Friday, April 30, 2004

About a boy…and a girl
by tia

I got my feelings hurt by a boy. He will remain nameless because…ummm…actually I’m not sure why I’m not blowin’ up his spot. Oh wait, I know why. Grace is sufficient for er’ybody. And I’m not without fault in the situation. So the brief version goes like this. I liked a boy. He liked me. I realize that he liked me (realized is such an understatement. Kid didn’t pull no punches.) and I turned into golden retriever. Faithful, smothering…pitiful. I became the infamous needy chick. Needy chicks, as you know, are scary. As such, aforementioned boy blows me off for “the date.” When the realization that I had been blown off set in my first reaction was to be PISSED. “Do you know who you stood up? People queue up to hang with me!!!! You had an opportunity to get in on the ground floor and you blew it. It’s like not buying Microsoft stock before it went public! Foolish, just foolish.” (Don’t you love it how we get indignant when we get our feelings hurt?”) But then God allowed me to get a big fat dose of reality. As I sat in the darkness of my room, I began to rethink the situation and similar scenarios from the past. I took a good hard look at Tia. Man, I hated what I saw.

The pastor of my church once said, “When most people “find themselves” it’s the most devastating moment of their existence.” Devastation is an understatement. Catastrophic depredation would probably be more accurate. I came to realize that the emptiness that I was so desperately trying to fill with a hottie boy wasn’t supposed to be filled by him. Not to say that a hottie boy is not a good thing to have. But a hottie boy will never complete me. Only God can do that.

So often we try to find “completeness” in outside stuff. Guys, clothes, job, stuff. But at the end of the day, if we’re honest with ourselves, that stuff doesn’t fill. It doesn’t complete. And it was a hard moment when I realized that for all of my efforts, for everything that I’ve accomplished, for everything that I own, none of that is enough. That little tidbit of information shook me to the very core of who I am. It was soooooo ugly. I spent the next week in a mess of tears, longing and searching. (And, NO, I was not crying about the boy himself. Somebody else got that. And probably some more.) There was no soul searching to be done because the soul was empty. It would have been like searching an empty room. What would have been the point? I had to take solace in the one thing that I knew would heal, restore, and comfort. I had to run to God.

I think a lot of times as women we search for another individual to make us feel whole. We see a handsome successful man on our arm as a testament to who we are. So we look and we search to find “the one.” The one who will be “IT.” The end all, be all of the male species. He will be perfect. He will love perfectly. He will do laundry. He will wipe snotty noses. He will massage feet, backs, necks and shoulders. He will cook. He will earn six figures. He will fight for you (on so many different levels. I love thugs and reformed bad boys.) He will have tattoos. He will surf, skateboard and/or ball. Okay those last two are my personal preferences but you get the general idea. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that guy doesn’t exist. Because for all of his “perceived” perfection, he is still just a man. He is still flawed and fallible. Just like you. Yes, he may very well wipe snotty noses, but it will probably be with the back of his sleeve. (That’s what you want him teaching the kids, right?) And for everything you love about him, there will be something(s) that you WISH he didn’t do. And to put an imperfect creature in the position of perfection is to doom him to failure. It’s not fair to him and it’s not far to you. There’s only one way you can go from the top and that’s down.

A longing to be loved perfectly is not abnormal. But to try to find a perfect love from an imperfect person is the formula for disaster. God created us to desire a love that cannot be given by ANYONE walking this planet. Not our parents, not our spouse, not our kids..NO ONE. I now understand why God said, draw near. He wants us to be close to him FIRST. He wants to fill that God sized hole within. But I’ve got to be honest. God has never reached out and held me in his arms. (And I do believe that I would fall ALL THE WAY OUT if he did.) But God has comforted me in times of utter desperation. And where a man might not understand my tears, no matter how badly he may want to, I know that God always will. So here I sit, finding my completeness in God while simultaneously waiting. I wait for more of God’s love. I wait for the one that will be the physical representative of God’s love. And I wait for the day when I will stand before my creator and KNOW that I’m finally whole.

What Are You Willing to Do Without?-Toya

From Ocean's Eleven (our favorite movie in the house)
Danny Ocean: Does he make you laugh?
Tess: He doesn't make me cry.

