Sunday, November 9, 2014

I wasn't ready - Tia

My beautiful, strong, courageous mother passed away two weeks ago. She was diagnosed with cancer at the end of August and two months later she was gone. My brother and I were not prepared in the least. We all thought we'd have more time.

Death is a cruel and complicated thing. We all know that we're going to die. But we are never fully prepared for it. We had no idea that my mother would go so quickly. And once she went home to be with the Lord, the grieving process was swift and crippling. There are no words that can comfort you. There is nothing that you can do to stop the pain. You must simply accept it, give in to it, and do the very best that you can to navigate it. It is the absolute worst.

My mother and I had a tumultuous relationship at times. I know that she loved me dearly and I her. But I don't know that she ever fully understood her stoic, nerdy, overanalyzing, strangely emotional child. And I certainly didn't fully understand some of the decisions she made and the things that she did. I'm more like my father in a lot of ways and I think that's why she and I often bumped heads. But she was also the person who understood my tears. She knew that I could be a person who resided squarely in my feelings for long periods of time and she was often very adept at navigating those feelings.

My mom taught me to cook (when I would stay put long enough to pay attention.) I get my love of baking from her. I get my looks and my curves from her. She taught me how to take care of my skin. She loved me when I was rotten, when I was selfish, when I wasn't at my best. For all of her faults, for all of the times I was FURIOUS with her, for every moment I just didn't understand how her mind worked, I ALWAYS ALWAYS KNEW that she loved me.

The last birthday card she sent me had a note in it that said, "You are the best thing that ever happened to me." It was a Disney princess card. She told me that my middle name means princess and she always called me her "beautiful princess."

So as I struggle through the gut wrenching sadness that comes with losing a loved one and try to process the crisis of faith I'm having with not understanding why my mother got cancer and why our prayers for healing from God were not answered, I find comfort in knowing that I was unconditionally loved by a beautiful, statuesque, God fearing mother. I am glad that she is no longer suffering. I miss her dearly, but that's to be expected.

Just before my mom passed, Toya's dad told me, "Your parents are the first people you ever love." So if you are the praying type, please pray for my brother and me. We lost our first love.

Monday, October 27, 2014

And Now for Something That Doesn't Suck: Taylor Swift's 1989

Oh wait. That's not the album cover.  That's me playing around on Taylor's website

Here it is...

It's been a long time since I've been really excited about an album.  I totally needed this.  When I heard that Taylor Swift was writing a new album that was to be reminiscent of my favorite era, I can't front.   I was intrigued.  Her lyrics sung over some music that reminds me of Judd Nelson in flannel, feathered hair and a trenchcoat ? Oh I'm here for it (side note: Why did the internet try to kill him the other day? I can't stand people sometimes).  Anything that reminds me of a John Hughes movie is pretty much gonna get a yes from me and this record gets all of the yesses.

Here are five of my favorites (besides "Shake It Off" AKA "Mickey 2014" which I vote to be our new National Anthem) off of the deluxe version of the album found only at Target:

1. "Welcome to New York"- "Welcome to New York" reminds me of how I probably would have felt about NYC had I been a young adult in 1989.  It's bitter sweet because since I have moved back to the east coast and have visited NYC, I have been so sad of how much it's changed! God, what have they done to The Village?! *Sigh*  Still, this song reminds me of the big dreams I used to have of living there when I was a kid in, well, 1989.

2."Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style""Style" !!!

3. "Out of the Woods"- I was afraid I'd be tired of this song because the chorus is so repetitious but daggonit if I haven't caught myself singing it at work, church, Wawa... I can't help it. It's so so good!

4. "This Love"- Is it just me or is this record giving us Amy Grant's House of Love vibes? I'm just saying! If you think about the time that record came out along with the fact that a lot of people weren't happy about the fact she moved from CCM to Pop, the parallels are pretty interesting.  This is giving me House of Love for sure. I love this record.

And now for the song that I feel personally emotionally victimized by...

5. "You R In Love"

This song.
My stomach.
Knots. KNOTS I SAY!!!!

I don't care how you feel about Taylor Swift. If you feel ANY way about love, get thee to this song! The only gripe I have with this album is that this song is not included on the iTunes version.  That is a sin and a shame.  It's easily the best song of the project and the entire record is pretty solid. I had to make myself not listen to it anymore. Every last one of the feels. Every last one!

What do you all think about the album and what are your faves?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Random Musings By Toya

I know it's been a long time since either of us have written anything. Here are some random musings and cryptic things that I just have to get out of my system.

1. I'm insanely bored. I spoke to a mentor of mine recently who told me that it is a dangerous thing for me to be bored. She's right. My mind defaults to certain anxieties and I become an obsessive daydreamer. If I am going to survive, I have to constantly be inspired and nurture my creativity- go into the city, look at art, meet driven people, etc. Like I have to manage this like it's my job; like it's Type 2 diabetes.  It's that crucial. I am so used to working on at least three things at a time so this downtime is just not the business. I have to allow myself to be creative again. I also need to express myself more which means I should be writing more. It's just...this year has really had me in my feelings for real. There's a lot in my head that I'm not sure if I'm ready to let out onto this blog yet or anywhere else. 

Being an extrovert can be hell sometimes. Reason being, there are times where I want to be alone and I absolutely shouldn't be. For instance I am right now penning this post from my what used to be my favorite diner in Philly before I moved to Nashville.  I know I need to save money but I just have to be around people and noise right now to even think. To breathe!  Silence can be really loud sometimes. I don't even think I would be writing this if I was at home. I'd be asleep. 

