Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Sex and the City 2 Weekend- By Toya

"Carrie!!!!" Carrie Bradshaw came on the screen last night on Sex and the City 2 and I yelled her name like she just scored the Lakers' winning basket in this year's NBA finals (Go Lakers!). I love me some Carrie Bradshaw. It took me a long time to warm up to Sex and the City because at first, there seemed to be no reason for me to watch it. (I mean, I'm not having sex and I don't live in the city sooooo...). But towards the end of the series, I kept hearing people say things to me like "You are such a 'Carrie' " or "You're like the black Carrie Bradshaw". I figured that I needed to see what this is all about. After an evening marathon with some girlfriends who were already big fans of the series, I was hooked.

I went to see SATC2 Friday as part of the fabulously sexy Sexy for the Cure event downtown put on by my girls at MEPR Agency and The Social Butterfly. It was so neat to see such a diverse group of ladies out on the town dressed up in their cutest cocktail dresses and SATC inspired outfits. I went for a more "Weekend Carrie" look, if you will: an over sized silver shimmery top, lots of beads and feathered accessories and some liquid black leggings topped off with a simply Gap denim jacket. It was fun!

I think the thing I like about the Carrie Bradshaw character is that she is in her mid-thirties, she's grown yet she's youthful. She also doesn't seem to mind that she wears things that often make no sense. I envy that and wish I had the guts and the budget to do the same. The above pic was my absolute favorite out of all of hers and really, to wear that in the "hot as the Middle East" Middle East is absurd...and I loved the heck out of it.

I persuaded my friend Melanie the Wise Pixie of Yes I Have (That's her in the pic with me from the You may remember her) to walk down The Pink Carpet with me as we took pictures and talked to online reporters about what we were wearing and why we were "sexy for the cure". A close friend of mine's mother recently kicked the crap out of breast cancer and from what I hear she looks absolutely amazing. It felt great to celebrate survivors like her.

We all piled into the movie theater with baited breath to see what our four favorite NYC girls were up to two years later from the last SATC movie. I pushed all the bad reviews out of my mind because truthfully, you can't trust those. I have come to find that like music, movies are personal. Your perspective and where you are in life greatly influence how you receive a film. Just Wright didn't have the best reviews but I am willing to bet that most, if any, of those critics watched it from the perspective of a 35 year old single,black, girl next door type who is always "the homie".

The previews of upcoming movies were some of the best previews I have seen in a long time but the one that stuck out greatly was the trailer for Eat, Love, Pray starring Julia Roberts. I sunk in my chair as she lamented how their was a great big world out there full of color, beauty, and wonder that she has yet to see. "I feel you girl" I sighed to myself sensing that is the running theme this year. I looked over to my friend Melanie who just that day celebrated her last day at her job. Because she also feels that life is too short to be spinning your wheels, she decided to quit and go to Rwanda to "hold babies". I get it.

I loved Sex and the City 2. For as realistic as a Hollywood chick flick can get, I felt it did a good job of asking what happens after a single girl, known for being single, is suddenly not single anymore. It seems as if the entire series revolved around three of these girls (you know Samantha isn't really trying to be tied down...not in marriage anyway) wanting to be married and settled down. But then what? Is there a happily ever after? It depends.

Without spoiling it, I was furious with Carrie for a number of reasons in this film but I learned some good lessons from her mistakes of thinking that marriage could be just like being single but with perks. For the first time ever, I liked Big. I have hated Big all of my days but he really surprised me in this one. I like how he stuck with her. He had been married before and had screwed up before but as he reminded Carrie, he's a grown up. A grown up that takes his vows seriously. Crazy enough, I read one of the last interviews Gary Coleman ever did before I headed to the theater. They asked him about marriage and he said "it's one of the hardest jobs you'll ever love". I think this movie was a good reminder of that. Being single is work. Being married is work. Both require maintenance and it's important to remember that you should never lose sight of who you are married or single. The difference is though that when you are married you have to consider how who you are or what you are becoming affects the person you are married to and in covenant with. I thought about that when I was interviewed after the movie and asked how do I think women should take the time to get to know themselves after they are married. I answered that they should take as much time as they need to get to know themselves BEFORE they are married. I just think that if you spend too much time thinking about who you want to be as a wife before knowing who you are as an individual, you are missing out. I am not saying to not prepare. I am saying to not obsess and treat marriage as the final solution to cure loneliness and low self esteem.

