Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Got That Feelin’- Toya
James Brown. I still can’t talk about James Brown passing. Same way I can’t talk about Luther umm, leaving us. For a season. See? Can’t do it.

“You can’t make wise decisions when your parts are tingly.”

This declaration was met with an eruption of laughter as I described a night where I thought things were getting too close too soon for a friend of mine and me. He had been drinking a bit and because of my freakishly low tolerance for alcohol I was a bit tipsy myself after two drinks. We have always been very affectionate and have excellent chemistry but my gut has always told me that us being together is a bad idea. But as we flirted throughout the night, holding hands and later holding each other during a much too long of an embrace for strictly platonic friends, I could not for the life of me remember why us hooking up was a bad idea. I quickly headed to the bathroom and opted to use one of my lifelines.

“Why aren’t we together again?” I asked Tia from the one bathroom available at a party with a house full of people. Hopefully no one in line was hopping on one foot as I tried to jog my own memory. “I mean, I don’t understand why this isn’t a good idea.” Tia instructed me to go home and take a cold shower but not before she listed a number of reasons that I myself at one time or another had uttered to her when my judgment wasn’t so clouded: me and this guy are too much alike. He drinks too much and when he does, he can be a bit on the grabby “bad touch” side. Unless I want to be a tragic Lifetime movie ready to happen, I needed to go home.

It wasn’t until I got in the car that I recalled all of these reasons and they made perfect sense. I have always tried my best to protect my situation and not put myself in circumstances where I would foolishly compromise due to hormones or what we like to call the “Ready Fuels” (*This just in- Stephen Christian from Anberlin, who performs the song Ready Fuels is set to get married next month. I tell you, another one bites the dust. Tia and I have about 2 weeks left to where we can think of him without feeling guilty. Actually, while he was single I think we may have had some thoughts about him while on stage that left us feeling just a little bit guilty. That’s neither here nor there.) The ready fuels are a BEAST after you turn 30. I wish someone would’ve warned me. Oh I heard all about how you can’t lose weight as quickly as you could before, drier skin and hair in strange places but this? Whoa.

Last weekend I was at a women’s discussion group for an organization that I will be working with called She Power Rocks. Ran by the phenomenal sangin' soul sistas, Descendants of Reality, Brownie and Reesy have organized forums for women to talk about self esteem, domestic violence, STD’s, the effect of music on society and other various issues that affect women of all races. As I sat there we watched a short film about HIV called The Secret Closet (You can actually view the film online here. Don't let the less than stellar acting deter you from watching the whole thing, trust me). Now I don’t want to spoil it for you but let’s just say that this movie left me with my jaw hanging wide open. Ladies, this is 2008. If you are still thinking that you can tell a man has AIDS or is gay just by looking at him, I need you to join the rest of us over here in reality. You CANNOT tell. “Oh he lookin’ good and he talkin’ right” can have you in a world of hurt. And can we please stop spreading this poison that it’s just black men that are on the down low? There are plenty of down low brothers and down low others so if you are thinking that the grass is greener and more well kept on the other side think again. Even sadder, there are men that aren’t gay but have been sexually abused and have suppressed these memories to the point that they won’t allow themselves to face it. Therefore, they never get tested. I don’t know about you but I am going to start asking the hard questions. I don’t care if you are Tennessee Titan or a bit more on the metro side, as for me, no man is exempt from getting asked whether they have been or ever have wanted to be with another man. If they are too offended for that to be open for discussion, no dice.

I have heard more messages, discussions and email forwards about patience within the past two months than I have ever seen. It’s been freaky. If you have been reading this blog long enough, you know that Tia and I are all for abstinence until marriage. We realize that that is not everyone’s stance but I think that the majority of us can agree with the fact that the consequences are too dire in this day and age to be careless. Even if you are having sex before marriage, I think it’s fair to say for everyone involved that getting caught up in the heat of the moment and THEN trying to decide whether you want to go all the way with another person is not the easiest time to make the wisest decision.

I write all of this to urge everyone out there to know your limits. If you are having sex, don’t have irresponsible, all cares to the wind sex. Weigh the consequences wisely because no method of protection outside of abstinence is 100% effective. We all have friends that have got caught out there. I have two friends of mine that are currently single and pregnant. One lives in DC and the other in Atlanta. Both of them used protection with men that neither one of them find worthy enough to even date right now. Was I upset that they were pregnant? Not so much. What I was concerned about most of all is that if you can get pregnant, you can get AIDS. Now THAT is scary to me. If you are trying to hold out, be careful of the situations you put yourself in, After the She Power Rocks meeting, we all got gift bags. In my bag was a strip of condoms. I panicked and had to get rid of them. Yes, I am a spazz and I panicked. Why? Because I know myself. I could just see myself getting hot and heavy with someone and be thinking all along, “Hey, don’t I have condoms in the car?” But that’s me. I’m just sayin’. You know you. So be the best you making the best decisions. It’s worth it.

