Friday, December 31, 2010

We Need A Resolution...

I can't believe 2010 is over. Where does the time go?
It seems like it was just 2008...and now it's about to be 2011. God save us.
Anyway...you know what that means...it's time for Resolutions.

For the past week, all of the social sites I frequent are being run over with "My 2011 Resolution", everyone is talking about what they are going to do and change for the new year. And I am so over it.

Earlier this week I was contemplating my own resolutions and I found myself listing the same things I have listed for the past 4 years (money resolutions, eat better, spend time with friends, finish writing...I GOT TO WRITE!) and it's like...this doesn't make any sense. When I resolve to do something one year, I feel like I shouldn't still have to work on it the next year unless it's a long term goal (i.e. graduate from a doctoral program!). I can't keep doing this to myself. I am starting to feel like a failure.

Enough of this talk! It's time for action. There are several things I NEED to do...there are several things I WANT to do...but I am not going to list them and say "This year I'll do it". I'm just going to do it. I hate resolutions...because if you want to change your life, you will change it...you won't wait for the new year. You'll just go for it.

I am going to let life come as it may and just work on becoming a better person in general. This is not a resolution, this is me changing my life. I do resolve to do one thing. My friend and I had a discussion a while ago, and then recently another one. He said I always tell people I hate them. I told him I do it out of love...I only say that to those I love. More discussion is realized, I send mixed signals, I shouldn't spread hate...spread love.

So from now on...no more "I hate you"s to my friends, family, the people I love...I'll replace that hate with love. "I love you". I love all of you! You guys are awesome...you are my rock...you are my heart. I can't make it without all the people who support me. I will never tell you I hate you again...even though I mean it in the most loving way.

Let's Party...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!!!!

I can't believe it's Christmas.
I've been in NYC for almost three whole months. It's so unbelievable. And this has been like the best and worst three months of my 2010 life. It started really high, then dropped really low...and now it's like even. I am just coasting along. I'm trying to make it in this concrete jungle!

I look at my Celibacy blog and think "Oh I was MAD when I wrote that mess..." because you know I was. Not to say I've been getting it in, because I haven't. But let's be honest...if I meet the right man...celibacy won't last that long. However, I will be more picky about my dealings, which is the most important lesson.

Anyway...it's Christmas!!!!! I just want to wish my readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Festivus, Happy Kwanza...whatever you celebrate! I hope you have a beautiful holiday. I love that you guys liked my blog enough to follow it...and to read and to comment. It means a lot to me when people tell me how much they like my blog or how something I said meant something to them...etc etc.

I write to stay sane. Thank you for helping me not go crazy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Love Lockdown: The Celibacy Blog

I am so tired of sex. I am so over it, I can't even find the words to express my disdain for casual encounters. This is not to say I'm having all types of wild sex every day of my life. I am not. Matter of fact, I haven't had sex in approximately 6 weeks...maybe even longer but I am not inclined to break out my calendar and figure out the exact day and time my last physical penetrative encounter occurred. I just know it was in October.

Anyway...let me stop sounding like a prude. Sex is actually quite awesome with the right person. I am a choosy lover...I don't have random encounters of the third kind. I sleep with people I actually like and want a relationship with...that sounds odd huh? Yeah I am different. Despite my musings on here, twitter, and random other social networking sites, I am not some insatiable woman who can not be pleased.

Sex for me is the next level of a relationship; it adds to our understanding of each other and it's almost spiritual in a way. Not some "oh I see God"  type of way but in a "man and woman were created for each other" type of way (with all due respect to gays and lesbians, but being that I am straight, I'll write a straight blog). Nothing pleases me more than physically building with a man who I already enjoy on a platonic, non physical level. Casual sex means nothing to me and most of the time I am left with regret. I find myself "I don't even like this guy like this, so why bother?"

Yes why bother? These past two weeks some males have been attempting to get my attention. I have been very standoffish and unresponsive. I almost cried a few weeks ago when a good friend spent the night (to make sure I was okay) and decided at 2 am that we should have sex. I said no but he kept forcing the issue, pulling on my clothes, and it seemed like a date rape situation was about to go down. He finally got the point and left. Another male (or two) have been sending me texts and BBM's spouting how they would like to be invited over for some wild good times in my small ass room on my air mattress. No thank you.

The fact that these men are so focused on sex with me is a turn off. I am not saying this to brag. I am saying this because obviously men are confused about women. FACT: Women can get sex anytime they want to.  I can sleep with any man I want if I put my mind to it. It's not hard (for me at least...I don't know about you other women...). So the fact that sex is what you are offering me like it's a prize makes you really seem somewhat desperate. The prize is not me having sex with you. It's you having sex with me. I love hard. Why should just any old man get that?

With that said, I'm over it. My love is on lockdown. The next person I have sex with should be my next husband. I'm tired of wasting my loving on fleeting romances and undeserving men. You want this...you gonna have to put in work. I won't lie tho...there is someone who has my attention. And to them I'll say this...




Tuesday, November 30, 2010

5 Minute Blogs: Computer Love

 Zapp and Roger were ahead of their time. This song was released in 1985. 1985!!!! You know what else came out in 1985? The movie "Weird Science". Now what baffles me is this use of the internet to meet women in 1985. I had no clue what a computer was until I was like 16 years old. I mean I saw computers, but I didn't know what "internet" was until what...1998 when I went to college. And I lost my mind.

The first thing I discovered that I could do on the computer was play spades. I wasted many days and nights playing epic spades battles on Yahoo! I became a fan of "double blind" suicide games. If you don't know, suicide is when someone on each hand goes "nil". Double blind means you bid nil without even seeing your hand. This was serious business on Yahoo! I mean games could go on for hours especially once they introduced ladders and rankings. Lord...I loved it.

Now serious business is finding love on the internet. It baffles me how popular dating websites have become in the past few years. When I listen to "Computer Love" I am like hol up...how were they talking and dating back then? There were webcams in the 1980s? E-Harmony? I mean how did this work? I am now convinced Zapp and Roger went to the future (which is now) and sent the song back to past (1985). How else could they accurately describe and convey how many people feel now? I sometimes find myself seeing a fly ass guy on the internet and I start humming "I want to love you baby".

But I am a punk. I am not going to holla at anyone on the computer. I feel like that's my last resort. All these people I know personally, I can't connect with one of them and fall in love? Apparently not. But I'll be damned if I spend money on the computer to meet someone. (Shout out to Branden: You my computer love tho...Let me upgrade you).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Never Stop, Never Giving Up...

Earlier this week I tweeted "Seriously, living is the hardest thing I've ever had to do". This was met with various replies, inboxes, and text messages. Apparently this statement is very depressing. Subsequent to this statement, I talked to a few friends and I repeated this statement to one in particular.

He says "What is hard about life?"

I say "Everything. Life is not easy." Because to me it's not. It never has been. I never woke up and thought "Wow, life is so easy and grand! This is so awesome." He proceeds to make some type of analogy to a single cell germ and I can't.com but somehow the friction that is our converstation leaves me fulfilled enough to know that while we don't see eye to eye, we can somehow inspire each other.

Most of the time I wake up feeling the struggle. Life is a struggle. I have said this forever. Or maybe I should say this: My life is a struggle. I am not trying to make it harder than it is...I just have accepted the fact that if I want to win, I do have to "Go Hard or Go Home" all the time. I pride myself in going through what I've been through and still being alive. A weaker person would have killed theirselves by now.

