AJ Williams, FrontPage Web Editor
AJ Williams: Web/Social Media Editor/Columnist/Writer for the Michigan Chronicle, FRONTPAGE Detroit and Praise Connect Detroit. She's a local media personality who has worked with Mason Radio on 107.5 FM, host of The MIXX TV Show with UDetroit and producer of the "The LovEXperience Series for ARCH Executives. Under her personal brand "I AM AJ Williams" she provides voiceovers and talk show formats including hosting and interviewing.
With over 40 million Americans meeting dates online (that's close to half the single population), there's no longer a stigma attached to finding a match through your computer screen. Here's the thing: Online dating is the real world. As long as technology is in our lives, it will play a role in our love lives.
Thanks to online dating and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, the worldwide web has opened up a whole world of potential connections. If you're considering surfing around to find a match, here are a few dating tips to keep in mind.
The 'essay' that online dating sites ask you to write is not meant to be taken literally. Consider online dating speed dating – the average viewer makes an immediate judgment call based on very little criteria. Keep your write-up concise, upbeat and specific. It's hard to stand out if you declare something generic like, "I have a wonderful life and am looking to share it with a special someone." That may be true, but every other profile says the same. If you want to mention something about your wonderful life, share why that's the case. Rather than saying, "I love to travel," invite dialogue with something like, "I loved climbing Machu Picchu. Any ideas on the next mountain I should climb?" Show and don't tell. Being funny is a much better approach than telling your audience, "I'm told I'm hilarious!"
You in Cabo last year with girlfriends, you with your 3-year-old nephew, you close-up, you looking back, you... you... you. It's too much! Research shows that too many photos in an online profile are overwhelming to the viewer who starts to wonder what you really look like. Choose two photos of yourself. Ideally one should be close enough that the viewer can see your face and one should be a full-length shot (Like it or not, the average online dater reports that if someone doesn't show her body, he assumes she's hiding something). And make the photos recent! One of the top complaints from online daters is that the photos looked nothing like the people they met up with because they were taken in another decade.
Does a poke intrigue you, creep you out or annoy you? Perhaps all of the above. There's not one right way to use a social network to flirt, but there are some things to avoid if you've decided to use it in your search for love. Liking each of your crush's photos and writing "you rock!" under all of his status updates is equivalent to following him around town and telling him (constantly) how awesomely attractive he is. The general consensus is that Facebook is a great way to access a crush (friending a new crush is less awkward than asking for his number and allows you to get to know him a little better), but the network is generally not the best tool for those who have just started dating. Unless you want to spend time overanalyzing why your date went out Friday night when he said he was busy working or who the cute gal on his arm is in a party photo, steer clear from engaging him on social networks while your status is still single.
Online dating is a misnomer. If you feel like you're in a relationship with someone who you've only met virtually, it's time to schedule a date in person – otherwise, your expectations may be too high. Three to six communications is generally a good timeframe to know whether or not you'd like to book a date. Finding love online is like the popular New York discount department store Century 21. You'll have to sift through some junk and have patience to find the gems, but finding those gems (whether they turn into a romantic relationship, a friendship or a new business contact) makes the whole experience worthwhile. With so many millions using these sites, you're bound to find a little of everything. If you're feeling cynical about the process, consider how many people you know who have met their significant others online. And when in doubt, always remember – even a bad date makes a great story...
To Thine Own Self Be True
While watching the Runaway Bride today, a particular part caught my attention. Maggie, played by Juila Roberts was asked by Ike, played by Richard Gere, “What kind of eggs did she like?” She responded with the scrabbled eggs with dill, just like her fiance’. However, the issue was that Maggie never really knew what kind of eggs SHE really liked. She just adapted the taste of whatever her fiance’s was, it was the same with fiance number 1,2,3 and 4. The movie continues on to end with her realizing who she was as a woman and then marrying Ike.
Now that you are all hungry, I know you may be wondering what my point is? Well, the movie began to make me wonder about the consistent breakups in committed relationships, especially marriages. Myles Monroe once said “In order for someone to be successful at the union of marriage, they need to already be whole.” The statement rang in my head several times, could it be that we can’t stay committed to someone, because we haven’t even committed to ourselves? Often times in relationships we connect to other person and unconsciously expect them to define us. There is a constant need from women especially to control the direction. “Where is this going?” or “What is my title?” These questions often leave men running in the wind.
Now, please do not misunderstand what I am saying. I support a women wanting to know where a relationship is going or if she is wasting her time. However, if we are very truthful with ourselves, if you have to ask the direction of the relationship, you already know the answer. Shakspere wrote “To Thine Own Self Be True” But how can a man or woman do this without taking time out to be with just one’s self.
