Friday, October 31, 2014

"This Year, Halloween Fell on a Weekend..."

Happy Trick or Treating!! I have always been a fan of "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." It's been on twice this season & I've watched it. I also DVR'd it. It's so appropriate so I had to share it with you. Also, since Halloween is on a Friday this year, The Geto Boys classic rap track "Mind Playin Tricks" had to provide the soundtrack. "This year Halloween fell on a weekend. Me and Geto Boys are trick or treating..." It's one of my favorite childhood memories and always remind me of Halloween. Hope you guys have fun and be safe. Eat all of the candy and have a happy Halloween!!!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rant: If You Don't Mind...

Mind Fuck. Two words that can mean so many things. Have you ever been mind fucked? Ever have a conversation so good that you find yourself reliving it days, weeks, months later? If not, I feel sorry for you. There is nothing better for an intellectual like myself than this. I have had an affinity for words and conversations for almost all my life. I am a self described conversational lush and huge believer in intellectual intercourse. As I've gotten older, I have found that I crave deep, intellectual conversations that make me think and challenge my opinions. I have not meet too many people who know the art of good conversation. It is a positive personality trait. I enjoy the conversations about things I am deeply involved in and the ones that challenge my opinions. If you can keep up with me and/or teach me something, you are golden in my book. I crave it. Intelligent conversations with intelligent people make me happy beyond words. The only thing that makes these conversations better are the ones with brown skin men who know how to flirt as well. Those are swoon-worthy. Totally. I am patiently waiting for the day those specific ones return to my life. Because I deserve it. What about you guys? Anyone else like this as well? Or maybe this is a Kenda thing lol. Either way, I am here for it. Ok, rant over. Happy #TGIT to you!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

And, One More Random Thing...

  • The hot button topic on Twitter this week has been street harassment. It made me remember some moments I always push away. There is no greater fear than the one that accompanies being accosted by a strange man on the street. I've learned to be nice but firm with my "no" replies. I shouldn't fear for my life when turning down a guy. Nor should it be a given that a strange man has the right to hold up my progression in the middle of the street or have some man I do not know touch me. But, all of that has happened to me. I've had men berate me for not stopping to talk or saying no. I've had men refuse to get out of my way until I gave them my "phone number." None of this is ok. It's barbaric and rude and reeks of male privilege. It sickens me. Nothing scares me more than a group of men on the street. Doesn't matter what race they are, they all give me moments of anxiety. I wish more people (read: men) would hear our (read:women) stories and take it seriously. Just two weeks ago, two different women were killed for turning down men on the street. Where is the righteousness in that? Men (yeah yeah, not all men), do better por favor. If a woman turns you down, take that "L," respect that curve and move on. That's it.
  • The older I get, the more conscious I am about my Blackness. I do not want to live in a world where people don't see color. I am a Black woman. Both of those are important to me. The more I hear about and read about feminism, the more I am drawn to womanism. White feminists have not been inclusive of Black women from the beginning. It disgusts me to be honest. Alice Walker coined the term "womanism" as a place for Black feminists. It's hard to not see color when the color of my skin is seen as a negative in so many circles. I love being Black and I love Black people. 
  • It's been 82 days since Darren Wilson shot and killed Mike Brown. He is still on a "paid vacation." There have been 2 other police involved killings in the St. Louis area (Kajieme Powell and VonDerritt Myers) since then. There have been no arrest. There has been no justice. This pisses me off. Black lives matter. 
  • Sometimes I ask questions I shouldn't. But, I've always been a curious person. I have a thirst for knowledge. I need to know things, even if they may hurt me. If I do not question everything, I won't know anything. And, that doesn't work for me. 
  • I may be slightly addicted to lipsticks now. I've purchased about 6 in the last 3 weeks. I love them all. I think it makes me look grown up. And, seeing that 35 is fast approaching, that may be a good thing.
  • The inside of my left ankle is swollen. I do not know how this occurred. It's weird because I don't remember hitting it. It doesn't hurt though so I guess that's a good thing.
  • I am working on bettering myself. In doing so, I realize I need to work on my facial expressions. I have this habit of letting my face speak for me. It's not a god thing, especially when I am not happy about certain things. I am a work in progress.
  • Danity Kane's last cd "DK3" was released this week. I've been bumping it all week. I really like it. I've been a fan since "Making the Band." Dawn has always been my favorite. Her voice reminds me of Brandy's. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: The Poetry Edition

I won't even tell you how many books I have in my to be read pile. Nor will I tell you that I just got more books from the library & purchased 2 others from Barnes & Nobles. We don't have to discuss that. I spent Saturday afternoon diving head first into a few of them. I discovered nayyriah waheed and her poetry via her Tumblr last year. I was instantly a fan of  her work. She writes from a place I know dearly. I followed her after reading only 3 pieces. I was delighted when she followed me back. We interacted once or twice. But, I was just happy to have her words on my dash daily. I was elated when she announced that she was putting out her first book.