Like I said, I loved the movie. If anything the scenery just increased my longing to go see the world. And if you know anything about SATC, then you know finding a nice, single Aiden somewhere out in that big world wouldn't hurt either. I'm just sayin', he looked GOOD! I wouldn't trade 35 yr old single Toya for 25 yr single Toya for anything in the world because 25 yr old single Toya would've walked all over an "Aiden". In fact, I did. My "Aiden" is too now married with kids. I used to regret that past mistake but I know better now. I think Carrie knows better now too. Interestingly enough, I left the after party to head downtown to meet my own "Stanford" when out of the blue my own "Berger" called . Although a pleasant surprise, his call was a good reminder of how chemistry isn't everything when it comes to relationships. That's a whole other episode. Life is hilarious.

So whether you are a Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte or some of all four, I definitely recommend this movie if you are even the slightest fan and are single and want to be married some day. We could all use a heads up on how things can look on the other side.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Private Line- Toya

For those new to our blog, I always title my post after songs. This post's title comes from a Gerald Levert song (who I miss dearly) called "Private Line".

A good friend of mine and I went to go see Just Wright this weekend. It was her first time and my second (I mean, it's Common...for two hours. If I didn't have a day job I would've been to two matinees already). I looked over to her a few times during the movie only to see her wince and cover her face during the parts that, very much like me, resembled her own love life. As we started to leave she asked me a really good question. "You know, I'm 30. I like my own personality. I wouldn't change it. However, what can you do to avoid always ending up in situations like that?" To further paraphrase, she was asking how can you be that awesome friend without getting your heart hurt and involved? "You don't make yourself as accessible to needy men." I said. We both agreed that was not only key but how we have messed up in the past.

Case in point, I called Tia a few months back and made the declaration that I no longer "fool" with men in transition be it out of a job, relationship, marriage, etc. For the first time I was able to avoid a situation that had all the red flags of codependency. I ran into a buddy who really is a cool guy. After not seeing him for months, I found out that he was in the middle of a transition to where there was a lot of hurt involved. As we sat there and talked for hours. I listened as he poured his heart out and talked about his hurt and his fears. I encouraged him to look at the blessing in it all and to realize that what he was headed towards was so much better than what he left behind. And like clockwork, a few days later I got this text:

" You are amazing. I really enjoyed our time together. What you said was so dead on. You're like Oprah! I'd really like to hang out with you again. Let's hang out again sometime, ok?" I replied that it was nice catching up with him and left it at that. By no means did I indicate a set time of us having another counseling session disguised as us "hanging out" again. You may think I am being a little too guarded and maybe a bit selfish but I could've set my watch by that meeting. I knew that response was coming.The truth is I have been here before. This is not about his weaknesses. It's about mine.

We all have weaknesses and we should be honest with ourselves about what those are. I have a Florence Nightingale weakness. I love to nurse men back to health which in most cases has turned out to be not so healthy for me. Now that I take full responsibility, I am more careful about who has access to my time and my life, both male and female. Hence the following lyrics to "Private Line"

I can't give you my private line,
'Cause you be calling me all the time
A year ago would have been fine
Now I gotta give you my service line
You can call me anytime

I have to separate my service line (which for some of us may be our ministry lines, community service lines, what have you) from my private line. My private line goes straight to my heart. Why would I want just anyone to have access to that?

There was a line in Just Wright where Common's character is trying to convince Queen Latifah how special she is to him as a friend after they have spent some really up close and personal time together. She woman's up and says "that's not enough for me" and walks out. My mom has always said that my brother and I love to pick up strays. We love a good sob story. But what happens too often with women is that boundaries get crossed (much like in the movie). We are natural nurturers and encouragers and most of us so desire to have that one person to whom we can be that personal cheerleader for forever. We desire that. And because we do we fall into these co-dependent relationships where our desires to be that kind of partner in a committed relationship wind up getting fondled instead of fulfilled. No wonder some of us struggle with feelings of being used and taken advantage of. Like Eric Katz said, it's not about who you attract but who you accept. It's about who you allow to have access to your life. Nowadays, you would be hardpressed to find anyone who is not going through some sort of transition. That's normal. What I am talking about are needy men who just want to be around you so they can talk about themselves. I would have no problem talking with this guy every now and again but I am wise enough to know that his present state of vulnerability and emotional unavailability are kissing cousins. He would act like he needs me and act like he wants me but at the end of the day, I'd just be the "special" chick he only wants to kick it with. Most guys don't want to date their psychiatrist.

