Friday, June 25, 2004

Excuse me while I step up on my soap box
tia


Seriously, why?
After weeks (months?) of speculation, it was reported that Mary-Kate Olsen
is anorexic. Ya, think? The child is about 4'11" and on a good day probably
weighs, what, 80 pounds. Yet, with all of the money (they're worth an
estimated $300 million dollars) all of the fame, and the seemingly perfect
lives, she still felt the need to slowly kill herself by starvation. I think
what saddens me the most about her story is that it's not a unique one.
People write it off as an adolescent disorder. In reality it's a social
problem. As a nation, we're obsessed with the perfect body. Why, because
it's shoved down our throats at every turn. It's a body that I'm convinced
doesn't exist out side of the random genetic anomaly. Think about it. There
is a reason that there are only like 12 "supermodels." The other 99.99999%
of the population are physically incapable of looking like that. Yet, we
slave, starve and dang near kill ourselves for the "perfect body." I work
with a woman who's getting married in 3 months. She in her early 30s 5'2",
maybe weighs 100lbs. She is determined to lose 10 pounds by the time she
gets married. I'm sorry but if she looses any more weight she's going to be
all hair. We're an obsessed nation. Atkins is way out of control. I liked to
go one day without hearing the phrase "low carb." I heard a
rumor that there are low-carb Krispy Kremes.

....THIS JUST IN.....Hell has officially frozen over

But for real, it's time for a national intervention. You are beautiful.
Before you were formed in your mother's womb God knew you. He knew that I'd
have a fairly ample forehead. He knew that I would have dumps like a truck
and thighs like what. He knew that on most days not even I would be ready
for that jelly. But for all of the "perceived imperfections" God still looks
at me and smiles. The king is enthralled by my beauty. (Psa 45:11) Ladies, Gentlemen,
let it go. The only way someone can make you feel bad about yourself is if
you let them.

Sadness
How bummed am I that England was bumped out of Euro quarterfinals on a
penalty kick and a bad call? I am, however, super jazzed about the selection
of David Beckham and new found favourite, Michael Owen (plays for Liverpool), jerseys that I discovered online.


New Music
I'm not going to act like I was not super excited about JoJo's debut cd. And
I must admit it is the best set of songs that Monica never did. I love the
entire cd, but for some reason it reminds me of the mid-90s when Monica and
Brandy, the black Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, were duking it out for the
title of r&b teen queen. And I must admit, the little white girl from Mass
has some soul. The favorite song of the moment is Baby It's You. The
Jamaican style sound is catchy as all get out. I have a feeling that I would
appreciate the cd a lot more if I were 14-years-old, but whatever.

Why is that funny?
Okay why did the BMG rep laugh at me? Yesterday as I was stuffing down my
lunch because I decided to go home for lunch and take a nap rather than eat,
one of the "friendly" BMG Music representatives called me with a "special
offer." Because I'm in such good standing with them (read: spend a lot of
money with them) I was being offered a special promotion. Buy 3 get 9 free,
plus shipping and handling. Since I don't have time to download anymore and
I'm a fan of liner notes, I was game. Spend $60.00 get 12 cds, that's a
decent deal. $5/cd for those of you doing the math. My music "preference"
with BMG is R&B. They make you choose a genre when you join. I just picked
whatever. Anyway, the guy starts rattling off the 3 pre-selected titles that
I was supposed to receive

BMG: Usher, Confessions
Me: Got it
BMG: Alicia Keys, The Diary of
Me: Got it
BMG: Ruben Studdard
Me: Roommate has it
BMG: Joe
Me: Don't want it...(did he not have my account in front of him? I just
rejected that selection last week)
BMG: Michael Jackson's, Number Ones
Me: Got the HIStory set
BMG: Michael McDonald, Motown
Me: Ooooh, yeah I'll take that. You know what, I have to go back to work. So
let me help you out. Do you have Hoobastank's The Reason?
BMG: (Obviously so confused)...Umm, the new one...yeah we have that.
Me: Great send me that.
(I made the next selection for 2 reasons. 1. Because I wanted it. I'd just
seen their behind the music and was going to order it anyway. 2. I figured I
could mess with him a little more.
Me: Hey,do you have the Spice Girls first cd??

At this point he just laughed out loud. I don't know if he was just shocked
or amused or both.

BMG: (between stifled laughs) Yes, we can send you that.

After completing the formalities of the transaction
BMG: (flat out laughter) These will be out to you in about 2-4 weeks. Enjoy
your Spice Girls.
Me: (in a jovial way) Look, guy, you can stop laughing at me. I just upped
your commission.
BMG: (trying to stop laughing) I'm sorry, Have a great day
Me: (smiling) I'm glad I make you smile.

Now if I were an insecure person the whole situation would have upset me.
And I'll probably pontificate on that later, after I've listened to 2 become
1.

Laters

Monday, June 21, 2004

don't sleep
by tia


I love kids. I want to have a house full of 'em. Let me rephrase that. I want a house full of kids MOST of the time. I waiver back and forth on the number. It's somewhere b/w 2 and 6. That number is usually contingent upon the time I have most recently spent with children in direct proportion to the number of aforementioned small people. About once a week someone tells me that I'm going to be a great mom. I love that. Forget the obvious accolades "You're pretty." "You're smart." "You're funny." The fact that other people think that I'm going to be a responsible enough to govern someone's fragile life and be fun in the process is the ultimate compliment for me.

