Tuesday, August 31, 2004

It’s Rex Manning Day!!! part one
by tia

I, unlike Toya, am a little disenchanted after meeting everyone’s favorite quarter life crisis songwriter, John Mayer. And frankly, I’m not all together sure why. John has fallen from his place of prominence (read: the future Mr. Tia D.) and is now relegated to the title of that dude. Granted, he is that dude that sings those songs about my life. And he will forever be that guy who is arguably one of the best songwriters of our generation. But he is still just that dude. Maybe it’s because I saw “John Mayer.” The sarcastic singer/songwriter who amicably tolerated the presence of several hundred people. The guy who was tired but pushed on anyway. The dude who was not afraid to call someone a smarta**. The guy who, even though he writes amazing songs about my life and made a bazillion dollars last year and can’t walk the streets of any major American city, is still just human. I guess I’m no longer star struck. He’s no longer John Mayer, the SUPERSTAR with the disgustingly accurate insight into my life. He’s John Mayer, the guy who writes songs for the people, the guy who probably wants nothing more than to take a nap in his own bed, the guy who only reads the Life section of USAToday. John Mayer…the guy. I still love him though. But I think now I actually respect him too. As an artist, as a writer, as a Person. Anyway, on with the highlights.

Top 3 wah-waaah moments
I must first begin by explaining the wah-waah. During the last season of Making The Band, Nes was clowning Sara’s shoes. Apparently the shoes did not, as she had hoped, make the outfit. And Nes let her know.

Nes: Hair, BANGING!
Shoes, Wah-Waah
It was so cartoon-y. It was the type of “sorry ‘bout your luck” type of sound that makes the recipient of said “wah-waah” feel SUPER SALTY. The kind of thing that makes you want to go hide. Unfortunately, wah-waahs are in no short supply at the 369. (We have too many jokes.)

So without further ado the top the wah-waah awards go to:

3. Smart-a** in the crowd – I guess one should check one’s thoughts and one’s facts before saying things out loud. Or else you run the risk of being shamed by a rockstar.
It began with John telling the story of the girls who’d come all the way from Michigan on a Greyhound bus the night before. Arriving at 3am and having no $$, they were forced to sleep on the bench outside of Tower until the store opened. This, of course, made them the first ones in line and thus secured them a spot at the front of the makeshift stage in the store. After telling their story to the crowd, JM began asking how far the drive was, how they convinced their parents to let them do it (what is with the undersupervised youngsters?), was the bench comfortable, why did they come all the way from MI…etc. It was at that moment that someone in the crowd yelled, “You should come to Michigan sometime!!!” To which John replied, “Umm, we were just there last week, SMARTA**!!!!”

It was bad enough that this guy pissed off John Mayer enough to make him call him out his name. But I’m thinking that that 400+ people in the store LAUGHING at him probably didn’t help much. WAH-WAAH, to the 10th power.

2. Me falling in the mud after acting like an idiot - Now see, this was mostly my fault. We had lawn seats. (For the record, after the Sting concert on Monday, I will never again sit on the lawn. I make enough money to buy real seats.) Anyway, lawn seats are not so bad if you get to sit in the front. To get to the front, one must haul the proverbial butt to get there. I had instructed the girls with me to haul it so that we could stake our claim early (and so that I can handle my business if need be.) It was as I was leaping across the grass ala a Summer’s Eve commercial that I noticed some guy wipe out. Not 2 seconds after I pointed and laughed ala Nelson from the Simpson’s did I loose my footing and go sliding down the grass. For effect, I add a roll in and skidded to the base of the lawn. One of the girls with me said all she saw was my bouncing head on the horizon and then it was gone. You know it’s a good thing that I can laugh at myself. I’m not one of those people who is way too cool to know when something is funny. And people falling, sliding and rolling in wet grass/mud is funny. I don’t care what you think. Rolling over on my cell phone, not so funny. More painful than funny.

And the Number 1 wah-waah moment goes to:

1. Two 12-year olds who should have been in school anyway.
We saw them as we sat in the sweltering sun outside of Tower waiting for the doors to open. They wore matching neon shirts. From afar it just looked like a painfully long diatribe on the front (and back) of the shirt that probably had something to do with them wanting their pre-pubescent, jailbird bodies to be his wonderland. Upon further inspection it was discovered that these oh-so-clever middle school girls had taken the time to come up with a cute little ditty to the tune of the Oscar Meyer wiener song. Only it was John Mayer’s, ummm…anyway. And even more clever was the back of the shirt. “Everyone would be in love with me” became “then his hands would be all over me.” Interestingly enough, the prevailing question of most of the people in the line that stopped the girls to read their shirts was, “Do your mother’s know that you’re wearing that?” Sadly, they answered yes. It was painfully obvious that not only were these girls severely underage (we’re talking still taking Social Studies, can’t even get into a PG-13 movie alone, gotta go to bed at 8:30) but they also had parents that have little to no concern for their well being. Where are child protective services when you need them?

