Sunday, October 31, 2004

This one goes out to my favorite west coast dwelling, campus ministering, Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles eating, Germany bound, World Changing, full of faith woman...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GHETTO JENN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know how we do.....

Today is a special day
It is the day when everything will go your way
Today is the day that you were born
It's your birthday
And you got it goin' on

It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday

You gotta a cake
With your name on it
And some candles on top
You got some presents
And your good friends
And the party
It don't stop

It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday

You might be turning 21 or 95
It's your birthday
Some come on get live

It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthdaaaaayyy....
RAAAAAHHHHHH

everyone has a birthday but only a select few get the birthday rap.
luv u girl

Friday, October 29, 2004

The Final Countdown
by tia

My life came to an interesting head last week or so. It was as I was sitting at my desk looking at the ever-increasing pile of papers, wondering how I was ever going to be able to get all of my TPS reports done. That was an Office Space reference. I did have reports to do but not of the TPS nature. And I had a "this is your life" moment. You know when the realization that says this is where you are. And it’s no where near where you thought you would be.

I know that there are times of training and equipping. Times when God allows up to be where we need to be so that when we go where he ultimately wants us to be we’re not walking into the place ill equipped. But I think it’s during these times of teaching that we sometimes allow ourselves to be gripped by fear. One of man’s greatest fears is death. I don’t think it’s the process of dying but the fear of the unknown. For the most part no one really knows what it’s like to stand in the perfect peace of God or, heaven forbid, in the complete and utter lack of his presence. You’re basically walking into the situation clueless and helpless. And since the dawn of the ages we’ve known that man does not like to lack control.

I believe it’s that same fear that grips us as life progresses on. The fear of the unknown. The fear of wondering what will be. And sadly, that same fear is what keeps us from moving. It takes a great deal of faith to step out from the ordinary. But that’s where I am right now. I have come to the realization that I can no longer work within 3.5 walls. If that’s your thing then do it well. But my growing level of discontent is leading me to believe that the season of "9-5" is swiftly coming to an end in my life. Don’t get me wrong. For the most part, I really do love my job. It pays well and when it’s not stressing my out it’s definitely a cool place to be. But I know in my heart that it’s not the end. The desire for change in my personal life and in the world around me is so great that there are times when I feel like I might bust if I don’t get busy. And the feeling that the world changing that I’m called to do is NOT going to take place as I bang out reports grows stronger every day. Don’t get me wrong. People have to work. I don’t really understand those people who feel like we should all leave the work force and go do missions. I don’t know about you but I’m a big fan of having my garbage picked up on Friday, and being able to turn on my lights, go to the doctor when I get sick and a bunch of other random things that we need on a daily basis. But my desire to see fewer girls whoreing themselves to be molested in videos, fewer girls starving themselves because the stores that they want to shop in only carry size 12, fewer African-American (and any American for that matter) women contracting the AIDS virus at an alarming rate, fewer baby-mamas is greater than my desire to know which one of the cholesterol drugs that I’m studying works best. And I realize that the day is quickly approaching when I’m going to have to make a choice. Stay safe or step out.

I meet so many people all of the time. Being on the road a lot wards you the opportunity of running into an array of interesting people. But so often I meet people with the ShouldaCouldaWoulda. I shoulda done this. I coulda been that. I woulda gone here if not for….But for all of the excuses that people have for where their lives are, when it boils right down to it, most of them were simply afraid. Afraid to take a chance. Afraid of failing. Afraid of not being able to get back up if and when they did fail. And because of that fear they live with a lot of regrets.

Many of us have missed opportunities. And it’s human nature to long for what could have been. Praise God that’s not the life that we’re called to.

Forget the former things;
Do not dwell in the past.
See I am doing a new thing.
Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?
Isaiah 43:18, 19

Translation:
Bump all that old bustedness
Leave that mess in the past, back thurr
See how I have the new hotness for you
It’s all up in yo’ area, Can’t you see (like Total)

God has called us to be new creations. The old has passed away and all things become new. But just because you have the new hotness, doesn’t mean that you have the right to ride that on in to the end. Now that you have the hotness it’s up to you to share it with everyone that’s still rockin’ the old bustedness.

So for all that I have experienced, for all that I know to be safe and secure, I know that it’s time to step out in faith. I can’t change a thing if I don’t get moving. Changing the face of what beauty is perceived to be can’t be done all that effectively in a cube. So I’m making the jump, I’m taking the leap. And I’m believing that God is going to raise me up in his timing. I can no longer let the talk of hot girl modeling be that: Talk. The beautiful thing is I have perfect peace about it. Because I know this is where I’m called to be.

In Battlefield of the Mind, Joyce Meyer said, "When God calls He gives desire, faith and ability to do the job." I really know want to do this.. I believe in faith that I will do it. And by God I have the ability to do it. (Toya is probably freaking out that I actually linked pictures of myself on the web. I’m cool with it though. Haters and Stalkers be danged.) I’m running toward the destiny that I’ve been called to. I refuse to be one of those people who let fear taunt them out of a life of greatness. I won’t let failure, fear or anything keeping me from fighting to reach my goal. I will run until I’m told to stop. Rather run the race to win, than never get out of the blocks. Ya know?

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened, before

Switchfoot – Dare You to Move

Coming Soon - The Model Chronicles

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

bored ramblings of a chick trapped in a hotel room in Buffalo, NY while watching the World Series - tia

Is anyone else as disturbed as I am about out-sourcing? It seems like every time I call about anything payment related I get someone with a thick accent. It’s not that I have a problem with the accent or the person with the accent but for some reason I’m less inclined to think that the person on the other end of the phone is going to understand my plight, if I can’t understand them.

Yesterday, I had to put an inquiry on a charge that appeared on my corporate card. I explained to the representative that my rental car had been stolen but I was still charged for the rental. She proceeded to ask me a series of questions that were clearly already answered by my opening statement of, “My rental car was stolen.”
Questions like:
Could the charge have been for fuel? (Not for a car I didn’t drive)

I guess I’m just concerned because there seems to be fewer and fewer entry level, non blue-collar jobs available. I worked at the J. Crew call center my last year of college. It was good money ($7.25/hr – that’s good money in a hick town like Lynchburg, VA.) I wonder how many poor college kids are missing out on legitimate jobs because Sallie Man (the company I owe $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for my college degree) wants to save a buck or two.

Even more reasons to love the BRITS
This morning I was getting my fix of Headline News/SportsCenter/anything else remotely informative and I heard something that just let me know that I so need to be about the Brits. It’s been reported that drinking green tea has been shown to combat the cells that cause Alzheimer’s Disease. So I’m guessing they’re never going to forget that whole no taxation without representation things, huh? They’re going to look down their noses at us forever. Oh well, I still love ‘um.

