Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 4 Girl Crushes of 2011 - Tia

I am not ashamed to have a girl crush. I think girls are way awesomer (yes, awesomer) than boys. So I usually keep a rotating line-up of girl crushes. The following are the ladies who made the top four of the year.

4. Angie Harmon

I will forgive Angie Harmon for backing John McCain during the 2008 elections. No one is perfect. She more than makes up for it by playing a BAMF on Rizzoli and Isles, a show that I just discovered this year. Plus she's a good old fashioned, Southern, praying mama. Angie may have some questionable political leanings but I still think she and her raspy voice are awesomesauce.

3. Kat Dennings

I know...I'm so late to the party with Kat Dennings. Apparently, she has been a favorite of fan boys for just short of forever. I've seen some of her movies and thought she was funny. But she didn't make it to the girl crush list until I started watching 2 Broke Girls. I love how much her character hates hipsters. (I, too, hate hipsters.) But her overall snarkiness is what keeps me watching the show. And I don't think she's faking it either. Honestly, you can't fake that kind of snark.






2. Mindy Kaling

Not even gonna front. Until I read her book, I had NO shine for Mindy Kaling. I just assumed that the reason she played Kelly Kapoor so well is because that's how she was in real life. And Kelly Kapoor is the kind of girl who gets on each and every last one of my nerves. You laugh at her because she's funny. But you can't stand her because she's obnoxious.

I ended up picking up her book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) after I read a brief snippet about it in Entertainment Weekly and couldn't stop laughing. I figured if a 10 line write up could send me into hysterics then the book was going to be epic. I literally bought the last copy Barnes and Noble had. (That's always a good sign.) I spent the next week reading it during my plane rides and layovers. I can't tell you how many side eyes and worried looks I got from people because I would just randomly burst into mildly hysterical laughter. (The worried looks were from people who thought I was crazy and were hoping against hope that I wasn't about to do something insane.)

Once I finished the book I wanted to be Mindy's friend in real life. She seems like the kind of girl who wouldn't judge you for saying that not all babies are cute. And she would go shot for shot with you in regards to who could tell the most embarrassing stories. In short, I want her to be my home girl in real life. (I need to figure out how to make that happen.)

1. Paula Patton




*sigh* My crush on Paula Patton is ridiculous. I mean it is unyielding. Some days I want to be her because she seems like so much fun and she's so pretty. And other days I want her to be my 2nd bestie. (C'mon y'all...Toya is now and forever the 1st bestie...I don't care who comes along.) I once read an article where one of her co-stars (I think it was Andre 3000) said that she's not only sweet but helpful. He said something to the effect of "Pretty girls like her aren't usually helpful." Okay, so let me get this straight, she's crazy hot (her husband, Robin Thicke, put her on the cover of his FIRST (yes FIRST! do your research!) album)
she's nice to her co-workers and she's helpful when she really doesn't have to be. Yep....I need to be her friend. 

Robin Thicke's new album accomplished two things: 1. It made me like a whole album of his for the first time since A Beautiful World and 2. after listening to the commentary for Love After War on Spotify it made me realize how much he loves his wife for being so ride-or-die and I love a woman who stands by her man. So she just added yet another favorable trait to her already long list of endearing, redeeming qualities. It's official, I love her. She is my ultimate girl-crush. I want to be her friend so badly. If I ever get the chance to meet her I can't promise I won't act a complete fool. Seriously, it probably won't be pretty. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Home- Toya



"No Toya, you don't know them."

That's what I had to tell myself while I was sitting at in a South Philly coffee shop today.  I just kept looking over at the door hoping to see someone I know.  It's the second day of my two week vacation and I must say that I miss Nashville terribly.  I mean, TERRIBLY.  I just don't know too many people here anymore.  I miss going somewhere and seeing familiar faces.  I miss my friends.  The only thing I am loving about Philly right now is that I can do all the walking I want to do.

Side bar: Am I the only one who when they haven't exercised in a long time gets itchy legs?  I have been walking city blocks for hours and mid-way through I wanted to go into a scratching frenzy but was afraid that I would fall to the ground and roll myself into traffic.

Anyway, I am sure everyone here is very nice but I don't like any of these people in here.  Ok that's not true.  I don't know anyone in here. Everyone I have interacted with has been quite nice (take that southerners who think us northerners are all mean). But man. I really hate it here today and I want to go home.  And that home for me is Nashville.

I am sure this puts some cold water on my hopes of eventually doing some travel writing.  I kept trying to take pictures with my new camera but I was so annoyed half of the time.  I tried to go to new places that I found suggested through Yelp and Foursquare but I eventually wound up back at my old hang spot, South Street.  Still, it has been no fun today.  Maybe it's because it hasn't really been busy down here.  I mean I did get started rather early today and some people are still at work.  I'm usually elated to come down here but not today.  Today I miss my home and today I can fully admit that my home is Nashville.

I have never been so happy to be around my parents in my life though.  I am sure I would be much happier today just hanging out with them.  Yesterday I helped my mom cater at my home church's Christmas party.  It was fantastic seeing so many women that I grew up knowing.  After that my dad and I watched Chopped for a few hours.  He's not a fan but when I am home my dad will watch anything I want to just to spend time with me.  I miss that.  But honestly, I think being around my family and walking city blocks are the only things about being back home that I miss.

My plan today was to go and sit and write but it's been so long that I've been in a big city that I chose to just walk most of the day.  I'm thinking about venturing into University City soon because I said that I would go somewhere new.  Might as well. I have two long weeks here to fill. Gratefully, I must add, but two long weeks nevertheless.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Le Sigh - Tia


I joined Match.com a few weeks ago. (I have since suspended my account...Yes...already.) Being the age that I am, being single bothers me more than I would care to express for fear of being labeled a wimp or being labeled stupid for being “obsessed with being single.”  And since my job does not often afford me the luxury of time, I figured I would give it a shot.

After several weeks on the site I learned a few things:
  1. You must be completely honest – Lying on Match defeats the purpose. If you post old pictures the person is going to be disappointed that you lied and probably not want to date you further because you’re a liar. (At least that's how I would feel.) So just put it all out there. Be brutally honest. It helps weed the herd.
  2. It’s easy to know who’s worth you time – I could always tell the guys who just looked at the pictures as opposed to reading my whole profile. The former were easy to spot because the only thing we’d have in common was that we were both looking for humans to date. The guys who were worth responding to made an effort to point out things from my profile in their emails to me. That was always nice.
  3. There will be creeps – I got the following email TWICE from one guy, “Would you ever date someone who wanted to be dominated in wild ways?” “Dear Sir, BYE!!!!” *clicks on the block user button*  There will be guys who are trying to work out some weird black girl fantasy (or whatever fantasy that is associated with your race.) They are easy to block. Use the block feature liberally and often. 
But the most important thing that I learned was that for all of my posturing, I want to be wanted. I did connect with one guy. He was nice, a Christian, no kids, gainfully employed and our shared musical taste was scary. After a few weeks of emailing he called and we played musically Jeopardy for 3 hours during our first phone call. While I found myself very much liking him, something in me wouldn’t let myself just go HAM in the feelings department. That turned out to be a good thing.

