Saturday, August 31, 2013

#31WriteNow: I Just Hope That You Miss Me A Little When I'm Gone

I'm taking a timeout. I am making myself do the work that needs to be done away from this space. I've been fighting against doing this all year. But, the reality is I can no longer do that. I need a break. I need to get out of my head and focused on more positive things in life. I feel like I've been writing one extensive, emotional, ridiculous letter to a certain person via social media. And, none of it is making the situation better. Actually, it's gotten worse and I'm over it. I do not care to continue this train of thought and this tone of voice. So, I am leaving for a little while. I am challenging myself to abstain from blogging for a little while. It won't be easy because I actually love writing. But, I need to do this. 

I am very proud of myself for completing Luvvie's #31WriteNow writing challenge. It took everything in me to get here. So, I need a break. My brain is screaming for it. Hope to see you back here when I return. I am positive that my blogs will sound like Kenda again. Thank you for reading. If you're praying people, send one up for me. I can use it. So, for at least the month of September, my blog will go dark. No posts from me here. You may catch me on Twitter or Tumblr but not often. I'll miss blogging for sure as well as my readers. In the words of one Mr. Aubrey Drake Graham, "I just hope that you miss me a little when I'm gone..." 

Friday, August 30, 2013

#31WriteNow: A Celebration!


Would you dance with me? C'mon. Get to it!! This is a dance break post. Yes, I am celebrating that today is August 30th. That means I am one day away from finishing the #31WriteNow writing challenge. It has been a very long, hot month. I had concerns early on that I would be able to finish this. My head hasn't been in the best place which leads to writer's block more often than an writer would like. I pushed myself through this. I was determined to do it. I needed to do it. I had to write this month. This challenge came along at the perfect moment. It was truly divine intervention. And, I welcomed it rightfully into my life and onto my blog. I sat down and wrote a few blogs that first week. That was the easiest week of this. Everything after that was a labor of love. There were some days when the words just wouldn't come. Those were the worst days. Prayer helped me through those days. 


So, as I sit here blogging on the second to last day of the challenge, I am reflecting. This challenge wasn't always easy nor did I always feel like doing it. But, I knew that it would be the best thing for me. It has allowed to get all of the words, thoughts and ideas out of my head and on to the proverbial page. I am grateful for that alone. I do not know if people who aren't writers get how much goes through a writer's head all the time. There is never a moment when nothing is forming in my head. I can try to not focus on it. But, because I write, those words will demand to be written one way or another. That's just my truth. I have so many unfinished blogs sitting in my drafts right now. Things I felt like I wanted to say and ultimately decided I couldn't. Or things that I don't think I'm ready to finish yet. Some of my drafts are just things that have demanded not to be written...yet. Either way, I am always writing in some form or fashion. Now, I'm at the need of this challenge. I have grown because of it. There is only one day left. So, yes, I am dancing and celebrating myself!! Thank God that I made it through this month. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

#31WriteNow: Around These E-Streets (IX)

  1. The MTV VMA's were a hot mess. Save for the Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars performances. Everything else was literally a clusterfuck of white folks behaving badly while appropriating Black culture. I'm disgusted in many ways.
  2. The Foreign Exchange finally released their new single "Call It Home" this week. I love it. If you aren't up on FE, you need to give them a listen. Love Phonte and Nicolay and their music. Haven't stopped listening to it all week. Get into them.  
  3. This #31WriteNow writing challenge has been stressful. Extremely. I needed to do it. But, I am so happy that I can see the finish line. The light at the end of the tunnel is shining brightly. I am proud of myself for getting to this point. I'm also grateful for the new bloggers I've discovered through this challenge.
  4. The appropriating of Black culture was at an all time high this week. ABC did this report which was just about my breaking point. Seriously, a report on twerking?!? Go home White America, you're drunk! Ugh. Oh, but Black Twitter did not disappoint. The trending topic of #ABCReports was golden earlier this week. Get into it for a laugh or 3. 
  5. The PR machine that is the Kardashians are up to new low tricks today. I find it hard to believe that Lamar Odom is a raging crack addict and has been for years. As if this man doesn't work for the NBA and has to pass random drug testing. Also, it seems very ironic that this drug story comes out after the cheating allegations arise. I call major bs and I'm looking dead at Kris Jenner for this.