My mom is convinced that I need security. We were discussing a friend of mine who my mom hasn't met yet but would really like to call him son-in-law soon and I told her that he isn't "edgy" enough. She replied "You don't need edgy. You've done edgy. You need security." I'm all for security, really I am but I don't know. I obviously have a lot more growing up to do.

I recently ran into a friend of mine (guy) who I used to have a big crush on and Tia informed me that we are so much alike that if we were together, it would be a tornado. "You are cold air, he is hot air. Do you know what happens when they get together?" I flunked science many of time so of course I had no answer and looked very bewildered. "It forms a tornado". She is so wise.

So he is dating a girl right now who is so opposite of him. "She's a woman! I have never dated a woman before. She has a degree, she has a real job, she's older than me, and it is a long distance relationship. I don't get it. She's so stable." He is in a band, travels all the time and is a bundle of juvenile excitement. For all intents and purposes, he is a child. I mean, he is a grown man, but much like myself he is a big kid.

Good girls like bad boys. It's the truth. You got Joe Security in one corner and Tommy Thug in the other and most likely, Tommy Thug has got our attention. Or if you are like me, you got Joe Security in one corner and Mikey Musician in the other. I don't know how important it is that the person I am with is in the same industry or not. Because I am so engulfed in it and it is my passion, that could be a good thing. But because I AM so engulfed in it, do I really want to come home to that? It's really not my decision to make right now so I can't sweat it.

So the question is, what are you willing to do without? Like a car, some things are optional while other things are standard. For me, being with someone who doesn't love Christ is like buying a car without an engine. That is a no go. However, if he is not in the industry and let's say he is an archaeologist (I am sure I spelled that wrong) is like not having power windows. I can do without power windows for now (my car doesn't have power windows) however, I am patient enough now to wait and save up because sometime down the line I am trading that puppy in for a car with some power windows and that is my fear when it comes to settling down. This past week I went to a lot of shows and did a lot of industry schmoozing and was thinking that if I was with Mr. Settled, it would be really hard to be faithful. This is why commitment scares the hell out of me.

Thank God I don't have to make a decision right now so once again there is no spoon. I couldn't handle it right now anyway. There is too much to do.

Hi, My Name Is...Part III-Toya

I am a flirt. I "get it from my mama". I sincerely keep it under wraps so most people don't know this about me. I consciously control it. So when I saw aforementioned cute boy in band from church at BB Kings this past week, it was all I could do to not whip out the charm (See Hi My Name is Part 2). I had a million excuses to go over to where he was and introduce myself whether it be the whole "we have a mutual friend approach" or "hi, I work for this company in the industry" but I didn't. I decided to behave.

I was standing there with my girlfriends talking to a guy in the same band who mentioned that they were playing somewhere in the area soon but he couldn't remember where. Then he said, oh wait I'll ask (insert name here-I aint crazy. This is the WORLD WIDE WEB). I was like LORD, no! Don't bring him over here. But who was I fooling?

So he comes over and jokes a bit, answers the question and walks off. All of the sudden he spins around, walks back and says "You know, I need to introduce myself. I'm..." I told him my name and he went and introduced himself to all of us and just smiled and gazed. "Yall are just holding it down over here looking so beautiful. Like rays of beauty." Realizing how incredibly CORNY that was, he chuckled and walked back. We all looked at each other like "Umm...What?!"

Hopefully, this will not be the last installment of "Hi My Name Is..."

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Somebody Else Got That Though-Toya

Man,when it rains, it POURS! After forever talking about not seeing any action boy wise, there have been some let's say "eventful episodes" in the house. And as quickly as everything has happened, the smoke is already starting to clear. Grand openin', grand closin'...

I am so fortunate to live with someone that often seems to go through the same issues that I go through almost simultaneously. I think God does that because He knows that we need to be there for each other. This is a good thing. Tia is really great at encouraging me just in the way that she goes about handling things. I think I encourage Tia best by being (painfully) honest and straight forward. Tia and I often joke that on judgment day, we are going to be the only ones that God calls up two at a time.

