Thursday, June 27, 2013

This Week Has Been Too Much.

It began with the George Zimmerman murder trial. For those living under a rock, he is obtrial for killing an unarmed 17 year old Trayvon Martin. It began with, of all things, a knock knock joke. Seriously. I’m sorry America but is a black child being murdered funny? It’s not. And no one laughed at that bullshit. The trial has been on one all week. I try not to say I hate people but Zimmerman & his defense team have made my list this week.

As has the Supreme Court. Knocking down part of the Voting Rights Act one day and standing up for DOMA the next. It’s like one step forward and ten steps back. I’m sorry but racism is still alive and thriving in these United States. I’ve literally been pissed all week.

Then, the great state of Texas decided to show its natural ass. Sen. Wendy Davis had to stand on her feet for almost 13 hours to stop a bill that would close all but 2 abortion clinics in the state. The other male senators were rude & talked over her. Then they tried to lie to pass the bill. Once it was recorded that the bill couldn’t pass, Rick Perry has called for a second vote. I really wish folks without reproductive organs would stop trying to legislate it. Just sit down and shut up.

I’m a politics buff. I love it. But, this week has knocked a lot of that love out of me. I’m really just disgusted with almost everything this week has been. It’s been too much. It’s been one of those wide eye weeks. We have pay attention and get involved. Especially women and minorities. If not, the old days will make a swift return. Just get into the people governing your state.

Oh, and to top it off, my favorite NBA team just broke down the squad. The coach, Doc Rivers, is now coaching the Clippers. And, my favorite player Kevin Garnett as well as Paul Pierce have been traded to the Nets. I'm sick. Ugh.

Go home, this week. You're drunk!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


In the midst of a very odd week, this gif sums it up. I am the sum of all my triumphs and all my failures. Every single thing I've done in my life has made me me. I have to be ok with it all. Feeling the full spectrum of emotions this week for reasons. I get so caught up in what I haven't accomplished or what I can't have that I forget to be thankful for all I do. It's so easy to be hard on myself. It's something I'm trying to shake off. So, what did I do? I sat down and did what I do best: wrote myself a letter. I wrote to myself about my good qualities and what I think I deserve. It instantly made me feel better and more calm about what will come. So, I challenge any of you having a bad dayto do the same. You are all beautiful in your own way. You have a gift unique to you. We all have a place and purpose in this life. So, no matter what has happened, how many times you've failed, who left, who doesn't get you, you are needed, wanted, loved. I say this to you because I had to say it to myself. Sometimes we need to be our own cheerleader. And, in the words of Mr. West, 

"Everything saying what's not for him 
Everything I'm not made me everything. 
Damn here we go again. 
People talk shit but when shit hits the fan. 
Everything I'm not made me everything I am."  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Food Network To Paula: Bye Y'all!

Earlier this week, Food Network's darling Paula Deen stepped in it. She is currently being sued by a former employee and the transcripts have been released. You can see them here , all 150 pages of it. Deen insists that she has used the N word on more than one occasion. I didn't even blink any eye at that. It's the instances she uses it that bothered me. This article details the whole Deen ordeal. Also, Twitter had a field day at Deen's expense for the last three days. Searching #PaulaDeenDishes or #PaulaDeenTVShows or #PaulaDeenBestDishes and you are in for a little entertainment. The whole ordeal has taken on a life of it's own. But, let's be clear Deen will be just fine. She's rich. She survive the backlash. 

Food Network took swift action by dropping Deen. I truly don't care about her show since I never watched it. And, I watch a lot of Food Networks. Her show was never one I got into. Her style of cooking is not my fave nor is her overly exagerrated Southern drawl. Scrolling the Food Network Facebook page, I was astounded by white people. They are upset with the network for firing Paula. The more I read, all I could do was shake my head at the ignorance. White people, your racism is showing all over the internet. This is why I laugh when folks claim that we are living in a post racial America because we have a Black President. Post racial? Get the hell on with that nonsense. With both the election and the re-election of President Obama, racism has reared its ugly head. The fact that folks are upset that Deen was fired is amazing. I am NOT surprised that she is a racist. Not one bit. I'm more surprised when people aren't.  I am not even offended that she used the N word. What I am pissed about is the way she used it, the fact that she saw nothing wrong with her actions and that bs apology video. 

