Monday, April 30, 2012

Better Days

"Silver gray hair neatly combed in place. There were four generations of love on her face. She was so wise. No surprise passed her eyes. She's seen it all."- Dianne Reeves.

I cannot let this day go by without blogging about one of my most favorite, possibly my most favorite people, in the world. That is my grandmother.

Today, she turned 80 years old and after my grandfather passed at 77, the late 70s always had a weird symbolism for me. So her making it to 80 is a pretty big deal for me.
See, my grandma is my boo. I love her to death. If anybody has shown me what unconditional love is, it's her. She's a great supporter, listener, motivator and disciplinarian, when she had to be.

My grandma lived across the street from my parents so I always got to spend time with her when I was a child. I never had a baby-sitter because I had grandma. And like a true grandma, she pretty much let me and my older cousin do whatever we wanted within reason.

But as an adult, I've gained a newfound appreciation for her. As I've grown, our conversations have grown. And with that, my respect for her has grown. When I was a kid, she was sweet grandma. As an adult, I understand that she was once a child herself and love hearing her stories. (She supports my cotton plantation summer camp for children idea.) I also have greater insight into her as a woman, a wife, a mother, and a friend. For a woman who doesn't drive and who dropped out of school in 10th grade, she is quite resourceful.  She is a giver to all whom she loves. She's a great friend. She was a great wife. She gives great advice in her own simple way. She's a sensitive soul. She's just great and so pure. And I'm certain she's about to be a kickass great grandmother.

Oh and one other important thing, she is an exceptional cook.

So happy 80th birthday to my grandma.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ebony & Ivory

"Ebony and Ivory live together in perfect harmony."-Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder

Unless one comments about a sensitive article on Facebook with something that could read as being racist. That's where social networking with “friends” outside of your race can go awry.

Today, I read an article calling out VH1 for its horrific depictions of black people, particularly women, through its various forays into the reality show genre. My favorite quote from the article was "We now have more people of color on television than ever before, and most are acting like damned fools. Who needs Jezebel when you've got Evelyn Lozada, coons when you have Flavor Flav, tragic mulattos when you have Emily Bustamante and Kimbella, and black bucks when you've got Chad Ochocinco? How did a network that launched on New Year's Day of 1985 with the video of Marvin Gaye's legendary rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" fall so far from grace?" If you ask me, VH1 is more detrimental to the reputations of black people than BET with its current line-up of reruns of black sitcoms and “106 & Park”.

I posted a link to Facebook and my more enlightened friends agreed with the article’s contents. And then it happened. One of my white peers from graduate school commented with the following: "As a white person who honestly did not grow up with many black people (there was 1 in my hs class of 300), I have never understood why so many on tv like to perpetuate the awful stereotypes. Of course this is true with all races/sexes but it seems to be worse for blacks and females. I could go on forever on this subject but I'm just glad I was exposed to The Jeffersons and Cosbys growing up and not reality shows for my first "experience" with black people. My grandparents did live in Flint but we almost always saw them at their cottage in Gladwin and, outside of going to church and Crossroads Village, they never really took us anywhere when we were in Flint.”

Insert record scratch here.

It wasn’t even the first sentence that got me because I'm especially tired of the stereotypes on the reality shows. It was somewhere around saying that stereotypes for blacks and women stand out as worse than others. Then she goes into how she visited her grandparents' cottage in the Flint area. Her grandparents never exposed her to the minority-filled, economically-deprived town known as Flint.

The truth hurts and people always say that the terrible characterizations of black people on television lead to how other people perceive us. However, I can say that a good 90 percent of my FB friends are black and what could have been a great discussion on media stereotypes and why people love such shows came to a screeching halt. And this is not the first time I've seen this happen. Even though FB is a public domain, many of us like to think that when it comes to such discussions, only those who know us well with engage. Or at least know us ENOUGH! And there are certain discussions black people tend to only like to engage in with other black people.

I told someone that if she had been a close friend of mine, I would've taken on the role of the appropriate black friend and sent her a message about how there are certain things that just shouldn’t be said in mixed company and there are certain ways of saying certain things. If we’re really close, I would’ve just said “you know what you just said came off as racist, right.”

We are far from a post-racial America. It’s not that blacks and whites can’t have discussions with each other about race. But it only happens after the two people discussing have an understanding about each other. Because it will almost inevitably end in agreeing to disagree and most people aren’t cordial enough to do that with people they don’t know.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Think Like A Man

"You gotta act like a woman, but think like a man."-Jennifer Hudson

This is the blog where one may question my status as a young, educated black professional. I may even lose friends, associates, and acquaintances who pride themselves for being on a journey to becoming a part of the black elite. And here's why.