I have no idea what happened but the guy pulled what I like to call a “Fizzle, fizzle, fade.” It’s what happens when two people are really getting on like a house on fire and then one of them decides it’s not working and rather than just say so, they stop calling, emailing, texting. Whatever the “relationship” was just fizzles and fades and then the person is gone leaving the faded on person wondering, “WHAT HAPPENED?!?”

I don’t have the time or energy to dissect the last conversation that we had to try to figure what, if anything, I may have said to turn a guy who was calling once and day and texting several times a day to just disappear. But I would be lying if I said that my ego wasn’t a little bit bruised. It was nice to be wanted. It is not often that I find men who are interested in me. Not my looks. Not my paycheck (which is not enough to be interested in.) But just me...Just Tia. So to come across a cute one, who shared my musical taste and most importantly my religious beliefs was...well, it was fun and nice. Those few weeks made me remember what it was like to be in the early stages of being pursued. The anticipation of every text.  The easy conversations. The hope. However brief, I did enjoy it. 

I can't say that I'm all that optimistic at the moment. The whole thing was a bit of a last straw for me. At least for the time being. But I will say that getting my little feelings hurt did shake some things up in side of me. It made me realize that maybe a relationship just isn't in the cards for me. (Not trying to be depressing or self loathing or anything...it's just where my head's at at the moment.) Getting one's ego busted does something to you. At least it did for me. It shifted my focus and made me realize that there are a lot of things that I still want to do. There are things that I need to make more of a priority and this last episode moved "getting into a relationship" to the bottom of the list. *coughoffthelistforthetimebeingcough* So for now I've decided to work on Tia. I've decided to start doing the things I want to do (FINALLY learning Spanish properly), work on the things that matter (like my walk with Christ), crossing stuff off of my bucket list (travel, training for a half marathon, etc), and moving on to the next phase of my life. 

Getting blown off made me prioritize the desires in my life. It hurt. I've dealt with it. (Although Adele's One and Only is still taking me through some changes) And now it's time to put on my big girl pants and keep it moving. So I've decided 2012 will be the year of the Grown Woman. It is time to put away childish things and behaviors and be about my business. I plan to travel. I plan to run. I play to eat great food with interesting people. I may even finally bite the bullet and buy some real estate. And if while I'm making moves love comes along, well....good on it. But it will definitely have to catch me. No more sitting on the sidelines waiting for life to happen. 

One last thing: I do have to thank dude from Match for introducing me to my song of the moment. If it hadn't been for him I may have never heard this. 

Song of the moment - Tia






I can't thank the dude from Match for much more than a busted ego. But I can thank him for adding this song to my collection.

I don't know how I missed this one. This was right up my alley. I was a slow jams junkie in high school. I  once had a friend's boyfriend come up to me and thank me for a mix of slow jams I played. This would have been everything that I believed in back then and then some. So I'm not sure how this one got missed. But I'm so glad I know it now. I have played it every day since Thanksgiving. There were a few days when I just put it on repeat and let it run.

I love a good slow jam. Especially one that will make you bodyroll no matter where you are or what you're doing. I had my iPod on shuffle while I was doing dishes the other day and this came on. Bodyroll. I was in the car driving to Kentucky listening to my "Recently Added" Playlist and it came on. Bodyroll. Sitting at my desk working on reports...you get the idea.

Dude from Match is a footnote. This song is from now on.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Be Inspired- Toya

I still can't believe he's gone. :(

When my phone rang and I saw that it was my big brother (in my heart) Free, I got super excited. For one, he's hilarious.  Seriously his comedic phrasing is something else.  He's a big dude too, no joke. Kind of like an east coast Suge Knight with a huge heart of gold. Not that Mr. Suge Knight doesn't have a heart of gold or anything. You didn't hear me say that. Moving on.

"Free, how are you?" I answered excitedly.  "I'm at (insert industry party here) with an open bar. I'm good, Ma."  he said with his Bronx accent.  He went on to ask me how I've been.   I told him that I was doing okay.  Now in my last post I was feeling terrible about turning 37 in a few weeks but in the few seconds of talking to him my mood changed completely.  To catch him up I basically told him that it has been hard pulling the creativity out of me because I am so used to helping other people with theirs.  I'm not used to being the "artist". The writer. The creative one in front. It's a really weird feeling. It was even weird for me to just type that.

"I"m a creative person." I told him. "Yes you are" he agreed. "It's taken me a long time to be able to say that.  I think it's been difficult for me to comfortably live in that space."  "You need to come up here and be with some people moving faster than you for a little while.  I'm going to take you out.  It'll be good for you."  He is so right! I am long overdue for some out of town inspiration.  I love Nashville and my heart is here completely but I need to walk around Harlem for a little bit. I need to soak up the Village.  I need to be a part of a faster pace.  I can use a boost of inspiration but it can't stop there.

It is up to me to consistently be inspired and motivated. As an extrovert I draw on the energy of others and my surroundings.  If I have to buckle down and write a few pieces, it is almost impossible for me to do it all while alone.  I almost always wind up at Starbucks just to get myself started.  I can't even begin a cleaning project unless I either have the right kind of music playing or I have the right kind of TV show on.  I have to be inspired to do everything.  Part of the responsibility of being a creative person is to maintain your own inspiration.  If you don't feel like it, you have to get to feeling like it. I haven't done well with that in the past but I am getting better.  Here are 5 things that are inspiring me as of late:



1. Tumblr: Some of the fashion and photography on Tumblr gives me life!  People are so creative on there! You have to be really careful though.  I now know things about Amber Rose that I never ever wanted to know.  By the way my Tumblr site is http://www.toyaisrandom.tumblr.com/

2. The color yellow:   I've been drawn to yellow lately. My screen saver is yellow.  Sometimes I just stare at a sheet of yellow Post It paper. It gets me going for me for some reason.  I read this article about aura colors and the one for yellow pretty much describes me to a tee.

3. My current Robin Thicke playlist simply entitled "37":  Robin Thicke is my new musical evangelist.  Pastor Thicke has been ministering to me ever since Love After War dropped last week.  "Never Give Up" gets played at least 10 times every morning and by the time I'm convinced to keep going,  "New Generation" kicks in and inspires me to just be a better human being.  Also on my playlist are "Ask Myself", "Can You Believe", and "Full Time Believer".  Great songs.






4. Thrift store shopping: It is because of Tumblr that my room currently looks like a thrift store exploded.  I find thrifting to be relaxing. I have had so much fun finding treasures at thrift stores to put together cool outfits.  I just started thrifting and I am hooked!  Also I am a blazer junkie.



I am fully aware that this looks like something Mr. Furley from Three's Company would wear but I don't care. I love it.

5. Reminding myself that it's not up to me be great:  I recently started attending a bible study on Tuesday nights and one of the worship songs we were singing kept talking about how great God is.  I don't think I've ever read in the bible where God commands us to be great. You know like "And thou must be great!"?  I could totally be wrong here but I know it talks about being faithful, holy, loving, kind and some other things.  It even says that when He made man that He said man was good.  He didn't even say THAT was great.  I started thinking about if I gave myself a break and stopped worrying about being great how that would allow me to create without fear. So many times I have randomly written something thinking it was going to be one thing and it turned into something else. Then we get a comment or an email from someone saying that it was what they needed to hear at that very moment.  I didn't do that. I didn't even set out to do that. If I did it wouldn't be genuine and I would drive myself crazy trying to write something deep.  I will work on letting God be great and in the meanwhile I will try my best to at the very least be consistent.  I think He can work with that.