  6. Also, I really hate when mainstream media gets ahold of new terms/slang. They kill it quickly. Such as their new found fascination with twerking. It is being added to the Oxford English dictionary. I'm disgusted. BTW, what Miley is doing isn't twerking. It's making a damn fool of herself. Go ahead and watch. Cringe and be embarrassed for her.
  7. All week, I've been obsessed with one project: TGT's "Three Kings" cd. It is just great R&B. Tank, Ginuwine and Tyrese have come together as TGT. They released their debut cd "Three Kings" this week. It is literally all I've been listening to. If you are a fan of soulful R&B, this is for you. Get into it. Especially "OMG," "Tearing It Down," "Weekend In Love," and most importantly "FYH."
  8. I've been a fan of Michael B. Jordan since he was Wallace on "The Wire." *spoiler alert* I cried when Bodie and Poot killed him in season one. Hated it. I've watched him grow as an actor. I really dug him in "Chronicle." I LOVED him as Oscar Grant in "Fruitvale Station." Great actor but really he is just so nice to look at. 
  9. I can honestly say there is only one headline I want to see that ha the name of Trayvon Martin's killer in it. I'm not sorry about that sentiment. The lawyers of Martin's killer are moving forward to ask the state of Florida to foot the bill (between $200,000 - $300,000) for the trial. The murderer's wife was found guilty of perjury this week also. Like her husband, she too has skirted jail time. Still no justice for Trayvon Martin. 
  10. I've written a few stories.You can read them here and here. I've taken a new approach to it. Well sort of. It's been building 6 words at a time. I didn't have a goal when I started out. But, it's ended up being my thoughts this year. Read it here if you like. I was going to stop at 100. I'm on 105.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

#31WriteNow: Trust Issues

Trust is defined as confident expectation of something; hope or reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
Trust is a very fragile entity. I'm, generally, a very trusting young woman. If you show me who you are, show me your heart, I will give you my trust. I'm like that. But, if ever this trust is broken, I can be a stone wall. I'm not going to willing let you back in, especially if you've hurt me. That's craziness to me. I'm a Sagittarius and that means I play and love hard. I may not show everyone when I am hurt or hurting, but I will not let you to continually chip away at my heart. I've played that role. It sucked and I didn't like it. So, I made a conscious decision to never be that chick again. Not for a man who didn't love me enough or a friend who didn't appreciate my friendship. It's hard to trust people once someone has shown you the pain of haivng that trust broken. Broken trust is almost the worst thing to repair, next to only a broken heart. It is an act of Congress to move past the hurt. 

I'm a huge believer in the fact that every single thing happens for a reason and in the way/manner it's supposed to. I trust my feelings implicitly. I've never failed me. I try to give folks the benefit of the doubt. But, you only get one time to cross me. I'm *no longer* on second and third chances. Truth be told, most are who they are from jump. Meaning that most won't change. I don't think I have trust issues though. I am just cautious. Life has made me that way. I've trusted the wrong people before. I've had my feelings hurt severly because of it. Being hurt or sad is never something I willingly want to be a part of. I try to avoid it as much as possible. I'm always working on being a better woman, daughter, sister, auntie, friend, cousin, listener, communicator, writer, person. But, my trust issues are embedded into my mainframe. It helps me weed out the good from the bad. I think I'll keep this character flaw.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#31WriteNow: Emotional Vampires

This person can be your family or your friend or your lover. They love you like you love them. But, they drain you emotionally. They are known as "emotional vampires." Probably because they are known to suck you dry emotionally. Nothing you ever do to help them is enough for them. They are always in the middle of some drama. It never fails. And you are the first (and seemingly only) person they call. Why are these types of relationships the hardest to shake? Emotional vampires are leeches. They will suck and suck until there is nothing left. They always need all of your attention. They are never there for anyone else. They need to be the center of attention because of their emotional drama. No one ever wants to pull away from family or friends. It's hard and it hurts. But, when that relationship begins to tale its toll on everything around you, something has to give. You can't keep saving them from their dramas. Because that will never solve the problem. More often than not, it helps the issue grow

Emotional vampires truly do not want an answer to their problem. They just want you to jump in every time and save the day. It's like this is their drug. Because they thrive on the drama. It is what makes their world spin. I would hate to be that draining on another person. When I do speak about my problems, its because I truly need help. I don't ask often. That's because I'm too prideful at times. I hate to bother people. I can tell you my opinion or how I feel inside all day. That's beyond easy to me. I like to talk. But my problems are a whole different lot. I keep them mostly to myself. I solve them on my own. I'm very much in my own head. My burdens aren't meant for someone else to bear. I use my head and follow my heart wherever they lead me. I wasn't raised to depend on anyone for my well-being. I guess this is why I don't get this kind of behavior.

