Monday, February 27, 2012

Me Time

"All things being equal, I always put you first."- Heather Headley

It is Monday evening and I am still thinking about how much I enjoyed this weekend of pretty much just me.

All I did was clean my apartment (which resulted in the loss of a Bluetooth that I still haven't recovered yet), watch a little TV, run some errands and play on my Wii. But it was all about me. I even found time to look into plans for the birthday weekend I'm planning in June and my trip to Chicago for Boule.

I know it's not a big deal but I haven't spent an entire weekend in my apartment, let alone in the state of Ohio, since January. The first weekend I was in D.C. for a birthday party, the second weekend found me in Detroit for a baby shower and then I headed back to the D for my cousin's birthday dinner and a concert.

Outside of the concert, pretty much everything I did centered around someone else and I love being there for the ones I love. But I really started to look forward to the weekend to myself as it inched closer and closer. Also, I've noticed over the course of my life, I have often had a tendency to prioritize others above my need for space and free time. Sometimes it came from an assumption that if I turn down an opportunity to do something, nothing else will arise when I want to do something.  Other times, it comes more from peer pressure.  That's why when I really don't want to be by myself, I find ways to neglect my phone. 

So, for a weekend, I really prioritized myself. And you know what, it was worth it. And I don't have anything scheduled for next weekend so I may just get another chance to do so. And supposedly some Girl Scouts will be selling cookies nearby.  A possible weekend in my recently cleaned home with Tagalongs and Cinderella featuring Whitney. Could a girl be so lucky?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where Do Broken Hearts Go?

"And if somebody loves you, won't they always love you."- Whitney Houston

By now, we all know that one of the greatest singers known to man has passed and I have been questioning myself about how to address it in this blog.

For one thing, I didn’t expect for the death of Whitney Houston to affect me as much as it had. In the end, it’s because I realized that Whitney was so tangible to so many of us. Through her music and through her craziness, it was easy to feel like I knew someone like her and almost like I knew her.

When she released her first album, I was three years old with the Fisher-Price radio and man, I thought I could sing. When I was around eight years old, I went to Cedar Point and belted out “I Will Always Love You” to be recorded on cassette tape for younger family members to laugh at years later. I’m sure hyenas would crack up as well. In high school, “My Love Is Your Love” came out right around the time when I was dealing with an ignorant ass negro who didn’t realize what he had. While in college, everybody slept on the Just Whitney album, but something about “Try It On My Own” spoke to an independent streak that was erupting within me and continues to until this day. Too many of my musical memories were wrapped around this woman.

And then there were the flaws. Let me just say that as soon as I told my dad about her death, he blamed Bobby Brown and went on a tirade about associating with the wrong man. That was his little lecture. Hell, Bobby Brown wasn’t the best influence in the world, but you can’t say Whitney didn’t love him. Hell, they were married for 15 years and many of the people who faulted their union couldn’t sustain a marriage for a third of that. They loved hard.

We also can’t forget “crack is whack”. Who in the world would admit to the all the drugs they used in a nationally-televised interview? But she did and when asked who is the devil, she said that she was because it was her making the decisions. Oddly, that made me more of a fan because there a sense of accountability there when everyone else wanted to put it off on someone else.

So yeah, I am a little brokenhearted right now because not only has the world lost a great talent, but we also lost someone who showed what it is to love hard and to be unapologetically honest. In this world, that combination is so rare.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

You Talk Too Much

"Everyday you are out fighting someone in the street. And you’re always fighting someone you know you can’t beat. Then you wonder how you got in this mess. Just think of what you said, then take a guess."- Run D.M.C.

Before I write this, I will put forth a disclaimer. I am not a Roland Martin fan. I have not liked him since he walked into my journalism class junior year acting like a pompous ass using put-downs as his form of “motivation.” None were directed personally towards me, but I could’ve lived without it.

Fast forward some nine years and one can see where put-downs has landed Roland Martin today. He was temporarily suspended from his correspondent position at CNN for tweeting the following: "If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him." The people over at GLAAD condemned him for it and the end result was him getting the boot from a major cable network.

Now some people are trying to say that the text was taken out of context and it was Roland further dissing the sport that he loathes known as soccer. Let’s dissect the tweet, shall we. Ok we already know that the target of the tweet are males because it says “dude.” Ok. Got that down. “Hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad” means someone who is excited about seeing a man in his underwear who happens to be a soccer player. Though, anyone who enjoys the ad can tell you soccer was the last thing on their mind. Finally, he says “smack the ish out of him” which means to direct violence towards. So let’s take the first two parts and put them together: Men who are excited about seeing a man in his underwear. Yep, that sounds like gay men to me. Let’s put it all together now: direct violence towards men who get excited about seeing a man in his underwear. Yep, hurt gay men is what that tweet says in so many words. That may not have been what he meant to say but that’s how he comes off, out of context of following Roland’s anti-soccer rants on the regular.

Many of my fellow black people are saying that this was just part of an effort to get a black man off TV. I don’t remember “The Man” sitting at Roland’s keyboard when he did it. In fact, he owned up to the fact that he did it and initially didn’t seem to get why people were upset. Funny this coming from a wordsmith.

In my past profession, I worked as a journalist and when you go into certain professions, it is understood that you should not do certain things as you are considered to represent the company you work for. The higher your profile, the more you represent. You are not supposed to publicly announce political beliefs, join voter registration drives, or campaign for candidates. Pretty much, you’re supposed to do a lot of things which indicate that you are fair when you are reporting. In this day and age, that includes maintaining a sensible public social media profile. Mr. Martin obviously didn’t get that memo or thought that he lived above it.

I said this on Twitter and I’ll say it here. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. If you don’t believe me, you have the freedom to call your mom a bitch. I dare you to try it. Trust, you’ll really see what “smacking the ish” out of someone looks like.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Get the Party Started

"I'm coming up so you better get the party started."- P!nk

So I think I have completely recovered from this past weekend.

As I am approaching 30 myself, it was definitely an experience to see one of my closest friends reach that point and surpass it in the DMV.  Within 72 hours of her turning 30, she felt great joy (friends, drinks and great gifts) and great pains (four mile walk on five minutes of sleep).  We saw Red Tails. We saw knights. And we saw the MLK monument.

Here are 10 things I learned from her 30th birthday celebration.
  1. Saying goodbye to your 20s can be fun as hell.
  2. The 30-and-over people at your party will notice every single thing that goes on in the room. Especially if they have a journalism background.
  3. When trying to mix old and new friends, do it in a setting where it is not easy  to segregate.
  4. Don’t wear a dress and start breaking. You will wind up with a Britney crotch shot.
  5. Times may be fun, but when your body tells you to go to bed, do it damnit. You will pay for it later.
  6. Everybody seems to say it like they mean it at a 30th birthday party.
  7. The after-afterparty can be insane.
  8. Don’t walk two miles after staying up all night and getting five minutes of sleep. Especially don’t do that ish in heels.
  9. Turning 30 can be tiring so when July comes, I may just go missing and do something real low-key. If I can do something real low-key with Tyrese, that would be even better.
  10. However, if I do it too low-key, I may not have a sponsor. And what's a 30th birthday celebration without a sponsor or two. Preferably male. Preferably Tyrese. (Ok I'll settle for Adam Levine.)