Friday, September 30, 2011

Fun Music Friday: The Party "That's Why"- Toya

Yall...*Sigh* I am at my desk HAVING IT right now. Do you understand that Albert Fields from The Party and I were supposed to be married by now? What happened? Oh yeah. We've never met. That could be a part of the problem.

Let me go ahead and say that Albert Fields is one of my favorite and severely underrated vocalists ever. How was he sounding this grown at 15? This was, is and will forever by my jam. And as always, there is choreography for days. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Remember that time BGLU met Elliott Yamin? - Tia

I miss singers. I don't like gimmicks. If you sing, I want you to JUST SING. I don't want you dressed in a meat suit. I don't want you kissing other women when you're clearly not a lesbian. I don't want you creating an alter-ego. (Though I will give Garth Brooks a pass for that Chris Gaines project. That album was good. I don't care what you say.) I just want you to open your mouth and melodically produce words. THAT'S IT!

And that's one of the many reasons I love Elliott Yamin so much. He is a singer. You know what you're going to get when he grabs that mic and stands in front of you. He is going to sing. He is going to sing hard. And he is going to make you remember that singers, real singers with real voices, still exist.

Friday night's performance at 3rd and Lindsley was nothing short of amazing. It was worth the 5 year wait. From the first song to the last (which came all too soon) we were IN. The performance, the voice, everything about Elliott makes you want to cheer for him (and occasionally do body rolls). And it also makes you wonder how he came in 3rd place on Idol behind Taylor Hicks. ( did that happen?)

There was a nice mixture of new songs and old favorites which kept the show moving. While I was hoping to hear more songs from the Elliott Yamin and Fight for Love albums, I was more than satisfied with the set list. (Although I did ask him after the show why we couldn't get "Know Better." Apparently that song is really hard on his voice.) There's something to be said about performers singers who can captivate a crowd with unknown material. We've all been to shows where all you can do is wait patiently while the guy with the mic, "tries out some new stuff on you." I'm all for growth in an artist, but let's face it, doing all of the songs from your new album and none of the songs that put the bodies in the seats in the first place is not a good look. So I applaud Elliott for knowing the balance. Even in the unfamiliar, I found myself engrossed in the songs, occasionally with a hand in the air, singing along by the 2nd or 3rd chorus. In every song, new or old, there was a familiarity. You get the sense that you've heard this before but you never feel like you've heard it all before.

For those of us who have been fans since Idol, it was refreshing to hear that Elliott's voice is just as amazing in real life as it was on the Idol stage. Without the help of BGVs, the man still manages to sing in an unadulterated way. But I would be remiss if I didn't mention his backing tracks as well. There is a power and rawness that can only come through in a live show. And I welcome that. But there's something to be said about the polish that only comes with a studio. Elliott's own backing vocals are nothing short of inspiring. More than once during the night I found myself trying to identify who was singing back-up. For some reason, the purity of the backing tracks would not allow for permanence. You know you can sing when people forget that the music is not live.

If you're an Elliott fan, you won't be disappointed by his live shows. But I must warn you in advance, he is going to perform. Elliott is going to go ALL in. So if you are a shoe thrower, wear boots (as I did.) If you are a shouter, sit in the back. If you're prone to swoon...well, you're just going to have to be prepared. Elliott does not play fair. He will throw in SWV's "Rain" in the middle of "Movin' On" and make you shout Church of God in Christ style. (Shout out to my former and present COGIC readers.) You will not be ready for a "sistahgirl" reference in "Downtown" and get caught all the way up. And when he tears the roof of the place with "Wait For You", you may think you're ready, but you won't be. This show is not a game. But Elliott and his band came to win. (His drummer Royce Shorter, Jr is the absolute TRUTH!)

The most endearing part of the whole experience is Elliott's love for the fans. You can see during the show and afterwards at the mini-meet and greet, the man truly appreciates and adores the people who come to his shows. He is gracious and humble and it makes you want to be on his team even more. He doesn't just push you to buy the flash drive (which you should because the live concerts on there are well worth it), he doesn't just shake your hand and thank you for coming. He's genuinely interested in whether or not you had a good time. And you can see the gratitude in his face when you say that you do.