These types of relationships can become toxic if you're not careful. Sometimes you have to place boundaries. Say no when you usually say yes. Walk away instead of engaging. And, if all else fails, letting go is the only option. It's definitely sad of that's how it ends. My well-being and peace of mind matter the most to me. That may sound very self involved but its true. I can't keep looking out for you while ignoring me. That's quite insane. If push comes to shove, I can still love you from afar. I've had to deal with this on two separate occasions. It sucked. These friends drained me. It was a roller coaster all the time. I backed off once I realized that they didn't wanna grow from there. I'm still cool with them but I'm no longer playing the game. What makes a person behave like this? I always wondered if the two people in my life knew that they were draining me. I never asked them. I'm sure they would be very offended if I asked now. Have any of you dealt with emotional draining relationships? Or have you been the one draining folks? How did you handle it? Have you changed? Let's talk about it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

#31WriteNow: Sorry, I'm So Blunt

I'm a blunt woman. That's the nicest way to put it. I say whatever crosses my mind because I feel it. This has, of course, led to some awkward moments in my life. Over the years, I've learned how to curb this trait in myself. I've held my tongue in order to keep the peace in my family, my life, and my job. It wasn't easy at all. But I did it. Biting my tongue is hard for a (mainly) extroverted person. I have no issues with speaking my mind. But, I've learned that not everyone appreciates such a unique characteristic. The combination of my quick wit and sarcastic tone can be a bit much for some.

I recognize that fact. So I'm working on my delivery as well. My sarcastic nature shows up and out all the time. I don't know how much of that I can change. But, we'll see. In watching the words I speak, I am creating my own legacy. I don't want to be the one who cuts down another through my words. The act of biting my tongue is forcing me to think and react more positively. That's what I want most for me. I want to speak the words that encourage and enlighten those around me. So that when they think of me, all the thoughts are good. This is all a part of my quest to being a better version of me. Biting my tongue will make for better type of conversations I believe.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

#31WriteNow: Get Into It & Sleep Like A Baby

I have trouble sleeping. This year, that issue has gotten worse. I can be dog tired. I will get in bed ready to go to sleep. But, sleep never comes. My mind does not slow down enough for that to happen in a reasonable amount of time. I stare at the ceiling, the walls, pr out the window. I pick up my cell constantly. My thoughts are so loud that I can't turn them off or down. Sleep is no longer my friend. When it comes to getting rest, I am really open to try just about anything within means. I really do not like to take any medicine to help me sleep. I am always afraid of developing an addiction. I've tried getting in bed earlier to combat the restlessness. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn't. A few nights ago, Jia tweeted about the greatness of a sleep aid app. It is Deep Sleep and Relax Hypnosis by Mindifi. It's a free app so no excuses for not trying it. 

I tried the "Sleep Like A Baby" option Thursday and Saturday nights. It is instantly relaxing. I was calm and soothed. Before I knew it, I was asleep. I do not remember falling asleep at all. That to me is a win. The app got me to focus on the speaking voice of the guy and turn my thoughts off. For the first time this year, I went to sleep with no trouble. No thoughts of the "whys" or "what ifs." I just slept. It was peaceful. I woke up so rested. I slept 8 hours straight both nights. That in itself is a feat. I've been in the greatest mood today because I am well rested. This app is beyond a win for me. I cannot wait to try it again tonight. It's that good. If you are like me and have more than a little trouble sleeping, you should def check this app out. Sleep like a baby for real. Thank me later.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

#31WriteNow: Close The Door

Every night, I sit and write. It's the same sentence. The same sentiment nightly. No matter how I word it, I'm saying the same thing. My mind is stuck on repeat. I don't want to think about it or talk about it. And, I damn sure don't want to write about it. But, it consumes me. It's the first and last thing on my mind. So I write about it even when I try not to. How ill is that? I can't control my thoughts or my writing. What I really need is to close the door to a house that I no longer reside in.

I'm more than this. I'm bigger than this. But I can't fight my way out of this. My reality is that I'm searching for answers and a heartfelt apology that I may never get. The problem is this depends solely on one person. This person is unwilling to give me what I need. Hell, give me what I deserve. I'm beyond perplexed by this. I'm tired of trying to figure out the what's and why's. I just really want to be done with this aspect of my life. I need closure on this.