Tia: Uh, uh God. Toya was responsible for that one.
GOD: Yes, but you laughed AND pointed and then proceeded to roll around on the floor in convulsions. You knew better.

OH how I want to write about all the goings on but I was in church not too long ago and someone walked up and said "I love your blog." I have NO idea how they found out about it. I can't even remember who they are. Grant it, we are on the WORLD wide web and use our real names. I am surprised my parents haven't found this yet. No shame though. I love being candid but in this case, we must protect the innocent (and the not so innocent but I won't go there. Paybacks, oooooh, paybacks...)

If God does indeed take special care of babies and fools, I am doubly covered. I am a big baby and have sho nuff acted a downright fool. It seems that often I get anxious for something and am allowed to go to the edge and before I jump, God grabs me by the back of my shirt and says "Okay, do you REALLY want that?" Terrified, I say no and walk right on back to reality. My relationship with God has indeed been a merciful one. So this time I was so willing to jump over the edge and fall in to the arms of security. The queen of non-commitment was ready to settle down and get the party started. Bad idea, bad, bad idea. As women, we can convince ourselves that someone is the one even though there are things about them that we shouldnt want to do without. Like, how do I look being with some straight laced, professional, grown behind business man? Not saying I can't swing that, but I am too out there. But when you start thinking about security, it sounds like a good idea at the time. You are almost willing to change who you are to match that person. Big no no.

The key phrase this week is "Somebody else got that though". This came from a discussion Tia and I had about some guys that we liked that had qualities that we love. After running down the list, I said"Yeah, but somebody else got that though." Women always want to think that some guy is their last chance. Like, God stopped making romantic men back in '75 or something. The qualities you like in a guy that you are having a problem let go can probably found in another person that is even better for you.

It's hard. My face is cracked as I am writing this. It's been so ridiculous lately that I was in church and asked for "the gift." If you 've spent any amount of time in church, you are familiar with "the gift". "The gift" is the gift of singleness which one desires no more than they desire to be hit by a MAC truck. I have been told that if you fear that you have it, you don't. People that have it don't even care about relationships, sex, romance, whatever. I seriously prayed that if I continue to put this crap before God, I want the gift of singleness. I am so glad that we can't hear God laughing from heaven.

I know that you guys are missing us. I’m sorry. Especially since I left you hanging on the London Chronicles. But it’s for a good reason, I promise. Toya and I have both been having a very special time of things. I had my feelings hurt and subsequently got a good hard look at the person I really was. And let me tell you, Tia Akimmi, without Christ is not a cool person. To sum up…Needy Chicks are SCARY!! I will some how find a way to articulate this in the very near future. But until then, please bear with us.

But because I don’t want to leave you hanging with NOTHING…

I’m sorry…What did you find on my bag?!?!?!

So it was day 3 ½ of what I’ve dubbed “emotional revelation/breaking week” and I was on my way home from a job in Cincy. Y’all, when I say I just wanted to BAWL my eyes out, please believe me. But I had to be strong because I was meeting with clients and I was with another member of my clinical team. Remember “A League of Their Own”? There’s no crying in clinical research. So smack dab in the middle of my turmoil, I had to suck it up and deal until I got home. So needless to say, by the time I started home everything was bubbling very near the surface and drama was the LAST thing that I needed. Anyway, I’m mindlessly making my way through security trying to make the nonsense inside make sense. Not an easy task. How about I was randomly selected to have my bag searched. I fly a lot, so I consider myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to the rules of flight. I always pack flip-flops (weather permitting) so I can change shoes before I go through security. (Plus I don’t really like to wear shoes anyway, so it’s an excuse to wear sandals. I do, however, like to buy shoes. That’s a whole other story in and of itself.) I hardly ever wear belts (something that has become problematic with all of the incessant jogging I’ve been doing.) And I always pack my cell in my carry-on and have my laptop out, WAY before I get to the front of the security line. Basically I do whatever it takes to get through security as quickly as possible. I’m usually pretty nondescript looking and as such don’t get stopped very much. Not so much this time. No biggie. It happens once in a great while. But see here’s the problem. When the scanner finds traces of TNT on your bag, things get, shall I say, sticky. Man, I got pulled aside, they asked me a million questions and filled out a report that asked me everything except what shoe size I wear. At the end of it all, I asked the guy if I was now red flagged in every airport in the western hemisphere. He assured me that the information that was collected would be kept internal. Internal meaning only people at the Cincinnati/N. Kentucky airport have access to the information or internal meaning only the people that work at AIRPORTS have access? And where the heck did the TNT come from? I can barely mix Kool-aid properly, let alone the chemical components to make an explosive device. So who have I been around who’s tried to mix it up like that? What is wrong with the world?

