Friday, October 30, 2009

Update on My Grandmother- Toya

Tomorrow my brother, mom and aunt are going to Louisiana to go love on my grandmother. The doctors are giving her only a few more days to live. I don't believe it. I don't mean I don't believe them. I mean I don't believe this is happening. I have never ever dealt with the possibility of someone close to me dying. I have been taking note of this process so slowly. There have been so many ups and downs. I have been tired of praying. I sometimes don't know what to think.

I am confident that when she passes away, whenever she passes away, every significant moment to come in my life will feel incomplete without having her here to share with her. I know that this is just a part of life and God has been so merciful with all of us. I am glad that we will all be there together.

Love everyone well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BGLU News- Toya
As some of you might know, Mia Michaels AKA "Who Toya would be if she were a white woman" has up and left So You Think You Can Dance. *Tear* Seriously, I don't even know if I want to watch it anymore. has the exclusive on why she left and NO, she does not have cancer.

Corinne Bailey Rae is slated to release her new CD "The Sea", her first studio recording following the sudden death of her husband Jason Rae in 2008, early 2010. We sure have missed her. Guardian UK has an exclusive interview with Rae about her upcoming project and dealing with the grief of losing her husband.

Some girlfriends of mine and I went to go see Chris Rock's "Good Hair" last weekend and wait, before I get into this: Can I just say that behind a whole row of us was a whole row of gay white men? Not going to lie, we were all pretty puzzled by that. My friend Christine barely let the closing credits roll up before she turned around to ask "Ok, what in the hell are yall doing here?" I then added, "Are yall hairdressers?" LOL! Not at all taken aback by our nosiness, they said that they saw Chris Rock on Oprah and just had to see this movie. Anyway, it is indeed a MUST see. Child, you will find out somethings about weaves that you DID NOT want to know. This movie contained so much great info about relaxers, men's view on weaves, and to my delight, their was a sub-plot about a hair show in Atlanta. There is nothing I love more than Hot Mess Championships! Take your girls (and not just your black ones) and go support this film.

Maxwell and his pretty wings have four nominations for the 2009 Soul Train Music Awards. That's cool and all but when in the world is Soul Train even on? ANYBODY??? Also leading with nominations are Keri Hilson and Beyonce'. Check out the story at UrbanMecca.Net.
Ok, I don't get paid for this yet so back to work. Feel free to throw in your two cents in our comments...

Jordan Idol Hits Nashville- Toya

No, I am not going but yall can have at it! Today at Hollywood Disco from 4-6 pm on Division Street. If you decide to go don't be surprised that there are poles in this club. It used to be a strip club. I'm sorry, a "Gentlemen's Club". Like any gentlemen were ever in there...

MJ's "This is It"- Toya

I saw This is It last night and while I don't have time to review it completely and understand that a lot of people won't see it until this weekend, I will only say two things until I do a full review:

1. If you are any type of creative person (dancer/singer/musician/director/filmmaker/set designer, etc) or work with any creative people, take your behind to go see this movie. I don't care how you feel about Michael Jackson. If you are in school, you should get extra credit for it. If you are fully employed in your craft, it should be a requirement. This whole movie is a "clinic" on showmanship and professionalism.

2. It is almost safe to assume that I will marry a Michael Jackson impersonator. My obsession is off the hook right now.

More to come...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wait for You- Toya

Yesterday, I got into my car after church and called my dad who has been in Shreveport, LA for almost a month now since my grandmother went in due to congestive heart failure. A huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders within the past week as she was alert, talking on the phone and breathing on her own. It was the miracle we had prayed for. So when my dad picked up the phone to give me the latest news, I was in complete and utter disbelief.

Hey baby, it doesn't look like Grandmuffa is going to make it, okay?

"Grandmuffa" is one of the many nicknames we have for my grandmother. It came from my not being able to say the word "grandmother" as a baby and it stuck. As long as I can remember, that is how she has signed every Christmas card, birthday card and email. As my dad started to explain why it looked like my grandmother was not going to make it due to fluid building up in her body and other trauma (which we learned later was caused by a heart attack she had in her sleep), I was still stuck on the not gonna make it part. "Wait, what happened?" I interrupted. I honestly thought that he meant that she wasn't going to make it out of the hospital that day. I didn't think that he meant that possibly soon she wasn't going to be with us at all.

I went on to ask him how he was feeling and he was extremely candid with me. As hard as this has been for all of us, there have been some blessings to come out of this storm. I have seen a lot of growth in my father. While his honesty has been heartbreaking for me at times, it has also helped me know how I can support him. I remember when I asked him if he would like for me to pray for him. He paused and then quietly said "Please". I still don't know how I managed to get any words out after that.

As my dad poured out to me what he was feeling, I started to think that the most important thing to me was that he was not mad at God. I feel that God has been so gracious in giving us time to wrap our minds around the possibility of my grandmother not surviving. Some people don't get that chance. I remember when Kanye West's mom died unexpectedly. He was on the other side of the world. I can't imagine getting that kind of news and then having to fly sixteen hours with that weighing on your heart. God has been so good. My father agrees. We talked as if we knew that this might be it as he headed back to the hospital and he asked me if I was okay. "Yeah, I'm alright." "I don't want you to be by yourself. Go find someone to talk to if you need to."he said. I explained to him that I was just about to meet someone for lunch so I wasn't going to be alone. However, I know myself. I hate crying in front of people so there was no way I would be going through with my lunch date. We said our goodbyes and I sat in the car stunned. I text my apologies to my lunch date and asked if we could postpone. She sympathetically agreed and I remained in the car.