What are some of the things that inspire you?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Countdown Part 1: The Severity of 37- Toya



This morning it hit me that (Lord willing) I will be 37 years old in less than two weeks. THIRTY. SEVEN. 

If you say the word "seven" out loud a few times you will start to realize how close that word sounds to the word "severe".

THIRTY SEVEN.

And  I freaked out. I mean, how long can I take a bathroom break curled up next to the sink before someone knocks on the door thinking I've drowned, freaked out. Now normally my freak outs concerning my birthday come in September around the time the season starts to change. I'm used to that. But today was a special kind of freak out. Because 37 is close to 40.  Much closer than it is to 30. And I swear no one else in the world is 37.  Tia and I have had numerous conversations about how that number is just...odd.

"Thirty seven just sounds so harsh don't you think?" I asked Tia while preparing for Thanksgiving. "You can't even divide it by anything! That's how alone it is."  "Thirty seven is only divisible by thirty seven." she laughed. "Actually it can only be divided by itself and one."  37 and 1. That could depress the hell out of you if you thought about it long enough.

I'm not tripping out about being thirty seven and single because I have always been of the mindset that as for me, until I am fully immersed in fulfilling my purpose and pursuing my passions consistently, a relationship right now would only be a distraction.  I'm cool with that.  What I am not cool with is that I can look back on this past year and see how I have talked myself out of numerous ventures time and time again because of fear.  Fear can punk you in numerous ways. One of those ways is when we consistently talk ourselves out of things, don't put a deadline on great ideas and pull out a bunch of excuses to put things to the side like we have all of the time in the world. I look back at some of things I wished planned to do and think "Did you not realize that you'd be turning 37 this year?"  I realize that dragging my feet has a lot to do with the fear of the unknown. You can't live life that way.

I didn't realize that it was fear holding me back until someone got in my face about last week. Literally.  They asked what I was working on and I told them a few ideas. "So what's keeping you from doing that?"  I didn't really have a legitimate answer. I guess to me I just fell out of love with some of these ideas and put no urgency on them. And then they let me have it.

"You are so f***ing dope but so f***ing wack at the exact same time!"

Sometimes people just have to put it where you live.

They went on to list all of these things about me that made me so...umm...dope and then explained that I was wack for not doing them yet.  "What do you need?"  they asked me. "Well I would need this and this."' "I can help you with that" they told me. "Now what else." They took away all of my excuses and when it came down to it, the only thing holding me back was myself.

So what am I doing about it?  I have reached back out to the people that have offered to help me so I am not in this same state on December 14, 2012 freaking out about being two years from 40.  I have also promised myself that after I have this pity party of remorse today that I am just going to do everything afraid.  I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect or great at things that I don't give myself the time I need to just improve over time. You have to respect the process and you don't respect the process when you stop the process.

Coming Soon: Countdown Part 2-  I Can Still Be Cool, Can't I?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Confessions Of A Road Warrior - Tia


Warning - This story is about vomit. If you are easily grossed out, you should go read something...anything else. 


I call this one: Why I Don't Eat at Subway Anymore 
or
Remember that time I went full Linda Blair on a plane


So I’m not much of a puker. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve thrown up since I was about 8 years old and would still have fingers left over. To me, vomiting is one of the most traumatic things that your body can inflict on you. You have no control over it. And what are things from the inside of your body doing on the outside? It’s gross and I don’t like it and I certainly don’t understand people who do it for weight control. If that’s my only option I’ll just stay in my big girl jeans. 

As one who does not puke often I’m unfamiliar with the pre-puking warning signs. The sweating. The off feeling in your stomach that you can’t really clarify. The dizziness. But I should have known something was wrong when all of those things ran up on me as I sat in the Houston airport. But I’m a trooper. I’m a flyer. I’m a ROAD WARRIOR! We don’t let little things like feeling sick keep up from making it to our destination. Sickness is for wimps. (Hindsight just backhanded me across the jaw.) 

It had been a long weekend. My brother had graduated from college and I’d spent the better part of 4 days with both of my parents (eek!) and my brother in the Hell-like Houston heat. I was tired and just wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed. So as I sat in the terminal I could almost see the finish line. A short hour and 30 minute flight and I would be home and able to curl up in my pink jersey knit sheets. 

In an effort to expedite my pilgrimage to my bed, I decided to grab dinner at the Subway in the terminal. I figured I would get a ham and turkey sub, stave off the hunger and make it home full so I wouldn’t have to do anything when I walked in the door except get into my PJs and go to sleep. 

I sat chatting with my dad as I finished my sub. Everything seemed fine. He left to catch his flight and I settled in to wait for my flight. No worries, no concerns, just the thought of a queen sized bed with my name on it. 

Ggeterrererfw&&@(&#&# (>?@p???#$)*+lmg*@*^$&t

Was that my stomach???? No way. No human organ could make a sound like that. Must have been my imagination. Why is so hot in here all of a sudden? Is the terminal spinning? I must be really tired. I can’t wait to get on the plane and take a nap. Just to be safe better go splash some water on my face in the bathroom before I board. Because, you know…that’ll help. 

I made my way to line up for the flight. I was A8 or something like that so I was one of the first people on the plane. Once I boarded and got settled I walked to back galley and asked the very sweet flight attendant for a club soda. I told him I wasn’t feeling well and I needed something to settle my stomach. He assured me that it was fine and that even if I did puke it wouldn’t be the first time that week he’d seen and had to clean up puke. But at that point I was still in denial that I was THAT SICK. There was no way that I was going to throw up…on a plane. I’m not girl. I made my way back to my seat in the middle of the plane and put my head between my knees expecting the nausea to pass. I realized about 10 seconds too late that not only was it not going to pass but I was about to recreated that scene from The Exorcist with shocking similarity. 

The plane of was pretty full at this point. People in the aisles trying to load the carry-ons, dawdling waiting to sit down, basically creating a human obstacle course for me to traverse to get to the get to the rear lavatory. I did not care about anything other than getting to the bathroom. Hand over my mouth I start Heismaning my way down the aisle. (For those unfamiliar with the Heisman Trophy.) A lady I shoved turned around with an attitude presumably to yell at me until she realized that this was an emergency and yelling at me would only result in her delaying me in getting to the bathroom and probably end with her being covered in vomit. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her vault into the nearest seat to get out of my way. Good choice, lady…good choice. 

I made it to the back galley in just enough time literally puke everything I’ve ever eaten EVER onto the floor. I tried to mumble an apology to the flight attendant but the effort proved to be futile because apparently my stomach wasn’t done. I walked into the tiny bathroom, fell to my knees and puked for a good 10 minutes. Absolutely NOT an exaggeration. I began to cry because I honestly thought I was going to die. It wouldn’t stop. All I could think was, “THIS is how I’m going to die. ON A PLANE!!! NO WAY!!!!” 