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Perfect Marriage- Dead Poetic's "New Medicines"- by Toya

"The perfect marriage" is how my roommate Renee described my feelings about the new Dead Poetic record, "New Medicines". It's funny that it is called that because I am PMSIng like a big one today and left my Midol in the car. This has been GREAT!

The "perfect marriage" is the marriage of singing and screaming at the same time. Well not so much at the same time as within perfect timing. This is perfect for one with PMS because the singing is pretty enough to soothe you but the screaming and growling is aggressive enough to express the frustrations that you cannot voice in a closed proximity ie your job. Of course you can't go buckwild at yo' job but if you want to, put in any of the Solid State Records bands and sit at your desk. Now be careful: this may have an adverse effect on some, making them even more angry. But for me, it is a release, especially since the lyrics aren't "kill your mom, stab your cat" type lyrics. They're positive lyrics! So next time you want to get you holla on,don't let the man get you down. Get aggressive. Buy Dead Poetic.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The London Chronicles
Friday – Day Three
Shall I take you there?

I am sick just thinking about it. Yes, there was a guy involved. Yes, he was quite British. Yes, he was quite fine. Yes, I had to pray so that I would not act out. I have a special place in my heart for the Brit Boys. It is so dangerous that I’m glad I’m nowhere near the GB. (Great Britain) I love God and want to honour him in EVERYTHING that I do. But being human and fallible, I do not know what I would do if on a daily basis I was surrounded by beautiful British men of every race, color and creed who have no problems hollerin’ at a sistah. I thank God daily for his infinite wisdom.

After sleeping for 14 ½ hours, we rose at 10 to hit the markets. London is famous for it’s shopping and several people/books had informed us that a great deal could be found at the Camden Markets. We headed out that way around mid-morning. It turned out to be a really nice day. Little did we know it would be one of the last ones for the rest of our trip. I’m not much of a haggler. But I did get some great deals whilst I was shopping. If you’ve ever been to the NYC, the Camden Markets are kind of like Chinatown. And I’m not ashamed to say that I had one of the best chicken cheesesteaks that I’ve had in my whole life while we were down there. And in London no less. Who’d thunk? We will not talk about the guy who tried to holla outside of Starbucks. By the way, there is a Starbucks and a Pret A Manager on every other corner. Pret A Manager is like a Starbucks with a deli. Very posh, very trendy, and much like Starbucks, very overrated.

As I looked around to get my bearings:

Him: Hey baby!! Are you looking for me?!?

Me: (with MUCH American attitude) Not so much!!!

His Boys: AAAHAHAHA!!! (whilst pointing and laughing)

Once I bought more stuff than I could carry we headed down to Trafalgar Square. I am UBER-Nerd and wanted to go the London Museum. (Seriously, I can’t help it. As hard as I try, I’m still pretty nerdy.) I was glad to see that the pigeons that were notorious for running the area were nowhere to be found. I hate birds. Pigeons I truly despise. If I could, I would systematically destroy them and their ilk. The place was, however, teeming with people. It was Brit Boy overload. A guy in a skully cap went flying by me on a skateboard and my eye started to twitch.

The London Museum was sponsoring a reading of 1000 years, the 60-volume masterpiece of some obscure Japanese author whose name currently escapes me. It’s basically a collection of years listed in succession. 265 B.C., 264 B.C., 263 B.C., etc. At the cost of something like 1.4 million pounds (approx $2.3 million) two people will sit in an insulated locked box and read the years for the next few weeks. To say that this is a colossal waste of time and resources is a gross understatement. And it was all for the sake of art.