As much as I hate to cry in front of people, sometimes I can only cry in front of people. It can take me days to cry about something sometimes. I feared that if I sat there, it may have been an hour before I would let myself cry. I looked up and saw my friend, Jay walking towards his car that was parked directly in back of mine. Looking back I can say that Jay was the perfect person for me to see at that moment. I didn't have to explain anything to him. I didn't have to try and be strong. I just needed to be honest. Without thinking twice, I got out of my car and walked towards him.

"Jay, my grandmother is dying".

He hugged me and I started crying. I hadn't cried about this whole ordeal not one time. I sometimes think that crying shows a lack of belief. I know that's not true but for me, that's just how I try to keep my head up to keep on believing. Sometimes I just refuse to let myself be sad. The strange thing is my body doesn't always feel the same way. So when I finally do cry, it is the harshest, most ugly cry EVER(to me). Hence, why I don't often cry in front of people.

We moved over to the sidewalk and I began to tell him what my dad told me. My dad said that after she had her latest crisis, she told him to not try to revive her if it happened again. She was tired of being in pain and wanted to go on and be with Jesus. I then told Jay something that I thought I would never admit out loud. "You know, this is going to sound awful but I hate this world right now. I really do. It's just not getting better so if she wants to peace out, I don't blame her." I told my grandmother that since she said she was going to make it, I was going to hold her to that. However, if she decided otherwise, I will stand with her just the same. It's just more important to me that she doesn't give up out of fear or out of feeling she is being a burden to anyone. I later talked to my mother who mentioned that outside of birthing my dad and uncle and simple out-patient surgery, my grandmother has never had a hospital stay ever. She has always been healthy and fiercely independent. She has always taken care of everyone else. So having so many people taking care of her is probably something that she is having a very hard time dealing with.

After saying thanks and goodbye to Jay, I went home, climbed into the bed and stared at the ceiling. "You know," I said out loud to God, "that's Your child. Whatever You and Annie decide on is alright with me. Bottom line, you know what's best. Even if she doesn't want to be here, You have the final say. Yall work it out." Of course I want her to be here for all of my life's coming adventures. I want her to be here to laugh at how hilarious my father is going to act when I get married. I want her to be here so we can talk more about our shared appreciation for Adam Rodriguez (who she has far been hip to longer than I have), and other things we can talk on the phone about for hours. As much as I want her here, only God knows about the long run. I have had to do a lot of releasing these past few weeks. Not just with my grandmother but with other people close to me in my life. Sometimes we try to keep people so close to us. When I get to heaven, God is not going to ask me how I managed to keep up with Tia, my parents, my brother, and grandmother; My fears of letting go and letting life happen has no control over anyone. As much as I love my grandmother, she has her own relationship with God. She loves Him and I don't doubt that He not only loves her but is absolutely tickled by her. I am a firm believer that while God loves all of us, He may not like everyone. But Annie? He likes her lots. She's comedy.

Presently, my grandmother is stable and so are we. She is not in pain and for the most part she is comfortable. I didn't think she was going to make it past yesterday but then again, who am I? I have absolutely no idea what God and Grandmuffa have going on. And judging by what my she has shared with my father, something is definitely going on. I am so proud of my grandmother, best girlfriend, hero, and role model. She has always been a model of what a true strong lady does in good times and bad. While we love her so much, God loves her more. Whatever she and God decide, I am grateful either way.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update on my Grandmother: Praise the Lord!!!! She is off of the ventilator and breathing on her own. Her vitals are good and she is going to start rehabilatation. I am very happy and relieved. I appreciate all of your prayers. Love, Toya

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Music: John Mayer - Heartbreak Warfare (Official Music Video)

You know I (Toya) pretty much get behind whatever John Mayer does. I could not WAIT to hear this because I always want to hear what he has to say in his music. It's like getting a new book of poetry from your favorite poet. I really dig this and the video reminds me of old school Dire Straits. *Still listening* Okay the bridge? Yes, Lord. LOVE LOVE LOVE it from the bridge to the end. Can't wait for the album.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dear 2009, I Beg of You: Please Stop.- Toya, BGLU

I am sitting here at my desk and I see Tia's Facebook status:

"I'm in the BK!"

And then all of a sudden...


My best friend has just moved 12 hours away. NYC is NOT Atlanta. What in the...

On top of that, my grandmother who is my FAVORITE homie of all time is fighting the good fight in a hospital in Shreveport, LA.

And then on top of that some family stuff is going on that I am also trusting and believing God to work out but that doesn't mean it's not hard to handle. know...I can't even ... I really can't.

*blank stare*
Must Read Blog Post of the Day- Jason Jaggard "Ask. Her. Out"

Jason Jaggard at posted this simple yet profound and yet OH SO FREAKING SIMPLE post challenging men to just simply ask a woman out. What I appreciate about this so much is that this is a man talking to men about dating and not a woman trying to give men a clue. If more men would challenge men, I think it would help them out a great deal. As I stated at the women's retreat I spoke, as iron sharpens iron, men sharpen men. Women can simply polish.

He gives some great and logical reasons why men should step up. My favorite being:

I'm not going to lie-- she may not be "the one." Let's be honest: she probably isn't. But you should still ask her out anyway.
Why? Because right now your tail is hanging where your masculinity should be: between your legs.

In other words, ask her out. It's not that serious.

Ladies reach out your hands towards your computer monitors and pray:

God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. May the truth set some of these men free. Cause seriously? Even Stevie Wonder can see that single people nowadays are in some mess.