After what seemed like an eternity my body finally just gave up. I figured it was trying to figure out a way to get me to puke up my pancreas or something and that’s why everything was on pause. My body was just trying to work out the logistics of getting my internal organs out of me through my mouth. 

I had puke in my hair, on my shirt, in my shoes. It was EVERYWHERE! I started crying again because I was sooooo disgusted. The flight attendant knocked on the door and told me that it was going to be okay and that he’d seen people be sicker than I’d been. LIAR!!!!

I waited as the HAZMAT team came and began powerwashing the floor outside the bathroom. Mortified doesn’t begin to cover how I felt. As I sat there trying to figure out if I could deploy the escape slide and run away, the pilot came over the loudspeaker to inform the COMPLETLEY FULL flight that the reason the flight hasn’t left was because there was a sick passenger on the flight. Thanks! Just when I didn’t think it couldn’t get any worse, it did. Oh, then it got worser. Yes…WORSER!! The next knock on the door a few minutes later was the pilot himself.  He explained that because of how sick I’d been they weren’t allowed to let me fly. I. WANTED. TO. DIE!!!!!!!!!! While I completely understood the rationale behind not letting an ill person fly, the fact that the pilot himself had to tell me to basically, “Get off my plane” (In my head that last sentence is said like Harrison Ford from Air Force One) was the equivalent of DEFCON 1 embarrassment. At least I thought it was until I realized that I had to walk off of the place, IN FRONT OF EVERYONE…WITH PUKE IN MY HAIR. I had never in my life prayed so fervently for Jesus to crack the sky and make his glorious return. 

With as much dignity as a person who smells like vomit can muster, I gathered my things and walked off of the plane. The flight attendant came out with me and tried his very best to comfort me. This is why I fly Southwest. Their flight attendants either really care or are really great actors. Either way…they rock. The gate agents heard what happened and went into overdrive to get me rebooked. Again, WAY TO GO SOUTHWEST. And after one last assurance the flight attendant got back on the plane and everyone was on their way…Everyone but me. 

The next flight out was not until the next morning. Awesome! I called my mother and told her that I was coming back home. Covered in puke, stomach sore, and reeking of embarrassment (among other things), I drove to Target to get new clothes (my checked bag never made it off of the plane.), went to my mom’s, showered and went to bed. When I woke up the next morning all I could do was moan and pray that I never had to face ANYONE on the plane again…But that would be too easy. 

Dear Nashville, your ½ degree of separation is annoying as crap. As if the whole experience wasn’t enough, one of my close friend’s roommates was on the plane that day. Several days later while at said friend’s house, the roommate came downstairs and asked, “How are you feeling?” He then began to give an account of what it looked like from a passengers’ prospective. He said for the most part, the people around him were completely sympathetic and just happy that they weren’t the ones who were projectile vomiting on the plane. Whether he was lying or not, I’ll never know. 

Needless to say I haven’t eaten Subway since. I did call and speak with the airport manager. While they accepted no culpability, he expressed his sincere remorse about the situation and sent me a gift card to the coffee shop at the airport, with a note, “I was going to send you a Subway gift card, but then realized that probably wouldn’t work. ) Good thinking Sir. I still can’t walk past a Subway without cringing. Maybe one day I’ll go back and face my fears. But for now, they’re on the list with Denny’s, Olive Garden and Captain D’s as places that I’d rather go hungry than eat at their establishments. You try puking up your pancreas and tell me you wouldn’t feel the same way. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Don't Care What You Say. We Are Still in a Recession. -Toya

Tonight two of my coworkers and I won first prize in our office karaoke contest at our annual Christmas party. And guess what song we did?


Aaaaand guess who wore a pair of overalls backwards?

Hey for $300 you would’ve done it too. I mean we split it three ways but still.

With The Office being my favorite tv show (well the first few seasons anyway) and me joking about being the Black Pam Beasley, it was all I could do to not take the mic from my boss after he gave us our prize money and do this right here:


Maybe next time. But in the meanwhile...


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Real Time Commentary: The Misadventures of AWKWARD Black Girl Episode 11


I did not expect it to go down like THIS!!!! Can't wait to hear what you all thought.  Here are my thoughts in real time:

    1. I need her to forgive Jay. Seriously. He's been stellar up until Halloween night. He should at least have a chance to explain.
    2. Besties before testies! HAAAA!
    3. I never quite understood how women can call each other “bitches”. I can't call you something in love that I'd punch someone else in the face over.
    4. I need J's Soul Glow t-shirt and I need it now.
    5. How do you go back to Fred when Fred hasn't said word one about checking for you? I know they say actions speak louder than words but can he say SOMETHING?
    6. Why do we always blame ourselves when men screw up?
    7. J's wig just took me in.
    8. NOOOOO! She will not freestyle in this playground cypher! NOOOOOO!!!!!
    9. NOOOOOOO!!! Car pool with you to school nooooooooooooooooooo!!!! I am in pain!!!!
    10. I would transfer to another school in another state.
    11. “For his hand in booage.” ABG has some of the best one liners.
    12. Geek IS Gangster. That shirt is so cute.
    13. Wait...did D just tell the girl he was talking to on the phone that J was his boy Reggie? He's the worst.
    14. “But penguins don't even fly!' Favorite line so far.
    15. Yes we get to find out what happened with A!
    16. Dead at 6:28. I cannot. CAN-NOT.
    17. “Girl are you gay now?” I remember I got asked this the first time I went natural. And “When did you catch cancer?” CATCH cancer? Nina is the devil.
    18. Loneliness and free booze most often leads to disaster.  Please remember this at your next office Christmas party.
    19. J does not do well at parties.
    20. I told yall A was fine! I told yall A was fine!!!! Please recognize!!!!!
    21. They are really umm... “free” at their office parties, aren't they?
    22. Uh oh. Uh oh. We aren't about to see this are we? Please no sex scene. Lord help.
    23. “Who knows what that back story is” Smartest thing Ce Ce has said during this entire episode.
    24. PICK UP! Please talk to White Jay. Please. Is Jay participating in Movember because his beard is doing a lot right now.
    25. Did he just force himself over there? I like a man that takes charge. And he's bringing cupcakes? Yall already know. Team White Jay for the win. It's a wrap.
    26. Why did they just show up at her spot like someone died? If Fred is about to holler at J why is Darrius with him? Is he the wing man? What is this high school? “Yo my man wanna holler at you right quick.” I can't.
    27. Ok he had car trouble. He came over there by any means necessary didn't he? Again, Jay is bringing cupcakes so...
    28. “I like you. I have for a long time.” Wait...wait...wait....Wait.
    29. Why is Darrius so close to their conversation? This is so high school! I CAN'T with Fred! I mean, I could but...never mind. Just... never mind.
    30. Aaaaaaand of course here comes White Jay.  If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times: Cupcakes, I mean chemistry wins over cuteness any day of the week. I am still Team White Jay until A gets some swagger lessons.

      Ok guys. What did yall think of ABG episode 11?