Follow Up
Not too long after I wrote this I was in a situation where I had to ask the hard questions. To my heart’s dismay, I got some hard answers.
Protect your situation.
ALWAYS.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Scrubs is NOT cancelled.







Which means "Turk" (Donald Faison) is not cancelled.


Which means I am VERY happy.- Toya
Those Two Chicks on the Right...

Yup, that's Tia and me, Toya. We've been blogging forever now and whereas Tia early on as posted pics of herself, I have always been hesitant. That's Tia sporting You Should Know artist Josiah's glasses and that is me on the right during a photo shoot for Damien Horne's website.

I look forward to all the things that we are planning for BGLU but I must say for me that this is going to be a big step. Although we are pretty transparent on this blog, there are people that actually know me and see me often that know nothing about it. So to make it more official and public has me a little nervous. But it's worth it. We love to write, we love getting feedback from you guys and well, it's just been so much fun. We'll fill you in on what we got going on soon.

BGLU Alert: You Should, Need and Better Get to Know- Angel Taylor

"Every hero needs theme music"- Jack Spade from "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka"

It's been said to Tia and me on plenty of occasions that the dramedy of which is our lives should be made into a movie, a TV show, or a book. After hearing Angel Taylor today (thanks Joy), there is no doubt in my mind that if there ever were a BGLU movie or TV show, Angel Taylor would be singing the entire soundtrack.

Signed by Aware Records, home of BGLU staple John Mayer and early BGLU You Should Know artist from five years ago Mat Kearney (we always try to put yall on early) Angel Taylor is simply perfect and perfectly simple. Her vocals remind me of Missy Higgins with the songwriting style of a Colbie Caillat and a tinge of Corinne Bailey Rae. With respect to how much some artists hate to be compared to their contemporaries, I liken her to these artists to say that Angel Taylor is every girl's girl, especially if you are a BGLU. Her lyrics (see “Chai Tea Latte”) read as if she had been writing lyrics while sitting behind Tia and me at my favorite coffee shop. I cannot WAIT for this girl to release an album and play Nashville. Check out her Myspace page at www.myspace.com/angeltaylor . I mean, have we ever steered you wrong before?

Monday, May 26, 2008


"Hi, my name is Ne-Yo and I make hits."- Toya
I love love LOVE love Ne-Yo with my whole heart and you should too. His new CD "Year of the Gentleman" is due out this summer as are new CD's from Common (yes, Lord), Weezer, Beck, and COLDPLAY (there is nothing they do that I don't like). If house music is sexy to you like it is to me, then Ne-Yo's new house driven single, "Closer" will surely have you wanting to make love in this club.
Yeah, I just said that.
For more on this summer's new releases check out this article from Entertainment Weekly.
Music Roundup - Tia

Usher - Here I Stand
Dear Usher,
You are not Prince.
Love,
Tia

I just finished listening to Usher's new cd and I was bored as hell. I mean for real it took everything in me to keep listening. I'm so disappointed. Confessions was my joint. (There weren't too many songs on that album that I skipped. In my opinion a good record is one that doesn't require you constantly hitting next.) Because Confessions was so good I knew it was going to take a miracle for Usher to repeat that same success. Honestly, how often do people come out with a FIYAH album and then follow it up with something that is equally or more hot? Almost NEVER. And this album was no exception.

The entire album borders on trite. (Wait, change "borders on" to "is.") The first 3 songs were about sex. WE GET IT. YOU LIKE GETTING LAID. Find a new topic. Love In This Club is just stupid to begin with. I mean when was the last time you went to the club and had enough time, energy or opportunity to have intercourse? Please cut the B.S. This Ain't Sex makes no sense to me. They whole time I'm listening to the song I was thinking, "I'm no expert, but what you're singing about sounds like sex to me." And Trading Places is downright offensive. Maybe it's because I'm not an expert in the sex department, but being told to shut up during sex does not sound like the business to me. Nor does being told by my partner that he's not stopping regardless of my request. But hey, maybe that's what the girls like these days.

The Prayer for You interlude is not bad. You can tell that he really wants to be a good man and father to his child. I can respect and appreciate that. And he follows that up with Something Special which was the first (and only) song on the album that made me smile. There was some unnecessary designer name dropping, but overall it's a really cute guitar driven song triumphing the greatness of his girl and beauty of their relationship. Why couldn't there be more songs like that on the album?

But just when I thought the latter half of the album may pick up I was, of course, let down. For the most part the second half of the album is just like the first: a lot of boring, trivial songs about some form of sex, cheating, thinking about cheating and other such activities. Here I Stand and Will Work For Love are the latter half exceptions. Neither are particularly great (or moving as I think WWFL was going for) but they also aren't the same song and dance about getting laid and, sadly, that makes them the best of the worst.

Overall, this album gets the "Boo, Negro, Boo" from me. If I need an Usher fix anytime soon I will pop in Confessions.