Despite my somewhat bleek outlook on life...I love it more than anything. It's a blessing to wake up. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my life. I worked hard for what I have. And I will continue to work hard. I am a realist. My life is not a fairy tale...and I dont' know the ending.

suffice to say...all I can do is continue to pray for the best and work my ass off until my destiny is fulfilled.

Author's Note: Yeah this is a love song. But it's a feel good song. When I feel down, this is what I play.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Movies You Should See: "For Colored Girls...

Who Considered Suicide When Is Enuf"

When I first heard about this movie, I was excited! I am not one of those people who dislike Tyler Perry. I think the man is extra as hell and does 10 times too much in many of his movies, but there are a few films by him that I thoroughly enjoyed. Those films just happen to be the non-Medea films (except "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" which I liked a lot despite the wife's need to get back at a cripple man). For Colored Girls is a non-Medea film, I was sure I would enjoy it.

For those who haven't read the book (a collection of 20 poems) or seen the play, For Colored Girls gives poetic insight on the lives of several different women of color. The women, from various places across the US, are represented by the colors of the rainbow, except one (the lady in brown) and throughout the play they are telling their individual story through poetic prose.

I think Tyler Perry did an excellent job sticking to the essence of the book. Of course, he added his own touch and switched up the story line to make it relevant for today (to get writer's credit too of course). The story is set in Harlem, present day with Phylicia Rashad playing the apartment manager who is watching the story unravel. Perry chose the right people and the right poems for this play. One has to thank God that Mariah Carey dropped out and Thandi filled in. She was perfect in the role of the "Lady in Orange". She exuded a sensuality and cool attitude that Mariah could not pull off.

Somewhat of a new comer, Tessa Thompson was excellent as the "Lady in Purple". I found her recitation of "Graduation Night" to be one of the best I have ever seen. The background setting, Tessa talking to her dance classmates, was perfect and her delivery of the poem was so seamless and smooth, I didn't even feel like she was saying a poem. She was spinning a magnificent tell. Journee Smollett originally had this role and while I love Journee, I am so glad Tessa had a chance to make this role hers.

The remainder of the cast did what they always do. Loretta (Green) always plays the woman longing for a man, but I love her rendition of "Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff". Janet Jackson (Red) is not a great actress to me, and her monologue did not move me. She cries out of one eye only. I couldn't get past it. Kerry Washington (Blue) did not get enough shine. I wish there was more she could have done. Her story was incomplete. Anika Rose (Yellow) was beautiful; and I must give props to Perry for writing a completely original monologue for her to perform in the hospital. It was also a highlight. Whoopi's character (White) was written for the movie. I didn't understand why she was necessary. Less Whoopi more Kerry please. And to end with, Kimberly Elise (Brown) who manages to always play the woman with the fucked up life. She owns those types of roles so I can't hate.

One surprise was Macy Gray. I loved her as the abortion "doctor". I felt that she owned those 5 minutes she was on the film and brought a lot of emotion to the scene at hand. Perry also knows how to pick a delicious man to play a role! Michael Ealy...outstanding and scary. Khalil Kain...outstanding and scary too. I must give thanks for Michael Cory Davis! He's the man with the cut body and locs who gets out of the bed at the beginning. I know there is a God because men like him exist.

Overall...I loved the movie. There was some concern that Perry couldn't do this film justice because he is a man. I disagree. I think he made the play relevant for today's times and did the best that could have been done given that this is a book of poetry he had to make into a play. The only thing I really disliked: Thandi and Whoopi's simultaneous monologues.

I have to say 4 out of 5.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rock the Vote? No Thank You...

I'm not voting today.

Go ahead and judge me. It doesn't bother me at all, because regardless of what anyone says..."I'm NOT voting today." For what? Yes, I am one of those people who thinks my vote doesn't count...because in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't. First off...let's be clear: I AM a registered voter (in Maryland). I registered to vote the moment I turned 18. I was so happy, so proud. I know my ancestors are proud. Blacks (and women) fought long and hard for the right to vote. I am not naive nor ignorant to the plight of my people. I am also affliated with the democratic party, and I vote partisan. For those of you who are not up on American Government 101 that means I vote the democratic ticket ALL THE TIME. I see "Dem" and I just vote. Why? Because I am 78% confident that my views are more linked to that of a democrat than a republican, or any other random party listed on the ballot. Because of this line of thinking, voting for me is often unnecessary.

Maryland just happens to be a "blue" state, which means I don't really need to vote. I am sure Martin O'Malley will be just fine. Then again, people are wild angry with him so who knows? *pause* Okay okay...so what are you saying...I should vote because of the different referendum and proposals, etc that are placed on the ballot. Now this is true...and that's the part I feel bad about. However the biggest issue in MD is "Where should we put the slots?" and quite frankly, I don't care where they go. I don't live close to either place and probably won't ever go play those slots. What else? I don't know...that's all they talk about here. SLOTS, SLOTS, SLOTS.

Let me be honest...I am just jaded. No candidates move me, they haven't in a long time. Barack Obama did an excellent job riling up the public and now everyone who was so in love with this man take every opportunity they can to hate on him. My issue is change is NOT just about voting. It's about action. What good is your vote if you dont' go out there and become the change you want to see?

People go vote and then a few months later they are on twitter, facebook, or some message board complaining how everything is still the same or getting worse. What are you doing? Besides posting all day? Nothing. I don't vote because I don't see change. I don't see change because people aren't united. I can't expect the person I vote for to make MY life better, and that's what people want. They can't make our lives better...the only way for America to get better is through Revolution.

But ya'll aren't ready for a Revolution. Most people are comfortable with going into a room, filling in some bubbles, putting their "future" in someone else's hands and then going on about their lives. I am not that person. My life will be the same no matter who I vote for. Next year, or the year after we will be riling up again on some "if you don't vote, nothing will change" type steez.

I am over it. If you want real change, then let's start a revolution. Let's overthrow this mockery of a government and put the power back in the hands of the people. But ya'll don't want that. Suffice to say, while quite a few of my followers go out and rock the vote today, I'll be at work...or twitter.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Social Sites:This is for the Stalker In You...

Let me tell you something. I love twitter. I mean I LOVE TWITTER!  Out of all the social networks out there, twitter by far is my favorite, because it's like a gchat conversation with the whole world. Or an ongoing forum board. If you dislike twitter it's because of the following:
  1. You have loser friends who don't tweet cool shit.
  2. You follow 500 people and only have 5 followers.
  3. You are over the age of 40.
  4. You are a drug dealer or other type of street criminal.
  5. You dislike all social networks.
Recently I fell in love with Foursquare.  I truly feel like I am the person the developers of Foursquare had in mind when they made this application. There is something gratifying about checking in at random places to get imaginary badges that I can only see from my phone or foursquare page. I like being number one on the points list...but only the honest way. I hate it when people check in every 5 minutes. It's like "Damn this is just a game." I like Foursquare so much, I have came up with new badges in my mind AND a great idea for a contests that would require users to actually become patrons of certain establishments in order to win and progress in the game. The grand prize...well I won't say because you bastards won't steal my ideas! That's how much I love Foursquare.