Anyway, I wanted a picture of myself sitting on top of the lions. I attempted to climb to the top of the statue. Hilarity ensued. I am not 11-years-old nor am I all that limber. So after several embarrassing attempts, I ended up with this. I guess beggars can’t be choosy.

It wasn’t until later that we realized that we were really close to Big Ben. Not going would have been akin to not going to the Statue of Liberty while on holiday in New York. It was to be one of several trips. After dinner we made our way down there. It is without a doubt one of the coolest things to see. And look how cute I am standing in front of it. We were going to wait for the sun to go down, but it was getting brutally cold and trying to be cute, neither of us had brought our coats. So this was the best that I could do.

We were totally turned around by the time we made our way back to the Tube station. FYI: Tube, Underground and Subway are interchangeable terms. Fortunately, the tube station near our hotel had connections for several different lines. Not even we could get lost. Or so we thought. We didn’t find out until the next day that just because a train says it’s the Northern line it doesn’t mean that’s it’s going where you need it to go. You have to look at the front of the train as it approaches to find out where it’s actually headed. It can be quite confusing. Who knew that the Northern line might actually be headed South or even West? Well we finally made it to what we thought was our Tube stop. It was only once we got above ground that we realized we were not at King’s Cross/Thameslink but rather we were about half a block down the street at King’s Cross/St. Pancras. But seriously, who did that? Why are they not just one station? They’re literally a half a block apart. And all of the same tubes stop at both. Whose idea was this? Anyway, assuming we were lost and not knowing at the time that the other station was as close as it was, I made a beeline toward the first blue and neon jacket I saw. Initially, I didn’t even really look at him. It was only when he didn’t say anything after I asked for directions did I look at him. That’s when I SAW him. UMMM…WOW!!!! The tall, blond, beautiful Brit boy with dimples like WHOA, was standing in from of me. Smiling at ME. I think I said something but I’m not completely positive. He just kept looking at me, SMILING that gorgeous smile. Help!!! He nodded but didn’t say anything. I guess it was to acknowledge that yes he’d heard me and could answer my question. Help!!!

Finally, he spoke. He kinda leaned in, HELP!!!, he was tall, and said, “Shall I take you there?” The deafeningly loud underground station that had just been teaming with people was suddenly quiet and deserted. huh?!? What?!? HUH?!?!?! Help!!!!!!

Inner Me: DO NOT jump him!! No matter what he says or what he SOUNDS like. Regardless of how beautiful he is YOU HAD BETTER ACT RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

At some point the world around me started moving again. He sort of gestured for me to walk with him and we walked over to Megan, who was obviously quite impressed. Y’all he was FOIN. Anyway, as he was giving directions, I realized that he wasn’t going with us.

Me: Very little kid-like “You’re not going with us?!?!”

Inner Me: SHUT UP, TIA!!!

Him: “No. I don’t get off for 2 more hours. You could come back then.” Followed by big dimpled smile.

Inner Me: Tia, walk away. GIRL, GET MOVIN’!!!

Me: “….blubber….stammer…stutter….”


Him: “Bye.”

In case you’re wondering, NO, I didn’t go back. I know me and I know my limits. He was FINE AND BRITISH. In the words of the jailbird poet laureate Mystikal, “DANGA!!!!” Back in the day, maybe. Let me stop lying: definitely. But now I’m not trying to go there. I’m was not even going to put myself in a position to have to say “no.” I didn’t want to have to explain to little Eli why (baby) daddy lives “across the pond.” Like I said, I know my limits.

Back up off Becks
by tia

Okay, I have had it. People need to leave Becks alone. Yet another freak of the week has come out and said that she had a tryst with Becks. I don’t buy it. Everyone wants a piece of the action now. Yes, I’m quite partial. I love me some David Beckham. Have you ever seen him bend a ball around a defender? It is sick. Physicists have studied it. I have a frame-by-frame picture of him coming up on a ball. It doesn’t even look real. I don’t know how he does it. And let us not front. The boy is a cutie-pie.

(His voice is kinda high though, but whatever.)

But now that he’s Mr. Big Time footballer everyone wants to drag his name through the mud. I feel about Becks the way Toya feels about the gloved one. He is innocent until proven guilty. If solid proof comes out, and by solid I mean out of Beck’s own mouth, then yes, I will be all kinds of disappointed. And I honestly think Posh will shoot him. But until then, BACK OFF!!!!! Becks is my homie.