I admire Elliott. He's a hustler. He writes songs that make you feel good and then turns around and sings them in ways that hurt you in the best way. I can't wait for the next show. And if Elliott ever moves to Nashville...well, let's just say the game will change.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fun Music Friday: Shanice "It's For You"

I'm sure you have guessed by now that I am an old school choreography fiend! I had routines galore for songs as a teenager. I would have to say that if I could have been any R&B teen singer back in the day, I would've been Shanice. In my head, I can still dance like this. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

And Now What?: My Reaction to the Troy Davis Case- Toya

"Hi! My name is Toya and I am wanting information about our prison ministry."

That is the beginning of the email I sent to my church today asking about being involved in the prison ministry at our church.  Please understand that I want no "way to go Toya" or "way to be the change you want to see in the world Toya" accolades for this.  I am not saying this to be seen as some kind of an example.  This is actually an admission of guilt.

Over the past few days I have had to ask myself "What is my cause?" A cause is different from a passion.  You can be passionate about something but a cause is a "basis for an action or response; a reason."  Interestingly enough a cause is also " the producer of an effect, result, or consequence." I don't need to just find a cause; I need to BE a cause.  I need to be the cause of someone finding hope, I need to be the cause of someone making better choices, I need to be the cause of someone wanting a relationship with a big and loving God.  I need to have a cause and I need to be one.

It's not enough to be just passionate about something anymore.  I don't want to speak for God but I did pray a bit reminding Him (like He has a bad memory) that in the bible it says that He changed the heart of Pharoah.  This is solely my opinion and something I will ponder on some more, but what if the result of the Troy Davis case is a wake up call for long overdue individual change?  This went all the way to the Supreme Court only for our system to come back as if to say "We said NO."  Sometimes it takes drastic circumstances to wake people up to the severity of a situation.  

Sometimes it takes drastic circumstances to wake me up to the severity of a situation.

I am more overcome by my guilt and repentance than I am over my sadness for Troy Davis' execution. I am sad to say that I have often substituted knowing what's better for doing what's better; for having an opinion on what should be done over actually being a part of doing what needs to be done.  I have sat back comfortably and critically for far too long.

For the record, my small company that produces benefit concerts for local charities isn't enough as far as my part in doing something.  While it's helped a small bit towards local causes, it's too...convenient. It's about as convenient as throwing money at a cause without really looking it in the face.  

It's about as convenient as throwing money at a cause without really looking at a face.

It's just not enough and for that I am sad.  

Past the seeker as he prayed came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten.  And seeing them... he cried, "Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?"  God said, "I did do something.  I made you."  ~Author Unknown

What's been your reaction to the outcome of the Troy Davis case?  Has it moved you to want to find or further your own cause?

BGLU Beauty News- Toya

Kiehls has come out with a wonderful new line called The Ultra Facial Oil Free Collection.  It's a line of oil free products (moisturizer, cleanser and toner) for oily skin and I'm pretty crazy about it.  I have oily skin and it's easy to want to skip applying moisturizer in fear that you will look like a greaseball come midday. I am always looking for a good moisturizer and I am happy to say that I found one in this new line.  Does anyone else use Kiehl's? If so, what is your favorite product?  They just came out with a new eye cream that I am dying to try.

I've found my red lipstick! I've found my red lipstick!

MAC has come out with a new red this season called Runway Red and it is truly the red I have been looking for.  The problem is that it is a part of there MAC Me Over Collection and isn't a permanent part of their line!  I was a die hard Ruby Woo fan but that matte texture was drying my lips out even with lip balm underneath. The texture of this lipstick is just right and it's long lasting.  I LOVE this color!

Please excuse the lighting in this picture as this looks like went tanning with a towel over my face for an hour.  MAC please don't discontinue this color.  Every girl needs a tried and true lipstick.  Do me a solid and let me keep mine.  Is there a lipstick that you just can't do without?

