Friday, December 19, 2003



A Mayer Christmas to all and to all, a good night. Yes, Tia, I am working.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Word to the Wiser

JC's video for "Some Girls (Dance with Women)" is available on www.VH1.com. If you are at work, USE DISCRETION. I tried to watch it and even though I only have a few days left here, I am not trying to get caught watching that mess.



He is straight looney.

By the way, I noticed that in the clips released on the internet, the part of the song where he says "the club is full of women" was originally "the club is full of bi***es." It's interesting how some of these romantic types try to flip the script when they don't think anyone is going to hear them. I'm still not buying it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

BGLU News- Toya



This just in, after years off of the scene, Millie Jackson has come out with a new album! This bluesy, gutsy R&B icon of the 70's, notorious for her gutsy ballsy lyrics, has finally...what? That's not Millie Jackson?



Oh, my bad.


Maybe I am just not the freak I thought I was but I don't have a clue as to what Kelis' "Milkshake" is about. Tia says it's about boobies, which makes sense. Do we really want to know? I'm not so sure.
(Lest I be labeled the BGLU freak, I READ that the song was about boobies in Entertainment Weekly. It still doesn't make sense to me, but then who said pop music had to make sense? - tia)

BGLU Icon, Aisha Tyler is getting her on show on CBS, possibly next season. It is being described as a new Mary Tyler-Moore type show and is being produced by Lisa Kudrow of Friends. I am SOOOO excited.

We played this at our Christmas part and I swear it is the BEST Christmas CD ever. Buy this to ensure a funky, funky Christmas.

And speaking of Funky, Funky Christmas...

The What the @$!%& of 2003



Insert whatever expletive or term of disgusted disbelief you care to choose as I describe to all the potentially worst case of (career) sabotage to hit US soil: Jordan Knight is coming out with a remix album through Empire Musicwerks entitled "Jordan Knight sings New Kids on the Block." To quote Kurt Engle, "It's true. Oh, it's true." I couldn't make this up. When I told Tia this she said it's like Beyonce' coming out with "Beyonce' sings Destiny's Child". This is supposedly to celebrate the the 10 year anniversary of New Kids on the Block. Do they mean the 10th year anniversary of the breakup of New Kids on the Block because I believe they came out in '88. This could possibly be the worst career decision since Lea Thompson starred in Howard the Duck.

If you are a true BGLU through and through, you were a New Kids fan and a serious one at that. I mean I don't care if you are 31 now, have a corner office on Park Avenue, if someone told you that Donnie Wahlberg was downtown about to be on TRL, you would "suddenly"remember that you have a doctor's appointment and high tail it to MTV's studios. Your love for NKOTB may simmer but it never dies. With this said, when we found out that Jordan was coming to Nashville of all places to play 3rd and Lindsley, it was not a question of if we were going or not. The question was why is he coming and after some research, I found that he is touring to promote this album.

Before crazed New Kids fans surfing the internet chastise me for speaking ill of this project, let me say that I have been a huge fan of Jordan as an artist for quite some time now. I mean, sincerely just as an artist. Believe it or not, out of all the New Kids, Danny was my crush. I believe that Jordan Knight is one of the mot underrated male singers of our time. A friend of mine got me some sort of bootleg tape of him singing "Georgia" and "Wildflower" years ago and I was sincerely hoping that soon enough the world would find out what a hidden talent the industry has in Jordan Knight. Due to some poor career decisions, I don't know how likely that will be.

This is why I think this is a hideous idea:
Jordan Knight came out with his solo record let's say about 4 years back and although it had some fantastic ballads ("Change My Ways" , "Separate Ways") the album lacked radio singles and was plainly not put together well and did not live up to the hype that the first single "Give It To You" had surrounding it. It was hard enough for Jordan coming from New Kids on the Block to make his way back into the scene. What some don't know is that Give It To You was produced by Jam and Lewis as well as a few other tracks on his CD and that came out if his pocket and not his labels. Around his record's release, even Newer Kids on the Block (Nsync, Backstreet Boys) were ruling the airwaves and TRL. So without the support of his label and numerous naysayers, Give It To You Went platinum. And arguably, his video for Give It to You set a precedent for a lot of the highly choreographed pop videos that we see now.

Fast forward to 2003. With all that is up against him (he is no longer on the same record label), why would he revisit the past and bring back old New Kids songs? Is this JUST about the fans? Supposedly, this tour is not just to promote the New Kids remix album but his new solo album, slated to release in Spring 2004. I posed this to a few fans who quickly rolled their eyes and let out sighs of disbelief because they all recalled that Jordan's first solo album had been pushed back at least 4 times before it ever came out.

On the other hand, this could fall under the category of "This is so crazy, it might just work". Someone believes strongly enough in this that it is being released and getting tour support. This is one of those instances that I sincerely hope that I am wrong. I haven't even heard the album yet so who knows? I have only seen something like this done one other time. In the late 90's, David Cassidy redid the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You". Hey, I just said I've seen it done before. I didn't say I've seen it actually work out.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Toya's Random Thoughts

There are two people outside of my family that you cannot speak ill of in my house: Toby Mckeehan and Michael Jackson. If anyone speaks ill of either, they are liable to have me get their coat and throw them the heck out. No questions asked, no negotiations. In fact, my hot temperedness on the subject of things that I am most passionate about is probably the main reason why we won't keep a gun in the house.

My main problem with this recent MJ situation is that people seem to be equating eccentricity with perversion. Is Michael strange? Absolutlely. Being strange does not by any means make anyone worthy of the public lynching that Michael Jackson has had to endure for years. People are assuming he did it because they don't understand him. Numerous nose jobs, abnormal skin discoloration, a liking for childish games and eccentric dress does in no way equal child molester. Those factors are what people are basing their opinions on. I don't know Michael Jackson, the same way I don't know Kobe Bryant and OJ Simpson. What I do know is that far too often our society renders people guilty before proven innocent. This is a really sore subject with me, particularly this year as I have seen too many peoples lives torn apart because the truth is not as juicy as speculation. Far too often reporters don't take the time to get all of the facts. I had a reporter for a metropolitan newspaper tell me point blank that the reason reporters don't do well presenting both sides equally is that reporters are lazy. I find this to be both true and false. True in a sense that when a story breaks like MJ's that it is probably much easier to get the facts of the accusing side and publicicze them much quicker because the defending side has to get its side together to refute it and that takes time. However, the statement that reporters are lazy is false because they will wait outside people's houses for hours on end to get a story.

So now it comes out that these allegations are false. According to this memo the charges are unfounded. So now what? Do you think that MJ is off the hook in the public eye? No. Just 10 years ago he was accused of the same thing and the jokes have never stopped and those charges were also unfounded. My thing is this: if someone molested my child, I would not give a damn about the money. I want to see whoever did it either dead or UNDER the jail. You wouldn't be able to buy most parents off. Getting money from someone with millions of dollars does not hurt them in any way. The person who accused him of this 10 years ago settled out of court. Would you let someone who robbed your child of their innocence get away so easily? I know I wouldn't. I wouldn't even want their money.

I love Michael Jackson and I hurt for him. While at times mild mannered in temperament , he seems to be one of the strongest people I have ever seen. I don't know too many people that would not be locked up in an institution over half of the things that have happened to him. Maybe that is another thing that makes him so strange to so many people. No matter what the world has thrown at him, he is still standing. For that he has my utmost respect.

So the other day I see the cover of the new Rolling Stone and it says that Justin Timberlake is the new king of pop. Are you kidding me? One solo record that in my opinion is the best album Michael Jackson never did (Ie Off the Wall 2003), with about 1/4 of the years MJ has had in the game and he is the new king of pop? First of all, let it be said that although fitting, MJ has never declared himself the king of pop. He was dubbed that elsewhere outside his camp and it just stuck. Most people don't know that thus he has had the misperception of being somewhat of a megalomaniac. I do hope that Justin knows that any strange twist of fate can render him the same demise as Michael Jackson and countless other "love them at the moment, hate them next year" artists have had to endure. I am interested in seeing how all this pans out.


I mean, can you woo woo woo? Said you woo woo woo, should be mine, ALL MINE !

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BOYFRIEND OF THE YEAR: MOS DEF

I have 3 words for the new Alicia Keys video:
AG-O-NYYYYYYYYYYYY !!!!!!!!!!!

OH it's not fair, it's not fair I say. WHY OH WHY did I beg my mom to let me out of piano lessons!?! The other day I was working at Starbucks making my 927th Frappucino and I started daydreaming about what if Mos Def walked through the door like in the new Alicia Keys video. "I'm sorry, did you say you wanted a tall coffee and I gave you a Venti with extra whip cream? By the way, you have some on your upper lip. Here, let me get that. Oh don't worry about it. Here is a whole pan of brownies for your troubles. I'll bring your coffee to your table when it's done. It's brewing now so it's definitely fresh. Would you like to be a part of our preferred customer program?" If you are wondering, no Starbucks doesn't have one. Oh, but I would make one up.

Mos Def gives me crazy fever. I really can't explain it. You should not have an unexplainable physical reaction to someone that you don't know. It is unreal. I look at him and my head involuntarily turns sideways like Jan Brady. Mos Def was the first Boyfriend of the Week and he will be the last of this year. He may even be the first of the new year. Who knows? Whatever, he deserves it. It's that serious. I love his eyes, his smile, his voice, his intelligience, his talent. His shyness, his strength. I just love HIM. So give it up for Mos Def. Strange', strange' for my man Dante' Smith. He is so sexy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003



I'd be at the mall EVERY day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LL Santa: "You are a little too big to be getting on Santa's lap, young lady"
Toya: "WHAT??? I'll sue this whole mall for discrimination of chunky girls, I swear. I want to see a manager."

Sunday, December 7, 2003



Tia: “Hi, my name is Tia and I’m addicted to video games.” All: “Hi, Tia.”

