Wednesday, March 31, 2010
This is one of my all time FAVORITE songs. I absolutely LOVE Tim Miner. He's a throwback to my early CCM (contemporary Christian music) days. I had all of his stuff up to this album. And this album was my JAM. It was soooo 90s R&B. Brian McKnight produced a lot of it and Tim was singing all up and down the ballads on this one.
You Must Know stays on a constant loop when the mood hits me. Today was one of those days. The audio on this is not fantastic. And I'm willing to bet that most of you don't even know who this is. Today, I don't care. I think this post is more for me than for you dear readers.
I am always amazed at how the heart works. I'm especially intrigued by its propensity to derail you up when you least expect it. It can be the smallest thing, something you least expect that starts you spiraling down a path, looking around asking, "How in the world did I get here?!?!"
Random mostly unrelated aside: I find it interesting that Lauryn Hill's Nothing Really Matters just started playing...and also unrelated I do believe I will be murdering my neighbor's dog....Moving on.
A friend of mine wrote to me the other day and told me that she had something that she wanted me to read. She'd recently gotten out of a weird relationship with this guy and being a writer she found it cathartic to journal her feelings as she battled with the end of the relationship coupled with a bout of insomnia. (I firmly believe that sometimes the best and most pure words pour out of late broken nights.) I sat down to read her intimate thoughts not thinking that it would have any effect on me save for possibly some additional empathy for her and added animosity toward the guy.
The writings span several days. I made it through DAY 1. I couldn't get beyond the first night of her transcribed heartache. I had been there before and I knew how she felt. And some how my friend's words had inadvertently opened my Pandora's box of repressed loneliness and pain. Maybe it was because I had first hand knowledge of how she felt and the reminder of pain came on the heels of yet another night of having another man want me for nothing more than physical satisfaction. (short version: I'd been at a party the night before and my friend's brother made it perfectly clear that he was ready to...make some stuff happen...I don't even think he knew my last name...) Whatever the reason, I found myself sitting on my bed so raw with emotion I think if someone had touched me I would have burst into tears.
I quickly closed the document and fervently pounded out an email to my friend explaining the reasons that I couldn't finish reading. As the words poured out, I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I was SO upset. This was not my life. While I could understand it from first hand experience, her breakup was not MY breakup. And I was LONG since past this pain, right????
And I think the thing that REALLY got to me was the pain, the loneliness, the loss that I was feeling was not for the man who broke my heart all of those years ago. (I can honestly say I bare no ill toward my ex and have not a modicum of non-platonic love for him.) No, the pain I was feeling was for the loss of the idea of a relationship. Let me explain. I had my prototype walk in and out of my life once. He was all of the things that I thought I wanted and then some. And as quickly as he walked in and pretended to capture my heart he was gone and I haven't met anything like him since. It seems crazy to me that my heart can still, after all of this time, ache for all intents and purposes the IDEA of a man. That realization just made me angry. So now I was lonely, hurt, and mad. Perfect.
I shut down my email, closed the blinds, curled up in the bed and put on disc one of Pride and Prejudice...because...you know...Jane Austen is AWESOME for heartache. (Hopefully, you sensed the sarcasm just now.) For the next 5 hours (yes, I watched the WHOLE thing) I checked out. I'm very good at repression. I watched Colin Firth parade around in frilly attire and proceeded to let my mind reboot itself. I let the feelings I was feeling scuttle back into their Pandora's box and arrange themselves in neat little rows. And as Eliza and Mr. Darcy rode off into marital bliss, I assured myself that I was fine. That it was just a moment. I fell asleep muttering that everything was FINE...
And it was...for about 2 days. This morning I sat straight up out of a dead sleep. My prototype had infiltrated my dreams. He'd sauntered in with his perfect hair, his car salesman smile and ruined my perfectly happy repression. And to add insult to injury, he'd rejected me in my dream. I mean, can a sistah catch a break in her own dreams?!?!?!
I got up, dressed and ran to catch the J. (Thank you MTA for skip-stop service in the mornings because I was LATE.) I sat alone all day (as is the case when I'm on site. I work alone and can literally go HOURS without speaking to anyone) and toiled through the mindless reconciling of my job. As my day ended and I walked back to the train I found myself wondering if I would ever fully be okay. Will there ever be a complete healing? Am I that girl who has to be with someone to get over someone else? I can't be....I hate that girl.
