Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: What a Damn Good Year

It's the last day of 2012. Zamn. Zamn Zamn.

Right now, as I sit in my mismatch jammies, my father's tube socks and a haphazardly tied head scarf, sipping hot tea with milk (THE BEST), I can't help but feel overwhelmed by what an amazing year 2012 has been. For some reason it felt like double the length and 10 times the impact. It was no doubt a year of extremes. I can't even properly recap it all in the mass media scheme of things, with all the goods, the bads, and the uglies.

Look at this year compared to 2011 (Oh Gawd, 2011 was for the most part poo. crap. sugar honey iced tea). 2012 was better by a landslide. Even with the little things. There was soooo much good music to listen to. Like seriously. History was made (shoutout to Gabby Douglas and Keija Minor!). All my friends made major moves and received so many blessings. Including me. I was surrounded by so much love in all forms: in the form of support, in the form of physical love (unions and proclamations of adoration) and then in opportunities. God showed me his favor this year. Here's a superquickreallybrief recap of what I'm talking about

*inhale*

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Letter to Impressively Stupid Non-Black People

*Before you read my letter, read the news. I'd like to make it clear that I am not racist, colorist, whatever-ist in any sort of way. Just an opinionist.


Dear Blackfacers,

Hi. Hello there. How are you? How's mom? Oh, that's wonderful. Tell her I said hi! Okay, now that all of the formalities are out of the way....

What in the hell is wrong with you??? (The F-bomb is actually a better choice of words, but I'll refrain. I have a little bit more class than that.)

I barely even know you personally, yet I keep hearing about you fools over and over and over again. I am a journalist, and at my office, we filter through news everyday no matter how big or small, no matter the region, no matter the race. I have the extreme displeasure of seeing your faces pop up across my screen, smeared in dark and cakey substances, pursing your lips in combination with the peace sign, hauling your shoulders around, flailing your Bloods and Crips fingers and purposely butchering every ounce of English you've ever learned in grade school. Throwing around the word nigga -- the same word you'd be TERRIFIED to even refer to in my presence -- laughing at the funny you just made. And as hilarious as you may think your duck faces may be to your, erm, "homegirls," I, for one, am not impressed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

K-Dot's Bandwagon and the Road Less Traveled

I've noticed a little trend. Kendrick Lamar and his good kid, M.A.A.D city are getting a really big whoop.

In the eyes of many music critics and aficionados, it’s well deserved. Off the bat, comparisons to Nas’ Illmatic were made in countless album reviews. So far, he’s been dubbed the “magnum opus of a generation” and “an anointed-by-acclamation savior” by The Washington Post and The New York Times, respectively.

He’s bulked up on some hefty cosigns for the most part (let's all just ignore Shyne calling the album “trash”).  Game called him the “West Coast Nas” and earlier in time, K-Dot teared up as he, Snoop and Dr. Dre symbolically passed him the torch. His first week projections serve as his accolades, boasting sales of over 240,000 units in his first week alone even without a real hit single (Swimming Pools was nice, not viral). 

Kendrick even joined the ad-lib/twitter quotables Hall of Fame (Ya Bish!) alongside the likes of Rick Ross’s heavy grunts, Yeezy’s hanhhs, Drake’s YOLO, and Big Sean’s “oh god,” “boiii” and “swerve.”

He's had a magnetic effect on people since he dropped Section.80 and it's looking like GKMC is the hook, line, and sinker.

So I heard all these rants and raves and naturally had to give it a listen.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shortcut Thoughts

Why, hello there. Let me share my thoughts of the day with you:

1. Someone overdosed on their sodium intake today.

2. Kanye West doesn't smile.

3. White dress is not about kim.

4. Patience is a virtue. Going shopping tomorrow.

5. Train stare downs (and stare dodges) are always epic.

6. *laugh-cry emoji*

7. I can't let #oomf get under my skin.

but more importantly............

8. WHY IN THE HELL DO I NOW ONLY THINK 140 CHARACTER LONG THOUGHTS???


Damn you twitter. Damn you.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Absentee Status


Whoa. *Big Sean voice*

It’s been quite the minute. I sincerely apologize for that. Between my last post and now, a myriad of thoughts have been swirling around my mind. I’ve been exhausting notepads, post-its and napkins writing down germs of thoughts for what I could write about next. But somehow, I’ve never gotten to it.

And as I listen to Adele’s new Bond movie anthem “Skyfall,” I’m prompted to write.

