Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Summer Blog Random List

Okay so that title was a bit non-creative, but it's 12:48 am and that's good enough for me.
So, it was like 70 degrees today, which for a summer/fall person such as myself was okay, but since I was born in this month, I tend to like summer.
This week at work was a bit eventful, you know the usual corporate drama.
As I get older, I realize that you have less friends, not because you're losing friends, but rather because you realize some friends are really acquaintances.
My cats are the bomb! I watch them sleep peacefully without a care in the world and I envy that kind of carefree-ness (yeah I know that's not a word).
I have also realized that I liked the Internet better before all of these social networking sites. Anonymity is where it's at.
I love anonymity, I think that's why I prefer working behind the scenes, no need for the limelight here.
Of course, that leads me to the fact that it's been a decade since I've sang in front of an audience. I used to LOVE singing!
Creative outlets are so important when you have to use so much time and energy on work.
I really need to get my act together and go back to law school.
I listened to "Lougin" by LL Cool J and Total - I love the part in the very beginning when Kesha says, "Mmmm, go head daddy!"
Does that make me a freak? LOL!
I know some people in my past would scream out YES, whatever!
Why is there someone begging on like EVERY corner in downtown Chicago? I love to give, but damn, we are in a recession.
I don't like tv anymore. Too many reality shows, too much coonery, and I realize that my television provides background noise for other activities.
I constantly think about the all the time.
I even think about my future children. How scary is that? I am seriously trying to discipline myself and make necessary lifestyle changes so that when I have kids, I won't pass on bad habits. (Uhh, Mary, how about you get a man first)
My grandmother called me smart and beautiful today, and it brought tears to my eyes.
It's so nice to be genuinely complimented.
I am an incredible woman, whoever I marry will be lucky and blessed indeed. I hope that doesn't sound vain, but it's true.
I miss talking on the phone all night, I did that with my ex.
I wish I could find my putting iron (hope I'm saying that right), I have a putting set and I miss playing with it.
FACT#: I used to have the biggest crush on Grant Hill. I had his gym shoes, posters, book - everything.
I love argyle.
I also love plaid.
Yes, I'm a geek.
I love the line in Little Brother's "The Yo-Yo" remix when Phonte says, "Man, shit, I'm bout to kick some Trick Daddy next poetry night, like my black queeeenn, don't no nann nigaa!"
I listen to music EV-ER-Y-DAY! (Like Dre in Brown Sugar)
I probably listen to hip-hop 55% of the time.
And no, that doesn't include Soulja Boy or Gucci Mane or any of the myriad other minstrel show rappers.
I also listen to R&B (old-school), classical, alternative, rock, gospel and jazz.
Yeah, I be that eclectic!
Okay, so that was corny, but it is true.
I have these weird dreams about my old house. Funny how I couldn't wait to get out that bish, and it pops up in my subconscious.
I can't buy ground beef from the store. Haven't done that since...ever!
I don't like Milk, but I love some cereal, so I freeze skim milk.
God, help my future husband, he is going to be like WTF at some of my habits.
I adore Bad Habits by Maxwell, what a sexy song.
I have at least four books that are unfinished. I wish I had the time to just write.
I need to take up piano again, you know get my Alicia Keys on...
I daydream at least 30% of each day.
I hear songs all of the time, sometimes before they hit the radio/Internet. Been that way since I was a child - I know, weird right?
I heard "Fallen" by Alicia Keys at least a year before her album dropped.
Makes me wonder if I should have taken a music route.
CONFESSION#: I got my toes sucked outside of Secrets nightclub (LOL, shout out to Dee).
I would explain that confession above, but it's kind of a long story.
I found out I love Moscato this summer.
"Lay your head on my pillow, if you can be yourself. No one has to know what you were feeling, no one but me and you." - Alicia Keys Diary
I am on an A Keys hit tonight.
I want to get tickets to see Maxwell, Common and Chrisette Michelle, but my bourgeois arse wants like front row, or at least really great floor level seats.
When I went to Jamaica I was a ROCKSTAR! It was lovely.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I first saw Love Jones when it came out in 1997. I was fresh out of a relationship that so incredibly paralleled the movie, I could barely stand to watch it the first time I saw it. However, this movie brings forth four archetypes that we often see in relationships. Now you may be asking yourself, four? I thought a relationship only involved two people. That is the goal, but normally, there are always "other folk" who end up playing a major role. What better way to foray into such a topic, but by discussing the film, Love Jones. This movie, in its simplicity uncovered the roles and the games that we often play when we're jonesin' and can't handle the vulnerability and emotions that come with it.