Monday, October 19, 2009

BGLU News: Black Girls Rock! Awards Goes Down for Its Fourth Year

I think it goes without saying that Tia and I should have BEEN to at least ONE of these within the past four years but I am going to try and contain my composure. Our girl Crystal "Crys Breezy" Williams over at The Breezy Effect Blog has the rundown on the night that gave Mary J. Blige, Raven Symone, Sonia Sanchez, Spinderella and many other deserving sistas their due. For more info on Black Girls Rock founded by the incredible DJ Beverly Bond go to

Here's a Bit of Bullshishery for Your Day...

So let me get this straight: this nut came out "making it rain" (CAN WE PLEASE BURY THIS PHRASE IN THE OVERUSED PHRASE GRAVEYARD?!) and lost his $20,000 ring in the process? I don't see the reason for the tantrum. He came out like money aint a thing so what's the issue? Aint no way in the world Tia and I would've been up in there held hostage. We would've peaced out singing "Aint nothin' gonna hold me down. Oh no! We got to keep on movin'..."

*Sigh* I can't.

Mos Def in Japan on Embedded ( Toya

There are two things that I am currently obssessed with: fashion and Tokyo. I have NO idea why. Add those things to a doc with Mos Def, someone that I have ALWAYS been somewhat obsessed with, and it's a win-win.

I am going some day. I swear it.

Back to dreaming...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Stuff and Things - Tia

- I got a job. After four trips to NY/NJ and three interviews with 15 different people at ONE company, I was offered a one year contract position that can be extended indefinitely. The job is in Jersey City, so needless to say...

- I'm moving to (you have to sing it like Alicia Keys in Empire State of Mind) NEW YORK!! CONCRETE JUNGLE WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE OF!! THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN'T DO!!!! Now the issue becomes packing my apartment here, finding an apartment I can afford in NYC and figuring out how I'm going to deal with the first real winter I've had to experience in 9 years, because for the last 9 winters I've been in the south or the southeast. I have not experienced REAL cold since I was in college and my mom lived in Ohio. (Lake effect snow, anyone???)

- While I'm telling you, dear readers, that I'm moving, there aren't a whole lot of other people that I'm telling. I'm basically using this move as something of a reset button. I'm surrendering my life and all parts of it to God's will. I'm leaving the junk and the junky people behind me and looking forward. I've laid down my heart and my desires at Jesus' feet and I'm running toward the Father to let him have my life and lead me where he needs me to go. It's refreshing and scary all at the same time. I wish I could expound more on the reset button thing but I honestly, don't have a.) the guts to share it all and b.) the words to articulate it. So just know that this is truly my new season. And I'll run with it no matter how hard or unfamiliar it may be.

- I latch on to songs. I will find a song and play it until it dies. Currently on repeat is Elliott Yamin's Always. Child.....I haven't listened to much else for the last few days. I love the idea of love. I love the idea of someone loving me. And I know love isn't perfect but I want to believe that at the end of day when love actually finds me (or I it, or however it goes) that that man will always, always, always love me. Anyway, this song is the business and is along that train of thought.

I thought I was going to have to go stalk Elliott in Japan, but he's doing the The River's Christmas show in Nashville this year and I fully intend to do everything in my power to be there. BGLU needs to talk to Elliott. He needs to know about what's REALLY good.

- I have moved 4 times in 2 years. I SOOOOO don't want to have to physically make this move. I'm so close to giving my furniture away that I don't know what to do with myself. Moving is NOT the business.

- Bed Stuy. That's all I'm saying.

- I have to continue packing now...ugh!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Can We Talk? - Toya
Real Housewives of Atlanta: I Can't.

Now lest I start sounding all holier than thou, let me go ahead and confess that I watch my fair share of tomfoolery. Cheaters? Yes, please, and in a DVD box set if available. Daisy of Love? Unfortunately, yes. I can get behind a bunch of men doing relay races for a woman's affections much quicker than if it is the other way around. Making His/The Band? Yes because I am amazed that people still want anything to do with Diddy and his business, umm, tactics. But Real Housewives of Atlanta? I'll pass.

Trust that I have seen RHOA a few times. I saw a few episodes during the first season before they kicked off Deshawn Snow (the only cast member that had any good sense) for having any good sense and replaced her with Kandi Burgess, formerly of Xscape. This brings me to my first point: How is this show called Real Housewives of Atlanta and only two of the cast members, Lisa Wu Hartwell and Nene Leakes, are housewives? Anyone? Is it that difficult to find five actual housewives in Atlanta who are all friends? Apparently, because what happens on this show is far from friendship.

I am fortunate enough to be friends with some of the best ladies one could ever find; one of which I share this blog. Not one of them is "messy" as the old folks would say. Not only are they outstanding but they live their lives in such a way that none of them have the time to fuss over nonsense like these affluent women on RHOA do. I can't even imagine one of my friends being in an uproar over the fact that someone claims that a bad wig is her actual hair. For real? Also, we love each other a bit too much to encourage a friend to record a record when we KNOW they can't sing. I mean, they could cut a record if they wanted to but if they were real enough to ask what we thought, we would be real enough to tell her the truth: "Honey there are so many things that you are tremendously talented in. Singing is not one of those things." And that dating a married man bullshishery?! NO MA'AM! Would not fly! I will admit that because my soul doeth delight in a hot mess, I was fortunate enough to catch the reunion when NeNe told Kim to keep her "legs closed to married men". I'm not going to lie, that brought me joy. But to have as much money as they do and spend that much time constantly bickering and then trying to mend relationships with women that you really don't like is ridiculous to me. That's really the bottom line of why I can't tolerate this show.

Am I a hater? If you've read this blog long enough, you know that the answer is yes. I am indeed a player hater. I HATE when people play too much and that is what they seem to do on this show. They play entirely too much. Life is too short to play around and surround yourself with toxic females. I am glad to say that for richer or for poorer, I have some great girlfriends. When we start making RHOA money, I doubt if that will change. Does mo' money always have to lead to mo' problems, especially their kind of petty problems? One thing I can say is that my girls have integrity and good foundations. If any of them started to trip, I don't think there would be any back and forth and all of these meetings on who said what. Again, who has that kind of time?

