Thursday, May 26, 2005

As I am typing this, I hear in my head the piano part from the intro to this song by John Mayer. While I am glad that he got a Grammy for "Daughters", I don't quite get why he didn't get a nod for this song. The hook alone is genius. Tia and I do the thunderclap to the hook all the time and had a bunch of people doing it when we saw him at Tower Records last year. We are so weird.

There have been a series of personal events that have happened within the last two weeks and I must say that I am the happiest, most centered, most content I have ever been in my whole life. It's like veils have been lifted. I am more clear about my purpose and am enjoying my relationship with Jesus in such a way that I am giddy about it.

Just last night I was praying and right in the middle of it all I said," So let me get this straight? I pray and you hear me? All the time? Like you are here, for real? Cool! Ok, look..." That is so cool to me. Even if I don't feel like I hear anything back or He doesn't lead me to any particular scriptures, there is so much joy in knowing that He hasn't stepped away like I do when my friends IM me from time to time. If we really grasped that the Lord is EVER present, I think we would talk to Him a little differently. Now if I could just get the listening part down right. I am still so excited about just talking to Him.

I love living here in Nashville. Let's get this straight though: I don't particularly LOVE Nashville. I love my life in Nashville. Just Sunday night, we were at an open mic and I looked around at all of my friends and I was filled with so much joy. They are all so different; different backgrounds, nationalities, genders, ages (most younger than me-maybe even all younger than me) but still. I had no idea that the Lord moved me from New Jersey to give me the life that I have always NASHVILLE. I have come to accept that I am here and that I have work to do here. I have just stopped fighting it and in doing so, I am at ease. This is h-o-m-...okay, I am not all the way there yet. It's been 5 years and I am JUST admitting that I am happy here. Not quite ready to call it home yet.

Sometimes, ALL THE TIME, really, we just have to let God move. If we could just understand how God moves on our behalf without our knowing...well really, no one will ever really understand that. I know I try. I come up with a middle and ending to everything. Women do it all of the time. But there are certain instances, little miracles that pop up where when we see God's plan we are forced to think "And this whole time, God, THAT is what you were doing?" It's a beautiful thing.

And to top it all off, I seem to be falling for someone. Either that or I have angina because almost everytime I think about this person my heart feels like it is too big for my chest, my stomach stays nauseous and breathing suddenly stops being so involuntary. I have never been this enamored and have been fighting this for quite some time. But what is soooo awesome about it is even if it doesn't even develop into anything and is unrequited, I am most impressed by how God has brought him into my life and what He has taught me since. It just reminds me of the awesome things that God does that only He can do. It's like, if someone came to our door and said "God wanted me to come here and give you $2000 cash" and then suddenly looked at our address and said "I'm sorry. I thought I was at 263, not 236", I would not trip. It would only mean that God is still in the blessing business and still works in the supernatural.

I have been listening to a lot of India Arie lately and both records have been my soundtrack for close to a month. My anthems have seemed to go from "Ready for Love" and "Strength, Courage and Wisdom" to "Beautiful Surprise" and "The Truth" in a most startling short amount of time. Especially these lyrics:

Whatever it is that you came to teach me, I am here to learn it- "Beautiful Surprise"
And if he ever left me, I wouldn't even be sad/Cause there's a blessin' in every lesson and I am glad to even know him at all-"The Truth"

I am reminded of the gentleness and kindness of God when I think of him. I am so impressed with not only who he is now but who and what I know he can be. I am reminded that (my cheeks hurt from smiling, OH MY GOSH) while love is a scary thing, especially for someone like me who was sooooooo anti-commitment from about 16 until recently, I can safely say that I am not so scared of something not working out that I am not willing to try.

The best thing about all of this is while I was so anxious before, I have never slept this well since I moved here. Nothing has been promised at all but the anxiety of finding "the one" is gone. And I am not even saying that he is "the one"! I fall asleep with this crazy, fuzzy, most content feeling. I guess what I am trying to say is feeling this way is so absolutely amazing in itself but when two people feel this way about each other, it is so fantastic that I will gladly wait as long as I have to for it. I am that convinced now. Will I still be afraid? I am positive I will be. But at least I'll be ready and I don't want it to happen a second sooner. I fully trust God.

I am sickeningly giddy. I am giddy about this man, I am giddy about Christ and my ever growing, more honest than ever relationship with him and I am giddy about this security that I have in Him that I never even thought was possible.

By the way, don't even bother asking me who this guy is because I will take this to the grave if need be. If you don't already know, I am not telling you. Case closed. If something pops off, trust me, it will be no secret but as for now, stay tuned.
Is it just me? - tia

Night before last after watching a newly flat-ironed Bo on American Idol, I got sucked into watching House. It's another one of those CSI/ER type of shows. I've only seen it a few times as it comes on at the same time as the Amazing RAce. But now that Uchenna and Joyce have taken the crown from Rob and Amber (YEA!!!!!!) I usually give AI an hour of my time and then give the boob tube a rest. Anyway, I had to do my nails and as we all know it is impossible to turn the pages of a book with wet nails. So I watched. I got up for a moment after the opening credits and I'm assuming that I missed something pivotal. Something that would explain the commenets that came later.

