19 Apr



Monday, May 5th marks the new season and new day and time for the Backstage Pass Radio Program!  Here is a full list of the new music and musicians and links to their websites and social media.  If you like what you hear, please be sure to stop by their websites and let them know!

1. Sarantos with “Nothing To Hide.”  FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE
2.  Pride Aside with “Betterview”  FACEBOOK WEBSITE
.  Michael A. Galianos with “Island Dream Master”  WEBSITE
. Legacy Music with “Last Call”  FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE
.  Knowledge Gonzalez with “Shine Tonight”  WEBSITE
. Marilyn Bloodsworth with “Pillars of My Heart”  WEBSITE
7.  Rizo Balic with “Pretend”  FACEBOOK | TWITTER |WEBSITE
8.  James Dapper with “GOLD”  TWITTER | SOUNDCLOUD



13 Apr

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 6.43.19 PM

This is T-Mobile’s latest ad campaign.  I laughed when I read it:  “DUMP YOUR OLD CARRIER WITH A BREAK-UP LETTER!”  Upon further inspection, it seems that T-Mobile thinks getting your business is worth shelling out almost $650 dollars.  Unless you’re actually a long-time customer of theirs already.  Then they really could care less.   So Dear T-Mobile?  I’m breaking up with YOU, and here’s why:

In November 2012, I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile.  I was told my phone was compatible – and then calamity ensued.  I was shuffled around from store to store for two weeks without any service – losing me business and possible gigs.  I was FURIOUS.  I contacted their customer support numerous times, and it wasn’t until I took my complaints to Twitter that they paid attention to me (and they had my money already).  Realizing their error and how much it inconvenienced my business, they offered to send me a Galaxy Note 2 and gave me three months of service for free.  I was incredibly impressed, but was also asked to not say anything about it publicly, because they didn’t want people thinking they could complain and get things for free.  (I kid you not).

Fast forward to last year.  I have a substantially larger Twitter following now, I contacted them and asked them if they’d be interested in sending me another phone to review.  In exchange, I’d sign on to their contract (I’m on a pay by month plan now), get the insurance, and would also bring along my husband’s business as well.  This was met with complete silence.  That’s fine, whatever.  I’m not a celebrity and thought it was a long-shot, but I was happy with their service and was also happy to tell others about it.

And guess what?  I’m still happy to tell others about it, but not nicely anymore.  A few months after my very nice letter, things started happening to my phone.  I had to replace the battery three times (this is a very well-known complaint about the Galaxy – find it anywhere online).  Even after charging for well over 12 hours, and turning off every single app that wasn’t absolutely necessary, the battery would still drain within 4-5 hours.

Then I had to system restore my phone twice as well.  I lost contacts (even after backing them up), and everything started getting even more wonky after that.The phone has never been dropped or handled inappropriately.

Within the past month, calls that went to voice mail went directly to “saved,” so I missed out on returning some very important messages.  Now, I’ve been unable to receive calls or access my voice mail or receive texts.  I can post to Twitter, read my email, occasionally make a call, but that’s really it.  The phone is totally on the fritz.  And the last – and most notably upsetting – thing that happened is that the glass on the phone shattered – while in my pocketbook, and the phone was hot.  My tech friend said that the phone likely overheated and cracked.  (Um, FIRE HAZARD ANYONE?)

As a reminder, this was a phone that was given to me as a courtesy and apology for lousy service, so I felt compelled to ask for a new one.  And I was quite pleasant about it at first.  I noticed the Sprint was offering a plan where they’d give me the phone for $50 if I switched to them.  I asked T-Mobile’s customer service if they would match that offer to keep me as a customer, and they said no.  (This was before all the ridiculously bad things started happening to the phone).  Then I sent a follow-up email.  Still no response, so of course, I took it to Twitter.  It started with this:

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 7.03.04 PM


(read this next one in reverse order)

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Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 7.05.50 PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 7.06.50 PMSo I email my issues – in great detail to them at the exact address they gave me.  No answer.  Soon afterwards:

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 7.09.48 PM

In between, I get hooked up with a live chat operator who has absolutely NO RECORD of my email sent to them, and so I have to go through the entire process again.  She says that she has to speak to her supervisor, and will get back to me as soon as possible.  So again, I wait (all the while not being able to use my phone).