The shirts, however, were not the wah-waah moment. Mr. Mayer’s choice response to the shirts was the best wah-waah moment that I seen since the inception of the wah-waah. The girls approached the table, both on the verge of hyperventilation. Always the gentleman, he greeted them with a winning smile and ready Sharpie. I was too far away to hear all of what was said, but I was close enough to see and kinda read lips. So here’s my rendition of the conversation

John: Hey. What’re your names?
Girls: Twidle-Dee and friend. Can we PLEEEEEAAAAASSSSSEEEE take a picture with you? (This wasn’t allowed you see, per John’s management, I suppose.)
John: (with a pained look) I’m sorry I can’t. (Gesturing toward the massive crowd) I’d have to do it for everyone.
Girls: (bottom lips begin to quiver)
John: Hey, what do your shirts say?
*he reads and they turn around so that he can see the back*
John: (With a simultaneous look of disgust, trepidation and consternation and with all of the emotion of Vickie the robot daughter from Small Wonder) Awesome.

Their once elated pre-adolescent faces now stood agape and CRACKED as the realization that John Mayer, a grown anus man, did not find their profane kiddie limerick the least bit amusing.

I thought I was the only one who saw. OH NO!! There were others. Several of us, actually. There was a brief, but potent moment of sidesplitting laughter. (I didn’t mean to point. It was a reflex action. I was doing it before I realized.) We weren’t so much laughing at the girls (At least I wasn’t.) but more so at his reaction. It was comedic timing at its very best. You could almost hear the wah-waah. What will probably be the only chance these poor misguided children will ever have to meet JM, will forever be tainted by the wah-waah. I almost feel bad for them.

Coming Soon
Part Two – The Music

I knew I (tia) loved the Brits for some reason

from the slices section of relevantmagazine.com (whom I also love for being so dang witty) :

50 Cent was booed off the stage at a British music festival this past weekend. The rapper was just 25 minutes into his set when he and his G-Unit were forced to retreat amid a hail of water bottles, according to NME.com. What's up with those British folk? Oh, they wanted good music...

Friday, August 27, 2004

It's been a while but here it is...

Toya's Boyfriend of the Month: Michael Ealy


A brotha with blue eyes? Great day in the morning! I just got done watching Barbershop 2 for the second time and you know, I am a little afraid to go to sleep. I have been known to have some weird dreams after watching some stuff ( I had a dream about Boris Kudjo after eating some pizza late last week that I still can't bring myself to talk about). I ate some Chinese food tonight that I accidentally made with Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce so I am a little concerned about that food/sleep combination.

I haven't seen Michael Ealy in any interviews but I love his character Ricky in Barbershop 1 & 2. He was smart(and fine), thuggish (and fine) ambitious (And fine) and if you didn't notice, he was kind of fine.

Hallelujah! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. The doors of the church are open.
What to Say, What to Say-Toya

Today was just what I needed. Last night I fell into this deep depression about being 3 months from 30 and having (or feeling like I have) nothing to show for it. That may very well be true. But today,that does not matter. Cause today... is Rex Manning Day! Okay, not really but as Tia pointed out at today's Tower Records instore with John Mayer, it bore a scary resemblance to the movie Empire Records. I'll let Tia tell you about the obnoxious homemade t-shirts. She saw it all unfold.

Today I met John Mayer at an instore at Tower Records and it was so awesome. I don't like John Mayer because he is cute or popular. I like him because just like Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, he articulates the very things that I find hard to say. To me, he is like a favorite poet or author. Some people love Robert Frost, I love John Mayer.

Music is so powerful. The effect of words is so underrated. No one has ever truly given a voice to the trials of the twenty-something as John Mayer has. So while standing in line I was thinking of what could I possibly say to express my gratitude for "Something' Missing" or "New Deep" or any other song that for the risk of sounding sappy, has helped me through some pretty difficult times as well as let me know that I wasn't alone in what I sometimes struggle through. Was I to say"Thank you John Mayer for giving me the soundtrack for my life. For compiling these past 10 years into 3 CD's. For making feel like I wasn't alone and giving me something to listen to when I just simply didn't feel like talking to anyone." ? The security guards would have rushed me out to the door. After standing in line for 3 hot unbearable hours and standing to only hear him perform because I am only 5'2 and couldn't actually see him perform, it was my turn in the autograph line. My legs felt like Jello because I was thinking "It's him. It's the man that writes exactly how I feel in ways that he would never know even if I tried to fumble through my words to tell him so." So when it was my turn in line and he looked up to me and smiled I simply said, "Thanks John...for everything."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

By tia

Dear Ashlee Simpson:
For the love of Bubaji, we know that you’re not Jessica. PLEASE stop with wanna-be bad-a** routine!!!!!