Waheed's first book is "salt." I devoured this book in less than two hours. I loved everything about it. I bookmarked and highlighted more than 50% of the book. These are the pieces I knew from her Tumblr. I loved the story her pieces told. She writes of love and loss in a way that my heart understands. I love her tone and the affliction her breaks/pauses give to her work. This is my favorite of the two books. My love for "salt" is epic. I wanted to share a few of my favorite pieces. I placed them below. Enjoy. 

i am always writing.
of you.
for you. 
stay is a sensitiveword.we wear who stayedand who leftin our skin forever.                     - sojourn__________________
you blush like an ocean in lovewild with blueness.                - yemanja__________________ 
there is peaceful. there is wild. i am both at the same time.                 - sum__________________ 

Her second book is "nejma." From the cover alone, I could tell that the books would be decidedly different. I was write. It took me longer to get through this book. I wasn't as in to it as I was the former. There are some pieces that jumped out at me. They described my situation perfectly. I always find it amazing that there is another writer living somewhere near or far that can tap into my situation and explain what I cannot. I love writers like that. Both of her books are available via Amazon. Last time I checked they were $0.99 for the Kindle. Do yourself a favor and pick them both up. You will not regret it. Below are my favorite pieces from "nejma." Read and get into them. 

grieve. so that you can be free
to feel something else. 
can you feel my prayers.
there and.
there and.
                 - pilgrimage
there is prayer in poem.
when i am writing
i am praying.
all the prayers that are too soft.
too young.
too old.
to say.
i am trying to remember you
let you go
the same time.
               - the mourn

Monday, October 27, 2014

Puzzle Pieces

The phrase "puzzle pieces" has been in my head all week.  I am in a period of transition. Honestly, I have been for a while. But, for the first time, I can see clearly. The clouds are lifting and the sun is peeking through. In this metaphor, my life is the puzzle that needs it's pieces. This means that I am attempting to put myself back together again. Some pieces no longer fit the woman I am today so they have to be discarded. The thing about being broken is that no matter how hard you try, you will never put yourself back together the same way. There are slivers of you that you will never find. So, all the glue and tape in the world would only be able to hold together the biggest pieces of the puzzle that you are. There will be cracks where the person you used to be existed. 
 "I'm in repair 
  I'm not together  
  but I'm getting there"
                         -- John Meyer "In Repair"

Some days I sit and write these pieces on paper so that I can "see" myself more clearly. I feel as though there are characteristics that no longer belong in my life. They no longer work with the woman I am becoming. The one thing I know is that I will be better than I was. No one person or situation will ever stop me in my tracks again. No one will no longer have the power to break me. I am taking back my power and I feel damn good about it. I spent a lot of time reflecting, writing, and drinking this weekend. Everything was put into perspective once it was done. This is the best I've felt in a really long time and I am so thankful for it. The pieces of the puzzle that I call my life are fitting together perfectly again. What more can I ask for?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Herbal Essences Naked Review

I am an Influenster as you guys already know. I've blogged about the program numerous times. After being chosen for the last Vox Box and completing all the tasks, I was chosen as a Badge Brand winner. This meant I would be getting some Herbal Essences goodies for free!! And, who doesn't love free products?!? I waited patiently for my prizes to arrive. They finally did about 5 weeks later. My box of goodies included full sized bottles of the Naked Shampoo, the Naked Conditioner, the Naked Dry Shampoo and the Happy Go Lather Body Wash. I couldn't wait to try them all out. First impressions are everything. I love this sleek and clean packaging for this Herbal Essences Naked line. I loved that the bottle for the shampoo and body wash were clear. Wished that the conditioner bottle was as well. 

