Wednesday, July 30, 2008
so my parents just landed in Vancouver, British Columbia. they're on their way to a carnival cruise ship to Alaska! i spoke to them around 8:30 pacific this morning, minutes after they'd just made it onto their plane from LA to Canada, and i figured that would be the last time i'd speak to them until they returned sometime next week. and all day i've been thinking about how much i'll miss them. even though i cherish my heart2hearts with Daddy, i only talk to him about once a week. but i talk to my mom like two, sometimes three times day! so i'm bracing myself to not being able to just call and shoot the breeze with her for the next ten days. but i didn't imagine how happy i'd be to see "Mommy" light up in my phone just now. she called to say they'd landed in Vancouver and that their bags had arrived with them, which could've turned out differently since they got to LAX just ten minutes before their flight check-in closed. So, yeah, she called, sounding very chipper to finally be on this trip celebrating their 35th anniversary. and i'm happy for them. i might even be a lil bit jealous that they found each other so early in life. like my parents were younger than me when they got together. and though i'm not necessarily biological clock driven, i am of the frame of mind that because we don't live forever i'd like to spend as much of my time here with the man i love because, once one of use departs life as we know it, we no longer have that option to be with one another. it seems there's never enough time for love, but once it's gone you think back to what you could've done to extend it or welcome it sooner.
i hope to have the same as them one day. it does seems so far away right now though. interestingly enough, i just found out one male friend is getting married on Aug 29th, and i just hit up one of my homeboys, trying to remember if he was getting married in a couple of months or next year. he was like, Oct 4th in New Orleans, "and i can't even believe it... i just may pass out up there!" too funny! he's 29, and doing pretty well as a reporter for the NY Times. i told him that i actually have about five male friends, that i can think of immediately, that are getting married in the next few months/year. he responded that we're getting to that age to where, though guys really love bachelorhood, "there comes a time when you gotta build something that will last." he speaks of being married and having children in very relevant and necessary terms, which is different from a few other young men i know. so, i can dig it. i really can.
so for those five, recently engaged or soon to be married brothas that decided they didn't want to do it without THAT sis, i tip my hat to you. (wait, i'm a girl, so maybe i should be doing a curtsy or something!) that's what's up. that's what's really good. i love LOVE. it's NECESSARY. i love the idea that there are some young people out here who believe in the truth of a life spent with that one soul you love. i believe in it. i understand it ain't simple. but it's reality. it's what i know from my own parents. it's what makes sense to me. 50% divorce rates and such may be someone's reality, but it doesn't HAVE to be yours.
To the Honorable Dr. T. Lee and his lady, Gab, i wish you all a LIFETIME.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
thank God i'm not crying. so either things are not that bad, or...they haven't gotten bad enough to warrant that type of cathartic shedding. whatever is going on, i'm most thankful that the cramps did not have me beat this time. though, on the ride back from DC this AM i downed like three advils just to be sure i would make it okay. and though my uterus didn't totally wild'out on me-- this time, i've been here in the bed since getting home. in and out of sleep and random streams of conscious thought relating to but not limited to:
we're approaching our fourth month of dealing with one another. and though i had my-four month-epiphany a few weeks ago, i don't think i can attribute any of that conjecture to how i'm currently feeling about us. suffice it to say, i know we are still digging one another in the most authentic way. i like him, he like me. but thats where it ends. thats the only thing i know for sure. when people have heavy issues they're dealing with and are enduring trying times they're making it through, finding time to spend with the person you like just is not a priority. and you struggle to accept it, and question whether its worth it,even though you can see a little progress. afterall, you have your own stuff you're wading through and working out. (cultivating a relationship is not at the top of the list of what immediately needs to be addressed in my life.) but when you have a couple of questionable episodes with the dude, you start wondering if this has been his normal way of existing with women, or if his behavior is currently being influenced by the physical and emotional stress of circumstance. whatever the case/cause, it becomes evident that you don't want to answer questions like "are you mad?" when you figure that [you'd hope] the person you're dealing with won't be doing anything to warrant asking THAT question. and then you pull the trigger on your well thought out answer, wondering if you just totally shot the whole relationship down, but justified in shooting from the hip. and wondering where hope and potential fall into the whole mix of patience and accountability..... men. where are the simple, nice guys?
