Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oh Halloween!!

Halloween is not my favorite holiday. But, I have learned to appreciate it differently as an adult who has kids in her life. My nieces and nephews LOVE Halloween. They love getting costumes, the trick or treating and the face painting that happens at the parties. I love seeing them so excited about any and everything. So, Halloween is special to me because of them. They love it. That makes me smile about it.

As far as myself, I can take it or leave it. I haven't been into it since at least high school. I think I've finally accepted that I will never feel the same about Halloween. Maybe I should get into the wearing of costumes as an adult. Maybe then I'd feel differently. Wonder if any of my friends are having a Halloween party this year. I usually avoid them. I must stop being so anti-social. I am more than ok with the way I feel about Halloween now. Happy Halloween people!! Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Classic Music: Michael Jackson "Off The Wall"

Michael Jackson will always be classic to me. I've been a fan of his since as far back as I can remember. I've also lightly touched on his greatness here. I loved all the music that came from the Jackson 5. I have a lot of favorite songs by Michael. But, my favorite album by him has always been "Off The Wall." Everything about it is greatness. It is just a seamless project. It's music I can dance to and sing along with. Music I just feel deep inside of me. Still. Decades later, it still feels the same.

After the huge success of "Thriller," Michael was up against his own track record. "Thriller" will always be the pinnacle of his musical catalog. "Off The Wall" reminds me of my childhood. Of riding in the car with my parents in uptown New Orleans. Of carefree days that never seemed to end. The music has that affect on me. To me, that is the true judge of classic music. It can touch multiple generations of people. And, still sound as fresh and as relevant as it did when it premiered. From "Rock With You" to "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough," I cannot pick a favorite track. It's all great. Below are my faves. Enjoy and reminisce with me for a moment.

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Favorite Time of The Year

I LOVE the fall. The air is cooler and crispier. I am uber jealous of people who live in places where there is an actual fall. Where the leaves turn vibrant shades of orange, red and yellow before they fall to the ground. Where the temperature truly drops a few degrees lower. Especially after living through a hot as Hades summer, Fall is a welcomed change. I look forward to it every year. I wait for that first fall like day. That cool, light breeze. The air smells differently in the fall, feel differently. There is just something about that change. I have been like this since I was a teen.

There is just something about this time of year. The smell of hot cocoa, the warmth of the heater. Scarves, coats and boots are staples. I love to dress for the coolness. It doesn't get too cold here by truly cold standards. But, it's always cold enough for me. I have a ridiculous amount of tights, gloves and scarves. They are usually affordable and available every where. I always buy them. It inspires me to write. Inspires me to dream a little bit more. The Fall just has that affect on me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Things To Know

1. What is more difficult for you, looking into someones eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someones eyes when they are telling you how they feel? Looking them in the eyes when they are telling me how they feel.

2. Think of the last time you were REALLY angry. WHY were you angry? Do you still feel the same way? I was angry because my SIL is a complete and total dumb ass. I'm not angry anymore, however, she is still in fact a dumb ass.

3. You are on a flight from Honolulu to Chicago non-stop. There is a fire in the back of the plane. You have enough time to make ONE phone call. Who do you call? What do you tell them? I call HIM & tell him how much I love him. And, for him to not grieve too much for me.

4. You are at the doctor’s office and he has just informed you that you have approximately one month to live. Do you tell anyone/everyone you are going to die? What do you do with your remaining days? Would you be afraid? I tell the ones closest to me. I enjoy time with them all doing various silly things. I would be afraid at first. Then I would pray and give it to God. Whatever's meant to be, will be.

5. You can have one of the following two things. Which do you choose? Why? Love
and Trust.
Love. Because with love comes trust. None of us could exist without love I don't think.

6. You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late even once more, you are fired. Do you take the time to save the dogs life? Why or Why not? I go to work. My job has to do with my well being. I need money to live. I'd feel extremely bad. but, self-preservation is a must.

7. Would you rather be hurt by the one you trust the most or the one you love the most? They are the same person. So, yes.

8. Your best friend confesses that he/she has feelings for you more than just friendship. He/she is falling in love with you. What do you (or did you) do/say?
I would tell him that I understand his feelings and I am flattered. But, I am in love with the only man for me. Furthermore, our friendship means to much to jeopardize it with either of us being in love with the other.

9. Think of the last person who you know that died. You have the chance to give them 1 hour of life back, but you have to give up one year of yours. Do you do it? Why or Why not? I would. Because Mr. Williams was important to me. I think his family would love to have him back for at least an hour. If only to get to say goodbye.

10. Are you the kind of friend that you would want to have as a friend? Totally. Fiercely loyal.

11. Does love = sex? No, you can have one without the other. But, the real question is why would you want to?

12.Your boss tells your coworker that they have to let them go because of work shortage, and they are the newest employee. You have been there much longer. Your coworker has a family to support and no other means of income. Do you go to your boss and offer to leave the company? Why or Why not? I don't know if I'm that selfless. In this economy willingly giving up a job is not the move.

13.When was the last time you told someone HONESTLY how you felt regardless of how difficult it was for you to say? Who was it? What did you have to tell the person? It's been a few weeks. It was one of my siblings. It's private though.

14. What would be (or what was) harder for you to tell a member of the opposite sex, you love them or that you do not love them back? I love them.

15. What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up? Why would it be hard to lose? Listening to music. Because I live for it.

16. Excluding romantic love, when was the last time you told someone you loved them. Who were they to you? Multiple times today. He is my Love.

17. If there was one moment and one time in the last month what would you change and why? Drinking too much wine a few weekends ago when I was out with old friends. Because the hangover was the pits.

18.Imagine it is a dark night, you are alone, it is raining outside, you hear someone walking around outside your window. WHO do you wish was there with you?
My brother because he owns a gun.

19. Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying? Why or Why not?
I don't know how to do give CPR o_O

20.You are holding onto your grandmother’s hand and the hand of a newborn that you do not know as they hang over the edge of a cliff. You have to let one go to save the other. Who do you let fall to their death? What was your rationale for making the decision? My grandmother would want me to chose the newborn so that he/she deserves to have a life. I would follow her wishes.

21. Are you old fashioned? In many ways, I am. I didn't realize this until I hit 30 though.

22. When was the last time you were nice to someone and did NOT expect anything in return for it? Today. Being nice never hurt anyone.

23.Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a broken heart, or never loved at all? Why? I do not like this question. But, true love with the broken heart.

24.If you could do anything or wish anything, what would it be? I would wish that I could have one last conversation with either my Dad or my Uncle Larry.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ladies Love Lyrics: Brandy "Scared of Beautiful"

I've already stated how much I like Brandy's "Two Eleven." I still haven't decided which track is my favorite. But, I decided that "Scared of Beautiful" had some of the best lyrics. I think we've all been here. It's fear, an emotion we all live with and fight through in our lives. The music is also really nice. It's just a great track. Listen and enjoy.

"Turn a lamp on, let me talk to you
See that light bulb, does something to you
Makes it a little harder to tell a lie, don’t it
Make it difficult to run and hide, don’t it
Tell the truth to me, good truth to me
Come close to me if that’s you
I want to see the detail inside those beautiful eyes
The lies

Myself ain't never talked to me like that before
And, I wonder what on earth is she searching for
No wonder why, there’s no mirrors on these walls no more
You can’t tell me why, you’re so terrified of beautiful

Scared of the good more than the evil
Scared of the light more than the dark
Scared of the truth so much more than the lie
I’m scared for me,
I’m scared of me
Scared of beautiful...

Turn the lamp down, don't me talk to you
That light bulb took something from me
Or gave something to me
I can't decide, I can't decide
It took freedom, gave purpose
Can't blend in, too perfect
All this beauty ever gave me was a
reason for some beautiful lies..."

Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm Addicted to Drugs....

This couldn't be more accurate about me.
Books are my drugs.
If I couldn't read, I would not make it.
I need this poster-sized, framed and in black in white.
Please and thank you!

Around These E-Streets (I)

I am a voracious reader. Whether it is books, magazines or online, I am almost always reading something. I wanted to share so interesting things I ran across this last week or some on the web. Hope you guys enjoy it.

° This article made me smile. It made me stand a little taller with my unique and weird name. I haven't always felt that way. It had more to do with the idiots I have came across in my past. The ones who decided that my phonetic name was too hard to pronounce or that it was fodder for comedy. I do love that I have a name that if you hear it, you never forget it. My name is my name. This author's story is one I've sorta experienced. So, I get her outrage and her pain. I also am soaking up her sunshine when it comes to taking a stance about her name.

° I was enticed by this article on feminism and submissive. I feel that I am equal part feminist and submissve woman. I have no problem playing both of those sides because they are both a part of me. I can stand up for women's equal rights and fight the good fight all while being a domesticated lady. It's not even a choice for me because I am who I am. My favorite quote from the article is this:
I want to be gentle and not crass, to possess a quiet strength and a soft power; I’d rather purr than roar any day.

° Women and babies are always a topic of discussion. This article sets out to destroy that myth that women have to have babies. Granted, I am of the mind that children are a part of my future. I do not judge those who choose differently. It's interesting to read that more women are happily childless. I get it. I am happy now. I just want the experience of being a mom. That is a dream that I only recently totally embraced. Very good read though.

° This happened here the other day. I am sick about this. I will never understand the mind of a parent that takes the life of their kids. Why?? Also, if the life of the parent is so horrible, why don't they ever just take their own lives? It's always young kids. This Mom shot her 3 y/o son in the head and drowned her 4 y/o daughter only because the gun jammed. A 4 y/o and a 3 y/o are now dead because no one stepped into help, to fight for them. If the Mom was known to have mental issues, why was she still in charge of her kids? Stories like this always piss me off because they could always be prevented. *sigh* What is wrong with folks?

° This blog chronicles one woman's journey through breast cancer. It is a great real life look into a devastating disease. It's still Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's a big deal and a cause that I support. It has affected my family in so many ways.

° My favorite rapper started his own youtube channel a few weeks ago. Elliot Wilson, editor of, has a series called "The Truth." This episode focuses on veteran rappers putting out subpar material. I totally agree with everything he says in this clip. He talks about LL Cool J's new track "Ratchet" which is ridiculously awful. From the song title to the actual track, none of it works. Uncle L is too old to be dropping mess like this. It was followed by the Fat Joe's "Instagram That Hoe." Which is also a mess. I just don't get this nonsense from vets. I cannot do anything but shake my head.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's My Hair: Newsflash

Newsflash: I am a bad natural hair chick. I say this because after hours upon hours of YouTube video watching, natural hair care forum reading, I am over it. Some of these natural hair ladies take this journey entirely too serious. I cannot devote that much time and energy to my hair. Life is too short for that. So, I've taken all that I've learned from the two platforms and adapted it to my life. I've found what works for me & my hair. I don't engage in conversations, online or in real life, with natural nazi's. I cannot deal with those women. I have a new found appreciation of locs. I've seen some gorgeous ones in the last few weeks. I don't know if I'm headed that way but they are pretty. Newsflash: It's just hair. My hair. And, what I do with it is my business. I don't have the time or energy to depend my choices to the world. Hell, I don't even defend it to my family any more. I am not my hair. But, I love my hair.

I've been transitioning for a little over a year and I haven't really used protective stylings. I have been prone to rock a bun because it's easy and it works. But, my signature style has been a modified twist out. I like the way it looks and feels. It's also easy to do and maintain. That is always my main concern: manageability. I love my hair. I do not, however, love spending hours doing it myself. I haven't been to the beauty salon in over a year (eek!!). Which is huge for me. I used to go at least once a month. I always went for my relaxers and to get my ends clipped. Life is different now since I don't have to commit myself to a stylist chair for hours on a Saturday. I don't miss that aspect of it. I do however miss just talking to the ladies in the shop. They were always funny. I've found the products that work for me. Ironically, I did not have to shop around much. I made some things at home with products I purchased earlier. I found the best conditioner (Suave Humectant) for my co-washing and pre-poo's. It works and it's cheap, only about $2.35 per bottle.I am a natural by my own standings. I do what works for me and my hair. Maybe I'll change my ways. Maybe I won't. This hair journey is ongoing so who knows where I will end up.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Zoe As Nina Simone

Biopics can be funny. When they are about revered people, fans want to see someone who looks like the person and who has the skills to pull it off. Denzel Washington was not a dead ringer for Malcolm X but he had the skills to play the role. He was fantastic in it. There has been a lot of talk about the casting of Zoe Saldana as the iconic Nina Simone. Most have an issue with Zoe being cast because of her lighter skin and classic good looks. Nina Simone was a dark skin Black woman who's turmoil stemmed from her looks, her voice and her curves. Many have spoken about Zoe's lack of talent to play the role. I completely. understand why people feel the way they do. It is all warranted. I have major concerns about Zoe and this particular role.

This above pic was released this weekend. It instantly caused a major uproar. Everything about it is dead wrong. The obvious darkening of Zoe's skin to the bad afro wig to the ridiculous nose prosthetic are all causes for anyone to be concerned. The costume that Zoe is wearing makes me even sadder. Also, I like Zoe. I think she is a gorgeous girl and a decent actress. I do not believe that she has the depth to play someone as genius and deeply conflicted as Nina was. Zoe has never played a role with real, true substance. I loved her in "Columbiana." It was the first role where I remembered her name and who she was. Yes, I've seen her in other rom-com's but nothing that stuck out. In Hollywood, Black women, especially darker ones, are routinely passed over for roles. It's sad but true. This casting is just another case of a role being mis-casted on so many different levels. I do not know what the outcome will be. My expectations are clearly not that high. But, I will reserve final judgement until I see the movie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The 3rd & Final Presidential Debate

The final Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy was tonight. The President was on fire. He won, hands down. It's not hard to understand why. He is the President, he's actually worked on foreign policy. Mitt Romney has not. It was clear in Romney's lack of answers. I don't have a lot to say besides the fact that President Obama won 2 out of the 3 debates. That's it. I don't want to say Romney's name anymore. Hopefully, I won't have to since he won't be elected. This lady is finished. Now comes the election. Vote your heart, vote your conscious. I've had my mind made up for months. The President has my vote again. I am finally full of politics. I am done.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Art of Storytelling: "A House Divided...Or Not"

This is part 8 in an on-going series. The rest is available here:

1) "Unexpected Meeting"
2) "All Night Conversation"
3) "Breakfast Buddies"
4) "Past, Present, Future"
5) "About Last Night"
6) "Clarification & Coffee"
7) "9 1/2 Weeks Later"

The ride home was overwhelmingly quiet. Camille was pissed. "How could one woman ruin such a great day?" she thinks. Camille was sitting with her legs and arms crossed in the car. A slight scowl was on her face as she looked straight forward. She didn't trust herself to speak just yet. She felt...embarrassed. That's exactly what she felt. She was accosted in a very public way in a very public place. And for what?? "Whatever. I will not let this woman mess up what we have." she continued to think. Camille tried to zone out a little while listening to some jazz. She was trying to shake Yasmine's negativity off. Camille knew that what she had with Jakob was something special. She could just feel it. She wasn't letting go, especially not because of his dramatic ex. Her Mom taught her better than that.

