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 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 !


I have 3 words for the new Alicia Keys video:

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


"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.