But I haven't cut myself entirely off from the show. I have put some friends on alert that if Sheree's ex-party planner comes back that I am to know this at once. "Whose gonna check me, boo?" has got to be one of my favorite television show quotes from one of the best reality tv show fights of all time (right behind "Keep your legs closed to married men"). Also, I hear that Dwight Eubanks, NeNe's hairdresser, is allegedly coming out with a spin off reality show about his salon. I absolutely love salon drama! But RHOA altogether? No thanks. I'll pass and celebrate the fact that I have some great women in my space to walk this life out with sans the drama. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beasties' MCA Updates Fans On Health- From

I would just like to thank all of our BGLU readers for your prayers and concerns for my husband's speedy recovery. JUST PLAYIN'. See how rumors get started? I LOVES me some MCA though! -Toya

Back in July, Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys announced that he had been diagnosed with throat cancer, and that the Beasties would be canceling all plans for the rest of the year. On Wednesday, Yauch sent out an update on his progress to the Beasties' e-mail list, saying he had spent some time recently in Dharamsala, India.

Yauch wrote that he "went over there to see some Tibetan doctors, but as it worked out, the Dalai Lama was giving a three-day teaching, so I was able to attend that as well." He added, "I'm feeling healthy, strong and hopeful that I've beaten this thing, but of course time will tell. I'm taking Tibetan medicine and at the recommendation of the Tibetan doctors I've been eating a vegan/organic diet, which surprisingly enough was harder to do in India than it is now that I'm back home. Here i can just shop for the right food and cook... a lot easier than depending on restaurants."

He showed his sense of humor is still in tact, referencing Caddyshack while telling a story that he had visited a nunnery in India, where the nuns held a religious ceremony to help him get well. "One nun said to me, 'we do prayers and then you are better.' So I've got that going for me, which is nice."

Yauch adds that the Beasties have not set a new release date for their postponed album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 1, which had been originally slated for a September release. He says he hopes it will be out in the first half of 2010. He notes that in the meantime, "I'm just enjoying a little downtime in Massachusetts, taking walks in the woods and hanging out with the family.... still doing a little work related to [his film company] Oscilloscope, watching screeners and attending some screenings, but for the most part, just laying low."

Yauch concludes, "Thanks again for all of the well wishes and prayers, and the letters were great too, brought a smile to my face reading them."

Who Says by (The Right Reverend) John Mayer

Why did I rewind to 2:02 like 5 times already? Get it John!

"It's been a long night in New York City. It's been a long time since 22." *sigh*

I don't even have anything to say right now but I am sure Tia has lots. Enjoy.

Happy Birthday Ursh!

Think of You- Little Usher Raymond

Hope this next year is,uh, better. Much better.

Jesus is My Help- Toya

Am I dizzy? OMG I really think I am dizzy!

Reports are (I have pictorial proof but no permission as of yet) that there was an Adam Rodriguez sighting in Nashville. Now, how my senses did not pick this up is beyond me. My only explanation is that Jesus was indeed being a fence. Details to follow...

*pulls out office first aid kit for smelling salt*
Update: Ironically enough, Adam Rodriguez was in downtown Nashville at the exact same day that I convinced some of my girlfriends to go watch his film "I Can Do Bad All By Myself" for the THIRD time. He was hanging out with some buds, one of which I know socially who told me that he is a really nice guy. I am very glad to hear that :O)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

THIS is Why I Love Music- Toya

The awesome thing about music is that it is often open to interpretation. There are certain songs that you would never hear inside of a church that have ministered to me more than most hymns. Some would call them secular but I beg to differ. A few weeks ago, I drove my car to the back of a parking lot and cried. HARD. I've been feeling this "disconnect" from God lately. I felt like He was doing a lot of talking all around me but inwardly I didn't feel as if He was talking TO me. For some time, I have felt like when it comes to God, I get these great gifts from someone I don't know that well. Can you imagine getting gifts every so often from someone and feeling like "Oh great. Another gift. So when do I get to really know this person?" I know, I know. God loves me. God loves all of us. He is always speaking. However, I often find myself sad when people say that they have heard Him. And no matter how close I am to my dad, my brother and those around me that love me, it's not quite enough. So in the midst of my crying, I cranked this song up on the radio and the first verse described what I was feeling in my heart better than I could have articulated myself. If I was a man and I could sing, this is exactly what I would have sounded like. This is Jason Eskridge on vocals and Marty Schwartz on guitar covering KOL's "Use Somebody".

Monday, October 12, 2009

Say Word???!!!! Jennifer Knapp is Working on a New Record- Toya

I saw this via Twitter today:

RT @derekwebb: @jennifer_knapp is at work on a new record. trust me, that is something to get excited about.

My thoughts: "Oh my. We are truly living in the last days." and "I guess anything is possible. I mean Steve Perry and Journey may ACTUALLY get back together now."

I am not surprised that Jennifer Knapp has been writing music but I am surprised that she is indeed coming out with new music. Pleasantly surprised to say the least. On her website Knapp explains that she has been mostly travelling and has discovered more about herself and her faith "without the veil of expectations to a cause." I ain't mad at her. I am just a little bit surprised that she would want to come back to the industry. However, now may be a good of a time as any. Music, real, honest and integrous music, could definitely benefit from her comeback.