You ever felt like everything was going in your favor that it scared you? That it’s too good to be true. You spend every day smiling at all that’s happened to you, but tip toe around like you’re on eggshells because you don’t want to mess it all up?

I feel like I’m trying to dodge tetanus thumbtacks.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Subway Story


For most New Yorkers, Friday morning was like every other day. Of course the N train was crowded. Big and small arms stretched across more big and small arms in search of a pole or a corner for balance. A mother tickled her infant’s chin as it cooed and squealed in the stroller. Neighbors looked on and smiled at the sight of such maternal bliss. A sprinkle of daydreamers throughout the car gazed out the window with glassed over eyes, lost in their own thoughts. Everyone else was buried in something. Nose in book. Eyes on phone. Ears jammed with personal melodies. The air appeared still, normal and silent. The train was in perfectly harmonious order as it made it’s descent from Queens down into Manhattan. 

Then, one nose curled from a young woman whose eyes wouldn’t normally part from Jay-Z’s “Decoded.” She was forced to look up. Her eyes met with another young woman who winced at the same moment. Other eyes in the slowly clearing out car nervously met others, faces scowling in retched agreement. Then all eyes darted to the right of the car, scanning for the source of the putrid odor that distracted them from their travelling minds in such a disrespectful and abrupt manner. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

#AugustWritingChallenge [Week 2]


#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 10 - Green 

Green, the color I have a love/hate relationship with. 

I was never really familiar with that color and all that came with it until I went away to school. It started with the smell. At first I didn't know what that sour but sweet smell was that I whiffed any and EVERYWHERE on campus. After a few months, the scent became as standard an aroma as eua de parfum. 

Though the smell was nice, I hated the way it permeated my collegiate social life. No matter the function, no matter the crowd, no matter the time of day, Mary Jane was always around and available plentifully, with eternally willing part takers in tow. Now I try not to judge avid smokers, but to often be the non-chiefer in a room full of bowls and blunts and happy blowers gets annoying. 

Too many plummed lips and scarlet tinged eyes from a successful wake and bake greeted me in the morning. Too many late night nacho cravings, hap hazard laughing spells, overwhelming sleepiness and the desire to just chill were a part of my night adventures (most of which weren't all too adventurous because the only traveling that took place was in adamant pursuit of a weed man). 

But why though? Why every day? And every night? At every recreational activity? What happened to the drink-and-dance method that worked before?

I just want to shake my behind (as classily as possible) and do hoodrat things with my friends, not sit around in deep and philosophical thought about the world's issues and how real the Illuminati is and the rise of black power in America.

Sure you can sling arguments my way about how much "healthier" kush is for you then a cup of Henny and coke, but, if you couldn't figure out by now, I don't care. But fine, let's ditch the cocktails. No one knows how to have sober fun or even function when they're down here on the ground. "Oh, my mind works better when I'm high. I have better thoughts." That's sad. Sir and/or madam, that just means something is wrong with your brain. 

I'm over always hearing people talk about how they're such broke college students and how they indulge in only the delicacies of Top Ramen with a splash of hot sauce. Oh. Really? But you buy at least a dime bag a day, or sometimes split an eighth if you're having a good (or a really rough) day. Yet you have no money to buy any food? Okay.

I've learned that I don't hate weedheads for what they do. It's your body, do with it what you want. But the "Going Green" pothead lifestyle that's running rampant right now is what never fails to get under my skin.

No, I don't want to have to factor vices into my night to have fun. I just want to sit, talk, dance, and have fun with good people who are in their normal, unaltered state of mind. Is that really so much to ask?

Apparently, the greenhouse thinks so. 

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#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 9 - Rhythm 

my city has a rhythm
every corner has its note
emcees rapping to you as you pass
selling their CDs and high hopes
from coins jingling at overpriced magazine stands
and the harmonicas, accordions, and fiddles of makeshift sidewalk bands
the click of the turnstiles in full rotation
the muddled shuffles of feet in every rushing station
the nighttime patriotic sirens blare
from the city's finest who've never really cared
yes.
New York City has a rhythm
but not everyone can play the song
get on strong in the concrete zoo
juggle barhops, fests and thrift shops
while your rent is past due
the beat of every borough
mesh with the staccato of the state
that can make music without you
unless the impact that you make
is audible
applaudable
something of a marvel
my single's being written
with the experiences i'm living
ah, yes, the sweet music
my city has a rhythm.