I babysit on the regular. I just spent the weekend babysitting for three of the sweetest girls in the world. Okay two and a half of the sweetest girls in the world. The little one was sweet about 50% of the time. Anyway, they live dead off in the 'burbs. I mean FAR. The name of the subdivision was Cameron Farms. Why? Because it used to be a tree farm. ummm...wow. This wasn't my first exploration into the land of cookie cutter homes, finely manicured lawns and non-minority living. A few weeks ago I spent my weekend playing soccer mom for 4 kids. The experiences taught me two very important things:

1. Don't sleep on the kids
The kids will fool you. They are not like us. With the passage of time these kids have learned to maneuver, fandangle, manipulate and in all other ways figure out a way to get what they want. They are smart (and sometimes smart-mouthed), cunning and occasionally hilarious.
Take MaCaffrey for instance. At age 5, MaCaffrey is the youngest of 4. She is the only girl. She is rough and tumble. She hates dresses and most things girlie. I once watched MaC fall face first into the mulch from the top of the monkey bars. She got up, dusted herself off and proceeded to climb back to the top. That's my kind of girl. So I don't know why I was surprised by the following exchange that transpired as I walked into the family room.

Me: MaCaffrey are you…(stumble, stammer)…playing video games?
MaC: Yeah

She then proceeded to show me all of the cool stuff that she had earned and how she wanted to earn a virtual statue like Myles, her oldest brother.
MaC: See, that’s the statue that I’m going to get when I beat Myles’ score.
Me: You are so cool.

After admiring her skills:
Me: Do you ever play with Barbies?
MaC: Nope. I used to have a Barbie. But I never played with it. I don’t like dolls.
Me: (With continually increasing admiration) MaCaffrey you are the coolest girl that I have ever met.
MaC: I know.
Me: Did you say, “I know”?
MaC: Yep.

The kids yo...the kids.

2. I am not a kid anymore.
I learned lesson number 2 right around the time I was coming into the full realization of number 1.

I have the kids fooled. They don't think I'm a grown-up. I watch cartoons and most things Disney Channel. I skateboard. I play video games. Most kids just assume that I'm like their parents until they spend time with me. The oldest girl from this weekend's adventure just looked at me when I pulled my skateboard out of the car. Slack-jawed and awestruck, she exclaimed "You're nothing but a big kid!!!" True and at the same time, sooo not true. True because when it comes right down to it, I'm young at heart. Not in the weird Michael Jackson, Neverland Ranch kind of way. I just like having fun. Who said fun has to cease in your life when you turn 18, 22, or 25?

However it's not true because I'm gettin' old y'all. The realization hit me during a rip roaring game of Hide and Go Seek. The 3 girls I was sitting for were playing with 3 of the neighborhood kids. I was sitting on the porch in a rocking chair reading a book and basically making sure that none of the kids ran out of the cul-de-sac. After a while I just couldn't take it anymore. They were having WAY TOO much fun. I wanted to play too. And I figured since I was a least a foot taller than most of the kids and thus had longer legs I could outrun any of the little ankle biters. That was the first mistake. DO NOT SLEEP ON THE KIDS!!! The second mistake was thinking that just because I work out pretty regularly I could EASILY chase down a 9-year-old. These kids are quick. Freakishly quick.

The game started with Casy, one of the neighborhood girls, as "It." I hid behind the house with the 2-year-old. Huge Mistake. Note to reader: small children are dead weight. They will slow you down and get you caught. As was the case, the toddler made a noise and got us noticed. I was not about to get caught because she couldn't be quiet. I took off running as soon as Casy rounded the corner. I was almost to base, sprinting like a champ, when I heard it. The cry of a small child. Crying will set off the maternal instinct in me so severely that it stops me in my tracks. The small one had tripped over...something...we're still not sure what. She was cranky and well past her nap. As such, the miniscule injure-less trip sent her into a fit of tears and hysterics and subsequently got me caught. Danggit, now I was "It."

We got the child calmed and then I preceded to count. Because I'd watched for so long, I knew where all of the hiding places were. And you would have thought from experience I would have gone for the kid that was tethered to the two-year-old. Nope. I had to try to be slick and go after the "husky" kid. I assumed, incorrectly, she would be the easiest to catch. Again, DO NOT SLEEP ON THE KIDS!!! Four of the kids made it to base safely and easily because I was concentrating on the husky kid and the frail looking little girl from across the street. I figured between the two of them I had to be able to chase one of them down. 10 minutes later I STILL had not come close to catching them. The frail looking kid was some sort of track and field star in her elementary school and the thick kid could zig-zag like a champ. I would run left, she would dodge right. I would come at her and with all of the stealth of a gazelle she would dart around a tree. I had long since given up on the little track runner, although she didn't know it. She steadily tried to make her way to base. If she came within striking distance I would make a half-hearted effort to catch her. But I was focused on the other little girl. There was no way she was going to get away from me. My pride was at stake. If I can't outrun a pudgy 9-year-old what does that say about me?

It was when she was some what distracted by her brother that I went in for the kill. I tackled that kid like a Titans linebacker. We were both hot, sweaty and covered in grass by the end. I thought she was going to be mad that I'd picked her off like a wounded wildebeest. But she was cracking up. Kids are funny that way. I think if I'd been a target I wouldn't be too happy about it. But at that moment I didn't really care. Why? Because I was no longer "It."

It was as the kids gathered up for the next round that I realized that I still couldn't...quite...catch...my...breath. I had just sprinted for several minutes. Sprinted, rolled, grabbed. I'd forgotten that Hide and Go Seek is a full contact sport. My legs were killing me. My side hurt. And I was very concerned about the rate at which my heart was beating. The kids had LONG since recovered and were scattering like bugs to their respective hiding spots. I was just trying to make sure that I was somewhere soft and visible. If I passed out I didn't want to hit my head on the concrete and I wanted one of the "real" adults in the neighborhood to be able to see me so that they could call the ambulance.

I guess you live and learn. Next time I will stretch for a least ten minutes before I play. I now know that pudgy does not necessarily equal slow. Toddlers are dead weight. And regardless of what the kids say or what I might think I'm not a kid anymore. Next time we're playing Red Light, Green Light.