Do you see the above photo? That is a direct quote from her. Who in the holy hell thinks this is ok? She wanted slaves for this wedding. She wanted Black people to step and fetch it for her. That is not ok. As a matter of fact it is disgusting. Anyone who thinks this is ok is a horrible person as well. Back then, my people didn't have a choice nor were they paid. They were slaves, owned by white men. They were less than people. Treated worse than animals. That is what truly gets me. So, kudos to Food Network for having the balls to drop an earner. And, to you, Ms. Deen, you can take your backward thinking non-apology and stick it in your butter. Bye y'all!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Around These E-Streets (VIII)

° Jay-Z made a huge announcement less than a week ago. It came in the form of this Samsung commercial. This Billboard article gets it all wrong in my eyes. Anyway, I am uber excited about Magna Carta Holy Grail. It drops (for Samsung customers) on July 4th, and the rest of the world on the 7th. #newrules

° The jury is set for the murder trial of George Zimmerman. I am not happy with it. CNN reports on the very homogenous, all female jury. It seems odd that in the entire state of Florida not one Black person was picked for the jury. If this racist, child murdering idiot gets off, I will be beyond pissed. 

° The Miami Heat won their 2nd NBA Championship Thursday night. Games 6 & 7 were amazing. Great series and an even better win for the Heat. Congrats to them! It also marks the end of the David Stern NBA Commissioner. I cannot say I;m sorry to see him go. 

° I am disgusted after reading this article about Bank of America's practces. They rewarded employees for every 10 houses they foreclosed on. What?!? Are you serious?? 

°Breast Cancer Awareness is a big issue to me. So, immagine my outrage when I read the Susan G. Komen Foundation was cancelling half of their 3 day races for the cure. Then, I read this article about the CEO and got pissed. Donations are down and the CEO got a raise? Why? 

° I am always on the look out for any information on healthy natural hair care. I found a great article over on Clutch's site. It's about the baggy method. It helps with sealing in moisture on your hair. With it officially being summer here, I needed to read this. Will be trying it our during my next cowash.

° Kids are ridiculously honest. It's one of the things I appreciate about the little ones. And, no where is it more apparent than this review of "Yeezus" by 6 year old Jake. Accurately on point to. Especailly his last questions. "So he's rich? And he's famous? And he can buy whatever he wants? Then why is he so angry?" Why indeed Jake.

° If you know me then you know I'm a Drake fan. Have been since his second mixtape. This month, he covers GQ with the title "How To Drake It In America." Great read. Cannot wait until "Nothing Was The Same" drops.

° Paula Deen got dropped by Food Network for giving a non-apoolgy and for being a ridiculous racist. I have no words. Just read this

° Great article on the change going on in the music business. It takes a look at the leak of Yeezus and the new Jay-Z project. Dope article

° North West. Nope, not the direction on a compass or a map. The spawn of Kanye and Kim. Celebrities are dumb. The End. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dear Summer

It's officially summer!! Today the sun is shining bright here. It's sunny and hot and I couldn't be happier. I woke up in a bad mood and decided in the shower that it wasn't going to last all day. So, I shook it off. Courtesy of some of my favorite summer themed songs. Played loudly of course. It did wonders to improve my mood. And, then I went to my favorite snowball place for my first of the season. It was awesome. Happy summer solstice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Born Sinner Better Talks A Good Game

New  music is flowing this week. J. Cole drops his sophomore cd "Born Sinner." I am totally here for it. It's a return to mixtape Jermaine. It is better than his debut to me. I can vibe to the entire project which is important to me. There are standout tracks like "Crooked Smile" which features TLC and "Villuminati." It flows like a complete work of art. I have always loved J. Cole's lyricism and he delivers here. It's not a lot of new rappers I rock with. Cole is one of the few (and also Wale who drops next week). I was pleasantly surprised to hear this one. It's really good. It's the project that is getting the most play this week. If you are a fan, this is a great purchase. 

