Friday, May 21, 2010


Steve Jobs gave Cocoa Fly his blessing. Not quite. I stretched that first sentence. LOL. Now you can access Cocoa Fly News on iTunes. Before you turn on your iPod at the gym, on the subway or bus, in the car, at the house, etc make sure you download Cocoa Fly News from iTunes. Just do a search on iTunes and look for the picture you see above. Episode 2 is on the way. I'm a one-woman news, production and web team so please be patient.

As always thanks for flying with me and TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT MY BLOG AND PODCAST.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cocoa Fly News Episode 1

Journalist and Cocoa Fly News host Jenee Darden talks to protesters at the immigration march in Downtown Los Angeles, held May 1, 2010. The show also features extra interviews from the "Free Your Mind" interracial dating seminar Darden covered last summer.
**Advanced apologies for the sound in the first-half of the show. **

LISTEN HERE OR DOWNLOAD ONTO ITUNES BY going to Advanced, then Subscribe to Podcast, then type in


Recession Dreams and COCOA FLY NEWS

You can't tell by the non-expression on my face, but right at that moment waves of positive energy are rushing through my body. Why? Because I'm doing WHAT I LOVE. Journalism. I was covering the immigration protests in downtown LA earlier this month when a friend/Cocoa Fly reader took this shot. The photo also captures a turning point in my life.

The plan back in 2006 was to graduate from journalism school, get a job and fulfill my dream as a reporter. Journalism school completed. Check. Job in journalism. Check. Reporting. No check but I gladly worked as an NPR producer. And it was a great experience. Some days didn't even feel like work because I enjoyed it. Then I went to Marketplace to continue producing. That was a great experience as well because I learned a lot about money and got to know cool people. I reported a few stories here and there, but I yearned for more time out in the field. I was released from Marketplace and hit the pavement for reporting jobs. Then the market did a Titanic. I couldn't pay an employer to interview me. In fact I was hired to work for a paper in LA and they called me the next day to retract the offer. My plan took a huge detour. Employers told me despite interning and reporting for Time magazine in Europe, working for a major network right out of graduate school and reporting stories for national shows with 1million+ listeners, I didn't have enough reporting experience. I've applied for so many jobs the last year and a half I lost count. One journalism job I applied for had 600 applicants. In between looking for work I reported a piece when the opportunity came. Then I became frustrated when I pitched GOOD stories to various news sources and editors didn't respond. Or they thought a story wouldn't work. For example my story about Asian Americans and foreclosure was passed up. An editor found my dating story involving a gay couple too risque because it would imply "gay sex." Don't people of all sexual preferences have sex? Publications for people of color didn't respond to me either. I understand the market in tough. Competition is stiff for freelancers and those seeking full time work. Still, I can't let the recession kill my dreams. Finally I listened to my mama got the courage and took note from Oprah, Tyler Perry, Martha Stewart, Ira Glass, Josephine Baker and others when they were told NO. I said YES and decided to do my own thang. I'm still looking for a job, but this project is allowing me to fulfill my purpose.

World, I present to you my podcast, my show Cocoa Fly News. It's a hip and informative news show. Many of the stories are about women because I don't think we get heard. Which is why I became a journalist: to cover the stories off the mainstream's radar. The podcast will be on iTunes soon and will run weekly. It's a fun show and we'll learn a lot. I'm going to interview a range of people--from extraordinary everyday folks to authors and once this really get going celebs. I went through web tutorial hell the past week and a half to get this up so I hope you enjoy it. By the way the address for this blog is now

The first episode is about immigration and undocumented citizens. I went with a friend to see the march and ask people their thoughts on immigration. I also added extra excerpts from my story on the Free Your Mind interracial dating conference. Shout out to model and singer Andy Allo for providing some music. The sound in the first half is a little uneven so just bare with me. It was my first time.

PLEASE TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THE COCOA FLY BLOG AND PODCAST. The bigger this gets, the more stories I can do. Which means better stories for you to listen to. You don't need an iPod to listen to the show. I don't even have an iPod. That's on my recession dream checklist too. LOL.

Listen HERE and thanks for flying with me!

