Wednesday, December 31, 2008

i should

be writing an obligatory end of the year/benadictory sort of inspired musing here. but i don'feel like it.

i'm glad this is the last day of 2008.
i'm not salty or hating, but it's been a hell of a year,
emotionally if nothing else. especially
the latter part of this year.
and maybe that's what life
is all about. but
it's gotten heavy.
to a large degree.

though, let me be fair, there have been some extremely enchanting moments in 2008 as well, for which i am most grateful. perhaps in the new year there is some balance that can better facilitate my brand of bizarre sanity....


i don't know whether or not it's problematic that i can't anticipate anything at all that will happen in the new year. i mean, i can't even call it, homie. the only thing that i KNOW will happen for sure in 2009 is that I will turn 30. that is THE ONLY THING i can bet all of my little money on taking place, most assuredly. (If, however-for whatever random and unfortunate reason- that does not happen, then it will not matter that I lose all of my money, will it.)

my faith and hope are in tact though. i have a few plans written down and anxious to see how any or each of them shall unfold as i begin to execute in the oh/nine. my vision is vibrant. my desires, delicate... fragile even. (i dont even know if i know what that means, but i think i do. my desires are fragile at the moment.)

the year is ending today.
though i'm relieved to see the new year coming in, there are a few precious moments of 2008 i wish and will forever wish to revisit. (i do that; can't help it.) i fear an onset of tears will well up should i fully recount these moments, so i won't. (there's totally no need to anyway.) but i think of them often. it pains me that every week i have to remind myself that life goes on though i dearly miss one friendship that has literally been laid to rest, and another that apparently just needed to end despite being very much alive in my heart. the loss of both friendships baffles me. i had no control over the loss of one, and decided to lose the other. yet i long for the days when i could be in the presence of both of these respective individuals. i'm supposed to believe i'll get over the loss though. so, you know. you convince yourself that life does go on, and just become resigned to the reality that you will ignore the keloid scars that have formed over your heart.

anyway, lighters in the air.
love never fails.
love never
i love.
you. life. God.
laughter. dance. food.
kisses. hugs. music.
i love.

looking forward to the new year.
(the things that i looked forward to in past years,
i can't even say that i'm looking forward to
at this point.
not sure i need to.
right now

but iam looking forward.

looking forward to the unfolding of new chapters.
looking forward to reaching more goals.
looking forward to the positively unexpected,
moreso than anything else.

God has a plan for me.


meanwhile, faretheewell, oh/eight.
take your bow, and exit stage left.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

i'm enjoying myself so much

in LA that i almost think i should be staying longer.....
but newyork awaits,
brooklyn awaits,
stuyvesant avenue
and all things

the new year is officially
within reach and on the way.
thank God.

for the ability to move forward,
thank God.

for the ability to
build bridges and get over some stuff,
thank God.

for the ability to truly appreciate what i have,
and the family in my life,
thank God.

merry christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

i have no idea to dress for a job interview during the winter

Like... are wool cotten blend slacks and a turtle neck sweater okay? or should i do the warm slacks with a white button up and jacket???

Let me call Aisha and see what she says.....

(10:37pm) So, Ai said I should do the warm slacks with a button and jacket since I will be indoors and still need to look as professional as possible!

Good to have friends that know what they're talking about!

Meanwhile, I used this video to prepare for my interview:

okay not really, but that joint is HILARIOUS!!!!!!

So, stay tuned! Maybe I'll have some wonderful news to blog about as opposed to the emotional dribble that's dominated my postings in the past month......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

on writing about pain

sunday i endured possibly the most violently painful uterine cramps i have ever experienced in my life. they came quickly and unexpectedly like an earthquake in my lower abdomen, and but for my hands shaking uncontrollably, i really was paralyzed with pain and fear that i would not be recovering. to make matters worse, i had no idea where the couple of ibuprofen tablets i had were, so when i was finally able to somewhat get up, though still doubled over in pain, i had to tear apart a basket on my dining room table tryin to find a single dosage packet and then find my way to the kitchen for some tap water to swallow it down since i'd run out of bottled water the night before. it was a nightmare experience through and through. a nightmare i could not awaken from. the saving grace was my mom in full prayer warrior mode on speakerphone speaking scriptures of healing for me to try and meditate on. as the phone layed open near the middle of my bed, i tried to focus on what she was saying while fluctuating between being balled up and writhing in pain. i have never felt that degree of violence in my own body before. i mean, i've characteristically have bad cramps, but this was off the scale. some time during my mom's prayers of faith on my behalf and my having swallowed those couple of pills, i finally was able to stop writhing, though, still feeling a charliehorse in my uteris, i remained in a ball in the middle of my bed. she eventually ended her prayer and suggested a few times that i try to go to the emergency room. but, for obvious reasons, that was not an option for me. i decided to believe in our prayer that the pain would eventually settle and then dissipate, leaving me to relax and sleep for the remainder of the day. whereas it never quite dissipated (even now i'm feeling just a little unsettled in my lower stomach) i did eventually fall asleep.