As I was painting my nails, I thought I heard one of the characters refer to one of the doctors as a mandingo. I was really into getting my polish even so I just ASSUMED that I was hearing things. She could not possibly be refering to Omar Epps, the only black character on the show. But now the show had my full attention. 15 mintues later, Dr. House picks up the phone and calls someone. We don't know for sure who he calls, but he says and I quote, "Dr. Mandingo, you're needed at the plantation house." First I thought it, then I said it, "What the HELL!??!?" The next shot is of Omar Epps looking mighty salty. Granted (or is it "grant it"...whatever), the other 2 white doctors are in the room, but what are the odds that he called one of them?

Later in the show, he refered to Omar as the big dark one. Again, WTH?!?!?!
Am I just being really over sensitive? Is it me, or was he one step away from calling him a nigger? Am I right to be more than a little pissed? The character on the show is a known smarta** but this was a bit much. And maybe in the 10 minutes that I was gone, something was said that explains this..or maybe not. But what I want to know is am I overreacting? Or do I need to call/write/email Jesse and them? Thoughts, comments, asides....

Monday, May 23, 2005

I Love Kevin - tia

People sleep. All of the time, people sleep. And it usually to their own detriment. Saturday was a prime example of a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands and the 369 will roll up on you like an armed bandit. There was almost an incident due to someone's disregard for Simon, Jon and the rest of the boys of Duran Duran.

Duran Duran is starting their summer tour in...are you ready for this...Nashvegas. Toya heard it first. As soon as we found out, there was no question that we would be there. The question was not if, but rather where. As in where are we going to sit. For weeks, the O-fficial Duran Duran website stated that the boys were coming but Ticketmaster, or as I like to call them Ticketmiser, had no record of them coming. Finally, the radio stations, the local papers and most importantly Ticketmiser began to advertise. Tickets would go on sale Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. I had somewhere to be at 10 a.m. on Saturday. I would be late.

The beauty of living in the suburbs is that there is no shortage of grocery stores, Walgreen's and fast food joints on every corner. No exaggeration, there are 2 Wal-marts and 2 Krogers within a mile north and south of the 369. One of the Krogers has the reputaiton of being "ghetto." I won't go into it, suffice it to say that it was one of the last to be remodeled and it used to be sketchy at night. It's cool now though. They even carry the snooty British cookies I like. But the reputation remains. For clarification purposes it will be referred to as such or as GK from here on out.

I figured I would fare better at the GK. The other Kroger is technically in Brentwood. Brentwood is bourgeois. (I do find it interesting that even though the Brentwood Kroger is less than 2 miles from the GK the highbrow mentality still prevails.) My rationale was the typical Duran Duran fan was more likely to head to Brentwood. If I got to the GK early enough I would be first, could get good seats, and be at my meeting by 10:15. My fault for assuming.

I should have known something was afoul when I walked in and the guy behind the counter ,Kevin, asked me what show I was buying tickets for. "Duran Duran," I politely answered. Looking back, he looked a bit apprehensive. Like he knew that it was not going to be a fun morning. At 9:56, a guy walked into the store and acted like he was going to get in FRONT of me. I didn't say anything. But the internal system was already booting. (Please begin s&p system and hold.) Translation: Do not make me Snap & Pop you over these tickets. Apparently, this guy had been there previously, but found it necessary to leave. Sorry. But somewhere in his mind he thought his place in line would be honored. You know, because he had been here. When is that EVER the case? Right off the top of my head, I can't think of ONE place where it is okay to queue in line and then leave and come back to your same spot. I mean without having someone save your spot. But this guy thought that he was going to do that.


Maybe it was the fact that I was standing there in a Big Bird t-shirt that led him to believe that I was soft. I don't really know what he was thinking. But he thought he was getting back in line. At this point there were only 4 of us trying to buy tickets and 2 of them were a couple buying lawn seats. He would only have been 2nd in line if he'd asked the lawn people. Those seats aren't going anywhere. But NOOOOOOOOOO he wanted back in his original spot. And boy was he going to try to argue his way to the front.

Kevin, The Ticketmiser Officianato: Man, you left. (The way they were talking I think Kevin and the guy may work together.)
Guy: Dude, you saw me. I was here 1st.
K: But you left.
G: I was just over there talking to an employee.
K: But YOU LEFT!!!
G: I had to go to the bathroom.
K: Which means you left.
G:And I had to run out to my car.
K: I can not let you back in line.
G: Kevin, man do the right thing.
K: I am doing the right thing. You left. You can ask those people buying lawn seats if you can get in front of them.
G: C'mon on!!!!
G (to me): Ma'am I was here earlier.
Me: (Unmoved, unfazed, and getting gradually more pissed) I didn't see you when I walked in.
As this is going on, Kevin is pulling up seats on the computer.
K:(to me) You want best available right?
Me: Yeah
G: Why don't you do the right thing man?!?!?! You know I was here first.
K: LOOK!!!! Do NOT make me have a bad day over some DURAN DURAN tickets. If you don't get it together I'm not going to sell to you AT ALL!!!
Kevin then proceeded to search for tickets.
At this point I have whipped out my phone. And a la LL in I'm Bad, I think I'm gonna need back up. I think I'm gonna need back up. I called the house and it just rang. That meant Toya was online downstairs. So I called Renee's cell. She picked up and I immediately demand that Toya get offline. K and G are still arguing in my other ear. Toya gets on the phone.