Further Love
I can’t say that I love scary movies all that much. I used to be a huge fan. But now I can’t quite understand why I wanted to be scared all of the time. Fear is not a really good feeling. And paying to be fearful just seems like a truly bad idea. But I must admit, I am a huge fan of 28 Days Later. And it has very little to do with the fact that there is an interracial couple in the film. And they’re British…

The movie is clever and I love the way it’s shot. But it’s scary as Hades. I’m talking separated from God, weeping and gnashing of teeth type scary. Zombie movies as a whole are pretty cheesy for the most part. I think it’s the ambling along that makes them disingenuous. The thing about 28 Days Later is that “the infected” do not merely meander along. OH NO!!!! They run, sprint, and freakin’ dash after their victims. You know that you can out run the normal zombies. You can light the 28 day zombies on fire and they’re still comin’ for ya. Anyway, I read that there is going to be a sequel, 28 Weeks Later, 28 Weeks Later. And I have to wonder, how? There was so much hope at the end of the first movie. The Infected were starving to death and Jim and Selena were living happily ever after. Who dropped the ball? Why are The Infected still running amuck? And most importantly, will they be British? (I know, it’s an illness. No one should be so obsessed with a people group like this.)


RAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Ashlee Simpson
As she has had WAY TOO much publicity this week as it is, I will say nothing more.

On the must purchase list
This is Mat Kearney


We love him. Such a sweetie. But more than that the boy has talent. You are going to want to be about this cd. Toya said he’s the product of what would come of a mixture of Sting and Chris from Coldplay if they rapped. That is without question the best description I’ve heard. You can listen here. And you can buy here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ironic- Toya

This story isn’t really ironic but in the song Ironic, Alanis Morrisette poses certain situations as being ironic and they are not, thus misusing the phrase ironic. I don’t know why I enjoy the challenge of naming each blog entry after a song title. I am just quirky that way I suppose.

In my recent talks with God I have expressed that I did not want to get over Guy A by suddenly having a Guy B. I wanted to have a good period of time where I was not interested in anyone at all. This however, does not rule out crushes. Crushes are fun. Being attracted to the opposite sex is healthy and delightful. Renee and I were on our way out for the evening and I asked her who her crushes were. Ren is different from Tia and me. Our house is the perfect mesh of crazy, sexy, cool. I, of course, am crazy. Tia, the super model, is sexy and Renee is always too cool. Crazy laid back, she always has this calm about her whenever she walks into a room. She’s so chill. Anyway, she is not too vocal about crushes so if you want to know, you gotta ask her because she rarely volunteers such information. After she told me hers, I told her mine. One is a guy who is completely opposite of me: quiet, shy, laid back, real technical. Another is a guy that everyone’s mom, grandmom, cat and dog have a crush on so it was no shock. However, there was one that I didn’t mention because it seems silly to mention someone whose name you don’t even know.

Certain people are like statues in this town. You see them at parties, coffee shops and shows but you don’t really know them. It’s like they become part of the scenery and you are so used to seeing them there. It’s like, you wave at them and they wave back and neither one of you know each others’ name but you are just so used to seeing each other around town. Like my friend Aaron used to be like that to me. I honestly can’t remember how I met Aaron. I had seen him at numerous parties and shows but I really don’t remember where or when I actually met him. I know people that I am not really friends with that I have no idea how I know them. Enter Random Nashville Guy.

Random Nashville Guy is this guy that I have seen numerous times around town that has eyes that one could never forget. They haunt you. Every time I have seen him I have had to catch myself and ask “Do I know him or do I just want to know him? Where do I know him from?” And in true Toya like fashion, when I would see him, I did what I do best: ignore and deny.

Renee and I get to our destination and we are having a great old time. I see one of my friends and before I know it, far off in the distance is Random Nashville Guy. “Oh my gosh, it's Random Nashville Guy.” I am thinking. “Could there be justice in this world? I think so. Alright God. I am not going to talk to him. If we are supposed to meet, make it happen. It’s up to you. You always know how to hook stuff up. I will only jack it up.” Hoping to be able to turn to Renee to see if she has any idea who this guy is and where I know him from so we can put this mystery to rest, I couldn’t find her. I had somehow lost her in the crowd.

About an hour passes and I am already sweaty from dancing. I go to get a drink and am thinking “Random Nashville Guy is beautiful. He can dance his tail off, he is funny, he is sweet as all get out and as much as I try to ignore him it is darn near impossible. How on earth am I going to find out who this guy is? “Just then, one of my best girl friends runs up to me, looking quite excited. “Did you see (let’s call him dude, shall we)?” Dude is this amazing guy that she has been telling me about for weeks: talented, gorgeous, loves him some Jesus and almost too good to be true. However, they are just friends and like any single woman breathing, she is hoping for much more. “No, is he here?!! Girl, where is he?!!” “You had to have seen him. He was right behind you during …” As she is talking I am thinking “Okay. I am going to need dude to be anybody here BUT Random Nashville Guy. Pleeeeease don’t be Random Nashville Guy.

No such luck. Man do I know how to pick them or what!

As she is talking I am remembering all of the awesome things she has told me about this guy making him out to be even more amazing than I had already imagined him to be. I so wished that at the moment that I found out that Random Nashville Guy was dude that the attraction would have shut off completely as if someone had told me that he was my first cousin. It didn’t happen. Suddenly, I felt like the worst friend in the world. And I still had no idea where I knew him from.

Afterwards, I am walking to my car ahead of my friends talking to God. “Let me get this straight? He is gorgeous, talented, loves you like crazy, and is one of the few guys in this town remotely close to my age and this is the guy she has been telling me about all along? Are you kidding me, Lord? Okay, look. I think it was Paul who said we are to desire all of the gifts right? I opt for the gift of singleness; not too many people waiting in line for that gift God, so this shouldn’t be a problem. I am going to need you to take my hormones and anything else that produces any amorous feelings inside of me because I have had it for the year. I’m out.” The whole ride home I was thinking what happened to the creed? You never like a guy that your homegirl likes. I told Renee I would never like someone that Tia likes. Then again, Tia and I don’t like the same kind of guys. We find the same kind of guys attractive but our tastes are way different. And what killed me is that I knew that my friend was going to come to me again asking me for advice about dude and I felt like the worst friend ever. Renee assured me that I wasn’t. “You didn’t know that all along it was Random Nashville Guy. You had no idea. It’s not like she introduced you to him first and then you liked him. It’s not that bad.”