once upon a time i said, "i don't do complicated."
cwj responded, "well, if you don't do complicated, you don't do love."
so, i've come to realize in the past two years that, apparently,
i do complicated.
but, complicated and dysfunctional, two completely different things. so.
i have to make a choice of sticking around to see if this complication is really dysfunction trying to rear it's ugly, unwelcomed head, or if it's just two people very much still getting to know one another in the midst of some heavy life growing pains/unexpected traumas that can only be worked out and healed in time.
anyway, i'm so freakin tired and drained right now. my feet feel like they've walked a hundred miles. i've been asleep for most of the day, which means i haven't eaten since this AM when Ro & i were on the road from DC back to BK (turnaround trips take so much out of you.) that was over sixteen hours ago. but my mouth feels like it's sealed shut (which is good because my breath is probably too offensive for even my own self to endure) and i'm only resigned to getting up to use the bathroom. so i won't be writing about any of the other stuff thats bothering me right now.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
So! All that to say, I knew I was doing well, I knew which class (there was one) I struggled a bit with, and I knew that I passed everything with flying colors in order to graduate in the spring of 2006. What I had no idea of, until I actually called the Registrars office a while back, that my cumulative GPA was a WHOPPING 3.9!!!!! 3.9! I've never been THAT GOOD A STUDENT!! That's Summa Cum Laude! That's high honors right there!!!!! (The P's are "Pass", btw!)
So yeah, I finally got the paper in hand to prove it (to myself anyway, because in undergrad I had a 3.2 which is not nearly HIGH honors-- though I did get a nice "regular" honors metal thats hanging next to my graduation Kinte cloth that say "Howard University Class of 2000"!)
Meanwhile, the nostalgic Metro North train ride and walk up the neighborhood hills in Bronxville onto campus brought back an onslaught of precious student memories that further prove why I need to find a home IN ACADEMIA. I LOVE COLLEGE CAMPUSES. I'm comfortable there. I love the mere opportunities for life-changing-learning that exists on all campuses all over the world. I long for the days of my time spent at The Mecca (Howard, for those who don't know.) I know there are so many things I did not take full advantage of, and I often entertain the idea that I will one day go back and study again and/or teach there. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, I love school. I love being a student. Haven't exactly caught the teaching bug, but it is the family business and a road that seems destined. My ever-amorphous plan (as of today) is to get this free Master's degree in Education, and start off teaching the babies (K-2nd) for a while (OR MAYBE HS English....?), then possibly on to a doctorate and into college level teaching.
Who in the heck knows. You know I don't! But I do know that I love school as much as I love live music and beaches (every aug and sept I get a little envious of the students I know are buying new notebooks and registering for classes!) So I can't be done yet!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
it started off at a radio station here in brooklyn. a friend of mine, Byron aka Fumaca, is a producer of a world music series (i should know the call #s of the station but i don't right now) and today they were recording three bands from Mali and another cat, Alex Cuba (who rocks the ill geeeeee-tar'con'AFRO, btw). anyway, Byron invited me to come document the session with my digital, and i happily obliged. little did I KNOW that i was gonna end up having the time of my life shooting the wonderful musicians from Mali, who had just come to town for a world music show at Lincoln Center (which I DID NOT know about) and is on their way back home to the Continent as i type. i seem to always know how to find kindred spirits, and today i found one in a sis who is my namesake of sorts, Aisha! meaning "life" like my own name. well let me tell you, once the band started playing, Aisha, who is the sister in law of the female vocalist/musician, started dancing around the studio-- the same way i was dancing around the engineers booth! my moves were feeding her moves and hers were feeding mine! and before i knew it, Aisha was going IN! arms, head, hair, everywhere!!! i couldn't be AS free because the engineers booth was already cramped enough, but there was just enough room for me to move my feet, hips, shoulders and arms! After the first two sessions she came out to hug me, "You dance GOOD!" :) "Merci, ma soeur!" I smiled back... (sidebar: I totally should be knowing a lot more french than that! all the bands came in and started talking to me in french, cause i got "that look", and i was standing there clueless like, "Uh... Oui?" hahahha i need to seriously step my language game UP!)
