I wouldn’t describe myself as a crazy cat lady… I think having more than one cat is definitely the first step, no? Just the one is enough for me, thanks. Max gives me plenty of stress and stuff to clean up… and now he’s famous! My cat Max is officially a LOLcat!

I submitted this photo to I Can Has Cheezburger right after we got back from Chicago. The house seemed to be in perfect order until we visited the upstairs bathroom and discovered the toilet paper terror had struck again. Poor guy was bored and lonely, and took out all of his emotions I guess. Now that we’re back home and settled, has Max changed his ways? Not at all. In fact, just this morning he casually knocked over a glass of water with his paw, leaving the coffee table dripping and all of my work documents soggy at the corners. I still love the little furball, but aarrrgh!

While I was busy celebrating my second bloggiversary, another famous blogger was celebrating her fifth! Five years in the blog game is no joke. Congratulations to The Budget Fashionista, for half a decade of fun, fashion, and frugality.
This week she’s been interviewed by my amiga Natalie of The Frugalista Files on five ways to recession proof your closet, and on Clutch Magazine, on just how far being fabulous for less has taken her. I’ve gotten some great tips from The Budget Fashionista — that 70/30 rule has gotten me through many but-I-really-need-this-trendy-shirt quandaries. And I had a bella on a budget breakthrough of my own this weekend — at one of TBF’s fashion find stores, I scored a FLY red Michael Kors long winter coat for a mere $60! Thanks, TBF!

My blogging amigas are all headed to NYC for Fashion Week and already the stylish posts are rolling in — Nichelle of 55 Secret Street took this image of a Brooklyn Fashion Week show that stretched across the Bridge.

Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. You all have a blast at the L’Oreal Feria party! Wish I could be there with you…

Politics is causing my pressure to rise again, so I’m glad there are other bloggers who are covering the issues that I am obsessed with but lack the energy to write about myself. Racialicious has a great post about Michelle Obama and sexism, and Stereohyped covered the Maury Povichesque drama surrounding Republican VP pick Sarah Palin, and asked the question — could you just imagine if this were happening in the Obama family? I can think of at least two or three “newscasters” whose heads might explode. Opinion based news is killing me these days, I tell ya.

Two recent posts at Soulbounce got me in the mood for musing —
Five Reasons why Freedom is Impossible Today highlights why Freedom, one of my favorite old school all star jams from the Panther movie soundtrack, would never happen today. Reason # 2 — The disappearance of the female emcee. Period.

Also at Soulbounce, their top 100 Soul/R&B songs countdown has come to a thrilling finale with Donny Hathaway’s A Song For You.

What an incredible song. Ray Charles’ version was the one I knew first — it’s a good one, and the emotion rings true because of Ray’s advanced age. “And when my life is over, remember when we were together,” sounds right coming from his weathered voice. But Donnie Hathaway made that song his own because he lived it at such a tender age. Those lyrics spoke to the anguish within his own heart.

I have about half of a super long post about Donnie Hathaway written and holding — he was to be a part of my Lost Ones series, which I envisioned as a kind of Hollywood Babylon that focused on black celebrities who succumbed to the pressures of fame. I had to stop writing it midway through my posts about Dennis Brown and Donnie Hathaway. It was just… too sad, sitting up late at night all alone, watching YouTube videos of my musical icons who had passed away. I do plan to someday revisit and complete those posts. Soulbounce did a beautiful job of commemorating the life of an artist lost to the world in the prime of his life.

Donnie Hathaway was just 33 years old when he was found dead, and that makes the emotion you hear in this song seem all too real. Depression is real, it isn’t something you can just “get over” or “snap out of.” Click here to learn more, and hopefully answer any questions you may have.

Donnie Hathaway left this world too soon. But his spirit lives on through his talented children, like daughter Lalah Hathaway. He left us with incredible music — treat yourself to A Donnie Hathaway Collection, if you don’t already own a copy. You won’t regret the purchase.