monday was a beautifully warm late-fall december day. even in my ability to appreciate the newyorkcity that i love to walk and breath and watch and hold dear, my heart was heavy. and though i can probably accurately attribute my blues to the same physiological cause of my cramps, it still is the truth. as i enjoyed a leisure walk for 30 blocks, my heart was heavy. IS heavy. my father suggests that to continue to write about a brokenheart is to choose to remain in that place. but i don't believe that. it's important that i acknowledge that though i don't want to be broken, the truth is, i am. and the pain is sometimes as severe as the charliehorse tremor i felt in my uteris two days ago. not always. not everyday extreme pain. but some part of every day is unsettling if, when i find my mind wondering into the corner of the recent past, and out the door down the corridor of yesteryear. i fear that i'm not being as strong as i am somehow supposed to be, because it's arguable that either i'm letting or not letting the wound of a broken heart breathe enough to heal. sometimes, i don't feel strong at all. othertimes, i feel strong enough to ignore my heart for significant spans of time in a 24hr period. right now is not one of those spans of time. usually when i write, it is not one of those spans of time. but it's okay. i choose to chronicle this because it is cathartic, to let it out perhaps will facilitate letting it go at some point. i fear not writing about these moments will incur more psychological pain from having internalized thoughts that should be exposed.

i do, however, have faith that documenting these feelings will prove to help illustrate the measures by which i have grown, when i finally begin to grow out of this stage of my life. i don't pretend to anticipate when that growth will begin to take place; but then again, as a growing child you just look up one day and your favorite jeans are too shorts for your lanky legs. just outgrew them, without effort or intention. it was just design of your life to continue growing out of those pants. so, indeed, through design of my life, i will grow out of this tender heartbreak, maybe even with the fondness of having gotten some good use out of my favorite pair of jeans, my favorite and most significant love. (but, forreal, i ain't never felt this way about no pair of jeans.)

you know, not for nothing, i am thankful and so grateful for having the most encouraging pillars of truth in my life. no matter what i may be feeling, up or down, or all around the "wheel-o-emo" (i found out from one of my students that i'm "totally emo"), the people that love me are holding me down and feeding me the truth that i so need to hear, internalize, remember, believe. hold on to with a firm grip. my father's wisdom and love never fails. my mother's wisdom and love never fails. my brother's wisdom and love and motivation is like a can of popeye's spinach causing strength to pump me up and get ready to mentally knock this thing straight on its back. but in the same moment he esteems me for qualities that i think are causing me to be weak right now, insisting that they are not a liability, admonishing me to not let those qualities of being able to love so intensely die out as a result of this pain. "don't kill it," he said, "because that vulnerability is a conduit that enables us to receive the fullness of the reciprocity." and i don't want to choke out the vulnerability i have... well, not exactly. though in moments when i'm wiping streams of tears in between laughing at Fraser reruns, i wouldn't mind if my vulnerability dosage was just a fraction of its current potency.

anyway, so that i could stop wiping tears, i turned my computer on and started writing. i'm peace now that my tears are gone, and i actually can't wait to go back and re-read what i've written here..... although, i have about two hours before i have to be up and out of here on my way to an island that has more memories than i care to experience on any given tuesday or friday. but whatever. the good thing about today is that my students are testing outside of my classroom, so i don't have to conduct a lesson, just be on campus during the time of the test. so the sleep i should have been getting as i've been typing, perhaps i will make up for in my classroom.......

we shall see. nevertheless, the morrow awaits. so, as Fraser would say, off i go.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Essaywhuman!!!! THIS JUST IN!!!


So THE ROOTS will be featured as Jimmy Fallon's house band
for the new Late Night show on NBC!!! Show premier's March 2nd!!! I'm SOOOO trying to get to a taping! EARLY! (meanwhile, i can't believe Conan is really leaving *sniff*sniff* if i stand a chance of seeing him live i better get on the money!)

my desire to record a disco album

is further supported by the following:

not only because i love and support disco a'hunnid'percent, but also because i love and support shiny white (yet strangely angelic) body suits, and definitely love and support, if not thoroughly amused by, men in white overalls with pink short-sleeved button-ups and rollerskates (cause that fool is giving A'HUNNID'PERCENT!! weeeerrkkkk!)