Bottom line: You can't be afraid to know your own heart and know how it works. What may be easy for others may not be as easy for you and that's ok. To borrow yet again from the Book of John (Mayer), you sometimes gotta keep on moving to protect your situation. After all, it is YOUR situation and who knows you better than yourself?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Toya's Random Musings

1. I feel you Janet. I feel you girl. *fist bump to the chest* 25 lbs down and I'm right there with ya.

2. *Pulls out pen* Dear Shonda Rhimes, You are not allowed to turn Grey's Anatomy into ER. Thank you and Good day.

WHAT THE #$%@??!!!!! I won't spoil it for yall that haven't seen last night's season finale yet but if you have high blood pressure, please take your medicine and perhaps read a spoiler website first. I go waaaay back with Patrick Dempsey. I mean "Can't Buy Me Love", "Loverboy" and "Happy Together" on VHS way back. No, ma'am. Stop playin'.

I'm not gonna lie though. There is a part of me that was hoping in honor of Biggie's birthday this week that at the end of the episode, Meredith would wake up and realize she was having a bad dream while McDreamy comes out of the shower while they started to play "Juicy" ("It was all a dream...") Oh well. They didn't ask me so...

3. And while I am writing letters: Brett Michaels, we love you. Please sit down somewhere and get well. Oh my Jesus. *nail biting*

Brett Michaels was taken to the hospital yesterday not too long after he was released just last week. This time it was due to a warning stroke. They also found out there is a hole in his heart. Tia and I have seen Poison together at least twice and we love them. I have been wanting to play "Fallen Angel" for the past two weeks but I can't bring myself to do it. Get well Brett.

4. Justin Bieber's BET nomination: seriously, I don't see why this is even an issue and I'm not even a fan. What SHOULD be an issue is the foolishness BET gives awards to in the first place. Lil' Wayne gets an award last year for talking about how he wants to have sex with every girl in the world but this is a problem? They can give Justin Bieber a Pullitzer for "Baby" for all I care as long as he is not disrespecting women in his videos and telling girls to take their clothes off in his songs. No one sneezed when Robin Thicke was nominated. Does Bieber need to start dating Malia Obama for him to get a "pass"? I'm so done. Oh and while we are talking about today's "artists", allow me to pen another letter:

Dear Today's "Artists" on the Radio Right Now, 90% of you sound like this:

Autotune is supposed to correct your pitch not make you sound like you recorded your album on the Millenium Falcon. TURN IT DOWN or TURN IT OFF!

5. A friend of mine who hasn't seen Just Wright yet graciously told me that we don't have to see it this weekend because I have already seen it. When don't I want to see Common on the big screen for almost two hours?

Yes, please and to God be the glory.

6. Confession: I hate when people abbreviate words. I hate when people say "deets" for details, "sitch" for situation, and please oh please don't waste a text with the letter "k" for ok. The "o" is right there for crying out loud! It's right above the "k"! Glad I got that off of my chest.

7. One week from today Carrie and them hit the big screen again for Sex and The City Part 2. I don't know what is going to happen with Aiden in the mix but I am psyched. If you are in Nashville, check out the Sex and the City Nashville's website for a great event called Sexy for the Cure. Sexy for the Cure is benefiting Women Rock for the Cure which raises money for a cure to breast cancer. Tickets are still available and include a ticket to the movie, a pre-party at Yolos Restaurant, a walk on the pink carpet (how cute) and the after party at Crow's Nest. Some of my girls and me are going and I can't wait!

8. Yesterday I posted a video from Eric Marc Katz called "You Don't Attract the Wrong Men, You Accept the Wrong Men" and it made an excellent point. A lot of women have chemistry way too high on their priority list. I am not saying that chemistry is not important. It is a must. I wouldn't marry anyone I didn't have great chemistry with. But a lot of us have stayed in foolishness because we don't always acknowledge that it is indeed possible to have great chemistry with the wrong guy. Off the top of my head I can think of five men I have great chemistry with: One is gay, two are bisexual, one has a drinking problem and the last one is practically a fetus. Don't let chemistry blind you. Chances are if I can rattle off five I get along great with there is bound to be one I haven't met yet who is the right one for me.

