Wednesday, March 28, 2012

B.Reith Tribute To Trayvon Martin ("The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby)



We sure love us some B. Reith around these parts (I mean, he is from around the way). Check out his tribute to Trayvon Martin with his spin on Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is".

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chaka Khan, Boris Kudjoe, Angela Bassett and More Collaborate for "Fear Kills. Love Heals."



Chaka Khan, Boris Kudjoe, Angela Bassett, Eric Benet and many others collaborated to remake Chaka's "Super Life" to bring the message of "Fear Kills, Love Heals" in regards to the Trayvon Martin tragedy. Great song with a great message.

Monday, March 26, 2012

More Thoughts on the Murder of Trayvon Martin: A Look at Personal Responsibility in Regards to Hate- Toya



In the words of Lauryn Hill, the following goes "for me first".

What's bothering me more than anything (for the time being anyway) regarding the murder of Trayvon Martin is how this tragedy has become so politically charged.  I don't understand for the life of me how this matter became so complex. A grown man shot and killed an unarmed child after being told by the authorities to not react. Evidence is being revealed moment by moment that he did not do so in self defense and yet he is free.  And yet so far people have blamed everything from Trayvon Martin walking around in a gated community in the first place (where his father probably chose to reside because it seemed safe, GO FIGURE) to the very hoodie that he was rightfully wearing because it was raining. I don't quite understand how the victim is to blame here. I think we can all admit that our legal system is jacked up and so many changes need to be made. In addition to that though, I feel that we also need to take an honest look at ourselves regarding some things that a lot of us deal with personally: our own hate, anger and bitterness.

The thing that is becoming more and more apparent to me is that the same seed of hate exacerbated by fear that caused George Zimmerman to go against authorities and take matters into his own hands (he should be in jail on that alone) is the same seed of hate that many of us carry for either a group of individuals or someone in particular. It comes from the exact same place. That scares me. A lot. In small doses I see it almost everyday on my Facebook and Twitter timelines: this political party hating that political party, Christians hating Christians, women hating men, men hating women, people hating on haters who hate on them (enough of this already, please), people hating famous people that they have never even met and so on and so forth. Sure some may just shrug it off and chalk some of these things up to bitterness or "righteous anger". That's almost valid until you look at the definitions of bitterness and hate.

Bitterness- resentment: a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
Hate-  intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.

The dangerous roots of hate and bitterness are kissing cousins and they do not lie stagnant. Hate and bitterness are both fueled by anger and regardless of being ignored or fed, they grow.  Sometimes they do more harm inside the person in which they grow and can render someone emotionally paralyzed.  In this case, sometimes they grow so uncontrollably that people on the outside get hurt or worse.  No one just wakes up one day and becomes a cold blooded killer of an unarmed child. Something first had to grow.  No one just wakes up and opens fire on a group of abortion workers. Something first had to grow.  I hope that this tragedy encourages us to make sure that we are uprooting the same roots of hate and bitterness from our hearts as soon as they become apparent, no matter how small they may seem.  So with all my heart I plead, as we try to figure out what to do next, for each of us to please take an honest look at ourselves. Let us begin to forgive, reconcile with, and love the people that we hate and have ill will towards and encourage others in love to do the same. And let me make something very clear: in no way do I believe that you have to agree with someone to love them. That's not anywhere in the definition of love. Some of the people I love the most I disagree with the most. But we cannot move forward if we don't deal with the matter of hate. We cannot move forward in trying to eliminate these types of tragedies if we do not know how to deal with our own hate and anger and if we don't teach our children how to deal with their own hate and anger. We can't let these things grow among us anymore.

I don't know how George Zimmerman began to hate.  I don't know if at one point there was a "sense of injury".  But the moment he decided that he didn't like a certain kind of people that looked a certain kind of way, that thing grew and grew. And now Trayvon Martin, dead at 17 years old, is famous only for the heart breaking reason of his life being senselessly cut short. We'd all be delusional to think that if we are not diligent to remove any hate or bitterness in our hearts that we could not eventually be guilty of something just as ruthless.

Hebrews 12:15- See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

"Father, father, we don't need to escalate. War is not the answer. Only love can conquer hate" Marvin Gaye "What's Going On"


Friday, March 23, 2012

Fun Music Fridays- Gina Thompson's "The Things You Do" featuring Missy Elliot



Man can I use a Fun Music Friday today! Whew! What a week it's been.

There are certain songs that remind me of springtime and summertime and this is definitely one of them.  It has hit as high as 85 degrees here in Nashville and I am so ready for some warm weather fun. Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

God Help Trayvon Martin's Family. Please.