Here’s the Real Deal Ladies and Gents: Being Single is NOT a curse, it is actually the prerequisite to any long-term committed relationship and/or marriage. If you can’t pass the “Singles” course, then your likely not to ace the “Marriage” Final, then your bound to repeat the course again. During your single life, this is a time to know who you are as a person. Define yourself, pursue your hopes and dreams. Heck, even know what kind of eggs you like. Being single writes the book on being you. So when you do get ready to jump the broom, you will have a blueprint to give to your mate on how to navigate you. So for all my single people out there take some time out from serial relationships. Stop jumping from one committed relationship to another. Stop, smell the roses, love you, learn you, be you, and then you’ll be ready to give you to someone else. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, because, hey, it’s just MY perspective.
Love and Blessings,
The Friday f.e.e.l
(food. e. e. l)
Mercury Burger Bar....Not your average Bar
At first glance you may pass by the Mercury Burger Bar that sits on the corner of Michigan and 14th in Detroit’s historic Corktown. On the outside it has a 60’s rustic vibe, however you would be doing your tastebuds a disservice by not partaken in the variety of flavors that await for you inside.
Owner, Dave Steinke lived in Corktown right after he graduated from college and returned back to start this gourmet, but not fluffy burger bar. “This is a iconic location and we wanted to do something to honor the location, but we didn’t want to compete with our neighbors.” Steinke continued,”We really don’t have a lot of overlap with the other restaurants, they support us and we support them.” Supporting Detroit is a very high priority on Steinke’s list. “Most of our vendors and produce comes locally, along with most of the employees are local.”
To create the diverse menu, Steinke enlisted Chef Ariel Millan to bring life to the culinary vision. The Mercury Burger Bar has something for everyone, from burgers, hot dogs and shakes to salads, fried green tomatoes and Chardonnay. Not into Beef? No worries, their handmade turkey burger or chicken sausage can meet your palette’s need. The hours are even accommodating to every type of customer, in a month they plan to introduce a breakfast menu to add to the existing lunch, dinner and late-night menu. There are too many items to list in one review of the burger bar.
However their best-sellers consist of the S.W. (Southwest) Burger, which I had the opportunity to try. Now, I would not normally opt for a Southwest anything, but upon the persuasion of General Manager, Kimberlia I bit right into the flavors of this burger. Topped with a chorizo slider, jalapeños, muster cheese, avocado and salsa on the side, there was not any sense that was not engaged in taste as I consumed each bite.
But WAIT, it did not end there, although the S.W. Burger is Kimberlia’s favorite, Steinke’s and Chef Ariel swore by the grilled bologna sandwich. However, I was beyond full at this point, so I had the late-night menu Ring bologna Slider to see what all the praise was about. Topped with spicy mustard, red onion marmalade on a sweet roll late nights in Detroit cannot get any sweeter. Combine great food, drinks, warm ambiance and great attentive service, there was no question that the Mercury Burger Bar gets my thumbs up approval.
Visit the Mercury Burger Bar at 2163 Michigan Avenue Detroit, MI 48216, (P) 313-964-5000, (W) www.MercuryBurgerBar.com. Hours: Monday-Sunday 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.
FUNKJAZZ KAFÉ: DIARY OF A DECADE DOCUMENTARY Detroit, MI (July 10, 2012)
On Saturday, July 28, 2012 the official selection by the Pan-African Film Festival, the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, and the San Francisco Black Film Festival, FunkJazz Kafé: Diary Of A Decade (The Story Of A Movement) documentary will be screened at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History at 7pm.
Writer, Director, and Producer of the film, Jason Orr will give audiences a cross cultural experience and exclusive view of the full-length documentary that is the quintessential reflection of the FunkJazz Kafé movement, and its global inspiration to a generation for over a decade. Founded and based in Atlanta, FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival has played an integral role in building the foundation of Atlanta's creative arts scene by encompassing a mixture of live music, visual art, fashion, technology, education, and health & wellness, (which has later grown as part of Atlanta’s lifestyle).
Known for its authenticity, global appeal, and vibrant originality, FunkJazz Kafé has given audiences a “once-in-a- lifetime” concert experience both locally and nationally, through the artistry of soul music. Its impact has cultivated and introduced a generation to the originators of the genre, as well as engages them to the new generation of soul artists. A witness to the FunkJazz Kafé impact is Detroit’s own Drake Phifer, who was inspired by the movement to create “Urban Organic”. Explained by Phifer, “Urban Organic at its inception was largely informed and inspired by the model laid by Jason Orr and the FunkJazz Kafé in Atlanta.