9. Operation South Beach Diet goes down this weekend after I visit Coldstone for some Oreo Cookie Filling Ice Cream. Pray my strength as bread and I break up for at least two weeks.

10. My mom turned 60 last Saturday. As I looked across the room at her surprise birthday party, I could not get over how truly beautiful she is. She looks better than she ever has and she is so happy. Her favorite scripture is Proverbs 31. She lives by it. Interestingly enough it says in verse 30 "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." As people one by one stepped up to the mic to talk about how much she has helped them through difficult times in their lives, I couldn't help but be so proud of her. Her beauty although evident on the outside runs deep. I think that's something we could all strive for.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today's Smack in the Face Brought to You be Evan Marc Katz:
"You Don't Attract the Wrong Men,
You ACCEPT the Wrong Men."- Toya

Did you hear that? It was the sound of hundreds of light bulbs going off.

I noticed that our blog was getting some hits from the
Black Women Deserve Better's website so I decided to check over there to see what was crackin'. While perusing, I read the title of one of their featured articles by "You Don't Attract the Wrong Men, You ACCEPT the Wrong Men". It was like a grenade went off in the office. "Do I even need to read this article?" I thought. I mean, the title says enough. A preacher could get up in a pulpit, say that one sentence, and then do an altar call to which I would bet rows of women would come forward in repentance. I would probably lead the pack.

I fully believe that words have power and because of this, I will no longer declare that I am the Statue of Liberty for emotionally unavailable men. Now it does seem like there is a certain type that enters my space every now and again but I refuse to say I attract them anymore. I'm done saying that. I will now take full responsibility for what I have allowed to take up my time and heart space. I didn't do that because there were no other options . I did that because I was too impatient to believe that there were any.

As if the title alone wasn't enough to set you free, here is a video by
Evan Marc Katz , the featured dating coach in the aforementioned article, for further explanation...

BGLU Approved: Just Wright Hits

Just a Little Too Close to Home- Toya

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may be hip to a few things: my love for Common and my unfortunate winning streak for attracting some of the most emotionally unavailable men on the planet. So when I saw the trailer for Just Wright which showed Leslie Wright’s (Queen Latifah) date label her as good people who would make some other man a lucky man someday, I thought I was going to die. Actually, I thought someone should cut me a check.

But the similarities didn’t stop there. As I sat with my Godsister Nikki in the theater, I glared at her as other similarities to my own life continuously popped up throughout the movie. Her relationship with her wanna be Mr. Fix It father (played by Grey’s Anatomy’s James Pickens Jr.) very much mirrored my own. Her desire to just be herself and not worry about what she needs to wear and act like in order to catch a man also reminded me a lot of myself. And when they got to the state of her beat up car and how she tried to maintain her dignity whenever she chose to valet? I looked at Nikki and said “Are you kidding me?! I am about to walk out.” It’s one thing to live through it but it’s another thing to have to sit and squirm as you watch your unfortunate love life (so far) being played out on the screen. Oh but Common made it so much easier in every single scene.

You think you know Common is gorgeous but trust. You don’t. His face is breathtaking at times. Seriously, there were moments where his face would show up on the screen and I stopped breathing. I mean he is…

(What about the acting Toya?)


Ok, I will be honest and say that Common has a lot of growing to do as an actor and it was very evident in his debut role as a leading man. There were certain emotions that he played out better than others (he does salty REALLY well). But you know what? Will Smith wasn’t all that hot at first either. You can’t count Fresh Prince of Bel Air because he spent about six seasons playing himself in front of the camera. All in all, Common did an ok job.

Why do I recommend this movie? Well besides it being good and we need to support more films that show black people loving each other and not fighting each other, it’s a good reminder that it pays to stray true to yourself. It reminds me of one of my favorite stories in the bible about Rebekah, Isaac’s wife. Isaac’s father Abraham sent his servant out to find a wife for his son Isaac. He came upon Rebekah who was busy at work. She was a warm woman of character that loved to help others. Not only did she provide him water but gave some to his camels and then hooked the weary traveler up with a place to stay. He took notice of this and the rest is history.