By the way, my legs are STILL killing me.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Relationship That Jacked You Up- Toya

I am convinced that everyone has that one relationship that has affected every relationship that they will ever be in. Girls, I am talking about the one that if your future husband was to find him, he would want to run up on him and smack the mess out of him for making it hard for a brother. It may not have even been a relationship with your boyfriend. It may be a relationship with your father. John Mayer introduced his song "Daughters" at a recent show by saying "This song is about trying to melt a rock." In the song he wrote:

Oh, you see that skin?
It's the same she's been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she's left
Cleaning up the mess he made


Mine was an emotional attachment that lasted for close to 15 years. We have been friends since we were 15. We became really close and low and behold, I thought I was in love. Even though he told me that I was marriage material, he had some oats to sow. Typical of some teenage boys. Years went past, we became adults and rekindled our friendship. According to him, I was his best friend. I had the same qualities that he said he wanted in a wife but apparently, I was just not the one. However, when I decided to move on and date other guys, he got jealous and would break his neck trying to be around me. When those relationships didn't work out, he went his own way taking for granted that I would always be around when he wanted me. I suddenly became "The Girlfriend in the Glass Case" ready to talk late nights and stroke the ego of a non-committal tease.

I am convinced that I need to write a book called "Break Up With Him IN YOUR MIND". Women create these relationships in their minds that are UNREAL. I have seen it a gazillion times. Notice that I said that what I had was an emotional attachment and not a relationship. Although the complete sordid story (which I will spare you) bears a striking resemblance to movies like Brown Sugar and Love and Basketball, life is not one big movie. Lifelong friendships don't always turn into lifelong love. AND THANK GOD!!!! When I decided to move to Nashville from New Jersey that is when he antied up. After years of going back and forth, years of hearing from our friends about how much he loved me but was too prideful to show it, he told me in so many words...via email. I knew I had to break the chains once and for all. So I went to my mom for advice and she told me something that changed(and saved)my life:

"If you put up with this now, you will be putting up with it for the rest of your life".

She oughtta know:I hung onto this guy because in so many ways he reminds me of my father and I am a big daddy's girl. My dad and I have a great relationship but I can see me and this person having the same issues that my parents have and I can't live my life with some of those issues. We need to stop hanging onto who is bad for us as if he is our last chance. We will wait until Jesus comes back for a guy we think is the one often because we don't think we can do any better. Peace of mind and self respect have got to take precedence over our fears of being alone and our desire to be accepted and affirmed by someone who was not created nor wants to give us that type of affirmation that we are yearning for. That can only perfectly come from God. Although our husband is to be a physical representation of that, he is after all just a man. After my mom hipped me to this,I finally started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. By the time we talked things out and he finally came clean about his feelings for me, I told him it was too late and I moved to Nashville. I told him that I simply could not trust him.

It hasn't been a complete clean break. I have relapsed a few times. Once after he and a few friends visited, those old feelings came back and I told him that I was still in love with him. He then told me that he was in love with someone else and that he hoped that I would come to the wedding because he would hate for me, his best friend, to not be there. The relationship with that girl was a disaster and of course like clockwork, I got yet another email about us starting over. Some things never change.

Unbeknownst to me, this single(non)relationship had stirred up some issues of rejection, fear of commitment and distrust that I am now dealing with. Because this guy did things for me but wouldn't tell me how he felt, I feel that a man could buy me 2 dozen roses and sit them on top of a brand new Mercedes Benz and it wouldn't mean a thing if he couldn't tell me how he feels. Tia has banned me from watching Cheaters because it feeds my distrust of not just men but people in general. While I say that I like to watch it to "see people get their justice", I know it feeds that thing in me that makes me fear relationships. I can't sow that into my life anymore.

God has really helped me to identify these issues and work through them. I don't think that I will be able to measure the progress as a whole until I have an actual adult committed relationship which will be my first ever. I know it's crazy. I have dated some great guys in the past and started running for the hills because I was too scared to commit. I know God does not want me to live my life in fear and feeling rejected. He wants to heal me and He is. I have forgiven this guy for his part and now I have to forgive myself and not hold another great guy responsible for my past mistakes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

It's Come to This?- Toya

I am verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves...this is the topic...

Found on www.mtvnews.com

Flavor Flav is going from the rap life to "The Surreal Life." The clock-toting Public Enemy member will join the cast of the third season of the reality show, which will also feature Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block, Dave Coulier of "Full House," Ryan Starr of "American Idol," Charo, seen often on '70s show "The Love Boat," and action star Brigitte Nielsen. The cast moved into its Hollywood mansion on Tuesday. The third season premiers on VH1 September 5. ...




Monday, June 14, 2004

prolix
(look it up...dictionary.com)
by tia

God Save The Queen
I had forewarning. My friend texted me and told me to beware. I knew that it
was coming. It still shocked the crap out of me when I did finally see.

By now you've got to be wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Let me
explain...'tis too much. Let me sum up. (Name that movie) I went to church
Saturday night so that I could sleep in and run errands Sunday morning. One
of those errands was grocery shopping. I headed to the Super-est Wal-Mart
that I could find, got my stuff and proceeded to the check-out area. Of
course since it's Sunday morning and there are only a few hundred people in
Wally World, there is no reason to have more than 8 lines open, with 3 of
those being 20 items or less. The lines were so long that they were reaching
back into the clothing section. So I waited...and waited...and waited. I
overheard one of the clerks say that lane 15 was about to open up. It was on
my way over that I decided to grab a magazine. I didn't have a particular
one in mind. Just something to pass the time while I waited for the clerk to
come from the back of the store. But then I saw it...



Yooooooo...this is a sin and a shame. I should not be able to see his G.I.
Joe parts. (That line where his leg connects to his torso. Much like G.I.
Joe toys were made. Go find one from 1986 and you'll see what I mean.) I had
to keep telling myself that that is someone's husband and father. Someone's
very hot, very chiseled, very FOIN husband and father. Seriously...this is a
problem.

