Go Away Creep

Long story on what reminded me of this, but I had to share it...

A few years ago, two friends and I were in a bookstore killing some time before we met up with some other people. I don't make it a habit of hanging out with ugly people (<<<<--- joking guys, I'm not vain like that at all) so all my friends are beautiful. Anyway, the 3 of us split up a little bit. Me with my friend C, and our friend S went to look at the mags. C and I have similar tastes in books so we were perusing the shelves to make suggestions to each other. At one point, C and I were on either side of the same case, thus on seperate "aisles" in the book store. I walked around the corner of the side C was on and noticed this guy staring at her oddly. I stood close to her and asked her if she'd noticed him before. She said no. I looked his way and again he was staring, but he suddenly looked away, realizing I'd busted him.

I grabbed C's hand and told her to come with me. Of course the shelves are large, so it's possible to stand on either end of the shelves and not be seen. We both stood at the opposite end of the shelf from him, and I peeked around the corner only to see him peeking around the other corner! I was freaked out. He jumped back. I grabbed her hand again and dragged her out the store in a rush. I called S and told her she needed to come out to the car.

A few weeks after this incident, C and a different friend, A, and I went to visit a college about an hour and a half away. While there we happened to run into a friend who was a student at the college. He invited us to come hang out with him and his friends before we left. As we were walking from the parking lot, I looked around and noticed a familiar looking guy walking our way. As he got closer, I realized it was the creep from the bookstore! We couldn't believe it and took off running to the nearest building.

Ohhh the things that I've been involved in...

Throwback Tuesday

I posted this on my facebook yesterday. I couldn't wait! :)

Inoj - Let Me Love You Down


Monday Series

As promised...

Part 3
There was a basketball game being played at my school Monday night. Two friends and I decided to go to support our friends on the team. Knowing his schedule as an on-campus student, I knew that around the time of the game JD would be in his room doing required studying. I called him and chatted him up for a little bit. I planned to get off the phone quickly by saying I knew he needed to get back to studying. When I set my plan into motion, he bested me by asking me to come up to his dorm to see him. He said he had something serious he wanted to talk to me about. I tried to get out of it, but couldn't come up with anything. Curiosity killed the cat, right?

I met him outside his dorm. We sat in my car, with him behind the wheel, talking. During the course of our conversation, I mentioned that I had purposefully ignored his phone calls over the weekend. A look of shock came over his face. He started my car and threatened to drive until we ran out of gas if I didn't explain to him why. Finally it all came out. My feelings of frustration that we were "just friends" even though I felt more for him. I blurted "I'd really love if we could even just be friends with benefits." He readily agreed to that. As we drove back to his dorm and prepared to part ways, he mentioned offhand, "I'm so glad we talked. I was prepared to ask you to be my girlfriend. I knew you were slipping away from me and I don't want to lose you. I'm glad we could agree to 'friends with benefits'." A lump developed in my throat. In my frustration I had agreed to something less than what I truly wanted.

The weeks went by and nothing about our relationship changed. We were still doing the same things we had been doing. When I confronted him, he argued that he thought we had been doing enough, but he would try harder. I never saw any difference and eventually decided I just needed to put my focus elsewhere...

More videos

I may also make this "Look What I Found" Monday... Our weekly installment of the Series will be posted later this afternoon/early this evening.

Brandy Rapping?

I can dig it... definitely. She starts at 1:55...

And the Obamas will pay for their own redecorating? I can dig that, too. Definitely. I hope all the people who have been complaining about what they percieve as excess from the First Family will take this under consideration...

Oh Shanice. Please come back and teach 'em how you 'sposed to do it!

I'd be cool with her losing the weave. Definitely.

This post may be updated later, so check back...

Cholly P

I've not ever done a shameless plug for Cholly P, but I have done one over at Blogadelphia (which, if you're not a member, you should join).

Dude's got skills, right?


Something Fun

My last post was my 100th post and I didn't realize it until just now. YAY FOR ME!!

In an effort to lighten the mood a little around here, I found one of those lame "About Me" myspace quizzes and did it. Enjoy.