I don’t know about you but sometimes I need the reminder to just be my best self. I am not putting down books and self help whatevers that try to help single women find love but for some of us, that can get really stressful. I have said it before: women can often get bogged down by feeling like we are doing too much of one thing and not enough of something else and that is why we are still single. Although a lot of people consider Just Wright to be predictable, I applaud this movie for showing us that love can find you when you are busy doing you and loving yourself. Definitely go see it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Be Happy: My Journey Back to My Natural Hair
Part 4: A Beautiful World- Toya

"I think I'm going to shave my head and travel Europe for about three months"

I said this to my mentor yesterday in Philadelphia during my visit home for my mom's surprise 60th birthday party. "I missed that first part. Shave your head?" she laughed. "Okay, well maybe not shave my head. I figure I have about three inches of new growth right now so maybe I will cut it down to there and travel Europe." I've been thinking I need to reset my life. I've been half kidding about this but if I could get an endorsement from Jansport, Essence, At&T, Delta and maybe Mastercard, I would go to the nearest barber, shave this stuff off and peace all the way out. Half kidding of course.

Oh who am I kidding? Why am I telling the universe and God that I am half kidding? I am entirely serious. Ever since Tia asked me what is it that I do for myself, I have been scrambling around for an answer. No joke, I walked for eight hours around Philadelphia on Thursday because I was so happy to be in a pedestrian friendly city for the first time in months. My legs paid for it later but it was so worth it. My friend Brandi called while I was on South Street. "What are you doin'?" she asked already knowing that I was doing something peculiar. "Walking the city. All of it. Went as far as I could go on the train and decided to walk all over the place." She cracked up. "Does it ever bother you at all that there is a whole big world out there that you haven't seen yet? That bugs me!" "I know what you mean." she agreed. So I walked and took pictures of things that I had walked past for years when I lived close by in New Jersey but never stopped to notice such as
The Philadelphia Magic Gardens which looks like it is straight out of The Wiz. I have walked right passed that gate for years and always wondered about it. Where was I going in life that I never stopped and went inside? That's the beginning of an even bigger question.

As silly and reckless as this may seem, what could I do to leave for three months and see a good chunk of the world? Just three months. I'll come back and do whatever anyone wants me to continue doing but three months to myself would be a dream come true and I don't remember the last time I have dreamed about anything.

I usually don't hit the "what on earth is happening in my life" crisis until halfway until my birthday which hits around July. For the first time however this isn't about age. Turning 36 isn't the issue. Life being too short is.

If you've been reading this blog long enough you already know that my life has a soundtrack. It should be no surprise that this song was playing as I looked out the window after boarding the plane:

It’s a beautiful world I see, everything looks differently
It’s a beautiful world I see, these moments are changing me? When I look at the sky I see the reason why I know,
When I look out from the window,
The moon and stars shine all their lights down from the heavens
I choir of angels strike a chord and lift their voices
And then we sing out,
I’ve been lost but now I’ve found what’s right in front of me.

What's Up with BGLU? - Toya

Hey yall. Well as you can see, Tia and I have stepped our blog game up. It's been a LONG time in the making and we are pretty excited. I wish I could've documented some of the painstaking emails that exchanged in trying to find a template we both agreed on.

Tia: Do you like any of these?
Me: Umm, I kind of like that one but I hate the colors and the background and the pictures (Wouldn't that be the whole template??? SMH).

Me: Hey what do you think about the ones I sent you?
Tia: Come on! All that black and pink? Looks like Hello Kitty threw up on it.

It's been a journey to say the least. We are still under construction (don't know where our comments are. Looks as if they have been held hostage) but are pretty sure it will look fly once we are done. Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You Know What, Alicia Keys?!?!?- Toya

Just last week I was discussing with Tia my difficulty with enjoying Alicia Keys' "Unthinkable" song because it reminded me of her relationship with Swizz Beats while he was married to Mashonda. I was met with a "La la la la la, I can't hear you. You will not ruin this song for me, la la la la la..." from Tia who emphatically believes that it is not about their affair until Keys says it is. Now listen, I know that is none of my business. However, I couldn't help but put myself in Mashonda's shoes as I heard "You give me something that I never felt and I deserve it." Wait, what?! Thank goodness, Darnell Levine's IAMMUSIC2010 mixtape has a cover of this great song (his version is the business by the way) so I didn't have to ignore it completely. Still, I really wanted to love this song because it is so good.