FYI...There's a rumor going around that Becks may be headed back to England
to play for the Arsenal (They're an English club. And by club I mean team
for those of you who didn't know. He currently plays for Real Madrid.)
Anyway...YEA!!!! Becks so needs to be in the land where they make tea and
eat crumpets.


NOT FOR BOYS
Okay, I usually leave the TMI posts to Toya but I just gotta know if I'm the
only women who's had to go through this. So FELLAS, GUYS, MEN, ANYONE WITH A
Y-CHROMOSOME, please ignore the following paragraphs and scroll down to the
next mini-diatribe. It's entitled "Finally" if you're looking for a starting point. You have been notified.


Ladies, swimsuit season is upon us. Is it just me or are all the available
swimsuits designed to make you look as if you just left or are on your way
to the pole? I am a WOMAN. I have hips, thighs, breasts and dunks. And I'm
not a fabricated chick either. Which means that however well endowed I might
be, there is a little thing known as gravity. And dang if it ain't working
against me. Because the gravitational pull is bent on dragging my twins
down, I must purchase a bathing suit that offers some support.
FYI...anything that says shelf bra, support lining, built in bra, ain't
going to help you if you're above a C-cup. The only thing that works for me
is the halter. Basically the only way my funbags are not going to look like
slowly draining water balloons is if I strap them down with a nylon/cotton
piece of fabric and HOIST said fabric around my neck so that said neck can
hold up the sacks of FAT that at the moment serve no purpose other than
making shirts fit funny and making perverted old (and young) men stare at my
mid-section instead of my face.

To add insult to injury I am on the cusp of two sizes. I'm somewhere between
a 12 and 14, not to mention having a fairly long torso. Depending on the
store, 14 is considered "plus size." And apparently certain misinformed
individuals feel that if you're anything above a size 10 you're too fat to
be cute and must be relegated to the moo-moo. OR they feel that just because
you're NOT a size 10 doesn't mean that you should limit yourself. Go ahead
and wear that string bikini. It's okay....Ummm NO to both options. I am
fortunate enough to be tall, shapely and proportionate. I am Sir Mix A Lot's
dream girl...little in the middle but she got much back. Does that mean that
I should walk around in a swimsuit that looks as if it was made of Doritos
and dental floss? Absolutely not. But because I don't fit the "standards" of
Milan or Paris, should I be forced to wear a curtain that is being
inappropriately passed off as swimwear? Heck No. But since most of North
America has not caught the vision, swimsuit shopping is my own personal
hell.

I thought I'd found a suit in Wal-mart. I can not begin to tell you how
exciting it was. It was a two piece halter with boy shorts. I quickly
snatched the size large off the rack and ran to the fitting room...where I
was brutally rebuffed. The bottoms weren't that bad. A little too big but
whatever. And then there was the top. If I didn't have morals, the suit
would have been perfect. But since my body is a temple this particular suit
was not going to fly. I looked like a stripper. And not the classy kind
either. I'm talking straight Lil' Kim-ish. The bitties were poking out the
front like they were trying to escape. All I needed was one more INCH of
fabric on each site. An INCH. But NOOOOOO. I had to look like I was about to
go pick up dollars with my butt cheeks. WHY...???

Fortunately, my roommate is a rap mogul by night and a clothing designer by
day. She's making me a swim suit that will not only cover me but flatter me.
Something that I would be okay wearing in front of my dad. That's the litmus
test right there. Would my dad/pastor/little brother be okay with me wearing
it?

Finally
I am so ashamed. Part of me is so intrigued by WB Superstar USA. But mostly
I'm just sad for those people. I'm hoping it's all a giant punk. That the WB
is playing America for it's ridiculous fascination with public pain and
ridicule. I caught the show for what is only the 3rd time yesterday
afternoon. It is so pitiful. I only saw the last two "performers." There was
JoJo. A...ummm..flamboyant young man who wore pink fish net stockings as arm
bands and referred to his posterior as his gadunkgadunk during a mock
interview. This poor child butchered Beyonce's "Crazy in Love." He even went
as far as ATTEMPTING to do the booty pop thing that she does in the video. I
was beginning to feel bad for him, until I realized that he refers to
himself in 3rd person. "JoJo is the bomb." "They are missing out by now
choosing JoJo." "JoJo is going to be a star."

JoJo needs to get a life.

And there was the last girl. I forget her name but she was from Minnesota or
some place like that. She's cute as a button. But she chose to sing "All By
Myself."
All by myself/Don't want to be/All by myself
ANYYYYYYYMORRRRRRE

As she was singing I was beginning to wonder if she was deaf or something.
When she hit that money note at the end, I figured she had to be. The people
in the audience and the judges showered praise on her. This child really
thinks she can sing. And I guarantee she will win. Why? Because she has the
most to lose. She is bright-eyed and bushy tailed. She is innocent and will
be the one will be the most crushed when they tell her it was all a hoax.

I am convinced that all involved in the show, ESPECIALLY the judges, have a
special corner of Hell reserved for them. But here is the ultimate question,
am I any better than they? After all, I did watch. I may not have thrown the
stone that killed her but my hands most definitely have some dirt on them.

Let that marinate in your craw until we next meet.

Laters

Mostly for girls
Ohhhhh...as I was posting this I saw a commercial for North Shore. A show about surfing...I was game. I watched all of 10 minutes. I will not be watching again for a few reasons.

1. I just saw a 15-year-old try to seduce a 21-year-old lifeguard. Kudos for turning her down. But the whole scene is probably a precursor of things to come.
2. It looks like Melrose Place in Hawaii. Funny how a show based in a state where the majority of the people who live there are some kind of island/pacific rim/Asian decent but there's only one person of color on the cast.
3. That one person of color is a STUMBLING block. Goodness. He has dreads and he's tall (6'4", I looked it up...of course) and he's just...ridiculously fine.