The Roots feat. Chrisette Michele and Wale - Rising Up
Maybe it's because I'm still fairly new to the city and I haven't had time to really listen, but it seems that there is something seriously wrong with the RnB radio stations in Atlanta. There's no middle ground. There's either (very) Old School RnB, I'm talking the stuff from the 60s and 70s or it's all "Rah Rah N**** Rah Rah bend over b****!!!!!" music. Where is the grown-up RnB? Not the baby boomer RnB but the stuff that came out some time in the last decade? Where are the Algebras, the Chrisette Micheles, the Estelles getting played in a city that is like 80% black? I don't know. But I do know where I can hear Solider Boy 100 times a day.

Anyway, Rising Up made my very soul smile.

Yesterday I saw a B-girl crying
I walked up and asked, "What's wrong?"
She told that the radio's been playing the same song all day long

Ummm....yeah. That's about right. I can hear Love in this Club or ANYTHING by Soldier Boy enough times a day that I will want to take out the first DJ I see. But conscious music like The Roots and talented artists like Estelle get ZERO airtime. Explain that.

I wouldn't call myself a huge Roots fan. While I'm familiar with their songs I don't own any of their albums, just smatterings of tracks here and there. But Rising Up is currently my favorite song and I'm going to run it until I hate it.




Shake It - Metro Station
This song is fun and non-offensive. You really can't beat that. I know people think I'm nuts when I'm driving down the street singing it at the top of my lungs. Frankly, I couldn't care less. It's one of those songs that makes you happy. And who doesn't need a little happy in their life?

Sorry, but Sony/BMG are some busters. I couldn't find a embedded code for the video anywhere. So follow the link to watch.


John Mayer - Where The Light Is
How about I didn't know anything about this until a couple of weeks ago when a friend mentioned it in passing. I don't know how I missed this. Word is that it's 22 tracks over 3 different sets. It looks amazing. Can't wait to get it July 1. Shout out to Lightchild for the info.




Chris Brown feat. Keri Hilson - Superhuman
I'll be the first person to admit this song sounds like another version of No Air. But I think that's what I love about it. I ran No Air into the ground. I mean, car karaoke at it's finest, singing all of the parts, all of the inflections. It was, and still is, my jam. But this Superhuman is taking me through it. I sincerely hope they do a video for this. Although if they play up the cheesy superhero theme I'm going to be pissed.

The song also got me excited about Keri Hilson's solo stuff. She's been writing amazing tracks for other people for years now, so I can't wait to see what she comes with for her own album.




And since summer is swiftly approaching I must depart for the sweaty, depressing place known as the gym.

Laters

Friday, May 23, 2008

They are cutting back on everyone - Tia
Okay, when Toya was little she thought that the line in Ebony and Ivory that goes, "There is good and bad in everyone" was "They are cutting back on everyone." Basically in her mind what the song was saying is black or white, you have GOT to learn to get along because they are cutting back on all of y'all regardless of color. I can't tell you how much that warmed my heart when she told me that story.

The government is trying to cut back on every last one of us. Forgot what you heard. They are trying to kill us. I went to the gym last night and passed not one but TWO stations that were advertising LOW GRADE gas for...wait for it...$4.09. WTF????? Are they kidding?? There is no way that people can afford to pay that. I looked down and noticed that the gas gauge was precariously close to E. I drove on. My moral sensibilities REFUSED to let me pay that much for gas in GA...where gas has traditionally been cheaper.

But this morning there was no getting around it. I had to drive to a site across town and the little "Girl, stop playing and get gas" light was on. So I drove as far as I could until I knew that it was going to be a situation if I didn't stop. Yeah, pretty sure I paid $3.99/gallon. I'm PISSED. I put almost $50 in my tank and it's STILL NOT FULL. Where is the breakdown? Why is gas so high? I need answers.

Living in a city with sketchy public transportation (I KNOW y'all have seen the MARTA Soldier Girl video. People like her are why I don't mess with MARTA unless I have to.) and POORLY planned roads makes it almost impossible to go without a car. And there are parts of the city that are literally 40+ miles away. How are you still considered part of the same city if it takes you an hour to get from one side to the other? If I drive an hour out of Nashville, I'm in Kentucky.

I sat down and did my budget last night. And I didn't do what I normally do, which is underestimate. I went line by line through a month of bank statements and credit card bills. Let's just say I will be cutting WAY back. I will be getting rid of some of the cable stations I have. I will be seeing my trainer A LOT less. And I have changed my car insurance and saved $100. (Sidebar: I would highly recommend taking at look at your car insurance. I had WAAAAAYYYYY too much coverage. Now I have more than the state minimum but not so much that I would literally have to hit a busload of people to max out the payout amounts.)

I'm thinking about moving back to Nashville and buying a place when my lease is up. I'll write about that later. (And before you ask NO NO NO it does not have ANYTHING AT ALL to do with NG. I mean, who moves for a crush...?) But in order to get the best possible interest rate on that kick-ass condo in the Gulch, I need to have less debt and more money. And that means I will have to cut back. Fewer trips to H&M. Less money spent on the bourgeois cheese and such that I like to buy. Higher payments to Sallie Mae and the credit union for my car. Basically, I've got to play smart at the money game. And if I stick to the budget I have A LOT of money left over. Okay not a lot but more than I'm used to. And money left over means less debt and more fun.