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#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 8 - Renew

You ever worked so hard that your body started reacting? Losing sleep as the weeks pass with less and less days to yourself dedicated to loafing around? Being so on the go so much that your limbs start to ache?

But it  felt so good?

Doesn't seem to equate, huh. And in theory, it doesn't. If you're feeling like this, then you should slow down and take it easy, right? Right. But..... my excitement nips that recovery treatment in the bud. 

This summer, I have exhausted every fiber of my being into writing, researching, learning, and putting myself out there. I'm making it a point to go to as many casual social functions as my body can take, because you don't know when you may stumble across your next inspiration and/or opportunity. I'm manning two internships at two wonderfully different publications, VIBE Magazine and TheRoot.com, and couldn't feel more grateful for them. I'm loving every second of it, and even though the fatigue is in deed there, my spirit feels renewed. 

Let's rewind two years ago to my junior year in college. I could quite bluntly tell you that I hated journalism. My professor was giving me a hard time and I was slowly falling out of love with the craft that I'd been in a serious affair with for my entire life. I couldn't have felt lower and any more confused with my purpose. Nonetheless, I followed the track of my graduation scheme and pushed through, because quite frankly, I was in too deep to turn back. I had some great internships that summer that had not too much to do with me practicing exquisite writing. And that was fine with me.

Senior year, I ended up the only student in my Feature Writing class. Surprisingly, everything went uphill. I was paired with a teacher whose expertise and heart was in line with where my dreams were a few years prior, and she led me back on the right path. I was head over heels again. The cosmos were back in order.

I don't have time to slow down for fear of losing this refreshing momentum I have. I'm inhaling transcriptions, music reviews, writing challenges, and short pieces in hopes that I will one day breathe out beautiful words on a page that people actively seek to read. I want to be recognized not only for my efficiency, but for words that make people feel and see exactly what I experience (or want them to experience) at that moment in time.

It's possible. And it's my absolute intent. 

It's time to stretch, prep, and crank out some beauties, because Stacy's got her groove back. 

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#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 7 - Fear

No lie, I’m scurred.

It’s a trivial fear and one that I know I’ve previously argued about, but I can’t help that it’s heavy on my brain.

Deep in the back of my mind, I am scared I won’t find love.

I’m perfectly aware of how young I am. I know I’ve got time. Yet I can’t help but think about all the couples around me that have started arranging their dates for holy matrimony and I haven’t even started dating. I can honestly say I’ve been on one date in my entire life. Like a real one where the guy asks you to do to an evening of random fun activities out on the town. I did that last summer. I was 21. And that was my first “date.”

I’m scared that that’s an omen. In the meantime and between time, I’ve worked on making the best me I can possibly become. I’m confident in myself and in my work. I’m taking baby steps in this health thing and even taken a stab at being domestic. (Been working on mastering a few dishes lol)

But that fear of being a self-loving, self-sustaining woman my whole life has got me a little shook.

People like Evelyn Lozada and Ochocinco –who tweeted at his own wedding ceremonies, ugh – and Christina Milian and the Dream and KimYe all them heaux on Love and Hip Hop Any Location make me feel like this love and marriage thing is doomed to jokes and reality TV coverage. And infidelity. And divorce. People don’t need marriage anymore. It’s just another contract. Why bother with it?

I want it all though. I want love. I want to marry my “best friend.” I only want to marry once and know they’re the only one.


I’m scared that it’s not my generation’s mindset. 



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#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 6 - Change

Dear Change,


You, my friend, are something else. A complexity of sorts.

No one can tell if you’re good or bad, but the hope is that you are inevitable.

On the one hand, you’re welcomed with open arms. People have prayed for you. Extinguished the flames of a birthday candle with you in mind. Thrown loose pennies into dirty wishing wells for you. Even searched the night sky to peek at a shooting star for you.

But then there are those who resist, even reject, you. People don’t like to accept you and swear that you equal negativity. Oh you changed, they say. Who do you think you are? I don’t know you anymore.

It’s quite incredible how much your name is slandered, dragged through the mud, and misconstrued on the daily.

But you and I, we’ve got a system going. You’re not always there, but every once in a while you come around when I need it the most. You’ve grabbed my hand and gracefully escorted me from point A to B to C in life. Because of you, friends have faded out of my life like black shirts turn grey, but in that same cycle, I’ve gained people I consider family. When you work your magic, I grow and become more beautiful to me each time.