CAUTION, CAUTION, CAUTION

Click with caution. Skip the intro and click on bios...you'll see him. I'm out on Jason Momoa from now on. I will not cause myself to stumble like that.

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Ramblings
by tia


I'm something of a homebody. I like going out but sometimes have to be
coerced into doing so. There are times when there is nothing you can say to
get me out of the house. The flip side of that is that I sometimes complain
because there's nothing to do in Nashville, but then when something is
popping off I don't want to leave the house. Yeah, I'm weird I know. If I
had my way I would read all morning and surf all afternoon. That whole
"landlocked" thing makes surfing problematic at the very least.

Anyway, there are things to do here...sometimes. But a lot of the events
don't appeal to me all that much. For instance, Saturday evening Toya and
one of the younger girls from church went to Kajiji's coffee house for
spoken word night. Don't get me wrong, I'm not diametrically opposed to the
opportunity to snap my approval of a deep thought. But it's not something
that I would want to do every weekend. Toya on the other hand is one of
those earthy sistahs. Don't let the rock music and dominoes fool you. She
could roll with Cree Summer, Common and the rest of 'em. Moving on, I was
uninspired to accompany her on Saturday so I stayed home and chilled. My
work weeks are becoming increasing more productive (read: busy as heck) so
by the weekend it is a fight just to get out of bed. Plus, I've gone back to
doing two-a-days three times a week. Those of you who never played any kind
of sports in high school or college may not be familiar with the term
"two-a-day." Basically it's the insane idea of doing two workouts a day. I
do cardio in the morning and cardio and weights in the afternoon. As such on
days when I do two-a-days I'm up at 5:45. So I think I deserve the right to
sit my lazy butt on the sofa and do nothing on the weekends...Don't you? So
this was my lazy weekend. I wanted to do something (after whining "There's
nothing to do in Nashvillllllle." ) but ended up staying close to home all
weekend. I made several observations during my bout of slothfulness. (Yes,
the painfully long diatribe that preceded was indeed a segue to the
following ramblings.)

I love disaster movies

Deep Impact was on Saturday night. I'd never seen it but was ridiculously
intrigued by the idea of a black president (Morgan Freeman is the commander
in chief in this particular flick.) Unlike Armageddon, this movie is pure
cheese. I mean Velveeta type cheese. I realized the cheesier the movie the
better. The short version is there is an asteroid coming and it's going to
destroy life on earth as we know it. There is an underground shelter but it
can only hold 1 million people and if you're over 50, you're not getting in.
It's tragedy at it's finest. I don't know what it is about the destruction
of a town, a country, the world that intrigues me. But I love movies about
the demise of our way of life. I think it's because 9 times out of 10,
disaster movies are painfully awful. They're poorly produced, written and
acted. 10.5 was a classic example. The opening scene with the guy on the
bike trying to out ride the falling Seattle space needle is HILARIOUS. Why?
Not because the needle eventually fell on him. That was tragic. The funny
part was the idea that his extreme sports BMX bike was going to move faster
than tons and tons of steel. Also funny was the logical solution that seemed
to elude him: Ride further left or right NOT underneath the shadow of the
falling building. Three words: weeding the herd. Other classic (or soon to
be classic) gorgonzola films:

The Day After Tomorrow
Volcano
Dante's Peak

Something that still pisses me off
Okay maybe I'm biased but I'm still so very tired of people bashing the
violence Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The last time I checked
crucifixions weren't a fun extended yoga exercise in breathing and
stretching. Why is it a travesty when Mel Gibson puts truth on screen but
it's art when Quentin Tarantino puts gratuitously violent "fiction" before
us?

That's all I have to say about that....

yeah..umm...sooo...Brad Pitt
I'd only seen Meet Joe Black one other time and it wasn't in it's entirety.
It was 3 years ago. I was still working at the pre-school and I was at home
sick with strep throat for the 4th time. Pre-schools are breeding grounds of
disease, sickness, and pestilence. During my 12 month stint I came in
contact with or contracted one of the following: strep throat, hand foot and
mouth disease, chicken pox, the flu, more strands of the "common cold", that
virus kids get from eating poo (the name escapes me, I didn't have that by
the way.), croup, exema, and the smelliest feet I have ever been in contact
with. No child so small should have feet so smelly. When he would take a nap
we would spray his feet and shoes down with Lysol. It was such a shame.
Anyway, in case you didn't know, strep wipes you out. During this particular
bout, I thought I was dying. I was hosting some people from one of our
sister churches. I let them know that I was sick and pleaded with them to
check on me in the morning before they left. You're probably laughing but
I'm so sincere. I had a fever of 103.9 (I'm normally around 97.5) and Death
in a Brad Pitt suit was on television. I was trying to figure out who should
get my cd collection. Well, I made it through but I never did get to finish
the movie. I know now it was for good reason. Does one really need to be
delirious while watching Brad Pitt? That's a negative good buddy.

Last night I got another chance to see Brad in all his grim reaper glory.
Okay, why does he look like that? Toya and I were watching and she said, "I
don't know what is, but there's something about his bottom lip." To which I
replied, "It cries out." She almost fell off of the couch she laughed so
hard. Brad's bottom lip cries out to be noticed. It craves attention. It
longs to be noticed. It is an entity in and of itself. How does Jennifer
Aniston wake up to that every morning and not praise the Most High? There is
no way that woman is an atheist. The fool says in his heart there is no God.
ONLY God could make a Brad Pitt. The movie wasn't that great. Far too many
loose ends and unanswered questions. But Brad made it bearable. I learned
that I'm not allowed to EVER go near Brad Pitt. I will have Vietnam type
flashbacks of him in the chocolate brown suit from Ocean's Eleven or him
chillin' on the counter talking that chick at the beginning of Joe Black and
I will lose it and pull a Rick Springfield.