Friday, April 9, 2004

The London Chronicles
Thursday – Day 2

We landed without incident. But we were EXHAUSTED. London is 7 hours ahead of Nashvegas. And as many of you know, plane sleep is not really good sleep unless you’re in First Class where they have the fully reclining seats. Next time I’m flying first class. I don’t care how much it costs. As much as I would love to tell you that we had so many adventures the first day, we didn’t. We were tired and frankly didn’t want to do anything but sleep. I did want to go to the Virgin Megastore the first day. I just knew that that’s where the bulk of my money would be spent. But much to my chagrin, it wasn’t. It was like going to Virgin in the states. Basically, all of the same cds but at twice the price. Before I go any further, let me clue you in on the exchange rate in the UK. First off, London is still using the British pound. They spit in the general direction of the Euro. They are a proud (some what snooty) people. And as such, our dollar has about half of its value over there. It wouldn’t be so bad except that the prices are the same. So say the Usher cd is $12.99 here. Well it’s 12 pounds 99 there. But once you convert that to dollars it’s almost $23. So needless to say I didn’t buy anything at Virgin. Moving on…

After walking around like an extra from the movie, Shaun of the Dead, which I SO want to see, it looks hilarious, we finally decided to trudge on back to the hotel. (btw: I think I have been sufficiently brainwashed. There were "Shaun" ads everywhere. By the time I finally saw the trailer, I was hooked. But it really did look funny.) On the way, I was pleasantly shocked by an ad on the side of a bus that passed us as we walked to the subway. I remember thinking, “I think I’m gonna like it here.”
(Sorry the picture is so grainy. But you can see what you need to see.)

Note: This ad is EVERYWHERE. Every tube stop and numerous buses had this girl’s gluteus posted somewhere. This is a THICK chick. I was SO excited. But that’s how they roll in London. The chocolate/white boy love is in FULL effect. Those Brit boys are not afraid to holla. It is so dangerous. Maybe that’s why I don’t live there. God knows I might be prone to wile out or as my friend Bets would say, show my behind. I had to flat out walk away from one guy. Because had I not, it would have been a situation. The last thing Toya said to me before I left was, “Don’t do anything there that you wouldn’t do here.” Would I be a fast heifer at home? No. So I shouldn’t be a fast heifer in London. Using the excuse, “I’ll never see these people again” does not cut it.

I just realised that BGLU is One Year Old this month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOO-HOOO!!!!

We'd like to hear from you. We want to know what your favorite BGLU anecdote/story/topic was for the year. I have a feeling I know what the winner will be but I don't want to sway the polls with my opinion. In the comments field, tell is what story moved you the most, made you laugh the hardest or mad you the most angry. At some point (time to be determined later) we'll tally up the votes and do a recap.

by tia

If you have not already, you MUST pick up Usher's Confessions. I have never been a huge Usher fan. I respected what he did for music but I wasn't really all that moved. Yes, he had hits but beyond the momentary mainstream song that was catchy enough for me to sing along with in the car, I was never inclined to BUY an album. All of that changed last week. Usher was on Tom Joyner (or maybe it was Doug Banks) and they were playing cuts from the CD. Had I not had to catch a flight I would have gone straight to Wal-mart. And that's RARE for me. Usually stuff has to grow on me. But I'm not going to front. Usher had me. He is keeping R&B alive and I love him for it.

At the moment the current favorite song is Throwback. It is a broken man song for your behind. The intro alone is so CHOICE.

Girl sings: You're gonna want me back
Usher: That's the last words she said to me. Now I'm wishing she was here with me
Girl: You're going to need me one day
Usher: Now that day is here. And a man gotta shed tears.

OOOOHHHH...the pain. It's the whole "never miss a good thing until it's gone" theme. Why do I love painful broken man songs...I don't know. I don't particcularly like broken men. A broken man is hard to handle. I don't like for anyone to be in pain. But a guy in pain, maybe even in tears, is just too much. That maternal thing kicks in and I want to make it better. But I will sing along with a broken man song in a heartbeat. I don't know what's up with that. Anyway, I strongly advise, NAY, I implore you to run, not walk to your nearest retailer and help Usher's sales.