The Lovers

"I gather up each sound you left behind and stretch them on our bed. Each night I breathe you and become high." - Nina quoting Sonia Sanchez

Darius Lovehall and Nina Moseley were the lovers in this film. The two people who immediately connect, in an elemental way. It's a given fact upon their first meeting that they will indeed "hook up". As a woman, I hate that. It sucks to meet a man and be so chemically attracted to him, that it's blatant something is going to go down. Mainly because that, in and of itself is complicated. Rushing into something physical with someone new, ALWAYS complicates things, especially if you have loose ends that haven't quite been tied up yet.

The Loose Ends

"I'm going to get some mothafuckin toasted oats, cause you trippin." - Marvin

Often, the loose ends are exes. It's a given when you start something new, if there is an ex still in the picture, there will be drama. It's amazing how when you break up with someone, your ex is cool. You all may even find ways to amicably coexist. But as soon as your ex sees the new person, the drama begins and to hell with being amicable. The more complicated loose end is the "in-between person". You know those people we sometimes hook up with in-between relationships. This is a dangerous situation because unless you have a CLEAR understanding, the in-between person can become comfortable (for both of you) and can indirectly block you meeting someone new. Also, the in-between person can begin to feel a certain amount of entitlement, get used to a particular treatment and can find themselves competing with the new person. In Love Jones, the loose ends were Marvin and Lisa.

I always found the part in the film when Marvin decided to "see if there was still something there," interesting. The fact is, Nina knew she wasn't still interested in Marvin when he approached her. Yet, listening to her friend Josie, she decided to play games with Darius and go to NY and kick it with Marvin while looking for a job. But the fault wasn't all on her. When confronted with the situation, Darius played it cool, even though it killed him to see her go to NY where her ex was. Then to add insult to injury, he hooks back up with the in-between while she's gone. So, of course when she returns, the loose ends had complicated their whole groove.

This is where being grown comes to play. Now the game playing would have been understandable, had they been 12 and in junior high. But these almost 30 grown folks were pretending to be just "chillin," when they had both fallen from that first look. Life is too damn short to pretend when you find someone you truly love!

The Friends

"Everybody is always talking about jumping, diving and falling in love. Please, somebody tell me how to stay there!" - Savon

Friends are like footnotes when you are in a relationship. You refer to them because you know they already check out, however, it may not be the information that you need. True friends will offer advice, but constantly remind you to follow your heart. Even if you get hurt, your friend will be there to pick you back up. Fake friends and associates masquerading as friends will give you "free advice," that will probably quickly end your relationship. In Love Jones, the friends were Savon and Josie. The interesting twist to these two was they were real friends. The problem was they were both ill-equipped in helping Nina and Darius. Savon was a married teacher, an intellectual who was falling out of love with his wife. His marriage had lost its steam and for someone who usually had the answer to everything, he didn't know how to fix it. Josie was the typical sisterfriend to Nina. She was sweet and attractive, outspoken and funny, yet she was single and didn't seem to have any prospects lined up. So she was invariably living vicariously through Nina, which meant all of her advice would be how SHE would handle it, not how Nina should handle it.

I am immune to this. I have too many friends who fall into the issues category and since I was a little girl, I have been known to not take advice from people I wouldn't change places with. This is no disrespect to some of my friends, but if they've never had a successful relationship or have issues with men how can they offer me advice on something potentially real? Again, back to the grown folks stuff. When you get to a certain age, you should know who you can and can't take advice from.

The Haters

"I don't need poetry to get women. No, what you need is a personality. Try some breath mints and a Visa card." - Wood, Sheila and Savon

It is my belief that when God blesses you with the opportunity to find true love, and you accept it, you will be tested. If your heart is right, you will pass the test. But, if you are on that bowlshyt, the test will get the best of you. In Love Jones, without a doubt, the hater was Wood. The funny thing is, we knew Wood was a hater, before Nina and Darius hooked up. Why? Because the hater is usually an associate - masquerading as a friend. They are already jealous of you, and often walk around pontificating about things that just aren't true. They have to make themselves look good at all costs. As soon as Wood saw trouble in paradise, he swooped in to try and woo Nina. Nina, being the honest person she was assumed he was actually Darius's friend so she trusted him. She quickly found out the truth about him, even though he defamed her and tried to make it appear that the two of them were more than just friends. I've noticed that men tend to keep haters around them, maybe because they are more competitive than women, but the hater will most definitely test you, especially if it's obvious that this new thing is the real thing!