And speaking of red lipstick, the woman that inspired me to rock it this year, June Ambrose, is FINALLY getting her own show.  Her long overdue show is tentatively titled The June Ambrose Project and is set to air on VH1 early 2012. I can't wait! If you've seen her Youtube videos you know she already has what it takes to have her own show.  Hopefully this will be the first of many television opportunities for her.  We wish you the best June!

Finally, Melissa Watkins of Fab Glance has started a blog called Natural in Nashville and I am a contributing writer!  I will weekly be posting my hair diary, product reviews, and interviews with some of Nashville's lovely natural beauties.  You can check it out at

Monday, September 19, 2011

Elliott YEAH-MAN!!!! - Tia

The email read, "Keep next Friday and Saturday open. Depending on when the ring gets here, I'm going to propose and I want you to be a part of it." My friend was going to propose to his girlfriend. I knew that he was going to do it. I just didn't know it would be so soon. I was so happy for the both of them. I love them to death. And I can't wait to see what happens...Unless what happens is occurring on Friday. Because Friday is the Elliott Yamin concert. I know...My priorities could use some work.

But here's the thing, I've NEVER been able to see Elliott. EVER! There are rumors that he does shows in Nashville from time to time but thus far those have been unsubstantiatied. I do know for a fact that he records in Nashville often. But recording and performing are not the same thing. And there are some artists that I just don't pass up the opportunity to see because I may not get another chance. Seriously, I don't want to have to go to Japan to see Mr. Yamin. So while, I am overjoyed about two of my friends making the decision to spend their lives together, if they decide to make that decision on Friday I will have to be overjoyed with them AFTER the show. Judge me if you must...I don't care.

That said, in honor of the show here are my top 5 Elliott songs (in no particular order) that I hope he does on Friday.

Know Better
I RUNS this hear me...RUNS IT!!! This song is my daggone JAM!

Find A Way
I feel like this song was really underrated. Something about the lyrics is very "Inner City Blues" to me. I sing this song hard at least once a week and that's on a slow week. This song has been in my top 25 played in iTunes since the album came out in 2007.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song. I can't say anything more than that. Seriously...LOVE this.

Movin' On
This is the first track off of Elliott's album. I knew immediately I was going to continue to be on board with him beyond Idol. I remember Toya saying, "Oh this is how he's going to get down?" Yeah...Elliot we see you.

Let Your Heart Lead
I am a hopeless romantic who loves a hard fought romance story. (I recently bought Jane Eyre and probably watch it more than is healthy.) The girl in this song is trying to leave and Elliott is not having it. I LUVS that.
(You'll have to go find this one on your own. The only two videos on Youtube were not worth posting as they had nothing to do with Elliott.)

So since I couldn't find a video for Let Your Heart Lead, here's a bonus for you.

Fight For Love
I didn't feel no kind of way about Fight for Love. I thought it was cute enough but didn't get why it was the first single, album title not withstanding. Plus, I found Elliott's hair puzzling in the video. But this song has so grown on me in the last few weeks. I found myself body-rolling to it just this weekend. (Side note, if you really want to body roll to an Elliott song play Shelter. It is so body roll, quiet storm worthy.) I now find myself playing Fight significantly more than I ever have in the past. But I guess that's what happens when you're a fan. CAN'T. WAIT. FOR. FRIDAY!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

YES!! We're just friends - Tia

As you can see Toya has been carrying the blog for the last couple of weeks. I have been quite literally living in hotels for the last few weeks. (Thank you Foursquare for reminding me how long I've been on the road "That's 6 weeks in a row at airports!") And I been in a funk that has motivated me to do NOTHING. It has been encompassing and crippling. But as a follower of the ways of Quitter I know need to put in the work if I want this blog to be successful and be able to get out of my current soul draining job. Anyway, that being said I figured I would just try to write...about anything and hope for the best. 