And then she went and did this. She flipped my assumed concept of the song, put it "where I live", so to say, thus making it impossible for me to not love it. And you know what? She was smart to do so. With her relationship with Swizz Beats raising eyebrows all over the blogosphere, this song almost seemed like a classic case of art imitating life. Swizz WHO?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Be Happy: My Journey Back to Natural Hair
Part 3- Got 'Til It's Gone

I was sitting at my desk yesterday thinking what in the world was I waiting for? Why wait until the summer to go back to natural hair? It's going to be a long process anyway so why not start tonight? I began to get really excited and decided to go for it. I left work and sped home to wash my hair and start the journey back to my naturally curly, beautiful, sometimes temperamental hair. I will confess that since the Nashville flood our city has been under water restrictions. I promised my roommates that I would skip a shower the next morning in exchange of washing my hair that night. I got into the shower and could not wait to feel that water pouring down my scalp again. It was heavenly. I washed up and got out of the shower to take a look at my freshly washed hair.

COMPLETELY straight.

Not hardly a bend and most definitely





My hairstylist warned me about this but I had to see for myself. I just had to go with the creamy crack (chemical hair relaxer) just one time in the summer. Wearing my hair straight was cutting into my social life! I had to leave early from a few parties last year beacause I felt my scalp sweating and my roots starting to curl up. Oh the plight of the black woman *sigh*. "Maybe with conditioner", I thought. I was determined not to get discouraged so I found some conditioner somewhere (I haven't washed my own hair in months as I always go to my hair stylist). I slathered it on, put on my shower cap and waited while watching Dancing with the Stars. After about an hour I washed it out of my hair only to find that my hair was still completely straight.

"Don't panic, don't panic."

I dried it a little to see if it would curl up and had no luck. I texted my hair stylist about two strand twists. Maybe that would work. "I am NOT cutting off all of my hair" I told her. She advised me to twist my hair and see what would happen. I twisted up my hair and went to bed.

What happened this morning? A hot mess, that's what. You know how some people can have their hair looking any kind of way and it will look cool? Not this head of hair. Wavy at the root and a straight uncontained mess the rest of the strand. On top of that I slept wrong so my neck is out of wack. Trying to blow dry it straight was painful. I cannot be late to work because of this hair malfunction, I thought. And then it came to me: what if I did cut it all off? I've done it before. Grant it I was about 40 pounds lighter but I did it. What was I really afraid of?

The questions, that's what. I don't want to have to field any questions. I don't want to deal with the stares of people at my job. And on top of that I would really like to lose a good 2o-25 pounds (about 3 lbs in my face alone) before I get bold and cut it all off again. I began to put on my makeup in the mirror and thought "If you do this. your makeup game is going to have to be on point. You have to own it." Hmm... I tied a scarf around my head and gave myself a nice bold red glossy lip and thought "I could own it. Maybe I could do it." MAYBE. We'll see.

Monday, May 10, 2010

R.I.P. Lena Horne
One of BedStuy's very own has died. The beautiful, incomparable, amazingly talented Lena Horne has passed away at the age of 92. Lena was one of the ORIGINAL baddest chick. Refusing to take stereotypical roles offered to blacks in the 40s, Lena stood her ground and became the first black actor to sign with a major studio.

With a career spanning several decades, Ms. Horne became one of the perennial actresses of our time. A civil rights activist with connections to JFK and Medger Evers, Lena proved that she was more than just a pretty face.

Talented, beautiful and strong, Ms Horne will truly be missed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Angel Taylor : Love Travels - Tia

If you're anything like me, you have that friend who is your go-to for all things relationship. She's the person you giggle to when you've shared a first kiss with someone. She's the person you talk to about your future wedding plans. (Pink, brown and white bridesmaids dresses and multi-color tulip centerpieces) She's the person you cry to when you're lonely and can't for the life of you figure out why today you care so much about being single since yesterday you didn't seem to care at all. She knows your heart and you know hers. And if that friendship had a soundtrack it would be Love Travels.