That Jones

"Romance is about the possibility of the thang. You see its about the time between when you first meet some fine ass woman and when you first make love to her. And when you first ask a woman to marry you and when she says I do. When people who have been together a long time say that the romance is gone.. Mmm-hmm, what they really saying is.... they've exhausted the possibilities" - Darius Lovehall

So why do we go through all of these characters in our lives? Why do we play games? Why can't we just accept a good opportunity when we see it? I think it's fear. I don't care who you are, if you live long enough, you will get your heart broken. Love is the most infuriating wonderful thing to ever happen to the world. It can be so painful and so incredible all at the same time. A lot of this is the result of fear. But, fear is not of God, and since God is love, then seeking it is a risk we all must take!

"You always want what you want when you want it? Why is everything always so urgent with you?" - Nina

"Let me tell you somethin'. This here, right now, at this very moment, is all that matters to me. I love you. That's urgent like a motherfucker." - Darius

Just as an aside to this post. There are certain parts of this film that really spoke to me.

When Darius performed his poem for Nina..."I'm the blues in your left thigh, trying to become the funk in your right."
I also loved when he met up with her at Dr. Wax. Once he saw she wasn't trying to get hooked up, he asked if he could play something for her, and he played Charlie Parker.

The part when they had their first date and she was riding on the back of his motorcycle in her shades all close to him - that was HOT!

When their date night ended and he walked her to the door. From the kiss to the whole talk about just going upstairs to talk.

And of course the end, when he caught her in the rain and professed his urgent love for her. This movie exemplifies the consummate love story. But what I love about it, it's a black love story!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Good Hair/Bad Hair!

The trailer for Chris Rock's new film/documentary entitled: "Good Hair" hit the Internet. Just about every black blog picked it up. I checked it out and I have to say, it appears he has put a comedic twist on a very touchy subject for African-Americans, especially sistas!

Since I can remember, I have heard the terms, "good hair" and "bad hair". It is no secret in American society, that most black folks feel as though they have "bad hair." Good hair was always seen as being hair that belonged to a mixed race person. Someone with parents of two races, or at least someone who had "good hair."

Good hair is also defined as being manageable, soft, silky, straight without chemicals, wavy without chemicals, able to be wet and dry naturally without drawing up. Unfortunately, black girls learn at a very young age this whole concept and I truly believe become imprisoned by this. Hair holds us back. A lot of black women don't workout, because we're afraid we will sweat our hair out and God forbid, walk around nappy! I've always wondered about this, and more importantly why European hair is automatically the desired look.

While I choose not to wear weaves/extensions/wigs or any of the other "not naturally my hair" products, I do have a perm. I work in corporate America, so it was the right thing to do, right? Honestly, it does make my hair more manageable and easy to maintain. But I have considered going "au natural" and even tried it once, but my hair started fighting back after about two months. For now, we'll just say that idea has been postponed.

Personally, I feel like any woman, should wear her hair (even if she bought it) anyway that makes her feel beautiful. However, one thing that struck me in the clip, that I have never encountered, is the idea that men can't touch our hair! I have had guys play in my hair before, and truthfully I enjoyed it. I hope black women go out and see this film, and realize that this whole HAIR thing is residual Willie Lynchism. Yes, I know, that sounds like a militant rant, but it IS true! We need to be free of the limitations of hair, but this is about more than just hair. This is about self-love. Clearly, some of us need more of it, then this whole HAIR issue, won't be an issue at all.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Booklist!

So, I am almost ashamed that it took Twitter shutting down for me to come back and post on my blog. I've noticed that I don't have loyalty to the Internet anymore. I have completely abandoned my MySpace page, I have neglected this blog for two months, and although friends and family have resorted to begging, I am not even accidentally interested in Facebook. My mother has a Facebook page. My mother! The woman who thinks she can only search on Yahoo, but I digress.

So, it is fitting that I return with a post about books. Since I was eight years-old, reading and writing books has become one of my favorite past times. I am in a book club that never meets, but averages about twenty books a month. I easily surpass that if I have the time. So, I decided to recommend three very different books, which can enlighten anyone's personal library, whether you are an avid reader or not.