Me: There is a guy trying to cut in line. He was here before and he left and now he's trying to get in front of me.
T: (Instantly) Do I need to come up there?
M: That's why I'm calling. I think you might have to.

As were talking Kevin has had it.
K: (Holding up a sign that has been taped to the bottom of the Ticketmiser computer screen)
The sign reads., "Do Not sell Ticketmaster to (I forget the name) EVER!!" dated and signed by who else...KEVIN.
K: (To me) How did you want to pay for this?
M: MasterCard

Amazingly enough Guy is STILL arguing. Kevin is done.
K: (To Guy) Goodbye, I'm not selling to you. You've got to buy your tickets somewhere else.


I guess "Guy" assumed that as a black female buying Duran Duran tickets I would be something of a level-headed individual. Surely, I was not one of "those" people. Unrelenting, unreasonable, unwilling to see that he'd been there first. Do not be fooled. I am not to be trifled with. I am not here because I having a passing admiration for an iconic 80's band. OH NO....I am here because all of the ORIGINAL members of Duran Duran will be a 10 minute drive away. I am here because, they are inclined to sing Girls on Film, Notorious, and (LORD if you would so bless me) THE REFLEX. I am here because from the moment I saw the video for Hungry Like The Wolf, I have loved John Taylor and Simon LeBon. I am here because for years I have been strangely fascinated with Nick Rhoades' ambiguity. I am not just familiar with their music, I am a fan of their music. And as such, I will not hesitate to reflex my fist in your eye and be a girl on film as they haul me away to the station. Do Not Sleep. I am not above making you rue the day you stepped out of line. And you definitely don't want to make me call "the other one." We will make you involuntarily shudder every time you hear a Duran Duran song for the rest of your life.

As I walked out, "Guy" was pacing the sidewalk fervently speaking on the phone with someone. Which was such a shame, because all he had to do was drive down the street.

And just for the record, we're in the 4th row. He should have stayed in line.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

C-List Celebrities, High Heels and Secret
Tales from the Model Chronicles - Tia

I’m really starting to take offense to people who insist on trying to explain to me why modeling is not real work. Usually the people who have the most to say have never been within 20 feet of backstage at a show. I’d like to see them change clothes and look presentable in under 30 seconds. I used to wonder why so many models were so pissy most of the time. Not only are these girls hungry, but they’ve also had to endure really high heels, obscene call times, and other potentially hazardous situations like running up steps in high heels to get changed and be back on stage in 45-60 seconds.

I had a fashion show last week. It was pretty small scale, pretty much a resume builder. But I got a good glimpse of what “the business” is like. My call time was at 9:30. Way too early considering that I had the day off and the show didn’t start until around noon. I should have known that the day was going to go awry when I saw the clothes. I don’t know who is perpetuating the myth that women over size 10 like to wear ugly clothes. But if I find out who it is, s/he is in for a serious behind whooping. The clothes that I was wearing were:

Lime Green “business suit” with white trim.
Holy Popsicle Batman!!! Clearly whoever picked this outfit out was not present on color matching day in home ec. FYI, most brown women SHOULD NOT wear lime green. As Aisha Tyler put it, “Why must the negress look like a cadaver?” Thank God the outfit was ginormous on me. I’m talking too big to be pinned. As such the outfit was scrapped.

Aqua rayon short-sleeved sweater with monochromatic matching flip skirt
This outfit fit well enough. But it totally made me look soccer mom-ish. And again I say BOOOOOO. And I had to wear these shoes.

Yeah, they’re fly and everything but they are my “look cute” shoes. I only wear these when I know that I’m not going to have to stand for long periods of time. I can get away with these shoes for about 30 minutes then I’m finished. Good thing we were delayed at the show and I ended up being in the shoes for about 4 hours. And by good I mean OUCH!!

Then there was the Orange/white flower print dress with “accenting” short sweater
You know those sweaters that are basically stop just beneath the bosom area. It was one of those. The whole outfit wasn’t so bad, but the sweater was drawing a lot of attention to the twins. Initially, I couldn’t figure out why the kitchen staff kept whistling. (The show was at some upscale Italian restaurant that just opened.) It was only later that I realized that I looked a mite top heavy.

There were snafus galore all day. Not to mention the fact that it was about 90 degrees that day. But you can’t sweat in the clothes. Forget Secret, I need some MEN’S Degree for that kind of weather. And the heat was exacerbated by the company.

There were, of course, the girls who think they are the And there were a couple of guys who thought they were the poo as well. One young man in particular, who was quick to tell you all of the stuff that he’d done in Miami and New York. Question, if you’re that fly, what are you doing in Nashville?