So a few days later I am on the phone with the same girl friend and it is at least a half hour before she brings up dude. Basically she was going through some similar things that Guy A and I had gone through. Any other time I am chock full of advice but the enemy was in my ear making me feel guilty. And then she said something that brought it all together. “He really is so stinkin’ busy with writing and school and …” “Wait” I interrupted. “What did you say? What school does he go to?” After she told me, it all came together. I know Random Nashville Guy from the bus! Last year when my car got totaled and I had to spend almost 3 hellacious months riding the bus I would see this guy with these amazing eyes, reading his bible on the bus in the morning. I am not too cordial in the morning but I always wondered about him and would pray that he would have a great day. The last day on the bus I noticed where it was that he got off every day: this one particular college.

You know, one way to shut the devil up is to bring to light the one thing he wants you to be afraid of so I fessed up. “Okay look, I have to tell you something. I know dude. This is how I know him.” When I explained everything to her and told her how bad I felt she laughed hysterically. “There is nothing going on between us. It’s okay. You are so silly. I’d think there was something really wrong with you if you WEREN’T attracted to him. You are so funny!” Thank God that my friends aren’t catty females. I am so blessed. Blessed that they are not catty and blessed because they put up with my craziness.

After sharing this whole episode on the phone with Tia who was out of town, I told her that even though I have often been told that my life seems to play out like a sitcom, I never really believed it until now.

Me: “I swear my life is like The Truman Show. Your name really isn’t Tia, is it? “
Tia: STILL laughing minutes later after I shared my most recent incident “As a matter of fact, no. No it isn’t. Oh gosh!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!”

This concludes this episode of No Sex in the City.

For Women Only-Toya

I am going to try this again. Guys, this is NOT for you. You WILL be grossed out. You should know by now that I tend to over share with little to no shame whatsoever.

I am sick as a dog yet again. I have the flu much worse than last time. I am coming off of a 102 fever and have broken out into more cold sweats than James Brown who unfortunately I bear a striking resemblance to right now because I haven’t done my hair in days (we’ve all seen the mug shot. Not flattering.) It started Saturday morning when I woke up in pain from top to bottom. The colder I got the more pain I was in. My coworkers begged me to go home and I refused. When I finally made it to CVS to get some medicine, I was in full blown delirium with the chills. I wrapped my arms around myself and could barely walk, mumbling to myself “Where on earth is the ‘knock me the @*!$ out’ medicine so I can be put out of this God forsaken misery?” I looked like a crack fiend as I walked shivering down each aisle looking for throat lozenges.

I fell asleep in my car outside of CVS with the heat on full blast which is so unlike me because I detest heat. I sleep with a fan on every night. However, my body was in so much pain, I felt like Samuel L. Jackson in Unbreakable. I felt like I could shatter into pieces at any minute from being so cold. It then occurred to me that I needed to take the rest of the day off.

So it is 3 days later and I am still feeling like crap. I have barely slept because I can’t sleep when I am hot regardless of how much Tylenol PM I have taken. I have lost 4 pounds and am on a diet of popsicles, apple sauce, soup and crackers. I am sweaty, I am smelly, I am cranky, and I am delirious. I called Tia at work today to ask her to pick up some things for me from the store because I am still too woozy to drive. For some reason (probably all of the Tylenol PM and lack of sleep) I got around to sharing that due to being ridiculously sick and not able to do much more than take a shower, I woke up to some unsightly peach fuzz.

This is what I don’t understand about shows like Survivor. Most women I know understand that there is a certain level of upkeep that we must maintain: tweezing, waxing, shaving and such. Not once have I seen any of those women grow a mustache, goatee, sideburns, unibrow, nothing! If I was stuck on a deserted island for 30 days, whoever they sent looking for me would report back “We did not find the woman we were sent to rescue but there appears to be a man that has been sitting here for at least 3 months. We need to get him to a barber quick!” After about five days since my last ritualistic routine of facial hair maintenance, I swear I had the face of a 16 year old boy. Forget it; 16 year olds would kill to be able to grow that much hair that fast.

Why did God do this to us? My mom says this came from my dad’s side of the family but still. Is facial hair at all necessary? What is its purpose for women? As if we don’t have enough to worry about. I was extremely embarrassed about this until I started getting open with some real women. I have a friend who has made a pact that if she is in the hospital for a certain amount of time that her friend is to show up with her good tweezers to make sure that things don’t get out of hand (Tia and I have since made such pact-for me not her. She doesn’t share this problem. Darn super model…). I have a few friends that keep tweezers in their car AND purses. I even know one girl that has a full blown kit: angled tweezers, flat headed tweezers… it’s no joke. You would never know that they had this problem because they keep it in check. Now that I work in cosmetics and do makeovers almost daily, I have to get up close and personal with a lot of women and sometimes it’s not pretty. A word of advice: Just say no to razors, they are not your friends. It’s much easier to get rid of hair than razor bumps. Yikes!

So Tia came home during her lunch break and brought me some more apple sauce, orange juice and crackers. I was particularly pleased that she found some apple sauce and orange juice that was low carb friendly. That was so considerate. What was even more considerate was that she bought me a bottle of Nair after I had mentioned that I ran out and would risk possibly falling asleep behind the wheel while trying to get to Wal-Mart to get some. That’s a true friend and friends don’t let friends grow unsightly facial hair.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

I'm (tia) having a moment. I just finished reading Levi's blog and although I'm always entertained by his exploits (I mean, he is a certifiable GENIUS.) I was still having a moment. Basically to get to the meat of it I don't quite understand why any problem that I have can not be resolved in 24 minutes or less. Why must I be the victim of unrequited (as far as I know) love? Why must I get up in the morning and go to work? Why is the IKEA that I'm going to be 45 minutes away from this week sold out of entertainment system that I NEED? Why did I totally start crying during worship tonight at church? (And Sery, I don't care what you say, I'm not pretty when I cry.)

WHY WHY WHY is life not perfect? Well, I know the answer to that but it doesn't make me feel any better.

I will work through this situation and get back to you.

love kisses and white chocolate mocha wishes

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Because I Can
tia



I bought this shirt as I wandered the streets of Philadelphia. South Street to be exact. And let me tell you, this shirt is so true. The brothas, the white boys...they love them some sistahs. They make a sistah want to move.



Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I DO
by tia

It was colder than...man I don't know what. A couple of friends of mine got married this weekend...outside. Normally, it's still really warm in October. (It's supposed to be in the 80s this week.) But it turned ALL kinds of cold on Saturday. But despite the cold, I was amazing oblivious (most of the night) to the temperature around me. I watched as two people that I'd known for years decided to forsake all others, leave and cleave, and in all other ways do that thang together for the rest of their lives. it was beautiful and had it not been for the fact that I was not wearing water proof mascara I would have been a blubbering mess. But somewhere along the way I've turned into girly-girl and the thought of ruining my make-up, looking like a raccoon and then subsequently having to wash my face clean and go completely make-up-less in public was enough to keep the waterworks turned off.

