Tuesday, August 23, 2005

No Ways Tired-Toya

"No Ways Tired" is a song by gospel pioneer James Cleveland. The songs goes"I don't feel no ways tired. I've come too far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy. I don't believe He brought me this far to leave me." Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the last installment of the Toya's Tag Chronicles. Glory to God.

I am not saying that I won't be mentioning Tag at all. He is a very important friend in my life and now because of some things that I am pursuing career wise, we not only have a friendship but we have business relationship. So as far as my issues with the what ifs and the shoulda wouldas, my struggles to maintain that line of friendship when he isn't being 2 year old Tag with his big sisters Tia and Toya but being fine as wine grown behind Tag when he is alone with just me (the woman who he vehemently denies is 30) and the frustration of wanting the best of both worlds, I sincerely feel that those are all non-existent due to a very brief but poignant and relationship defining exchange of words this evening.

My much needed 2 day Tag hiatus ended last week and we are back to being ourselves again. I took Tag out for sushi because he is having some career related stress right now. I could hear it in his voice at work, he was straight buggin'. So weird how you can get to know someone so well that you know there is trouble by what they are NOT saying. When we met downtown I can tell by the way he came around the corner that he was on the edge. He gets especially sarcastic and really introspective so I shouldn't have been shocked by what came out of his mouth.

I can't remember what we were talking about before this exchange of words but it was totally non-related. I am used to how Tag flips the script in conversation because suddenly his eyes look totally different and he doesn't just look into my eyes he looks at ME, soul to soul. "I want to ask you something" he began"and I don't want it to weird you out, okay?" "Tag, you can ask me anything you want anytime." I assured him. And I meant that. I really don't have anything to hide to too much anyone but to him I am completely transparent.

"If you were 20 do you think we would be together?"

I looked straight into his gorgeous green eyes and smiled slowly because I honestly felt as if I had crossed the finish line. I knew that my answer would be the final word in the "What If " chapter because I obviously can't ever be 10 years younger. I knew that when I answered this question , the past would be the past and we could move on without any more frustration like we had a few nights back. (Insert sitcom dream sequence music here)

A few nights back we were riding around in his car and when he picked me up he looked especially fly. DAMN fly. I remember getting in the car and him asking me if I was okay and for some reason I just wasn't . It occurred to me that the amount of time I was spending with him whether it be in person or on the phone was the kind of time that I would spend with someone that was my man and I was tired of it. Tag has some discernment that is unreal and I never realized it until tonight. At the end of the night of bickering back and forth, he dropped me off at my car and says, "You know what Toya? I'm sorry I'm 12." "Yeah?" I yelled back, "I'm sorry I'm 50" and I slammed the car door. Apparently he knew what was wrong before I did.

The next day while fasting and trying to clear my head it occurred to me why I was so mad that night. I equate it to dieting. When I started low carbing, I ate my fair share of low carb chocolate. Everytime I would see real chocolate, I would go straight to my low carb chocolate. After a while I got frustrated because it was not the same. I got tired of teasing myself with what was close to the real thing but it wasn't. "Dangitt I want chocolate. Not something that reminds me of chocolate. That is only going to remind me that because of what I want to achieve that I can't have the real thing right now. Forget this fake stuff, I just don't want anything at all until I get to the point of where I can have real chocolate again." That is how I felt about Tag. Tag and I would agree to meet somewhere and I would look especially cute that evening and we would talk for hours. Honestly, he is the closest I have come to a date in forever. For a while I really loved getting random "Hope you are having a good day" text messages and having someone ask me every day how my day was and sincerely listen to why it was good or why it wasn't. But that night, I had had it. I turned my phone off because I knew he would be calling or texting me to see if I was okay. Sure enough, I woke up the next day and there was a message from my sweet un-boyfriend. No more fake chocolate and if I couldn't have the real thing, then I didn't want to spend as much alone time with him because that would only remind me of what I can't have but would love to have right now.

(Insert end of dream sequence music here)

So I looked him square in his eyes and nodded. "Yes, absolutely." I said. "Yeah, I think so too." he agreed. That was that. Sure he makes jokes about me being his wife some day but it doesn't bother me because now I am not wishing that things are different. Our reality has finally caught up with us and we are good for it.

I got in the car after dinner and called Tia. "Oh God is going to bless me. You can't tell me that God is NOT going to bless me. " I have never been so full of faith about my husband in my life and I don't care if he comes tomorrow or in five years. There is no doubt in my mind that God is going to bless me with a most amazing man considering what I did NOT let happen because that boy is beautiful. His voice? I play his music in the house and Tia says "There is no way that that is the person who just left here." He is so incredible and I could have very selfishly had what I wanted and sent him right on back to school next week. Because I didn't, God has allowed some really great revelations to come out of this that I would've missed had I wild out like I wanted to some nights. Thank you Jesus.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Do You Love What You Feel?-Toya

"Do You Love What You Feel?" is a song by the incomparable Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. Thank God for these new Grown and Sexy R&B Old School Radio formats that have been popping up or else we would probably never hear songs on the radio like this anymore.