Don’t get me wrong. There are some people who are genuinely nice. For instance, Mark. I just assumed a brotha that fine was going to be stuck up. But he turned out to be a real sweetie. (When you click the link, wait for it. He’s like the 3rd person that pops up. If the link doesn't work try But as a rule of thumb I try to kick it with the older women and the fellas. Y’all know how girls can be. I don’t want to be “that black girl” so I usually just try to be as friendly as possible, while minding my own business. That’s how I was able to stay out of the fight that broke out later. (One of the uppity guys had been talking cash money trash about some of the models. One of the younger girls had supposedly “overheard” all of this. She’s telling us this after the show, while we’re in the changing room. I knew that it was going to be bad when Linda (one of the older models) asked what exactly was said. I bounced so I wouldn’t have a reason to show out. Ten minutes later Linda comes busting out of the changing room ready to duke it out. She let that child have it. Me and the 2 other black folks just sat back and watched the whole thing. No need to get involved. It’s more fun to watch.)

But the funniest/saddest moment was when the guy from The Real World showed up. The one that looks like the guy from The Blue Lagoon. I can’t remember his name right off the top of my head. I stopped watching Real World when I became too old to actually be on the show. (His picture is also on the website as we are represented by the same agency.)

You’d have thought a real celebrity had walked in. Most of the girls under 24 and almost all of the guys started doing that thing that star struck people have a tendency to do. You’ve all seen it. They try to remain calm, while simultaneously trying to be as close to the person as possible. And the guy was just eating it up. He was personally taking time to “meet” all of the girls. As he walked my way, I suddenly realized that my shoes needed…adjusting. The strap was kinda tight. Basically, I didn’t in any way, shape or form want anyone to think that I was even slightly impressed by someone who didn’t really do anything. He almost seemed offended that I didn’t buy into the hype. Look here sonny, when you do something of merit, find a cure for cancer or AIDS, lower the sales tax, stop the war, then I will come and holla. Until then, back up!! My feet hurt, I’m hot and that brotha behind you is fine…Now move, you’re blocking my view.

Even on a small scale, I’m starting to see how much fun these shows have the potential to be. There will be stories galore. I’ll have to fill y’all in later on the time the other two girls couldn’t eat, but I could. Sucks to have to starve yourself so you can keep your job. Thick Girls Rule!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Did I call it, or did I call it? - tia

I (tia) would like to take this opportunity to say YEAAAAA!!!!! I have loved me some Bo Bice for a minute now. (Please see the post from March 2) I honestly didn't know if he could make it this far in a "pop" contest. And I know I'm not the only one. Clive Davis is probably losing a lot of sleep at night trying to figure out how he's going to market this Freebird lovin', cocaine buying, pot-smoking hippie to the mainstream audience.

I don't know what it is about this particular rocker boy that has me all flustered and twiterpatted but I am hooked. And I love how everyone is now trying to hop on the train. Do one song a capella and then everyone wants to be your homie. Bo, I've been down since the beginning. Holla at ya girl when you win. I know all of the words to Friends in Low Places, including the 3rd verse.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ramble On-Toya
That is a song. I am keeping in line with the whole "I name my posts after songs" thingy but I really can't remember who sings it. Can't even remember how it goes.

I really am a happy person. I was reading some of my posts and if I didn't know me, I would think that I, Toya, was always in some sort of dilemma or miserable half of the time. This is so not true. I guess that I am just more provoked to write about things that are difficult because this is part of how I get through those things. But yeah, I'm a happy camper. Especially this week.

God has done some extraordinary things in my life these past few days and I would like to take some time to reflect on them as well as just bring up some things that have been on my mind:

1) Janet Jackson once said that she had an embarrassing moment in class at the age of 8 where a teacher berated her in front of her classmates. From that moment on, her self esteem was crushed. No matter what incredible things she accomplished from that moment on, her self esteem was marked by that incident. God recently revealed to me that I also had a life defining moment quite similar to hers and that it has affected my way of thinking for over 10 years. Man, the sky just opened up. I was at my desk at work and knew that I needed to cut my music off and God just brought it up. I remember thinking "Do I need to go in the bathroom and talk to you about this? Am I gonna start crying in front of all these people?" And the Lord was like "You'll be alright. Sit at your desk. You're fine." I physically feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders but I am also already feeling satan trying to shoot me down because he knows that that was huge for me. I am definitely a different person.

2) I work part time in the mall and it is beyond me why any woman would take her man with her to shop for shoes. Poor guys. Why would you put someone through that kind of torture? What part of a man's brain goes numb before he aimlessly follows a woman around the shoe department with HER purse in his hand?

3) I didn't mention this when it happened but yes I almost lost it all when they sent my baby Constantine home from American Idol. But soon after I recovered, I saw it as a good thing. The American Idol contract is NO joke. It was probably good that he didn't go all the way.

4) Speaking of AI, who does Corey Clark think he's fooling? First of all, if Paula Abdul really had given him some advice, he wouldn't have been so wack and he WAS wack. It was painful to watch. Secondly, we all know it was her and Justin Guarini! Just kidding. See how rumors get started? But seriously, we'll be seeing him on the Surreal Life faster than you can say "Flava Flaaaaaaaaav!"

5) I have been on the BIGGEST old school gospel music kick for weeks. I mean, The Winans, Hawkins Family, just ol school. I can't even talk to anyone that doesn't think that Walter Hawkins is a genius. What trips me out was that their music back then was so innovative and progressive. I wonder at what time did Christian music get so stagnant. I mean, musically, just by sheer musicianship, the Love Alive band could compete with anyone out there at that time. And the singers themselves? Remember when singers back in the day could actually sing and that was because they came straight out of the church? Is it that nowadays, kids growing up don't have that same foundation and now we have to put up with these talentless, lap dancers? I strongly believe that there is a direct correlation between the lack of influence of the church and the increasing ruin of the arts. I would write more, but I'd be here all day long.