After the proceedings I was talking to my fabulouso roommate Renee (aka MOC, MIDATLANTIC!!!!) We were having something of a candid moment and I confessed, "Ya know, this is the first wedding I've been to in a while where I wasn't depressed after it was over." (In a bit of cruel irony, the guy that I have a crush on was standing just on the other side of the table. But I'm banking on the fact that a.) his back was turned and b.) the music the dj was playing was mighty loud. However, upon noting his presence, I promptly walked out of earshot...just in case.) I used to have a really big problem with weddings. I had my entire life planned out by the time I reached high school and part of that plan was to have been married FIVE years ago. The goal was to marry out of college. Well, that didn't work out. I figured I would only be a few years off track. But as more time ticked by I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me. Why were (forgive me ladies) all of my white girlfriends getting married and having babies but I was still kickin' it on the side lines? (The first year I graduated from high school I was in/invited to 8 weddings. I mean....REALLY) It became rather depressing let me tell you.

There is something in society that leads you to believe that there is something wrong with you if you're not married or at the very least dating by a certain age. It is assumed that you must have some genetic character flaw that renders you unmarriable and thus you should resign yourself to a life of celibacy and cats. (Why is it that the idea of spinsters always ends with cats? I'm highly allergic, by the way.) The other day someone said to Toya, and I quote, "So you're 29, you're pretty, you're smart, and you're SINGLE? How do you manage that?" Manage WHAT?!?!? Where is it written that because you're about to start a new decade that you are obligated to be contractually bound to another person? I don't see anyone beating down Oprah's door telling her that she and Stedman should have "made some grandbabies" a long time ago. Why do people assume that my happiness is contingent upon me finding "The One?"

Why, because I let them think that. The ugly flip side of that coin is all too often we begin to buy into what our friends, relatives, co-workers, grocers, optometrists, parents, hairdressers...(you see where I'm going with this, right?) are saying. We start to believe we'll be happy if HE was here. We'd be complete if we were Mrs. insert name here. It becomes harder with each passing birthday to ignore that tickety-tock of that bio clock. And if we let ourselves, we get swept away by the sidewards of affections of any old, as my mother used to call them, okey-doke brotha (but she didn't say brotha) that comes our way. We sell ourselves short under the pretense of "this is the best that I'm gonna get." But let me ask you this? Is it really worth it? When the smoke clears, and the underwear is on the floor, the kids are screaming and all you want to do is stop and breathe are you really going to be satisfied with Mr. This is all that I'm gonna get?

And then if that weren't enough there is part-two to the unmarried gal's plight. This one comes in a nice feminist package. It tells you that clearly, you can stand your ground without a man. So if you do want to be married one of your x-chromosomes is obviously defunct and you should seek the counsel of a strong anti-man friend. For crying out loud...where is the middle ground? For the longest time, I had people around me that made me feel inferior for wanting to be married. Granted, there was a period when I was a teeny bit obsessive with the whole married thing. But prior to and after that period, I still had people that were telling me that there was no reason to want to be married. If I was supposed to be it would happen and that wondering, waiting and praying about it was a complete waste of time.

I finally just had to come to the conclusion that it is what it is. Marriage is a gift and singleness is not a curse. If you want to be married then there's probably a reason. God is not mean. He's not going to allow you to have a desire to married if he's calling you to a life of celibacy. But God is also just. And as such he's not going to override our free will. If you want to run after Mr. Okey-Doke, he may just let you. All I know is when the time comes, it will be here. (I know how shallow a thought that is but give it a minute to marinate.) I can't let people dictate how I feel. And I certainly can't let my emotions run my life. I wanna be married. I'm gonna be married. (too hot not to be :P) I want a house full of kids. But I also want to be a model. I want to go back to Italy. I want to do what I'm supposed to do while I'm just the one. My life doesn't begin when "he" comes along. And there's nothing wrong with me for expecting him to come. It is what it is. And it falls to me to not waste my time. There's nothing wrong with me (aside from my sick fascination with the Brits), there's nothing wrong with you. Make it happen where you are. Everything else will happen when it does.

I once heard a preacher say, "Do you want the dash on your tombstone to count for nothing or do you want it to count for everything?" Marinate as necessary.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Random Thoughts-Toya

1. Love Jimmy Eat World. Embrace them, make them your own.

So after talking to my friend Anne Marie (who introduces me to all things cool) about Jimmy Eat World and NOT listening to it before its release date, what am I sitting here doing? I couldn't help myself. She pumped it up so and it was on MTV's The Leak. It really is good. You know a CD is good when you are listening to it for the first time and it serves as great background music to whatever you are doing. The sequencing is perfect and it is so so pretty. I'm sorry Anne Marie. I tried. Well, no I didn't but hey man...

2. Today was my day off. I spent most of it wrapped up in many blankets with a fan on, listening to the thunder and rain while playing Elliot (emo, perfect for rainy days). It sounds ideal but then it occurred to me that it was 3 pm and I was surrounded by laundry. I then realized that I love sleep way too much. I covet sleep. It is horrible. When one is sleep, they are pretty much exempt from everything; they are not expected to answer the phone or anything else. They are unconscious for the most part. Donald Trump gets about 5 hours of sleep a night. Donald Trump is rich. I get close to 8. I am poor. Is there a connection? I think so.

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. -Proverbs 24:33-34

Poverty has rolled up on me like Debo (from Friday) on a bike. I think it was Hank Aaron who said that the average person could accomplish what he has if they just did what he did. He said most people won't because they are lazy. I need to accomplish more and sleep less.

3. Hip Hop Honors on VH1- I was REALLY excited to see Kool Herc and DJ Hollywood get their just due and then Vivica Fox came out talkin' about how in hip hop we love the bling bling. I thought these were the hip hop honors, not the Hip POP honors. Who let her host anyway? I was perfectly fine with MC Lyte doing it. Nas' performance with his dad was my favorite. Sadly, I really missed seeing Jam Master Jay. As much as I (the dj) and our roommate Renee (the rapper) love hip hop, we are still girls and couldn't help but notice that the Rock Steady Crew are still gorgeous. We about stopped breathing. There is something about old b-boys that is unmatched. As much as I love LL, I am sad to see that he has succumbed to the Rhythm and Rap genre. I miss the rawness in his music. It was funny to see two grown behind women argue over the Beastie Boys.