This is not the first time that I’ve been addicted to a video game. But this is the most severe it has ever been. I bought Need for Speed: Underground three weeks ago. I was getting my hair done and minute the commercial came on I was hooked. I was going to go buy it that day but it didn’t come out until the following Tueday. Best believe, I was in the store on Tuesday shelling out my hard earned dough for the game. But as life would have it, I had to go out of town and thus was unable to take my first hit of the game. I was still so innocent. Anyway, a week later I finally cracked the seal and inserted the disc. It was the beginning of the end. Upon the initial inspection the game appears no different from the rest. You race, you win, you get points. THEN you go underground (Hence the title “Need for Speed: UNDERGROUND”) That’s when the addiction begins. Basically, you race and win and you’re given the chance to pick a car that for all intents and purposes is crap. (The chick announcer affirms that your car is junk. “Dude, your car is weak.”) Here’s the thing, the more you race, the more points you earn. And the longer you race (and win) the more upgrades you earn. As you add upgrades to your car, your reputation increases which subsequently increases your style points. I know that I’ve probably lost most of our female readers by now, but oh well.

Anyway, I am sooooooo hooked. My car is so tricked out. I have multi-color tears. I have brake kits. I have weight reduction kits. I have neon under body lights. I have NoS. My car is so SWEET. My virtual car is even on the cover of 6 virtual magazines. I’m a little worried though. The more I play the more I want to play. And it doesn’t help that I successfully talked my favorite boy friend (as in friend who is a boy, not BOYFRIEND) into buying the game. He is now hooked and we spent AT LEAST 4 hours on the phone together playing. (Thank God for free weekends.) I used to wonder how I my brother could sit for hours playing video games. Now I know. It’s a disease. I’m really beginning to think that there are subliminal messages in the game. There is no reason that I should be this wrapped up in the virtual world.

Okay I must say that I’m going to make someone an awesome girlfriend/wife/mother one day. I play video games with reckless abandon. I love sports (GO DUKE BLUE DEVILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) And I know that when in doubt, a gift card to Best Buy, Circuit City, or any other electronics store is always a great guy gift.

Everything in me wants to go back downstairs and play. But I have to leave the house or I’m going to start growing roots. If you don’t hear from me for a while you can find me smokin’ Takashi, TJ and B-dog in the fast and the furious world of Underground racing.

Saturday, December 6, 2003

On Second Thought...

On my way to getting my pizza for my pity party, I received a phone call from a dear friend of mine that let me know in so many words that I was being an idiot. I didn't realize it until we got off the phone because she was so nice about it. It took me a few minutes and then I thought "She really just told me about myself. Wow, I need to call and thank her." Not too many people do this for me or if they do, there is a chance I just don't receive it well. I don't know what made this time special but I immediately straightened up, forgot all about what's his name (not a diss, he is still a great person), made a U-Turn on my route to Blockbuster to pick up The Truth About Cats and Dogs and sucked it up. I am officially over it. No black confetti, no Sade CD's "Stronger Than Pride" on repeat until I cry myself to sleep. Nope, none of that crap. I am my old self again. Actually I am better than my old self.

What Tina reminded me of during our little chat is that too many times women go backwards. We don't cut our losses. We continuosly go back to dead relationships and take no step of faith. How many times have I thought that I may have been too hard on an ex-boyfriend because it didn't look like I would be getting involved with anyone anytime soon? Sometimes we make bad decisions but sometimes we make the right decisions under hard circumstances and we still have to trust those decisions. One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was to break up with someone I loved. I never thought that my reasons for doing so were wrong but because I loved him so much (them actually, this has happened quite a few times) , I found myself trying to make excuses to go back. While my feelings changed, the decision I made couldn't change because the circumstances were still the same.

Break the cycle and keep it movin'. Don't go back. Be excited about what God has for you and thank him for lessons learned. If there is a chance that you and a past love are to reunite, DON'T TRY TO FORCE IT TO HAPPEN. Trust God that it will be evident that that is the way things are supposed to be. Don't get anxious but tell God what you need and trust Him to make that decision. Don't jack it up. At least this time, I managed to keep the friendship. I haven't always come out this fortunate.

Friday, December 5, 2003

PRIDE WAR- Toya

"How you ain't gonna cut? Girl, I'm ME!!!- Ludicrous

Pride War is the title of one of my favorite Further Seems Forever songs and also my current state of restlessness. The pettiness of being a female is somthing that I grossly detest so do not mistake my candidness about my pride issues as something I am well, PROUD about.

I have found myself in another situation where I like someone that used to like me. Used to. The thing is, when he was checking me harder than Wayne Gretzky in the Stanley Cup playoffs, I was not feeling him. Then, when he stopped, I later realized that the idea of us being together wasn't all that bad of an idea. Actually, I am not quite sure about that either. See, this is a part of my history. I am Miss "It Ain't Over Until I Say It Is Over". I am notorious for this. The guy will start liking me again and I will say "On second thought, naaaaaaah. Roll out, roll out." I always have to have the final say.

This is quite humiliating to me. what makes me think that if he liked me before, he will like me again? He isn't even the one. Tia (who loves him) asked me why he isn't the one and I said because he does not like me. Plain and simple. That is all there is to know. There is no dilemma. There is NO SPOON. There really is no issue. Keep it movin'.

So like I said, my pride is hurt. I'll get over it. My thing is that I often don't deal with things that need to be dealt with right away so it festers. So maybe what I need to do is just a have a good old girly girl pity party. Break out the Sade, the Mary J. Blige, Patti Labelle's "If Only You Knew" and just have at it. Black confetti and all. Just to get over it. I would but once again, my pride won't let me. Maybe a pizza and Pretty in Pink will do the trick. I think I'll try that instead. But come tomorrow, I am not even allowed to wallow in this anymore. It will be a brand new beautiful day and if it is meant to be it will be. One thing I know is that we are both seeking God's will for our lives so it will be clear to the BOTH of us if it is meant to be or not. And I swear to Bubaji, if I call him Tia is to take away my cell phone.
I AM SO BORED- More of Toya's Random Thoughts



Ben Harper is so tasty.

I don't know why I am still at work. Everyone is leaving because everyone is bummed out because everyone is getting laid off. It is really horrible. A friend of mine got laid off from work after 10 years and was told that today would be her last day. You know I had to pull out "Let's Take A Ride" by Justin Timberlake. I never cared much for that song before but it is so fitting now.

The Grammy nominations came out yesterday and I was so happy to see Outkast get so many nominations. Some people got ROBBED though. So if I may get on my soapbox...

Male artist that were robbed: Kenna. This may have been because Sacred Cow was in a whole nother category by itself. They didn't know where to put it. I'll give them that. No, no I won't. They have too many categories to not have him in one.

Songs that were robbed: Stole, by Kelly Rowland. This is such a well written song, I don't understand how this got overlooked.

What has me scratching my head is how Musiq's "For the Night" has been nominated and it was just released and the album isn't out yet. I am not mad, I just don't understand.

And nobody was feelin' JC's "Blowin' Me Up With Her Love"? NO ONE? I guess they just weren't ready. They really weren't.

The Best Artist of the Year has long been dubbed the New Artist Kiss of Death Award so GO EVANESCENCE! Knock 'em dead. I should elaborate why I feel this way but I am trying to stay in the Christmas spirit. I will try not to hate on people too much before December 25th. Notice I didn't say anything about 50 Cent.


Pre-30- Toya

I often feel that being 29 is just getting you ready to be 30. Meaning, those last 23 pounds I have been trying to lose throughout my 20's, I better lose before next December. I need to have money saved and looking at stock options. My struggles that I have had during my 20's need to be wrapped up because the 30's present a whole new set of challenges. I don't want anything to carry over. 30 is serious. No one looks at you like you are a kid when you are 30 unless you look like one, like I do and that is another thing. Like, I had my hair in afro puffs one day and someone asked if I was in high school. I told them I was 28 and they loooked sympathetic. It was like "Are you in denial? Do you even KNOW that you are 28?"

Facing 30 is less painful than when I was facing 20. I don't have nearly as much anxiety after going over my first "decade hump". Who knows? This may actually be fun. I mean, I am a lady now. Children call me Miss Toya. I hated that at first but I like it now.

I once heard Whitney Houston say that in your 20's, you think you know everything and in your 30's you realize that you didn't know jack and are open to learning a lot. Then when you are 40, it is smooth sailing. You're a woman and you know who you are. I am looking forward to that.

I have always said that if I wasn't married by the time I was 30 all bets are off and I was going on a nationwide tour of all colleges, universities, culinary arts and trade schools to recruite. I mean really, if Cameron Diaz and Demi Moore can get some young Tenderonis, why can't I? Shoooooooot, don't be surprised if you see me at Moorehouse.

Fine, young male Tenderoni undergrad: Umm, is this the line for Spring Semester registration?
Tia, recruitment administrator: No, young man. Toya is in town, recruiting. We are going to need you to look directly into this camera phone and then we will need you to fill out this 8 page application. Don't worry, there is no app fee. We are conducting interviews on the quarter hour. Here's a pen and have a seat.


I know, I'm sick. But we had a conversation last night about how we don't know enough men. We know plenty of guys but they are like our little brothers. The ones that aren't are married. So many women, particularly Christian women, overspiritualize things. They think that their husband is just going to fall out of the sky. Well if you have your head in the sand, you aren't going to even see anyone. So we have concluded that next year, we are going to be two social butterflies. We need to get to know more people and I am not ashamed to say, particularly men. I am sure there will be many more tales of this new venture to come.
More End of the Year Rhetoric- Toya
Yes Tia, I am working. It's just a little slow this morning.

This was a year of many highs and lows. I got into two car accidents, but managed to get a new car despite horrendous credit. I finally got to go on a cruise only to come back to find that my whole office has been laid off right before Christmas. I lost 25 pounds but I still have no date for my office Christmas party or simply put, no dates at all. Everything seemed to be a Catch 22 this year. Tia and I met Kenny Loggins but after sitting throughh his concert in a terrential downpour. Oh but wait, there was the Poison show that went rather smoothly. There's the light in the tunnel.