Why is it so unfathomable for a girl and a guy to be nothing more than platonic friends? For the last decade and some change I have gotten the same question about my friend who I'll call Blaine (I just did a mini-marathon of Glee with one of my friends. You're stuck with Blaine.) Blaine and I went to college together. Neither of us can remember how we met. People always ask but neither of has any recollection. While we've sort of narrowed it down to a group of people we think we may have met through, the specific details are long since lost with time.

We are thick as thieves. We had the same major so we took classes together. We went on Spring Break together. I was at his wedding. I have helped him through his divorce. We are sardonic. We have words that only we use. We have private jokes. We had a water gun fight after our graduation ceremony. We are tight. We are friends....Yes....JUST FRIENDS. And not in the Ryan Reynolds/Amy Smart, "I secretly love you" kind of Just Friends way. We are truly platonic. I love him the way I love my other two brothers. To me, we're basically related. But for some reason, this concept is lost on people.

Without fail when I talk about him or when we are together someone will eventually ask me, "Soooo you have NO feelings for him?" I don't. Why is that so hard to believe?

Now don't get me wrong. I get it. Blaine is good looking. He's funny and fun to be around. I understand how people could think that I'm secretly pining away for him. And if I'm being honest, to some extent he is the standard by which I measure men. The level of comfort that I feel with Blaine must be exceeded by anyone I date. And the unconditional acceptance that I get from him is what I expect from anyone I would consider spending forever with. But beyond that, I love him like I love those other two guys with whom I share DNA.

Tonight at dinner I mentioned to a friend that I need a break from Nashville and I'm going to see Blaine. He and I talked about going to London later in the year (still a possibility) but I need a break sooner than that. So I'm taking a weekend to go drink tequila and swear in colorful ways with him. My friend, God bless her, got that twinkle that your married friends get when their single friends tell them they're going to spend time with a boy. *sigh* So once again I had to explain that we're "just friends." (Side note: she told me not to wear sweats around him. Ummm....I may ONLY wear sweats around him.) "But how?" She asked. "Is he questionable?" (Questionable in regards to his sexuality.) "No, he's very straight." "Is he unattractive?" "No, he's hot. And he's humble about it." "Are you gay?" "HAHAHAHAHA! No, I like men too much to be gay." "Then what is it?" I sigh and explain that for whatever reason we are just not like that. I went on to explain that to this day, I still don't understand why people continue to maintain that women and men can't just be friends.

Chris Rock does an entire bit about women with "platonic friends." (If you look it up, be forewarned that there is some language in it.) To sum it up, women with platonic male friends see them as "back-ups." They are the guys that we run too when the guy that we're with turns out to not be the one. Yeah...I don't buy it. Keeping a guy around just in case is tortuous and mean. It would be unfair to his heart. And how could I call myself a friend of someone whose heart I was not honoring and treating fairly?

Maybe it's because I have brothers, but for the most part I prefer friendships with men. They seem less complicated and far less dramatic. Overall, it is what it is. And you KNOW what it is. There are no random questions if you're doing it right. You don't complicate things with physical intimacy so you don't have to have the DTR talk. You hang out. You get comfortable. You remain friends. Nothing more, nothing less. Why is that such a foreign concept?

I'm excited to see Blaine. And to see tequila. I'm happy that I have a wingman for the weekend who knows me well.  I will be protected and safe, thus allowing me to be myself. That fact that the person that I can be Tia with has a Y-chromosome is immaterial.  A homie is a homie regardless of whether they sit or stand to tinkle. (Yes...tinkle.) And for the last time, "Yes...WE'RE JUST FRIENDS!"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fun Music Fridays: Kp & Envyi "Shorty Swing My Way"- Toya

There are a few songs that if they come on and I am mid conversation with anyone at a party, will cause me to leave the conversation immediately and hit the dance floor with no warning. This is one of them. And I don't care how modest you may be, there is something in this song that makes you have to fight the urge (or not) to back it up repeatedly. It's got that "Arch Your Back and Drop It Low" spirit on it. Don't hurt nobody yall!