Now, let's get into a few new R&B releases. Kelly Rowland released her "Talk A Good Game" yesterday as well. I can honestly say I wasn't impressed with her singles. None of them. But, the release of "Dirty Laundry" got my attention. That one song piqued my interest. I listened to TAGG with open ears. My conclusion: there is always something missing from Kelly's cd's. There is never really a dope standout track. Most of the songs are forgettable. I do not know what the problem is. Kelly can sing her butt off but her material is always lacking. She never releases a project that I can rock with from beginning to end. I really want Kelly to win but this isn't going to get it. Anyway, there are a few songs that I like. You may as well. 

Finally, we get new music from Chrisette Michele. I LOVE this woman's voice. Love it. Her lead single "A Couple Of Forevers" is my current favorite song. Those lyrics are everything to me. Chrisette's music is something I always look forward too. I love that this project has a lot of tracks. It isn't a short cd at all. I lost track of time listening to this. There is something very jazzy about her voice. I've never seen her in concert but it is on my to do list. "Better" is one of my new favorite cd's. I loved everything about it. Music will always have a special place in my heart and in my life. When nothing else is going my way, music helps me. Hopefully, it helps you as well. Get into the newness. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And It Came To Me Like An Epiphany

An epiphany is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Last night, I had a moment. It was what I call a lightbulb moment. I had an epiphany. I cried for a while. I realized something very truthful that I've been fooling myself about. It is amazing the way we deny things to ourselves. I know that it is a defense mechanism. There is nothing I can do about another's actions, words or thoughts. But, I can control how I react to them. I've spent most of this year NOT dealing with a huge issue. I was blindsided by it and I retreated from it. I didn't want to deal because then it would be real. The reality is that situation persists regardless of my actions. I've allowed it to alter me, my thoughts, my words, the way I live my life. That isn't right at all nor is it me. I've allowed this other version of me to exist in this space. The emotional, calm side of me. Which, quite frankly, is bullshit. I need to acknowledge my feelings. I am incredibly angry about it and ridiculously sad. And, those are two emotions that do not need to exist in one person at the same time. It's exhausting because I am fighting myself for reasons unknown. I am over it. 

I try to protect myself from the world. I do a very good job at it. I know that no one else will do it for me. I've learned the hard way that the only person I can truly depend on 24/7 is myself. That's not harsh or sad, it's just reality. I am the only one always looking out for my best interests. And, that is more than ok. I had to go through the breakup of relationships and the fracturing of friendships to learn it. I needed to experience the bad to know the good when I have it. 2013 has not been a good year thus far. That's my reality. The only thing I want is for it not to end the same way. I have to find the right avenue for me to pursue. I was truly enlightened about my life, who I am and who I need to become. I do not know exactly what I am doing noe or where I am going. But, I know that I cannot continue to be this version of myself. That is over. This epiphany was deep. I literally laid in bed for hours weeping (also, didn't help that I was listening to Yeezus). I know that I do not know where I am headed but I am excited to get there. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

"If You Loved Me So Much, Why'd You Let Me Go?" And Other Questions About Ye's New Cd

Kanye West's "Yeezus" sprung a leak last week. I was excited to hear his new music. After watching his SNL performance a few weeks ago left me apprehensive and guarded. He performed "New Slave" and "Black Skinhead." I liked the first one, disliked the second. Lyrically, both are intersting. Musically, "Black Skinhead" sounded a mess. The entire rollout of this project has been odd. No real first single, no real media presence. It doesn't feel like a Kanye project. I was cautiously intersted in this new music. So, I had to give it a listen. On first listen, I was extremely disappointed. After another or three listens, I found some happy in a handful of songs. But, there was something missing here. There are only a few flashes of classic Kanye-ism's, a few quotables. 