But in case you were wondering, I'm still going on the Mayercraft. Ain't too much that could keep me from John.

And I don't remember who said it but you're dead wrong for suggesting we push Jen off the boat. I like Rachel Greene. She can come.

Thursday, May 22, 2008



Umm, John. You ain't on "that stuff" are you? I'm just sayin'...- Toya
(Picture taken from www.crunktastical.net)

See how rumors get started?  But look yall, Doesn't John look "po'" as the old folks used to say? I mean, isn't it a little too early to try to slim down for the cruise (I've been there before. Trying to lose 25 pounds in 3 weeks. Never works)?  I need him to slow down on his slow down.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Soul Says Yes.- Toya

PLEASE know that I used to rock weaves so I am not making fun of this. I rejoice in this. I love when people have no shame (well some of the time). My favorite response to this has been by my friend Dei, "If you don't take care of your weave, your weave won't take care of you".

No truer words have ever been uttered.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

THIS is my FAVORITE CD right now.- Toya














I haven't loved anything this much since Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black". Estelle's "Shine" is the bestest. Makes me miss Res though (where is she? Anyone?). Buy this record. Seriously.
Toya's Random Thought of the Day
While standing at the coffee machine at work...

Isn't it strange that the year that vests made a comeback that so did New Kids on the Block? Hopefully this will not be the return of topless hats...
I Voted for David Archuletta- Toya

You read right. I voted for David "Blinky Bear" Archuletta. Why? Because the music snob in me will always trump my love for rocker boys.

David A. came to win and he deserves to win. David Cook, although good, did not bring it. So when he said "This show is about progression", I had pretty much counted him out. American Idol is, yes, about progression. However, the final two show is about WINNING! David Cook shot himself in the foot when he picked that Collective Soul song over "Billie Jean" or finally a full version of "Hello".

On the other hand, David Archuletta has consistently made wise song choices (See Neil Diamond night when he picked two of the biggest karaoke hits of all time). Archuletta (or his father) knows what works. The reason why David Archuletta will be the American Idol is not just because of his wide tween base but because no matter how sugary he is, he draws emotion. Yes, David Cook can also draw emotion out of me but umm, that's different.

I do look forward to David Cook's album however and with him coming in second place, it may not be as rushed. I think he may be too much of an individual for the powers that be to handle but I think he will crank out a decent record. With David Archuletta coming in first, I think we may be looking at a younger, more TRL friendly Josh Grobin. We'll see who wins tomorrow.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Infatuation - Tia
Infatuation is the name of a song off of Maroon 5's UK release of It Won't Be Soon Before Long. I usually leave the song titles to Toya. (For those of you who are new, 99% of the time Toya titles her posts with songs titles.) But there is really no other word that I can think of for how I feel right now.

I have met the male version of me. Seriously, it's ridiculous. He is a tall white version of me. And frankly I am smitten.

It all started with dinner. Toya had a "party like a rock star" itinerary planned for the days that I would be in town beginning with dinner at some new guy friends' house. I totally was not prepared for what happened. I figured it would be pizza and beer and that's it. These guys went all out. They COOKED. And not only did they cook but they served it on the patio. I was more than impressed.

As the night transpired we were literally in HYSTERICS. I have not laughed that hard all year. There were so many times during the night that I thought my spleen was going to explode from laughter. And I won't even go into the part about the fire truck. (A party ain't a party until a civil servant shows up.)

Anyway, the longer we all talked the more I began to realize that New Guy (or NG for short) and I have a lot in common. And I mean A LOT. As we were sitting across from Toya and NG's roommate laughing at something that they probably couldn't care less about I realized that NG and his roommate are the male version of Toya and I. It's not just random similarities...THEY ARE US. NG is so me it's ridiculous. So I don't know why I was surprised when he brought out a jacket for Toya and I realized that it was the same jacket that I have. (So what I wear boy's clothes sometimes...) And when I walked in the kitchen and saw the same cooks books on top of his fridge (the same place I keep mine) that I have, I shouldn't have been shocked. (I should mention that though we have the same cookbooks neither of us use them. We both just bought them because they were cheap and pretty.) And it makes all the sense in the world that his favorite store is IKEA because IKEA is the happiest place on earth for me. And OF COURSE he loves London to the point that he has London coffee table books. Yeah, I have several of those. His favorite alcoholic beverage of choice: Long Island Iced Tea. I can tell you ALL of the best places in Atlanta to get a killer LIIT. I literally could sit here and run down a laundry list of things that we have in common. It's scary really. At the end of the night I was ready to move in and make it official.