I adore the body wash. It smells like roses and the scent lasts a really long time. For me, a good body wash or soap is how much it lathers. Happy Go Lather passed that test with flying colors. I was familiar with the dry shampoo since I used it before from a prior Vox Box. I am a fan of it already. The real surprise for me was how much I really enjoyed the naked shampoo and conditioner. They both smell great and lather really well. My hair felt squeaky clean after shampooing and soft after conditioning. This Naked line has a new fan in me. The fact that there are no parabens is a real draw for this naturalista. It's in line with products I already use in my natural hair. I loved everything in my prize box. I am still elated to have won it. This is why being an Influenster is such a great perk for me. Get into these products.  

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Get Into It: Quote Dump

This is just a dump of things I've read recently that I cannot shake. I guess they were things I needed to read to accept the reality of my current situation. I decided to share because you never know who's going through a similar situation. Get into it. 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Randomly in October

  • Something is seriously wrong with the judicial system. The police who are paid to protect and serve are just killing folks for being Black. There have been over two months of protesting in Ferguson, Missouri. Cops who have outright executed young Black men are still walking free and getting paid. Where is the justice in that? I am disgusted.
  • I swear I read some of the dumbest logic on social media. Some things I just have to shake my head at because of the levels of stupidity of it. I learned a long time ago to not let the world define or label me. That right only belongs to me. I can be intelligent and sexual, a homemaker and a woman on the scene. I have the right to be all the things that I feel deeply. There is a world inside of me and none of it can be easily defined. Folks need to broaden their minds and views of the world. It would make things so much easier. Also, all the time one spends trying to label me will be a loss because I am in a constant state of change.
  • The BET Hip Hop Awards were on earlier tonight. I officially know that I'm getting old. So much of today's Hip-Hop is trash. I don't even understand most of these dudes. The "I Wanna Be Down Remix" performance was the best thing ever though. Live tweeting it made it more enjoyable.
  • The fact that some folks expect more from me than they themselves would be willing to give is astounding. You cannot hold me to a higher standard than you do yourself. I am bound to disappoint you. But, you also need to know that my reactions stem from your actions. So maybe your actions should have been handled better. Just a thought. I'm only human. I'm only a woman, a helluva one but I digress.
  • I am slowly getting back to myself. I am a different woman than before. I changed. Hopefully for the better. I declare there will be no more tears about people/places/things I cannot control. I have to put me first. That's the new rules.

  • I saw Addicted last weekend. It was pretty good. Wanted to see Gone Girl but there was an issue with the film reel. I got a refund and free passes.
  • Redefining what I want, need, deserve out of life. I am at a fork in the road. Still cannot believe that I'll be 35 in exactly 2 months. Where did the time go? So many thoughts. So many things to do.
  • I  have been playing Jhene Aiko's "Souled Out and Luke James' debut cds out. They have both been on repeat all week. I love good lyrics and both projects have them. Check them out.
  • It's amazing to me how much I've grown. My temper is so in check now. There is an old saying that states "maturity is when a person hurts you and you try to understand their situation and don't hurt them back." I think I am a living testament to that to everyone in my life except one person. But, she is the spawn of Satan so she gets no sympathy from me. But, I digress. I no longer feel the need to strike back. That's a good thing
  • Some days I think I have it all figured out, other days I know I have not a clue. Such is life, right? Eh.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Get Into It: October Challenge

I am a writer. I declared this to be true a long time ago. The act of writing is a long and arduous one. But, it's the best thing I know. I am always looking for exercises or challenges to help me with my writing. So, when a poet I dig, Alex Elle, posted this on Tumblr, I was all in. #ANote2SelfJC is her October initiative. The goal is to write everyday of this day for 15 minutes in silence. I love journaling because it helps to clear my mind. Anything that gets me back in the habit of writing every single day is a great thing in my world. I have posted a view entries on my Tumblr page. But, most of it is way to personal for me to post. But, I started on the 1st and haven't missed a day yet. It's been very therapeutic for me. I am thoroughly enjoying it. It's funny because for years I kept journals. I haven't had one consistently in years. This is a great exercise for anyone but especially for those of us who love to write. I cannot wait to see how much of my journal that I can fill up before Halloween. Join in if you feel so inclined. Happy writing, folks!!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Movie Review: "Addicted"

Zane's "Addicted" has been one of my favorite guilty pleasures for years. It's the first book by her that I read. It made me an instant fan. So, the moment I heard that it was being made into a film, I was happy. I knew that I would have to see it. "Addicted" opened on Friday, October 19th. I was front and center early Saturday morning to see it. It stars Sharon Leal, Boris Kodjoe, William Levy, Tyson Beckford and Tasha Smith. All play central characters in this movie. Billie Woodruff is the director. I've always loved his work. From the opening scene to the last frame, I was enthralled. I really enjoyed the plot, the actors and the movie overall.