If people just gave you a chance, you’d turn their lives into something real pretty. Something they would’ve never stumbled across during their stagnancy.

Shoot, soon you and I are going to create some epic stuff.

Change, you are a powerful weapon. But you’re not meant for everybody.

Glad I’m an exception.

Sincerely,
The Changed. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

#AugustWritingChallenge [Week 1]

This month, I will be joining along on a challenge to push myself as a writer. Hopefully at the end of the month after writing everyday and reading other people's work, I'll see some growth in me. To not flood my page, I'll update the posts with my weekly topics. Here we go!


#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 5 - Faith


I’m proud of myself for getting to where I am in life. I’m proud of the work I’ve done and all the applications for the lessons I’ve learned. I’m proud of me for trusting the God will lead me to my success.

But I’m the most proud of my friends for having more faith in me than I have in me.

It’s crazy how you can get so wrapped up in trying to measure up to some omnipresent standards of excellence that you get lost in the sauce trying to meet them. I’ve had so many “I’m a failure” breakdowns. It was my friends who shook me out of my funk by reminding me of all the good I’ve had and all the great that’s yet to come.

So this post is a short and sweet acknowledgement of appreciation for those of you who read everything I write, constantly speak my success into the atmosphere, and faithfully remind me that my best IS good enough.

For this, I am indeed thankful. 


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#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 4 - Physical


This is my current obsession.

Every day, I place myself in front of the mirror and prepare for my routine critical analysis.

Skin’s clearing up. My smile is still winning. I still hate my chin. I need to fix my posture. Boobs way too big. Way. Too. Big. The sight of my stomach is annoying. I need to start the Insanity workout yesterday. Which means I need a salad for lunch. But hmm, did my butt grow? Maybe a little? No? Okay. Was I always this bowlegged? Is that going to cause a health issue later in life? F**K I hate my feet.

These are my thoughts every single day. Because no matter how much someone tells you otherwise, IT MATTERS. Don’t lie to me and tell me it doesn’t.

Because it does.

You and I both know that we give someone the once over before determining if they’re worth a minute more of your time. We know we want to turn heads in a good way when we come back for Homecoming. Well at least I do. The last thing I want to do is be the butt of anyone’s jokes. People are mean these days and my ass is too sensitive for all that “keeping it real” nonsense.

The physical is the #1 most important thing in the world to people in terms of attraction solely because it is the segue to any and everything else that matters. And I have to be amply prepared.

Now I’m not saying all this is a good thing or a bad thing. But it’s a real thing.

The more you know….

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#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 3 - Connection


Connection.

I feel like half of the people writing about this word have no idea what it even means. Not anymore at least.

I’m no exception.

We’ve lost touch of the most basic forms of communicating: connecting through real-time, real life interaction. I hate talking on the phone. Texting makes my fingers hurt. My bravado increases when I’m in front of a screen but I appear to be a mute when placed in a random group setting.

More people have read my blog than talked to me in public. We think about proper ways to phrase a text message and position our LOLs in hopes that they’ll get the right message. Instead of learning to hand write letters, we’ve become experts in shrinking our most intimate thoughts into 140 characters or less. Siri seems like a more valuable companion than a boyfriend or girlfriend. When we get face to face or voice to voice with another human being, we choke.

Face it, our generation is ASS BACKWARDS.

And we have the nerve to talk anything about connection.

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#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 2 - Stereotype


I wore my Howard Alum t-shirt to work today. When I tell you I felt like a million bucks walking down a busy Hudson Street in that basic tee. I was in my own world, parading down the street, not looking at anyone as I went along. I just knew I was it. A very fabulously dressed man strutted past me and I could hear a faint “Yaaaaaaasssss Howard” come from his mouth. Ya damn skippy, I thought to myself. Though I was flattered, I didn’t turn my head. It’s that Howard effect.

I’m pretty sure in the 43 seconds of that moment that had elapsed, I was giving the whole stereotypical Howard package. I’m not sure that’s so much a bad thing.

According to the oh-so-godly opinions at large, Howard kin are bougie, semi-cocky, extremely privileged individuals who don’t walk with their heads held low and won’t accept the word “no” as a suitable answer.

I see no issue here.

Of course you have some extremes tossed into the bunch, but I love belonging to such a confident group of go-getters. Four years ago, I wouldn’t have been carrying on in such a certain fashion. I would have blended in with the sidewalk scenario like a sick chameleon. Howard changed the SH*T out of me, and I’m so glad.