The project is only 10 tracks deep. And, it pains me to say that "Yeezus" is not it. More than a handful of the songs sound incomplete and erratic. It's a disappointment for a fan like myself. I was expecting...well, more. Yes, I know artist need to evolve and push the limmits. But, where exactly is Mr. West trying to take me? It may be something that has to grow on me. Which is odd because I've never felt that way about a Kanye cd. I have them all and love them all. I am still on the fence about this one. It is worth a listen to come to your own conclusion. If you are a diehard Ye fan and you've loved his old stuff, this project will shock you. It is unlike anything he's ever done. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing...yet. "Yeezus" officially drops tomorrow. Get into it so we can discuss it. 

The Good

* "Bound 2"
* "Guilt Trip"
* " Blood On The Leaves"
* "New Slaves" 

The Confused
* "Black Skinhead"
* "Send It Up"
* "I'm In It"

The Bad
* "I Am A God"
"On Sight"
* "Hold My Liquor"

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Classic Music: John Legend "Get Lifted"

John Legend has a golden voice. He is also a great musician, lyricist and producer. I knew of him before his debut cd dropped via Kanye West. "Get Lifted" was and still is a very dope cd. I played it on repeat for months on end. His singles were great such as "Ordinary People." My absolute favorite track is "Stay With You." The lyrics are so wonderful and the song is so calming. I can listen to it daily. I was watching John Legend on Oprah's show the other night and it reminded me how much I love his voice. It inspired me to pull out this cd and give it a listen. Hearing it brought me right back to the very first time I heard it. I've seen John in concert a few times and he just gets better. His voice makes me so happy. So, choosing him for this was easy. Take a short walk down memory with me and John Legend. Vibe with us!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Power of Prayer

Prayer. It has been my salvation more times than I can count. I have been raised in and around church all my life. My family is filled with praying people. I learned at an early age the power of prayer. Praying to me is the ability to have a one on one conversation with God. I learned how to say my prayers as a kid. There have been times where I feel that the only thing that saved me from myself was prayer. I remember after my Dad died, I didn't pray for a long time. I couldn't I was so hurt by his sudden death. Then, I found myself needing someone bigger than me. Finding my way back to church, prayer and God was not an easy feat for me. I did a lot of soul searching. In the ned, I had to acknowledge that I do not know best. I do not have all the answers. I needed to pray. I needed to speak my heart. It helped me get through that very dark time in my life. 

                                             (My brother Ken's praying hands/rosary tattoo)

The reason why prayer is the topic today is because I haven't been doing it lately. This year has been extremely hard for me. There a few situations in my life currently that I have no control over. I've been reluctant to pray because of my feelings. I have been very angry this year. I have tried to hide that from most people. But, I have mostly tried to suppress it from myself. I didn't want to acknowledge my anger. I didn't want to admit that I was. But, I was and in some ways, I still am. I feel like I need to pray now. I've cried about it, I've written about it, I've talked about it ad nauseam. I am over talking to any of my friends about what's going on with me. I require more. The only solution that I could come up with is prayer. I am challenging myself to do it early and often.  I mean, what else can I do but let go and let God? He is my only answer to my issues. And, I know that in the end, prayer changes things. 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Movie Review: A Sick Day With Netflix

A few weekends ago, I was stuck in the bed sick. So, I decided to peruse Netflix for some new movies. I found a few. The first movie was Common's "LUV." "LUV" stands for learning Uncle Vincent. It's about a man (Common) fresh out of jail trying to go legit. He takes his nephew with him for the day even though the kid should be in school. Both live with Common's Mom. He is trying to teach his nephew how to be a man. I loved the scenes of Vincent taking his nephew to get his first tailored suit. He teaches his nephew how to drive, how to look a man in the eye, shake a man's hand amongst other things. The movie is fast paced but very good. I loved eveything about it except the ending. The ending was a tad bit too far fetched for me. Still a really great film.