6) Coldplay. *SIGH* Yes, I am late on Coldplay. Hella late. But daggonnit, A Rush of Blood to the Head is just heavenly. I listen to it all day at work. However, they are coming to town and I can't go see them. I'm afraid I'd fall asleep. I mean let's face it: them, Kean, Copeland... not the most exciting to watch.

7) Ever since I was in high school, I have always clicked with musicians. I would always wind up friends with the quiet genius in a band. I never sought them out. It just always happened that way. Although I am not an artist, I have a certain understanding of them that I know comes from God and He has given me a heart and a burden for them. I am never more in my element than when I am encouraging my friends that are involved in the arts in some kind of way. I have always had a manager's sense but I don't think that that is what I am supposed to do. I am not entirely clear on that yet.

What I do know is that it will be easier on me as a woman when God places me alongside someone (my husband) that has the same heart. To be REAL honest, right now, it's hard sometimes. I hesitate in sharing some things that God has specifically told me to say if I think that there is even a slight chance that I could be attracted to that person. I find myself time and time again asking God to shed light on my motives and even when He does and I am in the clear, I can still get a bit apprehensive. What God has shown me is that when He has called you to do something and you GET OUT OF THE WAY, He will strengthen you. We worry too much about our flaws and our weaknesses; about what we think we can and cannot handle. We just need to get over ourselves. The other day, a friend of mine who is a musician, who not too long ago would have had me biting my nails down to the cuticles (he is DANGER), sat right in front of me and we started talking. God's strength, wisdom and kindness just took over me in such a way that I really did forget what the big deal about this person used to be. I was able to see them as they really, really were. I literally felt as if I was moved out of the way. So until I am able to say "Hey, me and my husband would love to have you over for some fried catfish and talk to you about the next step of your career", I am going to have to go it alone. God's grace is sufficient.

8) Another thing I am late in mentioning is the Behind the Music:New Edition episode. I wanted to hug the fool out of all of them and I wanted to just start bawling at the same exact time. I never thought I would hear the equivalent of Whitney's "Crack is Wack" statement but when Bobby Brown went off about New Kids on the Block!!???!!?!?!?!?!?! Me and Renee were like "What the...? He is straight gone, yall! Crack IS wack! Anything that can cause your mouth to become so disfigured that your lips now move independently from one another in that fashion is by NO means, NO MEANS, beneficial to your well being. I can't take it. That was nothing but the Five Heartbeats live and in the flesh.

9) I know that Tia said that she is down to continue BGLU and I can say that I am too. It wasn't until we got an email from someone that said something to the effect of why would we stop right before God takes us into where we have been saying we want to go? She said something about the Wizard of Oz and ending right before meeting the Lollipop Guild, I think. Anyway, that was the deciding moment for me. So yes, even when we separate, BGLU, like Al B. Sure, will still be in effect mode.

10) Someone go get Albert Fields from The Party and tell him that I am waiting. We were supposed to be married by now.

11) Finally, at what age are you no longer concerned as to what your parents think about your personal life. My dad is completely up in arms at the mere possibility that I could bring a white man home and is already polishing up his 9 MM. My mom completely got parental on me the other day when I told her that about every two weeks, I like to get down with some martini action.

Mom: That's too much, Toy.
Me: I'm 30 years old!!! I have earned my right to enjoy an adult beverage every once in a while as I well please. (See how I try to bow up on my mom ON THE PHONE?) I actually waited until I was 21 to even start drinking. It's one, every two weeks , after a full meal.
Mom: Well, are you driving afterwards?
Me: Are you serious?!
Mom: Well you know that stuff (alcoholism) runs up and down BOTH sides of our family. You shouldn't even had started. How often do you drink?
Me: On Marguarita Day (commonly known as Cinco De Mayo) and when me and my girls go out for martinis once every few weeks.
Mom: That's it, huh?
Me (still unable to lie to my mom under that kind of pressure): well, I do drink a few coolers pretty often.
Mom: WHEN!?
Me: Hey, ONLY when Tia buys them and brings them into the house.

Tia is in soooo much trouble now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I'm So Happy, I Can't Stop Crying- Toya
This is a song by Sting that is funny and tragic all at the same time. Kinda like how I was feeling for the past two days.

There have been some good things and some not so hot things happen within the past 2 days but all in all, life is still good. I am happy but then again I am pretty sad. On top of that, I have gained 5 pounds thanks to Cinco De Mayo, unexpected changes and PMS. Not good timing.

Good Thing #1

Ok, so I went to go see my friend Damien Horne play at BB Kings last Friday night and Big Kenny from Big and Rich was there. Now I have mentioned before why I was such a big fan of Muzik Mafia and how it all got started. While I love all of them, Big Kenny is my heart. He TRULY loves everyone! You just want to squeeze him. So he introduced Damien and I was standing with one of Damien's friends and I said"He is just such a happy man. I just want to hug him!" Hint, hint. "Yeah, he has always been super sweet when I have talked to him." she replied. She must have Luke disease. So instead of going through another "lemon bar" situation, I went up to Damien after the show.