Date of Birth:12.30.86
Birthplace:Chattanooga, TN
Current Location:Washington, DC
Eye Color:Black
Hair Color:Brown
Tattoos:0 (I'm boring)
Song:"Sumthin' Wicked This Way Comes"
Movie:Love & Basketball
Disney Movie:Aladdin!
TV show:Of all time...ever...? Living Single
Food:Man... I just love good food
Pizza topping:I'm simple Pepperoni usually works
Ice-Cream Flavor:eh... vanilla... chocolate... I'm not picky
Drink (alcoholic):I just do shots...
Store:Old Navy
Clothing Brand:If it fits, I like it
Shoe Brand:At one point I was in love with Skechers. These days, if it fits, I like it
Month:December (of course)
Flower:I dislike flowers
Make-Up Item:Don't wear make-up
Board game:Life
This or That
Sunny or rainy:Sunny
Chocolate or vanilla:Vanilla
Fruit or veggie:Veggie
Night or day:Night
Sour or sweet:Sweet
Love or money:Love (man, that ain't easy, but ok, love)
Phone or in person:In person
Looks or personality:Personality (duh)
Coffee or tea:Coffee. Unless it's sweet tea
Hot or cold:cold
Goal for this year:Start following my own advice
Most missed memory:I miss hanging out on the stoop with my friends in high school
Best physical feature:Legs
First thought waking up:How might I get out of going to work today?
Hypothetical personality disorder:Is being too nice a personality disorder?
Preferred type of plastic surgery:The kind you don't have
Sesame street alter ego:Oscar the Grouch
Fairytale alter ego:Umm... Sleeping Beauty (I love to sleep)
Most stupid remark:Impossible to answer. I top the previous one every day...
Worst crime:Should I answer this?
Greatest ambition:Greatness
Greatest fear:Failure to live up to my potential
Darkest secret:Well it won't be a secret anymore, now will it?
Favorite subject:Sociology
Strangest received gift:My ex once gave me a book called something like "The purpose of life" or something really odd like that
Worst habit:using sarcasm as a defense mechanism
Do You:
Smoke:Maybe once or twice in my past
Shower daily:Lord, yes
Like thunderstorms:Yes, if I'm inside
Dance in the rain:No
Play an instrument:I used to play piano
Get along with your parents:As long as we're not living under the same roof
Wish on stars:Not really
Believe in fate:No
Believe in love at first sight:Hasn't happened to me
Can You:
Drive:I loe driving
Cook:A little...enough..
Speak another language:Does "negro" count?
Touch your nose with your tongue:No
Curl your tongue:Yes
Have You Ever:
Been Drunk:Yes
Been Stoned/High:No
Eaten Sushi:Yes
Been in Love:Yes
Skipped school:Yes
Made prank calls:Yes
Sent someone a love letter:Yes
Stolen something:Yes
Cried yourself to sleep:Yes...
Other Questions:
What annoys you most in a person?passive aggressiveness
Are you right or left handed?right
What is your bedtime?I shoot for 10pm. I usually fail
Name three things you can't live without:My iPod, my phone (so sad) and my mother
What is the color of your room?The one at my mom's house has a purple wall, here it's an orangy color
Do you have any siblings?8 half-siblings
Do you have any pets?No. I want a dog
Would you kill someone you hate for a million dollars?No
What is you middle name?
What are you nicknames?Sha is one, Smash is another...
Are you for or against gay marriage?I'm for people not telling other people who they can and can't be with, period.
What are your thoughts on abortion?I think it's not my business what a woman does with her body within reason
Do you have a crush on anyone?Yes
Are you afraid of the dark?No
How do you want to die?Peacefully
What is the largest amount of popsicles that you have eaten on one day?2, maybe
Would you take a bullet for the one you love?Yup
What is the last law you’ve broken?I speed daily
In a Member of the Opposite Sex:
Hair color:Any
Eye color:Any
HeightTall as or taller than me
Weight.... I mean, I'm not going to say I'd be ok with morbidly obese, but I don't have a number
Most important physical feature:Not one -- gotta be a nice guy
Biggest turn-offCockiness
Take this survey or other MySpace Surveys at



I've talked about the relationship my BFF and I have, before. I discussed it in terms of whether or not a male and female can have a truly platonic relationship. I was happy to see Damon at This May Concern You talk about it in his open letter to "People Who Think My BFF Is The One." His letter is the epitome of how I feel about J (my BFF).

I'm going to visit him for his b-day next month (I actually leave a week and one day from today). I'm so excited. We lived together our last semester of college and so I've gone from seeing him everyday to not seeing him now, for 11 months. It was a slap in the face when we realized we'd been so busy we hadn't seen each other.

I was telling someone I was going to have to break J of his selfish habits. When it comes to me, he doesn't like sharing. Most people think he's joking when he tells them they can't see me because it's our time, but he's really serious. Usually he relents when I point out the err of his ways, but if I let it go, J will fight to the bitter end. Last night, however, I realized I'm the same way. I'm very selfish when it comes to him. I'm actually going back to his city (New Orleans) for Essence Festival with 3 or 4 friends, one of which is a mutual friend (J actually introduced me to this friend). She'll want to see J, but I'll probably nix that and sneak off and spend time with him by myself.

Some of you might think this is unhealthy or indicative of some deep-seated feelings J and I may have for each other, but I think it's more that we truly value each other and our time together and don't see why we should have to share (we're also both only children).

That same friend I told I needed to break J of his selfishness is the same mutual friend. She said "well, sometimes we all need to be selfish, right?" I'm reminded of her words now as I know that some of my friends are starting to get upset with me for not returning phone calls or text messages. I felt bad for a moment, but this time is for myself. Sometimes, we have to be selfish.


I Meant To...

What's that old saying? The road to hell is paved with good intentions?

I can't tell you how much trouble "I was going to..." or "I meant to..." never got me out of.

Yesterday, Glennisha tweeted about her uncle and then later did a post on how she wanted to go see him, and waiting on her mother missed an opportunity to see him before he passed -- how she didn't follow her first mind.

In the Spring of 2008 one of my uncles was found in a diabetic coma. He lived alone and doctors surmised he had been that way for about 3 days. He came out of the coma, but he was confused and unable to care for himself. My mom and his daughter moved him to a nursing home. At the time, I was 2 hrs away, going to school. My mom kept telling me he was getting better every day. When I went home for a weekend, my mom asked me if I wanted to go with her to the nursing home to see him. I have really bad memories of nursing homes. I hate the way they smell, I hate the stories I've heard of how people are treated. On top of that, I was scared to see my uncle laid up in a bed and not know who I was or who my mom was. I thought about what it would mean if I didn't go and he died before I saw him, so I asked my mom "how is he? Do you think I should?" She said, "he's ok. He'll be fine. You should go, but you don't have to." I didn't. A week or so later, she called to tell me he had passed away. Everyone was a little shocked because everyone thought he was getting better. I felt horrible. I could recall that hesitation -- that voice telling me to suck it up and just go see him, just to be safe -- and I ignored the voice because I was scared.

On some levels, I was scared that the last memory I would have of him would be him helpless in a bed, confused and maybe scared. But that doesn't excuse me. "I meant to" is surely not cutting it, in this case.