What are some of your "Get out of my way when this song comes on because I am going to go HAM on the dancefloor" songs? Who knows, you may see it one Fun Music Friday.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BGLU News- Toya

-Idris "Yes All That AND A British Accent" Elba now has a video out for his song "Private Garden". I'll be really honest with yall and say that I did not care at all what this sounded like. It's 3+ minutes of Idris Elba...on a beach...rockin' an ill two step. Now after the first two times I was able to focus and you know what? The song has a cool vibe and I'm diggin' it! I think it's great that he is able to express himself creatively in various ways. Did you know that he is also a DJ? Seriously what CAN'T Idris Elba do?

-File This Under "Toya's Future Aspirations": Aevan Dugas of New Orleans is now the record holder for the world's largest natural afro according to the Guiness Book of World Records. At a circumference of 4 ft 4 in, she can hide the world's smallest man in her fro! Dugas says that her afro is her "natural hairstyle and there can't be anything more beautiful than that." We completely agree. Go girl!

- Common can now add the title of author to his list of accomplishments. He recently penned a memoir entitled "One Day It Will All Make Sense" that talks about his days growing up in the South Side of Chicago and his rise as what many hail as the quintessential conscious rapper. There's also passages woven in from his mother as well as letters to the reader from Erykah Badu, Kanye West and his daughter. Seriously, how can you not love this dude?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You Done Good Girl!: Miss Angola Crowned 2011 Miss Universe

Pic:USA Today
It's been a long time since I have watched a beauty competition.  I lived for them when I was a little girl.  My mom would back teacakes (what yall know about some southern teacakes?) and I would watch the competition while trying to walk like the contestants.  However with age and my own opinions on our society's perceptions on beauty, I have become disinterested in pageants.  This is why I am late on posting that Miss Angola was crowned 2011 Miss Universe last night.  I simply wasn't checking for the pageant this year.  I am so happy to know that Miss Angola won not only because she is from Africa but because she had this to say:

"As Miss Angola I've already done a lot to help my people. "I've worked with various social causes. I work with poor kids, I work in the fight against HIV. I work to protect the elderly and I have to do everything that my country needs."I think now as Miss Universe I will be able to do much more."

Isn't that what having a large platform is all about, doing much more for people? I love her outlook on life.  For more on Miss Angola, read here.

Can We Talk: What Did You Think About The Newest Episode of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl?

"I volunteered for you." *Swoon*

If you're a huge fan of The Misadventures of An Awkward Black Girl series then you were so on edge after episode 7 that you were counting down the days until episode 8 was available online.  Shoutout to @Stellabonita who got one of the coveted viewing soiree spots to preview the show online before it was available. Unless you got the link directly from someone who was able to preview it, you had to wait one more day.  She tweeted us the link as soon as she could and at about 1 am, I was glued to my laptop.

I'm dying to hear what you all thought about it.  If ABG is not the first quintessential BGLU show, I don't know what is.  Here are my thoughts on Episode 8:

1. The absolute only thing I don't like about this show is the excessive profanity.  It's hard for me to recommend sometimes because it tends to be a little too much, particularly J's rapping scenes.  So when I do recommend this show, it's to people that I know watch things like Entourage, The Sopranos, and other cable network series with a lot of adult language.  But yeah, otherwise this show is perfect.
2. The newly saved co-worker: I was nervous when they introduced her but as the show went on I thought it was hilarious.  Hey some church folk can be really extra sometimes.  And Nina with the "Muslim chanting" comment? NOT okay. She's such a hater! 
3. Their boss stays doing The Most. The turban? "When you people sing and dance, the world is yours"?!  I cannot.
4. Why is A so fine in real life? Have you seen him on Facebook? It's not right.
5. Baby Voice Darius destroyed me at 3:39.  He really did.

I could go into more about the conference room scene and the clever Sister Act 2 reference but let me just get to what I know we all want to talk about:

Yes Lord all day AND tomorrow !!! Team Fred is trying to show and prove!

Now like Beyonce', I may not know alge-bah.  But what I do know is this equation:

Fred in that nicely fitted Howard University t-shirt > puppies, rainbow Skittles, and sun showers!!!!