The Art of the Red Lip




Is it me or does MAC artist Caroline D look like she could be Jessie J's older sister?  

As I previously posted, I am a fiend for red lipstick right now.  There are so many shades with so many undertones.  I believe that anyone can rock a red lip.  I haven't quite perfected mine and this short video gave me some tips on what I can do better.  So if you are looking to spruce up your holiday party look a bit or just wanted to know how to rock a bold lip, red or not, this is a good video to watch.


Monday, November 28, 2011

A Letter to Mr. Same Guy on a Different Day

For a friend...or two

Dear Mr. Same Guy on a Different Day,
Before you say anything else please know that we've already met.
You've never officially met ME but I already know YOU.
Not in the "Footprints in the sand, my child I carried you" kind of way.
I've just seen your kind before.
The insecure good looking superstar kind of guy who constantly needs to hear how good he is?
The guy who looks deep into your eyes not because he is really listening to you but because he is vain enough to actually look for his reflection in your eyes while you are talking?
It's kind of funny making your acquaintance again.
I thought you all moved out west. 

Although I didn't recognize you upon sight
I knew when you slid your arm around me exactly who you were.
Your hands all seem to gravitate to the same spot on my waist. 
And I'd be a complete liar if I didn't admit in my best Beyonce' voice that
"Your touch was driving me CRAZAY!"
Until I caught a good whiff of that subtle cologne you all wear
False Humility...for Men.
"For the man that always needs to hear that he is good enough
That he is smart enough
And daggone it people like him!"
Come on now.
We both know you wouldn't be in this town if you were convinced otherwise.

There's a small part of me that wants to be friends 
But you know how the saying goes:
"Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me three times, come on Toya, for real?"

So before you get around to attempting to spend just enough time to get to know me so you can eventually take up all of my time asking me repeatedly what I think about you;
Before you start to confuse your lust for my constant affirmation for actual love;
Allow me to read off of my list of pre-programmed answers to your inevitable repetitious questions:
"You're awesome!"
"You're SO talented."
"Everyone has a bad night."
"I have no idea why you're not signed yet.  You are TOTALLY better than that guy."
"Of course you have what it takes."
"You're going to make it someday." 
"I believe in you."
If you'd like you can take this list and turn these answers into motivational flash cards 
Because I won't be around this time.

But it was nice seeing you again meeting you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Toya's 2011 American Music Awards Recap




After the BETand MTV awards this year, I really wasn't sure if I would ever do an awards recap again.  However watching this year's AMA awards with my peeps on Twitter was really enjoyable.  Without further ado, here's my real time commentary of this year's American Music Awards.
  1. Is anyone old enough to remember Lionel Richie on the AMA's in the 80's? "OUTRAGEOUS!" 
  2. Wait...Nicki Minaj sings????? I honestly did not hate Nicki's performance.  It was....different.  I have resolved that I have reached the age where I am now extremely nostalgiac (read:old).  I'm just not going to get why a lot of thngs are popular right now, such as the space age theme that permeated a lot of performances.  So this bionic Barbie thing may be cool. I'm just not up on it.
  3. I've never seen any of these videos for these nominees and I don't know any LMFAO songs. I am so behind.  Dad please don't ask me what LMFAO stands for. Please.
  4. Adam Levine makes me so happy. Incredibly happy. So does his tailor. 
  5. I may/may not have just thought that Sean Kingston was Keenan Thompson. 
  6. Justin Bieber's performance:  Wait...did I just start *body rollin* to this Christmas song? Lord forgive me.  Let me put on my Simon Cowell of the South hat on for a minute and say that while I love me some Bieber, that set was too much for that boring performance. Beyonce' did more during her performance on the VMA's and she was pregnant.  He should've just done a ballad. I really really thought that he was going to transition into something else.  My girl Jen said that he missed a perfect opportunity to go into "Billie Jean".  That would have been AWESOME! But since he denies that he and that girl actually "danced on the floor in a around"...well, maybe that would've been a problem. 
  7. Adam Lambert has guts being at the AMAs after last time. I'd be at home putting up Christmas decorations. 
  8. I loved Chris Brown's performance of "All Back" so much that I was hoping he wouldn't transition to another song.  However when he took it to the club, I loved it!  He sang!  This is the Chris Brown I like to see.  
  9. Nicki Minaj's win: I'm not going to talk about her needing assistance to walk from side stage to the podium because of her shoes.  I've often had 20/20 hindsight over bad wardrobe choices.  But did she say "There's power in your peace. Hold your peace" or was that last peace "piece"? Did she just quote Madea?
  10. Kelly Clarkson:  Kelly Clarkson sounds and looks great! I don't care what anyone says.  I need her and Adele to go on tour together. I can see it now. The "Yes We Eat...And???" 2012 Tour coming to an arena near you.  
  11. I am clearly out of touch.  I have no idea who these actors and actresses presenting are. 
  12. Enrique Inglesias: "I Like It" & "I Like How It Feels"? What DOESN'T Enrique Inglesias like this year? I sense a theme. Has anyone ever heard the uncensored version of this? It is in NO way appropriate for this kids choir he has on stage with him. 
  13. I love that Ludacris doesn't dress "like a rapper" anymore. He kinda looks like a night school teacher.
  14. This AMA Divas recap is making me a little teary especially this clip of Whitney singing "I Have Nothing".  Not teary enough to not clown it though.  BOBBAY!!!!!
  15. I am really really REALLY unhappy with what flies as R&B nowadays.  Rihanna won for best R&B Soul Album.  Really?  And did anyone else notice how they slick didn't show them present the award for Best Contemporary Inspirational Artist award.  I just found out that Casting Crowns won it.  What's up with that?
  16. J Lo's performance:  First of all, I like how J Lo acted like she was gonna cry on stage again. That was funny.  However when did they start putting commercials on the ACTUAL award show? Did she just show up in a Fiat?  Are they gonna show her driving to Kohl's in that Fiat next??????!!!! I really expected the announcer to say "This performance was brought to you by Kohl's and Fiat" after this. Holy product placement Batman!
  17. I am so glad that Lance Bass found a career with Lady Antebellum after Nsync. Wait... 
  18. Yes Benjamin Bratt. Yes. That is grown man swag right there!  Wait did I just say the word "swag"?  
  19. Zumba was the best thing to ever happen to Pitbull's career. Everything has its season. 
  20. I like Katy Perry.  Melanie said she looks like a pink Judy Jetson! She is right. LOL! That shoutout to EMI took me out of here too. 
  21. I love that Joe Jonas just flipped that Sprint mobile phone around to show the winner. Yall are NOT going to Tiffany Greene him this year.
  22. I'm just waiting for that kid from Hot Chelle Rae's hair to be a trending topic on Twitter.  Someone here just said he looks like he just got side punched in slow motion. 
  23.  ALANIS MORRISETTE!!!!!! This is a nice surprise.  I think it's interesting that she is there introducing Mary J. Blige because I often compare their work.  I feel the same way about Alanis that I feel about Mary. I'm glad they're happier but I like the sad music better.
  24. Robin Thicke is blessed and HIGHLY favored! Yeah God! Perfect are the works of your hands! And that girl presenting with him is NOT Christina Aguileira???? 
  25. Go on and add Christina Aguileira to that Adele and Kelly Clarkson tour. I aint mad atcha!
  26. Love that Adam Levine did both "Moves Like Jagger" and one of my favorite current songs "Stereo" with Gym Class Heroes.  That song is so infectious.
  27. John Legend dresses so well.  He always looks great.  
  28. Drake is my favorite emo rapper.  Ok he is the only emo rapper. Still he's my favorite emo rapper.
  29. YEESSSS!!!!!!!!!! I just said I wanted Bruno Mars to win but thought he wouldn't. YEEEAAAAAH! He is givng me Johnny Mathis 2011 right now and it is blessing my socks off.
  30. I like Daughtry. I have an appreciation for raw emotion white boy angst music from time to time. Not you Nickelback though. Not you.
  31. I love that they play "Mean" for Taylors Swift when she wins. I am not ashamed to say that I saw one of her shows recently and I had a BLAST! I'm a fan for real.  Wait a minute.  Did Taylor just say that she wrote that whole record by herself? Let me hold somethin' until paydayTaylor! I know you got it!
  32. Will. I. Am's performance: J. Lo is in this too? Are these outfits from the Battlestar Galactica collection from Kohl's? Because that would explain...some.
  33. I love Taylor Swift. I really do. She is just as surprised she won as everyone else is.  Brandon just said that she is that Jessica Daily Affirmation girl off of Youtube all grown up. "I love my hair, I love my house, I love my school...I can do anything good!"
  34. The announcer just said that LMFAO's performance is"Sponsored by Old Navy".  What is going on tonight?
  35. So THIS is LMFAO and the famous "Party Rock" song.  I kept saying that I had never heard it.  Now I realize that I have been avoiding it as I do most songs that sound like this. However, it's not terrible.  Justin Bieber coming out just cracked me up. Wait...Sir...please...please keep your clothes on. Sir...SIR??????  This whole performance just turned into a bad, bad, BAD dream.  Just...wow.
So the floor is open. What did you think of the awards this year?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Confessions Of A Road Warrior - Tia