The actors were all attractive and kept my eyes glues to the screen. The plot varies in many places from the book. As a reader, I always have to temper my expectations when it comes to films based on books. I knew there was no way to get all the info into a movie. But, I think they skipped some crucial things. In the movie, Zoe isn't as loose as she is in the book. Quinton isn't as crazy or violent in the movie as he is in the book. The actions of a lot of the characters are very scaled back in the movie. I think that was a misstep. The sex scenes are beautifully done and shot really well. None of them are crass are tacky. I loved seeing Black people on the big screen being sexy and sensual and erotic. For that alone, the movie is a win to me. I enjoyed it. I would love to see a few of Zane's other books make it to the big screen as well, especially "Nervous." I recommend this movie as a must see. Get into it!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I Am...

Anaïs Nin speaks to my soul. My friend Joey posted this earlier and even though I've seen it before, today it stuck with me. It describes my current situation perfectly. Months ago, I made this huge proclamation that I was done with love and dating and dealing. It was true...then. I'm starting to change my mind on a few of those. I've had to face some very hard truths lately. I had a conversation that was like taking a bullet to the face. It was one I needed to have. It was one I should have had a while ago. Did it hurt hearing those words come from the mouth of someone I love? Hell yes. But, it always does when it comes to him. Love isn't as complicated as we make it. I deserve someone who actively chooses me every day and tells me so every night. My love is that big, that special, that deep. I crave reciprocity and I know there is someone out there who will look at me like I hung the sun again. 

I am tired of being the sad, broken version of myself. I've looked into the mirror and seen her for far too long. I am over that reflection and this feeling. I am done with it. I refuse to be her anymore. Especially since she is not me. Let me toot my own horn for a moment. I am a great woman. No, I am a helluva woman. And, if anyone doesn't see that and voluntarily exits my life, then that is their loss. I can no longer focus on or trip on anything that's behind me. I refuse to believe that it is my destiny to not be loved completely or that I am going to always be alone. My God has already decided what is for me is for me. I still want to get married and still want to have kids. And, even though my family may not include the person I thought I was going to live happily ever after with, it will be mine. I've already proclaimed it. So, I am giving up on the old me and looking towards a new me. I smiled today and I felt it in my soul. It's been far too long since that has happened. I am back on my pursuit of happiness trail. There can be no other outcome for be but that. Because I said so!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Movie Review: "Left Behind"

I was introduced to the "Left Behind" book series a few years ago. I loved it from the opening line of the first book. It is a series based on the Bible. The series is 13 books that weaves a cautionary tale of what happens when the Rapture occurs and the years following. I cannot remember exactly how long it took me to complete the books but I was totally engrossed in them. I loved the characters. I loved the Biblical references. But, what I loved the most was the two authors ability to paint a vibrant picture via words for me. Those are my favorite kind of writers. So, naturally, when I heard the first book was being made into a bug budget film, I was excited. I watched the Kirk Cameron trilogy based on the series on Netflix to get ready. I liked them a lot.

Fast forward to opening weekend for "Left Behind," I went to see it on Sunday morning. I was ready. I reread the first book and rewatched the movies to prepare. I had high hopes and big expectations. I thought it would be amazing. I. Was. So. Wrong. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. The acting was ok. The plot was awful. The first "Left Behind" book was this descriptive, ever moving work of art. It was reduced to nothingness on the big screen. The writers and producers cut almost all of the God/Biblical references out which is so out. How can you have a movie about the Rapture and dumb down the religious talk? That makes no sense. My other big issue with this movie is that it mostly takes place on the plane which isn't no where near what happened in the book. The potential to make a great movie was right there in front of the producers. They  jumped right over it to campy and silly. It was awful to me. It's been almost a week since I saw it and I STILL want my money back. I'll stick to the books for now or to Netflix for the first trilogy. I do not recommend this movie to you if you've read the books and are a fan. Save your coins. See something else. Heed my warning, folks. The Nicholas Cage-led "Left Behind" isn't the religious experience it should have been. 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Ladies Love Lyrics: Luke James' "Exit Wounds"