Fast forward a few nights and NG texted Toya to find out where we were. As it turned out we were out and about doing it big in Nashville so NG decided to join us. Upon the mention of his name I got butterflies...BUTTERFLIES. I haven't had butterflies in...maybe ever. NG showed up looking fly as hell. I had to keep talking to another friend of mine to keep from staring at NG. As the night wore down I realized that I was going to have to go back home the next day to my friendless, ridiculously busy existence in Atlanta and I didn't want to go. So I told Toya that I wanted to keep the party going. The 3 of us ended up at some rooftop establishment and we had a blast. The whole night made me realize how much I missed my friends in Nashville. But that's a whole other post.

By the end of the night I was over the freakin' moon for NG. It is ridiculous how much I like this guy. The hair, the tattoo, the laugh, the swagger, the man. I'm actually a bit confused and scared about my feelings for this guy. I'm not trying to be weird or anything, but it's been a really long time since I've felt anything more than passing feelings of fancy for a guy. Usually with the guys that I have crushes on I can't see past the moment. But this guy, this guy is different. After 4 days, FOUR FREAKIN' DAYS, I can't get him out of my head. He loves to travel like I love to travel, so I'm having day dreams of us in Spain, London, Germany. The things I'm thinking about NG have the potential to go beyond the moment. But as it stands, I have no idea how he feels. In his mind I could be the goofy girl who commits party fouls early. (No comment.)

And I must say that it feels a bit narcissistic having such an infatuation with someone who is so much like me. I basically have a crush on myself. I know people say opposites attract, but the few times I've dated someone who is my polar opposite it's been disastrous. I think NG and I have enough in common to where we would definitely get along just fine. But there are enough differences between us that we wouldn't get bored being together.

I'm pretty much at a loss with what I'm supposed to do and/or feel at this moment. I don't like it. I always feel the need to have a plan. But with this guy, I have no plan. I have no agenda. I just really like him and want to get to know him better. BLAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Only the Lonely- Toya
Only the Lonely by The Motels is one of my favorite songs from the 80’s. I remember when MTV first came on and they ran this video all the time. The ending scene when the lead singer is sprawled on top of the cafĂ© table singing “Only the lonely can play” is so serious.


I am almost afraid to post this because I am so not trying to depress anyone. As a matter of fact, I am in a pretty good mood. It’s just that loneliness has been a topic that has come up so many times within the past few months that I feel the need to address it. This is a real thing and we try to talk about real stuff so here it goes…

It was the night of my first benefit show. After a few months of planning and finally allowing my normally non-committal self to actually commit and follow through with something, I had successfully produced a show that some have said was the best local show they have ever seen in Nashville. My partner Mike and I pulled off something never done before in this town and thank God, it went so much better than we anticipated. It was filled to capacity, everyone had a great time, and we raised a lot of money for a cause that we had become passionate about. After the show was finished I was bombarded by some familiar and some not familiar faces telling me how proud they were of me and how my show was the show to beat this year. With all of the compliments, accomplishments and success that we achieved that night I can definitely say without a doubt that it was by far one of the loneliest moments of my entire life. Luckily, Tia was staying at my house that night. If I had gone from all of the hoopla to an empty house, I seriously think that I may have had a nervous breakdown. No joke.

As someone who is never short of company or friends to hang out with, I don’t entirely understand the monster that is loneliness. Someone had to actually tell me that I was lonely. I remember explaining to a pastor at our church once that I had this heaviness at times that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. He looked at me squarely and said, “You’re lonely.” I denied it at first. Not trying to be conceited, but I was surrounded by quite a few people who genuinely loved me so this lonely business made no sense. But the more we talked the more I realized that loneliness was the heaviness. It seems that the busier I get, the more popular I get, and the more expectations are placed on me, the lonelier I get. It makes me want to hide in a corner somewhere and sleep for an eternity. The only way I can describe the feeling is that it sometimes seems like there is a core center in my heart that no one has been able to get to even though I have the best friends anyone could ever ask for. To be honest, while a hunky husband to share that evening with would have been nice I am not entirely convinced that that is what was missing. I don’t doubt that wanting to be in an intimate relationship with my best friend and life partner is part of the pain I sometimes deal with but it seems to go a little deeper than that. Loneliness is not just for single people either. I have a friend who has a great marriage, a wonderful family and is battling loneliness right now. While talking one evening she disclosed, “I’ve been dealing with it ever since my daughter was born. At first I thought it was postpartum but it’s been two years. Sometimes I just feel like I am all alone.” Like I said, it’s a monster.

I believe that people handle loneliness in different ways. Some try to fill the void by being people pleasers engrossed in co-dependent relationships. Yup, been there, done that, and have since had my name taken off the email list. No thanks. Some people further isolate themselves knowing that while they are lonely, casual, surface relationships will only make them more empty. My brother told me once that that is how he has dealt with it at times. “If I am going to be lonely, I might as well be alone. No use in being around people and sit there still feeling lonely” he once confessed. Truthfully, I don’t know what’s worse.