If you've read this blog for any amount of time you know that I travel A LOT. I have something close to half a million Hilton points and a various assortment of miles scattered across several airlines. I'm basically the female version of George Clooney from Up In The Air. 


Up in the Air  |  George Clooney  |  Jason Reitman  |  Vera Farmiga   | Movie Trailer | Review

It makes for a lonely existence at times but I get over it and move on. People often glamorize flying and traveling. At least once a week I hear, "It must be so fun to travel all of the time." I've stopped laughing in people's faces with they say this and simply smile, nod and change the subject (or walk away.) Don't get me wrong, traveling IS fun....when you're going someplace exciting and doing something you love. When you're going to Des Moines to count pills, "fun" is not quite the right word to describe traveling. 

Thanks to the 9/11 terrorists, the shoe bomber dude and smatterings of other nefarious individuals up to no good, flying is not what it used to be. As one who does it a lot, I've pretty much figured out the ropes and can make it as pain free as possible. (That thing George Clooney said about the Asians is TOTALLY true.) But there are times and situations that I can't control. And since I can't control them, I choose to blog about them. It's kind of a passive-aggressive therapy if you will.

I was recently informed that my travel percentage will be increasing in 2012. (Joy...sarcasm) So I'm certain I will need the catharsis of writing a lot more. That being said, I present to you the first of what is sure to be many posts from this weary road warrior.

I'd like to call this one...She Wouldn't SHUT UP!!!

I sleep on planes. There's something about the white noise of the engines and the filtered air (gross, I know) that rocks me right to sleep. Usually I'm asleep well before we take off. I've long since stopped listening to the safety announcements. Depending on the model and make of the plane I can tell you where the exits are, if there is a seat cushion flotation device and/or a life jacket. I can tell you which side of the plane has more oxygen masks (sometimes there are additional masks on certain sides of the plane for people with lap children.) And I can tell you how much the emergency exit door over the wing weighs. Basically I can recite the safety instructions in my sleep. As such, I've long since stopped listening to the flight attendants and started taking naps the minute the person next to me is situated and I know no one else is getting in the row.

Unless I have some pressing deadline, sleeping on the plane is my #1 goal. Yesterday was no different. I had a connection from Pittsburgh to DC and from DC to Nashville. The plan was to sleep on the first leg and work on the second. Some for me. Some for the job. Unfortunately, loud chatty Cathy would not SHUT UP on the Pitt-DC flight.

Toya and I talk about people who have a high frequency to their voices. They're the people who talk a lot with a high, shrill pitch to their tone. Flight Attendant Cathy was the QUEEN of the high frequency talkers. Cathy was based out of Philadelphia. Cathy is not married. Cathy's brother's dog was just sick and she had to pick up the dog from the Amish vet and "SCRUB the dog twice when I got her back because she was so filthy." How do I know all of this about Cathy? Because Cathy is loud and doesn't know how to be quiet.

I heard Cathy before I saw her. As we were waiting to board, she was sitting across the room...no seriously...ACROSS THE ROOM and I heard her talking the ear off of another USAirways employee. Both appeared to be flight attendants flying off to other locations as passengers. My hope upon hearing this loud shrill woman was that she would be no where near me on this Canadair Regional Jet. They are small and cramped as it is and a HF talker is not what I needed in order to commence afternoon nap #1. That being said, OF COURSE Cathy was in the row behind me. But as she was across the aisle I was not immediately concerned. I figured since my seat was not directly in front of her I would be able to drown her our with music and plane noise. Apparently Cathy's decibel is louder than that OF A PLANE.

As we were taxiing (normally the time I'm already asleep) the realization (and horror) that Cathy's voice might inundate its way into my nap began to set in. While I could not hear the woman behind me to which Cathy was speaking, I could hear Cathy in excruciating detail. To put things into perspective, I once woke up to a passenger staring at me in awe. She asked, "How can you sleep through all of that?" I asked her what "all of that" was to which she replied, "The extreme turbulance that caused several grown men to gasp in horror and caused THREE babies to basically scream for their lives!" I looked at her, gave her the Kayne shrug and replied, "I was tired." I SLEEP ON PLANES!! Period. But thanks to Cathy "my voice is louder and more shrill than THREE babies and the cries of scared grown men" my plane nap was in jeopardy.

How DARE she intrude into my sanctuary of napping with mundane stories of Amish practitioners of veterinary medicine and what she DVRed last night. I had a schedule to keep. And that schedule included sleep. I was DETERMINED to drown out this woman's voice. Her voice was not going to beat me.

The row I was in was empty so I moved from my aisle seat to the window seat which happened to be right next to the engine. As anyone who has ever used seatguru.com knows, window seats by the engine are usually put in the cautionary category due to noise. PERFECT. Surely, the engine noise would drown out this woman's voice...SURELY. I leaned against the wall, closed my eyes and prepared to fall into a delicious plane nap.

"So then the dog ran off into the Amish doctor's home and I noticed that they all slept in one room....."

NOOOOOO....there is no way that this chick is LOUDER THAN THE PLANE. There's no way!!! I'm usually not one for physical violence but this woman was giving me delusions of stuffing my scarf into her mouth. My GOD woman!! Take it down a notch.