I am saddened by the state of R&B music. Actually, let me revise that statement. I am saddened by the music that the music industry is trying to pass off as R&B music. I do believe that true R&B music, soul music if you will, lives on because people still experience the real hardships and heaviness of life: falling in love, being rejected and dealing with heart wrenching situations. I don't believe that it only lives on in samples or by those who recycle the sounds of Donny Hathaway and try to pass them off as their own. I believe that their are truly some innovative artists out there. They just aren't getting signed.

I believe that part of the problem is that the industry has muddled the lines of what R&B music is and what Rap is. Case in point I was listening to a Yahoo's R&B radio station at work and the first 5 songs were rap songs. They were the "For the Ladies" type songs like Fabulous' "Baby" or P. Diddy's "I Need A Girl". This is not R&B. This is rapping performed over R&B tracks. True it has elements of R&B but these are not R&B songs anymore than Run DMC's "Rock Box" is a straight up rock song. Somebody got it completely wrong when they allowed Billboard to combine their R&B charts with the Hip Hop charts. This has screwed up radio formats beyond all recognition and in turn has messed up sales for singers that don't have MTV appeal.

Before the fascination with the image of youth ran the industry we had real singers. Does anyone really think that our R&B stars of the 80's like Regina Belle, Anita Baker, Peabo Bryson and Freddie Jackson could come out now the same age they were then and get a record deal? Absolutely not. Video has truly killed the radio star. Being an artist nowadays has the same appeal that being an athlete used to. It used to be that brothas wanted to ball because it seemed like an easy way to get rich quick. Now, the new get rich quick scheme is to be a performer. Notice, I didn't say artist. An artists creates out of their gut because they have to. The reason why there is such an imbalance between those that are artists and those that are just strictly performers is because people are making money off of something that they care absolutely nothing about.

Music used to make us feel something. You felt a certain kind of way when you heard Angela Winbush tell you that "You Don't Have to Cry". I can look into the eyes of some of these artists and see that they do not love what they do. Oh they love what they get out of what they do but they do not love what they do. They aren't proud of their work. They don't feel "it" and admit it none of us have really felt "it" in a long time.

All is not lost though. I praise God for the Leela James' , the PJ Morton's (cop that RIGHT now if you don't have it), and the Anthony Hamilton's. I praise God for the independent artists that would rather be on the grind than sell themselves short for medium rotation on BET and have to give up 30 seconds of their own song to a Fat Joe cameo. These types of artists love and have pride in what they do. They respect themselves and they respect the music. Let's do what we can to support them and then maybe that will send a signal to these record companies that real music can still sell.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Boys I love right now - tia

Okay, as a single heterosexual woman, who at the moment couldn't buy a date (yeah, I don't get it either. If one more of my girl friends tells me how pretty I am I'm going to scream. Yes, yes, I was blessed with genetic symmetry, that's great....Can I get down with a GUY who thinks I'm pretty and smart and such...anyway) I am currently relegated to celebrity crushes. There is no one that I am remotely attracted to anyway, I mean besides Ben Covington(not the real BC but my BC...read the archives), who I realized just recently is my prototype. Yeah...that sucks. Anyway, the following are some of the y-chromosome individuals that I'm ALL about.

Do I even have to explain this? I mean really. Yes, Lord.

Maybe it's because he came on the VMAs and said, "A salaam alaikum." Maybe it's because on one episode of The Dead Zone he said, "Holla atcha boy." Maybe because...shoot, I don't know what it is. I just know that Anthony Michael Hall could holla at me ANYTIME.

The Transporter 2 will be coming out soon. He will have guns. He will kick a**. And he is now and will forever be British. And again I say, Yes Lord.

So I (tia) broke down and bought it.

It was good and all but I need more full length episodes. I need Ryan Gossling to sing in Cry For You in linen pants in front of a wind machine. I need to see The Party singing I Found Love. There are things that I need to see...that all of us need to see. I say we boycott Disney (for a good reason) until we can get all the seasons on DVD.
Don't be that girl - tia

Okay, first and foremost, I realized the other day that I'm tired of the boy drama. We used to have fun. We used to maul celebrities. We used to laugh at people who tried to bow up in our cyberspace. Now, not so much. So I have decided it's time to bring the fun back. I'm sure that there will still be boy drama, but I'm going to try to have more fun. At least as much fun as a person can have when she spends 3-4 days a week on the road.

That said...