I cannot for the life of me stand Ashlee Simpson. Maybe it’s the gawd-awful song she has out. (Seriously…with the yelling and then the whispering.) Toya loves it. And she was convinced if given enough time so would I. Does eternity count as enough time? I have plenty of quality "yelling" songs on my Fefe Dobson cd, thank you very much. Or maybe I don’t like her because she’s trying so hard to let us know that she’s "her own person." That she’s not her sister. Then she shouldn’t have gotten a show on MTV and rode her sister’s coattails to a record deal. But rest assured sweet heart, we know the difference between you and Jessica. The dark-hair, foul-mouth and lack of pipes distinguish you perfectly.

Four Words:
London for New Year’s
more to follow

John Mayer is my homie
So there have been a variety of stories regarding Mr. Mayer’s character. Someone’s cousin’s sister’s baby’s daddy heard from his doorman that he heard John say something that one time at that one place. Basically there is an array of colorful stories floating around out there about John Mayer being a jerk. It’s not that I don’t believe them, but I take them all with a grain of salt. Sometimes people are jerky. I have had Christian artists and secular artists and pro ball players and average Joes be twits to me. All that to say, tomorrow when Toya and I head down to Tower to meet John (Vandy girls: be warned. I am not above shoving to make sure I get in the door) I will let you know if any of the stories have any merit.

I straight jacked this information from one of our faithful readers, Lightchild. Love you, Boo.
So it turns out the trampoline jumping is an Olympic sport. Like…you can get a medal for that. Okay, the first time I saw synchronized swimming, I clowned it. But you try keeping your body afloat, upside down no less, while simultaneously holding your breath. Do I think it’s a medal worthy sport, NO. But it is a talent, nonetheless.

But trampoline jumping…? Had I but known. And I’m sure most of the other countries didn’t know either. So I’m thinking that there probably isn’t a whole lot of competition. And what in the world would the scoring be based on? Categories like Best Arial Freestyle, Widest Toe Touch, Best Butt Bounce…? In 2008, I will be a member of the US Categorizing Team. I will earn a gold medal in Closet Organization.

Somebody Save The Children
Seriously, who dropped the ball on this one?

Stuff I want back
Does anyone else miss MTV unplugged? That show was so sincere. Remember when Mary J. Blige and JoJo just sang the fool out of…everything? I remember watching that thinking, "That’s some real personal stuff that they are working through. And I don’t appreciate them doing it on film." Ooohhh…remember when Scott Weiland sang the "new" song Big Empty. "I’m strangely attracted to him all of a sudden." And did anyone see MTV Europe unplugged with George Michael? I LOVE that man. He’s not gay. He’s just confused.
So I’m thinking they need to bring the show back. Except, who would be on it? Besides the obvious "neo-soul" type artists (Jill Scott, Indie Arie, etc) what artists are not so dependant on Protools that they could sing a live acoustic set? I mean besides John Mayer…Thoughts

A few days ago, I received the MMC cd in the mail. For those of you born after about 1981 or so, The New Mickey Mouse Club was the show to watch. Right after Kids Incorportated, the MMC would rock the house (their words, not mine) for an hour and a half or so. Anyway, a handful of the kids from the show released a cd in 1994-ish. Most of it is bubble-gum-y. The type of sacrine that one would expect Disney to produce. But there is one track in particular, Merry-Go-Round, that is not for the children. Matt Morris, surprise, surprise, is singing the F-O-O-L out of that grown behind song. The song is some old slow jam, prelude to baby-making, type stuff. Seriously, someone should have exercised better judgment in putting that song on a children’s cd.

And while we’re on the subject of the MMC, I need some feedback. I was on petitions online and there are at least 3 petitions pleading with the execs at Disney to bring back the MMC with a new cast and such. (What would they sing though?) But no one seems to care about having the old show on DVD. My thoughts are that there are bunches of overzealous mid-20 – early 30 year-olds that would love to see Damon, Chase and Albert turn it out, and watch JC, Justin, Britney and Christina from their humble beginnings. Now, if I owned the rights to show I would put that mess on DVD and turn a hefty profit. But that’s just me. So my question is this: Honestly, would any of you actually pay to have the MMC on DVD? I’m just curious. Don’t be ashamed. You’re among friends here.