I feel like a broken record repeating the same sentiment. But, unfortunately, I'm a writer who has to write what's on her heart. Tonight, this topic one. I've avoided the this for weeks. I don't know how to move forward. I don't know how to shake this feeling. It's weird because usually I'm the problem solver. Closure, in the past, has always come when I didn't need it anymore. I'm not that patient right now. I just had an epiphany. Maybe that's the lesson here.

Friday, August 23, 2013

#31WriteNow: Places I Must Visit


San Francisco, California is a new addition to my places to visit. I do not know anyone that lives here but I do have fam in Northern Cali. I am in love with the architecture of this city. I want to ride their trolleys and go to an open house here. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge is a must when visiting San Fran. I love all of the pictures I have seen of the bridge all lit up at night. It is gorgeous. Also, visiting Alcatraz, the Exploratorium and Fisherman's Wharf are a must. I have a special place in my heart for California anyway. It's a place that I really wouldn't mind living again. I also have to explore Northern Cali because people say it's a totally different world from SoCal. 

"As the shimmering "City by the Bay," San Francisco’s distinctive terrain – water on one side, hills on the other – leads to spectacular views and experiences that could only happen here. The city’s wide array of attractions, activities, and personality-infused neighborhoods appeal to visitors of all ages." - via City Pass

From pictures, San Fran seems to have a New Orleans-esque feel to it. The cable cars and the carriages are all things synonymous with the N.O. There are a plethora of restaurants and landmarks that I need to see and photograph. And, anywhere near water is a win for me. I think I was born to live near water. It keeps calling my name. Which is strange because I cannot swim but I love it anyway. San Fran has a famous farmer's market that I def want to visit. It's just such a beautiful city. It just seems like a great place to visit. It has moved up to my top ten places to visit. Cannot wait to get there. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

#31WriteNow: In My Mind

I've had a lot of time to think the last few months. My mind is full of so many thoughts. Most are things I will never verbalize. Could never say. Others are fears that have somehow found their way back to the forefront. I've always been an "in my head" type of person. Thinking & over thinking are two things I have mastered. This is the gift and the curse. Always has been. Especially when it comes to things I don't want to face. Life doesn't have a pause button or a time out option. Things happen, fall apart or go awry daily. The only option is to deal. Find some way to get through that moment.

That's what I've been faced with lately. And, I haven't dealt with things in the best way. I've drank way too much wine and Ciroc. I've cried so much that I feel like my tear ducts should be empty. Sleep no longer knows my name. I've written so many letters that I'll never send. And the worst thing I've done is keep my problems to myself. I can't bring myself to truly talk about what's really bothering me. Because of all the things that life has thrown my way lately, I am not myself. I don't feel like I'm being me. And the reality is how could I? I am different. I am broken in places I can't reach or fix. I feel like I'm standing still, stuck to this spot and the world is on fast forward around me. Everybody is moving, doing, growing. And I'm not doing anything but watching.

I know that things will get better. That there will come a moment where I can feel like I can truly breathe again. When I see that the world is a bright, sunny place again. I know all of that. But, right now, that seems so far away that I can barely imagine it. My heart is heavy. My head hurts. I need a moment. Give me a moment please. A minute to get it together again. I know I'll be just fine one day. I mean, I'm Yolanda's daughter & she did not raise a quitter or a weakling. These are just some of the thoughts floating through my crowded mind. I needed to share it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

#31WriteNow: Mixed Signals

This has been sitting in my drafts for awhile. It's still relevant to life. So, here it goes. I believe that I am very good at saying what I mean and following through. I do not believe that most people fall under the same category. I don't like to play with any one's emotions or confuse folks. I say what I mean so that they get exactly what I'm saying. This has been a theme in my life this year. Me not knowing exactly what people truly mean and where they are coming from. It is the most frustrating thing ever. I hate have to decipher what every conversation really means or what that text actually meant. It would be so much easier if folks just said what they meant. There would be no mixed signals or miscommunication. It's really a simple practice. This is where signals get crossed and things are taken the wrong way. I can detect a different tone in a person's text that they did not intend. I've been wanting to scream "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN??" so many times this year. 