Now I was just done. Cathy's decibel was almost unforgiveable. How could she not know how LOUD she is? I wanted to get up and tell her to be quiet. I honestly thought about it. But rather than get blacklisted I held my tongue and got creative. Her voice was NOT going to beat me. I put my headphones in and turned on the white noise app. (A MUST for the constant traveler.) I turned up the volume to a safe level (I was not going to risk my hearing for this woman) and then proceeded to pull the cowl of my sweater over my ears and then wrap my scarf around the cowl. I am fully aware of how insane I must have looked. But I was TIRED. And Cathy was loud. I NEEDED that nap. I'd been up at 5 A.M. three mornings in a row. That nap was not only a necessity, it was a right.

I leaned my heavily wrapped head against the wall and was just exhaling a sigh of relief when...

"Dancing with the Stars was SOOO good last week."

OH. EMM. GEE!!!!!! HOW CAN I STILL HEAR YOU?!?!?!?! If you're keeping track this woman's voice is now louder than plane noise, white noise and two layers of clothing. I couldn't believe it. I really couldn't. I wanted to shake her until her larynx fell out. I prayed that she would suddenly be struck mute. I prayed that the cabin pressure would change and my ears would be so clogged I couldn't hear her. I prayed for SILENCE. (insert voice of a petulant child here) I JUST WANT TO SLEEP.

I was so tired. She was so loud. And I knew she wasn't going to get any quieter. At that point I knew I was going to have summon all of my ninja powers of sleep if I was going to best Cathy's incessant chatter. I would not be defeated by a high frequency talker. Nay! I began to channel my inner Luke Skywalker/Yoda/all things The Force and willed myself to tune out what was now a diatribe on her sick mother and her lack of prescription coverage. I was GOING to get that nap. I found myself wondering if I should get the new Harry Potter movie on blu-ray or just stream it from iTunes.....zzzzzzzzzzzzz

I WON!!!!!! IN YOUR FACE CHATTY CATHY!!! I woke up an hour later as the plane was landing in DC. I had beaten her. I'd gotten my nap and proved who was the better person. Okay, that's a bit much but I still won...

As we were deplaning, I threw Cathy the side eye of doom. She'd BETTER not be on the next flight I was on. I don't care who she works for, if she's bringing all of that chatter to the next flight, I'm filing a compliant. (Yes, I'm aware of how extra that seems. And I don't care.)

Helpful Travel Tip #1 - ALWAYS carry ear plugs and/or noise canceling headphones. Someone is going to have volume control issues and ear plugs/headphones are cheaper than the bail amount they give you because you slapped a noisy flier.

Next Up: Everything was fine until I puked on the plane...

Fun Music Fridays: Paula Abdul "Knocked Out"



This...is...my...JAM!!!  Yall know how I feel about choreography so when Lakers cheerleader turned choreographer turned singer Paula Abdul hit the scene, I was really feeling her.  As she gained popularity and number one hits, her videos got better and became 80's classics. Still this song that introduced her to the world remains my favorite. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seems Like You're Ready- Toya


Am I the only one that hears the lyrics to R. Kelly's "Seems Like Your Ready" and wonders why there is confusion about what his, umm..."preference" seems to be?  "Seems like you're ready...YOUR MAMA TOLD ME YOU'RE READY" ??? Okay.

This past weekend I went out to celebrate a close friend's birthday at a restaurant.  It was a nice small gathering of fabulous ladies.  As we all signed our separate checks for the evening, I noticed something that I had never noticed before about my signature.  I signed it once and then took my copy of the receipt and signed it again...and again...and again. And frantically with delight, I signed it again.  "Guys, my signature!" I said with joy. "My y's! My y's are different!" (I would post a pic of at least my first name but I am a little scared of putting my signature on The Internets.)  I went on to explain that my cause for joy was due to a handwriting analysis I had years ago. Now mind you this wasn't some weird psychic kind of thing.  I was working an event and a guy I was working with did handwriting analysis for the army. I heard others rave about how he analyzed their handwriting and how accurate he was.  Since we were just standing around waiting for the audience to let out, I figured I'd give it a shot.  I wrote my first and last name in cursive and handed it over to him.

After a few minutes he came back to me and barely able to get the words out, his face turned red and he started laughing.  "Well first of all, someone has a very healthy libido!"  Ok where is this going, I thought. "Your husband is going to be a very happy man."  I'm sure this is very true but... *side eye*. When he finally pulled his giggles together, he got moderately serious.  "Have you had a lot of relationships?"  "Not really. Why?"  He went on to explain that my handwriting, which is ridiculously bubbly, reflected that while I am a joyful person, I only let people get so close.  I had trust issues when it came to my heart.  He could tell of my apprehension about commitment due to how I wrote my y's.  He explained that I completed every other letter with bubbly writing, but the stems of my y's were a short, sharp single line that only came down halfway. 

I took the paper from him and began writing my name all over it desperately wanting to prove him wrong.  I tried over and over again and to no avail, I couldn't change the way I wrote my y's.  I didn't even know how to write the y's in my name any other way!  I could write a y by itself but it took a lot of effort.  The thing was I knew that he was right. He was terribly right. 

But lately things have been different.  As I am more comfortable with who I am and what I want to pursue, I'm not scared to have someone, the right someone, to go along the journey with me.  In fact, I am really looking forward to it.  I am more interested to have someone that compliments me and my purpose than to have someone come along to make right what others made wrong.  Writer Shellie R. Warren said something recently that made all the sense in the world to me:

"Many people pick out of their pain than their purpose."

I've talked before on this blog about how crushing on the wrong guys had something to do with fear and control.  I wasn't scared for things to not work out because I was in control (so I thought).  But for the longest time there was a crippling fear of the right guy stepping up because then I'd have to make a decision to follow someone else.  I am not going to say that the thought of that still doesn't frighten me a little bit.  It's just that now I am willing to do it afraid and willing to go through the possible hyperventilation that could initially take place. And if he's really the right guy (and the right guy for me is kind and has patience because he is going to need it), he's not going to run for the hills when I tell him that.

I didn't need the handwriting analysis to tell me that I had trust issues. I already knew that.  I also didn't need to see my signature this past weekend to know that I was in a healthier place when it comes to relationships.  It was just really nice to see on paper, literally, that I have come so far.  It's nice to know that my heart is finally in good shape.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fun Music Fridays- Heavy D & The Boyz - "We Got Our Own Thang" (12'' Mix) (1989)


This one's for you Niki Bridges!

Yall this took me all the way back to the Club MTV days! If you have been keeping up with Fun Music Fridays, you already know that I live for every bit of this choreography. We lost one of the great ones this week. We love you Heavy D.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We Miss You Heavy D- Toya

"Got a category; my own and I'm the president"
It hurts me to write this. It really does.