So the excitement continued later on when this familiar looking cat came into the station with his girl, and i'm thinkin he's just chillin with everyone else. So he's like "I'm Matthew...You look familiar...." and I'm like "Yeah, you too." but i think I know him from Byron or another mutual friend, Antonio. So then Byron comes in and is like "You probably know Matthew, he used to own Delights of the Garden on Georgia Ave." I'm like "YOOOOOOOOO DELIGHTS OF THE GARDEN!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU FREAKIN SERIOUS!!!!" Talk about BLASTING from the past into the present! Delights of the Garden is a chapter out of my Howard University days! One of those alternative places to eat when the Caf, Punch Out, or Howard China just wouldn't do. I spent many an afternoon getting some kind of pita sandwich or smoothie from Delights of the Garden! That was almost ten years ago now, and it's not even there anymore! so for someone out the blue to pull THAT out the memory bag, oh happy day!!! I totally was not expecting to run into Matthew from Delights of the Garden, like ever again, let alone this afternoon! So not only was he there chilling, turns out he's the freakin STATION MANAGER...! I was like "DAG, so he running thangs 'round here!" The world is sooo small! So yeah.. !! Good times!
So i stuck around the station til about a quater to 4, shooting pics of all the bands, rapping with Alex Cuba, finding out his whole vibe. Nice cat, got a real soulful look, and a pioneering sound in terms of latin/cuban music. Turns out he's already won two Canadian Grammys (which is where he lives.) I hated that I missed his show at the Apple store yesterday. I didn't even know about him yesterday... where I been???? (MEANWHILE, while doing a quick yet extensive search just now, come to find out Alex has a TWIN BROTHER who is just as talented as he is, Adonis Puentes!!!! I'm am OFFICIALLY on their tip! You can hear more of the brothers music HERE! Track #8 El Loco Bailarin, two mins and 26 secs into that joint is feeling REAL nice!) So, by the time Alex was getting ready to record his set, i realized it was really time for me to go EAT so i could get ready for my next engagement uptown. But as I left, Byron was so pleased that I was able to come sit and feel right at home vibing with everyone that he offered to keep hiring me on to their recording gigs to photo-document the sessions! Who knows, maybe this will turn into something more lucrative and life defining! Afterall, I want to continue working with musicians in the live music vein and programming and such, and get paid accordingly, so we shall see!
Meanwhile, in keeping with my jack of all trades tradition, when I got uptown I had to do my friend Charles' hair, as in twist and style his locks. As i did his hair, we listened to the Very Best of Willie Hutch, and that is officially my next cd on deck to buy (You ain't heard the Barbara Streisand classic, "The Way We Were" til you've heard Willie Hutch belt it out in all his funkdafied funkness!) It didn't take me long to do his hair, and so i went on down to Whole Foods for some seaweed salad, veggie dumplings and edamame! along with some Superfood Green Machine! MMmmmmm! (Don't I sound like a vegetarian??? funnily enough, i'm not!) I got it all together in a container, grabbed my chopstix and got my grub on while on the A train back to bk!
Now all of that may or may not sound like a lot, i don't know, but I do know that i'm TI-RED! i did exert a lot of energy, walking, up and down subway steps, dancing, up and down shooting, twisting and braiding locks... so i'm glad to be laying across this bed without any place to be tonight. Jamal called just as i was getting off the train to say he had touched down and would be here in NYC til Tuesday, so we made plans to get up tomorrow, and that'll work for me.
Meanwhile, Friday and Saturday were quite the energy quenchers as well. Friday night, me and Ro-ro met up in downtown Brooklyn and took a walking tour of Brooklyn Heights, High Street area, Dumbo (including the entrance to the Manhattan bridge where we sat for about an hour while i waved at on-lookers from the tour buses coming into Bk) then back to Dumbo, back to downtown, over to Flatbush Avenue where we were determined to continue on our foot tour til we reached Fort Greene, Havana Outpost to be exact. Once we got there, it was all i could do to scarf down a slice from Not Ray's Pizza and then two guava margaritas from Havana. So once we finally found some place to sit, me and Ro-ro spent the rest of the evening doing what we do best: talking and laughing and laughing and talking! Turns out he has on his Eyepod my favorite song from my favorite gospel artist EVER, John P. Kee! "We Walk By Faith..." Let me tell you about this song, if it were not for this song, I would not be who I am! I loved this song so much as a child, I think I was about ten or 11, maybe 12 when my dad first got the John P Kee and New Life Community Choir tape (yes, TAPE!) and i would stay listening, rewinding, listening, rewinding and listening to that song! "We walk by faith and not by sight, in thee i put my trust all my battles he will fight....!" John P's adlibs in the beginning of that track are SO gangsta, I can't even take it!!! It's been easily about 15 years since I've heard the song, and so when it came on i almost fell on the floor in tears! I probably listened to it 30 times that night!!!!!!