The morning after the show, Tia and I were in church and during praise and worship, we were all standing and singing a song about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Then something occurred to me: Jesus was constantly surrounded by people. He had 12 dudes that he constantly rolled with. He knew that he was born to die and yet seemed to have it all together. I am not saying that no one asked him this but do you think that at any point any of the disciples turned to him and said, “Hey, are you alright? I mean, with this dying thing. You are constantly giving to others. We know you miss your father because you get up at the butt crack of dawn to talk to him every single day. How are YOU doing?” And even if they asked these questions, could they really even take the answer? Jesus longed for the approval and the companionship of his Father and deep down so do I. I remember going to bed earlier that morning and asking God ”I know everyone else liked the show but what did you think about it? Were you pleased with it?” There is no way that the disciples could identify with the loneliness Jesus felt because they had never experienced what he had and that was constant companionship with God. It was after I thought this that Hebrews 4:15-16 came to mind:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are-without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Growing up in church I often heard that I should take my problems to Jesus because He cares and can fix them but I don’t think I quite grasped the knowledge that I can take my loneliness to Him because He truly understands it. When I realized this that Sunday, I cried so hard while we were singing that Tia had to hold me up. I think part of the pain of loneliness comes from feeling as if you are not understood. I was overwhelmed that I was loved by someone that really understands AND can help me. I see Jesus and my need for a relationship with Him differently now. Maybe this is what I needed to realize for me to let Him get to that core center of my heart.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My brother is an idiot.- Toya

My brother on why in the South (of all places), I don't get approached by many brothas while some white men don't seem to be as intimidated: "Some brothas get initimated by a sister that seems smart and has heard all of the games before. You can't run game on her cause she has heard it all so it forces them to be themselves....and themselves are usually corny. But these white boys, they like adventure; they go bungy jumping, they go sky diving. So going after a sista is like going on a safari. They're on some crocodile hunting type stuff."
DAYUM ADAM!!!!!! - Tia

Okay so I like the new version of If I Never See Your Face Again. I don't like it as much as the original and I can't put my finger on why. I like Rihanna, don't get me wrong. But I don't feel like she added anything to the song. But I also don't feel like she took anything away from it by being on the track. (PLEASE don't get me started on the JT/Beyonce version of Until The End of Time. I'm a B fan but I TOTALLY don't think she needed to be on that track.) So I guess on a scale of 1-10 it gets a 9. The original gets a 10. It is without question my favourite (UK spelling ROCKS) song on the album.

The video concept is simple. I think it may be my favorite video from the album so far. (Although, Make Me Wonder was not a bad look.) There is a point in the video towards the end (around the 2:30 mark) when my breath caught in my throat. Adam is just fine. We know he is fine. He knows he is fine. The YT boy is FINE. And I don't know what it was but at the moment right before the bridge my breath got caught on (not in...ON) my lung or something because I literally had to take a HUGE breath the next second after.

But what SLAYED me all the way to the edge of existence was the end. Adam rolled up on Rhi-Rhi and pulled her hair. I SCREAMED. And because there is limited furniture in my living room the scream bounced all over the walls. I know this is probably TMI but I love a hair pull. I'm not saying ANY more than that.

So as promised the video is below. Adam is FINE. Jesus is Lord. Have a nice day.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Toya's Random Musings

1. I'm baaaacckkk! And with internet! I finally have a wireless card so I should be blogging more often. Of course new service means another bill and GOOD LORD! Anyone else's stimulus check BEEN gone? Mine didn't last a week but oh well.

2. On David Cook: David Cook could've gone home last week for all I cared. I know, that is shocking coming from me but the professional appreciator in me (see High Fidelity) will always win over my love for rocker boys. He just got plain lazy in the Top 4 and that is NOT the thing to do. That was the round that Daughtry got eliminated in. Second thought, it may have been good for him to go home. What am I even talking about? I am pretty sure the show is rigged anyway.

3. On Chris Brown: Umm, yeah. He has manned up a bit, no? I finally saw the video to No Air and well, I can see him now. Maybe the tooth fairy finally did come for those baby teeth.

4. On my love life or No Sex in the City: 100% crush free. Okay, 99.99% crush free. I have met Tag 3.0 with Vista apparently (last year Tia named a certain someone Tag 2.0 XP). I swear they hibernate in the winter and then the first sign of Spring...BAMMM!!!! I think the saying goes "first time shame on you, second time shame on me, third time, I'm a dumb ass." Or something like that.

5. On being 33: WOW! This has been a rough year but in a good way. I am realizing that there are certain things that I didn't know about myself. I am also realizing that I truly don't know God. I love God, yes but I want to know Him. Like how I know Tia wouldn't do something I want to know that God wouldn't do something. Honestly, I don't think anyone gets worse press than God. So to love God with all of my heart, all of my soul and all of my mind has been my own campaign for 2008 and well, with that being the greatest commandment, it is now the campaign for the rest of my entire life. It's not easy when you let the desires that He put in your heart take priority over Him though and that is what I am learning.