Me: I STILL love MCA.
Ren: Fine, I will have Ad Rock.
Me: You CANNOT have Ad Rock!
Ren: Not fair, you took MCA!

Pitiful. Truth be told, I want them all. MCA has always been the favorite but Ad Rock is so cute. Then Mike D is "known to do the whop" as am I (I am also known to do the Smurf, the Running Man, the ORIGINAL Cabbage Patch, the Brass Monkey, the Roger Rabbit, the Ed Lover and most dances from the late 80's and early 90's that were made popular by Kid 'n Play, Salt 'n Peppa and Heavy D). Choices, choices...

4. I just saw Matt Grace! I just saw Matt Grace!!!

I am at my 2nd favorite coffee shop and there are a lot of people I know here, and I just spoke to our old friend Matt. I just asked about him on Saturday. I love little surprises like that. He looked at my laptop and said "Oh good, you are writing." Sometimes I love Nashville.

5. I am about to have a "3" in front of my age. I'm not handling that well at all.

6. Check out Seven On Monday. They are friends of ours and they are so, so SO good. They remind me of Chasing Furies (hope yall don't mind the comparison. They were dope.) Also, Renee (MOC) our roommate is on the new Toby Mac CD, Diverse City. She is on Track 2 and has a spoken word piece on there (Track 4). Go cop that. Oh and finally, Mat Kearney's CD drops tomorrow. You will weep at how great this record is. I mean the snippets on the website alone will break you. Yes, he's fly. Yes, he loves him some Jesus. Yes, we know him. No, we won't give him your number.

7. I was in my car minding my own business and heard that Nelly and Tim MCGraw did a song together. Who authorized this? This the very reason why they shouldn't legalize marijuana. I blame it on Pharrell. He has everybody thinking they should sing. Speaking of Pharrell, that new song he did with Snoop Dogg "Drop It Like Its Hot" is my new guilty pleasure song. I need to get delivered from that quick.
XX - Tia

I don't know when it happened but it did. I've turned into a girl.

Now don't get it twisted, I've always been one anatomically, chromosomally and all of those other -ally words. But for pretty much the majority of my life, I was a TOMBOY extraordinaire. I was a jock in high school and proud of it. I played basketball until I was 15, ran track and made the varsity Swim team by the time I was a sophomore. I didn't see the need for make-up; it would just run while I was running, sprinting or swimming. And girly clothes were just too constricting. "So let me get this straight. I have to be uncomfortable in high heels and a short skirt to impress you. Ummm...no thanks. Hand me my sweats, please." So I spent most of my formative years in sweats, baggie jeans or some other sports wear. I once went almost 2 years without wearing a skirt.

I'm not even sure when it really happened. I know that I've eluded to changes in the past. But it was as I was shopping for black heels yesterday that I realized that the girl that you used to know is so GONE. I blame Toya. I was perfectly content in my make-upless state. I probably would have worn jeans and t-shirts forever. But somehow Toya began to subtly convince me that I would, "look really pretty in this color." Then it was, " I have this bronzer that doesn't really work for me. Let me use it on you." The next thing I knew I was wearing Iman Bronzer, MAC lip glass, an assortment of accessories and green stilettos. How did this happen?

Last Sunday I tried to convince my new friend Michael, VANDERBILT CREW in the house, that I was a tomboy. It was to no avail. He said, "You are always rockin' some stilettos and a fuzzy purse. I would have NEVER guessed that you're a tomboy." Shocked and appalled was I. It was just kind of amazing to me that a BOY would have never thought that I was able to rock some sweats, with no make-up while watching the Blue Devils beat the crap out of some unsuspecting ACC team. I was always the girl that the boys wanted to hang with. Not just because I was pretty or fairly intelligent. But also because I could discuss how Bobby Hurley messed around and got a triple double in the game the night before. I was the girl that was cool enough to hang with the boys without them having to wonder, "Does she like me?"

Now I'm the girl in the high heels, who wants to be, of ALL things, a model. Even though Toya thinks it's a bad idea, I was going to post a link to some of my hot girl modeling pictures. Stalkers be DANGED!!!!! But the site with the pics is down. Maybe it's a sign. Anyway, I think I'm going to go back to the days of Yea and Nea. I think it may be time to give the pointy shoes a rest for a while. But there is this nagging fear in the back of my mind that I might be able to let them go. That when I go to put on my A-DI-DAS I will be inexplicably drawn to the black BCBG pumps. How did this happen to me?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Walk on By-Toya

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to be sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one—not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safely in the casket or the coffin of your selfishness. But, in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and unredeemable. The only place outside heaven where you can be safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell.”- C.S. Lewis

I was in a store a few days ago and it had just closed. I was the last customer and I was once again fishing for my keys. As I looked through the window, I saw Guy A. I thought “this is a small town. I was bound to see him eventually.” However it has been two months of no word, no sight of him. I didn’t get nervous so I figured that my answer of “Oh, but I am fine now” to every question of concern was accurate. I told Tia earlier in the week that I couldn’t really gauge how I felt until I saw him and I had no idea when that would be. Even though I was frustrated about not being able to find my keys (my purse has at least 20 pockets) I thought “Thank you God. I could have easily run into him if I would have had my keys ready.”

Soon thereafter, I moved to the counter and began to look for them so that the employees wouldn’t have to wait for me any longer. And then to my horror, I heard a rap on the door. Someone opened it and said, “We are closed. Did you need something?” “Please God no”, I thought. A very familiar voice said “I need to talk to the young lady in the black hat”. “Umm, no you don’t” I thought. I then looked up and saw that face. It is amazing how something can make you so happy and yet so very sad at the same time. The conversation went like this:

Guy A: “Hey, how ya doin’”
Toya: “I’m good.”
Guy A: “You’re okay?”
Toya:” Yeah, I’m cool.”
Guy A: “You’re cool....*crickets, more crickets*… And that’s good?”
My thoughts: What the hell is it that you are asking me right now? Am I okay? Okay with what? Whenever I say “I’m cool” it means one of two things. One, no I am not about to flip out or two, I am just a-ight.
Toya: “Yeah. I’m a little frustrated because I can’t find my keys right now, but I’m okay.”
Guy A: “Oh. I’m sorry. Alright. See ya later.”