Jakob was pensive. That is the best way to describe his state of mind. He was also very concerned about what Camille was thinking, feeling. She was too quiet. "She hasn't uttered a word since we left," he thinks. "What can I do to break her out of this foul mood?" He suddenly had a great idea. One he knew would lighten the mood. He would take her to the place she has mentioned for weeks. It wasn't exactly his type of thing. But, he knew it would bring a smile to her face. He quickly navigated the streets trying to get them to their destination as quick as possible. Jazz music flowed throughout the car on the ride. It was the only calming thing about the ride. He pulled into a parking spot and was out of the car before Camille really noticed. She didn't realize it until Jakob opened her door.

She looked up at him. He had his hand outstretched to her. "Camille, I am so sorry about that scene. But, I refuse to let her mess up our day. Come with me, please?" he asks. Camille couldn't say no to him. Couldn't say no to that smile. And, the reality is, it wasn't his fault. She places her hand in his and exits the car. He pulls her into an embrace and kisses her. She kisses him back. They both just knew that they were fine. That this was right. The two of them walked hand in hand around the back of this building. "Just exactly where are you dragging me, sir?" Camille questioned. Jakob smiled at her and replied "Some place that will make that pretty smile of yours return to its rightful place." She was intrigued. He was good at surprises. She loved that about him. So, she walked next to her man onto this mythical place. As the rounded the corner, she broke out into a great smile.

"Oh my God!! Jakob, I thought you said that this wasn't your kind of place?" "I did. But, I know how happy this place makes you." They were walking into the Aquarium, one of Camille's favorite places. He was right, it did make her happy. There was something about the water and the fish that calmed Camille. She couldn't believe how sweet he was. "Jakob, thank you." she says. "No, thanks needed." he says. "You are smiling so hard. You look as excited as a kid." "I am." They pay to enter and Camille immediately takes Jakob to the viewing area downstairs. It was her favorite spot. It had the feel of being underwater. It always made her feel so safe, so alive. She has loved this spot in all aquariums since she was 5. She stood in front of the huge window watching the fish and the jellyfish. "Look at how colorful and beautiful they are." she says excitedly. Jakob was watching her watching the fish. He couldn't help but enjoy the view. He had to admit that this was a great idea. "This place is great. I have to agree, Camille."

Camille dragged Jakob from display to display all afternoon. She let him enter into a world that has been uniquely hers since she was a kid. She had never been here with a man she was dating before. This was special. She told him about coming here with her Dad and why it was such a great childhood memory for her. He let her guide their adventure. They even ate seafood poboys from one of the outdoor cafes inside the aquarium. While eating, Jakob lets Camille know something. "I just hope you can forgive me for that scene. I'm-" "Wait, you don't have to apologize, Jakob. It is what it is. We can't live our lives hiding from our pasts. We are fine, great even." Camille says. e grabs her face tenderly and replies "We are great, Sweetheart." She leans in and kisses him. "Yep, we are, Baby." And, kisses him again. They finish their food. They enter the gift shop. Camille was particularly fond of a cute little fish keychain that she had to have. She got one for the both of them. She tried on silly glasses just to make him laugh. "You look like a clown, Baby. Those glasses are not hot." he says. Camille, determined to prove a point, buy the glasses and an equally silly pair for him. "I'm wearing mine out the store." "You wouldn't dare," Jakob says laughing. Camille, fixes the sunglasses on her face and struts out the door. Jakob follows suits, dons his sunglasses and follows her out. they leave the aquarium arm in arm. Both equally happy that their day was saved. Only good things can come from this.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reality TV Trash

Let's be frank. There is a lot of crap on television. Most of it falls under the umbrella of reality tv. I think I've just witnessed the most ridiculously grotesque thing ever on VH1. I happened to catch the show "Couples Therapy." The premise of the show is cool. Couples in turmoil live in a house together and go through therapy. And, it's all filmed. The couples are all famous or infamous. They range from singers to actors to reality tv stars. Some are more known than others. Some are more interesting than others. This is not a show I've watched before. I had to Google past seasons to find out who was on this show before.

This season there is a couple that is bordering on illegal. His name is Doug & he's currently 52 years old. His wife is 17 year old Courtney. (these were their ages during filming.) He married her with her parents consent when she was 16. This is just gross. In the show, he says that "she is my child. I'm raising my wife." No sir. That statement alone sounds like a pedophile. She dresses like a stripper right down to the 6 inch lucite heels. From the long hair, breast implants to the caked on makeup and barely there attire, Courtney is a walking, talking blow up doll. Her persona is sex kitten on x. She is hyper-sexualized and extremely immature. Due to child labor laws, she can only film 6 hours a day & couldn't stay overnight in the house.

I believe that this couple was only invited on the show for controversy. Googling their names turns up nothing but negative articles. No one believes this marriage. Everyone thinks its immoral and should be illegal. Other couples in the house do not want to be in the same room with them. On the first night, Doug is called a child molester because of the huge age gap. Courtney also tells the group that her Mom & her husband are the same age while her husband is older than her Dad. That speaks volumes. I cannot even wrap my mind around this situation. I cannot watch the show because I don't agree with this nonsense. So, I will not be tuning in again. I can't. What about you guys?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ladies Love Lyrics: Avant & KeKe Wyatt "You & I"

The only thing better than a great love song is a great duet. Two people who have perfected this gift are Avant & Keke Wyatt. Every single time these two duet, magic happens. I love them both separately and even more together. Their new single "You & I" falls straight into the category of great duets. Their voices just mesh so well. I first heard a snippet of the track on the show "R&B Divas." It was just enough for me to seek out the full track. It was worth it. I love it a lot. So, choosing it for my Ladies Love Lyrics was a given. Give it a listen. Hope you guys enjoy it as well.

"Oh baby, funny how things have changed in my life now
Whether near or far, I wanna be where you are
and you’re like a rose that blooms in my garden
Innocent and sweet
my love you are
But one thing I know girl
Lovin’, lovin’, oh lovin’,
lovin’ you is easy from me to you baby
And I will feel this way till the end of time, oh
Even tho you’ve heard this a thousand times,
it’s the truth Oh baby

You and I,
together for always
Baby I breathe every single breath for you
(Keke Wyatt) Uh boy You and I,
one hell of chemistry
Baby I, I’m giving up this life for you

(Keke Wyatt) Oh darling,
I know that things in life are not perfect
But when it comes to you,
you’re all I have more baby Uh, heaven’s my destiny when I’m with you
The only place to be,
just you and me

Oh, my life, my life, my life is so incomplete without you baby
I will feel this way till the end of time, oh
Even tho you’ve heard this a thousand times, it’s the truth"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Politics Are Not Pleasing To Me Right Now

This campaign for the Presidency has been ugly. Really ugly. It seems more brutal than the 08 election. I cannot stomach anymore GOP mudslinging and grossness. IT has become to much to bare. I am so glad that election day (November 6th) is right around the corner. I am hopeful and prayerful that our President will win his bid for re-election. That way, I won't ever have to hear the name Mitt Romney (what kind dumb name is that anyway?) again. I am a politics buff. Usually love it but I am sick of it. I will be voting early. I am still very convicted about my beliefs. I know what I know and like what I like. President Obama has my vote again this year just like he did in 08. I could not make myself vote for the likes of Romney. First and foremost, I am a woman and Romney, by his policies and platform, has no use for me. He wants to take women back to 1950's. Per his response to the women equal pay answer, "he wants women off from work so that they can go home and cook dinner." Let's not forget his lie about the "binder of women." It's bad enough that he opposed the Ledbetter Act, he clearly is out of touch with working average American women. He does not see it for me nor do I for him. He will not have my vote. There are a few other things that have been quietly pissing me off during this cycle.