The Boss!
(Lyrics by Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson)

Fancy me
Thought I had my degree
In life and how love
Ought to be a run

I had a one step plan to prove it
Guide in my pocket for fools
Folly and fun
Love had to show me one thing

I was so right
So right
Thought I could turn emotion
On and off
I was so sure
So sure (I was so sure)
But love taught me
Who was who was who was the boss
(Taught me who was who was the boss)

I'd defy
Anyone who claimed that I
Didn't control whatever moved in my soul
I could tempt
Touch delight
Just because you fell for me
Why should I feel uptight
Love had to show me one thing:

I was so right
So right
Thought I could turn emotion
On and off
I was so sure
So sure (I was so sure)
But love taught me
Who was who was who was the boss
(Taught me who was who was the boss)

Love taught me
Taught me
Taught me
Taught me

I was so right
So right
Thought I could turn emotion
On and off
I was so sure
So sure (I was so sure)
But love taught me
Who was who was who was the boss
(Taught me who was who was the boss)

Monday, December 08, 2008


i was just thinking: wouldn't it be cool if you could unsubscribe from feelings of love for a particular person? and, like, emotionally detach as soon as the subscription was over, like, "hmmm this isn't working.... i'd like to cancel my subscription..! And better yet, I'm sending back all the issues!" and then, THAT'S IT! No more delivery of feelings for that person! ah, L-Boogie said it best, it should all be so simple.

in other fake subscription news:
i'm so glad subscribed to "i love oatmeal now!" cause i really love oatmeal now. i'm currently enjoying my oatmeal prepared with pineapple juice, soy milk, pumpkin spice, brown sugar and butter! mmmmmmmm mm! (you haven't had oatmeal until you've sprinkled it with pumpkin spice, butter and brown sugar! that's a must for me these days!)




from last week, to this.

i think being consumed with the energy of creative endeavors over the past week has helped to divert my heart's attention from the aforementioned unmentionable (so cheezy, i know). so that is progress. diverted attention is progress. although, technically, it's not really diverted attention if you're still sensitively keen to the fact that it really does suck (even if you don't go around all day telling people). so i guess that makes it comparative progress, whereas true progress will unfold when/if i ever truly FEEL that it DOES NOT SUCK, and that things are as they are for the best (i'm not yet convinced i will ever come to this resolution). whenever i stop thinking about that part of the magic that has gone away from my immediate reality (cause i miss that magical chemistry it seems we shared so much) perhaps for good, then i guess i really will be

feeling better.

(i really wish i didn't care.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Odetta: Soul-Stirrer, RIP

My daddy put me on to Odetta about a year or two ago. Although I saw her on Tavis earlier this year, I am saddened that I never got the opportunity to see her (or Miriam Makeba) perform live.


Odetta: Soul-Stirrer, 1930-2008

Odetta, pictured performing circa 1980
David Corio / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Rosa Parks was her No. 1 fan, and Martin Luther King Jr., called her the queen of American folk music. Odetta's stage presence was regal enough: planted on stage like an oak tree no one would dare cut down, wearing a guitar high on her chest, she could envelop Carnegie Hall with her powerful contralto as other vocalists might fill a phone booth. This was not some pruny European monarch but a stout, imperious queen of African-American music. She used that amazing instrument to bear witness to the pain and perseverance of her ancestors. Some folks sing songs. Odetta testified.

Her death on Dec. 2 in New York City at 77 from heart failure, coupled with that of South African singer Miriam Makeba three weeks ago, writes finis and fulfillment to 50 years of pursuing self-determination through song, of spreading the word through music. For a handful of black singers, their discography is an aural history, centuries deep, of abduction, enslavement, social and sexual abuse by the whites in power — and of the determination first to outlive the ignominy branded on the race, then to overcome it. In her commanding presence, charismatic delivery and determination to sing black truth to white power, Odetta was the female Paul Robeson. (Read a 1960 TIME profile of Odetta.)

Born in Birmingham, Ala., on New Year's Eve, 1930, and raised in Los Angeles, Odetta Holmes had a big voice early on; she was schooled in opera from the age of 13. Appearing in a tour of the musical Finian's Rainbow in her late teens, she started to lend her classical and musical-stage training to the folk repertoire around 1950. Like Harry Belafonte, Leon Bibb and Makeba, Odetta played the swanker nightclubs before the big (mostly white) folk-music surge kicked in later in the decade. Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues, the 1956 Tradition LP with definitively scalding interpretations of "Muleskinner, Easy Rider" and "God's Gonna Cut You Down," announced the arrival of a voice whose sonic and emotive power could raise the dead and reach the deaf.