6. On patience: I will say that in my quest to know God more I am realizing how incredibly patient He is with me because I blow it...a lot. However, I blow it with things that I have just learned. I think often I never gave myself a chance to grow because I thought that God was as disappointed in me as I was if I claimed to have learned a lesson one week and then screwed up the week later. He's not like that at all. Again, bad press.

7. On natural hair: Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream is a miracle worker. Yes, indeedy.

8. On BGLU podcast, Myspace, etc.: I know, I know. We keep saying we are going to do it. Hopefully I can get it together by the Summer. Just know it's me who holds things up and not Tia. We've been doing this blog for what, 5 years and I just agreed to put my face on here...
Okay, maybe not yet. I almost did it just then. Not yet.

9. On being comfortable with yourself: Who cares? Seriously, that may actually be my motto for 2008. I realized that I am finally comfortable with who I am and all my quirkiness when I was playing Rock Band with a few friends. One of their roommates walked in the door with a bunch of sorority looking girls and here I am a 33 year old, curly afroed, black woman, singing
Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" at the top of my lungs. That was last week. Tonight, I am going to see Frankie Beverly and Maze along with Angela Winbush and Kem. I love that God made me this way!

10. On Nashville: LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. And then last weekend, I wanted to move to London. See what had happened was... I just all of the sudden I got tired of seeing the same people. But then not too long after I said that I made a couple of new friends. God is good. But seriously, I told Tia that day if neither one of us were married by the time I turned 35 next year, we are packing up and moving to London. Grant it, I have never been to London but still. I am pretty sure I wouldn't hate it.

11. On NKOTB's "Summertime"- Text to Tia:
New Kids on the Block had a lot of hits
But this sounds like '96
And they'll be lucky if their album goes pewter this Summer, this Summer...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Two Words - Tia

Mayercraft Carrier.

Cabins left over from the pre-sale will be released to the general public on June 16th. I am DEFINITELY going. A friend of mine qualified for the pre-sale so we've decided to do it big. So plan on seeing me in the H&M bathing suit with a drink in my hand.

There is a rumor that they're letting folks pay in installments this year. So you're in luck if you don't want to come off the (minimum) $849 at one time. If you decide to go, hit me up and let me know. The BGLU contingent needs to be strong on the boat. The more of us there are the easier it will be to kidnap...ummm...I mean MEET John.

Laters

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

NEXT!!!!! - Tia
First off, thanks to Leila for the heads up on about NKOTB's myspace page having the full version of Summertime. Now with that said, the song gets a big MEH from me. I've listened to it a couple of times and thus far I'm not impressed. It sounds real BSB circa '99 or so. Honestly, it's Summer Nights for the new millennium. Or maybe it's Summer Girls version 2.0 XP. (Oh and speaking of LFO, this here is HE LARRY US!! I mean, he's cute. Are times that hard on the boulevard?) I understand that the summer is just around the corner so they are probably hoping that this will be the anthem of all of the Gen X fans. I imagine they think that we'll be riding around in the car listening to this, while waiting with bated breath for the concerts in the fall. NEXT!!!!!! I'm not feeling this one AT ALL. The "woo woo woo woooo woooo wooo" at the end actually made me laugh out loud. I need them to do better.

Now if they really wanted to do something, they would come on with the full version of Click Click Click. That joint sounds like the business.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I need Rihanna to STAY AWAY FROM MY BOYFRIEND - Tia

Does anyone remember that episode of That 70's Show when Jackie walked in on Kelso kissing Jessica Simpson and she yelled "GET OFF MY BOYFRIEND!!"? Yeah, that's how I felt when I saw this clip. I think my obsession with Adam has reached an unhealthy level. But I can't help it. He is SUPER fine.

Maroon 5 Feat. Rihanna "If I Never See Your Face Again

Friday, May 2, 2008

What would Jesus REALLY do? - Tia
(The following post/rant/diatribe is directed at people who consider themselves to be Christians. I'm not talking to people who are "spiritual but not religious." I'm talking to those of us who calls ourselves Christians, have houses of worship, or at any point wore (or still wear) a WWJD bracelet.)

I'm really over a lot of Christians right now. Before you ask, I have not decided to lay down my faith. I will not be switching to Buddhism or anything. But I am going to take a minute to speak my mind about "my people."

I know that I'm guilty of this and that's why I think I'm so fired up about it. I've been noticing an unfortunate trend in a lot of the people that I sit in the pew with every week and I've seen it in myself as well. I don't know how it happened but somehow a lot of us have taken up residency in the Christian Bubble. All of our friends are Christian. We don't associate with "the world" in any way, shape or form. We look down at the people who don't believe like us. And if we do take a moment to tell them about Christ it's usually a "turn or burn" speech.