If you go to Howard, it’s true, you have to deal with people who feel like the Big Guy upstairs hand delivered their sky-high-ego asses onto the Earth just to bless it.

And then you hit ‘em with the stale face: -________-.

After side-eyeing them, you do some internal assessments and realize that you’re equally (if not more) hot sh*t than they are. And if they don’t agree, then they can have several uncushioned seats. And so the bougie train continues.

All that constant competition and sense of uneasiness I experienced amongst my peers prompted me to step up my game and actually BE about it, that way I could  soon (humbly) boast about it.


I’d much rather fall into the Howard stereotypes over those that natural haired gals like me are pegged with on the daily. NO, I don’t sit in the grass. NO, I don’t like incense. NO, I have no idea what all the Adinkra symbols mean. NO, I’m not always your ‘sistah.’

Sorry, rant over. Point is: we don’t always have to run from the stereotypes that follow us. Instead, use it to realize something deeper about yourself, pull from it and use it to your benefit.

Now back to my bougie Bison swag. *shades back on. Aaaaaand strut*

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#AugustWritingChallenge - Day 1 - Money



Money, man. 


That green shit people kill each other over. Ain't nothing but a color really. Or some stinky singles that left a rapper's hands and were probably nestled in a stripper's ass crack at some point. 

What we kill each other over. What we glorify. The Almighty Dollar. How we define our success at ALL stages of our being. The currency of our lives. 

Correction, of YOUR lives. 

While I'm young, I'm not dwelling on that stuff. Money does't mean anything unless you've got joy first. And man, let me tell you how much joy I have. 

Translation: both the inside of my wallet and bank account could be the subject of a comedy show. There just isn't anything in there. 

Must suck huh? Nah, I'm good. I'm still richer than a lot of people, and that's sad. Right now, I'm basking in the richness of my fresh-out-of-college-let's-find-free-stuff experiences, and learning to find more joy in the absence of finances. Without a little bit of poverty-like fun, you won't appreciate the moolah when it come's rolling your way.

And for you all that strongly disagree, who are living your life JUST to get the dollar, busting your ass in jobs that are of no interest to you, I bet you don't have a receipt for that "happiness" you got over there...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

An Evening with Frank Ocean: Washington, D.C.

I won't forget the day that Frank Ocean came to town. 

All afternoon, people alternated between sitting, standing, leaning and crouching outside of D.C.'s 9:30 Club. The line -- peppered with American-flag bandana wearing Stans, pseudo-hipsters and Urban Outfitter frequents -- started as early as noon. At 7 pm, when the doors opened, the masses piled in excitedly, only to wait a little more. 

The rumor of him not coming on until 9 p.m. (or later) circulated like catch-fire, and people switched from foot to foot to dilute the swelling pain in our ankles and foot bottoms, myself included. I couldn't imagine the fate of those wearing heels. I was pissed because they wouldn't allow professional cameras into the venue 'per the artist's request,' the girls behind me were squealing in excited decibels for a solid hour before he came on, and a wave of fatigue (the itis) came over me. 

The house was packed, and impatient fans were hot and bothered. Everyone's minds seemed to be in the same place. It was 9:02. "Where is he? If he doesn't come on 'til..." The lights dimmed mid-sentence. The crowd went batshit. All previous ailments were numbed as the man of the hour made his way up the side of the stage, with his staple headdress knotted just so. He walked past the stack of flickering television sets decorating the stage and took a seat on the stool that was patiently waiting for him. And suddenly the room was ORANGE. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I Bet You $5 You Don't Know What's Playing in Your Headphones....

Think of all your favorite artists and favorite songs of today. What's you're favorite music genre?

...WRONG. 

Yeah, you're incorrect. It doesn't matter what you did or did not manage to utter out. 

It's null and void because today's music is genreless. 

You like good ol' Frank Ocean don't you? Well, did you notice that on iTunes he lists his albums as a different genre each time? The Lonny Breaux Collection was listed as "R&B." nostalgia, ULTRA was "bluegrass" (wtf). And channel ORANGE, "pop." NONE of these titles relate to the sound. But I bet you didn't look or think twice about that and you're still playing "Pyramids" and "Pink Matter" at least twice a day. Frankie falls into no categories, and he said it himself. 


In a recent interview with Respect Mag, he responded to Elliott Wilson's question:: How do you categorize yourself? I know you’re not too comfortable with the R&B label.