I tried unsuccessfully to shove everything back in it's proper place on the train ride home. Pain goes here. Heartache here. Loneliness back there. But try as I might I couldn't get the pieces back together. Everything was out and like a Rubik's cube, I couldn't figure out how to get everything to align.
Even as I write this I still don't have an answer. I just finished watching Couple's Retreat (I'd give it a B+) and Vince Vaughn said something that I've tried to articulate to many a person and several times to God. He said, "I don't need all of this. I want someone I can share my life with." (You'll have to watch the movie to understand the whole reference but you get the general idea.) In that moment of that moderately funny film, I completely knew what he meant.
I don't know. I want to have some great answer. A Moses like revelation. I want the clouds to part, God to reach down and say, "Everything is and will be fine, child." Because even though deep down I know it's true (I mean way down with the Pandora box sitting on top of it) something about just knowing the truth doesn't make the reality of the loneliness any better in this moment.
My aforementioned friend called me the Walking Wounded. She said that there's a place in my heart that I need to let God fill. She speaks from experience and she says it with the compassion of a true friend. She tells me that she prays for my heart every day. Interesting, since I would think she would be praying for her own with that sort of fervor. She encourages me to let God love on me and to know that it may not be in a way that I expect. God help me I want to. A girl can only compartmentalize for so long before the compartments burst at the seams and scatter a mess of emotion and rawness all over your day.
So I wait. I wait for this brief and somewhat irritating moment of loneliness to pass. And I pray. I pray that I can truly hand my broken, pitiful heart to God so that he can fix it. I hope beyond hope that randomness of life will no longer trigger the pain and hurt of the past because one day they'll legitimately be gone. And I watch Colin Firth with his cute British accent,frilly clothes and top hat parade across my screen once more.
Monday, March 29, 2010
So apparently Ricky Martin came out today. Also of note, water is wet and the sun is hot.
Ricky coming out was not news. While I was in denial for a minute, (I just refused to believe a man that fine was not (in theory) available to me) I pretty much gave up the fight a long time ago and succumb to the fact that Ricky was not batting for my team. So when I read today that Ricky finally decided to come out, I shrugged my shoulders and thought, "I don't care. Everyone already knows." And since my mind works the way it does as soon as I thought "I don't care" I remembered that Ricky had a song by that same title and have been playing it ever since.
This song was okay. Not earth shattering or anything. But the video was HOT...or should I say Ricky in the video was hot. Plus Fat Joe told the girl to kick rocks. I LOVE that saying.
Anyway, here's Ricky trying to make us believe an untruth, feeling all on Amerie like he means it. Whatever, dude. I've been a fan since Menudo. You being gay isn't going to change that.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
This Is Going to Bless Somebody Today: THE ORIGINAL Please Don't Go Girl Video- New Kids on the Block
So I just posted this to someone's Facebook wall and thought to myself that there may be a chance that some of our readers who are New Kids fans are not aware of the ORIGINAL "Please Don't Go Girl" video. Yes the ORIGINAL, filmed AROUND THE WAY, with some BROWN GIRLS. May the haircuts, acid washed denim and Jordan's incisors bless you richly this day.
I realize that posting a song every day is just not feasible for me. My inconsistency hamstrings me every time. That being said, I think I will be moving toward song of the moment posts instead. I'll post whatever is moving me at that moment, rather than trying to stress myself out doing it every day.
And on that note the songs below have been in heavy rotation for a minute.
Brian McKnight - Back at One
Please see the previous post for why this has been in rotation.
There is a less macabre version of this video. But this one always moved me. I still love it and I won't apologize for that.
Elliott Yamin - Home
Y'all know we loves us some Elliott around these parts. I was going to post the Michael Buble version of this song (because that's the one I have in my iTunes) but then I remembered that Elliott sang this when he was in the Top 5. (Remember how Simon told him he didn't think it was a good idea to sing a song with the lyrics "I want to go home"?) Anyway, this song is also tied into my last post.
I am a special kind of bored....with life...There has been all kinds of upheavals, twists and turns and in the end, I still feel like nothing has changed. When we last left our heroine, she had lost one job only to find another in the strange place known as NYC. Well, my wonderful fabulous job cut my hours and I am now working part time in one of the most expensive cities on earth.