Because they wouldn’t have had to say something unless someone already did it…
This is an actual email sent out by the Clinical Ops. Director at my office.

Hi all,
Just a reminder about the Fed Ex scales located in our mail rooms:
- These scales have a capacity to weigh only up to 150 lbs- If your box might weigh greater than this, please do not place on the scales as this will damage them.
- These scales are not designed to weigh people at all, so please don't step on them to get a glimpse at your current weight. If you weigh over 150- they will be damaged!
If you have any questions about the scales, please feel free to stop by and ask me!

You could hear people laughing out loud as they opened this e-mail. And what do you say when management walks by and sees you on the FedEx scale? What could one possibly say? I love corporate America.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Holy Overanalyzing Batman!-Toya

Tia suggested I read this article from the ever awesome Relevant Magazine website. I must say Tia, I don't really like your attitude (that is usually something I say when she has pointed out something about me that is painfully true and even more painfully obvious). I am the Great Overanalyzer. This has been pointed out to me numerous times within the last month so this article was dead on. I am a relentless daydreamer and constant worrier about everything. I have tried to stop within the past month and I will say that even though I have a long ways to go, noticing and admitting that you have a problem is a good start.

So what happened to the article about the guy that sang to me Sunday night? After reading it over and over and doing some CONSTRUCTIVE analyzing, I realized that I had sent myself into a tizzy about what could have happened when in essence nothing really happened. I met a nice boy, I had a nice time. So please allow me to tell the story with the new mindset of a recovering overanalyzer:

Once again I was minding my own business (usually when some craziness happens, never when I am looking for it) when I was sitting in front of the stage at this open mic and this fly white boy with a Marvin Gaye shirt and baggy khakis got onstage with his guitar. "I need to leave" I said to my friend Aby. "Noooo, sit down" she said as she pulled my shirt. He sang the first note and everybody started to wild out. I turned to Aby and asked her to call my phone because I had to record it for Tia since she unfortunately wasn't there. He sang mostly with his eyes closed and then opened his eyes, looked directly into mine and sang about "a sweet girl with mahogany skin" . WHATTT??? Trying not to smile all over myself or move from where I was sitting and sit indian style at the foot of his stool like he was reading "The Night Before Christmas", I sat attentively and listened. His voice sounds like Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris genes have been crossed. His range is unpolished but great, his stage presence is dope and well, he IS rather beautiful. Aby says she nudged me but I must have gone numb. Well sistas liked to died over the mahogany skin comment and he went on a tore it up from then on. I knew I was in trouble.

I went outside to talk to one of our friends and before I knew it, he was outside. He turns and looks at me and shyly says "I'm sorry. I had to use you for inspiration. Hi, my name is _____." He is about 10 years my junior but didn't trip when he found out how old I was even though I was trying to make it painfully obvious. "When did you graduate?" he asked. "Well I graduated HIGH SCHOOL in '92. I'm not in school". I answered (*little aside: is there ANYBODY my age in this town that looks like this? Why is everybody 12 years old around here?!?!) He finally came out and asked me how old I was. He didn't flinch. Both raised in the church, we then found out that we used to go to the same church and that when he USED to go to church, he went to one of our church plants up north where he goes to school for music. We talked for a bit and when the band I came to hear came on, I said good bye and bounced.

Now I know there is probably a collective "Well, did you give up the digits" from a number of readers and the answer is no. In fact, I purposely cut the conversation short. Why? There was no future in my frontin'. "Well you could have just been friends." Honestly, I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to just be his friend. I'm being real. So I chose to bounce.

I love making new friends and he would be a welcomed addition. Any other night we would have swapped numbers and later that week, be at my favorite coffee shop discussing the difference between neo and classic soul. He is cute, he is smart and he is fun to talk to. He just stepped to me at the wrong time. Be honest with yourself. Sometimes you have to be like "It's not you, it's me. I'm crazy. My bad." Any other night would have been fine and I would love for us to be cool but that was an off night cause honestly, I was feeling a little rejected by the guy that I have liked for a while. NEVER do anything off of some rejection type mess. I had a bunch of things swimming around in my head. The devil was like "You have liked the same guy for almost a year and a half and he is not checking for you. This guy SANG to you. You need to go on, Stella." My motives were jacked up so I jetted.