Finally, that is off of my chest.

I just felt like that is the one thing I have not seen written about his various projects by any black person that has a degree. If you want to read why such people don't like any of it, just Google it. There's plenty and that’s about all the negative space I plan to lend to this.

Now let's go into my feelings about the book. The book was funny. It was simple and it was written in Steve Harvey's comic-yet-country voice. To me, a lot of it was common sense but common sense isn't all that common. No, I do not believe it is the Bible on dating for black women, but I'm sure it provided “a ha” moments for quite a few women. Now you may be asking how could a woman have such a moment from a middle-aged comedian with multiple marriages. My response to you is how many times have several people said the exact same thing to you, only for it to finally stick when a particular person said it. Hell, from the day you're born, your parents tell you to close your legs. Your pastor tell you to close your legs. Your sex ed teacher tells you to close your legs. But it's not until you've been through some bullshit and someone tells you in a way that you understand that you think maybe you should close your legs. And if you don't believe comedians don't hold a certain amount of weight in this world, you must not have seen the various reports of young adults receiving a lot of their news from The Daily Show.

Now on to the movie. It took me back to the black romantic comedies of the late 90s and early 2000s. My favorite critique thus far is how things wouldn't have worked out like that for the characters in real life. Ummmm, that's why it's a movie. In real life, Morris Chestnut's character in The Best Man would have had that fight, gotten arrested for hotel vandalism, had his pic posted on TMZ, and Mia would have been at his side at the court hearing, possibly with a black eye. (I'm just saying dude was violent.) But it was a good movie about various types of people trying to figure out their way around this thing called love and relationships. Hell, I have a whole romantic comedy collection filled with white people doing the same stuff.

So yes I enjoyed it all and I don't want to kill the messenger like some people. Hell, my dad talks about how women and men should carry themselves all the time and my mom is his third marriage.  He has kids from multiple marriages, but that doesn't mean he's not worth listening to.  Many people say that the book promotes playing games and forces women to change gender roles. I've read it and it doesn't say “act like a man", it says "think like a man" which to me read as “here is the way men think." Men don't think of 90-day plans to not have sex, last I checked. And for people, particularly women, who say it's about playing games, just know that the second you decide to put on 5-inch heels, beat your face, get your hair done and put on your best dress to go out, you are executing strategy. Winning at anything requires strategy. But then again, what do I know. Last time someone asked me for a book on relationships, I suggested Sun Tzu's Art of War.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Don't Want to Be

"I don't want to be anything other than what I've been trying to be lately. All I have to do is think of me and I have piece of mind."- Gavin DeGraw

Last week saw one of my most favorite guilty pleasure shows of all time come to an end. That show was One Tree Hill and the above song played during the opening credits for most of the seasons.

At its core, One Tree Hill reminded me of my very first hardcore guilty pleasure addiction which was the original Beverly Hills, 90210. Both contained all these lives that were intertwined while growing into adulthood. Both contained love triangles, terrible parents and traumatic experiences galore.

So since One Tree Hill ended after nine seasons, I figured I would offer up nine reasons why I enjoyed the show.

1) Dan Scott: No one expects to see one of the most complex characters of the 21st century on a teen show but that is what you got in Dan Scott. He pretty much knocked up his high school girlfriend, went off to college and subsequently knocked up another girlfriend months later to produce project twins. However he married the college girlfriend and raised that child and left the other one out to dry. His athletic prowess is passed on to both of his sons who he raises to pretty much hate each other. Dan's brother Keith raises his bastard son (also while being in love with his first baby mama) and Dan pretty much thanks him by killing him. His relationship with his first wife pretty much revolves around insults and hate. Yet, Dan will kill anybody who tries to bring harm to his son or grandchildren. And I do mean kill. I literally could write an entire blog just on the story of Dan Scott alone. Somehow it was easy to love and hate Dan simultaneously.

2) Chad Michael Murray & James Lafferty: Both of these men played the sons of Dan Scott and both showed their asshole gene at some point and time. But most importantly, both of these men are very attractive. James has a beautiful body and Chad has a gorgeous face.