Then saturday we hooked back up and Ro-ro came with me to this picnic out in the Rockaways that I was invited to by a neighbor for Boys High Friends and something or other Family Day. It seemed like it took us for-ev-er to get there on public transpo (Ro-ro left his truck in DC this weekend) but once we got there, we ended up having a GRRReat time! My neighbor straight took two whole turkeys and deep friend them in peanut oil in this portable propane thing! one was marinated in terriyaki sauce and the other in garlic sauce! BOY oh BOY, FRIED TURKEY!!! And it's not even Thanxgiving! That was a treat! Unfortunately, I had a bit of a mishap towards the end of the outing. So there was this one chick there that looked just... a mess. a hot mess. a "when would it EVER be appropriate to wear that?????" hot mess! I'm not gonna even waste my typing energy to describe how much of a mess she was, but let's say it was offensive to all friends and family of Boys High, children, elders, clergy, gangstas, whoever was there at the picnic woulda been offended by this woman's outfit. PERIOD. BUT I couldn't tell right away what an offensive hot mess it was because she was sitting a good majority of the time while we were there. And even as she sat, you felt uncomfortable if you just happened to look in her direction. Well...... it was after I'd just scarfed down my first and second helping of terriyaki fried turkey and apple berry juice box that Ro-ro decided to point out that the chick was up walking around, and suggested with some kind of off the hook yet humorous remark that i should check her out in all her inappropriate glory... And lets just say that you should not try to laugh, breath and swallow apple berry juice at the same time, after just swallowing a mouth full of fried turkey, because there WILL BE A SYSTEMS OVERLOAD. At the risk of grossing out any of my readers, i wont go into details of what "systems overload" means, only to say between trying (or at least wanting to) laugh at what Ro had just said (and how it appropriately fit the inappropriateness of this woman's getup), and trying to swallow and breath, and breath and probably burp or something... everything I'd just ingested was suddenly/violently regurgitated into a fist full of napkins and onto the ground in front of me. YUCK, YUCK AND YUCK. (for the record, it was not a LOT but it was ENOUGH!) Thats what i get for laughing at people. I don't care how they look. She was wrong for how she looked and I was wrong for laughing at how she looked (even if it did warrant a laugh at the LEAST, at the sheer absurdity of it all-- hint, i do mean SHEER!) But THAT was crazy. And to make matters worse, one of my other neighbors was sitting there laughing at ME! Like, "Well, I didn't know if you were choking or not, but I figured if you fell on the ground then at least we'd know that you needed some real help..." Hardy har har. Black people always got jokes!
So, suffice it to say, i SHOULD be tired right now! Hahahhahahhahah I've had a full weekend! So, now I'm gonna relax and get my Cuba on with Alex y Adonis! BAILA!
Here's to a great week!!!!!!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
really got photos of my Summerstage escapade @ the Seun Kuti/Afrika Bambaataa show on Sunday!!! Like furreal, on the humble, this internet is something else! All you gotta do is google sumn, and you end up finding folk you had no idea you were looking for, or no idea they were looking for you! So, okay, I wasn't lookin for Eric the Photog, and had no idea anyone would've inadvertently been posting pics of me, BUT folx have been asking, "So WHERE are the pics??? Did you take any pics????" And of course I didnt have any! I barely decided to go to the concert at the last minute, and knew had to leave early! I wasn't hardly thinkin bout no pictures! :) Anyway.....
Ladies and gents, (or lady and gent, since I seriously doubt more than two people are even reading this :) I give you the only two pics I am aware of that feature my 15 SECONDS of fame on Central Park's Summerstage!