The drawback? STALKERS! Now I have to admit, I have quite a few "stalkers" on twitter. For some reason at least once a week someone is telling me something that someone told them I tweeted yesterday, or last week or better yet...two months ago. *side eye* Where they do that at? There is also one person who replies to every tweet I make. My roommate thinks he's slow...so he gets a pass. If you are reading this...and you aren't slow, I'm sorry. Foursquare allows my stalkers to know where I am at any given moment if I decide to "check in". I feel a certain way about this so I never check in near where I live, and I always check in when I am leaving places. Unless it's a venue for a concert. Then I check in at that moment because I am 90% confident that I am safe in a room with 200 other people.

Then again...we did see Scream 2 or 3...which ever one had Jada Pinkett getting stabbed up in front of a movie theater full of people. I hope I don't get stabbed up in a room full of people because my ass is checking in at "BB Kings w/50 other people" just so I can unlock the swarm badge.

Follow me on twitter bitches: www.twitter.com/lovelyone80

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just Like You...

I get lonely too.

The view from my new place:


Moving is hard as hell. I don't think I was ever going to be ready for this move.
It's been less than a week and I miss my old place with a passion.
I haven't cried yet tho.


P.S. Props to Drake for the remake. I still prefer the original version.  Download it here: Drake "I get lonely too"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Breakway...

Someone at my old job said that moving is one of the most stressful life experiences a person can have. At first I didn't fully comprehend that statement and now...I am engulfed in it. My last major move was 15 years ago when my mother decided to move my sister and I to Maryland. I was so upset at that move, and could not understand why my mother wouldn't just let me stay with my grandma in Virginia with my family and friends. Now, at *censored* years old, I can see how beneficial that move was for me. Starting new and fresh is sometimes necessary in order to grow and become the person we are meant to be.

On Friday I will be making another major move and I'll admit to everyone, I am scared and nervous. And because of that, I can not begin to pack. I have tried to start but each time I get overwhelmed, frustrated and disgusted. My apartment is a mess from me running the streets the past month, it looks like I am a hoarder in the making. I won't be living alone for at least the first 3 months of my move...which means I can't bring everything. Not that I want to. My mind keeps flip flopping between packing up everything and putting it in storage or just giving everything away and starting new. How do people figure this out? I have to be honest, the furniture in my house is valued at less than $500. So it's not like I am losing anything by giving it away (perhaps selling it...). But I mean, starting from nothing seems a bit too hard.

I have my current apartment until the end of October, which kind of upsets me but at the same time might be helpful. I actually moved into this apartment with nothing and was given my tv from a good friend named Kiron. I should probably ask him if he wants his tv back despite the fact it's broken. Hmmm....I want a new mattress so I should just throw mine out. Perhaps I should upload all my cds and sell them to the CD Depot?  I mean there is so much to decide.

I  put in my two weeks at my job. They told me not to come back last week on Thursday. At first I was pissed, that messes up my checks and pay. I had it all planned out and was hoping to bank that vacation check for my trip to Africa. However, they decided to put me on vacation for my last two weeks. Is that even legal?  Some people told me to fight it...I said fuck it. I'll keep it moving.

So this is where I am right now...Trying to pack for a move in 4 (or 5 days). This is extremely hard, and I am so stressed, I can't even figure out how to begin. Pray for me ya'll. The next time I blog, it will probably be my introduction to my "new" life and that will probably be the direction the blog takes. We will see...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

5 Minute Blog: "Make It Happen"

I love 5 minute blogs! I wish this was my blog's theme. Maybe next time right?

Anyway earlier today I was writing a "review" for my book blog and I am kind of mad at myself. 100 books in one year and I am at 21. I have read a lot of books this year, way more than 21 but I have been slacking on writing my reviews. Either way quoting the crystal merchant from "The Alchemist" struck me hard again.

The crystal merchant says: "I am afraid that if I realize my dream I will have nothing left to live for." 

I read this in July. And I had an epiphany. Have I been sabotaging myself because I was scared to fulfill my own dreams and desires? Perhaps. It's very easy to blame others for your failure or misfortune. Countless times we say "oh I shouldn't have listened to (loser)" or "well if I leave my job they will be short" or something or another. Whatever we say to justify why we choose NOT to move forward with our lives.

I have to give props to those who identify their dreams and go after them no holds bar. I wish I had that strength. I have set countless goals for myself and a majority of the time I am successful. Only when I flake out do I fail. FACT: I can have anything I want to have and I can do anything I want to do. 

95% of the time, I get what I want 100% of the time!
Anyway moving forward, I have a lot of big things coming up. I haven't spoken on them publicly because I like things to be finalized and perfect before I do. I don't want anyone to see me fail. That is my own issue. When you think of Stephanie I want you to think of a winner.Cause that's what the fuck I am. DO BETTER.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Vision Board: 2010 (VLOG)

Okay so I am finally uploading this. Keep in mind this was recorded late June 2010 (maybe early July?!?!) so things have changed a bit since then. More goals have been met, some have been changed (for the better). The video is like 6 minutes long. Sorry. I know most people on the internet have short attention spans and anything over 3 minutes is an issue. But okay...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kanye West and White People don't mix...

Kanye West is on twitter. Awesome.

I chose not to follow Kanye because half the people I already follow will retweet anything this dude says...no hate, but I don't need to see but so much of Kanye. Plus he has too much confidence. I don't like it. And he might be the devil...so that's an issue too (#vexed). Anywho...Kanye who often time claims to be "original" pulls a Conan O'Brien and follows one person. This person is a kid named "Steven Holmes" and he's from Coventry...ole harry potter type place.
The moment Kanye follows this dude, he is inundated with comments and follows. He started with 68 followers, and is around 6550 now. The comments vary from nice like "Damn dude!" to rude and hateful "why the fuck is Kanye following this ugly ass nukka" (these are ACTUAL comments @ the dude). I am amazed...this is the most entertaining shit I have seen in a while. Kanye is your "god" and you are acting like pissed off angels because he chose a human over you. (How many will get this analogy?!?) So what Kanye chose a random person? Who cares? And what is with this begging and pleading for Kanye to follow you instead because you are cooler?

If you were "cooler" you wouldn't be begging celebs to follow you on twitter...
But I digress...the story gets more interesting. Unlike luckybuttons (O'Brien's chosen one)...Steven is in NO way interested being famous. He does not find this awesome at all. All this attention gets to be so much, he deletes his avy and stops tweeting...but doesn't delete his twitter (which I guess is too much like right...). It sucks for him. But with great "power" comes great problems. Kanye ruined this kid's life.

So the lesson learned...Kanye and white people don't mix. Anytime Kanye does something and a white person is involved...expect a problem. Maybe this is his intent. Maybe he wants to ruin white folks because "George Bush doesn't care about black people" or maybe it's because Taylor Swift won over Beyonce. At any rate...this dude has to deal with ignorant ass people every day because of Kanye West.

That sucks. Kanye West is right "No one man should have that much power!"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hey Life...What's Good?!?

I changed my blog title. I had to for several reasons:
  • I wanted to .com and I couldn't get www.thebeautifulstruggle.com 
  • Sistertoldja has a blog called "The Beautiful Struggler" and I felt a certain way. Not a negative way...more like a "i don't want to be accused of biting in any way" despite the fact that I made my blog before I knew who she was. But I met her in BK a few weeks ago and she was super nice. And beautiful.
  • I just felt like a change. Plus this is my jam. 
Anywho...so the blog name has changed. The blog layout will change when I find someone who can do what I want. I haven't been looking so I confined to using the templates on here until I do. I don't mind paying for a dope layout but I need to get it together in my mind first.