- The lack of respect shown to the man who holds the highest office in the land by people who know better. From Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornell West to Mitt Romney and other GOP members. I'm disgusted about all of it. I don't ever remember the disrespect being so blatant and apparent for any other President. They should all be ashamed.

- The way in which the media has portrayed our First Lady in a negative light. There was the French magazine cover that depicted her as a naked slave, the email from a Congressmen calling her a monkey. All very racist and sickening.

- The fact that someone shoot at a Obama Denver Headquarters. Is this the world we live in?

- Yesterday, there was a bomb threat called into Malia and Sasha's school. So, now we are dragging the kids into this hatred. How low are these people? As much as I like the First Family, I am beyond sorry that they've had to deal with the ignorance and hatred that Americans clear have. It's sad that it is 2012 and this is still a huge issue.

- Taggart (again what kind dumb name is that?) Romney said after the second debate that he wanted to "run down to the debate floor and take a swing at the President." o_O This is the answer from a grown man who's father wants to be the President. How stupid are you? Even if that's the way you truly feel, his father has been in politics long enough for him to know what is or isn't politically correct. His answer while it may have been truthful was less than smart. I am slightly appalled at this. That does not seem like a first family I want.

- Faux News has been twisting and fabricating stories about the President since at least 2007. That channel is so filled with hate and fear. It amazes me that people actually watch this trash and believe it. That makes me sad about the world I live in, about the world I want to bring children into.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Art of Storytelling: "9 1/2 Weeks Later"

This is part 7 in an on-going series. The rest is available here:

1) "Unexpected Meeting"
2) "All Night Conversation"
3) "Breakfast Buddies"
4) "Past, Present, Future"
5) "About Last Night"
6) "Clarification & Coffee"

The next few weeks seem to fly by. Camille and Jakob were officially a couple. The days were filled with flirty texts, all night conversations that either took place on the phone or in person. They were smitten with one another. Everything was going right since the day they started over. Jakob watched Camille as she slept. He woke before her on this early Saturday morning. "She is so cute, even while sleeping. I am so grateful for her, for this." he thought silently. Camille smiles in her sleep and sinks deeper into the pillow. He caresses her face and pushes her hair out of her face. He couldn't help his self. He had to kiss her. It didn't wake her though. They had a late night. He didn't know why he was awake. He slid out of the bed quietly as to not disturb her. Walking into the kitchen, Jakob couldn't help but smile. Things were pretty great in his life. Work and personal. This was what he's always wanted: a woman to share all the good in life with. And, Camille came at a time when he wasn't looking. More than being a great girlfriend, she was his friend, his equal. They could talk about any and every thing and they did. Laughing was something that they often did.

He begin to fix breakfast. Well, his version of breakfast since he wasn't known for his culinary skills. Camille like bagels and strawberry cream cheese and fruit. That made making her breakfast truly easy. And, he was also easy for breakfast too. Brown sugar oatmeal and toast. That's what works for him. He was lucky. Camille was a culinary star. She was actually a caterer in her early 20's. The woman could cook a 5 star meal out of anything. And, she loved to do it. Cooking was now her hobby. She was adventurous in and out of the kitchen. She has been spoiling him with her cooking. He was loving it. So into his thoughts, he didn't hear Camille enter the kitchen. She wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed his back. "Good morning, Baby," she says. "Hey Sweetheart," he replies. She runs her nails across his chest to his stomach while talking to him. "Awww babe, you made my fave? Thanks," she says chuckling. She always jokes with him about his lack of cooking skills.

He takes it like a champ. "Hey, hey, hey, I slaved over this breakfast. She laughs even harder. "I know you did and I'm thankful for it and you." "Let's go eat." Jakob turns around to finally notice what Camille is wearing. She is in one of his white button down shirts, slightly open, completely unbuttoned and nothing else. His eyes roam her body finally reaching her face. She smiles slyly. She says "My breakfast is getting cold, you know." "It seems like someone has something other than breakfast on her mind...coming in here dressed like that." "Jak, let's be honest, I could be dressed in a snowsuit and you'd still want me." He laughed "You're definitely right." "We have all weekend for that. Feed me, Seymour!" she says in a playful tone. "If you want to successfully get through this breakfast, then you need to button up, woman." She buttons the shirt slowly and then sits in the breakfast nook.

The day finds them in the city's museum. Her favorite artist, Frida Kahlo, was being featured and she wanted to show Jak. He was there because she was so enthused about it. He didn't care much for Kahlo but he did for Cami. Walking hand in hand through the museum, both were having so much fun. "This is my favorite piece. It's called 'Two Fridas.' It's so deep and..." Jakob cuts Camille off with a kiss. She couldn't be mad. She wrapped her arms around this beautiful man's neck and kissed him right back. Neither cared that they were in a crowded public place on a Saturday afternoon. Neither of them heard a woman say "Ugh, they need to get a room." But, they wouldn't have cared any way. The two of them continued to kiss until someone coughed behind them. Jak whispers into her ear "I think someone is jealous." Cami laughs as her eyes find the disgruntled woman who was still talking about them. Cami says "Yeah, baby, I think we've definitely ruffled her feathers. You should see how mad she looks." Cami turns her head into Jakob's neck and kisses him. He finally turns around, grabs Camille's hands and begins to walk around the corner to the next display. "Look at her," Cami says. Jakob slowly turns his head and his eyes meet the eyes of a woman he hadn't thought about in months. It was Yasmine and she literally turned colors when she released the PDA man was Jakob.

If looks could kill, Camille and Jakob would no longer exist. Camille's arms were intertwined with Jakob's. She was sort of curled into him. Jakob's body naturally tightened when he saw Yas. Camille felt this and instantly looked up to him. "Jakob, what is it baby?" He looked at her and replied "That woman is my ex. The one who claimed to be my wife." Camille eyes go dark. She looked at Yasmine with venom. Clearly the feeling was mutual between the women. Camille says "Let's just go. She cannot ruin our day." Camille stared Yas down as they turned the corner. "I'm so sorry, Sweetheart. I thought she'd left down or that's what the email said." "Forget about it baby. She isn't an issue between us." Yas hears this as she walks up behind the happy couple. "Hello, Jakob. Can't speak?" The couple turns around. "Yasmine, I have nothing to say to you. Don't you see I'm with my lady. Good bye again." Camille has this smirk on her face that is clearly pissing Yas off. "Who her?" Yas asked. Camille responds "Yes, me. His woman." Jak interrupts "Keep cool, baby. You don't even have to do a thing. I said goodbye Yas." Yas starts talking loudly as the couple walks odd. She follows them out of the museum, still talking. Camille is getting angrier by the second. By the time they reached his car, she was over it. Jakob. opens Camille's door and walks around to his door. Neither of them ever acknowledged Yasmine. They drove off leaving Yasmine yelling to herself on the street. Jakob grabs Camille's hand and kisses it. "You ok?" he asks. She shakes her head yes. Jakob hopes she is as he drives them to their next destination.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Second Presidential Debate Review

The second Presidential Debate was a town hall meeting. It was a resounding win for President Obama. He came out swinging. He was focused, calm and cool. He was the Barack Obama from the campaign trail. He was everything he wasn't in the first debate. From the first question, the President was the man I voted for in 2008. I had very high expectations. The President exceeded them all. He was reinvigorated during this debate. He clearly made his base happy. I do not understand undecided voters this late in the game. I was impressed and thoroughly enjoyed watching the President last night.