I have decided just to take folks at face value. Whatever you say or text is what you meant. I do not have time to be Inspector Gadget every day. The people that want to be in your life will show and prove. And, those that don't won't. I believe in simplification. I can't keep holding on to people and relationships that have run their course. I hope that I am not guilty of doing the same. I just know that my life would be a lot better if folks didn't do this. I truly cannot deal anymore. I can't spend another moment trying to figure you out. I will be taking folks at face value from this point on. The miscommunication will be on your part. Whatever you said, emailed, texted, IM'd, tweeted, tumbled, or blogged will be your word. Nothing more, nothing less. Problem solved. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

#31WriteNow: A Movie Review

The conversation of Blackness has been a hot button issue lately. Race has been a topic of discussion. Lee Daniels tackles race from a different viewpoint. I went into this film with a totally open mindset. This is completely different from the way I approached "The Help." I was dead set against that film for so many reasons. I did not watch it in the theaters. I did not watch "The Help" until after I was challenged to read the book. Which I did and I liked it. I was surprised. I couldn't wait to watch the movie. I enjoyed it. For that reason alone, I knew I had to keep my mind and eyes open when watching this film. "The Butler" stars Forrest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Cuba Gooding Jr., YaYa Alafia, and Lenny Kravitz in prominent roles. The movie is told through the eyes of a man, Cecil Gaines, born a slave who lived his life as a servant. This film examines the historic role of one man's extraordinary life in the White House.

Oprah plays Cecil's wife Gloria Gaines. She is a stay at home Mom of two boys. Throughout the film, the audience watches her go through so much almost silently. I loved her character because she felt so real. Oprah was really good in this film. Other standouts were Lenny Kravitz who also plays a butler in the White House. Every person int . David Banner and Mariah Carey played Cecil's parents in the opening scene. I have a few issues with Mariah's character. One being that she had no lines and served no purpose. Whitaker was simply amazing in his role. As was Oyelowo who played Louis, Cecil's oldest son. The core of the movie is a struggle between father and son. Both men have different views as to how to deal with the oppression of Black people in the 60's. Their struggle makes for a strained relationship for most of the movie. To me, the most pivotal scene is the one where the Father finally sees the son's point of view. 

I loved the inclusion of the Black Panthers in this film. They played a huge role in history. The scope of this film includes a unique look at former presidents. I loved the look into the JFK era and the Reagan era. The actor who plays Reagan is amazing. The storyline was  so intriguing. I laughed, smiled, and cried during the viewing. I do not remember the last time a film evoked so many emotions out of me. It was simply a great film. It was the number one film of the weekend. Which I think is awesome. When I went to see it, the theater was packed at 10am on a Saturday morning. The crowd was mostly Black but there were a good amount of White people there as well. At the end, there was an out pour of applause from the audience. Go see it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

#31WriteNow: My Poetry Corner XIII "Written On My Skin"

I've been fighting writing this for months. But, pieces of this poem kept coming to me. Last night, it demanded to be written so I obliged. I've tried to not write about what I'm feeling and going through and failed. I'm not an abstract writer. I have to write what's on my heart. Unfortunately, the only tune in my heart is one about heartbreak and love shit. So, this is what happens when I follow my heart. Hope this piece moves you like it does me. 

I hid inside my words so they wouldn’t see the hurt
I wrote so that my pain wouldn’t touch anyone else 
I wanted to write the sadness away
All I did was expose my soul 
I’m naked on that page, on this blog 
My head hangs low so I don’t have to meet his eyes 
I know he’s watching me from afar
Reading the words scribbled on my milk chocolate skin 
Every inch of my body is a diary entry to him
Every word, each thought came from knowing and loving him
The love, the pain, all the happiness and eventual sadness  
I recorded it all in my heart 
It pumped through my veins
Everything I wrote was for him
Even when I tried not to, especially when I tried not to  
Water can’t wash him off of me 
I’ve tried to scrub the words away
Love doesn’t come off so easily
I stand here covered in these words
no longer ashamed 
Because I took a chance 
I loved him fiercely
and with my whole heart and it didn’t last
So I’ll write about that until it doesn’t hurt anymore

Sunday, August 18, 2013

#31WriteNow: Ladies Love Lyrics Lyfe Jennings' "Boomerang"

When it comes to music, lyrics matter. Period. I have been a fan of Lyfe Jennings since "Must Be Nice." I attended his first tour after his single was released. It was so good. I've seen him in concert a few times. He always gives a great show. I also met him. Very cool dude. He made me a lifelong fan that night in August 2005. And, now he's back with new music finally. This song "Boomerang" is about the karmic retribution that comes when one breaks a woman's heart. I read the words before listening. This lady loved the lyrics. Listening to the song for the first time reminds me of why I love this man's music so much. There is just a realness that connects him to his music. Watch the video above while getting into the lyrics below. Lyfe Jennings is back and I am one happy fan!! 