Chick Brought on Stage photo 1
Chick Brough on Stage photo 2
okay.. i just have the links cause apparently this is some high-tech-non-right'click'photo'jacking website for professionals.... hahahhahahhahah but this'll do.
meanwhile... first Daddy's poem, now surfacing pics.. This is really making my week!
So, Eric the Photog, just emailed me back with the jpegs! and a nice lil message:
"hilarious. glad i asked! don't know if you were able to cop the pics from the page, so here ya go....
(and now that "chick brought on stage" has a name, i'll update the caption.) ;-)
nice job, by the way. you looked right at home up there.
HILARITY! I love my life....
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Oh! How She Danced
Oh! How she danced into the night
As if she sprouted wings and then took flight
She leapt and spun across the stage
While the band, in rhythm, played and played
The crowd kept urging her on and on
As they swayed with the music becoming one
Their energy spurred her to move and move
As she danced, she brought them into her groove
Her mind in tune with every note
Her winding body just seemed to float
As she moved and danced each step with ease
The cheers of the crowd showed they were pleased
With sheer joy she stepped and whirled
As the band members shouted "Do it, Girl"
With sheer joy she danced and danced
With sheer joy she had taken her chance
Oh! How she danced into the night
As if she sprouted wings and then took flight
She leapt and spun across the stage
While the band, in rhythm, played and played
Monday, July 07, 2008
So I totally haven't decided what my July challenge will be, BUT if I come up short, I think DANCING on Central Park's historic Summerstage with an icon like Afrika Bambaataa qualifies as the carpe diem type of experiences I'm looking to have each month!!!!
When I called my mom, she reminded me that this was not the first time some random caper of good fortune had found me at Summerstage... Four years ago, I was at a Lyfe Jennings Summerstage performance, up in the front as usual, against the rail enjoying the show. And he starts telling this anecdote about some beef he had with the concert producers; apparently they'd disrespected him in some form or fashion, so much so he decided that rather than taking the payment they were offering him to do the show, he was gonna take the money and disperse it among his adoring fans!! (if I remember there was some mention of telling him he was GOING to do something because "We're PAYING YOU to do this....") Well, I can't say that i was then, nor am I now an adoring fan of Lyfe Jennings- HOWEVER, I WAS in prime position to capitalize on his generous display of hurt feelings that afternoon... Before you knew it, this brotha was throwing out $1 $5 and maybe $10 bills by the fistfulls! If I'd known better I would've gotten my butt out of the way because people started going IN trying to grab the cash that was littering the air and ground! It was free for all, get what you can pandemonium! But I didn't know any better.. and I think I ended up with about $75 in $1s and$5s bulging out of my pockets!!! There I was, once again hanging over the rail, tryin to get security to help me grab money in the now empty photographers pit! CUH-RAZY! I tell you... I ain't never been a bigger fan of Lyfe Jennings than on THAT AFTERNOON!!! I think I ended up going to get a pedicure then paid Con-Edison or my cell phone bill with the rest!!! hahahhaha Thanx, Lyfe!
whew! in other news......
so i finally decided to tell the cutey-patooty concierge (at the hotel where the little Thai-Aussie i babysit for stays) that i think he is "sooooo handsome" (i said this with a big goofy grin, of course!) and when i say SO HANDSOME, i mean "Okay, so what magazine ad, commercial and/or calendar are you featured in???" handsome. HAND-SOME, like, gimme SOME of yo' HAND handsome!!! (okay, that was mad corny but FUNNNNNYYYY to ME!) MMMmmmmMM that man is handsome! HAHHAHAHHAHAH... and NO, that doesn't mean that I think any less of my handsome sugarlee, i just ain't seen him in a while and am taking the advice of some of my girlfriends to keep it light and fun with whoever's around til the one you want comes around. so yeah, we got to talkin, like we always do when I'm leaving the hotel, and decided to finally exchange info... and maybe go to dinner, we'll see! he's haitian and has a last name that rhymes with "Adieu!" hahahhah
BUT I'm not gonna start swooning over him (yet, anyway). I do not believe that the adventures of sugarlee and flymai have run its course just yet! As Mary said, "You gotta believe... you gotta believe... you gotta believe in meee!!!" (although, that was Mary and K-Ci... so maybe that's not the best quote to add here!) :)