Begetting
We were watching The Blob (circa 1958) Saturday night. I'd never seen it, we
were up...why not? Plus, I wanted to see what all of the hullabaloo was
about Steve McQueen. I didn't know what he looked like but supposedly he was
some sort of old school hottie. The following things were noted:
- Steve McQueen is AIGHT. Not bad but no James Dean...They were dead wrong
for casting him as a teenager, though. He was clearly AT LEAST 25 when the
movie was filmed. "Are those crow's feet?"
- The Blob is not scary....period. To defeat the blob all they would have
needed was some rock salt.
- Toya made the following observation:
Steve McQueen begot


Robert Redford who begot


Brad Pitt

And now it has come full circle and makes so much
more sense.

And under the category of setting the race back
Has anyone seen the preview for "White Chicks"? It's the new Wayans Brothers
movie. (Not Kenan or Damon, the other two) Synapses: Two BLACK MEN must go
undercover as two white girls in order to thwart some sort of devilish
scheme. (Insert heavy sigh here) Where do I begin? Who greenlit this
project? Why in the world did "them" Wayans boys think this was a good idea?
How stupid did they think the general populace was to think that this was
going to be a viable endeavor? Why must we continue to live up to the
minstrel stereotype? (See the break dancing scene for reference.) Why must
they perpetuate the all white girls are stupid and shallow stereotype? You
know Hollywood doesn't let us do a lot of movies as it is. Why are they
trying to make it hard on the other 15-20 other black actors/actresses? And
has the statute of limitations run out on -izzle? (From said movie, White
girl: You must have been a black man in your former life. Wayans Bro. as
white girl: For shizzle.) Is it okay to beat the crap out of Snoop for
bringing it to the game in the first place?

I don't know how to word this without coming off sounding arrogant and
pompous. So I'm just going to type. I am not one of those fist in the air,
fight the power, blue-eyed devil, dashiki wearing folks. I do, however,
believe in, support, and whole-heartedly love black people. But for every
time I've gotten a door slammed in my face (like the other day at the gym.
Dude held the door for the non-black girl in front of me and let it go once
she was through. SHE saw what happened and apologized. He threw in a
half-a** apology after her. Something along the lines of, "I didn't see you
coming." Umm, I'm half a foot taller than her and was RIGHT behind
her...whatever Champ.) for every time I have to explain why I'm not going to
sing that "window to the wall" song at karaoke (that happened last Friday at
a party a co-worker of mine had. I messed them all up. I sang Garth Brooks'
Friends in Low Places and then I left.) for every time I have to be the
spokesperson for the black race because of some stupid idea that has been
perpetuated by the media and/or by our own race I have to wonder who's fault
is it? Is it ours for doing "ignint" behind stuff ala "White Chicks"? Is it
mass media for continuing to mis-educate...the world? Is it everyone's fault
for not correcting things that are obviously wrong? *sigh* There aren't any
answers, are there?

Toya's Random Thoughts

Current Music: Copeland "Beneath the Medicine Tree". So perfect for summertime. Emo doesn't always have to be depressing.

1. WHY OH WHY DO I LOVE PHARRELL?!!?!!?



I have been fighting this for quite some time now. It all started with The Clipse video for "Hot Damn" and he was wearing that skully. Men, take note if you are not already privy to this: you can very rarely go wrong with a skully ie knit cap. You want to put a little edge on your game, rock these preferably with a gotee. Also, in the fall, make sure to include a hot ribbed turtleneck in your wardrobe. If you can rock the skully and sweater together? Golly dawg! I digress...

So I was struggling and Renee said that my new found crush had to to do with the fact that Pharrell was looking skater. Then I found out that he indeed does skate. So let's put this all together:without the mustache, he is rather cute with his peanut head havin' self, he plays instruments specifically the drums, he has tattoos, he skates, he rocks and he's black. It was bound to happen. It really was.

But then again, there are so many things about him that I CAN'T STAND! This is why he has not been a Boyfriend of the Month. I can't bring myself to it. He can't sing for one. I mean, not at all. Not only that, he is prone to say some really ignant behind stuff:

"Your a** is a spaceship and I want to ride".
"Then we locked eyes and I knew that I was gonna tear that a** up".


If anybody ran up on you and said this you would spray pepper spray in his face and call the police. I mean really. I don't get it. Oh but the video for "Maybe"? Good times. Sgt. Pepper in a skatepark.

2. Yeah, dawg. X-Games are around the corner. Call me sexist but I swear it's like our own lil' Mr. Universe pageant.

3. Eric Benet is trying to get his prenup with Halle Berry overturned. Let me get this straight: he marries Halle Bery. HALLE BERRY! Cheats on her repeatedly and now wants half? I really can't express how I feel about this in an apporopriate manner so I won't even begin.

4. J-Lo:serial bride. I am not saying this to make fun because my heart breaks for her. Don't be fooled by the rocks that she's got, she is one really unhappy woman.

5. I am temping at a job that is crazy quiet and no music is allowed. I am struggling trying to keep myself focused. In trying to keep my mind quiet today in hopes that God would drop some knowledge on me, this is what hit me today:

While so many of us are waiting for a husband/wife, I realized today that the person God has for us is waiting for us too. This was a really comforting thought for me. I started to think "poor guy. Especially if he is my age." It really made me feel like I wasn't in this alone. Somewhere there may be a guy thinking "God, when are you going to bring me my cute, dark brown skinned, soul food cookin', emo/punk/old school/slow jam lovin', God fearin', Spirit filled, wife?" Okay, maybe he's not that specific but still. I know how specific I can get. So I prayed for him today. I prayed that he would be content where he is until God's perfect timing brings us together.

Thursday, June 3, 2004

This was sent to me (tia) by a friend of mine from church. If you have ever had your child/niece/younger cousin/little brother "wile out" on you in a store you will appreciate this story. I used to teach pre-school and have seen many a kid show his/her behind. As such, I thought this story was hilarious. Especially in the end when the little boy decided, "I ain't goin' out like that."