Seriously people, what happened to loving our neighbor as ourselves? I think some of us have taken on the attitude of "loving our neighbor if." I'll love my neighbor if he stops smoking. I'll love my neighbor if she stops coming in at all hours of the night. I'll love my neighbor if they get a reign on their bad-ass kids. Sorry, but last time I checked there was no caveat on the Matthew 22: 39. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love the Lord your God with all your heart and the second was like it "Love your neighbor as yourself." We don't put quantifiers on how we love ourselves do we? I don't know too many people who wake up and think, "Oh man, I told a lie yesterday. I'm not going to feed myself as punishment for that lie." I know that's an extreme example but that's what we do when we don't love the people around us unconditionally because "they sin."

And just so we're clear, loving our neighbor is not just telling them about Christ. Loving our neighbor means LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR. It means taking the time to show Christ's love to them. It means actually listening to what they say when you ask, "How are you?" It means going out of your way to help them even if they don't ask for the help. It means....LOVING them.

The other day I went by the leasing office of my new complex to pick up some mail. The leasing agent was sitting talking with some potential residents when a little head popped around the corner. Two seconds later a little boy ran over to the leasing agent and tried to hop in her lap. Mildly embarrassed and slightly annoyed the leasing agent excused herself and walked the little boy, who was no more than 2, back into another room. Five minutes later, back Xavier came (I knew his name because his mom kept uttering it through her clinched teeth.) Xavier's mom once again walked him back into another room and told him to wait. But since he was only 2, waiting is a term that he doesn't comprehend. As I sat there and watched Xavier's mom try to do her job while fending off a toddler I realized that she really just needed an extra set of hands. So when that gorgeous little head popped around that corner again, I got up walked over to him, squatted down on his level and asked him to show me his toys. We went back in the room and had a grand old time. Then I started seeing the sleepy look. So while mommy was still talking to people I laid Xavier down, turned into the baby whisperer and got him to go down for a much needed nap.

After everyone had left, Xavier's very exhausted mom looked at me with the most gratitude I'd seen in a long time and told me "Thank you SO MUCH." It turns out that Xavier's dad had backed out on picking him up that day. And mom couldn't afford to miss a day of work. So without child care she was forced to bring him in. She went on to say that the morning had been hectic because it's hard to show people places with a toddler in tow. So the fact that someone had come in and taken the time to run interference while she did her job meant the world to her.

Now I don't tell this story to toot my own horn. I tell it to say that showing people God's love is sometimes the most practical, mundane thing you can do. It's not always about the big grand gestures. Bringing someone to church is great and I'm not putting it down. But sometimes God wants us to step out of our little Christian world and be Jesus to people who may have never set foot inside a church.

I know I'm guilty of it. I tell you that I'll pray for you as walk on by. I know you need a ride and speed past you with the fish/dove/flame on the back of my car. I tell you, "Hold on sister. Your help is on the way" when I could have been the help you needed. It's time for Christians to rise up. As Jim Morrison said, "The time to hesitate is through." It's time for those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus to be what we claim to be. Stop being so afraid of being "of the world" and go get in it.

It takes no time whatsoever to be nice to someone. Maybe that cashier with the bad attitude just needs someone to look her in the eye, smile at her and acknowledge her as a person. Don't breathe all hard because she's not moving fast enough and then tell her "God Bless You" as you storm off. Take a minute and love on her. And instead of talking about the neighbor girl who is 14 and pregnant, ask her if she needs a ride to the doctor's office. Stop judging people for their circumstances (because ain't NAM one of us perfect) and start loving people for what they are: God's children.

Get off your butts, leave your Christian bubble and start loving people.

The Last Jesus - Kirk Franklin
I see you
I meet you
But I don't know your name
I touch you
Say I love you
But that's all you get for today
It's easy
So easy
To tell you
It's goin' be okay
When I don't walk in your shoes
Haven't been through what you've been though
Instead I push you away

Sunday everyone looks like you
But if our lives are cold inside, tell me what's the use

If I say I love Jesus
But you can't see my Jesus
My words are empty if they can't see Jesus in me
No more excuses
I give myself away
Because I may be the only Jesus they see

Too Busy
Forgive me
I've got problems of my own
It's easier to say your help is on the way
But I was your help all along
We're shouting
We're dancing
But can the world see a change

Am I just too selfish to see
The love they need You put it inside of me

If I say I love Jesus
But you can't see my Jesus
My words are empty if they can't see Jesus in me
No more excuses
I give myself away
Because I may be the only Jesus they see


If we say we love Jesus
But they can't see our Jesus
Tell me what's the use if they can't see Jesus in you and me?
No more excuses
We give it all away
Because we may be the only Jesus they see

If I am Your hands and Your feet
And if Your church is built inside of me
Where did we go wrong?
We've been here too long
We can't see Your face anymore, it's not the same anymore

Have mercy on us Jesus
Please forgive us Jesus
I lost my purpose if they can't see You in me
See I've lied too long
And I change it all today
Because I may be
Because I may be...

If we say we love Jesus
But they can't see our Jesus
Tell me what's the use if they can't see Jesus in you and me?
No more excuses
We give it all away
Because we may be the only Jesus they see


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