Many of the artists that we have presented to the public over the years have also shared the FJK stage. To present this film in Detroit represents a full circle.” The documentary FunkJazz Kafé: Diary Of A Decade (The Story Of A Movement) conveys the evolution of Black and popular music as told by the pioneers and next generation of innovators in soul and popular music. Spanning through the late 1980′s to the early 2000′s, this story will reveal the ongoing challenges with the “mainstream” industry and its impact of the departure of soul music. Special appearances in the film include: Jill Scott, Dr. Cornel West, Dick Gregory, and Cee Lo Green, George Clinton, Erykah Badu, Roy Ayers, Eric Roberson, Jamie Foxx, Andre 3000 and many others.
There will be a Q & A with Jason Orr post screening. -more- WHO: Jason Orr, Founder of FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival WHAT: “FunkJazz Kafé: Diary Of A Decade (The Story Of A Movement)” Documentary WHEN: Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 7pm WHERE: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 315 East Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
For more information, visit www.funkjazzkafe.com
About Jason Orr: Jason Orr is a culture analyst, marketer, consultant, music producer, film producer and producer of festival programs that creatively integrates lifestyle brands and products. He has been responsible for conceptualizing, developing and marketing creative content for Atlanta’s legendary, FunkJazz Kafé Arts & Music Festival, an unscripted festival environment with backdrop of innovative and progressive music. He is a media content developer whose marketing partners have included Heineken, Miller, Volvo Cars, Comcast, The CW, TV One, Cingular Wireless, Starbucks Coffee, Tanqueray, Vibe Magazine, HBO, The National Black Arts Festival, the National Academy of Recorded Arts and Sciences and the Atlanta Jazz Festival.
7/18: Old Movie, New Center
Looking for a nice evening out but your pockets look a bit slim? Well, go and check out one of the best adventure films of all time, Raiders of the Lost Ark, admission free, at New Center Park, 2990 W. Grand Blvd. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Make sure to bring snacks.
7/18 - 21: Ann Arbor Art Fair
Gather the family and friends and come to the Ann Arbor Street Fair. On a stroll through the area you will enjoy the new art creations on display, the street performances and many other attractions.. The fair begins July 18th at 10 a.m. For more information visit www.artfair.org.
7/19: Step Inside the Box
AIDS Walk Detroit presents its third annual fundraising event, Step Inside the Box, on July 19th from 7-10 p.m., at The Royal Oak Farmers Market. Come out and provide financial support to local agencies that serve those living with HIV/AIDS. For more information contact the AIDS Walk Detroit offices at 248-399-9255 or stepinsidethebox.eventbrite.com.
7/19: Smooth Grooves at Meadowbrook
Local jazz musicians cool off our super-hot summer at Oakland University’s Meadow Brook Hall. Tickets are $30. Provided will be complementary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Reservations are needed to attend. Call 248-364-6263 for information.
7/21: Old School Soul
Come out for a night of great old-school soul music. The Isley Brothers will be at Chene Park on July 21st at 8 p.m. Hope you wear your two-stepping shoes! For more information visit Cheneparkdetroit.com.
7/21: IART Comes to Redford
The IART Festival is a family fun event complete with demonstrations and live workshops to be held Saturday and Sunday in RedfordTownship. Festival-goers can also enjoy food, music and special activities for the kids at the site on Five Mile and Beech Daily. Call 313-303-8911 for more info.
7/21: Figment of the Imagination
Belle Isle hosts the “Figment Detroit” forum this Saturday, a collection of artists and taste makers from all walks of life and creativity. The event, which is free of charge, welcomes all the artistic minds of metro Detroit. Log on to figmentproject.com for details.
7/21: Detroit Legend Rocks St. Andrews
Slum Village rapper Elzhi hits the stage this Saturday at 8 p.m. at the hip-hop haven St. Andrews. Elzhi is still riding high on the 2011 album Elmat and aims to release his third solo album, The Weather Report, this year. Also performing are Detroit veterans Marv Won and Ro Spit. Click onto livenation.com for ticket info.
NOW - 1/31/13: Art Legends at the DIA
Two of the greatest artists ever have new drawings displayed beginning this month at the DIA. Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse were integral to many art movements at the turn of the 20th century and their styles would be emulated for years. Visit www.DIA.org to learn more.
Business and community leaders, youth activists and parents alike will join the Downtown Boxing Youth program as it hosts its annual fundraising event, Rumble On The River. The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 20, at the historic Detroit Yacht Club, located at 1 Riverbank Rd. Detroit.
The Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program is a non-profit organization that encourages Detroit youth to engage in a challenging physical, academic and social program in which trainers, tutors, counselors and social workers provide daily services directly at the gym. Participants are attracted by the desire to learn to box and with the help of the youth program they will stay active at the gym, in their schools and in their communities.
“At the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, we believe that by focusing on the body, mind and community, we are helping the youth within the program develop the skills necessary to be successful in boxing, school and life,” states Vice President/Chief Facility Officer Jessica Hauser.“Through Rumble on the River, this is our opportunity to showcase the great things that are happening at the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program and provide individuals with the opportunity to give to the cause.”
The fundraiser will feature some of the program’s brightest and champion student athletes in an exhibition against New York’s best student athletes. Accompanying the exhibition will be a silent auction and reception.
Major sponsors of Rumble of the River include Avalon Bakery and HiredMyWay.com. For additional event information regarding sponsorship opportunities and tickets, call (248) 933-3358 or visit http://www.downtownyouthboxing.org/rumble-on-the-river.php
I just recently met this very handsome, young professional man. He’s an artist and his art is his deepest passion. Although we have only been dating for a month, I feel this deep connection with him. I really feel that he could be my soul mate. Here’s my question...”Is it too soon for us to get physical?”
Hot, Bothered and Confused
I have had been asked this many times. Actually, I have even questioned myself with this. In a recent blog, I addressed this questions. Take a read. I hope it helps!
Love and Blessings,
90 Days On The Job Before The Benefits Kicks IN
Some of my best nights are “AJ’s Nights In”. On my most recent date with myself, I was slipping my signature drink “Moscato Bella with Peach Snapps” and listening to one of favorite artist Jill Scott. I found myself bobbing my head up and down to “Making You Wait” when my relaxing groove was interrupted by my phone ringing. On the other end was a good friend of mine who sobbed out a “not so new” story.
“Oh my God” she shouted. The man she had been dating was married. It was one month and plenty of sex dates later before the truth reared its ugly, yet enlightening head. The sad thing is that this is something that could have been avoided with just a little patience. Ironically the song that I was listening to when this news broke was talking about this exact thing.
Jill Scott states, “She needs to know if it’s all perpetuation? Is it really real what you are telling me? I really want to do what you want me to do. I can’t be all easy, just satisfying and pleasing. Cause I never know what I might find. The song ends with her saying, I need to know if your worthy..Cause I’m worth it. I’M WORTH IT.
However, the worth of what is in between your legs is something that only you can determine and only you can enforce. Respect is something that is earn from another person, so if you don’t respect your Vajay-jay, then maybe this is not the blog for you. Here’s the Real deal Ladies and Gents: And YES, this applies to the guys also. Because just like a man can be a liar, no good and just in it to hit it. Women also can have their own hidden agendas for wanting to get your manhood in them asap. Have we not heard enough of the window busted-key scratched car stories for MEN to realize you need to take some time to get to know who you are sex-ing up before you find yourself in a real-life “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” situation.
Now, back to my ladies. A man will often times present his best side. We call this the REPRESENTATIVE. The Rep says the right thing, looks the right way, knows the right people, wines and dines. The Rep, pays attention to everything you say you are looking for in a man and then duplicates that. However as with any Rep, he can only last so long. So, if his true intentions are to get to know you and have a relationship on a deeper level beyond just physical then the REAL MAN will stand up to the test and wait. The REAL MAN will want to get to know you too. Most men will not come out the gate and say that they want to wait. If you offer, more than likely, just like MIKEY…They’ll eat it. (no pun intended). But if he’s looking to have you for long-term relationship, he will respect the value you have placed on your goodies and WAIT.
Women are emotional and just as stated in a previous blog, often times our hearts lives in our Vagina. So please consider that we need to start being BIG GIRLS and not continue to make the same mistakes consistently with our hearts and bodies. So when AJ? When? Well, just like Steve Harvey says, 90 days is a good start. Even jobs have probationary periods before certain benefits kicks in. This method is not just theory, it’s reality.
In many conversations with women I know this is typically the time frame when the skeltons start to fall out the closets. We’ve all been there, “I found out he had five baby mama’s in MONTH ONE” or “Girl, I wondered why I could never go over to his house, it’s because he lives with his mother in MONTH TWO” and the list goes on. The problem is we are giving it up so quickly most times, that we do not wait to see if any skeletons are going to jump out of the closet and send us running towards the hills.
I know, I know, you got needs….I DO TOO. TRUST! It just comes down to whether or not you want to keep paying a part of your heart away every time you give out benefits to a new employee without completing the full background check first. Then waiting 90 days to evaluate his performance on the job to ensure that he’s just not a good interviewer, but an EXCELLENT Employee to KEEP.
I’m just saying!