I wish that I could say that I wrote this, but nothing this funny ever happens to me. It usually happens to Toya.

by Chad

I went to OfficeMax yesterday to pick up some specialty paper for the office (we do all sorts of odd printing) and ended up stuck in the check-out line behind a mother and her child. The reason that we were stuck was that the only cash that the mom had on her was a hundred dollar bill, and the cashier didn’t have enough change. So, she had to involve the manager, who had to go into that mysterious locked room at the far end of the register isle. You know that room. The one with the not-fooling-anyone two way mirror, where the obscure and hard to find printer cartridges are stored (which is, apparently, whatever printer cartridge I happen to be needing at the time). And, obviously, where they keep the huge piles of cash to help fund all of the many cash registers, of which only one is ever manned.

Anyway, off goes the manager...and the waiting in line begins.

Fortunately for me, the little boy in line decided that he would take this small break in the day to amuse me, and subsequently annoy his mother by obsessing over needing a new toy. And, fortunately for him, the inspiration for his new obsession was readily at hand, in the impulse buying rack right next to the register. Now, I’m pretty bad with ages, and have a margin of error in the 4 years +/- range, which would (based off of my best guess) put the young boy in the 3 to 11 age bracket. The object that caught his eye was adult in nature, but clearly targeted towards children, even going so far as to having been displayed on the bottom row of the rack – making it eye level with any passing toddler. It was a stress ball. A stress ball in the shape of a baseball. Surrounded by other stress balls in the shapes of other athletic toys, like basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, etc…

The boy grabbed his new toy and the sales pitch to convince his mother that this was something that he truly had to have began. He first started with repetition.

“Mom. Mom. Mom. I want this.”
“Mom”
“Mom”
“Mom. I want this. Mom. It’s mine.”

Mom wasn’t paying attention.

So, he changed tactics and moved from his “want” to a “need”. Very shrewd. Very smart. He no longer merely “wanted” the ball. Anyone could want something. Like, say, a pony or a stupid cabbage patch kid. But, he...as a young boy in the roughly three to eleven age bracket...needed this one item to survive. He HAD to have this. His sanity, his life, his whole being depended on this one purchase.

“Mom, I really need this Mom. I HAVE to have it. I have to, have to have it, Mom”

Mom still wasn’t impressed. So, he tried to dissuade any fear she might be harboring that his interest in this wonderful little stress ball would be a short lived.

“Mommm. I’ll keep this forever. Forever, mom. I’ll keep this forever.”

Still, with no real interest and repeated “put it back”s from his mother, the little boy clearly went off of the deep end and momentarily lost his mind. Lost his mind, but added a second toy, another stress ball, to his plea and to his possession. To further the proof that the boy had left the real world was that he began singing, like he was an actor in a musical and was spontaneously compelled to sing...sing about his two stress ball toys...

“I haaaave twooooo. I haaaavvvveee twooooooo. I have, I have, two. Two. Two. I haavveeee twwwoooooo”

It was very melodic, had a nice beat, but still was not persuasive enough to convince his mother of the need for two stress balls. One for each hand, I guess. Maybe he should have argued that. Or, the increasing demands placed upon children these days and the therapeutic need for a child to have a stress ball. For, while he was singing away with the finesse of a seasoned crooner, the manager had returned and the cashier had completed the transaction with his mother. Time was running out… So, he went for a last ditch effort and held the two items close to his three to eleven year old body and poured on the sorry, ol’ puppy dog eyes. Gone was the swagger, the incessant calls for reason, and in their place was the sales tactic known most commonly in the insurance business as the “quiet pretty please”. Who could turn down a child so pitiful?

“Put ‘em back!”, she said.

And, in a stunning, dare I say genius move, the boy put one back. But, not the other. His “off the deep end” sing along of earlier was all a ploy. He had grabbed a second toy not because he had lost grip with reality, but rather to give him bargaining room.

“How ‘bout just one”, he reasonably argued. “Just one. That’s all I need. One.”

He even threw in a shrug to indicate that this really wasn’t all that big a deal. I mean really. We’re talking just one stress ball here, right?

Again, she said, “Put it back!"...leaving the poor stressed out three to eleven year old no other choice but to steal the baseball disguised stress ball and follow his mom out into the parking lot with it still in his arms. He had put forth clear, concise arguments (if not repetitive), he had appealed to her fine intellect and her compassion as a good mom, and she left him no other course of action. If he had to become a criminal in order for him to experience the eternal bliss that only a stress ball could bring, so be it. Besides, no one would convict him of his crime. He clearly had an irrational mother, one that could lead a child to an apparently very stressful life, so much so for him to require a stress ball.

Having realized that the young boy had carried the ball out of the store, his mother immediately turned him around and marched him back in and back to the display case. She roughly pried the stress ball out of the young boy’s aluminum strength grip and placed it back on the rack. In what appeared to be the boy’s final recourse and what I believe must have been his final panicked thoughts, the boy decided he might as well just take his mother out. So, he slugged her.

Perhaps he thought that with one strategically placed punch, he might knock her unconscious, thus clearing the passage between him and his ball. Or, at the very least, maybe he was trying to make her realize that this wasn’t a boy to be trifled with. Instead, he was angrily grabbed by the ear and ushered quickly out of the store amidst wails of pain, leaving me to think that if he ever really needed the stress ball...it was now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Guilty Pleasures
by tia



We all have them. It's just that some of us are more inclined to admit them.
I'm talking about guilty pleasures. Before I go any further let me clarify
what I'm talking about. When I say guilty pleasure I'm not referring to some
ole deviant stuff that you wouldn't want your mother/pastor/boss to know
about. I'm talking about the fun little things that you know you shouldn't
love but you do anyway. Boy bands, Popsicles in the shapes of cartoons
characters, supergirl underwear...that last one is mine. Anyway, if you
really think about it we ALL have at least one. I have a bunch. For
instance, I love cheesy music. The cheesier the better. Clay Aiken's
Invisible is at the top of the list. That's some car karaoke for your
behind.