I finally watched "Magic Mike" as well. I really just watched this movie because it stars Channing Tatum & it's about strippers. This was not a good movie. The plot is silly. The acting is decent. But, yeah, its a great eye candy movie since the strippers have great bodies. I wasn't all that invested in the plot but loved the stripping scenes. I don't think that there was anything else to pay attention to. Oh, and Tatum's solo stripping scene when he dances to Ginuwine's "Pony" is a-maz-ing. It's my absolute favorite scene in the whole movie. It gave me a greater appreciation of that old song. Ladies, watch for that reasons alone. It's enought o hold your eye for the duration.

The last movie I watched before Theraflu took over was "The Human Contract." This movie was produced by Jada Pinkett Smith. She also starred inthe movie as well. This was just a weird movie. I really only watched it because Idris Elba was in it. This movie was about a man going through a divorce who starts an affair with a woman. That's when the drama begins. Jada plays his sister who is in an abusive marriage. Idris plays his coworker, an attorney. The entire film is very weird. The storyline is very odd. I didn't get it at all.  If not for IDris, I would not have finished it. Anyway, that was my weekend with Netflix. Some good, some bad. Watch them for yourself & tell me what you think.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Can I Just Be Random Because It's June?

° This year is halfway over. And, I for one, am glad. 2013 has no been a year I want to remember so far. I'm over it. 

° I am in this private group on Facebook. It gives me a place to vent. I love it. And, most of the members are hella cool. Great discusions are sparked there. 

° My best friend is amazing. He kinda always knows when I need to bend his ear or a shoudler to cry on. And, I def needed him yesterday. I'm very good at keeping things to myself. I hardly ever ask for help. Thankfully, he already knows this about me. I am grateful.

° I have a new obsession. It is Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato. It is heaven in a jar. Target has them on sale. I am going to eat it until I get sick. In a good way. 

° I have been contemplating changing my number. I've had it for 8 1/2 years. That is the main reason I don't want to change it. But, having the same number for so long can be the gift and the curse. It allows anyone in my past to pick up the phone and reach out. I don't necessarily care to walk down memory lane with certain folks. Also, when my phone rings, I only want it to be one man. When I get a text, I only want it to be from one man. I'm at a crossroads about it. 

° The above picture has got to be my favorite. I refer to it as "love sick." I totally get that emotion. It's such a dope piece of art. I need it in my house.   

° I hate the way that the word "stupid" makes me feel. It's not often in my life that I've felt stupid. When I have, it's just about the worst feeling in the world. It's also a feeling I cannot shake. It's also my current mood. Ugh. It sucks.

° I need Jay-Z to release some new material asaptually. I am missing the newness. I need a Jay-Z summer theme. I have just about played "Gotta Have It" out. It has been my theme song for a while now. 

° I need a break. I need a vacation. I want to go far away. Somewhere near water and sand. And, fruity drinks with umbrellas. And, no internet connection or cell phones. Just me & a camera. That sounds like heaven right now. 

Monday, June 03, 2013

This Reader's Review: Part XVI: Eric Jerome Dickey's Gideon Series


Eric Jerome Dickey has a way with words. Since I read "Milk In My Coffee," I've been a fan. Over the years, he has wrote some of my favorite books. The combo of "Pleasure" and "Decadence" stands out as two of my favorites. But, all of his books pale in comparison to the Gideon series. "Sleeping With Strangers" introduces the central character Gideon to the world. His life is definitely worthy of a book or four. Gideon is a very complex character. He is a quintessential bad boy but he has his soft spots. I love that he isn't just an awful man. The book also introduces another character who will be central to the series. Her name is Arizona. The danger and excitement flows right into the second book "Waking With Enemies." The series takes the readers all around the world. "Dying For Revenge" is my favorite book of the whole series. It's the longest book ad has the most details in it. 