Mitt Romney wasn't as prepared as he was on the first debate. He lied on the first question and continued on that road. He was rude, over talking the President. He was belligerent and childlike. He was down right disrespectful. He lied at every turn. He was ultimately fact checked on stage by the moderator Candy Crowley of CNN. And, she also politely told him to sit down and shut up. This was one of my favorite moments of the night. In closing, the President got the last word. He mentioned that 47% Romney comment, talked about his record, and closed strong. A win by all means. Can't wait to see the final debate. Three weeks until the election people. Vote 2012.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Get Into It: Brandy's "Two Eleven"

Brandy has been a fave of mine since "I Wanna Be Down." For that reason alone, I want her to win. She can sing. This, strangely enough, is a rare feat in the world of entertainment today. Her first four project's were like crack to me. I still play them. "Brandy" was sweet & innocent. I related because she & I were around the same age. Teenage love and life were the theme. "Never Say Never" is classic to me. It came out when I was in college. I played it constantly. "Full Moon" was her first cd as an adult. I watched her MTV show and this cd was a testament to her life then. The music was just great period. "Afrodisiac" was an awesome project that didn't get the push it deserved. It was full of singles that the company dropped the ball on. I will say that "Human" was not good. It just wasn't. My expectations for "Two Eleven" weren't as high either. That's my truth. Her singles weren't appealing to me.

Unlike others, I wasn't feeling the "Put It Down" (feat Chris Brown)single. It just was not hot to me. The single with Monica "It All Belongs To Me" was just annoying when I listened to the actual lyrics. So, I didn't think she could produce what I wanted to hear from her. So, when I got a chance to hear the tracks, I was apprehensive. I am so glad I was wrong. "Two Eleven" is solid. It's full of tracks that I will continue to play. I love that this cd sounds like Brandy getting back to her basics. The girl can sing and she is doing that on here. Outside of the PID track, I love it. I do think it's weird that the Monica duet didn't make the track list. Seems like that single didn't chart well enough for the powers that be. Either or, I just think it's strange. I wonder what her next single will be. She does have a few choices. Hope her record label is behind her 100% this time & that she moves units.

* "Can You Hear Me Now?" is my song. I really love the way she sounds on this track. The beat is dope. I need to know who produced it.
* "Paint This House" is produced by Rico Love. He is slowly becoming a face of mine as well. This song is very sexy. I like it a lot.
* "Slower" is just about my favorite track on this project. The lyrics are def something different for Brandy. It's a grown woman type of song. She does it perfectly. I see you, B.
*"What You Need" is another track I like. It's something about the beat. I like the direction the cd is going in.
* "Put It Down" is not a song I dig.
* "Hardly Breathing" makes me feel something. I like it.
* "Without You" is classic Brandy. That makes me very happy.
* "Wish Your Love Away" is a true heartbreak song. Brandy does that well.
* "Let Me Go" is different, very. It had to grow on me.
* "Music" has a old feel to it. The music sounds familiar.
* "Scared of Beautiful" is simply beautiful. I can totally relate to this track. It speaks on the fears we sometimes never express vocally. Good single contender I believe.
* "Do You Know What You Have?" is E-VERY-THING!!! Listen to this one asap.
* "No Such Thing As Too Late" is another Rico Love track. I think Brandy has found a producer who gets her. It's reminiscent of what she had with Rodney Jerkins for a few albums and what she had with Timbaland on "Afrodisiac."
* "So Sick" is sick. The end.
* "Wildest Dreams" is just an ok track. I don't know if it is single worthy though.

Brandy lost her mentor, Whitney Houston, on her birthday this year. Her birthday was February 11th. The title of this project means a lot to her. It is, in a way, a dedication to the woman who made her want to sing. A dedication to the woman who turned her into a new age "Cinderella." I LOVED that made for television culturally diverse version btw. Brandy has been through a lot in her career. This is her coming through to the other side moment. She is standing and singing in the sunlight. "Two Eleven" drops today. Go ahead and check it out for yourself.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rushing Through Randomly

° Today is 10-11-12! It's cute because it's numerical. Maybe today will include some mystical, magical things. Be good today!

° The NFL ref's are back!!!!!! I couldn't be happier!!!

°Speaking on sports, I am still NOT happy that Ray "Jesus Shuttlesworth" Allen sold out my squad (the BOSTON CELTICS in case you forgot) for the Miami Heat. Ugh!

° Also sports related, my Saints are doing horrible this season so far. I'm still a fan but this 0-4 start is not what I was looking forward to all summer. My boys need to get it together.

° Since I am a "Scandal" fan, I am quite pleased that they answered the burning "Who is Quinn?" question during the season premiere. Cannot wait to see what this season holds.

° Fall like weather would be greatly appreciated by me. A cool breeze would be lovely.

° In what world is it ok or appropriate for Ke$ha to be on the cover of Vibe magazine dubbed as a rapper?? It's inaccurate and wrong. She's a lousy "singer" because she talk-sings over a track. And, she does it badly. I guess that's all it takes to get a cover of a magazine. Sorry, Vibe, I'm passing on this month's offering.

° It's October and that means its Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is a cause near and dear to my heart. Donate. And, ladies test yourselves and get mammograms. Early detection is always a great thing. I will wear PINK until there is a cure. You should too.

° I hate to be wrong and I hate to feel like I let people down. It's just about the worst feeling ever. I try to avoid it at all costs.

° I need something new and different to read. I think I've finally processed all the info from the "Left Behind" series. So, it's finally time to move on.

° I've been reading about juicing and oil pulling. Both are things that pique my interests.

° The first debate was trash. I need better from my President & less of Romney's ramblings.

° Healthy discussions are great. Even if they hurt, they help. Sometimes just saying what's on your heart can clear up what's bothering your mind.

° I really want to live in a city that has actual seasons so I can watch the color of the leaves change, rake them up in a pile and play in them like a kid. That may seem childish but I've never experienced that simple act.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Adventures in Cooking: Enchiladas

It's that time again. Cooking is a way for me to relax. I love Mexican food. I mean real Mexican food. Sometimes I get in the mood for something besides fast Mexican food. The other night, I wanted enchiladas. It's a dish that I've made many times before. The recipe is simple. I altered it some to fit my particular needs. I used 1 pound of ground turkey, eliminated sour cream because I don't eat it, only used a small amount of diced onions and garlic. It didn't take long to make nor did it take long to bake. And, it came out as great as to be expected.

I remembered to take a few pictures this time while cooking. I loved the way the enchiladas came out. they were cheesy and gooey and good. Awesomeness on a plate. I love to whip together a meal in no time. That works for me. And, this meal lasts a few days for me. It became dinner and lunch a few days over. I also made a cake from scratch this week as well. It was not as successful as this meal. I will not be deterred. I will try again and soon. The Domesticated Diva will be back in the kitchen asaptually! Keep cooking!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ladies Love Lyrics: Lianne La Havas "Don't Wake Me Up"

I am anew fan of Lianne La Havas. She Her debut "Is Your Love Big Enough?" was released in August. There isn't one song on it that I do not like. Her voice is golden. She has a R&B and Jazz feel to her. It's soothing. It was hard for me to chose just one song off of her cd for this post. I love them all. I relate to this song because I have the most vivid dreams and sometimes I hate waking up because the are so good. My dreams are always so real to me. This song makes me think about the best dreams I've ever had. Take a listen and enjoy it. Lianne is a great new artist. She is definitely one to watch.

"Don't wake me up
Trying to find you
Oh, as I walk through
You're hiding in the corners of my mind
Never fear, I'll be close behind
My only love, I follow behind you
Won't go without you
I know your love weighs heavy on my heart
But you are my only counterpart

Will I know
Why I lost control
Of my heart and soul
'Cause I know you,
I can't reach through
(Oo aah)

I made mistakes but they're safely behind me
Now I can run free
The only true love I have ever known
Into yours my life has been thrown
Still early days so
It's just the beginning
Sing when you're willing
They say somethings are better left unsaid
But I'd take my life to stay in your bed."