Strangely enough, I can't stop listening to "Justified" and I still have his song on my voice mail. This is a small town and I am sure I will see him again. I would like to.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Toya's Random Thoughts

"Man, I hope my mama ain't watchin' this"

1. How did this happen? How did we lose? Is nothing sacred? If the USA can't win anything else SURELY we can win at basketball but nooooooooo. Allen Iverson said this about the Puerto Rican team:

"They play the game the way it's supposed to be played. It's not about athletics. That's the game the way Karl Malone and John Stockton play it. It's good for kids to see how the game is supposed to be played."

See, it's the fault of the young bucks. It's the same way I feel about music today. Sure the beats are bangin' but many aren't writing music or respecting the "game of R&B" like artists used to. I am already feeling like an old person saying stuff like "back in our day...". *sigh.

2. I love Usher but...
I love Usher (Urrrsherrr if you will) but infidelity is not sexy. Neither is playing Russian Roulette with your penis. I know that's crass but, "if I gotta tell it then I gotta tell it all". Where am I going with this? There are two songs on Usher's album where he talks about taking dangerous risks sexually. Obviously "Confessions Part II" where he gets a girl pregnant that he barely even knows and now has to tell his current girlfriend. Quite possibly, the girl got pregnant because they did not take the necessary precautions. I am of the mindset that if you can get pregnant, you can get AIDS. I am not crazy about A.I.D.S. but having to deal with K.I.D.S. unexpectedly is a hurt piece altogether as well. Even worse is the song"That's What It's Made For".

Game rules, no cap no cut
But even Superman couldn't turn your love down, I
Slipped up, slipped in
Hey man what the hell you doin?
Raw dog is a never
I know I know better
Heard her whisper
Dont worry I'm safe
Didn't matter cuz it's already to late
I was lost in the sauce, dead wrong
And I ain't stoppin' now
Parleein' in the bush again
Didn't think about what I was puttin' in it

Go on and hit it
That's what it's made for
She said, "You got somethin on right?"
That's what it's made for
Boo are you trippin'
You know I got it
Thats what it's made for
So I can do you like this, baby
So I can freak you like this, baby
Know you gon' felt it like this, baby
Girl I forgot it
But we gon' still get down like this

Yeah, okay. Keep playin' Usher Raymond. You will find a whole new meaning to "gotta let it burn" if you keep messin' around like that.

3. I went to a wedding today and as mentioned in previous posts, nothing scares me to death about marriage and commitment like a wedding. The couple that got married are honestly two of the most precious people that I have ever met and a perfect testament of how God puts people together and blesses them when they choose to walk in His will for their lives. With that said, I listened to what their pastor was saying about marriage and the whole "two becoming one, loving each other unconditionally" and I was thinking that I am in no way remotely close to being that mature to handle any of that. So I brought this up to Tia and she said "How do you know?" This is a good point. Sometimes we think that we have to be perfect to be married. We think of all of our imperfections and think that we aren't ready. The only one that really knows that is God. So instead of looking at them and being scared that I will never be ready, I need to take a cue from them and allow God to prepare me and trust Him . I think that I am way too hard on myself at times. The pastor was talking about marriage and I was thinking about how messy my room and bathroom was. I was thinking that my checkbook isn't balanced and I how I forgot to make plane reservations. I get so frustrated with being a scatterbrain that I think "Why would I want to put anyone else through this? I get on my own nerves." Sometimes I really am unfair to myself. Which leads me into #4.

4. God is so awesome.
I have been having a rough couple of days. I am pretty embarrassed to talk about it actually and today was the first time I even mentioned to Tia how I was feeling. In a nutshell, I put my heart out there and it doesn't seem like it is going to work out. It took me so long to get to the point that I would even try that once I did and things got a little uncertain, I ripped my heart off of my sleeve and have been trying to act as if I wasn't bothered at all. Truth be told, I am really salty. I mean, late nights at coffee houses, late long drives salty. I have been thinking "See if I would just let it be me and Jesus, I wouldn't have to go through this." I kept apologizing to God for actually wanting to be with someone. I felt like an unfaithful wife. Then I was blaming God because I didn't want to fall for this guy in the first place. I was fine and never saw it coming. So on a long drive home while feeling sorry for myself, this song came on:

Hold on little girl
Show me what he's done to you
Stand up little girl, A broken heart can't be that bad
When it's through, it's through
Fate will twist the both of you
So come on baby come on over
Let me be the one to show you
I'm the one who wants to be with you
Deep inside I hope you feel it too
Waited on a line of greens and blues
Just to be the next to be with you