"I just think R&B is so racial. I’m going to borrow a line from Duke Ellington and say it’s “beyond category.” Pharrell has told me to say I’m a singer/songwriter, because that’s what I really am. I don’t want to step off into the “Don’t label me because I’m black” realm, but I would say any artist that is killing it right now has long since abandoned genre and expanded past certain labels."



Mr. Breaux's not the only one floating in this boat. It's getting harder and harder to categorize our artists. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stop Racing, or You'll Trip.

Somehow, I have been cruelly tricked into believing that at this point and time in my life, I should be at my prime.

Collegiates: STOP FEEDING EACH OTHER THAT BULL.

That's some evil thinking, because at 22 and such, we should be at the starting line. Excited. Not defeated.

I was scrubbing the shampoo out of my 'fro in the shower when I started thinking about where I was in terms of developing my career and my brand. I was marveling over some of the cool accomplishments of my friends as of recently. Then I was scorning myself for not being IT right now. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

"Group Think" is Annoying.

 So, if you're not part of a "community," where do you fit exactly?

photo courtesy of wired.com


When Solange cut her hair, she was unofficially recruited into the natural hair community, although she denounced the hell out of that once someone commented on her picture saying she was in desperate need of a twist out. Rude. 

Then, the second Frank Ocean stepped his big toe out the closet, the whole LGBT community welcomed him with open arms into their kumbaya circle and claimed him as their own (which is great, because he just stepped up as a beacon of light to people who found too much comfort in the darkness of their closet). But still, quickly snatched into a social circle. 

And if I were to ask you who Asher Roth is, what would you say? White rapper. Machine Gun Kelly? White rapper. Kreayshawn? White girl rapper. Eminem? One of the greatest rappers of all time.. that happens to be white. 

As a race -- the human race -- we sure do love to categorize. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I Love Him, He Loves Hims.

It's July 4th, and I'm kind of heartbroken. 

Frank Ocean, the musical love of my life and my long lost soul mate, clarified all questions lingering in the air about his sexuality. His first love, which he described so vividly and craftily in the official Thank You's for his album Channel Orange, was indeed of his own gender.

I'm sad, but only because I convinced myself that I was in love. Now, this is huge news. Usually, I get upset when people huddle around their computers and deem things like this worthy of "news," but in this case, it was different. 

It mattered so much because he was loved so much. His music had still has the ability to woo you, rouse your spirits, and reach past the ratchet that inherently lives in all of us and nudge our souls. Okay, I'm being dramatic. But that's what his music did for me. 

It was real. Authentic. Genuine. And people, girls and guys alike, F'ed with that. This change, or realization rather, was magnified for us because, as an artist, he mattered and was worth a damn.

photo courtesy of spin.com

Monday, July 2, 2012

Playing Dress Up (an oldie but goodie)



Wow. I was rummaging through my files and found this old thing from junior year of college. I wrote this for Professor Lawrence Kaggwa, arguably one of the most difficult and dream crushing professors in the journalism department. He gives out D's like candy on Halloween.

This baby got a B. 

It was a joyous occasion. Read and enjoy!


5 p.m. laughter from students freed from final examinations erupts outside of my Howard Plaza Towers dorm room window. It’s a foreign noise to me, having not left my room or hung out with friends in 10 hours. My mouth is dry from reading my Reporting and Writing articles aloud over and over to make sure they sound perfect. My eyelids are sore and heavy from hours glued to my computer screen editing pictures from a photoshoot I did for a classmate’s marketing project. My mind is tired from struggling through Dr. Carr’s book assignment, “Black Marxism” by Cedric Robinson. I am starting to feel defeated. One more paper to go, I tell myself, but I need to step out for a break. I get up from my desk, shake the numbness out of my legs, throw on some street clothes, grab my bag, and drag my feet over to the full length mirror.

I don’t see my weary self. Instead, a confident image stares back through the mirror at me. I blink my heavy and swollen eyelids, but her dark, alert eyes stare back, piercing. I raise my arm to feel through my naturally coiled tresses, yet she pushes back her bone straight, jet black hair behind her ears. I lower my hands to loosen my cream cotton scarf, as I see her snugly fastening her crimson cape around her neck. With a furrowed brow, I tilt my head to the side and examine the reflection of my oversized old gray sweatshirt. I touch my chest; her hand grazes across a block letter ‘W’ printed across her bosom. On the outside I appear to be the typical stressed college student, but when I see myself, I see Wonder Woman.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Boss vs. Bought

I'd like to think that I'm extremely ambitious.