Kinda unrelated Question: On Confessions Part II Usher is telling us about the latest drama with his chick on the side. The other woman is pregnant and keeping the baby. Now Mr. Raymond is faced with having to tell the woman he loves that he's having a baby by another woman. Okay, PLEASE someone explain this to me. If he was so in love with the woman why did he feel the need to cheat? I seriously don't understand that. I hear more songs nowadays about guys cheating but not really caring about the other woman. "It's you I love." Doesn't love mean FAITHFULNESS??? Ladies, Gentlemen, please make me understand if you can. (I doubt anyone can, though)

Sunday, April 4, 2004

Boyfriend of the Week- "Urrrsherrr"

Don't Call It A Comeback

Yes, Tia. Usher does look like a Sharpei puppy. Fine, you win.

Let me tell you why Usher is my new boyfriend: I just found out that he is only a few years younger than me. When I met him about 10 years ago at a studio where I used to intern, he was such a cute kid. I remember thinking"Oh he is so sweet. I wonder if we have some milk and cookies for him." Oh but the game done changed, the game done changed...

I have often watched Justin Timberlake's performances and wondered if Usher would get the same accolades. I particularly remember thinking this when watching last year's Soul Train awards. True, Justin gave a stellar performance but would Usher have gotten the same standing O? I remember thinking "Have we too fallen again for the Great White Hype (a movie that I highly recommend)?"

I think it is safe to say that quite a few black folk are applauding Usher's return for one reason: we have had it with Mr. JT. Justin's actions concerning Niplpegate have caused many of us to conclude that it was all a set up. Honestly, if you pay close attention, Justin NEVER apologized to Janet publicly for exposing her breast. He acts as if HE was exposed; Like she purposely loosened a piece of clothing without his knowledge and he was just as shocked as the rest of us. Any MAN that would accidentally do that would defend the woman that he caused that kind of embarrassment to over and over again if it was indeed an accident. He has not once come to her defense. Even MTV knows it was staged. When mentioning the release of Janet's new album, MTV, who had once dubbed her an Icon had this to say:

"Janet Jackson's name hasn't been in the papers for a while, so we'll throw her a bone and mention that her new album, Damita Jo, arrives Tuesday, featuring the flirty first single "Just a Little While." Now, if only there was something she could do to get some publicity ...

Moving on...

That's cold. This whole thing has become such an obvious publicity ploy and it has backfired (solely for Janet) like a mug. Think about it: Janet was on David Letterman to promote her new album. Umm, she didn't sing! Also, she acted like she didn't want to talk about the whole ordeal. How are you going to make an appearance to simply just talk about your record? AND I am pissed because I purposely didn't watch Letterman that night to only find out that John Mayer performed. UGH!

But back to Usher. I more than ever want to see him succeed. We need R&B to come back in a big way. We don't have enough solo,black R&B male stars. Remember when we had Luther, Peabo Bryson, Lionel Richie, Freddie Jackson, El Debarge, Al B Sure, BOBBY BROWN? Come on yall. People sleep on Bob. I hate the fact the current generation only knows Bobby Brown as a crack head. OH CONTRAIRE. Bob used to hold it DOWN. Does anyone remember when he hosted the American Music Awards? He was poised and articulate and won for Best Male Artist. That is UNFATHOMABLE to anyone who didn't grow up during that time period. I want to see Usher be our Marvin Gaye or our Jackie Wilson. If you think about it, what black singers in our generation are legendary and alive? Lenny Kravitz, Mary J Blige and umm...hmm...

So strange' (see the movie Boomerang for reference). Strange' for lil' Usher Raymond making a come up. Keep hope alive. Urban music is depending on you.Yeah!

What's Been Going On- Toya

This is by far the scariest time of my life. Without going into much detail, I may venture into artist management again. Okay I am. It's just weird for me to say that. I have been in love with the music business since I was a little girl. I would read the liner notes of every album my parents bought me and wanted to be an A&R rep at CBS because "that is where Michael Jackson worked." I never really wanted to be a perfomer even though I had a modest amount of talent singing and dancing wise (With today's standards I could be 3X platinum which is not saying much at all). It was always my dream to help other artists dreams come true.