For those who have asked, I don't know the status of "Generally Speaking" right now. As many of you know, Smif N Wessun is currently in the studio with Pete Rock working on their album for the fall. Also they are some traveling brothers. That feature was never meant to be permanent though. And the General can't even keep up his own blog. Either way, it was dope! And I love him for that.

My vision board is done...and I keep meaning to post it but I am so busy working on those goals. I actually made a video about it...but I need to check it out before I post it. That might take me some time.

And finally I am about to start studying for the GRE since I am planning on taking it in September. I am not worried though. The math should be a breeze, I am a beast in math. The essay is nothing either. I murder written essays. The verbal part...hmmm...but I am not worried one bit. I am becoming a black girl with a Dr PhD.

The summer has been awesome...shout out to my college besties:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Friends will let you down....

I must be the most horrible friend of a lifetime...that's the only reason I can think of why my so called "friends" do me the way they do. I try to be the best friend I can but people aren't perfect and despite my faults, I am an incredibly loyal friend and will fight to the death for my friends...well argue to death. Whatever.

Okay so check it, I won't go into specific details but I had a lot of business to take care of this past week. Now my time is very limited, but if I can make time, I assume others will. That's not the case. I need to stop assuming. But that's not even my issue...as I am out and about I get my first flat tire ever! OMG. It's hot, I am frustrated, I KNOW how to change a tire but I have never driven a PT Cruiser before and I am so confused as to where the spare actually is and how to get it unlatched. I end up calling roadside and I am pissed. I call two of my besties, Joana and Karen, and they talk to me for a while as I bitch and complain about the tire, the "situation" that caused me to get the flat tire, the other bestie who wasn't answering their phone ("I ain't mad atcha" (c) Tupac), and the fact that I was so fed up all I wanted to do was go to bed.

Out of my anger, I call one bestie and say "You know what, you could at least send me a text message if you can't hang out with me" which I meant but said in the absolute worse way. So now I am thinking I might have to apologize. I call my (male) bestie and he doesn't answer, so I leave a message and I am whining (which I just realize I do a lot so I am pissed at myself). He calls back. He says "What were you saying? what's up with this flat tire?" (now this fool is in MD so I am thinking that he's going to be more understanding/helpful). I say "OMG yes I got a flat and let me tell you..."

"Don't you have another friend you can call about this? Why do you have to call me and tell me about your troubles..."

*pause* I swear to God, tears fell from my eyes at that very moment. I called him because I consider him a best friend. That's the key. I consider him MY best friend...this relationship is apparently not reciprocal. I was absolutely at a lost for words...I mean who does that? I actually start stuttering like "Yeah well...my bad..."

"Yeah it's your bad. I am on the computer with (chick) from Canada so I got to go," and he hangs up. Then it hit me. He was showing out for some chick. Some CANADIAN chick at that via Skype. I was then heated. Yo if you didn't want to hear my bullshit, then why the fuck would you call back? This had me pissed at everyone.

Everyone. But it's understood now. Dude said what he said, and now I realize that just because we've been friends since 2000 doesn't mean shit to anyone but me. And just because I go out of my way for him doesn't mean he can even bother to listen to me for like 10 minutes. And then my other friend wonders why I don't bother with details. They are worthless. When I try to talk about shit and how I feel, this is what happens. So I have come to the  conclusion that I must be a fucked up friend if I can't even get the people who claim to care about me to talk for like 5 minutes.

I got you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

5 Minute Blog: "Signs of Love Making..."

"I'm a Capricorn, I came here to get managed..."

We all know Capricorn is the best sign because we are the smartest, most organized, and we start and end the year. But you know I read all these magazines and they do this "sexual compatibility" thing with astrological signs and it's never really right for me. Like earth signs go with earth signs...fire with fire. Yeah...no. However, I will admit that certain signs are like the BESTEST to me. If I meet a guy with a certain sign, I know of the bat what type of lover he may or may not be. So I am break it down...sign by sign.

  • Capricorns: I only slept with one. He was pretty straight forward, and cut to the case. I think that's how I am most of the time. Don't get it twisted...Capricorns strive for perfection...so they will do their best if they are feeling you but if we perfect something, we stick to it. 
  • Aquarius: I only slept with one again. He was...interesting. Slightly selfish. I once told him that I read in Cosmo that if you stick your finger in a guy's ass, it heightens their orgasm. He said "cool, let's try it." So take what you want from that.
  • Pisces: I don't think I know any male Pisces. Lucky you.
  • Aries: My high school Maryland sweetheart was a Aries. Rough and aggressive. That is all.
  • Taurus: My high school VA sweetheart was a Taurus. They are teachers. Very knowledgeable and they take their time. Love them.
  • Gemini: That old man I use to date in college was a Gemini. I was not impressed. Just because you are packing doesn't mean you don't' have to have skills. And I hate how Geminis have split personalities. 
  • Cancer: Cancers are love bugs! They act like they aren't but they like being romantical and taking time and doing things "at the right time" even if they are guys. I respect that. 
  • Leos: LEOS DRIVE ME CRAZY!!!! I honestly don't' have anything particularly great to say about them. Leos are generally selfish lovers...but if they think a certain move will work for you, that's the only one they will do with you. 
  • Virgo: I don't know. LOL.
  • Libra: I don't think I know any Libras period.
  • Scorpio: Every Scorpio I know is a freak. Whether I slept with them or not. Male or female. They are freaks. Just like freaks. And you wouldn't know it until you got in the bedroom with them. And then you're like "What is that swing for?"
  • Sagittarius: I am so in love with Sags. These men are probably the best lovers because they are no holds bar and will do anything...(not everything but almost everything) to please their lovers. And they are oh so passionate. and the best kissers. Period. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

10 Years Later and It's Still Not Easy

I can remember July 1, 2000 like it was yesterday, or today. It was the summer before my junior year, and we were living in the town house in Ellicott City, MD. I was home alone and my mother was in Virginia. However, I can't recall where my sister or stepfather where at the time. I want to say this was during one of time's my sister was missing. I can remember vividly my mother running back and forth from MD to VA every other weekend, either for my uncle Kelly or my sister. That was a stressful time.

It was a Saturday. I was still on probation. Approximately 9 am in the morning my phone rang and it was my mom. She told me my uncle passed away during the early morning. I was shocked. I will not lie and say this was unexpected...but I was in denial. There was no way my uncle was dying, especially not from cancer.
  • Despite the fact that his over 300 pound frame had shrunk to less than 130, I was hopefully.
  • Despite the pain he felt when we hugged him, I was hopefully.
  • Despite the fact he was in a hospice, I was hopeful. 
But he did. My uncle died from colon cancer. I don't remember when he was diagnosed. I just remember a rapid progression. I figured he would be okay because the doctors were smart, but he wasn't.  I lost all hope that day. The funeral was on the 5th if I remember correctly. That day was a blur. I do remember everyone in the family telling me that I had to walk my grandmother in and be strong for her just in case she broke down. I remember thinking "I am barely 20...and I am hurting. How can I be strong for her?" but I was. So I sucked it up and I didn't cry at the funeral at all. But as I write these words, I can not stop the tears from flowing.  One of my cousins showed out at the funeral and I was pissed...they didn't love him like I did! She was never around him...not even half as much as me. I hated her.