After finding my keys, I also found my cell phone and left a message on my girl Des’ voice mail in New York. “Ok, I hate him now. If I didn’t hate him before I hate him now. Why did he go out of his way to speak to me? Did he mean am I okay or are we okay? Why would he even care?” Later, she left a voice mail asking “Would you rather have him avoid you?” The answer to that is an emphatic yes. See, that would give me a reason to hate him. That would give me a reason to say “And see, he’s not worth this. He’s doesn’t even care enough to talk to me.” I remember when Tia’s mom accidentally set our kitchen on fire. I saw her for the first time a couple of days later outside our house. I knew that she felt bad about everything so I slowed my car down and waved and smiled to let her know that I wasn’t mad at her. I knew the whole thing had to be embarrassing for her. I wanted her to know that everything was okay and that we were cool. However, I was not at all impressed by Guy A’s random act of kindness. I wanted a reason to hate him. The last thing I need is one more reason to love him.

I called my friend Sery to cancel my plans due to a last minute show and told her what happened. Sery has tried to reason with me several times, stating that I have done nothing wrong and that I have been too hard on myself for allowing myself to fall for someone. I have beaten myself up so much about all of this all the while thinking that it has to be someone's fault. I could not just resolve that this is just life. I finally told her that I can’t go through this again. Logically, it made no sense for me to go through this kind of hurt and embarrassment over unrequited love and I was angry at myself and I was angry with God. Sery then told me something that rocked my whole world: there is a chance that this could happen again.

I started making a sandwich, repeating to myself everything Sery had said. Basically, there are no guarantees. I truly had believed that I had boxed myself in so well, that heartbreak was avoidable. No one could hurt me if I didn’t let them. Overwhelmed, I couldn’t even finish making lunch and I ran upstairs.

“God, I am so serious this time.” I prayed “I can’t. You said that you have plans to prosper me and not to harm me. I don’t want to believe that you would let this happen to me again. Please let me learn every lesson in this. Please God. This hurts too much. I can’t go through this again.” This was the most humbling moment of my life. I never knew that I had been holding on to so much pride. It was at that moment that I realized that there are just some things that I can’t control. I started to go downstairs to talk to Tia and Renee and before I knew it I was crying so hard I could barely stand up. Tia ran up the steps and grabbed me like I was a child afraid to go down an escalator in a shopping mall. “I can’t do this again. I just can’t." I sobbed. 'I can’t go through this again. How dare he look at me like he feels sorry for me. Like he pities me. Why did this happen? I didn’t want this.” The very thought that I could possibly have to go through this again had me completely undone.

There are so many things that I have learned from this whole ordeal but one of the most important things is that this is not a stupid girl thing. This is a human thing. A good guy friend of mine who knows nothing of this situation shared with me some painful things that he is going through waiting for the woman he loves to come to a decision. But what got me is that I saw him in love before with someone else a long ways back and I am thinking “Wait. You put yourself out there AGAIN?” And he’s not ashamed, not embarrassed. I read this article today on Relevant's website and it could not be more timely. It’s written by a guy whose heart has been broken several times.

So today I called Tia and asked her about when she went through something like this earlier this year, did she have that feeling that she was on the verge of tears all day even if she wasn't thinking about it. She said "Man, you remember I cried ALL week!" I've had to humble myself before my friends and before God. I am not invincible and I am not a stupid girl. My feelings are valid and so is my pain. I am not mad at God and God is not mad at me. Most importantly, this will not always be painful and I will look back on this and thank God that He didn't give me what I wanted.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEVI!!!

It's not often that you get to have fans. Most of us will live the majority of our lives never knowing what it's like to have someone admire you, just for being you. That, however, is not the case for us...

What is often the case, though, is some pretty freaky admirers. (In recent months, we've had a lot of request for pictures...ummm....NO.)

Anyway, we thought we would break from protocol today and address one of our faithful (normal) readers personally. Today is Levi's Birthday and we wanted to take a moment to say:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!

So if you get a chance, leave him some birthday wishes in the comments section.

One Last Thing
Around our neck of the woods, birthdays are not a joke. We try to go all out for the people that we care about. One of the staples of a birthday is The Birthday Rap. It was written and produced by KP. (You know who you are.) It has become, shall we saw remixed, throughout the years but the message stays the same. So we're sending this one out to you, Levi.


Today is a special day
It is the day when everything will go your way
Today is the day that you were born
It's your birthday
And you got it goin' on

It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday

You gotta a cake
With your name on it
And some candles on top
You got some presents
And your good friends
And the party
It don't stop

It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday

You might be turning 21 or 95
It's your birthday
Some come on get live

It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthday
It's your birthdaaaaayyy....RAAAAAHHHHHH

Happy Birthday, Levi!
Love Tia and Toya

Friday, October 8, 2004

BGLU NEWS


Toya's Boyfriend of the Month...forget it...from now on



Big Mos

Mos Def's new album "The New Danger" comes out next Tuesday but can be heard in its entirety on www.VH1.com. I have dial-up so it is not happenin'. Also, my boo won an emmy for "Something the Lord Made". Yes, yes yall...

In related Black Star news, Talib Kweli's album "The Beautiful Struggle" is out now and it is great. It features "I Try" with Mary J. Blige (new single) and a song with BGLU great Res. Can we get a new album from her soon please? I played the fool out of her last one.

VH1 has pleasantly surprised us all with its outstanding 5 part hip hop documentary "And It Don't Stop". This is a MUST SEE, MUST TAPE. If you are remotely interested in the history of music at all you must watch this. If you have been wondering "Where did it all go wrong in hip hop" like I have been for years, this will help you out. You think you're pissed now, you don't even know. If I see Nelly on the street... don't even get me started. Make sure to check out the long overdue Hip Hop Honor Awards next Tuesday on VH1.

Being the busy people that we are, we haven't had a chance to watch a whole lot of television lately so unbeknownst to us they revealed who Hyde's father is on That 70's Show... and his father is black. He is being played by the greatly talented, uber smooth Tim Reid (Sister, Sister and WKRP). Tia hipped me to this and it was like someone had turned all of the lights on in the room. It just made so much sense! The afro, the attitude, the brotha like tendencies...Reagan Gomez, Chili... I'm just sayin'. We are TOO happy about this and are contemplating sending a bouquet of flowers to Fox. But then again, they could have actually hired a mixed actor to actually play a mixed character. Never mind.

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Lessons In Love- Toya
Title of a GREAT Level 42 song. Aww, the British...

You gotta love fasting.

I fasted and prayed and cried (I'll get to that soon) about this whole Guy A thing. What I prayed for was closure and it came like an avalanche. It first started when I found out the following day that he now has a girlfriend. A huge weight was lifted because (A) I don't want someone else's man and (B) I mean, really, what can you do? And I know the girl and she is great. I mean, precious. Also, a better match for him and when you care about someone, you want what is best for them even if you are not it.