I swear I just saw Jigga in the St. Louis airport. I was walking to the Hertz shuttle bus and I saw someone who looked like Jigga (or Jigga himself?) walk out of the restroom. Crisp striped dress shirt, clean kicks, hat cocked to the side, sunglasses, and that mouth. You know maybe it wasn't Jigga. But I had to stop myself from screaming, "JIGGA!!!!!"

I texted Toya and all she said was, "Don't be that girl. Don't be like the girl in the Mike Jones video." I had to laugh. All I could see was some guy trying to stop me as I ran up to him:

Where you goin'

Get out my way, I'm going to see Jigga.

Jigga ain't seein' nobody today!!!!

And it all ends with me getting gripped up around my armpits. It so would have been worth it though..

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Yes, Lord...For the rest of my days - tia

I started a post earlier and referenced an MMC dvd I say in Target. (Still working on the post by the way.) I decided to just go ahead and buy the dvd. I figured it was only $10. What did I have to lose?

When I tell you that I SCREAMED like someone was beating me, please believe that I am not exagerrating. Someone at Disney FINALLY caught the vision and made old MMC episodes available for the people. I haven't even watched them yet. I'm waiting on Toya. I can't watch this alone. Because if ANY one of these episodes has Ryan Gossling singing Cry For You aka Baby I'm Beggin', I'm going to need someone to be here to make sure I don't hit my head when I pass out.

Please support. Go buy it. Maybe if enough of these sell they'll put out more out. And then I can relive the days when JC was my baby, Chase had bad hair and Dale was...he was Dale.

Monday, August 15, 2005

If You Can't Be With the One You Love (Love the One You're With)-Toya
I am way too lazy to find out who sang this song but I do know that it has been covered a zillion times. Luther Vandross covered it on "Songs". Still don't believe he's gone. I won't get started on that.

A few nights back I was downtown at a friend's show. It seems like I am always doing that. Not that there is anything wrong with that but it seems as if a lot of my stories start off that way. Anyway, about 10 blocks away, Tag was about to perform at another venue.

Before I get into this let me again attempt to clarify what a "Tag" is because I think we confused some of you. "Tag" is a reference to a character on Friends which Rachel dated around the time she turned 30. He was way younger than her, cute and just fun to be with. However, he was not remotely on her level and as much as she wanted it to work, logically it just could not. TIA AND I DO NOT HAVE THE SAME TAGS. We could never be that bored.

I get a phone call while I am inside after the first act is over. "Hey, I'm outside." Tag says. "You're here?" I asked as I made my way out of the door. I hung up as I saw him walk across the street. "What are you doing here?" I asked. "You know why I'm here. Come on." he said in a "Stop playin'" kind of tone.

That exchange of words really sums up our relationship, a relationship that has become tight mostly based on the fact that the both of us desperately misses companionship. It's not a romantically based relationship, praise God, because that could be messy. I dealt with all of that a few weeks back and it's pretty much out of my system. It's more of a sister/brother type thing, me being the older sister of course. I don't think that I have mentioned this but Tag just recently went through a horribly messy break up with someone that he was with for a long time. Some marriages don't even last as long as he was with this girl. And as we all know, the Summer time is the best time to be with the one you love...when you are in school of course. For the rest of us working class, a day is a day. Grant it there is more sunlight but we are not at all reaping the benefits of being able to schedule our lives by semesters.

He depends on me a lot and I gladly let him. I don't know too many women that don't love to be needed. It's that nurturer within us. However, mine borderlines on co-dependency sometimes. I'm an all night worrier. I worry more about things more than he does. I let him spill his guts about his fears, his broken heart, and whatever he needs to let off of his chest. He knows that he can always come to me for the truth. I tell him if he cracked when he sang. I tell him when he's being a jerk. I tell him when he's being insecure. I don't "Aww, baby him" as much as I tend to say things like "Look, you're going to do it this way and you're going to like it. Man up!" But I also tell him that he is especially amazing, gifted, and has the favor of God on his life so rich that he needs to just let go and watch God do the impossible in his life. I'm his cheerleader, what can I say? I believe in him whole heartedly.

As we sat in front of the venue side by side he says "Are you gonna miss me when I go back?" "Yes. I have already decided that I am going to need to get a goldfish". I replied. We both laughed. I told Tia that I am either going to need a puppy or a boyfriend when he leaves. I can't have the puppy, she says, so we have agreed on a goldfish. No, it will not be named after him. He thinks he comes to me for too much. He may be right. As we sat for a while he said, "I've been blowing your phone up all day worrying about this and that. I know you are like 'Why is this boy here?'" Before he left he says, as always "So, I'll call you tomorrow. Not like 50 times like I did today though." "No, you'll call me once" I said. "Then you'll text message me 50 times tomorrow." He suggested that I probably needed a break from him. I didn't think he was serious.