My mom's best friend died of breast cancer when I was young. Maybe 7 or 8. I remember one of the last times we went over to her house, my mom kept trying to get me to leave her room. I was so irritated because I couldn't figure out what they were talking about that she didn't want me to hear. Later that evening, I asked her why she kept trying to send me out of the room. She said, "because I don't want the last memory you have of her to be her so sick and weak..." that stuck with me. I made it a point to try to remember other times with her, other than when she was sick.

15 years later, that night is the night I remember most vividly, but I do remember getting sick one day at school. My mom worked at a plant and it was hard for her to just leave work, so there were a lot of other people we had to call in situations like this. At the time, her best friend was one. I remember her coming to pick me up and taking care of me. She had two grown sons and had always wanted a daughter. I think she saw me as her daughter and sometimes I wonder what type of relationship we would've had, if she were still alive.

Lately, I've been watching some old TLC stuff from right after Left-Eye was killed, back in 2002 (I'm not sure this has come through on my blog yet, but I'm a HUGE TLC fan). Chilli shared that she was very regretful that she wasn't able to get a chance to see Left-Eye before she left for Honduras. Before then, they had been having serious disagreements and while T-Boz and Left-Eye had had a chance to talk, it wasn't the same for Chilli and Left-Eye. Of course these were interviews done 6 mos to a year after the tragedy, but I can't help but imagine that she feels the same.

In any case, however you remember a person, whatever the last time is, I think it's more important to have that last time and always recall it, than to not have that last time and regret it forever. Of course this makes sense and we'd all like to think we'd always seize the opportunity if it's presented to us, but sometimes, we don't know that it will be the last time. Not to be all sad and depressing, but I guess too many of us take too much of the rest of our lives and the people in it for granted. I know I do.

Throwback Tuesday

The 90s were good to us...

Anyone remember this one? I didn't know there had been a video for it until recently. And everyone does know that is Bobby Valentino, right? :)

I Quit

I respect anyone, ANYONE who will do what this lady did.

"So if you confused about what I'm saying. Listen very carefully: I quit this bitch..."

Girl, get it.


Music is Clarity

For the next little while, I've committed to paring down my outside communication. Something clicked with me last night and I realized I need some time to myself, for myself. This means no phone: no texting, no calling, limited e-mail checking. The only phone calls I am taking are from my mother and a friend I'm planning a trip with. Other than that, everyone is going straight to voicemail. No gchat, which is huge for me. I decided I would respond to e-mails, but e-mails only and only if they warrant an immediate response. Any e-mails that can wait a while will wait.

Last week I got a new computer and so I've begun the huge task of putting all my CDs onto it. Some of the older ones are a little scratched and I rarely lug out the huge cases I have. For about the past 8 years, the music I primarily listened to was whatever I downloaded. Sure, I've bought plenty of new CDs over the years, but a few spins and into the case they went only to be discovered by a friend perusing my collection or me on the off-chance I could remember what I had. For the most part, I would create mix CDs (so many of my mixes remind me of specific time periods).

In putting all my music onto my laptop, I'm rediscovering some old stuff. Right now, Voyage to India by India.Arie and Let Go by Avril Lavigne are what I'm listening to. Both albums are what I need to hear right now to really get me moving and going and working through whatever funk I'm in.

It's funny because when I first got Avril Lavigne's album in 2002, I so heavily identified with a lot of what she was saying. I'm not sure what it means to still, 7 years later, identify so heavily but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

Anyway, the point of this oddly-timed and sort of awkward sabbatical is to focus on what's going on in my head. That post I did on Sunday that makes absolutely no sense (kudos to anyone who read it from top to bottom. I just tried and failed) was the beginning. I've been letting too much other stuff crowd my head and I'm not focused on me and where I'm going. As usual, I defer to other people's issues, make them my own issues and that way I don't have to deal with the real things that bother me (like uncertainty about my future).

I truly believe in God. I'm not so sure I believe that everything happens for a reason, but I do believe that in every situation there's a way for it to work for some greater good. I also know that so much of my life has to have been orchestrated by someone way smarter and flyer than me because you don't just fall into all of the good situations I've fallen into. Timing is everything and for as "let the chips fall where they may" as I am about a lot of things, time seems to always work out for me.

Recently I began seriously considering my future and a way to get back to my home state. I love where I am, but I miss some of the familiarity and I feel a certain sense of responsibility to my mother. The current job I have sort of fell into my lap and so I didn't pursue a position in the consulting field like I planned to. When thinking of what's next for me, knowing this job could never be forever (for me), consulting was what I went to. It's always attracted me and been something I'm interested in.

This morning, my boss, who I adore and made my unofficial mentor, announced he's leaving to return to the private sector. He's going to be an independent consultant. He started a consulting firm way back when and sold it when he got into the political game. Now he's returning. I see an opportunity here to make my next major move and set myself up to be where I want to be in a year. But there is a lot that plays into this and I don't want to be impulsive. I want to make a good decision and I want to feel good about it.

This is just a part of what I'm thinking about and needing some space to work through, but it, in and of itself, is pretty huge.

Don't worry good people, I'm still blogging. Everyday. Maybe more than normal since I won't be preoccupied by too much else. Hopefully I'll be able to articulate what's going on in my head. And hey, who knows, I may bust out a video blog to switch it up.