My obsession with Luke James started as a purely physical one. He is a gorgeous Black man. I like to look at him. It's just a bonus that he voice is as beautiful that he is. Oh, and the fact that he is a New Orleans boy makes him top notch in my book.  I am a true fan of his voice though. His self titled debut was released on September 23, 2014. I love it. I have two favorite tracks so far.  The first is "Exit Wound." It's one of those love lost/breakup/I'm over you songs that I find myself listening to a lot these days. Everything about it is golden to me. The second is "Insane." It's about a love that almost was. Both speak to me on a deep level. So, I had to share them with you guys. Get into the videos and lyrics below. Enjoy Luke James. 

"I slept on your side of the bed yesterday
I don't understand why I can't forget you
I know I messed up when I missed your birthday
We both broke the code
Didn't think I'd ever see you go
I wonder if you ever loved me 
'Cause if you did why be so cold

I hope you know this ain't a hurt
It's just an exit wound that just won't close
My brain lets guard each time I let you though
You left a hole
Stole my smile and all that I got left of you
Are these exit wounds

Well fuck you!
Everything you are today you made it
Can't believe I felt for all your fake shit
Well fuck you!

I'm kinda glad that it's over
I've found a better half I hope 
That hurt you
I heard you moved back to New Orleans some how
We spoke on the phone, 
Asking me where we went wrong
You wonder if I ever loved you
'Cause if I did why be so cold..."

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

My Poetry Corner XV: "Past Tense"

I used to miss you so much that it hurt to breathe
But, I’m breathing more freely these days
I never thought a day would come when I  
wouldn’t be hopelessly and crazy in love with you
but you cured me of that
So when the day comes that me loving you is past tense
you’ll have no one to blame but yourself
and that is the saddest part of it all.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Throw It In The Bag

Decided to take a trip to CVS and grab a few things. I have decided that almost 35 year old me needs to invest in lipsticks and commit to wearing it. So, I am starting with drugstore brands to find what shades I like and that work with my complexion. I only purchased one shade that isn't right for me but I had fun mixing it to come up with something that works. First up is my favorite of the bunch. It's the NYC lipstick in Mahogany. It's dark and vampy and amazing. It's the shade I've worn the most in the last two weeks. I paired it with a Wet 'N Wild lip liner in Brandywine. I love the way this combination compliments my skin tone. This lipstick lasts for hours without me having to constantly reapply. Purchasing this shade again is a no brainer. It's a winner. 

NYC Mahogany. Wet n Wild liner in Brandy Wine. 

My second purchase was a NYC Liquid Lipshine in Honey on the Hudson. No, this isn't a lipstick but I am a sucker for a good lip gloss. I was already a fan of this line because I've been wearing the Nude York City shade all year. I love Honey on the Hudson because it is a richer, deeper nude shade. I am a huge fan of a nude lip. It is my go to look. I paired it with my favorite lip liner by Bare Minerals in copper. Perfect combination for me. It's a quick and effortless look for me. 

My third pick was something totally out of the norm for me. I've been reading a lot about pink  lipsticks with blue undertones and how they would work well with my complexion. So, I grabbed the Wet 'N Wild Fuchsia with Blue Pearl lipstick, which at $0.99 is a steal. I loved it instantly. I loved how bright it was. I paired it with a Covergirl lip liner in pink and it was golden. It garnered many compliments at dinner that night. I love how cheap and accessible the Wet 'N Wild & NYC lipsticks are ($0.99 - $3.29). That's great for someone like me who is experimenting with shades. I am going to purchase a MAC Heroine and Maybelline Brazen Berry soon. 

My final pick was Milani's Lip Intense Liquid Violet Addict and the Fuchsia lip liner. I absolutely loved the liner. The lipstick was another story. It was way too punk for me. I mixed it with a brown lipstick to dull some of the color. It helped a lot. It toned down the brightness of the shade. It's just ok to me. There is a purple that Milani has that I should've purchased instead. I will be grabbing some more shades this weekend. I cannot wait to try out different looks. I've successfully worn lipstick every single day for the last almost two weeks. This is a huge deal to me. This has been great for me. I love the way lipstick makes me feel. Ladies, what's in your bag? Tell me all about it.