Of course when it happened my first question was, "REALLY?!?!?" But after being unemployed for months in NY, working part time is not really phasing me. I'm just trying to keep it moving and find another job. A few people have suggested retail or food service. Call me uppity but I've been there, done that and LITERALLY have the t-shirt. (I have work shirts from my time working at Krispy Kreme, IKEA, Old Navy and H&M. I seriously love my t-shirt collection.) At this point in the game I feel I'm too old and too crotchety to be working at anyone's restaurant, shop or store. I started working when I was 14. I worked my way through college sometimes holding down 2 jobs. I gave up every weekend of the 1st semester of my senior year to work that 4am shift waiting tables. Yeah, I've paid my dues. And while I don't love what I'm doing now, in theory (read: when it's full time) it helps me get out of debt so that I can figure out what I really want to do.
What do I really want to do you ask...Excellent question. The short answer is: I don't know. I love music and know that I need to be involved in it some kind of way. But how loving music translates to a money making career I don't know.
I do have several ideas, but most of them revolve around me being back in Nashville or at the very least back in the south because most of the people that I want to walk my ideas out with live there. And if you've been reading this blog for any length of time you're probably shaking your head hearing me say I want to go back down south...Don't judge me...LOL...
I've come to realize that though no place is perfect, there's no place like home. And home truly is where your heart is. Over the last few months, I've come to realize that I'm a southern girl.
My heart is in the south. The pace of NYC simultaneously baffles me and pisses me off. And the rudeness astounds me weekly. I literally almost got out of my car and cussed the driver behind me out at 4 in the morning. Don't ask...just know that he was being REALLY obnoxious. And obnoxious at 4am is not a good look sir. I miss those ridiculous thick accents. I miss the slow pace. I miss the convenience of Super Walmarts. I miss MANNERS. I need more space, central heating and air and fewer horns. (The Puerto Ricans aren't bad though. I do like those...)
Though it took moving all over the country I now know that the south is home. Nashville with all it's flaws (boys is skinny jeans, 2 degrees of separation, and whole bunch of other drama that I have chosen to tap out on) is what I know. Atlanta is a very close second. I'm not sure if it's an age thing or what but I'm ready to be home. I'm ready to be settled. I'm ready to put down roots. It gets tiring fighting and wondering what the next day, week, month is going to look like. I'm basically ready for a time out. And a time out in a city that stresses me out just driving to the gym is not where I want to be. (Seriously, what the hell is up with these pot holes up here? The alignment on my car is shot all to hell from driving in holes big enough to put 3 newborn babies in.) I basically just need a break. I want to take some time, regroup and then start making whatever the next moves are. Frankly, I don't think that's too much to ask.
I found myself reading a series of scriptures the other day that made me shake my head, look up at the ceiling and flat out ask God, "Okay...so what's the path then?!?!?!" I read the following in succession:
Psalm 25:4 - Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.
Psalm 25: 12 - Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose
Psalm 27:11 - Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path
Psalm 32: 8 - The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you
Do you see the pattern? I try not to shout at God but I was shouting, "SIR!!! WHAT IS THE PATH? SHOW ME THE PATH AND I WILL RUNNNNNNN TO IT!!!!" This lost, treading water feeling gets old really fast. And because things seem unclear to me, my first inclination is to start over. Go back to the beginning and start again. I once heard Brian McKnight talk about what prompted him to write Back at One. He said he was trying to put some toy together for one of his children. He seemed to be making no headway and after reaching the peak of frustration, took the thing apart and started over with the first instruction. That's kind of where I am right now. I want to start back at one. I want to take a time out, enjoy the company of people I love and take a moment to really listen and figure out where the path is and how to get on it.
So right now my prayer is for peace, clarity and direction. And if God is so inclined a tall, Jesus loving Puerto Rican of my very own.
Friday, March 19, 2010
I have been able to dabble in my life long dream of A&R/artist development as of late and it's been really fulfilling. That has always been the area of the music industry that I know I am best suited. One day I was in the studio going over music for a project and the artist I was working with started to share some personal things with me. She is an upcoming artist who I think is incredibly smart, talented and has a lot going for her at the moment. Candidly she shared with me that there is a guy that had broken her heart not too long ago who has started flooding her with phone calls and messages. "You have so much going for you right now" I told her."You are building a great momentum and people are really starting to see what it is that you can do. You need to guard your Achilles heel". The Achilles heel reference was in regard to the fact that I know a little bit about her history. I know that there have been some men to trip her up in the past. These situations have hurt her confidence and in turn have kept her from really coming into her own.