Intimate Seduction by Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson is my favorite author - period! Her stories are legendary. While, she tends to stick to the black romance fiction, the characters are generally well-rounded, educated, multi-dimensional and provocative. In her Steele series, she finally pens the story of die hard bachelor Donovan Steele, and his quest for the mysterious Natalie Ford. It is a great read, I actually read this in two sittings. Check out the foreword:

When a man finds a beautiful woman asleep in his bed...

...he has only one choice. To seduce her with a night of lovemaking she'll never forget. Trouble is, Donovan Steele's sultry new housekeeper is just as determined not to become the legendary playboy's latest conquest.

Trading the Ivy League for down South, Natalie Ford is helping out with her ailing aunt's housecleaning service. But she finds that this powerful, potent man of Steele ignites a different kind of chemistry - one that defies every law of attraction the science professor ever learned.

Natalie knows she has to come clean to Donovan about who she really is, especially when he starts believing she's out to sabotage his family business. Will she lose her chance to love the real man behind the seductive legend?

The Hunted by L.A. Banks

L.A. Banks is a literary genius when it comes to stories of the paranormal type. Her vampire huntress series is more popular than anything Anne Rice could ever write, and it would not surprise me if this series was ever picked up by one of the premier cable networks, because it is addictive. I fought getting any of these for some time. Banks, pens under Leslie Esdaile and Leslie Esdaile Banks with stories in the romance and adventure categories respectively. Yet, when she has a new vampire book coming out, lines are out the door and around the corner of bookstores. If you are into these type of books, you won't be disappointed, in fact, you'll surely be addicted.

The foreword:

A Neteru--a hunter or a huntress--is born every thousand years in favor of the Warriors of Light as they fight against the Dark Realms. But Damali Richards is the Millennium Neteru. The one who will play a pivotal role in the Final War. The Warriors of Light had been waiting for her and the Dark Realms will do anything to either possess or destroy her. What they did not account for was the man who would love her.

Damali Richard has been to hell and back--literally--and she is not eager to repeat the trip. A Vampire civil war has been averted, but there were casualties and she believes that Carlos Rivera, former lover turned master vampire, is one of them. His death has not only shaken her emotions, but weakened her powers as well. But then Damali gets word that horrific killings are taking place in Brazil. The vampire civil war has left a small door to hell open and new and dangerous foes have risen from the Dark Realms. The leader, a deadly female, is set on a path of destruction. However, her blood lust hides a nefarious plan and the newly resurrected Carlos Rivera is at the heart of it. But Damali is not about to lose her man a second time, so she plans to send this old girl right back to hell she came from--no matter who stands in her way.

Mercy Mercy Me: The Art, Loves and Demons of Marvin Gaye by Michael Eric Dyson

I don't know if I purchased this book because I love Michael Eric Dyson and his phenomenal intellectualism, or because as a little girl I had a big crush on Marvin Gaye. I was probably about five years-old when Marvin Gaye was killed, but his music still had quite an effect on me. I mean who doesn't like at least one of his songs? My awe of him stemmed from watching the Ebony Jet Showcase when they documented his exile to Europe. They showed a man deeply troubled, disappointed with life and hurt over the pain of losing his family, being in debt and feeling disconnected from the music industry. At the time when I saw the documentary, I was taking a vocal class. The golden rule was to sit on the edge of your chair, shoulders back, inhaling through the nose and using the diaphragm to hold notes and change registers. Marvin Gaye was in a flat in London. A band was setup in the living room. A drummer, bassist, guitarist and keyboard player. Marvin was literally lying down on his side, holding a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other, with a microphone stand right by his mouth. He was singing a tune and sounding so astoundingly good, I couldn't breathe while I was watching it. Marvin just had a way about him, an effortless swagger that was as natural as breathing. So, I said all of that (sorry) to say that led me to buy Dyson's book.

This book doesn't disappoint. Dyson boldly delves into Gaye's troubled childhood, the suffocating strictness of being raised by Pentecostal parents, his rebellion against his father and distancing from his family as a teenager to travel with his doo wop band. He even discusses Marvin's tumultuous relationship with his wife, Anna Gaye and of course, his tense relationship with his brother-in-law, Berry Gordy. This book is interesting from start to finish. It provides an intimate glimpse that we don't hear about or see, check it out!