I am queen of the hookup. I can't tell you how many friends I have gotten on tours, out of record deals and sheisty contracts and given great advice on the business to. As much as I hate it, the music industry is my passion. I swore I would never get into management again because I thought that was what God wanted and I was right in a sense. It wasn't so much a "no" He was giving me but a "not now".

When I started managing close to 10 years ago, I was a totally different person. I was in the clubs trying to play big girl and in this business, sharks see right through that. I was way too insecure and probably would have gone clinically insane. To make a crazy long story short, looking back I see why there was a hold on my dream. I had so many things to learn about myself and about the business. Things in me had to change. I have NO problem asserting myself now, almost to a fault. So here I go again. I am so scared. I heard a minister give a great sermon on fear and he said something that stuck with me. He said "Do it afraid." If we waited to not be afraid, we would never reach our destiny. Living our life's dreams don't come without a fight and most often the fight is against ourselves and our own disbeliefs.

If you are reading this and there is something itching inside of you that you have always wanted to do but are apprehensive to do it, I encourage you to read "The Dream Giver" by Bruce Wilkinson. Most people have a few things that they are good at doing and can make a living at but everyone has that thing that they were BORN to do; something that just comes naturally to them and with just some development and a go get 'em attitude they can be living their dream. I love management so much that I would do it for free if I could. Everyone should have a job that they feel that way about.

Your Dollar is Weak - Day One
by tia

As many of you know I'm in London. LONDON, BABY, LONDON....And at this point I'm debating whether or not I should come back. When you see the pictures from day three you may very well see why. Anyway, I figured I would try to keep you updated on what's been going on and internet time is cheap here.

Day One
After sleeping 4 hours the night before I made my pilgrimage to the fashion mecca of the US: New York. Unfortunately, I was only there to fly out of JFK so I didn't really have any time to look around. I did, however, have a lovely bus ride from LaGuardia to JFK. I had a pissy driver and all the while I was thinking, " I wonder if this glass is bulletproof?" I'm suburban, what can I say. I arrived at JFK only to be told that my flight across the pond had been over booked. But no worries, "You have a seat." After meeting up with my friend Megan, we proceeded to spend the next 6 hours being ridiculously goofy and pissing off all of the Brits around us. It was jolly good fun, I tell you. And the duty-free shop will never be the same again.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 10. No such luck. And we weren't really given an explanation as to why. To pass the time Megan and I struck up a conversation with two young British lads sitting next to us. One of the boys asked what we planned on doing in London, to which I dutifully replied, "Lots of shopping!" This particular young man was obviously studying "Dreamkilling" at Oxford because he replied, "Your dollar is weak. You will spend quite a lot of $$$" Hey, snotty Brit kid, while you're at it why don't you tell me that there's no Santa Claus and that my parents were the Tooth Fairy. Anyway, the theme of the trip has been "Your dollar is weak." And y' is. Next year I'm going on vacation somewhere where the currency is in Pesos.

After finally getting on our flight we find that the flight attendant for our particular section is FOIN. HOLY CRAP, HE WAS FINE. I'm talking knuckle biting, here's my number, holla at yo' girl FINE!!!! He had these blueish, greenish, grayish eyes, was good-n-tall and that accent. I CAN NOT get enough of the Brit Boy accent. But here was the clincher: They did the standard safety announcements and then I here them in Spanish. I assumed it was a recording. How about Mr. "I'm a tall fine flight attendant" is doing the announcements in Spanish. I almost slid out of my chair. All I could think was "If this is a pre-cursor of things to come, I am in so much trouble." And of course he sat in the forward facing seat right in front of me. "Lord, PLEASE HELP ME. Your creation is fine and within striking distance." And this is what I had to look at for 6 hours. TORTURE.

Sorry, I just realised (not realized. Everything is spelled with an "S" here. Apologise, realise..etc) that I have to go. But there are so many more stories. So many more hotties. And the words "Shall I take you there" mean so much more to me. Hopefully I will get to write more before I leave but if not I'll fill everyone in when I get back later in the week.