"And it’s true, there is no fault
When the rabbit’s got the gun
And you’re in love with the one that hurt you most
And they say karma is a bitch
And I say I agree with that
Cause this whole experience has let me know
That breaking a woman’s heart is like throwing a boomerang
It will come right back to you again
So remember that when it’s happening to you, don’t cry
When it gets hard, cause you threw a boomerang
And it came right back to you again
So remember that when it’s happening to you.
Used to play a lot of games with no conscience
Couple different lovers at once with no problem
Loved the way it felt to have everyone wanting me
Now I’m singing, try to be strong but I’m hurting
And the sad part of it all is I deserve this
This was meant to teach me a lesson, it’s working perfectly.
Cause it’s true, there is no fault
When the rabbit’s got the gun
And you’re in love with the one that hurt you most
And they say karma is a bitch
And I say I agree with that
Cause this whole experience has let me know.
That breaking a woman’s heart is like throwing a boomerang
It will come right back to you again
So remember that when it’s happening to you, don’t cry
When it gets hard, cause you threw a boomerang
And it came right back to you again
So remember that when it’s happening to you.
There I know few realize a woman’s scorn
Then heaven won’t help you hide if you break a heart
Try your best to be honest, try to keep every promise
Cause in the end if it doesn’t work out
She don’t wanna be friends
And she gon want revenge."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

#31WriteNow: "Scandal" Saturday

The best show of the last two seasons is by far "Scandal." If you've been living under a rock, you should catch up here or here or here.  Shonda Rhimes is a genius. There is no better show on tv than "Scandal." If you haven't seen it, why not? What's wrong with you? You are missing out on everything!! I need you to get to know the greatness that is Olivia Pope and Harrison Wright. They are OPA and Gladiators in suits. If you are late to jump on this train, do not fret. BET can help you out. Tune in tomorrow for the second half of season 2. It's the best episodes ever. 

BET made a huge move by getting the syndication rights to "Scandal." Last Saturday, there was an all day marathon on the network. BET showed all off season one and half of season two. I watched it as if I had never seen it before. I loved that BET ended the marathon at the most pivotal point. "Who is Quinn?" was the ending of season one. Rhimes has a way of writing great cliffhangers for her shows. Another doozy was the whole "Who Shot Fitz?" BET will finish off the season 2 marathon today. It starts at 7 am and will end at 9pm.  It's great for new viewers. It's even better for us die hard Gladiators as a refresher course. All this does is make me wish it was October 3rd. I have so many questions about season 3. Especially about the finale. "Scandal" is a greatly written and greatly acted show. It's just too good. If you are looking for a great way to spend your Saturday, turn to BET and catch up on "Scandal." You'll thank me later. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

#31WriteNow: I've Discovered Something New

Music makes me happy. It's been making me happier than normal these days. Over the last few weeks, I've discovered a few new artists. All unique in their own way. I love the diversity of these artists. While these artists may not be new to all, they are brand new to me.  Their music has been on repeat all week. I love when I can find music that just moves me. I've been very motivated all week. Anyway, let's discuss the newness. 

The first artist is Gwen Bunn. She came my way via a friend on Tumblr. The first song I heard by her is"Replaced You" and I was instantly intrigued. I loved this track. The lyrics were right up my alley. I listened to her whole EP "The Verdict" right afterwards. Every track was better than its predecessor. I was hooked. I really enjoyed everything about her. I had to share her with you guys.  

Next up is Elli Ingram. I found her via that same friend (activelistening). Her interpretation of Kendrick Lamar's "Poetic Justice" is beyond amazing. She did a mashup of that and Janet's "Any Time, Any Place" and it blew me away. Her EP "Sober" is just as amazing. She puts me in the mind frame of Adele, which is great company to be in. I cannot stop playing her music. 

I first heard of Lorde via Twitter and decided to check her out.  Her single "Royals" is so young and carefree. It has a certain air about it. I played it on repeat for a half hour straight. It's just feel goo d music. It's infectious. It's the kind of music that just stays with you. Also, Lorde is only 16 years old!! I think that's amazing. Her EP "The Love Club" was released this year. It will be followed by her major label debut "Pure Heroine" September 30, 2013. I am looking forward to hearing more from her. 