This conversation has made me think about my own life history and the things that get me off course. According to Wikipedia, an Achilles heel is "a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall." Everyone has an Achilles heel that needs to be guarded. It's an area that if not protected from attack can cause you to get swept off your feet and on your butt quicker than Daniel getting his leg swept by Johnny in The Karate Kid. For me they can be a number of things but the older I get the easier they are to spot. These are all things that attack my self esteem and they come around like clockwork. The bible says that there is nothing new under the sun and that is so true. These distractions may have come with slightly different faces and slightly different circumstances but they are all very similar. Now that I am old enough to see the pattern, I can now say that I have let myself get bamboozled a number of times. My dad calls it "falling for the okey doke". Yeah I can't count how many times I have had my leg swept by the okey doke.
I have learned recently that the more you focus on what you don't want to happen, the quicker it may happen. Here is some advice: focus on what you want to happen, not on what you don't want to happen. I recently heard this illustration: Race car drivers are trained to focus on one thing when they are driving at incredibly high speeds. They are never, ever trained to avoid the wall. You try to avoid the wall, you are hitting that wall. My focus has been way off. Yes we are to guard our hearts but we can't live our lives standing in front of it like a defense tackle in football. Life is about making touchdowns. Anything else causes anxiety because you are trying to guard yourself against something not happening. We wind up like Job when we do this who after he lost everything said "What I feared has come upon me." My goal in life regarding relationships isn't to not get my heartbroken. My goal is to engage in healthy relationships that are good for me. Anything that doesn't look like that has got to go. Standing guard is not the best position. You have to live life on the offensive not the defensive, moving while bobbing, weaving and dropping fools if need be while going towards your goal. Can you tell I have been watching a lot of football this year?
Now that I have learned this, I talk about what I do want and what I am going towards more. I also think about it more because if you can change your thoughts you can change your behavior. The bad thing about losing focus is that if you stay off course long enough, good things can be happening all around you and you won't notice them. For instance, my pastor as well as other ministers I have heard at the beginning of this year said that this is the year that God is going to resurrect some dreams that people have either laid aside or thought were dead. As I mentioned before I have always wanted to be in A&R/artist development. This has been a dream since grade school that I gave up on. Last night I got an email from another artist I have been helping of a possible CD cover for her upcoming release. In the credits at the very bottom next to A&R it had my name. My first album credit! I couldn't believe it. I hadn't asked for it and I wasn't working towards it. She and her management acknowledged the work I have been doing and gave me the credit. I was just doing what I love to do and helping where I can. Prayers that I prayed long ago are being answered and I have been so distracted by things that don't really matter that I haven't been able to thank God for them and enjoy them while they are happening. Why? Because I have been on the ground holding a sore leg swept after being hit in my own Achilles heel.
Whatever you are pursuing whether it's a career, weight loss, or even peace, do it on the offensive. Go towards it versus looking around in fear of who or what can rob you of it. Keep it in the forefront of your mind so when anything comes around that does not line up with your goal, you won't waste time on distractions. Keep on moving ladies.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The other day while perusing the blogsphere I came across a page that is completely based on the author's favorite song of the day. I liked the idea so much that I think I'm going to give it a try. What I'm going to try to do is pick a song that I'm just FEELING that day and ramble on aimlessly about it for a while. I mean, what is a blog for if you can't aimlessly babble for a while...? There may be two today because 1. This song is actually a carryover from yesterday and 2. it's only 9:00 a.m.
Don't Disturb This Groove - The System
There are VERY few things that are timeless. With the influx of superfast everything and ever-changing whatnots, so few things are meant to capture a moment. But this song...this song right here...IS TIMELESS!!! I don't care what you think.
A couple of weeks ago Toya and I were talking about how this song sounds as good now as it did when it first came out. I dare ANYONE to say that it doesn't. After all of this time this song is still one of my top 10 favorites. The other day it came on while I was driving down Bushwick and I rolled down my windows and turned up my radio like I was blasting Biggie in Bedstuy. I was NOT ashamed.
There is a 12" version of this somewhere that I must get my hands on. Frankly, I must get my hands on every version of this song ever made. I'm not even mad at the Backstreet Boys version of this. But I think I'm okay with the remake because they didn't change a lot. Their remake proves a good song is good song no matter who sings it. (But they could have let "old man sangin'" AJ take this whole song...It would have been okay.)