So now I take to Twitter to find out about other service providers and ask folks for recommendations and information, and of course I let them know it’s because I’m really upset with T-Mobile.  I keep getting the same exact message with every tweet:

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 7.15.03 PM

Now it’s important to note that this all started on March 28th and it’s now April 13th.  It’s also important to note that they kept me hanging on waiting to hear what they would offer me to keep my business, and this is the response I got via email on April 9th – almost 10 days later (with limited phone capabilities):

Hello Taunia,

Thank you for your patience. I did reach out to my manager on this issue. We are not able to replace the phone in this instance. For the inconvenience that was caused I can provide a credit for 1 month of service. If you would like to look at getting the phone repaired Samsung does offer out of warranty repairs:

Equipment: 1-888-987-4357 (HELP)

Monday - Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. CT
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. CT

 We would be happy to assist with troubleshooting as well if you would like too. 

Thank you,
Lucinda @ T-Force 

One month of free service on a phone that I cannot use??  My response back:

HI Lucinda,

Unfortunately this is mot acceptable.  For only the cost of (any) upgraded phone that WORKS, you would have retained my business and also had a new customer with my husband with both of us singing on as a contract.

At&T, Verizon and Sprint are offering free phones and far superior service. One of them will now be getting our service since we T-Mobile clearly does not value our loyalty as customers.

I appreciate the time you took with this, but I will unfortunately be updating my twitter followers as well.


At this point, I thought I had actually made some headway, because I got this in response:

Hello Taunia,

We definitely don’t ever want to lose a customer, your loyalty has been very important to us over the years. Are there any devices you’re interested in upgrading to? Is there a specific one you’re interested in? Please know we are very interested in keeping your business and would love to explore what options we have available. 

Brianna S @ T-Force

Online Chat Support: Click “Chat” on the right hand side
Support Community:
Customer Care: Dial 611 or 1-800-937-8997

Ok, good!  Let’s see where we can go with this.  My response:

Hi Brianna,
Thanks for your response and I’m happy to hear you’re willing to work with me.  Of course I’d be interested in the new Samsung Galaxy S5, but I understand that there’s a large demand for that and the cost is great than the other Galaxy Notes.  Of course, I’d be happy do a written review of that phone and post it to my social network if that is something T-Mobile would be willing to collaborate on.
Otherwise, any upgraded non-refurbished (brand new) Galaxy Note in White would be fine.  I’d also be interested to know what the cost of insurance would be?
Lastly, if my husband were to switch to T-Mobile, would he be able to use his iPhone 4S?  Do you offer any type of family discounting plan?
Thanks for your help.
I’m feeling good and happy to know that they’re willing to work with me.  Until…
Yeah, you guessed it – no response.  Two days go by with nothing but the same stock response on Twitter.  I sent TWO follow-up emails explaining that I needed an answer because I’m missing important calls (I have resumes out right now and waiting on job calls – which I explained MANY times to them).  I got ignore for about two days, and then finally got this message:

Hello Taunia,

We do regret to hear that you are considering leaving us over this matter. We would love to be able to complete all requests made by our customers, but in this situation we are only able to offer a credit for one month of service as previously offered.

If you would like to look at getting the phone repaired Samsung
does offer out of warranty repairs:Equipment: 1-888-987-4357 (HELP)

Monday - Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. CT
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. CT

We are more then happy help with any other issues you may have, please do not hesitate to reach out to us in the future!

Mistty @ T-Force

Now I’m just straight-up furious that so much of my time has been wasted, so I respond with this:

Well, that interesting, Misty because I got a completely different response from Brianna and her supervisor. I will copy and paste below (which I did).

And now their final response:

Hello Taunia-

Thank you for your reply. I do apologize for any confusion that may have been created, however all options have been explored at this time and our offer of one free month stands and no other offers will be made.

Please let us know if you have any further questions for us.

Thank you,

Mistty A @ T-Force


So much of my time has been wasted, and I’m just blown away by how incredibly inept their customer service department and records are.  I tell them I’ll take the month and use it to find my new service provider.

For the cost of ONE PHONE that works, they could have had both me AND my husband on a two year contract with insurance.  So, they’re willing to shell out $650 to steal customers from other service providers, but once you’re a customer, you’re not worth the cost of a new phone to keep business?

Look, I’m not saying that they absolutely should have given me a new phone, but knowing that I was not able to use mine, and keeping me waiting for SO long with resumes out and completely inaccurate ticket records on their part – it’s just infuriating.  And the only way I could get them to respond to me at all was through Twitter with 36K followers watching.  The only way you get a response is by being an angry customer on Twitter.  And I don’t like being that person.

I would have much rather have handled this quickly and quietly and certainly would have liked to feel more valued as a customer.  In fact, I probably would have ended up buying a new phone for my husband too.  But current customers are clearly not worth it to them.  Apparently they’re just too busy writing “break-up letters” and stealing other service providers customers to help treat their own customers well.