We have gotten emails and made some new buddies through this website (where is Corey Meeks, by the way?) and also have made a few enemies. And while gettnig closer to the Lord, I have a deeper knowledge of how much of a sinner saved by grace that I am. If one is in a dimly lit place, they won't notice the dirt on them but the closer they get to The Light, they notice how filthy they are. The beginning of the year, I had a few spots but now it is the end of the year and I look like a chimney cleaner covered in soot.

I was challenged on a lot of things this year both on my worldview and my view of myself. My prejudices were exposed and I hated to have to come face to face with them. I have been forced to be more compassionate and to find out where others are coming from before I judge them. I also learned that to have an opinion on something is different than taking a stance on something. Meaning, obviously , I am quite opinionated. However, if I take a stance on something, I need to have all of the facts. Yeah, I don't really like these lessons, however, they are making me a better person. The shifiting of one's paradigm is often painful similar to the shifitng of one's elbow joint. For me it is anyway.

Thankfully, however, I am thankful for all of the changes nad the growth through all of the trials this year. It seems that I have been forced to grow up faster and I can safely say that I finally feel like an adult. My life long struggles have turned into areas that while I have to keep under close supervision as to not get sucker punched by Satan, I have total victory over in Christ. That is so exciting to me! I finally feel free and I have never been able to say that before. I finally feel confident, as if I CAN do things vs settling for how I have always been. Thank you God for my brand new life.

Thursday, December 4, 2003

It is out of sheer laziness that I (tia) don't back date this. I wrote this 3 days before Thanksgiving and never really got around to posting it. Besides, would you really scroll down to read this, especially since you wouldn't know that it's there.


This is the LONGEST day ever. It’s 3 days ‘til gluttony, I mean Thanksgiving, and I’m stuck in the office. Bored, Bored, BORED I am. So I figured since Oprah was doing her favorite things show today, and I’m not going to front like I don’t wish I was there, I figured I would do some of my favorite things of the year.

I guess I’ll start with favorite songs of the year.

Favorite Cheesy Song
Beu Sisters – Seventeen
I LOVE this song. Toya LOVES this song. It is easily one of the WORST songs of the year. It is the epitome of a cheesy 80’s song. (Think Tiffany "Could’ve Been" and Debbie Gibson “In Your Eyes” ) These girls MEAN it when they hit those notes. It’s one of those songs that is so dramatic for no particular reason. And the video…OH, it is a must see. There is running, and tearing of garments, and water thrown in random Italian men’s faces. It is so choice. I’m listening to it as I type this and let me tell you, I am caught up. If female teenage angst had a theme song, this would be it.

Favorite Party Song
Thicke – Brand New Jones
We deserve a collective slap on the wrist for not making this song a hit. We have so few party anthems and this song was poised to be the “Summertime” of 2003. Sadly, shortsighted individuals slept on the song and it never saw the light of day. I can’t listen to this song in the car. When it comes on, I immediately want to start clapping my hands thus taking them off of the wheel. If this song doesn’t move you, you’re dead inside. This is a picnic/barbeque song. You could play Brand New Jones, Summertime and Outstanding and no one would look at you funny. You’d probably just see a bunch of hands in the air and a chorus of “AwwYeahs.”

Favorite Rock Song that made me want to run hand in hand on the beach with a movie underdog like Ralph Macchio in Karate Kid
Anberlin – Readyfuels

I remember the day Toya made me listen to this song. She said, “If you don’t feel this song, I may have to seriously question our friendship.” Of course as soon as I heard it, I had to hear it again and again and again. This is not a song. This is a mini-soundtrack. So much could happen in 3 minutes and 37 seconds. Here’s how it plays out in my mind: Daniel-san is on the beach and he’s about to fight. He and Johnny, the blond antagonist, are about to go to blows, when Daniel-san flashes back to a happier time. A time when he and a beautiful black woman were running on that very same beach holding hands. He draws strength from that memory and proceeds to rip that blond twerp a new one. During the guitar solo/crescendo/bridge the fight becomes most intense. And as Readyfuels ends and the scene draws to a close, an exhausted but triumphant Daniel-san walks away in the arms of his woman. OHHH that would have been FRESH!!!!!! Once you listen to the song this may make more sense.


Favorite Theme Song
Beyonce – Crazy In Love

Oh the horns, the horns, the horns. I was a Beyonce hater back in the day. I’m not going to lie. I thought it was shady the way DC did those other two girls. I didn’t really care for Beyonce’s voice and I certainly didn’t think she was all that. Well, in light of recent events, I don’t believe much of what I see on the news so I don’t know what really happened with the former members of DC. I must admit B is a bad chick and after the last VH1 Divas special, the girl proved she CAN really sing.
Anyway, I still have Crazy in Love on my cell phone. And best believe that I walk like the bad chick that I am every time my phone rings. You can’t tell me NOTHING…and I have Beyonce to thank for it.

Favorite Song to sing at the top of my lungs with the windows rolled up
Kelly Clarkson – Low

You cannot tell me that I can’t sing when this song comes on. Granted, I can hold something of a tune, but not like last year’s “idol.” But you would never know it the way I scring (scream/sing) the song in my car. I mean I get into it with the Xtina hand and everything. I am so glad that for the most part my car is soundproof. And I know the people in the car next to me are too.

Favorite Song that makes me mad that I haven’t started drum lessons yet
Dave Matthews Band – Fool To Think

Okay, I went into a DMB slump. I was a diehard fan in college and a couple of years after. But then there was that whole Lilywhite Sessions fiasco and things just started to change. So I didn’t acquire Everyday until late last year/early 2003. So “technically” this song came out last year, but I didn’t start rockin’ it until not too long ago. Anyway, the drum transitions in the song are SICK. I can emphatically say that Carter Beauford is one of the greatest drummers who ever lived. If I only learn to play half as well as him then I’ll be satisfied.

Favorite CD
There is a three-way tie for first place:
John Mayer – Heavier Things
John Mayer – Any Given Thursday, disc 1
John Mayer – Any Given Thursday, disc 2


Are you seeing the pattern? This was a good year for John, and for me. I am a HUGE JM fan. The only other person that comes relatively close would be Toya. She is steadily catching the vision and beginning to understand my fascination with Mr. Mayer. John has the ability to articulate the subtle nuisances of the post-college, pre-midlife, 20-something existence in a way that doesn’t make you feel…well…stupid. The proverbial pat on the back that he’s giving you is not a condescending, “suck it up” kind of thing, it’s more of a “I feel you. I know what you’re thinking. I’m just cool enough to articulate it in the form of melodic poetry or prose.”

I was disappointed that Breakaway and Why Did You Mess With Forever didn’t make the cut on any of the cds, but I guess I shouldn’t complain. Y’all aren’t ready for Forever, anyway.

I think that’s going to be all for now. I have to run to the store and fight my way through the holiday shoppers. I offered to help my mom cook this year for Thanksgiving. She was so shocked she was speechless. And THAT is a feat in and of it self. If we don’t talk before then…Have a Great Thanksgiving.


It is OFFICIALLY Christmas Time!!!!!!! Yeeeeeaaaahhhh!!!!!

I (Toya) am very excited about this Christmas and I am not quite sure why. I guess part of the reason is that I get to go back home. My dad won't be there this year which is kind of a bummer but all in all, I am looking forward to everything about Christmas. I am REALLY excited.

Christmas season does not officially start until I hear my favorite Christmas song of all time, Donnie Hathaway's "This Christmas", on the radio. Back home, we had the best radio station in the world, 105.3 WDAS FM and they play the best Christmas music. So when I hear that song it always reminds me of home. One year, I didn't even get into the Christmas spirit until December 21st because I didn't hear it on the radio until December 21st. Well last night I was coming home and I heard it and FLIPPED THE HECK OUT!!!! I am so happy!

Everybody and they mama got a Christmas record but these are my absolute favorite Christmas songs and albums:

1) The aforementioned "This Christmas" by Donnie Hathaway
2) "At Christmas Time" Luther Vandross- This joint is HARD to find. I had to umm, get it electronically if you know what I am saying but would gladly pay for it if I could find it. I think he recorded it early in his career maybe even as early as '83 or '84.
3) "Christmas All Over the World", New Edition- Good times all around. Can't front on it. I think New Edition had a Christmas EP and I can't find it to save my life.
4) "Do They Know It's Christmas Time", Band Aid- I love this song and the video. Boy George blew that song out of the water. Put your arms around the world at Christmas time!
5) "Santa Clause, Go Straight to the Ghetto", James Brown- Don't get no realer
6) "Funky, Funky Christmas", New Kids on the Block- This was the jam in high school. I have this record at home and will be spinning it at our Christmas party.
7) The ENTIRE Boyz II Men "Christmas Interpretations" CD- The best CD they have ever made. This CD is great from beginning to end and have often found myself playing it during other times of the year. If "Who would have thought I'd fall in love on Christmas Day" don't move you, you are sure to get coal in your stocking.
8) "Home for Christmas", Nsync- Like the Boyz II Men CD, the best songs they have ever done are on this album, especially harmony wise. "Love's in Our Hearts On Christmas Day" is great and why did JC sing the fool out of their remake of KC and Jo Jo's "In Love On Christmas" . "My grandmomma and my granddaddy..."?
9) "All I Want for Christmas Is You", Mariah Carey- It's cheesy and so am I. It's no secret. This song gives me giggles.
10) And last but certainly not least, the classic of all classic Christmas renditions, The Temptations "Silent Night". The best rendition of this song EVER. I mean it is absolutely the best. It gives me chills everytime I hear it.

So those are my favorites of all times. I guess part of the reason I love this time of year so much is because of all of the great music. I haven't gotten to go shopping yet and that is absolutely my favorite part of Christmas. I sometimes have to go late because I am horrible at keeping my gifts a secret from everybody. I love giving gifts twice as much as I love getting them. I can't wait until our first Christmas party!This Christmas is going to be great!