Fred pulled out the big guns.  Boys with the guitars stay winning in my book...unfortunately...but I digress. 

What I really liked about this episode is that we finally got to see Fred showing everyone that he truly is awkward too.  He doesn't seem to be at peace with his awkwardness though.  I think that's what attracts him to J.  Now I am a firm believer that chemistry should win over cuteness any day of the week.  That is why for the longest time I was Team White Jay.  But now that Fred "set up his room like a 90's R&B video" (best line of the show), I am so torn!  I am so mad that I am torn between being Team White Jay and Team Fred now! I never thought that would happen especially after this scene in episode 7:

*Passes out*

Yeah, White Jay is going to have to come correct soon because Fred put it down.  He may have to stand outside J's window like Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything holding up a boombox playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" or something. It's not looking good for him at all.
What do you all think? Should J give Fred a chance or is it too little too late?  Do you think she should try to date both even though they are friends?  What do you all think about episode 8?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fun Music Friday's: New Edition "N.E. Heartbreak"

1. It may not be a stretch to say that this is my favorite video of all time. The choreography, the mismatched shoes...yes.
2. I do believe that the phrase "goin' hard" absolutely had to originate from SOMETHING that Johnny Gill was doing because he absolutely goes hard at everything; dancing, singing, sweating, everything.
3. Can you spot all of the celebrity cameos? Whatever happened to the oldest son from Mr. Belvedere? Did you spot the tall light skinned guy who always had a cane on Soul Train? I've always had a crush on him.
4. Speaking of crushes, Ralph Tresvant? *Clutches pearls* All day and tomorrow. Please believe.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Note To God - Tia

Real talk....I almost walked up to the glass and laid hands on it to pray for this man. It would have gone something like this,

Dear Lord,
Thank you for your many blessings. I have so much that I sometimes don't feel right asking for anything else. So it is with great humility that I ask for one more thing. Can I please have this man? Seriously, look at him. You made him, so you're aware of his extreme hotness. I promise I would be so good to him. So if you see fit to bring him (or one of his ilk) to me, there would be so much joy in my heart. Either way, I praise you for your creations. They are truly beautiful.


Seriously...this dude is KNUCKLE BITING FINE!!! MY LAWD!!!! In the immortal words of Michael Jackson, "Where did you come from baby? And, oooh, won't you take me there?" Basically, I need to be in the place that makes those like you.


And with that....I'm off to bed.

Quitter Challenge: Chapter 4- Toya

Who walks into their annual review and tells their HR person that they are afraid that they don't have the right personality for their job? *Awkwardly raises hand* THIS girl. If you remember in the last chapter, we had a company meeting about PI (Predictive Index) where I thought that I discovered that I had the wrong personality type for my job. Turns out I was wrong.

“Toya, you are perfect for your job” my HR person assured me. I'll admit that to me that sounded a little depressing. She went through the different types of personality traits with me. When I told her that I felt that I may be too much of a people person, she said “Your type is definitely a people person however you still can work well by yourself." This is true. “Also, you think to talk versus talk to think” she continued. I debated this until she pointed out that I really am someone who thinks things through before making a decision. From this I gathered that talking to yourself still counts as thinking. I think A LOT. So much to the point that I am pretty much prepared for what I am going to say on any given topic because I have thought about it so much. We went over a few more personality traits and soon I was convinced that she was right. This gave me the relief that I was at the right job, at the right season. I just needed to trust that for whatever reason I am there, I need to get all I can out of it and learn what I need to in order to move forward. That's where Chapter 4 comes in. It's funny how I can be behind on blogging about the current chapter I am reading and then the week I do get around to it, the subject matter is right on time. If I would've read Chapter 4, “Falling in Like with a Job You Don't Love”, before my review,  I wouldn't have received it well.

Jon Acuff says “The truth is we need to learn to fall in like with a job we don't love because it's actually the best way to set up your dream for success. “ That sounds hopeful right? However he says a couple of other things that will make you hold your stomach with one hand and your eye with the other:

“How long will it take for your dream to become a full time job and sustain you? Longer than you want it to.”