Angel Taylor has managed to write the perfect album about the best and worst parts about wanting, being in and falling out of love. Somehow, almost inexplicably, she manages to put into words those giddy feelings of butterflies from a simple look from him. She humanizes the difficulty of wanting someone so desperately but knowing that we should wait on our "sovereign King." And when the wrong one lets you down, Angel sings unabashedly of how, in that moment, the brokenness takes your peace and your sanity. Love Travels is the good, the bad and the ugly of love and all that it entails.

I sat in my car listening to this entire cd, unable or simply unwilling to stop the music long enough to walk in the house. As the album played I was reminded of the time he showed up and made me laugh until I almost peed, the time when I knew it was over, those feelings I had from knowing him only from a far but longing with everything in me to know him better and that hope of the one to come, the "Mr. Perfect" of Chai Tea Latte that the hopeless romantic in me dreams about every so often. You know...the one who will love me "for the beauty of my personality."

Instead of a cd of tracks, Angel has assembled an album of stories. These could very well be songs about any one of us. There is love and happiness and sadness and bitter pain wrapped up in 13 songs. While the individual experiences may be different, the common denominators are pretty much the same for all of us. At some point we've all loved and lost, pined for, been let down and watched and wondered, "Does he even know I'm alive?" And when the feelings of all of that coming speeding in Love Travels is the music of a friend who understands. You know she gets it because, clearly, she's been there too.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Just Wright News: Queen Latifah & Common Surprise
the P.S. 22 Chorus

This is precious. The P.S. 22 Chorus of Staten Island were treated to a surprise visit from Common and Queen Latifah last week as the kids were practicing Latifah's new song "Champion" from the movie Just Wright. Now had I been a kid in this class, a call from the school to my mother would've gone something like this:

Nurse: Miss Willie Mae, we have your daughter LaToya here in the nurse's office and we need you to pick her up to take her to the hospital.

Mom: What happened?!?!

Nurse: Well we surprised the children with a visit from Queen Latifah and Common and...

Mom: And she had an asthma attack didn't she?

Nurse: No she broke her ankle after she fell running down the street after the limo shouting "Common, come back! You know we were meant to be together".

Mom: *screaming* Glenn! Get YOUR child from school and take her to the hospital, please?

Here is the video for Queen Latifah's "Champion" from Just Wright due in theaters a week from today. Great song!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Video of the Day: Janell Monae's "Tightrope" ft. Big Boi

Seriously, she is the cutest. Get it yall!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This Just In: Anderson Cooper Tweets That He is Coming to Nashville

From Twitter: @andersooncooper:...have decided to go to tennessee tomorrow to report...on the flooding. Am going to intv kenny chesney tonite about it as well, his home got flooded...

*Cough* My's a little scratchy...I feel...achy.
*Toya checks her PTO days*

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Toya's Random Musings

1. Pandora Internet Radio and I are currently having a passionate love affair of which no man can put asunder. Since Yahoo Launch did me dirty and changed their format which killed my 1200+ song radio station that took me years to build, I was a little apprehensive about Pandora. However today when I constructed my Girls Rock! station, I was pleasantly surprised with their artists recommendations. So far my station consists of India.Arie, Feist, Fleetwood Mac, Santigold, The Noisettes, Paramore, Joi, Amel Larrieux, Alice Smith, and a hodge podge of others. You're welcome to check it out but if Gucci Mane creeps up for some unknown reason remember that (1) I just created it today and am still editing their recommendations and (2) the devil is busy.

2. Nashville Flood- I love this city so much. We are really pulling together. Sometimes you don't realize how much you love something until it is in danger. We really have a sense of pride for this town that I think a few of us took for granted. Me being a Yankee snob is out the window. I really long to see us get through this.

We are getting national attention finally which makes me ask, where is Anderson Cooper? I'm just saying. We can't get Anderson Cooper down here? And Brad Pitt, you don't want to come down here and rebuild some homes off of I-24 like you did in New Orleans? Ok, it's not that deep but I mean, I'd like to see yall.

Here is a moving video that Michael Deppisch did to capture some early devastation. It has gotten much worse since he filmed this, especially downtown.

On top of this Grand Ole Opry is flooded as well as Opryland hotel and the mall with our ONLY Forever XXI, Opry Mills Mall! Where is my office first aid kit? That last one might require me getting out the smelling salt.