That was two nights ago. After not hearing from him all day yesterday, I called. He picked up the phone and says laughing"Couldn't last a day, could you?" "Are you giving me a Tag day off" I laughed. "I was but then I was going to call you later." We talked briefly and he mentioned that he was having it rough that day. I haven't heard from him since. THAT is not normal.

He thinks that I need a break from him but he may very well need a break from me because I am not his Savior. I think I let him depend on me when at times I need to point him in the direction to depend on God. I have become much more conscious of that. Still with so much going on, I hate that he feels that he shouldn't come to me as if he is a burden. As Tia says "Holy Co-Dependency Batman!"

I will pray for him. That is really all I should do. That and start thinking of names for my goldfish.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

And We’ll Understand It Better, By and By…-Toya

It’s not that I haven’t written anything at all for a while; it’s just that I haven’t posted anything on here. Honestly, I have been waiting to see how everything panned out before I did. The last thing that I wanted to do was to take a stance on anything and then come back on some ol’ “See, what had happened was…”

This has been a most interesting summer. I remember driving down the highway a month ago going to meet Tag saying out loud, “God if this is a test, I can’t pass it. I’m serious. This is the wrong time and I am in the wrong place emotionally for this.” But one of the things that I have learned is that God will never give you more than what you can handle. Although Tia and I wind up in similar situations often, they are usually custom fit to what we can handle. I have said numerous times that I would not do well in her situations and she has said numerous times that she doesn’t see how I can handle mine and not go crazy. We went to go see Tag sing one time and she kept leaning over to me saying “I am so sorry. Man, I am so, SO sorry.” LOL! I will get back to the Tag Chronicles in a moment. It actually ties in at the end.

Tangent: I am watching John Legend sing “So High”. Why won’t he be my boyfriend? I don’t understand. He is so stinking cute with his perfect pink lips!

Tia said something a few weeks ago that I think sums up why a lot of us get frustrated. She mentioned that in Psalm it says that the Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. It doesn’t say that you’ll be able to see EVERYTHING, just enough to get you to the next step. If what I think is happening for me and a lot of us that are waiting to finally get thrust into our dreams, then we have to allow ourselves to walk only as far as that light will lead us and not try to jump ahead. Within the past few weeks, I have been able to talk to people with the same vision for change in the area of music that I have. I can never escape this industry, no matter how hard I try. We were in church and one of our pastors said that sometimes you have to go back to the very thing that causes you pain. I HATE the music industry. However, there is something about encouraging and enabling people to live out their dreams of doing the very thing that they would do for free because they HAVE to and exist to do that just lights something within me. It has since the third grade. Right now, I am crazy enough to believe that God is going to enable me and allow me to do what has always come naturally to me. I don’t completely see it but it is unfolding. I am so encouraged that a lot of my friends are starting to see it for them too. I guess it just takes getting bored to say “What the hell? There is no way I can stay in this funk. I might as well step out and just do it.” Do I know exactly what I am going to do and where? Not at all. However, the preparation is happening and I am excited about that.

And then there is Tag. As it stands, Tag has now become my, actually Tia’s and my, little brother. He has gone from being 12 (the age we refer to any guy that is under 25) to 8 to 5. The more we have all hung out the more that he just seems to be an adorable kid; mature and deep in somethings but a kid overall. But what is so great, even with all of the prior temptation before coming to this point in our friendship is that God has taught me so much through my relationship with him. Watching him steadily go after his dreams has lit something in me to start to steadily go after mine and they actually go hand in hand. So yes, I did pass the test, thank God. I didn’t let my emotions get in the way and through that I have started to finally see what is on the horizon for me. Here’s to not being a slave to your hormones.

Oh and by the way, I am not moving. The closer it came time for me to move the harder it got for both of us. It seems like Tia and I got even closer the few weeks before I was going to move. Then one day I came downstairs and saw a note on the fridge that said "Toya, please don't move." I mean really. So we discussed it and the whole reason I was moving was because I thought she was and now shes not even sure when. I never really wanted to go. Besides, I just think that there is a lot that we still need to do together. So yeah!!!!! I am still here.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Tag is a state of mind- tia

I know that it's been a while since we posted. It's coming.

But in the interim, I would like to take a moment to clarify a matter that was brought to my attention. Toya mentioned that someone thought that when she and I individually mentioned Tag that we were talking about the same person. Umm...no. Just so we're all on the smae page there are THREE Tags. She has one, I have 2. And they ARE NOT, I repeat, NOT the same guy. Times is hard but they ain't never ever Ever EVER that hard. Apparently the young bucks want to be down. I'm game. Besides, women outlive men by 8 years on average. So 21 is about right.