New music is up now on Finding out that she was working on new music prompted me to make my first visit to Myspace in months.
In Honor of This Past Weekend, Brothas, We Appreciate Ya. Oh and Black Thought (of The Roots who is also in this video) I personally, ESPECIALLY, appreciate ya. Yes, Lord!- Toya

LaToya London - Appreciate
Free Videos at

We Need a Resolution- Toya
It took me so long to become an Aaliyah fan, I hate to admit. But this was my joint.

This past weekend I had my first speaking engagement on "awake adam" at a women's retreat organized by the women's ministry of my home church in Philadelphia. BGLU readers may remember "awake adam" from the post "Say a Little Prayer for You" that I wrote almost a year and a half ago. I never thought that something I wrote in my room during my quiet time with God would later turn into something that I would later share with a few hundred women. The theme of the retreat was on the subject of love, sisterly love, specifically from I John 4:7-19. The scripture that prompted me to speak on "awake adam" was this:

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

I decided I was going to speak to single women about a different approach to how we deal with men. After reading John Eldredge's "Wild At Heart" (a MUST read if you want to understand anything about men) I started to become compassionate towards a lot of men in our generation. I also got rid of some bitterness in my heart towards some men that have hurt me because I realized that hurt people wind up hurting people. Once I began to understand their hurt and where it comes from, I got free. I didn't want to step up to the podium as an expert. As one of them, I just wanted to engage them with a question:

What if instead of bad mouthing men and complaining about them not stepping up, we as strong, powerful women who believe in God and the power of prayer, began praying for them?

I felt strongly that this is what I was meant to share months before I got to the retreat. I wasn't nervous at all because a lot of the women attending have known me since I was 8 years old. My only concern was that some single women would feel that I was telling them that the reason they aren't married is because they don't know how to treat men and because they don't pray. How many of us are sick of people making us feel like being single is our fault? I thought about that a lot and hoped that I would get my intent across once the time came.

I arrived at the retreat with my mother and one of my best friends since high school. The retreat began on Friday night and I was to speak Saturday morning at 9 am (good grief!). It was Friday night that I found out that the general session speaker who would speak three times that weekend was speaking on the story of Eve Friday night. Mind you, I was to speak on Adam Saturday morning.

Umm, I think God is trying to tell you something, Sug Avery.

I kind of freaked out. There are times when I know that God is paying attention to my life where I freak out. It's almost as if God is saying "Yeah, I know Toya. I set this up. I set a lot of things up. Glad you are now paying attention to me, daughter." I could barely sleep the whole night. I kept going over my notes during the night, adding notes, praying, and going over things again. It finally hit me that FOR REAL FOR REAL that in my quiet time, God gave me a message to speak to a group of women that He wanted them to hear. ME. He gave it and entrusted it to ME. That is serious and for me, frighteningly real.

I arrived at the session Saturday morning with not a bit of nervousness. I acutally love to speak in public. Also knowing that the message that I was sharing came from God and not me took a lot of the pressure off. I was so excited! The morning started off with praise and worship which was so moving. Next were praise dancers.

Side bar: Ok, look. I am a little on the skeptical side with praise dancers sometimes. Some praise dancing ministries are really good and have some pretty talented dancers. Some...not so much. I think sometimes in church we treat ministries like little league teams. Anyone can be in any ministry they want. If somebody can't sing, they should not join the choir or the praise team, I don't care how much they love to sing. But I digress.

The praise dancers did a wonderful number to Yolanda Adams' "The Battle is Not Yours, It's the Lord's". I had no idea I would start crying. None. In fact, I thought that the only time I would be getting emotional all weekend would be when my mother was going to sing Donald Lawrence's "Encourage Yourself" (possibly my my favorite gospel song ever) right before I was to speak. But there was something that happened when they performed. I remembered that I have been hearing a lot about battles lately. I didn't really know why but it frightened me. Even (Pastor) John Mayer's new record is called "Battle Studies" and as some of us know, his records usually hit our present situations right on the nose when they are released. It dawned on me that if there is so much power in prayer and God is truly calling us to pray, that we are indeed in a battle. We are in a battle for our brothers, we are in a battle for a families, and we are in a battle for each other's lives. I was overwhelmed.

In the midst of crying, I saw two words that looked kind of like this:


I really felt like the Lord wanted me to tell the single women there that what God wants to do is lift the burden of singleness feeling as though they are at fault. He wanted to exchange the burden of fault with the realization of power. In the bible, God revealed some pretty important things to women first before they were revealed to everyone else. Women are very important to God and He cares about our pain. When I realized this, I changed the introduction of my presentation and led with what I felt God was wanting to say.

The session went incredibly well. I got a semi-standing ovation, "Wild at Heart" that I heavily recommended sold out within minutes after I was finished, and they had to go back a few times to duplicate the cd's of my session because they kept running out. Many married women came up to me and confessed that they really thought that they weren't going to get anything out of my presentation. However, to their surprise and mine, they were challenged to treat the men in their lives (husbands, sons, brothers, etc.) a lot better and to encourage them much much more. Most importantly, above all else, a woman came up to me during breakfast on the last day and told me that what I said lifted a very heavy burden off of her. She looked so happy to tell me that she no longer feels the need to worry herself about whether she will ever be pretty enough or thin enough to get married. Mind you, this was one beautiful sister. She said I blessed her and I told her that her sharing that with me blessed me so much that I wanted to run around the entire hotel. Praise be to God!