Photo Credit:
Thanks Hugo!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fly Lady of Day
Betty White ROCKS Saturday Night Live

Actress Betty White arrives as a guest for the Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World gala in New York

The only woman who would cause my no DVR-owning self to stay home on a Saturday night is Betty White. And it was worth it because she was hilarious on Saturday Night Live. That was the funniest SNL I've seen in a long time. Betty White is 88 1/2 and still has star power. A campaign on Facebook made her SNL hosting dreams come true. My favorite skit was the NPR-spoof muffin skit. White played a guest muffin baker on a radio food show. She was talking about her "muffin". Boy, they just rode with that one. One of the hosts asked if there was a cherry in the muffin and White said, "My muffin hasn't had a cherry since 1939." LOL! White was edgy and just pure funny. Not only did she host a full-hour live show at the age of 88, but according to the Boston Globe she raked in the highest ratings for SNL since Tina Fey played Sarah Palin during the 2008 elections. Go' head Betty! I can't wait to watch her in TV Land's new sitcom Hot In Cleveland. I've loved White in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Golden Girls and do you remember Mama's Family? That was my show! Shout out to my fly Baby Boomers who remember White from the game show Password. So, I'm sure she'll shine in this one too. Jay Z was the musical guest. Dedicating his performance of "Forever Young" was right on. If you haven't seen SNL it's worth going on to watch it. Keep flying high Betty White!

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Miss Lena Horne
Dies at 92

My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman. I’m free. I no longer have to be a ‘credit.’ I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.
--Lena Horne at age 80
from the New York Times

According to the New York Times, the beautiful singer and actress Lena Horne died at a New York hospital Sunday night. She was 92. Hollywood wasn't kind to this woman of color. But she never gave up her fight for the spotlight. And she did it with grace, style, beauty and stamina. She was vocal about the mistreatment of black soldiers in WWII and the Civil Rights Movement. Many women of color lived through her glamorous lifestyle. She graced stages in beautiful gowns, performed around the world and spoke out against injustices. Sounds like one of those women I blogged about in my Powerful and Prissy post. Note to the up-and-coming female entertainers: she accomplished this all with class. No sex tapes or distasteful nudity took part in her rise to fame. Miss Horne was one of those ladies in the biz who believed in integrity when picking roles.

Miss Horne, like she said in the quote above, was one of a kind. A beautiful example on the inside and out.

Are you fly on Facebook? Join Cocoa Fly's Facebook Page HERE.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Celebrities with Dancing Experiencing Should Not Compete On 'Dancing with the Stars'

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Dancing with the Stars a celebrity amateur competition ? If so, why have we seen so many figure skaters and pop music stars who know how to dance? There was Mya, Kristi Yamaguchi the dude from 98 Degrees, a Backstreet boy and so on. This season it's Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. She's an excellent dancer, very beautiful and will probably win the glitter globe trophy. But anyone that uses dancing in their career should not be on DWTS. I mean come on! Nicole is out of just about everyone's league. She's going up against people like Niecy Nash and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. There's no competition. Same thing goes for figure skater Evin Lysacek. The man dances on ice for a living. Competitors like Evin and Nicole take away the excitement for me because I know they're a shoe-in from day one.
***SPOILER ALERT*** But who's fun to watch are celebs who grow as dancers, like Pamela Anderson. I had no idea the Baywatch beauty could work dance floor. She was my favorite and I'm bummed she was voted off tonight. I really enjoyed watching her dance. She was graceful, sexy and had rhythm. It was cool to see another side of the pinup girl. No pun intended. I'm really loving Niecy Nash too. Once Niecy Nash is voted off I'm not sure if I'll watch the rest of the competition. I already know who's going to win.

The lineups are unfair. Who are they going to cast next season? Paula Abdul or Usher? If Michael Jackson was still alive the producers would probably invite him to compete too.

Don't Assume a Prissy Woman
is a Weak Woman

Woman in department store

A few weeks ago I went to a house/birthday party. On top of the good food, endless drinks and post-tequila Soul Train line,  there was a drag show in the backyard.  One of the acts impersonated Tina Turner and performed "Private Dancer." I called the drag queen LaTina Turner because she was, well, Latina. A few people in the audience stuffed money down her cleavage to tip her. I enjoyed the show and decided tip her. Mind you, I'm prissy so just imagine someone with a little bit of swag like Sandra from "227" or Whitley of  "A Different World" walking up to the stage area. I pranced up to LaTina Turner and delicately slid the dollars down her sequin dress.  As I returned to my front-row seat/beverage cooler, some woman with a camera next me stops snapping pictures, turns to me and snidely says, "Did you have to be dainty about it?" READ MORE


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