Damien: "Hey, I am so glad you came!"
Me: "Yeah I loved it, umm, can I meet Big Kenny?"

By now, people are surrounding Damien and he can't hear me. Just then, Big Kenny walks up and I freeze. Normally, I would just introduce myself but well, if you have read the Rick Springfield story, you already know that that might not be a hot idea. But then again, I met Prince and was on my best behavior. I screamed myself horse when I got in the cab afterwards but nevertheless, I behaved.

Damien is holding onto my sleeve as I start to walk off as he starts taking pictures with everyone. After the last pic, Big Kenny starts to walk away.

Me: standing at a whopping 5'2 trying not to yell, "I really want to meet Big Kenny".
Damien: standing at about 6'3 and can barely hear me "Huh"
Me: "Big Kenny! Can I meet Big Kenny?"

Damien calls for him and introduces us and in true Toya like fashion, I say something crazy.

"Hi. Aww, can I just hug you Mr. Big Kenny?"

So I hug the man all up around his midsection like I am some sort of midget football player and I explain to him why I am so inspired by Muzik Mafia. Then I mentioned how it sucks that such a small group of people in the industry get to dictate to the public what they think that they want to hear; how what they did took such guts and how something so small started a revolution. It sounds corny but it was quite articulate and I managed to not embarrass myself. He looked me dead in the eyes and responded with several "amens." When I finished my spiel, he stepped back, clasped his hands together and bowed to me. He then said " Well. It was definitely MY pleasure to have met You." And then he gave me another big ol' Big Kenny hug! I was ruined. I love that man to pieces.

Damien stayed around for about a 100 more pictures and before he took another, I grabbed his arm to say goodbye. He stepped away and said "I am so so sorry. PLEASE don't write anything bad about me, please!" That was so funny. I wouldn't do that. Well, actually I would but I wouldn't use his real name of course.

Bad Thing #1
My dad asked me one day if I had dyslexia and I know I don't but darn it if I don't feel a bit mentally challenged from time to time. For the SECOND time, I read my traffic court thing wrong and showed up 10 days early. I am supposed to be there on the 19th and not the 9th. Anyway, I sat there for about 20 minutes before finding out that I wasn't supposed to be there and a big scary woman was staring at me. She looked "mannish" as my mother would say. Like, I knew she was a woman but she was cuttin' it close: cornrows, basketball throwback jersey... she was definitely not the "lipstick" type. Well anyway, I was sitting there and I thought that maybe she and the girl she was with were just staring at my hair. That actually happens a lot. I don't know if people are checking my scalp to see if it is a weave or what (it isn't.) As I get up to go inside the courtroom, she looked me up and down and whistled.

So, let me get this straight: I can't pay a black man to hit on me now and days but now black women are trying to holla???? Oh hell no.

So I came out the courtroom and pulled my planner out to make sure that I wrote down the right date this time. There was the cutest baby behind me that I was playing with and I hear this noise that sounded like a constant sucking of teeth. I looked up and it was that woman giving me the "Hey ma, I'm just sayin'" look. Hey, I can't front. I was scared. This was a BIG broad. I just looked away and walked out.

When this kind of thing happens (and it has, just not that often), I almost want to run up on them and ask them what made them think that I go that way. (DAMON, SHUTUP! That's for my brother. ) I mean, what in the world?

Good Thing #2
I have a job!!!!!! It is not the most exciting BUT it pays well and is helping me develop my organizational and time management skills. I am SO forced to concentrate and grant it I am in front of a computer all day but can I pay my bills. Heck yeah! Praise the Lord. I can have fun on the weekends. That's what they are there for.

Bad Thing #2
The more I hang out with Renee and Tia, the more I miss them and want to take back everything I said about moving. It almost seems like I am seeing them more than ever now. It was different last week because I was like "well, I don't even see them." I can't imagine not having Renee to talk to late at night. I am not looking forward to this at all.

Good Thing #3
My V's. My V's are a group of my homegirls that I can giggle with, drink martinis with (make that martinI, I am a pitiful lightweight and can't have more than one on a weekend) and shake my tatas with upon the first horn blare of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love". They are my girlie girls. These are girls that I can get silly with with reckless abandon and act like those girls that you see out and probably don't like but we don't care. They are ALL amazing. To have such a support system of women that love me and support me just blows my mind. No drama, no pettiness, just good times. Tonight we went out to celebrate mine and another girls new jobs and to send off one of our homegirls to Europe to go on tour for two weeks. I walk in and ordered our signature martini, only to find a bunch of old, suited, bad toupee wearing , inebriated white guys standing around my girls. One of them who was really, REALLY trying to be down happens to be a uh, state representative of sorts that is running for umm, well... I won't get too deep but I did mention to my girls that there were way too many camera phones sitting around for this to not be documented. So somewhere on the web, be it not here, Nashvillians can see a picture of their tax dollars hard at work. I will say no more. You kinda had to be there.