"Skittles and iced tea.  Skittles and iced tea?!?!?!"  I must have said that phrase over and over about thirty times yesterday. After going to 7-11 to grab some Skittles and iced tea, 17 year old Trayvon Martin was murdered for basically walking in a gated community while black. When you think about it, the gated security should have been in place to keep HIM safe from harm. After all communities are gated to keep those who reside there or are visiting those who reside there safe from harm. I really don't have the words for any of this.

I apologize on behalf of BGLU for not posting anything about this sooner. The fact of the matter is Tia is away on business and I have been here for days trying to muster up the words to express my sorrow and anger about this. The last thing I wanted to do was just write a string of curse words. The truth is that I am still in a state of disbelief. I sit here typing this with this picture of this sweet child...CHILD...looking back at me and I feel horribly sad, helpless and full of questions.

I will risk giving the biggest understatement of the day by saying that it takes a cold blooded killer to shoot an unarmed child in the chest. I say this because I cannot help but think that no matter what this man was out to kill someone's black child that day. We joke about how we "wish someone would try" to do something but this man literally was waiting on the day to be I guess what he thought was a hero. To rid his community of...of what really? See I have no words. Because if I did that means I will have made sense of this senseless crime and that is completely impossible. So to keep from rambling let me just offer this:

To read more about why George Zimmerman, Trayvon's killer, is not in jail and about the Stand Your Ground act that has gone horribly wrong in the state of Florida, click here.


To sign the petition started by Trayvon's mother on Change.org, click here.

And one more thing: while I won't tell you to not let your children go out for Skittles and iced tea, I would like to offer this: please please please let your children know and hell, remind yourself that when hatred takes root it can grow into something gross, dangerous, and senseless. It's capable of doing some despicable things with no just cause and no good reason no matter how "little" you think your personal hatred may be. George Zimmerman just didn't wake up and become a cold blooded killer. Something had to take root. So if you hate someone or some group of people, I encourage and plead with you to get yourself together. Anyone that continues to walk in hatred over time is not above doing something as senseless as taking this child's life.

God this hurts.

Friday, March 16, 2012

BGLU GOT FIVE ON IT!!!



As this goes to press....(does stuff even go to press anymore) BGLU is creating a CafePress account so that we can make "FREE SEXY GEORGE!!" t-shirts.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Favorite Geek Thing of the Moment - Tia


If you've been reading for any amount of time you know a few things about me. 1. I'm a Nerd and proud of it. 2. I like zombies and weird things. 3. I try to get/stay/pretend to be in shape. 4. I love all things British. Now if you roll all of those things together you get the new app "Zombies, Run!"

Last month while in Pittsburgh, I think, I was listening to NPR. I came in on the tail end of an interview with British writer Naomi Alderman. She was describing the app and although I only caught the very end of the interview, I was immediately intrigued when I heard the words, "The first time they [the zombies] catch you..." Wait...WHAT?!?!?!  I didn't know what it was but I knew I had to have it. I listened to the final 30 seconds of the interview and grabbed a pen and scrawled the words "zombies" and "run" on my arm. 

Random Aside: I have a phone and a blackberry for work. Both have various checklists and note taking apps/bells/whistles and such. But I am absentminded to a fault. Much like a toddler, if I can't see it, it doesn't exist. So while I probably would have seen the electronic note in my phone at some point, I would DEFINITELY see the word "zombie" written on my arm until the next morning when I showered and would be more inclined to follow up sooner rather than later...Moving on. 

After I was fully ensconced at my hotel, I googled NPR, Zombies and Run and was taken to NPR's article on the app and the full 4:30 minute interview with Ms. Alderman. The object of the game/app is simple: you are Runner 5 and you're on a mission to collect supplies and complete various other tasks all the while outrunning the zombies who are shambling about in the area. As you complete the missions, others unfold. The more supplies you collect and assign to your base the larger it grows.  But the main goal is to keep running and not get eaten. 



I LOVE this app. I used it this morning and ran further than I've run in a long time. (First time back REALLY running since the stress fracture.) The breaks between zombie chases and mission info is great for interval training. And bonus...at least for me...all of the people guiding you through the mission are BRITISH!!! I could run FOREVER!!! The only downside for me is that my iPod doesn't have GPS capabilities without WiFi, so there's no way to tell a.) how far I've run and b.) the zombies can never really catch me because the app is unable to gauge how fast I'm running. The app works best with an iPhone with GPS enabled. Although, the website states that there's an Android version coming this Spring. I fully intend on either getting an unlocked/jailbroken iPhone or downloading the Android version when it's available. (In case you're wondering: I am NOT looking to get a $400 phone so I can use an $8 app. I love T-Mobile and don't want to leave. But I also LOVE iPhones and have been toying with the idea of getting one. To reiterate: I AM NOT getting a $400 phone for a zombie app.) 