“Bad employees make horrible dreamers. You can't loaf on your day job all week and then expect to magically  throw the switch on the weekend and hustle on your're not just working, you are practicing for your dream. If you want your dream job to work, work on your day job.”

“The truth is we need to learn to fall in like with a job we don't love because it's actually the best way to set up your dream for success. “

Add these to the fact that the first chapter of Quitter burst your bubble by telling you that the worst thing you can do at the moment is to actually quit your job and you may start feeling like this:

Jon Acuff recently did a Quitter conference here that I was unable to attend but I've since decided that I probably shouldn't go see him before I become a Quitter lest I try to throw tomatoes at him from the audience. I'm kidding but no really, this book will hurt your feelings. Thankfully, it also gives you a lot to think about in regards to the parallels between your current day job and your dream job. I don't have a lot to do at work so it is very easy to put my assignments off until the last minute. The evil that is Procrastination bleeds into my personal life too which he says happens all the time. Unfortunately sometimes the more time I have, the more time I have to goof off and then I am rushing to get things done. Not hot.

Now unlike Jon it's not considered stealing from my job if I write from work. I know this because my HR person said it's completely acceptable to keep myself occupied doing other things. She knows there's not a lot for me to do as a receptionist and I have asked for more to do. Maybe God is trying to see how faithful I am being in ALL things I am responsible for given the time I have.

I feel much more free at work now than I did before my review and reading chapter 4.  My aim now is to organize me day accordingly to be able to get everything done that I need to do day job wise and dream job wise; with my day job being top priority of course.  I have a really difficult time planning my day and sticking to it.  Also, I have a hard time working in a space where no one is really around which is why I am here writing at Starbucks with people around.  It's even harder to write at home. I guess that's part of what this season is about really; learning about myself, how to work and what that work really entails.  I'm going to try my best to get all I can while I am at my day job and appreciate it in the process. 

Quitter Challenge: Chapter 4 - Tia

 (There have been no quitter posts mostly due to my writer's block, funk, whiny mood. I started this post LAST month and I'm just now getting around to trying to finish it. Apologies in advance for the ending. It's honestly the best I can do right now. Random Aside: You would not believe how many pictures there are of Sarah Palin when you google the word "quitter." ) 

It was hot. And not that play-play kind of hot. It was Whitney Houston lip sweat, your deodorant is working harder than it was ever created to work, did we accidentally drive to the equator/Hell HOT. I wanted to be newborn naked in an effort to relieve the heat. As I pulled up to drop the rental car off I was quite literally PISSED at the heat. If the heat had been a real person I would have punched it in the throat for being so offensive.

The small chipper 20-ish girl bounced over and asked how the car was. Since she hadn't created the heat it seemed unfair to be rude to her. I told her it was fine as I lugged my bags out of the back. As I stood there for less than 30 seconds I could feel my sandals beginning to melt into the concrete. Exasperated I asked her, "How do you HAPPILY work in this heat every day?" She chuckled to herself and said, "I just think about my bills." I wanted to hi-five her. (I've been in a hi-fiving kind of mood lately.)

In that brief conversation, that young girl basically summed up a lot for me. She liked her job because she liked paying her bills. And I'm sure if I'd asked her, paying her bills was a step toward something greater that she wants to do.

Chapter 4 of Quitter talks about falling in like with a job you don't love. It is no small secret that I don't love my job. But I do love paying my bills. I recently posted the following on my Facebook page, " I'm going to stop saying that I hate my job and start saying that I love my paycheck." Sixteen people liked my status before lunch. Apparently, I'm not alone is my disdain for my 9-5.

The thing is once I decided to try to make a conscious effort to try to stop hating my job, I began to think that maybe....just maybe there's more to where I am and the position that I currently hold.

Chapter 4 talks about the incubation of a dream. Like it or not, it's probably going to take a little longer than you'd like for your dream to come to fruition.