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, So Help Us God- Toya

World Aids Day was on December 1st and I was glad to see that people are becoming more and more aware of what a problem this disease is and how it does not discriminate. We continuosly need to be informed, compassionate and educated about this crisis.

I was disturbed by one thing though: no one seems to be telling the whole truth about how to prevent it. I was watching a special about AIDS on MTV and while showing statistics they showed what appeared to be soft porn in the background. Is it not possible to talk about sex without showing it? Is this something that they intentionally do to keep people watching? "Yes, let's tell them that this disease can bring about a horrible death and make them horny at the exact same time." My opinion is because sex sells, they won't discourage people from having it even though that is the main way of prevention. And it's not just MTV that relies on sex to sell itself. If you took the topic of sex out of most television shows, most of these shows would be 5 minutes long, including credits. Why is sex thrown at us so much? We live in such a horny society. Not once did I hear MTV say that the AIDS virus is smaller than the pores in a condom. If you can get pregnant while having sex with a condom on then you can get AIDS while having a condom on. It's that simple.

I was watching a forum on World AIDS Day last year and this minister from South Africa was the only one there for abstinence. They could not sway him one way or the other. He said "To my knowledge, abstinence has never killed anyone." The audience members went onto say that he was being judgmental and that he needed to provide more education on protected sex in his church and he was not hearing it. Rupert Everett went onto say that while this man was a minister, he was being judgmental and not reflecting the compassionate character of Christ. I totally disagreed with that. Of course I like the part of Jesus where he played with the children and healed the sick and was really sweet but I acknowledge, fear and love the part of Jesus that told people to go and sin no more starting right then and there; The part of him that gives us victory to not have to give into those desires that we would later regret giving into. God doesn't want us to abstain because he doesn't want us to have fun. He created sex so of course He wants us to enjoy it. However, He wants us to enjoy it in the way that He planned it. Ideally, if everyone respected sex as something that was only to be had between a married man and a married woman, things would be so much different. We wouldn't have to worry about all of this perversion in our world because sex would be sacred. There would be no adultery and less disease. Babies would stop having babies and sex would stop being the main focus of our society.

The main argument against abstinence is that they say it is not realistic. People are going to have sex. The thing is though, particularly with young people, they are being lied to and told that it is inevitable that they will have sex before marriage because somewhere down the road, they will be unable to control themselves. Rarely is a choice presented. Rarely do you see people on television opting to not have sex. While having sex for some is a part of life, for a great number of people regardless of age, gender or religious background, it isn't a part of their lives at all.

If people are presented with all of the facts like condoms break and tear, you can get AIDS through oral sex, you can't tell someone has it by just looking at them, and they still decide to have sex, then fine. That is their choice. I just wish that all sides were presented fairly and equally so people could make that choice with all the facts known.
Toya's Favorite CD's of 2003

It's the end of the year so these are my favorite 5 CD's that I bought this year. They did not necessarily all come out this year, but they are my favorites.

1. John Mayer, Heavier Things- I often joke that John Mayer is my best friend. I swear he articulates my feelings to a T. Most of his songs are the soundtrack of my life right next to Switchfoot. This album takes over where Room for Squares left off in that the newness of a quarterlife crisis has worn off and the need to examine where to go from there comes into place. No, there's no solution but not too many of us have that anyway so I am not going to hold it against John for not providing us with one. I also like that whether I am in a great mood or feeling melancholy, this album is always a good idea to have on. Favorite song on CD- "Clarity"
2. Kenna, Sacred Cow- Where has he been all my life? I love this man andI love this record. If you love Depeche Mode and/or just love good innovative music, you will love this. I don't know anyone that doesnt. Great from beginning to end. Favorite song- "Vexed and Glorious"
3. Thicke, A Beautiful World- I waited SIX YEARS for this record. I heard Thicke singing in a hallway one day and I spun around like "Umm, when is your record coming out?" Well it came out to critical acclaim but not much of a mainstream splash. All the same, it's butta. Favorite song- "She's Gangsta"
4. Matt Morris, Unspoken- The best hidden treasure of the year. I have said a ton about this CD already so I will spare you. Props for Jackson Sun for putting our little website in its paper for the review we did on it. Favorite Song- Changes weekly, this week, it's "You Won't Be There"
5. Donnie, The Colored Section- I was apprehensive about this brother at first. The fact that he sounds so much like Donnie Hathaway AND his name is Donnie disturbed me. But this CD is a gem. It is so soulful and spiritual and plainly honest. I can't wait for the next one. Favorite Song- "Cloud"



Toya's Random Thoughts

Bad Case of the Late Twenties

"I can't wait 'til I know what's wrong with me so I can say this is the way that I used to be/there's no substitute for time"- John Mayer "Split Screen Sadness"

I have been in quite a funk for the past few days and I am not quite sure why. It's different every day. I will be 29 in 23 days, one hour and 30 minutes (I was born at 2:15). I have been known to get a bit weird around this time of year and it is something that I rarely like to talk about it because I am my own worst critic. I get on my own nerves sometimes to the point that I get mad at myself about my own feelings. It's a clash between my mom's side of me and my dad's side; the "suck it up and keep it movin'" side vs. the "aww poor baby. I understand life is hard, I'll help you put up the streamers for your pity party" side.

I am starting to think that something's missing (I need to turn off this John Mayer CD ...right after Split Screen Sadness goes off) and it is all my fault. Somewhere down the road, I made a wrong turn and the consequences of life are catching up with me. You really can't do anything about that. Life is full of missed opportunities. But even so, you can't settle. You can't say "well I screwed that up. I better take the next thing that comes along." You still should want the best and aim for the best even if you feel like you don't deserve it. I think with some things I am just like "Lord, I'll take this. I know it's not the best for me but I am willing to settle because anything is better than nothing or waiting for something else that I am not quite sure that I am going to get anyway." This could be a job, a mate, a car, or any opportunity. You can't fill your day with the what ifs. That's the way this wheel keeps turning around. Okay, no more John Mayer, I'm trippin' now.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Now You Know I (Toya) Had To Talk About This...



Marshall, Marshall, Marshall ...

For those that don't know, Benzino and David Mays of The Source magazine have had it out for Em for some time this year. The Source put out an issue earlier this year about the bleek future of hip hop and pointed towards The Great White Hype as one of the leading causes of its downfall. So I am sure when 3 Detroit natives walked into the offices of The Source and hand delivered a tape of Eminem using the riot inciting n-word, Benzino and Mays' joy was equivalent to giving a fat kid free reign at a Krispy Kreme Donuts shop. Here are some of the lyrics:

And all the girls that I like to bone
Have the big butts, no they don’t
‘Cause I don’t like that nigga s***
I’m just here to make a bigger hit


I seen a Black girlfriend and I kissed her
I kissed her; I placed it on her cheek
And she didn’t come back til next week
Now it was next week and she was back again
Wanting to kiss a white kid
So she was my girlfriend, we started going out
But that’s okay because we were Black and white
Blacks and whites they sometimes mix
But Black girls only want your money cause they’re dumb chicks


I won't bore you with the rest of the lyrics but if you are interested, click on www.thesource.com. They are all too eager to not only give you the lyrics but also the audio and have promised to include a CD of these songs in their next issue. Now that I have updated you, let's open up the discussion:

I am by no means an Eminem fan. A coworker recently asked me about Eminem and I said that I can't get down with anyone that talks about their mother the way he does. This is a man that had a whole crowd singing F*** You, Debbie (his mom) at one of his concerts, has made songs where he talks of raping his male cousin (Amityville), another violently,sickening, graphic song about murdering the mother of his child (Kim) and another song threatening to put Anthrax on some woman's tampax (Superman). Why in the world would something like this surprise me? Sure, there is a chance that he no longer feels this way about black women and would never again call a black person a nigga. There is also a chance that for the low, low price of $59.95, I can sell you a nice piece of swampland in the Arizona desert. My point is this: Eminem is about shock value. I fully believe that if he could make money saying this outright in the year 2003, he sure as heck would. He knows that if he truly feels this way about black women, he bet not voice it because he will lose his credibilty with black rappers and he can't afford that. I mean no one can genuinely afford an ass whuppin' per se,(that is exactly what it would come down to) but it is the street credibility that is keeping him from going the way of Vanilla Ice.

In Em's defense (did I just say that?) he made this tape a long time ago. There is a bunch of mess that is happening RIGHT NOW that needs to be addressed. Just turn on BET and MTV or listen to the radio. Where were Benzino and David Mays when Snoop Dogg had black women on leashes? This is NOT about Eminem disrespecting black women. This is about a loophole that they have been praying for to oust him out of hip hop. If it weren't, someone should have let a fresh can of Whoop Ass rip on fellow Detroit native Kid Rock for what he said on his last album.

In Black Chick, White Guy, Bob, as we unaffectionately call Kid Rock around our house, wrote the sordid tale of him and his black baby's mama. Like to hear it? Hear it go:

Now as time went on the the two kept on
They kept seeing each other off and on
See she moved to the city and you know what happened
Black chick with a real white accent
Pretty girl in the ghetto go figure
Yeah she got macked by some dope dealin nigger
Still seein that other kid on the side
She kept most of her thoughts inside
See all the first guy did was just love her
While that punk mother ****** used to beat her and punch her


Screeeeeeeech, HALT! "Dope dealin' NIGGER"? Oh REALLY Bob? I could have arrived at this joke of a press conference that The Source set up about this whole Eminem thing with a power point presentation, audio and video of this Kid Rock song and they could not have cared less. This matter with Eminem doesn't have an ounce to do with the disrespect of black people particularly black women. What exactly the beef is, I don't know. I will tell you this: if Eminem owes black people, particularly black women an apology as Benzino has said then he can get behind the following people: Snoop Dogg, Too Short, Cash Money Millionaires, Ludacris, Dr. Dre, The Yinga Yang Twins, BET (go on and tell Bob Johnson to take a number and get in line too), MTV, Universal, Def Jam, Lyor Cohen, Uncle Luke, and on and on and on and on and on...