Whatever God wants to do with "awake adam", I am completely fine with. I really am. A good number of women have asked me to write a book. One woman said she would be getting back to me in three weeks to make sure that I at least have a transcript together. Who knows? We'll see.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Potter, Povich and Prayer - Parables and Ramblings of the Unemployed - Tia

I was laid off at the end of August. We knew that it was coming because we worked for a bunch of incompetents. (I'm going to go on record and say that upper management of MRA out of NYC ran that company into the ground. I'm not saying it out of bitterness, but rather as a statement of fact. If they have a problem with me saying so, one only need to look at the company's track record to that that's finish...moving on.) I began looking for a job in July to no avail. I have NEVER been out of work when it wasn't by choice. I started working when I was 15 and can honestly say that I've had very little handed to me. That being the case, this experience has been simultaneously humbling and frightening.

I've battled what my doctor calls "transient insomnia" for quite some time now. It has worsened since I've been laid off. Me and Diphenhydramine have a working relationship. Tonight is one of those nights when sleep seems to escape me. And since I've had ZERO motivation to write lately but currently do now, I figured I would take advantage of it and ramble on until the prayers for sleep are answered. So here are some random thoughts, occurrences and happenings of the last few months.

- I'm currently reading Harry Potter 3...AGAIN. I have already read HP 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 since I was laid off. Once I've finished 3 I will have read the entire series (except 2, which I loaned to a friend, against my better judgment, and never got it back because she moved) at least twice. I am a fan of escapism. My current situation is not the business, so anything that allows me to leave it for a brief amount of time is fine by me.

The only problem is that I'm a fast reader. In the month or so that I've been laid off I've read all of the Harry Potter books, most of the New Testament, most of The Time Traveler's Wife (I stopped reading that one by choice because I found out that their love didn't concur all like I needed it to. Don't want to ruin it for you so I won't say anything more), Holly's Inbox, New Moon, Eclipse and Remember Me. And that was all while going back and forth to the northeast several times for interviews. (More on that shortly.) I feel like there are a few that I'm forgetting but you get the general idea. The Secret Life of Bees is currently sitting at my bedside waititng to be read. While I love to read, there's only so much that I can do before my brain gives up and I'm forced to retreat to television.

- Maury Povich has the DUMBEST guests in the entire world. Period.

Maury comes on in the mornings here. When I was employed I would watch Headline News for half an hour and then work. But with the extended free time on my hands, I've found myself flipping through the stations to see what else was on. (Insert exasperated sigh here.) The news is grim and depressing so I try to limit how much of it I watch. Maury is not much better, but for some reason I find myself enthralled by the stupidity of the guests of the show. It's as if the producers searched for people with the lowest I.Q. of our society and fly them in to be on the show. I don't really feel bad for any of them. Maury has been on long enough now that you know no good can come from it. If your spouse, partner, child or significant other tells you they have a secret to tell you on the show, save yourself some time and embarrassment and find out who she cheated with, if that baby is yours, if your child is a closet glue sniffer/cutter/street walker from the comfort and safety of your own home. DO NOT go to the show crying and hoping that, "It's not a bad secret." Maury has NOTHING BUT bad secrets. I mean, come on. White Sir, that brown baby that you have with your WHITE wife is not yours no matter how much Indian she tells you she has in her family. Ma'am, your best friend was not helping your wheelchair bound boyfriend out while you were away. No one, able bodied or not needs that much help. She was sleeping with him. And FEMALES, FOR THE LOVE!!!!! If your man cheats on you DO NOT take his trifling a$$ back. If you do, now he's made a fool of you twice. DO BETTER!!!

- I am 13 lbs away from my high school weight. I have extended free time so I hit the gym EVERY DAY. I have been trying, so far in vain, to run a 10 minute mile. But I've noticed that while I'm almost at my high school weight, my body is not high school age. I actually had to dial back some of my running last week because I thought I was going to wake up one morning and find a note from my calves telling me that they quit. And can we talk about how even though the weight is coming off, stuff doesn't seem to be shaping up like I need it to. I've always heard that there are shifts that come with age. I thought it was just a bunch of excuses that women make up to not have to work out. But apparently, unless you have Bob and Jillian from The Biggest Loser (I love you, Bob) to train you, your body while at high school weight may not necessarily be at high school shape. But whatever...honestly, for the first time in a long time, I'm happy with my body. I was happy with it 10 lbs ago. And I would be happy with it if the last 13 lbs decided to stay. My body is beautiful. It is the temple that God gave me. And my beauty is not governed by the standards of this world. I'm not sure why it took me SO long to realize that but I'm ever so grateful that I have. I wake up in the morning and look down at my legs that seem sprawled at improbable angles and I smile. The color of my skin as it tapers lighter toward my ankle intrigues me. I'm really happy to just be in the skin I'm in. Sure, there are days when I walk past a mirror and don't absolutely love what I see. But on the whole, I'm glad for the skin God gave me. Every curve, every bit of flab, every dimple make this body me. And you know...I'll take that.

- There are NO jobs in the southeast. At least not in my field. When I started looking back in the summer I noticed that there were few to no postings in the southeast. I followed up with numerous recruiters that I knew and they all told me the same thing: the southeast is over saturated with CRAs. (clinical research associates) Every last one of them told me that I would probably have to move to find a job.

Try as I might I was completely unsuccessful in procuring even a phone interview with anyone in the southeast. So after some prayer and wise counsel, I decided to extend my net if you will. I began to search for jobs in the northeast. While I was more successful at getting interviews, thus far I've still not had any offers. It's frustrating since I've driven to Manhattan, New Jersey and Boston 3 times in the last month. Thank God for Hilton miles (they know me by name at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fredricksburg, VA) and for friends with sofas.

I have one last interview coming up soon and I'm praying that I get it. If not, I'll start looking in another part of the country. For now I have to go where the jobs are. So wherever God provides I will go. I've reconciled myself to the fact that it may be to a place I never thought of. But that's cool. Abraham did it. God basically led Abraham to a land he didn't know. All he knew was that God had promised him that land and that God would lead him to it. Can you imagine the conversation that Abraham had to have with his wife and his relatives:
Abraham: We're leaving.
Sarah and other relatives: Leaving to go where?
Abraham: I'm not sure. But if we just start walking, God will show us the way.
Sarah and other relatives: ?????....Excuse me???