 His son and daughter were there. They were crying. His son mentioned to me that he had no pictures of himself and his dad and that made him mad. Fortunately for them, I had a picture of my uncle, his daughter, his son, my father and me when we were all 5 or 6. I promised to mail him a copy. And I did. That's the ONLY picture he has of himself, his sister and his dad together. A picture more than 15 years old.

Years later, I am at my grandmother's house. My uncle had a room there, but no one slept in but me. I don't think my grandmother allowed it. But that night as we are getting ready for bed, my grandmother says to leave the lights on "so that Kelly can see when he gets home." My mother replies "Mom, you know Kelly is not coming home". My grandmother makes this strange face and then says "Oh yeah. sometimes I forget."


But I don't forget. I could never forget losing the first man I loved besides my own father. And every year on the anniversary of his death I cry. This morning as I was getting dressed, I came across the R.I.P. shirt my cousin had made. I started hyperventilating so bad I knew I'd pass out from lack of oxygen. My heart was racing and I couldn't see anything. I was having an anxiety attack and all I could think of was death. I was going to die, holding the shirt of my dead uncle. It was almost bittersweet. But I calmed down.

Originally I had plans to buy this overly expensive cute shirt to impress people who don't give a damn about my life. I changed my mind. Instead I will donate that $100 to Cancer.Org

R.I.P. to my uncle Kelly
The love I still feel for you is immeasurable.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chris Brown is on some old Carl Thomas Shit...

He's emotional!!!!
First off, I already KNOW there will be some hate on this blog and personally, I don't give a damn. Say what you will...I'm going to spit MY truth and reality.
Secondly...R.I.P. Michael Jackson. 

Last year when during the BET awards, I just KNEW Chris Brown was going to come out and represent. Anyway with eyes can see that Chris has been heavily influenced by Michael Jackson in the way he sings and dance. It only seemed right. But of course, there was that not so little incident with Rihanna a few months earlier...and because of that, Chris was not present to pay tribute in a way that only he could have. I was slightly upset. How is MTV gonna show up BET in a tribute? I mean BET is "Black Entertainment Television"...I am black and was hardly entertained.  But I digress...I am not surprised in the least that he didn't perform.

Fast forward to last night, and I am surprised and highly entertained. Chris Brown came out and ripped it (did you guys notice that neither Jay Z, Beyonce, nor Rihanna was in attendance...*team Jesus*). I was in my house singing and dancing along, happy that Chris finally got to do what he's been longing to do...pay tribute to the King (of Pop). As soon as the music dropped for "Man in the Mirror" I knew it was a wrap. This song makes ME cry so I can only imagine what it was going to do to this child...that's right CHILD.

Compared to me, Chris Brown is a child. Straight up and down. A child who made a foolish mistake. A child who will hopefully grow into a man who knows better and control his anger in the correct and proper way. The only person who knows the truth about that night is Chris, RiRi, and God. And only God can judge him. The problem is people are so quick to vilify this young man when they give praises to several other "women beaters" and "child molesters". Months leading up to the situation there were SEVERAL reports of Rihanna hitting on him and fights in hotel rooms, at beaches, at clubs...but pictures say 1000 words. Those pictures came out and it was a wrap for him. He gained some love when that cute white couple danced to "Forever" at their wedding.  That song ended up being #1 on itunes almost 2 years after it dropped. However he is still facing the backlash, and his videos and songs hardly ever air on tv or the radio. But I love the way I can hear R. Kelly every other day or see him singing about being a Pied Piper (oooh the ironies in life...). Again, I digress.

I don't condone what Chris did. But that boy is a child. And children make mistakes. I have been in his position. And I mean that in this MOST literal way. I know what it's like to allow someone to get you so upset that your only recourse is to lash out and smack someone. I know what it's like to feel like you have to fight to get your point across. Thank God for anger management. I know better now. And hopefully he will too. I have friends (female and male) who have been on both sides. Domestic violence is not a situation to be taken lightly. And I don't take it lightly...but when I saw that child crying last night...my heart went out to him. Because not everyone knows that pain and turmoil and frustration that you feel inside...knowing you messed up, letting people down, being unable to release your stress/pain in a non violent way...so they will talk about you and diss you when they have done far worse.

As this child continues to grow and move forward in the future, one can only hope and pray that he grows into a respectable man who knows that the correct answer is to always walk away. I think he gets that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Are You NOT entertained?

Blogging is hard work.

When I initially started blogging (on myspace) it was all about my life: the ups, downs, good and bad. I talked about any and everything. If you needed a fuck, I didn't give it. I was like oh fuck everything and fuck everybody. It was a hot mess. Somewhere between 25 and 30 I began to care. Mostly about others...not so much about me talking about my life...but my life involves others. Others who rather not be mentioned or others I can't mention because of issues and situations. So there are no more "The Art of Spelling" blogs and as a result, there is no more 100s of kudos or comments.

Then again...I blogged constantly on myspace and maybe it was more user friendly there. I got away from myspace for Lent and tried to make this transition from that blog to this but it's not as successful. There I'd blog about every day life...here I am not as successful. And maybe because my life is changing. I have to give props to General Steele for offering to do his section "Generally Speaking"...but I feel like I do not do enough. I don't even try to really push this blog...there are no clever musings like I did on myspace.

So life is complicated right now...and has been for a while. And I can't talk about everything here...and that bothers me. I don't know who is reading what and who will think what and what's going to fall in the wrong hands. That is part of the reason why I took my twitter feed off the site...to avoid situations and issues. However, in the meantime/in between time...I have been working on my vision board. What's that?!?!

A vision board is a board with all of my goals planned out on it. Unlike my prayer list, this includes actual steps that I need to accomplish. I did a rough sketch of it the other week (see it here: Vision Board) and started the big board which will be placed on my living room wall.

In addition to getting my life together, I've been working on the following:

1. Finding a new apartment to live in
2. Work, work, and more work (thanks to everyone's prayers about me getting that promotion. I won't know until next week)
3. Getting out of debt (which includes even MORE work)
4. Getting healthier (which means drinking water, eating, and trying to be stress-free but I fail)
5. Traveling more
6. Being a better friend

However I'll admit I am in turmoil now. I want to write more but I'm fucking it up...I'm slipping, I'm falling, I can't get up.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It's 5 am in the morning, do you know where your children are?

I can't believe my ass is up this early on a Sunday. I've actually been up since about 4 am and I have been contemplating making a cheeseburger the whole time. A cheeseburger, crab chips, and a vitamin water. Suffice to say, I haven't gotten out of the bed at all...but I did manage to turn on the computer to do some shopping on Piperlime. I need retail therapy.

This past week has been all types of busy. I  mean everything that could have happened this week HAPPENED this week. As a result, I've been sleeping these incredibly off hours. And now, I sit here watching "True Life: We are breaking up", reading twitter (why is Family Matters trending?!?!), and shopping. During several different debates this week I have been told "I like how you're being nonchalant", "Why are you acting like you don't care?", "Yo you got to do something about these f*ckers" "Steff you have to do BOTH of these presentations next week" . I don't have time for all this. I even told my boss that I don't think I want her job because these people are tripping (and I didn't really mean it but I was so overwhelmed that day that all I wanted to do was walk out and go home and lay down).