Due to the stress fracture I wasn't able to do Run For Your Lives! in Atlanta. However, I'm really hoping to be able to do one of the runs San Diego, St. Louis or Orlando. If I do the Orlando run I may try to talk Blaine into doing it with me. Between the boxing on the weekends, the "Zombies, Run!"app, the marathon viewings of The Walking Dead (I love you, Andrew Lincoln!!) and my handgun training, I am certain to survive the zombie apocalypse that will descend upon us on December 21, 2012. The Mayans had it wrong. The world isn't going to end...at least not for some of us. (insert evil laugh here)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We Continue to Heart BRKN RBTZ - Tia


Some things are just a no brainer. Free samples. Buying crack laced Girl Scout cookies every Spring. (You can't tell me they don't put crack in those things.) And being a BRKN RBTZ fan. Remember way back when we told you about Brian McKnight's sons' band? If not, go here.

I hope by now you've done your due diligence and are following them on Twitter, have bookmarked their website, and have downloaded as many of their songs as possible. (No link for that...I'm working on it. You used to be able to download from Facebook. If I find a B.R. approved site for downloading I'll let you know.) You can't complain about the lack of good music if you don't support the good stuff that's out there. BRKN RBTZ continues to churn out songs that make you sing along, and swoon and generate every other wonderful action and emotion that should come with great music.

The first time I heard "Marry Your Daughter" I almost cried. And I type that with no shame whatsoever. I am a hopeless romantic. Like, penny with a hole in it, hopeless. So the idea of a man asking my dad for my hand in marriage is the stuff that I've dreamt about since I was little. I love the idea of romance and marriage. I want to be on a team. You want me on your squad as your ride or die boo. And since every adventure needs a soundtrack, I'd like to personally thank BRKN RBTZ for writing the opening number to mine.





P.S. If anyone knows where I can get that shirt that BJ is wearing, drop me a link in the comments.

Happy Birthday INDEED!!! - Tia

Apparently, this is "fine man" birthday week. I didn't know...


First I'd like to send a shout out to Common's mom and dad for making him 40 years (and 40 weeks) ago today. My LAWD!!! Where would we be without this man's fineness? Seriously...Common is fine as frog's hair. If this is what 40 looks like then I'm in all day and twice on the Sabbath. HALLE-LUJAH!!!
MY LAWD!!! His smile is IGNORANT!!!

 SERIOUSLY!!! I....can't..

Next I want to send a belated Happy Birthday to the husband of my number one girl crush, Robin Thicke. We've been some Thicke fans around here since WAY BACK!! As that is someone's husband, I'll refrain from saying too much. So....ummm...Happy Birthday...and ummm...You Fine!!! and ummm...Good Day.


I'm supposed to do what with this look...?

I used this picture to remind me that he has a wife...he has a wife...he has a wife. 


 I need one of these for my very own!! Lord hear a sistah's PRAYERS!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekend Roundup


Lenny Kravitz is GORGEOUS!!! MY GOODNESSSSSSSSSSSSSS - Socialite Life

John...Boo...BGLU is praying for you - USAToday

I'm confused...This ISN'T The Crow? OH...it's from the new Lone Ranger movie. Yeah...it still looks like The Crow to me. - LA Times

OH. EMM. GEEEEE!!! PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE bring back Name That Tune. Toya and I would DOMINATE on this game - Hollywood Reporter

I might actually get an iPad. But since this one is called "The New iPad" does that mean it's the LAST iPad? I only ask because if this one is the "new" one, what will they call the next one? "The Newer One" sounds dumb and is a slippery slope - Mashable

NEW HUNGER GAMES CLIP WITH LENNY KRAVITZ!!!!!!!



You know what...these two little girls made me tear up. Yes, young girls...FIGHT BACK! - The Stir

Here's the thing: I don't have kids. I taught pre-school for a while but I know that's not the same. By the same token, I fly A LOT. And an unruly child can mess everyone's flight/ While I'm not saying kids are easy to wrangle, if you can't get your kid to obey the basic rules of SITTING DOWN then I don't think your kid is ready to fly. - Shine from Yahoo!