Bad, bad business.


What You Should Know About Bariatric Surgery (Sponsored Post)

8 Apr

This post was graciously sponsored by miVIP at

What You Should Know About Bariatric Surgery

When you can’t keep track of how many times you’ve lost and gained back the same forty pounds, a bariatric procedure may be the answer. Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that focuses on obesity, and there are a variety of surgeries available today that have been proven effective as ways to take weight off quickly and keep it off permanently.

From discovering the underlying causes to developing the best procedures for treatment, miVIP Surgery in Miami specializes in every aspect of bariatrics in order to help people to achieve a healthy weight and live life to the fullest. MiVIP surgeons educate patients about bariatric surgery and discern which minimally invasive procedure is the best fit for each individual. There are three bariatric procedures commonly used to treat obesity.

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass involves the reduction of the stomach and small intestine. This limits how much food is eaten and how many calories are absorbed. Most patients lose between 10 and 20 pounds per month during the first year, and between 100 and 200 pounds or 50 percent of body weight over 2 to 3 years. This procedure has the fastest results of the three.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Commonly called “the sleeve,” this procedure involves a reduction in the size of the stomach. What is left behind is a small, banana-shaped stomach that won’t take in as much food. Most patients lose one-third to one-half of their body weight over the next two or three years.

Gastric Banding

Like the sleeve, gastric binding decreases the size of the stomach and limits food intake. Instead of removing part of the stomach, though, in this procedure, doctors place an adjustable band around part of the stomach. This slows how much food can move into the stomach’s main area. If necessary, a doctor can tighten the band gradually. Gastric banding typically results in the loss of 40 percent of a patient’s weight within three years.

Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly speeds up weight loss after these procedures. Achieving a healthy weight cuts through the health problems caused by obesity, such as hormone issues, breathing problems, and joint problems, just to name a few. Bariatric surgery also increases life span expectancy. Spread the word about bariatric surgery and help miVIP Surgery in Miami combat the epidemic.

miVIP specializes in minimally invasive procedures using state of the art equipment like the da Vinci SI Surgical System. miVIP helps to ensure that their patients’ needs are met quickly and effectively by providing them without patient care. miVIP also considers patients’ safety and the quality of the doctors performing procedures to be the number one priority. All staff members are put through a selection process in order to ensure that the highest standards are being met. Surgeons are board certified and are always highly experienced in their field of expertise. miVIP is a name patients can trust. To learn more go to


2 Apr

April marks the celebration of jazz appreciation month, and this year Smithsonian Jazz & JAM are celebrating the 50 year anniversary of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.”  As a music educator, jazz enthusiast, and jazz vocalist, I plan on posting some of my favorite music (both instrumental and vocal) throughout the month as well as some information about jazz and the history of jazz.  I hope you’ll take a listen, and learn more about the various types of jazz and the history of America’s greatest contribution to the music world.

Since the Smithsonian is celebrating John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, I’ll start there…

A Love Supreme / John Coltrane

John Coltrane’s Handwritten Love Supreme Manuscript

Whatch and listen to this amazing and gorgeous piece written by one of most prolfic and well-know saxaphone planets who ever lived:   CLICK HERE TO GO TO YOUTUBE TO LISTEN TO THE SONGS!

More about John Coltrane and why he was  important in jazz:  
With Courtesy from – their original content.

A revolutionary and groundbreaking jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926, in Hamlet, North Carolina.

It’s far from an overstatement to say that Coltrane was destined to be a musician. He was surrounded by music as a child. His father, John R. Coltrane, kept his family fed as a tailor, but had a passion for music. He played several instruments, and his interests fueled his son’s love for music.

Coltrane’s first exposure to jazz came through the records of Count Basie and Lester Young. By the age of 13, Coltrane had picked up the saxophone, and almost from the moment he first started playing, it was apparent he had a talent for it. The young musician loved to imitate the sounds of Charlie Parker and Johnny Hodges.

Family life took a tragic turn in 1939 when Coltrane’s father, grandparents and uncle died, leaving the household to be run by his mother, Alice, who found work as a domestic servant. Financial struggles defined this period for Coltrane, and eventually his mother and few other family members moved to New Jersey in the hopes of finding a better paycheck. Coltrane remained in North Carolina, living with family friends until he graduated from high school.

In 1943, he too moved north, to Philadelphia to make a go of it as a musician. For a short time he studied music at the Granoff Studios as well as the Ornstein School of Music. But with the country in the throes of war, Coltrane was called to duty and served a year in a Navy band in Hawaii. It was during his service, in fact, that Coltrane made his first recording, with a quartet of fellow sailors.