Series on Monday

Refresh your memory

Part 2

One summer evening, I was in the car with 3 of my closest friends doing what we had made a habit of doing that summer -- nothing. At one point while we sat in a fast food drive-in, I noticed no one was talking to me because everyone was on the phone. I picked up my phone and scrolled through the phonebook. Most of the people I would call "on a whim" were either in the car with me or I had just recently talked to or, for one reason or another, I already knew was busy. I got to JD's name in my phone and impulsively hit dial. He was at the movies, he said, and he would call me back when he got to his friend's house. I hung up sure he wouldn't call back and so I was surprised to see his name scrolling across my Caller ID.

We talked for about an hour. We discussed his relationship during the previous school year and how I was upset that he hadn't told me. He claimed ignorance of the fact that I still had such strong feelings for him. I questioned his relationship with the girl and he admitted he was using her for the opportunities it presented. He told me he was taking a family trip to Italy the following week and would like us to pick up the discussion about where our future was headed when he returned. I hung up the phone confused. In a matter of what seemed like minutes, I had gone from being calloused towards him to ready to talk about a serious relationship.

This conversation, though we spoke in the interim, didn't actually happen until sometime at the beginning of what was my last year in high school. We had dinner together and we discussed what it would mean for us to date. Ultimately we decided it wasn't a good idea. He said he went home too often and would feel like he was neglecting me. I told him that with it being my last year of high school, I didn't want anything tying me down. While I meant that, I left the conversation feeling a little disappointed, though I couldn't really pinpoint why.

The semester went on with me playing like I agreed with the conversation we'd had, but inside knowing it was bothering me. I threw the prospect of us dating out a few more times and was met with the same explanation. He didn't want to forego spending time at home -- though I said that that didn't bother me. I found myself trying to keep distance between us, but it didn't work. There was something about him that I was drawn to.

In the meantime, my best friend met a guy and had started dating him. I hadn't gotten a chance to really meet him so in the early part of the second semester we decided to go on a double date. I brought JD along and he acted like my boyfriend the entire night. I couldn't really fault him, but I thought that he would continue with the way he had been acting. To be fair to him and honest, I was really just irked that he took this opportunity in front of my friend to play the role but couldn't, or maybe wouldn't, commit otherwise. By the end of the evening we were in a local park. My friend and her boyfriend had found somewhere private and I sat on a bench next to JD dropping hints and fuming everytime he ignored it. Finally, I sent my friend a text that said "meet me at the car."

JD could tell I was irritated. I had all but completely stopped talking to him. As we were getting in the car, he came over to the driver's side and whispered in my ear, "is everything ok? are you mad at me?" Calmly, I responded "I'm fine. I think this is the last time we should hang out..." JD was shocked and asked me if I was serious. When I didn't respond, he grabbed me and started tickling me. "Take it back!" he kept shouting. I hate being tickled so I quickly complied. As soon as he got to his side of the car. I looked him in the eye and said, "I meant what I said." For the next three days, I ignored his phone calls. Sure, I was being juvenile, but I was also young and I thought it was the only way to get his attention. He called me regularly over the weekend and by Monday afternoon, I decided to throw him a bone...


So I Was Thinking Today....

Go with me for a second...

One of my major weak points is expressing myself about myself to people who's opinions of me matter to me. So basically all the important people. It's hard for me to be vulnerable to them because it opens me up to criticism and rejection and we have discussed my issues with criticism and rejection.

So all that's fine and well (of course it's not fine and well) but I reach these points of near breakdown (ok, not breakdown) where I need some space. I need to be by myself and work through whatever is going on. My friends heap a lot on me and I don't have too many people I can release my issues on. The reason is, so much of what my friends tell me is in confidence and I don't want to betray that (I'm no saint, but let's be real here) and I take my friends problems as my own. When they're down I'm down (see my Top 25).

I've been told over the years that I needed to learn to take time for myself. Mentally, I get that. I know that sometimes I need to say to my friends "Look. I love you, and I want to be here for you, but right now I need a break..." and other times I just need to feel free to say to them "Hey, you're making dumb ass decisions and I don't want to talk to you about it until you're ready to 'keep it real..'

I know I'm not making a whole lot of sense with this post. My mind is all over the place. I need a break from life for a second to just hit the reset button. I need some time for me to do what I want with people I love and come back to this whole thing ready to get it in...

I'm going to try this again tomorrow...


Haters II

Martini "The Bartender" at MartiniandScotch did a post that got me thinking about how one-sided my first Haters post was. I HAD to follow up.

In between living our lives and avoiding our haters, we need to watch ourselves. I think in claiming our own haters we find some semblance of self-assurance that we are not haters. Referencing a faceless group is supposed to quickly show your non-membership to said group. I mean, think about a group you're not in. Think about how you reference them in such a way that not only lets us know who they are but also lets us know you are not a member. The haters... That's them, and I'm not them.

Ok, false. We all hate. It's human nature. We run across someone doing better than us and we hate. Not always, not even on purpose, but we do it. To take us back to some really old cheesy saying let's "check ourselves before we wreck ourselves..." And in acknowledging that we're all guilty of hating let's also be careful of how we address those hating on us. Are they really hating?

One of my really good friends is completing her first year of law school. She's considering transferring. I know her well and I know that when it comes to big decisions like these she's prone to changing her mind, being impulsive and not thinking things through. So when she first told me she had started some apps I said "don't come back talking about you changed your mind in a week..." She made some noise about me not being supportive and we moved on.

A few days ago we were talking and she brought that conversation up again. "I sorta felt like you were hating on me, and definitely not being supportive," she said, "but now I realize, you were speaking the truth and just being a good friend..."

Some of us want haters to always be people who aren't saying what we want to hear. A hater is someone who sees you doing well, legitimately doing well, and wishes ill solely and only because you are doing well. A friend who calls you on your shit is not a hater, an acquaintance who doesn't agree with what you say or maybe even what you do is not necessarily a hater.