When I was in high school I had a picture of Heavy D on a keychain. I had pictures of him in my locker. I had a Heavy D & the Boyz t-shirt I wore until it fell apart. What's crazy is I had forgotten all of this until yesterday when I heard that he passed away at only 44 years old. The thing about Heavy D is that he has always been relevant. Reports are coming out talking about him being an old school rapper but there are so many songs that I find to be a part of my regular listening that I often forget that they came out years ago. Songs like "Nuttin' But Love", "Is It Good to You", and his most popular crossover hit "Now That We Found Love" have always been in rotation so to me he just always seemed...current. That's good music for ya.

"There's always a meaning in a Heavy D statement. In this life I strive for improvement, be your own guide, follow your own movement..." - from "We Got Our Own Thang"

Jamaican born Dwight Myers AKA Heavy D accomplished so much in his 44 years. In addition to his successful music career, he at one time was the president of Uptown Records introducing such artists as Soul for Real and Monifah. He was also a successful actor with roles in movies (he had a small role in the newly released movie Tower Heist with Eddie Murphy), Broadway, and television. I will never forget him being on A Different World, his recurring role on Living Single, and of course his theme song for In Living Color.




As condolences pour in all over the world, it's evident that Heavy D was just as great of a guy in real life as he seemed on television. There a few people I know who had interacted with him in the past and all they can say is how friendly and warm of a person he was. As the self proclaimed Overweight Lover, his songs set the precedence for talking about love and romance in a way that a gentleman should. This is something that I wish so many artists today would adopt in their own music. We'll be playing Heavy's songs long after today's flash in the pan sexually explicit songs. That's because Heavy D's music had something for everyone and that's the kind of music that last.

Heavy D was an incredible performer. One of a kind. As untimely as his passing is how grateful are we that we got to see him perform some of his greatest hits one last time on this year's BET Hip Hop awards?  This medley of songs proved without a doubt that he had hits for days.

It's a sad day for hip hop. It's a sad day for music period. We love you Heav.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thoughts on Awkward Black Girl Episode 10- Toya


Confession: I didn't want to blog about episode 10 until the second half came out today because I was so confused by part 1. SO confused. I was hoping that it was a bad dream that Nina was having. I totally didn't get it. I still don't get it. However, I have chosen to take it as them using their creative license for a special Halloween episode and leave it at that. The step scene though? Ummm... did I mention I didn't get it? Ok.

How happy were we to see our girl Bernadette make her big debut at 3:02?! You done good, girl! Bernadette was lucky enough to get a part in the newest episode and even spoke to Issa Rae...who told her to say hey to BGLU, I might add. Oh yeah. We're known in these internet streets. *Cabbage Patches into a Bankhead Bounce followed by The Troop*




Yall I am really disappointed in...wait...speaking of disappointment...Herman Cain just showed up on Jimmy Kimmel. I can't. I just... *turns on Weather Channel* Oh look it's going to be 74 degrees tomorrow. Moving on...

As I was saying, I am really disappointed in White J in this episode. I mean two steps forward, five steps back. I melted a little when J said that he was her male Ce Ce. Isn't that what we all want? Someone you can be your complete awkward self with? As someone pointed out in the Youtube comments, how did he forget her name? They have the same name! Not only that but the way he was looking at that other girl was a little suspect too. The lingering? I guess it's always something. If he was perfect it just wouldn't be fair. I will say this though: he's actually taken J out on a few dates. Fred's office datin' antics are for the birds. That's some old high school, we go together between classes and study hall, type mess. No sir. Guy who will date you > Office crush any day of the week.

So what say you? Are you still Team White J? Are you still Team Fred? Have you had it with both of them and are about to hop on Team A or even Team Baby Voice Darius (I mean, can he get some love)? What are your thoughts?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fun Music Friday: "Ladies Night" (Not Tonight Remix) Lil Kim featuring Angie Martinez, Left Eye, Da Brat & Missy Elliott




There's been a lot of talk about bachelorette parties and weddings lately.  We've had a few friends get married and engaged recently which is a much welcome change from all the divorces that have happened this year.  With that being said a lot of my girls have been talking about what kind of wedding and bachelorette parties they would like to have.  I don't think it's any surprise that I tend to be more concerned  about what music I want played at my bachelorette party, wedding and reception.  In regards to my bachelorette party, this one is definitely on the playlist.  Happy Friday!  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

You Should Know: Chelsea Settles - Tia


 


Normally our "You Should Know" posts are music related but I absolutely love this girl and feels that she more than qualifies for a "You Should Know" segment. 

I stopped watching MTV for multiple reasons. I stumbled out of their target demographic about a decade ago. That was painfully evident by my complete disinterest in EVERYTHING that was on the channel. And when they stopped faking the funk earlier this year and officially dropped "music television" from their logo I was pretty much convinced that my relationship with them was officially dead.

But somehow, almost as if by magic, MTV has managed to hook me with their new show Chelsea Settles. And of all things, it's a reality show. Aside: unless it's about cooking or sewing, I usually don't get into reality shows. Mostly because I feel they lack a key component: REALITY.

I found Chelsea Settles by accident. I was working on a mundane, monotonous project for work and needed something to break up the repetition of it all. I figured Law&Order would be on somewhere, because it ALWAYS is, and that would help get me through the day. As the television in my office is not connected to a DVR, I had to actually click through all of the stations. I stopped on a show with a beautiful girl being harassed by what appeared to be a group of very drunk a-holes. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I was completely enraptured by what was happening. Who was this girl? Why was she being followed by these d-bags? Why is this on MTV? Shouldn't they be playing something about someone fake/plastic/offensively Italian/over sexualized? This show looked like legitimate social commentary. I had to find out what this was.

The show follows recent fashion school graduate Chelsea Settles as she decides to leave everything behind to chase after the things she wants in life. I was instantaneously hooked. MTV was running all of the current episodes the day I discovered the show so I found myself taking an early lunch and settling in to watch the trials and tribulations of a wonderful girl with real life struggles. I cheered for her from the very beginning. You just want this girl to succeed at everything. From her weight loss journey to making the decision to leave her ailing mother in order to pursue her dreams on the other side of the country, you can't help but think, "GO CHELSEA!"

Somehow MTV managed to do reality in a relatable way. This girl is real. She's not rich. She's not clothes hanger thin. She has issues just like the rest of us. But she's gorgeous. She's lovable. And most endearingly, she's a fighter. She made me remember why I moved to LA. She made me remember that even in the face of multiple failures, there is still something to be had by pursuing your dreams. Everything in me wants this girl to win.

Run...do not walk...to your DVR/Tivo/Computer and make sure you're watching every episode of Chelsea Settles. It's one of the few things that television gets right.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Have a Happy (and safe) Halloween!

Hey everyone!  This weekend I dressed up as Janelle Monae for Halloween.  It was so fun! So much fun that I am pretty sure I will be rockin' my hair like this more often:



Now it looks a little more like a hightop fade than hers so I am going to play around with it more.  I am so happy I switched back to natural hair. I really am. 

I'm not a big Halloween person so I will admit that this was the first time I have dressed up since the 90's!  It was a blast.  You know what I am also not a big fan of?  My alarm clock going off to Vincent Price's monologue in "Thriller". No way.  I hit that alarm clock, got deep up under the sheets and went right back to sleep. Over 25 years later and that thing still scares the mess out of me. 

Have some good clean fun today everyone and eat lots of candy!