Theory & Essay

Cheers To The First Lady of VSB, Liz B.

As most of you know, this past Wednesday, June 6, was Liz’s birthday. Some of you who are newer might be trying to figure out who the hell Liz is in the first place. Others who’ve been around for eons may wonder where Liz has been lately. Sometimes she shows up sporadically and then disappears like a ghost in the night not to be seen again for months. Well she’s pretty busy, that Liz.

Anyway, I figured that since she did such a bang up job last year on my birthday with the most hilarious post about the most ungangsta things about myself – none of which I can deny, by the way – that I might as well share some interesting things about Liz. And give some back story into the whole VSB thing and also some random, yet interesting tidbits. See, being the third and mostly silent (except when she’s 404ing some of you mofos) partner of VSB, it’s possible to get obscured and/or not get as much shine. And truth be told, she probably likes it that way to some degree. Liz is #boutdatlife when it comes to the ‘net, but like most of you ninjas, she’s also highly introverted and would probably become an icon on her MacBook’s desktop if she could.

So let’s just delve right in. We’ll see how and where this goes but it’s time to put Liz’s business in these streets in a good and fun way. Happy birthday week, Liz!


Liz is the reason I ever started blogging. Real talk. I found Liz’s old blog, BlackMartha, via the blog of one of my boys from Morehouse, KillaCal, who was early into this blogging thing. I was going through his blogroll one day and clicked on her blog and started reading about this AKA chick who lived in Boston and went to MIT and all the crap she was going through. This was back when folks got mad personal on their blogs. Y’all might not get the chance to really know this but Liz is a great writer. And her blog was fascinating. I checked on it daily. I’m pretty sure I never left a comment. I also can’t remember if this was 2003 or 2004. Either way, it was a LONG time ago, so much so that probably only Fela Kuti could appreciate it. (<—random non-pop culture reference)

One day, on a lark, I IM’d her and it was on like donkey kong. I’m sure she wondered who the hell this random dude was but soon we were, like, total BFFs. You all remember the days when the folks you met online knew more about your personal life than the people you saw everyday? Yeah, that was my life. Well, in my randomness of randomnesses, Liz convinced me to start blogging. Now I had no idea what it was or why I should do it, but she convinced me and well, the rest is history. That’s pretty much how VSB got off the ground. Every tech issue or need for blogging know-how would go through Liz even before VSB, so when Damon and I came up with the idea for this blog, we went straight to Liz who offered to set it up. So effectively, since I met Liz, she’s been the backbone of nearly everything I’ve done online.

Real talk, I credit Liz with all of the success I’ve had since I’ve started blogging, seeing as the world has opened up for me in various ways both professionally and personally. It if wasn’t for her prodding and championing and encouraging my shenanigans…nobody would have any idea who I was. I’m positive of that.

Random: Liz and I have collaborated on more ingenious non-started up business ventures than you could possibly imagine. Seriously, we’ve come up with business ideas that will change the world. We’re just both Geminis which means 98 percent of them stay in the idea phase. Wompington Womperstein. The funny part is that while VSB has definitely blown up in the blog world, I think Liz may be as famous if not more on the internet geek side. We’ve been out places and somebody would find out Liz was there and blow a gasket. People always want to meet her. And because to me, HTML always stood for “Ho, Too Much Lettuce”, I always assumed there was some internet genius underworld that she was running that I wasn’t bright enough to understand.

I also remember the first time I met Liz…at a Coldstone Creamery in Times Square in NYC waaaaaaaaaay back yonder. That first meeting was awkward because, well, two ninjas who met on the Internet were going to have an odd meeting in 2004. Hell, back then, folks really might have been serial killers. Back then, nobody was finding love in the Internet. That was when folks looked at you sideways for making friends via the ‘net.

But we truly became fast friends. She came to Morehouse’s homecoming with me and my homies one year; I went to her graduation from undergrad. She’s stayed in my house with my girlfriend (at the time) and played with my kid. I’ve met her family. She’s one of those friends who always gets name dropped when a woman comes into the picture. Because she’s not going anywhere.

And now that she’s running all types of sh*t up in NYC for MadameNoire (that’s what I like to tell myself), I couldn’t be prouder or happier. It’s funny because as real friends go we’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve been there for all types of real life dramas and hardships and met family members, etc. At the end of the day, I want nothing but the best for Liz as she travails the world of running things. She might not be around VSB all the time like she used to but she’s also busy as all hell so she never has the time. But that’s okay. Point is, Liz is the homey for life and as vital and important to the VSB story as Damon or I. And because of her background role she likely never gets her just due…so I figured, why not write a quick tribute and walk down memory lane.

So in case you didn’t get a chance to say Happy Birthday to Liz, please do so and throw a dub up (she’s from California by way of New Mexico…the real New Mexico…as in her grandparents had an emu farm, New Mexico) for the homey Liz. She’s the reason you’re even on VSB right now.

Thanks homey…hope your bday week is and has been a most fruitful and enjoyous one.



It’s time for another Very Smart Single out there, check out the profile for B. Greene ladies, and if you’re interested, send us an email at!

One more time, for all the folks in DC: I won a happy hour at McFaddens at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW from 10pm-midnight. All drinks are $3 if you come in and say my name (say my name) at the door. You’ll get a wristband. I’ll be there chillin’ hanging out. So come on down and kick it with ya’ boy and have a drink and chillax. Stay a minute or twelve. Or 2 hours. Holla.

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Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at

  • Lizzard is the shit. That is all.

  • Liz Khalifa!!!!

    Yeah, it’s time for me to go to bed…

    • naturalista88

      *Lmao*, you are a mess.

  • naturalista88

    Aw, I really like this post :D Happy belated Liz, may you be blessed w/many more.

    • Jay

      Yeah. I’m mad jealous of that backstory.

      • Misssurburbia

        +1 that ode to Liz is so ultra sweet!! happy belated Liz!!

  • awwww!!! Jammy Jams, you are so schweeeet.

    Happy be-lated FIRST LADY!

    I wanna be somebody’s first lady on that note!

  • *Throws glitter-covered Gideon New Testaments in the air*


  • Jay

    Happy birthday Lizzie Gillespie. For the record I’ve always thought that your gravatar picture(featured above) was ADORABLE. I want to hug it. IJS.

  • happy belated Lizz….i’ve peeped your tumblr/blogpage…and you are truly quite the remarkable woman. i wish you nothing but the best…

    oh, and my Caribbean cousin Winston Cuthbert has a celebratory dance that you make like…

    • Liz

      aww thanks for reading my tumblr!!!

  • nillalatte

    Oh, yes, I remember my first encounter with Liz. I was 404’d QUICK! She gathered up all the toys and threw me out of the VSB sandbox!

    Not really. I gathered my own toys and got out of her sandbox (VSB comments) because… well, I was the new kid that didn’t understand being FIRST was not a game (Note: Champ HAD to be first today!) LOL.

    Happy belated birthday Liz! Stay blessed and happy. :)

    • girl watchumean, being first was not a game. Ya’ll were being policed?!

      • yes. we HATED the damn “first!” sh*t. and Liz would send your arse to 404 detention. it was actually quite hilarious.

  • WOoooooooooooOOOOt

  • legitimate_soul

    This was beautiful! Happy Birthday, again, Liz! I hope you are celebrating you and having an awesome June :)

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