Bad Thing #3
I was in the bathroom before church praying that I would not lose my cool with Guy A because I haven't seen him since I spoke to him last. I come out and he is the first person I see. I told my dad that tonight and he was like "Naawwww". I'm like "Naaaawww? OF COURSE that happened. We are talking about MY life here, aren't we?" It's cool. Truthfully, I never think of him until I see him but I find myself choking back tears on the way home every week and not because I want to be with him. I don't quite know what it is actually. I don't even think about him but I'll be driving and my eyes just well up. It's crazy. I think the sermon had a lot to do with it.

While I am sure Pastor Jim did not mean to preach a sermon that left me horribly depressed, it did just that. It was pretty much about barrenness and how we are barren in certain areas of our lives (career, finances, relationships,etc.) . We can go a long time not seeing fruit in different areas and we think we are waiting on God but instead God is waiting on us. Guy A has always represented to me the very things that I lack thus , I allowed this to make me feel bad about myself; Things like not being really responsible with my money, not being exactly sure what I want to do as my career or what I should do and dammit, if I could JUST keep my room clean maybe I would be a better human being. He's a neat freak from what I understand and uber responsible. There was always something in the back of my head that was like "You will never be good enough for him or even someone like him." So I wasn't upset about him, I was upset with myself and my shortcomings. I have always felt that the only thing that I am consistent in is inconsistency and that this was holding me back in life. That is why I continuously feel like I am stuck at 25 years old. I cried all last night about it and then I remembered something my dad used to say:

"Toy, Daddy is not asking you to be perfect; he is just asking you to try your best."

And that's what he told me tonight. He stopped me from being so hard on myself and said that he knows that I try and that he supports me. He brought up all of the things that he feels I have going for me and I was like "But it's not good enough that people trust me and you think I'm pretty and I am somewhat talented. I forget to do important things. I am absentminded. I want to balance my checkbook every week and have an immaculate room!" I am my own worst enemy but God is my biggest ally and I have to remember that He looks at the heart. I mean have I messed up any worse than David? No way. But God said that he was a man after his own heart. David got up and tried. Peter showed his behind a zillion times but he kept trying. So will I.

Monday, May 9, 2005

????? - Tia

First off, you guys have been great. I never realized how much our absurd ramblings touched your lives. At this point I'm all for keeping the train going. But that's just me. I can't speak for Toya. :)

In the mean time I have a question,

Why do I love Jesse McCartney

but LOATHE Aaron Carter?

Aren't they basically the same thing?

I've had the JMac cd for almost a year and I still can not get enough of it. She's No You has been my jam for a minute. However, you could not pay me to buy an Aaron Carter cd. There are times when I want to smack him in his wannabe-hard jaw. I just don' t like him. He bothers me.

I almost feel like I'm breaking some sort of law liking JM. It's like I've stepped over the line or something. Like when your mom took you to see New Kids or New Edition. She had no business being there, but there she was. And (gasp) she was singing. That's how I feel every time I belt out She's No You or Come To Me (which is actually a Plus One song. I didn't know. Still like it though.) old is that child?

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Separate Ways-Toya
Anyone with Jordan Knight's "Give It To You" record knows that this is the JAM. It is so haunting, so sad. I guess it fits.

As Tia has expressed, Renee, Tia and myself, come August will all be going our separate ways. The hardest part of it all is that Tia and I will actually be in different states. Renee is just going around the corner and we do shows together so it is not as difficult. However, Renee instructs me as to how I should dress myself every weekend so if you see me on the street after August with mismatched hues then you know it's because I no longer have access to Renee's fabulous fashion guidance.

I always thought that when we separated (Tia and me) that we would stop BGLU, kind of like Seinfeld. Funny, I always get on myself about not keeping up with my journal but BGLU has been my journal for the past 2 years. Even though it's not as personal cause I don't tell everything I am experiencing, this all has been a pretty accurate account of our lives together. I can see why we would end it but I can also see why we would not. Maybe we'll keep it up until one of us gets married. I don't know. I can't imagine keeping it up after we separate because I guess I am having a hard time imagining living my life separate from Tia.

I know that this all needs to happen for all of us. I have a complete peace about this. Tia and I went out for our annual Margarita Day celebration today and it was pretty bittersweet. I mean of course I had a good time but I was looking across the table from her and I just slowly felt things coming to a close. Not that our friendship isn't the same as it ever was. It is stronger actually. I realized that I was sitting across the table from a completely different person than the one I moved in with about 3 years ago. Moving in together was just what we needed and moving away from another is equally as crucial at this point in our lives.

I still have a lot of growing up to do. I realized today while I was at work (by the way I did get a job, praise the Lord and it pays well. Boring, but pays well and I am still part time at the mall) that the only thing scarier than turning 30 is turning 31. I will be 31 this year. It makes no sense but it needs to start making sense because I am too old for some of this mess that I have gotten myself into. I am moving in with a girl that also DJ's who I am real down with and a girl that I don't know. This is the closest I will ever come to living by myself really. It's close because in reality, it is just me because I don't rely on these two new roommates for anything. For instance, I depend on Tia to pay the bills on time. In the past 2 years we have lived here, I have never even seen a bill. She lets me know how much utilities are and I write a check, no questions asked. I depend on Renee for peace of mind cause she will listen to me say anything and not say one word but be sympathetic. Also, I know that I will come home to a clean house because I live with 2 very neat people (unfortunately, they can't say the same about me).