So let's watch ourselves and be careful before we start throwing the hater stone...

Oh, and Dafonzerelli had a GREAT post on haters. Check it out.


Gullible Factor

Speaking to a group of high schoolers, I once said, "people are stupid." When I saw their mouths drop open, I added, "individuals are smart, but if you bring individuals together, they're stupid."

This is how people are convicted regularly by juries when all the evidence says they couldn't have done it, and contrarily are set free when all the evidence says they're guilty as the day is long. We watch those episodes of 48 Hrs and Dateline and say to ourselves "that jury was stupid. How could they not have seen the truth?"

The truth of the matter is that people are very gullible. My job has illuminated that for me ten-fold. I respond to letters and e-mails all day where people ask very dumb questions based on the chain e-mail their best friend's younger sister's boyfriend's uncle's third child sent them.

I'm dumbfounded every time. In our day and age we can find information on anything. Really. And we also all know that everyday someone forwards on a non-factual e-mail. Hence the creation of Snopes (and I sure do use snopes all the time). And yet we read ridiculous stuff in our e-mail inboxes and we run with it.

This epidemic doesn't stop with e-mails. Phone calls, text messages, conversations. Because we heard it, we trust it to be true. Perhaps there was a time when you could believe everything you hear, but in 2009, good people, that's just no longer the case.


In all my years of researching and writing papers, I've never been able to turn in anything, call it factual, and have no supporting evidence. Hell, even in the blogosphere, we link stuff to prove our points. We reference things constantly. Instinctively we know things need sources so why don't we apply that to other parts of our lives?

I'm not saying we all need to turn into Skeptical Sallys, but take what you hear with a grain of salt. Do a little investigative research before you repeat it or at least have the good sense to acknowledge that the hard-to-believe, foul, or otherwise sketchy stuff you're about to repeat, at any given time, may not be true.


Throwback Tuesday

I'm pretty easily distracted. I somehow manage to distract myself consistently and without fail. One way I do that during the day is via gchat/google talk. Today one of my friends and I were talking about the "good ol' days" It all started when she sent me a link to Jennifer Lopez's video for I'm Real.. In turn I was reminded of her first song If You Had My Love. Really I remembered my friend and I watching this video every morning on VH1 before we went to catch the bus for school.

All this lead to a back and forth of videos from our middle school days. There was always something about music I've been drawn to. I remember singing Baby, Baby, Baby by TLC and Hip Hop Hooray by Naughty by Nature on the bus when I was in Kindergarten (yes, complete with hands waving). Play a song from the 90s and I'm usually going to guess the year correctly (give or take a year), even if I never heard it. The 90s was broken up by certain types of sound.

The early 90s was fraught with R&B ballads. We were coming off the late 80s when people like Freddie Jackson, Al B Sure, and Peabo Bryson were popping. We also saw the entrance of New Jack Swing. Artists like SWV, TLC, and Guy were influenced by the sounds of producers like Teddy Riley who paved the way for...

The mid-90s. We had hip-hop songs that were R&B and influences of rap fused together. We got classics like "I Can't Stand the Rain" by Missy and "Kissin' You" by Total. I say Missy and Timbaland deserve a lot of credit for that shift.

The late-90s brought out a lot of boy bands. We had groups like Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees and N'Sync claiming that groups from the 80s and early 90s like New Edition, and Boys II Men had influenced them. Something about a new millenium heading our way brought some futuristic sounds to Hip-Hop and Pop music. Folks started getting a little more free with studio effects and so we had the J.Los and Ashanti's. But we also saw some of the R&B princesses like Aaliyah, Brandy, Monica and Mya get some real play.

In honor of all the quality music we heard (and some of us didn't hear) from the 90s, I'm doing Throwback Tuesdays. I specifically want to highlight groups like Silk and Shai and Kut Klose and Jade who didn't stick around long but those of us who appreciate 90s R&B and hip hop really know and love them.

Up first, Shai -- If I Ever Fall

Eventually I'm going to run short on ideas, so do send me suggestions. We'll be doing this every Tuesday.


A New Series...

Since I'm horrible about posting on Mondays, I thought it would be a good idea to do a series. Counter-intuitive, I know. Each Monday, I'll post the next installment of a series I have yet to name... I need something catchy, but not stupid. If you guys got any ideas, lemme know. Oh and feel free to critique the heck out of it. I probably won't really like it, but I'll appreciate it. :) I'm writing this, it's a true story, for some TBD reason. I started working on it late last night and we'll see where it goes from here. It should also be noted that I'm totally swagger-jacking Alix at A Brown Girl Gone Gay with this series business...

Part 1
The ex (we'll call him JD for the purposes of this series) and I met when we were both in high school. It was sort of a fluke. For the first time, and never again, my high school thought creating a social mixer for all new students and on-campus residents would be good to help them acclimate to their new environment. JD happened to be at my table and in my group. He also happened to be the first one to come up. We chatted it up while we waited on the rest of the group to join us. One thing that is similar about both our personalities is that we can talk to just about anyone on just about any topic. I was two years ahead of him in school and he understood the importance of being taken under an upperclassman's wing. I felt like I was just doing my job.

About a week after we met, he and I spent about 2 hours on the phone. I had never been able to open up to anyone as quickly as I opened up to him. In that timeframe I learned so much about him and felt we were so much alike. I quickly decided I liked JD. I'd be lying if I didn't admit my haste in wanting to be his girl came from outside forces (like my friends and other girls I saw "pressing" up on him). I expressed my feelings and, in hindsight, he seemed taken aback and unsure of what to do. Not too long after I expressed my feelings, I found out through third party sources that he had started dating a girl in my group of friends. I knew something was going on between them because she took whatever opportunities she could to let me know they were spending time together. There was a common area my group of friends and I shared. We stored our belongings in this area and spent a lot of time there hanging out. One afternoon I walked into this area and heard JD and his girlfriend coming in from the other side. I quickly turned on my heels and left. From that day on, I ignored them both for the remainder of the semester.