During the folk boom, each Odetta gig, in coffee house or a concert hall, was a master class of work songs, folk songs, church songs, and an eloquent tutorial in raw American history. Identifiable from the first syllable, her voice fused the thrill of gospel, the techniques of art song, — the wisdom that subtlety sometimes trumps volume — and the desperate wail of blues. If a line could be drawn from Bessie Smith to Janis Joplin, from Mahalia Jackson to Maria Callas, it would have to go through Odetta.

Her resonance was literal, political — few civil rights rallies of the early '60s were complete without an Odetta rendition of "We shall Overcome" — and cultural. "The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta," Bob Dylan once said, and listening to that Tradition album helped persuade the young rocker to switch from electric to acoustic guitar. Odetta returned the favor in 1965, recording an LP of Dylan songs with an emphasis on the antiwar numbers rather than Dylan's sheaf of civil-rights ballads.

In later years Odetta collaborated on a dozen or more albums (dueting with Nanci Griffith, for instance, on Other Voices, Too. She recorded a collection of Christmas spirituals, and did tribute albums to Ella Fitzgerald, Leadbelly and blues thrushes of the 1930s. In her 60s and 70s she still could sing the hide off a traditional number. Evidence: this rendition of "Midnight Special."

For Odetta and many other survivors of the Civil Rights Movement, the election of Barack Obama as president signaled a fulfilling chapter in the struggle. As she sank toward death in New York City, Odetta had an Obama poster taped on the wall across from her bed. Hospitalized with kidney failure on Monday, she kept willing herself to live because, her manager Doug Yeager wrote on a fansite just before her death, "Odetta believes she is going to sing at Obama's inauguration and I believe that is the reason she is still alive."

She sang of the past, and for the future. Come Jan. 20, her songs will be heard on the internal iTunes of the people she touched. Some voices can never be stilled.

See the 100 best albums of all time.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


as i stand in the wake of accepting that the man i've loved unconditionally for the better part of two years does not, in fact, feel the same way for me (and, apparently, never will), i get a phone call at midnight tonight from another person who "just decided to call" and share that though we do not speak or even see each other very often that he does love me, loves everything about me, "your spirit, your beauty, how talented and inspiring you are, how caring and warm and funny you are" he said "i don't care how it sounds, shoot... i love you!" and it didn't necessarily take me by surprise because when we WERE spending time together, it seemed as if this was something where love COULD develop if we LET it. (i just figured neither one of us was in a position to let it truly develop -me being in love with someone else and him having other issues- and we eventually stopped seeing each other.) so i let him talk some more (i mean, wouldn't you!) and he eventually apologized for something that had happened between us shortly after we met, that i had clear forgotten about because, well, i'm not one to hold on to those kinds of things. but it still bothered him all of this time that this situation had taken place. he said that i was too special of a person to him to not fully explain himself and extend a sincere apology, and that there is just something special about me that he hasn't been able to shake off. after being so open he casually laid the disclaimer that he's in no way saying that he's trying to spend the rest of his life with me and was quick to acknowledge his own character flaws, which i'm FULLY aware of, but said at the end of the day i "deserve to know that someone out here loves" me..... the crazy thing is that he didn't even know, i mean had no way of knowing, that i'm currently living out a personal heartbreak moment in my own life, and that, as far as i'm concerned (right now, anyway), LATER for all this -love- business. (not "never" but LATER!) i thanked him for his words, suggested perhaps God was speaking through him at the very moment, to encourage my faith that the same energy i put into loving someone can be redirected at me in a mutual way. i told him what i'd been going through the past couple of days, and that whereas his words were a balm to my soul at that moment, i'm just taking them in for THIS moment. i told him that i'm going into hibernation for now so that i can really get past this other thing once and for all, and that since i have no idea how long it will take, i'm not really tryin to think about loving or love from anyone else. he said he understood, but insisted that he was going to be there for me (what he say?? be "my rock in the middle of this tidle wave!") to tell the truth i'm really thinking, "*chuckle* yeah... okay.... we'll see." (I'm not gonna hold my breath on that one.) he also said i deserve to receive the kind of love that i give. and i believe that, i do. i just don't know that i understand how deserving that kind of love works in conjunction with actually ATTAINING it with one particular person, and it be mutual. but that's not for me to figure out right now. right now i have to figure out how to let go of this other lovejones that has overstayed its welcome.

(.......sigh.... men.)

i'm going to sleep.