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give to him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith. Hebrews 11: 8-9. (Also see Genesis 12:1-9)

I have no idea where God is leading and it may take me some time to get there. But I'll go. And I'll go in faith because right now, that's all I have.

- My mother called me crying this morning because she's not in a position financially to help me out. It broke my heart. She kept going on about how I'd helped her out when she needed it and now that it was her turn to be a parent she couldn't. The whole thing destroyed me and made me wonder what it must be like to see your child and not be able to help them.

I tried to reassure her that things would be fine. And fine may initially be that I have to give up my apartment and move in with my dad for a while. Fine may be that I have to take a job that pays far less than I'm used to making until I can find a job that pays what I need it to pay to help me dig out of debt and get back on my feet. But whatever fine is, she needn't worry about it because nothing is too big for God. And nothing in my life is so bad that I can't overcome it by grace and faith.

- the Blueprint 3 is my MANTRA. Grown up music from a grown a$$ man. (Imagine me throwing up the Roc right now.)

- Sofrito is the way and the truth. I am thoroughly convinced that someone in my family is lying and that I'm actually part Hispanic. It would explain why random people walk up to me and start speaking Spanish. And it would explain why I have eaten some variation of rice and beans every day for the past 2 weeks and have yet to get tired of it. I'm still waiting for the day when I wake up and don't want to eat rice and beans....Yep....still waiting....

- The Mist = Worst. Ending. Ever.

- After telling me that things between he and his girlfriend were getting serious, a "friend" (I use the term loosely) immediately followed that information with, "I would leave her today for you." Now, why can't I get that kind of devotion from someone A.) I like back and B.) who would not be a complete and utter disaster for me? And I feel bad for his girlfriend. That's a b*tch move to say something like that to someone when you have a "serious" girlfriend at home.

- I saw Kings of Leon last night. As I'm finally starting to get tired I will leave you with the following. 1. I almost got into a physical altercation with 2 different d-bag guys. 2. A random guy from the Army was literally my bodyguard when people tried to trample their way to the front. 3. I got pee on my feet. In spite of all of that, it was an AMAZING show and I would love to see them again. But I will NEVER...EVER EVER EVER...see them from general admission floor seats. I will expound on the whole evening another time.

Good night and God Bless

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Harry, Just When I Thought I Couldn't Love You More

Harry Connick Jr. Hits Aussies For Blackface Michael Jackson Skit

"...We've spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons that when we see something like that, we take it really to heart."

Now Harry could you please go on "106 and Park" and say that? It would warm my very soul.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quit Playing Games with My Heart! BSB's Brian Littrell Has Swine Flu

I mean, dang! No one is exempt, are they? Even CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta got got. Just because we aren't out on a promotional tour shaking hands, kissing babies and signing autographs like Brian Littrell doesn't mean that we can't take precautions. My job will be supplying H1N1 shots here at our office soon. So everyone, please be well and take care of yourselves.

And while we are on it, has anyone gotten H1N1 (God forbid)? If so, tell us about it.

Oh and just as important, since we are talking about Backstreet Boys, has anyone seen Kevin Richardson's fine self lately?!

I know. My priorities are screwed up. It's a battle.
Comments - Tia if you've left a comment since mid September....yeah, it's gone. We're back on Haloscan now. My apologies to anyone whose comment was inadvertently deleted during the mixup. Please don't take it personally.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Put your hands together and give God a "You made man in Your image and this right here is the proof" right now praise!!!! GLORAAAYYY!!!!

Single Ladies Have Their Anthem and Now Divorce Has Its Own- Usher "Papers"

*SIGH* Discuss amongst yourselves. I (Toya) still need a minute. Tia didn't even make it past 1:11.

Black Girls Like Us Wants to Hear From You

I (Toya) can't believe it's been about a year since NKOTB met BGLU. Honestly, I thought this popped off in March. Tia and I have been doing a lot of thinking about what we are going to do with BGLU. Lately, I have been inspired by Honey Mag, Empress Mag, Clutch Mag and The Fashion Bomb, to take it to another level. Wouldn't it have been dope if BGLU was "legit" and we could've interviewed NKOTB and asked them the questions that only WE want to know the answers to like "So Danny and Donnie. This 'Baby Daddy Bus' yall are on: How much longer do you think you have before you go from being a new kid on the block to that old man in the club?"

Whether you are a new reader or down long enough to remember The Tag Chronicles, we want to know what you would like to see more of on BGLU. We know that we have a niche and so many read our stuff and identify in more ways than one. So we want to know what would you like to see in the new and improved BGLU?

Friday, October 2, 2009


See, what had happened was...

Umm, yeah. Tia's been away and I was trying to fix something and some way, some how, Blogger is hosting our comments. Before we had another system. So now all of the comments we have had for about five years are lost. I have NO idea how that happened. Obviously, I am not the big brains of the two.

This may be the only time I am ever glad that we live this far apart.

Have You Got Your Tickets Yet?- Toya

I don't know if I have previously mentioned this but I cannot tell you how many people have come up to me and asked me if I have been alright since Michael Jackson died.....UGH I can't believe I just said the d-word! I just slid halfway down into my chair.

Let's try this again...

My mourning has been in stages. I always wondered what that day would be like because as we have come to see, it has been an end of an era. Suprisingly enough I cried for about 15 seconds max the morning after he passed (passed is less harsh to me). However, you put on some little Michael Jackson songs ("I'll Be There", "Got To Be There", "Never Can Say Goodbye") and I am jacked all the way up.