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Vice Presidential Debate Review

This was what I can wanted to see and hear. Vice President Joe Biden hit this debate out of the park. He was clear, concise, accurate and truthful. He replied with numbers and facts. He was in fighting form. Where President Obama was too nice, Biden was hard nosed. He did not give Ryan a pass on anything. I loved that. The moderator, Martha Raddatz, was awesome. She had control from the beginning. She set the tone and flow of the debate. She asked pertinent questions and her follow-ups were on point.

Paul Ryan was cool, cooler than I thought he would be. He wasn't noticeably rattled by Biden. He presented his answers in a calm way. I'm not sure how much factual he was. He kept drinking from his glass of 'water.' He tried to humanize Romney but failed. I will say that I'm not a fan of interrupting people while they speak or talking over them. Biden did that too much for my liking. Many will say that Biden smiled and laughed too much. That didn't bother me. I believed Biden. That matters to me. So, in my opinion, Biden won this debate. Hands down. I'm psyched for next week's town hall meeting debate between the President & Willard Mitt Romney. It's go time. Obama/Biden 2012!

Love Triangles

There has been so much said about the whole Rihanna/Chris Brown/Karrueche love triangle in the last week. It all seemed to come to a head last week. There were the reports of Chris out with Rihanna at night while spending days with his girlfriend Karrueche. Then, the picture of him and Rihanna at the Jay-Z concert surfaced. This was followed by subliminal tweets from Karrueche and a release from Chris in which he stated that he was ending his relationship with his girlfriend to (a) focus on his music & (b) because he didn't want her to be hurt by his friendship with Rihanna. Finally, he released a video entitled "The Real Chris Brown" to explain his dilemma. He explains that he was in love with two women at the same time and he isn't a dog. I thought about this for a minute. Can one really be in love with two at the same time?

My answer is no. For me, I am not built that way. My heart cannot be split in half at the same time. When I love, I love completely. I am deep in it. All I want is that man, the one I am in love with. I do not think humans were made that way. The heart has the capacity to love many differently. But, to be "IN LOVE" and to "LOVE" someone are totally different arenas. I think most do not know the difference. I am not saying that he doesn't have love or feel love for both women. What I am saying is that, he isn't truly in love with both of them. When you truly are in love with someone, you want the best for them. You want to protect their heart. You don't want any harm to come to them in any way. I cannot wrap my head around a man claiming to love be and giving another woman the same attention, love and affection. That is not love. It is lust. It is infatuation. It isn't real and it won't last. Love does not operate that way. Love does not hurt.

I blame a lot of what's in the 80 second video on youth. I believe that saying he was in love with them both absolves him of hurting either in his mind. In reality, it does not. I would not feel loved or special if I was in this position. When it comes to love and relationships, I want, need, desire, and deserve to be the only one and not just #1. That is what I require. To love me is to love only me. I do not share or play well with others when it comes to my heart and my man. That's just what I know. It also goes to what a person allows in a relationship. If a woman allows a man to have other relationships by staying with him, then she is getting what she deserves. I know what I would put up with. It isn't much when it comes to infidelity and bullshit. I'm worth more than that. My heart is worth more than that. Love triangles are for the young. We've all been there in some capacity. And, then you grow up. You realize what's important to you. I am 30+. I do not play young girl games. Thats' the bottom line.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Art of Storytelling: "Clarification & Coffee"

This is part 6 in an on-going series. The rest is available here:

1) "Unexpected Meeting"
2) "All Night Conversation"
3) "Breakfast Buddies"
4) "Past, Present, Future"
5) "About Last Night"

"You are my ex for a reason. That stunt you pulled calling yourself my wife was childish. We are done, have been done for a while. Stay away from me." Yasmine couldn't believe the words she was reading. "Who does Jak think he is? He's done? He doesn't get to decide that." she thought. Yasmine was hurt because Jakob never was harsh with her. This was so unlike him. This was different. And, she didn't like it one bit. "Wow. He sounds serious this time. I think I may have played one game too many with him," she thought. Tears started to flow down her face. She called him and was sent straight to voicemail. "That hurt." she thought. "He is really done with me. He's never ignored my calls or texts before." Yasmine crumbled to the floor sobbing. This is where she stayed for what seemed like hours. She couldn't believe that this was happening to her.

Jakob was in a great mood as he walked into the coffee house. He felt like he'd been given another shot to get this right with Camille. All he had to do was wait for her to show up. As he sat down, his cell vibrated. It was a text from Yas. "I would've been your wife by now. I still have the ring. I'm sorry for saying I was your wife. You'er done? Really? This is how it ends? Who is she? read the text. Jak hit her back with "She isn't you. You aren't my wife. The end came months ago in case you forgot. Have a nice life, Yasmine." The cell vibrated back to back with texts from her. "Have a nice life? Are you serious?" and "Jakob? You can't just ignore me." He was truly done. He couldn't let his past mess up his present. This he was sure of.

He looked up just in time to see Camille walk in. Instantly, they catch each other's eyes and they both smiled. She walked towards him as he rose. "Hi" they both say at the same time. They both laugh, clearly nervous and unsure. Jakob pulls out the chair for Camille to sit then he does as well. Camille begins "Yesterday was crazy. I still have no idea which end is up, Jakob. But, I'm here for you to explain." Jakob clears his throat and launches into a recap of yesterday. He told her all about Yasmine and her drama. He then tells her what he suspects happened when he left the room to get her stuff. "Wow. That is insane! So, you have a possessive crazy ex? That's reassuring," Camille says jokingly. Inside, she was pleased that she decided to hear him out. His story is quite believable. "Unfortunately I guess I do," he says. "Look at this," he says as he hands her his cell. There were now 10 texts total from Yas. Each one more irate than the last. Camille just shook her head. "Crazy."

"So, here we are again in the same spot we meet just two days ago. What now? Can you forgive me for bringing this into your life?" questioned Jakob. Camille stared right into his eyes. She already knew her answer. Crazy ex and all. She was still intrigued by this man. "I cannot condemn him for his past. We've all made silly mistakes." she thought. "Hi, my name is Camille. And you are?" she asked. Jakob chuckled and replied "I'm Jakob. Very nice to meet you as well. Would you like something to drink?" "A chai tea would be heavenly," Camille said. "I'll be right back" Jakob stood at the counter ordering the drinks. He took his cell out & set Yasmine's number to ignore in his contacts and his texts. He was determined to erase her from his current life. Camille wanted to start over and he was glad. Camille watched his back. She wasn't going to jump into this too quickly but she liked him. She couldn't deny that. She was determined to forget about the phone call and his ex. She wanted to live in the now. She wasn't usually that girl. But, now seemed like a great time to start. "Clarification and coffee, indeed" she thought as Jakob walked back to the table with the drinks. Both smiling at the other.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink!

"On Wednesdays, we wear pink!" - Mean Girls

It's October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I've been a champion of this cause for at least a decade. It has effected my family in major and minor words. I've written about the cause before here and here. There are two great organizations that are fighting the good fight. They are Save The TaTas and Susan G. Komen. Both are worthy foundations. If you can, donate to both or either. Every little bit helps. It is up to us to find the cure. This is a cause that I will always stand behind. Wear pink to show your support. One of the funniest slogans I've ever seen for this cause is "Save a life, Grope your wife!!" That's hilarious to me. We should all be aware of this cause all year round. But, in October, it's more visible. Give yourself breast exams monthly. Make sure that all is well with you and your breasts. And, it's Wednesday, go ahead and wear pink for the cure!