I was upset that he didn't think enough of our friendship to tell me about her. I felt like a fool in front of everyone who knew what was happening. Ironically, the two of them broke up the following semester, shortly before Spring Break. The girl and I were going on a service trip together to Jamaica. She confided in me, before anyone else, that they had broken up. She admitted that her mom and others didn't really like him. I asked her why she was telling me. She said she just thought I should know. Not too long after, I ran into JD in our lunch hall. We talked and I confronted him about the relationship. He told me he thought he didn't need to tell me since I probably already knew. I knew he was bullshitting me but thought it best to let it go.

A few weeks after that, a friend and I were again in the lunch hall talking to a group of boys about prom plans. I had just recently secured a date to the prom but hadn't told anyone. JD came into the lunch hall and spotted me. He grabbed a chair and sat next to me. I ignored him while my friend engaged him in our conversation. I could see him staring at me but chose not to look his way. I wasn't upset anymore, but I still thought we needed to be clear about our boundaries. Were definitely no longer "friends" in my mind. My friend suddenly looked at me and said, "Why don't you ask JD to take you to prom?" I saw JD smile and begin to speak. I cut him off. "I already have a date." I said dryly looking only at her. I saw his face fall. I felt bad at the time, but I did have a date. After that, JD and I only saw each other in passing. I was careful to keep our interactions to a minimum, if at all.


Contact Me Part Deux

The Good:
Yesterday I got an e-mail from a friend I graduated from college with. She shared a conversation she had with a co-worker about keeping up with friends from "before." In the time since I graduated high school, it's been interesting to me who I keep in contact with. I hope to always be in close contact with my friends from college who were so integral to my college experience. I absolutely couldn't imagine college without them. Staying in contact with them, though for some it will be difficult, is very important to me and clearly to her.

In that vein, I came up with an idea (this was actually back in November) that we should take yearly trips together. As many of as could. This year it's supposed to be to DC (selfish, though that may seem). We'll see how that pans out. I also heard of a group of friends who use a private blog to stay in touch. I really like that idea, personally. I don't know if I can sell it to the troops though.

The Bad:
This morning I woke up to a text from my ex. (Review this tragedy here and here) It said "Hey Shlee (<<<--- pet name that sorta makes me cringe, now). How are you?" He had sent it around 3:45am my time, 1:45am his time. Epic fail. I responded, when I woke up around 7:00am "I'm well. You?" When I got to work a little over an hour and a half later he had responded "I'm good." I thought to myself "this was stupid, and a waste of my time... is he just checking up on me?"

Since my last post on him, I've sort of come to this place where it is what it is between he and I. There is no real future for us, though he probably would argue differently (as we'll discover later). About 5 mins after I saw his response. He called me and after basically telling me he was upset we hadn't spoken in a while, proceeded to share with me all of his feelings about everything ranging from school to his own personal life. He's always battled with depression and that played heavily into our problems. I sat, and listened and finally had to tell him that I had to get back to work. I didn't know what to say to him, but I know he really wanted someone to listen.

One of my friends puts our conversations in a very good way "He molests your existence..." Not to make light of molestation, but that's what it feels like. I no longer blame him for not taking interest in my life -- he asks, but I don't feel like it's his business so I'm vague and occasionally I lie (like when he asked about new relationships). After our 45 minute conversation, he texts me to thank me for listening and to let me know that he loves me. He follows that text up with a comment about how if he weren't gay (he came out of the closte 4 years into our relationship) I'd be his "#1" whatever that means.

He still calls me his best friend. I feel like that title should be reserved for his current boyfriend or at LEAST someone he talks to more than once in a blue moon. I'm not sure why I still answer the phone. I'm sure it has to do with our very long and stupid history which maybe if I feel like it's worth the effort, I'll be more specific about.

My BFF who I love to pieces and I speak maybe once a week. Thanks to GChat we've been talking a little more but we're both so busy and it'll be almost a year since we've seen each other when I fly down to see him for his b-day. The dichotomy is striking, at least to me.


A few randoms

First off, confessions.

1) I've been bumpin' "Rockin' That Thang" like it's not a game. I've been doing it shamelessly and for <<<<--- THAT I'm ashamed. 2) Found an unreleased track from The Dream called "Hater".... see #1
3) I ain't got nobody's (yeah, I know... but the bad grammar is meant to emphasize the negativity of this statement) attention span today and I have SO many meetings. I find myself zoning out, coming back and realizing how much I hate some parts of my job.

Next, a substantive commentary:

Thoughts of a Southern Gal put up a post about her text-only, one-sided interactions with a guy she recently met.

I agree with what she said:
This is not acceptable behavior to me. I can't accept a text as the first form of communication from a dude who claims he would like to get to know me.
I mean what is up with us these days? We can even take out the implications of a romantic possibility... what's up with texting-only as a means of communication with us? I won't lie and act like I'm not semi-guilty. There are surely people I almost ONLY interact with by way of a text message. But there's good reason for that, I think.

There's a larger issue here. What's it mean that there are people, lots of them who would ALWAYS rather just text you than give you a phone call? And not just you, but 98% of the people they know and interact with (the other 2 being family). I'm concerned/interested/wondering about the future of interaction. Any bets on how many more years before facebook, myspace, et al... become the primary way we communicate with EVERYONE? I mean for some, and this isn't meant to be an attack, just an observation, it's a primary (and good) way to simply meet people.