2. Speaking of this diner, I am eating out of a bowl of fries too large for anyone to eat by themselves. Eh well. *Adds salt*


After 8 months, I am finally ready to be all here. To get to know where I live and to thrive. I no longer have one half of me in Nashville and the other half here. I miss Nashville but I was feeling really claustrophobic. I feel good about being here even though I haven't really made any friends yet.  That'll soon as I start following up with people and stop spending my weekends talking to my friends back in Nashville all night. There will never be anyone as awesome as them. 

3. Pray for Tia please.  

4. I just noticed that this diner has new (to me) T-shirts that say "Everything old is new again." You ain't never lied. 

5. I was dealing very heavily with regret about some things but something has occurred to me that has lessened the blow of 20/20 vision: the things you regret not doing a lot of times you just weren't mentally ready to handle at the time anyway. Be it a career opportunity or a person that you later realize means more to you than you ever really wanted to admit to yourself. You weren't wrong; you just weren't ready. I would say more but too many people know about this blog so moving on...

6. Taylor Swift's 1989 is about to come out and murder the game. Be mad. I'm here for it. 

7.  I better not eat all of these fries. 

8. The fact that we have created an environment where Bobby Shmurda's  "Hot N----" can be a hit is a shame to our ancestors, ourselves, our children and future generations. What in the hell happened to common sense? 

9. How's this for a bad pickup line: a MARRIED man said to me "What's your name, beautiful?" I was working so I had to answer him although he was holding my hand SO grossly . "My name is Toya." He said, "My name is...Speechless." Okay pal. What is wrong with people?

10. I've been spending some time with my 10 year old cousin which I am almost positive is giving my mother hope that I may eventually want a child. I'll be honest: I'm open to adoption after a good four years of marriage.  Cause isn't true religion "taking care of the widows and orphans"? See I don't hate religion. I just hate what we've made it to be. 

11. This cute guy just sat next to me and my date. And by my date I mean this big bowl of fries. Check please. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fun Music Friday: Ain't It Fun - Tia

I've always been a casual Paramore fan. I liked their music well enough but didn't own any of their cds. I knew their radio hits and a few other songs because Toya was a big fan and we used to be roomies. But at best, I respected what they did, but probably wouldn't go to a show. That all changed when I heard "Ain't It Fun."

I was SO behind when it came to this song. Apparently, it came out last year but I only heard it for the first time a couple of months ago. And it was so different from the Paramore songs that I was familiar with I didn't even recognize who it was. So color me surprised when I Soundhounded it and saw that it was Paramore. See here's the thing, I knew that the lead singer, Hayley Williams, could sing. But I didn't know she could sing like THAT. Real talk (do people still say "real talk"?) the first time I heard the song it was during the last chorus and I honestly thought it was a person of color. Hayley was SLAYING the vocals and with the obviously black BGVs and supporting choir, I just knew that someone brown was singing lead. I actually Soundhounded it twice because I thought my phone made a mistake the first time. Hayley DID THAT!!!

The radio/video version has a bit of the last chorus edited out which is kind of a shame because she really goes in during the last 1:20 of the song. But let me tell you, there are a few live versions floating around out there and that little girl is SANGING! I'm so for it.

This song made me go listen to the whole Paramore album on Spotify. And I can now say I am officially a fan. That album is amazing. Easily one of their best lyrically and vocally. And if they come through Atlanta, I will definitely be at that show.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Man Crush Monday: Sasha Roiz - Tia

As you know, I've been sick for the last week. As such, I've been doing a lot of binge watching on Netflix and Amazon. I'm not really sure how I decided to start watching Grimm. But I'm also unclear on why I wasn't watching it to begin with. The show is right up my alley. I mean, honestly, hot guys chasing monsters and fairy tale creature…? YES, PLEASE AND THANK YOU!!!

Now, I understand the show is about Nick being a Grimm and all that that entails. And don't get me wrong, David Giuntoli has that whole smoldering, tortured hot guy thing down. But I live, you hear me, I LIVE for Capt. Renard. That man is my primary reason for watching the show. Okay, that's not fair or entirely true. It's actually a really fun and imaginative show. But Sasha Roiz is the eye-candy I look forward to seeing the most. Side note: I feel sorta bad objectifying him (and all of my other MCMs) like this. I mean, this man is educated, speaks multiple languages and is probably an all around decent guy. He's not just a piece of meat…hahahaha….sorry….I can't even finish this. He's hot. Moving on…

Okay, let's start with the height. As a tall girl myself, I love the fact that Sasha is 6'4" (via IMDB). I come from a family of tall men (my dad and younger brothers are 6'3", 6'5" and 6'8" respectively.) So I like a tall man. I also like a man who dresses well and I feel like every time I see Sasha (may I call you Sasha?) be it on the show or at some event, the man is dressed impeccably well. I'm sure he has to have his suits tailored or if he's like the boy bestie, he has to have the suits made specifically for his frame. Either way, the man looks DAMN good in a suit.

Then there's the language thing. On the show, I've heard him speak French and Russian. I feel as if there was a 3rd language thrown in there somewhere but can't immediately recall. Whatever the case, this man could be reading his grocery list in Russian and it would still sound sexy.

I've been unable to locate a wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, other for Sasha. (Hey, I live in Atlanta. Lots of boys have boyfriends.) So for now he will be my boyfriend in my head. And even though I haven't yet finished season 3, I know how it ended. (The internet is great for helping you find pictures of your MCM AND for providing spoilers.) As such, I'd like to borrow a phrase from The Walking Dead: If Renard's really dead, we riot.

Oh yeah…he's also on Instagram.