I need Rihanna's dad to go to the closest football/basketball/soccer arena and take each and every last seat. - HuffPo

Thursday, March 8, 2012

GCB or "You mad..?" - Tia


ABC has been relentless in their marketing for the new show GCB. (You'll have to google it to find out what it stands for if you don't already know. And I don't care what they say, the "B" ain't for "Belles.") iTunes had the premier episode available for free last week and as I am a sucker for most free things on iTunes and endless, brain washing marketing I downloaded it. I watched it on my flight to...wherever I was going...and I won't lie, I laughed. There was some mildly racy commentary and based on the opening scene there's a reason it comes on at 10pm EST. It's not for the kids. But it's moderately witty...I did not expect someone name Bridget Sanchez-Fong to be black and nearly choked on my water when she came on the screen.

And maybe because I grew up in church, a lot of the characters seems relatable and oddly familiar. It's cute enough. I don't know that I'll be setting the DVR as it is already bursting at the seams. But if it's on in passing I may sit down and take a look.

However, unbeknownst to me until very recently, there is already a growing backlash against the show from what I can only assume is the conservative Christian Right. Apparently, the depiction of Christian women in the south is rubbing some people all the wrong way. And after watching the show, I get it. If you didn't know any better, you'd think that the church is filled with back-biting, intolerant, jealous, conniving women with nothing better to do than undercut one another under the guise of holiness. But see here's the thing...as I mentioned before, I grew up in the church. As such, I have met each and every one of the women on GCB. I'm not saying it's right...it's just a fact.

No church is perfect and any pastor who says his is is lying and you need to run far and fast. Just by walking in the door, I make a church imperfect. But isn't that the point? The people who are having the biggest problem with the show probably attend a church chock full GCBs and they're mad because ABC had the audacity to put them on blast. Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they go to one of the only almost perfect churches on earth and really have no concept of women such as these....NAW...that's not it.

Like I said, I get how some could be offended. The Church and its members hardly EVER get a fair shake in mainstream media. We are often depicted as backwards, unforgiving and basically completely opposite of the Jesus we claim to love and follow. But I have to ask, shouldn't we shoulder some of the blame for that? Some of the people with the loudest voices are saying some of the ugliest things...(looking at you Westboro) and those of us who truly believe in loving our neighbors sit idly by and do NOTHING. Evil should never have a louder voice than good.

And when we are represented in a positive light, some of us still find a way to criticize. How can we expect the world to take Christians seriously when we can't stop back-biting and fighting amongst ourselves? How can we chastise those outside the church for not loving their neighbor when we're tossing side-eyes at the chick in the pew in front of us for cutting us off in the parking lot?

While I see how people could have a grievance with the show, rather than wasting time and energy trying to get it off of the air, why not refocus some of that effort towards being a light in a dark world. Instead of being mad because some fictional character from a non-existent church said something that rubbed you the wrong way, turn off the television, head down the street and see if your neighbor needs anything because her husband is serving overseas, his wife just passed away, their child/parent/sibling is ill. Instead of fretting over a show THAT'S NOT REAL, why not BE the change you want to see in the world. If more of us who call ourselves followers of the teachings of Christ actually...I don't know...followed the teachings of Christ more often, then shows like GCB would be moot. (And I am WHOLEHEARTEDLY throwing myself under the bus with this one...I'm basically talking to myself at this point.) If more people SAW Christians loving, caring and extending kindness then THAT is what would come to mind when people think of church go-ers. If we don't want to be GCBs then we must stop acting like GCBs. Simple, no?

I'm just saying...it's funny because it's true

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Are We Ready for This?: Oprah Interviews Whitney Houston's Family for Oprah's Next Chapter

Sneak Preview: Oprah Interviews Whitney Houston's Family

On Sunday, March 11, Oprah sits down with Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina; her sister-in-law, Patricia Houston; and her brother, Gary Houston, on a special episode of Oprah's Next Chapter airing at 9/8c, only on OWN. Bobbi Kristina shares personal memories of her mom and how she would like the iconic superstar to be remembered. The family also addresses the rumors and speculation surrounding Houston's death. Watch a sneak preview now.

I seriously don't know if I'm ready for this and I wasn't even related to Whitney Houston. Just seeing the previews made me queasy. And why are we still talking about Bobby Brown?! See...I can't. I'm verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. Are you ready for this?- Toya

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Just because - Tia


So I was on Netflix to see if Journeyman is available to stream or on DVD (it's not.) After my hot Ginge post I found myself wanting to revisit the show. Since it was not available Netflix suggested that I might like Day Break with Taye Diggs. Wait...13 episodes of Taye Diggs. Yes, please and thank you. Now excuse me whilst I paint my nails and drool.

Happy Sunday BGLU!!

Gingers are having the best week ever - Tia

I feel like Gingers often get a bad rap. We've all heard the jokes (which I usually don't find funny), seen the cruel videos (which I'm not even remotely inclined to post here) and at some point felt a bit sorry for their easily sunburnt skin. For the most part, our Irish descended brothers and sisters don't get a lot of love.