Ok, but my issue with texting as the primary, foremost and only line of communication stands. I'd take an e-mail in that role before a text. Give me more than 160 characters, PLEASE!

Third, a random listing of songs I'm loving right now... (to prove that I know The Dream is not really someone I should be bumping so heavily)

1. U R Mine - performed and arranged by a friend
2. Please Don't Stop - Keyshia Cole
3. Swagg - Teyana Taylor
4. Don't Know Ya'll - Yung L.A. / Young Dro
5. Tell Me How You Feel - Joy Enriquez


I'll let the video speak for itself. Tomfoolery at it's finest, ya'll.



I'm sure by now most of you have heard the leaked remix to Turning Me On where Keri Hilson supposedly disses Ciara (others say Beyonce, but a now removed youtube video shows Keri saying it wasn't Beyonce). An Atlanta radio station hosted both ladies and tried to play mediator. You can hear some of it here.

One of the first things Keri says is "this was directed to the haters..."

Now let me say something, hating is a real epidemic these days. No one wants to see anyone else do well and it's a shame. That being as it is, haters are a dime a dozen. You are NOT special because you have haters. We all do. Additionally, having a hater doesn't validate you. And not everyone who dislikes you and what you are doing is a hater.

"The haters" are turning into a group like "they." You know "they." "They" say a whole lot of stuff that's supposed to be representative of our society, or a large group and rarely is. No one knows any individuals from "they" but we all know "they." More and more artists are coming out with these extra-gangsta attack songs and when confronted are too scared to call a spade a spade and instead blame it on "the haters."

I have been guilty of sticking my foot in my mouth, more than once. In fact, that's part of why I'm more likely than not going to say exactly what I think. If I'm going to get busted for it, might as well own it, might as well make sure my intents are made clear, right? I understand a lot of being celebrity is about PR. I understand the media blows things out of proportion and people have died behind the media trying to make a buck off a fake beef (see Biggie and Pac). As a result I also understand how it can be important for a celebrity to try to brush a mistake under the rug but can we NOT always blame it on "the haters?"

We can keep letting "the haters" get away with everything and eventually "the haters" will join the ranks of "they" and start speaking for us and telling us what to do. This statement is tongue-in-cheek now, but may be reality before you know it.

So like I said, we've all got haters. I don't like my haters, they piss me off. They don't motivate me, (they don't hinder me either) they bother me and they are a nuisance. Just as they want to be. I don't give them credit for anything I do, hell, I don't want them knowing what I do. I think too many of us thinks it makes us the bigger person to say that "the haters" motivate us. It doesn't. You give them more power in giving them purpose. I do my best to effectively ignore my haters and somewhere inside, I wish them well, but I can not, will not with a forkk even give the impression that their antics might have helped me do anything in my life.

We gotta be careful with this "the haters" business, people.


Did I Tell You That?

ABrownGirl shared a story in her latest post about a friend she had who got upset when she found a blog posting ABrownGirl put up about her. Per the story, it seems ABG did it out of frustration -- not feeling like she was in a position to tell her friend how she felt, but still needing to get it out.

Enter A.Smith's life long (ok, maybe not life long) struggle with knowing too much from all the wrong sources.

It has been my experience that people don't like it when you know something about them that they didn't tell you. That relates to ABG's situation in that I've found people in my life don't always like knowing that I talk about them and their feelings about them on my blog. This is why most of my close friends don't know about this blog. As I said on ABG's blog, I'm sure they wouldn't really be surprised by what I have to say, but they'd probably be a little upset that there were public commentary on their private lives. I once said (on an old website, linked below)
It sucks that I can't use my website to say all the things I truly feel in the way I want to because others don't like what they end up reading about themselves here... because sometimes writing this stuff out is the only way I can seriously begin to deal with and handle myself.
Once upon a time, I had a website called The Life & Times of A.Smith (3-4 yrs ago, I had the great idea to make this website focus strictly on my obsession with quotes, so it's still in the inbetween stage. I had it unpublished, but I've republished it for a few days so you beautiful people can see it... excuse the mess and utter confusion.) and on that website I talked about a lot of things, including and especially my relationship which was just starting to hit a rough patch. I was really using it in the way most blogs were being used at that time, an online journal, in the vein of xanga or livejournal. My b/f at the time found it and we had MANY fights about the things I put up there. I tried to explain to him that this was how I dealt with our situation when he didn't want to talk about it and my friends were tired of hearing about it. I was most struck with the fact that he wasn't upset so much that I talked about him or that I even talked about him negatively. Rather he was upset that my friends might read it and, as he put it, read it out of context. We see the priorities...

My senior year in high school was quite possibly the most drama-filled experience of my life. I have fond memories of high school and I had great friends, but there was one girl in particular who I was really close to who totally turned into this crazy chick in our last few months together in school (I've been working the past few weeks on figuring out how to share the whole story with you guys in bite-sized interesting chunks). What really got the crazy-ball rolling was an innocent incident in which her ex-boyfriend, who I had become friends with (yes, I know I've posted in the past what a bad idea that is, how do you think I know that?) told me that he and the girl he had been rumored to be dating were actually dating. My friend didn't know it. During an argument, he blurted it out to her and she came to me for comfort. What did I say? "oh yeah, he told me about that a week ago..." I cringe even now thinking of what a big mistake that was. She didn't speak to me for about a week behind that.

I think we all like being able to control how people view us. I've previously admitted it's something I do. When we find out that someone knows something about us, especially when it's potentially harmful or embarassing, of course we get upset. Further, what if it was in a public place with a whole lot of people who you don't know reading it. Nevermind that for the most part these unknowns will never know who you are, and surely nevermind whatever truth may lie in the critique you read... emotions are at play and we don't do logic when we're doing emotion.