Early Music Career

Upon his return to civilian life in the summer of 1946, Coltrane landed back in Philadelphia, where, over the next several years, he proceeded to hook up with a number of jazz bands.

One of the earliest was a group led by Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, with whom Coltrane played tenor sax. Later he hooked up with Jimmy Heath’s band, where the young musician began to fully explore his experimental side.

Then in the fall of 1949 Coltrane signed on with a big band led byDizzy Gillespie, remaining with the group for the next year and a half.

Coltrane had started to earn a name for himself. But as the 1950s took a shape, he also began to experiment with drugs, mainly heroin. His talent earned him jobs, but his addictions often ended them prematurely. In 1954, Duke Ellington brought him on to temporarily replace Johnny Hodges, but soon fired him because of his drug dependency.

Playing with Miles Davis

A year after losing a position in Ellington’s band, Coltrane rebounded with another big break when Miles Davis asked him to join his group, the Miles Davis Quintet.

It was a huge recognition of Coltrane’s talent and offered the saxophonist the kind of musical and mental space he needed.

Davis encouraged Coltrane to push his experimental boundaries. More important, the sober Davis held him accountable for his drug habits.

Armed with a new record contract from Columbia Records, Davis led his band into the studio. The next several years proved fruitful for the band, with albums such as The New Miles Davis Quintet (1955) and‘Round About Midnight (1957). He also played on Davis’ seminal album Kind of Blue (1959).

With albums such as The New Miles Davis Quintet (1955) and‘Round About Midnight (1957). He also played on Davis’ seminal album Kind of Blue (1959).

There are two books that I always suggest the folks interested in jazz and that period of time read:

1)  The Miles Davis Biography (lots of stories of Train)
2) A Love Supreme:  The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Ablum

Both can be found on oneline store like or at any local or online bookstores.  Remember:  the history of the musicians and their art deserves to be told in a story, so that others can appreciate and love it and carry the torch either playing, dancing, or listenin on!

Some great choices for Pandora or Spotify:

John Coltrane A Love Supreme

Miles Davis Kind ogf Blue (Coltrane plays throughout the album)

Giant Steps remains one of Coltrane’s most famous pieces

There’ are a few good starts.  Remember, it is we as musicians, ad ecuators, as dancers, as listeners, as enthusiast who must take the torch and pass it along for next generation to leaarn America’s greatest gift to the world of music:  jazz.

We need the music to live forever.  Won’t you help?

Share this!  :)


1 Apr

Yesterday, my latest blog article was posted on the Wellesse blog, and I was inspired to run a little contest so that you could share your story and possibly win some Wellesse Liquid Bariatric Vitamins!

The blog article is about shapewear, and in the comments section, I shared a “funny” story about shapewear – I’m sure we all have them.  All you need to do to be entered into the raffle drawing is either 1) share your funny shapewear story or 2) share your favorite piece of shapewear (brand name and possibly a link if you have one).  That’s it!

Everyone who enters by Friday, April 4th at NOON PST will have a chance to win a full bottle of  Wellesse Multivitamin +, Joint Movement Glucosamine, Digestive Balance Aloe Vera, and some sample sizes of Iron, Calcium, and B12.

To enter, just click on the graphic below and it will take you directly to the article.  Scroll to the bottom and leave your story or shapewear favorite in the comments section.  Wellesse approves each comment, so don’t worry if you don’t see it right away – it will show up later after it’s approved.  Thanks for playing!

“The shape of things to come…”


20 Mar

Diva Taunia:

Giving away dresses – come read all about it! :)

Originally posted on The Dress Addict:

As you may already know, I’m running a HUGE special feature promotion on April 16th here on The Dress Addict!  One of my favorite new sponsors is hoping to help you find some fabulous gowns and cocktail dresses for the upcoming prom season.  And as I mentioned before, their prices are ridiculously affordable AND they are offering a 15% discount on top of their great prices using the coupon code  DVT21403 .  And for the April 16th giveaway, you can win the following:


$60 Online Gift Certificate at Ever-Pretty Dresses
AND another $10 credit when you create your account and select your dress online!  

Here are the direct links to any type of dress your heart desires:


You get one entry into our raffle for each/any of the things you do below:

  • Leave…

View original 370 more words


2 Mar

Wednesday, March 5th @  8:00pm PST:

1.  Devils’ Lair by Blu Collar Glomeration
2.  Pillars Of My Heart by Marilyn Bloodworth

Stay tuned for more information about our switch to a new day and time and new radio platform!


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