I honestly just want to see what happens next. It's almost like our lives are on hold until this happens. Funny enough, I will be moving into what has been jokingly referred to as "The Married House" because quite a few girls have moved out of there because they have gotten married. Hey, I'm not against that. Truthfully, that is the furthest thing from my mind right now and being 100% crush free is doing wonders for my concentration at my new job. I'm just chillin', truth be told.

God has taken care of everything and orchestrated everything at the exact right time. There is no way I would have been able to pay rent for where I am moving with my old job. Tia is getting this surge of modeling gigs all of a sudden. I think we are really coming into the next phase of our lives. I'm not frightened. I am a bit relieved actually.

So over margaritas we discussed moving close to each other when we hit about 80 because us as old ladies is going to be HYSTERICAL. You can say anything and people will just chalk it up to old age. Now, people just chalk up our sarcastic remarks to us being smart asses. Maybe we'll keep this up and it will turn into BGLU:The Golden Years. I have no idea. No one does. But, like Tia asked, if anyone cares and would like for us to not shut down BGLU, send us an email or a comment. Believe it or not, it will help in making our final decision.
Breakaway - Tia

Ecc 3:1 - There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven

I have never been cliff jumping, mostly for lack of opportunities. But I always wanted to go. I imagined that the process from start to finish is a combination of a bunch of different emotions that far outweigh the fear of the moment.

I use the cliff-jumping example because that’s how I feel right now. I’m standing at the edge of a very high precipice. It’s a long, long way down and it has the potential to be very bumpy. But the end…has infinite possibilities.

In the last 72 hours or so there has been nothing short of an onslaught of information thrown, handed, and shoved in my direction. I’m thinking I don’t need too much more. Since I know that most of you are sitting down as you read this, I won’t request that you do so. But I will warn you: THERE ARE CHANGES COMING! So let me begin.

Since Monday and up to this very moment the following things have developed. Some good, some not.

- I got a job from one the auditions that I went to in Atlanta two weeks ago. And let me tell you, it is a BANGING gig. All expense paid trip to Miami. 6 days, 5 nights. We’re staying at the Sagamore Hotel. We will be modeling the designs of some up and coming designer. We will get to keep the clothes and we’ll be paid for the show. The company is also paying for a 4-look photo shoot. (For those in the business, you know that’s not cheap.) And the crescendo, if you will, Click, Elite and Wilhelmina will be there to interview us for possible regional, national and international representation. Can you say LONDON calling? THICK GIRLS RULE!

- My grandmother is sick. She’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It was caught pretty early, so there is medication to slow its progress. But it’s still such a devastating blow to the family.

- I’m going to be on television on Friday. I’m going to be on a local show called Talk of the Town modeling some potentially heinous clothing. I don’t care because work is work.

- My dad is on the brink of a severe financial crisis. So much so that he may have to
sell the house that we’re currently living in. The 369 may be no more.

- Toya is moving. That’s right. The dynamic duo is splitting up. It’s just time. Our lives have begun to go in completely different directions. So much so, that we have come to the realization that we just have to break up. And even though I know it’s what’s best for both of us, I AM BLUE.

- My brother is thinking about entering the NBA draft. I’m trying to talk him out of it. He needs some college playing time under his belt. He’s a strong player at the 5 (center) but he could be come a better all around player by developing his skills as a forward (I think that’s the 4) with the help of some collegiate coaching. We’ll see.

- The superhero (Renee) is also moving out. I knew that one was coming. I just didn’t know when.

- And finally, we’re contemplating ending the BGLU era. Breathe….breathe.

I know that some of you are freaking out right now. But I need you to calm down because we need your feedback on this. Because we’re going our separate ways, we don’t know what to do with the site. We know that we have a lot of faithful readers. Some of you have been with us for the entire 2-year period. But with the way things are going we don’t know if we will be able to maintain this like we have been in the past.

Initially it was all about our collective mis-adventures. Rick Springfield (that story is best told LIVE by both of us), numerous Anberlin show (much like the one last night), John Mayer, road trips, fire drill at the house, Poison and the list goes on. But now that we potentially won’t even be living in the same area code (I’m moving to Atlanta, LA, NY, somewhere that has more work for thick models) we don’t when we will have the material or if we will have the time.

I do not like change. I moved a dozen times when I was younger and went to 8 different schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. It’s easy for me to get complacent because I get comfortable in the moment. I have to all out war against the voice that says it’s easier to just let things be than to change them. I have to jump out of the boat before I can walk on water.

The thing is, BGLU has been such a huge part of who I have become. It is one of the defining cornerstones of my friendship with Toya. And letting it go is not something that I really want to do.

But we know where this has the potential to go. I will not let us die a slow long death, much like That 70s Show will do if they’re not careful. We’ll take BGLU on top before we let that happen. But before we make any choices we want to hear from you. What do you think? What would you like to see us do? Will your world come to an end if we pull the plug? Holla back. Email, comment, and for the few of you who have the number, call.

And now I have to go shoe shopping for my television debut. But don’t think those shoes won’t go RIGHT BACK to the store if I don’t wear them. Things are picking up but I haven’t done an ELLE cover just yet.