"I have been giving myself breast exams since I was about 14. The disease has ravaged my family. The women in my family have mostly survived. At the age of 24, I found what I though was a mass in my right breast. I was beyond scared. I was also experiencing these sharp shooting pains in my breast. My doctor examined me and thought that it was only mass tissue. He sent me in for my first mammogram to make sure. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. I was so glad that my Mom was with me. I have never prayed so much in my life. I, of course, thought of all the ways it could go wrong for me. I was only 24. I was too young. It hurt like hell and I think it is a horrible experience. I received my results that day. I was fine. there was nothing there. I was so relieved. I thanked God right there in the waiting room. Cancer scares me more than anything." - Kenda

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

"Steel Magnolias" Remake Review

"Steel Magnolias" has always been one of my favorite movies. Along with "Beaches," this movie reminds me of my childhood. So, I was not impressed when I heard that it was getting a remake. I'm not a huge fan of remakes in general. But, I do not really care for classics being remade. The only draw of this remake was the cast. An all Black cast. I was intrigued because Ms. Phylicia Rashad was the name that stuck out to me. I love her. Who doesn't? She is the quintessential Mother and wife. And, a damn good actress to boot. I was still apprehensive about this remake. I wanted it to be good because it is an all Black cast. But, this was a classic. I didn't watch it when it premiered because I was all caught up in the Saints game. I watched it last night. And, I watched with bated breath waiting to be fully impressed. There were moments when I was. Overall, I was underwhelmed. I am sad about that.

The plot is the same. I mean, down to the actual lines. I was saying them with the cast. The movie is essentially the same yet different. It seems to have lost some of its spunk. The so called "southern" accents were questionable and all over the place. Queen Latifah's accent was anything but southern. Phylicia Rashad and Alfre Woodard were the best with that. The rest of the cast was not. Being a Southern woman, I may be overly critical of accents in movies and television. Lance Gross was severely underutilized in this film. I would have loved to see him more. I hated that the last final scene was moved from the cemetery to Truvy's beauty shop. That was a bad move.That scene was important in the original. Also, Latifah in the final soliloquy was laughable at best. The speech, the tears, her facial expressions none of it was as genuine as Sally Field in the scene. I didn't really buy Latifah as the motherly M'Lynn. She didn't truly capture the essence of the character.

I am a new fan of Condola Rashad, daughter of Phylicia. She plays Shelby, the role made famous by Julia Roberts. She was pretty great as Shelby. I still cried when Jackson found Shelby passed out on the floor. Still cried when Shelby died as if that would change in any version of the movie. The cast boasts that the movie was filmed in only 17 days. I can tell. There is something lacking throughout this film. It could be because it was shot in such a short period of time. I'm really not sure. I watched it once. I don't think I will need to see it again. There were pivotal scenes from the original that were omitted in this version. This makes the remake seem incomplete. As a fan, I needed all of the scenes. Truvy's relationship with her husband wasn't included in the way it should have been. Weezer's relationship with her old flame was merely touched upon. Annelle's courtship was non-existent . And the final scene was not what I wanted or needed. I read on Twitter as people slander this movie. I think some judged it too harshly. It had its good points, notably Jill Scott, both Rashads and Woodard. Classic movies should be preserved and not remade. That is my humble opinion. Because the reality is the remake will never stand up to the original.The original "Steel Magnolias" will forever live in the hearts of many. I don't think that I can say the same for this remake. Watch it and decide for yourself.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Places I Must Visit: Napa Valley, California

California is a place I love. I lived in Southern California for about a year. It was lovely. I frequented San Diego and Los Angelos often. Loved both for totally different reasons. I am sad that I was never able to get to northern Cali. I would love to visit San Francisco and Napa Valley. Napa seems like such a touch of heaven for a wine lover such as myself. The appeal of touring a vineyard is what Napa is all about. The city, from what I have seen in pictures, is gorgeous. I want to go on the hay rides through the vineyards and experience the wine tastings. This would be a perfect vacation for me. It would be a great girls trip or sweetheart trip for any one.

Tamera Mowry-Housley, of "Sister, Sister" & "Tia & Tamera" fame, had a bachelorette party at a vineyard on her reality show. A vineyard party was also featured on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" this season. Both parties seemed like so much fun. I would even be open to the stomping of the grapes to make my own wine. It's an experience I wouldn't want to pass up when I make it there. There are loads of bed & breakfast spots in Napa. It would be the perfect place for a get away. The restaurants there are renowned. This is why Napa has made my list of "Places I must visit."

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Get Into It: Jay Z x Barclay's Arena

So, last night, my favorite rapper Jay Z closed out his opening run @ the Barclay's Center. He did 8 shows in 9 days. The concert was awesome. He was his usual wonderful self. And, he brought out his wife, my favorite singer Beyonce. It was live streamed on his youtube channel. Now there is a video. And, yes I watched this again today after watching it live last night. I've seen him a handful of times in concert. I am STILL always excited to see him before. He's simply the best at what he does. I know I'm biased but so what? Anyhow, I found this and wanted to share. Watch and enjoy.

Classic Music: Tweet "Southern Hummingbird"

This pick for "Classic Music" was fairly easy. I chose Tweet's debut "Southern Hummingbird." It is still arguably one of my favorite albums ever. I can admit that I wasn't that impressed with Tweet's first single "Oops...Oh My." Yes it was catchy and controversial. But, it really did nothing for me. I simply wasn't feeling it. I wasn't in a rush to buy her debut album either. I was in a record store (seems so long ago since they hardly exist anymore) to pick up Ashanti's debut album because "Foolish" was my anthem. While there, I saw Tweet's album right next to Ashanti. I copped both. I put "Southern Hummingbird" first. I was sold from the first song. I fell in love with material. The lyrics moved me and the music made me feel something. "Southern Hummingbird" became a staple for over a year.

Music has the ability to make you recall a very specific moment in your life.
This one always takes me back to my last semester of undergrad. The house parties, the nights we just hung out in my apartment discussing life, love and everything in between. Tweet was the background soundtrack. It was that important to me and my krewe. As usual, I was more impressed with the tracks that never received any radio play. Tracks like "Complain," "Always Will," "Beautiful," and "Smoking Cigarettes" became the soundtrack of my early 20's. Tweet was singing my romantic life through her songs. And, I was loving it. I turned so many of my friends onto her cd. We all loved her. When an artist has such a completely thorough debut, it's hard to top. This is true for her as well. Nothing she has put out since then has been as great. The truth is Tweet can saaannnggg. Her voice is serious. I would love to hear more greatness from her. Until then, I will continue to rock this album. Enjoy my favorites below.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Register & Vote

Are you registered to vote?? Has any of your information changed? These are important questions. The deadline to register to vote is now upon us. The last day to register is next Tuesday, October 9th. You can go to this website or this one to register. Getting yourself registered is the first step. It is the most important one as well. Then, after this is complete, you only have one other thing to do: VOTE!!! This is very important. It is the thing that all of us need to do. Voting is our fundamental American right. It is my belief that if you do no t vote, you have no right to complain about what does or doesn't happen in politics. If you sit down and silence your voice during the election, then I have no use for your voice after the fact.

In all honesty, I would love to tell you all to vote for my candidate. But, that is not what this is about. This is truly a non-partisan post. No matter if you're a Democrat, Republican or Independent, voting is a right that belongs to all Americans. Do not let anyone disenfranchise us. We cannot let anyone take away our right to be heard. Register and vote. It's that simple. Today is the day to get on the right road. Please take the two minutes out of your day and register. Vote as if your life and livelihood depends on it. Because the actuality is that it does. So, again I ask, ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE? ARE YOU GOING TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 6, 2012?

Friday, October 05, 2012

Debate Thoughts

Let's get right into this. I was not happy about the debate. Wednesday night's debate was a mess. It seemed unorganized, unmoderated, and unprofessional. For the last week, the GOP has been lowering people's expectations of Romney's debating abilities. And, clearly they succeeded. If my expectations of you are to debate at a 10 and you come in and do 15, then of course it's a win. You did better than expected. Even if what was expected of you wasn't much. On that scale, Romney won. But, in actuality, that isn't the way I measure wins versus loses. I will say that I wasn't impressed with President Obama. The President was not his usual self. This is a man who is a great orator. A man who usually slays debates and speeches. It was not his best moment. It was not what I wanted to see or what the nation needed to see.

