“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, ‘WOO HOO what a ride!’” – Anonymous

People are raving about the star-studded Christmas party attorney Paul and Martina Gardner hosted at Paul’s palatial downtown office. We partied throughout the suites to live entertainment performed by the incomparable singer Beretta, rap artist Los and hip-hop artist Lola Monroe. The aromatic scents of Asian cuisine created by Dynamic Dish chefs produced an exotic atmosphere. “Are the stars out tonight?” Beyoncé’s lead guitarist BiBi McGill, “Larry King Show” producer Judith Thomas, Del. Dan Morheim, Carolina Kitchen owner Lance London, Velvet Rope nightclub owners Tracey Stafford and Monica Blakney, several “Goodfellas” cast members, and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Gregg Leakes were among the celebrities walking the red carpet. Baltimore’s A-List guests Marcy Crump, LaRain Finney, Tessa and Joe Aston, Garland Perkins, Thomas Phillips, Takiea Hinton, Scott Phillips, Susan Smallwood, Marsha Jews and attorneys Granville Templeton and J. Wyndal Gordon were among the 800 guests “partying with a purpose.” “You bring me joy.” Paul and Martina were overwhelmed as the rooms overflowed with toys donated by the guests for needy children.

“The party’s jumping, everyone’s having a good time.” Columbia’s Tau Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity kicked off their centennial celebration at the BWI Marriott to an enthusiastic crowd of partygoers “groovin” to the sounds of Panama Band. “The dance floor you could hardly move.” Once the music started, people stayed on the floor dancing the latest dance craze, the “wobble.”

“Step Step Step to the left.” Just when you thought “the party’s over,” here comes “the atomic dog.” We circled the dance floor to watch the Omegas step. “Those were the days.” The look of admiration on the faces of the seasoned Omegas was priceless as they reminisced.

“Just came here to chill.” Event chairman Samuel Williams invited guests to the hospitality suite for more dancing and partying. The champagne, food and drinks flowed endlessly. Guests kicked off their shoes, reflected over the night’s events. Great seeing Charles and Marcia Owens, Luwanda and Brian Jenkins, Mabel and Teddy Murray, Barbara Love, Nichele Vaughan, James and Pat Waddy, Tim Betts, Ellen Chittams, Clay Hewitt and Omega Basileus Eric and Jamilla Clark “dancing the night away.”

“Don’t stop till you get enough.” After the 100 Black Men’s Christmas brunch with Sen. McFadden, Jerrelle Francois, Debbie and Claude Parker, Valerie Grant, Joyce Smith, Jay Howard, Selena Redd, John Bryant, Geneva Sparks, Louis Brandon, Alice Cole and John Howard, we headed east to the Poets annual Christmas party. “I see the party lights.” President Carl Beasley and the Poet members had the club festively decorated with balloons, lights and plenty of food and good cheer.

“Give me a pig-foot and a bottle of beer.” People say a chicken has a short life, but what about the pig? I tell you, this holiday season I ate everything on the pig but the oink. The pig feet and minced barbecue Carl cooked was lip-smacking good. I laughed when I realized I was sucking the bone and I don’t like pig feet.

“Go West, Young Man!”- John B. L. Soule. I love the eastside. Years ago, the hottest nightspots in Baltimore ? Lamppost, Wooden Nickel, Birdcage, Federal Lounge and Kozy Korners ? were in East Baltimore. When eastside’s Selena Redd, Willard Wright and I get together, we joke that west-siders come east but east-siders don’t cross Charles Street. Did I hear someone say, “you got that right?” If you see Selena in West Baltimore other than at Martin’s, holla!

“My faith always has been and always will be important to me.”- Aretha Franklin Continue to keep the Queen of Soul Aretha “ReRe” Franklin in your prayers that “Dr. Feelgood” will have her feeling like “a natural woman.”

Happy birthday to James “Big Lew” Lewis, DJ Mike Jones, Alice Cole, Patrick Johnson, Shirley Montgomery, Ken “Strome” James, Vella Oats, Tanika Sykes and Nicholas Grant. Just Celebrate!

“The day has come, not gone; thy sun has risen, not set. The life is now beyond the reach of death or change. Not ended but begun. Oh, gentle heart! Hail and farewell.”- W.S. Bryan

Condolences to Warren “Dumpy” Polston and family on the death of his son Warren Polston; Pless Jones and family on the death of his sister Saundra Evans and David Harris and family on the death of Willie Harris.

“With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood.”- Isadora Duncan
“Joy & pain” continue praying for Ralph Wright Jr., Brenda and Ralph Wright Sr. and family on the death of Little Ralph’s wife, Shawnee N. Mitchell-Wright and the birth of his son and their grandson, Ryan.

“What are you doing New Years Eve?” “I got options” so “toast it up.” New Year’s Eve with DJ Tanz, Monique Jones, Gary Gray, Derrick Chase and Derrick Compton. Call 410-701-0471 for tickets or enjoy a New Year’s gala with Kim and Towanda. Call 410-916-3938; or the Deltas New Year’s Eve gala- 443-845-6857. Whatever you do, “you gotta make it funky.”

“If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things this is the best season of your life.”- Wu-men

“Auld Lang Syne.” The year has come and gone. We are entering a new decade with hope and renewed belief that things do get better with time. Remember, “the best is yet to come.”

“I‘ll be seeing you” New Year’s Day 2011 at Maceo’s.

Happy New Year!

-Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch.