Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dear JC, You is smart...you is kind...and you is important

"Oh the awards are TONIGHT?" JC Chasez at the 2011 VMA's
Yall...what is really going on with JC Chasez?

This is the thing: Tia has even gone to the extent of writing open letters to JC in hopes that he would put out a second album.  I personally felt like, hey, let the man be.  He did his time in *NSYNC, is content being a judge on America's Best Dance Crew and really doesn't feel the need to put out music right now.  And even though I personally would love to see more of this:


he is doin' him right now.  I thought that was cool.   However, I am starting to think differently.  I mean, this video is from 8 years ago.  Even D'Angelo is set to put out an album soon. Come on JC!

The reason why I quoted the movie The Help to title this post is because perhaps JC thinks that the game doesn't need him.  Maybe he thinks he doesn't fit in today's industry.  Regardless, he is a singer and a heck of a songwriter so surely he has some tracks lying around the house.  Can the fans get down with those?   Also, I am wondering if he was dropped from his label or if he owes them any more records.  If he owes them more records, can we move them to sue?  I know those are drastic measures but I wouldn't suggest it if I didn't think the outfit he wore to the VMA's was a cry for help. How did he get to there from here:

Yes Lord.

JC used to be SHARP!  I used to think that Tia was overreacting just a tad but now I'm with her.  Keep JC in your prayers yall before the next time we see him is on Celebrity Fit Club. I don't really care how he dresses but can we get some new music please?  PLEASE?!

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's MJ's Birthday!- Toya


Today would have been Michael Jackson's 53rd birthday.  After watching this video today, I have decided that no matter how much time passes there are some things that will never change:



1. Even with Vitiligo, nose jobs and allegations, I would have married Michael Jackson ON SIGHT within the first five minutes of meeting him.  He will always be my boyfriend.
2.  It's been two years since his death and I will sprint across the room to the CD player when "Music and Me" comes on so I can cut it off.  I still can't listen to that song yet.  Not sure if I ever will again.
3.  No one, and I repeat, NO ONE will ever be the NEXT Michael Jackson.  Let's stop making comparisons, shall we?  It's a wrap.

Gangsta.

In honor of MJ's birthday today, I have made a playlist called Toya's All MJ Everything Playlist of my personal favorite MJ songs.  If you are on Spotify, click on the link and it should go right to it.  If you aren't, no need to fear!  We just got some invites so if you'd like to sign up, please send us an email at blackgirlslikeus.com and we'll send you an invite. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Music: "Hear My Call" Jill Scott





Talk amongst yourselves.  I’ll be laid out over here——-> ___________/- Toya

Fun Music Friday- "That's What Little Girls Are Made of" Raven Symone

After seeing a video on Facebook of Kreayshawn freestyling for blunts on the radio, I just...I had to go to my happy place. I had to. *Breathes deeply* Woosah. Woooooosaaaaaah...

Call me old school but this is more my speed.  Happy Friday yall!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We Will Always Miss You Aaliyah




I’ll be very honest with you: I did not want to write this Aaliyah post today. The thing is I don’t like to commemorate death. Like, at all. I don’t even like to think about it. Still I thought about our readers and thought that we should give you a chance to express your feelings about Aaliyah, her music and yes, even her death.


I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed Aaliyah’s music until after she was gone. Sadly to say, the cuts that were released after she passed, “More Than A Woman” and “We Need a Resolution”, turned out to be my top favorites (the former being my absolute favorite).

Today is a sad day to me because we will never know what she could have done in her career but we know that it truly could have been a lot. I had a lot of respect for Aaliyah because her sexiness didn’t seem forced or vulgar and she was very protective of her personal life. She let her talent and her innovative creativity speak for her. She reminds me of Sade in that respect. It’s been these standards that she set in her short career that I don’t think many newer artist have been able to live up to since.

So to our readers who are Aaliyah fans, I hope that this has not been a sad day for you. I hope that you have been able to reminisce, play some of her great music and relive a bit of nostalgia by watching her videos. Trust me, I do feel that her life is one to be celebrated. I just can’t seem to do it today. Perhaps tomorrow.

Well, I take that back.  Seriously who can be sad for long after watching this choreography?
 

 
She was a bad girl.  What are your favorite Aaliyah songs and videos?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It’s the Falling in Love- Toya

When I was a kid, I would play "It's the Falling in Love" by Michael Jackson and would pretend to be Patti Austin who sang this duet with him.  Thank God there was no Youtube back then.



I recently had a conversation with my dad in which he revealed that there is a married couple who are longtime family friends who had gone through a devastating time in their marriage. More specifically, it turns out that the husband had been involved in some…uh, “extracurricular activities”.  My parents decided to not tell me who it was or the details because they feel that I would be devastated.  I completely trust my parents in their decision and I appreciate it.  Hey, I didn’t see Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video until six years after it came out because my parents know all too well how squeamish I am.  I would probably have made my way to their bedroom in the middle of the night for weeks.  To this day I cover my eyes at the end of the video right before Michael turns around with those scary werewolf eyes *shudders*.  They know me and I trust them.   Still, I tried my best to figure it out and based on what my dad told me I concluded that the couple was my “Aunt and Uncle” Betty and Ron (not their real names).


I LOVED my Uncle Ron.  He passed away a few years ago.  He was a ruggedly beautiful man’s man.  He fixed cars and had the swagger of a cowboy. I remember what a man of honor he was and how he pursued my aunt during their courtship. I went over and over again in my head what the truth could be. Maybe he stepped out one time. Ok, I could forgive one time.  Maybe he died and they found out he had multiple wives, multiple children and lived a duplicitous life.  When on earth would he have had the time?! What if he didn’t die of cancer like they told me he did and died of AIDS?  Finally after much speculation, I called Tia who knows me better than anyone and asked her if she thought I should put the questioning to rest and find out.

 When I asked her she began very cautiously, “Toya, you’ve come a long way in how you feel about relationships and marriage.  To be very honest with you, I was scared for you for a long time.  You hated marriage. You even hated people that got married. ” Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but I got what she meant.  For the longest time I was anti-marriage because anything that required me to be legally bound with someone who also had free will was absolute prison to me.  Prison!  I swear every time I would hear vows at a wedding, I would hear a jail cell close in my head.  She went on to say that the truth of the matter would send me all the way back to ground zero.  She’s right.  The thing is I love love.  I even love the potential of love.  But trust?   Trust is scary.  Terribly scary.  

I’ve concluded that my feelings about love & trust are why I am able to crush on a guy who shows me attention yet puts forth little effort to really get to know me.  It’s easy.  It’s in my head and it stays there.  I get all the fuzzy feelings with none of the problems.  Yeah…that’s not okay.  Sooner or later someone is going to call my bluff.  They’re going to put forth the effort to be close to me and I’m going to have to try my best not to go into defense mechanism mode: like all of the sudden I am “too busy”, or the guy is too much of…something, or I can’t think about commitment without dry heaving so therefore this can’t be good for my health.  And why am I so scared? Because I am convinced that when some women fall in love they have the potential to go certifiably, undeniably crazy. They don’t think straight.  Their priorities get screwed up and they throw their lives away to hold onto something that is already way too high up on their priority list.  I've seen too many women compromise their values for love. Rarely do they come back from that and if they do, the consequences are for a lifetime. You might say I am scared to fall in love but for me, I simply don't want to go crazy. 

Just yesterday there were rumors flying around that Will and Jada Smith were separating.  People were going HAM on The Twitter saying things like if they were getting divorced, then no one can stay together and everyone should be single.  Look, I don’t know them.  What I do know is that I have seen my own personal real life Will and Jada’s get divorced over a span of the past two years.  I’d be lying if I said these things did not shake me.  As much as I love love, I can’t fix the way I feel.  Thankfully, it’s not up to me to fix it.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Fear EXPECTS punishment?!  I heard that at a wedding one time and cried violently as if a horse had kicked me in the back of my head.  It was ugly.

The only way I know to work on this issue of trust is to ask God who is perfect love Himself to drive out the fear I have concerning relationships.  It’s one of those things that you don’t know whether you are good at or not until the opportunity comes along.  With that being said, this may indeed explain the “drought”.  What’s the use of running into Mr. Right if you are going to smile in his face and give him the side eye behind his back?  This is going to take a miracle. As the old folks say, thank God He is in the miracle business.

By the way,  I found out that the couple wasn't my Aunt Betty and Uncle Ron. I mentioned them to my Dad and he said "Ooooh no. You're Uncle Ron was not that type of guy at all.  If you thought it was them, you would REALLY be devastated if you knew who it was."   I DEFINITELY don't want to know who it is now. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

We Will Miss You Nick Ashford



Almost every Saturday, I would play 8-tracks and records when I was a child.  Oh and please understand that I had a routine AND a setlist.  My Saturday performances would start off with Ashford & Simpson's Send It on 8-track (that's right, 8 track) then segue into a Gladys Knight & the Pips 8-track Touch, George Benson's Give Me the Night, into the Flashdance soundtrack and then Off the Wall as the finale- where I would unfold the Off the Wall LP and dance with Michael Jackson during "It's the Falling In Love".  Maybe I had cabaret aspirations. Who knows?  The fact was music has always and will always be a great part of my life.  So when I heard that Nick Ashford of Ashford & Simpson passed away today, I went back to those Saturday afternoons in my mind and thanks to Spotify (no one knows where that 8 track is) I got to relive their Send It album.  It's been 30 plus years since I had heard it and I still know almost every bassline and inflection.  I remember the strings and the perfect combination of Nick and Val's voices.  They were contributing instruments all unto themselves.

I take it particularly hard when an R&B legend dies because of the state of our music today.  Ashford & Simpson had a "crazy pen game" (I got that from my music friends. Basically they were incredible songwriters), who were often duplicated and sampled.




They were some of the last of the great originals who wrote the soundtracks to our lives back when The Song was really what mattered.  It seems we have no one to carry the torch now.  Even some albums that people would call classics nowadays hearken back to the days of Motown so while they are pleasant to listen to they are far from original.  Music is in a sad state, desperately needing some original creativity and has been for some time.  We need to get back to The Song.

Along with my feelings of nostalgia, I also feel sad for Valerie Simpson much like I was sad for Ruby Dee and Paul McCartney when they lost their spouses to whom they always seemed to be joined at the hip.  It's one thing to be married to someone but to create art with someone and for your name to be synonymous with theirs as a historical figure is something else.  From writing hit songs together to performing together to running the Sugar Bar in NYC, they were indeed one.  I can't imagine what she is going through right now so let's some love and prayers her way, shall we?

Here's to a great songwriter, incomparable voice and one half of a "Solid" history making duo, Nick Ashford.  You are truly missed.

Other Ashford & Simpson penned hits:






And of course...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fun Music Friday- "I Wanna Be Down" Remix- Brandy featuring MC Lyte, Yo Yo, and Queen Latifah



1) Remember when 90% of the videos back in the day looked like this?
2) Look how CLOTHED everyone looks in this video!  Don't get me started...
3) Remember when Ray J wasn't "For the Love of Ray J" Ray J?
4) I think every girl had that one guy that came to mind when this jam came on.

Happy Friday yall!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Donnie Wahlberg!

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know we are some Blockheads with no shame. It is what it is. So in honor of Donnie Wahlberg's birthday today, here's some nostalgia to brighten up your Wednesday.



Here are just a few comments I'd like to make regarding this video in real time:
1) Joey's bedhead is giving me Teenage Dream fever.
2) Does anyone have a location on Freedom Williams from C+C Music Factory? It's been a minute.
3) Jordan Knight continues to bless me in that mustard colored jacket. He can wear a suit, can't he? And was that a church shout at 1:42? Go in Jordan!
4) If only Jon Knight would change his mind about his present situation! I mean!
5) I have no words for 2:04. Talk amongst yourselves. I cannot.
6) Pelvic thrusts aside, the breakdown in this song is one of my favorites.
7) I may/may not still know this choreography. *Looks around awkwardly*
8) Danny Wood will always be the Michael Bivins of the group.  I hear he does a workout class on the NKOTB cruise.  Does lifting my frozen margarita glass to my lips repeatedly in a lawn chair while I watch him do squats count as participation? I didn't think so.
9) I remember watching this video in high school on TRL back when MTV played videos.  To our younger readers, that's no urban legend. They did indeed play videos.
10) Don't you just miss the 90's?

Happy Wednesday yall!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Can We Talk?: Why This “Awkward Black Girl" Doesn’t Want to See The Help- Toya

I can't.

Confession: I’ve had passes for The Help for over a week and I have no desire to go.

I mean not even a little bit.  I remember seeing the previews for it and going “Ugh. Do we have to? It’s 2011.”  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should sweep the history of when black people were legally discriminated against (which was not that long ago at all) under the rug.  We better remember that. I'm not even saying that they shouldn't have made the movie. I'm just saying that as far as entertainment goes, until I see more contemporary representations of black women and our range of experiences, I will pass on movies like The Help.  And while we’re at it, I’d also like to pass on shows like Single Ladies, Basketball Why Are None of Them Wives, The Real Housewives of a Random City in the US and so on.

Please understand that I am not saying that Single Ladies and the others shows that I mentioned are of the same caliber as The Help. I don’t feel that way at all.  It just bothers me that right now we currently don’t have any successful television shows or recent movies outside of a Tyler Perry production that show black women in modern society living normal, non-ratchetty (yup, that’s a word today. Stop sweatin’ me spellcheck) lives.  This is why for me the success of the up and coming web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is crucial. 





If you are not familiar with The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl created by Issa Rae and you get what BGLU is all about, you need to get to it and watch every single episode.  I swear that if the name Awkward Black Girl would've been on the table for what to name this blog 8 years ago, that just may have made the cut.  It's the best thing since the cartoon Hey Monie.  Does anyone remember that show? I loved me some Hey Monie!



Fortunately ABG isn’t a cartoon but a very cleverly written adult show (and by 'adult' I mean the language would make the show R rated if it was on cable) that follows the main character J and her sometimes really close to home awkward misadventures from everything like office drama to romance.  It has been great to see this series get better and better with each episode and grow in popularity.  Its wild viral success enabled ABG to raise over $40,000 on Kickstarter to complete more episodes and will hopefully lead to it being picked up by a major cable network.  This is the thing: we need more shows like this.  There are so many facets of the black experience that are not being represented and it’s a huge problem.  As much as I love me some How I Met Your Mother I would absolutely love it if we could have a show like Living Single back. Maybe my frustration is why I’ve been watching so much PBS lately. Who knows? 

We need TV shows and movies that represent our diversity as a people and until that happens, I don’t want to see movies like The Help. And while we are on the subject of movies, I don't want to see any movies like The Blindside or Dangerous Minds where white people are coming to the rescue of some underprivileged black children either.  I want to see something that is a reflection of an experience that rarely gets told: my experience. My present experience.  I'm sure that The Help is a very well done movie and I know Viola Davis probably did an amazing job but I am just not feeling it.

What about you all? Have you seen The Help? If not are you planning on seeing it or have you decided not to see it?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Open Letter to Lisa Bonet - Tia

Dear Lisa Bonet,

I had planned to write you a poignant letter about how I've been a fan for some time and how wonderful I think you are. But let's be real. Your man is FINE. Girl, I'm sending you a virtual hi-five right now.  I don't know how you don't spend every moment of every day perched on his shoulders. MY LAWD!!!


But I will say this....don't ever...EVER EVER EVER, let me catch you slippin'. Real talk. You better keep that man on Rikers Island type lock-down from now until...well, forever. Because that Jason Momoa is everything I believe in. PLEASE...don't get caught out there.

Sincerely,
Tia


P.S. I am a huge fan.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I've been going about this ALL wrong - Tia

Good Morning BGLU!

I love a revelation. You know how you have that "Ooooooh" moment? You kind of have to laugh to yourself because you suddenly realize that you've been going about things the wrong way. I had such a moment when I saw this yesterday.
Now this is by NO means the best picture of Gerard Butler. (For more examples, just google him.) But take a look at the temples. While the hair has been lightened for his current role as a something or other that he's shooting in Glasgow, to me those "edges" look a bit gray. And gray looks like maturity. And maturity is usually synonymous with security. And security is the key to many things with me.

(Update: A friend of mine just sent this to me. 1. Gerard is a clown and I love it. 2. I just don't think they make what I need in this country. 3. Does anyone have a lead on jobs/flats in the UK?)




Quite a while back Toya and I were watching youtube clips of "The Real World." We may or may not have been looking for clips of Stephen slapping Irene. Anyway, David, CT, and Nathan were at the reunion show and Nathan, who I NEVER had ANY SHINE for back in the day, was there in a suit and his hair had gone significantly gray since the last time I saw him. In other words, Nathan had grown up and turned into a man. Suddenly I COULD SEE Nathan. I won't repeat what I said suffice it to say Toya screamed with laughter and we giggled about it for many days afterward.


(There's teeny bit of language in this. FYI)



(I refuse to comment on Stephen.)

But even after that moment, it still took me until YESTERDAY to realize that older is GOOD. I've been spending far too much time pining over these little boys. (I blame Robert Pattinson.) Most of my guy friends are under 30. So I've become accustomed to being around the children. But while the children are fun, I'm FAR TOO GROWN to even pretend to have a crush on any of them. Let alone think that I may find a suitable partner amongst them.

I had a baby crush on one of my friends not too long ago. While he is a great guy, he's still "finding" himself, his voice, a job. Yeah, I did that...in my 20s. And although there are days when I still am discovering Tia, I've long since left that "journey to me" stage that we go through in our 20s. Like Jay-Z said, I'm onto the next one.

Something about seeing Mr. Butler having fun but being a grown man caused something in my brain to click. I realized that I need to a.) Stop checking for these little boys and b.) accept that my age is what it is and embrace/celebrate/savor it. I'm fortunate enough to have a better understanding of who I am than I did 5 or 10 years ago. That's something that can only come with time. I refuse to be one of those women out there who is desperately clinging to bygone youth. (I'm looking at every "reality" tv "star" out there right now.) I will love and appreciate my face, my body, my mind. I will upgrade my wardrobe to reflect who I truly am. (Don't worry, I'm not going to start shopping at Ann Taylor Loft or anything. ) And I will hence forth be looking for MEN (not guys, not boys) like this:

Hill Harper - 45 
Okay, black does not crack or even crinkle....HOW is he 45???

George Clooney - 50
All day, tomorrow and twice on Saturday

Benjamin Bratt - 47
¡Ay Dios Mio!

Daniel Dae Kim - 43
Oh, now I remember why I watch Hawaii 5-0.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quitter Challenge: Chapter 3 - Tia

I was unaware that I knew Jon Acuff personally. But apparently I do, because he wrote an entire chapter about me, my fears, my procrastination issues, my money problems but changed the name to his own to protect the guilty innocent.  I joke, mostly, but as I read chapter 3, I honestly felt like it was written for and about me.

Chapter 3 opens with the way we view the risk associated with a dream. We magnify it, losing all site of the benefits the dream will offer due to the risk. We view it through the kaleidoscope, allowing fear and worry to be jumbled and multiplied until we lose sight of what the dream really is and what it presents before us. Or we view it through the telescope, acknowledging that the risks are there but that they are far off and haven't happened yet. With the telescope view we acknowledging that though there are risks associated with our dreams, a lot can happen between the risk becoming reality.

While I tend to be kaleidoscope leaning (not by choice, it just happens) I very much like the idea of putting some distance between what I long to do and the fears/risks associated with doing so. As I read, I realized that I have to CHOOSE to believe that worst might not happen. That train of thought is significantly less stressful. And less stress is good, because pursing a dream has enough stress built in.

Death to the Discussion
I don't feel like writing this right now. I am tired and sore. And had an ill-timed bout of food poisoning on a plane last night (Thank you Subway in Houston Hobby airport...seriously....don't eat there) that was so cringe inducing that all I want to do is crawl into bed and try to erase the memory of me puking in front of a plane full of people. I have every reason in the world not to blog right now. But I had to make a decision. Just like I had to decide to make a conscious decision to lose weight, get out of debt, and serve people more, I have to make a DECISION to put in the effort for BGLU.

...we know how to talk ourselves out of or into things better than anyone on the planet. - Pg 66


I could have easily come up with a list of reasons why going to bed at 7:15 would not only be prudent and beneficial but also, in light of recent events, duly earned. But as contrived as the slogan may be now, I just have to do it. To pursue the dream of being a full-time blogger and writer I have to eliminate the discussion. I have to suck it up, know that it's not always going to be perfect, and just do it. Write the blog, eat the vegetables, climb the stairs to nowhere on the Stairmaster, pay the big payments on the credit cards...but whatever it is that I need to do there can be no discussion. It just has to be done.

The three things that I fixate on the most when I think of becoming a full-time blogger/writer/music critic, rounded out the end of the chapter. (I told you that he wrote this part about me.) I am afraid to leave my job because I have too much debt. I'm afraid to fully pursue my dreams because, I'm still a bit hazy on exactly what they are. (I mean, yes I want to write and blog but should there be more? Is that it? Plus, sometimes I really want to be a Script Supervisor...I'm rambling) So what if I pursue my dreams but I'm doing the wrong thing? And at times I'm afraid to chase my dreams because I'm too old to be a dreamer. I should be doing "the dream" by now. I need to be working on other things like trying to get married and having babies, right? (My apologies if that last sentence dripped sarcasm on your monitor.)

The money part is a legitimate obstacle. But as Jon puts it, it doesn't have to be.

Get control of your finances if you really want the freedom to pursue your dream well. - Pg 76


I'm taking calculated steps to pay off my credit card debt. I just made a payment on one of my credit cards that made me a bit nauseated after I hit send. But I'm now 4 payments away from having it paid off and will have paid off 2 credit cards, leaving only 2 left to pay off before I'm completely out of debt. And I know that the weight of having that financial burden off of my shoulders will give me the freedom to take a job that may be more in line with what I want to do rather than want I have to do.

Now the "by now" part of my fears is a little bit tougher.

The problem is that "by now" is a phrase we say to ourselves when we're trying to believe the lie that it's too late to start pursuing our dream - Pg 76


I sat with that statement for quite some time. I finally had to come to the conclusion that there is no expiration date on dreams and creativity. As long as I can still dream it, I can still do it, right? I mean, within reason. I can not pass as a high school student any more. But then again, that's not my dream so it's moot. But as long as I am still able-bodied, can read and have an internet connection, my dream is completely in reach, regardless of the date on my driver's license.

The perfectionist part of my personality struggles with the idea that I'm doing the wrong thing. On an almost weekly basis, I think I made the wrong choice by moving back to Nashville, taking another job in research and not pursuing my dating options fully when I lived in other cities like New York and LA. I often lie in bed at night wondering about the "what ifs." But what's done is done. In the wise words of Coolio, "I wish I could go back. But wishin' is for suckas."

While I know that some of the choices that I've made haven't been the best, I have to believe that none of them have been life-altering, permanent course changing, dream destroying, destiny devastating choices.

...nothing you do will be wasted. Every decision you make, every path you take, has the ability to contribute something you need to succeed at your dream - Pg 81


Although I may not be able to see it now, I know the day will come when it all makes sense. The job, the location, everything will tie together and I'll have that "Oooohhh" moment. Besides, I have enough on my plate to NOT worry about things in the past that I can't change. What was it they said in that movie "Meet The Robinsons"....Keep moving forward.


Plus, John Mayer wrote me a theme song:


This moment in time is where I need to be. So I continue to chip away at the obstacles and pursue the dream. It's not easy. Some days it's not fun. But it is my dream. And I will either pursue it until I can't anymore or I won't and regret it always. Actually, I think I'll just skip the regrets if you don't mind.

Quitter Challenge Chapter 3- Toya

 

I often joke about being the black Pam Beasley, the character from The Office that you see in the above picture contemplating walking on burning coals.  I’m a receptionist at an office who stays wearing a cardigan.  Sometimes the highest part of my day is figuring out why a piece of office equipment isn’t working.  And of course, there are a few people in my office that are characters in their own right who could rival the antics of any made up sitcom character.  And yet…there’s no Jim.  I don’t quite see the fairness in that.   Anyway, where as I am a bit more courageous than the Pam Beasley character another one thing is certain: we both need a good boost of confidence when it comes to taking risks.

Chapter 3 of Quitter talks about risks and how we perceive them.  I didn’t realize how terrified I was about stretching out into some recently provided opportunities until I read Jon Acuff talk about being a “procrastinating perfectionist”.  This is me all the way.  I am so confident in things that I know I can knock out the park.  The first article I ever submitted got published.  The first benefit show I ever produced was a sell-out.  I went out for dance team and was always chosen to be one of the front dancers.  But now I am pursuing television and radio and whereas so many people have told me I would be perfect for these things, I am not perfect at all.  It is hard on so many levels! I get nervous. I don’t like the sound of my own voice and I pretty much have to talk myself off a ledge before I record.  Just recently I recorded a show (nope, not posting the link. Don’t even ask) and I had no idea that I smack my teeth! What?! On top of that, I’ve done media coaching for artists to prepare them to be on the radio. It’s pretty hard to coach yourself so I wasn’t aware of this…tick?

*Me listening to the audio* “Wait, did I do that the whole time? Oh my gosh!” *Clicks off after five minutes never to listen to it again*

I’m not great at it now but I COULD be. I just have to give myself a chance and not drag my feet in trying things again and again when I feel that I didn't do well the first (or second or third) time.  My stomach turned out of nervousness just writing that. 

My reasons for wanting to try television have nothing to do with being famous but everything to do with telling great stories about great people, places and things; stories that will inspire people and change their lives.  Because my motives aren’t all about me, it pushes me to try.  This quote from Jon Acuff helped as well:

“90% perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100% perfect and stuck in your head…if you goal is to change the world, you have to step out and share your work.”

I have some really cool ideas and could easily hand them off to someone else and play the behind the scenes roles. I am really ok with that. But I shouldn’t be. So in Acuff’s words, I am going to have to “quit perfect”, allow some embarrassments and work towards being great.  It won’t be quick but it will be worth it.

Another thing chapter 3 talks about is the discussion we have with ourselves to talk ourselves in and out of things. Oh I am a pro at this. I think most people are. And don’t be a spiritual person like a Christian.  If you are you can always tack on the excuses “I will have to pray about that” or “I don’t feel led to do that right now” while Jesus is on the side giving you a righteous side eye.  Excuses, excuses. According to Quitter, the best way to crush the discussions are with decisions. Make a decision and every time you want to debate with yourself about it, tell yourself that you have already made the decision and there are no negotiations.  Kind of like TLC in “No Scrubs”- “No, I don’t want that cupcake, no, I’m not gonna hit the snooze bar and no…”

I am convinced that only sane people talk to themselves. 

The last thing I’d like to mention about what’s in Chapter 3 is the part about the excuse of not having enough time. I recently went on a fast and because I found myself more excited about the inevitable weight loss than hearing from the Lord (Real talk. Don’t act like you’ve never done that) I decided to cut out television too. Oh my gosh what a difference in my peace of mind! So what I’ve done is try to cut down on my TV watching and have a set schedule of what I want to watch. If it’s not on, I’m not channel surfing. If I want to watch something, I watch my half hour or hour and then I get to work on something.  I have a lot more time in my day than I thought; just don’t let there be How I Met Your Mother marathon on.

What it boils down to for me is making decisions and sticking to them no matter how scary the risks are and to not expect perfection.  I remember my dad telling me a few times after getting a less than stellar report card from me that I didn’t have to be perfect, I just had to try. To make your dreams come true, you have to try. You also need to remember that you, not just your dreams, but YOU are worth the try.  You’re worth the effort.  You deserve the best but you have to try your best. It’s not easy but you have to believe that you’re worth it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun Music Friday- "Can't Play with My Yo Yo'"- Yo Yo



 "We gotta find somebody that's down for hers, man. All these sympin', man. Who you think fit the category?"

Before female rappers made their living off of playing sex kitten to live up to men's fantasies and gain their approval, we had a string of female rappers with skills not overshadowed by their sexuality.  Yo Yo was definitely one of those rappers. Does anyone else remember those floppy velvet hats? And her green jacket! *Sigh* We miss the 90's.  Have a great weekend!- Toya

Monday, August 1, 2011

This Just In: Jordan Knight ft. Donnie Wahlberg "Stingy"

 This is Toya and I already know that Tia will have MUCH to say about Donnie's appearance in this video so I will leave that up to her but in the meantime, I would like to render my two cents:



1. The Knight brothers sleep in oxygen tanks. It's just that simple.  I've seen both of them up close and there's no way in the world they are 40 and over. I won't receive it. Jordan looks the same in person as he does in this video.  Maybe it's Maybelline? No, maybe he gets a good 7 hours of beauty sleep a night in a well confined oxygen chamber.  
2. I've had this song on repeat since it was sent to us (thanks Lei) so it's safe to say that this is my jam right now. It's Jordan Knight and PM Dawn. What else is there not to like?
3. Did he say "You should be wifey?" Don't ask me why that's funny. I have no explanation.
4. I feel like that's a side eye at 2:28.  I could be wrong but...
5. I know I said I wasn't going to comment on Donnie but let me say this: I'd like to applaud him for wearing a V-neck with an appropriate length for a grown man.  Have you seen these guys out here lately with the V-necks almost down to the navel? I have a friend who rocks one and his defense was "It's an American Apparel v-neck."  I then asked him "Can you go back and get an American Apparel dickie because, no sir. Uh uh."

What do you all think about the new video?