I hate crying. I hate that involuntary, uncontrollable jerking that occurs when one cries. I hate it so much that in the past, I have literally gotten sick because I wouldn't let my body release itself by crying. Crying is not easy for me. So much so that on the rare occasion that I do cry, I think about everything else that sucks for me and everyone else I love and cry about that too just to get all my crying done for the year. Yes, I know that I am weird. I am quite aware thank you. When I do finally cry it is rarely out of sadness but relief. So what I needed was relief. A great big old fashioned snot nosed cry. I was at work when I felt the water works come. I was having a bad day at work, people were testing me and it was building up. As I felt the tears creep up behind my eyes, I excused myself and ran to the nearest bathroom, only to find it out of order. I then had to hike it 2 floors up all the while praying that I wouldn't start running and bawling at the same time. That is a woman's nightmare. Crying at work is the worst.

I got to a bathroom and I was the only one in there. I started apologizing to God for losing my focus and not noticing all the signs. I started asking Him to forgive me for not being diligent in the areas that I am failing in. I could not for the life of me cry. I couldn't cry because I was not being honest. I, Toya, had to run to the bathroom to cry about a boy. This was the most humiliating thing ever. As soon as I mustered the words"God make this go away" I started crying for about 20 seconds. I got myself together but I felt that it wasn't all over. I was right.

To make a really long story just long, a good friend of mine had been hiding 2 things from me: Guy A's new girlfriend and the fact that Guy A now knows EVERYTHING. Oh yeah, he knows that I like him because my friend told him and I am glad he did cause now I know the real deal. What I am not glad about is the fact that after which the two started to discuss all of the reasons why we weren't compatible. First of all, no woman likes to be discussed if the outcome isn't positive. Secondly, WHAT THE @!&%@*#@$&$*# ???!!! After prying it from this person, I found out that Guy A had no clue and wondered why I didn't tell him. "Cause I'm a woman!" I shouted. "Are you kidding me?" They brought up everything I already knew: differences in age, I am too hip hop, artsy, whatever and he is crazy conservative. Basically, I am way too eclectic and out there and he is pretty much Mr. Reserved. After he spilled the beans, I had to stand there and act like it was all good because the last thing I wanted to do was look like an overly emotional female (oh wait, too late). He asked "Are you alright?" I mustered up an obviously fake "Umm hmm" went to open a bottle of grape soda that had been sitting on the counter for TWO HOURS only to have it explode all over me. I didn't say a word. I just stood there thinking "Of course."

The only thing I am mad at is the fact that he acted like the idea of him and me was a totally shocking idea and that he was never feeling me at all. I don't believe it and neither does anybody else. All of my friends are like "That's crap. We've seen him watch you and we've seen him around you. We can't ALL be crazy." It is mad obvious when even I notice it because I always deny things like this. But it is what it is.

So the next morning on my day off, I woke up and said to myself "You are not leaving this room until you think about this logically. True, you are crazy embarrassed but is not the end of the world. Get it together." I laid there for a while and then realized that all along, I had focused on the things about me that would not make me compatible for him. I never once thought about why he wouldn't be right for me. It was always "I am too this or that." Grant it, there are some things about him that I cannot stand. However, I was willing to accept these things because the positives way outweighed the negatives. Another thing was, some men always talk about how women want these bad, rebellious type guys and I know I like my guys to be much more edgy. I didn't want to be too picky. No one is perfect.

There were numerous signs that this was not supposed to happen but I was too far gone. This guy hung the moon. Truth be told, he reminds me a lot of my dad. This whole situtation reminds me of when a friend of mine took me and her one year old daughter to visit some friends. My friend had to leave the apartment to go to the car and told her daughter to wait until she came back. Morgan, her daughter, could not wait. She wanted to follow her mother. Well I stood there watching her trying to figure out which door her mother went through. The door next to the door exiting the apartment was the door to a small dark closet that only contained a washing machine. It was a dead end. I then put myself in her shoes thinking that if I was a one year old and opened a door that I thought my mom had gone through only to find a small dark room with a washing machine, I would lose my whole mind. I told her repeatedly to wait and not go near the door. I turned my head for about 5 seconds and turned around just in time to see her open the wrong door. This child cried so hard, she flung around in a 360 degree turn and landed on the floor screaming hysterically. I quickly ran to her and picked her up and rocked her as she clung tightly.

This reminds me of my relationship with Christ. Too many times I have found myself wanting to follow someone that models a sense of security out of the door. Even though there are numerous signs for why what I am wanting is not best for me, I have been impatient. When it does not turn out the way I expected it too, I flip out, fall down, and can't wait for someone to scoop me up and hold me. This is the dangerous part though: If I don't run straight to God, I am running in the wrong direction. See, Morgan didn't run to me. She didn't care who scooped her up and held her. I believe it could have been anyone of us in that room. She just needed to be comforted. I have caught myself running to other things in the past: other men, food, shopping, etc whatever. Thinking about this in my car the other day, I straight up told God "You know what? You don't have arms. What is this run into the arms of God stuff?" And that is why faith is so important. If I truly believe in the word of God as being His word, then I have to believe that He will comfort me like He says He will. For a touchy feely person like me, that is hard to grasp. But He is showing me every day through other people, songs, flowers...all kinds of things. I already am seeing that I am a better person because this happened.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Am I being filmed?
by tia

Okay, the following story is true. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Wednesday I was in Columbus, OH initiating a site to beginning enrolling subjects for the study that I work on. My main contact for the study was to be a nurse who would act as the Study Coordinator. I will not go into details, suffice it to say that the visit that should have only taken 3 hours took 5 1/2. The incompetence of this women was so stellar that I did not feel comfortable with her administering drug to unsuspecting subjects. I would hate for someone I know to come into contact with this women. They may very well end up dead from her gross negligence. Anywho, because the visit went over SOOOOO much longer than planned, I missed my flight and was stranded in Columbus for the night. Thank God for the corporate Amex.
Also, I used to live in Col, OH. I still have a friend from high school who lives there so I gave her a jingle and we headed out to the store to find some last minute toiletries for my unexpected overnight stay. It was as we walked out of the store that the Surreal Night from Hades began.

Dude, Where's My Car?
We're both looking for the car. Since it's technically not a car that belongs to either of us, we figured we just didn't see it. It was there we just couldn't find it. It was a big parking lot you see. While we wandered I realized that I couldn't find my keys. I had them when we got out of the car but I didn't have them then. The location of the keys is something of a mystery. As we were trying on shoes in the store, it's very possible that they fell out of my purse/pocket with the constant standing and sitting that inevitably accompanies shoe shopping. It's also possible that the keys were dropped in the parking lot while we tried to wrangle my friend's two year old out of the car. The scenarios are endless but whatever the case the keys were gone.