But this week, at least with me, the gingers are having the best week ever.

First there was the guy at the gym who was taking me through all kinds of changes. When I'm at the gym, I usually just try to mind my own business, get my workout on and bounce. I'm not really chatty or there to make friends. I'm just trying to get into my goal skinny jeans and then be on to the next one. But this past Monday, there was a sexy red-head doing his THANG at the gym. My Lord and my GAWD!! I had a perfect view of him lifting and such from my elliptical and thus spent far longer than I planned ellipticalling to nowhere. (Aside: what's it called when you're on the elliptical? Walking? Shuffling? Ellipticalling? Whatever...) A friend of mine suggested that I should have asked him out this being Leap Year and what not. But I'm old fashioned and like to be pursued. I'll throw you hints, smiles and do every thing short of grabbing some of the lights that the guys who help land planes use to let you know I'm interested. But you've got to be the pursuer. (There's a whole blog post stewing in my brain about that topic.)

Anyway, hot workout Ginge has me planning to sweat it up at the same time from now on if it means I get to gaze about his fiery goodness and gorgeous freckled face.

Then this happened on 2 Broke Girls:

Skip to 7:05 for the Irish goodness
I was minding my own business and THIS dude wants to show up, be tall and hot and...are some of those tattoos real? My DVR is about 90% full. I need to delete a lot of stuff. This episode, however, is not going anywhere. Like Max said, "Your body looks SICK." This dude makes me want to hop a plane to Ireland RIGHT NOW!!!

So in honor of the Ginges having the best week ever, here a few of my favorite hot red-heads:

Rupert Grint

Not even gonna lie, I know the movies are called Harry Potter and the (inordinately long title here.) But Ron was ALWAYS my favorite. Maybe it was because he was the only one to curse or maybe it was because he was just a regular dude. I don't know. But whatever it was, Ron was always my HP fav above all the others.


Michael Fassbender

Okay, I know this picture is in black and white and thus you are unable to behold Michael in all of his ginger glory. But this man is fine and this picture is my favourite. So feel free to go here or here to partake of Michael in all of his wondrous red-headed goodness.

Kevin McKidd

I need Owen and Christina to make up on Grey's. I can't handle them fighting. I mean, don't get me wrong; I've been a fan since Journeyman so I'm not going to stop liking Kevin if he and Christina's character don't make it. But I'm going to be really sad. I like them together. (Are you listening Shonda Rhimes? Give the fans what they want.) I mean...for real though...look at those eyes. *swoon*

So your job for this week is simple: if you see a auburn-haired brother or sister, walk up to them and hi-five, hug, or whatever else you feel led to do (if you end up in jail it's on you) to let them know that they are appreciated, loved and maybe a little coveted. Long Live The Ginges.

Weekend Roundup


John Mayer debuted a new song this week. Welcome back, Boo. We've missed you. - HuffPo




The Hunger Games is out in 3 weeks. I (Tia) literally changed my work schedule so that I could fly home in time to see the Midnight showing on March 23. Yes, it's that serious. -  Entertainment Weekly

There are times when I get really sad that I don't have kids. (Not often...and not today after sleeping 10 hours last night...just being honest) But then I read stuff like this and I'm sad for the kids and the people who have to combat all of the crap this world throws on said kids. - CNN

Attention: Black Girl Nerds, those who love Black Girl Nerds and anyone else who understands how awesome BGNs are, this is my new favorite site and you need to go to there. - Black Girl Nerds

I've been a Crystal Renn fan for a minute. (See this post) And I understand that if you were a fan of hers when she was plus-size you could feel a way about her now that she's not. BUT C'MON MAN!!! The girl is about her hustle. It's her right to be thick, thin or other. Hateration is not cute - Radar

I know I already made a Hunger Games reference....but I'm EXCITED!! Katniss > Bella.




Katniss is a BAMF!!!

If you like Downton Abbey and Beyoncé/Destiny's Child, then you will LOVE this - Downton Abbeyoncé

I like how people are all in an uproar about the comments that Rush Limbaugh made. He's an idiot. This is not new information. Much like how we're all aware that water is wet, the sun is hot and Chris Brown should be banned from Twitter, some things we know to be inherently and irrevocably true - The Stir

Not gonna even front or try to be holy, Tupac could have gotten it without trying. So this new musical is probably going to be right up my alley - NME

Psych is back. I need to meet Shawn and Gus (James and Dulé). Especially since Blaine and I are basically them minus the "psychic" stuff. - USA Network



 
C'mon SON! How are you not watching this show?



Alright BGLUers, make it a great week. LATERS!!!