Build up your confidence
So you can be on top for once
wake up who cares about little boys that talk too much
I seen it all go down
Your game of love was all rained out
So come on baby, come on over
Let me be the one to hold you

If this song seems familiar, it is "To Be With You" by Mr. Big. How hilarious! This has been one of my favorite songs for a long time but I never heard it this way before. Call me crazy but it was as if God was saying "Hey, remember me? You are not alone. You can come to me about this and I am not mad at you. Nothing is too trivial for me. I love you and I care about what you care about. I will comfort you and not belittle you. Stop doing that to yourself. I want to be with you and I am with you. Look at what I did for you to be with you. I want you to love me and want to be with me too." I absolutely love Jesus. That was such a blessing to me.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Velocity + Mass = PAIN
by tia

I took Physics twice. Once in high school, once in college. The preceding equation is not a popular one. In fact, I can't say that I've ever heard it before. However, I experienced it first hand on Friday.

I had diverged from my normal tutelage and gone to a new establishment for my skateboarding lessons. It's been unseasonably cool here and the new park was inside. I walked in to 6th Ave and introduced myself to my new teacher. His name is Andre. Tall, cute, skater and about a biscuit older than my little brother. He didn't waste any time. He immediately handed me a helmet and steered me toward to the park. After a brief skills assessment, we were off. Before I knew it, Andre was pushing me to do stuff that I wasn't all that thrilled about. "Okay, let's get in the bowl!" Champ, I'm still working on the basics, like balance and steering. Seeing my trepidation, Andre slowed it down a little a bit. But he would not give up on one thing: He wanted me to try to ride to the top of the ramp. I have to admit, of all of the walls and inclines and such in the park this one was without question the smallest and least steep. The bunny slopes of ramps, if you will. That fact, however, did nothing to subdue my fears. Falling hurts. I had experienced it earlier and was not all that gung-ho about doing it again. As inevitable as it, I don't want to unnecessarily inflict pain. In my mind, inclines=falling=pain, at least at this stage in the game. But I paid good money to learn. So I went for it. The first few times were DISASTROUS. Including the time I totally lost my deck and it slammed into Andre's ankles. "Don't worry, my ankles haven't had any feeling for years. They're pretty much permanently bruised." (Why am I doing this again?)

After SEVERAL runs, I finally started getting the hang of it. The only problem Andre could see was speed. I wasn't going fast enough. Umm, it's because I'm scared. The faster you're going the farther you'll slide, if you fall. (Maybe he didn't study physics in school.) Looking back I should have just squashed my fears and gone faster. I mean, this kid has been skating for years. He knows what he's talking about. It was because of my lack of speed that what has now been dubbed, The Fall, capital T, capital F, happened.

Unbeknownst to me it was to be my last run. I took off for the ramp at a moderate speed. But apparently, it wasn't fast enough. Because as my deck hit the edge of the ALMOST seamless incline, I didn't have enough speed to make it. My deck just STOPPED, caught in the seem where the concrete ends and the wood begins . I, however, did not stop. I was unaware that it was possible to bounce on concrete. But you know, you can. I landed on my back with such force that it knocked the wind, the breath, the sight, the sense, the EVERYTHING out of me. I can't remember if that was before or after my head hit the ground. I kid you not, if I hadn't been wearing a helmet, I think I'd be in a coma right now.

As I lay on the floor, my mind flashed back to the release I'd signed 60 minutes prior. The one that said I or my affiliate can't sue even if the park is found to be negligent, or something like that. Andre leaned over me and asked if I was okay. Unfortunately, I couldn't answer him for two reasons. One: it hurt to talk. Two: I was still trying to regain my breath because frankly, it had been knocked out of me like nothing I can explain. Remember when you were little and your mom/dad would spank you and that first lick would catch you off guard so bad that it knocked the wind and the sound out of you? I was kinda like that.

I just lay there on the floor. I didn't care about the guys on the BMX bikes who were verting on the ramp next to me. (Andre, however, did and ran to the top to let them know I was laying on the floor below them. He's so kind.) One of the younger kids had seen me eat it and came over to see if I was okay. He tried to make me feel better by showing me one of his newly acquired scars. All I could think was, What the heck just happened here? When am I'm going to be able to breath normally again? Are they actually going to have to call my emergency contact on the first day?

After what seemed like an eternity, I had regained enough strength (and air) for Andre to help me off of the floor. As I stumbled back toward the exit, the scarred kid offered to carry my stuff for me. (I must have fallen like a champ, because this kid was not leaving my side.) I stood in the foyer, trying to regain some sense of normalcy as Andre bragged to the other guys about my fall. I guess he was pretty impressed that I'd taken a crash like that and not shed a tear. What he didn't know was that it was all going to come out in the car. A la the quintessential pothead movie, Friday, "(S)he goin' cry in the car." I was the only girl in the park and one of only 2 black people. I had to save face.