But enough talk. We need action. And honestly, with all of this going on, the person I am most disappointed in is myself. I do a lot of complaining about how bad radio is but I have not written one letter. We need to do something and we need to do it now. I am sickened by the lack of accountability within our community. Even on this site we talked about Snoop Dogg at the VMA's and a BLACK WOMAN commented on how we were just hatin' and wished we could take someone on stage with us at the awards. You have got to be kidding me. So with all that said, what do we do now?

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Because I know you're wondering

I (tia) figured it was coming. Someone asked, "What is it with Tia and the Brit Boys?" Well, lest you wander to your own erroneous conclusions, let me set your mind at ease. It's the accent. Nothing more, nothing less. I wish I could say it was something of substance, but it's not. The fact that they walk around saying things like "Love" as in, "H'ya doin', Love" just floors me.

And I would like to make a request. You guys know that I love EVERYBODY, regardless. But if anyone knows of any Brit BROTHAS, PLEASE let me know.

Okay on a completely different note, check out this link that a friend of mine sent. It will make you feel old if you were a gamer way back in the day. But it will also crack you up. I had tears rolling down my face when I read this. It is freakin' hilarious. And a little scary. Pre-teens should not be this witty.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Sorry Steve, another Brit Boy

FOR NICOLE

ummm...yeah
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

First I'd like to send shout-outs to Nicole for bringing Jonathan to the table. I recently purchased Bend It Like Beckham, a must have for anyone who loves the Brits like I do. There is a scene where Jonny comes to the door to call on Jess, the lead character, and let me just say.....WOW. Toya and I SCREAMED. We weren't ready. There was no warning, no indication whatsoever that he was going to be standing there looking like....THAT. Go watch it for yourself.

I know very little about Jon (mainly b/c I was too caught up looking for pictures of him to read up on him.) He was born the day I was supposed to be born (July 27, 1977). He's very musically inclined. And if you do a picture search of his name on Google, there are a couple of pictures of him and some "colored" girl. Indian not black. But colored none the less.

Anyway, I'd like to personally welcome Jon to the Brit Boy Hall of Fame. You're gonna love it here.

In case you're interested




Friday, November 14, 2003

It's official....

March 31st-April 7th yours truly (tia) will be in LONDON, baby, LONDON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so excited. There will be SOOOOOO many stories. So much shopping (I'm gonna tear a path in Harrod's.) So many BRIT BOYS!!!!

I might not come back. My company has an office just outside the city. I'm 'bout to be universal and world wide.
And I hear sistahs are the thing to be in the UK. I'm freakin' giddy.

Y'all wanna come?
Tia’s Conundrum
(It’s been a while, I know)

My last post got me thinking.

If I were forced into excel, stranded on a desert island, or for some other unfathomable reason required to live out my days away for civilization, what 5 cds would I take?

This is a question that has no answer. EVER. I could never decide. I would go nuts just trying to choose. I can’t even go out of town for a day without taking 20 cds. I was in Baltimore today. I flew out this morning at 7a.m and I’m writing this on the plane ride home at 9p.m. I will have only been on planes for 4 ½ hours, tops, and I was in the car for an hour and a half and that’s only because I got stuck in rush hour traffic this evening. The rest of the time I was at the hospital working. I took at least 12 cds with me for the day. Why? Because there is always the fear that you’re going to want to listen to something and you’re not have it. Now granted, on this particular junket I only listened to 4 of the 12 cds I brought with me, but it’s the principle of the thing. What if I’d wanted to listened to Raze’s “Oh How I Need You” and not had it? I’d rather have too many than too few.

So I pose this query: If you could only have 5 cds for the rest of your days what would you pick?

I cannot believe that I even asked this question. But I want other people to suffer like I have trying to weed down their collections of hundreds to FIVE.

The only rule is that multi-disc sets DO NOT count as ONE cd. So if you choose Stevie Wonder’s “At The Close of a Century” that’s 4 cds. Not one.

Happy choosing.
It’s good to be got
By Tia


I was watching “The Good Girl” starring Jennifer Aniston and some other random people last Wednesday on my lunch break. Before I go any further let me say that this isn’t a movie I recommend. I got sucked in and had to know how it ended. My predictions were that someone would get pregnant and that someone would die. Needless to say, I was flowing in the prophetic when it came to the movie. There was in fact a pregnancy and a death. Anyway, the whole premise of the movie is that two randomly odd people get to know each other and oddly enough they realize that they “get” each other, or so it would seem at the onset. It later turns out that one of them is a chemically imbalanced manic-depressive and the other is just bored. Not really a winning combination. Like I said, I don’t recommend it. What drew me into the movie is initially it seems as if by some strange twist of fate, two people with the same quirky idiosyncrasies have found each other. They now have someone who gets them. They understand one another and they subsequently realize that it’s good to be got.

On numerous occasions, I’ve have touted my weirdness. It is also no secret that I would like to get married some time during my childbearing potential years. But there have been many times when a panic creeps in. It’s slow at first, almost undetectable. It usually begins when I make a random reference to an obscure Prodigy song that is blasting in the background at White Boy Fest 2003 (also known as Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom Huck Jam, story by Toya, forthcoming) or when I choose to watch a documentary on the Titanic or when I stay up until 4 in the morning playing Number Stumper on my Speak&Math. The panic creeps around to the frays of my mind until it becomes a full-fledged multi-firing synapse. I wonder, “WHO’S GOING TO GET ME?” There is some random guy out there who’s going to see me, get to know me and all of my nuttiness and decided he likes me best…? Seriously?!?

I am the most random person I know. There was a running joke on my hall in college. Talking to me was like driving stick on uneven terrain: you have to constantly change gears. I have the most random thoughts. I do the most random things. And Lord knows I say the most random stuff, sometimes to my own chagrin. (Please reference my post from August 19th) And I guess because, I’m not the coolest chick I know, and I’m prone do odd things I wonder who’s going to get me. I wonder if my roommates really get me. I wonder if the relationships of yon didn’t last because the guys finally got beyond the flawless skin, beautifully arranged features and million watt smile (You’re so vain….you prob’ly think this song is about you) and realized, “that girl is weird.” I wonder if Toya upon our initial meeting thought she’d moved in with a mad woman. I wonder if after 30 years of marriage my husband is going to turn over in the middle of the night and say,”Princess (YES he will call me PRINCESS) I love you but, whoa, you are odd” and then roll over and go back to sleep.

There is a caveat of sorts. I know that there are other people out there like me. And that knowledge keeps me from moving to an island and secluding myself forever, or at least until I run out of batteries and have to make a trip to the mainland to stock up again. One of my closest friends from college, Brian, has the illness I suffer from. He’s even gone so far as to give it a name: Retarditity. I think the reason Brian and I get along so well is because we get each other. We know the other person’s limits. We know when to say when. And it’s good that way. Brian didn’t look at me weird when I wanted to sand wood for any hour. He just gave me some goggles, a piece of wood and an electric sander and went and did other boy things whilst I took to task. Toya may not be a carrier of the retarditity gene but she is sympathetic to plight of those with it. She simply smiled and shook her head when I hung my union jack flag (that’s the British flag for those who didn’t know) in the corner of my room and ran around the house humming the British national anthem.

They say that there’s someone for everyone. I believe that. I believe that somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight (I’m sorry I couldn’t help it. And even if I hadn’t y’all would have been thinking it anyway) there is someone who’s going to get me. There are friends to be made who will understand my reference to THE COAT. There’s someone who will revel in the fact that I thoroughly enjoy watching Steven from the Real World slap Irene (so much so that the last time I saw it I sled off the couch with my arms in the air squealing with glee.) There are people out there who won’t raise an eyebrow when I make random references to carrier pigeons as a legitimate form of communication. And when I find those people, I will gather them all at an undisclosed location and we will begin plotting our strategy for world domination. I already know you’re going to want to be down.

Friday, November 7, 2003

Perpetual Toys R Us Kid
By Tia

I guess the title is a little deceiving. We all know the song, “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us Kid.” Well it’s not that I don’t want to grow up, it’s that I can’t seem to grow up. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to be one of those people who are staunch, stuffy, uptight and boring. I could never do that. But at some point I would like to stop forgetting that I’m not 22 anymore. It would be nice to not feel like I just left college last year since it’s been almost four years.

I was having a “moment.” I was at the fall festival that my church has every Halloween and I was, shall we say “caught up” and not in the good way. I was looking around and I began to notice that a lot of the people that I used to hang with seemed to have metamorphosed into real live grown-ups. This guy I had a crush on for about 3 minutes now has a wife. (I’m going to be really honest. I can’t even really talk to the guy now. Although he never knew I had a crush on him, I KNOW. And I’m down right embarrassed because basically I had a crush on someone’s husband. I know it doesn’t make sense since he wasn’t a husband then, but how often do I say stuff that doesn’t make sense? Often enough that you should know by now to just smile and nod and keep on reading.) A couple I know went to grad school in California last year and now they’re back and she looks like she was due YESTERDAY. I didn’t even know she was pregnant. Another girl I know is buying a condo. In the four years I’ve known her all she’s talked about is buying a house for herself and her son. And now she’s doing it. And the list goes on and on. My last road dog from college got married last year. My clubbin’ buddy from college just had a baby. That is scary. The same girl who was on the platform with me droppin’ it like it was hot, in Italy no less, is now a wife AND mother. Oh Lord.

Anyway, in my moment of panic I called Toya and explained that I’m just not a grown-up. She calmly explained to me that I am in fact a grown-up, just look at the bills I pay. And God bless her for trying, but if paying bills makes one an adult than I’ve been an adult since I was 16. I started working at 14 and got a legitimate job at 16 to support my music habit. I worked 2 jobs most of the time I was in college and had my own apartment by my junior year. But somehow through all of that I still don’t feel like an adult. What is that about?