I first heard of Gary Clark Jr on a track with The Dream called "Too Early." It was one of my favorite songs on the cd. I've been hearing a few tracks by him. "When My Train Pulls In" has to be my favorite so far. His bluesy soulful voice is intoxicating. I definitely need to see this man in concert soon. There is something about him. I cannot wait to hear more from him. 

I've been following these two sisters on YouTube for well over a year. They are VanJess. They have done a lot of covers. My favorite has to be their cover of J. Cole's "Power Trip" and Kendrick Lamar's "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe." They also have released their first EP "00 Till Escape." It is all new original music from the girls. I really love them and their voices. Their YouTube channel is stocked full of great videos of their music and covers. I;m really glad to see the girls doing so well. These are the new artists that I've been indulging in lately. You guys should check them out. Let me know what you think of them. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

#31WriteNow: Forgive And Forget?

Forgive and forget is something I simply cannot do. I haven't found the right balance yet. How do you forgive those who have hurt you? Better yet, how do you forget the hurt you felt? It's not easily done. Forgiving is simple. Especially with time. I can pray on forgiveness. I can forgive anyone almost anything. That's the easy part for me. Oh but forgetting is another topic. Forgetting is something that my brain won't allow my heart to do. I remember every slight, every word, every action that caused me pain. I remember distinctly what that pain felt like. My brain will not allow me to let go of those moments. I wish I could remember to forget. Wish it were as easy as saying "just forget it."

My problem is that I internalize so much. And, when you hold so much inside, you're bound to explode. My "explosions" usually happen here on my blog or on my Tumblr. Or even worse, when I'm feeling rather low, text messages are sent. In hindsight, I know it's not the most productive way to work through my stuff. But, it's the most readily available way. I write to heal myself. It's therapeutic for me. Sometimes I'm not too proud of the work I create when I read it back. Other days, I couldn't be more prouder of myself. I'll think I've finally conquered the forgiving aspect. I can forgive you & still not want a thing to do with you. It's the forgetting that I struggle with. It's the letting go of it that pains me. I'm desperately trying to conquer it as well. It's all that I can do for now.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

#31WriteNow: I Don't Know & I Don't Care

Did you know that "I don't know" and "I don't care" are both acceptable responses? They are. I use then frequently. You know why? Because sometimes I don't know the answer. Shocking, I know but true. But more often than not, I don't care. If I deem it stupid or offensive or just plain dumb as hell, I don't care. When I get to that point, I can't fake it. I don't care about many things these days. That may sound selfish but it's true. There are some days when my ability to not care astounds even me. I pride myself on being a thinker. So spending time thinking about things I truly don't care for seems silly. So, I don't.

I have the the right to truly not care. I don't like small talk either. I want to learn something. Teach me something new. Tell me something old in a new way. In return, I want to educate you. Let me hip you to some new poetry or an author I love. That's what I know and care about. I don't want to talk about things that don't interest me. Furthermore, I'd rather not talk with people who don't interest me. The polar opposite of interesting is boring. And, I can't stomach boredom. It isn't for me. I've been that way since I was a kid. I've always been drawn to people I could learn something from. I was a curious kid who grew into a even curiouser woman. I like to know things, learn stuff. I'm not happy being stagnant. But, if I don't care about the subject matter, my mind wanders. That's where the problem can arise. I think too much. It's my gift and my curse. But, when I'm not interested in what's before me, my thoughts tend to go left. Way left. ¡Es no bueno!

I can't attempt to care about the mundane things some people do. It's not in me to do so. I care about myself and my family and the arts and politics. I know about literature and music and hair and family. Those are things that pique my interest. They are things I know and care about. I could care less about what offends you because it isn't my problem. I don't want to waste time on things that don't interest me. Why should I? If I've learned anything it, but that life is short and nothing is guaranteed. Life is for living not planning or pretending. So don't be surprised if you ask me a question and I reply "You know, I really don't care!" I don't have time to waste. I'm secure enough in myself to say I don't know or I don't care. It isn't about you. It's about me. And, I'm more than on with that.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#31WriteNow: Powerful or Powerless

Power is defined as "the ability to act or do; capability of doing or accomplishing; the possession of control or command over others. Authority." Power can be intoxicating. For the purpose of this blog, I am looking at power as exchangeable. If a person, place or thing can make you act outside of your morn then you are giving them your power. That person or situation now has control of you and your emotions. When you're in the midst of a situation, you can lose sight of this. It's not easy to calm yourself down once you've become emotional. Emotions can be a nuisance.  They betray our rational minds. I am a lot of things, powerful is one of them. I do not like to feel like I'm not in control of my life or what's going on. Any situation like that makes me feel unbalanced and weird. I don't feel like myself because I am not myself. This exchange of power is always negative. I do not care to be in any situation that takes me out of my element. 