I honestly thought that going away last weekend would give me the much needed vacation I needed. (It was a lot of fun and shout out to everyone because all in all it was a great weekend). But I only came back more tired than when I left, a lot more broke, and behind on work. These people don't understand what its like to be me. Not that my life is horrible but damn...can a sister breath?

As a result...I end up awake at 5 am, NOW watching Rugrats, looking around for Tylenol PM so I can get a few more hours of sleep.

Life is so f*cking awesome.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Generally Speaking #5: "God Bless You, Don’t Let The Devil Catch You"

time: 9:29
date: 5-26-10
mood: intense


"God bless you don't let the devil catch you".

That is a saying some people use when someone sneezes. It makes sense when you think about it. I am not holier than thou and I am not one who goes to church but I do believe in God. I admit at times I do have questions and I want more proof of his/her existence. I know these questions are answered, sometimes without me knowing. I do have faith in a higher power. I don't know if I believe in reincarnation or the afterlife or I should say I don't understand much about it but I do believe in a power higher than myself. I believe that the sun, moon, stars, water and the firmament was created by the Almighty Creator of all living things. Some call God, some call Allah, some call Buddha, etc. You have some folks who don't believe in God. They don't believe in a higher power. They think all this was created by man. They think that the human body just happened, it just created itself through some wonder of science. That would be God. But hey that just my opinion. I guess we all need some way to explain the unexplainable. So if you are a scientologist or an atheist then I guess all the answers would be in science like the big bang theory. Well I believe in good and I know evil exist. Do I blame God? No. Some ask "why does God allow so much suffering?" Only God really knows but people have written books and shot movies depicting their version. But here is my version; Our father who art in Heaven loves us so much that he let us be free to decide if we love him back. Why doesn't God make everything work perfect? I mean think about the glory you receive when you accomplish something or how it feels when someone in your family graduates or  excels in life. Well what about slavery? I don't think God allows evil, I think it is a part of being free. We are free to choose if we want to be good or evil, if we want to help or hurt. We are pretty much in control. We all know what happens when you lose control or you are a control freak. Its hardly ever a good turn out. People make situations better or worse. People with power take advantage of people who are not aware of their own power. God doesn't do that, people do. People want what they want, when they want it. Some lack compassion an thru their freedom began to warp into a conveyor of evil deeds, an agent for Satan.

God Bless you,Don't let the devil catch you

I say this because the devil works hard to trick us into thinking God does not exist. We judge happiness by the material wealth we have. That has nothing to do with God. On the money it says in God we trust, God has no need for a promissory note. In King James' bible it speaks about how the people wanted a king to rule over them. That makes sense. I know some folks who don't want the responsibility of being responsible and would gladly relinquish their power. But what happens when you give that power to someone else and they prove to be an agent for satan. Who is satan? satan is an angel who turned on his father and who hated the people because his father gave them so much even when they proved ungrateful. Yeah I know sounds like a movie don't it. But it makes for a good read. Its reflected in the relationships of today. Whether father and son, mother and daughter, amongst buddies etc. Satan is jealous and likes attention but apparently so does God. Satan likes to lie, cheat, steal. Satan likes to manipulate our way of thinking. Satan is relentless and doesn't have any love for us what so ever but tries to tempt us with promises of love and reward. Don't let the devil catch you or cause you to get caught up. 

What sense does it make to fall in love with materials that you can't take with you when you die. Its kinda F'd up right. You work all your life to acquire this great stuff that you can't keep when you move on. So people will be dividing your old belongings, fighting over them even as if you did it for them. Or you do like some folks do, write a will designating stuff to certain people. Either way its a morbid concept. I guess its whatever works for you. It is said in King James' bible that it easier for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven (Mark 10:25). You have some preachers who are abundantly wealthy due to their congregation. Jesus spoke to the poor underprivileged  folks. He went to the mountains he broke bread with the heathens and the homeless. He cured people free of charge. All you had to do was believe. I guess it became hard for us to believe. Because now we have the medicine to heal us and we don't sit with no heathens and to hell with the homeless. We have became self absorbed beings who have no faith and no appreciation for the blessing of life that God has bestowed upon you. Think of it as a test if you pass the test of life, then you can move to the next level just like a video game. Sound simple enough. Imagine if it really was this simple. Do unto others as you have them do unto you. Thou shall not kill. You know, stuff like that. I mean imagine if we followed the basic instructions before leaving earth (bible) as Killa Priest calls it. Or maybe we are satisfied with this modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. Maybe there is some scientific explanation for all the killing and despair. Or maybe it's in the water. As we advance in technology we lose more and more of our humanity. Computers become our god and we act as demi-gods who impose law and order on our subjects or followers (via facebook and twitter,etc.). We all have powers and even super powers. We just have to tune into it, find what we are good at, where we excel. We can use our power for good or for evil purposes. I admit sometimes I fall from grace and think about doing some evil sh*t to some people but I believe that this part of the test to fight those impulses. Some people cant help but to be or do evil. They are out of control. Or maybe they are in more control than we think. Hmmm.

I think overall I am a good person. I don't mean to do anyone any harm. I don't harbor any hate for anyone. I try to follow some sort of protocol for righteousness. But I am not here to judge the levels of holiness or Godliness. My body is my sacred temple. As I live I learn more about how to live. That's a blessing. My two children are a blessing and that's just part of it. Love feels good. I don't really like hate but I think its necessary. I often battle with evil and hatred. Trying to keep them off my back. Trying not to let them get the best of me and sway me towards its natural circumstances. I believe. And because I believe it fuels me this expedition called life. If this was a video game then lets say the winner gets to keep his soul and go on to the next of life. Whatever that may be it sounds better than eternal damnation. I guess it suits me to think that all bad people and heartless deeds will be vindicated thru nature. I believe this is how God designed it. So simple is life yet complex as a seed that holds the blueprint for life inside. Amazing architecture. God is Great. I am not trying to convert anyone. Come to think of it I don't even have a religion. I'm a BuddhaChristianRastaMuslim or an IslamicBuddhistRastaJew or something like that. No disrespect to anyone's religion. I believe there is a line between right and wrong, be it thin or broad and we have the option to choose what side suits us best. How beloved is that? Well I wont tell you what to use your powers for. I'm still learning how to harness my own. But good luck in finding yours and may God Bless you don't let the devil catch you!

PeaceWar
 
General Steele    

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sometimes I just need a hug...

 Do you ever get so overwhelmed with life that you wish you could just push the pause button? I never want it to end but sometimes, especially at night, I lie in my bed and it feels like I am suffocating. I can't breath, I can't think clear, and I'm lost. Trying to explain this to people in my circle and family is hard...they don't get it. They think my life is good, and I should be grateful.

I am grateful.

However being grateful doesn't mean becoming content and complacent.

I remember one day a few years ago I was at work in the Picture People and I was beyond sad. I was so fed up with the day and I was tired. I had took pictures of this little 3 year old girl on a whim, I offered the mom a free picture of her daughter if she let me take a few. So the little girl was very whimsical throughout and it made me laugh. When they came back to see the pictures, I was sitting on the floor, tired, fed up and just wanted to go home. The little girl turned to me and gave me a hug. She squeezed me so tight and I felt so much love, I wanted to cry.

Her mother looks up and says "Aww are you being friendly?...she never hugs people. She must knew you needed one."