We continued to search the parking lot in vain. We walked in circles in pure unadulterated denial. "The car is here." "It's here, we just don't see it." "It's probably behind that tree over there." "It's here." We went back in the store and enlisted the help of the security, all the while holding on to the belief that "The car is here." It was only after the security guard turned around and said, "The car's not here." that we began to think "maybe the car is not here."

I called the police and this how the conversation went:
Metro Police: 911, what is emergency?
Me: I need to report a stolen car
MP: Please hold.
After a lengthy hold
MP: What is license plate number of the car that was stolen?
Me: I don't know, it was a rental car.
MP: You're going to have to call your rental company and they are going to have to report the car as stolen.
Me: Thanks
On the phone with Hertz
Hertz: Thank you for calling Hertz how can I help you?
Me: My rental car was stolen
Hertz: (laughter) What?!?!
M: My rental was stolen.
H: Then you need to call the police.
M: I did. They said I need to call you.
H: No, you need to call them. And let them know that the car was stolen while in your possession.
M: Okay, fine...What's the tag number?
After obtaining the info I needed, yet another call to CPD
MP: What is your emergency?
M: I want to report a stolen car.
MP: Is this the woman from the Meijer's parking lot?
M: Yes
MP: Please Hold
Another MP operator: What is your emergency?
M: Stolen Car
AMP: Please Hold
I kid you not, Yet ANOTHER CPD Operator
3rd MP: What is your emergency?
M: Car's gone
3rd MP: Please hold
5 minutes later
3rd MP: Sorry for the delay, what is your location?
M: Meijer on Brice Road
3rd MP: Make Model of the car
After relaying the information, I heard
3rd MP: Please hold
10 minutes later
3rd MP: Sorry for the delay. I wanted to check and see if the car was in the impound.
(it wasn't)
3rd MP: Ma'am, we will dispatch an officer out to you and someone should arrive in about 30 minutes.

The whole time the store security guard hadn't left our side.When I told him the time frame the dispatcher had said he politely informed me that it would be AT LEAST 30 minutes more than that. You see, I'd called just prior to the shift change. As such the dispatchers wait until the new shift has come on and been oriented before releasing crimes "not in progress" to the floor. So even though I called the police around 10:30 or so, the officer didn't arrive until 11:58.

Where is the real officer?
When the cop did finally show up, I thought it was another security guard. He was about 5'6", 130 lbs. If you see a deputized officer of the law and your first reaction is, "AWWWWW, how cute." you gotta wonder how equipped he is to handle the situation. Though I must say that the 9mm at his side was pretty convincing.
After taking my statement, he informed me that the report would be available online and that they would call me if they found the car. ummm....Okay...The brand 2004, red Mazda 6 that was stolen?....you hope to find it tonight.....OKAY...My friend and I just looked at each other and started singing Gone by Nsync. We're goofy that way.

Going from bad to worse
Thankfully I hadn't brought a lot of personal items on this trip. I was supposed to have flown out that evening, you see. It all goes back to the incompetence of one person. I did, however, have quite a few things from work. Including my laptop. That's right, not only was my rental car stolen, but so was my laptop bag which held my laptop and cords, confidential company and client information, my mini-stapler that I loved SOOOOO much and some random supplies. Also in the car was my travel bag that held my personal car keys (which cost approximately $400 to replace because they are electronic and have to be replaced by the dealer), two library books, my travel bible, some random cell phone accessories and my flonase. All told in the course of about an hour $18,000 worth of stuff was stolen. All I could do was laugh (as my manager did when I called her and told her what happened) because honestly, this mess was funny.

I'd hoped that the security cameras may have caught a glimpse of what happened. Maybe, just maybe, the cameras might have caught a glimpse of the person who stole the car. I don't know WHAT I was thinking?

As it turned out, one of the security guards from the morning shift had been using the cameras to check out some girl. As one normally is when overcome by lust, he forgot to do what he was supposed to do, which was reset the cameras to PAN the parking lot. Hence, there is no footage of the car being stolen. It is to laugh.

There's no place like home
After what became the longest night in the history of my life, I finally made it to the hotel after 2 am. (Insert sarcasm here) Good thing my flight left at 7:50 the next morning. Oddly enough, as I was getting ready to leave the hotel on about 3-4 hours of sleep, I was in a peaceful mood. Yeah, what happened sucked, but it could have been A LOT worse. From what I understand the neighborhood where my car was stolen has gone all the way down hill. (I didn't know that. It was fine when I used to live there, but that was 8 years ago.) The security guard informed me that the crime rate has skyrocketed (ya think), the police are at that store weekly, the place is surrounded by low income housing and they're building a meth clinic behind the store in the spring. That would have been helpful information to have. Or knowing that just the week before I was there, the security guard said a guy held a store clerk hostage at knife and/or gun point before being subdued. So all in all it had the potential to be a lot worse. I could have been carjacked. I could have shot/accosted/maimed/attacked. I could have had irreplaceable things in the car with me. The list is never ending. So I was thankful that God had protected me the way he had.

Moving on

I had to report the car stolen to Hertz the next morning. So after checking in for my flight, I went to the counter to explain what happened. The Mark Walhberg look alike behind the counter was flabbergasted. A car had never been stolen since he started working there. So I guess that would explain why it took him so long to fill out the report. Cute and stunned as he was though, he was holding me up from getting through security. So you can imagine my despair when I did finally get to the security line only to find it stretched out to the check-in area. (it hadn't been that long when I checked-in 30 minutes prior.) I had one thought: Forget All This. I walked right to the front of the line and explained my situation to the first person I saw. Thankfully, he let me cut. Unfortunately, because there'd been a change to my flight schedule (what began as a one day trip was suddenly changed to an overnight trip with an early morning departure = red flags) I'd been "randomly" selected to be searched.

Maybe it was the stress of it all, it had been a long 24 hours and a lot had happened, but I just started crying. I didn't cry when the car was stolen. I didn't cry when I realized that my laptop with all of my NON-Backed up work was gone. But when the lady started frisking my twins, it was just too much to handle. Fortunately, I made it through security and one of the guys on the cart gave me a ride to the gate.

The whole situation from the car theft, the mini-cop to the cameras and the security guard is so farfetched it seems...well...sticom-ish. If it hadn't actually happened to me I wouldn't believe it.
The up-side of it all is that I got a call from a Metro Officer saying that they found my keys, my bible, one of my library books and my flonase. Why they found all of that stuff in ANOTHER stolen car is beyond me.

Seriously, am I being filmed...?