3. Speaking of the flood, last night I was looking at places to get a second job to wipe out my debt. As much as I want to move forward with dreams and such, it's hard with this monkey on my back. I don't even want to know what my credit score looks like after being unemployed for eight months and not being able to pay some of my bills. However, I need to put my big girl panties on and face the music soon. Everywhere I looked online that would allow me to work in the evening is currently under water. This is a great time for a miracle! Trying to keep my hopes up.

4. Is it even fair for Nicole Scherzinger to be on Dancing with the Stars? I mean, really.

5. There is someone in my space who constantly needs attention...which is exactly why I don't give them any. Needy people is in my top 4 list of pet peeves behind traffic, rude people, and rude people in traffic.

6. Tia got to go to the screening of Just Wright, the new movie with Queen Latifah and Common last week in NYC. You probably think I was jealous right? Me? Jealous? You're damn right.

Recently Common has been making the rounds promoting the movie in character as Scott McKnight at Lane Bryant in-store appearances.

Lane Bryant Pentagon City come see me DC! on Twitpic">

I don't know who Common's publicist or manager is but I would like to send them a bouquet of flowers for showing some love to the curvy girls. This is what's up!

7. Twitter: Ever other day I consider cancelling my Twitter account. It started off being for BGLU readers but then everyone and their crazy uncle got on Twitter and it gets a little weird sometimes. I think I just want one for friends. Discussing reality shows and award shows on Twitter has become one of my favorite pastimes so maybe I won't cancel it altogether.

8. Elon James of This Week in Blackness has one more time to say something that makes me fall out of my chair before I propose to him. This mess right here (Warning: profanity)? Classic!

9. We can kill the word "swagger" now. Seriously, it was on life support the minute Randy Jackson said it on American Idol. And besides, you can't really be under 40 and have swagger. You know why? Swagger is for GROWN men. Exhibit A: Billy Dee Williams...

The defense rest.

10. I really miss Tia. For some reason though I feel like when she moves here we may not live in the same place for long. Gettin' that feelin' again...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Breaking News: Christina Aguileira Kidnapped by Lady Gaga Stans- Toya

Prayers go forth for Christina Aguileira who apparently has been kidnapped by Lady Gaga's "monsters" and held hostage. The ransom? Not confirmed but I guess it's her talent. I can't believe this. Look at what they did to her! They bound and gagged her and ...don't they know she has a child! What the...


Wait, what? This was not a plan by Lady Gaga fans to sabotage Christina Aguileira's career? This is SELF SABOTAGE?!  Like Chris Brown singing at the Mayweather boxing match (I love you Chris Brown but please fire your publicist and management)? Are you sure? *More whispering* On purpose, huh? Who does that ???!!!

My apologies to Lady Gaga monsters everywhere. As you were. 

This just in: Ciara's kidnappers have released a hostage video called "Ride" and...*whispering* Aww damn, again?!?!
Toya's Boyfriend of the Month- Pete Cashmore

Does anyone remember when I used to do Toya's Boyfriend of the Month? It just seemed like it was either Common or Mos Def for months at a time so I let it go but Pete Cashmore, the CEO of  has given me a reason to revive this segment of our blog. Now I'm not tech savvy to say the least. Anything that has to do with a tech or HTML problem on this blog is handled by Tia because I will ruin things to the point of this blog being unrecognizable. However, whenever I click on a link about social networking and it's something that Pete Cashmore has to say, I turn into Monica Geller from the Vegas episode on Friends: "This just got interesting!"

This tech cutie is from Scotland and is 24 years old which may make me want to maybe reconsider two items on my deal breaker list: long distance relationships and must be old enough to rent a car. I'm just sayin'.

Nashville Flood 2010- Toya

Let me start out by saying that I am fine. I live on a hill and while that is nervewrecking when it snows, I see now that it is a blessing when it rains. I have no idea what the streets below look like but thanks to Twitter and other social networks, I am getting to see pictures like the one above of the YMCA up the street. DAMN!

I learned a new word today: unpotable. I of course pronounced it "unpottable" as I ran downstairs to tell my roommate Grace "Hey someone said something about the water being unpottable in about 3 hours? What does that mean?" She immediately got up to fill the bathtub and I went and filled up every recycled water bottle in the house.

I have a burning urge to go up the street and get some bottled water. Yeah, me and hundreds of other people right now. I really do. I also want to contribute some money to New Orleans and others affected by Katrina. This isn't even the half of what they went through.