As I was walking out, Andre said, very skeptically I might add, "If you're up for it, give me call." I looked him dead in his eye and said, "I'll call you next week." Because see, here's the thing, if I don't go back I took that hard-anus fall for NOTHING. I got the poo knocked out of me and it will be all for nought. I can't have that. So you're dang skippy I'm going back. I have to. Because as I lay there on the floor reevaluating, Andre leaned over me and said, "Congratulations. You're officially a skateboarder. " I think he may be right.

Friday, August 6, 2004

WHHAAAAATTT!!!!!????- Toya

Blogger is TRIPPIN' and I can't upload my picture of Rick James which would have gone here rather sweetly. UGGH!!!!

Tia made a point the other day that I really don't even want to deal with. As we get older, people are going to die. I can't expect Bill Cosby to be around when I am 60. However, Rick James? Now? Come on, dude.

I apologize for the following profanity but this is the story and well, it IS quite funny:
I was getting in my car after work today and noticed I had some messages on my phone. One was a text message from my brother simply saying "Rick James died." Upon reading this, I screamed "Rick James died!!!???" Unbeknownst to me, my window was down. I work at the snooty mall now. High class, old money type folk shop at this mall. I was so loud that a preppy white gentleman with a pink Izod shirt and khakis getting into his shiny BMW looked over at me and said "Yeah, Rick James died. They found him this morning at his home. He died of a heart attack. He was 56." "Thanks" I answered, looking slightly perplexed. "Sh**!" he yelled, with both arms high in the air holding his Polo Ralph Lauren shopping bags. "I'm Rick James, bi***!!!!"

Okay, this is my point in telling this story: Everyone from the ol' school to the new school knows who Rick James is now. Rick James was making a huge comeback.David Chappelle put him back on the map for a new generation who probably didn't know that MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" was a direct rip off "Superfreak". They probably have never heard "Superfreak" outside of a K-Tel 80's compilation commercial. What they do know is that he tells some funny behind stories that have been reenacted on the David Chappelle show. For us ol' schoolers, we know Rick James as "Cold Blooded-Fire and Desire-Ebony Eyes-Superfreak-Give It To Me Baby" Rick James. That's why this is a hurt piece. I was glad to find that he appeared to have died peacefully in his sleep however it is still so sad. It was so great seeing him and Teena Marie sing "Fire and Desire" at the BET Awards. Grant it, his voice was nowhere near what it used to be but it was great to witness nonetheless.

I understand that there are talks of David Chappelle playing him in a story about his life. I so wish that he would have been around to see it. We love you Rick.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

by tia

I was 4 years old. My mother was going on about something. I don't remember what though. I was barely out of what most call the toddler phase. So my attention span was roughly 10-12 minutes. It was her fault for not being able to relay the necessary information in the allotted time frame. I don't know how much I missed or how pertinent the information, for my little mind had long since wandered off. As we were stopped at a light, something caught my eye. On what mustn't have been too hot of a Texas day, a little boy and his dad were jogging along the bayou. He was no more than 6 years old. And as he and his bouncy hair trotted past my window, I darn near broke my neck trying to continue looking at him. My mother, somewhere in her diatribe, realized that I wasn't paying ANY kind of attention to her. She glanced in the rear view to see what I was looking at. It was at the moment that she knew something was up.

My mother will tell that story to anyone who will listen. Oddly enough she didn't tell it to me until I told her about my first real boyfriend: Brent. Brent was a sophomore and a varsity soccer player with legs like, WHOA. And in case you didn't figure it out, Brent was white. And so began the love of the white boy.

Race is one of those topics that you usually try not to talk about.Nothing can divide a group of people like a conversation on politics, religion or race. We are a nation that prides itself on freedom and equality and yet we still have division between and among races. And one of the worst fights is amongst ourselves . As Chris Rock put it, "there is a civil war going on between Black People and Niggas." (Don't get mad. I'm just trying to make a point.)

Last weekend I was watching True Life: I'm in an Interracial Relationship. There was a white guy dating a beautiful chocolate skinned, dunks havin' SISTAH. We got to peek into their lives and the opposition that they come up against just because they chose each other. The most vocal opponents as shown by the clips and by the couple's own admission were black men. And I gotta admit, when I was out with the white boy of the moment the people that mean-mugged the most were usually black men.