All of that to say, I have a new G.P. This is borderline an addiction. I
don't know how it happened but I am currently a Degrassi: The Next
Generation junkie. I sincerely don't know how the show got to me the way it
did. At the conclusion of Friends, Toya and I basically decided that we
weren't going to get attached to another television show. There was no
reason to love fictional characters the way that we loved Chandler and Ross.
And since there are so few shows of quality on these days not watching
anything was not really an issue. With the exception of ER and Law and
Order:SVU there aren't a whole lot of shows (any?) that I just "have to" be
home to see.

As I previously stated I'm not sure how it happened. I normally try to avoid
shows with teenagers in them. (I have avoided the OC like the plague.) I
think what drew me into Degrassi was the fact the some of the old members
were on the show. A fact that simultaneously intrigued and confused me. Do
you guys remember Snake? Well he's a teacher now and he's married to Spike.
And Joey is someone's DAD. What is going on here? Familiarity will get you
ever time. At first I just wanted to see what the old gang was up to. I
wasn't so much concerned about the children on Degrassi. I wanted to know
why Joey is a single dad. But the show is ABOUT the kids. The parents are
merely subplots at best. It didn't take long for me to get sucked in and I
do mean SUCKED in to the children's lives. I could not wait to see if Craig
was going to tell someone that his dad was beating him. And Sean is so
Jordan Catalano from My So Called Life. It was like quicksand. I couldn't
get out and fighting it only made the situation worse.

I am truly ashamed to say that I watched 6 hours of Degrassi on Friday. The
N (the station the show comes on) was running an "every episode of Degrassi,
ever" marathon. Dude, it was EVERY episode. Plus I'd been brain washed. For
the last four weeks they have been amping me up about the marathon and the
new season that premieres this Friday. I think there are subliminal messages
in the station logo. There is no reason for a 26-year-old woman to be caught
up in a show about junior high/high school kids. The wasted Friday night
wasn't my fault, though. My roommate was watching it when I came home. And
there's only one television downstairs. What was I supposed to do? So it's
her fault that I sprawled out on the floor in front of the television until
midnight. (you like that blame shifting, don't you?) It is also her fault
that I watched for 5 hours again the next night. I'm not sure how it's her
fault. But I'll get back to you. I won't mention that I have 12 more hours
of Degrassi left to watch. I actually ventured out of the house on Sunday
and Monday. It was Memorial Day weekend. But just because I wasn't home
doesn't mean that Degrassi had to be missed. Oh No. That's what VCRs are
for. I'm so caught up.

I'd like to apologize to Sery for getting her hopelessly addicted to the
show in a matter of hours. I'm sorry, darling.
Toya's Boyfriend of the Week: Matt Smith



Matt Smith is currently seeing someone so before he bites the dust and gets married(i.e. Cookbook, Donald Faison, Dave Grohl),I figured I better put him in the BOM Hall of Fame now.

I don't read too many online journals or blogs but I have been reading Matt's journals at www.supafly.com for years. Why? He has always been one of my heroes of our generation and I often find him to be very inspiring. The fact that he is too cute, can skateboard and can fix things ala Ty Pennington is besides the fact...well not really BESIDES the fact, maybe in conjunction with...

One day we were watching the Real World/Road Rules Challenge and I said to Tia "I really don't understand why he won't marry me". She said "Because he does not know you." Oh. Part of the reason he does not know me is because it seems that we are destined to never meet. You see, Tia and I used to work for a company that often traveled to numerous youth conferences. On one trip, my coworkers (not Tia at the time) were in Atlanta and on our last night there, they wanted to go out and eat. I had gone out every other night but on this particular night I was tired and opted to stay in my hotel room and watch wrestling. WHY OH WHY did they see him at the restaurant where they were and one of the girls talked to him for about a half hour??? No justice. It gets worse. Tia went to a conference where he spoke and got a picture with him. Being the fantabulous roommate that she is, she got me an autographed 8x10 for me from him. Still I was bummed that I couldn't make that trip and he was there. One of our friends tried to comfort me by saying "You know Toya, I saw him up close and he really was nothing but a tall, lanky, spiky haired, punk kid." Totally broken, I replied "AND??? You don't know me at all, do you? That's why I like him!"

Matt has done so many things to win my love in recent years and here are some of my favorites:

1. On Real World New Orleans, when "Come and be my baby tonight" David was talking about how he just had to be a playa, my boy Matt said "You know, sex is a wonderful thing and I plan on having a lot of it...WITH MY WIFE!"
2. On one episode, he was walking down the street with one of his roomies giving them advice and straight up had on a New Kids On the Block t-shirt with no shame at all.
3. He has devoted his life to promote abstinence and to end the degradation of women through pornography. Check out www.nomoho.org and www.porndestroyswomen.org.
4. He can breakdance.
5. The episode where he spotted the sista in the club and looked like he suddenly forgot how to talk...Nuff said. Ooh and remember how Julie tried to hate on her and posed as her in his guestbook for his website? Hater.
6. He admittedly made some mistakes on Real World and Road Rules and he humbly talks about them on his website. He also let's you in on what they don't show:him apologizing to other cast members, praying with and for others and other good stuff. MTV will screw you over in a minute but I won't even go into that.
6. Most importantly, he loves him some Jesus. I mean REALLY loves him some Jesus.

So I guess what Tia was trying to say that to know me is to love me and if he knew me, he couldn't help but love me (and let the church say "riiiight, riiiiight"). Then we could get married and I could DJ while he breakdanced. We could skate with our kids at the skatepark and listen to Blindside, GRITS, NSYNC and Demon Hunter (some of his fave bands). *sigh*

I need to leave my temp job real quick. The boredom is making me delirious. Next thing you know, i will be referring to myself in third person and that is one of Toya's greatest pet peeves.