Tickets went on sale this past Sunday for the 2 week run of This Is it, the last footage recorded of Michael Jackson documenting his rehearsals for which was to be his last tour. I bought two: One for the night before the actual release to go to by myself and one for Friday night to watch with friends. I don't want to talk to anyone during my first viewing. I just want to process it with a blanket and some pj's all by myself. Truth be told, I know I am going to be sad and I don't want to be embarrassed. I remember going to see Captain EO during my senior trip in 3D. There was a part where he falls seemingly a foot from your face. I remember the whole theater being completely silent until I reached out my hand and cried out "What have you done to your face?" I am trying to tell you. My love for Mike runs deep.

Tickets are for sale now through and for more information, check out .

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Toya's Confessions

1. It is one beautiful day in Nashville, I must say. So beautiful that I want to fly straight to New York.

Yup, New York. I think about it almost every day. There was a job that I wanted, my dream job as a matter of fact, that I wish I would've applied for but I hesitated and hesitated and hesitated. Once I saw that it was no longer posted, I panicked and wanted to lay around in sackcloth and ashes. And you know what? I am glad about that too. Sometimes you don't know how bad you really want something until it's gone. Now I know and won't make the same mistake twice.

I have become obsessed with Fashion Week, brownstones and corner store pizzerias. Subways, nightlife and smells of the city. Something is coming. I just don't know what. God is screaming all over the place but not saying anything directly to me and it really is driving me bonkers. If anyone was to ever ask me how did I know that God is real, I think I could best define it by how crazy He makes me. I know that I know that I know that it is Him I waiting on.

2. In the meantime, I was on Oprah's website and saw that she has a virtual dreamboard for free on her site. I haven't gotten started on mine but I have no doubt that it will have pictures of Tokyo, my Essence award (don't ask me for what), and city life. Let us know what you put on yours.

3. I have run out of men to crush on in Nashville so yeah, it's time to go. I am so tired of seeing the same "cast" of men all of the time. I feel like I have a show running in syndication and I don't know when the new season will be picked up.

4. There is going to be a Sex and the City part 2? About what???

5. I bit the bullet and relaxed my hair. I aint mad at it. In fact I love it so there. Yes, I still go back and forth in missing my natural curly hair but truth be told, my hair is so curly that it pretty much laughs at a relaxer so I can wear it either way. It's all good.


Next week I am speaking at a Christian women's retreat about relationships (rather the lack thereof) between single men and women and how we can make them better. Yeah, me. Go figure. In preparation, I have been reading Hill Harper's new book, "The Conversation" which deals with the problems of mistrust between black men and women within and outside of relationships. I think it may be even more about the problems outside of relationships because the fact of the matter is that a lot of us aren't even in relationships right now. We didn't need CNN to tell us that. We live it every day. If you have ever wanted to know how you can spend an evening with a guy, think you have totally hit it off (and you actually did), exchanged numbers only for him to not call you, you may be interested in what Harper says the reasons may be in this book. Sometimes it's not a matter of "he's just not that into you".

7. Tia just called me and said "I know you want to stay in Nashville and all but umm, I am in NY right now and's nice". Yeah, I know already. I KNOW!

8. I have been listening to Paramore's new album and that Hayley is a BEAST on the mic!!!! Good God! It's just good stuff, that's all. Really good stuff.

9. My grandmother went into the hospital with congestive heart failure on Monday. The fact that I didn't mention that first does not mean that I don't have my priorities in order. It just means that I needed to move that situation in the file in my mind marked "Things That Are Going to Be Alright". She's doing much better and will continue to do so.

10. If I continue to let the gym automatically deduct money from my account, I might as well be sponsoring a child in a third world country who I also won't see but at least the money will be going to good use. Seriously.

Happy October!!!!

Hottie Heads Up- "Takers" in Theaters in 2010

Much to the dismay of some movie goers sittingin front of us, a few girlfriends and I screamed and hollered all over ourselves when we saw this trailer for the upcoming movie "Takers" before we saw Tyler Perry's "I Can Do Bad All By Myself". With a cast of Michael Ealy (I almost said something really inappropriate about seeing him in his "halo" and I know God is NOT pleased) Idris Elba (WITH BRITISH ACCENT), TI (not a huge fan but he's easy on the eyes), Paul Walker and old school fineness Matt Dillon, my friend Christine aptly named this cast "the U.N. of fineness". Only one missing is Adam Rodriguez and well, I have no desire to develop asthma so that could be a good thing. Heck even Chris Brown looks good in this movie. I know some of yall won't like that but ya know, I'm just sayin'. Don't shoot the messenger *ducks and runs*. For more information about the movie, go to

What We're Checkin'- Melanie Fiona's "It Kills Me"- Toya

Confession: I have been slippin' on my new music knowledge for real. This recession, man! Being a receptionist is not the most taxing job in the world so I have decided to catch up some while at the office sitting stationary for umpteen hours.

Tia and I were sent this video of newcomer Melanie Fiona's new song "It's Kills Me" a few days ago and I am going to be honest: I don't always give female R&B artists a fair shot. But once I saw that it had my new love of my life, Adam Rodriguez, I thought that the very LEAST I could do is give her a fair chance. I went to check out more of her stuff and found that surprisingly I had already heard her material on Michael Baisden's show. He often features her "Give It to Me Right" on one of his segments.

My verdict: I dig her. I really do. Her vibe is much in the vein of Tiffany Green's and that is a good thing to me. I am willing to applaud just about anything out of the box R&B wise nowadays so for that she gets two thumbs up on my end. Tell us what you think...