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Mrs.Mckinzie says:
September 3, 2008, 9:34 am
I am afraid of cats,but Max is adorable.I am not even going to give my energy to the republicans.Donnie was such a talent,and I love his music.
nyc/caribbean ragazza says:
September 3, 2008, 10:26 am
Donnie so talent. I can listen to his voice all day. I'm allergic to cats but I think they are so cute. Maybe not when tearing up a house however. ha
Get Togetha says:
September 3, 2008, 11:32 am
Don't really fancy cats; they are way too temper-mental for my tastes. Plus I don't like feeling like I can't trust something...and a cat would fit that bill...sounds like a personal issue eh? LOL. I'm gonna check out those fabu links especially the Budget Fashionista....I live in the NY and fashion week is really all that and then some...I have a few insiders that I can get the hook up from... Wonder if there will be more color on the runway....?
Shell says:
September 3, 2008, 1:54 pm
I saw your Max on I can has cheezburger!! That and http://cuteoverload.com/ are my favorite fun animals sites I go to daily. I have a cat, Mabel, she is my best bud. I hope you do go back to your Lost Ones series. It is hard to write about artists you love and have passed on. Makes you think about all the what if's and all the things they would have done if there life had continued. I try to think about what they left behind and all they lives even after they are gone. That makes me happy through what tears I may have.
The Frugalista Files says:
September 3, 2008, 2:05 pm
Hey Ms. Bella, Your cat is something else. Thanks for the blog love!
Kwana says:
September 3, 2008, 3:18 pm
Cats really do need other feline companionship, thats a fact, so maybe if MAx had another cool cat to kick it with he wouldn't get into so much LOL!!!
Diane says:
September 3, 2008, 4:22 pm
Bella, I followed that link to TBF but couldn't figure out the fashion find stores. Help!! Where'd you get that Michael Kors coat?
InstantVintage says:
September 3, 2008, 4:31 pm
That was Max!! LOL. I'm on that site nearly everyday and I though that one was hilarious. I'm trying to get one of mine (yes, I share multiple felines with my dude) on the front page. And you took me back with "Freedom." Felt like the 90's for about a minute and a half.
don says:
September 3, 2008, 6:44 pm
Afrobella, I enjoyed the Donnie Hathaway read. I didn't get into his music until late last year and I was pleasantly surprised to hear such great, great music. Also I agree - depression is real. Very real.
nikki says:
September 3, 2008, 11:27 pm
Depression is indeed real. I am currently under treatment for it. We need to speak about it, especially among women of color. It's not something to be ashamed about, nor is it something to hide. And I miss good music. It's hard to find something to listen to on the radio with my 10 year old in the car without hearing lick this, suck that, bleeped out words, sexual innuendos.
naijagurl says:
September 3, 2008, 11:45 pm
Bella, I love your site and i love the fact that you like to share your opinions about a variety topics with your readers, yet, week after week i visit your site and I am seeing less and less about what i essentially come here for (natural hair care)and other topics on beauty. I thought this was a blog about beauty?? While i do think its important to have a balance and include other entertaining topics such as politics or music or your personal life, I feel as though we see more of that than anything else and i miss seeing all the hair care tips and encouraging sentiments for us natural sistas. Im not hating and i still love the site, just getting a little discouraged. thanks
Moni says:
September 3, 2008, 11:50 pm
Afrobella, I loved Ray's version of Donny's song...but THE TEMPTATIONS ROCKED IT!!! You have to hear their version! IMO it's the best.
Jazzy says:
September 4, 2008, 2:45 am
I absolutely love Donny. Love love love him....
Bebroma says:
September 4, 2008, 5:39 am
Yep, you'll eventually know what a cat was thinking....
bella says:
September 4, 2008, 8:55 am
Naijagurl -- I feel you. I've been covering a whole lotta stuff and hair and beauty has been pushed to the back burner in terms of what's being posted in the here and now. But what I'm working on "backstage" is a big, BIG hair product giveaway, a big interview with a natural hair icon (a woman who is a regular Google search for bellas who visit my site), and the post today, which you will see shortly enough. The hair and beauty stuff is always on my mind, but of late, politics has been winding me up and getting me more fired up to write something. And for every comment like yours asking for more hair and beauty, there's an e mail or comment asking "where's my throwback Thursday" or "Bella, why didn't you write about Sarah Palin?" So I am trying my best, and fret not -- more hair stuff is coming soon! Thanks for commenting!
tracey in Ohio says:
September 4, 2008, 9:42 am
Thanks for the D. Hathaway flashback - I've been so inspired that I've thrown on "Extension of a Man' in tribute to him while I work. No one sings Someday We'll All Be Free & I Love You More Than You'll know like this guy.... oh, except maybe Lalah :-D
sho nuff says:
September 4, 2008, 6:29 pm
girrrrrrrrrl! donny gives me chills every time i hear that song! and i am a crazy cat lady: miss sophia (17 years!) and shug avery (a baby at 4!) love this blog!
Gangstarr Girl says:
September 4, 2008, 6:42 pm
Ohai! Lol that is hilarious. I love that site. I have a cat as well. Mine is notorious for knocking over the garbage can. Ugh. Gotta love those bad little critters. He is a sweetie pie though. Maybe it I can catch him an action I'll submit the pic to lol cats as well. But until then, he better keep praying to ceiling cat. lol
p1tey1 says:
September 5, 2008, 12:23 am
LOL @ your cat!!! Too cute! My 18 year old cat (Tiffany) died back in 2002, I had her cremated and she is in an urn on top of my fireplace. I wish I could have another one. After she died I moved into a place where the previous owner had cats and almost DIED from an asthma attack! I later found out I am allergic. I have a 6 year old dog coincidentally named Bella now. LOL
J. Diva says:
September 5, 2008, 3:10 am
I love Donny Hathaway! His rendition of "Whats Going On" to me is killer with the live band. He just puts so much emotion into his music. Y'all need to definitely get A Donny Hathaway Collection...I own it, and I must say it is one of the best cds that I own in my collection!
lola gets says:
September 18, 2008, 6:40 pm
I didnt know that was your cat on LOLcats - I thought that was a cute picture! My oldest female Eva likes to beat up rolls of paper, too. I always thought that my younger male (who looks like your Max) was the culprit because hes sillier and he loves to beat up stuff (beanie babies, the other cats...) but no, thats not his thing. Congrats on getting that pic listed! L