I shared all of this with my friend Angela and she being as wise as she is plainly asked, “Do you feel this way because things don’t seemed to have changed much for you since you left college?” Have you ever had a revelation? It’s just how it’s portrayed in the cartoons. The sky opens up. Light shines down on you. And angels sing, birds chirp and harps play. Okay that may be a bit of an exaggeration. But that’s how I felt. I realized that I hadn’t had what I thought were the great adult defining milestones in my life: Marriage, House, Kids, Vacations…etc. But then I began to look even further. Who says that those things make you an adult? I know babies who have babies. I’ve seen seemly grown-up people make childlike decisions and destroy their adult covenant of marriage. I’ve seen first hand how people trying to find definition through expensive real estate have subsequently put themselves in a really adult situation: bankruptcy. And I have to wonder after the dust had settled, after the diapers had been changed, after the argument about the trash not being taken out had ended, did any of those things make them feel more like the adult they thought they should be or did they still feel like a little kid playing house?

I guess being an adult comes with time. It takes more time for some than it does for others. I may not be the poster child for what some might consider an adult. Yes, I still play video games on the regular. I watch cartoons every weekend. I sleep with a Winnie the Pooh. I have Spiderman Underoos. Okay, I wish I had Spiderman Underoos. But I also work 40+ hours a week. I don’t have to ask my parents for anything. And I won’t have to get a permission slip signed to leave the country in April. So maybe I haven’t completely left childhood behind but who’s to say you have to. Maybe being a child at heart is not as weird as Michael Jackson has made it out to be. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll wake up and realize that the man in the shower, the kids down the hall, the SUV in the driveway and the overflowing out box at the office didn’t make me a grownup after all, they just make me a big kid with more stuff.


Thank you Jesus/Even when you see us just as we are/Fragile and frail and so far from who we want to be
Thank you Jesus/Even when the pieces are broken and small/Dreams shatter and scatter like the wind/Thank you even then

Nichole Nordeman-Even Then

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

THE COAT OPENS TODAY....


Toya and I could write Ph.D worthy dissertations on The Coat that Keanu Reeves wore in The Matrix Reloaded and will wear today in The Matrix Revolutions. Due to time constraints it will have to wait. But just know that The Coat is more than you know.

Sunday, November 2, 2003

Further Random Thoughts
By Tia

I’ve had a request from one of the IT guys at work. He would like to have a section of the blog dedicated to “white IT guys in Tennessee like us.” UMMMMM….Yeah

Is anyone else sick of Ashton Kutcher? I don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s a general consensus. But there is just something about the kid that bothers me. Maybe it’s because he hangs with the grand wizard of hip-hop, Sean Combs or maybe it’s just who he is in general. He’s never done anything to me personally but for some reason I just don’t care for him.

Whatever you do, you MUST pick up a copy of this month’s Details Magazine. The header is “What Makes Keanu Cry?” GOOOODNESSSS

Why does Francis Bean look so much like her dad, Kurt Cobain?


Am I wrong for not feeling bad for Kobe Bryant? I don’t at all. He wouldn’t be in all this trouble if he’d kept the little general at the post. I don’t know if he raped that girl and I don’t think any of us ever will. But whatever happens he kinda brought it on himself don’t you think? It’s unfortunate that his image is tarnished. It’s unfortunate that his endorsement deals are gone. (He should have read the fine print in those endorsement deals contracts. Companies are now including “good behavior” clauses in contracts. Basically, if you’re naughty your endorsement deals can be yanked. No questions asked.) It’s unfortunate that his marriage could be irrevocably ruined. BUT all of the “unfortunateness” (I know that's not a real word) could have been avoided. So maybe I’m just cold and callused but I don’t really feel bad for him. I do feel bad for the Kobe’s wife, Kobe’s daughter, the girl (If she was actually raped) and X-tina. (You like that segue don’t you?)

Why do I feel bad for X-tina you ask? What have all of the headlines been about? Britney and Madonna. X-tina has apparently ho’ed herself to such a significant degree that she can make out with the princess of darkness and no one even thinks twice about it. So you are so freaktacular that you kiss the woman who has kissed every stank person in the free world (remember Dennis Rodman) and no one bats an eye? Boo-boo, I’m so sorry. Come on home.

There is a guy near me on the plane who is clearing balding and he is rocking a thin curly pony tale. WHY WHY WHY?!?!?! Let it go. Crop that up and rock the short hair like my man Sean Connery.


I was watching the bootleg version of Cribs, How I’m Living, and they were featuring the house of that Asian kid from Smilez and Southstar. Okay, it was just wrong, especially since MTV was touring Shaq’s house on the next station. Now I’m not going to front. My man had a cute little starter home somewhere in Florida. But it was the irony of it all that was cracking me up. Shaq was showing us the biggest bed known to man. Southstar was bragging about his queen size “where the magic takes place.” Shaq was showing us his movie theater. Southstar was showing us his 26” in the bedroom. Complete with VCR, “because sometimes, you know, if I want to tape stuff I’ve got it all taken care of.” It was just wrong, wrong, wrong. So you mean to tell me BET couldn’t find any ethic stars, with comparable homes, to let them in? I say ethnic because apparently BET is for all who want to be “down.” Black, Asian, Hispanic or whatever. I guess famous people don’t trust BET either. Good to know we’re not alone.

But while I’m thinking about it, I do want to offer kudos to BET for putting on some grown folks music. I think the show is actually called Grown Folks Music. I saw some mature R&B videos. By mature I mean everyone kept their clothes on and no one had to use an explicative to get their point across.

Lenny Kravitz and Nicole Kidman-I give it 3 months, TOPS. Didn’t she used to kick it with Q-tip?

And finally, if you haven’t already check out 28 days later. But be forewarned, FULL FRONTAL MALE NUDITY in the first scene. No warning or anything. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not really scary. It wasn't to me, anyway. If anything it’s more apocalyptic. There are some sketchy scenes but overall it’s one of those movies that makes you think, “what would I do if the world were almost over?” At least that’s what I thought. PLEASE NOTE: that the puck rock black British chick DOES in fact hook up with the rock star looking Brit Boy. Also, noteworthy, check out Mark in the early stages of the movie. He will soon be joining the Brit boy hall of fame. But you have to catch him before his untimely demise. And I do mean UNTIMELY.
You want to love the dumb pop stars...you really do but:

"Anyone can sit down and write boring artistic songs. Pop music is the hardest s*** to write."
---Britney Spears


OH, now COME ON!!!!!
Under the "It's probably just me" category:


I (Tia) didn’t do Halloween as a child. I vaguely remember going trick-or-treating a few times before I was six and once when I was 11. But that’s about it. My mom didn’t believe in it. As I got older I did some research on the day for my own edification. If I told you how evil the origins of Halloween actually are you’d not only never celebrate it again, but you’d also boycott any and every person, place and thing that did.

Anyway, I’m not writing to give you my definitive thoughts on October 31st. I actually just have a question. Am I the only person who has a problem with small people going door-to-door begging? Maybe it’s just me but why do people pimp their kids for confectionary goodies? And don’t give me that “it’s fun for the kids” excuse. It’s aight for about an hour. Then you’re either hot/cold, tired, sticky, sweating (remember those plastic masks we used to where? Not only were those things not conducive to breathing but if someone lit a match close to you, you were a goner. Doomed to die in a flaming ball of plastic and polyester) your feet hurt and depending on when you were born you had to worry about cyanide and razor blades in your candy. How is that fun? And to add insult to injury, if you had responsible parents, they divvied out the candy and only let you have a little bit at a time. By the time you actually worked your way through your bounty, that mess was stale and old. Fun...I think not. And YOU KNOW your parents were dippin’ into your stash. I probably sound a bit jaded, but you know I’m speaking truth. Halloween, much like Valentine’s Day, is a “holiday” made up by candy companies to make money. Don’t believe the hype. SLAM THE MAN!!! And if you really need the sugar high (gotta have it/really need it to get by/SUGAR HIGH…name that movie) go to Wal-Mart on November 1. They always put their candy on sale the day after Halloween. But don’t go in there lightly. You will have to beat down the gray-haired granny with the walker for the last bag of mini-Twix.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Serious

It seems like it has been forever since Tia and I have posted anything and it is for good reason. We have some major issues going on in our household right now and most things have taken a backburner. For reasons I cannot go into we cannot discuss them at this time.

Anyone that reads this knows that we have no problems being candid. We are frighteningly honest at times. But this situation is so serious that we really can't say anything.

But as with any situation, lessons are learned. Here are a few that I (Toya) am learning through this storm:

1) God is amazing and worthy to be praised This might strike a "Yeah, duh" from some and a "Yeah whatever from others" but this is truth. I have grown up with gospel music my entire life, Walter Hawkins, The Winans, Vanessa Bell Armstrong to name a few. I have sung gospel songs in choir, in the pews and on many family vacations. Even though I grew up with this type of music, I never really listened to the words. It was never REAL to me. Like I didn't even know who they were talking about. God has shown himself to be real and faithful during this difficult time so much so that I am hearing these songs I grew up with like I have never heard them before. Great Is Thy Faithfulness is one of the oldest hymns ever but its meaning is so fresh and new to me now. I can't explain it. Well, maybe I can best explain it this way: you know when you are in love or you have a crush and every love song you hear reminds you of that person and you get all happy inside? That is how I am about the Lord right now. Every song I hear that speaks of His goodness puts such a smile on my face. Nothing brings me more joy now than to sing of how good my heavenly Father is. I don't really know how being in love is like but I will takek this over that any day. God promises to never leave us or forsake us. I could sing about that forever.

2)People lie. There is SO much more that I want to say about this and I can't. Oh but I will and I can't wait.