- Mitt Romney came prepped and ready.

- Mitt Romney gave prepared speeches as answers to questions that weren't asked.

- Mitt Romney lied again and again. Don't believe me? Check here, here and here.

- If that's a win, the GOP can have it.

The moderator Jim Lehrer was useless in so many ways. He allowed Romney to be rude and classless. Romney continuously interrupted the President. He talked over the President. He even complained and argued with Jim. I was screaming and tweeting for Gwen Ifill to come and save this moderator. She does a great job and I enjoy her. She was clearly needed Wednesday night. The biggest winner has to be the new twitter account of one @FiredBigBird. This account was created after Romney told Jim that he would cut funding to PBS. In effect, firing the cast of "Sesame Street." The account was created during the debate and has garnered almost 28,000 followers at the time that I am writing this. The tweets from this account are hilarious. But, sad because who would fire Big Bird? Mitt Romney that's who. If that's not reason enough to vote to re-elect President Obama, I don't know what is.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Get Into It: Issa Rae Presents "Roomieloverfriends"

You guys know Issa Rae right? Of Awkward Black Girl fame? Ok, cool. then you should also be up on her new Youtube series "Roomieloverfriends." It is a hilarious look at what happens when a man and a woman live as roommates and they cross the line. The main characters are Tamiko and Jayson. Jayson moves into Tamiko's house as only her roommate. One night, the roommates turned friends end up becoming lovers. We all know that drama will follow this. It's hilarious to me because I've never lived with a man who was a stranger or just a friend. This is a foreign concept and idea to me. I really enjoy this series. The actors are great as is the material. I love finding these little gems. The episodes are short as per the normal for web series. But, they pack a lot into them. I am sure you guys will love it as well. If you do, subscribe to the Issa Rae's Youtube channel. You will also get the ABG series and her "Ratchet Piece Theater" videos as well. Also, all worth a look. Go ahead and get into this series. I've included the first four episodes below. Watch and enjoy.

Oh, on another huge note for Issa Rae, she has just sold a show to ABC. It is called "I Hate L.A. Dudes" a comedy about a lone female voice of a popular male dominated internet radio show. The show is being backed by Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal," & "Private Practice") and her company. If you do not know, Rhimes is big business and this is a great move for Rae. This will be Rhimes' first time venturing into comedy because all of her other shows are dramas. I cannot wait to see what they do with this. I am so happy for Issa Rae. She deserves this because she is extremely talented. Keep your eyes peeled for this as well.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Debates

The debates begin tonight. Don't forget to tune in to them. We will finally get to see what Romney/Ryan are made up or we'll get to see them squirm and avoid the actual question. Either way, it will be good. I cannot wait to see the President do what he does so well.


Oct. 3 First Presidential Debate Domestic Policy

Oct. 11 Vice Presidential Debate Foreign & Domestic Topics

Oct. 16 2nd Presidential Debate Town Meeting

Oct. 22 3rd Presidential Debate Foreign Policy

The Art of Storytelling: "About Last Night"

This is part 5 in an on-going series. The rest is available here:

1) "Unexpected Meeting"
2) "All Night Conversation"
3) "Breakfast Buddies"
4) "Past, Present, Future"

Camille lay in bed disgusted and mad. Staring up at the ceiling, she could not believe how drastic the last 24 hours had been. 4:43 glared at her from the digital clock on her armoire. The time was mocking her. She hadn't slept a wink in almost 48 hours. "I cannot believe that I fell for his shit. Why did i think that he would be different? Just because his approach seemed so real. I left myself open to early. I let him and his charming personality in." More than anything, she was mad at herself. "How did I end up here again? I cannot believe that this is really my life right now." she said to herself. The last few hours have been full of turmoil. She's been having so many thoughts about Jakob and his "wife." to say that Camille was pissed was an understatement. She was livid. She hates confrontational females. She had enough of that drama as a teen and young adult. She learned that wasn't who she was. She lived her life differently now. It had been at least a decade since she had been at odds with a woman over a man. This was not how she rolled. Camille knew how women could be and how things could escalate over a man who probably didn't give a damn either way. "All this drama over a man I hardly know is no bueno! Ever." she said. "Great, now I'm talking to myself. This is nuts!!"

Camille wonders "What if there is more to the story? I mean, he talked to me on the phone all night after spending hours with me at the coffee house. Where was his wife then? And, we also spent a couple of hours together for breakfast yesterday. again where was she? I could be setting myself up for the perfect okey doke. But, something about this just doesn't sit right. And he did seem totally caught off-guard by my accusation. What if...I was wrong? What if I was being played by this Yolanda, Yvonne, Yvette...or what ever the hell her name is??" Camille sat straight up in bed at 5:39 a.m. She truly confused. This was only a man she just met. "Why does he have to be so damn fine though? Ugh!!!" Camille decides that she has to know the truth. She has to give him a chance to tell his side. "Hell, what's the worse that can happen?" she ponders. "Ok, I'm going to reach out to Jak later. Whatever happens, happens." she says out loud to no one in particular since she lived alone. Finally, sleep decided to show up. Camille finally slept with thoughts of Jakob on her mind.

Camille awoke rested. She was in a better mood. She silently prayed upon waking. She already knew that today would be a great Sunday. She got out of bed and got herself together for church. She felt so much better than she did last night. "Ok, I've prayed about it and I'm letting it go." she says. She pulls on some dark blue jeans, grey sweater and grey boots. Making up her bed, Jakob crosses her mind for the 5th time this morning. She smiles before she can stop herself. "I'm going to give him a chance to explain this to me." Before leaving for church she sends a text. She leaves for church after putting her cell on silent. "There goes nothing. If it happens, it happens." she thinks.

Jakob was slightly distraught. He had left Camille a message and a text. He did not get a reply from either. He knew that this was probably a lost situation. "What could I say to her to get her to believe me?" he thought. "It's crazy because as a teen I lied my way into a bunch of women's panties. Because I was young and didn't care. This is different though. I haven't been that man in years." he continued to think. He was so angry at Yasmine. So angry that he was seeing red. He would deal with her. "I just met Camille. I could just walk away. It's too early for the drama. And, it's not like we really know each other. Maybe this is what's best." he tried to convince himself. He thought that he could just shake her off. "Yeah, that's what I'll do. Forget about her." he thought. It was settled. He was going to leave well enough alone.

He climbed in bed to get the rest he so desperately needed. He tried to sleep. But it was useless. Jakob tossed and turned all night. Camille invaded his dreams. Her face, her smile, her laugh. The way she pushes her hair behind her right ear when she talks. The way she seemed to stare straight into him. The way she smelled like a sunny day. She was under his skin. Already. Everything about her was tormented him in his sleep. Hours later, he gave up on sleep. His first thought when his eyes opened was "Camille." He shook his head and smiled. "Ok, I get it. I can't shake her not even in my sleep." He got up and went for a run to clear hi head. He put on his jazz playlist on his ipod and set out for his run. Leaving his cell phone behind because he was sure he wouldn't need it. "I have got to get a handle on my life," he thought. "What should he do about Yasmine? She is such a snake and I need to keep her out of my life for good." he thinks. He runs around the park that is located across from his condo. Running and jazz always made him feel better. Back at his house, his cell phone chirps with an incoming text message. it was from Camille. It read ""Jakob, I think we need to talk. Meet me at the coffee house at 1 if you agree. - Camille"

More to come...