Isn't that odd? A little girl can sense pain but grown folks around me are so wrapped up in themselves that they don't notice what other people are going through. Anyway...I entered her picture into the yearly contest Picture People had. And the picture won for our store. I still have the picture I took, and I sometimes look at it and remember that day.

So yeah...sometimes...all I want is a hug. Is that too much to ask for?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Generally Speaking #4: "No Just Us, No Piece"

Time: 10 am
Date: 5-10-10
Place: my living room
Mood: limbo

"No Just us, No Piece"

There is no "just us" and there will be no piece for any of us if we can't work together.
If it was just us we would be able to work through some of the social obstacles that hold us back as a people.

Communication is a key to unlock marvelous possibilities. Do we communicate well with our significant other, our children, family, friends, co-workers, strangers? Do we understand what Bob Marley meant when he sang "it don't rain on one man’s house top"?

How often do you talk to your neighbor? Or the elder that you always see looking mean on the block? Do you know anything about these people you see and bypass everyday in your community? Do you see the young black male with the slight scowl and label him or her a thug?

Have you ever given a piece of yourself free of your heart with no ulterior motives or desires?

It's tough because we all want to be compensated for giving or "helping" but imagine if we did it without thinking or expecting something in return....
What would that produce?

Imagine if we knew all the people in our neighborhood, not to be in everybody's business, but I've heard that it takes a community to raise a child, but now it seems that our children are sent out into the wilderness to fend for themselves.

The civil rights leaders marched arm in arm and hand in hand with the people in the 60's to topple many adversities and civil injustices. The popular rally cry was "No Justice, No Peace". There where riots and protests some peaceful some bloody. Dr. Martin Luther King was hit with a brick during one of the many peaceful protests.

What this did was open a portal for people of color to communicate about the problems they shared and to devise real solutions for these real problems.

Seems like that portal has narrowed if not closed completely over time.
Today the popular cry is "Imma Do Me" or "Get Yours" with a "f**k the world don't ask me for sh*t" type of attitude.

Is everyone out for self? I do believe in do for self but I don't believe we can do it by ourselves.
I mean we don't live on God’s green earth alone. There has to be a reason why there are other people that exist. So many different people. So much to experience. What's to expect from that which you know not?

How can we get a piece of life or a slice of life?

I think life is for the living. You have to experience it to enjoy it. Get out and see what life has to offer you. Or what you can make out of your life. Get on line for your piece of the pie.

"Share and share alike." To live as a community is to live in common unity as one, Just Us.

We are all different yet we are all the same in humanity. We all want a piece or at least our fair share if not more. We think that a piece will give us peace. Some even think you can bring about peace by using a piece or some weapon. This can have many understandings.

Everything in nature is cyclical. Give to the earth and the earth will give back unto you.
We have to practice getting along with Just Us meaning us as a people (all people) as communities, families, etc, in order to really get a piece of the lot.

African Americans where promised 40 acres of land and a mule to begin their start as free settlers in certain parts of America. Needless to say there where African Americans in various parts of the U.S. that where already very well off who lived and worked amongst whites.

It’s up to us (the people) to work the land, to feed, clothe and school the babies, to police our hoods, to govern our cities, to run our grocery stores, to clean our streets, to care for our elderly, it’s Just Us.

It's up to Just Us (We the people)
There will be no peace until we get a piece.....

No Peace
General Steele

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Are Blacks Genetically Dumber?

I don't know where to begin with this. For those who haven't heard about the controversy with the 3L law student at Harvard, click here: Harvard Law School 3L Racist Email. When I first read about this story, I was not the least bit surprise or blown away by the fact that a white female law student at Harvard would believe this to be true. I was somewhat amazed by her rationale: "Irish people tend to have red hair" "African Americans people tend to have dark skin" (really?!?!....lol. Most African Americans I know aren't hardly "dark" skinned). Her logic leads to the postulate that "African Americans tend to be not as intelligent as Caucasians".  WORD?

I don't have the time to debate her "logic" and it's pointless. She has to be at least 25 years that the opinions that she has formed are pretty much set in stone. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. And by old dog, I mean racist bitch. But that's neither her nor there.

My problem with this line of thought is that Africa is the birth place to civilization and black people were robbed of their heritage. A heritage that had a written language, mathematics, art, and architecture. Africans/Blacks knew about irrigation and farming and were hard workers. That's why our people were stolen (sometimes sold) by slave owners. America wouldn't be shit without Africans. And if you take a good look around to ancient civilizations, you will see that it's the "minorities" that had the greater understand of the world and how it worked. Not the Greeks, Romans, whoever in Europe who came to Africa and Asia and STOLE all this information and passed it off as their own. Look at the architecture in Africa, Asia, and South America. The most perfect buildings in the world are the Great Pyramids. And I don't mean they are just architecturally beautifully, but their position and size give praise to Astrology/Astronomy and Mathematics. Black people built the pyramids with NOTHING yet these smart White people can't replicate them with all the technology they have "invented" over the years. Yet black people are "genetically dumber."

Our people did that.

I don't care what anyone thinks...black people, you aren't dumb. A bit misguided, a bit broken down, A LOT destroyed from years of oppression. But far from stupid. Black people are the most innovative and one of the most strongest group of people to even continue in this struggle we call life after our community, our traditions, and our livelihood has been ruined. I don't like to think that one group is "better" than another group. People will always fall along the spectrum...there are some smart ones, some dumb ones, and some in the middle. But to think a whole group of people is beneath you is disgusting. And this one day will be a feature lawyer. Let's just hope she's not in Criminal Law.

Well, there is some hope for us genetically dumber black people. And that's Katie Washington. The first black Valedictorian of Notre Dame. 

But then again, maybe she's mixed and some of that smart white knowledge rubbed off on her.

NOTE: this is another thrown together blog. It's probably real incoherent but I don't care. I am in the midst of helping my boss with a progress report so please "excuse me if I go to fast."

Edit: So the culprit of this email has been identified. Her name is Stephanie Grace (*hangs head in shame. Not a Stephanie*) and she apparently has a degree in Sociology!  Ironically we were just talking about this at my job the other day, how some people (key word: SOME) feel the need to help the "poor black people" because we have lost our way. Read about her here: Meet Stephanie Grace

Friday, April 23, 2010

Haiku'ing: Do Better Movement

You talk, I listen
Your words inspire me to think more,
Be More, and Do Better

The Do Better movement is still in effect. Every day, all day. I've been quite busy with life. I know you don't feel abandoned tho, I make it my mission to post something at least once a week. Life is quite interesting right now...and things I thought I knew, I found out I didn't know at all. (Quite cryptic...don't you think...). I am quite impressed with all of my friends and associates. I see this wonderful shift going on. People are becoming more aware of themselves, their surroundings, and others. I am in love with everyone right now. It could just be that we are getting older and wiser. Or maybe I have finally picked the RIGHT people to associate with? Perhaps. Or maybe it's the cosmos and the Mayan Calendar coming to a close in a little over two years. They say it's the end of an age. Maybe the next "age" will be a more humbling one of understanding and communication.
No matter the case...everyone I have included in my life is here for a reason.