Gideon is one of the most complexly written characters I have ever read. I love that along with his toughness that there is also a softness. He is very intelligent and street savvy. I love that his education came from all over. He is a contract killer who loves science fiction. Also, his sexual prowess has to be mentioned. That is a big part of his appeal. He is described as a handsomely rugged big man. He seems to ooze sex. The ladies love him and he loves them right back. There are more than a few very hot and steamy scenes of Gideon with his various ladies. This also humanizes him as a character. He has so much depth. Gideon is always on to the next adventure, next country, and next lady. Every time is as exciting as the one before. Every time I finished a book, I was so ready for the next one. Books 1, 3, and 4 are really long but really great. Book 2 is the shortest book but is filled with drama. The entire series kept me intrigued. 

This four book series is amazing. I love the main character Gideon. He's a bad guy but I root for him anyway. That is the sign of a great author. Dickey writes Gideon in a way that the reader does not feel bad about wanting the bad guy to win. It took me all of a week and a half to finish this series. Now, I'm sad because I'm done. The only thing that gives me a little hope about the Gideon series is that the way the 4th book "Resurrecting Midnight" ends lets me know that there will be more Gideon to come. For a voracious reader such as myself, that makes me super happy. I cannot even fathom what adventure Dickey will send Gideon on next. But, whatever it is, I am ready for it. If you are looking for a murder-hit man-romance series to get into, then this is it. The series is a great read. Dickey truly outdid himself with this series. Get into it.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Ladies Love Lyrics: Paramore "The Only Exception"

This "Ladies Love Lyrics" choice is one that means a lot to me. It's a song by a group that I really dig. Hayley Williams is the reason that I am a Paramore fan. She can just sing. I love her voce. Paramore always has the best singles. "The Only Exception" is no different. It's a song that has stuck with me since a first listen. The lyrics really touched me. Paramore is a really dope group that makes music that I can relate to. Let's get into these lyrics for now.

"Maybe I know, somewhere
Deep in my soul
That love never lasts
And we've got to find other ways
To make it alone
Or keep a straight face
And I've always lived like this
Keeping a comfortable, distance
And up until now
I had sworn to myself that I'm content
With loneliness
Because none of it was ever worth the risk, well

You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception

I've got a tight grip on reality, but I can't
Let go of what's in front of me here
I know you're leaving in the morning, when you wake up
Leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream
Ooh Ooh...

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Dear Diary (VI)

"They" say you should live life with no regrets. I have failed on epic levels with that this year. Living with no regrets used to be my mantra. But, all of that has changed. 2013 has ushered in some new practices that I don't necessarily care for. I did not sign up for the change but it's here anyway. Now, I have to adjust. I clearly feel like the universe is trying to tell me so many things. I am listening...noow. I am open to it. Because the regrets and the waht if's and the doubts are killing a sister. I do not like them living in my head and heart. It just isn't the way I live my life. I need something to shake and soon.

The above quote is from "Regrets" by my favorite rapper. And. it's my truth. I regret all the words I didn't say, all the risks I didn't take, the leaps I was too afraid to take. I am learning to live with the regrets. Learning to live with the reality that maybe certain things were not meant to be. It is clear that I have no clue what my future holds. I have come to accept certain truths. I cannot control the actions of others. I cannot make things be the way I want them to be. I  thought I was very secure in the woman I was. I was wrong. I've been shaken to the core this year. I've doubted myself so much, challenged everything I thought I knew about myself. I feel like a caterpillar going through the transformation to being a butterfly. I am changing but not necessarily by choice. By circumstance, I have to be different than I was last year. I regret a few things. I'll learn to live with them. They will make me better.