Not sure if I was aware of it until recently. It dawned on me when I was thinking about all the things I want to accomplish in my lifetime career-wise. I was pissed that I was 22 and hadn't mapped my life out yet and decided on the name/title of the career I wanted to pursue. This summer, actually, I answered myself. There is no one occupation I want to claim. 

I want seven. Yes, seven. And I intend to have them all. Possibly simultaneously (we'll see how that goes).  

Now, in my current field (good ol' journalism), me living a quote unquote lavish life isn't going to be immediate by ANY means. Ha! No BMW. No posh condo nestled in the heart of the city. No Diane Von Furstenberg, YSL, Miu Miu, Louis V or Louboutin for me. Which is fine. Bragging about having all that stuff would just make me a buyer, or bought rather. Not necessarily a boss. 

Success isn't being a buyer. It's being a BOSS. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Natural Habitat

Happy Humpday!

Yesterday could have been yet another day at home spent rolling around under the covers, wasting away in the comfort of air conditioning. Okay, okay. Being home isn't that bad.

But I utilized my also-bumming-it little sister and decided to make a little bit of magic happen. I gave her full, yet temporary, access to my closet and makeup and decided to use her as a model and my home as a backdrop. She's grown ALL the way up since the last time we had a makeshift photo shoot and was so much more elegant in these photos. Here's a sneak peek:




See the rest of them here

I must say, it felt good to be shooting again. When you get home, you get comfortable. When you get comfortable, you get lazy. I haven't had access to "models" (aka my college friends) for quite some time, and therefore lost a little bit of my momentum to shoot. 

Time to pick it back up again before I lose these creative juices.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm Sexy & I Think I Know It.

One of my best friends sent me this article on Black Girls Are Easy about dating vs. "come over and chill." 

Boys, read it. It's hilarious. 

Ladies, read it. It's the truth.

Best quotes from the reading:

"Don’t think because some Hoes are winning that you should follow that lifestyle, little ghetto boys shouldn’t drop out of school and try to become Tony Montana, and frustrated girls shouldn't close their heart and start hoeing—few are built for that life. However keep one thing in the back of your mind when thinking about Hoes—Value. A Hoe knows her value, it may be a ratchet ass Juicy Couture bag or it may be a condo on South Beach, either way she got something."


"Just because going over to chill is something to do, doesn’t mean it’s something you should do. Ask to go on date, better yet, steal a little bit of confidence from the Hoes and TELL him you want to go on a date. Stop being happy just to have a man like you! Not only is he supposed to like you he is supposed to worship you. Your charisma should be so f*cking electrifying that any guy who is privileged enough to go out on a date with you should be going out to buy new clothes, getting his car waxed, and scouring Yelp for the most romantic places he could take you on a first date. Getting a bad chick to say “yes” to a date should be like winning the lottery, don’t let him take you for granted as if you’re just another b*tch. You are the Queen of Sparta, owner of a 24-karat p*ssy that these peasants aren’t even worthy to smell. Show confidence, and you will always be treated like quality!"


LOL!

Any who, reading it made me analyze myself just a little bit more. I like to analyze stuff. Figured out some thangs. 

I mean, I know it, and a lot of my friends know it. 

I lack confidence. There. I said it.

Like, I don't necessarily have low self-esteem and throw pity parties for myself, but I know I don't walk into a room and command attention (from men). I've always been a quiet, reserved girl and always labeled myself as "shy."

The thing is that I'm not even sure if I'm "shy" anymore, because if need be, I can become a shiner and talk up a storm and sh*t on hoes with my talents if I so desired. But in social settings I tend to fall back and just observe, and with guys I clam up altogether. Or creepy older men are attracted to my "poised" (aka silent) nature. I don't get it. I don't think me being pseudo-shy is my issue at all.

Unfortunately, I just haven't embraced me yet. 

My friends tell me I'm great, but then again who's friends wouldn't tell them that? I feel like it's standard friendship protocol.  

I'm my biggest critic and tend to beat myself up about the little things. I also am a huge hypocrite, because I allow myself to fall victim to comparisons, and I always say I HATE when people compare things. 

Don't worry, working on this is my #2 priority (after dedicating myself to being a superstar intern). I've been praying every night for the Big Guy Upstairs to help me with my confidence. EVERY night. 

