume, because the following companies are hiring: UPS is hiring individuals to work as part-time package handlers. According to the job description, it is a “physical, fast-paced position that involves continual lifting, lowering and sliding packages that typically weigh 25-35 pounds and may weigh up to 70 pounds. Part-time employees usually work three and a half to four hours each weekday and typically do not work on weekends or selected holidays.

“Package handlers receive an hourly rate of $8.50-9.50, as well as an attractive benefits package. Employees can expect to take home between $110 and $150 each week after deductions have been taken for taxes, etc.”

For something a little less grueling with a higher pay scale there is Amtrak, which is looking for track workers, with an entry pay rate of $19.36 per hour and a full rate of $21.52 per hour. According to the posting, there are “promotional and advancement opportunities and a collective bargaining agreement. Track workers may be considered for advancement or promotion to other positions within the engineering department if qualified.”

They are also looking for machine operators at $23.25-$24.81 per hour; welder helpers and bridge tenders at $21.93 per hour; bridge mechanics at $22.65 per hour; foremen at $22.71-$25.53 per hour; and track inspectors at $23.98-$25.14 per hour.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license, training and be 18 years of age or older. They will train you, with two-three weeks of training at the Railroad Education & Development Institute in Atlanta, with travel, lodging and meals paid for. For more information, check out

Good luck and take it easy, it’s the summer.

Until next week…kisses.