It's Friday. I am in a good mood.

p.s. for those who follow me on twitter, this was NOT the blog I was intending to do. I am really careful about my words these days as to not offend anyone. On the old blog, I didn't care who saw what and who felt any kind of way. But as I learn to respect others more, I can't be the old "Steff". So while that blog is written, it will say "saved" until the timing is better.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Confederate History Month: Because taking L's is cool

I don't know why anything amazes me anymore. It's 2010, we live in the future...so why I am shocked when Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell declared April as "Confederate History Month"?!? I went to Robert E Lee Elementary school and Patrick Henry Elementary. This is the same state that celebrates "Jackson-Lee-King Day" (oh yes, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E Lee, and MLK share ONE holiday).

Honestly I don't get it. I grew up in Richmond (the capital of the Confederacy) and there is a little class called "Virginia History" which focused heavily on Virginia's role in the Civil War (or maybe my teacher was bugging?!?!). Either way, I don't understand the need to glorify treason and racism as if it's something to be proud of. I guess during this month they will freely hang the confederate flag along side the American flag (oh the irony) and we can "Pledge Allegiance" to these ideals the commonwealth have deemed worthy of praise. Of course, the Governor conveniently left out slavery because the civil war was not fought over slavery, rather it was about "states rights" which included the right to own slaves and make it's own rules. However, he digressed and decided that slavery was important since:

"(I)t is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this (Civil) war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders"

Hold up what?...so the Confederate's side of the Civil Was WAS fought because of slavery and now you want to celebrate that?! And if Virginians should be "thankful" for the eradication of slavery, then what is the purpose of "Confederate" History? How is confederate history different than United States history? I guess we should focus on the supporters of slavery, state's rights, and what the confederate flag really means. Isn't that VA history anyway?

I am pretty sure there is not a "Nazi History" month in Germany where they "celebrate" the traditions of the past. Where everyone hangs swastikas from their door and give shout outs to Hitler and talk about how he and the nazi soldiers fought for Germany's rights. They probably would talk about how the good ole days were before Yankee America came through and laid the smack down.  Actually...there are people who do this...they are called Skinheads, Neo-Nazis...Racists.

But I am sure the Governor doesn't mean it that way. But as one commenter said on another blog "Make a choice; be a proud American or a proud Confederate. You cannot possibly be both."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Generally Speaking #3 "Do We Go Too Far?"

Date: 3-31-10
Time: 2:00 am
Mood: refreshed


DO WE GO TOO FAR?


“When (or can) Freedom of expression goes too far"
OR "when keeping it real goes wrong"


Do we take freedom of expression too far?
I mean can we take our freedom to express too far?
 Does that sound like a crazy question to ask?

I know when speaking of freedom it's kind of odd to suggest that we may take it too far.
That’s almost like asking "are we too free?"
I mean are we?
Do you ever feel like some people take FREEDOM for granted?

Do we sometimes take our freedom to express ourselves for granted? Or do we take others freedoms for granted?

Myself as an artist has a high respect for creative freedom which is one of the reasons I am an independent artist.

But do we as artist take our right to express ourselves freely too far?
I guess we would have to ask how far is too far?

First let’s look at this quote from the Bill of Right:
"First Amendment: addresses the rights of freedom of religion (prohibiting Congress from establishing a religion and protecting the right to free exercise of religion), freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition."

I know there are artist as well as many people who are not artists who express their dissatisfaction with a boss, their record label, a law or regulation and even the government and the people in power.

There have been many songs by hip hop artists and other various song writers expressing a bevy of controversial topics.

P.E. said Fight The Power, NWA said F*** The Police, Ice T had a song called Cop Killer which he performed with a rock group. I released an album titled Amerikkkas Nightmare 2/Children Of War where I gave my opinion on many controversial issues. Luke and The 2 Live Crew were also very controversial artist.

Some of these artists spawned a small crusade of neighborhood politicians, clergyman, religious figures and others in attempt to censor and or even ban these hip hop artist.

This sparked a huge first amendment battle in court one of the first of its kind. This may have been one of the incidents that catapulted these artists into stardom as the plan to censor them only exposed them to the public even more making them even more famous or more infamous.
 
There have been many ways artist have expressed themselves. Some have always been odd to many of us maybe increasing the allure. I guess that’s what a Lady Gaga has in mind with her bizarre outfits or perhaps what some these rappers are thinking as they get more and more extreme tattoos.


You've had people in protest who burn the American flag.  

We've even seen Erykah Badu strip bucket naked in her video Window Seat of her album titled "New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) ".

She actually may face charges of indecent exposure. I for one hope not.

But if it was on the flip side and some crazy guy stripped bucket naked in the street, he would surely go to jail. Ha-ha

But it’s been done before in rock n roll music. Some crazy rocker wilding out on stage or a fan for that matter. Like Ozzie biting the head off a dove or the fan of say a Rage against the Machine.

There have been controversial paintings and photographs as well.
But can we go too far? Do we sometimes go too far?
Some say yes
But how far is too far? Who is to say? How do we rate that?

Well in my opinion that’s one hell of an argument that may be debated for decades. But with all the creative ways people choose to express themselves on all levels better believe the powers that be are constructing new ways to restrict those expressions.

No matter how vulgar or how "different" someone's style is should that give us a right to revoke their first amendment? Maybe I'm going too far or maybe we do go too far...sometimes.

Like the 22 year old rapper who shot a guy then made a song about shooting the guy. Obviously his words were used against him in a court of law and he went to jail for the crime.

They say art imitates life.

That art is just an expressive extension or distortion of life.
How it is or how one would like to see it.

Our likes and dislikes
Our cries and our desires
Our fears and our fury.

We express what we believe or what we feel or what we know....if we find the courage to do so.
I don't know if we go too far
Who am I to judge?

GENERAL STEELE 


Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Ass so phat that you can see it from the front..."(c) Mos Def

You already know what it is. (and this is a somewhat collaborative blog because this one will lead into the next one...)
And this is by no means any DISRESPECT. I love Sister Erykah. She is a breath of fresh air, deep, intriguing and real. She is also at the center of a lot of controversy. I am sure many of you have seen the video for "Window Seat" (and if not...it will be posted a link at the end). Many were confused, and many applauded. As she began to strip down I was curious as too how much I'd get to see. I was girl crushing ALL over her, hoping to see a peak and totally disregarded the song and the overall message. I forgot the news airing clip at the beginning and was totally oblivious to the fact that she was walking down Elm Street to the mark where JFK was assassinated.

Then it happens:

At this point, I am no longer interested in the song (which is one of my favorites off the cd) but I am like "Snap is she gonna get naked..." and I am literally nose to screen with the computer like a pervert who just got out of jail. I am so ashamed.

Moments later I, along with countless others, are discussing the stripping scene...not the whole message behind the video. I mean I got it and that was cool and all but she was UNDRESSING...forget everything else.

Revisiting the video and seeing her tweet (www.twitter.com/fatbellybella) I realize that I was too focused on the wrong thing. I didn't even notice the words "Groupthink" at the end...and then the movement begins. Everyone discussing and talking about it. And of course, I was caught up in the mentality that made me focus on her body and not her words.
If asked to name my three top songs by her I'd say "On & On", "Next Lifetime", and "Penitentiary Philosophy". Then I'd name three more that are just as good. Then I'd name three more. So I am not caught up on her looks and her body...but that's what got me.

Now people are wondering if she went to far...who knows?!?! The message was lost on many, but I'll let the Brother Steele discuss that in his next feature...But for now, visit her site and enjoy:

 http://www.erykahbadu.com/  (click the Ankh and the video will start)