3) It's okay to cry, in fact it is necessary for your health. Yes, it is good to be strong for the ones you love when they are hurting but you have to allow yourself to hurt too and you can't condemn yourself for it. I had to break down and cry at work and eventually had to go home. I've lost weight (not a bad thing per se), have had nerve problems, lack of sleep and nausea all week. Not because I don't trust that God is working this situation out because He promised in His word that He would. This is all because I was trying to be Tough Girl and not cry. Be honest with yourself and the people who love you. When I finally cried my nausea stopped and I got my appetite back.

4) Be there for your loved ones but don't smother them. I am so touchy feely. I want to hug everyone all the time so much that I feel I am going to pop. There is a guy at work that is not feeling well and I just want to hug him so bad but it really is not appropriate. Some people aren't huggers. People have different love languages. Mine is physical touch. Some people's love language is quality time. Some times it is good to just sit with a loved one that is going through a rough time and not say anything. Everyone is different. If you don't know how to help, ask.

5) You don't have to be blood related to be family. Around here, if it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us. We rejoice together, we cry together. We are down for each other no matter what. I have said before that I have to fight selfishness every day because I can be pretty selfish sometimes but there is no time for that now. We have to learn to serve one another.

And lastly, I have learned to trust in God. In the bible it says that He upholds His promises because "He can swear no higher than Himself". That has been so encouraging to me. God is not going to disgrace His name by not being faithful. I am so excited to see how He works this whole thing out. So please, if you pray, pray for us. We need it. The storm is passing over but we are hanging in there.


Monday, October 20, 2003

Random Posting by Toya

I haven't posted in a while. I am so tired that I have a headache. I am getting so old. I used to work 3 jobs with 4 hours of sleep and was never this tired. I want to go to bed at 9:30 PM (what the heck??!!) and maybe I dreamt this but I thought Tia was babysitting two small children this weekend who are now lost somewhere in my big pile of laundry that has been piling up for a month. I'll be sure to slide slices of cheese underneath to be sure they don't starve to death before I start folding tonight. It's Monday for goodness sake.

Anyway, I just wanted to leave you all with this:

Bring it on in to Omeletteviiiiilllllllaaaa !


www.breny.com

Aww, good times.
Ghettopoly

We all thought this was a joke but as we all now know that ignorance has reached its all time high. I don't know what frustrates us more: the fact that this was sold or the fact that it was created. BGLU correspondent Nicole has some interesting views on how this all originated.

When last I heard about the controversial game being sold by Urban Outftters, the CEOs of the company were declining to commment and/or speak to people wth greivances about the game. In my opinion, that's probably not the best way to handle it; indifference never is.

Neither is fighting fire with fire. I know among some of my friends there was talk of creating a similar game to it called Chinopoly, and as tempting and EASY as that is, that's not going to help anything. This is the same premise that Ghettopoly was made under- Helping. According to the inventor it was supposed to help others see the sterotypes that we in this country hold and perpetuate. Why we don't see him using his own ethnicity to explain this is beyond me.

Sisters,the Ghettopoly thing has stirred but not shaken me and here's why. This is only a distraction. I imagine it going something like this:

Menion#1: Hey Lu, it looks like this whole "racial thing" is cooling off. What can we do to uh, stoke the fires? Heh, heh, heh...


Lucifer: Hmm, let me think... well there's already a godless game called Monopoly, why don't we twist that one up even further.

Menion#2: You may be on to something 'Bub. But you know what'll really add salt to the wound? Why don't we get two minorities into it. That ought to keep 'em busy.

Menion #3: I know just the guy. He's Chinese, thoughtless bloak... I'll make him think he's helping the situation. This guy'll run with his A** all out claiming that he wants to make a point about racial stereotypes, but instead of using his own people, we'll put him on to the Blacks. Then they can blame it all on the White people for perpetuating the stereotypes..."

Lucifer: Dude, that's brilliant! This is great, not only do we get to jack up relations between a few American people, we also get to screw over Urban Outfitters. Sure they agreed to carry the game, but there's nothing like putting a dent in sales of any clothing store. Look at Abercrombie."

Menion #3: I'll start on it right away. They'll never see it comin'.

Lucifer: Good, now let me see what I can get into now...


And hey, it could've been worse. It could've been The Gap selling the game...

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Please welcome the newest member to my Brit Boy Hall of Fame

Jason Statham


As Pac said, "Maybe it's the thug in me." I like Jason the best when he has a gun in his hand.


Jason first popped up on the radar in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, a personal favorite and not just because it's a British flick. The more I saw him the more I realized something was amiss. Who was this cocky English gent with ridiculously cut arms? Then I saw The Italian Job and it was pretty much all over. My man plays Handsome Rob in the movie. Enough said.

I would like you all to join us in welcoming Jason to the ranks.
(Even the kids are excited)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

As I have already mentioned I spend a lot of time traveling. As such, I have a lot of time to think. So there may be a lot of random postings in the next few months. I am ever so grateful for this laptop.

Okay first up…

Top ten shows I REALLY miss.

10. Danger Mouse
This show used to come on Nickelodeon. It was about a British mouse (are you surprised?) that solved crimes with his sidekick Penfold. I think Penfold was a ground hog but they never really said and I was only six so I didn’t really care. I used to watch this show every Saturday with my dad while we ate silver dollar pancakes. I stumbled across copies of the show on sale on www.blackstar.co.uk. Of course, they are only available in the UK. I’m beginning to think that all things pop-culture eventually end up in UK

9. Parker Lewis Can’t Lose
Do not even front and act like you didn’t love that show. Parker Lewis was the prototype for the modern day Shea boy. He was cool, slick and you either wanted to be him or be with him. I couldn’t believe it when they took that show off of the air. Some people sincerely lack vision.

8. I can’t remember the name of my number 8. But it was about a girl who was half alien and she could freeze time. Her name was Edie and she stopped time when she put her index fingers together. I am not ashamed to say that I tried it…more than once. 5000 points to the person who can e-mail me the name of the show.

7. The USA Cartoon Express
Remember when you could get up in the morning and watch cartoons until noon? You didn’t have to worry about lame shows and your parents knew that you were well taken care of until midday. The Cartoon Express was so very serious. It came on at 6 a.m. and commenced entertaining you with a who’s who of cartoon stars? I LOVED the segments that were cartoon versions of Battle of the Network Stars. You had 3 different groups of Hanna-Barbera stars battling it out for the Saturday bragging rights. I am convinced that that show was a work of pure genius.

6. Picture Pages
Okay, so picture pages wasn’t a SHOW but you can’t say that you didn’t love it. Go ahead…you can sing the theme song. I’ll wait. This is the only time in my life that I can remember being excited about commercials. I was so PISSED when I found out the pen didn’t really make that noise. Bill Cosby went on the “bad man” list for a long time after that.

5.Fraggle Rock
I am down right giddy just thinking about the show. “It’s the Trash Heap! MAAAYYYAAAA!!!!” The show was a little weird and twisted but you know you loved it just like I did. To this day I still don’t know what a Fraggle is. There has to be a petition somewhere that will get this show back on the air or at the very least on DVD.

4. Esteban’s Cities of Gold
I think the show was a Brazilian import, possibly Mexican. It was one of the shows that has something of a kiddie cult following You’ve either never heard of it or you were up at the crack BEFORE the Cartoon Express to watch it EVERY SINGLE Saturday. I remember being at my grandmother’s house and getting up while it was still dark so I could watch COG. I would sing the theme song loudly and off key. I honestly don’t know if they ever actually found the COG.

3. The Electric Company/Mr. Wizard/3-2-1 Contact
I put all of these shows in the same category because they’re basically the same. Learning shows were okay to watch back in the day. I was the BIGGEST nerd when I was in school. Shows like these let me know that it was okay to be smart. In fact, you could be smart and be on television. And I just knew that when I was old enough I was going to be a part of the Bloodhound Gang. And I was going to run that piece. As far as Mr. Wizard went, I never had the stuff to do the experiments. Apparently, there was some sort of income requirement to take part in the scientific fun. I probably could have gotten some sort of kiddie stipend/scholarship but I didn’t know where to send my FAFSA information.

2.You Can’t Do That On Television
The only thing I knew about Canada is that it produced slime. If you don’t think this was one of the best shows, EVER, then there is just no helping you. And if you didn’t feel Alastair, I might have to pull your BGLU card.

This was one of the most crude, ridiculous shows on television. That may explain why the show was on for so long. Kids love anything gross. Remember Barth, the chef at the local restaurant? You would think that if someone name Barth owns the place it’s probably not passing any sort of sanitation inspections. But nonetheless, every week someone would eat there and their dining experience always culminated in regurgitation.

The show started off in syndication in Canada and made its way across the border to become a massive hit. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t seen at least one episode. Last week while searching for episodes on Ebay, I realized that the show is still emmensly popular. The DVD was going for upwards of $100. And I can’t say that I didn’t think about throwing my hat into the ring. There are no legitimate copies to be found and we’re all familiar with the law of supply and demand. It makes me kind of wonder why the person who owns the rights to the show doesn’t put each season on DVD. I would buy every single one. And I have a feeling that I’m not alone.

1. The Mickey Mouse Club
Oh, the humanity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY, WHY, WHY was this show taken off of the air? Who is responsible? This was without a doubt my favorite show of all time. It had everything I needed: singing, Damon, dancing, Damon, funny skits, Damon and it had DAMON. I LOVED that boy. (When he did that remake of that Rob Base song, “Damon won’t you turn it out/Gotta make the people scream and shout” I thought I was going to pass out.) I would run home everyday from Miller Grove Junior High School (shout-outs to the Raiders) to watch. I would call my friend Rebecca and we would scream together for an hour or so. I wanted to be a Mouseketeer so badly. They held auditions at one of the malls in Atlanta and I was all about trying out. I predictably chickened out upon arriving but at least I went down there. And think about all of the Gen-X stars the show produced. Kerri Russell, JC (who I’ve now had a crush on for 14 years. Somebody help me), Justin Timberlake, Tony Lucca (I heard he’s going on tour with JC. I will be in the front row, throwin’ ‘bows if I have to), Matt Morris, that country kid from Remember the Titans, Britney, X-tina and I’m sure there’s many more I just can’t think of at the moment.

We have the MMC to thank for giving us The Party. Yes, I own a Party cd. And I play I Found Love to death. How could you not love them? Chase (did he EVER get around to choosing a hair style? He was having issues for a while there.) Damon and Albert in one group?!?!?!?!?!?!? Love is in the air, every where I look around.

I have this theory. Actually it’s more of a deeply held belief. I think that pop music would not be as suggestive as it is if the MMC was still on the air. I say this because every day on the show, the Mouseketeers would do their rendition of a song that was on the charts. We would watch the show, see our favorite MMC-er singing the song and then bug our parents to death until we had the cassette single. I truly believe that record execs knew this and were systematically releasing kid friendly songs that would subsequently end up on the MMC for all of pre-pubescent world to hear. We hear it, we like it, we spend our lawn mowing/babysitting money to buy it. Once the show was off of the air, there was no reason to keep the quality standards high. Think about it. There is no way that 90% of the songs on the air would ever make it on to the MMC. I’m thinking of writing a dissertation on this. The people need to know. And a link to an online petition to either bring the show back or put it on DVD will be circulating shortly.


Oh yeah, some honorable mentions
Today’s Special
The Great Grape Ape
Dynomutt and The Blue Falcon
Jabberjaw
Munchichis (Munchichi means happiness)
The Hair Bear Bunch

I would love to hear about some of your favorites. Hit us up.
Token
By Tia


I am…different. I’m eclectic. I’m not the norm (what ever that is.) I thoroughly enjoy
destroying stereotypes. It makes me smile. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember and I wouldn’t change a thing. However, the issue at hand is not my idiosyncrasies. As one who enjoys being different and appreciates the differences in others, I often find myself the only person of color in random circles. I must take this opportunity to say that I don’t always care for that situation. Now mind you I’m not intimidated by it. But inevitably, as the only minority a group, by default I become the spokesperson of an entire race of people. Call me selfish, but I don’t need that kind of pressure. I don’t want to speak for people that I don’t know, and I’m positive that there are people out there that don’t want me speaking for them. As much as I respect Jesse, Colin, Condoleezza and the like, we differ greatly in our opinions and I don’t want to casual observer to think that all black people have all of the same world views.

As much as I try to avoid the being the “token” it sometimes happens from time to time. This weekend I found myself surrounded by some people I consider close friends and some people that I don’t. The following question was posed, “Tia, how do you feel about white parents adopting black children?” Never one to run from a discussion (I figure if you ask me, you want to know what I have to say. Don’t get mad when I say something that you don’t like) I jumped right in with my opinion. By the time, the discussion was over, I didn’t like one person, and wanted to slap the fire out of another. I was utterly floored by the pure unadulterated ignorance of the group as a whole. And to be perfectly honest I guess I was a little shocked that in the 21st century that kind of ignorance and insensitivity could still exists. As someone who grew up in mixed neighborhoods, dated black, white and other, and still have close friends who “don’t look like me,” I guess I just assumed that everyone was a open-minded as I am. I figured no educated person could be that ignorant. Shame on me and my naivety.

We pride ourselves in being the technical generation. We give each other the proverbial pat on the back because “we have come so far.” But if we’re honest some where along the way our forward motion affected our memory. We “forget” that slavery was not so long ago. We “forget” that Matthew Shepard was killed because he was gay. We “forget” that a black man was chained to a truck and dragged down a dirt road. We “forget” that there are places that I still can’t go because I have a little more melanin than the next man. Yes, it can be argued that these examples are few and far between but we must state the obvious: These things do still happen. My question is why? Aside from the inherently evil argument…I’ve got nothing.

I live in a bubble of sorts. I reside in the dirty, dirty. Cashvegas, baby. I abide 3 hours from where “Bangin’ in Little Rock” was filmed. But despite that, I still remain relatively unscathed by the repugnant things of society. I have two black roommates. One of whom is just as quirky as myself. I work for a company that I would have to guess is a lot more diverse than most. On my study team alone there are 6 blacks, one Hispanic, one Philippino and one other. (I think he might be Middle Eastern but I’m not positive and don’t want to assume.) That kind of diversity in corporate America is rare. And I go to one of the most racially mixed churches in the free world. This is our church logo for crying out loud. I go about most days with the mindset that we all DO get along. So when ignorance rears it’s ugly head, the jolt occasionally rocks my paradigm immensely. And after the tremors have subsided I usually feel like I feel now, sad. Of course, I’m furious that Ghettopoly is flying off the shelves at a frightening pace. I’m pissed that derogatory comments were made against my race and the same person who made the comments is thinking of adopting someone that they so ignorantly and insensitively belittle. I’m angry that affirmative action is STILL necessary. But once the anger has subsided and I’ve had time to think, the heaviness that penetrates my soul is dang near palpable. I’m sad that people have died so that I can sit in the front of this airplane and type this tyrant and yet I still catch random looks and glances from the “majority.” I’m sad that I may very well have to explain the difference between nigga and nigger to my child. My heart hurts for the most for the people that don’t know any better. It’s an awful thing to be lost, but it’s even worse to be lost and not even know it.

We’re inundated with political correctness but to what avail? Instead of teaching tolerance, we’ve learned indifference. We have the, “as long as it’s not happening me/mine” attitude. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no standing still. You’re either moving forward or you’re not. It’s like being on one of those moving sidewalks in the airport. Just because you’re not walking doesn’t mean that you’re not moving. You will eventually get to the end of the sidewalk unless you get off and turn around and walk the other way. So I’m starting with the (wo)man in the mirror. I refuse to let the ignorant comments of anyone of any race, stature, or walk of life get me down. I will be the strong independent woman that God has created me to be. I will continue to embrace others not like me. I will raise strong children of different races (in case you didn’t know I want a family that looks like a Benetton ad.) But I will NOT shrink back. I will stand for what I know is just, correct and fair. It’s the only way that I can in good conscious say that I tried. My pastor, Rice Broocks always says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, October 13, 2003

Album I Slept On (purposely) and Now Can't Front On No Matter How Much It Hurts: Jon B's "Pleasures You Like".

I am notorious for sleeping on CD's. Sometimes I hold onto old stuff so much that I don't want to embrace anything new. In fact, embarrassingly enough, I am listening to the first India Arie CD for the first time because I just bought it and her follow up this week. I have been buying so much old stuff like Alexander O'Neal's and Brand New Heavies greatest hits that I rarely buy new stuff. Shameful, I know. I am listening to both of her CD's and I don't understand how I have lasted this long without them. They will live in my CD player.

You don't even know how mad I am about this because I flat out said I wasn't buying anymore Jon B CD's. I have had a love/hate relationship with Jon B for quite some time but sometimes you have to look past the artist to appreciate the art. If you have read this blog long enough, you know that we are whole-hearted supporters of blue-eyed soul (we know we keep promising those pics of us with Kenny Loggins. They're coming soon. I don't know how to work the scanner yet.) However, Jon B has been on my ish list for the past few years because of one of the worst concert experiences of my life.

It hasn't always been hateration when it comes to Jon B. When I first heard "Someone to Love" I was not feeling him at all because he sounded just like Babyface. Couldn't stand him. Then I was over a friend's house who is a producer and a much bigger music snob than I (yes, it's possible). When I saw that he had it I was like, hold up. He said "You don't know about this? I am so sorry." He went onto play tracks 6 thru the end and I was sold, especially on the last track "Love Don't Do". Til this day "Bonafide" is one of my top 10 favorite albums of my lifetime. I mean like in the top 10 like Off the Wall is in the top 10. It's that serious.

So when did the boycotting happen? After wanting to see Jon B in concert for years, I finally got to see him at a club in Philly. He was doing shows promoting "Cool Relax" (which is nothing like Bonafide. It's not bad but it's completely different. Bonafide is more grown and sexy.) We waited forever for this cat and about 2 hours later he came out with his band and ladies and gentlemen this man showed his behind. I mean, he could not have shown his behind more if he had pictures of it and was passing it around the club. He acted a straight up fool. First of all, out of the first 5 songs he did, only 2 of them were his. He did "Outstanding" "Yearning for Yor Love" and some other R&B favorites and I was like "Sing your own stuff!" It was almost like he was singing all of these songs to win us over. We were as close as 5 feet from the stage and the more this went on the more I took out my keys, waved them in front of him and said "I swear I will go home right now if you don't start singing your own songs." To make it worse he had this huge chip on his shoulder and kept making comments suggesting that the crowd was hating on him because he was white. Umm, did he think we didn't know that when we bought our tickets? We paid $25, which I STILL want back. We knew he was white. But no, he could not let it go. Then he went into "Are U Still Down" and wanted all of us to put peace signs in the air in rememberance of Pac. Now you know some folk don't care nothing about crowd participation, especially already being tired from waiting almost 2 hours for him to perform. Jon B is holding up playing the song like "Oh you too cool to put your signs in the air, you a straight up @#!&* punk. Word up". After this hissy fit, the show ended with "Don't Say" and he said his goodbyes and gave the right side of the stage the middle finger. I was through.

I have been listening to my Launch station (damilove4) and I have Jon B as one of my artist in rotation. Ever so often I would hear a song and would turn and look at my computer like "What in the?" and sure enough, it would be from Pleasures You Like. After almost a year, I have broken down and bought it. So ashamed. "Lonely Girl" is my joint though, I can't lie.

Pleasures You Like is where Bonafide and Cool Relax come together. Like Cool Relax, it has a little bit more hip hop influence than Bonafide and like Bonafide, is more mature musically and lyrically than Cool Relax. Point blank it has some smooth jams on it. I can front no longer.

He only has about 2 inches on me so don't let me see that lil' man in the street. I still want my $25 back.