Ever dream takes longer than you want it to...And if we rush it, if we don't give it time to incubate, we usually end up killing it before it even has a chance to breathe. - Pg 90

It is entirely possible that had BGLU gotten some of the attention that it's recently received that I would have quit my job and tried to write full time. I would have seen it as a sign. I would have assumed that bigger and better things were just around the corner and that my bills would be paid in faith. (Why, yes, I WAS pretty naive back when we started.) Clearly I had some growing up to do. So while I could not have foreseen that it would take 8 years for this blog to get where it is right now, I'm genuinely grateful for the time it and I have had to grow.

Now trying to find the parallels between my current job and my dream have is proving harder than I thought. I've been in research now for about 7 years. And I will probably be in it a while longer. But while I some times struggle to understand why I remain in a job that I don't love, I know for a fact that I can't hate a job that I spend 50+ hours a week doing. I have to find a way to fall in like with this job. However, that may be easier said than done.

There are days when I truly have to think about why I work. Aside from my bills and the need to keep a roof over my head (both of which are admittedly important), there are days when I can't for the life of me remember why I continue to do this day after day after sometimes soul destroying day. But then I'm reminded of friend who is 8 weeks pregnant with no health insurance. I'm reminded of the woman I know who can't get her teeth fixed because her dental insurance is subpar. I'm reminded of my aging parents who I want to be able to take care of in a couple of decades if I need to. Basically, I have to remember to remind myself that there are numerous reasons to get up every day and be excellent at a job that I'm learning to like.

The end of the chapter talks about 3 ways to ruin your day job and your dream job. And the first way pretty much walked up to me, smacked me in the face and yelled, "FOR SHAME!!!!" (It yelled at me in a British accent but it yelled at me nonetheless.) Stealing from work. Now we're not talking about pens and steno pads. Well, I mean, if you are doing that, stop it. In this case, however, we're talking about time and efficiency. You're paid to do something from 8-4, 9-5, 10-6, etc. And odds are it's not to play on Facebook. But for me, it's easier than I'd like to admit to not stay on task. I often feel a sense of entitlement because I put in long hours while I'm on the road. Take today, for instance. I left my house at 9:30. I got to Miami at just before 5. That's already a full day. So you would think that I could settle in and play a little Facebook tetris, answer some personal emails and post a couple of long overdue blogs. Yeah...that's not the case. I still have things that need to get done for my job. Why...? Because that's what they pay me for. That's the nature of the job. And to not do what I'm paid for is stealing, plain and simple. So while I may feel I've earned the right to slack off, until Facebook is added to my job description I owe it to myself, my job and my dream to be diligent and honest with the time that belongs to (insert company name here.)

I struggle to figure out how to end this post. I actually started writing it two weeks ago. I have been in a funk and a mood and have been completely unmotivated to write since....well since whenever my last post was. So I'll end with this (because, frankly, it's all I've got), while you (and I) may struggle to see the merits of your 9-5, be assured that it is a stepping stone to where you WANT to be. And while the parallels may not be as easy to see as you may hope, know that as you are diligent in you day job you are cultivating your dream in ways that you probably can't....or maybe can...imagine.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fun Music Friday: "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" by JC Chasez

With news of Justin Timberlake's recent surprise show in NYC and JC Chasez still chillin' at the house like "Meh. I mean I could put out some music or I could not", I thought I would go with this song for today's Fun Music Friday.  I'd like to mention the following:

1) I have always, ALWAYS been jealous of the girl dancing on the right of him.  I mean, I'm a really good dancer too and I STILL do those moves.  Just sayin'. 
2) Where is Tara Reid?
3) My love for Dallas Austin knows no bounds.  A musically inclined brotha who can skateboard?  My soul says yes.
4) When was the last time we saw a video for a movie soundtrack?  Do they even have soundtracks anymore?
5) We can't say this enough:  JC STOP PLAYIN' AND PUT OUT SOME NEW MUSIC!

Everyone have a wonderful and safe Labor Day Weekend- Toya