Still, I trekked the epic three blocks over to the Bar at JWT for the event, where I was almost made to cry in public -- and it wasn't because Vibe Editor in Chief Danyel Smith made me feel guilty about not paying enough attention to the magazine.
"When you've been around for 16 years," she said, "you get taken for granted. ... I'm asking you not to take Vibe for granted." (It worked, too. I read the most recent issue on the train ride home that night.)
Vibe's one of the presenting sponsors this year, and Smith and Publisher Edgar Hernandez -- "the Sonny and Cher of multicultural publishing," said Hernandez -- were on hand with a couple of their interns, Jasmine Grant and Alana Bethea.
It was a high-school junior by the name of Zora Howard, there representing Harlem-based youth organization Brotherhood/Sister Sol, who almost made me cry. I grew out of spoken word about 10 years ago, but Zora unleashed a piece that silenced a rowdy crowd and left a number of people in tears and yours truly stunned at the ferocity and talent on display in someone who had to leave the party early because it was a school night. But I held it together, damn it, and I did not cry.
The event wasn't all tears and beer drinking, though. Sallie Mars, senior VP-director of creative services and director of diversity at McCann Erickson and chair of the AdColor branding and collateral committee, introduced three spots for the AdColor Awards produced by McCann, New York, and directed by music video and film director Benny Boom. The spots show AdColor winners so enamored with their night of recognition that it eclipses everything else in life, from honeymoons to children's achievements.
And Chiqui Cartagena, managing director-integrated marketing for Meredith Hispanic Ventures, announced that Cristina Saralegui -- the Oprah of the Hispanic TV universe -- will be AdColor's 2009 All-Star Honoree.
Even then, I did not cry.