The reality is that I keep giving away my power willingly. Every single time I give into my emotions and engage in the same cyclical conversation. I am searching for answers and explanations from someone who decided months ago that I wasn't worth them. Every time I act outside of myself, I am giving this person the power over me, my emotions. Why would a smart woman keep doing such insane things? One word, four letters is the only reason. L-O-V-E. It's also the reason that I cannot go any further down this road. I'm tired of doing the same thing and expecting different results. I am sick of feeling less than. That's what love has done to me. It has changed me, for better or worse. I don't want to be powerless. But, this situation keeps bringing me back to the same results. So, I quit. I give up. I concede to the fact that I will never get the answers that I need. So, I'm going to mentally put a top on this box and kick it to the deepest, darkest corner of my mind. I have to. Power is freedom. Power is knowledge. I need more of it. The road back to me isn't that long. I know who I am. Strong, intelligent and thoughtful. I've been powerful before. I will be again. Because it's a part of who I am. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

#31Write Now: Saturday & the City

Saturday was a lovely day in the city. I played tourist in my own city this weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Made my way to the Riverwalk. I was on a mission. I was going to try out a new restaurant, "Poppy's The Crazy Lobster." It was packed. We decided to sit outside because I wanted to be near the water. There was a live band, The Mojo Combo, playing as we walked in. They were pretty good. The hostess was nice as was our server. The atmosphere was very welcoming. I had high hopes for the food and drinks. After being there for only five minutes, I just knew that I wouldn't be disappointed. I'm happy to say that I was correct. 

Let's get into the food. I had an Arnold Palmer (half tea/half lemonade) to begin. We decided on the Cajun Fried Pickles for appetizers. They were so good. They came with a ranch dipping sauce. The portion was more than enough for two people. Everything on the menu was described in such a way that it all made me hungry. We chose the shrimp and grits and the bayou catfish platter.  We shared everything. We were both stuffed. It was all so delicious. By the time our entrees arrived, the first band left and a new band took their place. Both bands were great. I am biased because I love live music. Our server, Carlin, was so funny. He took great care of us. He even snapped a few pictures as well. I really liked him. The food and atmosphere were so good. I know I will be back. 

Sitting outside was the best decision we made. It was hot but the breeze off of the Mississippi River made it bearable. I love water. Always have. I also love watching the boats as they pass. We were there for almost three hours. We just took the time out to enjoy life and the moment. I know that I am always so caught up in my own life and in my own head that I forget to live. Existing is easy. Living is better. So, Saturday I truly existed in that moment. I wasn't even upset when the skies opened up and poured rain down on us. I took pictures instead. I laughed more. I also ordered a drink. It's called Poppy's Voodoo Juice and it was awesome. It is a bunch of different rums and ice cold pineapple juice. I loved the cup it came in. I can honestly say that I was tipsy halfway through it. I was completely drunk by the end of it. Drunk Kenda is a laughing, smiling, damn good time. So, the Voodoo Juice made the day better. We walked in the rain and didn't care. 

I have to send a huge thanks to the friend who graciously gifted me with Groupon for "Poppy's Crazy Lobster." If not for that, I would have never discovered this dope spot. Good food, great atmosphere, and live music are a wonderful combination. I could not have asked for a more perfect day. I needed it. I deserved it. But, most of all, I enjoyed it. I had the best experience and it all happened here. I took the time to walk Canal Street. I shopped and window shopped in the Riverwalk. I indulged in my favorite pastime, people watching. Which, by the way, is super interesting. People are funny. I was my normal smiling, laughing, conversing with others self. I was happy. And, I could never have predicted that. Suffice it to say, Saturday was a damn good day. I ate good, drank well, laughed even more. I walked in the rain and took pictures. I got a little drunk and didn't care. My city was good to me Saturday and I thank her for it.