I have all but completely stopped listening to the radio. There is NOTHING motivating on it. Everything in me wants to go back to the days when songs like this dominated airwaves. No one is saying anything anymore in music. ("I can make your bed rock"...for real....DO BETTER!!! That's just stupid and frail.) If it weren't for songs from back in the day I don't think I would have anything to listen to....(insert heavy sigh here)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This is the extent of my (Toya) celebrating St. Patrick's Day, I'm sorry (not really). I have had people ask me why I am not wearing green (I wish somebody would try and pinch me today) or going out drinking. Truth be told I don't like to do either. But this right here I can get behind.
And I know some of yall almost went into worship over the "A blue eyed boy meets a brown eyed girl" line. Don't even front. Happy St. Patty's Day!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Brandon Heath is my best friend (in my head). Actually, I am going to coin a new phrase. He is my musical angel. His songs pop up at the best and most appropriate times. This is one of those songs that started playing one day almost like a soundtrack in the background of a really hard time I was going through, much like "Don't Get Comfortable" which I have already blogged about. My favorite part of this? "There is hope for me yet because God won't forget all the plans He's made for me. I have to wait and see." I think the only thing worse than forgetting what God has told you (and every word from Him is a promise) is thinking that He has forgotten. That can cause a lot of bitterness. Patience aint for punks.- Toya
Monday, March 15, 2010
So "this" happened. I know it's cryptic but once I get past the WTH stage of it all, I may divulge. Right now, it stings a little and I fear that if I write about it before I am ready it will sound like some "whoa is me" type stuff and I never want to come across that way.
I was talking to Tia about everything today and we came to the conclusion that no matter how you look at this, it sucks. I think the conversation went something like this:
Me: This would be so awesome if it wasn't so..."unawesome".
Tia: No, this is bad. Definitely "unawesome".
I have yet to figure out how to really handle things that happen to you that not only do you not ask for but you are offensively trying to avoid and them BLAM! I could "Whoa is me" all day long about this and complain about how things have never seemed to turn out right for me but that just takes too much energy at this point. On one hand, I am trying to be optimistic and say "Some women have had it so much worst. You are lucky that things never get so far that you have ever had to lose anything." But if you have been reading this blog long enough, you know that things seem to creep up on me when I am minding my own business. That is what is so annoying. It would be different if I was looking for ridiculousness. At least then I could say that I had myself to blame. With this situation no one is to blame. It just is what it is.
And still I am being cryptic and I'm sorry. Once I get a good valuable lesson from it all, I will share. I may have to confess some things first to some people because this blog has gotten a little popular but hey, that's what happens when you write cathartically (spell check is telling me that is not a word. Whatever.) What I will say is this: Life is not easy and there are some things you just can't control. This is small potatoes. Small, annoying, unfortunate potatoes but small potatoes nonetheless.
Friday, March 12, 2010
"Never Satisfied" by Good 2 Go
I (Toya) was at a friend's house last week and they asked me if I remembered this song. It took me about five minutes to recover, I fell out so bad. I mean, music isn't even FUN anymore! *Sigh* If I would've known today's music was going to be so awful I would have held onto the 90's a little tighter. Enjoy.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Jesus Loves Me This I Know for This Trailer Tells Me So: "Just Wright" Starring Common and Queen Latifah in Theaters May 14th
I would totally sue the writers of this film for making a movie based on my love life if it wasn't for the fact that this looks like it has a very, very happy ending: Girl next door type who is a magnet for emotionally unavailable men who like her because she's a good hang and always to the rescue? I'm a card carrying member thank you. I am going to go ahead and take this as a sign from the Lord that trouble don't last always. I can't wait for this movie. I may need to think about renting out a theater because I am going to act a PLUM FOOL when Common comes out in those basketball shorts.
Monday, March 8, 2010
BGLU would like to send a HUGE congratulations out to Mo'nique for her well deserved Oscar win for best supporting actress. In an industry that is overwhelmingly white she proved that "it doesn't have to be about the politics." With less than 30 African-American Academy Award winners in the show's 82 year history, Mo'nique now joins an elite class of actors that we all can be proud of. Congratulations girl....Enjoy this moment.
Oh my goodness!!!!!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
In the Words of Biggie...
"If you don't know, now you know, ninjas!" Well he didn't say ninjas but you know. I am sure that what JC Chasez abruptly but oh so deliciously matter of factly answers at :36 about a potential new Nsync album is no surprise but the delivery is what caused me to sprain my neck as I looked back at the monitor. I was ROLLIN'! Is it just me or does JC have somewhat of a "I am too grown for this foolishness" type of air about him? Like "Don't you see me in this ascot? Do I LOOK like I even entertain riff raff? Preposterous..." This indeed blessed me today. - Toya