The question is usually, Why? What happened? What went wrong? Why him?!?! WHY? But see here's the thing, and I'm speaking ONLY for me at this point, there is no why. There is no definitive answer as to why. I can't say, my black father beat me or was a horribly abusive man who shaped my view of black men. And it's not that white guys have treated me better than the black guys that I've dated. The guy who broke my heart the WORST is white. And sadly, I've not really had positive Christian male role models of any race in my life. Don't get me wrong, my dad is great guy and he's gotten increasingly cooler/better as he's gotten older. But for all of the wonderful things that he's done for me, I've seen and heard and know of a side of him that most people know nothing of. You just take the good with the bad and know that NO MAN is perfect. Basically for me, there is no why. It simply is. Why? Just Because. But "because" doesn't usually doesn't fly with most.

One of the girls I used to roll with in high school accused me of not giving brothas a chance. I began to wonder if there was some truth to that. I finally came to the conclusion that I just don't know. (Could I BE more indecisive?) If I’m not giving them a chance, it's not consciously. In the last 5 years, I have been out with 4 guys. Only one was a serious relationship, but all were white. Did I approach any of them? Nope. Anything that was initiated was not on my part. If you've got the um...guts...to step to me, I'm going to at the very least acknowledge you. Pining away for me at a distant does no one any good. Recently one of the black men from church was over at the house. I'm not sure if he was kidding or if he was serious but he made a side comment about trying to holler at us (us being Toya and I or females in general...I'm not sure.) I looked at him and then at Toya and flat out stated, "I've seen NOTHING! Toya?" She affirmed that if he had tried to holla it wasn't anything above a whisper because we'd heard nothing. Am I saying that white guys are more aggressive...Maybe, maybe not. But I know me. And I know that I'm sometimes OBLIVIOUS. It used to drive one guy I dated crazy. "You didn't see the way he looked at you and then at me?!?!?" Umm, no, because I don't assume every man is looking at me. I mean I know I'm hot, but really. (That's a joke.) But you have to make it known that you are feelin' me. Otherwise I'm out. Seriously, does anyone really have time to stand around and wonder if some guy likes her? Make it plain, write it on tablets and run with it so that even the people on the outside can read it. (inside joke, sorry for those of y'all on the outside of it.)

I'm a different breed of black girl. I wear shirts with bands like Toto on the front. My cd collection would confuse most people. There is a skater/surfer desperately trying to get out. And my best friends are an earthy bohemian type black girl with natural hair, a black girl who raps and LOVES hard rock music, a white girl from Memphis with ridiculously ghetto tendencies and a white girl from Ocala, FL who's wedding had one person of color present: Me and I was the maid of honor, no less. I have lived a life that tv movies are made of. From Atlanta to Ohio, from homelessness to luxury digs, my life has not only shaped who I am but the also the woman that I am becoming. But though the scenery and the faces may change the arguments still remain the same. Someone always wants to know the inevitable question: Why? Well I have a question. Why does there have to be why? Why can't it just be? Why does there have to be some deep philosophical answer as to why anyone chooses to date who they date? 9 times out of 10 I'm willing to bet that there is no why. The sistah with the white boy is not a self-deprecating black woman who hates all black men. The white guy with black woman is not necessarily trying to be "down." Maybe they're just feeling each other.

I find it interesting that "anyone but the white boy" sounds an awful lot like the "stick to you own kind" chants that my mom heard when her high school was integrated her senior year. We can be cool but we can't be down? I'm sorry, I'm not willing to live like that. Neither am I willing to explain my dating preferences to anyone. Are white guys a prize? Maybe to some but that's my point of view. If in the future one in particular gets to be my prize then that's between me, him and God. White guys, black guys, Asian guys and Latino guys all have one thing in common, they're all fallible and imperfect. But to prefer one over another is not a crime and does not in any way negate your race. And you will drive yourself straight looney tunes trying to answer the question "Why?" Besides, even if you do manage to come up with something that resembles a sibilance of what could be viewed as an "acceptable answer" you will never be able to satisfy everyone. Somebody will always have something to say. (After Brent there was Dustin and then David. Both mixed, but basically just light-skinned thugs. (I love me some bad boys.) But since they were both light, I was no longer the girl who only dates white boys. I was the girl who only dates "them yella niggas." Man, I'm out.) There will always be haters and naysayers. There are only two reasons for the hate:

1.They just hate you cause they can't have you.
2. (my personal favourite) You just hate me 'cuz you ain't me.

So the next time someone asks why, tell them "Because" and roll out. But if you're feeling kinda bold, ask Why Not?