So since I know my blog is where I will come to vent about all the crazy things the people in my life do, I also know that I can't tell them about it. There's something that intensifies when they read it here versus when I just tell them. I'd like to avoid that intensity...


Forgive or Forget

I sorta had an idea for this post and then I read Robin Monique's entry Whosoever May Try, today and knew I had to do it.

First, this tv show. I'm a sucker for mid to late 90s cheesy talk shows. I always thought Mother Love was the business. Anyway, for anyone who may not remember, the premise of the show was Person A comes to the show either looking for an apology from Person B or looking to apologize to Person B. Mother Love helps Person A navigate the telling of the situation, we watch a pre-recorded message from A to B and then if B agrees (either to apologize or accepts the apology) they stand on the other side of the door. If not, the door swings open with no one behind it. Forgive or Forget.

To summarize the clip, Tina wants an apology from Vinnie for picking on her for being fat and a former alcohol and drug addict.

Yesterday I posted on how it seems "mature" Black Women deal with confrontation. Shante summarized what I was trying to say pretty well.
both parties are so busy "trying" to appear as the bigger person than actually being one. You can talk all you want to -- present, suggest and demand -- but if nobody's listening then nothing is fixed. Options and advice is thrown out there but nobody is willing to consider either.
I was talking about two women on BET's new show Harlem Heights. I later thought to myself, it seems that we learn how to deal with conflict in the 6th grade and we never truly learn mature ways. We just try to make the immature, mature. That makes no sense.

Few people ever learn how to truly forgive people. Forgiveness doesn't mean one is absolved of their wrongdoings, it means that you, as the "victim," are now choosing to no longer hold their transgressions against them; however, karma, my dear friends, is real and gaining a person's forgiveness is only the first step.

Robin Monique's situation brings forth an interesting twist, though -- what about the people who don't ask for forgiveness but you give it to them anyway? I fear I'm not always the bigger person I wish I was and I don't always forgive people even when I KNOW that by holding a grudge I'm really only hurting myself. I'm always amazed at people who can say to someone who has done them wrong "I forgive you and I wish you well..." Cause I don't. If I ever find myself saying that, I hope I take a minute to address whether or not I'm being honest. It takes a strong person. A truly mature person to forgive a person who attacks them for their weak points and then is not apologetic.

Don't get me wrong. I do forgive people sometimes even when they don't ask. I even hope good things for them (usually MUCH later) but it takes a big person to say that to someone and truly mean it.

Shameless Promoting

I don't do shameless plugs very often, so when I do, know it's for real. Or at least take solace in the fact that I don't do it very often. :)

Check out my boy Sparkz. Leave a comment and check out some of his music. I actually know him (for almost 10 years now and that's crazy town) so consider it a favor for me, your favorite long-winded blogger. :)


Black Women and Confrontation

So historically, black females don't get along. That stereotype is surely not helped any by this video...

Anyone else see the debut of Harlem Heights? I told a friend of mine "for what it's worth, I give BET credit for showing a side of black people that historically hasn't been shown, even on the same network. And we all know that no reality tv show works without drama. But still, I had to say, I guess watching young black people do well isn't enough." I don't really even say that begrudgingly. It is what it is and it isn't enough. But I'll save my commentary of our sociey on that point for another day.

I was struck with the way that the two girls with "beef" were portrayed as handling it. For those who didn't see it, apparently once upon a time, when Brooke first moved to NYC she and Ashlie were friends. Then something (what, depends on which you ask) happened and they quit speaking. Brooke says it's because she had a falling out with a mutual friend, Ashlie says it's because Brooke changed after she started dating Kanye West.

Ashlie decides she should reach out to Brooke and invites her to her b-day party. There's all the usual murmuring between Brooke and Ashlie and their respective friend groups. Eventually Brooke decides she should go to the party but only if her girls go with.

At the party, Brooke shows up, greets everyone (remember, they were friends and ran in the same circle) and sits with her friends off to the side. Eventually she goes over, alone, to speak to Ashlie. There's some mumbling about whether or not this is the place to hash out their issues. Nothing is resolved, there's just a lot of fake niceness and awkwardness.

Then they both retreat to their respective corners, each patting themselves on the back for being the bigger person.

I commend these two women for not resorting to a whole lot of backstabbing or screaming or attitude. I commend them both for at least trying to resolve the issues maturely. I also respect that when things like this happen, the first thing we ALL do is run to our other friends for support so I don't begrudge them that. In fact I don't begrudge them at all. I think what is sitting with me is that there was a whole lot of talking and no communicating.

Brooke tried to express that she felt like if Ashlie were serious about dealing with their issues, she would've picked a far more private venue. Ashlie tried to express that she felt like extending an invitation was burying the hatchet and showing her willingness to go forward. There was no compromise, no acknowledgement of the other's feelings. It was... well... typical. It was what we see too often as the "mature" way to handle conflict.

Conflict is horrible. Confrontation is tricky. Both things are necessary parts of living in a world with other people and then going the extra step of trying to have and maintain relationships with them. It's not easy, it's awkward and hard but if you're going to do something so awkward and difficult, at LEAST be productive. Hear the other person, try to be clear when you speak. Acknowledge that you two may still walk away disagreeing but if you heard the other one, then you made some progress.

Too often, we think either we need to scream and beat on each other or we have to be super passive and super fake in order to maintain "maturity."

Next weeks clips have Brooke and Ashlie having coffee, so let's see if they actually get anywhere.