3) The Music: OMG. As someone who loves music of various genres, One Tree Hill fed my soul when it came to pop and rock and alternative. Fall Out Boy, The Wreckers, Laura Izibor and Gavin DeGraw were just a few of the artists that graced the show. If I could have Peyton's record collection, I would be so happy. Oh and this show always played perfect music for the various scenes.

4) The Incestuousness: True, that is not a real word, but let's see if I can explain how too many people are related. Lucas and Nathan are brothers. Haley is Lucas' best friend. Nathan marries Haley which makes her now Lucas' sister-in-law. Lucas' mother is Karen. Karen has a baby by Keith who is now pretty much Lucas' sister but could also be considered biologically a cousin. And this is just one set of links.

5) Sharing is Caring: Between Lucas and Nathan, they have slept with every main female lead on the show up through season 6. Sometimes it was even recorded for posterity.

6) The Kids: Up until about the 7th season, Jamie Scott was the cutest kid ever on television. Because he hung around adults, he was wise for his age. He was able to forgive his grandfather for killing his great uncle. He took his role seriously as the man of the house when his father disappeared. However, he wasn’t as cute anymore and they brought on Logan who is just the simplest cute kid ever.

7) The Sticking It Out: My friend @29tolifeblog pointed out to me that OTH was one of the few shows that once the characters got older, they pretty much focused on working their relationships out. There wasn’t a whole lot of bed hopping except for the resident whores at the time. And when I say people have been through some of everything on this show in their relationships, I’m talking whoring nannies, paternity tests, cocky ass musicians, exes moving to town, cocaine addictions, hot interns, the works. But pretty much every couple on the show has been together for a long time.

8) The Assholes: I know it's wrong but you have to admit asshole behavior often brings a level of comedy to every show. It at least brings snarky comments and every guy on the show pretty much had at the very least an asshole moment. And every guy on the show was so good at it. Especially Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty and Dan Scott.

9) The Bitchiness: The one thing I do like about One Tree Hill is when the girls were bitchy, they often had no problem getting physical. I think every woman on the show has gotten into a fight or at the very least slapped someone. And the comments that come out when friends go from frenemies to enemies could focus on anything from being a slut to dead mothers. My personal favorite was Haley’s slap to the woman accusing her husband of being her baby daddy.

Wasn't all of that terrible? Oh well. Guess I will just have to survive watching my DVDs.

I will leave you with one of my favorite light-hearted scenes though.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

21 Questions

"Are you mad cause I'm asking you 21 questions?"-50 Cent

So the blogger over at 29 to Life decided I was so cool that I needed to answer some questions about myself in this blog and pass the love along. So here it goes.

Here are the rules:

Post the rules.

Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post

Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.

Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.

Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Now it’s my turn to ask questions.

1. What made you decide to start a blog? This is like my fourth attempt at blogging. I figured if I connected the theme of music to it, I would blog more consistently.

2. How did you come up with your blog name? I love music and I know that life is a journey with a destination often unknown to us. Plus, my name is Tasha.

3. What are you most afraid of? Bees.

4. What is the thing that comes most naturally to you? Information-seeking. I'm a librarian, it is what I do.

5. If you could only choose to eat and drink one thing every day for the rest of your life what would that food and that drink be? Fried chicken and Faygo Rock & Rye.

6. What was a thing you thought as a child was so cool and found to be totally overrated once you reached adulthood? Driving. I'm so ready for a chauffeur and a sponsor for gas money.

7. What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you? Do you.

8. How long have you been friends with your best friend in the whole world? I have really close friends, but not necessarily a best friend. But my grandma is my boo and I've known her all my life.

9. What youtube video is guaranteed to make you smile or laugh every single time? The Youtube video for Mahna Mahna.

10. Besides writing, do you have any other creative outlets and what are they? Yes actually. I tend to love working on DIY projects around my apartment.

11. What is your favorite “I’m pissed off” song? Fighter by Christina Aguilera. It covers a multitude of romantic, work and family situations.

Now time for my questions.

1) If you could be an adult during any other decade in history, which would you choose?

2) If you could get rid of any one celebrity, who would you choose?

3) Who was your childhood celebrity crush?

4) What outfit are you wearing in a picture from your past that makes you shake your head?

5) What is your favorite love song?

6) What is your guilty pleasure show?

7) Who is your favorite author?

8) Which cartoon character most closely resembles your personality?

9) What is your least favorite chore?

10) Which post is your favorite on Tasha's 365 Musical Journey?

11) Which zodiac sign do you feel you are most compatible with?

Now time to tag

That's all the people I feel like tagging.