Pray for me too.

Let's hope he fits me into his busy schedule. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

VIDEO SPOTLIGHT: INFECTED LOVE

Came across this really dope short film (called Infected Love) made by Howard U student Akinbola Richardson.

No words necessary, just watch:


Powerful message. Now imagine him in a few years? 

My Crew. My Dogs. Set Goals. Fix Flaws.

For the past couple days, I've been playing Extreme Makeover since I've been back home. It needs to look like a place of permanent inhabitance (I made that up), not just summer housing. 

It's coming along well. 

Took a break from all that, grabbed a snack, drank some juice, found a scale. It's been a while so why not hop on. Hopped off just as fast. 

I could have cried from the number, lol! Not a laughing matter though. 

So, aside from making my room cooler, I have a new summer goal:

Weight loss! 

I'm not going to do some super rapid race to skinny. I've just accepted I'm going to be plump on the beach. *shrug*

My goal is to drop 20 pounds by Homecoming. I have until October to change my lifestyle. Why wait til it's too late? 

Time to research methods. And vacuum.

Toodles!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Times Have Changed, Boy.

Happy Saturday!

Aside from me sitting on my ass all day, I found this interesting little read on EBONY.com called "Single, Saved, and Having Sex."

I won't be the spoiler in this case and give the play by play of the article; go read it yourself. Seriously. But I will say it was an excellent read on how "traditions" are being modified as the climate of relationships is changing and an eye opener on how really real it is. 

I mean, to be real, my eyes BEEN open on this issue, but it just made me think deeply into this generation and where they stand on relationships. 

My perspective on black love and Generation Y have been thrown all over the place lately. According to the article (and life), people are getting married at much later ages, if at all. Unions of love are being taken as a joke because the L word is an either extremely overused or extremely unused term. We hear about as many divorces as we do weddings. No one's ever ready to settle down with one person because, hey, why have just one when you can have many?

This leaves me discouraged to say the least. 

But then lately I've been witnessing things that conflict with this preexisting theory. 

I think over the past two years, I've witnessed about 6 engagements in total. I will be attending 3 weddings this year, starting in July. 

One of my favorite set of nearly-weds is my amazing linesister Michelle and her boo, Tory.





Look at her showing off her rock at graduation! (This photo was taken by me for The Washington Post.)


This gives me a little hope. Maybe our generation is getting it together slowly and giving love a chance. 

Or maybe I'm wrong. 

I'm single as a fresh dollar bill, so don't take my word for it, lol.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Graduation: The Glass is Half Full

It's May 2012. 

Here come the tears of joy, sorrow, triumph, frustration, and reality. 

Bring on the Kleenex.

After four years of living the undergraduate life, it's time to be spat into the black hole we globally refer to as adulthood. The real kind, not just the neck-roll induced "I'm grown" schpeel. 

Time flies when you're chugging beers and churning out A+ papers. 

More often than not, soon-to-be grads feel an unsettling rumble in the pit of their stomach when someone asks them the end-all-be-all-of-questions:

"So, what are you doing after graduation?"

-_____-




My sentiments exactly. 

My mind eases up a little bit when I think of what I REALLY gained from college: opportunity. College places you at the epicenter of innovative new ideas with the ambitious young minds necessary to bring them into fruition. Our peers -- our cranky roommates, teaching assistants, club presidents, sorority sisters and fraternity brothers, best friends, or even the person you always say hello to but never quite caught their name -- are all stepping stones into the next chapters of our successful lives because they constantly provide us with opportunities to grow.  

Whether you're out busting your chops at an internship or lounging around in the rec area of your dorm, the next billion dollar breakthrough is within feet of you and is just as eager to see you rise to the top with them, IF you work hard.

Leaving my Alma Mater (Howard University, go Bison!!), I'm very confident in my aforementioned statements. I've worked hard. You've worked hard. Work it out and help each other shine. 

There are way too many opportunities to not do that. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Most Awkward Social Butterfly

I wouldn’t say I’m popular, but I love meeting people.

My circle of affiliations, my rolodex, expands at an alarming rate.  

Friends. Mentors. Peers. Associates. Mentees. Co-workers. Classmates. Whatever you choose to call them, I have a lot of them. When I sit and recollect my scraps of a social life, I often find myself in the midst of some extremely diverse crowds and in the company of some very special individuals.

I see it all as blessings in the form of mixxy behavior.